TV Times


'Tears of The Sun' : A Humanitarian Mission
By Harinda Vidanage
The director of the award winning movie 'Training Day' tries to introduce a new theme into his new movie Tears of the Sun. The movie is categorized as in the lines of action or war genre but the director defends it as humanitarianism a genre for modern times.

The theme he has chosen is the increasing humanitarian interventions of the military in conflict zones. The movie unravels with the democratic government of Nigeria collapsing and the country is taken over by a ruthless military dictator, Waters (Bruce Willis), a fiercely loyal and hardened veteran is dispatched on a routine mission to retrieve a Doctors Without Borders physician, Dr. Lena Kendricks (Monica Bellucci).

Dr. Kendricks, an American citizen by marriage, is tending to the victims of the ongoing civil war at a Catholic mission in a remote village. When Waters arrives, however, Dr. Kendricks refuses to leave unless he promises to help deliver the villagers to political asylum at the nearby border. If they are left behind, they will be at the mercy of the enormous rebel army.

Waters is under strict orders from his commanding officer Captain Bill Rhodes (Tom Skerritt) to remain disengaged from the conflict. But as he and his men witness the brutality of the rebels first-hand, they are won over to Dr. Kendricks' cause and place their lives at risk by agreeing to escort the villagers on a perilous trek through the dense jungle.

Going in with the lieutenant is a seven-man elite squad so tough and combat-hardened they have no-nonsense one-syllable nicknames like Red, Zee, Slow, Doc and Flea, and communicate by an elaborate series of hand signals that put traffic control officers to shame.

None of these men is any match for the fierce Dr. Kendricks, who not only looks good in sweaty khakis but also gets to exhibit a stereotypically fiery temperament. "Get those weapons out of my operating room," she snaps at the chastened Americans before insisting that if she agrees to be evacuated, her numerous patients have to leave with her.

Among the things that likely liberate the lieutenant's secret softie are the genuine atrocities he encounters on the trail. While it is a little disconcerting to see the horrors of war as artfully lighted and composed as they are here, these scenes play like a sincere attempt to show us what really happens when things go bad in Africa and elsewhere with an eye to moving as well as informing an audience

Waters' team, experts at evasion and concealment, are inexplicably and ferociously pursued by an army of rebels. They are confounded until they discover that, among the refugees, is the sole survivor of the country's previous ruling family, whom the rebels have been ordered to eliminate at all costs.

The movie has tone of defensive and offensive as the team tries to lead the natives out of Nigeria as well as they frantically bargain with its commanders offshore to send in air support or evacuation and the battle is for time.

Bruce Willis who was sometime back renowned for his contribution in action and war movies was later involved in movies with much different Genres varying from thrillers to comedies, but he does a good come back in this movie as a SEAL team leader in a dilemma between following orders and morality.

The movie has a fair number of international critics who appreciate the new genre of humanitarian war and some who say that it is not a movie worthy effort but all in all the movie is a first in this theme and viewers should also be a part in the ratings.

Tintin comes alive on screen
Ever since he became a director back in the seventies, Steven Spielberg has always wanted to bring the adventure comic book series Tintin to the screen.

He even acquired the franchise rights in 1983 but let the option lapse in the wake of his huge success with ET. But now the fantasy sagas, with such titles as Tintin and the Temple of the Sun and Tintin and the Lake of Sharks, with the intrepid young reporter inevitably finding himself at the centre of global adventures, are all set to be made. Spielberg and his frequent producing partner Kathleen Kennedy will produce a Tintin live action feature for Universal Pictures and Dream Works Pictures.

The studios are currently negotiating with Moulinsart, the Belgian company that holds the Tintin properties created by late cartoonist George's Remi under the pseudonym Herge.

Tintin, recognizable by his blonde cow-licked coif, battled international evil with the help of his dog Snowy, his mentor Captain Haddock famed for his drunken curses - police officers Thomson and Thompson and Professor Cuthbert Calculus. The comic strip, first published in 1929 in the Belgian newspaper Let Petit vingtieme, was eventually translated into more than 50 languages and has already been the subject of several animated adaptations for motion pictures and television.

Tintin is a popular cartoon series on Sri Lankan small screen too.

And the star that Spielberg wants to play the plucky cub journalist is Mark Wahlberg from Planet of the Apes.

'Sooriya Show'
The famous 'Sooriya Show' will be staged again at the BMICH on May 4.

'The show will feature the evergreen compositions and matchless hits of Clarence Wijewardena. Also singers Indrani Perera, Anil Bhareti, Paul Fernando, A.E. Monoharan, Dharmaratne Brothers, LA Bambas, Noeline Honter and Dalrene Suby will be supplemented by the Mendis foursome, Victor Silva, Winslow Six and Rajiv Sebastian.

The late C.T. Fernando, M.S. Fernando and Milton Mallawarachchi will be represented by their very popular sons, Priyantha Fernando, Susil Fernando and Ranil Mallawarachchi. Rajiv and the Clan will provide the music while the ultimate in choreography including sound, lighting and dance will enrich the Sooriya Show giving it meaning and relevance, when the idiom of music associated with the Sooriya show is projected in a spectacular and contemporary setting.

Dr. Vijaya Corea who compered the show then, and presented the Sooriya show on radio, will once again compere this show. DR Entertainments presents the show.

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