Connect with us

World

Don Lee-Starring ‘Men of Plastic’ Sells Strongly for Showbox

Published

on

Don Lee-Starring ‘Men of Plastic’ Sells Strongly for Showbox

“Males of Plastic,” a present comedy movie starring the larger-than-life Korean American actor Don Lee (aka Ma Dong-seok) has racked up gross sales in 32 territories for distributor Showbox.

Lee is the star of the crime motion movie sequence that kicked off with “The Outlaws” and which was adopted by “The Roundup,” this 12 months’s largest movie in Korea with a $100 million cumulative.

“Males of Plastic” which sees Lee enjoying a small-time entrepreneur who units up a mega studio in Apgujeong, the center of Korea’s cosmetic surgery trade, was launched in Korea final week. Produced by Lee and directed by Lim Jin-sun, it has earned $3.34 million to this point and holds second place on the field workplace going into its second weekend.

The movie was licensed to Film Cloud for Taiwan, Purple Plan for Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, At Leisure for Japan, CJ ENM HK for Thailand, Eagle Worldwide for Inflight, Viva Communications for The Philippines, Lotus Photos for Mongolia and Edko Movies for Hong Kong. North American rights have been licensed to Capelight, Showbox advised Selection.

Lee is a former boxer and bodybuilder who was born in Korea, raised within the U.S. and returned to Korea to look in additional than 80 movies the place he has developed a cult following. He has had vital roles within the “Alongside With The Gods” hit movie pair, and “The Gangster, The Cop, The Satan.” Internationally, he could also be finest recognized for his starring function in breakout zombie horror movie “Practice to Busan” or a supporting function in Marvel’s “The Eternals.”

Advertisement

Lee has not too long ago wrapped “The Roundup: No Manner Out,” the third movie within the “Roundup” franchise and has plunged straight into making a fourth movie, “The Roundup: Punishment.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

World

Trump's Hush Money Trial Will Not Be Delayed Because of Publicity, Judge Rules

Published

on

Trump's Hush Money Trial Will Not Be Delayed Because of Publicity, Judge Rules
By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) – The New York judge overseeing Donald Trump’s hush money criminal case rejected the former U.S. president’s bid to delay Monday’s scheduled trial on the ground that substantial pre-trial publicity would make the proceedings unfair. Trump had sought an …
Continue Reading

World

Iranian paramilitary troops seize Portuguese ship with Israeli ties as tensions remain high

Published

on

Iranian paramilitary troops seize Portuguese ship with Israeli ties as tensions remain high

Iran’s paramilitary Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) troops seized a Portuguese-flagged ship owned by an Israeli billionaire as tensions between the two nations remain at a high amid continued threats of attack. 

“UKMTO has received a report of an incident … northeast of Fujairah, UAE,” the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations reported. “Vessel reported to have been seized by regional authorities. Vessels are advised to transit with caution and report any suspicious activity to UKMTO.” 

The MSC Aries, a Portuguese-flagged ship owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Group, was passing through the Strait of Hormuz when an Iranian helicopter dropped IRGC troops onto its deck. Video taken by a crew member shows the troops rappelling down onto a stack of containers while the crew member tells his colleagues “Don’t come out.” 

He then tells the other crew members to go to the ship’s bridge while the IRGC commandos set up to take the ship, with one troop kneeling on top of the containers to provide potential cover fire if those on the ship tried to resist as more troops descend to the deck. 

IRAN VS ISRAEL: HOW POTENTAIL CONFLICT COULD LOOK ACCORDING TO EXPERTS: ‘ALREADY AT WAR’

Advertisement

The Associated Press suggested the helicopter could be a Soviet-era Mil Mi-17 helicopter, which both the IRGC and Iran-backed Houthis have used to raid ships across the Red Sea, Sea of Oman and Persian Gulf. 

Video shows Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps  (The Associated Press)

Geneva-based MSC reported that the ship had 25 crew members aboard, and the Iranian state-run IRNA said the IRGC was taking the vessel into Iranian territorial waters. 

PALESTINIAN ISLAMIC JIHAD SPOKESMAN REVEALS GROUP’S GAZA PROPAGANDA PLAYBOOK

The seizure follows a week of increased tensions between Iran and Israel. Tehran has repeatedly sworn to take revenge for the attack on an Iranian consulate in Damascus, which many – including the United States – attributed to Israel even though no Israeli official took credit for the attack. 

Advertisement
Iran revolutionary guard with missile display

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) military personnel are walking along Enghelab (Revolution) Avenue as an Iranian Kheibar Surface-to-Surface missile is being unveiled during the Ela Beit Al-Moghaddas (Al-Aqsa Mosque) military rally in Tehran, Iran, on November 24, 2023. The IRGC is unveiling two new missiles during the rally.  (Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

President Biden on Friday said he believed Iran’s response could happen “sooner than later,” and the U.S. moved some assets closer to Israel to prepare for the possibility of an Iranian attack over the weekend. U.S. CENTCOM commander Gen. Michael Kurilla also moved up his trip to Israel in the face of increased Iranian threats over the past week. 

ISRAELI SETTLERS ATTACK A WEST BANK VILLAGE, KILLING 1 PALESTINIAN AND WOUNDING 25

The IRGC has previously tried to exert control over the Persian Gulf. In 2020, a number of smaller Guard boats harassed American naval ships, using their own ships to try and drive the American ones out of the Gulf.  

Raisi IRGC Salami

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (R) addressed while standing next to commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Hossein Salami (L), and Mohammad Bagheri, Chief of Staff for the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, during a military parade marking Iran’s Army Day anniversary near the Imam Khomeini shrine in the south of Tehran, April 18, 2023. Raisi said, we will destroy Haifa and Tel Aviv if Israel takes ”the slightest action” against Iran. (Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The IRGC also seized a number of ships in the Gulf, including the 2020 taking of a Hong Kong-flagged oil tanker, also near the Strait of Hormuz, which is the pinch point between the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman. That ship was later released, Radio Free Europe reported. 

Advertisement

Iran eased off its maritime activities as the Yemen-based Houthis ramped up their own raids on ships throughout the Red Sea, claiming the ships had ties to Israel and helped support Israel’s operations in the Gaza Strip. 

Iranian officials usually provided some explanation for seizing a vessel, but so far have offered nothing regarding the MSC Aries other than to note its links to Israel, The Associated Press reported. 

Advertisement
Continue Reading

World

Von der Leyen: Too right for the left and too left for the right?

Published

on

Von der Leyen: Too right for the left and too left for the right?

Ursula von der Leyen has presided over the most transformative years of the European Union in recent memory. But after weathering a string of extraordinary crises, her ideology might have gotten lost along the way.

ADVERTISEMENT

Von der Leyen has had few quiet days since moving to Brussels. Just three months after assuming office as the first female president of the European Commission, her executive was faced with a global pandemic that killed millions, brought the economy to a standstill and left wealthy governments scrambling to get hold of basic medical supplies.

The formidable test turned the president into a crisis manager, a position she initially struggled with but later appeared to rejoice. She was then tasked with guiding the bloc through Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a painful energy crunch, a steady rise in irregular migration, a combative China, ubiquitous online threats and the mounting devastation wreaked by climate change.

Now, after almost five years of emergencies, von der Leyen wants a second chance at the very top: she is running as the lead candidate, or Spitzenkandidat, for her policy family, the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), to preside over the Commission for another term. With the EPP projected to emerge victorious at the June elections, the odds are in von der Leyen’s favour.

As the campaign intensifies, so does the scrutiny over her legacy and ambitious policies. Did she fulfill her promises or did she break them? Can she be trusted? These are legitimate questions for a candidate seeking to rule the bloc’s most powerful institution. But the scrutiny inevitably extends to a more enigmatic question surrounding von der Leyen: Is she still a conservative?

In her speech during the EPP congress in March, she referenced World War II and touched upon a variety of topics, such as family values, security, border controls, economic growth, competitiveness and farmers, all of which tend to resonate well with right-wing voters. 

Advertisement

Notably, though, the intervention featured only one mention of Christian Democracy. The word “conservative” was nowhere to be found.

Even more notable was the scathing letter the French delegation of the EPP had sent ahead of the congress in Bucharest, opposing von der Leyen’s nomination. Les Républicains (LR) lambasted the German for her “technocratic drift,” “de-growth policies” and failure to control “mass migration.”

“A candidate of Mr Macron (The French president) and not the right, she has continuously left the European majority drift towards the left,” the letter read.

A few days earlier, socialists had gatheredin Rome for their own congress during which Iratxe García Pérez, the chair of the Socialists & Democrats (S&D), was asked if her group would support von der Leyen, the indisputable frontrunner, for a second term. 

García Pérez said her group was open to negotiating but insisted they would not back a contender “who doesn’t accept our policies.” She then went on an extensive denunciation of the EPP for abandoning the mainstream and embracing talking points of the far right. “This is a real danger,” she told journalists.

Advertisement

Consensus vs ideology

With the right and the left hardening their positions ahead of the elections, von der Leyen’s accomplishments appear caught in the middle.

The last five years have seen the Commission designing policies that cater to the right, including a sweeping reform to speed up asylum procedures, harsher penalties for human traffickers, deals with neighbouring countries to curb irregular migration, plans to boost the defence industry and a toolbox to address demographic changes.

On the other hand, von der Leyen’s executive has spearheaded initiatives warmly welcomed by the left, such as a €100-billion scheme to sustain employment during the pandemic, new rules to improve the conditions of platform workers, standards to ensure adequate minimum wages, a pioneering law to protect journalists from state interference, the first-ever LGBTIQ strategy and, most crucially, the European Green Deal, a vast set of policies aimed at making the bloc climate-neutral by 2050.

But pigeonholing her proposals into an ideological sphere fails to give a complete picture of von der Leyen’s true creed. Instead, they serve as a reminder of the particular nature of the European Commission, an institution that, according to the Treaties, is independent and meant to promote the bloc’s general interest.

By constantly negotiating with the Parliament and member states, the president has no choice but to give preference to consensus over ideology, says Fabian Zuleeg, the chief executive of the European Policy Centre (EPC).

Advertisement

“She has been, in many cases, very much a crisis manager. Certainly with COVID and with Ukraine. It wasn’t so much, in the first instance, about ideology. It was about reacting. But, of course, certain preferences have come through. But this has been very much in the interplay with member states,” Zuleeg said in an interview.

“From a European perspective, pragmatism is the name of the game. You have to have pragmatic compromises, so you can bring enough on board to get things through.”

Some of von der Leyen’s flagship actions, such as de-risking from China, reining in Big Tech, financial support for Ukraine, the revival of enlargement and the joint procurement of vaccines, further blur the line, as they can appease both sides of the spectrum.

ADVERTISEMENT

Instead of treating these sensitive issues through a partisan lens that risks polarisation and dissent, von der Leyen frames them as “European challenges” that require “European solutions,” a vague but catchy wording that she often employs to defend her policy interventions and remain above the fray.

“What has been much more characteristic of (her tenure) is that she has very much pushed this idea of European solutions to all of these issues,” Zuleeg notes. “And in some cases, it’s actually very difficult to say when you look into the details: Is this really left or right? I don’t think you can easily distinguish between the two.”

‘Queen Ursula’

Von der Leyen’s careful pragmatism only compounds the mystery surrounding her political beliefs, despite the high profile and media coverage she has amassed over the past five years.

Advertisement

Nathalie Tocci, director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), identifies three ideological tenets that can be attached to von der Leyen: a strong commitment to European integration, a strong commitment to the Transatlantic alliance and a strong commitment to Israel, the last of which responds to her German background.

“I cannot imagine a world in which she would give up those convictions,” Tocci told Euronews. “I think the rest is really up for grabs.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Von der Leyen, Tocci says, has been willing to reformulate her agenda and narrative “out of convenience”. When she faced the Parliament in 2019 for a nail-biting confirmation vote, she bet big on the Green Deal, invoking the climate movement that back then was making headlines. Four years later, she rushed to propose exemptions to the Green Deal in a bid to quell farmer protests.

Migration is another field in which the president has swayed between a humanist perspective, speaking sympathetically about the plight of asylum seekers, and a hardline approach, calling for stricter controls and signing deals with authoritarian regimes.

“Depending on what the political trend of the day is, she could be either relatively open and liberal towards migration or she could be somewhat conservative,” Tocci says. “These are things where I don’t think she has very firm convictions.”

An EU official, who requested anonymity to speak candidly, expressed a similar view, saying von der Leyen switches between “ideological positions opportunistically, aligning herself with whatever suits her convenience and interests at the time.”

Advertisement

“Coherent policy implementation has been noticeably absent, with actions often appearing more geared towards seizing photo opportunities than addressing substantive issues,” the official said, speaking of “political ambiguity.”

ADVERTISEMENT

These complaints are commonplace in Brussels. Although von der Leyen has been widely praised for her determined leadership, ambitious vision and energetic rhetoric – skills that come in handy to weather crises –, she has been repeatedly criticised for pushing through the legislative cycle with little to no consultation beyond her closely-knit circle of advisors, some of whom she brought directly from Berlin.

Her penchant for centralisation, her aloof character and her avoidance of controversial subjects have garnered her the nickname of “Queen Ursula” in Brussels, which her calculated not-too-right, not-too-left campaign is bound to reinforce.

“She was progressive on climate because she needed those green votes to get elected,” Tocci said. “This was, in a sense, the price to pay. Now, does this mean that she didn’t believe in this at all? No, not necessarily. But does it therefore mean that she firmly believes in it? Not necessarily either.”

“She’s not ideologically committed,” Tocci went on. “So if she now needs conservatives to vote for her – well, then she will be conservative.”

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending