Broadway icon Elaine Stritch was convinced her stomach cancer was in remission after undergoing surgery just two months before her death on Thursday (17Jul14), according to her agent. The Two's Company star, who relocated from New York to her native Michigan last year (13), passed away at the age of 89 and it has since been revealed she was quietly battling cancer at the time of her death.
Now her agent and longtime friend Joel Dean has remembered Stritch as "a great lady" and revealed she was in high spirits just weeks ago after her last operation, before the disease came back.
Dean, who believes her health struggles were complicated by her diabetes, tells People.com, "They (doctors) took out a good part of her stomach, that was maybe two months ago. She said, 'They got it all, they got it all'. But it came back quite aggressively."
Meanwhile, 30 Rock creator and star Tina Fey has added her tribute to Stritch, who was cast as Alec Baldwin's sharp-tongued mother Colleen Donaghy in the hit sitcom.
She says, "Elaine was a 'tough old bird,' but I suspect she may have been a 'tough old bird' since birth. I loved her voice, her timing, her stories and her natural elegance."
Fey will also remember the acting veteran for her generous nature, adding, "One day she was wearing a beautiful butterfly cocktail ring, and when I admired it, she gave it to me on the spot - like an Arab sheik in black pantyhose. I feel very lucky to have worked with her as much as I did."
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Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
Seventeen years ago, Harrison Ford grumbled four simple words that defined a genre, a demographic, and a country: "Get off my plane." In a pre-9/11 world, there was no shortage of jingoistic glee in a movie like Air Force One, in which a man's man American president doled out justice to a militia of Russian loyalist terrorists who made the silly mistake of attempting to hijack his flight home from Moscow. In 2014, we don't have the luxury of facing a plotline like this with reckless merriment. There's a damp gravity to the premise behind movies like Non-Stop, which in another time would have been nothing more than Taken on a Plane. But rigidly conscious of the connotations that attach to a story about a hijacking of a civilian international flight into John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City, Non-Stop doesn't play too fast and loose. It still plays, and has some good fun doing so, but carefully.
From the getgo, we're anchored into the grim narrative of Liam Neeson's U.S. Air Marshall Bill Marks, who settles his demons with a healthy spoonful of whiskey. A dutiful officer even when liquored up, Marks eyeballs every nameless face in London's Heathrow Airport, silently introducing the bevvy of characters who'll come into play later on. After takeoff, Marks finds himself on the unwitting prowl for the anonymous party who's attempting to take down the red-eye through a series of manipulative text messages, well-timed threats, and clandestine killings. Chatty passenger Julianne Moore and flight attendant Michelle Dockery join Marks in his efforts to identify the mysterious criminal before the entire aircraft falls to his or her whims. So less Taken, more Murder, She Wrote.
Our roundup of suspects challenges our (and their) preconceived notions, and quite laughably — most vocal among Neeson's fellow passengers are a white beta-male school teacher (Scoot McNairy), a black computer engineer with an attitude of entitlement (Nate Parker), a softspoken Middle Eastern surgeon whose headwear gets more than a few focal shots (Omar Metwally), a middle-aged white businessman whose latest account landed him more than your house is worth (Frank Deal), an irate black youngster draped in irreverence (Corey Hawkins), and a white, bald, machismo-howling New York cop who secretly accepts his gay brother (Corey Stoll). Just a few talking heads short of Do the Right Thing, Non-Stop manages to goof on each man's (notice that they're all men — Moore, Dockery, and a barely-in-the-movie Lupita Nyong’o are kept shy of the action for most of the film) distaste for and distrust of one another as they each try to sidle up to, or undermine the harried Marks.
Non-Stop plays an interesting game with its characters and its audience, simultaneously painting the ignorance of its characters with a thick coat of comedy while pointing its finger straight out at us with accusations that we, too, thought it was whoever we just learned it wasn't, and for all the wrong reasons. "Shame on you!" Non-Stop chides, adding, "But let's keep going, this is fun!"
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It is fun — that's the miraculous thing. Without any "Get off my plane"s or "Yippee ki yay"s, Non-Stop keeps its action genre silliness in check (okay, there is a moment involving an airborne gun that'll institute some serious laugh-cheers), investing all of its good time in the game of claustrophobic Clue that we can't help but enjoy. It sacrifices some of its charm in a heavy-handed third act, tipping to one side of what was a pretty impressive balancing act up until that point. But its falter is not one that drags down the movie entirely. Fun and excitement are restored, sincerity is maintained, and even a few moments of sensitivity creep their way through. We might not live in a world of President Harrison Fords any longer, but Air Marshall Liam Neesons could actually be a step up.
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"I want to say to @piersmorgan, I hope you are back on the air very soon, wherever that may be..." Alec Baldwin voices his support for British newsman Piers Morgan, who will step down from his CNN show Piers Morgan Live in the coming weeks.
Alec Baldwin "felt sorry" for his former Broadway co-star Shia Labeouf when he saw the troubled actor walk a red carpet with a paper bag over his head. The Transformers actor has grabbed headlines over the last few weeks with his increasingly bizarre antics, which included donning the paper bag for the premiere of his film Nymphomaniac at a film festival in Germany, and launching himself as part of a live art show in Los Angeles.
Baldwin fell out with LaBeouf while they were working on Broadway play Orphans last year (13), and the young actor was subsequently fired from show, but the former 30 Rock star admits he feels bad about his current troubles.
In an article published in New York Magazine, Baldwin writes, "Shia LaBeouf went to a film screening recently and he wore a bag over his head and the bag says 'I Am Not Famous Anymore'. And there was truly a part of me that felt sorry for him, oddly enough."
Baldwin adds of his difficulties working with LaBeouf, "I'd heard from other people that he was potentially very difficult to work with, but I always ignore that because people say the same thing about me... LaBeouf seems to carry with him, to put it mildly, a jailhouse mentality wherever he goes... I think he was shocked (when he was fired). He had that card, that card you get when you make films that make a lot of money that gives you a certain kind of entitlement. I think he was surprised that it didn't work in the theatre".
So we guess Alec Baldwin isn't the next Oprah. In a move that surprises no one, MSNBC has decided to cancel Baldwin's short-lived talk show Up Late With Alec Baldwin, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The news comes shortly after a scandal involving footage of the 30 Rock alum shouting what many believe to be anti-gay slurs at a paparazzo earlier this month. (Baldwin claims in a column for The Huffington Post that he "never used the word f-ggot" following a release of footage showing the actor supposedly spouting this and other homophobic epithets.) While the original plan was just to suspend the show for two weeks, it appears as if the show has officially been pulled from the line-up. According to a statement released by both the network and Baldwin's rep Matthew Hiltzik, the show's cancelation "is a mutual parting."
Although negative press might have been the final straw, Baldwin's verbal attack isn't entirely to blame for the show's cancelation. The talk show, admittedly, had quite low ratings. As of five weeks in, the show was down 40 percent from the premiere and averaged just 395,000 viewers. But of course that tidbit of ratings information isn't going to stop the controversial host from letting the public know what he thinks. The actor contacted Gothamist in an effort to defend himself further by saying, "Showing a video in which I call someone a 'c*cksucking something'... you can't really tell what I'm saying, and we live in a world in which the phrase 'TMZ's enhanced audio' exists. 'TMZ's enhanced audio.' And then with The Post [The New York Post]... there's nothing you can do when you get thrown in this washing machine, nothing. You know? Nothing. All you end up doing is just defending yourself all day long."
But no matter where you stand on the man, Baldwin is hardly being exorcised from show business. The actor is currently in Hawaii, where he's filming a role in Cameron Crowe's mystery movie.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Singer Carnie Wilson has urged Alec Baldwin to think before he speaks to save his career after he was accused of using homophobic language during a fight with a paparazzo outside his New York home last week (ends15Nov13). The former 30 Rock star has become a fixture in the headlines after clashing with multiple members of the press in recent days, but one furious rant landed him in trouble with gay rights campaigners after he allegedly branded a snapper a "f**got".
The high-profile incidents prompted bosses at America's MSNBC network to suspend his TV series Up Late for two weeks, and Baldwin has since defended himself in a candid blog post, insisting he never used the offensive slur after learning his lesson during a previous fight with a tabloid reporter, who he had referred to as a "toxic queen".
Now Wilson, whose close friend and Wilson Phillips bandmate Chynna Phillips is married to Baldwin's brother, William, has weighed in on the controversy, insisting the hot-tempered actor needs to watch what he says if he wants to keep working in the entertainment industry.
Speaking as a guest co-host on U.S. daytime show The Talk on Monday (18Nov13), she said, "I know this family very well. This man just has no control over what comes out of his mouth. I don't think he cares, to be honest with you.
"He's this wonderful actor, and he keeps getting hired, but gosh, I wonder if people are gonna keep hiring him if he keeps offending people. It's just not right."
Baldwin claims he was only defending his wife Hilaria and baby daughter Carmen during the incident with the paparazzo after he got a little too close for comfort as they tried to leave their home.
Troubled actor Alec Baldwin has defended himself in a candid blog at the end of a nightmare week during which his talk show was taken off air following a controversial confrontation with a photographer. The 30 Rock star's U.S. TV series Up Late was suspended by bosses at America's MSNBC network for two weeks after Baldwin was accused of using homophobic language during a clash with a snapper in New York on Thursday (14Nov13).
Baldwin, who claimed the paparazzo got too close to his wife Hilaria and baby daughter Carmen, subsequently issued a public apology, and now he has explained himself in a lengthy blog for the Huffingtonpost.com.
The actor insists he did not use a homophobic slur during the incident with the photographer, and claims he has learned from previous mistakes after he was criticised for branding a reporter a "toxic little queen" over the summer (13) during a dispute over allegations his wife Hilaria was using Twitter.com during James Gandolfini's funeral.
Baldwin writes, "I think it is important to note, in light of recent events, a couple of clarifications. One is that I never used the word f**got in the tape recording being offered as evidence against me. What word is said right after the other choice word I use is unclear. But I can assure you, with complete confidence, that a direct homophobic slur (or indirect one for that matter) is not spoken. In the wake of referring to a tabloid 'journalist' as a toxic queen, I would never allow myself to make that mistake again, nor would I expose my wife and family to the attendant ridicule. My friends who happen to be gay are baffled by this. They see me as one who has recently fought for marriage equality and has been a supporter of gay rights for many years."
The star goes on to reveal he feels "heartbroken" by the decision to suspend his TV show, and he fears the series may never make it back on air.
He adds, "Whether the show comes back at all is at issue right now. My producers and I had a very enlightening and well-researched program prepared to air on November 22nd itself, dealing with John Kennedy's assassination. That show is off the air now... It's heartbreaking to me that the show, meant to coincide with the actual anniversary, will not be aired that night... Don't allow my problem to be MSNBC's problem. They are good people who work hard at a job, just like many of you. And two, please respect the privacy of my wife and family. If you have an opinion of me, then express it. Think what you like. But I ask that my wife, who I care about more than words can say, and both my children, be left out of this."
Alec Baldwin's week turned from bad to worse on Friday (15Nov13) when his talk show was suspended after he used homophobic language during a confrontation with a photographer. The 30 Rock star has been involved in several altercations with members of the press after actress Genevieve Sabourin was convicted of stalking him in a New York City court earlier this week (begs11Nov13).
On Thursday (14Nov13), he lost his cool with one paparazzo who he claimed got too close to his wife Hilaria and baby daughter Carmen, growling at them to get away from his family before using a homophobic slur.
Following an outcry from gay rights advocates, Baldwin issued an apology over his remark, while bosses at MSNBC have scrapped episodes of his Up Late show from their schedules for the next two weeks.
A statement from Baldwin reads, "I did not intend to hurt or offend anyone with my choice of words, but clearly I have - and for that I am deeply sorry. Words are important. I understand that, and will choose mine with great care going forward. What I said and did this week, as I was trying to protect my family, was offensive and unacceptable. Behavior like this undermines hard-fought rights that I vigorously support. I understand 'Up Late' will be taken off the schedule for tonight and next week.
"I want to apologize to my loyal fans and to my colleagues at msnbc - both for my actions and for distracting from their good work. Again, please accept my apology."
Sabourin has been sentenced to seven months behind bars, including 30 days for contempt of court, after being found guilty of stalking and harassing Baldwin.