With the White House indicating that tactical missile strikes on Syrian chemical weapons depots could come as early as Thursday, everybody from neoconservative hawks to isolationist libertarians to equivocal moralists weighed in on the U.S.'s options. Here is a list-by no means exhaustive-of articles representing the spectrum pros and cons of military intervention. 1. Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post: Ten Syria Lessons Rubin makes the hawk's case for military intervention, arguing that had the U.S. intervened when chemical weapons were first reported, we would have saved thousands of lives (though she doesn't quite detail what actions would have produced that result). The best takeaway is her critique of Obama's reported plan to strike without any commitment of troops, a movement that would have little impact on Assad's capabilities while plunging us deeper into the conflict: "When you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna." Empty words and half-measures have only emboldened Assad, as … [Read more...] about Should the U.S. Strike Syria? 6 Articles You Need to Read About Syrian Intervention
The president who figured the world outside the U.S. would simply behave to allow him to transform the country without distraction clearly didn't anticipate the chaos increasingly unfolding overseas and at the border. Ukraine, Gaza, Syria, Libya, Iraq. It's all falling apart, or as uber-liberal Daily Beast columnist Michael Tomasky put it in the title of a recent column: "Is It Just Me or Is the World Exploding? So Why Isn't Obama Doing More?" The reason? Legacy, of course. In no particular order, Mr. Obama likely wants to be remembered for three things: bringing the country back from the great recession while creating a level playing field (redistribution of wealth) in the process, providing universal health care, and bringing all troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, no matter the consequence or cost we're now witnessing. The results on all three are mixed at best. The country's economy is treading water. Negative GDP growth one quarter, a four-percent rise the next. Jobs are being … [Read more...] about Concha: Drone-Happy Obama Turns Timid on U.S. Air Power vs. Terrorists
In 2007 and 2008, two U.S. satellites experienced strange interference on several occasions. The anomalies didn’t last, the longest period being just twelve minutes. However, a draft report from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission says that what the satellites experienced was an attempt to take control of the spacecraft by hackers on the ground, and names China as the most likely candidate. The two satellites were Earth observing craft and were not involved in any national security operations. The first, the Landsat-7 satellite operated by the U.S. Geological Survey, encountered interference in October 2007 and June 2008. The second craft, the NASA operated Terra AM-1, had its bout of interference in June and October of 2008. The commission’s report claims that this interference was a failed attempt by a ground station to “lock on” to the satellite in order to send it commands. According to the report, the attack utilized the Svalbard … [Read more...] about Report: Did China Hack Two U.S. Satellites?
Here at The Mary Sue, we’re no stranger to the problem of armoring women for battle — in pop culture, we’re half-naked and totally unsuited for combat, and in real life, our armor doesn’t even fit and we’re totally unsuited for combat. What’s a lady soldier to do? Take a cue from Xena: Warrior Princess, apparently. In 2009, the U.S. military began to address complaints from women that their armor was uncomfortable and more of a hindrance than an asset: “It rubbed on the hips, and the vests were too long in the front, so that when you had female soldiers climbing stairs or climbing up a hill or a tree, or sitting for a long time in a vehicle, that would create pressure points that in some instances could impact blood flow and cause some discomfort,” said Lt. Col. Frank Lozan, who is helping redesign women’s body armor. A study by the U.S. Army concluded that the current armor used by women not only made it difficult to enter and exit … [Read more...] about U.S. Military Develops Xena-Inspired Armor For Women
The Oscar-winning writer/actor spills his trade secrets A sequel to the 2003 cult classic Bad Santa might be in the works, actor Billy Bob Thornton told a gathering of students October 15 at Loyola Marymount University's School of Film & Television. In a wide-ranging interview that covered everything from his early days living in dire poverty to his overnight fame following 1996's Sling Blade to his horrified reaction living the life of celebrity during his years married to Angelina Jolie, Thornton said he was a great fan of his broad comedy as a nasty Santa. As for the sequel, "We’re just waiting for a script," he said. "I mean, we’re never going to beat the first one, but you got to get as close as you can. It will do real well, I would imagine. And hopefully we'll get it off." Thornton, wearing a fedora to conceal the scalp he has shaved bald to play Sandra Bullock's James Carville-like nemesis in the forthcoming film Our Brand is Crisis, was a guest in the second … [Read more...] about Billy Bob Thornton Talks ‘Fargo’ Psycho’s Coen DNA, Angelina Jolie, ‘Bad Santa’ Sequel (Exclusive Video)
Fans watching soccer in droves despite drone of vuvuzelas Even the B-flat drone of the vuvuzelas hasn't tempered America's enthusiasm for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and as the tournament heads into the third round of the group stage, ratings are at a 16-year high.Through the first 14 matches of the World Cup, ESPN and ABC have delivered an average crowd of 3.35 million viewers, marking a 64% increase from the same period in 2006, when the nets drew 2.9 million fans. The initial portion of the round-robin stage was distinguished by the much-anticipated June 12 U.S.-England tie, which drew 13 million viewers on ABC, making it the most-watched first round World Cup game in U.S. broadcast history. Spanish-language broadcaster Univision also drew a big crowd last Saturday, serving up 4.11 million viewers with its coverage of the 1-1 Yanks-Brits match. The Group C battle stands as Univision's second most-watched U.S. World Cup match ever, trailing only the U.S.-Mexico round-of-16 showdown in … [Read more...] about World Cup ratings hit a 16-year high in U.S.
New generation of shows boasts big budgets, lots of talent More MIPCOM newsCANNES -- The international drama market used to be as American as apple pie. This year, however, Europe is serving up a hearty portion of big-budget, English-language, talent-heavy fare that's bringing a new flavor to the global small-screen plate. Financed by a rainbow coalition of international investors and often with top-tier U.S. cast and showrunners to sweeten their international appeal, such fare is squarely aimed at eating up primetime terrestrial and cable slots in multiple Euro markets. Take "Borgia." As MIPCOM kicked off Monday, production began the same day on the 15th century drama from Lagardere's Atlantique Prods. and U.S. cabler Starz and financed by France's Canal Plus and Germany's EOS. The 12-hour series inevitably will be pitted against a similarly themed project being produced and aired stateside by Showtime ("The Borgias") and licensed here by sister company CBS Studios International. … [Read more...] about How Europe is competing with U.S. TV fare
The Chilean film, starring Paulina Garcia as a 58-year-old divorcee looking for love and adventure, is playing in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival. BERLIN -- Roadside Attractions has won a lively bidding war for U.S. rights to Chilean director Sebastian Lelio's acclaimed Gloria. The film, starring Paulina Garcia as an older divorcee seeking adventure and love, has quickly transformed into the critical hit of the festival since premiering Sunday night to rave reviews. (Read THR's review here.) PHOTOS: 10 Titles to Track in Berlin Set in modern-day Santiago, Gloria centers on a spirited 58-year-old (Garcia) who refuses to retreat from life, frequenting nightclubs and meeting a charming former naval officer in his 60s who sweeps her off her feet. But they are faced with the realities of their lives and their pasts. Sergio Hernandez stars opposite Garcia, whose performance puts her squarely in the running for Berlin's best actress award. At a news conference before … [Read more...] about Berlin 2013: Roadside Attractions Wins U.S. Rights to Festival Hit ‘Gloria’ (Exclusive)
Writer-director Gary Ross says the John Steinbeck adaptation could be his first project following "The Hunger Games" and explains why he didn't return for "Catching Fire." Jennifer Lawrence may star in not just one but two movies adapted from John Steinbeck’s 1952 novel East of Eden, writer-director Gary Ross said April 12. Ross helped launch Lawrence into global stardom with The Hunger Games. “It may be two films,” he said. “We may break it in half, into one generation and the next. And that’s what we’re talking about now.” The picture is in development at Brian Grazer's and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment, with no start date yet set. Just when it shoots will depend on her crammed schedule and also Ross’s, as he weighs whether to make that his next film (and his first since The Hunger Games.) “It’s one of the things that is sort of on my plate, [that] I’m interested in doing,” he said. “I’m … [Read more...] about Jennifer Lawrence’s ‘East of Eden’ May Be Two Movies, Says Director (Exclusive Video)
The 'Boyhood' star discussed wanting to make love to "blue people" and why he was having "a lot of issues at 40." Boyhood star Ethan Hawke acknowledges that he has had to overcome a years-long bout with stage fright that began when he was 40 years old. "I was having a lot of issues at 40," the 44-year-old actor told an audience of students at Loyola Marymount University's School of Film & TV on Feb. 4. "I've been acting professionally since I was 12. I had my first like real bouts of stage fright that I just didn't understand, and I couldn't make sense of." He explained: "You start to realize that it's important. There's this feeling you have when you're young that, 'Oh, everything's ahead of you.' You know it's all coming. Then you kind of hit this wall where you realize, 'All right, there are a limited amount of opportunities.' And it really does matter what we do." Hawke, a guest in the ongoing Hollywood Masters interview series and a four-time Oscar nominee, spoke about his new … [Read more...] about Ethan Hawke on Stage Fright, Denzel Washington: “Don’t F— With Him, Man” (Q&A)
Soundstages in Hollywood North are filling with Fox's 'Minority Report,' ABC dramedy 'Mix' and NBC's 'Warrior.' Pilot production in Canada has picked up after the plunging Canadian dollar added to the cost savings for U.S. producers shooting north of the border. Eight pilots are currently shooting in Toronto and Vancouver, led by primetime contenders such as the ABC dramedy Mix, the CBS comedy Taxi 22, Fox's movie-to-TV pilot Minority Report and NBC's martial arts drama pilot Warrior from David DiGilio (Crossbones). CW, which routinely shoots pilots and series in Canada, is this year bringing the Dead People pilot, from Californication creator Tom Kapinos and executive producer J.J. Abrams, to Vancouver, and shooting the procedural Cheerleader Death Squad, from Desperate Housewives' Marc Cherry and Under the Dome's Neil Baer, in Toronto. CBS Studios is shooting Tad Quill's Taxi 22, about a misanthropic and politically incorrect New York City cab driver, in Toronto. Falling oil prices … [Read more...] about Plunging Canadian Dollar Sends U.S. Studios North of the Border With Pilots
Held in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas, the festival shines a spotlight on political controversies both local and international. The 7th DMZ International Documentary Film Festival (DMZ Docs) will open with I Am Sun Mu, a U.S.-China-Korea co-production about a North Korean defector, organizers announced in Seoul on Tuesday. The festival will screen 102 films from 43 countries right near the border between South and North Korea, the infamous demilitarized zone (DMZ), from Sept. 17-24. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, or for Korea, its liberation from colonial Japan (1910-1945), as well as the separation of the peninsula into the U.S.-occupied South and then-U.S.S.R.-controlled North. This year’s edition will be held for the second time at Camp Greaves, a former U.S. military base within the “Civilian Controlled Line” — a buffer zone along the DMZ that remains off limits to civilians. It is closest that the … [Read more...] about Korean DMZ Documentary Festival to Open With U.S. Co-Production ‘I Am Sun Mu’
"I wasn’t really quite sure where he came from, and I think that’s the feeling most people got when they were around him and why he was so extraordinary," Gyllenhaal recalls. Ten years after Jake Gyllenhaal starred in the landmark Brokeback Mountain — and almost eight years after the death of co-star Heath Ledger — the actor said he had no qualms about taking the role when it came his way. "It’s one of the most beautiful scripts I’ve ever read, and it was Ang Lee, and at the time Heath [Ledger] was a friend of mine — before we even shot the movie — and always sort of alluring to me," Gyllenhaal recalled. "Heath was always somebody who I admired," he continued. "He was way beyond his years as a human, in a way. I wasn’t quite sure where he came from. I mean, I know he’s from Perth, but I wasn’t really quite sure where he came from, and I think that’s the feeling most people got when they were around him and why he … [Read more...] about Ten Years After ‘Brokeback,’ Jake Gyllenhaal Remembers Heath Ledger: “Way Beyond His Years as a Human”
The filmmaker also explained why he won't be attending this year's Oscars during THR's interview series 'The Hollywood Masters.' Hollywood still has progress to make, says actor-rapper-producer Ice Cube. “It ain’t cool enough yet,” the Straight Outta Compton filmmaker said Feb. 19. “I mean, it’s still got gatekeepers. It’s got gatekeepers everywhere. Cool people still have a hard time showing what they got in Hollywood. And I’ve been fighting my whole career to show a different side. But there’s not enough Ice Cubes out there. There’s not enough Ice Cubes getting a chance to do their thing.” Coming off the back-to-back successes of Compton and Ride Along 2, he added: “I’m ready to run a studio. I’m ready to green light movies, and be in it to win it.” He said, however, he had no intention of raising money outside the industry. “Then what you’re doing is fighting with your money to get back … [Read more...] about Ice Cube Says Hollywood Isn’t Cool Enough, Adds: “I’m Ready to Run a Studio”
Chilean director Pepa San Martin also reveals her next project, an episode of a TV series about Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca. In a first big sale at Spain's San Sebastian film festival, HBO and Sony have picked up U.S. and Latin American rights, respectively, to Chilean drama Rara, Pepa San Martin’s feature debut and winner of this year's LGBT Sebastiane-Latino Award at the festival. Sony took theatrical rights for Mexico, Colombia and Brazil and television rights for all of Latin America, according to Rara producer Macarena Lopez at Santiago-based Manufactura de Peliculas. Lopez also said that HBO has taken the U.S. rights to the film sold by Madrid-based Latido Films, which would not comment on the deals. Based on a true story in Chile, LGBT drama Rara focuses on a family that includes a couple, their two daughters and the mother’s partner, a woman. Through the eyes of the adolescent eldest daughter, the film shows the father’s battle to win custody based on … [Read more...] about San Sebastian: HBO, Sony in ‘Rara’ Deal for U.S., Latin America
South Korea has more luck there getting shows on air than the U.S. as stateside producers scramble for ways to enter an industry where series can regularly generate 75 million live viewers. Compared to the gold rush atmosphere surrounding the Chinese film business, the approach of most Western TV companies to China has been slow and steady. Dutch production group Talpa scored a huge hit with the Chinese version of its singing competition show The Voice, which grabbed more than 120 million viewers on TV (and 400 million-plus online) in the Middle Kingdom, but most have been satisfied with smaller licensing deals to Chinese digital and online platforms. This includes ESPN's agreement with Chinese tech giant Tencent to provide live coverage of the NBA for Tencent's online platform QQ Sports, or FremantleMedia's recently extended deal with Youku, which will see Youku's VOD channels stream such Fremantle shows as America's Got Talent and Project Runway. Only a handful of American series, … [Read more...] about Why Can’t Hollywood Crack China’s Massive TV Market?
The 'Hacksaw Ridge' star praises his controversial director, and discusses the year-long spiritual journey he undertook for Martin Scorsese’s 'Silence.' Mel Gibson is “maybe the most loving director I’ve ever worked with,” says his Hacksaw Ridge star, Andrew Garfield. The Amazing Spider-Man actor — who’s having an annus mirabilis with the November 4 opening of his war drama, Hacksaw Ridge, followed December 23 by Silence, a period piece set in 17th century Japan that teams him with Martin Scorsese — defended his controversial director. “He’s in the frame with you,” he said. “He’s all flesh and blood and passion. [He] wears his heart on his sleeve. You always know what he’s thinking. Which, you know, is interesting sometimes. With someone who’s so emotional, and instinctive, there were times where he would give notes, and coming out of anyone else’s mouth, they would be insulting, but they … [Read more...] about Andrew Garfield on Mel Gibson: “He’s All Flesh and Blood and Passion” (Q&A)
Between M.I.A.'s flipping the bird and a TV commercial we didn't see thanks to a last-minute FCC decision, Super Bowl XLVI gave those who practice First Amendment law a lot to chew on this year. NBC is probably safe from another FCC indecency crackdown, but that doesn't mean this year's Super Bowl won't be remembered as an important one in the ongoing struggle to square free speech with tasteful broadcast television. PHOTOS: The Best (and Worst) Super Bowl Commercials of 2012 Up first is the middle finger by M.I.A., the British musician who delivered a verse and a whole lot more during Madonna's performance on Sunday. The surprise gesture caught NBC sleeping, as an attempt to censor it came too late. The episode also evoked memories from the Super Bowl halftime performance eight years ago of Janet Jackson, whose "wardrobe malfunction" set off a lot of hemming and hawing about indecency standards on television. This time, however, NBC is unlikely to face any fines over M.I.A.'s act, … [Read more...] about Indecency Intrigue: M.I.A.’s Middle Finger and an Unaired Commercial at This Year’s Super Bowl
International formats exist for such popular U.S. shows as Survivor, Amazing Race and American Idol, to name a few, so it should come has little surprise that Israel has embraced its own version of Real Housewives. Me’usharot, which roughly translates to “rich women” and also “blissful” in Hebrew, features five Israelis -- three of them sabras -- that could easily give the ladies of Beverly Hills a run for their nouveau riche money. Nicol Raidman, 26, of Tel Aviv, is a Russian immigrant romantically involved with former oligarch and billionaire industrialist Michael Cherney (who's listed on the Interpol's wanted list) -- although she never refers to him by name. Lea Shnirer, 55, lives in lavish Herzliya suburb Kfar Shmaryahu, is a Pilates queen, the wife of a Germany-based real estate mogul and the daughter of Auschwitz survivors (her mother was part of the twin experiments conducted by Nazi physician Josef Mengele). New to season two of the show: Jennifer … [Read more...] about Israel’s ‘Real Housewives’ Throw Shade at U.S. Version; Andy Cohen Responds
Radius-TWC has acquired U.S. rights to David Robert Mitchell's horror film It Follows. The film, which was highly sought after following its Cannes Film Festival debut, marks the second title nabbed by The Weinstein Co.'s boutique label out of Critics' Week (Radius also bought When Animals Dream). PHOTOS: THR's Cannes Photo Portfolio With Cate Blanchett, Channing Tatum, James McAvoy Written by Mitchell, the story kicks off with a strange sexual encounter that leaves a teenager plagued by disturbing visions and the inescapable sense that something is following her. It Follows features an up-and-coming ensemble cast that includes Maika Monroe (Labor Day), Keir Gilchrist (It's Kind of a Funny Story), Daniel Zovatto (Laggies), Jake Weary (Zombeavers), Olivia Luccardi (Girls) and Lili Sepe (Spork). CANNES REVIEW: 'It Follows' Financed by Animal Kingdom and Northern Lights, the film was produced by Rebecca Green, Laura D. Smith, Mitchell, David Kaplan and Erik Rommesmo. Radius is planning a … [Read more...] about Cannes: Radius-TWC Nabs U.S. Rights to Horror Film ‘It Follows’