Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection/Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
This weekend, you have two choices in the way of fantastical, action-packed blockbusters. On the one hand, you have something from the old stockyards: Brett Ratner's Hercules, a light-hearted take on the Ancient Greek myth about the epitome of alpha-male machismo (with, appropriately, Dwayne Johnson playing the lead). On the other, we have something rather new: the limit-pushing Lucy, which draws ideas from the most progressive of quantum theories and packs them into a Scarlett Johansson shoot-'em-up. Surely there is room enough in our summer movie schedule for these heroes of past and future glory, respectively. But when faced off against one another, which comes out the champion?
POWERS AND ABILITIES
Hercules' super strength, while mighty impressive in its own right, pales in comparison to everything Lucy's got going on in her rapidly evolving brain. Things kick off with simple tricks like mind-reading and telekinesis... but pretty soon (without spoiling anything), Lucy's abilities get far more expansive.
We never really get to know much about Lucy. She likes her club music and loves her mom, but what else do we have to sink our teeth into? But there's no anonymity with Hercules, with whom we're all familiar enough thanks to our sixth grade English teachers.
The Rock has charisma, sure, and sold a few laughs in Michael Bay's supreme Pain & Gain. But Johansson is a bona fide actor, capable of charm and chills alike. Although she's not giving a performance at the caliber of Lost in Translation or Her in Lucy, she's still adept in every sequence.
Hercules is all about believing in yourself, standing up for what's right, sticking by your friends, making your own destiny... all that . Lucy is essentially about the meaninglessness of human existence. Less fun.
BOX OFFICE PREDICTIONS
Even with the benefit of its familiar source material and likable central star, Hercules is predicted to suffer at the hands of ScarJo's Lucy.
MOST IMPORTANLY, HOW ARE THE MOVIES?
Both good, neither great. We'd give Lucy the edge for originality and Luc Besson's superior visual flair, although Hercules' spirit is indelibly more inviting. Check out our reviews for Hercules and Lucy, and sound off below with your own votes.
Drafthouse Films via Everett Collection
Wealthy bachelor Colin lives in Paris, where his hobbies include developing his pianocktail (a cocktail-making piano) and devouring otherworldly dishes prepared by his trusty chef Nicolas. When Colin learns that his best friend Chick, a fellow acolyte of the philosopher Jean-Sol Partre, has a new American girlfriend, our lonely hero attends a friend's party in hopes of falling in love himself. He soon meets Chloé, and before they know it they're dancing to Duke Ellington and plunging headfirst into a rapturous romance. But their whirlwind courtship is tested when an unusual illness plagues Chloe a flower begins to grow in her lungs. To save her, Colin discovers the only cure is to surround Chloe with a never-ending supply of fresh flowers.
Mood Indigo is now playing in select theaters, but you can win a signed poster of the movie by simply entering our giveaway! Winning is as easy as:
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Dolly Parton is to record the ode to mud she wrote for her performance at Britain's Glastonbury Festival last month (Jun14). The country music legend penned the track specifically for the event, and she won over the huge crowd as she rapped and chanted the chorus of 'mud, mud, mud'.
The song proved so popular that Parton is now hoping to record the tune and turn it into a traditional Glastonbury anthem.
She tells British newspaper The Sun, "I'm getting such demand for the mud song that we're talking about recording it. There have been so many requests. There is talk about getting a different artist to perform it every year. Glastonbury has been one of the highlights of my career... Whoever thought I'd end up all trendy and cool. It is great at my age as you never know if people are still going to like you."
Actor Bradley Cooper is taking tips from foul-mouthed TV cook Gordon Ramsay as he prepares to play a chef in his new movie. Cooper has met with Ramsay in a bid to improve his culinary skills for his role in Adam Jones, but the small screen star also advised the actor on other aspects of kitchen life, including the use of colourful language.
Ramsay tells British newspaper Metro, "As well as giving Bradley a few top tips on cooking, I've taught him the most important thing he needs to know in order to get by in a kitchen - how to swear."
In Adam Jones, Cooper plays a chef hoping to land a third Michelin star and the film also features Sienna Miller and Jamie Dornan.
Cameron Diaz has hit back at reports suggesting she has ruled out becoming a mum, insisting her comments have been taken out of context.
The Other Woman star admits she is often asked about motherhood, but recent remarks she made in one interview were misrepresented.
Diaz tells WENN, "I've never said I didn't want kids... I said, 'I haven't had children thus far'. That sort of thing just kind of gets snipped up. The reason that I haven't had kids so far is because I realise when you have children it takes up a large part of your life and, for whatever reason, I haven't had children."
Diaz, who is currently dating rocker Benji Madden, adds, "I've always said if I wanted to have children in my life prior to this, I would've had children in my life. But I'm not opposed to children. I've always said I'm totally open to having children in my life. I'm not the person who's out there saying, 'I have to have children. I'm going to make this happen'. It's just not been what's driven me. I believe that children come into your life if they're meant to and I have so many children in my life."
But she insists she's not short of experience around young kids - she has become a favourite auntie. Diaz adds, "I have three nieces and a nephew. I have all of my friends' kids who I'm really close to and I'm a part of their upbringing and their nurturing. I'm part of the tribe in the village that brings up children. We all know that's what it takes. I'm so blessed to be a part of those villages."
"I feel honoured to impart anything I can and have any experience with the children in my life. If I'm meant to have a child that is my full responsibility, I am totally open to how that's supposed to happen. If I adopt. If I'm in a relationship with somebody who has children. If I win them in a lottery! Whatever it is, that's OK."
"We don't need one show about cupcakes... but, you know what, if you've got one, OK, that's fine, let's have a show about cupcakes, but does it have to be a f**king competition? Do you have to have Cupcake Wars...? I'm sure people who have been in war kind of take offence to that, because, seriously, it's not that goddamn dangerous to make a cupcake." Billy Bob Thornton is not a fan of reality TV shows.
"There's been just incredibly gifted heroes of ours, musically, over the years. But, unfortunately, Jimi Hendrix didn't have discipline. Unfortunately, Keith Moon and Bon Scott didn't have any discipline. And I don't know how that party's going, but it doesn't look very good from here." Rocker Ted Nugent insists the world's tragic rock icons would be alive today if they were more disciplined.
Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel
To a large extent, blockbuster movie soundtracks are all the same. There's probably some Kanye, a few dubstep tracks to keep things upbeat, maybe a classic rock song or two, and then some kind of instrumental score meant to add some tension or sentiment at the appropriate moments. And it makes sense — you're not paying for perfectly-scored moments of emotion, you're paying to watch people punch each other and blow things up. So when a blockbuster film manages to match the perfect song to the perfect scene, something special happens. Suddenly, it's not just about the effects. It's about the experience. And even though we've yet to see Guardians of the Galaxy, we can tell that it's going to be that kind of film, thanks to the cheesy classic rock featured in the trailer and the presence of the founding member of Mouserat. In honor of its August 1 release, we've rounded up some of the most iconic blockbuster movie moments in cinema history. After all, what's the point in saving the world if Kenny Loggins isn't singing about it?
“Trouble Man” by Marvin Gaye, Captain America: The Winter Soldier At the start of the film, Sam Wilson makes a tentative attempt at friendship with ol' Steve Rogers by recommending he check out Marvin Gaye’s classic 1972 album; at the end of the film, Steve wakes up in a hospital bed with Sam by his side and the title track playing over the speakers. Because even if you’re unconscious, Sam Wilson is going to ensure that your musical education is complete.
"Non Je ne Rigrette Rien” by Edith Piaf, Inception Primarily used as a way to signal to the people in-dream that the kick is coming, “Non Je ne Rigreete Rien” also warned of a much more dangerous shock headed towards the team: Mal. Sure, it’s a bit on the nose for the recurring dream-ghost of Leonardo DiCaprio’s dead French ex-wife, but finding the perfect movie music moment isn’t necessarily about being clever – it’s about creating a mood. And besides, Christopher Nolan’s not the subtle type.
“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, Rocky III It doesn’t matter that Rocky didn’t start training to the sweet, sweet sounds of ‘80s rock until the third installment of the franchise. When you think Rocky, “Eye of the Tiger” automatically starts playing in your head. It might not have been the original music moment of the series, but it’s the most enduring; even the Broadway production couldn’t resist working it into the score. You should hear it in five-part harmony.
“Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins, Top Gun The love scene scored to Berlin might be a bit more iconic, thanks to its awesomely cheesy use of backlighting, but the best musical moment in Top Gun is, without a doubt, the montage of fighter pilots taking off, scored to what is perhaps Kenny Loggins’ most ridiculous hit of all. Did Berlin give us one of the best running jokes of all time? No. No they did not.
Rogue Pictures via Everett Collection
“Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen, Shaun of the Dead Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy is filled with hilarious gags and perfectly-timed music cues but none are more elaborate, ridiculous or more pitch-perfect than the gang’s choreographed attacks on the zombies in the bar, using an assortment of pool cues, a fire extinguisher and a last-minute rifle. The fact that everyone in the film acknowledges the insanity of the situation – and even dance along! – makes it unforgettable.
“Where Is My Mind” by Pixies, Fight Club Fight Club is a weird, twisted psychological thriller that leaves you questioning what was real and what was hallucinated. Therefore, the only appropriate song to end it with is one that asks the core question of the film: “Where Is My Mind?” Just melancholy enough to fit the tone, and just obvious enough to help even the slowest members of the audience make the connection.
“Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry, Back to the Future When you’re tasked with reviving the party at your parents prom, you could go the safe route and play something everyone would be familiar with, or you could invent rock and roll by busting out some Chuck Berry… before he’s even heard it. And then you can make everything awkward by extending a guitar solo for far too long and freaking everyone out, but hey, Marty McFly was ahead of his time. It’s not his fault they didn’t get it.
“You’re the Best” by Joe Esposito, The Karate Kid In the ‘80s, wimpy kids everywhere were inspired to stand up for themselves and find their inner Karate Kid thanks to Mr. Miyagi. But his “wax on, wax off” philosophy would be nothing without the encouraging synth-pop of Joe Esposito telling them that nothing could ever bring them down. How else were they supposed to get pumped up for the biggest karate competition of their life? Or you know, the playground. Both are intimidating.
“Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf, Easy Rider Since its release in 1968, “Born to Be Wild” has been the second favorite song of music supervisors looking to indicate someone as a “bad boy” without actually forcing the other characters to say it. (The first, of course, is “Bad to the Bone.”) It might be cliché now, but it all dates back to 1969, when Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda set off on a road trip and ensuring that any time someone bought a motorcycle, a Steppenwolf reference would be made.