On September 11th 2001, the America was hit by one of the worst tragedies imaginable; the attack of the World Trade Center. As much as the victims and their families and friends were affected by the horror, so too were the families of a small group of the nation's troops.
The very next day the government formed Task Force Dagger; a team of 12 soldiers including CIA paramilitary officers and a US Special Forces group called the US Army Green Berets Operational Detachment Alpha 595 (ODA 595).
They would be immediately deployed to Afghanistan under the leadership of Captain Mitch Nelson (played by Chris Hemsworth and inspired by the real life Mark Nutsch), who is determined to bring every single one of his comrades back home alive. To have any hope of taking down the Taliban forces that have turned their conflict on to the States, they must team up with General Abdul Rashid Dostum of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, who provide the overseas team with some much needed companions: horses.
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A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, this film is much more than a skilful re-enactment. It's a witty and insightful exploration of the kind of person who chases sporting success and global fame, even when the odds are stacked against them. And it's sharply well-played by Emma Stone and Steve Carell, who bring out the humour and pathos in their characters and the rivalry between them.
In the early 1970s, Billie Jean (Stone) has finally had enough of being treated as a second-class member of the tennis world, since women win just an eighth of what male players get. But the head of the tennis association (Bill Pullman) refuses to budge, so Billie Jean and her publicist (Sarah Silverman) start their own rival ladies' league. Meanwhile, former champion Bobby (Carell) is noisily shouting down this women's movement, claiming he could beat any female player. And while Billie Jean tries to ignore him, she knows that there's only one way to shut him up for good.
Screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) packs a lot into two hours, digging beneath the story to explore both of these players in their private lives. Billie Jean is questioning her marriage to Larry (Austin Stowell) as she falls for her hairdresser (Andrea Riseborough). And Bobby's gambling obsession is jeopardising his marriage to Priscilla (Elisabeth Shue). The entire cast is terrific at bringing these people to life with scene-stealing quirks that keep the audience smiling. And both Stone and Carell skilfully reveal the resonant internal journeys King and Riggs are taking even as the situation becomes a full-on media circus.
Continue reading: Battle Of The Sexes Review
It’s official: Nina Dobrev and Austin Stowell are an item.
After months of rumours, Nina Dobrev has confirmed she is in a relationship with fellow actor Austin Stowell. Dobrev and Stowell took to Twitter earlier this week and shared the news with their followers.
Nina Dobrev at the 2015 Elle Women of the Year Awards.
Steven Spielberg has a personal connection with the U2 spy plane incident which features heavily in his latest film, 'Bridge of Spies'.
Steven Spielberg’s latest film, Bridge of Spies, is based on the diplomatic relations between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. following the 1960 incident in which an American spy plane was shot down over Russian territory and its pilot, Francis Gary Powers, captured. Spielberg has a connection with the incident, as he revealed in a recent interview.
As it transpires, Spielberg’s father had seen the remains of the captured U2 spy plane whilst on a foreign exchange in Russia. Spielberg’s father, Arnold Spielberg, was an engineer for General Electric which had arranged the exchange in an attempt to improve relations between the U.S. and U.S.S.R.
Sometimes the law can get cause problems even for those who wrote them, particularly in the face of war. Thus, when an American spy plane is shot down while covertly photographing Russian bases, the thankfully unharmed pilot is held hostage by the foreign government. He'll only get to go home if America agrees to release their own spy, who's currently serving time in prison. Unfortunately, American law states that they can't just let a Russian spy go free without a proper appeal, and that's where James Donovan comes in. Donovan is a simple New York insurance lawyer not known for high-profile cases, but one thing he is is fair. He's asked to defend the spy and help organise the return of the American pilot, but that becomes a major sacrifice for the lawyer who now faces a struggle against some angry citizens who aren't going to let him forget it if they let the 'traitor' out of jail.
Continue: Bridge Of Spies - He's A Spy Clip
It's the height of the Cold War and things are getting tense between Russia and America. An American U-2 spy plane has been shot down while photographing Russian bases, its pilot held captive. They're willing to release him, however, if only the American government send back an imprisoned spy of their own. However, by American law, that's virtually impossible - and that's where James Donovan comes in. An insurance lawyer who's never dealt with a case of such high stakes, he is enlisted by the CIA to defend the Russian spy in court in order to have him released and sent home without charge. It seems an impossible task when the whole of America are against setting him free and indeed even neighbours turn against Donovan, targeting his family as he tries to give one man a fair trial.
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James Donovan is a simple insurance lawyer from Brooklyn, New York whose cases have never evoked too much controversy. However, all that changes quickly when he is enlisted by the CIA to defend a Russian spy in an impossible mission to have him released from prison without charge and returned home. When an American spy plane pilot is shot down during a task of photographing Russian territory, he thankfully survives; however, the angry Russian government are not planning on handing him over too easily. The only problem is, the law is very much not on the side of the Russian spy and in order for their man to be flown home, the government have to find a loophole to release their own captive. Donovan believes everyone deserves a fair trial, but he's one of very few people who do and by putting his life on the line to help his country during the Cold War, he's risking his family too.
Continue: Bridge Of Spies - International Trailer
In 1960, the hard work of many good people was tested greatly. The height of the Cold War was set to see a series of peaceful negotiation between the Americans and Russians, but a week beforehand, everything changed. An American spy plane was shot down by Russian missiles, carrying pictures of various Russian air force bases. While the US government tried to deny the charges, the Russians were able to provide the pictures, the airplane wreckage, and the pilot - miraculously unharmed. In exchange for his return, they wanted one of their captured spies to be returned. James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks), a simple lawyer, was tasked with creating a case to allow the US government to release the Soviet spy without jail time - a request that seemed almost impossible in the face of Cold War prejudice.
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It's hard to think of another film that leaves us quite so out of breath. Adapting his short film, first-time feature filmmaker Damien Chazelle grabs hold of the audience and never lets up, pounding us into submission with an exhilarating pace, blistering performances and never-flagging energy levels. It's an astonishing movie that reminds us of the visceral power of cinema in a story about the tenacity required to make it to the top.
At the centre of the storm is Andrew (Miles Teller), an aspiring drummer who is attending New York's most prestigious and cutthroat conservatory. His goal is to get into the elite jazz band led by Professor Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), whose brutal reputation is well-earned. A demanding, often cruel teacher, he belittles students with vein-popping diatribes. And he seems to have an extra well of bile just for Andrew, who is willing to put up with anything to be in his band. The question is whether Fletcher is trying to break him or push him to achieve even more. If Andrew hopes to survive, he might not be able to maintain a relationship with his new girlfriend Nicole (Melissa Benoist). But maybe it's worth the pain.
This is the blackest comedy imaginable, so harsh that our only response is to laugh bitterly at every hideous insult Fletcher heaps on his young musicians. Chazelle directs the film with such a brisk pace that it sometimes feels difficult to hang on for the ride, and even though some of the plot turns feel rather contrived, it's moving so quickly that we don't have time to worry about that. The entire film charges forward with the rhythms and energy of a powerful jazz riff, and even though it's often terrifying the ride is so much fun that we don't want it to end.
Continue reading: Whiplash Review
Andrew Neyman is a jazz drummer whose massive ambition has landed him a place at a prestigious American music academy. It's there he is picked up by Terence Fletcher; a notorious jazz composer who may be renowned for his teaching abilities, but is also feared for his unconventionally cruel methods. He is invited into his band where he is eventually given the chance to substitute the usual drummer after memorising the entire music sheet and subsequently is made to perform in the next competition. Unfortunately for Andrew, it seems Terence's faith in him has made him eager to push Andrew to the brink of insanity as he slowly turns him into a volatile obsessive with the desire to become the greatest drummer of his time. Meanwhile his father is furious at the treatment of his son and Andrew forces himself to break up with his girlfriend in order to put more time into practice.
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Date of birth
24th December, 1984
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