Tuesday, September 24, 2013

“X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST”

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” directed by Bryan Singer is based on a classic two-issue comics tale that takes us to  a bleak future where powerful machines overpower and vanquish the warm-blooded populace that forces the mutants to time travel despite all odds.
Revealed in this year’s San Diego Comic-Con are two teaser posters of the movie featuring two of the greatest mutants ever to live in the X-Men universe.  The promotional teaser posters of Professor X and Magneto are each inhabited by two actors – Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy melds as Professor X while Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender’s features are merged to become Magneto.
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” stars newcomers Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, Boo Boo Stewart, Fan Bingbing, Evan Peters, Adan Canto, Josh Helman,  along with returning stars Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Halle Berry, Lucas Till, and Daniel Cudmore.

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” will open on May 22, 2014 in Phils. From 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros. in theaters nationwide.
               
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“THE COUNSELOR” CHARACTER POSTERS

 Legendary filmmaker Ridley Scott and Pulitzer Prize winning author Cormac McCarthy (“No Country for Old Men”) have joined forces in the motion picture thriller “The Counselor,” starring Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, and Brad Pitt.  McCarthy, making his screenwriting debut and Scott interweave the author’s characteristic wit and dark humor with a nightmarish scenario, in which a respected lawyer’s one-time dalliance with an illegal business deal spirals out of control.

“The Counselor” is a cautionary tale about mistakenly tempting fate.  Rounding off this tale are people who get involved in something they should have stayed out but are eventually lured into a world where immense amount of cash can be quickly handed in a very dangerous way.

Revealed are the latest online character posters of “The Counselors” assembled to portray unforgettable characters – damaged goods yet attractive who have all ducked in unexpected moments of thrill and humor.

Michael Fassbender is simply known as The Counselor tempted to try for once an illegal way of amassing a large amount of money instantly. Although he’s received numerous warnings about the potential dangers of getting into this deal, his blind arrogance deafened him of those warnings.

Laura, played by Penélope Cruz is the fiancée of The Counselor.  Laura is a beautiful woman whom The Counselor prizes the most.  Her intelligence and foresight – and her love for The Counselor – are no match for his descent into the rabbit hole, and they both face tragic consequences if the deal he has made with unseen, powerful forces, goes south.
Javier Bardem takes on the colorful character of Reiner, a nightclub owner who brought The Counselor into the shady deal.  Reiner straddles two worlds: the extravagant and decadent realm of a nightclub owner, and the brutal, lawless and merciless criminal underworld that is rapidly closing in on The Counselor, and on Reiner.  Reiner appears to possess special insight into The Counselor’s increasingly dire circumstances, but he’s just as much a potential victim of a life he little understands. 
Malkina, the toughest and probably the darkest of characters who surrounds The Counselor is played by no other than Cameron Diaz.  As Reiner’s malevolent girlfriend, Malkina’s drive is to take control and possess anything she believes she deserves.
Brad Pitt rounds up the cirque of intrigue with his portrayal of Westray, a philosophizing and shady middleman whose warnings to The Counselor about the dangers of a world he seeks to enter go unheeded.  Handsome, charming and witty, Westray is also an unapologetic womanizer. 

“The Counselor” will open November 13 in cinemas from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.
                
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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

BEN AFFLECK PLAYS ONLINE GAMBLING KINGPIN IN “RUNNER RUNNER”

Despite the risks – statistical and criminal – online gambling holds innumerable attractions.   In today's post-economic-meltdown world, young people have fewer job options than ever before. But that hasn't done anything to affect their desire to get-rich-quickly.  This generation – consumers from early childhood – is used to getting what they want, when they want it, with the click of a mouse.
“Runner Runner” depicts the risks of this reality starring Ben Affleck, Justin Timberlake and Gemma Arterton where Timberlake plays Princeton grad and former Wall Street star Richie Furst, who believes he’s been swindled by an online poker organization based in Costa Rica. He decides to head to Central America to confront the owner, Affleck’s Ivan Block, and is soon seduced by the promise of immense wealth. As Block’s right-hand man he uncovers more than he bargains for, and is soon juggling loyalties and trying to stay alive.
The lavish life of “Runner Runner’s” gambling kingpin Ivan Block is what director Brad Furman calls, “the new American dream.”  He elaborates:  “Technology has led us to a world where everything comes very quickly, which has expedited this concept of the American dream.  Young people today want everything faster – especially money.”
Affleck agrees, “Underneath this allure of fast and easy money is something inherently fraudulent,  crooked, broken and wrong.” Everything now is about getting rich quickly, by any means necessary.  The new corporate ethos is to cut the other guy’s throat.  In some circles, it’s even considered healthy and to be prized.”
Ivan Block’s own journey down the rabbit hole has yielded untold riches, which is all the enticement Richie needs for what ultimately becomes a rite of passage.  “Ivan Block is the unapologetic mentor who says, ‘Get what you can get and don’t think twice about it,’” says Affleck.  “Block wants to manipulate Richie, to get him to be part of his team.  His mission is to groom Richie so he won’t object to some of the darker things he sees.”
Affleck notes that reading people is one of Block’s chief strengths in distracting Richie from the tycoon’s less savory aspects: “Block knows what buttons to press on people, and his most impressive trick is to distract them from his true motives.  To Block, people are insecure and almost desperate to succeed. He knows people feel they’ve been kicked around and that we’re taught to chase the dollar and to equate wealth with status, honor, success, and manliness.  So he holds up that wealth, which blinds Richie to what’s really going on.”
“The movie hopefully will show how complicated Ivan Block is. We like to stand apart and look at people in this binary way and say you're bad and you’re good, and I think that makes really an interesting drama. What I hoped was that people would understand and identify with this guy on some levels, and maybe some people would find him and what he's proselytizing appealing. Justin's character does early on, and then given time he's revealed to be a guy who makes very bad choices and does things we recognize as immoral. What I think is interesting is that hopefully, if we've done our job right, you see at the root of those choices was a guy who wasn't necessarily bad to begin with, but chose a road. Once he made that choice he did what he had to do in order to be successful on that road,” Affleck explains of his character.

Before stepping in the caped crusader’s realm, Affleck says he immensely enjoyed the opportunity to “chew the scenery” of “Runner Runner” and, after the enormous success he had as director of last year’s “Argo,” relished the chance to “just be an actor again”. Which may come as a surprise to those who have adjusted to thinking of him as a world-class director – before the groundbreaking “Argo,” Affleck helmed the kidnapping drama “Gone Baby Gone” and Boston heist thriller “The Town.”

Included in Affleck’s journey as one of Hollywood’s A-list actors are unforgettable and blockbuster films such as “Good Will Hunting,” “Chasing Amy,” “Jay and Silent Bob,” “Mallrats,” “Dogma,” “Armageddon,” “Pearl Harbor,” “Daredevil,” “Gigli,” “Hollywoodland,” “Smokin’ Aces” and “The Company Men.”   

“Runner Runner” opens September 26 in theaters from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

GEMMA ARTERTON’S DANGEROUS GAME IN “RUNNER RUNNER”

Gemma Arterton stars alongside Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake in “Runner Runner” wherein her role as Rebecca Shafran is entangled in the cutthroat world of online gambling.
“Runner Runner” explores the multi-billion dollar industry of online gambling where all players are supposed to have their share, in any which way possible.  Affleck takes on the role of gambling kingpin Ivan Block while Timberlake is Richie Furst, a brilliant Princeton grad student on his way to finishing his masters.  Furst, in order to further finance his studies takes commissions from online gambling operators and risks playing online too for additional money.  When Richie betted all of his savings and lost it to Block’s operations, he soon finds out that he’s been tricked.  Determined to recollect his tuition money, he heads to Costa Rica to confront Block about his malicious online practices.  Soon thereafter, Richie falls for Block’s associate – sophisticated COO Rebecca Shafran (Gemma Arterton) – and he embraces a world that sees all of his fantasies come to life.  But Richie soon learns that Block is wanted for racketeering, extortion and bribery, and that FBI Special Agent Shavers (Anthony Mackie) is obsessed with bringing Block and his associates to justice.
“The real allure of Block’s world transcends money,” says director Brad Furman.  It’s about something far more interesting – and dangerous.  “The real equation in this movie is money times power equals sex.  You ask men why they want money and power, and the answer usually is: women.  That’s the bottom line.”
The distaff representative of this world is Rebecca Shafren, Block’s sharp and powerful COO, whose loyalty to Block is tested when she meets Richie.  English-born Gemma Arterton portrays Rebecca.   A gambling novice, Arterton nevertheless embraced the role. “I really liked the script, which I thought was clever and witty, and it portrayed a world I wanted to investigate.”
“I really like Rebecca,” Arterton continues. “She's almost villainous in certain ways, and she’s never predictable.  “Runner Runner” is about power, wealth and greed. I was intrigued by Rebecca’s desire to live in this world, which is indicative of how many women believe they must act – in an almost masculine way – in order to succeed.”

“When Richie arrives in Costa Rica and meets Rebecca, she is very much the business person in control; she’s very tough, almost like a femme fatale,” Arterton continues. “But she also enjoys having fun. She sees this sexy, young guy and thinks, ‘I'll play around with him for a bit.’  She finds out that he's actually quite clever and smart, and he's different from other people she knows and works with. Rebecca has a real dilemma: she covets the wealth that comes with her position, and yet also rediscovers her moral bearings through her relationship with Richie.  And she begins to change her outlook on Block and her position in his empire.”
  
A (2011) BAFTA nominee as Best Newcomer, Gemma Arterton is mostly known for the roles she played in the previously released blockbusters “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters,”  “Clash of the Titans,”  “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” “Quantum of Solace” and “RocknRolla.”  She has most recently been seen in the highly anticipated “Byzantium” directed by Neil Jordan and written by Moira Buffini, in which she stars as vampire Clara opposite Saoirse Ronan.  Her other film works include “Song for Marion,” “Tamara Drewe,” “The Disappearance of Alice Creed,” “The Boat that Rocked,” “Three and Out,” “St. Trinians” and in the animated “A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventure” as her debut voice role.

“Runner Runner” opens September 26 in theaters nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.      

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