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Entries in Star Wars (27)

Monday
Jun022014

Link o' the Morning To You

Film Society NYC's annual Asian Film Festival starts at the end of the month and will pay tribute to Jimmy Wong Yu (Taiwanese director), Lee Jung-jae (Korean actor), and Sandra Ng (Hong Kong actress) among others. Lots of interesting sounding films as usual
TMZ a few dozen images from the set of Star Wars Episode VII - mostly it's just charactor actors mulling about Tattooine sets with dark sunglasses in those earth colors heavy robes. Don't get too excited.

MNPP Good morning Jamie Dornan. This new photoshoot seems to be taking over the web (but I am willing to predict that 50 Shades of Gray won't do justice to Dornan's smolder.
LA Times Ann B Davis, "Alice" the housekeeper from The Brady Bunch has passed away. She was already a two-time Emmy winner when she started that show in 1969 but can you believe The Brady Bunch was never nominated for a single Emmy? Of course the awards were much different then with far fewer categories. Out of curiousity I looked up on the nominees that year from The Brady Bunch's first year 69/70 and the winning comedy was "My World and Welcome to It" and the winning 'new series' (a category they don't have anymore) was "Room 222" which was an interracial drama. I've never heard of either.
Towleroad Penny Dreadful [SPOILERS] got a man on man kiss last night between Josh Hartnett and Reeve Carney. I did *not* see that development coming given what we've seen of Hartnett's character
Collider James Cameron on his new projects, Avatar and Terminator franchises, and one old aborted movie involving a webslinger
James Cameron's Spider-Man Treatment  I can't decide whether or not to read this. I love Cameron movies so much that I fear forever wishing this had happened

 

Brie & ShaiToday's Must Read
Lynn Hirschberg invites Shailene Woodley and Brie Larson to dinner for Vulture and she agonizes about how to cook for them (in a kind of gentle mocking tone?) and they talk friendship, staying honest, and fixing Hollywood. Brie Larson reveals that she misses rejection ("it's real and I don't want to lose that") and Shailene talks about her failed Oscar campaign for the Descendants (‘Are you telling me that if I dress a certain way, my chances are better for an Oscar? That makes me want to show up naked.’).

Anyway it's a great read...

They both approved of my soup (thank God!) and did not question my out-of-­season tomatoes imported from some ­faraway, nonlocal place. The girls talked like long-lost sisters, airing their ­frustrations and expectations in equal measure. Woodley, for instance, hates sleeping scenes in movies. “It’s so ridiculous the woman wakes up and she’ll have makeup on! I don’t even look like that after a photo shoot!” And both women worked hard not to be judgmental. “Girls in this industry sabotage one another,” Larson said. “We will never do that.” It was a lovefest with big stakes: Together and apart, they were constantly pondering how to improve the movie business. Or, at least, how to mobilize their army of two.

It's  sad to me that Shailene Woodley spoke out against feminism recently because she clearly doesn't know what it means and would love it if she got educated and understood it.

Sunday
May042014

My 4 Favorite Things About Each Star Wars Movies

"May the Fourth be with you," my friends. Since everyone is required to talk about Star Wars every May 4th, even if they don't want to, here you go. 

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
01. "I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board..." Carrie Fisher in all her royally bitchy double-bunned glory
02. "These aren't the droids you're looking for." Sir Alec Guiness (in general) and those delicious British intonations 
03. The opening scrawl and in media res Storm Troopers / Vader attack. This is how you start a movie/trilogy. Death to backstory - just throw us in!
04. The trash compactor sequence. As a child I was obsessed for some reason so it's merely a nostalgic choice.

 

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
01. Love Yoda and the existential mysteries of the Dagobah swamps, you must.
02. That it inspired this cartoon (above) about my youth. "Luke, I am your father"
02. "I love you" / "I know."
04. The perfect mirror of Star Wars opening planet, a hot dry desert (Tatooine), in the unforgiving freezing ice planet of Hoth.

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
01. The entire Jabba the Hut opening act (my favorite complete act in any Star Wars film). Love every fucking second of it (especially Jabba the Hut) and that it fully earns the wonders of that immortal gold bikini.
02. That the movies kept finding new weird things to do Leia's hair that seemed organic to Princess Organa. 
03. That speeder bike race on Endor
04. The teaser highly graphic poster art with the red and the purple/blue lightsabers. One entire wall of my bedroom (!) was Return of the Jedi posters/stills.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
01. The release of the trailer. It was so exciting that even a glimpse of the Gungan (Jar Jar Binks and crew) seemed rife with possibility. The horror being yet to come!
02. "The Duel of The Fates" three-way lightsaber battle: great scoring, great choreography, great everything
03. Any glimpse of Darth Maul. And there are only glimpses.
04. Princess Amidala's Kabuki/Geisha/WTF costumes (designed by Trisha Biggar)

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
01. The title had a certain cheesy B movie grandeur about it
02. Um... shots of the Storm Troopers had a kind of military fetishistic panache. 
03. Yoda's bouncing lightsaber fighting style had a big memorability factor despite being stoopid.
04. Ewan McGregor

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
I don't remember anything other than that I was so glad Star Wars was over. But then... (gulp)...

the cast of Star Wars Episode VII at their first table read last week

Star Wars Episode VII: Title To Be Determined (2015)
01. Hamill & Fisher & Ford. Oh my.
02. Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca (oh please let him have grey fur now! That'd be hot and funny) 
03. Andy Serkis as someone or other or possibly multiple others (because you have to respect that he completely monopolizes that whole new wing of film acting: CGI/actor creations)
04. John Boyega. Finally someone using him for something big and poppy after Attack of the Block.  

Your turn!


 

Wednesday
Apr302014

Link Wars: Episode VII

For those looking for the new Oscar charts, I promise it's the top priority now once all this surprisingly busy April madness wraps tonight.

More Intelligent Life on badass Angelina Jolie and Maleficent
Press Play how modern actors struggle with Marlon Brando's legacy
The Perceptive Eye on military suicides, PTSD and The Hurt Locker 
Pajiba how many romcom tropes can David Wain shove into one movie? The trailer of They Came Together with Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd

Guardian on Bob Hoskins (RIP). "five foot six cubic and bursting with brilliance"
Variety uh oh. Harvey Weinstein and Olivier Dahan STILL fighting over Grace of Monaco two weeks before its Cannes debut
The Dissolve looks back at the 80s comedy classic A Fish Called Wanda
The Sheila Variations returns to Young Adult and Charlize Theron's brilliance therein
Boy Culture Tom Hardy's recent magazine pictorial (which we discussed) regif'ed
MZS. "Advice to Young Film Critics" good advice, too.
Coming Soon Fox has cancelled Almost Human, the cyborg cop show that I kinda liked. I never really wrote about it so I didn't have a chance to talk about Karl Urban's John Wayne voice. Ah well...
Queerty in literal cock-tease news, Zac Efron claims he's willing to show it all on film after all the wet underwear, and horizontal peeing and so on... I guess he's figured out what people like about him. (Save your money, Zac!)
Pajiba 'did someone call for a Tom Hiddleston puff piece?'
Rambling Film 7 things that should happen on True Blood's final season (the 7th). I stopped watching but I concurred with most of these even two years ago. Since Buffy also ended as season 7 is this now the standard for vampiric shows? Does this mean we can be rid of The Vampire Diaries in 2015?

Mean Girls Mania
'we're not just a regular blog, we're a cool blog'...

But we're not the only ones celebrating Mean Girls for it's 10th anniversary today. It's EVERYWHERE. On Amanda Seyfried's twitter feed (do you think Lindsay will mention it today on hers?), in a brief EW group oral history, Vanity Fair's best fashion moments, Boy Culture's reminiscence of interviewing cast members, and probably on any pop culture website you click on today. Important note... This wasn't planned since Netflix's Instant Watch service is all contractual based in terms of timing but the Tina Fey high school classic actually expires today. So it's 10th anniversary is the last day you can watch it on Netflix if you don't own it while listening to our Movie-Long Podcast Commentary while you're streaming it!

You go Glen Coco! 

Casting News
HitFix and every other site on earth has the news: the Star Wars Episode VII sausage party cast has been announced. John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow and since all visual fx spectacles are required to have him (well, he is awesome) Andy Serkis. Those newbies will join the old cast who are reprising their roles in capacities large or small. There is one new girl Daisy Ridley who we are unfamiliar with. Did she get the part Lupita Nyong'o was rumored for? The Guardian did some mild digging into this actress unknown and here's everything they found.

Today's Spotlight Illustration
Glen Hanson, one of my favorite illustrators, posted this on his Instagram. No idea what film he's doing costume sketches for but me likey...

 

Wednesday
Apr022014

Curio: The Storied Career of Alec Guinness

Alexa here to wish a Happy Centennial to Alec Guinness. Born 100 years ago today to a single mother in London, Guinness' theatre career began in his 20s. It wasn't until after he served in the Royal Navy in World War II that his film career began in earnest, and soon he was playing eight roles in one movie (Kind Hearts and Coronets).  One of his six famously tempestuous collaborations with David Lean, The Bridge on the River Kwai, got him his Oscar for Best Actor, although he was nominated four other times (even for Best Screenplay) and he received an honorary Oscar in 1980. The geeks know him as Obi-Wan, but for me he will forever be Professor Marcus from The Ladykillers (a little obsession of mine).

Here are some vintage curios to celebrate his career in film

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar112014

Curio: Matryoshka Movie Night

Alexa here. The other night, as I watched my daughter play with a set of nesting dolls while watching Ponyo, I realized that it would be great to have a set inspired by the film (with all the characters inside Granmamare, naturally), and the artist to make them would be Irene Hwang.  Irene lives in Queensland, Australia (lucky lady) and spends her free time painting extremely detailed matryoshka dolls with a pop culture theme.  She is also something of a film buff, as these eclectic selections reveal. What makes these so special is her attention to detail, how she includes appropriate accessories for the characters. It is unsurprising that she is Wes Anderson acolyte. You can buy some here; she even accepts custom orders.

Click for more including Audition and The Princess Bride...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan282014

boy, you should know what you're linking for ♫

AV Club Sad Keanu Doll 
Empire JJ Abrams on the secrecy of his Star Wars sequels
Empire 25 different covers celebrating X-Men: Days of Future Past. I hate the cinematic interpretation of Quicksilver already... but they never do right by my favorite characters (see also Storm). And I didn't realize Sunspot was in this but they cast a Mexican actor to play an African-Brazilian? 
Playbill Brokeback Mountain: The Opera debuts today in Madrid

US Magazine Charlize Theron & Sean Penn holding hands. The rumors are true. So that's a good excuse to relisten to...
That Film Experience Podcast in which we fantasized about same-year Oscar couples
Variety The Great Gatsby sweeps the technical prizes at the first half of the Australian Oscars. They announce the headline categories Thursday
Guardian Johnny Depp receiving an award from the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild 

Post Script Sundance Sales
Ah, Sundance. My wrap up index post is coming late tonight but I enjoyed reading Vulture's takeaways and loved talking up the Sundance favorites with Guy Lodge on the podcast. I was also reading this piece about the non-spectular but steady sales at Sundance and a list of titles from the festival which now have distributors via Sound on Sight and I found both frustrating. I don't know if the latter list is 100% accurate (it's tough to keep track and did they ignore pre-sold films? If you know of a 100% complete list let me know) but it's frustrating. Only 20 deals were made? So naturally the great majority of films didn't sell. Some of them have easily saleable elements -- like oh, Anne Hathaway! --and in some cases are much stronger than some on the films that sold. I'm aware that in this day and age of DIY  distribution, VOD, and [insert latest trend here] not selling to a major distributor is not a death knell, just as being picked up is not always a godsend (some films that have distribution curiously never make it to screens or arrive years later when the buzz has gone ice cold). The three films I most wish had been picked up are:

  • Blind -Norwegian films rarely make a dent at the arthouse but it's so good
  • A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night -Glenn loved it and it sounds like a must-see curio
  • Appropriate Behavior -in the comic subgenre of sexually impulsive twentysomething New York lady in a tailspin it's superior to Obvious Child which did sell.

Exit Music
Here's Vin Diesel dancing to Katy Perry (!) and grabbing his crotch a lot. Two things that are worth doing when one tops
                the dvd charts.

He would be in big trouble if he was asked to "lipsynch for your life"... but wouldn't he be an awesome guest on RuPaul's Drag Race? Make it happen, Ru. 

Thursday
Jan022014

Links (AKA Ways To Kill Even More Time on the Internet)

Vulture Battle of the Long Island Blondes in Wolf of Wall Street, Don Jon and American Hustle. My favorite among them is definitely ScarJo
The Playlist shares the new Electro teaser from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (aka Spider-Man 5) and is it just me or does Electro wielding his powers with a pointy all fingers twitch seem like a really bad cheap imitation of the Emperor in Return of the Jedi ?


Les InRocks [for French speaking readers] interviews director Alain Guiraudie on his critical breakthrough Stranger by the Lake. Please let us know the most interesting lines because I love the portrait of Guiraudie in the bushes
Awards Daily Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio to be honored at Santa Barbara Film Festival. (But in what order are the 48 or so honorees being feted? No one speaks of this!)
Thompson on Hollywood icymi here's a long piece on the very complicated voting process for Oscar's Best Picture. I feel like you have to a higher education math degree or just have a very finely tuned stay-patient stay-focused button, to understand this. Since I have neither, I'm (partially) lost. I have too many questions once you hit step #7... But the theory presented is that we will have a smaller pool of nominees due to the large number of films with broad support, rather than the more common sense 'more beloved films means more nominated pictures' feeling.
Variety SPC picks up the Hungarian future Oscar nominee The Notebook
Cinema Blend a new Ralph Fiennes clip from Grand Budapest Hotel 

Top Ten Mania
Towleroad my piece on the best queer characters of cinema this year from Kill Your Darlings through Blue is the Warmest Color
Towleroad best LGBT moments in television this year
Yahoo top grossing Broadway shows of 2013, The Lion King back on top despite Wicked continuing to rack in literally millions every week despite being several years old (Producers just burning money dawdilng about getting that movie mounted  as we've bitched about a lot). I read so many articles about this and NONE list all ten even though they're referring to a mythical top ten... so you gotta check...
Broadway World ...for that
Pajiba the "brotastic" list of most pirated movies of 2013 from The Hangover Part 3 to Gangster Squad
Frontiers LA has an amazing top ten from the always hilarious and hip "Chloe Sevigny" (aka Drew Droege). Here are the actressy entries though the whole thing is worth a read...

6. The bowel-shaking rhythms of Jodie Foster’s Elysium timbre.
3. Actresses without teeth. Or anyone but Anne Hathaway. 

LOL