Eels frontman Mark Oliver Everett has been awarded the Freedom of the City of London at a ceremony in the British capital. Everett accepted the traditional honour on Thursday (24Jul) just hours before his rock band's gig at the city's Barbican Centre.
He follows in the footsteps of previous recipients including Dame Judi Dench, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, Sir Michael Caine, Henry Winkler and fellow rocker Bob Geldof, who picked up the same accolade in September (13).
British funnywoman Dawn French has revealed racists once tried to burn down her home while she was married to black comic Lenny Henry. The Harry Potter star made the revelation during an interview on BBC Radio on Friday (16May14), explaining how thugs had set fire to an oily rag and posted it through the letterbox of the home where she and Henry lived.
She said, "It was massively shocking to me. Someone put an oily rag through our front door and tried to burn us down. Luckily I woke up and smelt it, otherwise I'm not sure we would be here."
French also insisted the U.K. is still struggling with racist attitudes, adding that Henry and their mixed-raced daughter Billie are the victims of "snidey" remarks.
She added, "It's the little snidey comments or things people think it is OK to say, a kind of gradual erosion that I find particularly dangerous."
French and Henry divorced in 2010 after 25 years.
Alongside Hollywood veterans Kate Winslet, Ashley Judd, and Tony Goldwyn and two young leads (Shailene Woodley, Theo James) who have already built up quite the impressive C.V., Divergent's ensemble cast also includes several virtual unknowns. Here's a brief guide to their careers so far.Ansel Elgort (Caleb)
The son of fashion photographer Arthur Elgort, 19-year-old Elgort's career began on stage in Matt Charman's off-Broadway drama Regrets. After making his big screen debut as Chloe Moretz's prom date in last year's Carrie remake, the New Yorker landed the role of Tris' inquisitive brother Caleb Prior. Elgort will then make the switch from playing Woodley's sibling to her love interest when they both star in the adaptation of John Green's best-selling novel, The Fault In Our Stars, while he's also set to appear in Jason Reitman's star-studded comedy Men, Women and Children.
Amy C. Newbold (Molly)
Amy C. Newbold is no stranger to the Hollywood blockbuster, having worked as a casting assistant on Superman reboot Man Of Steel as well as on the likes of Contagion and Raising Hope. But as Tris' factionless enemy Molly Atwood, Divergent will see her move from behind to in front of the camera for her first major acting role, with bit parts in Boss and Chicago Fire the only other credits to her name.
Ben Lamb (Edward)
Cast as skilled fighter Edward, Ben Lamb made the move to post-apocalyptic Chicago from medieval England after playing The White Queen's brother Anthony in the BBC's hit historical drama. The 25-year-old, who'd previously studied at both RADA and Oxford University, cut his teeth appearing in various Shakespeare productions and made his onscreen debut as a posh toff in BBC legal drama Silks in 2012.
Christian Madsen (Al)
One of the more experienced "unknowns" in the cast, Christian Madsen has appeared alongside his father Michael in deliverance tale Refuge from the Storm and off-kilter thriller The Brazen Bull and his auntie Virginia in comedy Jake Squared, while he also had a minor role in Justin Timberlake vehicle In Time. Cast as kind-hearted Al, he'll next be seen as Bryan, a young man who reunites with his estranged father after 15 years in the indie drama Prism.
Ben Lloyd-Hughes (Will)
Following his older brother Henry's role in Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire, the Lloyd-Hughes name will appear in the credits of another major franchise when 25-year-old Ben plays Tris' brainy ally Will. He first appeared on screen as a teenager in BBC drama Love Soup back in 2005 and has since cropped up in a string of hit British TV shows including Skins, The Hour and Young James Herriot. While his filmography includes teen horror Tormented and the 2012 remake of Great Expectations.
Divergent hits theaters March 21. You can check showtimes and purchase advanced tickets at Movietickets.com.
Happy Days icon Henry Winkler has been honoured with the Freedom of the City of London. The veteran actor, best known for playing The Fonz in the hit 1970s comedy, was presented with the framed declaration by local officials during a ceremony at the Guildhall venue on Wednesday (08Jan14) in recognition of his extensive charity work to help those struggling with dyslexia and young people with special needs.
The 68 year old follows in the footsteps of Dame Judi Dench, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, Sir Michael Caine and Bob Geldof, who picked up the same accolade in September (13).
The honour has been handed out to people of great importance to London since 1237 and traditionally permits the recipient to be drunk and disorderly on the streets of the city without fearing arrest, and to drive sheep over London Bridge, but these privileges are mainly symbolic in modern times.
Harry Potter co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint have both been honoured among the cream of the British theatre scene after landing nominations for the upcoming WhatsOnStage awards. Radcliffe is on the shortlist for the coveted Best Actor in a Play prize for his turn in The Cripple of Inishmaan, but he faces fierce competition from fellow Hollywood actor James McAvoy for his role in Macbeth, as well as Lenny Henry (Fences), Rory Kinnear (Othello) and Skyfall star Ben Whishaw (Peter and Alice).
Grint has followed his friend into theatre this year (13) and has landed a nod in the Newcomer of the Year category for his West End debut in Mojo. He faces rivals including Jack Huston (Strangers on a Train) and singer Tori Amos, who has been nominated for composing the score to her musical The Light Princess.
Other stars to have landed nods include Dame Helen Mirren, whose turn playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience scored her a nomination for Best Actress in a Play. She is going up against Captain America: The First Avenger star Hayley Atwell (The Pride), James McAvoy's wife Anne-Marie Duff (Strange Interlude), Suranne Jones (Beautiful Thing), and Tanya Moodie (Fences).
The awards, which are voted for by theatre-goers, will be handed out at a ceremony in London on 23 February (14).
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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British actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Emma Watson have been voted the world's sexiest movie stars. The Star Trek Into Darkness actor gained top spot in the 50 hottest males of the moment poll conducted by Empire Online, coming ahead of The Avengers star Tom Hiddleston, who took second place, and Man of Steel heart-throb Henry Cavill in third.
Harry Potter actress Watson earned the sexiest female movie star title, beating Scarlett Johansson in second and The Hunger Games favourite Jennifer Lawrence in third.
Other stars who featured high in the charts include Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, Mila Kunis and Angelina Jolie.
James Dyer, editor of Empire Online, says, "It's a great result for British stars, but what's clear is that it's less important to have lots of casual fans and better to have a dedicated hard-core. The Cumberbabes, Hiddlestoners, Twi-hards and Cavilliers all made their opinions heard!"
Casting rumors have swirled ever since Ben Affleck was cast as the Dark Knight in the announced Batman vs. Superman movie. While it’s obvious which superheroes will make an appearance in the movie, there’s still no word about who the titanic heroes will battle in this hopefully epic blockbuster. But who would be better than Superman’s arch-nemesis, Lex Luthor, to challenge both the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel in his glorious return to the silver screen?Before Warner Bros. kills the fun and announces whom they picked as Luthor (assuming he will appear in Batman vs. Superman), let’s indulge our inner fanboy and pick our own dream castings.
Bryan CranstonThe internet’s been ablaze about Bryan Cranston being cast as Lex Luthor (an impressive fan trailer for Man of Steel 2 makes a strong case for both Cranston and Affleck). Who can blame the comic fanboys, especially when Cranston shows the evil behind his eyes in Breaking Bad. He even looks good bald too. Cranston could be a bit too old for the part though, and it’s in question whether he’ll want to play a similar role by taking on Lex Luthor so soon after the finale of Breaking Bad.
Jason IsaacsZack Snyder cast a British actor when he chose Henry Cavill to play Superman. So why not look across the pond again to play his arch-nemesis? One British candidate would be Jason Isaacs, whom you may know as Lucius Malfoy from the Harry Potter movies, so moviegoers have already seen him capably play a movie villain. But for fanboys who insist that the movie characters stick as close to their comic book counterparts, don’t worry: Isaacs looks even more villainous with a shaved head.
Bradley CooperThis casting would probably be as divisive as Ben Affleck. Some would say Bradley Cooper is too young or doesn’t have the talent to play Lex Luthor. First, as Matt Damon would say, Lex Luthor is not King Lear and should be a fairly easy role for the Academy Award-nominated actor. And remember the uproar that erupted when Christopher Nolan chose Heath Ledger to play the Joker. Cooper could infuse a much needed new spin on Lex Luthor. But for a villain who has evaded both the authorities and Superman for years, Cooper is an excellent choice to play a man with sinister intentions underlying all that infinite charm and innocence.
Mark StrongWhen it comes to physical resemblance to Lex Luthor, it’s tough beat out English actor Mark Strong. But beyond his facial physicality, Strong has shown he can be the perfect villainous foil to an iconic character. He played Lord Blackwood in 2009’s Sherlock Holmes, a man who was capable of fabricating an elaborate scheme to rule England by pulling all the right strings. Just substitute England for the world, and that could’ve been Lex Luthor right there!
Idris ElbaZack Snyder cast Laurence Fishburne as the Daily Planet’s Editor-in-Chief Perry White and turned Jimmy Olsen to Jenny Olsen. So would he be open to casting outside the racial box for Lex Luthor? If he were, Idris Elba would be a prime candidate for the iconic villain. Anyone who watched him as Stringer Bell in HBO’s The Wire could certainly see him as a CEO businessman by day, kingpin of an underground criminal organization by night.
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Warner Bros.’ Man of Steel sets new June all-time opening weekend record with $113,080,000 in 4,207 theaters for the Friday through Sunday period and $125,080,000 to date including the Thursday corporate group sale screening program of $12,000,000! This is also the second best debut of 2013 behind only Iron Man 3. See below for the list of Top June debuts: Top June Openers – Hollywood.com 1 Jun 14, 2013 Man of Steel $113,080,0002 Jun 18, 2010 Toy Story 3 $110,307,189 3 Jun 26, 2009 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen $108,966,307 4 Jun 4, 2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban $93,687,367 5 Jun 22, 2012 Brave $66,323,594 Playing on 331 IMAX screens, the domestic performance of Warner Bros.’ Man of Steel delivered an outstanding $13.3 mil in the IMAX network, a record opening for a June release. This is a 12% of the weekend take! IMAX's International box office for Man of Steel, on the first batch of 79 screens to open day and date, hit $4.2 mil (a stellar $53k per screen) and again, a June record. As of Sunday night, IMAX's Global weekend gross for Man of Steel is estimated to be $17.5 mil, delivering a record for a June release.
Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill and a cast of thousands took second place with the R-rated ensemble comedy This Is the End from Sony Pictures. The film got off to a fantastic start on Wednesday taking in $7.8 million on (including a whopping $2.2 million in Tuesday late shows) and erned $20.5 million for the weekend and earned back its entire production budget with its 5-day take since Wednesday of $32.8 million. Lionsgate’s magic heist film Now You See Me is holding strong in its third weekend dropping just 46% and earning $10.32 million, Universals’ Fast & Furious 6 lands in fourth place with $9.4 million while Universal’s profit making machine The Purge starring Ethan Hawke rounds out the Top 5 with $8.2 million against a 76% second weeken drop. Fox’s Google comedy The Internship is in the sixth spot in its second weekend with $7 million. Next week look out for Brad Pitt in Paramount’s World War Z and Disney/Pixar’s animated prequel Monster’s University!Top Movies for Weekend of June 14 - June 16 (Estimates) - 'Man of Steel' sets June opening weekend record! Movie Gross Theaters Avg.Per YTD Distributor01 Man of Steel $113.08M 4,207 $26,879 $125.08M WB02 This is the End $20.5M 3,055 $6,710 $32.8M Sony03 Now You See Me $10.32M 3,082 $3,348 $80.0M Lionsgate04 Fast & Furious 6 $9.4M 3,375 $2,795 $219.6M Universal05 The Purge $8.2M 2,591 $3,165 $51.8M Universal
British singer Alison Moyet performed at funnywoman Dawn French's wedding in April (13). The Harry Potter star, who split from first husband Lenny Henry in 2009, married Mark Bignell in St. Austell, England.