March 06, 2014
By Kam Williams
Bill Marks’ (Liam Neeson) life went into a tailspin after his young daughter lost her battle with childhood leukemia. The inconsolable police officer has since sought solace in a bottle of alcohol, an addiction which cost him his marriage and career.
Today, the ex-cop is lucky to be employed as an air marshal, a job he decided to take despite a terrible fear of takeoffs. On this particular evening, he’s been assigned to protect a packed transatlantic flight from New York to London.
The trip starts out uneventfully enough, with Bill hiding his identity while making the acquaintance of the attractive passenger (Julianne Moore) sitting next to him. However, a crisis arises over the middle of the ocean soon after he receives a text from an anonymous caller claiming to be in the cabin and threatening to murder a passenger every 20 minutes unless $150 million is deposited into an offshore bank account.
Initially, he dismisses the message as a prank on the part of the only colleague (Anson Mount) aboard the plane, since a breach of the supposedly-impenetrable federal network is almost impossible and a criminal offense to boot. Nevertheless, once the first victim does indeed die, Bill realizes he has an urgent emergency on his hands.
Who might the hijacker be? The Muslim (Omar Metwally) sporting a skullcap? The trash-talking black teenager (Corey Hawkins) reluctant to surrender his cell phone? Somebody else? Of course, the actual perpetrator won’t be easy to pinpoint in this ever-escalating, deadly game of cat and mouse.
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, Non-Stop is yet another adrenaline-fueled vehicle featuring Liam Neeson. The surprising success of Taken, has belatedly turned the rugged Irishman into an action star, as reflected in subsequent similar outings in The A-Team, Taken 2, Unknown, and the upcoming Run All Night.
Here, Neeson safely sticks close to the Taken formula, starting with his character’s name (Bill Marks as opposed to Bryan Mills) and his playing a broken soul in need of redemption. Again, he rises to the occasion in tough, two-fisted fashion, though also exhibiting a vulnerability certain to move you to tears during the closing credits.
Besides an engaging premise and a satisfying resolution, Non-Stop is blessed with an inscrutable plot which delicately ratchets up the tension as it winds its way towards an unpredictable denouement. Thus, the picture unfolds less like a mob scene disaster flick than a cleverly-concealed whodunit where everybody with a phone is a suspect.
Cells on a plane!
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for sensuality, profanity, intense violence and drug use
Running time: 106 minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures
To see a trailer for “Non-Stop,” visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nODrjQUR5YU
LAWT News Service
Lincoln Motor Company was the presenting sponsor for ESSENCE’s 7th Annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon at The Beverly Hills Hotel.
The 2014 ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon honored three outstanding women: director/writer, Ava DuVernay; Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences President, Cheryl Boone Issacs; and “12 Years a Slave” actress, Lupita Nyong’O. Lincoln had the honor of awarding Ava DuVernay with the 2014 Black Women in Hollywood Visionary Award. The award was co-presented by ABC’s “Scandal” actress, Kerry Washington.
50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the event also paid tribute to legendary performers who were champions of the Civil Rights movement, including: Diahann Carroll, Nichelle Nichols, Jim Brown, Denise Nicholas and Clarence Williams III.
One lucky winner of Lincoln’s #shinelikeastar Instagram contest was able to attend the event and take in the Lincoln experience with a guest. Celebrity guests like Ava DuVernay, Bevy Smith, Denise Nicholas, Nichelle Nichols and others arrived to the event in the 2014 Lincoln MKZ.
ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, now in its seventh year, is noted as one of the must-attend events during Oscar week.
February 27, 2014
By Zenitha Prince
Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspaper
Maya Angelou, one of America’s leading poets, wrote a moving tribute to Nelson Mandela that has recently been published. (Photo Credit/Dwight Carter)
Maya Angelou’s moving tribute to fallen South African leader Nelson Mandela, called “His Day Is Done,” will be preserved in book format just in time for Black History Month.
“I’m delighted, honored, pleased and just over the moon,” Angelou told theAFRO of Random House’s decision to publish the slim tome.
When news of Mandela’s declining health first made headlines nearly two years ago, Angelou said she was contacted by the U.S. State Department and asked to write a tribute to the beloved African leader on behalf of the American people. They wanted to be prepared for his possible death, they said, and asked her to keep the request and the poem secret until at least 48 hours after his passing.
“I knew President Mandela; we had met 50 years ago in Egypt [and] over the years we had developed a close friendship [and] we had great respect and affection for each other,” the acclaimed poet recalled. “It was very hard to write about this person who I liked and adored as if he were dead.”
But she set herself to the task—pouring the thoughts, memories and feelings in her heart and head onto the page before snipping and tucking them into poetic form.
As the wife of South African freedom fighter Vusumzi L. Make of the Pan African Congress, Angelou was often present at gatherings of Mandela and other activists—who were a rowdy lot, she said.
“But among those loud, boisterous voices he [Mandela] was as gentle…and he was generous,” she said. “He spoke to everybody; he had time and a kind word for everybody from the doorman to the housekeeper.”
She hailed his strength, writing in the poem that Mandela was the world’s “David armed with a mere stone, facing down the mighty Goliath” of apartheid. And, after 27 years of imprisonment on Robben Island, this “hope of Africa” burst through the prison doors with “His stupendous heart intact, his gargantuan will hale and hearty.”
She honored his grace, which he demonstrated when he gave his former jailers seats of distinction at his inauguration.
“I think that was one of his great gifts to us—he taught us how to forgive,” Angelou said. “He was a great friend to the world.”
The newest vehicle from The Lincoln Motor Company – the Lincoln MKC – shared the spotlight with some of today’s most impactful and inspiring talents as part of ESSENCE magazine’s 7th annual Black Women in Hollywood luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 27.
Lincoln partnered with TV host and social media personality Bevy Smith on the pre-event Lincoln Blogger Bar. To celebrate Lincoln’s fifth year of involvement, Lincoln held the “Shine Like A Star” contest on ESSENCE.com for its readers. The winner received a VIP trip to attend the event as an exclusive guest of Lincoln, a red carpet makeover and dinner at an LA hotspot.
Three of the year’s most impactful and inspiring talents were honored with the Black Women in Hollywood Award: 2014 Academy Award nominee Lupita Nyong’o (Best Breakthrough Performance); Cheryl Boone Isaacs (Trailblazer Award) and Ava DuVernay (Visionary Award, presented by Lincoln).
In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the event also paid tribute to legendary performers who were champions of the Civil Rights movement, including: Diahann Carroll, Nichelle Nichols, Jim Brown, Denise Nicholas and Clarence Williams III.
“This year’s Black Women in Hollywood program especially resonates with Lincoln because it celebrates today’s exciting and talented performers while also recognizing important contributions that laid the groundwork for wonderful work we all can enjoy,” said Shawn Thompson, Lincoln manager, multicultural marketing.
“Today’s Lincoln brand celebrates a heritage nearly a century in the making while creating premium vehicles and experiences for a new luxury customer.”
The all-new Lincoln MKC, the brand’s first small premium utility vehicle, was revealed late last year in New York City. It will be on sale later this year.
Finding a way to do it better than others is not going to be hard this week. Share your wisdom with other seekers. All who receive your word will benefit this week. Happiness rules! Don’t waste a moment of this perfect week on any negative thoughts. Soul Affirmation: I give myself a chance to see all the good I can see in others. Lucky Numbers: 36, 38, 55
Strong vibrations bring a series of dramatic interactions with others this week. Practice your charm. Let it come from the heart, and let your energy carry you upwards to your best, highest self. Keep emotions calm. Let the warmth from inside of you touch others and thereby make your world better. Soul Affirmation: I go within and find what I’ve been searching outside myself to find. Lucky Numbers: 13, 29, 34
You’ll be energizing and inspiring others this week as you speak what’s on your mind regarding spiritual matters and masters. The quality of your thoughts is very pure; write yourself a love letter. Move slowly with explanations. Others will not understand as quickly as you think they should. Soul Affirmation: The truth that finds me is the truth I’ve been seeking. Lucky Numbers: 20, 27, 31
Rev up your engines. This is a fine week for making progress with projects that you’ve got in the works. Your energy is high and your mind is clear. Use every advantage this week to finish up your works. Look for love in the right places. Know the difference between love and lust. Soul Affirmation: I forgive and set myself free. Lucky Numbers: 19, 26, 39
Educate those around you in the area of personal growth. Their improvement will bring benefits to you. Humor in communication is the key. Humor in introspection is a must. Soul Affirmation: Success that has been following me is trying to catch up. Lucky Numbers: 16, 30, 39
This week romance is begins to percolate. Enjoy your feelings and let your brain relax. Suspend all judgments of others. Being stern won’t work for you this week. Soul Affirmation: I go along to get along. Lucky Numbers: 1, 6, 19
Romance will find you this week. Don’t be looking the other way. Your “rap” is especially strong. Make as many of those important phone calls as possible. People will respond. They are waiting to be receptive, Soul Affirmation: Friendships are shock absorbers on the bumpy roads of life. Lucky Numbers: 11, 13, 20
This week should bring an opportunity to further your education, don’t pass it up. Pay special attention to details at work. A friend needs your support. Find joy in giving it. Soul Affirmation: All things work together for good. Lucky Numbers: 26, 35, 43
You and your mate should increase your saving for the future this week. Future plans should be spotlighted. A relationship is likely to take a serious turn. Be open to making an unusual purchase. Soul Affirmation: I can see clearly now the rain is gone. There are no obstacles in my way. Lucky Numbers: 10, 30, 50
Don’t take any big gambles this week, the time is not right for a flight into the unknown. A newfound harmony is in store for you and your mate. Your mate will understand your fears. Soul Affirmation: New insights create new directions and a new cast of characters. Lucky Numbers: 6, 48, 51
The air can be cleared easily. Admit your need for help. Seek understanding. You’ll help another by seeking help from them. Communication problems will smooth themselves out. Soul Affirmation: Moving slowly might be the fastest way. Lucky Numbers: 33, 52, 54
You and your partner are on the same wavelength. If you are presented with a contract this week, it’s an ideal week to reach an agreement. Make the important phone call to set things up. Soul Affirmation: What I’ve been waiting for has been here all along. Lucky Numbers: 4, 6, 33
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