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 →
Movie-goers will have plenty of choices when it comes to suspense in this week’s new releases. First up is the new dramatic thriller Self/Less from director Tarsem Singh (Immortals, Mirror Mirror), starring Sir Ben Kingsley (Schindler’s List, Shutter Island) and Ryan Reynolds (Safe-House, Woman in Gold). The film comes from screenwriting brothers David and Alex Pastor (Carriers, The Last Days) and also stars Natalie Martinez (End of Watch, Broken City) and Matthew Goode (Watchmen, The Imitation Game). You can watch the trailer above. Also coming out this week is a new horror flick, The Gallows, following a group of high school students who attempt to pay tribute to a horrific accident that took place at the school 20 years earlier, only to find the spirits of those dead still remain in the shadows. I’m sure you have already seen a bunch of previews for this one on TV, and while it entails new subject matter, it looks essentially like a Blair Witch Project meets Michael Myers mix, with relatively unknown actors and producers. That being said, this is the kind of movie you should definitely watch in the theaters for the full effect, so find yourself a date and enjoy!
Sir Ian McKellen has played some pretty iconic characters in his career as an actor, especially in modern cinema, portraying mythical characters like Gandalf, the wizard, and Magneto in the X-Men film franchise, to historical figures like Richard III, Hamlet, and David Copperfield. 2015 will now see the two-time Oscar-nominee take on another literary legend in the form of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. The film will be titled Mr. Homlmes, and will find the famous inspector an old man living with his son and housekeeper in Sussex and reflecting on his life’s work while still trying to grapple with an unsolved case he encountered 50 years earlier. Included in the supporting cast is Academy Award-nominee Laura Linney (The Truman Show, Mystic River), Hattie Morahan (The Bank Job, Summer In February), Patrick Kennedy (Atonement, War Horse), and Hiroyuki Sanada (The Last Samurai, The Wolverine). The script comes screenwriter Jeffery Hatcher (Casanova, The Duchess) and is an adaptation of the novel A Slight Trick of the Mind by author Mitch Cullen, with director Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, The Fifth Estate) behind the camera. Check out the new trailer here on MADE. The film is expected to hit theaters this summer.
Director Robert Zemeckis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt have teamed up for a film adaptation of Philippe Petit’s memoir To Reach The Clouds, chronicling the story of his 1974 tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers in New York City. The film will focus on Petit’s conception of the idea and it’s preparation leading up to the historic feet. Levitt will take the lead role in the film, which will also star James Badge Dale (The Departed, Flight) and Oscar winner Sir Ben Kingsley (Schindler’s List, Shutter Island). The film will be produced by TriStar Pictures (yes, TriStar is back in business!) and is scheduled for release in October, 2015.