Pop veteran Tommy Roe is set to relive the night he supported The Beatles at their very first concert in America by recreating the event for its 50th anniversary with a Fab Four tribute band. The Dizzy singer, 71, opened for the Let It Be hitmakers at their iconic Washington Coliseum show in Washington, D.C. on 11 February, 1964, two days after the great Brits made their U.S. performing debut on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Now Roe has signed up to take part in a re-enactment of the landmark gig to celebrate the historic occasion next month (Feb14).
He will take the stage for an acoustic set at the same venue on 11 February (14), before cover band Beatlemania Now perform the same setlist Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison delighted fans with five decades ago.
Photos of the original concert, snapped by a young Mike Mitchell, will also be exhibited at the event, which has been put together by officials at the DC Preservation League and Douglas Development Corporation. Proceeds from photos sold at the bash will benefit the DC Preservation League, which aims to preserve and protect the history and environment of the area.
Beloved British TV show Only Fools & Horses could make a permanent return to the small screen if an upcoming one-off revival proves popular with the public, according to lead actor Sir David Jason. The sitcom went off-air for good in 2003, but will make a temporary return to TV in March (14) when Jason and his co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst re-team for a sketch as part of the BBC's Sport Relief telethon.
The sketch was written by creator John Sullivan before he died in 2011 and has been reworked by his two sons, Jim and Dan, and Jason admits they could bring the series back if there is enough demand from fans.
He says, "It is the material we lack. We need John Sullivan, but you know, if we get enough tweets, we might bring it back."
The show, which starred Jason and Lyndhurst as a pair of luckless market traders, ran from 1981 until 2003.
The Eurythmics are to reunite to perform at a Grammy tribute concert in honour of the Beatles later this month (Jan14). Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart will take part in The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute To The Beatles, marking their first appearance onstage together since 2003.
John Mayer and Keith Urban will team up to perform Don't Let Me Down at the gig, while Alicia Keys and John Legend will tackle Let It Be. Maroon 5 also will hit the stage.
Grammy Awards producer Ken Ehrlich says, "When it came around to booking this show, what I felt was important was to try and find those artists who not only would be able to interpret Beatles songs, but would also have an... understanding of what they meant."
The show will be taped at the Los Angeles Convention Center on 27 January (14), a day after the Grammy Awards.
The Fab Four have been announced as the recipients of an honorary lifetime achievement Grammy this year (14) and they will be feted at a special ceremony before the main awards show.
The special concert will air on America's CBS network on 9 February (14), exactly 50 years after the Beatles made their U.S. debut on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Beloved British comedy Only Fools & Horses will return to the small screen in the U.K. in March (14) as part of the BBC's Sport Relief telethon. The award-winning sitcom, starring Sir David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst as two hapless market traders, ran from 1981 until 2003, when it ended after 63 episodes.
A year later (04) it was named Britain's greatest ever sitcom.
The show's creator John Sullivan died in 2011, but his sons Jim and Dan have been working on a new episode, and now BBC bosses have confirmed reports suggesting Jason and Lyndhurst will be part of this spring's (14) Sport Relief.
A spokesman for the network says "a short sketch" is being produced, adding, "Further details will be announced in the build up the appeal night on March 21".
The genesis of Universal's 47 Ronin is almost as tragic as the actual history that the movie is culling from. As the story goes, Universal saw the sprigs of talent sprouting from fresh faced director Carl Rinsch, whose previous experience was limited to just a couple of commercials and a nifty short film. The studio decided to ease the new director into feature filmmaking by cutting him what amounts to virtually a blank check, and giving him charge over a multi-national samurai fantasy epic. Almost impossibly, the film isn't a complete disaster. It's just a minor one.
47 Ronin follows the classic story of the titular team of warriors, a group of disgraced samurai who band together to seek revenge against a merciless warlord that betrayed and killed their master. But this isn't your grandfather's version of the story. 47 Ronin is an international affair, and it's covered with a veneer of Japanese mysticism and a thick coating of Hollywood lacquer, but east meets west rather uncomfortably, and it's mostly due to Keanu Reeves. Reeves' character is clearly crowbarred into the story that has no room for him, and it's plainly obvious where the seams of the story were stretched in order to patch him into the narrative. Reeves plays Kai, a half Japanese, half English orphan who is adopted by the samurai clan. His character serves no real purpose beyond being white, slicing things until they die, and playing the male lead of the most superfluous love story of the year. Rinsch simply can't make the inclusion of the character feel organic in any way, and "Kai" ends up feeling like a calculated studio move. It's a shame that the film spends so much time on Reeves when the real star is clearly Hiroyuki Sanada, who plays off the stoic samurai most believably among the rest of the cast.
It's also shame that with all the mysticism pumped into the story, there's no magic in the actual center of the film, the ronin themselves. The only personality trait a samurai is allowed to possess seems to be unerring stoicism, and between all 47 ronin, there are probably only three distinct samurai with any discernible character traits beyond an intense need to brood, and you'll probably only remember those three by the time the credits roll, only to promptly forget about them only a few hours later. Thankfully, Rinko Kikuchi's slinky and treacherous witch adds some much needed camp and personality to the mostly forgettable human characters.
And that's the issue with 47 Ronin. It's largely forgettable. When your film takes on a historical legend like the tale of the 47 ronin, a story that has been told and told again ad nauseum over the years, you really need to justify your own version. There are reels and reels of film dedicated to this story, and 47 Ronin doesn't manage to add anything significant to the canon. It promises to weld myth and history together, but does so clumsily, and while some of the action scenes are exciting, especially a particularly inspired set piece that involves the ronin noiselessly breaking into a heavily guarded fortress, the film is a bore when it's not clanking swords together.
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47 Ronin is a film with many stories. As much as it is a tale about the revenge of four dozen masterless samurai, it's also the tale of an inexperienced filmmaker swallowed up by the enormity of blockbuster filmmaking. Most of all though, It's proof that you shouldn't cram Keanu Reeves into a movie that doesn't really need Keanu Reeves. What you're left with is a dull and bloated samurai epic that has its moments, but feels largely unnecessary.
BBC bosses are eyeing a shock new episode of hit British comedy Only Fools And Horses more than 10 years after it last aired. The award-winning sitcom, starring Sir David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst as two hapless market traders, ran from 1981 until 2003 when it ended after 63 episodes.
The show's creator John Sullivan died in 2011, which seemingly ended any hope of the comedy returning to TV screens, but now it has emerged his sons Jim and Dan have been working on a new episode.
Jason has been handed the outline for the show's return but is yet to agree to step once more into his character Derek 'Del Boy' Trotter's shoes.
He tells British newspaper The Times, "I've had a quick look at the treatment and it's very good, but I'm saving the proper read-through until there are no distractions. It's not the sort of thing you can muck about with."
In a 2004 BBC poll, Only Fools and Horses was voted Britain's greatest ever sitcom.
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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Singer Carrie Underwood's 2013 Primetime Emmy Award performance was the most-tweeted about moment of the ceremony. The hitmaker performed Yesterday during Sunday's (22Sep13) telecast to commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' first appearance on U.S. TV show The Ed Sullivan Show - and the death of President John F. Kennedy.
The tribute generated 17,090 tweets per minute, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The singer performed the beloved song after she received a letter from Sir Paul McCartney giving her permission to cover the track.
On Sunday (22Sep13), she wrote on Twitter.com, "The coolest thing about singing Yesterday on the #Emmys is the sweet letter I got from @PaulMcCartney giving me his blessing to sing it!"
Carrie Underwood sang the Beatles' Yesterday as part of a "tribute to the historic events of 50 years ago" at the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday night (22Sep13). Her musical spot came after actor Don Cheadle reminded the audience and viewers of the telecast of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr's famous march on Washington, D.C. and the Fab Four's arrival in America on The Ed Sullivan Show.