For those die hard fans of the Star Wars film series, May 4th is always a special occasion. It was on May 25th, 1977 that A New Hope, the first ever Star Wars film from writer/director George Lucas made its theatrical debut. The event marked the beginning of a new phenomenon in modern cinema, and changed the way movies were made and even thought of from then on. Drawing from inspiration from early space adventure serials, George Lucas envisioned a modern space epic using classic themes and archetypes that would forever change the movie-going experience. His company, Industrial Lights and Magic, which would go on to create Pixar Animation in the 1990s, created new methods for special effects that gave movie-goers an experience never before seen on film. To celebrate this special fan day, here is the latest trailer for the next installation in the film series, The Last Jedi, which will feature original actors Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher as Luke and Leia Skywalker, along with new vets Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Issac, Adam Driver, and Domhnall Gleeson. Enjoy, and May the Fourth Be With You!
*Update – this article originally stated that A New Hope was released on May 4th, 1977, hence part of the reasoning behind “May-the-Fourth Day.” A New Hope actually hit theaters on May 25th of that year, just in time for Memorial Day Weekend. My apologies for the inaccuracy!
There were a lot of raise-your-eyebrow commercials at this year’s Super Bowl, and sadly they were much more memorable than any of the traditional, so-called “hilarious” Super Bowl entries. The most controversial entries was the lengthy 84 Lumber commercial where mother and daughter encounter a giant concrete wall on the US border, and the American Petroleum Institutes praise-spot for Big Oil. In addition to the barrage of propagandized TV spots and beer commercials were a number of upcoming blockbuster movie trailers. Among them were those for The Fate of the Furious, Baywatch, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, John Wick: Chapter 2, and Transformers: The Last Knight. The most impressive movie trailer, however, came from up-and-coming director Daniel Espinosa‘s Life with Jake Gyllenhaal (Prisoners, Nightcrawler), Rebecca Ferguson (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, The Girl on the Train), and Ryan Reynolds (Waiting, Safe House). Continue reading →
Martin Scorsese agreed to serve as producer for an official Grateful Dead documentary back in October 2014. The Dead’s 50th anniversary was coming up the following year, and filmmakers wanted to have the project ready for the celebration. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, and the landmark event was ultimately celebrated with a massive 3-day concert over the 4th of July weekend in Chicago’s Soldier Field. Original members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, and Phil Lesh reunited on-stage for the event, which proved a huge success, despite the absence of Jerry Garcia, who died in 1995. Now, however, the 6-part documentary, appropriately titled Long Strange Trip from director Amir Bar-Lev (The Tillman Story, Happy Valley), is set to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival before being released on Amazon Prime this May. Continue reading →
This holiday season will see another Star Wars film dominating the release schedule. Unlike last year’s Star Wars: Episode 7 – The Force Awakens, whose fan anticipation was the highest since Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace in 1999, Rogue One has already been plagued by script rewrites and unscheduled reshoots. This was in part owing to the lack of direct relevance to any of the original series characters, but also to fan polls that suggested disappointment with earlier plot lines. Nevertheless, production has pushed on and the second trailer for the new film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was just released this week. Rogue One is based on a story by John Knoll (Star Wars: Episode 6 – Return of the Jedi, Avatar) and Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli, After Earth), which was adapted to a script by Chris Weitz (About a Boy, The Golden Compass) and Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Ultimatum, House of Cards) about the Rebel Alliance’s plan to steal the plans to the Death Star, laying the grounds for the epic trilogy that follows with Star Wars: Episode 4 – A New Hope (1977). Director Gareth Edwards (In the Shadow of the Moon, Godzilla) helmed the project with actors Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, The Amazing Spider-Man), Mads Mikkelsen (The Hunt, Casino Royale), Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler, Jason Bourne), Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises, The Place Beyond the Pines), Alan Tudyk (I Robot, Dodgeball), and Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Lee Daniel’s The Butler). Oscar nominee James Earl Jones (Field of Dreams, The Lion King) is also returning to provide the voice of Darth Vader, whose presence in the film will likely hold the biggest intrigue for fans of the series. Check out the new trailer right here on MADE, and enjoy the weekend!
There is a plethora of limited releases opening in theaters across the country this weekend that you should definitely consider checking out. First up is a new musical drama from director John Carney (Once, Begin Again) titled Sing Street, which follows a group of young Dubliners in 1980s London who decide to form a band while experiencing the ups and downs of youth, life, and rock and roll. Continue reading →
A new trailer is available for Disney’s first installment in their Star Wars spoof series Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which is expected in theaters December 2016. Directed by Gareth Edwards (In The Shadow of the Moon, Godzilla) and written by Chris Weitz (About A Boy, The Golden Compass), John Knoll (Avatar, Star Wars: Episode 6 – Return of the Jedi), and Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli, After Earth), the film follows members of the Rebel Alliance in an isolated attempt to steal the plans to the Death Star. Starring in the film are actors Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale, The Hunt), Alan Tudyk (Tucker and Dale Vs Evil, Transformers: Dark of the Moon), Donnie Yen (Blade 2, Ip Man), Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises, The Place Beyond the Pines), and Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Lee Daniels’ The Butler). Also in theaters this weekend is the new first-person action-flick Hardcore Henry. Enjoy your weekend!
William Monahan (The Departed, Body of Lies) is taking his second jab at directing his own script with a new thriller called Mojave. Starring Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Garret Hedlund (Four Brothers, Tron: Legacy), the film follows a rich, suicidal artist as he ventures into the Mojave Desert, only to encounter his doppelganger: a homicidal drifter. Appearing in the supporting cast are actors Walton Goggins (Shield, Sons of Anarchy), Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter, Lone Survivor), Dania Ramirez (X-Men: The Last Stand, American Reunion), and Matt Jones (Breaking Bad, Red State). Monahan’s last writing/directing project was a film called London Boulevard in 2010, but since The Departed opened in theaters in 2004 the writer has really failed to attain a solid following in terms of highly popular projects, like Edge of Darkness (2010) and the remake of The Gambler in 2014. The trailer does look pretty wild, though, making the film read more like a modern Western thriller with a plot of cat and mouse cowboys. Hopefully it will be enough to get Monahan back on the Oscar-worthy list, but we’ll see. The trailer is here on MADE. Enjoy!
A new adventure/comedy titled Band of Brothers from writing/directing brothers Aaron and Adam Nee (The Last Romantic, The Geniuses) will be seeing a limited release this Friday, January 15th. Featuring brother Adam and lead actor Kyle Gallner (A Haunting in Connecticut, American Sniper) in the lead roles of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, respectively, the film finds the childhood friends as delinquent grown-ups, who, following Finn’s recent prison stint, forms the ‘band of brothers’ with their friends Joe Harper and Ben Rogers in order to finally find the treasure that has eluded them since their youth. Co-starring in the film are actors Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds, The Life Aquatic w/ Steve Zissou), Hannibal Buress (Neighbors, Daddy’s Home), Melissa Benoist (Whiplash, Supergirl), and Stephen Lang (The Men Who Stare At Goats, Avatar). The film is scheduled to officially premier at this year’s Los Angeles Film Festival on June 13th, and then again in October at the Tallgrass Film Festival, New Hampshire Film Festival, and St. Lawrence International Film Festival. Keep an eye out for a trailer.
The truth is still out there! Fans of one of the most successful science-fiction series in history, The X-Files, can rejoice. Original writer/creator Chris Carter is bringing the series back to Fox for a 6-episode season that will air on January 24th. Returning from the original series are actors David Duchovny (Evolution, Californication) and Gillian Anderson (The Last King of Scotland, Closure) as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, with supporting cast members Mitch Pileggi (Basic Instinct, Sons of Anarchy) and William B. Davis (Numb, The Messengers) returning to reprise their roles as Walter Skinner and the ‘Smoking Man,’ respectively. This will be the first installation in the series since 2008’s The X-Files: I Want To Believe feature-length film, which found Mulder and Scully years after the show’s conclusion after the two had gone into hiding. Other cast members appearing in the new mini-series are Joel McHale (Community, Ted) and Robbie Amell (The Tomorrow People, Max). It is not yet clear whether or not there will be pending additional seasons after this one, but it has been labeled a ‘reboot’ season, so maybe there will be more X-Files in the near future. The original X-Files series is available on Netflix, so if you want to do some refreshing, consider watching some of the more important episodes. You can find a list of these on Wikipedia, and remember the first film takes place between seasons 5 and 6. Stay tuned.
A new drama from writer/director Gabrielle Demeestere (The Last Cigarette, The Color of Time) will be seeing a limited release in theaters this Friday. Based on the book A California Childhood by James Franco, the film follows three 5th grade friends in 1985, whose life stories begin to unfold as the town as the threat of a loose mountain lion looms over the community of Palo Alto, California. Starring in the lead is original writer James Franco (127 Hours, The Interview), who shares the screen with actors Everett Meckler (Emily and Billy), Alec Mansky, and Steven Wiig (Into the Wild, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes). The film was an official selection winner at this years Nashville Film Festival, Sarasota Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Provincetown International Film Festival, and Slamdance Film Festival(s) this year. This is also Demeestere’s second outing with Franco; the two worked previously together on the 2012 biographical drama The Color of Time. Watch the trailer here on MADE, and if it’s playing in a theater near you this weekend, definitely keep this one on the list of possibilities. Enjoy!