Country singer Loretta Lynn is recuperating after reportedly suffering minor burns following a blaze at her home on Tuesday morning (25Feb14). The fire started when a candle's flame set a chair ablaze in the conservatory of the 81 year old's Hurricane Mills, Tennessee property at around 9.30am local time.
According to a report from local Nashville news station WTVF-TV, Lynn burned her fingertips as as she attempted to put out the flames with a pillow.
Officials confirm everyone inside the property got out safely and the fire was quickly extinguished by Humphreys County Emergency Management officials.
It's not the first time emergency services officials have been called to put out a fire on Lynn's property - last year (13) a blaze destroyed a shack on the estate.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Treading water at the very surface of RoboCop, there is an idea. A dense concept, ready and willing to provide no dearth of dissection for any eager student of philosophy, psychology, political science, physics — hell, any of the Ps. To simplify the idea on hand: What separates man from machine? It's a question that is not just teased by the basic premise of José Padilha's remake of the 1987 sci-fi staple, but asked outright by many of its main characters. And then never really worried about again.
We have principal parties on both sides of the ethical quandary that would place the security of our crime-ridden cities in the hands of automatons. Samuel L. Jackson plays a spitfire Bill O'Reilly who wonders why America hasn't lined its streets with high-efficiency officer droids. Zach Grenier, as a moralistic senator, gobbles his way through an opposition to the Pro-boCop movement. We hear lecture after lecture from pundits, politicians, business moguls (a money-hungry Michael Keaton heads the nefarious OmniCorp...) and scientists (...while his top doc Gary Oldman questions the nature of his assignments while poking at patients' brains and spouting diatribes about "free will"), all working their hardest to lay thematic groundwork. Each character insists that we're watching a movie about the distinction between human and artificial intelligence. That even with an active brain, no robot can understand what it means to have a heart. But when Prof. Oldman tempers his hysterical squawking and Samuel L. Hannity rolls his closing credits, we don't see these ideas taking life.
In earnest, the struggle of rehabilitated police officer Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) — nearly killed in the line of duty and turned thereafter into OmniCorp's prototype RoboCop — doesn't seem to enlist any of the questions that his aggravated peers have been asking. Murphy is transformed not just physically, but mentally — robbed of his decision-making ability and depleted of emotional brain chemicals — effectively losing himself in the process. But the journey we see take hold of Murphy is not one to reclaim his soul, although the movie touts it as such. It's really just one to become a better robot.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Meanwhile, RoboCop lays down its motives, and hard: Murphy's wife and son (Abbie Cornish and a puckish young John Paul Ruttan) lament the loss of Alex, condemning his dehumanization at the hands of Raymond Sellars' (Keaton) capitalistic experiments, and sobbing out some torrential pathos so you know just how deep this company is digging. Weaselly stooges (Jay Baruchel, Jennifer Ehle, and Jackie Earl Haley) line the OmniCorp roster with comical wickedness. Overseas, killer combat bots take down peaceful villages, unable to work empathetic judgment into their decision to destroy all deemed as "threats." And at the top, figures of power and money like Sellars and Pat Novak (Jackson) speak the loudest and harshest, literally justifying their agenda with a call for all naysayers to "stop whining." Clearly, RoboCop has something to say.
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And when it's devoted to its outrage, RoboCop is terrifically charming. The buzzing political world is just a tiny step closer to ridiculous than our own; the pitch meetings at OmniCorp are fun enough to provoke a ditching of all the material outside of the company walls. And one particular reference to The Wizard of Oz shows that the movie isn't above having fun with its admittedly silly premise. But it loses its magic when it steps away from goofy gimmicks and satirical monologues and heads back into the story. We don't see enough of Murphy grappling with the complicated balance between his conflicting organic and synthetic selves. In fact, we don't see enough "story" in Murphy at all. First, he's a dad and a cop. Then, he's a RoboCop. But can he also be a RoboDad? With all of its ranting and raving about the question, the film doesn't seem to concerned with actually figuring out the answer.
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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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TV mogul and actress Oprah Winfrey has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom award from U.S. leader Barack Obama. The accolade was established by former U.S. president John F. Kennedy 50 years ago to honour "individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors".
President Obama praised the media titan for promoting the message of "you can" and pulling herself out of poverty to rise to the top of the entertainment industry.
Winfrey was feted alongside country singer Loretta Lynn, jazz musician Arturo Sandoval and former U.S. President Bill Clinton at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday (20Nov13).
Singer Loretta Lynn has postponed two of her shows in Iowa due to exhaustion. A statement on the 81 year old's website explains the singer fell ill after the Canadian leg of her current North American tour and is taking time off to rest.
A statement from Lynn's representative, reads, "Lynn started feeling poorly midway through her three week tour. Loretta is a pro and wants to give her fans the best show possible. She felt she physically was unable to do that."
In September (13), Lynn was forced to scrap two Oklahoma shows after breaking two ribs in a fall at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
Veteran country star Loretta Lynn called off two shows over the weekend (06-08Sep13) after breaking her ribs in a fall at her home. The 78-year-old singer suffered a nasty accident at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee as she was attempting to take a guitar down from a closet prior to a show at her ranch on 31 August (13).
Lynn managed to perform, but was subsequently diagnosed with two broken ribs and ordered to rest up.
In a post on her Facebook.com page, she writes, "I'm like an accident waiting to happen these days. I was trying to get my guitar down out of my closet, and the dang thing fell on top of me, causing me to fall into my dresser. All this happened right before my big Labor Day concert at my ranch in Hurricane Mills. I didn't know how bad I hurt myself until the next day. Come to find out, I had broken two of my ribs... I hate more than anything to have to miss shows, but it's something you just have to do."
Lynn scrapped two shows in Oklahoma on Friday (06Sep13) and Saturday (07Sep13). The concerts have been rescheduled for December (13).
Country singer Melissa Etheridge has won a court battle allowing her to take her kids on tour. The star's ex-partner Tammy Lynn Michaels asked a judge for a hearing over the care of their six-year-old twins, who Etheridge wanted to take on the road with her.
A court date took place on 30 August (13) after Michaels expressed her fears that their kids were at risk of illness because they haven't been vaccinated for a range of diseases, and claimed they would be around drugs and rowdy female fans.
But the judge refused to take her concerns into account, and denied her request to ban the children from Etheridge's tour.
The children will only attend seven dates of Etheridge's latest trek - she closes the jaunt in Colorado on 15 September (13).
The couple split in 2010.
Country icon Loretta Lynn knew Zooey Deschanel would be perfect to portray the singer in a Broadway musical based on her life after hitting it off with the actress within minutes of meeting. The New Girl star thought the veteran's 1976 autobiography, Coal Miner's Daughter, would be great for the stage, and after discovering a production was already in the works, she reached out to organisers in a bid to have herself cast in the lead role.
She was invited to meet Lynn before a concert in Nashville, Tennessee in May, 2012, and immediately won the legend's approval, with the singer making the big casting announcement onstage during her gig at the Ryman Auditorium that night.
And Lynn reveals it was Deschanel's warm and bubbly nature which won her over.
She tells Marie Claire magazine, "We bonded right at the beginning - it's like meeting somebody and you feel like you've known them forever. She's young, and she's good. She can pull it off - I ain't (sic) worried one bit."
The show is still in development, but when Deschanel finally does step on the New York stage, it will be her Broadway debut.
Country music icon Loretta Lynn is mourning the loss of her daughter, who died on Monday morning (29Jul13). Betty Sue Lynn passed away from complications related to emphysema. She was 64.
It's the second time the Coal Miner's Daughter singer has had to say goodbye to one of her children - her son Jack Benny Lynn drowned in 1984 when he was 34.
The country music legend's husband of 48 years, Doolittle Lynn, lost his battle with diabetes in 1996.
Gay icon Melissa Etheridge's former partner is fighting to stop the singer/songwriter from taking their kids on tour with her. Tammy Lynn Michaels' request for an emergency hearing regarding the care of the former couple's six-year-old twins was denied by a Los Angeles judge on Friday (12Jul13), but a court date has been scheduled for next month (Aug13) to review the case.
According to court documents obtained by TMZ.com, the actress fears her kids are at risk of illness because they haven't been vaccinated against diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, measles and chicken pox.
She is also worried the twins will be exposed to rowdy female rock fans, who "remove their shirts and bras and throw them on stage".
Lynn Michaels also doesn't want her kids being around drugs, claiming, "There is use of marijuana on the tour bus and in the dressing rooms."
The former couple split in 2010 and the singer/songwriter recently announced she was planning to make use of California's new same sex marriage laws and wed her fiancee Linda Wallem.