Famous Scots including Annie Lennox, Alan Cumming and Kevin Mckidd have spoken out on the day of the country's crunch referendum to urge fans to vote on the country's future. Scotland goes to the polls on Thursday (18Sep14) to decide whether to break away from the United Kingdom, and a slew of high-profile stars have spoken out in a last-ditch bid to sway the votes.
Eurythmics star Lennox, who was born in Aberdeen, insists she does not have a personal preference which way the vote goes, but she has urged her fellow Scots to think carefully before casting their ballot.
In a post on her Facebook.com page, she writes, "I am 'agnostic' in this matter... Once the die is cast... It will be what it will be. As a Scot who has lived beyond the border for over two thirds of my lifetime, I have no right to vote, therefore my view is practically irrelevant. However - I would like to say this... Whichever way you cast your vote, please think long term. A pro independence vote will be absolutely irreversible... Be wise Scotia... The future is in your hands."
Grey's Anatomy star McKidd, who is backing the 'Yes' campaign, tells Britain's Daily Record newspaper, "I've always been a supporter of independence for Scotland... I don't live in Scotland so don't get a vote, but all my family are still here... Everybody is going to be relieved when Friday comes no matter what happens."
Social networking website Twitter.com has also been flooded with debate over the vote, and another 'Yes' campaigner, The Good Wife star Cumming, writes, "Scotland! Please! Dare to dream," while Icelandic singer Bjork adds, "Declare independence... Go Scotland go!!!!!!!!"
Actor/funnyman Russell Brand writes, "Scotland, be brave. Vote with your hearts. You can strike the first blow for us against Westminster," while Simon Pegg adds, "Thinking of you Scotland. Give it all you've got," before joking, "Apparently a number of impatient 'Yes' campaigners have unbuckled Scotland and are currently towing it into the North Sea."
Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling writes on Wednesday night (17Sep14), "Big day in Scotland tomorrow #indyref (sic). My head says no and my heart shouts it - but whatever happens, I hope we're all friends by Saturday."
Others stars campaigning online on Thursday included actors Ashley Judd, Luke Treadaway, and David Morrissey, filmmaker Michael Moore, rocker Tim Burgess, singer Alison Moyet and tennis ace Andy Murray.
Icelandic pop superstar Bjork has thrown her support behind the Scots fighting for independence from England. The Declare Independence singer/songwriter has urged Scotland to vote yes in Thursday's (18Sep14) independence referendum, and joins stars like Morrissey, Russell Brand, Eddi Reader, Amy MacDonald and Mogwai rocker Stuart Braithwaite among the celebrities backing the Scottish National Party's bid for freedom.
Bjork took to her Facebook.com page on Wednesday (17Sep14) and posted altered lyrics from her song Declare Independence, adding the words "scotland! scotland! scotland".
Her post was followed hours later by one from Welsh singer Charlotte Church, who wrote, "Go on Scotland....... Do it!!!!!!!" on Twitter.com.
Mick Jagger, Sting and Pink Floyd star David Gilmour are among the British celebrities who have signed a letter urging Scots to remain part of the United Kingdom.
Thursday's referendum is expected to be very close.
Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Jessica Chastain are among the stars who have taken to the Internet to mark 13 years since the terrorist atrocities of 9/11. New York City was devastated by the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 11 September, 2001, which - along with a downed airliner in Pennsylvania on the same day - claimed almost 3,000 lives.
Some of the world's biggest stars joined together on Thursday (11Sep14) to mark 13 years since the horrifying events, with pop superstar Lady Gaga writing in a post on her Twitter.com page, "Today we remember and honour all the lives + families ruined by the tragedy of 9/11. Practice love in their memory today #WeWillNeverForget (sic)."
Fellow singer Taylor Swift reveals she recently visited the 9/11 memorial site in New York City and it had a profound effect on her: "Visiting the @Sept11Memorial this year was something I'll never forget, in memory of a day we will always remember with tears in our eyes."
Hollywood actress Chastain urged fans to visit the 9/11 memorial museum in the Big Apple, tweeting, "Today the 9/11 museum is open to the public. We remember the lives that were lost this day 13 years ago."
LeAnn Rimes simply writes, "September 11 #NeverForget #September11 (sic)," while actor Gary Sinise adds, "Remembering all those lost in terrorist attack 13 years ago, and remembering with gratitude all who have stepped up to serve. Never Forget."
Other tributes have come in from singer Chris Brown, hip-hop stars Missy Elliott and Queen Latifah, music mogul Russell Simmons, rocker Bret Michaels, and John Stamos, Alyssa Milano, Gabrielle Union and singer Chely Wright.
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."
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.