DVD Review: Requiem For A Dream

Time to dive into Darren Aronofsky’s twisted and powerful “Requiem for a Dream”.

Requiem for a Dream is a 2000 drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Hubert Selby, Jr., with whom Aronofsky wrote the screenplay. Burstyn was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.


LOWDOWN:
Requiem for a Dream exposes four paralleled individuals and their menacing addiction to heroin, cocaine, and diet pills (speed). Taking place in Brooklyn amidst the waning Coney Island, the drugs are very easily obtained and keep each main character in its cycle of dependence. The protagonist Harry Goldfarb is your typical heroin junky with an ambitious plan of “Getting off hard knocks,” with help from his cocaine crazed girlfriend Marion and his long time friend Tyrone. Meanwhile his widowed mother is obsessed with the glamor of television and eventually finds her way to a dietitian who pushes her into the cycle of drug induced enslavement.

REVIEW:
The look of the film is extremely stylized, but justifiably so. Aronofsky uses surreal imagery as a vehicle for realism, something that really works when done well, and done well it was. By using a combination of slow and fast motion shots, extreme close-ups and more edits than you can shake a stick at, Aronofsky successfully brings the audience into the world and mind of someone with a drug problem. The audience visually experiences first-hand what it is like to be ‘scared’ or ‘high’ – all this in 3rd person; all this in the comfort of the theatre chair.

Of course, all of this effort would be in vain if it didn’t mean anything at the end. The film leads the audience down a spiral of addiction until the grand finale, which features a montage of graphically intense scenes and images with more edits per second than any film. The pacing at the end, when compared to earlier parts of the movie, was so fast I started to find it hard to keep up, and literally took my breath away as the credits came up. All in all, the effect was amazing, and something that I have not personally experienced when watching any film before.

At times, the film seemed more like an acid trip than a feature film. A cry for help is clearly felt throughout the film, from its innocent and promising start, to its hauntingly chilling conclusion. The one scene that really blew me away was the scene where Marion (played by Jennifer Connelley) had just sold her body off for a bag of heroin…As she walks out the door of the apartment, along the corridor, into the elevator, down to the street: one can’t help but feel the characters disgust with herself, filthy to the core, what it must feel like at…”ZERO”(rock bottom). The acting performances, especially by both Ellyn Burstyn and Marlon Wayans are simply breakthrough performances that earned critical acclaim across the board.

As the title indicates, “Requiem for a Dream” does not contain a happy ending. It is in no way optimistic, and only gives the audience faint pieces of hope and happiness. However, It does show what desperate people are willing to do, and how desperation will change someone’s life to its entirety. It is in the recognition of desperation where hope lies.

OVERALL:

†††††
5 templar crosses out of 5


“Requiem for a Dream” is not a movie for everyone. It is the essence of independent filmmaking, a daring, engrossing, artful film that stays with you long after you leave the theater. Hollywood bubblegum this ain’t.

TRAILER:

CREDITS:
Ellen Burstyn as Sara Goldfarb
Jared Leto as Harry Goldfarb
Jennifer Connelly as Marion Silver
Marlon Wayans as Tyrone C. Love
Christopher McDonald as Tappy Tibbons
Mark Margolis as Mr. Rabinowitz
Louise Lasser as Ada
Marcia Jean Kurtz as Rae
Sean Gullette as Arnold the shrink
Keith David as Big Tim
Dylan Baker as Southern Doctor
Ajay Naidu as Mailman
Ben Shenkman as Dr. Spencer
Hubert Selby, Jr. as Laughing Guard
Darren Aronofsky as Visitor (Uncredited)

Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Produced by Eric Watson, Palmer West
Screenplay by Darren Aronofsky, Hubert Selby, Jr.
Based on Requiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby, Jr.

-Eric Chacón
Follow me on Twitter @CaptxCrunch
-Brian Lansangan
Follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84

Tickle Your Pickle: "The Lion King Rises"

For This week’s selection of Tickle Your Pickle Fridays, we show you one of the best Hands Down mash up trailers ever made: “The Lion King Rises”.

This trailer is freaking MIND BLOWING it was Edited by Brad Hansen (CraveOnline.com), aka MovieMaestroTen even “The Dark Knight Rises” Director Christopher Nolan loved it he thought it was “pretty epic” in an Entertainment Weekly article: LINK to Article

so enough talk..check out the video below

Footage property of Disney Studios. Audio property of Warner Bros. Pictures. Use under parody.

-Brian Lansangan
Follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84

Spaceballs: The 25th Anniversary Edition Details and Trailer

If You like movies from a Galaxy Far Far Away, movies that explore the final frontiers and with aliens encounters, then you’ll love the Mel Brooks’s classic that celebrates them all. We have the special trailer for the classic film below.

The Spaceballs: 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray is set to hit shelves on August 7th, and we’ve got a trailer to get you in the mood.

The 25th Anniversary Edition features over five hours of bonus features, including a new “Spaceballs and the Skroobing of Sci-Fi” featurette, a Mel Brooks commentary, costume and art galleries, and the inevitable bloopers. The disc retails for $19.99, but it’s still available for pre-order over at Amazon for a mere $14.99…..now thats a deal worth checking out!!

-Brian Lansangan
Follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84

STARSHIP TROOPERS: INVASION Trailers & Interview

STARSHIP TROOPERS the 1959 political sci-fi novel turned cult/blockbuster film is about to get a fourth film installment.

STARSHIP TROOPERS: INVASION is a “direct” sequel to Paul Verhoeven‘s 1997 film, completely ignoring SST2: Hero of the Federation and SST3: Marauder. INVASION is a fully computer animated film from Sola Digital Arts and is set to be released in North America August 28 2012.

SYNOPSIS
A distant Federation outpost Fort Casey comes under attack by bugs. The team on the fast attack ship Alesia is assigned to help the Starship John A. Warden stationed in Fort Casey evacuate along with the survivors and bring military intelligence safely back to Earth. Carl Jenkins, now ministry of Paranormal Warfare, takes the starship on a clandestine mission before its rendezvous with the Alesia and goes missing in the nebula. Now, the battle-hardened troopers are charged with a rescue mission that may lead to a much more sinister consequence than they ever could have imagined….

I’m a huge Starship Troopers fan and I’m pretty damn excited to see this thing. 

So without further ado…
TEASER

FULL TRAILER

COMIC-CON INTERVIEW


-Eric Chacón
Follow me on Twitter @CaptxCrunch

Bombshell Profile: Kate Upton

Today’s selection for Bombshell Profile is the one an only Kate Upton.

Katherine “Kate” Upton is an American model and actress known for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue first in 2011, when she was named Rookie of the Year, and again in 2012, when she was announced as the cover model.

Upton was born on June 10, 1992 in St. Joseph, Michigan and raised in Melbourne, Florida. She attended Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy. Her uncle is U.S. Representative Fred Upton, Republican of Michigan’s 6th congressional district.

She also has appeared in two films these past two years: Tower Heist and The Three Stooges
PICTURE GALLERY:

VIDEO:



You can follow Kate Upton on her Twitter @KateUpton

-Brian Lansangan
Follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84

Sherman Hemsley Dead at 74

Sherman Hemsley, the man best known for movin’ George Jefferson and his family on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky, died this past Tuesday.

Hemsley passed away at his home in El Paso, Texas. The cause of death appears to be by natural causes and was discovered by his nurse, who thought he was sleeping when she realized something was amiss and called the authorities. He was 74 years old.

Hemsley’s George Jefferson began as a recurring character on Norman Lear’s 1970s sitcom “All in the Family.” Spinoff “The Jeffersons,” starring Hemsley and Isabel Sanford as his wife, “Weezy,” ran from 1975-85. Hemsley was nominated for an Emmy for lead actor in a comedy in 1984. (Sanford died in 2004.)

The Jeffersons ultimately became one of Lear’s most popular shows thanks to Hemsley; and it remains the longest-running sitcom with a predominantly black cast. The show aired for 11 seasons, from 1975-1985.

The actor went on to star in another successful series, Amen, which ran for five seasons, from 1986-1991.

The actor reprised the role of George Jefferson in the mid-’90s on two episodes of “Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” starring Will Smith, and in a 2011 episode of Tyler Perry sitcom “House of Payne.” He also played Jefferson in an uncredited bit in the 1998 feature comedy “Jane Austen’s Mafia.”

Hemsley never married or had any children.


TEMPLAR DIGITAL:
We, here at Templar Digital are deeply saddened for another loss of a great entertainment icon. Our prayers go to Hemsley’s family and friends as they go through this difficult process. Below we also included the links to some of our past posts of Andy Griffith and Ernest Borgnine passings.

Andy Griffth
Ernest Borgnine


-Brian Lansangan

follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84

Character Spotlight: Agent 47

Agent 47 a.k.a Hitman is the protagonist of the Hitman series and a contract killer, consistently recognized as the world’s deadliest, most discrete and skilled assassin.









REAL NAME: 47
OCCUPATION: Hired Gun, Mercenary, and Assassin, 
DOB: September 5, 1964
BIRTHPLACE: Romanian Asylum
BASE OF OPERATION: Formally International Contract Agency now Freelancer
MARITAL STATUS: Single
HEIGHT: 6’3
WEIGHT: Unknown
HAIR: Bald
TATTOO: He had the number 640509-040147 tattooed on the back of his head (“64-05-09” is his date of birth, “04” marks the Series IV, “01” is for what class he is and “47” is the order he was cloned as well as the name he is called), followed several years later by a UPC code when the technology was available.

FIRST APPEARANCE: Hitman: Codename 47


ORIGIN/HISTORY:

In the Hitman game series and the Hitman novel, 47 is a genetically-enhanced clone and the culmination of decades of secret research into gene augmentation. His creation was funded by a cabal of bald criminal masterminds who donated their own DNA to the project.

In the first Hitman game, five men of various nationalities served in the same unit of the French Foreign Legion. After their stint was finished, four of those men returned to their respective countries and founded their own criminal empires. The remaining one, Dr. Otto Ort-Meyer, ran a mental institution which he used as a cover for genetic experiments. In exchange for research funding, Ort-Meyer provided his former comrades with donor organs harvested from clone bodies, which significantly extended their longevity. In Hitman: Codename 47, each of Ort-Meyer’s accomplices are said to be 60–70 years old but appear 10–20 years younger.

The men whose DNA contributed to 47’s creation are often referred to within the series as the “Five Fathers”, consisting of Dr. Otto Wolfgang Ort-Meyer, Lee Hong, Pablo Ochoa, Franz Fuchs andArkadij Jegorov. Otto Wolfgang Ort-Meyer is a discredited German scientist living in Romania, whose radical theories were deemed insane by his peers.[3] Ort-Meyer believed that genetic recombination and human cloning could be used to produce a perfected version of the human species, superior in strength and mind and unburdened by conscience. His ultimate goal, unbeknownst to his associates, was to create an army of flawless and unquestioningly obedient supermen.[4] When Ort-Meyer’s associates become suspicious of his motives, he employs 47 to systematically eliminate each of them. When 47 discovers Ort-Meyer’s plans, he manages to eradicate his latest series of clones, known as the Mr. 48s, and snaps Ort-Meyer’s neck.

Lee Hong is a Chinese crime lord. Hong eventually rose to the head of the Red Dragon triad, becoming a powerful ganglord in Hong Kong. 47 weakens Hong’s influence before assassinating him.

Pablo Belisario Ochoa is a notorious Latin American drug dealer and formed his own drug cartel by violently eliminating his rivals. However, his methods earned him great animosity, and he was eventually forced to flee to a compound deep inside the Colombian rainforest. Pablo appears to be heavily-inspired by fictional character Tony Montana from the film “Scarface“.

Franz Fuchs is a former member of the Hitler Youth, apparently resenting the collapse of fascism. He developed a career as a professional terrorist-for-hire, organizing attacks such as the attempted chemical bombing of the G7 leadership. He works closely with his brother and partner, Fritz (therefore making Fritz 47’s “uncle”). He also kills Fabian Fuchs, the youngest brother and “uncle”. It isn’t revealed whether or not Fuchs is based on the real life Franz Fuchs, who was also a terrorist.

The final person who contributed to 47’s DNA was Arkadij “Boris” Jegorov. Jegorov was a staunch anti-Communist. Jegorov became a worldwide arms dealer who smuggled weaponry for his older brother, Russian mafia boss Sergei Zavorotko (therefore making him 47’s “Uncle”).[5] At the time of his death, he attempted to traffic in nuclear weapons.

Ort-Meyer’s research produced many failed attempts and aborted mutants, including Mr. 17, but ultimately he managed to perfect the process enough to produce an assembly line of genetically augmented clones. 47 belonged to Ort-Meyer’s fourth series of clones, possessing a 47th chromosome which, combined with DNA harvested from the world’s most dangerous criminals, endowed him with levels of strength, speed, stamina, and intelligence significantly above the human norm.

In Hitman: Blood Money, it is explained that American interests had repeatedly attempted to replicate Ort-Meyer’s success, but were largely unsuccessful. 47 is the only successful healthy cloned specimen, and nothing has yet come to parallel him; while other attempts have come close, they were plagued by problems such as albinism and extremely short lifespans (eighteen months). Ort-Meyer’s research was distributed among many covert cloning labs, but is insufficient; a sample of 47’s bone marrow is needed to fill in the DNA gaps, making him an extremely valuable specimen.

TRAINING:

Born on 5 September 1964, in Romania and tagged with the identity 640509-040147 on the back of his head, 47 was raised with the other “Series IV” clones by the asylum’s staff. From the beginning, Dr. Ort-Meyer identified 47 as his most promising creation. While maturing, 47 was quiet and showed little social behavior, his only display of affection being toward a runaway laboratory rabbit he adopted much to Ort-Meyer’s displeasure. 47 also had a fairly negative relationship with the asylum staff, attributed to his chronic uneasiness stemming from his regular medical checkups and frequent injections. On one occasion, 47 stabbed a doctor repeatedly with several needles, prompting Ort-Meyer to increase the personnel assigned to him.

Along with the other clones, 47 was trained from youth to kill efficiently. Instructed in the use of firearms, military and government hardware, and more classic tools of assassination, 47 can wield virtually any weapon with ease. During his training, he was noted for his exceptional marksmanship, as well as for attacking the asylum staff with homemade slingshots, all of which were promptly confiscated.

After 30 years of relentless training under the tutelage of Dr. Ort-Meyer, 47 discovered a gap in the asylum’s security. After escaping his cell and killing a security guard, 47 disguised himself in the guard’s uniform and escaped from the asylum grounds. Unbeknownst to him, 47’s escape was deliberately orchestrated by Ort-Meyer, who concluded that 47’s escape into the outside world was the final challenge in his training.

PERSONALITY:
Even though 47 is meant to be a heartless killing machine he shows signs of morality, seen in Hitman 2: Silent Assassin confessing his sins (killing people for money) to Father Vittorio. 47 also seems to have good relationships with animals since he can be seen playing with a rabbit at young age in the asylum and also having a yellow canary in Hitman: Blood Money (despite deliberately killing it in the cut-scene before Requiem).

Agent 47 approaches his assassinations with professionalism, and prefers to avoid killing anyone besides his designated targets. He will, however, not show any hesitation or remorse when it comes to killing witnesses and other potential threats to his mission.

Agent 47 generally speaks in a monotonous, proper, non-threatening tone, rarely swearing, or even raising his voice. 47 also has a blank and somewhat sinister facial expression, often scanning the scene with his eyes; the only other facial expression 47 has been known to show is pain.

47 seems to also be an accomplished conversationalist despite the fact he’s extremely reserved, often able to fool and manipulate people with convincing lies and bluffs. Hitman: Enemy Within shows that he has the capability to act far out of his normal personality to imitate people, such as a cocky womanizing biker.

EMPLOYMENT:

47 was soon employed by the International Contract Agency, a clandestine organization providing assassination and mercenary services. With a lifetime of training and genetically augmented physical abilities, 47 soon rose to become the Agency’s most effective and most requested employee. He retired between the events of Hitman: Codename 47 and Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, before later returning to work there. He enjoys his only notable human friendship with his manager-of-sorts, Diana. After the events of Hitman: Contracts, which makes the I.C.A. much less powerful, 47 briefly threatens to find a new employer. He continues with the I.C.A. until the events of Hitman: Blood Money, in which the organization is momentarily destroyed, loses all assassins, and 47 falsely believes Diana betrayed him and tried to kill him. At the end of the game, the I.C.A. returns to power, though Diana admits to a client of royalty that she currently cannot provide 47’s services, and has “completely lost track of him”. The last scene of the game shows 47 walking into an illegal-activity Chinese business, using a fake name and asking what they have to sell, “preferably in the back”.

SKILLS/ABILITIES:

As a class one type clone, 47 can be seen performing physical tasks more efficiently than an average human. 47 has mastered the art of stealth, being able to sneak up on almost anybody and quietly neutralize them. 47 also has an expert level understanding in the use of disguises in order to access unauthorized areas of a location. He is physically strong – being able to climb pipes, move and dispose of bodies, and jump from balcony to balcony with minimum effort. 47 is noted to be a skilled driver, as he can be seen piloting airplanes and helicopters.

Trained extensively in armed and unarmed combat and in the use of improvised weapons, such as explosives, sniper rifles, automatic weapons and bladed weapons, 47 is fully adept at surveying his environment and using it to his advantage. He is also resourceful enough to maintain anonymity by avoiding leaving forensic evidence for law enforcement agencies to discover through various methods. 47 is skilled in infiltration, ex-filtration, and evasion, as well as the traditional art of assassination as seen when carrying out contracts. On site, he can slip past guards without arousing too much suspicion.

He is a perfect marksman, so well that newspaper in Blood Money called him “legendary Agent 47”.

47 also has a detailed understanding of human anatomy and human nature, shown through his use of poisons, and sedatives, as well as striking vital points when strangling or using hand to hand combat. He also knows how best to move throughout an area without catching the attention of civilians or armed guards.

EQUIPMENT:

Throughout the games, 47 can use a variety of weapons and objects he finds, but he has a predefined selection of these:

Suit: his professional attire worn when taking out the assignments.
Silverballer: 47’s trademark weapon.
Fiber Wire: allows 47 to strangle anyone from behind within 5 to 6 seconds.
Syringes: 47 can kill or sedate NPC’s with this perfect for getting rid of witnesses
Coin: used to distract people, can be used as bait. perfect for distracting NPCs
Binocular: used for recon.

-Brian Lansangan
follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84

Movie Review: "TED"

Seth Macfarlene’s “TED” is our next selection for our latest movie review.

LOWDOWN:
Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane brings his boundary-pushing brand of humor to the big screen for the first time as writer, director and voice star of “Ted.” In the live action/CG-animated comedy, he tells the story of John Bennett, a grown man who must deal with the cherished teddy bear who came to life as the result of a childhood wish… and has refused to leave his side ever since.

Ted is a 2012 American comedy film, co-written, produced and directed by Seth MacFarlane, who stars in it along with Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis. The supporting cast includes Giovanni Ribisi, Joel McHale, Jessica Stroup, and Patrick Warburton. The film is the feature-length directorial debut of MacFarlane, produced by Media Rights Capital, and distributed by Universal Pictures.


REVIEW:
The film delivers a laugh a minute. Filled with 80’s references and a side splitting ongoing Flash Gordon joke that’s nostalgic and reliably funny, especially for 30 somethings like me. Ted is the friend I wish I had, funny, perverted and oh so huggable.

The movie is truly about friendship and coming of age and despite it’s shallow plot it executes it’s goal (making you laugh) with a comedic pace that definitely merits the time you’ll spend watching it. It will require some suspension of all reality on your part but then again what did you expect from a movie about a living, walking, talking, beer drinking, pot smoking, cursing, fighting and lady loving teddy bear?

The acting is good and Mark W. is amazing. (This film is definitely not for sheltered kids) and Mila Kunis gets prettier with age and did great as the girlfriend. I had a fun time. No boring parts. Great guest star “Flash Gordon”, (Sam J Jones) still knows how to party. Giovanni Ribisi does a super job as the creepy dad character. Even the narrater (Patrick Stewart) was funny!


OVERALL:
If I had to define this movie in two words, they would be hilariously awesome. Ted was just plain great, great story, great acting, hilarious jokes, and just an overally great feel to the film. Unlike many comedies nowadays this one actually gets you to care for the characters. Ted was just a great film. If you don’t enjoy crude humour then you won’t enjoy this at all. Every joke involved is crude, from rascist jokes, to smoking and drinking, to fat jokes, to every kind of crudeness you can think of, but what you have to realize though, is its a joke, nothing more, and frankly i found it absolutely freaking hilarious.

††††
4 templar crosses out of 5 
if you don’t like crude then stay away, if you don’t mind crude then you’re sure to have a damn good time

TRAILER:



CREDITS:
Mark Wahlberg as John Bennett
Mila Kunis as Lori Collins
Seth MacFarlane as Ted (voice and motion capture)
Giovanni Ribisi as Donny
Joel McHale as Rex
Patrick Warburton as Guy
Matt Walsh as Thomas, John’s boss
Jessica Barth as Tami-Lynn
Bill Smitrovich as Frank, Ted’s boss
Ralph Garman as Joe Bennett, John’s Dad
Alex Borstein as Gina Bennett, John’s Mom
Laura Vandervoort as Tanya Terry


-Brian Lansangan
follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84

Comic Review: Gotham Central, Book 1: In the Line of Duty

Gotham Central, Book 1: In the Line of Duty, is next selection on next Comic Review.

LOWDOWN:
The first ten issues of the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning series is collected in hardcover for the first time! Written by Ed Brubaker (Captain America) and Greg Rucka (Detective Comics, 52), this series pitted the detectives of Gotham City’s Special Crimes Unit against the city’s greatest villains – in the shadow of Batman himself.


This volume collects two cases of the Gotham Special Crimes Unit. In the first, a cop is killed by Mister Freeze, and the squad is in a race against time to bring him in without the help of the Dark Knight. In the second story–the acclaimed, award-winning “Half a Life”–Detective Renee Montoya is outed as a lesbian and finds her work environment and personal life turned upside down. Things only become more complicated when she’s kidnapped by Two-Face. This debut volume features an introduction by acclaimed mystery author Lawrence Block.

REVIEW:
If any series ever deserved the hardcover reprint treatment, Gotham Central is it. The book is as good as any police procedural on television, giving names and personalities to the Gotham police force that up until that point had been relegated to minor background characters and cannon fodder for Joker, Two-Face and the like. A tragic run-in with Mr. Freeze in the opening pages is enough to suck readers in, and Rucka and Brubaker continually drive home the cost of being a good cop in a city that relies on Batman for protection. Honestly, Batman’s portrayal during this era of comics was never great, often crossing the line from being edgy and gritty into just being unlikable. Gotham Central really puts this in perspective with the cops only asking for assistance from Batman as an absolute last resort (a theme that intensifies in the next volume). Also spotlighted this volume is the relationship between Renee Montoya and Two-Face, which Rucka had been steadily building since Batman: No Man’s Land, Vol. 2.

OVERALL:
I am very please with the product by DC and the team. Brubaker, Rucka, and Lark created characters that are three-dimensional, and not the same out boring cops. Every character has their flaws, and some more than others. This is not a pretty world that the cops live in with the madness that is Gotham City. There are egos, conflicts, and that just in the department.

TEMPLAR NOTE:
A great read for adult Batman fans. There’s not much of the Bat, but I found that refreshing. It focuses on the cops, and their resentment toward Batman for solving the crimes they cannot. I really started empathizing with each of the characters. The art is also very nice, and evokes a Year One quality. Highly recommended. I’d love to see this made into a TV show on HBO.

-Brian Lansangan
follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84