In 1971, a star was born in the form of Tupac Amaru Shakur; a star who would go on to be one of the most influential faces in the history of hip hop. In 1991, the world exploded in admiration for this pioneering newcomer who brought mastery to the art of rap and appealed to a young generation of hip hop artists especially those who were black, impoverished and affected by gang culture. His themes of racism, police brutality and gritty realities of guns and violence on the street brought a daring truth to the table that few, if any, had tried before. His 1996 album for which this film is named was the most explorative of the latter and his crowning glory, but it came alongside his downfall. After a stretch in prison and a serious conflict with Death Row Records, he would meet his end in a drive-by shooting at the age of just 25.
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(L-R) Actor Cory Hardrict , actress Tia Mowry - Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures 'Central Intelligence' - Arrivals at Westwood Village Theatre - Westwood, California, United States - Friday 10th June 2016
Once again, director Clint Eastwood lurks in the background, springing a stunningly atmospheric thriller on audiences when they least expect it. Honestly, for an 84-year-old Eastwood is an astoundingly nimble filmmaker, able to take an audience right into a tense situation while never cheating with flashy movie trickery. This film grabs us without mercy, pulling us into a morally complex situation that gets our head spinning.
It's the true story of Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), the Navy Seal sniper credited with the most official kills after serving four tours of duty in Iraq. Based on his memoir, the film traces him from his religious upbringing, during which he's taught about guns and encroaching evil from an early age. So after the 9/11 attacks, he enlists in the Navy. His sharp-shooting skills are quickly apparent. And as he prepares for his first assignment abroad, he romances local girl Taya (Sienna Miller), a feisty woman who knows what she's getting into. Chris, on the other hand, is instantly thrown into a quandary when his first targets as a sniper are a woman and child who seem to be carrying a bomb. Over the next few years, his marriage to Taya and his moral centre are tested by his military service. And when an Iraqi sniper challenges him, he takes it personally.
Jason Hall's script sticks close to Chris' perspective, which is intensified by Eastwood's coolly efficient direction and Cooper's beefy performance. By putting the audience so tightly within Chris' point of view, we are unable to escape the psychological impact of his experiences, even if real warfare is no doubt much more horrific even than what's depicted here. Cleverly, the film never asks us to judge Chris, merely to see how battle changes him. And Cooper is terrific at finding tiny details that reveal both Chris' altered state and the core stability that never leaves him.
Continue reading: American Sniper Review
Computer genius Will Caster is involved in a technological program exploring the world-changing possibilities of artificial intelligence. Their goal is to create a machine that will have knowledge beyond the minds of human beings collectively, while also being able to reach Transcendence; a state in which this artificial mind can begin to feel human emotion. After a particularly enlightening seminar in which the goals of the project in terms of medicine are highlighted, he is shot suddenly. At first it appears that he is going to survive as the bullet didn't hit any major organs, but doctors quickly realise that the attack was much more insidious as it has been laced with radioactive matter. With only weeks to live as research labs across the country are being targeted by a radical anti-technology activist group called RIFT, Caster must find a way to live. When his wife Evelyn manages to upload his consciousness, it seems his project has been fulfilled - but it soon becomes clear that the power he is about to wield will put the world at risk.
Continue: Transcendence - Alternative Trailer
Will Caster is a computer scientist researching technology into the possibilities of artificial intelligence. After a gripping seminar where he described his desire to create a machine with not only an intelligence that exceeds human beings collectively, but also experience emotion - a state in which he refers to as Transcendence - he is gunned down by a radical activist who is part of anti-technology group RIFT. With the bullet not penetrating any major organs, the main damage the organization seems to have done is virtually attack research computers in all the main labs of the country, but when it turns out that that bullet was laced with radioactive material, Caster is given just weeks to live. Determined not to die, Caster and his wife Evelyn work out a way to upload his consciousness so that he can communicate even beyond the grave. However, not everybody is so sure of what has happened; a concern which becomes more and more warranted as Carter's mind begins to evolve.
'Transcendence' is the unnerving sci-fi directorial debut of Oscar winning cinematographer Wally Pfister ('The Dark Knight Rises', 'The Italian Job', 'Inception'). Initially written by Jack Paglen (who will be writing 'Prometheus 2'), it has been re-written by Pfister, Jordan Goldberg ('Inception: Motion Comics' TV series) and Alex Paraskevas ('Walker Payne') and is set to be released in the UK on April 25th 2014.
A young male zombie spends his days roaming the barren and devastated wasteland that is America with limited thoughts and actions, only able to remember that his name while he was human began with the letter 'R' and only yearning to eat the brains of the few remaining living humans just so he can connect and learn to feel alive again. It's a post-apocalyptic world where a huge proportion of the population have been infected by a plague turning them into forever wandering, blood thirsty, undead creatures; some still have a little human left inside them, while others (known as Boneys) are skeletal creatures devoted to eating anything and everything with a heartbeat. After 'R' and his dead associates are set upon by a gang of humans with guns, he finds himself feasting on the brain of a man and absorbing his memories and feelings. When he catches the eye of the man's girlfriend Julie, he is overcome with the bizarre feeling to protect her and takes her away to the abandoned airport to hide her. When the other zombies see them together, the emotions are set off throughout the lot of them and they and the survivors all find themselves banding together to fight the Boneys who still remain emotionless and highly dangerous.
Directed and written by Jonathan Levine ('50/50', 'The Wackness'), 'Warm Bodies' is about a zombie nation being cured by the powerful thing that is love. It is based on the novel of the same name by Isaac Marion and is set to hit cinemas in the run up to Valentine's Day on February 8th 2013.
Continue: Warm Bodies Trailer
Five people who have survived the almost total destruction of humankind through relentless warfare, set out together armed with firearms and blades in a quest for their continued survival. The group discover an uninhibited farmhouse in which they immediately find shelter, however they soon begin to feel uneasy and decide to salvage whatever they can find within the building with the intention of leaving immediately after. However, when one of them accidentally sets of an alarm in the house, they realise they are trapped and will very soon be ambushed by a group of ruthless savages. Suspicions are aroused when one female in the group seems to have a lot of information about them and she herself shows little fear or mercy as the savages attack. She admits to being 'one of them' but is still determined to destroy them all. A day of brutal battling ensues; will the survivors be so lucky this time with their ever-decreasing store of food and ammo?
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Staff-Sergeant Nantz (Eckhart) is retiring from the Marines on the day of an alien attack on 12 major cities. A shady past means his new troops don't trust him, including the expectant father (Ramon Rodriguez), the shell-shocked guy (Parrack), the buddies (Pesi and Ne-Yo), the bitter one (Hardrict), the bright young thing (Rothhaar), the virgin (Fisher) and the foreigner (M'Cormack). As the assault hits Santa Monica, they're sent to rescue trapped civilians (including Pena and Moynahan). They also team up with an Air Force officer (Michelle Rodriguez) to find a weakness in the alien defence.
Continue reading: Battle Los Angeles Review
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