S16E5: Can you believe we're already on Week 5 of The Bachelor? Maybe it's because I'm a first-time viewer of the show, but these weeks are just flying by -- and the closer we get to the finale, the more drama seems to unfold, especially with regard to the devious girl in the bunch: Courtney. It's like 6th grade cheerleading all over again. The cocky demeanor, the juvenile antics, the "winning" references -- she's just a major bully and I can't believe Ben hasn't realized that yet. But Courtney-related issues aside, this episode still held quite a few surprising twists, including who was sent home. Let's just hope these girls are ready to play some hard ball.
"If I don't get a rose tonight I would be extremely bummed." - Nicki
As promised, Ben took all 11 remaining girls to the Caribbean paradise of Vieques, Puerto Rico, which looked absolutely amazing. But once everyone was all settled in, it was time to get on to the first date card. The first one-on-one went to Nicki and Ben thought it would be fun to take her on a nice walk through Old San Juan...that is until the torrential downpour got in the way. So they had to resort to Plan B and go shopping for some dry, authentic looking Puerto Rican clothes, which made Ben admire Nicki's ability to just go with the flow. Once the rain stopped, they even stumbled upon a wedding (what are the odds), and stayed to watch part of the ceremony. Afterward, Ben took Nicki for a romantic dinner and asked her to open up about her former marriage and what exactly went wrong -- you know, the standard talk you usually have for a first official date. But Nicki was more than willing to have Ben get to know her better, so she explained how she and her husband just became two different people and simply grew apart. And Ben must have appreciated her openness and honesty because by the end of the night she got a rose.
"These diamonds are way better than the sparkly kind." - Lindsi
For the group date, Ben took nine of the girls to the Roberto Clemente Baseball Stadium to play some ball, but in a surprise twist, Chris Harrison arrived and announced that the girls would be splitting up into two different teams to play a game against each other. The winning team would get to go to a romantic beach party with Ben, while the other team would just go home. And since there's an odd number in the group, one girl would have to play for both sides and therefore automatically get to go to the beach party no matter what. Ben picked Lindzi to be that girl, so the pressure was really on for everyone else. In fact, it got so competitive that they had to go into extra innings since they kept tying it up. But in the end the Red Team (aka Courtney's team) won, leaving the Blue Team (aka Blakeley's team) to go cry excessively about it.
When the girls got to the beach party, Courtney revealed to the camera that -- shock of all shocks -- she doesn't like being on group dates since it takes away precious quality time with Ben. She also doesn't find any of these girls to be much competition for her other than Kacie B (who by the way, received the group date rose of the night). But Courtney had bigger plans up her sleeve. She took Ben away from the group and suggested they go skinny dipping together at some point while they're in Puerto Rico -- an idea that Ben tried (and failed) not to sound too excited about, but we all know he was definitely interested. He is a guy after all.
"I don't know if he's ever skinny dipped with a model before. It could be fun." - Courtney
The next day, Ben took Elyse out on the second one-on-one date on a private yacht. It was clear right away that they didn't have the same kind of chemistry that Ben has with some of the other girls - and it didn't help that she came off as kind of desperate, saying that she quit her job and missed out on her best friend's wedding just to be here. Doesn't really say much for her priorities. I mean, I get it -- she really, REALLY wants to find love, but it just seems a little extreme and it makes me wonder if she's just there to be on TV. Plus, it didn't seem to go over well with Ben either since he didn't offer her a rose at the end of the night.
Once the other girls discovered that Elyse was being sent home, Courtney took it upon herself to wait for Ben by his hotel room and follow through on that skinny dipping offer. You could tell Ben felt a little guilty about the whole thing since it kind of breaks the rules and was done behind the other girls' backs, but that didn't stop him from doing it -- completely "skinny." So, of course, at the cocktail party the following evening, Courtney was beyond cocky about the whole thing and didn't think the other girls stand a chance against her anymore. In other words, it's the usual Courtney spiel. She knows the other girls would hate her if they found out about her little rendezvous with Ben, but hey, what else is new? Emily, however, was feeling less and less confident about her relationship with Ben since she once again used her precious alone time with him to talk about Courtney, which forced Ben to tell her to drop it...again. Seriously girl, learn from your mistakes! But despite their foolish and slutty antics (I'll leave you to guess which one is which), neither Emily nor Courtney ended up being the other girl to go home that night. At the rose ceremony, Ben shocked everyone by not offering Jennifer a rose. I don't know about you, but I was completely blind-sided by that. I thought he really liked her and even told her she was the best kisser of the bunch a few weeks back. Their one-on-one date seemed to go really well too. I guess this shows it's any girl's game at this point. Next week, the gang's off to Panama City. Get ready! What did you think of tonight's episode? Were you surprised at who went home? Did you think Ben will ever see Courtney for who she really is? Let us know in the comments section below!
Merging Serpico with an almost Shakespearean sense of tragedy Pride and Glory details an extremely complicated investigation into the gunning down of four New York City cops after an attempted drug bust goes terribly wrong. With increasingly bad PR and an apparent cop killer still at large the Chief of Manhattan Detectives Francis Tierney Sr. (Jon Voight) assigns his son Detective Ray Tierney (Edward Norton) to lead the probe. The younger Tierney is reluctant since he knows all four cops served under his brother Francis Jr. (Noah Emmerich) and brother-in-law Jimmy Egan (Colin Farrell). Ray’s instincts may be right because as he digs deeper he discovers an awkward and uncomfortable connection between Francis Jimmy and the case. Could his own family have been involved in an inside job and tipped off the drug dealers? Soon Ray finds himself having to choose between the greatest moral dilemma of all: loyalty to the job or loyalty to his family. Although Pride and Glory doesn’t break any new ground and is composed of elements we’ve seen in many previous films dealing with police corruption this film is distinguished by some of the finest work in the storied careers of many of its cast. Norton follows up his summer comic-book movie The Incredible Hulk with a far smaller and more focused character in P&G playing a man caught in a moral bind facing the unthinkable prospect of going after his own family members. Norton wears his ticklish predicament on his face and is enormously effective conveying pure angst. Emmerich (Little Children) delivers a rich portrayal of a tortured soul not only caught up in an intense investigation but dealing with a wife (Jennifer Ehle) dying of cancer. Farrell is better than he has been in some time playing a shady officer who seemingly will stop at nothing to get what he needs. Voight as the proud family patriarch and veteran of the NYPD clearly understands the dilemma of this man who is watching his family torn apart. Co-writer/director Gavin O'Connor has spent a frustrating couple of years trying to bring this story to the screen but his perseverance pays off. Pride and Glory is a well-written cop tale that co-exists as an interesting character study about the power of family ties vs. personal pride. O’Connor manages to put us right in the center of the moral conflict at the heart of his story and with several first-rate actors (even in the lesser roles) crafts a film that seems authentic to its core. Incorporating Declan Quinn’s in-your-face realistic cinematography O’Connor resists going for a more obvious audience-pleasing flashier style achieving a look and feel that seems more grounded in the milieu he’s trying to capture. His script co-written with Joe Carnahan (who wrote and directed the equally gritty Narc) is tight and unsympathetic slowly letting layers of a very intricate and complex story peel away to reveal a core that packs a punch right to the gut.
Vantage Point gives us just that--a birds-eyed view of an assassination/terrorist attack on the U.S. president. In Spain at a landmark outdoor summit on the global war on terror President Ashton (William Hurt) is shot and a bomb explodes killing hundreds of people. For the rest of the film we see the same 15 minutes over and over but from different points of view: There’s a CNN-like news producer (Sigourney Weaver) who is the first to witness the events; the Secret Service agents (Dennis Quaid and Matthew Fox) assigned to protect the president; an American tourist (Forest Whitaker) videotaping the historic event; a Spanish cop (Eduardo Noriega) who suspects what’s going down by the surreptitious actions of his girlfriend (Ayelet Zurer) at the rally; and most importantly the head terrorist (Said Taghmaoui) who orchestrates it all. Through each of these individual perspectives we learn the truth behind the assassination attempt--and as far-fetched as it is it still isn’t pretty. This is an all-out action thriller folks--quiet subtle performances are not required. Quaid goes full blast as the veteran Secret Service agent who has already taken a bullet for the president once before and is still a bit skittish about it. But his loyalty to the president never wavers and it’s through his determination to find out what happened that propels the story forward. Fox also plays it to the hilt much like he does as Jack on TV’s Lost but the actor has a certain movie-star quality to him; he could easily transition from TV to film. Whitaker unfortunately has to play the big schlub with a heart--which at this point seems a tad beneath the Oscar-winner--but he still gives it his all. Hurt’s Head of State is another one of those dream presidents we wish we had. Taghmaoui (The Kite Runner) and Zurer (28 Weeks Later) are adequately cold-hearted as the terrorists while Edgar Ramirez (Domino) effectively emotes as a reluctant member of the terrorist cell forced to do their bidding while his brother is being held captive. Did we mention that the terrorists were cold-hearted? Right. Vantage Point’s trio of film editors (Stuart Baird Sigvaldi J. Karason Valdis Oskarsdottir) must have either thought they’d died and gone to heaven or hell depending on how much of a pain it was to cut the film. Whatever the scenario together with newbie director Peter Travis they keep the action taut and suspenseful. Each character’s POV lends itself to more information as the plot unfolds piece by piece culminating with a whopper of a car-chase scene that should leave you clenching your teeth. The use of electronic devices in the attack is also noteworthy as the main terrorist basically accesses his PDA to 1) shoot the president 2) explode bombs and 3) send the pictures of the destruction to all his friends. OK he actually doesn’t do that last part but he certainly could with that handy device of his. The only drawback to the whole scenario is the implausibility of it all--and the lack of back story. Suspending disbelief we can do but in Vantage Point’s case a little explaining would have helped.