Thursday, April 17, 2014

Transcendence

Johnny Depp stars in 'Transcendence' as Dr. Will Caster, the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him.

However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed—to be a participant in his own transcendence. For his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can…but if they should.

Their worst fears are realized as Will’s thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power, to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him.

'Transcendence' is Wally Pfister's debut directorial venture.

The movie is rated 'PG-13' for sci-fi action and violence, some bloody images, brief strong language and sensuality. It runs for 1 hour 59 minutes.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Divergent

'Divergent', based on the best-selling book series by Veronica Roth, is a thrilling action-adventure film set in a world where people are divided into distinct factions based on human virtues. Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley; we all saw her in 'Descendants' (2011) ) is warned she is Divergent and will never fit into any one group. When she discovers a conspiracy by a faction leader (Kate Winslet) to destroy all Divergents, Tris must learn to trust in the mysterious Four (Theo James) and together they must find out what makes being Divergent so dangerous before it's too late.

The film is based on the first book in a best-selling trilogy by Veronica Roth, a series that also earned comparisons to Suzanne Collins' "Hunger Games" works.

The movie is directed by Neil Burger whose past credits include Limitless (2011), The Lucky Ones (2008), The Illusionist (2006), Interview With The Assassin (2002). So, the expectation can be high indeed!

It's not a surprise that "Divergent" is being touted as the new "Hunger Games", given its action-oriented female heroine, youthful cast and post-apocalyptic setting. If "Divergent" does half as well as the "Hunger Games" films -- the most recent of which, "Catching Fire," topped the 2013 box office and made $865 million worldwide -- its backers will be very happy.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Need for Speed

Based on the most successful racing video game franchise ever with over 140 million copies sold, DreamWorks Pictures’ “Need for Speed” captures the thrills of the game in a real-world setting.

The film centers around Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul of 'Breaking Bad' fame), a blue-collar mechanic who races muscle-cars on the side in an unsanctioned street-racing circuit. Struggling to keep his family-owned garage afloat, he reluctantly partners with the wealthy and arrogant ex-NASCAR driver Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper). But just as a major sale to car broker Julia Bonet (Imogen Poots) looks like it will save Tobey's shop, a disastrous race allows Dino to frame Tobey for a crime he didn’t commit, sending Tobey to prison while Dino expands his business out west.

Two years later, Tobey is released and set on revenge -- but he knows his only chance to take down his rival Dino is to defeat him in the high-stakes race known as De Leon—the Super Bowl of underground racing. However to get there in time, Tobey will have to run a high-octane, action-packed gauntlet that includes dodging pursuing cops coast-to-coast as well as contending with a dangerous bounty Dino has put out on his car. With the help of his loyal crew and the surprisingly resourceful Julia, Tobey defies odds at every turn and proves that even in the flashy world of exotic supercars, the underdog can still finish first.

“Need for Speed” marks an exciting return to the great car culture films of the 1960's and 70's, when the authenticity of the world brought a new level of intensity to the action on-screen. Tapping into what makes the American myth of the open road so appealing, the story chronicles a near-impossible cross-country journey for our heroes -- one which begins as a mission for revenge, but proves to be one of redemption. Based on the most successful racing video game franchise ever with over 140 million copies sold, "Need for Speed" captures the freedom and excitement of the game in a real-world setting, while bringing to life the passion for the road that has made our love of cars so timeless.

The movie is presented by DreamWorks Pictures, produced by John Gatins, Pat O’Brien and Mark Sourian and directed by Scott Waugh. The screen story is by John Gatins and George Gatins and the screenplay is by George Gatins and John Gatins, based on the video game series created by Electronic Arts.

It races for 102 minutes.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Non-Stop

Global action star Liam Neeson stars in Non-Stop, a suspense thriller played out at 40,000 feet in the air.

During a transatlantic flight from New York City to London, U.S. Air Marshal Bill Marks (Neeson) receives a series of cryptic text messages demanding that he instruct the airline to transfer $150 million into an off-shore account. Until he secures the money, a passenger on his flight will be killed every 20 minutes.

The film reunites Neeson with Unknown director Jaume Collet-Serra and producer Joel Silver, and co-stars Golden Globe Award winner Julianne Moore.

The movie is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some language, sensuality and drug references. It runs for 1 hour 46 minutes. Here is the official website: nonstopthefilm.com


Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Wind Rises

In Hayao Miyazaki's newest creation “The Wind Rises”, the main character, Jiro, is inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni. He dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes.

Nearsighted from a young age and thus unable to become a pilot, Jiro joins the aircraft division of a major Japanese engineering company in 1927. His genius is soon recognized, and he grows to become one of the world’s most accomplished airplane designers.

The film chronicles much of his life, and depicts key historical events that deeply affected the course of Jiro’s life, including the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, the Great Depression, the tuberculosis epidemic and Japan’s plunge into war. He meets and falls in love with Nahoko, and grows and cherishes his friendship with his colleague Honjo. A tremendous innovator, Jiro leads the aviation world into the future.

Miyazaki pays tribute to engineer Jiro Horikoshi and author Tatsuo Hori in his creation of the fictional character Jiro—the center of the epic tale of love, perseverance, and the challenges of living and making choices in a turbulent world.

In its English version, voices were given by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Martin Short etc. This wonderful anime from Studio Ghibli runs for 2 hours and 6 minutes.


Thursday, January 02, 2014

Beyond Outrage

With Beyond Outrage, action cinema master Takeshi Kitano returns to the hard boiled characters, black comedy and unflinching violence of his crime masterpiece Outrage. This time, a manipulative police crackdown on organized crime has ignited a tricky power struggle in the yakuza underworld.

The Sanno crime family has grown into a massive organization dominated by young executives whose new approach to running the family is causing frustration and pent-up resentment with the old-guard members. This vulnerability in the Sanno hierarchy is exactly what anti-gang detective Kataoka has been looking for, as the police force prepares a full-scale crackdown.

Kataoka wants start a war between Sanno and the neighboring Hanabishi crime family in the hopes that they destroy each other. His trump card is Otomo (Kitano) – the rumored-dead boss of a defunct family that was destroyed by the Sanno, who has just been released from prison. Otomo wants to retire from a life of crime, but finds himself drawn back in through Kataoka’s manipulations as the Sanno and Hanabishi clans teeter on the brink of an all-out war.

The movie runs for 1hr 52min. Here is the official website: warnerbros.co.jp/outrage2.