The Jonas Brothers are setting sale for a special afterparty on a boat following their concert in New Jersey on Thursday (25Jul13). The singers will join fans on the Hornblower Infinity yacht to celebrate the success of their ongoing tour.
For a generation of music fans, The Beastie Boys didn't just open a door, they blew it wide open to an entirely new world. Like many other people my age, Licensed to Ill was the first hip-hop album I ever purchased on cassette (I bought mine after my cousin Jeff, who was already the coolest person in the world in my eyes, had introduced me to them), and it forever changed the way I heard music.
But perhaps the most amazing thing about the groundbreaking, game-changing 1986 album is that while it was like nothing many of us had heard before, it resonated so differently with everyone. While some enjoyed their first taste of the hip-hop world from License to Ill — which effortlessly merged the genre with rap, rock, and punk — others heard three unique voices that were changing the evolving musical landscape. What I heard was home. As a native New Yorker, there was nothing that made me feel as connected to my hometown, even when I didn't live there, as those fellow native New Yorker's "No Sleep Til Brooklyn" or "Paul Revere" or "Slow and Low."
All of this makes the tragic news of the passing of Beastie Boys' founding member Adam Yauch, who died at the far-too-young age of 47 after a battle with cancer, that much more devastating to his lifelong fans. (That was the thing about being a Beasties fan — it was never a phase. You were in it for life.) It's rare to say an entertainer truly impact you or could change the course of your life, but Adam Yauch, Michael Diamond, and Adam Horovitz — MCA, Mike D, and Ad-rock, if you will —did just that for countless future musicians or anyone who truly let music in to their lives.
Even rarer, the Beastie Boys evolved right along with their listeners and the world around them while staying true to their roots. As newer generations discovered the trio by TRL votes for "Intergalactic" or viral sensations like "Fight For Your Right Revisited," the same generation that bought Licensed to Ill — and Paul's Boutique and Check Your Head and Ill Communication, for that matter — and whose sense of humor was shaped largely by the wildly funny and self-aware artists (look no further than the videos for "Sabotage" and "Hey Ladies" for proof of that) stayed right there with them.
Beastie radio classics like "So Whatcha Want" and "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)" still have the ability to transport you back to your youth, but without any sickly sweet nostalgia that tends to come with art that hasn't aged well over the years. The hits are still as cool and daring and fun as the first time you listened to them. There really isn't much left in this world like that.
The Beastie Boys and Adam Yauch will mean something different for every fan. For some, they are a reminder of carefree days; for others, a battle cry to stand up for what you believe in, be it with music or movies or art or politics or how we treat our fellow man, and challenge the status quo. For me, the Beastie Boys will always be the first band that challenged me to appreciate other genres. They will always make me recall listening to that Licensed to Ill tape with my cousin Jeff. They will be the reassuring, proud voices that helped my aching heart heal for my city. They will remind me of driving around in my car listening to "She's Crafty" and "Paul Revere" at a volume that was ear-splitting at best. They will bridge my childhood to my adult life and bring my hometown to wherever my life and my headphones take me.
It's hard to imagine the Beastie Boys going on without Adam Yauch because, sadly, with no MCA/Nathaniel Hornblower, there's simply no Beasties. But it's even harder to imagine a world in which we grow up without the Beastie Boys. Yauch is leaving the world with a rich musical legacy, but he's leaving us all with something just as impactful: The sobering reminder to make the best of the time you've got.
[Photo credit: Please credit J. Quinton/WireImage] More: Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch Dies at 47 How Adam Yauch Rocked Hollywood with Oscilloscope
As the fifth year at Hogwarts begins most of the wizardry world is having a hard time believing Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) has returned further propagated by the Ministry of Magic who refuses to recognize anything evil is brewing and blames all the hullabaloo on Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Dumbledore (Michael Gambon). The Ministry even interferes with Hogwarts business by making Ministry employee Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor whose outwardly sweet demeanor hides a sadistic streak a mile wide. She thinks the children should only learn about the Dark Arts “theoretically” and tortures all those who disagree. But the Voldemort threat is a reality and Dumbledore has re-formed the Order of the Phoenix a group of witches and wizards that prepares to battle the Dark Lord. Harry is unfortunately being kept in the dark for his protection of course even as his connection to Voldemort grows stronger and he’s royally peeved at being ignored. Urged on by Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) he forms his own order of Hogwarts students called Dumbledore’s Army to teach them what defenses against the Dark Arts he has already learned. Oh yeah Harry also shares his first kiss but make no bones about it—love is the furthest thing on Harry’s mind when the crap hits the fan. War is imminent. Everyone steps up their game in Order of the Phoenix. Radcliffe Watson and Grint have shed their adolescent whininess and aw-shucks goofiness to give their characters the greatest depth so far. They are forced to grow up pretty quickly in Order with little time for any playfulness and the three actors handle the seriousness with aplomb. Of course both Radcliffe and Grint have already ventured out of the Potter world—Radcliffe shed more than just adolescence on stage in a production of Equus while Grint lost his virginity in the indie Driving Lessons--and their extra experience shows in Order. Also good are Matthew Lewis as the usually clumsy Neville Longbottom who shows his mettle in more ways than one and newcomer Evanna Lynch as the slightly off-kilter Luna Lovegood who proves to be a loyal member of Dumbledore’s Army. But the kids have to keep up with the talented adult cast especially Oscar-nominated Staunton (Vera Drake) as Umbridge. The veteran actress’ interpretation of one of J.K. Rowling’s nastiest characters so far in the Potter lore is spot-on down to the pink wool suits and irritating twitter “ahem” she uses when she wants your undivided attention. Helena Bonham Carter also makes an impression however over the top it is as the evil Voldemort follower Bellatrix Lestrange. Does she ever want to look pretty onscreen? Then there’s the laundry list of Brits whose time onscreen may be short but is nonetheless memorable including Alan Rickman as the sneering Prof. Snape; Gambon as the wise but flawed Dumbledore; Gary Oldman as the kindly Sirius Black Harry’s only real family; and of course Fiennes as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. His late-in-the-game appearance once again throws you for a loop. It stands to reason that at five movies in moviegoers would have a favorite Harry Potter flick by now. Those who love those Triwizard Tournament special effects might feel The Goblet of Fire was the best; or Prisoner of Azkaban for its time-bending action. Yet The Order of the Phoenix may be the one movie that speaks directly to the fans of the books. Without as much wide-eyed wonderment or wizardry flash the story is still chockfull of compelling details that are absolutely pivotal to the continuing Harry Potter saga. Screenwriter Michael Goldenberg (Peter Pan) and director David Yates (HBO’s The Girl in the Café) manage to wade through this volume of information and cut successfully to the chase with great effect. Yates who has signed on to do the sixth movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince even shows an affinity for action in the final dramatic confrontation between good witches and wizards and bad ones. But overall Order of the Phoenix may leave audiences not as well-versed in the novels a little itchy for some good old-fashioned wand-waving and Disney special effects. Thing is it’s just going to keep getting darker and darker for Harry and his crew. The days of happy fun playtime are over.
It's the late 18th century and the African slave trade is thriving in the British Empire bringing profits to both homegrown shipping centers like Liverpool and far-flung sugar and tobacco plantations in the Americas. All those pounds and pence encourage many bewigged House of Lords members to turn a blind eye to slavery's terrible human cost--until William Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffudd) forces them to pay attention. A rich young idealist inspired by John Newton (Albert Finney)--the former slave ship captain who wrote the hymn "Amazing Grace"--Wilberforce struggles for more than 15 years to pass a law to end slavery risking his health and career in the process. He almost gives up until a fortuitous meeting with beautiful Barbara Spooner (Romola Garai) re-ignites his passion for the cause. One of the best things Amazing Grace has going for it is Gruffudd's enthusiastic heartfelt performance. Probably best known to American audiences as Horatio Hornblower the Welsh actor is no stranger to period drama and his ease in knickers and puffy shirts helps ground the film and make Wilberforce an accessible down-to-earth hero rather than a crusading zealot. Meanwhile with her arch looks and knowing smiles Garai gives her relatively thankless role--basically Barbara is an excuse for exposition-driven flashbacks--a spark of fun. Finney does a little (mostly justified) scenery chewing as Newton while fellow veteran Michael Gambon has some delightfully devilish moments as Wilberforce's unexpected political ally Lord Charles Fox. And Rufus Sewell who often ends up playing smooth baddies is both witty and wily as fervent abolitionist Thomas Clarkson. Considering that director Michael Apted is the man behind the series of groundbreaking British documentaries that began with Seven Up! Amazing Grace is almost quaintly straightforward and sincere. There's no question that William Wilberforce fought for a good cause or that he was a decent man who used his influence to make the world a better place. But at least in the movie that world doesn't have too many shades of gray in it which--while it helps keep the story on track--isn't exactly realistic. Some of the movie's most intriguing scenes follow Wilberforce and his gang of fellow activists as they desperately lobby for votes--proof that the political process hasn't really changed that much in the last 200 years. Had the movie delved more deeply into the complicated back story of Wilberforce's long struggle it might have delivered a message that modern audiences aren't already sold on.
Dave Chappelle isn’t the only one getting in on the concerts-on-the-big-screen game these days. The Beastie Boys’ own stage shenanigans will soon reach a theater near you.
THINKFilm will screen a sneak preview of its Sundance hit Awesome; I F%!#in' Shot That! Thursday, March 23--a week before its wider release on March 31--on nearly 200 screens at movie theaters across the country. The sneak peak will accompany a special short film, A Day in the Life of Nathaniel Hornblower, a behind-the-scenes look at Awesome's director, created specifically for the one-night event.
In the 30-minute short, actor David Cross stars as the elusive Hornblower, which, as s Beastie fanatics know, is the pseudonym used by Beastie Boy Adam Yauch. After March 23, the short will go into hiding--another reason to not miss the early opportunity.
Tickets for the sneak preview can be purchased at BigScreenConcerts.com (check out awesomeishotthat.com for a list of participating theaters).
Much like the Boys, Awesome defies convention. The documentary begins at New York City’s Madison Square Garden where the band--MCA (Yauch), Mike D, Adrock and Mix Master Mike--handed out 50 cameras to concertgoers at the sold-out performance. These 50 fans capture the vibe and atmoshpere that is a Beastie Boys concert in a way no live musical performance has arguably ever before been shown.
One thing’s for sure: Awesome; I F%!#in' Shot That! is reppin' Manhattan the best the Beastie Boys can.
Oscar winner Gregory Peck, one of the most popular actors in American cinema, died at age 87 at his home in Los Angeles, his spokesman said Thursday. According Reuters, he died peacefully with his wife of 48 years, Veronique, at his side.
"She told me he just died peacefully. She said she was holding his hand and he just closed his eyes and went to sleep and he was gone," spokesman Monroe Friedman told Reuters.
Peck won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as small town Southern lawyer Atticus Finch in the 1962 drama To Kill a Mockingbird. The American Film Institute recently named the character the No. 1 hero in movie history.
Peck, who was born in La Jolla, Calif., on April 5, 1916, first attracted Hollywood's attention when he received glowing reviews for his 1942 Broadway performances in The Morning Star. The young actor was spotted by talent scouts and soon found himself starting his Hollywood career under contract to four studios: RKO, 20th Century Fox, Selznick Productions and MGM.
Known for taking on dignified roles and portraying characters with strong codes of ethics, Peck starred as a reporter confronting anti-Semitism in the 1947 Oscar-winning picture Gentleman's Agreement; as a military officer in the 1961 drama The Guns of Navarone; and as the president of the United States in the 1987 sports drama Amazing Grace and Chuck.
Peck's earlier films include Spellbound (1945), The Yearling (1946), The Macomber Affair (1947), Duel in the Sun (1947), Yellow Sky (1948), Twelve O'Clock High (1950), The Gunfighter (1950), Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951), The World in His Arms (1952), and David and Bathsheba (1951).
He also starred the 1976 hit horror film The Omen, as well as in MacArthur (1977), The Boys From Brazil and Old Gringo (1989).
As his film career wound down, Peck did less acting and more politicking, working tirelessly as a founder of the American Film Institute, three-term president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and member of the National Council of Arts.
While still in good health into his 80s, Peck scorned typical grandfatherly roles but did star in the USA Network's 1998 miniseries version of Moby Dick, earning an Emmy nomination for his turn as the fire-and-brimstone preacher, Father Mapple.
Peck divorced his first wife, Greta Rice, with whom he had three children, in 1954. He married French journalist Veronique Passani, with whom he had two more children, a year later.
Peck he is survived by his wife, two sons from his first marriage and a son and daughter by Veronique, as well as several grandchildren.
It's love at first sight when Solomon (Ioan Gruffudd) the son of an Orthodox Jewish tailor meets Gaenor (Nia Roberts) a strong-willed young woman from a humble family of Welsh miners. Posing as a Christian and adopting a false name Solomon successfully woos his lady. But his deception can't last forever and when the truth comes out the hate-filled atmosphere in their hardscrabble town assures that there will be big trouble.
Gruffudd (TV's "Horatio Hornblower") immediately puts the drama on a sure footing with his natural leading-man presence and easy emotional accessibility. Roberts ("The Theory of Flight") is equally compelling as Gaenor whose conservative exterior hides the fiercely independent mind of a Jane Austen heroine. Most importantly the two leads throw sparks every time they're onscreen together. The strong supporting cast includes the compelling Maureen Lipman ("Educating Rita") as Solomon's mother who isn't above a bit of cruelty to protect her own.
Writer-director Paul Morrison a documentarian and practicing psychotherapist (!) invests his debut feature with passionate feeling and wonderful period detail. Clear motivations torturous conflicts and no small amount of suspense (thanks to the foreboding presence of Gaenor's hulking anti-Semite brother) give the piece engaging narrative urgency. Things lose steam a bit during the last act's over-the-top melodrama but it's a hard heart indeed that won't be rooting desperately for the star-crossed lovers to prevail.