Melania Trump Plans Return to the White House After Nonstop, Stylish State Visit Throughout Asia

BEHIND THE SEAMS: On the road since Sunday, First Lady Melania Trump will be heading back to the Beltway after numerous official stops in Asia that has highlighted her international style and original brand of diplomacy.
Following what is expected to be a morning arrival at the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, the First Lady plans to participate in a Month of Military celebration. Afterwards, she is expected to return to Washington, D.C., while the President continues his trip to Vietnam and the Philippines in keeping with their plans. Nearly 10 months into the Trump administration, the First Lady has proved to be a goodwill ambassador of sorts especially overseas.
Knowing the inevitable who-is-she-wearing question would punctuate every photo-op, the First Lady gave a lot of thought to each of the 18 pieces she wore with the help of designer and stylist Hervé Pierre. Although he designed the leather pencil skirt she paired with a boldly striped and belted Fendi coat when Air Force One touched down in Tokyo, Pierre pulled together an assortment of designer labels. The former creative director at Carolina Herrera has become a confidante of Trump’s.
Starting the journey off with a blue Pucci coat for the First Couple’s

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“Non-Stop” Is No “Taken”

Movie Review Jackie K Cooper
“Non-Stop” (Universal Pictures)

Liam Neeson’s rise to action hero status began in earnest with “Taken.” In that film he was a father doing everything necessary to protect his daughter. In his latest film “Non-Stop” he is also a father but everything he does is to protect a plane full of strangers. It isn’t personal and that is just one of the flaws of the film. All of the action moments are there but the heart isn’t.

Neeson plays Bill Marks, a Federal Air Marshall on a trans-Atlantic flight. As soon as he boards the flight and it has taken off, he begins to receive messages on his phone that someone is going to be killed every twenty minutes. He is told to have a certain amount of money wired to a certain account in order to stop the killing.

Now that sounds like an excellent premise for an action packed film, but it isn’t. For one thing the supposed hero is too flawed. Marks is an Air Marshall with a troubled past. So troubled it is highly doubtful he would have ever been allowed to keep his job, or even get hired in the first place. Having him so flawed is the first strike in the lack of credibility of the movie.

Next there is the explanation at the end of the film as to who is the bad guy and why. This is pure mumbo-jumbo in the worst way. A lot of words are used to explain what created the situation on the aircraft but the person telling the story might just as well have been spouting gibberish. It just doesn’t wash and ends the film on a bad note.

Then there is the acting. This movie has Neeson singing lead and Julianne Moore, Michelle Dockery and Lupita Nyong’o singing backup. Not one of these women is crucial to the movie’s plot. They are just there to dance around Neeson and react while he acts. This is a major waste of talent. Moore is a former Academy Award nominee, while Nyong’o is a current nominee. Dockery is the star of the hit television series “Downton Abbey.”

Neeson is still interesting in a grungy sort of way, but this time out he doesn’t manage to get inside the head or the heart of his character. You are rooting for him most of the time but not with the same enthusiasm you have had in other movies.

The film is rated PG-13 for profanity and violence.

“Non-Stop” looked to be a film as exciting as “Taken” was, but in the end it isn’t. Neeson doesn’t connect; the plot doesn’t gel; and all three actresses might just as well have taken another flight. Oh well, there is always “Taken 3.”

I scored “Non-Stop” an airborne 5 out of 10.

Jackie K Cooper
www.jackiekcooper.com
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Zaki’s Review: Non-Stop

In my discussion of 3 Days to Kill last week, I made note of how star Kevin Costner’s turn as an aging CIA hitman was essentially mimicking the Liam Neeson action model that’s served the Oscar-nominated Irishman quite well in the six years since the first Taken hit screens. Now here we are one week later, and the real thing is here to show us all how it’s done. In Non-Stop (or, as I call it, “Liam Neeson Action Movie 2014”), Neeson stars as air marshal Bill Marks, a harried, hard-drinking behemoth of a man who also (of course) happens to hate flying.

Settling in for a routine run across the pond to London, Marks receives an anonymous text message (on his secure phone) from one of the passengers, threatening to kill someone every twenty minutes until a $ 150 million deposit is made into a specific account. From there, a mid-air manhunt begins, with Marks trying desperately to track the killer, all the while keeping the passengers’ growing fears at bay and, in a variation on the hoariest of action picture cliches, being relieved of duty and handing his gun and badge over to the pilot (Linus Roache).

It’s a premise that’s about as Hitchcockian as it gets, and to his credit, director Jaume Collet-Serra does a very nice job of setting up the various characters/suspects in the opening reel so that we can sit there alongside Marks and try puzzle out who to eliminate from suspicion. There’s Jen (Julianne Moore), the free-spirited flyer with the mysterious scar on her chest. There’s Zack (Nate Parker), headed overseas to interview with a tech company. There’s Reilly (Corey Stoll), the overly-suspicious NYPD cop. And then there’s Dr. Nasir (Omer Metwally), the well-spoken Muslim doctor who’s scary because, y’know, Muslim.

With the tension winding ever tighter as time goes on, the mystery aspect of the story (with screenplay credited to three writers) plays remarkably well, and the filmmakers’ device of having Marks communicating with the baddie via text messages works a lot better than you’d expect. In fact, things whir along efficiently right up until the closing moments, when things sort of fly off course with a final act reveal that tries a bit too hard to make the whole thing be about something. Also, the need to satisfy the action gods with an explodey climax leaves us with an experience that’s neither fish nor fowl.

Lest that be read as me being overly negative, it’s not meant to be. I enjoyed Non-Stop a whole lot more than I expected to, and a big part of that is simply from Neeson being so imminently watchable in these kinds of roles. He has the vulnerability to allow us to sympathize with his increasingly desperate plight, and the raw physicality to make all the close-quarters fight scenes feel bone-crushingly authentic. Non-Stop is very much the quintessential February movie. It offers enough pulpy pleasures to keep audiences engaged and invested during its breezy 106 minutes, but they’re just as likely to leave it on the tarmac once the ride is over. B
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