Film Trivia: 33 Epic Star Wars Facts

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With only 10 days left until the 7th instalment of the saga is released, here are 33 facts about this epic franchise:

1. Star Wars has made over 3.5 Billion dollars.

2. A New Hope (1977) is the second highest grossing film of all time in the US.

3. George Lucas came up with the name R2-D2 while filming American Graffiti. A member of the sound crew asked him to retrieve reel #2 of the second dialogue track, which in the parlance would be, “Could you get R2-D2 for me?”

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#30 – Trapped Magic – by Nick Andersen

“Trapped Magic is a short dark fantasy loosely based on the myth of Sally the Dunstable Witch and the Bottled Curse and is angled as a relative to the BBC series ‘Merlin.’ The film was spurred from my love for all things fantasy.” – Heather Aspinall (director)

From the two minutes of this short preview of Trapped Magic, I will share my honest opinions. The first thing I noticed and immediately liked was the cinematography. Great location, angles, lighting and that fade filter it has over the picture. The second thing I noticed and was thrown off by was Claire Pulpher’s acting. This troubles me, especially if this project will be turned into a film. Her acting is noticeably fake or theatre-like; as if she were in front of an audience, playing the part too hard so for those in the back of the crowd, could hear her. I feel like she overacted her part. Now, when it was Callum Wernyj’s turn to speak, it was quiet and disconnecting. Yes that may be because of his shy character, but it was very obvious since his performance is such an extreme opposite to Claire’s loud one. I hope this scene doesn’t set the stage for the rest of the film, because so far, I have no interest in watching the eventual completed film. I have spoken with Abdiel about this, and we watched it for the first time together, and he also shares the same experience as mine. I don’t mean to bash on someone’s hard-worked creation, but they have reached out and asked us to do a review on this short clip, and these are our honest thoughts about it.

Thanks for reading our review!

– Nick Andersen & Abdiel Galindo

 

#29 – The Last Stand – by Nick Andersen

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The Last Stand is an R-rated 2013 action film directed by South Korean Kim Jee-woon in his American directorial debut, and written by Andrew Knauer. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker, Johnny Knoxville, Rodrigo Santoro and Eduardo Noriega. The film follows a small town tough sheriff and his inexperienced deputies who must stop a dangerous drug lord from escaping to Mexico. This was Arnold’s comeback after 10 years since Terminator 3 (2003) and it wouldn’t be an Arnie film without his one liners! This is a great example of a fun, feel-good, action-packed 90-minute film and I highly enjoyed it!

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#28 – The Man from U.N.C.L.E. – by Nick Andersen

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The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a 2015 action comedy spy film directed by Guy Ritchie and co-written by Lionel Wilgram and Guy Ritchie, based on the 1964 TV series of the same name, which was created by Ian Fleming, Norman Felton and Sam Rolfe. The film stars Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki and Hugh Grant. In the 60s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB agent Illya Kuryakin unite for a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which works to create nuclear weapons. Thinking the entire time that it had a James Bond feel to it, I later discovered that Ian Fleming (creator of James bond) is one of the three who created the film’s original TV series. You know it’s going to be good if the director is well enough known for his selective and distinct films. Guy Ritchie is that kind of director, where you see his name and go, “Oh that guy! He’s made some interesting films!” Not so many, but the few that he did do, have all been successful and this film is no exception. A great cast, stunning cinematography and wardrobe, good action, excellent music and a subtle but brilliant sense of humor.

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#27 – American Ultra – by Nick Andersen

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American Ultra is an R-rated 2015 action comedy film directed by Nima Nourizadeh and written by Max Landis. This is the director’s second film, his first being Project X. American Ultra stars Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Topher Grace and Connie Britton. It tells the story of a pathetic stoner who is in fact a CIA agent but had his memories of one, erased. When marked as a liability and targeted for extermination, Mike Howell gets “activated” and unleashes his deadly skills on those who try to end him. This idea has been played with before like the Jason Bourne trilogy (not that garbage The Bourne Legacy), except the concept of a comedic twist to it sounds interesting and the trailer itself looked good. Unfortunately, that was it; the whole film felt like it could have been much better.

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#26 – Lars and the Real Girl – by Nick Andersen

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Lars and the Real Girl is a 2007 comedy-drama film directed by Craig Gillespie and written by Nancy Oliver as her screenplay debut. It stars Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, Kelli Garner and Patricia Clarkson. The story follows Lars (Gosling) a socially inept man, who starts a romantic yet platonic relationship with a lifelike doll which he ordered from an adult website. The trailer makes it out to look more like a comedy when it’s more of a sweet drama. The comedy is innocent, like Lars and the people who play along because of their love for him. We get to see a unique performance by Ryan Gosling; one where he isn’t the attractive and take-the-lead kind of guy. The film is a wonderful one with a great message and examples of caring friendships that won’t waste your time.

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#25 – Southpaw – by Nick Andersen

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Southpaw is an R-rated 2015 sports drama film directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Kurt Sutter. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker, and Rachel McAdams. It tells the story of world champion boxer, Billy Hope, who loses his wife in a tragic accident, and has to fight to win back his life for his young daughter. We get to see excellent performances by Gyllenhaal and Whitaker, as well as Oona Laurence who plays Hope’s daughter, Leila. It’s tough, it’s raw, it’s emotional, it’s motivational; it’s an amazing film and I highly enjoyed it.

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#24 – Seeking a Friend for the End of the World – by Nick Andersen

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Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a 2012 comedy drama film directed and written by Lorene Scafaria as her directorial debut. It tells the story of Dodge, a recently divorced man, looking for a meaningful way to spend his last 21 days on Earth before an asteroid wipes out all of humanity. It stars Steve Carell and Keira Knightley. Somewhere in the related videos section of films like The Way Way Back (2013) and Dan In Real Life (2007), I found this little independant one. While very funny at times, Steve Carell can also play the drama roles. The ones where he becomes the victim of some type of loss in his life yet in the end finds a way to be happy. To see the light out of all that darkness. This movie surprised me a lot of how good it became in the second half.

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#23 – De-Lovely – by Nick Andersen

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De-Lovely is a 2004 musical biopic directed by Irwin Winkler and written by Jay Cocks; based on the life and career of Cole Porter. It stars Kevin Kline, Ashley Judd, Jonathan Pryce and Kevin McNally. I personally do not enjoy film musicals. When people break into a song, I roll my eyes and count the seconds until it’s over. But I love biopics and this one came as a good recomendation, so like any other film, I gave it a try. In fact, I watched it with a friend because they wanted to see it again and in turn, I ended up liking it a lot. It’s a beautiful and entertaining journey through the start of Cole Porter’s career, his meeting with Linda Lee Thomas, his love interests and finally his death.

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#22 – The Imposter – by Nick Andersen

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The Imposter is a 2012 documentary film directed by Bart Layton. It’s about the 1997 case of French Frederic Bourdin, who impersonated Nicholas Barclay, a Texas 13-year old boy who disappeared in 1994. The film has reenacted scenes including interviews with Frederic Bourdin and some members of the Barclay family, as well as real television news footage.

I hadn’t heard about this case before, so when I watched it, I couldn’t believe someone would prey upon a grieving family, not knowing whether their child is still alive or what had happened to him. It’s a pretty messed up story and yet an incredible one.

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