Tag Archives: oscars

Watch The Star Wars Saga In “Machete Order” Before ‘The Last Jedi’ Opens This Friday

As you are no doubt aware, the next installment in the latest Star Wars trilogy, The Last Jedi (Episode VIII), is opening in theaters nationwide this Thursday, December 14th at midnight. Whether or not it will be a frame-by-frame remake of The Empire Strikes Back (1980), like The Force Awakens and A New Hope (1977), has yet to be seen, but fans will undoubtedly be packing theaters to capacity from Friday until well into the New Year. If you already have a ticket for opening weekend, then let us know what you think. If not, however, you can still get your Star Wars fix by taking a brief (and by brief, I mean roughly 12-14 hours) refresher course with watching the series in “Machete Order.” Let me explain.

The Machete Order was first suggested by a fan of the series named Rob Hilton in preparation for the release of 2015’s The Force Awakens. According to Hilton, the machete order is a more effective way of watching the previous films, particularly for young viewers who are not familiar with the series. Obviously, with seven feature-length films and an eighth coming out this week, knowing where to start to get the full experience can be an overwhelming ordeal. Should you begin with the original trilogy and work your way up, or should you start with 1999’s The Phantom Menace and proceed chronologically? Continue reading

A New ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV Series Is In The Works At Amazon Studios

frodo, sam, and gollum

Let’s be honest, it was bound to happen sooner rather than later. Four months after JRR Tolkien‘s estate settled a lawsuit with Warner Bros. Studios regarding the profits from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Amazon Studios has announced a multi-season LOTR television series is in the works exclusively for the company’s streaming service. The series will reportedly cover stories from Tolkien’s early writings, focusing on material pre-dating the events in the book and film trilogies.

Amazon acquired the rights to the series for a whopping $200 million, but the series is expected to cost a further $150 million in production costs per season. Given the popularity of the content, however, expenses don’t seem to be a cause for concern. A rep for Amazon was quoted in a statement as saying, “The Lord of the Rings is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen. We are honored to be working with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line on this exciting collaboration for television and are thrilled to be taking The Lord of the Rings fans on a new epic journey in Middle Earth.” Continue reading

Memorable Movie Moments…

This week’s Memorable Movie Moment takes us back to Steven Spielberg‘s shark-attack nightmare: 1975’s Jaws. This movie is the reason why all of our parents are afraid to go into the water. Jaws was Steven Spielberg’s breakout movie. It won 3 Oscars for Best Sound, Best Film Editing, and Best Music, and was also nominated for Best Picture. All that, however, came with an extremely stressful production and a brutal film schedule that ended up expanding from 55 to 155 days. Needless to say some recognition from the Academy was definitely warranted.

One of the biggest problems was actor Robert Shaw (From Russia with Love, The Sting). Though he was respected as an actor, he was in a heavy battle with alcoholism. This caused high tensions on the set, especially with fellow actor Richard Dreyfuss (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Mr. Holland’s Opus). Shaw would have a drink between takes, but according to lead actor Roy Scheider (The French Connection, All That Jazz) it only took one before he was already off the wall. This caused him to totally flop the initial take of the USS Indianapolis scene, which is today’s Memorable Movie Moment.

During the scene, Quint (Shaw) describes the events surrounding the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in 1945, which carried the first operational atomic bomb for the invasion of Japan. In the initial take, Shaw decided that, since the scene was at night and the men were supposed to be drunk anyway, he would drink and do the scene. Unfortunately he was so drunk that nothing in the performance could be used. The story goes that Shaw was so ashamed he went to Spielberg to ask for another take, and the next day he delivered this stunning performance sober, and all in one take. Continue reading

This Week In Movie History…

August 15th is a very significant date in the history of film…for two reasons. We’ll cover them here in order by date, but both are, no doubt, some of the most memorable advances in movies and storytelling.

On August 15, 1934, director Christy Cabanne (The Mummy’s Hand, Scared to Death) released the first audio-visual film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte‘s famous novel Jane Eyre. Excluding the popularity of the novel, the film was part of a series of classic-literary adaptations produced by Monogram Pictures between 1933-1934. Four classic 19th-century novels were all made into big-screen adaptations that featured sound, a new technology for the era. The novels were Oliver Twist, Black Beauty, Jane Eyre, and The Moonstone. Cabanne was well-known at the time as a silent film director, but was also beginning to indulge in sound-projects. For the movie, which only runs a total of 62 minutes, the studio recruited actors Colin Clive, best known for the role of Dr. Frankenstein in the original 1931 James Whales’ classic, and newcomer Virginia Bruce (Born to Dance, The Invisible Woman) to star as Jane Eyre. Oscar-nominated screenwriter Adele Comandini (Beyond Tomorrow, Three Smart Girls) to adapt Bronte’s novel for the film (which admittedly must have been a challenge considering Jane Eyre runs for a total of 38 chapters with 400+ pages in most publications).

Also on August 15th, but in 1979, Oscar-winning director Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, The Conversation) released his world-renowned masterpiece, Apocalypse Now. The film is famous not only for its cinematic brilliance, but also for its whirlwind of a production Continue reading

MADE – Most Historically Accurate Films To Date

lincoln
Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis as President Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln.

Today we decided to take a look at some of the more accurate historical films ever seen on the big screen. Historical accuracy tends to be one of the staples of a great period picture, and God knows there’s plenty of historically inaccurate movies out there. So check out our list here on MADE of most historically accurate films and be sure to scratch some off your list if you haven’t seen any of the selections. You might even learn a thing or two in the process! Continue reading

Oscar Winners Who Boycotted The Oscars

oscars

With the biggest night in Hollywood quickly approaching, and all the controversy surrounding this year’s nominee selections, we thought it would be appropriate to look at some historical actors that have either boycotted the Oscar ceremonies, or blatantly returned the award to the Academy. The first incident that comes to mind is Marlon Brando‘s famous refusal to accept the Best Actor Oscar for The Godfather in 1973. He completely skipped the ceremony and had a woman named Sacheen Littlefeather refuse the award on his behalf in the name of Native American rights. George C. Scott also famously boycotted the Oscars when he won for Patton, even returning the award the next day when it was presented to him after the ceremony. Although it’s never really a surprise, Woody Allen has rarely ever attended an Academy Award ceremony, even though he has won numerous times for films like Annie Hall, Midnight in Paris, and Hannah and Her Sisters. Paul Newman also refused to attend the Oscar ceremony when he finally won after six previous nominations and two honorary awards. And finally, John Gieglud was also absent to accept the Supporting Actor award for Arthur in 1982, later writing that, “I really detest all that mutual congratulation baloney and the invidious comparisons which they invoke.” As for this year, director Spike Lee and acting couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith already said they would boycott the ceremony, owing to the lack of ethnic diversity amongst this year’s nominees, but they have since rescinded following the Academy’s pledge to diversify its membership by 2020. Hopefully we’ll see some drastic improvements in the upcoming years, as it’s definitely been long overdue in Hollywood. Stay tuned.

New Comedy With Tina Fey and Amy Poehler ‘Sisters’ Opening In Theaters This Friday

For those who are boycotting Hollywood’s ‘Re-make Era’ or simply have no interest in sitting in a jam-packed theater this Friday night with a bunch of kids and teenagers trying to see the new Star Wars feature, a new comedy with Golden Globe co-hosts Tina Fey (Mean Girls, 30 Rock) and Amy Poehler (Saturday Night Live, Parks and Recreation) titled Sisters can offer you the perfect alternative! Working with director Jason Moore (Everwood, Pitch Perfect) from a script by Emmy winner Paula Pell (Saturday Night Live, The Oscars), the comedy vets pose as sisters (appropriately) who decide to throw one last party in their old family home before their parents finally sell it. Also making appearances in the film are actors Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids, Inherent Vice), Ike Barinholtz (Disaster Movie, Neighbors), James Brolin (Traffic, Catch Me If You Can), Diane Wiest (The Lost Boys, I Am Sam), John Cena (The Marine, Trainwreck), and John Leguizamo (The Lincoln Lawyer, Chef). I wouldn’t really expect this one to be fall-on-your-ass comedy, but Fey and Poehler are excellent comedic vets and work really well together, so if you’re not in the long line to see The Force Awakens, I would definitely give this one some consideration. Enjoy!

Toronto International Film Festival Headliners ‘Trumbo’ and ‘Spotlight’ Opening In Theaters This Friday


Movie-goers will have no shortage of great movies to see this weekend. Friday will not only have the chance to see The Peanuts Movie and the new James Bond installment, Spectre, but fans of festival-circuit films will also be able to see two major picks from this years’ Toronto International Film Festival. The first is the biographical drama from director Jay Roach (Meet the Parents, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) with Golden Globe winner Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Godzilla) titled Trumbo. The film follows the famous screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who along with 300 other writers and filmmakers in Hollywood was blacklisted by the federal government during the Red Scare era of the American 1950s. Trumbo is, perhaps, one of the more interesting cases; he continued to write scripts under anonymous surnames while he was blacklisted and even won Oscars for his work on Roman Holiday (1953) and The Brave One (1956). Making up the supporting cast are actors Diane Lane (Unfaithful, Man of Steel), Helen Mirren (The Queen, The Hundred-Foot Journey), Louis C.K. (Louie, American Hustle), Elle Fanning (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Maleficent), John Goodman (The Big Lebowski, Argo), and Michael Stuhlbarg (Pawn Sacrifice, Steve Jobs), in a script adpated by John McNamara (Jericho, Aquarius) from the book Dalton Trumbo by author Bruce Cook. The second Toronto International Film Festival contender opening in theaters this week is also a biographical drama titled Spotlight. This film comes from Oscar-nominated writer/director Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent, Million Dollar Arm) and chronicles the investigative journalist team at the Boston Globe that uncovered the scandal in the Catholic Church revolving around child molestation and cover-up deals within the Archdiocese. Co-written by screenwriter Josh Singer (Fringe, The Fifth Estate), the film stars Mark Ruffalo (Shutter Island, The Avengers), Michael Keaton (Batman, Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Rachel McAdams (Wedding Crashers, Midnight in Paris), Liev Schreiber (Defiance, Salt), John Slattery (Mad Men, Flags of our Fathers), and Stanley Tucci (Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Hunger Games), and also received high marks at the 2015 Venice Film Festival. Either of these will make great picks to see on the big screen, so be sure to get to the movie theaters in the next week or so to see them while they are still available! The trailer for Trumbo is available here on MADE.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’ Opening In Theaters January 9th


The latest project from acclaimed writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood, The Master) is opening in theaters this Friday, January 9th, and I think it will probably be one of the better releases since Interstellar back in November, give-or-take a few exceptions. Adapted by Anderson from the novel by Thomas Pynchon, the film follows outlandish private investigator Larry “Doc” Sportello across 1970s Los Angeles as he investigates the death of his ex-girlfriend. Joaquin Phoenix (Signs, Walk The Line) and Josh Brolin (No Country For Old Men, Men In Black 3) are leading the cast that also includes Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Martin Short, and Benicio Del Toro. Anderson’s last film, The Master, received three Academy Award nominations and three Golden Globe nominations, all for Best Actor (Joaquin Phoenix), Best Supporting Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman), and Best Supporting Actress (Amy Adams), and before that, There Will Be Blood won two Oscars in 2008 for Best Actor (Daniel Day Lewis) and Best Cinematography (Robert Elswit), so needless to say, this director knows what he’s doing. Check out the trailer here on MADE, then seriously consider seeing this one on the big screen.

Producer Ridley Scott Will Not Direct ‘Blade Runner 2’

ford
Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner (1982)

With Exodus: Gods and Kings opening in theaters December 12th, director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Robin Hood), will be turning more attention to his upcoming release with Matt Damon, The Martian. It was also announced earlier this year that the director would return for a follow-up to his iconic sci-fi film Blade Runner (1982), but now it seems that he will only be serving as co-writer and producer for the project. It’s been rumored that Michael Green (Green Lantern) will also be writing the script and that original writer Hampton Francher will not return. Harrison Ford is also expected to reprise his original role of Rick Deckard for a portion of the film, but there has been no news of any other returning roles. Blade Runner received two Oscar nominations in 1983 for Best Set Decoration and Best Visual Effects, and was praised among various film societies that year including the New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and the London Critics Circle. Ridley Scott is not only working on wrapping up The Martian, but also serving as producer or executive producer on more than fifteen upcoming film or television projects, so one can understand why he might not want to step in or even be able to fit filming into his schedule, but seeing as Blade Runner is one of his most memorable films, this kind of comes as a big surprise. Hopefully a worthy director will step in to pick up the mantle. Stay tuned.