Sunday, 31 May 2009

Published May 22, 2009

HOUSTON — Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, but at Space Center Houston it means a new season featuring “The Cinema of George Lucas,” a visual biography of the life and career of the mastermind behind “Star Wars.”

The exhibit will feature nearly 50 props, costumes and awards from his blockbuster films as well as “Live the Adventure,” where visitors can shoot, run and climb their way through scenes from movies such as “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones” and “American Graffiti.”

“The Cinema of George Lucas” will showcase movie artifacts from Lucas’ private collection, including his original handwritten manuscript and notes from the first “Star Wars” film.

Tickets purchased online at through May 31 will be sold for half off the regular general admission through the H.O.T. program. Those tickets are valid Saturday through Sept. 20.

Space Center Houston is open every day except Christmas. Admission is $19.95 for adults, $15.95 for children ages 4-11 and senior tickets are $18.95. For information, call 281-244-2105 or visit

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Subscribers to Sky's broadband, telephone and television packages could soon be enjoying a new TV series that claims to be a "companion piece" to an award-winning 2001 war drama.

Produced by Angels & Demons star Tom Hanks and legendary Hollywood director Steven Spielberg, The Pacific follows the exploits of a group of World War II soldiers.

As the show is from the same team that brought the multiple Emmy and Golden Globe-winning Band of Brothers to the screen, the series is likely to be highly-anticipated and the network will be showing it on Sky Movies with an option to watch it in high definition.

Expected to premiere later in spring, the ten-part mini series comes from the Home Box Office - or HBO - stable that has also brought hit shows including Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Sopranos to US and UK audiences.

Ian Lewis, director of Sky Movies, explained that having seen the previews in advance, audiences can expect a level of cinematography and effects that are usually reserved for the silver screen.

"It seemed only natural that a premium production such as [this] should live on Sky Movies, where it can be viewed as the director intended – in HD and with no ad breaks."

The Pacific details the experiences of World War II soldiers as they fight the Japanese in Guadalcanal, before moving into combat in the black sand terraces of Iwo Jima. Produced at an estimated cost of $200 million (£128 million), the show could convince some to consider the benefits of switching their existing services to a Sky package.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Acclaimed film director Steven Spielberg has spoken out to The Guardian about the future of the games industry and why he thinks consoles will soon go "the way of the Dodo."

Spielberg thinks that just as most arcades and "videogame parlors" died out a while back, so too will conventional gaming consoles - to be replaced by virtual reality devices that allow gamers to interface directly with their TVs.

The re-emergence of virtual reality is all a long way off though, reckons Spielberg. In the short term the director, who has been involved with a handful of actually very decent computer games in the past, thinks it's more likely that developers will look to creating three-dimensional experiences - something that actually aligns up nicely with Nvidia's work on the GeForce 3DVision system.

"In the short term I would love to start seeing 3D games developed where with a good pair of glasses we get a real three-dimensional experience in front of an appropriate monitor that is designed just for 3D," he said. "After that, will certainly be virtual reality, which just like 3D came and went in the 1950s, and now it's here to stay in movies."

"I really think virtual reality, which experimentally came and went in the eighties, is going to be redeveloped, just like 3D is being redeveloped today, and that's going to be the new platform for our gaming future."

Elsewhere in the interview Spielberg, who has been involved in excellent games like The Dig, The Neverhood and Boom Blox, said that although he did own games consoles he considered himself very much a PC gamer at heart and loved to get into games with a lot of micromanagement. He admitted to liking and owning a Wii for playing with his family, but described it as more of a macro-level experience.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

DreamWorks has received permission to produce a biopic on the life of the late African-American civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King Jr, to be produced by American director Steven Spielberg, according to Variety. African-American entertainment executive Suzanne de Passe and American novelist Madison Jones will co-produce the film with Spielberg. The King Estate has given DreamWorks full access to King’s copyrighted speeches, books and other famous works for the film. afp

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Film review: Pixar's 'Up' takes 3D animation to new heights

LOS ANGELES — "Up." The title is deceptively simple, which is fitting, because the latest achievement from Pixar Animation is deeper and more complex on every level than it would initially appear.

It's a classic B-movie exotic adventure, the kind that inspired Steven Spielberg and George Lucas to make "Raiders of the Lost Ark," but it's told through the most high-tech, gorgeous 3D animation.

It's a mismatched buddy comedy, the kind we've seen countless times before, but the buddies are a curmudgeonly 78-year-old man and a tubby eight-year-old boy - who wind up together in a flying house, travelling to South America.

And, as with many family films that get pumped out each summer, it has talking dogs. But it's how the dogs talk and what they say that are truly inspired, and oddly realistic.

Pete Docter (Pixar's "Monsters, Inc.") and co-director and writer Bob Peterson turn their imagination this time to human beings, rare creatures in the animated kingdom. But between the richness of the characters, the meatiness of their interaction and the authenticity of the details, it won't take you long to forget that "Up" is a cartoon and become immersed.

We begin some 70 years ago, when Carl Fredricksen was just a boy, worshipping the glamorous explorer Charles F. Muntz (voiced by Christopher Plummer). Even then, Carl moved with the quiet cautiousness of an old man - that is, until he meets the energetic tomboy Ellie, who brings out the fun he never knew he had inside him.

"Up" shares their decades-long romance in a lovely, poignant montage. It lasts just a few minutes without a single word spoken - just Michael Giacchino's wistful score to accompany the images - but it tells a full and satisfying story. Don't even bother holding back the tears: They'll come, and deservedly so.

From there, though, there's nowhere to go but up, literally. Now a crusty widower facing eviction and an antiseptic life in a retirement community - and voiced perfectly by Ed Asner - the former balloon salesman ties thousands of helium balloons to his house and soars into the clouds. His eventual destination: Paradise Falls in Venezuela, where he and Ellie always promised each other they'd go. (The reflections of the balloons' rainbow hues are wondrous as he floats past streets and buildings.)

But Carl has an unexpected passenger: Russell (endearing newcomer Jordan Nagai), an overeager Junior Wilderness Explorer who had knocked on Carl's door hoping to earn the final badge he needs to become a senior scout: assisting the elderly. They make an unlikely but lovable pair: the rigid Carl (who resembles a latter-day Spencer Tracy with his linear mouth, square-shaped glasses and bushy white hair) and the ebullient Russell. Their bond is sweet, their journey joyous.

Peril lies along the way, too, although "Up" is suitable for the whole family; one of the most striking images is of the small, rickety house drifting toward a wall of ominous thunder clouds. Once they reach Paradise Falls, they find themselves surrounded by a pack of attack dogs. Among them is the lovable Dug (voiced by Peterson), a mutt who's just so darn happy to meet new people, he instantly insists Carl become his master.

Dug, like the other dogs roaming the rain forest, has been outfitted by his mysterious owner with a collar that voices his thoughts. This might be the most ingenious invention ever and Dug's canine ramblings provide the chief source of consistent comedy in "Up." The other is a rare four-metre bird - whom Russell names Kevin - who's adorably gawky but is being hunted by the other dogs, who aren't nearly so friendly.

We won't tell you the direction "Up" goes from here. We'll just say it's creative and unexpected, like everything that came before it and the other films in the Pixar canon.

Three and a half stars out of four.

"Up" - The title is deceptively simple, which is fitting, because the latest achievement from Pixar Animation is deeper and more complex on every level than it would initially appear. It's a classic B-movie exotic adventure, the kind that inspired Steven Spielberg and George Lucas to make "Raiders of the Lost Ark," but it's told through the most high-tech, gorgeous 3D animation. It's a mismatched buddy comedy, the kind we've seen countless times before, but the buddies are a curmudgeonly 78-year-old man and a tubby eight-year-old boy - who wind up together in a flying house, travelling to South America. And, as with many family films that get pumped out each summer, it has talking dogs. But it's how the dogs talk and what they say that are truly inspired, and oddly realistic. Three and a half stars out of four.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

The Couch Surfer: Having the motivation, the stamina and, crucially, the equipment to make a full-length fan movie is exceptional.

The past year has added two new chapters to the tale of Indiana Jones. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull cost $185m to produce and topped the box office charts. Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation, was made for $5,000, and took more than 25 years to reach a single British cinema.

Raiders: The Adaptation is the work of three boyhood obsessives – director Eric Zala, producer Chris Strompolos and cinematographer Jayson Lamb – who, in 1982, aged 12, decided to remake their favourite film using the meagre facilities available to them. The finished feature – sanctioned by Steven Spielberg, who watched it twice – just had its first (perhaps only) British cinema screening. It's that rare thing, a fan-made film that's acquired a cult of its own.

Of the two new films, Raiders: The Adaptation is perhaps truer to the spirit of the original. Thanks to the green hue of the older sections of VHS footage, some desperately inadequate sound mixing, and the fact that its actors aged by more than a decade during filming, it's also unwatchable. But at least it doesn't have any rubbish CGI monkeys in it.

Type the search term "sweded" (which has its too-complicated-to-explain-here origins in the movie Be Kind Rewind) into YouTube, and you'll find countless no-budget, two-minute versions of popular films. Yet having the motivation, the stamina and, crucially, the equipment to make a full-length fan movie is exceptional. Most who try are youthful non-professionals, and either get bored or get jobs before completing anything.

Fan-made films aren't produced for mainstream consumption, nor in pursuit of fame. They're made for the love of the original, for the enjoyment of their makers and maybe, just maybe, the approval of the heroes they're imitating.

If not for its distinctly middling reviews, the exception might have been last year's US cinema release, Fanboys, by Star Wars fanatic Ernie Cline, a former IT customer services rep. Set in 1998, Fanboys tells the story of a group of Star Wars cultists who break into George Lucas's Skywalker Ranch to steal a preview copy of The Phantom Menace for a terminally ill fellow fan, so that he can see the movie before he dies. (Whether watching The Phantom Menace is actually a fate worse than death is not an idea that the film explores.)

Like Raiders: The Adaptation, Fanboys was endorsed by Harry Knowles, the film blogger and super-fan behind the website Ain't It Cool News, whom Cline cast as a wise, Yoda-like mentor figure. With Knowles' help, the filmmakers roped in Star Wars actors Carrie Fisher and Billy Dee Williams for cameo roles, persuaded Harvey Weinstein to fund them, and gained access to the real Skywalker Ranch for filming.

When you're a pre-teen, your critical faculties are far from fully-formed, so your shaping cinematic influences run the risk of being less spectacularly brilliant in hindsight. Zala, Strompolos and Lamb were lucky enough to come of age during a decade of classic adventure movies, book-ended by Raiders (1981) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).

Unfortunately, the first time I sat in a cinema and thought "Holy crap! Somebody makes these things, and they're awesome!" wasn't until 1991. I was 10. The film was Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. After seeing it for the sixth time, I hunted down every one of Kevin Costner's movies (yes, even Fandango) and scoured Our Price for all the Bryan Adams albums that pocket money could buy.

My friend Martin suggested we remake Prince of Thieves using his dad's video camera. Martin decided to play Little John. Our friend Oliver, an aspiring musical theatre performer, would be Robin. I took on the showboating Sheriff of Nottingham's role; Alan Rickman was, no doubt, quaking.

Today, Martin is an architect, Oliver a doctor. Our project hit the skids when Martin's father, Mr Wells, refused to loan his video equipment to a bunch of 11-year-olds who planned to tear through the backwoods of Surrey with it. Had we managed to get the production off the ground, I can’t imagine it would’ve earned Mr Costner’s blessing, either.

In a strange twist of fate, the woodland in which we proposed to film our masterpiece was recently commandeered by Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe, who've disrupted my mother's dog-walking routine to shoot their own version of Robin Hood. They may have years of experience and tens of millions of dollars; but they'll never have the innocent, undiluted love that my friends and I were prepared to spend on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves: The Adaptation.

From The Independent

Monday, 25 May 2009

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Codenamed "LODESTAR," there's a secret LucasFilm shoot going on right now that would have any Star Wars fan wishing they could be a fly on the wall. That's because the likes of Boba Fett, Admiral "It's A Trap!" Ackbar, Tusken raiders and man-behind-the-'bot Anthony Daniels, who brought C-3PO to life, are all in attendance. The part of me that rode this ride countless times a child is excited for more Star Wars content, but I'm a bit nervous thinking about how much of the revamp will feel like the prequels, whereas Star Tours right now is indisputably seated in the original trilogy. (The ride hasn't changed since it opened in 1987, after all.)

/Film has the scoop:

Our source reveals that the revamp will incorporate prequel characters (like Naboo citizens and Geonosians) along with many aliens from the original trilogy (Aqualish, Bith, Rodians, etc). In the action sequence, the Star Tours vehicle is now going to be chased by Boba Fett. C3PO and R2-D2 are still the hosts, and Anthony Daniels will be recording his parts this week. Admiral Ackbar holographically communicates with the Star Tours vehicle.
That doesn't sound too bad, though the ride as it stands it epic. It starts as you make your way toward the Endor moon, miss it completely, and end up in a field of comets, fighting off Star Destroyers and finally blowing up the Death Star. Being chased by Boba Fett sounds fun, but let's keep our fingers crossed and hope they do this venerable ride justice.
Source: -

Sunday, 24 May 2009

A comment supposedly made by Darth Vader to Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars trilogy has topped a list of phrases most often misquoted by film fans.

Darth Vader 'comment' to Luke Skywalker is most misquoted film phrase
Darth Vader's dramatic disclosure does not appear in the film

The words "Luke, I am your father" are familiar to millions of fans of the George Lucas films.

They are widely believed to have been uttered by Darth Vader when he confronts Luke Skywalker in the Empire Strikes Back - but in fact they do not feature in the film.

Second place in the poll was taken by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, with the evil Queen's quote 'Mirror, mirror, on the wall - who is the fairest of them all?'.

The actual line begins 'Magic Mirror, on the wall'.

In third place in the poll of 1,500 film fans, by, was Dirty Harry - played by Clint Eastwood - saying "Do you feel lucky, punk?"

In fact, he says "Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?"

And while "Play it again Sam" may be forever linked with Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart's actual line is "You played it for her, you can play it for me. If she can stand it, I can. Play it!"

Fifth was Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs, who did not say "Hello Clarice" but instead said "Good evening, Clarice".

Star Trek's Captain Kirk did not say "Beam me up, Scotty", with the closest he ever came to this phrase was a less pithy "Scotty, beam us up".

Darren Bignell, Communications Manager for LOVEFiLM, said: "Iconic film lines are part of everyone's vocabulary these days, but it's interesting how years of quoting have had a Chinese whisper effect on accuracy."

The Top Ten Movie Misquotes (below in misquoted form) were as follows:

1. "Luke, I am your father" - Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

2. "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?" - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

3. "Do you feel lucky, punk?" - Dirty Harry (1971)

4. "Play it again, Sam" - Casablanca (1942)

5. "Hello, Clarice" - Silence of the Lambs (1991)

6. "Beam me up, Scotty!" - Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

7. "Frankly, Scarlett, I don't give a damn" - Gone with the Wind (1939)

8. "If you build it, they will come" - Field of Dreams (1989)

9. "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto" - The Wizard of Oz (1939)

10. "Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?" - The Graduate (1967)

Saturday, 23 May 2009

According to Steven Spielberg, selling his Dreamworks Interactive studio to the publisher was both "the smartest and dumbest thing I ever did".

Speaking to Reuters, the director of Schindler's List, Raiders of the Lost Ark and many, many other great films, has been recounting his experiences making games on the eve of Boom Blox: Bash Party's release.

The game is the second title he has produced with the company under a multi-game deal to produce action and family titles.

But it's not his first encounter with the firm - it also published the Medal of Honor games, which it took over after acquiring Dreamworks Interactive, spun out of his Dreamworks movie production studio.

"The smartest and dumbest thing I ever did was to sell my company to EA," said Spielberg. "Medal of Honor was almost done and we made the decision to sell Dreamworks Interactive to Electronic Arts and had we not sold, we would have been able to stay in business just based on the success of Medal of Honor.

Full story here -

Friday, 22 May 2009

Harrison Ford, complete with the iconic Indy hat he gifted to LaBeouf.Harrison Ford had a very special wrap gift for his movie son after completing 'Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' - he tossed Shia LaBeouf his sweaty hat.

Ford, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg - the moviemakers behind the Indiana Jones franchise - have dismissed reports LaBeouf will be taking over as Jones, but the young star has the movie icon's hat!

He said: "It has his sweat stains from the whole movie in it. We were way out somewhere at an airplane hangar on the last day of shooting, and he took the hat off his head, signed it and handed it to me.

"When I looked at the hat I saw he had written something with a silver Sharpie (pen). It said, 'It's all yours now, kid - Harrison.'"

But LaBeouf is quick to point out that he won't be taking over from Ford any time soon: "It's easy to perceive that as his handing the reins over to me on a franchise or whatever... that's not it.

"It was his way of saying 'Life is going to get crazy now, so strap on tight, kid.'"

Thursday, 21 May 2009


RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) - Oscar-winning film director Steven Spielberg was so frustrated that no videogames catered for all of his seven children that he did what a entertainment maestro might do -- made his own game.

"Boom Blox" was the first in a multi-franchise deal between Spielberg and videogame publisher Electronic Arts and has sold close to one million copies globally since it was released for Nintendo's Wii last May.

On May 19, EA releases Spielberg's second game, "Boom Blox Bash Party."

Spielberg, who said he plays just about every game that comes out, is a big fan of Nintendo's Wii console and its motion-sensor controls that involved physical interactivity.

"It's been very, very good for a parent like me who wants our kids not to be couch potatoes, but to get up and move their bodies around more," said Spielberg, who worked closely with the team at EA's Los Angeles studio on both the games.

Spielberg said "Boom Blox" originated from the idea of using the Wii controller to knock something down, like the traditional family toy of building blocks.

In the newest game up to four players face a range of challenges of up to 400 levels in locations as diverse as outer space and deep under the sea where they can create their own user-generated content and share this with others online.

"You can become a creator at home," said Spielberg. "You can become a participant and you can become an activist. It's a really wonderful way to empower players to share their ideas with the world and give us better ideas for our own future of the next iteration beyond "Bash Party.""

~Continued here -

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Evening to be Guest-hosted by Actor, Director and Writer Jon Favreau

The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago proudly presents "An Adventure with George Lucas," in honor of Academy Award-nominated director and writer George Lucas on Saturday, June 13, from 6 to 10 p.m. at The Four Seasons Chicago (120 E. Delaware Place). Lucas will engage in a discussion led by guest-host – actor, director and writer – Jon Favreau. Tickets are now on sale.

A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the "Gene Siskel Film Center Visionary Award for Innovation in Filmmaking" to Lucas by SAIC President Wellington Reiter.

"It is a true privilege to have an icon of Lucas' stature as our honoree this year," says Jean de St. Aubin, executive director, Gene Siskel Film Center of the SAIC. "Lucas' pioneering and daring spirit has helped to transform Hollywood into a high-tech, modern enterprise which very much reflects the Gene Siskel Film Center's mission of presenting movies that feature the latest technology, and invites audiences to take on the challenge to explore new ground in cinema.",2_AU14_Gene-Siskel-Film-Center-honors-George-.article

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Chris Samson
Cars cruise along Petaluma Boulevard the "Salute to American Graffiti" on Saturday, May 16.

For one day, downtown Petaluma was transformed into a 1960s wonderland of classic cars, cruising, poodle skirts and jitterbug dancing.

It was the fourth annual “Salute to American Graffiti” on Saturday, and from morning until nightfall, the streets where George Lucas’ coming-of-age movie was filmed in 1972 were turned into a tribute to the cars, music, culture and fashion of that era.

Thousands of people flocked to Petaluma Boulevard and Kentucky Street, which were closed to vehicle traffic all day for the car show and then the car cruise in the late afternoon and evening.

Two new attractions at this year’s event added to the retro ambiance. In the parking lot between McNear’s restaurant and the Lan-Mart building on Petaluma Boulevard, an authentic replica of Mel’s Burger City was set up for the day and served hamburgers, chili dogs and root beer floats. And a short distance away, radio station XERB conjured up the spirit of Wolfman Jack, as guest disc jockeys David Glass, Candi Chamberlin and others played oldies like “Rock Around the Clock” and “Johnny B Goode” to listeners on the street and who tuned in to a low-watt FM channel.

“I wish we could have this radio station all the time,” said Dianna Cruppi,” a 40-year Petaluma resident who spent the day downtown with her husband, George, both wearing “Salute to American Graffiti” T-shirts. “We love having all the old cars and music in the center of town. It’s fantastic.”

Actress Candy Clark, one of the stars of “American Graffiti,” greeted fans and signed autographs in a booth on Kentucky Street.

“I’m having a fantastic time,” she said. “This is my favorite event to attend. It brings back a lot of great memories. It’s a great town and it hasn’t really changed that much since we made the movie.”

In four years, “Salute to American Graffiti” has become one of the city’s most popular downtown events, rivaling the Butter & Egg Days Parade.

John Furrer, president of Cruisin’ the Boulevard, the nonprofit that produces the event, said he and his wife, Joetta, were engaged the year the movie was filmed.

“We often stood on the street corner to watch the cameras, lights and action,” he recalled. The couple was inspired to buy their first hot rod, a 1931 Ford Model A, which they still own.

Proceeds for the event has enabled Cruisin’ the Boulevard to purchase emergency and life-saving equipment for the city’s police and fire departments, City Hall and high schools.

source -

Monday, 18 May 2009

Destructoid just released info that LucasArts intends to use E3 as an opportunity to bring back one of their great, classic game franchises. Which franchise is unknown, but 'Grim Fandago' was mentioned as a possibility, as was the 'Monkey Island' series. Of course, this rumor could also be referring to a new Indiana Jones game in the vein of the old Atlantis one.

Whatever the truth is, the news that LucasArts is bringing back one of their old greats is certain to send the gaming community into shivers of gleeful anticipation. Some of the best games ever made were LucasArts adventure games. If they can recapture the same spirit that went into the original games, they'll have a cash-geyser on their hands.

source -

Warner Bros. The lovable fluffy creatures that turn into evil fanged monsters if fed after midnight were supposed to see a Blu-ray release in 2007 and then in 2008, only to be unceremoniously canceled. Now director Joe Dante, while on the set of 'The Hole,' has confirmed that he and production company Amblin Entertainment are working on the remasters of both movies, and that they will be released on Blu-ray, although they will miss the intended summer date.

The reason Dante gives for the delay of 'Gremlins' is that Amblin Entertainment looked at the master for the movie, believed that they could "do better than this" and decided to do them over.

Indeed, the filmmaker has nothing but praise for the production company founded by Steven Spielberg and its effort to see that his movies are done justice. "One thing about Amblin is that they are extremely filmmaker-friendly," says Dante. "When your movie is put out on any sort of video system, they bring you in and you check it out, they get your opinion. They color correct it, they run things for you. They are very, very good about that. We've been involved quite a lot."

The Blu-ray discs will probably feature the same material from the DVD special editions, including commentaries, featurettes and deleted scenes. Dante is also hoping to include a funny and very competent YouTube fan film, made a year ago by Sacha Feiner, a special effects creator and 'Gremlins' aficionado from Belgium. In the short, the gremlins take a video-on-demand device and invade movies such as 'The Exorcist', 'Batman', 'Raiders of the Lost Ark', 'The Goonies', and 'The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.' However, rights issues might make that impossible.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Steven Spielberg And Drew Barrymore Working On 'E.T.' Sequel?

Drew BarrymoreSteven Spielberg and Drew Barrymore are in talks to bring legendary movie alien E.T. back to Earth in a big budget Hollywood sequel.

Twenty-seven years after a six-year-old Barrymore melted film fans' hearts playing little Gertie, a girl who befriends an extraterrestrial visitor, and director Spielberg wants to reunite the pair.

According the National Enquirer, Barrymore and Spielberg have met to discuss the project, which will show E.T. returning to Earth to rejoin the now-adult Gertie.

A source tells the tabloid, "Steven and Drew are being very secretive about this baby. But they want to do this project and work together. Steven has an incredible story in mind for the sequel that will bring E.T. back to earth."

Never going to happen!

Saturday, 16 May 2009

If you think about music in a movie, you probably think either of a hit single playing over a montage, or a big bombastic John Williams score such as "Star Wars" or "Indiana Jones."

But, as composer Peter Golub will tell you, a lot of movie music works its magic less obviously. Even John Williams has his quieter moments.

"Check out John Williams' score for 'Catch Me If You Can,'" said Golub, recommending the music of Steven Spielberg's 2002 caper comedy (starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a con artist and forger, and Tom Hanks as the Fed on his tail) because it has "more of this contemporary feel, the kind of neutrality -- I don't mean neutrality in the sense of 'bland,' but in the sense of being non-manipulating."

Golub knows film music. He's written scores for such movies as the 2008 Sundance Film Festival jury winner "Frozen River," Denzel Washington's drama "The Great Debaters," and the documentaries "Wordplay" and "I.O.U.S.A." And, since 1998, Golub has been director of the Sundance Institute's Film Music Program, running the Composers' Lab, which matches music writers with filmmakers. (Among the lab's alumni is Tyler Bates, who wrote scores for "Watchmen" and "300.")

Golub will talk about movies and music, and the intersection of the two, at this month's Sundance Institute Film Series entry, Wednesday, May 6, at 7 p.m. at the Park City Library Center, 1255 Park Ave., Park City. The event is free to the public.

Golub started as a musician and composer of concert works. He later moved into writing music for theater, ballet and, eventually, film.

Writing a work to be played in a concert, "the music is just about the music, and you're calling all the shots," Golub said. "Writing for a film, you're serving or accompanying someone else's vision. The music has to be a participant in that. You're very much leaving room for the film, accompanying the film, playing with the film. It's not just what sounds good, or what's the most interesting music, but it's what that film requires in the moment."

Some films don't require much. For "Frozen River," a drama about two moms -- one white (Melissa Leo), one a Mohawk (Missy Upham) -- who reluctantly partner to smuggle illegal aliens over the icy St. Lawrence River, Golub aimed to write music "that's very spare, very much part of the landscape," Golub said.

Other films use music to add to the fun. Golub cites David Holmes' scores for all three of Steven Soderbergh's "Oceans" movies: "It's very contemporary, Las Vegas. Everything's in quotes, because we're all having fun in this specific locale. Everything has a cool joke to it," Golub said.

In the Composers' Lab, Golub and the Sundance team work to match composers with filmmakers -- and to teach both groups how to work with the other.

"Filmmakers are often intimidated," Golub said. "They feel they don't know anything about music, so how do they even discuss it? It's actually better that they don't try to speak in musical terms, but rather in dramatic terms. Let the composer solve the technical questions of keys and instrumentation. Talk about what the music's trying to do dramatically."

Composers, on the other hand, "tend to overwrite. They're there and they want to show what they can do, and they have this emotional response to a scene," Golub said. "Often it's a process of stripping away, and leaving room for the movie. It's working with the image rather than on its own."

Source -

Friday, 15 May 2009

Filmmaker George Lucas is seeking permission to build a 262,728-square-foot building to house a digital film production studio and other amenities at the former Grady Ranch in Lucas Valley.

The proposed building would be built in the Mission style resembling St. Vincent's School for Boys, with two 85-foot-tall towers. It would include administration offices, a restaurant, a general store, a wine-tasting room, screening rooms, costume storage, dressing rooms, 19 guest suites and basement parking. The project calls for 223,770 cubic yards of excavation and the creation of a knoll for a vineyard.

The project is part of a master plan unanimously approved by Marin County supervisors in 1996. Under that master plan, Lucas was granted permission to build facilities totaling about 456,000 square feet at the 1,000-acre Grady Ranch and about 185,000 square feet at the nearby Big Rock Ranch. Lucas finished construction of the Big Rock complex in 2002, but completion of the Grady portion of the plan has languished.

In a letter to the county of Marin, Nona Dennis, president of the Marin Conservation League, wrote, "The Lucasfilm proposal continues to be massive in scale, requiring equally massive excavation. It will add an influx of daily traffic on Lucas Valley Road, and it presents an esthetic intrusion on the landscape." She was particularly disdainful of the towers.

Full story here

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Jack Nicholson apparently lived up to his reputation when asked to pose for a special photoshoot in the 20th anniversary edition of Empire.

Director Steven Spielberg was invited to guest edit the magazine and thought it would be a nice idea to ask his Hollywood friends to pose with their favourite film prop, The Daily Telegraph reports, but when Empire knocked on Jack's door he wanted the personal touch.

A source said: "He said he wouldn't be photographed unless Spielberg himself asked him to do so - after many phone calls, they eventually managed to get through to Spielberg, who was on holiday with his family".

When Jack was finally convinced to take part in the photoshoot he was asked which prop he would use.

The mischievous star replied: "I've got the axe from The Shining upstairs, which I could get, but I ain't gonna."

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

The new Star Trek movie has been dubbed by some critics as "Star Trek 90210" - a reference to the good looks of the actors playing the iconic roles on board on the USS Enterprise.

So it is something of a relief to have a normal bloke-next-door like Simon Pegg in there as the starship's chief engineering officer Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott.

The 39-year-old actor first came to attention with cult UK TV shows including Spaced and Big Train.

He has since starred in international hit comedies Shaun of The Dead and Hot Fuzz, and is soon to be seen in Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson's Tintin.

There seems to be a split over whether fans are called Trekkies or Trekkers. Can you shed any light for us?

I think it's both. There's a certain element of the fan community who were fed up with people using the word Trekkie in a slightly derogatory way and wanted to distance themselves from that, so they became Trekkers. Whereas the people who remain Trekkies couldn't care less what people think. So there are both but they're equally very valid.

I think you have to earn the title of Trekkie. I'm a big Star Trek fan and I do love it and know a lot about it, but I think a Trekkie is like a degree level Star Trek fan. That's when you know every episode and every actor involved and every plot so I wouldn't flatter myself.

As a self confessed sci-fi geek, just how excited were you to be in costume and actually standing on the bridge of the USS Enterprise?

It was amazing and I felt very honoured. I'm a Star Trek fan and to be on the bridge of the Enterprise in my red uniform and playing Scotty, who is a beloved and integral part of the starship Enterprise crew, was just crazy.

How do you follow the performance of a much loved actor like James Doohan and how conscious were you of taking on such an iconic role?

I was fortunate to reach out to Chris Doohan, James' son, and we became pals. He was on set with me and was my assistant in the transporter room so I was able to have some connection to the Doohan family.

I wanted to make it very clear that I wasn't just taking it lightly or doing an impression of James, but I would try and approach it like he did.

What about mastering the Scottish accent then?

Half my family is from the west coast so I channelled them, my wife and her family. There's some argument about where Scotty's from, some say Linlithgow, I think Dundee, and Aberdeen have claimed him. I figured he'd gone to Glasgow University and picked up a strong Glaswegian accent.

Fortunately, [my wife] Maureen was on set with me all the time. I would come off set and say: 'How was that, did that sound all right?' I'm very aware that I could be cutting myself off from half my family, but I think the character is a tribute to the Scots.

How was working with Zachary Quinto who plays the villain Sylar in Heroes and Spock in Trek. Are you a fan?

I do like Heroes and when I met Zack, I told him I was a fan of the show and fortunately he was a fan of Shaun of the Dead as well and so we had a bit of a mutual appreciation. He's great, he's very funny and very dry and if you only know him as Sylar, it's very surprising when you meet him because he's very different. He can't chop the top of your head off either.

You get your own Scotty action figure, how cool was that?

I've seen it and it's pretty cool actually. As a fan of those things as a kid, I had plenty of action figures. To actually be one is a great joy, well, it's five - two Shaun of the Dead, a Doctor Who one and two Star Trek figures. Yes, I play with myself regularly.

Pegg on his birthday party plans

You've been making Tintin with Steven Spielberg, that must be a real honour?

It was great, he's fantastic and everything I hoped he would be. It was an amazing treat to work with him and hear him tell stories and just get close to him and tell him how much his films mean to me.

Can you tell us what you're doing?

Nick Frost and I are playing the Thomson twins, which are the moustachioed detectives with the bowler hats. Obviously a band named themselves after them. I told a couple of people I was playing one of the Thomson twins and they think I'm talking about the band. But they're bumbling detectives that are nowhere as good as they think they are.

It's all motion capture, so even though we are physically different, when you see us on screen we look exactly the same.

Star Trek is released in the UK on 8 May. Simon Pegg talked to BBC News entertainment reporter Kev Geoghegan.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Duncan Thomson, 41, and Sammi Gardiner, 39, got married in an unusual ceremony surrounded by friends and family all dressed as characters from the sci-fi movies.

In a pun on the films' famous phrase, "may the force be with you", they chose Monday as the date for the service, so they could bill it as "May the 4th be with you".

The couple, from the Isle of Wight, even invited the movie's director George Lucas, who wrote back to them saying he was unable to attend.

However, despite his absence, the bride and groom tied the knot as the film's hero and heroine, exchanging vows themed on their favourite scenes.

During the wedding in Shanklin on the island, Mr Thomson told his bride: "I promise to protect you from carbon freezing and promise to protect you from the Dark Side, through hyperspace and into the far reaches of the galaxy."

The couple were joined by Mr Thomson's son Kieren, 18, who, as best man, played the part of Solo's sidekick Chewbacca the wookie.

His daughter Charlotte, 20, carried out her duties as head bridesmaid while acting out the part of Queen Padme Amidala.

Evil villain Darth Vader, played by friend Dan Cawpheray, delivered readings in the style of the Star Wars scripts, flanked by two Imperial Stormtroopers.

He told the congregation: "Members of the Galactic Empire, Duncan and Sammi met a long time ago, in a place far, far away. The force is strong with these two.

"If you do not underestimate the power of marriage then together you can rule your house as husband and wife."

The pair decided on the theme because their first date in May 2005 was a trip to the cinema to see the Star Wars film Revenge of the Sith.

Mr Thomson, an amateur astrologist, said: "We had both been married before with traditional services and wanted to do something a bit different and fun to put a smile on everyone's face.

"We have been sourcing costumes for ages and most of them have been shipped over from America but we are really pleased with how it all went.

"They are just great films, with a great storyline, great effects and are a rite of passage for anyone growing up."

The couple also sent invitations to actors Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill – who played Solo, Leia and Luke Skywalker in the cult films – but they did not attend.

Lucas sent back a RSVP letter bearing his Skywalker Ranch stamp saying he could not make it.

Mr Thomson said: "It was a shame he could not be here but I hope he sees the pictures and sees that we did him proud."

The couple had to remove certain Star Wars references from the 20-minute civil service because "Jedi" is a recognised religion, he added.

The bride's ring was made out of meteorite found in Canyon Diablo in the US, engraved with: "May the 4th be with you."

Following the ceremony, the couple departed for a honeymoon on a cruise to the Mediterranean, with a special guard of honour using light sabres.

Sammi, an IT worker, said: "The films brought us together and are something that our families, young and old, have always loved."

A friend, Matt Archer, 32, who came as the droid C-3PO, said: "It was incredible. Everyone got into character."

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Saturday, 9 May 2009

George Lucas is finally realizing his decades-long dream of producing a film about the Tuskegee Airmen, and the wildly unique cast includes Cuba Gooding Jr. and Method Man. The Anthony Hemingway-directed flick “Red Tails” has popped up from time to time for Lucas in interviews, but an announcement today indicates that he has his actors and they’re ready to suit up and start production.

“I’ve been wanting to do ‘Red Tails’ for 20 years, and we’ve finally got the means to showcase the skill of the Tuskegee pilots,” Lucas said in the press release. “We’re working on techniques which will give us the first true look at the aerial dogfighting of the era. And our top-notch cast will really make this story special.”

The movie’s cast includes “Iron Man” actor Terrence Howard, Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” and Grammy award winner Ne-Yo, as well as a cluster veteran actors from “The Wire,” listing Tristan Wilds, Rick Otto, Michael B. Jordan and Stacie Davis.

According to the release, “Red Tails” is set in 1944 during the heat of WWII when the famed pilots stepped up to their fated entry into the war. Relegated to second-class citizens due to the U.S. government’s racist policies at the time, their success under the most dangerous of circumstances earned the group legendary recognition. Hundreds of black airmen would follow them from the Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama overseas before the war ended.

Lucas boasts big payoffs for the film’s effects. Just what technology Lucas Films has concocted to simulate the planes’ behavior should be interesting for history buffs to check out.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Maureen Dowd recalls her conversation with George Lucas when she visited Skywalker ranch

The first thing I wanted to do in the Bay Area was go out to Skywalker Ranch and ask George Lucas about a disturbing conversation we’d had at an Obama inaugural party in Washington.

Lucas, the creator of “Star Wars,” had told me that I had gotten Dick Cheney completely wrong, that Cheney was no Darth Vader. I felt awful. Had I been too hard on Vice?

Lucas explained politely as I listened contritely. Anakin Skywalker is a promising young man who is turned to the dark side by an older politician and becomes Darth Vader. “George Bush is Darth Vader,” he said. “Cheney is the emperor.”

I was relieved. In “Star Wars” terms, Dick Cheney was more evil than Darth Vader. I hadn’t been hard enough on Vice!

Lucas was on his way to Europe and didn’t have time to elaborate in person. But he sent me this message confirming our conversation: “You know, Darth Vader is really a kid from the desert planet near Crawford, and the true evil of the universe is the emperor who pulls all the strings.”

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Darth Vader actor Dave Prowse has revealed that he was not invited to the Star Wars musical at the O2 arena

Prowse, who played the villain in the original movies, claimed that he was snubbed by the producers of Star Wars: A Musical Journey.

"I've known about Star Wars the musical for ages and ages but I have never even had one enquiry about the possibility of me going there," he told Absolute Radio.

"I've been completely ignored."

Speaking about his co-star Anthony Daniels and director George Lucas, he added: "I haven't spoken to Lucas since 1982, nothing at all. Nor Anthony Daniels, he's a law unto himself - leave well alone! I'm still in touch with everyone else though."

The actor also spoke about his successful battle with prostate cancer, revealing that he was now back to full health.

He joked: "I have no problems getting erections or peeing!"

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Daniel Mays has said working with Steven Spielberg on the new Tintin film was an awesome experience.

The British actor can currently be seen starring in new movie Shifty, but is due to appear in the animated movie The Adventures Of Tintin: Secret Of The Unicorn.

Daniel said: "They're really adamant that no one opens their mouth - but I can just say the opportunity of working with Spielberg was one in a lifetime, and it was just an awesome experience, amazing."

The 31-year-old actor and his partner have a young son Mylo. Daniel admits to have "made a career playing characters who are sort of dark and a bit troubled" but wants to be in more films his son can watch.

He said: "I'm actually doing a small part in the new Nanny McPhee film, which is vastly different from anything I've done before, it's a kids film. So I'm going to go straight onto that which is going to be really fun."

But Daniel - who appeared in Channel 4 sit-com Plus One - is keen not to be type-cast.

He said: "I enjoy doing comedy as much as the serious stuff so it's about trying to stretch yourself as much as possible as an actor because if I'm bored then the audience are going to get bored as well.

"I think to a certain extent every actor, there is always a level of people pigeon holing you. Even the DeNiros of this world are sort of looked upon as playing just gangsters and psychopaths."

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Anne Lu - Celebrity News Service News Writer

Los Angeles, CA (CNS) - Steven Spielberg says the "Transformers" sequel is "awesome." The movie industry mogul has praised "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" when director Michael Bay first showed the product in director's cut to him.

Bay shares to the film's fans the executive producer's reaction to the film, which proved to be highly favorable.

He wrote on his webpage: "Steven Spielberg sat next to me in a big 100 person theater at Sony today. There were 98 empty seats. The light cam up after we just watched my cut of Revenge of the Fallen."

"He turned to me and said 'It's awesome.'"

"He felt this movie was better than the first - and probably my best, who knows - at this point in a movie you start to lose your objectivity. I just hope the fans like it. I'm going to start putting it in front of audiences in a few weeks - no you are not invited, yet."

He added that they only have 60 days left to finish the highly anticipated sequel.

"Tranformers: Revenge of the Fallen" will be released on June 24. Stars Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, and John Turturro are all reprising their roles.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Sci Fi Wire posted a new interview with Indutrial Light & Magic model maker John Goodson and visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett regarding the design and creation of the new U.S.S. Enterprise NCC 1701 for the upcoming J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie. Here is an excerpt.

How updated is the Enterprise?

Roger Guyett, visual effects supervisor
: When I was a kid-when I bought toys or when I built things-I always wanted stuff to move. And one thing that frustrated me about the original Enterprise was that nothing moves on it. It was just a very static thing. ...

I don't know how familiar you are with all of the terminology of the Enterprise, but there is a main hull, which is the big disk. There is a secondary hull, which is a tube, and then you have two engines. And at the front of the bottom sort of cylinder there is this thing called the "collection plate" [aka the navigational deflector, in Trek parlance]. We made ours move, so it actually sort of comes out, and it grows, and you can move it around. We just made the whole thing much more contemporary.

And also when the ship goes into warp-of course, we had to create our version of warp, too, but you'll see the fins actually split apart slightly. So it goes into kind of like a warp mode, and from my perspective, all of those things add a level of interest and ... design to the whole process and make it so much more fun to work on every aspect of the process of the Star Trek world.

When you are on the Enterprise, you got to see a lot of the Enterprise. You can set different moments in the movie and different places- ... the engineering room or corridor or medical bay-so that you feel the enormous extent of the Enterprise. ...

: On the original TV show Enterprise, there were some patterns that were on the bottom. There's a rectangle and a circle and a T shape, and there's these big geometric forms, and I always try to sneak them in when I can, and I got to put them on this ship, too. It kind of connects us back to the original TV series a little bit. It's a subtle thing, but it does actually bridge those two ships together. ...

The pattern on the saucer is what we've always referred to as "aztec," which is what it's always been called, and that dates back to Star Trek: The Next Generation, and we wanted to pull that in on this ship and make it very subtle.

One of the things about the [Star Trek: The] Motion Picture Enterprise that was really cool for a practical model is they used the type of paint called "interference paint." This paint has little tiny [mica] prisms in it, and when you look at it from one angle, it would be red, but if you walked across the room to look at it from the other side, it appears green. There's gold and blue. There are a variety of colors you can get from this paint, and they painted the Motion Picture Enterprise with this paint. In the beginning of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, they've got, like, 20 minutes of the camera scrolling over the ship looking at all the stuff, and you see these very subtle iridescent effects.

We wanted to put that into this ship [for 2009], so we played around with some of the shaders and created, in the [digital] paint, these colored maps that look like Wonder Bread wrappers almost. Where one map would have red, the other map would have green in exactly the same spot. Where it would be blue on one map, it would be gold on the other map. What this would do, as the model moved through the virtual light, depending on where the light hit it, would affect the color. So we would get that same kind of effect that they had on the practical model in the digital model ...

Even though this technology is all fictitious, we spend a lot of time talking about it and trying to make sense out it so that when you're doing something on the ship, like putting a door in or something like that, it sort of makes sense. We'll spend a lot of time going around and around looking at it and trying to work out what you would expect to see. Even though it's all fictitious, what would you really want to see?

The full interview is here.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Squeeeee! I want these more than life itself. Some enterprising Spanish Lucasarts fan has copied scenes from Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle onto Converse sneakers.

Best Shoes Ever!!!

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