Kino International via Everett Collection
While it's not an entirely unenjoyable movie, Memphis is a tragic waste of all the talent evident in its creative team. We are ushered into the titular city — treated more like an extraterrestrial world by filmmaker Tim Sutton — through a collection of beautiful establishing shots, welcomed to meet the molting town, its fraying residents, and the general fog of shortsighted malaise that hangs above the lot. But the promise made by these early images is one that Sutton has no intention of keeping; it appears that with Memphis, Sutton wants to give his audience something to look at and nothing more.
The writer/director doesn’t seem to have any intention of bringing us closer to Memphis, to its inhabitants, or even to the de facto hero of the picture: the dangerously eccentric musician Willis Earl Beal (playing an apparently non-fictionalized version of himself). We watch — and that’s the operative word — Willis struggle with his art, his relationships, and his sanity, though we are never beckoned close enough to feel any of his pangs or toils on a personal level. He, like the beautiful scenery of Memphis, is just something to look at. And, in the film’s more malicious moments, something to point at.
Kino International via Everett Collection
Beyond resulting in boredom (inevitably, no matter how striking the vision of cinematographer Chris Dapkins or how vivid the canvas with which he is blessed, we can’t help but long for something, anything to happen) the film even winds up feeling like an act of cruelty. Sutton’s distance from his characters — subjects, more accurately — is palpable throughout as his journey into Memphis seems more like a trip to an aquarium than a stay among this community.
But the potential is real. Sutton’s command of rhythm is present; Dapkins’ artistry is remarkable. It’s a shame that with these tools at their disposal — including the enchanting land of Memphis itself — the team members didn’t set out to create a world that their viewers might actually get to visit.
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Chris Rock caught a foul ball at a New York Yankees game and showed off his generous side by handing the prized keepsake to a young boy in the stands. The comedian was at Yankee Stadium in New York City to watch the baseball team's match against the Houston Astros on Thursday (21Aug14).
He was lucky enough to have a rogue ball land right by his seat, and Rock was caught on camera holding it up in the air triumphantly. He was then seen handing the ball over to a young boy standing close by, prompting delighted cheers from the ecstatic kid.
The Yankees won the game 3-0.
Discovery Channel/Chris Fallows
Though we try our hardest to heed Tracy Jordan's advice, Discovery Channel's Shark Week is sadly a once-a-year phenomenon. It's the one time when everyone from kids to grandparents gather in front of the television to celebrate the ocean's most dangerous, fascinating, and surprisingly lovable creatures. You want shark attacks? Shark Week's got them. You want fascinating documentaries about scientific phenomena? They're here too. How about following brave, insane people into the darkest parts of the ocean to find the deadliest sharks in the world? There's one airing every two hours. Whether you're a newcomer to the joys of watching sharks bite cameras for four hours — it's much more entrancing than it sounds, trust us — or you've spent weeks pouring over the evidence of the Megalodon's existence, Shark Week's got something for you. We've broken down the network's prime time programming for the next six days to bring you a handy guide to the shark shows you really can't miss. Cue up the Jaws theme...
Most Likely to Make You Reevaluate Your Vacation Plans: Great White Serial Killer Part of the fun of Shark Week is learning about some of the legends and myths surrounding shark appearances, but Great White Serial Killer might top them all. See, according to locals, Surf Beach in California might be haunted by a great white shark that appears every year — on almost exactly the same day — to tear everything in sight to shreds. It’s the Jack the Ripper of Great Whites. If you were headed to California this year, you might want to see if your travel plans are flexible.Airs: August 11 at 8 pm
Proof that Everything is Better With Celebrity Appearances: Shark After Dark Regardless of how you might feel about after-shows like Talking Dead or After the Rose or Talking Bad, a Shark Week after-show will blow the rest of them out of the water. (For one thing, it doesn’t feel the need to shove the word “talking” into the title.) After all, the only thing better than discussing giant monster sharks with your friends is watching famous funny people talk about giant monster sharks. Don’t you want Sharknado survival tips from Tara Reid? Of course you do, you’re a human being.Airs: August 10 – 14 at 11 pm
Most Likely to Inspire a SyFy Movie: Alien Sharks: Return to the Abyss After two sharknadoes, a sharktopus, and a pteracuda, where else can SyFy turn to find inspiration for another terrifying shark hybrid than outer space? Granted, the actual show is about a search for the elusive ghost shark, a species that has thus far never actually been spotted in person. But just imagine what the makers of Sharknado would be able to do with the idea of an alien shark. We’re thinking lasers of some kind, telekinesis, and the ability to survive on land thanks to differing conditions on their home planet. They wouldn’t even have to change the title.Airs: August 12 at 9 pm
(Runner Up: Lair of the Mega Shark, because if you’re dumb enough to jump into a Sharknado, you’re probably dumb enough to venture into a demon shark lair. Airs: August 12 at 10 pm)
Most Enticing Use of the Phrase “Pregnant Shark”: Spawn of Jaws 2: The Birthing Sure, the title sounds like a B-horror movie that will probably haunt your dreams for years to come, but Spawn of Jaws 2 actually centers on a surprisingly intriguing topic: baby sharks in the wild. Is there anything in this world more adorable and terrifying than the idea of tiny, infant sharks swimming around, biting everything they come across? You might have to watch a shark give birth first, but everything in life has a trade-off. Do it for the baby sharks.Airs: August 13 at 10 pm
Least Recommended to Watch with Dinner: I Survived Jaws 2 You know what pairs best with a nice bowl or a pizza and some beer? How about horrifically gruesome shots of people’s limbs being bitten off while the ocean around them slowly turns red with their blood? You’re probably going to find it impossible to look away from the television, but we can guarantee that by the time the first commercial rolls around, you’ll have lost your appetite. Do the smart thing and eat first, and then, give thanks for all of your limbs.Airs: August 14 at 9 pm
Best Opportunity for Drinking Games and Drunken Live-Tweeting: Megalodon: The Extended Cut and Megalodon: The New Evidence Look, nobody actually believes that the Megalodon exists. Like Sasquatch and the Loch Ness Monster before it, the Megalodon is the kind of ridiculously campy urban myth that makes it the perfect Shark Week programming to make fun of on social media. Real-life shark attacks are too serious and gruesome, sharks giving birth are too weird, shark hunts are too boring, but a 60-foot shark that should have gone extinct thousands of years ago but might still be lurking in the ocean’s depths? That’s Twitter and drinking game gold.Airs: August 15 at 8 pm and 10 pm, respectively
Glee star Chris Colfer's bestselling book series The Land Of Stories is set to hit the big screen - the actor is in talks with major movie executives about turning the tales into a new film.
The 24 year old tells Access Hollywood Live he always vowed not to consider movie deals connected to his young adult books, but now he's reconsidering.
Colfer says, "I'm starting to have those film conversations. I'm a little more open-minded to it. When I first started the series, I was completely against doing a movie... I always said I would rather it be a good book that a hundred people read, than an awful movie which a thousand people see."
"But the readers want to see the world come alive so much. Who am I to deny them of that?"
Tough guy wrestler-turned-actor Dave Bautista broke down in tears when he learned he had landed the role of superhero Drax the Destroyer in Guardians Of The Galaxy. The former WWE star reveals he had been questioning his decision to pursue a career in Hollywood after struggling to land his big acting break when he scored the job in the new comic book adaptation and it helped to renew his faith in his onscreen talents.
He tells the New York Post, "I was sobbing (when I landed the role)... I left wrestling, and I really pounded the pavement trying to get people to take me seriously as an actor for about three-and-a-half years... Finally there was some kind of justification that it was the right choice."
He adds, "I'm an emotional guy."
Bautista had previously only had small movie roles in Riddick and The Man with the Iron Fists. Guardians of the Galaxy reunites the grappler with his Riddick co-star Vin Diesel. Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana also feature in the film.
Glee star Chris Colfer has scored another best-selling book with his latest release, The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning.
The 24-year-old actor's third installment of his popular children's fantasy novels was released earlier this month (Jul14), and it boosted his series to the number four slot on the New York Times Best Sellers list for Children's Series.
The Land of Stories comes in behind Divergent at the top spot, with The Maze Runner and The Mortal Instruments at two and three, respectively.
His achievement makes his book series the highest on the list without an accompanying film franchise.
Scarlett Johansson's pregnancy has given the actress' look-a-like stunt doubles a job boost - instead of one, she has three for the new The Avengers movie. Co-star Chris Evans, who portrays Captain America in the film, admits Johansson's all-action sidekicks look so much like the actress, he often mistakes them for the real deal.
He explains, "You walk by her (and say), 'Hey, Scarlett - oh, weird. You're not Scarlett at all. Sorry'. There are a lot of fake Scarletts around."
And director Joss Whedon insists fans won't be able to tell that his leading lady is pregnant when the film comes out, telling Entertainment Weekly magazine, "She's not going to spend the whole movie carrying groceries. We didn't trim any scenes. We're like, 'We'll make it work'."
The actress, who portrays Black Widow in the Marvel movies, is expecting her first child with fiance Romain Dauriac.
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.
Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines beauty Kristanna Loken has been voted the hottest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) celebrity in a new poll. The bisexual blonde has beaten out reality star Amanda Leigh Dunn to land the title in a HotorNot.com survey in celebration of America's Pride month (Jun14).
Mean Girls actor Jonathan Bennett comes in third, followed by Glee's Chris Colfer and Magic Mike hunk Matt Bomer.
The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons, Australian actress Portia de Rossi and former Kyle XY actor Matt Dallas also feature in the top 10.
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
What does it take to be funny? After delivering some hilarious drug-busting hi-jinks in the delightfully subversive 21 Jump Street, officers Jenko and Schmidt have graduated high school and are making the big move to college in the sequel. But is the joke still funny in 22 Jump Street? We sat down with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill to talk about making room for improvisation in the finely tuned world of Chris Miller and Phil Lord, the development of some of the film's most memorable jokes, and Tatum's uncertainty in transforming from a pretty slab of beef to a genuinely gifted comedic actor.
Warning: This interview mentions specific jokes contained in the film.
There might not be as much off the cuff material in the film as you'd think:
Channing Tatum: "[Lord, Miller, and Hill] are great writers, so it’s not like we just walk in and start improving. There’s really, really, really witty and great writing. It’s not just jokes, there’s actually some really good character and relationship stuff between Jonah and I and some of the other characters. They write and then we do what’s on the page, and we do that a bunch of times until we feel that we’ve got it. And then it’s like, teacher blows the whistle and it’s recess time on set."
And it was tough for Tatum to adapt to the comedy game:
Tatum: "I was like, 'Man, I don’t know if I can do this comedy stuff.' The way you do it is different than other movies, sometimes. You’ll just take a run at a line and do it a bunch of different ways. Sometimes you’ll just take a minute and be like, 'All right, let’s see if we can make sure we have this line.' That’s not generally what you do in drama. That was weird and you don’t have this overwhelming feeling that it’s working, ever. I think people are laughing at times, but I’m not sure it’s going to all come together and just because it was a form that I didn’t understand all that well."
"I had to learn how to let go on the first one, and just leave it up to the gods, or Chris and Phil. I had no ego going into it, and generally don’t on any movie, really, because the best idea in the room wins. You just gotta step up to the plate and swing as hard as you can and try to keep growing and try to keep on taking parts that challenge you in movies that aren’t some derivative version of another movie that you’ve done ... You do want to push yourself, and if you keep doing that, you will keep getting better and you will keep doing better work. When I asked [Hill], I was like, 'Look, man, I just don’t know how to be funny. I just don’t know how to do that. I don’t see myself as that.' and he’s just like, 'Look, I just want you to be a good actor, and come in and don’t try to be funny. Let me worry about knowing what’s going to be funny in the scene.' And I really did. I left it up to him. Chris and Phil were great. And we just started trudging down the field and tried to make a good movie."
Tatum and Hill discuss some of their favorite gags from the film, including the made up land of "Puerto Mexico"...
Jonah Hill: "Puerto Mexico [is] a perfect example of a Phil Lord and Chris Miller Joke. Where you just read that and are like “I have no idea what that means, but you guys, I totally trust you guys."Tatum: "It’s truly funny to them. They think it’s the funniest thing in the world and I can see someone else making that joke and it not working out in the movie somehow, and for some reason, they just make it work."
...and mixing up carte blanche with Cate Blanchett...
Tatum: "I think that was [Jonah's] joke."Hill: "No, that might have been Rodney Rothman. He’s a great writer and a friend of ours. He’s one of the writers on the film. He’s been a friend of mine for years and years, and he’s been a friend of Phil and Chris’ for years and years. So when we were writing this one, we were like, let’s have Rodney write with us so we can soak up his genius. That joke is funny. I think that’s my favorite joke in the movie."Tatum: "We tried to actually get her, I think ... She was busy."Hill: "Yeah, for some reason, [laughs] she didn’t want to be in the movie ... Turns out we didn’t have carte blanche."
22 Jump Street hits theaters on Friday, June 13.