A cameo role or cameo appearance is a brief appearance or voice part of a known person in a work of the performing arts. These roles are small, many of them non-speaking ones, are either appearances in a work in which they hold some special significance or renowned people making uncredited appearances. Short appearances by celebrities, film directors, athletes or musicians are common. A crew member of the movie or show playing a minor role can be referred to as a cameo as well, such as Alfred Hitchcock's performed cameos. "cameo role" meant "a small character part that stands out from the other minor parts". The Oxford English Dictionary connects this with the meaning "a short literary sketch or portrait", based on the literal meaning of "cameo", a miniature carving on a gemstone. More "cameo" has come to refer to any short appearances, as a character, such as the examples below. Cameos are not credited because of their brevity, or a perceived mismatch between the celebrity's stature and the film or television series in which they are appearing.
Many are publicity stunts. Others are acknowledgments of an actor's contribution to an earlier work, as in the case of many film adaptations of television series, or of remakes of earlier films. Others honour celebrities known for work in a particular field; the best-known series of cameos was by Alfred Hitchcock, who made brief appearances in most of his films. Cameos occur in novels and other literary works. "Literary cameos" involve an established character from another work who makes a brief appearance to establish a shared universe setting, to make a point, or to offer homage. Balzac employed this practice, as in his Comédie humaine. Sometimes a cameo features a historical person who "drops in" on fictional characters in a historical novel, as when Benjamin Franklin shares a beer with Phillipe Charboneau in The Bastard by John Jakes. A cameo appearance can be made by the author of a work to put a sort of personal "signature" on a story. Vladimir Nabokov put himself in his novels, for instance as the minor character Vivian Darkbloom in Lolita.
Quentin Tarantino provides small roles in at least 10 of his movies. Peter Jackson has made brief cameos in all of his movies, except for his first feature-length film Bad Taste in which he plays a main character, as well as The Battle of the Five Armies, though a portrait of him appears in the film. For example, he plays a peasant eating a carrot in The Fellowship of the Ring and The Desolation of Smaug. All four were non-speaking "blink and you miss him" appearances, although in the Extended Release of The Return of the King, his character was given more screen time and his reprise of the carrot eating peasant in The Desolation of Smaug was featured in the foreground in reference to The Fellowship of the Ring - last seen twelve years earlier. Director Martin Scorsese appears in the background of his films as a bystander or an unseen character. In Who's That Knocking at My Door, he appears as one of the gangsters, he opens up his film The Color of Money with a monologue on the art of playing pool.
In addition, he appears with his wife and daughter as wealthy New Yorkers in Gangs of New York, he appears as a theatre-goer and is heard as a movie projectionist in The Aviator. In a same way, Roman Polanski appears as a hired hoodlum in his film Chinatown, slitting Jack Nicholson's nose with the blade of his clasp knife. Directors sometimes cast well-known lead actors with whom they have worked in the past in other films. Mike Todd's film Around the World in 80 Days was filled with cameo roles: John Gielgud as an English butler, Frank Sinatra playing piano in a saloon, others; the stars in cameo roles were pictured in oval insets in posters for the film, gave the term wide circulation outside the theatrical profession. It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World, an "epic comedy" features cameos from nearly every popular American comedian alive at the time, including The Three Stooges, Jerry Lewis, a silent appearance by Buster Keaton and a voice-only cameo by Selma Diamond. Aaron Sorkin had cameos in some works he wrote: as a bar customer speaking about law in his debut film screenplay A Few Good Men, as an advertising executive in The Social Network and as a guest at the inauguration of President Matt Santos in the final episode of The West Wing.
Franco Nero, the actor who portrayed the Django character in the original 1966 film appears in a bar scene of the Tarantino film Django Unchained. Many cameos featured in Maverick, directed by Richard Donner. Among them, Danny Glover – Mel Gibson's co-star in the Lethal Weapon franchise directed by Donner – appears as the lead bank robber, he and Maverick share a scene where they look as if they knew each other, but shake it off. As Glover makes his escape with the money, he mutters "I'm too old for this shit", his character's catchphrase in the Lethal Weapon films. In addition, a strain of the main theme from Lethal Weapon plays in the score when Glover is revealed. Actress Margot Kidder made a cameo appearance in the same film as a robbed villager: she had starred as Lois Lane in Donner's Superman. Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson and
Darth Maul is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise. Trained as Darth Sidious's first apprentice, he serves as a Sith Lord and a master of wielding a double-bladed lightsaber, he first appears in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Despite his apparent demise in that film at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi, he returned in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated television series and made further appearances in the Star Wars Rebels series and the 2018 film Solo: A Star Wars Story, all voiced by Sam Witwer. After getting frustrated with a drawing of production designer Gavin Bocquet, Iain McCaig started covering it in tape. Both he and Lucas liked the result, described as "a kind of Rorschach pattern"; the final drawing had McCaig's own face, with the skin removed, some Rorschach experimentation. Darth Maul's head had feathers, based on prayer totems, but the Creature Effects crew led by Nick Dudman interpreted those feathers as horns, modifying his features into those common in popular depictions of the devil.
His clothing was modified, from a tight body suit with a muscle pattern to the Sith robe based on samurai pleats, because the lightsaber battles involved much jumping, spinning and rolling. Another concept had Maul a masked figure, something that could rival Darth Vader, while the senatorial characters would sport painted and tattooed faces, it was decided to apply the painted and tattooed faces to Maul rather than the senator. Darth Maul was physically portrayed by martial artist Ray Park in The Phantom Menace; the character was voiced by comedian/voice actor/director Peter Serafinowicz in The Phantom Menace and Lego videogame adaptation of the prequel trilogy. Actors Gregg Berger, Jess Harnell, Stephen Stanton, Clint Bajakian, David W. Collins have all voiced him in Legends adaptations and minor appearances. Introduced in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Darth Maul is ordered by his new master Darth Sidious to capture Queen Padmé Amidala. On Tatooine, Maul fights Qui-Gon Jinn while approaching the Queen's starship.
While the future Darth Vader gets on board, Qui-Gon engages Maul in a lightsaber duel, but the Jedi Master escapes. Maul fights Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan Kenobi simultaneously. Maul duels Qui-Gon and kills him. Although Obi-Wan is knocked down into a shaft, he uses the Force to propel himself out of the pit, equips himself with Qui-Gon's lightsaber to bisect Maul, after which the two separated pieces of Maul's body fall into the shaft. Ray Park reprises his role from The Phantom Menace as Darth Maul, with Sam Witwer providing the voice, reprising his role from the animated series, The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. Maul is revealed to be the master of the crime syndicate Crimson Dawn, to which crime lord Dryden Vos answers. Qi'ra tells Maul that Vos and his men were killed by Tobias Beckett and his accomplices, but neglects to name Han Solo and Chewbacca. Maul commands her to meet with him on Dathomir and tells her that they will work more from now on, igniting his lightsaber. Darth Maul appears in the fourth and fifth seasons of the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which takes place between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.
In the third season, Darth Maul's origins are elaborated upon: he is portrayed as a warrior of the Nightbrother clan on the planet Dathomir inhabited by the dominant Nightsister witchcraft society led by Mother Talzin. Maul's tattoos are described as the markings of a warrior. Talzin has Savage Opress find his long-lost brother. In the fourth season, Darth Maul is revealed to be alive, having survived his presumed death at Obi-Wan Kenobi's hands. Having ended up on the junkyard planet Lotho Minor via a dumpster craft, Maul has suffered from amnesia since Obi-Wan defeated him. Opress finds Maul and brings him to the devastated Dathomir, where Talzin restores Maul's mind and gives him robotic legs. Maul and Opress set about a plan to exact revenge on Obi-Wan. Maul proceeds to attack a village on planet Raydonia as his first attempt on Obi-Wan's life, only to be thwarted due to Asajj Ventress's unexpected appearance to collect a bounty on Opress. Maul and Opress overpower Obi-Wan and Ventress, but Maul lets them go upon realizing that the Jedi know of his existence, deciding to await another opportunity.
In the fifth season, Maul takes Opress as his apprentice, begins building a criminal empire. Needing followers, they travel to Florrum and manage to convince Weequay pirate Jiro and his crew to join them and betray their leader Hondo Ohnaka. Maul's pirates attack Hondo's loyal forces, Maul once again duels Obi-Wan while Opress fights and kills Jedi Master Adi Gallia. Obi-Wan and Hondo regroup inside Hondo's compound. Maul's forces break in and Obi-Wan draws the two brothers away from the pirates, engaging them in a two-on-one duel while the pirate factions fight elsewhere in the compound. Obi-Wan, though outnumbered, forces the Sith Lords to retreat. Meanwhile, Hondo wins back his crew by "persuading" them under threat of heavy artillery. Obi-Wan blows off one of Maul's robotic legs and badly damages Maul's ship. Maul and Opress manage to get stuck in dead space due to the damage to their ship. After several days, they are found close to death by the Death Watch Mandalorian warriors, led by Pre Vizsla, who gives Maul a new set of legs and Opress a new mechanical arm.
Maul offers Vizs
Northern Shaolin (martial art)
In its broadest sense, Northern Shaolin refers to the external martial arts of Northern China referring to those styles from the Northern Shaolin Monastery in Henan. At its most specific, Northern Shaolin refers to a style called Northern Shaolin Boxing School, disseminated by Gu Yu-jeung. Northern styles/Běi pài feature extended postures—such as the horse, bow and dragon stances—connected by quick fluid transitions, able to change the direction in which force is issued; the group of Northern martial arts includes many illustrious styles such as Baguazhang, Bajiquan, Chāquán, Eagle Claw, Northern Praying Mantis and Taijiquan. Chángquán is identified as the representative Northern style and forms a separate division in modern Wushu curriculum. Northern styles exhibit a distinctively different flavor from the martial arts practiced in the South. In general, the training characteristics of northern styles put more focus on legwork and acrobatics; the influence of Northern styles can be found in traditional Korean martial arts and their emphasis on high-level kicks.
It has been suggested that the presence of high kicks and flying kicks found in Southern styles, in Okinawan martial arts, hence in modern non-Chinese styles such as karate and taekwondo are due to influence from northern styles during the first half of the 20th century. The Northern Shaolin style of kung fu is one of the most prominent traditional northern styles of Chinese martial arts; the northern styles of kung-fu emphasize long range techniques, quick advances and retreats, wide stances and leaping techniques, whirling circular blocks, quickness and aggressive attacks. The system teaches empty-hand techniques and weaponry through predetermined combinations, known as forms, routines, or movement of sets; the students learn the basics by practicing the routines until the movements in the routines can be executed based on instinct. Two or multiple man sets are practiced to train responses and applications of techniques learned from the sets; the practice sets/routines are not only practical in applications but are graceful and artistic in nature.
The fluidness of the movements combined with acrobatic techniques are trademarks of the Northern Shaolin sets. The Northern Shaolin style was made famous by the late Gu Yu-jeung. Many legends tell of Gu's feats; when he was young, Gu traveled throughout Northern China to learn all the northern kung fu systems. He was renowned for the application of the long spear, he organized all his learnings into. The monastery in Henan is the original Shaolin Monastery; the monks began to practice military weapons sometime around the Tang Dynasty and became famous for aiding the future Emperor Li Shimin in struggles against rebellious forces. The monks were known for their spear and staff techniques until the Ming-Qing transition when they began to specialize in unarmed combat; as the reputation of the Shaolin martial arts grew during the following centuries, its name became synonymous with martial arts, regardless of whether an individual art traced its origins to the Shaolin Monastery in Henan or not. As a result, the "Shaolin" moniker was applied to other Buddhist temples with strong reputations for martial arts.
The characteristics of the martial arts taught at each temple were so different from each other that they became identified with their place of origin. The Northern Shaolin style associated with Gu Ruzhang was first taught to a lay disciple, the celebrated 18th century master Gan Fengchi of Jiangsu Province, by a Shaolin monk named Zhao Yuan, born Zhu Fu, a member of the Ming royal family who joined the sangha after the Ming was overthrown by the Qing in 1644. Gan in turn taught Wan Bangcai, who taught Yan Degong, who taught Yan Sansen, who taught Yan Jiwen, who taught his nephew Gu Ruzhang. Generation 1-8 朝元 和尚 甘鳳池 萬邦才 嚴徳功 嚴三省 嚴機溫 顧汝章 馬劍風 、嚴尚武 、龍子祥 Yán Jīwēn taught Gu the skills of Iron Body and Iron Palm. On a famous occasion in 1931, Gu is said to have demonstrated the latter on a horse. Among the martial artists who gathered at the Central National Martial Arts Institute in Nanjing in 1928, Gu placed in the top fifteen and was included—alongside Fu Zhensong, Li Xianwu, Wan Laimin, Wan Laisheng, Wong Shao Chou —in the Five Southbound Tigers, five masters of the Northern Chinese martial arts sent to Guangzhou to organize another National Martial Arts Institute.
In Guangzhou, the name "Shaolin" 南少林寺福建省 was associated with Hung Gar and other styles, so Gu's style came to be known by the name Northern Shaolin. Note that some heirs to Gu's tradition teach these routines in a different order those under 陳國偉; these are the 10 forms as standardized by Gu, comprising the core of the system, sometimes known as the Ten Classical Forms. They are standard in all of Gu's Northern S
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon known as the Order of Solomon's Temple, the Knights Templar or the Templars, were a Catholic military order recognised in 1139 by the papal bull Omne datum optimum. The order was founded in 1119 and was active until 1312 when it was perpetually suppressed by Pope Clement V by the bull Vox in excelso; the Templars became a favoured charity throughout Christendom and grew in membership and power. They were prominent in Christian finance. Templar knights, in their distinctive white mantles with a red cross, were among the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades. Non-combatant members of the order, who formed as much as 90% of the order's members, managed a large economic infrastructure throughout Christendom, developing innovative financial techniques that were an early form of banking, building its own network of nearly 1,000 commanderies and fortifications across Europe and the Holy Land, arguably forming the world's first multinational corporation.
The Templars were tied to the Crusades. Rumours about the Templars' secret initiation ceremony created distrust, King Philip IV of France – in debt to the order – took advantage of this distrust to destroy them and erase his debt. In 1307, he had many of the order's members in France arrested, tortured into giving false confessions, burned at the stake. Pope Clement V disbanded the order in 1312 under pressure from King Philip; the abrupt reduction in power of a significant group in European society gave rise to speculation and legacy through the ages. After Europeans in the First Crusade captured Jerusalem in 1099, many Christians made pilgrimages to various sacred sites in the Holy Land. Although the city of Jerusalem was secure under Christian control, the rest of Outremer was not. Bandits and marauding highwaymen preyed upon pilgrims, who were slaughtered, sometimes by the hundreds, as they attempted to make the journey from the coastline at Jaffa through to the interior of the Holy Land.
In 1119, the French knight Hugues de Payens approached King Baldwin II of Jerusalem and Warmund, Patriarch of Jerusalem, proposed creating a monastic order for the protection of these pilgrims. King Baldwin and Patriarch Warmund agreed to the request at the Council of Nablus in January 1120, the king granted the Templars a headquarters in a wing of the royal palace on the Temple Mount in the captured Al-Aqsa Mosque; the Temple Mount had a mystique because it was above what was believed to be the ruins of the Temple of Solomon. The Crusaders therefore referred to the Al-Aqsa Mosque as Solomon's Temple, from this location the new order took the name of Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon, or "Templar" knights; the order, with about nine knights including Godfrey de Saint-Omer and André de Montbard, had few financial resources and relied on donations to survive. Their emblem was of two knights riding on a single horse; the impoverished status of the Templars did not last long. They had a powerful advocate in Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, a leading Church figure, the French abbot responsible for the founding of the Cistercian Order of monks and a nephew of André de Montbard, one of the founding knights.
Bernard put his weight behind them and wrote persuasively on their behalf in the letter'In Praise of the New Knighthood', in 1129, at the Council of Troyes, he led a group of leading churchmen to approve and endorse the order on behalf of the church. With this formal blessing, the Templars became a favoured charity throughout Christendom, receiving money, land and noble-born sons from families who were eager to help with the fight in the Holy Land. Another major benefit came in 1139, when Pope Innocent II's papal bull Omne Datum Optimum exempted the order from obedience to local laws; this ruling meant that the Templars could pass through all borders, were not required to pay any taxes, were exempt from all authority except that of the pope. With its clear mission and ample resources, the order grew rapidly. Templars were the advance shock troops in key battles of the Crusades, as the armoured knights on their warhorses would set out to charge at the enemy, ahead of the main army bodies, in an attempt to break opposition lines.
One of their most famous victories was in 1177 during the Battle of Montgisard, where some 500 Templar knights helped several thousand infantry to defeat Saladin's army of more than 26,000 soldiers. Although the primary mission of the order was militaristic few members were combatants; the others acted in support positions to assist the knights and to manage the financial infrastructure. The Templar Order, though its members were sworn to individual poverty, was given control of wealth beyond direct donations. A nobleman, interested in participating in the Crusades might place all his assets under Templar management while he was away. Accumulating wealth in this manner throughout Christendom and the Outremer, the order in 1150 began generating letters of credit for pilgrims journeying to the Holy Land: pilgrims deposited their valuables with a local Templar preceptory before embarking, received a document indicating the value of their deposit used that document upon arrival in the Holy Land to retrieve their funds in an amount of treasure of equal value.
This innovative arrangement was an early form of banking and may have been the first formal system to support the use of cheques. Based on this mi
Christopher Walken is an American actor, director and playwright who has appeared in more than 100 films and television shows. Walken has had roles in films such as Annie Hall, The Deer Hunter, The Dogs of War, The Dead Zone, A View to a Kill, Batman Returns, True Romance, Pulp Fiction, Vendetta, Sleepy Hollow, Catch Me If You Can, Seven Psychopaths, the first three Prophecy films, The Jungle Book, Irreplaceable You, as well as music videos by many popular recording artists, he has received a number of awards and nominations, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for The Deer Hunter. He was nominated for the same award and won BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild Awards for Catch Me If You Can. Walken's films have grossed more than $1 billion in the United States. A two-time Tony Award nominee, he has played the lead in the Shakespeare plays Hamlet, Macbeth and Juliet, Coriolanus, he is a popular guest-host of Saturday Night Live. His most notable roles on the show include record producer Bruce Dickinson in the "More Cowbell" sketch.
He has appeared in Hallmark Hall of Fame's Sarah and Tall, which earned him a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. Walken debuted as screenwriter with the 2001 short film Popcorn Shrimp, he wrote and played the lead role in a 1995 play about his idol, Elvis Presley, titled Him. Christopher Walken was born Ronald Walken on March 31, 1943, in Astoria, New York, the son of Rosalie, a Scottish immigrant from Glasgow, Paul Wälken, a German immigrant from Gelsenkirchen who owned and operated Walken's Bakery in Astoria. Walken was named after actor Ronald Colman, he was raised Methodist. He and his brothers and Glenn, were child actors on television in the 1950s, influenced by their mother's dreams of stardom; when he was 15, a girlfriend showed him a magazine photo of Elvis Presley, Walken said, "This guy looked like a Greek god. I saw him on television. I loved everything about him." He has not changed it since. As a teenager, he worked as a lion tamer in a circus, he attended Hofstra University but dropped out after one year, having gotten the role of Clayton Dutch Miller in an off-Broadway revival of Best Foot Forward alongside Liza Minnelli.
Walken trained as a dancer at the Washington Dance Studio before moving on to dramatic stage roles and film. As a child, Walken appeared on screen as an extra in numerous anthology series and variety shows during the Golden Age of Television. After appearing in a sketch with Martin and Lewis on The Colgate Comedy Hour, Walken decided to become an actor, he landed a regular role in the 1953 television show The Wonderful John Acton as the show's narrator. During this time, he was credited as Ronnie Walken. Over the next two years, he appeared on television and had a thriving career in theatre. From 1954 to 1956, Walken and his brother Glenn originated the role of Michael Bauer on the soap opera The Guiding Light. In 1963, he appeared. In 1966, Walken played the role of King Philip of France in the Broadway premiere of The Lion in Winter. In 1968 he played Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo in Romeo and Juliet at the Stratford Festival in Canada. In 1969, Walken guest-starred in Hawaii Five-O as Navy SP Walt Kramer.
In 1964, he changed his first name to Christopher at the suggestion of Monique van Vooren, who had a nightclub act in which Walken was a dancer and who believed the name suited him better than Ronnie, which he was credited as until then. He prefers to be known informally as Chris instead of Christopher. Walken made his feature film debut with a small role opposite Sean Connery in Sidney Lumet's The Anderson Tapes. In 1972's The Mind Snatchers a.k.a. The Happiness Cage, Walken played his first starring role. In this science fiction film, which deals with mind control and normalization, he plays a sociopathic U. S. soldier stationed in Germany. Paul Mazursky's 1976 film Next Stop, Greenwich Village had Walken, under the name "Chris Walken", playing fictional poet and ladies' man Robert Fulmer. In Woody Allen's 1977 film Annie Hall, Walken played the homicidal and borderline crazy brother of Annie Hall. In 1977, Walken had a minor role as Eli Wallach's partner in The Sentinel. In 1978, he appeared in Shoot a western filmed in 1976 that costarred Margot Kidder.
Along with Nick Nolte and Burt Reynolds, Walken was considered by George Lucas for the part of Han Solo in Star Wars. In 1977, Walken starred in an episode of Kojak as Ben Wiley, a robber. Walken won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Michael Cimino's 1978 film The Deer Hunter, he plays a young Pennsylvania steelworker, destroyed by the Vietnam War. To help achieve his character's gaunt appearance before the third act, Walken consumed only bananas and rice for a week. Walken's first film of the 1980s was the controversial Heaven's Gate directed by Cimino. Walken starred in the 1981 action adventure The Dogs of War, directed by John Irvin, he surprised many critics and filmgoers with his intricate tap-dancing striptease in Herbert Ross's musical Pennies from Heaven. In 1
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation is a 1997 American martial arts action film directed by John R. Leonetti. A sequel to the 1995 film Mortal Kombat, based on the video game series Mortal Kombat by Midway Games, it stars Robin Shou, Talisa Soto, Brian Thompson, Sandra Hess, Irina Pantaeva, Marjean Holden, Musetta Vander and James Remar. The storyline was an adaptation of Mortal Kombat 3, following a band of warriors as they attempt to save Earth from the evil Shao Kahn. Although the story picks up where the last film left off, only two of the lead actors reprised their roles. Annihilation has been critically and near-universally panned by both fans and critics alike and is considered as one of the worst entries in the Mortal Kombat franchise; the evil Outworld emperor Shao Kahn opens a portal to Earthrealm and has resurrected his queen Sindel, Princess Kitana's long-deceased mother. Earthrealm is therefore in danger of being absorbed into Outworld within six days, a fate which reigning Mortal Kombat champion Liu Kang and the other Earthrealm heroes must fight to prevent.
When Kahn kills Johnny Cage during a confrontation with the thunder god and Earthrealm protector Raiden, he and the remaining Earthrealm warriors must regroup and find a way to defeat Shao Kahn. An distraught Sonya Blade enlists the help of her Special Forces partner, Jax. Together they destroy Cyrax, Sonya kills Mileena. Kitana and Liu search for a Native American shaman named Nightwolf, who knows the key to defeating Kahn. Kitana and Liu destroy the robotic ninja Smoke with the aid of Sub-Zero, but Scorpion appears, attacks Sub-Zero, kidnaps Kitana. Meanwhile, Rayden meets with the Elder Gods and asks them why Kahn was allowed to break the tournament rules and force his way into Earthrealm, how he can be stopped; the answers he receives are ambiguous. Rayden is asked by the Elder Gods about his feelings and obligations towards the mortals, what he would be willing to do to ensure their survival. Liu finds Nightwolf, who teaches him about the power of the Animality, a form of shapeshifting which utilizes the caster's strengths and abilities.
To achieve the mindset needed to acquire this power, Liu must pass his tests. The first is a trial of his focus; the second comes in the form of temptation, which manifests itself in the form of Jade, a mysterious warrior who attempts to seduce Liu and offers her assistance after he resists her advances. Liu accepts Jade's offer and takes her with him to the Elder Gods' temple, where he and his friends are to meet Rayden; the third test is never revealed. At the temple, the Earthrealm warriors reunite with a newly shorn Rayden, who reveals that he has sacrificed his immortality to fight alongside them. Together, they head for Outworld to rescue Kitana and reunite her with the undead Sindel in hopes of restoring her soul and closing the Outworld portal to Earth. With Jade's help, Liu rescues Kitana. However, Sindel remains under Kahn's control and escapes during an ambush, while Jade reveals herself to be a double agent sent by Kahn to disrupt the heroes' plans. Rayden reveals that Shao Kahn is his brother, that the former Elder God Shinnok is their father.
He realizes that Shinnok is supporting Kahn. With renewed purpose and the Earthrealm warriors make their way to the final showdown with Kahn and his remaining generals Motaro and Ermac, along with Sindel. Shinnok demands that Rayden submit to him and restore their broken family, at the expense of his mortal friends. Rayden is killed by an energy blast from Shao Kahn. After a hard fight, Jax and Kitana emerge victorious over Kahn's generals, but Liu struggles with Kahn, his Animality proves effective, exposing a cut to Kahn that proves he is now mortal. Shinnok, who explains that these are the consequences for breaking the sacred rules, attempts to intervene and kill Liu on Kahn's behalf, but two of the Elder Gods arrive, having uncovered Shinnok's treachery, they declare. Liu defeats Kahn, Shinnok is banished to the Netherrealm. Earthrealm reverts to its former state, with Kahn's hold over Sindel broken, she reunites with Kitana. Rayden is revived by the other Elder Gods. With everything right in the universe once again, the Earthrealm warriors return home.
Robin Shou as Liu Kang Talisa Soto as Kitana Brian Thompson as Shao Kahn Sandra Hess as Sonya Blade Irina Pantaeva as Jade James Remar as Rayden Lynn "Red" Williams as Jax Musetta Vander as Sindel Marjean Holden as Sheeva Reiner Schöne as Shinnok Litefoot as Nightwolf Deron McBee as Motaro Mortal Kombat: Annihilation is loosely based on the 1995 video game Mortal Kombat 3, while featuring the character roster of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. There were plot elements from Mortal Kombat 4, but these scenes were cut from the final theatrical version. While the original attracted casual moviegoers as well as gamers, Annihilation catered to the games' fans. Filming began in the first quarter of 1996. Part of the movie was filmed on location at Parys Mountain on the island of Anglesey. Other filming locations included London and Thailand. In the closing credits, where several scenes were filmed, is incorrectly listed as being part of England. Though Annihilation attempted to continue in the style of the first movie, the cast of returning characters from the ori