Million Dollar Baby

I have a confession to make; the first time to watch this masterpiece was last week 😵… 13 years from its date of production and 12 since it won 4 academy awards: Best picture, Best Director, Best Actress in a leading role, Best Actor in a supporting role.

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Being the movie geek I am, I don’t read about movies I want to watch, thus I never knew the plot and always thought its just a fancy boxing movie hence created by Clint Eastwood and starring Morgan Freeman.
It was a shock when Maggie was left ventilator-dependent quadriplegic. A very strong and determined character was introduced throughout the movie and there she is lying helpless. Every second afterwards I was waiting for the miracle to happen. I was waiting for Frankie to find her a doctor who can heal her. I was waiting for her persistence and strength to help her overcome the situation. Until Euthanasia was put on the table. Continue reading

Academy Award Winning Pictures

“Best Picture” is considered the premier award of the Academy Awards, it is the final award presented at the ceremony. In 2009, AMPAS announced that the number of films to be nominated in the Best Picture award category would increase from five to ten, starting with the 82nd Academy Awards. Two years after this change, the Academy revised the rule again so that the number of films nominated was between 5 and 10.
Aslo the name underwent several changes over the years. Since 1962 it has been called the Best Picture award.

1927/28–1928/29: Academy Award for Outstanding Picture
1929/30–1940: Academy Award for Outstanding Production
1941–1943: Academy Award for Outstanding Motion Picture
1944–1961: Academy Award for Best Motion Picture
1962–present: Academy Award for Best Picture

As of 2017, there have been 537 films nominated for Best Picture and 89 winners.
The Complete List of ‘Best Picture’ Oscar winners till the 89th Academy Award (2017).

89th Academy Awards: Moon Light (2016)

88th Academy Awards: Spotlight (2015)

87th Academy Awards: Birdman (2014)

86th Academy Awards: 12 Years a Slave (2013)

85th Academy Awards: Argo (2012)

84th Academy Awards: The Artist (2011)

83rd Academy Awards: The King’s Speech (2010)

82nd Academy Awards: The Hurt Locker (2009)

81st Academy Awards: Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

80th Academy Awards: No Country for Old Men (2007)

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18 days

18-days-movie-poster-2011-102074459818 Days is an Egyptian Movie, produced right after January 2011’s revolution. The movie was first screened in Cannes International Film Festival, May 2011, and was never publicly screened in Egypt until a copy of the movie was leaked on youtube this July.The Movie’s runtime is 117 mins, it includes 10 short movies, by 10 different directors and 8 screenwriters. The movie dates the emotions of Egyptians during the 18 days from the beginning of the revolution on the 25th of January till the Mubarak stepped down on the 11 of February 2011.

The production time, was less than 3 months, the thing that helped the stories to reflect the raw emotions of different social and financial backgrounds without any political manipulation. The revolution was still young and the future was vague and no matter what your political view or opinion in the revolution itself now, you will see yourself in one of the stories and you will retrieve your emotions during those days.

The movies are:
Retention: written and directed by Sherif Arafa
a symbolic movie, takes place in a mental health hospital, the patients represents different segments of the Egyptian society and their reactions to the news during and after the 18 days. 

God’s Creation: written by Belal Fadl and directed by Kamla Abou Zikry
a girl who sells tea in down town area just changed her hair color, no one likes it, she witnessed the demonstrations and was captured by the police.

19-19: written by Abbas abu-el hassan and directed by Marwan Hamed.
prisoner 19-19, an intel employee being interrogated during the 18 days  
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A memorable Quote from Ratatouille

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… In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and theirselves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau’s, who is, in this critic’s opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau’s soon, hungry for more.

مين هما الأصليين؟

!!SPOILER ALERT!!

“…قلل من إستخدامك للتكنولوجيا، إرجع للطبيعة، إدي مساحة لخيالك و ماتصدقش كل حاجة”

 بس مش معنى إني فهمت قصدهم إيه يبقى القصة حلوة ولا إن الغموض المشوق اللي حاول صناع فيلم الأصليين يفرضوه طول أحداث الفيلم عجبني … لأني ببساطة مش عارف لحد دلوقتي مين هما الأصليين

و كل محاولات التفسير الفلسفية اللي سمعتها لحد دلوقتي مقتنعتش بيها .. لأن وجود كيان يصدر تعليمات و يعاقب غير الملتزمين بيها ينفي الصفة الخيالية أو الرمزية في الفيلم؛ يعني سمير عليوة ماكانش بيتخيل و لو رشدي أباظة رمز لتحكم السوشيال ميديا في حياتنا، يبقى مين اللي بيراقب المراقب و كلم البطل و اعتذرله على تصرفات رشدي أباظة …و السؤال الأهم إيه مصلحة الأصليين في مراقبة كل الناس… و إيه الإستفادة من المراقبة … يعني لما يلاقوا إيه هايتدخلوا إزاي ؟؟؟؟

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المشكلة التانية في القصة من وجهة نظري، إنه محصلش ربط بين عناصر القصة: الأصليين – بهية – اللوتس الفرعوني …

يعني ليه بهية هي كلمة السر اللي إختارها الأصليين وهي التاتو اللي اتكتب على ضهر سمير عليوة كعقاب لما ماسمعش الكلام و راح يشوف ثريا عن قرب … و أصلا  ليه كانو مهتمين بثريا جلال الباحثة في تاريخ الفراعنة و إكتشافها لموضوع اللوتس و إيه تأثير إن عالم يعرف الكلام ده عليهم كجماعة ؟؟

و الحاجة التالتة … بداية الفيلم بتعريف الدواجن و نهايته بجملة رشدي أباظة -اللي لسه بيراقب سمير عليوة، رغم إنه تخلص من التكنولوجيا في حياته و عاش في الواحات و أسس “إيكو لودج”- إنك مهما حسيت إنك خرجت من المنظومة فأنت بيتهيألك … المقصود هنا إيه ؟؟

الفيلم هو أول سيناريو أصلي يكتبه أحمد مراد مباشرة للسينما وتاني تعاون مع مروان حامد بعد الفيل الأزرق

الأصليين٢٠١٧
بطولة: ماجد الكدواني – خالد الصاوي – منة شلبي – كندة علوش – محمد ممدوح
تأليف: أحمد مراد
مدير التصوير: أحمد المرسي
موسيقى تصويرية: هشام نزيه
إخراج: مروان حامد

Meet the Robinsons (2007)

Meet the Robinsons 2007 is the 47th Disney animated feature and the first Disney Animation pictures production. And it’s one of the most motivational animation movies of all time.

One simple fact all movies dealing with time traveling agreed upon; changing one single detail in the past may change your whole future.

It’s a human dream to control his life, know the future and change it. This one dream that will never be achieved has been triggered in several movies. Meet the Robinsons is a MUST see animation picture that stressed that future is better than the past.. so search for your future instead of getting back to change the past.

Everyday each one of us regrets some actions he did, or something he said and sometimes it extends to regretting major life decisions. There is always 2 solutions: Changing the past or Let go of it and make a future.
Louis, an orphan who loves science and  inventions, and gets 124 adoption rejections, invented a memory scanner to search for his biological mother. He succeeds in inventing the scanner, gets adopted by the science fair judge, signs a contract in a big research company and in few years he is running the leading scientific and research company and invented a time machine.
Michael “Goob” Yagoobian his roommate only dreams of winning a baseball game, but his team loses because of him sleeping during the game, because Louis spent the night working on his invention and Goob couldn’t sleep. Years passes and he never get’s adopted and his failure changes to hatred and he tries to ruin Louis’s life, stealing the time machine and changing things in his past.
The movie ends with both futures saved.

In real life there is no time machine to change the past or to explore the future..
Building a future without knowing it’s mysteries is the idea behind our creation and actually it’s the fun part about life .. you are taking risks in your career, in your love life, in your relations and there is a margin of unknown that makes you curious. when you fail or the result is not as desired.. you just have to .. KEEP MOVIN’ FORWARD.
“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long… We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

Cairo Time 2009… A movie in Egypt 

It has never been a concern of mine to search for a Canadian movie, I don’t even know they had a cinema industry, but someday a friend of mine was walking in down town and saw the film being shot. He knew it’s an international movie filmed in Egypt but he never got to know the name, until that day when he saw the same scene he attended in a youtube video titled “The Making of Cairo Time”.

The movie is a story of a Juliette (Patricia Clarkson) arriving to Egypt for a vacation with her husband who works for the UN. He was stuck in GAZA, so she had to explore Egypt with her husband’s old friend; Tarek (Alexander Siddig) , a single Egyptian  retired policeman who owns a coffee shop. A brief, unexpected love affair catches their hearts. The film won Best Canadian Feature Film in Toronto International Film Festival.  it’s rated as 6.7/10 movie on the IMDB… and personally I don’t care.

What made me really enthusiastic about this movie is that it takes place in Egypt. I was happy to see that the international cinema is starting to see our homeland as the new city of romance; specially that according to the movie director Ruba Nadda (who has Arab origins); she was influenced by her visit to Egypt when she was young with her mother. On the other hand side I had fears that the country shall be misused in such a movie; misused in the sense of stating trivia about Egypt or shooting places that won’t really represent Egypt. Unfortunately, I saw what I was afraid of during the 90 minutes runtime of the movie.Tarek as an Egyptian and Juliette being a writer in a magazine interested in social and woman-related topics, talked about religious ideas, Egyptian street kids, secret marriage and other topics that drew her attention (and actually draws everyone’s attention about Egypt). However there is a huge difference between making a movie to discuss those problems and just throwing words that can be understood in different ways about a culture in a romance movie. I can understand that a movie showing a country shall treat the good and the bad or else it would be a touristic documentary which of course is not the case, this is why I appreciated showing the slums & the Bedouin life together with Semiramis intercontinental view… The Pyramid, the Nile & the white desert together with highly crowded down town street with youth following pretty women, however, the involvement of the previously mentioned topics stopped me from enjoying the charm of the love story rising at some very well written and filmed scenes.

Personally, I would like to see more international movies taking place in Cairo and I’d rather see more Egyptian movies showing the world the beauty of our beloved country and explaining many aspects regarding our culture and ideas.

– The Academy awards nominated Patricia Clarkson’s performance was magnificent in playing the middle-aged lonely woman and Alexander Siddig convinced me very much playing an Arab.

– I was happy seeing Mona Hala an Egyptian Actress as Jamila.

– Om Kolthom’s Alf Leila w Leila was played through out the movie like 5 times 😀

– The wedding scene in Alexandria was very poor. It didn’t show what really a Wedding is in Egypt

– The way both Patricia and Alexander smoked water pipe was hilarious, seems it was their first time.

– Most of the extras were plucked off the street.

– Filmed in Cairo in about 25 days. Temperatures on average were 50 degrees Celsius.

– The making of Cairo Time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK8uueeqqMI