Despite the new World War II drama Darkest Hour now playing in theaters nationwide, “Who was Winston Churchill?” still sounds like a question you’re likely to find on one of those ‘the dumbing down of America has happened’ videos. While Churchill may not have been American, himself, his influence and importance in the events of the mid-20th Century cannot be overstated. Winston Churchill was elected Britain’s Prime Minister in 1940, a position he held throughout the remainder of World War II and again from 1951 to 1955. Before his career in politics he had worked as a writer and served as a member of the British Army. His election in 1940 came at a time when Britain’s, and indeed the future of the whole of Western Europe was uncertain. Hitler had been elected Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and, by the time of Churchill’s election, was already marching across France, pushing British forces to the shores of the English Channel, where the famous evacuation at Dunkirk took place (if you haven’t seen Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, I highly recommend it!).
With the United States still hesitant to enter the war effort in either Europe or the Pacific, the newly appointed Prime Minister was faced with the choice of either regrouping and rallying national support to continue the war effort against Nazi Germany, or agreeing to sign a peace accord with Hitler and the Axis Powers. As the United Kingdom stood at the brink of invasion, it was up to Churchill to persuade Parliament, King George VI, and the people of Britain that the war could be won and that it was worth fighting, an extremely difficult prospect considering the ever-growing influence of Nazi Germany and the reluctance of the United States to enter the war. 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!
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!
There’s been a lot of excitement surrounding acclaimed writer/director Steven Spielberg‘s upcoming adaptation of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One over the last six months. Spielberg (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Lincoln) has been dealing with various production delays, including Warner Bros. pushing the release date back to March 2018 to avoid conflicting with Disney‘s Star Wars: Episode VIII, but now with a final release date set, production should get underway relatively quickly, especially seeing as the cast has just added a lead actor. The Tree of Life and Mud actor Tye Sheridan has been selected to play the lead role of Wade Watts, a teenager in a futuristic world where the human race prefers to live in a virtual reality universe called Oasis. When the found of Oasis dies, he offers up his fortune in a treasure hunt across Oasis that Wade and an ensemble of other contestants comes out to compete in. Continue reading →
Ryan Gosling will see his directorial debut open in just 3 theaters this weekend. His new film, Lost River, has received nothing but negative reviews from critics, although it was shown last year at the Cannes Film Festival in France, and again just a few weeks ago at SXSW Festival. Working from his own screenplay, Gosling tells the story of a mother in a fairy-tale future who must venture into a dark, deserted underworld that now rests below ours in order to save her sons and hold her family together. Despite all of the harsh criticism, Gosling did manage to put together a pretty impressive ensemble to bring his fantasy to life, including Christina Hendricks (Mad Men, Drive), Iain De Caestecker (Not Another Happy Ending, Filth), Saoirse Ronan (Hanna, The Grand Budapest Hotel), Matt Smith (Doctor Who, Womb), Ben Mendelsohn (Killing Them Softly, The Dark Knight Rises), and Eva Mendes (Training Day, 2 Fast 2 Furious). Unfortunately most of us won’t be able to see this one on a big screen release, but you can still see the trailer here on MADE! Enjoy!
Director Kevin MacDonald (The Last King of Scotland, State of Play) is best known for his work on documentaries like Touching the Void and One Day In September, which earned him an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2000, but his next project will be a return to the motion picture genre with a new suspense-thriller called Black Sea. The film stars Academy Award nomineeJude Law (Enemy at the Gates, Cold Mountain) as a submarine captain who, let go by his former employers, sets out for a voyage amid the depths of the Black Sea in search of a lost Nazi U-boat rumored to have been carrying loads of gold. Also starring in the film are actors Scoot McNairy (Argo, 12 Years A Slave), Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises, Killing Them Softly), and Jodie Whittaker (St. Trinian’s, One Day). Screenwriter Denis Kelly (Utopia, Pulling) wrote the script, and it actually looks like a pretty cool thriller, so keep it in mind when you go to the movies this weekend. You can watch the trailer above.