Of all the places to find insight into the enigma that is modern Russia, who would imagine that you would find it, in all places, in a Die Hard movie? Wonders never cease.
On the surface, A Good Day to Die Hard is everything you would expect from a Die Hard film: John McLane (Bruce Willis) finds trouble. Largely confused about what’s going on, he kills a lot of bad guys. In a series of escalating gun battles and car chases McLane cuts a trail of destruction across Moscow. In doing so, he saves the day. The End.
To be a little more detailed, John stumbles into some CIA business when his estranged son Jack (Jai Courtney) is arrested for a political assassination in Russia. The killing places him right in the middle of political intrigue between a candidate to be Russian Minister of Defense and an old rival, Komarov (Sebastien Koch). John travels to Russia intent on helping his son, only to discover that Jack has things well in hand. He’s a CIA operative tasked with getting Komarov and a dossier of evidence implicating Yuri Chagarin (Sergei Kolesnikov) in the late-Soviet-era illegal sale...More >>
Making a film about Abraham Lincoln is certainly no enviable task – unless, of course, you’d prefer to see him slaying vampires to seeing him desperately fighting to keep his country together. While Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer is immensely entertaining, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is the Lincoln film that actually feels like a Lincoln film.
Although many people might be surprised to find out precisely how much. The Civil War is very much omnipresent throughout the film, but treated for what it was: the background to the greatest battle Lincoln ever waged: the war to end slavery in the United States of America.
Lincoln is the leader that every freedom-loving leader aspires to be, and every freedom-loving person aspires to follow. Yet he led his country in doing things that no freedom-loving leader would ever want to do, and that no freedom-loving person would want him to do.
Lincoln didn’t do these things because he wanted to do them. He did them because someone had to. Which remarkably was a principle that guided every decision he made.
It would forever be a mistake to presume that Lincoln wanted to fight the Civil War; he didn’t,...More >>
Do you remember where you were when you heard that Osama Bin Laden was killed? I remember exactly where I was: I was walking into a Wal Mart (of all places) talking to a friend on the phone. That was when I heard that they might have gotten him.
I found out for sure later that day while watching the conclusion of, of all things, a WWE pay per view. Just victorious in a championship match, avid US troop booster John Cena took the microphone and, standing atop an announce table, announced that Osama Bin Laden had been “compromised to a permanent end.”
There was something going on in professional wrestling at the time that provides something of a parallel for Zero Dark Thirty, the Hollywood adaptation of the killing of Bin Laden. The loud, brash promos – for the uninitiated, this is something like a speech...More >>
Karim Delgado is a former military journalist with the Marine Corps, where he deployed in support of various humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations throughout Southeast Asia. He is currently majoring in philosophy at Columbia University, but took a break from school the first half of this year to work as a civilian videographer for the U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan. During this time, he documented the work of special forces teams throughout the country and their efforts to empower Afghans through the improved security, governance and development of their own villages.
Here is a link to Karim's short film using footage from his time in Afghanistan, Humans of Afghanistan, and an excerpt from the artist's statement (available in full at the link):
When I arrived back in the States, everybody wanted to talk with me about Afghanistan. It was very difficult for me, even to hear the name; I just wanted to hide somewhere private and cry. I couldn't really understand why that was for a while. But I think I've come to realize that here in the West, people's opinions about the region, its people and the war have really congealed into this sickening sort of knee-jerk
The Dark Knight Rises – in fact, director Christopher Nolan’s entire Batman trilogy – is about the things that come to life in the darkness and icons born in the light.
The monsters of Nolan’s Batman trilogy are almost uniformly human monsters, for the most part. They are born of dark and troubled pasts. Depending upon how far you trust the character, the Dark Knight’s Joker (the late Heath Ledger) may have been born of a broken home and an abusive father. The lead villain of The Dark Knight Rises, Bane (Tom Hardy) spends most of the movie brooding and plodding about in what seems like an inhuman ruthlessness. At the root of the character, he turns out to be far more human than anyone could have imagined. (The less you know about this, the better.)
There are, however, also some more deeply inhuman monsters. Their ruthlessness is far more genuine. Ras Al Ghul (Liam Neeson) is one of them. Depending upon how much you distrust the character, The Joker may be one as well. Dr Jonathon Crane, also known as Scarecrow (Killian Murphy) may be one of them as well – he may...More >>