French League facing tough choices amid pandemic

The French football league is facing a number of issues such as who gets to be named champion and who gets promoted and relegated after the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 seasons were ended a… .

2020-04-29 10:03:00

10 Tough-As-Nails Cop Thrillers To Watch If You Like Dirty Harry

Cops make for very interesting protagonists. A protagonist needs to be a hero, and a cop’s job is to be a hero, so it’s a no-brainer. Sometimes, cops in movies and TV shows will play by the rules and follow their captain’s orders and respect any red tape put up by the commissioner.

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But we all know the most interesting ones are the ones who bend the rules to get the job done, like Harry Callahan from Clint Eastwood’s iconic Dirty Harry series of action movies. So, here are 10 Tough-As-Nails Cop Thrillers To Watch If You Like Dirty Harry.

10 End of Watch

The “found footage” format is usually reserved for horror films like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, but it has been applied to other genres, like comedy (Project X) and superhero movies (Chronicle). With End of Watch, David Ayer brought the “found footage” style to the cop thriller.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña star as the lead pair of officers. You have to suspend your disbelief in the scenes where gang lords shoot home movies of their drug-hazed parties with camcorders, but End of Watch is a compelling police thriller that blurs the line between good guys and bad guys.

9 Bullitt

Complete with one of the most breathtaking car chase sequences ever put on film – with each cut so precisely placed that it won Frank P. Keller an Academy Award – Bullitt is one of the earliest classical action films. Steve McQueen stars as Lt. Frank Bullitt, one of the toughest lawmen to grace the silver screen, who is assigned to protect a witness.

When that witness is murdered, Bullitt becomes determined to bring the culprits down, even though it means traversing the shady criminal underworld to track down the crime lord responsible. Bullitt plays out like a western set in modern-day San Francisco.

8 Reservoir Dogs

Quentin Tarantino’s indie directorial debut, Reservoir Dogs, is not necessarily a police movie. The story focuses on a jewelry store heist, but it’s told from the perspective of the criminals – until one of them is revealed to be an undercover cop. Then, the tension is ratcheted up as the surviving robbers turn against one another.

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Most of them don’t know each other, so they don’t know who they can trust. Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, and Michael Madsen round out a terrific cast. The cast’s performances are what really sell this movie, as it’s dialogue-driven, with very little action.

7 Blitz

Jason Statham’s most famous movies are bombastic action thrillers, like the Transporter movies and the Expendables movies, but a few years ago, he starred in this more cerebral blend of police procedural, gritty crime thriller, and social issues drama, and it’s easily one of his best films. A masked killer has been going around London, shooting police officers.

For Statham’s cop character, this is a personal case. As the investigation runs into dead ends and legal loopholes, keeping the killer out on the streets, Statham has to figure out how he’s going to bend the rules to bring this guy to justice.

6 Heat

Michael Mann finally got Al Pacino and Robert De Niro to share the screen in this slick L.A.-set crime epic. Heat is a cat-and-mouse thriller in which Pacino plays a hard-as-nails cop and De Niro plays the master bank robber that he’s after. The movie’s intense conflict boils down to the iconic diner scene, which brought Pacino and De Niro together to match their acting talents.

The study of corruption and violence ravaging the American city that is prominent throughout Heat provided Christopher Nolan with the inspiration he needed to direct The Dark Knight as a rounded vision of Gotham.

5 The Rookie

This movie is so similar that some fans even consider it to be a spiritual successor to the Dirty Harry franchise. Clint Eastwood directed himself in the movie, and his grizzled veteran cop character Nick Pulovski has been viewed as an older version of Harry Callahan. The movie tells the story of a cynical cop who is paired up with a younger, more optimistic partner who reinvigorates his belief in police work.

It’s a movie we’ve seen a thousand times before, but with Eastwood at the helm, there’s a lot more pathos and humanity in The Rookie than in most hacky buddy cop movies using the same tired clichés.

4 Fargo

With a pitch-black sense of humor and a bunch of characters being affected by outrageous situations, Fargo just might be the quintessential Coen brothers movie. William H. Macy plays an insurance salesman who pays two criminals to kidnap his wife in order to bilk her rich father out of some cash.

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When the kidnapping goes awry and witnesses get into the mix, a cop played by Frances McDormand is brought in to investigate. The parallel storylines of the salesman, the cop, and the kidnappers weave in and out of one another like rush-hour traffic, gripping you from every perspective from beginning to end.

3 The French Connection

The Exorcist’s William Friedkin directed this crime thriller about some New York cops investigating the bigger heroin-smuggling operation in the world. Ernest Tidyman’s screenplay was adapted from a non-fiction book about a real-life investigation, although the names of those involved have been changed and composited from the source material.

Gene Hackman stars as “Popeye” Doyle, one of the most iconic cops to ever fight crime on the big screen, while Roy Scheider and Fernando Rey appear in supporting roles alongside him. At the end of this movie, Friedkin makes thought-provoking use of the ambiguous ending, which is a make-or-break trope.

2 Training Day

Directed by Antoine Fuqua and scripted by David Ayer, Training Day is one of the grittiest, most riveting police thrillers of the 21st century. Ethan Hawke plays a naive rookie cop just starting out, while an Oscar-winning Denzel Washington plays the veteran cop – who also turns out to be crooked – who is assigned to welcome him to the unit.

With its compelling and complex plot revealing more about the characters and their environment in each unfolding scene, Training Day is a pulse-racing cinematic thrill-ride. The movie tackles corrupt institutions, which makes it a sociological story, and also shows the cops as a product of their surroundings, which makes it a psychological story.

1 Hard Boiled

John Woo pioneered “gun-fu,” which has gone on to dominate action cinema, so the genre owes Woo a great debt. The pinnacle of Woo’s abilities is arguably the movie Hard Boiled, which starred the great Chow Yun-Fat as “Tequila” Yuen, and whose story was designed to rely on action set pieces.

Instead of being a regular story that occasionally took breaks for an action scene, Hard Boiled was constructed entirely of action scenes, because that’s what fans of the genre want. All the best action movies do this, prioritizing visual storytelling through action over exposition, which let’s face it, is just lazy writing.

NEXT: 10 Fast-Paced Action Thrillers To Watch If You Like The John Wick Franchise

2019-11-29 01:11:56

Ben Sherlock

Kitchen Nightmares: 10 Times Gordon Ramsay Served Out Tough Love

Since he first hit American televisions in 2007, fans have been in love with the way Gordon Ramsay dealt with people. A mix of aggression, curse words, helpful tips and often, yelling, made him likable in a respectful way.

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While he wasn’t always aggressive, sometimes he needed to be more forceful with the owners and chefs he was helping to ensure his point was made. By having a sit-down conversation, or berating them in front of customers, Gordon made it clear how he was helping. Here are ten times Ramsay doled out some tough love to help make things better.

10 Seascape

The fourth episode of the first season, Seascape was a long-lasting eatery on the northeast coast that needed help from Gordon. Open since 1962 and owned by the mother-son team, Gordon found a problem deeper than ego and a bad chef, though that is a problem as well.

The main problem turned out to be the son, Peter’s emotional problem. During a confrontation between the two owners and Gordon, even mom Irene calls her son out for not stepping up to the plate in the business. In a weirdly touching moment, Gordon challenges Peter by having him confront his emotional issues in a boxing ring, which was filled with interchanging put-downs and pep talks.

9 Prohibition Grille

With an owner who doesn’t care about her restaurant and didn’t understand that things could be wrong, Prohibition Grill was a tough revamp for Gordon. Rishi, the owner, spends the entire episode as an airhead, much to the disdain of Gordon who is trying to get her to recognize the faults she keeps denying.

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Rishi grows into her role as an owner throughout the episode, but she takes some harsh ribbing from Gordon as well. The peak is when he insults her intelligence multiple times to her rebuttals of “That’s just how things are.” When he finally gets through to her, the emotional breakdown is something that she really needed, as it helps her recognize the problems she needed to fix.

8 Casa Roma

Deemed one of the worst restaurants he had ever seen, Gordon’s visit to Casa Roma was filled with ups and downs. With an owner that had no experience in the food industry and a head chef who just didn’t care anymore, it seemed like hope was lost.

Clearly needing an in-her-face confrontation, Gordon closes the restaurant down and demands that owner Nylah fire head chef Erick. After making several good points and agreeing that the head chef was only there for the money, both Gordon and Nylah agree that they need to move forward. Usually, Gordon will put the option on the table to fire a chef, but in this episode,  he explicitly says to fire the problem.

7 Burger Kitchen

Stealing your son’s money and using it to open a restaurant is already a bad business tactic, but having a mismanaged staff and tension between every person in the restaurant is not the way to success. The Burger Kitchen was opened by Alan, Gen and, through theft, Daniel Saffron, and the kitchen was run by the aggressive chef David.

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Emotions reach ahead as Daniel has to fire David and then breaks down in the middle of service. Rather than attacking him for the choices made by other people, namely the parents, Gordon helps Daniel get himself together by forcing him to take charge. The whole time Gordon makes sure the Daniel knows he isn’t at fault for the past, he puts a lot of needed pressure of the future on Daniel’s shoulders.

6 Bazzini

Bazzini was a rough situation for Gordon. While everything was not lost thanks to Sharyn, the pastry chef, the rest of the restaurant was a disaster. Owner and chef Paul Bazzini mucked about through the whole episode. During the final night service, he allowed things to get so backed up that Gordon stepped in and took control of the kitchen.

After the dinner service, Gordon tells Paul that he cannot do it. After berating him for his lack of effort and mismanagement, Gordon tells him that the restaurant needs to be a part of him. It seems to click for Paul as Gordon walks out of the restaurant for the last time, hoping Paul changes.

5 Le Bistro

Chef and owner Andy of Le Bistro was a classic example of the type of owner Gordon wanted to change in his show. A full ego and filled with a lack of care for his sinking restaurant, Andy, again and again, proved his incompetence by not progressing with Gordon’s help. Through several tactics, including trapping Andy on a boat with former customers with complaints, Gordon tried to reach Andy to no avail.

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After watching a very poor dinner service, Gordon sits Andy down and says that he proved that he didn’t “give a shit about the customers.” Andy being told he was blowing his chance at a chef’s dream and the success of his restaurant clicked something in his mind, leading him to switch gears and pull off a successful relaunch.

4 Charlie’s

Gordon held nothing back in his time at Charlie’s. Co-owner Tatiana seemed to not take the situation seriously and, even worse, the chef actively ignored Gordon the whole time he was there. Purchasing it after working there as a waitress, using her family’s homes as collateral, Tatiana didn’t change a single thing when she took over.

Calling her out for her role, Gordon wastes no time making sure Tatiana knows the problems start with her. Midway through the episode, Gordon lays into her for over a minute about her inability to lead properly and her lack of care. As she breaks down, he doesn’t let up. It was that kick that she needed to get herself and the restaurant together, which she does by firing her bad chef and finally listening to Gordon.

3 Amy’s Baking Company

Amy’s Baking Company is, arguably, the most infamous restaurant Gordon ever visited. Even before Gordon shows up to the eatery, there are major problems as owners Sammy and Amy almost get into an actual fight with a customer. High tensions, extreme egos, and major delusions made the pair terrifying to watch.

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Not only were they scary to watch but working for them was far from the bee’s knees. During a service, Gordon learns that the servers do not receive their tips. Rather, Sammy takes them for himself. While he doesn’t hide his disdain for Sammy, Gordon makes it a point to call out the owners to all of their customers, hoping it would give them a realization. Instead, it makes them even angrier and more threatening. The servers gladly respected Gordon’s work in the end.

2 Hot Potato Café

Niche restaurants are a big market as they sell to a specific type of person. Those people, however, don’t take kindly to being fed crap. Boasting three owners and a 21-year-old chef with no training, the café looked to be on its last leg when Gordon arrived.

Not convinced the café was able to be helped, he left the restaurant but is shortly followed by the owners. Having a street-side conversation, Gordon tells the owners that they don’t care, making sure not to blame the chef for their decisions. His words convince them to step up their efforts and care about what they were involved in.

1 The Capri

Twin pranksters Jim and Jeff owned The Capri for 14 years before finding themselves in a dire enough situation to call Gordon. The two are emotional and fun-loving, which makes it a lot harder to see them failing at the beginning of the episode. While their light-hearted antics make for fun entertainment, their culinary and business prowess leaves a lot to be desired.

Gordon, never being one to hold back, takes the boys through the wringer several times for the episode. Eventually, he takes them to a boxing ring and has them work out their problems physically and emotionally. He pesters them for their truths, then has them fight each other briefly, allowing them every one to be on the same level.

NEXT: 10 Best Episodes Of Kitchen Nightmares (According To IMDb)

2019-09-23 01:09:09

Nicholas Howe

8 Lena Headey Roles As Tough As Cersei Lannister

Lena Headey stepped into the spotlight with her role in 300. She furthered her career in TV with The Sarah Connor Chronicles. However, she stamped herself as royalty with her turn in Game Of Thrones as the conniving Cersei Lannister. A beautiful person riddled with ugly tendencies and selfish motivations, she embodies the traits we least want to see in those with power. Yet, here we are on the cusp of the final season of GoT and she’s assumed the titular throne. She’s murdered or conspired to end dozens of adversaries. She now stands as the ultimate evil (that still has a heartbeat) in the realms of Westeros. Before we see how her journey ends, let’s look at the other roles where Lena Headey captured the same level of badass toughness.

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8 Marilyn ‘MaMa’ Madrigal – Dredd

For those who want to see someone perhaps even more sick and depraved than Cersei (and who wouldn’t?) then this ultra-violent affair is a perfect choice. Playing Marilyn Madrigal, A.K.A MaMa, Headey is the leader of a gang that has taken over an entire MegaBlock in a dystopian future. She authorizes the manufacture and distribution of narcotics. Calls for people who get in her way to be skinned, drugged, then tossed down 200 stories. She mans a Gatling gun and eviscerates an entire floor of innocent bystanders. She’s gouged out eyes, sliced people up, and is unquestioned in her leadership by some bad dudes. In short, Cersei’s more ‘extroverted’ cousin, if extroverted means ‘openly, insanely, unrelentingly murderous’.

7 Queen Gorgo – 300 & 300 Rise Of An Empire

This is proof that Lena Headey can also be a queen anyone can admire. Proud, passionate, protective, she stands like her husband Leonidas as an ideal of her gender. She shies away from nothing and stands up to anyone. You get the sense that she is that stalwart and resolute all the time. That is in addition to being the queen, not because of it. In the first movie, she is an inspiration for her husband and a force for good at home. In the sequel, she picks up a blade and gets among it with all the rest. She’s everything Cersei isn’t, really.

6 Callista Curnow – Dishonored

A matriarchal presence in a rebellion clinging to its ideals, Lena Headey lends her statuesque vocals to this excellent stealth game. Playing Callista Curnow, she is the woman who becomes the caretaker to the future empress, Emily Caldwell. She is also responsible for one of the funnier alternate Game Over’s in recent years, because if you interact with her the wrong way she can unravel the entire rebellion in an instant. But as a character, she is resolute, kind, and protective of her ward.

5 Julia Knight – Fighting With My Family

The matriarch of the Knight family and the mother of WWE star Paige, Headey brings a lot of love to this unconventional family dynamic. Hilarious chemistry with Nick Frost makes these two almost need their own movie as they train and run their little wrestling world and raise their kids in it.

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Headey embodies the theatrical nature of such a family, with public displays of affection for her man and a rich emotive core in the face of hardships. Once again she seems tough enough that she’s the backbone of the entire family.

4 Mary Sandin – The Purge

The first Purge movie and another time Lena Headey ends up being badass. Throughout the movie, Mary tries to protect her family from intruders during the annual night of lawlessness. In the end, she is forced to take the initiative and she stands against the violence. Her neighbors intrude and she ends up with them at her mercy, and more than once refuses to ‘release the beast’, the movie’s catch-phrase for giving in to the violent urges The Purge allows. Lena has that intensity to her that makes her formidable where other female leads might not be. You aren’t sure she wouldn’t pull the trigger, but her staunch integrity stands.

3 Lunafreya Nox Fleuret – Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV

Here she plays a much younger woman than we’re used to, but no less strikingly committed. The quality of her voicework imbues the princess Lunafreya with poise and gravitas. In a war-torn conflict, she is a bargaining chip who refuses to be just that. She’s not among stragglers either, with Game Of Thrones’ Sean Bean and Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul the other main cast members knocking it out of the park. This is a high-(Final)fantasy hybrid that is far better than fans might imagine for being a video game tie-in, and Lena’s work is a major reason for that.

2 Sarah Trevanny – Ripley’s Game

Playing a more traditional role, Headey still brings the vigor and intensity she’s become known for. When her terminal husband is drawn into a murderous game by John Malkovich’s titular Ripley, she draws the line. It’s a complex role as she has to balance being supportive with moral fortitude when the truth comes out. By the end, she’s the only moral person still standing, albeit having lost so much. You feel for her turmoil throughout her husband’s magnetic descent and end. Her revulsion and dismissal of Ripley by the end make you wish she had more ‘Cersei’ in her and revenge might be on the cards.

1 Sarah Connor – Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Tough as nails knowing the future depends on her son, Lena Headey manages to fill Linda Hamilton’s sizable shoes in this television series in the Terminator franchise. It seems that no matter where she goes, Headey exudes ‘tough leader of people’. Her occasional wry grin is the reward for all the focused determination she otherwise brings. She’s almost become typecast simply because her facial structure reaches the heights of both conventional attractiveness and ‘having a destined purpose she will walk through anything to achieve’. Chalk this series up as another testament to that innate quality.

NEXT: Trollhunters Season 2 Casts Mark Hamill & Lena Headey

2019-04-13 03:04:33

Mik Rona