Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Arriving in your galaxy December 15.
In Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok,” Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk!
“Thor: Ragnarok” is directed by Taika Waititi and returns Chris Hemsworth starring as Thor and Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as Loki. They are joined by Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson and Karl Urban, with Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins.
Kevin Feige is producing with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Brad Winderbaum, Thomas M. Hammel and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost and Stephany Folsom and Eric Pearson. Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok” thunders into U.S. theaters on November 3, 2017.
by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief
We’ve all been waiting for some official news to drop by way of a trailer or title reveal for some time now and today we have the official title for Rian Johnson’s upcoming middle chapter to the Sequel Trilogy: Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Johnson’s production shot under the title of Space Bear and the crew even sported some pretty rad caps adorned with the Space Bear and the Roman Numeral VIII on the back. (Hit me up if you have one to sell, because I NEED one :))
I have to say, the title certainly effective, my gears immediately got cranking over the implications of such a title. Is this in reference to Luke Skywalker being the last? Does this mean the Jedi are done and a new order will rise from the Jedi Order? Will Rey be the first of something new, or is she The Last Jedi? Something else to consider is that the title doesn’t necessarily have to be in reference to a single Jedi, as Jedi can also be used as a plural.
Aside from the actual title, we also have the official logo to consider. The logo has abandoned the usual yellow outline of Star Wars for a red one, which is quite foreboding when paired with the official title. We can expect that we’ll see the First Order rebounding from where we last saw them in The Force Awakens since The Last Jedi is our middle chapter in the sequel trilogy. Within a typical trilogy structure, the middle film leaves the protagonist in a dark place, setting up the resolution for the culminating film. The Empire Strikes Back saw Luke losing a hand, finding out Vader was his father and Han Solo frozen in carbonite and taken away by Boba Fett.
We’ll have to debate the implications of the title and logo until we know more. I can’t wait to see what Johnson has up his sleeve!
Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi will hit theaters December 15, 2017.
by: Joshua Outred
As many of you are aware, the conflict in Syria has become one of the worst humanitarian crisis’ of our time. With hundreds of thousands killed, and many left homeless with nowhere to go, children and families have become displaced and are desperately trying to find some peace in their lives again.
As temperatures in Syria reach desperately cold levels, refugees who have escaped the brutal conflict now face another struggle for survival. Clambering around fires thrown together in old barrels, children clasp to any warmth they can get, with only the clothes on their backs to help keep them warm, a truly heartbreaking image and one that is more real than we like to imagine.
Many celebrities have banded together with humanitarian organizations and charities to help raise money for workers on the ground to continue their selfless support of the thousands of displaced families. One celebrity, Riz Ahmed, who played the brave and courageous Bodhi Rook in Rogue One has been one of these celebrities supporting this humanitarian crisis. Today, Riz Ahmed announced another way fans of Star Wars and his can help; by donating a minimum of $10 to Crowdrise.com you would not only help in providing much needed medical aid, and food for refugees, you could also be in with a chance to win fantastic prizes. By donating $30, you will be entered into win a Rogue One poster signed by the cast!
— Riz Ahmed (@rizmc) January 19, 2017
It warms my heart to see people from all over the world come together to help those in the most unimaginable situations, Star Wars and pop culture has always been an incredible platform to do this from, and it’s amazing to see what Riz Ahmed is doing! So help us help those in need, and donate for a chance to win a signed Rogue One poster and other great prizes. Follow the link below to donate, and thank you so much for helping those in need!
If you’d like to help further, there are a number of incredible organizations that do amazing work every day to bring aid to displaced refugees, whose lives have been torn apart by the horrendous civil war in Syria. I’ve added a few links below, so if you would like to continue supporting, please do! And again, thank you!
On March 17, it’s kill or be killed.
In a twisted social experiment, a group of 80 Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogata, Colombia and ordered by an unknown voice coming from the company’s intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.
The Belko Experiment stars John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn, John C. McGinley and Michael Rooker.
SABAN’S POWER RANGERS follows five ordinary teens who must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove — and the world — is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so, they will have to overcome their real-life issues and before it’s too late, band together as the Power Rangers.
by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer
Here we are once again at the end of another year. And even though I haven’t been as active as I’d like in the past, the IndieRevolver Supernerd is back with his look at the top films of 2016!
Last year I had a list of 89 films over the course of a calendar year to pick from. For a guy with a regular Monday-through-Friday “banker’s hours” job (who also tried to fit in family and the occasional trip to the gym) I thought that was pretty good. But there were so many other films that I missed and in that my list felt…inadequate. So I made a promise to see even more films to give my list a more well-rounded feel.
That task has been accomplished. From January 1 up to December 31, 2016 I managed to eke in 212 films. How? I pretty much ignored my family, skipped the gym and spent every weekend watching something. Sleep? I’ll sleep when I’m dead!
If you’d like to see my complete breakdown of films and grades, drop an email to IndieRevolver or tweet at him or me (@IR_Supernerd) and we might just put it up for you to see how I spent my 2016.
As always I’m writing this from the common fan’s perspective. What does that mean? It means that I paid for each and every movie on my list in some way. Whether it was buying a ticket at my local theater (or some that I had to drive over an hour to get to), buying a Blu-Ray or ordering something on VOD, every movie was paid for out of my own wallet. So if I don’t like something you’re damn right I’m going to give it the grade it deserves. On the other hand there were quite a few films that I saw multiple times in theater AND bought the physical home media for. Why? They were that damn good (and quite a few of those are on this year’s best of list).
And let’s get to that list shall we, instead of me rambling on. We’ll begin with my award for the biggest turkey of the year…
WORST FILM OF THE YEAR
It’s easy to write a Worst Of list. People love to read them (I’m guilty as charged on that). But social media recently has made me rethink my stance on the Worst Of list. I won’t waste my time running down a bunch of films that we all know were bad. And if you liked what I didn’t now you feel alienated. So I’ll just stick with one film. The only film this year that I gave a F / 0-star rating to:
KNIGHT OF CUPS – I’ve had the argument with people that it’s beautifully shot and the cinematography is gorgeous. But it takes more than just pretty pictures to keep me engaged. This film, with it’s scattershot story and barely comprehensible plot, was the only film that made me wish I’d done something else with my two hours. Terrence Malick might get away with stuff like this these days because of his name, but I’m probably going to skip his next cinematic offering when it comes out.
Enough negativity. Time for…
BEST FILMS OF THE YEAR
Let’s start with some Honorable Mentions (really good films that just didn’t make the top cut and in no particular order):
MOANA – Beautifully animated. Catchy songs. Stellar performances. You really can’t ask for more from Disney.
THE HOLLARS – From director John Krasinski (who also starred) will have you laughing and crying – sometimes at the same time.
THE JUNGLE BOOK – This was my top film for about two months (my how things change). Great adaptation of the animated classic and the best CGI I’ve seen all year.
SING STREET – Try to see this and not smile. Impossible. A story that’s relatable on the most basic of levels (trying to find yourself and where you fit in) combined with a soundtrack of earworm songs that you’ll be signing for days make this a must see.
Now, the final countdown…
So there you have it folks. After 212 films I’m a little tired. But was it worth it worth it? I wouldn’t change a thing.
Agree? Disagree? Did I leave a film off that you loved or rank something too high or too low? Sound off in our comments or drop me a line on Twitter. I’m always up for an educated debate.
Until next year, this has been Supernerd. See you at the movies!!
He’s back. Check out the new trailer for JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 – in UK cinemas February 17, 2017, starring Keanu Reeves, Common, Laurence Fishburne, Ruby Rose, John Leguizamo, Ian McShane and directed by Chad Stahelski.
In this next chapter following the 2014 hit, legendary hitman John Wick [Keanu Reeves] is forced back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John travels to Rome where he squares off against some of the world’s deadliest killers.
by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-chief
Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.
When news broke that after many years of conversation Blade Runner 2049 was officially a go I was against it. Blade Runner ranks among my favorite films of all time. Part of what makes that film so special for me was the ambiguity of its ending. My kneejerk reaction was to shut down the prospect of a sequel, because it would undo everything I love about the original film. Harrison Ford was going to be back so it would have to demystify everything I loved about the world of Blade Runner. Blade Runner 2049 would have to definitively tell you if Deckard was a replicant, right?
What if it didn’t?
I started thinking about how you bring Harrison Ford back to futuristic Los Angeles without messing up what made Ridley Scott’s film a flawed masterpiece. Then it occurred to me. The best way to approach Harrison Ford’s character in Blade Runner 2049 is to make him a replicant.
“But Jay, I thought you just said you liked the ambiguity of the original film.”
I did. But follow along…
The best way to handle the character of Rick Deckard in Blade Runner is to leave that character in the first film. His story ends when those elevator doors shut. What happened after that? Who knows? Was he a replicant? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s whatever you want it to be.
The character Harrison Ford plays in BR 2049 should be a replicant. It preserves the character established in the first film. If you thought he was a replicant and Gaff knew his dreams, he can be a replicant. If you believe he was a human who ran off with an android that he fell in love with, he did. Our Harrison Ford in BR 2049 can be a whole different character. He can be a replicant based on the human Blade Runner we met in the original film. Or maybe he’s another replicant in a long line of Deckard replicants. Pretty cool, right? The important part is this film doesn’t need to answer the questions that the first film asked viewers to answer for themselves.
Deckard the replicant could also open up a very cool plot for BR 2049. Imagine a world where Harrison Ford is the “skin job” on the run, with Ryan Gosling tasked to retire him? That idea makes me positively giddy. Maybe Deckard 2.0 is a replicant who has a human’s lifespan. This is the future, after all.
After coming to the realization that Blade Runner 2 doesn’t have to ruin what I loved about Blade Runner I am REALLY excited to see what story Villeneuve plans to tell in BR 2049.
Granted this trailer doesn’t tell us much, but I fear they may have gone a little two dimensional with the approach, especially based off of the synopsis released above. It frankly sounds like the plot of The Force Awakens with mixed with the plot to Total Recall (another film based on a Philip K. Dick story). I have ridiculous expectations for this film, my love of Blade Runner rivals my love of Star Wars. I’m really hoping Villeneuve is able to make something really special that stands up proudly next to Ridley Scott’s original film. He’s been knocking everything out of the park for the past few years. If anyone can make worthy sequel it’s him. (If you haven’t already seen it, get out there and see Arrival)
Blade Runner 2049 is set to open 10.6.17
by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief
They didn’t lie. Rogue One was certainly a Star Wars Story and a pretty damn good one at that. Equal parts thrilling, dark and hopeful.
The concept is brilliant, focusing an entire film on the theft of the plans to the Death Star which served as the impetus of A New Hope, the very first Star Wars film. It’s such an important detail, but one that most probably never gave a second thought to. Credit to John Knoll for spotting that seed and Gary Whitta for developing a story and creating a whole crew of characters that are new but feel quite right in the Star Wars universe.
First off, fans can breathe a sigh of relief. The widely reported reshoots do not impact the viewing experience. Rogue One is not a damaged, incoherent film in any way. Is it a perfect film? No. But that doesn’t mean that anything is broken. My complaints after one viewing are all fairly small.
From the get-go we know that this is not our typical Star Wars film. Sure, it begins with the usual “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….” but missing is the subsequent text crawl that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing in every other Star Wars film previously. This was an inspired decision, one that subconsciously disorients the viewer and puts them in a position they’ve never been in with a Star Wars film before. We have zero idea of where we’re being dropped in the Star Wars universe. We’re not entering with the big picture having just been spoon fed to us. Anything is possible. This is followed by a VERY Star Wars moment, a ship in outer space. But this familiar opening is subverted since we find ourselves in a flashback, a first in Star Wars cinematic history (Rey’s force vision in The Force Awakens is not a flashback). It’s like they’re kinda, sorta playing by the rules, but not. Until I was sitting there watching it unfold, I hadn’t realized how much I’d gotten used to the way a Star Wars film is presented. It was exciting to be in that universe and have things be just a little bit different and not knowing what to expect.
The plot of Rogue One focuses on Jyn Erso, played by Felicity Jones. Jyn is tough as nails as a result of what she’s seen and how she was raised. She is stoic, even when over her head but there’s a vulnerability that Jones brings to the character that adds an important dimension. But make no mistake, as much as the film hinges on Jyn’s story, this film is an ensemble piece and they’ve assembled a very deep bench of talented and diverse actors and actresses unseen thus far in any Star Wars film, which is great news. There is representation for nearly everyone in the film and it never feels gimmicky or forced.
Most intriguing among them is Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor. Andor is man of mystery, a character who operates in the gray area, doing bad things for a good cause. He is a means to an end and a character we haven’t seen the likes of before in any Star Wars film, a dark character in a world without much hope. Andor is another example of the way that Rogue One separates itself apart from past Star Wars films. A good guy has never been this bad before. In the other films the characters are either white hats or black hats. (This is where some will bring up Anakin. It’s very different because Anakin was never doing bad things for altrusitic reasons) That is not the case in Rogue One. People who had reservations about Han shooting first are likely to take umbrage with Andor and his actions early in the film. I’ve heard people refer to Cassian Andor as the Han Solo of Rogue One. He’s not. People have a tendency to put characters in a bucket with one of the others that have come before. It’s a mistake and a disservice to well written characters to do this. Han Solo is a fast talking, charming smuggler, which is the polar opposite of Andor, who is a (seemingly) cold and calculating soldier doing whatever it takes for the rebellion.
Also of note is Donnie Yen’s Chirrut Îmwe, stealing nearly every scene he’s in with his daredevil-like fighting prowess and zen-like optimism. Chirrut is the closest thing we have to a Jedi in Rogue One. I wouldn’t want to spoil his backstory but suffice to say this is with good reason. Also noteworthy is Ben Medelsohn as Orson Crennic who delivers a chilling performance, making me wish we’d gotten this same intensity from Domhnall Gleeson’s General Hux in The Force Awakens.
Star Wars fans have come to expect that we’ll have multiple films to explore new characters and that is Rogue One’s real problem. I wanted more time with characters like Cassian Andor, Jyn Erso, Saw Gerrera and Chirrut Îmwe. I wanted to see these characters journey prior to Rogue One. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the plot of Rogue One is utilitarian and has to operate at breakneck speed from the very beginning. The plot is literally life or death and there is precious little time to stop and smell the roses, which I appreciated. But the result is that the time we have with these characters feels truncated and left me wanting more. I’m sure that we’ll be getting a lot more of these characters via novels and comics and all the other avenues that Disney have in their arsenal for fans to get their Star Wars fix, but none of it is a suitable replacement for writers, actors and filmmakers all collaborating to bring a performance to life onscreen.
Going in, I was especially worried with how they were going to use Darth Vader in this film after early rumors indicated that we might see Vader in heavy action. It wouldn’t make sense that the very stiff looking Vader of A New Hope would be running around pulling ships out of the sky in action in Rogue One. I was happy to see how they handled Vader in the film. His last scene had me grinning like a fool.
Beyond Vader, it would have been very easy to fill Rogue One with too many nods to the subsequent Original Trilogy films. There are some great references in there, that will have fans excited, but it didn’t feel like they went over the line. This brings me to one of my main issues. Without revealing too much, there is a character in the film that has been brought back by use of CGI and it just doesn’t look right. I’m never that guy who whines about bad CGI, I’m usually pretty forgiving with that stuff, but this is a Star Wars film. Spend whatever you need to spend and take the time to make it look right. Or just don’t do it. As cool as it was that we were seeing this character, the CGI took me right out of it. I’m sure as a still shot the character it looks spot on, but in motion among real actors, it stuck out like a sore thumb. The rendering looked far too smooth and it felt like the dialogue would fall out of sync at any moment. There is another character brought to life with CGI that also bothered me a little, but at least it was brief. Less could have been more in both of these cases, though.
Ultimately, I had a great time with Rogue One. There is something in the film for every Star Wars fan. A credit to the cast and filmmaking team for actually expanding the Star Wars universe in a new and exciting way. I hope that Lucasfilm and Disney take note of what was accomplished with this film and apply what they’ve learned to other upcoming films under the “A Star Wars Story” banner. How cool would it be to have a television arm of Star Wars stories like this? An anthology series with wildly different types of stories that take place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away? It’s big galaxy with a big sandbox, let’s get even more talented filmmakers in there and have some fun building things.
I’m sure you have your tickets already, if not get some. I can’t wait to give this one another look, or ten.
What an amazing time it is to be a Star Wars fan!
by: Joshua Outred – Staff Writer
We’re so close to the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that I can taste it; in a matter of days we’ll be settling into our seats at the cinema ready to watch the first non-saga Star Wars film, a very special occasion indeed. The release of this first spin-off film will not only be important for us fans but for the creative minds behind Star Wars too, as Rogue One will stand as a sort of judgment point, where reactions will be analyzed and decisions made about where next to take these standalone movies after the release of ‘Han Solo’ in 2018.
In his recent coverage of Rogue One, Anthony Breznican of Entertainment Weekly reported that January will see the Lucasfilm brain-trust gather together, where they’ll map out the future of Star Wars cinema past Episode IX. Breznican finally confirmed that the third spin-off, set for 2020, was the long rumoured ‘Boba Fett’ film. That film has been temporarily put on hold since Josh Trank’s sudden departure last year. This begs the question of What ‘Star Wars Story’ will we eventually see in 2020? Will the Fett film be reignited, or will a great response to an all new cast of characters with Rogue One see Lucasfilm decide on something completely different and unexpected?
With the future of Star Wars cinema beyond Episode IX being a big question at the moment, I decided to take a little dive into what the third spin-off film could be. What do the fans want, as opposed to what is likely to be greenlit and announced next year.
Star Wars fans, we’re so demanding.. always wanting for nothing.. Joking aside, I feel like demand is the perfect word to describe certain areas of the fanbases’ hopes and dreams for the third spin-off. Although many of us will be happy with whatever is announced, there is most certainly a fan demand for specific character stories, starting with Obi-Wan Kenobi. Yes, Kenobi, he’s most certainly a film people want, and according to Anthony Breznican is high on Lucasfilm’s list awaiting the green light. The idea that Obi-Wan spent a many number of years on Tatooine watching over Luke intrigues people, and I can see why they want that story, Ewan McGregor was great as Kenobi in the prequels and seeing him play Obi at an older age where he’s probably learning great truths about the Force is exciting. If the Kenobi film were to be set in the period between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, there’s also a chance we’d see a younger Luke Skywalker and other classic characters return at a point in their life we have yet to see, I can see the interest. One thing that puts me off is this, what more about Obi-Wan Kenobi do we need to know? He’s a character with a lot of exposition thus far and unless Lucasfilm has great plans for him, I’m not so invested in a film revolving around him.
The Old Republic and Origins of the Jedi. These two also keep coming up, there’s a huge amount of love out there for the Old Republic games, although I’ve never cared for them or that era. There is a large portion of the Star Wars fanbase who want to see that era reimagined on screen in the new canon. I think it’s an era that will eventually be explored, I feel that the current sequel trilogy is going to set up some form of backstory in which an Old Republic-Jedi Origin film will be able to explain how the Force became more than just that, how it became something beings embraced, using for good and for evil. I feel that a Jedi-Origin story could certainly tie into that era, hence why I’ve included both in this segment. It’s possible that Lucasfilm would want the origin of the Jedi Knights to be set in an era where the Old Republic exists, in doing so we would gain exposition on both stories, ‘killing two birds with one stone’ so to speak. I’ll be completely frank with you here, I have absolutely zero interest in visiting the Old Republic era and/or the complete beginnings of the Jedi, I don’t feel like it’s an era that necessarily needs to be explored, and to be honest, a time set so many thousands of years prior to where The Phantom Menace began may feel too far departed from what Star Wars is, a certain visual language that may have to abandoned when traveling so far into the past. The Jedi Origin story would be better utilized in pieces, being referenced in the films, not demystifying the whole thing with a film laying it all out. Sometimes less is more. (Jay: I’d imagine a lesson was learned by demystifying Vader in the Prequel Trilogy)
One more popular choice, there is.. Now, who could that be? The little green guy himself, Yoda. Although not voiced as often as the previous mentions above, people really would love a Yoda origin story. When it was first announced back in 2012 that Lucasfilm would be producing spin-off films, the popular three that were rumored were, ‘Han Solo’, ‘Boba Fett’ and ‘Yoda’. We now know we’re getting the ‘Han Solo’ film in 2018, and have recently gained more confirmation on the Fett film being one of the other’s, originally set to be the second until the controversy with Josh Trank benched the film. So could the other long rumored ‘Yoda’ film be the third standalone? Unlikely. The reason I say so is because I don’t think it’s a character Lucasfilm wants to necessarily tell a personal story about (at least not yet), I have no doubt that it’ll be made eventually, but in the first wave of films, doubtful. Yoda is a wildly popular character, and he’s shrouded in mystery so much so we don’t even know the name of his species (maybe Lucasfilm doesn’t either..?). A Yoda origin story could be incredible, not only would his character be exciting to really open up with, it’d be an incredible chance for the filmmakers to push the boundaries and use
every trick in the book to pull off successfully, embracing the oldest filmmaking tricks all the way down to those yet to be explored. I’d say leave it for now, it may be something better left for the future. (Jay: fingers crossed that it’s a romcom between Yoda and Maz Kanata. Imagine that Meet/Cute)
With the Lucasfilm brain-trust getting together in January to plot and green light future projects, it’s up in the air as to what will be chosen as the third Anthology film. The answer essentially comes down to the reaction of Rogue One, even though I feel that specific line of thinking is a little safe, that’s
Lucasfilm basically saying that if Rogue One doesn’t receive outstanding reactions they’ll go back to playing it safe, when they should really be going with whatever stories they want to tell, not what we want them to tell. So, what’s likely? Well, we’ve heard that the ‘Boba Fett/Bounty Hunter’ film mentioned previously is still a favorite and they’ve already done quite a bit of work already behind the scenes, but it would certainly undergo some changes with a new director coming on board. The Fett film could also tie into the ‘Han Solo’ film if it’s set around a younger Boba, being a perfect opportunity to tie two origin films together. Although a Fett film isn’t as much a popular choice as say, Obi-Wan, it’s a film I want to see and have always wanted to see. Boba Fett is a badass looking character, his imagery is iconic and yet he’s done nothing but flop on screen, I get that.. his onscreen physical performances ave kinda suck thus far, but it’s time to see the real in-universe reason for his reputation. There’s a story to be told with Fett, whether or not it’s of his younger self and a possible rivalry with young smuggler, Solo, or if they canonized his escape from the Sarlacc pit, there’s story there to be told. Imagine a noir-esque crime-thriller with Fett as the leading man? Yeah, I’d dig it!
What do I want?
What do I want to see? Well, I set that one up for you already and most who know me well know I love Boba Fett, I’m also an absolute sucker for crime-thrillers, so combining the two and having the likes of Kim Jee-Woo (I Saw The Devil) direct, I think that speaks for itself. I’m definitely interested in seeing Lucasfilm experiment with genre-style films for the spin-off’s, I’m less interested in seeing these flicks just explore the lore of Star Wars and more interested in the filmmakers bringing their specific styles to the table, where they can really let loose and spin the visual language of Star Wars in beautiful knots with a more personal stylistic language.
Rogue One is a matter of days away, and this is going to stand as a turning point in Star Wars cinema. It’ll set precedent for what comes next, and I truly hope Star Wars cinema pushes its boundaries, continuing diversity in its casting and stylistically speaking in terms of the visual language used by the future filmmakers.
by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-chief
To know Garry Shandling was to love Garry Shandling, this seemed especially true for those privileged enough to have known Garry personally, but for many others like myself, we loved Garry through his amazing body of work. In a year that we lost some true icons, his passing struck me harder than most of them. There was just something so genuine and honest about him, that made me feel like he was a friend. Years from now, we’ll look back at 2016 and say, “ Bowie, Prince, Wilder, Shandling, Rickman and then fucking Trump?!…Boy, 2016 really stuck it in and broke it off, didn’t it? “
I can vividly recall spending time with Garry Shandling via The Larry Sanders Show, his revolutionary HBO show back in the 90’s. My town felt like one of the last in the world to get cable. (There was a time, not very long ago where this wasn’t so uncommon.) I spent much of my childhood in the 80’s fighting with a set of rabbit ears on my small color TV. It didn’t pull much in and what it did pull in didn’t come in very well. When we finally got Cable I watched a LOT of HBO, mostly for the movies but then for their original TV shows. The Larry Sanders Show had me hooked from the first Jeffery Tambor “Hey now!” (Honorable mention goes to Brian Benben on Dream On)
One of the men behind the scenes on The Larry Sanders Show was a young Judd Apatow, who would write and produce numerous episodes of that iconic show. Apatow’s connection to Shandling actually began a decade before his work on Shandling’s HBO show, though. As a teenager in the early 80’s Apatow interviewed Shandling as well as many other comedians he idolized for a show he created for his high school radio station (solely as a way to meet his heroes. I can relate).
Shortly after Shandling’s passing, Apatow would tell The Wrap: “I just don’t know how to sum up someone I loved so much who taught me everything I know and was always so kind to me. I am just too sad. Maybe tomorrow I will do better.” Given some time, it seems Apatow has figured out how best he can sum up Shandling, by crafting a documentary film about the legend. Yesterday Apatow posted a picture of he and Kevin Nealon with the caption: “Shooting started today on a documentary I am making about Garry Shandling. Kevin Nealon was our first interview.”
It’s inspirational to see Apatow using his chosen art to transform his grief into a tribute for such an amazing showman. With a career spanning over forty years, he crossed paths and made friends with many. I’m sure Garry’s friends will have no shortage of stories to share. Apatow is a filmmaker who always manages to mix the heartfelt with the hilarious in the most amazing ways. It feels like his path has been leading right to this film. I’m eager to see what he puts together to honor Shandling.
by: Joshua Outred – Staff Writer
StarWars.com have officially revealed that Emilia Clarke has joined the cast of the yet untitled, ‘Han Solo’ spin-off film.
Emilia Clarke, who is best known for her role as Daenerys Targaryen in the hit HBO series, Game of Thrones, has landed the female lead role in Phillip Lord and Chris Miller’s Han Solo origin story. The third cast member to be announced, Clarke joins Alden Ehrenreich as young Han Solo, and Donald Glover, who will portray a younger Lando Calrissian – Chewie of course, is set to return.
This untitled ‘Han Solo’ story is starting to come together, and the casting of the accomplished Emilia Clarke definitely impresses me, though – I do have one issue. Previously, Variety reported that three actresses were in the later stages of testing for the female role in the film, Tessa Thompson (Creed), Zoe Kravitz (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Naomi Scott (The Martian) all reportedly tried out, all actresses of minority – yet the white, brunette actress ended up with the part. Let’s hope that these three actresses were testing for a different role altogether. With the events happening around us right now, the casting of the female lead going to an actress of minority would’ve been a powerful and hopeful message.
It’s curious to note that Clarke, along with Daisy Ridley and Felicity Jones are all British. Interesting that the three female leads all hail from across the pond.
The ‘Han Solo’ film is set for release in May of 2018. Written by Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan, with Phillip Lord and Chris Miller sharing the director’s chair.
by: Joshua Outred – Staff Writer
Fantastic news! Variety has revealed that John Wick director, David Leitch, has officially signed on to helm the Deadpool sequel.
David Leitch replaces director, Tim Miller, who dropped out of the project last month due to creative differences. Miller’s departure from the sequel came as a shock, disappointing many after the fantastic job he did with Deadpool, which raked in a massive $782.6 million. The news of Leitch’s appointment doesn’t come as a shock, he’s been the frontrunner for the position ever since Miller exited the project.
John Wick was actually David Leitch’s directorial debut, co-directed with Chad Stahelski, both had previously only done second-unit directorial work. Leitch is the perfect choice to helm Deadpool 2, his stylistic choice couldn’t fit better with the outspoken superhero, expect some huge action from the sequel!
Deadpool 2 is yet to be given a release date.
From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is directed by Gareth Edwards and stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, with Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker. Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur and Simon Emanuel are producing, with John Knoll and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The story is by John Knoll and Gary Whitta, and the screenplay is by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016.
by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief
I take issue with so many things about Patriots Day that I’m not sure where to begin.
I suppose it starts with Mark “It wouldn’t have gone down that way if I was on my 9/11 flight” Wahlberg starring in a film that only an authentic Boston guy could top line and get away without it being called a cash grab. Make no mistake though, it is a cash grab. Add to it, Peter “I only make films that are based on a true story these days” Berg and we have a real recipe for an actual tragedy told in the shallowest way possible, full of heroic low angle Marky Mark shots and filled to the brim with scenes designed to try and pull the tears out of your eyes. It’s despicable that they approached a community that was still healing after the trauma of a gunfight in their quiet neighborhood to ask if they could recreate the same gunfight to lend “authenticity” to their film. Patriots Day may have been shot in Boston with a lead actor from Boston, but it feels as authentic as all the Boston-area people sporting their Boston Strong gear in the wake of the tragedy because it was fashionable. This film does not feel like it’s been made for the right reasons in any way.
Me? I’ll be waiting for David Gordon Green’s Stronger, an important story to come out of the Boston Marathon Bombing tragedy that has all the ingredients for an inspirational and moving film.
An account of the Boston Marathon bombing, PATRIOTS DAY is the powerful story of a community’s courage in the face of adversity.
In the aftermath of an unspeakable attack, Police Sergeant Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg) joins courageous survivors, first responders and investigators in a race against the clock to hunt down the bombers before they strike again. Weaving together the stories of Special Agent Richard DesLauriers (Kevin Bacon), Police Commissioner Ed Davis (John Goodman), Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese (J.K. Simmons) and nurse Carol Saunders (Michelle Monaghan) this visceral and unflinching chronicle captures the suspense of one of the most sophisticated manhunts in law enforcement history and celebrates the strength of the people of Boston.
by: Joshua Outred – Staff Writer
You’ll probably recall that back in the early days of Episode VII Kathleen Kennedy said that they would be taking an old-school approach to the way that they would be making the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy. We knew J.J. Abrams preference to shoot on 35mm over digital, stating at Produced By Conference “I have not yet shot a movie digitally. Film is the thing I am most comfortable with. If film were to go away—and digital is challenging it—then the standard for the highest, best quality would go away.” Then, Rian Johnson confirmed on twitter that he would also be shooting Episode VIII on 35mm and would have shot on 65mm but couldn’t for “logistical reasons.”
@LaRabiaCompany I really wanted to, but for some specific logistical reasons we’re sticking with 35.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) June 10, 2015
Now comes confirmation via Playlist that Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) will shoot Star Wars: Episode IX on the larger, 65mm format. This is fantastic news for film enthusiasts, and shows a real commitment to keeping the incredible format alive, as well as the fact that Kodak’s facility in the United Kingdom has just gained the capabilities to handle the format. Also revealed in the article was the great news that cinematographer, John Schwartzman (Armageddon) will be returning to Colin Trevorrow’s side after the success of Jurassic World.
The news that Trevorrow will be shooting in 65mm is exciting to say the least. It’s a format that has slowly been making its way back from an uncertain future, with filmmakers like Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master), and the vocal Quentin Tarantino (The Hateful Eight) utilizing it recently to bring back that old-school cinema experience. I’m hoping this news means that the format might be embraced by more theaters worldwide so that the films can be seen the way that their filmmakers intended, enabling us to see these films the way they were intended to be seen!
by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief
Check out the new trailer for Disney’s upcoming live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic ”Beauty and the Beast.” One of the most beloved tales ever told, the film brings it to life in a stunning, cinematic event directed by Bill Condon with an extraordinary ensemble cast, including: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Audra McDonald, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.
I don’t know about you, but with every new bit I see of this one, the more I need to see it. Bill Condon’s visual sensibilities are always remarkable and paired with this property I think we are in for something really special. Take a look at the new trailer below and let us know what you think!
And some gorgeous stills!
From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.
I’m getting really excited for Rogue One, the last US trailer really got me buzzed and I’m enjoying the little bits that these new International variants are providing us. It’s hard to believe we’re barely a month off from another new Star Wars film. This was inconceivable five years ago. I don’t want to ever let this feeling go.
While this production as been mired in controversy over reshoots and internal power struggles, what really matters is what ends up on the screen come December 16th. We could all use a victory against the Empire, don’t you think?
Today’s third Rogue One International Variant:
And yesterday’s second:
by: Joshua Outred – Staff Writer
The great John Boyega took to Instagram to share a picture of his Pacific Rim 2 script, along with the leather bound notebook comes the official title. Pacific Rim: Maelstrom as it’s now known, has just begun shooting with, Stephen S. DeKnight (Daredevil) behind the camera.
The sequel to the averagely performing Pacific Rim, looked as it may be cancelled at one point, with its ever fluctuating release date, creator and director of the first film, Guillermo del Toro, stepped out of the director’s chair to write and produce. The title, Maelstrom, has been rumoured for some time now, and it’s entirely possible that it could change again (especially with a production that’s been in flux for a while).
The sequel’s story well under wraps, with so little known we assume that we’ll see the massive Jaegers fighting of the earth invading, Kaiju again. John Boyega will play the son of Idris Elba’s, Stacker Pentecost, alongside up and coming female lead, Cailee Spaeny. Scott Eastwood (Fury), Adria Arjona (Emerald City), Tian Jing (Special ID) and Levi Meaden (The 100) are all set to star in the film, which is set for release on February 23rd 2018!
Stay tuned for more updates!