Gun to my head, I might be able to say something positive about 300: Rise of an Empire. In a vacuum, I suppose I'd call its aesthetic appealing, its production value impressive, or its giant rhinos kind of cool. But these elements cannot be taken alone, embroidered on a gigantic patch of joyless pain that infests your conscious mind from its inceptive moments on.
It's not so much that the 300 sequel fails at its desired conceit — it gives you exactly what it promises: gore, swordplay, angry sex, halfwit maxims about honor and manliness and the love of the fight. It's simply that its desired conceit is dehumanizing agony. Holding too hard and too long to its mission statement to top its Zack Snyder-helmed predecessor in scope, scale, and spilled pints of blood, Noam Murro's Rise of an Empire doesn't put any energy into filtering its spectacular mayhem through whatever semblance of a humanistic touch made the first one feel like a comprehensive movie.
Now, it's been a good eight years since I've seen 300, and I can't say that I was particularly fond of it. But beneath its own eye-widening layer of violence, there was a tangible idea of who King Leonidas was, what this war meant, and why Sparta mattered. No matter how much clumsy exposition is hurled our way, all we really know here is that there are two sides and they hate each other.
When Rise of an Empire asks us to engage on a more intimate level, which it does — the personal warfare between Sullivan Stapleton (whose name, I guess, is Themistokles) and Bad Guy Captain Eva Green (a.k.a. Artemisia) is founded on the idea that she likes him, and he kind of digs her (re: angry sex), and they want to rule together, but a rose by any other name and all that — we're effectively lost. With characters who don't matter in the slightest, material like this is just filler between the practically striking battle sequences.
But when the "in-between material" is as meaningless as it is in Rise of an Empire, the battles can't function as much more than filler themselves. Filler between the opening titles and closing credits. A game of Candy Crush you play on the subway. Contemptfully insubstantial and not particularly fun, but taking place nonetheless.
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Without even a remote layer of camp — too palpably absent as Rise of an Empire splashes its screen with so much human fluid that "The End" by The Doors will start to play in your head — there's no victory in a movie like this. No characters to latch onto, no story to follow, no joy to be derived. Yes, it might be aesthetically stunning (and really, that's where the one star comes in... well, half a star for that and half for the giant rhinos), but the marvel of its look shrinks under the shadow of the painful vacancy of anything tolerable.
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Former Game Of Thrones star Jason Momoa adopted a wolf after falling in love with the creature while researching a new role. The bearded hunk visited The Wolf Connection sanctuary outside Los Angeles to get into character as a werewolf for an upcoming project and became a big fan of the organisation.
His wife, Lisa Bonet, already had a wolf at home and so Momoa thought it would be a good idea to add another mixed-breed.
The actor says, "I've got eight-foot cages around my property. It's like Guantanamo (Bay detention camp) at my house, but it's all safe and it keeps people away.
"They're really good with the kids and they're really good with my wife, but they just don't like me that much."
Gay actor John Barrowman sent temperatures soaring on a U.K. talk show on Wednesday (05Mar14) when he grabbed three female presenters for a steamy smooch. The Torchwood star, who married his long-term partner Scott Gill last year (13), was a guest on daytime show Loose Women but he left the audience shocked when he walked onto the set and immediately kissed host Ruth Langsford on the lips.
He then moved on to fellow presenter Lisa Maxwell and pulled her to the floor as they smooched.
After telling viewers he could "sense the situation", Barrowman then grabbed another presenter, Nadia Sawalha, and gave her a prolonged kiss.
Flustered Sawalha told the actor, "My husband's on his motorbike, he's on his way round to sort this out," prompting Barrowman to reply, "I hope he's handsome!"
As the audience gasped in shock, he added, "My apologies to all the viewers - it's gone completely out of the window right now."
Actress Lisa Kudrow has been ordered to hand over $1.7 million (£1.06 million) to her former manager after losing a breach of contract lawsuit. The former Friends star was accused of reneging on an oral agreement she reportedly made with Scott Howard, entitling him to a portion of her earnings related to deals he helped to set up before he was fired in 2007. His claim also included residuals from the hit TV series.
The case went to trial in a Santa Monica, California court last week (ends21Feb14), when Kudrow faced off with her manager of 16 years and denied making any such agreement.
However, the jury voted 10 to two against Kudrow and delivered a verdict in Howard's favour on Wednesday (26Feb14).
Former House star Lisa Edelstein and comedienne Janeane Garofalo are teaming up to bring Buffy the Vampire Slayer writer Marti Noxon's best-selling Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce books to TV. Edelstein will star as a self-help book author struggling through a separation from her husband in U.S. TV network Bravo's first-ever scripted series. The series will premiere in 2015 and will also feature Carrie Fisher and Paul Adelstein.
Former Friends star Lisa Kudrow has testified in court against her former manager, who is suing the actress for a portion of her earnings related to deals he insists he helped make before she fired him in 2007. Scott Howard is suing the star for $1.7 million (GBP1.06 million), claiming an oral agreement between him and the actress is legally binding.
Kudrow was in court in Santa Monica, California on Thursday (20Feb14) for a face-off with her manager of 16 years.
She maintains Howard's entitlement to her earnings ended in 2007, when they severed ties.
Asked why she fired her manager, she told the court, "I was starting to feel like I didn't need a manager any more."
The trial continues and Kudrow is expected to return to the witness stand on Friday (21Feb14).
Irish pop star Keith Duffy has praised airline Ryanair for dealing with his complaint about his wife and daughter's travel problems after it emerged the company was not responsible for the issue. The former Boyzone star expressed outrage on Saturday (15Feb14) after learning his wife Lisa had been separated from their 13-year-old autistic daughter when their flight from Dublin, Ireland was cancelled due to bad weather on Friday (14Feb14).
Duffy's wife had to return to the baggage area of the airport to collect their luggage, but was not allowed to be accompanied by her daughter.
It has now emerged that the Irish airline was not responsible for the pair being separated, and Duffy has expressed his gratitude to the company for handling his complaint so professionally despite not being at fault.
A Ryanair spokesman said, "We understand that this passenger and her daughter were separated in the arrivals hall at Dublin Airport. While we regret the situation, it had nothing to do with Ryanair. We have been in contact with the passenger and look forward to welcoming them onboard their next Ryanair flight."
Duffy took to Twitter.com to thank the company, writing, "Thank you for addressing my situation so professionally."
This week's episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills opens up with Yolanda continuing to stay above it all without being a brat about it. She prepares for her daughter Gigi’s party after missing out on one of Lisa’s events for a family wedding. For a star of a reality show, she really has little interest in drama. Instead, her devotion to her husband and struggle with Lyme disease adds a humanizing element that seems like a part of a different show. Gross.
Kyle and Joy continue to bond, this time over their love of vacations and plan to go to Puerto Rico with their husbands. Hopefully Carlton will be too busy planning an event for her husband’s company to cast any spells on Kyle in the meantime. But in the world of the Real Housewives, being disinvited to Carlton’s party may as well be a curse.
While Joy exercised and said a lot of things that don’t make sense (“That looks like you’re gonna S&M me.”), everyone seems to be ganging up on Lisa. First it’s Lisa’s event competing with Yolanda’s family wedding. At Carlton’s party, Lisa attempts to calm her the hell down about her star tattoo and then has to deal with witch tears. Carlton is overly emotional about being called anti-Semitic because it’s "bad for her husband's business" ... and also a bunch of stuff about apartheid. However, she’s not worried about what day drinking, adulterous behavior, and spell casting will do to the family business.
Kim is still mad at Lisa for missing her daughter’s party but expresses her anger mostly by mocking Lisa’s accent. At Carlton’s event she teams up with Brandi to further trash their British frenemy. Brandi also cannot forgive Lisa for allowing Sur waitress and Vanderpump Rules star Scheana to work an event at Lisa’s house, after knowing she slept with Brandi’s ex-husband. What Brandi doesn’t seem to realize is that Bravo would let LeAnn Rimes wait on her if she'd take the job.
With an enlarged tongue and sense of importance (only one was an allergic reaction), Brandi brings her case against Lisa to Kyle, who has called Lisa calculating and manipulative in the past. They reflect on what Lisa is capable of with a tone that suggests she’d have them taken out. It is clear that the one weapon that can destroy all these women is Lisa’s intelligence. And somehow they are all still intelligent enough to know that. The best part is that the only woman who doesn’t seem to care about everyone turning against her is Lisa herself. She’s too busy running that town.
Actor Jon Cryer has saved himself $80,000 (£50,000) hike in his child support payments after a Los Angeles judge rejected his ex-wife's petition for extra funds. Sarah Trigger filed the request in October (13), alleging the former couple's 13-year-old son, Charlie Austin, had become a subject of ridicule at school because he could no longer keep up with his wealthy school friends, whose parents take them on "exotic vacations" and throw lavish parties, on the $8,000 (£5,000)-a-month his mum receives from his dad.
She also attempted to justify a bigger cheque by claiming that she now looks after Charlie 50 per cent of the time, instead of the four per cent she had previously spent with her child.
However, a judge dismissed Trigger's arguments in court on Wednesday (29Jan14), insisting there had been no change in circumstances that would require a big boost in child support, reports TMZ.com.
The Two and a Half Men star, who divorced Trigger in 2004, was ordered to give his ex monthly payments of $8,000 in 2011.
Cryer is also a dad to daughter Daisy with Lisa Joyner, his wife of seven years.
We start the show at Carlton’s risqué annual pool party. This is the first time she has had a party with the girls and her goal is to impress. Everyone is surprised with the naked girls painted silver and gold, but nobody seems offended. Lisa found the party and the gift bags distasteful, but she didn’t seem angry about it. The only person who actually got angry was Carlton, at Kyle. Carlton was showing off her new tattoo and Kyle’s first reaction was, “Is that the Jewish star?!”
Of course it pissed Carlton off because Kyle never respects her religion, which is Wiccan, in case you weren’t clear. But the girls pulled it together, Carlton noticed a necklace on Kyle and complimented it and than Kyle took it off and handed it right over. Carlton’s opinion of Kyle is momentarily changed.
Kim wasn’t at the party, she was at a convention for celebrities who have fans and can’t explain why. She takes this chance to thank her ‘fans’ for their help in getting and keeping her sober.
Yolanda’s daughter Gigi is preparing to leave for college and Yolanda is sad, she wants Gigi to leave with a positive memory of her life on the West coast. She invites the girls over to make paintings similar to the ones hanging in her kitchen, and at the last minute Lisa calls and cancels. This upsets Yolanda, she thinks that Lisa should have called the night before. It’s hard not to agree with Yolanda here. Even though we love Lisa, and she can usually do no wrong, she did throw a fit earlier this season when Carlton bailed on her dinner party last minute.
Joyce and Carlton arrive to Yolanda’s and they are about to carry the wine upstairs but the girls agree they’re not going to drink. Joyce makes an off-color remark about waiting for Brandi to arrive to bring up the bottle and Carlton immediately jumps in, correcting Joyce and telling her not to judge Brandi. Joyce backed down quickly when she realized neither of the girls were going to laugh behind their best friend's back. Go Carlton!
The girls walk up the stairs to Yolanda’s hill top terrace and when Brandi arrives they start painting. Carlton brings up the question of whether or not Kyle actually likes her, and Joyce tells her to go ahead and ask Kyle- who is missing because she has a guest spot on Days of Our Lives. Carlton brings up spells and Joyce makes the comment that spells only work on those people who believe in them.
Carltons’s reaction: Just wait ‘til you go home Joyce, and we’ll see what happens. And surprisingly enough, the following day we see Joyce tell Kim that her husband got violently ill. Not sick like a normal person would get sick, but sick like something was really wrong with him. Can we say, for the second time, go Carlton!
Carlton casts another spell on Joyce - she drinks herself into Brandi’s normal state of consciousness - FINALLY.
Kim marries one of her fans from her convention, he is also sober.
Lisa apologizes to Yolanda and all is right in the world of our two favorite housewives.