In Memoriam 2020: Remembering Those We Lost In Entertainment

With 2021 finally dawned upon us, it brings a new beginning to what was for sure one of the most tumultuous years in anyone’s recent memory in the year 2020, with a plethora of events that occurred (and many still recurring) that need no repeating. We all know of what went down and what’s going on, things which have spilled over and are still extreme challenges in this new year. In short, 2020 was a year most of, if not all, of us would soon rather forget.

However, what shouldn’t be forgotten are the names of the many luminaries in entertainment that we lost last year, also a stunning amount of creatives and well-knowns of seemingly every type and stripe. While in a lot of ways an “in memoriam” list seems rather arbitrary and irrelevant considering the hundreds of thousands of lives lost in the United States alone last year during the pandemic and of people who became global martyrs by way of insurrectional behaviors by authoritative figures all across America, a list like this becomes in a way necessary, as it’s important to give the proper respect and final send off to some of the individuals who touched our lives in so many ways, especially during last year, when all forms of entertainment became not only entrenched in its typical “escapism,” but also became a healing balm in a sense, something that helped people push through during the darkest times of necessary state and governmental-enforced bondage on us all. And it is for that reason, that we present some of our heroes, guiding lights, inspirations, and illuminations who left us in 2020.

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‘Alien’ Returning To Theaters For 40th Anniversary
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This year marks the 40th anniversary of the theatrical release of Alien, the 1979 scifi/horror masterpiece from director Ridley Scott, starring Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Harry Dean Stanton, Veronica Cartwright, John Hurt, Ian Holm, and Yaphet Kotto. Now, Fathom Events, TCM, and Twentieth Century Fox are bringing the film back to theaters nationwide for 3 days only this month.

Theaters nationwide will be showing the film on October 13, 15, and 16, as part of TCM’s Big Screen Classics Series. The screenings will include special commentary before and after the film from TCM Primetime Host Ben Mankiewicz, as well as an introduction with newly unearthed and rarely seen alternate takes.

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Last Minute Movie Review: The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies
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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Directed by Peter Jackson
Written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson
Starring Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Orlando Bloom
Warner Brothers
Release Date: December 17, 2014

In what I like to call a “see it while you still can” style of reviewing movies before they leave theaters, I finally got around to catching Peter Jackson‘s final film in the The Hobbit trilogy: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

And honestly, I can say that if you loved the Lord of the Rings movies of Jackson’s, then you might indeed wanna catch this before it leaves theaters. And you need not worry if you skipped the second movie in the trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug, or even the first movie, An Unexpected Journey, at this point. But I would never recommend a fan of the original book to ever see this particular film. The first two…sure…but this one, not so much. It’s complicated. Let me explain.

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Pre-Order ‘Alien: Isolation,’ Play As Sigourney Weaver-Voiced Ripley
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As if everything that we’ve seen of Alien: Isolation wasn’t exciting enough for fans of Ridley Scott’s 1979 horror Alien, now comes word that Sigourney Weaver and others will also be reprising their roles from the original movie for the new game.

Everyone who pre-orders Isolation will get a special bonus mission dubbed “Crew Expendable.” In it, you can play as either Ripley (voiced by Weaver), Dallas (voiced by Tom Skerritt), or Parker (Yaphet Kotto). Also appearing is Lambert (Veronica Cartwright), Brett (Harry Dean Stanton), and Ash (using Ian Holm‘s likeness but not voice).

Those who pre-order the game at Gamestop will get this bonus as well as a second exclusive bonus mission titled “Last Survivor.” You can learn more about both below.

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Blu-ray Review: The Lord Of The Rings – The Fellowship Of The Ring: Extended Edition

The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring: Extended Edition
Directed by Peter Jackson
Written by Peter Jackson, Phillipa Boyens, and Fran Walsh; based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien
Starring Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, and Sean Astin
New Line Home Video
Release Date: August 28, 2012

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring accomplished a feat that few films have ever been able to do: it made a believer out of me. When the movie was first released in December 2001 it proved that epic fantasy features that were not set in a galaxy far, far away could still break box office records. I didn’t see the movie during its blockbuster theatrical run because….I really thought it was going to be terrible. There, I confess. It took me until Fellowship‘s first DVD release in August 2002 to realize that my harsh pre-judging of the movie, mostly based on the simmering anger I felt towards the past few years of bloated Hollywood FX spectacles that offered fantastic visuals but little in the way of memorable stories and characters, was in haste and a huge mistake.

I remember the sweltering summer evening when I rented a copy of Fellowship from my local now-defunct Hollywood Video on the way home from work. Knowing in advance that it was a three-hour flick my initial plan was to watch the first half at the least before hitting the sack so I could get up the next morning for an early shift at the Tower Records I had been working at back then for more than three years. Twenty minutes following the start of my first viewing of Fellowship of the Ring and I was hooked; there would be no “To Be Continued” that night. Even though I risked getting barely enough sleep to pass for a member of the living the next day I watched the movie until its very end, and by the time Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee walked off into the sunset to more adventures I was a full-fledged Rings fan.

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