Alyona (Valeria Lanskaya) has just received a call from the future.

Future Management: Funny and Romantic Disaster Control in The New Year Calling Plan

Alyona (Valeria Lanskaya) has just received a call from the future.
Alyona (Valeria Lanskaya) has just received a call from the future.

New Year’s is an entirely different beast in Russia than in most other countries. For historical reasons, it’s basically Christmas and the rest of the holiday season rolled into one. The turn of the year is what Russians celebrate big time, and it’s also when they receive their gifts. That is why every December romantic, often fantastic films about the magic of New Year enter the movie theaters of the former Soviet Union. The New Year Calling Plan is a 2008 representative of the genre, a modern Russian equivalent of Back To The Future meets romance that practically hasn’t drawn any attention outside the country since it was released.

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Flash For Fantasy: Returning to Middle-Earth in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is scored of the prospects.
Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is scared of the prospects.

Upon its late 2012 release, the first The Hobbit movie by Peter Jackson, An Unexpected Journey, was greeted by rather mixed reviews. Still, fans of the Kiwi director and of Middle Earth creator J.R.R. Tolkien alike have been desperately waiting for the second part of the trilogy, The Desolation Of Smaug, for a year. While we’ve come to expect epic filmmaking from Peter Jackson, the beginning of the saga was fairly disappointing in many ways. For that reason, there’s one big question surrounding the sequel. Is The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug able to correct some of the flaws of An Unexpected Journey?

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