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Jj Abrams describes Luke’s other role in Rey’s ‘Star Wars’ ‘Forceback’

21 October 2016 11:06 AM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Since other outlets had been given exclusive clips from the upcoming the Star Wars: The Force Awakens four-disc 3D Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray release, it's only fair Lucasfilm themselves got one. The Star Wars Show revealed a new bit of J.J. Abrams commentary dealing with Rey's "Forceback' scene at Maz's castle. We knew Ewan McGregor put in a small bit of voice work for the film and Abrams revealed just after The Force Awakens was released that a little magic helped Sir Alec Guinness have a voice as well. As reported by Entertainment Weekly: As they worked on editing the dream sequence, Bryan Burk, a longtime Bad Robot collaborator and one of the producers of the film, surprised Abrams one day with the gift of a single word: Obi-Wan Kenobi’s voice saying the name “Rey …” “I said, ‘That’s cool, is that the thing from Ewan McGregor?’” Abrams recalled. »

- Jill Pantozzi

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Should Ewan McGregor Direct the Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi Movie?

19 October 2016 5:40 PM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

Way back in September 2014, a rumor surfaced that Disney and LucasFilm were contemplating a new Star Wars spin-off based on the beloved character Obi-Wan Kenobi, a report which landed just after the character was voted as the most popular in the entire franchise. Sadly, nothing has ever been confirmed about an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie, but if one does happen, Disney might have a prospective director waiting in the wings, Ewen McGregor. While promoting his directorial debut, American Pastoral, Ewan McGregor had this to say, when asked about the possibility of directing an Obi-Wan Kenobi spin-off.

"Oh my god, I never thought of that! Well, there you go! I don't know. I literally never thought of that before. I've always said when people ask me about it, that I'd be up for doing it, of course. I'd like to play Obi-Wan Kenobi again, and I've always thought there's got to be »

- MovieWeb

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The Week in Star Wars – New Rogue One trailer, poster and reactions, Obi-Wan movie, new ongoing comic series and more

16 October 2016 6:41 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

In your weekend edition of The Week in Star Wars, we’ve got a brand new trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (and a new poster), some more talk about an Obi-Wan movie and more…

Let’s be honest, we’re going to kick off with the new trailer Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, aren’t we? After announcing a new one was coming (along with a brand new poster), the trailer landed online to much fanfare [watch it here]. It’s pretty great, right? Well if you’re interested, you can read the thoughts of the Flickering Myth writing staff here…

…Based on the trailer, our own James Garcia came up with a new theory about Mads Mikkelsen’s character in the movie, which you can read here…

…Following the release of the trailer, YouTube channel Science vs. Cinema put together a supercut of all the Rogue One footage »

- Luke Owen

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Newswire: Ewan McGregor says he’d love to do some Obi-Wan standalone movies

15 October 2016 11:43 AM, PDT | | See recent The AV Club news »

Out of all the principals in the Star Wars prequels, Ewan McGregor probably comes off the best. (He gets most of the funny lines, at least, and nobody makes him talk about sand.) So it’s not entirely surprising that the prolific actor would express an interest in returning to play the part of Obi-Wan Kenobi, even if he’s just sort of expressing that interest in a general way, to nobody in particular.

McGregor was promoting his directorial debut, American Pastoral, in France last week, when he told Premiere (as translated by Den Of Geek), “I’ve always thought there was a story to tell between my last one and Alec Guinness’ first one,” and that he’d love to take up the part of the Jedi hermit again. And while the original Star Wars suggested that Kenobi spent the years between Revenge Of The Sith and A New »

- William Hughes

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Ewan McGregor Is Hoping For A Two-Part Obi-Wan Kenobi Star Wars Anthology Movie

15 October 2016 7:07 AM, PDT | | See recent ComicBookMovie news »

Once again, Ewan McGregor has made it clear that he's hoping to reprise the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi on the big screen, and we're once again forced to wonder why Disney and Lucasfilm haven't made it a reality! Talking to Premiere (via Den of Geek), the actor suggested that the character should be given a two-part Star Wars Anthology movie focusing on his time between the prequels and original trilogy.  "It would be fun to film that story now [that] I'm older," he said of catching up to the age that Obi-Wan was when we met him in A New Hope. "I’d be the right age. I’m forty-five, Alec Guinness was what, sixty? I could do two of them!" As for how he would live to see this play out, McGregor added: "I hope that they’re going to explore different genres under the Star Wars banner. And one »

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Ewan McGregor is keen on a couple of Obi-Wan Kenobi Star Wars spinoffs

13 October 2016 8:40 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Since briefly reprising the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi for a single line of dialogue in last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ewan McGregor has said on multiple occasions that he’d like to return as the venerable Jedi Knight for a Star Wars Anthology movie, and he’s been at it again this week during an interview with Premiere (via Den of Geek).

“I’ve always thought there was a story to tell between my last one and Alec Guinness’ first one,” said McGregor. “It would be fun to film that story now I’m older. I’d be the right age. I’m forty-five, Alec Guinness was what, sixty? I could do two of them (laughs)! I hope that they’re going to explore different genres under the Star Wars banner. And one of those could be an Obi-Wan Kenobi feature film. Or two! The Obi-Wan Kenobi »

- Gary Collinson

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Ewan McGregor Wants 2 Obi-Wan Kenobi Star Wars Movies

12 October 2016 4:37 PM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

There are few things that Star Wars fans actually want to talk about when it comes to the prequels, but it is pretty universally accepted that Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi is a bright spot. Now that Disney and Lucasfilm are working on some spinoff movies in the Star Wars universe, the subject of an Obi-Wan Kenobi standalone during the years between Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: A New Hope has come up quite often. And it seems like if Ewan McGregor had his way, it would be two movies.

The actor recently did an interview with the French publication Premiere and the folks over at Den of Geek were kind enough to translate some of the quotes. During the course of the interview, Ewan McGregor talked about the possibility of returning to play Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi again, which has been fairly common lately. Here is »

- MovieWeb

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Ewan McGregor Up For Two Obi-Wan Star Wars Spinoffs?

12 October 2016 11:57 AM, PDT | LatinoReview | See recent LatinoReview news »

Fans are certainly a persistent bunch. Ever since it was announced that there would be anthology films in addition to the traditional Star Wars saga films, speculation has run rampant for an Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff. Despite the lackluster response to the Star Wars prequel trilogy, most fans were quite happy with the way Ewan McGregor portrayed the younger Jedi. 

We knew that Obi-Wan spent years on Tatooine watching over Luke in between the films Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, but for all we know, there could have been several adventures that he had in those 18ish years -- some of which could have even taken him off the planet for a short period of time. It seemed like a natural direction to go for Disney and Lucasfilm, and while there have been reports of well over a dozen pitches for an Obi-Wan film, there still has yet to be an official confirmation. »

- Joseph Medina

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Star Wars: Ewan McGregor on two possible Obi-Wan films

12 October 2016 1:33 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Simon Brew Oct 12, 2016

Ewan McGregor sounds like he'd be up for a return to the Star Wars universe...

One of the many rumours that occasionally does the rounds with regards Star Wars spin-off movies is one centred on the character of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan was, of course, played by Alec Guinness in George Lucas’ original trilogy of Star Wars films, with Ewan McGregor taking on the role for the subsequent and, er, ‘much-loved’ prequel trilogy.

McGregor is shortly to release his directorial debut, an adaptation of Philip Roth’s American Pastoral, into the world. And he’s been on the promotional trail for the movie. As such, he’s been interviewed by Premiere in France, and has revealed that he’s open to the idea of more Star Wars.

Whilst conceding that nobody has approached him about an Obi-Wan film, he told Premiere “I’ve always thought there was a »

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Lawrence Of Arabia Screens September 21st at The Tivoli – ‘Classics in the Loop’

18 September 2016 7:40 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

“No Arab loves the desert. We love water and green trees. There is nothing in the desert and no man needs nothing.”

Lawrence Of Arabia screens Wednesday September 21st at The Tivoli Theater (6350 Delmar in ‘The Loop’) as part of their new ‘Classics in the Loop’ film series. The movie starts at 7pm and admission is $7. It will be on The Tivoli’s big screen.

“Greatest biopic ever”…”Genius in 70mm”…”A Miracle of a Movie”…

All these statements were said somewhere about director David Lean’s Lawrence Of Arabia and it’s understandable. It was some kind of madness to make a movie like this in 1962. Working in the middle of desert for such a long time, those extraordinary ways of cinematographer Freddie Young, and working with that huge number of actors (and camels).

But it all worked. Lawrence Of Arabia is more than a glorious, expensive, old biopic movie. »

- Tom Stockman

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NBC to Reboot Oliver Twist as a Female-Driven Procedural

2 September 2016 12:24 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Well, this is quite a twist. An… Oliver Twist.

The classic Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist is being reimagined as a female-driven crime procedural by NBC, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The project, tentatively titled Twist, promises “a sexy contemporary take” centering on a twentysomething woman named Twist who teams up with a group of skilled outcasts to catch wealthy criminals.

RelatedThe Departed Reboot Series in Development at Amazon

This is just the latest are-they-serious? reboot heading to the small screen. Earlier this week, Fox announced they would reboot the tale of King Arthur and Camelot as a police procedural. »

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Steve McQueen to receive BFI Fellowship

24 August 2016 2:21 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

The 12 Years A Slave director will be presented with the honour at this year’s Lff awards ceremony.

Oscar-winning British film-maker Steve McQueen will be presented with a BFI Fellowship at this year’s BFI London Film Festival (October 5-16) awards ceremony.

Born in London, McQueen was a Turner Prize-winning artist before turning his hand to film-making. The award will be presented to the director in recognition of his feature films Hunger, Shame and 12 Years A Slave, all of which played at previous editions of the London Film Festival.

His 2013 biographical drama 12 Years A Slave received critical plaudits and won three Academy Awards from nine nominations, including Best Picture.

Previous recipients of the BFI Fellowship include Cate Blanchett, Tim Burton, Mike Leigh, Helena Bonham Carter, Christopher Lee, Maggie Smith and Alec Guinness.

Steve McQueen commented “I first walked into the BFI library and cinema 28 years ago. To think that I will now be a Fellow and honorary »

- (Tom Grater)

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Hasbro offering new Black Series figures at Star Wars Celebration and Comic-Con

2 July 2016 7:00 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Hasbro is set to expand its Black Series collectible action figure range this month with two new figures, which will be available during Star Wars Celebration Europe and the San Diego Comic-Con International.

First up is Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which comes complete with First Order banner, crossguard lightsaber and Darth Vader’s scorched mask:

The Kylo Ren figure will be available from the Forbidden Planet booth at Star Wars Celebration, priced $34.99.

Next up is Alec Guinness’ Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, with the Jedi Master joined by a hologram of Princess Leia, as well as his own lightsaber and that of Anakin Skywalker.

The Obi-Wan Kenobi figure will be on sale for $44.99 and can be picked up from the Hasbro booth at Sdcc.

Via: Entertainment Weekly


- Gary Collinson

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Hasbro's Star Wars The Black Series Convention Exclusives Announced

1 July 2016 7:44 AM, PDT | Cinelinx | See recent Cinelinx news »

Star Wars Celebration and San Diego Comic Con 2016 happen in just a couple weeks so everyone is showing us the stuff they're bringing to this huge event. Hasbro has now revealed their upcoming Star Wars exclusives through Entertainment Weekly, revealing a pair of highly anticipated figures.  Come inside to learn more! 

Obi-Wan Kenobi, as depicted by Alec Guinness will finally see a release in all his plastic glory. Since they want to make this a special release he also comes with small table with a light up feature for a small hologram figure of Princess Leia, and two lightsabers one his and the Anakin lightsaber which he passed on to Luke. If you don’t get this exclusive guys don’t worry as I’m sure he’ll see a general line release with fewer bonuses. You can get it at the Hasbro booth for $44.99 July 21 – 24.

But that’s not the only exclusive they announced. »

- (Jason The X)

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Hasbro Star Wars The Black Series Convention Exclusives Announced

1 July 2016 7:44 AM, PDT | Cinelinx | See recent Cinelinx news »

San Diego Comic Con 2016 happens in just a few weeks so you know everyone is going to be showing us all the stuff they are bringing to this huge event. Well one that hits very close to my heart/toy collection is the Hasbro Sdcc exclusives. Entertainment Weekly has shown us images for the 6 inch Star Wars the Black Series line we’re getting a figure that has long been requested. Obi Wan Kenobi as depicted by Alec Guinness will finally see a release in all his plastic glory. 

Now since they want to make this a special release he also comes with small table with a light up feature for a small hologram figure of Princess Leia. And two lightsabers one his and the Anakin lightsaber which he passed on to Luke. If you don’t get this exclusive guys don’t worry as I’m sure he’ll see a general line release. »

- (Jason The X)

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Ewan McGregor doesn't understand the fanaticism over 'Star Wars'

24 June 2016 12:55 PM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Star Wars prequel actor Hayden Christensen recently spoke about his willingness to return to the film series, and while Ewan McGregor has also said he'd be happy to reprise his role as Obi-Wan, he wants to make one thing clear - he's not begging for work. Also, he's not sure why folks get so excited about the franchise. Parade Magazine spoke with McGregor about his latest film Our Kind of Traitor and, of course, brought up Star Wars and how fans are always asking him if he's going to come back to play Obi-Wan. "I like the films that I made with George Lucas and I’m happy to be part of the legend of it all, but that’s it with me. I don’t really understand the fanaticism about it," he told them. "I’m asked by everybody all the time, 'Would you do another one?' and I’ve said, »

- Jill Pantozzi

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Dr. Strangelove

10 June 2016 7:26 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Criterion's special edition of Stanley Kubrick's doomsday comedy is more powerful than ever in a 4K remaster; and it even comes with a top-secret mission profile package and a partial-contents survival kit. A Kubrick fan can have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff. Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 821 1964 / B&W / 1:66 widescreen / 95 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date June 28, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, Slim Pickens, Peter Bull, James Earl Jones, Tracy Reed Cinematography Gilbert Taylor Production Designer Ken Adam Art Direction Peter Murton Film Editor Anthony Harvey Original Music Laurie Johnson Written by Stanley Kubrick, Terry Southern, Peter George from his book Red Alert Produced by Stanley Kubrick, Leon Minoff Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

When I heard that Criterion was putting out a Blu-ray of Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb I thought that there already was a disc out there from The Collection. Nope, Sony released a Blu-ray in 2009, and back around 2000, a DVD. I was thinking of a deluxe laserdisc from Criterion sometime in the early 1990s. I remember being impressed by its extras, which included documentary materials about the Bomb in the Cold War years. Potential new fans of Kubrick's wickedly funny movie are being born every year, which leaves those of us for whom Strangelove was an important part of growing up having to remind ourselves just how good it still is. I remember recording the soundtrack off TV in high school and memorizing all of the dialogue; this has to be the most quotable movie of its decade. I also can remember my father's reaction when we watched it together on network TV, ABC, I think. An Air Force lifer who wouldn't discuss politics (or much of anything), the Old Sarge had little use for 'defeatist' movies like On the Beach. But he thought the premise of Seven Days in May wasn't really farfetched, having worked with Hap Arnold and Curtis LeMay. He shook his head after seeing Dr. Strangelove but I could tell that he found it very funny. It's too bad the two of us couldn't have gotten our senses of humor more in sync -- as soon as I wore my hair long, I think he stopped trusting me. I believe that Dr. Strangelove is one of few movies that 'made a difference' in that it redirected American public opinion about a major life issue. From that point forward only the ignorant and Shoot First fanatics talked about nuclear war as win-able, at least not until the neo-con Millennium. 1963 audiences had little use for suspect 'pacifist' movies that ended in masochistic doom, like On the Beach. The nuclear crisis was such a hot topic that that the low-key English science fiction film The Day the Earth Caught Fire was a surprise hit. Strangelove is more realistic than the straight atom nightmare movies. We're told that when Ronald Reagan was briefed at the start of his first term in office, he asked where the White House elevator to the War Room was. He figured it was there because he saw it in the movie. The decision to opt for broad comedy was Kubrick's inspired stroke. Dr. Strangelove may be the first hit film that was a bona-fide black comedy; I don't recall anybody even using the expression before it came out. It's not a crazy comedy where anything funny is okay. The backbone of the story remains 100% serious, while the jokes relentlessly demolish the death-cult logic of our Nuclear Deterrent. Kubrick and Terry Southern populate Peter George's credible cold-sweat crisis with insane caricatures given ridiculous names. The scary part is that, no matter how stupid they behave, none are really that exaggerated. Peter Sellers serves triple duty in a trio of characterizations, effectively outdoing previous champion film chameleon Alec Guinness. George C. Scott steals the show as an infantile Air Force General who acts like a Looney Tunes cartoon character. And the rest of the inspired cast nails their highly original quasi-comic characters. Every joke is a gallows joke; we're never allowed to forget that we all have an atomic noose around our necks. I almost envy the dead viewers still unfamiliar with Dr. Strangelove, as seeing it for the first time was a mind-opening experience. Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden), the commander of Burpelson Air Force Base, orders a flight of B-52s to attack Russia. He then seals off Burpelson to prevent a recall of the planes. Exchange officer Group Captain Lionel Mandrake (Peter Sellers) tries to talk him into divulging the recall code. Holding court in the War Room, President Merkin Muffley (Peter Sellers) is horrified to discover that such a Snafu is even possible. He orders General Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott) to take Burpelson Air Base by force and recall the planes, and gets on the hotline with the Soviet Premier. Up in the lead B-52, Major 'King' Kong (Slim Pickens) receives Ripper's orders, coded 'Wing Attack Plan R.' He urges his crew to avoid Russian defenses and reach their primary target, while Turgidson tries to talk Muffley into launching an all-out attack. Advising in the War Room is ex-Nazi scientist Dr. Strangelove, a grinning theoretician already fantasizing about the sexual recreation for the ruling elite in the VIP bomb shelters, where America's chosen high officials will be living for the next 93 years. Dr. Strangelove divides its time between three main locations, each with its own deadly serious function and each overlaid with a different comedic tone. In his locked executive office in the Alaskan Air Force Base, the sexually obsessed American General Ripper faces off with a veddy proper English officer in a farcical one-act. Beady-eyed and intense in his anti-Communist convictions, Sterling Hayden contrasts beautifully with Seller's genial Group Captain, who can't fathom the depth of his commanding officer's madness. The action in the B-52 is a throwback to those gung-ho WW2 action films in which a racially and ethnically diverse attack team uses brains and guts to barrel through their suicide mission. Even though their pilot is a cowboy clown (Slim Pickens doing his only characterization, Slim Pickens) they're an admirable bunch, seemingly the only humans capable of doing anything without red tape or Coca-Cola machines getting in their way. The horror is that our heroes' mission is totally against every moral precept ever imagined. The docu feeling in the B-52 is further amplified by the gritty newsreel-like footage of the taking of Burpelson Afb, with American troops fighting American troops. In 1964 these were traumatic, subversive scenes. U.S. troops on film are supposed to fight for freedom and righteousness, not kill each other. Kubrick has the audacity to place in the middle of it all a big sign that reads, 'Peace is our Profession.' The grainy authenticity of these scenes would come back to haunt us when similar footage started being seen nightly on television, fresh from Vietnam. The center of activities is the War Room, a Camelot-like round table of Death located in the basement of the White House. The rational President Merkin Muffley trips over an ideological roadblock in the form of Buck Turgidson, a gum-chewing military nutcase itching to go to war and overjoyed that Jack Ripper has 'exceeded his authority.' The President is hardly in charge of foreign policy, and none of fifty advisors come to his aid with any original thinking. An amateur among experts, Muffley must be shepherded through protocol by an assistant. Here's where Southern and Kubrick make their biggest points, basically asserting that a showdown with the Russkies is inevitable because the American stance is a military one -- Sac just wants the peacenik in the Oval Office to get out of their way. The comedy is all over the place, and it's a miracle that it works. The stand-up humor on the hot line to Moscow is very much like a Bob Newhart routine. At Burpelson, it's the Goon Show all over again. Sellers' Mandrake cannot sway General Ripper, and the moronic Major Bat Guano (Keenan Wynn) suspects the Raf officer of being a 'deviated prevert.' Up in the bomber, Mad Magazine craziness is grafted onto combat realism. Previous looks at the Air Force's flying deterrent were enlistment booster films like Strategic Air Command. Kubrick drove his English craftsmen to fake the entire bomber interior right down to the switches and gauges. The aerial combat is more realistic than that in escapist films, even with inadequate models used for exteriors of the jet bomber in flight. Dr. Strangelove maintains a nervous tension between absurd comedy and morbid unease. Kubrick's main career themes -- sexual madness, treacherous technology and the folly of human planning -- come into strong relief. We're motivated to root for the fliers that are going to destroy the world. Then we fret over the President's pitiful lack of control. Dour, glowering Russian Ambassador De Sadesky (Peter Bull) informs the War Room about his country's solution to the costly Arms Race, the dreaded Doomsday Machine. Security advisor Dr. Strangelove enters the film in the last act to serve as sort of an angel of Death. Based loosely on Rand-corporation experts that calculated eventualities in nuclear war scenarios, Sellers' vision of Strangelove is a throwback to German Expressionism. A Mabuse in a wheelchair, he's black-gloved like the brilliant but mad Rotwang of Metropolis. Strangelove enters like the specter of Death itself; his grin looks like a skull. Contemplating 'megadeaths' gives him sexual pleasure. The detonation of the first bomb seems to liberate Strangelove, and he finds he can walk again. The character is straight from the Siegfried Kracauer playbook. The evil of nuclear war has restored the representative of apocalyptic Nazi vengeance to full power. Twenty years after his death, we all get to join Hitler in his suicide bunker. First-time viewers are usually floored by the audacious Dr. Strangelove. Only the truly uninformed will not recognize baritone James Earl Jones as one of Major Kong's flight crew. Those going back for a repeated peek will derive added enjoyment from Kubrick's deft juggling of his several visual styles and his avoidance of anything that might deflate tension: we hear about the recall code being issued but are spared any view of the responsible military personnel that must have sent it. Some of the best fun is finding details in designer Ken Adam's impressive War Room, such as the pies already laid out in preparation for the aborted pie-fight finale. Even better is watching the War room extras as they strain to maintain straight faces no matter how funny Sellers and Scott get; that contrast is what makes the comedy so brilliant. Watch Peter Bull carefully. In one extended take he starts to smile at Sellers, more than once. He catches himself and then is clearly on the verge of cracking up, forcing Kubrick to cut away. The Criterion Collection's Blu-ray of Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is the expected sterling transfer of this Kubrick classic, a 4K digital transfer. I put it up against Sony's old Blu-ray and the difference is not so great as to recommend that a trade-up is necessary. However, it looks extremely good. The Kubrick faithful out there will be thinking, 'I must not allow a disc shelf gap.' The HD picture makes quite a bit of difference in understanding Kubrick's photographic strategy. Not only do the hand-held Burpelson combat sequences approximate the look of documentary footage, a more contrasty and grainy film stock has been used. Switching "film looks" later became a fad for directors looking to be viewed as artists. The idea perhaps reached its zenith in Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers. Back in 1964 the effect of imitating a news film look was quite stunning -- audiences reacted to the combat scenes as if they were real. I'm glad that we're finally beyond the frustrating early DVD years, when someone (at Warner Home Video?) claimed that Stanley Kubrick insisted that his films be shown at the old 1:33 aspect ratio for TV and disc. Even if they wangled a note from Kubrick to that effect, I still believe that the aspect ratio games were played because Kubrick was too busy to oversee new masters of his films, and Whv wanted to market them in a hurry at a minimum of cost. That's all old news now, but there was also the interesting aspect ratio question concerning Strangelove. At least one disc iteration -- Criterion's laserdisc, I'm fairly sure -- was released in a completely un-original dual-ratio scan. Kubrick apparently said that he preferred to see the War Room scenes at a full-frame 1:37, and so this one transfer of the film popped back and forth between ratios. I've never heard of anything like this before or after. Criterion's British 1:66 framing for this disc is correct, even though the film was probably screened at 1:85 for many of its American play dates. Criterion's new extras begin with interview featurettes with well-chosen spokespeople, like scholars Mick Broderick and Rodney Hill. Kubrick archivist Richard Daniels' piece is quite good, as is an examination of the film's visuals by two of the original camera crew. The son of author Peter George gives an excellent account of his father's life and the adaptation of his novel Red Alert. George reportedly liked the notion of turning his story into a black comedy, especially when his original narrative was changed very little. The stroke of genius was deciding that the entire subject could best be approached as a sick joke. Other extras are repeated from Sony's DVD disc of 2004. A making-of docu interviews several surviving technicians and actors, and a primer on the Cold War atom standoff goes deep into detail. The featurettes have input from Robert McNamara, Spike Lee and Bob Woodward. Critics Roger Ebert and Alexander Walker are also represented. Docu pieces on Peter Sellers and Kubrick appear to suffer from legal restraints disallowing the use of clips from non-Columbia sources. The Peter Sellers show features several choice film clips from the 'fifties, including Sellers' almost perfect take on a William Conrad-like hired killer. We're shown some stills from the legendary The Goon Show, which is not mentioned by name. A Stanley Kubrick career piece that uses UA, MGM and Universal trailers covers a lot of territory a bit too quickly. It does have some nice interview input from Kubrick's partner James B. Harris. Harris has since given terrific interviews on Criterion discs for Kubrick's The Killing and Paths of Glory. Criterion's Curtis Tsui produced those discs as well as this one. An entertaining extra is a pair of vintage 'split screen' fake interviews with Sellers and Scott intended for publicity use. Each actor projects his chosen PR image. They're charming, especially when Sellers takes us on a lightning tour of regional English accents. I wonder if those distinctions have faded, 52 years later? As a pleasant surprise, Curtis Tsui has overseen the creation of a collectable, highly amusing substitute for a standard disc insert booklet. Inside an authentic-looking 'Wing Attack Plan R' envelope, David Bromwich's insert essay is printed in the form of classified orders on two sheets of loose-leaf paper. Terry Southern's hilariously profane 1994 essay on the movie comes in the form of a Playboy parody, illustrated with photos of Tracy Reed as 'Miss Foreign Affairs.' Finally, the disc credits and details are printed in a genuine miniature Russian Phrase Book and Holy Bible, a little bigger than one-inch square. It indeed offers some phrases that I'll have to try on my multi-lingual daughter, like "Where is the toilet?" But the cover Lies, as there's no Bible in there that I could find. Also, no nine packs of chewing gum and no issue of prophylactics. On a scale of Excellent, Good, Fair, and Poor, Dr. Strangelove Blu-ray rates: Movie: Excellent Video: Excellent Sound: Excellent uncompressed monaural + alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-hd Master Audio Supplements: (from Criterion stats): New interviews with Stanley Kubrick scholars Mick Broderick and Rodney Hill; archivist Richard Daniels; cinematographer and camera innovator Joe Dunton; camera operator Kelvin Pike; and David George, son of Peter George, on whose novel Red Alert the film is based. Excerpts from a 1966 audio interview with Kubrick, conducted by physicist and author Jeremy Bernstein; Four short documentaries about the making of the film, the sociopolitical climate of the period, the work of actor Peter Sellers, and the artistry of Kubrick. Promotional interviews from 1963 with Sellers and actor George C. Scott; excerpt from a 1980 interview with Sellers from NBC's Today show; Trailers; insert essay by scholar David Bromwich and a 1994 article by screenwriter Terry Southern on the making of the film. Deaf and Hearing-impaired Friendly? Yes; Subtitles: English Packaging: Keep case Reviewed: June 7, 2016 (5136love)

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10 Famous People You Probably Didn’t Know Were In Star Wars

2 June 2016 8:01 PM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

Star Wars has always been able to attract the great and the good. Even before the saga was a surefire hit, the first film managed to nab respected thespian Alec Guinness to play Obi-Wan Kenobi (despite the actor’s infamous indifference towards the material).

This has only continued over the decades as more of Hollywood’s finest have become fans of the franchise and are now clambering to appear in it. This came to a head in The Force Awakens, which contains more celebrity cameos than you can shake a lightsaber at.

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Alternatively, the series has been lucky enough to cast some future stars before they got famous. The most commonly known example of this is Keira Knightley, who appeared in The Phantom Menace at the age of 12 as the decoy of Queen Amidala.

There are plenty more where Keira came from, though, and here »

- Christian Bone

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Today is Peter Cushing’s 103rd Birthday! Here Are His Ten Best Roles

26 May 2016 5:44 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

Article by Jim Batts, Dana Jung, Michael Haffner, Sam Moffitt, and Tom Stockman

Peter Cushing, born on this day in 1913, was one of the most respected and important actors in the horror and fantasy film genres. To his many fans, the British star, who died in 1994, was known as ‘The Gentle Man of Horror’ and is recognized for his work with Hammer Films which began in the late 1950’s, but he had numerous memorable roles outside of Hammer. A topnotch actor who was able to deliver superb performances on a consistent basis, Peter Cushing also had range.  He could play both the hero and the villain with ease.

Here, according to We Are Movie Geeks, are Peter Cushing’s ten best roles:

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During the 1960s, Amicus Studios had a knack for borrowing from the pool of Hammer Studios actors and filmmakers to make their own Hammer-inspired films.  While »

- Movie Geeks

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[Review] Elstree 1976

17 May 2016 1:04 PM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Everybody knows Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher. When Disney bought Lucasfilm from George Lucas and announced they’d be producing a new Star Wars trilogy and spin-off features, everyone knew those three would be back in the fold. Even guys like Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, and Kenny Baker were known commodities to consult if not star underneath the costumes they made famous. But what of the other actors — the nameless, sometimes faceless, and almost always uncredited performers who were a part of something so universally revered? Does their being extras mean they weren’t as important to the legend? Fans lining up for autographs don’t think so. Anyone on set and immortalized in one of history’s greatest cinematic franchises is an unequivocal hero.

To people like me who love the series but never rendered it into a cornerstone of daily life, however, these smaller, hidden roles prove an intriguing curio. »

- Jared Mobarak

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