For whatever reason, I cannot effectively connect to a motorized vehicle as a sentient character. Planes, Cars, Transformers, Herbie, KITT, Jerry Van Dyke's mother. Maybe it's because I never learned to drive. More plausible theory: Every big or small screen attempt to allot sentience to a motorized vehicle has been grievously underwhelming. Okay, I'll give you Knight Rider. But the latest example of the endeavor, Planes: Fire & Rescue, is no Knight Rider. It's barely even a Cars. The feature from DisneyToon Studios is as hollow as you can imagine a 3D animated movie to be. And this degree of vacancy feels like more than just a waste of time for the targeted youth.
Dane Cook's celebrity racing plane Dusty Crophopper, a leading man completely without hue — and don't think children's movie heroes are exempt from the expectation of nuance; Woody, Wall-E, Remy, were all leagues more recognizable than the anonymous Dusty — busts one of his principal cogs and learns that he can't exceed a certain speed or else he'll crash. In other words he'll never race again. So with an existential crisis on the horizon, and a town in jeopardy, Dusty switches gears and decides to learn how to become a firefighter.
In large part, Planes: Fire & Rescue is a love letter to public servants, opening with a title card that dedicates the film to the brave men and women who work to keep our towns and cities safe. In this element alone is the film passable, propagating appreciation for a line of work that bears unquestionable merit. But the story surrounding this message is so tattered and lifeless that it'd be surprising if any of Planes' target youths access the throughline moral.
Dusty's personal journey jumps from one quasi-conflict to the next, each piece representing a fraction of a story that we've seen in other animated films, so that you're never given the opportunity to connect with him over any of his qualms. His shattered dreams of racing, his newly evident mortality, his struggle to find new purpose, his quest for self-betterment, his drive to help others. All are teased, none are explored.
And the characters surrounding Dusty are even worse, the lot composed of sexist and racial stereotypes that are far more uninteresting than they are genuinely offensive. Every secondary player is a one-off joke, and not a good one; the only laughs in the flick come from the occasional play on words, but even for a pun-junkie will that tread wear thin.
With characters this shallow and plotlines this scattered, your kids cannot possibly engage with a movie like Planes: Fire & Rescue. They'll relegated to staring at it, retrieving little more than bright colors, speedy scenes, goofy voices, and the obscenely frequent flatulence joke. This is clearly all Planes thinks that kids can handle, but that's an egregious affront to a demographic that fueled the works of classic Disney, golden age Pixar, and Hayao Miyazaki. I think they can manage a few well-crafted airplanes.
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We definitely thought the guy who netted over $50,000 to make potato salad would be the oddest thing we'd see on Kickstarter all year, but nary a week has passed, and the bowels of the internet have already spit out something that somehow manages to be even weirder. Breaking Bad super-fan Larry Shepherd wasn't entirely satisfied with the conclusion of Vince Gilligan's landmark series, which ended with (spoiler!) Walter White dying, so he has decided to launch his own Kickstarter campaign for a Breaking Bad spinoff series called Anastasia.
The imaginary series would pick up just moments after the finale, and star two U.S. Marshals (hopefully played by Val Kilmer and Slash, oy vey!) who discover Walt's body. But there's a twist: after the two Marshals leave the body unattended for just a few seconds (Slash just really needed to rip out a few guitar riffs to let out some stress; law enforcement is a tough gig, you know), a mysterious figure of unidentifiable gender and age, grabs Walt's body by the ankles and escapes into the night. So starts the mystery of Anastasia, and so ends the sanctity of western civilization. It only gets more absurd from there. Here are the weirdest aspects of this very unfortunate Kickstarter project.
The show will presumably star Val Kilmer and Slash for some reason.We can already feel the electric chemistry between these two leads. Amazing.
Unscripted Alcoholics Anonymous meetings will happen on the show with real celebrities going through real drug recoveries.Certainly, loads of in-recovery celebrities will pop on by to talk about their very real addictions on a scripted television show...
"Steven Tyler is going to be the first person we invite."He's not coming.
"People that love Native American spirituality are going to love this show."No they won't.
Shepherd promises to get Val Kilmer an Emmy, but not an Oscar because this is a TV show.Tatiana Maslany can't even get a nomination, but we're sure this guy will get Val Kilmer an Emmy.
"To me, Anastasia is a restaurant...and our actors are the food."Huh?
A-list actors will dress up in pounds of makeup and the audience will have to guess who they are.I'm sure their agents will love that.
Val Kilmer will create the "quirkiness" of his character.You know, I don't think the real Val Kilmer is terribly enthused about this whole thing.
But "Slash will stay in the 'Slash' character."What? So Slash will just be Slash? Will he bring his top hat and Les Paul to drug raids?
Backers on Kickstarter will pick the names of the main characters.Yep, that's totally going to end well. Get ready for your two lead U.S Marshals "I.C. Weiner" and "Call of Duty Hitler."
Vince Gilligan and Sony have not approved of the idea.But Shepherd is prepared to move ahead with the idea, with or without Breaking Bad. Nothing stops this train, nothing.
A woman who accused Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst of raping her at a concert in 2003 has publicly retracted her statements, admitting she "made up those lies" for attention. The singer/songwriter hit headlines in December (13) when Joanie Faircloth posted a series of anonymous messages in the comment section of an article about abusive rock stars on XOJane.com, accusing Oberst of sexually assaulting her following a gig in North Carolina in 2003, when she was 16.
Oberst denied the accusations and instructed his legal representatives to sue for defamation after they managed to identify the author of the damning posts as Faircloth.
Last week (ends11Jul14), the star requested a summary judgement in the case as Faircloth had failed to respond to the legal action, and now the defendant has come clean about the whole affair, confessing the encounter was completely fabricated.
In a statement issued to Buzzfeed.com, Faircloth writes, "The statements I made and repeated online and elsewhere over the past six months accusing Conor Oberst of raping me are 100 percent false.
"I made up those lies about him to get attention while I was going through a difficult period in my life and trying to cope with my son's illness. I publicly retract my statements about Conor Oberst and sincerely apologize to him, his family and his fans for writing such awful things about him.
"I realize that my actions were wrong and could undermine the claims of actual sexual assault victims and for that I also apologize. I'm truly sorry for all the pain that I caused."
Oberst, who is currently on tour in Europe, has yet to respond to the confession. He is demanding $1.2 million (£705,882) in compensation from Faircloth.
Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst is requesting a summary judgement in his defamation lawsuit against a woman who accused him of rape in 2003 after the defendant failed to respond to the legal action. The singer/songwriter is demanding $1.2 million (£705,882) from Joanie Faircloth amid claims she is the anonymous individual who named him in a series of messages in the comment section of an article about abusive rock stars on XOJane.com in December (13).
The author of the posts accused Oberst of raping her after a show in North Carolina in 2003, when she was 16.
The star insists the encounter is made up as he has never even met her, and he filed suit against Faircloth in February (14), alleging her lies damaged his reputation and cost him a record contract worth at least $200,000 (£117,650).
Faircloth has not responded to the lawsuit or shown up for hearings in the case, so now the singer is asking a judge to rule in his favour and award him damages, according to TMZ.com.
A decision on the request has yet to be made.
Ozzy Osbourne went to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting during a tour stop in Stockholm, but struggled to join in as the session was conducted in Swedish. The veteran rocker, who is a recovering alcoholic, was in the city late last year (13) with his band Black Sabbath, and he kept his booze demons in check by attending a local therapy group even though he doesn't speak the language.
He tells Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper, "It's been 480 days since my last drink and I go to meetings as many times a week as I can. When we were in Stockholm on tour, I went to one. I couldn't understand a b**dy word they were saying."
However, the rocker insists the session was not a waste of time, adding, "It still helped. It's just the act of going there."
David Bowie recently jetted to the U.K. in secret and went unnoticed as he took his family to visit some of the city's busiest tourist destinations. The reclusive rocker, who lives in New York, make a low-key trip to his hometown earlier this summer (14) with his supermodel wife Iman and their 13-year-old daughter Alexandria.
Iman has revealed they avoided London's main airport, Heathrow, and instead jetted into budget airline hub Luton, before embarking on a low-key summer holiday in the British capital.
The family visited tourist hotspots including the London Eye, and Iman insists her superstar husband went unrecognised.
She tells Britain's The Observer Magazine, "We went this summer. And no one knew! It's absurd this idea that celebrities can't be anonymous. We even went on the London Eye. We queued separately, (daughter) Lexi had a friend with her and they went with the bodyguard and then we all met on board."
Bowie even took the teenager to see the house where he grew up in suburban Beckenham.
Iman adds, "He took her to Beckenham. They went and took a photo outside the house he grew up in."
The sex abuse claims against Broadway producer Gary Goddard have been dropped by accuser Michael Egan. The lawsuit was filed against Goddard in April (14) accusing him and three other men of sexually abusing Egan in Hawaii in 1999, when the plaintiff was still a teenager.
Goddard denied the claims and filed a motion for the legal action to be dismissed in May (14), providing evidence to prove he was not in Hawaii at the time the alleged incidents took place.
On Saturday (28Jun14), Egan's lawsuit was dismissed.
Hollywood executives Garth Ancier and David Neuman had similar sex abuse lawsuits from Egan dismissed earlier this month (Jun14). Egan still has a lawsuit pending against X-Men director Bryan Singer, who filed a motion for dismissal in May (14).
Goddard is still fighting a separate sex abuse lawsuit, which was filed by an anonymous British plaintiff in May (14).
An Oscar won by filmmakers behind Rita Hayworth's movie musical My Gal Sal has gone under the hammer for $79,200 (£49,500), more than double its auction estimate. An heir of Joseph C. Wright, who won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction - Interior Decoration, Color, handed the gold statuette to Briarbrook Auctions bosses in Rhode Island and they valued it at between $5,000 (£3,125) and $30,000 (£18,750).
The award went up for sale on Monday (23Jun14), when it was snapped up by an anonymous telephone bidder from California.
Auction house owner Nanci Thompson tells Reuters, "Oscars are quite a rare commodity. There just aren't many around."
Wright won the prize before executives at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science enforced a rule in 1950, banning winners and their relatives from selling the Oscar.
Broadway producer Gary Goddard has filed a motion to have a new sex abuse lawsuit dismissed. The entertainment executive was hit with legal papers last month (May14) from an anonymous British plaintiff, who claims he was first contacted by Goddard via social media in 2003, when he was 14, and their relationship allegedly escalated to sex when he was 16.
Goddard was also sued in a separate lawsuit in April (14) by Michael Egan, who accused him of sexually assaulting him in 1999 when he was a teenager. Goddard denied the claims and filed for the lawsuit to be dismissed in May (14).
On Thursday (19Jun14), the producer moved to end the second case by filing a motion at a court in California asking for the anonymous plaintiff's lawsuit to be dismissed, alleging his accuser filed suit to latch onto the publicity surrounding the Egan case.
According to TheWrap.com, a memorandum in support of his motion reads, "The reason why Plaintiff did not file suit until 2014, more than eight years after the last act of alleged sexual activity, is transparent: there was no, and never has been any, misconduct by Mr. Goddard. Indeed, it was not until a widely publicised press conference by another plaintiff... who shamelessly made demonstrably false sexual conduct against four Hollywood executives, including Mr. Goddard, that Plaintiff decided he would tag along for the ride."
Goodfellas actor Frank Sivero was released from prison on Friday (13Jun14) after serving just three days behind bars for a weapons charge. The actor, famous for his mobster roles, was arrested in the lobby of an apartment complex in North Hollywood in March (14) after cops randomly searched him and found a firearm in his jacket pocket.
He was sentenced to 90 days behind bars on Wednesday (11Jun14) as part of a plea deal, but was released after three days, reports TMZ.com. He was also given three days credit for time served in March.
According to legal documents obtained by website editors, he is banned from carrying a gun for the next 36 months and has been ordered to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for 26 weeks. He was also fined $220 (£137).