Avatar (2009 film)

Avatar is a 2009 American epic science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron and starring Sam Worthington,Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Joel David Moore, and Michelle Rodriguez. The film is set in 2154, when humans are mining a precious mineral called unobtanium on Pandora, a lush moon of a gas giant in the Alpha Centauri star system. The expansion of the mining colony threatens the continued existence of a local tribe of Na'vi—a humanoidspecies indigenous to Pandora. The film's title refers to the genetically engineered Na'vi-human hybrid bodies used by a team of researchers to interact with the natives of Pandora.

Development on Avatar began in 1994, when Cameron wrote an 80-page scriptment for the film. Filming was supposed to take place after the completion of Cameron's 1997 film Titanic, for a planned release in 1999, but according to Cameron, the necessary technology was not yet available to achieve his vision of the film. Work on the language for the film'sextraterrestrial beings began in summer 2005, and Cameron began developing the screenplay and fictional universe in early 2006.

Avatar was officially budgeted at $237 million. Other estimates put the cost between $280 million and $310 million for production, and at $150 million for promotion. The film was released for traditional two-dimensional projectors, as well as in 3D, using the RealD 3D, Dolby 3D, XpanD 3D and IMAX 3D formats, and also in 4D. The stereoscopic filmmaking was touted as a breakthrough in cinematic technology.

Avatar premiered in London on December 10, 2009, and was released overseas on December 16 and in North America on December 18, to critical acclaim and commercial success. The film broke several box office records during its release and became the highest-grossing film of all time in North America and worldwide, surpassing Titanic, which had held the records for the previous 12 years. It also became the first film to gross more than $2 billion. Following the film's success, Cameron stated that there will be at least two sequels. Avatar was nominated for nine Academy Awards, includingBest Picture and Best Director, and won three, for Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and Best Art Direction.

Sex and the City 2 divides like no other

Rarely has a movie inspired a debate as caustic — or as sexually divisive — as Sex and the City 2, a comedy of fashion and privilege that’s being dismissed by critics as shallow and ridiculous, and embraced by fans as a female fantasy that men cannot understand.

Male and female audiences are often separated by subject matter, but Sex and the City 2 is doing more than that: When I saw it on a recent weeknight, I was one of two men in the audience of some 100 women. Warner Bros.’ exit polls show 90 per cent of the opening weekend audience was female, compared to 83 per cent for the first Sex and the City film.

The sequel follows its four characters — Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Charlotte York-Goldenblatt (Kristin Davis), Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) and Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) — as they reach mid-life and have new problems, none of them involving not having enough to wear. Typical problem: Carrie’s husband, Big (Chris Noth) buys a TV set for the bedroom so they can watch old movies together. Carrie takes this as an attack on her marriage and retreats to her old apartment, which is less fabulous than her present one, to recover.

Most of the movie is set on a trip to Abu Dhabi, where the women live in a palatial hotel, have cute servants and luxury cars, bring their Western attitudes toward sex to this sexually modest country, and wonder at the Arab women wearing veils. (Samantha comments it would cut down on their Botox bills.) Some viewers say their views of the Muslim women are a fair representations of Western curiosity and attitudes; others complain that they’re disrespectful and vacuous.

The movie both celebrates the aging of women, or at least tolerates it (Samantha is shown sweating out her menopause) and turns most encounters into a striving for youth (Samantha tries to have sex with every attractive man in sight). An American branding expert named Adam Hanft, who runs a marketing company, says the movie reinforces fundamentalist stereotypes that Americans are decadent, superficial, materialistic robots.

He calls it capitalism at its most self-centered.

“I don’t know if it’s going to make a lot of money, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it created a lot of terrorists,” Hanft said in a statement. “If I were running recruiting for the Taliban or Al Qaida, I’d put clips of it in every online video.”

Hanft (who declined through a spokeswoman to be interviewed) is on the fringes of critical response, but he’s not alone in his extreme reaction, one that sometimes cuts across gender lines. For instance, Canwest News Service film critic Katherine Monk gave the film three stars, saying, “The cast deserves most of the credit for making a lot of the blue humour, genital jokes and vulgarity palatable through character depth and dramatic emphasis, but it’s still a weak victory for the movie — as well as the gals.” On the other hand, Roger Ebert started his review by writing, “Some of these people make my skin crawl. The characters of Sex and the City 2 are flyweight bubbleheads living in a world which rarely requires three sentences in a row. Their defining quality is consuming things. They gobble food, fashion, houses, husbands, children, vitamins and freebies. They must plan their wardrobes on the phone, so often do they appear in different basic colours, like the plugs you pound into a Playskool workbench.”

Some women see such critiques as a typically male reaction. “I still don’t understand WHY SO MANY GUYS bother to watch this movie and then BOTHER US with their comments,” one London woman wrote on the Mail Online website. “Seriously, just go watch your football and macho movies with bombs exploding all over and just let us watch Sex and the City. We love it, just GET OVER IT.”

Part of the reason for the sexual differences is that most film critics are men, and some of them are using Sex and the City 2 to sharpen their blades. Rex Reed of the New York Observer wrote a classic hatchet job: “Dragging its deplorable carcass into infinity, Sex and the City 2 is so bad you can’t even watch the trailer. . . . The women — too old now to pout, whine and babble about their wet dreams, affluent and successful for reasons that are never clear — are all vain, narcissistic, selfish, superficial and really rather stupid. . . . The insipid screenplay and catatonic direction seem chloroformed.”

Such harsh reaction — the movie scored a very low 17 per cent on the Rotten Tomatoes website that aggregates reviews — may be part of the reason that the $70-million movie made a disappointing $51 million on its first three-day weekend, down from the $57 million earned by the first film.

Sex and the City 2's premieres - Tokyo, London, NYC

Sex and the City 2 is a 2010 romantic comedy film, the sequel to the 2008 film Sex and the City, which is based on the HBO TV series of the same name.
The main cast atteneded premieres, two of which were held in London, England on May 27th and in Tokyo, Japan on June 1st.

The film was released on May 27, 2010 in the United States and May 28, 2010 in the United Kingdom. The film stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, Kim Cattrall and Chris Noth, who reprised their roles from the previous film and TV series. It also features cameos from Liza Minnelli, Miley Cyrus, and Penélope Cruz.

The story begins with a flashback to how Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) first meets Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte (Kristin Davis), and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) in the heyday of Studio 54.

An Action Star Is Born? Not Just Yet in ‘Prince’


LOS ANGELES — In the opening scenes of “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” a wise man cautions the title character, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, not to take on too much. The warning: “You’re just not ready for this.”

The words proved an omen for Mr. Gyllenhaal in real life over the weekend, as an effort to recast him as an action hero — a star capable of anchoring a big summer movie — ended in disappointment. “Prince of Persia” sold an estimated $37.8 million in tickets in North American theaters over the holiday weekend, a weak performance for a film that cost about $200 million to make and carried global marketing costs of more than $100 million.

“Prince of Persia,” from the producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Walt Disney Studios, entered the market in second place. DreamWorks Animation’s “Shrek Forever After” was No. 1 in its second week, with a strong $55.7 million, an indication that positive word of mouth has followed the film’s so-so box office start. Premium-priced 3-D tickets also helped. Total domestic sales for “Shrek Forever After” now stand at $145.5 million.

The other new release of note, “Sex and the City 2,” was third, with about $37.1 million, according to Hollywood.com, which compiles box office statistics. Warner Brothers released this R-rated sequel, which cost about $100 million to make, on Thursday to grab any fans who planned to travel over the holiday. Adding in Thursday sales, “Sex and the City 2” sold a total of $51.4 million.

Scathing critical reviews for the latest installment of this long-in-the-tooth franchise may have dented its appeal. Sales for the first five days of “Sex and the City 2” were down 24 percent, compared with its predecessor.

“Prince of Persia,” based on a video game, started rolling out in international markets on May 21. Its global box office take now stands at $133.3 million. “We had a sensational weekend overseas,” said Chuck Viane, Walt Disney Studio’s president of distribution, noting solid returns in Russia and China in particular.

Mr. Viane said he hoped “Prince of Persia” would get a boost in North America as the school year concluded in coming days. “I think we’re going to have a pretty good ride,” he said.

Even so, Prince of Persia” has a Herculean climb to profitability if you factor in supersize paychecks for Mr. Bruckheimer and others, and the 50 percent cut taken by theater owners.

What went wrong? Theories abound. The sensitive Mr. Gyllenhaal dived into the role, growing his hair long and chiseling his physique. But he has primarily found success in movies tailored to a narrower audience.

Films based on video games don’t have good track records. And, Mr. Viane said, “an unbelievable collision of sporting events” over the weekend may have hurt the picture too.

Marketing may also have played a role. Feedback from test audiences before the film’s release was hugely positive. When turnout is poor after good test screenings, it often suggests that the public doesn’t like what it sees in the marketing materials. Disney fired its top marketing executives in a management overhaul late last year and has only recently installed a new team.

“Prince of Persia” is the third box office letdown in a row from Mr. Bruckheimer, whose last two films were “G-Force” and “Confessions of a Shopaholic.” His next, a fantasy starring Nicolas Cage called “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” is to be released July 14.

“Iron Man 2” (Marvel Entertainment) was fourth in earnings over the holiday weekend, with about $20.6 million, giving it a new domestic total of more than $279 million. “Robin Hood” (Universal Pictures) was fifth, with about $13.6 million, bringing its domestic total to $86.3 million.

Over all, domestic ticket sales stood at $182.2 million for the weekend, a 15 percent decline from the same period last year, according to Hollywood.com.

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Edge of Darkness (2010 film)

Edge of Darkness is a 2010 film adaptation of the 1985 BBC television series of the same name. The film stars Mel Gibson and Ray Winstone, and is directed by Martin Campbell and produced by Michael Wearing, who also directed and produced the series respectively. Edge of Darkness follows a detective (Gibson) investigating the murder of his activist daughter (Bojana Novakovic), while uncovering political conspiracies and cover-ups in the process.

In the US, Argentina, and on DVD in Australia and the UK, the film is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, which also distributed the unrelated 1943 film with the same title.
By moonlight, three bodies float to the surface of the Western Massachusetts stretch of the Connecticut River. At South Station, Boston, Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) picks up his daughter, Emma (Bojana Novakovic), who has returned home to visit. She vomits while getting into the car. At home, as Thomas prepares a meal, Emma starts to nosebleed and vomits again, and then says that she needs to see a doctor and tell him something. When they stop at the porch, as they hurriedly leave to find a hospital, a masked gunman yells "Craven!" and then fires simultaneous shotgun blasts at Emma before driving away. Blasted through the door, she dies in Thomas' arms.

At first, everyone believes that Thomas, a police detective, was the gunman's target, but when Thomas finds Emma had a pistol in her night stand, he starts to suspect that Emma was an intended target. He checks the ownership of the pistol and finds that it belongs to her boyfriend David (Shawn Roberts). David fears the company Northmoor where Emma worked, and Thomas discovers that Emma realized that Northmoor was manufacturing nuclear weapons, intended to be traced to foreign nations if they are used as dirty bombs. Following the failed break-in of the activists, Emma was poisoned with thallium through a carton of organic milk. Burning her effects in his backyard, Thomas encounters Jedburgh (Ray Winstone), a "consultant" tasked to prevent Craven from discovering Emma's information, or kill him. Liking each other, instead, Jedburgh leaves Thomas to investigate. Throughout the film, Thomas repeatedly imagines he hears and sees his daughter, even having short conversations and interactions with her.

Thomas also has several encounters with Northmoor mercenaries, and he eventually discovers through Emma's activist contact that Jack Bennett (Danny Huston), head of Northmoor, ordered the murder of his daughter, as well as the activists Emma was working with to steal evidence of the illegal nuclear weapons (the bodies in the opening). Northmoor personnel kill a hitman marked as a fall guy after he is set up for killing Emma's boyfriend, and attempt to murder another activist who gave Emma's information to Thomas. Thomas confronts a lawyer and senator that Emma contacted, revealing that they know almost everything that happened. At night, Northmoor operatives somehow break into Thomas' home, taser and kidnap him, take him to Northmoor, and poison him with thallium, as his daughter was. Thomas manages to quickly escape the facility and returns home.

Ill from the poison, Thomas arrives at Bennett's house and kills the mercenaries, one of whom Thomas realizes is the man who shot his daughter. Bennett shoots Thomas, but Thomas tackles Bennett and pulls out the radioactive milk. He forces it down Bennett's throat and collapses. Bennett runs to his cabinet to get pills to counteract the radioactivity but Tom drags himself over and shoots Bennett in the throat, killing him.

Thomas is hospitalized for the gunshot wounds and radiation poisoning. Jedburgh, who is revealed to be suffering from a terminal illness, meets with Moore, the Senator (for whom he had been working) and the political advisor who assigned Jedburgh to eliminate Craven. He listens to their suggestions as to how to play the Northmoor incident in a positive light. He tells them that he is done and then suggests an assassination attempt on the Senator should be the feature story, to drive Bennett’s death out of the tabloids. They are happy to go along with the story until Jedburgh tells the senator that he is on the wrong side of the equation. Jedburgh then pulls out a gun and shoots all three men dead before a young Massachusetts State Police officer enters. Jedburgh points his gun at the officer and asks if the young man has a family and kids. The officer says yes, so Jedburgh lowers his gun but is instantly shot dead by the officer.

As Thomas lies dying in the hospital, Emma is shown walking into his room and leaning down at his bedside and whisper in his ear. Across town, a young reporter opens a letter from Thomas with DVDs revealing the conspiracy, with Thomas's "good luck" wishes, ensuring the company's end. As he dies, Emma comforts him. Then the father and daughter are shown leaving the hospital together, walking down the corridor (where two seated policemen are waiting, but appear to not notice them) and toward a bright, white light.