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 →
Director Adam Smith’s family-crime drama Trespass Against Us received an Official Selection nod at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), as well as top nods at the British Independent Film Awards and the Zurich Film Festival. Following a number of runs at various film festivals here in the United States, the film received a brief limited release back in January, but as of now we have yet to see it picked up for major distribution in theaters nationwide, but here’s hoping that changes! Written by documentary director Alastair Siddons (Turn it Loose, Inside Out), Trespass Against Us follows a man who comes into conflict with his outlaw father and family after he decides he must find a way out of his own criminal world in order to provide a better future for his own family. Michael Fassbender (Macbeth, The Light Between Oceans) and Brendan Gleeson (Cold Mountain, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) lead the cast as Chad and Colby Cutler, the father and son who come to arms with each other over the former’s desire to break free of his criminal past. Continue reading →
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 →
In light of the untimely death of Carrie Fisher, movie-makers at Disney and Lucasfilm are beginning to look to Princess Leia’s future. Although Fisher has reportedly finished filming all of her scenes for the upcoming Episode VIII release this December, Leia was expected to play a much more significant part in Episode IX, which is slated for a December 2019 release. The over-arching storyline for the upcoming films included a reunion between Leia and Luke Skywalker, as well as a confrontation between Leia and Kylo Ren, who killed his father, Harrison Ford‘s Han Solo, in Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Now with Fisher gone, the fate of the character has yet to be fully realized. Continue reading →
Like last Christmas, and likely the next four, five, six, or even seven still to come, Star Wars fandom is again dominating the box office. The first Star Wars prequel, Rogue One, opened in theaters worldwide this weekend, earning an impressive $290.5 million in box office ticket sales. Disney, who now owns the Star Wars franchise, initially predicted a $120-150 million take for the North American market, which ended up at $155 million. The worldwide box office haul does exclude China, which won’t see Rogue One in theaters until after the New Year. China, incidentally, is the second-largest market in movie ticket sales, so the grand total will likely reach into the $300 million range with ease. As impressive as the opening weekend was, Rogue One failed to break the box-office record set by last year’s Star Wars Episode 7 – The Force Awakens, which took home $248 million in its opening weekend. Still, the success of Rogue One demonstrates the potential for future Star Wars spinoffs Disney has, and will likely soon have in the making. Fans are already looking forward to next year’s Star Wars Episode 8, and a Han Solo origins story is still in the works for 2018. Needless to say, Star Wars fans will be getting their fix for years to come if Disney keeps up at this rate. And with $290 million world box office hauls, why wouldn’t they make more? The trailer for Rogue One is available here on MADE. If you get a chance, be sure to see it on the big screen this holiday season. Enjoy!
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!
Sunday night saw a decent amount of new movie trailers played during the 50th celebration of America’s favorite athletic pastime, the Super Bowl. One of these new trailers was a new preview for the upcoming Jason Bourne installment that will reunite director Paul Greengrass (United 93, Captain Phillips) with original actor Matt Damon (The Departed, The Martian) in what will simply be titled Jason Bourne. The two will share writing credits with screenwriter Christopher Rouse (The Italian Job, Greenzone), who has also worked on The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007). Also returning from the original film series is actress Julia Stiles (The Omen, Silver Linings Playbook), who is joined by newcomers Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Man from UNCLE), Tommy Lee Jones (No Country For Old Men, Lincoln), Vincent Cassel (Ocean’s Twelve, Black Swan), Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler, Star Wars: Rogue One), and Ato Essandoh (Blood Diamond, Django Unchained). No details are yet available on the plot, except that Tommy Lee Jones plays the new CIA station chief attempting to track down Jason Bourne, who disappeared at the conclusion of The Bourne Ultimatum. The movie is expected in theaters on July 29th. Check out the new trailer here on MADE.
Last week Disney/Lucasfilm announced that the release of Star Wars Episode 8 would be pushed back from May to December 2017, owing to delayed production and script re-writes by director Rian Johnson (The Brothers Bloom, Looper). Filming on the new movie is expected to begin soon, but in the meantime, some rival production companies have had to rearrange their plans for some of their upcoming big releases. Director James Cameron (Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Titanic) is still currently set to begin filming all three of his upcoming Avatar sequels simultaneously at the end of this year, but Avatar 2, having already been moved back from release in December 2016 to December 2017, is now being pushed back again, with no release yet in sight. Continue reading →
Director Justin Kurzel‘s new adaptation of William Shakespeare‘s Macbeth is opening in theaters this Friday, December 4th. The film features Oscar-nominated actor Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Basterds, 12 Years A Slave) in the role of Macbeth, Shakespeare’s tragic Scottish Thane who murders his king in order to come into his kingdom and then watches his new empire unravel before his eyes. Co-starring as Macbeth’s ambitious wife is fellow Oscar-nominee Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises, Midnight in Paris), with Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby, The Man from UNCLE), Sean Harris (Deliver Us From Evil, Mission Impossible-Rogue Nation), and David Thewlis (The Omen, The Theory of Everything) appearing in the supporting cast. Screenwriters Jacob Koskoff (The Marc Pease Experience), Michael Lesslie (Airlock or How To Say Goodbye In Space, Skirt), and Todd Louiso (Jerry Maguire, Thank You For Smoking). The trailer is available here on MADE. Enjoy!