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.
Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale has reportedly ended her summer romance with actor Graham Rogers. The TV beauty was first linked to Rogers in June (13), and she confirmed the relationship soon afterwards, gushing about the Revolution star and branding him a "sweetheart" and "a good guy".
The young couple enjoyed a romantic vacation in Hawaii in July (13), but now sources tell Us Weekly magazine the romance has fizzled out and the actors have since parted ways.
Hale previously dated The Amazing Spider-Man's Chris Zylka and Teen Wolf hunk Colton Haynes.
Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale has opened up about her relationship with actor Graham Rogers, insisting she is thrilled to be dating a nice guy after a string of bad boys. Editors at America's Star magazine reported the secret union last week (ends23Jun13) and Hale has now confirmed the gossip is true, gushing about the Revolution actor in a new interview.
She tells Us Weekly magazine, "He is such a sweetheart. We are having a good time. We started out as friends. He is a good guy, and I am past the bad-boy stage."
Hale, 24, previously dated The Amazing Spider-Man's Chris Zylka and was more recently linked to Teen Wolf hunk Colton Haynes.
And the Comic-Con news just keeps on coming!
Vampires, werewolves, geeks, serial killers, secret agents and more are set to dazzle fans at the 2013 Comic-Con in San Diego. Warner Bros. has just unveiled their lineup, and it's looking like 17 of their fan-favorite series will be in attendance. Take a look at the full lineup below to find out when stars from The Vampire Diaries, Arrow, The Big Bang Theory, and more will be taking the stage.
Wendesday, July 17:– Pilot screenings of Almost Human, The Tomorrow People, and The 100, as well as a special presentation of The Originals featuring never-before-seen footage.
Thursday, July 18:- MAD: Producers Kevin Shinick and Mark Marek.
Friday, July 19:- Almost Human: Stars Karl Urban, Michael Ealy, and executive producer J.H. Wyman. - The Big Bang Theory: Executive producers Steven Molaro and Bill Prady and the writers- Childrens Hospital: Creator/star Rob Corddry and executive producers David Wain and Jonathan Stern join cast members Lake Bell, Erinn Hayes, Ken Marino and Rob Huebel. - The Following: Kevin Bacon, Shawn Ashmore, and Valorie Curry join executive producers Kevin Williamson and Marcos Siega. - Nikita: Maggie Q, Shane West, Lyndsy Fonseca, Aaron Stanford, Melinda Clarke, Devon Sawa, and Noah Bean join executive producer Craig Silverstein. - The 100: Series stars Eliza Taylor, Thomas McDonell, Marie Avgeropoulos, and Henry Ian Cusick join executive producers Matthew Miller and Jason Rothenberg. - The Paranormal and Extraterrestrial Squad: Producers Milo Ventimiglia and Russ Cundiff and creators/stars John Dale and Michael Hobert.
Saturday, July 20:- Arrow: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards and Colton Haynes joining executive producers Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg. - The Originals: Joseph Morgan, Claire Holt, Phoebe Tonkin, and Charles Michael Davis join executive producer Julie Plec. - Person of Interest: Executive producers Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman join members of the cast for their third visit to Comic-Con. - Revolution: Series stars and creator/executive producer Eric Kripke. - The Tomorrow People: Series stars Robbie Amell, Mark Pellegrino, and Peyton List with executive producers Greg Berlanti, Phil Klemmer and Danny Cannon. - The Vampire Diaries: Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Kat Graham and Candice Accola join executive producers Julie Plec and Caroline Dries.
Sunday, July 21:- Supernatural: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, and Mark A. Sheppard with executive producers Jeremy Carver and Robert Singer. - Beware the Batman: Producers Glen Murakami and Mitch Watson. - Teen Titans Go!: Producer Aaron Horvath joins members of the voice cast, including Greg Cipes and Scott Menville.
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Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale has embarked on a romance with actor Graham Rogers, according to a U.S. report. The TV beauty has been quietly dating the 22-year-old Revolution star since they met through mutual pals, and the new couple was spotted out together at the Hollywood Palladium on 30 May (13), when they attended a concert by Imagine Dragons.
A source tells Star magazine, "Lucy and Graham decided to be more open about their relationship now. They were all over each other (at the gig) and didn't care that they were surrounded by tons of people."
Hale, 24, appears to have a thing for actors - she split from The Amazing Spider-Man's Chris Zylka in September (12) and was subsequently linked to Teen Wolf hunk Colton Haynes.
Kelly Clarkson is back on top. The original Idol has just surpassed fellow American Idol winner Carrie Underwood for the spot as the top-selling winner of the Fox talent series. Her single, “Stronger” has officially sold 1,000 more copies than Underwood’s previous title holder “Before He Cheats,” according to Nielsen SoundScan, via The Hollywood Reporter. Clarkson’s single sold 3,510,000 while Underwood’s hit reached 3,509,000. (It’s okay Carrie, those sales will still make that cheatin’ ex of yours green with envy.)
But now that Clarkson is once again Queen of the Idol alums on the charts, we couldn’t help but wonder, is she the Idol Queen in the eyes of the media (and in our hearts)? We pitted the two peppy singers against each other in a battle of pop culture clout. And as Ryan Seacrest would say: Dim the lights, here we go!
Kelly: “Stronger,” 3,510,000 copies sold
Carrie: “Before He Cheats,” 3,509,000 copies sold
As we said, Clarkson is clearly the winner here. Numbers don’t lie, but they are ridiculously close. If Clarkson doesn’t keep it up, an upset could be in her future. Get to work, ladies!
Clarkson may rule the singles charts, but when it comes to making the long term commitment of buying an artist’s entire album, Underwood’s got her fans on the hook. Perhaps after making an impact with “Stronger” Clarkson can pull ahead, but for now she’s playing second fiddle to Miss Underwood.
Kelly: David Hodges (of Evanescence), Graham Colton (The Graham Colton Band), Brandon Blackstock (Reba McEntire’s Stepson)
Carrie: Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys Quarterback), Chase Crawford (Gossip Girl Star), Mike Fisher (the NHL hockey player is now her husband)
Nice effort, Clarkson, but Underwood played the field a little better. She’s got two big name pro athletes in her little black book (one of whom finally put a ring on it - bonus points!) and she’s got TV star and part-time elf, Crawford. Clarkson definitely showed up, but Underwood’s batting 1000.
Kelly: She’s rocked the same set of hairdos since she wisely retired her Idol-era koolaid streaks; she often opts for figure-obscuring short dresses on the red carpet and flowy tanks and blouses in her casual wear; when she gets glam right, she usually does so with safe choices and flattering colors. Translation: She wears a lot of black.
Carrie: Sparkles. So many sparkles. She too has had the same do for years, but her effortless blonde waves are country music gold. Literally.
Underwood has not been plagued with the same weight struggles as Clarkson has dealt with, but body image aside, Underwood simply finds clothes that fit her shape better than Clarkson does (with a few sophomore-cheerleader-at-a-Texas-prom dress faux pas aside.) While Underwood may want to ask her stylist to cool it on the sparkly dresses here and there, Clarkson needs to find herself a stylist who dresses her shape to highlight her best features instead of trying to mask her body. Every shape is beautiful, it’s all about finding the right fit, and Clarkson simply hasn’t found it yet.
Winner: Carrie Side Projects Kelly: Celeb judge/contestant on Duets on ABC; Owns a ranch in Texas for Unwanted Animals; March of Dimes Ambassador; Supports various charities such as Save The Music, STOMP Out Bullying, and UNICEF. Carrie: Various guest-starring roles on TV; Voted “World’s Sexiest Vegetarian” by PETA; Once saved an injured dog on the side of the road and found it a home; supports various charities including the Human Society of the United States and Stand Up 2 Cancer. We’re not about to compare Underwood’s various charities to Clarkson’s various charities. Who are we to say music in schools is more important than saving adorable little puppies and kitties? It’s all wonderful as far as we’re concerned. Underwood took the time to save a destitute puppy on the side of the road, Clarkson gives destitute animals a home. Even. Clarkson serves as an ambassador for March of Dimes, Underwood records singles and makes appearances for her various charities. Even. Both singers have made incredibly average appearances on television. Even. Damn, that was the only real comparison we had going for us. How does anyone “win” charity, anyway? Winner: Tie Celeb News Scandals Kelly: Supported Ron Paul, was accused of being anti-gay; Rumored to be a lesbian; Accused of losing weight for her boyfriend; Indonesian billboard used her image to sell cigarettes. Carrie: Unfounded claims of nude photos (just like every hot celeb out there); Various relationship rumors. Underwood is basically scandal-free. She keeps to herself, tries to stay out of tabloids unless she’s got herself a new beau, but now that she’s married, that’s no longer an issue. Clarkson, however, is a passive recipient of scandal with the exception of the Ron Paul debacle. Clarkson tweeted her support of the candidate, therefore opening herself up to questions about her political beliefs. All other scandals, however, are issues pressed upon her by outside parties. She just barely squeaks ahead of Underwood this time. Winner: Kelly Awards Kelly: 2 Grammys, 6 Grammy Nominations, 70 total awards, 98 nominations Carrie: 5 Grammys, 9 Grammy Nominations, 116 total awards, 173 nominations Math doesn’t lie, folks. And neither do Grammys. Underwood is a clear winner on this one. Winner: Carrie So who’s the better celebrity? With a score of 5.5 to Clarkson’s 2.5, Underwood is the better celeb, but don't worry Kelly, you will still be our go-to girl for breakup anthems! Ding, ding, ding: Carrie for the win! Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler.
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Kelly Clarkson is in love.
"I have a new boyfriend!" Clarkson revealed during an interview on March 6, according to Us magazine.
Sources say that the American Idol winner is now dating Brandon Blackstock, a 35-year-old talent manager. Blackstock is country singer Reba McEntire's stepson. His dad, Narvel Blackstock, also manages Clarkson.
Clarkson waited a long time to find her prince charming. She split from her her ex-boyfriend Graham Colton six years ago. But, the 29-year-old singer bounced back after she started dating Blackstock last year.
"Before Brandon, Kelly had a really tough time with love," a source shares. "[Brandon] is just what she needed."
Source: Us magazine
Real Steel – the new sci-fi sports flick from Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy – is set in the year 2020. Its vision of the future looks remarkably similar to the present save for the fact that the sport of boxing has been taken over by pugilistic robots. There are no robot butlers taxi drivers or senators – just boxers. Apparently technology in 2020 has advanced enough to allow for the creation of massive mechanized beings of astonishing dexterity but humanity has found no use for them beyond the boxing ring.
Hugh Jackman plays Charlie Kenton a has-been boxer turned small-time robot-fight promoter. A consummate hustler who’ll do anything for a buck Charlie’s fallen on hard times of late. Opportunity arrives in the diminutive guise of 11-year-old Max (Dakota Goyo) his estranged son who turns out to be something of an electronics wunderkind. Together they work to fashion Atom an obsolete ramshackle “sparring robot” left to rot in a junkyard into a contender.
Anyone who’s seen an underdog sports movie – or any movie for that matter – made in the last half-century can fairly easily ascertain how this one plays out. (The story borrows tropes from The Champ Rocky and Over the Top wholesale.) Atom proves surprisingly capable in the ring compensating for his inferior technology with grit perseverance and an ability to absorb massive amounts of punishment. Under the guidance of Charlie and Max he makes an improbable run through the ranks eventually earning a one-in-a-million shot at the World Robot Boxing championship.
Real Steel was executive-produced by Steven Spielberg; it bears his unmistakable imprint. Levy judiciously deploys Spielberg’s patented blockbuster mix of dazzling special effects and gooey sentiment wrapping it all in a highly polished if wholly synthetic package. Still Real Steel might have amounted to so much glossy hokum were it not for its champion Hugh Jackman. Other actors might eye such a project as an opportunity to coast for an easy paycheck but damned if Jackman isn’t completely invested. The film’s underdog storyline isn’t nearly as inspiring as watching its star so gamely devote himself to selling material that will strike anyone over the age of 12 as patently ludicrous. His efforts pay off handsomely: Real Steel is about as rousing and affecting as any film inspired by Rock’em Sock’em Robots can expect to be. (The filmmakers claim lineage to a short story-turned-Twilight Zone episode but who are they kidding?)