France

Magic In The Moonlight Review

Wei Ling Soo, (real name Stanley Crawford) renowned magician and exposer of fake mediums and scam artists, is summoned to the south of France by an old school friend and fellow magician to reveal and expose Sophie Baker who is conning a wealthy American family.

An eccentric misanthrope who believes firmly in science and not spirituality, Colin Firth’s resolve is tested when he encounters a talented medium, played by Emma Stone. If there is a trick being played, will he find out and if not, how will that affect his own beliefs and existence?

There’s never any trepidation when it comes to a new Woody Allen and always a pleasure to see what he’ll give you next. Sure, some work better than others, but as I said to my friend, I’m pretty sure the scores for his films range _DSF0273.RAFbetween 62% and 89% so it’s all pretty decent.

There is much to like about this film, including British actors and the lead Colin Firth, playing a role that reminded me of myself. However, the main acting action is between Firth and Emma Stone. It is also a pleasure to watch a film that is not laced with cut after cut and so allows the viewer to enjoy the scenes, setting and photography.

The south of France is made to look lovely, without being the outright focus (see Midnight in Paris for a love letter to a location). It’s a wonderful journey that our magician goes on. The stuffy, cynical, sceptical expert is full of pithy put-downs and is firm in his beliefs that there is no meta-physical, there is no spiritual side. But once Sophie has him convinced otherwise his outlook changes permanently – opening-up to the beauty of the natural world and Sophie’s own beauty. In many ways this is familiar story – e.g. Along Came Polly – with a pretty woman making the man see the error of his unromantic, awkward ways and open his eyes to something new.

I had a lot of time for Colin Firth and it felt at times it was almost only his movie, as there was very little from the supporting cast. But what of Emma Stone and her lovely red hair? Her appearance was a surprise I’ll be honest, but a good one I have to say! I thought she was well cast in the role of the clairvoyant and love interest; a bright, romantic and keen foil to Colin Firth’s miserable Englishman.

Overall I like this film, nowhere near as much as I like Blue Jasmine, but I do really like it. And that’s despite knowing how all of the trickery was being done for most of the movie. Sit back, take some time away from exploding robots and enjoy a romantic journey through the south of France.

Magic in the Moonlight is currently in UK theaters.

Here is the trailer:


@martincawley

History of Rap

Who doesn’t love Hip Hop (except racists)? French BeatBox artist Eklips takes us through the journey from classics as Afrikaa Bombaata, all the way to the recent Kanye West Album. It truly is amazing to see how things have changed ( altough maybe not always for the best). One of the best Beatbox Vids we’ve seen in a long time. Check it out after the jump! Read More

iPhone 4 vs iPhone 3 (if you don’t like reading and such)

Here’s a little infographic about the difference between the new shiny iPhone 4 and the old and ugly iPhone 3 that no one wants anymore.

See the full screen image after the jump!

  Read More

Soundtrack to our lives: IAM, Gods of French Rap

 

In this new segment to our site we will highlight some of the Music Albums or Artists that had a major impact on our lives.

Imperial Asiatiques Men or Invasion Arrivée de Mars was known to most French rap fans as IAM. They first formed in 1989 but after a few minor hits like Bad Boys de Marseille and Je dans le Mia they hit the big time and gained international recognition with Ecole du Micro d’argent an album inspired by the unique mix of Asian Martial arts, Islamic teachings, Egyptian history and Star Wars which went on to become one of the best selling French albums ever.

IAM has always been very vocal in their criticism of French government and their treatment of immigrants and the racism and socio political challenges they face because of  that they had a die-hard following of fans of which I am one espcially growing up. Since the days IAM and NTM (their contemporary rivals) the face of Hip Hop has changed and I do sometimes wonder what the state of Nicolas Sarkozy‘s France would be if IAM had the force behind them as they earlier in their career.

Like their American counterpart the Wu-tang Clan the group the individual members of the group were able to etch out solo careers with varying degree of success with Akhenaton and Shurik’n standing out. (Although you can never dismiss the rest of the gang most notably Freeman and DJ KheopsSad Hill)

But the real magic happened whenever they came back together as a group. They’re latest album was Saison 5 which you can listen to on their official website. IAM went on to have a huge influence on fashion , language and music production in France and Europe. There hasn’t been influential, intelligent and politically aware  group like them since.

In the words of Trevor Nelson IAM: The Upodcast team salutes you!

Demain C’est Loin: sheer poetry, especially Akhenaton final verse

Bad boys de marseille: Their first breakout hit

Ecole du micro d’argent

Samourai, Shurik’ns massive solo Track 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BilFJB3H10s 

This one wasn’t an IAM track but was produced by Akhenaton for his movie Comme un Aimant

What were some of your favorite IAM tracks? Let us know in the comment section below!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Any takers for Tekken?

“It could all be so simple but you’d rather make it hard…” Lauryn hill sang it in Xfactor and it is clear that all of the makers of video to movie game adaptations didn’t hear her song.

The martial arts tournament movie is a genre every dude has grown up with but a love that started for many of us with Enter the Dragon has unfortunately degenerated into heartbreak caused by movies like D.O.A.

The Japanese website of the forthcoming Tekken movie have released some pictures and it pretty much looks horrible and tacky! The only ray of hope I see is the stunt team attached to it which is headed by Cyrill Rafaelli-who if you don’t know is a very competent martial artist from France. Most notably he took on the role of the cop in both Banlieue 13 movies(Check out my write up on behind the scenes stuntmen on my badly maintained personal blog)

The Tekken anime wasn’t bad (or at least as good as the Street fighter one) so there might be a base for a good half way decent story and I must admit it is kinda cool seeing some of the characters that have made us spend hours button bashing the worrying part is that unfortunately there’s hasn’t been one decent video game to movie adaptations yet in the history of movies (with Silent Hill getting close and Double Dragon being the worst maybe?).
Are waiting what the Gyllenhaal-Bruckheimer will drop on us this summer with Prince of Persia.

But if there is a game genre that might work then it might be the martial arts tournament genre?
Its easy guys, go watch Best of the Best, Bloodsport and Ip man and get it done.
This looks horrible but I will probably end up watching it on a late night with the homies!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9ljRAl_yiI

Any of you excited for a live action Tekken movie?
Let us know by dropping us a mail or below in the comment section!

Via Warner Bros JP ( Lcick here for more stills from the Tekken Movie)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]