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Boardwalk Empire is a prohibition era series laden with sex, violence and the syndicated crime elements that were celebrated in another HBO series, the Sopranos. This of course can be traced back to the series creator Terence Winter, a Sopranos series writer and co-producer Martin Scorsese, director of the Departed, Goodfellas and Casino. Historical figures and well crafted fictional characters align almost seamlessly in the reality-based but completely imagined series. However, historical facts are not the draw in Boardwalk Empire, much like Mad Men, Boardwalk draws on the current captivation of the ideals, lives and legends of not so distant time periods, but thrown into cauldrons of bloodlust, temptation and greed against intellectual backdrops and social circumstances similar in spirit to those of today, but in much nicer clothes.
Adapted from a Nelson Johnson book of the same name, Boardwalk Empire revolves around real life political figure and Atlantic County treasurer, Enoch “Nucky” Johnson, who aside from being a duteous civil servant, controlled an organization that involved gambling, prostitution and bootlegging during the Prohibition Era in then wildly popular, Atlantic City. Boardwalk Empire is a glimpse into the complex life of Nucky, plus the social and political workings of the era, which are just as complicated, if not even more. Boardwalk Empire: The Complete First Season allows you enjoy the show some critics are calling a classic in the making.
The Les Miserables 25th anniversary concert brings the spectacular musical to life like never before. Recorded at London’s O2 Arena, the 25th Anniversary of Les Miserables is a celebration of the ever popular musical with stellar performances from an all-star ensemble comprised of various Les Mis cast members from the last 25 years, along with new faces; weaving a delightful fabric of song and emotion. Technological advances in lighting, video and sound significantly outperform previous stage performances and earlier video editions of Les Miserables, setting this version completely apart. Plus, now you get the best seats in the house.
There seems to be a swelling undercurrent hoping for Will Smith to fail with the Men in Black sequel. Media outlets have picked up on this and where there was never malice, now even they are stirring the pot of discontent towards the multi-talented Smith. Until the movie box-office receipts are counted and the haters go home mad, check out Will in what is shaping up to be a modern classic, “The Enemy of the State“.
On Blu-Ray or digital, Will Smith plays a DC lawyer unexpectedly caught in a web of political espionage and murder. As Jon Voight leads the merciless NSA unit in pursuit and every aspect of his digital life betraying him, he finds help in a former agent portrayed by Gene Hackman. Giving you things to consider without being preachy or parental, Enemy of the State, in the context of society since its’ initial release encompasses more than explosions and technology. Pick it up.
Rolling out for purchase like the Red Shark across the open highway, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is appropriately available as a Criterion Collection Blu-Ray.
Superbly directed by Terry Gilliam and fueled with amazing performances by Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro, Fear and Loathing is a rare film that captures the sweet vaporous essence of the book it is based upon.
The characters lift the text proportionately from print to screen and carefully submerge you deep within their drug-induced adventures. If you did not read the book, you are not in the cold and if you did, you enjoy the film even more. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Loosely based on a Mark Millar comic, the film Wanted takes you through the unbelievable story of Wesley Gibson. Along the way you follow Wesley, who starts the film at a bottom of the heap dead end cubicle job that wastes away the youth of his years and emerges at the films end a as a professional assassin, who just so happens to get hang on a daily basis with none other than Angelina Jolie.
Packed with over the top, most definitely unbelievable action sequences, Wanted is not a film to watch and engage with extreme prudence, Wanted is a film for guns, action, badass effects, and a righteous “hell yeah” for the inspiration of a little guy making it big in a totally unbelievable way.
Black Swan is the film where Natalie Portman portrays a woman whose personality slices up more ways than a guest in Norman Bates’ shower. With Darren Aronofsky at the helm, and the help of a stellar supporting cast, her portrayal of a mentally fractured ballerina in Black Swan is nothing short of phenomenal. Her subsequent winning of practically every award she received nominations for regarding this role, including the 2011 Academy Award for Best Actress proves it. After Black Swan, you may reconsider how you look at both ballet and Natalie Portman.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day is the reason production studios nearly 20 years later are looking to cash in on the epic saga of the Terminator with TV spin offs such as the Sarah Connor Chronicles. Schwarzenegger returns in the Terminator sequel but this time to protect a pubescent John Connor, the hero of the future. Linda Hamilton plays the badass Sarah Connor and she takes the foundation Sigourney Weaver laid in the Aliens franchise and runs with it superbly.
However, when Terminator 2 Judgment Day was released all of the attention focused on the new terminator played by Robert Patrick, the T-1000. And it is definitely for a reason, liquid metal, morphing technology and more.
The short is save your money. The long is as follows. I have personally been on a movie hiatus and the fleck of memory I had regarding I am Number 4 seemed like it would be as least as good as Jumper. Boy was I wrong. The potential was there however for a palatable action-slash-romance-slash-drama targeted clearly to teens, tweens and that precarious subset of adult women who live and die routinely through movies about teenagers in high school. At the very least I thought it would be digestible to adults.
Instead what I unfortunately ended up viewing in exchange of hard earned coin was a mid 90’s movie made for TV time shifted to our present year and stretched haphazardly onto the big screen as if it was a favor to somebody’s kid. I would not even recommend this as a, “bored coming from the grocery store so let’s rent a movie from Blockbuster night.” I did get to see another trailer for Thor however and it is surprisingly growing on me as a potential calculated time sink of enjoyment for 2011.
Additional bonus for the unexpected trailer for Real Steel. Which appears to be a movie about life sized Rock’em Sock’em robots developed by an MIT dropout who really wanted to show what he could do with Microsoft Kinect after a case of Red Bull and a few pops of adderall. Looks like it will be good.
A little over a month ago while online I came across the trailer for the movie Gomorrah. The preview started by saying the movie was derived from a 2006 book that revealed so much about organized crime that the author (Roberto Saviano) now lives under police protection for fear of his life. When a movie preview starts like that, it gets your attention. Somehow you believe that inside the film you’ll find the information you need to take your bosses job, make Olga Kurylenko your sex slave and from there, conquer the world.
The movie Gomorrah will not do any of the above, as the film is not an over-the-shoulder view fast tracking up the mob ladder. However, the film definitely will provide you with enough insight into foreign crime to reassure you that your money belt is a better investment than you previously thought.
There a several stories in the movie, none of them overlapping, but all of them involving the Cammora organization in some fashion or another. Gomorrah merely serves as an introductory course of the festering criminal underbelly of contemporary Europe. While this is nothing like the Children of God, that is (C.O.G.) the only film in recent memory (for me) that can relate (roughly) to Gomorrah because of the audacity and frankness of the revelations that it brings to you.