Until Death Do Us Part - Jonas

Sabtu, Februari 28, 2009

#173. Skoop : Poster - Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Film : Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Genre : Action, Drama, War
Release Date : 21th August, 2009
Director : Quentin Tarantino
Staring : Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger, B.J. Novak, Samm Levinne
Synopsis : During World War II a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as "The Basterds" are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis. The Basterds soon cross paths with a French-Jewish teenage girl who runs a movie theater in Paris which is targeted by the soldiers.

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#172. Skoop : Trailer - Hunger (2008)

Film : Hunger ( 2008 )
Genre : Drama, History
Release Date : 20th March, 2009 (USA, Limited) 27th March, 2009 - Norway
Director : Steve McQueen
Awards : Carl Foreman Award for the Most Promising Newcomer (Steve McQueen) at 2008 BAFTA Awards, British Independent Film Award ( Best Actor & Best Technical Achievement) at 2008 British Independent Film Awards, Golden Camera (Steve McQueen) at 2008 Cannes Film Festival
Casting : Michael Fassbender, Stuart Graham, Liam Cunningham, Helena Bereen, Larry Cowan
Synopsis : In 1981, a deadly serious battle takes place in the infamous H-block of Belfast's Maze Prison. Republican inmates, led by Bobby Sands (played with unflinching passion by Michael Fassbender) refuse to eat until the British government acknowledges the IRA as a legitimate political organization. Is it suicide or martyrdom?

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#171. Skoop : Trailer - 50 Dead Men Walking (2008)

Film : Fifty Dead Man Walking (2008 )
Genre : Action, Thriller, Drama
Release Date : 10th April, 2009 (UK)
Awards : 2008 Best Western Canadian Feature Film @Vancouver International Film Festival
Director : Kari Skogland
Casting : Ben Kingsley, Jim Sturgess, Kevin Zegers, Natalie Press, Rose McGowan
Synopsis : In the 1980s when the Irish civil conflict was at its most treacherous, 22 year old Martin McGartland was recruited by the British police to infiltrate and spy on the IRA. He lived his life under constant threat of exposure and subsequent guaranteed torture and death yet he continued because his information saved many lives. He enjoyed the buzz until one day he was discovered and had to escape against all odds. Inspired by a true story, to this day he is on the run.

Marty McGartland is a 22-year-old street hustler from Ireland, living in the 1980s. He gets noticed by the Provisional Irish Republican Army|Irish Republican Army, but thinks their cruel justice is no good. The British want to use Marty as well, because of his connection to the community undetected. The British police want him to infiltrate and spy on the IRA. Marty decides to work for the police because of his IRA dislike. He soon forgets his political preferences when his powerful position takes over. Despite fearing that the IRA will find out about his spying, he builds up a new sense of self esteem. Afraid his family and friends will be murdered if they are informed, Marty starts to lead a double life. Even his new girlfriend Lara knows nothing of his work.

Things start to take their toll when the British sell them out. They explain their system could fall down and reveal Marty was their bait all along. The IRA capture and torture Marty, but he is able to escape. His best friend and former British police colleague finds Marty and decides to help him hide. Marty knows the IRA will turn to his family and is forced to make a decision, saving himself or his beloved ones.

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#170. Berita Filem : 'Gomorrah' strong in limited release

Despite Oscar snub, Italian mafia film a big hit
Oscar snub? Who cares?

While some crix decried the omission of Italy's "Gomorrah" in this season's foreign-language category, Matteo Garrone's naturalistic Mafia pic has quietly been doing boffo biz Stateside, albeit in very limited release.

The film has grossed $25 million to date worldwide. Stateside, after playing in L.A. for its failed Oscar-qualifying run, IFC bowed "Gomorrah" in New York on Feb. 14 to the highest North American per-screen average prior to Presidents Day -- $20,540. In its soph outing, the pic scored a still-strong $10,087per-screen-average.

The film just expanded to the top 10 U.S. markets over the weekend before it gradually goes wider.

Meanwhile, producer Domenico Procacci, who kept mum in the immediate aftermath of the pic's Oscar exclusion, has been revealing details of his subsequent exchange with the Academy, specifically with the topper of the foreign-language branch.

"I don't want to sound like a sore loser," Procacci tells Variety. "I simply sent a letter to Mark Johnson to say that something had not worked properly in the selection process."

"Now I just hope that the system will be perfected."

"Gomorrah," which won the Cannes Jury Grand Prize and five European Academy Awards, among other kudos, has played particularly well in Gaul ($4 million), Spain ($3 million), and Blighty ($ 1.3 million to date).

Source :
Posted: Fri., Feb. 27, 2009, 1:01pm PT

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#169. China cuts Steven Spielberg's appearance at Academy Awards

New York, Feb 27 : It seems film director Steven Spielberg's refusal to act as artistic adviser during the Beijing Olympic Games has not been forgotten by the Chinese, for censors in the country cut his appearance at the Academy Awards.It happened when the Oscars ceremony was re-aired in the Far East 12 hours later, and Spielberg announced the nominees for Best Picture and the winner, 'Slumdog Millionaire', reports the New York Post.

Chinese viewers saw their screens suddenly cut to the beaming 'Slumdog' crew without any build-up, and insiders say that it was done as a revenge for his refusal to help at the Olympics.Spielberg had refused to take part because China buys oil from the Sudanese Government, whom he considered responsible for the genocide in Darfur.

More than 200,000 have been killed and 2.5 million made homeless in the conflict between Arab Janjaweed forces, supported by the government, and Christian villagers in the country's south. ANI)

Source :
Malaysia Sun
Friday 27th February, 2009

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#168. Berita Filem : Only inspectors torture in India, government told 'Slumdog...' makers

The co-producer of 'Slumdog Millionaire' says one of the best things to come out of the Oscar winning movie is the debate on poverty and torture that it has sparked in India.Christian Colson disclosed that when the filmmakers sought the initial permission of the government, the only thing the ministry of culture objected to was a scene in the script where the hero is tortured by a Mumbai deputy commissioner of police.

But the objection wasn't over the torture itself - 'the letter from the ministry said it is inconceivable that anyone above the rank of an inspector could be involved in torture', Colson told a large crowd at the House of Commons Thursday night.As a result, the filmmakers lowered the torturer's rank - Irfan Khan plays an inspector but doesn't carry out any of the torture himself, leaving the job to his subordinate.

Colson made the comments while accepting an award for international achievement at the Asian Voice Political and Public Life Awards in the exclusive setting of the Members' Dining Room of the British parliament.

Other winners included: IANS European Bureau Chief Dipankar De Sarkar (journalist of the year), Minister for Women and Equality Harriet Harman (parliamentarian of the year); Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal and Executive Vice President Anita Goyal (international entrepreneurs of the year), Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather (opposition parliamentarian of the year) and Baroness Paula Uddin (peer of the year).

Among the large gathering at the ceremony were Transport Minister Geoff Hoon, Asian Voice Publisher and Editor C.B. Patel, Conservative Party Chairman Eric Pickles, Home Affairs Select Committee Chairman and Labour MP Keith Vaz as well as a number of other British MPs and ministers.

Source :
Malaysia Sun
Friday 27th February, 2009

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#167. Berita Filem : French film awards accused of box office snub

PARIS (Reuters) – French cinema holds its version of the Oscars on Friday in a ceremony where self-congratulation after a year of box office and critical triumphs will be dosed by claims that the biggest hit of all has been snubbed.The annual Cesars awards provide the local industry with one of its annual highlights, with a glitzy if rarely glitch-free night often mocked in France for its mix of gushing tributes and onstage gaffes by stars and presenters.

This year, French cinema has an unusually successful period to look back on, with an Oscar for actress Marion Cotillard, the first French film winner at Cannes in more than 20 years and the biggest box office success in the industry's history.But controversy is rarely far away and this year is no exception with claims that the Cesars have ignored the popular comedy "Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis" (Welcome to the Sticks).

The story of a post office executive transferred to the far north of France and forced to deal with rain, strange food and incomprehensible accents has attracted more than 20 million viewers to become the biggest French hit of all time.

Star and director Dany Boon, reported by the daily Le Figaro to have earned 26 million euros ($33.06 million) from the film, will not be attending the ceremony because it has only been nominated for one award -- Best Screenplay.

"It's a shame, it's cinema's party and we're not represented," he told RTL radio earlier this month.

A galaxy of French comedy stars have backed him, declaring that the awards have become the snobbish preserve of intellectual films that nobody watches and demanding a special award for "Best Comedy."

Others, including Luc Besson, director and producer of a string of hits including "Le Grand Bleu" and "Leon," have responded that "Les Ch'tis" was an enjoyable and unpretentious comedy but hardly great cinema.

"I like Dany Boon a lot, 'Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis' made me laugh but I don't understand the debate," he told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

Instead, favorites include "Mesrine," the two-part story of legendary 1970s French gangster Jacques Mesrine, starring Vincent Cassel or "A Christmas Tale," director Arnaud Desplechin's family saga starring Catherine Deneuve and Bond villain Mathieu Amalric.

The schoolroom drama "Entre les murs" ("The Class"), the first French film since 1987 to win the Palme d'Or at Cannes and nominated for the Oscar as Best Foreign Film, is also in the running, crowning an outstanding year for French films.

Although the Cesars may have overlooked it, the industry overall has every reason to thank Les Ch'tis, whose success fueled a bumper year in which French films attracted more than 86 million spectators at home and a record 77 million abroad.

Source : Reuters
(Editing by Paul Casciato)
By James Mackenzie James Mackenzie
Fri Feb 27, 6:13 am ET

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#166. Berita Filem : African film festival turns 40 with pride

OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) – Big-screen tales of township gangsters and cattle-preying lions compete at next week's 40th anniversary FESPACO Pan-African film festival, showcasing the continent's wide-ranging cinematic talent.Far from the red carpets and paparazzi of Cannes and Venice, film lovers will throng movie halls in dusty Burkina Faso, where every two years cinema comes to the masses in one of the world's poorest countries.

"There's no other festival in the world like it -- it's a populist event," said head judge Gaston Kabore, himself a popular director from Burkina Faso."When people can't get in because the theatres are full, they just grab a beer and mill around with the filmmakers, drinking in the atmosphere," he told Reuters in an interview.

Conference halls have been transformed into cinemas for the week and in outlying districts of the capital Ouagadougou viewers will perch on concrete pews in open-air theatres beneath the Sahelian star-scape for 200 CFA ($0.40) apiece.

Instead of the usual imported kick-flicks and Bollywood blockbusters on show at disheveled cinema halls, FESPACO offers a broad wealth of African imagery.

"African films are always full. We don't like all the special effects from Hollywood ... We are proud to see ourselves and want to do it ourselves too," said Moumini Sawadogo, a 28-year-old IT worker.


"My big dream is to become a filmmaker ... Cinema is the way I can express myself and what I see," said Sawadogo. He has written a film script about the broken dreams of Africans who head to Europe only to have to be bailed out by family at home.

Burkina Faso, landlocked, dependent on subsistence farming and so earthy the capital's magenta flowers flail under thick dust, suffers many hardships that typify Africa's image overseas.

Its film-loving leftist revolutionary president Thomas Sankara once called the country "the quintessence of all the misfortunes of the peoples." Sankara was assassinated in 1987.

Nurtured by ties to France, its former colonial master, and Soviet funding and training during the Cold War, the West African state built up a cinema culture in the 1960s, later winning awards at festivals abroad. FESPACO launched in 1969.

"We come from very great cultural riches but we have lost a lot of ourselves through the traumatic experience of colonialism and for many other reasons. We need our own patterns and paradigms to look at the world; that way we can really repossess ourselves," Kabore said.

Highlighting the achievements of African cinema, this year's festival will include a special celebration of the work of Senegalese director and fisherman's son Ousmane Sembene, a father of African film who died in 2007.

Even so, lack of funds makes it hard to bring films to the few cinemas from Senegal to Swaziland. The last big screen in Cameroon, a country of 18.5 million people, shut down last month.

Feature films competing for this year's Etalon d'Or de Yennenga, the "African Oscar" fashioned after the legendary horsewoman founder of Burkina Faso's biggest ethnic group, range from a superstitious tale of an albino murdered for his head to incest in a poor Afrikaner family in South Africa.

Other categories include short films, television and video, sitcoms, documentaries and entries from the African diaspora.

"People get lost in thinking Africa is one big country," said Keith Shiri, director of Britain's Africa at the Pictures.

"Likewise African film is not a genre -- there's sci-fi, melodrama, romance, political satire, you can find anything."

(Editing by Alistair Thomson)

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#165. Berita Filem : "Watchmen" turns superheroics into campy soap opera

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – It's not easy being a comic-book hero these days. The poor boys have taken their lumps in "Hancock," "The Dark Knight" and even "Iron Man." Self-doubt, angst and inadequacies plague them. And now comes "Watchmen." Its costumed superheroes, operating in an alternative 1985, are seriously screwed up -- and so is their movie.

As stimulating as it was to see the superhero movie enter the realm of crime fiction in "The Dark Knight," "Watchmen" enters into a realm that is both nihilistic and campy. The two make odd companions. The film, directed by Zack Snyder ("300"), will test the limits of superhero movie fans. For anyone who's not already invested in these characters because of the original graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, nothing this movie does is likely to change that predicament.

That's bad news for Warner Bros. and Paramount, which hold domestic and international rights, respectively. Opening weekends everywhere will reflect the huge anticipation of this much-touted, news-making movie, which opens March 6 stateside. After that, the box-office slide could be drastic.

Snyder and writers David Hayter and Alex Tse never find a reason for those unfamiliar with the graphic novel to care about any of this nonsense. And it is nonsense. When one superhero has to take a Zen break, he does so on Mars. Of course he does.

The film opens with a brutal killing, then moves on to a credit-roll newsreel of sorts that takes us though the Cold War years, landing in 1985, when Nixon is in his third term -- tipping us that we're in an alternate 1985 America, where our superheroes have taken care of Woodward and Bernstein and other forces have evidently taken care of the U.S. Constitution.

The opening murder happens to a character called the Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who was once a member of a now-banished team of superheroes called the Masks. Fellow ex-Mask Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley), his mask one of perpetually shifting inkblots, takes exception to his old colleague's death. He believes the entire society of ex-crime-fighters is being targeted even as the Doomsday Clock -- which charts tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union that could lead to nuclear war -- nears midnight.

His investigation and renewed contacts with former buddies fill us in on the complicated histories and problematic psychiatric makeup of these colleagues.

It's all very complicated but not impenetrable. We pick up the relationships quickly enough, but soon realize these back stories owe more to soap operas than to superhero comics.

These aren't so much superheroes as ordinary human beings with, let us say, comic-book martial arts prowess. The one exception is Billy Crudup's Jon Osterman, aka Dr. Manhattan, who in true comic-book fashion was caught in a laboratory accident that turned him into a scientific freak -- a naked, glowing giant, looking a little bit like the Oscar statuette only with actual genitals -- who has amazing godlike powers.

These powers are being harnessed by an ex-Mask, Matthew Goode's menacing and slightly effeminate industrialist Adrian Veidt.

When Dr. Manhattan's frustrated girlfriend, yet another former Mask, Malin Akerman's Laurie Jupiter, can't get any satisfaction from Dr. M, she turns to the former Nite Owl II, Dan Dreiberg, who seems too much of a good guy to be an actual superhero, but he does miss those midnight prowls.

The point is that these superheroes, before Nixon banned them, were more vigilantes than real heroes, so the question the movie poses is, Who is watching these Watchmen? They don't seem much different from the villains. Which also means we don't empathize with any of these creatures. And what's with the silly Halloween getups?

The violence is not as bad as early rumors would have one believe. It's still comic-book stuff, only with lots of bloody effects and makeup. The real disappointment is that the film does not transport an audience to another world, as "300" did. Nor does the third-rate Chandler-esque narration by Rorschach help.

There is something a little lackadaisical here. The set pieces are surprisingly flat and the characters have little resonance. Fight scenes don't hold a candle to Asian action. Even the digital effects are ho-hum. Armageddon never looked so cheesy.

The film seems to take pride in its darkness, but this is just another failed special effect. Cinematographer Larry Fong and production designer Alex McDowell blend real and digital sets with earthen tones and secondary colors that give a sense of the past. But the stories are too absurd and acting too uneven to convince anyone. The appearance of a waxworks Nixon, Kissinger and other 1980s personalities will only bring hoots from less charitable audiences.

Looks like we have the first real flop of 2009.

Source : Reuters

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#164. Cinema : Movies coming soon

Marley & Me – A young family learns important life lessons from someone they least expect – their naughty and neurotic dog! Based on a best-selling book, this film stars Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Eric Dane, Kathleen Turner, Alan Arkin and Haley Bennett.

The Reader – A boy’s sordid affair with an older woman comes to a mysterious halt during World War II. Nearly a decade later, the boy, now a law student, re-acquaints himself with his former lover as she defends herself in a war crime trial. Starring Ralph Fiennes, David Kross, Jeanette Hain and Kate Winslet, who recently won an Oscar for her portrayal of Hanna Schmitz in this film.

Watchmen – Based on a cult graphic novel, this film shows how fallen heroes rise from the ashes to take care of the world once again. Some time in the mid-1980s in the United States, masked heroes were forced to go into hiding after the government decided to take over the country again.However, when one of the superheroes is brutally murdered, the “retired” vigilantes reunite to figure out what happened and whether a new evil force is on the rise.Starring Billy Crudup, Malin Akerman, Carla Gugino and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience – Follow Nick, Joe and Kevin Jonas on their Burning Up Tour across the United States. Demi Lovato and Taylor Swift join the boys in some of the shows, performing songs on stage.

Source :
The Star

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#163. Skoop : OTR - Gandingan kedua Sean, Naomi

PROJEK filem biografi tentang kisah seorang agen CIA bernama Valerie Plame Wilson kini semakin menghampiri kemuncak apabila bekas calon Oscar, Naomi Watts sudah pun menyatakan persetujuannya untuk membintangi filem tersebut.Dan, sudah pasti, Naomi akan membawakan watak agen CIA tersebut yang merupakan kisah benar yang diangkat daripada memoir hasil tulisan Valeris sendiri.

Untuk menguatkan lagi filem yang menggunakan judul Fair Game ini, pihak penerbit telah sepakat untuk memilih aktor berwibawa, Sean Penn memegang watak utama dalam filem tersebut di samping Naomi.Jika Sean, yang baru sahaja memenangi Oscar keduanya Ahad lalu bersetuju untuk membintangi filem ini, ia bermakna, gandingan antara dirinya dan Naomi merupakan yang kedua selepas filem 21 Grams.

Dalam filem ini, Sean telah ditawarkan dengan watak sebagai suami kepada Valerie, iaitu seorang duta bernama Joseph Wilson. Fair Game mengisahkan bagaimana seorang agen CIA yang meminta pentadbiran bekas presiden, George W. Bush merahsiakan statusnya setelah suaminya menulis surat terbuka kepada New York Times yang mendakwa pentadbiran Bush telah memanipulasi fakta tentang kewujudan senjata pemusnah di Iraq pada tahun 2003.

Sumber :
28hb Februari, 2009
Utusan Malaysia

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#162. Cinema : Street Fighter penuh dengan aksi

Mula ditayangkan serentak seluruh dunia 26 Februari lalu

DIADAPTASI daripada siri popular permainan video berunsur pertarungan dari Camcom, filem Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li menonjolkan kisah seorang ejen penyiasatan Interpol wanita, Chun Li yang berusaha menegakkan keadilan bagi ayahnya yang mati dibunuh dengan kejam.Penggambaran filem ini dilakukan di pelbagai lokasi seperti Bangkok, Thailand, Hong Kong dan Vancouver. Filem Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun-Li di bawa ke Malaysia oleh RAM Entertainment untuk ditayangkan pada 26 Februari 2009.

Filem ini diarahkan oleh AndrzejBartkowiak dengan barisan pelakonnya terdiri daripada Kristin Kreuk yang pernah membintangi siri drama TV popular, Smallville; Michael Clarke Duncan (The Scorpio King), Neal McDonough (The Guardian), Taboo (anggota kumpulan Black Eye Peas), Chris Klein (American Pie) dan Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation).

Filem Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li mengenai satu kuasa kuasa hebat sedang menyelubungi Bangkok. Mereka adalah pahlawan, yang mana sebahagiannya memiliki kebolehan luar biasa, masing-masing memegang kuasa dan mengalahkan pasukan yang satu lagi.

Bison (Neal McDonough), ketua penjenayah dengan kuasa tiada tandingan. Dia dan Shadaloo merancang menguasai sepenuhnya ibu negara Thai, dengan usaha jahat tersebut diawasi oleh Balrog (Michael Clarke Duncan), seorang penguat kuasa kejahatan dan pembunuh yang memiliki ukuran badan yang teramat sasa.

Bersama-sama mereka ialah Vega (Taboo) seorang pahlawan bertopeng dengan bersenjatakan cakar tajam yang direka khas untuk tujuan merobek dan menikam lawan, manakala Cantana (Josie Ho) pula ialah pembantu kanan Bison yang cantik tetapi berbahaya.

Tatkala Bison mula menyebarkan gelombang keganasannya di kawasan penuh sesak di bandaraya untuk merampas kuasa dan tanah milik penduduk tanpa mengira sesiapa, sekumpulan adiwira muncul untuk menentangnya.

Kumpulan itu diketuai oleh Chun-Li (Kristin Kreuk), yang meninggalkan kehidupan penuh keselesaan demi menjadi pejuang jalanan, bertarung untuk mereka yang tidak mampu melindungi diri masing-masing. Dia mendapat latihan seni bela dari Gen (Robin Shou) yang suatu ketika dahulu adalah seorang penjenayah yang digeruni, namun kini berjuang untuk kebaikan.

Seorang lagi yang memiliki kesungguhan untuk menghentikan kerja jahat Bison dan konco-konconya adalah seorang polis Interpol, Charlie Nash (Chris Klein), yang dapat mengesan ketua penjenayah tersebut di merata dunia, bersama-sama rakan sekerjanya, iaitu Maya Sunee (Moon Bloodgood) iaitu Detektif Homisid Jenayah Berkumpulan.

Aksi permainan dan adegan pertarungan yang sangat imaginatif sememangnya sangat bersesuaian untuk diterjemahkan ke layar lebar, satu hakikat yang diakui oleh penerbit terkenal dan Pengerusi bagi Hyde Park Entertainment, Ashok Amritraj - itupun setelah mendapat inspirasi daripada anak-anaknya yang ketika itu berumur 13 dan 1 tahun.

“Mereka begitu menggemari permainan video tersebut dan meminta saya menghasilkan filem berdasarkannya,” menurut Amritraj. “Saya harus berterima kasih kepada mereka kerana mengilhamkan Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun-Li,” katanya.

Mengekalkan aspek aksi dan unsur pengembaraannya, penerbit Amritraj dan Patrick Aiello bercadang menambah aspek emosi yang lebih mendalam dan lebih perwatakan ke atas permainan video yang sudah sediakala berwarna-warni dengan watak-wataknya, serta jaringan kejujuran dan pengkhianatan yang wujud di dalam jalan ceritanya. Untuk itu, mereka bekerjasama dengan pendatang baru Justin Marks bagi memperelok lakon layar bersama-sama dengan pembikin filem terkenal Andrzej Bartkowiak untuk pengarahan.

Bartkowiak, dahulunya adalah sinematografi terkenal (The Verdict, Terms of Endearment), pakar dalam menghasilkan filem aksi dan seram seperti Romeo Must Die dan Cradle 2 the Grave. “Saya mahu filem Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun Li ini nampak biasa”, ujarnya.

Sumber :
28hb Februari, 2009
Berita Harian

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Jumaat, Februari 27, 2009

#161. Skoop : Poster - Evilution (2009)

Film : Evilution (2009)
Genre : Horror, Sci-Fic
Release Date : still awaiting a release
Director : Chris Conlee
Award :Best Special Effects @ Chicago Horror Film Festival
Casting : Eric Peter-Kaiser, Marie Antoinette, Nathan Bexton, Jonathan Breck, Danny Downey, Katie Cazorla, James Duval, Guillermo Díaz,
Plot : A microscopic alien life form has been discovered with the ability to possess the living and resurrect the dead. The United States Army has tried to communicate with it but failed. Instead, the military has tried to create a genetically altered version of the alien in order to resurrect dead soldiers on the battlefield. The alien fights back, turning soldier against soldier. Young scientist Darren Hall kidnaps the last pure specimen of the alien, determined to the reverse the damage inflicted and learn the secrets of life. Hiding in a mysterious building named The Necropolitan, he continues his experiments. On one fateful night, the alien is set loose on the unsuspecting tenants resulting in a new evolution of apocalyptic horror as infected tenants attack the unsuspecting, turning them into a cannibal horde. Darren and a small group of survivors must now find a way to destroy the alien possessed before they can escape into the city and bring forth the end of the human race.

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#160. Skoop : Trailer - Mutant Chronicles ( 2008 )

Film : Mutant Chronicles (2008 )
Released : 10th October, 2008 (UK).
24th April, 2009 ( US)
Genre : Sci-Fci
Director : Simon Hunter
Casting : Thomas Jane, Ron Perlman, Devon Aoki, Benno Fürmann, Sean Pertwee, John Malkovich, Anna Walton, Luis Echegaray, Tom Wu, Steve Toussaint, Pras Michel, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Curtis Walker
Plot : In the year 2707, war rages between earths four giant corporations as they battle over the planet's dwindling resources. In an era marked by warfare and social regression, the earth is on the verge of ruin, destruction is everywhere; battles explode on every ravaged continent. Amidst heavy combat, an errant shell shatters an ancient buried seal releasing a horrific mutant army from its eternal prison deep within the earth. As the mutant scourge threatens human extinction, a single squad of soldiers descends into the earth to fulfill the ages-old prophesy of the MUTANT CHRONICLES and save mankind.

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#159. Berita Filem : Films on terror don't get shooting permission in London

By indiaabroad
Friday Feb 27 8:55 AM

Mumbai, Feb 27 (IANS) Post-9/11 many Indian filmmakers experimented with the theme of terrorism. But filming them on foreign soil has become an uphill task, especially in Britain. If writer-director Renzil D'Silva had his way, his debut film on terrorism, which is being produced by Karan Johar, would have been shot in London. Unfortunately permission was denied to shoot in any underground tube station of London.

The same happened with Karan's directorial venture 'My Name Is Khan'. He couldn't get permission to shoot this Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol starrer in London. Finally, Karan too shot in the US his film about the isolation of the Muslims after 9/11. A little ironical, considering Jagmohan Mundhra's 'Shoot On Sight' based on the London tube-station bombing was shot on actual location.

'Getting permission was tough. The British authorities were very apprehensive because they had read my script. The UK Film Council had to invervene after we protested about artistic muzzling,' Mundhra told IANS. Such pleas, however, did not work with D'Silva's terror drama. Not any more. The shooting had to be shifted out of London.

Since a major chunk of the terrorists' scenes featuring Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Vivek Oberoi and Om Puri were situated in a tube station, the unit had no option but to shift base to Philadelphia, where permission was not only obtained to shoot in a tube station but an entire train was hired for shooting during off hours.

Confirming this shift of venue Om Puri said: 'We were supposed to shoot the film in London but were denied permission to shoot at a tube station. Now we're shooting in Philadelphia. The paradigms of terrorism and films on the theme have certainly shifted first after 9/11 and now even more so after what has happened in Mumbai.'

Even Kabir Khan's next film, which is titled 'New York', is on terrorism and was shot in Philadelphia. John Abraham, who plays lead in the film, says the film was shot in Philadelphia because the topography is similar. 'A lot of films located in New York are actually shot in Philadelphia,' said John. 'New York' also stars Katrina Kaif and Neil Nitin Mukesh.

After the Mumbai attacks, terrorism as a theme has found prominence in Hindi films and several filmmakers are attempting to exploit it. Not only that. It looks like one of Bollywood's beloved villains - the terrorist - is being played by all and sundry. But Om Puri feels the terrorist shouldn't be Bollywood's favourite villain. 'We can't make provocative films on terrorism any more where we show terrorists as snarling villains,' he said.

Om thinks even Neeraj Pandey's much-acclaimed 'A Wednesday' featuring Naseeruddin Shah as a terrorist mastermind was provocative. 'Imagine what they'd make of 'A Wednesday' across the border! Now I think the time has come to soften the edges while portraying the terrorist. In Renzil's film, though I play a terror mastermind I'm not shown as an insane irrational madman. To understand why terror attacks happen we need to understand the terrorists' mind. My character in Renzil's film is an endeavour in that direction,' said Om Puri.

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#158. Skoop : OTR - Filem Total Recall dibikin semula

" Total Recall " dibikin semula !?...
Maya rasa ini bukan kali pertama kita mendengar kabar angin tentang pembikinan semula filem pecah panggung tahun 1990 ini tetapi kali ini bukan sekadar kabar angin berikutan perundingan peringkat akhir antara Neal H. Moritz (I Am Legend, The Fast and the Furious) bersama Original Films bagi menghasilkan pembikinan semula Total Recall untuk Columbia. Filem adaptasi dari karya Philip K. Dick yang berjudul "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" dibintangi oleh Arnold Schwarzenegger dan Sharon Stone mengisahkan tentang mimpi menjelajah di planet Mars yang menghantui Douglas setiap malam hingga memaksanya membeli memori penjelajahan ke Mars dari Rekall. Inc untuk di implan kedalam otaknya namun masalah Douglas tidak berakhir disitu malah baru sahaja bermula. Berlatarbelakangkan tahun 2084AD, Total Recall digarap hebat oleh Paul Verhoeven yang berjaya mengaut keuntungan kasar US 261 million setelah ditayangkan diseluruh dunia. Maya tertanya-tanya apa rasionalnya filem klasik sains fiksyen ini dibikin semula? Asyik-asyik remake jer, dah takder ide ori ker?

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#157. Skoop : OTR - Martin Sheen back in political fray with "Echelon Conspiracy"

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – In a career of more than 45 years, actor and social activist Martin Sheen has played many a president and political character.

His latest movie "Echelon Conspiracy", which opens in the United States on Friday, sees the man best known for his seven-year stint as President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet in TV's political series "The West Wing", at the heart of a modern electronic surveillance conspiracy.

Sheen, 68, talked to Reuters about his latest role as a U.S. National Security Administration director, his activism that has led to numerous arrests, and what he's been up to since his fictional White House term ended in 2006.

Q: The premise of "Echelon Conspiracy" -- out of control electronic surveillance that was set up ostensibly to protect the nation from terrorism -- is pretty scary. Were you aware of such a system before taking the part?

A: "No, I had never heard of it. It's not so far from unimaginable with the pervasive spying that's going on in our lives. I was in London a few weeks ago and everywhere you look there is a (street) camera. I know it's about crime prevention and catching traffic violators but at the same time, it's like paranoia."

Q: You've been politically very active over the years. Is that why you took the role?

A: "It didn't hurt ... But with my age, the offers frankly get a little lean. I've tended to be far more independent, and I don't really have a lot of intimate work relationships in Hollywood. I've never made a friendship because I thought I could get a job. I've always been shy about that ... There are people in the business who love film making and are brilliant at it. But they are not involved in the reality of the outside world very often.

"But take someone like Sean Penn ... He is the best actor of his generation and he is very politically savvy and very much involved in social justice. He is a genius as an actor and he is equally invested in (social) culture. I don't have near the impact, the range or involvement that Sean does."

Q: Without being flippant, have you been arrested lately?

A: "I think the last time was last year at the Nevada nuclear test site. I was headed over to a Greenpeace demonstration in Washington next week against the use of coal -- there is nothing clean about coal and it is making a horrible impact on the environment. But I had to pull out because I have a previous engagement to speak in Calgary the next day and if I am arrested, there is a chance that I couldn't get there in time."

Q: The last season of "The West Wing" wing posited the audacious idea of electing a Latino politician (played by Jimmy Smits) as U.S. president. Now we have the first African-American with President Barack Obama.

A: "It is absolutely unbelievable. I couldn't tell you if Obama was inspired by 'The West Wing'. I know he was a fan of the show. How much it influenced him, I don't know. The reality is far more difficult than the fantasy, although these shows don't hurt to tell people about possibilities."

Q: You have played so many presidents on screen, including President John F. Kennedy in a 1983 TV mini-series. Which real life U.S. presidents do you most admire?.

A: "There are three in my lifetime that I was greatly inspired by -- Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. In a way, ('The West Wing's') Jed Bartlet was a mixture of those three. We tried to project a liberal, Democrat, happily married man with children. He symbolized the very best part of the American character. He was a man willing to risk severe consequences by being true to his principles."

Q: Why did you decide to study at an Irish university in 2006?

A: "My mother is from Tipperary, I am an Irish citizen and I am very close to the Irish. I went to accept an honorary degree from the National University of Ireland at Galway ... I had never gone to college and I always had this fantasy about doing it. So I cleared my schedule and enrolled in August 2006 for one semester and studied earth and ocean sciences. It was one of the great times of my life. I was the oldest freshmen in the country!.

"I hope to do a film there this summer called "Stella Days". It's a true story about a local parish priest who established the first cinema in the town."

By Jill Serjeant Jill Serjeant – 1 hr 54 mins ago
(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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#156. Skoop : Trailer - Knowing ( 2009 )

Film : Knowing ( 2009 )
Genre : Sci- Fic
Director : Alex Proyas
Plot : John Koestler (Cage), a professor, finds that the contents of a time capsule at his son's elementary school makes predictions of major disasters that happen in the future which of course do happen. Koestler then realizes that the numbers eventually stop on the paper. This leads the teacher to believe the world is ending, and that he and his son are involved in the apocalypse.

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#155. Skoop : Trailer - Dunwich Horror ( 2009 )

Film : Dunwich Horror
Genre : Horror
Director : Leigh Scott
Starring : Griff Furst,Sarah Lieving,Dean Stockwell,Jeffrey Combs,Natacha Itzel

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#154. Skoop : Trailer - The Thaw (2009)

Film : The Thaw ( 2009)
Genre : Sci-Fic
Directed by: Mark A. Lewis
Starring : Val Kilmer,Martha MacIsaac,Kyle Schmid,Steph Song,Aaron Ashmore
Plot : A group of students of a research mission to the arctic discover that a deadly prehistoric parasite has been released after a wooly mammoth has been thawed out due to a melting polar icecap. They must somehow destroy the parasite before it reaches the rest of civilization.

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#153. Skoop : Trailer - Big Man Japan (2009)

Film : Big Man Japan (2009)
Genres: Art/Foreign, Comedy and Drama
Starring: Hitoshi Matsumoto, Riki Takeuchi, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Itsuji Itao, Ua
Directed by: Hitoshi Matsumoto
Synopsis : Continuing the family tradition, Daisato leads a dull life. He feels he must not rock the boat but most people look down on his way of life.

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#152. Cinema: When horror flies out the window


HOUSE (horror thriller)
Directed by Robby Henson
Starring Michael Madsen, Allana Bale, J.P. Davis, Reynaldo Rosales, Bill Moseley, Leslie Easterbrook, Julie Ann Emery, Heidi Dippold, Pawel Delag, Weronika Rosati

HOUSE starts with a promising premise but quickly degenerates into a cliche-ridden, confusing horror thriller.I say “promising” because its opening sequences remind us of scenarios in The Haunting and Vacancy, where a young quarrelsome couple find themselves trapped in a frightmarish motel.

However, promise quickly transforms into disappointment when we are taken into The Wayside Inn and one of the characters comments that it is like a scene in an Agatha Christie movie.

Well, in an Agatha Christie film, we do get elements of mystery, wit and suspense. This House is devoid of such thrills. It’s full of copycat scenes, horrible acting and inane plotting.
Adapted from the novel by Ted Dekker and Frank E. Peretti, the movie is meant to deal with the ravages of guilt and the usual battle between good and evil.

Estranged couple Jack and Stephanie (Reynaldo Rosales and Heidi Dippold) find themselves stranded in the woods of Alabama when their car is involved in an accident.

With no cell phone coverage and no help in sight, they have no choice but to take shelter at The Wayside Inn.

Inside, they find another couple, Randy and Leslie (J.P. Davis and Julie Ann Emery), in the same predicament, having to accept the “hospitality” of the weird inn owners (Leslie Easterbrook and Bill Moseley) and their mentally-retarded, sinister-looking son Pete (Lew Temple).

However, before the guests can get comfortable, they discover that the inn is under attack by a homicidal maniac known as Tin Man (Michael Madsen)!

I have not read the book but I am sure that the authors had some moral theme in mind for the story.

However, instead of concentrating on it, director Robby Henson takes us on a fishing expedition in previous horror-thriller waters, trying to net some scary moments from them.

The result is a confusing mismatch of chases and flashbacks that meekly suggest that this House (purgatory?) is where the protagonists revisit their sins. But never mind, the idea is only half-baked, anyway.

It doesn’t take an experienced movie-goer to see that the actors have not been properly motivated for their roles.

In some of the scenes, we sort of expect the cast to break out into laughter at the silly stuff they are doing and saying.

If the acting is generally lame, the production also looks cheap.

Marcin Koszalka’s cinematography keeps many of the action sequences blurred and out-of-focus, and the same may be said for the editing, especially of the flashback montages.

House is the second novel by Dekker and Peretti to have been adapted for the screen by director Henson. The first was Thr3e in 2006. Let’s hope there won't be a third.

by - Lim Chang Moh

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#151. Cinema: A riddle for a tearjerker


Directed by Gabriele Muccino
Starring Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, Barry Pepper, Michael Ealy

THE movie opens with its ending: a tired and frazzled-looking guy (played by Will Smith) calls 911 to report a suicide. When the voice at the other end asks, “Who’s the victim?”, he answers: “I am.” Okay, now that director Gabriele Muccino (working on a screenplay by Grant Nieporte) has given the ending away, there is nowhere else for the narrative to go except backwards — in a series of jumbled-up flashbacks that seem designed to confuse the audience.

The title probably refers to the “seven pounds of flesh” debt from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice.However, the film is not a mystery thriller like The Sixth Sense where its “curiosity factor” evaporates once we catch on that Bruce Willis’ character is a ghost.

In Seven Pounds, even though we can guess the gist of what’s happening, Muccino has put in place many puzzles and plot holes that need to be filled.

In the first half of the film, none of what you see makes much sense or seem to be of dramatic significance.

In the opening scenes, for instance, we see that Smith’s Ben Thomas is an IRS investigator (taxman) who has a list of people that he needs to work on.

One is Ezra Turner (Woody Harrelson), a blind customer service employee whom Ben insults on the phone, seemingly for no reason.

Then there is Emily Posa (Rosario Dawson), a heart patient in need of a transplant whom Ben goes all out to help — not only with her taxes but also her gardening!

Later on, Muccino starts setting up more plot pieces — like a deadly jellyfish that Ben keeps as a pet in his motel room; his flashes of a fatal car accident; a deal Ben makes with his lawyer friend Dan (Barry Pepper), and another he has with a woman (Elpidia Carrillo as Connie) who is a victim of physical abuse by her husband.

These pieces fall into place at the end of the movie and that’s when curiosity may give way to incredulity.

Seven Pounds is Smith’s second movie with Italian director Muccino — after The Pursuit of Happyness in 2007.

Here, however, Muccino’s aim seems to be the pursuit of tears given the emotionally-charged sequences Smith has with Dawson.

These, by the way, form the touching love story that lends depth and meaning to the movie.

Some may find the proceedings too manipulative and tacky while others, especially the women in the audience, may succumb to the tearjerker.

If you find this review a bit of a muddle, it is because I have to avoid spoilers for those intending to catch the movie.

Indeed, Seven Pounds demands a great leap of faith from its viewers. If you are prepared to suspend disbelief and buy into the movie’s redemption theme, then you may be swept along by it.

Otherwise, it will be just another highly-contrived Will Smith fable that is not quite the standard of Will Shakespeare’s play.

by - Lim Chang Moh

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#150. Cinema: A refreshing teen flick

Directed by Sean Anders
Starring Josh Zuckerman, Amanda Crew, Clark Duke, James Marsden, Seth Green, Alice Greczyn, Katrina Bowden

AFTER watching sex comedies like American Pie and The Sure Thing, you should know by now that the most dreaded “ailment” among American youth is virginity.It may be a virtue in the preteen years but when the youngsters hit 17 or 18, virginity is like social cancer that needs to be removed immediately.

That is how it is with Ian Lafferty (Josh Zuckerman), an 18-year-old hotbed of raging hormones who is still a virgin.

Ian is handsome, and even cute to some girls, but he is not into casual relationships because he has a crush on childhood friend Felicia (Amanda Crew).
Felicia, however, has romantic feelings for Ian’s best friend Lance (Clark Duke) but the sentiment is not reciprocated.

Lance, meanwhile, makes it his life’s mission to help Ian lose his virginity.

When Ian’s Internet chat friend nicknamed Ms Tasty (Katrina Bowden) offers to meet him for a one-night stand in Knoxville, Tennessee, Lance feels that the offer is too good to pass up.

Borrowing Ian’s brother’s (James Marsden) 1969 Pontiac GTO, the two boys start off on a nine-hour road trip to meet Ian’s date — with Felicia tagging along!

Up to this point, Sex Drive sounds rather formulaic and predictable — sort of like American Pie meets The Road Trip and The Sure Thing.

I wouldn’t blame you if you think it is a copycat or “recycled” teen flick. Thankfully, it’s not.

Sex Drive, written by (director) Sean Anders and John Morris, is based on the novel, All The Way, by Andy Behrens.

Sure, it has its share of toilet jokes, and some really gross-out scenes but then they are the staple of teen comedies these days.

Under Anders’ direction, Sex Drive does not strive to transcend low-brow and gutter comedy, it just makes it look fresher here.

There are some sequences at an Amish camp which offer new and interesting insights into Amish lifestyle.

Here, Seth Green plays Ezekiel, an Amish car mechanic who has returned to his community after spending some time in the secular world.

However, Green’s role is not a comedic one, it is more like an advertisement for Amish generosity and sacrifice.

On the other hand, Marsden’s portrayal of Ian’s elder brother, Rex, really goes over-the-top and he manages to get a few laughs.

However, what make Sex Drive likeable are its touching moments, such as the heart-to-heart chat between Ian and Lance where the latter acknowledges that he knows about Felicia’s feelings for him but will never act upon them because he knows she has a place in Ian’s heart.

This is the kind of stuff that one rarely finds in sex comedies.

In the acting department, the lead trio are charming and endearing enough to have the audience rooting for them.

A few nude and unsavoury scenes have been censored locally but they should not disrupt the story flow.

However, what I like about Sex Drive is that just when we think we have seen them all, it comes up with something that surprises us.

By : Lim Chang Moh

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#149. Berita Filem - Role that matters

Thursday February 26, 2009
The Star

At the centre of Love Matters’ story is troubled couple Tan Bo Seng (Henry Thia) and Jia Li (Yeo Yann Yann). After years of marriage, they start to feel that the love has gone out of their relationship.Meanwhile, their young son Benny (Alex Leong) is just finding out about the birds and the bees, while Bo Seng’s womanising brother Jeremy (Jack Lim) finds himself falling in love.

The movie also stars Malaysians Cheryl Lee, MayJune Tan and veteran Lai Ming, with a cameo by Jack Neo regular Mark Lee.

It’s interesting to note that Thia is a Neo film regular while Malaysian actress Yeo is a Neo film newbie. And what’s more interesting is that while Yeo plays Thia’s wife in the film, she is actually almost the same age as Thia’s eldest daughter.

“She can be my daughter, you know!” Thia joked.

Johor-born Yeo has appeared in many Singapore productions, from Royston Tan’s 2007 megahit 881 and Singapore Dreaming to some independent short films. In Love Matters, the 32-year-old had to make herself look older in order to play Jia Li.

“It was one of the things I had to consider before taking on this role,” said Yeo. “So I did my homework and tried on a few things for myself. And then I thought perhaps I could do it.”

“She went to the market and surveyed the aunties,” Thia joked.

“If I can’t look the role, then I can’t do it, because the camera is so cruel,” said Yeo. “If you do not look the part, then no matter how hard you try, it won’t work. You have to somehow look the part first, and so I started from there.”

“You know what helped you?” Thia asked her. “The costumes!” At that point, Yeo broke into laughter.

“She has to act old, but I don’t have to,” Thia added, eliciting more laughter from those at the press conference.

In one particular sequence, Bo Seng and Jia Li try to “get it on” in bed, but the husband discovers his impotence. Asked if it was awkward for them in that scene, Yeo said: “No, it wasn’t awkward. In fact, we were laughing so hard under the covers. Our crew was just laughing so hard, we had to lock them out of the room because they were so noisy! They were distracting us.”

Thia and Yeo had worked together in a TV sketch 10 years ago, so for them, the chemistry was immediate once they got on the set of Love Matters.

“The moment we came to work on this film, we just clicked,” said Yeo. “It’s probably because we’re both Pisceans. His birthday is five days after mine.”

For Thia, this is his first leading role, after having worked with Neo for 25 years.

“He has improved a lot,” said Thia of Neo. “Now I like Jack Neo movies!”

So he didn’t like them before this?

“I don’t know lah,” said the ever straight-faced comedian. “Before this, he used to make just funny movies, but now, his movies also touch on serious issues. So I get to learn more as well.”

Thia also credited Neo for making him well-known. “Before this, whenever I came to Kuala Lumpur, nobody recognised me. But after Money No Enough 2, a lot of people now know me,” said Thia.

So, what if one day Neo doesn’t have a role for him any more?

“I will ...” Thia joked, feigning anger and clenching his fists.

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#148. Berita Filem - Che director Steven Soderbergh's revolutionary filmmaking

Thursday February 26, 2009
The Star

It's a face recognised even by those who know nothing about the man behind it. He peers at us from T-shirts and posters and magazines, a bearded man in a beret who 42 years after his death remains the stuff of myth.

But just who was Che Guevara?

In his four-hour film Che director Steven Soderbergh digs at the mystique of the Latin American revolutionary.But even Soderbergh admits that his subject - portrayed on screen by Benicio del Toro - remains a mystery.

"I suspect Che would find someone who does what I do for a living pretty silly," Soderbergh said in a recent phone conversation from his Los Angeles home.

"I don't think he cared much for movies. He didn't have much use for the arts in general. The only mention of movies I could find in his writing was very dismissive. He viewed them as a propaganda tool of the imperialists.

"In the society Che was trying to build, I wouldn't have a job."

Still, there was something about the arc of Guevara's life that appealed to Soderbergh.

The versatile and daring filmmaker is used to swimming against the current, dividing his projects between profitable popcorn (the Ocean's franchise, Erin Brockovich) and small, personal films that sometimes never make it past the festival circuit.

He became fascinated by Che's status as a true believer, a man who would risk everything to fight imperialism on behalf of Latin America's impoverished masses.

"I didn't want this film to feel like a typical biography," Soderbergh said. "I didn't want to do much with Che's personal life, which wasn't really relevant to what I was interested in."

The key to getting a handle on Guevara, he said, is to understand his attraction to the jungle.

Born in Argentina and trained as a physician, Guevara joined Fidel Castro's Cuban revolution in 1955 and led an army in that country's mountains and jungles. He held important positions in the new Cuban government but left to organise Communist guerrilla units in the Congo and South America. He was killed in Bolivia in 1967.

"Out in the wild with a group of fighters must have been where Che felt the most complete," Soderbergh said. "I got a sense of that when we were out in the middle of nowhere shooting the movie. I had a tiny feeling of being somewhere remote with a small group of people trying to accomplish something.

"Those were the circumstances in which we saw the best version of Che. It was an opportunity for him to combine intellect and action."

But Soderbergh remains puzzled over how Guevara sustained his belief for so long in the face of so much adversity.

"We all get activated at some point about something. But our fervor tends to go up and down.

"Not Che. His ability to get up every morning and continue to go at it, day after day, year after year - that's what impressed me. Whether you like him or not, he was constantly sacrificing himself for someone else. Often for someone he'd never met."

The down side of Guevara's revolutionary fervour, Soderbergh said, was that it overwhelmed just about everything else.

"Apparently not even the men who fought and died with Che really knew him," Soderberg said. "There's a great quote from a young doctor who fought alongside Che and was close to him. He said you had to love Che for free.

"Even this guy who admired Che was saying that he was impossible to embrace."

His goal in making Che, Soderbergh said, was not to give a sense of what it's like to be Che, but rather what it was like to be around Che.

That approach dictated the look of the film. For example, there are virtually no close-ups of Del Toro.

"It seemed it would be a violation of Che's ethos to isolate him in the frame," Soderbergh explained. "It was the opposite of what he was about. I purposely grouped him with other characters whenever I could."

So daunting is the Guevara legend that after years of planning to play Che, Del Toro got cold feet as filming approached.

"Benicio was feeling pretty anxious. I said, 'Look, let's just acknowledge that it's impossible to do this. You can't get all of somebody in a movie, especially someone who lived a life like this. Let's just accept it and do it anyway.'"

Soderbergh said he tried to be totally objective.

"I'm just trying to give an impression of what I learned about the man through all my research."

The results haven't been without controversy. A screening of Che in Miami, where Cuban exiles are a powerful political force, ended in a screaming match.

"You can imagine the response," Soderbergh said. "They were livid. But given some people's experience, I can understand that. For certain people, Che is totally defined by what happened in the six months after the success of the Cuban revolution. He supervised the executions of Batista supporters. And he never expressed any remorse about it.

"People who consider him a butcher won't be satisfied by our film."

Che often feels more like a documentary than a fictional re-creation, something that Soderbergh attributes to the manner in which it was filmed in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Bolivia, Spain and New York City.

"The feel was dictated by the speed with which we were shooting. We had a tight schedule and little money, so you didn't have time to act. We did everything in two or three takes and moved on. You didn't have time for lots of analysis ... which was a good thing.

"I warned all the actors that I wouldn't have time to be as overtly supportive as I'd like and that they'd have to take care of themselves.

"But the fact that they were all adrift bound them to each other and resulted in a sense of collusion that comes across in the movie. What happened to Che's soldiers happened to the cast. That's why it feels lived-in rather than acted."

Soderbergh says he's always working on two or three projects.

"I'm often surprised that so many well-regarded filmmakers don't work more. The only way to get better is to shoot. And my metabolism is more accelerated now than when I started out in this business. If there's no money for a big movie, you make a little movie."

- Copyright (C) 2009 MCT Information Services

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#147. Berita Filem - Jack Neo is his own man

Thursday February 26, 2009
The Star

Singapore's most successful film director Jack Neo defends his filmmaking philosophy.

What do you do when you’re assigned to interview a director whose movies you dislike? In the end, I decided that the best approach was to just be honest about it. And so, I told Singapore director Jack Neo that I don’t find his films funny at all. I was prepared to get thrown out of the room.

“What’s wrong with you?” Neo asked jokingly. Then on a more serious note: “Is it because you can’t understand the jokes?”

I explained that I like a little sophistication in my films and that the humour should not be overstated and obvious.

“I understand where you’re coming from,” said Neo. “There are many film critics who feel the same way as you do. There’s nothing wrong with that. Some people make films for a certain group of people. Other films only cater for a small group. It’s really up to the director. Obviously, most directors want to do it for a bigger group, but it’s not easy. What if no one comes to see the film, then how?”

Neo is arguably Singapore’s most successful film director. His movies consistently rake in millions at the box-office. (Incidentally, Singapore’s highest-grossing local film, Money No Enough, was written by Neo but not directed by him.)

Even so, he has had his fair share of criticism and negative reviews simply because his movies are far from refined; they have a raw, everyman quality about them, something which an acquaintance once described as “pasar malam standard”. But Neo said he remains unperturbed.

“Some people criticise my films because (my films) don’t work for them,” said Neo. “I know that many people understand and enjoy them, and also get the messages in my movies. And this helps some people understand some of the problems they face.

“For example, I Not Stupid 1 and 2 made people think of how they should change their attitudes towards children. Still, there are people who say that’s not the right way to do it. That’s perfectly fine.”

Neo was in Kuala Lumpur to promote his latest movie, Love Matters (Xing Fu Wan Sui), which he co-directed with newbie Gilbert Chan. The film, a frank dramedy about three couples of various ages and the sexual and romantic problems they face, retains that familiar Jack Neo “style”.

I tell him that even though I dislike his films, I’ve seen almost all of them.

“If it’s such suffering, don’t go see them!” he joked.

Indeed, I might have had to suffer through his movies, but it’s undeniable that over here in Malaysia, they pack in a multi-racial crowd, even though his films are mostly in Mandarin and Hokkien.

“I go back to the basic and the simple,” Neo explained. “I won’t tell a complicated story that the majority won’t understand. Any person can understand my movies and enjoy them. Which means I have to know how people think, what they like and don’t like.”

Every Monday night for 10 years, Neo has had to create 25-minute skits for Comedy Night, a popular TV variety show in Singapore.

“That was very good training for us,” he said. “We learned how to connect with people. And in spite of all this, I never had to sacrifice what I wanted to say.”

He also understands the dollars-and-cents frame of mind that fuels the commercial machinery, and that he needs to deliver the goods with every film. Otherwise, he might not get the chance to make another film.

So, I asked if he constantly feels the pressure to live up to previous successes.

“Of course!” he replied.

The pressure must be terrible?

“It is terrible!” But he added that despite the criticisms, it is the supportive audiences who give him the confidence to go on.

His latest movie may seem like a kind of sequel to his 1999 sex comedy That One Not Enough (Na Ge Bu Gou). But both Neo and Chan disagree with that view.

“I think this is quite different,” said Neo. “For this movie, we also talk about youngsters. In That One Not Enough, there were no youngsters. And I don’t think there was a playboy character either.”

In Love Matters, Malaysian radio presenter Jack Lim plays a womaniser who inadvertently falls in love.

“I would say that there’s a certain element of exploring love and sex. But I don’t see it as a sequel,” said Chan.

“The theme for this movie is love,” said Neo. “After 20 or 30 years of marriage, sometimes we have to ask whether our spouses still love us. Why they have started to take things for granted and not care about our feelings.”

The original script, written in English by Chan, went through many changes. It was originally called “Sex and the Lion City”. Then during production, it adopted the title, “Republic of Happiness”. After the movie was completed, it changed its title yet again to Love Matters.

“Along the way we realised that in Asian countries we don’t need to emphasise so much on (sex),” said Neo. “So we changed things as we shot the movie. There are no nude or lovemaking scenes. There are only discussions, and we want to use this movie as a way for parents to talk to their children about these things.”

Still, in Singapore, where the film was released during the Chinese New Year last month, it got slapped with an NC-16 rating (no children below 16 permitted). This somewhat hurt its local box-office performance, as it went head-to-head with another local film, The Wedding Game.

“We were a bit disappointed because without the NC-16 rating, we would have done better, at least 30% to 40% better,” said Neo. “But these are the rules, although sometimes we may not understand them (laughs).”

For Chan, Love Matters was a chance to work with Neo and also to make a commercial film. His first effort was a small 2006 film called S11.

Neo is reportedly well-known for making changes to the script on set, and this, at first, daunted Chan. But he quickly learned to adapt.

“I feel that making a commercial film is much harder than making an arthouse film,” said Chan. “There are many elements that you have to consi­der. And really, it’s not easy. I’m happy to have gone through the whole pro­cess, to understand all the stages of filmmaking on a larger scale.”

Love Matters opens in local ­cinemas today.

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#146 : Berita Filem - Anu Dalam Botol cerita betul

26hb Februari, 2009
Harian Metro
Ramlah Zainal

JUDUL filem ini, Anu Dalam Botol sudah cukup me ngundang kontroversi kepada orang ramai. Namun, penerbit filem ini, Raja Azmi Raja Sulaiman mengakui bersedia berhadapan dengan semua itu semata-mata untuk me realisasikan filem terbarunya ke layar perak, tahun ini.

“Saya tidak takut dengan kontroversi kerana kehidupan kita sendiri penuh dengan kontroversi. Tanpa kontroversi, hidup kita juga berasa bosan.

“Kalau orang kata judul filem ini lucah, mereka perlu menonton filem ini terlebih dulu untuk mendapat mesej yang nak disampaikan. Judul filem ini saja sudah pun mengatasi nama pelakon itu sendiri.

“Apa yang penting, pelakon memegang watak utama nanti dapat sampaikan apa yang saya nak sampaikan kepada masyarakat. Pelakon watak utama ini kena lebih `kuat' kerana kalau tidak dia akan dibayangi judul filem ini,” katanya.

Kata Raja Azmi, idea buat Anu Dalam Botol bermula ketika dia bersama tiga rakan, Sutek (pereka fesyen), pengarah Uwei Shaari dan pengarah Shadan Hashim menikmati teh tarik di warung, dua tahun lalu.

“Sutek menceritakan kisah benar rakannya, seorang gay yang menjalani pembedahan untuk membuang anunya (za karnya) untuk menjadi perempuan.

“Tapi, akhirnya dia menyesal atas perbuatan itu apabila ditinggalkan teman lelaki yang dicintai. Selepas itu, dia jatuh cinta dengan seorang perempuan tapi sayangnya semua sudah terlambat kerana dia sekadar dapat melihat anunya dalam botol,” katanya.

Katanya, dia terus tertarik untuk menerbitkan filem itu selepas mendengar cerita Sutek. Malah membuat kajian dengan berjumpa lelaki gay itu untuk meminta kebenarannya membuat filem dari kisah hidupnya.

“Pembedahan membuang anu itu dibuat di Thailand ketika dia berusia 21 tahun dan dia juga dapat membawa pulang anunya yang disimpan dalam botol ke sini. Pada masa sama, dia juga menahan kesakitan selama enam bulan selepas pembedahan.

“Saya berasa sebak selepas mendengar cerita lelaki gay itu dan terus terbuka hati untuk menghasilkan filem berkenaan. Kini usianya sudah 50 tahun dan dia juga bercerita sambil menangis kerana menyesal apa yang dilakukan dulu.

“Dia juga berharap kisahnya menjadi pengajaran kepada masyarakat. Terus terang, saya banyak dipengaruhi kisah benar lelaki gay itu dan ia menarik hati saya dalam tempoh satu saat saja.

“Selain itu, saya menonton filem gay sebagai panduan untuk buat filem ini. Tagline kami, Patah tak tumbuh, hilang tak berganti,” katanya.

Tambahnya lagi, dia tampil dengan filem itu kerana ingin berkongsi kesedaran dengan masyarakat. Ia juga sekali gus berdakwah kerana sudah sedar selepas mendengar cerita lelaki itu.

“Sebenarnya, saya sendiri mempunyai anak cenderung kepada lelaki lembut sebelum ini. Anak bongsu saya, Megat Deli sudah menunjukkan ke arah itu ketika dia berusia 10 tahun.

“Saya segera menegurnya dan membawanya mendekati al-Quran (tafsiran) supaya menguatkan keimanan. Kini dia sudah berusia 15 tahun dan sudah berubah menjadi lelaki normal. Selain berminat dengan sukan badminton, dia sudah mempunyai teman wanita.

“Saya bukan ingin membongkar kisah rumah tangga tapi untuk memberi kesedaran kepada ibu bapa lain yang ada anak seperti itu. Pada pemerhatian saya, kebanyakan anak menjadi lelaki lembut kerana kesilapan ibu bapa sendiri,” katanya.

Raja Azmi yang sebelum ini menghasilkan filem Black Widow, Cinta 200 Ela dan Haru Biru berkata, dia memilih tema seperti itu kerana ia mempunyai tarikan kepada pe nonton.

“Kali ini saya ingin ketengahkan tema menceritakan kisah golongan gay pula. Sebagai pembikin filem, kita juga bebas untuk berkarya dalam industri seni.

“Cerita negatif seperti ini memang ada tarikan. Filem ini sangat serius kerana ia kisah hitam yang sangat berat. Ia memaparkan kisah cinta dua lelaki yang terlalu taksub dalam hubungan mereka.

“Persoalannya, siapalah kita untuk melawan kuasa Allah? Dalam kisah ini, Allah kembalikan semula roh lelaki dalam diri lelaki gay itu sehingga dia menyesal kerana sudah membuang anunya sebagai satu pengorbanan cinta,” ka tanya.

Katanya, dia juga tidak takut dengan potongan Lembaga Penapisan Filem (LPF) kepada filem itu nanti. Malah katanya, dia melihat LPF lebih dewasa berbanding dulu.

“Mereka akan potong babak dalam sesebuah filem jika ia keterlaluan. Selain itu, saya juga mengalukan pembabitan syarikat kondom yang berminat untuk bekerjasama dalam filem ini. Apapun, kos filem ini tidak tinggi iaitu sama dengan Haru Biru, kira-kira 800,000 saja,” katanya.

Untuk mencari pelakon sesuai memegang watak lelaki gay itu, Raja Azmi mengadakan uji bakat tertutup di pejabat Finas, Hulu Klang. Uji bakat itu dikendalikan pengarah filem itu, Shadan bersama Adlin Aman Ramlie selaku pengarah uji bakat.

Beberapa artis lelaki popular, Ady Putra, Fauzi Nawawi dan Iqram Dinzly dijemput menghadiri uji bakat itu. Turut hadir, Calvin Lau, Mers (model dan pelakon drama Cina), Arja Lee, Kefli AF, Jessie Lim dan adik pelakon Zulhuzaimi, Firdaus.

Uji bakat itu untuk mencari watak Ghaus dan Rubidin yang juga teraju utama filem itu. Mereka diberi tempoh sejam dan siap dimekap seperti wanita.

“Ada juga pelakon nama besar menarik diri daripada diuji bakat kerana takut berhadapan Adlin dan ada juga yang menolak kerana mendapati watak itu tidak sesuai buat mereka selepas membaca skrip filem itu.

“Antara pelakon yang memberikan komitmen yang bagus ialah Ady Putra. Saya bangga dengan Ady kerana dia seorang pelakon yang berdisiplin dan sampai seawal jam 9.45 pagi untuk uji bakat ini.

“Kita akan buat uji bakat watak pembantu iaitu Dina di pejabat saya nanti. Selepas kita dapat barisan pelakon yang dicari, barulah kita memulakan penggambaran filem ini.

“Selain itu, Murai.com.my akan menganjurkan kuiz kepada pembaca yang melayari portal hiburan itu untuk memilih siapakah calon uji bakat yang layak untuk memegang watak utama filem ini,” katanya.

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Rabu, Februari 25, 2009

#145. 10 filem pendek rebut hadiah RM100,000

25hb Februari, 2009
Berita Harian
Rozdan Mazalan

Peraduan Astro Kirana Short Film Awards buka penyertaan selama tiga bulan tentukan pemenang Jumaat ini.HANYA 10 filem pendek terbaik bakal bersaing untuk menerima geran bernilai RM100,000 bagi memulakan penerbitan filem.

Pertandingan Astro Kirana Short Film Awards 2008/2009 yang membuka penyertaan selama tiga bulan bagi mencari 10 yang terbaik bakal menemui pemenangnya pada 27 Februari ini jam 8 malam di Pusat Konvensyen Kuala Lumpur (KLCC). Pertandingan ini juga akan disiarkan menerusi Astro Kirana pada 28 Februari jam 9 malam.

Astro Kirana dengan kerjasama Tayangan Unggul Sdn Bhd dan XFM selaku radio rasmi menganjurkan pertandingan ini khusus menghargai serta mengiktiraf hasil seni kreatif bakal pengarah berbakat negara untuk diketengahkan di persada seni perfileman negara.

Ketua Pengarah Eksekutif Astro Entertainment Sdn. Bhd, Zainir Aminullah berkata, anjuran tahun kedua kali ini ternyata menerima sambutan yang menggalakkan dengan mencatatkan peningkatan dari segi jumlah penyertaan.

“Kami amat berbangga dengan jumlah penyertaan yang amat memberangsangkan pada tahun ini. Ini membuktikan bahawa terdapat ramai bakat di luar sana yang sentiasa menanti peluang untuk mengetengahkan hasil karya mereka ke peringkat yang lebih tinggi menerusi platform yang kami sediakan.

“Kami berharap dengan pendekatan yang diambil Astro selama ini dalam menyokong industri pembikinan filem dapat menjana inspirasi dan membuka ruang kepada pengarah tempatan untuk terus menghasilkan karya yang lebih kreatif dan inovatif.

“Kami juga akan terus menyokong apa juga usaha untuk menerbitkan hasil karya yang cemerlang dengan menggunakan segala ruang yang ada kerana pembekalan pengisian yang bermutu dan berkualiti tinggi sentiasa menjadi tonggak dalam memberikan yang terbaik kepada pelanggan Astro,” katanya.

Menurut Zainir, penyertaan akan dinilai oleh barisan panel juri yang dilantik khas bagi menentukan filem pendek yang bakal dicalonkan sebagai finalis.

“Peserta akan dinilai lima juri profesional yang bertanggungjawab dalam pemilihan ini termasuk Gayatri Su-lin Pillai, Osman Ali, Wong Tuck Cheong, Afdlin Shauki dan James Lee. Kriteria pemilihan berdasarkan cerita asal, pengarahan, videografi, suntingan, lakonan, seni pengarahan dan juga penataan bunyi.

“Daripada 10 peserta ini juga, sebanyak tiga filem pendek terbaik akan dipilih untuk dinobatkan sebagai yang terbaik,” katanya.

Sepuluh filem pendek yang berjaya terpilih akan diumumkan menerusi laman web di www.astro.com.my/astrokirana. Orang ramai dijemput untuk mengundi filem pendek kegemaran mereka menerusi laman web itu bermula 20 Februari lalu sehingga 26 Februari ini.

Penyertaan yang menerima undian tertinggi akan memenangi Anugerah Pilihan Penonton. Kategori lain yang dipertandingkan termasuklah Penataan Seni Terbaik, Penataan Bunyi Terbaik, Suntingan Terbaik, Videografi Terbaik, Cerita Terbaik, Lakonan Terbaik dan juga Pengarahan Terbaik.

Pemenang hadiah utama akan menerima peruntukan sehingga RM100,000 untuk menerbitkan filem, wang tunai bernilai RM5,000. Manakala pemenang hadiah kedua dan ketiga akan menerima menerima wang tunai RM3,000 dan RM2,000. Masing-masing turut menerima trofi.

Saksikan siaran tertunda malam penuh berprestij Astro Kirana Short Film Awards 2008/2009 yang akan disiarkan pada 28 Februari ini jam 9.00 malam menerusi Astro Kirana (saluran 122) serta siaran ulangan pada 1 Mac depan jam 3 petang.

INFO: 10 Finalis Terbaik

# Eyefinger - Margaret Bong
# Mirror - Christopher Low
# Burp - Tayanithi Ramanujem
# Satu - Zulman Zeki Supardi
# Aku - Shuhaimi Zulkefli
# Qalam - Mohd. Shahrezahadi Koh
# Permata Bonda - Fikri Jermadi
# ”Odoi Odu” (Oh Grandma - Farizie Morinding
# Kalsom - Sheikh Munasar Abdullah
# Khilaf - Noor Emelly Mohd Saad

Penataan Seni Terbaik

# Burp - Tayanithi Ramanujem
# Eyefinger - Margaret Bong
# The Last Supper - Normen J.Arule
# Pauh - Azkee Mohd Yahaya
# Semangat Padi - Fathin Alliza Jamal

Penataan Bunyi Terbaik

# Michelle - Sia Yaw Yie
# The Last Supper - Normen J.Arule
# Mirror - Christopher Low
# Eyefinger - Margaret Bong
# Burp - Tayanithi Ramanujem

Lakonan Terbaik

# Sinkronis - Jaja Kadir
# Odoi Odu (Oh Grandma) - Farizie Bin Morinding
# Wintersweet - Rorn Lew Cheen Khung
# Mirror - Christopher Low
# Permata Bonda - Fikri Jermadi

Videografi Terbaik

# The Last Supper - Normen J.Arule
# Burp - Tayanithi Ramanujem
# Eyefinger - Margaret Bong
# Mirror - Christopher Low
# Aku - Shuhaimi Zulkefli

Cerita Terbaik

# Odoi Odu (Oh Grandma) - Farizie Morinding
# Mirror - Christopher Low
# Eyefinger - Margaret Bong
# Aku - Shuhaimi Zulkefli
# Qalam - Mohd. Shahrezahadi Koh

Pengarahan Terbaik

# Qalam - Mohd. Shahrezahadi Koh
# Odoi Odu (Oh Grandma) - Farizie Bin Morinding
# Mirror - Christopher Low
# Eyefinger - Margaret Bong
# Aku - Shuhaimi Zulkefli

Suntingan Terbaik

# Qalam - Mohd. Shahrezahadi Koh
# Amin - Cut Mutia Teuku Iskandar
# Machai - Shanjhey Kumar Perumal
# Burp - Tayanithi Ramanujem
# Mirror - Christopher Low

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#144. Upin, Ipin semakin popular

25hb Februari, 2009
Berita Harian
Nurulhisham Abdul Latiff

NUR FATHIAH (kanan) bersama karakter yang menggunakan suaranya, Upin dan Ipin.

Wajah comel bintang filem animasi ini mampu pungut hampir RM4 juta dalam tempoh dua minggu.SEHINGGA Ahad lalu, filem animasi terbitan Les' Copaque Production Sdn Bhd, Geng: Pengembaraan Bermula, sudah pun berjaya memungut RM3.7 juta selepas 11 hari tayangan.

Ia dilihat berada pada landasan yang tepat untuk mencapai matlamat syarikat berkenaan yang meletakkan angka RM5 juta sebagai kutipan sasaran. Dengan kutipan yang baik diterima sejak hari pembukaan, 12 Februari lalu, tidak mustahil pihak pempamer akan menyambung tempoh tayangan walaupun sesudah tempoh wajib tayang berakhir nanti.

Jika boleh, pengarah filem itu, Mohd Nizam Abd Razak mahu melihat Geng terus diputarkan di pawagam seluruh negara sehingga cuti sekolah bermula tidak lama lagi.

Katanya, jika tempoh tayangan filem terbabit dipanjangkan, dia berkeyakinan kutipan sasaran akan berjaya dicapai.

"Dengan sambutan baik yang diterima sehingga kini, kami percaya jumlah RM4 juta dapat dipungut dalam dua minggu. Lebih-lebih lagi, lebih banyak sesi tayangan diadakan oleh pihak pempamer pada minggu kedua," kata Nizam yang ditemui pada siri promosi filem terbabit di GSC Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur, baru-baru ini.

Ketika ini, filem yang menelan belanja sekitar RM4.2 juta untuk disiapkan itu menemui penonton di kira-kira 56 panggung seluruh negara. Ia mengambil masa dua tahun setengah untuk dihasilkan.

Menurut Nizam, Geng juga akan memasuki pasaran Indonesia pada 16 September depan. Pada tarikh yang sama, dia turut berharap filem terbabit dapat ditayangkan di Singapura dan Brunei.

"Kami terpaksa menunggu sehingga September sebelum dapat menayangkan Geng di negara luar kerana Les’ Copaque ingin membawa Geng menyertai Festival Animasi Annecy di Perancis, Jun ini. Antara syarat penyertaan ialah filem yang dicalonkan tidak boleh ditayangkan di luar negara pengeluar sebelum Jun.

"Kami sudah pun menghantar filem terbabit kepada pihak penganjur dan dalam masa beberapa bulan kami akan mendapat tahu jawapannya, sama ada ia terpilih untuk pertandingan atau sebaliknya. Rasanya, inilah kali pertama filem animasi Malaysia yang ditayangkan di panggung menyertai pertandingan ini," ujarnya.

Pada ketika ini, Les’ Copaque turut mengadakan perbincangan dengan pengedar dari Korea Selatan dan India. Permintaan juga turut diterima daripada pengedar dari Amerika Syarikat dan Argentina, hasil kunjungan syarikat terbabit ke Festival Filem Cannes di Perancis dan acara Pasaran Filem Amerika di Santa Monica.

Geng dilakonkan Amir Izwan sebagai Badrol, Balqis (Ros), Kee Yong Pin (Lim), Kannan (Rajoo) dan Nur Fathiah (Upin & Ipin).

Kisahnya bermula apabila ada sesuatu mengganggu ketenteraman Kampung Durian Runtuh. Penduduk kampung menyebarkan cerita mengenai kewujudan makhluk yang menggerunkan menjelang waktu malam, namun tiada siapa yang berani mencari kebenaran di sebalik cerita itu.

Sehinggalah Badrol, Lim serta rakan baru mereka terjerumus ke dalam misteri terbabit tanpa disengaja. Seekor haiwan aneh yang tidak diketahui asalnya, menjalin persahabatan bersama Rajoo, lantas membawa mereka mengembara jauh ke dalam hutan hujan Malaysia yang penuh dengan hidupan liar, termasuk ular gergasi mistik.

Apabila filem sulung Les’ Copaque ini menunjukkan prestasi yang baik, sudah tentu syarikat berkenaan mempunyai projek susulan, bagi menyambung kejayaan yang dicatat judul pertama mereka.

Nizam sendiri mengiyakan hakikat itu dengan memaklumkan, ketika ini dia dan pasukannya sedang membangunkan sebuah lagi projek filem animasi.

Kali ini, watak utamanya bukan lagi manusia sebagaimana dapat disaksikan menerusi Geng. Sebaliknya, watak haiwan akan mengambil alih sebagai tarikan utama, dengan watak manusia muncul sebagai pembantu saja.

"Filem kedua ini seakan hikayat lama yang diangkat ke layar lebar dengan memasukkan tema sejagat," dedah Nizam yang menganggap filem kedua itu nanti cukup berbeza daripada arahan pertamanya.

Sebagaimana Geng, projek kedua ini akan terlebih dulu menemui peminat dalam bentuk siri televisyen. Selepas dua atau tiga tahun, barulah ia muncul pula dalam versi layar lebar pula.

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Selasa, Februari 24, 2009

#143. Will Brit Film Biz Get A Post Oscars Lift?

3:50am UK,
Tuesday February 24, 2009
Jon Gripton, In Hollywood

A war of words has broken out between Britain and the US, after Slumdog Millionaire and Kate Winslet led the UK film industry to its best night at the Oscars for years.
Slumdog director Boyle: "It's just one film". It was back in 1982 that Chariots of Fire scriptwriter Colin Welland famously warned Hollywood that the "Brits are coming."

Well now they are here in force, but a senior industry figure has accused the big American studios of damaging British film-making. Peter Carlton, chief commissioning editor at Channel 4 films, has hit out at distribution deals that gave little or nothing back to independent film financiers.

“They (the studios) make sure they’re the first in line for the profits. And the second and third in line as well. It’s damaging to the whole British film industry,” he told The Times.

At a Hollywood post-Oscars lunch hosted by the UK Film Council to celebrate the achievements of British Academy winners and nominees, the mood was more positive about the future, in spite of the economic downturn.

"This year's Oscars is good news, great news, for British film making," said Chris Corbould, nominated for best visual effects for his work in The Dark Knight.

Himesh Kar, a senior executive of the UK Film Council New Cinema Fund, said: "We lead the world in creative talent, and these Oscars are very good for every facet of our film industry.

"They are really important for the way we are perceived: and America is no longer the key. Yes it is important, but so is the rest of the world."

Slumdog Millionaire, by way of example, has a British director, writer and producers, but was shot in Mumbai with a largely Indian cast.

A new film backed by the New Cinema Fund, White Lightnin', was shot in Croatia.

And Nexus Productions, which made Oscar nominated animated short film This Way Up are using the Oscars season to generate new ideas and new business while they are in Hollywood.

"The nomination gives us credibility and is already opening doors for us," said producer Charlotte Bavasso,

"Britain needs these breakout films to show the international film industry that there is a huge appetite and audience for independent British film," said Tessa Ross, controller of Slumdog producer Film4.

Cinema attendance in Britain rose last year, thanks in part to the smash Mamma Mia! But the number of feature films made in the country fell 10 percent to 111.

And with the economy in recession things won't improve anytime soon, even with 11 British Oscars on the country's mantelpiece.

Dan Jolin, features editor of movie magazine Empire, said the global economic downturn was hitting producers, especially independents, who are finding it tough to get bank loans and other financing.

"It's great that a film by a Mancunian director shot in Mumbai with a cast of unknowns can triumph," he said. "But I think the reality is the British film industry isn't in fantastic shape at the moment."

Slumdog director Danny Boyle has urged calm and realism after the euphoric night in Hollywood's Kodak Theatre.

"You’ve got to be careful of claiming that this marks the renaissance of the British film industry. It is one film," he said.

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#142. Slumdog rules

Tuesday February 24, 2009
The Star

The ‘rags-to-rajah’ tale of Mumbai’s slums took home eight Oscars.
Slumdog Millionaire took the best-picture Academy Award and seven other Oscars, including director for Danny Boyle, whose ghetto-to-glory story paralleled the film’s unlikely rise to Hollywood’s summit.

The other top winners: Kate Winslet, best actress for the Holocaust-themed drama The Reader; Sean Penn, best actor for the title role of Milk; Heath Ledger, supporting actor for The Dark Knight; and Penelope Cruz, supporting actress for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

A story of hope amid squalor in Mumbai, India, Slumdog Millionaire came in with 10 nominations, its eight wins including adapted screenplay, cinematography, editing and both music Oscars (score and song).

“Just to say to Mumbai, all of you who helped us make the film and all of those of you who didn’t, thank you very much. You dwarf even this guy,” Boyle said, holding up his directing Oscar.

The filmmakers accepted the best-picture trophy surrounded by both the adult professional actors who appeared among the cast of relative unknowns and some of the children the British director cast from the slums of Mumbai.

The film follows the travails and triumphs of Jamal, an orphan who artfully dodges a criminal gang that mutilates children to make them more pitiable beggars. Jamal witnesses his mother’s violent death, endures police torture and struggles with betrayal by his brother, while single-mindedly hoping to reunite with the lost love of his childhood. Fate rewards Jamal, whose story unfolds through flashbacks as he recalls how he came to know the answers that made him a champion on India’s version of the TV game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

As he took the stage to accept his prize for playing slain gay-rights pioneer Harvey Milk, Penn gleefully told the crowd: “You commie, homo-loving sons of guns.”

He followed with condemnation of anti-gay protesters who demonstrated near the Oscar site and comments about California’s recent vote to ban gay marriage.

Penn said: “We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone.”

For his demented reinvention of Batman villain the Joker, Ledger became only the second actor ever to win posthumously, his triumph coming exactly 13 months after the Australian actor’s death from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs.

His Oscar for the Warner Bros. blockbuster was accepted by Ledger’s parents and sister on behalf of the actor’sthree-year-old daughter, Matilda.

“I have to say this is ever so humbling, just being amongst such wonderful people in such a wonderful industry,” said his father, Kim Ledger. “We’d like to thank the academy for recognising our son’s amazing work, Warner Bros, and Christopher Nolan in particular for allowing Heath the creative license to develop and explore this crazy Joker character.”

Since his death, the 28-year-old Ledger has gained a mythic aura akin to James Dean, another rising star who died well before his time.

The Joker was his final completed role, a casting choice that initially drew scorn from fans who thought Ledger would not be up to the task given Jack Nicholson’s gleefully campy rendition of the character in 1989’s Batman.

In the months before Ledger’s death, buzz on his wickedly chaotic performance swelled as marketing for the movie centered on the Joker and the perverted clown makeup he hid behind.

Ledger’s death fanned a frenzy of anticipation for The Dark Knight, which had a record US$158.4mil opening weekend last summer.

The previous posthumous Oscar recipient was the British-Australian actor Peter Finch, who won best actor for 1976’s Network two months after his death.

Cruz triumphed as a woman in a steamy three-way affair with her ex-husband and an American woman in Woody Allen’s romance.

“Has anybody ever fainted here? Because I might be the first one,” the Spanish actress said, who went on with warm thanks to Allen. “Thank you, Woody, for trusting me with this beautiful character. Thank you for having written all these years some of the greatest characters for women.”

“OK, that fainting thing, Penelope,” Winslet joked later as she accepted her best-actress prize for The Reader, in which the British actress plays a former German concentration camp guard in an affair with a teen. “I’d be lying if I haven’t made a version of this speech before. I think I was probably eight years old and staring into the bathroom mirror, and this would be a shampoo bottle. But it’s not a shampoo bottle now.”

It was Winslet’s first win after five previous losses.

British Slumdog writer Simon Beaufoy, who adapted the script from Indian Vikas Swarup’s novel Q&A, said there are places he never could imagine being.

“For me, it’s the moon, the South Pole, the Miss World podium, and here,” Beaufoy said.

The epic love story The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which led with 13 nominations, had three wins, for visual effects, art direction and makeup.

The Dark Knight had a second win, for sound editing.

Milk writer Dustin Lance Black offered an impassioned tribute to Milk in accepting the Oscar for original screenplay.

Japan’s Departures, a film about a man who prepares bodies for burial, won the Oscar for best foreign-language film in an upset over the favoured Israeli nominee Waltz with Bashir.

“This is a new departure for me,” director Yojiro Takita said while accepting the award. “And we’ll be back, I hope.”

Man on Wire, James Marsh’s examination of French tight-rope walker Philippe Petit’s dazzling stroll between the towers of the World Trade Center in 1974, was chosen as best documentary.

The acting categories were presented by five past winners of the same awards, among them last year’s actress winners, Marion Cotillard and Tilda Swinton, plus Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman, Kevin Kline, Sophia Loren, Anthony Hopkins, Shirley MacLaine and Robert De Niro.

It was a much different style for the Oscars as each past recipient offered personal tributes to one of the nominees, without clips of the nominated performances. Awards usually are done in chit-chat style between a couple of celebrity presenters.

After last year’s Oscars delivered their worst TV ratings ever, producers this time aimed to liven up the show with some surprises and new ways of presenting awards. Rather than hiring a comedian such as past hosts Jon Stewart or Chris Rock, the producers went with Australian actor and song-and-dance man Hugh Jackman, who has been host of Broadway’s Tony Awards.

Instead of the usual standup routine, Jackman did an engaging musical number to open the show, saluting nominated films with a clever tribute.

Jackman later did a medley staged by his Australia director Baz Luhrmann with such performers as Beyonce Knowles and High School Musical stars Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron.

Slumdog Millionaire went into the evening after a run of prizes from earlier film honours. The film nearly got lost in the shuffle as Warner Bros. folded its art-house banner, Warner Independent, which had been slated to distribute Slumdog Millionaire. It was rescued from the direct-to-video scrap heap when Fox Searchlight stepped in to release the film.

Slumdog composer A.R. Rahman, a dual Oscar winner for the score and song, said the movie was about “optimism and the power of hope.”

“All my life, I’ve had a choice of hate and love,” the Indian film composer said. “I chose love, and I’m here.” – AP

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