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.
The couple has been dogged by split rumours since the beginning of the year (12), with gossips indicating the pair had grown apart and speculation continued to grow as both Depp and the singer played coy about the status of their relationship.
But now the parents of two have finally called it quits.
A statement released to Entertainment Tonight by the Pirates of the Caribbean star's publicist reads, "(They) have amicably separated. Please respect their privacy and, more importantly, the privacy of their children."
Depp and Paradis began dating in 1998 but never married. They have two children, Lily-Rose, 13, and Jack, 10.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star began dating singer Paradis in 1998 and they have set up home in the south of France with their two children, Lily-Rose, 12, and Jack, 10.
Earlier this year (12), gossips suggested the couple had begun to live separate lives due to growing tension about the actor's booming career, and speculation about a separation continued to swirl as Depp and Paradis played coy about the status of their relationship in media interviews.
The lovers of 14 years have not been photographed in public together for some time, and French star Paradis left Depp to walk the red carpet solo on Wednesday (09May12) for the London premiere of his new movie Dark Shadows.
But Depp, 48, has now spoken out to quell the claims once and for all, telling Britain's The Sun newspaper, "No matter what I say about this, people believe the opposite. I can't say enough about it (the relationship) not being over. The rumours are not true. They are absolutely not true."
Reports that the Pirates of the Caribbean star and the French singer/actress, who share two children, have parted ways mounted earlier this month (Jan12) amid rumours suggesting they have been living separate lives.
The couple has refused to directly address the gossip, but Paradis braved the press on Monday night (23Jan12) to walk the red carpet solo at the premiere of her new film Cafe de Flore in Paris, France.
And during a French radio interview this week (begs23Jan12), she admitted her 15 year relationship has been plagued by unsubstantiated rumours.
Speaking on the Europe 1 station, Paradis says, "You know, when I eat three peas, I'm pregnant. When I visit a city, I'm buying a house.
"In the winter I separate, in the summer I marry. It's been 15 years since I've been getting married every year. In addition I have to answer all these rumours!"
In the 2006 animated blockbuster Happy Feet an alienated emperor penguin named Mumbles found empowerment through tap-dancing and in so doing managed to both attract a mate and stop the overfishing that imperiled his Antarctic habitat. Directed by George Mitchell – the same George Mitchell who gave us the post-apocalyptic Mad Max trilogy and the almost despairingly bleak Babe: Pig in the City – Happy Feet paired its broadly conventional narrative with a darker sensibility not often seen in talking-animal fare.
The film’s sequel Happy Feet Two finds Mitchell (co-directing with Gary Eck) both more jovial and more easily distracted. The story begins straightforwardly enough with Mumbles (Elijah Wood) now grown-up and by all appearances well-adjusted ceding the mantle of self-discovery to his son Erik (Ava Acres). Boogie fever has swept the once dance-averse penguin nation but in a cruelly ironic twist Erik has inherited none of his father’s nifty moves. But just as Happy Feet Two appears intent on recycling its predecessor’s basic storyline the film abruptly changes course and embarks on a series of detours that seemed geared more as fodder for throwaway gags and showy set pieces than anything else. The disparate narrative elements while enjoyable in isolation never quite coalesce into a meaningful whole leaving us entertained but unfulfilled.
As before Happy Feet Two features a variety of buoyant song-and-dance numbers with Alecia Moore (aka P!nk) lending her formidable pipes to spirited re-workings of “Rhythm Nation” and “Under Pressure ” among others. Robin Williams returns for double duty as both Ramon a diminutive oversexed Latin lover and Lovelace a fiery Southern-preacher type. (Lovelace later adopts a Rastafarian dialect allowing Williams to achieve the rare culture-caricature trifecta.) His voracious scenery-devouring is all the more impressive given the grandeur of the scenery. Not to be left out of the quasi-Vaudevillian comic shenanigans Hank Azaria lays on a thick Scandinavian shtick as Sven a charismatic Arctic émigré who presents himself as the only penguin in the world who can fly. Azaria is a hoot but the film’s best moments come courtesy of the cast’s highest-profile additions Matt Damon and Brad Pitt voicing Bill and Will (respectively) two tiny krill in search of meaning at the bottom of the food chain.
Matt Damon has topped a new poll to be named the Sexiest Man Alive.
The Bourne Ultimatum star, 37, beat Grey's Anatomy hunk Patrick Dempsey--who is nicknamed Doctor McDreamy on the hit medical series--and Amityville Horror actor Ryan Reynolds to pole position on the annual People magazine hotlist.
The title will be a welcome accolade for Damon: He recently revealed it has been his longtime ambition to beat pal George Clooney--a frequent entrant in such surveys--to the coveted No. 1 spot.
But the married Damon, who became a first-time father earlier this year, remains coy about his win.
He tells People, "You've given an aging suburban dad the ego boost of a lifetime."
The magazine cites Damon's "irresistible sense of humor," "rock-solid family man" and "heart-melting humility" for landing him the title.
The top 10 Sexiest Men are as follows:
1. Matt Damon
2. Patrick Dempsey
3. Ryan Reynolds
4. Brad Pitt
5. James McAvoy
6. Johnny Depp
7. Dave Annable
8. Will Smith
9. Javier Bardem
10. Shemar Moore
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