Tuesday, December 25, 2012

San Antonio Real Estate Investment

San Antonio Real Estate Investment helps investors network and safely invest in investment properties. Founder Mark Ramos has been in real estate investing for several years and specializes in finding and rehabbing investment properties in San Antonio.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Colorado Real Estate Investment Properties

Colorado Investment Properties is the premiere source for wholesale and turn-key investment property in Colorado. We specialize in selling high cash flow residential properties to savvy investors worldwide.

Our team has expertise in property acquisition, marketing, property management, cash flow analysis, title and legal, lending/financing, and property maintenance. We’ve got answers to all your investment questions!

Denver Real Estate Investment

The real estate boom and bust have created the “perfect storm” for real estate investors who are looking to buy low, cash flow big, and eventually sell high.

We have a proven track record of helping investors capitalize on market conditions. Buy and Hold Rentals, Lease Options, Quick Flips, Rehab and Retail, Wholesaling – we have done it all and can help you do the same

Friday, December 14, 2012

Your Cooking Recipes Reference

Serving special and delicious food must be an important thing for you especially if you want to serve the food for special people in your life. It must be much better if you can serve your own dish for your special guests and you will be proud of yourself if you can serve the best you have. Your guests will give their compliments and even congratulate you for your successfulness in cooking. It is clear that cooking is special activity for everyone including you. For this, you may need various food recipes to guide you cooking different dishes.

Asiafoodrecipe.com is a referable website where you can find a lot of recipes to support your fun cooking activities for any occasions you have. You must realize that different occasions have different dish to serve. What I need to tell you about the website is that your are wrong if you think that you are only given the recipes of Asian food, you’d better visit the site because AsiaFoodRecipe.com does not only about Asian food. Various recipes from every parts of the world are available here. You just need to find the best food recipe for your need and your occasion. Special recipes for special moments are also provided to satisfy your desire of best dishes ever.

 For the coming Christmas, you can download printable cooking recipe for the special moment. You know, everyone wants the only special things on Christmas. On the website, you can download and print the recipes of beverages, appetizer, main course, and the dessert. Now, you can directly visit the website to find your favorable food recipes and download them. Finally, you can start cooking at home by your own. But wait, you can also modify the food as you want it to be your own signature dish. Happy cooking!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Denver Real Estate Investment

The #1 Source for Denver Investment Properties, Denver Real Estate Investors and those interested in Denver Investment Property. Post your deals and let members know what you need. This is a page for all Denver, Colorado Real Estate Investors and those interested in Denver Investment Property. Post your deals and let members know what you need.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Just Where To Get Cash Advance Debts For Cigarette Addicts?

Finding and securing a money upfront loan can be a terribly effective as a result of get fast relief from debt great and also immediate. It offers a short-term option providers back to their difficulties by giving them with access to the money that will assist to conceal important overheads or perhaps the worth of residing really needed. 

There are really many alternative techniques that debtors can make a particular application for also as have a payday loan. Potential debtors may discover there are a few necessities they have to meet to have the ability get the affirmation  . for instance, debtors simply want legal waiting once applying, feature a verifiable provider of consistent economic gain and a strenuous banking account. If in case or as soon as you are not keen on the thought of sharing personal information, there are multiple alternative choices that you just can utilize. numerous creditors tend to be increasingly being developing their offerings inside the market online. 

Indeed there are really several extra side in applying for loans in this excellent fashion. and also later the greatest money, however, lays within the incontrovertible reality which the borrower can build financial dealings from starting to complete without to occupation foot off of the attributes. there's conjointly the inclination of applying for debts cash progress by employing a itinerant or perhaps drug. Connected application and also true blessing system is only as affordable because those of a different approach, if in case virtually no even more. Inside the end, individuals can make a particular application for having to pay for of the particular kind from any venue wherever there exists certainly a computer, laptop or cellular phone handheld gear with web connectivity.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises - Movie Review

The Dark Knight Rises has been without a doubt, my most anticipated movie of the year. I am a huge superhero movie fan but lately with movies like The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man, I felt quite let down, disappointed and frustrated.

TDKR, however, lived up to its expectations by completing the completing the "Batman Trilogy" in an epic way. Here are my top 5 reasons the movie was spectacular.

#1. The action

The action was just simply brilliant. Similar to Christopher Nolan's Inception, the action created intense suspense and it was REAL. Bane's fight scenes with Batman were incredible and in some cases jaw dropping. The anticipated and cringing "Back break" was brutal and almost brought tears to my eyes - which makes it very emotional. Contrary to some reviews, I think the movie was very interactive and made connections with the audience/fans.

#2. Cast

I have to admit, I wasn't so sure about Anne Hathaway's performance as Catwoman she made a believer out of me with her cute innocent but seductive and sly character. Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman as Commission Gordon, Joseph Gordon Levitte as Blake (who by the way is foreshadowed as Robin) and of course Tom Hardy as Bane were excellent. They really added flair to the movie and intensified Batman's (Christian Bale) character. It seemed they just clicked. On a personal note, I really dislike Marion Cotillard (Miranda Tate / Talia al Ghul) just as I did in Inception.

#3. Story

Although some parts did not make sense to me, I would suggest to go back and watch Batman Begins, which would answer a lot of confused questions. One being, how the hell did Bruce Wayne get back into the city and if you watch Batman Begins (or remember), Alfred mentions there were tunnels built by Bruce's great (great?) grandfather to smuggle people in and out. I was blown away.

Furthermore, symbolism and themes have been prevalent in all 3 films - corruption, class struggle, economic crisis, and the meaning of true selfless heroic acts have just simply added much-needed emotional connection with the film.

The story connects perfectly, though the movie is choppy at times but maybe that's the style it was made in? They could have made it longer but it could have been draggy then.

#4. Music (Score)

Most wouldn't consider this a reason to like or watch it, but wow the music and audio made such an impact. With scenes such as Bruce Wayne climbing up the well with inmates chanting "Rise" in some other language. BTW anyone know which language that was? And where this well is?

#5. The Vehicles

This deserves a whole reason to watch and love the movie. It was simply a thrill to watch the chases scenes. All I could think and say was, I want that bike!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Arya Stark - Our Favourite Underdog

Arya Stark doesn't want to be a lady

Arya Stark, Even when she was living in Winterfell with the rest of her family, Arya Stark was never a regular little girl. In the books she's only 9, while in the series, where she's played by the adorable Maisie Williams, she is a bit older than that. In all of her life, as she can remember, she never enjoyed the girly activities - sewing, singing, and remembering romantic stories that the Old Nan used to tell her.

Sansa was the perfect girl, so it's no wonder the two of them don't really get along, even though later on, forced by the circumstances, Arya realizes she loves her sister in spite of the differences between them. What Arya does love is all the fierce activities, like fighting, and exploration, and horse riding. She doesn't mind getting her hands muddy if that means she will discover something new.

Like all of the Stark children, Arya has a direwolf named Nymeria. On the way to King's Landing, and mostly thanks to Sansa's being shallow, Arya has to make Nymeria leave. As the story unfolds, we realize that Arya sometimes connects to Nymeria in her sleep, like Bran Stark does with his direwolf Summer, and Jon Snow with his direwolf Ghost. It could be said that Arya Stark's favourite brother is Jon Snow, because the two of them are most alike - they are the only ones who look more like Stark than Tully, after Catelyn Stark's family.

Jon is a bastard son of Ned Stark, while Arya is not a typical little girl, and being different from anyone else is another thing that makes them connect to each other. So, it was Jon Snow who gave Arya a sword before she went to King's Landing. The little sword she named Needle is the only thing that connects her to her true identity. Ayra Stark

Arya Stark - a fierce little warrior

In the series, we see how even her father Ned Stark acknowledges her fierce side, making her have fencing lectures with Syrio Forel, a Braavosi swordsman. His lectures are the last happy memories Arya Stark will have. After Ned's execution, Arya is disguised as a boy and goes with the Night's Watch recruits, attempting to get back to Winterfell.

However, the destiny has something different in store for her. She starts losing her companions one by one. Yoren, a brother of the Night's Watch, who rescued her from King's Landing after Ned's execution, Gendry, Hot Pie, even her sword Needle... she loses friends and gains enemies. With all the hard life lessons Arya Stark is experiencing while wandering through Westeros, her only comfort becomes a lullaby of names of those she wishes dead - Jeffrey Baratheon, Cersei Lannister, Ser Amory Lorch, Ser Gregor Clegane, Ser Ilyn Payne, The Hound...

Yaqen H'ghar, a mysterious prisoner of the Night's Watch whom she helped to escape after the group's been attacked by Lannister soldiers, offers Arya three deaths for the three lives, including his, she saved. After the deal is done, Yaqen H'ghar proves to be a Faceless man, and he gives Arya an iron coin. This is pretty much how far the series has come, but in the books the story of Arya Stark continues. She is the only character who has at least one POV in each of the books after all. So, Arya continues to go all over the Westeros, trying to reach Winterfell, then Riverrun, then the Frey Towers, but she never manages to get to her destination.

Along the way, she manages to remove some of the names from her list, and even get her Needle back. She finds a way to use the iron coin, and goes over the Narrow Sea, to the city of Braavos. All this time, Arya Stark constantly changes her identity. While with Yoren, she was known as a boy Arry. Later she becomes Nymeria or Nan for short, then Weasel, then Salty, then the Cat of the Canals, then Beth... In Braavos, she comes to the House of Black and White, where, it seems, the Faceless Men are trained.

So, Arya starts her training there. The most important part of the training is to become no one, and that is the one thing Arya can't do. She is forced to leave all of her belongings so she could become no one, and she does so, with the exception of Needle, which she hides in a special place known only to her. So, at the end of the fifth book, A Dance with Dragons, Arya comes to the higher levels of her training, but she doesn't let go of her old self - Arya Stark of Winterfell. What will happen to her? We will have to wait and see, and we can bet it will be one of the most interesting stories of A Song of Ice and Fire.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Movie Review: The Other Dream Team

Rating: Unrated

Length: 89 minutes

Release date: Sept. 28, 2012

Directed by: Marius A. Markevičius

Genre: Documentary

"The Other Dream Team" documentary focuses on the significance of the Lithuanian basketball community to that country when it was going through turbulent times. After the collapse of communism, Lithuania was faced with serious socio-economic problems. Lithuania's basketball team debut in the 1992 Olympics proved to be a unifying and comforting factor that helped to hold the country together and boosted national morale and pride.

The movie begins at the 1988 Olympics, when the USSR triumphed over the United States to win the coveted gold medal in basketball. The USSR team was successful mainly because of its inclusion of four Lithuanian basketball players. These four talented players were Arvydas Sabonis, Rimas Kurtinaitis, ŠarÅ«nas Marčiulionis, and Valdemaras Chomičius. This was the first time the four basketball stars were playing at an international level, and they thoroughly enjoyed it. Still, they wanted to play and win for their own country and not for the USSR.

The four players joined the struggle for their country's independence, while at the same time endeavoring to be legitimate basketball players. Their life under communist rule was not easy, and although permitted to travel, they had to contend with doing so under the KGB's supervision. The players began trading, buying products in foreign countries and selling them at home for modest profits. This was the only way they could support their families during these hard times.

Sabonis, a talented center forward, was drafted by the Portland Trailblazers. His excitement was short-lived; he was soon notified by the USSR authorities that he was not allowed to sign the contract or to leave his country. The struggle was long and difficult but the Lithuanians did not relent, and in 1992 they were able to send a team to the Olympics in Barcelona. They won many supporters when the public heard about their struggle to play for their own country. One of their greatest fans was the rock band, Grateful Dead, who paid for their trip to Spain and had their artist design the Lithuanians' basketball team logo. The Lithuanian basketball team became a pop symbol for standing up to oppressive regimes. Their determination saw them reach the semi-finals where they played the American Dream Team before facing their longtime foe, USSR, to compete for the bronze medal.

On the surface, it is easy to label "The Other Dream Team" as a historical or sports documentary, but there is more to the movie than that. The resolve and hard work of the Lithuanian basketball players is inspirational. It is a movie about the value of national pride, and what a purposeful group of people can achieve.

The documentary's political undertones are strong, and the team's fight to break away from the yoke of the USSR totalitarian regime is well depicted. Markevičius cleverly interweaves the history of the Lithuanian basketball players and that of the USSR, and he clearly brings to the fore the latter's destruction of Lithuania.

The movie shows that although many people view sports only in the light of fun and games, this is not always the case. It is very common for sport to carry political undertones. Many fans take such pride in their teams that the success or failure of a national team can deflate or raise the hopes and morale of a country. Even so, the case of the Lithuanian basketball team is an extraordinary one.

Many movies have featured sport as their main topic. "Once Brothers," a 2010 project of Markevičius and Michael Tolajian, chronicles the separation of the Yugoslavian national team into Croatian and Serbian units. "Coach Carter" (2005) and "Remember the Titans" (2000) are films based on true events. However, the stranger than fiction fusion of sports, history, and politics depicted in "The Other Dream Team" is unique to this documentary.

The movie brings to the surface the importance of friendship in sports too, as is revealed by the lifelong friendship between Marčiulionis and Sabonis. It is clear that a few people can make a difference, whether in sports or politics, and self-belief is central in making a positive impact. "The Other Dream Team" can be summed up as a documentary on the rebirth of Lithuania through basketball.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Cast of Steven Spielberg's ( Lincoln )

In 2011, Stephen Spielberg teamed with Dreamworks and Twentieth Century Fox to film the war drama "Lincoln." Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States, is played by Daniel Day-Lewis, and Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, is portrayed by Sally Field. The movie is based on a biography of Lincoln, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, written by Doris Kearns Goodwin. The film examines the last four months of Lincoln's life when slavery was abolished, the Union won the Civil War, and Lincoln was locked in a political battle with his cabinet members.

The film "Lincoln" has been in the works for many years. It began in 1999 when Goodwin first told Spielberg about her plans to write the book. Spielberg immediately staked a claim on the film rights. Dreamworks finalized the deal in 2001, and later that year, John Logan wrote the script. Logan's script focused more on the president's relationship with statesman Frederick Douglass rather than on his work. Paul Webb was hired to rewrite the script. The film was scheduled to begin production in 2006, but Spielberg, unsatisfied with the Webb's script, delayed it. Tony Kushner wrote the final script.

The movie filmed for a very short two months between October 17 and December 19, 2011 in Petersburg and Richmond, Virginia. The film is scheduled to be released in U.S. theaters November 9, 2012 and worldwide November 16, 2012.

Spielberg has assembled some of the best acting talent in Hollywood for his film. The role of Honest Abe was originally given to Liam Neeson in early 2005. After his extensive study of Lincoln's life, Neeson, who had received an Oscar nomination for his acting in Spielberg's "Schindler's List," felt he was too old for the part and left the role. Day-Lewis, who won Oscars for "My Left Foot" and "There Will Be Blood," was cast in the role in late 2010. Field, who claimed Oscars for "Norma Rae" and "Places in the Heart," was named to the role of Mary Todd in early 2011.

"Looper" star Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the part of Robert Todd Lincoln, the eldest son of Abraham and Mary. Robert Todd, who had enlisted in the Union Army, came home to visit his family the night his father was assassinated. Tad Lincoln, the twelve-year-old son of Abraham and Mary, is played by Australian child actor Gulliver McGrath.

David Strathairn, nominated for an Oscar for his role in "Good Night and Good Luck," plays Lincoln's secretary of state and dear friend, William Seward. Nine days before Lincoln was killed, Seward was attacked in his carriage by Lewis Powell, one of the conspirators in the assassination of Lincoln.

Tommy Lee Jones, who won a best supporting actor Oscar for "The Fugitive," stars as Thaddeus Stevens, the radical Republican congressional leader who denounced Lincoln on the House floor after he met with a Confederate peace delegation.

Bruce McGill stars as Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. McGill played Jack Dalton on the hit television series "MacGyver." Stanton investigated the assassination plot against President Lincoln.

James Spader, best known for his roles in "Pretty in Pink" and "The Practice," stars as William N. Bilboe, Democratic operative who was imprisoned and then later freed by President Lincoln.

ABC's "Pushing Daisies" actor Lee Pace stars as former New York City Mayor Fernando Wood.

FX's "Justified" actor Walton Goggins takes on the role of Democratic Congressman Wells A. Hutchins.

Gloria Reuben, best known for her role as Jeanie Boulet on the medical drama "ER," plays Elizabeth Keckley, a former slave who was Mary Todd Lincoln's dressmaker and close friend.

Best known for his role as Moocher in "Breaking Away," Jackie Early Haley portrays Alexander H. Stephens, vice president of the Confederate States of America.

Ulysses S. Grant, Union Army lieutenant general and future United States president, is brought to the big screen by Jared Harris, a British actor who starred in "Mad Men" and "Fringe."

Gregory Itzin, who plays United States President Charles Logan in the television drama "24," plays former Supreme Court Justice John Archibald Campbell.

The actor who depicts Preacher Green in "The Help," David Oyelowo, stars as Ira Clark.

Joseph Cross portrays President Lincoln's secretary and assistant, John Hay.

The founder of Lincoln College, Colonel Robert Latham, is played by "Deadwood" star John Hawkes.

Hal Holbrook, nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for "Into the Wild," won an Emmy for his role as Abraham Lincoln in a 1976 TV miniseries. In this film, he plays Francis Preston Blair, a Republican politician who attempted to arrange a peace agreement between the Confederacy and the Union during the Civil War.

"O Brother Where Art Thou" actor Wayne Duvall plays radical Republican Senator Bluff Wade. Tim Blake Nelson, who starred in the same movie with Duvall, depicts politician Richard Schell.

Other cast members include David Costabile, David Warshofsky, Jeremy Strong, Dakin Matthews, Boris McGiver, Byron Jennings, Richard Topol, S. Epatha Merkerson, and Julie White.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hardcore Halloween: Ghost Watch

On Halloween 1992, the BBC aired a programme called 'Ghost-watch', and it's place in television folklore is unsurpassed. Any child who stayed at home that fateful night may have given up the ghost on having a scary night, but unbeknown to everyone, this stay-at-home Halloween turned into an almighty shit-storm.

The show was years before 'The Blair Witch Project', a feature film which based its terror on creating a web-site documenting the discovery of film footage in woodland. The answer to the problem of making a horror film without any budget? - pretend the film is true camcorder footage. Can't afford decent actors? - film amateur actors without telling them what the plot is, thereby having their panic real and believable.

'Ghost watch' was so daring and controversial that the only possible explanation for this being shown on prime-time television was that they were completely oblivious as to how many people would take this show at face value. This show was billed in every TV magazine and newspaper as being in the vein of a lighthearted Halloween themed ghost investigation. One glance at the roster of presenters and guest appearances which included Michael Parkinson, Mike Smith, kids TV presenter Sarah Greene and cheeky chappy Craig Charles, suggested that this was suitable for children and teenagers, with a touch of spooky 'bed-sheet-over-a-person-with-eyeholes' fun.

Instead, many of the general public tuned in that night and all hell broke loose.

The first trick to be pulled on the unsuspecting family viewers was that this show was going out 'live', when it was in fact pre-recorded weeks in advance. Sarah Greene in particular was known for her handling of live television, as the mock documentary focused on a family who were claiming to be terrorized by a poltergeist. Strange noises are caught on film, yet each time this happens the young girls are upstairs in their bedroom, and so the viewer begins to deduce that the family are being hoaxed by the mischievous children.

The presenters soon suspect that they are being tricked, and so they decide to position camera's in the girls bedroom. The programme cuts back to the studio, and they discuss the footage and take emails and calls from viewers. Many ask to see the bedroom scene again as they all swear a figure of a man can be seen next to the curtain in the children's room. The footage is re-played and sure enough, a silhouette of a man can be seen for a split second standing behind the curtain, silently watching the children.

If this was a horror movie shown on Halloween it would not have raised an eyebrow, but given the set-up for this show this sent a shiver down the spine to all those watching, and so began the panic and bedlam that followed. Several scenes were played back in the studio, each revealing a previously unseen horrific image, the only people who were spared were deaf or hard of hearing viewers as a spoil-sport at the BBC had the ceefax subtitles ruin the illusion by showing it was far from live.

The last section of the show began to get silly, VERY silly, with Michael Parkinson being thrown from his chair by a poltergeist, and this is maybe one of the reasons that it was allowed to be broadcast. The prime-time schedulers may have realized this was edgy but then imagined the silly ending would make everyone lighten-up and laugh at themselves for being caught up in their trick or treat.

30,000 calls to the BBC switchboard later, and even Anne Robinson was shocked at the response in her 'Points of View' show.

The show was never repeated, and I highly doubt the BBC will have the testicular fortitude to try anything this brave again, but we can live in hope.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Reaper - Movie Review

"Whatsoever a man soweth, that he shall also reap" is a popular English idiom originally from Epistles to the Galatians of the Bible. The central theme and the very message of the movie was centered on the Biblical story found in Exodus. This is when the Pharaoh of Egypt was made obdurate by God Himself by not letting the Israelites be freed from slavery. The ten plagues presented in the Bible that were brought down to Egypt by Moses are the same plagues depicted in the movie, i.e. from the first plague of the river turning to blood to the death of the first born sons and daughters of the locals. But it is worthy to note that the last plague was not brought about by the unseen supernatural force as all the others. Instead, the group members of the cult of the land were the ones killing their own. Also, unlike in the Bible, the second born children were the ones sacrificed instead of the first born. This is clearly so as to put an element of a Hollywood tinge on the movie and not be a copy cat of what's in the Bible (which admittedly would have made the movie less exciting or plain boring). Effectively, the tenth plague was made the climax of the movie. Tension was built up little by little with each plague unfolding and peaked at the last plague holding the viewers momentarily confused by deviating from what was expected (death of second born instead of first born). And then here comes the vision shared by the child Loren to Katherine where she was about to be killed for being a second born but miraculously survived after being stabbed by her brother. At the time of being momentarily dazed, the viewers are fired with explanations as to why was Katherine chosen to be in that town at such crucial time. She was, in the past, an ordained minister. She turned away from her God when the locals of the town she was serving sacrificed her family in exchange for the long drought. The cult members in the place where the child Loren lived believed that Katherine would help them kill Loren since she was after all like them, backsliders in faith. But of course, as the protagonist in the movie, she did not succumb to their wishes but instead saved the girl from them.

Since we've started interpreting the movie in Biblical terms, we might as well finish it on the same tone. In the Old Testament, God is presented as a jealous God, an angry God and all other similar actuations. The message of the movie was effectively delivered in the light of such interpretation, i.e. it was made a horror film with events lifted from the Bible. In the Old Testament, God came with thunder and lightning. But rest assured that in the New Testament, it was promised that He will come again with love and justice. So then after all the 'scary moments' depicted in the movie, we go back to that promise, then sit back, relax and enjoy. After all, it's a beautiful world (Amen).

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Top Box Office Earners for September 2012

September is always a busy month in the movie industry, as the Toronto Film Festival and other movie showcases around the globe begin to introduce the big fall films that will likely compete for awards. Most studios release at least a few family-friendly films and the last of their comedies for the year before they begin releasing more dramatic fare as winter nears. A close look at the box office results for September 2012 shows a healthy mix of family films, comedies and even a few award contenders.

The number one earner in September was "Hotel Transylvania," an animated comedy featuring the voice of Adam Sandler as Dracula, who operates a resort for ghosts, ghouls and goblins in a realm separate from humans. Andy Samberg plays a teenage boy who stumbles upon the resort and quickly falls for Dracula's daughter, played by Selena Gomez. The overprotective vampire father does his best to discourage the relationship, resulting in plenty of hilarious moments.

The film earned over $42 million in the domestic market during its opening weekend, adding an additional $29 million overseas. It was far and away the biggest earner of the month, even though it was released on September 28, giving it only one weekend to top the tallies of films that had been released earlier in the month. Remarkably, it also earned more than "Resident Evil: Retribution," which came out a full two weeks earlier.

In second place, with only half the box office receipts of "Hotel Transylvania," was the sci-fi thriller "Looper" starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Joe, a mob assassin who is sent to kill old Joe (Bruce Willis), his future self. Though "Looper" opened with just under $21 million on the same weekend as Sandler's film, it is considered a strong take. The movie has garnered excellent reviews and has yet to open overseas, which means its ultimate box office numbers could increase substantially.

There was only one sequel, "Resident Evil: Retribution," that cracked the top earners for September. The fifth installment into the franchise, based on the popular video game series, it earned a total of just over $41 million, after banking $21 million during its opening weekend starting September 14. The film brings back Milla Jovovich as Alice, an ex-employee of the Umbrella Corporation, which unleashed a zombie plague on the world. Instead of taking aim at the undead who are trying to destroy the living, she goes after Umbrella Corporation executives who spread the virus in the first place.

In fourth place was the Disney rerelease of the popular 2003 film "Finding Nemo." This latest version is in 3D, which greatly increases the price paid per ticket. It launched the same weekend as "Resident Evil: Retribution," offering a much more appropriate film for younger moviegoers. It hauled in over $16 million, with a total take of $39 million over the remaining two weeks of the month. It stars the voice of Al Brooks as Marlin, a clownfish who teams with Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) to try to find his only son after he goes missing.

Rounding out the top five films is "End of Watch," a gritty cop thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena as Los Angeles police officers who stumble upon a myriad of cases including Mexican cartels, human trafficking, murders, domestic abuse, and more. The film has received very favorable reviews and is rumored to be a contender once the awards show season begins in earnest. It notched $13 million for its opening weekend, which began September 14 in a somewhat limited release. It was released to a much larger set of markets in subsequent days, leading to an overall tally of $34 million and counting.

Another big awards show contender is the Paul Thomas Anderson drama " The Master," which was only released on five screens when it initially opened on September 14. Despite the limited number of theaters, it managed to pull in $13 million during September, giving it a very strong per-screen average. This bodes well for the film, which has people whispering about Academy Award nominations for stars Joaquin Phoenix and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Movie Review - Atlas Shrugged: Part II

Ever since watching Atlas Shrugged: Part I, I couldn't wait to watch Atlas Shrugged: part II. In case you have no idea what these movies are about, they are based on Ayn Rand's epic ground-breaking novel, Atlas Shrugged. Ayn Rand published her novel in 1957. Since its publication, this novel has been the catalyst for inspiration and controversy ever since. I must confess that I had never heard of this novel before the movie came out. Now that I've watched both movies, I definitely want to read Rand's work.

Rand's theme in the novel is each person's individual achievement in the world and how success should be perceived in relation to the good of mankind. The author explores what would happen when the success and achievements of individuals is stifled and they are devalued-even made to appear as heartless, greedy individuals... all because they believed in the capitalism and the American dream-to work hard and succeed.

The characters are complex and Rand's theme may seem intellectual and possibly "boring;" however, as the novel translates to the movie, the characters come to life in a compelling way. The plot combines inspirational ideas, drama, romance and the mysterious character of John Galt. I loved the character of Dagny Taggart. She is a woman who knows what she wants. Not only is she beautiful, but she is also intelligent and gutsy. She stands up for her principles in a world devoid of men and women of true character.

Dagny embraces the values of capitalism and knows that this system is what can and will save the world that is on the brink of economic disaster. The Government and its micromanagement is not the catalyst for rebirth of a society built upon individual rights and the opportunity to follow your dreams for success. Your success can be shared with the world, but on your own terms and not because the Government wants to steal it from you. That is tyranny, not a free society.

The male lead character is Henry Reardon. His philosophy was to succeed in business and make money. He was not afraid to admit that he was in business to earn a living. Of course he wasn't a selfish man who didn't care about humanity. However, he realized that capitalism was the answer and it was his right to work hard and succeed in life. He would not bow down to the politicians and Government bureaucracy who wanted "to steal" from his business and devalue his rights as a businessman. The villains in the movie aren't your usual "evil" bad guys but rather wolves in sheep's' clothing.

This is definitely a must-see movie, especially if you value your freedoms and believe in the Constitution and what our Founding Father's wanted for America. For details on the movie: Atlas Shrugged: Part II

Joanne Troppello is an author of romantic suspense novels http://joannetroppello.weebly.com/blog.html. She is married and loves spending time with her husband and family. Joanne and her husband, John own and operate Mustard Seed Marketing Group, LLC http://www.mustardseedmarketinggroup.com, they are Ind. Distributors with Shaklee and they are Empower Network affiliate members. They are network marketing coaches who teach that you don't have to be an SEO guru or a social media specialist to make their system work for you.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Five Reasons to Adore Mission Impossible 4

- Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt. He reprises his role effortlessly, as effortlessly as he escapes through the maximum security prison cell in the first scene of the movie. Cruise in MI series is definitely the best rival of Daniel Craig 007 for the title of the most suave and gorgeous action star of 21st century Hollywood. If Daniel Craig had his extraordinary moments of composed physical eloquence in Bond movies of late, Cruise cruises with his deft and nimble physical prowess and unparalleled charm. At 50, Ethan in MI4 moves, shakes and rattles the whole police force of Moscow and hums all along the steep walls of Al Burj Dubai, making the audience mesmerized as to how at 50, someone can look and stunt that good!

- The script, which is very tight and multilayered as a fine tuxedo. The movie moves from Moscow, to Dubai and finally to Mumbai and all the while, action sequences, smart dialogues, brilliant suspense sequences and realistic characterizations make the action more believable for mature audiences, a forte which Bond movies have being cashing in of late.

- The dangerous stunts performed by the actors, especially Cruise. The free solo climbing with battery charged gloves with the approaching dust storm, or the combat sequences in an Indian car manufacturing plant with the arch villain Kurt Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist), even the martial art techniques of Ethan's attractive sidekick Jane Carter (Paula Patton)

- Paula Patton as Jane Carter. A new find indeed, she sizzles with her curves and personality. Stealthy, sharp, smooth, seductive and compassionate, she fits the role of a capable IMF agent pruning the loose ends left by Ethan in his feverish quest to hunt down Hendricks and his NY nuking plans.

- The gadgets yet again, putting gadget creator Q of James Bond to shame. Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) dishing out some mind-blowing gadgets which walk the thin red line between the weirdly unbelievable plasma guns of Men in Black and the boringly un-fascinating concoctions from Discovery Science Channel. Starting from the invisible 3D screen which mirrors a video image, or the trademark Mission Impossible face masks, to the battery operated gloves clinging Ethan precariously over the breathtaking Burj Dubai and the retinal camera of William Brandt ( Jeremy Renner) relaying visual information to Dunn's Macbook.

The gadgets are more stunning and subtle, the stunts are more unbelievable, the story is intricate and extensive without being rushed, and Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt carries the Mission Impossible franchise to yet another lofty milestone, leaving behind a trail of spectacular action in Moscow, Dubai and finally Mumbai, India.

Friday, August 10, 2012

My View On - That's My Boy (2012)

The other day I watched the new Adam Sandler movie 'That`s My Boy'. I didn`t expect too much due to the fact that lately not many good comedies have come out. Even so, the film was reasonable. It had good jokes and an interesting story.

Here is what the official site says about the film: "While still in his teens, Donny (Adam Sandler) fathered a son, Todd (Andy Samberg), and raised him as a single parent up until Todd's 18th birthday. Now, after not seeing each other for years, Todd's world comes crashing down on the eve of his wedding when an uninvited Donny suddenly shows up. Trying desperately to reconnect with his son, Donny is now forced to deal with the repercussions of his bad parenting skills."

And this is my summary. Donny, played by Justin Weaver and then, as an adult, by Adam Sandler, is a teenage boy who gets involved with his teacher Mary McGarricle, played by Eva Amurri Martino and then by Susan Sarandon. Their unusual relationship leads to a pregnancy, situation which puts the teacher in jail and makes Donny famous all around the country. I wasn`t fond of the fact that the movie started in a rather promiscous way, but, as the plot developed, the characters and action became funnier.

The film focuses on the story of Donny and his son Todd, played by Andy Samberg. Eventhough Donny tried to raise his son, he is overwhelmed by the situation, thing which led to Todd leaving his father and becoming a succesfull Wall Street investor. In the meanwhile, Donny gets in trouble with the IRS and tries to find his son in order to cash out and save himself from jail.

The two men meet in the circumstance of Todd`s wedding to Jamie, played by Leighton Meester. Donny is presented to be the old best friend of the groom, situation which doesn`t sit well with either of the two. In my view, this is the moment in which the movie gets really interesting. Adam Sandler plays a good part even though his age is no longer a friend of him. I recommend you see 'That`s My Boy` if you are a fan of Sandler and you want to relax on a Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Blame It On The Movie

A couple of months ago after watching a rather strange, yet superb offering from Greek cinema titled 'Dogtooth'; I decided to browse the IMDb website to see what other people thought of the film. Eventually I came across a thread on the message board which was discussing disturbing films; being a dedicated follower of controversial cinema I read on and found that a number of people had mentioned a film called Murder Set Pieces and so, after reading how 'horrific', 'sick' and 'extreme' this film was supposed to be, I added it to my 'LoveFilm' rental list!

A few days later, I was on the 'LoveFilm' website checking to see which films I was waiting for, when I noticed that amongst someone's review for Murder Set Pieces were the words 'You won't get to watch this film, as it's banned in the UK and cut by 20 minutes in the US' in big, bold lettering. Highly irritated, I decided to check whether there was any truth in this and after some research, I discovered that the film was in fact rejected by the BBFC in 2008, thus making it illegal to supply the film in the UK. Apparently, this was a film that in the BBFC's words 'may encourage a harmful association between violence and sexual gratification' something which is apparently 'reflected in research and consistent with public opinion'. And which members of the public might they be exactly?

This was not the first time that I, a grown woman, was being told what I could and couldn't watch (two summers ago I had planned to watch A Serbian Film at Frightfest, until it was pulled due to BBFC cuts). Apparently I am responsible enough to vote, have a mortgage and supervise a classroom full of children, but when it comes to planning my Sunday night in front of the TV, I am far too stupid to be left to my own devices and clearly need some assistance. Why was it that as a university educated adult, with the ability to make financial, political and religious decisions, I was having my viewing habits dictated by people who had never met me, knew nothing about me, yet chose to lump me under the term of 'the general public'? It was because my choice of films were those that fell into the category of movies which had the potential to harm- now I was always under the impression that it was humans who harmed other humans? I don't ever remember a case of a person being bludgeoned to death by an axe wielding video cassette!
Yet the concept of the media having a harmful and corrupting effect on the general public is nothing new. In the past we have seen a whole host of films, computer games and songs demonised because it was thought they had some influence on a particular crime. In the 1970s it was reported that gangs of teenagers dressed as 'Droogs', were committing acts of violence similar to those depicted in A Clockwork Orange, and many say that this, along with alleged death threats, are what led to Stanley Kubrick banning his own film.

The early 1990's saw copies of Child's Play 3 removed from the shelves, after it emerged that the stepfather of one of Jamie Bulger's killers had rented the movie; yet it was never confirmed whether either of the boys had actually watched it.

More recently the computer game Manhunt became the latest target, after it was alleged that the murderer of Stefan Pakeerah- who was stabbed to death, had mimicked behaviour from the violent computer game. And who can forget the 1984 Video Recordings Act with its notorious Video Nasties; films apparently so vile, so violent and bloody that they were considered harmful to watch, on the grounds that they could deprave and corrupt (anyone who has actually seen one, will know that the majority of them are most likely to either send you to sleep or have you wet yourself with laughter).

What is worrying is that few people seem to challenge this perception that life imitates art, (and yes I am aware that many of the texts I have referred to here can only very loosely be described as art!!). What is startling is not the fact that more and more films are crossing boundaries, dealing with taboos and pushing the limits, but that the real problems behind violent crime, anti-social behaviour, promiscuity and immorality are often ignored. When will we start to talk about bad parenting and a decline in community values? When will we acknowledge the fact that sometimes violence does not have a reason, that we can't blame the media or society and that in fact some people are just downright evil?

Did Jack the Ripper remove the intestines of Annie Chapmen because he had just watched Cannibal Holocaust? Can the murder and sexual assault of the victims of the Moors Murderers be blamed on the killers having a penchant for films such as Saw or Hostel? No, these horrific acts happened because the killers were sick, twisted and evil; period. Perhaps a film, DVD, computer game can give ideas, but the evil needs to be in the killer's mind already; a serial killer will maim and dismember regardless of whether they watch a violent film, because they are cold, calculating and often mad. We cannot censor, ban or withdraw a text simply because it might give someone 'ideas'. Where will we draw the line? Are we going to ban school children from studying Macbeth because if features violence and murder or The Colour Purple because of the rape scenes?

Any sane and remotely intelligent person knows that it is not right to copy the acts they may see in the Saw films, in the same way that a person who may enjoy watching extreme films is not necessarily a pervert. I love controversial and so-called disturbing films; I have grown up on a diet of Uwe Boll, David Cronenberg, and Larry Clark. I have sat through The Human Centipede, Irreversible, Martyrs and such like. As a child I was obsessed with horror films and throughout my teens and adulthood, I have set out to watch every film dubbed disturbing, sick, and ultra-violent. But I don't go out and commit random acts of violence, I don't get turned on by watching these films, they don't make me want to go out and rape, murder, or eat other people, why- because I am not a lunatic! Because I am intelligent enough to know right from wrong, because I am one of the many sensible people who can watch a film and know that it is just that- a film.

I overheard a comment from a fellow teacher at my school recently, apparently one of her Year 9 boys has been getting into lots of fights recently because he seems to be playing too many violent computer games; umm no, he isn't doing too well in school because his parents couldn't care less about his education and he is a little trouble maker. I'll end on this note; there is no freedom when it comes to choosing which film to watch- censors, governments and councils have all made sure of that and yet it remains that anyone can choose to become a parent... I'll let you decide how that works.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Reviews of Famous Martial Arts Movies - Shaolin Rescuers

"Shaolin Rescuers" or "The Avenging Warriors of Shaolin" was released a few days before "Kid with a Golden Arm", and is one of the best of Chang Cheh. The total Venom's mob was cast and they put in incredible shows in this story of valor and friendship. This film had been outclassed by 2 movies by Liu Chia Liang - "Mad Monkey Kung Fu" and "Dirty Ho" - released by Shaw Brothers during 1979 but "Shaolin Rescuers" massively out-grossed"Fist and Guts" and "Dragon Fist".

The three important characters played in the movie were by Kuo Chi (Philip Kwok), Sun Chein and Lo Meng. Lu Feng and Chiang Sheng were cast for important supporting characters. Lu Feng and Chaing Sheng choreographed the entire movie and were ably supported by Robert Tai. The role of a Chinese hero was given to Jason Pai Piao and Hung Sze Kwan also played an important role in the movie.

The plot of the movie goes like this. Ah Chien (Lo Meng) works ata local bean-curd industry and has a good friend in the form of Ying Cha-Po (Kuo Chi) who is a waiter at an eatery. Both are victim of ill-treatment from their bosses and their favorite time pass is practicing Kung Fu. One day they save Chu Tsai (Sun Chein) during a brawl. Tsai is employed at a dye firm and is also an exponent on post fighting on the ground.

The problems begin when San Te and Fong Sai Yuk are killed when they try to stop the evil Pai Mei from destroying temples around the city. Not a clever way to initiate a movie by killing two greatest figures in the world of Kung Fu, one might say. But, nothing was impossible for Chang Cheh.

The story slowly evolves with the escape of Hung Sze Kwan, Chein finally getting hold of injured Kwan and Chein help him get well and the final face-off in the dye-factory. At the end of the movie, Ah Chein and Ying Cha-Po fulfill their dreams of becoming heroes.

The action sequences in the movies are few but Chang Cheh demonstrates how to build an amazing climax out of a power-packed plot. Remarkably, the action sequences are less bloody when compared to other Cheh's movies. The action scenes are beautifully choreographed and Lu Feng and Chang Sheng proved once again why they were the best in the business when it came to creating dream action sequences.

Chang Cheh creates a fantastic balance by moving from one fight to another in a prudent manner. Excellent editing makes certain that one is enthralled with a fight and still itching to get back to the last fight scene. One feels that the movie should have been shown on five different TV sets. The climax is unexpected. The only supposed flaw was the time-to-time use of flashback shots and the trampoline skills by Kuo Chi. This is probably one of the best Chang Cheh movies ever.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Reviews of Famous Martial Arts Movies - The Duel

"The Duel" is more of a canvas soaked in blood rather than a movie and it is filled with moments of rage and bloody encounters, filling each scene in the movie with decisive death blows and displays of ultimate fury. Directed by the legendary Chang Cheh under the Shaw Brothers banner, the dialogues and the conversations between the characters in the movie seem to be an excuse to move from one bloody encounter to another. Apart from the mindless butt-kicking, "The Duel" also touches the sensitive topic of corrupted politicians and politics, thus forcing the protagonist to over-ride the law at all points to take down a bunch of power- hungry politicians trying to destroy peace and harmony.

The opening scene shows Tan Jen-chieh (Ti Lung) getting a huge butterfly tattoo drawn onto his chest, as a show of his affection for Hue-dieh (Ping Wang). But the happiness doesn't last forever, as Tan gets involved in a war between his gangster grandfather and a fierce rival. Chang Cheh tries to create a western impact with such a violent crescendo as a gang of assassins stroll down the streets butchering innocents. When knives and swords start being thrown meaninglessly, "The Duel"transforms itself into a cinematic butchering playground, bursting arteries and cutting through bellies as if there is no tomorrow. The screen is filled with carnage, bashed up faces, torn shirts and blood.This blood bath results in the exile of Tan and his grandfather getting murdered.

"The Duel" is violent although the climax reveals the director's honest attempt to take on the political world. Tan ultimately takes down each and every bad guy in a bloodbath. However, the evil Senator manages to escape the punishment. Chang shows that no matter what the degree of violence is, it will not be able to vanquish the real masterminds manipulating the government. This was a well realized fact and was beautifully presented in the climax of the movie. Instead of letting the bruised and battered protagonists stand upright at the end of the movie; Chang shows them trying to stand up and surprisingly freezes the frame. This was done probably to show the shadow of mortality looming on all mankind, no matter who they are. The battle against mortality can never be won, no matter how good you are at Kung Fu.

The glamour that is usually associated with Shaw Brothers is very evident throughout the movie, more during the numerous bloody scenes. All other colors have been used brilliantly throughout and the audience is left spell bound at one point. Quality sound, which is a vital factor for the success of a Kung Fu film, is amazing throughout the movie. The screams, slices and the gushing blood leave a long lasting impression on the minds of the audience.