|Tue, October 07, 2014 at 8:00 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Awww maaannn! As soon as I saw the title on this I figured Marvel had slipped a comic-turned-movie in under the Fall radar. You know, like Nightcrawler from the X-Men series. But nope. It's an action/drama/thriller about a guy who finally finds his way to make a living; as a freelance video-journalist. BUT... the stuff he captures way before even cops and ambulances get on-scene... it goes too far. And as you'd expect in real life, sh!t gets too real for our hapless [sort of] hero.
Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Lou Bloom, a driven young man desperate for work who discovers the high-speed world of L.A. crime journalism. Finding a group of freelance camera crews who film crashes, fires, murder and other mayhem, Lou muscles into the cut-throat, dangerous realm of nightcrawling - where each police siren wail equals a possible windfall and victims are converted into dollars and cents. Aided by Rene Russo as Nina, a veteran of the blood-sport that is local TV news, Lou thrives. In the breakneck, ceaseless search for footage, he becomes the star of his own story.
Watch how real it gets. And not in any funny way either. I mean, hey, it hits screens this Halloween (October 31, 2014).
|Sun, December 12, 2010 at 4:43 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Michael Jackson fans will this week finally get their hands on the pop icon's first record since he died, with huge sales expected despite lukewarm reviews and questions over its authenticity.
"Michael," due out Tuesday in the United States, comprises 10 songs the King of Pop was at various stages of completing when he died last year, and includes contributions from rapper 50 Cents, Lenny Kravitz and US singer Akon.
Two tracks have already been released online, the first of which -- "Breaking News," a fierce protest at how the media hounded the scandal-tainted singer -- sparked a fierce debate over whether it was really Jackson's voice.
Record company Sony -- which plans to release a series of new Jackson albums -- was forced to defend the album after fans and even some of Jackson's family members questioned the record's authenticity.
"We have complete confidence in the results of our extensive research as well as the accounts of those who were in the studio with Michael that the vocals on the new album are his own," it said in a statement.
Jackson's sister LaToya said bluntly that the record "doesn't sound like him." But more generally, purist Jackson fans question how some of the songs were completed, from material recorded sometimes several years ago.
At least one song, "Much Too Soon," was written at the time of Jackson's landmark 1982 album "Thriller," several stem from the time of his last album of new material, 2001's "Invincible."
The most recent track, "Band of Joy," stems from the months before Jackson's shock death in June, 2009 -- he planned to keep working on it in London in between a series of sell-out concerts in July and August, producers say.
Jackson is credited as writer of all but two of the songs -- "Another Day" by Lenny Kravitz and "Hold My Hand" by Akon, and producers are keen to stress how closely they kept to the singer's original intentions.
"While Michael was not there to complete the tracks as only he could, he had left behind a unique roadmap mapping out his creative vision in the form of notes and detailed conversations," they say in a 10-page media introduction, which spends two pages seeking to justify the album's authenticity.
Pre-release reviews of the new album -- reportedly the first of a 10-album deal over seven years, although that is difficult to confirm -- have been decidedly mixed.
"This is not a Michael Jackson album ... He would not have released anything like this compilation, a grab bag of outtakes and outlines assembled by Jackson's label," said Rolling Stone, although calling the album "compelling."
Entertainment Weekly gave it a "B" grade, saying: "As musical epitaphs go, Michael is a solid album, arguably stronger than Invincible and certainly no great affront to his name.
"But it can be hard to listen and not wonder what he would have done differently -- or if he would have wanted us to hear it at all."
In Britain, music weekly NME's reviewer said the album was saved by the last two tracks: "Behind the Mask" which he describes as "brilliant" and the Thriller-era ballad "Much Too Soon."
"Oh, it isn?t really very good, don?t be under illusions of that. But compared with the unnecessary, inauthentic and insulting mess it could have been ... ?Michael? can actually be considered something of
|Wed, September 08, 2010 at 8:42 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
VENICE (Reuters) – Ben Affleck directs and stars in "The Town," a tense cops-and-robbers thriller set in Boston which is premiering out of competition at the Venice film festival.
Affleck, who made his directorial debut in 2007 with "Gone Baby Gone," also a Boston crime drama, plays the leader of a crew of ruthless bank robbers who dangerously falls for a woman the gang briefly takes hostage.
Overall his character, Doug, is painted in a sympathetic light as the FBI is closing in on him and he is torn between a desire to change life and the loyalty to his partners in crime who want to go for one last heist.
"The idea of whether or not I was glorifying a criminal character or minimizing the impact of violence was on my mind throughout and was really important," Affleck told reporters after a press screening.
"The need to reconcile those moral considerations with the demands of truthful storytelling was the central issue for me. I tried to be both as accurate and as complicated as I could because while I didn't want to glorify anything, I didn't want to oversimplify anything."
The film is based on Chuck Hogan's novel "Prince of Thieves" and set in Boston's Charlestown neighborhood, which has had more bank and armored car robberies than anywhere in the United States.
Raised near Boston, Affleck said he felt comfortable he had tried to make the film as realistic as possible, visiting prisons and talking to former bank robbers and FBI agents.
"I was a little bit hesitant actually to do this because I did not want to be pigeonholed as the Boston director guy but I liked the part, I wanted to play the part, I believed the story was good," he told reporters after a press screening.
"I don't think you can like a movie like this or believe in a movie like this if you don't have a really strong sense of place, if you don't really believe that the characters are from there and that what you are seeing is really happening."
WANTS TO KEEP DIRECTING
He said both his two films as a director and "Good Will Hunting," for which he won an Oscar for best original screenplay with Matt Damon, focused on similar themes -- the influence growing up in a certain place has on people, and the fact that children often pay the price for their parents' sins.
"I guess maybe it's time that I try something new," he said, adding that he hoped to carry on as a director.
"I was a little bit nervous the first time out, I wasn't even sure I'd be able to finish the movie having never been through the process. The second time I knew it was possible to kind of get to the finish line at the very least, so that gave me more confidence."
The film's cast includes Jeremy Renner, who also starred in this year's Oscar-winner "The Hurt Locker," Jon Hamm, a Golden Globe winner for his performance in the "Mad Men" TV series, and Rebecca Hall.
Affleck came to the Venice festival just days after his younger brother Casey took the Lido by storm with "I'm Still Here," his documentary -- some say hoax -- on Joaquin Phoenix and his transition from acclaimed actor to shambolic hip-hop singer wannabe.
|Thurs, December 31, 2009 at 6:31 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Since his death on June 25, 2009, late pop icon Michael Jackson has been showered with accolades and honors for his 40-plus-year musical career. But on Wednesday (December 30), one of Jackson's most enduring legacies, the pioneering 1983 dancing-ghoul-filled video for "Thriller," was inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.
The Associated Press reported that the 14-minute mini-movie that revolutionized music videos and cemented Jackson's status as one of the most ambitious, innovative pop stars of all time, was one of 25 films that were inducted into the world's largest archive of film, TV and sound recordings.
The iconic video, directed by John Landis ("Animal House," "The Blues Brothers"), is the first music video named to the registry. It earned its spot because of the landmark nature of its achievements, which include Guinness World Record sales of over 9 million copies.
"Because of the way the recording industry is evolving and changing, we thought it would be good to go back to the development of an earlier seismic shift, which was the development of the music video," said Steve Leggett, coordinator of the National Film Preservation Board. "Thriller" had been considered for inclusion in the past, but Leggett said following Jackson's death, the time seemed right to add the video to the list.
The library works with film archives, movie studios and record labels to ensure that original copies of the works it enshrines for their enduring cultural, historical and aesthetic importance to U.S. culture are kept safe as well as acquiring copies for its own vault.
Among the other works entering the National Film Registry this year: 1979's "The Muppet Movie"; the 1957 sci-fi classic "The Incredible Shrinking Man"; Sergio Leone's epic spaghetti...More MICHAEL JACKSON
|Fri, September 11, 2009 at 8:45 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Some of the world's largest recording companies are suing "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," claiming producers violated their copyrights by playing more than 1,000 songs without permission.
Many of the songs were played during the "dance over" segment of the show, when DeGeneres dances from the stage to the interview area, often through the audience.
According to the suit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Nashville, when representatives of the recording companies asked defendants why they hadn't obtained licenses to use the songs, defendants said they didn't "roll that way."
"As sophisticated consumers of music, Defendants knew full well that, regardless of the way they rolled, under the Copyright Act, and under state law for the pre-1972 recordings, they needed a license to use the sound recordings lawfully," the suit states.
Scott Rowe, spokesman for the show's Telepictures Productions, wrote in an e-mailed statement that the company has been working with the record labels for months to resolve the issue and remains willing to resolve it on "amicable and reasonable terms."
Rowe said the issue does not involve DeGeneres, who on Wednesday was named as the fourth judge on TV's "American Idol," and whom Rowe calls "a tremendous music enthusiast and advocate."
The suit claims the daytime talk show has used copyrighted music without permission since its inception, including "recordings by virtually every major current artist of popular music." It claims the show routinely used some of the most popular songs of the day, which the record labels don't license for daytime television at any price.
Other songs cited in the lawsuit include Michael Jackson's "Thriller"; The Beach Boys'"Good Vibrations" and Will Smith's "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It."
The suit calls the segment and the music played by the show's own disc jockey "signature elements of the show."
Plaintiffs include Arista Music, Atlantic Recording Corp., Capitol Records, Motown Record Company, Sony Music Entertainment, Virgin Records America and Warner Bros. Records.
The suit does not specify the dollar amount it seeks in damages
|Wed, July 08, 2009 at 2:39 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
LIFE Michael: 1958-2009 The rare, intimate, and never before seen photos capture this superstar in full.
NEW YORK - FROM THE EDITORS OF LIFE MAGAZINE comes LIFE Michael: 1958-2009, one of one of the most intimate and all embracing Michael Jackson portfolios available - including seven never-before-seen photographs and many photographs taken exclusively for LIFE from the LIFE archives.
Millions of photographs have been taken of Michael Jackson but rarely has a collection captured the personal side of Jackson as LIFE's. Over the years, Jackson opened his doors to LIFE photographers who captured the singular excitement that was Michael Jackson - from his earliest days in the Jackson 5 to the era of Neverland, when they were firmly closed to others.
LIFE's photo team reveals some legendary moments for LIFE Michael, including photographs by John Olson and his now-famous photo essay on rockers and their parents; the book includes Olson's cover image of Michael as well as a frame featuring Janet Jackson as a toddler that never made it into the pages of the magazine. Also featured are images from the storied Scottish photojournalist Harry Benson. Twice on assignment for LIFE, in the 1980s and 1990s, Benson took exquisite, intimate portraits of Jackson, including many taken at his Neverland ranch.
"In the week following Jackson's death, LIFE.com produced a number of galleries covering all aspects of the performer's incredible career. The popularity of these galleries speaks volumes about the devotion of fans for the King of Pop and the great desire to see and know more. With this new edition we're not only able to offer a keepsake collection but we can also include some never-before-seen photos exclusive to the book," explained LIFE president Andy Blau.
LIFE Michael, includes many of the powerful images that helped make Jackson an icon and the rarely seen images that give readers a glimpse into the performer's private life. It is an intimate portrait of the artist like no other and a chronicle of an extraordinary American life.
LIFE Michael: 1958-2009, retails for $11.99 U.S. will be available on newsstands July 10th, 200