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Elysium (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

December 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

elysium-a

“Elysium” is a popcorn action film with a fascinating concept of the cultural divide between the rich and the poor.  While it would have been a fascinating concept to explore a more deeper film, “Elysium”  is not a deep film.  It’s more action-driven with beautiful visual effects and production design.  But for what it’s worth, for an action film, I was entertained.  If you are looking for a heavy hitting, sci-fi action film with fantastic picture quality and lossless audio, “Elysium” is recommended

Images courtesy of © 2013 MRC II Distribution Company L.P. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Elysium

FILM RELEASE: 2013

DURATION: 109 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 2:40:1, English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, French 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English/French – Audio Description Tracks, Subtitles: English, English, SDH, French, French SDH, Spanish

COMPANY: Tri Star/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED: R (For Strong Bloody Violence and Language Throughout)

Release Date: December 17, 2013

Written and Directed by Neill Blomkamp

Producer: Bill Block, Neill Blomkamp, Simon Kinberg

Executive Producer: Sue Baden-Powell

Associate Producer: Victoria Burkhart

Music by Ryan Amon

Cinematography by Trent Opaloch

Edited by Julian Clarke, Lee Smith

Casting by Francine Maisler

Production Design by Philip Ivey

Art Direction by Nancy Anna Brown, Ross Dempster, Don Macaulay, Hania Robledo

Set Decoration by Peter Lando

Costume Design by April Ferry

Starring:

Matt Damon as Max

Jodie Foster as Delacourt

Sharlto Copley as Kruger

Alice Braga as Frey

Diego Luna as Julio

Wagner Moura as Spider

William Fichtner as John Carlyle

Brandon Auret as Drake

Josh Blacker as Crowe

Emma Tremblay as Matilda

Jose Pablo Cantillo as Sandro

Maxwell Perry Cotton as Young Max

Faran Tahir as President Patel

Adrian Holmes as Manuel

Jared Keeso as Rico

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. Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) will stop at nothing to preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium – but that doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in by any means they can. Max (Matt Damon) agrees to take on a life threatening mission, one that could bring equality to these polarized worlds.

From South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp (“District 9″, “Stargate SG-1″) comes his latest summer blockbuster sci-fi action film “Elysium”.

Starring Jodie Foster (“Silence of the Lambs”, “Panic Room”,”Contact”), Matt Damon (“Good Will Hunting”, “Bourne” films, “Saving Private Ryan”), Sharlto Copley (“District 9″, “The A-Team”, “Oldboy”), Alice Braga (“I Am Legend”, “City of God”, “Predators”), Diego Luna (“Milk”, “The Terminal”, “Y Tu Mambien”), Wagner Moura (“Elite Squad”) and William Fichtner (“The Dark Knight”, “Black Hawk Down”, “Contact”).

The film which was made with a budget of $115 million would go on to make over $286 million in the box office.

And now the Blu-ray+DVD+UltraViolet release will be coming out in Dec. 2013 courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

“Elysium” is set in 2154, a time when overpopulation and disease has devastated the Earth.  The wealthy went on to create a Stanford torus-style space station known as Elysium miles above Earth, which is home to all wealthy individuals and technology.  The wealthy also have homes that have bed-sized medical Med-Bays to keep them free of disease and injury.

In charge of defending Elysium from any illegal undocumented people is Defense Secretary Delacourt (portrayed by Jodie Foster).

Meanwhile, back on Earth, unlike Elysium which is the home of the rich, the residents are poor and are policed by robots and diseases run rampant.

We are introduced to the past of Max Da Costa and Frey Santiago, two who live in an orphanage on Earth and dream of going to Elysium.  Max makes a promise to Frey that they will go to Elysium and to make money, we see Max involved in theft at a young age, as he tries to save money for him and Frey to go to Elysium.

Fast forward years later and Max (portrayed by Matt Damon) is a former car thief and parolee, who has been given a chance to fix his life working on the assembly line for Armadyne Corporation, the military company that supplies arms and weapons (including robot parts) to Elysium.

Living in the ruins of Los Angeles, his sarcastic with with one of the police robots lands him a broken arm. When he goes to get checked, he comes in contact with Frey Santiago (portrayed by Alice Braga), who is now  a nurse in the hospital.

Excited to see her again, Max hopes to get reacquainted with her and the two decide to meetup for coffee.

While  Max goes to work at Armadyne Corporation, an underground group headed by a hacker named Spider (portrayed by Wagner Moura), tries to send three caravans of illegal immigrants to Elysium to get to a Med-Bay to save their children or themselves from disease or to fix a certain medical condition that can’t be done on Earth.

As Elysium detects the three illegal caravans, Defense Secretary Delacourt calls her operative, Agent C.M. Kruger (portrayed by Sharlto Copley) to fire homing missiles towards the caravan and destroy them.  Kruger manages to destroy two, while one manages to land on Elysium but the people end up being killed or captured for deportation.

Because the loss of life on the caravans, Elysium President Patel (portrayed by Faran Tahir) reprimands her and has Agent Kruger removed from service.  Delacourt tries to explain her method as needed, or else the illegals coming into Elysium will cause bigger problems and that her methods are necessary.

Not thrilled by what transpired, Delacourt contacts Armadyne Corporation owner John Carlyle (portrayed by William Fichtner), who’s company is hurting financially and bargains with him that she can help his company if he does her a favor.  She wants Carlyle to write a program that can override Elysium’s central computer and make her the President of Elysium.  Carlyle ends up creating the program in his office on Earth and uploads it to his brain, encrypting it with a lethal denial program.

Meanwhile on Earth, while Max is working on Armadyne, a pallet is stuck preventing the door from closing.  His boss tells him to fix it or else he will get fired.  When Max goes in and fixes it, the door shuts on him and radiation that is meant for the weapons also get into him and he suffers from radiation poisoning which will kill him in five days.  The robot doctor gives him medication to help with the pain.

With his dreams of going to Elysium now looking as it will never happen, as he goes home in bad shape, his friend Julio (portrayed by Diego Luna) feels that maybe Spider can help him.

Spider agrees to help Max go to Elysium with one condition, he must be implanted with a power exoskeleton, which will give him superhuman strength, but also an implant in his brain that can store data and help Spider see what he sees.  And that he must find a way to steal data from Armadyne CEO John Carlyle.

Seeing this as his only shot of making it happen before he dies, Max receives the implant and he, Julio and a few of Spider’s men begin their plan by shooting down Carlyle’s air vehicle and when it crash lands, steal the information in his brain.

But because Delacourt was having Carlyle tracked, as she was going to meet with him at Elysium, they find out that Max and others have downed Carlyle’s vehicle and are trying to extract data from his brain, data which can incriminate her.  So, Delacourt contacts her sleeper agent, M. Kruger to kill them all and that she will be sending two of his men to assist him.

Will Max be able to get to Elysium with his final few days of life?

VIDEO:

“Elysium” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio).  It’s important to say that I have a great respect for filmmaker Neill Blomkamp in the fact that his approach to sci-fi filmmaking is different from other companies that have huge budgets.  He tries to create sci-fi films and bring his approach by making things look realistic, futuristic but also to be financially conservative on how the money is used.

So, that means by making sure your main use of sci-fi are used in critical moments to make your film feel modern and real.  So, technically “Elysium” has less high budget shots than other sci-fi-related films.

The devastation as seen in Earth looks very impressive, as does the look of Elysium and making a distinction of colors and look for both Earth and the wealthy space station.  Los Angeles utilizes warmer colors, as the place looks devastated and dirty, while Elysium looks like paradise with blue skies, green trees and grass and white mansions with white interiors.    But colors are vibrant when they need to be, clarity and detail is impressive as well.  Skin tones look natural, closeups show on the faces of the characters show great detail.

The harmony with futuristic CG scenes and the film look fantastic.  No artifacts, banding or any problems with picture quality, “Elysium” looks absolutely fantastic!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Elysium” is presented in English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, French 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English/French – Audio Description Tracks. First, let me just say “WOW!”.  This soundtrack is immersive!  From the zip of machine gun bullets, the explosions galore and the airship landing or crashing into a building, it’s a soundtrack that audiophiles can appreciate from an action film. Great use of directional audio from the surround channels and also great LFE.  Dialogue and music is crystal clear and with a winning Blu-ray release with picture quality, “Elysium” delivers with fantastic lossless audio!

Subtitles are in English, English, SDH, French, French SDH, Spanish

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Elysium” comes with the following special features:

  • Visions of 2154 – (19:59) Featuring concept art from “Elysium”.
  • Extended Scene: Kruger Wakes Up – (1:45) An extended scene after Kruger’s surgery.
  • The Journey to Elysium - (45:49) A three part featurette featuring the concept art, production design, post-production challenges and more.
  • Collaboration: Crafting the Performances of Elysium - (13:18) A featurette on the casting for the film.
  • The Technology of 2154 – (10:13) A featurette on the hyper-realistic design ideas for the film.
  • In Support of Story: The Visual Effects of Elysium – (10:34) Solving technological problems economically, visual effects for the film and more.
  • Engineering Utopia: Creating a Society in the Sky – (11:43) Syd Mead’s contributions for the film’s design.

EXTRAS:

“Elysium” comes with a Blu-ray, DVD and UltraViolet digital copy code of the film.  Also, a slipcover is included.

“Elysium” is an interesting concept from Neill Blomkamp.  What if the wealthy wanted separation from the poor and lived in their own utopia above the Earth?

The fact is that in other countries, there is cultural divide between the wealthy and the poor.  We know that disease and overpopulation is becoming problematic, but magnify these problems and what you get is a chaotic planet.

While “Elysium” for the most part an sci-fi popcorn action thriller, while I marvel at how impressive this film looks and sounds on Blu-ray, the problem with the story is that it’s formulaic and mindless action.

Matt Damon does a great job in playing a protagonist with a criminal past and only a few days to live but being given an exo-skeleton suit to give him superhuman strength as he tries to go to Elysium and make his dream come true.

While “District 9″ protagonist Sharlto Copley does play a major part as the psycho sleeper agent, Kruger. His character could have been made much more cunning and ruthless.

While Jodie Foster’s appearance as Secretary Defense Delacourt seemed too short to make any major impact on the film.   And to tell you the truth, I was quite surprised to see Foster appear in this film because her character roles tend to add substance to a pretty significant story.

For “Elysium”, the storyline is not deep.  It’s primarily mindless action, that deals with more of a cat and mouse game between Max and Kruger. That other characters such as Foster’s Delacourt and even Alice Braga’s Frey seeming as if their roles were not as important.  The same with Diego Luna’s Julio who last only several minutes onscreen.

There are also other areas that I found amusic  Max is stabbed, doesn’t have a hospital of surgeons working on him except Frey and he manages to fight with a significant injury.  As if an exo-skeleton has given him healing powers as well.   Of course, one should not be too picky with a popcorn action film and try to delve to far into whether one thing is or isn’t possible.

But as I did enjoy the film, especially its set design and visual effects which were magnificent, the one thing that kept gnawing on me was the lack of any cultural diversity in the station, Elysium.

Everyone that lives on Elysium happen to be Caucasian, everyone left on Earth are everything but Caucasian.  Sure, we have the one Asian guy who works in the medical facility, you have President Patel and I think I saw one Black woman in the background somewhere.  But it’s a pretty bold move for Neill Blomkamp to assume that only people who are white will thrive in the future.

And it’s a topic that has been debated about the film. Is “Elysium” a racist film?  I didn’t think so.  I just think that certain moves to incorporate a more diverse group of people living in “Elysium” would have been a smart idea.

While one can say, Neill Blomkamp is from South Africa, he doesn’t share the same perspectives of political correctness as Americans,  I can understand that. But for an international space station for the wealthy, you would think that the rich from other countries may have been in that space station.

Also, it’s hard to call a film “racist” when the fact is that a lot of people of color have been cast in “Elysium”, unfortunately the majority of them are cast as among the poor.

But aside from the nitpicking, I was entertained by “Elysium” for its fascinating concept and all-out action.

The Blu-ray release of “Elysium” is what videophiles and audiophiles will consider as a reference Blu-ray release and there are a good number of special features that go into the production and post-production of the film.

Overall, “Elysium” is a popcorn action film with a fascinating concept of the cultural divide between the rich and the poor.  While it would have been a fascinating concept to explore a more deeper film, “Elysium”  is not a deep film.  It’s more action-driven with beautiful visual effects and production design.  But for what it’s worth, for an action film, I was entertained.

If you are looking for a heavy hitting, sci-fi action film with fantastic picture quality and lossless audio, “Elysium” is recommended

EMMY® AWARD NOMINEES AND OSCAR® WINNERS MICHAEL DOUGLAS AND MATT DAMON ANNOUNCED AS PRESENTERS AT THE “65TH PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS,” TO BE BROADCAST SEPT. 22 ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK

September 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, both five-time Primetime Emmy® Award nominees, are the first presenters announced for the 65TH PRIMETIME EMMY® AWARDS.  This marks the first time that Douglas and Damon have presented at the Emmy Awards.  In total, “Behind the Candelabra,” for which both Douglas and Damon are nominated this year for the roles of Liberace and Scott Thorson respectively, received 15 nominations. The 65TH PRIMETIME EMMY® AWARDS will be broadcast live across the country 8:00-11:00 PM ET/ 5:00-8:00 PM PT from NOKIA Theater L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles, Sunday, Sept. 22 on the CBS Television Network.

 

 

MICHAEL DOUGLAS – Nominee this year for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie (“Behind the Candelabra”).  Previously, he was nominated in 2002 for Outstanding Guest Star in a Comedy Series (“Will & Grace”) as well as for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama (“The Streets of San Francisco”) in 1974, and Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actor (“The Streets of San Francisco”) in 1975 and 1976.

 

 

 

MATT DAMON – Nominee this year for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie (“Behind the Candelabra”).  Previously, he was nominated in 2011 for Outstanding Guest Star in a Comedy Series (“30 Rock”) as well as one of the nominated producers for Outstanding Non-Fiction Program (“Project Greenlight”) in 2002 and Outstanding Reality Program (“Project Greenlight”) in 2004 and 2005.

 

 

The 65TH PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS is executive produced by Ken Ehrlich. Host Neil Patrick Harris and Renato Basile serve as producers and Louis J. Horvitz is director. If you plan to Tweet this story, please include #Emmys and mention @PrimetimeEmmys, the official Emmys Twitter handle.

 

 

 

CHEAT TWEET:  1st #Emmys presenters announced! See 5x nominees Michael Douglas & Matt Damon on the @PrimetimeEmmys 9/22 on CBS! http://bit.ly/139H6t7 

 

 

RATING: To Be Announced

 

 

Official CBS Website: http://www.cbs.com/shows/emmy-awards/

 

 

Official Emmys Website: www.emmys.com 

 

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/primetimeemmys

 

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PrimetimeEmmys

MATT DAMON HIJACKS “JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE” AND BRINGS THE SHOW TO PRIMETIME, TUESDAY, JANUARY 29 AT 10:00 PM ET/PT ON ABC

January 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Last night Jimmy Kimmel’s arch nemesis, Oscar winner Matt Damon, exacted his revenge following a decade of torture by hijacking Kimmel’s late-night show and renaming it “Jimmy Kimmel Sucks.” Damon showed Kimmel how it’s done by packing his one-evening-only late-night turn with comedy and a cavalcade of A-list stars. On the heels of the ratings success of the episode, it will have a special primetime encore, TUESDAY, JANUARY 29 at 10:00 p.m., ET. (Rebroadcast. OAD: 1/24/13)
Note: This program replaces “Body of Proof: Mind Games.”
Damon replaced Kimmel’s longtime sidekick, Guillermo, with legendary actor Andy Garcia, his best childhood friend and bandleader, Cleto, with multi-Grammy winner Sheryl Crow, and packed his couch with such Hollywood notables as Nicole Kidman, Gary Oldman, Amy Adams, Reese Witherspoon and Demi Moore, plus special guest appearances by comedians Robin Williams and Sarah Silverman. Even Ben Affleck stopped by to participate in the big night, though his allegiance was torn between childhood friend Damon and former paramour Kimmel.
Featuring Matt Damon’s takeover of Kimmel’s late-night show on Thursday (1/24/13), ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” ranked as the No. 1 program in late-night in both Households (2.92 rating) and Adults 18-49 (1.23 rating) in Nielsen’s 56 Metered Markets. Thursday’s telecast marked “JKL’s” best yet since moving to 11:35 p.m. in HH, and its 2nd-strongest in young adults. In the key Adult 18-49 demo, “JKL” beat NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” by 62% and CBS’ “The Late Show with David Letterman” by 120%. In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, “JKL” ranked No. 1 in 9 of the Top 10 U.S. markets in Adults 18-49, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
“JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE” (weeknights, 11:35 p.m., ET)
Jimmy Kimmel serves as host and executive producer of Emmy Award-nominated “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the ABC Television Network’s late-night talk show. Now in its tenth season, “JKL” is packed with hilarious comedy bits and features a diverse lineup of guests including celebrities, athletes, musicians, comedians and humorous human interest subjects. Every night Kimmel delivers his up-to-the minute take on the latest news and pop culture topics from the day’s events in his monologue, and has recently welcomed such notables as Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise, Robert Pattinson, Katy Perry, Will Farrell, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Charlize Theron, John Krasinski, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Biel, Justin Bieber, Jessica Simpson, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, Andy Samberg, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Charlie Sheen, Chris Pine, Jeremy Renner, Jada Pinkett Smith, Josh Brolin, Russell Brand, Woody Harrelson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
“Jimmy Kimmel Live,” broadcasts from Disney’s El Capitan Theater, located on Hollywood Boulevard in the heart of L.A.’s star-studded Walk of Fame. Kimmel showcases this illustrious location’s unique character throughout his show by regularly interacting with the local “Super Heroes” parading along the boulevard and challenging passersby to participate in various comedy bits. He has also created many one-of-a-kind concert experiences, closing down Hollywood streets around his studio to hold musical block party events with artists such as Coldplay, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z and Depeche Mode, as well as special outdoor and lobby performances by Adele, Linkin Park, Justin Timberlake, Drake, Tony Bennett, Pitbull, Britney Spears, Lady Antebellum, Usher, Lenny Kravitz, Brad Paisley, Lil Wayne, Phoenix, 50 Cent, No Doubt and Dave Matthews Band.
Jimmy Kimmel and Jill Leiderman serve as executive producers. Jason Schrift, Douglas DeLuca and Erin Irwin serve as co-executive producers. “Jimmy Kimmel Live” is shot live in front of a studio audience and produced by Jackhole Industries in association with ABC Studios. For more go to

also a “Jimmy Kimmel Live” app is available via iTunes.

Follow us on Twitter @JimmyKimmelLive, #JKL

Inside Job (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

February 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

A documentary that will open your eyes.  A documentary that must be seen.  Charles Ferguson’s “Inside Job” is a shockingly, powerful documentary that reveals what may have caused the global financial meltdown and giving us the facts of what led to the economic crisis of 2008.  Prepare to be angry, infuriated but yet entertained by this real life heist film.

Images courtesy of © 2010 Sony Pictures Classics Inc. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Inside Job

DURATION: 109 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: 2:35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Classics

RATED: PG-13 (Some Drug and Sex Related Material)

RELEASE DATE: March 8, 2011

Directed by Charles Ferguson

Written by Chad Beck, Adam Bolt

Produced by Charles Ferguson, Audrey Marrs

Executive Producer: Jeffrey Lurie, Christina Weiss Lurie

Associate Producer: Kalyanee Mam, Anna Moot-Levin

Music by Alex Heffes

Cinematograhy by Svetlana Cvetko, Kalyanee Mam

Edited by Chad Beck, Adam Bolt

Set Decoration by Mariko Marrs

Starring:

Narrated by Matt Damon

William Ackman

Daniel Alpert

Jonathan Alpert

Sigridur Benediktsdottir

Willem Buiter

John Campbell

Christine Lagarde

Dominque Strauss-Kahn

From Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker, Charles Ferguson (NO END IN SIGHT), comes INSIDE JOB, the first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs. Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, INSIDE JOB traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia.


All Transactions Came To A Halt

Bear Stearns Was Rated AAA

It’s A Wall Street Government

It’s Utterly Mad

The Investment Banks Went Public

Trailer – Coming Soon

In 2007, writer and director Charles H. Ferguson shocked and intrigued many people with his documentary “No End in Sight” which focused on the Bush administrations conduct during the Iraq war.  Ferguson followed up by being one of the executive producers of “Between Earth and Sky” in 2009.  But in 2010, Ferguson would release his most shocking and powerful documentary yet, titled “Inside Job” which chronicles the global financial meltdown and the economic crisis of 2008.  The documentary would win an Academy Award for “Best Documentary Feature” in 2011.

Featuring narration by actor Matt Damon, “Inside Job” begins with showcasing the financial meltdown of Iceland and how a country that was once doing so well with no debt and was a great example of country that was financially responsible, became a country that financially collapsed with the country’s three major commercial banks suffering from a downfall when billions of dollars were borrowed and loaned to businesses and businessmen who took advantage of the loans to finance their own personal non-business endeavors and left the country close to national bankrupty.

When one was interviewed about the problems, he asks that this could not happen in the United States right?

Well, unfortunately millions of Americans have been affected by the economic downturn and in 2008, this would spiral downward as millions of Americans would foreclose their homes, lose their jobs, many would be living off food stamps while in Wall Sreet, Bear Stearns, known to be aggressive in packaging and selling mortgage-backed securites and hedge funds loaded with junks collapsed and were bought by JPMorgan Chase.  Meanwhile, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, because they were owned by the government, were not required to report their finances like public corporations and both companies hid their problems which involve serious accounting fraud and overstatement of their earnings.

Lehman Brothers, one of the most prestigious companies on Wall Street filed for bankruptcy protection and put thousands of people around the world out of work, while Merrill Lynch, the powerful investment banking and brokerage firm would also fall hard and would be bought by Bank of America.

The question is how did the economy go so far down south that even today, millions of Americans are not sure about their future especially in today’s economic recession. Why did these individuals who committed severe financial fraud were never given prison time?  And why hasn’t anyone been held accountable for the financial crisis?

But director Charles Ferguson would seek for the answer with his documentary “Inside Job” which features thorough research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists.  The documentary traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships.  Interviews include Paul Volcker (Chairman of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board), George Soros (Founder and Chair of Open Society Institute/Soros Foundation), Eliot Spitzer (Former Governor of New York and New York State Attorney General), Barney Frank (Democratic Representative for Massachusetts) and many others.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Inside Job” is presented in 2:35:1 anamorphic widescreen and is presented in English 5.1 Dolby Digital. It’s important to note that if you want the best video and audio presentation of this film, “Inside Job” is also available on Blu-ray. But for the DVD release, picture quality was very good and the soundtrack is front and center channel driven.  Dialogue is clear, footage combines recent to archived older news footage but for the most part, picture quality and audio quality is good.

Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Inside Job” comes with the following special features:

  • Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by director Charles Ferguson and producer Audrey Marrs.
  • The Making of Inside Job – (12:32) Starz Studios behind-the-scenes of “Inside Job”.  Director Charles Ferguson talks about how he was warned about the crisis well before it was publicly known.  Ferguson talks about the research process for the film and the amount of research that was done for this film.
  • Deleted Scenes – Featuring nine deleted scenes with Charles Morris, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Eliot Spitzer, Gillian Tett, Jerome Fons, Lee Hsien Loong, Satyajit Das, Simon Johnson and Yves Smith.
  • Theatrical Trailer – (2:20) The original theatrical trailer for “Inside Job”.

A documentary that will open your eyes.  A documentary that must be seen.  Charles Ferguson’s “Inside Job” is a shockingly, powerful documentary that reveals what may have caused the global financial meltdown and giving us the facts of what led to the economic crisis of 2008.

Unfortunately, this is one of the great crime stories in American history and we are currently living it.  This is not a documentary of the past and the events that occurred back in 2008 still rears its ugly head in 2011 where millions of Americans are jobless and in financial trouble.

I have no doubt that the “Inside Job” will open everyone’s eyes of those who are watching this documentary because when you find out how this cycle of financial irresponsibility has been going on for decades and still happening today, you can’t help but wonder if we are going to be headed in the same direction as Iceland.

As the film opens up with the financial crisis in Iceland, it was quite shocking to watch and see what happened in that country which had it all and then nearly lost it all.  And when the question is asked by one in Iceland about the United States of America… you can’t help but think how screwed up things have went since 2008.

Many people knew that crimes were being committed but yet, this is how Wall Street, the banks and the government acted.  Deregulation led to banks getting bigger and bigger, borrowing money and lending them while gambling with depositors’ money while many borrowers were offered high-risk borrowing for the “sub-prime” market in guarantee of high returns.

Employees and upper administrative staff lived in luxury, the banks with so much money were able to buy their way into society including universities as many economists from Ivy League universities took part in support of reckless deregulation.

If anything, “Inside Job” is a film that really opened my eyes and what I saw of what took place in Wall Street especially between the government was just disgusting, infuriating but at the same time, just knowing how corruption continues unfortunately even in Obama’s administration.  These people who were involved as part of the problem, continue to get hired in the government and also teach at Ivy League Schools.  How can we trust them?

The cares of the American people were not the priority, it was getting rich and unfortunately, there was no accountability and where most thieves go to jail, in the case of these banks were fraud were committed, they received a government bail-out.

As for the documentary, Charles Ferguson knew how complex this documentary had to be.  He needed the right people to interview and the research to let us know what is fact.  This is not some one-sided documentary where you hear one side and everything about the other side is bad, bad, bad.  “Inside Job” was able to achieve its efficacy because we see how things are from both sides of the coin, he dissects the financial crisis and gives us interviews of those who were involved.  Not only specialists but there are major players took part in the film (not all but a good number of them did) and gave their impression of what happened.  You also see the gall of some of these individuals as they have no qualms of what they have done.    But it would have been nice to hear from CEO’s or even Greenspan but many declined to be take part in this documentary and be interviewed.

And to even leave a sour taste in your mouth, when you feel the Obama administration could make things right, unfortunately, the same Wall Street executives who are now working in government are still employed and still calling the shots of how America’s finance should be handled.  In fact, we learn through this documentary that those who were involved in creating fraudulent reports and employed at Wall Street are now teaching America’s Ivy League schools.

But yet, director Charles Ferguson shows us in this documentary that he has the balls to call these people out and it’s what makes this documentary so great.  Educating but also making sure the viewer, learns about the crime that has been committed but those who are being interviewed are not getting a pat in the hand like they did from the US government.

With his interviews, Ferguson intelligently takes them on and exposes some of them, especially the immoral ones for the part they took in America’s economic mess.  Too bad that the high-profile players declined to be interviewed.  It would have been great to see the major players of Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs and other companies embroiled in the financial crisis of 2008 take part in this film but its understandable.

But I will say that its a shame that the academic economists from Columbia University and Harvard University evaded Ferguson’s questions.  If anything, they support the documentary and I wonder how their own bosses have felt about their behavior in this film.  Because now, instead of people believing them as professionals to help the system, they end up showing that they were part of the problem and in the process, instead of answering the questions, they end up disgracing themselves.

In the end, although I may not understand the complexities of the financial crisis, as your average American watching this documentary, I appreciate Ferguson for opening my eyes.  I was enraged after watching this film but if anything, those who seek out the questions of why our economy is so down at this time, at least we get to learn how these problems have built and built itself up in many decades after the Great Depression. I definitely give credit to Ferguson for keeping on topic and not becoming polemic in conspiracies.

It’s important to know that this DVD has an interesting audio commentary which follows up of what happened during the interviews as well as what has happened since the documentary.  From the stock shots to the interviews, both Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs give a fascinating commentary that is worth listening to after you watch the film.  Especially some of the deleted scenes that are included on the DVD.

Overall, “Inside Job” is a powerful documentary that is important and worth watching and for Charles Ferguson, his work is deserving of the Oscar!  Highly recommended!


Matt Damon and Luciana Barroso welcome a baby girl

October 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Cast member Matt Damon and wife Luciana Barroso arrive at the closing night screening of Hereafter at the 48th New York Film Festival October 10, 2010. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)

PEOPLE Magazine has reported that Luciana Barroso, wife of actor Matt Damon, gave birth to a baby girl on Wednesday. Both Luciana and the baby are both healthy.

Matt Damon and Luciana Barroso have four children.

“HOLLYWOOD SALUTES MATT DAMON: AN AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE TRIBUTE” AIRS THURSDAY, MAY 27 ON THE ABC TELEVISION NETWORK

May 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Award-winning actor Matt Damon was the recipient of the 24th American Cinematheque Award at a gala held this past March at the Beverly Hilton. The presentation and celebration will be televised in the hour-long special, “Hollywood Salutes Matt Damon: An American Cinematheque Tribute,” airing THURSDAY, MAY 27 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

The stellar list of guests who paid tribute to Damon when he received the award from longtime friend and co-star Ben Affleck are Casey Affleck, Don Cheadle, Clint Eastwood, Jennifer Garner, Jimmy Kimmel, Greg Kinnear, Sarah Silverman, Charlize Theron and Robin Williams. In addition, George Clooney and Ben Stiller paid tribute by partaking in individual pre-taped comedy sketches, while President William Jefferson Clinton appeared in and narrated a piece about Damon’s humanitarian efforts.

The executive producers of the show are Paul Flattery, Barbara Smith and Michael Dempsey. Irene Crinita is the producer and Kelly Brock co-producer. Corrinne Mann is the benefit producer.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE:
Established in 1981, the American Cinematheque is a non-profit viewer-supported film exhibition and cultural organization dedicated to the celebration of the Moving Picture in all of its forms. At the Egyptian Theatre, the Cinematheque presents daily film and video programming which ranges from the classics of American and international cinema to new independent films and digital work. Exhibition of rare works, special and rare prints, etc., combined with fascinating post-screening discussions with the filmmakers who created the work, are a Cinematheque tradition that keep audiences coming back for once-in-a-lifetime cinema experiences. The American Cinematheque renovated and reopened (on December 4, 1998) the historic 1922 Hollywood Egyptian Theatre which celebrates its 85th anniversary this year. This includes a state-of-the-art 616-seat theatre housed within Sid Grauman’s first grand movie palace on Hollywood Boulevard. The exotic courtyard is fully restored to its 1922 grandeur.

The Egyptian was the home of the very first Hollywood movie premiere in 1922. In early 2005 the American Cinematheque expanded its programming to the 1940 Aero Theatre in Santa Monica.

A TV parental guideline will be assigned closer to airdate.

Matt Damon and wife expecting another baby

April 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Matt Damon and wife Luciana at The 24th American Cinematheque Award in LA

Matt Damon’s rep has confirmed with People Magazine that the Matt and Luciana are expecting another baby. The couple have three daughters: Alexia (11), Luciana’s daughter from a previous marriage, Isabella (4) and Gia (20 months).

HOLLYWOOD SALUTES MATT DAMON: AN AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE TRIBUTE

March 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Ben Affleck to Present Matt Damon with the 24th American Cinematheque Award

Don Cheadle, President William Jefferson Clinton, George Clooney, Clint Eastwood, Jimmy Kimmel, Greg Kinnear, Ben Stiller, Charlize Theron and Robin Williams to Pay Tribute to Matt Damon at Gala Event on March 27 at the Beverly Hilton

Tribute to Air at a Later Date Exclusively on ABC

Ben Affleck will present his longtime friend and co-star, Matt Damon, with the 24th American Cinematheque Award at the Cinematheque’s annual benefit gala on Saturday, March 27, 2010 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel’s International Ballroom in Beverly Hills. The award presentation concludes an evening of in-person tributes from Damon’s colleagues, Casey Affleck, Don Cheadle, Clint Eastwood, Jimmy Kimmel, Greg Kinnear, Charlize Theron and Robin Williams. In addition, George Clooney and Ben Stiller will pay tribute by partaking in individual pre-taped comedy sketches, while President William Jefferson Clinton appears in and narrates a piece surrounding Damon’s humanitarian efforts that will be played during the show. Added guests will be announced as they are confirmed.

ABC will premiere the Award Show broadcast of “Hollywood Salutes Matt Damon: An American Cinematheque Tribute” at a later date. This is the 1st year that ABC will broadcast the show. Damon was the unanimous choice of the Cinematheque Board of Directors selection committee which, since 1986, has annually honored an extraordinary artist (actor, director or writer) in the entertainment industry who is fully engaged in his or her work and is committed to making a significant contribution to the art of the motion picture.

The American Cinematheque Award is presented annually to an extraordinary artist currently making a significant contribution to the art of the Moving Picture and is a mid-career achievement honor. Proceeds from the event go towards the year round operation of the American Cinematheque’s public programming at the Egyptian and Aero Theatres in Los Angeles.

Eddie Murphy received the first American Cinematheque Award in 1986. Previous honorees are Bette Midler (1987), Robin Williams (1988), Steven Spielberg (1989), Ron Howard (1990), Martin Scorsese (1991), Sean Connery (1992), Michael Douglas (1993), Rob Reiner (1994), Mel Gibson (1995), Tom Cruise (1996), John Travolta (1997), Arnold Schwarzenegger (1998), Jodie Foster (1999), Bruce Willis (2000), Nicolas Cage (2001), Denzel Washington (2002), Nicole Kidman (2003), Steve Martin (2004), Al Pacino (2005), George Clooney (2006), Julia Roberts (2007) and Samuel L. Jackson (2008).

One thousand entertainment industry notables are expected to attend the tribute. This annual event is the American Cinematheque’s most important benefit, providing funds for the non-profit film exhibition organization’s programs throughout the year and operation of the historic landmark Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, as well as the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica on Montana Avenue.

The executive producers of the show are Paul Flattery, Barbara Smith and Michael Dempsey. Irene Crinita is the producer and Kelly Brock co-producer. Co-chairs and presenters of the event will be announced as they are confirmed. Corrinne Mann is the benefit producer.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE:
Established in 1981, the American Cinematheque is a non-profit viewer-supported film exhibition and cultural organization dedicated to the celebration of the Moving Picture in all of its forms. At the Egyptian Theatre, the Cinematheque presents daily film and video programming which ranges from the classics of American and international cinema to new independent films and digital work. Exhibition of rare works, special and rare prints, etc., combined with fascinating post-screening discussions with the filmmakers who created the work, are a Cinematheque tradition that keep audiences coming back for once-in-a-lifetime cinema experiences. The American Cinematheque renovated and reopened (on December 4, 1998) the historic 1922 Hollywood Egyptian Theatre, which celebrates its 85th anniversary on October 18, 2007. This includes a state-of-the-art 616-seat theatre housed within Sid Grauman’s first grand movie palace on Hollywood Boulevard. The exotic courtyard is fully restored to its 1922 grandeur.

The Egyptian was the home of the very first Hollywood movie premiere in 1922. In early 2005 the American Cinematheque expanded its programming to the 1940 Aero Theatre in Santa Monica.

For more information: www.americancinematheque.com

Matt Damon promoting “Green Zone” in Berlin

March 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Green Zone Photo Call

Actor Matt Damon attends a photocall to promote the new movie ‘Green Zone’ at the Adlon Hotel on March 3, 2010 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
Content © 2010 Getty Images All rights reserved.

Matt Damon and Steve Soderbergh at “The Informant” photocall at the 66th Venice Film Festival

September 7, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

VENICE, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 07: Actor Matt Damon with director Steven Soderbergh attends ‘The Informant!’ photocall at the Palazzo del Casino during the 66th Venice Film Festival on September 7, 2009 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images). Content © 2009 Getty Images . All rights reserved.

The Informant!: Photocall - 66th Venice Film Festival

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