Meteoric Rise, Tragic Fall

It's sad and it's tragic when a young man/woman's life gets cut short. Especially when they are talented celebrities in the prime of their years. One feels like it's just unfair that these great people weren't given the time they deserved to truly prove what they were worth.
The death of The Dark Knight star, Heath Ledger is just one of the many tragic deaths of Hollywood's young, rich and famous. Around this time, barely two years ago, Ledger was up for an Oscar nomination. He seemed destined for great things with his fine portrayal as Bob Dylan in the 2007 film I'm Not There and this years blockbuster heavyweight The Dark Knight. Sadly Ledger would not live to see his biggest movie to date premiere. Ledger's body was found in a SoHo apartment in which was suspected to be a drug overdose. An autopsy later confirmed that the pills found around his body were merely sleeping pills.
Ledger is not the only one. Be it drug overdose or accidents or excessive lifestyles, many young Hollywood stars have found they're lives abrupt cut short. Though his death was a half-century ago, 2 time Oscar nominee James Dean continues to be a timeless icon of cinema. James only starred in 3 films; Rebel Without A Cause, East Of Eden and Giant. But in only a short span of 4 years, James Dean captivated the world with his emotional adolescent portrayals that gave the teenagers of the world their adolescent identity. James was killed in a road accident, just a few days before Giant premiered. He was only 24.
How about Hollywood sex symbol Marilyn Monroe? A Golden Globe winner at the age of 34, she was the woman that put the glam back in Hollywood and inspired the Playboy empire. Marilyn made only 30 films in her lifetime, but her legendary status and mysticism will remain with film history forever. She was found dead on 5th August 1962 due to a drug overdose. She was 36.
James Dean co-star in Rebel Without A Cause, Natalie Wood went on to become America's first sweetheart. Garnering 3 Oscar nominations, Natalie has starred in some of the most classical Hollywood films to date such as West Side Story and Splendor In The Grass. However, it was her role as the world's most beautiful bank robber, Penelope that shot her to Hollywood greatness. Sadly on the 29th of November 1981, Natalie had an accident trying to board the dinghy of her yacht, she fell into the water, and while trying to recover, drowned. She was 43.

All young, all talented and all of them icons of their time. These man and women dedicated their lives as entertainers, who chose to live to the best of their abilities. Though all had little time here, they're work and presence alone will always be remembered and dearly missed.

(Okay...this post sounds emo)

BREAKING NEWS: Heath Ledger Found Dead

Australian born actor Heath Ledger was found dead at a Manhattan apartment Tuesday afternoon in what appeared to be a possible drug-related death; he was 28. The actor was discovered in one of the SoHo apartment's bedrooms at 3:31 p.m., when a masseuse arrived for a scheduled appointment and the residence's housekeeper went to inform the actor of the masseuse's arrival.
 He was found unconscious and unresponsive; the New York Times at first stated that the apartment in question belonged to actress Mary Kate-Olsen but a publicist for the actress later said that Olsen did not own a unit in the building in which Ledger was found. An initial police report also cited by the New York Times said that foul play was not suspected and that pills had been found near Ledger's body.
A native of Australia, Ledger shot to fame as a teen heartthrob in 10 Things I Hate About You before graduating to more adult roles, most notably his Oscar-nominated turn in Brokeback Mountain. Engaged at one time to Brokeback co-star Michelle Williams, the two had a daughter but had split in recent months. Earlier this year, Ledger wrapped filming on the Batman film The Dark Knight, in which he played The Joker; the film is currently set for release this summer. Further details of the actor's death were not available at press time.

And The Nominess Are...

I've got the full scoop on this year's Academy Award nominees and it is an artsy year with No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood leading the pack with 8 nominations a piece. Though the loom of the WGA strike is still going on, the show is set to air on February 24th and hosted by Jon Stewart. So who'se it gonna be this year? A gritty thriller, a literature adaptation, a demon barber or a knocked up comedy?

Best Motion Picture of the Year
Atonement
Juno
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

Achievement in Directing
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Jason Reitman, Juno
Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
George Clooney for Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp for Sweeney Todd
Tommy Lee Jones for In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen for Eastern Promises

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Casey Affleck for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem for No Country for Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman for Charlie Wilson's War
Hal Holbrook for Into the Wild
Tom Wilkinson for Michael Clayton

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett for Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie for Away from Her
Marion Cotillard for La Vie en Rose
Laura Linney for The Savages
Ellen Page for Juno

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Cate Blanchett for I'm Not There
Ruby Dee for American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan for Atonement
Amy Ryan for Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton for Michael Clayton

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Persepolis
Ratatouille
Surf's Up

Original Screenplay

Diablo Cody, Juno
Nancy Oliver, Lars and the Real Girl
Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Brad Bird, Ratatouille
Tamara Jenkins, The Savages

Adapted Screenplay
Christopher Hampton, Atonement
Sarah Polley, Away from Her
Ronald Harwood, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Beaufort (Israel)
The Counterfeiters (Austria)
Mongol (Kazakhstan)
12 (Russia)

Original Score
Atonement: Dario Marianelli
The Kite Runner: Alberto Iglesias
Michael Clayton: James Newton Howard
Ratatouille: Michael Giacchino
3:10 to Yuma: Marco Beltrami

Original Song
"Falling Slowly," Once: Music and Lyrics by Glen Hansard and: Marketa Irglova
"Happy Working Song," Enchanted: Music by Alan Menken; Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
"Raise It Up," August Rush: Nominees to be determined
"So Close," Enchanted: Music by Alan Menken; Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
"That's How You Know," Enchanted: Music by Alan Menken; Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

Achievement in Art Direction
American Gangster: Art Direction: Arthur Max; Set Decoration: Beth A. Rubino
Atonement: Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
The Golden Compass: Art Direction: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
Sweeney Todd: Art Direction: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
There Will Be Blood: Art Direction: Jack Fisk; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

Cloverfield: Review

If you guys are still in the dark about the film, Cloverfield is about a giant monster attacking Manhattan all seen through the lens of a very very very durable hand-held camera with amazing battery life. Finally watching my cousin play Counter Strike actually proved useful for this one because of the shaky quality of the video which may give you motion sickness so be warned!
 
But in my opinion, telling a story through a first-person's point of view is probably the most brilliant idea in movie making because it plunges you directly into the scene of the film; like you are actually in it. Yeah you may get sick but you'll get used to it.
 
Think The Blair Witch Project and Godzilla and you will get Cloverfield. This film has been hyped for a few months via viral market and by speculations of the monster itself. And did it live up to it's hype? My answer is OH GOD YES! I don't watch a lot of monster films but Cloverfield is by far the most intense monster film I have ever seen in my life. After the initial 15 minute character introduction, the film turns gritty and does not go for 5 minutes without a HOLY SHIT I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING moment.
 
Now the acting is pretty decent and all the characters are given the equal amount of screen time though the main attraction of the movie is the movie itself. The film literally keeps you at the edge of your seat because it just seems so real that you just can't help but feel like a part of the movie. The presentation is brilliant,using only the the sounds all around as the background music which adds to the realistic effect of the movie.
 
Other than that, the special effects are some of the most seamless stuff you'll ever see in a film. The monster itself is actually not seen in its entirety only being viewed from different angles for the audience to piece it together as the survivors themselves are, so you pretty much know as much as they do about everything going on making you actually feel like you're there.
 
The film is downright scary and gritty with all the destruction and death around but it does pull a few comedic moments at times, mainly by the guy who was filming the video. Other than that, Cloverfield is one intense work of art best if seen in a packed theater just to hear the audiences reactions. Admittedly the shock value will wane after multiple viewings but for what it's worth Cloverfield is an excellent film and by far the best monster movie of the 21st century.

RATING: 8/10

P/S: Wait till after the end credits and listen very carefully. Tell me what you heard on my CBox.

The Best And Worst Of 2007


What a year it has been for Hollywood. 2007 has really shaken things up in Tinsel Town in all sorts of crazy ways. First we had Britney's constant fall-out with the press with her DUI charges, bald head, uncovered rear end, custody battles with Kevin Federline, losing her custody battles to Kevin Federline, the flop of her latest album, Blackout and of course with her 16 year old sister getting knocked up.
We also saw a record-breaking finish for the most celebrity DUI charges in history. We had Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Mel Gibson, Criminal Minds star Shemar Moore and Lost star Daniel Dae Kim.
Hollywood saw the summer threequels by the likes of Spider-Man 3, Shrek The Third, Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End, The Bourne Ultimatum, Oceans 13 and Rush Hour 3. Sure they all made a good dent at the box-office but in my opinion, not many blockbusters delivered. However Hollywood did manage to conjure numerous movies which have become Oscar heavyweights for the 80th Academy Awards in February. Heck even Enchanted was entertaining. Well it's time to round it up. Here are the best and the worst of 2007.

BREAKTHROUGH ACTRESS: NIKKI BLONSKY
Could you imagine that barely a year ago Nikki was working in an ice-cream parlour when she found out that she landed the role of Tracy Turnblad in 2007's hit summer musical Hairspray. She joined an all-star cast of Oscar nominees John Trovolta and Michelle Pfeiffer as well as Zac Efron, Amanda Bynes, James Marsden, Jerry Stiller and Queen Latifah and you know what? Nikki totally outshone all of them with her portrayal of the optimistic Tracy Turnblad. Now up with a Golden Globe nomination, Nikki will be appearing in two more movies that will hit the screens this year.

BREAKTHROUGH ACTOR: JAMES MARSDEN
 
 Sure we will always remember him as the guy who played Cyclops in X-Men but what you didn't know is that Marsden was a TV regular on popular hit shows like Ally McBeal and Friends back in the 90's. This year he proves that he was a man of many talents in Hairspray by putting some moves and a killer cabaret voice into the role of naive daytime show host, Cony Collins. He later starred in Disney's unconventional fairytale, Enchanted as the pea-cockish Prince Edward. Next he will be 27 Dresses opposite Katherine Hiegl and The Box with Cameron Diaz.

BEST MOVIE: TRANSFORMERS
Based on the Hasbro toy collection, Transformers combines nostalgia with our modern day lust for CGI in an action packed thriller that was both funny and gritty. I mean whats not to like? Giant alien robots beating the crap out of each other whilst destroying every building, highway and tower in sight as puny humans run in terror is always fun to watch.
 The human actors Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox does a pretty decent job in carrying the story but the real stars were the Transformers themselves. Now..how bout a Transformers 2?

WORST MOVIE: D-WAR
 
 Now I know most of you wouldn't have heard of this movie. Mainly because it never made it to our shores and with good reason. Finally the Malaysian censorship board does something right for once. D-War is about an ancient Korean legend coming to life in modern day New York City. An Imoogi or dragon larvae in my own words is born every 500 years and needs to eat a 20 year old girl that has a dragon tattoed on her shoulder in order for it to transform into a dragon and return to Heaven to be the guardian of peace and bla bla bla bla. The plot of the movie is so confusing leaving many plot-holes that were never filled up.
The CGI in the movie was fair considering it was a low budget film but it wasn't enough to save this one. The problem with D-War was it's screenplay. There were moments when the movie could have been great but just failed to deliver. I mean, how can you make a scene where helicopters are shooting down dragons in New York boring? Whats more frustrating is that I personally think that D-War could have been a very good movie. Maybe with a bigger budget and better screen writers.

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