Archive | June, 2013

7 shot at Brooklyn party; 1 in critical condition (Providence Journal)

30 Jun
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98% Before Midnight

30 Jun

All Critics (148) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (145) | Rotten (3)

Hawke and Delpy remain as charming as ever, and their combined goofiness is more endearing than annoying.

Love is messy here, life cannot be controlled, satisfaction is far from guaranteed. Romance is rocky at best. But romance still is.

Though “Before Midnight” is often uncomfortable to watch, it’s never less than mesmerizing – and ultimately, a joy to walk with this prickly but fascinating couple again.

“Before Midnight” is heartbreaking, but not because of Jesse and Celine. It’s the filmmakers’ passions that seem to have cooled.

Before Midnight is fascinating to watch, and so long as Celine and Jesse are communicating, there’s still hope.

How (Jesse and Celine) try to rekindle that flame is what drives Midnight, a film that feels so authentic it’s like overhearing a conversation you’re not sure you should be hearing.

I’m not sure this is the end of Richard Linklater’s ‘Before’ trilogy. It’s perfection just as it is, but then again, Linklater has nine more years to work on the sequel.

Loving words mix with personal attacks, the magic moments with the unintended slights, as we witness the occasional desperation of imperfect people doing the best they can when life moves beyond meet-cute and courtship. That’s authentic.

Linklater and his players bring an end to the fantasy and welcome the thrilling ups and bitter downs of reality to this love story.

Like the first two films, it reflects the real world in a way that seems almost preternatural. It’s just that, here, the real world is a harsher, more disappointing place.

The duo, clearly so comfortable in their characters’ skin, indulge in intelligent banter, sharp humour and emotional truths.

So much better written than contemporary novels, this film is a literary as well as cinematic achievement to cherish. For grown-ups.

As before, it’s often very funny, with Jesse and Celine swapping Woody Allen-esque one-liners – nicely snarky, appealingly abrasive.

The acting, the dialogue and direction are superb.

None of the films is faultless in itself, but, tinted with complementary tones, the complete cycle comes as close to perfection as any trilogy in cinema history.

Marvelous. It’s impossible to shake the feeling that we are merely eavesdropping on reality. Witty, wise, and — most important of all — truly romantic in ways that movies usually aren’t.

It’s been 18 years since Hawke, Delpy and Linklater introduced us to Jesse and Celine, and their story just gets richer, funnier and more punchy each time we see them. In 1995’s Before Sunrise, they were idealistic 23-year-olds.

Hawke and Delpy are as believably real as any screen couple can ever be.

This is one of the few sequels for which the cliche ‘eagerly awaited’ is truly applicable.

Predictably, it’s just as great as the first two.

By the end, Before Midnight inches towards a dawn of charm. But it’s a troubled trip.

As an organic experiment in collaboration between actors and director, it is a triumph, co-created and co-owned by Delpy, Linklater and Hawke.

Hawke and Delpy, who are both credited on the script too, have never found co-stars to bounce off more nimbly or bring out richer nuances in their acting.

The performances and dialogue are wonderfully naturalistic; a reminder that the best special effects are often the cheapest.

Before Midnight is about the nature of long-term relationships, and the way love deepens and grows but also finds itself subject to the complications of maturity. Smart, insightful, and poignant.

For those who witnessed Jesse and Celine’s tentative getting together as inter railing students almost twenty years ago, it’s reassuring to see them still in love.


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Bombs target soccer players, spectators in Iraq

30 Jun

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Bombs targeting soccer players and young men who had gathered to watch a match in Iraq killed seven people on Saturday.

A roadside bomb in a busy market killed another three people, bringing the death toll to 10, police and medics said.

The violence is part of a trend of increasing militant attacks since the start of the year, which claimed more than 1,000 lives in May alone, making it the deadliest month since the sectarian bloodletting of 2006-7.

In recent days, men playing in local soccer fixtures and watching matches have been the targets – after spates of attacks on both Sunni and Shi’ite mosques and the security forces.

The reason behind the attacks on soccer players and spectators is not clear.

Police and medics said the bomb was planted inside a coffee shop in central Baghdad and killed four young men who had gathered to watch an under 20s international match between Iraq and Chile on television.

Twin roadside bombs exploded near a soccer stadium, killing three players in Muqdadiya, 80 km (50 miles) northeast of the capital, and the blast in the market left a further three people dead in a town west of Baghdad, police said.

Earlier this week, twin blasts at a neighborhood football stadium killed five players and two blasts tore through cafes where scores of young men had gathered to watch another match, killing eight people.

Concerns that Iraq may lapse back into full-scale sectarian conflict have mounted in recent months amid tensions fuelled by the civil war in neighboring Syria, where mainly Sunni rebels are fighting to overthrow a leader backed by Shi’ite Iran.

Sunni insurgents including al Qaeda’s Iraqi affiliate have been regaining ground, recruiting from the country’s Sunni minority, which resents Shi’ite domination since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled former dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003.

(Reporting by Kareem Raheem in Baghdad and a Reuters reporter in Baquba; Writing by Isabel Coles; Editing by Alison Williams)


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