Fresh Out of the Oven Flashes Red

Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull’s latest video release, Fresh Out of the Oven, is not my usual taste in music, but a few stills of all the gratuitous red lipstick shots made me curious.

As music videos go, it is fairly par for the course by now, slick editing, colour grading, and dramatic lighting are in attendence. The song itself tries too hard and ends up sounding too generic. The video uses a classic and stark black, white and red colour palette. The blacks and white are not too strong, but subtle, and the red is mostly provided by J Lo’s dark red lips, which get plenty of screen time.

The surprising bit of red in the video was her leopard print stilletos with a red underside! Yes, the bottom of her shoes are red, and since she does spend the requisite time writhing around to the music, the red under soles are clearly visible. Now that’s a new twist to red shoes, and for such visual touches the video is worth a quick watch, even if the stupid repetition editing looks like a budgetary restraint, rather than a stylistic choice.

Of course, if you’re a J Lo fan, all these points are moot, and you’re probably already drooling and paying homage by now, so enjoy.

John Woo on Red Cliff

John Woo, of much Hong Kong movie fame, and director of such Hollywood block-busters as Mission Impossible 2, returned to China to make his latest film, Red Cliff. He spoke to New York Magazine about this choice and his Hollywood years.

Woo grew up with this historic tale and always had a dream to make a movie based on it. Red Cliff is a historical war epic about the battle between three warlords in China during the Han Dynasty. In Asia the film has been released as two two-and-a-half hour movies, and Woo has edited this monster down to a single 150 minute film to make it more palatable to the American audience.

He enjoyed the freedom of working in China where the director is still king, and mentions that he did get a little tired with the model of Hollywood filmmaking where numerous people have their say in the creative process. His re-captured freedom in the Asian industry was liberating. At the same time he took back what he learnt in Hollywood about big budget productions and applied it to the creation of this epic film, using special effects experts from the West and Korea for the massive war scenes.

Woo does say he enjoyed making the Hollywood movies he has become famous for, but also looks forwards to working on many more Hollywood and Chinese movies in the future with a matured sensibility as he gets older. He says his new film is more ourwardly directed and is made for other people in contrast to some of his younger work, and he looks ahead to more movies in the future.

You can read the original interview at New York Magazine

Will Sezmi Make Cable TV See Red?

Sezmi is a new set-top-box based subscription service that aims to bring together the best of broadcast, cable and internet content in one easy to use, personalised entertainment package.

Modeled more after the digital entertainment centre than traditional linear TV broadcasts, the system is based on a 1TB drive based media box and a powerful antenna box that looks like a speaker. Using newer WiFi technologies as a “broadcast” method, and the saving and sorting of content on the DVR as an access method, it allows for a very customised personal viewing experience in an interface that shows you choices and content based on your past choices and viewing patterns.

The device and service also act as an internet access point, choosing to limit viewing to content from partner sites such as YouTube, rather like a TV tuning into specific online channels rather than allowing a free reign of the web world.

With a growing number of viewers choosing to get their video fix off the internet rather than from cable and television, it remains to be seen whether the Sezmi model is one that will catch on and prove to be a viable threat to more traditional mediums. For now, the service has got its initial launch in the Los Angeles area, and media mavens will be keeping a sharp watch on whether this new kid on the block makes waves after providing one of the first major re-thinks of the video broadcast personal entertainment space. With many media empires already skating the edge of financial red after the collapse of the various newpapers and print publications, this new development will be studied by all with interest.

Stick It (2006)

Stick It (2006) Movie Poster

Stick It (2006) Movie Poster

Stick It, relased in 2006, is a teen comedy-drama about a rebellious teenager forced to return to the world of gymnastics.

Haley Graham (Missy Peregrym) is a former champion gymnast, disgraced out of the sport for letting down her team at a crucial competiton. The rebellious young woman forced to once again eneter the regimental field of gymnastics after problem with the law. The judge trying her case sentences her to her ultimate punishment, attending a renowned gymnastics academy run by coaching veteran Burt Vickerman, played by Jeff Bridges.

It’s your regular sports movies but it does do new things with the genre, partly because of the sport involved, and partly through the unconventional reactions of the character to otherwise cliche situations.

Worth a watch, with good doses of sporting red.

Beyonce in Red at MTV Europe Music Awards

Beyonce’s performance in red garters and red body suit with a plunging neckline, performing Sweet Dreams was much to write home about. The MTV Europe Music Awards were held in Berlin to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The free concert was strangely celebrated by erecting a 12-foot high barrier around the event to prevent people without passes from seeing the acts.

The awards were not only highligted by Beyonce’s performance, but she also swept the competition away, winning 3 awards on the night for Best Female Artist, Best Video, and Best Song.

Katy Perry hosted but Beyonce’s sizzling red outfit and perfomance will remain the icon of the event for a long time to come.

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