Friday, May 31, 2013

GIVEAWAY: The Purge prize pack, in theaters 6/7

Universal Pictures presents The Purge in theaters everywhere on June 7!

Would You #SurviveTheNight? The Purge is coming!

The Purge follows one family over the course of a single night... From sundown to sunrise, for 12 hours, all crime is legal. Four people will be tested to see how far they will go to protect themselves when the danger of the outside world invades their home.

I saw the trailer for this film a while back, and it has a unique premise: for one night, 12 hours only, you can do whatever you want. All emergency services shut down and I believe the government does as well. What would you choose to do? Would you commit a crime, or even watch while others do? Would you steal? Maim? Even murder?

Official synopsis:
If, on one night every year, you could commit any crime without facing consequences, what would you do?

In an America wracked with crime and overcrowded prisons, the government has sanctioned an annual 12-hour period in which any and all criminal activity--including murder--becomes legal. The police can't be called. Hospitals suspend help. It's twelve hours when the citizenry regulates itself without thought of punishment. On this particular night in 2022, plagued by violence and an epidemic of crime, one family wrestles with the decision of who they will become when a stranger comes knocking.

When an intruder breaks into James Sandin’s (Ethan Hawke) gated community during the yearly lockdown, he begins a sequence of events that threatens to tear his family apart. Now, it is up to James, his wife, Mary (Lena Headey), and their kids to make it through the night without turning into the monsters from whom they hide.


The question is... Would You #SurviveTheNight? Take the quiz to find out!



GIVEAWAY:
I have a prize pack for The Purge to give away to one of my lucky readers. It includes a mask and a t-shirt with the movie's logo on it.

Yes/No Films

Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Contest ends on Saturday, June 8th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be contacted on June 9th and have 24 hours to respond to my email, or an alternate winner will be chosen. Prize will be sent via FedEx or UPS - no P.O. Boxes, please. U.S. / Canada only.

Good luck!

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After Earth

Jaden Smith Will Smith

It might have helped going in to After Earth knowing that the director is M. Night Shyamalan, because the movie ended up being a lot scarier than I thought it would be. M. Night likes to keep his audience on edge sometimes, and this was evident in this movie as well. The film ended up being a cross between The Grey and this book series I like, Across the Universe, which made for an interesting combination, and it's crazy to think that Earth may some day be as uninhabitable as it is in this movie.

Cypher Raige (Will Smith) is a commander of the Rangers, kind of like the Army. They hunt down Ursas, which are aliens that want to kill humans, and children train to become Rangers, if they wish. Kitai (Jaden Smith), Cypher's son, very much wishes to be a Ranger; however, although he does well in the academic part, he freezes up when "in the field." Cypher is also skilled at Ghosting, which means not having any fear - the Ursas track humans based on the pheromones they emit when they are afraid. Kitai had a sister at one point, Senshi (Zoe Kravitz), but she was killed by an Ursa when he was a little boy, and that motivates him even more to become a Ranger. Cypher brings Kitai with him when the Rangers go on a mission, but the plane crashes and soon it's just Cypher and Kitai who are alive - and Cypher must depend on Kitai to go out of the spacecraft and find its missing piece, which contains a tracker. Only one problem: they've crash-landed on Earth - and there are creatures around that would like nothing more to kill Kitai, including an Ursa that the Rangers brought with them on the trip.

Now You See Me

Morgan Freeman, Isla Fisher, Jesse Eisenberg

A few years ago, it seems there was an influx of "magic" movies, but then the trend disappeared. Now You See Me tries to be both a magic film and a mystery thriller, and in that it succeeds; however, the movie wasn't quite as good as it could have been, with that all-star cast it possesses.

The movie starts out with four independent street magicians: Henley (Isla Fisher), J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Jack (Dave Franco), and Merritt (Woody Harrelson). Each of these magicians have their own tricks that they perform, and each of them receive a mysterious card with only a time and place listed, which ends up being an apartment in an old, rundown building. Henley used to be J. Daniel's assistant, but other than that, the four do not know each other, for the most part. Flash-forward a year later, and they are performing in Vegas as The Four Horsemen, where they do something extraordinary: they pick someone out of the audience who actually robs a bank, in Paris, no less. The FBI's Dylan Hobbs (Mark Ruffalo) start to investigate them, as does Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), a magic trick exposer who stands to profit from figuring out how they did the trick, and Thaddeus has no interest in helping the FBI. It's only after the Four Horseman screw over their benefactor, Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine), that Arthur wants them taken down as well, and he hired Thaddeus at twice what Thaddeus stands to profit to figure out their trick and expose them.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

GIVEAWAY: win a $25 gift card to Whole Foods!

                  Welcome to the Whole Foods Market #Detroit Swagbag(s) Giveaway!

                                      This Giveaway is hosted by Detroit Mom & Her Views 

For the first time in many years Detroit will have a major chain grocery store, Whole Foods Market.

The store is located right near the heartbeat of the city. Whole Foods Market prides themselves in using and showcasing local farmers and vendors including, Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company, Avalon International Breads, and giving you an opportunity to try:


EXCLUSIVE NEW FLAVORS BY YOUR FAVORITE LOCAL SUPPLIERS...
Beau Bien Fine Foods: Cranberry Apple Chutney
Bon A Rose Pickled Beets
Germack Coffee Roasting Co: Germack Motown Mix And Eastern Market Blend
The Gluten Free Bar Coconut Cashew Crunch, Chocolate Cherry Almond & Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites
Naturally Nutty: Cherry Toffee Peanut Butter
Streat Eatzz Detroit Foodie Sauce     
Mcclures Sweet & Spicy Slice Cut Pickles
Simply Suzanne: Simply Apricot Spice Granola           
Jessica's Natural Foods: Gluten Free Chocolate Hazelnut Granola
Muschie's Baked Goods: Muschie's Motor Seedy Side Bar
Atwater Brewing: TBA Brew
Maria's House Made Salsa: Maria's Mango Cranberry Salsa


The addition of Whole Foods Market  will give Detroiters a chance to purchase fresh, healthy foods locally and increases the economy for local vendors. Whole Foods Market #Detroit is a WIN WIN for the city and the region.

Opening Day is Wednesday June 5, 2013 at 9:00AM EST 

Opening Ceremony includes:

  • bread baking
  • live entertainment
  • giveaways
  • sampling and more

Whole Foods Market will be rewarding 2 Winners with Whole Foods Market #Detroit Swagbags:

  • 1 Whole Foods Market #Detroit Re-useable Grocery bag
  • 4 Coupons for $5 off with $25 Purchase (Can ONLY be used at Whole Foods Market #Detroit Exp. 7/13/2013)
  • 1 $25 Whole Foods Gift card (can be used at ANY Whole Foods Market)
This giveaway is available to all residents of the US age 18
and over. It will begin at 1:00 am EST on May 30, 2013 and will end on
June 13, 2013 at 1:00 EST. The winner will be picked at random from all
of the entries using the Giveaway Tools application below.


Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions
are my own and may differ from those of your own. Yes/No Films is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. Please contact Detroit Mom & Her Views with questions or to have your business or
blog featured in the next big giveaway event.

GIVEAWAY: Win a Star Trek (2009) digital download

Chris Pine

Fellow movie blogger Billy at Mind on Movies is giving away a digital download (iTunes) of 2009's Star Trek - a great way to catch up on the series before seeing the recent Star Trek Into Darkness!

I didn't write a review on Star Trek Into Darkness, but I definitely enjoyed it. You don't need to have seen the first movie before seeing this one, but it does help with characters and back stories. The 3D was fantastic, too, and I highly recommend seeing it in 3D if possible.

Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Contest ends on June 9th at midnight (EST).

Good luck!

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

GIVEAWAY: Win an Acer Netbook - ends 6/18

Acer netbook giveaway contest
Welcome to the Train Online! Acer Netbook Giveaway hosted by Stay at Stay at Home Mom with cohosts Mew Review, Budget Earth, and Mom to Bed by 8, and sponsored by MTACC.

This Netbook would be perfect for watching movies or for traveling!

About our Sponsor:

MTACC is a completely online Medical Transcription school designed to train you to work from home as a Medical Transcriptionist. Whether you currently work full-time, or are a stay-at-home mom, our course is designed with your schedule in mind!
  • Begin working from home in as little as six months
  • You can earn over $40k a year as a Medical Transcriptionist
  • Qualified Military spouses are eligible for zero out of pocket expenses*
  • Free Netbook laptop with enrollment**
  • Convenient payment plans available
*Eligible military spouse tuition is paid in full by MyCAA. Zero out of pocket expenses for qualified military spouses minus $20.00 membership plus fee

**Netbook laptop included with paid in full courses. Netbook laptop NOT included with payment plans


Get more info about MTACC here!

Giveaway Details:
  • One winner will receive this AOD270-1375 10.1 Acer Netbook valued at over $250!
  • Giveaway runs May 29 - June 18
  • Winner must be in the United States
  • Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter to win
  • This blog is not responsible for prize shipment and was not compensated for this post
  • Questions? Want to sponsor a Giveaway? Contact Stay a Stay at Home Mom
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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Review and GIVEAWAY: The Confession on DVD

So what I did NOT know before viewing The Confession is that it is the second book in a trilogy, by Beverly Lewis, and the first book, The Shunning, has already aired as a Hallmark Channel movie (this one aired on Hallmark as well). After I watched The Confession, I noticed that Netflix happened to have The Shunning (for once! Netflix usually never has what I want to watch ...), so I went back and watched that as well.

My conclusion is this: you can watch The Confession before watching The Shunning, but if you do, make sure to educate yourself about the events from the first movie - or else you will be very confused.

The Confession Beverly Lewis DVDOfficial synopsis:
Raised by an Amish family, Katie Lapp (Katie Leclerc, TV's "Switched at Birth") always felt the call of another life. Now, her quest to find her birth-mother, Laura Mayfield-Bennett (Sherry Stringfield, TV's "ER"), has drawn her into world of the "Englishers." Along the way, two very different men try to help her overcome a devious scheme to steal her rightful inheritance. Business-minded but kind-hearted Justin Wirth (Michael Rupnow) reaches out to discover Katie's hidden secrets, while her childhood companion Daniel Fisher (Cameron Deane Stewart) sacrifices his own happiness for her future. Katie's heart is divided between two worlds as love reveals the truth in the moving saga based on the hit novel from New York Times bestselling author Beverly Lewis.
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Before watching the movie, I knew that it had aired on May 11th on the Hallmark Channel, and that it was about an Amish girl trying to find her birth mother, who is an "Englisher" (someone who lives in the "modern" world and is not Amish). The film actually switches out Katie from the first movie (Danielle Panabaker) and replaces her with Katie Leclerc, from the TV show Switched at Birth, and her birth mother's husband is also a different actor in this movie, as is her presumed-dead ex-boyfriend, Daniel. The mother, however, is the same actress.

I liked The Confession a lot, but after viewing The Shunning, I think they are best viewed together, in chronological order. The Confession seemed to just jump into the story without providing much background, which is why I started Googling and eventually found that it starts up where Shunning left off - Katie has just been shunned from her Amish community, and goes off in search of her birth mother, knowing that the mother has cancer and is seriously ill.

The box art for Confession is a little misleading, too - it has a picture of Katie with her two boyfriends - a new one, Justin (Michael Rupnow), who meets Katie while she is pretending to be a maid at her birth mom's house, and her former one, Daniel (Cameron Deane Stewart, Pitch Perfect), who everyone thought had drowned but whom is actually alive. Because of the cover art, I thought that the love triangle would take up part of the movie, but in fact, Daniel doesn't even get involved with Katie in this one - her Amish mom asks him not to reintroduce himself at this time since Katie must already be feeling overwhelmed in the "Englisher" world.

The last book in the series is called The Reckoning, and I hope Hallmark makes a movie of that one as well! I may have to read the book to find out what eventually happens between Katie, Daniel, and Justin, because I'm curious to see how it all turns out.

The Shunning: 4.5 out of 5 stars
The Confession: 3.5 out of 5 stars

GIVEAWAY:

Thanks to Edify Media, I have one copy of The Reckoning on DVD to give to one of my lucky readers. The DVD is actually not available for purchase until June 11th, but you can win a copy here early.

Contest will end next Sunday, June 2nd at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be emailed on June 3rd and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen. U.S. addresses only, please.

Good luck!
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Friday, May 24, 2013

GIVEAWAY: Space Warriors Blu-ray combo pack, premiering 5/31 on the Hallmark Channel

Walden Family Theater is proud to announce the Space Warriors Blog App & a chance to Win a Family Trip to Space Camp!

Watch Space Warriors on Hallmark Channel May 31st at 8/7C for your chance to win a trip for the whole family to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center's Space Camp. Keep an eye out for the secret keyword for a chance to go on location where Space Warriors was filmed and train like a real astronaut!

About the movie:
Space Warriors movie
Six highly skilled teenagers are handpicked to be part of a summer space camp competition at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. As the competition heats up, the kids have no idea that their ultimate challenge will be to solve a life or death crisis aboard the International Space Station as the world anxiously watches.

Starring: Thomas Horn, Danny Glover, Josh Lucas, Dermot Mulroney, Mira Sorvino and Booboo Stewart.

Space Warriors is the second film in the Walden Family Theater original lineup featuring great family entertainment, airing Friday nights exclusively on Hallmark Channel. Walden Family Theater is creating films for the whole family to enjoy together, so make sure to mark your calendars and gather around the television to watch all the great upcoming films!

Check out the widget below:



GIVEAWAY:
I have a Space Warriors Blu-Ray/DVD/VUDU Digital Copy combo pack to give away to one of my lucky readers.

Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Contest ends on Friday, May 31st, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be contacted on June 1st and have 24 hours to respond to my email, or an alternate winner will be chosen. Prize will be sent via FedEx or UPS - no P.O. Boxes, please. U.S. / Canada only.

Good luck!
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Fast and the Furious 6

Vin Diesel, the Rock

I'll let you in on a secret: I've never seen any of the other Fast and the Furious movies. But here's another secret: you don't have to have seen ANY of the movies in the series to enjoy Fast and the Furious 6. It's got fast cars, action, and some eye candy to boot, for both men and women - what more do you need in a summer blockbuster?

I've been told that in the other movies, Luke (Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock) had been chasing Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his gang. In this movie, however, Luke and Toretto team up to take down the bad guy, Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), in exchange for full pardons for Toretto and his friends. Toretto is also looking for his former girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), who was supposed to have died while undercover in a previous movie, working for cop Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker), now a part of Toretto's team, but recently photos of her had surfaced; turns out (SEMI-SPOILER) she had lost her memory, and has no recollection of Toretto or his friends - oh, and she's also working for the bad guy (Shaw) now, too. Toretto and his team must take down Shaw and try to rescue Letty in the process, all while retrieving a special computer chip that Shaw has in his possession, as well.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Hangover Part III

The Hangover Part III

I was a little wary of seeing The Hangover Part III, because Part II was very formulaic and pretty much followed the first Hangover movie to a T; only the location was different  (Thailand, instead of Vegas). Diehard fans of the series may complain that Part III is very different from the other two movies and aims to be more narrative-based (ie, like a "real" movie) than going for "shock value," but I was pleasantly surprised with how the movie turned out, and it manages to keep funny moments throughout.

Alan (Zack Galifianakis) has been off his meds and out of control lately. He buys a giraffe and drives it home on the freeway ... but, sadly, giraffes are tall and there are a few low-hanging bridges, so that was not the best idea. His father (Jeffrey Tambor) then dies of a heart attack shortly after, and Alan's sister (Sasha Barrese) and the Wolfpack (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Justin Bartha) decide to stage an intervention, in the hopes of convincing him to go to a rehab program. He agrees to go if his friends drive him there, but on the way there, they get carjacked by a man named Marshall (John Goodman), who wants to know where Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) is, as Chow stole half of his money, in gold bars. Marshall keeps Doug (Bartha) as a hostage, and demands that the rest of the Wolfpack find Mr. Chow and deliver him to Marshall. What ensues is an interesting, albeit not as crazy as the previous movies, trip through the desert, where they eventually end up in - you guessed it - Las Vegas.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

GIVEAWAY: Copperhead movie ticket + signed poster

Copperhead will be in select theaters on July 28, and I have a prize pack from the movie to give away to one of my readers.

First, a bit about the movie:
(synopsis credit: movieinsider.com)

Copperhead is the story of Abner Beech, a stubborn and righteous farmer of Upstate New York, who defies his neighbors and his government in the bloody and contentious autumn of 1862. Far from the Virginia battlefields whose names etch our history, the war of Copperhead visits the devastation and unimaginable loss of a civil war upon a family and a community whose strength and very existence are tested by fire, rope, knife, and betrayal. This is the Civil War come home. With Copperhead, director Ron Maxwell, who with Gettysburg and Gods and Generals established himself as our foremost cinematic interpreter of the American Civil War, takes on the War from a stunning and unexpected and richly, unforgettably humanist angle.
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2013 is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg, and it's a great time to learn more about the War and what happened during it. Copperhead is a film that the whole family can enjoy.

Check out the widget below to learn more about the movie and the history of the Civil War, as well as testing your Civil War knowledge:



The winner of the giveaway will receive an official Copperhead movie pack, which includes:

  • Official Copperhead Movie Poster hand signed by Director/Producer Ron Maxwell (Gettysburg, Gods and Generals) (27 X 40) 
  • The Copperhead Official Companion Book [Author: Harold Frederic] 
  • Movie Theater Cash [Valid for 1 Movie Admission]
Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Contest ends on Monday, May 27th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be contacted on May 28th and have 24 hours to respond to my email, or an alternate winner will be chosen. Prize will be sent via FedEx or UPS - no P.O. Boxes, pleaseU.S. / Canada only.

Good luck!

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Review and GIVEAWAY: Ghostly Manor - Sandusky, Ohio

Ghostly Manor Sandusky Ohio
credit: ghostlymanor.com
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting the Ghostly Manor in Sandusky, Ohio. I've been to Sandusky 10+ times over the years, but always to visit Cedar Point, and I had never even heard of Ghostly Manor before visiting it. However, I found that there's actually quite a lot to do there, and the activities will appeal to all ages.

My friends and I - all in our mid-20s - set out early Saturday morning from the Detroit area, and it was only about a 2-hour ride to Sandusky. Our first stop was Ghostly Manor, and we then had to decide which of its four activities we wanted to experience first.
Wizard's Journey 3D mini golf

Ghostly Manor offers:
  • Wizard's Journey 3D mini-golf (yes, you read that correctly - 3D!)
  • XD4D Motion Theater
  • Skating Rink
  • Haunted House
  • Bounce House 
Ghostly Manor is a "thrill center" and is known in the area for its haunted house. I hate scary movies and am not a huge haunted house fan either, but my friends and I decided we had to try that first. I made the one guy in our group go into the house first, and from there we journeyed through the "house," having a sometimes scary, but mostly fun experience. The house has actors that will pop out at you randomly - it might actually be the same actor, who trails you throughout the house - and will definitely make you jump more than once. The rooms are themed, and there are some that are pitch black which add to the scariness.

The outside of Ghostly Manor
Overall, I would recommend the haunted house for ages 10-12+, unless your child is very brave. One of my friends who loves horror films was even scared a few times! However, it was also a fun experience, too.

From there we took part in the 4D motion theater - it's 4D because the seats you are in move around throughout the short film. There are five movies you can choose and we chose the Canyon Coaster, which was very Indiana Jones-like.

After the motion theater, we did the 3D mini golf, which definitely interesting! It was hard to gauge where the golf ball needed to go with the 3D glasses on, but the walls and sometimes the floor often "pop out" at you, which was fun.

Roller rink
My friends were excited to go skating, for last, but I have a hard enough time staying on my own two feet - let along adding skates or roller blades to the mix! We all chose to rent skates, and after a while I got the hang of it, although I definitely sat out a few laps while my ankles got used to the feeling of the skates.

Overall, we had a blast at Ghostly Manor, and would definitely return! There were a few birthday parties going on when we were there, too, and it would be a great place to have a kids' party or even a skating party for any ages. In October, the Manor will have the Lake Eerie Fearfest, which will include five haunted houses for $25 - only $5 per house! I'm sure Ghostly Manor gets busy around Halloween time, but it's a great place to visit all-year round, too - all of its activities are indoors, so it would be ideal during cold weather months too. 

Prices for Ghostly Manor can be found on its website - you can either pay a la carte for the activities (ie, the haunted house is $11) or you can get a Thrill Pass, which in my opinion is the best deal: $25 for the haunted house, mini golf, motion theater, and roller skating (skate rental being extra). Click here to see more photos from my day there.

GIVEAWAY: 


Ghostly Manor has been kind enough to offer me four VIP tickets to give away! Each includes the activities I experienced: the haunted house, mini golf, 4D motion theater, and roller skating. I'm also tossing in some coupons for the African Safari Wildlife Park, a drive-through safari experience that was also pretty awesome - the animals come right up to your car.

Prize includes: 4 Ghostly Manor VIP tickets + African Drive-through
Safari coupons

Contest will end next Tuesday, May 28th at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be emailed on May 29th and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen. U.S. addresses only, please.

Good luck!

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*Disclosure: I was provided with an all-access pass to Ghostly Manor, as well as a one-night hotel stay, tickets to the African Safari Wildlife park, and some other goodies in exchange for this review. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.


PS ... this commercial is scarier than the haunted house was, in my opinion!
Though the house is also pretty scary. :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Iceman

Michael Shannon Ray Liotta

I didn't know much about The Iceman going in to it, except that it's based on the true story of Richard Kuklinski, a contract killer, whose wife and daughter didn't know his true profession until he was arrested in 1986. However, fantastic acting performances make this a great movie that is definitely worth seeing.

Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) works as a dubber for porn movies, although when he meets his girlfriend, Deborah (Winona Ryder), who will later be his wife and the mother of his two daughters, he tells her he's a dubber for Disney cartoons. When the porn shop gets invaded by gangster Roy Demeo (Ray Liotta), Roy tells Richard that if he wants to, he can work for him as a contract killer. Earlier in the movie, Richard killed someone he was unhappy with, just because the guy made him angry, so we know that even though he appears to be mild-mannered, he's definitely got a dark side; the money is good, too, so Richard accepts the job. When he leaves a teenage girl at a crime scene as a witness, Roy gets angry with Richard and tells him he's retired, and can't work for any other gangsters too; Richard eventually disobeys Roy and starts partnering with Mr. Freezy (Chris Evans), who owns an ice cream cart where he also stores the bodies he's killed and frozen. Richard's family is never the wiser to all of this, but then a series of unlucky events happen, and things starts to go downhill for Richard.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Great Gatsby

Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire

The Great Gatsby has lived as many previous incarnations, but its newest is directed by Baz Luhrmann, known for such lavish spectacles as Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet (1996), which Leonardo DiCaprio also starred in. I really liked Luhrmann's version, however, and it brings a certain amount of glitz to the story that was previously missing in film adaptations.

Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio) lives in West Egg (Long Island) and is known for throwing fantastic parties. But the man himself is a mystery; not many people have met the host behind all of these fabulous soirees. Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), a writer-turned-stock-broker, lives in a tiny cottage next to the Gatsby estate, and one day receives a handwritten invitation to Gatsby's next party. He arrives at Gatsby's with his invitation in hand, only to find out that he was the only one who received an invitation - everyone else from the area knows to just show up. He meets Gatsby, and later in the film Gatsby has a request for him: to invite Nick's cousin Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan), a married woman, to tea, so that he can be reunited with her. Five years ago, when Gatsby was an officer in the war, they were deeply in love, but she later married Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton), a rich man, when she found out Gatsby was penniless.

We later find out that everything - the house, the riches, the whole persona - was for Daisy, as Gatsby, who is very naive, always believed he would win her back. And for a time, he does: they have a summer affair at his place, while her husband Tom continued to carry on with his mistress, Myrtle (Isla Fisher), and no one is the wiser. But when he decides that Daisy should leave her husband for him, a series of unfortunate events happens, and things only get worse from there.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

kiefer sutherland, kate hudson, liev schreiber
I'm a little surprised that in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, The Reluctant Fundamentalist's release date wasn't pushed back a few months, as it tells the story of terrorists kidnapping an American professor in Pakistan. It was definitely interesting to see America's prejudice towards Muslims and other people of color through a Pakistani's eyes, post-9/11, but others may not particularly feel like seeing a movie like this with the events in Boston fresh in our minds. The movie is worth seeing, but runs a little on the slow side, which may deter some people from enjoying it; I in particular sometimes have issues with slow-paced movies.

Changez, pronounced "Chan-GHEZ" (Riz Ahmed) is living the American dream. He moves to the U.S. to pursue a Princeton education, and then snags a coveted spot as an analyst at a top New York firm, where he works for Jim Cross (Kiefer Sutherland) who quickly promotes him to an associate. He meets and falls in love with Erica (Kate Hudson), a photographer and artist, and he wants to plan a future with her. After 9/11 happens, however, he must deal with much prejudice; on the way home from a business trip with Jim and another colleague, he is pulled aside at the airport and taken to a back room, where he is strip-searched. In another situation, he finds his tires slashed and has an expletive said to him by a white man. Changez soon finds himself disillusioned with America, and he quits his job and moves back to Pakistan, since his work visa is no longer valid.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist opens in 2011, ten years later, with Changez now working as a professor, with Bobby (Liev Schreiber) questioning him as to his involvement, if any, with the kidnapping of one of Changez's colleagues, an American. The people that Bobby work for believe that Changez or his family is involved in the kidnapping, and Bobby tries to talk to Changez, who ends up telling him his entire story.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Iron Man 3

Tony Stark, Robert Downey Jr.

We last saw Tony Stark in The Avengers, but he's now back in an Iron Man-only movie, Iron Man 3. Although the film makes repeated references to events that happened in the previous movie, this film can definitely be on its own without seeing the others; for those that are familiar with the series, however, it may just be its best movie yet.

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) now lives with his girlfriend, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), who has recently moved in with him to his California mansion. A new "bad guy," called The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), has been bombing the U.S., however, and soon he goes too far: one of Tony's friends and his former bodyguard, Happy (Jon Favreau), is injured in one of the blasts, and Tony Stark vows vengeance on the Mandarin on live TV, going so far as to giving his address and challenging the Mandarin to seek him out. Needless to say, that wasn't a smart idea, and Stark and Pepper soon find themselves struggling for their lives as his house is bombed from helicopters in the air. After that, Stark is convinced that there's something more to the story, and he goes off on an adventure to seek more info, with a little boy named Harley (Ty Simpkins) as his guide.