The stars of the Monty Python comedy troupe are facing the threat of another costly legal battle over Spamalot royalties amid a financial dispute with funnyman Neil Innes. The British comedy veterans have become embroiled in a disagreement with their long-time collaborator Innes, who wrote a number of songs for Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the group's 1975 film which inspired the hit stage show.
Innes, who had a brief cameo role in the movie, now claims he is owed royalty payments from Spamalot, and has aimed his frustrations at Monty Python member Eric Idle.
He tells Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, "Eric is going to have to explain what happened to my royalties. He has gone too far. He went public in an interview saying anyone could have written those songs. It so happens I wrote them. Sorry Eric, the gloves are off. I am not being polite any more. I am supposed to be getting royalties, but something has happened to them and I want to find out what."
Idle retorts, "Neil Innes is an old friend and a clever man... I have no idea why he is so upset and I wish him well" while the veteran funnyman's representative adds, "Eric has nothing to do with royalties or their distribution."
The comedians lost a costly legal battle with the film's producer, Mark Forstater, last year (13) after he successfully argued that his involvement in the movie entitled him to a larger share of the proceeds from the stage show.
Idle subsequently claimed the Pythons' substantial payout to Forstater had prompted them to embark on their upcoming reunion shows in London to recoup some cash.
Open Road Films via Everett Collection
David Ayer's Sabotage is just the latest stop in Arnold Schwarzenegger's comeback tour, though it probably won't do the actor too many favors. Schwarzenegger plays John "Breacher" Wharton, the leader of an elite DEA task force that specializes in taking down drug cartels. Each member of the team is a blunt instrument drunk off of their alpha male (and female) machismo, but to be fair, they are damn good at what they do. They're masters at going in hard, killing whoever needs killing, and heading to the strip club and drinking themselves into a stupor before the next round of street sweeping. Unfortunately, it turns out years of busting cartel bosses and being deeply unpleasant to everyone you come into contact with eventually catches up to you, and members of the squad start dying in ghastly and elaborate ways. And just like that, we have what basically amounts to an Agatha Christie novel with a gym membership and a pile of meth.
Unfortunately, and as expected, giving Agatha Christie a couple of reps at the gym and a pile of drugs turns her into a blithering idiot, because Sabotage is incredibly stupid. The central mystery somehow manages to be both preposterous and predictable at the same time. The film's one saving grace is its action. The action scenes are adrenal and exciting and unbelievably gory. Bloated corpses are poked and prodded, viscera hangs like ropes from a rafter. This film takes immense pleasure in being completely disgusting. It’s downright gleeful about it. Here's a full shot of a soiled toilet, just because. Here's a piece of skin hanging on some metal, why not. Isn't that cool?
While Sabotage does manage to thrill in spurts and stutters, there's absolutely nothing beating at the heart of the film. All of the main characters are completely and utterly repugnant, and you'll pity anyone who has to endure their company throughout the film. When characters do start to die, you won't feel all that broken up about it. In fact, you may even feel a twinge of joy, like the earth was suddenly unburdened from a pure source of rampant douchebaggery. Just imagine the most disgusting, and off-putting person you can, and then give them a gun, a badge, and a fierce sense of entitlement, and you have every single member of the film's DEA squad. They're all terrible.
And if that weren't bad enough, the acting ranges from mediocre to terrible. The usually wonderful Olivia Williams and the capable Sam Worthington continually forget which continent they're on, their accents dropping in an out like a bad radio connection; Schwarzenneger has a complete inability to emote anything apropos of the situation at hand. When looking upon a pile of ooze that was formerly in the shape of one of his best friends, his disappointment is more akin to seeing a temporarily occupied gym bench on chest day. All of the charm the actor showcased in something like the recent Escape Plan is washed out by Breacher's moping about his dark past, and when Schwarzenneger isn't allowed to be fun, then he's completely boring.
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Really, I should hate Sabotage. It’s a completely stupid and mean spirited film, but there’s a strange charm to the depravity of it all. There's an audaciousness to it. The film goes as far as it can to push limits, and succeeds at being appaling. It’s a film that knows how stupid and ugly it is and champions that fact. It’s playing in its own filth, and as gross as that is, at least it’s having fun. This is the kind of film that will be in heavy rotation at the local frat house. That’s doesn’t mean the film is good or even okay, but if you like watching horrific violence, awful mysteries, and awful people being awful, then boy do I have a film for you.
One Direction star Harry Styles agreed to arrange an $8,000 (£5,000) loan for British rocker Matt Healy during a prank on U.K. radio. The 1975 frontman joined BBC Radio 1 presenter Nick Grimshaw for his breakfast show on Wednesday (26Mar14) and took part in the Call or Delete game, which involves guests prank-calling someone famous in their phonebook.
After failing to get through to Niall Horan, Healy rang Styles and told him he urgently needed to borrow some money to get him out of a sticky situation.
Healy said to Styles, "Basically I need five grand (£5,000) I'm in Chalk Farm (north London) and I'm having an emergency... it's actually quite a serious situation. I've got two guys in here in a phonebox with me, one of them just keeps pointing at a photo of (Take That singer) Mark Owen, it's really weird I don't know what that means, and it's really threatening. Do you reckon you could get Niall to come down and sort me the cash?"
Styles did not realise the call was a prank and agreed to arrange the loan for Healy, saying, "OK, well we're in Bristol (England). But let me go and I'll get my assistant to call you and she'll sort it out."
A long time ago...in a galaxy far, far away...everyone loved the original Star Wars movies, their mere mention evoking a pleasant rekindling of childhood nostalgia for an entire generation born before 1980 or so. However – quicker than your tauntaun freezing before it hits that first marker on Hoth – that all changed with the next trilogy. In fact, little Anakin wasn’t through one-loop of that pod race on Tatooine before many already bailed on the new installments, subsequently brushing off the series as a whole. Now, while for this writer’s money, the last half of the latter trilogy is as good as anything in the first, now is not the time for stoking the fires of Mustafar. That ship has sailed. Instead, we gaze ahead to the future. To 2015. To the new movies from Disney – and things every Star Wars fan should rightly fear.
Lucasfilm via Everett Collection
"The boy has no patience."
Was Yoda talking about Mickey Mouse? Perhaps so, given the studio’s insistence on a 2015 release. Don’t just make it to make it, guys. Make it good.
The Jar Jar Factor
It’s undeniable. The shadow of the classic misstep from trilogy two looms larger over even these flicks. Will Disney go for cute or cool with new characters?
To sing the impossible song
Surely I can’t be the only one to wonder if Disney will throw in more music into the Star Wars saga. Its animated offerings are chock full of this stuff. Shudder.
And we thought Obi-Wan was old
Can the original stars still kick Imperial butt? Will the Force still be strong with Hamill, Ford and Fisher? Or will that just be the stench of Ben Gay coming from their trailers?
Less is more. More is less
Will more mixed-reviewed Star Wars flicks further sully the series? A cash cow that literally wrote the rules on merchandising, maybe Lucas was right to sell when he did.
The intriguing rumor about casting for Broadway's upcoming revival of Of Mice and Men was quickly confirmed, and now we know that Chris O'Dowd (Bridesmaids) and James Franco (everything else) will be our leads. Neither is without a great deal of talent (though some might argue that Franco's talents don't lie, as he would have us believe, in every art form), but the announcement still raised some eyebrows. "Huh," we all said, collectively. But this show wouldn't be the first time that Broadway has brought such seemingly disparate actors together. Here are some of the more memorably unexpected onstage duos.
Nick Jonas and Beau Bridges — How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
When the youngest Jonas took over the role of J. Pierrepont Finch from Daniel Radcliffe and Darren Criss in the revival, he was paired up with veteran thespian Beau Bridges as his boss, J.B. Biggley. Their big moment as a delightfully mismatched stage team is a musical production number that involves mimed, old-timey football and Jonas ending up on Bridges's shoulders.
Paul Rudd and Michael Shannon — Grace
These actors are heavyweights , and both of them have plenty of stage experience. The fun here is picturing the totally chill Rudd hanging out with Shannon, the human embodiment of intensity, for eight shows a week.
Alicia Silverstone and Henry Winkler — The Performers
The Performers didn't last very long and begs the question, "Who thought a romantic comedy set at the Adult Film Awards would?" But the show left its mark in the annals of Broadway history by pairing up Cher Horowitz and the Fonz within its ensemble, in one big meta-celebration of the coolest kids in school.
Diddy and Audra McDonald — A Raisin in the Sun
When a stage virgin who's willing to leverage his industry power and put up a lot of cash to play a legendary role in a legendary play, you'd do well to ground that production with a stalwart talent. Say, a five-time Tony Award winner?
Hollywood actor Mark Ruffalo has written an open letter explaining his pro-choice stance as his mother underwent an illegal abortion in her youth. The Avengers star is adamant lawmakers in America should not bow to pressure to restrict access to terminations, and he cites the story of his mum, Marie Rose Ruffalo, as an example.
In a letter posted online in support of the pro-choice Stop Patriarchy organisation, Ruffalo reveals his mother suffered a "traumatising" experience in her younger years when abortion was illegal.
The actor writes, "I am a man. I could say this has nothing to do with me. Except I have two daughters and I have a mother who was forced to illegally have an abortion in her state where abortion was illegal when she was a very young woman. It cost $600 cash. It was a traumatising thing for her. It was shameful and sleazy and demeaning. When I heard the story I was aghast by the lowliness of a society that would make a woman do that...
"My mother's illegal abortion marked a time in America that we have worked long and hard to leave behind... My own mother fought to make herself more than a possession; she lived her life as a mother who chose when she would have children, and a wife who could earn a living if she so chose. I want my daughters to enjoy that same choice. I don't want to turn back the hands of time to when women shuttled across state lines in the thick of night to resolve an unwanted pregnancy, in a cheap hotel room just south of the state line. Where a transaction of $600 cash becomes the worth of a young woman's life."
Ruffalo has two daughters and a son with his wife Sunrise Coigney.
Pop superstar Madonna has urged fans to make donations to her charity to mark her 55th birthday on Friday (16Aug13). The singer is celebrating the milestone by boosting funds for her Raising Malawi foundation, asking devotees to hand over their cash to help her surgeon friend Dr. Eric Borgstein continue working with sick children in the country.
She has posted a picture of her pal on her Instagram.com page with a caption which reads, "Thank u (sic) all for your birthday love! Help me celebrate my birthday, by donating to Raising Malawi to support the work of one of my heroes, pediatric surgeon Dr. Eric Borgstein... Revolution of love!"
Jewel, you were meant for The Sing-Off.
The four-time Grammy Award nominee has joined Boyz II Men's Shawn Stockman and singer Ben Folds as a judge for NBC's singing competition series' recently announced fourth season. Nick Lachey will continue to turn the heat up to 98 Degrees as host of the show while singer-songwriter Jewel replaces Sara Bareilles, who took over for Nicole Scherzinger during the third season but is now stepping out to "focus on her music."
"There are very few musical artists as accomplished and talented as Jewel. Her addition to The Sing-Off judges panel, along with our stellar team of Shawn Stockman and Ben Folds, raises the showmanship of the series up another notch," said Paul Telegdy, NBC's President of Alternative and Late Night Programming. "The musical credentials of Nick Lachey are extraordinary and his continued contributions to the show as host remain a huge asset.""I am so thrilled to welcome Jewel to our expert musical panel," added executive producer Mark Burnett about the singer, who most recently starred in Lifetime's June Carter Cash biopic Ring of Fire in addition to releasing a greatest Hits album.
Here's to hoping the judge lineup is here to stay when The Sing-Off returns in December, because let's be real... these foolish changes are tearing us apart.
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Robert Downey, Jr. will slip on his Iron Man suit for another two movies after signing up for The Avengers sequels. The actor reprised his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man to star in last year's (12) superhero blockbuster, which became the highest-grossing film globally in 2012, and now he has agreed to return for the upcoming second and third installments.
The news was announced by Marvel Studios bosses on Thursday (20Jun13), but there was notably no mention of an Iron Man 4.
Downey, Jr. tasted further success with the comic book franchise this year (13) as Iron Man 3 sailed past $1 billion in global ticket sales to become the second most successful superhero movie of all time - after The Avengers - but there is still no confirmation whether there will be a fourth film.
The Hollywood star recently joked about reaching out to fans to fund Iron Man 4, joking, "(My) buddies told me there was a Kickstarter thing and so if you wanna see a sequel please go to Kickstarter.com and put in your vote."
His quip comes on the back of successful crowdsourcing projects by filmmakers like Zach Braff and Rob Thomas, who have managed to raise the cash needed for their film projects this year (13).
The Avengers 2 is expected to hit theatres in 2015 and will see Downey, Jr. reteam with the likes of Mark Ruffalo as Dr. Bruce Banner/The Hulk, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Chris Evans as Captain America.
Moviemaker Michael Bay had to spend $75,000 (£47,000) of his budget for new film Pain & Gain on sex toys - because the naughty items kept disappearing from the set. The director was hoping to return some of the unused dildos and dolls he used in the film, and recoup some of the cash he'd spent on them, but when shooting ended many of the aids were missing. In the movie, which is based on a real-life kidnapping drama, thugs, played by Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Mackie and Dwayne Johnson, abduct a wealthy Miami businessman and force him to sign over financial documents while torturing him at their hide-out, a sex toy warehouse. And Bay admits the cast and crew were fascinated with the weird and wonderful items he furnished the set with. He tells TheDailyBeast, "We bought $75,000 worth of sex toys to stock the sex-toy warehouse. I could have filmed the crew coming in that day because they'd stop and see these things - anatomically correct vajayjays and this butt - and it was hysterical. "We were going to return all the sex toys to get three-quarters of our money back, but they started disappearing. We were like, 'Who is taking the sex toys?'"