David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas consists of six stories set in various periods between 1850 and a time far into Earth's post-apocalyptic future. Each segment lives on its own the previous first person account picked up and read by a character in its successor creating connective tissue between each moment in time. The various stories remain intact for Tom Tykwer's (Run Lola Run) Lana Wachowski's and Andy Wachowski's (The Matrix) film adaptation which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. The massive change comes from the interweaving of the book's parts into one three-hour saga — a move that elevates the material and transforms Cloud Atlas in to a work of epic proportions.
Don't be turned off by the runtime — Cloud Atlas moves at lightning pace as it cuts back and forth between its various threads: an American notary sailing the Pacific; a budding musician tasked with transcribing the hummings of an accomplished 1930's composer; a '70s-era investigatory journalist who uncovers a nefarious plot tied to the local nuclear power plant; a book publisher in 2012 who goes on the run from gangsters only to be incarcerated in a nursing home; Sonmi~451 a clone in Neo Seoul who takes on the oppressive government that enslaves her; and a primitive human from the future who teams with one of the few remaining technologically-advanced Earthlings in order to survive. Dense but so was the unfamiliar world of The Matrix. Cloud Atlas has more moving parts than the Wachowskis' seminal sci-fi flick but with additional ambition to boot. Every second is a sight to behold.
The members of the directing trio are known for their visual prowess but Cloud Atlas is a movie about juxtaposition. The art of editing is normally a seamless one — unless someone is really into the craft the cutting of a film is rarely a post-viewing talking point — but Cloud Atlas turns the editor into one of the cast members an obvious player who ties the film together with brilliant cross-cutting and overlapping dialogue. Timothy Cavendish the elderly publisher could be musing on his need to escape and the film will wander to the events of Sonmi~451 or the tortured music apprentice Robert Frobisher also feeling the impulse to run. The details of each world seep into one another but the real joy comes from watching each carefully selected scene fall into place. You never feel lost in Cloud Atlas even when Tykwer and the Wachowskis have infused three action sequences — a gritty car chase in the '70s a kinetic chase through Neo Seoul and a foot race through the forests of future millennia — into one extended set piece. This is a unified film with distinct parts echoing the themes of human interconnectivity.
The biggest treat is watching Cloud Atlas' ensemble tackle the diverse array of characters sprinkled into the stories. No film in recent memory has afforded a cast this type of opportunity yet another form of juxtaposition that wows. Within a few seconds Tom Hanks will go from near-neanderthal to British gangster to wily 19th century doctor. Halle Berry Hugh Grant Jim Sturgess Jim Broadbent Ben Whishaw Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon play the same game taking on roles of different sexes races and the like. (Weaving as an evil nurse returning to his Priscilla Queen of the Desert cross-dressing roots is mind-blowing.) The cast's dedication to inhabiting their roles on every level helps us quickly understand the worlds. We know it's Halle Berry behind the fair skinned wife of the lunatic composer but she's never playing Halle Berry. Even when the actors are playing variations on themselves they're glowing with the film's overall epic feel. Jim Broadbent's wickedly funny modern segment a Tykwer creation that packs a particularly German sense of humor is on a smaller scale than the rest of the film but the actor never dials it down. Every story character and scene in Cloud Atlas commits to a style. That diversity keeps the swirling maelstrom of a movie in check.
Cloud Atlas poses big questions without losing track of its human element the characters at the heart of each story. A slower moment or two may have helped the Wachowskis' and Tykwer's film to hit a powerful emotional chord but the finished product still proves mainstream movies can ask questions while laying over explosive action scenes. This year there won't be a bigger movie in terms of scope in terms of ideas and in terms of heart than Cloud Atlas.
What's so controversial about a mother and her son appearing on a magazine cover? Well, when the boy is three and standing on a chair so he can breastfeed, it tends to get people talking. The latest Time magazine cover has stirred up a massive controversy on motherhood and breasfeeding, and celebrities are weighing in on Twitter.
Some took to the site to defend attachment parenting, the subject of the cover story. Mayim Bialik, who's the most well-known advocate of the parenting style, says she's been inundated with interview requests and wrote, "i am going to bat about this TIME cover photo for all of the amazing women who helped me be the mother i was..." Alyssa Milano also spoke out against the cover choice, writing, "@Time, no! You missed the mark! You're supposed to be making it easier for breastfeeding moms. Your cover is exploitive & extreme."
Another famous figure used the cover to promote his own unrelated agenda. Rush Limbaugh said, "Improving Time's cover: Replace the mother with a Statue of Liberty... and you've got the Obama platform."
Of course, comedians couldn't resist the urge to mock the boob-related controversy. Dane Cook said, "Time Magazine's cover is pretty ballsy or t***tsy. The kid looks nourished. Wonder if they call that the yum yum chair." The Venture Bros.' James Urbaniak added, "I'm just glad the blindfolded woman on the Newsweek cover isn't able to see the woman breastfeeding the 3-year-old on the Time cover." And Jen Kirkman said, "You think TIME is controversial? I will be on the cover of Cat Fancy next month 'breast feeding' Marky Mark."
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Exactly what percentage of your private area has to be covered in order to make it past YouTube's censors? Allow Kate Upton to demonstrate!
Yesterday the video site temporarily removed this clip of the Sports Illustrated model dancing to Rej3ctz’s “Cat Daddy” at the behest of photographer Terry Richardson. However, today the video was back up with only a mild content warning regarding her two sizes too small bikini. “With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call,” said a YouTube spokeswoman. “When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it.”
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Kate Upton's Nude New Cover
If there are two people who don't need any more publicity it's Justin Bieber and Ryan Seacrest, yet the duo have set out to gain even more YouTube hits.
To push Seacrest over 100 million views on YouTube the pair attempted to make the "Ultimate Viral Video." Bieber plus puppies, babies, and Kathy Griffin has the makings of a viral hit, but so far they've fallen a bit short of their mark with only 15,000 views.
Clearly, the video needs a bit of tweaking. Next time they should go for cats, babies biting people's fingers, and a special appearance by Rick Astley.
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Since making his mark as the most musically inclined member of the SNL cast, Andy Samberg has become the Adam Sandler for a (slightly) younger generation. Therefore, it's fitting that in their new movie That's My Boy, Samberg plays the Sandler's son — though he's only 13 years younger than his hard partying dad.
Obviously, the premise raises a few questions, and the That's My Boy duo are prepared to answer them. To celebrate Sandler reaching 30 million friend on Facebook, he and his co-star are sitting down for a live Facebook chat this afternoon. Check the viewer below at 2 PM Pacific / 5 PM Eastern to see their sure to be hilarious video chat.
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Rihanna has a history of snapping at reporters who pry into her personal life, but on Thursday, she actually wound up storming out of an interview when asked a rather vague question about her love life.
On the Australian morning show Sunrise, Rihanna was asked about what it's like to be linked to another celebrity when you barely even know them. "Very frustrating," RiRi shot back. "Almost as frustrating as being asked about it." The interviewer tried to come back with some flattering comments about what a huge star she's become, but their talk ended "abruptly."
Rihanna has been sick this week, so it's likely she had even less tolerance than usual for the rumors about Ashton Kutcher and Chris Brown. Stars travel with a team of people who are supposed to prevent these awkward encounters, but of course they can't stop a rogue interviewer from asking about topics that are "off-limits." Sometimes, all a celebrity can do is get up and walk away — and Rihanna has now joined the ranks of these expert question dodgers.
Here's a sure-fire way to have a short celebrity interview: Ask the star about his wife's sex tape... with another man. Last summer Univision's news show El Gordo Y Flaca asked Marc Anthony about the nude video Jennifer Lopez allegedly made with her ex-husband Ojani Noa. He told the reporter, "Next question," six times, then stood up and left the room when she wouldn't move on to a different topic.
In 2011, Sarah Ferguson was forced to watch undercover footage of herself offering to sell access to her ex-husband Prince Andrew during an interview with Australia's 60 Minutes. The Duchess stormed out, demanded that producers "delete that bit," then returned to give awkward answers to the rest of the questions.
When Mark Lawson of BBC Radio 4 suggested there were "hints of Irish" in Russell Crowe's Robin Hood accent, he responded, “You’ve got dead ears, mate. You’ve seriously got dead ears if you think that’s an Irish accent. I’m just a little dumbfounded that you could possibly find any Irish in that character. That’s kind of ridiculous.” When Lawson pushed the point, Crowe snapped, "I was going for Italian. Missed it?" He then walked out brandishing his cigarette. Hopefully Crowe got out all of his aggression and refrained from hurling something at his dialect coach.
Yes, even the nicest celebrity alive has abandoned an interview — though she did it in the sweetest way possible. Shortly after the infamous Kanye West incident at the VMAs, Swift did a phone interview with a Tampa Bay, FL radio station. Though she'd already discussed the debacle on The View, Swift politely answered the first few Kanye-related questions, though she made it clear she wanted to move on. "I really would appreciate if we could talk about something else,” Swift said. “Because I've asked you three times now. I’m trying to be nice about it. Because it’s not something that we need to spend this whole interview talking about." When the D.J. continued talking Kanye, Swift's publicist interrupted and informed him she'd moved on to another call.
Kat Von D
Shortly after her breakup with Jesse James, Kat Von D stormed off the set of Good Day L.A. seconds before an interview about her show L.A. Ink. Supposedly, she was upset about the anchors mentioning her breakup, though she'd approved the clip from her show which featured her revealing a tattoo of James' childhood photo. She tweeted later, "Dear GoodDayLA, thanks for the waste of a perfectly good morning. Lack of compassion n respect for each other never fails to disappoint me."
During an interview with Good Morning America last summer, anchor Dan Harris started asking Paris Hilton about her reality show's dismal ratings and the possibility that she'd been usurped by (ex-BFF) Kim Kardashian. "Do you ever worry about your moment having passed?" he asked. And, rather than answering, Hilton looked at her publicist and walked off the set. After composing herself, Hilton did allow Harris to ask some hard-hitting questions... about her two-story dog house, then ended the interview with a hug.
[E!, Daily Mail, Telegraph, EW, People, MyFoxLA]
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If you've been doing the sad Charlie Brown walk since Arrested Development went off the air, it's time to buck up. The miniseries and film are really happening, and according to Will Arnett, shooting will start this summer.
Arnett let the news slip on Thursday during a Today Show interview about his NBC series Up All Night. He revealed, "We're about to start making the Arrested Development miniseries and then [move] right into the movie this summer." (In other news sure to excite comedy fans, his co-star Christina Applegate said she'd "love to" reprise her role in Anchorman 2.
Earlier, Netflix said the miniseries would air in early 2013, followed by the feature film. While the project has been put off several times, it's now safe to mark your calendars for the final countdown.
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Supposedly Hollywood loves superheros, and yet the actors who play them are routinely put through hell. For starters, many of the costumes that look intimidating in the pages of a comic book are absolutely ridiculous in real life. It's incredible that Lynda Carter managed to become a '70s sex symbol while wearing what's essentially a star-spangled diaper and a sparkly tube top, and George Clooney will be fielding questions about Batman's nipples for the rest of his life. However, in addition to potentially career-ending humiliation, the actors who play superheroes face an even bigger obstacle: Wickedly uncomfortable costumes.
Andrew Garfield is the latest actor to endure a torturous shoot as a masked crime fighter. On Ellen, Garfield revealed that his Amazing Spider-Man suit is so tight that he was forced to go commando. Plus, "It's made of something that is designed to make you irritated," he said "I don't know the material name, but that's the description underneath."
Garfield isn't the only superhero suffering these days. On the set of The Avengers, Mark Ruffalo described the indignities of wearing a motion capture suit to play the Hulk. "It was smoky, it was hell and I felt really uncomfortable," he explained. "I’m not well-endowed, and those suits don’t really show you off in the most…"
Scarlett Johansson might have had it even worse. Like Garfield, nothing came between her and the unitard. "They spray paint her suit on in the morning," Ruffalo said. "But she looks good in it." While CGI has advanced leaps and bounds in the past few decades, it seems stepping into superhero garb is as embarrassing as ever for the mere mortals who play them. Here are a few other stars who've suffered a very private kind of pain for their craft. Hopefully having their own action figure (not to mention the hefty paycheck) made it all worth it! Michelle Pfeiffer, Catwoman in Batman Returns In 1996, Michelle Pfeiffer was asked if she had any advice for George Clooney about playing Batman. "I said, 'Make sure they give you a trapdoor in your Batsuit,'" she answered. "They get you in this contraption, and in order to go to the bathroom you have to completely disrobe, and it takes an hour to get it back on." Malin Akerman, Silk Spectre in The Watchmen While Akerman wore one of the skimpiest costumes in comic book history, like Pfeiffer, she encountered some bathroom trouble. "You dread it more and more every day. The first day, it’s exciting and it’s fun, and by the end of it you just want to burn the thing," she said. "In many different ways, they were all uncomfortable. Mine was made out of latex. It’s always freezing, and they were always hot because they had the foam. It would have been [difficult to go to the bathroom], but I figured out the ‘slide to the side’ technique, because there’s no other way. Sorry to get so graphic, but it’s a graphic novel." George Clooney, Batman in Batman and Robin The nipples weren't the only thing about the Batsuit that bothered Clooney — he couldn't even stand up without assistance. “If Batman had to wear the suit that you have to wear, everyone would die,” Clooney joked. “You’re laying on a board and you can’t move and they just prop you up and you’re like, ‘I’m Batman.’” Rebecca Romijn, Mystique in X2: X-Men United Though Rebecca Romijn didn't have to deal with layers of rubber and spandex, she endured with a different kind of discomfort. While playing Mystique, Romijn was essentially nude, aside from a bit of body paint. "I've been in denial about the nudity: 'No, no, I'm VERY covered up,'" she explained. "I kept checking with the rest of the cast, 'You guys, I'm totally covered up, right?' And they'd tell me, 'No, Rebecca, you're naked.' I'm hoping by X3 they can do it digitally. Maybe I won't even have to show up [laughs]. One time, [director] Bryan [Singer] opened the tent where I was literally bent over a chair getting my crack touched up. And I was like, 'Don't come in here, Bryan! You don't need to see this.'" [E!, Huffington Post, XFinity, The Improper, EW]
Between That '70s Show and Two and a Half Men we know Ashton Kutcher can do comedy, but he isn't known for his dramatic ability. However, that may be about to change. Kutcher has signed on to play the title role in Jobs, an independent biopic on Steve Jobs' rise from California hippie to Apple CEO.
Kutcher, who closely resembles Jobs, is set to start filming when Two and a Half Men goes on hiatus in May. Five Star Institute's Mark Hulme is producing Jobs and hopes to get it into theaters before Sony's Jobs biopic, which is based on Walter Isaacson's best-selling biography. Sony's film has yet to be cast, so Noah Wyle, who played the CEO in the TV movie Pirates of Silicon Valley, still has a shot at reprising the role.
Next weekend audiences will return to theaters to see Titanic, and it's easy to understand why — unless you're one of the film's stars, that is. While the film may conjure up memories of developing a teenage crush on Jack and weeping as Rose promises to "never let go," all Kate Winslet sees is a young actress turning in a rather shoddy performance. "Every single scene, I’m like ‘Really, really? You did it like that? Oh my God,'" she says. “Even my American accent, I can’t listen to it. It’s awful. Hopefully it’s so much better now. It sounds terribly self indulgent but actors do tend to be very self-critical. I have a hard time watching any of my performances, but watching Titanic I was just like, ‘Oh God, I want to do that again.’”
According to director James Cameron, Leonardo DiCaprio feels the same way. "I didn't show him the whole film but I showed him 18 minutes of it a few months ago," Cameron explains. "It was a good reunion for us but great to watch his reaction. He couldn't believe it. He said to me, 'I'm such a young punk. Look at me.' He was practically crawling under the seat. It was a good moment."
Winslet and DiCaprio aren't the only actors who find their early work cringe-inducing. Here's a look at the other actors who can't stand their most iconic roles.
Though Leonard Nimoy eventually embraced the role of Spock, he wrote the book on this subject — literally. Nimoy thought he'd finally be able to move past the Spock role when Star Trek was canceled in 1969, but when the show became a cult hit, he found he couldn't escape the pointy-eared Vulcan. He lamented in the 1975 book I Am Not Spock, "I went through a definite identity crisis. The question was whether to embrace Mr. Spock or to fight the onslaught of public interest. I realize now that I really had no choice in the matter. Spock and Star Trek were very much alive and there wasn’t anything that I could do to change that." Nimoy initially refused to appear in a Star Trek TV reboot and insisted on having Spock killed off in the films. Later he came to terms his sci-fi star status, appeared as Mr. Spock in multiple projects, and penned the appropriately-titled book I Am Spock.
The Cast of Star Wars
As for the other major sci-fi franchise, practically all of the actors in Star Wars wound up hating the films. Carrie Fisher recalls some Princess Leia horror stories in her autobiography Wishful Drinking, writing, "George Lucas ruined my life." Alec Guinness hated the character of Obi-Wan so much that he pushed to have him killed off, and once told a child who said he'd seen the films 100 times that he'd only give him an autograph if he promised never to watch them again.
The Men Who Wore Batman's Cowl
George Clooney was so mortified by Batman & Robin that he's jokingly offered to refund the ticket price to anyone who saw the film in the theater. Christian Bale is pleased with his work as the caped crusader (despite his unintentionally hilarious Batman voice), but is no fan of the beloved musical Newsies. "At 17, you want to be taken very seriously — you don't want to be doing a musical,'' he says. ''Time healed those wounds. But it took a while.''
Though it didn't stop him from appearing in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Shia LaBeouf admits that the second Transformers installment was an embarrassment. "There are a lot of people that liked the second one, but I hated it. I just didn't enjoy it," he says. "I thought we missed the mark. I got confused, I couldn't see what the f*ck was going on, you know with certain robots... I couldn't decipher what was happening. There were storyline paths that I just wouldn't have gone down."
Joey Potter fans definitely weren't wild about Michelle Williams' character Jen Lindley on Dawson's Creek, and years later she admitted she thought the wildly popular teen drama was cheesy. "I said to a friend being on Dawson's Creek was kind of like being a mobster," she said. "You set up a shop selling pizza but in the back you're laundering money. You're doing one thing in plain sight and secretly plotting something else. I was plotting my tastes, my interests, my beliefs and hopes for what I could be."
So far the stars of Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games still seem to love the roles that launched them into megastardom, but don't be surprised if you hear Emma Watson bashing Hermione Granger after she's picked up a few Oscars.
[Movieline, StarTrekdom, Cracked, EW, Worst Previews, Huffington Post, Us]