Star Wars: Episode VII (2015)

Star Wars 7 PosterRelease Date: December 18, 2015

Directed by: J.J. Abrams

Written by: J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, George Lucas (characters)

Starring: Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

Synopsis:

A continuation of the saga created by George Lucas

Star Wars

Briefly: The big news is just flying out of Hollywood in fun, easily-digestible bites today. A rumor that Jack shared with us earlier today that held that Disney is setting up a series of stand-alone Star Wars films and that the first would center on Yoda, has now been confirmed by Disney. Sort of. Walt Disney Pictures Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced today that Disney is working on those stand-alone films, but didn’t reveal which character would be getting the solo film treatment first, saying, “I can confirm to you today that, in fact, we are working on a few stand-alone films. Larry Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are both working on films derived from great Star Wars characters that are not part of the overall saga. We still plan to make Episodes 7, 8, and 9, roughly over a six-year period of time, starting in 2015. There are going to be a few other films released in that time, too.” So, what you’re saying is, all we’re going to be able to talk about for the next six years is Star Wars? Okay. [CNBC, via ComingSoon]

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yoda 2

Rumors regarding new Star Wars films have been coming in nonstop ever since the news of Disney acquiring Lucasfilm broke, and after this little piece of news, we shouldn’t expect a change anytime soon. A few weeks ago we got word of a Seven Samurai remake set in George Lucas‘s galaxy directed by Zack Snyder – who was quick to deny the story — which caused further rumblings of more solo Star Wars movies on the way. Now we can add onto that rumour pile, as Ain’t It Cool is reporting the first standalone Star Wars pic will focus on none other than Yoda. No big shocker there, although a Han Solo movie would’ve been more expected. I’m sure we’ll see that one day, along with a Bobba Fett movie or a Jabba the Hut gangster pic, the latter of which George Lucas apparently has a story for. I’m sure his idea is brilliant, of course…

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warm bodies guys

Warning: the following post contains a bit of a spoiler about the end of Warm Bodies. Read on at your discretion. With a decent opening weekend gross mostly attributed to young, female moviegoers, Warm Bodies is supposedly confirming its status as the new Twilight. Of course, the vampire love story made a lot more money and received mainly negative reviews, while this new zombie romantic comedy (or zom-rom-com), is certified fresh at Rotten Tomatoes and received a B+ CinemaScore grade but only earned about a third of what it cost to produce. There’s an expectation for Warm Bodies to have strong legs, however, through word of mouth. And hopefully that buzz extends to more male viewers, who should appreciate that it’s not as sappy as it seems, even though its main message is the cheesiest of cheesy: “love conquers evil.” Sure, we’ve seen the power of love employed as a weapon by The Beatles and to turn Darth Vader and to keep The Princess Bride‘s Westley alive, but over time the idea that “all you need is love” has become corny enough to ruin the ends of Ghostbusters II and The Fifth Element, among others, with too much sentiment.

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JJ Abrams with George Lucas

J.J. Abrams is a no-brainer for Star Wars: Episode VII. He’s proven himself as a popular storyteller of science fiction by working with, among others, a giant international franchise that takes place in space. He’s also a self-diagnosed fan of George Lucas‘ grand creation — a factor that went into his feigned earlier denial of the directing gig when speculation was at its peak. From a business angle, from a fan angle, from every angle, he’s the ideal filmmaker to take over for the franchise. Which is why his hiring is potentially terrible. It all boils down to two key problems. One, the consolidation of creative visions under too few roofs, and two, the potential for a generic future of a revolutionary franchise.

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Reject Recap: The Best of Film School Rejects

There’s at least one big piece of movie news you heard about this week. That’s right, Kevin Kline has finally been cast in the role he was born to play: Dakota Fanning‘s love interest. Oh, and you might have heard that J.J. Abrams is going to direct Star Wars Episode VII: Ewoks Suck, Dude. But with the holiday and the inauguration and the football championships and following the everlasting story of the fake girlfriend of Manti Te’o, you might not have been able to read every necessary film-related article or blog post on FSR or the rest of the Internet. Fortunately, as always, the Reject Recap is here to help. Playing a video of Beyonce’s performance from Monday on mute and pretending she’s reading the following words while you do the actual recitation out loud is recommended but not required.

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J.J. Abrams

As was breathlessly reported earlier this week, Disney has now confirmed (via press release) that J.J. Abrams is their official pick to direct their new Star Wars film. There’s not much else to say as of now, so let’s roll out some fun quotes from the release! Kathleen Kennedy: “It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie. J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture.” George Lucas: “I’ve consistently been impressed with J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller.  He’s an ideal choice to direct the new Star Wars film and the legacy couldn’t be in better hands.” Abrams: “To be a part of the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, to collaborate with Kathy Kennedy and this remarkable group of people, is an absolute honor. I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid.” What a lovefest. Abrams will produce alongside his Bad Robot and partner Bryan Burk and Kennedy. The press release also confirms that Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg will both consult on the project.

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jjabramsstartrek2

Here’s what we know: there will be a new Star Wars movie in the next few years (2015 to be more precise). Currently producer Kathleen Kennedy has Toy Story 3 writer Michael Arndt working on a script for Episode VII of the saga. George Lucas will serve as a consultant. In today’s round of “it might be true but might be completely made up” Star Wars Episode VII news, several reputable outlets including Deadline and LA Times are reporting that J.J. Abrams has been chosen by Disney and Co. to head up the rebirth of one of the most prosperous franchises in the history of cinema. Which is interesting, as Abrams actively denied involvement, placing him on the ever-growing list of who won’t direct Star Wars Episode VII. Whether or not this story is true could be held inside Abrams’ Mystery Box for all we know, but it is notable that it’s making the round with otherwise responsible outlets. It would be unprecedented to see Abrams take over Star Wars just after rebooting Star Trek, but it also might not be such a bad thing. As Star Trek fans can attest, Abrams does have the goods. In more concrete news, Abrams does have Star Trek Into Darkness coming out on May 17.

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Remake Star Wars

If you already have low expectations for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, you might not be interested in seeing the first film by Norwegian director Tommy Wirkola. It won’t exactly do much for your interest in the new action-infused fairy tale. But if you’re like me and are fascinated by the calling card short films of Hollywood moviemakers, you’ll want to check out Remake. Anyway, it’s under seven minutes, so you’re not wasting too much time. The short was produced in Australia in 2006, and Wirkola shares helming duties on the film with Kit McDee (who has his own action feature with the word “hunters” in it out this year called The Hunters Club Movie). They both also co-star as hotel desk clerks (or owners?) who offer guests homemade Betamax videos featuring cheap remakes of popular movies (Titanic, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Scream and Deep Throat are among the titles we see). Basically these movies have been “sweded,” although Remake was made before Be Kind Rewind, which coined that term and popularized the concept.

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FILM JOCKEYS HEADER

What happens when a legendary film critic brings is geriatric crankiness to an internet movie show? Film Jockeys follows the adventures of Carl Barker, his far-too-young production staff, the filmmakers and the movie characters that inhabit their world. Written and illustrated by Derek Bacon, it’s the perfect webcomic for passionate film fans who also love Disney buying Star Wars. For your consideration, Episode #6:

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Zack Snyder

UPDATED: THR reached out to Snyder’s reps, who told them:  “While he is super flattered because he is a huge fan, Zack is not involved in any way with the new Star Wars. He is currently in post on his two films, Man of Steel and 300: Battle of Artemisia.” Just for the sake of clarity – we still don’t know who is directing Star Wars: Episode VII (though, we certainly know who is not directing it), but that little piece of key information hasn’t seemed to sway the trickle of still more chatter about the Star Wars movie universe and what other projects we can start expecting to see. Next up, Vulture reports that the reason director Zack Snyder put the kibosh on rumors that he could direct the seventh Star Wars is because he might already be busy making a Star Wars film. Wait, what? The outlet reports that the filmmaker is “developing a Star Wars project for Lucasfilm that is set within the series’ galaxy, though parallel to the next trilogy. It will be an as-yet-untitled Jedi epic loosely based on Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 classic Seven Samurai, with the ronin and katana being replaced by the Force-wielding knights and their iconic lightsabers.” It’s still somewhat unclear when exactly Snyder’s new project would take place in the Star Wars chronology, but Vulture also reports that “one insider expects it will not be considered part of the ‘numbered’ episodes, but rather a stand-alone film set sometime post–Episode VI events, […]

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IntroPreHistoric

The great thing about prehistory is that you can speculate pretty much any old hogwash about it. Sure – science has given us a reasonably educated guess, but when has science ever stopped us from making shit up? Who’s to say that dinosaurs didn’t talk, or that mankind wasn’t created by a super-species of cat-like beings? That would certainly explain their sense of entitlement. The film industry knows what’s up, and has given us some great depictions of pre-life over the years. Some are unique in their beauty and/or accuracy, while others are just downright silly. Both are great, so let’s celebrate 9 creative ways to look at the world before we came to be.

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junkfood_christmas

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; there arose such a taco platter. This is the broad-faced, round-bellied bad movie column that mines the lustre of greatness from schlock of even the dimmest merit. We tear open the stinker, throw up its faults, but in those wildly flaunted faults we find a bundle of enjoyment. As if that weren’t enough for all our readers on the nice list, or the naughty list (let’s face it), we then pair the movie with a unseasonably fattening snack food item guaranteed to eventually make you shake when you laugh at our terrible puns. If ever there were a holiday film worthy of being called ho-ho-horrible, it’s the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special. Instead of lamenting on and on about the innumerable woes of this holly jolly abortion, which would require several ticks off your sadvent calendar, it seemed more appropriate to gather everyone around the fire place, as the sugar cookie Pop Tarts roast away, and read you the classic story Twas The Night Of The Star Wars Holiday Special by Verily Ann Author. This is a real book that really exists for good and true but don’t look it up because that’s mean.

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Lena Dunham

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the coolest movie column of the year. Most nights, at least. Coolest Person of the Year – It’s a fascinating thing, for Time’s Joel Stein to name someone like Lena Dunham as the “Coolest Person of the Year” for 2012. Here on the Internet, she’s been the subject of much derision. Her creation, the HBO series Girls, has been the subject of heated discussion. Is it terrible? Is it a gift from a place where more is expected from comedy? Or is it just awkward? No matter your take, it is interesting. And her bold sensibilities combined with the network shield of Judd Apatow has created something culturally relevant. She even lost her virginity to President Obama, or something like that. Either way, TIME is right. She is pretty cool.

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Look – computers will never have souls. It’s disappointing to admit, but we all have to face facts at some point in our lives. Maybe one day they’ll manage to act alive, but they will never feel our love. They have no feelings. They are soulless, uncaring devices that we all too often assign our own humanity to – just like cats. But of course, in film, that would just be no fun. It’s better to have an A.I. that is dynamic and has some kind of personality, even if that personality is a lack of any kind of personality. The key is the voice, and here are some of the most unforgettable ones…

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column that falls in love with you all over again, five nights a week. It’s also a movie news column that’s debuting a new element this week — the MNAD Mini-Review — a chance for its author to deliver even more commentary, but in short, capsule review style bursts. Look for these all throughout awards season (and perhaps beyond). DJANGO! – We begin this evening with the hottest story of the weekend: people have seen and reacted to Django Unchained. It was a slow weekend, what can I say? Alas, there was great praise for the latest of Quentin Tarantino. But more on him later. For now, there’s Django buzz, and /Film is recapping it like a motha… 

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Obama Wan Kenobi

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly mashing together of things about film and television because that’s what the kids on the Internet are into these days — mashing things together. Obama Wan Kenobi – We begin this evening with an oddly drawn but somewhat sensible conclusion about what Barack Obama had to do with saving Star Wars. And by “saving,” we’re of course referring to the part where George Lucas sold Star Wars and LucasFilm to Disney, placing it in capable, active hands that will no doubt save it with many wonderful films that have nothing to do with the prequels. Or something like that. Either way, /Film found this link and I say it’s worth a read. 

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Reject Recap: The Best of Film School Rejects

This was a major holiday week in America, so FSR content was a bit lighter than usual. And yet you may have been too busy traveling to follow the site over the past few days anyway. If so, the most important thing you missed is our post highlighting all the things we’re thankful for this year. Among them is you, whether you’re one of the longtime loyal or one of the many who’ve just started reading us this year. Now, even though the holiday is a couple days past, we want to thank you for once again catching up with us here at the Reject Recap as we give you another rundown of our best reads from the past seven days. As always, first we remind you to check out our reviews of this week’s new releases: Life of Pi; Red Dawn; Hitchcock; Rust and Bone; and The Central Park Five. We also re-posted our Silver Linings Playbook review since the film went wider this week. Among the films, it looks like we recommend Rust and Bone and Central Park Five the most. We haven’t published a review of Rise of the Guardians yet, but we invite you to read our interview with the animated film’s director, Peter Ramsay, the introduction for which offers some critical praise. This week we also watched and commented on new trailers for Now You See Me, Parental Guidance, Admission, Chasing Ice and Jack the Giant Slayer. Watch those and all our latest Short Film […]

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Star Wars

We’ve known about Star Wars: Episode VII and its subsequent planned sequels for less than a month, but already the Internet has cycled through enough rumors that we now have to put the seventh film out of our heads so that we may properly focus on the eighth and ninth movies in the venerable franchise. Why, Internet, why? We don’t even know who is directing the seventh film yet! (Though, we certainly know who is not directing it.) Deadline Hollywood first reported this afternoon that they had the early lead on some possible screenwriting contenders to pen the eighth and ninth films. The outlet was not specific on who would pen which film, if only one scribe would be picked to do double duty, or if they’ve share credits, but the names they’d been hearing were Simon Kinberg and Lawrence Kasdan. As far as rumors go, this certainly is not a bad one. The outlet also reported that they heard that Disney has “approached” both Kinberg and Kasdan, and they believe this is to “get the ball rolling on the subsequent installments mapped out by Lucas.” But “approached” isn’t the right word, as THR now reports that Kasdan and Kinberg have both closed deals to pen installments of the new films. THR, like Deadline, is unsure of “their exact division of responsibilities,” but they do add that they will produce the films. An official word from Disney has not been released as of yet.

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Update: Apparently in response to our find, Trevorrow tweeted the following this evening: “To clarify, there is another film we all love that I’m currently trying not to mess up. Odds I will direct Episode VII: 3720 to 1.” Also, when asked if he’s officially stating that he’s out of the running to direct Star Wars, he tweeted, “That is what I am saying.“ While we wait for an official decision on who will be directing Star Wars Episode VII, the rumors continue flowing in as to who might be up for the gig. Earlier this month, Safety Not Guaranteed helmer Colin Trevorrow was named as someone who has actually had meetings at Lucasfilm and is definitely on the list of contenders. Well, now something else has come to our attention that could be an actual confirmation that the Hollywood newcomer is following his debut with a trip to the Star Wars galaxy. Reader Lenny Crist sent us a video from way back in June of Trevorrow talking to Spencer Fornaciari of The MacGuffin podcast in which he claims his next project will involve him tackling a mythology with a substantial fanbase, part of which will likely be angry with him for landing the gig. Check out the potentially revealing interview (specifically from 21:45 to 22:24) and a transcript of what he says after the break.

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The Ingredients is a column devoted to breaking down the components of a new film release with some focus on influential movies that came before. As always, these posts look at the entire plots of films and so include SPOILERS.  By the end of Breaking Dawn — Part 2, it’s clear that the Twilight Saga, as one long story about vampires, werewolves and a chaste teenage girl, is first and foremost a romance picture. This may not sound like a revelation, but in the past four years we’ve all looked at the series in terms of how it transcends the traditional “chick flick” ghetto to dabble in elements of superhero and horror genres, potentially wooing male moviegoers in the process. Interestingly enough, the finale features a sequence that is very much aimed at fans of genre cinema just before pulling a 180 and concluding with an ending that the same audience will find mushy and sappy as (their personal) hell. While romance figures into most film genres and even dominates the conventional Hollywood denouement for movies no matter what audience is targeted, most of these features are not classifiably romance pictures. The love stories are secondary or even tertiary in importance to plots primarily concerned with adventure or disaster or some treatment of good versus evil. And although there are antagonists strewn throughout the Twilight films, there aren’t really good guys and bad guys in proper terms. Instead there is simply love and family versus threat to love and family. […]

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published: 04.19.2014
A-
published: 04.19.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C

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