Brian Jay Jones writes the definitive biography of the Star Wars filmmaker in George Lucas: A Life–published by Little, Brown in 2016. Lucas is one of the greatest world-builders of all time. Even when he wasn’t officially directing The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi, he was still directing the film. I mean, wouldn’t you want to be in charge of your own creation? You can certainly understand why a filmmaker like Lucas…"George Lucas: A Life by Brian Jay Jones"
James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction arrives home on Blu-ray and DVD after the six-part documentary series aired in 2018. This limited documentary series, which originally aired on AMC, features just about every major person ever associated with the genre. Whether it’s filmmakers, visual effects designers, actors, or commentators, there is no shortage of commentary. The commentary, of course, is expertly weaved in with montage of film clips or archive footage. Most importantly, James Cameron’s…"James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction"
Star Wars: Episode 4 – A New Hope is the film that started it all by taking audiences back to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) are the heart and soul of the original trilogy. They all have their own place in the Rebellion against the Empire. Luke yearns for an adventure in a way that is…"Star Wars: Episode 4 – A New Hope – Road to IX"
Star Wars: Episode 3 – Revenge of the Sith comes the closest to capturing the original trilogy’s magic as any of the prequel films possibly could. Unlike the original trilogy, Revenge of the Sith is the darkest of the first three films. There’s a lot riding on the film because it must complete Anakin Skywalker’s (Hayden Christensen) turn to the dark side. Anakin’s path towards becoming Darth Vader started in the previous film but let’s…"Star Wars: Episode 3 – Revenge of the Sith"
Star Wars: Episode 2 – Attack of the Clones has the hard part of setting up much of the next film in the trilogy but was terrible in execution. This film had a few things to do. One is setting up the relationship between Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman). The second is coming up with the origins of the Clone Wars, where Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) fought alongside Skywalker. At some…"Star Wars: Episode 2 – Attack of the Clones"
Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace takes us all the way back to the start of Anakin Skywalker’s story as the saga begins. Long before there was ever a Darth Vader to taunt the galaxy, there was a young kid named Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) living in the Outer Rim territories on Tatooine. All young Anakin wanted to do was to escape this planet and become a pilot. Life isn’t easy, my young…"Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace"
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound digs deep into the craft that make our favorite films what they are by looking at the sound design. More often than not, we think of sound design as being one of the technical awards come the Oscars. The fact of the matter is that it’s more than just a tech award. Sound mixing and sound design go hand in hand but without them, films wouldn’t be the…"Tribeca 2019: Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound"
It was a low-key occasion but the prehistoric hand-drawn animated adventure, The Land Before Time, marked its 30th anniversary in November. Within the first half hour, we meet the core characters of this animated adventure: Littlefoot, Cera, Ducky, Petrie, and Spike. Littlefoot meets Cera while his Longneck family of three are on a journey to the Great Valley. Initially told that Longnecks don’t play with Three-Horns, neither Littlefoot nor Cera have a choice if they…"The Land Before Time Marks 30 Years"
American Graffiti recently celebrated it’s 45th anniversary and the music-filled picture still holds up nearly a half-century later. Foreshadowing films of the future with intertwining stories, the film focuses on four teenagers on their final night in Modesto, Cal. before college. Curt Henderson (Richard Dreyfuss) and Steve Bolander (Ron Howard) meet up with John Milner (Paul Le Mat) and Terry “The Toad” Fields (Charles Martin Smith) in the Mel’s Drive-In diner parking lot. Both Curt and…"American Graffiti marks 45th Anniversary"