Hot Movies to Catch!

Posted by publisher | Entertainment | Friday 17 June 2011 11:41 pm

Article by James Gevork of Starstruck Extreme

Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon has just been released this past week and flocks of people have already watched it and it has already hit the box office status.  The much awaited third movie from the Transformers franchise did not disappoint fans. Megan Fox did not return as Mikaela Banes but Victoria’s Secret model, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley comes in to play Sam Witwicky’s love interest. She plays Carly Spencer, the original character from the cartoon which Mikaela Banes was based on.  The third movie sees Sam Witwicky, played by actor Shia Labeouf, freshly out of college, with a new job and a new girlfriend, as well as another Decepticon plot to rule the universe to tear down. Catch Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon in theatres near you!

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Monte Carlo is another movie which opened this past weekend. It stars Disney Channel’s star Selena Gomez, Gossip Girls’ Leighton Meester and Katie Cassidy. It is set in Monte Carlo and tells of a story about a girl who assumes an heiress’ identity when she is mistaken for the heiress. This is a definitely fun movie to watch with your tweens.

Zookeeper is another movie to watch out for. It is set to come out in July 8th. It stars funny man Kevin James with Rosario Dawson and Leslie Bibb. It’s a story about animals breaking their code of silence and decides to talk to help their Zookeeper find love. Definitely a fun family movie, catch it when it comes out in theatres on July 8, 2011.

Steven Spielberg Set to Make “Wikileaks” Movie

Posted by publisher | Movie Reviews | Wednesday 6 April 2011 12:28 am

Steven Spielberg, in securing the screen rights to the book known as Wikileaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy written by two prominent Guardian journalists is all set to have his studio oversee the productions of the movie.

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The book has been written as an investigative thriller along the lines of “All the President’s Men” carefully documenting the life of Julian Assange right from his childhood all the way to the creation of the infamous Wikileaks website in 2006.

It also meticulously documents the close and secretive relationship between The Guardian and Wikileaks, and their collaboration which is considered by many to be one of the greatest journalistic scoops for a long time to come. Along with this, there is detailed coverage of the leak of almost 250000 secret cables that were released in December 2010.

While this project in no doubt undertaken by DreamWorks, Spielberg’s company, there are other projects that are also underway to cover this story in the form of a documentary by Alex Gibney and a biopic that is based on a New York article by Raffi Khatchadourian and that will be co-produced by HBO and the BBC.

In comparison to these projects, DreamWorks version seems to be in the initial stages since it requires a screenwriter, a cast and a director. And while Julian Assange fighting with an extradition order to Sweden where he has to deal with sexual abuse allegations, there is little doubt that this movie will raise a lot of eyebrows and get attention from moviegoers everywhere.

The Life of Movies

Posted by publisher | Movie Reviews | Saturday 15 January 2011 2:49 am

What better way to escape reality than to dive into the realm of movies? When you first step foot into the theatre and the lights are down, the ability to forget about the world outside the doors becomes effortless. Time is lost and the mind is freed from the pressures of reality. The characters plights become more important than your own, and the movie takes hold of you. For a few hours, buttery popcorn and bubbly soda help you slide away from any worries you may left at the ticket counter.

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People have enjoyed going to the movies for over a century. The first movies were a series of photographs shown in rapid progression to create movement. Once motion picture cameras were invented, more life like movement shaped an entrancing experience for the first audiences. Eventually sound and color were added to bring the entire event to life. With today’s advancements in computer generated imaging, movies take on a whole life of their own.

The general public has long been entertained by the motion pictures they delight in, as well as the actors and actresses who play their favorite roles. Magazines, tabloids, and television shows are always out to capture the artists in any given situation. From marriage to child birth, and especially throughout the process of bad decision making, the public loves to read and hear about the lives of Hollywood Stars.

The entertainment value of motion pictures and those who create them will always be on the rise.

Major Marvel and DC Comics movie releases set to take place over the next six years

Posted by admin | Movie Reviews | Saturday 11 October 2014 3:15 am

With the recent announcement of a list of ten superhero movies being released by DC Comics, moviegoers will find themselves enjoying the a slew of these movies from both Marvel and DC, thanks to a number of studios such as Sony Columbia, Fox, Marvel Studios and Warner Bros.

We’ve come a long way from a time when just one release of Spider-Man seemed an impossible task to superhero movies dominating the entertainment business.

With Warner Bros informing one and all about the schedule of release of these movie by a press release, it is safe to say that these dates are set in stone. Of course, a couple of other movie that have the ‘year unknown’ tag will be announced somewhere in 2019 or 2020.

2014 has been a year for Marvel movie while 2015 has Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man on the cards with DC Comics offering nothing for both these years and with the exception of Fox’s Fantastic Four.

However, from 2016 onwards, all four of these franchises will roll out a number of releases and which will spill into the following year as well.

Of course, there will be a number of movies that might get added, dropped or even change dates. But no matter, audiences can expect at least thirty to forty releases by Marvel and DC Comics in the next few years.

This is an exciting time to be a superhero fan but what is sad is that the creators aren’t around to reap the benefits of their characters.

And despite this being the era of the superhero, in terms of entertainment, the medium is no longer the comic book.

Singer signed for next X-Men blockbuster, Days of Future Past made $748 million

Posted by admin | Music | Thursday 11 September 2014 9:56 am

With the next X-Men blockbuster on the cards, Bryan Singer has been signed to direct the X-Men: Apocalypse.

This is not the first time he has been at the helm of the X-Men franchise where he had directed the first two films and the last one which was called X-Men: Days of Future Past.

The X-Men franchise has taken in almost $3 billion, in terms of box office receipts, from around the world.

With each release, their takings have increased and with the last movie Days of Future Past making almost $748 million with its release which was made in May.

Singer’s association with the director’s chair has been around but he has had to deal with charges of sexual assault by Michael Egan III for a while. Only last month, the charges have been dropped. He has also accused three other Hollywood stars of the same and against which the charges have been dropped.

With these charges, there had been talk about Fox, the maker of the X-Men movies, was looking for another director to take his place. The next installment, will be set 10 years after the time of Days of Future Past and will star Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Nicholas Hoult and James McAvoy.

These superheroes will, in this movie, have to face their most daunting enemy yet.

This flick, which is due to be released in May 2016, will be the eighth in the series while being the fourth directed by Singer himself.

TMNT on Top for Two Straight Weekends, brings in $28.5 million

Posted by admin | Business Services | Monday 11 August 2014 5:10 am

It is for the second straight weekend that the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles led movie-sales.

In explaining how crucial this result is to a lacklustre season for cinemas and studios, Paul Dergarabedian, Rentrak senior media analyst, said, “Ninja Turtles’ is a movie that no one thought would open as big as it did, and for it to be No. 1 two weekends in a row is even more surprising. It shows you how important just two movies or even one movie can be to the health of the box office marketplace.”

The movie that was produced by Michael Bay and starred Megan Fox brought in $28.5 million from Canadian and US cinemas. Not far behind was ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ that was in second place at $25.1 million.

Despite three new releases including ‘Expendables 3’, these two movies stayed on top and provided a boost to revenues since ticket sales were found to have dropped by 17 percent in comparison to last year’s sales.

BoxOffice.com forecasted weekend sales for these two movies at $26 and $24 million. As for new releases such as Expendables 3, which stars Sylvester Stallone and Mel Gibson, it brought in $15.9 million and which was substantially lesser than the $22 million forecast that the site had forecasted.

As for Expendables 2, which opened with $28.6 million in 2012, collected $305 million in all. Also, Let’s Be Cops, a comedy starring Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson, missed the mark by opening with sales amounting to $17.8 million and missing the $21 million prediction made by BoxOffice.com considerably.

A Brief Trip through 90s Grunge

Posted by admin | Music | Thursday 17 July 2014 10:31 am

90′a bands you hate to love by Phin Upham

The 1980s were dominated by a form of heavy metal that now seems strange to today’s youth. Known as “hair metal,” the scene was full of long haired singers and guitarists who would head bang to screeching guitars and screaming lyrics. But not everyone could stomach the sound, and a few teens in the 90s would start working on introspective lyrics that would become the basis of grunge music.

The bands that took the reins of grunge music started mostly in Seattle. Names like Mudhoney and the Melvins seemed to dominate the scene, but the growth was small. It wasn’t until the 1991 release of Nirvana’s Nevermind that the world got its first true taste of grunge rock.

Record labels soon clamored all over themselves to sign talent from the Pacific Northwest. Grunge was so popular that even bands that weren’t associated with it got swept up in the mayhem. Pearl Jam and Sound Garden, both with sounds more akin to Black Sabbath, were labeled grungy and attained huge commercial success.

Nirvana moved deeper into grunge, while bands like Stone Temple Pilots moved into the pop scene.

Grunge ended abruptly with the death of Kurt Cobain. By then, most grunge acts had come and gone. Two of the most popular albums in the 90s came from Soundgarden and Alice and Chains, but both bands broke up within a matter of years.

While grunge was short lived, the scene gave birth to much of the modern rock we hear today. Without grunge, we wouldn’t have Queens of the Stone Age or Foo Fighters.


Phin Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Twitter page.

21st Century Fox wants to acquire Warner, employees prefer Google to Fox

Posted by admin | Internet | Friday 11 July 2014 2:08 am

With the changing times and video-consumption habits of users also evolving, Hollywood has been long expecting financial consolidation.

As a result, movie studios have also reduced the number of movies made every year while closing on art house-focused divisions to only make big budget blockbuster movies.

However, there’s more reason for anxiety right now as recent news has revealed that 21st Century Fox wants to buy Time Warner which could affect those who live by the traditional model.

What this merger could do is reduce the number of jobs but could clamp down on diversity as well as less competition for talent too.

What is very clear is that there will be a tremendous appetite for content with these movie studios merging and this will definitely be a cause for trouble if it goes through. Even if people intend to keep these two houses separate, it’s very unlikely that they will for much longer once they’re under the same corporate roof.

This is evident from Warner’s own acquisition of New Line Cinema 18 years ago which operated separately from Warner itself. However, in 2008, Warner got rid of New Line Cinema operations which include television, distribution and home entertainment. The number of people employed with New Line Cinema at its peak was 550 and today that number stands at 60.

Both these studios have enjoyed success for a while now but keeping the fate of employees at New Line Cinema in mind, Warner employees would rather be bought by Google instead of Fox.

4 Musicians Who Became Successful Actors

Posted by admin | Music | Wednesday 11 June 2014 10:00 pm

A number of American musicians switched to being actors later in their careers and turned out to be successful both in the recording booth as well as in front of the camera.

Double threats, if you will.

So, here are 4 musicians who were able to make this switch with ease:

#1: Courtney Love

If being the wife of Kurt Cobain wasn’t enough, Courtney Love has also fronted her own band as well. There were a few minor roles that she played such as Nancy as well as Straight to Hell but the role that brought her acclaim was the biopic The People vs. Larry Flynt where she played a stripper with addiction problems.

#2: Justin Timberlake

Not only was he a member of the popular boy band known as N’Sync but also the boyfriend of Britney Spears. Only now, he is busy promoting his latest movies and has been recognized for movies such as The Social Network, Friends with Benefits and In Time.

#3: Frank Sinatra

Known for being one of the most famous singers in popular music, Sinatra switched to acting as he got older and lost appeal amongst teenage audiences especially in the late 1950s. Movies like the original Ocean’s Eleven, From Here to Eternity and The Manchurian Candidate actually brought him acclaim but most importantly revived his music career.

#4: Will Smith

Starting off his career as a rapper and then with a popular role in the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Will Smith made his move into acting with Independence Day, Men in Black and I Robot being movies that brought him much success. Of course, he continues to make rap albums with his latest being released in 2005 titled ‘Lost and Found’.

Warcraft movie slated for release in March 2016, post-production to commence soon

Posted by admin | Entertainment | Sunday 11 May 2014 12:45 pm

The new Warcraft movie that is scheduled for release in March 2016 is not just for gaming fans but is targeted towards a much wider audience.

 

In speaking with I Am Rogue, Thomas Tull, Legendary Pictures producer, said, “I think people might initially say, ‘It’s a video game movie, or it’s sort of fantasy whatever.’ But just wait. That’s the whole point of having a Duncan Jones direct the movie versus maybe some other version. That’s really as fans what we want to see, which is stuff that’s commercial, but elevated that takes these amazing stories as jumping off points and then puts these directors on them that will tweak it slightly and look at it through a different lens.”

 

In fact, the reason why the movie, which is almost complete in terms of shooting, will spend more time in post-production is because both Greenlight and Legendary Pictures weren’t happy with the version since it wasn’t up to their standards.

 

Even though details about the Warcraft have not been revealed, what is very clear is that this movie will not replicate the game experience in the movie but instead came up with a mythology and lore that has the producers and directors excited.

 

While it’s only possible to approximate how many people have played Warcraft since its release in 2004 (about 100 million in all), the movie will focus on the origins of the war between the Orcs and Humans.

 

Also, the digital effects of the Warcraft movie will be managed by Industrial Light & Magic, the Star Wars effects studio.

 

A Bio of Ozzy Osbourne

Posted by admin | Music | Thursday 24 April 2014 10:51 am

Written by Samuel Phineas Upham

John Michael Osbourne, the man who would become Ozzy, was born in Birmingham England in 1948. His family was solidly working class, which led Osbourne to leave school at an early age to pursue work. He tried legitimate work for a while, then turned to petty crime. It was his illegal exploits that landed him in jail and gave him time to figure out what he really wanted to do.

When he was released, Osbourne was asked to sing for a new band called “Earth.” The group played very bluesy-rock anthems that garnered them some popularity in the area. Soon, they were experimenting with the sounds we would associate with heavy-metal rock.

When they tried to go mainstream, they realized that there was already a band called “Earth.” They decided to rename their group after a Boris Karloff film: Black Sabbath.

Their debut album came in 1970. The critical community largely dismissed the effort, but it found popularity in Britain never the less. Their next effort contained some of the band’s most well-known songs. Released in 1971, Paranoid became the seminal metal album.

The band’s popularity was further bolstered by its usage of religious symbolism. Constant criticism from rightist groups would help them overcome the almost overwhelmingly negative receptions they got when they first debuted.

Osbourne left the group in ’78 to pursue his own work. During that time, he released several commercial successes and began to cultivate a personality for himself. He was known for biting the head off of a bat live on stage, and for urinating on the Alamo. Though Osbourne almost quit music in ’92, he soldiered on to a 2005 tour with the surviving members of Black Sabbath.


Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Samuel Phineas Upham on his Samuel Phineas Upham website

Getting to Know Coldplay

Posted by admin | Music | Friday 11 April 2014 9:38 am

This article was written by Phin Upham

The British rock band Colplay formed in 1996. Lead Singer Chris Martin met with the lead guitarist Jonny Buckland at University College in London. The two first formed a band called “The Pectorals,” but this was before they met their bassist Guy Berryman. By the time they had their fourth member, they’d changed their name to Coldplay.

Their first taste of stardom came with the song Yellow, which graced the airwaves in the year 2000. The laid back track was a prelude to their debut album, which was nominated for a Mercury Prize on its release. Their second album was released to critical acclaim, and it won NME’s Album of the Year award. The album was so popular that BBC 2 named it one of the greatest albums of all time.

They were supposed to record their first album in the span of two weeks, but plans got pushed back when they found themselves touring for a vast portion of that time. The actual recording time was close to one year. Production began in Liverpool at Parr Street Studios, with mixing happening in New York.

Coldplay released Parachutes on their own label, Parlophone, and it almost instantly became number one on the UKs top charts. Parachutes would come to North America shortly after, released by the label Nettwork. The band is also known for limited releases, like their imprint of “Trouble,” which was only pressed 1,000 times. If you’re so inclined, copies were distributed to known fans and journalists so you may still be able to find one online.


About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website

Third Installment of Hobbit Gets a Name Change, titled “The Battle of Five Armies”

Posted by admin | Entertainment | Friday 11 April 2014 5:25 am

There have been rumors that the third installment of “The Hobbit”, subtitled “There and Back Again” would get a name change. And according to latest reports, the name has been revealed to be “The Battle of Five Armies”.

 

In discussing how the former title did not make sense on his Facebook post, Peter Jackson revealed the reason for the name change, in saying, “When we did the premiere trip late last year, I had a quiet conversation with the studio about the idea of revisiting the title. We decided to keep an open mind until a cut of the film was ready to look at. We reached that point last week, and after viewing the movie, we all agreed there is now one title that feels completely appropriate.”

 

He also went on to reveal that since Tolkien considered the entire book as Baggins’ journey, titling the third installment did not make sense.

 

Also, since the dwarves, humans, elves, wargs and orcs do battle for the large portion of the movie it only made sense to give it the present title.

 

That said, there’s no doubt that Peter Jackson wants to top what he has done with the battle scenes in Lord of the Rings in the third installment.

 

In fact, Luke Evans (who plays The Bard) says that Jackson wanted to do “something bigger, better even crazier” which according to most if not all is a feat in and of itself.

 

There’s no doubt that those who get to watch the third installment will be treated to something spectacular.

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