The wait is over! Fans of the Star Wars saga are flooding movie theaters across the country today as The Last Jedi makes its nationwide debut. Following 2015’s The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi picks up roughly 30 years after the events of 1983’s Return of the Jedi, and finds a new band of heroes struggling to defeat the evil First Order. But unlike The Force Awakens, which was written and directed by JJ Abrams, The Last Jedi takes on a much darker tone, diving further into character backgrounds and bringing to light the tragic fate of Luke Skywalker and his failed Order of Jedi Knights. That means fans will get to see much more of Mark Hamill in the new film but, given the untimely death of Carrie Fisher, can also expect to see some beloved characters get killed off in the telling. Thus far most critics are hailing writer/director Rian Johnson‘s installment in the series, which is said to be entirely his own, despite what Abrams may have set up with in the previous film. Although The Last Jedi is expected to launch with a worldwide box office haul of roughly $425 million, it will likely not be enough to match the North American Box Office earnings record for 2016. Continue reading →
This week will see a number of indie projects open in select theaters across the country. The 9th Life of Louis Drax is a mystery thriller from horror director Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes, Piranha 3D) surrounding a psychologist working with a boy young boy who suffers after a near-fatal fall. The film was penned by actor Max Minghella (The Social Network, The Ides of March), whose late father Anthony was an Oscar-winning screenwriter responsible for such gems as The English Patient and The Talented Mr. Ripley. Jamie Dornan (Marie Antionette, Fifty Shades of Grey), Aiden Longworth (Cut Bank, Hector and the Search for Happiness), Sarah Gadon (The Amazing Spider-Man, Enemy), and Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, Exodus: Gods and Kings) star in the film, which is based on a novel by Liz Jensen. Continue reading →
Director Asif Kapadia (Far North, Senna) will see his new documentary on the late Amy Winehouse (appropriately titled Amy) open in select theaters across the country today. Featuring archival footage and photographs provided by Amy’s family and friends, as well as interviews with Yasiin Bey, Mark Ronson, Tony Bennett, Pete Doherty, and Tyler James (among others), the film explores Amy’s life and career and also the days leading up to her death. Although the Winehouse family was initially behind the project, disagreements over the editing of the film and how Winehouse is portrayed lead to their falling away, saying that too much focus is placed on the negative aspects of her life and not enough on the positives. Whatever the case it should be a pretty worthwhile film, especially in the hands of Asif Kapadia. Amy Winehouse died back in 2011 from alcohol poisoning, and remains the latest person to join the infamous 27-club of rock stars that died at the age of 27. Chicagoans can see the movie at the AMC River East 21 at 322 E. Illinois Street. Enjoy!
Chicago Police investigate a shooting on Chicago’s southside.
Chicagoans may have noticed all the crazy traffic that surrounded the Wicker Park neighborhood today (June 2nd). The cause? Controversial film director Spike Lee (Malcolm X, Inside Man) is in town at the intersection of North and Milwaukee Avenue beginning principle photography for his new drama Chiraq. The film has already been the subject of much scrutiny owing to the implications of its title, and the graphic nature of the violence in Chicago that is expected to be the film’s main focus. Making up the cast are actors Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained), John Cusack (Hot Tub Time Machine, The Raven), Jeremy Piven (Old School, Entourage), Common (Now You See Me, Selma), and Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls, Empire), with rapper Kanye West rumored to also be in the cast. Details on the plot are still pretty vague, but the film has been in production for sometime now, and this is likely only one location that will be used for film locations. The film is due out in theaters in 2016. Stay tuned.
Fans of Jennifer Lawrence can now get a copy of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1 on Blu-Ray/DVD, but the Oscar-winner is also back on the big-screen in a new drama that reunites here with Silver Linings Playbook-costar Bradley Cooper (The Hangover, American Sniper), titled Serena. Directed by Susanne Bier (After The Wedding, Love Is All You Need) from screenwriter Christopher Kyle‘s adaptation of Ron Rash‘s novel, the story follows industrial-tycoon George Pemberton, who must choose between the future of his timber-empire and his marriage to the beautiful but cunning Serena. The film looks like it is really well done, and the acting appears on-par, but considering it’s a period-love drama (the story takes place in Great Depression-era North Carolina), it will most likely only appeal to a certain crowd. Nevertheless, if you’re a fan of either Lawrence or Cooper, go and check it out. You can see the trailer here on MADE.
The upcoming comedy, The Interview, with James Franco and Seth Rogen has already stirred-up plenty of controversy before it’s even reached it’s release date. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, went so far as to declare the movie’s public release an “act of war,” and a group of hackers called the Guardians of Peace have released several Sony Pictures corporate documents that they attained after hacking the company’s computer database last month in an effort to stop the release. But thus far Sony has given no public statement saying that they will pull the film from theaters, so as far as we all know, it is still scheduled for release this Christmas Day. The plot of the movie revolves around a pair of reporters who are recruited by the CIA to infiltrate North Korea under the guise of interviewing Kim Jong Un, and then assassinate Un at their first opportunity. Seth Rogen co-directed the movie with Evan Goldberg (This Is The End, Neighbors), and the film also stars Lizzy Caplan (127 Hours, Hot Tub Time Machine) and Randall Park (Dinner For Schmucks, Sex Tape). Screenwriter Dan Sterling (The Sarah Silverman Project, The Office) wrote the screenplay with Rogen and Goldberg. You can watch the trailer here on MADE, and if going to the movies on Christmas Day is a family thing (or just your thing!) then by all means, go and see it this December 25th.
This year the Chicago International Film Festival will celebrate it’s 50th Anniversary. Founded in 1964 by Michael Kutza, and recognized as the first international film festival in North America, the organization has gained worldwide recognition for bringing independent and international films and their creators to Chicago audiences. Over the years a number of big names in the film industry have been highlighted or attended, including Al Pacino, Clint Eastwood, Charlton Heston, Martin Scorsese, Mel Brooks, Morgan Freeman, Halle Barry, and Edward Norton. This year the festival will open tomorrow, October 9th with Miss Julie from Scandinavian director Liv Ullmann, starring Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, and Samantha Morton at the Harris Theater at 205 E. Randolph Street in Chicago. The festival will run from October 9th to the October 23rd. For tickets and ordering information and for the full schedule and theater locations you can check out http://www.chicagofilmfestival.com/festival/festival-guide/tickets/. Enjoy!!
The Adidas skate team has been shredding the globe for most of 2013, it appears that now they’ve finally made their way back to the states. Yesterday the team released new footage of their journey through the American North West. Dennis Busenitz, Jake Donnelly, Mark Suciu & newbie Alec Majerus hit up Vancouver, Seattle & Portland for a few dope sessions; all of which were captured by Juice Design. Peep the video above and stay tuned for more from the Adidas skate team.
Location: 1375 West Lake Street, Chicago
Chicago’s annual North Coast Festival is nearly upon us, and that means there will be another round of dope after parties to hit up. Kicking off things early after the festivals’ first day, Just Blaze & Young Chop will be throwing down DJ Sets at Chicago’s Bottom Lounge. Sasha Go Hard & Intel will be opening the show so Chicago will definitely be in the building, the show is 18+ also so make sure to get your tickets now before it sells out.