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Friday, November 5, 2010

Summer Movies of 1989: The Best Ever!

Here we are once again close to the end of yet another dreadful movie year. Tired sequels that have worn out their welcome a long time ago and comedies that barely result in more than a chuckle are littering our movie screens. 3-D has been giving a new lease on life with very little interest and sadly very little excitement. This tired process was first created to combat television in the 50's and later resurrected in the early 80's. This gimmick only meant we were bored in not only one dimension but three!
Maybe it's the fact that I'm in my mid-forties that causes me to feel disillusioned with the modern pop culture, or that I simply have lived through too many summer movie seasons to get interested anymore. It is after all the 18 to 24 year olds that make up most of the cinema going audience. Perhaps I'm too rooted in my youth to care much about the films of today and their place in history.
I don't think so. Current movie lack everything that films in my era seem to have had in abundance. A magical and exciting mixture of honesty and special effects made the films of the 80's feel like childhood friends. This brings me back to a certain summer movies season that was both amazing in its number of blockbuster hits as well as a healthy dose of quality dramas and comedies. The year was 1989.
First you must understand the main reason why so many big budgeted blockbusters were released in a 4 month period. In late 1987 there was a writer's strike in Hollywood that wreaked havoc on television and feature films. Productions came to a halt on film projects and television was littered with endless reruns. The strike caused many series to prematurely die, such as the popular "Moonlighting" which never saw its audience come back.
However, as a result of that strike the summer movie season of 1989 was being shaped up as a landing strip for so many big movies caught up in the air of production delays. Bad news for the studios but great news for film fans who couldn't imagine what was ahead of them at their local theaters.
The film that led that avalanche of blockbusters was also one of the most anticipated films of the decade. Batman with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson as the joker was the film that everyone was talking about. Keaton's casting was puzzling to the fans, but Nicholson as the joker had everyone buzzing with excitement. Not since Marlon Brando in Superman has an actor elevated a film from popcorn cheese to legitimate theatrical excitement.
At the same time several studios had entries of long successful film series waiting in the wings. Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade and Star Trek V were released just a few weeks later, with Lethal Weapon 2 and Ghostbusters 2 right behind them. If that wasn't enough a man by the name of Bond, James Bond showed up just 7 days later in "License to kill". Just think Indiana Jones, Captain Kirk, Batman and James Bond all playing at the same time! If you needed a break from this frenzy Mel Gibson and the Ghost Hunting Boys were just down the corridor.
Outstanding dramas like Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" and "Dead Poets Society" provided some welcome seriousness, while the romantic comedy "When Harry Met Sally" had audiences roaring and ordering "what she had".
Some original films also took a bite out of the audience as well. "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" and Sam Raimi's "Darkman" were surprise hits.
The memory of that movie summer will live on with me for the rest of my life. Not only did I see all the movies on opening night, I had a distinct point of view on the excitement that was going on around me. I was a movie theatre usher at then illustrious now extinct Amboy Cinemas Theatre in Sayreville, New Jersey.
I look back at those three months as a special time not only in terms of box office history, but in the thrill and joy that I shared with my many popcorn sweeping co-stars. There has never been a summer movie season like that since and most likely never will be again. To release all those potential blockbusters in that short amount of time would never fly today.
But back then it did, and I enjoyed every moment of it. I thought I had lived through the most exhausting job I ever had. Every show was a sell-out and hundreds if not thousands of sodas were sold every day. This was the true meaning of show business.
Little did I know that a few months later a studio named Disney would be born again with an obscure movie called "The Little Mermaid". That Thanksgiving I learned the most valuable skill of my adult life; scrapping gummy bears off a concrete floor.

Movie Review: Justice League - Crisis on Two Earths

I have enjoyed comic books and adaptations for years and now that I have two sons myself we enjoy delving into the worlds of DC and Marvel every now and again and being entertained with Superheroes fighting villains in grand style.  To this day even cartoon comic based movies are still quite entertaining and a good story and decent voice work can prove that you don't need live actors and a two hundred million dollar budget to make an entertaining film.  Justice League was one of my favorite all time collage of heroes and includes Superman who is my all time favorite superhero as the lead of a squad of superheroes bent on assisting the planet vs. the many villains that arise.
The original and core Justice League members are Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern and the Flash.  The movie Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths tells the tale of a parallel Earth where Lex Luthor was the leader of this alternate world's Justice League which was decimated by a crime syndicate lead by their worlds Superman equivalent known as Ultra Man.  Each superhero has an equivalent who is just as powerful and when Lex Luthor escapes to our regular Justice League dimension to ask for help the Justice League cannot refuse to lend aid.
The story is not unique if you are a Sci-Fi and Comic Book fan, you would have seen variations of the story of parallel dimensions with each choice leading to a new dimension being created.  It is however entertaining and for most of the comic book movies lately has less violence and blood than some of the other films like Hulk Planet.
If you are a DC Comic book fan or enjoy watching superhero flicks, then Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths will keep you engaged.  James Woods plays the voice of Owl Man the evil equivalent of batman who is hell bent on destroying all life as we know it.  William Baldwin does a good job as the dark voice of Batman, with Mark Harmon playing the voice of Superman.
The creative story and engagement of the characters was enjoyable and I thought this movie was one of the better recent Warner Bros DC Comic based movies.  I rate Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths 3.5 out of 5 stars.

How to Be a Good Actor

Most people who tend to get into the film industry would think of acting as an easy thing to do. But only when they get a chance to be an actor, will they realize the toughness of the job. Acting is a skill which many people think is in their genes. Though they are correct it requires some practice and training to groom it and make it efficient. This is what makes them a good actor. The process of grooming involves loosing out the inhibitions and shyness. people who act well in the studio may get nervous when asked to perform live on the roads. This is not good for an actor. This can only be avoided only after constant appearances on Live performances. People do not tend to accept the fact that Success comes only with hard work. All expect success every time they perform. What is the importance of success without failure?
Most people forget that after our first success, we still have to stabilize. But those who tend to forget it and start flying, land hardly. People who do not hail from a family of actors usually find it hard to get their first chance. They always know the value of this chance and strive hard to achieve something. But people with backup do not perform to their full potential and hope there is always another chance. This attitude is what separates those who earn their glory and those who bask in others glory.
After we find a place for ourselves, its hard for one to stay focussed. we have to keep our names intact and struggle to keep up our respect. Great actors who still are Immortal are those who respect their guru and fans who had empowered them to their current position. Success comes knocking on their doors. Fans are the basic property of all actors. Without them, they are waste. So actors who respect their fans are always on the success path. once our fans starts liking us they will do anything for us.
The final and foremost thing in any actors life is the tendency to observe thing around you. The actors must be intelligent enough to implement this into their actor skills whenever required and improvise. The actors must also respect their co-artist. Without their co-operation we cannot achieve anything. When people tend to move together in harmony, everything goes well for them.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gossip Desperately Seeking Amitabh Bachchan

The superstar of the millennium is shining bright, as ever. From hair oil to cricket to politics the name of Amitabh Bachchan has become synonymous with success. Anybody launching anything needs him to succeed.
The angry man of the seventies set Indian cinema's box office jingling without having to look back. In the early nineties the star matured into an age that was neither here nor there for Indian film heroes. But the producers wanted him as the hero still and the audience found the star too old for his much younger heroines. This period of dilemma and indecision created a brief hiatus in the success graph of the superstar.
But, Amitabh Bachchan was hardly something that could be easily forgotten by the Indian crowds. He was needed. Hindi version of television show 'Who Will Become A Millionaire' produced by a private Indian TV channel and anchored by the mega star brought him back to mainstream with thunderous impact. The show became a landmark in Indian television history.
Everybody understood how much Amitabh Bachchan was loved adored and respected by one and all and in all fields of activities. His growing age was a challenge accepted by the producers, the directors, the advertisers, the industrialists and the politicians
Indian films began to be centered on him and his age, and special protagonist or even antagonistic roles were created to fit his age. The channel producers wanted him to launch their reality shows or events or even serial. The advertisers wanted him for every product to ensure its popularity. The superstar was a must for any launch of any service or business or event. Cricket organizers needed him to double the impact. The governments wanted him in all significant events and functions. The political parties craved for his favors and indulged in childish fights over him. One Indian state made him the brand ambassador to highlight its developmental initiative and other states cried in helpless frustration. And, the Indian crowds just loved wherever they saw him.
Amitabh Bachchan was honored with his fourth National Award as the Best Actor by the government of India in 2010 for the film called 'Paa' (2009) where he played the role of an intelligent witty 12-year-old boy, Auro, with an extremely rare genetic defect called the progeria syndrome meaning prematurely old or with symptoms of aging making one look five times older than s/he actually is.
T20 cricket was supposed to be the most popular form of cricket after the success of Indian Premier League, but even then the cricket management wanted Amitabh Bachchan to promote the Champions League T20 in South Africa, 2010.
Amitabh Bachchan has proved again why he should still be the superstar of the millennium. The legend lives on.

Leonardo DiCaprio - Everything You Need To Know

Leonardo DiCaprio is a well known American actor who became a sensation worldwide with the movie Titanic. He is one of the most respected, daring and challenging actors of Hollywood today and is known for his diverse, sharp and intense roles. He mostly work with internationally acclaimed directors like Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan. He is seen most often in Martin Scorsese movies. He is one of those actors who refuse to conform to any cliche about actors.
Leonardo DiCaprio was born to parents Irmelin and George DiCaprio in Los Angeles, California on November 11, 1974. His parents had separated when he was a year old but his father was very much around him. It was actually seeing his stepbrother Adam Farrar's brief stint in acting that inspired him to try his luck in films as well.
He started his career with television commercials and educational programs as a child. Few of the producers noticed him and gave him small roles in their Television series. During this stint in his career he was nominated for Young Artist Award for Best Young Actor.
In 1991 he made his debut on the big screen with "Critters 3", a low budget horror movie. He then made a brief stint in the sitcom "Growing Pains" after which he was noticed by the public. He took various diverse roles which showcased his talent in movies like "What's Eating Gilbert Grape", "The Quick", "The Basketball Diaries", and in 1996 with the movie "Romei & Juliet" Leonardo became a household name. The movie "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" saw him along with Johnny Depp. He was awarded the National Board of Review Award and was also nominated for both Academy Award and Golden Globe.
Then came the movie "Titanic" in 1997 that changed his life forever. With the role he became a teen sensation not only in America but also worldwide. "Titanic" became the highest grossing movie breaking all records of that time. This also brought him his second nomination for Golden Globe. Finally he had a control over his career. However, he kept a low profile until 2002 when he again made waves worldwide with his movie "Catch Me if You Can". He received his third Golden Globe nomination for his work in this film.
He is said to draw a salary of $20 million. Apart from being a top movie star he is also a well-known environmental conservationist, and advocates and support natural causes.

Hollywood Movie Stars Support Eco-Terrorism

Some have said that Hollywood Movie Stars are supporting Eco-Terrorists by donating to certain environmental groups. In fact some say that these movie stars may actually know where the money will eventually end up but donate anyway, as it shows their Hollywood support of the liberal viewpoint and is worth a few brownie points in the high-society circles in which they travel and need to be seen in. Recently a few online think tank forum think tankers discussed this notion and one had commented and stated:
"I had an interesting thought about the environmental terrorist groups and wonder why they have never targeted Hollywood and the movie industry. It seems that they destroy so much stuff that just has to go to landfills in most movies and this one was no exception. I don't believe these groups have even raised one stink over this, hypocrites that they are."
Well this is an interesting point indeed, why is it that Hollywood is never attacked or their on-site movies, which are often filmed in the wilderness? And the think tanker makes a good point, as the eco-terrorists start fires, which cause pollution and often destroy buildings, car dealerships and industrial type places which in turn put huge accumulations of debris and toxic gas into the air. This being extremely hypocritical as if you really cared about the environment you would never even think of such a thing. Another think tank member stated:
"Well, that is liberal Hollywood for you, some of those actors and actresses actually believe in the Eco-terrorists causes and condone it. It is pitiful really. I think secretly although they will never admit it, that these movie folks are funding eco-terrorists giving money to groups which claim to support environmental endeavors. Of course if you arrest them for it, they will have all sorts of negative media and it will be another Waco Incident with the FBI."
It is a really challenging issue, as sometimes you have to follow the money to find the bad guys and then you come across folks you would never suspect stuck in the middle and inadvertently funding the entire operation. Sound familiar? As that is so similar to the International Terrorists we are dealing with in the world, isn't it? Consider this in 2006.