Saturday, October 01, 2011

Moneyball (2011) - Movie Review

The Red Sox are one of the teams in baseball that uses a strategy called moneyball as a large part of their team building philosophy. While they use a good portion of this tactic, they didn't invent it or make it popular. Bill James is mainly responsible for this philosophy of baseball and Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane help put it on the map. The movie "Moneyball" is about Beane and how he implemented this approach to his own team. 

After being eliminated by the New York Yankees in the 2001 playoffs, a trio of star players become free agents and leave the Oakland A's for greener pastures. Johnny Damon signed with the Red Sox, Jason Giambi went to the Yankees, and Jason Isringhausen joined the St. Louis Cardinals. Realizing that these moves could severely hurt his team, Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) asks the team's front office for more money and is rejected. After meeting Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), Beane decides to resort to an unorthodox way of building a team by utilizing what is called moneyball or sabermetrics.

Tom Hanks' Journey and Film Schools

Oakland, California has been the birthplace of many well-known people, among them is two time Oscar winner and four time Golden Globe winner, actor/director/producer, Tom Hanks. Born in 1956, Hanks toiled in any capacity he could as a youthful acting professional just in order to stay alive to be able to perform another day. He started out with tiny roles on TV simply because of his 'boy next door' identity, he worked in numerous family friendly comedies before finding fame and achievement in key dramatic roles such as Saving Private Ryan, Apollo 13, Forest Gump, Philadelphia and Cast Away.

Through his mother, Nancy Hanks, Lincoln was a distant cousin. He was asked to dedicate a refurbished theater named with regard to his retired drama instructor, Rawley T. Farnsworth whom he thanked during his Oscar address for his portrayal of a character with AIDS in the movie Philadelphia. At the end of his dedication, he led the audience of over 1000 individuals in singing, "There's No Business Like Show Business."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

DSLR Video Vs Camcorder Video

The Battle of "DSLR Video vs Camcorder"
For about 3 years now, video amateurs and professionals all over the world have heard about the rising star in the video arena, "DSLR Video." This lightweight contender is a photography based camera that packs a punch in the ring against the older, heavier, and less popular "Camcorder." The Battle of "DSLR Video vs Camcorder," is officially underway. For almost 30 years, since Sony's BetaCam in 1982, tape-based camcorders have ruled the video industry with their compact build, light weight, and most of all, their ease of use. All you had to do was push a red button and point the lens at what you wanted to record. There was no longer a need for film canisters or projectors. Literally anyone could film anything they wanted and watch it instantly.

High Definition?
Over the past several years, many camcorder companies have tried to make it even easier by using digital devices to record video, such as memory cards and hard drives, which you just stick in any computer to watch instantly. With the shift to digital video came the shift to high definition (HD) video. More and more camera companies were coming out with so called HD recording, but most of them did not record full HD at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (1080p). Also, many camcorders recorded on a format that can't be edited as a raw file, such as AVCHD, which means that there is massive quality loss, diminishing the fact that the video was recorded in HD in the first place. In the Battle of "DSLR Video vs Camcorder," this would mean that "Camcorder" should just throw in the towel.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Killer Elite (2011) - Movie Review

More intricate than a typical Jason Statham actioner, Killer Elite successfully maintains a surprising degree of intrigue and intensity, not through an overly clever storyline, but with an air of unpredictability within its characters. It's obvious that nothing will turn out the way it seems, but with a cast comprised of so many vicious killers, keeping track of which ones are the real heroes becomes an entertaining quest. While the plot bogs itself down from time to time with an abundance of twists and a location change every five minutes, the seasoned actors will hold your interest - at least until the next adrenaline-filled action sequence can take over.

The past has a way of catching up with you. No one knows this better than Danny Bryce (Jason Statham), a former mercenary who's forced out of retirement to save his old mentor Hunter (Robert De Niro). When an exiled oil sheik kidnaps Hunter, Danny must carry out the tyrant's request - track down and kill the three British S.A.S. officers responsible for the murders of his sons. Gathering his old partners Davies (Dominic Purcell) and Meier (Aden Young), Bryce begins his lethal task while Spike (Clive Owen), the equally exacting enforcer of the secret watchdog society "The Feather Men", attempts to stop him (this movie is based on Ranulph Fiennes' novel The Feather Men, and not the 1975 Sam Peckinpah movie, The Killer Elite).

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Limitless (2011) - Movie Review

Limitless is limited, but it proposes something interesting. Granted, its proposal is one we've heard dozens of times, a couple of which were to chilling effect (echoes of the 1968 film Charly, based on Daniel Keyes' short story, "Flowers for Algernon," are plenty), but that doesn't mean it isn't a fun story. The man with nothing suddenly becomes the man with everything. Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) is given a wonder drug that allows him to use all of his brain, rather than just twenty percent.Side effects may include nausea, blackouts, migraines, and Robert De Niro's performance.

The drug is referred to as NZT. When Eddie runs into his ex-brother-in-law, Vernon Gant (Johnny Whitworth), who just happens to be a drug dealer, he's convinced that the drug is street legal and FDA approved. This is because Eddie is a moron, and a former drug addict with a concurrent drinking problem. Also, his girlfriend, Lindy (Abby Cornish), has just left him, and he's a novelist with a pending deadline who can't seem to get past the first word on the computer. After he takes the drug, he's able to open up his mind and pull out everything he's ever seen, read, or heard. He finishes his book in record time, wins at everything he plays, and manages to become a ladies' man just by showering. His narration (which, in terms of past/present/future tense, makes absolutely no sense) asks of us "What would you do?" Well, certainly not that.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau (2011) - Movie Review

Science, philosophy or religion - none has ever been able to put a full stop over questions raised on fate and free will. This movie, The Adjustment Bureau, explores the ever interesting topic, our ability to decide our own fate. This fast paced brainy thriller is also probably the most romantic movie of recent times. In, the adjustment Bureau, Matt Damon plays a rising young politician David Norris. On the eve of US senate elections David Norris meets a beautiful ballet dancer Elise, Emily blunt, and they kiss. She inspires him to deliver a memorable speech. He feels fallen for her. He meets her in a bus, after some time, where her fascination to him translates into true love. But soon David finds that some mysterious men have conspired to keep them apart.
David learns that those men are members of, the adjustment bureau. Those creatures have a job to make sure that things go as per written destiny. They adjust the happenings, if something starts to go out of plan. Meeting Elise was a big deviation by David from written plan. The men of bureau must make sure that the two are kept apart. David Norris is forced kept apart from Elise but true love is too strong to be stopped. A senior from bureau warns David of the consequences and gives some reasoning for the written fate. David keeps himself away from Elise for some time. Elise feels terrible and thinks as if she has been dumped and decides to marry another guy. But when David learns about Elise getting married, he wants to reach her at any cost. He is helped by one of the agents of the bureau. David and Elise risk everything they had to remain together. Their true love even changes the fate.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Johnny English Reborn (2011) - A Review

Okay, I can see that look and I know what's going through your mind because the very same thing went through my mind but believe me, Johnny English Reborn is actually not so bad. It's really pretty funny. In this well-placed and fairly neat parody of Rush Hour, Bond films and all the spy movies that were ever made, Rowan Atkinson again rides as the accidentally tremendous British secret service agent, who has become a little older but his wisdom or the lack thereof, has not really improved.

It has been eight years from the time when English was first seen, and a lot of things have taken place since then. Fired and disgraced following a failed mission in Mozambique, he has been utilizing a monastery in Asia as a physical-training and spiritual retreat. He is given an opportunity to redeem himself when he is re-called by the government to unearth a top secret plot to snuff out the premiere of China while he is meeting with the British Prime Minister. The show features head of operation, Gillian Anderson, whose British accent leaves a lot to be desired, and a behavioral psychologist played by the wonderful Rosamund Pike, who inexplicably falls in love with English. The film also features Pik-Sen Lim, the British-Chinese actress who was a regular staple in the 1970s sitcom. She is debatably the breakout comedic star of the movie in her role as a cruel, vacuuming elderly assassin.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How to Find Winning Short Film Ideas

How to find winning short film ideas? The idea that begets all other ideas. In academia they call it cheating. In the professional world, it's called collaboration. I'm referring specifically to the process of venturing beyond one's own resources and borrowing or buying ideas, assistance, and products from others in order to accomplish a goal. In school, you're punished for asking someone across the room for the answers when in the middle of a test. Pride and intelligence are measured by your ability to come up with the answer, solution, or creative result by yourself. Our idol based/pop star culture reinforces the lone ranger notion by presenting success stories as if they were primarily a matter of one person pulling himself up by his bootstraps.

In the professional world, at large, and in the filmmaking community, in particular, it is understood that teams are the entities that get things done; small armies of passionate individuals, each of whom contribute a specialized form of knowledge or skill, united by a common desire to move a project from concept to completion.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

How To Direct A Movie

In this article I will go over what it takes to direct a movie. Directing a movie may seem easy being the boss calling all the shots but it can be very difficult and there is a lot of behind the scenes work that can be time consuming. Some directors prefer to write there own script, but that is more challenging as to searching for a script that has been written for you. Once you have your script you want to break it into sections, go over your script time after time. You want to be able to envision each scene as it would unfold in your film and write out how you want your characters roles and how you want them to express there emotions, share this with your actors. It can help to take some acting classes because you will be directing your actors and it will give you a better understanding as if you were in there shoes.

There are many software programs you can use to help you with drawing out your storyboards which can be very efficient as to saving you valuable time. Make sure you write how you want each set to look and how you will shoot each scene, also any special effects you feel you will be using. Remember to share all these aspects with your film crew you want your entire team onboard with you. They need to know exactly how you want each shot and it's your job to fill them in with your vision of this film. Get your crew together and lay everything on the table, make sure everyone is on the same page.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Film Making Courses to Start a Career in Filmmaking

Many people dream of a glamorous career in filmmaking and wonder what film making courses will best help them get started. Before you sign up for film school take time to get realistic about what you can expect to accomplish. Although the filmmaking industry employs thousands of people it can still be one of the hardest industries to break into. Besides acting, the two jobs most often pursued are being a film director or a screenplay writer. Because this is what most students request these are the jobs where they offer the most classes. This is where the problem starts.

The demand in Hollywood for new film directors and new screenplay writers is almost non-existent. The current working directors and writers spent many years apprenticing and working their way up through the ranks. The newly graduated student walking up to the hiring department of a film studio or production company will be lucky to be offered a job as receptionist or mail-room clerk. This is the sad reality of the education of future movie makers. Few beginning students are willing to believe that the odds are so strongly stacked against them. They sign up for film making courses which will consist of watching and discussing classic, old movies then making little short films using commonly available video equipment. Students most interested in screenplay writing spend their time writing short scenes and discussing them with fellow classmates.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Matt Damon Movies And Biography

Matt's first film role was a one-line part in Mystic Pizza (1988). However, it was enough for him to catch the acting bug. Then, while attending Harvard, he kept skipping classes to pursue acting projects, which included the TNT original film, Rising Sun (1993), and prep-school drama, School Ties (1992). Then when his film, Geronimo: An American Legend (1993), was expected to be a big success that he decided to drop out of university completely. 

Matt would next get noticed for a role as a soldier who had problems with drug-addiction in the movie, Courage Under Fire (1996). The following year, he starred in Good Will Hunting (1997), a screenplay he had originally written for an English class at Harvard University. Good Will Hunting (1997) was nominated for 9 Academy Awards, one of which, Matt won for Best Original Screenplay along with long time close friend Ben Affleck. Due to the success of Good Will Hunting Matt Damon's autograph started being sought after by collectors and has continued to gain in value with each new movie he makes. Unfortunately, this also means that forgers are flooding the autograph market with their forgeries. Therefore collectors are being warned to only buy from established and trustworthy dealers.

In 1998, Matt demonstrated his acting abilities in Steven Spielberg's film, Saving Private Ryan (1998), working along side Tom Hanks and Tom Sizemore. That same year, he starred as an earnest law student and reformed poker player in Rounders (1998), starring opposite Edward Norton and John Malkovich. The following year, Matt rejoined his childhood friend, Ben Affleck and fellow comedian, Chris Rock, in the controversial comedy Dogma (1999). Towards the end of 1999, Matt starred alongside Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow in the movie, The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999). Although the movie earned mixed reviews from critics, Matt earned praise for his performance.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Jennifer Aniston Biography

They were Hollywood's golden couple, Friends star Jennifer Aniston and hunky heartthrob Brad Pitt, who married in a private ceremony in Malibu two years after they met in 1998. The marriage was claimed as a rare Hollywood success, then he made the film "Mr and Mrs" and met co-star Angelina Jolie. Pitt and Aniston were divorce in 2005 and rumours were rife that her husband had cheated on her with Jolie. The divorce became headline news for months and T-shirts with "Team Aniston" and "Team Jolie" started to appear, with "Team Aniston" outselling "Team Jolie" 4-1. Aniston has always said Pitt was the love of her life and they'd had seven very intense years together, "a beautiful, complicated relationship."

In 2010 the couple resumed their friendship, which has annoyed his current partner Jolie. She dislikes him keeping in touch with Aniston's mother and has banned the star from seeing Aniston when he is with any of the six children they are raising together. After the divorce Aniston reunited with her estranged mother Nancy asking her for support. Mother and daughter fell out after Nancy talked about her daughter on a television show and they were estranged for ten years. Nancy also went on to write a book "From Mother and Daughter to Friends - A Memoir".

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Brad Pitt Biography

There aren't many men in the world who wouldn't love to be Brad Pitt. The actor has led somewhat of a charmed life since becoming a movie star. He was with Friends beauty Jennifer Aniston for years before getting together with Angelina Jolie. He's a perennial threat to win the Sexiest Man Alive award. To top all this off, Pitt's a selfless humanitarian who's planning on running for the Mayor of New Orleans - where he and Jolie moved their family to be closer to Katrina victims. Add to that the fact that he's paid in excess of 20 million dollars to shoot a film and you have the makings of a dream life. But Brad wasn't always Brad. Born William Bradley Pitt on December 18, 1963 in Shawnee, Oklahoma, Brad and his family soon moved to Springfield, Missouri where the child was raised as a Southern Baptist. From a young age, Pitt displayed a flair for the spotlight.

During high school, he was always participating in musicals and debates, and after enrolling at the University of Missouri in 1992, Brad was a frequent actor in Sigma Chi stage shows. Two weeks before receiving his degree in journalism, Pitt headed to Los Angeles to take acting lessons. Like so many before him, the lure of fame was just too strong. Brad was the proverbial starving artist, working various jobs as a chauffeur, a delivery man, and even donning the El Pollo Loco chicken suit in order to pay for his acting classes. Eventually, Pitt landed two minor and uncredited roles in Less Than Zero and No Way Out, No Man's Land. In 1987 and 88, he made a guest spot on the hit ABC show Growing Pains and appeared in the primetime soap Dallas. He rounded out the year with a small guest spot on the Fox drama 21 Jump Street, starring a budding actor named Johnny Depp.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Short Biography of George Clooney

From playing an oddball handyman on the Facts of Life to turning up the heat in ER, George Clooney made an acting leap that most actors only dream of. He was a multi-millionaire, being paid to work a few hours a day on a mega-hit television show as a well-respected doctor. With the show airing until 2009, Clooney, if he would have stayed with the show, could have made in excess of 300 million dollars. Instead, he decided to aim for movies. Clooney is the proverbial self-criticizing actor. No matter what role he takes, he's always looking for something that requires more skill and depth to pull off. After 27 years of acting, he's had more than his fair share of opportunities.

George Timothy Clooney was born on May 6, 1961 in Lexington, Kentucky. Clooney did well in school and attended both Northern Kentucky University and the University of Cincinnati, but didn't graduate from either school. George had his mind set on being an actor, and in 1984, he was cast in the series E/R. Although strikingly similar, E/R shouldn't be confused with ER. The former was a medical drama produced by Embassy Television, but it only lasted a single season. The popular ER wouldn't arrive until a decade later. Clooney also had other minor television roles, playing the proverbial jerk boss on Roseanne and a construction worker in Baby Talk. Rounding out the 1980s for Clooney, he landed a role in the slapstick Return of the Killer Tomatoes.