Swedish dance music superstar Avicii has recruited Chris Martin, Billie Joe Armstrong and Jon Bon Jovi, among other big names for his next album.
The follow-up to last year's (13) True will also feature a duet between Wyclef Jean and Matisyahu.
And, teaming up with Coldplay star Martin has been beneficial for Avicii's health - he has been giving the DJ/producer nutrition tips after he was forced to cancel his appearance at the Ultra Festival in Miami, Florida in March (14) due to exhaustion.
He explains, "Chris has been like a brother and helps out with my nutritionist. I find it hard to gain weight, so I drink shakes in the morning."
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Martin Scorsese's long-delayed movie adaptation of historical novel Silence is set to hit theatres in late 2015, eight years after he first unveiled plans for the project.
The legendary filmmaker began developing the idea for a film based on Shusako Endo's 1966 book of the same name back in 1989 and he announced his intention to direct the picture in 2007.
Now studio executives at Paramount Pictures have picked up the U.S. distribution rights to Silence and are eyeing a November, 2015 release.
The movie will star actors Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver as troubled Jesuit missionaries who travel to Japan to search for their mentor in the 17th century.
The project will also feature Batman Begins co-stars Liam Neeson and Ken Watanabe. Silence is due to begin production in Taiwan later this year (14).
One Direction have been too busy to take up an offer to appear in Glee, according to castmember Kevin Mchale.
The actor has revealed producers behind the hit musical TV show have been desperate to land a cameo appearance by the British-Irish boyband, but the singers have been unable to find time in their gruelling work schedules.
McHale tells Britain's The Sun newspaper, "We wanted them on the show badly and I thought it might happen at one time. But then they just became too big, too busy."
Previous guest stars on the show have included Britney Spears, Ricky Martin and Demi Lovato.
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
A new underground art installation based on the latest Planet Of The Apes movie is to open in London.
British artist Martin Firrell has created a show called It Ends Here inspired by the themes depicted in new film Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes and the rest of the sci-fi franchise.
The immersive exhibition has been set up in The Vaults beneath London's Waterloo Station, and features a number of creepy scenes, including a scarily dark room, wall chains and slogans such as "abuse begets abuse" and "brutality".
Firrell says of the show, "This work is a response to the whole of the franchise of Planet Of The Apes. The core of Planet Of The Apes is power inversion, so humans become subservient and the apes are in charge... This work is all about power and the abuse of power... I'm hoping that everyone who comes along to this finds it though provoking but also theatrical - it's like walking into a movie."
The free exhibition runs from 10-12 July (14). Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, starring Gary Oldman, is released worldwide this month (Jul14).
Actor Sam Waterston is going gay to romance Martin Sheen in Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin's new TV comedy Grace And Frankie.
The Law & Order veteran will play Sol, the husband to Tomlin's character Frankie, opposite Sheen as Fonda's onscreen partner.
The show, about two warring women whose lives are turned upside down when their husbands come out of the closet and announce plans to wed one another, will reunite Waterston with his The Newsroom co-star Fonda, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Grace and Frankie, created by Friends writers Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris, is due to debut on video-streaming site Netflix next year (15).
Warner Bros via Everett Collection
Martin Freeman is adamant his fellow Hollywood star Viggo Mortensen is wrong to accuse the makers of The Hobbit trilogy of letting special effects ruin the story.
Mortensen, who played Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings franchise, revealed in an interview in May (14) that he dislikes The Hobbit prequel films because the computer-generated imagery (CGI) is not subtle and overpowers the rest of the movie.
Freeman, who starred as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit series, has now spoken out to defend the films and director Peter Jackson, telling Britain's Seven magazine, "All I can say is: I hope that's not the case. I know Peter and the team who make those films, they'd be horrified to think they'd jettisoned all subtlety."
"Yeah, there's a lot of CGI, an awful lot of that business going on. But they are still very, very interested in the story. They want the human side of it to be absolutely pivotal. Beyond that?...Of course it's a question of taste and I respect Viggo's opinion."
Focus Features via Everett Collection
Martin Sheen is set to come out of the closet as a gay man in video-streaming site Netflix's new comedy Grace & Frankie. The veteran actor has signed up to play the husband of Jane Fonda's character, who announces he's in love with her nemesis' partner.
Fonda's 9 to 5 co-star Lily Tomlin will play Frankie to the Monster-in-Law star's Grace. The comedy, created by Friends writers Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris, is set to debut next year (15). The Help's Tate Taylor, who is among the producers, will direct the first episode.
Sheen has held a recurring role in son Charlie's comedy Anger Management over the past two years, but Grace and Frankie will mark his first full series role since The West Wing ended its seven-season run in 2006. The 13-episode series is set to premiere next year (15).
Paramount via Everett Collection
Actor Dylan Baker has been tapped to play former U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation director J. Edgar Hoover in the Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic Selma.
The Spider-Man 2 star will portray the government official who famously wiretapped the civil rights leader's office in a failed bid to prove he was a part of the Communist party, according to Deadline.com.
Baker will join a cast that includes David Oyelowo as King, Cuba Gooding, Jr. as American civil rights lawyer Fred Gray, British actor Tom Wilkinson as former U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson and Tim Roth, who will portray controversial U.S. governor George Wallace.
Oprah Winfrey, who will play civil rights protester Annie Lee Cooper in the film, and Brad Pitt are among the producers of the project.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
With only a week and change having passed since the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, we no doubt feel the question living fresh in our minds: can we ever judge a remake without considering its predecessors? The conversation about the stark contrast in critical favor between Marc Webb's release and Sam Raimi's trilogy (the second installment of his franchise in particular) buzzed loudly, and we imagine the volume will keep in regards to Gareth Edwards' Godzilla. But it'll be a different sound altogether.
The original Godzilla, a Japanese film released in 1954, reinvented the identity of the monster movie, launched a 30-film legacy, and spoke legions about the political climate of its era. The most recent of these films — Roland Emmerich's 1998 American production — is universally bemoaned as a bigger disaster than anything to befall Tokyo at the hands of the giant reptile. With these two entries likely standing out as the most prominent in the minds of contemporary audiences, Edwards' Godzilla has some long shadows cast before it. And in approaching the new movie, one might not be able to avoid comparisons to either. It's fair — by taking on an existing property, a filmmaker knowingly takes on the connotations of that property. But the 2014 installment's great success is that it isn't much like any Godzilla movie we've seen before. In a great, great way.
This isn't 1954's Godzilla, a dire and occasionally dreary allegory that uses the supernatural to tell an important story about nuclear holocaust. A complete reversal, in fact, first and foremost Edwards' Godzilla is about its monsters. Any grand themes strewn throughout — the perseverence of nature, the follies of mankind, fatherhood, madness, faith — are all in service to the very simple mission to give us some cool, weighty, articulate sci-fi disaster. Elements of gravity are plotted all over the film's surface, with scientists, military men (kudos to Edwards for not going the typical "scientists = good/smart, military = bad/dumb" route in this film — everybody here is at least open to suggestion), doctors, police officers, and a compassionate bus driver all wrestling with options in the face of behemoth danger. The humanity is everpresent, but never especially intrusive. To reiterate, this isn't a film about any of these people, or what they do.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
The closest thing to a helping of thematic (or human) significance comes with Ken Watanabe's Dr. Serizawa, who spouts awe-stricken maxims about cryptozoology, the Earth, and the inevitable powerlessness of man. He might not be supplying anything more substantial than our central heroes (soft-hearted soldier Aaron Taylor-Johnson, dutiful medic and mom Elizabeth Olsen, right-all-along conspiracy theorist Bryan Cranston), but Watanabe's bonkers performance as the harried scientist is so bizarrely good that you might actually believe, for a scene or two, that it all does mean something.
Ultimately, the beauty of our latest taste of Godzilla lies not in the commitment to a message that made the original so important nor in the commitment to levity that made Emmerich's so pointless, but in its commitment to imagination. Edwards' creature design is dazzling, his deus ex machina are riveting, and the ultimate payoff to which he treats his audience is the sort of gangbusters crowd-pleaser that your average contemporary monster movie is too afraid to consider.
In fairness, this year's Godzilla might not be considered an adequate remake, not quite reciprocating the ideals, tone, or importance of the original. Sure, anyone looking for a 2014 answer to 1954's game-changing paragon will find sincere philosophy traded for pulsing adventure... but they'd have a hard time ignoring the emphatic charm of this new lens for the 60-year-old lizard, both a highly original composition and a tribute in its way to the very history of monster movies (a history that owes so much to the creature in question). So does Godzilla '14 successfully fill the shoes of Godzilla '54? No — it rips them apart and dons a totally new pair... though it still has a lot of nice things to say about the first kicks.
Oh, and the '98 Godzilla? Yeah, it's better than that.
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Transcendence has lofty goals for a high-profile blockbuster. It attempts to address a deep philosophical question – what, is it exactly that makes us human? – in a film that is part sci-fi adventure, part action-thriller and part ominous warning, as well as having a strong emotional arc that connects all of these different threads. In short, it’s the kind of film that attempts to both blow you away and make you think about the world around you, but with so many different elements competing for equal screen time, it doesn’t quite manage to transcend (sorry) the high expectations it establishes for itself, even if it does succeed in creating an exciting, entertaining experience.
The film centers on Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp), a brilliant scientist who has been working alongside his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) to develop a sentient, omniscient artificial intelligence that will eventually know more about the universe than it is possible for humanity as a collective to ever understand. Their goal is to use this knowledge to cure disease and heal the planet, but the anti-technology terrorist organization RIFT wants to stop their work before it goes too far. However, their assassination attempt gives Evelyn and Will’s best friend Max (Paul Bettany) the push they need to finish his research, and they successfully manage to upload Will’s consciousness onto their AI.
It’s then that Transcendence really takes off, as the first act takes its time establishing the science behind the film and the laws in which everything functions. It’s a necessary, if somewhat slow, process, but it all pays off once Depp is off screen – or rather, on a computer screen (sorry, jeez) – and the stakes are raised, with Will quickly becoming smarter, more powerful, and more dangerous than Max and Evelyn could have anticipated.
Though Depp is the marquee name, he’s easily overshadowed by his co-stars, who carry the film’s emotional thread and do the bulk of the heavy lifting. The real star is Hall, whose blind devotion to her husband and his work slowly gives way to an understanding of the reality of what they’ve done. As Evelyn is truly the protagonist of the film, to whom we adhere the entire way, Hall is permitted to showcase the small, quiet changes that her character undergoes, perfectly befitting of the large span of time that the film covers. Though she's long been a underappreciated talent, giving wonderful performances in smaller films, her work here will hopefully earn her the kind of attention she deserves.
Warner Bros. Entertainment
But if the main character of the film is Evelyn, the one that the audience most identifies with is Max, who is torn between his devotion to his friends and his understanding of the dangers of letting things go too far. Bettany subtly plays out that internal conflict in all of his scenes, and even though Max is the least developed of the three main characters, he makes it easy to root for him. Depp, meanwhile, is relatively flat as Will, although he does have some truly terrifying moments as the AI, delivering his lines in a calm, soothing manner that hints at the inhuman coldness that lurks beneath the surface.
As the characters’ perspectives shift and change, so does your allegiance. Transcendence’s ability to manipulate the way the audience views these characters and their goals without making it obvious is one of the film’s strengths. It’s also the main source of tension, which make the few full-on action sequences even more exciting, as you’re never quite sure who you want to have the upper hand.
And yet, despite the edge-of-your-seat action, the engrossing personal relationships and interior conflicts and the beautifully shot scenery, there’s something missing from Transcendence to make it a truly satisfying experience, most likely due to the fact that the film attempts to pack so much into its 119-minute run time that certain threads are left hanging. At one point, the film jumps ahead in time by two years. While it’s necessary for the events of the third act to unfold properly, everything that isn’t Evelyn and Will's storyline gets short-changed, and it feels as if a massive piece of the plot gets left behind.
Similarly, many of the supporting characters are flimsy and one-note, with Kate Mara’s RIFT leader Bree suffering the most. The script does a cursory job of explaining her reasoning for starting the organization, but from there, she fades into the background, occasionally chiming in with a plan or a threat. Ultimately, Wally Pfister's directorial debut falls somewhat flat, and all of the stunning visuals and compelling performances can't quite make up for the fact that the pieces just don't click together in the right way.
But it's the pieces themselves — the minimalist computer labs contrasting with lush forests, the thrilling chases and the quiet character moments, and a truly exciting last-minute twist — that make Transcendence an experience well worth having. It might leave you a little cold in the end, but the journey you take to get there just about makes up for it.