Jazz musician Dave Brubeck, perhaps best known for his hit "Take Five", died on Wednesday morning at the age of 91, the Associated Press reports. Brubeck passed away from heart failure, just days before what would have been his 92nd birthday. He leaves behind his wife Lola Brubeck and their children. (He had one daughter and five sons.)
The Grammy-nominated pianist had an illustrious career that spanned decades. He formed The Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1951, which released five top ten albums, including the classic 1959 album done in 5/4 time, Time Out. The record featured the hit "Blue Rondo a la Turk" and was the first jazz LP to sell a million copies.
Among his many accolades, Brubeck (who, before becoming a legendary musician, served under General George S. Patton in Europe) received a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Recording Academy in 1996 and in 2009 he was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors.
Brubeck's influence was not only felt in the jazz world. Brubeck, who appeared in Ken Burns' Jazz miniseries, also wrote music for ballets, operas, and the late 80s television special This is America, Charlie Brown. He once performed for a dinner held by Ronald Reagan in 1988 in Moscow, which was attended by Mikhail Gorbachev. Brubeck said of the experience, "I can't understand Russian, but I can understand body language."
In a statement to Grammy.com regarding Brubeck (who they call "one of the most significant acts of the West Coast jazz movement") Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow said, "David Brubeck was an iconic jazz and classical pianist. His recordings have received both commercial and critical success, and will be remembered and celebrated for generations to come. We have lost a great legend in our community, and our thoughts and condolences go to his family, friends and all those he inspired."
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Nora Ephron, Writer and Director, Dies of Cancer
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The singer/actress reached the milestone on Friday (24Jul09) and to celebrate, Anthony arranged a secret bash in New York on Saturday night (25Jul09), without his wife's knowledge.
The Latino singer whisked the Hollywood star to the event in a grey Bentley sportscar, arriving outside the city's Edison Ballroom to hoards of screaming fans.
And when Lopez spotted a marquee with her nickname 'Lola' spelled out in gold lettering, she discovered her partner's plan and burst into tears. Anthony called the event An Evening for Lola in honour of his wife.
The star was greeted by pals including Liza Minnelli, Ricky Martin and producer LA Reid, as well as friends and family members who had flown in to help her celebrate.
Two orphaned kids Andi (Emma Roberts) and her mechanical whiz of a younger brother Bruce (Jake T. Austin) live in a foster home with a couple of aging wannabe rock stars (Lisa Kudrow Kevin Dillon) who are vehemently anti-pet. Running out of ways to keep their stray pooch Friday hidden in plain sight they stumble on to an abandoned hotel that turns out to be the perfect shelter for Friday – and transform the place into luxury accommodations for all sorts of unwanted pets they spring from the local pound and the streets. But can they stay one step ahead of the law while keeping this United Nations of dogs in line? Human actors don’t have a chance against the gifted assortment of canines. With dogs of every breed from a border collie who loves to herd sheep (don’t ask) to an English bulldog obsessed with chewing stuff the trainers deliver a cast that flawlessly pulls off every dog trick in the book. Fortunately Roberts (Nancy Drew) and Austin are winning and likeable as the two main kids who share a need for family with their four-legged counterparts. Kudrow and Dillon don’t get a whole lot to do in strictly stereotyped roles but Don Cheadle as the kids’ social worker adds a nice touch of dignity and warmth to the story. For his first American feature German director Thor Freudenthal got the supreme challenge: working with kids and animals. Getting this furry menagerie to act on cue could not have been easy but Freundenthal and his talented trainers make it look so. Particularly amusing are the various gadgets and elaborate contraptions Bruce builds to keep the doggies occupied and quiet -- including simulated car windows they can stick their heads out of portable toilets complicated feeding machines and on and on. Just like the current hit Marley & Me it’s a funny and heartwarming family comedy.
Pedro Almodovar's Volver and Agustin Diaz Yanes' Alatriste are the leading contenders for Spain's Goya Awards, taking 14 and 15 nominations respectively.
The two movies will go head-to-head at the end of January in the Best Film and Best Director categories.
Guillermo Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth--which picked up 13 nominations--and Manuel Huerga's Salvador--with 11 nominations--are also up for Best Film and Best Director.
Volver and Pan's Labyrinth--Spain and Mexico's respective entries for next year's foreign-language Oscar--are both up for Best Script, alongside Daniel Sanchez Arevalo for Darkbluealmostblack and Jorge Sanchez-Cabezudo for The Night of the Sunflowers.
Penelope Cruz is nominated for Best Actress (Volver) alongside Maribel Verdu (Pan's Labyrinth), Marta Etura (Darkbluealmostblack) and Silvia Abascal (La Dama Boba).
Volver dominates the Best Supporting Actress nominations with Carmen Maura, Blanca Portillo and Lola Duenas all in the running, as well as Ariadna Gil (Alatriste).
American-born actor Viggo Mortensen and German Daniel Bruhl are named in the Best Actor category for Alatriste and Salvador respectively, alongside Sergi Lopez (Pan's Labyrinth) and Juan Diego (Leave Me).
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The Crusades were a series of religious wars in which the Christians tried to reclaim Jerusalem from the Muslims who had conquered the Middle East in the 7th century. With the battle cry of "God wills it! " thousands of Europeans answered the call and were able to retake the fabled Holy City in the 11th century. Kingdom of Heaven begins in 1186 between the Second and Third Crusades. A fragile peace prevails mostly through the efforts of Jerusalem's enlightened Christian king Baldwin IV (Edward Norton) and the military restraint of the legendary Muslim leader Saladin (Ghassan Massoud). But it's difficult to maintain the peace. There are extremists within the Christian brigades--known as the Knights Templar--who want to wipe every Muslim off the face of the Earth. On top of that King Baldwin's health is failing. Once he's gone war is sure to follow. If ever there was a need for a hero this is the time. Enter the young French blacksmith Balian (Orlando Bloom) who is in deep despair over the loss of his family. He joins the Crusades after the father he never knew Godfrey (Liam Neeson) comes back from Jerusalem and convinces him it's a quest worth fighting for. As Godfrey passes his sword to his son he also passes on that sacred knightly oath: to protect the helpless safeguard the peace and work toward harmony between religions and cultures so that a kingdom of heaven can flourish on earth. No pressure or anything though.
Orlando Bloom carries his first major motion picture very well easily handling the chores of being such a gallant conscientious and morally upstanding knight. As Balian the Troy costar plays the gamut. He broods over his lost wife and child has father-son epiphanies upholds his knightly duties on a regular basis falls in love with a beautiful but troubled princess and finally bravely defends the Holy City from the encroaching Muslim army thus becoming a legend. Not bad for a day's work eh? There are even times especially toward the end when Balian is standing before the denizens of Jerusalem urging them to fight when you swear you can see a little of Bloom's The Lord of the Rings alter-elf Legolas creep in. The supporting cast also does an adequate job painting a picture of some trying times. Chief among them: Jeremy Irons as King Baldwin's right-hand man Tiberias; Marton Csokas (The Bourne Supremacy) as the evil leader of the Knights Templar; Massoud as the great warrior Saladin; and lovely Eva Green (The Dreamers) as Princess Sibylla King Baldwin's sister who captures our hero's heart but makes some bad choices with dire consequences.
Even if these sword-and-armor epics are all blending together you've got to give props to the directors who make them. These films are massive undertakings and Kingdom of
Heaven with the expert Ridley Scott at the helm is no exception. The Oscar-winning director of course has had his fair share of recreating history first with the classic Gladiator and then with the contemporary Black Hawk Down. But in recreating the Crusades Scott faces his toughest challenge to date and takes on the responsibility very seriously. He is painstakingly meticulous with details even as he is building a 12th-century Jerusalem or corralling 2 000 heavily costumed extras for the colossal climactic battle sequences. And it is always a good thing when a historical film can teach you something you may not have known like what the heck the Crusades were really all about. No Kingdom's biggest obstacle is timing. While it certainly has more substance than Alexander it is not nearly as intense and stirring as The Lord of the Rings trilogy or the granddaddy of them all Braveheart. Too many of its ilk has come before and the concept has unfortunately worn thin.
Jolie named sexiest woman
Esquire magazine has awarded Angelina Jolie, 29, with the title of "sexiest woman alive" in its Women We Love November issue, Reuters reports. In the mag, Jolie acknowledged her image as being "kind of wild or bad or weird or crazy." Fellow Oscar winner Halle Berry ran a close second with 6 percent., while newlywed pop princess Britney Spears made No. 3. The onetime wife of actor Billy Bob Thornton, Jolie's latest movies include Shark Tale, in which she plays the sultry fish Lola, and the epic Alexander (11/24), in which she plays the mother of Alexander the great. Jolie admits that she is still being herself, but must now focus on her adopted 3-year-old son and his needs. "I have to concentrate on my son," Jolie said. "That's why I have lovers right now and not a boyfriend. I don't want my son to start calling somebody Daddy unless that person's gonna stay." Other leading contenders for the award were pop stars Jessica Simpson and Beyonce, and actresses Charlize Theron and Jennifer Aniston.
Law wants more respect from press
Actor Jude Law attacked the tabloids on Sunday for printing false information about his current relationship with actress Sienna Miller, Reuters reports. The couple met on the set of his upcoming film, Alfie and say they are having a great time together. Law is concerned that the press can sometimes be cold-hearted about situations that most couples never have to worry about. "I think it's a terrible shame that the editors aren't recognizing their responsibility," he said. "It just seems so careless and nasty."
Club named for hotel heiress
Hotel heiress Paris Hilton is now investing herself in something she is all too familiar with. Sunday the Associated Press claimed that Hilton will lend her name to a chain of nightclubs bearing the name "Club Paris." Local owner and entrepreneur Fereidoun Khalilian offered Hilton a seven-figure signing bonus for her hand in launching the project in Orlando, Florida. The contract holds Hilton responsible for appearing in the club twice a month and for helping with the décor. Khalilian also plans to open clubs in Las Vegas, New York, Miami Beach, London, and Paris…of course. Hilton's entertainment attorney, Peter Lopez, agrees that the project has success written all over it. "Obviously, if there's a club there with her name on it, she's going to have an interest in seeing that it does well," said Lopez."
Cochran leaves Jackson's defense team
Longtime supporter and attorney of Michael Jackson Steven Cochran has left Jackson's defense team for undisclosed reasons, CNN reports. As one of the five lawyers supporting Jackson in his 10-count indictment lawsuits, Cochran issued the statement that included his "temporary leave of absence, for his own confidential reasons, from the defense team." Jackson assured that Thomas Mesereau would remain his lead attorney in the fight against the child molestation allegations. Mesereau also issued a statement that claimed that there was never any animosity between the two attorneys. Cochran has represented many celebrities in the past, including Britney Spears, Charlie Sheen, Forest Whitaker and Paul Rodriguez.
Former Soft Cell singer injured in accident
Former Soft Cell singer Marc Almond was hospitalized yesterday and is now in stable condition after a motorcycle crash in London, the AP reports. 48-year-old Almond and another rider were first considered to be in serious condition before being stabilized at the Royal London Hospital. As former singer of the 1980's band Soft Cell, Almond claimed a number one hit with Tainted Love before the band split in 1984.
Donald Trump gets roasted
During the 100th anniversary of the Friar's Club celebrity roast on Friday, real-estate mogul Donald Trump endured countless jokes about everything to do with his hair, love life and his business ventures, Reuters reports. Trump recently hit big when his NBC reality show The Apprentice captivated audiences and the phrase "You're fired" became one of the most popular phrases of the year. NBC chief Jeff Zucker was there with a few jokes of his own, saying that "The Apprentice' was the only thing standing between NBC and a total collapse," and "The Apprentice' was actually the second show that Donald pitched to us. The first was called "Extreme Hair Combover."
George Lucas wins achievement award
The American Film Institute named George Lucas as their 33rd recipient of the lifetime achievement award, Variety reports. Howard Stringer is part of the board of trustees chair for the AFI and he believes Lucas has far surpassed the expectations of moviegoers. "George Lucas is a master storyteller, but he is first and foremost, a moving image pioneer," said Stringer. "He has advanced the art of the moving image like few others and in the process has inspired a new generation of filmmakers around the world." Lucas has two new films expected to release within the next few years; Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith, and Indiana Jones 4. Lucas will be awarded at the annual AFI dinner in June of 2005.
According to a TV Guide poll, fans want Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears to move on in their love lives--meaning no going back to Sean "P. Diddy" Combs or Justin Timberlake, girls. Now that Lopez has split from her husband, Cris Judd, 73 percent of those polled don't want to see Lopez return to Combs, while 59 percent hopes Spears moves past Timberlake.
The Lord of the Rings star Sir Ian McKellen and actress Sharon Gless of Showtime's Queer As Folk fame will act as the grand marshals of San Francisco's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Parade on Sunday, July 7. They'll ride in a pink Cadillac.
Woody Harrelson is off the hook--for now. The London taxi driver who claimed the actor trashed the inside of his cab last month has dropped the charges, according to Reuters. Harrelson's alleged odd behavior in the cab was followed by a chase through the streets of London, where police finally apprehended the Cheers star. Harrelson was reported to have paid the taxi driver $800.
Comedian Chris Rock and his wife welcomed their first child, daughter Lola Simone, on Friday in New York.
Tom Arnold, the host of Fox Sports Net's Best Damn Sports Show Period and the man formerly married to Roseanne, has gotten hitched again. On Saturday, June 29, he wed girlfriend Shelby Roos at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson was the victim of a home burglary in the posh Notting Hill district of London, Scotland Yard revealed on Monday. Apparently, the robbery happened on May 23, and an investigation is being carried out. A Scotland Yard spokeswoman would not give any details "at the victim's request" on what was stolen, Reuters reports.
Fans of the late martial arts great Bruce Lee may be pleased to learn that American Movie Classics will be airing a documentary about him, Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey, Tuesday night. In it, 33 minutes of finished footage from Lee's last film, Game of Death, will be shown, presented according to an original outline by Lee. The film was released in 1978, five years after Lee's death at age 32, but some considered it a joke because he appeared in only 11 minutes of the film.
More celebs are joining folk singer Bob Dylan on his first foray into acting. Ed Harris and Giovanni Ribisi have joined the cast of Masked & Anonymous, about a wandering troubadour/ex-con who performs one last concert. Other cast members include Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett and Jeff Bridges.
Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon are looking to work together in Clint Eastwood's new film Mystic River. Eastwood will direct the film, about three childhood friends brought together after 25 years when the daughter of one of the friends is murdered.
George Michael is back--large and in charge. His latest song, "Shoot the Dog," released Monday, is a political satire and by far his most controversial yet: He describes British Prime Minister Tony Blair as President George Bush's poodle. Nice image.