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Fast & Furious, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker gear up

jeudi 23 mai 2013      Fast & Furious 6 [DVD]

He sits behind the wheel since Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift (third movie of the franchise), it was obvious that the producer Justin Lin would stay there once again after the box-office smash Fast and Furious 5 generated 626 millions dollars incomes worldwide.

We are back on track under the sun of the Canary Islands, where our driving heroes withdrew away from all car racing circuits. Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) became a father and decided to draw a line under his crazy driver past while Dom (Vin Diesel) imitates him with some regret. Everything seems to go very well for our happily converted company, desperately trying to go green and to set aside from troubles, when a new mission knocks at their door: federal agent Hobbs asks Dom to help him catching a new bad guy, Shaw, who is looking forward to steale components to create a Nightshade device which can disable power in a very large area, intending to sell it to the highest bidder. Hobbs also has powerful argument to show: a picture of Letty, Dom's ex-girlfriend (played by Michelle Rodriguez), whom we had left for dead in the previous movie.
Determined to find her - and to bring her back - members of the squad of stars are back on the road for new speed chases, each more spectacular than the other, facing an incredibly well-organized gang of experts.

The movie remains in line with the previous ones, with this perfect balance between action and suspense: we wriggle on our sears, blinkle because of the shocks (car crashes or punches, both of them are galore served), hold our breath... and sometimes, we just stay perplexed in front of some absurdities. But there is no time to think about these far-fetched scenes, and when we see the characters around a table, it is often for a "laughing-break". A short time to relax the atmosphere before going back hunting the bad ones.

Rougher than his predecessors,
Fast and Furious 6 is going to please all those who enjoy strong sensations and broken noses. Intended for a young adult audience (there will be only few viewers over 30), the movie relies on its mass advertising in order to keep attracting people into the dark rooms despite the scenario redundancy and the clichés which come off excessively. Succeeding to do it a sixth time i a new challenge which seems to have been taken up in advance by the producing team. The most initiated already know that a seventh movie is on its way - and is also announced by a short scene at the end of the film's credits. These new adventures will once again set in Tokyo, where our heroes will have to face a formidable enemy in the person of Jason Staham, another proponent of the "speed-chases-and-bullies" shows (The Transporter).

Fast and Furious 6 sets the bar at a higher step once again, but do not expect too many surprises: even tough the scenes are breath-taking, rebounds remain predictable. After all, this already worked five times, so there's no reason it would not work again and again...

One thing is clear: thrill-seekers are going to be well served!

Listen to an extract of the movie soundtrack:

Fall Out Boy resurrects Rock And Roll

jeudi 23 mai 2013      Save Rock And Roll [+digital booklet]

Everybody thought they had split up, fans didn't dare to hope they would come back after their last album Folie à Deux, released in 2008: rumors about their separation were growing, members of the band were invested in various solo projects. However, the punk-rock band Fall Out Boy offered his public a sixth opus, Save Rock and Roll. And fans won't be disappointed; the quartet has still the same punch and adds to it some of the least unexpected featurings.

The singer Patrick Stump and his stooges surrounded themselves with artists from very different musical backgrounds: the rapper Big Sean, the singer (and tabloids' star) Courtney Love - who seems to have settle down for some months - and none other than the famous British... Sir Elton John! The first single release,
My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark, became N°1 of the UK album chart and was a hit in about twenty countries around the world... rather a good start for our American quartet.
The voice, the rhythms, the topics: Fall Out Boy's sound has evolved but remains recognizable and will immediatly seduce fans of the band, surely without gaining a new audience, but it has to be conceded that the group is still able to improve its sound and technic from one album to the other. Which augurs well for the future. 

Mission accomplished for Fall Out Boy? We should think so, since a second single release,
The Phoenix, was already on the air before the release of the album itself!

Videoclips for the two first singles of the album, My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark and The Phoenix, have to be watched one after the other, just as two episodes of a TV series:

Round two for Ana and the Fifty Shades of her Mr. Grey

mercredi 22 mai 2013      Fifty Shades Darker

In this second volume of the Fifty Shades trilogy, we are back to our couple... who isn't one anymore. At least in the first pages. Ana decided it was time to leave her "control-freak" to sober up, realizing she hadn't any time to breathe since she lost her virginity a few weeks ago. But the young woman - who just get her first internship in a Seattle publishing house - seems not to be able to get rid of her addiction to Christian Grey.

Our young lovers are therefore going back together for the greatest pleasure of the readers (who are often feminine ones..), and they are going to make some compromises not to make each other suffer again. But is Christian able to give up his sadistic lust? Is Ana able to draw a line under the idyllic romance she dreamt of? There are many questions torturing - mentally this time - the rather wobbly couple. But Christian's dark and secret past is coming up again and everything is going to take a new dimension for the young Anastasia, torn between the love she feels and the fear that gets her goat.

Unspoken facts, obsessions and harassment, E.L James chose to give a new depth to her story. New intriguing and puzzling characters show up, wanting to get a word in Ana and Christian's already rough relationship. There are still erotic scenes which widely contributed to the succes of the book, but also a police investigation background which makes us dive into the past of Seattle's richer entrepreneur. The author explores a new range of emotions and shows that she is also capable of writing anything else than erotic literature. Those who loved the first volume are going to adore this second one!

The mother of Harry Potter opens doors to a new world

mercredi 22 mai 2013      The Casual Vacancy

We do not need to present JK Rowling anymore, best-seller author of a series of seven books sold in more than 200 countries around the world, retracing the story of the young wizard Harry Potter, each of the books having been adapted for the screen. Through this new novel, she first of all wants to prove that she is also able to write anything else, in a universe far removed from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but also for another audience: this novel based on customs and politics clearly aims an adult one.

The plot of The Casual Vacancy is set in Pagford, at first sight a peaceful small suburban West Country town. We get to know many residents of all ages, more or less affected by the recent death of Parish Councillor Barry Fairbrother. There then follows a race to succeed him, and this casual vacancy that is going to turn the lives of all Pagford's residents upsidedown, rousing hate, lies, rivalries and other backstabbings between neighbours. From a wide range of backgrounds, it seems that the only thing the characters share is their evil sides, because they are all petty, loving to stir up trouble around them and being delighted of the misfortunes of their congeneres. 

Far from Harry Potter, this novel could be well disturbing for some, both by its striking realism and by the succession of each character's universe. It is sometimes hard to enter the game, we may get lost between the various stories and backgrounds, there are a lot of names and past stories to digest, the novel is dense but JK Rowling's feather remains unique and talented. The Casual Vacancy is strictly speaking no thriller or action novel as might be thought in a first time, but rather an introspection into the lives of villagers, which are at first sight colourless routines. The more impressive is that the author manages to make us develop certain ties of affection with characters we first considered as ghastly, like rebellious and harsh teenagers or people involved in extramarital affairs, because Rowling knows how to make them touching.

Before you judge and condamn the book on the basis of - often superficial - press reviews, which simply compare The Casual Vacancy to Harry Potter, the better way to make up your own mind about Rowling's writing skills is to read the novel for yourself. It is a matter of taste, and we have to admit that the complexity of this social satire is going to be a brake for many Harry Potter proponents, even adult ones. Puzzling and convoluted, this novel is not going to please the same readers as the author's previous books, but it proves in any case that the reorientation is guaranteed for the creator of the British best-seller, which is still one of the greatest publishing and cinema successes.

Comeback of the trio from Nashville after their hit Need You Now

mardi 14 mai 2013      Golden

The American country pop music group became well-known with their romantic and depressing song I Need You Know in late 2009, and even if their songs don't reach the highest places of the radio charts, the band is an international reference in the world of country music and their album Golden was highly anticipated by their fans.
Formed in Nashville (also known as "Music City"), the band does not have much to learn or to improve yet as they already mastered their field. Rhythms are catchy and intended to choreographies of country dancing, aiming to seduce the increasing number of dancers all around the world.

This new album does not revolutionize the genre – and this was actually not the aim of the manœuvre – but is a safe bet for all its fans. We could have thought that after the success of the song I Need You Know and the quite deceiving sales of the album that followed, producers would have wanted to build a CD reproducing the magic recipe of Lady Antebellum's flagship title until you drop. But the twelve titles of Golden are very polished, mingling sentimental and touching melodies to more energetic tempos with hints of pop music, and they also prrove that the trio remains attached to their roots and first loves. The first single release from the album, Downtown, is already played on the air in the US, being met with a very pleasing success for this kind of music genre. "Rawer" than Taylor Swift's country-pop songs which are remastered in order to fit better the radio, Lady Antebellum's music – and then their album Golden – has the merit of being sincere and really fitting to the genre they advocate, without trying to seduce an always larger public... just wanting to satisfy the already convinced public.

Discover Downtown, the first single release from Golden: