Actress Rosie Perez fought back tears as she personally thanked veteran singer Tony Bennett for bonding her and her father when she was a child during an interview on her talk show on Wednesday (26Nov14). The Do The Right Thing star told Bennett that she and her dad would communicate through his music when she visited him in Puerto Rico.
In a segment on her U.S. daytime talk show, The View, she told Bennett, "I had a very difficult childhood and I would go to Puerto Rico to visit my father, we didn't know how to speak to one another.
"So he would put on Nat King Cole, but he would always put on Tony Bennett and when the needle would drop, he would start talking and all that he would talk about was your artistry and say that you were the gentleman of jazz. So my father and I bonded over your music. That's the power of music."
Hit series Breaking Bad went out with a big bang on Monday night (25Aug14) after dominating the drama categories at the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Bryan Cranston earned his fourth Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series trophy for his portrayal of chemistry teacher-turned-drug lord Walter White, while his co-stars Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn were named Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress in a Drama Series.
Creator Vince Gilligan also triumphed at the ceremony after Breaking Bad, which wrapped its fifth and final season last year (13), beat Mad Men, True Detective, Game of Thrones, House of Cards and Downton Abbey to take home the prestigious Outstanding Drama Series title. In addition, there was a writing honour for Moira Walley-Beckett for the episode Ozymandias.
Modern Family was another multiple winner - the show continued to reign over the Outstanding Comedy Series category for the fifth year in a row, while Ty Burrell walked away as the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, the first prize of the night, and Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series went to Gail Mancuso for her Las Vegas episode of the show.
BBC series Sherlock landed a trio of trophies for writer Steven Moffat and its stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, while Jim Parsons (Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for The Big Bang Theory), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Veep), Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) and Allison Janney (Mom) scored big, too.
Singer Sara Bareilles performed a touching rendition of Nat King Cole classic Smile for the event's traditional In Memorium segment, which included nods to Philip Seymour Hoffman, Peter O'Toole, Lauren Bacall, Paul Walker, James Garner, Maya Angelou, Bob Hoskins, Mickey Rooney, Harold Ramis, Elaine Stritch and Shirley Temple, among others, before concluding with a snap of Robin Williams and a special honour from his close friend and fellow comedian, Billy Crystal.
The main list of winners at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by comedian Seth Meyers, is as follows:
Outstanding Drama Series - Breaking Bad
Outstanding Comedy Series - Modern Family
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series - Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series - Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series - Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series - Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series - Allison Janney, Mom
Outstanding Miniseries - Fargo
Outstanding Television Movie - The Normal Heart
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie - Benedict Cumberbatch for Sherlock episode His Last Vow
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie - Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie - Martin Freeman for Sherlock episode His Last Vow
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie - Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Coven
Outstanding Variety Series - The Colbert Report
Outstanding Reality-Competition Program - The Amazing Race
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series - Joe Morton, Scandal
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series - Allison Janney, Masters of Sex
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series - Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series - Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series - Moira Walley-Beckett for Breaking Bad episode Ozymandias
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series - Louis C.K. for Louie episode So Did the Fat Lady
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series - Cary Joji Fukunaga, True Detective
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series - Gail Mancuso for Modern Family episode Las Vegas
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special - Sarah Silverman, Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles
Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special - Steven Moffat for Sherlock episode His Last Vow
Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special - Glen Weiss, 67th Annual Tony Awards
Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special - Colin Bucksey for Fargo episode Buridan's A**.
Tony Bennett is planning to spend the rest of his life working with Lady Gaga, revealing he's already at work on the follow-up to the odd couple's new jazz standards album Cheek to Cheek. The two singers became friends when Gaga first joined the legendary crooner for his Grammy Award-winning Duets II album in 2011 and now the pair is releasing a record full of its collaborations, titled Cheek to Cheek.
And Bennett hopes to be working with the Poker Face hitmaker for many more years to come.
He tells Billboard.com, "We'll be touring together for quite a while. She's kind of exhausted from playing for 45,000 people a night. She said, 'Let's just play for three to six weeks in Las Vegas'.
"She has the idea of just performing at Radio City for possibly two weeks with her. It's amazing how she's planning out how we should perform together, and it won't be those 45,000-seat places because I work in acoustical halls all the time, or outdoor theatres sometimes.
"I'm not interested in playing to 45,000 people a night, so she's finding places where we could work for three or four days, or three or four weeks, in one place at a time. That's how she wants to work with me."
The pair's new album will be out next month (Sep14) and a TV special, titled Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek To Cheek LIVE!, will debut in the U.S. on 24 October (14).
And then Bennett hopes to star work on a new album - a reworking of Cole Porter's 1936 song cycle Red, Hot & Blue.
He adds, "I received the music for that. When I told Lady Gaga, I said, 'If this (Cheek To Cheek) goes well, we could do a follow-up with Cole Porter, Red, Hot & Blue. She said, 'Why wait? Let's do it right away'. So we're gonna do two albums in a row with her. We'll have to try and do that as soon as possible, just as a follow-up for a second album."
Getty Images/Kevin Winter
The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony will air on Monday (oddly enough), August 25, and will be hosted by Saturday Night Live vet and Late Night host Seth Meyers. Here are the nominees recognized for their achievements over the course of this past year in television.
Best Comedy SeriesThe Big Bang TheoryLouieModern FamilyOrange Is the New BlackSilicon ValleyVeep
Best Drama SeriesBreaking BadDownton AbbeyGame of ThronesHouse of CardsMad MenTrue Detective
Best Actor - ComedyLouis C.K. - LouieDon Cheadle - House of LiesRicky Gervais - DerekMatt LeBlanc - EpisodesWilliam H. Macy - ShamelessJim Parsons - The Big Bang Theory
Best Actress - ComedyLena Dunham - GirlsEdie Falco - Nurse JackieJulia Louis-Dreyfus - VeepMelissa McCarthy - Mike and MollyAmy Poehler - Parks and RecreationTaylor Schilling - Orange Is the New Black
Lead Actor - DramaBryan Cranston - Breaking BadJeff Daniels - The NewsroomJon Hamm - Mad MenWoody Harrelson - True DetectiveMatthew McConaughey - True DetectiveKevin Spacey - House of Cards
Lead Actress - DramaLizzy Caplan - Masters of SexClaire Danes - HomelandMichelle Dockery - Downton AbbeyJulianne Margolies - The Good WifeKerry Washinton - ScandalRobin Wright - House of Cards
Best Mini-SeriesAmerican Horror Story: CovenBonnie and ClydeFargoLutherTremeThe White Queen
Best TV MovieKilling KennedyMohammad Ali's Greatest FightThe Normal HeartSherlock: His Last VowThe Trip to Babylon
Best Actor - Mini-Series/TV MovieBenedict Cumberbatch - SherlockChiwetel Ejiofor - Dancing on the EdgeIdris Elba - LutherMartin Freeman - FargoMark Ruffalo - The Normal HeartBill Bob Thornton - Fargo
Best Actress - Mini-Series/TV MovieHelena Bonham Carter - Burton and TaylorMinnie Driver - Return to ZeroJessica Lang - American Horror Story: CovenSarah Paulson - American Horror Story: CovenCicely Tyson - The Trip to BountifulKristen Wiig - Spoils of Babylon
Best Variety ShowThe Colbert ReportThe Daily ShowJimmy Kimmel Live!Real Time with Bill MaherSaturday Night LiveThe Tonight Show
Best Reality Competition ShowThe Amazing RaceDancing with the StarsProject RunwaySo You Think You Can DanceTop ChefThe Voice
Best Supporting Actor - Comedy SeriesFred Armisen - PortlandiaAndre Braugher - Brooklin Nine-NineTy Burrell - Modern FamilyAdam Driver - GirlsJesse Tyler Ferguson - Modern FamilyTony Hale - Veep
Best Supporting Actress - Comedy SeriesMayim Bialik - The Big Bang TheoryJulie Bowen - Modern FamilyAnna Chlumsky - VeepAllison Janney - MomKate McKinnon - Saturday Night LiveKate Mulgrew - Orange Is the New Black
Best Supporting Actor - DramaJim Carter - Downton AbbeyJosh Charles - The Good WifePeter Dinklage - Game of ThronesMandy Patinkin - HomelandAaron Paul - Breaking BadJon Voight - Ray Donovan
Best Supporting Actress - DramaChristine Baranski - The Good WifeJoan Froggatt - Downton AbbeyAnna Gunn - Breaking BadLena Headey - Game of ThronesChristina Hendricks - Mad MenMaggie Smith - Downton Abbey
Best Guest Actor - ComedySteve Buscemi - PortlandiaLouis C.K. - Saturday Night LiveGary Cole - VeepJimmy Fallon - Saturday Night LiveNathan Lane - Modern FamilyBob Newhart - The Big Bang Theory
Best Guest Actress - ComedyUzo Aduba - Orange Is the New BlackLaverne Cox - Orange Is the New BlackJoan Cusack - ShamelessTina Fey - Saturday Night LiveNatasha Lyonne - Orange Is the New BlackMelissa McCarthy - Saturday Night Live
Best Guest Actor - DramaDylan Baker - The Good WifeBeau Bridges - Masters of SexReg E Cathey - House of CardsPaul Giamatti - Downton AbbeyRobert Morse - Mad MenJoe Morton - Scandal
Best Guest Actress - DramaKate Burton - ScandalJane Fonda - The NewsroomAllison Janney - Masters of SexKate Mara - House of CardsMargo Martindale - The AmericansDiana Rigg - Game of Thrones
Grammy-winning jazz artist Paul Horn has died at the age of 84. The flautist passed away in Vancouver, Canada on Sunday (29Jun14) following a brief illness.
His son Marlen says, "He passed away very peacefully and did not suffer. He wasn't in any pain."
During his five-decade career, Horn played on more than 50 albums and picked up five Grammy nominations, winning two trophies in 1966 for his Jazz Suite on the Mass Texts album.
Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, and Tony Bennett were among the many artists he performed with.
Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett surprised a group of students in New York City by hosting a masterclass on their final day of school. The duo reunited at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, a facility Bennett opened in 2001 in his hometown of Astoria, Queens.
The legendary crooner usually attends the annual graduation ceremony, but is unable to make it to this year's (14) event due to his hectic tour schedule. To make up for his absence, he recruited Gaga to join him for a special performance and masterclass at the school's Tony Bennett Concert Hall on Monday (16Jun14).
Bennett and Gaga began the event by discussing jazz music before answering questions from members of the 700-strong audience. Bennett gushed about his eccentric pop star pal, telling the crowd, "When I first heard Gaga sing, my reaction was that she is going to be bigger than Elvis. "She is so bright and intelligent and she has 'it'. In jazz you either got it, the syncopation, the rhythm, or you don't, and when I heard Gaga I said she's got it!"
The pair then performed for the audience - Bennett sang The Very Thought of You, while Gaga performed a cover of Cole Porter's Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye. They then came together to sing the standard I Can't Give You Anything but Love, while dancing cheek-to-cheek. A student choir gave the final performance of the event with covers of Bennett's Smile and Gaga's hit song Applause.
Bennett and Gaga first collaborated on his Duets II album in 2011, covering The Lady Is A Tramp, and are currently working on a jazz record slated for release later this year (14).
Gladys Knight and Natalie Cole will miss their Broadway turns in Tony-nominated musical After Midnight following producers' decision to close the show early. The production will end after Patti LaBelle's run as special guest star, which began last week (beg09Jun14), after 19 previews and 272 regular performances.
After Midnight, which celebrates Duke Ellington’s years at New York's Cotton Club, was nominated for seven Tonys this year (14) and picked up the prize for Best Choreography a week ago (08Jun14).
Fantasia Barrino, LaBelle and Knight also opened the ceremony by performing a rendition of jazz standard Sunny Side of the Street. Barrino, k.d. lang, Toni Braxton, Kenny 'Babyface' Edmonds and Vanessa Williams have also appeared in the show at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.
Knight was scheduled to take over from LaBelle in July (14), and Cole was billed to appear from 5 to 31 August (14).
Soul stars Patti Labelle, Gladys Knight and Natalie Cole are all set to grace the Broadway stage as guest performers this summer (14) in Tony Award-nominated show After Midnight. The musical, which celebrates jazz icon Duke Ellington's years at Harlem, New York's famous Cotton Club, has already featured the likes of k.d. lang, Toni Braxton and Vanessa Williams as guest vocalists, and now another trio of music veterans will be delighting audiences at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.
LaBelle, who first saw the show in January (14), will take over from singer Fantasia Barrino from 10 to 29 June (14), while Knight will pick up the mic from 8 July to 3 August, and Cole will appear from 5 to 31 August (14).
After Midnight has proved to be a big hit with fans and critics alike - it scored seven Tony nominations, including a nod for Best Musical, when the shortlist was announced on Tuesday (29Apr14).
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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