April 17, 2014

Tag Archives: Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Matrix: The Top 25 (Best Film Editing)

Continuing onward with this weekly series I’m doing here on the site, we’re talking about the top 25 Oscar winners in just about every single one of the Academy Award categories out there for us to talk about. Aside from the short categories and likely something a bit harder to rank like Best Sound Editing or Best Sound Mixing as I’ve mentioned before, I’ll be hitting them all over the coming weeks, including of course the big eight categories, two of which have already received this particular treatment. I’m also potentially going to do one that doesn’t actually exist (a fictitious Best Ensemble category), but that’s just an idea I’m currently toying with. We’ll see about that one, but for now, we’ll stick to reality and the categories currently endorsed by the Academy.
Today I’ll be knocking off one more of the technical categories, with this one being the somewhat unsexy but still essential Best Film Editing field. Depending on the category in question, I may wind up discussing the individual winners I’m citing rather specifically or just giving a more broad overview of the winners. Like I’ve been saying over the past few weeks, in all honesty, you really just want to see the end result list anyway, so I have no problem obliging you there in that regard. All you have to do is just be patient over the next couple paragraphs…
This time around, I’m again just going with the overview route. Film Editing is another type of category where you sort of know it’s good by seeing it in the films themselves. There are a few different types of editing that the Academy has honored, though sometimes they can fall into the trap of going for “most” instead of best, if that makes sense. For example, you can see in certain winners that the editing is smooth and you’re almost not meant to notice it all, while other winners want to constantly impress you with their flashy approach to editing. I’m not particularly partial to either one, basically just going for what fits the movies best. Sometimes I don’t want to notice the editing at all in the flick, and sometimes I want it to be front and center. It all just depends.
I’ll discuss my top ten a bit now before getting to the list itself. The winner that I think is the best ever happens to be [...]

Homage To Steven Spielberg

Steven Allan Spielberg was born December 18, 1946, in the great state of Ohio. Before becoming one of our most beloved directors, Spielberg attended Long Beach State University, and made his first short film, Amblin‘, while working as an intern at Universal Studios (the title of which used when naming his production company, Amblin Entertainment). His first television job came when he was chosen to direct one of the segments for the 1969 pilot episode of Night Gallery. He would go on to direct a few TV films, including Duel (1971), a film about a truck driver that goes crazy and runs people off the road. Spielberg’s debut feature film was The Sugarland Express (1974).
Spielberg was then tasked with making Jaws (1975), a thriller-horror film about a killer shark based on the novel by Peter Benchley. The film became an enormous hit, setting the domestic box office record at the time, and raked in three Academy Awards. Spielberg would re-team with Jaws star Richard Dreyfuss to make Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), which once again brought the young auteur critical praise, outstanding box office results, and a slew of Academy Award nominations for his film, including his first nom for Best Director.
The train of success would continue into the 80s when Spielberg worked with his friend George Lucas on an action adventure film titled Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), and introduced the world to one of the great film characters of all time, Indiana Jones. Raiders was the highest grossing film of the year, and brought Spielberg his second Oscar nomination for Best Director. The following year, Spielberg made a very personal favorite of mine, E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982). E.T. would become the highest grossing film of all time, and was nominated for nine Oscars, including Spielberg’s third for Director.
To read more about Steven Spielberg go to www.awardscircuit.com
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George Lucas Talks About Star Wars

HollywoodNews.com: Sirius XM Radio today announced that it will broadcast an in-depth interview conducted by Senator Bill Bradley with award-winning filmmaker George Lucas—the legendary creator of the Star Wars Saga and Indiana Jones series and chairman of Lucasfilm, Ltd.—on a special edition of Senator Bradley’s SiriusXM show American Voices.
Lucas discusses a variety of topics throughout the interview, including: his evolution as a filmmaker and storyteller and the role technology played on this journey; his philosophy on education in America; what inspired him to make Red Tails and the importance of sharing the history of the heroic Tuskegee Airmen with the youngest generation of African-Americans in our country today; and the spiritual life lessons woven into the Star Wars Saga.

Senator Bradley’s interview with George Lucas will premiere Wednesday, March 7 at 11:00 am ET on SiriusXM Stars (channel 107). Encore presentations will air all week on SiriusXM Stars, including: March 7 at 11:30 am, 12:00 pm and 12:30 pm; Friday, March 9 at 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm and 8:30 pm; Saturday, March 10 at 12:00 pm, 12:30 pm, 5:00 pm and 5:30 pm and Sunday, March 11 at 6:00 am, 6:30 am, 1:00 pm, 1:30 pm, 11:00 pm and 11:30 pm (all times ET). The Bradley-Lucas interview will also air throughout the weekend on SiriusXM Stars Too (channel 104). The complete programming schedule is available www.siriusxm.com/siriusxmstars.
Video excerpts from Senator Bradley’s SiriusXM interview with George Lucas are available at www.youtube.com/siriusxm.com.
George Lucas is the critically acclaimed director of THX 1138, as well as the producer of a myriad of independent films. In 1973, he directed and co-wrote American Graffiti, which won the Golden Globe and garnered five Academy Award® nominations. Four years later, Lucas’ Star Wars broke all box-office records and set new standards for sophistication in film visuals and sound. Lucas continued the Star Wars Saga as storywriter and executive producer with The Empire Strikes Back in 1980, followed by Return of the Jedi in 1983. He returned to directing in 1999 with Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace, the first major live-action film to be projected digitally. Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones broke new ground as the first major movie shot using entirely digital media. Lucas is the creator of the classic Indiana Jones character, and co-wrote and executive-produced Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom [...]

The Phantom Menace is about to out-gross The Dark Knight!

By Scott Mendelson
HollywoodNews.com: With just $1 million separating the two films, today or tomorrow is likely the day when one of the more reviled films in geek-ville, Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace, will surpass one of the more openly worshipped geek film in recent years, The Dark Knight, at the global box office.
As of Wednesday, Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace crossed $1 billion, becoming the eleventh film to do so and the first Star Wars film to cross said benchmark. Obviously there is inflation and 3D price-bumps to figure, but just remember that The Phantom Menace’s adjusted-for-inflation grosses from 1999 would equal about $664 million in domestic grosses alone (it earned $431 million in the summer of 1999, the second-largest grossing first-run film behind Titanic at that point). And don’t forget that a number of major fantasy films, chiefly the first three Star Wars films, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, have had several theatrical releases since their initial respective debuts.
In the days before VHS became mainstream, it was not uncommon for popular films to show up repeatedly at a theater near you. With the apparent consumer appeal of 3D-converted re-releases, we are seeing a return to what may be a revolving door atop the list of all-time box office champions.
One immediate effect of these 3D-converted releases is the fact that a number of benchmarks will be arbitrarily altered as a result of these successful re-releases. If Titanic earns $161 million in the US during its 3D-release this April, it will swap places with Avatar (now at $760 million) at the top of the domestic box office chart. We all witnesses how The Lion King added $166 million to its international coffers to leapfrog several places up the domestic and worldwide list, ending as the biggest-grossing cartoon of all-time on both fronts. Should this September’s 3D release of Finding Nemo proved as popular (if not more-so), we could again see another rearranging of the list for top-grossing cartoons. Hell, if Warner Bros cares (they probably don’t), they may try to do some kind of Dark Knight re-release in early July to get fans pumped for the third installment, which may allow the film to make up whatever ground its lost to the Star Wars prequel.
What if Warner Bros. decides to invest in [...]

Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford talk Indy at “Raiders” screening

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Steven Spielberg has grown quite nostalgic about his past accomplishments lately. Months ago he opened up for a revelatory discussion with “Quint” from AICN about “Jaws.” And over the weekend, the director held a Q-and-A following a “Raiders of the Lost Ark” screening in Los Angeles. This, in addition to the director’s first-ever appearance at Comic-Con to help sell the upcoming “Tintin” feature. Suddenly, Spielberg is open and omnipresent … and his year is only now just getting busy.
Spielberg has two films due in theaters before 2011 draws to a close: the aforementioned “The Adventures of Tintin;” and “War Horse,” which some think could become frontrunner for the Best Picture Oscar as the season continues to play out.
But speaking from the stage Monday at the Hero Complex screening for “Raiders,” Spielberg bounced from topics both old and new, revealing a few details about upcoming projects while also talking about the films that helped define his identity as one of the industry’s most powerful storytellers.
The director also was joined on stage by a special guest: Harrison Ford, who corrected one of the decades-old rumors surrounding his on-set illness shortening a whip-and-sword fight on the “Raiders” production.
As for a fifth “Indiana Jones” film, Spielberg remained noncommittal, only adding that he was “hopeful” they could do it one more time.
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Photo courtesy of PRPhotos.com.

Spielberg, Streep and Grant top Zagat survey, which holds interesting stats on 3-D, home video

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: All lists are subjective, and most movie lists are flawed. But if there’s a constant when it comes to compilations, it’s that they always stimulate great debate.
I’m loving the results of a Zagat survey released this morning in support of a new guide titled “The World’s Best Movies.” The guide, according to a release, is based on the input of 20,773 moviegoers who voted on ZAGAT.com and selected the top actors, actresses, directors and their films.
“This new survey puts the ratings and reviews of over 20,000 avid moviegoers at your fingertips so that no matter what your age, sex or preference, there’s an easy way to find the perfect film for every occasion,” said Tim Zagat, CEO and co-founder of Zagat Survey.
So what did we learn?
The top 20 films of all time, based on overall quality, are:
The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather Part II (1974)
Casablanca (1942)
Schindler’s List (1993)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Star Wars (1977)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Lady Eve (1941)
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
Rear Window (1954)
It Happened One Night (1934)
Citizen Kane (1941)
Shawshank Redemption (1994)
All About Eve (1950)
The Pianist (2002)
African Queen (1951)
Third Man (1949)
Finding Nemo (2003)
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
See any surprises? I’d say naming Andrew Stanton’s “Finding Nemo” as the only animated film on that list is a bit of a surprise (and I’m deeply in love with that film, but don’t think I’d put it ahead of “Pinocchio,” “Beauty and the Beast” or even “Toy Story”). And how about Polanski’s “The Pianist?” That shocked me.
Zagat went to break it down by director, saying Frank Capra’s best film was “It Happened One Night,” John Ford’s greatest was “Grapes of Wrath,” Alfred Hitchcock’s best is “Rear Window,” Stanley Kubrick’s finest is “Dr. Strangelove,” and Steven Spielberg’s greatest is “Schindler’s List.”
Speaking of Spielberg, he was named the all-time favorite director according to the survey, while favorite actor titles went to Cary Grant and Meryl Streep. Analyzing top films by decade, Zagats came up with the following list.
1920s: The General
1930s: Wizard of Oz
1940s: Casablanca
1950s: Singin’ in the Rain
1960s: Lawrence of Arabia
1970s: The Godfather
1980s: Raiders of the Lost Ark
1990s: Schindler’s List
2000s: The Pianist
And while lists are fun for discussion, there were telling figures buried in the survey that should catch the eye of industry insiders. According to the survey, 37 percent of film fans who watch movies at home say they watch movies on a portable device such [...]

Tom Cruise narrated ‘ILM’ documentary to debut on Encore

HollywoodNews.com: Since its founding 35 years ago, Industrial Light & Magic has been the movie industry’s undisputed leader in groundbreaking visual effects, thrilling audiences and making hits into blockbusters. On Sunday, November 14 at 8:00 p.m. (et/pt), Encore presents an original documentary celebrating that legacy. “Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible” is directed by Academy Award® and Emmy® nominated director Leslie Iwerks and is narrated by Tom Cruise. Encore will also present five ILM-effects films starting at 2:00 p.m. with Jumanji, followed by Hook, Jurassic Park III, Twister and Starship Troopers.
The hour-long special has interviews with filmmakers George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, J.J. Abrams and Jon Favreau, actors Samuel L. Jackson and Robin Williams, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and John Lasseter, the chief creative officer at Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. Film and television shows featured in the special include The Abyss, Avatar, Forrest Gump, Jumanji, Jurassic Park, Pirates of the Caribbean, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Robot Chicken, Star Trek (2009), Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Transformers, Twister, Young Sherlock Holmes and The War of the Worlds (2005), which starred narrator Cruise.
Leslie Iwerks’ documentary takes audiences behind the scenes at ILM with in depth interviews with some of the company’s top talent and showcases never before seen footage highlighting many of their pioneering milestones. From creating the first ever computer generated character in a feature film to the latest advancements in visual effects for film franchises like Transformers and Iron Man, ILM has created some of the most memorable movie moments in recent history.
Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) is a division of Lucasfilm Ltd. and was founded by George Lucas in 1975 to create the visual effects for his space epic Star Wars. The studio originated in Van Nuys, California but moved to San Rafael, California to work on The Empire Strikes Back and is now headquartered at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in the Presidio of San Francisco with a sister studio in Singapore.
ILM has worked on nearly 300 films in its 35 year history and has largely been the driving force behind the evolution of modern visual effects. From the liquid metal man in Terminator 2: Judgment Day to the lifelike digital dinosaurs in Jurassic park, ILM has created some of the most iconic moments in cinematic history.
ILM has received 15 [...]