Actor Richard Gere has tapped chef Michael White to take over his Bedford Post Inn restaurant in New York. The Pretty Woman star opened the place in 2007, but White will now handle all operations for the space and rename it Compania, according to eater.com.
A statement from Gere reads, "We are delighted to have... Chef Michael White come to Bedford to take the culinary program at the Bedford Post Inn to new heights. From the beginning we've been committed to the highest possible quality at the Bedford Post."
Gere will hold on to control of the rest of the eight-bedroom inn.
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.
Against our better judgment and emotional well-being, we became very attached to the characters on Game of Thrones. While no one is safe in the cast and characters get killed off without a second thought, it's reassuring to know these actors get to "live on" in other roles. With a cast made up of largely European and lesser-known actors, it's exciting to see the show take off and propel the careers of these talented and easy-on-the eyes thespians. So until season four returns next March or April, here's where you can find the past and present citizens of Westeros in the meantime.
When he's not strutting the Emmys red carpet, or entrancing children and adults alike on Sesame Street, Peter Dinklage a.k.a Tyrion Lannister will don armor once again in the Knights of Badassdom. The horror comedy film about LARPing (live action role play) was put on the backburner since 2010 but is slated for theatrical release this year. Dinklage will be joined by fellow LARP-enthusiasts Ryan Kwanten (True Blood) and the consistenly funny Steve Zahn. Dinklage will also make an appearance in the next X-Men installment, Days of Future Past, the dramedy The Angriest Man in Brooklyn starring Robin Williams and Mila Kunis and will reunite with his GOT onscreen sister, Lena Headey in the upcoming biopic, Low Down, about the famous jazz pianist Joe Albany.
It's been a rough year for Jon Snow, with half his family dead and his ginger girlfriend going postal on his ass and shooting him in the back with arrows. But for Kit Harrington, things are shaping up quite nicely with two new movies in the bag — one involves dragons and Julianne Moore (The Seventh Son) while the other features some rock hard abs and a loose interpretation of history (Pompeii) — a winning formula Hollywood can't resist.
While our favorite Skins star doesn't nab too much screen time on GOT, her character Gilly will have more a story arc next season now that she left the clutches of the incestuous commune of Craster's Keep. In the meantime, Murray can continue to play manic pixie dream girls in the upcoming musical film, God Help the Girl, written and directed by Belle & Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch about a group of kids making music in Glasgow. Here's a trailer of her other film, Lily & Kat, featuring Murray being the free-spirited wisp she's so good at.
As the dashing-boy prince Robb Stark, Richard Madden made his GOT exit in one of the most gruesome death scenes in television history. Poor Robb, we hardly knew ya. But lucky for us, Madden hasn't completely abandoned the world of period pieces and fantasy fiction. He skipped the Emmys red carpet to play Prince Charming in the upcoming Cinderella film directed by Kenneth Branagh. Before he charms the glass slipper off of Lily James, he’ll seduce a wealthy married woman in pre-World War I England, played by the impecable Rebecca Hall in the film A Promise.
After burning her enemies to death and taking names, the mother of dragons, played by Emilia Clarke can abandon the blond extensions and form fitting medieval wear for a more natural look. She'll appear in the much buzzed about comedic gangster film, Don Hemingway, starring Jude Law. While we would have pegged her as a love interest, she'll actually be playing the daughter who he tries to repair his relationship with. Let's hope Clarke acting isn't CGI-dependent.
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Actor Richard Gere helped raise $220,000 (£137,000) at a charity auction in New York City on Tuesday night (16Apr13) by offering to show off his cookery skills to help a good cause. The Pretty Woman star was among the guests at City Harvest's Evening of Practical Magic gala at Cipriani 42nd Street in Manhattan when celebrity chef Eric Ripert offered up a special prize to raise money.
Ripert told guests he would come to the auction winner's home and cook a gourmet meal for 20 people, but when bidding stalled, Gere stepped in and offered to act as his sous chef. The move helped pull in a $220,000 (£137,000) bid for the prize, according to the New York Times.
Gere also offered up a stay in his luxury hotel, the Bedford Post Inn in Bedford, New York, which sold for $19,000 (£11,800).
City Harvest helps feed New Yorkers who are struggling to cover the cost of meals.
The Pretty Woman actor and his Law & Order star wife restored the building in Westchester County and opened the Bedford Post Inn in 2009, but Lowell wasn't keen on the idea at first as Gere had so many movie projects in the works.
Gere tells CNN, "She said no in the beginning. She said absolutely not."
Lowell adds, "It was crazy. It was a crazy thought. And to take it all on. And as I recall, Richard had to go off and shoot three movies... He basically abandoned me."
However, the couple decided to go ahead with the project and are glad they gave the building a new lease of life.
Gere adds, "It was a beautiful old building and it was just heartbreaking to see it fall apart..."
Theatrics slapstick and cheer are cinematic qualities you rarely find outside the realm of animation. Disney perfected it with their pantheon of cartoon classics mixing music humor spectacle and light-hearted drama that swept up children while still capturing the imaginations and hearts of their parents. But these days even reinterpretations of fairy tales get the gritty make-over leaving little room for silliness and unfiltered glee. Emerging through that dark cloud is Mirror Mirror a film that achieves every bit of imagination crafted by its two-dimensional predecessors and then some. Under the eye of master visualist Tarsem Singh (The Fall Immortals) Mirror Mirror's heightened realism imbues it with the power to pull off anything — and the movie never skimps on the anything.
Like its animated counterparts Mirror Mirror stays faithful to its source material but twists it just enough to feel unique. When Snow White (Lily Collins) was a little girl her father the King ventured into a nearby dark forest to do battle with an evil creature and was never seen or heard from again. The kingdom was inherited by The Queen (Julia Roberts) Snow's evil stepmother and the fair-skinned beauty lived locked up in the castle until her 18th birthday. Grown up and tired of her wicked parental substitute White sneaks out of the castle to the village for the first time. There she witnesses the economic horrors The Queen has imposed upon the people of her land all to fuel her expensive beautification. Along the way Snow also meets Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) who is suffering from his own money troubles — mainly being robbed by a band of stilt-wearing dwarves. When the Queen catches wind of the secret excursion she casts Snow out of the castle to be murdered by her assistant Brighton (Nathan Lane).
Fairy tales take flack for rejecting the idea of women being capable but even with its flighty presentation and dedication to the old school Disney method Mirror Mirror empowers its Snow White in a genuine way thanks to Collins' snappy charming performance. After being set free by Brighton Snow crosses paths with the thieving dwarves and quickly takes a role on their pilfering team (which she helps turn in to a Robin Hooding business). Tarsem wisely mines a spectrum of personalities out of the seven dwarves instead of simply playing them for one note comedy. Sure there's plenty of slapstick and pun humor (purposefully and wonderfully corny) but each member of the septet stands out as a warm compassionate companion to Snow even in the fantasy world.
Mirror Mirror is richly designed and executed in true Tarsem-fashion with breathtaking costumes (everything from ball gowns to the dwarf expando-stilts to ridiculous pirate ship hats with working canons) whimsical sets and a pitch-perfect score by Disney-mainstay Alan Menken. The world is a storybook and even its monsters look like illustrations rather than photo-real creations. But what makes it all click is the actors. Collins holds her own against the legendary Julia Roberts who relishes in the fun she's having playing someone despicable. She delivers every word with playful bite and her rapport with Lane is off-the-wall fun. Armie Hammer riffs on his own Prince Charming physique as Alcott. The only real misgiving of the film is the undercooked relationship between him and Snow. We know they'll get together but the journey's half the fun and Mirror Mirror serves that portion undercooked.
Children will swoon for Mirror Mirror but there's plenty here for adults — dialogue peppered with sharp wisecracks and a visual style ripped from an elegant tapestry. The movie wears its heart on its sleeve and rarely do we get a picture where both the heart and the sleeve feel truly magical.
The Pretty Woman actor and his wife Carey Lowell restored an old farmhouse in Westchester County and opened the Bedford Post Inn in February last year (09).
Recent reports suggest the bed-and-breakfast is heading for a change of ownership after pastry expert Chris Broburg stepped down from his job last month (Jun10).
American lifestyle queen and local resident Martha Stewart was rumoured to be interested in purchasing the Bedford Post Inn from Gere - but reps for the actor's farmhouse insist the property is not for sale, while Stewart's spokesperson tells the New York Post she is not looking to buy the business.
The Pretty Woman star opened a bed-and-breakfast in a restored farmhouse in Westchester County, New York in February (09) - but he's come under fire from locals after remodelling the 14 acres of land.
Gere and his wife Carey Lowell are accused of felling nearly 200 trees to create a horse paddock at their country retreat - a move which has left their neighbours fuming.
R.J. Marx, editor of the local Bedford Record-Review newspaper, tells New York Post gossip column PageSix, "He rehabilitated an old, decaying piece of property and people were very happy about that. He's very popular in the community. His son plays Little League here. (But) the feeling is that he acted a bit precipitously in clearing the trees. People are somewhat disappointed that he didn't follow procedure.
"Rather than seeking the proper channels and permits, he hired someone to cut them down. He's generally a good neighbour. It was out of character. This is a town where money isn't an issue. What matters are good manners and caring about the community. People have been supportive of him, but I'm not sure what he was thinking."
The publication reports Gere is facing a $250 (£156) fine for each tree felled, meaning he could be charged around $50,000 (£31,250) if local authorities find he created the clearing without the proper permits. Gere is reportedly in discussions with officials about replanting some of the trees.
The actor opened the Bedford Post Inn last year (08), catering for an exclusive clientele and tucked away in a sleepy corner of upstate New York.
Gere didn't realise the hotel would become a magnet for fans - and he was shocked when he recently had to eject a coachload of trespassing tourists desperate for a glimpse of their idol.
On the recent encounter, he says, "They just kept walking towards me, waving and saying, 'We've come on the bus. We are from Monaco. Hello Richard.
"They had gone past six 'do not enter' signs. They were the ladies' garden tour from Monaco and they wanted pictures.".