Michael Douglas’ role in ‘Beyond the Reach’ reinforces his gun-control stance

Michael Douglas’ latest film role has given the longtime gun control advocate plenty of ammunition. In “Beyond the Reach,” opening Friday, he plays a business tycoon who accidently shoots someone while on a hunting trip in the Mojave Desert, then tries to take out his young guide (Jeremy Irvine) to cover it up. “If there was going to be any redeeming value to this movie other than [that it’s an] exciting thriller,” Douglas tells the Daily News, “it would be pointing out the idealism of the young man...versus the corruption of somebody who’s basically bribing everybody left and right just to get the biggest (hunting trophy) that he can.” The two-time Oscar winner’s entitled weekend hunter could be the meaner cousin of Gordon Gekko — who Douglas played in “Wall Street” (1987) — triggering a whole chain of events by irresponsibly firing off his rifle and accidentally bagging two-legged game. Douglas was so enamored of the adaptation of the Robb White novel, “Deathwatch,” that he doubled as a producer on “Beyond the Reach.” The left-leaning 70-year-old screen legend wanted to deliver a message while portraying a gun-wielding character. “I’m a strong advocate of gun control and I’m always conscious of how it’s going to be perceived,” Douglas says. “My thing has always been, you’ve got to make the drama of the movie work first. “In (the 1979 thriller) ‘The China Syndrome,’ I just got involved with a monster movie — the monster being this nuclear power plant that’s out of control,” he adds. “But unless you make the thrill part work, then your subliminal messages don’t come across. You can’t hit anyone over the head; they’re not going to like it.” More recently, the cause that’s been closest to Continue Reading

Jury fails to reach verdict on murder charge for teen gunman accused of killing Brooklyn bus rider

A teen gunman whose stray bullet killed an innocent Brooklyn bus rider was found guilty of weapons possession and reckless endangerment Thursday night, but the jury could not reach a verdict on the highest charge of murder, authorities said. Kahton Anderson, now 15, shot husband and dad Angel Rojas, 39, on a B15 bus in Bedford-Stuyvesant while aiming for rival gang members in March 2014. Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Sheryl Parker accepted the partial verdict and dismissed the jury. It wasn’t clear whether the Brooklyn district attorney will seek to retry the case. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE.  Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

8-year-old victim of Boston Marathon bombing appeared to reach for his mom in final, painful moments: testimony

The 8-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombing appeared to reach for his mother in the final, grueling moments of his life, court testimony revealed Thursday. Footage from the terror attack shows a small blurry figure, believed to be young Martin Richard, raising his hands right after the second blast near the marathon’s finish line, Boston.com reported. The harrowing video, which had already been shown in the court, was used again Thursday, the final day of prosecutors’ arguments against convicted bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev. Richard, who was standing less than four feet from a bomb, was the youngest of the three people killed in the attack that also injured more than 260. A trauma surgeon from Massachusetts General Hospital who previously testified in the trial said Martin most likely suffered severe pain in the last moments of his life. Survivor Stephen Woolfenden, the prosecution’s final witness, said he saw Richard’s eyes “rolled back in his head” after the explosions and put his hand on the back of the boy’s mother, Denise, to comfort her. This was despite Woolfenden losing his own left leg in the bombing, which he said he didn’t immediately notice. He said Denise asked if he was okay, and an anguished Woolfenden simply said, “Yes.” Woolfenden also recalled seeing his own son, 3-year-old Leo, suffering from burns, a fractured skull and other drastic injuries. The two had come to watch Woolfenden’s wife, Amber, run the race. “Leo was crying, screaming uncontrollably. Saying, ‘Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy,’’’ Woolfenden testified, according to the Boston Globe. “I was completely terrified because I didn’t know if I was ever going to see my son again.” Tsarnaev was convicted April 8 of all 30 charges stemming from the April 2013 attack. The jury must now Continue Reading

Iran nuke talks to continue in new phase aimed at reaching final pact

Wrapping up six days of marathon nuclear talks with mixed results, Iran and six world powers prepared Tuesday to issue a general statement agreeing to continue talks in a new phase aimed at reaching a final agreement to control Iran’s nuclear ambitions by the end of June, officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Officials had set a deadline of March 31 for a framework agreement, and later softened that wording to a framework understanding, between Iran and the so-called P5+1 nations — the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China. And after intense negotiations, obstacles remained on uranium enrichment, where stockpiles of enriched uranium should be stored, limits on Iran’s nuclear research and development and the timing and scope of sanctions relief among other issues. The joint statement is to be accompanied by additional documents that outline more detailed understandings, allowing the sides to claim enough progress has been made thus far to merit a new round, the officials said. Iran has not yet signed off on the documents, one official said, meaning any understanding remains unclear. The talks have already been extended twice as part of more than a decade of diplomatic attempts to curb Tehran’s nuclear advance. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment on the talks on the record. The softening of the language from a framework “agreement” to a framework “understanding” appeared due in part to opposition to a two-stage agreement from Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Earlier this year, he demanded only one deal that nails down specifics and does not permit the other side to “make things difficult” by giving it wiggle room on interpretations. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who left Lausanne Monday, was heading back to the Swiss city, also indicating that an end to the talks was Continue Reading

‘No Pier Pressure’ review: Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s album reaches out to new generation

When it comes to solo albums, Beach Boy Brian Wilson likes to go high concept. In the last decade, Wilson has re-arranged songs from Disney movies, interpreted pieces by George Gershwin, covered the Christmas classics and taken inspiration from the American standard “That Lucky Old Sun.” For the 72-year-old icon’s first album of original material in seven years, Wilson hit on an idea that’s new to him: He reached out to a younger generation. “No Pier Pressure” features guest vocals from Nate Ruess of fun., budding country star Kacey Musgraves, Capitol Cities singer Sebu Simonian and actress/singer Zooey Deschanel. Wilson didn’t just invite current stars. He also brought on trumpeter Mark Isham (famous for his wan soundtracks) as well as Beach Boy peers Al Jardine, David Marks and Blondie Chaplin. Jardine’s still-boyish singing, along with Wilson’s mega-tracked harmonies, define most of the tracks. Their triple-creme vocals sweeten nearly every song. In many places, they also render the songs over-familiar. You keep thinking of the countless earlier pieces they invoke. For a minor twist, the instrumentation draws more from 1970s soft rock than from the Beach Boys ’60s surfer-sound. The liquid piano, tacky horns and melodic patterns recall the style of artists like Stephen Bishop, Gerry Rafferty and “Still Crazy”-era Paul Simon. “The Right Time” sounds like a lost cousin to John Sebastian’s “Welcome Back.” It’s the same era, and sensibility, that Iron & Wine has lately channelled. Unfortunately, the songs end up seeming more lightweight than they otherwise might. “On the Island,” featuring smoky vocals from Deschanel, sounds like something Jimmy Buffet might hack out in Margaritaville. Chambers brings the freshest voice here, giving her song a hint of contemporary Continue Reading

Juventus draws 1-1 with Real Madrid to reach Champions League final vs. Barcelona

MADRID (AP) — Many of the 78,133 fans in Estadio Santiago Bernabeu had shocked expressions on their faces. Some held their heads in their hands. Despite an overwhelming advantage in shots, despite outpossessing the opponents, Real Madrid had been eliminated. No clasico against Barcelona. No 11th European title, at least not this year. CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL: SUAREZ TO REUNITE WITH JUVENTUS FOES Alvaro Morata shocked his former team with a 57th-minute goal, and Juventus reached its first Champions League final since 2003 with a 1-1 tie against the defending champions on Wednesday night that gave the Italian club a 3-2 aggregate win. "This doesn't end here," Morata said. "We want to create history." Seeking its third European title and first since 1996, Juventus plays Barcelona in the final at Berlin on June 6. Cristiano Ronaldo put the hosts ahead with a 23rd-minute penalty kick, his 55th goal this season, after Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson ruled Giorgio Chiellini kneed James Rodriguez. That put Real Madrid ahead on away goals following Juventus' 2-1 win at home last week. But the Bianconeri went ahead 12 minutes into the second half when goalkeeper Iker Casillas punched Andrea Pirlo's cross and, about 28 yards from the goal, Arturo Vidal lofted the ball into the penalty area. Paul Pogba, just outside the 6-yard box, out-jumped Sergio Ramos and headed the ball to an unmarked Morata, and the 22-year-old Spaniard beat Casillas with a left-footed shot from 11 yards that went in on a bounce. Morata, who was with Real from 2008-14, did not celebrate, repeating his reaction after his first-leg goal. "It's a strange sensation," Morata said. "I'm moved because it was an important goal, but it's a difficult situation for me." Madrid, which outshot Juventus 22-8, pushed for a goal but was stymied by poor finishing and by 37-year-old Continue Reading

As Showtime’s ‘Nurse Jackie’ reaches the end of the road, will the flawed antihero live? Plus, a look back at how harshly other shows ended

Another dark TV show — Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie” — reaches the end of the road Sunday, so we once again face the blunt question. Will our flawed but endearing antihero live through it? We’ve been to this juncture often over the last decade, thanks to a parade of intense, compelling TV shows whose characters are shadowed by darkness. From Tony Soprano to Walter White, Don Draper and Gregory House, we’ve watched these characters wrestle demons and feared that in the end there was no way they could win. Or live. The series finale, then, often becomes a life-or-death cliffhanger. The happy news is that these characters survive more often than we might expect. Or they might deserve. In “Nurse Jackie” (9 p.m.), Edie Falco's Jackie Peyton has blown up pretty much everything in her life.  Because of the addiction she can’t shake, she's pushed her husband, her kids, her family, her coworkers and most of her friends to the point where many of them have just walked away. Now the hospital in which she works is on the brink of closing, which could take away the one thing she does well: nursing. We like her. But as Falco has said repeatedly, this isn't a comedy. This is about addiction. She has no clear path to a soft landing. On the other hand, there seemed to be little hope for Don Draper on “Mad Men,” either, until there was. So we’ve picked out 13 recent shows that entered the final episode with the fate of the lead character(s) in the balance, and assessed how they wrapped it up. We’ve put them in order from the softest landing to the hardest, rating each ending on a scale from 1 to 10. A grade of “1” is the softest possible landing and “10” is the hardest.. FOLLOW THE DAILY NEWS ON FACEBOOK. CLICK HERE TO 'LIKE." 1. “Revenge” (ABC). After four Continue Reading

‘Beyond the Reach’ review: Michael Douglas is the main pleasure of this tedious chase drama set in the desert

The title of this turgid chase drama couldn’t be more apt: almost everything escapes its aim. The limited pleasure in “Beyond the Reach” comes solely from Michael Douglas playing a growly billionaire who pops up in the Mojave Desert, needing a guide for a hunt. Ben (Jeremy Irvine) is assigned the job, and he’s up for a long, hot trek, since his girlfriend just went off to college. What unspools is less a most dangerous game than a most tedious slog. The billionaire shoots an old man accidentally, then goes after Ben because ... well, it’s unclear. Is it to keep Ben silent or toughen the kid up? It seems to be a little of both. No matter. This duel in the sun dries up fast. Douglas’ gravelly delivery reminds us again of his dad, Kirk, who was no stranger to dusty (and better) cinematic contests of wills. This film, though, lacks any spine. Director Jean-Baptiste Leonetti isn’t sure if he’s making a Hemingway-lite faceoff or a hemmed-in horror flick. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Jury in Aaron Hernandez murder trial doesn’t reach a verdict, deliberations will continue into second week

FALL RIVER, Mass. — The jurors in the Aaron Hernandez murder trial failed to reach a verdict at the Fall River Justice Center Friday afternoon before breaking for the weekend. It was the third day dedicated to deliberations. The seven women and five men were told to avoid any coverage of the case while away from the courthouse. "Please keep your minds suspended," Justice E. Susan Garsh said. RELATED: AARON HERNANDEZ TRIAL JUDGE BANS CAMERAMAN, WARNS MEDIA Hernandez, 25, faces a first-degree murder charge, as well as illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition charges related to the murder of Odin Lloyd. Prosecutors proved exhaustive in trying Hernandez. There were 135 witnesses called and 439 pieces of evidence introduced since proceedings commenced on January 29. During closing arguments earlier in the week, Hernandez's attorney, James Sultan, acknowledged that Hernandez was at the murder scene, but Sultan maintained that Hernandez had nothing to do with the killing. Lloyd was shot to death in the undeveloped section of an industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez's house in North Attleborough, Mass. There were no questions seeking clarification on legal issues from the jurors on Friday. Hernandez's fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins, was in attendance. Hernandez has been in jail since June 26, 2013. He will face a separate trial for a 2012 double homicide in Boston after the Lloyd case is over. Continue Reading

Nepal earthquake death toll could reach 10,000; at least 250 missing in mudslide: officials

About 250 people went missing in devastated Nepal Tuesday during a post-earthquake mudslide, as officials warned that the quake's death toll could soar past 10,000. The mudslide hit a village near the epicenter of Saturday's 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which killed more than 4,300 people, injured another 7,000 and triggered a Mount Everest avalanche and a set of disastrous aftershocks. The Tuesday disaster adds to Nepal’s already monumental search and rescue mission. Heavy snow had been falling near the village, Ghodatabela, and the ground may have been loosened by the quake, possibly prompting the slide. As teams comb through the rubble from the earthquake and its after effects, the death toll could reach and surpass 10,000, Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala said. Rescue teams pull a man from the rubble, 62 hours after he was trapped (l.). Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala (r.) said the death toll could reach 10,000 as search teams find more bodies. The current toll does not include deaths in remote villages that have yet to report to police and Nepal officials, Koirala said. The estimated toll would surpass Nepal’s worst quake, which killed 8,500 people in 1934, the Guardian reported. About 8 million people were affected by the quake, which left 1.4 million without food, water and shelter, the United Nations estimated. The disaster triggered a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest that killed 17 climbers and guides and set off a series of damaging aftershocks. Nepal citizens, frustrated by the government’s slow response, used their bare hands to dig through the overwhelming rubble, hoping to find victims — or survivors. A Chinese rescue team pulled a 21-year-old man from the rubble in Katmandu Tuesday, according to NBC News. He had been trapped for 62 hours, but his vital signs were stable, medics said. "Waiting for help is more torturous than doing Continue Reading