Debbie Harry, Paul Simon and Patti Smith were among the stars who turned out to honour late rocker Lou Reed at a tribute show in New York City on Monday night (16Dec13). Reed's family and friends were in the audience for the show at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, which was organised by his widow Laurie Anderson and marked 50 days since his death from liver disease at the age of 71.
The emotional event included musical tributes from artists including Blondie star Harry, who sang Velvet Underground's White Light, White Heat, and Simon, who moved the crowd with a performance of Pale Blue Eyes.
Patti Smith performed Reed's anthem Perfect Day, and other performers at the show included singer/songwriter Emily Haines, The Persuasions, and Jenni Muldaur.
Spoken word pieces were delivered by a number of other attendees, including moviemaker Julian Schnabel and Reed's former Velvet Underground bandmate Maureen Tucker.
Anderson also spoke at the event and picked up her violin to play a song she had composed for her late husband.
Guests in the audience included music mogul Clive Davis, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star Richard Belzer, and author Salman Rushdie.
One of the most sought after panels at the Con is, of course, HBO's Game of Thrones. The panel, along with AMC's The Walking Dead that preceded it, had fans lined up in an almost futile line that wrapped around the bay front. Those inside, however, were treated to a conversation with author and executive producer George R.R. Martin and members of the cast, including Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark), Rose Leslie (Ygritte), and Richard Madden (Robb Stark).
The biggest news to emerge from the panel — aside from the fun announcement that the show will be filming in Belfast, Croatia, Morocco and Iceland this year — is the casting of a host of new, fantastical characters that will make their debut in Season 3. Of course, if you're a fan of the show yet unfamiliar with the Song of Ice and Fire book series upon which the HBO fantasy is based, the new cast won't mean anything to you until you see them slashing, drinking and — most likely — shedding their robes onscreen.
The new characters and their portrayers include Clive Russell (Brynden "Blackfish" Tully), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Mackenzie Crook (Orell), Kerry Ingram (Shireen Baratheon), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Jojen Reed), Ellie Kendrick (Meera Reed), Richard Dormer (Beric Dondarrion), Paul Kaye (Thoros of Myr), and Diana Rigg (Lady Olenna Tyrell). Watch the new faces discuss their characters and the future of the series below:
The series also set a premiere date for March 31, 2013, so mark your calendars now (feel free to simply write "Winter is coming" in all caps).
[Photo credit: HBO] More: Game of Thrones Removes Bush's Head From the Stake HBO Pulls Game of Thrones Episode with George W. Bush's Head Game of Thrones Adds Some New Faces
A decade-long gap between sequels could leave a franchise stale but in the case of Men in Black 3 it's the launch pad for an unexpectedly great blockbuster. The kooky antics of Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) don't stray far from their 1997 and 2002 adventures but without a bombardment of follow-ups to keep the series in mind the wonderfully weird sensibilities of Men in Black feel fresh Smith's natural charisma once again on full display. Barry Sonnenfeld returns for the threequel another space alien romp with a time travel twist — which turns out to be Pandora's Box for the director's deranged imagination.
As time passed in the real world so did it for the timeline in the world of Men in Black. Picking up ten years after MIB 2 J and K are continuing to protect the Earth from alien threats and enforce the law on those who live incognito. While dealing with their own personal issues — K is at his all-time crabbiest for seemingly no reason — the suited duo encounter an old enemy Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) a prickly assassin seeking revenge on K who blew his arm off back in the '60s. Their street fight is more of a warning; Boris' real plan is to head back in time to save his arm and kill off K. He's successful prompting J to take his own leap through the time-space continuum — and team up with a younger K (Josh Brolin) to put an end to Boris plans for world domination.
Men in Black 3 is the Will Smith show. Splitting his time between the brick personalities of Jones and Brolin's K Smith struts his stuff with all the fast-talking comedic style that made him a star in yesteryears. In present day he's still the laid back normal guy in a world of oddities — J raises an eyebrow as new head honcho O (Emma Thompson) delivers a eulogy in a screeching alien tongue but coming up with real world explanations for flying saucer crashes comes a little easier. But back in 1969 he's an even bigger fish out water. Surprisingly director Barry Sonnenfeld and writer Etan Cohen dabble in the inherent issues that would spring up if a black gentlemen decked out in a slick suit paraded around New York in the late '60s. A star of Smith's caliber may stray away from that type of racy humor but the hook of Men in Black 3 is the actor's readiness for anything. He turns J's jokey anachronisms into genuine laughs and doesn't mind letting the special effect artists stretch him into an unrecognizable Twizzler for the movie's epic time jump sequence.
Unlike other summer blockbusters Men in Black 3 is light on the action Sonnenfeld utilizing his effects budget and dazzling creature work (by the legendary Rick Baker) to push the comedy forward. J's fight with an oversized extraterrestrial fish won't keep you on the edge of your seat but his slapstick escape and the marine animal's eventual demise are genuinely amusing. Sonnenfeld carries over the twisted sensibilities he displayed in small screen work like Pushing Daisies favoring bizarre banter and elaborating on the kookiness of the alien underworld than battle scenes. MIB3's chase scene is passable but the movie in its prime when Smith is sparring with Brolin and newcomer Michael Stuhlbarg who steals the show as a being capable of seeing the future. His twitchy character keeps Smith and the audience on their toes.
Men in Black 3 digs up nostalgia I wasn't aware I had. Smith's the golden boy of summer and even with modern ingenuity keeping it fresh — Sonnenfeld uses the mandatory 3D to full and fun effect — there's an element to the film that feels plucked from another era. The movie is economical and slight with plenty of lapses in logic that will provoke head scratching on the walk out of the theater but it's also perfectly executed. After ten years of cinematic neutralizing the folks behind Men in Black haven't forgotten what made the first movie work so well. After al these years Smith continues to make the goofy plot wild spectacle and crazed alien antics look good.