george lucas

10 Directors Who Just Can’t Leave Their Damn Movies Alone

It’s a bit of a dead day for new releases on DVD and Blu-ray — you’ve got that Robocop remake that nobody wanted, the sixth season of the diminishing-returns HBO vampire drama True Blood, and the wretch-inducing flag-waver Lone Survivor — but there’s one new Blu-ray that’ll make you cock your head and go “eh?”: the “Ultimate Cut” of Alexander, Oliver Stone’s Alexander the Great biopic that was met with mediocre reviews and box office when it was released a decade ago. In spite of that reception (or maybe because of it?) Stone keeps re-cutting the failed picture, endlessly attempting to make it work. And Stone’s not the only one; there’s a whole set of filmmakers who can’t seem to leave well enough alone. … Read More

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The Campy Joys of Watching ‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace,’ 15 Years Later

We knew from the start that The Phantom Menace was not a Great Movie. It wasn’t even a good one, arguably; when it hit theaters 15 years ago today, the prequel was greeted with such ringing praise as “certainly adequate” and “has a lot of stuff.” The movie made tons of money, but then again, the only way it wouldn’t have raked in the cash is if George Lucas had produced two hours of nothing but scrolling, bright-yellow-scripted exposition (or even more bone-dry Galactic Senate scenes, á la a brilliant Simpsons parody that is unfortunately nowhere to be found on YouTube). But the consensus seemed to be that thanks to its eye-popping special effects, Phantom Menace was a wash: bad acting, worse writing, OHMYGOD POD RACING! … Read More

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Flavorwire Exclusive: Storyboards From the Original ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy

Star Wars fans, rejoice — today is the big day that Lucasfilm opens up the archives and bestows upon you Star Wars Storyboards: The Original Trilogy, a hardbound, coffee-table-style book collecting the complete storyboards for the first three films (in order of release, anyway) of George Lucas’ iconic space opera. And since we love seeing classic movies in their ink-and-paper form, the folks at Lucasfilm and Abrams Books were kind enough to share a few of the ‘boards with us (including a handful that are exclusive to this site). Check ‘em all out after the jump: … Read More

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10 Amazing Abandoned Sets from Film and Television

Nobody ever said growing up is easy, but anyone who came of age in the ‘90s with the occasional eye on Nickelodeon got a gulp-inducing whiff of their own mortality recently, when pictures and video surfaced of the show’s long-forgotten Arizona ranch set. It’s still there, sort of, its abandoned buildings and trashed-out interiors a freestanding reminder that, yes, a television show was here once. But Hey Dude isn’t the only bit of pop culture that left its skeleton in place once shooting wrapped. … Read More

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Han Solo’s Blaster Sells for $200,000

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Settle Down, ‘Star Wars’ Fans: Your Entitlement Is Out of Control

Maybe the problem is I’m just not that much of a Star Wars fan. Oh, it’s not that I dislike the films (y’know, except for the prequels); when you’re eight years old in 1983, the experience of seeing Return of the Jedi in the theater, and owning the subsequent action figures and Ewok lunch boxes, makes you a loyalist for life, if for no other reason than nostalgia. But mine is a casual affection, not a gaping maw requiring the constant ingestion of information, and that is apparently what Star Wars fandom has become these days — if the furious response to Disney’s D23 expo is any indication. You see, the new owners of the Star Wars franchise had the nerve to share nothing new about Episode VII last weekend, and fans are livid. Because that’s the point we’ve arrived at with movie hype: the choice to maintain some semblance of secrecy about a project two years from delivery is not only a vile insult, but an indication of big trouble. Come again? … Read More

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50 Great Director Cameos in Other Directors’ Movies

Film fans love a good director cameo. Hitchcock made a trademark of them; viewers are regularly delighted by the sly appearances of Martin Scorsese, John Waters, Sydney Pollack, and many more (M. Night Shyamalan, not so much) in their own movies. But the real sport for true cinephiles is spotting the occasions in which chummy directors pop in for cameo appearances in the pictures of their filmmaking pals. It happens, well, all the time. Click through for our handy… Read More

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10 of Hollywood’s Most Surprising and Heartening Success Stories

Examining the weekly box office reports can be a depressing business, watching every week as terrible movies top the charts and great ones disappear into the wind. But this summer, as we’ve discussed, things have been a little different. Turkeys like The Lone Ranger and R.I.P.D. have taken deserved belly flops; low-budget efforts like The Purge and The Conjuring were surprise hits. And the news got better this weekend: Woody Allen’s wonderful Blue Jasmine expanded to 50 screens and landed in the top 15 with a robust $40K per-screen average — second only to The Spectacular Now, which earned a healthy $50K on each of its four screens. In this money-driven business, it’s always a relief when the bad movies tank, and the good movies make money. Here’s ten more examples of small movies that earned both the acclaim and the box office they deserved: … Read More

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