Colombian singer Carlos Vives refused to let torrential rain dampen his big night at the Latin Grammys on Thursday (21Nov13) after picking up three top prizes. The 14th annual ceremony got off to a stormy start as heavy rain arrived in Las Vegas, forcing producers to call off a glamorous photocall at the Mandalay Bay Events Centre when the special green carpet flooded.
The prize-giving finally got underway, with Vives becoming the night's big success story after picking up three out of the five awards he was nominated for, including Song of the Year for Volvi a Nacer, Tropical Fusion Album and Best Tropical Song.
Stars Marc Anthony and rapper Pitbull also went home with prizes for Recording of the Year and Best Urban Performance respectively.
Ricky Martin performed with his former Menudo co-star Draco Rosa, who won the Coveted Album Of The Year Grammy for his record Mas y Mas. The pair is set to head out on tour together next year (14).
Martin was also on hand to present Miguel Bose with the Latin Recording Academy's Person of the Year award in recognition of his career and philanthropy work.
Veteran director Martin Scorsese has launched a campaign to help fund and promote a new documentary about beloved film critic Roger Ebert. The Taxi Driver filmmaker has turned to fans for help on his latest project by starting an online campaign on Indiegogo.com on Wednesday (20Nov13).
Scorsese serves as executive producer on the project and teamed up with with Hoop Dreams director Steve James to create Life Itself, a documentary based on the memoir penned by Ebert, who died in April (13).
In a short video featured on the Indiegogo site, Scorsese says, "When Steve asked me to participate in the picture and come on board as executive producer, I was honoured because it's important to me to preserve Roger's legacy - and that's what Steve has done with Life Itself. So really, please consider supporting this picture."
Although the film has already been shot and James is in the process of editing, money raised through the fundraising website will help to complete the movie and pay for promotion before its release next year (14).
If they exceed the $150,000 (£100,000) goal, James promises a proceed of the profits will go towards some of the critic's favourite charities, including The Ebert Foundation, which supports educational and arts organisations.
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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Kevin Spacey is so eager to be cast in one of Woody Allen's films that he sent the director a Netflix subscription so he could watch his work on House Of Cards. The Academy Award winner garnered critical acclaim for his portrayal of a devious politician in the Netflix original political drama this year (13), even earning an Emmy nomination. However, the one person he was hoping to get the approval of didn't have an account and therefore couldn't see it.
In an interview with GQ Magazine, Spacey admits that while he's proud of all his past work, he became a bit "depressed" when he realised Allen had no interest in casting him for any upcoming projects, so he decided to prompt the Blue Jasmine director towards his new show.
He explains, "If an actor wants a role or wants to work with somebody, then you do everything within reason to try to get that role... If they want you to come and tap-dance in their hallway, you tap-dance in their hallway.
"I wrote him (Allen) a letter and introduced myself as an actor he may or may not know. And I sent him a Netflix subscription, because I want him to watch my work."
Spacey's creative thinking worked, as Allen used the free subscription to watch the online-streaming series, and not only thanked the actor for the gift, but assured him he would consider the American Beauty star for future projects.
A proud Spacey jokes, "I may write to Martin Scorsese next."
George Zimmerman has been released on bail and fitted with an electronic monitor after being charged with assault and domestic violence following an alleged altercation with his girlfriend Samantha Scheibe on Monday (18Nov13). The 30 year old was a point of discussion across America over the summer (13) after he was acquitted of killing unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.
Robert De Niro is reuniting with his long-running collaborator Martin Scorsese on a new gangster movie. The Hollywood legends first teamed up in 1973 on crime drama Mean Streets and went on to make a number of films together, including Mafia-themed classics Goodfellas and Casino.
De Niro has now confirmed the pair will reteam for a ninth project, and return to their beloved gangster genre.
He says, "I have another gangster film I'm gonna do with Scorsese and it's a very interesting one. We're preparing it. We have a script and Marty has another film he's doing before so it won't be for a while."
Coldplay frontman Chris Martin tricked fans at a recent Arcade Fire show by going undercover as a skeleton-masked DJ. The Yellow hitmaker didn't have to travel far for the Canadian rockers' show in London, England, earlier this month (Nov13), and at the suggestion of Arcade Fire's Win Butler, Martin made the most of the concert in his hometown.
In an interview with BBC Radio Two, Butler has confessed that the British singer showed off his skills in the DJ booth during the concert - but, in order to keep the focus on the band, he donned a disguise so fans would not recognise him behind the turntables.
Butler admits, "He (Martin) was out at the DJ booth with me (the other night) wearing a skull mask. It was pretty cool. He was the hype man, he's an amazing hype man... I don't think anyone recognised him."
R Chiang / Splash NewsHaving recently scored her sixth consecutive Top 3 album with the festive-themed Wrapped In Red, Kelly Clarkson remains American Idol's biggest success story. In honor of her enduring career, here's a countdown of her first five studio albums from worst to best.5. My DecemberProving that she certainly wasn't a record label puppet, Clarkson battled long and hard with Sony BMG boss Clive Davis just to get her 2007 third album released following concerns that it was 'too negative' to appeal to a mainstream audience. While her fighting spirit should be applauded, Clarkson should perhaps have listened to the music mogul as on the whole, My December, was a shouty, tune-free and surprisingly bland affair which very nearly derailed her career.4. All I Ever Wanted Following the commercial disaster of its predecessor, All I Ever Wanted saw Clarkson fully embrace the pop world by hooking up with the likes of Ryan Tedder, Dr. Luke and old ally Max Martin on a hook-laden record which impressively managed to retain her personality while simultaneously and quite blatantly attempting to chase hits.3. StrongerMaintaining her winning streak, 2011's Stronger saw Clarkson challenge Pink as the number one pop-rock diva in the game with another collection of self-empowering anthems and big-lunged power ballads which produced a chart-topping single and arguably her most immediate offering to date in the shape of "Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)."2. ThankfulStill by far the most consistently strong debut by a talent show winner, Clarkson justified her win with a surprisingly eclectic record which ventured into everything from nu-soul ("Thankful") to pure pop balladry ("Anytime") to R&B ("Miss Independent"), while also showcasing the feisty pop-rock sound that would later become her forte.1. BreakawayThe album which transformed Clarkson from American Idol to global superstar, Breakaway saw Clarkson embrace guitars to instantly addictive effect, resulting in a string of hit singles ("Since U Been Gone," "Behind These Hazel Eyes," "Because Of You"), sales of over 15 million copies worldwide and two Grammy Awards.Follow @Hollywood_com
George Zimmerman, the man cleared of murdering teenager Trayvon Martin, has been arrested over allegations he attacked his girlfriend. The 30 year old was taken into custody in Florida on Monday (18Nov13) and charged with felony aggravated assault, battery, domestic violence and criminal mischief after an altercation with Samantha Scheibe, who is reportedly pregnant.
He is also accused of pointing a shotgun at the woman during the bust-up, said Chief Sheriff's Deputy Dennis Lemma.
In July (13), Zimmerman was acquitted of the second-degree murder and manslaughter of unarmed 17-year-old Martin, who was shot dead during a neighbourhood watch patrol. The verdict prompted mass demonstrations and inspired many leading human rights leaders and celebrities, including Jay Z and Beyonce, to speak out.
Lady Gaga has scored her third number one album on the U.K. music charts. The Born This Way hitmaker's new release ARTPOP has toppled Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2, which debuted at number one last week (begs11Nov13).
Celine Dion's Loved Me Back To Life debuts at three, while Little Mix's Salute and The Nation's Favourite Elvis Songs compilation round out the new top five.
On the singles charts, Martin Garrix's debut, Animals, has grabbed the number one spot ahead of Lily Allen's cover of Keane's Somewhere Only We Know, which she recorded for British department store John Lewis' Christmas TV advertisement.
Allen's cover sold just 12,000 fewer copies than teenager Garrix' first release.
Ellie Goulding's How Long Will I Love You, the official single of this year's BBC's Children In Need telethon, lands at three, while Eminem and Rihanna's former chart-topper, The Monster drops two places to four.