STAR WARS NEWS
Assuming the second additions to the Star Wars franchise didn't do enough to ruin the brand for you, there's plenty of news heating up in a galaxy far, far away. After the initial shock from Disney purchasing the rights to the Star Wars franchise, just about every director known to man was speculated to take over the next installment. Well, the hearsay can final stop. Director J.J. Abrams has officially signed on to helm the untitled Episode VII. As the visionary director of Super 8 and rival franchise reboots Star Trek and 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness, Abrams certainly has the credentials to pull it off. However, no one can argue that it will be interesting to see him put his own personal stamp on the iconic film series. Look for the latest Star Wars installment to arrive in 2015 ... the wait begins.
2013 Academy Awards Update
One of the biggest surprises during January 10th's Oscar Nominations announcement was the massive support for Michael Haneke's foreign film Amour. As the movie received a Best Picture nod and Haneke himself helped aid in the nationally-outraged snubbing of Ben Affleck (Argo) for Best Director, Amour immediately became a motion picture I needed to see. Thankfully, the Philadelphia Film Society mustered up a special screening of Amour for myself and other high standing members of the organization. Having finally experienced the immensely touted Cannes Festival Palme d'Or Award Winner, I must say that I can somewhat justify the Academy's love-fest for the film. Although I still believe that Affleck is one of the most deserving directors of the year, Amour packs a powerful punch of emotions. Depressing, adorable and everything in between, Amour is a solid piece of filmmaking that definitely deserves some recognition. Despite falling massively short on sheer entertainment value, Amour is a meaningful examination of love at its deepest core. Backed by towering performances from legendary talent such as Best Actress Nominee Emmanuelle Riva and her onscreen husband Jean-Louis Trintignant, there's plenty to appreciate with Michael Haneke's Amour.
Stars: 3 stars out of 4