Dan Aykroyd and soul singer-turned-actress Jill Scott have joined the cast of The Help director Tate Taylor's James Brown biopic. The Blues Brothers star will portray the Godfather of Soul's longtime agent Ben Bart and Scott has been cast as Brown's wife.
42 star Chadwick Boseman will play the late soul legend in the film, titled Get On Up.
Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, Taylor's leading ladies from The Help, have also snagged roles in the biopic, which is scheduled to start shooting later this month (Nov13).
Singer Jana Kramer has moved on from her recent love split with Clint Eastwood's son Scott. The brunette beauty ended her engagement to fellow country star Brantley Gilbert in August (13), seven months after he popped the question.
She has now reportedly started dating hunky Hollywood newcomer Eastwood. The pair was spotted holding hands backstage at her concert in California on Saturday night (26Oct13).
A source tells Us Weekly, "They are definitely into each other."
Justin Timberlake's newest movie, Runner Runner, is in theaters now, and even though it boasts big names like Ben Affleck, it's not winning over the critics or audiences. Timberlake plays Richie, a Princeston student who plays online poker to pay for his tuition and gets swindled by an online gambling boss (Affleck), who later takes Richie under his wing. Timberlake's latest inspired us to take a look back at his entire movie career, so we did just that and ranked his most notable movies from best to...not so great.
The Social Network
Not only did The Social Network win several Academy Awards, but it almost earned Timberlake an Oscar nod for best supporting actor. Now that is impressive. Timberlake's portrayal of Napster founder Sean Parker is arguably the best of his career.
Inside Llewyn Davis
You know you've made it when you're cast in a Coen brothers movie. In this one, Timberlake plays a musician and performs covers of classic folk songs live for the film.
Friends With Benefits
This movie came out around the same time as No Strings Attached, which basically had the same premise, but Timberlake's film was by far the superior of the two. He and Mila Kunis have palpable chemistry and a very natural rapport. The movie's real magic, however, lies in its postmodern mocking of the rom-com genre.
Black Snake Moan
Still starting out in his career, Timberlake played a minor role in this 2006 drama, but anytime he was on screen, his presence was overshadowed by another actor. Even when sharing the frame with little-known actor Michael Raymond-James, James clearly has more weight as an actor than the pop singer.
Though he stood out as a goofy supporting friend character, the movie is one of the most painful to watch in recent memory.
Trouble With the Curve
Not even Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams can save this snoozefest. It sort of makes you wonder if Timberlake only signed on because Eastwood's name was attached.
Cameron Diaz is hilarious as the teacher who smokes pot in front of her students and cares more about finding a rich husband than teaching, while Timberlake is the weakest link in a solid cast of comedians that also includes Jason Segel and Lucy Punch.
This wannabe sci-fi dystopia flick, about a future world that uses time as currency, looks slick, but the plot is ludicrous and poorly executed. Timberlake especially falls flat in his first major action role.
It just so happens that Timberlake's latest movie is his worst. His acting in the thriller may have improved marginally — he's doing the obvious head turns and concerned face less — but the movie fails to engage the audience with the subject matter.
Every hero needs a villain, but sometimes a TV show creates a character that just becomes so irritating that you just want to stop watching the show altogether. This is also known as The Poochie Effect, from that episode of The Simpsons where Homer's new rad-surfer-dog character ruins The Itchy and Scratchy Show. Here's a handful of current and recent examples.
Sue Sylvester, Glee
We have nothing but love for Jane Lynch, and certainly Sue is not the only problem this maddeningly uneven show has had over the years. But Sue Sylvester is such a smug, preening irritant that she's best enjoyed in small doses. Instead, she became the show's breakout star in the first season and the writers responded by giving her tracksuited self more and more screen time.
Sophie Kerchinsky, 2 Broke Girls
Again, it's a stretch to say that 2 Broke Girls would actually be a good show without the presence of Jennifer Coolidge's broad, one-note portrayal of a blowsy Polish housekeeper. But like Lynch -- who Coolidge was so good playing against in Christopher Guest's fantastic Best in Show way back when -- Coolidge has had what should have been a small guest role expanded far too much. It's taking away from the show's primary charms. Which, admittedly, mostly involve staring at Kat Dennings' chest and Beth Behrs' legs. But still.
Christopher Pelant, Bones
Bones has never done well with the season-long villain arcs, because they detract from the show's essentially light and frothy tone. (For a series that regularly features corpses in varying states of decay, Bones has a surprisingly His Girl Friday kinda feel.) But Christopher Pelant is just annoying. For one thing, his supposed ability as a super-hacker to use basically any item more complicated than a toaster as a surveillance device strains credulity and turns him into a cartoon super-villain who doesn't seem to have any motives for his actions other than being a pest. The whiny, juvenile feel of Andrew Leeds' portrayal of the character just makes him come off as an obnoxious little brat, and the sooner he's gone, the better.
Scarlett O'Connor, Nashville
Clare Bowen is a perfectly capable singer and actress, and I sort of get why showrunner Callie Khouri wanted to have the character of Scarlett in her show, to be able to show a third singer at a different level of her career. The thing is, the glammy soap that is the entire Rayna and Juliette show is more than enough show in and of itself, and shoehorning in Scarlett's comparatively drab storylines just stops the show dead. The frustrating thing is, Bowen's clearly a better singer than either Connie Britton or Hayden Panettiere, so it's a shame she can't be better integrated into the series.
Mark Brendanawicz, Parks and Recreation
Finally, here's an example of how much a show can improve when it cuts out the dead weight. Mark Brandanawicz, whose sole character trait was that he was fed up with both his job and his life, literally did not fit in the Parks and Recreation world. As a love interest for Amy Poehler's Leslie Knope, Paul Schneider came off as a cold fish, and his dead-eyed ennui wasn't anywhere near as funny as Aubrey Plaza as April Ludgate, who was both funnier and more cynical. Although the producers later claimed that they had planned to write Mark off the show all along and that they also planned to bring him back, the brilliant double-team of Rob Lowe and Adam Scott made Schneider surplus to requirements. The show became 100% better as soon as their characters appeared.
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Some music videos use abstract imagery to illustrate the feeling behind a song, while others literally hit us over the head with their literal interpretation of the lyrics à la Miley Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball". Unlike the "literal music video" meme, which dubs new lyrics over the original video that more closely matches what's happening in the video, these videos require no editing to get their direct translation across. So for all of you who prefer their music videos "straight up," here is a list of artists who don't like to read between the lines.
A Little Respect – Erasure
No (dis)respect to Erasure, but we can't believe someone signed off on this. Not only do they act out the lyrics, but they superimpose it over the duo singing. How do we know he discovered "something to make me sweeter," by putting sugar in tea of course! Then they break they heart by holding up a heart and breaking it with a hammer. We've seen school plays with more understated symbolism.
Dancing in the Streets — David Bowie and Mick Jagger
It didn't take much to make a music video in 1985, just some colorful windbreakers, snapping fingers and entire premise of just dancing around...in the streets. When two of the biggest pop icons of all time covered this Martha and the Vandellas Motown classic, one would think their budget might cover more than a trenchcoat and some anonymous warehouse in Newark. But as the song suggests, these two spend the entirety of the video "dancing in the streets," in one of the worst examples of white people dancing ever committed to film.
Dancing on the Ceiling — Lionel Richie
Not to be outdone by his fellow pop rivals Bowie and Jagger, Lionel Richie took the concept of a literal dancing music video one year later, added a rotating room and around $400,000 and what you see is what you get. How would one show the elation of dancing on the ceiling without actually doing so? This innovative video apparently also warranted a behind the scenes special on HBO. But without these groundbreaking visuals, we would never have Jamiroquai's "Virtual Insanity" and we don't want to live in that world.
With Arms Wide Open — Creed
We get chills when we hear this song, and by chills we mean cold sweats. Creed was one of those pants that got filed under "grunge" at Sam Goody but we all knew it was Christian Rock. In order to really make the audience feel what the song was about, there was no shortage of times that lead singer Scott Stapp threw us arms open in the air. Would the video have the same emotional punch had he sat on a rock with his arms folded? We all know the answer to that one.
Sledgehammer — Peter Gabriel
Before Miley started licking her tool set, Peter Gabriel took the sledgehammer to new artistic heights and made it more than an erotic prop from Tool Time. Sure, he follows he same pattern of literal interpretation of the lyrics, but he does so using claymation, pixilation, stop motion animation and creative metaphors. While the lyrical imagery is direct, the meanings behind it are not and it remains one of our favorite music videos of all time.
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As much as some people may be thanking their stars that the 1990s are over and Baja jackets are no longer cool, the fact remains that the decade had some of the best music ever. The '90s were coming off of the ridiculous excess of the '80s and went through a rollercoaster ride of numerous music genres.
Here’s a look at 7 artists that released their debut albums in the '90s and still have us pining for them.
Pearl Jam: Ten (1991) Ahhh, Ten – the album that launched a thousand crappy rock bands and horrendous singers who think their vocals are deep and profound (see: Scott Stapp, Chad Kroeger, Aaron Lewis, etc.). There could’ve been a legit Nirvana vs. Pearl Jam feud with Kurt Cobain telling Flipside magazine that Pearl Jam was nothing but “false alternative macho metal” when Ten came out, but unfortunately, Eddie Vedder is way too mature, reportedly reaching out to Cobain and ultimately getting on friendly terms before Cobain’s death. Ten took grunge into a whole new level and proved the diversity and lasting power of Pearl Jam. Dealing with everything from abortion to depression and murder to bullying, Ten was the perfect social commentary: effective without being preachy. The album also made Pearl Jam stand out in the grunge movement, as their sound was rooted more in classic rock than punk and low-fi.
Pavement: Slanted and Enchanted (1992) If you love indie rock (whatever that means to you), then props must be given to Pavement’s Slanted and Enchanted. The band is constantly referred to as the most influential band of the '90s because of their ultimate reach over how the indie rock scene turned out. With their stream-of-thought lyrics, purposely shoddy production, and beautiful melodies, Pavement influenced just about every indie rocker that came out after them – what the Pixies and Sonic Youth did for grunge, Pavement did for a whole new generation of indie.
Dr. Dre: The Chronic (1992) One of the most influential albums in West Coast gangsta rap, Dr. Dre’s The Chronic is such a legendary album that it took Dre 7 years to make a worthy follow up. Dre’s debut solidified G-funk rap and also launched the career of Snoop Dogg. The Chronic also led to the legendary East vs. West rap beef that dominated rap scene in the '90s. The legendary “F**k Wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)” took serious shots at Eazy-E and others, even using impersonators in his video, and all of a sudden rap beef was something more than “Yo mama’s so fat” jokes. The album also cemented Dre as a superstar producer, as the album boasted some of the slickest production that the genre had ever heard.
Liz Phair: Exile In Guyville (1993) According to Liz Phair, her crazy influential debut Exile in Guyville was a track-by-track response to the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main St.. Sure Liz, whatever – the point is, Exile in Guyville managed to change both the alt rock scene and also the way people perceived female singer-songwriters. Though her lyrics may seem tame now, at the time it was surprising to hear a young woman sing about sex, drugs, rock n’ roll, and crappy relationships. Her honesty was refreshing and gave women a voice that differed from the airhead pop songs that were previously associated with women. Though she never got the full recognition that she deserved, Phair helped pave the way for the angry/over-it rock chick to enter the mainstream.
Green Day: Dookie (1994) Okay, okay, so technically Dookie isn’t Green Day’s debut-debut album, but it is the band’s major label debut. Dookie was the record that took the band from playing at rowdy gigs to Bay Area kids at 924 Gilman to becoming known and emulated all over the world. After years of grunge, flannel, and low serotonin dominating the music world, all which was further exacerbated by Kurt Cobain’s suicide in April, 1994’s Dookie was a breath of fresh air, a testament to “F**k it all, let’s just have a blast.” Green Day is responsible for igniting the generally horrendous pop-punk movement of the '90s, but no one has been able to emulate the pop-punk perfection on Dookie, which succeeded in having all the elements of punk rock akin to bands like the Ramones: apathy, boredom, aggression, independence, and fun.
Oasis: Definitely Maybe (1994) Oasis’ debut album had a similar effect in England that Dookie had in America, albeit in a more drunken fashion. After the Stone Roses’ seminal self-titled debut in 1989, the Britpop movement had officially begun, and Oasis’ first album helped define it. Definitely Maybe paved the way for a completely new type of rock that kicked aside the emo-filled despondencies of shoegaze, filling it instead with tales of drunkenness, debauchery, and celebration. The Gallaghers weren’t moaning about not feeling good enough or getting dumped by their girlfriends – they were bragging about how blessed you were to be in their presence and how they don’t care about anything because they just want to get sloshed. The album was filled with songs that made you feel rowdy and confident, not sullen and moody, and marked a turning point in the direction the Britpop genre took in the mid-'90s.
Britney Spears: …Baby One More Time (1999) Though it may seem blasphemous to place Britney Spears on a list among the likes of Pavement and Oasis, the influence that her debut album had on the pop world is utterly undeniable. …Baby One More Time not only launched the career of a bona fide pop culture icon, but it also kickstarted the teen pop movement for the millennial generation. It’s hard to find any pop singer who came out in the 2000s that hasn’t been influenced by Spears, and regardless of whether that’s for better or for worse, ultimately Spears changed the pop landscape for good.
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Motley Crue rocker Nikki Sixx has praised the stars of Stone Temple Pilots for ditching troubled frontman Scott Weiland, branding it a "smart move" as the singer was "dragging down a great band". Weiland was booted from the group earlier this year (13) and he has been replaced by Linkin Park's Chester Bennington.
The new line-up will perform a show with Motley Crue in Oklahoma on Friday (13Sep13), and Sixx has revealed he is looking forward to seeing Stone Temple Pilots play, praising them for their bravery in moving forward without their original singer.
In a post on his Twitter.com page, he writes, "Looking forward to (Stone Temple Pilots) with (Chester Bennington) on lead vocals opening for Crue in Oklahoma. Weiland was dragging down a great band... Smart move..."
Singer Elton John is set to pay tribute to Liberace at the 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards later this month (Sep13), according to U.S. reports. The Rocket Man hitmaker's performance will mark the first time he has appeared on the U.S. television industry's biggest award night.
Behind the Candelabra, the TV movie about Liberace and his lover Scott Thorson played by Michael Douglas and Matt Damon respectively, is nominated for 15 awards.
John's musical number will accompany nominees Douglas and Damon when they present during the show, according to E! News.
5Ive star Scott Robinson is preparing to become a father to twins. The British pop singer, who returned to the spotlight with the reunited group last year (12), already has two sons with his wife Kerry, and now he has confirmed they are expecting a double addition to the family.
He tells Britain's Daily Star Sunday, "We're expecting twins and we're really excited. She's just over 18 weeks and all is going well."
However, Robinson admits he may have to make some big changes to accommodate the twins.
The star adds, "We've got to get a seven-seater car and we might have to move house to make room now we know it's twins, but we're over the moon."
Plans to unveil a statue of late British singer Amy Winehouse in London have been postponed after her father decided he was unhappy with the final design. Officials in the British capital have given the go ahead for a tribute to the tragic star to be unveiled outside the Roundhouse venue in Camden, north London, and the finished product was due to be presented later this month (Sep13).
However, the unveiling may now be delayed after her dad Mitch found fault with the bronze by artist Scott Eaton.
Winehouse's former boyfriend Reg Traviss tells Britain's Mail on Sunday newspaper, "Mitch wants it to be just right and he doesn't want anything to go up that he's not completely satisfied with. But obviously it's never going to look exactly like her."
Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning in 2011.