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After elders Steven Spielberg and George Lucas issued a doom-filled prognostication of where their business was headed, Christopher Nolan is offering more optimism. But it's going to take a lot of work on both creative and business sides of the aisle, suggests Nolan, who's reportedly heading into Spielberg territory with this fall's "Interstellar." In his Wall Street Journal op-ed (subscription only, here's a takeoff) the writer-director offered a double-sided solution to what he considers the modern movie malaise: the first will require theater owners to make an audience member’s theatrical experience "a new distinction from home entertainment that will enthrall." While you could compare this to the impact Cinemascope and more-dynamic sound systems had in decades past, Nolan is hardly keen to find solutions via digital projection or the likes of 3D, which he calls a "gimmickry aimed at justifying variable ticket pricing." The »
- Nick Newman
Many of you may have heard by now, the rumors floating around about Robert Pattinson being considered to play Dr. Jones in some sort of new Indiana Jones reboot for Disney/Lucasfilm. While our own sources have raised some eyebrows at the idea, this got our staff to discussing how Disney should move forward with the Indiana Jones franchise, and potentially reboot it. Come inside to see our contributors’ thoughts on the subject and add in your own!
First, let’s talk about this rumor. Over the last couple months, a pair of names have been associated with a new take on Indiana Jones, to lead the franchise into a new generation. The first rumor pegged Bradley Cooper as a possibility, and the latest says that Robert Pattinson may be taking over. Neither of these have jived with previous rumors that Harrison Ford desperately wants to do another Indiana Jones film, »
- email@example.com (Matt Malliaros)
When George Lucas directed Star Wars back in 1977, the franchise wasn’t yet a known entity and the movie’s budget was a paltry $11 million – an amount that, even when adjusted for inflation, is far dwarfed by the $200 million+ production budget that Star Wars: Episode VII is estimated to have.
Director J.J. Abrams is no stranger to large-scale revivals of popular science fiction franchises, having directed both Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, and it’s to be expected that he will bring a lot of what he learned from those films into the making of Star Wars: Episode VII. One filming format that Abrams has previously used and expressed a lot of admiration for is IMAX, since ...
Click to continue reading ‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ Set Image Confirms IMAX Scenes
- H. Shaw-Williams
Chicago – The irony is, of course, is that actress Mackenzie Phillips was in a notable 1970s sitcom called “One Day at a Time,” and that phrase often describes the struggles of living with addiction. Phillips talked to HollywoodChicago.com about living that life at the “Hollywood Show” Chicago.
Mackenzie Phillips was born in Alexandria, Virginia, the daughter of The Mamas & the Papas singer John Phillips and his first wife, Susan Adams. She was in a band at the age of 12, and was spotted by a casting agent. She auditioned for the breakthrough George Lucas film, “American Graffiti,” and won the role of Carol. Three years later, she won her signature role, that of Julie Cooper on the long-running situation comedy “One Day at a Time,” co-starring Valerie Bertinelli and Bonnie Franklin.
Mackenzie Phillips at the “Hollywood Show Chicago” in 2013
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
With production for Star Wars: Episode VII underway, we’ve already had more than our fair share of rumors and hints at what the first film in the next Star Wars trilogy might feature. Fortunately, today’s information about a galaxy far, far away is actually some solid news, albeit not the most groundbreaking.
J.J. Abrams Tweeted a picture from set today showing an IMAX camera accompanied by the hashtag #bestformatever.
— Bad Robot (@bad_robot) July 8, 2014
There’s also been word that the movie will be shot on 35mm film, so it’s safe to assume the IMAX-exclusive camera is only for part of shooting.
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, for a few reasons. Abrams already showed he enjoys the format with the masterful things he did on 70mm for Star Trek. There were also earlier reports that the film would be shown in IMAX, »
- Alexander Lowe
Christopher Nolan lives alongside the likes of James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Quentin Tarantino in the rarefied stratosphere of filmmakers who can command the entire movie industry's attention every time they make a statement. And so if he's going to take the time to write an editorial in The Wall Street Journal, it's a good idea to hear him out. So what's Nolan up in arms about now? Well, unlike Spielberg, Lucas and Tarantino, he's not forecasting the death of the cinematic experience. In fact, he's doubling down on the notion that movie theaters will undoubtedly become even more important in the not-too-distant future. Here are the choice quotes: "Content" can be ported across phones, watches, gas-station pumps or any...
- Peter Hall
Most people today would likely be shocked to think that in 1972, The Godfather went into the Oscars anything but a sure bet for Best Picture. Aside from Casablanca and Citizen Kane it is recognized as the greatest American film of all time and in hind sight most people forget that not only was it tied for nominations in 1972, but Coppola lost Best Director.
Because hindsight is anything but 20/20 when popular consensus takes over, the narrative of the Hollywood Renaissance is one of Scorsese, Spielberg and Lucas getting snubbed for Taxi Driver, Jaws, Close Encounters, and Star Wars. But looking at the 1970s and the race for Best Director, what you see instead is two directors fighting it out for director of the decade, each earning three nominations.
- Mynt Marsellus
"Nobody's really captured the quality of a film festival," observed musician/composer Neil Brand, "You're doing something that's pleasurable, but then the fatigue sets in..." It's true—a celluloid feast like Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna is a particular case, too, since so many of the films are rarities. It's like being a cake specialist and suddenly somebody offers you fifty magnificent cakes of unique recipe but says "You have to eat them all in an hour or I'll take them away and you'll never see them again." You plunge in, and even when nausea starts to replace pleasure you can't bring yourself to stop...
Cinephiles like to grumble, and the venues of Bologna attract a certain amount of criticism (one has a bar which runs between the front row and the screen, cutting the subtitles in half; air conditioning is switched on and off at random; and then there's »
- David Cairns
Writer-director Kevin Smith lived out a nerdy childhood fantasy last week, visiting the London set of J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII. (He even posted a teary-eyed Instagram selfie to prove how amazing the experience was.) As The Hollywood Reporter notes (via Slashfilm), Smith opened up about the visit during a recent Q&A at the Neuchatel International Film Festival in Switzerland, gushing about the old-school, "tactile" world Abrams has created.
Star Wars Spinoffs We Want to See
"So we go to the set, and they're actually shooting – and »
By Don L. Stradley
I remember a kid in my old neighborhood who owned a Ken doll. Ken, you may remember, was the sexually ambiguous boyfriend of the infinitely more famous Barbie. If that wasn’t weird enough, this kid kept his Ken doll in a state of near nudity, stripping off his safari gear until poor Ken was down to a pair of bright red swimming trunks. The kid would walk around the neighborhood with his near naked Ken doll tucked under his arm, and occasionally visit my yard, where I and my Neanderthal pals were having fun with our far more manly “action figures,” which included the likes of GI Joe, and Stretch Armstrong. Ken wasn’t a natural fit – he was too small, his hair too perfect, and he was always smiling. The kid claimed that if you left Ken in the sun for a while, he’d actually get a tan. »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Despite a blurry, leaked image of the Millennium Falcon, there's been few tangible details released from J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII set. So, on June 30, when Clerks director Kevin Smith posted an Instagram photo teasing that he had visited the set at the U.K.'s Pinewood Studios, Star Wars fans clamored to tease any hint of what Abrams had been planning for George Lucas' universe. Smith -- a dedicated Star Wars fan who earlier wrote a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter detailing his dream for the new film -- quickly dashed hopes by noting that he had
- Erik Hayden
American cultural exchange with Japan over the last century has created a fascinating cycle of influence and interdependence. American Westerns influenced the look and feel of samurai epics, which in turn inspired young filmmakers such as George Lucas. Similarly, Walt Disney’s animation techniques sparked the stylistic revolution that would lead to mainstream anime – which would then influence American productions such as The Legend of Korra.
One of the first and most beloved anime properties to be shown in the West was science-fiction series Robotech. Telling a tale of interstellar war spanning generations, Robotech captured the imagination of fans to the extent that they have been clamoring for a proper sequel ever since. These demands came ever-closer to fruition today, as Harmony Gold – the ...
Click to continue reading ‘Robotech Academy’ Kickstarter Campaign Announced
- Kyle Hembree
With a rumor lingering that Star Wars: Episode VII could end up being delayed to 2016 (we're betting that won't happen), we're not sure how long we'll really be waiting to see the continuance of the space saga. We're not counting on a big presence at Comic-Con this year at all, but maybe the title will be revealed in San Diego just to hold fans over. In the meantime, how about a retrospective look back at the making of the original Star Wars trilogy created by George Lucas? The Playlist has found an hour-long PBS program that dives behind the scenes of the first three films, and Lucas is pretty prominent in the special. Watch! Here's From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga, now in one single video (via Centropolis): This special is definitely worth your time, complete with narration from Mark Hamill. This program actually aired »
- Ethan Anderton
Earth to Echo marks the feature directing and screenwriting debuts of Dave Green and Henry Gayden. A throwback to classics like E.T. and The Goonies, where it’s up to the children to save the day without any help from surrounding adults, the film follows three youngsters whose families are being forced out of their homes due to highway construction. As they are packing to move, the kids start receiving strange messages on their cell phones, leading them to ride their bikes out into the middle of nowhere. They eventually come across a small, friendly alien who’s stranded on Earth and is looking for a way back home.
Recently, at the La press day for the film, I had the chance to sit down for an exclusive interview with Green and Gayden to discuss Earth to Echo. Among other things, the friendly duo spoke about the challenges they faced on set, »
- Ben Kenber
Next December, Star Wars: Episode VII will bring one of the most loved and lucrative franchises back to our screens. But it's worth remembering that, although Star Wars is now a colossally successful property worth millions, its path to the silver screen was by no means an easy one.
In the mid-1970s, George Lucas was still a young filmmaker with two successful but modestly-budgeted movies under his belt. Lucas' idea for his third film was a sci-fi fantasy so outlandish, and so potentially expensive to make that studio executives all over Hollywood simply couldn't see the value in it. Pitches to United Artists and Universal Pictures came to nothing, as Lucas struggled to describe the film he'd hatched in his head.
Determined to show »
If you're interested in an anniversary conversation that really has some bearing on today's film industry, I highly recommend American Cinematographer's recent chat with "Collateral" Dp Dion Beebe. It's been nearly a decade (if you can believe it) since Beebe and Paul Cameron carved out a serious place for digital with that film, earning an American Society of Cinematographers (Asc) nomination in the process. It got me thinking about the history of the industry's acceptance of digital as reflected in the nominations handed out by both the Asc and Academy's cinematography branch over the last 10 years. Academy members were a bit slower on the uptake, as you might recall. Beebe and Cameron were snubbed by the branch despite the Asc nomination. Of course, that was still a dicey time for the technology. The first feature films shot digitally were Lars Von Trier's "The Idiots" and Thomas Vinterberg's "The Celebration, »
- Kristopher Tapley
Everyone has something to say about Michael Bay. Even if you don't watch his movies, you probably have an opinion of him, and that's not something you can say about many directors in Hollywood. But what do Michael Bay's actual peers think about him? GQ gathered together dozens of quotes from friends, family and fellow filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, Will Smith, George Lucas, James Cameron and Shia Labeouf to pool together a highly amusing portrait of the bombastic director. We have in turn pulled out some of our favorites below and separated them into categories: Praise for Bayhem Gabrielle Union: You know when people talk about the very first time they did drugs? Being in a Michael Bay movie was like my drug. It's like I'm chasing the...
- Peter Hall
As rumors continue to swirl around "Star Wars: Episode 7," and whether or not it'll make its planned December 2015 release, let's take a trip back to a simpler time, one where the only thing you had to worry about was how much waiting in line you'd have to do for the next entry in the George Lucas-created saga. And for those who grew up in the late '70s and early '80s, where seeing a movie like "Star Wars" was imperative especially since the home video release could be a long, long time away, this one-hour documentary is a good example that speaks to the appetite for the series long after final chapter (at the time) had played out in cinemas. Produced for PBS, "From Star Wars To Jedi: The Making Of A Saga," narrated by Mark Hamill, first aired on December 3, 1983, seven months after "Star Wars: »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Has the identity of the actor playing Boba Fett in a standalone Star Wars movie been sitting underneath our nose this whole time? We have been drifting along with the assumption that the solo, spinoff Star Wars movie that Godzilla director Gareth Edwards will helm will focus on Boba Fett. Picking up that baton and running with it, Inquisitr.com dug around and landed on the IMDb page for an announced "Untitled Star Wars Project." They have Gareth Edwards slotted as the director. They have Gary Whitta down as the screenwriter. And they list Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett. Well. Alrighty then! Temuera Morrison is no stranger to the Star Wars universe, having played Jango Fett in George Lucas. Star Wars: Episode II . Attack of the Clones, as well as Commander Cody in Episode III . Revenge of the Sith. He.s lent his voice to Boba Fett and Jango Fett »
The large cast for J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII may have already been announced, but that hasn’t stopped new casting rumors from finding their way online. They originated with Latino Review, who suggested that Carrie Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd would be joining the production in a cameo role. That would certainly make sense, considering that George Lucas himself found cameos for his own children in the Star Wars prequels. But is there more here than meets the eye?
It didn’t take long for other rumors to trickle in, suggesting that Lourd’s part would be bigger than originally anticipated. According to The Daily Mail, she will be playing a younger version of Princess Leia, presumably in flashbacks:
“Although her daughter Billie Lourd, 21, is a relative unknown, director J.J. Abrams is said to have chosen her to play a young version of her mother’s character because of their visual similarities. »
- James Garcia
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