Until Death Do Us Part - Jonas

Selasa, Februari 17, 2009

#125. Punisher : War Zone (2008)

" Vengeance Has a Name "

Tajuk Filem : Punisher : War Zone (2008)
USA/CANADA/GERMANY (Lions Gate Films, MHF Zweite Academy Film, Marvel Enterprises, Marvel Knights, Media Magik Entertainmen, Red Corner Productions, Valhalla Motion Pictures)103min Color
Genre : Aksi, Thriller, Jenayah
Tarikh Rilis : 05hb December, 2008 (USA),
Tayangan : 19hb Februari, 2009 (M'sia)
Web Filem : http://www.punishermovie.com/
Direktur : Lexi Alexander
Produser : Gale Anne Hurd
LakonLayar : Nick Santora, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway
Muzik : Michael Wandmacher
Sinematografi : Steve Gainer
Pelakon : Ray Stevenson, Dominic West, Doug Hucthison, Collin Simon, Julie Benz
Plot : Frank Castle yang dikenali sebagai Punisher meneruskan misi dendamnya membenteras jenayah sehingga terbunuh salah seorang agen FBI yang sedang menyamar sebagai penjenayah. Walaupun Frank berjaya menumpaskan ketua Mafia, Gaitano Casera namun salah seorang anggota mafia Billy Russoti berjaya melarikan diri namun berjaya dicampak oleh Punisher kedalam mesin penghancur kaca tetapi berjaya pula diselamatkan oleh konco-konconya dan setelah kecederaan dimukanya berjaya dibaiki, beliau menukar nama kepada Jigsaw dan berazam membalas dendam pada Punisher bersama bergandingan dengan adiknya yang juga pesakit otak merupakan ancaman maut buat Punisher.

Trailer :


Pesta darah kembali lagi menyimbah skrin sinema dengan aksi maut Frank Castle aka Punisher seorang vigilante (seorang yg tidak mempercayai bahawa undang-undang dapat menegakkan keadilan lalu mengambil inisiatif dan cara sendiri menghapuskan penjenayah hingga melampaui batas undang-undang). Punisher : War Zone merupakan filem ketiga dalam siri adaptasi komik keluaran Marvel berjudul The Punisher yang pertama kali diadaptasikan ke filem dengan judul yang sama pada tahun 1998 menyaksikan Dolph Lundgren sebagai Punisher kemudiannya di-reboot pada tahun 2004 dengan Thomas Jane sebagai Punisher disamping John Travolta sebagai villain (watak jahat) dan kini di-reboot sekali lagi dengan menyaksikan aktor Irish, Ray Stevenson (Rome :2005-2007) melakonkan watak Punisher manakala watak jahat dilakonkan oleh Dominic West (300 -2006). Filem ini memilih Quebec dan Montreal di Kanada sebagai lokasi pengambaran diselubungi dengan pelbagai kontroversi dan bertambah malang setelah ditayangkan hanya mampu menduduki carta pungutan terendah diantara filem adaptasi komik Marvel.

Maya berkesempatan menontonnya pada sabtu lepas dan Maya rasakan filem ini tidaklah seburuk yang ditulis diinternet dan Maya percaya bagi peminat filem aksi thriller pasti inilah filem yang dinanti-nantikan. Dari minit pertama filem diputarkan hingga keminit akhir hanya aksi pertarungan menjadi santapan mana tidaknya tirai dibuka dengan aksi Punisher bergayut atas lampu chandeliar dan dengan dua machine-gun ditangan berjaya membunuh Gaitano Casera, ketua mafia dan konco-konconya yang sedang menjamu selera, bukan itu saja berbanding filem sebelumnya, aksi gore dengan pembunuhan kejam serta percikan darah agak memualkan memenuhi ruang tayangan terutama ketika Loony Bin Jim (apakah nama ini sindiran buat Osama Bin Laden? kalau ya, Maya tak suka!) merobek perut dan memakan mentah buah pinggang juga ketika dia me-ngapak Carlos dan membunuh ibu Frank.

Biarpun tidak seburuk yang dihentam dalam internet namun Maya rasakan sedikit hambar malah disesetengah babak langsung tiada uumphh mungkin kerana hampir sama saja mesej yang ditonjolkan malah minit pertama menonton sudah dapat mengagak apa kesudahannya tema balas dendam kerana menuntut bela untuk orang tersayang, korupsi pihak berkuasa, culik menculik..uurgh bosan dengan watak Punisher yang tiada kelainan namun Maya teruja bila babak Punisher memburu Billy Russoti, mafia yang berjaya melarikan diri ketika misi dikediaman Gaitano mana tidaknya didalam gudang tempat persembunyian Billy dicampakkan kedalam mesin memproses/menghancurkan botol kaca dan Maya jangkakan ia akan mati tapi berjaya diselamatkan fuih! Dan selepas dibedah pastinya line-dialog ini tak akan Maya lupakan "From now on, my name is 'Jigsaw.' "!!! dengan kulit muka yang berjahit! mengingatkan Maya pada filem Texas Chainsaw dan Scarface.

Filem ini juga menekankan betapa rapuhnya kuasa perundangan dalam membenteras jenayah dengan korupsi berleluasa sehingga memaksa agen FBI Paul Budiansky menukar matlamat asalnya mahu menangkap Punisher sebaliknya bergandingan dengan Punisher bagi menumpaskan Jigsaw yang pada asalnya telah berjaya ditangkap namun dibebaskan setelah menukar kebebasan dengan menyerahkan Cristu Bulat, penyeludup senjata ke Arab kepada FBI. Kecewa dengan pembebasan Jigsaw, Paul mempengaruhi bapa Cristu Bulat untuk bersama-sama Punisher menumpaskan Jigsaw.
Kehadiran watak anak kecil bernama Grace (Stephanie Janusauskas) dan ibunya Angela (Julie Benz) sedikit meredakan aksi pertarungan dan membongkar rahsia lampau Punisher. Angela merupakan bekas isteri pada agen FBI yang ditembak mati oleh Punisher ketika menjalankan penyamaran sebagai mafia, biarpun Angela tidak dapat memaafkan Punisher namun akhirnya dia memaafkan setelah Punisher berjaya menyelamatkan dia dan anaknya dari menjadi mangsa Jigsaw. Maya juga tersentuh dengan momen sayu ketika Frank memandang wajah Grace anak perempuan Angela mengingatkannya pada mendiang anaknya yang mati dibunuh. Antara dialog yang menarik perhatian Maya adalah perbualan antara Grace dan Frank.
Grace : You're standing in my light
Frank Castle: [sambil memberikan lampu suluh] Here you go, Just in case if someone is standing in you light
Keseluruhannya filem ini amat ringan biarpun sarat aksi ganas dan amat sesuai bagi yang dahagakan pesta darah tanpa henti. Penonton yang baru pertama kali menonton tidak perlu gusar sekiranya tidak menonton filem Punisher sebelumnya kerana plot mudah difahami dan siapa yang perlukan kata-kata bila aksi bisa berbicara.

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#124.Oscar buzz amid gloom

This year’s batch of movies nominated for the Academy Awards collectively strikes a more uplifting chord, or at least a more introspective one, write BROOKS BARNES and DAVID CARR.

THE nominations for the 81st annual Academy Awards, which will be held on Feb 22 and hosted by actor Hugh Jackman, have lined up Big Hollywood against Little Hollywood, with a sprawling studio movie squaring off against an unusual independent film.The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the US$150 million (RM525 million) Paramount Pictures film starring Brad Pitt as a man ageing backward, picked up 13 nominations, including ones for Best Picture and Best Director.

Close behind with 10 nods, also including ones for Best Picture and Director, was Slumdog Millionaire, a Fox Searchlight entry that was filmed on a relative shoestring budget (US$15 million), had an unknown lead and was presented partly in Hindi.

Unlike last year’s competition, when a lineup of films bleak in tone and world view dominated, this year’s batch collectively strikes a more uplifting chord, or at least a more introspective one.
Other Best Picture nominees included Frost/Nixon from Universal Pictures and Milk, a Focus Features release that zeroes in on the struggle for gay rights.

“After all of the doom and gloom, and at this moment in our culture, people were perhaps looking for films that were a little different and a little more meaningful,” said Michael London, executive producer of Milk.

It received eight nominations, including a Best Actor nod for Sean Penn. The showing was a comeback for the film, which the fluffier Golden Globes had mostly ignored.

But by far the biggest coup was pulled off by the Weinstein Company with The Reader, a Holocaust-themed film focusing on a German woman with a dark secret, which grabbed the other Best Picture slot.

The Reader showed surprising strength, muscling past behemoths like The Dark Knight in the top category and securing nominations for Best Actress (Kate Winslet), Best Director (Stephen Daldry), Best Adapted Screenplay (David Hare) and Best Cinematography (Chris Menges and Roger Deakins).

Harvey Weinstein had pushed for the film to be eligible this year over objections of his erstwhile producing partner Scott Rudin, which motivated Rudin to remove his name from the movie.

The picture Rudin had been trumpeting, Revolutionary Road fared poorly, receiving only one nod in the major categories, a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Michael Shannon’s portrayal of a clear-eyed mental patient.

As always, the Oscars have the power to catapult a niche film into the mainstream and rewrite Hollywood’s pecking order. Rocketing to the top from that list were Richard Jenkins, nominated for his starring role in The Visitor, and Melissa Leo, who was nominated for Best Actress as a woman living in rural despair in the little-seen Frozen River. Each is a first-time nominee.

Leo got the news while at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, where she is doubling up in a hotel room to cut expenses. She said the Oscar buzz could help her land even better roles.

“The door already got cracked open because of the accolades for Frozen River,” she said, but thanks to the Oscar nomination, “it might just open wide, and I will go carefully and try to choose wisely and, oh, just be so happy.”

Jenkins, who at first thought his son-in-law’s father was playing a joke on him when he called to offer congratulations, said he had no idea what effect the nomination will have on his career.

“I’m 61; Brad’s not going to have to move over,” he said with a laugh, referring to his fellow Best Actor nominees.

Hollywood will be just as interested in upsets, of course, and there were a few. Clint Eastwood was not nominated for Best Actor (and his Gran Torino was shut out). Christopher Nolan failed to gain attention for his direction of The Dark Knight, and Bruce Springsteen’s composition The Wrestler was not nominated for Best Song.

That Winslet was nominated as Best Atress was not a surprise, but there were gasps in the Samuel Goldwyn Theater when the recognition came for her role in The Reader and not for her turn as an unhappy housewife in Revolutionary Road.

The blockbusters The Dark Knight and Wall-E, both considered to have good shots for Best Picture nominations, had to make do with nods in secondary categories, though Wall-E was nominated for Best Animated Film and for its original screenplay, a stunning feat for a picture with very little dialogue.

Heath Ledger was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Dark Knight.

Among the surprises, Robert Downey Jr was nominated for his comedic turn in Tropic Thunder as a self-absorbed Australian method actor who undergoes pigment alteration to play a black soldier. And in a first for the foreign-language category, attention went to an animated film, Waltz With Bashir.

Still, most of the nominations were expected. Mickey Rourke, whose portrayal of an over-the-hill athlete in The Wrestler has already won him a wheelbarrow-full of accolades, including a Golden Globe, received a Best Actor nomination.

He will square off against Penn, Jenkins, Pitt and Frank Langella, noted for his depiction of Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon.

Winslet has made much of her failure to win an Oscar despite years of critically acclaimed work and multiple nominations. She’s even joked about it, on an episode of the television series Extras a few years back.

Joining Winslet and Leo in the Best Actress category are Meryl Streep, who earned her 15th nomination (she has won twice) for her portrayal of a harsh nun in Doubt; Anne Hathaway, nominated for her role as a recovering drug addict in Rachel Getting Married; and Angelina Jolie, singled out for playing a mother searching for her son in Changeling.

Gus Van Sant, nominated for his direction of Milk, struck the cool I-didn’t-realise-nominations-were-this-morning pose. “I wasn’t that attuned to the thing. My reactions don’t bend to the gameshow style of screaming and jumping up and down.”

Another nominee for Milk, Dustin Lance Black for Original Screenplay, was not quite so put together. “The tears started when I saw that Gus was nominated, and the meltdown built from there.

“I’m just so grateful and hopeful this will get the movie’s message out to a wider audience.” he said.

What the ceremony itself will look like is also unclear, with producers promising to inject more frivolity into the proceedings to combat sinking television ratings but, so far, keeping details to themselves.

The awards show is set for broadcast on the morning of Feb 23 in Malaysia. — NYT

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#123. Cruise dan Denzel jadi 'musuh ketat' dalam 'The Matarese Circle'


"The Matarese Circle" adalah filem MGM dan kombinasi lakonan Cruise, Washington dan Cronenberg akan menjadi filem ini sesuatu yang dinanti-nantikan.

PELAKON Tom Cruise akan bergandingan dengan Denzel Washington dalam sebuah filem arahan David Cronenberg, adaptasi dari thriller Robert Ludlum 'The Matarese Circle.'
Cruise dan Washington membawa watak dua orang yang bermusuhan yang setelah menghabiskan dua dekad cuba membunuh satu sama lain.Namun pada satu hari mereka terpaksa berpadu tenaga membentaras Matarese, kumpulan yang kuat dan penuh dengan konspirasi.

Skrip filem ini dibuat oleh Michael Brandt dan Derek Haas dan akan diterbitkan oleh Lorenzo di Bonaventura dan Nick Wechsler dengan dibantu oleh syarikat baru Captive Entertainment, kepunyaan Jeffrey Weiner dan Ben Smith Captivate Entertainment sementara Henry Morrison akan jadi produser eksekutif."The Matarese Circle" adalah filem MGM dan kombinasi lakonan Cruise, Washington dan Cronenberg akan menjadi filem ini sesuatu yang dinanti-nantikan.

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#122. Oscar milik Penelope?

17hb Februari, 2009
Utusan Malaysia
SHAZRYN MOHD. FAIZAL
shazryn.faizal@utusan.com.my



SEMALAM, Hits telah menyorot kategori Pelakon Pembantu Lelaki Terbaik yang memperlihatkan saingan dan calon-calon yang bukan sembarangan meskipun, pemenangnya bagaikan sudah boleh diramal.Hari ini, Hits akan membawa pembaca budiman untuk melihat senarai calon-calon bagi kategori Pelakon Pembantu Wanita Terbaik yang mempunyai kekuatan masing-masing.

Mereka yang bertuah kali ini adalah Amy Adams yang dicalonkan menerusi lakonannya dalam filem Doubt, Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Viola Davis (Doubt), Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) dan Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler).Agak menarik untuk memperkatakan tentang kategori ini kerana berdasarkan dua acara anugerah sebelum ini iaitu Golden Globe dan Screen Actors Guild, pemenangnya adalah Kate Winslet yang memenanginya menerusi filem The Reader.

Akan tetapi, nama Kate tidak dicalonkan untuk kategori ini memandangkan beberapa pengkritik filem telah mempersoalkan kemenangan Kate dengan mengatakan dia tidak layak dicalonkan dalam kategori pembantu.

Ini adalah kerana dalam filem The Reader, dia merupakan fokus kepada jalan cerita dan justeru itu, dia adalah watak utama dalam filem berkenaan.

Dengan tiadanya nama Kate dalam senarai ini, sudah pasti lima calon yang bertanding mampu menarik nafas lega memandangkan masing-masing mempunyai peluang yang sama rata untuk membawa pulang trofi idaman ramai itu.

Berdasarkan ulasan dan ramalan pihak pengkritik di Amerika Syarikat, Penelope dilihat sebagai calon utama untuk memenangi kategori ini. Apatah lagi, dia baru sahaja dinobatkan dengan gelaran yang sama dalam anugerah BAFTA yang baru sahaja berlangsung.

Membawakan watak sebagai Maria Elena, seorang janda yang masih terperangkap dalam hubungan yang cukup kompleks bersama bekas suaminya, lakonan Penelope dilihat cukup menarik perhatian juri untuk memilihnya sebagai pemenang.

Bersahaja namun dalam masa yang sama impak yang diberikan cukup besar dalam filem arahan Woody Allen itu, ia merupakan antara lakonan terbaik Penelope sepanjang dia bergelar pelakon.

Bukan itu sahaja, filem Vicky Cristina Barcelona telah membuktikan bahawa Penelope sememangnya seorang pelakon yang cukup berbakat dan tidak hanya mempertaruhkan kejelitaannya semata-mata.

Malah, dia juga pernah menerima pencalonan Oscar pada tahun 2006 tetapi untuk kategori Pelakon Wanita Terbaik menerusi filem Volver.

Jika bukan Penelope yang menjadi pilihan, mungkin juga Oscar akan berpihak kepada Marisa yang berjaya memberikan lakonan cemerlang dalam filem The Wrestler.

Pernah memenangi kategori ini pada tahun 1992 bagi filem My Cousin Vinny, tidak mustahil untuk Marisa menerimanya untuk kali kedua.

Watak Cassidy iaitu seorang penari bogel pertengahan umur yang terlibat dalam perhubungan singkat dengan seorang ahli gusti dilihat cukup berkesan dibawakan Marisa.

Amy Adams yang juga pernah dicalonkan dalam kategori ini pada tahun 2005 juga mampu memberikan kejutan pada malam Oscar nanti.

Dicalonkan menerusi filem Doubt, Amy telah berjaya membawakan watak Sister James dengan penuh berkeyakinan sehingga pengkritik menyifatkan lakonannya merupakan antara yang terbaik pada tahun lalu.

Dalam filem Doubt, Amy merupakan seorang rahib yang baru sahaja dilantik dan tidak mempunyai sebarang pengalaman telah terlibat dalam kes yang telah mencemarkan kesucian institusi keagamaan di sebuah gereja.

Hanya kerana mempunyai pandangan yang negatif terhadap seorang paderi yang begitu mengambil berat tentang seorang pelajar, akhirnya, ia merubah menjadi satu kes yang cukup besar apabila Sister James telah melaporkannya kepada ketua rahib.

Seorang lagi pelakon filem Doubt yang dicalonkan, Viola Davis tidak kurang hebatnya. Pertama kali dicalonkan, lakonan Viola tidak seharusnya dipandang sebelah mata dan siapa tahu, rezeki mampu berpihak kepadanya pada malam bersejarah itu.

Lakonannya sebagai seorang ibu yang berdepan dengan situasi yang sungguh menyulitkan apabila mendapat tahu anaknya menjadi mangsa penderaan di sebuah gereja memang cukup dramatik.

Sebagai Queenie iaitu orang gaji kepada Benjamin Button dalam filem hebat, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, ia sememangnya cukup menyerlahkan bakat pelakon berasal dari Washington ini.

Lebih menyerlah dalam bidang televisyen sebelum ini, Taraji membuktikan bahawa dia hadir dengan bakat yang tersendiri. Sememangnya, lakonannya dalam filem berkenaan cukup berkesan dan memperlihatkan sisi lain seorang yang bernama Taraji P. Henson.

Pilihan Hits: Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona).

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Isnin, Februari 16, 2009

#120. Famous biopics on screen

16th February, 2009
The Star
JASON LIM

Our Silver Scream columnist gets introspective (and a tad self-absorbed) analysing the film biography genre as he reckons anyone could qualify for their own biopic.We've all heard the saying – “live every day like it’s your last”. On a more narcissistic and less morbid note, why not paraphrase this to make “live every day as if it’s a scene from a biopic” a new mantra to adhere to?

For those who prefer honest story-telling over the magic of make-believe in films, or better still, know how to appreciate both, many all-time favourite movies would fit in the category of the biopic.

Less literal than documentaries and more credible than fiction, good biopics are prime examples of the magnitude of inspirational material that can be produced when art imitates life. Within the parameters of a biopic, a life is examined, a unique character is recreated and the value of a person’s existence is analysed.

So if they ever made a movie about your life, what would it be like?

Before you dismiss the idea prematurely based on the assumption that you’re an insignificant nobody and pale in comparison to the likes of Gandhi and Muhammad Ali, consider the fact that at the very beginning of those stories, these two subjects of biopics were unknowns just like you and me. Movies like Erin Brockovich show us that you don’t even need significant amounts of talent or world-changing ideas to warrant having your life documented in a biopic. If we’ve learnt anything from biopics, it’s the fact that what matters is not who you are but what you do.

Optimistically speaking, once you’ve established that you want to do meaningful things with your life, you’re almost on your way to becoming biopic material. Some good biopics even forgo telling the juiciest parts of their subjects’ lives and focus on turning points in their lives that helped define who they are, such as the Motorcycle Diaries (based on Che Guevera’s life just before he became a revolutionary hero) and The Pursuit of Happyness (based on Chris Gardner’s impoverished life as a single father before going on to become a successful stockbroker). Take note of this since many of us may be just on the steps to the halls of greatness, as we embark on finding ourselves. We could already have compiled enough material to put together an interesting biopic.

Now that you’ve opened up to the idea that your life could potentially be projected onto the big screen in front of millions of people, indulge yourself further in this exercise to wonder who you would think suitable to act in your biopic.

Start off with the actor(s) who would qualify to play you. Although subjects of biopics rarely have input into the selection of the actor(s) who plays them in movies, let’s imagine that we do get to have a say about who would be in the film version of our life story. I personally would like to see a younger Joseph Gorden-Levitt (from his Third Rock from the Sun days) playing me in my teenage years followed by Ken Watanabe taking on the duty of fleshing out my adult life.

Clearly it might not be a good idea to be casting director in my own film since I might also get carried away and cast various hot actresses to play my love interests (do you reckon Zhang Zi Yi could put on a Malaysian accent?) and the entire Ocean’s Eleven to play the roles of my best friends.

Choosing actors to play real life characters is extremely tricky and we should steer clear of settling for choices based solely on their sex/box office appeal or even their close resemblances to the characters they’re playing. The actors’ skills play an immense part in bringing difficult human characters to life. An example of an excellent performance in recent biopics would be Helen Mirren’s portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in The Queen which humanised an extremely complex character who could have more easily been vilified or played as one dimensional.

Whilst having a biopic made about your life may indicate that you’ve indeed led an interesting life, it would also potentially open you up to be judged in the eyes of the world. Some biopics seek especially to do just that, such as Oliver Stone’s W. (based on George W. Bush) and Capote (based on the life of Truman Capote).

Bearing in mind Socrates’ philosophical assertion that an unexamined life is not worth living, what better way to examine your life than through the lens of its very own biopic?

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#119. Which road will Oscar take? Benjamin Button, Slumdog travel on two distinct paths

16th February, 2009
The Star
DUANE DUDEK

New Orleans is 8,870 miles from Mumbai, India, as the crow flies.

The Academy Award nominees for best picture set in those cities - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Slumdog Millionaire - are a world apart as well. There are three other contenders for best picture - The Reader, Milk and Frost/Nixon - but these two films have advantages the others do not.

The effects- and star-driven Benjamin Button, in which Brad Pitt plays a man born old who ages in reverse, has all the nominations money can buy - 13, the most of any film this year. And the zeitgeist-tapping Slumdog, about an impoverished youth in the slums of India, has a sense of global diversity, a road-less-taken populism and a string of pre-Oscar awards from film industry groups that are the equivalent of primary wins by an insurgent presidential candidate.

While the two films share themes about finding love, and each has a time-shifting structure, they are like two paths diverged in the woods.

Which one Oscar voters choose will be revealed Feb 22 when the awards are announced. But like their characters, who travel parallel paths that do not intersect (until they do), they represent antithetical trends in the business and culture of film.

While each is emotionally resonant in its own way, Slumdog offers more tears for the buck. In fact, the discrepancy in their budgets is shocking: The reported US$15 million cost of Slumdog, directed by Danny Boyle, is just one-tenth of the reported US$150 million cost of Benjamin Button, directed by David Fincher. Both directors also were nominated for an Oscar.

What Benjamin Button delivers for that kind of money are seamless special effects by technologies that were invented for the occasion.

"There's a reason this hasn't been done before," said Eric Barba, the film's visual effects supervisor.

Barba, who received an Oscar nomination for his work on the film, was fresh from London, where Benjamin Button received the visual effects award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and where the contest with Slumdog is perceived as "Hollywood vs. British independent film."

"They were not at all abashed about being biased" in favor of Slumdog," he said. The film won the BAFTA award for best picture.

In a phone interview last week, Barba patiently described the dizzying array of technologies developed over several years that were used to integrate Pitt's head and face onto aged versions of his character being played by other actors. These included: silicone life masks of different ages, created by Rick Baker and digitally scanned; "skin shaders," "created to explain to the computer how lighting and skin work"; and "contour," in which 28 cameras filmed Pitt, wearing phosphorescent green makeup, while he "basically gave a performance," which was then used to create a database of his facial gestures.

For 52 minutes and through a series of 325 effects, the character is 100 percent computer-generated onto another actor's body. Counting subtle "youthening" shots involving Cate Blanchett, there are about 1,200 visual effects in the film.

"Thank God," Barba said, Slumdog Millionaire didn't also get an Oscar nomination for visual effects.

"I'm very happy about that," he joked, because he did not have to compete with it.

But technology made Slumdog possible as well.

In a recent phone conversation, Boyle, the film's director, credited "these small digital cameras" that allowed his crew to prowl the streets of Mumbai relatively unobserved.

The cameras, he said, "are incredibly flexible and dynamic and able to capture motion that you wouldn't ordinarily be able to get because the slums are narrow and restricted places." They also created an intimacy, spontaneity and organic reality that distinguished the film and help explain its success.

"So many films are foisted upon us," said film critic Leonard Maltin, who has a show on ReelzChannel TV and will cover the Oscars for Entertainment Tonight. "But every year one or two films" - like Slumdog - "slip through as sleepers. Largely by word of mouth. And audiences like that feeling of finding that film."

Maltin said the visual effects and star-powered pedigree of Benjamin Button "shouldn't be marks against it. But Hollywood is always looking for a sure thing, and usually those sure things are built on a belief in formula and repetition, while the films that people respond to the most are original."

Boyle's reputation for originality is the result of a diverse body of work, from the heroin film Trainspotting to the plague-themed allegory 28 Days Later.

"I have this provocative theory that your first film is your best film because there's an innocence about it," Boyle said. "You don't know what you're doing and have to work your way out of it."

His genre-hopping is, in a sense, a way to make each new film the first. Boyle said he had never been to India before making Slumdog, "and nothing prepares you for it. I got the sense quite quickly that ... there was no way you were going to ... get normal things like control of continuity" while filming, or fashion what you found into what you wanted.

"You were going to have to let the place take over the film, which we did. It was alarming at times. But if you trust it" what you end up with "more than compensates for the finer details of filmmaking you might be worried about."

Controversy flared when anonymous sources charged that the children who appeared in Slumdog were exploited - something the filmmakers, who are paying for the younger actors' educations, strongly deny. Others suggested the film demonstrated a cultural naivete and filtered its story through a Western perspective.

Slumdog is very reminiscent of other Hollywood movies that tend to show India as a poor and violent country "in need of help," said Ananda Mitra, a professor at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and author of India Through the Western Lens.

Too, Mitra said, the film recycles melodramatic conventions from Bollywood films popular in the region. A scene where a train pulls away and a little girl is left behind "has been done over and over again. As I was watching it, I thought, 'How much more Bollywood can you get?'"

Mitra acknowledged that Slumdog "does do some positive things" for an American audience "ignorant of world affairs and how the world outside the U.S. looks. In this sense, it is good."

Kamal Shah of Mequon, Wisconsin, who was raised in Mumbai and moved to the United States in 1967, reacted more positively.

"I have seen many of these slum areas personally," said Shah, president of the Wisconsin Coalition of Asian Indian Organisations.

And while the plot was exaggerated, Shah said, the film does present "a realistic picture of that lifestyle."

Even Benjamin Button visual effects supervisor Barba acknowledged that Slumdog is "an amazing film."

But any momentum it has developed may be misleading, Maltin warned.

While awards for Slumdog by the Screen Actors Guild, Writers Guild of America and other groups suggest that the film is the favorite to win the Oscar for best picture, Maltin noted that such groups are much larger than the voting members in the same branches in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

And, he said, the 13 Oscar nominations for Benjamin Button suggests that "every branch of the academy responded to it strongly.

"It's a tremendous show of support," he said. "It's not to be written off lightly. It may even be the winner."

"But I do think," he added, "people have an emotional connection and response to Slumdog Millionaire."

- Copyright (C) 2009 MCT Information Services

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#118. Senario mahu jadi Lagenda

16hb Februari, 2009
Utusan Malaysia

Kebanyakan pelawak di negara ini tidak mampu menafikan kehidupan sebagai pelawak bukan sesuatu yang mudah.Berusaha mencuit hati penonton dengan pelbagai aksi spontan dan lucu, kadangkala diakui 'menjadi' tetapi kalau tidak kena gaya, pasti mengundang suara-suara nakal yang pantas melabelkan lawak mereka sebagai lawak bodoh.Nama-nama besar seperti Datuk Aziz Satar, S. Shamsudin, M. Zain, Ahmad Nisfu, A.R Tompel dan Ibrahim Din adalah antara pelawak veteran yang begitu sinonim dengan filem-filem komedi arahan Seniman Agung, Tan Sri P. Ramlee.

Menjadikan barisan pelawak trio filem-filem P. Ramlee sebagai idola, anggota kumpulan Senario, Azlee Jaafar dan rakan-rakannya meluahkan hasrat untuk menuruti jejak langkah idola mereka sebagai bintang legenda pada masa akan datang.

Optimis dengan kerjaya yang dilalui, Azlee bersama dua rakannya,Wahid dan Lan Pet Pet ketika ini selesa bergandingan sementelah penglibatan mereka kini sudah pun menjangkau usia 13 tahun.

Diam tak diam, kata Azlee, menginjak ketahun yang ke-13 menjadikan kumpulan tersebut sebagai kumpulan lawak yang berjaya mempertahankan populariti untuk satu tempoh yang lama.

"Saya percaya Senario akan jadi legenda pada masa akan datang. Dalam banyak kumpulan lawak, setakat ini Senario adalah kumpulan yang paling lama bertahan.

"Jika kami dapat pertahankan persahabatan dan mutu lakonan sampai bila-bila, saya yakin Senario boleh mencapai hasrat itu," kata Azlee mewakili rakan-rakannya ketika ditemui pada majlis pelancaran dan doa selamat filem Senario The Movie Episod 2 di Lemon Restaurant, The Mines, Serdang, Selangor, baru-baru ini.

Wahid yang turut serta dalam perbualan itu sependapat dengan Azlee.

"Pada saya, Senario sudah pun legenda. Daripada karakter lawak kanak-kanak, separa lawak dan juga yang tak lawak langsung.., semuanya kami dah buat.

"Malah ada pelawak baru yang menganggap kami sebagai mentor. Sebagai contoh, dahulu ramai yang ingin menyertai rancangan Sinaran sebab nak jadi seperti Senario," kata Wahid.

Bukan sahaja sebagai kumpulan pelawak tetapi mereka turut dikenali sebagai kumpulan penyanyi.

Sebelum lahirnya Senario, bakat anggotanya dicungkil menerusi program Sinaran Pasport Kegemilangan sekitar tahun 1995.

Disatukan sebagai sebuah kumpulan pada tahun 1996, anggota asalnya terdiri daripada Azlee, Wahid, Ilya, Hamdan dan Mazlan Pet Pet.

Biarpun menempuh pelbagai cabaran terutamanya kemunculan bakat-bakat pelawak pelapis tanah air, kumpulan itu masih lagi bertahan biarpun anggotanya kini hanya tinggal trio Azlee, Wahid dan Lan Pet Pet sahaja.

Pencapaian rating yang memberangsangkan menerusi sitkom Senario di TV3, menurut Azlee, jika tiada aral, tidak lama lagi nama Senario bakal tercatat dalam Malaysia Book Of Record kerana penghasilan siri komedi mereka adalah yang tertinggi berbanding siri komedi lain di Malaysia.

Bercerita tentang kerjaya sebagai pelawak, kata Azlee: "Bukan senang nak buat lawak dan buat orang ketawa. Pada saya, dalam banyak-banyak kerjaya, kerja sebagai pelawak adalah yang paling susah.

"Kadang-kadang risau juga jika kita buat lawak tetapi tak ada orang yang nak gelak. Bagaimanapun kami bersyukur pada Allah kerana sehingga kini kami masih berikan idea untuk terus berlawak dan kami rasa puas jika dapat membuat orang ketawa," katanya.

Sebelum ini, Senario pernah lahir dengan tiga buah album nyanyian yang memuatkan lagu-lagu hit seperti Sebelum dan Sesudah, Joget Toleh Menoleh, Zapin Usik Mengusik dan Dikir Barat Siang Malam.

Tidak ketinggalan ialah filem-filem yang mengangkat Senario sebagai pendukung utama antaranya Senario The Movie, Senario Lagi dan Lagi-lagi Senario.

Terbaru, kumpulan tersebut bakal muncul dalam filem Senario The Movie Episod 2: Beach Boys arahan pengarah yang tidak asing lagi, Ahmad Idham.

Kejayaan filem terbitan Metrowealth (MIG), Senario The Movie Episod 1 yang pertama kalinya mendapat sentuhan sutradara Ahmad Idham ternyata membuahkan hasil apabila berjaya mengaut kutipan sebanyak RM4.5 juta.

Menurut Idham, episod kedua filem arahannya yang berkonsepkan pengembaraan cinta itu bakal mengetengahkan elemen laut dan pantai.

"Setiap kali saya buat filem, yang selalu saya pastikan ialah kelainan dan saya kena percaya bahawa saya boleh buat filem yang lebih baik berbanding episod pertama.

"Seperti Senario episod pertama yang telah mendapat tempat di hati peminat, sudah tentu penonton mengharapkan sesuatu yang lebih besar sumbangannya dalam filem kali ini.

"Saya percaya bahawa ada sesuatu yang saya boleh tonjolkan untuk watak Datuk Jamali Shadat di mana saya rasa ia agak menarik," kata Idham tentang filem arahannya itu.

Selain itu, watak tiga gadis yang bakal menjadi pasangan kepada Wahid, Azlee dan Lan Pet Pet turut diwujudkan. Mereka ialah Nik Sayyidah (Mek), Maria Farida dan Marsha.

Memulakan pengambaran di sekitar Pulau Pangkor, Perak pada 9 Februari lalu, filem tersebut sekali lagi menggunakan khidmat Raja Mukhriz Raja Kamaruddin sebagai pengarah sinematografi sementara skripnya ditulis oleh Zulkeflee M. Said.

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#118. Dokudrama 13 episod

16hb Februari, 2009
Harian Metro
Nor Akmar Samudin
akmar@hmetro.com.my

PERKARA berkaitan hukum agama perlu difahami dengan baik supaya kehidupan kita diredai Allah. Sebagai umat Islam yang hidup berjiran kita juga perlu menunaikan tanggungjawab sesama manusia.Dalam hidup bermasyarakat, ada keperluan tertentu yang kita perlu laksanakan yang disebut sebagai fardu kifayah.Sehubungan itu untuk memberi lebih kefahaman kepada masyarakat Islam apa yang dikatakan fardu kifayah dan apa yang patut dilakukan,

Astro Oasis menerbitkan program Bicara Kifayah dihoskan Imam Besar Masjid Negara, Datuk Abu Hassan Din Al-Hafiz.

Program 13 episod itu mula bersiaran penghujung tahun lalu. Semua episod siap dirakam. Ia bersiaran setiap Jumaat, jam 7.30 malam.

Menurut Abu Hassan, Bicara Kifayah memaparkan adab berjiran, pengurusan jenazah, adab menziarahi orang sakit, urusan anak yatim, faraid dan hal berkaitan ekonomi.

"Program ini menceritakan kepada penonton perbezaan fardu kifayah dan fardu ain kerana barangkali ada yang masih belum tahu membezakan antara kedua-duanya. Selepas itu barulah saya mengupas topik fardu kifayah yang akan dibicarakan pada episod tersebut diikuti drama pendek untuk lebih memberi kefahaman kepada penonton.

"Bicara Kifayah adalah program bercorak dokudrama untuk menjadikan persembahannya lebih menarik. Program ini diilhamkan Pengurus Saluran Astro Oasis, Izelan Basar dan beliau memberi tanggungjawab kepada saya untuk melaksanakannya.

"Izelan tahu saya banyak buat skrip drama jadi dia berasakan lebih baik jika diselitkan sedikit drama dalam program itu. InsyaAllah program ini akan disambung kerana mendapat sambutan baik terutama pada episod pertama dan kedua yang memaparkan mengenai pengurusan jenazah kerana selama ini ramai kurang faham cara pengurusan jenazah yang sempurna.

"Bagaimanapun topik mengenai kifayah agak terhad tidak seperti fardu ain. Jika program ini disambung saya akan kekalkan konsep sama tetapi diberi tajuk baru, Bicara Ahkam (Hukum).

"Misalnya hukum menutup aurat, termakan duit haram atau duit hasil curi dan puja kubur. Setiap topik akan dibahas berdasarkan al-Quran, nas dan dalil," katanya ketika berkunjung ke Balai Berita.



Sebelum ini Abu Hassan muncul dalam program Bicara Haji, Bicara Sunnah, menjadi panel Jemputan Umrah, Forum Perdana Hal Ehwal Islam, Al Kulliyah, Al Halakah dan program televisyen di Singapura dan Brunei. Program terbaru, Tanyalah Ustaz yang dipancarkan di TV9, setiap Jumaat, Sabtu dan Ahad, jam 7 hingga 8 pagi.

"Kemunculan ahli panel dalam Program Tanyalah Ustaz secara bergilir dan khabarnya kemunculan saya berjaya menambah jumlah penonton. Penonton suka program bual bicara yang disiarkan secara langsung kerana mereka boleh menghubungi terus ahli panel.

"Saya ingin cadangkan kepada Astro Oasis untuk menerbitkan program serupa demi mendidik masyarakat," katanya.

Menyorot pembabitan Abu Hassan dalam penulisan skrip, jelas Abu Hassan beliau bermula dengan drama radio bersama Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM). Waktu itu Atondra menjadi pengawal drama RTM dan beliau Hassan banyak belajar daripadanya.

"Saya jadi bagus dalam penulisan skrip kerana tunjuk ajar Atondra. Saya pernah tulis skrip Drama Minggu Ini untuk RTM. Selepas itu saya terus berdakwah menerusi drama.

"Yang terbaru saya buat skrip untuk drama Astro Oasis iaitu Jazauzna, Taqarrub dan Meniti Senja.

"Bukan semua skrip saya berdasarkan kisah benar tetapi setiap karya saya mempunyai mesej. Saya berdakwah menerusi drama sebab itu skrip saya banyak membabitkan soal moral dan kekeluargaan. Skrip terbaru, Suara Dari Kubur untuk Astro Prima.

"Dalam berkarya saya suka bekerja dengan Jurey Latif kerana saya tahu kemampuannya. Jurey faham apa saya mahukan. Jika ada masa saya akan ke lokasi untuk memastikan jalan cerita dan apa yang ingin saya sampaikan tidak lari.

"Sebelum ini saya pernah menyerahkan skrip saya kepada pengarah lain. Kecewa saya kerana cerita itu jadi lain tetapi apa daya saya. Bekerja dengan Jurey dia memberi kebebasan kepada saya untuk menyunting drama itu dan saya boleh tambah mana yang patut. Jurey faham cara saya.

"Saya tak mahu pengarah menyampaikan mesej salah kepada masyarakat. Saya juga tidak berapa gemar banyak paparan cerita seram di televisyen yang merosakkan minda kanak-kanak. Penonton cilik ini memang suka tengok cerita sebegitu tetapi sudahnya ia melekatkan dalam minda minda mereka dan jadi penakut sehingga hendak ke tandas pun perlu berteman," katanya.

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#117. Tak rugi buat filem Senario

16hb Februari, 2009
Berita Harian
Farihad Shalla Mahmud
farihad@bharian.com.my




David belanja besar untuk sambungan filem Senario The Movie Episode 2

KEJAYAAN membuat kutipan kasar sebanyak RM4.5 juta tahun lalu ditambah perjanjian awal untuk menerbitkan filem Senario sebanyak tiga episod mendorong Metrowealth Movie Production (MMP) menerbitkan sebuah lagi filem sekuel iaitu Senario The Movie Episode 2: Beach Boys. Biarpun sebelum ini ramai yang mempertikaikan apakah kumpulan trio ini masih lagi mempunyai taring kerana sudah lebih sedekad mereka berada dalam bidang anak seni, namun kejayaan filem itu mencapai tahap pecah panggung membuktikan Senario masih belum ada pencabarnya.

Malahan kejayaan itu membuatkan kepercayaan penerbit filem ini, David Teo terhadap kumpulan Senario terus kukuh sehingga sanggup berkorban wang ringgit demi kumpulan ini. Buktinya, untuk filem terbaru yang diarahkan Ahmad Idham ini, David sanggup mengeluarkan belanja yang agak besar.

Bukan kenyataan sembarangan tetapi perkara ini diakui sendiri David pada majlis pelancaran filem Senario The Movie Episode 2:Beach Boys, di Seri Kembangan, Selangor baru-baru ini.

“Untuk filem ini kita mengeluarkan belanja yang agak besar berbanding terdahulu. Jika filem pertama bajet kita RM1.5 juta, kali ini jumlahnya meningkat menjadi RM1.7 juta. Ini kerana dalam filem ini kita juga menampilkan tiga pelakon wanita yang menjadi pasangan kepada Senario.

“Menambah bilangan pelakon, selain watak utama sudah pasti sedikit sebanyak turut meningkatkan kos. Tapi tak apa, kerana saya percaya untuk hasilkan filem yang baik, kita tidak perlu terlalu berkira,” kata David.

Tambahnya, walaupun keadaan ekonomi tidak begitu memberangsangkan ketika ini, namun perkara itu bukanlah persoalan utama untuk dia mengurangkan perbelanjaan bagi pembikinan filem ini.

“Bagi saya filem Senario Episod 1 sudah meletakkan satu tanda aras cukup tinggi dan mencapai kutipan tahap pecah panggung. Jadi sebagai penerbit, saya harus meningkatkan lagi kualiti sedia ada atau sekurang-kurangnya kekalkan apa yang sudah kita sajikan kepada penonton.

“Jadi sebab itu saya tidak kisah mengeluarkan peruntukan lebih untuk filem ini kerana kita tidak mahu peminat kecewa apabila hanya filem pertama saja yang bagus manakala untuk bahagian berikutnya, kita buat ala kadar saja. Saya mahu jadi seorang produser yang bertanggungjawab,” jelas David memperlihatkan kesungguhannya.

Selain Datuk Jamali Shadat, Azlee, Wahid dan Lan Pet Pet memegang watak utama, filem ini juga turut didukung oleh Maria Farida, Marsha, Nik Sayyidah, Riezman Khuzaimi dan Munir.

Ditanya apakah ada potensi untuk filem Senario akan disambung lagi sekiranya filem ini terus mendapat sambutan menggalakkan, David berkata sebagai penerbit filem, dia tidak menghadapi masalah untuk meneruskan kerjasama itu namun bersyarat.

“”Dalam kontrak kita cuma ada tiga episod. Namun kalau selepas ini hendak buat sampai 10 episod pun saya tak kisah asalkan mereka kekal dengan keadaan sikap seperti sekarang, tak buat perangai dan boleh terus beri kerjasama dengan produksi saya,’ tegasnya.

Mengenai kemunculan Senario dalam filem Jangan Pandang Belakang Congkak terbitan MIG yang dilihat boleh memberi kesan kepada jenama filem Senario itu sendiri, David tidak melihat perkara itu sedemikian.

“Dalam filem ini, kami mengundang Azlee dan Lan Pet Pet saja untuk berlakon. Jadi saya tidak rasa ia boleh mengelirukan penonton di kemudian hari,” katanya.

Mengulas lanjut tema filem ini, Ahmad berkata untuk Senario Episod 2, dia mengetengahkan tema pengembaraan cinta yang sebelum in i jarang diketengahkan dalam filem tempatan.

“Jika sebelum ini kami memaparkan mengenai biografi kumpulan Senario sebelum mereka menjadi terkenal seperti sekarang, kali ini kita bawakan kisah percutian mereka di sebuah pulau yang akhirnya membawa kepada tragedi.

“Dalam filem ini nanti, mereka akan mempunyai pasangan masing-masing. Di situlah nanti akan berlaku konflik dan pelbagai kejadian lucu terjadi,” katanya sambil memberitahu filem ini menjalani penggambaran sebanyak 95 peratus di Pulau Pangkor, Perak.

Program diiktiraf MBOR

LEBIH sedekad mengharungi hidup sebagai anak seni, nampaknya bintang kumpulan yang dicungkil bakatnya menerusi program Sinaran Pasport Kegemilangan terus mengerdip sehingga kini. Pelbagai kumpulan lawak seperti mereka, datang dan pergi namun Senario masih kekal di situ tanpa sebarang pengganti.

Malahan, populariti mereka tetap utuh di kalangan kanak-kanak hinggalah yang sudah berumur. Program televisyen mereka juga masih bertahan sehingga kini.

“Kami bersyukur dengan apa yang dikurniakan kepada kami. Kami harap, Senario akan terus bertahan sampai bila-bila. Mungkin apabila kami sudah tiada lagi, kami harap peminat terus ingat seperti mana mereka mengenang Bujang Lapok. Kami mahu menjadi lagenda dalam industri seni,” ujar Azlee.

Bukan mahu mendabik dada, sebaliknya Azlee berkata dia terharu kerana ketika ini masih ada insan yang menghargai bakat dan usaha mereka sebagai anak seni apabila program Senario yang disiarkan di TV3 sejak 12 tahun lalu bakal mendapat pengiktirafan.

“Saya dapat tahu program Senario itu bakal dimasukkan dalam Malaysian Books Of Records (MBOR) sebagai program paling lama ditayangkan di Malaysia. Pengiktirafan itu sudah cukup bermakna buat kami,” katanya yang akan menampilkan komedi lebih matang dalam filem ini.

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Sabtu, Februari 14, 2009

#116.Watchmen : Tales of The Black Freighter and Under the Hood


The comic-within-a-comic tells the tale of a castaway's mental and physical deterioration and damnation as he tries to intercept a ghost freighter headed for his hometown.



"Tales of the Black Freighter" will get released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 24, 2009, it will include an animated adaptation of the comic Tales of the Black Freighter within the story, starring Gerard Butler (300, Phantom Of The Opera) and the documentary Under the Hood, detailing the older generation of superheroes from the film's back-story. It also includes the first chapter of the “Watchmen” motion comic, and a first look at the “Green Lantern” direct-to-DVD animated feature. Meanwhile, those who pick up the Blu-ray edition of this will get the Blu-ray exclusive featurette “The Why of the Watchmen” by Zack Snyder, and “The Two Bernies” which features a scene from “Watchen” not seen in theaters.

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#115. UK entry ban on producer of film against Islam

By Our Special Correspondent
Source : http://www.dawn.com

LONDON, Feb 12: Despite the severe opposition by Lord Ahmed and Muslim community leaders, the controversial film ‘Fitna’ was screened at House of Lords on Thursday but in the absence of its producer Geert Wilders who has been banned from entering Britain by the government.

Though the religious and emotional feelings of Muslim community was badly hurt by the screening of the movie but Britain’s first Muslim minister Shahid Malik, Lord Nazir Ahmed and other Muslim community leaders have appreciated the government for not allowing Dutch MP Geert Wilders to land in London and they commented that the timely action by the UK government had saved the British society once again from a big controversy.

“It is a matter of great satisfaction that all three major political parties decided to keep them aloof this controversy,” commented Muslim leaders.

Justice Minister Shahid Malik said UK government opposed extremism in all its forms and Wilders’ message of hatred had no place in the UK.

He said: “The legislation we have introduced will stop those individuals who wish to come to the UK to spread their message of extremism and hatred. Mr Geert is someone who has a pathological hatred of Islam and his presence in the UK would be extremely provocative and completely unacceptable.”

Lord Ahmed welcomed the Home Secretary’s decision to exclude Geert Wilders MP from the UK.

He said: “This man is facing serious charges of inciting hatred and discrimination in Amsterdam, and has incited hatred amongst the communities in the UK.

The BNP and other fascist groups have bombarded my office with abusive, threatening emails and telephone calls, and have abused my staff also.

“The film already is accessible via the internet, and therefore there is little we can do to stop parliamentarians here in the UK from viewing the film. I have made my views clear to the Black Rod, the House authorities and the Leader of the House. This film creates hatred and further segregates communities.”

Britain banned the entry of the controversial right-wing Dutch politician on Tuesday. Geert Wilders had been invited by the by UK Independence Party peer Lord Pearson to show the anti-Islam film and hold a Q&A session in parliament.

The Home Office said there was a blanket ban on Mr Wilders entering the UK under EU laws enabling member states to exclude someone whose presence could threaten public security.

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#114. David masih yakini Senario

14hb Februari, 2009
Harian Metro
Elrafaei Sapi
ahmadelrafaei@hmetro.com.my

IDEA produser David Teo untuk menghasilkan tiga filem yang dijayakan kumpulan Senario pada mulanya mengundang persoalan sama ada filem versi baru ini berjaya atau tidak ?Ada yang berpandangan Senario tidak lagi berada di kemuncak kegemilangan selepas filem kelima mereka, Senario Pemburu Emas Yamashita ditayangkan tiga tahun lalu.

Namun, David sebaliknya yakin Senario masih kekal sebagai kumpulan pelawak nombor satu negara dan mempunyai ramai peminat. Atas keyakinan itu, dia memberi peluang kepada anggota Senario iaitu Wahid Mohd, Azlee Jaafar dan Mazlan Ahmad untuk bekerjasama menerusi filem Senario The Movie: Episode 1 yang menemui penonton tahun lalu. Nyata, percaturan David menjadi hingga mengaut keuntungan RM4.5 juta.

Menerusi Senario The Movie: Episode 2 Beach Boys yang mula menjalani penggambaran 9 Februari lalu di Pulau Pangkor, Perak, David sanggup membelanjakan wang RM1.7 juta untuk pembikinan filem sekuel kedua ini. Berbanding filem Senario pertamanya, kos filem kali ini meningkat RM50,000.

Kata David, kos terpaksa ditambah kerana tiga pelakon pembantu filem ini iaitu Maria Farida, Marsha AF3 dan Nik Sayyidah mempunyai 30 adegan, menyamai Senario dengan 40 adegan.

Walaupun kos meningkat tetapi dia berasakan pelaburan seperti ini perlu untuk menjadikan filem ini mempunyai tarikan baru.

"Seperti yang pernah saya katakan, kejayaan Senario The Movie: Episod 1 umpama besi karat jadi emas. Lalu, untuk mempertahankan status Senario, saya perlu lakukan sesuatu yang dapat memberi tarikan baru pada filem ini. Walaupun tiga pelakon pembantu ditampilkan menerusi filem ini tetapi bayaran mereka menyamai pelakon utama.

"Saya juga yakin dengan sambutan filem kedua ini kerana sebelum ini perancangan dibuat rapi. Sebagai produser, saya tidak mahu fikir lakonan filem ini hanya cukup dengan kemunculan tiga anggota Senario saja. Sukar sebenarnya untuk mempertahankan populariti Senario menerusi filem dan ia tanggungjawab berat buat saya.

"Ikut kontrak, Senario mempunyai tiga filem bersama saya. Jika mereka jaga perangai, saya yakin Senario terus diterima peminat. Soal komedi, ia tidak mengira umur dan walaupun pelakon itu sudah berkahwin, ia bukan isu kerana mereka boleh berlawak sampai tua.

"Namun, tahun ini adalah paling mencabar buat saya untuk menghasilkan filem baru kerana kegawatan ekonomi menyaksikan ramai yang dibuang kerja dan harga bahan asli seperti getah juga jatuh.

" Bagaimanapun, golongan pertengahan sebenarnya masih berminat untuk menonton filem kita di pawagam. Filem saya mempunyai kekuatan dan mampu bersaing dengan filem lain apabila ditayangkan kelak," katanya.

Bagi pengarah filem ini, Ahmad Idham Ahmad Nadzri, plot cerita filem sekuel kali ini adalah sambungan kisah kehidupan anggota Senario yang bekerja di Zoo Negara kemudian pergi bercuti di sebuah pulau. Lalu, pelbagai peristiwa berlaku di sana hingga bekas kekasih Azlee iaitu Qasidah diculik.

"Dulu, kisah tertumpu pada biografi tiga watak ini tetapi kini mereka melalui kisah pengembaraan cinta. Sebanyak 95 peratus penggambaran dilakukan di Pulau Pangkor dan elemen komedi situasi ditampilkan menerusi perjalanan tiga watak ini di sana.

"Berbeza dengan Wahid dan Mazlan, karakter Azlee lebih serius tetapi aksinya tetap memberikan komedi pada penonton. Tiga watak pembantu diperkenalkan untuk menambah tarikan pada cerita kali ini," katanya.

Azlee pula mengakui melakonkan karakter komedi adalah tugas paling sukar walaupun mempunyai banyak pengalaman sebagai pelawak sebelum ini. Katanya, usaha Senario membuatkan penonton gelak menjadi cabaran besar tetapi mereka akan berasa puas bila penonton terhibur.

"Saya masih gembira dengan apa yang saya lakukan dan syukur dengan anugerah Tuhan pada saya. Setakat ini, kami masih mendapat sokongan peminat dan ia dapat dilihat daripada program bersiri Senario di TV hingga filem yang mencatat kutipan box office.

"Saya pernah berkata pada anggota Senario yang lain, jika kita jaga persahabatan sebagai satu keluarga, saya percaya satu hari nanti Senario akan menjadi legenda. Buat masa ini, Senario dalam proses untuk disenaraikan dalam Malaysia Book Of Records sebagai kumpulan pelawak yang mempunyai program TV bersiri terpanjang iaitu dari 1996 hingga kini.

"Kami berharap ia menjadi kenyataan dan Senario diiktiraf sebagai kumpulan pelawak nombor satu negara. Meskipun ada lawak, kami dikatakan sama tetapi ia sebenarnya bukan secara tepat. Namun, ada juga komedi yang berpatah balik pada komedi asal," katanya.

Wahid berkata perbincangan antara produser dengan pengarah sebelum penggambaran bermula penting agar lakonan memberi kesan pada penonton. Menerusi skrip, mereka dapat membayangkan komedi bagaimana yang harus dilakonkan.

"Tidak mungkin Senario lupakan komedi kerana ia adalah asal usul kumpulan kami ditubuhkan. Sebagai pelakon, kami mahu kembangkan lakonan kami agar lebih memberi kepuasan pada diri dan penonton. Kami sendiri percaya pengarahan Idham berjaya membawakan cerita kami dengan menarik walaupun ada adegan sebenar ketika saya bersama Hamdan dan Ilya dulu ketika mula hadir pada uji bakat satu program TV terpaksa disorokkan.

"Ramai yang tanya pada saya mengenai adegan itu itu hingga saya terpaksa tahan malu. Bagaimanapun, saya berpendapat Idham tahu apa yang penonton mahukan kerana dia juga adalah pelakon seperti kami," katanya.

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#113. Tiga filem cinta menarik di TV2

14hb Februari, 2009
Utusan Malaysia



PELBAGAI cara dilakukan oleh masyarakat bagi menyatakan rasa cinta. Lebih-lebih lagi bulan Februari yang dianggap sebagai bulan penuh kasih sayang.Justeru kepada anda yang merancang untuk meluangkan momen-momen indah di rumah hujung minggu ini, Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) menjanjikan tiga filem menarik bertemakan cinta.

Menerusi Dunia Ria TV2, dua filem Inggeris yang dijanjikan ialah Intolerable Cruely yang bakal bersiaran 10 malam ini dan The Prince And Me pada 15 Februari (esok) pukul 3 petang.

Selain filem Inggeris, kepada RTM turut tidak menghampakan para peminat filem Tamil dengan menjanjikan siaran filem Sillunu Oru Kaadhal juga ditayangkan esok bermula pukul 12 tengah hari.

Intolerable Cruelty mengisahkan, Miles Massey, seorang peguam duda di Los Angeles yang memiliki segala-galanya termasuklah senarai nama pelanggan di kalangan golongan ternama.

Miles yang juga seorang peguam yang memegang rekod kemenangan yang tinggi di mahkamah mula berasa bosan dengan kejayaan yang dianggapnya mampu dimiliki secara mudah. Oleh itu dia mula tercari-cari sesuatu yang lebih mencabar.

Ketika itu, muncul Marylin Rexroth bakal isteri kepada pelanggannya Rex Rexroth, seorang pembangun hartanah yang kaya raya.

Kerana kemahiran yang dimiliki Miles yang mewakili pihak lawan di mahkamah, Marylin kalah dalam sebuah kes dan merancang untuk membalas dendam terhadap Miles.

Filem The Prince And Me pula berkisarkan kehidupan pelajar di sekitar Universiti Winconsin.

Eddie yang merupakan pewaris kerajaan Denmark serta pelajar dari Universiti Edvard baru sahaja ditukarkan ke universiti itu.

Kelakuan pelik Eddie menarik perhatian Paige Morgan, anak gadis kepada seorang peladang di kawasan tersebut.

Hubungan baik mereka berlarutan sehingga membuahkan rasa cinta dan berjaya dihidu oleh wartawan.

Tidak lama selepas itu, disebabkan masalah kesihatan bapanya yang tidak memuaskan, Eddie terpaksa pulang ke negaranya.

Menyedari Eddie adalah cinta sejatinya, Paige mengambil keputusan meninggalkan kerjayanya demi menjejaki Eddie di Copenhagen.

Mengisi slot Spice of India, filem Sillunu Oru Kaadhal mengisahkan gadis kampung bernama Kundavi.

Dia memiliki dua orang rakan karib sejak dari bangku sekolah lagi. Namun, mereka terpisah setelah rakan-rakannya berkahwin dan berpindah.

Bapa Kundavi menjodohkannya dengan Goutham, seorang ketua mekanik yang berjaya. Biarpun pada awalnya mereka tidak saling menyintai tetapi mereka hidup bahagia bersama seorang anak perempuan berusia lima tahun.

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#112. @Sinepleks: Demam Academy ke-81 bermula

14hb Februari, 2009
Berita Harian
Nurulhisham Abdul Latiff

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button bakal jadi tumpuan pengkritik filem

DILIHAT sebagai calon pilihan pada Anugerah Academy Ke-81, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button sudah semestinya sebuah filem yang kuat, bukan hanya dari segi pengarahan, lakonan, cerita dan sinematografi, malah solekan serta rekaan pakaiannya juga mengagumkan. Maka tidak hairanlah apabila kesemua aspek itu mendapat perhatian juri Academy.

Lebih membanggakan, filem arahan David Fincher yang sebelum ini pernah tampil bersama Se7en, The Fight Club, Panic Room dan Zodiac ini rata-rata mendapat kritikan positif daripada penulis filem antarabangsa.

Ditayangkan penghujung tahun lalu di Amerika, sebanyak 79 kali filem terbabit muncul dalam senarai Top 10 daripada 286 kritikan berbeza bagi tahun 2008.

Menurut CriticsTop10, filem ini muncul dalam lebih 136 kritikan filem Top 10, dengan 12 daripadanya mengisi kedudukan pertama. Ia juga diletakkan pada kedudukan keenam daripada segi kemunculan dalam kritikan filem 10 terbaik.

Dari sudut itu saja sudah membayangkan betapa filem yang dibuat bersumberkan cerita pendek tulisan F Scott Fitzgerald pada 1921 itu mendapat tempat yang baik di kalangan penulis filem, seterusnya muncul calon pilihan untuk menggondol beberapa Oscar pada majlis anugerah paling berprestij di dunia.

Peminat juga memberikan sambutan baik kepada filem ini apabila kutipannya sudah pun menjangkau RM564 juta di seluruh dunia.

Filem yang memulakan produksi sekitar November 2006 itu dibintangi bintang hebat seperti Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett serta Julia Ormond. Turut menjayakannya ialah Taraji P. Henson, Tilda Swinton, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, Jared Harris, Jason Flemyng dan ramai lagi.

Filem The Curious Case of Benjamin Button mengisahkan seorang lelaki dilahirkan dengan keadaan yang cukup luar biasa. Benjamin Button dilahirkan pada usia 80 tahun. Berbeza dengan insan lain di sekelilingnya, semakin dia dewasa semakin bertambah muda.

Diletakkan dalam kategori drama fantasi, ia bukan saja bercerita mengenai perjalanan hidup Benjamin itu sendiri, yang dibuang bapanya ketika masih bayi. Malah filem ini melihat kepada beberapa karakter yang wujud di sekitar kehidupan lelaki terbabit.

Antaranya seorang wanita kulit hitam yang mengambilnya sebagai anak angkat, seorang wanita tua yang mengajarnya bermain muzik, seorang lelaki Afrika yang memperkenalkannya kepada dunia luar, serta seorang kapten yang membawanya mengenali dunia sebenar termasuk Peperangan Dunia Kedua.

Tidak dilupakan tentunya kisah cinta Benjamin sendiri dengan sekurang-kurangnya dua wanita yang dilihat begitu bererti. Pada awalnya muncul Tilda Swinton sebagai Elizabeth Abbott, isteri seorang pegawai tinggi British yang menjalinkan hubungan cinta dengannya.

Kemudian hadir Cate Blanchett sebagai Daisy Fuller, wanita yang dicintai lelaki itu sejak awal hingga akhir.

Pertemuan yang berlaku ketika Daisy masih kanak-kanak (begitu juga dengan Benjamin, walaupun dalam fizikal yang begitu tua) berlarutan sehingga ke akhir cerita. Oh! ya, jangan lupa sediakan tisu kerana penghujungnya memang menusuk jiwa.

Brad Pitt sendiri menampilkan lakonan yang memberangsangkan, sebagai lelaki yang dilahirkan amat luar biasa. Penonton akan dapat melihat perubahan wataknya, daripada lelaki berusia 80 tahun sehingga usianya sekarang, seterusnya menjadi bayi dalam dukungan. Solekan yang hebat membolehkan aktor itu melihat sendiri bagaimana rupanya nanti, kira-kira 34 tahun dari sekarang.

Taraji yang memegang watak ibu angkatnya pula mencuri perhatian dengan lakonan meyakinkan. Tidak hairanlah apabila namanya turut tersenarai sebagai calon akhir Pelakon Pembantu Wanita Terbaik pada Anugerah Academy, 23 Februari ini (tarikh di Malaysia).

Di negara ini, filem The Curious Case of Benjamin Button mula ditayangkan pada 12 Februari.

Info

Pencalonan The Curious Case of Benjamin Button pada Anugerah Academy Ke-81:

Filem Terbaik

Pengarah Terbaik: David Fincher

Pelakon Lelaki Terbaik: Brad Pitt

Pelakon Pembantu Wanita Terbaik: Taraji P. Henson

Lakon Layar Adaptasi Terbaik: Eric Roth

Sinematografi Terbaik: Claudio Miranda

Suntingan Filem Terbaik

Skor Asal Terbaik: Alexandre Desplat

Arahan Seni Terbaik

Rekaan Pakaian Terbaik

Solekan Terbaik

Adunan Bunyi Terbaik

Kesan Visual Terbaik



Carta pecah panggung:

1 - Ong Bak 2

2 - The Pink Panther 2

3 - Look For A Star

4 - Sifu And Tangga

5 - Naan Kadavul

6 - Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans

7 - All's Well End's Well 2009

8 - The Wedding Game

9 - Red Cliff Part 2

10 - Inkheart

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#111. Mesti Tonton: Telatah Upin, Ipin tak membosankan

14hb Februari, 2009
Berita Harian
Rozdan Mazalan
rozdan@bharian.com.my



SETIAP aspek yang dipaparkan menerusi filem pertama terbitan Les'Copaque Production Sdn Bhd ini mendapat penelitian yang cukup rapi daripada 40 animator tempatan. Sebenarnya pembabitan tenaga kreatif dalam filem ini adalah sesuatu yang patut kita banggakan.Hasil kerja atau kreativiti mereka bukan saja dilihat sempurna dari segi teknikal malahan adunan elemen yang kompleks turut diserapkan menjadikan filem ini hampir sehebat filem animasi barat.

Patut juga kita kagumi kerana filem Geng: Pengembaraan Bermula ini mempunyai jati diri, terutama dalam memaparkan budaya ketimuran.

Sekalipun kos yang dilaburkan agak rendah berbanding filem animasi barat, filem ini masih lagi berjaya menyajikan kualiti yang diharapkan.

Elemen seram, thriller (suspen), dramatik dan lucu yang semuanya dapat dirasai menerusi kesan bunyi dan suara yang mantap turut menaikkan mood penonton yang menontonnya.



Tambahan permainan cahaya, warna, latar, jalan cerita, watak dan perwatakan adalah kesempurnaan yang dapat dilihat dalam Geng Pengembaraan Bermula...

Filem yang mengambil tempoh masa tayangan selama 90 minit ini turut mendapat usaha sama daripada Multimedia Development Corporatian (MDeC), Mimos Bhd dan Kementerian Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi yang mengiktiraf filem ini sebagai pencetus kepada penerbitan filem animasi tempatan.

Filem edaran Grand Brilliance Sdn Bhd (GB) ini mengisahkan pengembaraan Badrol, Lim, Rajoo, Ros, Upin dan Ipin yang tersesat di dalam hutan.

Badrul dan Lim yang baru saja sampai ke kampung Durian Runtuh untuk berjumpa datuknya berhajat untuk melihat suasana kampung di samping meninjau dusun durian datuknya. Badrul dan Lim ditemani Rajoo untuk ke dusun. Upin dan Ipin yang mengetahui hajat mereka untuk ke dusun turut sama mengikutinya.

Ros yang pada mulanya ingin mencari adiknya Upin dan Ipin turut sama dalam perjalanan mereka ke dusun.

Pengembaraan mereka bermula apabila Rajoo, Upin dan Ipin ternampak seekor binatang yang pelik sedang membawa durian. Mereka mengekori sehingga tersesat ke dalam hutan. Badrul, Lim dan Ros mula mencari dan turut sama tersesat di dalam hutan.

Semuanya terpaksa menghadapi pelbagai cabaran di dalam hutan apabila bertembung dengan pelbagai makhluk yang ingin mengecam mereka. Apakah dan siapakah makhluk itu yang sebenar?

INFO

Filem: Geng: Pengembaraan Bermula...

Genre: Animasi

Pengarah: Mohd Nizam Abdul Razak

Watak: Badrol, Lim, Rajoo, Ros, Upin dan Ipin

Tayangan: 12 Februari

Terbitan: Les'Copaque Production Sdn Bhd

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Jumaat, Februari 13, 2009

#110. Franklyn Poster



Fantastic Italian posters for the upcoming slick looking sci fi fantasy film FRANKLYN. Franklyn is an upcoming British film written and directed by Gerald McMorrow in his feature debut. Produced by Jeremy Thomas, the film stars Ryan Phillippe, Eva Green and Sam Riley. Filming took place in London in the fourth quarter of 2007. Franklyn held its world premiere at the 52nd London Film Festival on 16 October 2008. The film will be released in the United Kingdom on 27 February 2009, with a release date for the United States yet to be set.The film follows four interconnected storylines, one of which sees Ryan Phillippe as a masked vigilante detective looking for justice in the futuristic Meanwhile City, another of which see Eva Green as an artist carrying out suicidal art projects and the third and fourth of which see other people doing sci fi fantasy stuff.

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#109. Oscar fever at the movies

13th February, 2009
Malay Mail
Anu Venugopal

As Hollywood gets ready to pay tribute to sterling performances in the forthcoming Academy Awards on Feb 22, movie fans will get the chance to watch Oscar nominated movies at Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC).From Feb 19 to March 4, selected Oscar nominated movies will be screened at GSC Mid Valley, GSC Pavillion KL, GSC 1Utama and GSC Gurney Plaza.

Movie fans here can get into the hype of the Oscars by competing in GSC’s “Oscar Winning Prediction” contest online.Simply log on to www.gsc.com.my and predict the winners of the following categories: Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress; Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Animated Feature Film, Best Cinematography and Best Music (Score).

Complete the slogan “My best Oscar moment is ... (in less than 15 words)” and get a chance to win an Oscar Movie Goodie Bag, GSC Movie vouchers as well as other premiums by GSC. The contest started on Feb 5 and all entries must be submitted online before Feb 18.

Catch the likes of Slumdog Millionaire, nominated for seven awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Original categories.

The highly anticipated movie is scheduled to be screened in participating GSC cinemas from today.

Popular Hollywood couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have movies nominated for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Changeling.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is nominated for seven awards including Best Actress, Best Cinemato-graphy’and Best Art Direction while Jolie’s Changeling is nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Cinematography at the Oscars.

These movies will be sold at normal ticket prices while older movies like The Dark Knight, Tropic Thunder and animation movies Bolt and Wall-E will be sold at RM5 each.

Starting from Feb 19, movie goers who purchase four tickets for the movie Bolt from the participating cinemas will receive a complimentary Bolt boxed notepad, while stocks last.

Also, watch out for upcoming Oscar nominees; The Reader starting on March 5, Revoluntionary Road on April 16 and Frost/Nixon on April 30.

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#108. Love limited

13th February, 2009
The Star
MUMTAJ BEGUM

Love is a many-splendoured thing ... apparently. And on television, it can be so much more ... fact!

IT’S that time of the year again when couples frantically declare their love for each other via some commercial means. Some well-meaning souls will try to come up with a creative way of making their love known, like preparing a candlelight dinner from scratch, sending something unique bunched together instead of flowers, etc.

In the fictional world of television, Valentine’s Day has always provided a good subplot to move a story arc – the idea of finding that perfect love is a celebration really in both sitcoms and dramas, with its many jokes or tragic situations borne from this occasion. It is a time when one character hopes the other finally acknowledges his or her feelings, by way of chocolates or a card perhaps.

With any show, the more romantic members of the audience will automatically pair up two people they want to see end up together. For example, our all time favourite FBI agents – Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) – made The X-Files’ fans very happy when they hooked up in the recent film, after being secretly in love with each other for nine years or so.

Now, the secret to good pairing on a television series is always finding the most opposite persons and hooking them up. Take, for example, Chuck and Blair in Gossip Girl (the only thing they have in common is their good sense of style), Angel and Buffy in Buffy, the Vampire Slayer (doesn’t get any more odd as one is a vampire and the other is a vampire slayer), Lorelai and Luke of Gilmore Girls (they share a love for food, only one likes to eat and the other is a cook), and Dr Gauis Baltar and Number Six in Battlestar Galactica (he’s a human in bed with a cylon, an artificial intelligence that wants to wipe out humanity).

Despite all the interesting pairings, there are some couples on television at the moment that are unbearably yucky, dull and, frankly, nausea-inducing.

Here’s a look at our least favourite couples:

> Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) in Grey’s Anatomy. To be frank, every couple imaginable in this medical soap opera is annoying. Instead of a love potion being given out at Seattle Grace, the medical staff should distribute poison. About the only adorable couple to come out of this hospital was Christina Yang (Sandra Oh) and Preston Burke’s (Isaiah Washington), and they’re yesterday’s news.

Now in its fifth season, the series’ perpetually on-off main couple – Mer and Der – has turned off many fans with their relationship’s ups and downs. No surprises there really because, although they’re supposed to be meant for each other, all the insecurities revolving around these two damaged individuals ran out of steam from the very first season. Seriously, if you can’t make it work after five seasons, break up already!

> Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) and Gil Grissom (William Petersen) in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Why, oh why, must it be Sara? Office romance is inevitable sometimes and their relationship was hinted at early on in the series.

Understandably, working closely together at the crime lab and crime scenes leave little time for both Sara and Grissom to do any socialising. Plus, they share the same interests – bugs, blood, logic. But still, them being together is an uncomfortable notion.

The are-they or are-they-not theories were put to rest when at the end of season six, Grissom and Sara were shown lying on a bed together ... erm, talking.

In all seriousness, this very successful franchise need not indulge on the personal lives of its characters too much because it’s a show that does well when it’s just about collecting evidence and getting the criminal. In spite of this unwelcome romance, the characters made the show what it is so it is quite sad that they are both out of the picture in the series’ current season.

> Dan Humprey (Penn Badgley) and Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) in Gossip Girl. In comparison to the snarky relationship between Chuck and Blair, Dan and Serena’s oh-gosh affair seems to be in this series simply to acknowledge the problems that occur when there’s a vast financial difference. You know, he’s so poor and she’s so rich – how utterly predictable.

While it’s true they’re both attractive people – and no insult to the actors who are dating in real life – the contention that rises with this couple, in the series, is either about their different status or Blair’s dirty past. That just gets old real fast. Nonetheless, Dan and Blair’s hook-up is still a tad more tolerable than any of the teens’ get-together in 90210.

> Lois Lane (Erica Durance) and Clark Kent (Tom Welling) in Smallville. Clark Kent dreamt about the often-victimised and extremely dull Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk) as his mate for seven years of the series. However, it is written in his fate (okay in the comic books) that the woman for him is Lois Lane and that seems to be the direction Smallville is finally taking in season eight. The only thing is, Durance’s Lane is not at all likeable.

Now, Margot Kidder’s Lane (the Superman movies) and Teri Hatcher’s Lane (Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman) are made of something more than just beauty and brains. There’s that sense of curiosity about everything, which is what drives the character. With Durance, the young Lane talks and behaves like she’s high on caffeine or some other substance and that’s all we’re going to get. One gets the feeling that there’s nothing brewing beneath her brunette tresses. Not that Welling’s Kent is any better ... he’s constantly moping over something or other. Hmmm ... maybe this Kent and Lane do deserve each other after all.

> Horatio Crane (David Caruso) and his shades in CSI: Miami. First of all, this is a valid couple because some people are attached to things rather than to a person. And secondly, has anyone noticed how carefully he takes off his shades. This unhealthy obsession has to end, my friend.

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#107. How To Say I Love You



'How to say i love you' is an independent short film by hayley stuart and francesca sophia.now playing in the youtube screening room: http://www.youtube.com ytscreeningroom

synopsis:
nicola is sitting on a bench reading a book when she is approached by sam, an intrusive boy who strikes up an unlikely and intimate conversation with her, in which they bond awkwardly over their mutual feelings of isolation in a generation that would rather communicate via the internet than in person.

"gray or blue" written and performed by jaymay. http://www.myspace.com/jaymay

selected at:
NFFTY - National Film Festival for Talented Youth
Great Lakes Festival

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#106. Guitar heroes go back to their roots in new film

Thu Feb 12, 3:07 am ET
Mike Collett-White
Reuters – Guitarists Jack White (L), The Edge and Jimmy Page (R)
BERLIN (Reuters) – For three of the world's greatest guitarists, their instrument was a ticket out of poverty and professional drudgery."It Might Get Loud" is a documentary by Davis Guggenheim, awarded an Oscar for environmental film "An Inconvenient Truth," that focuses on Jimmy Page formerly of Led Zeppelin, The Edge of U2 and Jack White of The White Stripes and The Raconteurs.

The three musicians recount how they came to play the guitar in the first place, what their influences were and how their style of play differed from others.

It culminates in a meeting in a cavernous Hollywood sound stage where they swap stories and end up jamming together on electric and acoustic guitars.

Their paths to rock legend status differed dramatically, and spread over generations and continents. But common to all was how they used the guitar to open up a world of possibilities at a time when the alternatives seemed bleak.

Silver-haired Page, 65, recalled how he felt stuck in a rut as a session guitarist, providing instrumentation for hit pop songs and jingles. He joined The Yardbirds, and went on to form one of the giants of 1970s rock, Led Zeppelin.

For The Edge, 47, playing in a band in Ireland in the late 1970s and early 1980s gave him hope of escaping the grinding poverty he saw around him.

Jack White, 33, was working as an upholsterer when he was a teenager already interested in music, and one of the first records he released was with a colleague in the business.

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

Guggenheim mixes footage of the meeting, interviews and archive material to tell his story.

Technology-obsessed The Edge, or David Evans, goes back to the classroom where he and U2 rehearsed as teenagers.

"None of us could play at this point," he said. "It was really, really bad."

Page returns to Headley Grange in England where Led Zeppelin's signature track "Stairway to Heaven" was written.

At his home, surrounded by thousands of records, a beaming Page plays air guitar while listening to Link Wray's "Rumble," which had a deep impression on him as a guitarist.

In an old piece of news footage, the schoolboy musician is asked what he wants to do in life. He earnestly replies: "I want to do biological research."

White makes a "guitar" from nails, wire, wood, a bottle and an amplifier, and says: "Who says you need to buy a guitar?"

Guggenheim said "It Might Get Loud," screening at the Berlin film festival this week where The Edge appeared before around 1,000 people, was different from other "rockumentaries."

"Most rock and roll documentaries focus on car wrecks and overdoses," he said in production notes for the film.

"We wanted to focus on story-telling and the path of the artist, we wanted to push deeper beneath the surface."

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Sophie Hares)

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Khamis, Februari 12, 2009

#105. H2 Poster

H2 is an 2009 sequel to Rob Zombie's Halloween, a remake of the 1978 film of the same name. Rob Zombie will return to direct the film. Filming will begin February 23, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia with Tyler Mane returning as Michael Myers.

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#104. Amelio to adapt Camus' 'First Man'

Variety.com
NICK VIVARELLI



ROME — Italo auteur Gianni Amelio's adaptation of Albert Camus' last novel "The First Man" is set to start shooting by April in North Africa and France with Gallic stars Jacques Gamblin and Denis Podalydes attached along with Claudia Cardinale.

Amelio's first foray into French-language filmmaking, based on the Nobel prize-winner's unfinished autobiographical work, turns on Camus' native Algeria and its struggle for independence from France. The manuscript was found in a briefcase when Camus died in a car crash in 1960.

Budgeted at $11.6 million and co-produced by Italy's Cattleya and Gaul's Bruno Pesery, "Man" will partly shoot in several seaside and desert locations in Algeria, with which France has a co-production agreement. Wild Bunch is handling international sales.

Gamblin, who is Cesar-nommed as protag of Gallic hit "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life," has been tapped by Amelio to play Camus alter-ego Jacques Cormery, who at 40 returns from Gaul to pre-civil war Algeria and relives his childhood. Tunisian-born Cardinale will play his beautiful but deaf and distant mother. Costume pic is set during the late 1950s. Algerian talent will also be featured.

The complex screenplay is by Amelio. Regular Amelio d.p. Luca Bigazzi will be lensing.

Amelio last year replaced Nanni Moretti as artistic director of the ultra-indie Turin Film Festival, which runs in late November. He has said helming "The First Man" will not conflict with his fest assembling duties.

Amelio's previous features include "Lamerica," "Stolen Children" and Venice Golden Lion winner "The Way We Laughed."

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#103. Face of another

12th February, 2009
New Straits Times
Zuhaila Sedek

photo: Lori Hicks

ZUHAILA SEDEK meets one of Hollywood’s prominent make-up artists and discovers why the art is central to fleshing out a movie’s character personalities.
IF you have seen the Charlize Theron movie Monster, you would agree that make-up can transform looks completely. Compare Theron’s red carpet glam appearance to that of the vicious killer in the movie.

Really, you can look like whoever you want to with just make-up.

And those blessed with the skills to transform faces can earn a good living. Hollywood make-up artist Lori Hicks certainly has the ability to effect dramatic changes. Hicks sees make-up artistry as her medium for expressing her love for art.

Armed with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Hicks works with studios that allow her to collaborate with various directors and actors.
“It wasn’t so much a natural progression into make-up, but a natural progression into film. I love creating characters and looks,” she said.

Hicks has worked with renowned Hollywood directors such as David Mamet, Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen, and made-up many of Hollywood’s leading ladies and men, including Jennifer Connelly, Renee Zellweger, Diane Lane, Kristin Scott Thomas, Robert Downey Jr, Joaquin Phoenix and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers.

“I am fortunate to be able to travel to some of the most incredible locations to witness the process of filmmaking,” said Hicks, who hails from Pennsylvania, the US.

“It is such a wonderful experience to collaborate with all the departments to bring ideas, characters and stories to life, artistically,” she added.

The Hicks story began in 1990 when she was working on such independent films as John Sayles’ Lone Star and David O’Russell’s Flirting with Disaster. She later moved to major studio films and is currently working on Disney’s Confessions of a Shopaholic and When In Rome.

Confessions, she said, was a particularly exciting project because it has a big all-star cast and “it's a really fun and stylish production. With so many different characters, the director, producer, costume designer, hairstylists, actors and I gave input on the looks that we eventually settled on.”

For Kristin Scott Thomas, who plays a top French fashion editor-in-chief, Hicks created a chic look with red lips, while keeping the skin clean and eyes simple.

“Then there’s Joan Cusack’s character Jane Bloomwood, lead character Rebecca’s (played by Isla Fisher) mother, who’s been keeping the same beauty routine for most of her life. I made the look a bit dated, with a 1980s eye lining style.”

She also had fun with Leslie Bibb’s character, Alicia.

“Her costumes are more vixen-like and dominatrix in style so we created a harsher, sexy look for her with dramatic, smokey eyes and pale lips. For Lynn Redgrave, who falls into the socialite category, we created a beautiful, classic look.”

Hicks emphasises the artistic value of her make-up and also feels that the products she uses are important. One of her favourite brands is La Mer.

“(Actress) Tèa Leoni introduced me to Crëme de La Mer when we worked together on the set of Woody Allen's Hollywood Ending. Tèa requested me to use Crëme de La Mer on her and that's when I fell in the love with the entire line,” Hicks said.

“I started using La Mer’s Skincolor Treatment foundations and powder on Confessions,” she added.

“My recommendations for the actors I work with vary. It depends on their skin type, age, season and personal preferences. I use different brands to accommodate the skincare issues,” Hicks explained.

“The actors like that I invest in using the best products on their skin, which help them look their best especially when their faces are blown up in high definition for movies,” she said.

What Hicks enjoys most about working in movies is the process of understanding a character and developing the appropriate look.

“We usually start with the clothes and hairstyles. Once these are determined, the make-up style follows naturally,” Hicks said.

She believes that flexibility is the key to the uniqueness in each look that she creates.

“Sometimes my initial idea doesn’t work and I find myself having to change as I go along. We usually have some prep time to experiment with wardrobe, hair and make-up.

“There is some room to really create unique looks for each character. Occasionally I’d make some necessary changes as the film is shot if there is a need to rethink the looks and play up the personality of a character,” she said.

As she talks shop, one can tell that she knows her business in and out.

She shares a tip with make-up lovers out there, and that is: “Don’t leave home without a lip balm and concealer.”

The lip balm, she confessed, is her best friend!

“I think every woman should have a good concealer — which is especially great for the under-eye area and to cover stressed skin, and lip balm, to keep the lips moist,” she continued.

With make-up the norm with women nowadays, shopping for the right beauty products may not be easy.

“Even after years as a make-up artist, I find it overwhelming when I shop for beauty products,” she reflects.

“I always ask for samples of any new product before purchasing and many beauty counters offer them,” she says.

“It’s also good to have an idea of what you want to buy before you get to the counter. That way you can be focused and not get caught up in the moment.”

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#102. Tiada pelakon popular dalam CE1

12hb Februari, 2009
Utusan Malaysia
ABD. AZIZ ITAR
aziz.itar@utusan.com.my


HEZLE Helan (berdiri dua dari kanan) bersama tenaga kerja CE1 pada pelancaran RoboFair 2009 di Petaling Jaya, Selangor, baru-baru ini.

AZIZ M. Osman merupakan pengarah yang sentiasa mahu tampil dengan pelbagai pembaharuan dalam filem-filem arahannya termasuklah menampilkan barisan pelakon baru.
Pendekatan itu dapat dilihat apabila beliau tidak akan menampilkan pelakon yang sudah popular menerusi filem terbaru arahannya berjudul CE1 yang akan menjalani penggambaran Mac ini.

Sebaliknya, Aziz akan mengetengahkan para pelakon baru dalam filem untuk tontonan seisi keluarga itu supaya ia mampu memberi kelainan kepada para penonton.

"Itu memang merupakan pendekatan saya bagi memperlihatkan kelainan dalam setiap filem arahan saya. Saya pentingkan pakej yang segar dalam setiap filem arahan saya.

"Ia supaya filem arahan saya itu kelak tidak nampak muka-muka (pelakon popular) biasa semata-mata. Ini kerana, dalam sesebuah filem ia bukan sekadar penampilan bintang-bintang sahaja.

"Saya masih lagi mencari pelakon yang sesuai. Siti Zie merupakan pelakon baru saya yang akan saya tonjolkan dalam CE1," katanya pada sidang media di Petaling Jaya, Selangor baru-baru ini.

Sidang akhbar itu diadakan sempena pelancaran pameran RoboFair 2009 selain mengumumkan penerbitan CE1 yang akan menjalani penggambaran Mac ini.

Menurut Aziz, dia mengenali Siti Zie selepas berkenalan menerusi laman sesawang Facebook di Internet selepas tertarik dengan karekter dan ciri-ciri yang terdapat pada gadis tersebut.

"Siti Zie ada ciri-ciri watak utama yang akan saya ketengahkan dalam CE1 iaitu seorang remaja yang ada iras gadis Cina. Pengurus Produksi filem ini iaitu Storm juga bersetuju dengan saya.

"Selepas uji bakat diadakan, maka kami setuju menawarkan beliau berlakon dalam filem ini. Selepas ini uji bakat akan terus diadakan bagi mencari para pelakon lain," ujarnya.

Jelasnya, beliau yakin dengan bakat Siti Zie biarpun pelakon itu masih mentah dalam bidang lakonan, malah menaruh harapan dan keyakinan yang tinggi terhadap bakat muda terbabit.

"Sebelum ini pun saya telah memperkenalkan ramai pelakon baru seperti Sari Yanti, Sarimah Ibrahim dan Raja Farah di mana mereka kini merupakan pelakon popular," katanya yang akan menggunakan hampir 300 imej janaan komputer (CGI) dalam filem tersebut.

CE1 yang menelan kos hampir RM2 juta merupakan filem terbaru Aziz M. Osman selepas mengarahkan filem Senario Pemburu Emas Yamashita kira-kira tiga tahun lalu.

Siti Zie yang berada di sisi Aziz berkata, beliau berasa sungguh bertuah dan tidak menyangka perkenalannya dengan pengarah itu melalui Facebook telah membawanya ke dunia filem.

"Saya terkejut apabila abang Aziz menawarkan saya berlakon dalam filem ini. Apatah lagi, CE1 merupakan filem pertama lakonan saya di mana ia memberi makna besar buat saya.

"Bagaimanapun, sebelum ini saya pernah berlakon dalam drama berjudul Di Garisan Takdir. Sedikit sebanyak drama lakonan saya itu memberi pengalaman kepada saya," jelasnya.

Hadir sama pada pelancaran pameran RoboFair 2009 dan CE1 ialah Timbalan Ketua Setiausaha, Kementerian Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi, Datin Paduka Dr. Khadijah Yusoff, Pengurus Besar Gagasan Badan Ekonomi Melayu, Nor Rashid Ismail dan Pengurus Imagika Sdn. Bhd., Mohd. Helan Abu.

Turut serta ialah Penerbit Hez Comm, selaku penerbit CE1 iaitu Hezle Helan dan penulis skripnya, Mohd. Zakizamani.

Sinopsis CE1

FILEM ini berlatarkbelakangkan tahun 2015 dengan mengisahkan seorang budak kampung bernama Zaki yang mempunyai kecenderungan mencipta robot.

Dia mempunyai beberapa buah robot berbentuk serangga yang dipanggil bugbot-bugbot. Ia dibina untuk kerja-kerja di rumah di mana ia merupakan tanggungjawab Zaki sebagai saintis muda.

Salah satu projeknya merupakan sebuah robot humanoid bernama CE1. Zaki bercadang untuk memasuki perlawanan robotik yang bakal diadakan di Kuala Lumpur. Perlawanan itu akan membuktikan dirinya sebagai ahli robotik yang mempunyai masa depan cerah.

Zaki perlu memastikan CE1 bersedia untuk perlawanan tersebut. Selain itu, dia juga perlu menghindarkan cubaan mencuri teknologi CE1 dari sebuah syarikat yang berniat jahat.

Tenaga Kerja CE1:

Penerbit - Hezle Helan

Penerbit Eksekutif - C.K.Wong

Penerbit Bersekutu - Zakaria B. Abdul Razak

Penulis Skrip - Mohd. Zakizamani

Penolong Pengarah 1 - Andre Chiew

Penolong Pengarah 2 - Mohd. Zakizamani

Pengurus Produksi - Dzulhawari Mazlan

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