20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
The stars of Mel Gibson's historical epic Braveheart reunited in Edinburgh, Scotland on Tuesday (24Jun14) to mark 20 years since filming began on the movie.
Actors Brian Cox, David O'Hara, Angus Macfadyen and Peter Mullan reunited on the tartan red carpet to mark the 20th anniversary of filming and to commemorate 700 years since the Battle of Bannockburn, which is portrayed in the final scenes of the Oscar-winning movie.
The actors took part in a question-and-answer session after a special screening of the film, and Gibson, who was unable to attend the event in person, sent in a pre-recorded video message to mark the moment.
In the clip, the film's lead actor and director, said, "It is hard to believe that 20 years ago this month our production got underway in Scotland. And what a production it was. I was fortunate to be able to bring together so many talented people for this project. Together we went into battle with a goal of telling a good story while being cinematically compelling. This evening's event honouring Braveheart two decades later acknowledges that we accomplished what we set out to do... it is very gratifying indeed."
The 1995 film won five Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director for Gibson.
Iggy Azalea's comedian father Brendan James Kelly is releasing a series of naughty 'childrens' books in his native Australia.
The new tomes, which will hist stores next week (beg16Jun14), will include titles like The Perfect Poo and The Runt Who Said C**t. A press release about the books reads, "One of the titles contains illustrations of penises black and white, erect and flaccid while foul language and swear words occur commonly throughout Kelly's work."
Singer/actor Kris Kristofferson has been cast as former U.S. President Andrew Jackson in a new TV miniseries. The 77 year old will star as the American leader in Texas Rising, an eight-hour series about the Texas revolution in the 1830s, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Executive producer Leslie Greif says, "This iconic story and role really needed an American who is able to command the screen and captivate audiences.
"For me, Kris was an obvious choice, there aren't too many actors that are able to embody this character and the stature, strength and liberty to play the part."
He will join a cast which includes Brendan Fraser, Olivier Martinez and Bill Paxton. The show will debut in the U.S. next year (15).
Stepping out of Neighbors into the cold, calm, dick-joke-free real world, you might find yourself hit with a barrage of "But wait..." moments: "Why did they move into a new frat house just a month or two before the end of college?" "When was it established that she wanted to sleep with him?" "Where did that pledge come from?" "Who was that other guy?" "If he, then why?" "When did?" "How?" "What?" "Huh?!" Yeah, there are enough logical holes in Nicholas Stoller's comedy to warrant an "Everything Wrong with Neighbors" gag trailer and a dozen or two angry message threads. But the tenability of a movie's realism isn't exactly on trial when it sells itself as the Seth Rogen comedy in which a baby eats a condom.
Neighbors eagerly liberates itself not only from the laws of basic reality or tight storytelling, but also from the rigid shackles of any one comic tone. We jump from a slice of life about new parents Mac and Kelly (Rogen and Rose Byrne) who aren't quite ready to say goodbye to their youth instantly to a wild and wacky college farce about the fraternity one house over (led by Zac Efron and second banana Dave Franco), borrowing a lexicon from latter day National Lampoon. As the war picks up between these congenial neighbors-turned-close-quarters enemies, we're invited into a back and forth of vicious, albeit loony, aggression, each maneuver to "get those fogeys/punks next door" escalating in hostility, danger, and independence from earthbound possibility. As we're treated to this ceaseless exercise in human malignance, Neighbors peppers in episodes of cartoon-grade zaniness, macabre pathos, and absolute surrealism. And although it might not seem like all of these comic identities can exist in the same film, Neighbors has a special trick up its sleeve to make it all work: it's funny. Never brilliant, and rarely all that fresh, but always funny.
The frat stuff plays broad, often saddling Efron's sadomasochistic pseudo-villain, Franco's vulnerable prick, and the pair's gang of goons — a wily Christopher Mintz-Plasse and an effortlessly charming Jerrod Carmichael at the top of the heap — with the usual party flick shenanigans like dance-offs and flaming barrels of marijuana. The team of youngsters is at its best, though, when the standard routine is shirked for more peculiar fare, like an abstract non sequitur that has Franco demonstrating a bizarre biological skill, or a fractured history of drinking games as narrated through flashbacks by a passionate Efron.
A good deal of fun can be pinned on the usual assortment of physical gags, pop culture references (one extended bit plays on the film histories of Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson, and Al Pacino to endearing results), and the goofball antics of supporting players like Ike Barinholtz (as Mac's zealous, dimwitted pal). But Neighbors' secret weapon is Byrne, outshining the established comedic reputations of her co-stars with her performance as Kelly. Catapulted miles from the doldrums of straight-man-hood, Byrne tops even Rogen in awkward panache (watching her struggling to interact with the younger breed early on in the movie is delightful) and diabolical villainy alike — the very biggest laughs come from Byrne unleashing her furies or executing evil schemes. If Neighbors inspires any lasting impression, it should be a new appreciation for Byrne's chops in the humor department.
Somehow, this farcical grab bag never feels lethally convoluted or overstuffed. While the film's pacing does no great favors — we jump right into the principal conflict, which is a tough beat to sustain for so long — and a few abject narrative leaps keep the story from feeling tidy, these problems feel like a second priority. Even if some of the jokes feel strained or rehashed, if the characters are malleable, if the conceit is overcooked, or if there are too many plot holes to count... we're laughing. So it's working.
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Panic! At The Disco frontman Brendan Urie is suing a former roommate over a series of unauthorised cash withdrawals from his bank account. The singer claims Shane Valdez took advantage of him after he gave him access to his personal bank account to pay shared living expenses between 2008 and 2010.
In the suit, obtained by TMZ.com, Urie states he didn't realise Valdez was allegedly stealing from him until November (13) - when he noticed his former roommate had made 70 withdrawals, totalling over $127,000 (£79,000).
Valdez reportedly confessed to taking the money, but his attorney insists the cash was used to make a documentary about Urie's life. Urie claims he and Valdez had never discussed a film project.
The defendant tells TMZ.com, "We were best friends for a long time and there is nothing about his claims that are true."
Dame Judi Dench and Chiwetel Ejiofor won major acting prizes at the Irish Film & Television Awards on Saturday (05Apr14). Dench picked up the International Actress trophy for her turn in Philomena, in which she played an Irish woman searching for her adopted son, while Ejiofor scooped the male equivalent for his stellar performance in 12 Years A Slave.
Native Irish winners at the ceremony in Dublin included Brendan Gleeson, who won the Actor in a Lead Role Film award for his turn in Calvary, and Saoirse Ronan, who was named Actress in a Lead Role for Byzantium. Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave) and Sinead Cusack (The Sea) were honoured with Supporting Role trophies.
Calvary, about a priest who is threatened during confession, was named Best Film.
In TV categories, creepy serial killer series The Fall was named Best Drama and its star, Jamie Dornan, won the prize for Actor in a Leading Role Television.
Actor Kevin Spacey is preparing to swap American politics for the British parliament after signing on to star as former Prime Minister Winston Churchill in a new movie. The double Oscar winner will portray the U.K.'s great wartime leader in Captain of the Gate, an upcoming film which will document Churchill's rise to power, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Spacey is no stranger to political projects - he currently plays scheming Democrat Francis Underwood in the U.S. version of drama series House of Cards.
Churchill, who was Britain's Prime Minister from 1940 to 1945 - and again from 1951 to 1955, has previously been portrayed on screen by Richard Burton (Winston Churchill: The Valiant Years); Simon Ward (Young Winston); Timothy West (Churchill and the Generals); Robert Hardy (Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years); Bob Hoskins (World War II: When Lions Roared); Albert Finney (The Gathering Storm), and Brendan Gleeson (Into the Storm), while Timothy Spall played the Prime Minister in 2010's The King's Speech.
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.
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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.
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"That's kind of off the table. It always felt spontaneous. I liked that about it, too. And I think it remains that way. We never planned anything. We never planned a breakup. All of us but one live in the same town, so it could very well happen... or not." Singer/songwriter Brendan Benson insists he has no immediate plans to reteam with Jack White and their band The Raconteurs.
Apollo 13 star Bill Paxton and Brendan Fraser have joined the all-star cast of new mini-series Texas Rising. The two actors will team up with Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Ray Liotta, Thomas Jane, Olivier Martinez and Chad Michael Murray, among others, in the Roland Joffe epic TV drama, which will air on America's History Channel next year (15).
The eight-hour series reteams Paxton with the producers of his hit drama Hatfields & McCoys, which earned the actor an Emmy Award nomination.
The project will chronicle the Texas Revolution against Mexico and the rise of the Texas Rangers law enforcers.
Paxton will play Sam Houston, the man known as "the father of Texas", while Fraser will portray Texas Ranger Billy Anderson.
History Channel bosses have released a statement detailing the new TV project. It reads: "In 1836, if west of the Mississippi was considered the Wild West then Texas was hell on earth.
"Crushed from the outside by Mexican armadas and attacked from within by ferocious Comanche tribes, no one was safe. But this was a time of bravery, a time to die for what you believed in and a time to stand tall against the cruel rule of the Mexican General Santa Anna (Martinez).
"From General Sam Houston, to rag tag Rangers to the legendary Yellow Rose of Texas, this is a story of the human spirit rising in the face of insurmountable odds and claiming a piece of history for all eternity."