Movie Ticket Weekly “Beauty and the Beast in 3D”

I am not going to lie to you. This is is me, cheating. Going to see a movie I have seen repeatedly as a child, and even to this day on DVD, is flat out cheating on my part. But that doesn’t change the fact that twenty years after it was first on the silver screen, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” does not disappoint when it allows you the chance to relive the magic in theaters once more. And this time, in 3D!

Now I know what you’re thinking: a two-dimensional film being shown with a third-dimension? That sounds incredibly silly and just a little gimmicky. In most cases movies that are shot in 3D tend to be more of a joke. I usually get headaches whenever I’ve braved the ticket price for one. You tend to be better off not paying the extra five to seven dollars since the so-called 3D effect is something left to be desired.

Disney was able to pull of the effect just right though. They didn’t attempt that effect where objects in the movie jump out of the screen and at you, the viewer, as other companies have advertised in commercials for their films. No, instead of that, what Disney did was give “Beauty and the Beast” more visual depth. It had the feel of an animated pop-up book on display, almost as if you could reach into the movie and touch the scenery and characters. “Beauty and the Beast” moved along seamlessly and naturally as my eyes adjusted quickly to the added dimension.

The 3D effect also helped to make particular moments even more spectacular than before! Right from the beginning the look of the country and the castle with the stained glass introduction had me going “Whoa” over my drink. All of the musical numbers such as “Be Our Guest”, “Gaston” and “Beauty and the Beast” seemed even bigger than before.

Even “The Mob Song” with the deeper, darker visual had me feeling goosebumps as I hummed along. Now for any of the big fans, this was the original theatrical release version that they used so ” When We’re Human Again” is not in it.

These effects played up the strong points of the visuals and succeeded in making them even stronger. Given the opportunity I would definitely go see it again just because of all the fun I had. Not to mention there is an additional surprise for you right before the movie! Fans of Disney’s last movie, “Tangled” are in for a real treat with the animated short “Tangled Ever After”. Also, your sides might end up in a lot of pain or your lungs lacking oxygen from laughing so hard. Fair warning.

All in all, what I’m trying to say is if you are a huge fan of Disney and loved “Beauty and the Beast” then this is not something you will want to miss. It did not disappoint.

The Complete MakeUp Artist

Now there are several useful and informative books in relation to the study of make-up. But because there are different levels to it, just like every other subject a person can learn about, there are varying books dedicated to the different levels of skill. “The Complete Make-Up Artist” is a book geared towards those who are beginners in learning about make-up in television, movies, and theater.

Penny Delamar knows what it is that any beginner will need when they start off. She had worked for the BBC for ten years on various projects and is now principal of Delamar Academy, just to name a couple of accomplishments in her career. This is a book just made for the aspiring student.

Because visuals are always helpful, accompanying each of the step-by-step guides for the different techniques there are matching illustrations. That way it allows a comparison for the reader to rely on when trying it themselves. Within each chapter there are tidbits of information added on to help the reader as they learn. It covers the basics as well as principles to make-up without overwhelming the student with too much at once. There are tips and notes on health and safety to make sure they are also aware of what they should be careful of when practicing.

The basics covered in the book apply to both traditional as well as character make-up. Because neither one is more important than the other, Penny Delamar makes sure to cover both styles. And just like any good teacher should, there are plenty of activities and questions inside. It is the best way to ensure that a person is learning and what better way to do that then with a few projects? This tests the person on what they learn and has them put their newly acquired knowledge to use.

“The Complete Make-Up Artist” provides examples of work most notable in the history of entertainment, such as “Gone with the Wind”, to show what can be achieved when someone is dedicated to what they love. Works that were completed by her graduates and had received awards for are excellent examples provided in this book.

For anyone starting out in make-up, “The Complete Make-Up Artist” is the ideal guide in helping them on their way. It is the perfect book to start one’s collection with as they continue to learn the various arts to make-up.

Movie Ticket Weekly “The Adventures of Tintin”

You could not have asked for a better team to bring “The Adventures of Tintin” to the silver screen in this latest adaptation. Directed by Steven Spielberg who in turn produced the movie alongside of Peter Jackson and Kathleen Kennedy, all in which are names with so many movie titles under their belt that not a single person has not seen a movie by any of them, if not all three.

Steven Moffat, who has written “Jekyll”, “Sherlock”, and current head writer for “Doctor Who”, wrote the original script. That screenplay was given to Edgar Wright and Joe Cornis. The former is the writer responsible for “Shaun of the Dead”, “Hot Fuzz” and “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”. The latter has recently made a huge success in both writing and directing the film, “Attack the Block”.

The movie is shot entirely in motion capture, and while not the same as seeing the characters in the familiar style of Herge’s original comics, still manages to bring them to life while keeping the cartoonish feel to their design. The over all tone of the film is that of an epic adventure that could be enjoyed by viewers of all ages. Jamie Bell stars as the title character of Tintin with Andy Serkis as the Captain Haddock and Daniel Craig as the movie’s antagonist, Ivan Ivanovitch Sakarine, all of whom do a splendid job in bringing the voices to their characters.

“The Adventures of Tintin” is a combination of three of the many comic adventures but this was something I didn’t know about until after I had seen it. The three tales were seamlessly put together and flow so smoothly that it has the feel of just one story. Admittedly the pacing felt a little on the rushed side but I found that to be forgivable. The non-stop adventure had me on the edge of my seat.

Right from the very beginning, after the opening pays tribute to the source material, we watch as Snowy, Tintin’s fox terrier, attempts to go after a pick-pocket that leads Tintin to the model ship that sets the story in motion. Within five minutes the ball is rolling with Tintin diving into this mystery involving hidden treasure, tales of revenge, and an adventure spanning across the globe. He is one journalist who knows how to go looking for a story!

While the movie offers little to explain the characters of Tintin and Snowy in the beginning, the end of it leaves the viewer with a strong impression of these two beloved characters. With this being the first of a planned trilogy we are sure to have more to learn about this duo.

If you haven’t already, I strongly implore you to go out and see this movie. Go with friends, family, or alone, it doesn’t matter. Do not miss out on seeing this on the big screen! The scenery is absolutely stunning that only adds more to this visual success.

Special Make-Up Effects

It does not matter what skill level as a make-up artist the reader is. Whether they are an amateur or an expert, “Special Make-Up Effects For Stage and Screen” has tips and instructions for all to learn from. The book covers all there is to the art of make-up for theater, television and movie productions.

Todd Debreceni gives us the ideal how-to book when it comes to this type of art. His writing style makes it easy for everyone to understand the different methods he uses. It has information ranging from sculpting prosthetic to painting the model in vibrant colors to give them that unearthly look. The book also goes over the different tools to use, what materials are best suited for what project, and suppliers he recommends for specific materials, just to name a few examples. Both the written instructions and photographs are there to help novices and experts alike.

But he has done more than show the reader how to achieve stunning works of make-up art. Included in “Special Make-Up Effects For Stage and Screen” are a variety of features from make-up artists of today. Such artists as Neill Gorton, Christopher Tucker, Miles Teves, Jordu Schell, Mark Alfrey, Matthew Mungle, Christien Tinsely, Vittorio Sodano, and Mark Gabarino. It is as thorough as it can be when it comes to teaching the reader. And by providing this variety and paying attention to so much detail, Todd Debreceni has given the reader a unique opportunity to see into this study.

However, it doesn’t end with the book. Along with the book there is a DVD include that is full of tutorials and recipes that can be found with the book. This DVD guide is the ideal tool for anyone who prefer a real-time visual to help them understand. As bonus there is an illustration gallery consisting of works from experts of this industry.

“Special Make-Up Effects For Stage and Screen” is the resource to use for when it comes to this particular art. It could be a gift for someone who just starting out. Or perhaps a helpful tool for a friend or family member who is already in school. No matter the reason anyone can learn good tips and pointers from this book and DVD combination.

Memorable hairstyles in Movies

There is always that one aspect a person thinks of first when talking about a movie. Sometimes it’s a particular character. Or maybe it’s a specific line or even an outfit. But in this case, there are just some movies where the most memorable attribute you take with you by the time the credits role is a character’s hairstyle. A little weird but it tends to be more common than you might think.

Emmet Brown from the Back to the Future Trilogy: The fact that Christopher Lloyd played this role is more than enough to have anyone remembering in years to come. His portrayal of the character has everyone quoting his character. But whenever someone wants to dress up as Doc Brown, the most important item needed is that wild wig of white hair with the receding hairline. It just wouldn’t be Doc Brown without that hair!

Ruby Rhod from The Fifth Element: There is no possible way for anyone to forget this can-shaped, bleach blond pompadour hair that Chris Tucker had to wear after seeing this movie. It is just there for all to see and never to forget. It’s as if someone decided to attempt to make a lawn sculpture on this man’s hair. Or better yet, it looks like someone let Edward Scissorhands style it.

Princess Leia from Star Wars: Quite possibly the most memorable hair style in the science fiction movie genre, this style of twin buns on either side of her head is recognized by fans and non-fans alike. While there is also Padme’s bizarre fan hair style from The Phantom Menace it just doesn’t have the same amount of recognition in pop culture and movie history as Leia’s braided buns does.

Danny Zuko from Grease: Another pompadour look that was less fanatical and yet certainly more memorable. Danny Zuko was that guy everyone knew, the cool guy who always had to look as cool as he thought himself to be. And the most important aspect of his appearance was his fair. Sure there was the Thunderbird leather jacket, but really now, we all know it was the hair. Why else would he have that comb with him at all times?

Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany: This was a classier, more sophisticated look when compared to the other styles mentioned above this. It was a smaller beehive look that was popular at the time that was completed with the diamond hair tiara that. While it isn’t a style seen very often nowadays, it’s definitely one that will have movie fans recognizing.

Movie Ticket Weekly “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”

After an extremely busy season I am back once more! It’s time to resume my duties of watching the latest films showing in theaters and write up the reviews. So, to start of my return, this week I will be reviewing “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”.

It has been two years since the first “Sherlock Holmes” film has been on the screen and now it is back, once again directed by Guy Ritchie with Hans Zimmer, as well as Lorne Balfe behind the musical score. Within the first minute of the movie Holmes is at it again. Tying into the last film they show at Irene Adler is up to something with Holmes following her every step while John Watson prepares for his marriage to his fiance. It also isn’t long until the audience is re-introduced the method of following Holmes’ process of thinking when finding himself in a fight for that matter! But with all of the reminders from the first film there are certainly new surprises and new faces for the viewer.

Sherlock has all but been consumed by his greatest case yet. The Napoleon of Crime, the infamous genius known as James Moriarty shares the spotlight with the brilliant detective in a ever-lasting game of wits and intelligence. This game however is not without risks, chances, and consequences. Both France and Germany at each others throat and Moriarty is ready to strike the match to start the war, as well as supply the world with the ammunition needed to ignite a world war. Well, that is unless Sherlock and Watson can find the means to stop him, no matter what the cost.

Easily the best parts of this movie are the scenes involving both Holmes and Moriarty. To see two men of equal intelligence with morals on opposite ends of the spectrum are fascinating to behold. There is always a game between to them and a dangerous one too. While Lord Blackwood from the first movie was a formidable opponent it’s Moriarty that keeps Holmes on his toes, ready to watch him slip and fall. The director did not waste even a second with their scenes. If anything I wish there could have been more! But coming to a close second are the brief moments between Holmes and Mycroft. One Holmes is intriguing enough, but two? I could hardly keep the grin off my face whenever Stephen Fry appeared in the role of the older brother.

However, if I say anything more I’m afraid I’ll spoil the story. This is one movie where you just have to see it for yourself. So grab a friend or family member and see this movie! Fair warning though: as enjoyable as it was, there were moments in the cinematography where my mind was thrown for a loop. While the style is pleasing to the eye, the slow motion capture with explosions, fights, and shots go on for too long at times. It isn’t enough to ruin how much I enjoyed the movie too and I hope it doesn’t ruin it for you as well!

Illustrated History of Magic

Magic has captivated audiences for centuries. From the smallest child to the oldest grandparent, magic and illusions continue to dazzle everyone of all ages. And in “The Illustrated History of Magic”, Milbourne and Maurine Christopher provide for you, the reader, a tour of all things magic.

This is not a book containing how-to or step-by-step tricks and illusions. That is something that can be found anywhere else. Within the covers of this book are four-hundred and eighty four pages dedicated to the very history of magic through out the world from Egypt to China, from Britain to the United States. And names

Stories of different magicians, sorcerers, conjurers and illusionists as well as their amazing feats are here to teach you what magic is all about. Since it’s original publication in 1973, “The Illustrated History of Magic” has been updated by the Milbourne’s wife after his unfortunate passing in 1984 to include stories about Siegfried & Roy and David Copperfield, just to name a couple. Milbourne Christopher is said to have been major influence in the world of magic as a magician himself, as well as a lecturer and historian. All in which is told in the foreward from David Copperfield himself.

But what makes this book all the more entrancing is that included with all these stories are illustrations. Hence the title. With roughly three-hundred illustrations, this bibliography of magic shows examples of everything written within. Copies of playbills for popular acts can be seen, along with cartoons, advertisements, even photographs, all in which are based on these legendary events and people. This is a book to help both newcomers as well as old friends of this trade to learn what brought magic to where it is to this day. And with pictures coupled with the stories, it is difficult not to find any enjoyment in this enriched history.

Helen Rose

During the golden age of cinema, Hollywood truly was glamour. The stars and starlets were always dressed to the nines, especially in their movies. Along with some contemporaries of her day, Helen Rose is one of the figures that deserve more credit for her contributions to fashion design in the movie business than she gets.

As a costume designer, Helen Rose was charged with creating the elegant dresses that the lovely ladies of the silver screen donned during that age. Her talents proved to be more than enough to get the job done, and her success designing clothing for beautiful ladies in the public eye translated into more than just screen time for her designs.

Born in 1904, she honed her craft while she attending the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.
Upon graduation, she designed nightclub and stage costumes for a time before deciding that her true calling would be in Hollywood. Rose packed up and moved to Los Angeles in 1929.

After a brief stint working for 20th Century Fox, she went to work for MGM Studios and by the late 1940s she was promoted to chief designer at the studio. This would prove to be a boon for Rose, whose talents would soon be on display for all the world to see. Her career would span from the early 1940s all the way through the late 1960s.

During this period Rose worked with such Hollywood icons as Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, Judy Garland, Carmen Miranda, Grace Kelly, and Elizabeth Taylor. The list of great leading ladies she has designed for is too numerous to mention. Even a casual movie viewer equates the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe with elegance and sexuality. We can thank Helen Rose for these images. Her designs were, in her own words, intended to be “simple and dramatic”, with an emphasis on the silhouette and a showcasing of the gorgeous women who wore them.

Rose is credited with designing the wedding dress for the real life fairy tale wedding between Grace Kelly and the Prince of Monaco.

Rose may be best known for the many stunning gowns she created for Elizabeth Taylor, which followed her general philosophy of “If you have a magnificent jewel, you put it in a simple setting – you don’t distract with a lot of detail”. Taylor is reported to have asked Rose to make copies of many of the gowns she designed for films to add to her personal collection. Rose won two Academy Awards during her lengthy career, for The Bad and the Beautiful in 1952 and also for I’ll Cry Tomorrow in 1955. During this period she was nominated eight other times.

After leaving the movie business she went on to design for the most wealthy and famous of ladies off screen, opening her own design business. She also delved into the world of writing, penning a fashion column and authoring two books.

Unfortunately for the starlets of today, who could so use the grace and elegance found in the designs she created, Helen Rose died in Palm Springs in 1985, at the age of 81. Her legacy lives on however, in the movies we all cherish from her time.

Vampires

The idea of vampires is one of the most popular genres to date when it comes to the media. While the term ‘vampire’ started in the early 18th century, the description of these creatures existed long before the word itself. Those resembling what we would call vampires could be found in history dating as far back as prehistoric. Cultures such as Ancient Greek, Roman, African, Asian and Mesopotamian had tales of their about entities and spirits that drained the blood of living beings.

In those times these beings were among many stories often told to scare people and were revered as legends of old. Nowadays, a person can find books, movies, television series and comics that usually glamorize the myth that is vampires.

There are varying interpretations about these vampires even to this day. In some stories they cannot go out in the sun for fear that they will burn alive while in others they can. Holy relics can be used to ward them off in some; Others can be fought off with the use of garlic. Each and every interpretation will vary which often leads to heavy debates and discussion as to what really is a vampire.

For most however the definitive definition of the vampire is based on the novel by Bram Stoker entitled “Dracula” that he had written in 1897. This book alone introduced the world to the most infamous, most iconic vampire known to history, Count Dracula. The Count has been featured in over 200 films alone, along with countless novels and short stories.

Even now a person cannot go into a book or video store without seeing an entire section dedicated to these mythical beings. “The Vampire Chronicles” written by Anne Rice remains as large staple in vampire lore like that of “Dracula”. And today the idea of the vampire has been over-romanticized in teen and young adult fiction, with the most well-known example being “Twilight” by Stephanie Meyer. But there are still horror stories that continue with the fear-inducing ideas that frighten people.

Whether or not vampires actually exist is still a debate that goes on even now. But whether they are fiction or not, one fact remains: the idea of vampires will be forever immortalized by humans without the requirement of feeding on the blood of another living being. As long as we continue to read those books, watch those movies, dress in their fashion and bare our fake fangs, the legend will continue to live on for always.

Famous Acts by Magicians

Throughout the history of mankind we have been fascinated by magicians. Those individuals who perform feats that seem impossible, or are impossible according to the laws of the universe as we know it, always seem to captivate our attention. From the earliest of magic tricks achieved by a quick hand and an easy smile, to the elaborate stunts that modern day magicians pull off in front of TV audiences, we are transfixed.

The most famous of these spellbinding performers become household names. In fact some we even think of as synonymous with the term magic. They entertain and amaze us. One of the most legendary was Harry Houdini.

Houdini made famous the great escape. He is the father of handcuff stunts and was a master lock picker. Always a showman, he never revealed how he would free himself from his seemingly inescapable bonds. He traveled for years throughout the United States and Europe performing his feats, amazing crowds around the globe. A common stop would involve him asking the local police force to detain him using their handcuffs and shackles, from which he would escape right in front of the audience on the street. His tricks were all the more amazing because they appeared to be so transparent.

He also became quite famous for the contraptions he would build and then escape from. Tanks filled with water, bolted or locked shut, would be placed in front of a waiting audience where he would escape from them, even after being placed in handcuffs.

While Houdini may be a household name now, there was a contemporary of his who may have even been more famous during his day. Howard Thurston billed himself as the indisputable “King of Cards” and built his acts around sleight of hand tricks involving common playing cards. He could make cards disappear at his fingertips effortlessly. He also incorporated a popular trick into his act where he would have an audience member choose a card, then place the card back in the deck and under a glass case. To the delight of his audience, he would make their chosen card rise to the top of the deck, as if by, well you guessed it, magic.

While Houdini and Thurston were superstars of their day, and earned a good living at their craft, modern illusionists (as they sometimes like to be called), have the game figured out when it comes to financial gain. Magicians like David Copperfield perform shows that are bigger, more elaborate, and more expensive than their predecessors could have imagined.

Making an elephant disappear in a theatre, as Houdini did, is one thing, but to make the Statue of Liberty disappear for both a live audience and viewers at home? For that you need a little more technology than Harry ever had in his day. Copperfield utilized a team involving helicopters, a rotating stage, and cameras to make his viewers believe he had actually made our Lady Liberty vanish.

These stunts are not cheap to pull off, and Copperfield has cashed in on their entertainment value. In his career he has grossed more than $3 billion in ticket sales, more than any other solo entertainer.

While some of his secrets and the secrets of those who came before him have been published in books and TV shows, thankfully for the majority of the public, they remain a mystery. After all, what’s the fun of going to see a magician if you don’t get to believe in the magic?