Jared Leto and Ellen Page have been named the world's sexiest vegetarians. The Oscar winner has topped PETA's list of men and Juno star Page beats out Ariana Grande and Laura Prepon for the female title.
Vegan Mad Men star Jessica Pare, Sarah Silverman, Joaquin Phoenix, Samuel L. Jackson, Peter Dinklage and Woody Harrelson also made the annual list.
Previous winners of PETA's Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity contest include Kristen Bell, Harrelson, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Russell Brand, Olivia Wilde, Carrie Underwood, Prince, Natalie Portman, Shania Twain, Leona Lewis, Andre 3000, Tobey Maguire, and Alicia Silverstone.
British rocker Morrissey has warned fans not to be fooled by a new Twitter.com account set up in his name, insisting the blog is "bogus". The former The Smiths frontman surprised fans on Wednesday (14May14) by appearing to send out his first tweet since originally joining the social media site in 2009.
The message, from the account @itsmorrissey, read: "Hello. Testing, 1, 2, 3. Planet Earth, are you there? One can only hope..."
The page seemed to be legitimate as it featured the verified account check mark from Twitter bosses, and more than 248,000 devotees, including comedians Stephen Fry and Russell Brand, clicked to follow Morrissey's musings.
However, the Suedehead hitmaker has now spoken out to distance himself from the blog, exposing the mystery writer as a fake.
In a statement posted on his fansite True-to-You.net, he writes, "I would like to stress that I do not have either a Twitter or a Facebook account.
"I gather that a Twitter account has been opened in my name - as 'It's Morrissey' - but it is NOT Morrissey. I do not know who has opened this recent Twitter account, but please be aware that it is bogus. That's, of course, if you should remotely care."
Morrissey signed off the note with the words, "Untwitterably yours."
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
As grand as the themes of good and evil, needs and deservings, power and responsibility and such forth are, superhero movies are generally pretty straightforward in premise: hero stops villain from wreaking havoc. As off-putting as this kind of simplicity might sound, it's usually the right way to go. If you pack enough substance into your characters and adhere your plot to these linear margins, you can actually wind up saying a healthy amount (and having a lot of fun). The Amazing Spider-Man 2 gets half of this formula down pat. Although Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker is still a moreover undistinguished identity, his emotional magnitude (re: his relationship with Gwen Stacy) is enough to keep him valid through the storm of lunacy that is his second feature. And it's not even that lunacy that holds him back. The problem isn't how wild his conquests are, how silly some of the action sequences feel, or how absolutely bonkers his villains turn out to be. It's all the other stuff (and yes, if you can believe it, there's a ton more going on in this movie than what I've already mentioned — that's the issue). All the plot twists, tertiary mysteries, ominous flashbacks, abject reveals, and weightlessly sinister pawns in this brooding game that, save for its fun with the baddies, takes itself way too seriously. All that stuff that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 thinks is necessary to make Peter Parker matter? It actually does just the opposite.
Peter is at his best when he's playing Tracy and Hepburn with the girlfriend he's perpetually disappointing (the eternally charming Emma Stone), or trying to win back the favor of the only remaining parental figure from whom he's rapidly slipping away (Sally Field, reminding us why she's a household name), or angling to connect with the mentally unstable engineer who just wants people to notice him (Jamie Foxx working his comic shtick with a frightening zest). We have the most fun with Peter when he's playing the simplest games, and we connect best with him on similar ground. But Peter and company, at the behest of The Amazing Spider-Man franchise's Sandman-sized aspirations, spend so much time exploring new avenues: the secrets surrounding the death and work of Richard Parker, the behind-the-curtains operations of OsCorp, the nefarious goings on in the waterside penitentiary Ravencroft.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
As a result of the grand stab at world building, there is just so much stuff that Peter has to wade through in this movie, dragging the likes of Gwen and his boyhood friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan, mastering angst, menace, and upper-class privilege all at once) into the dark crevasses of narrative waste. With so many diversions into the emotionally vacant, deliberately joyless explorations of Parker family origin stories, secret brief cases, and underground subways — The Amazing Spider-Man 2 rivals Captain America: The Winter Soldier in complexity, but forgets the necessary ingredient of fun — we barely have enough energy left when the good stuff hits.
And in truth, the good stuff isn't really good enough to sustain us through all the duller periods. Garfield and Stone do have laudable chemistry. Foxx is a hoot as Peter's maniacal new foe, especially when paired with the grimacing DeHaan. And the action, while often straying from any aesthetic authenticity, is nothing shy of neat-o. It's all passable, occasionally worthy of a hearty smile, but rarely anything you'll be definitively pleased you took the time to see.
But beyond coming up short in the micro, the film's regal downfall is its scope. With so much to do, both in accomplishing its own necessary plot points and setting up for those to come in future films, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 doesn't seem to take time to make sure it's having fun with its own premise. And if it isn't having fun, we won't be either.
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Director Quentin Tarantino rounded up some of his most famous collaborators including Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russell to participate in a live reading of his leaked script The Hateful Eight on Saturday (19Apr14).
In January (14), the Pulp Fiction filmmaker scrapped plans to shoot the Western after an early draft of his screenplay made its way online without his permission. Despite the axe, Tarantino teamed up with organisers at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Film Independent programme to oversee a one-night live reading, starring Jackson, Russell, Amber Tamblyn, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen and Bruce Dern, who have all appeared in at least one of Tarantino's films.
At the the event at the Ace Hotel, Tarantino fit the bill by donning a black cowboy shirt and hat and told the crowd, "After the script was leaked I had no desire to make it... I'm working on a second draft and I will do a third draft, but we're reading from the first draft. The (script's) Chapter 5 here will not be the Chapter 5 later, so this will be the only time it is seen ever."
The saga, set in a snowy Wyoming a few years after the American Civil War, was performed across three hours, with Tarantino reading stage directions and even stopping actors to re-read lines or "stick to the page" if they started to stray from the script. Tickets to the event were sold for $150 to $200 (£89-£119), with all proceeds benefiting Film Independent.
Director Darren Aronofsky shone the spotlight on his seventh-grade English teacher by asking her to read a poem in front of a star-studded audience at the New York premiere of his new movie Noah. The Black Swan moviemaker gave a small role in the biblical epic to Vera Fried, the teacher he credits with inspiring his creative career, and she is seen onscreen playing a one-eyed crone opposite the movie's star Russell Crowe.
Aronofsky invited her to walk the red carpet when the film was screened in New York on Wednesday night (26Mar14), and he asked her to read a poem about Noah to the audience at the Ziegfeld Theatre in Manhattan as he introduced the movie, according to New York Post gossip column Page Six.
The poem she read was written by Aronofsky when he was under her tuition at school.
Fried told reporters at the event that she failed to remember the director when he first got in touch with her after so many years, adding, "I had no idea. I taught 2,000 kids! I Googled him. He wrote in his email, 'I never became a real writer, just a filmmaker.' He's the master of understatement... (On set) everyone said, 'You're the person who put us to work.' I felt like I put more people to work than (Barack) Obama that year."
British actor/comedian Russell Brand has fulfilled his dream of becoming a TV soccer pundit. The Forgetting Sarah Marshall star is a longtime fan of London club West Ham and he was given the chance to weigh in on the team's performance during a special appearance on soccer show Match of The Day on Saturday (22Mar14).
Brand was given a place on the panel as part of a special episode to raise money for the U.K.'s Sport Relief charity, and the funnyman was delighted to give his opinion on West Ham's match against Manchester United.
The star's team lost two-nil, and Brand mocked a goal by United star Rooney by saying, "This is a day where we have to focus on the injustices that preceded Rooney's goal... the East End (of London, where West Ham are based) has not seen that sort of injustice since the dark days of Jack the Ripper."
Brand documented his time on the show in a series of posts on his Twitter.com page, sharing pictures of himself onset and posing for snaps with the regular presenters.
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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Soul singer Claudia Lennear has been given a big career boost following her appearance in Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom - David Bowie has offered to write her next project. Lennear joined the likes of Darlene Love and Judith Hill in Morgan Neville's 2013 film, which followed the lives of backing singers to the stars, after previously working with artists including Ike and Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, George Harrison and Leon Russell.
She was also said to have inspired the Rolling Stones' Brown Sugar hit in 1971 and Bowie's Lady Grinning Soul in 1973.
Lennear now reveals she recently reconnected with the legendary Space Oddity star days before Sunday's (02Mar14) Oscars ceremony and received a welcome proposal.
She tells the New York Post's Page Six column, "I got a call from David Bowie out of the blue... He told me he wanted to write my next project. I couldn't believe it when I first heard his voice. We haven't seen each other in 20 years."
She adds, "I am not sure what my next project will be... but I will definitely hold David to his promise."
20 Feet From Stardom was named Best Documentary, Feature at the Academy Awards.
Warner Bros via Everett Collection
A great hue and cry went up in certain quarters when indie darling Greta Gerwig was cast in the "female Ted" role for the How I Met Your Mother spinoff, How I Met Your Dad. She was soon being called a "sell out" by fans on social media, prompting Forbes, of all places, to post an article defending her right to cash in on her low-budget success. Largely left unasked, however, was the basic question of how well does Gerwig's persona translate into the established HIMYM format.
If mainstream audiences are aware of Gerwig at all, it's most likely as the flighty tour guide that steals Russell Brand's heart in his Arthur remake. Independent film aficionados know her far better for her work in mumblecore films by directors like Joe Swanberg and Noah Baumbach (who is also her boyfriend), as well as indie film god Whit Stillman. It seems safe to say that her profile will jump considerably with a role in a much publicized television project.
While it's easy to think that her work in the big budget studio-produced Arthur provides the clearest insight into how she'll come across in a network sitcom, the fact that Gerwig has a measure of creative power as one of the new show's producers means that her indie work should come into play as well. After all, Gerwig co-wrote four of the films that she starred in, including the acclaimed Frances Ha, and co-directed another (Nights and Weekends). She's established that she knows what works for her as an actress.
In HIMYM, Josh Radnor's Ted continually longed for the simpler days of college when he could sit around and discuss arcane topics to his heart's content. While there are sure to be clear differences with Gerwig's character, her film roles often have a collegial bent, whether she is playing a recent graduate in Hannah Takes the Stairs or as the Type-A clique leader in Stillman's Damsels in Distress. Making the new character hyper literate seems like a safe way to appease both Gerwig and HIMYM fans.
Of course, the main thrust of the sitcom just by definition has to be the love life of the lead character, since if she were adept at picking a mate there would be no show. In her film career, Gerwig has shown that she can play to any romantic situation just fine. In Frances Ha, she is largely unattached, focusing more on her career and finding someplace to live. In Damsels, she has rules for the type of men that she'll date. In Hannah, she's in a love triangle, and in Nights and Weekends it's a long-distance relationship. In Greenberg, she falls in love with a self-involved jerk. If any of these scenarios sound familiar to HIMYM fans, it's because the show has explored almost every one of thems.
It's still a long way until How I Met Your Dad could hit the airwaves, which should give the uninitiated plenty of time to catch up on Gerwig's film catalog and learn why indie audiences grew to love the actress. It will be at least as much fun as trying to figure out if the new show will have a female Barney.
Finnish rockers Him have appealed for the return of items which were stolen from their dressing room while they were on stage at a show in Australia. The band, fronted by Ville Valo, was performing at the 170 Russell venue in Melbourne on Wednesday night (26Feb14) when the alleged theft occurred.
The musicians contacted police and subsequently published on the group's Facebook.com page a security camera image of the alleged suspect.
In the post, the band appealed for the return of a black bag containing irreplaceable items.
The note reads, "Anyone in Melbourne, Australia know this guy? If any of you have seen this guy, or know him, please let us know!! This surveillance camera shot is from HIM's last night's venue 170 Russell's dressing room. He stole a back bag containing irreplaceable items to us! Please help us and the police to catch this guy!"
HIM are currently touring Down Under as part of the annual Soundwave music festival.