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Minggu, 17 Mei 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a 2009 superhero film based on the Marvel Comics' fictional character Wolverine. It was released on April 28, 2009 in the Netherlands and worldwide up to May 1 2009. The film is directed by Gavin Hood and stars Hugh Jackman as the title character. It is a prequel to the X-Men film trilogy and is primarily set roughly ten to seventeen years before the film X-Men.

The film focuses on the violent past of mutant Wolverine and his time with Team X, before Wolverine's skeleton was bonded with the indestructible metal adamantium. The plot also details his early encounters with Colonel William Stryker (Danny Huston), the Weapon X program, Wolverine's interactions with other mutants and his complex relationship with his half-brother Victor Creed (Liev Schreiber). The film was mostly shot in Australia and New Zealand.

Wolverine was released to mixed reviews; critics praised Hugh Jackman's performance, but considered the film and its screenplay uninspired. It opened at the top of the box office, grossing $85.1 million domestically on the opening weekend, and has grossed over $210 million worldwide as of May 12, 2009.

In 1845 Canada, young James Howlett sees his father killed by groundskeeper Thomas Logan. The trauma activates the boy's mutation: bone claws protrude from James' hands, and he kills Logan. In his dying breath, Logan tells James that he is his real father. James flees with Logan's abused son and James' half-brother Victor Creed. The two survive for over a century as men in their prime, living out their violent urges together in the American Civil War and both World Wars. During the Vietnam War, Victor kills a superior after he stops a rape attempt, James defends his brother and the two are executed by firing squad, which they survive. Major William Stryker approaches the two and offers them membership in Team X, a group of mutants which includes marksman Agent Zero, mercenary Wade Wilson, teleporter John Wraith, invincible Fred Dukes and electricity-controlling Chris Bradley. The duo joins the team, but the group's questionable actions cause James to leave.

Six years later, James-now going by the name Logan-lives in Canada with his girlfriend Kayla Silverfox. Colonel Stryker locates Logan and warns him someone is killing members of the team. Shortly afterwards Victor murders Kayla and brutally beats Logan. Stryker offers Logan a way to beat Victor. Logan undergoes an operation to reinforce his skeleton with adamantium, a virtually indestructible metal. Before the procedure, Logan asks for new dog tags inscribed with "Wolverine". Stryker orders Wolverine's memory to be erased, but Wolverine overhears him and flees, with former team member Zero tracking him. Wolverine takes refuge in the barn of an elderly couple who take him in for the night. Zero kills the couple and attacks, but Wolverine subdues and kills him.

Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek is a 2009 science fiction film directed by J. J. Abrams and written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. It is the eleventh film based on the Star Trek franchise and features the main characters of the original Star Trek series, who are portrayed by a new cast. The film explores the backstories of James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto), before they unite aboard the USS Enterprise to combat Nero (Eric Bana), a Romulan from the future who threatens the United Federation of Planets. The time-travel story establishes an alternate reality, freeing the film and the whole franchise from continuity constraints.

Development of the film began in 2005 when Paramount Pictures contacted Abrams, Orci and Kurtzman for ideas to revive the franchise. The creative team contrasted Orci and Lindelof, who consider themselves "Trekkies", with casual fans like Abrams, who all aimed to create a film that would interest a general audience. They wanted to be faithful to the Star Trek canon, but they also introduced elements of their favorite novels, modified continuity with the time-travel storyline, and modernized the production design of the original show. Filming took place from November 2007 to March 2008 under intense secrecy. Midway through the shoot, Paramount chose to delay the release date from December 25, 2008 to May 2009, believing the film could reach a wider audience.

In 2387, Romulus is threatened by a supernova. Ambassador Spock pilots a ship carrying "red matter" that can create a gravitational singularity, drawing the supernova into a black hole. However, Spock is too late, and Romulus is destroyed. Captain Nero of the Romulan mining ship Narada attempts to exact revenge on Spock for the destruction of Romulus, but both ships are caught in the black hole's event horizon, traveling to different points into the past. The Narada arrives first, 154 years earlier, and attacks the Federation starship USS Kelvin. As the Kelvin is evacuated, acting-Captain George Kirk stays behind to provide cover for the fleeing shuttlecraft. The Kelvin is destroyed moments after George's son, James Tiberius Kirk, is born. Ambassador Spock arrives 25 years later and is captured by Nero. Spock is marooned on the planet Delta Vega so that he can witness the destruction of Vulcan.

Kirk grows up into an intelligent, but reckless and cynical young man. Captain Christopher Pike tells him of his father's heroic efforts and convinces him to join Starfleet. At Starfleet Academy, Kirk befriends fellow cadets Leonard McCoy and Uhura. In his third year at the Academy, Kirk is accused of cheating on the Kobayashi Maru test by its programmer, Commander Spock. During the hearing, Starfleet receives a distress signal from Vulcan, and the cadets are mobilized to help man the ships in orbit. Acting as his attending physician, McCoy smuggles the grounded Kirk on board the USS Enterprise.

Kirk recognizes the similarities between the distress call from Vulcan and the encounter that destroyed the Kelvin. He warns Captain Pike that the fleet is heading into a trap. The Enterprise arrives late; the fleet has been destroyed. As the Narada drills into Vulcan's core, Nero orders Pike to surrender himself via shuttlecraft. Pike agrees, promoting Spock to captain and Kirk to first officer. En route to the Narada, Kirk, Hikaru Sulu, and Chief Engineer Olson perform an orbital skydive onto the drilling platform to destroy it; Olson is killed, but Kirk and Sulu stop the drill. However, it has drilled deep enough for Nero to launch red matter into the planet's core, imploding the planet into a black hole. Spock rescues most of the planet's elders, including his father, but his mother dies along with the majority of the planet's population. Nero sets course for Earth and tortures Pike for the command codes to its perimeter defenses.

Sabtu, 18 April 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire is a 2008 drama film directed by Danny Boyle and written by Simon Beaufoy. It is based on the book Q and A written by Indian author and diplomat Vikas Swarup. Loveleen Tandan began as the film's casting director but was appointed by Boyle as a "co-director".

The film, shot and set in India, follows a young man from the slums of Mumbai who appears on a game show and exceeds people's expectations, raising the suspicions of the game show host and law enforcement. Following screenings at the Telluride Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, Slumdog Millionaire had a limited release on 12 November 2008 to critical acclaim and awards success.

Jamal Malik, a former street child from Mumbai, is being interrogated by the police. He is a contestant on Kaun Banega Crorepati, the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? , and has made it to the final question but has been accused of cheating.

The explanation of how he knew the answers leads us through the history of his short but full life, including scenes of obtaining the autograph of a famous Bollywood star (Amitabh Bachchan); the death of his mother during an anti-Muslim raid on the slums; and how he and his brother Salim befriended an orphaned girl, Latika. Jamal refers to Salim and himself as Athos and Porthos, and Latika as the third Musketeer of which they do not know the name.

Yes Man

A man signs up for a self-help program based on one simple principle: say yes to everything... and anything. At first, unleashing the power of "yes" transforms his life in amazing and unexpected ways, but he soon discovers that opening up his life to endless possibilities can have its drawbacks.

At the beginning of “Yes Man,” Carl Allen is a grouch, a curmudgeon, a wet blanket. His relentless negativity — his job as a loan officer provides him with plenty of opportunities to say no — is less a matter of temperament than of circumstance: apparently Carl never recovered from the breakup of his marriage.

But then a visit to a self-help seminar led by a guru (Terence Stamp) who preaches the power of yes transforms Carl into a wild, unpredictable fellow, a giddy, spontaneous goofball, a gangling, motormouthed, rubber-faced id. In short, Carl turns into Jim Carrey.

But “Yes Man,” dutifully directed by Peyton Reed (“Bring It On,” “Down With Love”) is too sluggish and slapdash a vehicle for its star’s prodigious wackiness. “Yes Man” rarely rises to genuine hilarity. It takes no risks, finds no inspiration and settles, like its hero, into a dull, noncommittal middle ground. Should you see this movie? Maybe. Whatever. I don’t care.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

Explores the origins of the centuries-old blood feud between the aristocratic vampires known as Death Dealers and their onetime slaves, the Lycans.

The Underworld series gets the prequel treatment with this third outing that fleshes out the story of the ancient war between the vampiric Death Dealers and their werewolf counterparts, the Lycans. F/X technician Patrick Tatopoulos (Godzilla, Independence Day) steps out of the effects lab and into the director's chair with this entry, which sees stars Michael Sheen and Bill Nighy returning, with series newcomer Rhona Mitra also joining the cast.

"Underworld: Rise of the Lycans" delves into the origins of the centuries-old blood feud between the aristocratic vampires, known as Death Dealers, and the barbaric Lycans (werewolves). A young Lycan, Lucian (Michael Sheen), emerges as a powerful leader who rallies the werewolves to rise up against Viktor (Bill Nighy), the cruel vampire king who has persecuted them for hundreds of years. Lucian is joined by his secret lover, the beautiful vampire Sonja (Rhona Mitra), in his battle to free the Lycans from their brutal enslavement.

The prequel story traces the origins of the centuries-old blood feud between the aristocratic vampires known as Death Dealers and their onetime slaves, the Lycans. In the Dark Ages, a young Lycan named Lucian (Sheen) emerges as a powerful leader who rallies the werewolves to rise up against Viktor (Nighy), the cruel vampire king who has enslaved them. Lucian is joined by his secret lover, Sonja (Mitra), in his battle against the Death Dealer army and his struggle for Lycan freedom.

Badtime Stories

Hotel handyman Skeeter Bronson's life is changed forever when the bedtime stories he tells his niece and nephew start to mysteriously come true. He attempts to take advantage of the phenomenon, incorporating his own aspirations into one outlandish tale after another, but it's the kids' unexpected contributions that turn Skeeter's life upside down.

BEDTIME STORIES is an adventure comedy starring ADAM SANDLER as Skeeter Bronson, a hotel handyman whose life is changed forever when the bedtime stories he tells his niece and nephew start to mysteriously come true. When he tries to help his family by telling one outlandish tale after another, it's the kids' unexpected contributions that turn all of their lives upside down.

Skeeter’s pique (though he may not know it) is reserved for his dead father, an inept businessman whose cozy motel once occupied the lot where Skeeter’s current employer has erected an upscale resort. Gone, along with the homespun vibe, is Skeeter’s dream of one day running the property; so when his divorced sister, Wendy (a frighteningly taut Courteney Cox), asks him to baby-sit for his young niece and nephew (Laura Ann Kesling and Jonathan Morgan Heit) for a few days, Skeeter is in no mood to play scallywag uncle.

“I don’t believe in happy endings,” he tells his incredulous charges when story time comes around. Luckily for the tykes, their director, Adam Shankman, loves them, the happier the better. (Even as a guest judge on “So You Think You Can Dance” Mr. Shankman, a popular choreographer, squirmed mightily to avoid delivering a bad critique.) Rolling up his sleeves and piling on the digital effects, he labors to whip life into a screenplay (by Matt Lopez and Tim Herlihy) so tired even Bugsy, the children’s pop-eyed guinea pig, is moved to tuck himself into bed.

Marley & Me

To watch “Marley & Me,” the bland, obsequious adaptation of John Grogan’s best-selling memoir of his up-and-down relationship with an unruly Labrador retriever, is to tune in to an era that seems so close and yet so distant. In those naïve old days — the 1990s through the first part of this century — Florida real estate boomed, newspapers flourished and the heavens rained money.

Because the movie, directed by David Frankel (“The Devil Wears Prada”), plays by the rules of Hollywood, John and Jenny Grogan (Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston), never age. The Grogans, golden-fleeced journalists, move from Kalamazoo, Mich., to West Palm Beach, Fla., where they adopt a yellow Lab that John names Marley (after Bob). Except for the occasional thunderstorm that freaks out the neurotic dog, the weather in Florida is always sunny with low humidity.

Later in the movie, after nearly a decade and a half have passed and the Grogans and their three model children have moved to a greeting-card perfect stone house with a barn in rural Pennsylvania, the years seem not to have touched them. Mr. Wilson’s blond surfer locks remain unflecked with gray. The waistline of Ms. Aniston’s Jenny, after bearing three children, shows no sign of a bulge.

Although the Grogans have their spats, one of which drives John temporarily out of the house, the screenplay glosses over their domestic crises to convey the fantasy of a marriage that is mostly smooth sailing, save for Jenny’s exhaustion after the birth of their third child. (The possibility of post-partum depression is cautiously broached, then dropped as though too hot to handle.) Most of the time the Grogans get along fine, largely because John is a laid-back dude verging on a doormat. As for the couple’s romantic chemistry, there is plenty of cuddling but little heat.