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Our Top Picks for movies to close out the summer and bring on the fall.

Elysium

Released: 8/9/13

‎1hr 49min‎‎ - Rated R‎‎ - Action/Adventure‎
Director: Neill Blomkamp - Cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, Diego Luna

In the year 2154, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. The people of Earth are desperate to escape the planet's crime and poverty, and they critically need the more »state-of-the-art medical care available on Elysium - but some in Elysium will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve their citizens' luxurious lifestyle. The only man with the chance to bring equality to these worlds is Max, an ordinary guy in desperate need to get to Elysium. With his life hanging in the balance, he reluctantly takes on a dangerous mission - one that pits him against Elysium's Secretary Delacourt and her hard-line forces - but if he succeeds, he could save not only his own life, but millions of people on Earth as well.


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Lovelace

Released: 8/9/13

‎1hr 32min‎‎ - Rated R‎‎ - Drama‎
Director: Jeffrey Friedman - Cast: Amanda Seyfried, James Franco, Wes Bentley, Chloë Sevigny, Juno Temple

In 1972-before the internet, before the porn explosion-Deep Throat was a phenomenon: the first scripted pornographic theatrical feature film, featuring a story, some jokes, and an unknown and unlikely star, Linda Lovelace. Escaping a strict religious family, Linda discovered freedom and the high more »-life when she fell for and married charismatic hustler Chuck Traynor. As Linda Lovelace she became an international sensation-less centerfold fantasy than a charming girl-next-door with an impressive capacity for fellatio. Fully inhabiting her new identity, Linda became an enthusiastic spokesperson for sexual freedom and uninhibited hedonism. Six years later she presented another, utterly contradictory, narrative to the world-and herself as the survivor of a far darker story.


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Kick-ass 2

Released: 8/16/13

‎1hr 43min‎‎ - Rated R‎‎ - Action/Adventure/Comedy‎
Director: Jeff Wadlow - Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, John Leguizamo, Donald Faison

When we last saw junior assassin Hit Girl and young vigilante Kick-Ass, they were trying to live as normal teenagers Mindy and Dave. With graduation looming and uncertain what to do, Dave decides to start the world's first superhero team with Mindy. Unfortunately, when Mindy is busted for more »sneaking out as Hit Girl, she's forced to retire - leaving her to navigate the terrifying world of high-school mean girls on her own. With no one left to turn to, Dave joins forces with Justice Forever, run by a born-again ex-mobster named Colonel Stars and Stripes. Just as they start to make a real difference on the streets, the world's first super villain assembles his own evil league and puts a plan in motion to make Kick-Ass and Hit Girl pay for what they did to his dad. But there's only one problem with his scheme: If you mess with one member of Justice Forever, you mess with them all.


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Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Released: 8/16/13

‎2hr 12min‎‎ - Rated PG-13‎‎ - Drama‎
Director: Lee Daniels - Cast: Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, John Cusack, Jane Fonda

This film tells the story of a White House butler who served eight American presidents over three decades. The film traces the dramatic changes that swept American society during this time, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man's life and family.


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Riddick, Rule the Dark

Released: September 2013

Left for dead on a sun-scorched planet, Riddick finds himself up against an alien race of predators. Activating an emergency beacon alerts two ships: one carrying a new breed of mercenary, the other captained by a man from Riddick's past.


 

Harry Potter Trailers (All Eight) - by Alex Todd

Trailers:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - 0:04
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - 2:31
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - 5:43
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - 6:37
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - 8:58
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - 11:09
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 - 13:33
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 - 15:59
 
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I had always wondered about the contrasting relationship between Harry Potter and Professor Snape. One could never tell if Snape hated Harry just because of his lineage, or because he possessed his mother’s eyes.

And what was the nature of Snape’s relationship with Lily Potter? One would have thought they were best friends, but how could Snape expect to have kept that friendship alive with his deteriorating attitude and his dwelling into the dark arts?

As readers delve into the seven novels outlining the story of Harry Potter and his quest to find his past and destroy Lord Voldemort, we also find ourselves being shown a more dynamic picture of how it all began.  At first we are all given sight into the prophecy unknowingly given by Professor Trelawney and overheard by Snape who then brandished this information to Lord Voldemort. But Snape had not heard the entire prophecy and thus his error led to the killing of Lily Potter and her husband James whom Snape despised.

Now there are many speculations into why Snape had done this. Into Why Lord Voldemort had chosen to go after Harry instead of Neville Longbottom who was also born around the same time and could have also been the “chosen one”.

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I however thought that maybe, given the fact that Snape loved Lily Potter in a more obsessive way, that he would have told Lord Voldemort it was in fact Harry Potter the prophecy foretold about in order to rid the world of James Potter and Harry so that he alone could comfort Lily and she may very well fall for him instead.

The obsession Snape had with Lily was not only uncomfortable but fatally fanatic. He never read the signs in all his years of knowing Lily that she would despise anyone who delved into the dark arts. He never took her kind and delicate nature into consideration, only seeing what he himself wanted to see. His obsession soon became emotionally battering as his jealousy of James Potter turned him against Lily. So one, seeing as how he always reacted when James was around, could conclude that with the announcement of their marriage and having bore James’s son, Snape would seek revenge not only on James Potter, his son Harry, but Lily as well.

Could Snape, in such an obsessive rage have set up his beloved in a moment of fury as he had once done when he called her a Mudblood? Had he told Lord Voldemort about Harry in his peak of rage, and then felt terribly guilty later about what he had done?

But then Snape turned a new leaf. Upon the death of his beloved Lily, he promised Dumbledore he would help protect Harry should Lord Voldemort rise again. But that promise didn’t stop Snape from making every moment spent in Harry’s company a pleasant occurrence. In fact, Snape made a point to bully Harry, encouraging Harry to snap back in order to give him detention or remove points from the Gryffindor house.

So how could one truly believe that Snape had anything but hate towards Harry Potter?

There were so many contradicting instances where the reader, had they not paid close attention, could undoubtedly become confused.

Snape hated Harry but kept a close eye on Professor Quirrell in the “sorcerer’s Stone” at the bequest of Dumbledore. Snape trained Harry with Occlumency, a strengthening of the mind in order to keep Lord Voldemort out, at the instructions of Dumbledore. Yet during each lesson, he disdainfully chastised Harry so much the boy nearly broke. It was Snape who made sure Harry could retrieve the sword of Gryffindor, it was Snape who worked as a double agent between Lord Voldemort and Dumbledore & the order of the phoenix in order to  help the order stay one step ahead of Voldemort, and to keep Snape as his most informative so as not to suspect fraud.

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And when Voldemort killed Snape, in his last moments of life, he made sure he gave Harry his memories in order to give him the last message from Dumbledore that would end Lord Voldemort.

Even as we looked into Snape’s memories, we found that he had a peculiar way of showing his feelings. So much so that readers have to decide for them selves if they believe Snape really cared for Lily and that her death had really destroyed his resolve to entertain dark magic.

We follow Snape as he relives the reasons for his hatred of James Potter a man that bullied him and stole the love of his life. We find that Snape, so much like Voldemort, blamed others for his misfortune instead of looking at the clear picture in front of them.

Snape, being that he had known Lily the longest, had ample opportunity to show his care of her. He knew her better than Potter and yet he chose to explore the dark arts, chose to become a death eater, chose to work alongside the Dark Lord instead of following a better path with the love of his life.

One can only speculate if Snape somehow had the ambition to be an evil ruler himself, as he named himself the half-blood Prince. I had no doubt it wasn’t just his lineage that brought on this name. He must have had ambitions to conquer the magic & muggle world.

He should have known that walking this path would put off Lily so much so that the bullying from James Potter and his friends seemed innocent at best.  Why then, didn’t Snape prove his love? Why didn’t he do more than stand outside the Gryffindor Portrait hole refusing to leave? He should have done more than say “sorry”.

Instead at the breaking of their friendship, he delved more into the dark arts. And from there the history of his misdeeds continued. Until that is, he became the sole source of information that caused the death of the woman he so called loved.

This also led me to wonder, if the horrible way in which Snape died, was poetic justice for his misdeeds throughout his life. It also puzzled me, if the manner of his death was the reason Harry so quickly forgave him.

After all the way in which we followed Snape throughout the series was a little misleading. He was almost like two personalities; struggling with his grief while being more humbled, and the wicked Snape we knew from the beginning; a bully, a liar and a conniving miscreant.

While this behavior can be justified, he was in fact working against Voldemort, I still wonder if he had really changed. Had he really somewhere in his duty to watch over Potter, began to love the boy as if he was his own? Had he cared? Had the purity of his acts of good finally broken through to him and he changed for good?

One can only Ponder the musings of Severus Snape a man who once coveted the dark arts like a blanket, but loved to a point of obsession a woman so far out of his reach it was devastating.  And one must wonder, had Snape not been the one to tell Lord Voldemort about the prophecy setting off a chain of events leading up to the death of Lily Potter, if he would eventually have changed his ways for the better.

I would like to hope so.


 

Harry Potter Trailers (All Eight)

Molly Weasley vs Bellatrix Lestrange

Harry Potter VS Lord Voldemort - Final Battle Hogwarts courtyard

 
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In detail:

I love the lead in for the novel. J. K. Rowling starts the story simplistically with a cat with marking upon her face, sitting on Privet Drive waiting for what, the reader at first did not know. Only to be submerged in a first bit of magic as Dumbledore, one of the most powerful wizards in his time, greets this mysterious cat after extinguishing all the lights on the street.

They wait…and for what the reader is grasping on the edge of their seat to know. Why is the mysterious cat that sat for days upon days without so much as blinking suddenly changing into a well seasoned witch, approaching the wizard Dumbledore with odd questions about a family and their whereabouts?

We soon find out, that Harry Potter has lost both of his parents, orphaned by a magically devious man who shall not be named, and whisked away into the night to safety where he is left on the doorstep of his estranged Aunt’s door.

This opening while satisfying and very well detailed reminded me of many stories along the lines of orphans from Annie to Oliver Twist, where children are fragile and frail left to their own vises in a cruel, cruel world.

Later we visit Harry as he is older, a scraggly unkempt and unwanted house guest living in a cupboard below the stairs of the Dursley’s house as they treat him like dirt beneath their fingers. They barely feed him, work him to the bone and chastise him on a regular, even going to such lengths to ignore the bullying their own son does to poor Harry.

As eloquently as this story is written, this reminded me of Cinderella, a girl beaten down by life and family forced to work for them like a servant. Criticized and ridiculed until finally she is able to run free. This can be said too for Harry Potter as he gets his chance at freedom when an Owl Post comes for him with his acceptance to Hogwarts a school for witches and wizards.

Though the road to getting to school was not that simple, His Uncle Vernon Dursley tried desperately to keep that lifestyle from him. Vernon as well as Petunia his Aunt didn’t want Harry to know he had wizards blood flowing through his veins, they didn’t even want to hear the word Magic.


So as the letters announcing Harry’s acceptance into the school began to flow in, the Dursley’s left finding places to hide only to be followed by the letters. Eventually Harry gets his letter and is rescued by Rubeus Hagrid, the same man who rescued him from the empty shell of what was left of his home when his parents were killed.

Hagrid takes Harry under his wing and helps him prepare for school. He promises to see Harry soon, a boy who is now overly ecstatic to be breaking away from his terrible family.

Throughout the novel we are introduced to the many main characters of the Harry Potter Series.

Draco Malfoy- from a pure bred wizarding family that mostly practices the dark arts and was in league with the dark lord when he was in power. Draco becomes one of Harry’s enemies inside the Hogwarts school.

Hermione Granger- one of Harry’s best friends who at first can be seen as obnoxious and bossy.

Ron Weasley- comes from a poor pur blood wizarding family and is Harry’s best friend

Fred & George Weasley- mischievous twins

Severus Snape-a professor at Hogwarts who hates Harry for unknown reasons.

Neville Longbottom- Who I must say had more of a presence in the books than he did in the movies.

As well as many others. And as we get to know these characters we also get a first year’s course on Magic as Harry takes his. We experience Harry’s first broom ride, and his first taste of fame which leads up back to the core of the story.

Harry Potter known as the boy who lived despite being cast with a very deadly curse Avada Kedavra, had no knowledge of the events that transpired around his parents death. He now knew that they hadn’t died from a car crash as his Aunt and Uncle had told him growing up, but that Lord Voldemort a Dark sorcerer had killed them…killed them trying to get close enough to Harry, who had been no more than a year old then, but the curse backfired and instead destroyed Lord Voldemort. A name no witch or wizard dare speak out loud in case it would conjure him.

Harry was never used to so much attention. He was used to being ridiculed, verbally abused and forced into punishment. He was not used to cheers of encouragement or everybody knowing his name.

The tales of how he lived was told even before he knew his own past. And with positivity in the wings, one must know there is always negativity. Draco Malfoy along with his crew Crabe and Goyle make Harry’s life at Hogwarts very difficult. There is also Professor Snape who seems to despise Harry for reasons unknown.

Not to mention the mysterious happenings on school grounds as a troll finds its way into the castle on Halloween. A mysterious beast guarding a trap door down the third floor corridor, and a stuttering Professor who can’t stand the touch of Harry. Yes, very mysterious indeed. Until we learn of the unique quality of power the Sorcerer’s stone possesses, and Lord Voldermort’s plot to steal it in order to regain his strength as well as immortality.

But who could be Aiding Lord Voldemort the dark lord that everyone had thought to be dead?

Find out by reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and seeing the coinciding movie. Both I know you will love as the book may be more detailed, but the Movie is an adventurous endeavor I can say will tickle the eyes and senses.

Follow DWED as we showcase the Harry Potter series both books and movies throughout the month of May. Also stay tuned…we dare to have a giveaway! One you won’t want to miss!!!

 
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Released- August 13th 2004

Main Characters-

Sanaa Lathan- Alexa Woods

Raoul Bova- Sabastian de Rosa

Lance Henriksen- Charles Weyland

Plot- During an archaeological expedition on Bouvetøya Island in Antarctica, a team of archaeologists and other scientists find themselves caught up in a battle between the two legends. Soon, the team realizes that only one species can win.

This movie was in my opinion better than Freddie vs Jason. The two most complex and highly dangerous killing machines face off and human’s are the key to ensuring the battle can begin.

The storyline was a little shaky…Predators came to earth thousands of years ago teaching Man how to build and sustain, using these humans as sacrifices to breed their enemy- the Alien’s and fight to the death.  It put me in the mind of how does it all fit? In the original Predator movie, it didn’t start out like this and the Predator was running around killing people. I still have yet to grasp on to why the Alien’s need humans to breed them. It doesn’t make sense. How can their race sustain if they need a human body to breed their babies? But whatever works on scaring the crap out of people. It still made for an intriguing and fun movie to watch.

The graphics were sick (amazing). I often wondered throughout the view, how the costumes for both Alien and Predator was made, how the scripted fight scenes are tidied up with technology and who the heck thinks up these disgusting disguises that look so real and menacing.

Sanaa Lathan who played Alexa Woods, was on her game as the leading female. Her character served as a guide to safely get construction workers through the icy peril of Antarctica to where a mythical pyramid lay in wait, a highly prestigious archeological find. The site turned out to be the amphitheatre for the killing game between Alien’s and Predators.

Raoul Bova who played Sabastian de Rosa, was a dedicated Archeologist enlisted to help with his vast knowledge of the Mayan and Aztec cultures in order to help with the infiltration of the Pyramid and its treasures.

Lance Henriksen played Charles Weyland, a sick business tycoon who funded as well as attended the perilous trek to the dig site and its pursuers. He made you hate him all the while evoking a sense of pity at his declining health.

Each character in the movie was well scripted and acted. I connected throughout the entire movie and had to watch it again. It was just that good despite the plot flaws and lack of sense.

Great movie to see for a date.


 
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Release date: 6/1/2012

Main Characters:

Snow White- Kristen Stewart

Evil Queen- Charlize Theron

Huntsman- Chris Hemsworth

Plot- The storyline is generalized with the original story of Snow White but with a twist. Snow White’s father is murdered by his new Queen Raveena who has an abundance of dark power from a spell cast on her by her late mother. Her undoing will be devised by fair blood which is ultimately Snow White played by “Twilight’s” star Kristen Stewart.


Rating-
*** 3 stars

My Thoughts:

I loved the graphics, the plot and the characters all believable except one. While I have followed Kristen Stewart’s career like all ‘Twilight” fans I felt a bit incomplete. Here is a list of reasons;

- The accent used should have been English, but she fell too short. You could tell it wasn’t her strong suite and it left my ears straining. At times she lost it.

- Her acting was sometimes unbelievable. I felt like I couldn’t connect with her in the role like one should have. In order for acting to be believable and for the audience to connect and love the character, the actor or actress has to be believable. Kristen fell short.

-There was a point in the movie where Snow White was ensconced in a world of beautiful nature. Everything around her had been sweet like nectar, but Kristen’s eyes didn’t capture it nor did she give off the feeling of true beauty.

-sometimes I felt like she was more conscious of how she looked than her acting. She was trying to be sexy…too sexy and I felt like the Character Snow White should not have any sense to act this way. Is she is fair blood, innocent and all of that, why is Kristen swishing her hips or giving come hither looks? Why is she showing off soft curves with a hint of skin over her shoulders? Why is she flirting?

Now I am not trying to bash Kristen Stewart at all. I am a fan. However, I just felt like this was a role she should have passed over or even gone that extra mile to be believable. It was very disappointing for me.

But Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron played the “Hell” out of their roles. I loved them from start to finish. Was even a little scared of Charlize for a second or two. She was that passionate about her role as the evil queen. Her accent was dead on, her skills were superb. Chris made me love him with his open broken ways, his passion for saving Snow White, his anger for losing his beloved. All other characters played so perfectly that it overshadowed Kristen’s flump.

If you have yet to see the movie, I suggest you do. If fantasy is your Forte, you will enjoy this movie.