British celebrities including Dame Vivienne Westwood, Paloma Faith and Duffy have snapped a series of 'selfies' in support of the launch of a new website, which enables members of the public to ask politicians about fracking. The stars have come together for MyFrackingQuestions.org, an online platform which allows U.K. citizens to ask Minister for Energy Matthew Hancock MP about the controversial gas-extraction method.
In the photos, each celebrity holds up their own question about fracking, with singer Faith asking, "How can you be sure that our health will not be put at risk by fracking? I am concerned about the health risks to the population and the long-term repercussions (of fracking)."
Duffy calls on Hancock to attend a Talk Fracking debate to address the public's concerns, and says, "I would like to call for a National Moratorium. A 'stop the clock’. No more intrusive fracking until we, as a country, can assess whether this is the most sustainable, economic and safest source of energy".
Meanwhile, fashion mogul Westwood, who has previously been outspoken about the shale gas drilling projects in the U.K. and led a group of anti-fracking protesters through the streets of central London earlier this year (Mar14), adds her support for the new website.
A statement from her reads: "MyFrackingQuestions.org is asking the key questions that the public has told us they want answered definitively by the current government. We are acting now to empower the next generation, preventing them from having to deal with the potentially devastating effects of fracking should it go ahead in this country.
"This debate belongs to the British people but, without any solid and reliable information, they cannot take part in this most critical of conversations. Until these questions are answered and until there is open public debate, there can be no social license and no democratic mandate."
Also snapping selfies for the website are Westwood's son Joe Corre, Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie, musician Jools Holland, Olympian Andrew Triggs Hodge, and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
MyFrackingQuestions.org is launched in connection with Talk Fracking, a U.K. initiative spearheaded by Westwood, which raises awareness of fracking and government officials' fast-moving plans to introduce it to the country.
Talk Fracking has already found support from over 150 celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney, his daughter Stella, Yoko Ono, Helena Bonham-Carter, Jude Law, Russell Brand, Thom Yorke and Vanessa Redgrave, among others.
Embattled Australian actor Ryan Corr has dropped out of an upcoming stage production of Cyrano De Bergerac in Sydney to take on a new film project. The rising talent, who stars in Russell Crowe's upcoming directorial debut The Water Diviner, had been cast as simple-minded nobleman Christian in the Sydney Theatre Company's run of the classic French play, which will be directed by Cate Blanchett's husband Andrew Upton, who still serves as the organisation's artistic director.
However, Corr has since decided to bow out of the show due to a scheduling clash with a major new Australian movie.
Upton says, "We've accepted Ryan's request to withdraw from Cyrano de Bergerac to enable him to take on a leading role in a film. This will be a great opportunity for him and we understand his desire to be part of an important new Australian film at this time in his career. We very much hope to see him on an STC stage again soon."
Corr has been replaced by STC regular, Chris Ryan, for the production, which opens on 15 November (14).
The news emerges a week before Corr is due to appear in court to face a drug possession charge on 2 September (14).
The actor, the 2011 recipient of the Heath Ledger Scholarship Award, was allegedly caught smoking heroin by police officers in the Bondi Beach area of Sydney on 27 May (14). Cops also allegedly found a bag of heroin powder in his possession.
Weinstein Company via Everett Collection
Quentin Tarantino has confirmed he will direct The Hateful Eight despite planning to scrap the project when an early draft of the screenplay was leaked.
The Pulp Fiction filmmaker filed a $1 million (£588,235) copyright infringement lawsuit against editors at Gawker.com, accusing them of facilitating the leak after publishing a report about the script drama, but he withdrew the legal papers in May (14).
With the court battle behind him, Tarantino used an appearance at San Diego's 2014 Comic-Con on Sunday (27Jul14) to tell fans the film is moving forward.
During a panel for the comic book Django Meets Zorro, a fan asked Tarantino if The Hateful Eight will be his next feature, and he replied, "Yeah - we're going to be doing The Hateful Eight."
Earlier this year (Apr14), Tarantino spearheaded a live reading of the script at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, featuring a cast of stars including Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen and Bruce Dern.
Weinstein Company via Everett Collection
Production on Quentin Tarantino's new western The Hateful Eight has been pushed back until early 2015.
The Pulp Fiction filmmaker had been scheduled to begin shooting the post-Civil War project in November (14), but actor Kurt Russell reveals the shoot has been delayed.
He tells MyFoxPhilly.com, "I've got a Tarantino project called The Hateful Eight that looks like it may go somewhere around the beginning of the year."
Tarantino initially scrapped plans to make The Hateful Eight after an early draft of the screenplay appeared online earlier this year (14). He filed a $1 million (£588,235) copyright infringement lawsuit against editors at Gawker.com, accusing them of facilitating the leak after publishing a report about the script drama, but he withdrew the legal papers in May (14).
Russell is reportedly set to join a cast which includes Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen and Bruce Dern, all of whom took part in a live reading of the script at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in April (14).
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Chronicle hit unexpectedly at the dawn of 2012 (and the dawn of the superhero "movement"), impressing critics and fans as Josh Trank's feature debut. The found footage picture served both as an impressive science-fiction flick and a dutiful character piece, telling the story of three teenage boys who transform mentally and emotionally after becoming suddenly imbued with superpowers. Chronicle led Trank to land one big name picture, the developing Fantastic Four reboot, and now has earned him another: one of Disney's long list of standalone Star Wars films (Godzilla director Gareth Edwards is also handling one of these features). And if you've seen Chronicle, you know that the 29-year-old Trank is perfectly tailored for the George Lucas universe. In truth, Chronicle is pretty much a Star Wars film already...
[Warning: Major Chronicle spoilers to follow... Star Wars spoilers, too, but I feel less inclined to warn people about that]
Hero Becomes VillainAdmittedly, this is a pretty common trope throughout the vast cosmos of fiction... and human history. But Dane DeHaan's tortured introvert Andrew embarks upon a path markedly similar to that of one Anakin Skywalker. Neither one is able to contain his thirst for power once he discovers new, supernatural abilities.
The ForceAnd those abilities? They are nearly identical. George Lucas' Force and the result of contact with whatever it is the Chronicle boys happened upon in that pit are both defined primarily by large-scale telekinesis and a mastery of aerodynamics.
Flying... Through Storms!Granted, one is a meteor storm and the other is simply lightning. But the danger is the same.
Hero Is Defeated by Beloved RelativeAndrew's cousin Matt (Alex Russell) is called upon to save his town from the former's wrath; it is son Luke who managed, in the end, to defeat Darth Vader, although Emperor Palpatine's d-bag electroshock powers sure didn't help matters. Neither Matt nor Luke was particularly overjoyed at having to kill someone he once loved, but c'est la vie.
Daddy IssuesAnd how. Luke is overcome by his angst in finding out that he's got the mother of all bad fathers, and Andrew deals with an abusive dad as one of his many grievances throughout the film.
Yub NubA course-changing scene in Chronicle sees Andrew and Matt having too much fun at a high school party, one not unlike the traditional Ewok celebration at the end of Return of the Jedi.
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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 swooped in and knocked Captain America: The Winter Soldier off the top spot at the U.K. box office over the weekend (18-20Apr14). The action sequel, starring Andrew Garfield as the web-slinging vigilante, raked in $10.2 million (£6.4 million) in its first weekend, zapping fellow superhero Captain America from the number one position.
Bird-themed animation Rio 2 stayed strong in second place for another week by taking $1.9 million (£1.2 million), sinking Biblical epic Noah, starring Russell Crowe, down to third place with earnings of $1.5 million (£937,500).
Captain America seems to be have been defeated after coming fourth at the weekend, taking $1.4 million (£875,000). New comedy caper The Love Punch, starring Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan, rounded out the top five with earnings of $1 million (£625,000).
Weinstein Company via Everett Collection
The Hateful Eight, Quentin Tarantino's violent and visceral post-Civil War western, was originally intended to be the director's follow up to 2011's Django Unchained, but the project was ostensibly nixed after someone in Tarantino's inner-circle of actors and producers leaked the script up and down the annals of Hollywood. The first draft of the script eventually ended up on Gawker for public consumption, which led to the filmmaker suing the outlet. Tarantino, just a few angry foot stomps away from having a genuine fit, declared that he would never produce a filmed version of the project and would perhaps instead release the script in the form of a book.
We thought this might be the end of The Hateful Eight saga, but in the ensuing months, it looks like cooler heads might have prevailed. On Saturday, Tarantino held a staged reading of the script, which he declared would be the only time this version of it would ever be performed. The reading included performances from some of Tarantino's most notable actors, including Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern, Walton Goggins, James Parks, Michael Madsen, and James Remar. The story follows a group of bounty hunters and rogues that take shelter in a haberdashery during a blizzard. Tensions rise and blood predictably spills once characters start getting picked off one by one.
The live read provided a great glimpse into Tarantino's creative process, featuring the director lording over his actors and chiding them for taking even the smallest creative license with his script ("No co-writing"). Tarantino displayed a boundless and giddy enthusiasm for his latest work, enthusiasm that won't likely be contained by a single script reading in a sweltering LA theater. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tarantino stated during the performance, "I am working right now on a second draft. This is the first draft." This and several other statements made by the director over the course of the night are leading many to believe that he still has plans to eventually create a film based on some form of the The Hateful Eight script.
A number of journalists were in attendance for the reading, and the consensus is that while The Hateful Eight is a bit rough around the edges, it has the potential to be a great film. It's rough, edgy, sinful, and whip smart, just like Tarantino's finest. Here's what a few of them had to say:
"The Hateful Eight explores only two locations, denies a single protagonist in favor of eight unlikeable brutes, and winds a profane, bloody, and darkly humorous plot to an anticlimactic and upsetting finish." Charlie Schmidlin, The Playlist
"The Hateful Eight is raw, ragged, raucous, riveting." - Betsy Sharkey, The LA Times
"What we see tonight is more reminiscent of Reservoir Dogs than of Tarantino's more sprawling recent work: two locations, both claustrophobic and teeming with mutual suspicion and recrimination, with much occurring off-screen or in flashback." - John Patterson, The Guardian
"The script, with its slangy, smart-ass dialogue, surprising associations, extended digressions and tangy flavor, is recognizably Tarantino all the way." - Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
"...the total lack of air conditioning and the preposterously close rows combined to make the running time of over three-and-a-half hours almost impossible to bear. It is a testament, then, to the compelling nature of Tarantino's script and to the great cast he put together that no one seemed willing to leave before the end, no matter how hard it was to stay seated." - Drew McWeeny, Hitfix
"As you’d expect from Tarantino, the script is violent, bloody, laced with profanity and even vomit." - Janine Lew, Variety
"It’s Tarantino meets Agatha Christie. It played like a very good, but still a little rough, first draft. The introduction is incredibly tight and sound. The dialogue crackles, but while it’s a hardass hoot, the payoff is still missing." Brian Formo, Crave Online
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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Andrew Sachs' granddaughter has demanded an apology from Russell Brand over the headline-grabbing phone prank scandal which tore her family apart. The Forgetting Sarah Marshall star stepped down from his job at a BBC radio station in 2008 after coming under fire for playing a prank on beloved Fawlty Towers actor Sachs, in which he boasted about having sex with the actor's granddaughter.
Georgina Baillie, the woman at the centre of the scandal, has now broken her silence about the incident, revealing she never received an apology from her former lover.
She tells Britain's The Times newspaper, "(I have had) nothing at all (from Brand). It's really weird, just some kind of acknowledgement of what they did directly to me would have been nice."
Baillie has spent years trying to mend her broken relationship with Sachs, but admits her grandfather wanted nothing to do with her after the phone prank.
She adds, "There were numerous emails, letters, little cards and bunches of flowers sent. But you know, I have tried and failed (to mend the relationship). I miss them (my grandparents) and love them."
Beloved British actor Andrew Sachs has branded Russell Brand "disgusting" and accused the funnyman of issuing a hollow apology following his controversial radio prank. The Forgetting Sarah Marshall star quit his BBC Radio show under intense pressure in 2008 after he caused outrage by leaving a voicemail message for the Fawlty Towers star boasting about sleeping with his granddaughter Georgina Baillie.
In the fallout following the incident, Brand and British TV presenter Jonathan Ross, who was also part of the prank, said sorry for upsetting Sachs, but he has now spoken out to blast their apology as a sham.
He tells The Times newspaper, "I don't think about it much. It was not a happy time... What they did was disgusting."
Asked if he accepts the pair's apology as sincere, he replies, "No. It doesn't mean a bl**dy thing."
Sachs' wife Melody also slammed Ross and Brand for continuing to refer to the incident during TV chats ever since, adding, "They never leave us alone. I only wish they'd stop now but they keep using it and using it. I mean, they've earned enough out of it, surely?"