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Showing posts from March, 2019

Celebrating 40 Years of The Making of ‘The Empire Strikes Back!’ Guest Post by Justin Berger

Imperial Stormtroopers pursue the escaping Rebels as they flee Cloud City In 1980 The Empire Strikes Back was released in theaters and broke box office records. Not surprising in hindsight given it was the sequel to the most popular film ever made, but during production George Lucas wasn’t sure if the film was going to be the huge hit everyone expected it to be. With budget problems, extended shooting schedules, disgruntled actors and major setbacks seemingly every step of the way, Empire was not an easy film to make. While 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the film’s release, I wanted to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the making of the film which took place 40 years ago today and go back and revisit some of the highlights as well as the ups and downs that occurred during the creation of this epic movie. Four decades ago filmmaker George Lucas handed the reins of his big budget Star Wars sequel over to director Irvin Kershner and producer Gary Kurtz. Having just finished

The Indiana Jones Films and Life - A Guest Post By Brad Monastiere

We have another wonderful guest post, this time from Brad Monastiere who explains why the Indiana Jones movies are so important to him. Outside of my family, I don’t think any three real-life individuals influenced me as a boy the way George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and John Williams did. I was born in 1973, making me the ripe-old age of 4 when Star Wars: A New Hope was released. I still vividly recall to this day, being so angry that Darth Vader got away. He was the bad guy, and well, it just wasn’t fair! If only a soothsayer had been present that early summer day in Southeast Michigan to assure me that because of his survival, no fewer than five more Star Wars films would be coming out. As I was able to understand the timeless story that is Star Wars at such a young age, so I was also able to get caught up in the thrills of the Indiana Jones saga at a similar stage in my life. Looking back, I am astonished at how the release of each of those four films has coincided with a sta

Steven Spielberg’s Always: 30 Years later

Guest blogger,  Fran Del Pizzo takes a look at Steven Spielberg's underrated, 'Always' Few films in Steven Spielberg’s oeuvre are as contentious as the 1989 romantic drama Always. Tending to occupy a spot near the bottom of the list in articles that rank the directors’ body of work, it is also, in the vein of Empire of the Sun (1987) and 1941 (1979) one of his lesser successful works commercially too. Despite this, it’s clear that the film was a very personal project for its director - his admiration for the Victor Fleming film that it was based upon, and the timing of his decision to make the picture at a key moment in his own life, as well as the themes and motifs that Always explores, makes it a fascinating film to look back upon on its 30 year anniversary. On a personal note, it is, along with The Terminal (2004), my favourite ‘underrated’ entry in the long career of its director and one that should be re-reviewed as a ‘quintessential Spielberg film’ (Koresky, 2012)

Spielberg and other top Hollywood gurus introduce Apple TV+

Apple TV+ Announced.  Steven Spielberg On Hand To Promote New Streaming Service. Today, Apple unveiled their new streaming service to rival the other streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.  The increasingly crowded streaming on-demand competition has now got the likes of Apple to deal with and the tech company pulled out all the punches today with their announcement.  Steven Spielberg led a glamorous group of stars as they took to the stage to announce Apple TV+. Other stars on hand were Reese Witherspoon, J.J, Abrams, Jennifer Aniston. Steve Carell, Jason Momoa and even Big Bird from Sesame Street. Apple TV+ is going to be big and Apple are eager to make it work as they have reportedly invested over a billion dollars in the new venture.  Steven Spielberg was on hand and of course the director has an interest in Apple as they announced last year that one of the launch titles will be the return of Amblin's "Amazing Stories." The Bearded Trio