Movie Review: The Town

By:  Cheryl Maxie

Introduction: The Town stars Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Jeremy Renner and Blake Lively.  Released September 17, 2010, The Town (Warner Bros.) is still in the top ten after six weeks and has grossed over $84,653,000 to date.  Also co-written by Affleck, The Town is Affleck’s directorial debut.

Storyline: The movie opens as Affleck’s crew (Renner, Slaine, Burke and Welliver) rob a Boston bank and take bank manager, Claire Keesey, played by Rebecca Hall hostage.  The plot thickens when Affleck’s character (Doug MacRay) becomes romantically involved with bank manager, Keesey.  MacRay wants to break free from a life of crime, but is held hostage himself by his past associations and family ties.  F.B.I. agent, Adam Frawley (Hamm) brings the  “heat”, one step behind the crew, threatening to bring an end to both MacRay’s life as a free man and to his romantic plans for a future with Keesey.  A trigger happy/best friend (Renner), a druggy ex-girlfriend (Lively) and a neighborhood crime boss, “Fergie” (Pete Postlethwaite) all conspire to keep MacRay tied to “the life”.  Against his will, MacRay is forced to do one final heist.  Rob the biggest game in town, the Boston Red Socks.

What’s Good: Just about everything in this film is outstanding.  Edge of your seat excitement, interesting characters, love and even intimacy are present in this modern day good guy vs. bad guy drama.  Lots of action scenes without overdone special effects keep viewers engaged and wanting more.  Chase sequences are especially good, reminiscent of DeNiro and Pacino in the film classic “Heat”.

What’s Bad: Not much to say in this area.  The only bad part of the movie was it being over.

Summary: The film is a triumph for Actor/Director/Star Affleck.  Exciting and dramatic from beginning to end, the film is a MUST SEE for all moviegoers.   Expect to see a great movie.  It will exceed your expectations and proved that you can still take a simple idea to new heights with just the right talent.  If you can, see it one the big screen.  It’s well worth the ticket price.

Look Like A Star!

Canadian Jewelry Company, Global Wealth Trade (GWT), launched the designer brand FERI “for Him and for Her” at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) last week. GWT played host to  “A list” celebrities as they attended TIFF and were given a sneak peek of the gorgeous designer jewels.  FERI could be the next Cartier say many fashion insiders, so wise investors are positioning themselves by investing in this hot new company NOW and will watch a modest investment of (US $3,036 – Platinum Package) gain equity.  See the entire line for yourself by visiting the website:  globalwealthtrade.com/totalpackage.

Movie Review – Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

By: Cheryl Maxie

Introduction: Wall Street 2 (Money Never Sleeps) opened worldwide October 24, 2010 to anxiously awaiting fans. Starring Michael Douglas and Shia LaBoeuf the film directed by Oliver Stone has an all-star supporting cast that includes Carey Mulligan, Susan Sarandon and Josh Brolin.

Storyline: When Gordon Gekko (Douglas) is released from prison after serving 8 years for insider trading, he is approached by his would be son-in-law Jake Moore (Shia LaBoeuf) in an attempt to reconcile Gekko with his daughter Winnie, LaBoeuf’s love interest. LaBoeuf, a “wall streeter” himself is somewhat seduced by the charismatic Gekko and quickly learns a few new tricks from his future father-in-law. As luck would have it, LaBoeuf’s mentor (Frank Langella) is driven to suicide when his company is ruined and LaBoeuf is determined to avenge his death. In an attempt to bring down the corrupt leader of the financial company that ruined his company, Bretton James played by Brolin, (who also contributed to Gekko’s imprisonment) LaBoeuf goes to work for the competition. LaBoeuf struggles to do good, but has to learn how to swim with the big sharks, which ultimately threatens to both destroy his relationship and his financial future when the rug is pulled out from under him by guess who?

What’s Good: Michael Douglas is great as he recaptures Gekko’s character, a man down but never out of the game. LaBoeuf is believable as both a young, hotshot Wall Street trader and equally convincing as a caring partner to his love interest (Mulligan) showing a wide range of emotion with apparent ease. In Wall Street, LaBoeuf has taken the leap from the action paced “Transformer” franchise into a first rate “Leading Man” in a dramatic role. Josh Brolin who plays Bretton James the banker who is so driven, that he lacks a conscience, but even though you know he’s no good, you love to watch. Oliver Stone plays a cameo role in the movie that is always a treat for the moviegoer. Susan Sarandon is in her element as LaBoeuf’s needy mother (complete with thick New York accent) and it is always fun to see how the super rich live and how they spend all that money on those wonderful toys (and clothes).

What’s Bad: It would have been nice to see Mulligan have a meatier part, but overall her performance was what the script required.

Summary: As sequel’s go, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a must see if you enjoyed the first one. Oliver Stone’s film is, as always filled with interesting hypotheses of what could have cause our economic melt down. The film is well paced, beautifully shot and is fun to watch. There some great lines in Money Never Sleeps, a great New York Benefit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art sequence and even a little excitement for those with the need for speed.

What’s For Dinner?

October 4, 2010
By: Cheryl Maxie

Coming up with creative new ideas for dinner night after night can be a nightmare. For those of us with a family, the challenge is often making something that will be a treat for the grown-ups and something that the kids won’t give to the dog rather than eat themselves. I found some great alternatives for tasty meal ideas from The Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics cookbook. Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) hosts a show on the Food Network and her specialty is coming up with menus that delight her guests and give her plenty of time to enjoy their company because more of the meals are easy to prepare and can be made in advance. When I first thumbed through the book, I was enticed by the beautiful photographs of meals that sounded good enough to serve to royalty, yet had recipes easy enough for even a novice cook to follow with successful results. For my first meal, I selected the Broiled Red Snapper with Mustard Sauce and Capers. According to Ina, this dish took only about 20 minutes to prepare (including cooking time) and was special enough to serve to your most treasured guests. With only 8 basic ingredients to work with, I discovered she was right. I was able to run in after a long day, whip everything together in 10 minutes and cook it in 15 minutes. Since the sauce looked so good in the picture, I served it with rice (which the kids love) and green beans. Before I tested it out myself, I let my mother have a taste. Once she dipped her fork into the tender fish, covered in the creamy mustard sauce, that was it. I never got my plate back (even though she had already eaten dinner and claimed to be coming down with a cold.) When I tried it myself, I couldn’t believe that something so simple could taste so good. I am trilled that I have found another recipe to add to my repertoire of winning entrees and can’t wait to experiment with what the book has to offer. If you don’t already own a copy, “The Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics” can be purchased on Amazon.com. Give it a try for yourself and let me know what you think.

Posen Lights Up Paris Fashion Week

DESIGNER:  ZAC POSEN

Paris, September 30, 2010
By: Cheryl Maxie

This week, Paris “The City of Lights” rolled out the red carpet for fashion royalty as Women’s Wear designers presented their Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear Collections. Zac Posen’s collection this year is true to his reputation for fun, sexy clothing that appeals to daring youth and the occasional movie starlet. Zac Posen debuted his first collection at the New York Fashion Week in 2002. A native New Yorker, Posen had been nurturing his creative evolution since childhood by making clothing for his friends. Posen went on to study at St. Ann’s School for the Arts in Brooklyn followed by taking pattern making at Parson’s school of design. In 1999 he attended Central Saint Martins School in London to study Womenswear. After his return to the states in 2001, he open a small boutique in New York and started his own label and company called Outspoke. By 2002 he had already captured the attention of film stars Claire Danes and Natalie Portman. “Zac’s clothes are classical and elegant but also made for young people,” Portman told People. Fashion critics raved about both his collection and his potential bright future with the New York Times announcing: “A Star is Born”. Another boost to his already bright future was catching the attention of music and business mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs, who owns a fashion line himself, recognized Zac’s talent and marketability, which resulted in Mr. Combs making a substantial financial investment in Zac’s company.

Posen’s collection this year clearly displays his abilities in both fashion and costume design. Many of the pieces in this collection are more art than clothing in its tradition sense. Posen’s use of feather accents and bold color are at times more suited for a stage performer. But there are also pieces in the collection that any woman (who wants to be noticed) could wear. There is something for everyone in Zac’s world and anyone can be beautiful in a Posen garment.

References:

http://www.vogue.co.uk/biographies/080422-zac-posen-biography.aspx

Zac Posen Biography – family, childhood, parents, name, school, mother, young, old, information, born http://www.notablebiographies.com/news/Ow-Sh/Posen-Zac.html#ixzz11QVYaNoP