Singers Julia Fordham and Judith Owen have teamed up to raise funds for the Philippines typhoon relief effort by releasing a duet of festive classic White Christmas. All proceeds from downloads of the track will benefit the Filipino Red Cross, and to promote the tune the stars have shot a video featuring American Pie star Jennifer Coolidge.
In the promo, which was uploaded to YouTube.com on Tuesday (26Nov13), the comedienne refuses to stay out of shot as her friends film with pianist Grant Mitchell.
Happy Ever After singer Fordham reveals she jumped at the chance to record the track with pal Owen, stating, "The Philippines is a country that has always been so supportive of my voice and songs."
Paramount via Everett Collection
They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, they're back for one more movie, the Addams Family. According to Variety, the spooky family is being rebooted as an MGM animated movie.
The final negotiations are still underway, but Pamela Pettler (Corpse Bride and Monster House) is set to pen the screenplay, and BermanBraun's Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun are in talks to produce the film. Earlier in the year, it was expected that a Tim Burton-led stop-motion Addams Family movie would be made, but the project was put to rest in July.
While we're not a fan of all of the reboots that are being announced as of late (we're looking at you, Charmed), we're pretty excited that our favorite Halloween-esque family is inviting us back into their mansion. When you've got a set of characters — especially one that has a family dynamic — that are off-kilter (in the best way possible), it's not a bad move to reincarnate them for another go-around.
The Addams Family has been around since 1938 when the family came to life in Charles Addams' comic strip, and 75 years later, it's seen its fair share of air-time. The family came to the masses via ABC's sitcom, which aired from 1964 to 1966, and then was the basis for a handful of other TV series (one being an animated version), two Paramount live-action films (The Addams Family and Addams Family Values), a musical, and the straight-to-video reboot Addams Family Reunion (which we like to pretend never happened). Suffice it to say, the black-clad family certainly has enough of a fanbase — one that loves a dose of nostalgia every now and then -- to warrant another reboot.
Plus, we're just super psyched to see which version of Wednesday is going to come out to play: the sweet-natured girl who loved her pet spiders (a la the '60s TV series) or the morbid girl with a deadpan wit and an urge to murder her brother (also known as Christina Ricci in the 1991 live-action film). We're definitely hoping it will be the diabolical Wednesday.
Two of Marvin Gaye's children have officially launched legal action against Robin Thicke amid allegations his summer smash Blurred Lines borrows heavily from the soul icon's Got To Give It Up. Thicke, his producer Pharrell Williams and collaborator T.I. filed a pre-emptive suit in August (13), asking a Los Angeles judge to declare that Blurred Lines does not infringe on Gaye's 1977 song, after the late legend's heirs first expressed copyright concerns.
The trio faced similar claims from Bridgeport Music bosses, who own the rights to George Clinton's band Funkadelic's compositions - they alleged the tune bears striking similarities to Funkadelic's track Sexy Ways.
Thicke recently confessed he was eager to reach a settlement to avoid a drawn out court battle with his idol's relatives, but they reportedly rejected a six-figure sum, and now Nona and Frankie Christian Gaye have lodged a countersuit in a California court to pursue their claims.
In court papers obtained by editors at The Hollywood Reporter, the Gayes point to interviews conducted by both Thicke and Williams, who have openly admitted that the singer used Got To Give It Up as the inspiration for Blurred Lines.
They have also consulted expert musicologist Judith Finell to compare the two songs, and she has stated that she found "at least eight substantially similar compositional features" in the two tracks, "far surpassing the similarities that might result from attempts to evoke an 'era' of music or a shared genre".
The Gayes go on to suggest that Thicke has lifted material from their tragic father for years, listing a second copyright infringement regarding the star's 2011 tune Love After War, which they believe is modelled on the late soul star's After the Dance.
They are demanding damages, including a cut of profits from both songs.
In their new legal papers, filed on Wednesday (30Oct13), the Gayes also argue that Thicke's song Make U Love Me features "a similar bridge and identical lyrics from Marvin Gaye’s I Want You."
Actor Dan Aykroyd has lost his bid to shut down a Blues Brothers tribute show in the Netherlands. The funnyman and his late sidekick John Belushi's widow Judith joined forces in an attempt to halt touring show I'm a Soul Man - a Tribute to the Blues Brothers, but lawmakers at The Hague District Court have ruled the couple cannot claim ownership for a suited look that has been adopted by bluesmen for decades, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Aykroyd argued that he and Belushi came up with the Blues Brothers' style and swagger on U.S. comedy show Saturday Night Live and maintained the look for a cult 1980 film, but the officials refused to shut down the Dutch gigs, which feature Canadian brothers G. and C. Dahl.
The plaintiffs also failed to convince court officials that elements from the show, including spoken lines and cameos by Aretha Franklin and James Brown lookalikes, were lifted from the Blues Brothers film.
Announcing his decision in court, Judge M.P.M. Loos said, "The claimants did not contest that the appearance of Jake and Elwood Blues, namely a duo wearing a black suit, with a white shirt, black tie, white socks, black shoes, black sunglasses, black 'pigskin' hats and sideburns are similar to the dress style of a number of blues legends from the 1950s, such as Reverend Gary Davis and John Lee Hooker.
"The claimants even stated at the hearing that Aykroyd and Belushi were inspired for The Blues Brothers by the performers of the so-called hipster style of Electric Blues performers from Chicago.
"The Dutch Copyright Act does not grant exclusive right to a person working on the basis of his own distinctive style. This judgment is based on the idea that copyright protection of abstract forms such as distinctive style features would entail an intolerable restriction on the creative freedom of an author and would therefore act as a brake on cultural developments."
After last season offered us a taste of the high life inside the walls of Woodbury, we're right back in the trenches for Season 4. Maybe it's the logical psychological progression of a zombie apocalypse, the artistic complement to our time spent in the dystopian village, or an effort to top the nihilism in the powerhouse that was Breaking Bad, but The Walking Dead is really upping the ante on the bleak this year. It says a lot for a show about people watching their loved ones die in the most gruesome ways possible that these past two episodes have emanated a new degree of dismal.
A week after Rick's inability to kill a suffering woman who represented his own descent into monstrosity, we find the prison infiltrated by walkers — the gang astutely figures out with Gregory House-like precision that the bespectacled young Patrick contracted some type of flu that killed him overnight, transforming him into his ultimate zombie identity and wreaking havoc upon his fellow inmates. After the demise of the good-natured, cheeky teen, we're treated to a slew of increasingly spirit-killing sideshows.The episode's stories, in ascending order of bleakness:
1. A herd of zombies threaten to take down the prison's outer fence, chomping off the heads of rats (which seemed to have been placed around the perimeter as bait for the dead heads).2. The bodies of two prison residents are burned, by an anonymous party, presumably in an effort to keep the flu from spreading3. Two pre-adolescent girls watch their father die and incur the wrath of an increasingly cold Carol for being "weak" through the ordeal.4. Rick slashes the stomachs of pig after pig after pig (the pigs are really cute, too) in order to lure the zombies from No. 1 away from the fence.5. And worst of all, Michonne cradles coughing baby Judith — who she recognizes to have contracted the flu that killed Patrick and Carl's pig — sobbing over the imminent demise of this baby and her own inability to resist comforting her despite knowing that she, in the process of doing so, is exposing herself to the same fatal disease.
Yes, this show is getting really grim. But... there are a few small victories this week, too. Kind of.
1. While Carl and Rick are mending fences, Carl tells Rick about Carol's secret weapons tutelage and Rick gives Carl back his gun. Sweet-ish?2. Carol refers to the late Patrick as a "practicing atheist," which is very much in step with the way that character, who we barely got to meet, would have defined himself.3. Hershel has a leg.
So... not all bad. Right?
Anyway, the big questions we're left with: Who is leaving rats for the walkers? Who burned the bodies of the flu-ridden residents? What will happen to baby Judith and our beloved Michonne? And, mostly, has this show really never had an episode named "Infected" before this week? That doesn't seem possible.
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Michael Jackson's former backing singer Judith Hill has signed up to join Josh Groban on tour. The new Sony artist will open the show and also join Groban during his set for two songs, The Prayer and Remember When It Rains, after teaming up with the operatic star in the studio.
Hill, who has also backed Stevie Wonder and Sir Elton John, was working with the King of Pop on his This Is It dates when he died in 2009.
Since then, she has performed on U.S. reality TV show The Voice and appeared in director Morgan Neville's acclaimed 20 Feet From Stardom documentary, which shines the spotlight on the untold true story of the back-up singers behind some of music's biggest names.
Her North American dates with Groban begin on Wednesday (02Oct13) in Boise, Idaho.
Australian folk star Judith Durham has assured fans she will be back onstage with her band The Seekers in the New Year (14) following her brain haemorrhage in May (13). The 70-year-old singer was forced to postpone The Seekers' U.K. tour when she was diagnosed with a cerebral haemorrhage after falling ill during a concert on the band's 50th Anniversary Golden Jubilee trek.
Durham was discharged from hospital in August (13) following three months of treatment and she is hoping to make a full recovery so she can return to the stage in 2014.
She tells Britain's Daily Express, "I still have some way to go but there's no reason to delay it for the fans any more. We'll treasure it even more now because of what happened. All of us had to put things on hold and none of us had any knowledge of how long that might be for or if we'd ever have the opportunity to perform again. Now we know we can resume the tour we've been so thrilled.
"We're still the only band in their original format from the Sixties. It's so unique. Our voice is fine and we look and sound like we always did."
The Seekers' rescheduled British tour will now kick off on 28 April (14) in Cardiff, Wales, and wrap up in London on 2 June (14).
Reality TV star Judge Judy has married her grandson by officiating at his wedding over the weekend (07-08Sep13). The small screen veteran, real name Judith Sheindlin, and her judge husband Jerry Sheindlin took charge as their grandson Casey wed his bride Olivia in a lavish ceremony.
The nuptials reportedly took place in New York on Saturday (07Sep13) and the New York Post reports the 150 guests in attendance were served lobster and steak.
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has accepted a substantial donation to charity in lieu of damages from the British law firm which outed her as the secret writer of The Cuckoo's Calling. Rowling launched legal action against Chris Gossage, a partner at Russells law firm, for breach of confidentiality after he recently revealed she was the mastermind behind the crime novel, which was released under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.
Gossage accidentally leaked the information to his friend Judith Callegari, also named in the lawsuit, who published the revelation on her Twitter.com account, which was subsequently picked up by editors at The Sunday Times.
On Wednesday (31Jul13), a judge at London's High Court ruled in Rowling's favour and executives at Russells were ordered to cover her legal fees and make amends by handing a donation to ABF The Soldiers' Charity, also known as the Army Benevolent Fund.
Rowling's solicitor Jenny Afia said the author, who was not in court, was "dismayed and distressed by such a fundamental betrayal of trust".
A statement from the charity issued after the ruling reads, "The Soldiers' Charity is honoured and thrilled to announce an extremely generous donation from world renowned author, J.K. Rowling. Damages from the litigation case surrounding her unveiling as Robert Galbraith and all global royalties from sales of her book, The Cuckoo's Calling, will be donated to the charity."
The multi-millionaire writer recently announced she would be handing the profits from The Cuckoo's Calling to the organisation for a period of three years, dating from the 14 July 2013 - the day her pseudonym was made public.
The person behind the person who revealed that J.K. Rowling is the author behind the pseudonym Robert Galbraith has now been exposed. The British law firm Russells admits that one if its partners is responsible for the leak.
The Sunday Times became hip to the fact that the Harry Potter author was the brains behind The Cuckoo's Calling — a critically successful yet commercially strugglling crime novel written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith — after receiving a tip on Twitter. Now, according to the Associated Press (via CBS News), we know that Russells partner Chris Gossage let the fact slip to Judith Callegari, a close friend of his wife's, who then sent the tweet.
"We apologize unreservedly," Russells says in a statement aquired by the AP. As well as that "the disclosure was made in confidence to someone he trusted implicitly." The statement continues, "We can confirm that this leak was not part of any marketing plan and that neither J.K. Rowling, her agent nor publishers were in any way involved."
In response, Rowling issued a statement that reads, "Only a tiny number of people knew my pseudonym and it has not been pleasant to wonder for days how a woman whom I had never heard of prior to Sunday night could have found out something that many of my oldest friends did not know."
"To say that I am disappointed is an understatement," she added. "I had assumed that I could expect total confidentiality from Russells, a reputable professional firm, and I feel very angry that my trust turned out to be misplaced."
Should Rowling decide to seek legal action against Russells, we're sure the firm knows the name of a good lawyer or two.
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More:The Problem with J.K. Rowling's Male Pseudonym Should 'The Casual Vacancy' Really Be Banned? The Casual Vacancy': Should It Become a Blockbuster Adaptation?
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