Kaiser Chiefs rocker Ricky Wilson was baffled by rumours the band would end when drummer Nick Hodgson quit, insisting reports he penned all their hits are not true. Hodgson announced in December, 2012 that he was leaving the I Predict a Riot hitmakers to focus on other projects, and the news was followed with various reports crediting the percussionist with writing the band's songs.
However, frontman Wilson is still annoyed by the incident as he is adamant the whole group takes part in the songwriting process and they can easily cope without Hodgson.
He tells Q magazine, "Nick left and that was the s**test thing ever. He wrote all the f**king songs. You kept reminding us that he wrote all the f**king songs cos (sic) every article that was written reminded us that Nick Hodgson was the songwriter. He was the songwriter. Song, song, song, writer, writer, writer, Nick, Nick, Nick! It's not true. Kaiser Chiefs wrote the songs."
Hodgson was replaced in the line-up by Vijay Mistry.
Summit via Everett Collection
You can imagine that Renny Harlin, director and one quadrant of the writing team for The Legend of Hercules, began his pitch as such: We'll start with a war, because lots of these things start with wars. It feels like this was the principal maxim behind a good deal of the creative choices in this latest update of the Ancient Greek myth. There are always horse riding scenes. There are generally arena battles. There are CGI lions, when you can afford 'em. Oh, and you've got to have a romantic couple canoodling at the base of a waterfall. Weaving them all together cohesively would be a waste of time — just let the common threads take form in a remarkably shouldered Kellan Lutz and action sequences that transubstantiate abjectly to and fro slow-motion.
But pervading through Lutz's shirtless smirks and accent continuity that calls envy from Johnny Depp's Alice in Wonderland performance is the obtrusive lack of thought that went into this picture. A proverbial grab bag of "the basics" of the classic epic genre, The Legend of Hercules boasts familiarity over originality. So much so that the filmmakers didn't stop at Hercules mythology... they barely started with it, in fact. There's more Jesus Christ in the character than there is the Ancient Greek demigod, with no lack of Gladiator to keep things moreover relevant. But even more outrageous than the void of imagination in the construct of Hercules' world is its script — a piece so comically dim, thin, and idiotic that you will laugh. So we can't exactly say this is a totally joyless time at the movies.
Summit via Everett Collection
Surrounding Hercules, a character whose arc takes him from being a nice enough strong dude to a nice enough strong dude who kills people and finally owns up to his fate — "Okay, fine, yes, I guess I'm a god" — are a legion of characters whose makeup and motivations are instituted in their opening scenes and never change thereafter. His de facto stepdad, the teeth-baring King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins), despises the boy for being a living tribute to his supernatural cuckolding; his half-brother Iphicles (Liam Garrigan) is the archetypical scheming, neutered, jealous brother figure right down to the facial scar. The dialogue this family of mongoloids tosses around is stunningly brainless, ditto their character beats. Hercules can't understand how a mystical stranger knows his identity, even though he just moments ago exited a packed coliseum chanting his name. Iphicles defies villainy and menace when he threatens his betrothed Hebe (Gaia Weiss), long in love with Hercules, with the terrible fate of "accepting [him] and loving [their] children equally!" And the dad... jeez, that guy must really be proud of his teeth.
With no artistic feat successfully accomplished (or even braved, really) by this movie, we can at the very least call it inoffensive. There is nothing in The Legend of Hercules with which to take issue beyond its dismal intellect, and in a genre especially prone to regressive activity, this is a noteworthy triumph. But you might not have enough energy by the end to award The Legend of Hercules with this superlative. Either because you'll have laughed yourself into a coma at the film's idiocy, or because you'll have lost all strength trying to fend it off.
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Veteran Indian actress Manjula Vijayakumar died on Tuesday (23Jul13). She was 59. The star passed away at the Sri Ramachandra Medical College hospital in Chennai, India a week after she was admitted following a fall.
Her stepson, actor Arun Vijay, confirmed the sad news, saying, "Her whole family was with her when she died."
Vijayakumar made her first film appearance as a child, and she went on to become a major star in India's Tamil movie industry, landing roles in more than 100 pictures.
She met her husband, fellow actor Vijayakumar Seemadurai, on the set of a movie in the 1970s, and they went on to have three daughters together.
He passed away on Sunday (21Oct12) at the Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai, India due to multiple organ failure following a battle with dengue fever.
Chopra, known as the King of Romance in India, made his directorial debut in 1959 with Dhool ka Phool (Blossom in the Dust) and 14 years later he founded his own production company, Yash Raj Films.
Since then he has produced, written or directed more than 50 films over the last five decades, including Deewar (Wall), Dil To Pagal Hai (Heart Is Mad), Vijay (Victory), Kabhie Kabhie (Sometimes...), and Chandni (Moonlight).
Considered one of the greatest Hindi filmmakers of all time, he has won a total of six National Film Awards and 11 Filmfare Awards. He was also twice honoured by members of the Indian government - he received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2001 and the Padma Bhushan in 2005 for his contributions to the arts.
His last film, Jab Tak Hai Jaan (As Long as I am Alive), will hit theatres next month (Nov12).
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has released a statement in the wake of his death, which reads, "He had an aesthetic talent to make his films look larger than life. His flourish in essaying romance and social drama was unmatched.
"He will be remembered by millions of his fans around the world and his work as a director and producer will be treasured by the nation for many more generations."
Chopra is set to be cremated on Monday (22Oct12).
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.
The Hurt Locker filmmaker has been forced to shoot the new project, about the hunt for the Al Qaeda leader, in India after being denied permission to film in neighbouring Pakistan, where the terrorist mastermind was shot and killed by U.S. troops last year (11).
Crewmembers were subsequently forced to use Chandigarh to mirror the Pakistani city of Lahore, but the transformation has infuriated members of right-wing religious organisation Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and they made their feelings known by taking to the streets around the set on Friday.
Some protesters were even seen arguing with the cast and crew as police moved in to deal with the trouble, according to Reuters.
But the campaigners are remaining defiant and are determined to shut down the production for good.
VHP leader Vijay Bhardwaj says, "They have made Chandigarh like Pakistan, as if it is Pakistan. We strongly oppose this and we will not let them put Pakistani flags here and we will not let them shoot for the film."
Hindus in India have long clashed with Muslims in Pakistan since both gained independence from Britain in 1947.
The movie, titled Zero Dark Thirty, stars Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Joel Edgerton and his director brother Nash, and is due to be released later this year (12).
The former South African president was admitted to the Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg earlier this week (begs24Jan11), and he was diagnosed with an acute respiratory infection.
The 92 year old is said to have responded "very well" to treatment, and will now be monitored carefully while recovering at home.
Surgeon General Vijay Ramlakan explains, "We wish to confirm that Dr. Mandela was admitted to hospital earlier this week and underwent a few specialised investigations... These tests have been carried out at various facilities over the years and are a normal part of his medical regiment. Such tests are considered routine for a patient of his profile.
"At present Dr. Mandela is in high spirits and has been visited by his family and friends. Medically, at present, there is no need to panic. Dr. Mandela suffers from diseases common to people of his age as well as conditions that have developed over the years for which he receives chronic medication.
"He recently developed an acute respiratory infection, for which he received treatment and has responded very well. He is stable but will be monitored closely. Despite all of this, his amazing, positive attitude allows him to cope with the difficulties of old age with the greatest of graces."
It's summertime in New Delhi and the monsoon rain is about the only thing that alleviates the season's sweltering heat--heat that comes not only from the sun but also from the lives and loves of the high-spirited Verma family. Stressed-out Lalit (Naseeruddin Shah) and his wife Pimmi (Lillete Dubey) are struggling to maintain their moderate standard of living while spending a fortune on a wedding for their daughter Aditi (Vasundhara Das) who would rather continue her affair with her married lover than wed the young man chosen for her Hemant (Parvin Dabas). Still unmarried liberated cousin Ria (Shefali Shetty) is the most outspoken one of the family but has nevertheless kept a terrible family secret involving Uncle Tej (Rajat Kapoor) to herself for many years. Sexy extroverted teenage cousin Ayesha (Neha Dubey) begins a steamy undercover flirtation with distant Westernized relative Rahul (Randeep Hooda) who has been living in Australia. Meanwhile never a bridegroom always a coordinator wedding planner P.K. Dubey (Vijay Raaz) finds that love sneaks up on him when he falls for the family's sweet young servant Alice (Tilotama Shome).
These actors are so believable it's like you're a fly on the wall watching them interact in their Delhi home. Shah the embattled father Lalit is one of India's foremost actors with four best actor FilmFare Awards (the Indian equivalent of the Oscar) to his credit and he carries this movie just like a father shoulders his family's trials and tribulations. The girls are all terrific particularly Shetty who steals the show as the freethinking young woman who stands up to her relatives. The doll-like Das captivates as the shy troubled bride whose enormous blue eyes show great emotion. Shome as servant girl Alice has perhaps the fewest lines in the movie but her expressions convey the allure of a girl becoming a woman. Raaz who has a great talent for physical comedy and who travels the film's greatest character arc is also outstanding; he's sneaky and distasteful at first as the excitable shifty wedding planner Dubey but he ends up as the most loveable character in the movie when it becomes clear he only wants to find someone of his own to love and love him.
Director Mira Nair returns to contemporary India for the first time since her Academy Award-winning 1988 directorial debut Salaam Bombay!. With Monsoon Wedding she makes you feel like you've actually spent two hours in India--from the pouring rain in the lush countryside to the teeming Delhi streets packed with people and every kind of transportation you can imagine to the Verma's modest home that's different yet all too similar to an American home. Wedding is a fascinating look at a slice of life in a family trying to balance Western attitudes with deep-rooted cultural mores--and finding they're often at odds. The film is vibrant and rich offering a real sensory experience through the women's colorful saris the alternation between the sometimes-discordant traditional music and modern techno the back-and-forth of the actors' speech between Hindi Punjabi and English. The handheld camera used to capture it all on film gives even more of an intimate feeling to the production. Only thing is at almost exactly two hours the movie is a little long--the story took place over four days and you feel like you spent that much time in the theater.
An Indian director has vowed to go to court in order to challenge the
country's official censor board which refused to allow the release of his
film Paanch on grounds that it was too violent. Director Anurag
Kashyap told today's (Friday) Times of India, "My film deals with the
psychology of violence. It's a disturbing movie but the acts of violence are
not shown, they are only suggested." But the censor board's chairman, Vijay
Anand, a veteran filmmaker in his own right, said, "Some kind of decency
must prevail. We're trying to protect families and children from watching
what they shouldn't. We're going to be very liberal, yet strict."