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Entries in Star Wars (84)

Monday
Apr112016

The Furniture: The Forest and "The Force Awakens"

"The Furniture" is our new design series. Here's Daniel...

Once upon a time, Hollywood movie magic looked a bit different. In this age of CGI, with some blockbusters relying so heavily on digital effects that they border on fully animated features, it’s easy to forget how science fiction and fantasy once looked. This is why the throwback technical elements in Star Wars: The Force Awakens are so exciting to behold.

One could go on for quite some time about all these details, many of which come up in the extensive special features included on the Blu-ray. One production design revelation in particular that's worth celebrating is that the final fight scene between Kylo Ren and Rey, set in a dark and snowy forest, was shot on a set.

Initially, a location shoot was considered. Such a choice worked wonders for the forest sequence in House of Flying Daggers (2004) , certainly. Yet, due to the fact that the nighttime setting would severely restrict the schedule, the production design team led by Rick Carter and Darren Gilford began workshopping a solution [More...]

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Friday
Apr082016

YNMS: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

If any of you readers were bummed that we're not celebrating The Force Awakens for next week's Hit Me With Your Best Shot, feast your eyes on the first look at this year's trip to a galaxy far, far away! Coming on the heels of the franchise's massively successful beginning to a new trilogy, we have our first look at the series's first spin off: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Set between the events of the prequel trilogy and our original favorites, Rogue One (let's just drop the strange post-title, shall we) features the uprising of the rebels to steal plans of the Death Star. The cast is an unexpected and enticing ensemble of global talents and the Oscar annoited: Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, Ben Mendelsohn, Diego Luna, Mads Mikkelsen, Donnie Yen, and Riz Ahmed. If that cast doesn't already have you on board for any film containing them all, the future blockbuster is also director Gareth Edwards follow-up to the visually sumptuous Godzilla.

And this first teaser is just as much a visual powerhouse:

Let's break down the Yes No Maybe So of it all after the jump...

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Thursday
Mar172016

Harrison Ford-ging ahead

Josh reporting on much Harrison Ford news. Ford has long since solidified himself as one of cinema’s most iconic megastars. Following the triple whammy of Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Blade Runner in the early 80’s, Harrison Ford received top billing for every film he was in until Morning Glory in 2010. That’s nearly 3 decades of leading man status. The last decade hasn’t been the series of hits he’s accustomed to with epic flops like Paranoia, Cowboys and Aliens, and Ender’s Game. Which is why we’re heading back to the 80’s and revisiting peak Ford.

The big news this week is he’s once again returning as Indiana Jones for the 5th time. If you’ve already ruined a legacy with an abysmal 4th film, why not just keep making money off it? He’ll be 77 by the time it hits our screen, and whilst age shouldn’t be a restriction on kicking ass on screen, wouldn’t it be nice to see the same for our beloved actresses? Julie Christie is only one year older than Ford. Are you listening Tomb Raider reboot? With Spielberg back, this will be as much a trip down nostalgia lane as it was seeing Ford re-treading the deck of the Millennium Falcon in The Force Awakens last year.

With the increasingly cinematically adventurous and fascinating Denis Villeneuve at the helm of the Blade Runner sequel Ford is also returning to, there’s every chance we could be in store for a fresh look at the vivid world Scott created in the 80’s. That imagined future was so realised and dynamic, it leaves the story very open for new ambitious directions. So far rumours indicate that Ryan Gosling will actually be the lead, with Ford’s Deckard supporting in a way to anchor it to the universe we know.

The last bit of Ford related news this week is that the casting for the young Han Solo in the Star Wars spin off has been narrowed down to three. Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Alden Ehrenreich, who stole Hail, Caesar! from the rest of a stunning cast, Jack Reynor best known for Transformers: The Age of Who Cares (but solid in indies), and Taron Egerton whose charisma and scientifically perfect jawline made an impactful debut in Kingsman. This unfortunately leaves out contender Emory Cohen who made everyone in the world disappointed in their spouses in comparison to him via Brooklyn.

Are you still a passenger in the Ford car? Is the upcoming deluge of Ford reboots a Harris-ment to your childhood? Have I gone too far with these weak at best Harrison Ford puns? Let us know in the comments!

Tuesday
Mar082016

MTV Movie Awards Really Love Daisy Ridley

The Oscars are apparently not the end of awards season, as the MTV Movie Awards nominations were announced today. Star Wars: The Force Awakens led the field with 11 nods and despite being in theaters for less than a month Deadpool scored 8 nominations. Joining the two in the best film category are Avengers: Age of Ultron (6 nominations), Creed (only one other nomination for its star Michael B. Jordan), Jurassic World (3 nominations) and Straight Outta Compton (3 nominations).

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Monday
Mar072016

Bewitched, Bothered, and Be Link-ed

Thrillist Best Movies of 2016. haha. I don't know exactly how this column is going to work but I'm curious to find out
THR an interview with producer Irwin Winkler on Martin Scorsese's Silence and the Creed sequel
Frontier an oral history of "The Golden Girls"
Twitter Why Leo waited until just now to win an Oscar 

Nick Flicks Picks are you following his supporting actress project? The gold numbers reflect full performance reviews
Guardian Fans keep trying to restore Star Wars (1977) because George Lucas doesn't want
Film Mix Tape praises Michelle Visage as RuPaul's Drag Race returns (TONITE. WHEEEE)
Comics Alliance if you want to have yet another superhero's cameo in Batman v Superman spoiled for you, here is the info
Deadline How Mark Rylance won the Oscar without any campaigning
AV Club Disney's next animated feature will be an adaptation of The Nutcracker 
i09 a fan film about Darth Maul, the only good thing to emerge from that second Star Wars trilogy 
Variety an interview with Julian Fellowes on the series finale of Downton Abbey. Good stuff. Between the exits of Mad Men and now Downton, I have so few shows that feel like they're a part of my life (from staying power) left.

Read Only if You've Seen The Witch
If you've already seen The Witch I'd recommend reading these two takes on its most riveting scenes and primarily its divisive ending and the subversive extent of the femininism within the film. Salon's look at Thomasin as a "Final Girl laced into a puritan bodice" is great and a piece at Vague Visages takes a more mixed tack. Angelica Jade Bastién grapples with what she feels is unearned about the film's jawdropping finale:

I love the film, but how feminist can The Witch be if Thomasin remains primarily a cipher? 

Tuesday
Mar012016

The 88th Oscars' Biggest Losers and Classics That Shared Their Fate

David here with some commiserations. The winners have been duly celebrated but what of those valiant souls who came, who sat, and who meekly applauded while silently ripping their pocket speeches to pieces? Are they over it by now?

Sometimes being the biggest loser can make you more famous than being a winner - just ask Leonardo DiCaprio, who may well just cease to exist now that his one purpose in life has been fulfilled and the internet’s long love affair with affectionately mocking memes has come to an end. Can we assume that Roger Deakins is up next for this treatment…?

The record for the biggest loser on Oscar night is jointly held by 1977's The Turning Point and 1985's The Color Purple. Since The Revenant walked away with 3 gongs from a possible 12 and Mad Max: Fury Road gloriously swept the technical categories for 6 out of 10, no film came close to the record - unlike recent failures True Grit and American Hustle, which both saw 10 noms come to sweet f' all. (The Color Purple's director Steven Spielberg was saved from indignity again with Mark Rylance's sort-of-surprise win for Bridge of Spies.)

Yet some of 2015's biggest movies still ended the night empty-handed. Since time has a habit of remembering movies differently to Oscar, let's see what hallowed company Sunday's biggest losers are joining in the hall of infamy. How might they fair in the collective memory in twenty years time? (Please forgive my Photoshop skills after the jump)

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Monday
Feb292016

Oscar Night Shockeroos

Oscar night never fails to deliver on surprises, but the 88th ceremony, which kicked off just 25 hours ago was among the most shocking. The Revenant's take was left to its three star players in favor of a film (Mad Max Fury Road) once   hought too weird to be taken seriously by the stuffy Academy. Let's run down the unexpected moments of the night!

First, the winner surprises:

Spotlight wins Best Picture
The nominee that most pundits had all but given up on became the newest example in recent years to defy those "can't happen" statistics. The festival staple was the season's first front-runner, but kept getting underestimated next to the big dollar heavyweights like The Revenant and the emergence of similarly politicized, but higher pedigreed The Big Short. But there is power in the preferential ballot and you can bet that Spotlight's win was solidified by number of second and third place votes. Given the broad admiration for the film, its somewhat surprising that the film's chances to win were so doubted.

"The Writing's On The Wall" wins Best Original Song
After Lady Gaga's performance brought the unusually standing ovation averse audience to their teary feet, even Sam Smith seemed gobsmacked that she lost. The combination of political fire, an agressive campaign, and Diane Warren's nomination history were thought to be unstoppable. Damn, Academy, you guys really like "Skyfall."

Ex Machina wins Best Visual Effects
Manuel gave us a fun bit of trivia on the win earlier, but this is a win we'll likely be celebrating around these parts for some time. Like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's Best Editing win, this was a gasp-inducer that no one expected. It's also the rare craft win (and nomination) for a supporting design element - hooray for BEST, not MOST! Dance party at A24 headquarters!

The Mad Max Hour
It really did feel like the steampunk actioner could go all the way towards the middle of the show. While its six wins weren't quite so surprising in themselves, the rapid succession of statues felt for a minute like dominoes falling into place. One more commercial break and its winning streak came to a dead hault, but the love in the room for Mad Max was more palpable than for any other film. WITNESS!

Losers, oddities, and more after the jump... 

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