Monday, 20 November 2017

steven spielberg the post screening
Niko Tavernise/Twentieth Century Fox
Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep were in attendance at AMC Lincoln Square for the first screening of 'The Post.'  A review embargo was in place but that didn't stop the media from giving the cast and crew a standing ovation which is a good sign.  Also in attendance was Bob Odenkirk and fellow Welshy, Matthew Rhys.

“It just felt like this was going to be a movie that I was gonna want to make immediately, and I was still making this other movie for Warner Bros.,” said Spielberg.  “This was like something that couldn’t wait for three years or two years. This was a story that I really felt we needed to tell today.”

During the panel, Hanks recounted his previous meetings with Bradlee and Graham, and praised the movie’s inclusion of the newspaper printing process. “Look how complicated it was to put out a newspaper — that linotype machine along makes you wonder, how did they put that thing out every morning so that they could read it at 6 a.m.?” said Hanks. Spielberg then stressed, “This was a profession that was about the truth and often the cost of compiling stories, and then having to physically go into the linotype room…where it was really a hands-on craft. We wanted to show that because we have such respect for all the news organizations, from the beginning of news, that are able to get this stuff out and disseminated.”

Spielberg also explained why he used the real audio tapes of Richard Nixon in the movie, which are heard over a silhouette of the former president in the White House. “It just seemed to me that there’s a fabulous choice role for Richard Nixon and we should cast him in this movie. It shouldn’t be a voice impersonator; it should be the president himself,” he said, adding that he wanted to keep the focus on the Post staff. As for the movie’s clear connection to the current administration’s relationship with the press, Spielberg said, “The relevance is up to everybody to strike their own balance between the news today and the news then. But obviously, sometimes, bad things happen twice. History is certainly repeating itself.”

Source - Hollywood Reporter

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Sunday, 19 November 2017


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 9th Governors Awards was held at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center and Steven Spielberg had the honourable duty of opening the awards.  You can watch the video below.

On the night the awards ceremony honoured director Agnès Varda, director Alejandro G. Inarritu, cinematographer Owen Roizman, director Charles Burnett and actor Donald Sutherland.

As Steven Spielberg said in his speech at the Governors Awards, 'it is an evening without competition, an evening of community.  To be together, to be in awe and to be inspired by these imperative artists.'



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Saturday, 18 November 2017


Our fifth Christmas gift idea takes us back to 1991 when the classic Terminator 2: Judgment Day hit cinema screens.  The film has held up well thanks to the amazing work from Industrial Light & Magic and the hugely talented and much missed Stan Winston

Complete with groundbreaking special effects, T2 became Arnold Schwarzenegger’s (Total Recall, Predator) most iconic role to date, as well as one of the most quotable scripts of the decade, this brand-new 3D version will blast the seminal blockbuster into the 21st century and introduce it to a brand-new generation of fans.


t2 uhd
Now, thanks to STUDIOCANAL we can enjoy this classic movie on UHD, Blu-Ray, 3D Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital Download.  The new release will be out on December 4th.  To celebrate the release STUDIOCANAL have revealed an extended clip starring Robert Patrick, James Cameron and Brad Fiedel, from the brand new behind the scenes documentary that accompanies the forthcoming release.
The battle for tomorrow has begun…
#T23D




BLU-RAY EXTRAS

-        NEW T2: Reprogramming The Terminator. A 55-minute documentary including exclusive interviews with Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Cameron, Edward Furlong and many more)
-        Feature Commentary with 23 members of Cast and Crew (1993)
-        Feature Commentary with director James Cameron & co-author William Wisher
-        The making of T2. A 30 minute 1993 (from 2003 edition)
-        Seamless Branching of the Theatrical version (137 mins approx.), Special Edition version (154 mins approx.) and Extended Special Edition version (156 mins approx.)
-        Deleted Scenes with audio commentary
-        NEW T2:3D trailer (2017) 
-        T2 theatrical trailers: This time there are two, Same make new mission and Building the perfect Arnold



DVD EXTRAS

-        NEW T2: Reprogramming The Terminator. A 55-minute documentary including exclusive interviews with Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Cameron, Edward Furlong and many more)

The restoration:
The original 35mm negative was scanned and then restored in 4k at Deluxe L.A., under the supervision of Geoff Burdick from Light storm. The film was calibrated in 4k by Skip, James Cameron’s colorist, at Technicolor Hollywood, with a selection of the best 35mm prints from the film's first release. The film was then converted into 3D by Stereo D (Star Wars, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Jurassic world).

This work lasted almost a year and was monitored daily by Light storm’s teams, to produce a high-end 3D version at the level of the latest 3D releases from U.S. Studios. The 3D version then benefited from a calibration and a specific finish at Technicolor Hollywood, still under the supervision of Skip and James Cameron himself.

The restoration project was initiated by Light storm (lei), James Cameron’s production company, DMG Entertainment and STUDIOCANAL. James Cameron's team oversaw this 3D conversion from start to finish. This highly experienced and award-winning team had already supervised Titanic's 3D conversion and is currently working on the Avatar sequels.


T2 Blu-ray 3D

T2 Blu-ray

T2 UHD


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Friday, 17 November 2017

John Williams visits Alan Silvestri and Steven Spielberg

John Williams visited Alan Silvestri and Steven Spielberg at the recording sessions for Ready Player One. 

Photo tip from Go Soundtracks on Twitter.

Ready Player One is out March 2018

John Williams visits Alan Silvestri and Steven Spielberg


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littleBits, the award-winning company that empowers kids to be inventors, joined Lucasfilm today to reveal never-before-seen Droids designed by technologists from top Bay Area innovators, all created in celebration of a global competition aimed to inspire the next generation of inventors and shed light on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math).

Held at the Lucasfilm San Francisco campus, iconic Bay Area technology companies came together for the first-ever “Droidathon,” an event for kids from local organizations including the Black Girls CODE, Booker T. Washington School Community Center, The Boys & Girls Club, and the YMCA where inventors showcased their Droid creations and discussed their ideation and inspiration. Using the littleBits Droid Inventor Kit as a starting point, teams of engineers, programmers, and designers created innovative Droids using the core electronic building blocks together with 3D printing, craft material, soldering and programming. Initial photos from the event can be found here. More content will be available the morning of November 16.

The Droidathon kicked off the littleBits Competition: Droid Inventor Kit which invites kids, families, and Star Wars fans—residing in the US, UK, and Canada - to share their own unique Droid creations with the inventor community.  The competition will run from November 15, 2017 to January 10, 2018. Fans and families will be able to submit their own Droid design creations, with qualifying submissions judged by Star Wars: The Last Jedi stars Daisy Ridley (the actress who portrays Rey in the current Star Wars trilogy) and Kelly Marie Tran (the actress who portrays Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi) alongside Ayah Bdeir (founder and CEO of littleBits) and Kathleen Kennedy (president of Lucasfilm).

Droidathon

Star Wars has always expanded kids’ imaginations and inspired them to see what is possible,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “We’re excited to collaborate with all of these incredible companies and littleBits to showcase the power of STEAM in action and inspire the next generation of inventors.”

Both the Droidathon event and competition seek to inspire kids to explore technology and think of themselves as inventors: to accept challenges, make mistakes, persevere, and feel the triumph and pride of creating something with their own two hands. The littleBits Droid Inventor Kit is a gender-inclusive product that celebrates kids’ own self-expression and ingenuity, while showcasing the same characteristics of imagination, grit and invention that are embodied in the Star Wars franchise. For more information about how young inventors can get involved, visit www.littlebits.com/droidinventorkitcompetition.
“We believe the two best way to inspire kids about STEAM is through fun and role models. What
could be more fun and inspiring than seeing the world’s top innovators and role models creating the
weirdest Droids anyone has ever seen?” said Ayah Bdeir, founder and CEO with littleBits. “We’re thrilled to work together to inspire kids of all ages, backgrounds, genders and interests to become tomorrow's change-makers."

Droidathon
About littleBits
littleBits empowers kids around the world to become inventors. Founded in 2011 by Ayah Bdeir MIT Media Lab alum, its innovative platform of easy-to-use electronic blocks allows anyone to create and invent with electronics, independent of age, gender or technical ability. As the leader in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) learning, littleBits believes in inspiring invention by creating products that encourage self-directed exploration and problem solving; support grit and tenacity; and create a safe place to experience both failure and accomplishment. The company is dedicated to successfully bridging the gender gap with its gender-neutral platform, attracting an industry high thirty five percent of young girls to invent with littleBits. By embracing STEAM, both girls and boys can invent solutions to the problems that matter to them. The company’s products have won over 150 industry awards in the toy and education industries. littleBits is headquartered in New York. For more information and inspiration, go to www.littleBits.cc.
Lucasfilm, STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.







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Thursday, 16 November 2017

ahmed best jar jar

Jar Jar Binks may not be a fan favourite but there's no denying that the actor who played him did an exceptional job.  Ahmed Best has also revealed in a recent interview that he wanted Jar Jar to die in Revenge of the Sith.

"I always complained to George when I realized that [Revenge of the Sith] was pretty much not going to have Jar Jar in it and they were moving very very far from me, I always complained to George that I didn't get a good death! I wanted to really be just hacked to pieces in some kind of way… and George wouldn't do it."

In fact Jar Jar's life is one of misery if we are to take the novel Aftermath: Empire's End as canon.  The character is mentioned in the story which is set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.  We discover that Jar Jar is actually living on the streets, poor, banished from his home and hated by everyone around.  Blamed for the rise of Palpatine.  Sounds true to life.  What a way to go.

"It's a very somber, very dark eventuality for Jar Jar, I quite liked it actually. It was really dramatic and I think a good idea to kind of sum up." said Best on Jar Jar's ultimate fate.

You can watch the full interview below:



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Wednesday, 15 November 2017


Lucasfilm and Disney today released a new episode Science and Star Wars on the science of space travel. In this week’s video, NASA astronaut Jack Fischer welcomes viewers via videostream from the International Space Station to give a tour of the largest structure humans have ever put into space, including the U.S. laboratory where engineers are studying the latest breakthroughs in space science.



Spaceships, star fighters, space stations: you can’t have Star Wars without them. But will we ever live in space?  In this episode, host Anthony Carboni explores:

Vasimir plasma engines, which could one day propel ships ten times as fast as modern chemical engines do today.
Quantum computing, or solving optimization problems in space travel, such as how satellites are using route-finding to scout the shortest path between two locations.
Treadmills in space, which are mounted on walls with harnesses to simulate gravity, allowing astronauts the resistance needed to continue to grow bones and muscles in space.

Over the course of the series, Science and Star Wars explores science fantasy, science fact, and the gray area in between, every Tuesday on the official Star Wars Facebook page. Please consider sharing this video with your readers.

About Science and Star Wars
Science and Star Wars is a new digital series from Disney and Lucasfilm that explores the science of the Star Wars universe, just how close real-world scientists are coming to emulate the technology, and the role of the franchise in inspiring some of science’s greatest innovations.


Over the course of 10 episodes, host Anthony Carboni and his rotating roster of scientific experts and celeb guests will experiment with technology that isn’t actually so far, far away anymore (think: Jedi mind control and lightsabers). Each episode will explore one scientific theme, including Droids and Carbonite. Episodes can be found exclusively on the Star Wars official Facebook page.

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close encounters of the third kind the ultimate visual history

Our fourth Christmas gift idea is one of my favourites in the list.  It's Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Ultimate Visual History from Titan BooksAny Steven Spielberg fan would love to have this book under the tree on Christmas morning.  It's packed with never before seen photos from the set of the 1977 classic.  It also has concept art, storyboards and special inserts that you can unfold for a close look.

close encounters of the third kind the ultimate visual history

We reviewed the book a few weeks back and gave it the maximum four out of four.  You can read that review here.  It's currently priced at £26 on Amazon UK and $34 on Amazon US.

close encounters of the third kind the ultimate visual history
Created in conjunction with Sony Pictures and Amblin Entertainment, Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Ultimate Visual History details the complete creative journey behind the making of the film and examines its cultural impact.

close encounters of the third kind the ultimate visual history
Featuring rare and never-before-seen imagery from the archives, the book brings together a stunning collection of on-set photography, concept art, storyboards, and more to create a visual narrative of the film’s journey to the big screen. It also features a wealth of insightful commentary from every key player involved in the film, from the acclaimed director himself to the film’s stars and the key department heads who brought Spielberg’s vision to life.

close encounters of the third kind the ultimate visual history
Special inserts and interactive elements include script pages, call lists, concept sketches, and more. Comprehensive, compelling, and filled with unseen treasures, Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Ultimate Visual History is a fitting tribute to one of history’s most iconic films.

close encounters of the third kind the ultimate visual history
PRODUCT DETAILS

ISBN: 9781785657283
Dimensions: 279 x 235mm
Hardback: 192pp
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Ultimate Visual History


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JUSTICE LEAGUE
Starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, 
Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Mamoa, Ray Fisher,
Jeremy Irons, Diane lane, Connie Nielsen, J.K. Simmons
Robin Wright, Joe Morton and Ciarán Hinds 
Screenplay by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon
Directed by Zack Snyder



















  Out of Four



Reviewed by Paul and Patrick Gibbs


Ben Affleck as Batman.
(Image Courtesy Warner Bros.)
Any time we review a DC superhero film, we feel the need to establish a bit of context: Like most critics and audiences, we've far preferred Marvel's cinematic offerings to date to DC's, with the excellent Wonder Woman being a big exception. But if forced to classify ourselves as Marvel or DC guys, we'd have to go with DC. Those are the characters we most grew up on, we've read more of their comic books, and we were introduced to the concept of superhero teams through Super Friends, which in our childhood social circle of the time was the cartoon everyone built their Saturday around. In essence we've been waiting for a Justice League (or Super Friends) movie our whole lives, where as (despite great fondness for some of the individual characters), we'd actually never heard of The Avengers until the straight-to-video animated films started coming out in the late 2000s. It's also worth noting that we're not dead set on a narrow tonal idea of how these characters should be portrayed. We're as fond of Adam West's Batman as we are of Christian Bale's, and have found something to love in every version of Superman from George Reeves to Tyler Hoechlin  The point of all of this is that we went into Justice League wanting with all our hearts to like it. Even love it. But at this same time, very aware of the fact that we thought Man of Steel was flawed, and that Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad missed the mark almost completely.

The other point that we have to make clear going into this review is that we were shocked and saddened to hear of the loss suffered by Zack Snyder, and frankly, yes, we may pull our punches a bit when it comes to his work and signature style out of respect for him and the horrible circumstances that caused him to leave the production. Whatever else you may say, this is a director who throws himself into his work with gusto and passion, from Watchmen to Justice League has been driven by a love of DC Comics, and who stepped back and didn't take any of the credit for Wonder Woman despite a clear visual influence and guiding hand (and indeed, director Patty Jenkins more than deserved the lion's share of the praise, but the film was still a success for Snyder the executive producer and show runner.). 

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.
(Image Courtesy Warner Bros.)
All right, so what did we think? We loved it. No, we LOVED it. Which is not to say the film is perfect. The story is quite muddled in places and the villain is weak. (think weak like Christopher Ecclestion's character in Thor: The Dark World, not like Jesse Eisenberg's nonsensically motivated and extremely irritating Lex Luthor in Batman v. Superman.). Because of this, the sense of gravity is a bit lacking, but the setup is really just an excuse for fun, and our heroes are so perfectly realized that it's hard to care. Every mistake they made with the portrayal of these characters in the previous films is corrected, and they're engaging, entertaining, complicated, and funny, like The Avengers, though they should be judged as their own characters and not as direct counterparts (Affleck is no Robert Downey, Jr., but he's playing Bruce Wayne, not Tony Stark.). For people who love these characters like we do, it's an absolute joy to behold. The fact that is owes an undying amount to Marvel and what they've done with the MCU is a given, but by the same token, the MCU wouldn't exist without DC films paving the way. There's not reason you can't have fun with both, so chill out.

Much has been made of the mix of Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon behind the camera, and just how much influence Whedon had. While reports are that only about 23.5 minutes of the film is Whedon's reshoots, his influence amounts to much more, from the overall tone to the inspired choice of Danny Elfman as composer, which allows for a fun, thrilling and emotional score that hits just the right level of referencing the classic themes of these legendary heroes without overdoing it. Whedon has definitely brought his trademark sense of humor (no need for fans to wring their hands about the infamous lack of humor in DC films ever again) and character development to the film. There is definitely a feeling that the film that has been heavily retooled, and a lot of shots we've seen a hundred times on in promotional material have been left of on the cutting room floor, but it comes together to be a very good time. The dynamic between Affleck's Batman and Gadot's Wonder Woman is especially compelling. Of course Gadot has always been sublime in this role (she's a co-lead to Batman and in ways the heart and soul of the film), and here Affleck really makes Batman his own, combining elements of all the previous Warner Bros. Batmen in entirely good ways while making it his own thing (of course Bale's Dark Knight is still on a level all his own, but that incarnation of Batman can't work in a film like this and doesn't need to. Ben's got this.). And Henry Cavill's Superman is everything we want the Man of Steel to be (he gets second billing, that's not a spoiler.).

Ezra Miller as The Flash.
(Image Courtesy Warner Bros.)
As for the new characters, Ezra Miller's Flash is an absolute delight, as lovable as Grant Gustin's version of the character while also being uproariously funny. He steals nearly every scene is he's in, and is almost certain to be known as the breakout character. But Jason Momoa's Aquaman is nearly as much fun, and we're far more excited for his solo film next year than we were before. As Cyborg, Ray Fisher is left in the difficult position of competing with all of this in perhaps the least known character, and one who by his nature must remain cold and aloof most of the time, but he holds his own. And non-Superhero characters like Amy Adams Lois Lane and Jeremy Irons Alfred are given their chance to shine. J.K. Simmons Commissioner Gordon is a very small role, but he adds greatly to the film, as always (this is twice now that Simmons has stepped straight from a comic book as the physical embodiment of a classic character.).


Aquaman (Jason Mamoa) in his natural element.
(Image Courtesy Warner Bros.)
As for Zack Snyder, his penchant for hyper stylized action has never been put to be better use, and the melding of the two directors works much better than we may have thought. And there is a third influence, producer and DC mogul Geoff Johns, who permeates the film. His vast knowledge and love of the DC lore holds blend the film together into a cohesive vision. This is also a much lighter and kid friendly film than the DCEU has been giving us, but not nearly as cheesy as Batman v. Superman's insipid melodrama. There are plenty of nits to pick that will bug some more than others.(We could spot the demustachification effect every time, but instead of it ruining each scene for us the way it did the critic next to us, we were just please that it looked better than it could have.) Yes, it's true that the Amazon armor shows a more skin this time around, but as much as liberal feminist side of us would like to chalk that up to sexism and a male eye behind the lens, watch 300 Spartans running around in capes and speedos, glistening with baby oil and you'll plainly see that it's just Zack Snyder. Dude likes himself some muscles and skin.

The bottom line is that Wonder Woman, which was more complete and smooth, is still the best  DCEU film. But Justice League is easily second, and by much more than default. From here on out we can look forward to these films without trepidation or qualification. Again, this is a somewhat disjointed film that doesn't achieve perfection, and feels a bit rushed in it's execution at times, but it does achieve being a thrilling, funny and sometimes touching spectacle, and was fully satisfying as the Justice League movie we've been waiting for since playing Super Friends with our cousins in Grandma's backyard when we were six. We're very glad we already have tickets to see it again this weekend, and we're likely to go two or three times after that. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and friends have been done, well . . . justice.



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Tuesday, 14 November 2017


The Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and First Lady Anne Gust Brown, in partnership with the California Museum, today announced the 11th class of the California Hall of Fame. The new inductees will join 104 inspirational Californians previously inducted for embodying the state's spirit of innovation.
The inductees of the California Hall of Fame 11th class are: entertainer Lucille Ball; bioscientist Susan Desmond-Hellmann; artist and activist Mabel McKay; atmospheric chemist Mario J. Molina; quarterback Jim Plunkett; poet Gary Snyder; filmmaker Steven Spielberg; musician Michael Tilson Thomas and vintner Warren Winiarski.
"These Californians represent the dynamic spirit and imagination that is the hallmark of the Golden State," said Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. "Their exceptional skill and craft enrich our culture and inspire us all."
California Hall of Fame inductees are selected by the Governor and First Lady for achievements and contributions in areas such as science, philanthropy, sports, business, entertainment, the arts, literature, technology, activism and politics.
Inductees and family members of posthumous inductees will be presented with "Spirit of California" medals by the Governor and First Lady in an official state ceremony held at the California Museum on Tues., Dec. 5 at 7:00 p.m. In addition, their lives and legacies will be commemorated in an all-new artifact exhibition opening at 10:00 a.m. on Wed., Dec. 6 at the California Museum.
"We thank the Governor and First Lady for selecting another extraordinary group of Californians," said Richard Costigan III, California Museum Board of Trustees Chair. "We are also grateful to lead sponsors Frontier Communications and Visit California for supporting the 11th Annual California Hall of Fame."
"The inductees embody California's innovative spirit, diversity and culture of possibility," said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California. "These trailblazing pioneers bring the California dream to life and inspire people from all over the world."
Members of the public are invited to watch 11th Annual California Hall of Fame red carpet arrivals on Tues., Dec. 5 at 6:00 p.m. at http://www.facebook.com/californiamuseum, followed by the induction ceremony at 7:00 p.m. at http://www.californiamuseum.org/webcast.  
To date, the 11th Annual California Hall of Fame's lead sponsors are Frontier Communications and Visit California. For more information and a downloadable press kit, visit http://www.californiamuseum.org/ca-hall-fame-press-kit.
ABOUT CALIFORNIA MUSEUM   
The California Museum — home of the official California Hall of Fame — educates and enlightens visitors on California's rich history, diversity and unique contributions to the world through ideas, innovation, the arts and culture. Through interactive exhibitions and engaging programs, visitors are inspired to make a mark on history. For more information, visit http://www.californiamuseum.org.

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cosmos alan silivestri


COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey
Volume 3
Composed and Conducted by ALAN SILVESTRI
INTRADA Special Collection 388

In this third volume of music from COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey, composer Alan Silvestri continues to develop his musical universe laid out in the first two episodes.  Mainly scored for episode three, this part focuses on the how humankind adapts to its surroundings using pattern recognition that has evolved over eons -- distinguishing predator from prey, dangerous from helpful plants, and on into our study of the cosmos itself.  

As with the first two volumes, Silvestri's music is gloriously symphonic, with some modern synth-based rhythms. Intrada presents this third visit to the Cosmos universe, produced by the composer, including additional bonus tracks not previously released.   Inside the colorful packaging are a few words from composer Alan Silvestri describing his journey to scoring this series when he began his relationship with team Sagan back in 1997 with the film Contact. This release is the penultimate album in Intrada's four-volume trip through Silvestri's musical odyssey.


INTRADA Special Collection 388
Barcode: 7 20258 53882 6
Retail Price: $19.99
SHIPPING NOW
For track listing and sound samples, please visit: http://store.intrada.com/s.nl/it.A/id.10933/.f 


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