Music feuds have been going on since the beginning of music itself. It wouldn’t be too far of a stretch to assume that Beethoven and Weber side-eyed each other constantly and Bach and Handel might've wanted to throw down, while Chopin thought all those fools were amateurs. One thing that’s for sure is that in an industry made up of huge talent and even huger egos, personalities are bound to clash, and the result is a global high school where the popular kids love to publicly ream each other out. While some egos don’t ever play well with others and are constantly fighting 10 people at a time (i.e. Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj), other celebs manage to put the blast behind them and actually grow up. Here are some super memorable and/or surprising music feuds that had us reaching for the popcorn.
Madonna vs Lady Gaga It’s no secret that the Lady Gaga machine is derived from just about every eccentric and original artist in the pop and art world, but Madonna was her foremost adversary. It’s not that Madonna is completely original herself, but what makes her stand out from other pop stars that copy her is that she always had a reason behind everything that she did and articulated those reasons well. Madonna is at her best when she’s throwing shade, and shade did she throw at her 2012 MDNA tour. While performing “Express Yourself,” Madonna made clear what everyone was thinking and melded Gaga’s “Born This Way” into her song, making the obvious similarities even more blatant. Dumping another 5 pounds of salt into Gaga’s wound, Madonna commented on “Born This Way” by stating, “What a wonderful way to redo my song.” Oh, Madonna – condescension is thy name.
Oasis vs Blur Oasis’ Gallagher brothers are 2 of the most outspoken (and, let’s face it, hilarious) celebrities in music. In the mid-90s, Oasis and Blur were at the top of their game, so it’s no surprise that some beef got cooked between the 2 bands. The upper-class, mod-ish Blur released “Country House” in 1995, only to have it go head-to-head with “Roll With It” by the ever-drunk, rowdy Oasis. Perpetuating the feud, Noel Gallagher famously stated that he wished Blur singer Damon Albarn and bassist Alex James would “get AIDS and die.” Though the feud cooled off as the years went by, the crowning, happy-ending moment of rock-stars-all-growed-up came earlier this year, when Gallgher got Albarn and Blur guitarist Graham Coxon to join him onstage at a charity show at London’s Royal Albert Hall, which is basically the equivalent of peace in the Middle East in the Britpop world.
Tupac vs Biggie While this music feud didn’t exactly have us reaching for the confections, it’s probably the most notorious (no pun intended) feud in music’s history, namely because both dudes got murdered. In the mid-90s, gangsta rap was at its peak, and after the 1994 robbery and shooting of Tupac (which Tupac blamed Biggie for), the rap game changed for good. Tupac’s once optimistic and socially-conscious style turned into a darker, more bitter image, rife with themes of violence and revenge. Tupac was eventually slain in September 1996 in Las Vegas, and Biggie was murdered less than a year later in a drive-by shooting. And yes, both murders are still unsolved.
Kid Rock vs Tommy Lee Ahhhh… middle-aged trashy drama. Kid Rock and Tommy Lee have so much in common that it would seem as though they’d be best friends. Instead, they ended up going at each other’s throats, all for the delicate flower that is Pamela Anderson. Kid Rock started dating Lee’s ex-wife in 2001 and though Anderson became Rock’s ex-wife as well shortly after, the tension between Rock and Lee didn’t die down. Conflicts boiled over at the 2007 MTV VMAS, with Rock apparently hearing Lee talk smack about him to P. Diddy. Rock walked over to Lee and slapped him, initiating a rocker brawl for the ages. Lee responded to the incident on his website, calling Rock “Kid Pebbles” and a “no career havin' country bumpkin.” Apparently, the 2 rockers are friends now. But will somebody think about Pamela?!
Eminem vs Mariah Carey This feud was surprising mostly because it was so unbelievably random. Apparently, the 2 megastars had hooked up to discuss songwriting for Carey’s 2001 album Charmbracelet, and although nothing came out of it musically, reports began to surface that the 2 were dating. For the next 8 years, the 2 kept exchanging barbs at each other, some subtle, some not-so-subtle. Eminem mentions Carey in at least 5 songs, while Carey kept quiet for the most part until 2009’s “Obsessed.” The weird thing is that Eminem seems to be pissed that Carey won’t acknowledge that they had a relationship, since she’s constantly acting as though they barely even hung out. Seriously, dude? You’re the best-selling rapper in the world and it's been over 10 years – get over it.
Dave Grohl vs Courtney Love Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and everyone’s favorite hot mess Courtney Love have never exactly been best friends, but sh*t got real in the last few years, with Love making a slew of allegations against Grohl. Since Kurt Cobain’s suicide in 1994, the two rockers have been fighting over Nirvana royalties and the use of Cobain’s image, but by 2012, Love had alleged that Grohl stole her money, was hated by Cobain, had a “gay” band, and had hit on Cobain and Love’s daughter. For the most part, Grohl took the high road (at least in public) and decided he’d rather tear her a new one through his songs. Just for the entertainment factor of Love’s psycho ramblings and the kickass music Grohl comes up with when he’s dissing her, this is one music feud that's genuinely entertaining.
Axl Rose vs The World Axl Rose basically hates everyone and we could make a list of his own top 10 feuds. He’s beefed with everyone from the Offspring, Motley Crue, Metallica, Nirvana, Slash, his own band, and even Tommy Hilfiger. And all of that doesn’t even take into account how many riots have been started because Rose couldn’t be bothered to finish (or start) his live sets and walked off stage instead. Rose solidified his douchiness in 2012 when the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Releasing an open letter for Guns N’ Roses fans, the hall and “To Whom It May Concern,” Rose stated that there was no way in hell that he was going to come down for a band reunion and he doesn’t care what anyone has to say about that. According to him, “there isn’t room to consider a conversation let alone a reunion.” Ouch. But way to flip off the world!
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Within the whole sports genre we really haven’t seen a Ping-Pong movie before—especially one portayed in such a spectacularly goofy way. Former child Ping-Pong prodigy Randy Daytona (Dan Fogler) who was unceremoniously defeated decades ago is now reduced to performing ball tricks on stage at a local bar. But Randy’s luck changes when FBI Agent Rodriguez (George Lopez) recruits him for a secret mission: to ferret out FBI’s Most Wanted arch-villain and Ping-Pong connoisseur Feng (Christopher Walken) the man who killed Randy’s father. But times have changed since Randy choked and Ping-Pong is now played in an unsanctioned underground and extreme kind of way. Randy has to get into shape with the spiritual guidance of a blind Ping-Pong master named Wong (James Hong) and his kickass niece Maggie (Maggie Q) in order to make it to Feng’s mysterious jungle compound to play in the most unique Ping-Pong tournaments ever staged. Randy has his work cut out for him though if he’s going to wield his paddle and triumph over rampant wickedness. Who is this Dan Fogler guy and why haven’t we seen him before? Apparently he’s been on stage winning a Tony Award for his work in the Broadway play The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee among other things. Now Hollywood is beckoning—and it looks like Fogler has the chops to stick it out. Sort of a cross between Jack Black and Meatloaf the actor totally makes Balls of Fury’s campiness work. He also has lots of help from his fellow players: Lopez is hilarious as the FBI agent who has been working a desk job but fancies himself a James Bond; veteran Asian actor Hong gets to use chopsticks in some interesting ways as the sage but cantankerous Wong; the hard-bodied Maggie Q (wonder what the "Q" stands for) who up to this point has only kicked butt in action movies like Live Free or Die Hard and Mission: Impossible III plays it light in Balls; and of course Mr. Walken as the evil Feng doing his own impression of any Bond villian you can think of while still being Christopher Walken. That man has WAY too much fun in this film. Also look for loads of cameos by recognizable folks. Director/co-writer Robert Ben Garant and his screenwriting partner actor Thomas Lennon (who plays Randy’s hysterical uber-Nazi Ping-Pong rival Karl Wolfschtagg) certainly have a peculiar sense of humor something they created while working on MTV’s The State’s sketch comedy back in the ‘90s and then cultivated on their Comedy Central show Reno: 911!. They’ve gone PG with writing credits such as Night at the Museum and The Pacifier but have gotten R-rated especially with the Reno 911: Miami big-screen effort. Balls of Fury falls somewhere in between (that would be PG-13)--a mixture of James Bond bad martial-arts films Matrix-like slow-mo effects and just about any sports movie starring Will Ferrell. In other words for as many tiny balls that get batted around in any number of silly ways if you buy into their particular brand of comedy (like me) Balls of Fury will keep you in stitches. Oh and if you're a Def Lepperd fan you'll also be pleased with the soundtrack.
Think Mean Girls meets High School Musical meets whatever other high school teen scenario you can think of. Here four teenage girls make up the Bratz contingency each come from different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds—just like the dolls they are based on. There’s Yasmin (Nathalia Ramos) a quiet Latina beauty with a great voice; Sasha (Logan Browning) the outgoing black cheerleader who loves to dance; Jade (Janel Parrish) a lovely Asian fashionista who also a wiz in chemistry; and Cloe (Skyler Shayne) the tall Caucasian blonde who despite being a klutz is a star on the soccer field. They’ve been best friends forever (or BFF as they lovingly refer to it) but once they hit high school they drift apart and into respective cliques organized by the narcissistic class president Meredith (Cheslea Staub). Still these BFF’s—who live for clothes make-up and hair products—won’t be pushed down. They’re gonna shake things up and prove it’s always best to just be yourself and stick together. You can’t really blame the unknown girls—each very cute in their own way—for wanting to bring the Bratz dolls to life. It’s a big deal! They get to sing and dance and wear all these cool clothes! They get to throw food in a cafeteria lunch fight! They get to serve sweets at Meredith’s Sweet 16 party dressed as clowns and still look fabulous! All the young girls in the audience will idolize them and wish they were a Brat too (perhaps to their parents’ chagrin). No it’s the adults in the movie you have to scratch your head about and ask “Do they really need the money that bad?” Character actors such as Lainie Kazan who plays Yasmin’s wise grandmother and Jon Voight as the inept high school principal and Meredith’s father just embarrass themselves over and over again—especially Voight who along with his mediocre appearance in Transformers has become the go-to guy to star in movies based on toys. And what’s with this latest trend to make live-action flicks based on toys? You can understand Transformers because they already had their own cartoon show and you know the movie would at least be action-packed full of cool visual effects. But a Bratz movie is a little too much. Even though it tries really hard to send positive messages there’s really nothing redeeming about turning little dolls—who frankly dress a little on the trashy side—into flesh-and-blood teenagers obsessed with how they look and dealing with high school politics. Bratz really only distinguishes itself from other Mean Girls-type movies because of the toy franchise. It would have been easier to take had it aired on the Disney Channel.
According to Anger Management's resident anger expert Dr. Buddy Rydell (Jack Nicholson) there are two kinds of temperamental personalities: explosive and implosive. An explosive personality is the guy who yells at the cashier when his coupons aren't accepted. An implosive personality is the cashier who takes the abuse day in and day out then snaps suddenly and shoots everyone in the store. Apparently this second type aptly describes our hero Dave Buznik (Adam Sandler) a nice enough fellow with a cute girlfriend (Marisa Tomei) who believes in him--and he needs that since he has a problem standing up for himself especially when his boss abuses him or the airline stewardess won't give him his headset. When he's sentenced to join Rydell's anger management program over some wildly concocted misunderstanding the abrasive and confrontational doctor quickly decides that the problem is obvious: Dave is a walking time bomb. He diagnoses him with TAS (Toxic Anger Syndrome) and vows to help him come to terms with his demons. At first Dave plays along but when Buddy moves in with him for some intensive therapy--and systematically turns his life upside down--Dave reaches his breaking point. It's time to make a stand and be the man he knows he can be--without killing the good doctor in the process.
Sandler and Nicholson fans have to be wondering: Can two stars known for their highly volatile characterizations blend their unique personalities to create a lasting chemistry? Happily yes. Sandler and Nicholson most assuredly click and more importantly look like they had a ball making the film. Nicholson plays the wacko Rydell at full tilt almost going over the top but reining it in when it's required while Sandler handles his straight-man character as carefully as he can. You let out a little sigh of relief however when the comedian finally does let loose because a Sandler movie without one or two great meltdowns just isn't a Sandler movie. Management is also full of actors who've played angry people once or twice in their careers including John Turturro (Do the Right Thing) and Luis Guzman (Traffic) who along with sports fanatic Nate (Jonathan Loughran) and two adult film stars Gina (January Jones) and Stacy (Krista Allen) are members of Rydell's therapy group the "Fury Fighters." Of course no movie about anger would be complete without bringing in some of the real world's most famous bad tempers so Anger Management features cameos by college basketball coach Bobby Knight tennis pro John McEnroe and New York Yankee Roger Clemens. In fact the film is just riddled with cameos--see how many you can spot.
I wish I could have been a fly on the wall when screenwriter David Dorfman pitched the idea to Sony Pictures: "OK it's about two guys who have problems with anger. One who doesn't know he has a problem ends up being treated by the other who dealt with his anger issues by becoming a therapist. But here's the kicker! We'll get Sandler to play the hapless patient and Nicholson to be his doctor!" The studio exec's eyes light up money is exchanged and boom! You've got Anger Management. Yes this combination seems like it should flow like honey from a hive but the story relies too much on its two stars and too little on the overall concept. Like the studio exec we expect a side-splitting comedy; what director Peter Segal (Nutty Professor II: The Klumps) delivers are some hysterical moments for Sandler and Nicholson--the duo sing West Side Story's "I Feel Pretty" while holding up traffic and kick the bejeezus out of a monk who used to be Dave's childhood tormentor (played by John C. Reilly)--coupled with a barely credible premise and stereotypical characters.
Harrison Lloyd (David Strathairn) is a world-renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist who has it all: a devoted wife two beautiful children and an illustrious career. Although his wife Sarah (Andie MacDowell) is supportive of his career she wishes Harrison would spend more time at home being a husband and father rather than gallivanting around the world taking pictures. Before long Harrison is whisked off overseas to cover bloody ethnic conflicts in Yugoslavia and is presumed dead after the Yugoslav National Army flattens the town he is in. Sarah however is convinced Harrison is still alive because "something would have broken inside if he were dead." She barricades herself into a room with half a dozen televisions determined to uncover something about her husband's whereabouts. Miraculously she sees an image of Harrison in a crowd of civilians being hoarded to the small Croatian town of Vukovar and decides to go there herself and bring him back alive. Despite warnings that war-torn Yugoslavia is not the place for her she manages to dodge bullets and Soviet T-55 tanks while waving around a 5x7 color glossy of Harrison yelling "Have you seen this man?"
As Sarah Harrison's devoted wife Andie MacDowell (Four Weddings and a Funeral) is convincing but irritating. While we feel for her and desperately want her to find her husband alive there is nothing more annoying than watching her traipsing around yelling "Harrison? Harrison!" while the destruction of what was once the breadbasket of the region happens all around her. Adrien Brody (Summer of Sam) plays Kyle Harrison's archnemesis who ends up helping Sarah in her efforts to find Harrison. Brody is probably the most believable and well-developed character in the film despite hokey lines like "We better both pray that some day we find somebody that loves us the way she loves him." No one actually talks like that do they? In the role of Harrison's friend and colleague Yeager is Elias Koteas (The Thin Red Line). His character is supposed to be this famous photographer (we know this because he is credited for that famous photograph of the confrontation between a Chinese student and a T-59 tank during the 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstration) but he is completely despicable. He comes off as a pompous know-it-all rather than a good friend to the Lloyds.
Director Elie Chouraqui wants us to believe MacDowell's character is this brave devoted wife but I found it hard to sympathize with her predicament. Sure it's sad that Harrison is missing and all but forgive me if I found myself more troubled by the execution of thousands of innocent men women and children instead. And in Vukovar amidst the dead bodies of Serbs and Croats she still finds time to take pictures and send them back to the press in the United States. The pictures come out crisp and sharp despite the fact that she shoots most of them in the dark--without a flash. Come on! What takes the cake however is the blatant Schindler's List rip-off: We see a little girl in a yellow dress who stops and smiles for a picture only to end up dead later in the film with a photographer exclaiming "It's the girl in the yellow dress!" It is also hard to buy the film's plot when when all we really know about Harrison is that he likes flowers which are the only thing he photographs in color. Overall Sarah's plight to find her husband almost seems petty in lieu of what is going around her.