1-20 of 21 items from 2013 « Prev | Next »
So what did the advertising for George Lucas and Irvin Kershner’s “The Empire Strikes Back” look like in 1980? Lots of concept artwork, as it turns out. Which, I guess, was a novel idea even 33 years ago. It’s completely unheard of now, of course. Nowadays, you’ll be lucky if the teaser trailer doesn’t give away the entire three acts of a movie, including all the major pay-offs and final shots. The teaser trailer for “Empire” almost exclusively consisted of concept artwork by Ralph McQuarrie, though it does feature snapshots of the cast, including the introduction of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian. Like me, you’ve probably already seen “Empire Strikes Back” dozens of times, so the artwork featuring the rebel hangar on Hoth, Luke on a Tauntaun, Darth Vader aboard a Star Destroyer, Han and Leia in Cloud City, and Luke’s lightsaber fight with Darth »
Last week, LucasFilm dug into its archives and re-released the original teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, shortly after a report that a major announcement is coming regarding Star Wars: Episode VII in the form of a trailer. Today, one week later, the studio has released the original Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back trailer, which, oddly enough, did not show any actual footage from the movie, a tactic that director J.J. Abrams would surely love to employ in the years leading up to Episode VII's 2015 release. The trailer does include concept illustrations by Ralph McQuarrie depicting the Rebel base on Hoth, Cloud City and Luke Skywalker's final duel with Darth Vader.
After two weeks in a row of nostalgic and, frankly, laughable footage from the late 1970s, what does this all mean? It stands to reason that the original Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi »
Filmmaker Joss Whedon has more than enough on his plate at the moment, as he gears up to start shooting The Avengers: Age of Ultron soon, and he has the new ABC series Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. debuting next month.
Regardless, the director took time out of his schedule to reveal that he isn't a fan of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back's ending, where Luke Skywalker is revealed to be the son of Darth Vader, and Han Solo is frozen in carbonite.
"Empire committed the cardinal sin of not actually ending. Which at the time I was appalled by and I still think it was a terrible idea. Well, it's not an ending. It's a Come Back Next Week, or in three years. And that upsets me. I go to movies expecting to have a whole experience. If I want a movie that doesn't end »
"Star Trek Into Darkness" grossed just under half a billion dollars worldwide and currently holds a 87 percent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Yet during a "Star Trek" fan convention in Las Vegas earlier this month, attendees ranked "Star Trek Into Darkness" as the worst of the Star Trek movies. (As someone who owns "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" on DVD, I promise it is far from the worst "Star Trek" movie.) It was interesting watching Simon Pegg -- who has played Scotty in the last two "Trek" films from director J.J. Abrams -- wrestle with that information. Pegg, who is one of the most prolific nerds on the planet, actually does get where the fans are coming from, but that didn't stop the 43-year-old from defending his film with lots of passion (and a bit of colorful language).
Pegg can also get very passionate about "Star Wars." Namely, his »
- Mike Ryan
Feature Aliya Whiteley 19 Aug 2013 - 07:32
There was something remote about Mary Ure that came across on screen so clearly. She looked untouchable, distant; she had great poise and enormous eyes that always contained a hint of wariness. A theatre actress in the main, she made very few films, but she always brought deeper meaning to the movies she was in, from action thrillers to science fiction, social drama or literary adaptations.
Always the supporting actress, her quiet ability to wring emotion from few words added a huge amount to these films. It’s so sad that she left behind only a few cinematic performances when she died at a young age, but here are five of her very best roles, and a reminder of how talented she was. »
The morning’s most fascinating articles from around the movie website-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya? “On Oscar Bait, In August” — Christy Lemire excellently breaks down our frustrations about spotting Oscar Bait when we see it (Hello, Lee Daniels’ The Butler). Is it that we want to hide marketing’s influence, that it presents limitations on art inside a gamed system, or something else? “Breaking Bad: See The Animated Version of Badger’s Star Trek Pie-Eating Story” — Also know as Vince Gilligan’s Star Trek pie-eating story. “Elysium is just a bigger, broader, dumber District 9” — Over at The Dissolve, Tasha Robinson and Scott Tobias confabulate on the watery similarities between both Blomkamp sci-fi trips. “History of Film: Irvin Kershner’s Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” — Kevin Ketchum finds humor in the dark (side). »
- Scott Beggs
Go Ahead, Make My Day! week starts at Trailers from Hell, with TV writer Alan Spencer introducing Don Siegel's iconic '70s vigilante classic "Dirty Harry," starring -- who else? -- Clint Eastwood.The odd conglomeration of names involved in the inception of what became Clint Eastwood's signature movie include John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Irvin Kershner, Terence Malick and John Milius. The first two, along with Robert Mitchum and Steve McQueen and Paul Newman, turned down the role while the others were among the writers of numerous drafts, many set in New York rather than San Francisco. Bouncing from studio to studio, it almost ended up a tv movie for ABC! When Eastwood was approached he insisted on returning to the first draft and hiring Don Siegel to direct, as they had enjoyed working together on the offbeat flop The Beguiled. »
- Trailers From Hell
"Return of the Jedi," the third film in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, was released on May 25, 1983. Lucasfilm, the production company founded by "Star Wars" creator George Lucas, is celebrating the film's 30th anniversary with a new book documenting the making of "Jedi." ("Star Wars" and "The Empire Strikes Back" already have books of their own.) "The Making of Return of the Jedi" won't come out until Oct. 1, but HuffPost Entertainment will have an exclusive excerpt later this week in time for the official anniversary on Saturday.
In the meantime, we present the very first look at the book's trailer, above, as well as an interview with the book's author, J.W. Rinzler. Ahead, Rinzler's best quotes on topics ranging from Harrison Ford's Han Solo death wish to the rumors of rampant, behind-closed-doors Ewok sex.
On sex among the actors who played Ewoks:
I don't know how much »
- The Huffington Post
A second trailer for Empires of the Deep has arrived, and let's just say it's just as... well... special as the first one was. Sea monsters and Olga Kurylenko? We can't go wrong with that formula, can we?
Empires of the Deep’s deeply troubled production began several years ago. The gist of it is that a very wealthy Chinese real estate tycoon wrote a script for an epic underwater sci-fi fantasy adventure flick and set about to co-finance the film. Monica Bellucci was announced to star in it. Catwoman director Pitof was hired to direct it. The late Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner was brought aboard to produce it. All three very quickly bailed on the project. That was in 2009. Jonathan Laurence was then brought in to direct, and when he abruptly departed the project, he wasn’t quiet about his disdain for how bad the production was »
- Uncle Creepy
Commenting on the Critics with Simon Columb:
Most UK film sites have released articles this week discussing Lucasfilm's decision to film Star Wars: Episode VII in the UK. Russ Fischer over at /Film decided to focus on a different part of the story...
"The news that Star Wars: Episode VII will shoot in the UK isn’t a big deal, as the series has always had a production home in Britain. But in announcing plans to film the new Episode at one of the UK’s major studios (which one is not specified), LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy has issued a statement that some fans might find promising. Specifically, she says that the origins of Star Wars have been a big inspiration on the new film."
Read the full article here.
Fischer assumes that this “origin” focus can only be good news for Star Wars fans as it means that »
- Flickering Myth
Over the weekend, the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, CA held a special screening of Return of the Jedi on May the 4th. Mark Hamill made a surprise appearance and ended up talking about his experience being a part of Star Wars, and also talked a little bit about Star Wars: Episode VII.
AICN was there to give us a little rundown on what went on and what Hamill had to say. The actor said he doesn't know any specifics on the new Star Wars movie, and since Disney bought Lucasfilm, he's only had one meeting with Kathleen Kennedy. In that meeting, he expressed his desire to have "a more balanced approach to the effects." He said that she agreed with him on that point and that they've already talked to George Lucas about it. That's a good sign! It's what the fans all want. He then said...
Part of me is cautious, »
- Joey Paur
I love that after all these years with Star Wars as a part of our culture and lives, we are still seeing new stuff from the original trilogy! I'm very excited about the Star Wars awesomeness Lucasfilm and Disney are going to bring us in the future, but here's an awesome vintage documentary short that lets us take a look back at the making of The Empire Strikes Back. While the film was shooting in the 80s, French journalist Michael Parbot was given unprecedented access to the production. Some of the footage has been seen in a couple of other documentaries over the years, but now there's more unseen footage that's been found! The doc includes fascinating conversations with Irvin Kershner, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford. Check it out, it's really freakin' cool!
- Joey Paur
As we wait to hear more on the future of Star Wars, kicking off with J.J. Abrams directing Star Wars: Episode VII, and the likelihood of Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford reprising their roles from the original trilogy, a passionate fire for the franchise has been reignited. People are excited about anything Star Wars, even if it's from the past, and that's exactly what we have today. Back in the 80s, French journalist Michael Parbot was given unprecedented access to the production of The Empire Strikes Back, and some of his footage has been seen in a couple of documentaries. And now we have more. Watch! Here's the vintage Empire Strikes Back documentary, found on Reddit (via The Playlist): That's nearly 30 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from The Empire Strikes Back including interviews with director Irvin Kershner and stars Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford. There's some great scenes »
- Ethan Anderton
Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan is back to help build on the massive Star Wars universe that he helped create. In a recent interview with the La Times he talked a little bit about the new Star Wars films that he's working on, and how he is looking to have a fresh start on the standalone films. He and Simon Kinberg will each write a spin-off movie for Lucasfilm and Disney, and the plan is to release them after J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII. Here's what he had to say,
I’m trying to start fresh. There are certain pleasures that we think the saga can bring to people that they’ve been missing, and we’re hoping to bring them that, and at the same time, have them feel that it’s all new.
I'm really looking forward to seeing what Kasdan ends up creating, »
- Joey Paur
There is a lot of Star Wars material to work with. George Lucas originally had a few thoughts on where Episodes VII – IX should go, there are countless novel adaptations and comic books, and if you culled the collective amount of fan advice, there would be enough storylines for a thousand more movies. Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan probably knows that better than most, but as the scribe has signed on to write one of the new sequel entries, he told the La Times that his plan was to start from scratch. “I’m trying to start fresh,” he said. “There are certain pleasures that we think the saga can bring to people that they’ve been missing, and we’re hoping to bring them that, and at the same time, have them feel that it’s all new.” Of course he still has the canon to contend with, but there’s something inspired about starting from the drawing »
- Scott Beggs
LucasFilm confirmed Wednesday that Freeborn had died, "leaving a legacy of unforgettable contributions".
"He brought with him not only decades of experience but boundless creative energy," Lucas said. "His artistry and craftsmanship will live on forever in the characters he created. His Star Wars creatures may be reinterpreted in new forms by new generations but at their heart they continue to be what Stuart created for the original films."
Freeborn's granddaughter, Michelle Freeborn, said he died on Tuesday in London from a »
I'm one of several Star Wars fans that would love to see Captain America director Joe Johnston direct a new Star Wars movie. Hopefully, one day it will happen. Working on the original Star Wars movies was one of Johnston's first gigs, in fact. In case you didn't already know, he's the guy who created Boba Fett. In a recent interview with Huffington Post, Johnston shared his thoughts on J.J. Abrams landing the directing job for Star Wars: Episode VII, and here's what he had to say:
J.J. Abrams is the perfect choice to get the third trilogy off the ground. These films are big logistical nightmares to direct, like any $150 million plus project. They're like military operations in the attention to detail required while trying to retain a grasp of the big picture. J.J. has more than proven he can handle the pressure, plus it doesn't hurt to »
- Joey Paur
Joe Johnston (Captain America: The First Avenger) worked on all three of the original Star Wars films at the start of his career and even designed the look of Boba Fett. While primarily speaking with the Huffington Post about the directors of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Irvin Kershner and Richard Marquand the conversation naturally turned to Abrams. Does Johnston support the director of Star Trek helming a Star Wars film? "J.J. Abrams is the perfect choice to get the third trilogy off the ground. These films are big logistical nightmares to direct, like any $150 million plus project. They're like military operations in the attention to detail required while trying to retain a grasp of the big picture. J.J. has more than proven he can handle the pressure, plus it doesn't hurt to have a guy at the wheel who has produced, written, »
And so, the wait is over... after reports this past week that Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness director J.J. Abrams would be taking a trip to a galaxy far, far away, Disney and Lucasfilm have officially confirmed that the Abrams is set to helm Star Wars: Episode VII, the first chapter of Disney's new Star Wars sequel trilogy.
"It's very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie," said Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy. "J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture."
If his Star Trek alchemy is anything to go by, Abrams will deliver a film both true to the spirit of the original and full of invention
If such a thing as a geek heaven exists – complete, perhaps, with a grand pantheon reserved for those who delivered the greatest fanboy thrills – we can be fairly sure that a flock of angels is up there right now furiously polishing a plinth reserved for Jj Abrams. Having already rescued the Star Trek film series from a downward spiral into deadly dullness, the creator of cult TV shows Lost and Fringe is reportedly about to get his hands on the ultimate space opera prize, Star Wars.
It is, frankly, a thing of wonder that there is anything left of this once-proud franchise to be revived after George Lucas spent the past 15 years systematically destroying all goodwill towards him with dodgy CGI retrofits of »
- Ben Child
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