Tag Archives: story

Celebrating the Films of Military Actor R. Lee Ermey (1944-2018) Who Passed Away This Week

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Die-hard drill instructors, jailbreaking football coaches, and corrupt backwoods sheriffs. It was all just another day of work for former Marine Corp. drill instructor-turned-actor R. Lee Ermey, who died earlier this week. Ermey was an incredibly dynamic character-actor with an instantly recognizable face and rambunctious personality. The Kansas native joined the Marine Corp. in lieu of jail time after he’d been arrested twice by the age of 17. He began his career serving as a drill instructor in San Diego during the early 1960s before eventually being sent on a 14-month deployment in Vietnam. He was injured during his tour in 1969 and was sent to work as a staff sergeant in Okinawa before being medically discharged in 1972, ending his hopes of a long military career. After moving to the Philippines to attend college, Ermey married and began taking odd jobs in television commercials before landing his first film role as Sgt. Loyce in a movie called The Boys in Company C, which followed five young Marine Corp. recruits from their bootcamp training to their deployment in Vietnam. Continue reading

‘Scarface’ and ‘Schindler’s List’ Cast Reunions Set For 2018 Tribeca Film Festival

Anniversary celebrations became something of a staple at last years Tribeca Film Festival after audiences were treated to (and blown away by) a special 45th anniversary cast-and-crew reunion of Francis Coppola’s mafia epic, The Godfather. This year, however, audiences will be treated to not one, but two cast reunions from two equally impressive cinematic icons, Brian De Palma’s Scarface and Steven Spielberg’s Holocaust drama Schindler’s List. De Palma and actors Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer are set to reunite for a special screening of Scarface at the Beacon Theater on April 19th. The same venue will also host a screening of Schindler’s List on April 26th, along with a discussion panel with director Steven Spielberg and actors Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, and Embeth Davidtz. The 17th annual Tribeca celebration will also host Tribeca Talks: The Directors Series and Tribeca Talks: Storytellers with directors and actors like Alexander Payne, Laura Poitras, Bradley Cooper, Spike Lee, and Alec Baldwin, as well as a Tribeca Talks: The Journey panel highlighting Sarah Jessica Parker. Tickets for the 2018 celebration are on sale now.

A Few More Memorable Entries From Sundance Film Fest 2017

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Sundance 2017 proved a huge success yet again. This year a number of impressive entries from a broad array of categories caught our attention, including Wind River, The Discovery, I Am Not Your Negro, Mudbound, and the outlandish comedy Wilson with Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern. Now that the celebration is over and everyone in Hollywood is looking forward to the Oscars at the end of the month, here are a few more mentionable entries you should look for in theaters in the coming months. Continue reading

Grateful Dead Documentary ‘Long Strange Trip’ Premiering at Sundance Before Amazon Prime Release

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Martin Scorsese agreed to serve as producer for an official Grateful Dead documentary back in October 2014. The Dead’s 50th anniversary was coming up the following year, and filmmakers wanted to have the project ready for the celebration. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, and the landmark event was ultimately celebrated with a massive 3-day concert over the 4th of July weekend in Chicago’s Soldier Field. Original members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, and Phil Lesh reunited on-stage for the event, which proved a huge success, despite the absence of Jerry Garcia, who died in 1995. Now, however, the 6-part documentary, appropriately titled Long Strange Trip from director Amir Bar-Lev (The Tillman Story, Happy Valley), is set to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival before being released on Amazon Prime this May. Continue reading

69th Annual Writers Guild of America Awards Premiers February 19, 2017

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The upcoming 69th Annual Writers Guild of America Awards is scheduled to air this February 19th, 2017. The awards recognize the best writers from 2016 in the categories of film, television, radio, and video-game writing. This year’s event will be hosted at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Once again, La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, and Moonlight are among the top contenders for the Original Screenplay Award. Denzel Washington‘s Fences is up for Best Adapted Screenplay, along with Hidden Figures and Arrival. Other highlights in television and radio nominees include Game of Thrones, Strange Things, Westworld, Chernobyl: 30 Years Later, and Muhammed Ali: A Tribute to Greatness. The list of film nominees is provided below. Follow the link to see the full list of Writers Guild nominees for 2017. Continue reading

New ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ Trailer Available Now

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!

This Week in Movie History…

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On September 30, 1948, actor Robert Mitchum (Story of G.I. Joe, Cape Fear) was released from prison following his charge of marijuana possession. Mitchum was an up-and-coming star in Hollywood. He had received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor two years earlier for his role in Story of G.I. Joe, and appeared in four feature films in 1947, including Pursued, Crossfire, Desire Me, and Out of the Past. He also worked with director Robert Wise (The Day the Earth Stood Still, West Side Story) in a western film earlier in 1948 called Blood on the Moon. His recent string of success, however, only made his bust on September 1st that much worse.

Mitchum was found with actress Lila Leeds (Lady in the Lake, Wild Weed) and dancer Vicki Evans. With the 60s still more than a decade out, and public opinion towards marijuana still very much in the light of propaganda films like Reefer Madness (1936), the young actor feared the very public arrest would effectively end his acting career. It didn’t help that industry names like Howard Hughes (Scarface, The Outlaw), David O. Selznick (King Kong, Gone with the Wind), and the press constantly berated him during this period. But his famous bust that could have completely ended his career ended up doing just the opposite. Continue reading

‘Snowden’ and ‘Blair Witch’ Now Playing In Theaters

Two big blockbuster releases are opening on big-screens nationwide today. The first is the new biographical drama by director Oliver Stone (Platoon, Any Given Sunday) called Snowden, obviously about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises) stars in the role as Snowden, with Shailene Woodley (Divergent, The Descendants), Melissa Leo (The Fighter, Prisoners), Zachary Quinto (Margin Call, Star Trek Beyond), and Tom Wilkinson (The Patriot, Michael Clayton) appearing in the supporting cast. The film was adapted by Stone from two books: The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man by Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena. Stone has a habit of putting his own theory in his historical films, but he is definitely a worthy director, and Levitt a solid actor, so this one will probably be worth your time, especially if the rain persists! Continue reading

Memorable Movie Moments…

Today’s Memorable Movie Moment takes us back to 1978, for the excellent cinematography in a film called Days of Heaven. Written and directed by 3x Oscar nominee Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life), Days of Heaven is an American epic that follows a young couple, Bill and Abby, during the Expansionist era in 1916. Moving from Chicago to Texas in search of work, the two become involved in a scheme to have Abby marry a wealthy farmer who is close to death in order to gain his fortune. This, of course doesn’t go according to plan and so a dramatic conflict of jealousy and deceit ensues, loosely based on a backstory that first appeared in Alexander DumasThe Three Musketeers.

Starring Richard Gere (An Officer and a Gentlemen, Pretty Woman), Brooke Adams (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Dead Zone), and Sam Shepard (Swordfish, Black Hawk Down), the film received Oscar nominations for Best Costume Design, Best Sound, and Best Music – Original Score. Although it failed to win any of these awards, Days of Heaven did receive the Oscar for Best Cinematography for Nestor Almendros. Continue reading

‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘The Infiltrator’ Opening in Theaters This Weekend

The long anticipated Ghostbusters reboot with Melissa McCarthy (The Heat, Spy), Kristen Wiig (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Martian), Kate McKinnon (Ted 2, Finding Dory), and Leslie Jones (Saturday Night Live, Trainwreck) is now playing in theaters nationwide. Director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat) has faced some harsh opposition to rebooting the series, but the film is still expected to earn a large haul at this weekend’s box office. Picking up 30 years after the last installment, a new female crew of ‘busters reopens the original location and works to rid New York of its paranormal residents. Original actors Bill Murray (Caddyshack, Stripes), Dan Aykroyd (The Blue Brothers, Tommy Boy), Ernie Hudson (Joy of Sex, The Crow), Sigourney Weaver (Alien, Avatar), and Annie Potts (Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Toy Story) are all expected to make cameo appearances throughout the film, so it should be a pretty fun summer blockbuster. Also opening in theaters this weekend is a new drama from director Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer, Runner Runner) called The Infiltrator. Continue reading