Although we might bemoan the nostalgia epidemic that has overtaken the pop culture world, we can't help but buy into it from time to time. Occupied so densely by irony and cynicism, the present slate of film and television can seem on occasion to pale in comparison to the spirited, whimsical material with which many of us grew up. We look back to the dawn of Steven Spielberg's triumphant '80s, honing in on films like E.T. and The Goonies that enchanted audiences young and old. We might feel like movies of this nature cannot exist in the callous climate of 2014, but Earth to Echo writer/producer Andrew Panay seems to disagree.
"I think one thing that hasn't changed," he says, considering the past three decades of cultural and technological evolution, "is the way young adults process things. I don't think that feelings change, or emotions change." Panay's sentiment is clear in Earth to Echo, a science-fiction family adventure in the vein of the aforementioned classic pictures told through the lens of the everpresent iPhone. We might instinctively assume that the inclusion of modern devices robs a story of that pre-digital wonder, but Earth to Echo actually uses the found footage technique to access that sort of Spielbergian intimacy front and center. "What’s endearing about Echo is that you’re actually seeing people’s feelings right there," Panay says, citing something that many audiences could treat as hokey in a standard contemporary picture but might be more willing to embrace in a found footage film... specifically one that taps into the immediacy of sharing videos.
Earth to Echo
In fact, Panay delights in things like Instagram and Facebook in helping to bring people together: "[We're] praising it. I think it’s a wonderful thing that people just wanted to share and ... change the world. It’s done a lot of good. Look at how the world has come together so quickly. You can press send, and you can be sharing photos and skyping someone across the world. I think it’s a positive thing."
The Earth to Echo gang — a trio of boys (played by Astro, Teo Halm, Reese Hartwig) and their popular schoolmate (Ella Wahlestedt) who trek out into the desert on a mission to save an endangered alien — represents just as much of the "old world" as it does the new. "I think [the movie speaks to] parents who want to get into the space tour era, that ‘80s era ... but I think this movie was really to give kids the same experience that I had when I was a kid." Plus, the genre can truly help cineastes like Panay and director David Green pay tribute to the power of filmmaking. Panay says to anyone who commands a lens, be it a movie camera or simply an iPhone used to record the events of the day, "You're your own director of how you view the world."
Check out Earth to Echo hits theaters now!
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Summer is the time to shape up and show more skin. If you're in need of a new routine to get you in top shape this season, give one of these star workouts try.
1. CrossFitA WOD (workout of the day) combines plyometrics, cardio and weight lifting to get you seriously ripped. Top trainer Bob Harper and Mrs. Timberlake, Jessica Biel, are CrossFit devotees.
2. TRXCreated by Navy seals, TRX utilizes straps hanging from the cieling or a wall, allowing you to train with your own bodyweight. The perfect Gisele Bundchen and Mary J. Blige love TRX.
3. SoulCycleSpinning is one of the most popular cardio workouts right now. Ashley Benson and Anderson Cooper have been known to hop on the bike to burn up to 700 calories per class.
4. Bikram YogaBikram yoga involves practicing your postures in a heated room for a greater burn. Lady Gaga and Christy Turlington are yogis.
5. The Tracy Anderson MethodTracy Anderson maintains a loyal following of slim celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow and Shakira. This workout combines light weight training with high intensity dance cardio.
6. Burn 60Reese Witherspoon makes sure to take a Burn 60 class each week to work off major calories. This interval class alternates cardio and strength training segments.
7. AKTFormerly of the Tracy Anderson camp, Anna Kaiser developed a toning dance cardio workout of her own. Kelly Ripa is her biggest celebrity advocate.
8. Barre3For a lean dancer's body, ballet-inspired workouts using a barre, ball and hand weights are gaining steam. Based in Seattle, Barre3 has even attracted Madonna.
9. PilatesPilates is all about the core using your own body weight. Miley Cyrus attributed her amazing transformation to pilates legend Mari Winsor.
10. Barry's BootcampCombining high energy cardio and strength training intervals, this workout has sculpted the bodies of everyone from Kim Kardashian to Jake Gyllenhaal.
Brad Pitt brought Hollywood to New Orleans, Louisiana on Saturday (17May14) for a gala fundraiser in support of his foundation. The Fight Club star hosted the event to raise money for the Make it Right organisation, which aims to build environmentally sound homes in areas of the city devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Comedian Chris Rock served as the emcee for the evening, while Bruno Mars and Kings of Leon took the stage to perform.
Pitt's fiancee Angelina Jolie was also in attendance, as well as Sandra Bullock, Modern Family star Sofia Vergara and funnyman Jim Gaffigan.
Meanwhile, Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey was across town for a benefit concert at the House of Blues to support his charity, the Just Keep Livin' Foundation. The event was a joint fundraiser with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and his organisation, The Brees Dream Foundation.
Country singer Kenny Chesney served as headliner for the show, while Reese Witherspoon surprised concertgoers when she took the stage to sing a duet of Johnny Cash's song Jackson, which the Oscar winner performed in her hit film Walk the Line.
Earlier in the day, Pitt was spotted chatting with McConaughey from opposite hotel balconies in New Orleans and even tossed the Dallas Buyers Club star a cold beer.
Warner Bros Everett Collection
Just how different are modern cinema and that of the '70s and '80s? Are there great movie scenes that wouldn't get made today because the audience wouldn't tolerate them? Conversely, are there scenes that were shocking back in the day that wouldn't cause anyone to think twice now?
It's a given that audiences' tastes change over time… the same as social norms do in America. Oddly, though, where audiences sometimes become more relaxed about what they will accept — for instance, with profanity, since George Carlin's "7 Dirty Words" has been reduced to two — they sometimes become more conservative about other things. Below is our look at a group of scenes from movies that probably wouldn't make it on screen for a studio release now, and some others that were shocking when they were released that wouldn't cause anyone to lift an eyebrow today.
Oh No, They Didn't!
The Last Temptation of Christ / Life of Brian
Martin Scorsese's adaption of Nikos Kazantzakis' 1953 novel, with the scene of Jesus dreaming of a sexual encounter with Mary Magdalene, was controversial in 1988 and caused an outcry from various Christian groups. In today's media environment, and with the advent of social media, that controversy would be 1,000-fold and wouldn't go away easily. Even Scorsese wouldn't be able to get that into a film now… we'll accept the debauchery and debasement of his The Wolf of Wall Street but depicting Christ as having sexual urges wouldn't fly. In the same vein, imagine trying to convince a studio to okay Monty Python's famous "Always Look on the Bright Side" finale to Brian with the singing crucifixion victims. It met with criticism when it was released in 1979, but it would cause Bill O'Reilly's head to explode now.
Quentin Tarantino gets heat from all sides for his use of the N-word in his stylized action-violence fantasies like Django Unchained and Pulp Fiction… which represent a far different aura than a studio comedy would. Many white audiences would shift uncomfortably in their seats now at Mel Brooks' comedic use of the word during the scene where Cleavon Little's Sheriff Bart first arrives at Rock Ridge. (As well as the various other ethnic jokes throughout the film; Brooks' was an equal opportunity offender.)
Airplane! / Heathers
On a similar token, as funny as Airplane! remains in our memories, in the wake of 9-11 many audiences would be squeamish about laughing at a plane crashing through a terminal, just as the reveal of Christian Slater's plot to blow up the school in Heathers would play much differently now.
What's the Big Deal?
The Exorcist / Rosemary's Baby /The Blair Witch Project
Horror movies have to really work hard now if they want to be controversial. William Friedkin's The Exorcist is still plenty scary 40 years later and the scene where Linda Blair's Regan finds an inappropriate use for a crucifix would still get attention… but it would be minor and chalked up to the now standard shock tactics employed by the genre. Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby is so non-threatening at this point that it's being done as a network TV series. Similarly, Blair Witch's up-the-nose shots would be seen as cute after the rise of films like Paranormal Activity that, in fairness, it helped spawn.
Lolita / The Last Tango in Paris
When Reese Witherspoon had sex with her teacher in Election, it barely registered as being inappropriate. Vladimir Nabokov's book and the subsequent 1962 Kubrick film were hugely controversial (pick any scene of James Mason and Peter Sellers leering at Sue Lyon). When the film was remade in 1997 with Jeremy Irons playing the tortured Humbert Humbert, obsessed with a young girl, audiences could've cared less. When Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango was released in 1972 with Marlon Brando as a widower in an illicit affair with a young French woman it earned an X-rating for its sexual content, particularly for a scene involving butter being used for something far removed from toast. When Bertolucci's Stealing Beauty came out in 1996 with Liv Tyler as an American teenager experiencing a sexual awakening amongst a group of artists in Italy, most people's reaction was, "Hey, is that Steven Tyler's daughter?"
Actress Anne Hathaway attended a rally in Los Angeles on Thursday (08May14) to call for the release of the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls. The teenagers were snatched from a school in northern Nigeria last month (Apr14) during a night raid by members of the Boko Haram extremist group, who want to deny them a Western education.
Oscar winner Hathaway and her husband Adam Schulman became the latest celebrities to back the cause, taking to the streets of Los Angeles in a Bring Back Our Girls rally to demand urgent action over the scandal.
Hathaway even used a megaphone to lead the crowd in chants to support the cause.
Documentary filmmaker Ramaa Mosley, who attended the rally, tells Entertainment Tonight, "She came and surprised us and her voice was louder than everybody else. They were yelling at all the cars (passing by)!"
Hathaway is just one of many stars to show their support for the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, which was first launched on Twitter.com.
Sean 'Diddy' Combs, Jada Pinkett Smith, Amy Poehler, Reese Witherspoon, Cara Delevingne, Anthony Kiedis, Alicia Keys, and Ellen DeGeneres are all backing the drive to pressure the Nigerian government to step in and rescue the missing girls.
British actor Matt Smith has landed a major new role in the Terminator reboot. The former Doctor Who star will play a man with a strong connection to Jason Clarke's lead character John Connor and his story arc is expected to grow over the trilogy, according to Deadline.com.
Smith will join Game Of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor, Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who will reprise his Cyborg role, in Terminator: Genesis, which will be directed by Thor: The Dark World filmmaker Alan Taylor.
The movie is due to hit theatres in July, 2015.
There is a new trend of films, both maintream hits and cult favorites, being turned into successful Tony Award winning musicals. Some might say there are no new ideas and creativity is dead. Others may delight in seeing the movies they love set to song and dance. It seems like nothing is exempt from the treatment, from Disney cartoons like The Lion King and The Little Mermaid, to heartwarming dramas like Newsies and Billy Elliot, and off-the-wall comedies like Monty Python and the Holy Grail (which begat Spamalot). There’s even an off-Broadway musical of the cult flick Heathers. It's getting some decent traction with its stylish production design and hilarious lyrics. Does this mean it could be the next toast of Broadway?
Some of the strangest films have gone on to become majorly successful musical. Here are some of the strangest and most fun:
Despite a memorable soundtrack and the magic of Olivia Newton John (ONJ) and The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), this film wasn’t commercially successful and was panned by critics. Heck, it even inspired John J.B. Wilson to create The Razzie Awards. However, it did make a wildly fun Broadway musical. The adaptation poked fun at some of the more bizarre parts of the film like ONJ’s love for roller-skates and leg warmers and some major plot holes. Greek muse Clio (Kerry Butler) goes undercover as a mortal named Kira with a thick Australian accent to inspire dim-witted artist Sonny Malone (Cheyenne Jackson).
The quirky British comedy drama finds a son inheriting his father’s shoe factory. When he befriends a drag queen Lola, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor (yes, that Chiwetel Ejiofor) he gets an idea to save his factory. The film also features Shaun of the Dead star Nick Frost. The award-winning musical version has songs penned by Cyndi Lauper (who won her first Tony for the show — she's just an Oscar away from EGOTing now!) and story by Harvey Fierstein.
Reese Witherspoon throws the whole notion of "dumb blondes" out the window when sorority girl Elle Woods goes to Harvard Law School. This highly addictive musical features Laura Bell Bundy as Elle, along with major dance numbers, insanely catchy sing-a-long moments, and fresh additions to the original story. Smash star Christian Borle appears as Elle’s dorky love interest Emmett. The series did not win a Tony but it did find a lot success and even aired in its entirety on MTV.
John Waters' edgy comedy about the 1960s race relations and dance series already had musical numbers, so all it needed was that extra touch. The 1988 film starred Ricki Lake, Divine, and Debbie Harry. It spawned a musical that won eight Tony Awards. It starred Harvey Fierstein and Glee star Matthew Morrison. Xanadu star Butler and Legally Blonde’s Bundy also had roles in this obscenely popular musical. Not only did the musical clean up some of Waters more edgy themes but it somehow managed to inspire a movie musical based on a musical based on a movie. It can best be described as:
A sprawling home in Henderson, Tennessee which once belonged to late music legend Johnny Cash has been sold for $2 million (£1.2 million). The mansion, which the country music star and his wife June Carter Cash called home for more than 40 years, is off the market after bosses at limited liability company Lakehouse Holdings purchased the property.
The estate was sold by Bee Gees star Barry Gibb and his wife Linda, who bought the house in 2005, promising to preserve the Cash legacy. They also hoped the setting would serve as an inspiration in their own music.
The Gibbs, whose main residence is in Miami, Florida, were planning to completely renovate and restore the lake-front house in 2005, but a fire in 2007 destroyed much of the mostly wooden structure.
The seven-bedroom home was built in 1968, and served as a setting in 2005 Cash biopic Walk the Line, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon.
Reese Witherspoon is planning to open her first store in 2015. The actress announced the creation of Draper James, a retail company which will "emphasize her southern roots and personal style", last month (Mar14), and now Eonline.com reports the brand's first store will feature clothing, kitchenware, bed and bath products, furniture, cosmetics and handbags.
Actress Drew Barrymore has given birth to her second child. The Charlie's Angels star and her husband Will Kopelman welcomed a daughter, a sibling for 19-month-old Olive, on Tuesday (22Apr14).
A statement issued to People.com reads: "Happy to announce that today we are the proud parents of our second daughter, Frankie Barrymore Kopelman. Olive has a new little sister, and everyone is healthy and happy!"
The couple wed in 2012 and celebrated the tot's impending birth on 12 April (14) with a baby shower attended by pals including Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow and Reese Witherspoon.