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Entries in Star Wars (88)

Thursday
Jun232016

Cue the Imperial March.

Daddy's back!

One of the most iconic characters of all time is set to return to the big screen. Darth Vader returns to cinemas when Rogue One hits on December 16th. But do you sense a disturbance in the force? A few questions get raised here. Was Darth Vader added in the reshoots when the studio was reportedly in panic? Perhaps the biggest question of all is: do we need to see Darth Vader again?

It would be surprising not to have Darth Vader mentioned at all as he is a very large character in the universe at that time this new (old) story takes place, but to appear on screen is a huge moment to promise. Audiences will return just to see this character again but isn't that, perhaps, detrimental to the larger revival of the franchise. Part of the success of The Force Awakens was the way it balanced nostalgia whilst shaping a new path. It ensured Vader cast a dark shadow, and his absence was felt which is a successful use of nostalgia but not overkill.

Have we already spied Darth Vader in the Rogue One trailer?

Vader has appeared frequently in the animated TV series but the big screen where he’s the big bad is another thing. Still a tip of the hat to the never ending successful Star Wars PR machine. They reveal only that Darth Vader will reappear, and millions of voices cry out in glee. But do you find the lack of originality disturbing?

Wednesday
May252016

Thoughts I Had on a Second Viewing of "The Force Awakens"

This week's Best Shot topic looked back at the remake of Star Wars (1977) affectionally dubbed The Force Awakens (2016). Not that the Force ever got any rest. Pop culture could never let Star Wars be, even in the many years between films, so I'll keep this mercifully brief. But it seems strange how little attention we'd given it during its phenomenally successful release during the Christmas glut. For the record though I didn't find the movie all that much more than a fun recycling feat, a second visit reminded me just how well it performs its recycling feat of the unique Star Wars combo of family friend fun, rousing adventure, easily readable almost pantomimed humor, and broad good vs evil drama (aka the Force's light side and dark side) 

a few random thoughts to begin...

• How jealous do you think Batman was when he saw Kylo Ren's ship?

• Stormtroopers can bleed? They've died such unmessy G rated deaths for 39 years. One colored blast topples them with no carnage.  I love this disorienting image of a Stormtrooper, confused, and very much not in military formation. Send this one to reconditioning!

3 more random thoughts, 3 exciting moments, and 3 best shots after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May242016

Visual Index - The Force Awakens' "Best Shots"

The Force Awakens may have dominated the world when it debuted at Christmas time but all our Christmas times are devoted to the Oscar race so we didn't truly give it its due here. And thus it's our pick this week for Hit Me With Your Best Shot (though we don't normally do movies this recent) to give us a chance to spend a little more time with Luke, Leia, Han, Finn, Rey, and the galaxy's new collective boyfriend Poe Dameron.

My own Force Awakens post is here if you missed it. I had been running late. Let's blame Thelma & Louise (I've been distracted). The power of the Dark Side or the Light are no match for the Force of Great Actressing in my galaxy right now and close close by.

Alright. Let's see what the Best Shot club chose...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May242016

Nothing Compares 2 Link

MNPP picks 5 favorites from Roger Deakins great filmography - love the write up
i09 Netflix is going to be the exclusive home for Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar movies when it comes to streaming
The Guardian looks back at the career of Burt Kwouk (RIP) who played Cato in The Pink Panther franchise
Variety looks at the top Emmy races. Where are we guaranteed movement in the often stagnant fields?

• Hypable Disney's gay erasure problem (not the pop band) and why the hashtags #GiveElsaAGirlfriend and #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend are so popular. (Captain America already has a boyfriend, of course, but why did Disney include that Sharon Carter kiss?)
Flickering Myth Chris Nolan's Dunkirk shoot has begun (photos from the set). Since he's sick of not being Oscar nominated for directing he's making a World War II picture instead of sticking with sci-fi, magicians, or Batpeople
• Playbill the 61st annual Obie Awards, a prestigious off Broadway prize, have been announced. Winners include Red Speedo (which we briefly wrote about), the musical Dear Evan Hansen, and two shows that have transferred to Broadway and are now up for Tonys: The Humans and Eclipsed
Boy Culture on the Madonna Prince tribute at the BBMAs and subsequent fallout - there's always fallout. Haters gonna hate
MTV Teo Bugbee on the new "tasteful?" nudity in Game of Thrones. I feel bullied by the internet in regards to this show (i don't watch it and don't like it whenever I casually see part of an episode) but this piece is great

In Nostalgia We Trust
Have you seen the new Star Trek Beyond poster? It's pretty but wouldn't this tactic have made more sense for the initial reboot than for a third sequel?  Also just how long until we reach peak nostalgia as a culture? Everything is just old things repackaged.

Yes, we've always had remakes and franchises all the way back to the early talkies but it seems much more dominant now, the whole pie rather than two pieces. 

 

 

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...]

Click to read more ...

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...

Click to read more ...

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!