Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
For whatever reason, there's been a flood of sword and sandal epics charging toward the screen. But Brett Ratner's Hercules, already the second film starring the mythical demi-god to be released this year, is the best of the lot. Unsurprisingly, this feature lacks the polish and ambition of the year's weightier blockbusters like Captain America: The Winter Soldier or the sublime Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. But what it lacks in ambition, it makes up for in pure thrills.
It's been years since Hercules completed his mythical labors, and stories of his gallantry have spread far across Greece, which benefits Herc and his merry band of mercenaries just fine since a résumé that can double as a child's bedtime story is worth its weight in gold. But when King Cotys of Thrace (John Hurt) enlists Hercules to end a rebellion that threatens to send his city into chaos, a quest that has the untrained Thracian soldiers whispering nervously of monsters, beasts, and an evil sorcerer, the mighty son of Zeus might not have the gods on his side.
Who knew a film by Brett Ratner and starring Dwayne Johnson would have more than two brain cells to mush together? Hercules boasts a narrative that's all about the power of mythmaking; it examines the way legends grow, spread, balloon, and deflate, and takes the classic Hercules story in unexpected directions in a nicely subversive, clever way.
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
The Rock's brawny good looks do the Greco-Roman demi-god his due justice, and the hulking hero's physique looks like a supreme feat of nature (and the gym). But even through the muscles and leather armor, Johnson's natural charisma shines through. While The Rock is the centerpiece of the film, the true highlights are his supporting cast of heroes, who fire off expertly loaded quips when necessary. The standout here is Ian McShane's soothsaying Amphiaraus, whose quest to meet his fate often requires standing right in the way of flaming spears. The jokes sometimes feel anachronistically modern, but they mesh well enough into a story that's wholly uninterested in adhering to classic representations of ancient Greecian myths.
Hercules is by no measure a great film. Hell, I'd even be cautious to call it a good film. The suspect CGI and cheesy costumes break the spell all too often, but it's such a cheerfully ridiculous take on Hercules myth that it's nearly irresistible. The film is knowingly doofy and hits every rung of the standard action adventure, but does so with such a spirited commitment to the material and swashbuckling sense of fun, it's hard not to buy into its legend.
Soul man Lionel Richieis to be honoured with the Legend of Live award at the 2014 Billboard Touring Awards in November (14). The accolade honours individuals or bands who have made significant and lasting contributions to live music and the touring industry. Previous honorees include Sir Elton John, Ozzy Osbourne, Rush, Journey, Neil Diamond, and George Strait.
Getty Images/Kevin Winter
San Diego Comic-Con: the annual gathering of comic book nerds, blockbuster action movie fans and the slightly terrifying people who still watch Supernatural religiously. It's the biggest pop culture event of the year, a time when studios bring the biggest and most shriek-inducing stars together to unveil new projects and showcase the exciting things fans will eventually be camped out all night for. And even though not all of us are lucky enough to experience Comic-Con in person, that doesn't mean we don't deserve to get all the up-to-the-minute news, reports and surprises. Since we here at Hollywood.com don't want you to miss out on all the excitement happening in Hall H or the surprises being unveiled over the weekend, we're running down the biggest news to come out of San Diego during the convention to ensure you can stay on top of everything, whether you're stuck in the office or waiting in line for another sold out panel.
Dr. Strange? More Like Dr. Nope Sure, there are other panels happening at Comic-Con this year, but all anyone really cares about are the new films and casts that Marvel is set to unveil on Saturday. And since Dr. Strange just happens to be one of those films and Benedict Cumberbatch is rumored to be the frontrunner for the role, MTV just happened to ask him to reveal whether he will indeed be playing the super-powered sorcerer. His answer? “As far as I’m aware, even if that was the case, it couldn’t work out because I’m doing a little play called ‘Hamlet’ in London, so I don’t think I could even if that was in the cards. It sounds like a fantastic project. It’s a shame if I miss out, but who knows?” So, it’s not an outright “no,” but it seems like Marvel might have to look elsewhere for their Dr. Strange.
There’s No Stan Lee Cameo This Time A living legend in the comic book world, Stan Lee has basically become the face of Comic-Con, attending all but a select few since its inception over forty years ago. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to add 2014 to the absentee list; according to The Hollywood Reporter, Lee has cancelled his appearance after losing his voice to a bad bout of laryngitis, and he certainly can’t command a convention center without a voice. Don’t get too upset, though: his cameo in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy has already been filmed, so no illness will keep you from seeing him then.
A 24 Movie May Be In the Works The key word there is “maybe.” According to Deadline, star Kiefer Sutherland and executive producer/director John Cassar mentioned during the 24 panel that officially kicked off this year’s con that they were “still talking” about a movie now that the series’ reboot has been so successful. Of course, that didn’t stop fans from freaking out about the mere possibility of it, but Comic-Con’s a place for overwhelming enthusiasm. They could announce another Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern film and people would be excited.
Twenty Hours to Cumberbatch Waiting in absurdly long lines are a time-honored tradition of Comic-Con, but some of them are redefining the word “dedication,” like the ones who lined up to see Cumberbatch on the Dreamworks Animation panel a whole 20 hours early (via CinemaBlend). That’s right: they waited almost an entire day to watch Cumberbatch talk about voicing a cartoon wolf in the new Penguins of Madagascar movie. Not Sherlock, not The Hobbit, not Star Trek. Penguins.
Na na na na na na na… Batsuit! If you thought the set picture of Ben Affleck in the latest incarnation of the Batsuit was too dark to actually see anything – seriously, has Zach Snyder ever met a shadow he didn’t feel the need to add in? – then DC has answered your prayers. The studio unveiled Affleck’s redesigned cape and cowl for Comic-Con visitors to compare against the ones in the comics live and in-person, and /Film has plenty of pictures for those of us who prefer to critique costume choices from our own homes.
Avengers Assemble (Literally) In anticipation of their no doubt world-shattering panel this weekend, Marvel has released several exclusive posters for the Avengers: Age of Ultron featuring concept art from the film. But like Beyonce’s visual album, all of the individually exciting parts come together to make an even more exciting whole. In this case, it’s a bigger group image that sees the team fighting side-by-side. The Dissolve has already started putting it together for you, so as long as you find that last corner piece, you should be all set.
Tennis legend John Mcenroe has vowed to support his troubled son after he was arrested and charged with drug offences. Kevin McEnroe, 27, whose mother is actress Tatum O'Neal, was detained by police in New York City on Tuesday night (15Jul14) after he was allegedly caught making a drug transaction.
He was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance before being released without bail, and now his famous father has pledged his support.
A statement from McEnroe reads, "The entire McEnroe family is extremely upset with regard to recent developments about Kevin McEnroe. This is a private matter and his entire family will do everything we can to support Kevin as he works through his issues at this very difficult time."
O'Neal has also publicly backed her son. The actress, who has suffered addiction issues in the past, posted a number of family snaps on her Twitter.com page after the arrest, and added a picture of herself with Kevin alongside the message, "Addiction is a disease. Not a moral issue. Support, empathy, love."
"We both really want kids... we are not, not trying, I will tell you that. As we say, it's a fun process... It's definitely going to be a surprise, and a surprise we'd be happy for." Model Chrissy Teigen on her baby plans as she prepares to celebrate her first wedding anniversary with John Legend.
Supplied by WENN
Pop superstar Beyonce looks set to triumph at the MTV Video Music Awards after scooping eight nominations.
The Crazy in Love hitmaker released promos for every track on her self-titled fifth album, and three of those clips have landed nominations, including nods for Video of the Year and Best Collaboration for Drunk in Love, which features her husband Jay Z.
She is also in the running for Best Female Video and Best Choreography for Partition, and Best Video with a Social Message for Pretty Hurts at the annual MTV prizegiving.
Beyonce's closest rivals are rappers Eminem and Iggy Azalea, who have picked up seven nods apiece.
Azalea's Fancy music promo, based on cult comedy film Clueless, will compete for Video of the Year and Best Pop Video, while she also appears in the Best Female Video category twice for Fancy and Problem, her collaboration with Ariana Grande. Other acts to land nods include Pharrell Williams and Grande, who have three nominations each.
The ceremony will take place at The Forum venue in Los Angeles on 24 August (14). Usher and 5 Seconds of Summer are scheduled to perform.
The list of main nominees is as follows:
Video of the Year: Drunk in Love - Beyonce featuring Jay Z; Fancy - Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX; Wrecking Ball - Miley Cyrus; Happy - Pharrell Williams; Chandelier - Sia
Best Female Video: Problem - Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea; Partition - Beyonce; Fancy - Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX; Dark Horse - Katy Perry featuring Juicy J; Royals - Lorde
Best Male Video: Sing - Ed Sheeran featuring Pharrell Williams; The Monster - Eminem featuring Rihanna; All Of Me - John Legend; Happy - Pharrell Williams; Stay with Me - Sam Smith
Best Pop Video: Happy - Pharrell Williams; Fancy - Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX; Talk Dirty - Jason Derulo featuring 2 Chainz; Problem - Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea; Wake Me Up - Avicii
Best Hip-Hop Video: 3005 - Childish Gambino; Hold On, We're Going Home - Drake; Berzerk - Eminem; Black Skinhead - Kanye West; We Dem Boyz - Wiz Khalifa
Best Rock Video: Do I Wanna Know? - Arctic Monkeys; Royals - Lorde; Demons - Imagine Dragons; Until It's Gone - Linkin Park; Fever - The Black Keys
Best Collaboration: Problem - Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea; Drunk in Love - Beyonce featuring Jay Z; Loyal - Chris Brown featuring Lil Wayne and Tyga; The Monster - Eminem featuring Rihanna; Dark Horse - Katy Perry featuring Juicy J; Timber - Pitbull featuring Kesha.
Actress Tatum O'Neal took to Twitter.com to express her upset after her son with tennis legend John Mcenroe was arrested on drug charges. Kevin McEnroe was detained by police in New York City on Tuesday night (15Jul14) after he was allegedly caught making a drug transaction.
The 27 year old was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and released without bail after his arraignment on Wednesday afternoon (16Jul14).
O'Neal, who has battled her own drug problems in the past, has since taken to the social networking website to comment on the incident. She tweeted an icon of two hands clasped together in prayer, adding, "Hard day no filter... some days are better than... (sic)."
Dog adoption officials insisted on checking out John Legend's tour bus before agreeing to let the All Of Me singer and his model wife Chrissy Teigen sign on to take charge of a three-legged dog. The couple fell in love with Penny at a Los Angeles shelter, but bosses there were far from convinced the couple would make perfect pet owners and asked to tour Legend's home on wheels, where the pooch would spend part of her life.
Teigen explains, "We filled out an application and the woman from the rescue was like, 'Well, I know you're a musician and I know musicians are into drugs...' She goes, 'I need to see John's motor home'.
"She came on the tour bus - John was touring through Savannah (Georgia) - checked it out to make sure there were no loose wires or meth or whatever. Penny was a serious purchase."
"He writes naked... He does a lot in the nude; he's done dishes in the nude... That one's proud of his body... He's got a butt like a shell... My mum was actually on the set (for his naked FunnyOrDie.com video)... and she was there watching him at my house for a long time... and when the video aired, she goes, 'There were way better scenes'." Model Chrissy Teigen reveals husband John Legend loves his body - and so does her mum.
"He's on this weird vocal rest thing right now and he comes off very cold to people because he's very quiet during it. I always think he's mad at me." Model Chrissy Teigen doesn't like her singer husband John Legend's quiet moments.