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Today Marks 50th Anniversary of Beatle’s ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’

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Today (May 26th) marks the 50th anniversary celebration of The Beatle’s revolutionary album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The LP was the first released by the band following their retirement from touring after their final performance at Candlestick Park in 1966. Although The Beatles had already begun a steady transition from being a more traditional pop-rock group with albums like Rubber Soul and Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s has been hailed as their ultimate creative masterpiece, followed closely perhaps by 1969’s Abbey Road. Released at the beginning of the Summer of Love, it set a new precedent for what a rock and roll record could be. The concept behind the album began following the exhaustion the group experienced after the whirlwind of Beatlemania. Paul McCartney came to Lennon, Starr, and Harrison with an idea that they would record an all new album under an alternative persona, which would free them from the weight of being the Beatles and usher in a fresh wave of musical creativity. Sgt. Pepper’s not only ushered in a new era for the Beatles; it also marked the beginning of the psychedelic rock movement that would see new groups like The Doors, Pink Floyd, and Jefferson Airplane begin to climb the pop music charts. Now, 50 years later, Sgt. Pepper’s is known not only for its conception and importance to 60s rock (and music in general), but also for the history of its production. Continue reading

Laura Poitras’s Julian Assange Documentary ‘Risk’ Is Now Playing In Theaters

After six years of production, research, and documentation, filmmaker Laura Poitras‘s personal look at the minds behind Wikileaks, a documentary called Risk, is now playing in theaters. Risk is not so much an investigation into Wikileaks, itself. Rather, Poitras walks the audience through a series of character studies surrounding the organizations’ founders and chief players, specifically Julian Assange and Jacob Applebaum. Early on in her investigation, the filmmaker views the acts of Assange and Applebaum as courageous and heroic. Over the course of her six-year endeavor, however, her work and personal life became irreversibly interlaced with Wikileaks. She went to Applebaum (whom she has had a personal relationship with) for advice on how to handle information provided by a top secret informant, who we now know was former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. She also co-founded the Freedom of the Press Foundation to raise money for Wikileaks, an organization that she goes back and forth with in terms of legal journalism and moralistic integrity, which she explores in the new documentary. Continue reading

A Few More Memorable Entries From Sundance Film Fest 2017

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Sundance 2017 proved a huge success yet again. This year a number of impressive entries from a broad array of categories caught our attention, including Wind River, The Discovery, I Am Not Your Negro, Mudbound, and the outlandish comedy Wilson with Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern. Now that the celebration is over and everyone in Hollywood is looking forward to the Oscars at the end of the month, here are a few more mentionable entries you should look for in theaters in the coming months. Continue reading

October’s Long History of Historical Film Releases

Happy Halloween! October is traditionally known for the fall season and for hosting Halloween on the last day of the month. Likewise film distributors tend to look at October as a good time to release horror and slasher films for Halloween on fight-seeking audiences across the country, and around the world. October, however, has a long history of major motion picture releases that is not strictly limited to the horror genre. Read on to see our list of impressive October releases, and enjoy your Halloween Weekend! Continue reading

Iconic Actor Gene Wilder Has Passed Away at the Age of 83

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Legendary comedic actor Gene Wilder, best known for his roles in films like Young Frankenstein, The Producers, Blazing Saddles, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, passed away Monday after a struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease. The actor was twice nominated for an Academy Award, one for his role in The Producers and the other as co-writer with Mel Brooks for Young Frankenstein. Wilder first gained attention in a production of Off Broadway’s Roots in 1961. He then continued working in television and on Broadway for a number of years, where he first caught the eye of filmmaker Mel Brooks. The actor starred in a production of Bonnie and Clyde in 1967 before teaming up with Brooks for his breakout role in The Producers, which earned him his first nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Continue reading

New Indie Drama ‘Swiss Army Man’ Seeing Limited Release This Friday

A new indie “dramedy” titled Swiss Army Man with Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine, Prisoners) and Daniele Radcliffe (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Victor Frankenstein) is seeing a limited theatrical release this weekend before its nationwide release on July 1st. Written and directed by filmmakers Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (My Best Friend’s Wedding/My Best Friend’s Sweating, Interesting Ball), the movie follows a man stranded in the wilderness, hopeless, when he discovers and (here’s where it gets weird) befriends a dead body and sets out on an epic journey with the corpse on his back to somehow find a way home. Critics were a bit harsh on the film when it was shown at Sundance earlier this year, but it did manage to secure the Directing Award for Kwan and Scheinert. The trailer honestly looks like the most bizarre blend of human emotion, dark comedy, and epic adventure all wrapped up into one. Dano and Radcliffe also seem to show excellent performances, especially Radcliffe, who has taken on a rather interesting variety of films since hanging up his Hogwarts robes, so if this one is playing in a theater near you this weekend, I would definitely recommend checking it out. The trailer is here on MADE…Enjoy!

‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2’ Opening In Theaters This Weekend

Coming off of a 14-year hiatus, the beloved Portokalos family getting back together on the big screen for another Greek wedding celebration in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. Writer/actress Nia Vardalos (Connie and Carla, I Hate Valentine’s Day) returned to write the new film and reprise her role of Toula under the direction of Kirk Jones (Nanny McPhee, Everybody’s Fine). Carrying over from the original film are actors John Corbett (Raising Helen, Street Kings), Michael Constantine (The Hustler, Room 222), Lainie Kazan (You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Pixels), Andrea Martin (Wholly Moses, Soup for One), Gia Carides (The Spy Who Shagged Me, Year One), and Joey Fatone (Long Shot, The Opposite Sex). The original film received high praise from fans and critics, but didn’t really end in a way that would merit a sequel. Then again, Zoolander didn’t really merit a sequel after 15 years either, but we just suffered through the unimpressive Zoolander 2 last month, so all we can say for Greek Wedding 2 is that it doesn’t ruin a good thing like Zoolander did. The trailer is available here on MADE. Be sure to see all the big family theatrics on the big screen this weekend. Enjoy!

Catch This Week’s Limited Release Features In Your Local Listings

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening in theaters nationwide tomorrow, you can expect movie theaters to be jam-packed this weekend with old and new generation fans alike. There are, however, a number of smaller, independent projects coming out this weekend that we like to take the time to shine the spotlight on. The first is a new war drama titled Son of Saul (originally Saul fia) from writer/director Laszlo Nemes (The Counterpart, The Gentlemen Takes His Leave), which received excellent recognition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Taking place in the Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz, in 1944, the film follows a prisoner who attempts to find redemption by saving a boy he adopts as his son from the furnaces of the camp that he has been forced to subject many of his own people to. Starring in the film are actors Geza Rohrig, Levente Molnar (Morgen, Our Big Time), Urs Rechn (Eight Miles High, The King’s Surrender), and Todd Charmont (The Last of the Mohicans, Strangers). Next up are a couple of action-thrillers, the first in the form of the French film The Lady in the Car with the Glasses and Gun from director Joann Sfar (Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life, The Rabbi’s Cat), and the second a new action flick with Bruce Willis (Die Hard, Lucky Number Sleven) titled Extraction. Lady in the Car is an adaptation of the latest novel by Sébastien Japrisot about a secretary who steals her bosses car to go joyriding, only to discover she is now the prime suspect in a murder case after a body turns up in the trunk of the car. Extraction is a low budget action film from director Steven C. Miller (The Aggression Scale, Under The Bed), co-starring Kellan Lutz (Twilight, The Legend of Hercules) and Gina Carano (Fast & Furious 6, Deadpool), that follows the son of a captured CIA operative who decides to initiate his own rescue mission after the government refuses to conduct a rescue operation. The last release is a new documentary Noma My Perfect Storm featuring award-winning chef Rene Redzepi, who discusses her success with her Copenhagen-based restaurant (Noma) and her personal philosophy on the culinary arts that has contributed to her success. All of these sound like they’ll be pretty promising, so if you’re looking for a nice Star Wars alternative this weekend, check your local theater listings for showtimes for these features. Enjoy!

New Dramatic Comedy ‘Burnt’ Opening In Theaters In New York and Los Angeles Today

A new “dramedy” titled Burnt from director John Wells (August: Osage County, Shameless) is opening for audiences in New York City and Los Angeles today, with a nationwide expansion expected in the next few weeks. The film comes from a film adaptation of a story by Michael Kalesniko (Private Parts, Iron Sky) by screenwriter Steven Knight (Eastern Promises, Locke), centering around a chef who, after ruining his career with drugs and eccentric behavior, returns to London in an attempt to make a comeback by opening a restaurant capable of receiving three Michelin stars. Actor Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle) stars as chef Adam Jones, with actors Sienna Miller (American Sniper, Foxcatcher), Daniel Bruhl (Inglorious Basterds, Rush), Ricardo Scamarcio (My Brother is an Only Child, Loose Cannons), Omar Sy (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Jurassic World), Emma Thompson (Love Actually, Saving Mr. Banks), Uma Thurman (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill Vol. 1), and Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Man From UNCLE). The film is expected to be a semi-biographical story based around the life of Gordon Ramsey (Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Knightmares). The trailer is available here on MADE. Look for the nationwide expansion to your area in the next couple of weeks. Enjoy the weekend!

Director Adam McKay’s Next Film ‘The Big Short’ Set For December Release

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From left to right: actors Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, and Ryan Gosling will co-star in The Big Short.

Writer/director Adam McKay just released news that his upcoming project, The Big Short, has been given a release date for Christmas Day 2015. The release is expected to be held at the conclusion of the Los Angeles AFI Film Festival, but I’m pretty sure a nationwide release will be happening later on in 2016. The film is based on Michael Lewis’ novel of the same name, which focuses on a group of guys who made millions when they bet against the collateralized debt obligation bubble after predicting the economic crash of 2008. Making up the all-star cast are actors Brad Pitt (Inglorious Basterds, Fury), Christian Bale (The Dark Knight, Out of the Furnace), Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, Guardians of the Galaxy), Ryan Gosling (Drive, The Place Beyond the Pines), Steve Carell (The 40-Year Old Virgin, Little Miss Sunshine), Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny, The Lincoln Lawyer), and Melissa Leo (The Fighter, Prisoners). Selena Gomez will also be appearing in the movie as one of the supporting characters. Director McKay co-wrote the script with screenwriter Charles Randolph (The Life of David Gale, The Interpreter). We’ll keep an eye out for a new trailer, which should be coming soon.