British singer Paloma Faith was left stunned during a performance at a posh party on Wednesday night (22May13) when one of the wealthy revellers tried to storm the stage. The pop star was headlining act at the Waitrose summer party at the Natural History Museum in London, which attracted guests including Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's sister Pippa Middleton and celebrated chef Heston Blumenthal.
However, Faith was shocked when business tycoon Sir John Madejski stumbled onto the stage while she was singing, before being dragged away by security guards.
After the event, Faith said, "It must have been all the free champagne. Thank God I'm from (London area of) Hackney because I don't fear anything. I didn't flinch. I've seen worse and done worse."
David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas consists of six stories set in various periods between 1850 and a time far into Earth's post-apocalyptic future. Each segment lives on its own the previous first person account picked up and read by a character in its successor creating connective tissue between each moment in time. The various stories remain intact for Tom Tykwer's (Run Lola Run) Lana Wachowski's and Andy Wachowski's (The Matrix) film adaptation which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. The massive change comes from the interweaving of the book's parts into one three-hour saga — a move that elevates the material and transforms Cloud Atlas in to a work of epic proportions.
Don't be turned off by the runtime — Cloud Atlas moves at lightning pace as it cuts back and forth between its various threads: an American notary sailing the Pacific; a budding musician tasked with transcribing the hummings of an accomplished 1930's composer; a '70s-era investigatory journalist who uncovers a nefarious plot tied to the local nuclear power plant; a book publisher in 2012 who goes on the run from gangsters only to be incarcerated in a nursing home; Sonmi~451 a clone in Neo Seoul who takes on the oppressive government that enslaves her; and a primitive human from the future who teams with one of the few remaining technologically-advanced Earthlings in order to survive. Dense but so was the unfamiliar world of The Matrix. Cloud Atlas has more moving parts than the Wachowskis' seminal sci-fi flick but with additional ambition to boot. Every second is a sight to behold.
The members of the directing trio are known for their visual prowess but Cloud Atlas is a movie about juxtaposition. The art of editing is normally a seamless one — unless someone is really into the craft the cutting of a film is rarely a post-viewing talking point — but Cloud Atlas turns the editor into one of the cast members an obvious player who ties the film together with brilliant cross-cutting and overlapping dialogue. Timothy Cavendish the elderly publisher could be musing on his need to escape and the film will wander to the events of Sonmi~451 or the tortured music apprentice Robert Frobisher also feeling the impulse to run. The details of each world seep into one another but the real joy comes from watching each carefully selected scene fall into place. You never feel lost in Cloud Atlas even when Tykwer and the Wachowskis have infused three action sequences — a gritty car chase in the '70s a kinetic chase through Neo Seoul and a foot race through the forests of future millennia — into one extended set piece. This is a unified film with distinct parts echoing the themes of human interconnectivity.
The biggest treat is watching Cloud Atlas' ensemble tackle the diverse array of characters sprinkled into the stories. No film in recent memory has afforded a cast this type of opportunity yet another form of juxtaposition that wows. Within a few seconds Tom Hanks will go from near-neanderthal to British gangster to wily 19th century doctor. Halle Berry Hugh Grant Jim Sturgess Jim Broadbent Ben Whishaw Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon play the same game taking on roles of different sexes races and the like. (Weaving as an evil nurse returning to his Priscilla Queen of the Desert cross-dressing roots is mind-blowing.) The cast's dedication to inhabiting their roles on every level helps us quickly understand the worlds. We know it's Halle Berry behind the fair skinned wife of the lunatic composer but she's never playing Halle Berry. Even when the actors are playing variations on themselves they're glowing with the film's overall epic feel. Jim Broadbent's wickedly funny modern segment a Tykwer creation that packs a particularly German sense of humor is on a smaller scale than the rest of the film but the actor never dials it down. Every story character and scene in Cloud Atlas commits to a style. That diversity keeps the swirling maelstrom of a movie in check.
Cloud Atlas poses big questions without losing track of its human element the characters at the heart of each story. A slower moment or two may have helped the Wachowskis' and Tykwer's film to hit a powerful emotional chord but the finished product still proves mainstream movies can ask questions while laying over explosive action scenes. This year there won't be a bigger movie in terms of scope in terms of ideas and in terms of heart than Cloud Atlas.
The trailers for Hope Springs might lead you to believe it's a romantic comedy about a couple trying to jumpstart their sexless marriage but it causes more empathetic cringing than chuckles. Audiences will be drawn to Hope Springs by its stars Meryl Streep Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell and Streep's track record of pleasing summer movies like Julie & Julia and Mamma Mia! that offer a respite from the blockbusters flooding theaters. Despite what its marketing might have you believe Hope Springs isn't a rom-com. The film is a disarming mixture of deeply intimate confessions by a married couple in the sanctuary of a therapist's office awkwardly honest attempts by that couple to physically reconnect and incredibly sappy scenes underscored by intrusive music. Boldly addressing female desire especially in older women it's hard not to give the movie extra credit for what writer Vanessa Taylor's script is trying to convey and its rarity in mainstream film. The ebb and flow of intimacy and desire in a long-term relationship is what drives Hope Springs and while there are plenty contrived moments and unresolved issues it is frankly surprising and surprisingly frank. It's a summer release from a major studio with high caliber stars aimed squarely at the generally underserved 50+ audience addressing the even more taboo topic of that audience's sex life.
Streep plays Kay a suburban wife who's deeply unsatisfied emotionally and sexually by her marriage to Arnold. Arnold who is played by Tommy Lee Jones as his craggiest sleeps in a separate bedroom now that their kids have left the nest; he's like a stone cold robot emotionally and physically and Kay tiptoes around trying to make him happy even as he ignores her every gesture. One of the most striking scenes in the movie is at the very beginning when Kay primps and fusses over her modest sleepwear in the hopes of seducing her husband. Streep makes it obvious that this isn't an easy thing for Kay; it takes all her guts to try and wordlessly suggest sex to her husband and when she's shot down it hurts to watch. This isn't a one time disconnect between their libidos; this is an ongoing problem that leaves Kay feeling insecure and undesirable.
After a foray into the self-help section of her bookstore Kay finds a therapist who holds week-long intensive couples' therapy sessions in Good Hope Springs ME and in a seemingly unprecedented moment of decisiveness she books a trip for the couple. Arnold of course is having none of it but he eventually comes along for the ride. That doesn't mean he's up for answering any of Dr. Feld's questions though. To be fair Dr. Feld (Carell) is asking the couple deeply intimate questions so if Arnold is comfortable foisting his amorous wife off with the excuse he had pork for lunch it's not so far-fetched to believe he'd be angry when Feld asks him about his fantasy life or masturbation habits.
Although Arnold gets a pass on some of his issues Kay is forthright about why and how she's dissatisfied. When Dr. Feld asks her if she masturbates she says she doesn't because it makes her too sad. Kay offers similar revelations; she's willing to bare it all to revive her marriage while Arnold thinks the fact that they're married at all means they must be happy. Carell's Dr. Feld is soothing and kind (even a bit bland) but it's always a pleasure to see him play it straight.
It's subversive for a mega-watt star to play a character that talks about how sexually unsatisfied she is and how unsexy she feels with the man she loves most in the world. The added taboo of Kay and Arnold's age adds that much more to the conversation. Kay and Arnold's attempts at intimacy are emotionally raw and hard to watch. Even when things get funny they're mostly awkward funny not ha-ha funny.
The rest of the movie is a little uneven wrapped up tightly and happily by the end. Their time spent soul-searching alone is a little cheesy especially when Kay ends up in a local bar where she gets a little dizzy on white wine while dishing about her problems to the bartender (Elisabeth Shue). Somewhere along the line what probably started out as a character study ended up as a wobbly drama that pushes some boundaries but eventually lets everyone off the emotional hook in favor of a smoothed-over happy ending. Still its disarming moments and performances almost balance it out. Although its target audience might be dismayed to find it's not as light-hearted as it would seem Hope Springs offers up the opportunity for discussion about sexuality and aging at a time when books and films like 50 Shades of Grey and Magic Mike are perking up similar conversations. In the end that's a good thing.
Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert provided us with live coverage of the elections last night. To start, Stewart informed us of some of the winners that not even an all-caps email from your mother could get you to care about or voice your support for. Most notably, he mentioned how Democrat Richard Blumenthal defeated Republican Linda McMahon for a senate seat even though she spent a very nice $37 per vote in her campaign. Additionally, South Carolina Republican Jim DeMint defeated Democrat Alvin Greene for a seat in the senate as well. And in Florida, Republican Marco Rubio claimed a seat himself, too.
Stewart spoke with his awesome news team about the results, and even checked in with one candidate who was handling his loss particularly…well?
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10cIndecision 2010 - Maybe We Can't - Election Resultswww.thedailyshow.comDaily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity
Stewart also talked to John Oliver, who provided us with some insightful statistics and analysis of the election.
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10cIndecision 2010 - Maybe We Can't - Election Center Technical Difficultywww.thedailyshow.comDaily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity
Stephen Colbert was also live covering the election. Of course, he was joyous to hear the Republicans took control of the house of representatives, even though John Boehner is so orange he’s really only meant to be used by a bartender to write on a chalkboard that tequila shots are only $3 on Tuesdays.
Colbert even came up with his own election results analysis but instead of delivering them by using a newscast, he used supremely sophisticated technology that makes colors look the same and points out how everyone’s somewhat Republican.
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30cIndecision 2010 - GOP Takes Housewww.colbertnation.comColbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionMarch to Keep Fear Alive
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
After penning the reboot/prequel to Fox's Predators, Alex Litvak and Mike Finch became sought after scribes for Hollywood's top projects. Now they've been tapped to re-work the developing He-Man reboot, tentatively titled Masters Of The Universe (once known as Grayskull when the production was at Warner Brothers.)
Columbia Pictures is now working hard at bringing the fantasy world of Eternia back to the big screen. Moviegoers have not visited the war-torn land since 1987, when Dolph Lundgren portrayed the muscled hero of the planet, He-Man.
The addition of the rising writers is the first major move on the property and signals the project is being rebuilt from the ground up. While at Warners, Masters went through several writers and in latter stages had John Stevenson, who co-directed Kung Fu Panda, attached to helm.
THR's Heat Vision Blog says that Finch and Litvak's pitch "attempted to balance a treatment that would convince the studio it was cinematic and keep the toy company satisfied that its characters were being portrayed appropriately."
Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch of Escape Artists are producing.
John Travolta is still struggling to come to terms with 16-year-old Jett's death, six months after the tragedy, and withdrew from promotional duties for the remake of the classic 1974 action thriller, leaving it up to director Tony Scott, his costar Denzel Washington and the rest of the cast to deal with the press in his absence.
Washington recently said of Travolta, "One moment, he's OK, and the next he's in tears. Needless to say, he's struggling."
And the Grease star is extremely grateful to have colleagues he can count on in his time of need.
In a statement to his fans on his official website, Travolta says, "It was a labor of love to work on this film with the producers Todd Black, Steve Tisch and Jason Blumenthal, the director Scott, and fellow cast members Washington, Luis Guzman, John Turturro and James Gandolfini ...
"Tony, Denzel, Luis, John, James and Sony Pictures stepped up without hesitation to help promote this wonderful film, and their unselfish efforts have allowed my family the additional time to reconcile our loss."
Jett, Travolta's son with actress wife Kelly Preston, passed away in January after suffering a seizure while on a family vacation in the Bahamas.
(c) 2009 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All global rights reserved. No unauthorized copying or re-distributing permitted.
MORE NEWS: TV Bosses Refute Heidi Montag "Torture" Reports
WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
In the late '50s a group of elementary students put futuristic drawings in a time capsule that is then buried on school grounds. One overly obsessed kid Lucinda goes her own way by writing hundreds of mysterious seemingly non-sensical numbers on her entry. Fifty years later it’s dug up and comes into the possession of Caleb the young son of John Koestler a recent widower and astro-physics professor who becomes obsessed with the papers Caleb has brought home from class. He soon discovers the random digits are actually not-so-thinly disguised dates (including 91101 of course) for “future” disasters and there are clearly three of those dates yet to come. Although nobody believes his ramblings about this code for impending doom a nearby plane crash proves he is on to something so ominous the fate of the world could be in jeopardy. With all hell about to break loose the prof takes matters into his own hands.
WHO’S IN IT?
Just a couple of years ago Nicolas Cage starred in Next as a magician who could see into the future and had to prevent a nuclear attack. Now he’s at it again as an MIT professor who also has clues to future catastrophes and also is out to prevent the inevitable. And of course in the National Treasure films he latched on to maps that had contained similarly dark deeply held secrets. Nic clearly likes “knowing” stuff before the rest of us and he’s quite believable even if some of the circumstances in his latest sci-fi adventure are really out there -- literally. Cage somehow makes you buy into this stuff which is key to the ultimate success of the flick. As the key kids Chandler Canterbury as Caleb and Lara Robinson as Lucinda (and later Abby Lucinda’s granddaughter) are properly eerie and haunted-looking. Rose Byrne is also along for the ride as Lucinda’s grown daughter who is able to provide goosebump-inducing information that the numbers alone can’t. There’s also some dead-on creepy emoting from D.G. Maloney as a quietly foreboding stranger who seems to be following Caleb.
Unlike some recent movies of this type with nothing on the agenda but pure mayhem “Knowing” delves into the bigger issues of why we are all here providing something other than just big explosions to talk about on the way home from the multiplex. Director Alex Proyas (I Robot Dark City The Crow) certainly knows how to pull off complex action set-pieces but he and his screenwriters also seem to be genuinely interested in exploring the meaning behind the madness.
Some of the more pedantic dialogue Cage is given can be groan-inducing but since he plays John as a total believer we can forgive it. Also the film falls victim to a final act that veers into typical disaster movie territory and isn’t as compelling as the first two thirds which try to keep the premise at least marginally credible. At two hours it probably could have been tightened anyway.
The rain-soaked plane crash sequence with its gritty hand-held photography is riveting to watch and one of the most frightening depictions of a jetliner disaster put on film yet.
GO OUT AND GET POPCORN WHEN ...
If you are really squeamish it might be worth "knowing" that you should take breaks in the big disaster sequences as the CGI effects can get pretty violent and graphic particularly for a PG-13 movie.
Actor Denzel Washington has finally received the greenlight to direct his first feature film for Fox Searchlight studios, keeping up with the trend of actors wanting to take a stab behind the camera.
The story, one that Washington has wanted to bring the screen since 1998, is about an aspiring screenwriter who suffers an abusive childhood, joins the U.S. Navy and works for a time as a security guard on the Sony lot. Washington may play a psychiatrist who helps the young man while he is in the U.S. Navy. No other talent is attached as yet.
Todd Black and Jason Blumenthal of Black and Blu Entertainment will produce, along with Randa Haines and Washington. Black met the screenwriter, Antwone Fisher, at a screenwriting class in South Central Los Angeles and guided him through the development process.
"It's just a really great story…and the one with which [Washington] wants to make as his directorial debut," Alan Nierob, Washington's publicist, said Friday.
And Washington is not alone.
Here's a short list of other actors who are currently directing new projects:
Tom Green: MTV's original JackAss has taken his schtick to the big screen with his upcoming debut release, Freddy Got Fingered, which he also wrote. The story revolves around Green, who at first reluctantly moves back home, but soon realizes the sweet deal he's got going. The film opens April 20.
Billy Bob Thornton: Thornton, who directed last year's All the Pretty Horses with Matt Damon, is next up with the dark comedy Daddy and Them. The film was made a few years ago, but Miramax delayed its release. The story focuses on a poor Arkansas family dealing with their uncle's arrest for murder. Thornton also costars with Laura Dern, Diane Ladd and the late Jim Varney and. The film will be released later this year.
Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming: Leigh (eXistenZ) and Cumming (Josie and the Pussycats) teamed together to co-write and direct their debut film, The Anniversary Party, during which love and relationships are explored. It has an all-star cast, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Beals and Kevin Kline. A release date has not been set.
Danny DeVito: DeVito, who last directed the 1996 comedy Matilda, takes on a comedy called Death to Smoochy. The host of a children's show (Robin Williams), is fired for nefarious reasons, ends up seeking revenge on his replacement-a blue rhino named Smoochy (Edward Norton). Also stars Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich). Slated for a 2002 release.
Joe Pantoliano: The prolific character actor (The Matrix; The Sopranos) is turning his attention to directing. His debut film, Just Like Mona is about a teen-age boy, coming of age in the 1960s, who must deal with his foulmouthed, drunken mother. The film stars Diane Lane, Andy Garcia and Marcia Gay Harden. A release date has not been set.