Jack White has a disco ball once owned by country legend Johnny Cash hanging in his recording studio in Nashville, Tennessee. The rocker says, "It was just sitting crammed into a storage unit... gathering dust."
Walt Disney Pictures via Everett Collection
Johnny Depp used to be relevant.
Films like Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood established Depp as an idiosyncratic performer willing to appear in offbeat projects. Who can forget his iconic performance in Jim Jarmusch's revisionist Western Dead Man, or in Terry Gilliam's drug odyssey Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas? It seemed, for a while anyway, that Depp was a different kind of movie star. He was weird, for sure, but also accessible, and hundreds of teenage girls across the world idolized him and cherished his abnormality.
Then came Captain Jack Sparrow. To be fair, the first Pirates of the Caribbean is a great film, but the rest of the series represents a lazy attempt to cash in on the original chapter's unmatched excellence. Depp turned Sparrow into a caricature, and with each Pirates installment, the magic of the original performance rapidly diminished. If Depp wasn't making a Pirates movie, he could be seen in the latest Tim Burton project, or in The Rum Diary, a film that might as well be an inferior sequel to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Not all of Depp's recent movies are trash, but most of them are, and at the very least they suggest that Depp is more interested in making money than making quality movies.
Depp's forthcoming big studio film Transcendence might just be the final nail in the coffin. Is Depp, the once enigmatic auteur performer of the 1990s, officially over?
There's certainly room for a comeback, but at the present moment, all signs suggest that Depp has lost his cultural and cinematic significance. Like Will Smith, Depp continues to appear in Hollywood blockbusters and makes a ton of money for doing so, but his films are hardly as influential or important as they were in the 1990s. Moreover, I think we can all agree that The Tourist and The Lone Ranger don't work as mainstream entertainment in the way the first Pirates does. This is important to point out, because it's not necessarily Depp's constant appearance in mainstream films that is his problem (after all, it works well for Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney), but his inability to distinguish between intelligent blockbusters and mindless drek.
I understand that show business is tough to crack, and everyone, even Depp, needs to make a living. Who am I, after all, to criticize his career choices? I get it. But Depp has committed arguably the worst sin possible for a movie star. He's spent years selling the audience on his unique star persona, only to appear in lame tent-pole productions that are void of creativity, originality, and respect for the audience. Was this Depp's plan all along, or did he unintentionally fall off track at some point?
We'll never know, but one thing is certain: the jig is up, and the name Johnny Depp barely generates excitement from the same people who hung his poster on their bedroom walls. What do you think? Cast your vote below.
Yes, you did indeed read that right: Fox is working on a movie adaptation of the 1970s children’s book series Choose Your Own Adventure. However, other than the production studio and the director — Rawson Marshall Thurber, who directed 2013’s We’re the Millers — not much is known about this film adaptation.
There are many ways a Choose Your Own Adventure movie could go. Multiple versions of the film could be shot and sent out to theaters — similar to the way Clue had three different endings. Or the Choose Your Own Adventure film could follow in the footsteps of the Jack Black Goosbumps movie: instead of sticking to the plot of one of the books, it could focus on the creator, Edward Packard. Or a Jumanji type movie where Packard’s creations come to life could be really cool if done well.
What we’d like to see from a Choose Your Own Adventure movie is an element of interactivity, since that was the whole point of the series. Sure, you mostly ended up dying a horrible death in a deep, dark cave or at the hands of some terrible aliens, but the fun part was that you got to make your own choices. Of course, interactivity will be hard to pull off in a theatrical release and would work better on a gaming system.
Although a Choose Your Own Adventure film could be really awesome and nostalgic — especially since so many people grew up with the books — it will take the right team. Hopefully with Thurber as director, they’ll be able to make something really cool, rather than a movie trying to cash in on our nostalgia.
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
Public perception of Tom Cruise is usually negative, at least in the United States. As a performer, Cruise still gets it done on the big screen, but American audiences haven't been as forgiving for his couch jumping and religious beliefs. But the truth is that his movies are at the very least good. The rest of the world eats up his movies, inflating his box office numbers and his ego. And Cruise still runs very fast.
Last year's Oblivion looked like a failure if you examine the U.S. numbers. It had a budget of $120 million (very modest by blockbuster standards), yet raked in a little more than $89 million on American soil. A failure, right? In the USA, yes. Worldwide, a big hell no. The rest of the world loves Cruise. Oblivion cashed in 68.9 percent of its total in foreign markets to the tune of more than $197 million.
So how much longer can Cruise sustain his movie star career? Obviously, he's not completely fading away. With so much foreign success, studios would be foolish to completely dismiss him. The Mission Impossible and Jack Reacher franchises have sequels planned. And what about Top Gun 2? Audiences should flock to that based on principle alone. As long as Cruise maintains his physique, loves acting and continues to cash paychecks, quality movies will continue. Who didn't like Collateral? The Last Samurai? Even Knight and Day wasn't bad. Really, it wasn't. Cruise's star power has plenty of life, although as he ages, he probably won't want to do as much running.
DreamWorks via Everett Collection
Christmas is coming up and that means plenty of movies with a similar theme are coming out. Then there's always that 24-hour marathon of A Christmas Story. All this holiday goodness begs the question: What are the worst and weirdest Christmas movies? There are quite a lot of them but I narrowed it down to 10.
Surviving Christmas (2004)
I feel bad for making this the worst one since it includes the late James Gandolfini, but it just is a crass film that leaves nothing to the Christmas spirit. It was a shame, since I have also always been a big Christina Applegate fan and I've never been a Ben Affleck hater. This is the movie to leave in people's stockings if they have been really rotten all year.
Santa Claus (1959)
Wait. What? A movie that has Santa Claus, Lucifer and Merlin the Wizard that wasn't made during the drug-fueled 1960s or '70s? Well, it was made in '59, which was right on the cusp of all the impending insanity.
Christmas With The Kranks (2004)
It's weird. Tim Allen appears in one of my favorite Christmas movies, The Santa Clause, and then he also appeared in this dreck. Jamie Lee Curtis was also in it and at one point I just found myself hoping that Michael Myers would appear and start stabbing everyone.
Santa's Slay (2005)
Bill Goldberg couldn't wrestle. He certainly can't act, as you can see. He didn't look that fearsome either - he looked like a deranged Duck Dynasty cast member. The title was also a horrible pun.
Deck The Halls (2006)
Again, I felt really bad putting this one up, since Danny DeVito is one of my favorite comedy actors of all time. That said, not even the diminutive actor could save this trainwreck of a movie that did nothing to embrace the spirit of the season.
Santa With Muscles (1996)
The other bad Christmas movie that featured a wrestler. As far as I know, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and John Cena have yet to make any holiday-themed movies, but there's still time.
Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
Great. A slasher movie about Santa. I think even the trailers gave kids enough nightmare material, let alone the movie itself. The worst thing? It actually spawned a sequel, which could have made this list, but I deliberately ruled out any sequels.
Santa Claus Conquers The Martians (1964)
Ah yes. Now we're in the '60s and in the thrall of those psychedelic-drug fueled films. Groovy baby. I'm sure the nation was too stoned at the time to realize that this movie was ridiculous for pairing together Santa and Martians.
The Santa Clause 3 (2006)
Remember when I said that I liked the first Santa Clause? Well, this was the sound of the wheels coming off. The franchise came to a screeching thud and even Allen seemed to have a "I'm getting a briefcase full of cash for my payment, right?" look in his eyes in all his scenes.
Jack Frost (1998)
I just couldn't get past the fact that the snowman that Michael Keaton's character's spirit imbued looked like an even grumpier Ed Asner. That in itself was one of the more mixed messages sent from the film. Also, if you do rent it - make sure that it's this one and not the one about a homicidal snowman.
Sharon Osbourne has slammed her estranged brother in an open letter, accusing him of attempting to cash-in on her son Jack's Multiple Sclerosis battle. The X Factor judge and her brother David Arden fell out following their father's death in 2007, and relations between the siblings have remained distant ever since.
On Monday (02Dec13) Arden, who is also an MS sufferer, told Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper he was desperate to help his nephew but he can't get close to the family.
His public plea did not go down well with his sister, who has taken aim at him in an open letter posted to her Facebook page.
Sharon has accused Arden of trying to make money from her dysfunctional family.
She writes, "Now, you appear again, having sold a two-part story to the Daily Mirror, claiming you want to help Jack with his MS. That’s as low as it gets, making money off my son’s MS.
"Jack was diagnosed in 2012, where have been the last 18 months? You know how to reach me. You know how to reach the Osbournes."
In the lengthy post Osbourne also claims to have repeatedly given her brother financial support and reminds him of his previous arrests for drink and drug offences. She closes the letter by revealing she has instructed her lawyer to get involved in the family feud, but insists there is no point in suing her brother as he has no money.
An unwashed Burberry shirt worn by pop star Harry Styles is set to hit the charity auction block later this month (Nov13). The $293 (£195) leopard-print top, which the One Direction hitmaker wore while attending Burberry's presentation during London Fashion Week in September (13), will be sold off to raise cash for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
Styles' article of clothing is just one of the celebrity lots going under the hammer - rocker Liam Gallagher has donated a signed Union Jack guitar, Rolling Stones icon Ronnie Wood has provided a Dolce & Gabbana shirt worn and signed by him, and retired soccer superstar David Beckham has given organisers an autographed suit for the Hardlyeverwornit.com sale, benefiting poverty-stricken women and children in more than 190 countries.
Veteran singers Kenny Rogers, Bobby Bare and the late Cowboy Jack Clement were the toast of Nashville, Tennessee on Sunday (27Oct13) as they were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Barry Gibb, Kris Kristofferson and Emmylou Harris were among the stars who gathered at the venue to salute the three honourees, with Alison Krauss, Garth Brooks and Darius Rucker joining forces to celebrate Rogers' career.
Speaking during the ceremony, Brooks hailed The Gambler hitmaker as a master, saying, "If there was an entertainer university, when it comes to Entertainer 101, I can vouch firsthand that Kenny Rogers would be the professor of that class."
The event also featured a special tribute to Clement, who learned of his Hall of Fame induction five months before he succumbed to liver cancer in August (13), aged 82. He was remembered by two trumpeters, who performed the horn intro to his classic hit Ring of Fire, which he produced for Johnny Cash.
WENNHaving previously worked with her ex, Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley, on the likes of "The Best Damn Thing" and "Goodbye Lullaby," Avril Lavigne has also continued to mix business with pleasure on her upcoming self-titled fifth album by hooking up with her new hubby, Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger, for the majority of its 13 tracks. The tiresome and faux-rebellious brat-pop of its first two singles suggests she'd have been better off leaving him at home. But not every husband-and-wife musical partnership is as derivative as the Lavigne-Kroegers. Here's a look at five of the best.Johnny & June Carter CashResponsible for country music's greatest love story, Johnny Cash toured with The Carter Family in the early 60s before hooking up with one of their singers, both romantically and professionally, as famously depicted in the Oscar winning Walk The Line.Sonny & CherAfter meeting as backing singers for Phil Spector, Sonny & Cher then became the golden couple of the 60s with a string of iconic pop hits ("I Got You Babe," "The Beat Goes On") before embarking on an equally successful TV career.Ike & Tina TurnerTheir actual marriage may have been plagued by troubles, most notably domestic violence and Ike's drug addiction, but the tempestuous couple undeniably defined the soul-rock scene of the '60s/'70s with the likes of the Grammy-winning "Proud Mary" and the legendary "River Deep Mountain High."The White StripesInitially claiming that they were siblings in an effort to keep the focus on their music, proof emerged in 2001 that Jack and Meg White had in fact recently divorced after a four-year marriage. For many, their 1999 self-titled debut is The White Stripes at their primitive best.TennisAlaina Moore and Patrick Riley might not have the same high-profile yet as the four names above but their gorgeously jangly blend of indie-rock and surf-pop has produced two of the finest husband-and-wife albums of the 21st Century.
R&B icon Ray Charles is to be honoured with a commemorative U.S. stamp. The Hit The Road Jack hitmaker is the latest star to be selected for the United States Postal Service's Music Icons series, which has previously featured Johnny Cash and singer Lydia Mendoza.
Designer Neal Ashby admits it was difficult to find the right image for the tribute, explaining, "I was looking for that smile, that slight cock of the head - that almost rapturous expression he had when he performed... (The photo is of) Ray soaking in the applause and the pure joy of the moment. It's clean and graphic, which I knew would work well at stamp size."
Charles' stamp is to be released on Monday (23Sep13), the late singer's birthday, and Ashanti and Chaka Khan have signed up to perform at two launch events.