1 Summer movie preview: Aladdin, Spider-Man, Tarantino and more Comment 51 Photos It’s not often you get another crack at adapting a classic Marvel comic book story for the silver screen, but X-Men: Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg is doing just that.The 12th movie in 20th Century Fox’s X-Men series, in theaters globally now, shines the spotlight on psychic mutant hero Jean Grey as her powers are cosmically supercharged to the point she endangers the planet.If this sounds familiar, it’s because it was one of the plot lines in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, which Kinberg co-wrote with Zak Penn. That didn’t quite do the Dark Phoenix Saga arc justice, lifelong comic reader Kinberg acknowledged when I met him in a London hotel ahead of the new movie’s release. His own fandom shone through in the way his eyes lit up as we talked. He seemed more than happy to geek out over his pop culture influences.Since The Last Stand, Kinberg’s worked as a writer and producer on First Class, Days of Future Past, Apocalypse, Deadpool, its sequel and Logan, but Dark Phoenix was his first time in the director’s chair. Despite this, I got the sense he was quietly confident he’d gotten the Dark Phoenix saga right. We even talked about the movie’s subtle nod to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (directly under the spoiler warning below), which the X-Men movies aren’t a part of due to rights issues (these were resolved when Disney acquired Fox). Here’s a transcript of our chat, lightly edited for clarity.Jean Grey dances with the darkness in this X-Men adventure. 20th Century Fox Q: Congratulations on your directorial debut. How do you feel?Kinberg: I feel very honored to have been given a chance to direct an X-Men movie, given the fact that I grew up reading these comics. When I was reading the comics as a kid, I didn’t even know if there’d be X-Men movies, let alone that I’d be actually working on them.You mentioned growing up reading the comics. What was your relationship with the Dark Phoenix Saga?Dark Phoenix was always my favorite story growing up. It was a little bit like The Empire Strikes Back, which is my favorite movie of all time. They both were about challenging what it is to be good and evil. You were one or the other, but this comic came along and took a character that you loved and who was a hero and imbued her with a cosmic force that took her over but made her do evil, dangerous, deadly things.All of a sudden, I looked at the world differently. I felt like we all have that darkness inside of us, and certainly we still have the ability to recover as well. So, it always stuck with me. It informed a lot of the way that I just saw the world, with the way that I wrote as an artist and filmmaker. Famke Janssen played Jean in X-Men: The Last Stand, but didn’t have much to say in the latter half of that movie. 20th Century Fox/Screenshot by CNET Where do you think X-Men: The Last Stand went wrong?It’s a fair question. Otherwise we wouldn’t be making the Dark Phoenix story again.The cosmic elements of the story weren’t explored at all, but more importantly, the Dark Phoenix story became the secondary story, the B-plot of that film, and the cure plot became the A-plot of the film. The traditional heroes of the X-Men movies — Xavier, Magneto and Wolverine — became the heroes of the film and Jean really took a backseat, especially in the back half of the movie. And Famke [Janssen] (the first actor to play Jean) has like five lines of dialogue in the last half of the movie. 2:46 Wolverine 21st Century Fox Marvel Target X-Men Disney Star Wars Deadpool I … wanted to ground this movie as much as possible. Generally, I wanted it to have a bit more raw and gritty feel and a more human feel than the other X-Men movies and because of the storyline, I wanted you to really feel what she was feeling. And so I wanted to ground this fantastical supernatural thing that’s happening to Jean, this cosmic force, this possession in a way, I wanted to ground it in something real, and so we talked a lot about schizophrenia. I would send her books and articles and YouTube videos about schizophrenia and she would watch them and read them, and send me back questions and thoughts almost as fast as I could send them to her. Professor Xavier’s ego plays a major role in Dark Phoenix. 20th Century Fox I had a lot of great, extraordinary people around me on this film, but Sophie was the partner in constructing this film. I asked for more rehearsal time in this film than we’ve ever had on an X-Men movie. We had weeks of rehearsal and Sophie came to the first day of rehearsal and script had little postmarks on every single line of the screenplay, with motivation, with backstory, with subtext, with questions. And so she brought all of her natural talent, with an immense amount of preparation. Kinberg chats about the movie in London. Sean Keane/CNET Charles Xavier has a pretty fascinating arc in this movie. What was your thinking with his journey here, especially since the X-Men are surprisingly popular with the wider world in the beginning?I wanted to explore this idea that the X-Men, after so many movies where they are hated, feared, hunted and hidden, would actually be embraced by humanity. With all of the characters I wanted to explore a new side of them that we hadn’t seen in the other movies.And with Charles specifically, I wanted to deal with his ego. There is an aspect to a man who names a superhero team essentially after himself and has a mansion. Or he has a bunch of kids that he feels like he’s the sort of patriarch or father to — there’s an element of ego to that. Even the sort of spiffy suits he’s always wearing in movies, even that has as an element of ego to it, the fanciness of his wheelchair. There’s been a lot of evidence of his ego in these movies but it’s never really been like delved into and challenged. And so the movie starts, like you say, where they are superheroes. And he’s being lauded by the President at the White House. And then over the span of the movie what you see — and it resembles the world in which we live — is that just the slightest incident sparks or re-sparks prejudice and fear from the people who had been persecuting and oppressing this, I guess, minority of mutants for so long. I had this notion that maybe Charles changed everyone’s mind. Because he could!Yeah. A lot of them certainly.The soldiers near the end were part of the “Mutant Containment Unit” — was that a deliberate reference to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)?Kinberg: It actually wasn’t initially. My production designer came to me about the designs for the train. I was trying all kinds of different names. It all felt like a little too prisony and normal, and it didn’t also pertain to the mutants. And they came up with the idea of “Mutant Containment,” which felt correct, and then the costume designer had to create patches for the soldiers and so “Mutant Containment Unit” is what he came to me with and I obviously immediately recognized that the acronym was MCU. We kind of didn’t have time to do anything else. But also, I love Kevin Feige. He’s somebody who produced the first X-Men movie I ever worked on. I mean, he is quite literally the most successful producer of all time. What he’s done with the MCU is beyond imagination for someone like me who grew up a fan of the comics. So I put it in there as sort of like a wink and smile with respect to the MCU and by the end of the movie that MCU soldiers are fighting alongside the X-Men. I felt like this was the last X-Men movie in this current incarnation. Did you approach it like that?Yes absolutely, from the beginning of writing the movie, which was three years or so ago, I approached it as the culmination, the climax of this particular saga of the X-Men. This cycle of X-Men storytelling that started with, really 20 years ago, and especially with the X-Men: First Class.I felt like with these characters that were strangers, with the X-Men: First Class, they were strangers that came together, formed this family, this unit. This film, that is based on obviously the most iconic and the most popular of X-Men stories, this film splits this family apart, challenges this family, forces this family to face trauma in a way that they never had before. And that was a natural climax and culmination for 10 plus years of storytelling. You can find out if Kinberg succeeded by reading CNET’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix review. Tags Best geek movies of the decade Originally published June 4.Update, June 7: Adds details about MCU Easter egg. X-Men: Dark Phoenix: A Jean Grey history lesson Share your voice 21 Photos Now playing: Watch this: TV and Movies Culture Interesting, I’ll have to watch it again.I haven’t watched it a long time, but [she has] very few lines. And listen, I say all of this with the blood on my hands of being the co-writer of the movie, so it’s not as though I’m judging anyone. But it didn’t focus on what is the greatest storyline in the history of X-Men comics and potentially all comics. That story itself is too much for one movie, let alone to be the background story of someone else’s movie.And it’s the reason I was so desperate to get a chance to tell the proper version of the Dark Phoenix story to really tell a movie where Jean was a hero and the villain and the focus the film, where you really got into the moral, emotional, psychological complexity of what’s happened to her character. And I didn’t know if I would be able to do that but when I wrote Days of Future Past and retooled the timeline, it suddenly became possible to tell the Dark Phoenix story again.Simon Kinberg (left) directs Michael Fassbender in X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Doane Gregory/20th Century Fox I remember my mind reeling with possibilities after Days of Future Past. And I try not to think too much about the timelines of the X-men movies because my brain explodes.I have a sense of what the timelines are and I can walk people through them, but certainly there is a looseness to them that over the years we’ve tried to stitch back together.They’re not told with the same level of precision that some of the franchises have been told because they’ve been handed off from filmmaker to filmmaker. And I think … sometimes we’ve just told stories that were one-off stories. We told them the best we could, not necessarily thinking they’re part of a larger tapestry of storytelling. What do you think Sophie Turner brought to Jean here?She has a combination of incredible strength and power, with real vulnerability and fragility. And what Jean Grey’s going through, especially in this movie, requires both. I mean she’s the most powerful creature, not just mutant, she’s the most powerful force in the entire galaxy. And yet she can’t control that power.So you need the humanity of the lack of control and the struggle and the trauma of that, with the power and strength of someone who actually could take out the most powerful mutants on Earth and beyond. X-Men in spaaaaace! Nightcrawler, Jean and their friends go beyond Earth’s orbit on a rescue mission. 20th Century Fox I sat down with Sophie about a year before we started shooting, and said, “Listen, you’re gonna have to occupy and explore the entire spectrum of psychological emotional colors. You’re gonna have to go to some very dark, difficult places. And you’re gonna be doing it going toe-to-toe in scenes with the greatest actors of all time, or at least of our time, you know, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain. And you’re the center of this film.”And I’m saying this to, I don’t know what she was at the time, 19, 20 years old. At 19, 20 years old, I barely could get myself to a class in college, let alone handle that.
Apple’s iPhone X as seen on its official websiteAppleThe world’s most envied smartphone launched its new generation of phones this week. The iPhone X, whose top-end, 256 GB model reportedly costs Rs. 102,000, is the most expensive smartphone today.No doubt, a beautiful, shiny new phone would provide you great satisfaction, utility, brag value, and the respect of peers. Having a great smartphone solves many problems today. Not only do people find amusement in their many features such as selfie cameras and emojis, smartphones also provide utilities such as mobile payments and cab booking. Our world revolves around our phone. But how does a phone this expensive fare when you look at it from the point of view of investment?An electronic item is ultimately a depreciating asset – it starts losing monetary value the moment you purchase it. On the other hand, wealth is created through the purchase of appreciating assets – think of real estate, Mutual Funds, gold, etc. Owning certain depreciating assets may be a necessity at times. But before you blow up a lakh rupees, make sure you’ve earned this luxury. Make sure you’ve made the following smart money moves which entitle you to indulge yourself – all for less than the price of an iPhone X.Buy A Life Cover For Rs. 2 CroreIf you have dependents, you should protect their long-term finances by buying a term insurance plan. A salaried male, aged 30, with no tobacco habit can purchase a lump sum cover of Rs. 2 crores for 30 years, for premiums starting from just over Rs. 21,000. As a person with dependents, you should prioritise this purchase before you indulge yourself in any manner. An adequately sized life cover will protect your loved ones and cover their long-term money needs that may range from rent and EMIs to providing your surviving spouse an income to pay for your child’s education.Buy Health Insurance Cover For Rs. 5 LakhEvery person should have his own health cover. However, in India, people are shockingly under-insured. A media report in 2016 quoting the National Sample Survey said over 80% of the country isn’t protected by Health Insurance.Shockingly, 66% of the richest persons surveyed were also not insured. This reveals a lack of awareness of why Health Insurance is necessary: it is to protect you from draining your savings during a hospitalisation. Suppose you’re a married 30-year-old with one child, you can buy a family floater plan of Rs. 5 lakh with annual premiums starting from around Rs. 11,500.If you were buying it just for yourself, the costs would be much lower. If you already have Health Insurance, consider buying an adequate top-up especially if you’re approaching an age where you may be susceptible to health problems.Mutual Funds You can save tax upto Rs. 46,350 per year by investing in ELSS funds.FlickrMutual Funds are becoming a highly popular way of investing, and why not? Most Mutual Fund schemes allow you to invest with amounts as small as Rs. 500. You can invest monthly, or via lump sum. You can liquidate your investments when you need the money. And you can invest towards objectives of any kind – be it wealth creation, tax saving, or saving up for another investment. The equity mutual fund category has provided long-term returns ranging between 10-15% per annum in the last ten years, beating returns from small savings schemes. If you have spare cash lying around, consider putting some of it in a mutual fund to save for your life goals—and only then consider buying an expensive smartphone.The equity Mutual Fund category has provided long-term returns ranging between 10-15% per annum in the last ten years, beating returns from small savings schemes. If you have spare cash lying around, consider putting some of it in a mutual fund to save for your life goals—and only then consider buying an expensive smartphone.Settle Your LoansInterest rates have been trending downwards in the last three years. With the rate cut in August, they may have bottomed out for the foreseeable future. This is a great time to take stock of your Home Loan, Car Loan, or any other loan or high value that you may have. Use the low-interest period to make principal pre-payments. This would save you a lot of money in the long term, and is especially useful when you’re in the first half of your loan tenure.Emergency FundEmergencies come unannounced. They could come as a job loss, an accident, or damages to property. Everyone needs to prepare a fund to tackle these contingencies. A typical emergency fund should be at least three to six months of your regular income, and it should help you cover your regular expenses such as rent, EMIs, groceries, insurance premiums, utilities etc. If you don’t have a fund, you should use your surplus cash to prepare it. If you already have an emergency fund, take stock of its value and top it up to match your most recent income level.All the ideas suggested above cost only a fraction of the iPhone X, or as much as a no-frills smartphone. If you haven’t worked on these five smart money requirements first, you should postpone your phone purchase. Once you have the financial cushion of insurance and surplus funds, only then should you start indulging yourself.(The author is the CEO of BankBazaar. Views expressed in the article are personal.)
The Canadian Press Share Tags: Antigua & Barbuda, Cuba, Sunwing Sunwing to offer Antigua for the first time; arrives in the Cayos to assess storm damage Tuesday, October 17, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by TORONTO — Sunwing has announced that it will be offering vacation packages to the island of Antigua for the first time, with direct weekly flights departing year-round from Toronto.Flights run between Nov. 10, 2017 and Oct. 26, 2018 inclusive, with an additional seasonal flight from Montreal running between Nov. 26, 2017 and March 18, 2018 inclusive.“The beautiful island of Antigua is a great addition to our wide range of sun destinations. We are pleased with the wide range of resorts that we have partnered with on the island and feel that we have something to suit vacationers of all tastes and budgets,” said Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations.Colin Skerritt, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Director-Canada, also welcomed the news, adding, “With direct Sunwing service from Toronto and Montreal to Antigua, Canadians finally have an exciting new option for their perfect winter getaway.”Accommodations on the island include the new Starfish Jolly Beach Resort, the first hotel from the popular chain to open outside of Cuba. Families can also choose The Verandah Resort and Spa, featuring villa-style accommodations and three refreshing pools, including the largest freshwater pool in Antigua.For adults, Pineapple Beach Club Resort is an ideal choice, with a world-class spa, varied dining experiences and a wide range of water sports. Alternatively, guests of all ages will love St. James Club and Villas, known for its relaxing ambience and lush surroundings.More news: Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaA week’s vacation in Antigua with departures from Toronto is priced from $1,045 to $3,055 per person, including taxes, double occupancy, between Nov. 10, 2017 and Jan. 31, 2018. From Montreal, prices start from $1,045 to $2,635 per person, including taxes, double occupancy, between Nov. 26, 2017 and Jan. 28, 2018.Elsewhere in the Caribbean, Sunwing continues to relay the message that much of the region remains open for business following Hurricanes Irma and Maria. On Oct. 13, Dawson, along with Executive Vice President for Partner Development Eric Rodriguez, and Product Director Ana Maria Lopez, were invited to accompany the Minister of Tourism for Cuba Manuel Marrero Cruz on a tour of the Cayos region, which includes Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Ensenachos, Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo.The intention of their visit – the first by any Canadian travel company to date – was to assess the region’s recovery. What they found was that the Cayos have recuperated well and will be ready to receive guests once flights resume early next month.Power and telecommunications are fully restored, water supply was never interrupted, and roads and sidewalks are clear. Further landscaping work is currently being done.The causeways from the mainland to Cayo Coco and Cayo Santa Maria are both operational. The Cayo Coco causeway is completely restored, with ongoing maintenance taking place this month to further improve the structure of the Cayo Santa Maria causeway.More news: Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaThe team was also informed that all commercial areas, including marinas and dolphinariums, will be fully restored by Nov. 1.As for airports, damage to Santa Clara Abel Santamaria Airport (SNU), which serves the Cayo Santa Maria region, was negligible and the airport is already operational, servicing several domestic and Florida flights daily. Jardines Del Rey Airport in Cayo Coco (CCC) suffered significant damage and no commercial flights have operated since Irma made landfall. Rebuilding is now in its final stages, with all major structural work completed.Sunwing flights to Cayo Coco will be available once more from Nov. 7. Flights to Cayo Santa Maria will recommence from Nov. 10 onwards from Montreal, while services from Toronto and Quebec City have been rescheduled from Nov. 11. Flights to all other Cuban destinations are already operating as normal, with the exception of services to Camaguey, which will resume from Nov. 1 onwards.All flights updates are posted at sunwing.ca/arrdepinfo.asp.A detailed update of individual hotel openings will be released tomorrow.
MONTREAL – Transat A.T. has been named one of Canada’s most attractive employer brands, earning a 12th place finish on the annual Randstad Employer Brand Research (REBR) survey.The winners were determined by an impartial survey that evaluated the attractiveness of the 150 largest employers in the country. Employers and job-seekers aged 18-65 were asked which companies they would prefer to work for based on 10 factors: salary and benefits; career progression; financial health; contributions to society; interesting job content; job security; work atmosphere; use of the latest technology; reputation; and work-life balance.“We are very happy to be named among the 15 top employer brands in Canada,” said Christophe Hennebelle, Vice-President, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs, Transat. “Our positive image as an employer is conveyed by our impassioned employees who are enthusiastic about the company because we ascribe such importance to their aspirations as well as the values that speak to them. The strength of our employer brand is further confirmed by our excellent showing in ‘Forbes’ magazine’s annual ranking of Canada’s Best Employers’.More news: Canada raises travel warning amid escalating protests in Hong KongTransat has accumulated an impressive list of awards and distinctions in recent months, in addition to this top 15 win. These include the world’s second-best leisure airline and best in North America at the Skytrax World Airline Awards, and one of the world’s Top 20 airlines for energy efficiency by Atmosfair. Posted by Tuesday, May 22, 2018 Share Transat named one of Canada’s Top 15 Employer Brands Tags: Air Transat Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>