Johnny Knoxville's riotous comedy Bad Grandpa has ended George Clooney and Sandra Bullock's reign atop the U.S. box office. The film, in which Knoxville serves up pranks as an irreverent old man aided by nine-year-old child star Jackson Nicholl, raked in $32 million (£21.3 million) in its first weekend on release, and took over at the top from Bullock and Clooney's space drama Gravity, which has edged close to a $200 million (£133.3 million) take since its 4 October (13) opening.
Tom Hanks' Captain Phillips takes third place on the new box office countdown, while Ridley Scott's star-studded drama The Counselor, which features Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt, debuts at four with a disappointing $8 million (£5.3 million).
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 rounds out the new top five.
Newborn royal Prince George's official christening photos have made history by bringing together four generations of present and future British monarchs for a portrait for the first time in over a century. In the main family shot, taken by fashion photographer Jason Bell, proud great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, sits surrounded by her three future kings - George, Prince William and her son Prince Charles, the current heir to the throne.
The Duke of Edinburgh, George's mum Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, uncles Prince Harry of Wales and James Middleton, aunt Pippa Middleton, grandparents Carole and Michael Middleton and step-grandmother Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are also featured in the happy family portrait, which was taken in the morning room at Clarence House in London following the young prince's christening at the Chapel Royal of St James's Palace on Wednesday (23Oct13).
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The biggest question mark of the cinematic horizon is Star Wars: Episode VII. With the capability and artistic intentions of J.J. Abrams already up for debate and the murky promise (or threat) of Original Trilogy stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford looming as cast list potentials, all we need now is a writer to drop out to further stir up the uncertainty about the ultimate quality of our next foray into George Lucas' galaxy. And so it is. The Hollywood Reporter reports that screenwriter Michael Arndt is no longer involved with crafting the script for Episode VII, though no mention is made of why or how his departure came about. Filling in for Arndt on scripting duties will be director Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
On the one hand, the presence of Kasdan glimmer with the OT veneer: Empire is widely considered the strongest of the Star Wars movies, and it might be reassuring to some Lucasfilm purists to have a mind from the glory days on board. But it was that entrenchment to cling so adherently to the mythology and spirit of the originals that resulted in the Prequel Trilogy, a failure by the standards of most hoping for a revisit to the magic born in '77. As such, a talent independent from the Star Wars universe might have been favorable.
Maybe Arndt wasn't quite the right choice. He wrote the screenplays for greats like Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3 — two excellent movies in their own right, but ones that might not showcase his ability to handle a broad, fantastical world like Star Wars. In company with a partner known for this skill, perhaps Arndt's touch for the personal might have worked.
But we're left, instead, with Kasdan and Abrams. The former in position solely on the bounties of "legacy" (not always the best tool to use in rebooting a franchise), and the other amid a slow slip from grace after Star Trek Into Darkness and the more defensible but still sub-par Super 8. Both movies in which he exhibited his preference to put old toys in a glass case for us to look at rather than recreating and reimagining vast, fruitful ideas. So is the decision to bring on Kasdan more of Abrams' ploys to live through his nostalgia, or will Kasdan be able to channel his old stories in a new, inventive way?
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Britain's royal baby Prince George has been formally christened at St James's Palace in London. The three-month-old son of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge was baptised on Wednesday (23Oct13) in front of his parents and other high-ranking royals, including Queen Elizabeth II, her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, and William's father Charles, Prince of Wales.
His brother Prince Harry and his parents-in-law Carole and Michael Middleton were also in attendance during the 30-minute service.
The baby boy wore a Honiton lace and satin gown, a replica of that first worn by Queen Victoria's eldest daughter in 1841, for the ceremony in the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace.
The service consisted of two hymns and two anthems, chosen by the baby's parents. The hymns were Breathe on Me, Breath of God and Be Thou My Vision, and the anthems were Blessed Jesu! Here we Stand - which was written for Prince William's baptism in 1982 - and The Lord Bless You and Keep You.
There were also two lessons - St. Luke chapter 18, verses 15-17, read by the Duchess of Cambridge's sister Pippa Middleton, and St. John chapter 15, verses 1-5, read by Prince Harry.
After the baptism, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, the Duchess of Cambridge was seen beaming with delight as she carried Prince George from the chapel to a waiting car.
Prince William and Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge have chosen seven close friends, including his cousin Zara Tindall, to act as godparents to their son Prince George. The couple will be joined by reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and Prince Harry as the third in line for the throne is baptised at a chapel in St James's Palace in London on Wednesday (23Oct13).
Princess Anne's pregnant daughter Zara will act as godmother, alongside Catherine's school pal Emelia Jardine-Paterson and Julia Samuel, a close friend of the prince's late mother Diana, Princess of Wales.
Godfather duties fall to William and Harry's former private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, the prince's childhood friends William van Cutsem and Earl Grosvenor, and Oliver Baker, who attended St. Andrews university in Scotland with the royal couple.
Their decision to choose close friends as their firstborn's godparents breaks with royal tradition of asking members of foreign royal families and the aristocracy to take on the roles.
The Duke of Edinburgh, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Catherine's parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, as well as her siblings, Pippa and James, are all expected to be in attendance at the ceremony.
The party will celebrate the baptism with a reception at royal residence Clarence House, where guests will be served cake from the couple's wedding in 2011.
Toad The Wet Sprocket, a fairly popular band in the '90s, just released their first studio album in 16 years, New Constellation. That's a long time. They've seen President Bill Clinton finish his second term, George W. Bush serve twice and Barack Obama in the middle of his second term. That's a lifetime in music -- kids that were born when their last album came out are today's main pop consumers. Will people wind up buying it or will they fade back into something from the past?
Sure, there was the occasional greatest hits or B-side album, but it wasn't the same as hearing brand new music. But here they are again. Maybe they missed the feeling of making new music together. Who knows? It is a big risk on their parts though, given this current circumstances. Like all of us, 16 years has chenged us - Glen Philips, Randy Guss, Todd Nichols and Dean Dinning aren't in their 20s anymore. The maturity should help their music even more.
It's got to be a whole new world for the band. The last time they released an album, Napster was a person who liked to sleep a lot. Now they not only have to vie for CD sales, they also have to deal with digital rights for sites like iTunes, Spotify and others. The worst thing they had to contend with was someone copying their CD and giving it to a friend of thers, not distributing it to millions through torrent seeding. They have also seen America go from a time of enormous prosperity (which sadly was built upon a house of cards) to several recessions that some wonder if it will ever recover from. So...it's a dicey situation, to say the least.
So far, it's garnered good reviews on Amazon and iTunes, but will that be enough to persuade the non-diehards to buy it? It'll be interesting to see how they weather this new world.
I hope they succeed again just because I think any band as cooly named as Toad The Wet Sprocket (a name derived from a sketch on one of Monty Python's 1970s LPs) deserves to succeed, no matter what.
Time flies. It seems like it was just 1983. We were in our first term with Ronald Reagan as President. More often than not, I was standing in line at Tower Records to get a new cassette that had been released so I could play it on my tape player. It was a time when I was really getting into music and MTV was playing often at my home television. Now it's 30 years later and I have a home, a wife, a child and a mortgage. I still listen to a lot of this music though. Here's five of the best from that year:
To use some computer terms, this was Madonna Version 1.0. Now she's on Version 20.0, she's changed her image that often. People forget just what an influential force she was then. If you walked the streets of New York in 1983, you would have thought she had cloned herself about a million times over - nearly EVERY girl was imitating her style, particularly from her "Borderline" video. Forget the Rachel-hair style in the '90s, everyone was wearing the Madonna. Thank goodness people in the '90s didn't wear cone-shaped bras.
I wrote more at length about this one, but I still think it merits a place on here. Earlier Genesis fans may decry the more poppy sound (sorry, guys, that happened more around Duke). The first song, "Mama," was SUCH a dark one, with Phil Collins singing, screaming and maniacally laughing about a prostitute. Everybody remembers "That's All" and both parts of the "Home By The Sea" suite. This is where Genesis became HUGE, because they also embraced MTV. Collins , never afraid to do anything silly in front of the camera, used both his voice and charisma in videos of those first two songs as well as a not-so-p.c. video for "Illegal Alien."
The Police: Synchronicity
When I first played this album and heard "Sychronicity I"'s frantic keyboard opening and then Stewart Copeland's frenzied drumming, I knew I was going to love this album. It's one that I can listen to in its entirety today. Yes, I still like "Mother" and "Miss Grandenko," the singing and songwriting efforts of guitarist Andy Summers and Copeland. While "Every Breath You Take" is the song that everyone remembers, I'd have to say "Synchronicity II", with its video set in an apocalyptic wasteland, is my own favorite. It's a pity that Sting, Copeland and Summers really almost actively hated each other after touring with this album and subsequently split: I remember thinking around 1984 or '85: Whaddya mean there's not going to be another Police album?
Def Leppard: Pyromania
Yes, you just heard that opening twang of "Photograph" when you read this, didn't you? Another band that rode the wave on MTV's widespread reach with their cool if not somewhat cheesy video (in one song, Joe Elliot is carrying a sword even bigger than he is) Elliot's raspy voice is what sold it for many fans. While not as much of a total masterpiece like their follow-up, Hysteria, Pyromania had memorable songs like "Foolin"' and "Rock of Ages" And remember...Gunter Glieben Glauchen Globen.
Talking Heads: Speaking In Tongues
This was David Byrne in the big white suit, shimmying and swaying to songs like "Burning Down The House" and continuing the band's penchant for making REALLY weird videos. The first time I saw the end of "Burning Down The House," where the projection of Byrne's face rolls down the street, it weirded me out. Then I got past that and realized what a great album it was. Songs like "Making Flippy Floppy" and "Slippery People" kept me hooked. When coupled with the Stop Making Sense concert movie that was made the following year and it's just fantastic. It's a pity that they broke up eight short years later.
It was hard to constrain myself to five here - I could probably choose 50 of them if I had the time or space. There were plenty of bands that I left out, like Metallica and Eurythmics, just to name a couple. It was that good of a year. Your list may be different, so let us know below!
Julian Assange brought the world of espionage to its knees with a new brand of spying. Whereas in the early days of James Bond you needed a truckload of fancy gadgets, now the cloud is the ultimate tool of the spy trade. Assange only needs a few taps on a keyboard to do more work than 007 could do in a week with any fast car or silenced pistol. This all means that being a spy is probably loads easier nowadays thanks to all the cool technology we have lying around. You don't even have to go anywhere, or do any of that tough secret agent stuff like fighting other spies or sneaking around in vents. So what fictional spies' jobs would be easier if they took place in 2013?
Get SmartMaxwell Smart, the bungling secret agent behind the original Get Smart television series, used to use the incredibly unwieldy communication device known as the shoe phone in order to communicate secret messages. But it's a long time since the swinging '60s and these days, an agent probably has about 12 different micro-communication devices hidden all across his person, none of which involve lifting their shoe to your their to use.
Tinker Tailor Soldier SpyIn Tinker, Talor, Soldier, Spy, George Smiley is tasked with finding a double agent buried deep within the senior management of MI6. While this took forever back in George Smiley's era, nowadays, whoever the mole turned out to be would have definitely slipped up and posted some sort of incriminating evidence on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, or any other one of the innumerable social networks we use to blast our secrets across the World Wide Web.
The Lives of OthersIn 1980s East Germany, Gerd Wiesler is tasked with spying on a playwright and his wife, so he bugs his apartment with numerous microphones and other surveillance equipment before hiding away in an attic to observe their lives. But if the Berlin Wall never fell, and this story happened today, there would be no need to bug the apartment because everyone is completely surrounded by cameras at every waking moment. Our cell phones, laptops, tablets, and other gadgets make government spying amazingly easy.
Mr. and Mrs. SmithBrad and Angelina would have figured out each other’s secret lives as secret agents a lot quicker if Facebook was widely used back in 2005. Think of how many relationships were destroyed thanks to Mark Zuckerberg's social media network. That movie would have ended a lot sooner.
In the wake of Kris and Bruce Jenner’s split, it’s become glaringly obvious that 2013 hasn’t been a happy year for too many couples.
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth called it quits after their year-long engagement. They confirmed in September what we had been hearing rumors of for almost as long as we’ve been hearing about their engagement.
As heartbreaking as it is to hear, no one can deny the rumors anymore. Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are taking some time apart. No legal action has been taken yet, and fingers crossed none will be taken in the future. Maybe if they hold out to 2014 they can come out on top and together again.
Kit Harington and Rose Leslie, two beloved Game of Thrones stars, called it quits earlier this year. Fortunately for Harington, Leslie wasn’t as heart broken as her character was over Jon Snow. No arrows in the back needed here folks!
Surprising almost nobody, George Clooney and Stacy Keibler split this summer. Another one bites the dust! Oh wait, too soon?
The Vampire Diaries stars Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev broke many beating hearts in May after their rumored split. Their love is still hanging on in The CW’s show, but who can deny Somerhalder’s not so cryptic tweet on May 9: ‘A THOUGHT FOR TODAY: People change and forget to tell each other. –Lillian Hellman, playwright (1904-1984).’
Hopefully the remainder of 2013 will stay quiet with the news of heartbreak in Hollywood and maybe 2014 will bring together happier and long lasting relationships for all.
Somebody call Emma Pillsbury, because Gleeks may soon need some counseling: Glee's sixth season will indeed be its last. Creator Ryan Murphy confirmed the news at the Paley Center event on Wednesday night, when he talked about the impact that the death of Cory Monteith and his character Finn Hudson had on the show, saying "The final year of the show, which will be next year, was designed around Rachel and Cory/Finn's story. I always knew that, I always knew how it would end. I knew what the last shot was – he was in it. I knew what the last line was – she said it to him." Murphy and the show's writers are currently trying to figure out how to rework the show around Monteith's absence.
Fans of Finn and Rachel will be pleased to know that they were always meant to be together in the end, and Murphy has promised that the new ending will "honor" Monteith. He's apparently planning to present his new plan to the network next week. Rumors that the show might be coming to an end started appearing around August, when Fox president Kevin Reilly said that they weren't thinking about the show past its sixth season. However, with the death of Monteith looming large over the show and the show's slow decline in popularity and quality, Glee's departure has started to seem inevitable.
With Finn no longer in the picture, fans have been speculating about the new direction the show will be forced to take. A popular theory is that the new ending will center around Kurt Hummel and his on new fiancé Blaine. Since Murphy has previously stated his affection for both characters, this seems like a probable ending. Rachel will most likely end up a big star, and without Finn to return to Lima for, we wouldn't be surprised if her final storyline centered on her career. Hopefully, some of the show's original cast can return again, and the audience can finally get some closure about Mercedes' singing career, Quinn's success at Yale, and what Brittany could possibly be getting up to at MIT. After all, does anyone actually care about the new group of glee club kids? And, in a perfect world, Tina would finally be able to get a plot where she can be successful without everyone around her tearing her down.
No matter what happens, we're sure Miss Pillsbury has some pamphlets that will help Gleeks through this tough time. Maybe something along the lines of "Moving On After Your Favorite TV Show Ends?"
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