Star Wars Cinematographer Gilbert Taylor Passes Away At 99

Gilbert TaylorScience fiction, and the film world in general, has lost an important figure this week, as cinematographer Gilbert Taylor passed away at his home on the Isle of Wight at the age of 99. Words like “important figure” seem like a gross understatement to describe someone with Taylor’s career. He lensed 70 films, including Star Wars, Flash Gordon, and The Omen, and worked with directors like Alfred Hitchcock (Frenzy), Roman Polanski (Repulsion and more), and Stanley Kubrick (Dr. Strangelove or: How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb). In 2009, Taylor actually said that Dr. Strangelove is the film he’d most like to be remembered for. You can see why a term like icon or legend might be more appropriate terms to use when talking about Taylor, who also shot A Hard Day’s Night for the Beatles and Richard Lester.

Born in 1914 in Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire, England, Taylor began working in the industry in 1929. That’s not a bad run, especially for a man who began his career as a camera assistant and clapper loader at London’s Gainsborough Studios. Though he retired from shooting feature length films in 1994, he continued to work, filming commercials for years after that. During World War II, at the request of Winston Churchill, Taylor, who was serving in the Royal Air Force at the time, filmed the aftermath of the night raids over German. In 2001 the British Society of Cinematographers presented him with their lifetime achievement award.


Tranformers 4 Delivers A First Official Photo And News Of The Dinobots

DinobotsProduction on Transformers 4 is well underway, but the film’s story is a big question mark. The only concrete thing we know about the movie is that it will take place four years after the events of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and will include a “chase from hell.” It’s also unclear what new Autobots and Decepticons will be featured in the new Transformers 4, but there are now new rumors that suggest a few fan-favorites will emerge in the fourth installment of the Transformers film series, and director Michael Bal also released the first official picture from the set.

According to ComingSoon.net, Transformers 4 introduces the Dinobots to the film franchise. Bay and company are reportedly in the middle of shooting a scene in Chicago’s McCormick Place referred to as “1st Dinobot Attack” on the call sheet. Which Dinobots will be featured remains to be seen, but you can almost count on Grimlock, the T-Rex Transformer, to be part of the action. “Me Grimlock Happy to be in Movie Go Boom!”


International Riddick TV Spot Kicks Ass In Spanish

Some of us have been waiting damn near a decade for Riddick to arrive. And some of us have been waiting even longer than that for another good movie featuring Vin Diesel’s space badass. The latest film in the so-called “Furyan Chronicles” hits IMAX theaters worldwide on September 6, a fact clearly illustrated by this new international TV spot.

Though it’s pretty similar in content to the numerous trailers and commercials that we’ve seen in the process of building up to this movie, there is some nice new footage to just to mix things up. For instance, there’s more—and by more, I mean like a second or two more—of Riddick sitting on the Necromonger throne. This addresses, at least in an oblique manner, one of the biggest questions many have had surrounding Riddick.


Marvel President Kevin Feige Dishes Guardians of the Galaxy Details

Guardians Guardians of the Galaxy has quickly become one of the most anticipated movies in the Phase Two of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. If the comic book movie is successful with general audiences, there’s no telling how deep Marvel can go to deliver strange and outrageous films. It seems like Marvel is handling Guardians of the Galaxy as if it were The Avengers, which means feel that confident with all of their properties, including their most obscure. While not much is known about the cosmic team of peacekeepers, Marvel producer Kevin Feige wants to shed some light on Marvel’s newest cinematic superheroes.

In an interview with Empire Magazine (via Comic Book Movie), Feige gives some insight on all the members of the Guardians team, including Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax The Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot. He explains the backgrounds and histories of each member of the team before we meet them at the beginning of the movie. Feige explained:

They are an unlikely band. It’s pure circumstance that brings them all together throughout the course of the movie. Rocket has been genetically and mechanically altered, he’s an experiment from one part of the galaxy. Groot is a species that happens to look like trees look, and is quite communicative if you can understand the different inflections in the way he says, “I am Groot.”


Eye-Phone Could Help Prevent Blindness

Peek appI’m not a fan of smartphones—I’ll just say that upfront. I admit they’re useful, and my friends’ phones have come in handy more than a few times, but they’re not for me. I don’t want to check email on the toilet and I don’t want my brain to atrophy from lack of use. They simply do too much, and if I had one, I’d be content to let it. But I have to admit, sometimes I hear about what they can do and I almost reconsider my boycott. This is one of those times.

Scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the University of St Andrews, and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have created an app that turns a smartphone into a verysmartphone that performs vision tests and helps diagnose eye problems. The portable eye examination kit (PEEK) is currently being tested on 5,000 people in Kenya, in the hope that is can be used to prevent blindness in countries with low incomes and that lack health care.


Imagine A World Full Of John Lennon Clones

cloning LennonIn their heyday, the Beatles may have been, as John Lennon famously put it, “more popular than Jesus.” Now, a dentist wants to put that comparison to the test in a different way—he wants to clone John Lennon, with the eventual hope of bringing him back.

Back in the 1960s, Lennon, aware of his god-like status, had a rotten molar pulled and gave it to his housekeeper to give to her daughter. While I’m tempted to make jokes about what a shitty gift that was—I mean, how about an autograph? A back-stage pass? A roach?—this gift fetched $31,000 when it was auctioned to Michael Zuk, a Canadian dentist, back in 2011. You knew that guy would be Canadian, didn’t you? Unfortunately, the housekeeper didn’t get to keep the cash—she had already given the tooth to Alan McGee, former boss of Creation Records.