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Posts tagged “Warner Bros

Cinematic HIGH: Red Tails Movie Review

It is hard to put Red Tails into words but one does come to mind – MASTERPIECE. The 20th Century Fox film is a George Lucas creation, and tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II.

Starring a predominantly African American cast lead by Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr., Oscar nominee Terrance Howard, Nate Parker (The Great Debaters) and R&B superstar Ne-Yo, the movie manages to take you through every emotion imaginable. Carrying you through the journey of an all black unit that struggles for acceptance within their own army, the all black unit learns to overcome adversity through their love of flying the great blue skies and fighting the enemy. The air fighters soon learn that it is this love and undeniable skill in the line of duty that break down the barriers that once held them back, enlightening their Anglo Saxon comrades to see past their exteriors and into their courageous hearts. The priceless essence of this movie lies in the ability to touch on the soldier’s personal struggles, beliefs, ambitions, and expectations while not only trying to prove themselves as fighter pilots but as men.  Although such a movie is filled with intense subject matter, it provides refreshing and comical undertones that lighten the mood when it touches on the core of social issues.

In summary, Red Tails served as a melting pot of elements that worked perfectly together to create a satisfying cinematic entrée. Support the memorable film in theatres now.  It is destined to be a classic.

➟Amadi Jae for The HIGH UP. Follow @AmadiJae on Twitter for the latest in entertainment news!

Final Destination 5 In Theaters August 12th!

Courtney B. Vance

No matter where you run…no matter where you hide…you can’t cheat death. In “Final Destination 5″, Death is just as omnipresent as ever, and is unleashed after one man’s premonition saves a group of coworkers from a terrifying suspension bridge collapse.  But this group of unsuspecting souls was never supposed to survive, and, in a terrifying race against time, the ill-fated group frantically tries to discover a way to escape Death’s sinister agenda.

The second of the Final Destination films to be shot in 3D, “Final Destination 5” is directed by Steven Quale, marking his major feature film directorial debut.  The screenplay was written by Eric Heisserer.

The film brings together an ensemble cast, including Nicholas D’Agosto (“Fired Up!,” TV’s “Heroes”), Emma Bell (“Frozen,” TV’s “The Walking Dead”), Miles Fisher (TV’s “Mad Men” and “Gossip Girl”), Arlen Escarpeta (“Friday the 13th”), with David Koechner (“The Office,” “Anchorman”) and “Final Destination” franchise icon Tony Todd (“Hatchet II”).  Rounding out the cast are Courtney B. Vance (TV’s “Flash Forward,” “ER”), P.J. Byrne (“Dinner for Schmucks”), Ellen Wroe (TV’s “Huge”) and Jacqueline MacInnes-Wood (TV’s “The Bold and the Beautiful”).

Producers Craig Perry and Warren Zide return for the fifth time, working with executive producers Sheila Hanahan Taylor, Erik Holmberg, Richard Brener, Walter Hamada and Dave Neustadter.

Collaborating with Quale behind the scenes are director of photography Brian Pearson (“Drive Angry 3D,” “My Bloody Valentine 3D”); production designer David R. Sandefur (“Repo Men,” “Journey to the Center of the Earth”); editor Eric Sears (“Shooter”) and costume designer Jori Woodman (“Eight Below”).  The music is by Brian Tyler.

New Line Cinema presents, a Practical Pictures/Zide Pictures production, “Final Destination 5,” opening August 12, 2011. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Horrible Bosses Gets an A+!

Happy Hour at Midtown Atlanta's Apres Diem

In a simple phrase… “HORRIBLE BOSSES is HILARIOUS” – and with only 5 months remaining in the year, I highly doubt ANY movie can challenge this one for Best Comedy honors. From the opening scene, the plot began to build, so there was not a single lull in action throughout the movie. It’s an incredibly successful mix of comedic devices and every character lives up to their role.

We all have had them – a boss that we thought was absolutely “the worst” person in the world and made us hate to go to work. In HORRIBLE BOSSES,

Movie guests at Apres Diem

three friends (Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Sudeikis) all work for first class, Type A bosses (Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell and Kevin Spacey) that make their respective lives unbearable at work. When it begins to spill over into their personal lives, they “kinda” decide (over drinks) that it would be much better for them all if their bosses weren’t around anymore. They enlist the help of a “murder consultant” (Jamie Foxx) to help rid them of their problem and the plan quickly becomes an incredibly funny caper.

In each progression of the story line, the movie becomes funnier. Although each member of the cast performs their role well, Day steals the show with his awkward and bumbling character whose whole life has been a disaster. I’d venture to say the movie would only be funny (instead of hilarious) without him.

Horrible Bosses Pre-Screening

I highly recommend you see this movie; albeit, it more than earns it’s R rating. So, if you have sensitive ears you have a decision to make. It’s non-stop laughter mixed with random moments of shock and surprise to equal a perfect mix. On a scale of 1-5, HORRIBLE BOSSES definitely gets 5 toothbrushes from me… Go see the movie and you’ll know exactly what I mean. 🙂 See more photos from the pre-screening under event highlights at Aspire Online Magazine.

-Jay Young is Director of Photography for AOM and The “HIGH UP”.

Jamie Foxx Stars In Horrible Bosses On July 8th!

For Nick, Kurt and Dale, the only thing that would make the daily grind more tolerable would be to grind their intolerable bosses into dust.  Quitting is not an option, so, with the benefit of a few-too-many drinks and some dubious advice from a hustling ex-con, the three friends devise a convoluted and seemingly foolproof plan to rid themselves of their respective employers…permanently.

There’s only one problem: even the best laid plans are only as foolproof as the brains behind them. Jason Bateman (“Couples Retreat”), Charlie Day (“Going the Distance”) and Jason Sudeikis (“Hall Pass”) star as the three hapless workers, with Jennifer Aniston (“He’s Just Not That Into You”), Colin Farrell (“Crazy Heart”) and two-time Oscar® winner Kevin Spacey (“American Beauty,” “The Usual Suspects”), as their unbearable bosses.  Oscar® winner Jamie Foxx (“Ray”) stars as the plotters’ unlikely mentor, whose street cred is priced on a sliding scale.  The main cast also includes veteran actor Donald Sutherland and Julie Bowen (TV’s “Modern Family”).

“Horrible Bosses” is directed by Seth Gordon (“Four Christmases,” “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters”) and produced by Brett Ratner and Jay Stern.  The screenplay is by Michael Markowitz and John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein, story by Markowitz.  Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener, Michael Disco, Samuel J. Brown and Diana Pokorny serve as executive producers, with John Rickard as co-producer.

The creative filmmaking team includes director of photography David Hennings; production designer Shepherd Frankel, editor Peter Teschner and costume designer Carol Ramsey.  The music is composed by Christopher Lennertz.

“Horrible Bosses” opens nationwide on Friday, July 8, 2011.   A New Line Cinema presentation of a Rat Entertainment Production, the film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. This film is not yet rated.


Green Lantern Makes A Great Movie For the Entire Family!

Hal Jordan, played by Ryan Reynolds, was a test pilot, who lived his life fearlessly and self-absorbed. But when he became the chosen one to save the human race by killing the evil Parallax (who looked like a ginormous octopus and fed off of fear) his cocky, fearless ways were overtaken by his own insecurities. After he was chosen, he was taken to the planet Oa and given a brief history lesson on the Green Lantern Corps, peace-keepers of the universe, and the power the ring possessed.  One key thing Hal learned about the ring was that it was powered by the emerald energy of willpower, and was sent to every sector of the universe to choose a recruit, but was never sent to earth.  So, he was the first human to be a part of the corps.

AOM's T. Monet and Strings (Hip-Hop Artist)

While Hal, was on the planet Oa, he went through rigorous training to help rid him of his fear and strengthen his will. This was an important training session since the Green Lanterns were known for their lack of fear and iron clad willpower. After all the hardcore training, he still felt he could not bear the weight of being a failure if he could not defeat, Parallax, so he quit. But after his ex-lover Carol Ferris, played by the beautiful Blake Lively and his BFF, have an intervention with him, he rejoined the battle, but minus the fear and selfishness.  He jumped back into the fight, defeated Parallax, got the girl back, and saved the human race with his fearless nature that was within him the whole time.

My Final Thoughts:

Guests at the pre-screening

The Green Lantern movie was in 3D, which was awesome! All kinds of things were flying at me and I was jumping all over the place because of it. 🙂 I have been to many 3D movies, but these 3D images were almost in my lap, and it seemed so real.  The special effects were amazing and were meant to be over the top, because the story line was lifted right from a comic book.  If people are looking for something realistic, I don’t see why. It is a comic book, people. And if you are looking for a thought out storyline, it is a superhero movie!  They all follow the same formula; good vs. evil, and good always wins!  If you can get past looking for new twists and plots, you will enjoy the movie for what it is.

The sexy Ryan Reynolds was perfect for this part. He was the total jock that looked like he had everything, but as his character unraveled, you could see his weaknesses, and he was just like anybody else.  He did a good job in relaying this to the audience, as he took you along his journey from cockiness to humbleness. I also loved Blake’s role. She was not just a pretty face in the

T. Monet and Kwanzaa Hall (Atlanta City Council, District 2)

movie, and held her own on the big screen.  The two had great chemistry, and immediately you knew they had something brewing before and she was not quite over it.  The other actors in the film were Angela Bassett, Tim Robbins and Michael Clark Duncan (voiceover role).  One evil key player in the movie, Peter Sarsgaard, who played Hector, the genius professor, was infected by the another life form, and later used by Parallax to help play out his evil scheme.  He did a fabulous job of being creepy for the entire movie, even before he was infected.  I loved it. He was my favorite charter.

But what I loved most about this movie is the message.  The message was simple yet profound. You must learn to overcome your fears, and whatever you face in this life. You already possess everything inside of you to overcome it.

This movie is a great family movie, and would lend itself to great lessons and messages that parents can discus with their kids.  There is hardly any blood and no sex scenes in which makes the movie very kid friendly.  I give Green Lantern 4 stilettos out of 5!

See more photos under “event highlights” at Aspire Online Magazine.

-T. Monet is Special Correspondent for AOM and The “HIGH UP”

Green Lantern Is Action Packed: Opens Today!

Guest at Green Lantern Pre-screening

The Green Lantern (2011 Warner Bros.) was pre-screened in Atlanta to an audience of celebrities, media and select general viewers. The turn out resulted in a packed house, complete with security, instructions to turn OFF your phones and roaming guards searching for violators. A leak was nearly impossible on this night…

Hal Hess (Ryan Reynolds) is chosen to join the ranks of the Green Lantern Corps after being chosen, by the essence of the ring itself, on the death bed of one of the Corps bravest warriors. After going through a series of trials, to include an impromptu training by fellow members of the Corps, he quits the ranks, just as he has everything in his life. That is, until the earth is threatened by a menace unlike any seen before in any galaxy – the evil Parallax, who is energized by fear. With urging by friends and a former lover, Green Lantern finds the will and strength to fight off and defeat this menace – and ultimately receives full acceptance into the Corps by his colleagues.

The film is relatively predictable throughout and has ebbs and flows for the first 2/3 of the movie.

After party "signature" drink

In the final 1/3, the action picks up, significantly, as the villain begins to take shape in the form of a brilliant scientist, Hector Hammond, (played by Peter Sarsgaard) who is infected by an evil life force during the autopsy of the Green Lantern’s predecessor. The action intensifies as Hammond is killed and the Green Lantern must engage the source of evil, which infected Hammond – Parallax himself. A galactic chase and battle ensue and the Green Lantern defeats Parallax through sheer will, determination and by recalling a lesson learned during his training.

The special effects were plentiful and incredible – we saw the Real 3D version of the film. However, many of the scenes were obviously shot via green screen and there was a clear delineation of actors from the background – so much that at times the background looked fully animated when compared to the actors. The film was riddled with these types of scenes unfortunately. Additionally, there were clear product placements by Chevrolet, Apple and LG. The placements were supposed to be subtle (general rule of thumb, anyway), but ended up being glaring promotions. The film included a number of relatively unknown actors, but also included veteran actors in key roles (Angela Bassett and Tim Robbins) and/or voice over roles (Michael Clarke Duncan). Blake Lively performed relatively well in the Leading Female role as the beautiful, multi-talented and highly sought after Carol Ferris. Additionally, Peter Sarsgaard provided several instances of comic relief in the role of Hector Hammond, the under-achieving, yet brilliant, scientist who rapidly began to go mad after being infected by Parallax.

Overall, on a scale from 1-5 (5 being awesome), I’d have to rate the film a 3. The plot is predictable, along with the outcome. Special effects are incredible (again, we saw the Real 3D version); however, several of the scenes looked VERY unrealistic due to how the scenes where shot and post produced. The movie started with action but then experienced a number of slow periods during the first 60-90 minutes, picking up in the final 30 minutes or so.

For more information on the Green Lantern movie, visit

For additional footage from the Green Lantern after party in Atlanta, revisit The “HIGH UP” this weekend to see interviews with the likes of Dee Woods (former Danity Kane member), Strings (Chicago rapper, formerly of both R. Kelly’s camp and former first lady of Cash Money) and Rennie Curran (Tennessee Titans rookie linebacker). Also, look for a second review of Green Lantern from AOM’s T. Monet later today!

-Jay Young for AOM and The “HIGH UP”

Angela Bassett Stars In Green Lantern on June 17th!

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros

Bringing the enduringly popular superhero to the big screen for the first time, “Green Lantern” stars Ryan Reynolds (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) in the title role, under the direction of Martin Campbell (“Casino Royale”).

In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, a small but powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. A brotherhood of warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him superpowers. But when a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan.

Hal is a gifted and cocky test pilot, but the Green Lanterns have little respect for humans, who have never harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before. But Hal is clearly the missing piece to the puzzle, and along with his determination and willpower, he has one thing no member of the Corps has ever had: humanity. With the encouragement of fellow pilot and childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), if Hal can quickly master his new powers and find the courage to overcome his fears, he may prove to be not only the key to defeating Parallax…he will become the greatest Green Lantern of all.

Campbell directs “Green Lantern” from a screenplay by Greg Berlanti & Michael Green & Marc Guggenheim and Michael Goldenberg, story by Greg Berlanti & Michael Green & Marc Guggenheim, based upon characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics.

The film also stars Blake Lively (upcoming “The Town,” TV’s “Gossip Girl”) as the spirited Carol Ferris, a test pilot and the heir apparent to her father’s aviation company; Peter Sarsgaard (“An Education,” “Flightplan”) as scientist Dr. Hector Hammond; Mark Strong (“Sherlock Holmes”) as Sinestro, Jordan’s powerful mentor in the Green Lantern Corps; Jay O. Sanders (“Revolutionary Road”) as Carl Ferris, Carol’s aircraft designer dad; Temuera Morrison (“Star Wars” Episodes II and III) as Abin Sur, Jordan’s alien predecessor; Taika Waititi (TV’s “The Flight of the Conchords”) as flight navigator Tom Kalmaku, Hal’s good friend and confidante; Academy Award® nominee Angela Bassett (“What’s Love Got to Do with It”) as enigmatic government scientist Amanda Waller; and Academy Award® winner Tim Robbins (“Mystic River”) as Hector’s influential father, Senator Robert Hammond.

The film is being produced by Donald De Line (“The Italian Job”) and Greg Berlanti (upcoming “Life As We Know It”). Herbert W. Gains and Andrew Haas serve as executive producers. Geoff Johns and Lucienne Papon are co-producing.

The film’s behind-the-scenes creative team is led by a number of Academy Award® winners, including director of photography Dion Beebe (“Memoirs of a Geisha”), production designer Grant Major (“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”), and costume designer Ngila Dickson (“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”), as well as Oscar®-nominated editor and longtime Campbell collaborator, Stuart Baird (“Gorillas in the Mist,” “Superman”). The film’s visual effects are being overseen by Oscar®-nominee Kent Houston (“The Adventures of Baron Von Munchausen,” “Casino Royale”).

The film is currently scheduled for release in 3D and 2D on June 17, 2011. “Green Lantern” will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

AOM and The “HIGH UP” will be covering the private VIP pre-screening tonight in Atlanta. Stay tuned for updates and follow us throughout the evening on Twitter @AspireOnline!


Hangover II Makes the Cut!

There is only one word I can use to describe this movie…amped!!

When I learned that Warner Bros was making a sequel to “The Hangover” I was both excited and nervous. I was excited because I thoroughly enjoyed the first movie and all of the craziness of the Bachelor night antics. I was nervous because I just did not see how the sequel was going to measure up to the first. Then I learned that the movie was set in Thailand and I immediately knew our “Wolfpack” friends were in for a ride of epic proportion.

Having spent 7 months living in Thailand myself, I know from personal experience that EVERY moment is exponentially multiplied in “The Land of Smiles.” The fun you have is amped up, the danger you are in is amped, the emotions you feel are amped…being in Bangkok is like being on narcotics. I must say The Hangover 2 did not disappoint in showcasing the Thailand experience.  It was like the first movie but on a whole other level.

The ensemble cast of characters calling themselves the “Wolfpack” (Zack Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Justin Bartha) reprised their roles to perfection.  I laughed from beginning to end from a balanced blend of situational humor and zany lines from Galifianakis’ mentally stunted character Alan.  The situations the guys found themselves were so bizarre and unbelievable that I couldn’t help but envy the night of partying they had.  The cast was joined by “Crystal”, a talented, chain-smoking monkey. It is always a winning formula as long as you include a super talented animal. Ironically, This monkey added some extra realism to the movie. Thanks to the Hangover 2 I now want a pet monkey…as long as it is as awesome as Crystal.

All in all, The Hangover 2 was a step above the first. In fact, there were parts of the movie that I felt they almost went past the line of humor and believability. However, they did an awesome job of controlling the storyline and portrayals of the characters to deliver an excitingly funny adventure amped up on a near lethal dose of what I call “Bangkok spice!”

Two thumbs up and all my other fingers too! See what my fellow ATLiens had to say…

-Michael Barlow for The “HIGH UP”. Video by Justin Patten.

AOM Slated to Cover the VIP Pre-Screening for The Hangover 2 on May 24th

Aspire Online Magazine’s Michael Barlow will be in the building on May 24th for the private VIP pre-screening and after party for The Hangover Part II hosted by comedian, actor and radio personality Rickey Smiley. VIP guests will include Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Warrick Dunn, Lisa Wu Hartwell and many others. Stay tuned for exclusive footage and Michael’s candid review of one of the most highly anticipated films of the summer!

Image courtesy of Warner Bros.

“The Hangover Part II” is director Todd Phillips’ follow-up to 2009’s smash hit “The Hangover,” which became the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all-time and also won the Golden Globe for Best Film – Comedy or Musical.

Reprising their roles from “The Hangover,” Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, and Justin Bartha star in the film.  Ken Jeong, Jeffrey Tambor, and Mike Tyson also return to the cast, and are joined by Oscar® nominee Paul Giamatti.

InThe Hangover Part II”, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) travel to exotic Thailand for Stu’s wedding.  After the unforgettable bachelor party in Las Vegas, Stu is taking no chances and has opted for a safe, subdued pre-wedding brunch.  However, things don’t always go as planned.  What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what happens in Bangkok can’t even be imagined.

Phillips once again directs from a screenplay he co-wrote with Craig Mazin (“Scary Movie 4”) and Scot Armstrong (“Old School”).  Phillips also produced the film under his Green Hat Films banner, together with Dan Goldberg (“The Hangover,” “Due Date”).  Thomas Tull, Scott Budnick, Chris Bender and J.C. Spink are the executive producers, with David A. Siegel and Jeffrey Wetzel serving as co-producers.

Collaborating with Phillips behind the scenes are director of photography Lawrence Sher, production designer Bill Brzeski, costume designer Louise Mingenbach, editors Debra Neil-Fisher and Mike Sale, and composer Christophe Beck.

Slated for a May 26, 2011 release, “The Hangover Part II” is a presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures, in association with Legendary Pictures, and will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.