Dustin Lance Black has paid tribute to Harvey Milk's speech writer Frank M. Robinson following his death at the age of 87. Robinson passed away on Monday (30Jun14) in San Francisco, California. No further details about his death have been released.
A noted sci-fi novelist and journalist, Robinson is best remembered for penning rousing speeches for Harvey Milk, the first openly gay candidate to be elected into office in the U.S.
The politician's story was told in 2008's Oscar-winning film Milk, starring by Sean Penn, and the movie's screenwriter Black has remembered the man who helped the gay activist speak to the masses.
In a post on his Facebook.com page, he writes, "This morning Frank M. Robinson left this world. He was Milk's speech writer, an acclaimed sci-fi author and was like a father to me. To say the earth feels made of quicksand lately makes it sound too solid. Frank, I'll miss your thunderous laughter, your protective love and your razor sharp writer's mind."
His death comes just weeks after Black lost his mother.
Robinson, who made a cameo appearance in the movie, will also be remembered for his books The Power, which was transformed for the big screen in 1968, and The Glass Inferno, which was combined with Richard Martin Stern's The Tower and adapted into 1974's The Towering Inferno starring Steve McQueen and Paul Newman.
Judges at the U.S. Supreme Court have granted late screenwriter Frank Petrella's daughter permission to proceed with her copyright infringement lawsuit over classic Martin Scorsese movie Raging Bull. Paula Petrella has been locked in a legal dispute with executives at MGM Holdings Inc. since the late 1990s, amid claims they illegally based the 1980 Robert De Niro picture on a copyrighted script her dad had written in 1963, but she didn't file suit until 2009, demanding royalties from the continued commercial use of the film.
Her case was twice dismissed in court in San Francisco, California, citing her long delay in taking legal action.
She refused to give up the fight and took her case to the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., where a panel of judges overturned the previous ruling, allowing Petrella to renew her lawsuit and pursue her claims.
Frank Petrella died in 1981 - the same year that Raging Bull, starring De Niro as real-life boxer Jake LaMotta, won two Oscars.
One of Martin Scorsese's nephews has been arrested on suspicion of dealing heroin. Frank Scorsese, whose father is the Hollywood director's brother, stands accused of selling the drug to an undercover police officer on three separate occasions, according to the New York Post.
The 39 year old, was arrested and charged after the third sale and is now facing counts for criminal possession and sale of a controlled substance.
John and Lori Santillo, who own the mechanics shop where Scorsese works, have also been taken into custody on drugs and weapons charges following a police raid on the couple's Staten Island, New York on Wednesday morning (30Apr14), when cops discovered heroin, five shotguns, two pistols and a rifle.
British rocker Chris Martin has spoken candidly about his split from Hollywood superstar Gwyneth Paltrow, describing the delicate personal issues which drove the couple apart.
The celebrity couple confirmed they had separated in March (14), with Paltrow branding the split "conscious uncoupling", and the Coldplay star has now revealed he struggled to "let love in" and "wasn't completely vulnerable", which "caused some problems".
In a frank interview with Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe, Martin was asked about the breakdown of his marriage, and he replied, "I wouldn't use the word breakdown, this was more a realisation about trying to grow up, basically... If you can't open yourself up, you can't appreciate the wonder inside. So you can be with someone very wonderful, but because of your own issues you cannot let that be celebrated in the right way...
"What changed for me was - I don't want to go through life being scared of it, being scared of love, being scared of rejection, being scared of failure... Up to a certain point in my life I wasn't completely vulnerable and it caused some problems. If you don't let love really in then you can't really give it back."
Martin also reveals he has been struggling both personally and professionally over the last few years: "About two years ago I was a mess really because I can't enjoy the thing that we are good at (the band) and I can't enjoy the great things around me because I'm burdened by this. I've got to not blame anyone else and make some changes."
However, the singer insists the band's new album, Ghost Stories, allowed him to be honest about his personal issues using music as an outlet, adding, "What Ghost Story means to me is like you've got to open yourself up to love and if you really do, of course it will be painful at times, but then it will be great at some point... I think in life everyone needs to be broken in some way. I think everyone in their life goes through challenges, whether it's love or money, kids, or illness. You have to really not run away from that stuff. Life throws these colourful challenges at you; what we decided to do on Ghost Stories was to really be honest about it and say, this is what's been happening."
The full interview airs on BBC Radio 1 on Monday evening (28Apr14).
Elvis Presley's grand piano, pool table and soda fountain from his Holmby Hills estate in Los Angeles is set to hit the auction block next month (May14) as actress Debbie Reynolds continues to sell off her memorabilia collection. The three Elvis items have just been added to the upcoming Profiles in History Debbie Reynolds Auction, which is set for 17 and 18 May (14) at the Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio in North Hollywood, California.
Presley's Baldwin piano is expected to be one of the sale's highlights, and should fetch up to $15,000 (£9,375), according to the experts. His vintage carved wood pool table has a pre-sale estimate of $6,000 (£3,750) to $8,000 (£5,000), and bidding on the Anderson & Wagner, Inc. soda fountain will begin at $2,000 (£1,250).
The sale will also feature Charlie Chaplin's signature bowler hat, a The Rat Pack tuxedo ensemble, featuring stage outfits worn by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford, Vivien Leigh's Scarlett O'Hara bonnet from Gone With the Wind, and Grace Kelly's safari outfit from the 1953 movie Mogambo.
Actor/singer Cheyenne Jackson and Glee star Jane Lynch are set to take on classic standards for a Mad Men-themed concert at Los Angeles' famed Walt Disney Concert Hall. The seventh and final season of the Emmy-winning drama starring Jon Hamm kicked off in America on Sunday (13Apr14), and on 26 April (14), fans can enjoy a night of music inspired by the hit show.
Jackson, Lynch and X-Men beauty Rebecca Romijn will all make their Walt Disney Concert Hall debuts in a show titled Music of the Mad Men Era, a one-night-only performance.
The trio will be backed by the L.A. Philharmonic orchestra as they sing classic tunes from the 1950s and '60s, including tracks by artists Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.
Screen Gems via Everett Collection
Justin Timberlake has become one of the most accomplished musical artists of his time. Since his boy band days leading *NSYNC through a string of solo hits, JT has shown that he can rock the iTunes chart with the best of them. The one-time Disney Mousketeer has also been acting for just as long as he has been singing, but without the same level of success. Sure, he's drawn raves for his work on Saturday Night Live and goofing around with his buddy Jimmy Fallon, but his movie career has been middling at best. But that's too bad, because Timberlake has shown flashes that he can be that rare talent that can conquer any medium that he takes on, making him the closest thing to an heir apparent to the Rat Pack days of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. as we have.
At his best in movies, Timberlake uses his natural charm to do most of the work. In last the Coen brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis, his turn as a completely earnest folk singer in early-'60s Greenwich Village was small, but gave the movie exactly what it needed: a counter to Oscar Isaac's self-destructive title character. The look on Timberlake's face when Isaac derisively asks who wrote the novelty song "Please Mr. Kennedy" that they're recording (Timberlake's character did), was played as well as it possibly could've been.
In a larger role, Timberlake was impressive in Clint Eastwood's Trouble with the Curve. The film itself may have plodded along, but JT shined as the former big league baseball prospect trying to find a new role in the game as a scout. He was warm and natural — and cocky in the way that both athletes and artists can be — in playing off of Eastwood and Amy Adams. As with Inside Llewyn Davis, he played the character as a variation of himself and didn't try too hard. When his character actually wins over Adams' prickly lawyer, it feels like a satisfying conclusion. Timberlake did equally well with small parts in The Social Network and Black Snake Moan.
Where Timberlake has not done as well is when he seems to be trying to "act." In Runner, Runner, besides just the fact that the movie wasn't particularly well made, JT seemed to be trying to dial up Shia LaBeouf-style facial intensity as a poker player forced by the feds to help with a sting operation. (Timberlake was hardly the lone flaw of Runner, Ben Affleck as a Russian mob boss was high up on the unintentional humor scale.) He ran into the same situation with the sci-fi thriller In Time.
Oddly, Timberlake has also had trouble in comedies. Thanks to his work with Fallon and the SNL crew, we know that Timberlake can be funny, but largely, he hasn't made that translate on the big screen yet. Of course, the biggest issue with that could just be his choice of projects. Between Friends with Benefits, Bad Teacher, and The Love Guru there wasn't enough material combined for a halfway decent short film.
There's nothing wrong with an actor playing to his or her strengths. Plenty of actors find success playing a continuous variation of similar roles. Timberlake is likable, charming and funny. If he chooses roles wisely — taking on characters that he can relate with on some level and letting his natural gifts work to his advantage — there's no reason that he can't be a bankable movie star. There are roles out there that are right for JT and we'd like to see them take on more of them.
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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Touchstone Pictures via Everett Collection
For a career that was spent constructing mystical worlds like the ones seen Princess Mononoke, Kiki's Delivery Service, and Spirited Away, it might seem a little odd that Hayao Miyazaki's swan song is centered on the real-life story of about the famed aeronautical engineer Jiro Hirokishi. But even though there aren't any magical creatures flying around the skies of a very true-to-life 20th century Tokyo, that doesn't mean that The Wind Rises is lacking in wonder. In fact, Miyazaki's last film may be his most inspiring yet, and is doubtlessly his most personal. After all, it's hard not to see the parallels between the subject of The Wind Rises and its creator himself.
The film follows the famed aeronautical engineer who dreamed of flight, but is kept out of the cockpit thanks to his nearsightedness. Instead, Jiro decides to focus his attention on designing and creating planes. He’s the kind of person that can see inspiration in the slope of a fish bone; every little slice of life can serve as source of inspiration.
Eventually, Jiro becomes Japan's premiere aeronautical engineer — and how could he not when he has the voice of Stanley Tucci in his ear, spurring him on? Tucci plays a dreamed-up version of Giovanni Caproni, a real life Italian aircraft engineer who inspires Jiro to keep working towards his goals. The dream sequences where Caproni visits Jiro are some of the film's finest moments, and Tucci puts as much Italian-accented verve and hope into his performance that almost inspires you to get out of your theater chair and start tinkering with whatever pursuit lifts your own wings. It is in these dream sequences where The Wind Rises really soars, as we watch the two inventors construct odd, curious, and wondrous flying contraptions that can take to the skies, even when the real world physics won't allow them to. Rises might lacks the fantastical worlds and creatures that populate Miyazaki's other works, but it's no less magical. But beyond the wonder of building airplanes, there are hard truths to be learned, and as Jiro realized soon enough, his creations will be dropping the bombs that will serve as Japan's introduction to much of the western world.
Touchstone Pictures via Everett Collection
But for all the fantastic dreamscapes and characters that populate Jiro's world, from Tucci's lively Caproni, to Jiro's excitable sister who has dreams of her own, to even his love interest Naoko, the one flaw in the film seems to be Jiro himself. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who voices Jiro in the English translation of the film, sounds utterly lifeless, and even in the film's emotional peaks and valleys, it sounds like he's reading a telephone book. And while the rest of the English voice cast mostly soars to the occasion, including Martin Short who voices Jiro's hot-tempered boss, and Werner Herzog who helps give the enigmatic Castorp an air of mystery, Jiro is a black hole of personality, and Levitt doesn't manage to give much of anything to Jiro.
The Wind Rises is also a crash course in early 20th century Japan, as we see a country yearning to show the world it's mettle, and we get a peak at the countries' growing pains. We see various events play out on screen including a beautifully animated depiction of the 1923 earthquake that levels Tokyo, and rips through japan like a cresting tidal wave (Studio Ghibli is in top form in the animation department as usual). We also see glimpses of the tuberculosis crisis, the depression, and the early foundations of Japan's relationship with Nazi Germany. These events don't take away from what is firmly Jiro's story, but serve as context to his journey
The Wind Rises is an ode to the dreamers. It's for the creatives who craft their goals in their heads, and unleash their creations for the world to see. It's a uniquely inspiring film that stands with the best of Miyazaki's filmography, and provides a graceful end note to a marvelous career.
Robert De Niro has assured fans that plans to reunite with his Goodfellas director Martin Scorsese and co-stars Al Pacino and Joe Pesci in mob movie The Irishman are still in the works, four years after he signed up for the project. The Hollywood veteran agreed to portray real-life union official-turned-mafia hitman Frank 'The Irishman' Sheeran in the biopic back in 2010 and shooting was expected to start the following year (11).
Scheduling issues have meant that cameras have yet to start rolling on the movie, but De Niro is refusing to give up on reuniting the Goodfellas clan.
He tells art magazine Flatt, "We have been trying to do (the film) for the last few years, and I think we will do it... That's something I'm looking forward to very much... I think it will (happen)... We're really working towards making it happen."
The Irishman, De Niro and Scorsese's first film together since 1995 crime classic Casino, will be based on author Charles Brandt's 2004 book I Heard You Paint Houses, in which Sheeran detailed his alleged murder of mafia leader Jimmy Hoffa.