Cinematic Releases: Violent Night (2022) - Reviewed

Posted By themoviesleuth 1 hour 52 minutes ago on Entertainment

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures People tend to have polarizing opinions about traditional Christmas films.  They’re warm, happy hugs to some, and trite, overly cheery drivel to others.  Not all Christmas films are created equal, however.  From Bad Santa to Krampus, filmmakers have chosen to depict Christmas in a variety of unconventional ways to appeal to even the staunchest Christmas film hater.  Director Tommy Wirkola’s Violent Night is yet another of these off-kilter films proving there’s a Christmas film for everyone, and while the Die Hard comparisons are inevitable, it has a personality and charm that is all its own. The film opens in a mostly empty pub on Christmas Eve, where we meet our protagonist whose appetite for booze surpasses his craving for cookies:  Santa Claus (David Harbour).  This isn’t the jolly St. Nick of lore, however — quite the contrary.  He’s a weathered, cantankerous soul who ponders to the bartender if this Christmas will be his last, and after the predicament he finds himself in delivering presents that evening, this may very well be the case.  He visits a wealthy family in the midst of an armed hostage situation, and realizes he’s in danger.  Unluckily for him, his “Christmas magic” is running low and his reindeer abandon him, leaving him to fend for himself.  While mercenaries led by a vicious “Mr. Scrooge” (John Leguizamo) attempt to steal the family’s vast fortune, Santa must fight to stay alive and rescue the family before it’s too late.  Fortunately, this isn’t Santa’s first rodeo and the bad guys start to massively regret being on his “naughty list.” Violent Night has an irreverence about it that’s gritty and amusing, but also manages to scream “Christmas” consistently throughout, and it creates an interesting juxtaposition.  While some films that don’t follow the traditional Christmas film formula treat the festive elements in it as secondary, this one keeps them all at the forefront, even in its most brutal moments.  There are holiday-heavy visual gags aplenty in the film and they all work gloriously.  Traditional Christmas decorations like light-up stars and candy canes are used as makeshift murder weapons in some creatively gory kill scenes, making much of the violence in the film wickedly funny.  There are even scenes that pay homage to Home Alone’s slapstick-infused violence in the not-so-subtlest of ways, and rather than feeling like cheap winks, they seem organic and fun.  Combined with a score that constantly gives nods to classic Christmas songs, it’s impossible to forget this film’s setting, even for a moment. The absurd premise completely works thanks to its strong cast.  David Harbour is an especially indispensable asset — so much so that it’s difficult to imagine anyone else as this Santa.  His line delivery and physicality are perfect as a rough-around-the-edges, cynical hero.  The film even gives Santa a Viking backstory to explain why this beloved icon is so good at kicking ass, and Harbour is entirely convincing as a former barbarian who knows how to skillfully crush skulls with a hammer.  The supporting cast is equally great:  the legendary Beverly D’Angelo plays the ruthless matriarch Gertrude Lightstone who keeps her cool despite her home being invaded, and Edi Patterson is a natural as Gertrude’s selfish, slightly insane daughter Alva.  The despicable members of the Lightstone family are grounded by Gertrude’s son Jason (Alex Hassell) and his separated wife Linda (Alexis Louder), whose daughter together Trudy (Leah Brady) is a force to be reckoned with when the mercenaries try to catch her.  Brady’s scenes with Harbour are especially enjoyable and serve as a catalyst for the audience to see the softer side of this Santa, which in turn gives a bit more dimension to an otherwise fairly straightforward, single-note movie. Violent Night is a fresh, clever take on the unconventional Christmas film.  There is no other that is quite as bloody, but also somehow manages to maintain the Christmas spirit.  It’s nothing deep, but that’s never its intent.  It’s comfortable doing exactly what it does, and does it exceedingly well.  This fast-paced, laugh-out-loud funny action film will keep people entertained throughout, and if they’re in on the joke, chances are very few will leave theaters saying “bah humbug.”—Andrea Riley

Casablanca (80th Anniversary) back at Cineworld – Blazing Minds Review

Posted By BlazingMinds 2 hours 21 minutes ago on all - Casablanca is directed by Michael Curtiz and stars Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Peter Lorre and Claude Rains, it’s a film with so many quotes that most people know and one which has been miss-quoted more times than you can imagine!

Gift For Boys In Wedding Party – 9

Posted By Sybrina 9 hours ago on Writing - Gift For Boys In Wedding Party - Planning a wedding? The hardest gifts of appreciation to purchase are for the boys in the wedding party. Show the ring bearer, ushers and even the youngest groomsmen that you appreciate their participation in making your wedding special by giving them this little book before the ceremony. Even the very youngest will be proud to say, “I tied this tie myself.” Include a warm note of gratitude inside the book from the bride and groom to make this a forever keepsake.

Big, Big Christmas Trees in Singapore | December 2022

Posted By ScribblingGeek 9 hours ago on Entertainment - The post Big, Big Christmas Trees in Singapore | December 2022 appeared first on The Scribbling Geek.
Nowadays, it is almost customary for Singaporean malls and attractions to display big Christmas trees during the year-end. Here are the biggest, the tallest ones to enjoy!
The post Big, Big Christmas Trees in Singapore | December 2022 appeared first on The Scribbling Geek.

Jack In: William Gibson's Neuromancer Getting TV Series Adaptation From Apple TV

Posted By themoviesleuth 19 hours ago on Entertainment

Cover art from the Brazilian edition of NeuromancerCourtesy: AlephAfter many, many false starts and failed attempts, it appears that William Gibson's genre-defining cyberpunk novel Neuromancer (and possibly the whole Sprawl Trilogy, if things go well) might finally be making it to the screen. It is no exaggeration to say that Gibson's 1984 novel is surely one of the most influential and iconic sci-fi books ever written: one of the founding texts of the cyberpunk genre, the book that gave us the word "cyberspace" (seriously), and an influence on a whole generation of sci-fi media, from Max Headroom to The Matrix. And yet, for reasons fans have never fully understood, it has proven weirdly difficult to adapt to the screen, despite numerous attempts dating back as far as the late-80s. For a while there were many who thought the novel to be unfilmable, due to how much of it is set in Gibson's virtual-reality realm of cyberspace itself, which would have been very hard to realize on-screen before CGI was up to the task (just ask The Lawnmower Man). But that hasn't been an issue for a long time now, and yet every attempt has still fallen through for one reason or another.Now, according to a report broken yesterday by The Illuminerdi (which has not yet been confirmed by the studio, so take this with a grain of salt), Apple TV is finally ending the decades of preproduction hell, and will adapt Neuromancer as a TV series in 2023. According to the report, William Gibson himself will serve as the series' executive producer, while Graham Roland (Jack Reacher, Lost) will serve as showrunner. Miles Teller has allegedly been offered the lead role of strung-out black-market hacker Case. Personally, as a fan of the novel, I question that casting choice - Teller is a great actor, but I have trouble seeing him as the gaunt, world-weary "console cowboy" who seems like a better fit for someone like a Bill Skarsgård or a Riz Ahmed. But still, Teller is a powerhouse actor who is having quite the moment right now after Top Gun: Maverick, and if he is the kind of lead the series is allegedly courting, that is a good sign that this may be the kind of big-budget series that stands a chance of doing justice to Gibson's high-concept universe of The Sprawl. Photo credit: Amanda Edwards/Getty ImagesIt is also a very good sign that Gibson himself is involved as an executive producer - a title which will hopefully be more than honorary, and will hopefully mean that he is on-board to both protect his universe, and to guide how it is updated. Because it definitely will need updating: Neuromancer was written when the internet age was on the horizon but not yet here, and while a lot of its predictions (cyberspace, VR, digital data being the ultimate commodity, etc) were very accurate and prophetic, some were a bit off the mark, and it would be really interesting to see how Gibson might alter the story to work in a 2023 world (which, let's be honest, is a techno-dystopian hellscape in a lot of ways already, except without the cool cyberpunk fashions).The series has not yet cast any of its other leads - crucially, it has not yet cast the female lead: the cybernetically-enhanced assassin Molly, who was cited by The Wachowski Sisters as a direct influence on The Matrix's Trinity. The Illuminerdi report does, however (again, without citing any sources, so take that for what you will), mention that Apple TV is looking to cast Molly as the one carryover character who would continue on to seasons 2 and 3 if the show is successful, which is a major indicator of the studio's intentions. Specifically, this means that they are looking to adapt Neuromancer as a one-season story, and then adapt the two other novels in the Sprawl Trilogy, Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive, as seasons 2 and 3. The trilogy is a loose one: three novels all set in the same world, but not direct sequels to one another in the sense that they don't follow the same characters from one book to the next. Each book has a different ensemble of leads, with characters recurring and popping up across all of them, and Molly is one of the principle ones, and definitely one of the most memorable and iconic characters in Gibson's universe. In addition to the novels, the Sprawl series also includes three short stories, Johnny Mnemonic, Burning Chrome, and New Rose Hotel, so if the series is a success, Apple TV and Graham Roland will have plenty of source material to work with.A previous cinematic portrayal of The Sprawl,from Johnny MnemonicCourtesy: SonyThe Sprawl is a future Earth where governments have largely collapsed and the world is a dystopian network of cities ruled by corporations and crime syndicates; where data is the ultimate currency and people are cybernetically enhanced, in both body and brain. When you die, your consciousness can be uploaded to cyberspace, where you can live (in a manner of speaking) forever as an AI ghost in the machine, and cyberspace is a virtual-reality realm that you jack into via a port in your skull. Against the backdrop of this cyberpunk dystopia, Case is a down-on-his-luck hacker who is just desperate enough to be recruited by Molly and a mysterious man named Armitage for a very high-stakes, and very high-reward, cyber heist and espionage job. But things are not what they seem, and Case and Molly quickly find themselves in over their heads in a labyrinthine plot spanning both the crime and corporate worlds, leading them across the entirety of the Sprawl, not to mention the darkest corners of cyberspace itself. It's a dense novel with a ton of great world-building, and an episodic nature to its structure which gradually adds up to a grander plot. It would be pretty tricky to adapt well as a single film (hence why the only two film adaptations set in Gibson's Sprawl that have actually gotten made are both based on short stories: Johnny Mnemonic and New Rose Hotel), but it would be perfectly suited to a big-budget streaming series.This Neuromancer TV series looks as though it will cement 2022 and 2023 as quite a moment of resurgence for William Gibson and his brand of cyberpunk: Amazon Prime has been quite successful with their series adaptation of another one of Gibson's (non-Sprawl-related) cyberpunk works, The Peripheral, and this year also saw the 25th anniversary black and white re-release of a previous Gibson film adaptation of one of his Sprawl stories, Johnny Mnemonic, which has been undergoing something of a reappraisal from notorious box-office flop to increasingly-appreciated cult classic. If Neuromancer, the quintessential Gibson novel, ever had a serious chance of making it to the screen, this is surely it. Again, if this report pans out, and the project actually makes it to production this time, unlike so many past attempts.We will keep you updated!- Christopher S. JordanShare this article!(function() { var zergnet = document.createElement('script'); zergnet.type = 'text/javascript'; zergnet.async = true; zergnet.src = (document.location.protocol == "https:" ? "https:" : "http:") + '//'; var znscr = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; znscr.parentNode.insertBefore(zergnet, znscr); })();

Can a Culture of Innovation Help Your Business Navigate Disruption?

Posted By ivanpw 23 hours ago on Business - The post Can a Culture of Innovation Help Your Business Navigate Disruption? appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.
Disruption has always existed in the business world. However, with the advent of technology, disruptions seem to be happening at lightning speed. This makes it difficult for companies to remain competitive, especially if their leaders haven’t prioritized a culture of innovation.

Innovation is essential when it comes to overcoming disruption and remaining indispensable in an ever-changing global ecosystem. Organizations that fail to grow, adapt, and thrive ultimately fail to innovate, as discussed in a Harvard Business School article.
On the other hand, businesses that make innovation a necessity can apply out-of-the-box thinking to even the stickiest of situations. For example, many traditional brick-and-mortar retailers with innovative cultures took advantage of Amazon marketing services to open up new e-commerce revenue streams.…

Dream Walker By A. J. Alexander – The Bursting Bookshelf

Posted By Sybrina 1 day 8 minutes ago on Writing - Dream Walker book 5 of The Council Of Twelve Series By A. J. Alexander - The Bursting Bookshelf Blog Tours. Genre: YA Fantasy. book 5 of The Council Of Twelve Series

Koyu thought she had done her duty, but deep inside she knows it will never be over. She is bound to her master forever and will have to execute his every command. But when he demands she’ll invade his sworn enemy’s dreams, she chooses to rebel.

Koyu risks her existence to help the ‘other side’ by purposely disobeying her master's orders.

Koyu knows she'll pay with her life for her impertinence. Is there, indeed, no hope for her?

Will Owning A Franchise Make You Unhappy?

Posted By franking 1 day 11 hours ago on Business - New Post From The Franchise King®
I doubt very much if you think you’ll be an unhappy franchise owner. It’s probably not in your wheelhouse. Whatever that means. But is it possible? Is there a chance you’ll be an unhappy franchise owner? Let’s find out. A Perfect World Franchising is a good business model. Great even. Mostly. And in a perfect […]
The post Will Owning A Franchise Make You Unhappy? appeared first on The Franchise King®— Find The Best Franchise To Buy.