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Abrams

Yesterday, during a press conference for "Star Trek Into Darkness," J.J. Abrams did something unusual. He told us something about "Star Wars: Episode VII."

Specifically, the director said that John Williams, the composer who wrote the score for every "Star Wars" movie to date, was likely to return for the seventh installment, scheduled to hit theaters in 2015. A self-proclaimed champion of the mystery box approach, Abrams has never been one to openly share information, especially about "Star Wars," which he claims is too early in development to discuss.

But there he was at a "Star Trek Into Darkness" press conference, revealing a detail about "Star Wars: Episode VII." It would all seem a little too strange if it hadn't been for what Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said last week.

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Tarkin

By Ryan Rigley

While there may not be all that much to go off of for the upcoming "Star Wars VII" as of yet, it seems as if that won't be the case once the film actually goes into production. "I think the whole issue of confidentiality is gonna be fascinating as we move into making the movie," states Lucasfilm President Katleen Kennedy in a recent interview with ScreenSlam. "If we're shooting anything outside, it's almost impossible to not have things end up on the Internet. So my feeling is, you need to embrace that, especially with the fans around something like 'Star Wars.'"

It's good to know that we'll be kept in the loop as far as "Star Wars VII" plans go, but when exactly will we start getting our answers? In specific, which characters will be making an appearance in the latest "Star Wars" trilogy? I'm not talking about Luke or Leia. I mean those memorable minor characters, like Grand Moff Tarkin; who was the chief overseer of the Death Star in "A New Hope."

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Jesus

By Amelia Mularz

Nope, Mel Gibson's not involved. This one's all Mark Burnett, the producer who's partly to blame for giving Donald Trump his own show ("The Apprentice"), as well as Sarah Palin ("Sarah Palin's Alaska"), and his wife Roma Downey of "Touched by an Angel" fame. They're taking their 10-part TV miniseries for the History Channel and re-cutting it into a three-hour movie to be released this fall.

That means you'll be able to enjoy the story of Jesus and his resurrection the way God truly intended: with your feet resting on a Mountain Dew-saturated floor while clutching a box of Goobers. Plus, while heading to church can be a hassle (c'mon Sunday is for football!), Burnett's movie will give you a reasonable dose of the biblical for a measly $10-$14 "donation" to your nearest corporately operated, mass movie theater chain.

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Pain and Gain

By Tara Fowler

This weekend, Michael Bay will try to erase the sting of "Armageddon" with the true-crime feature "Pain & Gain." Personally, I've never met a Bay film I haven't liked (well, maybe Pearl Harbor), so I couldn't be more psyched for this movie, which centers on three Florida bodybuilders—Daniel Lugo, Adrian Doorbal, and Paul Doyle—who turned to a life of crime in the mid-90s. The true story is more bizarre then the film itself, so I highly suggest you check out Pete Collins' lengthy exposé in the Miami New Times. But for those of you who don't have the time, check out some highlights from the article below.

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Pacific Rim

FROM NEXT MOVIE

With the summer movie season starting earlier every year and the month of May just over a week away, it's time to turn your attention to the blockbuster spectacles of the warmer months.

Next Movie just put together the perfect primer for the summer movie season. Their list contains everything you need to know about the 30 most anticipated movies of May, June, July, and August of 2013, plus trailers for each of the flicks.

The list comes in a countdown format, so see which movies make the cut and which top the whole thing by clicking the link above!

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Salacious

By Ryan Rigley

While no light has been shed on the actual plot of "Star Wars VII," we did get a quite hilarious pitch for what the next "Star Wars" film should look like via an improvised tangent from comedian Patton Oswalt. In an outtake from this week's episode of "Parks and Recreation," Oswalt details a "Star Wars" inhabited by the likes of Iron Man, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Thanos, and Sam Worthington from "Clash of the Titans."

Clearly, this "Star Wars VII: The Gauntlet of Infinity" is a film that will never happen; especially the part about Chewbacca's decapitated head attached to a spider walker droid. But Oswalt's pitch does raise a pretty intriguing question; who will be appearing in the next "Star Wars" trilogy? Hopefully, "Star Wars VII" sees the return of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia as well as some memorable minor characters such as Salacious Crumb, Jabba the Hutt's cackling monkey-lizard.

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This weekend, "Oblivion" starring Tom Cruise opens in theaters across the U.S. Some critics are giving the movie, which has otherwise been lukewarmly received, the benefit of the doubt for being the rare sci-fi movie that isn't based on a book or movie.

While there is something to be said about the lack of sci-fi movie in theaters these days, there are much better examples of the genre from the past 10 years that may have slipped under your radar. Check out a sample below.

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Tom Cruise

By Tara Fowler

This weekend, a movie called "Oblivion" hits theaters. It is not, as I believed when it was first announced, based on the popular video game (which I wouldn't be opposed to — make it happen, Hollywood!). Instead, this film sees Tom Cruise as one of the last humans stationed on a dying Earth following an alien attack sixty years prior*. Here are seven facts about the savior of mankind:

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Rated R

By Eddie Wright

At the recent CinemaCon event in Las Vegas, president and chief executive of the National Association of Theater Owners, John Fithian claimed — while speaking to movie theater owners and pros — that movie attendance is down in 2013 due to "the weight of too many R-rated movies."

Fithian then told the crowd that studios need to "Make more family-friendly films and fewer R-rated titles," because "Americans have stated their choice." But have they?

According to the NY Times, North American ticket sales are down by 12 percent compared to the first quater of 2012. But last year, the first "Hunger Games" film was released in March, which was a massive hit, and certainly bumped up the box office numbers for the beginning of that year. This year's March tentpole release was "Oz: The Great and Powerful," a big movie that opened with more than $79 million and has done over $219 million so far, but it won't hit the "Hunger Games'" $408 million domestic take by the time it exits theaters.

Of last year's top 10 grossing Springtime movies, two were rated R, "21 Jump Street," and "American Reunion." So far, in Spring 2013, "Olympus Has Fallen," "The Call" and "Evil Dead" were all R-rated films released, and have done respectable numbers.

Traditionally, the months of January to April are the dumping grounds for either straight up bad movies, or movies that studios don't think are Summer blockbuster-worthy ("G.I. Joe: Retaliation," "The Croods," "Jack the Giant Slayer"). Late-Winter/Spring is a time when studios release the stuff that would get lost in the Summer/Holiday shuffle. Low-budget fare like "Evil Dead" (budget: $17 million) are the perfect films to pop into theaters around this mellow time and net tens of millions of dollars ($42 million so far). "Evil Dead" is a modest hit, and one of the reasons it is, is because it's an R-rated horror movie marketed to older teens and adults. R-rated movies are essential. Studios need to give grown-ups reasons to go to the movies. Some adults want violence, gore, nudity, cursing, and un-family-friendly behavior in their entertainment. If the studios only churn out "The Croods" and "Oz," they might get adults who bring their children to movies, but they won't get adults who actually want to see the films. Don't theater owners want happy customers, not subservient child chaperones?

Fithian is under the impression that theater-goers are frightened of the R rating. That "American's have stated their choice" by not buying tickets. But they haven't. Not by a long shot. Yes, ticket sales are down. Yes, they're down for a number of reasons. But one of those reasons is not the adultness of movie choices.

Is it possible that adults are staying home and mainlining the very adult "Breaking Bad," "Game of Thrones," and "Mad Men" on Netflix and HBO Go? Is it possible that if adults had choices that told sophisticated, adult stories that didn't shy away from violence, sex, and intensity with the quality of many cable television shows, they would happily plunk down $5,000 for tickets and popcorn at their local multiplex? Is it possible that if studios didn't cram post-converted 3-D scam-fests down the throats of potential ticket-buyers, those folks might actually want to leave the comfort of their own homes for a night at the movies? Is it possible that if theater-owners cracked down on phone-addicted morons who feel the need to text, talk, and instagram about every second of their in-theater experience, that those potential ticket buyers might close their laptops and give Walter White a break for some quality time with the silver screen?

I know what my answers are to these questions. But I don't know if Fithian considers me one of the "Americans that have stated their choices." I don't know who he does. All I know is three things: One, I'm American. Two, I'm adult. And three, if I don't start getting more, original films, I'll happily watch McNulty take on Avon Barksdale for the 10th time from my own couch in my own living room.

Movies are for everybody. Make some for kids, make some for adults, make some for both. But please, studios, I implore you, make them good.

Star Wars

By Ryan Rigley

It's been months now since "Star Wars VII" was announced and still we have nothing to go off of but director J. J. Abrams. So when will we be getting our answers? Anthony Daniels (who plays C-3P0) seems to think all will be revealed at this year's Star Wars Celebration in Germany. "It’s all very early days," explains Daniels in a recent interview with Digital Spy. "I don’t want to wear anybody out by speculating or letting you waste your energy by saying ‘What do you think?’ I’m certainly not sitting by the phone, but it’s always nice when it rings."

Does this mean that C-3P0 will be returning for the upcoming "Star Wars" trilogy? If so, then what other "Star Wars" characters might be popping up in the new films? I'm not talking about Luke Skywalker or Han Solo, I'm talking about those memorable minor characters; like Doctor Evazan, who threatens Luke for no apparent reason at the Mos Eisley Cantina in "A New Hope."

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