This is the United States of America, and Hollywood has yet to meet a calamity that it isn’t willing to turn into a cash cow. So why would the 2012 Benghazi attack – during which local violent Libyan forces attacked two American compounds, resulting in deaths on both sides including that of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens – be any different? It wouldn’t, which is why the basic fact of the existence of 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is not a shock. What is a bit of surprise, however, is the fact that Michael Bay was chosen as the steward best suited to deliver this story to the masses. The action auteur (I guess) isn’t exactly known for nuanced depictions of national distress; this is the man who brought Pearl Harbor to cinematic life. But why wait 60 years to tell such a story? Why even wait six? The story isn’t even close to being ripe, but Bay is going to tell it anyway. Maybe he’ll surprise us all.
Tom Cruise. There was a time where starting a written piece with those two words (okay, names) would have guaranteed untold numbers of page views. It still might, but for completely different reasons. Cruise has become a ridiculed totem for his odd religion, often keeping his incredible talent from being recognized. Regardless of his personal life, Cruise is a huge star (otherwise why would we care about his personal life?) – one who has reinvented himself numerous times over the course of his career. His latest vehicle, Edge of Tomorrow, is about just that: necessitated reinvention. It is a very entertaining action film, but it also takes a look at the trajectory Cruise has followed thus far.