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Sunday, April 8, 2018

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY... The Final Poster and Theatrical Trailer Are Here!

The final theatrical poster for SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

A few hours ago, Disney aired a new preview for Ron Howard's upcoming Star Wars installment during American Idol on ABC TV. The preview—which should appear on the big screen in front of Avengers: Infinity War less than three weeks from now—finally gives us a hint about what the main story will be. Needless to say, it's a heist film, just like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is, but on a smaller, more comedic scale. And I'm diggin' it. The new trailer gave me more confidence that Alden Ehrenreich will do a commendable job impersonating the great Harrison Ford in his take as Han Solo. Donald Glover looks more and more awesome as Lando Calrissian, Emilia Clarke is gorgeous as Qi'Ra, Woody Harrelson will once again play a mentor figure (like he did to Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games franchise)...this time to Solo, and Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) definitely looks like he'll get to shine in Solo: A Star Wars Story (compared to the amount of screentime he had in The Last Jedi). And of course, the Millennium Falcon will have its own origin story as well. Can't wait to see how badass Paul Bettany will be as Dryden Vos; ditto with the mysterious Enfys Nest (the actress who plays her hasn't yet been revealed).

Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) and Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) inspect the Millennium Falcon in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

There are so many cool images in the new Solo trailer that I couldn't fit most of them here. But why would you want screenshots anyway when I posted the trailer itself at the very bottom of this blog entry? I hope you're as excited for this new Star Wars flick as I am! If not—well, there's also the start of filming for Star Wars: Episode IX to look forward to this summer (in late July, to be exact). That is all.

An Imperial Star Destroyer undergoes construction above a city in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Enfys Nest has a standoff with Han Solo (off-screen) in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Han Solo has a standoff with Enfys Nest (off-screen) in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Qi'Ra (Emilia Clarke) greets Han Solo in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) will clash with Han Solo and his gang of pirates in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Lando Calrissan (Donald Glover) will play a fateful card game that will cost him the Millennium Falcon in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

The Millennium Falcon in her early incarnation in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Lando Calrissian, Han Solo and L3-37 (voiced and motion-captured by Phoebe Waller-Bridge) prepare to fly off in the Millennium Falcon in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

The Millennium Falcon approaches an unknown world in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

The Conveyex will be the source of a major heist in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Standing atop the Conveyex, Stormtroopers open fire in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

The Millennium Falcon enters the atmosphere of an unknown world in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Val (Thandie Newton) will be a member of Han Solo's new band of pirates in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson) has words of wisdom for Han Solo in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Chewbacca greets a fellow Wookie (his wife?) in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Qi'Ra and Han Solo learn an interesting personal tidbit about Chewbacca while riding inside the Millennium Falcon in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

The Millennium Falcon approaches an unknown village in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

L3-37 is proud to be a part of the heist involving Han Solo, Qi-Ra, Tobias Beckett and company in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Han Solo hangs onto Chewbacca as the Wookie almost falls out of the Conveyex in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Chewbacca hangs on for deal life as the Conveyex skims the side of a mountain in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.


Sunday, March 4, 2018

THE SHAPE OF WATER Wins Best Picture!

At a Q&A screening for THE SHAPE OF WATER at Landmark Theatres in west Los Angeles...on February 22, 2018.

In honor of Guillermo del Toro's latest film winning the Academy Award for Best Picture (plus Best Director, Original Score and Production Design) tonight, just thought I'd share these pics that I took at a special screening for The Shape of Water on February 22. Guillermo del Toro and his co-writer Vanessa Taylor were on-hand after the movie ended to discuss the adventure-fantasy drama at Landmark Theatres in west Los Angeles. Needless to day, del Toro is a genius! He is absolutely inspirational... There are so many insightful things that he said during the Q&A last month, but this one comment stood out: "Cinema has been around for over a hundred years. All you have is your voice." So true.

It doesn't matter if a certain story has been retold over and over on the big screen since the dawn of the 20th century. All that matters is that you put your own personal spin on this tale—much like how George Lucas put a spin on old Flash Gordon sci-fi serials as well as western and Japanese samurai flicks by creating Star Wars, Ridley Scott brought back sword-and-sandal epics with Gladiator, horror films were re-defined by the Scream, Saw, and Paranormal Activity franchises, and James Cameron put a spin on Fern Gully and Dances with Wolves with Avatar. Though um, I think that last example isn't particularly flattering to Mr. Cameron... But the message still stands: Even if the story may not be completely original, write it anyway with the knowledge that you're hopefully adding a neat twist to it via your own unique idiosyncrasy. Carry on.

Oh, and congrats to retired NBA legend Kobe Bryant on winning an Oscar for his animated short film Dear Basketball tonight!

Director Guillermo del Toro and co-writer Vanessa Taylor do a Q&A panel for THE SHAPE OF WATER at Landmark Theatres in west Los Angeles...on February 22, 2018.

Director Guillermo del Toro and co-writer Vanessa Taylor do a Q&A panel for THE SHAPE OF WATER at Landmark Theatres in west Los Angeles...on February 22, 2018.

At a Q&A screening for THE SHAPE OF WATER at Landmark Theatres in west Los Angeles...on February 22, 2018.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

THE POST: "The Press Was to Serve the Governed, Not the Governors."

Meryl Streep plays 'The Washington Post' owner Kay Graham and Tom Hanks portrays the newspaper's executive editor Ben Bradlee in THE POST.

So I finally watched Steven Spielberg's newest film The Post yesterday, and needless to say, it was very eye-opening. This movie deserves to win the Best Picture trophy at the Oscars next month for the sole fact it'll bring attention to the unfortunate reality that history is repeating itself again. But instead of a president trying to bar the media from reporting on a war in Southeast Asia that should never have taken place (and lying to the public about not being a crook, but this was never alluded to in Spielberg's film), we have a so-called leader in the White House who keeps attacking the American press for reporting on the fact that he's a traitor to our country by colluding with the Russians to win the election almost two years ago. And thinks that he's a "very stable genius."

And in case you're about to say that the Academy Awards don't bestow trophies on films for political reasons (and not just because they're well-made movies), look no further than to past Best Picture winners like Spotlight (sexual abuse in the Catholic Church) and The Hurt Locker (the Iraq War). Carry on.

Monday, February 5, 2018

The SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY Super Bowl Ad and Teaser Trailer Are Here!

Alden Ehrenreich plays a young Han Solo in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

After months of speculation as to when Disney would begin promoting its next Star Wars movie after The Last Jedi, the company finally got the ball rolling by showing a 45-second teaser in the first quarter of the Super Bowl yesterday...and the official trailer during ABC TV's Good Morning America this morning. All I can say is...I'm a die-hard Star Wars nut, so of course I would be stoked over the newly-revealed footage!

Han Solo stares up at the Millennium Falcon in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

The only note I have about Solo is Alden Ehrenreich's voice as Han Solo. Definitely not as gruff as that of Harrison Ford... Then again, if you're a fan of the CW TV show Supernatural like I am, you'd notice that the voices of Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki (who play Dean and Sam Winchester on the show, respectively) weren't as deep during Season 1 in 2005 as they are this year (in Season 13 of Supernatural). Of course, I'm pretty sure that this comparison probably flew over the heads of most of you reading this entry! It's all good. Just check out these screenshots of Solo's main cast and then the two trailers below. Happy Monday!

Emilia Clarke plays Qi'Ra in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Donald Glover plays a young Lando Calrissian in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Woody Harrelson plays Tobias Beckett in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Joonas Suotamo, who played Chewbacca in STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, reprises his role as the Wookie in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.




Thursday, January 25, 2018

Photos of the Day: Meet CAPTAIN MARVEL!

Brie Larson wears a green (Kree?) warrior suit on the set of CAPTAIN MARVEL.

Just thought I'd share these pics giving us our first look at Brie Larson as Captain Marvel. In the images above and below, Larson is wearing a green suit that is speculated to have been taken from a Kree warrior named Mar-Vell, who will be played by Jude Law in the movie. (You'll know who the Kree are if you're a regular viewer of the Marvel series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., on ABC TV) And in the last two photos of this entry is the Oscar-winning actress wearing a flight suit as she boards an F-15 Eagle fighter jet at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. Awesome stuff.

Brie Larson wears a green (Kree?) warrior suit on the set of CAPTAIN MARVEL.

Lookin' forward to Captain Marvel when it hits theaters nationwide on March 8, 2019. And of course, I can't wait to see Carol Danvers join Captain America and Co. in the fourth, currently-untitled Avengers film that arrives in cinemas less than two months later...on May 3. I hope Brie Larson will be as bad-ass a heroine as Gal Gadot was in Wonder Woman! That is all.

Brie Larson, who plays Carol Danvers in CAPTAIN MARVEL, poses near the cockpit of an F-15 Eagle fighter jet at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

Brie Larson, who plays Carol Danvers in CAPTAIN MARVEL, poses near the cockpit of an F-15 Eagle fighter jet at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The 2018 Academy Award Nominations...

Frances McDormand has been nominated as Best Actress for her role in the Best Picture nominee THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI.

Earlier today, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveiled the list of nominees who will be up for Oscars during the 90th annual Academy Awards on March 4 (airing on ABC TV at 5 PM, PST). Out of all the Best Picture nominees for 2017, I saw Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk, Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Jordan Peele's Get Out. I think that Three Billboards will be the Best Picture winner (it was a great film; I'm glad that Frances McDormand is nominated for Best Actress, and Sam Rockwell as Best Supporting Actor), though I wouldn't be surprised or disappointed if Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water won instead. Much props to Peele for earning a Best Director nod for his horror-comedy flick Get Out—which received a total of four nominations [which also includes Best Picture, Actor (for Daniel Kaluuya, below) and Original Screenplay]. I hope Peele's comedy sketch buddy Keegan-Michael Key isn't too envious!

Daniel Kaluuya (here with Allison Williams) has been nominated as Best Actor for his role in the Best Picture nominee GET OUT.

In regards to the technical categories, Blade Runner 2049 (which I watched twice at the theater) is up for five awards: Best Cinematography, Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing and Production Design. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is up for four Oscars: Best Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing and Original Score. Considering that these first three nominations are up against Blade Runner 2049, I reckon The Last Jedi will come up empty in those categories. And I'm surprised that John Williams has been nominated for the two Disney Star Wars films that he worked on... His work on The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi were well-done (I like the themes for Rey, Kylo Ren and the Resistance), but the Star Wars prequels had more memorable tunes in The Phantom Menace's "Duel of the Fates," Attack of the Clones' "Across the Stars" and Revenge of the Sith's "Battle of the Heroes." But enough dwelling on the past. I hope that Williams will close out his third Star Wars trilogy when it comes time to composing the score for Episode IX next year. And he gets an Oscar nomination for that as well!

Ana de Armas and Ryan Gosling star in BLADE RUNNER 2049, which is up for five Oscars...including Best Visual Effects.

And lastly, it's unfortunate that Wonder Woman came up completely empty-handed this morning. Wonder Woman was a watershed in being a movie directed by a woman, starring a woman, and telling the story of a superhero that empowered women. Sorry, Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot. But hey— As a Los Angeles Lakers fan, I'm glad that 5-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant got an Oscar nomination for a film that he worked on last year! Go to this Blog entry to read more about it. Happy Tuesday!

Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver star in STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, which is up for four Oscars...including Best Original Score.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Remembering Heath Ledger...

Today marks 10 years since Heath Ledger sadly passed away at the age of 28 in New York City. If only he was here to enjoy the accolades he would receive for his Oscar-winning performance in a cinematic masterpiece that was unveiled to the world less than 6 months later... You all know what I'm talking about.

May he rest in peace.

Today marks a decade since the passing of Heath Ledger...who won a posthumous Oscar for his role as the Joker in THE DARK KNIGHT.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year, Everyone!

A Porg is about to watch one of its own brethren get devoured by Chewbacca (off-screen) in STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI.

Just thought I'd share these funny pics from Star Wars: The Last Jedi that I saw online. Both of these are actual screenshots from the movie (in case you haven't yet contributed to the film's $517 million domestic box office gross by seeing it at the theater), but the image below is obviously altered. For the record, I like Porgs! Have a safe and memorable 2018.

An altered screenshot of two Porgs inspecting Luke Skywalker's old lightsaber on the planet Ahch-To in STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI.