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As the countdown to Star Wars: The Force Awakens continues (136 days, but who's counting), fans are starting to learn more and more about this highly-anticipated sequel. Earlier today, we got more insight into the Star Wars writing process from "creative consultant" Simon Kinberg. Last week, J.J. Abrams hit the red carpet premiere of Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, which he produced, where the filmmaker revealed an interesting tidbit of trivia regarding Star Wars: The Force Awakens. As part of a series of "yes or no" question, the filmmaker was asked if the controversial "midi-chlorians," first mentioned in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, were brought up in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The director simply said, "No."
Towards the middle of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) tells Anakin Skywalker's (Jake Lloyd) that midi-chlorians are microscopic organisms that live inside all of us. »
J.J. Abrams has been very tight-lipped about any plot elements related to Star Wars: The Force Awakens outside of the officially released images, teasers, and presentations. Still, the man who grew up a fan of George Lucas' saga is not above sharing some fun and ridiculous answers about the seventh entry in the series set in a galaxy far, far away. During an interview with MTV, Abrams... Read More »
- Alex Maidy
How well do you know your "7th Voyage of Sinbad" trivia? Brush up on Ray Harryhausen with this quiz, from our friends at Trailers From Hell. The animation master died in 2013, at age 92. A pioneer of early stop-motion and visual effects, his acolytes include Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Peter Jackson, James Cameron, Tim Burton, Phil Tippett, Nick Park and John Lasseter. Take the quiz here. Read More: Obit: VFX Master Ray Harryhausen Dies at 92 »
When George Lucas released the Star Wars prequels, starting with Episode I: The Phantom Menace in 1999, he made changes to the universe that rankled many fans. One element many took issue with was that he explained the Force, and that it originates with something called midi-chlorians. J.J. Abrams just promised when we sit down to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens later this year, we.re not going to see any of that shit. MTV caught up with the director on the red carpet for Mission: Impossible.Rogue Nation, and the normally tight-lipped filmmaker answered some yes-or-no questions about his upcoming foray into that far, far away galaxy. Most of the queries are funny and not particularly serious, like one about R2-D2 being an asshole when he gets hungry, but when the interviewer asks Abrams if anyone mentions midi-chlorians in The Force Awakens, the answer is a simple: »
Chicago – A new and exciting voice in the cinematic universe is cause for celebration, and the 2015 Midwest Independent Film Festival will showcase that voice this Tuesday, August 4th, at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema. Director Christopher Kelley will present the World Premiere of his indie noir thriller “Full Frame.”
“Full Frame” has a Hitchcockian feel, all shot and produced in small town Quincy, Illinois, on a micro budget. A nebbish photographer stumbles upon the desperate circumstances of a local big shot, and gets involved in a game of life and death. Filled with modern takes on the dark places of the soul, “Full Frame” is both a fresh perspective on a familiar genre, and a throwback to the best that noir has to offer.
Scene from ‘Full Frame’
Photo credit: Table Sixteen Productions
Christopher Kelley took an unconventional route to his advocation as a director. When he was in college, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
The art of amateur Star Wars punditry may not be up there with James Bond, there being almost two dozen official 007 films to place in order of debonair brilliance (as opposed to just six movies of radically varying quality in George Lucas’s long-running space opera), but it has its place in the scheme of things. And who better to rank the saga in order of excellence than Simon Pegg, the British actor whose scathing verdict on The Phantom Menace in the much-loved 90s sitcom Spaced – long before he became a Hollywood superstar – remains perhaps the definitive reading.
Pegg returned to his favourite subject in 2012 for an MTV interview marking the debut of the 3D version of the 1999 prequel in cinemas. The actor »
- Ben Child
Everything we know about Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Rank the Star Wars movies by toggling on the arrows below, then join the discussion in the comments section.
Anyone growing into pop culture consciousness during the mid-2000s will be familiar with a certain type of Tom Cruise, one labeled with some criticism in a recent Buzzfeed article as “Tom Cruise 2.0.” To them, Tom Cruise may have first become familiar as Ethan Hunt in the first Mission: Impossible movie, as an action star who, in spite of fearful insurance agents and publicists, prefers to do his own stunts—especially if they include declaring maniacal love for Katie Holmes atop Oprah Winfrey’s couch. He was probably their first introduction to the alien world of Scientology, or perhaps already known as the face of another hero thrust into the supernatural, having once served as the model for the titular character in Disney’s Aladdin.
This Tom Cruise, in spite of several critical successes in the past 10 years, has yet to shake completely the straws of tabloid fodder that prick up every time someone dares, »
- Christina Leo
"He's down there and he's toughing it out. He's a super human being. He's literally lying there making jokes," said Abrams, who was trying to help free Ford from underneath a hydraulic door at the time.
"This door had gone down, and I'm trying to help lift it up – because that's the kind of guy I am. I'm trying to lift up this door and I feel this pop in my back. I'm like, 'Uh, that's weird'."
Abrams found out that the pop meant he'd broken a bone in his back when he went to see a doctor a couple of days later. »
The story of the Raiders Of The Lost Ark fan film is brought brilliantly to life in this new documentary...
I love fan films. I remember the very first fan film I ever saw: Hardware Wars (a Star Wars spoof). I’ve been hooked ever since. They’ve come a long way since then, some of them nowadays boasting a production value that almost rivals Hollywood productions. When I watch, for example, the Piano Guys’ Cello Wars (which in essence, is still a fan film), I’m amazed how much fan films have evolved, but my favorites remain the older ones, like Closet Cases Of The Nerd Kind (who can forget those singing mailboxes?).
But while some fan films of that era were happy to simply parody blockbuster movies, in 1982, two kids from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Chris Strompolos (11 years old) and Eric Zala (12 years old) set our to produce a »
One obvious large difference between the original "Star Wars" trilogy and the prequels was the latter's use of computer generated visual effects. It wasn't just a case of different technology though as George Lucas used so much CG throughout the prequels that they took on a quite different look and feel to the original trilogy.
Consequently it's hoped that J.J. Abrams' upcoming "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" will be doing as many practical effects as possible and that seems to be the case according to a new report at MakingStarWars.net.
We know that Abrams and co. went to great lengths to retain the feel of the original trilogy, and so as a result there'll only be a few scenes in the film that don't have some kind of practical effect in them. Today it has been revealed that only 28 shots in total in the movie will be comprised completely of CGI. »
- Garth Franklin
Welcome to today's edition of Nerd Alert, where we have all the quirky, nerdy news that you crave in one convenient spot. What do we have in store for you on this terrific Tuesday? Ant-Man gets mashed up with Zoolander, Real Fake History explores the battle of Klendathu in Starship Troopers, Mission: Impossible gets an Honest Trailer and the Fantastic Four reboot gets a meta mashup with Roger Corman's unreleased 1994 version. We also have a complete breakdown of the specific changes made from the original Star Wars movies for the Special Edition releases. So, sit back, relax and check out all that today's Nerd Alert has to offer.
Mission: Impossible Honest Trailer
It's Tuesday, and you know what that means? Another Honest Trailer from the Screen Junkies crew. Today they break down Mission: Impossible and all of its sequels, in honor of Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation's release this Friday. »
[Note: In this special guest post, Gary Whitta, author of the upcoming fantasy horror book Abomination, shares four cinematic influences on his new novel.]
Though I wrote Abomination as a novel, my background is primarily a screenwriter, and the movies I watched growing up played even more of a part in inspiring me to become a writer as the books I read. So it’s perhaps not surprising that many of the influences that led to the creation of this book have cinematic roots.
The Thing (1982)
Abomination really began with wanting to write a good old-fashioned monster story, a fable about a man struggling with a beast within him in the tradition of The Wolfman, Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde, and even The Incredible Hulk. And I knew that I wanted the monsters to be as gnarly and twisted and horrifying as I could possibly make them. In that regard I always look at John Carpenter’s classic The Thing as the gold standard in stomach-churning monstrosity, and I definitely drew some influence from those awful, »
- Derek Anderson
One Star Wars fan has gone to great lengths to show how much the beloved film series has changed over the years.
The changes go as far as back as the beginning of the series, when different versions of Episode IV were sent out to theatres, and further changes have come in the years that followed.
With each home video release, Lucas made alterations, some more noticeable than others. YouTuber Mercelo Zuniga has put together a definitive guide to the changes in an hour-long series of videos.
It's news to nobody that the original Star Wars trilogy is impossible to (legally) get hold of right now. Whilst there have been rumours that Disney is looking to put the original theatrical cuts of Star Wars out on Blu-ray, we've seen nothing substantive on that, and the rumours have quietened down in recent times.
Currently, the versions of the Star Wars movies that are available on Blu-ray are further digitally altered versions of the Special Editions that first surfaced in the 1990s. But they've undergone a few additional changes ever since then.
Yes, I believe the changes George Lucas made to the original Star Wars films ruined the trilogy to the point I cannot and will not watch those movies again until the original releases are restored and released. This saddens me as not only do I love these movies, I've loved them since I was a child, back when I had several of the toys and still do. They were the only childhood toys I held onto for no other reason than nostalgia and while watching the following series of videos put together by YouTuber Marcelo Zuniga, it only served as a reminder as to why I no longer own any of the Star Wars films on any form of media as they no longer resemble the films I fell in love with. Is this a dramatic take on something many would deem not importantc Perhaps, but, for me, it's like »
- Brad Brevet
To say that George Lucas has tinkered with his original "Star Wars" trilogy since they were first released would be an understatement. As this extensive and slightly mind-boggling Wikipedia entry details, even as far back as 1977, when different film print versions of "Star Wars" were going to theaters, Lucas started making changes to his film. From there, his constant tweaking continued with each new home video release, from VHS to LaserDisc to DVD and more recently, to Blu-ray, where we catch up with this series of videos. Marcelo Zuniga has put together a visual guide to all of the changes Lucas has made to the original "Star Wars" trilogy, from their initial theatrical release to the most recent Blu-ray edition that arrived in 2011. The snips-and-cuts additions range from adding rocks in a scene, to extensive CGI to, most controversially of all––Greedo shooting first. While fans continue to clamor for »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Star Wars famously takes place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, and this week we found out about a parallel universe of casting in the film series. Neil Calloway looks at the actors who didn’t star in films, but could have…
The news that Michael Jackson wanted to play Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars prequels is bizarre, and I can’t quite decide whether he would have improved the character or completely ruined the franchise with his appearance. Perhaps the most interesting part is that Jackson wanted the character to be created with make up and prosthetics – he worked with make up genius Rick Baker on the video for Thriller – rather than the CGI preferred by Lucas. There are many, many issues with the Star Wars prequels, but one of them is the over reliance on computer effects on practical effects. So maybe »
- Neil Calloway
'Jurassic World' velociraptor kicks Iron Man ass at worldwide box office. 'Jurassic World' officially surpasses 'The Avengers' at worldwide box office Directed by Colin Trevorrow; starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Vincent D'Onofrio; and co-executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, Jurassic World has officially become the third biggest worldwide box office hit in history. The Jurassic Park sequel – or reboot, as it's basically the same story with a slightly different twist – has surpassed Marvel's Joss Whedon-directed all-star superhero flick The Avengers, which broke box office records back in 2012. Of course, "officially" just ain't what it used to be – like, in the days before The Fall. So you wisely ask, "But which movie has actually sold the most tickets?" After all, that's the true measure of a film's popularity. Well, that's a tough one to answer without the studios providing accurate, precise numbers. And that's not about to happen. It always »
- Zac Gille
It must have been hard for George Lucas to say no to Michael Jackson. The two were old friends after working on the iconic Disneyland 3D attraction Captain Eo way back in 1986, at the height of the pop star's popularity. But when George set out to return to his galaxy far, far away with 1999's Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, he made the mistake of letting Michael read the script early. There was one character the singer gravitated to. But George Lucas simply felt he was wrong for the role.
As it turns out, Michael Jackson really wanted to play Jar Jar Binks. A character that would go onto become possibly the most hated in the series of old and new films alike. Mostly known for his singing, Michael Jackson was also an actor. He took the lead in the short film Captain Eo, playing a starship »
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