Veteran actress Joanna Lumley and British royal Charles, Prince Of Wales were among the leading figures who attended a memorial service for late broadcaster Sir David Frost in London on Thursday (13Mar14). More than 2,000 guests descended on the U.K. capital's Westminster Abbey to remember Frost, who died aged 74 after suffering a heart attack last August (13).
The Prince of Wales, a close friend of the journalist, was joined by his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, as well as his brother Prince Andrew, his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson and their daughter, Princess Beatrice.
Among the celebrity attendees were Lumley and Frost's broadcasting peers Sir Terry Wogan and Sir Michael Parkinson.
Frost enjoyed a long and successful career in political reporting, as well as hosting comedy and lifestyle shows, but will be best remembered for his candid interviews with U.S. President Richard Nixon in 1977, in which the disgraced politician admitted his part in the Watergate scandal. The meeting was transformed into a hit movie Frost/Nixon in 2008, with Michael Sheen and Frank Langella playing Frost and Nixon respectively.
British singer Ellie Goulding was branded a "goth" as a teenager due to her long black hair, multiple piercings and rebellious behaviour. The Lights hitmaker looked very different at the age of 14, and admits she was a "rebel" who dabbled in drink and drugs.
Goulding tells British TV interviewer Michael Parkinson, "I very nearly did go down that (bad) path, I was a bit of a rebel when I was 14. People would call me a goth, I had long black hair which was real, I had piercings and I liked heavy metal music, and the rest of it."
Asked whether she dabbled with drugs, Goulding adds, "Yeah. I definitely had a period of drinking and being a bit crazy. I had no idea what my future was going to be then."
The interview airs in the U.K. as part of the Parkinson Masterclass in April (14).
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Treading water at the very surface of RoboCop, there is an idea. A dense concept, ready and willing to provide no dearth of dissection for any eager student of philosophy, psychology, political science, physics — hell, any of the Ps. To simplify the idea on hand: What separates man from machine? It's a question that is not just teased by the basic premise of José Padilha's remake of the 1987 sci-fi staple, but asked outright by many of its main characters. And then never really worried about again.
We have principal parties on both sides of the ethical quandary that would place the security of our crime-ridden cities in the hands of automatons. Samuel L. Jackson plays a spitfire Bill O'Reilly who wonders why America hasn't lined its streets with high-efficiency officer droids. Zach Grenier, as a moralistic senator, gobbles his way through an opposition to the Pro-boCop movement. We hear lecture after lecture from pundits, politicians, business moguls (a money-hungry Michael Keaton heads the nefarious OmniCorp...) and scientists (...while his top doc Gary Oldman questions the nature of his assignments while poking at patients' brains and spouting diatribes about "free will"), all working their hardest to lay thematic groundwork. Each character insists that we're watching a movie about the distinction between human and artificial intelligence. That even with an active brain, no robot can understand what it means to have a heart. But when Prof. Oldman tempers his hysterical squawking and Samuel L. Hannity rolls his closing credits, we don't see these ideas taking life.
In earnest, the struggle of rehabilitated police officer Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) — nearly killed in the line of duty and turned thereafter into OmniCorp's prototype RoboCop — doesn't seem to enlist any of the questions that his aggravated peers have been asking. Murphy is transformed not just physically, but mentally — robbed of his decision-making ability and depleted of emotional brain chemicals — effectively losing himself in the process. But the journey we see take hold of Murphy is not one to reclaim his soul, although the movie touts it as such. It's really just one to become a better robot.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Meanwhile, RoboCop lays down its motives, and hard: Murphy's wife and son (Abbie Cornish and a puckish young John Paul Ruttan) lament the loss of Alex, condemning his dehumanization at the hands of Raymond Sellars' (Keaton) capitalistic experiments, and sobbing out some torrential pathos so you know just how deep this company is digging. Weaselly stooges (Jay Baruchel, Jennifer Ehle, and Jackie Earl Haley) line the OmniCorp roster with comical wickedness. Overseas, killer combat bots take down peaceful villages, unable to work empathetic judgment into their decision to destroy all deemed as "threats." And at the top, figures of power and money like Sellars and Pat Novak (Jackson) speak the loudest and harshest, literally justifying their agenda with a call for all naysayers to "stop whining." Clearly, RoboCop has something to say.
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And when it's devoted to its outrage, RoboCop is terrifically charming. The buzzing political world is just a tiny step closer to ridiculous than our own; the pitch meetings at OmniCorp are fun enough to provoke a ditching of all the material outside of the company walls. And one particular reference to The Wizard of Oz shows that the movie isn't above having fun with its admittedly silly premise. But it loses its magic when it steps away from goofy gimmicks and satirical monologues and heads back into the story. We don't see enough of Murphy grappling with the complicated balance between his conflicting organic and synthetic selves. In fact, we don't see enough "story" in Murphy at all. First, he's a dad and a cop. Then, he's a RoboCop. But can he also be a RoboDad? With all of its ranting and raving about the question, the film doesn't seem to concerned with actually figuring out the answer.
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A host of famous faces turned out to help Michael J. Fox raise awareness of Parkinson's disease at his foundation's annual gala in New York City over the weekend (09-10Sep13). The Back to the Future star, who has been battling the debilitating condition since the early 1990s, was joined by the likes of Blake Lively and her husband Ryan Reynolds, Julianna Margulies, Seth Meyers and Tina Fey at the glitzy bash at Manhattan's Waldorf-Astoria hotel on Saturday night (09Nov13).
Fox joined Coldplay star Chris Martin on guitar for a musical performance, while Reynolds, whose own father is battling Parkinson's, admitted he was impressed by the work of The Michael J. Fox Foundation, saying, "You meet the people who work with this foundation, and so many of them have absolutely no affiliation with the disease whatsoever other than their job, and they were brought to it by a common denominator, which is Michael, and he's so inspiring and you just see the people that work with this foundation and how tirelessly they give everything they have to it and you start to forget that you're only here because someone you care about has Parkinson's. I was really blown away by the whole operation."
Marguiles insisted she turned out at the event to help raise cash for the cause, saying, "When you raise awareness, you raise money. I mean, it's the brutal truth."
Fellow guest, actor John Slattery, added to The Hollywood Reporter, "We're trying to find a cure. Research is expensive, and the more people know about it, that's everything, so that's what he's doing."
Maybe we're a bunch of crotchety old people, but the new trailer for I, Frankenstein, looks nothing like the 19th century gothic horror classic that we all pretended to read in high school. We certainly don’t remember Frankenstein's monster surfing on top subway trains (or maybe that Sparknotes summary had more holes than we thought).
At least there's a logical reason for these disparities: I, Frankenstein draws from the graphic novel that it's based on rather than Mary Shelley's original novel. Kevin Grevioux, the author of the graphic novel, also wrote the screenplay for the film.
This continuation of the Frankenstein lore features a handsomely scarred Aaron Eckhart, stitched together with various parts of murdered Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue models, fighting off gargoyle monsters that explode into fiery tendrils. He also found time, in between the monster vanquishing to go to the nearest Hot Topic and buy the perfect hoodie that symbolizes all of his immortal angst. One that he takes off quite frequently to show off that hot bod.
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Actor Michael J. Fox turned to booze to help him cope after learning he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. In a new interview with U.S. shock jock Howard Stern, which aired on Wednesday (25Sep13), the Back to the Future star admitted he came close to giving up on life after he was told about his condition in 1991, and feared he'd never be able to act again.
He explained, "It just felt helpless. It felt unfair in a way. My first reaction to it was to start drinking heavily. I used to drink to party, but then I was drinking alone... Every day."
Fox finally sought therapy and admitted, "It all started to get really clear to me."
He explained, "My marriage got great and my career started to (take off again)."
After a series of guest roles on TV and a documentary about happiness, Fox is now leading the cast of his own new show, The Michael J. Fox Show, about a newsman with Parkinson's disease who returns to the air.
Michael J. Fox has credited his Parkinson's Disease with helping him become a better actor. The Back to the Future star has refused to step back from the spotlight despite his condition and he has often appeared in guest roles on TV shows in recent years.
Now, as he prepares to launch his own sitcom, The Michael J. Fox Show, he admits that the health diagnosis that threatened to end his acting career has motivated him to get to grips with his craft.
He tells Rolling Stone magazine, "I had a certain fluidity to my movements and rhythm of speech and a physicality that I had depended on. It served me really well, but when that was taken away, I found that there was other stuff that I could use.
"That hesitation, that Parkinsonian (sic) affect, is an opportunity to just pause in a moment and collect as a character and respond to what's happening and just gave me this kind of gravitas. It really gave me a new view of things."
And Parkinson's Disease has cured him of his nerves: "I used to be really nervous and sit in my dressing room and fret about a scene that was coming up and sweat it out and say, 'What am I going to do? You say action and I have to do something. What am I going to do? And what's that actor going to do? And how do I respond to that?'
"Now it's just like, 'OK, what's happening?' And something happens, I react to it and if nothing happens, I don't react. I don't worry about that bit I was going to do or the look I was gonna give because when I get there, I may not be able to give that look or do that thing or move that glass."
Comedians Stephen Fry and Ronnie Corbett and revered British talk show host Sir Michael Parkinson were among the mourners who turned out on Wednesday (11Sep13) to attend the funeral of legendary broadcaster Sir David Frost. The iconic newsman, who was portrayed by Michael Sheen in Oscar-nominated movie Frost/Nixon, passed away on 31 August (13), after suffering a heart attack on a cruise ship, and stars including Sir Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Russell Crowe and Joan Collins were some of the first to offer tributes following his death.
On Wednesday, friends and family members gathered at the Holy Trinity Church in Oxfordshire, England to bid a final farewell to the famed interviewer, and his close friend Fry later took to his Twitter.com blog to share his grief with fans.
He wrote, "David Frost's funeral - so sad. He was a wonderful father, husband and friend. The only people who didn't like him hadn't met him."
A public memorial service is expected to be held in the U.K. at a later date.
Singer Linda Ronstadt has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. The 67-year-old multi-Grammy Award winner has opened up about her struggle with the degenerative disorder in a new interview, revealing it has robbed her of her singing voice.
She tells the American Association of Retired Persons' monthly AARP magazine, "I couldn't sing and I couldn't figure out why. I knew it was mechanical. I knew it had to do with the muscles, but I thought it might have also had something to do with the tick disease that I had. And it didn't occur to me to go to a neurologist.
"Parkinson's is very hard to diagnose, so when I finally went to a neurologist and he said, 'Oh, you have Parkinson's disease,' I was completely shocked. I wouldn't have suspected that in a million, billion years."
Ronstadt, who released her last album in 2006 and recently penned a memoir, Simple Dreams, which will be out next month (Sep13), fears she'll never be able to sing again, adding, "No one can sing with Parkinson's disease. No matter how hard you try."
She tells the AARP in an interview to be published next week (beg26Aug13) that she was diagnosed with the neurological disorder eight months ago.
She isn't the only star currently battling Parkinson's - boxing legend Muhammad Ali and actor Michael J. Fox are both sufferers.
Revered British broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson is recovering well after completing treatment for prostate cancer. The popular chat show host, 78, was diagnosed with the disease during a regular check-up earlier this year (13), and started radiotherapy treatment at the beginning of July (13).
He has now completed hospital sessions and is expected to make a full recovery.
His son Mike Parkinson says, "The news is all positive. It's early days as he has only just finished his treatment but the prognosis is good. Everything went to plan and now it is a case of rest and recuperation for a month or so.
"My dad's in good spirits and he is expected to make a full recovery."