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.

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.

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.

Arnold Schwarzenegger spills a few secrets on Terminator: Genesis, will “be back”

Posted by admin | Entertainment | Tuesday 11 March 2014 10:24 am

Unlike most movies where plot details are kept absolutely secret, Arnold Schwarzenegger spilled a few secrets recently for the upcoming movie titled Terminator: Genesis.

In his interview with MTV, in a bid to promote the movie, Schwarzenegger said, “The way that the character is written, it’s a machine underneath. It’s this metal skeleton. But above that is human flesh. And the Terminator’s flesh ages, just like any other human being’s flesh. Maybe not as fast. But it definitely ages.”

What he also admitted was that it was going to be a challenge considering the fact that he is 66 years old and the director, who is new, is sure to serve up an action-packed movie for their audiences.

Since Schwarzenegger admitted that he was is much older, he also mentioned that an emphasis on time travel will be evident in the movie as audiences will get to see the older (that he immortalized a few decades ago!) along with a new and younger T-800 version.

With the focus now shifting away from the duel between good and bad robot to time travel, this seems to be an interesting change. Much like the exclusion of Schwarzenegger himself from Terminator: Salvation since he was too busy being the governor of California.

Of course, he did promise himself and audiences that he would ‘be back’ for the next installment and has kickstarted its promotions off with this interview.

As ‘Sabotage’, another movie release of Schwarzenegger, is due March 28, Terminator:Genesis will hit theater on July 1, 2015.

12 Years a Slave isn’t easy to watch, admits cinematographer Sean Bobbitt

Posted by admin | Movie Reviews | Tuesday 11 February 2014 8:59 am

12 Years a Slave doesn’t give its audience an easy time, considering the way it has been portrayed by Sean Bobbitt – the movie’s cinematographer.

He goes on to explain the reception of his work on the film, in saying, “As we were shooting 12 Years, there was a feeling that we were doing something a bit different. It has certainly gotten people speaking and is developing a life far greater than anything we could have possibly imagined.”

Speaking of the attention that the film has received, not only did the busy cinematographer receive a Bafta nomination but also an invitation to the Oscars as well for his dazzling work.

Yet this isn’t the first time that Bobbitt has worked with McQueen as they have been together for the past 13 years. In understanding each other so well, they did decide to keep things simple.

As he goes on to explain, there was no trickery needed or even the need to portray it as a documentary or even a gritty drama. Yet they wanted to focus on the fact that Louisiana was a beautiful place – images that have made it to the movie’s final cut.

In the absence of which, the cinematographer believes that people would have not stuck with the film as they have.

As for the parts that have caused critics and moviegoers great discomfort, one can’t help but forget scenes where Northup is left hanging with only his toes touching the ground or even when he is forced to lash Patsey for leaving the plantation to find soap.

Sherlock’s ‘mind palace’ – it actually works in real life!

Posted by admin | Business Services | Saturday 11 January 2014 11:28 am

Sherlock Holmes has long been known for his powers of deduction. But that’s not all. The latest reincarnation of the master sleuth, in the BBC drama simply titled ‘Sherlock’, also serves up another trick of his: the mind palace.

If you’ve watched the series, then you’d notice how he moves about this mental space picking up clues that somehow hold the key to the puzzle that the duo is faced with.

It’s quite against the “Google it” norm. Yet the truth is that even if this feat seems only fictional, it has existed, long before technology made things so much easier for all of us.

It all began with Greek poet known Simonides who discovered as in an accident that when he visualized the room, he could recall the names of all the people who died. Later on, he used this technique to remember things by walking through buildings that he was familiar with.

As for now, this technique continues to be used by ‘mental athletes’ who compete in memory championships throughout the world. These athletes associate an imagined simple stroll in a familiar neighborhood with binary numbers, strings, random words and shuffled cards and so on and so forth.

Of course, most of us could do with a bit of mental real estate considering how we have to remember PINs, birthdays of people but most importantly relevant facts and concepts for our exams.

And it should come as no surprise that a Grand Master of Memory, Ed Cooke, used this technique to memorize almost a thousand studies for psychology finals as he strolled through the streets of Oxford.

Yes, it works in real life.

All in all, even if it might seem passe in this age where technology is there to make Life easier, nothing beats remembering the number of a cab company especially if your phone is dead.

Feeding the People

Posted by admin | Entertainment | Saturday 14 December 2013 6:11 am

Choosing a caterer for your event is no easy task. You have to know what kind of food your guests would like to eat or in some cases, what they can’t eat. Allergies can be a big issue when serving your guests anything that may be detrimental to their health. It’s also good to note what kind of event you’re having as serving meat in a vegetarian gathering is rather stupid.

There are a large number of caterers in Los Angeles that can prepare and serve various dishes from a number of nationalities; some of the more modern caterers have even found ways to fuse these various dishes together to form something entirely different. These caterers may have already prepared a number of set menus that you can choose from, or you can consult with them as to what your event should need.

Preparing for more personal affairs however require a kind of quality that you can rely on. Wedding planners would usually have a list of wedding caterers that have proven themselves to provide the perfect quality these once in a lifetime events need. When deciding which caterer to go with, the food is obviously important, but what’s more integral is the kind of service they can provide.

Budget should also be taken into consideration as feeding a large number of people can get expensive. For small family gatherings, a self prepared meal can be feasible, but for larger events like weddings where even the extended family is coming, catering is the only way to go.

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Anoush Catering  is part of a large number of Los Angeles catering companies that can provide Persian cuisine at an affordable cost.

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