Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
Seventeen years ago, Harrison Ford grumbled four simple words that defined a genre, a demographic, and a country: "Get off my plane." In a pre-9/11 world, there was no shortage of jingoistic glee in a movie like Air Force One, in which a man's man American president doled out justice to a militia of Russian loyalist terrorists who made the silly mistake of attempting to hijack his flight home from Moscow. In 2014, we don't have the luxury of facing a plotline like this with reckless merriment. There's a damp gravity to the premise behind movies like Non-Stop, which in another time would have been nothing more than Taken on a Plane. But rigidly conscious of the connotations that attach to a story about a hijacking of a civilian international flight into John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City, Non-Stop doesn't play too fast and loose. It still plays, and has some good fun doing so, but carefully.
From the getgo, we're anchored into the grim narrative of Liam Neeson's U.S. Air Marshall Bill Marks, who settles his demons with a healthy spoonful of whiskey. A dutiful officer even when liquored up, Marks eyeballs every nameless face in London's Heathrow Airport, silently introducing the bevvy of characters who'll come into play later on. After takeoff, Marks finds himself on the unwitting prowl for the anonymous party who's attempting to take down the red-eye through a series of manipulative text messages, well-timed threats, and clandestine killings. Chatty passenger Julianne Moore and flight attendant Michelle Dockery join Marks in his efforts to identify the mysterious criminal before the entire aircraft falls to his or her whims. So less Taken, more Murder, She Wrote.
Our roundup of suspects challenges our (and their) preconceived notions, and quite laughably — most vocal among Neeson's fellow passengers are a white beta-male school teacher (Scoot McNairy), a black computer engineer with an attitude of entitlement (Nate Parker), a softspoken Middle Eastern surgeon whose headwear gets more than a few focal shots (Omar Metwally), a middle-aged white businessman whose latest account landed him more than your house is worth (Frank Deal), an irate black youngster draped in irreverence (Corey Hawkins), and a white, bald, machismo-howling New York cop who secretly accepts his gay brother (Corey Stoll). Just a few talking heads short of Do the Right Thing, Non-Stop manages to goof on each man's (notice that they're all men — Moore, Dockery, and a barely-in-the-movie Lupita Nyong’o are kept shy of the action for most of the film) distaste for and distrust of one another as they each try to sidle up to, or undermine the harried Marks.
Non-Stop plays an interesting game with its characters and its audience, simultaneously painting the ignorance of its characters with a thick coat of comedy while pointing its finger straight out at us with accusations that we, too, thought it was whoever we just learned it wasn't, and for all the wrong reasons. "Shame on you!" Non-Stop chides, adding, "But let's keep going, this is fun!"
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It is fun — that's the miraculous thing. Without any "Get off my plane"s or "Yippee ki yay"s, Non-Stop keeps its action genre silliness in check (okay, there is a moment involving an airborne gun that'll institute some serious laugh-cheers), investing all of its good time in the game of claustrophobic Clue that we can't help but enjoy. It sacrifices some of its charm in a heavy-handed third act, tipping to one side of what was a pretty impressive balancing act up until that point. But its falter is not one that drags down the movie entirely. Fun and excitement are restored, sincerity is maintained, and even a few moments of sensitivity creep their way through. We might not live in a world of President Harrison Fords any longer, but Air Marshall Liam Neesons could actually be a step up.
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Backstreet Boys star Nick Carter skipped his sister's wedding in California on Saturday (08Feb14) to celebrate his own impending nuptials with his fiancee in Las Vegas. The pop star was noticeably absent as his family, including younger brother Aaron, joined model Angel Carter at her wedding to Corey Conrad at the Newhall Mansion in Piru, reports UsMagazine.com.
Instead, Nick headed to Sin City with his fitness expert partner, Lauren Kitt, to throw a huge joint bash at the Ghostbar venue.
The couple combined its bachelor and bachelorette parties, and the singer documented the night in a series of pictures posted on his Twitter.com page.
Carter proposed to Kitt last February (13).
Universal via Everett Collection
Lone Survivor isn't a film for the faint of heart. It's a film that beats you down and only lets you up for a few precious moments before the credits roll, but that emotional throttling is what helps make the film such a powerful experience.
Peter Berg's Lone Survivor tells the story of Operation Red Wings, primarily focusing on a group of four Navy SEALs who are sent to the mountains of Afganistan to capture or kill a member of the Taliban. The plan goes wrong, and the team has to fight for their lives to escape the enemy-infested area. The film does a marvelous job of ratcheting up the tension before collapsing into its main action sequence, one that is as thrilling as it is unsettling. The long sequence brings forth memories of the infamous D-Day opening of Saving Private Ryan, except this film's fire-fight stretches out the violence like a medieval torture device. The langourous scene is, at times, hard to sit through. Each moment slips by in coiled tension. It's undoubtedly uncomfortable, and the film makes a point to never make the violence fun or enticing. The action isn't consequence-free, and every bullet fired carries weight, making the scenes brutal and unrelenting because of it. The film takes on the aura of a horror movie that wants you to feel every second that ticks by, and director Berg makes sure that a pressing hopelessness starts to weigh on the viewer just as it does on the soldiers.
Mark Wahlberg is plenty capable as Marcus Lutrell, a member of the SEAL unit that is sent on the mission. The supporting cast plays its parts admirably by believably infusing a diverse set of personalities and values into the soldiers, while still keeping them in tune with the same military culture that governs much of their thoughts and actions. There's a great scene where a difficult decision has to be made, and the viewer gets to see the different directions to which some of the character's moral compasses are tuned. Sometimes the right thing can mean different things to different people when the risk of death is on the table. The real standout in the cast is Ben Foster, whose SO2 Matthew Alexson swirls with barely contained fury. He is darkly intense and has electric screen presence that really starts to manifest when the bullets star flying and things become dire.
Universal via Everett Collection
For all the good will that the film builds up in its first and second act, the final third of the film hits some snags as history demands that the story take itself to a different location, sacrificing some of the tension that it has built up. In the last 30 minutes of the film, there are some odd tonal choices that don't gel with the tension brimming in the first half. A comedic scene involving a language barrier stands out in particular.
The movie makes a point to steer clear of any political judgment, and it doesn't try to lay blame for the botched mission on any one head. And while the film never outwardly states and opinion on the conflicts that America found itself embroiled in during this time period, the searing brutality depicted in the movie highlight that no one should be subjected to the pain that these men were faced with. Made abundantly clear is the soldiers' willingness to drop everything and serve their country the best way they know how. Lone Survivor tries to honor the soldier, but not glorify war.
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Lone Survivor is at its best when it makes you feel the worst. It gives soldiers their due reverence by showcasing the true terror of the battlefield, and while the film does start to sag a bit in its third act, it's still more than worth the experience in order understand the consequences of war, and its toll on the people in the trenches.
Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor is to make his big screen debut opposite original Freddy Krueger Robert Englund in a new horror film. The rocker took a step into the movie business by launching a production company called Living Breathing Films with his bandmate Shawn Crahan last year (12).
He is now moving into acting after landing a role with A Nightmare on Elm Street star Englund in new film Fear Clinic.
The horror movie is reportedly based on Englund's 2009 TV series of the same name and is due for release later this year (14).
Taylor's addition to the cast was announced via a post on Slipknot's official Facebook.com page.
Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor has moved to silence speculation about the future of the band by dismissing rumours of an imminent split. Fans of the heavy rock group were thrown into a panic earlier this month (Dec13) when drummer Joey Jordison announced he had left the band after 18 years.
Taylor fuelled gossip about a rift in the band by refusing to comment on the reasons behind Jordison's exit, saying, "Legally and respectfully, I can't say a lot about it... We're trying to protect him, trying to protect us... It's difficult."
However, he has now moved to silence mounting speculation that Slipknot is on the verge of breaking up.
He writes in a post on his Twitter.com page, "For those who think The Knot are falling apart, you are greatly and sadly mistaken. Bring on 2014. Great things are coming. Stay tuned..."
The late Corey Haim was sodomised on the set of a 1986 movie by someone who has become "one of the most successful people in the entertainment industry", according to his longtime friend Corey Feldman. In his upcoming memoir, Coreyography, the Stand By Me star opens up about the sexual abuse he and Haim suffered early in their careers as child actors.
In an excerpt obtained by the New York Post's Page Six, Feldman recalls a story Haim, then 14, shared about his experience on the set of Lucas, in which an "adult male convinced him that it was perfectly normal for older men and younger boys in the business to have sexual relations, that it was what all the guys do. So they walked off to a secluded area between two trailers... and Haim allowed himself to be sodomised."
Feldman claims he too was abused by an older man, who he identifies as Ron Crimson, a pseudonym. The actor alleged Crimson introduced him to drugs, and left him "revolted" one night when he performed oral sex on the teenager.
He writes, "I desperately wanted him to stop, but I was afraid of losing my friend."
And perhaps the most disturbing moment in the book comes as Feldman recalls a photograph of himself and Haim at his 15th birthday party surrounded by five paedophiles.
He adds, "I would begin to realise that many of the people I had surrounded myself with were monsters."
In the wake of the tragic passing of castmember Corey Monteith, Glee is moving forward into its fifth season and has just started production on the special tribute episode to the young actor. The third epsiode of the new season will revolve around the death of Monteith's character Finn Hudson, a staple of show since its first season. In an intimate gesture, no cause of death will be revealed and the episode will instead focus on each character dealing with the aftermath and celebrating the character's life.
Episodes dealing with the death of a series' actor can work to bring closure for viewers both in terms of the loss of the actor and the character he or she portrayed. That loss permeates and layers the show: at once, we are watching characters dealing with death, as well as watching castmates losing a comrade. Keeping the heavy performativity of Glee in mind, the episode is said to be "gut wrenching," with reports that "you will cry from beginning to end." Performances from Naya Rivera, as well as Monteith's girlfriend on and off the screen, Lea Michele, are reported to be particularly memborable, with both actresses having close bonds with the performer. Costar Jane Lynch tweeted Wednesday that the episode is "the most memorable thing," inspiring hope that it will provide the send off fans are looking for.
More:Lea Michele's First Photo On 'Glee' Set Since Cory Monteith's DeathWatch Lea Michele's Touching Tribute at the Teen Choice AwardsDarren Criss Remembers 'Glee' Costar Cory Monteith
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Incarcerated rapper C-Murder was granted a brief moment of freedom on Saturday (03Aug13) after authorities gave him permission to attend his grandmother's funeral The embattled hip-hop star, real name Corey Miller, is currently serving life at Lousiana State Penitentiary after being found guilty of murdering 16-year-old Steve Thomas in a New Orleans, Louisiana nightclub
Miller was permitted to spend the day in mourning with his family and friends at the ceremony but photographs of the rapper posted on Instagram.com proved that he was still under severe restrictions, as he was snapped wearing handcuffs and his prison orange jumpsuit.
The 42-year-old star posed for family photos with his three daughters, hip-hop star brother Master P and nephew Lil Romeo, who later took to his Twitter.com page to show his support for his uncle.
He wrote, "Being able to just sit & have a conversation w/my uncle (C-Murder) was a blessing. We gonna get you home Uncle C! Love ya."
Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor has urged fans to contact police if they have any information which could lead to the recovery of more than $30,000 (£20,000) worth of musical equipment following a raid on his Iowa home. The masked rocker's property, as well as storage units he rents in Des Moines, was targeted while Taylor and his wife were away in Europe, and he reported the thefts on Sunday (07Jul13).
Taylor has now taken to his Twitter.com page to highlight his plight, writing in a series of posts, "Thank you all for your concerns. I appreciate them and all that the Des Moines community is doing for me. If you have any info please contact the West Des Moines PD (police department)."
The star also dismissed reports suggesting guitars which belonged to late Slipknot bassist Paul Gray were among the items stolen, clarifying, "The basses stolen were not Paul's personal basses. They were Paul Gray Signature Basses from (brand) Ibanez."
Former child star Corey Feldman looks set to pull out of his role in a U.K. production of White's Lies due to a lack of funding. The Stand By Me actor was cast as a womanising divorce lawyer for the European premiere of the production at the upcoming Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland next month (Aug13).
However, he took to his Twitter.com page on Wednesday (10Jul13) to tell followers his trip to the U.K. is in danger of being called off.
In a series of posts, he writes, "I hav (have) some very sad news 2day (today). It's not 100 per cent yet, just wanna giv U (give you) the heads up. It seems my UK trip is being cancelled due 2 (to) lack of funds. I'm very very upset about this, & still hoping 4 (for) a miracle, but as of right now, I will no longer be appearing in Whites Lies (sic) at this time.
"U (sic) all know how much I love u, and I wanna B (be) there so badly!! But I do hav (sic) a son 2 (to) take care of, and I must always put his needs b4 (before) mine... it's not my funds, it's the producers of the play, I'm not a producer of it, I was just hired as an actor."
The original off-Broadway production of White's Lies was widely panned by the American media and closed in June 2010 after 46 performances.