Superstar Diana Ross blessed her son Evan's marriage to Ashlee Simpson on Sunday (31Aug14) by personally officiating the ceremony at her Greenwich, Connecticut home. The couple tied the knot in front of friends and family over the weekend, with Ashlee's newlywed sister Jessica Simpson serving as matron of honour as the bride's niece Maxwell, two, and nephew Ace, 14 months, took on the roles of flower girl and ring bearer, respectively.
Ashlee's own son, five-year-old Bronx Mowgli, with her rocker ex Pete Wentz, walked his mum down the aisle.
Further details about the ceremony have since emerged, with Ross presiding over the nuptials herself and later treating the wedding party to a rare performance of her 1981 hit Endless Love.
A source tells People.com, "When Diana got up to sing at the reception, she surprised everyone, even her kids! She was the only one on the dance floor and everyone rushed to see her."
Ross wasn't the only celebrity wedding officiant this weekend (30-31Aug14) - actress Essence Atkins also helped to marry her best pal Gabrielle Union and her new husband, basketball star Dwyane Wade, at a lavish ceremony in Miami, Florida.
Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross have tied the knot.
The couple exchanged vows on Sunday (31Aug14) during a private ceremony at the Greenwich, Connecticut mansion of the groom's mum, Diana Ross, according to multiple reports.
The bride's newlywed sister Jessica Simpson served as Ashlee's matron of honour, almost two months after her own wedding to husband Eric Johnson, while her kids Maxwell, two, and son Ace, 14 months, took on the roles of flower girl and ring bearer, respectively. Bronx Mowgli, Ashlee's five-year-old son with ex-husband Pete Wentz, walked his mum down the aisle.
This is actor Ross' first marriage and the second for Simpson, who was married to the Fall Out Boy rocker from 2008 to 2011. Ross proposed to Simpson in January (14) after just six months of dating.
The bride's father, Joe Simpson, was clearly thrilled about the big day, posting a tweet hours before the nuptials, which read, "Today my little girl gets married. Congrats Ashlee and Evan."
Reports suggest Simpson wore a pearl-embellished white wedding dress and $750,000 (GBP441,000)-worth of Neil Lane rubies.
Singer Jessica Simpson has become Mrs. Eric Johnson after tying the knot in Santa Barbara, California. The bride wore a custom Carolina Herrera gown as she wed former American football player Johnson at the San Ysidro Ranch on Saturday (05Jul14) in front of more than 250 guests, including her sister Ashlee Simpson and her fiance Evan Ross, best friend CaCee Cobb and her actor husband Donald Faison, and pal Jessica Alba and her partner Cash Warren.
The happy couple's two-year-old daughter Maxwell served as a flower girl and its one-year-old son Ace was given the role of ring bearer. Ashlee's five-year-old boy with ex-husband Pete Wentz, Bronx, also took part in the ceremony.
A statement issued by the newlyweds to People.com reads: "We are overwhelmed with complete happiness and love having made our eternal commitment.
"To say 'I do' in front of family, friends and, most importantly, our children has been the happiest moment of our lives."
The nuptials took place a day after Simpson and Johnson hosted a pre-wedding barbecue at the same venue to celebrate America's Independence Day (04Jul14) with all of their guests.
The couple began dating in early 2010 and became engaged on the blonde beauty's 30th birthday in November of that year (10), but the pair had to postpone plans to wed twice after the 33 year old fell pregnant with their kids.
Simpson was previously married to singer Nick Lachey from 2002 to 2006.
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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A kids’ movie without the cheeky jokes for adults is like a big juicy BLT without the B… or the T. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted may have a title that sounds like it was made up in a cartoon sequel laboratory but when it comes to serving up laughs just think of the film as a BLT with enough extra bacon to satisfy even the wildest of animals — or even a parent with a gaggle of tots in tow. Yes even with that whole "Afro Circus" nonsense.
It’s not often that we find exhaustively franchised films like the Madagascar set that still work after almost seven years. Despite being spun off into TV shows and Christmas specials in addition to its big screen adventures the series has not only maintained its momentum it has maintained the part we were pleasantly surprised by the first time around: great jokes.
In this third installment of the series – the trilogy-maker if you will – directing duo Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath add Conrad Vernon (director Monsters Vs. Aliens) to the helm as our trusty gang swings back into action. Alex the lion (Ben Stiller) Marty the zebra (Chris Rock) Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) are stuck in Africa after the hullaballoo of Madagascar 2 and they’ll do anything to get back to their beloved New York. Just a hop skip and a jump away in Monte Carlo the penguins are doing their usual greedy schtick but the zoo animals catch up with them just in time to catch the eye of the sinister animal control stickler Captain Dubois (Frances McDormand). And just like that the practically super human captain is chasing them through Monte Carlo and the rest of Europe in hopes of planting Alex’s perfectly coifed lion head on her wall of prized animals.
Luckily for pint-sized viewers Dubois’ terrifying presence is balanced out by her sheer inhuman strength uncanny guiles and Stretch Armstrong flexibility (ah the wonder of cartoons) as well as Alex’s escape plan: the New Yorkers run away with the European circus. While Dubois’ terrifying Doberman-like presence looms over the entire film a sense of levity (which is a word the kiddies might learn from Stiller’s eloquent lion) comes from the plan for salvation in which the circus animals and the zoo animals band together to revamp the circus and catch the eye of a big-time American agent. Sure the pacing throughout the first act is practically nonexistent running like a stampede through the jungle but by the time we're palling around under the big top the film finds its footing.
The visual splendor of the film (and man is there a champion size serving of it) the magnificent danger and suspense is enhanced to great effect by the addition of 3D technology – and not once is there a gratuitous beverage or desperate Crocodile Dundee knife waved in our faces to prove its worth. The caveat is that the soundtrack employs a certain infectious Katy Perry ditty at the height of the 3D spectacular so parents get ready to hear that on repeat until the leaves turn yellow.
But visual delights and adventurous zoo animals aside Madagascar 3’s real strength is in its script. With the addition of Noah Baumbach (Greenberg The Squid and the Whale) to the screenwriting team the script is infused with a heightened level of almost sarcastic gravitas – a welcome addition to the characteristically adult-friendly reference-heavy humor of the other Madagascar films. To bring the script to life Paramount enlisted three more than able actors: Vitaly the Siberian tiger (Bryan Cranston) Gia the Leopard (Jessica Chastain) and Stefano the Italian Sealion (Martin Short). With all three actors draped in European accents it might take viewers a minute to realize that the cantankerous tiger is one and the same as the man who plays an Albuquerque drug lord on Breaking Bad but that makes it that much sweeter to hear him utter slant-curse words like “Bolshevik” with his usual gusto.
Between the laughs the terror of McDormand’s Captain Dubois and the breathtaking virtual European tour the Zoosters’ accidental vacation is one worth taking. Madagascar 3 is by no means an insta-classic but it’s a perfectly suited for your Summer-at-the-movies oasis.
MONDAY 9 p.m. (Pacific): Will a send-up of Deepak Chopra from the man who created Austin Powers generate big box office? Or will Steve Carell successfully deadpan his way to the top of the box office heap with a revival of the late ‘60s TV classic Get Smart (Warner Bros)? The latest industry tracking seems to point toward a win for Warner Bros.
Mike Myers has been not made a big screen appearance with the exception of the last two Shrek movies since his role in The Cat in the Hat five years ago. The reality is that he has a very thin resume when it comes to live action movies.
ALL TIME BEST MIKE MYERS OPENINGS
1. 2002 Austin Powers in Goldmember: 73.07M opening; $213.3M cume
2. 1999 Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me: $54.91M opening; $206M cume
3. 2003 The Cat in the Hat: $38.32M opening; $101.14M cume
4. 1992 Wayne's World: $18.12 opening; $121.69M cume
5. 1993 Wayne's World 2: $13.51M opening; $48.19M cume
6. 1997 Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery: $9.54M opening; $53.88M cume
7. 2003 View from the Top: $7M opening; $15.61M cume
8. 1998 54: $6.61M opening; $16.75M cume
9. 1993 So I Married An Axe Murderer: $3.46M opening; $11.58M cume
My sources are telling me that the tracking for Love Guru (Paramount) is very soft. One of the world’s hottest women, Jessica Alba, is a drawing card with the two Fantastic Four movies on her resume, which both opened to $50M+. Recording superstar and quickly rising actor Justin Timberlake will also bring Under 25’s to the multiplex.
There was some initial criticism of Love Guru from Hindu leaders, but Deepak Chopra has rushed to support Mike Myers in Time magazine."The premature outcry against the movie is itself religious propaganda. As viewers will find out when the movie is released this summer, no one is more thoroughly skewered in it than I am ‘ you could even say that I am made to seem preposterous."
In the final analysis, will the Under 25 crowd be interested in the silly skewering of modern spirituality? In my estimation, it will be a tough sell. At the moment, I am forecasting $20M-$25M for the opening weekend of Love Guru.
The situation looks much better for Get Smart from Warner Bros. The release of two major studios comedies this Friday, June 20 is problematic for both movies, but Carell as Maxwell Smart and Anne Hathaway as Agent 99 seem to be getting more traction in industry tracking.
Get Smart also has in its favor the excellent resume of director Peter Segal.
ALL-TIME BEST OPENINGS FOR PETER SEGAL-DIRECTED FILMS
1. The Longest Yard: $47.6M
2. Anger Management: $42.22M
3. The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps: $42.51M
4. 50 First Dates: $39.85M
5. The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult: $13.21M
Additionally, Steve Carell has had far more recent success than Mike Myers, including NBC’s The Office, last summer’s Evan Almighty ($31.19M opening - $100.46M domestic), the well-reviewed, solid hit Dan in Real Life, which got to $47.63M domestic last year, the indie smash Little Miss Sunshine ($21.42M opening - $109.44M cume) and, of course, the huge success of 40 Year-Old Virgin during the summer of 2005, which fell just shy of $110M. domestic.
One of best sources is calling for low $30’s ($30M-$35M range) as of Monday night, but I suspect that this one has an chance to get $40M this Friday-Sunday. I will update the latest tracking and publish my final predictions on Thursday.