Rock legend Frank Zappa's wife has blasted her late husband's unauthorised tribute bands, insisting they're all guilty of "identity theft". Gail Zappa, who protects the Zappa archive and legacy, tells CelebrityAccess.com that her husband's music isn't easily replicated and fans deserve to hear the music as he would have intended it.
She says, "It is absolutely identify theft because, from my point of view, Frank Zappa’s audience deserves to hear the music... presented in a way that is in the best possible light of what the composer intended."
And Gail is urging any Zappa tribute act to seek her approval before putting on a show, adding, "They should come to me to get a license. It just makes it a lot easier for everybody if you say, 'OK, if you can’t play that song correctly, if you can’t master it, then don’t put it in your set list'. You get to say things like that... You work with them.
"Nobody knows how to play it. That’s the problem. It’s one thing to learn the notes and then play it, but nobody knows how it should be played. That is the challenge."
Zappa's son Dweezil fronts the world's most successful Zappa tribute band, Zappa Plays Zappa.
Pop star Morrissey has stepped up his feud with Canadian politician Gail Shea, branding her a "disreputable thug" for supporting the country's seal fur trade. The former The Smiths star is locked in a bitter war-of-words with Canada's Fisheries Minister after he spoke out against the controversial annual seal cull earlier this month (Apr14).
Shea hit back this week (beg21Apr14) with a series of withering comments, dismissing the singer as a "millionaire celebrity (who is) desperate for a hobby" and accusing him of peddling "myths" and issuing "ignorant and inflammatory statements".
The remarks have outraged the rocker and he has now posted a furious follow-up rant on his official fansite, insisting Shea's argument in favour of the seal industry is equal to supporting Nazi-style death camps.
Shea had stated, via her spokeswoman Sophie Doucet, that outlawing the seal fur industry would cost thousands of jobs, prompting the singer to write, "I should remind Sophie Doucet that building and maintaining the Concentration Camps of Auschwitz also provided livelihoods, but this hardly made the Camps warranted... "Further, Sophie Doucet's shrill tension claims that my anger against Canada's carnival of death... is 'clearly just another case of a millionaire celebrity, desperate for a hobby'... whether a challenge comes from a millionaire or from someone who is homeless is a remark that would only be made by someone of imperious ignorance, who cannot develop the moral debate... "In Western culture, there is no acceptance of the Canadian seal slaughter, and simply because someone bears the badge of Minister does not insulate them from being a disreputable thug... the people of Canada must speak up and stop this carnage... As ever and as always, it is always up to the people to put things right."
The tit-for-tat bust-up shows no signs of abating - Shea has since issued another statement, via Canada.com, in which she says, "Mr. Morrissey and his Hollywood buddies have been brainwashed by decades of propaganda from fringe animal rights groups and radical environmentalists."
Leading Canadian politician Gail Shea has hit back at outspoken pop star Morrissey and branded him "ignorant" for campaigning against the country's seal fur trade. The former The Smiths frontman posted a statement on his official fan website on Saturday (19Apr14) condemning the practice and singling out Canada's Fisheries Minister Shea for special criticism.
He accused her of failing to put a stop to the nation's annual seal slaughter and suggested she should have "her head blown off" with a rifle so she could speak with "authority" on how the seals are killed. The singer also branded the seal fur industry "greedy and barbaric" and "dismaying to witness", but respected politician Shea has now hit back at the rocker, accusing him of peddling "myths" and branding his comments "ignorant and inflammatory".
In a statement issued to Canada's National Post newspaper, a spokeswoman for Shea writes, "Anyone who takes a careful look at the seal hunt will see that it is humane, sustainable, and well-regulated. In fact, the process used in the seal hunt was designed by international veterinary experts, and is the most stringent of any wild animal hunt in the world. "This is clearly just another case of a millionaire celebrity, desperate for a hobby, shamelessly regurgitating misinformation and myths that fringe animal-rights groups have been pushing for years. In the future, I would urge Mr. Morrissey to consider the impact that his ignorant and inflammatory statements have on the livelihoods of thousands of hard-working men and women in rural communities."
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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Before Sarah Paulson scared up fame on American Horror Story, before Gary Cole became America’s least favorite boss in Office Space, and before Lucas Black played Paul Walker’s alternate in the Fast &the Furious films, they all starred in the amazing short lived series American Gothic.
Caleb Temple (Black) witnesses the murder suicide of his mentally challenged sister Merlyn (Paulson) at the hands of his father. Suddenly, he becomes the obsession of the town Sherriff Lucas Buck (Cole). Merlyn’s ghost reveals that Buck’s intentions are sinister and she tries to protect her brother from beyond the grave. Caleb’s only ally is his newfound cousin Gail Emory (Paige Turco) who is not much of a believer in the occult. Each episode, Caleb’s goodness attempts to undo Buck’s hold over the inhabitants of Trinity, South Carolina.
The series was penned by 1970s pop singer Shaun Cassidy and produced by Sam Raimi (Spider-Man). Not only did the cast all go on to become popular television mainstays but the series is insanely addictive. It has the same dark and creepy vibe of Twin Peaks with a firmer grasp on the occult mythology. It also relies more on the characters and their motivations than on esoteric mysticism. Instead, it explores the humanity of a small town and the complex relationships therein. Cole’s role of Sherriff Buck plays out like the Devil corrupting the town’s inhabitants and trying to own Caleb. Paulson also shined despite having a somewhat minor role in the series.
The series was the first major role for Paulson and Black. Black was just a boy at the time and went on to star in Sling Blade, Jarhead, and Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Cole became a household name after playing Mike Brady in The Brady Bunch Movie and Bill Lumbergh in Office Space.
The series ended prematurely but did have a very satisfying full first season. It’s available in its entirety on Hulu Plus.
Paul Walker's family members and famous friends including Vin Diesel gathered at the site of the actor's fatal car crash to host a private memorial service on Monday night (02Dec13). The Fast and the Furious star died after the sports car he was travelling in with his friend Roger Rodas crashed and burst into flames in Santa Clarita, California.
Hundreds of fans have since visited the crash site, leaving flowers, candles and messages in tribute to the late actor, but police officers moved the crowds away on Monday night so Walker's relatives and Hollywood colleagues could spend some private time there.
Santa Clarita city spokeswoman Gail Ortiz explains that a permit for the memorial was granted and police officers helped close the surrounding streets, telling The Santa Clarita Valley Signal, "We felt it was the right thing to do. We issued the temporary closure to enable the family and some of the co-stars to visit the site, at the family's request."
Walker's longtime co-star Diesel was among those who attended the memorial, and he took the opportunity to address the fans gathered nearby using a police car's loud speaker, telling the crowd, "I just want to say to all of you, if my brother (sic) were here right now and he saw all of the love you are bringing here... If he could see for himself that all of you have shown up to show my brother love... at this hard time his family gets to see all of you show the love that you've shown Paul. It's going to stay with me forever. I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for coming down here and showing that angel up in heaven how much you appreciate him."
This week on Bob's Burgers, Linda goes to her 25th high school reunion with hopes of avenging her terrible garage band, the "Ta-Tas" after being humilated at the senior talent show... only to once again be showed up by "Bad Hair Day," the good local garage band that actually won the talent show and went on to rock stardom. Along the way, adolescent anxieties arise, from Linda's insecurity to Bob's enormous pimple. But, in the end, reuniting with the band (and especially her sister, Gail, whose songs were always too weird in high school but are perfect mournful ballads for a group of disillusioned 40-somethings) is enough for Linda to have a great time.
And according to the "Ta-Ta's" closing song, apparently there are exactly five sexy parts, and you run an average of ruining one per child. While dealing with that sobering truth, enjoy the funniest character moments from "Purple Rain-Union":
Bob: Bob only agrees to go to the reunion if he can stop and buy some concealer for his giant zit on the way there. "You're all out. I used a lot." But of course, once he gets there all is well because the group of "cool" kids all happened to go into skin care.
Linda: Linda manages to convince herself into going to the reunion by how good her singing is in the shower. "Nobody sounds good in the shower!" and then doubles down on her confidence in a fantasy sequence where everyone admits they were wrong 25 years ago. "They were all idiots." But that's just the tip of the iceberg as Linda has a great showcase for her perverted self image: both over and under confident.
Tina: Tina rarely gets aggressive, but one of her favorite pastimes is babysitting her younger siblings (it brings out her "fun" side). So when that's threatened by a real babysitter, the claws come out, and each barbed comment is followed with a whispered "I'm mocking you."
Gene: Gene just really wants to eat Chunky Shim-Sham generic brand cookies and throw up wherever he pleases. Even if that place is Bob and Linda's bed... again. And his best line, in reference to Gail's hunky Greek god crush: "At least he isn't a Roman god. Those guys were jerks!"
Louise: Louise has been kept at the fringes for too long, and she's clearly going even more insane. Her plan to give everyone black eyes after Jen the babysitter accidentally punches Tina makes absolutely no sense. We need another Louise episode stat to find out what's going on in that head of hers.
Guest Star MVP: Jen, one of the most boring ancillary characters, comes to life this episode with her extreme ticklishness, accidental punch, and her inspirational speech: "Your band is probably bad. But I don't let it bother me that I'm a bad babysitter. I have no chemistry with children, I don't know how to use a mick-rowave, I don't know what bathtime means, but I do it because I love it."
Recurring Gags: Linda's love of drinking leads her to ban the kids from the reuinion. "It's rated R for Really Boozy. Starring me!" In the opening credits, props to "Betty's Machetes" for fitting into tonight's girl-power theme, but something about the broken syntax of "If You Give a Mouse a Poison" is gold. And where most shows would probably make Gail's song amazing enough to bring the house down, we take pleasure in its creepiness.
Overall Assessment: It's more of a messy "Ta-Ta's" than a polished "Bad Hair Day," but still a loveable episode.
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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They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, they're back for one more movie, the Addams Family. According to Variety, the spooky family is being rebooted as an MGM animated movie.
The final negotiations are still underway, but Pamela Pettler (Corpse Bride and Monster House) is set to pen the screenplay, and BermanBraun's Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun are in talks to produce the film. Earlier in the year, it was expected that a Tim Burton-led stop-motion Addams Family movie would be made, but the project was put to rest in July.
While we're not a fan of all of the reboots that are being announced as of late (we're looking at you, Charmed), we're pretty excited that our favorite Halloween-esque family is inviting us back into their mansion. When you've got a set of characters — especially one that has a family dynamic — that are off-kilter (in the best way possible), it's not a bad move to reincarnate them for another go-around.
The Addams Family has been around since 1938 when the family came to life in Charles Addams' comic strip, and 75 years later, it's seen its fair share of air-time. The family came to the masses via ABC's sitcom, which aired from 1964 to 1966, and then was the basis for a handful of other TV series (one being an animated version), two Paramount live-action films (The Addams Family and Addams Family Values), a musical, and the straight-to-video reboot Addams Family Reunion (which we like to pretend never happened). Suffice it to say, the black-clad family certainly has enough of a fanbase — one that loves a dose of nostalgia every now and then -- to warrant another reboot.
Plus, we're just super psyched to see which version of Wednesday is going to come out to play: the sweet-natured girl who loved her pet spiders (a la the '60s TV series) or the morbid girl with a deadpan wit and an urge to murder her brother (also known as Christina Ricci in the 1991 live-action film). We're definitely hoping it will be the diabolical Wednesday.
Top Chef: The 10th season of Bravo's sizzling hot cooking competition is boldly going where it's never gone before — to rainy Seattle. And this time, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck will join host Padma Lakshmi and judges Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Hugh Acheson, and Emeril Lagasse. The new season premieres on Nov. 7. [EW]
The Strain: FX has given a pilot order to The Strain, famed director Guillermo del Toro's vampire novel trilogy. The series will be run by Lost guru Carlton Cuse, though the pilot will be co-written, directed and executive produced by del Toro. Just don't expect any Ian Somerhalder/Robert Pattinson types in this one — del Toro's vamps are vicious parasites, not tortured romantic heartthrobs. [Deadline]
Sons of Anarchy: Say it ain't so! SoA creator Kurt Sutter has revealed that in next week's episode, someone very important to the SAMCRO family will bite the big one. According to EW's sources, Tig, Tara, Unser, Clay, Juice, and Opie are all potential targets. [EW]
The Bridge: Diane Kruger is set as the female lead in FX's drama pilot The Bridge, an adaptation of the Scandinavian series Bron/Broen. The series will focus on two detectives in the United States (Kruger) and Mexico, who must join forces to hunt down a border-crossing serial killer. [Deadline]
Midnight, Mass: NBC is developing a drama series based on the Vertigo comic book series Midnight, Mass. Midnight, Mass. follows "a sophisticated, sexy, globe-trotting husband and wife paranormal investigator team" who are based in Midnight, Mass. The comics' creator, John Rozum, will serve as an executive consultant. [Deadline]
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[PHOTO CREDIT: TK]
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