The 2014 CMT Music Awards kicked off with a star-studded video intro on Wednesday night (04Jun14), with host Kristen Bell in search of a co-host for the ceremony. She "interviewed" comedian Tom Arnold, Sean Hayes, and her real-life husband Dax Shepard for the job, but with the help of pals Malin Akerman and Cheryl Hines, decided to go solo. The clip also featured a parody of Jay Z's recent elevator brawl with sister-in-law Solange Knowles, as Luke Bryan was forced to break up the duelling members of Florida Georgia Line, Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard in a lift.
Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan were crowned the kings of the 2014 CMT Music Awards after they each took home two trophies at the TV network's annual prizegiving on Wednesday (05Jun14). Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard earned prizes for Duo Video of the Year as well as Collaborative Video of the Year for This is How We Roll featuring Bryan.
The Drunk On You hitmaker landed a second award, CMT Performance of the Year, for a separate duet with Lionel Richie thanks to their Oh No/All Night Long set from the 2012 CMT Artists of the Year TV special.
The trio dominated the show at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee from the start of the ceremony, when they were joined by ZZ Top and R&B star Jason Derulo to sing and dance to a mash-up of his song Talk Dirty and Florida Georgia Line's This is How We Roll to kick off the programme.
It was also a big night for Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, and Miranda Lambert, who won the Video of the Year, Male Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year, respectively. This is the second year in a row in which the trio has taken the top honours.
The ceremony, which was hosted by three-time emcee Kristen Bell, also included sets from Keith Urban, Hunter Hayes, Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen, Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town.
John Legend sang a special version of his hit All of Me arranged by Hunter Hayes, while Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles joined in with vocals, and Lee Ann Womack and Kacey Musgraves took on Alan Jackson's Livin on Love just before Underwood presented him with the first-ever CMT Impact Award.
The top winners are:
Video of the Year - See You Again by Carrie Underwood
Female Video of the Year - Automatic by Miranda Lambert
Male Video of the Year - Doin' What She Likes by Blake Shelton
Group Video of the Year - Done by The Band Perry
Duo Video of the Year - Round Here by Florida Georgia Line
Breakthrough Video of the Year - Wasting All These Tears by Cassadee Pope
Collaborative Video of the Year - This is How We Roll by Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan
CMT Performance of the Year - Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie for Oh No/All Night Long from 2012 CMT Artists of the Year
CMT Impact Award - Alan Jackson
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
As grand as the themes of good and evil, needs and deservings, power and responsibility and such forth are, superhero movies are generally pretty straightforward in premise: hero stops villain from wreaking havoc. As off-putting as this kind of simplicity might sound, it's usually the right way to go. If you pack enough substance into your characters and adhere your plot to these linear margins, you can actually wind up saying a healthy amount (and having a lot of fun). The Amazing Spider-Man 2 gets half of this formula down pat. Although Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker is still a moreover undistinguished identity, his emotional magnitude (re: his relationship with Gwen Stacy) is enough to keep him valid through the storm of lunacy that is his second feature. And it's not even that lunacy that holds him back. The problem isn't how wild his conquests are, how silly some of the action sequences feel, or how absolutely bonkers his villains turn out to be. It's all the other stuff (and yes, if you can believe it, there's a ton more going on in this movie than what I've already mentioned — that's the issue). All the plot twists, tertiary mysteries, ominous flashbacks, abject reveals, and weightlessly sinister pawns in this brooding game that, save for its fun with the baddies, takes itself way too seriously. All that stuff that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 thinks is necessary to make Peter Parker matter? It actually does just the opposite.
Peter is at his best when he's playing Tracy and Hepburn with the girlfriend he's perpetually disappointing (the eternally charming Emma Stone), or trying to win back the favor of the only remaining parental figure from whom he's rapidly slipping away (Sally Field, reminding us why she's a household name), or angling to connect with the mentally unstable engineer who just wants people to notice him (Jamie Foxx working his comic shtick with a frightening zest). We have the most fun with Peter when he's playing the simplest games, and we connect best with him on similar ground. But Peter and company, at the behest of The Amazing Spider-Man franchise's Sandman-sized aspirations, spend so much time exploring new avenues: the secrets surrounding the death and work of Richard Parker, the behind-the-curtains operations of OsCorp, the nefarious goings on in the waterside penitentiary Ravencroft.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
As a result of the grand stab at world building, there is just so much stuff that Peter has to wade through in this movie, dragging the likes of Gwen and his boyhood friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan, mastering angst, menace, and upper-class privilege all at once) into the dark crevasses of narrative waste. With so many diversions into the emotionally vacant, deliberately joyless explorations of Parker family origin stories, secret brief cases, and underground subways — The Amazing Spider-Man 2 rivals Captain America: The Winter Soldier in complexity, but forgets the necessary ingredient of fun — we barely have enough energy left when the good stuff hits.
And in truth, the good stuff isn't really good enough to sustain us through all the duller periods. Garfield and Stone do have laudable chemistry. Foxx is a hoot as Peter's maniacal new foe, especially when paired with the grimacing DeHaan. And the action, while often straying from any aesthetic authenticity, is nothing shy of neat-o. It's all passable, occasionally worthy of a hearty smile, but rarely anything you'll be definitively pleased you took the time to see.
But beyond coming up short in the micro, the film's regal downfall is its scope. With so much to do, both in accomplishing its own necessary plot points and setting up for those to come in future films, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 doesn't seem to take time to make sure it's having fun with its own premise. And if it isn't having fun, we won't be either.
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Hours before country singer Luke Bryan took the stage to co-host the 2014 Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, he drew arrows against his fellow country music stars in a friendly archery contest. Unfortunately Bryan's team, which consisted of singers Lee Brice and Florida Georgia Line duo Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, lost to a team led by Justin Moore, featuring Brantley Gilbert, Thomas Rhett and Chuck Wicks.
Florida Georgia Line were forced to cancel a concert in Tennessee on Tuesday (18Feb14) after singer Tyler Hubbard was hospitalised following a bicycle accident. The Cruise hitmaker was blowing off some steam after a week of shows on Sunday (16Feb14) by returning to his country roots and dirt biking in some muddy terrain.
His bandmate Brian Kelley tells TasteofCountry.com that Hubbard fell short on a jump and subsequently injured his back.
The singer was left in excruciating pain, which led him to visit two chiropractors and even make a trip to hospital for further treatment.
As a result, the duo had to scrap its gig in Nashville on Tuesday so ailing Hubbard could recuperate.
The band's Night Train tour is expected to continue as planned on Thursday (20Feb14) in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The cast of Edgar Wright's superhero adventure, Ant-Man is growing at an exponential rate, and after the recent additions of Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, and Michael Pena to the cast, Evangeline Lilly is now being considered to play the female lead.
Lilly is no stranger to genre film, after spending six years battling smoke monsters on Lost, and appearing in Peter Jackson latest The Hobbit movie. While the jury is still out on who the actress will play in the upcoming film, the scuttlebutt over at Variety is hinting that she might be cast as the daughter of Hank Pym (Douglas), and a love interest to Scott Lang (Rudd, Ant-Man himself). Since Lily is taking her first step into comic book filmmaking, we wondered what roles the rest of her Lost castmates could play. We've already heard rumors of Josh Halloway being considered to play Aquaman, or some other DC fixture, in the bizarrely cast Batman vs. Superman. We think his casting as Aquaman could work, given he plays the hook-handed and more roguish version of the character, and not the vintage boy scout of the sea of yesteryear that probably cries a lot after watching Finding Nemo. So now that we're in Lost mode, which superheroes can we match up with the other islanders?
Matthew Fox (Jack)What Character?: The Red HoodWhy: The Red Hood is a former incarnation of Robin who gets blown up by the Joker and feels betrayed that Batman never killed the dastardly clown in retaliation. Those are some Jack-level daddy issues. We've already seen Fox play maniacal in Tyler Perry Presents: Alex Cross, so maybe he could pull it off in a future Batman movie.
Terry O'Quinn (Locke)What Character?: Lex LuthorWhy: Terry O'Quinn is already bald so that's already a mark in his favor, but his period as "Evil Locke" showed that the actor exuded the right mix intelligence, charisma, megalomania to be Superman's greatest foe.
Naveen Andrews (Sayid)What Character?: ArchangelWhy: Archangel or Warren Kenneth Worthington III was a young rich playboy whose mutant powers manifested into a pair of giant wings that allowed him to fly. Several very comic book-like plot developments turned him into a dark and misunderstood anti-hero. Sayid had a similar slide into darkness during Lost and, Naveen Andrews is well-equipped to play a similar character.
Emilie de Ravin (Claire)What Character?: JubileeWhy: Jubilee is a young and feisty member of the X-Men. Actress Emile De Ravin has a lot of the same exuberance and sweetness that has made the character such a popular addition to the X-Men mythos over the years.
Dominic Monaghan (Charlie)What Character?: SpeedyWhy: Green Arrow's troubled sidekick grappled with a crippling drug addiction, and is generally underappreciated in the comics world for being the sidekick of a character whose only ability is to shoot arrows pretty well. Who is better to play Speedy than Dominic Monaghan, who plays a wounded drug addict extremely well in Lost.
Jorge Garcia (Hurley)What Character?: The KingpinWhy: Jorge Garcia has always played the nice guy, but maybe it's time for some career diversity. We want to see the actor take on a role that's really a 180 from anything that he's done before.
Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim (Jin and Sun)What Character?: The Wonder TwinsWhy: One of Lost's most crushing moments was the demise of Jin and Sun. In fact, we still wonder why Jin didn't leave Sun behind, no matter how painful it would have been, to raise their baby, but that's an Internet rant for another day. Bringing the actors back in roles where they would hardly ever be separated from each other is the only remedy for our post-Lost blues.
Harold Perrineau (Michael)What Character?: The PunisherWhy: Michael lost his only son on the island, and has done some unsavory things in order to find him. Loss has driven him to do some terrible things, but deep down he's still a good guy, just a bit misguided with the methods he uses.
Malcolm David Kelley (Waaaaaaaaaalt)What Character?: Franklin RichardsWhy: Walt seemed like a normal kid in Lost's first season. That is until he started using creepy backwards speak and was revealed to have some sort of mystical connection with the island that had viewers going "What the f**k is up with that kid". He could definitely play Franklin Richards who also seemed normal, before becoming a reality-warping mutant.
Michael Emerson (Ben Linus)What Character?: Doctor OctopusWhy: Michael Emerson played the manipulative and intelligent Ben Linus in Lost, and he'd be perfect to play Dr. Otto Octavius in the new Spider-Man series.
Florida Georgia Line star Brian Kelley has wed his girlfriend Brittney Marie Cole. The Cruise hitmaker exchanged vows with Cole in a low-key sunset ceremony at his new property in Nashville, Tennessee on Monday (16Dec13) in front of 40 guests, including his fellow Florida Georgia Line singer Tyler Hubbard and their bandmates.
Kelley's secret wedding took place just seven months after he began dating the 23-year-old University of Georgia student.
The groom tells People magazine, "The whole process has been non-traditional. There was no official proposal or exchanging of rings. We had just fallen in love, and I knew I couldn't live without her. It sounds like a terrible cheesy movie, but when you know, you know!
"The first day we hung out, we just knew that it was something real. I'd never wanted to make someone my wife before. I always want her by my side."
The newlyweds are now planning on heading somewhere tropical for their honeymoon, and while they do have plans to start a family in the future, the band's breakout success has put the idea of kids on hold.
Kelley explains, "One day for sure (we'll have children), but it's too crazy with everything going on right now. We're enjoying being with each other. It's a beautiful love story. It really is."
Kelley and Hubbard have had a whirlwind year thanks to their hit song Cruise, and recently took home Single of the Year at both the Country Music Association Awards and the American Music Awards.
Country duo Florida Georgia Line were left stranded in the desert near Las Vegas on Saturday (28Apr13) after their tour bus broke down. The musicians were 70 miles (113 kilometres) away from Sin City when the vehicle they were travelling in came to a halt by a remote casino.
They documented the drama with a string of photos on the band's Facebook.com page, writing alongside one snap, "Broken down 70 miles out of Vegas in the middle of the desert... at least it happened at a casino."
Another showed the singers, Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, soaking up the sun and quipping, "Our take on The Hangover" - in reference to the Bradley Cooper comedy about a group of pals' wild adventures in Las Vegas.
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.
World War II was one of the most important events, not only in American history, but in the overall record of human events. Hollywood has not been shy about using the medium of film to tell the innumerable great stories of WWII and the ones we know well have had more than their fair share of cinematic interpretations: the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Holocaust, and the Normandy Invasion, just to name a few. However, there are quite a few stories that go largely overlooked and this week, one film being released in theaters strives to change that.
Anthony Hemingway’s Red Tails (produced by none other than Star Wars mastermind George Lucas), tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen. This elite group of the first African-American Air Force pilots, who faced a great deal of racism as they came through training, rose beyond their hardships and proved to be some of the most successful fighters in the Air Force. The film stars, among others, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terence Howard. While most people still remember Cuba from his Oscar-winning role in Jerry Maguire and Terence Howard from the likes of Hustle and Flow and Iron Man, there are plenty of up-and-coming young actors in the film on whom we highly recommend you keep an eye as their careers are poised to soar as high as the bombers they pilot in the film.
If you were among those lucky enough to experience the surprise hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes in theaters last summer, then you’ll probably have no problem recognizing David Oyelowo. He played the treacherous Jacobs, the head of the company handling the drug tests on the apes. Oyelowo also appeared in 2011’s runaway hit The Help, which has already won a number of awards, the riveting BBC mini-series Five Days, and will next appear in Lee Daniel’s The Paperboy alongside Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman.
The first thing that will strike you about Nate Parker is his staggering resemblance to a young Denzel Washington; there is something about his smile and his strong jaw line that warrants the comparison. It is therefore fitting that Parker appeared with Denzel in the 2007 drama The Great Debaters; based on a true story. That same year, Parker appeared in Pride, also based on a true story, alongside his Red Tails costar Terence Howard. With those two films under his belt, along with another war epic entitled Tunnel Rats, it’ll be interesting to watch him take on a war drama on a much larger scale.
Michael B. Jordan
Though he shares his name with an NBA legend, Michael B. Jordan owes much of his acting career to a different icon. Jordan was discovered by Bill Cosby, who cast him in an episode of his 1999 TV series Cosby. From there Jordan landed roles in two phenomenally successful series: The Wire and Friday Night Lights. He also had a long-running spot on All My Children for which he was nominated for three Image Awards as well as a Soap Opera Digest Award for Favorite Teen. Jordan will next been seen in found footage superhero drama Chronicle.
Twenty-five-year-old Elijah Kelley is what has traditionally been referred to as a triple threat; he acts, he sings, and he dances. He got a chance to show off his dancing chops in the 2006 drama Take the Lead starring Antonio Banderas. He then got to show off his pipes in the 2007 remake of Hairspray. In addition to being such a versatile talent in front of the camera, Kelly has proven to be quite the philanthropist off screen. He’s set up a foundation in his hometown of LaGrange, Georgia to help local children achieve their dreams.
If you aren’t familiar with Shaffer Chimere Smith Jr. the actor, you may be better acquainted with his hip-hop alias Ne-Yo. He’s been topping charts and blowing up radio stations since his first album ‘In My Own Words’ dropped in 2006. As to his crossover into acting, he’s appeared 2007’s Stomp the Yard as well as last year’s sci-fi epic Battle Los Angeles. After Red Tails, Ne-Yo will next be seen in Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds.