Since the acquisition of Lucasfilm by The Walt Disney Company, and the announcement of new Star Wars films, fans and bloggers have speculated what would happen to the wealth of stories and characters that have made up the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Today, those speculations were laid to rest. Going forward, with Episodes VII-IX, the upcoming Rebels animated series, and other publishing ventures, the Star Wars Expanded Universe will not be considered canon.
Lucasfilm made an official announcement on the matter today stating that although Lucasfilm, “always strived to keep the stories created for the EU consistent with our film and television content as well as internally consistent, Lucas always made it clear that he was not beholden to the EU.”
So, will all the years of books, video games, and cartoons be like a Force dream from the past? Not exactly.
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy stated that this decision gives “maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserves an element of surprise and discovery for the audience, Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe. While the universe that readers knew is changing, it is not being discarded.”
The Star Wars universe will now be interconnected and overseen by a team that will weave all future developments together. Says Kennedy, “We have an unprecedented slate of new Star Wars entertainment on the horizon,” said Kennedy. “We’re set to bring Star Wars back to the big screen, and continue the adventure through games, books, comics, and new formats that are just emerging. This future of interconnected storytelling will allow fans to explore this galaxy in deeper ways than ever before.”
For more info, check out StarWars.com
R.L. Stine’s iconic Goosebumps series has been a staple in young-adult horror, and a major motion picture is finally filming now.
Set for a Spring 2016 release, Goosebumps will actually be taking a meta-fictional take on the series, and comedic actor Jack Black plays the author himself. When a young man (Let Me In’s Dylan Minnette) moves in next door, he begins to discover that fiction, is as true as fact, as Goosebumps favorite, Slappy the evil ventriloquist has set the made-up monsters free in the real world. This promising and creative spin on the landmark book series could really be treat.
Goosebumps, starring Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush and Ryan Lee, is scheduled to be released in theaters March 23, 2016.
WELCOME FEAST — Making its world premiere at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival June 10, 2014, is “Feast,” a new short from first-time director Patrick Osborne (head of animation, “Paperman”) and Walt Disney Animation Studios. The story of one man’s love life is seen through the eyes of his best friend and dog, Winston, and revealed bite by bite through the meals they share. The short will open in theaters in front of WDAS’ new action-packed, big-screen adventure “Big Hero 6” on Nov. 7, 2014.
Beneath the streets of Paris rests a deadly secret. Learn the truth.
Written by John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle (Quarantine, Devil) and directed by John Erick Dowdle, the psychological thriller hits theaters August 15, 2014.
From Legendary Pictures:
Miles of twisting catacombs lie beneath the streets of Paris, the eternal home to countless souls. When a team of explorers ventures into the uncharted maze of bones, they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead. A journey into madness and terror, As Above, So Below reaches deep into the human psyche to reveal the personal demons that come back to haunt us all.
Written by John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle (Quarantine, Devil) and directed by John Erick Dowdle, the psychological thriller is produced by Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Patrick Aiello and Drew Dowdle. Alex Hedlund serves as the executive producer.
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Cast: Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge
Directed by: John Erick Dowdle
Written by: John Erick Dowdle & Drew Dowdle
Produced by: Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Patrick Aiello, Drew Dowdle
Executive Producer: Alex Hedlund
Do you believe that the worst thing about the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy was a six foot tall talking lizard? So not true. Five year old Vader? The script? A plot consisting of a trade negotiations and political “intrigue”? How about a kick ass villain carelessly cut in half and tossed aside in the very first film?
Jar Jar Binks, though a silly, childish, animated muppet is not even in the top 5 worst things about the most anticipated trilogy in film history. So it’s time to end the hate. It’s time for peace for all Gungans, especially the dopey patsy taking the fall for George Lucas.
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The English comedy triad of director Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are back with the third chapter (Previously Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) of their Three Flavors Cornetto trilogy. Full synopsis:
Five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hellbent on trying a marathon pub crawl in their hometown, 20 years after attempting the last one. But the old stomping grounds have changed — a lot — since they were last there. Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine and Rosamund Pike co-star. Pegg wrote the script for the Working Title comedy. Focus Features releases in the U.S. on August 23, a month after the film’s UK debut July 19.
Click the pic below to get to the hysterical new trailer!
Between the head-banging, strobe lighting, and angst-filled lyrics, American Idiot might be better suited in an arena rock setting, than the musical theater. But punk rockers are wont to rock where punk rockers choose, especially if the setting is less than appropriate. That’s not to say that the Green Day rock opera, playing this weekend at the Straz Center, isn’t a great show, because it truly is. Just be prepared to have your face kicked in a (theatrically) punk rock way.
A kinetic, frenzied affair, American Idiot, based on Green Day’s multi-platinum fist-pumper of an album, leaves both its performers and audience grasping for air. Rage has a way of pushing everyone to the edge, it seems. The story, expanded from the concept album, focuses on the lives of three discontent young men, each with enough indignation to power the set’s multiple video monitors, with some to spare. Johnny (Brandon Kalm), Will (Casey O’Farrell), and Tunny (Thomas Hettrick) are all looking for a way out. Out of their hopeless suburban town, out of the rules that shackle and bind them, and out of the eye of the authority that hovers like a hand grenade. With a handful of bus tickets, the boys think they find their way out, just as Will is chained tighter to settle in suburbia by a girlfriend with a baby bump. Johnny and Tunny run off to the city together, but are quickly separated and swallowed up by drugs and an American war respectively.
Though the focus is most certainly masculine, it’s really the ladies of American Idiot (including Clearwater’s own, Jenna Rubaii), who steal the show, stomping their boots and belting their lyrics out as they do it. It’s really “Whatshername” (Alyssa DiPalma) who ironically demands that the audience remember her, with a performance that is sure to haunt both Johnny, and the exasperated crowd for sometime.
And they all rage on.
American Idiot borrows much of the behind the scenes creative team (including director Michael Mayer and scenic designer Christine Jones) from the equally audacious, Spring Awakening, and it shows. The stark set remains static for much of the show, save for a couch, industrial stairs and a bed or two, swinging in or out as needed. The amalgamation of bombastic music and bold characters make up the rest, and though the mostly sung-through show is light on dialogue, the trio of tales are all easy to follow.
American Idiot is a one act, fury of a show that will leave you wondering how the amazing cast pulls off the singing, screaming, kicking, and endless dancing. As the characters challenge any and all authority, the show itself challenges it’s performers and audience in a break-neck, balls to the wall, middle finger-flipped fracas. And the breathlessness couldn’t be more worth it. Fans of Green Day, of pop-like punk rock, or anyone who thinks their bosses don’t give them any respect are bound to love American Idiot. But as mentioned, a typical musical theater crowd might leave a little shell-shocked.
May 17-19, Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. 2 and 8 p.m., Sun. 1 and 6:30 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, $20-$79
(Copied with permission from Creative Loafing Tampa)
RuPaul’s Drag Race has turned American on to plenty of fishy and glamorous drag queens during it’s five seasons, but none have stolen more hearts than campy theater queen, Jinkx Monsoon. Jinkx (performed by Jerick Hoffer) went from this year’s underdog, all the way to winner, crowned by RuPaul herself. We had the chance to catch up with her as she prepares to bring her act to Tampa this weekend:
“America’s Next Drag Superstar”, Jinkx Monsoon has an incredible ring to it, doesn’t it? Congratulations on winning Season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race! Has it set in yet, really?
This week I was able to celebrate at my home bar Julia’s on Broadway in Seattle with all my friends and family! It is finally sinking in now that I’ve gotten the chance to really celebrate with those who were close to me throughout this entire experience. I’m finally ready to take on the whole wide world.
There has been a lot of catty, sometimes hate-filled discourse between drag fans, usually on the internet. You’ve really come out and risen above it all. What is it like to be a role model now, and did you foresee yourself becoming one before this whole incredible ride began? I never set out to become such a role model, but now that I have this opportunity I really enjoy spreading my message of positive thinking and positive energy. My Mantras and personal statements were more my personal inspiration to keep myself energized throughout the competition and less my aspirations to become a role model to the youth but now that I’ve been given that opportunity I definitely want to use this exposure as a platform for social change!
And along those lines, how can Jinkx Monsoon impact the drag community, and even the LBGT community as a whole, during your reign? I think Jinkx Monsoon stands up for all of us who challenge the American standards of gender beauty and self-identity. I think she is a role model in the fact that she marches to the beat of her own drum and does things her own way in spite of the way that everyone else would like her to do things. I plan on speaking out on equal rights issues and the gay rights movement and progressing our social consciousness forward to make this world a more accepting and inhabitable place for all of the different people who live here. Jinkx Monsoon the character definitely isn’t a paragon of social etiquette, but Jerick Hoffer the performer wants to use this as an opportunity to spread a positive message.
You had quite a bit of opening up, on the show about your relationship with your mother and your upbringing. I had a lot of mixed emotions about opening up about my family, but ultimately I decided to share certain parts of my story because they are huge turning point and what made me the kind of drag queen artist and human being I am today. I think that you can learn just as much from the tragic moments in your life, if not more, as you can from the successful moments in your life. My mother and I have resolved these issues years ago, but due to the episodes airing we’ve been able to reflect and really grow from this experience as a family. Drag race more or less brought my family back together in a time when we were kind of disparate and my personal recent success has motivated my brothers to really go for their life dreams and I fully support them and all the things that they do to accomplish their goals in life. When people ask me if I set out to be a role model to the youth of America, I respond that I just set out to be a role model to my younger brothers and if other people can take positive messages from that, I’m happy to provide.
My absolute favorite Jinkx episode was when you gave American veteran, Dave, a makeover on the soldier challenge. Girl! You made us all tear up. What did you get from that challenge? It was really easy to be compassionate and caring with Dave because Dave is a compassionate caring person himself. I learned so much from him about the history of the gay rights movement. I learned a lot from him about what veterans actually went through before they were able to be out in the military. Dave has risen above so much adversity in his life and he really lit a fire under me to rise above all my challenges and Drag Race. He believed in me every moment of our time together and it fueled me to keep my head in the game. I have stayed in touch with him since the filming of Drag Race and I feel lucky that I got to take home the crown not just for me, but for Dave and for all the people like Dave who lay down the brickwork for the gay rights movement to be where it’s at today.
You’re such a talented and gifted performer and actor. How different is drag from acting? Is drag just a deeper form of method acting, in your opinion? Drag is acting. If you’re doing your job right you’ve created a character and a persona that is unique from your own. I think of drag less like stage acting and more like commedia dell’arte. You create a form to live in, a persona that has life and history of its own and you portray it for your audiences whether you’re on stage or just walking around. If you’re in costume and you are in drag, you’re in character and that’s the way I see it.
You describe yourself, Jerrick, as “kind of a goof, and a little bit of a dork,” and Jinkx is “the life of the party”. Where does the light switch flip for that transformation? For me the transformation isn’t complete until every element is in place. It’s not enough just to have the make up, the costume, the shoes, the wig on one at a time. They all have to be in place together for me to feel like Jinkx has come to life. The persona of Jinkx has evolved throughout the years, but when I look into the mirror and i see Jinkx looking back at me, that’s when I fully snap into character and the rest is kind of out of my hands. It’s all improv, it’s all on the spot decision-making as my character. Jerick is definitely a dork, but Jinkx is the life of the party because Jinkx insists on being the life of the party. That’s just who she is, she wants all eyes on her at all times.
As I mentioned, you’ll be performing here in Tampa at Hamburger Mary’s on May 19th, and I can’t tell you how excited we are to have you. What should we be expecting from Jinkxalicous? When you come to one of my shows, come with an open mind and be ready to experience whatever might happen that night. I take my job as a performer extremely seriously, and I spend all day trying to concoct the perfect show for that specific audience. I never know what I’m going to do until that day because I really want the inspiration to hit me, but what you can be assured is it will be a top notch performance from a passionate performer.
If Little Edie (Grey Gardens) and Jinkx’s namesake Eddie Monsoon (Absolutely Fabulous) came backstage after one of your drag shows, what do you think their reactions would be? I hope that little Edie would feel honored by my tribute to her and I hope Edina Monsoon would try to hire me to be her body double for special appearances. Basically I hope they would save my homage to them as a portrayal of my absolute love for who they are and not take any offense to any of it. Or if they did take offense to it I hope that we could laugh our way through it without a lawsuit. Ha ha! RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5 Winner, Jinkx Monsoon performs at Hamburger Marys in Ybor, Sun., May 19. No cover, reservations strongly recommended, call 813 241 6279 for availability.