Milla Jovovich Takes on More Zombies in “Resident Evil: Retribution”

Milla Jovovich has taken on some very memorable roles in her movie career, which began at the tender age of nine. Among them are turns in the cult hit “Dazed and Confused” as Michelle Burroughs and in “The Fifth Element” as Leeloo, opposite Bruce Willis. Despite her admirable resume, she is probably best known for her work as Alice in all of the “Resident Evil” films. To simply bill her as the actress from the “Resident Evil” films would be to do her a disservice. Acting is actually only one of three careers Jovovich has embarked upon in her life.

Though she was acting by the age of nine, she soon took up modeling, as well. Blessed with preternaturally good looks and a way with the camera, Jovovich left school at age 12 to focus full time on modeling. Both her parents had struggled since leaving the former USSR, so she knew the money she was making from modeling would help her family. Her face has graced more than 150 international magazine covers in her career, and she once ranked as the top earner among all models worldwide. She did it because the money was good, and it allowed her to be choosier about the acting roles she was beginning to take on.

Jovovich enrolled in acting school and began taking small parts in television shows such as “Married… With Children,” and “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose.” She courted controversy by appearing nude in “Return to the Blue Lagoon” when she was just 15. The controversy only boosted her career, however, leading to more movie roles. Eventually, she took on the role of Alice in the first “Resident Evil,” probably not knowing just how many sequels it would launch.

“Resident Evil” began as a video game which was adapted into a film. Many video games have been made into movies, but the “Resident Evil” franchise stands apart because it is the most financially successful video game-movie franchise in history. It has spawned four sequels, the latest of which is “Resident Evil: Retribution,” which will be released on September 14, 2012. Milla Jovovich ‘s Alice is one of the few characters in the series who has lived long enough to be in all five of the films. In this fifth installment, Alice sees the destruction that her former employer, Umbrella Corporation, has wreaked on the entire planet. The company’s experimental drug, T-Virus, has gone global, turning many people into flesh-eating zombies. After all she has been through in the first four movies, Alice is in the mood for a little retribution, hence the title of the film.

So, what exactly would lead a woman across the planet from the United States to Asia to Europe and back, just to get some revenge on a company? In the first film, “Resident Evil,” Alice is a security operative whose mind is wiped by Red Queen, who controls the Hive. The Hive is the underground experimental unit of Umbrella Corporation that is top secret. There, they experiment with the T-Virus on unsuspecting humans, including some employees. Alice is not happy about her memory being wiped and plots her revenge by the end of the film.

In the sequel “Resident Evil: Apocalypse,” the T-Virus has reached the surface, meaning residents of Raccoon City are at risk, The mayor closes all major thoroughfares leading out of the city, and Alice’s only choice is to hop on a helicopter. The helicopter crashes, and Alice is rescued and then experimented on by the Detroit branch of Umbrella Corporation.

In “Resident Evil: Extinction,” Umbrella Corporation sees Alice’s value as a fighter and wishes to replicate her power. They make several Alice clones, testing them to see if any have her skills. Some end up being worthy opponents; others do not. By the end of the film, the real Alice is suddenly confronted by thousands of her clones.

In “Resident Evil: Afterlife,” Alice has the clones do her bidding, leading to the takedown of the Tokyo branch of Umbrella Corporation. The clones are then destroyed, leaving Alice as the only one of her kind, complete with superhuman capabilities as the result of all the experimentation on her. She hatches a plan to start a survivors’ colony, and all seems to be going well until the end, when her greatest nemesis turns out to be alive.

After all that Alice has been through at the hands of Umbrella Corporation, is it any wonder why she would want retribution? The fifth installment of the series is aptly named and completely appropriate. There are hints that if this entry is financially successful, there may very well be a sixth film. Where the script for that one would take Alice is anyone’s guess. Whatever happens, though, don’t be surprised if she wants more revenge on Umbrella Corporation.

Property in Mayfair – Why Mayfair Has the Monopoly on Celebrity Style

It’s Christmas Day. Presents have been exchanged and opened, the children are restless and the Monopoly board is brought down from the shelf. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, but it can’t last – within 20 minutes the scene dissolves into chaos. Harsh words are exchanged, tears are shed and the board is thrown across the room, sending a tiny metal top hat flying gracefully into the Christmas pudding. And it was all fine and dandy until dad started buying property in Mayfair and, for all intents and purposes, won the game.

Sound familiar? In the real world, Mayfair couldn’t be further removed from its role in the perennial Christmas Day argument. There’s a reason why Mayfair has the prestigious position as the most expensive property on the UK Monopoly board, and that’s because property in Mayfair is amongst the most luxurious and exclusive in the entire world. Its famous streets and landmarks – from Park Lane to Mount Street, from Berkeley Square to Grosvenor Square – play host to swarms of celebrities and luminaries, many of whom own property in Mayfair themselves. Pop into one of Mayfair’s exclusive bars, clubs or restaurants and you’re almost guaranteed to see a familiar face or two.

Take a walk down Mount Street and, amongst the splendour of the famous red brick buildings, you can see some of the most famous examples of commercial property in Mayfair – including such celebrity shopping haunts as Marc Jacobs and Christian Louboutin.

Swing round the corner to Park Lane and perhaps stop for a drink at The Dorchester Hotel, where stars from fashion, film and further afield indulge themselves with fine wine and excellent food – the Dorchester is famous for, amongst other things, hosting Prince Philip’s stag do!

After taking in your fill of hotel splendour, stroll down some of Mayfair’s smaller thoroughfares such as Wood Mews and Dunraven Street, where some of the finest examples of residential property in Mayfair can be found. From lush apartments to grand city houses, these quieter lanes provide a surprisingly relaxed retreat for many celebrities that make Mayfair their home.

For those lucky enough to own or rent property in Mayfair, rubbing shoulders with the stars is part of day to day life. Imagine spending weekends picnicking in Grosvenor Square, and then moving onto Automat Club – where Emma Watson celebrated her 18th birthday. Or perhaps having a few drinks at Annabel’s Club, which is frequented by some of the most fashionable names in the business, including Kate Moss. Mega-famous pop star Madonna has bought property in Mayfair in the past, and it is a testament to Mayfair’s position as the most prestigious place to live in London that so many celebrities choose to live in the area.

So the next time you find your family falling out over the Monopoly board, imagine owning some real property in Mayfair – where glitz, glamour and celebrity style are part of everyday life. That’s not to say that Mayfair Monopoly games are any less subdued – picking out playing pieces from the Christmas pudding is just an inevitable part of Christmas, wherever you happen to live.

The Fantastic Four – A Seasonal Guide to Berlin Festivals

One of the major plus points of choosing to spend a bit of time doing a German course in Berlin is that it’s a bustling, energetic and multicultural city. What’s more, it doesn’t exactly seem like the sort of place that needs much of an excuse for a good party.

And, sure enough, nowhere is this multiculturalism and passion for partying, more evident than in the number, and sheer raucous energy, of the many big Berlin events, parades and festivals that take place all year round.

1. Berlin International Film Festival

The Berlin Film Festival – which runs for the first two weeks of February every year -stands second only to Cannes on the roster of the world’s big cinema events. Unlike Cannes, however, the Berlin Film Festival is a surprisingly affordable event, with many of the 500 screenings accessible even to film-loving students on a German course in Berlin.

2. St Christopher Street Day Parade

Berlin’s Christopher Street Day is, in terms of numbers at least (and 400,000 revelers is a pretty big number!), the biggest gay pride event on the European festival calendar. Taking place at the end of June, it’s the gay, lesbian and transgender community’s marquis Berlin event… and it’s absolutely fabulous!

Winding a trail through most of Berlin’s major thoroughfares, it’s one of the most colorful, vibrant and gloriously over the top spectacles imaginable. It’s also proof – if ever proof were needed – that Berlin is a beacon of tolerance and live and let live sensibilities.

3. Love Parade

For many people, of course, there’s only one Berlin event that really matters, and that’s the Love Parade. Every year in July, tens of thousands of people – many from across Europe – have made the pilgrimage to Berlin, for what has, undoubtedly, been consistently one the wildest street parties in the world.

Things change, however, and now (due to a number of administrative difficulties) the Love Parade has had to roll onto the Ruhr, and Dortmund. And that, for the party-hungry student on a German course in Berlin, makes it the biggest Berlin event that’s not actually in Berlin!

4. Karneval der Kulturen

Taking place for three days in the middle of May, the Carnival of Cultures is perhaps the most inclusive (or perhaps least ‘niche’, is a better way of putting it?) of the big Berlin events. In the form of (yet another!) Berlin street parade, it’s a vivid multicultural splash of color and international music that takes over groovy Kreuzberg.

There’s one thing that’s absolutely in no doubt whatsoever: there really is something for everybody. In that sense, it’s very much like the city as a whole, in fact.