Gravity

Alfonso Cuaron is the kind of director who can inspire strong emotions- positive and negative- from audiences, simply by being attached to a film. The Mexican director has been nominated for three Oscars and has brought home a total of 29 awards for films as different as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the dystopian Children of Men and the steamy Y Tu Mama Tambien.

Cuaron’s unique visual style and dark humor have helped cement him a place of honor among many American film audiences, and his skills have matured with each successive film. The style is not for everyone, though, and plenty of viewers find themselves feeling exhausted or disoriented by the ambitious storytelling.

All of which makes it supremely interesting that Cuaron’s newest film, Gravity, has been heralded as “the best space film ever done” by James Cameron, and Guillermo del Toro called it “completely mind-blowing.” With praise like that from two huge names in Hollywood, it’s clear that Gravity is something special– but what can movie audiences really expect from it?

What is Gravity?

If you haven’t heard about the movie previously, don’t worry: You don’t know much less about it than the rest of us. The film’s official trailer does little to reveal much of the plot. Instead, it simply features one long, uncomfortably tense scene between a pair of astronauts – played by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney – as they attempt to make a repair outside of a spaceship. A piece of floating debris hits Bullock, sending her reeling, and she tumbles away into space.

Until recently, that’s basically everything audiences knew about the film.

Now that Gravity has hit film festivals and has been released in theaters, everyone who watches it seems to have only great things to say, but details of the story are still maddeningly vague. From the film’s IMDB page, we know that the film is a survival story set in space, and it’s billed as a techno-thriller. And from what we’ve seen of the trailer and reviews from Cameron and other industry giants, it’s quite clear that Cuaron’s pulled out all the stops to make this a visually stunning cinematic event.

Gravity

A Technological Feat

Gravity, which should have been an easy story to film, reportedly took Cuaron four and a half years to make because it demanded technology that did not yet exist. Instead, his team had to innovate new solutions to create the effects.

When watching the trailer, the graphics are so beautifully rendered that the viewer is completely oblivious to how the film was made: with two actors suspended in harnesses inside a 9 by 9 foot chroma-keyed cube. From a technical perspective, then, it’s no wonder that other filmmakers are praising the film as a marvel of cinematography; Cuaron’s managed to accomplish something that no other space movie has done successfully, and it may come to be held up in film school as a hallmark of the genre.

Most space films spend a rather limited amount of time actually in space. They take place instead on the deck of a spaceship or surface of a planet, with the occasional CGI or stock footage establishing shot of the universe to put things in perspective. By and large, these movies were constrained by the limitations of a sound stage and what type of sets could be built. The real vastness of space is something the audience must accept and remember but never really see in its full glory.

Cuaron’s film doesn’t seem to do that. Gravity appears to be giving us more space than ever. His signature long takes and wide-angle shots are meant to portray both the enormity of space and the intimacy of personal stories, and the reviews so far suggest that he’s perfectly achieved this goal. Undoubtedly, we’ll see something new in Gravity, and that newness certainly earns it some of the praise it’s received so far.

Gravity

Story-wise, the film seems to be breaking some new ground as well. The overwhelming majority of space stories have been science fiction tales that use space travel metaphorically or as a backdrop for another type of story. Gravity seems to be a more realistic tale, a film that works within the framework of existing space technology. It appears to be taking the well-worn path of the survival story and planting it in a new atmosphere. If it can deliver something new to the genre, it might be truly interesting.

Will it live up to its hype? Go see it and decide for yourself. Though it may be both technically proficient and visually stunning, its strength will ultimately lie in the quality of its plot and performances. If the story can carry its visuals and provide a framework for all of Gravity‘s innovations, Cuaron’s movie might just earn a position alongside the other great space dramas of all time.

Enough Said is a new romantic comedy with the same traditional happy ending. But yet there is something refreshing and maybe even enlightening in this movie. It is tender, sweet, full of hope and love. It is a movie about how important it is to never give up on your dreams and aspirations, how vital is hope for the people of every sex, age and status.

Enough Said is a story about love so pure and so unconditional, that every thinkable and unthinkable prejudice would fail trying to stop it. Enough Said is a movie which everyone should watch, even considering the fact that it might seem that this is a movie for those who are over thirty. This is a misleading impression. Because love, hope and faith never gets old, and if will be strong enough to remain young at heart, you will eventually be as happy as are the characters of the Enough Said movie in the end.

Sparkling humor, which saturates literally through every shot of the film, along with the duet of amazing actors James Gandalfini and Julia Louis–Dreyfus, create a wonderful atmosphere of absolute happiness, and light blind faith into the notorious happy ending.

The Enough Said movie tells us a story of a woman, who is so much alike every woman you can see on the street, walking along with an empty gaze, hopeless, living their life by inertia. Eva is alike every woman who ever went through a devastating divorce. Eva is profoundly depressed, close to despair, and her everlasting hope almost left her. She keeps working as a masseuse, because this is the only thing which maintains her to keep going on. Her daughter left to start her studies at college, so Eva is pretty much alone, left to deal with her own problems. But everything suddenly changes, when Eva receives an invitation to a party, which will later turn out to be a present from her destiny. At first she did not want to go, however something made her to change her mind. So there, at this extremely boring party, Eva meets a man. This man is much like herself just went through a complicated divorce, and after a few minutes of courteous conversation they realize, that they have a lot more in common, than it might seem at the first sight. They meet again after party, and then once again, and unexpectedly for both they start dating. They relationship progress, and Eva understands, that this witty, intelligent, interesting man with an amazing sense of humor is her living dream.

But every movie like Enough Said needs a plot twist to drive the lovers apart to make their reunion even more breathtaking. Eva suddenly finds out that one of her friends, who she idealized and admired, is Albert’s ex-wife, who keeps describing how hideous their marriage was.

However, the misunderstandings and collision only make the happy ending more craved and awaited. Enough words movie is a comedy of high quality, which is meant to make you smile, maybe cry a little and after that receive yet another material proof that love overcomes every obstacle, every injustice, despising every difficulty.

Posted on October 21st, 2013 by MHD | Leave a Comment
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I am so excited to be able to give one of our visitors a copy of Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. Monsters vs Giant Robots. Del Toro would have had me at either Monsters or Giant Robots, but both? Fighting with the fate of the Earth in the balance? Yeah, I’m there. I’m there in repeat viewings.

In addition to this great giveaway (more on that as you scroll down), I’m equally as happy to present this awesome Pacific Rim app. It includes interactive GIFs that let you control the monsters and robots, a Quiz for superfans of the movie, and a Soundboard that lets you play with SFX directly from the movie. Create your own epic battle (at least in audio form!)

Pacific Rim Giveaway Details

Entering the contest is as easy as making a bowl of popcorn after you win the movie on Blu-Ray. Leave a comment on this article with who you would root for in the movie, the Monsters or the Giant Robots! It is as easy as that! To get an additional entry into the contest (that is a second chance to win), make a tweet with the hashtags #PacificRim #MHD #Contest and a link to this Giveaway URL. To get additional (additional) entry into the contest, simply leave a comment (say anything you want!) on the Facebook post for this article.

DISCLAIMER (and other Details)
This contest is only open to visitors with a valid address. Prizes can not be sent to a PO Box. All comments must be made with a (working) email address, so we are able to contact you if you win. Once contacted, you have 24 hours to reply with the requested details. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the entries. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parents permission. Prizes have been provided in promotion of the movie by Warner Brothers. A winner will be chosen on October 27th, 2013. Each household is only eligible to win 1 Pacific Rim Blu-Ray via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

escapeplan-still

To be honest I almost didn’t see this, from the trailers it looked like a rental, and after the abysmal The Last Stand I wasn’t excited about another questionable movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger in it. Yet I’m glad I let myself get dragged into seeing this because to my delight I found a lot more to Escape Plan than I’d expected.

Sylvester Stallone stars as Ray Breslin, a man who breaks out of maximum security prisons for a living so their deficiencies can be fixed. His latest assignment a privately owned, off the record facility called the Tomb where the world’s worst of the worst are disappeared to. When Ray is double-crossed and set up for a permanent stay he must put his talents to the test and escape a supposedly inescapable prison that makes a stay at Guantanamo Bay look like a honeymoon at the Bellagio. Aiding him is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Rottmayer, a tough resourceful inmate, and watching over the facility is the cruel warden played by Jim Caviezel, designer of the Tomb and a man who has literally read the book Ray wrote on prison security (he’s got a copy on his desk.)

Escape Plan isn’t interested in tackling weighty subjects like incarceration in the United States or the legally and morally questionable extrajudicial prison systems where some secretly wind up. There are explosions, shootouts, and slugfests in this film. Yet they don’t dominate the entirety of the movie so this isn’t exactly the typical rollercoaster action vehicle you’d expect from either of these actors. For most of its 115 minutes it’s more of a thriller with an elaborate escape plan and twists and turns in the plot. Breslin must outwit the system and its architect Warden Hobbes, probing and observing to find the Tomb’s vulnerabilities.

At times it’s too convenient and our villains deaf, dumb, blind, and stupid when required. For example, early in his stay at the Tomb we see Breslin with Rottmayer casually walking near a guard, openly talking about an escape plan. Breslin and Rottmayer are easily the two most dangerous inmates but no one sweats them being inseparable until two-thirds of the way into the movie. Things like these strain your suspension of disbelief, but its never actually broken so the attempts at escape keep you interested and excited over the course of the movie. Okay… maybe it’s kind of broken when Stallone’s character MacGyvers a sextant out of random trash and is able to more or less figure out exactly where he is from the latitude and climate during that time of year… but it’s mostly never broken!

The performances are solid. Stallone puts in a strong showing with his usual acting, I think it will just come down to whether or not you like what Sly’s built his career on. Jim Caviezel is delightfully evil as Warden Hobbes. In The Last Stand Arnold Schwarzenegger was tired and dull just like that movie, making me question why he bothered unretiring. However, with this film I had to eat a healthy plate of crow and I did it with a big grin. Arnold dominates as the funny and tough Rottmayer with undeniable screen presence and charisma, reminding you there’s a reason he was one of the world’s biggest stars in his prime. He supplies plenty of laughs and keeps the film from taking itself too seriously.

Considering each of Sly’s and Arnie’s last movies bombed, Escape Plan likely won’t be in theaters for very long. This isn’t necessarily the special-effects heavy action extravaganza that benefits from a theater-going experience, but if you like Stallone or Schwarzenegger, heck even if you just want to see a decent flick, think twice before passing this up. It’s true that for the box office this pairing would’ve been better thirty years ago, but it’s still great to see these two legends have lengthy screentime together. Not because of any sense of novelty, but because they have great chemistry and play off each other well in a genuinely good movie that’s a little different from their usual fare.

***½

Mandela-Still

Nelson Mandela, a Nobel laureate and former president of the Republic of South Africa, is considered one of the greatest men in the history of mankind. Why? Because he had what it takes to be a hero. He had strength to spend twenty eight years in prison in a hopeless and noble struggle against the oppression. He had charisma to lead his people to the most thrilling victory of human history. He had faith to defy the government, the law, the unfairness. He had strength to fall and he was strong enough to rise again. He had once walked the longest walk to freedom.

The Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom trailer describes Mandela’s path in rebellion, his gradual gaining of power, fame and admiration of thousands of people. It tells the story of how he got put in prison for his dreams and aspirations. The Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom trailer tells a story of the largest triumph of a lifetime and of a history of a nation. It was completed in May 1994, when he became the first black president of South Africa. But this way was much longer than it might appear, and much harder than one could think. Countless amounts of people followed him and his ideas, the liberation campaign was organized, and the resistance failed. So the Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom movie is not a biography or a historical drama. It is praise to person so great, that his greatness is matchless and his grace is indescribable. The Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom trailer illustrates, how this hero of democracy and gained worldwide eminence and became a symbol of the struggle against the racial discrimination and its apogee – the apartheid. Fame has made him a genuine legend with a halo of a martyr, who heroically spent dozens of years in the solitary confinement in prison on the Robben Island, where he worked on a limestone quarry and had a right to one visit and one letter for six months. In these inhuman conditions he never lost heart, never asked the minions of the law for mercy, not once. No, Nelson Mandela courageously and fearlessly stood on the protection of his dreams, on the protection of justice, on the protection of equality. He knew that human dignity and power of the human spirit are able to defeat all the conventionalities, any harassment and oppressions, and he has never been wrong.

The Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom trailer tells a story of love and forgiveness, of freedom and faith. The Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom movie embodies this story so juicy and so pure, that you can start to feel yourself to be a part of it.

 Ben Affleck as Batman - Wait a Minute

So the Batman will back and the man who will be donning the cape and cowl is Ben Affleck.

As expected, when the news hit the internet exploded with mostly negative comments from the fan boys. Then again these are the same fan boys that made the same comments and negative buzz about Heath Ledger being cast as the Joker in The Dark Knight… and look at how that one turned out. I think this is a brilliant choice and for one simple reason: Ben Affleck is not the same Ben Affleck from mid-2000.

Hear me out here. Aflleck has grown  and matured as an actor and also happened to become one of the best directors around. Anyone who doesn’t believe me has not seen Argo or The Town, which were two of the best films I have seen in recent years. I believe he’s a guy who has learned from his mistakes. I thought he was the right choice years ago when they were going to go with a younger Batman and I still think he’s the right choice, now as the older grizzled veteran Batman. There’s no doubting his ability or look when it comes to Bruce Wayne. I think a lot of fan boys are concerned with his Batman, but again, I say to those people to go and watch The Town. He plays the anti-hero with a mixture of coolness and darkness that could easily translate in parts to the Dark Knight.

I am excited for this Batman and Superman (or Batman vs Superman) movie and to quote a friend; “Man of Steel was like B., It was good, but by no means perfect. Hopefully Batman/Superman will be what The Dark Knight was for the Nolan trilogy.” I think it will be. It can easily build the DC cinematic universe the way it should be and hopefully lead to a Justice League film. I’m intrigued to see where they go from here with casting as well. They are certainly thinking outside the box.  Let’s hope more announcements are forthcoming. Bring on 2015!

Posted on September 23rd, 2013 by Kris Greet | Leave a Comment (1)
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Joe Pesci

There have been plenty of movies that show different aspects of the world of casinos, but perhaps none so vividly as the movie Casino, released in 1995 and starring Robert de Niro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone. When you’ve watched this, you’ll probably be glad you can sit at home and play casino games rather than having to go to Vegas to do it!

Playing casino games online has become a daily occurrence for millions of people around the world – many of whom might never actually have gone to a land-based casino. It’s so easy to play online, you don’t need to get dressed up, you don’t need to leave the house and plan a journey. All you do is login to your favorite site and you can be playing almost instantly. You can play roulette online with 32Red here – all you need to do to get started is sign up and register a debit or credit card, and you’ll qualify for the no deposit bonus of $32 to play on any of the games on the site for a seven day period. It’s a great way to test out the site with real money games without any financial risk.

Casino is a movie that mixes the glamorous front of the casino lifestyle along with its very sleazy underside. Directed by Martin Scorsese, this epic runs for 178 minutes (many of them make you feel uncomfortable and like you’ll need a shower after you’ve watched this seedy tale). The story is based on the life story of Frank Rosenthal, who ran three casinos in Vegas for the Chicago Outfit through the 1970s and early 80s. Rosenthal’s character is Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein in the film (played by de Niro) and the other main characters are Nicky Santoro (played by Joe Pesci) and Ace’s girlfriend Ginger (played by Sharon Stone). Nicky Santoro character is modelled on the real-life mob enforcer Anthony Spilotro.

Ace is running the fictional Tangiers casino on behalf of the Chicago mobsters, and Santoro is sent to make sure that all the casino profits go back to the mob without anything being skimmed off first. It’s also his job to keep the Vegas mobsters in their place. Ginger is a former prostitute and drug-addict who Ace falls for and eventually marries.

It’s a class act by all three actors and director Scorsese with a heady mix of gritty realism and glamor. The film is so long that you begin to feel you’re actually there with all the main characters trapped in the same existence as them, and it’s with a sense of relief that you greet the credits at the end of the movie! Although it’s a long watch, there are plenty of lighter moments in the film, so don’t be put off by the length of the movie. This was Scorsese and De Niro’s eighth collaboration and proved yet again what a successful movie making team they make.

Posted on September 23rd, 2013 by admin | Leave a Comment
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