Jinni World Cup–Semi-final #2

July 2nd, 2014 by Ran

semi-final-2

Jinni World Cup is in its semi-finals stage and we are close to crown the greatest cinematic nation in the the world. There are were four countries left – Italy, South Korea, Japan and Belgium. In the first semi-final Italy’s Reality met South Korea’s The Yellow Sea. The results are just in… South Korea won and advanced to the final. Oh Italy, you gave a good fight (certainly better than in Brazil). You will have a chance to play for third place.

So now let’s go to the second semi-finals match, between Japan and Belgium. Let’s meet the films.

Japan: Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2012)

Japan’s entry stirred some controversy having an American director, but we here see this as similar to having a foreign coach, so we’ll allow it. It is a documentary about Japan’s signature food, and the elderly celebrated chef that makes it. it’s a beautifully made film that also talks about tradition, relations between parents and children and aging. It’s a poetic film that will charm you from start to end.

 

Belgium: Two Days, One Night (2014)

The Belgians smartly send another Dardenne brothers’ entry to the field. Their latest offering, starring Oscar winner Marion Cotillard, tells the story of a woman who tries to convince her coworkers to give up their bonuses so she won’t be fired. The Dardennes give us a sincere and brutal vision of human nature at work, and Cotillard gives an excellent subtle performance.

 

So will we have an all-Asian final, or will the bitter Belgian chocolate get the best of Japan’s sushi? Check back on Monday to see who won, and for the all-consoling third-place match. The disappointed Italians await!

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Jinni World Cup Semi-Final #1

July 2nd, 2014 by Ran

Jinni-Cup---Semi-Final-1

Thing are heating up in FIFA’s World Cup in Brazil, as the grandest of sports tournaments is heading into the quarter-finals. Meanwhile, in another part… of the web, another competition has reached its semi-final stage. This is Jinni’s film World Cup, the contest that will crown the greatest cinematic nation in the world. In the last quarter-final match Argentina chose a soccer themed film in an effort to outsmart the bleak realism of the Belgians. In the end, reality beat fantasy and Belgium advanced to the semi-finals.

Today we have our first semi-final, in which Italy meets South Korea. Let’s meet our teams:

 

Italy: Reality (2012)

Our Italian team has sent a film with a universal theme to this match-up. It’s a biting media satire about our obsession with being on TV, and the effects of reality TV on our society. An ordinary person’s life is turned upside down when he decides to audition for Big Brother. It’s an entertaining and colorful film with a message, and has a relatable hero. Can you ask for more than that?

 

Korea: The Yellow Sea (2010)

If you want suspense thrillers, you would be wise to look in Korea. One of the best thrillers in recent years tells the story of a down on his luck taxi driver on the border of South and North Korea who agrees to take on a shady job in hopes of ridding himself from debt. Things don’t go according to plan, but we spectators get a hell of a ride. The bleak atmosphere just adds more to the suspense.

 

So who will win this exciting match between these two cinema powerhouses? Check back tomorrow to see who won, and to meet our other semi-finals teams, from Japan and Belgium. Will we have an all-Asian final, or maybe an all-European one? We will soon find out.

 

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July’s Finest!

June 30th, 2014 by Asaf_and _Barak

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It’s hot out. Like super hot. like let’s-turn-on-the-AC & TV-and-never-leave-the-house-again-hot. Here at Jinni we thought we should prepare a care package to tide you through, so we collected the top TV shows you should watch this July. For those brave souls willing to venture out of the house, there are also four movie recommendations. So let’s go! here are July’s Finest (and hottest)!

TV Shows:

Nathan For You – For people who like their TV clever.

What? The 2nd season of Comedy Central’s comedy-docu-reality series in which the hilarious Nathan Fielder uses his business degree to help struggling companies and people, offering them offbeat and absurd strategies.

When? 1.7

Who? Nathan Fielder. This is a one man show.

The Bridge – For people who remained at the edge of their seats when the final episode of season 1 ended, and after almost a year they will finally be able to take a break and get off their seats.

What? The 2nd season of the crime thriller that’s based on the slightly superior Danish-Swedish original Bron/Broen. Will it be close plot wise to the 2nd season of its Scandinavian parent?

When? 9.7

Who? The two leads Demian Bichir and Diane Kruger are joined by Emily Rios and Matthew Lillard who were promoted to series regulars.

Extant – For those who are still waiting for Steven Spielberg’s next great Sci-Fi TV series since Taken in 2002.

What? A dramatic Sci-Fi thriller about an astronaut that returns home from a year long solo mission in space. Her experiences in space and home lead to events that ultimately will change the course of human history.

When? 9.7

Who? Halle Berry stars alongside Goran Visnjic and Camryn Manheim in this Steven Spielberg produced show.

Masters of Sex – For fans of quality drama, great periodic reconstruction and sex.

What? The 2nd season of the critically acclaimed drama from Showtime. Clever writing and great acting are expected to elevate the series this season as well.

When? 13.7

Who? Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan are joined by fresh faces Betsy Brandt and Danny Huston.

Ray Donovan – For viewers that thought that comparing the series to The Sopranos isn’t illegal.

What? About a loving father and husband who isn’t a complete stranger to the world of crime. His job is to solve complicated, confidential and controversial problems for Hollywood’s elite.

When? 13.7

Who? Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight will continue to impress as the two leads. Hank Azaria and Sherilyn Fenn are also joining the series for season 2.

The Strain – For anyone who misses The Walking Dead (but prefers vampires over zombies).

What? A doctor and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. The fate of humanity depends on them.

When? 13.7

Who? Created by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) and starring Corey Stoll (House of Cards) and David Bradley (Broadchurch).

Matador – For anyone who loves soccer and spies and wanted something that combines both.

What? Tells the story of Tony “Matador” Bravo, a popular soccer player who comes to be known as much for his playboy antics off the field as his dynamic moves on it. But what his fans and family don’t realize is that it’s all a cover – in truth, he is a skilled covert operative executing missions for a little-known branch of the CIA..

When? 15.7

Who? Created by Roberto Orci (writer of Transformers, Star Trek and Hawaii Five-0), Produced by Robert Rodriguez and stars Gabriel Luna.

The Lottery – For anyone who’s interested in watching Lifetime’s version for Children of Men.

What? Set in a world destined for extinction as women have stopped having children. When remarkably 100 embryos are successfully fertilized, a national lottery is held to decide the surrogates.

When? 20.7

Who? Created by Timothy J. Sexton who also wrote Children of Men (surprise, surprise) and starring Marley Shelton and Martin Donovan.

Manhattan– For people who like Masters of Sex but prefer the series dealt with atomic bombs instead with sex.

What? Set in Los Alamos, N.M., at the Manhattan Project during the race to build the world’s first atomic bomb, “Manhattan” explores the cost of secrets and the corrosive effect they have on individuals, families and their relationships.

When? 27.7

Who? Created by Sam Shaw (who also writes for Masters of Sex) and starring Rachel Brosnahan (House of Cards) and Michael Chernus (Orange is the New Black).

The Honourable Woman– For everyone who ever wanted to see Homeland remade by the BBC.

What? Tells the story of one woman’s personal journey to right the wrongs conducted in a past life. As a young girl, Nessa Stein witnessed the assassination of her father by the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Now in her thirties, Nessa is at the forefront of the Middle East peace process. But when she awards a lucrative contract to a Palestinian businessman, who is later found dead, she finds herself under the close scrutiny of Whitehall and the Secret Intelligence Service.

When? 31.7

Who? Created by Hugo Blick (who also created the masterful series The Shadow Line) and starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Andrew Buchan and Stephen Rea.

In the Theatres:

Tammy – For Silly humor and Mellissa Mccarthy fans.

What? Tammy goes on a road trip with her grandmother Susan Saradnon. After losing her job, car, and husband (not in that order) on the same day, Tammy goes with her grandmother on a trip to Niagara falls. Oh, and she’s running from the law.

When? 2.7

Who? First directing gig for actor Ben Falcone (Bridesmaids, Joey). Plus, Kathy Bates, Allison Janney, Toni Collette, Sandra Oh and the well-missed Dan Akroyd.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Seems like well made action film for a fantastic Boys Night.

What? The apes are back and they’re stronger and vengeful than ever. Can the humans claim control on earth or will the apes prove themselves superior yet again?

When? 11.7

Who? Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In) directs. He also worked on Felicity so he brought in Keri Russell along with Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke and the man behind the ape, Andy Serkis as Caesar.

Sex Tape For date night and people who would do anything to avoid humiliation.

What? All Annie and Jay ever wanted was to have sex (don’t we all?). Well, they had sex. They even videotaped themselves having it. They even sent it to all their friends and family. Hmmm… Oops…

When? 18.7

Who? Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel and directed by Jake Kasdan (Bad Teacher, The Dewy Cox Story).

Hercules  For heroic boys’ night.

What? Hollywood tries yet again to kickstart the Hercules franchise. Swords, Spells, and Battles in 3d.

When? 25.7

Who? Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt and Ian McShane. Directed by the skillful Brett Ratner.

Plus, notice these films as well: We have the scaryDeliver Us from Evil” (2.7), the upliftingLife Itself” (4.7) the bittersweetBoyhood” (11.7), the suspenseful sequel “The Purge: Anarchy” (18.7), the pre-teens friendly “Planes: Fire & Rescue” (18.7) the humorous and sentimentalAnd so It Goes” (18.7), The long-waited second Feature from Zach BraffWish I Was Here” (18.7), the action packed “Lucy” (25.7) the yearly Woody Allen film “Magic in the Moonlight” (25.7) and one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last features “A Most Wanted Man” (25.7). Actually the list could go on and on so as you can see, there’s plenty to see this month. Enjoy! (and wear sunscreen!)

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Jinni World Cup 4th Quarter-Final

June 26th, 2014 by Ran

3rd-quarter-final

We are nearing the final four stage in Jinni’s film World Cup, the competition that will crown the greatest cinematic nation in the world? Yesterday, Spain sent their own version of Snow White to fight Japan’s anime master for a place in the semis. It was a close match, but Japan prevailed (in a penalty shootout).

Now for our last quarter-finals match, we have Argentina and Belgium:

Argentina: Metegol (2013)

In a clever move, the Argentines send a soccer-themed film to the competition. Juan Jose Campanella, who directed the Oscar winning The Secret in Their Eyes in 2009, comes back with an animated family film. The story is about a young kid who loves football, but because of his shyness, he only plays foosball. When the foosball players come to life, they help him with his troubles. It’s an endearing film in which adults and kids alike will surely find pleasure.

 

Belgium: The Kid with a Bike (2011)

By the title you might think this is also a family film, but far from it. The Dardenne brothers have been the champions of realism ever since their breakout The Promise in 1996. The story is about a troubled kid in foster care who desperately tries to reconnect with the father who abandoned him, meanwhile developing a relationship with a Goodhearted social worker. It’s quite a gloomy affair, but ultimately rewarding, and might be considered their most optimistic film in their filmography (which is not saying much, but still).

So who will win this battle of contrasts? Will the Belgians’ bleakness bring the fantasizing Argentines to the ground? Check back on Tuesday for the results and for the first semi-final, between Italy and Korea. Will the Italians avenge their 2002 World Cup defeat at the hands of the referee Koreans? We shall wait and see.

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Jinni World Cup 3rd Quarter-final

June 26th, 2014 by Ran

quarter-final-2

This is a time of joy and celebrations for all soccer football fans. The World Cup in Brazil is getting close to the knockout stage, with lots of upsets, goals, excitement… and also some biting. This is also a time to celebrate ‘the seventh art’ – cinema – in Jinni’s film world cup, the competition that will crown the greatest cinematic nation in the world. We are in the quarter-finals stage, and in yesterday’s match, France’s The Artist met Korea’s Poetry for a one on one match-up. When the whistle blew, we witnessed somewhat of an upset, when the Oscar winning French succumbed to the Cannes winning Koreans, who advance to the semis.

Moving on, today’s match features Spain and Japan. Let’s meet our contestants:

 

Spain: Blancanieves (2012)

Spain sends to this competition its own homage to silent films (with hopes it’ll do better than The Artist). Based on the folk tale Snow White (Blancanieves in Spanish), this film melds into the story bullfighting, melodrama and gothic elements. It is very beautifully made and has a unique feel to it.

Japan: The Wind Rises (2013)

Not to be outdone visually, the Japanese send to the field animation master Hayao Miyazaki’s swansong, as the 73 year old director is set to retire. The story is a biography of Jiro Horikoshi, one the most innovative airplane designers in history. This film is a visual pleasure and although it is his most adult-oriented feature, it still possesses the youthful sense of wonder so synonymous with Miyazaki. He will be missed.

 

Who will win this intriguing match-up? Will the Spanish console their football woes with some cinematic success? Will Miyazaki get sympathy votes for his farewell creation? Check back tomorrow to find out, and see our last of the quarterfinals match, between Argentina and Belgium.

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