The Hollywood star, a longtime Buddhist and outspoken campaigner for Tibetan rights, admits he was moved by the spate of Buddhist monks who have torched themselves to demand freedom in Tibet and the return of the exiled Dalai Lama.
He says, "It all really comes down to motivation. I mean none of these self-immolators have harmed anybody else. It is totally a self-sacrifice for their people, for others. So on that level it's a pure act. But I think it's more important to look into the causes of why people would feel they would need to do these kind of things.
"China is a very difficult place to live if you are a free thinker, if you are an artist, if you are a religious person, but especially in Tibet. I think they (Chinese officials) have so wrongly gauged the Tibetan people, thinking they could subvert the deep, deep, deep religious beliefs and make them true Communists. It's never going to happen.
"Their whole lives have revolved around Buddhism, around their teachers, around their gurus... the high ideals of Buddhism. They are not going to change that in a hundred years, two hundred years, a thousand years, that will never go away."
The Pretty Woman star, a political activist and a Buddhist, has spent years campaigning on the subject of Chinese/Tibetan relations, following decades of conflict there.
He headed to Washington, D.C. on Thursday to address the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee and urge politicians to step up their support of the Tibetan people as they fight oppression.
Praising Obama for finding "new footing on how to deal with the Chinese", Gere admitted he would like to see the leader do more for Tibet's citizens, according to the AFP.
He adds, "Every time we are wishy-washy with them, they take advantage of it. (The Chinese) only deal with pressure, seriousness, firmness.
"With the right attention from the United States - the most critical force for Tibet - there can be a resolution without bloodshed."
The star also called on officials to continue funding broadcasts such as Radio Free Asia and Voice of America in the country.
Gere explained, "When the Dalai Lama met President Obama in the White House in February 2010, monks in Amdo lit off fireworks to celebrate that the world's greatest democracy still cared for the plight of Tibet. How did they know the new president would be meeting with their spiritual leader? By listening to Voice of America."
When crafting a follow-up to the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time it’s understandable that one might be reticent to mess with a winning formula. But director Todd Phillips and writers Craig Mazin and Scot Armstrong seem to have confused revisiting with recycling: The Hangover Part II so closely mirrors its blockbuster predecessor in every vital aspect that it can scarcely claim the right to call itself a sequel.
The only significant new wrinkle introduced in Part II is its setting: Bangkok Thailand a location that at least theoretically augurs well for a second helping of inspired lunacy. The story structure of the first film has been copied wholesale a game of Mad Libs played with its script. The action is again set around a bachelor party this time in honor of buttoned-down dentist Stu (Ed Helms). Again the boys (Stu Bradley Cooper’s boorish frat boy Phil and Zach Galifianakis’ moronic man-child Alan) awaken the next day in a hideously debauched hotel room with little memory of the previous night’s revelry. And again there is a missing companion: Teddy (Mason Lee son of Ang) the brother-in-law to be. (Poor Justin Bartha is once again relegated to the sidelines popping up now and then to push the plot forward via cell phone.)
The amnesiac/investigative angle of the first Hangover made for a refreshing twist on the contemporary men-behaving-badly comedy. Repeated here its effect is arguably the opposite: Too often the action feels rote and formulaic. Gone is any hint of surprise an aspect so crucial to good comedy and a huge part of the first film’s appeal. Key comic set pieces – a tussle with monks at a Buddhist temple a visit to a transsexual brothel a car chase involving a drug-dealing monkey – reveal themselves to be merely variations of memorable bits from the first film.
Tonally Part II is darker cruder and a bit nastier than its predecessor. Female characters never a priority in the first film are further marginalized in the sequel. (The only woman with significant dialogue a Bangkok prostitute also happens to have a penis. I’ll let you ponder the implications of that one.) The three leads Helms Cooper and Galifianakis still work well together and despite the inferior material enough of their chemistry remains to make the proceedings bearable – and occasionally funny. But their characters feel somehow degraded reduced to coarse caricatures of their former selves. Speaking of caricature Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) the fey faux-gangsta villain of the first film returns in an expanded capacity in the sequel his garbled hip-hop slang more gratuitous – and more grating – than before.
I can’t help but wonder what might have been if a planned cameo by Mel Gibson playing a tattoo artist hadn’t been scrapped reportedly due to objections by Galifianakis. Liam Neeson Gibson’s replacement apparently proved ineffectual in his first go-round and when he wasn't available for re-shoots his scene was eventually shot with Nick Cassavetes in the role. In its existing incarnation the scene is purely functional a chunk of forgettable exposition. The presence of Gibson an actor of not inconsiderable comic talent would have at least added an air of unpredictability something the scene – and indeed the movie – sorely lacks.
Jackie Chan took time out of his busy schedule to promote HIV
and AIDS awareness in Vietnam on April 23.
Chan, 51, was in the communist country for the first time as a United Nations
goodwill ambassador, visiting a communal health centre and a support group
session for people caring for family members with HIV and AIDS in northern
Quang Ninh province, which has some of Vietnam's highest infection rates.
Hong Kong native Chan insists more needs to be done to get affordable
treatment to those infected in poor countries like Vietnam, adding that the
discrimination and social stigma attached to the disease must be eliminated.
He says, "Twenty years ago, I'm the one who was scared about HIV... but from
the education I learned that's wrong. Otherwise, (victims) cannot go to work,
they cannot go to school and they would be hiding in their houses."
His four-day trip will also include a visit to a Buddhist pagoda in Hanoi
where monks help counsel young sufferers, along with a sunset cruise on
picturesque Halong Bay.
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
Sidney Poitier has certainly been pushed back into the limelight after receiving an honorary Oscar Sunday night--and so have his movies. Warner Bros. has optioned the rights to remake the 1970s trio of Poitier/Bill Cosby films (also directed by Poitier): Uptown Saturday Night, Let's Do It Again and A Piece of the Action, with Oscar nominee Will Smith attached to star in at least the first feature, Uptown. The comedy centers on two husbands trying to recover stolen money and a winning lottery ticket before their wives find out they are missing.
Smith and his business partner James Lassiter plan to produce all three films under their Overbrook Entertainment banner. "For eight years, Will and I have been trying to track down the rights to this project because Uptown Saturday Night is one of our favorite movies," Lassiter told The Hollywood Reporter.
Blade scribe David Goyer has a thing for bloodsuckers. He will be directing a new tale about vampires called Darksiders, in which a band of vampires turn into special operatives for the FBI. The film for New Line will start production sometime in the fall.
The cast list for Woody Allen's next film project continues to grow. Glenn Close and Danny DeVito will be coming on board the untitled production, joining the already cast Christina Ricci and Jason Biggs. Typical of Allen's style, the film is being kept closely under wraps, but The Hollywood Reporter reports the story revolves around three young adults. Close is believed to be playing Ricci's mother.
As if anyone in their right mind would care about such a movie, apparently it has been decided to turn Anne Robinson's autobiography, Memoirs of an Unfit Mother, into a feature film. Yes, we are talking about the host of the game show The Weakest Link. The film Anne Robinson: The Movie is going after such actresses as Renee Zellweger and Anna Friel to play Robinson as a young woman. Good luck with that.
ABC News and its coverage of Sept. 11, and Fox's The Bernie Mac Show were two of the Peabody Award winners announced Wednesday, honoring those who have exhibited broadcast excellence. Other winners included HBO's Band of Brothers and ABC's Nightline.
A man was hospitalized while performing a stunt on the new NBC game show Dog Eat Dog, where contestants combine stunts with trivia questions to compete for $25,000. The Associated Press reported the man was suspended by his ankles in water, where he held his breath for two minutes. Paramedics were called when the man appeared unconscious after being pulled out, but Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey told AP when they arrived that the man was "conscious, alert, breathing on his own and talkative." The show has not aired yet.
British actress Jane Seymour, otherwise known as Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, has come out with her own line of contemporary clothing, inspired by her floral paintings. The clothes, which range from size 6 to size 22, are intended for all women. "This isn't necessarily runway-friendly clothes; they're real-woman-friendly," Seymour told AP.
Shaolin fighter monks have taken their act on the road. What are Shaolin fighter monks, you may ask? They are ordained Buddhist "soldier monks" of the Shaolin temple, the apparent birthplace of Chinese martial arts or "kung fu"--and 25 monks have put together a spectacular stage show called Shaolin--Wheel of Life. Since it premiered in London two and a half years ago, the fast-paced martial arts show has been playing to packed audiences across the world.
Rock legend David Bowie signed a multirecord deal Wednesday with Columbia Records and will be releasing the album Heathen on June 11, his first album in three years.
This is a tough one to judge. You never get any explanation of who these people are or why they do what they do; if you don't know the video game you're basically thrown into Tomb Raider blind. Just go with it and figure it'll all make sense eventually. It does--for the most part. Lara Croft (Jolie) who is carrying on her deceased father's (Jon Voight) work as an English archaeologist/antiquities hunter uncovers an ancient puzzle that she must solve before it's too late. Centuries before a mysterious otherworldly object with a godlike power to alter time was split in two and the pieces buried in tombs on opposite ends of the earth. Jolie must race against time to find both halves of the object and destroy it before a leader of an evil secret society (Iain Glen) gets his hands on it.
With her long dark braid and impossible figure (thanks to some stuffing up top) Jolie certainly is a dead ringer for über-heroine Croft. Her hoity-toity monotone Brit accent is sporadic and fleeting; she slips in and out of it as often and easily as she does impending death. Our globetrotting superwoman switches languages as needed winning over Buddhist monks and little Mongolian girls in the process (tell me please how she wears a T-shirt while dog sledding in Siberia while everyone else is bundled up in parkas? That bra must've been padded with Thinsulate). Jolie can kick butt with the best of 'em but she's tiresome. All arch looks and badass 'tude this Kelly-LeBrock-for-the-new-millennium is not terribly much fun. Granted Croft has serious work to do but a little lightheartedness goes a long way. Raiders of the Lost Ark this ain't.
Given that there's little story line acted out by characters with whom it's hard to connect since you have no idea who they are the movie surprisingly manages to keep your attention for a couple hours. Then again that could be due to the tremendous and seemingly never-ending clamor on screen where every few seconds a hailstorm of bullets showers the scene or really big things are happening--gargantuan rock statues turn into sword-wielding CGI beasts enormous retro-futuristic contraptions like something out of Brazil materialize from the earth beams of light descend from the distant beyond. Or maybe it's just the mesmerizing effect of waiting for Jolie's lips to crawl across her face like two fat slugs going after the magic jasmine Daddy Croft told Lara about.