Ahad, 29 Disember 2013

The Star eCentral: Movie Reviews

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The Star eCentral: Movie Reviews

'Hobbit' tops North American box office

Posted: 29 Dec 2013 07:10 PM PST

Film earns almost RM100mil over the weekend.

FANTASY blockbuster The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug ruled the North American box office this weekend, holding off a strong festive season challenge from Disney's animated musical Frozen, estimates showed on Dec 29.

The second part of Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson's trilogy of films, based on J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved classic, earned almost US$29.9mil (RM98mil) over the weekend, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

Starring Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen as the wizard Gandalf, the film has raked in US$190.3mil (RM625.9mil) in the United States and Canada since its release three weeks ago.

Moving up one spot to second place with US$28.8mil (RM94.7mil) was Frozen, a loosely based retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale The Snow Queen.

The film, the 53rd movie in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series which began with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, has taken US$248.4mil (RM817mil) to date.

In third place was Anchorman 2, the Will Ferrell comedy which sees him reprise his role as screwball newsman Ron Burgundy. The sequel took US$20.2mil (RM66.4mil) in its second week of release.

Critically acclaimed comedy American Hustle – starring Christian Bale and Amy Adams as grifters who team up with an FBI agent played by Bradley Cooper to bring down other con artists – remained in fourth place.

The movie, which has been nominated for seven Golden Globes and is expected to be in contention at the Oscars, took US$19.6mil.

In fifth spot was Martin Scorsese's latest collaboration with actor Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street, earning US$18.5mil (RM64.5mil) on its debut weekend.

The movie is based on the debauched rise and fall of disgraced Wall Street financier Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio), who conned his way to hundreds of millions in the 1990s while maintaining a notoriously drug-fuelled lifestyle.

Sixth place was taken by Saving Mr. Banks, a drama about Walt Disney's quest to make a film adaptation of Mary Poppins, with US$14mil (RM46mil).

Its stars – Tom Hanks as Disney and Emma Thompson as Poppins' anti-Hollywood author – have both been nominated for Golden Globes.

In seventh place was Ben Stiller's romantic comedy The Secret Life of Walter Mitty an updated adaptation of James Thurber's famous 1939 short story, about a strait-laced officer worker who loses himself in heroic daydreams. The film, which stars Stiller in the lead role, took US$13mil (RM42.7mil).

In eighth place was the latest instalment of the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise with US$10.2mil (RM33.6mil), taking its overall earnings since its record opening six weeks ago to US$391mil (RM1.3bil) in North America alone.

The worst fears surrounding Keanu Reeves' latest movie 47 Ronin were confirmed however as the big-budget samurai epic opened in ninth with a meager US$9.9mil (RM32.6mil).

Reports have said the troubled movie – originally due for release in November 2012 – may lead to a US$175mil (RM576mil) loss for Universal Pictures.

In 10th, with US$7.4mil (RM24.3mil), was A Madea Christmas, directed by and starring Tyler Perry in his recurring role as Madea, chronicling yet another adventure in the life of the tough, old woman. – AFP

James Franco harnesses power of selfie

Posted: 28 Dec 2013 07:20 PM PST

The actor, filmmaker, producer, writer and everything else analyses a topic that many deem 'silly'.

James Franco has learned to harness the power of the selfie, and so can you! The multihyphenate guy published an editorial in Thursday's New York Times Arts section, where he almost academically breaks down the value – and proper usage – of the self-pointed snap-and-upload phenomenon.

His analysis on the seemingly silly topic is far more enlightening than one might assume. It is also revealing, which Franco argues is the entire point of the selfie.

"In a visual culture, the selfie quickly and easily shows, not tells, how you're feeling, where you are, what you're doing," Franco concluded in the piece.

"The likes spin out of control for selfies of me and my two handsome brothers, especially Dave, the other actor," Franco began his explanation, while admitting his growing addiction to Instagram. But his reasoning is not self-absorbed, just self-aware.

The scholar in Franco has studied the trends from his own page. He continued in the piece, "I can see which posts don't get attention or make me lose followers: those with photos of art projects; videos telling the haters to go away (in not so many words); and photos with poems.

"But a well-stocked collection of selfies seems to get attention."

Franco added: "And attention seems to be the name of the game when it comes to social networking."

So the once-called "king of selfies" has a plan: "For every photo of a book, painting or poem, I try to post a selfie with a puppy, a topless selfie or a selfie with Seth Rogen, because these are all things that are generally liked."

JamesFrancoTV, the actor-writer-director's official Instagram page has more than one million followers. Franco had 1,659 posts at the time of this writing – many of them are selfies. — Reuters

Behind enemy lines

Posted: 27 Dec 2013 08:00 AM PST

Johnny Depp poses a threat to humanity in Transcendence.

JOHNNY Depp is in a movie but there is no makeup, crazy hair or costumes involved? He must have really been drawn to the character Dr Will Caster in Transcendence to accept playing a normal person on screen.

This a huge departure from his eyeliner-crazy Captain Jack Sparrow and Tonto days.

In the trailer for Transcendence – a directorial debut for Wally Pfister, who is also Christopher Nolan's go-to cinematographer – we see Depp in a very different light, one that is so different that it actually takes a few seconds for viewers to realise it's the real deal.

The trailer introduces Caster as an artificial intelligence researcher, who with his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany) work towards creating a machine that possesses more analytical power than the collective intelligence of every person in the history of the world.

Caster's plans to acquire more knowledge and power comes to a halt when he is gunned down by a member of a radical anti-tech group.

In a vegetative state, Caster physically loses the battle, although his active mind connects with Evelyn through artificial intelligence, forcing Max to wonder if it really is his best friend reaching out to his loved ones or a machine trying to take over the world.

Opens in cinema in April 2014.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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