Michael Jackson returned from beyond the grave to wow fans at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday (18May14) by performing onstage in hologram form, five years after his death. Producers of the Las Vegas prizegiving used virtual technology to make it appear as if the King of Pop had been brought back to life to sing and dance his way through new track Slave to the Rhythm.
Dressed in a white and gold jacket and red pants, he began the eerie appearance seated in a throne before joining a string of dancers to show off his fancy footwork, including his signature moonwalk, by strutting across the stage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena as he appeared to belt out the tune. The stunt, titled the Michael Jackson Xperience, left the audience in awe and earned a standing ovation from everyone in attendance.
Stars also took to their Twitter.com accounts to share their feelings about the performance, with newlywed Kelly Rowland writing, "We miss you Michael!", while actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler tweeted, "I have chills watching michael Jackson performance. Makes u (sic) realize there will never be a performer like him", and rapper Nicki Minaj commented, "Dat (sic) was mike?"
The virtual performance almost didn't happen after Jackson estate executors and Billboard Music Awards producers were slapped with legal action in an effort to put a stop to the show. Businessman Alki David, who claims to control the rights to the hologram technology, filed suit in Nevada on Thursday (16May14), insisting the Billboard gig would likely violate his patent, but his motion was dismissed on Friday (17May14) due to a lack of evidence, allowing the show to go on.
The Michael Jackson Xperience, organised to celebrate the release of his new posthumous album Xscape, beared similarities to the resurrection of Tupac Shakur at the 2012 Coachella music festival in California, where the dead rapper appeared onstage alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg in hologram form. The Thriller hitmaker died in 2009.
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.
Plastered all over the Internet and covers of the few remaining print magazines are images of your favorite — and least favorite — celebs (and non-celebs) kissing, both tastefully and, well, Jersey Shorely. But what about the smooches we haven’t seen and actually want to see, like our favorite TV characters?! Well, in honor of National Kissing Day (yes, that’s a thing), we’ve compiled just such a list: The TV couples, and even some who may not yet have been officially outed as “together,” that for our own selfish reasons we’d like to see lock lips already, dammit!
Vampire Diaries: Klaus and Caroline
Yes, true shippers are clutching their chests in breathless anticipation of our heroes Stefan and Elena’s eventual reunion kiss, but we know that’s coming. We’re not so sure about the ultimate bad boy (Original vampire, werewolf and a sensitive artiste? Oh my.) and Vampire Barbie. Caroline’s too much of a good girl to really fall for evil-incarnate-with-a-sensitive-side Klaus, but a little forbidden, passionate, vampire-hormone-level make-out session wouldn’t be too much to ask, would it? - Kelsea Stahler
Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23: Chloe and James Van Der Beek
They are best friends on the show. Um, have we forgotten what we learned from When Harry Met Sally? A guy and a girl can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way! It's so true! Chloe and James need to do more than kiss. They need to have sex on a birthday cake. - Lindsey DiMattina
Revenge: Emily Thorne and Jack Porter
We are 16 episodes into the season, and Emily has been in love with her childhood pal Jack from day one. She needs to kiss him, tell him her true identity, get over her revenge plan and live happily ever after. - Lindsey DiMattina
New Girl: Nick and Jess
Dermot Mulroney's Russell is adorable and all, but the longing looks and awkward pauses between roomies Nick and Jess are getting to be too much. They would balance each other out so well as a couple. I know it's always better to draw out the tension, but I'm so ready to see them hook up already. - Aly Semigran
New Girl: Nick and Schmidt
We know they're best friends, but I definitely see some homoerotic tension below the surface. Okay, I don't at all. I just want to see them make out. - Brian Moylan
Parks and Recreation: Chris and Ann
Sure, they used to be an item and were kissing all the time, but ever since the show broke up (and especially since Ann started dating Tom — ugh), I've been anxious for them to rekindle their love and share a spontaneous kiss to kick it off. C'mon, Ann, pull Chris out of his depression with a smooch. It would literally…make my day. - Matthew Patches
Smash: Derek and Karen
Sure Karen's boyfriend Dev is successful and gorgeous, but no one can resist the bad boy for very long. And when you throw a British accent into the mix, it's pretty much a done deal. The sexual tension between these two is palpable and has been ever since the season premiere. Someone needs to make the first move and soon — I'm done with all these cold showers. Are you listening, writers? Let's make this happen! - Kelly Schremph
The Voice: Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine
Between all the flirty, 7th grade-esque insults and asset-revealing clothing, these two just have to get. It. Over. With. Already. Preferably in a spinning chair powered by their egos. - Kate Ward
Community: Troy and Britta
Ever since Troy inadvertently won Britta over (through acting!) during season 2, there has been back-and-forth romantic tension between the two. Meaningful glances, lingering hugs, bonding over candy cigarettes, even secret affectionate text messages. Troy and Britta need to give into their feelings; it might result in the first real, healthy relationship either one has ever had. - Michael Arbeiter
Jersey Shore: DJ Paulie D and Vinny
They're always talking about how they're in love and married and refer to each other as boyfriends. Remember when Paulie D was trying so hard to act like a real human being to convince Vinny to stay in the house? Yeah, that was cute. (Paulie D is not real.) - Shaunna Murphy
Which on-screen couple do you want to kiss so badly that it's giving you an ulcer? Let us know! Let the small screen make-outs commence!
It's been over three months since Zooey Deschanel announced her plans to divorce Death Cab For Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard, but she's not itching to jump back in the dating game anytime soon. (So, consider this fair warning, romantic Joseph Gordon-Levitt-like hopefuls hoping to woo the beautiful star.) The New Girl star opened up about her current love life in the May issue of Marie Claire and admitted that she's not all that interested in dating for one simple reason: No time!
"Honestly, I'm just going through a divorce, so I don't really think that's something I want to get into now," the 32-year-old star told the magazine. "I don't have time to date. I literally don't have time." (Of course, that hasn't stopped the media from trying to peg her with Hollywood's most eligible bachelors, including her Doppelgänger Katy Perry's ex-husband Russell Brand, whom the singer/actress was rumored to be texting with back in February.)
But don't expect to see any tears behind those big bangs when it comes to the topic of motherhood, either. "That's never been my focus," Deshanel said, adding, "My sister [Emily] was always very motherly, babysitting and stuff. I like kids, and I like being around kids, but it was never an ambition, something, like, I need ... I like working. That's what I like doing. I like to work." Well, this should serve as good news for Deschanel then: Her hit Fox comedy New Girl has been renewed for a second season, slated for 2013. Check out a stunning photo of Deschanel in the May issue of Marie Claire below:
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