Miranda Lambert made history and ruled the 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday (06Apr14), earning three top prizes, including Female Vocalist of the Year for the fifth time in a row. The House That Built Me singer became the only female artist to win the honour five consecutive times, edging out Reba McEntire, who won the award for four successive years, and seven in total.
Lambert also took home the Record of the Year prize for her song Mama's Broken Heart, as well as the Vocal Event of the Year prize for her duet with Keith Urban, We Were Us, which was handed out on the red carpet before the ceremony began.
Country music icon George Strait won the ultimate prize of the night for Entertainer of the Year, beating out Taylor Swift, Lambert, her husband Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan. The latter two also co-hosted the event for the second year in a row.
Follow Your Arrow hitmaker Kacey Musgraves followed up her two Grammy wins in February (14) with the Album of the Year award for Same Trailer Different Park, and boasted, "I'm really proud to be a woman representing country music," in her acceptance speech.
For the second year in a row Jason Aldean picked up the Male Vocalist of the Year title, and other winners included The Band Perry (Vocal Group of the Year), Florida Georgia Line (Vocal Duo of the Year), Justin Moore (New Artist of the Year), Lee Brice (Song of the Year for I Drive Your Truck) and Highway Don't Care by Tim McGraw, featuring Taylor Swift & Keith Urban (Video of the Year).
Garth Brooks presented veteran singer Merle Haggard with the Crystal Milestone Award to mark his 50th anniversary in the industry, and George Strait and Lambert teamed up to sing a medley of his hits, including The Bottle Let Me Down and I'm a Lonesome Fugitive.
The achievement coincided with Haggard's 77th birthday, and Brooks led the entire audience in serenading the singer on his big day.
The ceremony was also filled with stand-out performances, including sets from George Strait, Darius Rucker, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Sheryl Crow and Toby Keith.
In addition, a number of artists joined forces for special collaborations - Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan teamed up for a pyrotechnics and bicycle stunt show during their performance of This is How We Roll; Tim McGraw was joined by his wife Faith Hill for a duet of Meanwhile; Stevie Nicks joined Lady Antebellum for a rendition of Rihannon, and The Voice stars Shelton and Shakira gave the country night a Latin feel as they reworked her song Medicine.
Prior to Sunday's ceremony, Carrie Underwood was given the Gene Weed Special Achievement Award, Toby Keith and Ronnie Milsap were handed the Career Achievement Award, and Rascal Flatts were honoured with the Jim Reeves International Award for their success overseas.
The full list of winners is:
Entertainer of the Year: George Strait
Album of the Year: Same Trailer Different Park by Kacey Musgraves
Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert
Vocal Group of the Year: The Band Perry
Male Vocalist of the Year: Jason Aldean
Song of the Year: I Drive Your Truck by Lee Brice
Record of the Year: Mama's Broken Heart by Miranda Lambert
New Artist of the Year: Justin Moore
Vocal Duo of the Year: Florida Georgia Line
Vocal Event of the Year: We Were Us by Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert
Crystal Milestone Award: Merle Haggard
Video of the Year: Highway Don't Care by Tim McGraw, featuring Taylor Swift & Keith Urban
Gene Weed Special Achievement Award: Carrie Underwood
Career Achievement Award: Toby Keith and Ronnie Milsap
Jim Reeves International Award: Rascal Flatts
Singers George Strait, Garth Brooks and Miranda Lambert are lining up to salute music legend Merle Haggard at the upcoming Academy of Country Music Awards. The veteran will be honoured with the Crystal Milestone Award to mark his 50th anniversary in the industry, and Strait and Lambert have signed up to pay tribute with a medley of his hits, including Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down and I'm a Lonesome Fugitive.
Brooks will present the prize to Haggard himself at the ceremony, which will take place in Las Vegas on 6 April (14).
The Band Perry will open the prizegiving, while other performers slated to hit the stage include Hunter Hayes, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum and Stevie Nicks, as well as the awards show's hosts, Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan.
Country music veteran Merle Haggard is to receive a special honour at the 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards. Haggard, who is already a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, is to be presented with the Crystal Milestone Award at the ceremony in April (14) to mark his 50th anniversary in the industry.
Metallica have signed up for a genre-busting collaboration at the 56th Grammy Awards later this month (Jan14) - the heavy rockers will hit the stage with Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang. The set will mark Metallica's first performance at the event since 1991, while Lang Lang, The Grammy Cultural Ambassador to China, last hit the stage at music's big night in 2008.
Also teaming up at the ceremony in Los Angeles on 26 January (14) will be Robin Thicke and classic rockers Chicago, Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers and Daft Punk, and Pink and Nate Ruess, while Katy Perry and Lorde have been added to the line-up of solo performers.
There will also be a "special performance" featuring country legends Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and 2014 Grammy nominee Blake Shelton.
LL Cool J will host the show from the Staples Center.
Chasing Mavericks is one of those hoary "based on a true story" movies that borders on hagiography. It's a fictionalized take on the early life of surfing wunderkind Jay Moriarity (Jonny Weston) and his attempt with the help of his mentor Frosty (Gerard Butler) to conquer the giant waves known as "mavericks." Although the beaches of North California and their crashing waves are gorgeous the story and the acting don't hold water. Chasing Mavericks is more interested in showing Moriarity to be a hero than an actual person and the movie suffers for it in the end.
Weston plays Moriarity as a 15-year-old and although Weston is still in his early twenties he looks disconcertingly older. The tan make-up doesn't help and neither does his hollow performance which is mostly just him looking wide-eyed and earnest. He's not given much to work with the challenges he has to overcome not given much weight at all. Moriarity's dad left when he was a kid and his mom (Elisabeth Shue) is often drunk and can't keep a job. This could have been an interesting development — Jay has to take care of her and loan her money and lives in what looks like a cubbyhole in the living room — but it's given short shrift. The movie Moriarity patiently does her laundry and wakes her up for work instead of what a normal 15-year-old would do which would probably include at the very least some choice four letter words or acting out. Although his mentoring at the hands of Butler's Frosty does explore some of Jay's pain and fears he's not particularly affected by anything. He just shakes it all off like a shaggy dog who's spent a day at the beach.
Other plot developments are equally toothless and without any real consequence. He has a bully who verbally taunts him but eventually respects him. His best friend is either doing or selling drugs given his shady goings-on and wads of dough in his pocket. Moriarity holds a torch for his childhood friend Kim (Leven Rambin) who is apparently embarrassed to be seen with him but even she isn't all that bad. It's like an after-school special that runs for 105 minutes (but feels much longer).
His crusty mentor Frosty is supposed to be a damaged man whose passion for surfing trumps everything even it seems supporting his family. At one point it's clear he's lied to his wife about going to do construction work but she just sort of shrugs it off. Brenda (Abigail Spencer) knows Frosty's love for the ocean and how it heals him from past tragedies so she mostly tolerates his behavior aside from a few sharp remarks. As his voiceover indicates (delivered by Butler with an accent that goes in and out) these "Children of the Tides" are simply drawn to the ocean even if it kills them. The passion trumps all as it surely did in the life of the real Jay Moriarity.
The footage of the men surfing is the centerpiece of the story which is probably why everything else feels like an afterthought. Even this is uneven though. Some of it is obviously Butler and Weston — Butler was injured on the set while filming a surfing scene — but the faraway shots don't really match up. It's not clear if this is archival footage or if it's just poorly edited and filmed. A few scenes in the movie look startlingly different all cloudy grays with Butler haggard and thinner and although it could be just a really ham-handed way to visually indicate grief this interlude looks like it's from an entirely different movie. A perk of Chasing Mavericks is its "alternative" music soundtrack that is immediately recognizable and surprisingly on point with songs from Mazzy Star Matthew Sweet and the Butthole Surfers popping up at appropriate times.
While surely the people involved in making the film are dedicated to preserving Jay's memory and inspiring others it's hard to take it seriously or be emotionally moved by such a blatantly unblemished portrayal. Real tributes show that grit and shortcomings of their subjects as much as why they're heroes.
If a major motion picture studio gave you $50 million to make the movie of your choice what would it be like? If you’re producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner and writers Simon Pegg and Nick Frost it’d be a loving lampoon of geek culture and an homage to the films of the Spielberg/Lucas revolution but nostalgia is both an advantage and disadvantage in director Greg Mottola’s Paul.
Pegg and Frost star as a pair of nerds from across the pond who fulfill lifelong dreams when they fly to San Diego for the annual Mecca of nerdom Comic-Con. The doofy duo extend their trip to tour America’s extraterrestrial hot spots including Area 51 where they pick up an unexpected alien hitchhiker on the run from the proverbial men in black. Across the country they go getting into trouble picking up more passengers and building bromantic bonds as the little green man Paul inches closer to his escape from planet Earth and the shadowy government official who has been exploiting his knowledge of the universe since he crash landed in Wyoming over 60 years ago.
Fan-favorite filmmakers since 2004’s Shaun of the Dead Pegg and Frost have been making geek chic for years now and continue to create identifiable roles for themselves while finding humorous ways to write their like-minded friends into their movies. Their collection of wacky characters is charming if incredibly derivative but for better or worse they are the heart and soul of the film. Jason Bateman Kristen Wiig Bill Hader and Jo Lo Truglio turn in fun performances but I expected a bit more from the Jane Lynch David Koechner and Sigourney Weaver cameos. Still Seth Rogen’s vocal performance as Paul adds significant layers to an already adorable alien and enlivens the adequately rendered CG character.
The comedy is surprisingly sweet and doesn’t bite like Mottola’s Superbad though there are enough religious jabs and signs of anti-establishment fervor to call it mildly subversive. Lack of laughs isn’t the issue here; lack of originality is. Mottola is too dependent on pop-culture references and inside jokes pertaining to E.T. Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind so much so that the film ultimately becomes a parody of itself as its storyline mirrors that of Steven Spielberg’s massive 1982 blockbuster (in this world the movie mogul actually consults the incarcerated alien for inspiration for his beloved family film). While these nods are all amusing they’re not enough to carry the film and Mottola/Frost/Pegg offer little else. At its worst Paul will give you a reason to revisit those classic sci-fi staples and remember the good old days. At best it provides a few mindless chuckles and gives you good reason to give the geek next to you a great big hug.
Action man-turned-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has selected 14 honorees for the December (10) ceremony.
Country singer Merle Haggard, tennis ace Serena Williams and Facebook.com founder Mark Zuckerberg are also set to be honoured by the state.
Unveiling the 2010 inductees, Schwarzenegger said the group of artists, sports stars, business pioneers and politicians "make me proud to call California home".
The California Hall of Fame recognises celebrities who have helped to raise the global profile of the state.
Source: Heat Vision Blog
THR's Heat Vision Blog reports that Sam Worthington will take on the classic literary hero Allan Quartermain in DreamWorks' developing adventure title Quartermain.
Allan Quatermain was the hero of “King’s Solomon’s Mines,” a Victorian adventure novel by H. Rider Haggard, and its sequel, “Allan Quatermain.” In the first book, Quatermain leads an expedition into an unexplored region of Africa to find the brother of a friend as well as a fabled treasure of the lost mines.
DreamWorks’ version is set in a time in which humans have left Earth and sees Quatermain return to the planet from a sojourn in space, embarking on another “King Solomon’s Mines”-style adventure but on a planetwide scale. Mark Verheiden was the writer behind the first script when the project was revealed early last year.
Worthington will also make his debut as a producer alongside Alfred Gough and Miles Millar on the high-concept film, which is in the early development stages and has no director attached. What can I say about Worthington that hasn't already been said? He's on his way to becoming the biggest actor of his generation. With this film, an Avatar sequel, the thriller The Fields and Alex Proyas' Dracula Year Zero all in the pipeline, he's going to have a very busy and very lucrative decade.
The God of Legion secular Hollywood’s latest Biblically-inspired action flick is old-school an angry spiteful Almighty with a penchant for Old Testament theatrics. Fed up with humanity’s decadent warmongering ways He’s decided to pull the plug on the whole crazy experiment and start over from scratch.
Fortunately for us the God of Legion is also a rather lazy fellow. Instead of doing the apocalyptic work himself and wiping us out with a giant flood which worked perfectly well last time He opts to delegate the task to His army of angels — a questionable strategy that starts to fall apart when the archangel charged with leading the planned extermination Michael (Paul Bettany) refuses to comply.
Michael who unlike his boss still harbors affection for our sorry species abandons his post and descends to earth where inside the swollen belly of Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) an unwed mother-to-be working as a waitress in an out-of-the-way diner sits humanity’s lone hope for survival. Why is this particular baby so important? Is it the one destined to lead us to victory over Skynet? Heaven knows — Legion reveals little details its script devoid of actual scripture. What is clear is that God’s celestial hitmen want the kid whacked before it’s born.
But Michael won’t let humanity fall without a fight. Armed with a Waco-sized arsenal of assault weapons he hunkers down with the diner’s patrons a largely superfluous collection of thinly-sketched caricatures from various demographic groups led by Dennis Quaid as the diner’s grizzled owner Tyrese Gibson as a hip-hop hustler and Lucas Black as a simple-minded country boy.
Together they mount a heroic final stand against hordes of angels who’ve taken possession of “weak-willed” humans turning kindly old grandmas and mild-mannered ice cream vendors into snarling ravenous foul-mouthed beasts. They descend upon the ramshackle diner in a series of full-frontal assaults commanded by the archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand) the George Pickett of End of Days generals.
Beneath its superficial religious facade Legion is really just a run-of-the-mill zombie flick a Biblical I Am Legend. Bettany an actor accustomed to smaller dramatic roles in films like A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code looks perfectly at ease in his first major action role wielding machine guns and bowie knives with equal aplomb. Conversely first-time director Scott Stewart a former visual effects artist does little to prove himself worthy of such a promotion serving up some impressive CGI work but not much else worthy of note.
As a precious equivalent of a handmade dollhouse Marilyn Hotchkiss is based on a 1990 short film narrated by William Hurt about a Pasadena ballroom-dancing school for preteens in which 10-year-olds Steve and Lisa first meet. Now grown up Steve (John Goodman) is dying on a rural road. With his guts splayed over his chest Steve retells his childhood dance memories of Lisa (Camryn Manheim) to a stranger Frank (Robert Carlyle) who finds him lying there. Coincidentally Frank is also taking the same Marilyn Hotchkiss ballroom dancing class now taught by Marilyn’s prim and proper daughter Marienne (Mary Steenburgen) as an adult. As Steve is leaving life Frank is re-starting his and the two of them connected through dance. Subplots of the ballroom dancers and Frank’s therapy partners are an interesting departure to the colored textures of human anxiety. The actors bring a wealth of experience and professionalism to their roles which are pared down for efficiency. Carlyle (Trainspotting) leads the way with modest conflicted restraint carrying the group’s collective acting abilities on his shoulders. Group scenes allow Oscar-nominee David Paymer to play off Sean Astin while Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei matches seductive physical moves with Carlyle in dancing scenes. Manheim is perfectly ugly for the haggard house-bound adult Lisa smoking cigarettes and unaware of her lifetime effect on Steve. The roster is so tight that Danny DeVito is stuffed into a lower bed bunk as a wise prisoner with about five minutes of screen time. Donnie Wahlberg is the actor to get most excited about. His flamboyant turns on the dance floor--think Dodgeball’s Ben Stiller with a stalker’s sense of violent romanticism--hint at the former NKOTB’s acting ability. Wahlberg in the tradition of his brother Mark could be another brooding Dirk Diggler. Despite the big-name talent Marilyn Hotchkiss is small which may explain its reception (or lack thereof) since its Jan. 2005 Sundance premiere. Its a little rough around the edges coming from director Randall Miller (The Sixth Man Houseguest) whose last work was in late ‘90s television. With Marilyn Hotchkiss Miller creates a time-capsule-like effect with quaint dialogue and close-up camera shots. The director also wrote the script which is limited in its scope. A handful of the same settings (the dancehall the therapy room) create a monotony and lack of momentum; the drama is contained. But the color schemes affect the moods of some shots such as a whitewash over Goodman’s dying scene in the ambulance--and the dance scenes have that certain joie de vivre. Marilyn Hotchkiss might be the movie Miller was born to make but it just doesn’t quite reach the winner’s circle of timeless classics.