Review – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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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!

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Jon Favreau to Helm Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ Live Action Adaptation!

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by: Josh Outred – Staff Writer

Jon Favreau, the man who blew everyone’s collective mind by breathing new life into this year’s live action adaptation of The Jungle Book, has been confirmed as the director for the much expected The Lion King adaptation.

Favreau’s Lion King will follow in the footsteps of other recent takes on Disney classics such as, Cinderella and next year’s The Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson.

The Live-action/CGI remake will be the first rendition of the animated classic to hit the big screen since its initial release in 1994, in which the film bought in $968.8 million globally. The film is expected to keep the iconic songs such as “Hakuna Matata”, and is set to film in the African Savannah.

The Lion King centers around a young lion named Simba whose father; Mufasa is murdered by his evil uncle Scar. No release date has been set as of yet, but expect to be awed by Jon Favreau when he takes us all on a magical journey!

Disney has been really impressing audiences with their live action adaptations and if The Jungle Book is any indication, Favreau is going to bring us something really special with The Lion King.

Now With 50+ Images! Check Out the First Trailer to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story!!

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-chief

Wow, here it is, the first trailer to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Take a look!

And just like that we now have our first real look at what’s in store for us with the first Star Wars spinoff film. I’d seen a few things previously, (that I’ve unfortunately been unable to report on) that had me really believing in this film. To be honest, I was sold when I’d first heard the ingenious idea to have a film centered around the theft of the Death Star plans that was only referenced in Episode IV, giving a new twist to the whole story that we already know so well.

Lucasfilm’s Rogue One, which takes place before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, tells the story of unlikely heroes who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star. 
 
The cast includes Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, and Forest Whitaker. “Rogue One” is directed by Gareth Edwards, produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur, and Simon Emanuel, executive produced by John Knoll and Jason McGatlin, and co-produced by John Swartz and Kiri Hart.

Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford Reunite for Indiana Jones 5 in 2019!

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We all knew it would be happening at some point, but today Disney made it official after a couple years of speculation… Harrison Ford will be back to play Indiana Jones for director Steven Spielberg once more! Not only that but the as-of-yet untitled film has a release date:

July 19th 2019!

I’m so glad that everything worked out and that it will be Ford and not Bradley Cooper or Chris Pratt or someone else taking up the fedora and bullwhip. There really only is one Indiana Jones.

One thing I’m concerned with is his age, I’m not opposed with seeing old Indy in any way, rather I’m more concerned about what decade this will put him in. That character exists in a certain time, taking him out of that time would frankly be weird to me. I’d honestly be OK with him being as old as he is but existing in the same decade, like a bizarro version of The Simpsons.

Press Release:

Indiana Jones will return to the big screen on July 19, 2019, for a fifth epic adventure in the blockbuster series. Steven Spielberg, who directed all four previous films, will helm the as-yet-untitled project with star Harrison Ford reprising his iconic role. Franchise veterans Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall will produce.

“Indiana Jones is one of the greatest heroes in cinematic history, and we can’t wait to bring him back to the screen in 2019,” said Alan Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. “It’s rare to have such a perfect combination of director, producers, actor and role, and we couldn’t be more excited to embark on this adventure with Harrison and Steven.”

Famed archaeologist and explorer Indiana Jones was introduced in 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark – one of AFI’s 100 Greatest American Films of All Time – and later thrilled audiences in 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The four films have brought in nearly $2 billion at the global box office.

Not at SXSW Today? Check Out the Tease to ‘The Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey’

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-chief

I unfortunately was not present to see The Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey feature length documentary at SXSW today and if you’re like me that really bums you out.

The silver lining is that Disney dropped a little sneak peek at the feature that will be included in the upcoming home video release.

As it stands I’ll probably end up double or triple dipping on this thing. I will have to get it in Digital HD because I can’t wait the four days. Then I’ll undoubtedly purchase a couple of the retailer exclusive versions because I need the Steelbook and I can’t live without the extra footage that Target will have.

Thank god it’s coming soon. Take a look at the tease.

Get a first look at The Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey, an in-depth documentary on the making of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and one of the many special features included on the upcoming Digital HD (available April 1) and Blu-ray Combo Pack (available April 5) releases.

 

J.J. Abrams Worked on a ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’ Sequel… Kinda

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

It seems like these days J.J. Abrams can do no wrong. While he has had his share of misses his hits far outweigh them. But I think if this latest bit of news had come true it might have been one of those misses.

While on the Nerdist Podcast to promote 10 Cloverfield Lane with director Dan Trachtenberg. Abrams brought up his past cleaning and repairing Steven Spielberg’s old 8MM films he made when he was a kid and how that almost turned into a sequel of a classic:

I’ve told this story before, but when I was 16 Kathleen Kennedy called Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and I, to ask if we would repair these 8mm films Steven had made when he was a kid. It happened because we were in a film festival and she had read about us in the LA Times. So, of course, we said yes and did the repairs. Years later I got to meet Steven. I went into a meeting…actually, it was for a Roger Rabbit sequel. It was a whole thing. I actually have some storyboards for a Roger Rabbit short. Honestly, we never really got to that phase [where it got serious]. We were writing an outline, but it honestly went away before it was anything. This was a long time ago. Zemeckis probably would’ve been a producer on it. This was 1989.

We were talking about the movie, but they had an idea for this short. I remember going to the animators — and I had never seen an animation pitch before — and they took me through it. There were three giant boards, and with a stick, they’d point to one of the storyboards and perform every frame. For someone who knows animation, you think, ‘Yeah, that’s what they do,’ but having never seen it before, it was unbelievably entertaining watching these two men perform, doing the voices.

As interesting as Abrams thinks this is I don’t think a sequel would have been good. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is a great film that says everything it needs to in one shot. This would have been the case of an unnecessary next chapter, or a cash grab by the studio to put it bluntly. I’m glad this never made it out of the “short story / planning” phase.

Get a New Peek at the Initial Table Read For ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’!

April 29th, Pinewood Studios, UK – Writer/Director/Producer J.J Abrams (top center right) at the cast read-through of Star Wars Episode VII at Pinewood Studios with (clockwise from right) Harrison Ford, Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Producer Bryan Burk, Lucasfilm President and Producer Kathleen Kennedy, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Adam Driver and Writer Lawrence Kasdan. Copyright and Photo Credit: David James.

by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-chief

We all remember the picture. That black and white image that made us all think that anything was possible again. It was so many things for so many fans, infinite possibilities for the future of Star Wars, as vast as space itself. It was a promise of new adventures with new friends. It spurred our imagination to ponder where our heroes ended up after Return of the Jedi, who exactly were all these new faces and what would their impact be in a galaxy far, far away?

Now that The Force Awakens is in our consciousness the possibilities for the next films in the series are a little more finite. But when we saw that picture, Star Wars was everything we wanted it to be and more. For a period of time it was perfect.

We’re all excited to see where Rian Johnson takes the path that J.J. Abrams and his amazing team laid out in the upcoming Episode VIII, but now the galaxy is a little less mysterious. We now know what the galaxy looks like thirty years after Return of the Jedi and who the players are.

If you’re like me, those days after that first picture came out were an amazing rush.

Thankfully, we can relive a little of that time when The Force Awakens comes out on home video thanks to a feature devoted to the first table read that gave us that picture. Take a look at the tease below to whet your whistle until The Force Awakens is home with us where it should be.

 

Get a first look at the full-cast table read of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. See it in full with Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Digital HD (available April 1) and Blu-ray Combo Pack (available April 5).

First Look at Disney’s Upcoming DuckTales Revival

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

Over a year ago word came out that Disney was planning a revival of fan favorite DuckTales. We knew the show would be a few years off from debuting and the plan is still to premiere in 2017. But the first image just got released and from what I can see it will make the wait well worth it.

I previously surmised that the likeliest of routes for the House of Mouse would be to go CGI or some form of computer generated animation to help speed up the process. But The Wrap got an early look and I like what I see:

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So Disney is going traditional 2-D animation for this? I’m on board for that. While we know nothing of voice actors or even overall direction of the story, I’m giving this a thumbs up on the initial look alone. It captures the essence of the early Carl Barks Donald Duck books while still looking modern enough to click with the new generation of viewers.

As was reported before you can expect all your favorites to return. We’ll see Scrooge McDuck, Donald, brothers Huey, Dewey & Luey, Gyro Gearloose, Launchpad McQuack and all the rest.

No concrete date has been set but Disney said that the show is expected to debut on their Disney X D channel in 2017.

Big Hero 6 TV Show Coming Soon

"BIG HERO 6" Pictured (L-R): Hiro & Baymax. ©2014 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

“BIG HERO 6” Pictured (L-R): Hiro & Baymax. ©2014 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

Marvel and Disney sure do like to their TV shows. They followed the highly successful Guardians of the Galaxy with an animated series that was hit-or-miss. Before Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit theaters they decided to do a catch-up series told from the POV of the droids. Now they’ll be taking another property and giving it the small screen treatment.

Disney announced that Big Hero 6, the fantastic animated film that was loosely based on a niche Marvel comic book, will continue on as an animated series on Disney XD.

Big Hero 6 was a fantastic movie, with awesome super heroics and a touching story. It was just another notch in the belt for the House of Mouse. They’ve been crushing it these last few years with their animated fare.

I’m actually kind of shocked that we didn’t get a sequel announced for this. The post-credit scene easily leads into another chapter. And it’s not like they couldn’t just come up with a villain for the team to fight. But any continuation of the story of Hiro, Wasabi, Honey Lemon, Go-Go, Fred and Baymax is a welcome addition to my viewing schedule.

According to Disney the story will now follow Hiro as a student at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology. There he’ll have to juggle the responsibilities of being a student with his dedication to protecting the city with his friends from super villains.

The show is set to debut sometime in 2017, but no concrete date has been set as of yet.

Star Wars: Episode VIII Picks up Right Where The Force Awakens Left Off

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

So Star Wars: The Force Awakens left us with quite the cliffhanger (and it’s been almost three months so if you haven’t seen it by now you should know these articles will contain SPOILERS). Rey and Luke Skywalker had an intense stare down as she offered him his lightsaber, which she can seemingly wield like a natural.

Now most Star Wars films have a bit of a time jump between them even if it’s only a few years. But instead of seeing the Luke/Rey relationship already in full swing we’ll be getting something a little different.

While at the Oscars, Daisy Ridley (the actress who plays Rey) spoke with MTV and dished on the filming of Star Wars Episode VIII and what fans can expect:

Me and Mark [Hamill] have been rehearsing a lot, and it’s really amazing. When we went back to Skellig to do the opening of VIII, it was so crazy doing the same scene with a different crew of people. He’s amazing to rehearse with, and I’m very excited to be doing the rest of the stuff.

Skellig is the island that ended up being the final location on The Force Awakens so this leads us to believe that the next installment picks right up where the last one left off. Not to mention this location and scene was part of the Episode VIII announcement video released after the first day of shooting.

Now, they could always jump forward a few years after the opening and do things the usual way – but I like where this is going. It makes marathoning these films a little more palatable if it feels like one giant adventure.

We’ll find out for sure just how the narrative plays out when Star Wars Episode VIII hits theaters around Christmastime 2017.

Star Wars: Episode VIII Release Date Moved to December 2017

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-chief

Damn.

Upon walking out of The Force Awakens my first thought was, “At least the next one isn’t SO far away.”

That changed today as Disney has Announced that Rian Johnson’s follow-up to The Force Awakens will now splash across cinema screens on December 15, 2017, moving from its original release date of May 26, 2017. Johnson’s follow-up will begin principal photography in London next month.

Moving into Episode VIII’s  May 26, 2017 release date is the fifth entry in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise Starring Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom.

I was really excited to be getting Rogue One with Episode VIII coming fast five months later. This is a bit of a bummer.

 

Shortlist Revealed for Star Wars Han Solo Spinoff

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-chief

Over a year ago I received some confusing information from a source about an actor being seriously considered to play a young Han Solo. At this point, there was no talk of a Han Solo solo film. At that point I had known of the Rogue One project and a planned Boba Fett film, but the third unknown spinoff wouldn’t be happening until 2020, so the casting of a young Han Solo was confusing. Shortly after this, the Boba Fett film was pushed back after Josh Trank “parted ways with the project and suddenly everything became clear. Now, the second Star Wars Anthology film would be directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller and would focus on a younger Han Solo.

Today, Variety revealed a shortlist of actors was revealed after thousands were considered. The name that had been floated to me in confidence back then is sadly not on this list, which is unfortunate because he seemed like a pretty great choice.

Variety’s list consists of  “Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Dave Franco, Jack Reynor, Scott Eastwood, Logan Lerman, “Brooklyn” star Emory Cohen and “Everybody Wants Some” actor Blake Jenner among the names making the cut.”

There are a lot people on this list that I like a lot. But none of them are Han Solo. The casting on this one needs to hit the mark, there’s no room for error as the character is an icon. It’s unfortunate that it seems that Disney is paying Harrison Ford’s other signature character, Indiana Jones, more respect by stating (at least so far) that they won’t be recasting the role.

What do you think about the list above? Is there a name that you think stands out above the rest? Is there a name that’s not on this list that you think they are missing?

Let us know what you think in the comments!

New Star Wars: Rogue One Details Might be Emerging

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

Now that everyone has seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens (everyone has seen it, right?) we can turn our attention to the future. And by future I mean the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which is set to drop in a little under a year.

Disney and Lucas Film are notorious for not trying to maintain secrecy, but things do manage to slip through the cracks and that seems to be the case with these Rogue One tidbits.

Supposedly we might know what the name of Felicity Jones’ Rebel Alliance soldier now. The character’s name is…Lyra Erso.

This conclusion was reached by Making Star Wars, after combing through numerous casting lists that have stuntwoman Gabriele Fritz listed as the body double for “Lyra Erso.” Many people point out that Fritz and Jones are the same body size so this could very well be the character Jones is playing.

Or it could be a codename, or another character entirely. We’re not one hundred percent sure right now.

Other actors have been popping up on various casting websites and confirming what their roles are. Star Wars Underworld says that Bern Collaco is playing a Stormtrooper, Angus Cook is a mechanic and Nabilah Karim is a samurai, according to various trade and industry sites that the actors have posted on.

Finally we get Deadline asking Ben Mendelsohn about any secrets he can spill about Rogue One.

I wouldn’t want to spoil anything for anyone on those levels. That’s always the same, whether it be Bloodline or Star Wars or Neighbors, for that matter, which is an Australian soap. I wouldn’t tell. But you can expect something pretty special, I’d like to think. I was in the audience for number seven and it was delightful. It exceeded my wildest hopes and dreams for what it might be. It’s a beautiful film. So we’ve got something to reach for and that’s a good thing.

The man rumored to be the villain in the upcoming anthology film sure is one hell of a deflection artist.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set to hit theaters December 16, 2016.

A New Trailer has Arrived for ‘The Finest Hours’!

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-chief

Over a year ago I took an assignment to visit the set of The Finest Hours. It was an great experience to be behind the scenes of such a large production. The first part of my set report, featuring Chris Pine and director Craig Gillespie dropped today. If you’d like to give it a read, you can find it HERE.

Growing up I spent a lot of time at my grandfather’s place on Cape Cod, not too far from where the true events of The Finest Hours occurred. I had heard of the rescue in passing but until I read the book, I had no concept of just how amazing a story it really was. If Craig Gillespie’s film captures even a little of that story we’ll be in for a treat when the film opens on January 29th next year.

In the meantime check out the new trailer and poster below.

 

Trailer: Your First Look at Pixar’s ‘Finding Dory’!

Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Dory” reunites everyone’s favorite forgetful blue tang, Dory, with her friends Nemo and Marlin on a search for answers about her past. What can she remember? Who are her parents? And where did she learn to speak Whale?

Directed by Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo,” “WALL•E”) and produced by Lindsey Collins (co-producer “WALL•E”), the film features the voices of Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill, Kaitlin Olson, Ty Burrell, Eugene Levy and Diane Keaton.  “Finding Dory” swims into theaters June 17, 2016.

Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Dory” reunites everyone’s favorite forgetful blue tang, Dory, with her friends Nemo and Marlin on a search for answers about her past.

Trailer: First Look at ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’!

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In Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” an all-new spectacular adventure featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories, Alice returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter. Directed by James Bobin, who brings his own unique vision to the spectacular world Tim Burton created on screen in 2010 with “Alice in Wonderland,” the film is written by Linda Woolverton based on characters created by Lewis Carroll and produced by Joe Roth, Suzanne Todd and Jennifer Todd and Tim Burton with John G. Scotti serving as executive producer. “Alice Through the Looking Glass” reunites the all-star cast from the worldwide blockbuster phenomenon, including: Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska and Helena Bonham Carter along with the voices of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall. We are also introduced to several new characters: Zanik Hightopp (Rhys Ifans), the Mad Hatter’s father and Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen), a peculiar creature who is part human, part clock.

The Force Might Not Awaken in China Until 2016

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

If you’re a Star Wars fan and you live in China, get ready to be a little angry.

The Wrap got word from IMAX Entertainment President Greg Foster saying that a December release for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in China is far from a done deal. Right now he’s “hopeful and optimistic” for an early 2016 release.

The Chinese government only allows 34 foreign films to hit theaters every year. This is in an effort to protect their local film industry, so you need to bring your A-game of you want to be one of the magic 34. It just so happens that by the time The Force Awakens went for their spot they were just a bit late.

Most studios are clamoring for the Chinese market these days. It turns films that were so-so or even severely underperforming into profitable projects. Studios are even tinkering with scripts and adding or removing scenes that would target the big overseas markets.

IMAX is even growing bigger in China. It’s predicted that soon China will have more IMAX screens than North America.

But in the long run this means that fans in China might have to wait until January 2016 to view the newest film set in a galaxy far, far away. Let’s just hope that Disney and Lucasfilm took this as a learning experience and have a spot secured for Rogue One, which debuts December 2016.

Indiana Jones Will NOT be Recast!

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

Once Disney acquired Lucasfilm and got the Star Wars franchise back on track, fans started to wonder if the House of Mouse would turn its attention to the other major franchise – namely the one involving a certain whip-wielding, fedora wearing archaeologist.

One of the biggest rumors to hit the internet was that Chris Pratt would take over for Harrison Ford in a reboot of the Indiana Jones series, but those rumors were quickly shot down by the actor himself. So the question on the tongues of fans all over is just who will get to play Indiana Jones?

Well, if producer Frank Marshall is to be believed the only man who will play Dr. Jones will be Harrison Ford.

Speaking to Total Film (by way of Den Of Geek) the producer set everyone straight on why Ford IS Indy:

There are a lot of rumors. We haven’t even sat down to talk about Indy yet… at some point we’ll sit down. But there’s a bunch of people who could probably take the baton. [But we are] not doing the Bond thing where we’re going to call somebody else Indiana Jones… we have to figure this out.

So the new actor will work with Indiana Jones in some capacity? Or will we see Harrison Ford swinging over ravines and outrunning boulders until he breaks a hip? And how can you technically call it Indiana Jones if Indiana Jones isn’t the main character?

It’s always an uphill battle when rebooting a series. Fans of the original will gnash their teeth and raise holy hell until they see that the newer version isn’t that bad. But this just sounds like a grumpy old man who doesn’t like change.

Nothing regarding an official reboot has come from the Disney camp just yet, so the company may just be waiting until they figure everything out before making any announcements. We’ll keep you updated as we hear more on this.

Han & Leia Together, Unmasked Kylo, a Fallen Friend and A Slew of Other New Images From the New ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Trailer!

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief

So now that we’ve all watched the trailer numerous times, it’s time to pick apart each and every image for clues.

I’ve compiled a large gallery of images to pour over. Take a look and leave a comment with your observations!

Feast Your Eyes on the Final ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Trailer!!

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief

Hopefully by now you’ve scored your tickets for the first showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in your neck of the woods. If not, what the hell are you waiting for?!? Get on it!

Most likely the ticket buying adrenaline is subsiding, but not for long as the FINAL Force Awakens trailer is here! Treat your eyes and give it a look… or fifty….