If you haven't heard of the ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge" yet, you've probably been offline for the last week or so. Hello, here to fill you in! The challenge is meant to help raise awareness, and donations, for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. To participate, you are supposed to videotape yourself while pouring a bucket of ice water on your head, then nominate your friends to take the challenge. Recently, more and more celebrities have been participating and nominating their celebrity friends. It's been raising a lot of awareness, as well as creating a lot of hot men in wet t-shirts.
Draco Malfoy (I'm sorry, Tom Felton)
Nominated: Ron Weasley (okay, sorry again, Rupter Grint), Josh Gordon, and Paul Hodge
Nominated: His 3rd grade teacher Don Padget, his first acting coach in New York Bob Luke, and his teacher Pat Jackson.
Nominated: Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer, Jamie Bell, Frank Grillo, Anthony Mackie, and Sebastian Stan
Nominated: Irving Azoff, Kanye West, and Susan Sarandon
Nominated: Prince Harry
Nominated: Sophia Smith, Pharrell Williams, John C. Reilly, and Will Ferrell
Nominated: Cub Swanson, Peter Tunney, and Olivia Culpo
Nominated: Nick Jonas, Alex Pettyfer, Nelly, Alanna Masterson, and Diplo
Nominated: Guy Pearce, Mia Wasikowska, and Marilyn Manson
Nominated: Robert Pattinson, Matthew McConaughey, and Eric The Actor
Nominated: Woody Harrelson, Josh Hutcherson, and Matt Niven
Eddie Redmayne & Jamie Dornan
Eddie Nominated: Sally Light and Jamie Dornan
Jamie Nominated: Andrew Garfield
Nominated: Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans, and Mark Ruffalo
Robert Downey Jr.
Nominated: Chris Hemsworth and Vincent D'Onofrio
Nominated: Louis Tomlinson, John Terry, and Novak Djokovic
Post by Chris Pratt.
Nominated: Gregory Smith, Nick Offerman, and Dave Bautista
Nominated: Benedict Cumberbatch and Luke Evans
Nominated: John Green, Nat Wolff, and Dylan O'Brien
Nominated: Joe Maganiello
Nomiated: Jimmy Fallon, Steve Higgns, and The Roots
Nominated: Mark Wahlberg, Channing Tatum, and Brad Slater
Check back to see if some of these other Hollywood hotties have taken the challenge! Tweet us which celebrity you want to see take part in #ALSIceBucketChallenge!
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Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel
There's a pretty good chance you had heard of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and for certain the Hulk prior to their big screen debuts in the Marvel cinematic canon. But the Guardians of the Galaxy are a more esoteric lot. Only those well versed in the publishing company's history will approach this weekend's feature film with any familiarity with Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), or Groot (Vin Diesel). But rest assured: they've been around. And if you dig them in Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy (which we sure did — check out our review), you'll have the opportunity to check them out elsewhere.
Granted, James Gunn's film does do its share of reinventing in regards to its central fivesome. Well-read fans might notice a new take on Peter Quill's backstory or Drax's species, and newcomers could discover some inconsistencies upon pursuing extracurricular material in light of their blossoming love affairs with the Guardians. But the spirit of the heroes is very much alive in Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy, ditto many of the features and TV series listed below. As such, embrace your affection for the oddball quintet and check out any and all works that will allow you more time with the gang. Here's where to begin:
Planet HulkStar-Lord and Gamora both appear in the 2010 direct-to-video animated film (which has been tossed around the Internet discussion boards as viable source material for upcoming Avengers movies), but without speaking parts.
The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest HeroesAiring on May 6, 2012 (funnily enough, the same weekend that The Avengers hit theaters), the animated series' episode "Michael Korvac" featured Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot as temporary foes of the series' heroes — a league including, at this point, Iron Man, the Hulk, Hawkeye, and Ms. Marvel — when a battle is waged over the capture/safety of the mysterious titular individual. In the episode, voice actors Steve Downes, Greg Ellis, and Troy Baker voice Star-Lord, Rocket, and Groot respectively.
Ultimate Spider-ManThe entire gang banded together (and with a pretty impressive team of vocie actors) for the animated series' aptly named July 2013 episode "Guardians of the Galaxy." The aforementioned Korvac returns as an intergalactic menace with an army of Chitauri, forcing Spider-Man to seek the assistance of the Guardians in the interest of his defeat. Star-Lord is voiced by Marvel regular Chris Cox, Gamora by comedian Nika Futterman, Drax by David Sobolov, Rocket by Billy West (the voice behind Doug Funnie and Futurama's Philip J. Fry), and Groot by the late Michael Clarke Duncan.
Avengers AssembleJust this past April, we got to see all five Guardians take center stage on this animated series' episode "Guardians and Space Knights." Iron Man leads the rest of the Avengers to a distant planet, where they and the Guardians of the Galaxy join forces to stop an impending attack from Galactus. Voice actors Chris Cox, Nika Futterman, and David Sobolov return; meanwhile, Rocket earns the familiar voice of actor and geek icon Seth Green, and Groot is portrayed by Kevin Michael Richardson.
Hulk Agents of S.M.A.S.H.An upcoming episode of the animated series will feature the whole gang back together again, with returning voice actors Cox, Futterman, Sobolov, Green, and Richardson.
And, for a bit of a throwback...
Silver Surfer Gamora makes a few appearances in this late '90s animated series, the first of which being in the two-part episode "Learning Curve," which also featured Drax the Destroyer... albeit a very different version: he was an android, and the servant to the Titanian leader Mentor. Together with Silver Surfer and his pal Pip, Drax helps to stop Thanos (hey, he's in the movie too!) from taking over the universe. Gamora would later show up in episodes "Antibody" and "Radical Justice." In this series, Drax is voiced by Noam Spencer and Gamora is voiced by Mary Long and Alison Sealy-Smith.
But before you check out any of these entries, see the film in theaters now!
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British actress Carey Mulligan has won glowing reviews for her West End debut, with critics hailing her performance in Skylight as "moving" and "beautiful". The David Hare play, which opened at London's Wyndham's Theatre on Wednesday (19Jun14), stars Mulligan and veteran actor Bill Nighy as two former lovers who meet up after several years and reminisce about their affair.
The production, directed by Stephen Daldry, has won over reviewers, who heaped praise on the two leading performers.
Charles Spencer of Britain's Daily Telegraph gives the drama five stars out of five and calls it a "knockout production", writing, "Nighy and Mulligan beautifully capture both the hurt and anger of lost love, and sudden piercing moments of enduring sadness."
The Independent's Paul Taylor hails Mulligan for her "moving, intensely focused performance", while Dominic Maxwell of Britain's The Times was most impressed by Nighy, who appeared in a previous production of the play back in 1996, calling him "a case study in charisma" and "an enormously seductive presence" who "boasts a performance of pure class".
Quentin Letts of Britain's Daily Mail gives similar praise to the lead actor, writing, "Bill Nighy at full belt on stage is astonishing, unbalancing, unforgettable" but adds that Mulligan "holds her own... to not be upstaged by a rampaging Nighy is an achievement".
Skylight will run until 23 August (14).
Author Susan Spencer-Wendel has died at the age of 47 after a battle with progressive neurodegenerative condition Lou Gehrig's disease. She died at her West Palm Beach home in Florida on Wednesday (04Jun14). Spencer-Wendel, who also worked as a reporter for The Palm Beach Post, became a bestselling writer with last year's (13) release of her memoir Until I Say Goodbye, which documented her health decline and a series of final trips she had embarked upon with her loved ones.
Veteran actress Kathleen Turner's new play Bakersfield Mist has been savaged by critics who branded it "implausible", "phoney", and "too pleased with itself". The new drama, which opened in the West End on Tuesday (27May14), stars Turner as Maude, a trailer park resident who believes she has unearthed a valuable Jackson Pollock painting. She enlists a New York art expert named Lionel, played by Scottish actor Ian McDiarmid, to verify it.
However, the culture-clash show, written by Stephen Sachs, has failed to impress many critics, who found the plot unconvincing and suggested the actors' performances are the only highlight.
Henry Hitching, of the London Evening Standard, writes, "Her (Turner) passionate performance and an enjoyably outrageous one from Ian McDiarmid can't redeem a play that turns a true story into something clunkingly implausible... There are flashes of humour, but despite the strong performances Bakersfield Mist feels very slight."
Charles Spencer, from the Daily Telegraph, echoes the criticism, adding, "Bakersfield Mist, neatly directed by Polly Teale and cleverly designed by Tom Piper, is too slight, and a touch too pleased with itself, to be fully satisfying. But, unlike the dubious picture at the play's heart, the performances are definitely the genuine article."
Mark Shenton, from The Stage, writes, "A play about trying to verify the authenticity of art falls at the first hurdle if it itself feels phoney... The situation here simply beggars belief... I suspect it will quickly fade into the mists of memory."
Bakersfield Mist will run until 30 August (14) at the Duchess Theatre in London.
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Here are this week's highlights from VH1, Celebuzz, Flavorwire, and Hollywood.com.
These movie stars are making the big move...to TV! Find out what shows Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer will be on in Celebuzz's list of stars transitioning to the small screen this fall.
Happy birthday Tina Fey! To celebrate her birthday this week, Flavorwire has her best SNL moments.
And happy birthday Pulp Fiction! The Tarantino film is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and VH1 shares 15 surprising facts about the film.
From crazy makeup to clowns, from A Tribe Called Quest to Iggy Azalea...Hollywood.com has hip hop's trippiest music videos.
A new British musical based on the early career of The Kinks has won high praise from critics, who have awarded the production top marks. Sunny Afternoon, named after the rockers' 1966 hit of the same name, opened at London's Hampstead Theatre on Thursday night (01May14) and the stage musical, which features a slew of the icons' tracks, has gone down a storm with reviewers.
The Daily Mail's Quentin Letts brands the show "a belter" and exclaims, "You really got me! ...This show is far better than a mere tribute evening, though it includes lots of Kinks hits. It gives you a strong sense of period - some terrific short hemlines on the girls - yet also well-drawn characters that evolve with the band."
Nick Hasted from TheArtsDesk.com awards the show four out of five stars and writes, "In The Kinks' 50th Anniversary year, their spirit could hardly be better revived", while The Telegraph's Charles Spencer states, "It is an irresistibly enjoyable and touching night, and anyone who loves pop music at its greatest would be mad to miss it."
Lead actors John Dagleish and George Maguire, who portray Ray Davies and his guitarist brother Dave, respectively, have also been singled out for applause, with the Evening Standard's Henry Hitchings calling Dagleish's performance "immense", while claiming Maguire gives his character "an exciting wildness".
Reports suggest Sunny Afternoon may transfer to the West End stage once its run at the Hampstead Theatre wraps on 24 May (14).
Simon Cowell's The X Factor musical has impressed critics who have hailed the satirical show as "smart," "funny" and "bonkers". Reality TV spoof I Can't Sing!, which has been bankrolled by The X Factor creator Cowell, has suffered numerous setbacks over the last few weeks as producers struggled to correct a slew of technical problems, but it opened as scheduled at the London Palladium on Wednesday night (26Mar14).
The show went off without a hitch and won over theatre reviewers, who were full of praise for comedian Harry Hill's script and Downton Abbey actor Nigel Harman, who plays a role spoofing Cowell.
Paul Taylor of The Independent newspaper described Harman's performance as "deliciously funny", adding, "A satire on The X Factor that's been endorsed and partly financed by Simon Cowell sounds an improbable proposition... So it's with some surprise that I must confess to having really rather enjoyed this £6m (million) musical spoof... There is a bonkers, surreal charm to the loopy lampooning."
The Daily Express' Simon Edge praised the show as "smart, funny, foot-tapping and surprisingly hard-hitting" and even compared it to acclaimed stage show Jerry Springer: The Opera, which lampooned the controversial U.S. TV star.
Charles Spencer of The Daily Telegraph also gave the production a good write-up, calling the show a "rude and raucous hit".
He adds, "The show is wildly eccentric and wonderfully funny. It is also splendidly rude about Cowell himself... It's not exactly West Side Story, but the performers give it all they've got, the designs are spectacular and the whole delightfully bonkers show has a winning wit and warmth about it."
Cowell was in the audience for the opening night show along with his girlfriend, Lauren Silverman.
A new West End adaptation of Hollywood thriller Fatal Attraction has received a frosty reception from critics, with reviewers branding the production "horrible", "pointless" and "amateurish". The 1987 movie has been transformed into a play with Mark Bazeley in the role of the adulterous husband played by Michael Douglas, and Natascha McElhone taking on Glenn Close's part as his bunny-boiling lover, with Kristin Davis as the betrayed wife.
The show opened at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in the British capital on Tuesday night (25Mar14), but it failed to win over critics, who attacked the plot changes, the script and the concept.
Quentin Letts of the Daily Mail newspaper writes, "Though I give Fatal Attraction three stars - this new stage version is decently acted and coolly staged - I hated almost every minute of it. What a horrible, heartless story."
The Daily Telegraph's Charles Spencer brands the show "pointless", adding, "Though some of the changes to the film may intrigue or infuriate Fatal Attraction obsessives, and the new final twist is undoubtedly ingenious, they are hardly ground-breaking and hardly justify the trouble and expense of a trip to the West End."
Michael Billington of The Guardian was also unimpressed with the show, concluding, "There is something pathetic about the commercial theatre's increasing reliance on movies for source material... It puzzles me why people should be expected to cough up to see a transplanted screenplay; and, even though (writer) James Dearden has made some adjustments to his 1987 script for Fatal Attraction, it remains an essentially hollow experience."
The Times critic Dominic Maxwell gave the play a lowly one star out of five, and branded the show, "a bad idea, poorly executed," adding, "It's amateurish... It's risible." Maxwell also criticised producers over the iconic 'bunny boiling' scene, revealing he could "see the bunny still alive and well in its cage" when it was purported to be in a saucepan onstage.
Veteran actress Dame Angela Lansbury was the toast of the West End on Tuesday night (18Mar14) when she made her London stage comeback after an absence of nearly 40 years. The Murder, She Wrote star last appeared on stage in the British capital in a 1975 production of Hamlet at the National Theatre, but she has made a triumphant return in a revival of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit.
The play opened at the Gielgud Theatre, the same stage once graced by Lansbury's actress mother Moyna MacGill in 1918, on Tuesday and won rave reviews and a standing ovation for its star.
Paul Taylor of The Independent newspaper hails Lansbury's portrayal of kooky medium Madame Arcati as "deliciously erratic" and "funny and endearing" while Charles Spencer of The Daily Telegraph awards the show a maximum of five stars, adding, "Lansbury brings astonishing energy and comic panache to her performance. It is a comedy that still startles and delights... She is terrific... But the whole show is a treat."
Quentin Letts of the Daily Mail also gives the play five stars, adding, "She is perfect. Makes it look effortless," while Henry Hitchings of the London Evening Standard concludes, "Angela Lansbury's return to the West End... is something to treasure... Her fans will be entranced by the charm, balance and precision she brings to such a well-known role."