Jefferson Starship rocker Pete Sears is celebrating after the discovery of his custom-made guitar, which was stolen from a concert venue in Germany 40 years ago. The bassist's one-of-a kind instrument, crafted by Grateful Dead star Jerry Garcia's guitar maker Doug Irwin, went missing during a riot at the Lorelei Festival in 1978, and Sears had resigned himself to the fact he'd never see the axe he dubbed the Dragon again.
He tells Rolling Stone magazine, "It was always in the back of my mind... I thought it was sitting in someone's basement."
One of Irwin's colleagues posted a request for information about the missing guitar on the Grateful Dead's website forum in 2009, and last month (Apr13), a German musician came forward and revealed he was the new owner of Sears' stolen instrument.
He claimed he bought it between 1990 and 1991 from a studio musician in the Netherlands, who claimed it once belonged to the bassist of 1980s band Golden Earring.
The German agreed to part with the bass for $3,200 (£2,100) and shipped it to America for restoration.
Sears says, "It's an antique now, like I am. I just can't wait to get it back and hold it again."
Hilty currently stars in hit U.S. TV series Smash as an aspiring actress tasked with portraying Monroe in a new musical, and life has now imitated art for the 31 year old after she signed up to portray Lee, a part made famous by the late blonde bombshell, in a Big Apple theatre show.
The production will be directed by Tony Award-winning John Rando and the actress insists she is already having fun in rehearsals.
She tells Playbill.com, "I'm having the time of my life. John Rando is a genius, and I feel like we're having so much fun putting this play on. And, the whole cast is so fun. All the voices are amazing, and everybody is hilarious. I think it's going to be a really good show."
Hilty will hit the stage at The New York City Center for a limited-run, beginning on Wednesday (09May12).
James Franco adds another project to his already stuffed slate with Cherry, an indie to-be-directed by Stephen Elliott, who is best known as the author of "The Adderall Diaries" (which Franco himself optioned for an adaptation). Elliot will be making his directorial debut with the film, which he wrote for the screen with Lorelei Lee.
The story follows a troubled 18-year-old who moves to San Francisco, where she enters the porn industry and becomes involved with a cocaine-addicted lawyer, who will be played by Franco. Heather Graham returns to porn-centric pics years after her turn as the Rollergirl in Boogie Nights, as she'll play a former porn star-turned director who becomes a bit obsessed with the young girl (sounds kinky, don't it?). Dev Patel will portray the girl's best friend who also happens to be in love with her, while Lili Taylor will play her alcoholic mother.
The only part that hasn't yet been cast is that of the girl, who I assume is named Cherry. Not sure what direction the production is taking, but after being naked for most of Julia Leigh's contemporary Sleeping Beauty update, Emily Browning might be a good choice for the role. As for the film itself, it sounds kinda boring. I don't see how far a narrative like this can go, so my guess is that it's more of a character study than anything else. In those terms, it could be an interesting little flick, but I need to know more about it until I can get excited.
A “bedtime story” is a fairly succinct way to describe Lady. Of course a bedtime story being told by M. Night Shyamalan can go into any number of weird and wild directions. The writer/director says the idea for Lady was based on a story he’d told his kids which began with “Did you know that someone lives under our pool?” and revolves around Cleveland Heep (Paul Giamatti) a lowly superintendent for an apartment building who inadvertently finds Story (Bryce Dallas Howard) a mysterious nymph-like “narf ” living in the pool. She’s there to complete a task and now that it’s done she needs to go home back to the Blue World. But that’s easier said than done. She only has a small window of opportunity and apparently there’s a ferocious beast called a “scrunt” lurking in the grass around the pool waiting to kill her if she tries to leave. Now Cleveland and a few of the other tenants—who find themselves intricately tied to Story’s plight—must help her escape to freedom. Thank god for Sideways. Without it Giamatti would have gone on playing under the radar without the recognition—and juicier parts—he deserves. He is truly a wonder as Cleveland a sad little man with a stutter who is quietly trying to hide from a tragic past. It’s only when Story comes into his life does he face his personal tragedy and learn to live again. Howard on the other hand who wowed most of us with her stunning performance in The Village doesn’t have nearly as much to work with as the pale water nymph. The mystical character is fairly one note—befuddled and cheerless. But the rest of the apartment tenants shine: Jeffrey Wright (Syriana) as a single dad who has a penchant for crossword puzzles; Freddy Rodriguez (HBO’s Six Feet Under) as a weight builder who only lifts weights on one side of his body; Bob Balaban (A Mighty Wind) as a pompous film critic (and as a critic I’m not at all offended when he gets his comeuppances); Cindy Cheung as a Korean college student who is key in telling the epic bedtime story; Sarita Choudhury (She Hate Me) as a quippy young woman looking for her mission in life and Shyamalan himself as her brother the person Story is meant to inspire to write something extraordinary. There’s never a dull moment with this crew around. In a way M. Night Shyamalan has become his own worst enemy having to live up to this reputation as a master of suspense and surprise twists. His last effort The Village left many of his fans feeling unsatisfied—and unfortunately he may alienate more with Lady in the Water. But the fact of the matter is he is still one of Hollywood's more brilliant minds on par with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman for originality who has an innate talent for crafting ingenious stories filled with genuine human emotions. So maybe this time around he’s made a movie more for those most ardent of his fans who simply revel in the way his mind works no matter how incomprehensible and frivolous it may seem. So what? The diehards might feel compelled to defend Shyamalan’s choices with Lady—how he has come up with an entire universe where things like “scrunts” and the “Tartutic” (simian-like creatures who form an invincible force that maintains law and order in the Blue World) and “Madam Narfs” interact with humans in the real world. If the story actually took place in the Blue World then maybe it’d be easier to swallow. But that’s sort of the genius of Shyamalan. It’s as if with Lady in the Water he’s crafted a child-like movie for those adults who remember being told wildly creative bedtime stories who then in turn tell the stories to their kids.
Richard Riddick (Vin Diesel) has a really bad rep and with good reason: Five years ago convicted killer Riddick escaped the galaxy's law enforcement during a botched interplanetary prison transfer and has been on the lam ever since. As The Chronicles of Riddick picks up our antagonist finds his relative freedom has been compromised when mercenaries out for the $1 million bounty on his head discover his location and hunt him down. Riddick escapes their clutches steals their ship and sets off for Planet Helion to find Imam (Keith David) the Muslim cleric he rescued in Pitch Black and the only person who could have squealed his location to authorities. But while Riddick's hunch about Imam are correct the cleric has a reason for luring the mammoth murderer out of hiding: Helion is falling to unholy armies of Necromongers--warriors who conquer by force in the vein of Star Trek's Borg. Of course Riddick doesn't give a damn about the Helions or their plight--until he gets wind that the Necromogers want to kill him because of an old prophecy that foresees their end at Riddick's hands. Like it or not Riddick is left with no other choice but to battle the Necromongers.
The character of Riddick is unquestionably what made Pitch Black one of the most sequel-worthy sci-fi films in years. And Riddick would not have been one of sci-fi's most intoxicating characters if it weren't for Diesel. Like his Dominic Toretto in the 2001 actioner The Fast and the Furious Riddick is a villain of few words but when he speaks his carefully chosen words have impact--even if the dialogue is at times overly theatrical. Riddick is the perfect antihero; a cold-blooded and indifferent being who somehow evokes more compassion than the film's so-called good guys. Joining Riddick are some recurring characters including David as Imam but Riddick benefits the most from the addition of some new characters particularly Colm Feore as Lord Marshal the Necromonger leader whose goal is to rid the universe of all human life. Feore channeling nuggets of Julius Caesar into his role makes for one of Riddick's most thrilling foes. Another prominent addition to the cast is Judi Dench who has a surprisingly small role as Aereon an Elemental captured by the Necromongers and used for her special powers including ESP.
Writer/director David Twohy took his horror pic Pitch Black which gained a cult following since it was released four years ago and managed to successfully turn it into an sci-fi actioner of epic proportions. Everything is grander here which is almost a given considering Twohy shot Pitch Black on a dime in Australia using colored filters. In Riddick the director distinguishes the film's different environments--the Necros' mothership Crematoria's cavernous prison and Helion--using warm to cool tones that are dazzling yet more subtle than its predecessor. The CGI effects get a little gamey at times but production designer Holger Gross' gargantuan sets are impressive and help craft Twohy's otherworldly vision into a plausible one. And although Twohy jumps genres from Pitch Black to its sequel his storyline evolves logically from the original premise. But while moviegoers unfamiliar with Pitch Black will be able to follow the story easily enough they may have a difficult time grasping what makes Riddick such a big deal; the film explains the legend but never fully captures its quintessence. This could hurt Riddick's chances to broaden its Pitch Black fan base.