Tag Archives: stephen

Steven Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’ Is A 1980s Cinematic Nostalgia Trip

WARNING – SPOILERS!!! Pac Man, Back to the Future, and Blade Runner are only a few titles that make up the 1980s cinematic nostalgia trip in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, now playing in theaters. Based on the novel by Ernest Cline, Ready Player One follows a young man named Wade Watts who lives in a dystopian United States in 2045. Humanity, as Wade knows it, is plagued by a failing economic system, an ominous corporate-governing body, and a tainted outdoor environment, all the result of an energy crisis caused by global warming, corporate greed, and the depletion of Earth’s fossil fuels. Since the real-world is no longer a pleasant place to spend your time, Wade, like most people, spends his days in the OASIS, an interactive virtual reality comprised of games and puzzles from every video game, movie, book, or television show made primarily between 1980 and 1990, although there are a few exceptions. The OASIS is the mind-child of James Halliday (obviously Cline’s own doppelganger) who, prior to his death, left a hidden Easter Egg inside the OASIS that, if found, provides the winner with his massive fortune and control of the corporation running the OASIS, and that’s where Wade’s (or Parzival as he is named in the OASIS) story begins. Continue reading

North American Box Office Earnings Down Despite ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Opening

the last jedi

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

New Adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘It’ Is Making History In Film and Political Arenas

Hurricane Harvey. Hurricane Irma. Stephen King’s It. As if the brute force of nature isn’t enough to unite Americans in these tumultuous political times, Stephen King’s It might just have done the trick. King, an ardent opposer to Donald Trump, has been in a Twitter-war with the President ever since his infamous 2016 presidential campaign and subsequent election. To quote the author’s own Twitter account, “Trump is no leader. He has 2 default positions: “Not my fault” (it’s China’s) or “not my job” (DACA). What a bitter joke he is!” The feud has gone so far as to cause Trump to block King on Twitter. It also prompted Trump supporters to call for a boycott of director Andy Muschietti’s new adaptation of King’s 1000+ page horror novel, It, about a demon that terrorizes children in a small town in Maine by taking the form of a fiendish clown. The call was made via Reddit, so one might think there was a pretty good chance of a successful boycott. There wasn’t. Continue reading

Stephen King Adaptation ‘The Dark Tower’ Opening In Theaters This August

Author Stephen King is making a big cinematic comeback in 2017. A new adaptation of his 1986 horror-classic It is opening in theaters this September, and is expected to be a two-part installation with the second film following soon after. Before It hits theaters, however, another Stephen King adaptation will see a nationwide release in the form of The Dark Tower. Based on the final novel in his eight-part series, The Dark Tower, the film follows a man named Roland Deschain, the Last Gunslinger, who faces off with the Man in Black, Walter O’Dim, in an effort to stop him from destroying the Dark Tower, a mystical building that serves as the center of all universes. In writing the series, King drew inspiration from several sources, including the Arthurian Legend, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, and the American West. Continue reading

MTV Awards Debuts Latest Trailer For Stephen King’s ‘It’

Audiences received a horrifying treat this week at the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards. The latest trailer for director Andres Muschietti’s new adaptation of author Stephen King’s infamous fright novel, It premiered at the ceremony. Taking place in the small town of Derry, Maine, It begins when several local children begin disappearing, leaving only gruesome evidence behind. As the townspeople continue to be terrorized by the strange occurrences, a group of local kids decide to join forces after realizing the culprit of the events is a demonic, evil clown called Pennywise. Fearing for their lives (and those of the entire town), they vow to hunt down and kill the nameless demon. Continue reading

Memorable Movie Moments…

Today we’re highlighting a scene from the 1994 Stephen King drama The Shawshank Redemption. Written and directed by Frank Darabont (The Green Mile, The Walking Dead) from King’s short story, the film follows former banker-turned-felon Andy Dufresne (portrayed by Oscar-winner Tim Robbins), who is sent to Shawshank prison for the murder of his wife. During his stay he befriends fellow inmate Ellis ‘Red’ Redding, who helps Dufrense navigate the harsh realities of prison life, and who likewise is touched by Dufrense’s ability to remember life beyond tall prison walls. The film received 7 Academy Award nominations, and although it lost out on every win, has gone down in history as an iconic cinematic masterpiece. Continue reading

New Indie Drama ‘Captain Fantastic’ Seeing Limited Theatrical Release This Weekend

A new independent drama starring Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, A History of Violence) is seeing a limited theatrical release this Friday. Written and directed by Matt Ross (The Aviator, Silicon Valley), Captain Fantastic tells the story of a man who raises and home schools his six children in the countryside. After his wife commits suicide, however, they are forced to move into the city, and he soon discovers the children are not prepared for the realities of life in the city. The film won Un Certain Regard Award for directing at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and also took home the Golden Space Needle Award at the Seattle International Film Festival. Starring in the film are actors George McKay (Defiance, Pride), Samantha Isler (Sean Saves the World, Dig Two Graves), Annalise Besso (Standing Up, Oculus), Nicholas Hamilton (Long Shadows, Strangerland), Shree Crooks (Ray Donovan, American Horror Story), Charlie Shotwell (The Comedians, Shot Down), and comedic vets Steve Zahn (Saving Silverman, Sahara) and Kathryn Hahn (Step Brothers, Parks and Recreation). Continue reading

New Documentary Titled ‘De Palma’ Seeing Release This Week

A new documentary titled De Palma is seeing release this week from directors Jake Paltrow (The Good Night, Boardwalk Empire) and Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale, Greenberg). The film is a chronicle of the life and work of acclaimed director Brian De Palma, whose major body of work has spanned from the 1970s to the present with films like Carrie (1976), a Stephen King novel, Scarface (1983) with Al Pacino (The Godfather, Scent of a Woman) and Michelle Pfeiffer (The Fabulous Baker Boys, Batman Returns), and The Untouchables (1987) with Kevin Costner (Waterworld, Dances with Wolves), Robert De Niro (Goodfellas, Casino), and Sean Connery (Diamonds are Forever, The Hunt for Red October). Despite all of the acclaim and success earned by these films, De Palma is one of the many artists who has never been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Untouchables saw Sean Connery win his first Oscar in 1988, Continue reading

This Week Marks 36th Anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’

May 23rd, 1980 saw the release of one of director Stanley Kubrick‘s most iconic films, The Shining. Initially a commercial flop, the film has gone down as an iconic Hollywood masterpiece, and one of Kubrick’s most celebrated films. Based on a novel by author Stephen King (Carrie, Salem’s Lot), who admittedly is not a big fan of Kubrick’s adaptation, The Shining combines a a series of bizarre elements with Kubrick’s carefully crafted filmmaking, exploring the darker side of the human subconscious. Kubrick was a popular director at the time the film came up for production. He had previously released such renowned films as 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and A Clockwork Orange (1971), which had earned him a great amount of control when it came to making his films. The production on The Shining, however, was not what anyone had expected, taking more than a year to film at a budget that ended up at $18 million. What’s more, critical reception was incredibly harsh against Kubrick and lead actors Jack Nicholson (Chinatown, The Departed) and Shelley DuVall (Annie Hall, The Portrait of a Lady), even though the film did end up grossing $44 million. Continue reading

Long-Anticipated Miles Davis Biopic ‘Miles Ahead’ Now Playing In Theaters

Writer, director, and star Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda, Iron Man 2) is finally seeing his highly-anticipated biographical drama Miles Ahead playing on theaters across the country this weekend. The film follows the career and come-back of twentieth century jazz icon Miles Davis, who, in the film, is approached by a journalist from Rolling Stone magazine looking to write a piece about his career and his influence on popular music. Cheadle co-wrote the project with screenwriters Steven Baigelman (Feeling Minnesota, Get On Up), and Stephen J. Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson (Ali, Pawn Sacrifice), and took on the lead role of Davis himself. Appearing in the supporting cast are actors Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting, Big Fish), Emayatzy Corinealdi (Middle of Nowhere, Addicted), Keith Stanfield (Selma, Straight Outta Compton), and Michael Stuhlbarg (Steve Jobs, Trumbo). The film also features a remastered soundtrack of some of Davis’ most memorable music. The trailer is available one more time here on MADE. Critics have thus far praised the film for Cheadle’s acting. They have not, however, been so kind in terms of his abilities as a director. Regardless, I would definitely recommend going to see this one if you get a chance; Cheadle rarely fails to appear in a worthy film, and Miles Davis was one of the most dynamic jazz-rock fusion artists in popular culture, so at least you’ll be able to hear some great music while you watch. Enjoy!