Until Death Do Us Part - Jonas

Selasa, Mac 31, 2009

#381. Poster : Blood The Last Vampire [2009]



On the surface, Saya is a stunning 16-year old, but that youthful exterior hides the tormented soul of a 400 year-old halfling. Born to a human father and a vampire mother, she has for centuries been a loner obsessed with using her samurai skills to rid the world of vampires, all the while knowing that she herself can survive only on blood like those she hunts. When she is sent onto an American military base in Tokyo by the clandestine organization she works for, Saya immediately senses that this may be her opportunity to finally destroy Onigen, the evil patriarch of all vampires. Using her superhuman strength and her sword, she begins to rid the base of its evil infestation in a series of spectacular and elaborate showdowns. However, it is not until she forms her first human friendship in centuries with the young daughter of the bases general that Saya learns her greatest power over Onigen may well be her ability for human connection.

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#380. Trailer : Goemon [2009]



Goemon is a 2009 Japanese film directed by Kazuaki Kiriya. It will be distributed worldwide via a partnership between Shochiku and Warner Brothers. It will be based sometime in the Azuchi-Momoyama period. The main character, Goemon Ishikawa, is a famous ninja bandit who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Goemon hits Japan theaters on May 01, 2009.

Official Website : http://www.goemonmovie.com

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#379. DVD : Children of Men [2006]

" No children. No future. No hope "



UK [109m] Directed by. Alfonso Cuaron; Producer. Marc Abraham, Eric Newman, Hilary Shor, Iain Smith, Tony Smith; Screnplay. Alfonso Cuaron, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby; novel. PD James; Cinematography. Emmanuel Lubezki; m. John Tavener; Edited by. Alfonso Cuaron, Alex Rodriguez; Starring. Clive Owen, Michael Caine, Julianne Moore, Claire-Hope Ashitey, Charlie Hunnam, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Pam Ferris, Pater Mullan

Children of Men is a 2006 dystopian science fiction film co-written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón. The Strike Entertainment production was loosely adapted from P. D. James's 1992 novel of the same name by Cuarón and Timothy J. Sexton with help from David Arata, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby. It stars Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Claire-Hope Ashitey, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Caine.

Set in the United Kingdom of 2027, the film explores a grim world in which two decades of global human infertility have left humanity with less than a century to survive. Societal collapse, terrorism, and environmental destruction accompany the impending extinction. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom—perhaps the last functioning government—persecutes a seemingly endless wave of illegal immigrant refugees seeking sanctuary. In the midst of this chaos, Theo Faron (Clive Owen) must find safe transit for Kee (Claire-Hope Ashitey), a pregnant Fijian refugee.

The film was released on 22 September 2006, in the UK, 19 October 2006, in Australia and on 25 December 2006, in the U.S., critics noting the relationship between the Christmas opening and the film's themes of hope, redemption, and faith. Described as a companion piece to Cuarón's Y tu mamá también (2001), both films examine contemporary social and political issues through the epic journey of the road film. Children of Men was not a financial success, but attracted positive reviews from critics and acclaim from film goers. The film was recognised for its achievements in screenwriting, cinematography, art direction, and innovative single-shot action sequences, receiving three Academy Award nominations and winning two BAFTA awards.



An ugly mix of contemporary issues is hacked to unrecognizable bits in Alfonso Cuaron’s futuristic thriller-blender Children of Men.The film is a tame, at times insipid thriller trying to impress with impossibly generic analogies to our own time. Issues such as immigration, racism, terrorism, state control and religious fanaticism all find a place on Children’s crowded streets, but they have been changed, combined or placed out of context to such an extent that they become little more than textural decoration, with nothing of the deeply shocking truisms that make works like George Orwell’s 1984 still powerful today. Michael Caine hams it up in a supporting performance that is sure to become classic camp, but generally the shifts in tone from low-key comedy to guerilla-style drama are so jagged they are distracting.

Children of Men is based on a P.D. James novel that Cuaron adapted together with screenwriter Timothy J. Sexton. What emerges from the film is that in 2027, the world is in chaos and only Great-Britain is relatively safe. A constant influx of immigrants is being reversed and all are deported to abandoned towns where they live by themselves, surrounded by police and the military. For unknown reasons, women have been unable to conceive since 2009. There is little or no hope left, and office worker Theo Faron (Clive Owen) is depressed when he hears that the youngest human being has been killed at age 18 when he refused to sign an autograph.Before he knows it,Theo is kidnapped by a terrorist faction called The Fishes, who fight for equal rights for immigrants, and is forced by a member of them (Julianne Moore) to obtain papers for a refugee who needs to be taken to the coast. It turns out that the refugee (Claire Hope-Ashitey, from Shooting Dogs)is actually pregnant!(Cue triumphal symphonic music and shots of amazed faces.)Theo will try to get her to Brighton safe, but as these things go, the way is paved with danger and friends turn out to be enemies and vice-versa.

Cuaron’s London and Baxhill, a refugee shanty town, are dirty and dangerous places where violence lurks everywhere and terrorist bombings are less talked about than the melodramatic death of the youngest person on the planet. As is often the case in science fiction, the future is a mix of elements from the present, though the problem is that there seems to be no explanation as to why and how these elements have ended up together in the two decades that separate the audience from 2027. Christianity has been restyled with elements from Asian religions, Michelangelo’s David (minus one leg) stands inside a building in London rather than in Florence, immigrants are transported in cages and fertility tests and British passport checks are obligatory at practically every corner of the street. Meanwhile, Islamic fundamentalists are gathering in the immigrant shantytowns, preparing a revolution.

What happened in the intervening years? Without this knowledge these events make little or no sense. Cuaron has succeeded in creating a future in chaos, but for it to comment on any contemporary issues it needs to be clear what created this chaos and why this chaos has been organized in the way it is. As presented in Children of Men,the future of mankind has no past.Michael Caine has a lot of fun with his role as a neo-hippie who helps Owen's character, though generally the film’s attempts at low-key comedy are bogged down by its need to be taken seriously as an action movie. When Theo tries to escape in a car that needs to be pushed to get going, it interrupts and distracts from a chase sequence with something more at home in a Buster Keaton film.

What remains are an impressive sequence involving an assault on a car by two sharpshooters on a scooter and a shoot-out involving the army and brigands that plays like a deleted scene from Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down; barely enough elements to carry an action film, much less a political science fiction picture. The devil is in the details, they say, only here there is clearly a lot of the devil at work but a chronic lack of detail to make any sense of it.



Children of Men used several lengthy single-shot sequences in which extremely complex actions take place. The longest of these are a shot in which Kee gives birth (199 seconds); a roadside ambush on a country road (247 seconds); and a scene in which Theo is captured by the Fishes, escapes, and runs down a street and through a building in the middle of a raging battle (454 seconds). These sequences were extremely difficult to film, although the effect of continuity is sometimes an illusion, aided by CGI effects. Cuarón had already experimented with long takes in Y tu mamá también and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

His style is influenced by the Swiss film Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000 (1976), a favorite of Cuarón's. Cuarón reminisces: "I was studying cinema when I first saw [Jonah], and interested in the French New Wave. Jonah was so unflashy compared to those films. The camera keeps a certain distance and there are relatively few close-ups. It's elegant and flowing, constantly tracking, but very slowly and not calling attention to itself."[60] The creation of the single-shot sequences was a challenging, time-consuming process that sparked concerns from the studio.

It took fourteen days to prepare for the single take in which Clive Owen's character searches a building under attack, and five hours for every time they wanted to reshoot it. In the middle of one shot, blood splattered onto the lens, and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki convinced the director to leave it in. According to Owen, "Right in the thick of it are me and the camera operator because we're doing this very complicated, very specific dance which, when we come to shoot, we have to make feel completely random."Cuarón's initial idea for maintaining continuity during the roadside ambush scene was dismissed by production experts as an "impossible shot to do".

Fresh from the visual effects-laden Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Cuarón suggested using computer-generated imagery to film the scene. Lubezki refused to allow it, reminding the director that they had intended to make a film akin to a "raw documentary". Instead, a special camera rig invented by Gary Thieltges of Doggicam Systems was employed, allowing Cuarón to develop the scene as one extended take.A vehicle was modified to enable seats to tilt and lower actors out of the way of the camera, and the windshield was designed to tilt out of the way to allow camera movement in and out through the front windscreen. A crew of four, including the DP and camera operator, rode on the roof. However, the commonly reported statement that the action scenes are continuous shots is not entirely true.

Visual effects supervisor Frazer Churchill has indicated that the battle sequence was filmed in five separate takes over two locations and then seamlessly stitched together to give the illusion of a single take. Similarly, the car sequence was filmed in six separate takes over three locations and then stitched together, along with various other CG elements including a CG roof. In an interview with Variety, Cuarón acknowledged this nature of the "single-shot" action sequences: "Maybe I'm spilling a big secret, but sometimes it's more than what it looks like.The important thing is how you blend everything and how you keep the perception of a fluid choreography through all of these different pieces."

Tim Webber of VFX house Framestore CFC was responsible for the three-and-a-half minute single take of Kee giving birth, helping to choreograph and create the CG effects of the childbirth. Cuarón had originally intended to use an animatronic baby as Kee's child with the exception of the childbirth scene. In the end, two takes were shot, with the second take concealing Claire-Hope Ashitey's legs, replacing them with prosthetic legs. Cuarón was pleased with the results of the effect, and returned to previous shots of the baby in animatronic form, replacing them with Framestore's computer-generated baby.

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#378. LayarSci : Children of Men. Science Fiction Movie. Or Maybe Not?

Is science fiction just biding it’s time before it becomes science fact? Jules Verne had us flying into space and diving to the depths of the ocean, long before we had the technology to even consider that such adventures would one day be possible.

Children of Men is a movie that also predicts the future. One that is short on the bright and shiny. It’s 2027 and humankind hasn’t experienced a single birth in the past eighteen years. The youngest people on the planet are celebrities in the same vein we revere centenarians today. The reason for our loss of fertility is unknown and no cure to the problem seems imminent. When the future of your species is scheduled for extinction within a generation, then hope becomes a fading commodity.

Vigour, enthusiasm and the will to live are similarly in short supply. With the result that civilised society in many parts of the world has crumbled into chaos. And while The Day After Tomorrow may’ve seemed like far fetched fiction before Al Gore graced the very same screens, the Children of Men reminded me of a couple pertinent research papers on fertility.

A Danish study released in 2000 observed that otherwise healthy 19-20 year old men were showing a 30% decrease in sperm quality compared to males born earlier that century. Then in 2003 another study found that Florida juvenile male alligators had smaller penises and a 50% fall in testosterone levels. In the alligator, at least, changes were linked to increases in the nitrate-nitrogen concentrations in the water of the Everglades. (Wetlands are the kidneys of the planet, they filter waterway pollutants, yet some countries, like Australia, only have 50% of the wetlands they had 200 years ago.)

Such varied research has found itself into a book called Our Stolen Future, a review of over 4,000 scientific publications. The authors’ conclusions can be summed up thus: “The simple truth is that the way we allow chemicals to be used in society today means we are performing a vast experiment, not in the lab, but in the real world, not just on wildlife but on people.” Will the outcome of this experiment be a childless tomorrow as already envisaged by movie makers? Or will we wake up to the wisdom of the Precautionary Principle in time? ::Children of Men.

NB: fertility should not be confused with population growth. The first concerns quality, the latter quantity.

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#377. Criminal games

Now Showing
12 ROUNDS
Directed by Renny Harlin
Starring John Cena, Aidan Gillen, Ashley Scott, Steve Harris, Travis Davis, Brian White, Gonzalo Menendez

A CROSS between Die Hard and TV series 24, 12 Rounds is a good old-fashioned action movie, complete with the prerequisite car chases, explosives and life-or-death situations.Special effects, which can sometimes overshadow the script, are kept to a minimum with greater emphasis on the non-stop action and dialogue.Hell hath no fury like a villain provoked, as New Orleans police detective Danny Fisher (John Cena) unfortunately discovers.

When Fisher attempts to take thief Miles Jackson (Aidan Gillen) into custody for a multi-million dollar diamond heist, Miles’ girlfriend is killed as she tries to escape.In true criminal fashion, Miles soon breaks out of prison, vowing to avenge his lover’s death.A cat-and-mouse game ensues as the detective is forced to live his worst nightmare: being a pawn in a bizarre game that sees him fighting for this life in “tests” (12 in all) set up by the lethal mastermind — such as stopping a speeding tram gone out of control or avoiding being crushed to death by a falling lift.

Miles holds Fisher’s girlfriend Molly (Ashley Scott) hostage to draw him into his game.The movie will have pulses racing as viewers watch Fisher race against the clock to save Molly from death by explosives.While a good watch overall, there’s nothing particularly special about 12 Rounds. The script is rather predictable and the plot hardly ground-breaking.

But its intense pace of action is nothing short of riveting. As director Renny Harlin put it, “Even the dialogue is spoken on the run; there is never a moment’s rest.”

What it lacks in originality, however, is more than made up for by its cast.

Former wrestler John Cena gives a stirring portrayal of strength and vulnerability as he tears through town to save the woman he loves. And the chemistry between Cena and Scott is believable.FBI agent George Aiken (Steve Harris) is also good as the traditional tough-guy agent with a soft heart.His single-mindedness in taking Miles down is fodder for conflict with Fisher whenever he puts Miles’ capture before Molly’s safety.

It’s Gillen though who steals the show. Slick, sophisticated and a tad psychotic, he plays his villain to perfection.His cool, detached persona is chilling to watch as he laughingly plans mayhem, death and destruction with Fisher in mind.

Though nowhere near Heath Ledger’s legendary Joker, Gillen does a commendable job.

Source : The New Straits Times

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#376. Horrors,how mindless!

Evil can be passed on through mirrors in The Unborn.
NOW SHOWING
THE UNBORN
Directed by David S. GoyerEvil can be passed on through mirrors in The Unborn.
Starring Odette Yustman, Gary Oldman, Cam Gigandet, Meagan Good, Idris Elba

LOWER your expectations. Heck, just don’t have any at all. The Unborn promotes itself as a tasteful horror flick, but that’s pretty much the only thing that it succeeds in doing ­— tricking and fooling the viewers to believe that it is. What it really is, as you will soon realise, is anything but...A cockamammy of beliefs, myths, ideologies and cinematic traditions, it desperately tries to find its identity and direction halfway through the movie and expects us to stick with its nonsensical plots while the scriptwriter figures this out.

It is a seat-jolting Japanese horror (Ringu), modern zombie flicks (Resident Evil) and a touch of Hollywood tales of exorcisms (The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby). But paying homage is one thing, executing it is another.There’s plenty of predictable, all-too-familiar scenes to jolt you into mindless screams. That’s right, she’s going to the bathroom, look into the mirror and see something scareeaaahhhh! It feels so cheap, like we’re being cattle-prodded to do so.It is a story about an evil something trapped in limbo wanting to cross over to the real world, twins’ supernatural connections, family secrets and Jewish mysticism beliefs. It questions many things and leaves them there.


In the story, a demon travels through mirrors. A baby looking into his own reflection will be possessed. How did it get there in the first place is none of our business, but it jumps from one person to another with a blink of an eye when it’s stronger.
The evil one, manifesting as a boy with a pair of electric blue eyes, is passed down from Casey Beldon’s (Odette Yustman) family.

His ultimate goal is to have Casey as the new host. So that’s why she’s been having all those nightmares and seeing scary things around the house.

We later understand that Jumby — what the evil spirit calls itself, really wants to be born. But after a long-winded plot development that is lame and pointless, it’s perfectly okay to wish for Jumby to be born already!

What a waste of great talents with Gary Oldman playing the two-dimensional Rabbi Sendak and four-time Academy Award-nominee Jane Alexander Sofi as a woman with a dark past.

With Yustman looking like a cross between Transformers babe Megan Fox and Oscar-winner Jennifer Connelly (Hulk), and her onscreen boyfriend Mark played by younger Brad Pitt look-alike Cam Gigandet (Twilight), seeing the couple sizzle on the big screen is more exciting than the half-baked plot for a story.

Director/writer David Goyer surely knows how to capitalise on his sexy stars — Yustman keeps appearing in scenes with a white tank top and matching white panties, while Gigandet comes on shirtless, showing off a nicely-toned body.

Good eye candy is the only thing noteworthy about this movie.

Source : The New Straits Times

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#375. Slasherporn blood and gore

Jamie King being chased by the killer in My Bloody Valentine.
NOW SHOWING
MY BLOODY VALENTINE
Directed by Patrick Lussier
Starring: Jensen Ackles, Jaime King, Kerr Smith, Betsy Rue, Tom Atkins, Kevin Tighe

IF the title sounds curiously familiar to you, it is because My Bloody Valentine was a B-grade horror shown in the early ’80s. Those were the days of the so-called slasherpix, the likes of Friday The 13, Nightmare On Elm Street and Halloween.The 1981 My Bloody Valentine was so shamelessly exploitative and gory that a lot of its scenes were censored.Still, it became a cult hit on the videotape rental circuit for diehard horror fans. Now, what is the reason for this remake of a movie that had so much gratuitous violence?Answer: So that viewers can see body parts and blood splatter in glorious state-of-the-art 3D!

Yes, this movie is actually titled My Bloody Valentine 3D to differentiate it from the ’80s Canadian production.However, since this remake will not be shown in 3D in Malaysia, the 3D suffix has been dropped.Local viewers won’t get the sensation of blood and pieces of flesh flying at their face but even in 2D, it is revolting enough.The action revolves around a small American town called Harmony where an accident at its coal-mine 10 years ago left five men dead and one survivor in a coma.When the patient,Harry Warden (Rich Walters), woke up on Valentine’s Day a year later, he was believed to have gone on a killing spree, chopping up 22 people at the hospital.

Tunnel 5 of the mine had been closed ever since but that did not stop a bunch of teenagers from going there for a booze and sex party. And of course, even before they could consume the first beer, a gas-masked guy with a pickaxe starts attacking them.

Three managed to escape. They were Sarah (Jamie King), Axel (Kerr Smith) and Tom (Jensen Ackles of TV’s Supernatural).

Ten years later, we find Tom returning to Harmony to sell the mine. This upsets the townsfolks, including Axel, who is now the town sheriff.

To complicate things, the two-timing Axel is married to Sarah, an old flame of Tom. This love triangle forms the basis of the whodunit, keeping us guessing who the real killer is...

My Bloody Valentine is nothing more than “slasherporn” where director Patrick Lussier sets up mindless killing sequences and sex scenes (which are censored here) every few minutes or so.

Cult horror fans may like the extremely graphic scenes of heads being cut in two with a shovel, eyes popping out after the head is struck by a pick-axe, etc.

There is a particularly tense chase in a grocery store where Sarah and her assistant are being pursued by the killer.

However, this is a rare gem as most of the movie’s plot devices defy logic and common sense.

Sure, credulity is not a strong point in slasherporn but screenwriters Todd Farmer and Zane Smith seem to have done nothing to improve on the original story by Stephen Miller.

The cast of nubiles and veterans generally manage to earn their keep, considering the undemanding script. However, it is nice to see horror film regular Tom Atkins back in action after such a long time.

Behind the cameras, Lussier has worked frequently with Wes Craven on the latter’s horror efforts but here he seems intent on only delivering blood and gore and to poke fun at the romantic gestures of Valentine’s Day.

Source : The New Straits Times

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#374. Movie Buzz

1. Avatar's tagline awaits
Well, most of you would have heard the buzz by now from the TIME magazine writer who was blown away by a sneak peek at footage from James Cameron's due-in-December sci-fi epic Avatar.The CGI was reportedly so well done that the writer could not distinguish between live-action and animation.If that's the case, then Avatar may truly live up to its tagline, which was revealed recently at the ShoWest trade event, according to ComingSoon.net.

The tagline: AN ALL NEW WORLD AWAITS.

Seeing is believing, so we're not holding our breath till then - and unless they actually bring in a real IMAX 3D print of the movie, instead of those blown-up 35mm prints.Avatar is about a former soldier forced to settle and exploit a planet that's rich in biodiversity. He then joins the world's indigenous beings in a fight for survival against the colonizing forces.Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Saldana and Michelle Rodriguez are among the cast members.

2. More young blood for Twilight sequel
New Moon, the sequel to Twilight, has gained another young vampire - Jamie Campbell-Bower, of Rocknrolla, who will play Caius, one of the Volturi vamps led by Dakota Fanning.IMDB reports that Campbell-Bower, 20, will be off to Canada in June to join the production on location where shooting has already started.The young man has yet to read any of the novels, so he'll have lots to do between now and then.

3. Scribes Assemble! Marvel plans boost for second-stringers
If you're a fan of lesser known Marvel Comics superheroes like Black Panther, Dr Strange, Nighthawk and the Vision, here's some encouraging news.Marvel Entertainment is preparing to call for a meeting of scriptwriters who are keen to tackle projects involving these second-stringers, Variety reports.The writers would be asked to come up with good scripts as well as creative ways in which Marvel can drum up interest in these properties among moviegoers at large.Up to five writers each year would be selected to develop pitches into scripts, including those currently working on Marvel's comics.

4. Giving vampires' image a lift
If 30 Days of Night proved that screen vampires could be horrific again, then the upcoming Elevator Men is out to show that these bloodsuckers don't really have romance in mind when it comes to dealing with us blood-banks-on-legs.According to The Hollywood Reporter, Summit Entertainment - which ironically produces the lovey-dovey vamp-gal romance series Twilight - has picked up this rather grim script by former DreamWorks exec Marc Haimes.

The report said Haimes wanted to show the dark side of what happens when people try to get close to nasty things ... like vampires.The bloodsuckas of Elevator Men do really cruel things to humans, playing traumatising mind games with them before - well, you know. And sure enough, one of those games apparently DOES involve an elevator.

5. The Thing about script revisions ....
Mark the name Eric Heisserer. The upcoming scriptwriter may soon be known for rewriting remakes.According to reports, Heisserer has been tapped to revise Ron Moore's script for the upcoming remake of John Carpenter's The Thing (which itself was a remake).And, says BloodyDisgusting.com, Heisserer was also tapped earlier to rewrite Wesley Strick's screenplay for the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street.Given that Moore (who counts Battlestar GalacticA among his credits) and Strick (Arachnophobia, Wolf, Doom) have established genre credentials, this Heisserer fella must be pretty good ... in the studio execs' view at any rate ... to be given the job of polishing their material.

6. Snakes + Jackson = not what you think
The old formula of tossing in snakes with a dude named Jackson is being rehashed, but not in the way you think.Percy Jackson is the fella's name, and he is the human son of a god in an upcoming Greek mythology-based fantasy movie of that title.The snakes come in the form of a writhing bunch of the crawlers, perched atop the head of none other than Uma Thurman. Yep, the killer of Bill will play Medusa while GoldenEye adversaries Pierce Brosnan and Sean Bean are on board as Chiron and Zeus respectively.Variety reports that the Chris Columbus-directed movie will also star Melina Kanakaredes (CSI:NY) and Kevin McKidd (Rome) as Athena and Poseidon respectively.In the movie, Percy - the 12-year-old half-human son of Poseidon - will embark on a quest to recover Zeus' stolen lightning bolt and prevent a war among the gods.Well, we fans will find out for ourselves when the movies are out.

7. Get those @#% aliens off my plane
Die Hard 4.0 director Len Wiseman is set to produce DreamWorks’ mass-alien-abduction tale Nonstop, which is about an airliner full of about-to-be-lost souls. As in, they’re about to be snatched by extraterrestrials in mid-air.If that’s not enough hyphenation in one sentence, think Close-Encounters-Meets-The-Langoliers. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that it doesn’t turn out to be Flightplan-9-From-Outer-Space.

8. Facing down Five Killers
Ashton Kutcher, Tom Selleck, Katherine Heigl and Catherine O'Hara will tangle with Five Killers, a comedy from Lionsgate scheduled for a 2010 release.The movie, to be directed by Robert Luketic (21), begins filming this month, according to ComingSoon.net.Kutcher plays a hitman who retires in order to enjoy a life of wedded bliss with a computer technician, played by Heigl.Years later, their togetherness is disrupted when someone puts a contract out on him. Selleck and O'Hara will play Heigl's parents.

9. Flushing demons
Sam Fell, who directed the animated films Flushed Away and The Tale of Despereaux, is up for the live-action teen horror flick Demonkeeper for Fox 2000.According to Variety, the movie is based on a novel by Royce Buckingham and will be about a Seattle teenager who inherits the job of looking after a demon-infested house.When he sneaks out for some "me time" one night, kids break into the place and unleash its most fearsome occupant, The Beast. No, not the new Patrick Swayze TV series..

10. True Grit in her eyes
The Oscar-winning Coen Brothers (No Country for Old Men have signed to remake the 1969 John Wayne western True Grit, for which the late star won an Oscar as aging one-eyed lawman Rooster Cogburn.Variety reports that the remake will follow the original novel by Charles Portis more closely.The story concerns a 14-year-old girl who follows two lawmen through Native American territory in search of her father's killer.The remake will apparently be more faithful to the book in that it will be told from the girl's perspective. No casting has been announced yet.

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#373. In the Yakuza’s Grip

An emotional reunion among the illegal Chinese immigrants in Japan, in Shinjuku Incident.Shinjuku Incident brings together multiple award-winning director Derek Yee and international action star Jackie Chan.

TO Derek Yee Tung Sing, there is no shortcut to success. As one who comes from a family of filmmakers, Yee knows better than others what works for a production.Not one to compromise his artistic integrity, the multiple award-winning filmmaker has a solid track record of movies that are both commercially successful and artistically acclaimed.Dedicated to his art, Yee takes his time to conduct research on issues that interest him and explore its myriad possibilities, and he will not be rushed. His latest release – Shinjuku Incident – took about 10 years to materialise.

Written and directed by Yee, the movie depicts the plight of Chinese immigrants in Tokyo, where they make up about a third of the population.The movie features action star Jackie Chan, hearthrob Daniel Wu, mainland Chinese beauties Xu Jinglei and Fan Bingbing, Japanese stars Naoto Takenaka and Masaya Kato, Paul Chin, action choreographer Chin Kar Lok, Lam Suet and Cambodian-born Ken Lo.“The first time I came across the subject matter in the news was in 1997 or 1998 in Yazhou Zhoukan, the Chinese version of Asiaweek. It is a Hong Kong-based news weekly on international affairs.

“I’ve always liked to do my own research and collect material for my own productions as it is all part of the process (of filmmaking) for me. So, I’d been following the story,” said Yee in a telephone interview from Hong Kong.Up till the past few years, he had not had any direction for the screenplay. The material had been accumulating for several years before he decided to embark on the project.“In Japan, there are illegal immigrants from all over the world, even from South America and Malaysia. I’ve always been interested in such news so I’ve been closely observing the developments.“Basically, I like to derive my topics from reality. I’ve gleaned much about the Japanese triads from media reports, and compiled the issues to form the story.”

It took him a long time to develop the movie, a process that he enjoyed.“Protege (2007), which deals with drugs, also took me a long time. I spent many years chatting with my friends in law enforcement, particularly in the narcotics department.”He had formed the framework for Shinjuku Incident in his mind but only started writing the screenplay a couple of years ago.At that time, Chan’s partner Willie approached him for suitable scripts.“But I was not in a hurry – it took another year or so before things started rolling,” said Yee, who was contented to wait for Chan.

Yee has known Chan for almost three decades. “We were not with the same company, and I was still very new at directing then. Although we wanted to make movies together, it was not the right time.“He was making only action movies because that was what the audience wanted from him. As for my films, they didn’t have much action in them.”

Even with Chin, one of Hong Kong’s top stuntmen and action choreographer directing the action scenes, Yee maintained that the fight scenes are not excessively staged.“The movie is quite true to life but not really like a documentary. It was not easy to find a balance. Although there is action, Jackie’s character in the film is not a fighter. He may fight but doesn’t do somersaults or stuff like that.”

Yee also assured Chan that his character would not negatively affect his image, saying “lots of Western stars play villains with personalities that show an honourable side as well as a darker one”.“Jackie is now more adventurous when picking films to act in. In this movie, a large portion of the dialogue has him speaking in Japanese.” Chan has always wanted to be in control during filmmaking. But in recent years, industry stalwarts have noticed that he has changed a lot.“In this movie, he even assured me that he would just take instructions from me. But of course, for action scenes, I leave it in the hands of experts like him.”

Shinjuku Incident will not be released in China. Yee explained that the main issue was that the country did not have a film rating system. “This means that in China, children can be admitted to every movie screened in the cinemas.“The action in Shinjuku Incident is so real that it gives people the impression of extreme violence. We tried doing a more moderate version, with all the violent scenes removed. But, our producers in Hong Kong and China who watched both versions said that it felt incomplete.“For example, if Daniel’s character did not get bullied so badly, then Jackie’s character would not have responded as he did.“The cuts would affect the storyline. For us to release a movie like that would reflect badly on us. Our concern was beyond box-office returns. So, we decided to preserve the original cut, with the full support of the movie’s producers.”

Yee said that even his previous movies like Protege also took a long time to get through the Chinese censors.“But they eventually did get through, which means that the Chinese market is opening up and is now more liberal than before.“We have to remember that even in Hong Kong, the movie rating system enforced now actually took many years to be worked out. Since China is progressing so speedily, it wouldn’t be long before market forces compel them to put a ratings system in place,” said Yee.

The 51-year-old filmmaker has bagged seven wins and received 17 nominations for directing, screenwriting and acting.Beginning his entertainment career as an actor in 1975, Yee is featured in some 50 films, playing the leading man in 40 of them.He ventured into directing in 1986 when his directorial debut Lunatics won two awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards (HKFA).C’est La Vie, Mon Chéri became one of the top grossers of 1993/94 and swept six major awards at the HKFA. In 1995, he was named best director for Full Throttle, at the Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards (HKFCSA). A decade later, Yee again won for best director and best film at the HKFA for One Night in Mongkok (2004) in addition to the best director award at the Golden Bauhinia Awards and HKFCSA.

Confirming recent reports in mainstream Chinese newspapers, the auteur admitted that he was looking forward to working with Cecilia Cheung Pak Chi again.“I have several scripts in hand, which are suitable for her. So I shall wait till she decides on whichever she’d like to do.”The Hong Kong filmmaker even went as far as to compare Cheung to multiple award-winning actor Tony Leung Chiu Wai.Cheung was named best actress at the Hong Kong Film Awards and the Golden Bauhinia Awards for Yee’s romantic drama Lost in Time (2003).

Main cast of Shinjuku

JACKIE Chan plays Steelhead, a tractor repairman from Heilongjiang, China, who enters Japan illegally after losing contact with his gilrfriend Xiuxiu.

Daniel Wu plays Jie, Steelhead’s timid fellow villager, who has settled into life as an immigrant in Japan.

Xu Jinglei plays Xiuxiu, Steelhead’s girlfriend who goes to Japan to study and ends up marrying yakuza boss Eguch i, then changes her name to Yuko.

Fan Bingbing plays Lily, a mama-san at a local nightclub, who later becomes Steelhead’s lover.

Naoto Take naka plays Inspecto r Kitano, a Japanese policeman who feels indebted to Steelhead after being saved by him.

Shinjuku Incident, distributed by Golden Screen Cinemas, opens in cinemas nationwide on Thursday.

Source : The Star

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#372. Antara Realiti dan Bayangan

YASMIN Ahmad melalui filem-filem arahannya telah menunjukkan yang dia adalah tukang cerita yang menarik dengan cerita-ceritanya yang kaya dengan unsur kemanusiaan.

Melalui filem-filemnya dia mengangkat kisah keluarga-keluarga yang bahagia dan juga yang derita. Dia juga menuturkan kisah-kisah zaman kanak-kanak yang nakal tapi menyeronokkan dan kisah cinta zaman remaja yang melampaui sempadan kaum.Melalui filem-filemnya seperti Rabun, Sepet, Gubra dan Mukhsin, Yasmin menonjolkan bentuk keluarga dan masyarakat Malaysia (imagined society) yang dibayangkannya, sebuah keluarga yang hubungannya tidak terikat pada satu kaum, sungguhpun tidak terlalu kaya tetapi terpelajar, berfikiran terbuka dan mampu bercakap dalam bahasa Inggeris yang baik.

Dalam Talentime, Yasmin meneruskan imej keluarga yang dibayangkannya itu. Keluarga Melur (Pamela Chong) boleh dianggap sebuah keluarga yang cukup bahagia. Ibu bapa (Harith Iskandar dan Mislina) yang mesra dan penyayang, adik beradik yang bijak dan mesra serta punya pembantu rumah Mei Ling dari keturunan China (sesuatu yang jarang sebenarnya, tetapi Yasmin memberikan alasan yang wajar tentang kehadiran Mei Ling dalam keluarga itu).Untuk menyediakan alasan yang wajar tentang ahli keluarga ini yang mampu bercakap dalam Bahasa Inggeris dengan baik, maka didatangkan ibu Harith, wanita Inggeris dari Yorkshire, England yang pekat loghatnya.

Maka kita dapat melihat bentuk keluarga ini yang tidak terikat dengan tradisi Melayu, berfikiran terbuka dan yang membacakan puisi sebelum makan.

Namun dalam Yasmin menggambarkan sebuah keluarga moden yang terbuka dan melampaui batas kaum, satu perkara yang konsisten dalam filem Yasmin adalah nama-nama watak utama wanitanya tetap mengambil nama Melayu yang tradisi iaitu Melur, Mawar dan Melati yang diambil dari nama bunga sepertimana orang Melayu dahulu.

Dalam filem-filemnya yang terdahulu Yasmin menggunakan nama Orkid. Hal ini memberikan gambaran bahawa dalam keluarga yang terbuka dan punya kecenderungan Inggeris, tetapi masih diikat dengan budaya dan tradisi Melayu yang kukuh.

Tetapi dua buah keluarga lagi diberikan gambaran sebaliknya. Keluarga Hafiz dan Mahesh adalah sebuah keluarga tipikal masyarakat Malaysia yang berhadapan dengan berbagai masalah, suram dan hampir menemui kemusnahan.

Keluarga Hafiz (Mohd. Shafie Naswip) adalah gambaran keluarga Melayu yang berpecah dan melalui masa-masanya yang suram. Wajah Hafiz adalah wajah yang suram walaupun dia sebenarnya bijak dan cukup berbakat.

Bapa Hafiz meninggalkan ibu Hafiz, Embun (Azean Irdawaty) ketika Hafiz masih dalam kandungan dan kini ibunya sedang bertarung dengan maut akibat menderita ketumbuhan otak.

Bukan itu sahaja, di sekolah Hafiz dicemburui oleh rakannya berketurunan Cina, Kahoe (Howard Hon Kahoe). Yasmin memberikan gambaran tipikal tentang kaum ini yang sukar menerima kekurangan tetapi diseimbangkan dengan gurunya Encik Tan yang bersifat toleransi dan akrab pula dengan seorang guru Melayu, Anuar.

Keluarga Mahesh (Mahesh Kishor) juga tidak jauh bezanya dengan Hafiz, yang berdepan dengan kehidupan yang suram dan masalah yang tersendiri.

Mahesh yang bisu dan pekak berhadapan dengan ibunya (Sukania Venugopal) yang hidup dengan penyesalan kerana gagal memahami adiknya , Ganesh yang menyintai seorang gadis dari keturunan India Muslim.

Apabila Ganesh mati akibat pergaduhan dengan jirannya, keluarga ini hidup dalam trauma dan menjadikan si ibu tambah derita.

Tetapi Yasmin sebenarnya tidak membiarkan trauma dan penderitaan berterusan dalam keluarga ini. Mahesh mempunyai Melur dan keluarganya yang cuba memahami penderitaan mereka.

Begitu juga Embun yang menderita sakit, cuba digembirakan oleh Ismail (Jiid Murad) si pesakit misteri di hospital tersebut.

Kesemua perca-perca kehidupan keluarga ini diikat melalui hubungan persahabatan antara Melur, Mahesh, Hafiz dan Kahoe.

Perca-perca kehidupan ini bagaikan memori buat Yasmin kerana Talentime yang sengaja dibezakan ejaan "n" dengan huruf kecil membawakan maksud kisah dan masa, dan bukan hanya tentang pertandingan bakat nyanyian di kalangan para pelajar di sekolah tersebut.

Hal ini kerana cara filem ini dimulakan dengan adegan petikan suiz lampu yang menyalakan lampu kelas dan kemudian syot koridor sekolah dan tingkap yang terbuka dengan lambaian daun ditiup angin dan kemudian filem ini ditamatkan dengan petikan suiz lampu yang memadamkan bilik darjah yang tinggal kerusi-kerusi kosong adalah gambaran sebuah perjalanan kenangan yang datang dan kemudian pergi.

Imej-imej dalam filem ini seakan membawakan period dekad 70-an kecuali penggunaan komputer yang membawa imej kemodenan. Bandar Ipoh yang menjadi latar filem ini sendiri masih banyak tidak berubah fasadnya yang masih mengekalkan bangunan-bangunan lama.

Kekuatan Talentime selain alur cerita dan lagu-lagunya yang penuh emosi, dilengkapkan oleh kecermerlangan pelakonnya terutama Mohd. Syafie Naswip, Sukania Venugopal, Jacklyn Victor (penampilan yang hebat sebagai Bhavani kakak Mahesh) dan Mahesh Kishor.

Biarpun filem ini tidak memaparkan aksi dramatik secara fizikal tetapi konflik emosi yang dipaparkan oleh Sukania, Mahesh, Azean dan Syafie Naswip sudah cukup menggetarkan.

Apabila ada ruang, Yasmin nampaknya tidak lupa menjentik masyarakat tentang realiti hubungan kaum dan sifat kepura-puraan seperti dialog antara Hafiz dan Kahoe, guru yang mengelat semasa mengundi sedangkan pelajar diingatkan tidak menipu serta persoalan nama orang Islam dan agama.

Seperti filem-filemnya terdahulu, dalam filem Talentime, Yasmin terus memperlihatkan keyakinan terhadap satu bentuk keluarga dan hubungan masyarakat Malaysia. Dan secara halus pula dia mengkritik realiti dan permasalahan dalam hubungan tersebut.

Sumber : Utusan Malaysia

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#371. Tidak Mahu Jadi Anugerah Suam-suam Kuku

Festival Filem Malaysia ke-22 pertingkat siri promosi tarik banyak penyertaan

ENGGAN lagi kekalutan dalam pencalonan berlaku, Jawatankuasa Kerja Pengurusan Penyertaan & Penjurian Festival Filem Malaysia Ke-22 (FFM22) memperkuatkan siri promosi untuk menarik lebih banyak penyertaan pada festival tahun ini.Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Kerja Pengurusan Penyertaan & Penjurian FFM22 KK 2009, Nancie Foo berkata, penyertaan terutama membabitkan kategori Filem Animasi Terbaik, Filem Pendek Terbaik, Filem Dokumentari Terbaik dan Filem Digital Terbaik agak dingin sebelum ini membuatkan mereka bekerja keras untuk memastikan perkara itu tidak kembali berulang.

Sehubungan itu, kerja promosi dimulakan lebih awal termasuk menghebahkannya menerusi pelbagai medium termasuk laman web, kempen serta hebahan di radio dan televisyen selain mengunjungi pusat pengajian tinggi untuk mempertingkatkan jumlah penyertaan.“Banyak penerbitan bermutu terbiar kerana tidak mempunyai ruang untuk memperkenalkan hasil karya mereka. Tahun lalu, promosi agak lewat dilakukan menyebabkan kami terpaksa menggerakkannya dengan lebih agresif pada saat akhir untuk menarik penyertaan.“Tahun ini kami bermula lebih awal untuk membangkitkan kesedaran di kalangan pengamal filem supaya merebut peluang keemasan pada acara tahunan berprestij ini,” katanya.

Ditemui pada sidang media mengumumkan penyertaan FFM 22 KK 2009 kini dibuka di Dewan Cempaka Sari, Kompleks Studio Merdeka, Hulu Klang, Nancie berkata, siri promosi yang agresif termasuk menerusi akhbar utama dijangka mampu meningkatkan penyertaan sekali ganda pada tahun ini.

“Tahun lalu kami cuma menerima 42 penyertaan untuk Filem Dokumentari Terbaik, manakala 31 penyertaan untuk Filem Pendek Terbaik dan 13 untuk Filem Animasi Terbaik.

“Jumlah itu agak kecil membuatkan kami terpaksa meletakkan sepenuh kesungguhan supaya kategori ini juga diberi tumpuan selain filem cereka komersial pada festival akan datang.

“Usaha itu termasuk bekerjasama dengan Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) untuk menarik penyertaan lebih besar dalam penerbitan filem animasi,” katanya.

FFM22 KK 2009 anjuran bersama Perbadanan Kemajuan Filem Nasional Malaysia (Finas), Persatuan Pengeluar-Pengeluar Filem Malaysia (PPFM) dan Gabungan Persatuan Karyawan Filem Malaysia (Gafim) akan berlangsung di Kota Kinabalu, Sabah dari 5 hingga 8 Ogos depan.

Membawakan tema, Filem Malaysia Ke Persada Dunia, FFM22 KK 2009 sehingga ini menerima 20 penyertaan awal daripada filem yang ditayangkan dan diluluskan dari Ogos 2008 hingga Julai 2009.

Untuk menggalakkan lebih banyak filem bertanding, tarikh tutup penyertaan bagi semua kategori dipanjangkan sehingga 5 Julai ini.

Perkenal kategori Filem Komedi Terbaik

BUAT pertama kali, FFM22 KK 2009 turut memperkenalkan kategori baru, Filem Komedi Terbaik yang diletakkan di bawah Anugerah Cipta dan bukan dalam kategori utama, Anugerah Perdana.

Menjelaskan perkara itu, Nancie berkata, anugerah itu diperkenalkan berikutan penyertaan menggalakkan bagi penerbitan genre komedi pada festival tahun lalu.

“Kami melihat pada kesan jangka panjang kerana bimbang jika pada masa akan datang penyertaan berkurangan membuatkan kami terpaksa merombak kembali senarai kategori.

“Untuk menghidupkan kategori ini, kami berharap menerima penyertaan daripada sekurang-kurangnya 10 filem. Ia diperkenalkan sebagai memberi galakan kepada penerbit kerana banyak filem komedi bermutu diterbitkan tetapi tidak diiktiraf.

“Pengenalan kategori ini juga disebabkan oleh populariti genre komedi di kalangan peminat filem tempatan membuatkan jawatankuasa terfikir wajar anugerah itu diwujudkan.

“Mungkin boleh diadakan Anugerah Khas Juri untuk mengiktiraf penggiat industri filem komedi, namun kami tidak mahu ia dilihat sebagai anugerah kasihan lalu menghadirkan kategori Filem Komedi Terbaik,” katanya.

FFM22 KK 2009 mempertaruhkan 13 Anugerah Perdana, 12 Anugerah Cipta dan lima Anugerah Khas Juri. Kemuncak acara itu turut mengiktiraf pencapaian dan sumbangan karyawan veteran menerusi Anugerah Veteran (Lelaki dan Wanita), Anugerah Veteran (belakang tabir - Lelaki atau Wanita) serta Anugerah Filem Box Office.

Ia dijangka dihadiri lebih 5,000 tetamu termasuk 600 delegasi yang dibawa khas dari Kuala Lumpur untuk acara yang mendapat kerjasama kerajaan Sabah menerusi Dewan Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu.

Sidang media itu turut dihadiri Timbalan Pengarah Urus Setia FFM 22 KK 2009, Abdul Khalid Maulod dan Timbalan Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Kerja Pengurusan Penyertaan & Penjurian FFM22, Nurhayati Othman.

Sumber : Berita Harian

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#370. Cerita Keluarga Yang Mengasyikkan

Jaclyn Victor menampilkan lakonan mantap dalam filem Talentime

Filem: Talentime
Pengarah: Yasmin Ahmad
Pelakon: Azean Irdawaty, Adibah Noor, Jaclyn Victor, Mohd Syafie Naswip, Mahesh Jugal Kishor, Pamela Chong, Sukania Venu Gopal dan Susan Chong
Genre: Drama & Romantik
Tarikh tayangan: 26 Mac 2009

JIKA anda penggemar karya pengarah Yasmin Ahmad, mungkin filem Talentime patut ditonton dan hayatilah sendiri di sebalik apa yang mungkin boleh dilabelkan sebagai cap dagangnya selama ini.

Hasil manifestasi pengarah ini penuh dengan aspek kemanusiaan seperti cinta yang paling asas perlu ada dalam setiap manusia. Malahan paksi majmuk seperti filem terdahulunya masih dikekalkan.

Ingat lagi anda pada cinta gadis Melayu dan lelaki Cina menerusi filem Sepet. Buah tangan terbarunya ini sudah ditayangkan sejak Khamis lalu. Ia mengetengahkan cinta versi lelaki India bernama Mahesh lakonan sulung Mahesh Jugal Kishor dan Melur (Pamela Chong, adik kepada Vince AF1), gadis Melayu berdarah campuran Inggeris.

Percubaan sulung Mahesh di layar perak sebagai lelaki bisu mungkin dilihat agak senang kerana tidak perlu berdialog atau menghafal skrip. Namun, lakonannya masih boleh dianggap membanggakan kerana biarpun tanpa sebarang pengucapan dialog, mainan emosi tetap perlu dijaga kesinambungannya.

Lakonan Pamela pula dianggap biasa saja. Dia kadang-kadang dilihat sebagai gadis yang memberontak tidak tentu fasal. Namun begitu, ia masih dianggap permulaan yang baik kepada Pamela.

Paling mengesankan ialah lakonan sulung juara Malaysian Idol musim pertama, Jaclyn Victor yang nampaknya patut diberi perhatian. Nampaknya ada sisi lain yang sudah mula diserlahkan penyanyi bersuara lantang ini. Memegang watak Bhavani, bakat lakonannya berjaya dibentuk dengan baik oleh Yasmin.

Dalam filem ini, Jaclyn memikul tanggungjawab sebagai kakak yang sangat menyayangi adiknya iaitu Mahesh. Disebabkan keadaan adiknya, Bhavani cuba mengelak soal perkahwinan seperti mana yang dikehendaki oleh ibunya. Lakonannya memang nampak bersahaja. Bahkan pertuturannya dalam bahasa Tamil atau bercakap bahasa Melayu dengan pelat Tamil, membuatkan kita terlupa seketika bahawa itu adalah Jaclyn.

Seperti kebiasaan Yasmin masih mengekalkan pelakon yang selalu muncul dalam setiap naskhah skripnya contoh seperti Adibah Noor, Harith Iskander, Ida Nerina termasuk Mohd Syafie Naswip yang dipuji lakonannya oleh Azean Irdawaty.

Rentak jalan cerita yang indah ini dicacatkan sedikit dengan babak Melur tidur sebantal dengan Mahesh di ruang tamu. Ia sebenarnya sangat kontras dan tiada ada apa alasan kukuh mengapa ia perlu diadakan. Ini kerana emak Melur digambarkan sebagai seorang ibu yang alim dengan pegangan Islam, manakala Mahesh pula adalah seorang lelaki yang tidak ada masalah untuk pulang ke rumahnya.

Entah kenapa Yasmin perlu menyelitkan babak tidak perlu ini, apatah lagi secara realitinya adegan itu tidak molek untuk dipaparkan.

Aspek lain yang cukup menarik perhatian ialah lagu latar yang menghiasi filem ini terutamanya lagu Ore Piya dendangan penyanyi Bollywood, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. Sekali pandang, filem ini saling tak tumpah seperti filem Bollywood yang sinonim dengan adegan air mata dan meruntun jiwa. Ada adegan yang mungkin membuatkan air mata anda akan jatuh tertumpah.

Meneliti bait-bait lirik ini yang diterjemahkan dalam sari kata bahasa Melayu, ia cukup melankolik dan indah susunan bahasanya. Tidak dilupakan hasil komposisi penyanyi dan pencipta lagu, Pete Teo. Hasil ciptaannya dipersembahkan cukup baik oleh kedua penyanyi tanah air kita, Aizat dan Atilia.

Sumber : Berita Harian

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#369. KRU Edar Animasi

KRU Studios meneruskan bisnes mengedar filem dengan membawa animasi antarabangsa pertama edarannya, Sunshine Barry & The Disco Worms (Disco Worms) yang akan ditayangkan serentak di Malaysia dan Brunei pada 9 April ini dan Singapura, Mei depan.Menurut Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif KRU Studios, Norman Abdul Halim, pihaknya berbangga dengan pencapaian mereka setakat ini dan penayangan filem animasi itu disifatkan sebagai usaha berterusan mereka.

“Disco Worms sebuah filem animasi muzikal dan lucu. Ia mudah difahami dan diterima oleh semua lapisan penonton. Disco Worms menjadi filem antarabangsa pertama pilihan kami kerana ia bukan sebuah filem yang hanya menarik satu pasaran, tetapi bersesuaian untuk semua lapisan penonton.“Filem animasi ini disediakan sarikata dalam Bahasa Malaysia dan Mandarin berikutan penggunaan bahasa asalnya adalah Bahasa Inggeris,” kata Norman.

Disco Worms adalah karya dari Denmark yang diarahkan pengarah terkenal negara itu, Thomas Borch-Nielsen. Beliau pernah memenangi beberapa anugerah, antaranya Anugerah Filem Fantasi di Festival Antarabangsa Brussels dan Festival Robert.

Disco Worms menceritakan mengenai seekor cacing tanah muda bernama Barry yang bosan dengan kehidupannya sebagai serangga. Di dalam sarang penempatan serangga, cacing menjadi golongan yang ditindas oleh spesies lain, dan satu-satunya harapan dalam kerjaya mereka ialah menjadi pengurus kelas pertengahan industri penghasilan baja yang dianggap kerjaya membosankan.

Jika Barry diberi satu pilihan, dia memilih untuk tidak mahu menjadi cacing. Pada satu hari, Barry terlanggar sekeping piring hitam yang mengandungi lagu disko lama. Apabila mendengar muzik itu, ia ibarat mengalir ke dalam susuk badannya.

Tanpa disedari, Barry mula menggoyangkan badannya mengikut aliran rentak muzik tanpa dikawal dan terus menari. Sejak itu, muncul semangat untuk menubuhkan kumpulan Boogie yang diiringi oleh Donna – pemain drum, Jimmy (gitar), Gloria (vokalis), Tito (bass) dan Barry (keyboard dan vokal utama).

Mereka menggelar kumpulan ini sebagai Sunshine Barry And The Disco Worms.

Barry mengambil bahagian dalam pertandingan lagu yang akan ditayangkan secara langsung di seluruh penempatan serangga. Pelbagai halangan yang terpaksa diharungi Barry dan kumpulannya sehingga tertangkap untuk dijadikan umpan pemancing.

Sumber : Harian Metro

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#368. Kapoww Filem Gila-Gila Azizi

GENG kampung terdiri daripada Soffi Jikan, Bob Kuman dan Khir Rahman yang sentiasa membuli Atoi

Filem grafik komik jawapan penerbit Malaysia kepada cerita adiwira luar negara

DUNIA perfileman Malaysia nampaknya makin meluas dari segi genre apabila filem demi filem berlainan bentuk dan konsep diterbitkan. Antara pengarah yang berani keluar dari kepompong biasa pembikinan filem tempatan ialah Azizi 'Chunk' Adnan.Selepas menghiburkan penonton negara ini dengan filem Antoo Fighter, pengarah muda ini sekali lagi memecahkan benteng dengan mengarahkan filem Kapoww!!! - Atoi Budak Kultur.

Dipromosikan sebagai sebuah filem grafik komik, Kapoww ialah filem ke-25 terbitan Tayangan Unggul Sdn Bhd. Ia dikatakan jawapan penerbit Malaysia kepada komik adiwira terkenal seperti Batman, Spiderman, Iron Man dan lain-lain. Bezanya ia agak gila-gila dan juga turut menyelitkan pelbagai mesej tersendiri yang disampaikan menerusi jenaka ringan mengikut santun dan budaya Timur oleh Azizi (yang juga penulis skripnya).

Bagi pengarah itu, semuanya mudah saja. Selain menghidangkan sebuah filem dengan jenaka ringan, dialog yang bijak dan lucu, serta senario yang gila-gila, Kapoww juga membawa maksud lebih mendalam.

Filem ini cuba melihat bagaimana manusia begitu mudah lupa diri dan terpengaruh dengan kuasa, kemasyhuran dan tuah. Ia juga memaparkan bagaimana kasih sayang dan sokongan seorang ibu tidak boleh dilupakan, serta perlu mempunyai sikap saling mempercayai.

Kapoww mengetengahkan kisah keluarga superhero - keluarga Astromen - yang berbakti melindungi rakyat Malaysia daripada anasir jahat. Mereka ialah adiwira yang disukai ramai orang.

Atoi, seorang remaja yang sentiasa bernasib malang bercita-cita menjadi superhero. Dia mahu menolong orang dan menjadi kebanggaan ibunya. Dengan keadaan dirinya itu, Atoi sering dibuli dan diperkecilkan oleh samseng kampung, diketuai Faibo. Hanya kawan baiknya, Aboo, yang memahami dan menggalakkan Atoi mencapai misinya.

Pada suatu petang, kerbau Atoi, Dolet, lari dari rumah. Dalam keadaan hujan lebat dan ribut petir, Atoi keluar mencari haiwan berkenaan. Ketika berteduh di bawah sebatang pokok, Atoi disambar petir. Setelah sedar daripada pengsan Atoi memperoleh kuasa luar biasa. Dia kini boleh bergerak sepantas kilat, matanya pula setajam mata pisau.

Atoi terpilih sebagai superhero baru Malaysia. Dia kemudian mengikut pengurus superhero, Din Abu ke Kuala Lumpur (KL). Sebelum itu dia berjanji kepada penduduk kampung, dia tidak akan melupakan mereka.

Atoi Budak Kultur kini menjadi sensasi terkini di KL. Namanya meniti di bibir. Dia menumpaskan banyak jenayah, lebih pantas dan lebih baik daripada Geng Astromen. Atoi mengalami kejutan budaya. Dia menukar namanya kepada Azroy. Sikap berlagak Atoi menyebabkan dia menghina ibu sendiri yang datang mencarinya pada sidang akhbar pelancaran album barunya. Atoi malu dengan ibu yang berbaju kurung, teman wanita dari kampung dan kawan baik yang bodoh-bodoh alang.

Atoi berpura-pura tidak mengenali mereka. Rakyat melihat kelakuan buruknya dan semua orang terkejut. Atoi kehilangan peminat, rakan, penaja, rumah dan kereta lumba dalam sekelip mata. Atoi kini dipulaukan semua orang.

Mengetahui Atoi sangat bergantung kepada sejenis minuman popular untuk merangsang kuasanya, arahan dikeluarkan oleh kerajaan, jika sesiapa dilihat memberi Atoi minuman itu, mereka akan didakwa! Atoi berputus asa. Dia kehilangan kuasa, juga keluarga. Dia kini sedar akan kesilapannya, tetapi semuanya sudah terlambat. Keluarganya diculik oleh kuasa jahat, Alakazambo! Superhero lain juga tidak lagi bersamanya, dan tiada siapa mahu membantu.

Mampukah Atoi menyelamatkan keluarganya? Adakah dia memiliki kembali kuasanya? Siapa Alakazambo dengan kuasa sihir jahatnya itu?

Antara pelakon yang menjayakan filem kedua Azizi ini ialah Zizan Raja Lawak, Bell Ngasri, Lisa Surihani, Rosnah Md Aris, Awie, Harun Salim Bachik, Delyla, Afdlin Shauki, Norlia Ghani, Khir Rahman, Bob Kuman, Soffi Jikan, Usop Kopratasa, Rashidi Ishak, Zailani, Bandi Amok, Sherry Ibrahim, Aishah Sinclair, Henzi Andalas, Patrick Teoh dan Sathiya.

Sumber : Berita Harian

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Isnin, Mac 30, 2009

#367. Poster : Star Trek [2009]




Star Trek is a science fiction film directed by J. J. Abrams, written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, and produced by Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk. It is the eleventh Star Trek film and features the main characters of the original Star Trek series, who are portrayed by a new cast. It explores the backstories of James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto), before they unite aboard the USS Enterprise to combat Nero (Eric Bana), a Romulan from the future who threatens the United Federation of Planets. The film will be released in conventional theaters and IMAX on May 8, 2009, in North America and the United Kingdom.

Official Website : http://www.startrekmovie.com

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#366. Trailer : Cheri [2009]



Cheri is an upcoming film starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Rupert Friend, and directed by Stephen Frears. It is an adaptation of the novel by French author Colette. The film premiered at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival. A romantic drama set in 1920s Paris, Cheri tells the story of a well-known French prostitute (Kathy Bates) sets up her son (Rupert Friend) with a fellow courtesan (Michelle Pfeiffer) to learn the ways of love, not expecting the two to continue their affair years down the road, when the chance for the man to marry into wealth threatens to destroy their romance. This movie hit UK theaters on May 08, 2009.

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#365. LayarTech : Monsters vs Aliens: Behind-the-Scenes Look at 3D Tech

Today, the highly-anticipated animated 3D Monsters vs Aliens hits theaters. Creating an animated 3D film is far from a simple process. There is still a lot to learn about the potential of the format, which is enjoying a resurgence thanks to improved digital technology, and filmmakers are often learning on the job. Dreamworks plans to release all of its animated films in 3D, starting with Monsters vs Aliens—Popular Mechanics got a behind-the-scenes look at how the studio created its 3D flagship from start to finish.

To the outside observer, creating a 3D film must look like a piece of cake. Rather than filming with two cameras and adjusting settings by hand, as directors must do in live-action stereoscopic films, animators can set cameras with computers. Need another view to represent the right eye? Accomplished with the click and drag of a mouse. Not to mention that none of your computer-generated actors will refuse to leave their trailers—or throw fits when you move a light during a scene.

But animators of Dreamworks' Monsters vs Aliens, out this weekend, beg to differ. Creating an animated 3D film is a complex process, and directors are still using trial and error to find the true potential of the format, which is enjoying a resurgence thanks to improved digital technology. Monsters vs Aliens is the first in Dreamworks' plans to release all of its animated films in 3D.

The 3D Trick
Our brains combine the different views from our eyes, which are positioned about 2 inches apart, to give us depth perception. To create a 3D film, animators mimic natural human vision by building a stereoscopic camera rig within the computer. Each rig is equipped with two cameras—one representing the view of each eye. The most important setting on the rig, according to Phil McNally, head of stereoscopic filmmaking at Dreamworks, is the interaxial setting, or the distance between the two cameras. "If the two cameras are in the same position, you get no stereo. Everything is in the same position in the world, and you get a 2D movie," he says. "The wider you separate the cameras, the more each point of view can see around an object. So literally, the wider you separate the cameras, the more 3D volume in the scene." The zero parallax setting (ZPS) is also important to the experience. The ZPS determines where the two camera views converge on screen—and therefore what appears in front of the screen, in what filmmakers call personal space, and behind the screen in what they call "world space."

Most of the time, filmmakers at Dreamworks use computer software—including a suite of commercial programs such as Maya as well as in-house tools and software applets—to precisely control the cameras' stereoscopic settings. Automated control has two benefits: It saves huge amounts of time that filmmakers would otherwise have to use manually setting shots; and it allows filmmakers to overstep one of the problems of old-school 3D—viewer headaches—by establishing safe parameters for the objects on screen. Programmer Paul Newell is responsible for building the rigs to McNally's specifications. "As an artist, I don't really want to have to get the calculator out every time I'm trying to set up my stereo," McNally says. Some shots must be set manually, but for the majority of shots, "I want tools that allow me to set the stereo and calculate the interaxial and convergence point for me, based on what I want to achieve. Paul takes that idea and actually has to make it work by doing the programming and math calculations and building a stereoscopic camera rig inside the computer that gives me handles and dials to turn."

Animators also create a dynamic stereoscopic window—a black box that frames the film—which is part of composition and is even used to enhance the action of a film. "If we want someone to run toward us, it's an optical trick to put the stereo window close to the audience while the character is distant, and as the character runs toward the audience, we actually push the stereo window away to magnify, or amplify, the feeling that the person is coming closer," McNally says. "The character runs forward and the window recedes at the same time, but the audience never sees the window move."

Using 3D Wisely
Still, McNally says, good stereo settings do not a good 3D movie make—nor do techniques widely used in mono moviemaking, and this is where filmmakers still have a lot to learn. "Something that we're learning is that the type of layout and composition that you create can be pretty different between normal 2D filmmaking and 3D filmmaking," McNally says. "Something that's very interesting as a graphically flat painting is not necessarily interesting as a 3D spatial environment. Typical shots that have been used a lot in 2D filmmaking—two characters standing side-by-side, against a plain or a blurry background—really don't offer that much in 3D. So really, making a successful 3D movie is about creating, or reinventing, cinematic techniques."

That's where the InterSense camera room comes in. Few other studios have the digital tracking technology, which helps filmmakers plan shots. "It's the coolest thing ever," says Damon O'Beirne, head of layout on Monsters vs Aliens. "It's a display with handles, and in the screen you can actually look into the digital set. And as you walk around with the camera, it starts to walk you through the set. When you angle the camera up into a corner of the room, the computer recalculates and then you see into the corner of the set." The space is also scaleable. "Imagine if we were shooting on a football field, and we have a room, which is maybe 10 meters by 5; we can scale that room up to fit the football field. So when you walk across the 5-meter room, you've just crossed a football field," O'Beirne says. "So very, very easily, you can walk a huge set and look for angles and talk about possible shot construction." The room has helped them create realistic hand-held camera movement; animators have even taken finished animations into the room for tweaking—such as the sequence in Monsters vs Aliens where Susan finds the robot on the bridge. "We wanted a really handheld feeling," O'Beirne says. "And we could take the animation back up into the camera capture room and start reacting to every action that she might do. Whereas in the past, we probably would've just left that a lot simpler and maybe even locked it off. But now we can get a lot of intensity. And we couldn't do it without the camera capture room."

Fixing Compression and Distortion
With shots storyboarded, it's time to call action. In the computer, there is a CG environment with the characters in low resolution. McNally inputs the parameters of a particular scene into the computer, which calculates the stereoscopic camera settings within seconds. "The difficulty with that system is you can take a very deep environment and start to compress the scene, and I can make that comfortable by bringing the background in and pushing the foreground away," McNally says. "But the result is you might get characters that look like they're cardboard cutouts in the middle of the scene." To get around that problem, animators use a tool that measures just how much a character has been squashed to fit into the near and far boxes. "Based on testing and the experience of looking in the theater at full size, we can look and decide what we want the character to be like, what we think is the perfect on-model representation of the character, and then we can put those numbers into the calculator of the stereo rig," McNally says. "So, as I'm setting my safe near and far points, I can also look at the character compression and see if the character been squashed too much or if I need to give it more or less stereo volume to make him look right."

Sometimes, however, that tool isn't enough. If the near and far settings are at maximum, and the character is still compressed, animators will switch strategies and shoot the scene with multiple stereoscopic rigs—up to eight at a time. "We might have a shot which has a distant hill all the way down the road, and in the foreground there are some branches, and there are two characters talking relatively closeup who are behind the branches but in front of the hills," McNally says. "If we set the camera so that the branches and the hills are at a comfortable distance, we now have these really compressed cardboard-cutout characters. In CG, we can have one set of cameras see just the branches; another set of cameras can see the background; and a third set of cameras—or even a third and a fourth, one for each character—where we can manipulate the space for each individual element in the scene."

In-house tools, in conjunction with Maya 3D animating software, allow filmmakers to compose—and see how the scene will play out—in real time in the stereo-preview window. "At the desktop we can sit and look with our glasses on and manipulate these different stereo camera rigs and build a stereo scene," McNally says. "The scene could be put together from two, four, six or eight cameras all working together to create this final result, which is a perfect blend of comfort but also retaining as much stereo volume as we can get. And all of these parameters are animateable as well."

Computing Power
Animating in 3D, previewing 3D live and, finally, rendering two separate films—one for the right eye and one for the left—requires incredible amounts of computing power. Dreamworks used Intel's Core i7 microprocessor (just recently released to the public) on Monsters vs Aliens. "As you might imagine, the computing demands for calculation and processing of all the pixels and all the images that have to be rendered in an feature animation, they take a step function and go way up when you go to 3D," says John Middleton, director of software and services group marketing at Intel. The company set up processors in Dreamworks' servers, where films are rendered, and at its animators' workstations, where the films are created. "One of the most fundamental ways that people with intensive computing demands can take advantage of these processors is being able to tune and create their software so it knows how to use four or eight processing cores at once," Middleton explains. "This is so-called parallel programming, where different pieces of your application are operating on different threads. This is a great methodology and a great attribute for the type of animation software that Dreamworks uses in creating its movies."

Though animators still have a lot to learn, the guys at Dreamworks are pleased with how 3D plays in Monsters vs Aliens. "It was just the perfect movie for it," O'Beirne says. "In a mono movie you'd look at the robot and you'd go ‘well, maybe it's 50 feet, maybe it's a 100 feet.' But in 3D, you immediately have the spatial clues to actually gauge how big these things are. There's a shot where Susan falls onto the ground and the camera angles up and is looking up at this 400-foot robot. It's towering over the audience. Graphically it's a well-staged shot, but in 3D, it's terrifying."

Source : PopularMechanics Mag

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#364. Movie Buzz

1.In Brightest Trek ...
There's word on the Web that Chris Pine, soon to be seen as Cadet James T. Kirk in JJ Abrams' Star Trek reboot, could be cast as venerable DC Comics hero, the Green Lantern. With preliminary work on the superhero movie set to begin soon in Australia, the time would be about right for the producers to settle on casting the title role.If it's to be so, Pine would play Hal Jordan, a fearless Earthling chosen to be one of an elite corps of galactic peacekeepers.

Green Lanterns are given a special power ring which allows the wearer's willpower to manifest itself as a physical force. That is, if the Lantern imagines a giant fist bludgeoning his foes into the dirt ... voila! One oversized knuckle sandwich served hot 'n' green. Need a cage to corral some unruly Khund pirates? Coming right up!What about a cool script that will not make the concept seem too campy and unbelievable? Er, that one'll take a bit of doing ....

2. Warner swears off R-rated superheroes
With Watchmen taking an unfortunate nosedive at the boxoffice after a decent opening weekend, it appears that Warner Bros has decided against having any more R-rated superhero movies. The Movie Reporter website IESB.net quotes a source as saying that the studio observed that last year's big superflicks, The Dark Knight (US$1bil gross worldwide) and Iron Man US$582mil worldwide) were both PG-13 films. After R-rated comic-book movies like Punisher: War Zone bombed and Watchmen underperformed, it looks as if the future slate of DC movies - Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and Flash as well as any other Batman or Superman films - will be firmly within the PG-13 bracket so families can throng the cineplexes to watch them. This would put those movies a little edgier than the family-friendly Fantastic Four movies from Fox, IESB noted. To be frank, Warner dudes, Watchmen would not have been worth one minute of screen time if it had been toned down to a PG-13.

3. Smart Little Fockers?
Pete Segal, who helmed Get Smart and the Longest Yard remake with Adam Sandler, is the leading choice to direct Meet The Parents sequel #2, Little Fockers. Trade paper Variety reports that Segal's schedule has freed up for him to direct the movie since the Get Smart sequel has been pushed back a year. The previous two movies, Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers, were directed by Jay Roach (Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery).

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#363. No bounce to Dragonball movie

[The general sentiment is that Dragonball: Evolution is poorly adapted and feels too Westernised. And Master Roshi (played by Chow Yun-Fat, seen here with Justin Chatwin as Goku) needs a turtle shell!]

Does Hollywood’s latest adaptation of a manga, Dragonball: Evolution, make the grade? Anime fans weigh in.

MAKING an adaptation is always tricky: stick too much to the source material, and the general audience will be alienated; change the original material too much, and the hardcore fans will be offended.Once in a while, a masterpiece rolls along which manages to strike a perfect balance between the two (The Lord of the Rings immediately comes to mind), leaving both fans and casual viewers satisfied.

On the other side of the spectrum, you sometimes get movies which manage to offend both sides of the fence and sadly, this is just what the recently released Dragonball: Evolution directed by James Wong manages to achieve.Ignoring the various changes made to the original storyline, Dragonball: Evolution’s plot is a huge mess. There is little explanation provided for the events unfolding (like how Piccolo, who was supposedly sealed up 2,000 years ago, manages to suddenly break free).

And the pacing ranges from incredibly slow and awkward (think all the lovey-dovey scenes between Goku and Chi Chi) to ridiculously rushed and anticlimactic (the highlight of the whole movie, the battle between Goku and Piccolo, is resolved in under five minutes).

Characters are introduced with seemingly no other purpose than to fill the set-roster and deliver cheesy, god-awful lines. Each appears to have been thrown into this mess rather than actually having a reason to embark on a journey to save the Earth. The villains appear to have no reason for wanting to destroy the Earth either (aside from being a plot device that is).

Special effects are unbelievably mediocre, especially for a million-dollar-budgeted movie. The Oozaru transformation-reversion scene isn’t even animated, and is instead covered by a series of cheap flashbacks (which are, by the way, recycled at least three times throughout the movie). They certainly show where the money didn’t go to.

Not only does it sever almost every connection it has with the original material, it has such a badly edited script that even casual moviegoers will be left scratching their heads. Dragonball: Evolution is the perfect candidate for a textbook case on how not to adapt anime or manga into movies.

(Score: 0.5/5)

What other fans of the manga say about the movie:

I’ve read Dragon Ball since I was a kid, and I think Dragonball: Evolution would have fared better if it was not named Dragonball. There is little resemblance to the original material and if you’re going to adapt a well-known manga, at least try to keep some of the basics intact for fans like us. On the whole, the movie is decent and funny at times, although some of the fight scenes are too brief. – Kalvin Ong, 19 (Score: 3/5)

I am totally disappointed with the movie. There is no connection with Dragon Ball whatsoever except the names of the main characters and the fact that they’re travelling in search of seven orange-coloured balls. I hope in future any directors hoping to adapt anime or manga would do some research on the original material so as not to insult us fans. – Ivan Chin, 21 (Score: 1/5)

I feel the movie is too fast and too short. It is only about an hour and 20 minutes, and the climax is depressingly bad. It also doesn’t feel like Dragon Ball to me. – Sandiraj Sandraseram, 20 (Score: 2/5)

Compared to the original manga, the storyline isn’t as compelling. The whole movie feels rushed, and there is little to no plot present. The climactic battle scene between Goku and Piccolo is short and lame. They should also have chosen Asian actors; the movie doesn’t feel like Dragon Ball otherwise. Bulma is a tad too aggressive though, and Master Roshi needs a turtle shell. – Lee Kar Seng, 20 (Score: 3/5)

The movie feels too Westernised. The whole setting is bizarre for a Dragon Ball adaptation, and the characterisation is way off. Goku seems mature at times and naive at others. The overall acting is mediocre, with the best actor being the unnamed character serving Piccolo. The special effects are horrible and appear low-budget. – Tan Yoke Huat, 19 (Score: 2/5)

Source : The Star

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#362. Just call it MAX

JUST like how you’d call Robert, your buddy, Bob, Cinemax will be recognised simply as MAX from today. Not only is there a breezy, retrospective feel to it, HBO Asia’s MAX rebranding will also see the movie channel providing edge-of-the-seat entertainment with a fresh on-air style and enhanced content.The 24-hour commercial-free premium programming subscription service packs entertainment with a bold and direct attitude, indulging viewers with genre-driven action, sci-fi and suspense programmes.

Everybody gets a slice of the pie with a diverse spread of daily 10pm programmes under different slots:
·Mondays (MAX Twilight) – horror, sci-fi and fantasy.
·Tuesdays (MAX Fanboy) – cult titles.
·Wednesdays (MAX Icon) – iconic performances from Hollywood superstars.
·Thursdays (MAX Thriller) – suspense, mystery and thrills.
·Fridays to Sundays (MAX Action) – action.

Kicking off the fanfare tonight is the Asian television premiere of the J.J. Abrams-produced monster movie Cloverfield. And if you feel something for the fedora-clad Indy, then stay tuned for the Indiana Jones movie franchise which leads to the archaeologist’s most recent adventure in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Special treats include True Blood (Thursdays, 10pm, starting April 9), a sexy, scary yet entertaining HBO original series about a telepathic waitress with an irresistible attraction to vampires starring Anna Paquin (of X-Men fame) and Stephen Moyer.

Adding to the revelry is HBO World Boxing (midnight on Thursdays beginning April 16), which features classic boxing footage, with blows traded between Shane Mosley and Jose Rivera, Roy Jones Jr and Mike McCallum and, Antonio Margarito and Paul Williams.

After all, what do good buddies do? They entertain!

Source : The Star

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#361. 3-D marvel

Advanced digital technology is making movies jump to life in three dimensions.

MONSTERS vs Aliens opens with an old 3-D gag: A ball bounces directly into the audience, causing moviegoers to instinctively scoot back in their seats. But the resemblance to old-fashioned 3-D ends there.The film relies on entirely new technology – much of it developed during production – to lend depth to an epic battle in outer space and drama to the collapse of the Golden Gate bridge as four modern monsters fight to save Earth from alien invasion.

“We can dial in the (3-D) to a degree that was unthinkable even 10 years ago,” said the stereoscopic supervisor at DreamWorks, who legally changed his name 12 years ago to Phil Captain 3D McNally (it appears on his driver’s licence as Captain IIID).“What I’m hoping people will see in Monsters vs Aliens for the first time is stereoscopic filmmaking that feels completely integrated into the flow of the story.”Unlike most 3-D movies, which are conceived and shot in two dimensions and then rendered later, the film was made start to finish in three dimensions, with directors watching daily takes through 3-D glasses.Producer Lisa Stewart said it made sense for the story, which she characterised as “a homage to the 1950s and 60s monster horror movies where 3-D really first came into the fore.”

The film follows Susan (voiced by Reese Witherspoon), who’s transformed into the 15m-tall Ginormica after she gets hit by a meteor on her wedding day. When aliens attack the planet, it’s up to Ginormica and her fellow monsters – a gelatinous blob named B.O.B. (Seth Rogen), a mad scientist called Dr Cockroach (Hugh Laurie) and a fish-ape known as the Missing Link (Will Arnett) – to save the world.

The characters, concepts and landscapes lent themselves to three-dimensional exploration. But there were concerns about the technology. What were its limitations? Would filmmakers be reduced to a series of coming-right-at-you sight gags?

“There was an initial fear that it was going to be a gimmick like it was in the 50s, where we’re suddenly going to be asked to throw a bunch of stuff out through the screen,” Stewart said. “But that was not at all what he wanted to do. ... It was about how can we use this (technology) to tell the story that we’re already telling, how can we use it to our advantage.”

They developed the story as they typically would, she said. The magic – and complications – began when they started shooting.

“There was a lot of trial and error at first,” Stewart said. “And there were a lot of preconceived rules of what you could and could not do in 3-D.”

For example, quick cuts during action scenes were thought to be impossible because such drastic perspective changes caused too much eye strain.

“In real life, there’s no such thing as a cut,” noted Captain 3D.

His team solved the problem by creating a tool that digitally blends depth, so “you get the feeling of a fast cut with the comfort of a slow dissolve,” he said.

McNally’s team developed virtual cameras to allow for more realistic action shots, so when Ginormica skates through the streets of San Francisco on two cars, it feels like a real camera, not a computer, captured the action. The team also learned to manipulate depth frame by frame, switching seamlessly from 2-D to 3-D to make fast-action scenes easier on the eye.

McNally, who has been doing “stereo photography” for almost two decades, said movie fans have been receptive to 3-D pictures since the 1950s – it’s just that technology kept tripping up the format. Not anymore: Computer-generated images and digital projectors have advanced enough to make 3-D cinema viable.

Old-fashioned 3-D films relied on two projectors playing simultaneously, one showing a left-eye image and the other a right-eye image, mimicking the brain’s perception of depth through the merging of these separate images.

If the timing or alignment of either projector was off, moviegoers ended up with a blurry picture, eye strain and headaches.

Digital projectors fixed that. A single projector runs at 144 frames per second (instead of the typical movie pace of 24), projecting sequential images for the right eye and left eye so fast that they appear to be simultaneous.

“It literally projects left eye and right eye three times per movie frame,” McNally said, adding that the projectors also allow for “perfect synchronisation and perfect alignment”.

The result? Seamless 3-D cinema that studios and filmmakers are betting on for future projects.

Studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg promised last year that all future DreamWorks Animation releases would be in 3-D, beginning with Monsters vs Aliens. And at least a dozen 3-D films are set for release this year, including Pixar’s first 3-D venture, Up, and James Cameron’s live-action 3-D epic, Avatar.

While ticket sales for 3-D movies, which typically cost a few dollars more, could boost box-office totals, moviegoers may stand to benefit most.

“I think the 3-D is really cool,” Rogen said.

“I loved it,” said Kiefer Sutherland, who plays General W.R. Monger, the Army officer in charge of the monsters. “I’m 42 years old, and there’s that one shot where the meteorites are heading towards Earth and they slowly pass over your right shoulder, then slowly over your left shoulder and above your head, and I still looked around to see where they were coming from.” – AP

‘Monsters vs Aliens’ hits the screen in May.

Source : The Star

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