Beyonce helped to lift the spirits of 100 teenagers in her native Texas by inviting them to attend her On The Run tour stop in Dallas.
The superstar donates batches of tickets from each of her shows to local charities which spread positive messages to young people, and one of the organisations chosen last week (ends25Jul14) included Hanna 4 Hope, a non-profit group founded by the parents of schoolgirl Hanna Clark, who took her own life in April, 2013, aged 15, after a bad break-up. The charity is aimed at encouraging youths and parents to discuss the topic of suicide in a bid to prevent another such tragedy.
Beyonce's representatives contacted Hanna's mother, Raina Clark, via email to offer up the free tickets and she admits she initially thought the message was a hoax. She recalls, "When I received it through the website, I was like, 'Is this for real? Is this a joke or a scam?'."
The invite was for real and Clark was able to treat a large group of teens involved in her charity to Beyonce's gig with her rapper husband Jay Z at the AT&T Stadium on Tuesday (22Jul14).
She says, "I mean, we're completely thankful for just having the honour of being invited." Her husband Tim adds, "Every time we look at these teens, it's a representation of Hanna. It touches our hearts. They have a passion for our mission and to see the joy on their faces when they walk in this place, and when they hear Beyonce... it's awesome, just awesome."
Getty Images/Kevin Winter
Do you remember where you were when Batman V Superman was announced? When the first glimpse of Avatar was bestowed upon the world? Probably not, but for the Comic-Con faithful, these moments are gospel. San Diego Comic-Con has become the destination for any geek worth his salt, and a select few moments throughout the convention's history have become legendary to fans across the world. Here are the most memorable moments from Comic-Cons past.
The Batman V Superman announcementRight at the tail end of the 2013 Warner Bros. panel, a Jittery Zack Snyder turned up to announce that he was working on a sequel to Man of Steel. Then, with help from the booming voice of Harry Lennix and a choice excerpt from Frank Miller's classic Batman tale The Dark Knight Returns, Warner Bros. dropped a bomb on Hall H with the announcement of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (which was then untitled). When the logo blazed on screen with all its glory, SDCC 2013 had hit its definitive peak.
Michael Keaton earns the cowlEveryone remembers the ballyhoo made about Heath Ledger being cast as the Joker in 2008's The Dark Knight, but comic book fans had been complaining about casting long before then. All the way back at Comic-Con 1988, the fervor about the new Batman movie was high; many fans didn't think Michael Keaton could pull off the Caped Crusader. But most of these detractors quieted down when the original creator of Batman, Bob Kane himself, stopped by the Con and gave the actor and Tim Burton's production his blessing via a set visit. He also showed up with a ton of set photos and production designs to ensure fans that his creation was in good hands.
Twilight comes to Comic-ConFor nearly 40 years, Comic-Con had been a place for more male-focused geekery. But in 2008, the playing field was leveled when the Twilight saga was given a panel in the hallowed nerd pantheon that is Hall H. This of course brought droves of Twilight fans to the convention center, who of course butted heads with seasoned veterans of the Con who though the new visitors didn't belong. But Twilight's domination of that year's festivities were undeniable. The vamps were here to stay.
The Avatar preview screeningIf there's one thing to learn from Comic-Con, it's that you shouldn't always buy into the hype. Hyperbole flows through San Diego like a river, and people will champion anything and everything as a gamechanger. But the hype around the preview screening of Avatar at 2009's convention was so massive, it was hard not to believe. The preview of James Cameron's spectacle-laden adventure left many Con-goers slack-jawed with awe.
The Avengers assemble in Hall HJoss Whedon has long been a popular face at comic-con, but he might as well have been coronated as king when he brought every member of The Avengers on stage for the first time in 2010. It was a moment that Marvel studios had been steadily building up to for years, but seeing all of those heroes (albiet in street clothes) in one place at the same time was magical.
The Iron Man trailer premiereUnsuspecting fans at the first ever Iron Man panel were greeted with a surprise visit from Jon Favreau, and an even bigger surprise: the first look at a new trailer for Iron Man. The trailer was only a few seconds long, showing Iron Man shooting through the sky, but it was enough to send the hype for the upcoming film skyrocketing. It was surefire proof that Marvel was doing right by all these heroes.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World wows the crowdIn a rare treat, fans at the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World panel were treated to a screening of the film. Edgar Wright's dazzling comic book adaptation won heaps of praise from attendees, and Hollywood's relationship with the convention was riding high. Unfortunately, the studios soon found out the convention hype doesn't always equal ticket sales, and the film fizzled out of the box-office without recouping it's budget.
Karen Gillan goes baldMaybe it was just a really convincing wig, maybe we just couldn't wrap our heads around those deep red locks being fake, or maybe we just don't usually expect to see people ripping hair off of their heads at Comic-Con. But at the panel for Guardians of the Galaxy, after being confronted by host Chris Hardwick with accusations that her character in the upcoming space opera is bald in the comics, the actor unleashed her buzzed head to the world, and everyone lost their minds.
Former Xena: Warrior Princess star Lucy Lawless is returning to her action TV roots by joining the cast of Marvel's Agents Of S.h.i.e.l.d..
Lawless has been added to the cast of the superhero series for its upcoming second season, however her role has yet to be revealed.
The actress spent six seasons as the formidable female fighter, but her more recent roles include guest-starring spots on Parks and Recreation and Top of the Lake.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which kicks off its sophomore season in the U.S. on 23 September (14), is a spin-off based on Clark Gregg's Agent Coulson character from blockbuster Marvel movies including The Avengers and Iron Man.
Authorities in Las Vegas have confirmed a man who died at the 2014 Electric Daisy Carnival passed away after suffering an ecstasy overdose. California resident Montgomery Tsang, 24, collapsed in the parking lot upon leaving the annual music event in June (14) and was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
On Wednesday (09Jul14), Clark County coroner's officials ruled his death an accident, noting Tsang overdosed on the popular club drug. A pre-existing heart condition was also a factor in his death, according to Billboard.com.
Tsang was just one of three EDC concertgoers who lost their lives at the festival, but the cause of their deaths has yet to be determined.
At this year's (14) event, nearly 800 revellers were treated for medical conditions, and 25 were admitted to local hospitals. Several dozen were also arrested by police on drug charges.
This isn't the first time tragedy has overshadowed the festival. In 2012, organisers distanced themselves from two deaths which occurred after revellers attended the event.
Veteran movie star Burt Reynolds is preparing to lift the lid on his failed romances with actresses Sally Field and Loni Anderson in an upcoming memoir. The Boogie Nights star, 78, developed a reputation as a ladies' man during his Hollywood heyday, dating the likes of Faye Dunaway and Kim Basinger, and enjoying marriages with British comedienne Judy Carne and Anderson.
He previously admitted his biggest regret in his personal life was letting go of the love of his life, Steel Magnolias star Field, and now he is set to reveal all about the relationships in But Enough About Me.
The autobiography, which will feature a foreword by his pal and Deliverance co-star Jon Voight, will also detail his friendships with fellow showbiz legends Clark Gable, Frank Sinatra, Clint Eastwood and Bette Davis, and it will revisit his most famous screen projects, including Deliverance, Smokey and the Bandit, The Longest Yard and Boogie Nights, which earned him an Oscar nomination for his role as porn director Jack Horner.
A statement released by Reynolds reads: "Setting the record straight is something that I have wanted to do for a while now, and with this book I will. This will be a project that will go into many areas I have never discussed."
But Enough About Me is scheduled for release by publishers at G.P. Putnam's Sons next year (15).
It might not be as glamorous as Cannes or as cool as Sundance, but the Los Angeles Film Festival has just as much to offer as its larger counterparts. Between high-profile premieres of blockbuster films, international competition entries and some of the most exciting indies around all premiering at LAFF every year, there's plenty to pay attention to. But if you were unfortunate enough to let the this year's fest — which ran from June 11 to 19 — we've got you covered with a rundown of the most talked-about films to premiere at LAFF, and what the critics are saying about them. Now you can make all of your friends think you're cooler than you actually are.
They Came Together The Amy Poehler/Paul Rudd romantic comedy you’ve been waiting for is less about the relationship between the central couple, Joel (Rudd) and Molly (Poehler), and more about skewering every last trope of the genre. Written and directed by Wet Hot American Summer’s David Wain, the film lovingly parodies the traits, characters, conversations, and comically large apartments that appear in every rom com ever made, while allowing two funny, good looking people to fall in love in an entertaining way.
“The script’s on-the-nose descriptions of each character (as described by the characters themselves) actually works to frame them as self-aware people forced to play out roles we have seen before and allows the hilarious cast to play within those lines. Poehler and Rudd have a natural chemistry that makes them believable as the two leads in love, but their comedy also blends well making it clear they are having fun with each other and the characters they are playing.” – Allison Loring, Film School Rejects
"Wain leads his well-known cast through spoofs of such classics as When Harry Met Sally, Annie Hall, The Graduate and the sharp-elbowed comedies of Tracy and Hepburn. Each gag makes you wish you were watching the original, although a clench between Joel and his grandmother (Lynn Cohen) that almost leads to incestuous coupling deserves credit for sheer audacity. Most of the time, however, the actors on the screen seem to be having much more fun than the audience will." - David D'Arcy, Screen Daily
Cut Bank A small town crime drama set in Cut Bank, Montana that centers on a former high school football star (Liam Hemsworth) desperate to find a way out of his town. After he accidentally films the murder of the town mailman, he is offered a reward that would give him enough money to leave for good, but things aren't a simple as they seem, and he finds himself caught in a tangled web of deception and danger.
"...Shakman lets the scenes unfurl with a clunky pace and little verve, simply exaggerating the irony and naivety in the town as his main go-to points. It only makes sense that [John] Malkovich’s sheriff has never fired his gun and carries an aversion to violence; likewise with Palmer, who itches non-stop after a Miss Cut Bank pageant title even while she wants nothing more than to skip town. Thankfully humor seeps in through the edges of the film and its characters, sometimes on purpose and other times not." - Charlie Schmidlin, The Playlist
Dear White People A satire of college movies that tackles race relations and privilege in society, Dear White People follows four students as an Ivy League university — golden boy Troy (Brandon P. Bell), activist radio host Samantha (Tessa Thompson), Colendra "Coco" Conners (Teyona Parris), who has dreams of being a reality TV star, and shy misfit Lionel Higgins (Tyler James Williams) — after a planned "African American"-themed party thrown by a group of white students starts a riot on campus.
"If it ultimately feels modestly edgy rather than shocking or dangerous, 'Dear White People' nonetheless provokes admiration for having bothered to ask some of the hard questions without pretending to know any of the answers. It also works as a fine showcase for its actors: Fleshing out characters that could have been little more than one-note mouthpieces, Williams, Thompson, Parris and Bell all make strong, distinctive impressions, with Thompson perhaps the standout as the film’s sharpest and most enigmatic figure." - Justin Chang, Variety
The Last Time You Had Fun With a cast full of comedians and sitcom alums, The Last Time You Had Fun puts a grown-up twist on the standard "wild night out" comedy. After Ida (Eliza Coupe) forces her sister Alison (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) to blow off some steam with her, they find themselves bickering and partying with Clark (Kyle Bornheimer) and the sweatpants-clad Will (Demetri Martin), as the four of them attempt to have the most fun that four older, dysfunctional adults could possibly have.
"Granted, the excesses of Bridesmaids or The Hangover are not essential to sparkling relationship comedy, but Fun lacks an edge, or even much of an attitude. Blandly risqué situations, featherweight banter and a hint of implied sexual impropriety have all the heft of an extended cable sitcom episode. Or maybe it’s the casting, which draws extensively on the TV comedy background of the four leads, who all acquit themselves adequately but can’t achieve sufficient character differentiation within the ensemble. Undistinguished locations, flat lighting and primarily static setups perpetuate the small-screen aesthetic, which at least bodes well for the film’s transition to home entertainment formats." - Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter
Echo Park The debut film from photographer Amanda Marsalis, Echo Park is a story about two people who come together "across cultural, economic and racial boundaries." Sophie (Mamie Gummer) is an unhappy housewife who moves from her Beverly Hills home to the up-and-coming neighborhood of Echo Park in order to shake up her predictable boring life, who finds herself drawn to Alex (Tony Okungbowa) after she buys his couch. But their burgeoning relationship might have to be put on hold, since he's about to leave for London...
"It’s Marsalis’ direction, and the fine performances from Gummer and Okungbowa that elevate the film above what it might have been, given the issues with the script and story that hover around the edges of cliché and stereotype (the worst offender: Sophie’s mother). While the dialogue, especially the scenes between Sophie and Alex, works well, the story beats are oddly laid out, rushing through some important character and relationship establishing moments, and dwelling too long in moments where the characters are making frustrating, selfish choices. Still, the end of the film avoids falling into the traditional romantic film trap, leading to a message that’s a bit more complicated and nuanced than expected." - Katie Walsh, IndieWire
Actress Vanessa Hudgens is set to take the lead in a reading for the revival of musical Gigi, before the production returns to Broadway next year (15). The High School Musical star is set to take on the titular role of a free-spirited teenage girl living in Paris at the turn of the 20th century in a New York City reading before a full production premieres at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in January (15), ahead of the show's eventual Broadway debut later in the year.
Tony Award winners Kate Burton and Victoria Clark will also take part in the reading.
Hudgens' only other professional theatre credit came in 2010, when she played Mimi Marquez in the Hollywood Bowl production of hit musical Rent in Los Angeles.
Actor Gethin Anthony has been cast as convicted murderer Charles Manson in a new TV drama. The Game of Thrones star will appear alongside former The X Files actor David Duchovny in a 13-part show, titled Aquarius, which centres on a Los Angeles police sergeant's hunt for the serial killer in the 1960s, according to TVLine.com.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters actor Grey Damon and Bunheads' Emma Dumont have also joined the series, which is being penned by Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman's John McNamara.
Anthony joins a list of actors who have played Manson onscreen - they include Jeremy Davies, Steve Railsback, Adam Wilson and Stephen Cardwell.
Actor Dean Cain is considering a run for public office in the state of California. The Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman star is unhappy with the current state of politics in America and insists if nothing changes, he will consider launching a campaign for a seat in the U.S. Congress.
He tells breakfast show Today, "I think that good people don't often run and it's a cliche. So I'm certainly considering it. It's not something I'm doing in the near future, but if we continue down this track, maybe I'll have to."
Two former American Idol contestants have lost a $40 million (£25 million) discrimination lawsuit against MTV. Corey Clark and Jaered Andrews were both disqualified from the reality singing competition in 2003 and filed a lawsuit against the channel and its parent company Viacom for discrimination in 2012.
Andrews and Clark, who infamously claimed he had an affair with then-judge Paula Abdul, sued over how they were characterised by a reporter regarding their disqualification, and Clark cited reports suggesting he was kicked off the show for concealing his various run-ins with the law.
U.S. District Judge William Haynes has now thrown out the case at a court in Tennessee, ruling the media reports are not actionable for libel because they were based on published facts.
Clark also failed in three other attempts to sue MTV, with the judge rejecting claims under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and the Personal Rights Protection Act, and an allegation of invasion of privacy.
Clark and Andrews are still pursuing a lawsuit against American Idol bosses, along with eight other singers, arguing they were booted off the show because of their race.