Marc bendavid dating images

marc bendavid dating images

A peak in Jackie Chan ’s U.S. movie stardom was “Shanghai Noon,” an amiable buddy action comedy that hung on the odd-couple chemistry between his straight-arrow Chinese emigre hero and Owen Wilson’s laconic, genially slippery Wild West outlaw. It was a pairing successful enough to prompt a sequel (“Shanghai Knights” in 2003), and now a sort of loose revamp in “Skiptrace.” But 16 years after “Noon,” the 62-year-old star’s boyish freneticism has finally succumbed to an understandable air of fatigue; it falls to new co-star Johnny Knoxville to take the majority of pratfalls, and supply the principal comic energy.

Things start unpromisingly on a rote “must avenge my partner” note with Bennie Chan (Chan) failing to rescue police colleague Yung (Eric Tsang) from an apparent trap by elusive crime kingpin the Matador. As Yung nobly plunges to a presumed watery grave, he makes Bennie promise to look after his motherless daughter. Nine years later, Bennie is still obsessively trying to expose the Matador’s real identity, which he believes to be business tycoon Victor Wong (Winston Chao). But this leads him and his younger colleagues (Shi Shi, Kuo Pin Chao) into a bungled quayside drug-deal raid that causes maximum property damage while uncovering no hard evidence whatsoever.

Meanwhile, Yung’s now-grown daughter, Samantha (Bingbing Fan), is working semi-undercover at a lavish Macau gambling palace, likewise hoping to find some connection between its owner, Wong, and her father’s death. She ends up being pulled into the fracas that ensues when rhinestone cowboy-styled Yank Connor Watts (Knoxville) witnesses a murder on-site, while fleeing Russian mobsters after cleaning out the casino’s coffers. This results in Connor being hauled off to Siberia, Samantha being kidnapped, and Bennie being forced to pursue Connor in order to save Samantha, as well as resolve the Matador mystery once and for all.

Chan’s dedication to the tastes proven of mass audiences has resulted in more than a few generic, by-committee-type exercises, particularly among those aimed largely at Western viewers. Long-in-the-works “Skiptrace,” which at earlier points was to be directed by Sam Fell (“ParaNorman”), with Seann William Scott in the role Knoxville inherited, initially has that uninspired feel of trying to check off too many boxes with too many well-worn genre tropes.

Some high-profile flops have turned Harlin into a glib “world’s worst director” punchline, alongside Uwe Boll and Michael Bay. Yet while he’s made no shortage of disposable films, he’s arguably never made a dull one. “Skiptrace” remains lively, diverting, and essentially good-natured even when it’s cheerfully dumb, exploiting its diverse locations for every last drop of local color. Stunt and FX work aren’t always completely convincing, but any action bit that falls a bit flat as a result (like the early domino-collapse of dockside houses, or a too-obviously green-screened voyage across a gorge via suspension rope) is quickly forgotten in the film’s hurtling-forward momentum.

The general silliness is underlined by some broadly jokey soundtrack choices, typical of an overall package that is resourcefully and professionally splashy if not always classy. Along with the usual blooper clips, the end credits sport a dedication to Chan Kwok-hung, a cinematographer and longtime Chan collaborator who died in a drowning accident during the film’s production.

Dr. Evan Cooper is the ideal match, on paper and according to her grandmother Rose Durham and friends, including an equally pushy wedding planner, for florist Laurel Haverford, who fears to... See full summary  »

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A young celebrity marriage counselor discovers herself left at the altar of her own highly-publicized wedding. To save face, she accepts an offer from her contractor, who secretly has a crush on her, to step in as groom and marry her.

It took me an embarrassingly long time post-solve to figure out what the theme of this puzzle was. The seemingly unrelated theme answers do share one thing in common: their first words can be preceded by “big” to make standalone phrases (a fact that’s vaguely alluded to in the title but never revealed explicitly in the grid or clues, to my knowledge). Themers:

The theme is really well done. If I’m nitpicking, I would have liked a revealer in the grid, but the title got me there eventually (and I’m willing to accept the possibility that I’m just particularly dense this afternoon). I really liked those big corners in the NW and SE with (essentially) intersecting 8-letter triple stacks. Top to bottom, I thought the fill was really very good, with the small exception of a minor dupe between ST. HELENS  and  STES.  Could’ve been fixed with STEM/TAMER  instead of  STES/TASER , I think. Loved seeing both  ETHOS  and  PATHOS  in the grid.

What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: that Jerry ORBACH  voiced Lumiere in “Beauty and the Beast.” We didn’t do Disney movies when my kid was little.

With thousands if not tens of thousands of possible theme entries, I would expect at least really good theme answers, or an immaculate grid. Big fail here.

I’ve been working with paralegals for years, and yet I’ve never once heard of PARAS. And yet that’s still not as junky as EMALL, which is one of the worst fake E-words I’ve seen in quite a while.

Agree on both scores. I expect our paralegal would take great offense at being referred to as a “para” and “emall” is, was, and always will be dreck.

Perhaps it’s regional. Paralegals were referred to as “paras” all the time at the law firm(s) where I worked, even by the paras themselves.

I really liked this puzzle. I figured out the theme about halfway through. Even though I didn’t need the revealer, I still enjoyed it. Very smooth and well-pitched for a Wednesday and still fun.

And the revealer at 38d [What sorcerers practice … or a hint to interpreting five clues in this puzzle] = DARK ARTS and the second aha moment. Fresh, accessible, solid. Nicely done.

Cute theme if maybe a bit forced ( PRO BONO SERVICES just isn’t as strong as the others). It certainly did its job in helping me nail down some of the entries after I’d figured out what was going on.

Apart from the theme I like GOING AWOL (especially as it’s crossing NAVY BOOT CAMP ) and “ SEEMS TO ME …” Also, “ STOP IT !,” IN LABOR , LAYAWAY, BAD KNEE , HOWEVER , and BACONY.

I really struggled in the NW with the proper names at 14a [ Massey of the Marx Brothers movie “Love Happy” ] (ILONA) crossing 3d [ Oscar-winning screenwriter Robert ] (TOWNE). Seems a tad unfair to me. Combined with the unexpected FIATS [ Arbitrary orders ] and the harder-than-usual clue for TAN [ Camel’s kin ] meant this corner was last to fall. Is that a duplication I see between TOWNE and TOWN CAR ? I guess that explains the proper name clue for TOWNE.

Plus there’s some dreck in OSS, ILER, EEE, and WOOER. And I don’t think I’ve ever heard the phrase IN A MESS ( 60d, [ With 29-Down, jumbled ]). I’ve heard of “in a pile” or “in a heap,” but not IN A MESS .

Hope you’re having a good Wednesday, everyone!  I had a blast at last weekend’s Lollapuzzoola 9, including getting a chance to talk with BEQ beforehand about all the various indie rock stuff we’ve been listening to in the past few weeks.



The Wish List (TV Movie 2010) - IMDb

Dr. Evan Cooper is the ideal match, on paper and according to her grandmother Rose Durham and friends, including an equally pushy wedding planner, for florist Laurel Haverford, who fears to... See full summary  »

Johnny is a high-powered executive who is definitely not looking to fall in love but a business conference takes her to wine country she meets a handsome widower Andrew who invites Johnny ... See full summary  »

A badly injured leg forces hunky fireman Jeff, who lost his father in a fire as a young boy, to rent a ground floor room during his recovery. Thus he moves in with divorcée Jenny, a 911 ... See full summary  »

George Murray's fiancée Jane Gardner gets cold feet after accepting his ring, terrorized by her first wedding with Doug, who cheated that very day with their wedding coordinator. After a ... See full summary  »

An interior designer must halt her work on a big project in order to return home and assist her injured father at her family's tulip farm in rural Washington state.

The star manager of a small-town clothing store is suddenly promoted to run a company's flagship store... in Manhattan. To make it in the big city, she must combine her newly acquired New ... See full summary  »

A young celebrity marriage counselor discovers herself left at the altar of her own highly-publicized wedding. To save face, she accepts an offer from her contractor, who secretly has a crush on her, to step in as groom and marry her.