British rocker Kele Okereke has written an open letter to Azealia Banks urging the controversial rapper to leak her long-awaited album to end a long-running fight with her record company over the release. Banks, whose debut single 212 was released in 2011, is frustrated by ongoing delays to her album Broke With Expensive Taste, and in March (14) she urged bosses at her record label Universal to release her from her contract and threatened to leak the disc herself.
Bloc Party frontman Okereke has now reached out to the rapper by writing an article titled "S**ew You All, I'm Still Rooting for Azealia Banks" which has been published on Noisey.com.
In the piece, he expresses sympathy for the star and encourages her to take control of her career.
He writes, "We don't know exactly what's happening with BWET (Broke With Expensive Taste) being delayed as we only have Azealia's word for it, not Universal's, but I do think it's safe to assume that negotiations between Ms Banks and her record label must be frosty, at the least...
"We can see that her leaking of Broke With Expensive Taste is probably her best chance to drum up interest in the record... If she has made a good record it is very possible that she can claw back a decent platform to make another record when the pressure is off."
Okereke closes the message by adding, "If you are reading this babes: Get this record out, make these summer shows the best they can be and then get your head down and start again from scratch. Don't lose heart, you still have it in you."
Summit Entertainment via Everett Collection
When a movie opts to play inside baseball with a particular industry, it runs two risks: alienating the people outside looking in ("What the hell is all this mumbo jumbo?"), or alienating the people tightly connected to the underworld on display ("They got it all wrong!"). On special occasions, you have a film like Draft Day, which strikes out in both areas, somehow feigning expertise with such vigor as to befuddle strangers to behind-the-scenes football and frustrate those with an inborn knowledge of the underworld. As a member of the former community, I was bored stiff by the nonstop industry jabber. I was surprised to find, after our viewing of the movie, that a sports-savvy friend was even more aggravated with the film for everything they got so very, very wrong.
But really, neither of these is the true crime of Draft Day. Even on the promise of delivering a bona fide curtain pull on the NFL, all the film really owes us is a good story. Instead, Draft Day banks on the appeal of its would-be authenticity — this is how football people talk, act, eat, do business, grimace, throw laptops on draft day! — as a stand-in for any material we might otherwise be able to care about. The film slaps Kevin Costner's Sonny Weaver Jr., beleaguered general manager of the Cleveland Browns, with just about every go-to leading man conflict in the book (problems at work, problems with his girlfriend, problems with his family) in hopes that something will land in the neighborhood of emotional legitimacy... or, more plausibly, in hopes that it'll play enough like an attempt at a screenplay to warrant all the stats talk he's really there to spout.
His supporting cast has even less to do — Jennifer Garner is his all smiles romantic partner whose vehement love for football is supposed to make her interesting to us (What?! But she's a girl!). Ellen Burstyn is Sonny's disapproving mother, who has a penchant for wistful staring. Denis Leary is a coach who yells a lot.
Summit Entertainment via Everett Collection
The one vein of character work that stands out as a near success comes attached to the line of potential drafts. Josh Pence plays draft frontrunner Bo Callahan who Sonny has a bad feeling about. Chadwick Boseman is the underdog linebacker who we know we're supposed to like because he takes his nephews to gymnastics. In a post-Moneyball world, Sonny is accessing the humanity in the boys he's considering for a career on his field. Hell, he's even willing to overlook the troubled past of Arian Foster because he trusts the boy's dad (I think Terry Crews is contractually obligated to appear in any movie about football). It's thin material that amounts to a disjointed explosion, but it rings as the movie's most interesting stuff. Unfortunately, it's couriered through Sonny, a character who we're barely allowed to meet.
The tragedy of this conclusion is that most of the cast members, Costner included, are giving moreover enjoyable performances — accolades in particular to 25-year-old Griffin Newman as fish-out-of-water intern Rick, suffering through the worst first day of work imaginable. The small comedy offered by Newman and a few others (bullpen fixtures like Wade Williams and Veep's Timothy Simons) is treated like an occasional garnish, but amounts to much-craved sustenance when it pervades the tasteless and stale football blather.
Blather that will detract anybody just hoping to catch a fun sports movie, and blather that will turn off the most high-minded of football fans craving some degree of industrial accuracy. In either case, the blather exists in absence of much otherwise. Without any real characters operating in this dense, hectic, ostensibly colorful world of the NFL, it feels as vacant as Sun Life Stadium on opening weekend. (Right?)
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Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron picked up two major prizes at the Jameson Empire Awards 2014 in London on Sunday (30Mar14), including trophies for Best Director and Best Film. The Mexican filmmaker added even more statues to his awards haul during the star-studded ceremony at Grosvenor House, just weeks after earning his first Best Director prize at the Academy Awards.
Cuaron was unable to attend the event, but accepted his awards via video messages.
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug also tied for two wins, including Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Best Male Newcomer for Aidan Turner.
Meanwhile, other acting honours went to Margot Robbie in Best Female Newcomer (The Wolf of Wall Street), Emma Thompson for Best Actress (Saving Mr. Banks), James McAvoy for Best Actor (Filth), and Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave) and Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine) for Best Supporting Actor and Actress, respectively.
Earning top genre prizes were Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (Best Comedy), The Conjuring (Best Horror), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Best Thriller), and The World's End (Best British Film).
Special honours were also handed out to a number of Hollywood A-listers, including Tom Cruise (Legend of Our Lifetime), Arnold Schwarzenegger (Action Hero of Our Lifetime), Hugh Jackman (Empire Icon), Simon Pegg (Empire Hero) and Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass (Empire Inspiration).
Reality TV star Kelly Osbourne is showing off her charitable side again by sending boxes of unwanted clothes and furniture to the U.K. to help the victims of the devastating floods. Thousands of families were stranded last month (Feb14) when days of torrential rain burst river banks and left many areas of Britain under water.
The devastation was caused by the wettest British winter since records began in 1910, and Osbourne was touched by the crisis as her rocker father Ozzy's family mansion in Buckinghamshire, England was among those flooded.
Now she is boxing up unwanted belongings while moving home in the U.S. and has vowed to ship them back to her native U.K. to help other families affected by the severe weather.
Osbourne tells British magazine You, "I flew to New York to clean up after Hurricane Sandy. Now I'm in the process of moving house, so everything at home that I don't want any more is going to be shipped back to England for people who lost everything in the recent floods. Most people don't know about my charitable endeavours because I don't believe you do charity work to talk about it."
Sex and the City has not only made huge stars of Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Kim Cattrall, and Cynthia Nixon, it’s made them icons. Who hasn’t wondered if they are a Samantha, a Miranda, a Charlotte, or a Carrie? Spoiler alert: not everyone can be a Carrie. Regardless, the show was not just a major part of television history but also a major show casting in New York City. It has attracted actors that went on to be major players in Hollywood and huge A-list stars.
Everyone remembers The Good Wife star Chris Noth on the popular sex comedy. Who can forget Liza Minnelli’s random cameo in the Sex and the City movie? Here’s a list of some of the major celebrities who have popped up on the hit HBO show that you might not have realized.
GALLERY: Big Stars on Sex and the City
Rapper Azealia Banks is planning to leak her long-awaited debut album online for free next month (Apr14) following repeated delays over its official release. The 212 hitmaker's record Broke With Expensive Taste has been postponed several times since 2012 amid a feud with her record bosses at Universal, and in January (14), the 22 year old pleaded with label executives to let her go.
Taking to Twitter.com, she wrote, "I'm really in hell here. I've been gratefully riding off of mixtape fumes for the past two years. My fans really need some new music. Universal needs to just hand me over to another label who knows what to do with me. I'm tired of having to consult a group of old white guys about my black girl craft. They don't even know what they're listening for or to. Can someone at Sony buy me off of Universal please?? i'm really in hell here. I REALLY should have signed with Sony."
Now the rapper has risked the wrath of Universal chiefs once again, after deciding to release the music to fans herself.
She tweets, "Album leaks starting April 15th."
The announcement comes a week after Banks postponed her U.K. tour dates for the second time.
I know, that headline is trouble. You're always treading dangerous ground when you insist on defining what makes a good this or the right kind of that, as if there is no room for change or improvement when it comes to classic properties. Of course there is — Jason Segel's 2011 Muppet film approached the concept from an entirely different direction. It didn't hit all of its marks, but it prevailed overall in its conceit: make a movie not about Muppets, but about Muppet fandom. But Muppets Most Wanted, in absence of a clear mission statement and fueled largely by the monetary glimmers of the sequel game (the film's opening number admits this outright), has fewer marks readily available to hit. Landing in the ambiguity between the classic Muppet adventure formula and Segel's post-modern Henson appreciation party, Most Wanted feels like a failure on both counts. It doesn't know which kind of movie it wants to, or should, be. So it doesn't really be anything.
On the one hand, there's the half-cocked "get-the-band-back-together" through line, mimicking but not quite accomplishing the spirit of the 2011 picture. None of the Muppets are particularly likable or charming in this turn, and even fewer of them actually given anything to do. Kermit loses his s**t in the first act after a spat with Piggy and a barrage of insubordination from his troupe (provoked by the nefarious Dominic Badguy, Ricky Gervais), storms off in a huff, and gets swept up in a case of mistaken identity when his criminal doppelganger Constantine pulls the old switcheroo, landing Kermit in a Russian gulag. You'd think this would be a good opportunity for the second tier of Muppet favorites — Piggy, Fozzy, Gonzo, Scooter, Rowlf, et al — to go on a search and rescue... but save for a very brief sequence at the tail end of this achingly long film, none of the other Muppets are giving anything to do. They just hem and haw and perform the occasional "Indoor Running of the Bulls" while Dominic and Constantine scheme, rob banks, and bicker.
Meanwhile, Kermit has some fun in prison — a far more endearing plot that sees him befriending the merry convicts, organizing a penitentiary revue, and even winning the heart of the vicious warden Nadia (Tina Fey). If only we could spend more time with real Kermit and less time with fake Kermit and his second banana Gervais, an effectively boring pair.
On the other hand, though, there's the Muppet shtick that fans of The Great Muppet Caper and Muppet Treasure Island — and yes, The Muppet Show itself — will deem the movie's best material: CIA Agent Sam Eagle and Interpol Agent Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell) hot on the trail of Constantine and Dominic. Here, we get a different type of Muppet movie entirely from what Segel and the A-plot in Most Wanted are opting: the old fashioned vaudeville act, with Sam standing as an independent entity from his googly-eyed brethren, on a goofy, musical prowl with Burrell that fuels the film with its best and most consistent chuckles. Their "Interrogation Song" number is outstanding, exemplifying the many talents of Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie, who wrote all the music for this and the previous film.
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Unfortunately, Muppets Most Wanted isn't sure that it wants to be The Great Muppet Caper, beheld so stubbornly to its Segelian roots. There's a palpable compulsion to stick with this agonizingly self-aware, nostalgia-crazy, brimming-beacons-of-the-past-in-a-callous-today theme that doesn't work a fraction as well as it did in the 2011 film. Without a legitimate celebration of any of our favorite characters, how could it? With so much going on in this movie, and such a lengthy runtime at just under two hours, it's a sure sign of failure that we walk away feeling like we spent barely any time with the Muppets.
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Members of a male dance troupe were caught up in a terrifying shooting in Las Vegas on Tuesday night (18Mar14) when they caught an armed man in their backstage dressing room. The stars of Australia's Thunder from Down Under, a strip group featured on U.S. TV shows including Project Runway, Drop Dead Diva and The Tyra Banks Show, are said to have found a man rifling through their belongings following their show at the Excalibur Hotel & Casino.
The strippers confronted the suspected thief, who allegedly pulled a gun on the group and the weapon was fired in the subsequent struggle, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
One of the dancers suffered minor facial injuries from the gunshot and a suspect was arrested at the scene.
Former Happy Mondays star Bez wants organic gardens installed on top of every office block in Britain in an effort to provide cheap food. The dancer, real name Mark Berry, plans to run in the 2015 U.K. election as a potential Member of Parliament (MP) for Salford and Eccles in England, and he has outlined an eco-friendly manifesto.
Berry has now detailed his big idea to conquer food shortages, urging Britons to start growing their own crops.
He tells Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper, "You don't need money for everything. There are people starving on the streets, and there are food banks. It is ridiculous. People have got to take responsibility back for themselves and start feeding themselves.
"I've stared a one (a garden) on the top of the Printworks building in Manchester (in England) city centre. I've got a wild flower garden up there, chickens, beehives, and fruit and veg. These are the ideas I am promoting. Every office block in the city could be growing their own organic fruit and veg, keeping bees."
Actor Jon Hamm is set to receive an Excellence in Acting Award at CinemaCon 2014 later this month (Mar14). The Mad Men star will be feted for his work on 26 March (14) in Las Vegas. The Hunger Games star Elizabeth Banks received the accolade last year (13).