True Grit – I love me some Coen Brothers. And I love me some Jeff Bridges. Their past collaboration created my favorite movie of all time, The Big Lebowski. And now they have put Bridges into another classic role. In this remake of the John Wayne film, Bridges plays Rooster Cogburn, who is hired by a little girl out for revenge. Her father was murdered and the killer is on the loose. She’s all business while Cogburn is a run down drunkard. Matt Damon and Josh Brolin also have roles. Its a pretty awesome Western and one of my favorite movies from last year. It combines comedy, action, and drama nicely. I haven’t seen it since the theater and I’m anxious to give it another watch.
My Theater Pick
Super 8 – this is one of my most anticipated movies of the year, and definitely my most anticipated of the summer. JJ Abrams had an idea for a coming of age story about some kids filming a movie on their Super 8 camera. He also had an idea for a movie about a monster attacking a small town. Steven Spielberg joined him as executive producer and the idea was born to merge the two into one movie. Super 8 deals with a group of kids who witness a government train crash that unleashes some kind of beast. While the government tries to clean it up and hide it from the public, the kids and some townsfolk know the truth. Looks like E.T. meets Cloverfield and that is something I just HAVE to see. Not many well known faces in the flick which could hurt it in the end, but thats the best way to create movies like this. I am pumped!!
Box Office Results
X-Men: First Class surprised no one by taking the #1 spot and earning $56 million this past weekend. The surprise was $56 million was kind of way below what they were expecting. Awesome reviews don’t always make every person out there want to see it. It was one of the lower earning Marvel movies of recent times. And its tough to stick around the top with new summer blockbusters coming out every weekend for the next couple months.
Also coming out in stores this week is Sanctum, Rubber, Just Go With It, The Company Men and Breaking Bad Season 3.
Also coming out in theaters is Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer.
Would you believe that Back to the Future almost didn’t happen? It was originally written in 1981, but it would be a few years before a studio finally decided to back the movie and let production begin. Though the actors are the people we remember most, it’s the work of everyone that made for such a memorable film.
Robert Zemeckis – Director/Writer
Zemeckis had a somewhat rough start in Hollywood, and it wasn’t until 84’s surprise hit Romancing The Stone that he began to show any sort of clout. It was then he was able to go on and film Back to the Future. After the huge success of BttF, Zemeckis directed the ground breaking Who Framed Roger Rabbit with Disney and created his third critical and financial hit in a row.
The 90s saw Zemeckis end the Back to the Future series, and was also where he ventured out to do different types of films outside of the family friendly ones he had been making. In ’92 he directed the dark special effects comedy Death Becomes Her, and in ’94 he made arguably the greatest film of his career with Forest Gump. With Gump, Zemeckis built a new working relationship with Tom Hanks, and together they went on to work on 2000’s Cast Away and ’04’s Polar Express.
In the 2000s, and even currently, Zemeckis seems to have a slight obsession with computer animated films. The already mentioned Polar Express was his first all digital picture, followed up with ’07’s Beowulf and ’09’s A Christmas Carol. He is currently working on a 3D version of The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine film.
Bob Gale – Writer
Zemeckis and Gale had already been friends since their college days before writing Back to the Future together. After doing the screen writing for BttF Part 2 and 3, Gale seemed to shy away from Hollywood and worked on projects in different mediums. Mostly working in comic books, he wrote issues of Batman, Daredevil and Spiderman, and even dabbled in video games with ’94’s dreadful and thankfully unreleased Tattoo Assassins, a Mortal Kombat knock off. In 2002 he directed his first feature film, Interstate 60, which stars James Marsden and Gary Oldman and sees him reunite with BttF alumni with Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd in cameo roles.
Steven Spielberg – Producer
Without Spielberg, Back to the Future may never have been made, or at least, made the way it was intended. Zemeckis had already been on good terms with Spielberg, but after being turned down by so many studios on BttF, he didn’t want to rely solely on Spielberg’s help to get the film rolling. However, after his success with Romancing The Stone, he felt confident enough to pitch the project to Spielberg and from there Spielberg took it to Universal.
Also, thanks to Spielberg’s clout, the title of the movie may have actually ended up being “Spaceman from Pluto” as was a request from Executive producer Sidney Sheinberg as he believed anything with “Future” in the title would fail. Spielberg told him he thought the name was a joke and helped keep the name “Back to the Future” as a result.
We all know the career Spielberg has had up to this day with barely a low point ever in sight. He was already huge before Back to the Future with films like Jaws, E.T., and Raiders of the Lost Ark already behind him. He is easily the most successful director of all time.
Alan Silvestri – Original Score
Silvestri was brought into the project early as Zemeckis had already worked with him on Romancing The Stone. His unforgettable score for Back to the Future is easily one of his career highlights. Who doesn’t know the theme from this movie off the top of their head? Silvestri’s friendship with Zemeckis has spanned nearly their entire working career, and he went on to score every one of Zemecki’s films. Outside of the Zemecki’s films, Silvestri has gone on to score countless movies. He’s scored films in nearly every genre, from Predator to Grumpy Old Men. Most recently he did the score for The A-Team and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
Huey Lewis and the News – Original Songs
I almost included Huey Lewis on the first part of this feature as he has a quick cameo in the film as the dude that tells Marty his band is terrible, but I felt like he should be reserved for this spot. Huey Lewis wrote two songs for the film, including “Back In Time” and their hit “The Power of Love” which was a number one hit in the US.
Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes, but when Sports came out in ’83, I think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He’s been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far much more bitter, cynical sense of humor. Or so says Patrick Bateman.
Despite never being as big as they were in the 80s, Huey Lewis and the News still exists as a band today, although with different band members. The band has recently completed their first album in over 10 years, titled Soulsville, which will see a US release November 2nd. They also wrote and recording the theme song to ’08’s Pineapple Express.