George Lucas

It was only a matter of time before George Lucas started making more changes to his Star Wars movies. The guy has seemed to crack the code that the more versions of something he makes, the more times he can sell it to his hopelessly devoted legion of fans. Or, more accurately for what he did with the Special Edition Star Wars DVDs, all he has to do is sell everybody a screwed up version of the movies they love, and then he can go back later and make double the money by selling them the original versions that they wanted in the first place. The only thing he has to worry about is fanboy gripes, but I’m sure he’s able to get over that as he cries himself to sleep on mounds of fanboy money.

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Why Watch? Because once you’ve seen an Ewok rocking out to the Mos Eisley Cantina Band, you can never un-see it. I wish this short film were somewhere in better quality, but someone has clearly taken the time to blend the usable parts together here (along with what, sadly, looks like bootleg footage from a theater showing). This mockumentary features Warwick Davis on his quest to find meaningful work, and after turning down the idea of playing football for Chelsea, he discovers the universe of Star Wars, where he thinks he’ll fit in nicely. It features the entire main cast of the films both as themselves and as their characters as well as some behind-the-scenes footage from the set. Funny, sweet, and a blast of nostalgia, this is definitely a cool little ride back through the universe. What does it cost? Just 25 minutes of your time. Check out Return of the Ewok for yourself:

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Howard Hughes just pissed himself. Or maybe he pissed in a few hundred bottles and then poured them all over himself, because the trailer for Red Tails is out and the aerial work in it is phenomenal. The George Lucas-produced movie, directed by Treme producer/director Anthony Hemingway tells the story of the Tuskegee Airman (or the 322nd Fighter Group if you want to get technical) as they broke racial boundaries in WWII. It stars Terrance Howard, Bryan Cranston and Cuba Gooding Jr in a role that might launch his career back on track. Regardless, the trailer leads off with its strongest suit and follows it up with a few snippets of dramatic acting:

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that rounds up junk and stuff. It also likes J.J. Abrams’ movies, but not so much that it can’t laugh at them, as well. It is also currently being written by an author who is distracted with Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules. It’s surprisingly charming. Geek icon Simon Pegg released a book recently, “Nerd Do Well,” chronicling his life as a now-famous nerd. Personally, I can’t wait to read it. In the mean time, one passage about George Lucas and the Star Wars prequels has become a topic of discussion. Did Lucas apologize for the prequels? That’s the question of the day.

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Criterion Files

When I write this column, I typically don’t get the opportunity to write about movies from my teen years. I, like many, came into a cinephilic love for art and foreign cinema during college, and in that process grew to appreciate The Criterion Collection. Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused (1993), however, is a movie that’s followed me through various changes in my life for (I’m just now realizing as I write this) about half of my time thus far spent on Earth.

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Remember how much everybody loved Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and how fandom has been clamoring for further father/son bonding adventures between Indy and Sia Labeouf’s Mutt ever since it left theaters? Me either, so why are all the cast members of that film going around talking to MTV cameras about another sequel? Probably because George Lucas and company know that no matter how bad it looks, we’ll all go and see it anyways. We can’t help ourselves; it’s a sickness. And because of that, Ford seems to be busy preparing his creaking old body for a fifth go around in the iconic Indy togs. According to Shia LaBeouf, “I talked to Harrison Ford. He said he’s staying in the gym, he said he’s heard no word, but he does know that George Lucas is out there looking for a MacGuffin. He said he’s staying in the gym, so it means the movie is not so far off.” If the amount of time it took Lucas to find a MacGuffin for Crystal Skull is any indication, then Ford may be in that gym for quite some time.

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We named the dog Indiana. The highest grossing film of 1981 has since become a modern legend after launching a series of films that are beloved by millions. The hat, the whip, the swagger, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford introduced the world to a man who was smart enough for the classroom and rough enough to fistfight pirates. This trailer is an epic look at that man’s adventure, trying to recover a radio for speaking to God.

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Why Watch? Because some student films lead to iconic careers. We posted the trailer for the feature-length THX 1183 a few days ago, and it seemed only natural that we’d post up the student short film that led to its creation. As far as student films go, George Lucas defies all expectations. It’s strange sci-fi blended with experimentalism and a healthy dose of what seems like somehow anachronistic futurism. Looking back on this story trying to predict our dark future carries with it the kind of nostalgia that bubbles up when watching something like War Games. How quaint those computers, how little that generation might have realized where we’d be in a few decades. And yet THX 1183 4EB is timeless, even in its technology. See if you can spot all the style influences (because there are dozens). And for those wondering, the “EB” stands for “Earth Born.” More importantly, see if you can connect the student that made this short to the man who made Star Wars. The early alien seeds are there. What does it cost? Just 15 minutes of your time. Check out Electronic Labyrinth THX 1183 4EB for yourself:

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This trailer is the kind of efficiency that will make you proud to live in the era you live in. Before Star Wars, there was THX 113. Newcomer George Lucas expanded his short film Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB while shortening the title to create this vision of the future. He also wrangled Robert Duvall and Donald Pleasence for this sci-fi epic about what all sci-fi Dystopian epics are about: two humanoids finding love in a drug-addled world that forbids it. Also like most Dystopian futures, some of the dialogue (SEN’s) is drawn directly from Richard Nixon’s speeches.

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Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. Here’s a minimalist trailer that’s content to shove the names of Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, and Akira Kurosawa all together next to the phrase “Academy Award Winners” in order to make the sale. Of course, you don’t need much of a voice over when you have Kurosawa’s startling, beautiful imagery. But tossing in a mention of that Palme d’Or win can’t hurt either. Think you know what it is? Check the trailer out for yourself:

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this shit late at night, what do you expect?

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this shit late at night, what do you expect?

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Apparently a retirement home is just not good enough for the treasure hunter who wants everything in museums. “Sources” are telling ShowbizSpy that Harrison Ford wants Indiana Jones to die in the next installment of the franchise. There was never much doubt that this would be the last round up for Ford, especially with Shia Labeouf waiting in the wings to take over as his son, but death seems a bit extreme. After all, there must be an adjunct professor position out there waiting for him. It may seem fatalistic, but it’s also important to look at why killing him off might be a good thing. Or why it might be completely moronic.

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As you may have noticed over the past 24 hours, things have slowed down a bit here at Film School Rejects. Our regularly scheduled cycle of news, editorial content and articles about cinematic masturbation had to be put in “choppy” mode due to our entire editorial staff traveling from the corners of the Earth to Austin, Texas for Fantastic Fest. Managing Editor Cole Abaius and associate editors Rob Hunter and Robert Fure, along with several of our other contributors, are currently in transit as we move toward perhaps the most “fantastic” festival coverage in the recorded history of the human race. In order to ensure that we get the quality that you deserve, I have locked them all into the Reject HQ War Room (which is really just a poorly lit, improperly ventilated linen closet) until they have come up with a plan of attack that will utterly destroy any and all competition. So unless Zombie Orson Welles shows up to announce that he will be directing the eighth Star Wars movie with George Lucas as Jar-Jar Binks and the flying monkeys from Indiana Jones 4 as Storm Troopers, you won’t be seeing much movie news from us in the next 24-36 hours. However, we are getting dangerously close to igniting the raging fire that is our coverage of Fantastic Fest 2010. So don’t go anywhere, just yet.

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Star Wars: Old Republic

There are two segments of fans that get the cinematic shaft more often than not: Star Wars fans and video game fans. Neither of these two groups have had a good run in the last few decades, between George Lucas’ prequels and Uwe Boll’s reign of terror. So the thought of taking a Star Wars video game and turning it into a CG-animated movie wouldn’t exactly be top of mind for any reasonable fan. Until now.

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If there was one thing that fans hated about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull it’s that the magical realism of religion was tossed aside for a tale about aliens who had a love for polished glass. It didn’t seem right within the universe where, for whatever reason, a box with a bunch of angry, face-melting souls did. So, as a fan, I find myself questioning whether to groan or start a slow clap with the news that Indiana and company are going to be headed for the Bermuda Triangle. Will this be the right brand of magical realism for the series?

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George Lucas

On the surface The People vs. George Lucas is about whether or not George Lucas is a douchebag, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find it poses some probing questions about intellectual property and the ownership of art.

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Star Wars is beginning to get lonely at the top of the “franchises that need to come to Blu-ray” list. With the release of The Lord of the Rings trilogy this month, it leaves George Lucas’ six-film anthology set in a galaxy far, far away as the one big geek property yet to be transferred into high definition.

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