Archive for December 30, 2012


Ewan McGregor, Stella McCartney Awarded Order of the British Empire

Ewan McGregor, Stella McCartney
Krista Kennell/AFP/Getty Images; Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Let the OBE-Wan Kenobi puns commence!

Ewan McGregor has made Queen Elizabeth II‘s year-end list of Order of the British Empire (OBE) honorees, along with red-carpet favorite designer Stella McCartney.

McGregor would totally play Obi-Wan again in Star Wars 7

McGregor received his recognition for both his acting and his charity work. “I’m delighted and touched to be on the New Year’s Honours List,” he told the U.K.’s Mirror.

The award caps a big year for McCartney, who last month was named Designer of the Yearat the British Fashion Awards. Her work’s popularity with such celebs as Salma Hayek,Alicia Keys and Kate Bosworth was likely a factor in both that honor and her OBE—and her sleek, stylish Team GB Olympic uniforms probably didn’t hurt, either.

The Order of the British Empire was created in 1917 to make an order of chivalry more widely available. Though each list, which comes out twice yearly (at the end of the year and on the Queen’s birthday), taps people from all walks of life, numerous stars have received the honor—including Stella’s dad, Paul McCartney.

 

–made by ted b. kissell for eonline.com

 

Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Killer Crow’ To Complete ‘Basterds’ and ‘Django’ Trilogy?

Iconic post-modern filmmaker Quentin Tarantino incorporated spaghetti western elements throughout his throwback Kung Fu revenge tale Kill Bill, followed by the Nazi-killing adventure Inglourious Basterds. How appropriate, then, that he should go on to create a proper homage to the genre with Django Unchained (read ourreview), which is currently stirring up the pot of controversy over its depiction of slavery and African-American history.

Now, the auteur is planning to round out his historical revenge fantasy trilogy with a final installment that likewise builds on Django by fully saluting the Blaxploitation genre – and incorporates Basterds‘ men-on-a-mission sub-genre inspiration – that could go under the title Killer Crow.

Earlier this month, Tarantino sat down for an interview with The Roots editor-in-chief and professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. Their discussion was focused on Django – including, cinematic traditions it draws from and the film’s depiction of slavery – but it began with the writer-director (and occasional actor) being asked “What’s next on the list of oppressors to off?”

Tarantino offered the following:

I don’t know exactly when I’m going to do it, but there’s something about this that would suggest a trilogy. My original idea for Inglourious Basterds way back when was that this [would be] a huge story that included the [smaller] story that you saw in the film, but also followed a bunch of black troops, and they had been f–ked over by the American military and kind of go apes–t. They basically — the way Lt. Aldo Raines (Brad Pitt) and the Basterds are having an “Apache resistance” — [the] black troops go on an Apache warpath and kill a bunch of white soldiers and white officers on a military base and are just making a warpath to Switzerland.

What’s interesting about this proposition is that such a film would indeed build on the themes of Django, which (in its own Tarantino-esque way) is about the birth of the archetypal Blaxploitation protagonist. Quite literally, as Tarantino revealed at Comic-Con that he imagined the eponymous character (Jamie Foxx) and his wife Broomhilda von Shaft (Kerry Washington) to be John Shaft’s ancestors. Therefore,Killer Crow would explore the next stage in the (pseudo-)history of Blaxploitation cinema, while also bringing things full circle to the WW II setting of Basterds:

So that was always going to be part of it. And I was going to do it as a miniseries, and that was going to be one of the big storylines. When I decided to try to turn it into a movie, that was a section I had to take out to help tame my material. I have most of that written. It’s ready to go; I just have to write the second half of it.

Tarantino added that such a project would be called Killer Crow (“or something like that”) and unfold after the Normandy invasion in 1944, concurrent with Basterds. Moreover, he indicated some of the Basterds could make an appearance since the two stories immediately overlap. Who knows, maybe one of Django’s descendants will be among the character ranks, lending further credence to the popular unified QT universe theory.

Jamie Foxx in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained

Jamie Foxx is ‘Django Unchained’

Django has incited outrage for reasons ranging from the savage nature of its world to its anachronistic mix of elements, be it the soundtrack or visual shout-outs to other films. Of course, the heavy use of racial epithets continues to prompt anger from prominent black artists like Spike Lee (who’s bound to have something to say about QT planning a film about black soldiers in WW II, following his own projectMiracle at St. Anna).

Here’s what Tarantino said, with regard to Django‘s portrayal of history:

Well, you know if you’re going to make a movie about slavery and are taking a 21st-century viewer and putting them in that time period, you’re going to hear some things that are going to be ugly, and you’re going see some things that are going be ugly. That’s just part and parcel of dealing truthfully with this story, with this environment, with this land. Personally, I find [the criticism] ridiculous. Because it would be one thing if people are out there saying, “You use [the n-word] much more excessively in this movie than it was used in 1858 in Mississippi.” Well, nobody’s saying that. And if you’re not saying that, you’re simply saying I should be lying. I should be watering it down. I should be making it more easy to digest.

No, I don’t want it to be easy to digest. I want it to be a big, gigantic boulder, a jagged pill and you have no water.

Indeed, the evolution of that derogatory term (and the culture of discrimination it symbolizes) has been quietly touched upon previously in Tarantino’s Pulp Fictionand Jackie BrownDjango shines an uncomfortable spotlight on the issue that makes it impossible to ignore. Expect Killer Crow to follow that trend – and keep the buzz (good and bad) circling Tarantino’s name once it finally sees the light of day.

For more insight about the research and thought process behind Django Unchained (which is now in theaters), check out The Root‘s full Tarantino interview.

Meanwhile, we’ll keep you posted on Killer Crow as the story develops.

 

-made by sandy schaefer for screenrant.com 

_tony-iommi-1
Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi posted an end-of-year update on his official website.

Iommi, who has been battling cancer since earlier this year, assured fans that the band are hard at work on their new album and that they’ll be touring as much as possible in 2013.

Here’s the complete message:

“What a year! Certainly not the one I was expecting.

Thanks to you all for your massive help and support, it was very encouraging. I’m still working on the album and managed to play three shows, not bad given the news a year ago. I’m looking forward to next year, seeing what you think of the record and touring as much as we’re able.

My Best Wishes to you all, I hope you have a great Christmas and New Year, most of all, stay positive,

– Tony”

Black Sabbath recently revealed that they are six tracks into recording their new album, which should be released in April 2013. Iommi has hinted that the new disc will feature 15 songs.

 

made by damian fanelli for guitarworld.com. image from innocentworld.com

Green Day ¡QUATRO!‘ Full Documentary

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From ‘Avengers’ to ‘Argo’ and ‘Chronicle’ to ‘Cloud Atlas,’ THR’s fanboy expert counts down the movies that mattered in the nerd universe.

Ben Affleck Argo Set - H 2012

On paper, 2012 was supposed to be one of the greatest geek movie years ever. Ridley Scott back in sci-fi with Prometheus and Peter Jackson returning to Middle Earth withThe Hobbit. Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton was giving us Martians in live-action (John Carter) and the Wachowskis were taking on an “unfilmable” epic novel (Cloud Atlas). Not to mention new installments in the Batman, Spider-Man and Marvel sagas.

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But when the dust settled, the landscape was a little different.

This was a great year for geeks, but it wasn’t the obvious films that made our blood course faster. Many out-of-left-field surprises made it on to this list of my favorite genre/animation/sci-fi/ films of the year.

PHOTOS: Todd McCarthy’s 10 Best Movies of 2012

(And just to be clear: This list excludes films such asSilver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty, which are excellent in their own fields. And time will of course color the rankings. For example, I’m still trying to reconcile my feeling towards The Hobbit, which features the best world-buiding of the year but also is bloated like a dwarf).

But with less than a week to go in 2012, let’s chew on this:

10) Wreck-It Ralph

This Disney CG-animated movie has simple premise: a video game villain from a classic game wants to be good for once. But from something that could easily have been just a tossed away short we surprisingly got a movie that reached Pixar heights in terms of character development, humor, heart, and even a plot twist or two. Probably the best all-ages movie of the year.

9) Cloud Atlas

Andy and Lana Wachowski teamed up with German director Tom Tykwer to adaptDavid Mitchell’s time-sprawling epic novel, in the process making the most ambitious movie of the year. Six stories spanning from the mid-1800s to the 24th century are chopped up, re-arranged and interconnected by structure. On top of that, the same actors play the various characters, sometimes switching gender on us. The movie insists you pay attention as it tells of acts whose effects ripple through time. Some parts work better than others and some of the actors are as inconsistent as their prosthetic make-up, but when it soars, as it does in the future Korea and post-apocalyptic Hawai’i installments, among others, it really soars. The Wachowski are in fine form working with their favorite themes of anti-authority and destiny, and Tom Hanks reminds us again of his great versatility.

8) Django Unchained

It’s funny: While Django Unchained is not in the top tier of Quentin Tarantino’s impressive oeuvre (it rambles too long and often lacks tension), it may be his boldest and most thought-provoking entry. Sure it’s a spaghetti Western and Blaxploitation flick in a big budget blender, but the movie, about a slave (Jamie Foxx) freed by a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) on a quest to save his wife (Kerry Washington), forces you to examine your own inner feelings on racism. With its language and violence and strong performances, it does a better job at examining slavery in America than 95 percent of those self-important dramas made on the subject.

7) Frankenweenie

While we are firmly in the second decade of the 21st century, filled with cutting edge whiz-bang 3D CG animated movies, this was a banner year for stop-motion movies. The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Paranorman and Frankenweenie were all major releases in a medium that could be seen as stodgy. (Audience seem to think it is: the movies were not hits at the box office, after all.) But they are missing out on a deep well of creativity, with Tim Burton’sFrankenweenie the most audacious. Think about it: a black & white…stop-motion…1930s and 50s monster movies homage. Each of those is enough to make an exec reach for the Maalox, but combined? Man! Burton’s tale of a pet dog brought back to life by his science-loving young master is the filmmaker’s most personal and most satisfying film in years.

6) Skyfall

“Some times, the old ways are the best,” says a character in this James Bond movie. What’s amazing is that after 50 years, we get a Bond movie as vital, thrilling, entertaining, and timely as this. Skyfall, like many other late-season releases, goes on for too long and wobbles in its Straw Dogs-style ending. But the movie expertly juggles great set pieces, political intrigue and winks to the Sean Connery and  Roger Moore Bond eras while setting a 21st century course. And Daniel Craig captures the weariness of 007, but also his confidence and makes him a cool, sexy silver screen hero once again. It’s impossible to say if this is the best Bond ever since each 007 film is a reflection, good or bad, of its time. But it’s the Bond movie that we deserve right now.

5) Looper

Looper is part of the recent wave of original sci-fi movies. It’s more modest in scale than say Prometheus or Cloud Atlas but is just as ambitious in scope. Joseph Gordon-Levittis a hitman in the near future whose targets pop in, silver spoon-like, from a further future. One day his target is his future self, played by Bruce Willis. He falters, and now both hitmen are pursuing each other and their own agendas, which happen to revolve aroundEmily Blunt and her child. The movie needlessly goes Akira on us in the end, but even so, seeing Gordon-Levitt carry an action movie like he does, seeing Willis rise to writer-director’s Rian Johnson’s high bar, and seeing a complicated script be distilled in a simple but effective fashion, makes you feel safe knowing that while there may always be boring remakes and dutiful sequels in Hollywood, originality still blooms.

4) The Raid

The best action movie of the year. Director Gareth Evans’ tale is pretty simple – a SWAT team goes into a tenement to nap a drug lord and things so south fast – but the execution is not. The movie is filled with precisely choreographed fight sequences featuring an Indonesian form called sillat and a lot of machete mayhem and, like any great martial arts movie, is a wonder to behold.

3) Chronicle

The year’s other great superhero movie, although “hero” is what this movie seeks to define. The story of three teens who find themselves with superpowers, is tailored for our darker, more self-absorbed time, and can be seen as an antithesis of Avengers. With a breakthrough performance by Dane Dehaan, the found footage movie shows how an angst-ridden, down-trodden teen doesn’t take the path of a Peter Parker but rather, in the hands of director Josh Trank and screenwriters Max Landis,  the slow road to a tragic God-like complex.

2) The Avengers

In a year of some heavy-hitting superhero movies, this one reigned supreme. Yes, it had some plot holes big enough to fly the Helicarrier through, but no other movie was more enjoyable than this Marvel team-up. Director Joss Whedon made it about the characters (if you’ve ever read an Avengers comic from the 1960s, 70s or 80s, you know this movie nailed the heroes), their moments and their one-liners. It’s also one of the most immensely re-watchable movies of the year.

1) Argo

If someone said a Ben Affleck-directed period political thriller would be my favorite movie of the year, I’d have banished them into the Negative Zone. But it’s true. And even me knowing how the events of 1980 ended didn’t prevent me from being on the edge of my seat in a way that few other movies did. Argo succeeds in balancing three different worlds – Tehran, Washington and Hollywood – contrasting elements of office politics, Hollywood humor and undercover heist in telling the story of how the CIA concocted a fake movie in order to rescue six American hostages during the Iran Hostage Crisis. How is this Heat Vision material? Setting aside the heist thriller aspect, there’s the backdrop of the making of a sci-fi epic, Planet of the Apes‘ Oscar-winning make up artist John Cambers (played by John Goodman) is a major supporting character, it’s filled with Star Wars references and even ends with a shot of the classic action figures. Deceased comics legend Jack Kirby even makes a fleeting appearance as a silent character, for crying out loud. Who knew that when a full-page Argo ad ran in the trades in 1980 for the fake movie that 32 years later the movie would be an awards contender?

 

–compiled by borys for hollywoodreporter.com

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