Actress Kirstie Alley has slammed Leah Remini for criticising the Church of Scientology after turning her back on the religion following nearly three decades of devotion. The former King of Queens star left the controversial organisation earlier this year (13) after she reportedly became embroiled in an argument with religious leader David Miscavige over some of the group's strict policies.
Remini proceeded to give a series of press interviews, in which she spoke candidly about the difficulties she faced walking away from the religion, claiming she had been shunned and could no longer see or talk to friends she had had for decades.
However, devout Scientologist Alley has vehemently denied the assertions after she was quizzed about Remini's accusations during an appearance on U.S. shockjock Howard Stern's radio show on Wednesday (04Dec13).
She said, "First of all, I just want everyone to know I have hundreds of friends who have come into Scientology and left Scientology... You're not shunned, you're not chased. All that stuff's bulls**t."
Alley then took aim at Remini, adding, "When you are generalising and when your goal is to malign and to say things about an entire group... when you decide to blanket statement that Scientology is evil, you are my enemy."
The Look Who's Talking star also revealed she has banished Remini from her social networking sites because of her outspoken views, stating, "I have blocked her on Twitter... because she's a bigot."
Remini reportedly responded to Alley's statements on Twitter.com by quoting American author Mark Twain, writing, "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. Something I wish I had practiced (sic)! Lol (laugh out loud)."
The message has since been removed.
Alley's comments emerge months after reports suggested the two actresses had fallen out after Remini posted a cryptic message on Twitter.com in July (13), which read, "When faced w (with) malicious gossip I take a moment to experience the loss of the person I thought was my friend... Then I say f**k em (sic)... the sweetest poison is often served with a smile... beware syrup."
Alley subsequently denied there was a feud between the two.
"It's a f**king masterpiece. I love it. Nobody has the right to be that f**king good at this point in their career. Apart from Neil Young, all of the people that are in his league are basically f**king s**t... There's at least three songs on there that you listen to them and immediately pick the guitar up and just think, 'F**king b**tard! Why did I never write that?' I think it's some of the best stuff he's ever done." Noel Gallagher is a big fan of David Bowie's comeback album The Next Day.
Filmmaker Paul Greengrass has been tipped to direct a movie adaptation of Stephen King's classic The Stand. The Bourne Supremacy director is reportedly in talks with bosses at Warner Bros. to create a new film based on King's 1978 post-apocalyptic horror novel, according to Badassdigest.com.
The film has faced numerous delays since Harry Potter director David Yates reportedly stepped down in 2011. Ben Affleck was also linked to the job earlier this year (13) before walking away, and his replacement, Scott Cooper, also recently exited the project.
The Stand was previously seen as a 1994 TV mini-series starring Gary Sinise, Rob Lowe and Molly Ringwald.
As the winds of award show nominations pick up, you won't be surprised to find 12 Years a Slave at the top of every list. But the Academy, the Golden Globes, and the various other captains of the circuit are inclined to overlook some of our smaller, more personal favorites in lieu of the big, grand, and wholly unavoidable awardable pictures like Steven McQueen's American slavery epic. That is not to rob 12 Years of Slave of its due credit — the film absolutely deserves as much awards attention as it is getting. It's simply the sort of movie that you know will get awards attention right out of the gate... whereas pictures just as pristine such as Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig's Frances Ha, likely won't be the center of attention come Oscar night. But that's what the Independent Spirit Awards are for: to recognize the movies that we cherish with intimacy rather than with grandeur. Among them are Frances Ha, new release Nebraska, Robert Redford's nearly wordless All Is Lost (also a viable candidate for the Academy, due to its own dezzling veneer), the Coen Bros' upcoming Inside Llewyn Davis, and, yes, of course, 12 Years a Slave.
Check out the full list of nods below.
BEST FEATURE 12 Years A Slave All Is Lost Frances Ha Inside Llewyn Davis Nebraska
BEST LEAD FEMALE Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine Julie Delpy, Before Midnight Gaby Hoffman, Crystal Fairy Brie Larson, Short Term 12 Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now
BEST LEAD MALE Bruce Dern, Nebraska Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club Robert Redford, All Is Lost
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE Melonie Diaz, Fruitvale StationSally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years A Slave Yolanda Ross, Go For Sisters June Squibb, Nebraska
BEST SUPPORTING MALE Michael Fassbender, 12 Years A Slave Will Forte, Nebraska James Gandolfini, Enough Said Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club Keith Stanfield, Short Term 12
BEST DIRECTOR Shane Carruth, Upstream Color J.C. Chandor, All Is Lost Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave Jeff Nichols, Mud Alexander Payne, Nebraska
BEST FIRST FEATUREBlue Caprice Concussion Fruitvale Station Una Noche Wadjda
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD Computer Chess Crystal Fairy Museum Hours Pit Stop This Is Martin Bonner
BEST SCREENPLAY Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater, Before Midnight Nicole Holofcener, Enough Said Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, The Spectacular Now John Ridley, 12 Years A Slave
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY Lake Bell, In A World Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Don Jon Bob Nelson, Nebraska Jill Soloway, Afternoon Delight Michael Starburry, The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister & Pete
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHYSean Bobbitt, 12 Years A Slave Benoit Debie, Spring Breakers Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis Frank G. Demarco, All Is Lost Matthias Grunsky, Computer Chess
BEST EDITING Shane Carruth & David Lowery, Upstream Color Jem Cohen & Marc Vives, Museum Hours Jennifer Lame, Frances Ha Cindy Lee, Una Noche Nat Sanders, Short Term 12
BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM A Touch Of Sin Blue Is The Warmest ColorGloriaThe Great Beauty The Hunt
BEST DOCUMENTARYThe Act Of Killing After Tiller Gideon's ArmyThe Square Twenty Feet From Stardom
PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARDToby Halbrooks & James M. JohnsonJacob JaffkeAndrea RoaFerderick Thornton
TRUER THAN FICTION AWARDS Kalyanee Mam, A River Changes Course Jason Osder, Let The Fire Burn Stephanie Spray & Pancho Valez, Manakamana
SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARDS Aaron Douglas Johnston, My Sisters' Quinceanera Shaka King, Newlyweeds Madeleine Olnek, The Foxy Merkins
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARDMud
Actor Ethan Hawke has felt the wrath of America's theatre critics - they have savaged his turn as William Shakespeare's tragic king Macbeth on the New York stage. The Training Day star tackles the gruelling role in a new production at the Lincoln Center Theater, alongside James McAvoy's actress wife Anne-Marie Duff as his murderous queen, Lady Macbeth.
However, the show has opened to dire reviews following its press night on Thursday (21Nov13), with Hawke taking the brunt for his performance.
In the New York Times, critic Ben Brantley brands the play's three witches as the stars of the show, adding, "The production also features a lost soul named Ethan Hawke in the title role, but let's not distract ourselves from the main event."
Brantley also claims the audience struggled to hear a word Hawke said, writing, "He delivers Shakespeare's poetry like a moody, glue-sniffing teenager reciting Leonard Cohen lyrics to himself."
Elisabeth Vincentelli for the New York Post agrees, adding, "There's no getting around Hawke's underwhelming performance... It's almost enough to make you believe that the Scottish play really is cursed."
The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney writes that Hawke gives a "sauntering, strangely noncommittal performance" and only "intermittently gets his teeth into the tyrant".
Writer and director Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace) has opted to exit his developing project, an adaptation of Stephen King film adaption of The Stand, According to The Wrap. Reports are that Cooper cites "creative differences" with Warner Bros as his reason for leaving the project.
The Stand, which is based on King's 1978 post-apocalyptic horror novel of the same name, was originally expected to be written by Steve Kloves and directed by David Yates (of Harry Potter fame). However, both Kloves and Yates exited the project because they felt it would work better as a mini-series. Afterwards, Oscar winner Ben Affleck (Argo) signed on to write, direct, and star. But, soon after, Affleck left so he could direct and star in another Warner Bros. project, Live By the Night.
Once Affleck exited, Cooper was immediately tapped to direct and rewrite the script for the film, which had already had a first draft by David Kajganich. From the onslaught, the film has been labeled a priority project for the studio, so loss of another director could be spelling trouble for the adaption.
Cooper's exit may cause even more concern for studio since The Stand has a reputation of being one King's more complex novels, and it won't be easy to get another director to immediately sign on. In addition, Warner Bros. seems unsure whether they want the novel to be adapted into a franchise or just one film, which could also be holding up the production.
However, Cooper's exit is not the end of the world (pun intended). The latest rumors are speculating that Christian Bale may sign on to star in The Stand, and the addition of big name actor could help draw in another well known writer/director.
The Stand was previously developed into an eight hour mini-series for ABC, with a script written by King himself. This 1994 version starred Gary Sinise and Molly Ringwald.
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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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The hat worn by Michael Jackson during the most-watched TV special in history has sold at auction for $5,760 (£3,840). The late King of Pop sported the black fedora while he performed his hit track Billie Jean on a televised show to celebrate his 30th anniversary as a solo performer in New York in 2001. The programme pulled in 450 million viewers worldwide.
The item was one of 17 items put up for sale by the Thriller hitmaker's friend, producer David Gest, at Fieldings auction house in England on Saturday (16Nov13). The sale raised a total of $45,000 (£30,000).
Illusionist David Blaine and his late pal Michael Jackson once slipped into Britain's Parliament building, much to the surprise of unsuspecting tourists. The American magician and the King of Pop became unlikely friends and admits he'll never forget the reaction they received during a day out together in London.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, he explains, "I got to spend a lot of time with Michael Jackson. One time we snuck into the Parliament building. And we walked in, but he wasn't in disguise. And it was so strange, because the whole place was full.
"We went into the part where tourists go. And all of a sudden you heard this hush - like people start whispering. And it got louder and louder, and then it became really loud, and then everything went silent.
"And I was like, 'Whoa. This is really unbelievable.' He had this thing where people reacted in a way that I've never, ever seen anything like. So it was pretty extraordinary."
Music Box Films/Everett Collection
In a recent interview with the London Evening Standard, Tom Hiddleston said, "I’m soooo aware of the borderline pretentiousness of my conversation." As his rabid fans (myself included? Not admitting anything here) know, Hiddleston has quite the penchant for esoteric references and waxing poetic when it comes to Shakespeare. Let’s take a look at his most-pretentious-ever quotes:
On Tilda Swinton: "And we read each other Rumi and talked about Einstein’s theory of entanglement and Hamlet and the White Stripes and Fibonacci. It was just an amazing time of sharing all the things that we loved, filling ourselves up with so many references that we were then happy to drop, because we knew what we were talking about." (From NowToronto)
Standard Hiddleston fare: a couple of vaguely academic references, along with a sly mention of that infamous brooding Dane ("There are some other princes I haven’t played yet, too." Hint, hint).
On Loki: "When I was constructing him with ['Thor' director] Ken Branagh — because Shakespeare is a shared passion and shared inheritance — we talked about the reference...he's kind of like Edmund in King Lear, Iago in Othello or Cassius in Julius Caesar. So I was borrowing archetypes from my knowledge of Shakespeare." (From the LA Times)
I suppose Shakespeare isn’t too big of a leap when your director is “Ken” Branagh — especially when Branagh himself states that Henry V was one of his sources of inspiration.
On his work in Midnight in Paris: "I met David O. Russell for dinner when he was in London for Silver Linings Playbook. I just wanted to tell him how much I loved the film. And he basically spent an hour telling me why he thinks Midnight in Paris is the greatest film that’s been made in the last 20 years, and he insisted on taking a picture because he was such a fan of Fitzgerald." (From Entertainment Weekly)
Oh, smooth backdoor brag, Tom. So what we can gather here is that Hiddleston’s hoping to star as Hamlet in David O. Russell’s ground-breaking adaptation – ooh! Jennifer Lawrence can play Ophelia, Melissa Leo can play Gertrude, and – who are we kidding, Russell would pass right over Hiddleston in favor of Christian Bale when it came down to the title role.
When all is said and done? We (the Hiddlestoners? Whatever, at least it’s more politically correct than “Cumberbitches”) love him all the more for his (over) enthusiastic name-dropping and über-academic manner of speaking. Who wouldn’t? He’s so damn irresistible! And if you’re ever feeling down on him, you can always temper this mass of pretentious-ness with the fact that he recently danced to K-Pop and sang Michael Jackson on a recent promotional tour of Seoul. Yeah, that actually happened.