"I'm gonna dance extra hard tonight during Ain't It Fun for Mr. Michael Jackson... Still hard to believe. Never forgotten!" Hayley Williams plans to honour the King of Pop on the fifth anniversary of his death at Paramore's show on Wednesday (25Jun14).
Paramore star Hayley Williams has brushed off suggestions Justin Bieber ripped off a piece of the rockers' fan artwork for the cover of his new single. Eagle-eyed Paramore devotees raised questions about the inspiration behind Bieber's art for the track We Were Born For This on Monday (28Apr14), when they drew comparisons to the image used on the group's 2007 release, Riot, which featured the title in black and orange sketchy typography.
The Baby hitmaker's single uses the same colour scheme and style of font, and it has since emerged that the exact artwork previously appeared on the Tumblr.com profile of a Paramore fan using the account imnotadisaster.
The striking similarities prompted a number of critics to take aim at Bieber online, with one Paramore follower writing, "Laziest artist award goes to Justin Bieber for literally googling pics for his next single and picking out a paramore one", while another tweeted, "So Justin Bieber's single cover was a Paramore fanart (sic) from 2011. He cropped the watermark. I'm laughing so hard."
The controversy has continued online, but singer Williams insists she won't be drawn into the debate.
She shared her feelings with Twitter followers by posting a photo of rockers New Found Glory rehearsing, alongside the caption, "Crushing on the dude @newfoundglory practice while everyone's freakin (sic) out about JB on twitter".
She also shared a screen grab from an episode of U.S. cartoon King of the Hill, in which one character attempts to apologise to another, only for him to respond, "I wasn't even listening".
In the accompanying caption, she writes, "My opinion on the whole JB/artwork thing is basically this."
Bieber has yet to comment on the artwork scandal.
I know, that headline is trouble. You're always treading dangerous ground when you insist on defining what makes a good this or the right kind of that, as if there is no room for change or improvement when it comes to classic properties. Of course there is — Jason Segel's 2011 Muppet film approached the concept from an entirely different direction. It didn't hit all of its marks, but it prevailed overall in its conceit: make a movie not about Muppets, but about Muppet fandom. But Muppets Most Wanted, in absence of a clear mission statement and fueled largely by the monetary glimmers of the sequel game (the film's opening number admits this outright), has fewer marks readily available to hit. Landing in the ambiguity between the classic Muppet adventure formula and Segel's post-modern Henson appreciation party, Most Wanted feels like a failure on both counts. It doesn't know which kind of movie it wants to, or should, be. So it doesn't really be anything.
On the one hand, there's the half-cocked "get-the-band-back-together" through line, mimicking but not quite accomplishing the spirit of the 2011 picture. None of the Muppets are particularly likable or charming in this turn, and even fewer of them actually given anything to do. Kermit loses his s**t in the first act after a spat with Piggy and a barrage of insubordination from his troupe (provoked by the nefarious Dominic Badguy, Ricky Gervais), storms off in a huff, and gets swept up in a case of mistaken identity when his criminal doppelganger Constantine pulls the old switcheroo, landing Kermit in a Russian gulag. You'd think this would be a good opportunity for the second tier of Muppet favorites — Piggy, Fozzy, Gonzo, Scooter, Rowlf, et al — to go on a search and rescue... but save for a very brief sequence at the tail end of this achingly long film, none of the other Muppets are giving anything to do. They just hem and haw and perform the occasional "Indoor Running of the Bulls" while Dominic and Constantine scheme, rob banks, and bicker.
Meanwhile, Kermit has some fun in prison — a far more endearing plot that sees him befriending the merry convicts, organizing a penitentiary revue, and even winning the heart of the vicious warden Nadia (Tina Fey). If only we could spend more time with real Kermit and less time with fake Kermit and his second banana Gervais, an effectively boring pair.
On the other hand, though, there's the Muppet shtick that fans of The Great Muppet Caper and Muppet Treasure Island — and yes, The Muppet Show itself — will deem the movie's best material: CIA Agent Sam Eagle and Interpol Agent Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell) hot on the trail of Constantine and Dominic. Here, we get a different type of Muppet movie entirely from what Segel and the A-plot in Most Wanted are opting: the old fashioned vaudeville act, with Sam standing as an independent entity from his googly-eyed brethren, on a goofy, musical prowl with Burrell that fuels the film with its best and most consistent chuckles. Their "Interrogation Song" number is outstanding, exemplifying the many talents of Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie, who wrote all the music for this and the previous film.
The best player in the World for movie trailers, Hollywood interviews and movie clips.
Unfortunately, Muppets Most Wanted isn't sure that it wants to be The Great Muppet Caper, beheld so stubbornly to its Segelian roots. There's a palpable compulsion to stick with this agonizingly self-aware, nostalgia-crazy, brimming-beacons-of-the-past-in-a-callous-today theme that doesn't work a fraction as well as it did in the 2011 film. Without a legitimate celebration of any of our favorite characters, how could it? With so much going on in this movie, and such a lengthy runtime at just under two hours, it's a sure sign of failure that we walk away feeling like we spent barely any time with the Muppets.
Follow @Michael Arbeiter
| Follow @Hollywood_com
Katy B has scored her first U.K. number one album after debuting Little Red at the top of the charts. The 24 year old Londoner edges out Ellie Goulding's Halcyon at the top of the countdown, while London Grammar lands in third place on the new chart.
Meanwhile, Clean Bandit have snagged their fourth week atop the Official UK Singles Chart with their song Rather Be.
Stay The Night, Zedd's collaboration with Paramore's Hayley Williams lands at two, while Pharrell Williams' Happy slides a spot to three.
Juno star Ellen Page has 'come out' as gay. The 26 year old, who was nominated for a best Actress Oscar for her role in the 2007 comedy/drama, made the revelation during an emotional speech at the Human Rights Campaign's Time To THRIVE conference in Las Vegas on Friday (14Feb14).
After taking to the podium during the event, aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, Page told the audience, "I'm here today because I am gay," prompting a huge cheer and a standing ovation from the audience.
She went on to add, "Maybe I can make a difference. To help others have an easier and more hopeful time. Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility. I also do it selfishly because I'm tired of hiding and I'm tired of lying by omission. I suffered for years because I was scared to out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered and my relationships suffered."
Page's revelation prompted an outpouring of praise and support from fellow stars on Twitter.com, including Evan Rachel Wood, who wrote, "Congrats (sic) my friend," and Twilight's Anna Kendrick, added, "Mad mad mad mad mad mad crazy love and praise for Ellen Page today. Congrats (sic) to you, you light, talent, and beauty."
Emile Hirsch writes, "Props to Ellen Page for helping so many people through their daily struggles by courageously leading by example and coming out on V Day! (Valentine's Day)," Paramore star Hayley Williams reveals, "Ellen Page just made me cry on Valentine's Day. With happy tears!" and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, writes, "Love love love Ellen Page & the message she sent out today! What a perfect way to end Valentines Day."
Page later took to her own Twitter.com page to acknowledge the kind messages, adding, "Thank you (Human Rights campaign) and everyone for all the love and support."
Rockers Fall Out Boy warmed up for their forthcoming joint tour with Paramore by inviting frontwoman Hayley Williams to join them onstage during a special show in New York on Wednesday (29Jan14). The Dance, Dance hitmakers recently announced plans to hit the road with Paramore on the Monumentour this summer (14), but they decided to give fans a preview of what to expect by joining forces with Williams at a VH1 pre-Super Bowl gig at Brooklyn Bowl to perform 2005 track Sugar, We're Goin Down.
Taking to her Twitter.com page after the surprise appearance, Williams wrote, "Well that was fun!! Thx (thanks) @falloutboy for letting me crash their set tonight w/ (with) @VH1Music .. Even more psyched for #MONUMENTOUR now."
The VH1 Blitz event, part of a week-long series of concerts in the lead up to the big American football game on Sunday (02Feb14), was televised live in the U.S.
Rapper J. Cole and R&B star Janelle Monae kicked off the series earlier this week (begs27Jan14), while TLC will play the Beacon Theatre in Manhattan on Thursday night (30Jan14).
Paramore singer Hayley Williams is sharing her love of wacky hair colours by creating her own range of dyes. The punk pop star is known for her brightly-coloured coif, and has donned shades from vibrant orange to hot pink throughout her years as Paramore's frontwoman.
Williams is now teaming with hair dye company Manic Panic to create her own line of shades for fans to try out.
She says of the venture, "Right now, I am incredibly inspired by the force that is Manic Panic. I love their history, what they mean to so many generations of teenagers and punks, or anyone just looking for a new way to express themselves.
"My goal for 2014 is to get the hair colour line I've always dreamed of creating. I came up with the name years ago and finally made the decision to start working on it last summer."
Paramore star Taylor York is on crutches after injuring his ankle on stage in Australia. The guitarist hurt himself during the band's show in Melbourne on Sunday (12Jan14), but he has refused to let the injury affect the group's ongoing tour Down Under, which concludes on 19 January (14).
After the initial incident, frontwoman Hayley Williams took to Twitter.com to assure fans the injury was not too serious, writing, "Tonight was so insane. So positive. And so loud. Thx (thanks) Melbourne!... But no great P-more (sic) show would be right w/out (without) injury. To those asking: Taylor's ok. We think it's a sprained ankle 'Part ll' (of the show) was too wild."
York has since been seen using crutches to help him walk.
Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams has expressed her outrage after news of the band's upcoming tour with Fall Out Boy leaked online before the official announcement. Rumours suggesting the two bands are preparing to hit the road together have been swirling online, so the singer took to her Twitter.com page on Thursday (09Jan14) to confirm the story.
However, Williams also admitted she was angry that the report had surfaced early on the Internet as both bands had been trying to keep the news secret.
In a series of posts on Twitter.com, she writes, "Yes. It's happening. Us & FOB (Fall Out Boy) co-headliner. Sucks some bonehead leaked it. We wanted to surprise you guys. Surprise, I guess! Monumentour... Thank you to both FOB & Paramore fans for begging us for years to make this tour happen... 'Bout damn time. This is monumental."
Fall Out Boy star Pete Wentz also confirmed the news by posting a picture of a cat in a paper bag on his Twitter.com page with the caption, "Cat's out of the bag - the rumours are true. Not the way it was supposed to go down."
The joint U.S. tour will include 34 shows and kicks off in Connecticut on 19 June (14). The shows will conclude in Concord, California on 17 August (14).
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.
The best player in the World for movie trailers, Hollywood interviews and movie clips.
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.