On December 1, 1983, director Brian de Palma (The Untouchables, Carlito’s Way) released his modernized version of Ben Hecht and Howard Hawks’ 1930s gangster drama, Scarface. While the original followed a charismatic Chicago mobster in the Prohibition era, de Palma’s version took the character to violent world of the 1980s drug trade in Miami, Florida. Fueled by Al Pacino‘s riveting performance and backed by an outstanding supporting cast that included Michelle Pfeiffer (What Lies Beneath, Batman Returns), Steven Bauer (Raising Cain, Primal Fear), Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (The Abyss, The Perfect Storm) and Robert Loggia (Big, Independence Day), Scarface ushered in a new era of gangster movies far darker than Francis Coppola’s The Godfather series just a decade before. One of the primary reasons is because of de Palma’s direction. Continue reading →
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 →
According to Deadline, actor Alden Ehrenreich (Blue Jasmine, Hail Caesar!) has officially signed on to star as young Captain Han Solo in the upcoming Star Wars spin-off from Walt Disney Pictures. Ehrenreich beat out a number of A-list names for the role, including Miles Teller, Dave Franco, Jack Reynor, Scott Eastwood, and Emory Cohen. As with all upcoming releases from Disney/Lucasfilm, no actual details have been released on the plot, and no news about supporting cast members is yet available. The script will be written by Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan (In the Land of Women, The First Time). Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie) are expected to direct the feature. We’ll be bringing you further news as it emerges. If you can’t wait for a new space movie to see, check out the third installment in the new Star Trek series, Beyond, starring Chris Pine (Unstoppable, Into the Woods) and Zachary Quinto (Tallulah, Snowden). Enjoy the weekend!
Producer Harvey Weinstein of the Weinstein Company has pushed back national release of his long anticipated drama Tulip Fever, based on the popular novel by Deborah Moggach, to a February 2017 release. The film has already seen several release delays; it was filmed back in 2014 and has since made no debuts at any of the film festival circuits or limited releases here in the States or elsewhere. Now, however, Weinstein seems to have settled on a post-Valentine’s Day release, going up against God Particle from producer J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Sleepless with Jaimie Fox (Ray, Collateral) and Michelle Monaghan (Gone Baby Gone, True Detective). Starring Oscar winners Alicia Vikander (El Machina, The Danish Girl) and Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds, Django Unchained), the film follows an artist who falls for a married woman he is hired to paint in portrait in the midst of the tulip frenzy of 17th century Amsterdam. Continue reading →
The highly anticipated sequel to director Roland Emmerich‘s 1996 blockbuster Independence Day 2: Resurgence is now playing in theaters nationwide. Despite a failed effort to bring back Will Smith, who played one of the lead roles in the original film, the new sequel has gained much anticipation from fans of the original, who no doubt are excited to see veteran actors Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, The Grand Budapest Hotel) and Bill Pullman (Spaceballs, While You Were Sleeping) reunite onscreen to fight aliens! Also returning from the original film are actors Vivica A. Fox (Juwanna Man, Kill Bill: Vol 1), Brent Spiner (The Aviator, Star Trek: The Next Generation), and Judd Hirsch (Ordinary People, A Beautiful Mind), who are joined by new lead Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games, Paranoia), and actors Jessie T. Usher (When The Game Stands Tall, Survivor’s Remorse), Joey King (Crazy Stupid Love, The Conjuring), Maika Monroe (Labor Day, It Follows), Sela Ward (The Day After Tomorrow, Gone Girl), and William Fichtner (Armageddon, Black Hawk Down). Despite popularity among fans, the film has not received good reviews from critics, who have called it “boring” and “loaded down with ’90s cheesiness.” Not sure how audiences will react or if they will agree with the critics, but I guess we’ll find out this weekend. Enjoy!
Disney is continuing to replenish its classic animated line-up with a new live-action adaptation of the 1977 feature Pete’s Dragon. Co-written and directed by David Lowery (Pioneer, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints), the new film is led by Oakes Fegley (This Is Where I Leave You, The Truth About Lies) as the young orphan Pete, whose best friend just so happens to be a big green dragon named Elliot. Leading the rest of the cast is The Help and Jurassic World star Bryce Dallas Howard, who is joined on screen by Karl Urban (The Bourne Supremacy, Star Trek), Wes Bentley (American Beauty, Interstellar), Oona Laurence (Southpaw, Lamb), and Oscar-winner Robert Redford (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All The President’s Men). Screenwriter Toby Halbrooks, who has worked on a number of projects with director Lowery, co-wrote the film, which doesn’t appear to feature the all-too-memorable Gogans or the crazed and crooked Dr. Terminus. The trailer looks like it’s going to turn into a really heavy, emotional movie, like Disney tends to do these days, but I’d say it will probably still be worth the watch. The new movie opens in theaters this August 12th. Watch the trailer here on MADE!
After hearing about this project months ago and getting no more than an image of Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises) in costume as a military recruit, we finally have an official trailer for the upcoming drama Snowden from writer/director Oliver Stone (Platoon, Any Given Sunday). The film is based on two books, one called The Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena and the other simply titled The Snowden Files by author Luke Harding (who also wrote the book WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy that inspired the similarly themed 2013 flick The Fifth Estate). Snowden tells the story of infamous whistleblower Edward Snowden, from his time as an armed forces recruit all the way to his efforts to bring the National Security Administration’s practice of tracking individual cell phones for the sake of security into question. Screenwriter Kieran Fitzgerald (The Ballad of Esequiel Hernández, The Homesman) co-adapted the script with Stone (although I can’t speak as to how accurate the material is). Continue reading →
Although starring in one of the most successful film franchises of all time hasn’t always been great for acting careers (with the exception of Harrison Ford), that doesn’t seem to be the case with The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridley. The young actress has just signed on to star in a new drama called The Lost Wife, a remake of the Israeli film Kolma. The Force Awakens and Star Trek director J.J. Abrams will be producing the project for Marielle Heller (A Walk Among the Tombstones, The Diary of a Teenage Girl), who will direct the film. Unlike many of her co-stars, who signed on for follow-up projects once it was announced they would be appearing in Star Wars, Ridley held off on contractual obligations until after the first film was already released in theaters. She is currently filming the second installment in the new Star Wars trilogy, which is being headed by director Rian Johnson (The Brothers Bloom, Looper). The Lost Wife is based on the book by Alyson Richman about a young couple in pre-World War II Prague who fall in love and are remorsefully separated when the Nazi’s invade the country in 1939. The script was adapted by Marc Klein (Serendipity, A Good Year), and the producers are aiming to show the film at Cannes before it opens to worldwide audiences. We’ll keep you posted for further updates.
We wanted to give it a little time so that nothing would be spoiled for anybody, but if anyone is reading this that hasn’t seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet, I suggest you either stop reading or be prepared for plot spoilers! To begin with, this was easily the best Star Wars film since Return of the Jedi was released in 1983. Director J.J. Abrams (Super 8, Star Trek: Into Darkness) brought legitimate filmmaking back to the series with this film, which looks more like old-fashioned Star Wars than anything we saw come from George Lucas in the early 2000s. His stylistic approach to filmmaking was the perfect merging of special effects and on-set principle photography, made better with the appearance of props and effects that appeared in the original film, such as the targeting view attached to the gun in the Millennium Falcon. The screenplay, written by Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi writer Lawrence Kasdan (Raiders of the Lost Arc, The Bodyguard), was also much better in terms of actual dialogue on the part of the actors, but the overall story imitated that of Jurassic World earlier this year, in the sense that it read almost as a mirror image of the original Star Wars in 1977, with the updated story-line in play, of course. Abrams also did a great job of resurrecting the original Star Wars universe by bringing back a lot of the old designs and symbols representing the Rebel Alliance and the Imperial Star Fleet. I also have no complaints regarding the new lineup of actors. Daisy Ridley and John Boyega had a perfect chemistry between them, and Oscar Isaac did great as the Resistance pilot Poe Dameron. Adam Driver, however, as both the bad guy AND Han Solo and Leia’s son, was not necessarily bad, he was simply miscast, and Abrams didn’t do him any favors by taking off his helmet and showing his face. And if you are wondering about Luke Skywalker, he was pretty much absent the entire movie. He literally showed up for a few seconds at the very end, having evidently pulled a “Yoda” and gone into hiding after Han’s son decided to pull an “Anakin” and join the Dark Side. Needless to say we won’t really know what Luke’s deal is until the next movie in 2017, which will coincide with the 40th anniversary of the original release in 1977. All in all, it was a great movie and gave us some glimpses into the upcoming films and how the characters will continue to develop. Some stories were closed, but many more were opened, and now we have to wait another two years to find out what happens next. Stay tuned.
After months and months of anticipation, fans can finally rejoice! As of today, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is now playing in theaters nationwide, and if you haven’t already secured a ticket, you might have to wait at least a week or two before braving the storm of people waiting in line out the door. Director JJ Abrams (Mission Impossible 3, Super 8) took leave of his Star Trek obligations in order to direct the film, which reunites original stars Mark Hamill (Commander Hamilton, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), Harrison Ford (Blade Runner, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc), and Carrie Fisher (Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, The Blues Brothers) with an all new generation of actors, led by Daisy Ridley (Blue Season, Scrawl), John Boyega (Junkhearts, Imperial Dreams), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, A Most Violent Year), Domhnall Gleeson (Unbroken, Ex Machina), Adam Driver (While We’re Young, This Is Where I Leave You), and Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey). The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi Oscar-winning screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan (The Big Chill, The Accidental Tourist) worked on the new project’s script with director Abrams and fellow Oscar-winner Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3), about a new threat to peace and justice in the galaxy that occurs 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi concluded. Little more needs be said; all I ask is that you not be an asshole and spoil the plot for everybody in ear-shot of your conversations! Enjoy.