Veteran musician Brian Eno has written a letter urging U.S. leaders to intervene in the growing conflict in the Middle East. The music producer sent the passionate note to former Talking Heads musician David Byrne, who published it on his official website.
In the letter, Eno vents his anger at U.S. leaders for not taking action to stop the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, accusing American officials of supporting the war.
He writes, "I sense I'm breaking an unspoken rule with this letter, but I can't keep quiet any more... I read that the UN (United Nations) had said that Israel might be guilty of war crimes in Gaza, and they wanted to launch a commission into that. America won't sign up to it. What is going on in America?
"I know from my own experience how slanted your news is, and how little you get to hear about the other side of this story. But - for Christ's sake! - it's not that hard to find out. Why does America continue its blind support of this one-sided exercise in ethnic cleansing? WHY? I just don't get it...
"Like it or not, in the eyes of most of the world, America represents 'The West'. So it is The West that is seen as supporting this war, despite all our high-handed talk about morality and democracy... The war has no moral justification that I can see - but it doesn't even have any pragmatic value either... I'm sorry to burden you all with this. I know you're busy and in varying degrees allergic to politics, but this is beyond politics. It's us squandering the civilisational capital that we've built over generations. None of the questions in this letter are rhetorical: I really don't get it and I wish that I did."
Eno has also appeared in a video to support the Freedom for Palestine campaign alongside British director Ken Loach, rapper Chuck D and Pink Floyd musician Roger Waters.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Pixar
The next Pixar movie might not be released in theaters for another year, but it sounds like it's going to be a good one. The studio released the plot summary for its upcoming feature, Inside Out, which will journey into their most dangerous location yet: the human mind.
According to Pixar's website, Inside Out centers on 11-year-old Riley, who "is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions — Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.”
From the looks of it, Pixar has managed to perfectly match each emotion to an actor who truly exemplifies it. There's nobody in showbusiness angrier than Black, nobody more up-beat and bubbly than Poehler, and definitely nobody better at turning disgust into hilarity than Kaling. But they're not the only celebrities who are the human embodiment of a particular emotion; Hollywood is full of them. We've rounded up a bunch of our favorites, in case Pixar is looking to expand the cast for the inevitable sequel.
Aziz Ansari – ExcitementTry and think of a time that Aziz Ansari wasn't completely enthused about something. You can't, can you?
Michael Cera – AnxietyPart of the reason why Michael Cera is so good at playing awkward, nervous characters is that he's never once seemed relaxed in any situation he's ever been in.
Aubrey Plaza – BoredomWhether she's playing April Ludgate or just being herself, one thing's always certain: Aubrey Plaza could not be less interested in anything going on around her.
Kanye West – ConfidenceNobody in the world loves Kanye West more than Kanye himself. We should all aspire to believe in ourselves that much.
Charlie Day – ManiaNeed someone to shriek about spaceships or eat some cat food? Charlie Day's your guy, from his mile-a-minute speech patterns to the wild look in his eyes to his inherent unpredictability.
Morgan Freeman – CalmSpa days, crashing waves, smooth jazz... all of these things are somehow less serene than Morgan Freeman. He's a human lullaby.
Larry David – ExasperationIf anyone can find a reason to be annoyed in any given situation, it's Larry David. He's made a living educating audiences unto many grievances that would never have otherwise occured to us.
Jimmy Fallon – PassionSome people give 100 percent to their projects. Jimmy Fallon gives 100 percent to other people's projects, and still has enough enthusiasm left over to do his own show.
Taylor Swift – LoveYou might think you've been in love, but Taylor Swift has four albums worth of songs that would beg to differ. She's turned puppy love into an art form.
Ken Watanabe – AweAnyone can stand by and watch Godzilla trample a city, but it takes true talent to steal the film out from under him with a single, wide-eyed look. Ken Watanabe has that kind of talent.
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
Liam Neeson is actor will star in Martin Scorsese's upcoming film silence, an adaptation of a novel by Shusaku Endo that follows a group of 17 century Jesuits that seek to bring Christianity to a xenophobic Japan. The film will also star Ken Watanabe and Andrew Garfield.
With the runaway success of Taken, Neeson has grown comfortable in his new found niche as bankable action star over 60, and while there's always a place for breezy, empty-headed action films, There's no plane of existence that needed a second Taken film, let alone a third, which is scheduled for this year (first it was his daughter, then it was him, there's literally no on left to be taken). But it wouldn't be an issue if Liam was the only one cranking out old-man actioners, but it's turned into a full blown trend. Now with Neeson's own Non-Stop and the Kevin Costner's 3 Days to Kill turning the bend in February, "the retired CIA agent who needs to come out of retirement to help protect his family" genre has enough films to fill its own Netflix category.
It turns out that we miss the old Liam Neeson. The one that could rend hearts like he does in Schindler's List, and with upcoming roles in films like Seth MacFarlane's A Million Ways To Die In The West, The Lego Movie, and Non-Stop we were afraid that the actor had lost any desire to really get serious, and take on something with more dramtic meat than plastic bricks or western screwball comedy. His casting in Scorsese's latest venture does give us hope that we will see a return to form for Neeson, and see the actor find some more balance in is acting roles. It's about time for the actor, who has spent far too long slumming around in Taken sequels and other half-baked thrillers, to really showcase his dramatic chops.
The genesis of Universal's 47 Ronin is almost as tragic as the actual history that the movie is culling from. As the story goes, Universal saw the sprigs of talent sprouting from fresh faced director Carl Rinsch, whose previous experience was limited to just a couple of commercials and a nifty short film. The studio decided to ease the new director into feature filmmaking by cutting him what amounts to virtually a blank check, and giving him charge over a multi-national samurai fantasy epic. Almost impossibly, the film isn't a complete disaster. It's just a minor one.
47 Ronin follows the classic story of the titular team of warriors, a group of disgraced samurai who band together to seek revenge against a merciless warlord that betrayed and killed their master. But this isn't your grandfather's version of the story. 47 Ronin is an international affair, and it's covered with a veneer of Japanese mysticism and a thick coating of Hollywood lacquer, but east meets west rather uncomfortably, and it's mostly due to Keanu Reeves. Reeves' character is clearly crowbarred into the story that has no room for him, and it's plainly obvious where the seams of the story were stretched in order to patch him into the narrative. Reeves plays Kai, a half Japanese, half English orphan who is adopted by the samurai clan. His character serves no real purpose beyond being white, slicing things until they die, and playing the male lead of the most superfluous love story of the year. Rinsch simply can't make the inclusion of the character feel organic in any way, and "Kai" ends up feeling like a calculated studio move. It's a shame that the film spends so much time on Reeves when the real star is clearly Hiroyuki Sanada, who plays off the stoic samurai most believably among the rest of the cast.
It's also shame that with all the mysticism pumped into the story, there's no magic in the actual center of the film, the ronin themselves. The only personality trait a samurai is allowed to possess seems to be unerring stoicism, and between all 47 ronin, there are probably only three distinct samurai with any discernible character traits beyond an intense need to brood, and you'll probably only remember those three by the time the credits roll, only to promptly forget about them only a few hours later. Thankfully, Rinko Kikuchi's slinky and treacherous witch adds some much needed camp and personality to the mostly forgettable human characters.
And that's the issue with 47 Ronin. It's largely forgettable. When your film takes on a historical legend like the tale of the 47 ronin, a story that has been told and told again ad nauseum over the years, you really need to justify your own version. There are reels and reels of film dedicated to this story, and 47 Ronin doesn't manage to add anything significant to the canon. It promises to weld myth and history together, but does so clumsily, and while some of the action scenes are exciting, especially a particularly inspired set piece that involves the ronin noiselessly breaking into a heavily guarded fortress, the film is a bore when it's not clanking swords together.
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47 Ronin is a film with many stories. As much as it is a tale about the revenge of four dozen masterless samurai, it's also the tale of an inexperienced filmmaker swallowed up by the enormity of blockbuster filmmaking. Most of all though, It's proof that you shouldn't cram Keanu Reeves into a movie that doesn't really need Keanu Reeves. What you're left with is a dull and bloated samurai epic that has its moments, but feels largely unnecessary.
As if that Kanye proposal wasn't weird enough, here's some other weird, though less publicized, entertainment news from this week.
CBS is going to air colorized, festive I Love Lucy episodes. Because colorizing always turns out so well. Read more at The A.V. Club.
Tom Hanks and Ken Burns are recruiting celebs to record audiobooks. Find out what classic war story Bryan Cranston will be reading at The Verge.
The long rumored Beetlejuice sequel is happening. According to Rolling Stone, Tim Burton and Michael Keaton seem to be on board.
Bob Barker gets sentimental about baby elephants. Read the cute story at Hollywood.com.
North West will not stoop to wearing "typical baby pink," says Kim Kardashian. Find out the colors that the budding fashionista does wear at The Huffington Post.
Glee releases awesome/strange promotional photos for an episode that looks to be about both Lady GaGa and Katy Perry. Check them out at MTV.
Apparently, Owl City created some of the iOS7 ringtones. According to Stereogum, Apple decided the cloyingly sweet sounds of Owl City were still relevent.
And the Comic-Con news just keeps on coming!
Vampires, werewolves, geeks, serial killers, secret agents and more are set to dazzle fans at the 2013 Comic-Con in San Diego. Warner Bros. has just unveiled their lineup, and it's looking like 17 of their fan-favorite series will be in attendance. Take a look at the full lineup below to find out when stars from The Vampire Diaries, Arrow, The Big Bang Theory, and more will be taking the stage.
Wendesday, July 17:– Pilot screenings of Almost Human, The Tomorrow People, and The 100, as well as a special presentation of The Originals featuring never-before-seen footage.
Thursday, July 18:- MAD: Producers Kevin Shinick and Mark Marek.
Friday, July 19:- Almost Human: Stars Karl Urban, Michael Ealy, and executive producer J.H. Wyman. - The Big Bang Theory: Executive producers Steven Molaro and Bill Prady and the writers- Childrens Hospital: Creator/star Rob Corddry and executive producers David Wain and Jonathan Stern join cast members Lake Bell, Erinn Hayes, Ken Marino and Rob Huebel. - The Following: Kevin Bacon, Shawn Ashmore, and Valorie Curry join executive producers Kevin Williamson and Marcos Siega. - Nikita: Maggie Q, Shane West, Lyndsy Fonseca, Aaron Stanford, Melinda Clarke, Devon Sawa, and Noah Bean join executive producer Craig Silverstein. - The 100: Series stars Eliza Taylor, Thomas McDonell, Marie Avgeropoulos, and Henry Ian Cusick join executive producers Matthew Miller and Jason Rothenberg. - The Paranormal and Extraterrestrial Squad: Producers Milo Ventimiglia and Russ Cundiff and creators/stars John Dale and Michael Hobert.
Saturday, July 20:- Arrow: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards and Colton Haynes joining executive producers Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg. - The Originals: Joseph Morgan, Claire Holt, Phoebe Tonkin, and Charles Michael Davis join executive producer Julie Plec. - Person of Interest: Executive producers Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman join members of the cast for their third visit to Comic-Con. - Revolution: Series stars and creator/executive producer Eric Kripke. - The Tomorrow People: Series stars Robbie Amell, Mark Pellegrino, and Peyton List with executive producers Greg Berlanti, Phil Klemmer and Danny Cannon. - The Vampire Diaries: Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Kat Graham and Candice Accola join executive producers Julie Plec and Caroline Dries.
Sunday, July 21:- Supernatural: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, and Mark A. Sheppard with executive producers Jeremy Carver and Robert Singer. - Beware the Batman: Producers Glen Murakami and Mitch Watson. - Teen Titans Go!: Producer Aaron Horvath joins members of the voice cast, including Greg Cipes and Scott Menville.
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While jury's still out on The Hangover Part III — will it redeem the franchise after the groan-worthy Hangover Part II? — one thing's for certain: Zach Galifianakis will win us all over during Saturday's new episode of Saturday Night Live.
After all, the two-time host is already a pro — his first monologue in Studio 8H ranks among the best of all time, and his second monologue in 2011, in which he dressed as Little Orphan Annie, only made us wonder how he'd up the Annie (er, ante), his next time back.
And, luckily for us, Galifianakis is back for a third time, with musical guests Of Monsters and Men. Whether or not The Hangover Part III does redeem itself, Galifianakis will no doubt redeem SNL's troubled 38th season — and is it too much to ask he stop by Today again to redeem the entire network?
Will you watch Galifianakis on Saturday's SNL? If so, be sure to talk about the episode here, and return Sunday for a full recap of the night's best sketches!
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Veteran British actor Bill Roache has been charged with two counts of rape relating to allegations involving a teenage girl in 1967. The Coronation Street star, who has played Ken Barlow in the iconic U.K. soap opera since 1960, was arrested at his home in Cheshire, England on Wednesday morning (01May13) and he has since been slapped with two counts of sexual assault.
Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service North West, reveals authorities had been reviewing the case against the 81 year old since 1 March (13) before deciding to press charges against him. He says, "Having completed our review, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr. Roache to be charged with two offences of rape relating to a girl, aged 15, in 1967."
Roache has been ordered to appear in Preston Magistrates' Court on 14 May (13). The actor and bosses at Britain's ITV network, which airs Coronation Street, have yet to comment on the arrest or the charges. Roache's future on the show is not yet known, although reports suggest he will not appear on the programme while investigations continue.
Zach Galifianakis is an SNL five-timer in the making. (Just three more hosting gigs to go!) A best-of DVD compilation waiting to happen. (Which could really just have this sketch on repeat for an hour). His first time as host on Saturday Night Live back in 2011 had one of the most hilarious opening monologues of the past decade, if not in the show's history. Okay, in case you couldn't tell, we're pretty damn excited that Galifianakis is returning to host SNL this weekend with musical guests Of Monsters and Men. But, I mean, look at that face. You're laughing already, aren't you?
In the clip, the The Hangover Part III star heads to the roof of 30 Rock alongside cast member Jason Sudeikis for a promo that takes place right next to a tree — not between two ferns, sadly — but Galifianakis thinks they are shooting a porno, not a promo (hence the robe). In fact, a lot of the video is of Galifianakis getting things wrong, like calling him Will Bithers instead of Bill Withers (turns out, other than the word 'butt munch,' the actor can't tell his w's from his b's, and vice versa) and spending an obscene amount of money of nail art of Justin Bieber and Taylor Lautner.
Watch the very funny two-and-a-half minute clip (imagine how good 90 minutes of this will be) here, because as Sudeikis puts it, "a little public shaming never hurt anyone."
Galifianakis' episode of SNL airs on Saturday, May 4 at 11:30 PM on NBC. However, his comedy special Live at the Purple Onion is on Netflix instant watch and you should be watching that right now.
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"West Texas my heart goes out to everyone." Actor Ken Kercheval pays tribute to those killed or injured in the horrific explosion at a fertiliser plant in West, Texas on Wednesday (17Apr13). Kercheval plays Cliff Barnes in hit drama series Dallas, which is set just 80 miles from the site of the disaster.