April 02, 2013 5:20pm EST
It's been three years since Percy Jackson saved the world in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, and now he's back to do it again. Well, except this time he's really only saving Camp Half-Blood first, but hey, that's his world!
The first trailer for Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters just hit the web, and clearly those three years in-between filming movies have been kind to the stars. Logan Lerman is back as Poseidon's son Percy Jackson, and he's teaming up with his maybe-more-than-a-friend, daughter-of-Athena Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario), satyr Grover (Brandon T. Jackson), and newly-discovered-half-brother cyclops Tyson (Douglas Smith) to find the mythical Golden Fleece that will cure their camp's poisoned borders... poisoned by a revenge-seeking son-of-Hermes Luke (Jake Abel). The stakes are higher, the action is bigger, and the monsters are downright massive in their quest to save Camp Half Blood, and then stop the titan Kronos from rising again to defeat his sons, the Gods of Olympus.
RELATED: 'Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters' Trailer
The demigods must travel through the Sea of Monsters (a.k.a. the Bermuda Triangle), tangle with the mother of all sea monsters Charybdis, and battle an army of zombies to save their home and the world. Add in some heavier players like the sarcastic and spiteful God of Wine, Dionysus (Stanley Tucci) and Luke's shifty father, Hermes himself (Nathan Fillion), plus a new head centaur (Anthony Head replaces Pierce Brosnan's role as Chiron) and a cocky daughter-of-Ares Clarisse (Leven Rambin), and Percy and co. are in for another tough quest ahead. Watch the trailer below:
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters hits theaters August 16, 2013 in 3D.
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox]
From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz)
January 23, 2013 12:32pm EST
TV pilot bonanza! NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, and The CW have been on a greenlighting binge, ordering 25 pilots for consideration among their fall 2013 lineups. Among them are the TV spinoff of the venerable Beverly Hills Cop franchise, starring Brandon T. Jackson as the son of Eddie Murphy's titular lawman and already given a series order; a new Western from Lost scribe Carlton Cuse for NBC; a Hunger Games-meets-The-Bachelor dystopian sci-fi thriller for The CW; and the first network adaptation of a Swedish crime novel series. 25 is a lot to wrap your head around, so we've ranked what we found to be Top 10 most intriguing of the lost. Don't worry, we'll let you know about the others too on the next page, but these are the ones that really caught our eye.
RELATED: Brandon T. Jackson is Your New 'Beverly Hills Cop'
1. Sleepy Hollow (FOX)
Alias scribes Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman gave one beloved franchise a 21st century makeover with their stellar script for 2009's Star Trek. Now they're looking to give Washington Irving's classic American folk tale about upstate New York schoolteacher Ichabod Crane running afoul of the legendary Headless Horseman a modern-day twist. In this version, the pilot for which will be directed by Live Free or Die Hard's Len Wiseman, Crane partners with Sleepy Hollow's female sheriff — something tells us her name might be Katrina Van Tassel — to investigate the battle of good versus evil that has engulfed the soporific burg.
2. Beverly Hills Cop (CBS)
The Shield creator Shawn Ryan didn't skip a beat after the failure of his first incursion into network television: ABC's submarine drama Last Resort. The pilot he wrote for the small screen version of '80s action-comedy juggernaut Beverly Hills Cop focuses on the son of Eddie Murphy's Axel Foley, played by Brandon T. Jackson (Tropic Thunder). Murphy, however, will appear in the pilot and executive produce the show along with Ryan. Mostly, though, after years of gritty, forensics-heavy procedurals it's exciting that CBS is embracing the idea of injecting a little humor into its typically stodgy crime drama format.
RELATED: CBS Snags Eddie Murphy in 'Beverly Hills Cop' Series
3. Sixth Gun (NBC)
Lost's Carlton Cuse is a busy man. He's already exec producing A&E's Bates Motel and FX pilot The Strain, his collaboration with Guillermo del Toro. Now he's serving as EP on Sixth Gun, a Western pilot picked up by NBC with a script by feature writer Ryan Condal, who's penned the upcoming Hercules: The Thracian Wars for Brett Ratner. Sixth Gun is about a legendary six-shooter with possibly supernatural power that falls into the hands of a young girl and makes her the target of every baddie in the West. Paging Hailee Steinfeld.
4. Delirium (FOX)
Based on Lauren Oliver's bestselling sci-fi book trilogy, Delirium is about a future world in which love has been declared illegal and is even rendered obsolete via a mandatory lobotomy-like procedure. Series protagonist Lena Holloway has 95 days before she herself is forced to submit to the love-killing surgery...only to find herself actually falling in love as time runs out. Think Brave New World meets Dollhouse.
5. The Returned (ABC)
The Killing's Aaron Zelman wrote this pilot about a mystical town called Aurora, where residents' dead loved ones return to visit them. Not so much in a zombie way, more like an existential Solaris way. It will probably go easy on the Tarkovsky long takes.
RELATED: 'Star Trek 2' Writers Pen New 'Sleepy Hollow' Series
6. Backstrom (CBS)
Leif G.W. Persson is the first Swedish crime novelist to get a pilot order with a major U.S. network. (Kenneth Branagh's version of Henning Mankell's Wallander airs on PBS.) His character Ernst Backstrom is being described as criminology's answer to Dr. Gregory House: an overweight, misanthropic forensics expert who's great at his job despite his personality disorder.
NEXT: The rest of our Top 10, plus a round-up of other pilots in development at CBS and ABC.
7. The Selection (The CW)
In development at The CW since 2011, the adaptation of Kiera Cass' novel is kind of like a dystopian version of The Bachelor. Correction: a more dystopian version of The Bachelor. 300 years in the future, a working class woman finds herself the winner of a lottery to compete against 25 other would-be brides for the hand of her nation's "Royal Prince." A fierce competition ensues.
8. Untitled Secret Service Thriller (NBC)
A rookie secret service agent finds himself plunged into a major international conspiracy. And that's just his first day on the job! The official logline promises that he will cross moral and legal lines, which can only mean one thing: torture! It's been too long since we heard Jack Bauer scream, "I'm gonna need a hacksaw!"
9. Holding Patterns (NBC)
Writer Justin Spitzer has proven himself a master of hilarious anti-comedy — a longtime producer on The Office, he wrote the classic Stanley-centric ep "Did I Stutter?" — and this new half-hour sitcom should be no exception. It's about a group of people whose lives are forever changed after they suffer, and survive, a plane crash together. Kind of like Lost with a funny bone.
10. The List (FOX)
Sure, the concept sounds like a rip-off of Skyfall but...wait, Skyfall was unbelievably awesome so who cares? The master list of everyone in the Federal Witness Protection Program is stolen, and one by one each member of the program is killed. It's up to a U.S. Marshal to track down the source of the breach and relocate the surviving witnesses before it's too late.
Friends With Better Lives
Each of the thirtysomethings who anchor this multicam sitcom thinks that they have the best life of their circle of friends. Smugness alert!
Single-camera sitcom from writing team Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitzky (Bad Teacher) about a group of women in their 30s who should have their lives figured out, but don't. In fact, not even close. Girls for Generation Y.
Charlie's Angels' helmer McG produces the first of two obvious cash-ins on the nighttime soap success of Revenge. This one is set on the sandy shores of Venice, CA and is about two rival families making power plays against each other. Bitchery required, clothing optional.
The second cash-in on Revenge. A married female photographer begins an affair with the power attorney who's defending a murder suspect. Guess what? Her husband's the prosecutor in the case.
NEXT: The pilots that have been ordered by Fox and The CW.
Untitled Sean Hayes Comedy Pilot
The multicamera sitcom format and Sean Hayes are kind of in a co-dependent relationship. They both need each other to be truly successful. Hayes, for one, would like everyone to forget about his role as Larry in last year's Three Stooges reboot. So he'll be playing a stressed out dad whose 14-year-old daughter moves in with him right around the same time he gets a difficult new boss at work.
Untitled DJ Nash Comedy Pilot
Jason Bateman's Aggregate Films is producing this single-camera comedy written by DJ Nash, and loosely based on his life, centering on a young kid who worships his blind father and struggles with the fallout from his parents' divorce.
Girlfriend in a Coma
Pretty much exactly what it sounds like. After almost two decades in a coma, a 34-year-old woman wakes up to find she has a 17-year-old daughter from a pregnancy she never even knew about. Kind of like Kill Bill, but presumably with fewer geysers of blood. Also, it's supposed to be a half-hour comedy.
In this hour-long drama, the world's most dangerous criminal turns himself in in exchange for an immunity deal in which he'll rat out all of his associates past and present. But does he have an ulterior motive? Intrigue.
Welcome to the Family
An unplanned pregnancy among two of their younger members brings an Anglo family and a Latino family together. The culture clash of the two broods is funny because they're so different, yet so much the same. NBC's most obvious attempt at a half-hour Modern Family clone yet.
I Suck at Girls
Based on Justin Halpern's follow-up book to $#*! My Dad Says, the concept is a coming-of-age sitcom about an incredibly awkward teenage boy. Fox has already given it a series commitment.
To My Assistants
Kind of like a tube version of Horrible Bosses, this half-hour comedy focuses on the harried, overworked, underpaid assistants at a big New York law firm who band together to cope with the wretched antics of their superiors.
Friends & Family
The U.S. version of Britain's Gavin & Stacey, about what happens when a long-distance romance becomes a short-distance romance.
Writers Justin Spitzer and Andrew Gurland scripted the pilot for this comedy about a wacky family trying to fit in to a very normal Midwest community.
Okay, it's kind of a cheat to include this Vampire Diaries spin-off here, since its pilot is already slated to air as a VD episode this April. Joseph Morgan will star as power-drunk werewolf/vampire hybrid Klaus and Daniel Gillies as Elijah when the action moves from Mystic Falls, VA to New Orleans.
Director Taylor Hackford (Ray, Parker) is producing an hour-long drama about a scandal that engulfs a Virginia naval base and the surrounding town. Leave it to The CW to build a show around hot guys in uniform.
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
[Photo Credits: Paramount Pictures, Harper Collins, Harper Teen, WENN]
You Might Also Like:
Biden? Ford? Surprisingly Hot Young Pics of Politicians
Who Wore This Crazy Hat?
Stars Who Changed Their Look After Love
December 05, 2012 5:53am EST
We can run hastily through the professional history of Eddie Murphy — touching on his ascension from edgy standup to big screen superstar, his transformation to family filmmaker, and to his eventual plummet to the caliber of output for which he is responsible these days. But it's all been discussed, analyzed, and mourned time and time again. But, despite the drivel he is presently churning out, Murphy will never lose the reverence his early days have earned him, still marshaling television tributes and high-paying roles. Mysteriously. See, Murphy tops the list of Forbes' Most Overpaid Actors in Hollywood for 2012, meaning that he earns the smallest intake for every dollar paid to him. If this news sounds strikingly familiar, it's because the same exact thing happened last year.
Two years in a row, Murphy has headlined this unflattering Forbes documentation, exhibiting a dwindling cinematic appeal with films like Tower Heist and A Thousand Words. For 2012, Forbes reveals that for every dollar Murphy is paid, he earns only $2.30 at the box office.
It's hard to believe that the comic giant of the 1980s would be in such short supply of the kind of humor that once made Raw, Coming to America, and the Beverly Hills Cop movies so quotable. His failing popularity, it seems, can be attributed instead to his film choices. The audiences for his recent movies like A Thousand Words, Imagine That, and Meet Dave seem to be nonexistent; they're too juvenile for adults seeking Trading Places-style humor, but not flashy and imaginative enough for today's hungry youth. Murphy needs to either return to his days of R-rated comedy, or go full-force in the other direction: Donkey's own Shrek spinoff series (I know, I know, but it'd make billions).
Others to top Forbes' list this year include Katherine Heigl (earning $3.40 to the dollar), Reese Witherspoon ($3.90 to the dollar), Sandra Bullock ($5 to the dollar), and Jack Black ($5.20 to the dollar).
[Photo Credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images]
Brandon T. Jackson is Your New 'Beverly Hills Cop'
A 'Book of Mormon' Star to Write 'Triplets' for Schwarzenegger, DeVito, Murphy
Redneckognize It! Honey Boo Boo is One of Barbara Walter's 'Most Fascinating People'
From Our Partners:
Harry Styles Spotted Outside Taylor Swift’s Hotel Room The Morning After Their Date Night (PHOTOS)
Fall Bikini Bodies: The Good, The Great, The OMG (GALLERY)
November 14, 2012 6:15am EST
The 1984 comedy which spawned two sequels, is heading to the small screen with Murphy reprising his role as police officer Axel Foley in an advisory role to his son, who is the new title character.
Jackson, who began his career as a stand-up comedian, takes the lead role as Murphy's onscreen son, according to Deadline.com.
He has previously been in hit movies Tropic Thunder and Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.
November 13, 2012 5:03pm EST
Move aside, Eddie Murphy — there's a new cop headed to America's deadliest zipcode. Brandon T. Jackson just nabbed the titular role in CBS' reboot of the Beverly Hills Cop film franchise, which already has a pilot production commitment. Murphy will exec produce along with The Shield/Last Resort creator Shawn Ryan, who is also penning the script.
Jackson, who you may know from Tropic Thunder, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, or a Tyler Perry movie, will play Murphy's character — Axel's — son, a blue collar cop who struggles with living under his father's shadow. Of course, this means that Murphy will occasionally pop up, so that father and son can fight Beverly Hills' top villains — Taylor Armstrong, Adrienne Maloof, Kyle Richards, Lisa Vanderpump's dog, and Khloe Kardashian-Odom — together. We can't wait.
Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna
[PHOTO CREDIT: Wenn]
Eddie Murphy's Beverly Hills Cop TV pilot picked up by CBS executives
CBS Snags Eddie Murphy in 'Beverly Hills Cop' Series
Eddie Murphy pitching Beverly Hills Cop TV series
From Our Partners:
’Twilight’ Cast Now and Then (PICS) (Moviefone)
How to Be a Bond Director
December 31, 2011 4:00am EST
The new year began with wedding bells for many couples including singer Shania Twain, who married her fiance Frederic Thiebaud in Puerto Rico on New Year's Day, while country star Kellie Pickler and actress Valerie Bertinelli also walked down the aisle on 1 January.
The new year brought baby news for a number of celebrity couples - Orlando Bloom and his wife Miranda Kerr became first-time parents with the birth of their son Flynn. Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem also welcomed a son, and Owen Wilson became a father just days after he announced his girlfriend's pregnancy. Nicole Kidman also hit headlines when she and her husband Keith Urban revealed they welcomed a daughter called Faith via a surrogate mother over the holidays.
There was also pregnancy news for actress Kate Hudson, who announced she was expecting a baby with Muse rocker Matt Bellamy, as well as Marion Cotillard, Jewel, Selma Blair and Victoria Beckham, who confirmed she was pregnant with her fourth child.
However, the first few weeks of 2011 also brought a slew of celebrity splits - Keira Knightley ended her longtime romance with actor Rupert Friend, Shakira parted ways with Antonio de la Rua, her boyfriend of more than 10 years, and Mila Kunis and Macaulay Culkin separated after eight years together.
Many stars saw in the new year by addressing their personal problems, and a number of famous faces went in and out of rehab in the first few weeks of 2011. Lindsay Lohan and Demi Lovato both ended long treatment stints in January, while David Arquette, Backstreet Boys star A.J. McLean and his bandmate Nick Carter's younger brother Aaron all enrolled in programs. Troubled actor Charlie Sheen also admitted himself to a clinic just weeks after he was hospitalised to treat a hernia, and he later admitted he turned to booze to blot out the pain of the medical condition. Sheen’s rehab stint forced TV bosses to shut down production on his show Two and a Half Men.
Another colourful character to hit the headlines in January was British funnyman Ricky Gervais, who managed to cause controversy during his stint as Golden Globes host. The comedian was condemned by organisers for poking fun at celebrity guests including Robert Downey, Jr., Johnny Depp and Tom Hanks during the glitzy prizegiving.
The month held good news for veteran actor Michael Douglas as he was given the all-clear after a gruelling battle with throat cancer. His wife Catherine Zeta-Jones subsequently admitted she cried tears of joy when doctors told the couple the actor had beaten the disease. Poison rocker Bret Michaels also overcame a health crisis after undergoing successful surgery to close a hole in his heart.
January also saw the loss of a number of great stars including Oscar-winning James Bond theme composer John Barry, and Scottish musician Gerry Rafferty, who passed away after suffering liver failure. The world of Hollywood was again plunged into mourning following the death of British actor Pete Postlethwaite, who died at the age of 64.
As awards season got into full swing, The King's Speech was the toast of Hollywood after scooping four Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor for the movie's star, Colin Firth, and Best Director for Tom Hooper, while Natalie Portman fought back tears as she walked away with the Best Actress honour for her role as a tormented ballet dancer in Black Swan. It was a different story at the Independent Spirit Awards, where Black Swan trounced its rivals, picking up four honours including Best Director for Darren Aronofsky.
In the world of music, Lady Gaga's incredible rise continued as she picked up three Grammy Awards, including Best Pop Vocal Album, but her achievements were overshadowed by country trio Lady Antebellum, who scored five accolades, and the shock win for Canadian rockers Arcade Fire in the prestigious Album of the Year category for their disc The Suburbs. Across the pond at the Brit Awards in London, Arcade Fire were again bathed in glory when they were handed the International Group and International Album honours, while newcomer Tinie Tempah crowned a triumphant 12 months by taking home the British Breakthrough Act and British Single titles. Rihanna was named Best International Female solo star, and Justin Bieber was named the International Breakthrough Act of the year.
Away from the red carpet, it was a bleak month for My Name Is Earl actress Jaime Pressly, who was charged with driving under the influence after failing a field sobriety test, Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey, who was underwent an operation to remove a growth from her foot, Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who was hospitalised with a flesh-eating bug, and Dame Judi Dench, who broke two of her toes on the set of her new movie J. Edgar.
There were also woes for Rihanna, whose raunchy promo film for single S&M provoked outrage around the world and was banned in 11 countries, actress Eliza Dushku, who broke a finger on holiday, and fashion king John Galliano, who was suspended and later sacked by Christian Dior after he was filmed launching an anti-Semitic rant at stunned drinkers in a bar in Paris, France.
Rock duo the White Stripes stunned the music world when they announced they were splitting up after 14 years, and Lady Gaga's much-hyped new single Born This Way was unveiled to a barrage of accusations she had ripped off Madonna's classic Express Yourself. But there was good news for older music fans, as '60s icons The Monkees announced they were reuniting for a U.K. tour.
Loved up celebrity couples Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, and Anna Friel and Rhys Ifans, both confirmed their engagements, and there were wedding bells for Kelsey Grammer - who married for the fourth time - and Mark Ronson and Katherine Jenkins, who both announced their respective engagements.
Among the stars hearing the pitter-patter of tiny feet this month were Christina Applegate, who gave birth to a daughter, magician David Blaine, who became a first-time father to a baby girl, reggae star Zac Marley, rocker Rod Stewart, Sex and the City's Cynthia Nixon, and No Doubt star Tom Dumont.
Jude Law continued his unlucky-in-love streak when he split - yet again - from Sienna Miller, Iron Man star Terrence Howard was hit with divorce papers, Olivia Wilde split from her husband after eight years, and celebrity couple Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz announced their marriage was over.
The world of showbiz bid farewell to guitar legend Gary Moore, who died aged 58, blues legend Eddie Kirkland died in a car crash at the age of 88, Seinfeld star Len Lesser succumbed to pneumonia aged 88, and The Dukes of Hazzard actress Peggy Rea, who passed away at the age of 89.
Tinseltown lost one of its brightest lights in March after movie icon Dame Elizabeth Taylor died of congestive heart failure at the age of 79. Tributes from the world of showbiz poured in for the Cleopatra legend, with Sir Elton John, Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand and Liza Minnelli leading the heartfelt remembrances. The acting great was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California, where her dear friend Michael Jackson was also laid to rest in 2009.
March was also marked by controversy as a host of famous faces found themselves in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Pop star Christina Aguilera was arrested for drunkenness in West Hollywood, while Boardwalk Empire beauty Pas de la Huerta was also apprehended after a bar fight in New York City. Jackass daredevil Steve-O was taken into custody in Canada on an outstanding warrant, and rapper Rick Ross got caught smoking marijuana in a Louisiana hotel room.
But it was Charlie Sheen who really gave fans something to talk about after he was fired from Two and a Half Men following months of public feuding with writer/creator Chuck Lorre. Days later, cops raided Sheen's Los Angeles home to investigate a tip that the troubled star was in violation of a court order by keeping a gun in the house.
March also brought one of the year's most devastating tragedies as Japan was hit by a massive earthquake, which then created an enormous tidal wave. More than 15,000 people perished in the disaster and Slash, Lady Gaga, the Black Eyed Peas and the Foo Fighters were among the big-name acts who staged gigs to raise money for victims, while actresses Sandra Bullock and Demi Lovato also donated $1 million (£625,000) each to boost relief efforts.
Back in Hollywood, there was plenty of heartache as Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel ended their romance, Renee Zellweger called it quits with Bradley Cooper and Twilight beauty Ashley Greene split from Joe Jonas.
But love was most definitely in the air for Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon, who married showbiz agent Jim Toth in a romantic ceremony at her California home. Canadian crooner Michael Buble also wed stunning supermodel Luisana Lopilato in a civil ceremony in her native Argentina.
Celebrations were in order for former Spice Girl Melanie Brown, who announced she and husband Stephen Belafonte were expecting their first child together. Actors Robert De Niro and Mel Gibson became proud grandfathers in March, while Elizabeth Banks also became a first-time mother to a baby boy, born via surrogate.
Emily Deschanel confirmed she was expecting her first child with actor husband David Hornsby, while Cruel Intentions star Ryan Phillippe also had baby news after the tabloids reported that his ex-girlfriend, actress Alexis Knapp, was pregnant.
There was a health scare on the cards for tennis ace Serena Williams after she was hospitalised with a blood clot in her lungs, while fears for Zsa Zsa Gabor's wellbeing mounted when she began coughing up blood and suffered circulation problems in her left leg.
There was a close call for actor David Arquette after he was in a head-on car crash in Los Angeles, and Glee star Lea Michele was also involved in a smash when her car was struck by a drunk driver.
Hip-hop star Wyclef Jean had a lucky escape after he was shot in the hand during a visit to his native Haiti, while James Taylor suffered a broken leg in a skiing accident in Utah.
Courtroom battles loomed for Britney Spears, who was hit with a $10 million (£6.25 million) lawsuit over a perfume deal, and Jay-Z was accused of trademark infringement over the logo for Roc Nation.
Even clean-cut teen pop sensation Justin Bieber found himself named in court papers after a songwriting duo sued over claims they hadn't received royalties for his hit song One Less Lonely Girl.
There were births, marriages and bust-ups galore as Spring sprung in April (11), but only one subject was on everyone's lips - the royal wedding. Celebs and commoners alike got carried away in the buzz of the big day on 29 April, when brunette beauty Kate Middleton walked down the aisle with her very own Prince Charming, William. Who would design the dress? Who would be invited? Would best man Harry fall for bridesmaid Pippa? But all questions fell by the wayside on the morning of the magical day, as Britain and two billion viewers across the world came to a standstill to watch the future Queen of England step out of her Rolls-Royce wearing a stunning Alexander McQueen lace gown to huge cheers from the crowd. The pair wed in front of 1,900 quests, including Queen Elizabeth II, the entire royal family, and even showbiz royalty Victoria and David Beckham, and left London's Westminster Abbey to great fanfare as the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. But Kate didn't hog all the limelight - who can forget the backing support of her sister Pippa, hailed Her Royal Hotness thanks to that figure-hugging dress and her much-discussed derriere?
The wedding was of fairytale proportions, one even our favourite celebs couldn't compete with - but that didn’t stop them from trying! Canadian crooner Michael Buble was one of the biggest stars to walk down the aisle in April (11) - his second set of nuptials to stunning fiancee Luisana Lopilato following their original wedding day in March (11). Controversial couple LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian also wed in a private ceremony in Malibu, which was a surprise for guests - they thought they were there for the pair's engagement party! Funnyman Rob Schneider also joined the marriage club, exchanging vows with fiancee Patricia Azarcoya Arce over the Easter Weekend. The marriage mood of the month gave many stars ideas; the likes of Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy, and Tom Fletcher and his longtime girlfriend became engaged.
Despite love being in the air, some unions were destined to end - Elizabeth Hurley started divorce proceedings against her millionaire husband Arun Nayar, while Christina Aguilera's five-year marriage to Jordan Bratman was declared officially over. After marriage must come babies, and April was awash with stars welcoming newborns. Superstar Mariah Carey welcomed twins Moroccan and Monroe, and in true diva style, gave birth to them on her fourth wedding anniversary to Nick Cannon. The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers and Black Eyed Peas rapper Taboo both welcomed their third sons, while Jane Krakowski, Kevin James, Toni Collette and Drea De Matteo all also became parents to baby boys. Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal was an exception to the rule - he became the proud father of a baby girl.
But with ups, there must be downs - and nobody does scandal like the stars. Teen sensation Demi Lovato stunned her legions of loyal fans by opening up about the emotional issues which landed her in rehab earlier in the year, revealing she was battling an eating disorder and cut herself at her lowest moments. Charlie Sheen continued his madcap ways by embarking on a comedy tour following his sacking from Two and a Half Men - only to get booed offstage on his first night, with critics calling his stand-up debut an "epic failure". Bond fans mourned April as the month Sir Sean Connery announced he was retiring from public appearances after he failed to show up to a charity event in New York. Lindsay Lohan was back in trouble - and in court - when a judge decided she'd had enough of the actress' antics and sentenced her to 120 days behind bars for violating her probation. Nicolas Cage hit the headlines when he was arrested on domestic violence charges following a street bust-up with his wife in New Orleans, and Vince Neil was also in hot water for domestic violence - his ex-girlfriend accused him of jabbing a finger at her during an argument. However, the biggest shock came when Welsh beauty Catherine Zeta-Jones checked into a mental health facility to overcome her bipolar disorder. The stint in the clinic came after a tough year for the Oscar-winner following husband Michael Douglas' cancer battle.
April was a sad month for actor Tim Robbins, who tragically lost his father, Gil, and his mother, Mary, within days of each other. The punk world was left in mourning when X-Ray Spex legend Poly Styrene lost her battle with cancer at the age of 53, while British actress Elisabeth Sladen, Dr Who's longest running sidekick, also passed away after a fight with the disease.
May was a shocking month as Hollywood tough guy Arnold Schwarzenegger split from his wife of 25 years Maria Shriver, only to reveal later on in the month he had fathered a lovechild with their housekeeper 13 years earlier. Although the scandal rocked Hollywood, he wasn't the only one heading for splitsville - Charlie Sheen and Brooke Mueller became officially divorced, as did actress Neve Campbell and James Bond star George Lazenby. Lady Gaga also split from boyfriend Luc Carl, while Hayden Panettiere ended her romance with her boxer boyfriend Wladimir Klitschko. Girls Aloud beauty Nadine Coyle also became single after calling off her engagement to American footballer Jason Bell.
But it wasn't all doom and gloom - Beatles legend Sir Paul Mccartney announced he was engaged to marry for the third time, to American Nancy Shevell, while director Sophia Coppolla and reality star Kim Kardashian also announced plans to walk down the aisle.
As for marriages, Marie Osmond remarried her first husband Stephen Craig, 29 years after they first exchanged vows and in the same wedding dress. Wedding bells also rang for Kings Of Leon frontman Caleb Followill and Victoria's Secret supermodel Lily Aldridge, while country king and queen Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert also became man and wife in Texas.
New romances between Sienna Miller and Tom Sturridge, as well as Nick Jonas and Australian pop star Delta Goodrem also came to light.
It was a baby boom month, with many stars becoming parents for the first time. Rockers Bryan Adams and Matthew Followill, actors David Schwimmer and Mike Myers, and actresses Alicia Silverstone, Marion Cotillard and Lost's Evangeline Lilly all became first-time parents. Former Spice Girl Emma Bunton welcomed her second son. French first lady Carla Bruni and actress Bryce Dallas Howard were also celebrating pregnancies. But it was a sad month for British actress Kelly Brook, who suffered a miscarriage.
Other sad news in May came when Grease actor Jeff Conaway passed away at the age of 60, sending Hollywood into mourning. Boxing legend Sir Henry Cooper died two days before his 77th birthday and Superman star Jackie Cooper also died, aged 88. The month started with the shock news that al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden had been shot dead in Pakistan. Other stars facing struggles included Sean Kingston, who was involved in a horrific jet-ski crash, while veteran actress Zsa Zsa Gabor was also hospitalised with pneumonia-type symptoms and fell into a coma.
It was also a controversial month for Lindsay Lohan, who started a 120-day jail term in the comfort of her own home for parole violation. British rocker Pete Doherty was also jailed for six months for cocaine possession. Other stars facing woes included Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, Friends star Matthew Perry and boxer/singer Oscar De La Hoya, who were all submitted in to rehab programs. It was an embarrassing month for British singer Cheryl Cole, who was hired, then fired to sit on the judging panel of America's The X Factor. In music news for the month, Silverchair announced they were to split, Rod Stewart announced a Las Vegas residency, while it was a big movie month as the Cannes Film Festival in France also kicked off. While Brad Pitt was hailed at the glitzy event, with his film Tree Of Life winning the coveted Palme d'Or prize for Best Film, it was a bad experience for director Lars Von Trier, who was banned from the festival for controversial statements he made about Nazi leader Adolf Hitler during the festivities.
As summer blossomed, June marked a baby boom in Hollywood. Pop star Pink became a first-time mum at the beginning of the month when she welcomed little Willow, while drummer Adrian Young added to the No Doubt family with daughter Magnolia. Natalie Portman became a yummy mummy to son Aleph, actress Tia Mowry also welcomed a little boy, and model/actress Devon Aoki was another addition to the first-time mum club with the arrival of Hunter. Denise Richards made headlines when she announced she'd adopted a baby, Eloise, into her brood, while Meat Loaf became a grandfather when his daughter Pearl Aday gave birth to a baby boy. Lindsay Price and Nia Long also announced their pregnancies in June, as did Lily Allen - whose baby news went public on the same day she married partner Sam Cooper.
Lily's wedding wasn't the only one at the start of summer - Rachel Weisz married actor Daniel Craig following a whirlwind romance and Noel Gallagher put his wild ways behind him after exchanging vows with longterm partner Sara MacDonald.
However, the month was marred by a string of high-profile splits - David Duchovny and Tea Leoni separated just two years after reconciling following the actor's sex addiction admission, Jack White parted ways with model/singer wife Karen Elson after six years of marriage, and Hugh Hefner was dumped by fiancee Crystal Harris - just days before their planned wedding. Elizabeth Hurley's divorce from Arun Nayar was granted, and George Clooney split from Elisabetta Canalis.
There were health dramas aplenty - pop princesses Selena Gomez and Jennifer Hudson were hospitalised within days of each other. Both stars were forced to pull performances, and getwellselena even became a top trending topic on Twitter.com as fans rallied to support the Disney idol. Gomez later revealed she was malnourished and feeling exhausted, while Hudson was diagnosed with a severe bout of food poisoning.
The music world was left reeling when legendary saxophonist Clarence Clemons, who had worked with Bruce Springsteen and Lady Gaga, died from complications stemming from a major stroke. The rocker led the tributes to his pal, declaring, "His loss is immeasurable and we are honoured and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years." TV fans were also left in mourning following the passing of Columbo star Peter Falk at the age of 83, while legendary TV cowboy James Arness also died.
In other June news, the vampires from Twilight overpowered the magical Harry Potter kids at the MTV Movie Awards, taking home five golden popcorn prizes to their film franchise rival cast's one. The CMT Awards took place in Nashville, Tennessee just days later and newlyweds Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert dominated the ceremony - picking up three of the nine top honours between them. But it was a bad month for their country music rival Trace Adkins when his Tennessee home was destroyed by fire.
The month was special for U2 when they headlined Britain's iconic Glastonbury festival after a year-long wait - they were forced to pull out of the event in 2010 after frontman Bono underwent surgery on his back. In a spooky echo of U2's concert drama, pop star Jessie J was forced to axe several summer shows after undergoing emergency surgery on her broken foot – but still fulfilled her duties at Glastonbury, performing while perched on a red and gold throne.
July 20, 2011 12:17pm EST
Superhero origin stories have been all the rage at the multiplex this summer with Marvel Comics alone accounting for two such films Thor and X-Men: First Class both of which happily surpassed critics’ expectations. Its latest Captain America: The First Avenger – so named as to provide us a helpful link to the Avengers movie coming next year – arguably faces the trickiest task of all three seeing as how Americans have not been in the most patriotic of moods in recent years. Could a flag-waving superhero really find purchase with a moviegoing audience that increasingly looks askance at such notions?
Surprisingly yes. That Captain America succeeds – and resoundingly so – is partly due to the producers’ decision to set the film during World War II a time where patriotism is a much easier sell. (And no viewer is too jaded to not enjoy seeing Nazis eviscerated en masse.) But proper credit must be given to director Joe Johnston who has crafted a breathlessly entertaining popcorn movie that unambiguously embraces its hero’s old-fashioned sensibilities and invites us to embrace them as well.
Chris Evans (The Losers Fantastic Four) plays Steve Rogers an earnest oft-bullied ectomorph whose lone wish is to ship off to Europe and fight on the front lines. But a plethora of physical ailments have combined to render him hopelessly unfit to serve however stiff his resolve. (To pull off the withered look of “Skinny Steve ” the filmmakers pulled off a nifty trick grafting Evans’ head onto the body of another actor Leander Neely.)
Rogers’ chance arrives in the guise of a government scientist the German émigré Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci as avuncular as a German-accented man can hope to be) who witnesses the young man’s idealistic ardor and recruits him to take part in secret military experiment. After proving his mettle in training Rogers is delivered a dose of Super Serum a PED that instantly makes him bigger stronger and faster than just about any other human alive.
Which is a good thing because on the other side of the Atlantic a renegade Nazi scientist Johann Schmidt aka the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving doing a tremendous Christoph Waltz impression) has happened upon his own supernatural power source and he’s used it to quietly amass a private army dubbed HYDRA that is bent on supplanting Hitler’s world-domination scheme with its own. Soon all that stands between defeat at the hands HYDRA and its arsenal of advanced weaponry is the juiced-up visage of the newly-christened Captain America.
Portraying a stalwart straight-arrow bereft of angst or ambiguity isn’t the easiest of tasks for any actor but Evans does a commendable job of bringing depth and humanity to a character that all too easily could have come across as bland and one-dimensional. Johnston seems to recognize this potentiality as he looks primarily to his supporting cast to supply the personality: Tucci and Weaving stand out as do Tommy Lee Jones and Toby Jones playing an irascible army commander and a timid HYDRA toady respectively. The film’s romantic spark comes courtesy of the principal cast’s lone female representative the excellent Haley Atwell playing Rogers’ military liaison Agent Peggy Carter.
More than anything Captain America is a triumph of tone. A former ILM technician Johnston did visual effects for Raiders of the Lost Ark and Spielberg’s 1981 blockbuster was a conscious touchstone for his film’s throwback feel and aesthetic. (Another less deliberate influence would be a previous Johnston film The Rocketeer.) Captain America embodies the spirit of the old serials melded with a tongue-in-cheek comic sense and punctuated by action sequences that deploy the requisite CGI fireworks with a welcome measure of restraint. The film is decidedly of its era but never feels gratuitously nostalgic. And its production design is gorgeous: Red Skull’s lair in particular is a treasure trove of retro-futurist designs all of which seem directly lifted from 1940s World’s Fair exhibits.
June 02, 2011 2:18pm EST
In this era of remakes and reboots writer-director J.J. Abrams is here to introduce a third option: the throwback. Though ostensibly an original work his new film Super 8 is meticulously designed to appear as otherwise. Its intent which it makes no effort to hide is to mine our nostalgia for the early oeuvre of Steven Spielberg to invoke our affection for films like E.T. Close Encounters of the Third Kind and even Jaws. Should Mr. Spielberg be concerned? Hardly: He’s complicit in the scheme. The presence of his name atop the poster and his production company Amblin in the opening credits doesn’t just bestow credibility; it embeds the association in our memory making the bridge between what is and what was that much shorter.
Super 8 is set in 1979 – a creative decision which affords a measure of built-in nostalgia and allows the filmmakers to sidestep modern narrative nuisances like cell phones and Google – in the fictional working class community of Lillian Ohio. Our hero our embodiment of those prized (and I believe copyrighted) Spielbergian virtues of youthful innocence and wonder and unbounded curiosity is Joe Lamb (wonderful newcomer Joel Courtney) a polite earnest boy made all the more sympathetic by the recent death of his mother a steelworker in a workplace accident. Joe’s home life is rather dreary – his father Deputy Jack Lamb (Kyle Chandler) is too immersed in grief to be much of a parent – so he jumps at the chance to spend the summer with his mates shooting a DIY zombie movie.
They gather one night at a local train station to shoot a key scene for which they’ve pulled off the minor coup of convincing a pretty classmate Alice (Elle Fanning) to play the female lead. But the camera has scarcely started to roll when a passing train collides head-on with a pickup truck. resulting in perhaps the most over-the-top train crash I’ve ever seen on film an interminable sequence of ever-escalating vehicular carnage that would make the Final Destination folks gasp.
The driver of the truck that caused the crash is revealed to be the kids’ science teacher Dr. Woodward (Glynn Turman). Bloodied but still breathing he delivers them an ominous warning: “Do not speak of this. They will kill you.” We learn who “they” are soon enough when hordes of soldiers members of a top-secret branch of the Air Force descend upon the crash site to comb the wreckage.
Shortly thereafter the town is beset by strange unexplained phenomena. Engines disappear from cars. Dogs flee en masse. Worst of all townsfolk are vanishing abductees of a creature glimpsed only in shadow and yet utterly terrifying nonetheless. We need not see the monster to know its fearsomeness: All of the scare scenes are expertly choreographed by Abrams the score shot and sound design fine-tuned for maximum menace.
Chaos and panic spread. Believing the mysterious events and the train crash to be related Joe and his pals decide to mount their own investigation. With each successive clue they gather the implications of the conspiracy become clearer and they are soon on the verge of a revelation that will change their lives – and indeed the world – forever.
Super 8’s genre spread is staggering. The film is equal parts sci-fi epic conspiracy thriller creature feature coming-of-age drama and teen comedy. (You can even add “zombie flick” if you include the film-within-a-film.) The mish-mash isn’t so much a problem in the first half of the film – Abrams is such a gifted storyteller that he handles massive tone shifts with almost laughable ease – but as the story gathers steam it has more and more difficulty reconciling its disparate elements. More than once in the third act does Super 8 teeter on the edge of Shyamalanism only to pull back at the last moment.
The film is surprisingly affecting but never in a cynical or manipulative way. (This is a minor miracle.) Abrams’ secret weapon in this regard – and easily the film’s best feature – is his cast of child actors who are universally superb. Their interactions feel genuine their comic rapport natural and unforced. Fanning in particular is wondrous. At this point calling her a “child actor” feels somehow belittling as her talent easily outpaces that of the majority of her adult counterparts.
Their efforts are largely betrayed by an ending that feels false. A hasty and belated attempt is made to turn the creature into a sympathetic figure followed by a denouement drenched in artificial sentiment with smiles and hugs and assurances both stated and implied that everything is going to be all right from now on. It’s an ending that Spielberg might have been able to pull off but Abrams is no Spielberg. Not yet.
February 20, 2011 7:57pm EST
Warner Bros.' Unknown, starring Liam Neeson leads a very competitive President’s weekend with a chart topping $25.6 million for 4-days and $21.8 million for three days. At nearly 60 years of age, Neeson is still one of the most believable and appealing action stars working today. Given the solid street credentials he developed from his take-no-prisoners role in 2009's Taken, Unknown benefited not only from a great marketing campaign, but from the audience goodwill generated by that unexpected hit. Producer Joel Silver known for putting his imprint on super high profile and successful action franchises such as Die Hard, Lethal Weapon and The Matrix oversees the proceedings, while Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra takes the helm. Mad Men’s January Jones, Diane Kruger and Aidan Quinn star alongside Neeson.
Disney was well represented in the top five, with its G-rated Gnomeo and Juliet
taking full advantage of its second weekend landing in a holiday frame.
This scenario traditionally benefits family films and the resultant
small weekend-over-weekend 24% drop helped this animated romance land in
second place for the 4-days with $24.8 million and $19.2 million for the three day portion.
Dreamworks suspense thriller I Am Number Four, distributed by Disney had a third place debut for the four-days of President's Day weekend with $22.6 million and $19.4 million for three days. Drawing the same younger audiences that drove director D.J. Caruso's previous two thrillers, Eagle Eye and Disturbia, to solid first-place openings the film had IMAX to thank for 13% of its weekend gross. Starring newcomer and potential teen heartthrob Alex Pettyfer and featuring Glee's Dianna Agron, the film is loaded with impressive special effects and action sequences that bear producer Michael Bay's stylistic stamp.
Just Go With It starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston had a solid second weekend earning another $18.2 million against minimal 40% drop for the three day portion and $21.7 million for 4-days. The film has a domestic cumulative gross of $64.3 million.
Fox kept it a family affair with the release of its comedy sequel Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, in which Martin Lawrence reprises his role as Big Momma and introduces Brandon T. Jackson to the successful franchise as his stepson. This Momma weighed in with a 3-day debut of $16.25 million and a 4-day debut of $19 million in fifth place.
In great news for the industry, the down streak that afflicted the box office for 14 straight weeks is finally over. The strong lineup this weekend coupled with favorable comparisons to the post-President’s weekend last year (President’s weekend fell a week earlier in 2010), created the magic formula to put an end to the streak. The all-time record negative streak was experienced in 2005, when 19 down weeks plagued the industry from late spring into summer.
Weekend Box Office - 4-Day President's Weekend
Top 10 Movies - For Weekend of February 18, 2011 - Estimates
Movie Weekend Total
1 Unknown (PG-13) $25.6M $25.6M
2 Gnomeo & Juliet (G) $24.8M $55.8M
3 I Am Number Four (PG-13) $22.6M $22.6M
4 Just Go With It (PG-13) $21.7M $64.3M
5 Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (PG-13) $19.0M $19.0M
6 Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (G) $16.5M $51.4M
7 The King's Speech (R) $7.9M $104.6M
8 The Roommate (PG-13) $4.5M $$33.1M
9 The Eagle (PG-13) $4.3M $15.8M
10 No Strings Attached (R) $3.7M $66.6M
February 18, 2011 7:33am EST
Fox will keep it a family affair with the release of its comedy sequel Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, in which Martin Lawrence reprises his role as Big Momma and introduces Brandon T. Jackson to the successful franchise as his stepson. With a built-in fan-base from the first two hit films, look for this Big Momma to weigh in big with a weekend gross in the $20 million range.
Dreamworks suspense thriller I Am Number Four, distributed by Disney is also poised for a strong debut this President's Day weekend, drawing the same younger audiences that drove director D.J. Caruso's previous two thrillers, Eagle Eye and Disturbia, to solid first-place openings. Starring newcomer and potential teen heartthrob Alex Pettyfer and featuring Glee's Dianna Agron, the film is loaded with impressive special effects and action sequences that bear producer Michael Bay's stylistic stamp. Add to that, 200-plus IMAX showings and attractive up-and-comer Teresa Palmer of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and watch the teen and action audience spend in the vicinity of $20 million.
The third newcomer to the weekend festivities is Warner Bros.' Unknown, starring Liam Neeson. At nearly 60 years of age, Neeson is still one of the most believable and appealing action stars working today. Given the solid street credentials he developed from his take-no-prisoners role in 2009's Taken, Unknown should benefit not only from a great marketing campaign, but from the audience goodwill generated by that unexpected hit and collect $17 million to $20 million. Producer Joel Silver known for putting his imprint on super high profile and successful action franchises such as Die Hard, Lethal Weapon and The Matrix oversees the proceedings, while Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra takes the helm. Mad Men’s January Jones, Diane Kruger and Aidan Quinn star alongside Neeson.
Disney will be well represented in the top five, with its G-rated Gnomeo and Juliet taking full advantage of its second weekend landing in a holiday frame. This scenario traditionally benefits family films and the resulting small weekend-over-weekend percentage drop could help this animated romance gross in the mid to high teens.
Leave it to Bieber to take fifth position with around $15 million after a spectacular near $30 million debut last weekend. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never will still have appeal to that tiny percentage of teen girl fans who have not yet seen their idol on the big screen.
If the overall box office downtrend continues, this will be the 15th weekend of down revenues vs. a year ago. However, given the strong lineup this weekend and favorable comparisons to the post-President’s weekend last year (President’s weekend fell a week earlier in 2010), optimism is high for a chance for the streak to finally end. The all-time record negative streak was experienced in 2005, when 19 down weeks plagued the industry from late spring into summer.
One thing is certain, this is one box office record no one wants to break.