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Film

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” Universe @ The Forum

In celebration of the much-anticipated release of The Last Jedi, a massive Star Wars fest is being set up at The Forum and throughout the ground floor of Jakarta’s Kelapa Gading Mall, where hardcore fans are granted a free entrance to a galaxy far, far away with all the selfie areas, mini exhibits, and merchandises available for their enjoyment. Be a part of the action and get ready to jet off to the Star Wars universe once again! Be sure to catch the film as well. Photographic highlights from the event are displayed below.

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Hey there, BB-8!

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Battlefront II demo corner.

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Welcome to the Star Wars merch shop! 🙂

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Assorted notebooks.

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“The Lion King” 2019 Film Cast

The circle of life will be revamped with an all-new cast for its 2019 cinematic version.

With The Lion King being Disney’s top masterpiece, die-hard fans were opposed to any form of remake, but after the new cast reveal that include quality names like Donald Glover, James Earl Jones (in a reprising role as Mufasa), Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen, Alfre Woodard and Queen Beyonce Knowles as Nala, it’s safe to say this remake would not only be promising but also strongly recapture Simba’s story, vast African landscape and grand music.

As someone who has seen The Lion King over 80 times as a kid (and still a fan in my 20’s), bought tickets to the Broadway production, learned a bit of Swahili, looked up more of Lebo M’s musical works, and written fan fictions about it, I’m very open to this new interpretation of the Hamlet-based plot. It’d be thrilling to revisit Pride Rock and all its glory and to see the universe expand and reach a new generation. Now if only they’d feature some of the tracks used in the Broadway version like “Morning Report” and “Shadowland”…

#Epic

Jules’s Halloween Movie Guide 2017

We’re halfway through October, and Halloween is just around the corner. Make it cinematic by revisiting the classic and contemporary Halloween flicks that have always given you the chills and thrills! Don’t know where to start or looking for alternatives to the usual fan favorites like Hocus Pocus, Psycho, The Nightmare before Christmas, Harry Potter series and all the classic monster films? Feel free to turn on your flashlight and peek into Jules’s list of Halloween movies (or ones that defy the tradition but still fit the occasion). Most aren’t heavy on the horror factor, but this unique blend of noirs, murder-mysteries, deliciously dark rom-coms and whimsical animated features offer enough variety for you to amp up your spooktacular season.

  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – A dark spin on a Jane Austin classic? The Bennett sisters and Mr. Darcy as zombie hunters are epic.
  • The Prestige – It’s Christian Bale vs Hugh Jackman in this brilliant Christopher Nolan work about two magician friends turned rivals. Prepare for mind-blowing magic tricks and non-stop suspense.
  • Great Expectations – Pip’s story is just as intriguing to follow this October as it is any other season. In addition to the powerful themes of wealth/poverty, love/rejection and good/evil, the movie (and Charles Dickens novel) has Gothic elements that include Miss Havisham and her mysterious mansion.
  • Oz the Great and Powerful – Once you’ve ventured with Dorothy and friends in The Wizard of Oz, explore its prequel that highlights the first time Oz discovered the Emerald City and how the Wicked Witch of the West came to be.
  • Practical Magic – Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman make a fine duo of witches in this bewitching drama.
  • Double Indemnity – Barbara Stanwyck has cruel intentions in one of Hollywood’s greatest noirs. Dark and twisty, this murder-mystery is a must watch.
  • Crimson Peak – A quality horror movie with a stellar cast – Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain.
  • Tower of Terror – The Hollywood Tower Hotel is always worth revisiting.
  • Kiss Me Goodbye – A unique, elegant rom-com with a ghoulish touch. Sally Field is about to marry her fiance Jeff Bridges, but the ghost of her Broadway star husband – fantastically played by James Caan – disapproves of their relationship.
  • Black Swan – Dark and atmospheric, this Darren Aronofsky psychological drama that gave Natalie Portman that Oscar win is a cinematic art.
  • Magic in the Moonlight – Colin Firth and Emma Stone add a whimsical flair to this underrated Woody Allen rom-com. Emma is impressive as Sophie Baker the medium, and the southern France setting is delightful.
  • Scream movies – The adventures of Sydney and friends are always thrilling to follow in this superior horror trilogy (I recommend the fourth one too).
  • Maleficent – Angelina Jolie owns the role in this live-action retelling of Sleeping Beauty as told by the villain.
  • Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events – Definitely a misadventure to remember with Jim Carrey as the evil Count Olaf.
  • Interview with the Vampire – Still one of Tom Cruise’s and Brad Pitt’s most iconic roles with a very young Kirsten Dunst who stole the scenes with her strong performance. The Gothic tone and interview angle set this movie apart from other vampire movies of that time.
  • The Others – No matter how many times this movie has been watched, that unexpected twist in the end will always be worth discovering.
  • Corpse Bride – Simply an underrated Tim Burton film. Stunning animation, great Gothic atmosphere.
  • 101 Dalmatians – Both the animation and live action deliver. Cruella DeVil has gotta be Disney’s most stylish villain.
  • The Birds – Complete your Hitchcock marathon with this title.
  • Jagged Edge – Great murder-mystery that explores the ultimate question: Is he really a killer or just a wrongfully accused husband? A vehicle for Glenn Close.
  • What Lies Beneath – One of the best thrillers ever made featuring the star power of Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer.
  • The Mummy films I’m referring to the original ones starring Brendan Fraser.
  • Scooby Doo – Catchy theme song, epic cast of characters, non-stop mysteries to solve. Whether you’re going for the TV series or live-action movies, the Scooby gang is bound to keep you company.
  • Descendants – If fun, music and hip young adult characters are what you’re craving for, then this one delivers.
  • Miss Peregine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Picture a mysterious island, an abandoned orphanage and old peculiar photos. It’s all just the beginning for Asa Butterfield’s Jake. Join him on an escapade that leads him to Miss Peregrine – greatly played by Eva Green – and her home for peculiar children.
  • Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass – Be it the original animated movie or the live-action duology, there are plenty of curious characters and things to discover in Wonderland, from the Mad Hatter, white rabbit to the Cheshire Cat.
  • The Addams Family – Definitely the VIP family to dine with this Halloween.
  • A Monster in Paris – Set in 1910 Paris, this delightful animation tells the story of a monster living in a garden and a chanteuse who charms him. A lighter version of The Phantom of the Opera.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Craving an old school sci-fi flick? Agents Valerian and Laureline shall deliver. The electric duo in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets embark on an outer space mission that will leave you entertained as well as enthralled by the universe created in this high quality space opera.

Luc Besson has been one of my favorite directors since the Taxi trilogy and The Fifth Element, and now he’s back at it again with this ambitious film based on a retro comic featuring the adventures of Valerian and Laureline. A vast array of dominating colors are being laid out on the screen (from midnight blue and illuminating purple to the pastels that build the beach scenes), and the CGI effects are there to enhance the plot and not just visual tricks.

Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne surprisingly have a natural, out-of-this-world chemistry. Their constant banters strengthen their partnership and make for fast yet charming dialogues, but their respect for each other shows. Cara appears commanding here. For a model turned actress, she is one of the better ones, as she really delves into Laureline’s character, giving her that iconic persona. A scene stealing Rihanna plays a whimsical, wacky shape-shifting character named Bubble who teams up with Valerian at one point to figure out Laureline’s whereabouts. Bubble is simply lovable you can’t help but wish she gets a more positive ending. Filling in the role of the classic villain is Clive Owen, who’s very convincing in the way he acts.

An eclectic soundtrack features a range of tunes including David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” that gives the intro a cool retro vibe and Cara Delevingne’s relaxing yet catchy “I Feel Everything” plus impressive scores by Alexandre Desplat. Definitely one of the best!

Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets is a galactic adventure in space worth following. A mix of Jupiter Ascending and Avatar, it’s very trippy and full of wonders, action and intriguing cast of characters! Take a trip to Alpha – the city of a thousand planets – with Valerian and Laureline and enjoy the ride!

“La La Land” DVD, Blu-ray and Steelbook Art

Here’s to the fools who dream! Get ready for another day of sun and a lovely night, all La La Land lovers! The city of stars are shining bright for us, as the (almost) Academy Award-winning film and recipient of 7 Golden Globes will finally be available to bring home on April 25th.

Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling)’s charming little adventures around LA in pursuit of their individual dreams – acting for Mia and jazz for Seb – are worth reliving, and the nostalgic references to Old Hollywood adds a degree of timelessness to this Damien Chazelle musical masterpiece.

Not only is La La Land going to be on standard DVD, 4K Ultra HD and the popular DVD/Blu-ray/Digital HD combo format. A collector’s edition steelbook will also be released on May 15th. Even Target, Walmart and Best Buy offer their own versions with varying covers.

With delightful special features that include Designing La La Land, Ryan and Emma: Third Time’s the Charm (I’m personally glad this one makes the list, as I enjoyed their previous works in Crazy, Stupid, Love and Gangster Squad), John Legend’s Acting Debut and La La Land‘s Great Party, this brand new classic is definitely a must-own, no matter which version you decide to pick!

Here are the many different cover artworks for La La Land

La La Land DVD
Image Source: Amazon

La La Land Bluray
Image Source: Amazon

La La Land Target
Image Source: Target

La La Land Best Buy
Image Source: Best Buy

La La Land Back
Image Source: Zavvi

La La Land Walmart
Image Source: Walmart

“Moonlight” and “La La Land” at the 2017 Academy Awards

Film has always been a medium where dreams, ideas and stories can be visually expressed, and the annual Academy Awards is the one night that celebrates the magic of cinema and the large number of creative talents involved in Hollywood and international filmmaking – directors, actors, screenwriters, cinematographers, musicians, costume designers, animators and other professionals within the industry. The 2017 Oscars have finally brought back diversity, which was lacking in recent years. Jimmy Kimmel as the host provided entertainment as well as encouraged filmmakers from all over the world to continue to shape the films of tomorrow. Moonlight and La La Land – two wonderful films with equally inspiring messages – managed to pull a few wins out of all the nominations they got.

Moonlight, with its lyrical pace and compelling script that highlights the life of Chiron as he goes on an identity search, is an underrated hit with a huge likeability factor. Excellent performances by all the cast, especially Naomi Harris as Chiron’s unstable, crack addict mother! Mahershala Ali, who provided a much-needed warmth and a sense of belonging for young Chiron in the short scenes he had, managed to pull a win for Best Supporting Actor – very well-deserved. His charisma and gentlemanly quality showed throughout the Oscars ceremony. Winning Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture gave this film the credibility it deserves. A must-watch for audiences looking for life inspiration.

Fan-favorite La La Land seemed like a sure bet for the Oscars, and having Emma Stone win Best Lead Actress, Damien Chazelle as the youngest director to have won his category, Justin Herwitz for the charming music he created, and the award that was given for the film’s cinematography meant this film has what it takes to stand among the classics with its colorful visuals, dreamy leads (Emma as wannabe actress Mia and Ryan Gosling as aspiring jazz artist Sebastian) and the portrayal of dreams. John Legend, who played Gosling’s musician friend in the film delivered a smooth, cinematic mash-up of “City of Stars” and “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” at the Oscars. “City of Stars” ended up winning Best Original Song, and rightfully so, even though all contenders were equally powerful.

Despite the announcement mix-up that created a lot of controversy at the end of the night, both Moonlight and La La Land are Oscar-worthy, and the inspirational messages they convey should be welcomed by all film audiences. The compelling and diverse storytelling in Moonlight and the pursuit of dreams that La La Land represents are gold.

As a bonus, I present you a list of my other favorite #Oscars2017 moments:

  • Piper winning Best Animated Short. Cute little birdy!
  • Viola Davis’s amazing win for Fences and her remarkable speech about being an artist – “It’s the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life”.
  • Alicia Vikander and Kate McKinnon got to present.
  • The Hidden Figures ladies – Taraji Henson, Olivia Spencer and Janelle Monae – looked out-of-this world fantastic.
  • All the cookies and donuts falling out of the sky toward the guests. Very innovative!
  • The random tourists’ surprise and Jimmy Kimmel’s hilarious line about all the Oscars guests looking like a wax museum had they remain still.
  • Auli’i Cravalho (Moana) and her fierce performance of “How Far I’ll Go” (despite getting hit by the wave behind her at some point) with an introduction by co-star Dwayne Johnson and Lin-Manuel Miranda rapping out the intro.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio handing Emma Stone her award.
  • Meryl Streep!!!

Natalie Portman in “Jackie”: A Portrait of a First Lady

“Don’t let it be forgot that for one brief shining moment there was a Camelot. There won’t be another Camelot. Not another Camelot.”

Natalie Portman was at her finest in her portrayal of Mrs. Kennedy, making director Pablo Larrain’s Jackie a superior film that deserves all the attention at the 2017 Academy Awards.

With the prime focus being the First Lady’s attempt at piecing her life – and ‘Camelot’ – back together in the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, a strong, impactful acting was needed to accurately play this iconic woman, and Natalie’s effortless performance showed how much research went into her preparation. Her mannerims, way of speaking and elegance definitely reflected the real Jackie. She had that ability to show extreme devastation about her husband’s loss but also remain composed, strong and hopeful in the face of the public.

Jackie was my favorite Natalie role after Black Swan, and I genuinely think she deserves that Best Actress win this year, even though the other choices are equally great. The same can be said of costume designer Madeline Fontaine whose work on this film was of stylish, regal quality and also Mica Levi who composed a dark yet emotive score that fit in with the grim atmosphere that Jackie’s struggle is associated with.

If you missed Jackie at the cinema, you can now pre-order the movie on DVD and Blu-Ray. Witness Natalie’s brilliant transformation into Mrs. Kennedy.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”

Magic. Adventure. Jazz Age New York. Eddie Redmayne. The wizarding world of J.K. Rowling that bewitched the entire planet with Harry Potter now reopens with promises of a new universe in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and the film does deliver.

Redmayne’s Newt Scamander – the author of the textbook the movie title is based on that later becomes required reading for first-year Hogwarts students – has a luggage full of fantastic beasts that accidentally run loose in 1920’s NYC. In his quest to get them back, he is joined by sisters Tina and Queenie Goldstein (Katherine Waterston and singer-songwriter Alison Sudol in her divine acting debut) as well as a no-Maj – what muggles were referred to back in the day – named Jacob Kowalski (humorously played by Dan Fogler).

From the adventurous Newt and determined Tina to the whimsical Queenie and comical yet lovable Jacob, these fantastic four are brilliantly developed. Colin Farrell is also at the top of his game as the menacing Percival Graves. I have a soft spot for Queenie, not just ’cause I’ve been a longtime supporter of Ms. Sudol since her A Fine Frenzy days, but Queenie is a wonderful witch with an equally magnetic, charming personality. Oh, she can also magically conjure a delicious apple strudel in addition to having an amazing mind-reading ability. She and Jacob are the ultimate scene stealers, and the two of them look like those delightfully quirky couples found in Woody Allen movies.

All the film settings help enhance the plot, from the famous Central Park to the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA), the American equivalent to the UK Ministry of Magic in the Potter-verse.

When it comes to the beasts, the wide variety of magical creatures featured on the big screen add a lot of intrigue. My personal favorite is the Niffler, an adorable duck-like beast that’s attracted to shiny belongings. But other forms of beasts are also introduced like the Thunderbird that Newt rescued from Egypt and plans on returning to its natural habitat in Arizona, which is really the main reason he’s in the States.

Expect Fantastic Beasts to be nothing short of fantastic! Fantastic screenplay (written by Rowling herself), fantastic cast, fantastic beasts, fantastic production, fantastic visual effects, fantastic Roaring 20’s costumes, and fantastic mix of light adventure and the darker, intense aspects portrayed in some scenes. Don’t miss out on the cinematic grandeur this film flawlessly showcases!

 

“Beauty and the Beast” 2017 Official Trailer

An intelligent beauty. A cursed prince. A tale as old as time. We’ve been waiting for what seemed like an eternity for new promos related to Disney’s live-action adaptation of its Academy Award-winning film Beauty and the Beast, and now they’re finally out in the open.

Shortly after the debut of its first look image on the latest Entertainment Weekly issue, the 2017 movie’s official trailer premiered yesterday that instantly made the world swoon with adoration. So much enchantment in one video!

With strong production and inspired casting (Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Ian McKellen, Ewan McGregor, Audra MacDonald, Josh Gad, Emma Thompson and Kevin Kline), I could tell Beauty and the Beast will make 2017 a magical, unforgettable year.

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