Star Wars Goes Fantasy

Winter is coming, and it brings David and Dan with it…

In one of the more surprising news stories to come out of LucasFilm over the past few months, it has today been announced that Dan Weiss and David Benioff, creators of the HBO phenomena Game of Thrones, have been hired to write and produce a new series of Star Wars films which are separate from both the Skywalker saga and Rian Johnson’s announced trilogy.

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The Superbowl Roundup

The Superbowl happened! For most people it’s an event in the calendar that highlights the culmination of the American Football season. But for us nerds, it’s a time for some sick trailers.

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The Superbowl has come and gone, and whilst the result of the game itself was historic, what was perhaps as equally jaw-dropping was the quality of the trailers which we were treated to throughout the night.

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UK Investment Into Film Industry Breaks Records

Investment into the UK hub of film and TV production has accelerated to £1.9 billion in 2017.

Pinewood

Following the production of films such as Solo: A Star Wars StoryJurassic World: Fallen KingdomDumboFantastic Beasts: The Crimes of GrindelwaldTomb Raider and Ready Player One the UK inward investment on feature films has risen 12% from the previous year.

The latest figures were released by the British Film Institute on Wednesday and also show a rise in cinema admissions, reaching 171 million (A 3.7% increase on 2016).

Offering comment on the figures Digital and Creative Industries Minister Margot James said:

“From Star Wars to The Crown, the UK is a creative powerhouse for developing many award-winning films and shows enjoyed by millions globally. We have world-class studios, a talented workforce and highly competitive tax reliefs, and these fantastic stats show investment in our screen industries is booming.”

Amanda Nevill CBE, CEO of the BFI, comments:

“Once again, film and high-end TV surpass expectation, and records are broken, with a staggering almost £3bn spent on film and high-end TV production in the UK. Film and TV is a consistently growing industry, and doing so at speed – collectively up 11% from last year – outstripping most other sectors. Productions such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Paddington 2 and Game of Thrones deliver new employment opportunities for everyone, with every conceivable skill required, from special effects designers to costumiers, accountants and drivers. What’s more it creates the most potent export to showcase the UK and our innate creativity and is a powerful and timely reminder of the UK as a major global player.”

The figures depict a very positive trend for the UK’s film and TV industry, and one that is likely to continue throughout the coming years as the Government looks to solidify the sector which is proving both profitable and world-leading.

Retrospective Review: The Godfather (1972)

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Writers: Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola
Starring: Marlon Brando and Al Pacino

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In a new series of articles we’ll be looking back over movies of the past and offering our thoughts in retrospect. And why not start off with a masterpiece?

Let’s not beat around the bush here, not just The Godfather, but the entire trilogy is a work of art when it comes to film making. I’m in the very small minority when it comes to my ordering of the series, in that I believe that the third is better than number two and that the original is the best. But that does not take away my belief that the series as a whole is one of the best trilogy’s ever made.

I had the pleasure of first watching The Godfather when I was about 12 years old with my mum, and I can distinctly remember completely forgetting that the people I was watching on screen weren’t real. That’s a serious testament to not just the performances of every single actor on screen, but also to Francis Ford Coppola’s fantastic directing. The narrative is beautifully woven to create an “epic” feel to the movie, as though we are watching a real family dynasty unfold before our eyes. Something that would not be possible without the highest quality directing, acting, composing and writing. As such it would be unfair to single any one aspect of this film and label it as the most important cog in well designed machine.

This was Al Pacino’s breakout role and my God what a film to be known for. His performance in this film is near perfect, his story arc is both believable but without sacrificing the edge of your seat nature that is so often captured perfectly by well fleshed out characters that you feel invested in. And for me it is that point which takes The Godfather beyond being a great film to a near perfect one. Every character is well thought out, they could very well be real people (As younger me believed) and you invest in their flaws and stories. Beyond that though, like only the best performances can, Marlon Brando’s portrayal of Don Vito Corleone has managed become film legend. If you haven’t imitated the line “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse” then have you really been paying attention?

For a movie released in 1972 to still hold up to today’s standard of film making is a real achievement that shouldn’t be understated. You will still to this day struggle to find a more compelling tale of family, loss and struggle. Sure, some blood effects could be better by today’s standards, but as time moves on that’s something that has to be accepted as inevitable in an industry such as this.

I can’t say enough positive things about this movie. If you’re a film fan, then you need to see this film. If you’re studying film at University, then you need to see this film. If you have even a passing interest in Italian/American mafia, then you need to see this film.

Final Score:

10/10 Porgs.

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