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A Very Specific Fast And Furious Scene Led To The Creation Of Hobbs And Shaw

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For years, there had been talk about the Fast & Furious franchise branching off into spinoff territory, and that finally happened this past summer with Hobbs & Shaw. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham’s respective characters teamed up after previously clashing in Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious. As it turns out, there was a specific scene in the latter movie that made the Fast & Furious creative minds realize is was finally time to move forward with a spinoff: the prison brawl sequence.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Hobbs & Shaw co-writer and executive producer Chris Morgan about the spinoff in the midst of its home release, and when we started discussing the history of developing a Fast & Furious spinoff, he noted how there was interest in spotlighting Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs ever since he was introduced in Fast Five, but that one Fate of the Furious sequence sealed the deal. Morgan explained:

We got our first taste of the Hobb/Shaw dynamic when they first came to blows early into Furious 7, but it was when the two men crossed paths again at the same prison during The Fate of the Furious that there really felt like there was a spark between them. After that sequence was finished, Chris Morgan and his team knew that they needed to capitalize on this duo’s chemistry.

In case you want to relive the gloriousness of Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw throwing insults at one another, and then putting their fighting skills to good use during a breakout, watch the clip below.

These two would collaborate later on in The Fate of the Furious to help the other protagonists stop Cipher and rescue Dominic Toretto’s son, but it was during Hobbs & Shaw that they really needed to learn to work together despite not being able to stand one another. By the end of the spinoff, Luke and Deckard are on slightly friendlier terms, but if they go adventuring together again, the jabs and taunts will surely be kept in place.

Had the creative leadership and the studio representatives at Universal not been so enamored with Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham’s chemistry on The Fate of the Furious, who knows how much longer the wait would have been for a Fast & Furious spinoff. But fortunately for them, the cards played out the way they did, and while there’s no word yet on if Hobbs & Shaw will get a sequel, this first movie hauling in $759.4 million worldwide is nothing to look down at.

Hobbs and Shaw is now available on Digital HD, and you can pick up your Blu-ray/DVD copy on November 5. The next installment of the Fast & Furious universe, Fast & Furious 9, hits theaters on May 22, 2020. In the meantime, find out what else is heading to theaters in the near future with our 2019 release schedule and 2020 release schedule.

What Fascinates The Jojo Rabbit Cast The Most About The Movie

What the film does in this respect is fascinating, but that’s not only a viewpoint coming from this audience member – it’s also a sentiment that I recently learned is also shared by really the entire cast:

Earlier this month I went to the Los Angeles press day for Jojo Rabbit, and while sitting down with Scarlett Johansson, Thomasin McKenzie, Roman Griffin Davis, Stephen Merchant, Sam Rockwell, and Alfie Allen one aspect of the movie I asked all of them about was Taika Waititi’s approach to tone. And while they had different perspectives on it, at the end of it all it was an aspect of the film that impressed all.

For Scarlett Johansson – who plays the mother of the titular Jojo, an imaginative, naïve child swept up in the Nazi movement during World War II in Germany – the specialness of Jojo Rabbit and it’s approach to both humor and dark drama was something that she recognized even before production started and she read Taika Waititi’s script. She admitted that just briefly describing the plot of the film makes it sound a bit odd, but that she knew from the start that it was a balancing act that the movie would be able to pull off:

Continuing, she noted that the way that you read a script doesn’t always perfectly translate to what you wind up seeing in the finished cut of any given film, but she never doubted the skills of Taika Waititi to adapt the material. Said Johansson,

In contrast, Stephen Merchant, who plays a committed Nazi who conducts house-by-house searches for Jews in hiding, wasn’t fully sure how it was all going to play out until he actually saw the finished film – but then he was in absolute awe of its genius. He may not have been able to fully conceive of Taika Waititi’s singular vision for Jojo Rabbit when he was on set, but he was floored by it when he saw how it came together:

Further adding to the compliments, Stephen Merchant – who notably co-created the legendary series The Office – and this incredible thing to say about his Jojo Rabbit director:

It really is a stunning piece of work, and one that you can now experience for yourself. Jojo Rabbit is now out in limited release, and it’s definitely one that you’ll want to see.

12 Great Movies Coming To Netflix In November 2019

Grease Sandy and Danny posing at the fair

We’ve just gotten our big look at what’s coming to Netflix’s streaming library in the month of November, and it’s a perfect bridge between Halloween and the holidays. And hidden in-between the would-be blockbusters and brand new TV shows debuting on the platform are some gems that are both underrated and well known. Most importantly, they’re part of the next month of programming over at Netflix HQ.

If you want to see the big notables we highlighted back in October 2019, head on over to that list and skim through what you should be watching, if you haven’t already. As for the here and now, let’s take that one step into the future and go over the best movies coming to Netflix in November 2019.

End Of Watch Michael Peña and Jake Gyllenhaal arrive on the scene of a crime

End Of Watch

This week, police procedural fans will be able to catch that same sort of film in theaters with the release of Sony’s Black and Blue. However, if you find yourself wanting another trip on the beat of law enforcement, then you’ll soon be able to watch director David Ayer’s End Of Watch. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña, the film is a ‘day in the life’ account of two LA police officers, and their part in the war against gang related crimes.

Both humorous and heartfelt, it’s a film unlike most dealing with the men and women who protect and serve, as it portrays their duties with less sensationalist drama and more reality.

Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas Benicio del Toro and Johnny Depp stare at you with crazed looks

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Hunter S. Thompson is a man who lived as outrageously as he wrote, and the best cinematic proof to that effect is still Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Based on Thompson’s book of the same name, Johnny Depp portrays the legendary journalist/counter-culture figure and the strange journey he found himself embarking on in the name of sports journalism.

While director Terry Gilliam’s film starts off with a more hysterical bent to its proceedings, eventually heavier thoughts and weirder occurrences start to happen. By time you’re done watching this film, you’re either going to love it forever or start asking a lot of questions. Either way, it’s worth finding out which column you belong in through firsthand experience.

Grease Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta bust some moves at the school dance


If you need the plot of Grease explained to you, then that’s… absolutely fair. We all have gaps that involve classic movies, and sometimes you need a reason to get into a musical tale of rambunctious teenagers in high school during the 1950s. So if you’re new to John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John’s romp involving the potential romance between a greaser and a good girl, Netflix is going to have you covered starting in November.

Though if you’re a true blue fan, then just reading the title is probably all you need for another ride with the T-Birds and Pink Ladies of Rydell High. With HBO Max setting its sights on bringing this world back to life in a new musical series, everyone now has a chance to shape up before the next chapter begins.

Rosemary's Baby Mia Farrow covers her face in shock

Rosemary’s Baby

Halloween is almost here, and movies like Rosemary’s Baby almost always tend to end up on the list of those films you need to include in your seasonal watchlist. There’s a reason for that, as the tale of young Mia Farrow’s journey into motherhood, paranoia and the occult is remembered fondly for all the right reasons.

Following the story through the actions and reactions of Farrow’s Rosemary, we’re limited to her point of view on the action. And that is part of how Roman Polanski’s horror film is still as effective with a modern audience as it was back when it first debuted. If you want to triple down on this sort of scares, throw mother! and The Omen into the mix, should you have them on hand.

Rounders Matt Damon and Edward Norton chat in front of Famke Janssen


“Two stacks of High Society.” It’s the type of line you don’t hear that often in movies these days, and Rounders is certainly an atypical movie of our modern era. With Matt Damon and Edward Norton as a pair of gamblers forced back into the world of underground gambling they once called home, the action is a bit more of an exercise in telling than in showing.

But the way that the poker comes to life in this independent classic is too wonderful to describe. So instead, we’ll sweeten the pot with the presence of both John Turturro and John Malkovich as fellow gamblers the boys encounter along their journey, as well as even more gorgeous dialogue from the pens of Billions’ co-creator Brian Koppelman and co-writer David Levien. Think of it as a mental vacation before blockbuster season kicks in once again.

Sling Blade Billy Bob Thornton sits with a kid in the woods

Sling Blade

Another legendary indie from the Miramax stable of ‘90s classics, Sling Blade is the film you have to thank for bringing the talents of Billy Bob Thornton to a sharp and immediate focus right before the new millennium would make him a superstar. Serving as the film’s writer, director and one of its stars, Thornton plays a developmentally disabled man who’s released into the world after decades in state custody.

What follows after his release is an affecting story of how a person catches up with the world when so much has changed without them. Themes of friendship and self-sacrifice are present, and Billy Bob Thornton’s performance as Karl, the central character to Sling Blade, even earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, on top of his win for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Step Brothers John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell raise their hands in triumph

Step Brothers

What can you say about Step Brothers that hasn’t already been said? Over ten years after Will Ferrell’s Brennan Huff and John C. Reilly’s Dale Doback first wove their comedic spell in what could be Adam McKay’s funniest film ever, their story of stunted personal growth and their hysterical defiance to truly grow up makes pretty much anyone’s day when it’s being shown.

Tons of quotable lines and memorable moments await newcomers to the world of Step Brothers, so if you’ve heard your friends going on about the Catalina Wine Mixer and you don’t even live remotely close to California, this is the movie they’re invoking the spirit of. Join them. Join us. Watch Step Brothers.

The Game Michael Douglas bathed in blue light, holding a gun

The Game

Confess: you’ve finished yet another season of David Fincher’s Netflix lovechild Mindhunter, and you want more action in a similar vein. Well if you’re tired of re-watching Se7en or Gone Girl, but you’re not quite at the point of watching Alien 3, you can score some more Fincher with one of his most underrated films. The Game is a mystery-thriller that sees Michael Douglas put into an elaborate mindbang that sees him questioning everything, and everyone, around him.

It’s a David Fincher thrill ride that we don’t talk about enough in the world of film commentary, which means it’s a welcomed addition to the Netflix streaming service you may not have seen. If that’s the case, don’t read any further into the film and don’t even watch the trailer. Just trust us when we say you should play this game as freshly as humanly possible.

The Matrix Reloaded Neo listens to The Architect's speech

The Matrix Trilogy

While The Matrix trilogy is indeed a standout example of science fiction storytelling at its finest, it’s been a while since the series has been in the pop culture consciousness. Admittedly, unless you’re a die-hard fan who owns the films in every format, and watches them at least once a year, you’re probably a little rusty on Keanu Reeves’ adventures as Neo, “The One” who would save all in the grasp of the insidious machine overlords that rule this dystopia.

Maybe it’s because the announcement of The Matrix 4 has people revved up to see them again, or maybe Netflix was just feeling generous, but all three films, The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, will be back online for Wachowski fans far and wide to enjoy once again.

Zombieland the gang gets ready to enter the general store


Speaking of modern sequels to long-passed favorites, Sony seems to be doing rather well with its return to the world of the undead with Zombieland: Double Tap. And much like The Matrix, enough time has passed that you might not remember a lot about Zombieland, which may have turned you off from seeing this new adventure. Never fear, Netflix is here again to save your day.

Whether you’ve seen the first one or not, it’s safe to say you could probably still see the sequel to Zombieland and know what’s going on. But if you absolutely need to see this series in order, or if you just want more of Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson and Abigail Breslin’s zombie killing comedy antics in your life, November is going to be very kind to you in either respect.

As any good friend would tell you, these titles are subject to change. Netflix’s library is mysterious in that way, so if you’re looking for a particular title on any given night, you’ll want to check your streaming queue, or our full November 2019 lineup, to see where and when certain titles will drop. Have a happy Thanksgiving, stuffed with joy from Netflix!

Which of these November Netflix movies are you looking forward to watching most?

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Would Linda Hamilton Return For A Terminator: Dark Fate Sequel? She’d Rather Fake Her Death

Okay, so Linda Hamilton is clearly joking with that answer, but that doesn’t take away that performing in Terminator: Dark Fate was exhausting for her, though also incredibly rewarding. And she’s not the only actor who found Dark Fate to be a difficult endeavor. Here’s what Mackenzie Davis, who plays the cybernetically-enhanced human Grace, had to say about the production during their interview with The Daily Mail:

The last time Linda Hamilton appeared on screen as Sarah Connor was in Terminator 2: Judgement Day, one of those few sequels that’s widely considered to be just as good, if not better, than the original. She did vocally cameo in Terminator Salvation, but obviously getting to jump back into action for the R-rated Terminator: Dark Fate is a way bigger deal.

Regarding her decision to return to the Terminator franchise, Linda Hamilton said the following:

We’ll just have to wait and see if Linda Hamilton decides she wants to take part in another Terminator movie or if Terminator: Dark Fate is truly her swan song. Actually, we’ll have to wait and see if Dark Fate gets a sequel at all. Because while it could serve as the first entry in a new trilogy, Paramount Pictures hasn’t given the green light to a second installment just yet.

Obviously box office performance will be a big part in determining what the future of the Terminator franchise looks like, but judging from the early critical reaction, Terminator: Dark Fate is standing on much better ground than Salvation and Genisys. Admittedly, it’s falling into mixed-to-positive territory, but that’s better than the overall negative reaction those other two movies received.

Along with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton reprising their respective roles, as well as Mackenzie Davis as Grace, Terminator: Dark Fate stars Natalia Reyes as Dani Ramos, Gabriel Luna as the Rev-9 and Diego Boneta as Miguel Ramos. Deadpool’s Tim Miller directed the movie and James Cameron helped work on the story, though he was too busy with the Avatar sequels to ever visit the Dark Fate set.

Terminator: Dark Fate opens in theaters on November 1, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for continuing coverage. You can learn what other movies are coming out before the year is over in our 2019 release schedule.

Person Caught With A Superbad McLovin ID, And Seth Rogen Responded

Reality often inspires art, and if it’s popular enough, art can inspire reality, in turn too. Remember 2007’s Superbad? Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s character iconically donned a fake ID with the “legal name” McLovin in order to buy alcohol at a liquor store ahead of a high school party. It’s a hilarious highlight of the bro comedy from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and now an underage man has now been arrested for possessing the ID with the same name.

On Friday, local police officers arrested a 20-year-old man from Iowa for possessing the McLovin ID he apparently bought from Amazon. He was approached by an officer at a bar while consuming a drink with vodka in it. After admitting he was drinking alcohol, he was taken outside the bar and asked to show his ID. Daniel Alfredo Burleson did so, revealing his age of 20. When he was probed for his fake ID, he said he didn’t have one but when he went through his wallet the police said they could see his “fake Hawaii ID with the name ‘McLovin DOB 06/03/1981”, exactly mirroring Superbad!

According to the arrest report, Burleson smelled strongly of alcohol, had slurred speech and bloodshot watery eyes. He was wearing a wristband from the bar – begging the question did the McLovin ID work? Or maybe he was he able to just get in without being carded? He was arrested and charged with public intoxication, possession of a fake ID, possession of alcohol while underage and being in a bar after 10pm while being under 21.

It’s true the McLovin “fake ID” can be easily purchased on Amazon for $7 but clearly to be used as a joke. Even though the night ended in an arrest, it’s a hilarious way to get booked. The 20-year-old almost seems pleased with himself in his mugshot picture. Take a look:

Going back to Seth Rogen, one might imagine the Superbad writer finds a source of pride in a story such as this. Having something you wrote reach such popularity that it inspires an actual illegal act is a next level cultural phenonmenon. It’s a rather innocent one too, considering the 20-year-old wasn’t too far away from being allowed to attend a bar and consume alcohol legally.

Superbad was certainly a life-changing comedy for Seth Rogen, that propelled his, Jonah Hill and Michael Cera’s careers further– along with providing a jumping off point for Emma Stone and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Most recently, the writing partners reinvented the Superbad concept with middle schoolers in a sense with Good Boys. It reached an R-rated comedy box office milestone over the summer by crossing $100 million worldwide.

And, Superbad remains a classic, the new generation of young people seem to be latching on to.

20 Best Hair Dryers for Every Hair Type & Budget 2019

No matter how much time you spend diligently studying how your stylist blows out your hair, achieving the same sleek and shiny look at home is no easy feat. Blow-drying your own hair is hard, despite stylists swearing on their lives, graves, and favorite hairspray that, with the right hair-dryer, even the most round-brush-inept can pull off a perfect blowout.

In reality, being able to budget time and money on a pro job isn’t always in the cards—plus, we’d prefer for good hair days to be in our own hands. Which is why Glamour editors tested the best hair-dryers to figure out whether a faux-pro blowout is the stuff of myth or actually attainable. Avoid dropping half your rent money on a hair-dryer that leaves you fried or frizzy, and try out one of these blow-dryers that actually live up to their price tags. Scroll on for the best hair-dryers for every hair type and budget.

All products featured on Glamour are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Shopbop Sale Fall Fashion Pieces 2019: Best Clothes, Shoes, Handbags

Fall is finally here, and it’s time to put all of your favorite sundresses away. If you want to get some new pieces for your wardrobe, there are luckily some great sales happening right now, with everything from leather jackets to floral tops.

The latest retailer to unleash discounts is Shopbop, with up to 70% off thousands of perfect fall pieces. No code is required to access the incredible discounts on Tory Burch dresses, Loeffler Randall bags, Maryam Nassir Zadeh heels, and plenty of other fashion items you’ll wear all season long (and then some).

We did a first pass of all the on-sale goods at Shopbop (you’re welcome), and here are 17 of our favorite pieces.

All products featured on Glamour are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Billy Dee Williams Posts Touching Tribute To Carrie Fisher Following The Rise Of Skywalker’s Final Trailer

The Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker final trailer that premiered Monday night was emotional for a lot of reasons, not least of which was that we again got to see Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia in a tender embrace with Rey. It was another subtle reminder that this will be the last time we see the late actress on the big screen in a galaxy far, far away. Following the release of the trailer, Billy Dee Williams posted a touching tribute to Carrie Fisher. Take a look:

A lot of people probably had Carrie Fisher on their minds following the release of the final trailer for the concluding chapter in the Skywalker Saga. And obviously Billy Dee Williams was one of them. The actor, who will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, was thinking about and remembering Carrie Fisher and threw out some love for the actress he worked with on The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

Billy Dee Williams shared a photo of himself and the actress on the set of a Star Wars movie together on Twitter. Based on Carrie Fisher’s hairstyle in the photo, it looks like it was probably 1980’s Empire. Carrie Fisher looks somewhat surprised to be having her photo taken, while Billy Dee Williams of course looks as effortlessly cool as only he can.

In thinking about Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams remembers her as a force to be reckoned with. It’s highly appropriate for the Star Wars icon to be called a ‘Force’ because as we saw in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and might see in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Leia Organa very much had The Force. The sentiment also accurately reflects who Carrie Fisher was in real life.

Long before ‘strong female character’ became a buzzword, Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia was busy saving herself and everyone else in the Original Trilogy, taking no crap and suffering no fools along the way. It was a personality Princess Leia shared with the actress who played her. Carrie Fisher was a pure firecracker, a hilarious and intelligent person with a colorful personality and a foul mouth. A Force to be reckoned with is an apt description.

So it is especially sad that Carrie Fisher is gone and this will be the last time we see her Princess Leia onscreen. Thankfully J.J. Abrams was able to take advantage of unused footage from the previous two Sequel Trilogy films to bring the character back and bring closure to her story and the Skywalker Saga as a whole.

We will likely see many more Carrie Fisher tributes before and after The Rise of Skywalker releases. The film itself already gave her one with the release of the official poster, on which Carrie Fisher gets top billing.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker blasts into theaters on December 20. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of all of this year’s biggest movies.

Lizzo Shoots Down ‘Truth Hurts’ Plagiarism Claims: ‘That Song Is My Life, And Its Words Are My Truth’

In case you missed it, Lizzo‘s “Truth Hurts” is 100 percent the subject of recent plagiarism allegations. The song, which currently occupies the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, came under fire for its iconic “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that bitch” lyric. And now that people are questioning the line’s originality, Lizzo took to social media to address the claims head on.

“Hey y’all,” she wrote in a post on Instagram. “As I’ve shared before, in 2017, while working on a demo, I saw a meme that resonated with me, a meme that made me feel like 100% that bitch. I sang that line in a demo, and I later used the line in Truth Hurts.” According to her, nothing (and no one) aside from that meme inspired the lyric, which is why she’s decided to speak out.

Although the “Good As Hell” singer later discovered that the meme was inspired by a tweet, the latest plagiarism claims are actually from songwriter and producer Justin Raisen. According to him, that lyric was one that he wrote with Lizzo, Jesse St. John, and Yves Rothman for a song called “Healthy” in April 2017. But Lizzo says that’s not the case at all.

“The men who now claim a piece of Truth Hurts did not help me write any part of the song,” she continued, insisting that those men are not responsible for that lyric in the self-love anthem. “They had nothing to do with the line or how I chose to sing it. There was no one in the room when I wrote Truth Hurts, except me, Ricky Reed, and my tears. That song is my life, and its words are my truth.”

While she won’t be sharing any of the proceeds from the track with Raisen, St. John, and Rothman, Lizzo closed out her statement by explaining that she is sharing the single’s success with the person who first created the tweet. “I later learned that a tweet inspired the meme,” she said. “The creator of the tweet is the person I am sharing my success with… not these men. Period.”

Lizzo signed off by thanking fans for their support, and for loving “Truth Hurts” and its message. “Thank you to everyone who has supported me and my song,” she wrote. “Xoxo.”

So, We Went To Bruce Springsteen’s House To Talk About Western Stars

Bruce Springsteen in Western Stars

The universe wanted me to meet Bruce Springsteen this year. 

That sounds crazy, I know. But there were three separate opportunities for me to meet and potentially speak with The Boss in 2019 – which shouldn’t happen because his talents keep him in the “music industry” field, and not in the corners of entertainment journalism occupied by film geeks.

Only, this year, Bruce Springsteen side-stepped genre boundaries. Twice. Earlier this year, his music served as the emotional centerpiece for Gurinder Chadha’s delightful coming-of-age story Blinded By the Light (and that movie’s New Jersey premiere was my first unfulfilled invitation to potentially meet Bruce). Next, Springsteen co-directed a compelling documentary titled Western Stars, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival… days after I was scheduled to leave this year’s fest.

The third time, however? That one finally was the charm.

Earlier this week, Warner Bros. invited a small group of movie journalists (and die-hard Springsteen fans) to Northern New Jersey for an intimate conversation with The Boss about Western Stars, a combination concert documentary and personal diary that Bruce co-directs with Thom Zimny.

Nothing about the day was normal – a sentiment shared between myself and the four other giddy film journalists who regularly interview Hollywood celebrities but never dreamed of holding court with The Boss. The fact that the intimate interview was taking place in Springsteen’s private home studio, where he’s been recording tracks since 2006-07, made an already unusual day feel downright surreal.

Any tension or apprehension was immediately exorcized the moment Bruce Springsteen entered the room – with a broken-in denim jacket over his loose-fitting white t-shirt – and graciously declared “Free bagels!” as he pointed to a table of breakfast options his staff had set up.

Talk about a dream. Try to make it real.

As we settled into our conversation, Springsteen explained the genesis behind Western Stars, clarifying:

Usually we make a record and we tour. I’m either on the radio for 24 hours on my own station on Sirius, or I’m usually not on it all any more. So you can’t depend on radio or the usual outlets for promotion. And so I go, ‘Well gee, if I’ve just put the record out, it’s going to come out, people want to buy it, [then] it’s going to disappear. So how do I give the record a longer life?’ … And so I said, ‘I’ll make a film, with me playing the record, start to finish, and that’ll be my tour.’

That, in a nutshell, is what Western Stars delivers. It’s Springsteen and his wife, Patti Scialfa, performing the 13 tracks off the new album of the same name with a spectacular symphony accompaniment. It’s the next best thing to seeing Bruce live – a front-row seat to a captivating performance of soulful new material that showcases the artist’s storytelling abilities through song.

Don’t look for the E Street band members in the film, or on the album. Western Stars is a departure from the traditional for The Boss, and when I asked why, he explained:

Well, it just wasn’t really E Street Band music. And when people see the band there, I think they’re expecting a certain type of presentation and a certain type of music. So, it’s better when I kind of separate by genre a little bit.

Instead of the band, Western Stars delivers insightful, often philosophical, ruminations from Bruce Springsteen about his music, his songwriting process, lessons from his decades of life experiences, and sentimental home videos pulled from his personal archives. Paired with some original footage shot at Joshua Tree and beyond, that makes up the rest of Western Stars and creates a narrative bridge between the songs that shines a light back on Bruce, as an artist.

Some of the old footage used in the movie ended up being new to Springsteen after all of these years.

We took the videos when we were very young, and when the kids were young, but we’re like everybody else. You shoot [those movies], you throw them in a box, and you don’t look at them for 35 years. So, Thom Zimny cataloged all my home video footage and gave it to me for Christmas one year. So he knew what was in all of it. I didn’t know it was in any of it! But he knew what was in all of it. And one day I came in and he had pulled out some of this footage and I said, ‘Oh man, I remember that!’ We were in Yosemite, Patti and I were playing with the camera all the time. And it was just a little tiny video camera that we brought, but it ended up actually being an important scene in the picture.

A little moment that contributes to a larger experience. That sums up the message of Western Stars, which largely follows the fictional character of a fading Hollywood film star as he reflects on his accomplishments, and his regrets. Songs on the album like “The Wayferer,” “Drive Fast” and the title track tells interludes about show business, touring, and the connections we make through entertainment.

Bruce Springsteen has been pulling inspirations from pop culture, and especially cinema, for decades. So the fact that he’d try his hand at co-directing – and trading trade secrets with film journalists – shouldn’t surprise his closest fans. He recounted to us:

I’d say since I was in my late twenties, I was influenced all by pop radio of the ‘50s and ‘60s. And then after that, I started to look for other outside sources as a template for how to do my job. And so I started to read, but I [also] went to films. I really started to watch a lot of films. I’d say, yeah, 27, 28, Darkness on the Edge of Town and forward, I became a bit of a film buff. I’d look for other artists, and the way that they were conceptualizing their work.

He opened up about the Western director John Ford, who seemed to be exploring similar themes in all of his pictures, from Stagecoach and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon to his seminal film, The Searchers. The kinship Springsteen found in filmmakers extended through the decades, as he rattled off the works of Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese – specifically Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and The Irishman – as films released this year that he really adored.

Now his own film will be in theaters alongside the latest features by Tarantino and Scorsese, a point that definitely wasn’t lost on this New Jersey legend. But after decades of dominating the music charts, he was ready for a transition to a new medium, one that he hopes extends the reach and impact of Western Stars while also reflecting the lessons of the songs and the lyrics. Springsteen summarizes:

The definition of what freedom is alters as you grow older. And so the film is sort of about the way that that word changes as time passes by. But it’s also about the price you pay if you don’t grow or change as that time passes by. If you don’t lay down your old baggage and sort through it and see where you’ve made your mistakes. … The film is fundamentally about a transition that everyone has to make. And it’s about how you make that transition. The price you pay if you don’t make it. The rewards you get, if when you do. And that’s what the film became about as we worked on it.

See for yourself starting this weekend. Western Stars open up in theaters on Friday, October 25, and is a must-see for Bruce Springsteen fanatics, and those of you who appreciate seeing an iconic artist at the top of his game.

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