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Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Controversial Pussy Riot to appear on House of Cards

Posted by elegant On February - 25 - 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions are upsetting many inside the country as well as outside. His annexation Crimea, a part of Ukraine rattled the whole world and his continued support for Eastern Ukraine separatists are bringing in additional sanctions on the country. It is no wonder why Pussy Riot is still making music criticizing President Putin.

Pussy Riot, the Russian punk rock protest group is based in Moscow and well known for staging unauthorized and provocative acts. Group was formed in 2011 and consists of several women and men ages 20 to 33. They are known for promoting LGBT rights, feminism, and opposition to President Putin for his dictatorial actions and connection to the Russian Orthodox Church. The Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot were arrested in 2012 and sent to prison for nearly two years for protesting President Putin’s actions of gay rights. Their surprise performance at a church brought in additional legal actions on three main female performers of the group.

Pussy Riot will appear in episode 2 of Season 3, House of Cards. They are engaged in speaking parts and the episode will air some footage from a Pussy Riot concert. They include the group’s writing against a fictional character that is trying to militarize their country.

The Grand Budapest Hotel garners nine Academy Award nominations

Posted by elegant On February - 6 - 2015

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a comedy film that is an American, German and British collaboration directed by veteran movie director Wes Anderson. He does not direct movies like many others. Set in a luxury spa where the concierge who believes in etiquette helps to define the civilization at a time that the world is engulfed in war. The movie recounts the adventures of Gustav H played by Ralph Fiennes as the concierge who teams up an employee played by Tony Revolori to prove that he is not the murderer as suspected by many. The drama and comedy is rated R due to some sexual content and violence. The one hour 39 minutes long movie came out on DVD on June 17, 2014.

In February 2014, the movie opened the 64th Berlin International Film Festival and released on a limited basis on March 7, 2014. It won Jury Grand Prix Silver Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival. The movie has been nominated for nine Academy Awards including the Best Picture, Best Director, Best Production Design, Best Original Score and Best Costume Design. Its worldwide gross exceeded more than $174 million on a less than $27 million total budget.

A sequel to the “Alien” movie in the works

Posted by elegant On January - 20 - 2015

Apparently 20th Century Fox has completed a deal to develop a new Alien movie with the South African born director Neill Blomkamp. This is not connected to the current sci-fi movie directed by Ridley Scott and his company Scott Free will be directing the new movie too. Other off-shoots of the sci-fi thriller includes “Prometheus 2” which still under filming. At this time it is unclear whether Sigourney Weaver will be coming back or not. The new film is expected to be a sequel to Prometheus.

Alien franchise started with its science fiction horror series in 1979 with its Alien directed by Ridley Scott and still going strong. The first movie starred by Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright and many others. Who could forget the highly aggressive extraterrestrial character that killed the spaceship crew? Movie was honored with an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and many others. The first movie was a commercial success making more than $80 million in the US and over $203 million worldwide. This financial success allowed 20th Century Fox to finance three sequels during the next 18 years. Sigourney Weaver remained as the main actress for these three sequels as well as another off-shoot. All these created a separate media franchise.

Mommy, coming to a theater in late January

Posted by elegant On January - 9 - 2015

One of the most talked about new movie at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival is Mommy competing for the covenant Palme d’Or, the main competition section and won the Jury Prize. It premiered at the festival on May 22, 2014 and received a 13-minute standing ovation. The drama was also submitted as the Canada’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category for the upcoming 87th Academy Awards. It is coming to US theaters in late January 2015. Directed and written by 25-year old French-Canadian Xavier Dolan, the film is considered to be “an audacious, stylish, impressive family drama.”

The plot revolves around a widowed mother played by Anne Doral as “Die” Despres, struggling to raise her difficult and sometimes violent son, Steve Despres played by Antoine Olivier. Single mother begin to get help from her mysterious neighbor, Kyla played by Suzanne Clement. There is sex and drama.

Reviewers gave four-stars for the movie according to The Guardian newspaper. Rotten Tomatoes, an online review site gives it an 89 percent “fresh” rating based on 82 reviews it received. The movie was selected by professionals and movie makers and listed as “Canada’s Top Ten” feature films of 2014.

Is Gone Girl a Golden Globe winner?

Posted by elegant On November - 21 - 2014

Gone Girl starring Ben Affleck, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Rosamund Pike, Carrie Coon and others was released for general viewing on October 3, 2014. The film is based on 2012 bestselling novel by Gillian Flynn. Book contains lots of plots. The film is expected to pick up several Golden Globe nominations. The American thriller is directed well known director David Fincher. This is the 10th movie from director, David Fincher. The movie’s opening night coincided with the 52nd New York Film Festival on September 26, 2014.

The story is based in the Midwestern United States. Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reported on his fifth wedding anniversary that his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) is missing. But under pressure from law enforcement, friends, family and others his story began to crumble. His strange behavior prompted people to ask whether he killed his wife or not. Movie explores dishonesty, the role the media, economic effects of a marriage, and the way people look at things.

Commercially, the movie so far was a success and critics appear to be pleased with the movie. It grossed $35 million during the opening week and expected to gross $100 million over next few months.

Critics were brutal on horror movie, Annabelle

Posted by elegant On November - 12 - 2014

Warner Brothers Annabelle was released for general audience in early October 2014. It was an early Christmas gift for those who love horror movies. Some consider it to be a spin off for last year’s horror hit, The Conjuring. The American supernatural horror movie was inspired by the real doll Annabelle. It premiered on September 29, 2014 in Hollywood, California. At the time of this writing, it grossed more than $250 million on $6.5 million budget movie making it the highest grossing horror film ever.

Film critics were very brutal with negative reviews of the movie. Some said it is dull, half-baked and lacks the heart and soul of The Conjuring. The presence of the haunted doll was somewhat creepier and moderately frightening. Many think it lacks shocking effects. But for horror movie lovers, the criticism was irrelevant.

The plot revolves around a young couple. John Form found a perfect gift for his expecting wife, Mia. It was a pure white wedding dress rapped, rare, vintage doll. Though the doll was so beautiful, within weeks of bringing it home the house was invaded by satanic cult and end up attacking the couple. Not only they spilled blood but also conjured a malevolent entity.

Gone with the Wind, 75 years later

Posted by elegant On August - 26 - 2014

It has been 75 years since the screening of “Gone with the Wind.” The 1939 American romance adopted from Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 Pulitzer Prize winning novel. Produced by David Selznick and his company and directed by Victor Fleming portrays an epic romance with a married man in the American South during the American Civil War. It is classic tale of Scarlett O’Hara’s battle to save Tara and to find love during the Civil War.

Some say the movie glorifies the slavery. But many believe that it changes the way African Americans were treated at the time.

Filming of the movie was delayed by interviews of more than 1,400 women for the part of Scarlett and many other personal changes. The first preview of the film took place in Riverside, California on September 9, 1939 with the Selznick, his wife, investor John Whitney, and the film editor. Finally it was released on December 15, 1939. 12th Academy Awards held in 1940, the movie nominated for 13 awards and won ten Academy Awards. Movie has been rereleased many times over and considered to be a staple in the popular culture. In 1989 the National Film Registry selected the movie to be preserved.

Get ready for some fun with Grown Ups 2

Posted by elegant On June - 14 - 2013

Directed by Dennis Dugan and produced by Adam Sandler Grown Ups 2 is scheduled to be released in the U.S. on July 12th and in the UK on August 16, 2013. Three years after the release of Grown Ups, the plot still revolves around Lenny Feder (played by Adam Sandler) who relocated his family back to his small home town where he and his friends grew up and learned from his kids about the last day of school. Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph and others are starring in the buddy comedy film. Filming of the movie started in June and ended in August 2012 in Massachusetts. The cost of the movie estimated at $80 million. Due to the popularity of the previous movie and the family appeal, it could earn way more than the production price tag.

The movie is the first sequel for the returning star, Adam Sandler. The famed basketball star, Shaquille O’Neal plays as a cop in the movie. Former California Governor and film star Arnold Schwarzenegger’s son, Patrick, is also due to appear as one of the frat brothers. Many critics have been brutal to the upcoming movie.

Apple co-founder to highlight at the Sundance Film Festival

Posted by elegant On January - 17 - 2013

The Sundance Film Festival takes place in Park City, Utah from January 17 through 27, 2013.  Each year the festival organizers select 200 exhibits from more than 12,000 submissions.  More than 50,000 attend the event each year.  Started in 1978, the festival is considered to be one of the largest gatherings of independent films.  It showcases American as well as international independent film makers.  Entries include both feature length as well as short films.  The event spread over Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance Resort.

One of the films that were chosen for this year’s festival is “jOBS” starring Ashton Kutcher.  It is a feature film about the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs who died in 2011 at age 56.  The film will be released in the U.S. in April.  Even though not at the festival, another movie about Steve Jobs is also in the making.  Few of the films that will be screened at the festival are getting lot of criticism before they are screened.  However, the festival provides an opportunity for up and coming directors showcase their talent.  Many mainstream actors and actresses, directors and others also attend the two-week long festival.

Les Misérables setting records at awards

Posted by elegant On January - 9 - 2013

Victor Hugo wrote a novel about the revolutionaries in Paris, a stage musical was developed from it and Universal made a film adaptation that came out in December 2012 as Les Misérables. At the just concluded Golden Globe Awards, which is a group of 80 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, it won three awards for Best Picture, Musical or Comedy; Hugh Jackman for Best Actor; and Anne Hathaway for Best Supporting Actress. The 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) honors will be held on Sunday, January 27, 2013 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and Les Misérables has been nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in Supporting Role, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, and Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture categories. SAG Awards traditionally set the stage for Oscars. Les Misérables has been nominated for eight awards including Best Picture, Best Actor (Hugh Jackman) and Best Supporting Actress (Ann Hathaway) again at the Oscars. It is also making history at the box office earning more than $187 million by the first week of January 2013. Undoubtedly, it will make more in coming weeks and months.