Tag: movies

10 things we can’t live without

10 things we can't live without

The harrowing recession began in 2007 overturned the American priorities, with frugality now considered a virtue for the first time in decades. Despite recent uptick in spending, retail sales remain lower than they were three years ago. Sales of homes, cars and appliances have plunged. Shoppers have cut the toilet paper and cigarettes, once thought recession proof. Although sales are down porn. Thrift, it seems, has no borders.

However, the Americans clung to a few expensive necessities surprising, reflecting changes in American society that go far beyond pennies. Food, clothing and housing have long been staples most obvious. But the data he has finally roll into the wind as the recession shows that we also need a little entertainment and a tasty beverage or two. The company is more important than ever – even if it is not the man. And you can not even find a job these days if you do not have Internet access. As we redefine what is really important, here are 10 new key U.S.

1. Laptops (Portable computers)

IPAD could be the latest must-have gadget, but the computer power transcends trendiness. Brianna Karp, for example, has discovered a lot of homeless people in line, saving many through their own laptop, as she. Shipments of phones have skyrocketed over the last three years, with sales in 2010 may be twice what they were in 2007, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. Part of the jump comes from netbooks but cheap laptops of all sizes are more pervasive than we socialize, communicate, shop, get our new and increasingly live our lives online. sales office, meanwhile, have been on a steady decline, stability, mobility assets.

2. High-speed internet

Many people have reduced cable television, telephone service, and even gas and electricity use. But once you have access to high speed Internet, you do not go back. In a poll by the Pew Research Center last year, high speed Internet was one of three things that people said was a necessity in 2009 than in 2006. Appliances such as microwaves, dryer and dishwasher, however, are considered less important in 2009 than they had. And the data of the Telecommunications Industry Association shows that the rapid increase in the number of broadband Internet subscribers hardly slowed in 2008 or 2009. In 2013, more than 90 percent of all Internet connections in the United States will be high speed.

Global sales of mobile phones fell for the first time in 2009. But sales of smart phones – which can handle email, browse the Internet and do a variety of other things – increased 7 percent, according to TIA. And sales could jump 25 percent this year, as people who have been putting off upgrades mobile finally NAB iPhone or Blackberry of their dreams. As laptops, smart phones have become a lifeline for multitasking harassed we pretend that we are not.

4. Education

As Kevin and Deanna Daum were spiral into bankruptcy in 2009, they decided they could live without their two cars, their two homes, and most of the subtleties. But they insisted on keeping tuition of their son, then an elderly person in a private secondary school. Many Americans seem to feel the same.

Although the data does not readily show how much families spend on education, many families say they have given up other things to protect their children’s education, whether in school or a private school, tutoring, enrichment programs or activities related to school. private school enrollment has decreased by less than one percent of 2008-2010, and university enrollments have increased over the past two years. This is partly because jobs are scarce, but also because Americans value education at all. “It’s an investment that pays very well,” said Sandy Baum, an economist at the College Board. “People are willing to borrow for it and they know it is shortsighted to abandon.”

5. Television

Amercian spend less on entertainment – but watching more television. A recent study by Deloitte has found that typical American watches worth nearly 18 hours of shows on TV at home every week, two hours longer than last year. One reason could be that people are more unemployed kill time at home. But television can also be seen as a cheap alternative to sports events, concerts and buying DVDs. And hard core viewers can not be all that short, since sales of HDTVs have increased steadily throughout the recession.

6. Movies

Ticket sales dipped in 2008 but rebounded in 2009, reaching a peak in five years. One major reason was Avatar and other films in 3-D, which accounted for 11 per cent of the fund to take in 2009, up 2 percent the previous year. Any increase in box office is a victory for the cinema, which until last year had been losing viewers for home theater systems and a growing range of films on cable and the Internet. 

7. Music downloads

The need for mobility applies to music, too. CD sales fell 21 percent in 2009, but downloading entire albums and singles grew almost as much. The Pew study comparing luxury and needs helps explain why, more people considered an iPod a necessity in 2009 than in 2006 despite the recession.

8. Pets

Fido is sitting at the table these days. Maybe even the head of the table. While Americans have cut back spending on themselves, spending on pet food, supplies, grooming, veterinary care and clothing (clothing?) Has been the continuing rise of around 5 percent year. Industry representatives attribute this to the “humanization” of pets, which has led many pet owners to close the “quality of life gap” between their animals and themselves. The iWoof can not be far behind.

9. Booze

Smoking does not make us less than fully virtuous. The Americans fell alcohol upscale, but we are drinking enough to compensate for cheap stuff, which is the usual trend during recessions. Beer and wine have increased slightly during the same in recent years. With a bar and restaurant sales down, which suggests more people are drinking at home – while they watch television, no doubt.

10. Coffee

The Americans have followed the advice of pennies, and then returned to the stud of $ 5 per day. But they make up most infused their own coffee. About 56 percent of American adults drink coffee, a proportion that has not changed in recent years. But a recent survey by the National Coffee Association found that 86 percent of coffee drinkers have their own home, up from 82 percent a year earlier. And those who drink coffee at another place (think Starbucks) fell from 31 percent in 2009 to 26 percent in 2010. Of course, if people are drinking more alcohol at home, then it is logical that they themselves be more doses of coffee, too. If the economy improves, perhaps we need less of each.

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5 lessons from high school movies

5 lessons from high school movies

Even Lindsay Lohan’s character knows, “Calling someone stupid doesn’t make you any smarter.”

High school is back in session, and everyone headed to the classroom — from the incoming freshmen to the returning seniors — has questions about the new year. What table should I sit at in the lunchroom? Who am I going to ask to the prom? Will anything I’m studying ever be really useful after I graduate?

Thankfully, there is something that can help you find all the answers you’re looking for: high school movies. The characters in these flicks suffer heartbreak, alienation, and uncertainty about their future so you don’t have to.

Here are some words of wisdom from a handful of the best high school movies, along with the lessons you can learn from each one.

The Breakfast Club (1985)
“We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.” – Andrew Clark (Emilio Estevez)

High school tends to force people to fit into a mold. Some kids are branded “cool,” most are not. But underneath the labels, everyone has their own quirks. And it took being trapped together in Saturday detention for the brain, the athlete, the basket case, the princess, and the criminal of “The Breakfast Club” to see how much they had in common.

Heathers (1989)
“If you were happy every day of your life you wouldn’t be a human being. You’d be a game-show host.” – Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder)

People always say, “High school is the greatest time of your life.” But everyone who’s actually in it knows better. There is the constant pressure to succeed, to fit in, and to think about the future. So it’s okay if you don’t feel like high school is so great. But you definitely shouldn’t follow any other examples from the murderous characters in this movie.

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
“Just because you’re beautiful doesn’t mean you can treat people like they don’t matter.” – Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)

Popularity determines the pecking order of high school, naturally. And attractiveness plays its part in deciding who sits on top of the totem pole. But being the center of attention doesn’t give you the right to disrespect others. You never know what sort of person any of your classmates will grow up to be, or where you might run into them again after graduation.

Mean Girls (2004)
“Calling somebody else fat won’t make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn’t make you any smarter… All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you.” – Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan)

Name-calling. Whispered gossip. Betrayed trust. They’re all standard features of high school discussions. But what does it really get you? Gaining one friend by turning on another usually insures you end up with none at all. There’s enough naturally occurring drama in high school interactions; it’s best not to manufacture more.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
“Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick)

Yes, high school is important. Grades, SAT scores, and extracurricular activities all factor in to college applications and setting the course for your life. But it’s not so important that you shouldn’t allow yourself to have some fun now and again. That’s not to say that skipping school is a good idea (especially not nine times in a semester), just keep things in perspective and every so often watch a movie.

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Photo finish at the weekend box office

Photo finish at the weekend box office

Even with Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, “Just Go With It” barely squeaks past Justin Bieber

Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston are America’s box-office sweethearts, but Justin Bieber is the valentine for teens. The Valentine’s Day weekend was a close one as Sandler and Aniston’s romantic comedy, “Just Go With It,” debuted with $31 million.

That was just ahead of the concert documentary “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” which opened a close second with $30.3 million. Sony’s “Just Go With It” and Paramount’s “Never Say Never” were close enough that the rankings could change when studios release final numbers Monday.

The teen pop idol’s flick exceeded industry expectations and nearly matched the $31.1 million opening of 2008’s “Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert,” the record-holder for music-documentary debuts.

Another love story, Disney’s animated adventure “Gnomeo & Juliet,” opened solidly at No. 3 with $25.5 million. The movie features the voices of Emily Blunt and James McAvoy in a twist on “Romeo and Juliet” told with garden gnomes.

The weekend’s other new wide release, Focus Features’ ancient Roman saga “The Eagle,” was No. 4 with $8.6 million. The film stars Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell on a quest into the wilds of 2nd century Scotland.

Though Hollywood generally did strong business, revenues still were down compared to the previous year’s for the 14th weekend in a row.

Receipts came in at $149 million, off 27 percent from the same weekend a year ago, when “Valentine’s Day,” “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” and “The Wolfman” combined for debuts totaling nearly $120 million, according to box-office tracker Hollywood.com.

“We can’t catch a break at the box office this year,” said Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “Ordinarily, this would be a great weekend, but last year, the first quarter was really strong.”

“Just Go With It” is a romantic farce featuring Sandler and Aniston as pals posing as a soon-to-be-divorced couple.

The movie maintained Sandler’s steady record of box-office hits, pulling in the over-25 crowd, while teen girls flocked to Bieber’s film, which gave “Just Go for It” a run for the No. 1 spot.

“It was a bit of a nail-biter,” said Rory Bruer, Sony’s head of distribution. “But quite frankly, what you could see is that both movies were going to do business. Overall, it was a pretty good movie-going weekend.”

While critics hated “Just Go With It,” Bieber’s “Never Say Never” earned fairly good reviews. But audiences for music documentaries and concert films are tough to track, and even some insiders at Paramount thought the movie might do as little as $10 million over opening weekend, just a third of what it actually delivered.

Adding in ticket sales from preview screenings Wednesday, the movie’s domestic total stood at $31 million.

“I’ve clearly caught the Bieber fever, and I don’t think they were looking for me. I don’t think I was anywhere near their target audience,” said Don Harris, Paramount’s executive vice president for distribution. “I caught it when the grosses started coming in.”

In limited release, Fox Searchlight’s comedy “Cedar Rapids” debuted well with $310,789 in 15 theaters, for a healthy average of $20,719 a cinema.

That compared to an average of $9,746 in 3,105 theaters for “Never Say Never,” $8,737 in 3,548 cinemas for “Just Go With It,” $8,517 in 2,994 locations for “Gnomeo & Juliet” and $3,741 in 2,296 spots for “The Eagle.”

“Cedar Rapids” stars Ed Helms as a naïve insurance salesman who gets some life lessons at a business conference. The movie gradually expands into nationwide release over the next month.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Final figures will be released Monday.

1. “Just Go With It,” $31 million.
2. “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” $30.3 million.
3. “Gnomeo & Juliet,” $25.5 million.
4. “The Eagle,” $8.6 million.
5. “The Roommate,” $8.4 million.
6. “The King’s Speech,” $7.4 million.
7. “No Strings Attached,” $5.6 million.
8. “Sanctum,” $5.1 million.
9. “True Grit,” $3.8 million.
10. “The Green Hornet,” $3.6 million. .

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Debate over ‘The Last Exorcism’ ending

Debate over 'The Last Exorcism' ending

Some moviegoers are audibly annoyed by the horror film’s final scene. Director’s defense (spoiler alert).

Though the faux-umentary horror flick “The Last Exorcism” raked in a healthy $21 million this past weekend — landing it a hair’s breadth from winning the weekend box office — the movie seems to have royally ticked off a lot of viewers.

“Exorcism” got a strong start on Friday, but apparent toxic word of mouth led to a striking 24% drop in ticket sales by Saturday night. According to the market research firm CinemaScore, audience members gave the “The Last Exorcism” a D.

So what was the problem? Perhaps it’s the film’s jarringly abrupt ending. John Young from EW.com reported that when he saw “Exorcism,” the audience was audibly annoyed when the credits rolled, shouting profanities at the screen.

So what was it about the ending that ticked off so many people? WARNING: MASSIVE SPOILERS COMING.

The film centers on Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian), a jaded preacher who does one last exorcism for a documentary crew. The victim, Nell Sweetzer (a very limber Ashley Bell), is either actually possessed by the devil or is suffering from profound psychological issues, which, judging from her rough, remote, and rigid upbringing, wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to believe.

“Exorcism” starts to get weird during the last ten minutes when Marcus and the documentary crew returns to the Sweetzer farm unannounced. They stumble onto a sort of bizarre ceremony before a massive bonfire. It turns out that the seemingly pious Pastor Manley (Tom Bentley) is actually a Satanist. Laying in front of the congregation, Nell gives birth to a red, spikey demonic creature that the Pastor immediately pitches into the fire.

As Cotton walks towards the fire with cross in hand, the camera crew is discovered. While the producer gets axed, the cameraman, with the camera still rolling, sprints into the woods. Soon enough, however, Nell’s brother and fellow Satanist, Caleb (Caleb Landry Jones) catches and beheads him. The end.

The “Rosemary’s Baby” meets “Blair Witch” ending was so out of left field that a lot of audience members felt blindsided. Many felt that dramatic tension centering on whether Nell was possessed or just crazy imploded in the film’s final ten minutes in a shaky-cam jumble of blood and pentagrams.

“Ultimately it’s not clear what the movie wants to say about the way religious thinking makes people easy prey for hucksters and scam artists,” writes Eugene Novikov of Cinmatical. “I’m also not sure the movie ultimately makes sense.”

But where some saw muddled confusion, others saw admirable ambiguity. “The last thing ‘The Last Exorcism’ needed was a tacked-on denouement that tidied up the plot,” wrote John Young of EW.com. “I left a satisfied customer.”

The director, Daniel Stamm, is unapologetic about the untidiness of his film’s final minutes. “People found the ending too abrupt, but you can’t tie the story up neatly if your photographer is killed. If you and I walked into a devil worshiper mass, we wouldn’t know what was going on. We wouldn’t understand where to point the camera, and who the big boss is. We would never understand it. That to me is the meaning of the ending.”

Related Link: The Last Exorcism on Movies Central

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Opening This Week: Knight and Day Trailer

June Havens was just an unassuming, wholesome Midwestern gal. Then she got on the same plane as Roy Milner, international super-spy. There’s a shootout on board, and the plane has to make a crash landing. Then things really get out of control.

Agents from the government tell June that Roy has had a mental breakdown and is dangerous. His behavior makes it seem like they’re telling the truth. But as the two of them are hunted around the world, June is going to have to trust Roy if they’re going to make it out alive.

Three Good Reasons

It’s the first time that Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz have starred together on-screen since “Vanilla Sky” in 2001, but this time it’s in the sort of action-comedy-romance they’re both so great at playing…

It’s from James Mangold, the director of such acclaimed films as “Cop Land,” “Girl, Interrupted,” “Walk the Line,” and “3:10 to Yuma.”

Cruise passed up several other movies (including this summer’s “Salt”) for this one because he liked that it blended humor with action. After his gut-busting role in “Tropic Thunder,” we know he can still bring the laughs.

Related Link: Knight and Day Movie Full Production Notes

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Kristen Stewart goes “On the Road”

Kristen Stewart goes "On the Road"

Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund are walking the line of Walter Salles on the big screen adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s long awaited “On the Road”.

Filming will begin in August at $ 25 million production budget, donors Thursday. Venues production partner, Rebecca Yeldham joins French MK2 production banner that snapped the rights and produce the film in collaboration with Film 4 in the United Kingdom and video films in Brazil.

Rooms traveled through the United States in the footsteps of Kerouac to prepare for adaptation, to film a documentary about the search for “On The Road” as part of its preparation. Oscar-nominated scribe Jose Rivera (Motorcycle Diaries “) wrote the adaptation of rooms.

Stewart will play the role of Dean Moriarty incandescent woman inside and out-Marylou while Riley will star in writer Jack Kerouac’s alter ego Sal Paradise. Hedlund was cast as Dean Moriarty.

“We are extremely proud to collaborate on one last great adventure film of the 20th century to be brought to the screen,” said Nathanael Karmitz and MK2 Charles Gillibert.

Kerouac’s cult novel of youth and freedom was published in 1957 and has sold several million copies worldwide.

Related Link: On the Road Movie Full Production Notes

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‘Dragon,’ ‘Kick-Ass’ dueling for No. 1

'Dragon,' 'Kick-Ass' dueling for No. 1

There was another photo finish at the weekend boxoffice, as a leggy holdover again appeared to outpace a big wide-opener.

DreamWorks Animation’s leggy How to Train Your Dragon fetched an estimated $20 million to top preliminary domestic rankings. The Paramount-distributed 3D adventure piled cumulative coin to $158.6 million through four sessions.

Just a hair off the leader’s pace, Kick-Ass — a relatively inexpensive pickup for Lionsgate — posted a weekend opening less potent than its name yet hardly a kick in the pants for the minimajor. The well-reviewed romp about a band of not-very-super superheroes rung up $19.8 million, landing on the lower end of pre-release expectations.

The No. 1 and 2 positions could change Monday, depending on final data from distributors. Another wide-opener — Sony Screen Gem’s R-rated comedy Death at a Funeral,” with Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence — settled for fourth place with $17 million.

More positively, Fox’s PG-13 comedy Date Night starring Steve Carell and Tina Fey, used a tiny 31% drop from its week-earlier bow to ring up $17.3 million and grab third place in its sophomore session, and a $49.2 million cume. Warner Bros.’ 3D action fantasy Clash of the Titans — which overtook Date Night for No. 1 in the prior weekend’s race to the wire — finished fifth in its third frame with $15.8 million and a $133 million cume.

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