Search form

AWN Blogs

Blogs

Do You Deserve Success?

By Lisa Kaye | Monday, July 19, 2010 at 8:59am

Standing in the way of every great dream, each new idea, a desire to excel and the will to achieve is a nagging doubt, an uncertainty, a question you should ask yourself, do you deserve to succeed? Knowing what you want and how to get it are factors in your ability to take hold of your career and forge a plan towards achieving any goal. Looking beneath the surface of where you are in your life now, if you are happy and if you are not, why you may be unable to change could provide the hidden key towards unlocking the door towards your success.

Blogs

When in doubt, change it up...

By Lisa Kaye | Monday, July 19, 2010 at 8:51am

Making the most of a bad situation these days takes a lot more than prayer, a glass of champagne, and getting lost in your iPad. If you’ve been lost looking for a ray of hope in the otherwise cloudy skies of the job market, just look up and if that doesn’t help and you are still in some serious doubt, then change it up.

Blogs

ENTRE NOS (2010) (***1/2)

This indie drama deals with new immigrants to the U.S., but at its core it's a story of survival. It's difficult to be new anywhere, but what if you had two kids, didn't speak the language and didn't know anyone? Could you make it? How would you do it? This story from the directing/writing team of Gloria La Morte and Paola Mendoza looks at what one mother did.

Mariana (Mendoza) moves from Colombia to New York City with her two kids, 10-year-old Gabi (Sebastian Villada) and six-year-old Andrea (Laura Montana), to reunite with their husband and father Antonio (Andres Munar, CHE). But his life changes too abruptly when they arrive; he's been use to the single life. Soon he tells them that he must move to Miami for a job and will send for them later. Mariana is set to fend for herself after being in a new country for six days. Antonio never calls; he just disappears.

Blogs

Blu-ray Buzz – Between Us It's the Red Shoes

This is a jam-packed week. We have a Blu-ray and DVD Pick of Week. Some great classics coming from Criterion. There's also a long list of films I'm curious to hear from readers about, some got trashed by other critics and some our critical darlings.

Blu-ray Pick of the Week
The Red Shoes
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's THE RED SHOES is considered by many to be one of the best films ever made. Martin Scorsese has said it is his favorite film. The story takes an honest behind-the-scenes look at the rise of a young ballerina. Boris Lermontov, played by Anton Walbrook, is the impresario of the ballet. He takes promising dancer Victoria Page (Moira Shearer) under his wing and begins to control every aspect of her life much to the chagrin of her boyfriend, young composer Julian Craster (Marius Goring). Lermontov is more than a controlling lover type — he wants to be Victoria. The character is one of the most complex ever put on screen. And the standards of 1940s cinema make him all the more fascinating because Powell and Pressburger needed to dance around many tawdry interpretations. The closing ballet number is one of the best dance sequences ever put on film for its artistry of movement and its metaphoric comment on the plot. I can only imagine how his richly filmed early color film looks on Blu-ray. This is an essential for any real movie fan.

Blogs

INCEPTION (2010) (****)

An idea can change the world. In Christopher Nolan's mind-bending thriller, big ideas are vulnerable to be stolen within a person's dreams. Powerful businessmen spend millions on setting up projections in their minds to protect them from extractors who are hired by competitors to steal secrets. But what's infinitely more difficult is to put an idea they did not think of in their mind. This is inception.

Blogs

INCEPTION (2010) (****)

An idea can change the world. In Christopher Nolan's mind-bending thriller, big ideas are vulnerable to be stolen within a person's dreams. Powerful businessmen spend millions on setting up projections in their minds to protect them from extractors who are hired by competitors to steal secrets. But what's infinitely more difficult is to put an idea they did not think of in their mind. This is inception.

Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio, BLOOD DIAMOND) is a skilled extractor who has been hired to steal company secrets from billionaire Saito (Ken Wantanabe, THE LAST SAMURAI). While Cobb ultimately fails, Saito is impressed with his skills and hires him to attempt an inception on the son of his rival. The mission seems impossible, but Saito promises to use his connections to allow Cobb to return to the U.S. where there is a warrant out for his arrest.

Blogs

CREATION (2010) (***)

Controversy surrounded this production when it was trying to secure distribution in the U.S. Major studios were afraid of the subject matter. So what is this shocking film about? The life of Charles Darwin whose work on evolution, an accepted scientific fact. This is still too hot to touch 150 years after the publication of his revolutionary book ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIE? If this movie about a man who loves his daughter is dangerous than we're in danger from something bigger than this film.

In the film, Charles Darwin (Paul Bettany, A BEAUTIFUL MIND) is suffering great physical and mental pain on whether to publish his findings or not. Alfred Wallace has published an essay that proposes the same theory of species evolving over time, but he doesn't have the facts that Darwin has. Nonetheless Darwin is torn. Part of his hesitation is with his wife Emma (Jennifer Connelly, A BEAUTIFUL MIND), a devout Christian, who worries about Charles not spending eternity with her in heaven. But for Charles the facts are too clear and he won't deny them.

Blogs

THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE (2010) (**)

The NATIONAL TREASURE trio of star Nicolas Cage, director Jon Turteltaub and producer Jerry Bruckheimer come together to try and strike magic again. But with a title SORCERER'S APPRENTICE, the film actually has little magic. There are a lot of pyrotechnics and visual effects, but none of it brings the whimsy or awe that the title suggests.

Blogs

THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE (2010) (**)

The NATIONAL TREASURE trio of star Nicolas Cage, director Jon Turteltaub and producer Jerry Bruckheimer come together to try and strike magic again. But with a title SORCERER'S APPRENTICE, the film actually has little magic. There are a lot of pyrotechnics and visual effects, but none of it brings the whimsy or awe that the title suggests.

In one of those opening voice over sequences that quickly explains the mythology of the world, we learn that Merlin (James A. Stephens, SHERLOCK HOLMES) had three apprentices to help him protect his sorcery secrets from archenemy Morgana (Alice Krige, TV's DEADWOOD). Balthazar (Cage) and Veronica (Monica Bellucci, THE MATRIX RELOADED) were Merlin's faithful servants, but Horvath (Alfred Molina, AN EDUCATION) betrayed him to Morgana. In a move of self-sacrifice, Veronica bonded herself with Morgana, forcing Balthazar to lock her in a nesting doll called the Grimhold, where he later imprisons other Morgana followers like Horvath. Before Merlin dies, he tells Balthazar to search the globe for the Prime Merlinean (really?), a sorcerer who would inherit all the abilities of the great one.

Business Blogs

When is building a shopping mall like making a television game show?

The Mouse Factory is under attack having lost a major Jury decision regarding their accounting practices. Having claimed that "Who wants to be a Millionaire" was kept in the Red despite its tremendous success was too much for a Jury to stomach, awarding a huge settlement to the game's creator.

Animation Blogs

Frenzer Foreman Animation Forum (podcast) x 14

Special Guests: Signe Baumane & Isaac Short. On this episode of the Forum, Joel and Alan prognosticate the future of cinema and how podcasts are this century's booming artform. Then, independent animator and bunny-lover, Signe Baumane, presents her perspective on animation as art, art as animation, sex ed, the animated short vs. feature, how to finance your independent animation career, animation as a drug-habit, and how not to be a lonely rapist. All are then joined by 6-year old Isaac Short as he works through his unhealthy obsession with early pioneers of animation.

Blogs

Core Competencies - A solution for academia and production

The use of standards serves to free educational and training organizations from unnecessary duplication of effort in curriculum development, makes them accountable for quality of instruction and learning, and frees them to concentrate on the development of story, art direction, character performance, cultural and personal expression and the ability to create globally competitive content

Blogs

Blu-ray Buzz – Altman Rarity & Underrated Gem in Spotlight

This week I've selected a Blu-ray and DVD Pick of the Week. One is a little seen Robert Altman film starring HAROLD & MAUDE star Bud Cort and an underrated gem of a dark comedy actioner for a few years back. There is also a quad of releases that I'm interested in checking out and hope to hear more about from fellow fans who have seen them.

Blu-ray Pick of the Week
In Bruges
Martin McDonagh followed up his Oscar-winning short film, SIX SHOOTER, with this action-packed dark comedy. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson play hitmen who have been sent by their boss, played by Ralph Fiennes, to Bruges, Belgium after Farrell's Ray botches a job. Gleeson is happy to take in the tourist spots of the medieval city, while Farrell fears he will lose his mind from boredom. Even though they are there to keep a low profile, the duo gets wrapped up with local drug dealers, a movie production and a dwarf. At times this pitch-black satire is gruesome, but it all serves the story and complex characters well. Don't miss it.

Film Blogs

Movie Review & Director Interview – 'Despicable Me'

Many people battle for world dominance, but what about villains? Gru is the anti-hero with a long, pointy nose and a grey and black scarf that he wears all seasons, in Universal’s first animation feature premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival. I rate this movie 4 starfish, it’s “Perrific.”

Blogs

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (2010) (****)

Based on the international bestseller from Stieg Larsson, this murder mystery thriller from Sweden does something that few murder mystery thrillers ever do — center its story on its main characters. We are compelled to find out the solution to the crime, (more so the why rather than the who), but we are even more compelled with the investigators and how the case affects them. Again the why is the most important part.

Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist, DOWNLOADING NANCY) is a disgraced journalist, who has just been convicted on libeling a powerful businessman. Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) is a gothic hacker who has been hired by the powerful businessman Henrik Vanger (Sven-Bertil Taube, THE EAGLE HAS LANDED) to look into whether Mikael is really guilty or not. It seems Mikael has been set up, but is too beaten down by the power structure to fight against the set-up. While Mikael waits the six months before this jail sentence begins, Henrik wants to pay him to look into the 40 year old disappearance of his beloved niece Harriet. She disappeared after a family party and Henrik is convinced that one of his family members is the killer.

Blogs

50 YEARS OF ANNECY 7 through 12 June 2010

The first hint of trouble came when I received my envelope with the invitations for special screenings and parties for the week.  There was no invitation to the opening night ceremony or the party.  I was looking forward to seeing the opening night film The Illusionist but was told that this year no journalists had been given tickets because they were just too many people and 150 seats had been relegated to non-industry VIP’s (which translates to money people).  Journalists were told that there was no problem, that our names had been placed on a request list and we should just keep checking back with the press office to get our passes.  To make it even worse, two hours before the ceremony we were finally told that there was no possibilities for us to get tickets.  I finally managed to get a ticket from my friend and fellow journalist Olivier Cotte, who had gotten two tickets from someone who didn’t want to see the film.  Both Olivier and I wasted a good part of Monday afternoon looking for tickets instead of seeing films.

Blogs

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (2010) (***1/2)

This Sundance favorite is an interesting take on the modern family. A lesbian couple used the same sperm donor to each conceive one of their two children. When the children turn 18 they can request information about the donor. Their son is so eager to find out about the male side of his genetics he convinces his college-bound older sister to contact him. This is the set-up for this character-based dramedy about long-term relationships and raising kids.

Nic (Annette Bening, AMERICAN BEAUTY) and Jules (Julianne Moore, BOOGIE NIGHTS) have been together since Jules was an undergraduate and she went to the hospital where Nic was doing her residency. First they had Joni (Mia Wasikowska, ALICE IN WONDERLAND), followed by Laser (Josh Hutcherson, BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA). Together, without the moms' knowledge, they go to meet Paul (Mark Ruffalo, YOU CAN COUNT ON ME), an easy-going restaurant owner who donated sperm when he was a struggling college student. Of course Nic and Jules find out and want to meet him as well, which begins the changing their family dynamic.

Blogs

OUT OF THE BOX July 30 and 31st Zimbabwe’s First Animation Festival

ASIFA Egypt is happy to announce Zimbabwe’s first animation festival.  The Zimbabwe Festival of African Inspired Animation (ZIMFAIA) organized by the Joint Afrikan Animation Group (JAAG) with the support from the Alliance Francaise, and the partnership of ASIFA Egypt, will take place July 30th and 31st at the Alliance Francaise in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Festival Director Soloman Maramba invites both students and professionals from around the world to submit their work.  The theme of the festival is Out Of The Box with a focus on regional African content.   Work in an array of areas fields such as advertisements and architectural visualizations as well as animation will be presented as well as digital content, motion graphics, digital videos and special effects.

Comedy Blogs

DESPICABLE ME (2010) (***)

In this animated world, villainy is a corporate venture. Master criminals live among the average citizens, clearly out in the open. The gothic mansion of baddie Gru sticks out in the same row of suburban family homes. To fund criminal ventures, the villains apply for loans from the Bank of Evil (formerly known as Lehman Brothers).

Pages

randomness