Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler and Dr. John will join blues legend Johnny Winter in the studio for his second album of classic covers. ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Ben Harper and Aerosmith star Joe Perry will also guest on the follow-up to Winter's 2011 album Roots.
Summit via Everett Collection
You can imagine that Renny Harlin, director and one quadrant of the writing team for The Legend of Hercules, began his pitch as such: We'll start with a war, because lots of these things start with wars. It feels like this was the principal maxim behind a good deal of the creative choices in this latest update of the Ancient Greek myth. There are always horse riding scenes. There are generally arena battles. There are CGI lions, when you can afford 'em. Oh, and you've got to have a romantic couple canoodling at the base of a waterfall. Weaving them all together cohesively would be a waste of time — just let the common threads take form in a remarkably shouldered Kellan Lutz and action sequences that transubstantiate abjectly to and fro slow-motion.
But pervading through Lutz's shirtless smirks and accent continuity that calls envy from Johnny Depp's Alice in Wonderland performance is the obtrusive lack of thought that went into this picture. A proverbial grab bag of "the basics" of the classic epic genre, The Legend of Hercules boasts familiarity over originality. So much so that the filmmakers didn't stop at Hercules mythology... they barely started with it, in fact. There's more Jesus Christ in the character than there is the Ancient Greek demigod, with no lack of Gladiator to keep things moreover relevant. But even more outrageous than the void of imagination in the construct of Hercules' world is its script — a piece so comically dim, thin, and idiotic that you will laugh. So we can't exactly say this is a totally joyless time at the movies.
Summit via Everett Collection
Surrounding Hercules, a character whose arc takes him from being a nice enough strong dude to a nice enough strong dude who kills people and finally owns up to his fate — "Okay, fine, yes, I guess I'm a god" — are a legion of characters whose makeup and motivations are instituted in their opening scenes and never change thereafter. His de facto stepdad, the teeth-baring King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins), despises the boy for being a living tribute to his supernatural cuckolding; his half-brother Iphicles (Liam Garrigan) is the archetypical scheming, neutered, jealous brother figure right down to the facial scar. The dialogue this family of mongoloids tosses around is stunningly brainless, ditto their character beats. Hercules can't understand how a mystical stranger knows his identity, even though he just moments ago exited a packed coliseum chanting his name. Iphicles defies villainy and menace when he threatens his betrothed Hebe (Gaia Weiss), long in love with Hercules, with the terrible fate of "accepting [him] and loving [their] children equally!" And the dad... jeez, that guy must really be proud of his teeth.
With no artistic feat successfully accomplished (or even braved, really) by this movie, we can at the very least call it inoffensive. There is nothing in The Legend of Hercules with which to take issue beyond its dismal intellect, and in a genre especially prone to regressive activity, this is a noteworthy triumph. But you might not have enough energy by the end to award The Legend of Hercules with this superlative. Either because you'll have laughed yourself into a coma at the film's idiocy, or because you'll have lost all strength trying to fend it off.
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Country star Taylor Swift is set to show off her martial arts skills onscreen after reportedly landing a role opposite Samuel L. Jackson in Matthew Vaughn's new spy film The Secret Service. The Pulp Fiction icon will portray the movie's villain, who kidnaps Swift's character, only for her to escape and exact revenge, according to Britain's The Mirror.
A source tells the newspaper, "She will be required to have some heavy-duty martial arts training in order that her character convincingly kicks Samuel L. Jackson's butt."
The Secret Service, based on Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar's graphic novel of the same name, will also feature Colin Firth and Sir Michael Caine, while soccer superstar David Beckham was recently linked to a cameo appearance too.
Production is set to begin in London and the south of France later this year (13), ahead of a November, 2014 release.
Swift has already started building up her acting resume - she's previously starred on hit U.S. TV shows New Girl and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, as well as ensemble romantic comedy Valentine's Day.
Soccer superstar David Beckham has been targeted for a villainous new movie role in The Secret Service. Director Matthew Vaughn and producers of the film are hoping to persuade the recently retired player to make his proper character acting debut in the film alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Firth and Michael Caine.
A source tells The Sun newspaper, "Becks was asked by Colin Firth if he'd like to be in the movie but he is yet to fully commit. He loves movies and fancies appearing on the big screen - but just as a one-off, not a full-time career."
The movie is based on Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar's graphic novel of the same name.
Samuel L. Jackson is set to play the villain again in director Matthew Vaughn's new movie The Secret Service. The Django Unchained star will join Colin Firth, Michael Caine and newcomer Taron Egerton in the film adaptation of Mark Millar and David Gibbons' comic book series, according to Variety.
The plot follows a veteran MI6 spy's efforts to straighten out his nephew, who finds himself mixed up in the world of street crime.
Firth has signed on to play the spy, while Caine will portray his boss.
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.
Every artist has his muse. Shakespeare had Anne Hathaway. Hugh Jackman has...Anne Hathaway. And it seems that Matthew Vaughn has Mark Millar.
Vaughn is the screenwriter/director who worked on films like X-Men: First Class, The Debt, Layer Cake, Stardust and (most importantly to this discussion) Kick-Ass. Millar is the comic book writer who created Kick-Ass in its original print incarnation. In 2010, Vaughn adapted the comic into an action/black comedy film starring Aaron Johnson, Nicolas Cage, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Chloe Moretz. Vaughn's passion for the creations of Millar do not stop with Kick-Ass. The director is currently deciding which of Millar's projects to adapt next. His choices: Superior, a montly series that was created by Millar in 2010, and The Secret Service, which is a new comic being developed by Millar, Vaughn and Watchmen artist and co-creator David Gibbons).
Superior is the story of Simon, a young boy afflicted with multiple sclerosis as a result of an accident. One night, an alien monkey (are you hooked?) grants the boy his wish to become his comic book idol, the superhero Superior—the price, however, is his soul, as it turns out the alien monkey (hooked???) is actually a demon dealing with the boy on behalf of the Devil. However, the same deal is granted to Simon's school bully, who becomes Superior's arch enemy—there's a lot going on, but it's well-written, well-drawn, and unceasingly fun.
The Secret Service details are still undisclosed, but considering the talent of each of the three men involved (to the few of you who haven't read or seen the movie version of Watchmen, you've got some mind-blowitry awaiting you), optimism is high.
Matthew Vaughn currently holds the film rights to both projects, and will reportedly supervise writing on Superior.
Easy A a teen sex comedy with no actual sex aims rather conspicuously to plumb the best bits of Diablo Cody and Alexander Payne in its upside-down self-consciously campy take on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. In the role of its high-school Hester Prynne is Emma Stone the sly husky heroine of last year’s surprise hit Zombieland. Tested by a film that is far less clever than its director Will Gluck or screenwriter Bert Royal would have us believe (and they desperately want us to believe) she passes with flying colors delivering a performance that should elevate her into the upper echelon of actresses possessing brains and beauty in equal measure.
Stone plays Olive the kind of quick-witted hyper-literate teen that our educational system produces in ever-diminishing numbers. (If it ever produced them to begin with.) More knowing and sophisticated than others her age she is nonetheless not immune to the pressure of peers and the dread of being labeled a loser. Under duress by a prying friend (Aly Michalka) to dish the details of her birthday weekend a rather mundane affair mainly spent jumping on her bed to the tune of Natasha Bedingfield’s pop monstrosity “Pocket Full of Sunshine ” she feels compelled to embellish a bit and concocts an entirely fictional account of losing her virginity (dubbed the “V-Card” by Royal trying too hard) to a boy from a junior college across town.
Word of Olive’s deflowering spreads with startling speed aided by the incessant rumor-mongering of a catty Evangelical eavesdropper (Amanda Bynes). Suddenly branded a tramp on account of a seemingly harmless little lie Olive opts to embrace her newly tarnished reputation and put it to good use. In a viciously stratified social environment where even the most awkward acne-plagued pariah can earn respect and even admiration from members of the upper castes for having gone All the Way Olive anoints herself the Mother Theresa of (fake) sluts bestowing her blessing upon downtrodden gents in need of a reputation boost. And she resolves to look the part too traipsing around in scandalous bustiers and affixing the letter “A” to her chest.
There are limits to Easy A’s Scarlet Letter conceit overly Glee-ful tone forced repartee and pop-culture references (John Hughes is invoked so many times he should get a producer credit). Which is why director Gluck must be grateful to have found Stone who handles the verbal calisthenics of Royal’s script with charm and verve and a certain effortless appeal that keeps us engaged even as the film wallows in contrived irony and heavy-handedness. Keep your eye on her.
HBO is reteaming with the producers behind Entourage to develop a politically charged series.
Variety reports that Leverage's Stephen Levinson,Mark Wahlberg and Doug Ellin are prepping a project that centers on a young political aide and his relationship with his idol, the former President of the United States.
Ben Schwerin is writing the project and would serve as co-exec producer, while Ellin, Levinson and Wahlberg are all attached as executive producers.
The new series continues the paybox's relationship with Levinson and Wahlberg, who are also exec producers on In Treatment and the upcoming Martin Scorsese drama Boardwalk Empire. The duo are also exec producers on HBO's new buddy comedy How to Make It in America.
Separately, HBO is developing a half-hour dramedy series to be based on the Pamela Des Barres' memoir, I'm With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie. Deadline.com reports that Zooey Deschanel will star and executive produce with her manager Sarah Jackson of Seven Summits, and Tim Gibbons, an executive producer of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm.
The warrant issued for the arrest of Lindsay Lohan was "born out of a misunderstanding," according to the actress' legal team.
Los Angeles authorities issued the warrant for Lohan on Friday in relation to her 2007 DUI conviction, which saw her sentenced to 24 hours in jail.
And now Lohan could be subject to arrest if police catch up with her.
Beverly Hills Police Lt. Mark Rosen says, "We are not actively looking for Ms. Lohan at this time. We are not anticipating her surrender this weekend. But if she comes in contact with police, she's subject to arrest.
"As for why we're not actively looking for her, that's not our procedure for this type of warrant. Her attorney is hoping to resolve this issue in the coming week. If it's not resolved, I'm sure we'll negotiate her voluntary surrender."
But the star's lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, has played down the incident: "Since her case was resolved, Ms. Lohan has been in compliance with all the terms and conditions of her probation and all orders of the court. The warrant issued on Friday was, in our view, born out of a misunderstanding which I am confident I can clear up next week."
Lohan is expected to attend a hearing on Monday morning in a Beverly Hills court.
Los Angeles DA spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons says, "The judge apparently has indicated that Ms. Lohan should be in attendance."
The 22-year-old is currently serving a three-year probation term for the 2007 DUI incident.
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