Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Johannesburg, September 29th, 2009:- The untimely death of Patrick Swayze has strengthened the resolve of many to continue the fight against cancer, and for Nu Metro Cinemas this means an inspired Girls’ Night Out with the theme 'Dirty Dancing' in honour of Swayze’s brave battle with the disease.

To assist the Cancer Association of South Africa in its work, Nu Metro will donate all proceeds to the association. “We salute the brave fight that Patrick fought as a cancer survivor. He reminds us all of the need to educate the public of the importance of early cancer detection and treatment, which is vital to prevent unnecessary deaths from this disease”, says Lucy Balona, CANSA’s Head of Marketing and Communication.

By taking part in the Girls’ Night Out, ladies can assist CANSA to continue to provide essential services to meet the needs of individuals and families facing one of the most difficult experiences of their lives.

Girls' Night Out (ladies only) will take place at Nu Metro Bedfordview, Canal Walk, Clearwater Mall, Loch Logan, Menlyn Park, Montecasino, Mountain Mill, N1 City, The Pavilion, Riverside, The Glen, V&A Waterfront and Walmer Park at 8:00pm on Thursday, 8 October. Mark Harris, Nu Metro Cinemas Content and Marketing Head, confirmed that all proceeds will be donated to CANSA.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Batman: Arkham Asylum Ships 2.5 Million

PC Version and DLC Now Available

Tuesday 22nd September 2009: - Eidos Interactive Ltd, creator of some of the world’s leading videogame properties, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, today announced that the number-one selling Batman: Arkham Asylum™, firmly established as the ‘must-have’ game of Summer 2009 has shipped in excess of 2.5 million units to retail since launch.

With numerous ‘Game of the Month’ and ‘Editor’s Choice’ awards throughout the world and a MetaCritic score in the 90s, the game has met with critical acclaim in the media, earning a Guinness World Record for ‘Most Critically Acclaimed Superhero Game Ever’. The Games for Windows® LIVE version launched last week in the US and Europe and the first downloadable content (DLC) went live last week, with additional DLC still to come.

“Batman: Arkham Asylum is one of the stand-out games this year,” said Phil Rogers, CEO of Eidos. “I’ve been following the great reviews and consumer blogs and I’m delighted that gamers everywhere love playing this game as much as we do.”

“The tremendous critical and commercial success of Batman: Arkham Asylum sets a new benchmark for superhero games,” said Martin Tremblay, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “Rocksteady Studios created an excellent game and the sales numbers demonstrate how a powerful franchise fused with high-quality production resonates with consumers.”

In Batman: Arkham Asylum, developed by London-based Rocksteady Studios, BATMAN finds himself trapped inside the confines of Gotham’s psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane, ARKHAM ASYLUM. THE JOKER has set a trap for the DARK KNIGHT and has conspired with the deranged inmates to eliminate Batman once and for all. Adding to the authenticity of the game are veteran animated Batman voice talents Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy, who reprise their roles as The Joker and Batman respectively.

Batman: Arkham Asylum features an original story by Paul Dini, Batman writer and five-time Emmy Award-winner whose credits include Lost and Batman: The Animated Series. Gamers will move in the shadows, instill fear amongst their enemies and confront The Joker and Gotham City's most notorious villains, including HARLEY QUINN, BANE, KILLER CROC, POISON IVY and SCARECROW, who have taken over the asylum.

Batman: Arkham Asylum is available now on Xbox 360 and PlayStation3 and Games for Windows® LIVE and is distributed in South Africa by Nu Metro Interactive. For more information on the game, visit the official website at www.BatmanArkhamAsylum.com.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Screenplays for You - free movie scripts and screenplays [learn to write a screenplay]

SHOOT: This is a great resource for reading some of the best screenplays in the business - how they were done, the standards of writing, techniques etc.

At the link below is an alphabetised list of screenplays, with a short clip of one my favorites: ALIENS, by James Cameron.
clipped from sfy.ru
Aliens (1986)
by James Cameron.
First draft. May 28, 1985.
Silent and endless. The stars shine like the love of
God...cold and remote. Against them drifts a tiny chip
of technology.
CLOSER SHOT It is the NARCISSUS, lifeboat of the
ill-fated star-freighter Nostromo. Without interior
or running lights it seems devoid of life. The PING
of a RANGING RADAR grows louder, closer. A shadow
engulfs the Narcissus. Searchlights flash on, playing
over the tiny ship, as a MASSIVE DARK HULL descends
toward it.
Dark and dormant as a crypt. The searchlights stream
in the dusty windows. Outside, massive metal forms can
BE SEEN descending around the shuttle. Like the tolling
of a bell, a BASSO PROFUNDO CLANG reverberates through
the hull.

CLOSE ON THE AIRLOCK DOOR Light glares as a cutting
torch bursts through the metal. Sparks shower into the
FIGURES ENTER, backlit and ominous. THREE MEN in
bio-isolation suits, carrying lights and equipment.
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The 'ALIENS' Metaphor

Ripley: You know, Burke, I don't know which species is worse. You don't see them fucking each other over for a goddamn percentage.

I recently watched the 1986 James Cameron flick, ALIENS, for possibly the 30th time. It's perhaps not entirely accurate to say that ALIENS is my favorite film, in the sense of enjoying it. I'm not sure it is enjoyable as much as it is compelling, grim, brutal and ultimately, realistic. Because James Cameron was behind it, it has that practical mechanical dynamic that distinguishes all his films - remember The Abyss, Terminator, Titanic, and soon, AVATAR. All Cameron's flicks, at some point, involve machine tech. But he also tells a damn good story about what happens to people who misunderstand, or make arrogant assumptions, at the helm of some of these machines. That is what is compelling.

Burke: [Talking about the facehuggers] Those specimens, are worth millions to the bio-weapons corporation. If you're smart, we can both come out of it as heroes and we'll be set up for life.

One of the main themes in ALIENS is that of the corrupt and greedy CORPORATION, which is referred to time and again as 'The Company'. If you think the idea of the corrupt and greedy corporation is a cliche, you might want to catch the latest news on real world companies like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, AIG - in fact any fairly large company with shareholders and a stated strategy to turn a profit.

Another theme in ALIENS is hubris, and arrogance. Almost everyone is overtaken by this, rather than its opposite: modesty, humility, respect and caution. Both the Corporation and it's pawn, the expendable military, fall victim to arrogance, and the driver of this arrogance is one simple thing. Greed. Ring a bell? The pursuit of that greed, and the enslavement, the effective transformation of human beings into utilitarians - objects geared toward a specific means, a means toward a specific end - is horrifying to behold.

In ALIENS, one of the earlier scenes shows Ripley [Sigourney Weaver] hauled in front of a company tribunal, chaired by Van Leeuwen. He says: "You freely admit to detonating the engines of and thereby destroying an M-Class star-freighter. A rather expensive piece of hardware...
INSURANCE INVESTIGATOR: Forty-two million in adjusted dollars. That's minus payload, of course.
The result of the hearing is that she - Ripley - is stripped of her rank, and ordered to undergo psyche evaluations for six months. Quite a reward for surviving the 57 years in hypersleep. Of course the COMPANY doesn't care about anything other than their bottom line; which was why Ripley was re-instated [they suspected, after all, that what she said was true].

Burke, the loyal company man introduces himself in the beginning as:

Burke: I'm Burke. Carter Burke. I work for the company. But don't let that fool you, I'm really an okay guy.

When the alien shit is hitting the fan, and the colony has been devastated, the military unit half killed, and their survival up for grabs, and Ripley and Newt just having survived Burkes attempt to have them 'infected' with an alien, Ripley confronts Burke [who is trying to get Ripley to play along and take a bribe] as follows:

Ripley: They "will" know about it, Burke, from me. Like they'll know that you are responsible for the deaths of 158 colonists here.
Burke: You're wrong.
Ripley: I just read the colony log. Dated 0-6-1-2-7-9 signed Burke Carter J. You sent them to that ship and you didn't warn them. Why didn't you warn them, Burke?
Burke: Okay. What if that ship didn't even exist, huh didn't you ever think about that? I didn't know. I went in and made a major security issue out of it, and everybody steps in, and the Administrator steps in., and I made a decision and it was a bad call, Ripley, it was a bad call.
Ripley: Bad call?
[Grabs Burke by his vest]
Ripley: These people are dead Burke! Don't you have any idea what you have done here? I 'm gonna make sure they nail you right to the wall for this, you're not gonna sleaze your way out of this one. Right to the wall.
Burke: You know Ripley, I was hoping that you would be smarter than this.
Ripley: I'm happy to disappoint you.

The result of all the shenanigans and backstabs is that 3 humans beings survive, and a synthetic human that is dismembered. The 3 human survivors are a little girl - Newt - Ripley, who has a strong maternal instinct to save her [in contrast to the ALIENS' maternal hive instincts] and an injured Corporal Hicks. No company interests essentially survive, except their dismembered synthetic and the injured Hicks. Ironically, Ripley is instrumental in trying to protect the facility but an explosion in the facility sets off a nuclear meltdown.

It is interesting to contrast the ALIENS voracious habits with the human beings equally voracious greed. Both species demonstrate a willingness to sacrifice their own kind towards a higher/darker motive. For the ALIENS it is survival, for the humans it is greed, use in bioweapons. Both species intend on a parasitic relationship in terms of the other, which echoes the CORPORATIONS intentions for its drones.

Perhaps the most darkly fascinating aspect of ALIENS, and also each permutation of it, is the instrumental use of REALITY. In each instalment, Ripley is the agent of REALITY, calmly, quietly informing her minders of the terrors in store. Naturally she is laughed at, vilified, comforted, or mocked:

Vasquez: Hey, Mira. Who's Snow White?
Ferro: She's supposed to be some kinda consultant. Apparently she saw an alien once.
Hudson: Whoopee-fuckin'-do. Hey, I'm impressed.

It is the reluctance, which stems from the companies arrogance, and the companies top men, to either accept or to fully realise [that is acknowledge or communicate] the reality of the situation that creates a systemic collapse in each scenario. Part of this reluctance is based, once again, on the greed motive. If the community operating in the companies interest, can be kept in the dark about the truth nature of things, the company stands to profit. The profit motive emerges as more important than any number of human lives. Everything is expendable and secondary to the profit motive. In every permutation, I reiterate, there is a systemic collapse, an almost complete loss of company interests. This is because profits are based on human enterprise,and though you cannot sell human beings for money [conventionally at least] human beings are instrumental in making money. Thus valuing human beings is part of sustaining a revenue stream, counterintuitive as it may be to some companies.

For those human beings in the front lines of the world, whether following company orders or at the mercy of them, it can be a horrible thing to witness.

Hudson: Oh dear Lord Jesus, this ain't happening, man... This can't be happening, man! This isn't happening!

What is happening, now, in the real world of 2009:
- a world swine flu pandemic
- global financial collapse
- energy crunch
- growing levels of crime, hunger, disorder
- overpopulation
- system collapse [one or a number of crisis which may or may not include nuclear holocaust, climate chaos, war etc].

What is behind this? And what is driving it forward? The Company. And greed. What is the release, the answer, the solution, salvation from this? Simple. Reality.

Monday, September 14, 2009

UP Movie Review

How does Pixar continue to do it? 'It' being put out quality films that spring from simple, straightforward stories that are designed to engage all age groups, aren't offensive, are entertaining, gorgeous to behold, and don't disappear from your memory 10 minutes after you exit the theater. With each new release Pixar manages to best itself even when it seems doing so would be an impossibility. Pixar's ninth film, WALL-E, set the bar high but somehow, someway, Up manages to top it - a task I personally never thought they'd be able to accomplish.

SHOOT: I'm not sure if UP beats Wall-E but it's a damn fine film. My score: 8/10
clipped from movies.about.com
What can be said of Pixar's animation that hasn't already been said time and time again? It's dazzling, simply stunning to take in, and so incredibly beautiful you forget you're watching an animated film and instead just lose yourself in an amazing adventure. From dog hair to bird feathers to the humans in Up to the 10,000 balloons that hold up Carl's home, Up animators have surprised us once again by surpassing the quality and beauty of every previous Pixar film. And let's face it, Pixar is the standard bearer for this medium. They do it better than every other studio out there, and that's because they never sacrifice character development for cute/fancy animated tricks. They don't play down to kids, they don't take shortcuts in plot development, and they are able to get you emotionally involved and invested in animated characters in a way their competitors have never been able to duplicate.
Up is storytelling at its best.
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Daily Dose of Reality

SHOOT: Love this
clipped from www.explosm.net
Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
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LG Mobile and Nu Metro Cinemas present DANCE 2 FAME!

Johannesburg, September 10th, 2009:- To celebrate the inspiration and excitement behind the launch of the latest movie FAME at all Nu Metro Cinemas, LG Mobile and Nu Metro Cinemas present a once in a life time chance to DANCE 2 FAME from Wednesday the 23rd of September! The winners will have the distinction of being known as a member of SA’s Best Dance Crew as well as winning a share of over R100 000 worth of prizes and a chance to dance in the next JAMALI music video.

Auditions will take place around the country on the below dates:
Pretoria Nu Metro Menlyn Park 26th September 08h00 -17h00
Cape Town Nu Metro Canal Walk 28th September 08h00 -17h00
Durban Nu Metro Pavilion 30th September 08h00 -17h00
Johannesburg Nu Metro Montecasino 03rd October 08h00 -17h00

“At each audition we’re looking for the best dance crew and/or six of the best dancers to make up the best regional dance crew in each city. Once the six members are found, they will go into an intensive rehearsal to feature in the latest JAMALI single” says Mark Harris, Content and Marketing Head for Nu Metro Cinemas.

“A series of ten tightly produced four minutes stories will be broadcast throughout all Nu Metro Cinemas nationwide during the month of October and November. Then Nu Metro movie goers will make history as they become the voting judges to determine which dance crew will become the winners. The ultimate dance crew will then be featured in JAMALI’s music video for their latest single release” adds Harris.

One of South Africa’s leading singers and dancers, Kurt Herman, will choreograph the Dance2Fame promotion along with Jamali. Kurt was in the first winning POPSTARS group 101 and has gone on to become one of South Africa’s leading singers and dancers. With countless shows to his name, he now wants to help find SA’s Best Dance Crew – and wants contestants to bring it on!

The public can follow all the action on the web starting today by visiting www.dance2fame.co.za. This website will also feature live registrations and tips for the DANCE 2 FAME auditions and after each episode, browsers can go online to cast their vote for their favourite dance crew. They can also check out extra coverage, including rehearsal updates, injury reports and exclusive backstage interviews. Plus they can chat with other fans about which crew's moves are totally hot and which ones are totally not...

The headline sponsor - LG Mobile, will be launching their latest and hottest youth cell phone later this year, known as the LG GW300. With a physical QWERTY keypad and sleek design, it is a feature phone that is focused on social networking as it has a Facebook client that makes it easy for users to stay connected to friends and family. Other features include a 2 megapixel camera, SMS/MMS and stereo Bluetooth. The handset is also an MP3 player and FM Radio.

Nu Metro Cinemas – MORE entertaining….

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"The Hobbit" hobbled by Tolkien lawsuit, now ready to fly

"I cannot imagine how on earth New Line will argue to a jury that these films could gross literally billions of dollars, and yet the creator's heirs, who are entitled to a share of gross receipts, don't get a penny," lawyer Bonnie Eskenazi said in a statement at the time.

Lawyers had been seeking 150 million dollars in compensatory damages, punitive damages and the right to strip New Line of its right to make any further films based on Tolkien's work, including the "The Hobbit."

SHOOT: Lookin' forward to it...
clipped from news.yahoo.com
Tolkien estate settles 'Lord of the Rings' wrangle

The estate of fantasy writer J.R.R Tolkien has reached a settlement with the studio behind the "Lord of the Rings" movies after alleging it had not received "even one penny" of royalties from the trilogy of money-spinning films, officials said Tuesday.

Tolkien said he and other trustees "regret that legal action was necessary, but are glad that this dispute has been settled on satisfactory terms that will allow the Tolkien Trust properly to pursue its charitable objectives."

"The trustees acknowledge that New Line may now proceed with its proposed films of 'The Hobbit,'" Tolkien said in a statement.

"We deeply value the contributions of the Tolkien novels to the success of our films and are pleased to have put this litigation behind us," Horn said. "We all look forward to a mutually productive and beneficial relationship in the future."

The three films have grossed around three billion dollars at the worldwide box office.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

The question remains: will Capitalism: A Love Story rouse the rabble to revolt?

Or will audiences sit appreciatively through the movie, then go home and play the cat-in-the-toilet video? The movie is not opera so much as impassioned journalism — a broadside fired at the good ship Free Enterprise, with the hope of altering its course, and dislodging the pirates who have seized it.

SHOOT: Increasingly I am of the opinion that was is needed is nothing short of a revolution. Taking back the law, the government and making business a public service that profits all, not just business.
clipped from www.time.com
Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story
In many ways, though, this is Moore's magnum opus: the grandest statement of his career-long belief that big business is screwing the hard-working little guy while government connives in the atrocity.
As he loudly tried to confront General Motors CEO Roger Smith in Roger & Me in 1989, and pleaded through a bull horn to get officials at Guantanamo to give medical treatment to surviving victims of 9/11, so in Capitalism he attempts to make a citizen's arrest of AIG executives, and puts tape around the New York Stock Exchange building, declaring it a crime scene.
In an episode that might have come from a Dickens novel, Moore tells of two Pa. judges who shut down a state-run detention center and sentenced children, some for the most minor of infractions, to a facility run by a private company that kicked back millions to the judges.
At the end Moore says, "I refuse to live in a country like this — and I'm not leaving."
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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Is District 9 Racist?

SHOOT: No, but it's about racism, and handled quite cleverly I must say.

Other commentators said the film possessed an Anglo-liberalism with its vague support of tolerance and its patronising, colonial racism, “Under the liberal viewpoint, Wikus is a racist because he's stupid and doesn't know better. Yet this same viewpoint engages in a more complex and fetishistic disavowal of racism. Instead of 'my culture is better than yours', reflexive racism argues 'your culture is different to mine'. This idea of 'tolerance' allows us to publicly believe that all cultures are equal, but still act as if ours was superior.” To take a peek at the rather pedantic debate you can go to: http://daveguzman.blogspot.com/2009/08/is-district-9-racist.html

South African critics were no different in their praise for the film with influential commentator Barry Ronge writing, “it is a true landmark in the history of South African film.” Virtually across the board, including newspapers like The Sowetan and City Press, the film was heaped with praise. The only slightly sour note came from Sibusiso Mkwanazi of The Citizen who thought the film performed poorly as a thriller concluding that “District 9 is rather like olives. You will either think it is the best thing ever or you will hate it and demand your money back.”

Despite the critical applause the film has sparked some debate and several critics, bloggers and opinion makers have expressed immense unease at what they think is extreme racism related to the film’s thematic echoes of apartheid and xenophobia. Google ‘District 9 racist’ and you’ll see how this discussion about the movie is taking off, with good people finding themselves on opposite sides of the arguments.
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