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Trailer watch: Godzilla (2014)

King kaiju returns to stake his claim as film’s preeminent monster.

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Having laid dormant for more than a decade, one of the most celebrated monsters of cinema returns to the big screen in Hollywood’s second imagining of Japan’s biggest import. Godzilla, the much anticipated new film in the long running franchise stakes claim as the preeminent city-destroying beast once again next May.

Starring Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, David Strathairn and Juliette Binoche, Godzilla is the “epic rebirth to Toho’s iconic Godzilla, a spectacular adventure pitting the world’s most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.”

The film is the spiritual successor to the 1998 Roland Emmerich film of the same name. That film, while doing fairly well at the box office, failed to impress critics and fans of the series with its hokey dialogue and much revamped monster. Next year’s Gareth Edwards-directed film however, looks to be true to the original Godzilla concept, with the monster looking more like the traditional Japanese vision. I am however, one of the few that enjoyed the 1998 version of the film, but this new movie certainly looks much larger in scale and far less comical than its predecessor. The trademark Godzilla roar at the trailer’s end was all I needed to be on board come next May.

The trailer unfolds in a strange serenity; a beautiful descent from the skies into the destruction, madness and chaos of a world torn apart by monsters. Straitharn’s narration gives the film gravitas, and the smoke-clad unveiling of Godzilla almost awe-inspiring.

Godzilla features a screenplay co-written by Frank Darabont, Max Borenstein and David Callaham. If we’re lucky, Puff Daddy and Jimmy Page will be nowhere near the soundtrack.

May 16th, 2014, Gojira returns.

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Miles Davis and The Birth of the Cool

Can one distill cool into one documentary?

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If there is one thing that has been indisputable about the legacy of Miles Davis is that he was the personification of ‘cool’. And it seems like there was no decade where he was making music that he wasn’t ever cool. We once said about Miles Davis and his cool that “no matter how scrupulous your selection – one cannot distill cool into thirteen tracks, no matter how good“. Now the unenviable task of distilling that cool into a succinct document falls into the hands of Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, a new documentary detailing the life, music, and legacy of Miles Davis.

Directed by Stanley Nelson Jr. (Freedom Riders, The Murder of Emmett Till), Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival before hitting the festival circuit through the year. The film chronicles the rebellious nature of Miles Davis, detailing his desire to constantly break from the norm, with director Stanley Nelson saying;

“He was an extraordinary artist celebrated for his restless artistic aesthetic and his ceaseless innovation.  He changed the course of music five or six times.  By unpacking his upbringing, his methodology, his relationships, and his demons, we begin to understand the man who redefined the original American musical genre, jazz, and continues to influence generations of rock, funk, and hip-hop artists.”

Abramorama will screen the film today, August 23rd in New York with director Stanley Nelson taking part in a Q+A. Tickets for this screening, along with future screenings, can be found here.

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Bruce Springsteen gets cinematic with Western Stars

“Life’s mysteries remain and deepen, its answers unresolved”

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“We all have our broken pieces … nobody gets away unhurt. We’re always trying to find somebody whose broken pieces fit with our broken pieces and something whole emerges”

On the heels of the release of Bruce Springsteen’s nineteenth studio album Western Stars, Warner Bros Pictures has announced the release of the cinematic experience accompanying the album. The new film features Springsteen performing all 13 tracks from the new album, accompanied by a full orchestra in his 100-year-old barn. The film will also showcase old home footage as well as Springsteen’s life-earned ruminations we’ve seen through his career- brought to life recently with his stint on Broadway and on his Netflix special.

Warner Bros. exec Toby Emmerich has said about Western Stars and Springsteen;

“Bruce lives in the super rarified air of artists who have blazed new and important trails deep into their careers. With ‘Western Stars,’ Bruce is pivoting yet again, taking us with him on an emotional and introspective cinematic journey, looking back and looking ahead.”

Western Stars will premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, kicking off September 5th. The film was produced by Jon Landau, Barbara Carr, and George Travis with Springsteen executive producing it. Western Stars was co-directed by Springsteen and longtime collaborator Thom Zimny.

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