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George Takei

2012 Los Angeles Film Festival Line-Up

This year's Festival will screen a diverse slate of nearly 200 feature films, shorts, and music videos, representing more than 30 countries, along with signature programs such as the Filmmaker Retreat, Poolside Chats, Coffee Talks, Music Events and more. Check back May 15 for the complete Festival schedule! OPENING NIGHT:   To Rome With Love- (DIRECTOR/WRITER Woody Allen PRODUCERS Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum CAST Woody Allen, Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penélope Cruz,...

film review Larry Crowne

LARRY CROWNE Starring: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Cedric the Entertainer, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Taraji P. Henson, Wilmer Valderrama, Rami Malek, George Takei, Bryan Cranston,  Rita Wilson Director: Tom Hanks America's sweethearts Julia Roberts   and Tom Hanks share  remarkable chemistry in this heart-warming romantic comedy about how Every(wo)man takes adversity on the chin, and comes up trumps.   It must be said though the film belongs as much to the youthful cast as it does to...

Blast and Whisper

Director: Mark Moran.
Blast and Whisper the film stars Mehran Haq, Libertad Green, AJ Faraj, Cylton Collymore Jr, Tiffany Ariany, and Nabil Awad. Haq plays Elijah, the biblical prophet described in the Old Testament books of Kings and alluded to in the New Testament. Obsessed with rites involving the sacrifice of a human child on a pagan altar, the polytheist queen Jazz (short for Jezebel, played by Green) lashes back at a simple attempt on the part of Elijah and two fellows of his tribe to remedy their ignorance about the nature of the Queen's secret ceremonies. To punish the entire tribe for their meddling, the queen sends her soldiers raiding Elijah's camp in the middle of the same night. During the attack, many of the helpless sleeping tribes-people perish, but Elijah and a handful of others are spared thanks to a mysterious whisper of warning that awakes them. Later, Elijah and two survivors destroy pagan altars strewn across a wide field. Upon learning of the interference, Jezebel supervises the drowning of the one captive taken alive from the massacre. Throughout these events, Elijah has steadfastly counseled his fellow tribes-people to be slow to anger, leaving ultimate vengeance in the hands of God. After sending a messenger to God, Elijah learns that the Almighty is so impressed with Elijah's determination to leave the final punishment to Him, that the Almighty in turn grants to Elijah the authority to name the particular method by which God shall punish Jezebel and her accomplices. Elijah chooses a drought, a moment in the film highlighted with the use of ancient Aramaic language (similar to The Passion of the Christ) overdubbed with the English translation. The drought subsequently unfolds over months and months, during which Elijah himself suffers and members of the royal household fall dead. Eventually Elijah is captured, and Jezebel and her soldiers insist that Elijah put an end to the drought -- to which Elijah responds with a challenge between his God and their many gods. Each side must attempt to raise up flames from an altar using nothing more than prayers to their own god(s) that call for the end of the drought. Upon a mountain-side site, the challenge is carried out. First pagan priestesses circle the altar and call out. After a significant wait to no avail, Elijah proposes that their gods are indisposed and offers to take his turn, at which he commands water be poured upon the altar. Elijah's prayer is instantly answered with another mysterious whisper upon whose heels descends an enormous blast of divine fire that strikes the altar, killing at least two of the priestesses. As rain falls, Elijah must flee from the wrath of Jezebel and, after a momentary lapse into despair while dogs in the distance draw closer and closer, he reaches a hidden cave and takes shelter there. During his time of hiding inside the cave, Elijah learns that God -- the God to whom his prayer to end the drought was answered -- will Himself appear to Elijah. Spoiler warning (read no further if you haven't seen the film): After experiencing a series of terrifying events (strong winds, earthquakes, and fire) that remind him of the vast superiority of his God over the pagan gods, during none of which is the one true God passing, Elijah leaves the security of the cave and hears the voice of God in the form of a soft, gentle whisper -- revealing for the first time that God was the source of such whispers all along. By this time, queen Jezebel has perished in a revolution at the palace in Shemer.