Mission BriefingS.H.I.E.L.D. is still in pieces after the recent attacks from embedded HYDRA agents, and the U.S. governement is threatening to blow up the organization into even smaller pieces when S.H.I.E.L.D. is labeled a terrorist organization. With a dwindling number of options, Coulson decides to take a risk when he recieves a mysterious set of coordinates by way of his S.H.I.E.L.D. badge. Does salvation lie at the end of the coordinates, or is Coulson leading his team right into a Hydra trap?
Mission FalloutThe ragged remains of S.H.I.E.L.D. are barely holding themselves together after the events of The Winter Soldier. Coulson and his team are lying low at the Hub, one of the few remaining S.H.I.E.L.D. bases still intact and under genuine S.H.I.E.L.D. control. Things get even worse when Coulson gets a call from a Colonel Glenn Talbot, who threatens to send peace keeping troops to the Hub. Coulson bets that there will be less peace keeping and more bunker busting from the hard-edged Colonel and decides to cut and run, even though the Bus is in no kind of shape for a long journey. The team takes off with limited food, fuel, and supplies (but good Internet), and decide to go completely off the grid.
Meanwhile, the double crossing Agent Ward frees Raina from a S.H.I.E.L.D. prison and introduces her to Garett, Whom she is disappointed to learn isn't really clairvoyant, but simply in possession of a high S.H.I.E.L.D. clearance. Ward and Garrett decide to raid the Fridge, the secret location where S.H.I.E.L.D. keeps its most dangerous acquisitions. Ward reveals to Raina that all of his actions since first meeting Coulson and joining his team were calculated moves to gain everyone's trust. He does reveal that he cares for Coulson, but not as much as he cares for Garrett. The duo infiltrates the Fridge and steals a load of S.H.I.E.L.D. weaponry, but can't crack the encryption on Skye's hard drive, which is full of S.H.I.E.L.D. secrets. Garrett tells Ward to get the password from her and kill the rest of the team in the next 24 hours.
While flying away from the Hub, Coulson receives mysterious coordinates on his badge, which he believes to be a message from Agent Fury. The rest of the team doubts the coordinates, believing them to be a HYDRA trap. Coulson decides to head to the coordinates anyway, which leads them to a snowy wilderness. With the validity of the coordinates seeming less likely by the second, The team finally reaches the location of the coordinates, only to find nothing. Everyone except Fitz begins to doubt Coulson even more, especially after learning the he used the Bus' last bit of fuel flying to the coordinates. Coulson gives an impassioned speech about still believing in S.H.I.E.L.D. before inadvertently setting off a defense mechanism. It turns out that the coordinates belonged to a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base set up by Director Fury and manned by Agent Eric Koenig (Patton Oswalt). Koenig reveals to Coulson that Fury is alive, but prevents him from telling the rest of his team the good news. Skye informs Ward about the secret base, and the agent arrives, ready to do whatever it takes to get the password for the hard drive.
Most Valuable Agent AwardThis weeks honor might go to Coulson if he weren't being so irrational the entire episode. Of course he ended up being right, this being his show and all, but shouldn't he be just a little more wary about following mysterious coordinates? Especially after HYDRA has eaten its way through his entire organization? No, this week's award goes to new recruit Agent Koenig for fitting in some primo Call of Duty hours while being locked away in the secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base.
Mission Highlights and Other Observations - Looks like Coulson and his team should be expecting a visit from the supervillain Graviton pretty soon, now that Garrett has gotten his hands on the gravitonium from episode 3. - Agent Grant Ward has become infinitely more interesting after revealing his true colors. All of a sudden he's all rugged and roguish. Why couldn't he be this cool before?- It looks like the show is positioning Triplett to be a Ward's replacement on the team. No complaints here.
Chilean actor Pedro Pascal was left with bruised and battered knees during filming for hit fantasy series Game Of Thrones after constantly hitting himself with his own prop spear. The Graceland star was cast as Prince Oberyn Martell, aka The Red Viper, last year (13) for the new fourth season of the show, but Pascal admits it took him a while to get to grips with his poisoned weaponry and he ended up injuring himself on multiple occasions.
He tells the New York Times, "The worst of it was whacking myself with my own prop. I busted up my knees a lot trying to spin the thing from my left to my right. I whacked myself in the face several times. But I was never hurt by another actor or fight choreographer."
Sylvester Stallone still winces as he recalls the multiple injuries he suffered at the hands of his co-stars while filming the Rocky films. The Rambo star worked alongside actors like Carl Weathers, Mr. T and Dolph Lundgren in tense fight scenes in the boxing movies, and he reveals they left him bruised and battered.
He tells the New York Post, "I remember real punches making those films. Dolph Lundgren... put me in the hospital. (He) hit my chest so badly (doctors) thought I was in a car accident...
"Carl Weathers broke my jaw. I never let on he actually did that. I wouldn't give him that satisfaction of knowing he did such a great job."
Ozzy Osbourne's mansion in Buckinghamshire, England has been severely damaged by flooding and will cost more than $48,000 (£30,000) to repair. Many regions were deluged when torrential downpours hit the U.K. this year (14) in the wettest winter since records began in 1910, and Buckinghamshire was one of the worst affected areas.
Osbourne and his wife Sharon are based in Los Angeles but they will not be able to live in their $8 million (£5 million) English base for months due to water damage.
The Black Sabbath frontman tells the Daily Mirror newspaper, "It's been completely flooded. The rain has battered down the walls and seeped through everything. There is water everywhere.
"We've been told it's going to cost £30,000 to repair but we can't go about getting it fixed because it's going to take nine months to dry out. The place is ruined."
Writer John Ridley won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for 12 Years a Slave. It's hard to think of any other nominee that could have taken the award besides the gripping adaptation of Solomon Northrop's memoir. Ridley, of Undercover Brother fame, adapted Northrup's real-life story of imprisonment slavery into a vivid study of battered humanity that shattered audiences and critics alike. Thanks to Ridley's assured script, 12 Years a Slave was given a raw emotive power that went hand in hand with Steve McQueen's direction.
The original 19th century memoir, which saw little play outside of history classrooms, is now among the exclusive community of Hollywood's awarded screenplays. In his speech, Ridley naturally thanked Solomon Northrup, whose searing account inspired the film. He also thanked the producers of the film.
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
There is a certain level of enjoyment you are guaranteed when signing on for a movie that boasts a cast of George Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman, and Bill Murray. And that's the precise level of enjoyment you'll get from The Monuments Men — that bare minimum smirk factor inherent the idea that your favorite stars are getting to play together. In FDR-era army helmets, no less. But what we also get from the film is an aura of smug self-confidence from project captain Clooney, who seems all too ready to take for granted that we're perfectly satisfied peering into his backyard clubhouse.
So assured is the director/co-writer that we're happy to be in on the game that there doesn't seem to be any effort taken to refine the product for the benefit of a viewing audience. An introductory speech from art historian Frank Stokes (Clooney) sets up the premise straight away: the Nazis are stealing and destroying all of Europe's paintings and sculptures, and by gum we need to stop them! The concept doesn't complicate from there, save for a batting back and forth of the throughline question about whether the preservation of these pieces is "really worth it." Stokes rallies his own Ocean's Seven on a fine arts rescue mission, instigating an old fashioned go-get-'em-boys montage where we learn everything we need to know about the band mates in question: Damon has a wife, Goodman has gumption, Murray doesn't smile, Bob Balaban is uppity, and Jean Dujardin is French.
The closest thing to a character in The Monuments Men comes in the form of Hugh Bonneville, a recovering alcoholic whose motivation to take on the dangerous mission is planted in a festering desire to absolve himself of a lifetime of f**king up. When we're away from Bonneville, the weight disspears, as does most of the joy. Without identifiable characters, even master funnymen like Goodman, Murray, and Balaban don't have much to offer... especially since the movie's jokes feel like first draft placeholders born on a tired night.
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
But wait a minute, is this even supposed to be a comedy? After all, it's about World War II. And no matter what Alexandre Desplat's impossibly merry score would have you believe (coupled with The Lego Movie, this opening weekend might be responsible for more musical jubilance than any other since the days of "Make 'Em Laugh!"), warfare, genocide, and desecration of international culture all make for some pretty heavy material. But The Monuments Men's drama is just as fatigued as its humor, clumsily piecing together a collection of mini missions wherein the stakes, somehow, never seem to jump. We're dragged through military bases, battered towns, and salt mines by Clooney and the gang — occasionally jumping over to France to watch Damon work his least effective magic in years on an uptight Cate Blanchett, who holds the key to the scruffy American's mission but doesn't quite trust him... until, for no apparent reason, she suddenly does. We never feel like any of these people matter, not even to each other, so we never really feel like their adventures do.
The Monuments Men doesn't have much of a challenge ahead of it. Its heroes are movie stars, its bad guys are Nazis, and its message is one that nobody's going to refute: art is important — a maxim it pounds home with the subtlety of a sledgehammer, through countless scenes of men staring in awe at the works of Michelangelo and Rembrandt. And in this easy endeavor, Clooney decides to coast. How could it possibly go wrong? Just grab hold of the fellas, toss 'em in the trenches, and let the laughs and danger write themselves. "This is what they came to see," Monuments Men insists. "Just us guys havin' a ball." But we never feel in on the game, and it isn't one that looks like that much fun anyhow.
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Irish singer Keith Duffy stunned TV viewers in the U.K. on Friday (31Jan14) by dropping his trousers in the middle of a live daytime show. The Boyzone star appeared on lunchtime talk show Loose Women to discuss his latest role as a contestant in high-diving competition Splash!, and he told the female hosts the programme had left him battered and bruised.
As the audience gasped and shrieked in amazement, Duffy said, "My legs are black and blue - want to see?" before unhooking his belt, unfastening his pants and pulling them down to his knees.
The pop star's black briefs were clearly visibly as he pointed out his bruises and added, "I'm not joking you - that's it."
Asked how he came to be so injured plunging from a swimming pool diving board, Duffy answered, "If you land wrong it's not pleasant, put it that way."
Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi is turning her back on martial arts movies as she is still suffering from injuries she received on the set of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Ziyi shot to international fame with her role in the hit 2000 movie but she was left battered and bruised after shooting its hard-hitting combat scenes.
She has just wrapped filming on new martial arts movie The Grandmaster, but the lengthy three-year shoot has convinced Ziyi that her days as a deadly onscreen fighter are over.
She tells British magazine Hello!, "I don't believe there's another role that can surpass this. And I've had so many injuries from a long time ago during Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon when I injured my neck. Those old injuries really bother me and after three years of this one, my body cannot take it any more. So I think this is a pretty good finale."
Actor Kelsey Grammer's ex-wife Camille has been given another new year's boost after a judge granted her a permanent restraining order against a former boyfriend. The reality TV star announced she had completed treatments for endometrial cancer last week (ends03Jan14), and now she has been informed her ex Dimitri Charalambopoulos will not be a part of her life for the next three years - after he allegedly battered her during a hotel room fight in Houston, Texas in October (13).
Grammer won a temporary restraining order against Charalambopoulos after claiming her then-boyfriend attacked her, grabbing her by the hair, yanking out clumps in the process.
The temporary restraining order was extended on Monday (06Jan14) and now Charalambopoulos will not be able to contact Camille or her two kids until January 2017.
Construction experts are carrying out detailed tests at London's Apollo Theatre following the horrifying roof collapse which injured 76 audience members on Thursday evening (19Dec13). Seven people were taken to hospital with serious injuries and dozens more were treated at the scene after a huge chunk of the venue's ceiling fell down during a performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
The 112-year-old Grade II listed building was still sealed off on Friday morning (20Dec13) as structural engineers and a surveyor from the local Westminster City Council carried out an assessment to discover what caused the collapse.
Heavy storms had battered London during the evening, and there were unconfirmed rumours the venue had been hit by lightning earlier in the day. Local police have ruled out any criminal involvement.
Chief Superintendent Paul Rickett, of the Metropolitan Police, says, "(There is) no suggestion at this stage that (the incident) was as a result of a criminal act."
A spokesman for Nimax Theatres, which owns the Apollo, said the collapse was "shocking and upsetting".