Tragic actor James Dean's autograph has beaten out Bruce Lee's signature in a new list of the world's most valuable scribbles. The late Rebel Without A Cause star's signature can fetch as much as $27,000 (£18,000), according to a survey by memorabilia website Paul Fraser Collectibles, while martial arts hero Lee's autograph can command $16,500 (£11,000).
If you’ve read 50 Shades of Grey chances are you already know where you’re going to be on Valentine’s Day: Planted in a movie theater seat with a bucket of popcorn and a bestie on either side of you, ready to watch Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele steam up the big screen. You know the book isn’t winning any Pulitzers, but there’s no shame in being super excited for the movie adaptation - especially since they cast a total hottie as everyone’s favorite sadomasochist. Here are some reasons why we’re psyched about Jamie Dornan.
1. He’s exactly what we pictured Christian Grey to look like - and he looks good in a suit.
2. He also looks good, um, out of a suit.
3. He used to be a Calvin Klein model. Google those pics immediately. We’ll wait.
4. He played a creepy serial killer in The Fall.
The Fall is a fantastic BBC series now streaming on Netflix and he played his character so well, we didn’t hate him for it. That’s not easy to do. Just ask Dexter Morgan.
5. He’s Irish. So, even though he’s playing an American as Christian Grey, you know the accent is there. And that’s automatically sexy.
6. He appeared on everyone’s favorite fairytale series, Once Upon a Time, and shockingly wasn’t playing Prince Charming. But he was still just as dreamy.
7. From the looks of the 50 Shades teaser trailer, he appears to be a very good kisser.
8. He was in Marie Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst and wore a three-corner hat like a boss.
9. He’s set to appear in a movie with Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul called The 9th Life of Louis Drax. Might as well just take our money now!
10. He may have smoldering good looks, but he’s a family man at heart.
Dornan is married to English singer-songwriter Amelia Warner and they have a baby girl together. Aww.
11. This face.
Still not convinced he’ll make a good Christian Grey? Sorry, we can’t be friends.
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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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Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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After Dark Films
It seems a bit odd to take on a movie review of Courtney Solomon's Getaway, as only in the loosest terms is Getaway actually a movie. We begin without questions — other than a vague and frustrating "What the hell is going on?" — and end without answers, watching Ethan Hawke drive his car into things (and people) for the hour and a half in between. We learn very little along the way, probed to engage in the mystery of the journey. But we don't, because there's no reason to.
There's not a single reason to wonder about any of the things that happen to Hawke's former racecar driver/reformed criminal — forced to carry out a series of felonious commands by a mysterious stranger who is holding his wife hostage — because there doesn't seem to be a single ounce of thought poured into him beyond what he see. We learn, via exposition delivered by him to gun-toting computer whiz Selena Gomez, that he "did some bad things" before meeting the love of his life and deciding to put that all behind him. Then, we stop learning. We stop thinking. We start crashing into police cars and Christmas trees and power plants.
Why is Selena Gomez along for the ride? Well, the beginnings of her involvement are defensible: Hawke is carrying out his slew of vehicular crimes in a stolen car. It's her car. And she's on a rampage to get it back. But unaware of what she's getting herself into, Gomez confronts an idling Hawke with a gun, is yanked into the automobile, and forced to sit shotgun while the rest of the driver's "assignments" are carried out. But her willingness to stick by Hawke after hearing his story is ludicrous. Their immediate bickering falls closer to catty sexual tension than it does to genuine derision and fear (you know, the sort of feelings you'd have for someone who held you up or forced you into accessorizing a buffet of life-threatening crimes).
After Dark Films
The "gradual" reversal of their relationship is treated like something we should root for. But with so little meat packed into either character, the interwoven scenes of Hawke and Gomez warming up to each other and becoming a team in the quest to save the former's wife serve more than anything else as a breather from all the grotesque, impatient, deliberately unappealing scenes of city wreckage.
And as far as consolidating the mystery, the film isn't interested in that either, as evidenced by its final moments. Instead of pressing focus on the answers to whatever questions we may have, the movie's ultimate reveal is so weak, unsubstantial, and entirely disconnected to the story entirely, that it seems almost offensive to whatever semblance of a film might exist here to go out on this note. Offensive to the idea of film and story in general, as a matter of fact. But Getaway isn't concerned with these notions. Not with story, character, logic, or humanity. It just wants to show us a bunch of car crashes and explosions. So you'd think it might have at least made those look a little better.
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Police in Scotland have launched a search for a teenager who went missing after attending a music festival over the weekend (10-11Aug13). Tom Fraser, 19, attended the Belladrum Festival in Inverness-shire, headlined by James, Seasick Steve and The Horrors, but he hasn't been seen since.
The teenager was last spotted at the local train station on his way home from the music event on Sunday (11Aug13), and police have now launched a hunt.
A police spokesman tells British newspaper the Daily Record, "We are following a number of positive lines of inquiry to find his whereabouts. His friends last saw him at the station and we'd like to speak to anyone who may have seen him there as well. Anyone with information should contact our Glasgow west end police office."
On Thursday morning, the pulled-from-the-headlines thriller Zero Dark Thirty took a solid four Golden Globe nominations, for writing, acting, directing, and Best Picture. The Globes are just the beginning: when the competition opens up to the technical categories come Oscar time, ZDT could walk away with even more. And Kathryn Bigelow's follow-up to The Hurt Locker could win them too, as evidenced by the latest trailer for the film.
Here are five reasons visible in the above spot that make me confident Zero Dark Thirty could go all the way this awards season:
1. Jessica Chastain's Fervent, Understated Performance
The keystone of Zero Dark Thirty, Chastain's Maya ends up as one of the best characters of the year, an opinionated but respectful newcomer who evolves over the ten year hunt for bin Laden into a obsessive seeker of truth. In 2011, Chastain proved herself to be one of the most well-rounded performers in Hollywood. In 2012, she proves herself as one of the fiercest. You see her real claws come out late in the trailer, insisting that she has 100% confidence in her knowledge of bin Laden's whereabouts.
2. Dialogue That's as Tense as the Action
ZDT relies heavily on dialogue and the dissection of information, but Mark Boal's script — which is on the top of many voters' minds — layers every bit of exposition with distinct voice. Around the 40 second mark, Mark Strong chimes in with a few words of aggressive wisdom, a wake-up call for an intelligence department that's uncovered nothing. It's a brutal scene in the movie, but simply rattling off facts wouldn't amount to the weight displayed in the moment. It's through Boal's raises the stakes through capturing the sound of human fear.
3. Bigelow's Action Style in Non-action Scenes
Bigelow showed a real prowess for modern action filmmaking in The Hurt Locker, a heart-pounding inside look at the life of bomb defuser. But Zero Dark Thirty isn't an action movie (even while featuring a few explosions, shootouts, and military operations). Think The Social Network or All the President's Men, stories of larger-than-life journeys conducted in small scale rooms. Luckily, like those films, Bigelow understands how to invigorate close quarters conversations or silent moments. Whether Maya is sifting through paperwork or taking a silent moment in the bathroom, scenes in Zero Dark Thirty always feel like the world is on the line.
4. The Cinematography of the Raid
Expect Zero Dark Thirty to impress on the technical side thanks to an amazing score by Alexandre Desplat, spine-tingling sound design by Paul N. J. Ottosson, and cinematography by Greig Fraser that creates the atmosphere more mystery. The finale's infiltration of the bin Laden compound is now a well-known incident, but only when you see it portrayed in dim twilight do you realize how terrifying the work of Seal Team Six really is.
5. A Cast of Actors People Love
When it comes to Zero Dark Thirty's Oscar chances, don't expect too many other nods outside of Chastain in the acting department. With a sprawling ensemble, it's hard to pick just one actor or actress who stands out — but the excellence of every performer is the foundation for what makes the movie work. Jason Clarke, Jennifer Ehle, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Kyle Chandler, James Gandolfini all pop in the new spot above and all make a huge impact as part of the clockwork that helped pay off ten years of work. Highly compelling and never over the top, it's the entire cast who will carry Zero Dark Thirty to the Best Picture race.
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
[Photo Credit: Sony Pictures]
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The name of the game to this year's New York Film Critics Circle is "history." Whether the events of said piece of history date back nearly two centuries or if they're barely a year-and-a-half old, what stands is their pronounced effect on our country. Nobody is going to doubt the substantial impact Abraham Lincoln had on this nation, politically and socially. And few alive today will soon forget where they were when news broke that the U.S. Government had captured and killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Both these stories have been transformed to screen this year — Steven Spielberg's Lincoln and Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty — and each has earned recognition by the NYFCC, which announced its new rung of victors on Monday.
These particular pictures topped NYFCC's winners list for 2012, with ZDT taking Best Picture, Director, and Cinematography, and Lincoln earning Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), Supporting Actress (Sally Field), and Screenplay.
Check below for the complete list of winners!
Zero Dark Thirty
Kathryn Bigelow: Zero Dark Thirty
Daniel Day-Lewis: Lincoln
Rachel Weisz: The Deep Blue Sea
Tony Kushner: Lincoln
Best Supporting Actor
Matthew McConaughey: Bernie and Magic Mike
Best Supporting Actress
Sally Field: Lincoln
Greig Fraser: Zero Dark Thirty
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Animated Film
Beat Nonfiction Film
The Central Park Five
Best First Feature
How to Survive a Plague
[Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures]
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Sometimes a director has a favorite actor that they jibe with whom they cast in a whole whack of movies in a row. Think Scorsese and DiCaprio Wes Anderson and Bill Murray or Sofia Coppola and Kirsten Dunst. It's a sort of professional infatuation that can serve a project well but it can also lull them into self-indulgence. Although this is only the second time that Killing Them Softly's writer/director Andrew Dominik has worked with Brad Pitt it feels like they have a certain camaraderie. The symbiosis previously worked in their favor in 2007's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. This time around they never quite find the same rhythm.
Of course Killing Them Softly has an entirely difference cadence than that golden-hued meditative Western; it's stylishly violent and blackly hilarious. After all the catalyst for this whole affair is a half-cocked scheme cooked up by a wanna-be gangster nicknamed Squirrel (Vincent Curatola) and carried out by a desperate ex-con (Scoot McNairy) and a scummy Australian junkie (Ben Mendelsohn) who steals and sells purebred dogs for cash. Their plan to knock over a mobbed-up card game is air tight (or so it seems): the game runner Markie (Ray Liotta) has confessed to setting up a heist of his own game in the past. The knuckleheads think the card-players will blame him again.
Unfortunately for them Jackie Cogan (Pitt) is called in to investigate the matter. His record is impeccable his glasses mirror-slick and his hands steady. His technique is of course to kill his victims "softly " from a distance. "It's so embarrassing " he comments to a middleman played by Richard Jenkins to watch his targets plead and cry and lose control of their bodily functions. It's just as embarrassing to see his colleagues lose their mettle like Mickey (James Gandolfini) a gangster he called in to help out. Mickey is a dogged drunk and a womanizer who's given to rapturous platitudes about a prostitute he knew in Florida. "There's no ass in the whole world like a young Jewish girl who's hooking " he tells an increasingly frustrated Jackie. Grossly funny scenes like this the scatological problems one encounters while driving dog-napped pups across country and an explosion gone awry are outweighed by a weirdly bloated narrative that makes pits stops so characters can loll in junkie nods to the tunes of the Velvet Underground.
The changing political climate of the era is used as a clumsy foil for this underground economy. At first it's interesting and makes you feel a bit clever to notice the TV in the background playing an old clip of George W. Bush droning on about the economy or a huge political ad on a billboard looming over a desolate area. As time goes on Bush is replaced by Obama (first as senator later as president) on TV but nothing really changes for these people or their situations. Midway through it's obvious and by the end overbearing especially as Jackie lectures Jenkins's lawyer (and us) about why the system is as screwed as the characters. "America's not a country it's a business. Now f**king pay me " he tells Jenkins's Driver in an echo of the classic Goodfellas line uttered by Liotta.
Dominik has only made three films but he's a formidable writer and director with a keen eye for assembling ensemble casts. It's possible that time and multiple viewings will treat Killing Them Softly as well as it has The Assassination of Jesse James or Chopper but for now it works better as a character study or perhaps a showpiece for its talented performers than an overall experience.
You know that sadness you feel every January when you realize you have to say goodbye to your beautifully decorated Christmas tree? Well, every Olympics enthusiast should be currently nursing a broken heart knowing they have to say goodbye to our beautifully decorated (22 medals!) Michael Phelps, who finished his final Olympic race before retirement Saturday night. Of course, it's misleading to say Phelps merely "finished" the 4x100-meter medley — along with Matt Grevers, Brendan Hansen, and Nathan Adrian, Phelps picked up the gold medal, finishing the race in three minutes and 29.35 seconds, two seconds ahead of Japan's silver medalists. The win marked his 18th gold medal — twice as many as any other Olympian in history. (Take that, Mark Spitz!) That's quite the bling to match with his tracksuit in Boca. Happy retirement! So, though it was difficult to upstage Phelps' legendary career, what were Saturday's other notable, golden moments? Read on!
Missy Hits Her Mark: Olympic breakout and adorable human being Missy Franklin helped the Americans secure the gold during the women's medley relay Saturday. The 17-year-old and teammates Rebecca Soni, Dana Vollmer, and Allison Schmitt locked in a world record to boot, finishing in three minutes and 52.05 seconds, two seconds ahead of the Australian silver medalists. Franklin will be returning to her senior year in high school this fall with five medals. Remember when you thought owning five gelly roll pens granted you bragging rights? Yeah.
Play Misty For Me: In the beach volleyball quarterfinals, that is. Power volleyball couple Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings have advanced after beating the Netherlands' Marleen van Iersel and Sanne Keizer 21-13, 21-12 in less than 30 minutes. Continue their domination, and the duo could soon be misty-eyed on the Olympic podium.
Maria Sharapova Not so Sharp: Of course, that was to the benefit of Serena Williams, who bested the No. 3-seeded Sharapova in straight sets to win the gold in women's tennis. The 6-0, 6-1 match was an impressive victory for the No. 4-seeded Williams, who has been enjoying an epic six-match run, losing just 17 games. Williams did, however, receive a surprise during her medal ceremony — wind blew the American flag off its pole while the tennis star stood on the podium. Too bad she didn't have a Canon PowerShot for that photo-friendly moment.
LeBron Gets LeLucky: LeBron James led the U.S. Basketball team to victory against the Lithuanian team... but just barely. The U.S. team, coached by Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, finished with 99 points, besting their Saturday night rivals by just five points. The team fought back from Lithuania's two-point lead in the final six minutes, winning redemption after a disappointing loss to the team eight years ago during the 2004 Olympics in Athens. James scored an impressive 20 points during the course of the game, while Kris Humphries tuned into a rerun of Khloe and Lamar.
Worth its Pryce in Gold: Jamaican runner Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce sprinted to victory during the women's 100-meter final Saturday, finishing in 10.75 seconds. Good news for her, bad news for America: U.S.'s Carmelita Jeter crossed the finish line just 0.03 seconds behind Fraser-Pryce. Of course, Fraser-Pryce's win was hardly unexpected: The sprinter became the first Jamaican female to win the gold in the same event in Beijing's 2008 Olympics. But, hey, let Team U.S.A. take solace in the childhood mantra: Second is the best!
More golden days ahead for Team U.S.A. — and more days spent indoors in front of our TV screens. Fresh air? What's that? Onto Day 9!
[Image Credit: WENN.com]
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