Archive for February 25, 2012
After last week’s episode, ‘Empty Hands,’ Spartacus (Liam McIntyre) gave a glimpse of the rage that lived deep inside him, and how once that fire was lit, there was little anyone standing in his way could do, but die. Now, with ‘Libertus,’ Spartacus: Vengeance translates that burning into an act of aggression that none of the Thracian’s enemies could have foreseen. For the viewer, however, ‘Libertus’ now stands as the benchmark of storytelling and spectacle, not just for this season, but also for the entire series.
‘Libertus’ opens in grand fashion, depicting the less-than-amicable reunion between Gannicus (Dustin Clare) and Oenomaus (Peter Mensah) in the arena, where it is intended that the former Doctore and Crixus (Manu Bennett) will be executed in front of the good people of Capua. Just as Oenomaus swings his sword ...
Click to continue reading ‘Spartacus: Vengeance’ Episode 5: ‘Libertus’ Recap
The theatrical release of "Act of Valor" couldn't have been timed better, arriving as it does on the heels of some high-profile special forces missions that reached a crescendo with last year's elimination of Osama bin Laden courtesy of SEAL Team 6. The SEALs have become media darlings, to the extent that retired Delta Force commander Lt. Gen. James Vaught recently advised the special forces community to "get the hell out of the media" before they undermine their low profile.
It's safe to assume Gen. Vaught won't be pleased by "Act of Valor", seeing as how the main cast is comprised of eight active duty SEALs, a move made by stuntmen-turned-directors Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh to put the audience "in the boots" of American soldiers and add a layer of authenticity to what might ostensibly have been just another war movie.
The results are mixed; this still plays like a standard action/war movie from the good ol' days of 1980s and '90s: thin on plot but long on pyrotechnics. 'Valor' has an intriguing hook working for it though, as well as some really, really good pyrotechnics. It also spares us the phony bravado and far-fetched escapism of more commercial Hollywood productions like "Navy SEALs," "G.I. Jane" and "Delta Force".
The movie centers on SEAL Team 7 (the men portraying them are unidentified in the credits, supposedly to protect their identities), sent to rescue a kidnapped CIA asset from a South American cartel in the film's first -- and best -- action sequence. This eventually puts them on the trail of a smuggler named Christo (Alex Veadov) who's working with an Islamic radical (Jason Cottle) planning on sneaking sixteen suicide bombers across the Mexican border and into strategic locations across the United States.
The plot extends no farther than that, though it is sprinkled with a brief glimpse of the soldiers' family life between deployments. The focus is, of course, on the action sequences, of which there are plenty, largely shot from a first-person POV and/or with a shaky handheld camera in a bid for immediacy. A lot of the footage was filmed during live-fire training exercises, meaning viewers are often seeing live rounds being used.
It's exhilarating at first, but the running gun battles eventually become repetitive, and since so little has been invested into developing the characters, there's a limited feeling of jeopardy. It makes for chaotic and impersonal viewing that often plays like "Call of Duty: The Motion Picture".
The clunkiness is to be both expected though, and it is easily forgiven. The SEALs who portray the team's leader and second-in-command are charismatic and talented enough non-actors to be watchable, and heaven knows there are plenty of full-time actors who have built multi-million dollar careers on more stilted performances. The rest of the team is just as game, but are unfortunately shoved into the background without a chance to make as much of an impression. The rough edges of the main cast is are smoothed by a strong supporting cast of character actors that includes Emilio Rivero, Nestor Serrano and Roselyn Sanchez.
Not surprisingly, the project began as a recruitment film (and technically it still is). While it is a mixed bag as an action flick, 'Valor' succeeds admirably in cleanly and clearly illustrating the hardships soldiers endure and the personal sacrifices they often make, while treating its subject with a degree of reverence verging on abject hero worship.
Moviegoers in the mood for some strikingly different yet undeniably “adults only” pieces of entertainment might want to keep two upcoming titles on their radar: Project X, a faux documentary flick produced by Todd Phillips (The Hangover) and The Raven, a Gothic period thriller directed by James McTeigue (V for Vendetta, Ninja Assassin).
Today we have a new red band TV trailer for Project X which teases the film’s no-holds-barred mix of teen sex jokes and drug-fueled debauchery, along with an all-audiences-approved TV spot for The Raven which only hints at the gory violence and disturbingly gruesome acts committed by the movie’s mysterious villain.
Project X revolves around Thomas (Thomas Mann), Costa (Oliver Cooper) and JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown), a trio of high school seniors who throw a birthday party as an excuse to ...
Click to continue reading ‘Project X’ Red Band TV Trailer & ‘The Raven’ TV Spot
Fans have been anxiously awaiting for a return trip to the fantastical world of element benders and mystical white creatures in The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra, a spinoff TV animated series that picks up 70 years after the events of Nickelodeon’s original hit Last Airbender show and centers around the new Avatar: a spirited young woman from the Southern Water Tribe named Korra (voiced by Janet Varney).
Nickelodeon has begun airing a new TV promo for Legend of Korra which highlights the series’ virtually identical animation style as that featured in Avatar: The Last Airbender – and offers a better look at the new incarnation of the Avatar, who looks to be much more outspoken, rebellious, and reckless than Aang.
Here is an official plot synopsis for Legend of Korra, followed by the new TV trailer:
With three ...
Click to continue reading ‘The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra’ Trailer: Meet the New Avatar
One of the most anticipated characters of The Walking Dead comic series has been cast, and his appearance is confirmed for the upcoming third season. As announced my AMC, The Governor will be played by British actor David Morrissey, and will be the main antagonist for the survivors in season 3.
Morrissey lands a role that had been speculated to actually be season 1 baddie, Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) – though more recently, actors such as Danny Trejo (Sons of Anarchy, Machete), John Hawkes (Martha Marcy May Marlene) and horror film legend Tom Savini – the latter having publicly campaigned for the role. Morrissey’s long list of credits includes the political drama The Deal, where he portrayed Gordon Brown, and the 2009 Red Riding trilogy, which also featured
Click to continue reading David Morrissey Cast As The Governor in ‘The Walking Dead’