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UK police rule out new investigation into Princess Diana's death …

By Richa Naidu and Belinda Goldsmith, Reuters LONDON — British police on Tuesday ruled out reopening an investigation into the death of Princess Diana in a Paris car crash in 1997 after examining an accusation the elite British commando regiment was involved in her death. Ian Langsdon / EPA, file People admire a makeshift memorial created in August 2013 for Princess Diana near where she died in Paris. London’s Metropolitan Police said in August they were assessing new information about the deaths of Diana, Dodi al Fayed and their driver after a high speed car chase with paparazzi photographers through the streets of Paris.

Media reports at the time said the police had been passed new information from the parents-in-law of a former soldier. “Whilst there is a possibility the alleged comments in relation to the SAS’s involvement in the deaths may have been made, there is no credible evidence to support a theory that such claims had any basis in fact,” police said in a statement. The police concluded that there “is no evidential basis upon which to open any criminal investigation.” The funeral of Diana, who had divorced heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles in 1996, brought huge crowds onto the streets of London. Dodi’s father, Mohammed al Fayed, the former owner of Harrods department store, alleged that the couple had been killed on the orders of the British establishment.

But an investigation by a former head of London police, John Stevens, concluded there was no evidence of murder and that their driver, Henri Paul, had been drunk and going too fast. A 2008 inquest in London returned a verdict of unlawful killing and said Paul and the photographers were to blame for the deaths on August 31 in a Paris tunnel but speculation has continued in tabloid newspapers of an assassination plot. Investigators in France have also dismissed allegations of murder and in 2008 Mohammed al Fayed announced he was abandoning his 10-year campaign to prove the couple were murdered.

A Royal spokesman has said there would be no comment.

Related: First published December 17 2013, 2:22 AM Richa Naidu and Belinda Goldsmith, Reuters Expand Bio 1 References ^ Expand Bio (www.nbcnews.com)

Originally posted here:
UK police rule out new investigation into Princess Diana's death …

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review: Hard Punches, Light Fun

S When you buy a ticket for a Captain America movie you know what you’re going to get: A super-powered dude in blue doing crazy things with a shield, busting people in the jaw, and being very Americanny. Good news! Captain America: The Winter Soldier scratches those itches just fine.

Note: The following contains some light spoilers. Captain America picks up soon after the Avengers movie left off (in fact, you can watch the first 11 minutes here 1 ); he works for superspy agency S.H.I.E.L.D. now, but he’s having doubts if being a superhero is right for him.

It’s the same great power/great responsibility trope that lots of superhero sequels chew through, but fortunately it doesn’t get too hung up on it. There is much punching to do, and Winter Soldier doesn’t make us wait long for it. Not to give too much away, but the main plot driver is that something is rotten in S.H.I.E.L.D.

But what ? Who’s good? Who’s bad?

Who even knows anymore ? Trust no one. Unless they’re attractive.

These are also just good rules to live by in general. S While not everything about Winter Soldier makes the most logical sense (this is a superhero movie, after all), the plot at least manages not to spiral off into some murky tangent of intrigue; there’s no Dark Knight Rises dead-ends. It’s a well-written,linear story that mostly stays on the rails.

That doesn’t mean it’s without some larger thematic meat on its bones. There are enough parallels between S.H.I.E.L.D. and the NSA (well, maybe just the one parallel of SPIES) to make the motifs of “freedom versus security,” and what lines should be drawn where, feel relevant to our current surveillance age.

I wouldn’t call it a straight-up allegory, but it definitely makes The Winter Soldier seem ever-so-slightly grounded in a recognizable reality. The dialogue, however, is a tougher pill to swallow. There are so many one-liners, zingers, and “say-something-cool-then-cut-to-the-next-sceners” that after only 20 minutes or so you already feel like they’ve beaten your head in.

But whatever. Teenage/stoned/drunk people will enjoy these comic booky clich s. Besides, it’s not really worse than any other comic book action movie; it’s just not any better.

S Besides, you’re going to this movie for the action, and the action pretty much rules. It’s especially refreshing that all of the best scenes that really wake you up aren’t the elaborate CGI sequences (though there are plenty of those as well). It’s the brutish, analog, kicking-and-punching melees that really come across.

A lot of action movies rely on fast cuts to obscure the fact that these actors don’t really know how to fight. In contrast, the fight choreography in The Winter Soldier is excellent, and Chris Evans (or his stunt doubles, in some cases) sells the shit out of them. The most compelling scenes, as you might expect, are the confrontations between Cap and his titular metal-armed nemesis.

There are a handful of them, and they’re all great. Basically you’ve got two evenly matches badasses just slugging it out. They aren’t these polished, balletic scenes.

They’re mean, and while near-invulnerability and invincible shields and arms obviously still require significant suspension of disbelief, they feel more real than if people were flying around and blasting lasers out of their eyes. It’s the Pacific Rim effect: There’s just something very satisfying about two super-powered things wailing on each other. Cap doesn’t just have new enemies; he’s got a new friend as well in the Falcon.

As you might have guessed from the name, he is a dude who can fly, thanks to a badass, rocket-powered wing-suit. His sequences are fun from action movie perspective, but they definitely take a bigger leap to enjoy than the straight-up rock ‘em sock ‘em fights. The physics of his maneuvers often don’t add up, and while I was definitely entertained, it also took me out of the movie a bit.

Speaking of taken out of the movie, can we talk about the shield for a second? Not S.H.I.E.L.D., I mean Captain America’s actual, literal shield. The one he can impeccably throw, and it will inevitably ricochet just where he wants it to go like he’s the world’s most magical snooker-player.

I’m sorry, but along with all his physical powers did Captain America also somehow get imbued with a super-human understanding of physics and geometry? I get that it’s an important part of his identity in the comics, but surely there’s a way to handle it where it’s not deployed to impossible effect in every situation. It’s jarring in a world where so much else makes an earnest effort to be relatively grounded.

S In better news, it’s actually hard to imagine a more perfect actor to play the Cap’n than Evans. He’s got that clean-cut, “all I can do is speak the truth and do what’s right,” good-guy schtick down ice cold. As obnoxious as that could be (a problem I’ve always had with the comic book version as well, so your mileage may vary), Evans manages to remain likable in the role and you’re never tempted to root against him, unlike certain Spidermen we’ve all dreamed would get a good crotch-punt every now and then.

It was interesting to see Robert Redford as a heavy. His performance was solid, but it’s just… he was the Natural, y’know?

Even when he’s being bad you kind of want to give him a hug. Samuel L. does his usual Nick Fury thing, which still somehow hasn’t gotten old.

Likewise Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow. Anthony Mackie is a super-likable addition as the Falcon. Very human and definitely someone you root for right away.

Still, for all of The Winter Soldier ‘s strengths, I couldn’t bring myself to love it. There’s an intangible joy that has got to come across in a movie like this, that doesn’t here. It colors too neatly between the lines, leaving it without any true, visceral surprise.

Even if you don’t know what’s going to happen next, you always kind of feel like you do. There’s no edge-of-your-seat moment. It has its brief bursts of joy, but before long it’s back to taking itself just a few degrees too seriously.

Remember how fun The Avengers was? This doesn’t. That’s not to say it’s bad.

It isn’t. If you were a fan of the first movie (and/or of the Marvel Universe in general) I’d definitely recommend it. It’s just not going to change your life.

S Bottom line: If you like Marvel superhero flicks, then you should probably see this movie. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that it’s a better, smarter movie than its predecessor. But if you were hoping for something that will stay with you a little longer, you might be barking up the wrong tentpole.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier 2 will be out in most U.S.

cities April 4th.

References ^ watch the first 11 minutes here (sploid.gizmodo.com) ^ Captain America: The Winter Soldier (marvel.com)

Continued here:
Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review: Hard Punches, Light Fun

Princess Kate Looks Stunning In Green On St.

Patrick's Day …

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