We SAID: Makeup Superstars

Staff Writer

Just when you thought the industry was saturated to capacity with all things makeup, three new behemoth influencers are in position to shift the landscape once again. Forget about the occasional ‘slap your name on a case’ deals between celebrities and major rihannamakeup brands. These women are out to change the way you think about applying and expressing yourself with makeup.

Rihanna has never been one to sit politely and smile, so when news broke of a new partnership with LVMH (they of Kat Von D and Marc Jacobs Beauty), we had visions of something significant. The brand will be called Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, and is set to launch in late 2017. Here’s hoping there are no pastels or neutrals, because we’d like to live out loud anbeckhamd in living color if we’re gonna rock Fenty Beauty.

There will probably be plenty of neutrals in the new partnership between Victoria Beckham and Estee Lauder. The fashionable influencer is teaming up for a limited edition line set to  hit stores in Autumn. Beckham has already shown and proved with her clothing line and a prpat mcgrathevious partnership with Nails Inc. Industry insiders speculate this latest partnership is an attempt from Estee Lauder to reach a younger audience.

And the makeup and fashion world awaits with bated breath, the latest collection from Makeup Goddess Pat McGrath. Skin Fetish 003 hits her website and Sephora on April 26th, and if previous launches are any indication we don’t expect to see stock last longer than a nanosecond. The collection features a dual ended highlighting stick, a highlighting balm, and a brush. Here’s hoping Sephora is prepared with backstock, because the frenzy surrounding this gorgeous release could turn ugly.

 

 

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He SAID: The Price of War

Scott F. Evans

“The needs of the many…”

The new thriller Eye in the Sky examines the moral, legal and ultimately human cost of drone warfare.  British Colonel Katherine Powell is tasked to apprehend three top ranking members of a known terrorist group.  The three are tracked to a compound in Nairobi, Kenya.  A team of Kenyan Special Forces are stationed nearby with an armed American Reaper drone flying overhead providing surveillance.  When it’s discovered that the group is planning an imminent suicide attack, capturing them becomes too risky an option.  Powell requests a dronestrike on the compound to kill the terrorists before they can depart.  The only problem is that an innocent young girl is selling bread just outside of the compound but inside of the blast radius.

Directed by Gavin Hood, Eye in the Sky is a taut, complicated gem of a movie that works on every level.  The film has a leisurely pace while maintaining a sense of urgency throughout.  There are lengthy scenes of politicians and military brass arguing over the legalities of a drone strike, but the film never lets up on the tension.  The script (by Guy Hibbert) is smart and timely.  He fills his dialogue with military jargon but manages to never lose the audience.

eye in the sky

On the surface, Eye in the Sky looks like a cold, techno-thriller, but the film also has a strong emotional core.  The characters all actually wrestle with this serious issue.  They realize that there will most certainly be collateral damage, but the potential cost of not immediately carrying out this strike could be even greater.  The terrorists are rendered as a typical, one-note mysterious organization with generic goals, but that seems to be point.  We see them only from a specific POV.  The U.S. drone watches them from thousands of feet above.  Kenyan spies track them on the ground with undercover operatives and robotic cameras.  All of this information is fed to the British military personnel who are actually in charge of the mission.  This creates an emotional distance between the cell and the agents who are after them, as well as the viewer.

Hood and Hibbert cleverly manipulate your emotions just as military leaders do the same to the troops who have to actually carry out these video game-like attacks.  By watching the enemy through monitors and omniscient viewing angles, we are placed above them eye in the sky 1both physically and morally.  However, the filmmakers wisely pivot and give this film some all-important heart by introducing us to the young girl’s family.  And here, like with the various agents, Hood puts us on the ground with them.  We’re in the family’s home and watch them go through their struggle in dealing with the extremists that also happen to be their neighbors.  It’s an extremely effective tactic that gives Eye in the Sky an added layer beyond the typical film of this nature.

Hood also has the advantage of working with an excellent cast. Helen Mirren leads as Colonel Powell.  She’s ruthless and efficient. If this piece has a villain, it’s her.  She recognizes the absolute necessity of her mission, and is willing to accept reasonable losses to complete it.  The late Alan Rickman plays Lt. General Frank Benson. Tired and irritated by political bureaucracy, Benson isn’t quite as zealous as Powell. But he is still resolute in his mission.  Aaron Paul also does solid work as USAF pilot Steve Watts.  He finds the right emotional beats as the man assigned to actually pull the trigger if the attack is authorized.  Barkhad Abdi gives a great performance as Kenyan spy Jama Farah.  He’s on the ground and in the most danger of any of the allied forces.  Abdi is very natural in the role, even bringing of bit of levity to the situation.

 

RATING: Eye in the Sky is definitely worth a watch.   Catch it in theaters before we get the inevitable flood of summer popcorn films.

He SAID: Dare/Punish/Electrify

Christopher M. Enis

Daredevil Season 2 hit Netflix with all the fanfare worthy of a superhero comic. But to be honest, even with the appearance of two new major characters, I wasn’t that jazzed about it. I honestly thought that it wouldn’t reach beyond the classic adventures of Matt Murdock: Blind Lawyer by day and Vigilante by night.

Turns out I was wrong.

Season 2 might just be better than Season 1, and that’s saying something.

The new season starts with Murdock (Charlie Cox) moving forward, after taking down crime kingpin Wilson Fisk. Business is booming at the law firm he shares with partner Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) and assistant Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll). There are plenty of clients, but none of them are able to pay in actual money. But a client in need is a client indeed, so no one is turned away. Alter ego Daredevil is just as generous, going out of his way to protect his residential Hell’s Kitchen.

But his efforts are not enough to satisfy the man we come to know as The Punisher, who takes things a step further. Where Daredevil works to disable wrong doers, The Punishimages-2er goes out of his way to specifically target and kill all known gang members and associates.

The Punisher is Frank Castle, a man brilliantly brought to life by Jon Bernthal. He is unapologetic, unyielding, and brutally thorough in his one-man mission against crime. When he finally comes face to face with Daredevil, the confrontation leaves the latter shaken to the core with the recognition of Castle’s determination.

If that’s not enough to grab you, our hero’s story is further complicated with a gorgeous blast from the past in the form of ninja-trained assassin (and former love ELECKTRAinterest) Elecktra Nachios (Elodie Young). She commands the screen from the moment she shows up, and performs so well that we’ve nearly forgotten that horrible movie starring Ben Affleck and his ex-wife.

There is a lot going on in Season 2, but it never feels overloaded. Everything that made season 1 great is expanded and easily lays the groundwork for the next great chapter in this series. It’s not a stretch to say that Daredevil’s second season is the best superhero event of 2016 (fans of the big DC debacle will disagree, but the thinking among us know better… much better).

RATING: Catch it on Netflix and consider it Must See TV.