Tina Fey, Julie Andrews and Tony Bennett will salute actress Carol Burnett when she is honoured with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor next month (Oct13). The Carol Burnett Show star will be feted at the Kennedy Center's 16th annual ceremony.
A statement from the actress reads, "I can't believe I'm getting a humor prize from the Kennedy Center. It's almost impossible to be funnier than the people in Washington."
Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Maya Rudolph and Lucille Ball's daughter Lucie Arnaz, and Burnett's former castmates Tim Conway and Vicki Lawrence will also be on hand to celebrate the comedienne.
Previous honourees include Richard Pryor, Ellen DeGeneres, Will Ferrell, Fey, Bill Cosby and George Carlin.
After Dark Films
It seems a bit odd to take on a movie review of Courtney Solomon's Getaway, as only in the loosest terms is Getaway actually a movie. We begin without questions — other than a vague and frustrating "What the hell is going on?" — and end without answers, watching Ethan Hawke drive his car into things (and people) for the hour and a half in between. We learn very little along the way, probed to engage in the mystery of the journey. But we don't, because there's no reason to.
There's not a single reason to wonder about any of the things that happen to Hawke's former racecar driver/reformed criminal — forced to carry out a series of felonious commands by a mysterious stranger who is holding his wife hostage — because there doesn't seem to be a single ounce of thought poured into him beyond what he see. We learn, via exposition delivered by him to gun-toting computer whiz Selena Gomez, that he "did some bad things" before meeting the love of his life and deciding to put that all behind him. Then, we stop learning. We stop thinking. We start crashing into police cars and Christmas trees and power plants.
Why is Selena Gomez along for the ride? Well, the beginnings of her involvement are defensible: Hawke is carrying out his slew of vehicular crimes in a stolen car. It's her car. And she's on a rampage to get it back. But unaware of what she's getting herself into, Gomez confronts an idling Hawke with a gun, is yanked into the automobile, and forced to sit shotgun while the rest of the driver's "assignments" are carried out. But her willingness to stick by Hawke after hearing his story is ludicrous. Their immediate bickering falls closer to catty sexual tension than it does to genuine derision and fear (you know, the sort of feelings you'd have for someone who held you up or forced you into accessorizing a buffet of life-threatening crimes).
After Dark Films
The "gradual" reversal of their relationship is treated like something we should root for. But with so little meat packed into either character, the interwoven scenes of Hawke and Gomez warming up to each other and becoming a team in the quest to save the former's wife serve more than anything else as a breather from all the grotesque, impatient, deliberately unappealing scenes of city wreckage.
And as far as consolidating the mystery, the film isn't interested in that either, as evidenced by its final moments. Instead of pressing focus on the answers to whatever questions we may have, the movie's ultimate reveal is so weak, unsubstantial, and entirely disconnected to the story entirely, that it seems almost offensive to whatever semblance of a film might exist here to go out on this note. Offensive to the idea of film and story in general, as a matter of fact. But Getaway isn't concerned with these notions. Not with story, character, logic, or humanity. It just wants to show us a bunch of car crashes and explosions. So you'd think it might have at least made those look a little better.
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John Stamos was surrounded by his TV family as he turned 50 on Monday (26Aug13) when the cast of Full House turned out to join in his birthday celebrations. The actor threw a huge Rat Pack-themed bash to mark the milestone at the Sunset Tower Hotel in Los Angeles.
His former co-stars Bob Saget, Candace Cameron Bure and Ashley Olsen were all out in force at the party, where Sir Tom Jones took to the stage to sing It's Not Unusual to the birthday boy.
Taking to Twitter.com, he writes, "Had the party of a lifetime Monday night - everyone that is so important in my life was there."
Other stars at the event included members of the Beach Boys and Glee star Darren Criss, who also performed.
Welsh actor Michael Sheen has picked up a nomination for a top acting honour in his home country's version of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards. The Hollywood star is in the running for the best actor prize at the forthcoming BAFTA Cymru ceremony for his role in The Passion, which he filmed on the streets in his hometown of Port Talbot.
Sheen will face competition from Mark Lewis Jones (Stella) and Rhodri Meilir (Gwlad yr Astra Gwyn) at this year's (13) event, which is due to take place in Cardiff on 29 September (13).
Benedict Cumberbatch's crime drama Sherlock has landed four nominations, including a mention in the best TV drama category.
Actress Ruth Jones is up for best actress for her lead role in Stella, and she will also compete for the best writer award for penning the show, which landed 10 BAFTA Cymru nominations in total.
Bafta Cymru director Allison Dowzell says, "We are excited to be able to bring together the very best representatives of the creative industries in Wales in order to recognise the time, energy, determination and hard work that goes into making and producing creative media, TV and film programmes here. We're sure to see some very worthy winners rewarded for their efforts on the evening."
If you're inclined to see RED 2, it means you probably enjoyed RED. Already, you're a leg up on this reviewer, who didn't find the original all too stimulating. But my experience catching the sequel, situated in a theater surrounded by vehement fans of Bruce Willis' first turn as a former CIA man branded with the "Retired, Extremely Dangerous" label, was a wholly refreshing one. As with any sequel — especially those in the action- or adventure-comedy genre — half the fun is revisiting old favorite characters. That's the gambit of the opening act of a film like RED 2: to entertain questions of "Where are they now?" with the most delightful answers possible.
And even in the subdued reunion of Frank Moses (Willis) and his old partner and pal, certified loon Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich), there's a sort of hearty warmth present. Laughter erupts when the latter emerges, incognito, from the aisles on a department store, on the prowl for his buddy in hopes of reattaching him to the mad glory of their younger days. There's nothing outstandingly funny going on, but you laugh and smile, already connected to these men and their relationship by the good graces of the first film.
While not accomplishing anything altogether new, this is the phenomenon that makes sequels such a spirited treasure: that feeling of "the gang's back together," in which the audience includes itself in that denomination. It's not only the people onscreen who are reteaming with old friends, but the fans who so engaged with RED in the first place — the sequel succeeds in making lovers of the original feel "involved" with the reunion, rewarding fandom with character-driven gags about Willis' stealth, Malkovich's madness, Helen Mirren's awesome frigidity, and Mary-Louise Parker's crazy-eyed bloodlust.
In fact, it's only when RED 2 gets away from its central gang that the film really crumbles. Setting its attention on a behemoth-concept plot, riddled with inexplicable twists and turns, the film comes off more mentally maligned than its characters at some point. When we are forced to spend time with newbie characters — charmless big bad Neal McDonough, disgruntled rookie Byung-hun Lee, and even the great Anthony Hopkins as a senile former agent — we await the return of the charismatic stars. Really just Malkovich, in fact.
Yes, the laughs aren't exactly overflowing in RED 2, but there is no short supply of joy in watching John Malkovich contort his face and worm through difficult conversations as the manipulative, maniacal Marvin. With such a command over nuanced comedy, Malkovich can turn the lackluster script into something of delightful flavor. Whether he's pleading with Willis to join him in the barracks, faking his own death, struggling to disarm a bomb, or draped inexplicably in Carmen Miranda garb, Malkovich is, indubitably, funny. In every other corner of this discombobulated picture, what with its stock characters and alarmingly nonsensical plot, you'll question what the hell these filmmakers are up to... and why, in fact, you're sticking around for the long haul. But as long as Malkovich is on screen, playing zany or basking in the fun familiarity of the RED team as constructed by the first movie, there is fun to be had.
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A publicist for Cory Monteith's devastated girlfriend Lea Michele has urged the public and the media to respect her client's privacy following the death of the actor. Monteith, who also played Michele's on/off boyfriend on TV show Glee, was found dead in a hotel room at Vancouver's Fairmont Pacific Rim in Canada on Saturday afternoon (13Jul13).
Stars have flocked to social media outlets including Twitter.com and Facebook.com to pay their respects to the tragic 31 year old and to ask their fans to pray for Michele, and now her representative has released a short statement, which reads: "We ask that everyone kindly respect Lea's privacy during this devastating time."
The actress, 26, was helping Monteith overcome addiction issues following a stint in rehab in the spring (13). When news broke of his treatment, she told People magazine, "I love and support Cory and will stand by him through this."
Monteith spent a month in rehab and appeared to be in positive spirits when he checked out in April (13), tweeting, "Sending out big love to everyone. thank you for the continued support! It means the world to me!"
His Glee co-stars Kristin Chenoweth and Dot-Marie Jones were among the first celebrities to take to Twitter to pay tribute to the actor.
Jones wrote, "Cory was not only a hell of a friend, he was one amazing man that I will hold close to my heart forever. I am blessed to have worked with him and love him so much."
And a statement from Fox, the TV network behind Glee, issued a statement calling Monteith "an exceptional talent and an even more exceptional person".
Other Glee co-stars who have offered up their thoughts on Twitter include Damian McGinty, Harry Shum, Jr., Mark Salling and Iqbal Theba, who plays Principal Figgins on the show - he wrote, "OMG!! My Cory...", while Neil Patrick Harris added, "How sad to read about Cory Monteith passing away. What a shame. He was a lovely, kind, talented guy and will be missed."
Rihanna and Mia Farrow have also added their tributes on the micro-blogging website.
The singer writes, "Cory Monteith, may your spirit be at peace, and may you fly with the angels... Heartbreaking, my prayers are with all of his loved ones!"
And actress Farrow adds, "Rest in peace Cory Monteith. Sad, very very sad."
One Direction singer Niall Horan also took to Twitter to pay his respects, describing Monteith as a "super nice guy".
Tributes have also poured in from Ellen DeGeneres, Nina Dobrev, Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, Zooey Deschanel and Sophia Bush, among others.
A new West End production of black comedy The Ladykillers starring Ralf Little and Simon Day has raised a laugh among U.K. theatre critics after opening in the British capital this week (beg08Jul13). The Royle Family star Little, Gregory's Girl actor John Gordon Sinclair and Shakespeare in Love's Day are among the ensemble cast in the new show which also includes theatre veterans Con O'Neill, Chris McCalphy and Angela Thorne.
The play, about a group of criminals who pose as amateur musicians to take a room in the house of an eccentric old lady, opened at London's Vaudeville Theatre on Tuesday (09Jul13) and it convinced even the toughest critics to crack a smile.
Charles Spencer of Britain's Daily Telegraph insists the new production, adapted for the stage by Father Ted writer Graham Linehan, is "even funnier" than the original 1955 movie on which it is based.
He writes, "The great thing about the film is that it is at times genuinely chilling as well as hilarious... (This) hugely enjoyable stage production... never quite matches the creepiness of the original. I would venture to suggest, however, that it is even funnier than the movie."
The Guardian's Michael Billington praises the show's move into "slapstick" comedy, while Mark Shenton of industry publication The Stage describes the production as a "giddy summer delight that provides plenty of good reasons for theatregoers to go indoors again" and he also praises the "stellar cast" and "infinite skills" of the actors.
The opening night audience was packed full of famous faces including actress Sheridan Smith and Spooks star Rupert Penry-Jones, who turned out to support his mother Angela Thorne, as well as comedienne Victoria Wood and Simon Day's The Fast Show co-star Paul Whitehouse.
The Rolling Stones turned up the nostalgia on Saturday (06Jul13) as they played to a packed crowd in London's Hyde Park, 44 years after their last performance at the open-air venue. The rockers were joined on the tree-lined stage by blues star Gary Clark, Jr. and former member Mick Jones, who played his first gig with the band during their last performance at the central London park in 1969, two days after the death of guitarist Brian Jones.
Speaking before the landmark show, guitarist Keith Richards told Andy Bush of Britain's Absolute Radio, "Well, I'm not emotional but I feel very excited about it. And also, we will have Mick Taylor with us and that was his first gig with the Stones, so there is a kind of a full circle being drawn here as well."
Richards also revealed the band didn't choose the set list for the big gig until just hours before taking to the stage in Hyde Park, adding, "There is still a bit of juggling going on, but I mean those things can be decided on the night."
Celebrity guests including new parents David Walliams and supermodel Lara Stone, actress Gemma Arterton and Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie watched on as Sir Mick Jagger, who is preparing to mark his 70th birthday in three weeks' time, led the legendary rockers through a string of hits including Start Me Up, Gimme Shelter and Honky Tonk Woman.
The rockers closed the show with their anthem (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction and a fireworks display.
The concert marked the first of two gigs at Hyde Park, the second will take place on Saturday (13Jul13).
Monty Python stars John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle and Terry Jones have lost their court battle with a producer over royalties from their hit stage show Spamalot. Mark Forstater, who produced 1975 film Monty Python And The Holy Grail, took the surviving members of the comedy troop to court over allegations he was underpaid on royalties from the spin-off musical.
Forstater claimed he should have been entitled to a larger share of the proceeds due to his contribution to the original film and an agreement put in place back in the 1970s, and Idle, Palin and Jones all gave evidence during the court case.
A judge at London's High Court ruled in Forstater's favour on Friday (05Jul13), and he is to be awarded a settlement at a later date.
Speaking after Friday's ruling, Forstater insisted the victory was bittersweet, saying, "I have always been adamant I was correct. I have been proved right - justice has prevailed. There is a sadness, though, about having to face people who were my friends in court. We have been friends for a long time. Monty Python are an institution. I like the fact that they have apparently joked about the litigation. I still think they are very funny."
Spamalot opened to huge success both on Broadway and in London's West End, winning three Tony Awards and making millions in box office sales. It has also been staged in countries including Canada, France and Japan.
Staff at music magazine Nme received a personal phone call from Tom Odell's father after the British singer's debut album was given a scathing review. The rising singer-songwriter got his big break when he was discovered by Lily Allen, also known as Lily Rose Cooper, and signed to her label In The Name Of, before winning this year's (13) BRIT Awards Critics' Choice prize.
However, reviewer Mark Beaumont of NME was unimpressed with the 22 year old's upcoming debut, Long Way Down, giving it zero stars and writing, "I wish I could say there's a place in Hell reserved for Tom Odell. There's not. Just loads more BRITs. He'll be all over 2013 like a virulent dose of musical syphilis, pounding and warbling away at every Papal election and Bradley Wiggins (British cyclist) finishing line."
The harsh critique prompted a call from Odell's airline pilot father, according to NME's deputy editor Lucy Jones, who tweeted on Wednesday (19Jun13), "Tom Odell's dad just called the NME office to complain about his album review..."
Music critic Simon Price of The Independent on Sunday has since slammed editors at NME for publishing the bad review, insisting, "It is a very safe and easy thing for NME to do. It is the sort of thing that allows them to pretend they are still a vicious paper with teeth, when the truth is they are scared to attack their core acts. The latest Beady Eye album was truly awful but they gave it a good review and (frontman) Liam Gallagher was on the cover that week."