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Solo Black Mirror

Solo: A Star Wars Story is in theaters now, and it’s largely a fun (if still mostly unnecessary) jaunt through the early days of one of the franchise’s most scruffy-looking nerf herders. But while a good portion of the movie is in line with what you’d expect from Lucasfilm’s Disney overlords, there’s one moment so bleak that it demands further conversation…even as the characters on screen barely dwell on it.

Read on if you want to talk about this moment, and see if you think it qualifies as one of the darkest elements of the entire franchise. Major spoilers ahead. Read More »

Incredibles 2 Wannabe Supers Promo Video

Disney is already having a huge summer thanks to the record-smashing success of Avengers: Infinity War from Marvel Studios and that will likely continue with millions more being raked in thanks to Solo: A Star Wars Story this weekend. But next month, Disney will finally have one of their more family friendly adventures hitting the big screen, and it’s something audiences have been wanting to see for 14 years.

Incredibles 2 rounds up the superhero family from Pixar’s hit animated adventure that debuted in 2004. But this time, the Incredibles and their buddy Frozone aren’t the only superheroes on the scene. There are the new wannaabe supers that we’ve heard a bit about, and a new promo video for Incredibles 2 shows off more of them. Plus, there’s a new batch of international character posters you can check out too. Read More »

Paul Schrader Interview

Paul Schrader began his career in the movies as a film critic, but it wasn’t long before his Calvinist upbringing and his love of contemplative films from the likes of Yasujirô Ozu, Robert Bresson, and Carl Theodor Dreyer brought him to begin working as a screenwriter, mostly telling stories, mostly about lonely men in spiritual or emotional crisis. He became one of the most important writers of the 1970s and 1980s, with such works as Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and The Last Temptation of Christ; Brian DePalma’s Obsession, and Peter Weir’s The Mosquito Coast, as well as a string of films he directed himself, including Blue Collar, Hardcore, American Gigolo, Cat People, Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, and Light of Day.

His string of compelling work as writer and/or director continues until today, with such works as Affliction, Auto Focus, Light Sleeper, and Bringing Out the Dead (again, directed by Scorsese). His latest film, First Reformed, is something of a return to form and subject matter for the writer/director, as he centers his story on Toller, a former military chaplain turned priest (Ethan Hawke, in one of the finest performances of his career), who is wracked by grief and guilt over many events in his past, to the point where it has taken on a physical ailment. At his most desperate moment, he meets a parishioner (Amanda Seyfried) whose husband, a radical environmentalist, commits suicide, setting in motion a series of events in Toller’s life that lead him to radicalism as well. In a fair and just world (and maybe if the film were being released later in the year), First Reformed would undoubtedly be part of awards discussions.

/Film spoke with Schrader recently when he accompanied the film to the Chicago Critics Film Festival. The onstage Q&A he did after the screening (co-moderated by this writer) can be viewed here; this interview took place the following day. First Reformed is now playing in New York and Los Angeles, and expands today.

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solo prequel comic

Solo: A Star Wars Story is a prequel that gives us the backstory of the dashing scoundrel, Han Solo. But what about a prequel to that prequel? Marvel has announced that they’re releasing a Solo prequel comic focused on the life and origin of Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson), the career criminal who helped shape Han Solo into the smug smuggler we all know and love.

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Han Solo is the best human character in the Star Wars cinematic franchise, as played by someone who didn’t seem to care much about the vagaries of the series.

This is the inherent paradox of the character brought to life by Harrison Ford, in a genuinely star-making performance. Before Star Wars, Ford had appeared in a few films, including The Conversation and American Graffiti. However, Han Solo was his breakout role and was at his best in the first film, even if Ford couldn’t have cared less about the science-fiction trappings of the world he was occupying.

This week heralds not only the 35th anniversary of the last original-trilogy film in the series, Return of the Jedi, but the return of Han Solo to the big screen in Solo: A Star Wars Story; each of these films, in their own way, proved that lightning could never strike twice.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Willow Sequel

Ron Howard is out there promoting Solo: A Star Wars Story, but he’s also thinking about another potential special effects-filled blockbuster: Willow 2. After 30 years, Howard says a Willow sequel is now being discussed.

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Deadpool 2 Golden Girls Video

Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and all the buzz is going to be around Solo: A Star Wars Story debuting in theaters. But 20th Century Fox wants to make sure you don’t forget about their foul-mouthed, red-suited mercenary sticking around theaters. To do so, they’ve created a Golden Girls-inspired credits sequence for Deadpool 2 that treats the comic book sequel like a cute sitcom. It even uses the character’s real names instead of their more catchy mutant names. Read More »

The Making of Star Wars Documentary

The phrase “The Making of Star Wars” could refer to three things. First, and most obviously, there’s the actual process of making George Lucas’ 1977 film. Second, the comprehensive and excellent nonfiction tome by J.W. Rinzler, published in 2007. But to me, the most significant is The Making of Star Wars, a 1977 made-for-TV documentary special that, if anything, says more in hindsight than it did upon its original airing.

It’s also the first Star Wars thing I ever saw, and as such kickstarted my personal Star Wars fandom in a most peculiar fashion.

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The New York Police Department has had Harvey Weinstein arrested on charges of rape, committing a criminal sex act, sexual abuse, and sexual misconduct.

The disgraced movie mogul surrendered himself to the New York authorities on Friday and is facing criminal charges stemming from multiple sexual assault allegations that have surfaced in the past year.

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Solo A Star Wars Story reviews

A couple weeks ago, I sat down with screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan and Jonathan Kasdan to talk about Solo: A Star Wars Story. I learned how this movie started as a germ of an idea from George Lucas and we talked about how some of the deeper cut references and easter eggs were developed, their approach to these characters, and how they came to design the infamous Kessel Run.

The interview is mostly spoiler-free, so feel free to dig in.

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