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Showing posts from August, 2020

VIDEO: I love this short video celebrating 100 years of Universal Studios

Back in 2012, Universal celebrated their 100 years of Universal Studios and to celebrate they created this movie montage that was played at the beginning of their DVD and Blu-ray releases.  I Love the introduction and I  could never skip this little intro.  Featuring scenes from Jurassic Park, E.T, Back to the Future, Schindler's List and more.  Listen out for the music from Amazing Stories too. 

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment kicked off the celebration in January 2012 with a special 50th anniversary release of To Kill a Mockingbird, debuting on Blu-ray for the first time ever.

Throughout the year, Universal paid tribute to other influential films in the Universal library with special events and Blu-ray releases of such iconic classics as Jaws and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial which celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Rob

Steven Spielberg Bailed Out Of Jurassic Park Ride Just Before 85-Foot Drop, Iain Johnstone Explains In His Book

I was lucky enough to have been sent a copy of the superb book, 'Close Encounters' - A Media Memoir by Iain Johnstone published by Spellbinding Media.

Author and broadcaster Iain Johnstone is the former presenter of Film ’82 and Sunday Times film critic. He co-wrote the screenplay for the film Fierce Creatures with John Cleese and has filmed eight documentaries with Steven Spielberg.

It was this last fact that particularly peaked my interest and was looking forward to finding out in the book what Johnstone had to say about the movie director and if he had any interesting stories to tell. I wasn't disappointed. In fact there is a whole chapter on Steven Spielberg. Here are just some of the interesting facts I found out about Steven Spielberg:

Although Steven makes daredevil adventure movies, he freely admits he is still a bit of a wimp himself when it comes to physical challenges. At the opening of the Jurassic Park water ride at Universal, he made a point of getting o…

Top Ten Movies Where Steven Spielberg Is Credited As Producer by Dominic Holder

Hi folks and welcome to my latest top 10. I'm going a little bit left field and looking at the top 10 films where Spielberg hasn't directed but has been credited as Producer or Executive Producer. One of the attractions of Spielberg to me growing up, was even if he wasn't in the director's chair he seemed to be involved in the majority of films that I enjoyed growing up.

With over 170 Production credits to his name, putting a Top 10 wasn't as easy as I thought it would be at first. I immediately discounted any that he had directed, and ignored the dozens currently on his announced slate on IMDB. I have also culled a few more by not looking at sequels, however, this still left me with a plethora of options. So I decided to go with the heart and not the head on this one, which means quality productions such as the Coen's True Grit are left off and also there is the omission of crowd favourites Innerspace and The Money Pit which would have been 11 and 12th respe…

7 Movies That Are Instantly Recognisable Thanks To John Williams

John Williams.  His music is instantly recognisable and some more than others.  Here are seven movies that every one will instantly recognise thanks to the maestro, John Williams1 - Star Wars
It's one of the biggest franchises in the world and has been since it exploded on to the big screen back in 1977 and of course it needed a soundtrack to compliment the excitement on screen and Williams didn't disappoint.  In fact, when George Lucas heard the soundtrack for the first time during the making of A New Hope, the director said that the music was one of the few elements that exceeded his expectations.





2 - Indiana Jones
Adventure!  That's the emotion the theme to Indiana Jones evokes.  Thanks to Steven Spielberg we get two for the price of one in the signature piece.  When John Williams was writing the music he went to Steven with two versions for the melody.  Spielberg asked "can't you use both?"  So he did and we get the familiar tune in section A and B.





3 - Ja…

Steven Spielberg's Father, Arnold Spielberg Dies at 103

Arnold Spielberg Passes Away, Age 103 Sad news as we learn Steven Spielberg's father, Arnold Spielberg has died at the age of 103 from natural courses.  According to a statement, Steven was with his father when he died.  Steven said about his father, “You are our hearth. You are our home...When I see a PlayStation, when I look at a cell phone — from the smallest calculator to an iPad — I look at my dad and I say, ‘My dad and a team of geniuses started that.’”
Variety tells us: In addition to Steven, he had three daughters, Anne, Nancy and Sue. In a joint statement, Spielberg’s children said their father taught them to “love to research, expand their mind, keep their feet on the ground, but reach for the stars [and] look up.”

“Thank you for my life. I love you, Dad, Daddy, Daddelah. And then so then, and then so then, what happens next…” they told him at his bedside.
Spielberg is preceded in death by his brother, Irvin “Buddy” Spielberg, his wife, Bernice Colner Spi…

VIDEO: Making of the Computer Graphics for Star Wars (Episode IV)

Larry Cuba Explains How Computer Graphics Were Created For The First Star Wars Movie The computer graphics for the first Star Wars film was created by Larry Cuba in the 1970's at the Electronic Visualisation Laboratory (EVL.)  At the time it was known as the Circle Graphics Habitat at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  In this detailed video he explains how one of the first instances of computers graphics in a movie was made for Star Wars: A New Hope.  Advanced tech for 1977.

VIDEO: Vintage 70's Interview With Mark Hamill On Star Wars "Its Impossible To Explain"

In this vintage clip from the 70s, Mark Hamill finds it difficult to explain what Star Wars is.  He also talks about his auditions and the special effects from Industrial Light and Magic.  It's a classic clip and not to be missed.  Retro heaven.

I love how he mentions part two will not have anything to do with the first one and not be called Star Wars, "  It might be called Alderaan with Love or the Alien who loved me." - Rob


Memo From 1984 Lists 40 Actors Considered For Role Of Doc Brown In Back to the Future

Memo For Doc Brown Role Shows 40 Potential Actors It is well known that Michael J. Fox was the first choice to play Marty McFly in the Back to the Future movies, even though initially the role was given to Eric Stoltz because Fox was committed to the filming of the TV show, Family Ties.  But the role of Doc Brown or "the scientist" as the role was known in the early stages was less defined.  The creative team did not have a candidate in mind so casting director, Mike Fenton, Jane Feinberg and Judy Taylor produced a memo with a list of forty names.  It's quite interesting to see names on the list that would make you wonder how they would have interpreted Doc Brown.

Names such as John Cleese, Gene Hackman, Gene Wilder and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Rene Auberjonois who played the shape-shifting Odo in the hit TV series were all on the list, some with lines through their name.  One can only assume these were dismissed at an early stage while those with ticks showed a…

George Lucas and his various movie cameos

We've taken a look at Steven Spielberg in front of the camera. Well, his pal George Lucas has also shown his face a few times in the spotlights. We could come up with a few stills, to prove that.
Spielberg and Lucas worked together on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and maybe that's why the teamed up together in this cameo as well. Both directors portrayed missionaries, portrayed in the background, who are waiting at the airport, the moment Indy tries to escape Lao Che by plane. Another cameo where George is barely visible and not recognizable at all,  is his bit-part in Spielberg's Hook.  In one scene we see a couple floating in the sky, kissing each other.  This couple is made up of George Lucas and none other that Carrie Fisher. Lucky for us, George's next came gives us a very clear look at him.  The film is Beverly Hills Cop 3, and the scene is one where a couple comes forward, rather disappointed, that their day out has turned into something of a disaster.  Nex…

DAN'S DELIBERATION: THE CONS THAT COULD HAVE BEEN

This coming weekend was to have been Wizard World in Chicago. A pop-culture con that has appearances from celebrities in the film, television, and comic book world. This year I was going just to meet Emily Swallow, who portrays the Armorer in “The Mandalorian”. But COVID-19 pushed that convention back until June of 2021. Who knows if any of the attending guest list they already had will be able to make the new dates?

     Of course, next weekend was when Star Wars Celebration 2020 was to have taken place. I know my wallet and bank account are quite pleased with my being able to stay home during this time, and thinking about it myself, I’m glad I’m not having to risk my health to attend said events. I heard someone say that conventions won’t be returning to normal until 2022! So, IF cons are to take place next year, and IF a cure or vaccine for COVID isn’t available yet, what does everyone think cons would/should look like?

     My own opinion on this is that ticket sales would have t…

Original Concept Artwork goes under the hammer. Work From Close Encounters, Back to the Future and more.

**ORIGINAL FILM ARTWORK TO BE SOLD IN HOLLYWOOD AUCTION NEXT WEEK** Paintings, sketches, and more from Star Wars, Batman, Star Trek, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters to go under the hammer in upcoming Los Angeles auction Original hand-painted Bob Peak poster concept art from Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (1984) is estimated to sell between $10,000 – 15,000 (£7.6k – 11.4k) as part of Prop Store’s Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction on Wednesday 26th August and Thursday 27th August 2020, featuring a collection of film memorabilia worth over $6 million (£4.8 million)Over 850 unique and original items to be made available to bidders in one of the world’s largest live auctions of film and television memorabiliaBids can be placed online from anywhere in the world, by phone or in personProp Store is hosting another auction and this time you could get your hands on a hand-drawn Ralph McQuarrie concept painting from BACK TO THE FUTURE: THE RIDE (1991) and the estimate is "only&quo…

CLASSIC VIDEO: 1984 Special Effects Video Shows Us Spielberg And Lucas’ Greatest Tricks

The Magic of Special Effects, this hour-long 1984 episode spends a lot of its time with the Industrial Light & Magic team. Look out for Steven Spielberg and George Lucas

A 1984 documentary on special effects for "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom", "Explorers", "Return of the Jedi", and "2010". The section in particular on how they did the 150 ships battle scene in Jedi shows just how much manual work went into the shot (it took months).

VIDEO: Interview With George Lucas. Talks To About His Early Life In Film School.

George Lucas talks about his early life at film school and reflects on the cinematic process with reference to his movies, including the creation of Star Wars.



Rach

Tom Gross From Coffee With Kenobi Answers Our Quick Fire Questions

On this week's 'Quick Fire Questions' we have Tom Gross from Coffee With Kenobi.  Tell us about yourself, Tom:I am Tom Gross.  Some know me as the Cycling Librarian or the CWK newsman.  Others call me Dungeon Master and a couple call me #GymnastDad.   As one may guess from my many titles, I love a lot of stuff, and I like to keep busy.  I make my living as a high school librarian which gives me a great opportunity to promote reading and storytelling!  Outside of the library, you might find me riding the rural roads on my road bike or cheering on my children in gymnastics competitions.  Four years ago, as a life long fan of the Star Wars saga, I  joined the Coffee with Kenobi family.

Right, here we go with the quick fire questions.  Good luck, Tom!

You're stuck in a swamp on Dagobah (Star Wars). What one movie, TV show, album and book would you take? 
Rogue One, Star Wars Rebels, John Cougar Mellencamp Scarecrow album, Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Player's Handb…

Press Release: Disney+ to Premiere “The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special” on Life Day, November 17

‘Tis the Season for Life Day and the LEGO Group to snap together for a festive holiday celebration of the entire Star Wars saga This November, a new LEGO® Star Wars holiday adventure is set to make spirits bright when fans are dashed away to the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk to celebrate the galaxy’s most hopeful and joyous day, Life Day, in “The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special,” premiering exclusively on the service on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.

“The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special” reunites Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewie, Rose and the droids for a joyous feast on Life Day, a holiday first introduced in the 1978 “Star Wars Holiday Special.” The new LEGO special is the first to debut on Disney+ and will continue the rich legacy of collaboration between Lucasfilm and LEGO—playful adventures told in the endearingly irreverent way that only LEGO Star Wars cobranded content can.  Directly following the events of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” Rey leaves her friends to prepare for Life Day as …

CLASSIC CLIPS - Watch John Williams win Five Academy Award for Best Original Score

Watch John Williams win Five Academy Awards Williams has won five Academy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards, and 22 Grammy Awards. With 50 Academy Award nominations, Williams is the second most-nominated individual, after Walt Disney.

With The Oscars taking place today and once again John Williams in the running for Star Wars The Force Awakens lets hope we will be adding another video to the five below.

"Fiddler on the Roof" - 1972
John Williams winning the Best Original Score Oscar® for "Fiddler on the Roof" at the 44th Annual Academy Awards® in 1972. Presented by Betty Grable and Dick Haymes.


"Jaws" - 1976
Marlo Thomas and Rod McKuen presenting John Williams with Best Original Score Oscar® for "Jaws" at the 48th Annual Academy Awards® in 1976. Introduced by Goldie Hawn and George Segal.


"Star Wars" - 1978
John Williams wins the Oscar for Music (Original Score) for Star Wars at the 50th Academy Awards. …

CLASSIC VIDEO: Wild Signals - John Williams - Close Encounters of the Third Kind - Light Show

This is a video of a lighting show performed to the song 'Wild Signals' by John Williams from the movie 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind.'

The light show opened a concert for the Berkshire Symphony Orchestra at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.     

Rachel

Photos And Video Of E.T. Cereal. Retro 80's Movie Tie-In Food.

Tasting of  "peanut butter and chocolate-flavored crispy, sweetened 2-grain cereal". The cereal pieces came in the shapes of the capital letters "E" and "T" to spell everyone's favourite alien.

It was said the reason for the flavour was to emulate Reese's Pieces sweets which of course was used in the 1982 Steven Spielberg directed movie.  Here's some more photos along with a retro TV commercial.


CLASSIC VIDEO: John Williams Conducts Close Encounter Of The Third Kind and Superman

This is a rendition of Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Superman by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Enjoy this glorious retro video, psychedelic colours included.


Rachel

VIDEO: Jurassic Park & Jaws Godzilla Trailer Mash Ups.

What happens when you mash up the audio of the 2014 Godzilla movie with Jurassic Park and Jaws?  Well those clever people over at The Indietoolbox have the answer.  Check out the videos below.  They go together surprisingly well.





DAN'S DELIBERATION: Intermission For "Movies In Concerts"

DAN's Deliberation: Dan Dudych Gives Us His Thoughts On "Movies In Concerts" And How They Could Return Back on Nov 25th of 2018, the “Chicago Symphony Orchestra” had a screening of “The Empire Strikes Back” with the CSO providing all of John Williams’ score. I paid the extra $$$ to get a seat up close and it was sooooooo worth it!

The minute the film started and the music began, my eyes welled up with tears, it was so incredibly moving and beautiful. I had never attended anything like this before and could not wait for them to do this again with another SW film. They did it for “Jurassic Park” & “Harry Potter”, as well as some other films, but my interests were with “Star Wars” and the “Indiana Jones” films.

The CSO was going to do “Return of the Jedi” this summer, but that was cancelled due to COVID. They are also supposed to do “The Force Awakens” towards the end of the year, but who knows if that will happen or be cancelled as well?  If they were to put these typ…