Rocker Neil Young is putting his marriage woes behind him to join Pearl Jam and Soundgarden at the annual Bridge School Benefit concert he started with his estranged wife Pegi in 1986. Florence and the Machine, Tom Jones, Norah Jones and Band of Horses will also perform, and Young's wife Pegi will hit the stage with her band the Survivors.
Young stunned fans last month (Aug14) when it was revealed he had filed for divorce after 36 years of marriage.
The rocker has since been linked to actress Daryl Hannah.
Young has been separated from Pegi since April (14) although they have agreed to continue supporting their adult son Ben, who suffers from cerebral palsy.
The Youngs held the first Bridge School Benefit concert in October, 1986. This year's event will be held at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in California on 25 and 26 October (14).
Bryan Cranston, Neil Patrick Harris, Chris O'dowd and Stephen Fry are among the big-name TV stars nominated for top prizes at the 2014 Tony Awards. Breaking Bad star Cranston is up for the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play trophy for his turn in All The Way, which is also nominated in the Best Play category at the awards, held to honour the year's best Broadway performances.
He will compete with Irish actor O'Dowd (Of Mice and Men), Brit Mark Rylance (Richard III), Tony Shalhoub (Act One), and Samuel Barnett (Twelfth Night), who are all nominated in the same category.
Samuel L. Jackson's wife LaTanya Richardson is nominated in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play category for her part in A Raisin in the Sun, but she will have to fend off competition from Tyne Daly (Mothers and Sons), Cherry Jones (The Glass Menagerie), Audra McDonald (Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill), and Estelle Parsons (The Velocity of Autumn).
How I Met Your Mother star Harris leads the nominations in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical category for his flamboyant turn in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, while singer Idina Menzel is nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for her part in If/Then.
Beloved British actor Stephen Fry scooped a nod in the Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play category for Twelfth Night, but his fellow Brits Daniel Radcliffe, Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart were all overlooked despite giving acclaimed performances on the Great White Way.
Fry took to his Twitter.com page on Tuesday (29Apr14) to share his excitement at being nominated, writing, "Oh my goodness, apparently I've been nominated for a Tony award. I can't believe it. How rippingly thrilling."
The winners will be revealed at the 68th annual Tony Awards on 8 June (14) at New York's Radio City Music Hall.
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro have urged producers of the Bond movie franchise to let them record the next film's theme tune. Frontman Simon Neil has always dreamed of following in the footsteps of stars including Sir Tom Jones, Madonna and Sir Paul McCartney by recording a song for a 007 film.
The Mountains singer hopes his band will be tapped to work on the follow-up to 2012's Skyfall, which featured an Oscar-winning song by Adele.
He tells Britain's Daily Star newspaper, "Biffy for Bond, yes - I will follow you to the ends of the earth, sir. I'd love that. I think we've got a couple of songs in our back catalogue that could have suited but that is most songwriters' dream, isn't it, to write for Bond? You get given the key it has to be in, I believe, and certain motifs. It's such a dramatic theme that I think it would really suit us."
U.S. comedy veteran Sid Caesar has died at the age of 91. The TV icon's friend and collaborator Carl Reiner and biographer Eddy Friedfeld confirmed the sad news on Wednesday (12Feb14).
Caesar starred on beloved 1950s TV variety show Your Show of Shows and went on to host Caesar's Hour, and he also appeared in films like It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Airport 1975, Silent Movie and Grease.
Flowers will be placed on his Walk of Fame star in Hollywood on Wednesday afternoon.
Newsman Larry King was among the first celebrities to pay tribute to Caesar on his Twitter.com page on Wednesday (12Feb14). He wrote, "Sorry to learn about the passing of Sid Caesar-a dear friend, a comic genius & an American classic. There will never be another one like him."
Whoopi Goldberg added her tribute on Twitter too, writing, "Life...doing her thing, another great has passed Sid Caesar. Funny man We honored him at the very first Comic Relief. RIP turn turn turn", while Arnold Schwarzenegger posted, "We've lost one of the greats. Sid Caesar was a fantastic comedian and entertainer. His quadlingual schtick was always a hit. We'll miss him."
The son of Jewish immigrants, Isaac Sidney Caesar began his career in the late 1940s and won his first Emmy Award in 1952 as a regular on Your Show of Shows. He was also Emmy nominated for his appearances in Mad About You and Love & War.
Caesar was also a theatre veteran and earned a Tony Award nomination for his multiple roles in 1962 Broadway musical Little Me, based on the book by Neil Simon. He later starred alongside Carol Channing and Tommy Lee Jones in a Broadway production of Four on a Garden in 1971, and also performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in the late 1980s.
He was also an accomplished saxophonist and studied the instrument at the Julliard School of Music before becoming an actor/comedian.
He was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960 and received a career achievement award from the Television Critics Association in 2001. He was also voted America's Best Comedian by Motion Picture Daily's TV poll in 1951 and 1952 and won a Sylvania Award in 1958 for his work in television.
Caesar's autobiographies, Where Have I Been and Caesar's Hours, both chronicled his struggle to overcome alcoholism and drug addictions.
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
Costume designer Michael O’Connor has been to the Oscars twice, winning for The Duchess in 2009, and again as a nominee for Jane Eyre in 2011. He was recently nominated a third time for his work in The Invisible Woman. In this look into the nominated costume design from the film, we feature four key sketches from O’Connor’s vision and asked him to take us through his process. To read the full story, check it out at Studio System News!
Tribeca Film via Everett Collection
For a film that involves a love triangle, mental illness, a Bohemian colony of free-spirits, an impending war and several important historical figures, the most exciting elements of Summer in February are the stunning shots of the English country and Cornish seaside. The rest of the film never quite lives up to the crashing waves and sun-dappled meadows that are used to bookend the scenes, as the entertaining opening never manages to coalesce into a story that lives up the the cinematography, let alone the lives of the people that inspired it.
Set in an Edwardian artist’s colony in Cornwall, Summer in February tells the story of A.J. Munnings (Dominic Cooper), who went on to become one of the most famous painters of his day and head of the Royal Academy of Art, his best friend, estate agent and part-time soldier Gilbert Evans (Dan Stevens), and the woman whom they both loved, aspiring artist Florence Carter-Wood (Emily Browning). Her marriage to Munnings was an extremely unhappy one, and she attempted suicide on their honeymoon, before killing herself in 1914. According to his journals, Gilbert and Florence were madly in love, although her marriage and his service in the army kept them apart.
When the film begins, Munnings is the center of attention in the Lamorna Artist's Colony, dramatically reciting poetry at parties and charming his way out of his bar tab while everyone around him proclaims him to be a genius. When he’s not drinking or painting, he’s riding horses with Gilbert, who has the relatively thankless task of keeping this group of Bohemians in line. Their idyllic existence is disrupted by the arrival of Florence, who has run away from her overbearing father and the fiancé he had picked out for her in order to become a painter.
Stevens and Browning both start the film solidly, with enough chemistry between them to make their infatuation interesting. He manages to give Gilbert enough dependable charm to win over both Florence and the audience, and she presents Florence as someone with enough spunk and self-possession to go after what she wants. Browning’s scenes with Munnings are equally entertaining in the first third of the film, as she can clearly see straight through all of his bravado and he is intrigued by her and how difficult she is to impress. Unfortunately, while the basis of the love triangle is well-established and entertaining, it takes a sudden turn into nothing with a surprise proposal from Munnings.
Neither the film nor Browning ever make it clear why Florence accepts his proposal, especially when they have both taken great pains to establish that she doesn’t care much for him. But once she does, the films stalls, and both Stevens and Browning spend the rest of the film doing little more than staring moodily and longingly at the people around them. The real-life Florence was plagued by depression and mental instability, but neither the film nor Browning’s performance ever manage to do more than give the subtlest hint at that darkness. On a few occasions, Browning does manage to portray a genuine anguish, but rather than producing any sympathy from the audience, it simply conjures up images of a different film, one that focused more on Florence, and the difficulties of being a woman with a mental illness at a time when both were ignored or misunderstood.
Stevens is fine, and Gilbert starts out with the same kind of good-guy appeal the won the heart of Mary Crawley and Downton Abbey fans the world over. However, once the film stalls, so does his performance, and he quickly drops everything that made the character attractive or interesting in favor of longing looks and long stretches of inactivity. He does portray a convincing amount of adoration for Florence, although that's about the only real emotion that Gilbert expresses for the vast majority of the film, and even during his love scene, he never manages to give him any amount of passion.
Cooper does his best with what he’s given, and tries his hardest to imbue the film with some substance and drama. His Munnings is by turns charming, brash, and brooding, the kind of person who has been told all of their life that they are special, and believes it. He even manages to give the character some depth, and even though he and Browning have very little chemistry, he manages to convey a genuine affection for her. It’s a shame that Munnings becomes such a deeply unlikable character, because Cooper is the only thing giving Summer in February a jolt of life – even if it comes via bursts of thinly-explained hostility. It's hard to watch just how hard he's working to connect with his co-stars and add some excitement to a lifeless script and not wish that he had a better film to show off his talents in.
Unfortunately, by the time Florence and Gilbert are finally spurred into activity, the film has dragged on for so long that you’re no longer invested in the characters, their pain, or their love story, even if you want to be. Which is the real disappointment of Summer in February; underneath the stalled plot and the relatively one-note acting, there are glimmers of a fascinating and compelling story that’s never allowed to come to the forefront.
Summit via Everett Collection
You can imagine that Renny Harlin, director and one quadrant of the writing team for The Legend of Hercules, began his pitch as such: We'll start with a war, because lots of these things start with wars. It feels like this was the principal maxim behind a good deal of the creative choices in this latest update of the Ancient Greek myth. There are always horse riding scenes. There are generally arena battles. There are CGI lions, when you can afford 'em. Oh, and you've got to have a romantic couple canoodling at the base of a waterfall. Weaving them all together cohesively would be a waste of time — just let the common threads take form in a remarkably shouldered Kellan Lutz and action sequences that transubstantiate abjectly to and fro slow-motion.
But pervading through Lutz's shirtless smirks and accent continuity that calls envy from Johnny Depp's Alice in Wonderland performance is the obtrusive lack of thought that went into this picture. A proverbial grab bag of "the basics" of the classic epic genre, The Legend of Hercules boasts familiarity over originality. So much so that the filmmakers didn't stop at Hercules mythology... they barely started with it, in fact. There's more Jesus Christ in the character than there is the Ancient Greek demigod, with no lack of Gladiator to keep things moreover relevant. But even more outrageous than the void of imagination in the construct of Hercules' world is its script — a piece so comically dim, thin, and idiotic that you will laugh. So we can't exactly say this is a totally joyless time at the movies.
Summit via Everett Collection
Surrounding Hercules, a character whose arc takes him from being a nice enough strong dude to a nice enough strong dude who kills people and finally owns up to his fate — "Okay, fine, yes, I guess I'm a god" — are a legion of characters whose makeup and motivations are instituted in their opening scenes and never change thereafter. His de facto stepdad, the teeth-baring King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins), despises the boy for being a living tribute to his supernatural cuckolding; his half-brother Iphicles (Liam Garrigan) is the archetypical scheming, neutered, jealous brother figure right down to the facial scar. The dialogue this family of mongoloids tosses around is stunningly brainless, ditto their character beats. Hercules can't understand how a mystical stranger knows his identity, even though he just moments ago exited a packed coliseum chanting his name. Iphicles defies villainy and menace when he threatens his betrothed Hebe (Gaia Weiss), long in love with Hercules, with the terrible fate of "accepting [him] and loving [their] children equally!" And the dad... jeez, that guy must really be proud of his teeth.
With no artistic feat successfully accomplished (or even braved, really) by this movie, we can at the very least call it inoffensive. There is nothing in The Legend of Hercules with which to take issue beyond its dismal intellect, and in a genre especially prone to regressive activity, this is a noteworthy triumph. But you might not have enough energy by the end to award The Legend of Hercules with this superlative. Either because you'll have laughed yourself into a coma at the film's idiocy, or because you'll have lost all strength trying to fend it off.
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Legendary singer Neil Young is set to be feted by officials at the Recording Academy Producers and Engineers Wing. The revered musician will follow in the footsteps of previous honourees Jimmy Iovine and Quincy Jones in January (14), when he is celebrated for his "commitment to excellence and ongoing support for the art and craft of recorded music".
A statement from Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow reads, "It is with great honour that we pay tribute to a musical icon who has been tireless in his own efforts to draw attention to the importance of hearing music as the artists who created it intended, and who has continually set precedents of excellence within the music community.
"The contributions of Neil Young are innumerable, as is his incomparable body of work, and we look forward to an unforgettable evening with this legendary artist."
The seventh annual ceremony will take place at Village Studios in Los Angeles in the week leading up to the 2014 Grammy Awards.
This will not be the first time Young has been feted by the Recording Academy - in 2010 he was named 2010 MusiCares Person of the Year and honoured with a tribute concert featuring performances by Elton John, Wilco and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Meryl Streep is set to add a Monte Cristo Award to her collection of accolades and prizes after officials at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center named her the 14th recipient of the prestigious honour. The movie star's longtime friend and fellow Yale University classmate Joe Grifasi will present her with the award in recognition of her "monumental achievements and contributions to the American theatre" at a gala to be held in New York in April (14).
The actress says, "The O'Neill is a place unlike any other. I'm honoured to receive this award from an organisation so vital to the discovery and support of new artists and work for the American theatre."
A former O'Neill player, Streep admits she still has fond memories of working there right at the beginning of her acting career: "That summer we were all engaged with full hearted passion in sometimes the silliest of exercises, and all in service of finding that wiggly, elusive creature: a new play. The process was so condensed that I learned a sort of invaluable swiftness of decision making, out of necessity.
"The choices could not be laboured over, and that, for certain types of thinking actors, is a gift of exigency. You had to, like your fifth grade teacher said, in multiple choice questions, just go with your first instinct, don't worry it to death. That's what actors did at the O'Neill, and with full blown commitment.
"Like jumping off the platform onto the swinging trapeze... don't hesitate. It's a good lesson. One I've carried with me my whole life."
The Monte Cristo Award is presented to a prominent theatre artist each year in recognition of "a distinguished career exemplifying Eugene O'Neill's pioneering spirit, unceasing artistic commitment, and excellence".
Past recipients include Christopher Plummer, Michael Douglas, James Earl Jones, Kevin Spacey and playwright Neil Simon.