Tag Archives: Warner Bros.

CONTEST: HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE™ Advanced Screening!

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© 2009 Warner Bros. Ent. Publishing Rights © J.K. Rowling 
Harry Potter characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Ent.  All Rights Reserved.

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED!  I appreciate your excitement, but stop sending emails asking for tickets, THERE ARE NO MORE.

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The fine folks at Warner Bros. Pictures have given us tickets to the Washington, DC Advanced Screening of HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE™ to give away! The screening will be Monday, July 13 at 7pm (Note the Early start Time).  In Theaters Everywhere Wednesday, July 15th! This contest will run Tuesday, June 30, 2009 – July 10, 2009. Sorry this will not be one of our no hoop jumping contest, we want to give everyone a fair shot at the passes.


Synopsis

Emboldened by the return of Lord Voldemort, the Death Eaters are wreaking havoc in both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was.  Harry suspects that new dangers may lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching.  He needs Harry to help him uncover a vital key to unlocking Voldemort’s defenses—critical information known only to Hogwarts’ former Potions Professor, Horace Slughorn.  With that in mind, Dumbledore manipulates his old colleague into returning to his previous post with promises of more money, a bigger office…and the chance to teach the famous Harry Potter.

 

UPDATE

Someone posted the code in the commenting section, breaking the spirit of the contest, so all of our passes are now gone. In the future I will not send out any codes until the day before a screening.

Continue reading CONTEST: HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE™ Advanced Screening!

MOVIE REVIEW: Watchmen Is An Experience!

The world of Watchmen is one where an actual superman is the lone deterrent to nuclear war. Too bad he doesn’t care. The world of Watchmen is one where a retired superhero can become worth three times the net worth of the major automakers – combined – by selling a line of superhero-related items – and using that platform to get into energy, cosmetics and anything else that comes to mind. It’s a world where the U.S. won the war in Vietnam in days – and where costumed heroes are a part of the national fabric. Watchmen contains multitudes.

Final Poster

Continue reading MOVIE REVIEW: Watchmen Is An Experience!

MOVIE REVIEW: Slumdog Millionaire – Can 20,000,000 Rupees Buy Happiness?

Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire tells a pretty basic rags-to-riches tale that has oddly charming and wrenchingly violent sidetracks. It begins when Jamal Malik’s [Dev Patel] hot streak on the Indian version of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire culminates in a ten million rupee total before he is taken away by police on charges of fraud/cheating. They use all kinds of methods of torture but he insists he knew the answers.

slumdogmillionaire

As the Police Inspector [Irrfan Khan] and Jamal watch a tape of his performance on the show, Jamal tells the Inspector how his childhood experiences taught him the answers to questions ranging from an individual cricketer’s record to knowing the name of the star of a certain film. As Jamal tells his story, we watch as he, his brother Salim, and a girl named Latika come out of the slums of Mumbai. While Jamal has always been a good kid, Salim [Madhur Mittal] has chosen another, easier path – and he loses touch with both of them.

Slumdog Millionaire’s cinematography crackles with energy and lays out the slums of Mumbai without apology – the poverty, the race violence, the criminal activity. It is a place with a veneer charm that isn’t quite enough to cover its grimy underbelly. Jamal’s path to the famous quiz show is fraught with all kinds of perils, spiritually as well as physically – and when he does well on the show, the immediate question has to be, how can a call centre assistant – “a chai wallah” – possibly possess all this specific knowledge? But Jamal isn’t putting his hard won street education to work for the money – he’s hoping that Latika [Freida Pinto] will see him and find her way to him. Love, he hopes, will conquer all.

This may be Danny Boyle’s finest film. The characters are engaging – even while they’re conning their way along – and smart [as Taj Mahal tour guides, for example, they improvise all kinds of material to give their tourists the “real” story]. Somehow, though, as the boys grow up, Salim becomes a professional criminal while Jamal, well, he gets tea for the people in the call centre. Latika, however, comes through even more dire circumstances as a prostitute and then the mistress of Salim’s boss.

Slumdog Millionaire is one of those movies that energize its audience. It’s all about hope and staying true to oneself, no matter what trials one must overcome. Like Beat Takeshi’s The Blind Swordsman Zatoichi, Boyle gives us a bonus burst of energy over the closing credits as the crowd in the train station breaks into a Bollywood song and dance number that encapsulates the joy of the film.

Final Grade: A+

Speed Racer: Brightly Colored Fun!

Speed Racer

Let’s be clear on this – I have never seen any of the Speed Racer anime´ nor have I seen any of the manga, and am barely aware of vintage merchandizing. Now that we have that out of the way, I have to say that, as a Speed Racer virgin, the brightly-colored film by the Wachowski Brothers is a lot of fun.

Emile Hirsch rocks as the title character, a boy in the process of becoming a man – and a believer in fair play when it appears that there hasn’t been any in professional racer since, well, ever. His rock solid family [John Goodman as Pops Racer, Susan Sarandon as Mom Racer and Paulie Litt as younger brother Spritel], pet chimp, Chim Chim and girlfriend Trixie [a very anime´ looking Christina Ricci] give him the courage to turn down an offer to sign with the top team – at which point he learns of the real nature of his beloved sport. From there it’s only a matter of winning a couple of races [against an entire field of cheaters] and bringing down the Royalton Racing Team [the team he turned down]. Nothing to it – not!

While there’s not a lot of plot to Speed Racer, there’s almost always lots going on as Speed – with the help of the mysterious Racer X [sure it’s not hard to make the connection between him and Speed’s older brother, who is supposed to have died, but it’s a convention – just like nobody recognizing Superman behind Clark Kent’s specs. Deal with it and move on!]. The races are beautifully staged exercises in gladiatorial driving; the fight sequences really capturing the odd, freeze-frame style of anime´ and manga; the cast is clearly having more fun than should be legal, and the whole thing just feels good. The only real flaw in the film is that it’s just a wee bit too talky – but that hardly matters.

For a movie with a candy-colored world [the bright, shiny color of fresh hard candy – not the pastels of rock candy], the emphasis is on the kind of grounding that a good family provides and the kind of justice that is most deserved – the justice of the untouchable evil being brought down by one man with a mission. This may be my first encounter with Speed Racer but it won’t be my last.

Final Grade: A