Singer/actress Jill Scott has a better understanding of women who stay with abusive partners after portraying James Brown's wife Dee Dee in new biopic Get On Up. The star reveals her mother was part of a toxic, violent relationship when she was a child, but playing Dee Dee has helped her to understand the mind of an abused wife.
Scott tells WENN, "My mother was in an abusive relationship early in her life, and she took us away from that. I couldn't quite understand why she stayed, but I have been able to learn some things about that particular kind of woman - the level of love.
"Someone would easily say it's foolishness to stay with someone who is abusive to you. But what I learned about DeeDee is that there is a love that's greater and wider and more powerful than anything I, as yet, understand in this life, and I will always take that with me.
"Do I want to be in an abusive relationship? Of course not! But I would understand better as I go on in this life, absolutely. And Dee Dee still loved James. Period. I think I do, too."
"We had not met before. We just sent messages through family and I really did not want to talk to her." Jill Scott on meeting James Brown's first wife Deedee at the New York premiere of new biopic Get On Up. Scott portrays Deedee in the film.
Sir Mick Jagger has opened up about the death of his girlfriend L'Wren Scott in a new TV interview, admitting it has been a "hard year" and he threw himself into work to cope.
The Rolling Stones frontman was asked about the tragedy during an interview on America's Today show, which aired on Friday (18Jul14) to promote the new James Brown biopic Get On Up that the singer produced.
Jagger looked sombre as he revealed he threw himself into work to deal with the pain of Scott's death. He said, "I'm doing okay. It's difficult. (It's been a) very hard year, but I got back into it by working on touring with the Stones in Europe and doing other things, including doing this great movie... (I've had) a lot of support... and I appreciate that."
Jagger was on tour with the band in Australia when his long-term partner took her own life at her apartment in New York City in March (14), prompting the group to postpone shows in Australia and New Zealand.
The veteran singer returned to the stage in Norway in May (14).
"If I had to say who I thought the best singers were, I'd say first that I don't know there's a definitive answer, as, in my opinion it's subjective, and second that my focus is primarily rock singers. That said, I enjoy Freddie Mercury, Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, Dan McCafferty, Janis Joplin, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Roger Daltrey, Don Henley, Jeff Lynne, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Scott, Etta James, Fiona Apple, Chrissie Hynde, Stevie Wonder, James Brown and a ton of others... and would rather hear any of them anytime rather than me!" Axl Rose responds to a new online poll which placed his at the top of the world's greatest singers list.
Actress Angela Bassett is to make her directorial debut with a new movie about tragic superstar Whitney Houston. The star, who portrayed Tina Turner in 1993 biopic What's Love Got To Do With It, has been researching the singer's turbulent life and marriage to Bobby Brown for the TV movie Whitney Houston, which is expected to air in 2015.
The film will largely take place during the couple's marriage, when Houston became addicted to cocaine. Bassett says, "I have such regard for both Whitney's and Bobby's amazing talents and accomplishments, and I feel a responsibility in the telling of their story. "Their humanity and bond fascinates us all. I'm beyond excited to have this opportunity to go behind the camera and into their world."
The script for the biopic has been written by Shem Bitterman, who created the screenplay for Bassett's acclaimed 2013 TV movie Betty & Coretta, in which the actress portrayed Coretta Scott King, the wife of civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr.
Houston died in her hotel bathtub in February, 2012. Her passing was ruled an accidental drowning, combined with the effects of heart disease and cocaine use.
British boyband 5Ive has been reduced to a three-piece after rapper Abz Love dropped out of an upcoming tour due to "personal reasons". The When The Lights Go Out hitmakers reformed in 2012 without original member J Brown, who decided not to join the reunion, and 5ive have now lost another member ahead of their upcoming shows.
Love will remain a part of the group, but he will not be joining them on The Big Reunion Boyband Tour. Instead, Sean Conlon, Ritchie Neville and Scott Robinson have decided to continue with the gigs as a trio.
A series of posts on the band's Twitter.com page read, "Unfortunately Abz is unable to make The Big Reunion Tour. But don't worry he's not leaving the band!... Abz is still confirmed for all other Five shows coming up!... We had to make a decision whether to go forward for the tour as a Three we didn't want to let the fans down..."
Love adds to Britain's Daily Star Sunday newspaper that he exited the tour for "personal reasons", but adds, "I've definitely not left (the group). All is gravy (good) with me and the boys. We are still together. 5ive aren't splitting up."
The Rolling Stones have scrapped their upcoming Australia and New Zealand tour dates to allow frontman Sir Mick Jagger time to mourn the death of his longtime girlfriend L'Wren Scott. The rockers arrived Down Under on Sunday (16Mar14), ahead of a date in Perth on Wednesday (19Mar14), but the band pulled the show early on Tuesday (18Mar14), a day after fashion designer Scott's body was found hanging from a scarf in her New York apartment.
Now the Brown Sugar hitmakers have pulled the plug on the entire seven-date trek, which was to include stops in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland.
A statement issued to WENN reads: "The Rolling Stones are deeply sorry and disappointed to announce the postponement of the rest of their 14 ON FIRE tour of Australia and New Zealand following the death of L'Wren Scott.
"Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood wish to thank all of their fans for their support at this difficult time and hope that they will fully understand the reason for this announcement."
Fans have been advised to hold on to their tickets until new dates are announced.
The news of the tour postponement emerges on the same day Jagger broke his silence about Scott's passing.
A message posted on his official website reads: "I am still struggling to understand how my lover and best friend could end her life in this tragic way. We spent many wonderful years together and had made a great life for ourselves.
"She had great presence and her talent was much admired, not least by me. I have been touched by the tributes that people have paid to her, and also the personal messages of support that I have received. I will never forget her."
Jagger, who started dating Scott in 2001, left Australia for New York shortly after the tragic news broke to help take care of funeral arrangements.
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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Dame Helen Mirren has found herself at the centre of a prizegiving controversy after three judges from the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards quit amid allegations of vote fixing to secure the movie star a top honour. Last month (Nov13), the 68 year old picked up the accolade for Best Actress for her portrayal of The Queen in West End stage play The Audience, but now the legitimacy of her win has come under scrutiny.
According to reports, Mirren was tied with another actress for the award at the end of a secret ballot, but one judge, Evening Standard newspaper writer Henry Hitchings, went on to change his vote, giving the Oscar winner the edge over her closest rival. The identity of the Best Actress runner up has not been revealed, but the category featured competition from Kristin Scott Thomas, Linda Bassett, Billie Piper and Lesley Manville.
News of Hitchings' last minute vote change has since prompted three of the seven judges to leave the seven-strong panel - theatre critics Charles Spencer, Georgina Brown and Susannah Clapp have all stepped down and will not return for next year's (14) awards show.
In a blog post for Britain's The Telegraph, Spencer claimed his "jaw dropped" when Mirren was announced as the Best Actress winner at the London ceremony, adding, "In the end awards are no more than the icing on the theatrical cake. But this year it left a bitter taste in the mouth."
However, Theatre Awards judge and Evening Standard editor Sarah Sands has dismissed the accusations, insisting there was nothing wrong with Hitchings' change of heart because his initial vote concerned The Light Princess actress Rosalie Craig, who had been removed from the Best Actress category in favour of inclusion in the Best Musical Performance shortlist.
She says, "(It was) an absolutely legitimate choice. It would be absolutely wrong to suggest that there was anything untoward about the (voting) process."
Give Martin Freeman an empty room and he'll give you comedy. The best parts of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — an admittedly mishandled movie in large — involved his subdued grimaces, his Chaplinian waddling, and the way he carried himself with equal parts neurosis and snark in every scene. If there is one primary misstep of An Unexpected Journey's terrifically improved sequel, The Desolation of Smaug, it is the spiritual absence of Bilbo Baggins.
Freeman's good-natured but disgruntled Hobbit takes a backseat to the Dwarf team in this chapter of Peter Jackon's three-part saga, distributing the heavy lifting among the front lines of the bearded mooks. Thankfully, we're not shafted with too much "Thorin's destiny" backstory, instead focusing on the trek forward, through far more interesting terrain than we got last time around. The Dwarves voyage through a trippy woodland that'll conjur fond memories of The Legend of Zelda's unnavigable forest levels and inside the borders of Lake-town, a man-occupied working class monarchy that is more vivid and living than any place we have seen yet in the series. And while Unexpected Journey's goblin caverns might have been cool to look at, none of the quests in Desolation feel nearly as close to a tangential detour. Every step the Dwarves take is one that beckons us closer to the central, increasingly engaging story.
Desolation is not entirely without its curiosities. While Gandalf's mission to meet the Necromancer serves to connect the Hobbit trilogy to the Lord of the Rings movies, the occasional cuts over to the wizard's pursuits are primarily distracting and just a bit dull. Although we're happy to welcome the Elf race back into our Middle-earth adventures, it's easy to imagine a version of this story that didn't involve side characters like Legolas and Kate... I mean, Tauriel... and still felt whole (perhaps even more cohesive). The latter's love affair with hot Dwarf Kili seems like a last minute addition to the canon, and one not built on anything beyond the cinematic rule that two sexually compatible attractive people should probably have something brewing alongside all the action.
But the most egregious of crimes committed by Desolation is, unquestionably, the shafting of Bilbo Baggins to secondary status. Yes, he proves himself a savior to his fellow travelers four times in the film, but long stretches of action go by without so much as a word from the wide-eyed burglar. When he finally takes center stage in his theatrical face-off with Smaug — an exercise in double-talk reminiscent of Oedipus outsmarting the Sphinx — the film picks up with a new, cool energy, with a chilling fun laced around the impending doom of their back-and-forth. We've been waiting since the first frames of Unexpected to see how the dragon material will pay off, and it does in spades... albeit in the final third of Desolation, but with equal parts gravitas and fun, to reunite us with our Tolkien passions once more.
Benedict Cumberbatch's dragon doesn't do much to subvert expectation — he's slithering, sadistic, vain, manipulative, and vaguely Londonian. But tradition feels good here. Smaug's half hour spent toying with the mousey Bilbo (who does get a chance to showcase his aptitude at small-scale physical comedy here) is terrific in every way.
Its Hobbit problem aside, Desolation proves itself worthy of Bilbo's past proclamation. "I'm going on an adventure!" more than pays off here, in the form of mystifying boat rides, edge-of-your-seat efforts in dragon slaying, and the most joyful action set piece we've seen in years. Twelve Dwarves, twelve barrels, and one roaring river amounts for enough fun to warrant your trip to the theater for this latest outing into Middle-earth.
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