Cockney Rebel frontman Steve Harley has thrown his support behind a campaign to block plans to build a solar farm close to his home in the English countryside. The Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) star lives in the village of Belchamp Otten, in Essex, England, and he is fuming over a proposal to erect thousands of electricity-generating panels in nearby fields.
Harley, who has resided in the area for 25 years, is convinced the solar power plant will ruin the country landscape.
He tells Britain's Daily Mail, "It is a shockingly ugly plan that will ruin a beautiful part of our heritage. It won't create any jobs, it won't benefit the village in any way at all and we fear that this will be the first of many similar applications for solar farms here.
"We live among green fields of grass, yellow fields of corn and blue fields of flax. These massive and monstrous fields of glass and alloy are unthinkable to those of us who love the countryside. Solar panels belong on brownfield sites and roof-tops - not on the fields of the Stour Valley, an area painted by (celebrated artists) Constable and Gainsborough."
Many other villagers have reportedly voiced opposition to the scheme. Developers have applied for planning permission to erect the panels on the site, but insist they will mostly be hidden from view.
Eighteen-year-old Nick Powell (Justin Chatwin) has been for reasons too convoluted to go into left for dead. But his body’s still alive and his spirit – stuck in limbo – continues to interact with those around him desperately trying to communicate his existential plight before his body – hidden in a storm drain - expires. Being caught between life and death is probably a scary place but it’s likely more compelling than depicted here. The cause of Nick’s current dilemma is Annie Newton (Margarita Levieva) a juvenile delinquent and classmate of Nick’s whose troubled upbringing turned her into such a teen terror. Nick must try and compel Annie to locate his body but it takes an inordinate amount of time to do it during which the story – and the film as a whole - falls apart. After awhile it’s difficult to work up much sympathy to say nothing of any interest for what happens to these characters. Chatwin (Tom Cruise’s son in War of the Worlds) scores his first big-screen lead here and does about as well as can be expected under the circumstances which are fairly dire. With better material this might have been a decent showcase for his leading-man qualities. Better luck next time. Not nearly as fortunate is Levieva playing the prettiest leader of a high-school crime ring in recent memory. One minute she’s playing it tough and thrashing Nick within an inch of his life. The next she’s tearfully admonishing her little brother (Alex Ferris) not to make the same mistakes she made. It’s a terrible role and worse an inconsistent one. The biggest name in the cast Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden plays Nick’s domineering mother. Like many of the roles in the film it’s strictly one-note. Still it’s nice having a pro like Harden on hand – even if the film goes out of its way to squander her talents. Only Callum Keith Rennie as the obligatory detective on the case manages to bring a little credibility to the proceedings. So naturally the film ignores him for long stretches. David S. Goyer is better known – and rightly so – for the films he’s written (Dark City Batman Begins and the Blade films) than the ones he’s directed (Blade: Trinity anyone?). But the true blame here falls on screenwriters Mick Davis and Christine Roum whose attempt to combine a supernatural storyline doused with teen angst fails miserably. At times The Invisible feels like leftovers from The Sixth Sense Ghost Jacob's Ladder The Butterfly Effect (yikes!) any number of Twilight Zone episodes and even Groundhog Day. The Invisible is based on a Swedish novel and a previous film but like the many Asian chillers that undergo an “Americanized” remake something has been lost in the translation – starting with credibility even on its own terms. So many movies undergo reshoots these days but rarely has an entire movie felt like a reshoot. The Invisible has that dubious distinction.
On the 20th anniversary of John Lennon's death, his widow Yoko Ono made a vow that she would never leave the Manhattan apartment the couple lived in.
Lennon was gunned down by crazed fan Mark Chapman in front of the Dakota apartment building after arriving from a studio session with his wife on Dec. 8, 1980. Since then, Ono says she hasn't removed any of the ex-Beatle's clothes from his closet and hasn't remodeled, Reuters reports.
``Because his things are still there and he lived there, I feel his spirit very strongly,'' Ono said. ``All the memories of John are here, and I don't want to leave the place we created and things that he touched.''
Ono also said it would have made Lennon smile to know that the Beatles were still topping the charts 30 years after the band split. The band's latest release, "1," a compilation of all the Beatle's No. 1 hits, has reached No. 1 in 28 countries and is the fastest-selling album in history, having moved 12 million copies in less than a month.
In other Lennon news, a controversy is brewing over a 1 a.m. ET curfew imposed by New York City officials, which would limit Beatles fans' annual vigil to Lennon in Central Park.
Last year, police were able to disperse the crowd peacefully as the curfew time neared; however, this year they're expecting more than 1,000 people to pay tribute to Lennon in a small area of Central Park named "Strawberry Fields" and marked with a mosaic reading "Imagine" in Lennon's honor, Reuters reports.
Fans want the curfew lifted, but Mayor Rudolph Giuliani isn't budging.
``We don't keep the park open at night,'' Giuliani said at a news conference Thursday. ``It's a dangerous precedent to set. They can have their memorial until the park closes, and then when the park closes, the memorial is over."
A BUDDHIST WEDDING FOR MADONNA? Why not? She's already done the Hindu look. Reuters is reporting that Madonna and director-boyfriend Guy Ritchie will have a Buddhist ceremony when they tie the knot in a Scottish castle on Dec. 22.
The wedding site at Dornoch Cathedral near is a favorite wedding spot for the rich and famous.
Word is that Madonna, 42, wants a very peaceful ceremony without the glitz and helicopters that buzzed overhead at her first wedding in 1985 to actor Sean Penn.
So this time, the glitzy presence of white stretch limos are out, so are hats. The pop singer thinks they're old-fashioned. Uh, OK.
ZAPPA DAUGHTER THREATENED: A man who allegedly threatened to kill singer Moon Unit Zappa was arrested, The Associated Press reports. Mark Brownfield, 40, alleges that Zappa and her father, the late Frank Zappa, stole his lyrics for Zappa's 1980s hit "Valley Girl."
Brownfield mailed a package to the FBI's Santa Ana, Calif., office with documents on Oct. 30 in which he made the threat. He remains held without bail and awaits arraignment on Monday.