The Making of Return of the Jedi

Anticipating, debating and dissecting Star Wars movies is nothing new. Thirty year ago, with the final Star Wars film Return of the Jedi just hitting theaters, film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert defended the latest Star Wars film on ABC’s Nightlne with Ted Koppel. Their opposition was critic John Simon, who wrote for National Review and New York Magazine. Simon hated The Empire Strikes Back and Jedi while Siskel and Ebert loved them. At one point, Simon condemns the films for being Disney like and Siskel and Ebert praise that statement. We know what happened some years later.

The discussion then segues into a debate about highbrow film versus movies as pure entertainment. It’s a fantastic look back in time and proof that, three decades later, these issues will never be settled. Especially in the case of Star Wars. Read More »

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The Counselor

Of all the dangerous criminals in The Counselor, Cameron Diaz‘s Malkina may just be the iciest. In a new clip from the Ridley Scott-directed drama, she shows her steely side to Reiner (Javier Bardem), prompting even the hardened career criminal to ask, “You don’t think that’s a bit cold?”

But at least Malkina’s femme fatale appeal comes across on her character poster. The same can’t be said for poor Laura, played by the stunning Penelope Cruz in plain-Jane mode. Reiner, Westray (Brad Pitt), and the Counselor himself (Michael Fassbender) all look sleeker, edgier, and just plain sexier than Cruz does. Hit the jump to check out the posters and watch the clip.

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Tims Vermeer

Of all the films that got incredible buzz out of last week’s Telluride Film Festival (12 Years A Slave, Labor Day, Gravity, etc.) one stood out just because it sounded so very different. That film was Tim’s Vermeer, a documentary by noted magicians Penn and Teller. Penn produced and Teller directed the film, which follows inventor Tim Jenison on his attempt to duplicate the famous painting The Music Lesson by Johannes Vermeer. Jenison surmises that Vermeer may not have painted all his famous works by hand, instead using technology to aide in the creation. By attempting this, Jenison (as well as Penn and Teller) question the very nature of art itself.

Below, we’ve got a clip from the film that makes that above paragraph a bit more clear, as well as some early buzz from noted film critics. Read More »

Danai Gurira Michonne

AMC has been teasing fans on Sunday nights by embedding clips of high interest into their newest show, Low Winter Sun. For the past two weeks, they teased the coming attractions for Breaking Bad. This past Sunday, the network promised a brand new clip from the fourth season of The Walking Dead. However, since not many people are watching Mark Strong’s cop drama, odds are you didn’t see it.

Thanks to the magic of the Internet, that clip is now online. It shows Michonne (Danai Gurira) returning to the prison on horseback only to run into some very bitey trouble. Check it out below. Read More »

American Horror Story Coven logo

Before the premiere of last year’s second season of American Horror Story, subtitled Asylum, FX released numerous odd teaser trailers for the show. These trailers had very little to do with the narrative (which dealt with alien abductions, mutants, and serial killers) but they clued viewers in to the show’s unusual, off-putting tone.

The third season of the award-winning show, American Horror Story: Coven, starts in October. Now it, too, has a frightening teaser trailer. Check it out below. Read More »

Abrams Daily Show

Star Trek or Star Wars?” is a question that’s been debated by sci-fi fans since Star Wars exploded onto the scene in 1977. At that time Star Trek had already been around for a decade, but some would argue the success of Star Wars helped reinvigorate the series. Others may say George Lucas would never have travelled to a galaxy far, far away had it not been for the ideas and vision of Gene Roddenberry. Either way, the thought of one person controlling both franchises likely never occurred to fans. Then, in 2013, the guy chosen to reboot Star Trek, J.J. Abrams, signed on to restart the Star Wars franchise, and fans of both were left with a multitude of different feelings.

Abrams is currently promoting his second Star Trek film, Star Trek Into Darkness, and has been asked about Star Wars: Episode VII at every single turn. Monday night he showed up on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and the topic came up again. This time, instead of delving into exactly how the director plans on dealing with Star Wars, they discussed the fundamental differences and merits of each franchise. It’s a fun watch. Check it out below. Read More »

Gravity George Clooney

We’ve waited what feels like an age to see anything at all from  Alfonso Cuaron’s new film Gravity. So we’ll indulge Entertainment Tonight one of their lousy fast montages that mar footage from the film with graphics and voiceover. The clip below has the first Gravity footage that most people have had a chance to see, and while we’ll get a much better look at the film when the trailer drops this Thursday, this is a good little taste.

The film features Sandra Bullock as an engineer on her first trip into space who is put in terrible danger during a routine spacewalk. With her is a veteran astronaut played by George Clooney, who seems just a bit more zen about the whole experience than she is.   Read More »

One benefit of making a film such as Lincoln is that the movie turns into more than just a story — as a portrait of American history Lincoln is something that has interest beyond the multiplex. And so we now have multiple TV news magazine pieces about the film and the process of creating it. The long-running show 60 Minutes profiled director Steven Spielberg and his creative process last year, and last night the show featured a new segment on Lincoln.

Is this high-stakes awards campaigning meant to combat the awards ascendancy of Argo? Or is this piece a genuine recap of the late life of Abraham Lincoln and an investigation into the film’s authenticity? It’s a bit of both, as you might expect, but thanks to interviews with Spielberg, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Lincoln biographer Doris Kearns-Goodwin (where’s screenwriter Tony Kushner?) the segment is a fine account of the film. Read More »

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