Rock legends Metallica celebrated their controversial debut at Britain's iconic Glastonbury Festival on Saturday night (28Jun14) by inviting hundreds of fans onstage to watch the performance up close. More than 200 mud-spattered festival-goers - many of them wearing Metallica T-shirts - lined up at the rear of the enormous platform behind Lars Ulrich's drum kit, cheering and dancing throughout the gig.
The choice of headline act proved controversial in the run-up to the event, with many critics arguing a heavy metal band has no place at Glastonbury, but the Enter Sandman hitmakers closed the second day of the festival in style with a high-octane set that thrilled the crowd.
During the show, frontman James Hetfield addressed the controversy over the band's inclusion, telling the crowd, "Metallica is grateful to be invited to such an event called Glastonbury. We're very proud to be here and to be representing, can I say, the heavier sides of music, alright? I know it's all represented here so why not heavy rock, heavy metal, huh? It's about time."
He then dedicated the band's next track, Sad But True, to his fellow heavy rock groups hoping to follow in Metallica's footsteps by performing at the festival in future.
After ending their set with a version of Whiskey In The Jar and their track Seek & Destroy, during which dozens of huge inflatable balls embossed with the band's logo were released into the crowd, Hetfield said, "Thank you. Metallica loves you, Glastonbury. You made us feel so good. Thank you for having us."
Before leaving the stage, Ulrich took the mic to thank Glastonbury boss Michael Eavis and his family for inviting the band to perform, adding, "Metallica f**king loves you and we hope to see you one more f**king time."
Glastonbury closes on Sunday (29Jun14) with performances from acts including Dolly Parton, Ed Sheeran, and Kasabian.
Metallica star Lars Ulrich has dismissed the controversy over the band's upcoming appearance at Britain's Glastonbury festival as "ridiculous". The band is set to become the first heavy metal act to headline the fabled music event when they take to the stage later this month (Jun14), but their inclusion on the bill has sparked debate over whether hard rock acts have a place there.
A petition has also been launched by animal rights activists opposing the band's Glastonbury appearance over frontman James Hetfield's decision to narrate a new U.S. documentary about bear hunting in Alaska.
However, Ulrich is adamant they will not let the nasty comments ruin their big moment, telling Metal Hammer, "Glastonbury is like the Holy Grail in England and we're respectful to that, but when somebody sits there and talks about petitions or what some other guy says, there's a point that it just becomes ridiculous. We're fairly thick-skinned and turn a blind eye to it or whatever, but if Mick Jagger, or Alex Turner, or the very nice guys in Kasabian who I love (talk about Metallica at Glastonbury) it's cool. But at some point, when there's some guy in some other band... it's like 'Huh? What? Who are you?'"
The 2014 Glastonbury festival kicks off on 27 June (14) and also features acts including Ed Sheeran, Lily Allen, Arcade Fire and Kasabian.
Rockers Metallica are desperate to prove the doubters wrong with their headline slot at Britain's Glastonbury festival, insisting the controversy around their inclusion is "a good thing". The Enter Sandman hitmakers were unveiled last month (May14) as the surprise bill-topping act on the Saturday night of this year's (14) event, which will mark the first time a heavy metal band has headlined the iconic festival.
The announcement surprised many critics, who suggested they are unsuitable for the event and cited a similar furore surrounding Jay Z's Glastonbury set in 2008.
However, drummer Lars Ulrich is adamant the controversy proves fans are still passionate about music and he reveals the rockers are determined win over their critics.
He tells BBC Radio 1's Rock Show, "The fact that everyone's got an opinion I'll take as a good thing because it means that people still care and are still interested and we still have one foot in relevance of some sort...
"It's comforting that 33 years into a career you can still mange to stir it up a little bit. Glastonbury is the biggest, greatest festival on this planet and we're headlining Saturday night. Bring it on. We're going to show up and have fun but all the hoopla is interesting."
The three-day festival, which will also feature sets from Lily Allen, Ed Sheeran, Arcade Fire and Kasabian, takes place in southwest England from 27-29 June (14).
Metallica have been announced as the first heavy rock act to headline Britain's Glastonbury festival. The group will fill the summer music event's vacant headline slot on 28 June (14) and join Kasabian and Arcade Fire as the main draws for the iconic weekend festival in Somerset, England.
The gig will mark Metallica's debut appearance at Glastonbury, and serve as a warm-up for the band's Sonisphere festival appearance at Knebworth Park, England in July (14).
Confirming the news on Thursday (08May14), festival founder Michael Eavis told the BBC, "They wanted to play for a long, long time and they're one of the most amazing rock bands in the world; everywhere I go people say, 'When are Metallica going to play?' I said, 'They will be here one day', and this is their time now."
Drummer Lars Ulrich says, "I feel ecstatic. We've been waiting for this phone call for years."
Among the hundreds of acts set to perform at Glastonbury this summer, alongside the headliners, are Dolly Parton, De La Soul, Manic Street Preachers, Yoko Ono, Jake Bugg and Ed Sheeran.
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Here's a feat: taking what is likely the oldest, most well-known story in the world, and making a retelling feel inventive. Over the course of its two-and-a-half-hour runtime, Darren Aronofsky's Noah takes many forms — Tolkien-esque fantasy, trippy psychological thriller, merciless dissection of the dark points of abject faith — never feeling too rigidly confined to the parameters of the familiar tale that we've all experienced in the form of bedtime stories, religious education lessons, and vegetable-laden cartoons. As many forms as the parable has taken over the past few thousand years, Aronofsky manages to find a few new takes.
The director's thumbprint is branded boldly on Russell Crowe's Noah, a man who begins his journey as a simple pawn of God and evolves into a dimensional human as tortured as Natalie Portman's ballerina or Jared Leto's smack head. Noah's obsession and crisis: his faith. The peak of the righteous descendant of Seth (that's Adam and Eve's third son — the one who didn't die or bash his brother's head in with a rock), Noah is determined to carry out the heavenly mission imparted upon him via ambiguous, psychedelic visions. God wants him to do something — spoilers: build an ark — and he will do it. No matter what.
No matter what it means to his family, to his lineage, to his fellow man, to the world. He's going to do it. No matter what. The depths to which Aronofsky explores this simple concept — the nature of unmitigated devotion — makes what we all knew as a simplistic A-to-B children's story so gripping. While the throughline is not a far cry from the themes explored in his previous works, the application of his Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, and Black Swan ideas in this movie does not feel like a rehashing. Experiencing such modern, humane ideas in biblical epic is, in fact, a thrill-ride.
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Although Aronofsky accesses some highly guttural stuff inside of his title character, he lets whimsy and imagination take hold of the world outside of him. Jumping headfirst into the fantastical, the director lines his magical realm with rock monsters — "Watcher" angels encased in Earth-anchored prisons as punishment for their betrayal of God — and a variety of fauna that range in innovation from your traditional white dove to some kind of horned, scaled dog bastardization.
But the most winning elements of Noah, and easily the most surprising, come when Aronofsky goes cosmic. He jumps beyond the literal to send us coursing through eons to watch the creation of God's universe, matter exploding from oblivion, a line of creatures evolving (in earnest) into one another as the planet progresses to the point at which we meet our tortured seafarer. Aronofsky's imagination, his aptitude as a cinematic magician, peak (not just in terms of the film, but in terms of his career) in these scenes.
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With all this propped against the stark humanity of his story — not just in terms of Crowe's existential spiral, but in character beats like grandfather Methuselah's relationship with the youngsters, in little Ham's playful teasing of his new rock monster pet — Aronofsky manages something we never could have anticipated from Noah. It's scientific, cathartic, humane. Impressively, this age-old tale, here, is new. And beyond that feat, it's a pretty winning spin.
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You don't arrive at the Grand Budapest Hotel without your share of Wes Anderson baggage. Odds are, if you've booked a visit to this film, you've enjoyed your past trips to the Wes Indies (I promise I'll stop this extended metaphor soon), delighting especially in Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and his most recent charmer Moonrise Kingdom. On the other hand, you could be the adventurous sort — a curious diplomat who never really got Anderson's uric-toned deadpan drudgings but can't resist browsing through the brochures of his latest European getaway. First off, neither community should worry about a bias in this review — I'm a Life Aquatic devotee, equally alienating to both sides. Second, neither community should be deterred by Andersonian expectations, be they sky high or subterranean, in planned Budapest excursions. No matter who you are, this movie will charm your dandy pants off and then some.
While GBH hangs tight to the filmmaker's recognizable style, the movie is a departure for Anderson in a number of ways. The first being plot: there is one. A doozy, too. We're accustomed to spending our Wes flicks peering into the stagnant souls of pensive man-children — or children-men (Moonrise) or fox-kits (guess) — whose journeys are confined primarily to the internal. But not long into Grand Budapest, we're on a bona fide adventure with one of the director's most attractive heroes to date: the didactic Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes mastering sympathetic comedy better than anyone could have imagined he might), who invests his heart and soul into the titular hotel, an oasis of nobility in a decaying 1930s Europe. Gustave is plucked from his sadomasochistic nirvana overseeing every cog and sprocket in the mountaintop institution and thrust into a madcap caper — reminiscent of, and not accidentally, the Hollywood comedies of the era — involving murder, framing, art theft, jailbreak, love, sex, envy, secret societies, high speed chases... believe me, I haven't given half of it away. Along the way, we rope in a courageous baker (Saoirse Ronan), a dutiful attorney (Jeff Goldblum), a hotheaded socialite (Adrien Brody) and his psychopathic henchman (Willem Dafoe), and no shortage of Anderson regulars. The director proves just as adept at the large scale as he is at the small, delivering would-be cartoon high jinks with the same tangible life that you'd find in a Billy Wilder romp or one of the better Hope/Crosby Road to movies.
Anchoring the monkey business down to a recognizable planet Earth (without sacrificing an ounce of comedy) is the throughline of Gustave's budding friendship with his lobby boy, Zero (newcomer Tony Revolori, whose performance is an unprecedented and thrilling mixture of Wes Anderson stoicism and tempered humility), the only living being who appreciates the significance of the Grand Budapest as much as Gustave does. In joining these two oddballs on their quest beyond the parameters of FDA-approved doses of zany, we appreciate it, too: the significance of holding fast to something you believe in, understand, trust, and love in a world that makes less and less sense everyday. Anderson's World War II might not be as ostensibly hard-hitting as that to which modern cinema is accustomed, but there's a chilling, somber horror story lurking beneath the surface of Grand Budapest. Behind every side-splitting laugh, cookie cutter backdrop, and otherworldly antic, there is a pulsating dread that makes it all mean something. As vivid as the worlds of Rushmore, Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Moonrise might well have been, none have had this much weight and soul.
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So it's astonishing that we're able to zip to and fro' every crevice of this haunting, misty Central Europe at top speeds, grins never waning as our hero Gustave delivers supernaturally articulate diatribes capped with physically startling profanity. So much of it is that delightfully odd, agonizingly devoted character, his unlikely camaraderie with the unflappably earnest young Zero, and his adherence to the magic that inhabits the Grand Budapest Hotel. There are few places like it on Earth, as we learn. There aren't many movies like it here either.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
Claire is an attractive CIA operative and Ray is an M16 agent who simultaneously leave their Governmental spy activities in the dust to try and profit from a battle between two rival multi-national corporations both trying to launch a new product that will transform the world and make billions. Their goal is to secure the top-secret formula and get a patent before they are outsmarted. While their respective egomaniacal CEOs engage in an unending battle of wills and one-upmanship Claire and Ray start out conning and playing one another in a clever game of industrial espionage that is even more complicated due to their own long-term romantic relationship.
WHO’S IN IT?
Reuniting Closer co-stars Julia Roberts (as Claire) and Clive Owen (as Ray) turns out to be an inspired idea. They turn out to be the perfect pair oozing movie-star charm and electricity in this elaborate con-game that might have been the kind of thing Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant might have made in the '60s (in fact they did in Charade). Roberts with that infamous hairstyle back the way we like it and Owen looking great in sunglasses prove they have what it takes to navigate us through this ultra-complex plot in which no one is sure who they can trust at any given moment. They play it all in high style and the wit just flows as the story skirts back and forth during the period of five years. The supporting cast is well-chosen with juicy roles for Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti (out of their John Adams duds) as the two CEOs going for each other’s throats. Giamatti who sometimes has a tendency to overdo it is especially slimy here and great fun to watch.
Big-star studio movies today rarely take risks and often talk down to the audience but in Duplicity writer/director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton) has crafted a complicated con-comedy that requires complete attention at all times just to keep up with the dense plot’s twists and turns. It’s the cinematic equivalent of a New York Times crossword puzzle and Gilroy and his top-drawer production team deliver a glossy beautiful-looking film that’s easy on the eyes hitting locations from Dubai to Rome to New York City.
Like any good puzzle it sometimes can be frustrating putting it all together and Gilroy’s habit of taking us back in time and then inching forward gets a little confusing even with the on-screen chyron pointing out where we are at any given moment. Stick with it though and you will be well-rewarded.
A scene near the end where the formula must be found scanned and faxed in a matter of minutes is sweat-inducing edge-of-your-seat moviemaking and it provides the ultimate opportunity for Roberts and Owen to take the “con” to the next level. Another where Roberts uses a thong to try and trick Owen into admitting an affair he never had is also priceless and gets right to the heart of the game-playing.
GO OUT AND GET POPCORN WHEN ...
Never. Stock up during the coming attractions. If you miss a moment of this entertaining romp you might never figure it all out.