News Headlines and Lead Sentences

Missing Australian Boy Confirmed Dead Following Barcelona Attack

The Australian government confirmed seven year old missing boy Julian Cadman was killed in last week’s terror attack in Barcelona.

The young boy is now the 14th victim of the terrorist attack.

Legendary Entertainer Jerry Lewis Passes Away

Comedian and actor Jerry Lewis has died on Sunday night from natural causes at age 91 in his Las Vegas home.

Queen Elizabeth Will Not Step Aside For Prince Charles

Queen Elizabeth has dismissed claims she will abdicate the throne for Prince Charles.

At age 95, Elizabeth is the world’s longest -reigning living monarch and said she remains as committed as ever to her duty.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten Insists He’s Not British

The dual citizenship debacle continues as Opposition Leader Bill Shorten maintains he’s not a British citizen and refuses to provide paperwork to support his claims.

Mr Shorten, whose father was born in England said he renounced his British citizenship years ago.

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YAY OR NAY ON GAY MARRIAGE

By Belinda Palmada

Australia will hold a voluntary postal vote on whether to legalise same-sex marriage before the end of the year.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced on Tuesday, the government’s plans the public vote before if the plebiscite is unable to secure support in parliament.

The PM said he’ll be voting in favour of marriage equality and expects the public’s support.

“I have other calls on my time as prime minister, but I will certainly support a ‘yes’ vote,” Turnbull told reporters.

The vote is expected to cost taxpayers $122 million.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten rejected the plebiscite as “a colossal waste of money and time.”

“Yet again the hopes of people who want to be able to marry the person they love have been dashed by a weak prime minister and the right wing of the Liberal Party,” Shorten said.

The PM said the postal vote was a way for the government to keep its election promise to Australians to allow a public vote on the issue.

“Strong leaders carry out their promises, weak leaders break them,” Turnbull told reporters.

The postal vote is expected to happen on 7 November.

Water-Misuse in Murray-Darling Basin

By Belinda Palmada

Monday night’s episode of Four Corners made serious allegations about mismanagement of the federal government’s Murray Darling Basin Plan.

The ABC program accuses some farmers in the Barwon-Darling valley had taken more water from the river than they were entitled to.

Stretching from Queensland to South Australia, billions of dollars in tax payers’ money has been poured into rescuing the rivers and streams of the Murray-Darling Basin to save it from environmental collapse.

“The water was purchased with Australian taxpayers’ money to go to the environment.” Said Sue Higginson, CEO of Environmental Defenders Offices of Australia

The investigation show also highlighted that meters had been tampered with, masking the amount of water pumped into some farm dams in the region.

Water Minister Barnaby Joyce says allegations of “water theft” are a serious concern, but the Commonwealth will not step in to investigate.

“That is a public interest matter that is a public interest consideration.” Said Ms Higginson

The Murray-Darling Basin Plan was signed back in 2012 by then-prime minister Julia Gillard when the Commonwealth reached an accord with each of the Basin states: Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the State Government remained committed to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

“We support the Murray-Darling Basin plan. That’s something we supported strongly at the time and the Minister for Primary Industries says he will investigate those issues that were raised.”

 

The Lost City of Z

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Based on the book of the same name, The Lost City of Z tells the true story of British explorer Col. Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) who disappeared while searching for a mysterious city in the Amazon in the 1920s.

The Lost City of Z features stellar performances from the cast. Charlie Hunnam shines in the film and gives the best performance of his career. Hunnam is magnificent and delivers a character-driven performance as conflicted adventurer Fawcett driven to the verge of obsession.

Hunnam is surrounded by a great supporting cast. Robert Pattinson is great as Fawcett’s fellow explorer Henry Costin. Sienna Miller gives captivating performances as Fawcett’s wife, Nina. She works well with Hunnam and shares great chemistry.

Writer/director James Gray (Little Odessa, The Immigrant) produces a well-developed picture that draws you in from beginning to end during its 141 minutes run. The direction is brilliant with Gray’s achievement of a fine paced and steady narrative with superb performances from the cast.

The cinematography by Darius Khondji is visually wonderful and exquisite along with nice and smooth editing by John Axelrad and Lee Haugen. The production design and costumes are great and well detailed.

An impressive and finely crafted adventure drama, The Lost City of Z is an exceptionally made biopic. Charlie Hunnam steals the film with his masterful performance. It’s one of best films of the year.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Hitman’s Bodyguard

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Bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) who is hired to protect one of the world’s most notorious hitmen (Samuel L. Jackson) who must testify at the International Court of Justice against a ruthless Eastern European dictator (Gary Oldman). They must put their differences aside and work together to make it to the trial on time.

The cast is outstanding. Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson deliver fantastic comedic performances. Reynolds and Jackson work well together and have great chemistry. It’s one of the things that makes the film work.

Selma Hayek steals the show as Jackson’s wife with her hysterical performance that will have you laughing in stitches.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Gary Oldman who is boring as the film’s villain. Oldman who is known for playing tremendous antagonists in the past gives a dismal performance where it seems his character underdeveloped as he plays the straight and generic bad guy with an accent.

Patrick Hughes (The Expendables 3, Red Hill) directs a fast-paced, action-packed and hilarious adventure. Tom O’Connor’s script is predictable but the action and comedic scenes with Reynolds and Jackson’s banter save the film.

The cinematography by Jules O’Loughlin is remarkable with impressive camera work and editing accompanied and cool soundtrack.

Hitman’s Bodyguard is an enjoyable popcorn movie. A terrific action-packed adventure fun for moviegoers and action fans.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

 

 

American Made

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American Made sees Tom Cruise reunites with his Edge of Tomorrow director, Doug Liman to bring the story of Barry Seal to the big screen.

Barry Seal (Tom Cruise), a pilot who lands work for the CIA and becomes drug smuggler for the Medellín Cartel in the 1980s.  In order to avoid jail time, Seal approached United States government officials and served as an informant for the DEA.

A satisfying performance from Tom Cruise. A perfect choice for the role as Seal, Cruise brings charisma and humour to the part.  A solid supporting cast with Domhnall Gleeson and Sarah Wright in tow.

Directed by Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, The Bourne Identity) makes an incredible and at times amusing biopic. Liman creates an entertaining look at the life of Barry Seal as a fun escapade which will entertain audiences. The script written by Gary Spinelli is impressive makes it remarkable to believe it’s based on a true story.

The cinematography by César Charlone is well paced and finely shot with great editing by Saar Klein, Andrew Mondshein, and Dylan Tichenor. The production design and costumes of the film are superb and very detailed.

Overall, American Made is an unconventional biopic that’s pleasant and surprisingly fascinating film. The cast is excellent, the direction is superb and the story is intriguing. Definitely worth a look.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

 

 

Logan Lucky

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Four years since he announced his retirement from film, director Steven Soderbergh is back behind the camera. Soderbergh’s first film since 2013’s HBO movie Behind the Candelabra, Logan Lucky is a return to the heist genre.

The crime caper follows siblings Jimmy (Channing Tatum), Clyde (Adam Driver) and Mellie Logan (Riley Keough) as they attempt to steal money from the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina. Jimmy also recruits demolition expert Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) to help pull off the heist.

Logan Lucky features a perfectly cast and stellar ensemble. Channing Tatum takes lead as down on his luck and brains behind the scheme Jimmy. Tatum is superb as he brings humour and likeability to the role, easy for audiences to relate. Daniel Craig as Joe is hilarious and stands out stealing the film.  Great performances from supporting cast Adam Driver and Riley Keough.

Like his previous heist films Ocean’s trilogy, Steven Soderbergh delivers a fun and entertaining caper. Soderbergh’s direction is excellent with his well-shot cinematography and quick paced editing. The script by Rebecca Blunt is smart, witty and brilliantly written. The costumes and productions design is remarkable creating an anti-glam of Ocean’s Eleven.

Logan Lucky is one of the best heist films made in years. An original and unpredictable film that’s enjoyable to watch from start to finish with a well-acted ensemble cast. A must see Soderbergh fans.

Rating 5/5 Stars