Thursday, 31 December 2009
Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Dark Side is the latest Star Wars spoof video that places the animated show's characters into George Lucas' Star Wars movies—in this case, The Empire Strikes Back—but director Dominic Polcino revealed that it took a bit of persuasion to get Lucas to sign off on some of the satire's racier elements.
Dark Side drops a few F-bombs, as when Peter and Chris argue over the Family Guy-vs.-Robot Chicken spoofs of Star Wars. (Seth Green, voice of Chris, produces Robot Chicken.) Still, Family Guy got away with it.
"[Lucasfilm] were leery about some of the humor that went dark," Polcino revealed. "Saying, 'F--k you, dad' and stuff like that."
In the new DVD movie, Peter Griffin returns as Han Solo, Chris as Luke Skywalker, Lois as Princess Leia and Stewie as Darth Vader. Creator Seth MacFarlane also cast neighbor Mort Goldman as Lando Calrissian. ("We were running out of characters," MacFarlane said at his Los Angeles home on Dec. 12. "We figured hey, how about Mort?")
There's other racy bits, as when the ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi reappears to guide Luke to Dagobah. Since Herbert the pedophile is Obi-Wan, he tries to take advantage of a prone Skywalker. "If you're familiar with Empire, when Luke is passed out in the snow, about to die, Obi-Wan appears and tells him to go study with Yoda," said Mike Henry, voice of Herbert and Cleveland, in a separate interview. "Basically, in the real movie it's like, 'Luke,' and he wakes up. In this movie, it's 'Chris. Take your pants off.' Actually, I think exactly what it said was, 'Luke, pull your pants down.' So we're just going right at it."
The spoof is faithful, more or less, to the original version of Empire and not the 1997 special edition, which changed a few things, including dubbing a girlie scream over Luke's fall down the shaft in Cloud City.
"I actually wanted to make sure that our crew never saw the redone versions, because I wanted to be faithful to the original original, where he does not scream," Polcino said. "In ours, I think he doesn't scream, but he does find his hand."
Not all of Family Guy's changes were controversial. Some were just practical. Since baby Stewie plays Darth Vader, the climactic lightsaber battle had to be modified. A Stewie-sized Vader had to be more acrobatic to fend off a Chris-sized Luke. "Yeah, we have to jump up in the air almost like Yoda did in the other movies," Polcino said.
For all that was changed, you might also be surprised how many lines remain exactly as spoken in the 1980 original film. Even though Chris has a squeaky voice, Green tried to sound as much like Mark Hamill's Luke as he could. "There are some moments in this that are verbatim from the movie," Green said. "So when a really specific performance is something that you remember from the movie, we try and replicate it."
Empire Strikes Back isn't the only movie spoofed in Something, Something, Something Dark Side. As you might expect in a Family Guy production, there are other references to pop culture: American Idol, The Real World, even Rocky IV (Luke's training with Yoda features Rocky-style workouts, intercut with the live-action footage of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) working out). "I wasn't in the writer's room for that, but that's a good moment," Polcino said.
Something, Something, Something Dark Side is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Wednesday, 30 December 2009
A major new show, featuring music and images from the Star Wars films, is to come to Scotland for the first time.
Star Wars in Concert - which premiered in London earlier this year - will tour the whole of the UK in the spring, including a date at Glasgow's SECC.
The show is being performed by a full orchestra and choir, alongside images from all six films.
The show has taken director George Lucas and composer John Williams four years to realise.
It has since toured the world but the UK tour next spring will be the show's first visit to Scotland.
The date set is Saturday 13 March 2010.
As well as featuring images, props and costumes from the film, the show is narrated by English actor Anthony Daniels - who voiced the character C-3PO in all six films.
George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars saga said: "We've taken the key themes from the music and cut together all the images that fit with each theme, so you can really get a sense of how the music played into the images.
"The whole soundtrack is a testament to John Williams' creativity and his extraordinary ability to enhance the emotional aspects of the films."
Tuesday, 29 December 2009
Steven Spielberg has won the Motion Picture Sound Editors' (MPSE) 2010 'Filmmaker Award'.
The veteran Hollywood director will be honoured at MPSE's Golden Reel Awards ceremony on February 20 in Los Angeles for the groundbreaking and innovative soundtracks that have accompanied his movies over his 40-year career, Contactmusic reports.
MPSE president Bobbi Banks said: "Steven Spielberg's evolution of the sound experience and collaboration with the sound and music editors has helped to shape new dimensions in sound."
Spielberg was reported last week to have abandoned a remake of Harvey with Dreamworks.
Monday, 28 December 2009
by Robert Wainfur
For christmas I was delighted to have received a signed copied of The Stan Winston Effect. I could not put the book down. Wonderfully inciteful and well written the book starts obviously at the beginning of Winston's career mentioning Gargoyles a 1972 TV movie.
Winston was straight out of apprenticeship but he had no reservations about challenging the producers regarding crediting the make-up artists in the credits, a practice that was not the norm in the movie industry at that time.
Gargoyles was his first job in TV and although Winston only worked on the background artists, he along with his artist collegues won an Emmy award. An award that would have not happened had Winston not insisted on the inclusion of the make-up artists in the credits as you can only be nominated if you are credited. The book is wonderfully illustrated and well laid out. If you have some christmas money to spend you won't go far wrong with this gem. If you can, try to get the signed copy limited to three thousand copies. Stan Winston died on June 15, 2008, in Malibu, California after suffering for seven years from multiple myeloma. The book was published before his unfortunate death. He will be missed by the Movie Industry, friends, family and Fans all over the world.
Sunday, 27 December 2009
Steven Spielberg has dropped out of directing a remake of the classic James Stewart movie Harvey, according to industry newspaper Variety.
It is thought Spielberg struggled to find a lead actor after Tom Hanks reportedly turned the role down and Robert Downey Jr refused to commit.
The original film was based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play of the same name by Mary Chase.
It is thought studio 20th Century Fox will continue with the project.
Harvey, which tells the story about a man who claims his best friend is a giant invisible rabbit, was a huge success.
Stewart received a best actor nomination at the 1951 Oscars for his performance, while his co-star, Josephine Hull, won best supporting actress.
Spielberg has not confirmed what he is planning to direct next.
He has recently completed production on The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn.
Friday, 25 December 2009
Thursday, 24 December 2009
Lets make no doubt that John Williams is a genius when it comes to musical scores. When George Lucas decided to change the ending of Return of the Jedi he asked John Williams to write a new ending to the film. Below are the two versions. Although they are both excellent I cannot help liking the original just that little bit more due to the memories it brings back. I am one of the few who loved the Ewoks and still do. Return of the Jedi will always hold a special place in my hearts
(Just in case you wanted to sing along the lyrics are below)
Yub nub, eee chop yub nub,
toe meet toe pee chee keene, g'noop dock fling oh ah.
Coat ee chah tu yub nub,
Coat ee chah tu yah wah,
Coat ee chah tu glo wah.
allay loo ta nuv
Glo wah, eee chop glo wah, ya glo wah pee chu nee foam,
ah toot dee awe goon daa.
Coat ee cha tu goo (Yub nub!)
coat ee cha tu doo (Yah wah!)
coat ee cha tu too (ya chaa!)
allay loo tu nuv (3 times)
Glo wah, eee chop glo wah.
Ya glow wah pee chu nee foam,
ah toot dee awe goon daa
allay loo tu nuv.
I do like the new ending but Hayden's looks constipated at the end.
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Check out Lucasarts new book - Rogue Leaders
Here's my review
Check out John Williams Indiana Jones soundtrack boxset
Here's my review
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
Received my Indiana Jones: The Soundtrack Collection box set on Saturday and is it worth it? Well short answer is "Yes!" Long answer is "Definitely Yes!"
Soundtrack collectors have been crying out for years for a complete soundtrack release of the Indiana Jones films and this is as close as they are going to get for some time.
It comes in a nice looking box
Each CD comes with a booklet with photos from each film, track listings and behind the scenes.
Also included is a separate booklet that has some extremely nice photos from all the movies and an introduction from Laurent Bouzereau (Soundtrack Reissue Producer.) He also hosts the interviews with John Williams, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg on the fifth extras disc.
For those who already have the soundtrack on CD and are thinking of getting this box set then just a word of warning. You may want to hold on to your original as this version of Raiders Of The Lost Ark does not have the full version of "The Desert Chase." Also the track "The Well of the Souls" has additional material on the fifth disc but is missing about 30 seconds from the LP original version. However, this is a fantastic soundtrack release and I cannot recommend it enough. The fifteen minute interviews with John Williams, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are excellent and informative. I can see this box set being a sort after item in years to come.
If you are in the UK, Amazon have this on offer for £17.99. A real bargain.
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
If like me you are in your thirties then chances are you remember the first time you went to see Star Wars when it was released back in 1977. I do. It was the opening week and my Brother took me to see the film that changed Cinema forever. I was five years old. The film had created such a buzz that when we arrived at the cinema the queue was right around the building. I remember we waited in line for two hours, yes two hours! Strange thing is I don't remember anything about watching the film (I have seen the film so many times that my other memories have overwritten that part) but I do remember asking my Brother to hum the theme tune to me on the bus ride home in which he did in front of people. From that point on I was hooked and that moment in my life is what turned me into the Sci-fi geek I am today and proud if it. Also from that point I started collecting Star Wars toys in particular the kenner figures and ships and I still do. A few years back I joined rebelscum forum, a forum for Star Wars collectors. It was there that I learnt about this fantastic book.
Collect All 21! Memoirs of a Star Wars Geek - The First 30 Years by John BoothIt is an absolute must read if you are a collector, a retro fan or if you remember the first time you unpacked that Boba Fett. There are some fantastic memories from the author such as the first time he watched Star Wars, seeing a blue snaggletooth for the first time in a library and missing the first ten minutes of Empire Strikes Back. This book is full of gems that will bring back memories. I had to laugh at this one story he brings up...
Remember the final duel in Return of the Jedi, when Luke lets his anger get the best of him and he just wails on Vader and then cuts his hand off, and then looks at his own black-gloved hand with the realization of what he could become? I'd forgotten that he'd put that glove on after getting shot in the hand on Tatooine. and the first time I saw that movie, I thought somehow that Vader's limb had actually grown onto Luke's arm, an actual physical transformation instead of the metaphor that was suggested.
I remember I actually thought that too when Return of the Jedi was released. I had forgotten that. Its memories like that, that this book will bring back to the surface. I cannot recommend this book enough. Its a fantastic read. My only criticism is that there's not enough. I want a sequel. Buy this book, you wont be disappointed. check out my Star Wars Collection.
Click here for John Booth's Blog
Click below to buy from Amazon
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Monday, 21 December 2009
Sunday, 20 December 2009
This painting represents R2-D2 and C-3PO first arriving on Tatooine after their narrow escape from the Imperial Stormtroopers via a Life Pod (which can be seen in the background). McQuarrie used a photograph of the Oregon coast to guide his painting of the landscape, following the line of the cliff and replacing the ocean with sand dunes.
C-3PO was inspired by the beautiful robot seen in Fritz Lang's classic silent film Metropolis, but Lucas wanted it to look more male then female. McQuarrie's C-3PO looks much more graceful and slim than the 'droid was to become in the film. The problems of a person moving in all of that equipment made it necessary for C-3PO's body to be bigger and to have larger joints.
Lucas wanted R2-D2 to be like a small tripod which would move by throwing one leg outward and pitching itself forward like a man on crutches. but the problems of getting R2-D2 to move in that manner couldn't be solved, so he had to be made to glide forward or hobble about.
Saturday, 19 December 2009
Friday, 18 December 2009
Here we have an incipient confrontation as the small group of fugitives try to escape the Imperial Stormtroopers. Chewbacca is carrying the Princess; a bearded Han Solo can be seen in an earlier costume design - a blue outfit with a cape; and Luke is in the background. McQuarrie envisioned the hallways as being lit indirectly, through thin slots. Defying standard principles, the light would radiate from these narrow spaces at 360 degrees, while the slots themselves would be detectable only from particular angles. It would be a testament to the genious of these people that they discovered a key to the universe that permitted them to harness an incredible energy in this manner.
Thursday, 17 December 2009
Steven Spielberg will produce an adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's 1982 novel War Horse for DreamWorks.
The book centres on a boy and his horse who are separated when the boy joins the fight during World War I, says Variety.
"From the moment I read Michael Morpurgo's novel War Horse, I knew this was a film I wanted DreamWorks to make," said Spielberg.
He added: "Its heart and its message provide a story that can be felt in every country."
The Oscar-winning director is to produce alongside Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy and Revel Guest.
Billy Elliot scribe Lee Hall has been tapped to adapt the novel.
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Monday, 14 December 2009
Sunday, 13 December 2009
I picked this up the other week off ebay. Love this item. I always wanted one of these. Before the days of video recorders and DVD players this was as close as we could get to watching the Star Wars movies in our bedroom.
It comes with 112 slides (some pictured below) on 16 strips which you manually feed through the slot on the front. Some of the slides are quite laughable. I really like this item and is a nice addition to anyones collection.
Click on the pics for larger photos.