the force awakens commentary

Like any movie with the words “star” and “wars” in the title, Star Wars: The Force Awakens ignited all kinds of conversations when it was released last year. Fans picked apart every scene in the movie, but no moment was more throughly dissected than Rey’s “Forceback,” where Daisy Ridley‘s Jedi-to-be touches Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber and finds herself propelled into a wild flashback involving Cloud City, the Knights of Ren, and her own abandonment on Jakku. And thanks to the upcoming collector’s edition Blu-ray of the film, someone else is finally able to weigh in on this scene: director J.J. Abrams.

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The Force Awakens audio commentary

If you’re a fan of J.J. Abrams, then maybe you’ve checked out some of the filmmaker’s audio commentaries. Abrams’ commentaries are about as breezy and as enjoyable as his films, but for whatever reason, he didn’t record one for the previous Star Wars: The Force Awakens home video release. The upcoming Collector’s Edition will, on the other hand, feature a commentary from the director.

Below, hear a SPOILER-heavy excerpt from The Force Awakens audio commentary.

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Westworld pilot

Westworld is off to a very, very good start. Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy‘s ambitious and radical reimagining of Michael Crichton‘s 1973 film not only impressed critics but its pilot (titled “The Original”) was HBO’s biggest debut since the True Detective premiere. Between the premiere episode’s first two airings and the views on HBO Go and HBO Now, the episode reached 3.3 million viewers. If you don’t subscribe to HBO or haven’t had the opportunity to watch the first episode yet, then luckily for you, it’s now available to watch online for free.

Below, watch the Westworld pilot for free. Plus, check out images from the upcoming episode.

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Westworld ratings

Westworld isn’t a cheap show to produce. The brass at HBO believed in the show to bet as big as they did on creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy‘s reimagining of Michael Crichton‘s 1973 film. But the good news is that it looks like that bet is already beginning to pay off. Not only did the pilot, which cost $25 million, get HBO their highest rated premiere since True Detective, it’s also already found an enthusiastic audience.

Below, learn more about the Westworld ratings and budget.

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Westworld interview - Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy

Photo by John P. Johnson/HBO

Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are hardly beholden to Michael Crichton‘s original 1973 film. With their reimagining, they’re telling a different story in the same location. Crichton’s movie is more of a springboard for this sci-fi drama, which deals with identity, consciousness, the relationship between man and maker, and more. Joy, Nolan (who directed the pilot), and all involved let their imaginations run wild with Westworld, which presents a future where humans can pay $40,000 to live the day in the life of a cowboy or outlaw.

The series is executive produced by filmmaker J.J. Abrams, who’s been wanting to remake Westworld for over 20 years. A few years ago, Abrams brought the project to Nolan and Joy, and the two couldn’t resist the opportunity. They clearly set their sights high, because HBO’s new series is every bit as ambitious as it looks. Nolan and Joy’s take on Westworld places more emphasis on the hosts, the artificial intelligence in the park. By shifting the focus to the A.I., Nolan and Joy raise all sorts of new questions regarding Westworld and its employees and visitors, and the two writers and producers were kind enough to discuss some of those questions with us recently.

Below, read our Westworld interview.

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HBO Westworld

Michael Crichton‘s Westworld is a movie packed with ideas, but it doesn’t add up to much more than robots going berserk. While it’s an enjoyable film with some terrific sequences, there’s a goldmine of untapped ideas in it. The creators of HBO’s Westworld, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, take real time to explore some of those ideas — and plenty more they bring to the table — in the thrilling, unsettling, and thoughtful first four episodes of season one.

Below, read our Westworld review.

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Portal Movie

It’s been over three and a half years since filmmaker J.J. Abrams and video game producer Gabe Newell announced a forthcoming collaboration between their Bad Robot and Valve companies. While their conversations hinted at some kind of larger partnership, the most immediate excitement came from their discussions of developing film adaptations of Valve’s video game franchises Portal and Half-Life. But we haven’t heard anything regarding progress on either of those titles. So what’s going on?

J.J. Abrams is currently making the rounds promoting his upcoming series Westworld on HBO, and that means he’s getting questions about the other projects that may be kicking around over at Bad Robot. thankfully, someone asked about the development of both the Portal and Half-Life movies, and it sounds like the former is a little further along. Read More »

Westworld premiere synopsis

The Westworld pilot is excellent. Co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy gradually introduce their high-tech theme park, which is home to all sorts of thrills and horrors. Most of the exposition expected from a pilot doesn’t come into play until episode two, and by that point, you’re completely invested in the world and characters, so every piece of information goes down smoothly. At the start of Westworld, the worldbuilding is subtle and transfixing, but the drama is every bit as captivating.

There’s so much the pilot gets right. Before it airs next month, HBO has released more materials for their sci-fi series, including a Westworld featurette, some TV spots, and a synopsis for the pilot that teases the future of the season one.

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New Westworld trailer

The marketing for HBO’s Westworld continues to impress. The footage we’ve seen so far has promised an ambitious, fun and thoughtful piece of science-fiction, and fingers crossed that’s what we’ll see next month when the series finally premieres on HBO. Another trailer – this time showing more of the world from Dolores Abernathy’s (Evan Rachel Wood) perspective – has been released for Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy‘s loose remake of Michael Crichton‘s film.

Below, watch the new Westworld trailer.

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Westworld Seasons

Earlier this year HBO shut down production on Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy‘s television remake of Michael Crichton‘s Westworld. When the J.J. Abrams-produced series was greenlit, HBO was hoping to premiere the series in 2015. Whatever the real reason was for the delay, Abrams was correct when he said it’s never a bad move not to rush to a premiere date. They took their time with the series, and according to actor James Marsden, it was somewhat because they were plotting future seasons. In fact, if all goes according to plan, we’ll get a total of five Westworld seasons.

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