Editor's note: This is to correct an earlier version since Season 3 , Volume 4 of Heroes--which will run 12 more episodes, is scheduled to air on F ebruary 2 to April 20). Thanks to our readers for pointing this out. We apologi ze for the confusion. By Marjorie Gorospe INQUIRER.net IF you have extraordinary powers, would you rather become a hero or a villain? Throughout the third season of Heroes, that dilemma has been the recurring them e. Heroes turned villains. Villains turned heroes. As some heroes desired for m ore power, some went astray. It was now a question of, âAre you one of us, or o ne of them.â As the saying goes, power corrupts. Now, having extraordinary powers, one can b e eventually lured to the dark side. In the past seasons, Peter Petrelli has be en undoing things his brother Nathan Petrelli had done. But in doing so, he has been changing the future (not once, but many times). Despite his purest intent ions, Peter has continued to play god in first half of the Season 3, traveling through time and deleting events that he hope would change the future. But as h is mother Angela Petrelli would keep reminding him, there are consequences. Enter Mohinder Suresh. Just like Peter, he has the purest of intenti ons. He is searching for the answers to what gives people superhuman abilities. But Suresh finds himself in a quandary. He too desires power, partly because h e is angry and curious. His pursuit of science blinds him. Eventually, his self -interest takes over. This leads him to a path, which he most fearedâthe same p ath that Sylar has takenâa killer. Meanwhile, we have Nathan Petrelli. (Remember, Season 2 ended with an unknown a ssailant who shot him in public while he was about to reveal his true identity) . Season 3 opens with the changed Nathan Petrelli. His humbling experienceâand supposed death has somehow changed his perspective in life. But he soon found o ut that it was Peter who shot him and now heâs in the same dilemma. Eventually, his desire to run the most powerful country in the world made him surrender to the evil plans of father Arthur Petrelli (who was earlier known to be dead) an d Nancy Strauss (who was the twin sister of Nikki Sanders who died in Season 2) . Volume 3 of Season 3 ends with Nathan giving away the secrets of the Heroes to the highest ranking official of the country. According to reports, Volume 4 of Season 3, which is called "Fugitives," will unravel more stories in the next fe w weeks. Sylar is perhaps the biggest surprise so far. From a hated villain, Sylar becom es one of the âheroes,â as he discovers his true nature and his supposed real p arents. To complicate matters, he even partners with Noah Bennet, adoptive fath er of Claire Bennet, the cheerleader. In Season 2, both characters were on diff erent sides of the fence. As I watched the first half of Season 3, I found several lessons but one that s truck me is about giving people second chances. Sylar was given a second chance , to turn away from his craving for othersâ power. He even fell in love. In the end, Sylarâs attempt to turn away from evil fails. Now, I just canât wait to see the continuation of Season 3 for more twists and turns in this TV series by Tim Kring. Watch this teaser:
January 2009 Archives
Lawrence Casiraya INQUIRER.net I seem have a natural attraction for Woody Allen movies. Maybe because they rea ffirm my faith in the one ingredient I deem important in a movie: the story. "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" is a typical Woody Allen film, meaning there's alway s a cast of characters and it ultimately explores human relationships. This time it's a love triangle--Barcelona is a metaphor, of course. Meaning the re should be sex involved and that Scarlett Johannson is somehow part of it. She is Woody Allen's muse at present (Match Point, Scoop) but to me Rebecca Allen (as Vicky) played her role better and with much more depth. Which is not to deny Ms. Johannson's irrepressible qualities; she only needs to purse her pouty lips. It was even more fun to watch Penelope Cruz as the fiery and muy caliente ex-wife to Javier Bardem. Overall, the story becomes interesting and amusing enough without becoming friv olous. The movie won Best Picture award (for comedy) at the recent Golden Globes. To m e, Mr. Allen redeems himself with better storytelling this time than Cassandra' s Dream, his most recent work I saw. After which I still keep my faith in the power of film to tell a simple story w ithout the razzle dazzle typical of so-called Hollywood blockbusters. Watch the film's trailer here:
Vicky Cristina Barcelona Movie Trailer Review - Awesome video clips here
Vicky Cristina Barcelona Movie Trailer Review - Awesome video clips here
Agence France-Presse SAN FRANCISCO--Ashes of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry and his actress wi fe will blast toward the far reaches of the cosmos in keeping with the show's f amed opening line "Space, the final frontier." Majel Roddenberry died in December, two months before her 77th birthday, and wi ll posthumously fulfill a "dream of journeying through space with her husband," according to Celestis Inc, the US company behind the memorial flight. Celestis sent some of Gene Roddenberry's ashes into orbit around the earth in a premier Founders Flight rocket launch in 1997. Gene Roddenberry died six years earlier with a wish to explore space in keeping with characters in his adventure television show that first aired in the late 1960s and still has a strong cult following. The rifle-cartridge sized canister of ashes, along with the remains of others onboard the rocket, was ostensibly burned into oblivion as it re-ente red Earth's atmosphere. "We are deeply honored to have flown Gene on our first mission, and to be entru sted by the Roddenberry family to fulfill Majel's dream of flying in space with her husband," said Celestis president Charles Chafer. A launch date has yet to be determined. Majel Roddenberry was remembered as "The First Lady of Star Trek" due to her cl ose relationship to her husband and roles in many "Star Trek" film and televisi on episodes. She played Nurse Chapel in the "Star Trek" television shows and had parts in ot her classic programs including "Leave it to Beaver" and "The Lucy Show." "Star Trek" fans can visit the Celestis.com website to submit messages to accom pany the couple into space. "Celestis will be fulfilling a pledge made to my mother in 1995," said the coup le's son, Eugene Roddenberry. "To launch both my mother and father together, side by side, and carry their sp irits, memories, and the message of their life's work into the cosmos on an inf inite journey into deep space." The ashes of "Star Trek" actor James Doohan, who played the USS Enterprise's ch ief engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, were sent into space in April 2007.
Let's admit it. Kara Di oguardi is hot. ;-) But we digress. Her addition to the new season of American Idol has indeed spiced up the panel of judges, composed of Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul. Now you hav e two women that can balance out opinions of men. It is now clear that Kara and Simon will be in loggerheads. Both have strong pe rsonalities. Also, both have an interesting bio, which explains the differences in opinion. As one aspiring AI pointed out during the auditions in San Francis co, the smug Cowell has provided this reality show its brutal honesty. (Sometim es, some people really need to be told that they don't have a tinge of singing talent, heh).Â But with Dioguardi around, perhaps we can expect more fireworks from the panel of judges. Weeee. Just to give you an idea about who Dioguardi is, here's here brief b io from the official AIÂ website:
One of the industry's most sought after songwriters and producers, Kara DioGuardi's songs have appeared on more than 100 million records. They hav e been recorded by Grammy award-winning artists, including Kelly Clarkson, Chri stina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, Celine Dion, Carrie Underwood, and many more. Over the last four years, she has been awarded 10 BMI Pop Awards for having wri tten the most performed songs on radio. From her catalog of several hundred son gs, over 264 have been released on major labels worldwide; and over 165 have ap peared on multi-platinum selling albums. Kara co-owns Arthouse Entertainment, w here she develops and mentors fellow hit writers, producers and artists. "We are turning the heat up on Idol this year and are thrilled to welc ome Kara to the judges' table," said creator and executive producer Simon Fulle r. "She is a smart, sassy lady, and one of America's most successful songwriter s. We know she will bring a new level of energy and excitement to the show." "We had originally intended for American Idol to have four judges," sa id executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz. "We've seen from our international se ries that having a fourth judge creates a dynamic that benefits both the contes tants and the viewers." Mike Darnell, President, Alternative Programming of FOX, added, "With Kara by h er side, Paula finally has some back-up and now there is going to be a lot more 'girl power' on the show."Check out this official AI forum on what the y think about the feisty Dioguardi. They have mixed feelings about her. Also, watch this video showing Kara going around town asking people if they kno w about the fourth judge of AI.
Agence France-Presse NEW DELHI--"Slumdog Millionaire," the runaway hit film that has charmed audienc es around the world, seems to have hit a sour note with one Indian activist a d ay before its release in India. Tapeshwar Vishwakarma, representing a slum-dwellers' welfare group, is suing th e film's music composer A.R. Rahman and one of its stars, actor Anil Kapoor, fo r depicting slum-dwellers in a bad light and violating their human rights. Vishwakarma objected to the use of words such as "slumdogs" to describe the mil lions of inhabitants of India's cramped shantytowns, and filed a defamation cas e against the duo in the east Indian city of Patna, according to media reports Thursday. His lawsuit alleges that the very name of the movie is derogatory an d an affront to the dignity of India's many slum-dwellers. The Golden Globe-winning film tells the rags-to-riches story of a young orphan from Mumbai who defies expectations to win the Indian version of the popular ga meshow Who Wants to be a Millionaire? It has won accolades in India and abroad, and is viewed as a possible contender for next month's Oscars. Vishwakarma told the Times of India that he is only suing Kapoor and Rahman bec ause they are more familiar to Indian audiences than the film's British directo r Danny Boyle. "Vishwakarma made it clear that he hardly expected anything positive from a Bri tish filmmaker as their ancestors described us as 'dogs'," Vishwakarma's lawyer Shruti Singh told the Indo-Asian News Service. "But what hurt him was that even Indians associated with the film hardly bother ed to object to calling us a 'slumdog'." The film's co-director Loveleen Tandon is quoted in the Mail Today newspaper as defending the movie, saying "the title is really not meant to be taken as insu lting or offensive." The Patna court will hear the case on February 5.
By Rob Woollard Agence France-Presse BEVERLY HILLS--The race for the Oscars enters the final lap here Thursday with drama "Slumdog Millionaire" vying for top honors as nominations for the 81st Ac ademy Awards are revealed. After sweeping a series of awards in the build-up to Thursday's pre-dawn announ cement at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Mumbai-set "Slum dog Millionaire" is regarded as a certainty to earn nominations in the best pic ture and best director categories. A rags-to-riches love story about a contestant on India's version of television quiz show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," the film has already been installed as favorite for the best picture statuette at the February 22 awards show at H ollywood's Kodak Theatre. However, Oscars pundits believe British director Danny Boyle's film could be vu lnerable if the Batman blockbuster "The Dark Knight" elbows its way into conten tion across multiple categories. Unusually for a superhero genre film, "The Dark Knight" is regarded as a contender for a best picture nod, and is a certainty to gain a posthumous nomination in the best supporting actor category for Heath Ledger. The movie has already won nominations for annual awards handed out by the movie industry's producers, writers and directors guilds, normally a reliable indica tor of a film's Oscars chances. Tom O'Neil, a pundit with the Los Angeles Times' theenvelope.com, said the crit ically acclaimed Batman sequel, the second-highest grossing film in US box-offi ce history, could easily come into contention. "'The Dark Knight' really is the big dark mystery hanging over the Oscars this year," O'Neil said. "It was the movie of 2008. It was the most talked about, it was the most important, it was the most seen. "The problem it faces at the Oscars is that no superhero movie has ever landed in that top category (best picture). "But those barriers have been broken before if you think of horror movies -- an d then 'Silence of Lambs' got in. There were barriers against fantasy films, an d then 'Lord of the Rings' won everything. "So if there's any superhero movie that can come swooping into the Oscars big t ime, it's this movie." Oscar-watchers believe "Slumdog Millionaire" will be joined in the best picture race by "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Frost/Nixon" and "Milk," with "The Dark Knight" battling against Clint Eastwood drama "Gran Torino" and "The Reader" for the fifth slot. O'Neil said the biggest threats to "Slumdog Millionaire" could be "The Dark Kni ght" or the big-budget period epic, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," star ring Brad Pitt as a man who ages in reverse. "It's going to be a David vs Goliath contest, but it's a question of which film is going to be the Goliath -- 'Dark Knight' or 'Benjamin Button'?" Beyond the best picture race, all eyes are likely to focus on the acting awards , where Briton Kate Winslet, a double-winner at the Golden Globes earlier this month, could pick up twin nominations for her performances in "The Reader" and "Revolutionary Road." Among Winslet's likely rivals in the best actress stakes are Meryl Streep, supe rb in the religious drama "Doubt," Anne Hathaway in "Rachel Getting Married" an d Angelina Jolie in "Changeling." In the best actor race, Sean Penn is expected to earn a nod for his portrayal o f gay politician Harvey Milk in "Milk," while Mickey Rourke, a popular Golden G lobe winner, could earn a nomination for "The Wrestler." Other possible nominees include Brad Pitt ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button "), Frank Langella ("Frost/Nixon") and Clint Eastwood ("Gran Torino.") This year's nomination announcements, which will be made at 5.30am local time ( 1330 GMT) on Thursday, were held two days later than normal because of Presiden t Barack Obama's inauguration.
By Clarence Yu THE Wrestler tells the story of Randy "The Ram" Robinson (Mickey Rourke), a professional wr estler 20 years from the peak of his career in the 1980s. Once famous in the wo rld over (think Hulk Hogan), he is now reduced to participating in independentl y staged matches and holding a part-time job to eke out a living. He is estranged from his daughter Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood), and the only pe rson he can confide in is an aging stripper named Cassidy (Oscar winner Marisa Tomei) who is also past her prime. Unlike Randy, who is living in the past, Cas sidy has a firmer grip on reality and is looking to finish her career as she re alizes that she cannot sustain her job on her fading looks. Randy, however, is stuck in the past, reliving his glory days by taking steroids to sustain his ag ing body, and following a regimen that includes pumping iron and tanning himsel f in a salon to keep up appearances. A shot at his former glory, a rematch with his former nemesis "The A yatollah," is derailed by a heart attack, forcing Randy to stop wrestling, inst ead taking up a full-time job at a deli counter. He faces issues of his own mor tality and tries to patch things up with his daughter while attempting to pursu e a romance with Cassidy. Things not being so perfect for him, he defies all lo gic and resumes his match with his former rival in the face of tremendous risk. Mickey Rou rke delivers a powerful performance as "The Ram" â his Frankenstein-like ap pearance and over-muscled physique belies the childlike tenderness and warmth o f the character; the dreary world-weariness, confusion, and emotional pain he p rojects on screen is so real that it almost seems that he has lived the role. Best known for his role in the erotic drama 9Â½ Weeks and his critical acclaim as a cool, suave leading man in the 1980s, he completely disappeared from publi c view to pursue a career in boxing. The last time I saw him in a movie was opp osite Don Johnson in Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (which despite its ta ckiness was still entertaining). In playing "The Ram," a role completely agains t his conventional eccentric type, many have proclaimed this to be Mickey Rourk e's comeback, and I definitely agree with this view. There are just so many good things to say about this film that it completely ou tweighs its relatively few faults. While the plot is quite simple and has its s hare of loopholes (there is no emotional closure for the Wood and Tomei charact ers), the performances by Rourke and Tomei put the movie past this hurdle and k eep the viewers glued throughout. Director Darren Aronofsky employs visual surprise to set the tone and pace of t he movie. The physicality of Rourke and Tomei is such a sight to see. Tomei liv es up to her Oscar-caliber acting (My Cousin Vinny) in her portrayal of Cassidy --go to any sleazy strip club and you will know what I mean by this. Superb cut -and-paste frame editing, and close-up and tight camera shots give the movie a semi-documentary feel, making the fine performances seem even more real. Some m ight expect a Rocky-esque ending, but simply put, there is no hook in this film . Fans of wrestling will find delight here as the blood sport aspect of wrestling is revealed with such realism. Those not familiar with wrestling culture will be thoroughly educated. Add to this a stellar soundtrack consisting of classic '80s glam rock gems and an original song by Bruce Springsteen and you've got one hell of a rough and to uching movie. This is one you should not miss. Watch this movie trailer:
By Lawrence Casiraya INQUIRER.net WHAT if blindness is an infectious disease that is contagious as the common col d? This is the basic storyline--adapted from a novel by Nobel prize-winning author Jose Saramago--behind the latest film from rising Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles (The Constant Gardener, City of God). Don't expect this to be something like "Outbreak", though. There's no use getti ng engrossed so much in how an antidote is discovered in the end. No other anim al even appears in the movie except for a dog. The only animals in this case are humans, and "Blindness" explores h ow they behave when deprived of their ability to see. Those infected with the " white disease" (for lack of a scientific term) are quarantined. Julianne Moore plays the doctor's wife--all characters in the movie carry no na mesâwho finds herself the only person not infected and therefore, can see clear ly even though she throws herself in the quarantine in order to be with her hus band (played by a bloated Mark Ruffalo). Moore's character is obviously the emotional anchor of the movie. In the land o f the blind they say, the one-eyed person is King. In her case, she becomes a r eluctant queen, faced with survival issues after a rival group takes control of food supply. The entire length of the film is bathing in darkness and Moore's character is o bviously made to stand out with her freckled complexion and light-colored cloth ing. She is, after all, the only one in her group who can see. In time, they are abl e to break free from prison only to find out the entire population has gone bli nd and the entire world in shambles. Overall, it is an interesting premise, and at best thought-provoking play on da rkness and light, which can be credited to its director. The story's progression, though, disappoints in moments of logical ambiguities â such as why Moore's character was powerless when in fact she is the only who can see. View the film's trailer here:
By Izah Morales INQUIRER.net WHEN time ticks counterclockwise, how would life be? This is the challenge faced by Benjamin Button as his life unfolds in reverse. In the middle of World War I, Benjamin is born in an 80-year-old man's physique . His shocking condition leads his father Thomas Button (Jason Flemyng) to leav e him outside a home for the aged. In the caring hands of Queenie (Taraji Henso n), Benjamin finds a home among the elderly. There, he finds the love that make s him "grow" young. Brad Pitt plays the protagonist's role of Button in David Fincher's "The Curious Case of Benjamin But ton." Fincher's film is an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1920s short story. In the film, Benjamin Button was physically old but mentally young. But in Fitzgerald's story, he is physically old and mentally old as he is capable o f talking right after being born. Fincher begins to tell the story through the use of foreshadowing te chniques. Symbolisms are presented, giving the audience a hint of how the story will unravel. It segues to the narration of the protagonist's life as recounte d by Caroline (Julia Ormond) as she reads the diary of Benjamin Button. Telling the story in the first person point of view gives the audience an idea of how the protagonist sees, thinks and feels. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button mixes drama, fantasy, mystery and romance w ith its cast including Cate Blanchett (Daisy), Elias Koteas (Mr. Gateau), Tilda Swinton (Elizabeth Abott) and Jared Harris (Capt. Mike). The film earned five Golden Globe nominations for best picture, best director, best actor, best scre en play and best original score. At the end of the film, surely, viewers won't forget this line: "Did I tell you I was struck by lightning seven times?" If you are curious to see an aged Brad Pitt and the graceful Cate Blanchett tog ether on the silver screen, watch this film. But if you don't have the luxury o f time, the film's three-hour runtime may not suit you. The movie's pace is somewhat slow, yet fittingly similar to the ticking of the clock of Benjamin Button's life. See the movie trailer:
By Clarence Yu MILK tells t he real-life story of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man ever elected to pub lic office. Based on actual events, the premise of the movie seems inspiring: t he struggle of a man representing a hated, minority community who overcomes all obstacles to win representation in government. Looks can be deceiving, however. The movie's running time just doesn't give eno ugh to build on Harvey Milk's character, aptly portrayed by Sean Penn in a fine performance. The film, directed by Gus Van Sant, covers Milk's life from 1970 to 1978, the t ime in which he begins his rapid ascent from a down-and-out, 40-year-old insura nce executive to his final years as a gay-civil rights activist and eventually, an elected public official, serving as a City Supervisor of San Francisco. While the film enlightens viewers on the career of Harvey Milk, it l acks a certain sort of dynamic tension needed to justify the climax; there are scenes that show a promise of build-up, but then it just veers off into various sub-plots that tend to irritate rather than to punctuate. You just don't get t hat feeling of victory as the movie ends. What is good about Milk is its feel for the time and the superb acting by Penn, James Franco, and Josh Brolin. You don't expect an actor like Penn to take on a role like this, so apart from his superb performance, it is a brave one as we ll. He is consistently sweet and amiable throughout without any of the fits of rage or anger that characterize his previous work. Josh Brolin proves he has th e acting mettle to match Penn as he takes on the pivotal role of Dan White. Bro lin captures the frustration and mild insanity that the role demands. With all the hype surrounding Milk, many will expect it to be cheesy in a good way, but get set for a mild disappointment. The film is certainly entertaining, but the scenes could have been woven tighter in a way that would have made the actors' performances really shine. The movie tells the story of an extraordina ry man, but there is nothing extraordinary in its telling. Watch this trailer: