Archive for July, 2011

FAST FIVES races its way to home video on Oct. 4

Posted in Movie News on July 26, 2011 by Steve Mesa

Spectacular street chases and pulse-pounding physical action are set against the mesmerizing beauty of Rio de Janeiro’s exotic thoroughfares in Fast Five, the most successful installment of the Fast & Furious franchise.  Vin Diesel and Paul Walker lead a reunion of returning all-stars from every chapter of the phenomenally successful franchise built on speed plus action superstar Dwayne Johnson (Faster) in the all-new action caper available October 4, 2011 on Blu-ray™ and DVD Combo Packs, DVD, Digital Download and On Demand.

Available for a limited time only, the Blu-rayand DVD Combo Packs bring the full-throttle excitement of the ultimate Fast Five experience to the screen with perfect picture and the purest digital sound available on Blu-ray™, as well as an extended edition of the film with even more explosive action, exclusive bonus features, a DVD to enjoy in the car or on the go, and a Digital Copy of the film that can be downloaded and viewed on an array of electronic and portable devices anytime, anywhere including laptops, tablets, and smartphones as well as Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray™ set top boxes.  Debuting on the Fast Five Blu-ray™ is Universal’s Second Screen, an all-new app for tablets and computers that provides an innovative and interactive viewing experience. To preview Universal’s all-new Second Screen for Fast Five visit http://preview.tinyurl.com/UniSecondScreenF5preview.

 Packed with mind-blowing stunts, high-octane thrills and unprecedented automotive wizardry, Fast Five reunites cast members from all four previous chapters of the blockbuster franchise, reprising their roles as the most daring gang of outlaw drivers to ever get behind the wheel, while a relentless FBI agent (Dwayne Johnson) does whatever it takes to them bring down.  Director Justin Lin (Fast & Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift) takes the wheel of this all-star reunion as Diesel and Walker reprise their iconic roles as Dom Toretto, the king of the street racers, and former cop Brian O’Conner, now Dom’s partner-in-crime, while Johnson rides shotgun for the first time ever as Federal agent Luke Hobbs. Fast Five also brings back several popular franchise stars including Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Sung Kang, Tego Calderon, Don Omar, Elsa Pataky, Gal Gadot and Matt Schulze in a story fueled by gear-grinding action, hairpin plot twists and vehicular mayhem set to a driving hip-hop and Latin soundtrack.

 BLU-RAYTM EXCLUSIVE BONUS FEATURES:

  • DOM VS. HOBBS:  Watch how the action-packed showdown was shot
  • ON SET WITH DIRECTOR JUSTIN LIN: Go behind the scenes of Fast Five with director Justin Lin
  • INSIDE THE VAULT CHASE: Learn how they filmed the movie’s most dangerous sequence
  • TYRESE TV: Go behind the scenes of Fast Five with Tyrese Gibson
  • NEW!  pocket BLU™ VERSIONS FOR TABLETS AND COMPUTERS, FEATURING UNIVERSAL’S SECOND SCREEN
    • The popular free pocket BLU™ app for smartphones is now even better with newly updated versions for iPad®, Android™ tablets, PC, and Macintosh computers, with features made especially to take advantage of the devices’ larger screens and high resolution displays.  And with UNIVERSAL’S SECOND SCREEN, enjoy an innovative and interactive viewing experience, that lets you control, interact and explore Fast Five with groundbreaking new features right on your tablet or computer, in synchronization with the movie on your television screen!  While the movie plays, you’ll experience features such as:
      • Take Control 2.0: Step inside the movie with Director Justin Lin, as he takes control of your Blu-ray player and gives you an all-access, in-depth look at how the movie was made.
      • Virtual Car Garage: Get an up-close inspection of the hot cars, moving models of the cars in a 360 degree view, check out tech specs and more with a touch of your finger
      • Scene Explorer: Ever wish you could see how your favorite special effects sequences were created?  Select various progressions of the same scene from storyboards to daily cuts right from your couch and see how they pulled off the incredible action of the film.
      • Picture in Picture: The cast and crew share stories about the movie right from your tablet or computer, in synchronization to the scene being played.
      • The Music of Fast Five:  Tap your fingers to find out what song is playing, create your own playlist, and even purchase the songs right from your device!
  • pocket BLU:   The groundbreaking pocket BLU app uses iPad®, iPhone®, iPod®  touch,  Android smartphones and tablets, PC and Mac®  to work seamlessly with a network-connected Blu-ray player. Consumers will be able to browse through a library of Blu-ray content and watch entertaining extras on-the-go in a way that’s bigger and better than ever before.  pocket BLUoffers advanced features such as:
    • DIGITAL COPY:  Now, Users have a whole new way to redeem their Digital Copy of the movie right from within the pocket BLU app!  With a simple three step process, the movie begins downloading instantly to their portable device to take with them anywhere!
    • ADVANCED REMOTE CONTROL: A sleek, elegant new way to operate your Blu-ray player. Users can navigate through menus, playback and BD-Live functions with ease
    • VIDEO TIMELINE:  Users can easily bring up the video timeline, allowing them to instantly access any point in the film
    • MOBILE-TO-GO:  Users can unlock a selection of bonus content with their Blu-ray discs to save to their device or to stream from anywhere there is a Wi-Fi network, enabling them to enjoy content on the go, anytime, anywhere
    • BROWSE TITLES:  Users will have access to a complete list of pocket BLU-enabled titles available and coming to Blu-ray Hi-Def.  They can view free previews and see what additional content is available to unlock on their device
    • KEYBOARD:  Entering data is fast and easy with your device’s intuitive keyboard
  • BD-LIVE – Access the BD-LiveCenter through your Internet-connected player to access the latest trailers, exclusive content, and more!
  • uHEAR:  Never miss another line of dialogue with this innovative feature that instantly skips back a few seconds on your Blu-ray disc and turns on the subtitles to highlight what you missed

 Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and dvd combo pack exclusive:

  • DIGITAL COPY:  In addition to redeeming a Digital Copy of the movie through the pocket BLU™ app, Viewers can also download a digital version of the full-length movie from participating digital retailers to enjoy on a choice of popular electronic and portable devices.

 Blu-ray™ and dvd BONUS FEATURES:

  • DELETED SCENES
  • GAG REEL
  • DOM’S JOURNEY: Track Vin Diesel’s legendary character from the beginning
  • BRIAN O’CONNER: FROM FED TO CON: Follow Paul Walker’s character as he goes from lawman to outlaw
  • ENTER FEDERAL AGENT HOBBS: Meet Dom & Brian’s toughest nemesis yet
  • FEATURE COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTOR JUSTIN LIN

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HOLLOWS PART 2 is the best film of the franchise

Posted in Reviews on July 13, 2011 by Steve Mesa

Created by the imaginative mind of J.K. Rowling, the saga of the boy wizard known as Harry Potter was adapted into seven films that showcased the talents of four directors and featured the biggest British cast ensemble ever assembled for a franchise of this magnitude. Ten years and $6 billion of worldwide box office grosses later, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2” marks the end of this fantastic franchise with a movie that fans and non-fans of the novels will adore.   

This movie leaves off where the “Deathly Hollows Part 1” left off with Lord Voldermort (Ralph Fiennes) acquiring the Elder Wand from the cold, dead finger of the late Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon). Meanwhile, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) continue their quest to seek and destroy the last three remaining Horcruxes, which would help weaken Voldermort. All this will culminate in the ultimate battle of good-versus-evil which culminates with an all-out war at Hogwarts between the students and staff of the school against the invading forces of Voldermort and his Death Eaters.

The best was certainly for last as “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2” is the epic finale to the franchise that will satisfy Harry Potter fans and moviegoers.

If action is want you want, then action is what you get with this movie. There are fire-breathing dragons, tons of wizard battles taking place within the walls of Hogwarts and the final showdown between Harry Potter and Lord Voldermort.

For a PG-13 rating, the film also features a high body count with many people and some familiar faces sacrificing themselves for the cause of good. The cinematography of Eduardo Serra is beautifully shot despite its dark and ominous atmosphere while Alexandre Desplat’s score is the best of the franchise, occasionally echoing  John Williams’ original themes from the earlier films.

The performances are great all around, especially those of Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as they deliver their strongest performances of the entire series. Among the adult cast, Ralph Fiennes and Alan Rickman stand out among the rest.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2” opens in South Florida theaters on Friday.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2”: 5 stars out of 5

As the HARRY POTTER franchise come to a close, here are mini-reviews of all 8 films

Posted in Reviews on July 13, 2011 by Steve Mesa

It has been ten years since Hollywood was introduced to the world of Harry Potter in 2001, which was adapted from the series of books written by J.K. Rowling. With “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2” wrapping up the “Harry Potter” film franchise, I decide to write mini-reviews of all eight films that culminates with a review of the last film, which came out Friday. Beware for those who have not seen these series of films because there are certain sections in this article that contain spoilers.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

As the first installment of the “Harry Potter” franchise, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” does a nice and tolerable introduction to the world of Harry Potter thanks to director Chris Columbus. An orphan who lives with his impatient aunt and uncle discovers he is a wizard and he is invited to attend the Hogwarts School of Wizardry where he meets other kids who are just like him. Legendary movie composer John Williams does it again as he conducts another memorable cinematic score. The production design by Stuart Craig is outstanding including creating the interiors of Hogwarts. Daniel Radcliffe does manage to bring Potter to life from the glasses and the haircut to the scar on his forehead. However, there were a couple of scenes that could have been deleted because the movie becomes a little too faithful to the book, which can be seen as a downfall. The special effects and CGI looks a little unrealistic and more like graphics from a video game.

Harry Potter and the Chambers of Secret (2002)

Director Chris Columbus returns to the director’s chair for the second installment of the “Harry Potter” franchise, “Harry Potter and the Chambers of Secret”. This time around, the tone of the film is little darker than its predecessor with the threat of death surrounding Hogwarts. The special effects are a great improvement from the last film the effects going hand-in-hand with some good action sequences including a thrilling Quidditch match and a car chase by some realistic looking spiders. This film also happens to feature one of the last performances by the late Richard Harris as Dumbledore. There are some new cast members added to the franchise including Kenneth Branagh as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher Gilderoy Lockhart and Jason Issacs as Lucius Malfoy, Draco’s father. Despite being entertained for the entire 160-minutes, there were a couple of pacing issues in which a few scenes could have been trimmed. The introduction of the character of Dobby the House Elf gets annoying at times that it almost borders close to Jar-Jar Binks territory, but it becomes somewhat tolerable.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

With Chris Columbus leaving the director’s chair and only serving as remaining as a producer, it is director Alfonso Cuaron (“Children of Men”) who is at the helm of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”. This film of the one of the best films of the “Harry Potter” franchise that not only ventures the story into dark territory, but it also has some more humor that seemed to be lacking in the last two films. It is in this film where Harry shows that he has great potential as a powerful wizard when he is defending himself against Dementors, the guards of Azkaban who have a knack for hassling Harry throughout the film. The cast remains the same, except for Michael Gambon inheriting the role of Dumbledore from Richard Harris. This Dumbledore is an improvement with a sense of humor and lively attitude compared to Harris’ Dumbledore. There some new additions to the cast that includes Emma Thompson as Professor Trelawney, David Thewilis as Professor Lupin and Gary Oldman as Sirius Black, the escaped prisoner of Azkaban and Harry’s godfather. The cinematography is tremendously free and non-restricted with Cuaron using some long takes in several scenes that makes the story feel more realistic. The visual effects for this film were not just here to showcase some scary monster like the last two films, but it served a purpose to the story it was telling. John Williams’ score from the other films recur in some moments, but he also manages to create another memorable score for the second time in this franchise. 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

As the first British person to direct this British-based franchise, Mike Newell (“Donnie Brasco”) makes an invigorating and dark entry to the series with “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”. This time around, Harry finds himself entered in the deadly Tri-Wizard Tournament where each task he faces puts him in danger. This film has a lot of action that involves the tournament that include dragons, mermaids and not-so-lifeless maze, which are spectacular sequences. With Steve Kloves as screenwriter, this film becomes less about the action and more about the kids of Hogwarts growing up and beginning to become interested in the opposite sex. Harry is more comfortable facing a dangerous dragon then asking a girl out to the Yule Ball for fear of rejection. Irish actor Brendan Gleeson (“In Bruges”) is a great new addition to the franchise as Professor Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody. He is not the only new cast member as Ralph Fiennes is perfect in the role of Lord Voldermort, even if he only makes his dark and ominous presence near the end of the movie. The ending of the film does leave viewers with somber tone as the movie comes to a close with Dumbledore delivering a eulogy to the students of Hogwarts after Voldermort kills one of their classmates, Cedric Diggory (pre-“Twilight” Robert Pattinson).

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

With Mike Newell leaving the director’s post, British director David Yates would be the last director of the franchise as he would direct the rest of the films with his first one being “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”. The gang is back together again at Hogwarts as they begin to form of an army of their own with other students in order to prepare to fight Voldermort and his Death Eaters. Among the older actors, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman and Ralph Fiennes do have brief but great moments where they shine. With the majority of the cast returning, there are more new cast members including Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange and Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge. With Voldermort showing up in brief moments, Umbridge takes the mantle as the main villain as tyrannical monster who has loves tea, the color pink and kittens. There some cool creature moments thanks to the special effects that include scary looking horse skeletons with wings called Thestrals. Even though the movie has a short running time compared to the last four films, there are a couple of dull moments with the majority of the action happening in the finale. There were some characters that were featured prominently in the other films that are barely in this movie.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is the weakest entry of the “Harry Potter” franchise as it does not feature an appearance by Voldermort and it barely has any action sequences in it. This film does have its moments, but it plays more this time around as a funny high school romantic comedy with Harry, Ron and Hermione all having romantic interests and getting involved in semi-love triangles with other students at Hogwarts. Eventually, Ron and Hermione finally hooking up and Harry begin to fall in love with Ron’s sister, Ginny (Bonnie Wright). It is in this movie that Draco (Tom Felton) finally embraces his inner villain by causing a lot of malevolence mischief. This movie is the best looking “Harry Potter” film in the franchise thanks to the stunning cinematography by Bruno Delbonnel (“Amelie”). The downfall for this film is that the movie is extremely boring. It is barely a memorable movie because there is nothing that happens in this movie that can be remembered when you watch it the first time. It is also that help that the movie ends on a downer with everyone at the end of the movie mourning the death of Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), who was killed by Severus Snape (Alan Rickman), and the decision made by Harry, Ron and Hermione that they will be returning to Hogwarts .

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 1 (2010)

The beginning of the end of the “Harry Potter” franchise is here with “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 1” arriving in theaters last fall. This movie becomes less about dragons and Quidditch and more about the characters with Harry, Ron and Hermione on the road in search of the “Hocruxes” that needs to be destroyed in order to defeat Voldermort (Ralph Fiennes). There are more memorable scenes to be found in this then there was in “Half-Blood Prince”. The special effects are still great, especially in the scenes that mark the return of Dobby, who actually does some butt-kicking of his own in this film. Director David Yates has proves that he is the perfect director for this franchise, even though “Half-Blood Prince” was a bit weak link in the series. The break-in at the Ministry of Magic is a fantastic sequence that is suspenseful and funny with a spot-on imitation of Radcliffe by David O’ Hara. There is another fantastic and memorable scene is the mythology of the Deathly Hollows being wonderfully told through the art of animation. The script, which was written by Steve Kloves, is cleverly peppered with a bit of history that mentions several events that occurred in the last six films. The movie does not only leave viewers with heck of a cliffhanger, but it is the perfect tease for what is to come in the next film.  

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2 (2011)

They certainly saved the best for last as “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2”, which is out in theaters on Friday, is the epic finale to the franchise that will satisfy Harry Potter fans and no doubt the best movie of the “Harry Potter” franchise. If action is want you want, then action is what you get with this movie. There are fire-breathing dragons, tons of wizard battles taking place within the walls of Hogwarts and the final showdown between Harry Potter and Lord Voldermort. The film also features a high body count for a PG-13 movie with many people and some familiar faces sacrificing themselves for the cause of good. The cinematography from Eduardo Serra is beautifully shot despite its dark and ominous atmosphere. The performances are great all around, especially Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as they deliver their strongest performances of the series. The adult cast is also great, but Ralph Fiennes and Alan Rickman standout among the rest. The 3D is not as great or eye-popping as “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”, but it does allow certain details and the spectacular visual effects to pop up on the silver screen. The story also reveals certain plot points that unveil the true intentions of Dumbledore on why he is protecting Potter and major details involving a young Severus Snape as boy, who fell in love with Harry’s mother. Alexandre Desplat’s score is the best of the franchise that occasionally echoes John Williams’ original themes from some of the earlier films.

ROCK OF AGES casting call information

Posted in Movie News on July 9, 2011 by Steve Mesa

Are you ready to get your faces melted?  Director Adam Shankman invites you to the set of New Line Cinema’s arena-rock love story “Rock of Ages,” who is throwing one head-banging concert party for the upcoming filming of a scene in the Fort Lauderdale area.

 Come and bring your friends to all be extras (16 years and older only please), and join us on the “Rock of Ages” set, and rock out like it’s 1987 with our cast to the sounds of such hits as “Wanted: Dead Or Alive” & “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

WHEN:   Monday, July 18th

TIME:     1:00 PM

 WHERE:  Sun Life Stadium

                        347 Dan Marino Blvd.

                        Miami Gardens, FL  33056

DRESS:      Like the 80s!  Big hair, make-up, and ALL BLACK rockin’ clothes. 

                                                                   Go to www.sunlifestadium.com for a map and directions.

~ Prize giveaways on set every half an hour~

Please note that no cameras/recording devices of any kind are allowed to be used on the “Rock of Ages” set.  No exceptions.

“Rock Of Ages” hits theaters in June 2012, and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.

For more information, please visit us at : www.facebook.com/RockofAges

Contact: Ellen Jacoby/ Ellen Jacoby Casting/ 305-531-5300

Ballet is coming right at you in 3D with GISELLE

Posted in Movie News on July 1, 2011 by Steve Mesa

Continuing its mission to offer groundbreaking in-theater events of all types, NCM Fathom presents GISELLE IN 3D, the world’s first 3-D ballet to be shown with RealD™ 3D technology on Tuesday, July 12at Noon followed by a second performance at 7:30 p.m. (both times local). Pre-recorded at the historic Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, GISELLE IN 3D captures the beauty and movement of a world-class performance in a new and multi-dimensional way, offering cinema audiences a ‘best seat in the house’ experience from anywhere in their local theater.

 Tickets for GISELLE IN 3D are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, visit the NCM Fathom website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

 Presented by London-based distributor More2Screen and NCM Fathom, GISELLE IN 3D was filmed by the UK company Can Communicate, one of the world’s leading producers of stereoscopic 3-D content. The ballet will appear in more than 160 select movie theaters across the country via the new digital cinema projection systems.

“We are delighted to be working with NCM Fathom to distribute Giselle in 3-D across the States – a partnership which will drive the next stage of the ballet’s hugely successful global roll-out,” said Christine Costello, More2Screen managing director.

Giselle is the story of a simple village girl who falls deeply in love with a dashing prince disguised as a peasant. “Fathom brings another ‘first’ to movie theaters with the world’s first ballet in 3-D,” said Dan Diamond, vice president of NCM Fathom. “This is truly a must-see event and audiences across the U.S. will be mesmerized by the view from their front row seat at the famed St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre during this performance of the classic Giselle.”

Ever since its founding in 1860, the legendary Mariinsky Theatre of St. Petersburg, Russia has been at the forefront of artistic and musical development which continues today with Giselle in 3D, the first-ever worldwide release of a ballet in 3-D. For more than 20 years the Mariinsky Theatre has been led by Maestro Valery Gergiev who has transformed the Mariinsky into a global theatre presenting international tours in dozens of countries each year. He has also made technology and media a critically important part of the Mariinsky with the launch of its Mariinsky Label and various other initiatives including this groundbreaking 3-D project. The US release of Giselle in 3D coincides with the Mariinsky Ballet’s residency at the Metropolitan Opera House during the Lincoln Center Festival. The company performs three programs multiple times beginning on July 11.

 Giselle in 3D will be showing at the following theaters at 12:00pm (Noon) & 7:30pm:

Regal South Beach

AMC Sunset Place

Cinemark Paradise