Veteran actress Angela Lansbury is convinced both her children would have died from drug overdoses if the family had not fled California for Ireland in the 1970s. The Murder, She Wrote star is mother to Anthony, 62, and Deirdre, 60, and both her offspring fell into drug use when they were caught up in the 'counterculture' movement of the 1960s.
By the end of the decade, Anthony was hooked on heroin and cocaine and Deirdre had become close to the controversial Manson Family cult, and in a desperate bid to rescue their family from the brink of oblivion, Lansbury and her husband Peter Shaw moved to County Cork in Ireland.
The actress is convinced the relocation helped to save the lives of both her children, telling Britain's Daily Mail, "It fills me with dread. Peter and I had no idea what had been going on. But then we had no experience of drugs. We didn't know the significance of finding a pipe in a drawer. Why would we? And when we did, we didn't know how to help them. Nor were there any experts back then who could offer advice to the parents of kids from good families who were using, and sometimes overdosing on, drugs.
"It was like an epidemic. Certainly, I have no doubt we would have lost one or both of our two if they hadn't been removed to a completely different milieu, the simplicity of life in Ireland. In the end we found a doctor who prescribed methadone, a heroin substitute, which helped with the withdrawal symptoms as Anthony and Deirdre were weaned off hard drugs. We were very, very lucky we spotted what was happening just in time."
Father and son Brendan Gleeson and Domhnall Gleeson are set to go head-to-head for the Best Actor prize at this year's (14) Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTAs). Gleeson senior has been nominated for his role as a troubled priest in Calvary, while his 30-year-old son is up for the same prize for his turn in Richard Curtis' romance About Time. They face competition from Ciaran Hinds (The Sea) and Andrew Scott (The Stag).
Calvary is also up for the Best Film trophy, alongside Byzantium, The Stag, Run & Jump and The Sea, while Saoirse Ronan (Byzantium), Antonia Campbell-Hughes (3096 Days), Jane McGrath (Black Ice) and Kelly Thornton (Life's A Breeze) will battle it out for Best Actress.
Big names make up the Best Supporting Actor category. Colin Farrell and Michael Fassbender are nominated for their respective roles in Saving Mr. Banks and 12 Years A Slave, alongside Edward MacLiam (Run & Jump) and Peter McDonald (The Stag).
Sinead Cusack (The Sea), Fionnula Flanagan (Life's A Breeze), Amy Huberman (The Stag) and Orla O'Rourke (Calvary) will compete for the Best Supporting Actress prize.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Dublin, Ireland on 5 April (14).
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Treading water at the very surface of RoboCop, there is an idea. A dense concept, ready and willing to provide no dearth of dissection for any eager student of philosophy, psychology, political science, physics — hell, any of the Ps. To simplify the idea on hand: What separates man from machine? It's a question that is not just teased by the basic premise of José Padilha's remake of the 1987 sci-fi staple, but asked outright by many of its main characters. And then never really worried about again.
We have principal parties on both sides of the ethical quandary that would place the security of our crime-ridden cities in the hands of automatons. Samuel L. Jackson plays a spitfire Bill O'Reilly who wonders why America hasn't lined its streets with high-efficiency officer droids. Zach Grenier, as a moralistic senator, gobbles his way through an opposition to the Pro-boCop movement. We hear lecture after lecture from pundits, politicians, business moguls (a money-hungry Michael Keaton heads the nefarious OmniCorp...) and scientists (...while his top doc Gary Oldman questions the nature of his assignments while poking at patients' brains and spouting diatribes about "free will"), all working their hardest to lay thematic groundwork. Each character insists that we're watching a movie about the distinction between human and artificial intelligence. That even with an active brain, no robot can understand what it means to have a heart. But when Prof. Oldman tempers his hysterical squawking and Samuel L. Hannity rolls his closing credits, we don't see these ideas taking life.
In earnest, the struggle of rehabilitated police officer Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) — nearly killed in the line of duty and turned thereafter into OmniCorp's prototype RoboCop — doesn't seem to enlist any of the questions that his aggravated peers have been asking. Murphy is transformed not just physically, but mentally — robbed of his decision-making ability and depleted of emotional brain chemicals — effectively losing himself in the process. But the journey we see take hold of Murphy is not one to reclaim his soul, although the movie touts it as such. It's really just one to become a better robot.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Meanwhile, RoboCop lays down its motives, and hard: Murphy's wife and son (Abbie Cornish and a puckish young John Paul Ruttan) lament the loss of Alex, condemning his dehumanization at the hands of Raymond Sellars' (Keaton) capitalistic experiments, and sobbing out some torrential pathos so you know just how deep this company is digging. Weaselly stooges (Jay Baruchel, Jennifer Ehle, and Jackie Earl Haley) line the OmniCorp roster with comical wickedness. Overseas, killer combat bots take down peaceful villages, unable to work empathetic judgment into their decision to destroy all deemed as "threats." And at the top, figures of power and money like Sellars and Pat Novak (Jackson) speak the loudest and harshest, literally justifying their agenda with a call for all naysayers to "stop whining." Clearly, RoboCop has something to say.
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And when it's devoted to its outrage, RoboCop is terrifically charming. The buzzing political world is just a tiny step closer to ridiculous than our own; the pitch meetings at OmniCorp are fun enough to provoke a ditching of all the material outside of the company walls. And one particular reference to The Wizard of Oz shows that the movie isn't above having fun with its admittedly silly premise. But it loses its magic when it steps away from goofy gimmicks and satirical monologues and heads back into the story. We don't see enough of Murphy grappling with the complicated balance between his conflicting organic and synthetic selves. In fact, we don't see enough "story" in Murphy at all. First, he's a dad and a cop. Then, he's a RoboCop. But can he also be a RoboDad? With all of its ranting and raving about the question, the film doesn't seem to concerned with actually figuring out the answer.
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Country superstar Garth Brooks has added a fourth date to his sell-out comeback concerts in Ireland due to huge demand. The Red Solo Cup hitmaker announced last month (Jan14) that he is warming up for his upcoming world tour return with three dates at Dublin's Croke Park in July (14).
The gigs mark his first performances in the country since 1997, and his first major shows since he stepped out of the spotlight in 2001, and after the 200,000 tickets available sold out in less than an hour on Thursday (30Jan14), Brooks has added another date.
Remarking on troubles for fans in the city of Limerick, where cops had to be called following skirmishes outside a ticket-selling venue, Brooks says, "I heard there may have been some difficulties in Limerick.
"We're going to make sure that those people who want the tickets, get the tickets. They were sweet enough to stand in line."
Peter Aiken, from the event's organiser Aiken Promotions, adds, "It is hard to believe that an artist could play four nights in a row at Croke Park, but thanks to the co-operation of Croke Park and the huge support of the fans we are delighted to be announcing today this fourth date for The Garth Brooks Comeback Special Event."
Brooks will follow up the shows with a world tour, which is slated to kick off in the autumn (14).
The ashes of acting icon Peter O'toole are set to be scattered in his birthplace of Connemara, Ireland. The Lawrence of Arabia star died on 14 December (13), aged 81, and he was mourned at a funeral in London last weekend (21Dec13).
His body was cremated and now his daughter, Kate, reveals they will be taking his remains back to Connemara to a final resting place, according to Herald.ie.
She says, "We're bringing him home. It's what he would have wanted."
The ashes will be scattered near O'Toole's hilltop retreat, which he purchased in the 1970s and boasts views of the Eyrephort peninsula.
O'Toole was born in Connemara, but his birth was registered in Leeds, England, where his parents moved to when he was a baby.
British actress Lena Headey has reached a divorce settlement with her estranged husband, two years after separating. The Game of Thrones star split from musician Peter Loughran in 2011 after four years of marriage and they have been fighting over finances and custody of their three-year-old son Wylie ever since.
However, they have since signed off on a divorce deal which grants Headey permission to take young Wylie with her while shooting the hit fantasy TV series on location in places like Ireland and Croatia, although she must also foot the cost for Loughran to accompany them and hand him $1,000 (£670) a month in expenses during the trip.
As part of the agreement, both parents will download an app on their cell phones to ban them from receiving or sending texts or emails while driving for the safety of their only child, while they will also make use of another smartphone app that will block them from using the Internet while on the road, reports TMZ.com.
Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin's daughter Ireland has apologised after she angered fans by donning Native American dress while preparing for Halloween. The 18-year-old model took to Twitter.com to show fans possible costumes for the annual celebration on Thursday (30Oct13), with one option being the Indian Chief from Disney's Peter Pan.
After uploading a snap of her wearing a feathered headdress and sporting coloured stripes on her cheeks, Baldwin faced a backlash from some followers, who accused her of racism.
She went on to apologise for causing any offence, but angrily lashed out at critics who got personal.
She writes, "Ok everyone. I apologize if my Halloween costume offended you and your culture PERSONALLY. However, I don't apologize to a majority... Of you who thought it was necessary to return the favor with a lot of hateful mentions. A Native American costume was AN OPTION at a Halloween store. I respect all cultures and I would never mock one.
"I am Cherokee Indian and I am also well aware of what many tribes encountered in the past. And for some of you pathetic morons to bring my family and other matters into the discussion, you are all sad excuses for human beings. People make mistakes, everyone. I made a mistake and I apologize if it offended."
The blonde beauty's actress mother reportedly has Cherokee Native American ancestry.
The 50th anniversary episode of cult sci-fi show Doctor Who will be beamed into cinemas around the world for special 3D screenings as it airs on TV in Britain. BBC Worldwide bosses have announced that fans will be able to watch the eagerly awaited episode, titled The Day Of The Doctor, on the big screen in the U.K., Ireland, the U.S., Canada, Germany and Russia on 23 November (13).
Due to time constraints, fans in Australia and New Zealand will get to see the 3D experience the following day (24Nov13).
The new season of Doctor Who will be current TV time lord Matt Smith's last - he will be replaced by Peter Capaldi.
Rockers U2 and Hollywood actor Stephen Rea turned out in Dublin, Ireland on Monday (02Sep13) to pay their respects to award-winning poet Seamus Heaney at his funeral. Singer Bono was joined by his wife Ali Hewson and bandmates The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen, Jr. at the memorial service.
Other dignitaries in attendance included Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, Irish President Michael D. Higgins, and Paddy Moloney, frontman of folk rockers The Chieftans.
During the service at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook, Dublin, a book of Heaney's work was taken to the altar, and his fellow writer Peter Fallon read Heaney's poem The Given Note.
Heaney, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995, died in a hospital on Friday (30Aug13) after he was admitted for treatment following a fall.
He will be buried later on Monday in his native Bellaghy, Northern Ireland.
Scottish actor/comic Billy Connolly struggled through a stand-up show in Northern Ireland over the weekend (20-21Apr13) as he battled a "terrifying" bout of memory loss. The Gulliver's Travels star suffered a series of mental blanks while he was on stage at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast on Saturday (20Apr13), and repeatedly apologised to the audience as he forgot the punchlines to jokes and lost his train of thought.
According to Scotland's Daily Record, Connolly, 70, told the crowd, "This is f**king terrifying. I feel like I'm going out of my mind... This is f**king awful. I can't remember what I was saying. I get wee (small) gaps and just stop."
Connolly helped keep himself on track by asking audience members to give him prompts, and he received cheers of support and encouragement from the crowd.
Gig-goer Peter Sullivan tells the newspaper, "He's a comedy hero and it was obvious from the audience on Saturday night that they'd forgive him just about anything and that includes his memory loss. It didn't do anything to affect the show.
"People seemed very sympathetic when he had those attacks on stage and the audience just wanted him to keep going. They sort of carried him to the next joke and punchline. It was brilliant."