Terry Jeffords is a complicated man. He's a detective, a father, a talented artist, a yogurt connoisseur, and most importantly, The Ebony Falcon. This week, Brooklyn Nine-Nine brought another story arc to a close with Terry officially returning to field duty. Peralta and Boyle are busting a steroids ring at a local gym, and they want Terry's help in order to investigate a man named Brandon Jacobi, because he's the only one who could pass as a personal trainer, bouncer and assistant manager at a local PetSmart. But once they see Terry with his twins, Peralta gets scared that something will happen to him in the field, leaving them without a father, and so he does everything he can to keep Terry out of harm's way... even if that means botching his own investigation. Meanwhile, Gina's apartment has been robbed, and she becomes upset when she feels like Santiago and Diaz aren't doing all that they can to bring justice to the person who broke in.
Both Gina and Terry had significant moments of character development this week, with Terry finally becoming comfortable in his job once again, and Gina revealing that even though she appears to have no feelings whatsoever, she can still have moments of vulnerability. It's been fun to watch the characters delve further into the backstories and personal lives of the motley crew that make up the 99th precinct, and grounding these two oddballs in particular opens them up to a new array of plots, both insane and realistic.
But who stole the show on last night's episode, "The Ebony Falcon"? And does anyone know whether Kelly is Scully's dog or his wife? Anyone at all?
TerryAfter spending a few weeks in the background, Terry was brought to the forefront this week, and his character arc has reached its culmination. Terry Crews clearly loves playing Terry, and he plays confident and intimidating just as well as he played terrified and overwhelmed. Plus, we finally got to see Cagney and Lacey for the first time, and watching him speak baby-talk and sing lullabies was delightful. - Explaining that he needs to read his girls a story before bed: "The Ebony Falcon needs to read Go, Dog, Go!"- The joke may have been obvious, but Terry chst-bumping Peralta so hard that he goes flying was still the best physical gag of the night. - Terry nervously declaring himself to be "one of many" black Trents included a wonderful wide-eyed reaction shot from Crews. - On Jacobi: "You know, he's a mean dude, but I think I'm making progress. He asked to borrow my squat belt, I refused, he respected that!"- After Jake declares that the Ebony Falcon takes bad guys to jail and bad girls to bed: "Hell yeah, he does. Except, now the Ebony Falcon is monogamous and too tired for sex, so his only indulgence is fresh fruit yogurt parfaits!" Jake: "Terry loves yogurt." - Jake: "How did you find out about this?" Terry: "I'm a Detective Sergeant with the NYPD! Holt told me." - If Terry were a vacation, he would be a lake trip. - Terry only taking on as much as he can handle means holding down three bad guys by himself, and leaving one for the backup team.
GinaChelsea Peretti has been getting a lot of screen time recently, but this is the first time that Gina's been the star of a whole plot. Like Terry, it's fun to watch the writers delve into the weird mystery that is Gina's personal life, and with every new, strange detail they reveal, Gina becomes better and better. - On asking her coworkers to investigate the robbery: "You think these buffoons can help?! They're buffoons!" - Gina owns a fur bedspread, a ton of lycra body suits, eight full drawers of underwear (because she's civilized), a large painting of a naked lady on a lion, a music box that plays "She Works Hard for the Money," and a set of Joseph Gordon-Levitt nesting dolls: "Homemade and irreplaceable."- Diaz: "They found a strand of hair belonging to Mario Lopez." Gina: "I bought a lock of it at auction. That's cool it's real."- Gina makes a wonderful rye, according to Santiago. "So dense, so yet so moist."- She once said that the best comedy of all time was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. On second thought, Gina might not actually have any feelings after all. - "I asked for a police escort to work this morning, and it took the dispatcher a while to find me a young Kevin Costner-type."- Upon gifting Santiago and Diaz with lycra bodysuits as a thank-you: "The cool thing is, you can eat whatever you want. These are right there with you."
BoyleThis week, Boyle discovered his true calling: gym manager. Even though they were only staking out the location undercover, Boyle managed to transform the gym from its sorry state, and Joe Lo Truglio plays every line with pure, earnest enthusiasm. - "Gymfiltrating. I think it will really catch on if more people infiltrate gyms." - Boyle is a sucker for a high-five. - Watching Terry put his daughters to bed: "He's so strong, yet so gentle. Like an enormous, muscular Ellen Degeneres." - "Two things: One, this gym's wipe-down policy is criminally lax, so I rewrote it. Two, I lowered the temperature of the water cooler by two degrees. I haven't heard any feedback yet, but I see a lot of refreshed faces. Oh, yeah, and Jacobi is on his way." - Jake: "Who have you become?" Boyle: "Myself! I've become myself!" - After Jake asks to hear about the new scheduling system for the gym: "I've been waiting so long to hear you say those words. Come with me, and experience the future of cloud-based scheduling."
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.
It often happens - you walk out of a movie and have forgotten the plot, the acting, who was actually IN the movie...but the music stays with you...and stays...and stays. You don't mind the songs taking up residence in your head and wind up buying the soundtrack, thus making it a good thing that you went to this bad flick. Here are some of the most mediocre movies with great soundtracks.
1. Purple Rain (1984)
Can't remember a thing about the movie, but "When Doves Cry" is still stuck in people's brain for decades. Prince's outfits here also gave Dave Chappelle infinite fodder for his comedy. The rock legend even used Chappelle dressed up as him for the cover of his latest single.
2. Singles (1992)
This soundtrack had such music legends like Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden while the movie's biggest draw was a long-haired Matt Dillon. Somehow, I think the music people got it much better.
3. Rocky IV (1985)
Russian menace Ivan Drago couldn't break this soundtrack - it was packed with such great music from Survivor, Kenny Loggins, and of course...James Brown. No wonder Rocky Balboa was inspired to come back and beat him. Oops. Sorry, spoilers.
4. Batman Forever (1995)
Val Kilmer wasn't the best Bruce Wayne, portraying him as possibly the most bland billionaire/superhero in cinema history. He made Michael Keaton look caffeinated by comparison. Really big hit songs by U2 and Seal helped make the soundtrack memorable, though. Music videos for both tunes got really heavy rotation on MTV, back when music was the primary impetus behind the channel, not reality TV.
5. The Crow (1994)
This movie got notoriety with Brandon Lee's death during filming more than from being good. The soundtrack was not a tragedy, though. It rocked, though - with the Stone Temple Pilots, Nine Inch Nails, The Cure and Rage Against the Machine. While it did spawn a couple of sequels, people don't really remember the original.
6. Juice (1992)
This was an OK movie that had the late Tupac Shakur in it, but it had an all-star rap soundtrack, including Naughty By Nature, Eric B. and Rakim, EPMD and Big Daddy Kane. Decades from the movie's release, people are still listening to songs like "Uptown Anthem", but the movie languishes in history.
7. The Beach (2000)
This movie sank faster than the boat in Leo DiCaprio's previous one (some film called Titanic), but it was buoyed by a soundtrack that included dance/electronic movie gods Underworld and Leftfield.
8. American Graffiti (1973)
This is a decent film that some dude named Harrison Ford appeared in before he became known as Han Solo, but it had so many great oldie songs on the soundtrack that you felt like you were transported back to 1962.
9. Vanilla Sky (2001)
This was a forgettable Tom Cruise vehicle, which was rare at the time since everything he touched turned to gold at the time the movie came out. The film has some beautiful music, including Sigur Ros' "Svefn g Englar," so we can thank the movie for raising awareness of that awesome band, at least.
10. Threesome (1994)
This was NOT an adult film, but starred Lara Flynn Boyle, Adam Baldwin, and Josh Charles. The soundtrack had several great artists, including Duran Duran, U2, Bryan Ferry and Tears For Fears - which means they should have at least titled that "More than A Threesome."
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In many ways, every young actor strives for immortality. They work to build a career of indelible performances and unforgettable films so that their names will be heralded in conversations and discussions long after they have shuffled free of the mortal coil.
When audiences invade theaters to watch Tarsem Singh’s Immortals this weekend, they’ll see many up and coming young stars vie for their attention, hoping to capture the prize of becoming a household name for years to come. Here’s the lowdown on the fresh faces ready to duke it out in Ancient Greece:
British actor Henry Cavill, who plays Greek hero Theseus, is definitely someone with whom you are going to want to be familiar before 2013. Appearing in theatrical productions since boarding school and long since making the leap to film, Cavill previously appeared in The Count of Monte Cristo, Tristan & Isolde, and Blood Creek (the latter being a film that comes with the highest of personal recommendations). Most recently, Cavill appeared as Henry VIII’s good friend Charles Brandon on the acclaimed Showtime original series The Tudors. Cavill has been making headlines across the web of late, as he will be the new Superman in Zack Synder’s Man of Steel, flying into theaters in June of 2013.
The beautiful Frieda Pinto portrays priestess Phaedra, who must team with our hero Theseus to stop the evil King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke). In 2008, Frieda made a splash with critics and audiences alike with her performance in Danny Boyle’s Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire, where she played the long-adored love interest of the film’s young hero. Her beauty and ability to capture the hearts of audiences was undeniable. Earlier this year she appeared opposite James Franco, and a very empathetic chimp named Caesar, in the late summer hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes. As a sequel to RotPotA is currently in the works, I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of Frieda in the future.
Playing the goddess Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, courage, and warfare, the cast of Immortals also boasts the lovely Isabel Lucas. The Australian born Lucas is most recognizable as the drop-dead beauty/robot assassin, who seduces, then tries to kill Sam in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Lucas may not have gotten to showcase much more than her “natural assets” in the Transformers sequel, but her performance in 2009’s excellent sci-fi/horror flick Daybreakers more than proved her acting prowess. Lucas has been cast alongside Thor’s Chris Hemsworth and Watchmen’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the remake of Red Dawn slated for next year.
Charged with portraying Zeus, the god of all Greek gods and king of Mt. Olympus, Luke Evans may have the most pertinent experience on his resume of any of his young castmates. Evans has already appeared in several big screen epics including Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood and W.S. Anderson’s The Three Musketeers, which only hit theaters two weeks ago. On top of that, landing this role in Immortals doesn’t even mark the first time Evans has played a Greek god. He also portrayed Apollo, the god of music and poetry, in last year’s 3D remake of Clash of the Titans. Evans has several exciting projects in line to follow Immortals: He will appear alongside John Cusack in the crime thriller The Raven as well as in both segments of Peter Jackson’s mammoth fantasy epic The Hobbit.
Also among the denizens of Mt. Olympus, Kellan Lutz will portray Poseidon, Greek god of the sea. Lutz first appeared on the big screen in the 2006 gymnastics comedy Stick It and has been landing impressive credits ever since, including turns in remakes of both Prom Night and A Nightmare on Elm Street. In 2008, Lutz appeared as Cpl. Jason Lively in the phenomenal HBO miniseries Generation Kill—a must see for anyone interested in gritty, authentic depictions of modern warfare. But the role for which he will probably be most recognized by the widest audience is that of Emmet Cullen in the Twilight franchise. In addition to Immortals, you can bet your sparkly complexion that he’ll be back later this month for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 and again for the concluding chapter next year.
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.