Thursday, May 31, 2012

Model Anne Vyalitsyna Stars in A Good Day to Die Hard

Anne Vyalitsyna

Hollywood is going do the dogs... I mean with their intentions, that is. Only a handful of movies respect the art of acting anymore and the rest are either a way to earn more money or gain some more money. Got my point? Movie makers are ready to do anything, even hire models to attract more viewers. And this is what's happening when the Russian model Anne Vyalitsyna, more commonly known as Anne V, was cast in A Good Day to Die Hard, the latest flick in Bruce Willis' phenomenal Die Hard series.

Of course, this is not the first time that happened in the cinema arena, as Michael Bay has already done this in the Transformers movie series, where he cast Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to play Sam Witwicky's love interest after he ditched Megan Fox off the show. The league of James Bond Girls has also some models on its ranks, FYI. Anne Vyalitsyna is a Victoria's Secret model, just like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who once strut the catwalk as one of the famed Angels.

So, where have we seen Anne Vyalitsyna before?





Notice the nice girl that Adam Levine is cuddling in the last two videos? Yes, that's Anne Vyalitsyna. They are not only on-screen partners, but real life lovers as well. We have already seen her many times before, especially in the last eight issues of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition. You could check out some of here pictures here:










A Good Day to Die Hard is the fifth movie in the Die Hard series that stars Bruce Willis as John McLane. This John Moore directed movie is set to be released on next year's Valentines Day. Hopefully Anne Vyalitsyna could slay the acting required of her, since she may have already some experience after "acting" in a few hot music videos.

The Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of Athena Book Cover Art

The Heroes of Olympus

Who wants a treat? Because I have one here for all Rick Riordan fanatics: The Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of Athena cover art is out and an official release date has also been set. The story will have to focus on Ella the Harpy's prophecy as stated  on the previous book of the series, The Son of Neptune"Wisdom's daughter walks alone, 
The Mark of Athena burns through Rome."


This third installment in the series is long overdue, as far as I am concerned, because I don't want to wait any longer. The series has been fulfilling so far and I can't wait to read how the events will turn out. There is a saying that says, "Don't judge a book by its cover," but right now I can't help but convince my self that the story will be great because the cover was fantastic. I wish I will not be disappointed.

Check out the cover art for The Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of Athena:
The Mark of Athena Cover Art by artist John Rocco
If you want a sneak peak for The Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of Athena, here is Rick Riordan reading the first chapter of the book through the perspective of Annabeth. Watch out for some numerous serial clues:


Or if you really wanted to read it yourself, you can do so in The Heroes of Olympus Disney page.

I like it very much how Rick Riordan acted out the dialogue of his characters. It is just ten times funnier compared to when I am reading it on my own. I simply just can't wait for October 2, 2012, when the book will be released world wide. For now, this helpless fanboy can do nothing, but oggle over the cover art of The Mark of Athena, the third book of The Heroes of Olympus.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Florence + The Machine Spectrum Official Music Video

Florence + The Machine

Today is most definitely a day for music video releases. Just earlier today Keane released the music video for Sovereign Light Café and it was a lifesaver of my miserable day. Now, after Florence + The Machine released the music video for Spectrum at Vevo, I am quite at peace, or not. Florence has always delighted me the first time I heard her in her very first album Lungs.

The second album, Ceremonials, has exceeded my expectations when it was released on the last quarter of last year. The music videos that accompanied her singles and tracks has been very strange, bizarre, graphic and iconic, which is really in for my taste whenever I am looking for something Gothic or psychological. The music video for Spectrum, directed by David LaChapelle, is no exception.

Check it out here to see what I mean:

The first time I saw the video, it reminds me instantly of Annie Lennox's No More "I Love You's". But of course that is not a bad thing, but a compliment actually. Florence Welch has definitely made a version of her own, which is really much better. This bizarre and outlandish video that features ballerinas and Egyptians just accentuated her red locks, which is really mesmerizing to the eyes.

This is so far the fifth single from her second album. We will be able to enjoy the release of the single on July 2, 2012. I am pretty sure this 5-minute long frenzy of musical outburst has still many to offer in it's final release. Also, if you are interested of watching the behind-the-scenes of Florence + The Machine music video, you could watch it here:


Now, I have to admit I have also enjoyed the behind-the-scenes. Although, I have to say there is really no surprise already for Florence + The Machine music videos since they are expected to be like the one posted in here. The only danger that the singer has to go through is the tendency to be at the plateau should the next video not be able to outmatch its predecessors. But for now I have to be contented with the music video of Florence + The Machine's Spectrum until the next one arrives again with a grander idea on it.

Keane Sovereign Light Café Official Music Video From Vevo

Keane Strangeland

I don't care if some of the critics consider Keane's latest album Strangeland as moderately good only. For me, it has been one of the best albums released this year. I told a close friend that I particularly liked one of their song titled Sovereign Light Café. And now I am in cloud nine when Vevo released Keane's official music video for Sovereign Light Café.

This is simply a nice way to end my day, because I have been problematic and depressed the whole time. And before I check out of my daily routine, lo, I found this beautiful gem, just released a few minutes ago. This is to be the third single of the said album and to be released this coming July 16. This music video is surely a good way to boost the single's upcoming release.

Check out Keane's official music video for Sovereign Light Café courtesy of Vevo:

Opening on a familiar scene as presented on the cover of Strangeland, the music video kicks off to a nice view of the beach studded with athletes and performers. This is maybe a salute to the upcoming Olympics (or any sports for that matter), opening on July 27, 2012 that is to be hosted in London and I can't thank Keane enough for that.

This is very much a melancholic moment for me. The tune and lyrics of the song simply throws my worries of the day away. Upon seeing the video, my hopes are raised and my morale has been strengthened once again.

Keane's music video for Sovereign Light Café is a very great video on a very laid back way. I just can't get enough of it and I hoped the song is longer than it actually was. This thankful problematic guy (I mean, yours truly) got a reprieve and a brighter side on his day that he can't stop himself from sharing this temporary good feeling. I hope you share it, too.

Kernel's Library: A Journey Beyond The Deepwoods

Book 00018: Beyond the Deepwoods
by Chris Riddell & Paul Stewart

Title:
- Beyond the Deepwoods

First Publication:
- 1 October 1998 by Doubleday

Trivia:
- It is the first volume of The Edge Chronicles and of the Twig Saga trilogy; within the stories' own chronology it is the fourth novel, following the Quint Saga trilogy that was published later.

Awards:
- Great Stone Face Book Award: 2005-2006 Picks
- 2007-2008 Indian Paintbrush Nominee




This is one of the books that I just bought and read in the recent months. But I wanted to buy this book the first time I saw it -- in hardcover. It was years before that I first saw of the series and I immediately wanted to buy and complete them. But then as if by magic, they just flew away from the shelves of the bookstores where I buy books and none was left for me to start the collection. It made me hysterical at first but I decided that I should wait for the next batch -- and lo it came years after... It was not in hardcover, though. Half-heartedly I bought the paperback and was glad that I bought them, hardcover or not.



From the Jacket

Young Twig lives in the Deepwoods, among the Woodtrolls, but he isn't one of them. In a brave attempt to find out where he belongs, Twig wanders into the mysterious, dangerous world beyond the Deepwoods. He meets a collection of odd companions, such as his wise guardian, the Caterbird; the Slaughterers, a peaceful race who butcher animals for their livelihood; and the vicious, bile-swilling Rotsucker. Always watching out for the horrible Gloamglozer, whose presence haunts the thoughts of all the inhabitants of The Edge, Twig steadfastly pursues his quest until he discovers his roots, not among the trees, but in the skies....

Alternate

The book tells the story of Twig Verginix, a forthling who has been raised by Woodtrolls. After he strays from the path and gets lost, he must journey through the perilous Deepwoods. He meets many dangerous creatures that live there, such as Halitoads, Rotsuckers and Hoverworms. He witnesses the hatching of a Caterbird, who promises to watch over him. He journeys to a slaughterer village and a gyle goblin colony, but never feels as if he fits in anywhere.

At long last, he meets some sky pirates who had been caught in a storm. He discovers that the captain is actually his father, and intends to stay with them, but they leave him behind. In the climax of the book, he stumbles across the Edgelands, a howling cliff that is inhabited by wraiths and ghosts. There he meets the Gloamglozer, a mythical creature that was accidentally released by his father years ago. The Gloamglozer tricks him into jumping off the cliff, but in a twist of fate the Caterbird carries him until he is above his father's sky ship, and he crashes into the deck. Once he has recovered, his father reveals his true identity and Twig joins his crew.

More Recently

I have finally come to buy them in hardbound edition. And they just look very nicely on my book shelves. I have all 8 books of 10 the books published books of the series so far. I was able to buy them on a discounted price of more than 75% off. I was lucky not to have bought the series in paperback, I can say it was a very good investment because the story is very gratifying so far, covering three separate arcs with three books each. Hopefully I will be able to buy the ninth book and the last companion book in the series to finally know the conclusion in this wonderful out of the world experience.

Grade: A

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman in Les Misérables Pictures

Les Miserables

Updated: We are just in luck, the new official trailer for Les Misérables is now online. Check it out below.

Victor Hugo's Les Misérables has become a great commodity of the contemporary world. It has inspired millions of people through published formats and it gained even more audience when it was made as a drama, a musical and a classical movie. Now the modern world still can't get enough of this wonderful story that we are about to see it once again in a movie adaptation directed by Tim Hooper.

This no-joke film is studded some of the biggest names in Hollywood to play the beloved characters that made many cry, laugh and get excited. First off, the movie is starred by Anne Hathaway,Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Helena Bonham Carter, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Daniel Huttlestone and Samantha Barks. What more could you ask for? Maybe you could ask for some official movie pictures to check how the movie is going by far.

So, check out these low-res images from Les Misérables:








Updated: You can actually see a few of the higher-resolution versions here:







Updated: Here is the trailer just for you:


It's a nice day opener to see these images from Les Misérables, or it would be better if we could already get to see a teaser trailer of the movie. I can't wait to hear the main cast sing the songs that made Les Misérables a classic. I am really excited to watch it on December 14, 2012.

Justin Bieber Releases New Single, Die in Your Arms

Justin Bieber Die In Your Arms

With the release of Justin Bieber's new track Die in Your Arms, we can easily conclude that he is trying to up the scale on the maturity level of his songs. He is eyeing for the throne that Justin Timberlake once enjoyed. But I doubt that he is ready for that stance and I don't think his upcoming album Believe could place him in that position.

He is best known among younger generations and his turning to eighteen years old, which pit him on the legal age, is not really helping him. This is always the conflict young stars have to go through since the people's minds are mark by the image they first wrought and the transition they have to go through are sometimes not acceptable to all.

Listen to Justin Bieber's second single from the album Believe called Die in Your Arms:

Although, I have to commend Justin Bieber for widening the scope of his craft. Any artistic endeavor is already laudable enough that we could give him credit for that. Going back to the roots of his career, by projecting his voice, he is in for an old school feel here. This is even construed by his manager, Scooter Braun when he twitted the following:


To be released at the earliest on June 15, 2012, his upcoming album Believe will be his third and hopefully not the last. It will feature Die in Your Arms as the eighth track of the record. In the following weeks, we can expect a nice chunky music video for this one to surely boost the marketing of his album.

Check out Justin Bieber's Die in Your Arms single in its entirety as it will be released in iTunes on May 29, 2012.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Scarlett Johansson: Avengers Vs. Iron Man Black Widow Look

Scarlett Johansson

Sometimes I am very critical about movie continuity. That is why I was a little hesitant when I heard that Mark Ruffalo would replace Edward Norton to play the modern Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Bruce Banner, who becomes the incredible Hulk when he gets angry. We can blame this of course to the varying directors and sometimes the actors availability, not to mention the Studios' and producers' bratty I-rule-this-movie behavior.

Although I have to say sometimes these changes can bring about great improvements on the movie, sometimes they just don't. But some other times it could also bring about indecision among viewers whether they liked the changes or not. Take Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow look on The Avengers against the one in Iron Man 2.

I really can't decide which one I liked better:


Versus



There are some certain aspects in the former that I liked very much and there are some which I don't like that much either. Same is true with the second picture. All I can say they are not perfect as a whole, but when certain elements from the first and second be combined maybe Black Widow would have seen a better day. No offense to Miss Scarlett Johansson...

What I like about the first image taken from Iron Man is her almost innocent look (and the plunging neckline). That would be a shocker for any opponent thinking she would be easily taken down because of her innocent look. The only fail is the almost cheap and un-lustrous costume, which does not even have character, or appeal. It's just the material, but the cut of the dress is fantastic of course.

In the second picture, I almost already hated her cocky look: there is simply no mystery. The hair would have been better if it's a little longer, but not as long as the first. What I liked about this one is the somehow expensive look to her costume that is still functional and sleek. Even the belt gives more character.

In short, this is what I wanted her to look like (pardon my photo editing skills):


I hope to see this on the next movie where she will be part of. Please....

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Voice UK Finals: The Final Four and the Hateful Reactions

The Voice UK

Come June 2, 2012 and we will be able to witness the very first grand finals for The Voice UK. Just a few days ago we have seen how UK decided the turn out of the results night of the fifth live show during the semi-finals. And they have chosen one artist from every coach that will battle it off in the Finals.

The Final Four weren't who we expected them to be. Two gents and two lovely ladies will move on and for the first time, unlike the The Voice of US, the artist of each team will perform a solo number, a duet with their coach and their best song of the series. Who among the teams -- Team Will.I.Am, Team Jessie, Team Tom, or Team Danny -- will make it and be named as The Voice of UK.

Let's check them out:

Team Jessie: Vince Kidd

Vince Kidd performing Back to Back

It's not Vince Kidd's fault, but I just don't like him very much. He reminds me of a person that I used to know. Because of that I pre-judged his voice and his talents. I can't stand the sight of him since it triggers a very bad memory within me. No doubt Vince has a very wide range from the high-pitched falsetto to the booming bass, but then, I again I still can't bear to like him -- every inch of him.

Vince Kidd, The Voice UK
I would have chosen the lesser of the two evils on Jessie J's final two artists, who is Becky Hill. At least I don't have to cringe every time I watch her and listen to her sing. I don't blame UK for choosing Vince, but I really do blame my self and my bad memories. The Voice UK Finals would have been very good if not for this very personal and psychological thing.

Team Tom: Leanne Mitchell

Leanne Mitchell performing Run to You

I was very sad for the fact that Ruth Brown didn't make it to the Finals. But in her stead we have another equally talented Leanne Mitchell. Team Tom definitely has some great artists and singers, that is why pity and sympathy are the things that drive me upon choosing my favorite from this team. I admit Ruth's latest performance, The Voice Within, wasn't her best, but it was still amazing.

Leanne Mitchell, The Voice UK
I was just anxious that The Voice would have to suffer the defect American Idol has: Overall package over Talent. I congratulate Leanne for making it to the Finals, no hard feelings there. She is just so lucky after almost leaving the show if not for Tom's choice when she belonged to the bottom three.

Team Danny: Bo Bruce

Bo Bruce performing Charlie Brown

Now, this is exciting. One of my three most favorite artists and singers on the show has made it to the Finals. This soulful artist has surely caught my attention even during the Blind Auditions. Even when I close my eyes every time she sings, it always feels like heaven. Her voice is one of the most unique voices in the show and I am happy she belonged to Team Danny since her talent was accentuated by Danny's coaching, or collaboration as Danny puts it.

Bo Bruce, The Voice UK
I really do pray she wins the competition. I have to be blunt and dense to say I really wanted her to win. Please vote for her, people. I just can't stand it when she will not win on the coming Finals. She not only has the Voice, but she has the looks to go along with it. She is by far the most marketable of the Final Four and that just makes it more probable for her to win.

Team Will.I.Am: Tyler James

Tyler James performing Bohemian Rhapsody

I have a thing with best friends, that is why when I heard Tyler James was a best friend of the late Amy Winehouse I sympathize for him. I know how hard it is to lose someone very close to you: family, friends and relatives and I just feel it in him. I can hear the hurt and vulnerability in his singing. It is just sad that UK has to make a choice between him and Jaz Ellington, who is also my favorite.


I guess Jaz has made his call and it's really time for him to leave the show. He has proven himself well and I am happy for him. I am also happy for Tyler knowing that some of my friends are egging for him to win. Whatever is the public's decision, then I will have to go with it. I have no power to change it after all.

Who is your bet for the coming finals of The Voice? Do you think he or she has got what it takes to be named as The Voice?

Kernel's Library: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Book 00017: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
Title:
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

First Publication:
- 2 July 1998 by Bloomsbury


Trivia:
- Chamber of Secrets is the first book in the series to directly provide a timeframe for the series. Nearly Headless Nick celebrates the 500th anniversary of his death at Halloween, and it is stated that he died in 1492, placing the events of this book during the 1992-93 school year.
- In the early drafts of this book, the author had the ghost Nearly Headless Nick sing a self-composed song explaining his condition and the circumstances of his death. The material was cut as the book's editor did not care for the poem, although it has been subsequently published as an extra on J. K. Rowling's official website
- This book is thematically linked with the sixth book of the series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. In fact, Half-Blood Prince was the working title of Chamber of Secrets and certain "crucial" plot information from that book was intended to be placed in this volume, but Rowling ultimately felt that "this information's proper home was book six."


Awards:
- - ALA Notable Children's Books, 2000
- ALA/YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 2000
- Booklist Editors' Choices, 1999
- Booklist Top Ten Fantasy Novels for Youth, 1998-99
- CCBC Choices 2000: Fiction for Children
- International Reading Association: Children's Choices, 2000
- International Reading Association: Young Adult Choices, 2000
- Publishers Weekly: Best Books of 1999
- School Library Journal: Best Books 1999
- CBC Not Just for Children Anymore! List
- British Book Awards 1998 Children's Book of the Year (NIBBY)
- Shortlisted for the 1998 Guardian Children's Award
- Shortlisted for the 1998 Carnegie Award
- Nestlé Smarties Book Prize 1998 Gold Medal 9-11 years
- Scottish Arts Council Children’s Book Award 1999
- FCBG Children’s Book Award 1998 Overall winner and Longer Novel Category
- North East Book Award 1999
- North East Scotland Book Award 1998
- The Booksellers Association / The Bookseller Author of the Year 1998
- Whitaker's Platinum Book Award 2001




Of course, when you read a serial novel you should at least continue on the story by reading its sequels. This, as well, applies with the Harry Potter books. Although I can state a fact that you are not just forced to read the next books just to finish the series, but you try to read the sequels because they are worth reading.

I was bewitched with the first one, so naturally I read the second book expecting the same quality that I have experienced with "Sorcerer's Stone" or "HPSS". I was not deisappointed with my decision to read on with the series and once again I was baffled by the magical world of Hogwarts.



Honestly, by the time I read this I have already read The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Goblet of Fire. It was not a spoil since the author didn't care to repeat the stories in the succeeding books, which is good actually. There are no available copies in any bookstore after the surge of the release of the first Harry Potter movie. Lucky for me, I was able to find on in a very old book store that doesn't exist anymore.

What I like the most about this novel is the detective feel about it. A crime was executed and questions surrounding the crime scene must be answered to convict whoever was responsible. This is very unfortunate for our beloved Harry Potter, because most of Hogwarts thinks he is the culprit. Everyone is in danger, even those who are very close to him.

J. K. Rowling has once again showed us how superb she was in story telling. Her usual concoctions of hilarity, mystery, intrigue and magic has delighted her fans both young and old. This book is one of my most favorite books in this series. The very same reason why I wanted to complete the series again in hardbound format.

Fate does really intervene, because I cannot once again find a hardbound copy despite having already bought Prisoner of Azkaban. Hopefully by the end of the month it will be available.

Grade: A

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Character Posters

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 movie wasn't that really great. That is why I am hoping that the series would be redeemed with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. And the release of new character posters of the movie is certainly giving us a hint that it will be so.

So far my most favorite of the series is Eclipse, which caters for the male audience through the action scenes. Now the fourth and fifth movie have come back to their roots as Bill Condon, the director, focused more on the female fans with the cheesy and nitty-gritty take on it. This movie focuses about Bella's transformation as a vampire and how the birth of her and Edward's daughter will affect the story. It will be released a year after the first part, specifically on November 16, 2012.

Check out this terrifying character posters from the movie The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2:




For those of you who haven't seen the teaser trailer and poster yet, you can check it out below:



The marketing department of The Twilight Saga is surely teasing us movie goers with great stuff. For one, I said don't really like Part 1 that much, because of the home video feel of the wedding. That is why maybe they are egging for a more aggressive feel for the battle scene as such to attract the male denomination of viewers. Get ready to hoist your train of friends and rush to the cinemas when The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 shows up in the cinemas nearest you.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Phillip Phillips Wins American Idol 2012, Jessica Sanchez Comes in Second as Runner-up

Phillip Phillips

This is another breathtaking triumph for America as they have to decided who to pit as this year's American Idol.

After combining the Judges' scores and the public votes, the American Idol Season 11 winner is no other than Phillip Phillips, leaving the runner-up spot for half Filipina, half Mexican girl wonder Jessica Sanchez. This is certainly an early Christmas celebration to all Phillip Phillips fans. But unfortunately I couldn't say the same with Jessica's fans, friends, kin and supporters.

The result was a record breaking number of votes for American Idol history reaching upto 132 million votes. Check out how the announcement of winner came about:


I was really hoping that American Idol history would be broken by placing a non-pure American as the winner. Black Americans has barely scraped it off and made it as champions, how much more for Asians or Mexicans. Personally I was happy for Phillip Phillips, but the sadness about Jessica Sanchez's loss overpowers me.

Jennifer Holliday & Jessica Sanchez
perform And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going

So the question of what comes next for the winner I am not really sure. At least we know for a fact that most winners of the show haven't made it long so far. Where are the previous winners? I hope this pattern will not befall Phillip Phillips. You may say I am a little bitter with the result of the show, but I am just stating an obvious thing here.

John Fogerty & Phillip Phillips
perform Have You Ever Seen the Rain?


John Fogerty & Phillip Phillips
perform Bad Moon Rising

Jessica Sanchez, my ultimate favorite this season, may have not won, but she is still a winner for me. I am looking forward for Jessica's music career in the coming months. She has after all the talent that could help her survive this career. Whatever direction she's going to take, I am supporting her.

Jessica Sanchez & Phillip Phillips
perform Up Where We Belong

That was a very emotional finale for this season's American Idol. I wish Phillip Phillips all the best, because he is one of my favorites as well. Congratulations and hope to hear from you and your album anytime soon. And as for us American Idol fans, see you again next season.