The Who, the Pixies and actress Evan Rachel Wood have led tributes to rock legend Lou Reed, who died on Sunday (27Oct13), aged 71. The former Velvet Underground frontman passed away five months after a liver transplant and the rock world has been stunned by the tragic news.
A post on The Who's official Twitter.com page reads: "R.I.P. Lou Reed. Walk on the peaceful side", while Frank Black and his Pixies bandmates add, "R.I.P. LOU REED....A LEGEND."
Kings of Leon star Nathan Followill, British rocker Carl Barat, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Adams, Nile Rodgers, former My Chemical Romance star Gerard Way, The Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney and Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo also marked the sad news by taking to Twitter, while new mum Wood stated, "I am really bummed out today. Lost one of the greats."
Weezer also offered up their thoughts about Reed's passing, tweeting, "R.I.P Lou Reed - VU (Velvet Underground) was a big influence when weezer was being formed, and (producer) Ric Ocasek told us cool stories of his friendship with him."
Meanwhile, rock historian Martin Lewis, who has produced an upcoming DVD box-set of Amnesty International concerts that feature Lou Reed prominently, performing alongside Sting, Bono, Bryan Adams, Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen and others, tells WENN, "Lou Reed was an exceptional pioneering musician who inspired both his contemporaries and those who followed after him.
"He generously supported Amnesty International from the very start of the Human Rights Concerts series, performing at all six concerts on Amnesty's A Conspiracy Of Hope U.S. tour in June, 1986. He recently very graciously gave his blessing for the release of those historic performances as part of Amnesty's DVD box-set of the concerts.
"He was a remarkable musician and humanitarian. He will be greatly missed by everyone - including the human rights movement that he was passionate in supporting."
The Easter Bunny may have already hopped away, but I’m here to bring you a basket full of TV treats in this week’s edition of Leanne’s Spoiler List. As usual this week’s lineup features handpicked intel on five stellar shows. I uncovered talk of a marriage proposal from the powers that be at The Big Bang Theory, and chatted with Arrow star (and all-around perfect human being) Stephen Amell about tonight’s head-spinning episode.
Read on for tons of Shameless scoop from William H. Macy in anticipation of this week’s Season 3 finale, and get excited to learn all about the hilarious antics from the always-funny Happy Endings cast. Last — but most certainly not least — I chatted with a Glee star to bring you graduation updates and sprinkled in plenty of scoop on this show’s upcoming drama. Enjoy your spoiler-filled treats, TV Lovers!
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1. The Big Bang Theory: Promotions and Proposals
Words can’t describe how much I adore The Big Bang Theory — but if I had to try explain, all you’d have to know is that I spend the past weekend at WonderCon weaving in and out of the deodorant-challenged participants in search of a “Wesley Crushers” bowling t-shirt. Unfortunately my quest for the perfect-fitting tee was unsuccessful, so I happily bought a Sheldon Cooper bobblehead instead.
This week’s episode features an amazing battle that once again pits our brilliant characters — and the lovely Penny — against one another. In “The Tenure Turbulence,” the competition heats up as Leonard, Sheldon and Raj fight one another for the chance to receive tenure at the University. Things get even more ferocious when the girls get involved to fight for their men.
Leonard and Penny fans will absolutely adore this episode because there are some seriously sweet moments between our favorite beauty and the geek couple. This is especially apparent when Penny agrees to bring out the big guns — and by guns I mean her boobs — in order to sway the vote in her man’s favor. (Side note: Can we all just take a moment to admire the perfection of Miss Kaley Cuoco? Great, thank you for your time.)
The executive producers of The Big Bang Theory told me that after this year’s proposal agreement in the Valentine’s Day episode, Leonard and Penny are in a perfectly happy place. Bill Prady explains, “I think it’s interesting because in that episode it really took a lot of pressure off Leonard and it also I think that it’s taken Penny so long to articulate this feeling of the danger of being with somebody you like.”
EP Steven Molaro adds that Penny is a girl who likes to take her time when it comes to matters of the heart. “We’re also talking about a character that only for the first time this year told Leonard she loves him,” he says. “I don’t think there’s any immediate plans, but at some point down the road if there happens to be a proposal, you’re right — the ball is in her court.” As a card-holding Lenny fan, I'd like to first propose that we change our name to something cooler, and second I'd like to go on record as having a feeling that when Penny proposes to Leonard, it’s going to be 30 minutes of televised perfection.
RELATED: Leanne’s Spoiler List: Shameless, The Big Bang Theory, Grey’s Anatomy and More!
2. Arrow: Enemies and Friends
This weekend at WonderCon I also got to sit down with the devastatingly handsome Stephen Amell and stare directly into his beautifully bright blue eyes — I’m still recovering from my massive swoon-attack — and we gushed all about the exciting things coming up on Arrow. Hey, it beats binge-eating Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs (barely). In tonight’s episode, “Unfinished Business,” fans will be treated to a familiar face in Starling City when a woman on vertigo meets a violent death: Seth Gabel is back to reprise his role as The Count, and let's just say the drug-dealing criminal is still on Oliver's bad side.
Amell says the return of the vertigo epidemic brings up some past demons that Oliver would much rather forget. “It does bring up those memories about how it could’ve killed Thea. She was in a car wreck and though she just got a few bumps and bruises, she could’ve easily just have been in the morgue.” There's a truly intense confrontation between Oliver and The Count, with our favorite hood-clad hero snarling, “I should have killed you when I had the chance.”
In an interesting twist, The Count is not the only person Oliver is skeptical of. Amell — speaking in first person because he’s amazing like that — explains, “I cast a suspicious eye toward Tommy when vertigo pops up in Verdant and he doesn’t appreciate it at all. But I have every right to be suspicious!”
Amell continues, “We find out that Tommy has actually gone to great lengths and risked himself to protect me and to protect my secret, and that drives a big wedge between us by the end of the episode." Get excited, Arrow lovers, because Tommy is poised to take a deep, dark turn after tonight’s action-packed hour.
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3. Shameless: Fake Goodbyes and Real-Life Threats
After 11 laughter-inducing yet emotionally charged episodes, it pains me to say it’s time to once again say goodbye to the Gallaghers in this week's Shameless season finale. Many many moons ago, I chatted with William H. Macy about this phenomenal final episode and now I can finally fill you in on all the deets. When asked which child Frank is probably most proud of, I was excited and surprised to learn Macy’s answer. “I think that Frank knows that Lip has an extraordinary brain,” he said.
Fans will get to witness these two alpha males share a lot of screen time in this week’s episode, “Survival of the Fittest.” After taking the rap for Carl in their father/son bonding heist, Frank’s unexpected kindness causes Lip to let down him impenetrable emotional guard and the two share some unexpectedly sweet moments. However, all of this heartwarming yet hilarious bonding will come to a halt when Frank’s health takes a turn for the terrible.
Macy explains, “[Frank] finally has to pay the piper for years of self-abuse; that's really dramatic." Well it's about damn time — he's been drinking like there’s no tomorrow for decades! Despite all of the cruelties Frank has put his family through, the Gallaghers are still emotionally distraught to see their pathetic patriarch in the hospital.
In a truly touching scene, fans will get a sense of déjà vu when Carl shaves off Frank’s luscious locks. Macy explained that he had a strong sense of anxiety before this scene because Ethan Cutkosky — the young actor who plays Carl — kept messing up his lines in rehearsal. Macy expressed his frustrations because they only had one chance to get the scene right.
“We cut off my hair in the show and [Ethan] did it. We have a couple of lines and I said ‘Run the lines with me,’ and he blew the line. I said 'Come on,' and he blew it again. He kept doing it over and over. I finally grabbed him by the collar and I said, ‘They’re about to shave my head, you will get this f**king line or I will kill you.'” Macy adds with a laugh, “It’s funny how life imitates art.” Note to self: Do not piss off William H. Macy. Ever.
RELATED: Leanne’s Spoiler List: Glee, The Vampire Diaries, Justified and More! a>
4. Happy Endings: Sister vs. Sister
Last week I ooh-ed and aah-ed over all the amahzing reasons as to why Happy Endings is the new TGIF, and this week is going to be especially wonderful. Lemme put it this way: What’s better then a cat fight? Answer: A sister bitch-fit that delves into years of repressed animosity, s**t-talking, and secrets. Add in a snarky hairdresser and you’ve got the perfect episode.
RuPaul guest stars in an all-new Happy Endings this Friday as Jane and Alex’s long-time hairstylist and sister psychiatrist. For years the Kerkocich girls have been bitching about one another whenever they get their hair did, so when Max decides to take a spin in RuPaul's chair, he learns all of their secrets and his big mouth nearly ignites World War III.
I recently visited the Happy Endings set and chatted with the fantastically funny Adam Pally about “The Incident.” Pally explains, “Basically as you can see Max is having hair trouble this year. He’s having trouble finding a style that suits him … so he goes to Jane and Alex’s stylist and they hit it off.” The actor says RuPaul was a phenomenal addition to the Happy Endings family. “RuPaul was great He was being really funny and hilarious and we were improvising and it was so much fun.” Make sure to you all tune into (or at least DVR) the double-dose of Happy Endings this Friday at 8 PM!
RELATED: Leanne’s Spoiler List: Arrow, Happy Endings and Grimm
5. Glee: A New New Yorker?
The year a pack of newbies have taken over the McKinley side of Glee, and while I adore their fresh new energy, I sometimes can’t help but get a little peeved at the fact that Glee originals Tina, Brittany, and Artie have been put on the back burner in their senior year. Of the ferocious five that started it all, I feel like Tina is the character that has never really gotten the time to shine, so I made sure to catch up with Miss Cohen-Chang’s off screen counterpart Jenna Ushkowitz a few weeks ago to talk about life after Lima.
Earlier this year it was established that Tina’s dream is to become a singer and while some may think she doesn’t have what it takes (Ahem, Brittany…) Ushkowitz is confident that her character could make it. But the question remains: Is Tina a New York singer or an L.A. singer? The actress answered immediately, saying,“I think she’s definitely more of New York singer. I would love to see her pursue her dreams and do that.” Eeek! So would I!
The Glee original says that she's eager to find out Tina’s fate. “I don’t know what the writers have in mind, so I’m excited to see what happens,” she says with a smile. One thing Ushkowitz knows for sure is she’d love to see Tina join in on the NYC side of Glee. “She cares about [singing] so much and she really loves that glee club, so I hope to see her try and move to New York.” How do you think Tina would fit in with the New York crowd? Sing your thoughts in the comments below!
Bonus Glee Scoop: When our beloved show returns next week, a terrifying event will shake the halls for McKinley and each of the New Direction-ers will have a different yet equally serious reaction. Let’s just say that the episode’s title, “Shooting Star,” should give you a very clear indication of what’s to come.
In the following episode, “Sweet Dreams,” prepare to say “Hello gorgeous!” to Rachel Berry because this is the week the NYC gang will return. Not only does Rachel’s relationship with Shelby drastically improve — it’s even better then the time Shelby made her Lady Gaga costume! — Finchel fans will get an oh-so sweet conversation that will make you blush, swoon, sigh, and squee all at the same time.
Are you hoping Penny will eventually pop the question? Think Frank is ready to sober up on Shameless? What do you want to see from the final episodes of Glee? Tell me everything in the comments below!
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[Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/Warner Bros.; FOX; Showtime; Cate Cameron/The CW; Josiah True/WENN]
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Hollywood has a difficult relationship with science fiction. Whether they're translating classic sci-fi stories into brainless action movies or too caught up in the otherworldly details there's always something they can't seem to get right about the imaginative genre.
Looper defies the odds by fleshing out a unique future world while honing in on a specific story with real people at the center — a balance that defined works by greats like Bradbury Asimov and Dick. Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a Looper an assassin for the mob bosses of the future who use illegal time travel to send back their targets for disposal. It's an easy lucrative life — one that affords him a party lifestyle of fancy cars and drops (drugs taken through the eye) albeit with the added knowledge of a definite grisly end. Eventually the mob "closes the loop" on its employees finding the Looper in the future and sending them back to be offed by… themselves. When it's Joe's turn to end his own life he's outsmarted his future self (Bruce Willis) escaping Joe's grasp. Driven to fulfill his duties as a Looper Joe goes on the hunt to kill himself.
Director Rian Johnson's Kansas City of 2044 feels appropriately lived in and extended from present day. When Joe's not blasting people away shrouded by the stalks of a cornfield he's dining on steak and eggs at a local diner. It's only the casual presence of hovercycles mutant telekinetics and the occasional visitor from the future that would give away the action of Looper isn't happening today. The realism gives Joe and the metropolis around him a necessary grit — there is danger and violence and pain in this world and when Johnson rouses up an action sequence there's something on the line.
Looper's greatest flaw is that it steps away from the confrontation between Young and Old Joe sending the two in different directions as they pursue answers to the film's spoilerific MacGuffin. On a farm away from the city Young Joe crosses paths with single mother Sara (Emily Blunt) who may hold the key to what Old Joe needs to survive. After being introduced to an ensemble of delightfully wicked characters — including Looper coordinator Abe (Jeff Daniels) Young Joe's sleazy coworker Seth (Paul Dano) and hotshot marksman Kid Blue (Noah Sagan) — plus Young Joe's stripper with a heart of gold confidant Suzie (Piper Perabo) Looper takes a sharp left turn leaving most of the cast in the dust. The interesting sci-fi mosaic slows down and enters a new chapter and it's rarely as engrossing as the first half.
When Willis and Gordon-Levitt are at odds Looper is simply magic. Nathan Johnson's industrial score pounds away as the two fight to stay alive all while grappling with the implications that come with glimpsing into your own future. One riveting sequence follows the timeline that played out before Old Joe tinkered with the space-time continuum a roller coaster through the years after the events of the film that see Gordon-Levitt evolve into Willis. The montage is a playground for Johnson's visual style. He never misses a beat.
For sci-fi nuts Looper corrects the past with an understanding of what makes the genre more than just an array of tropes and iconography. There are shaded characters duking it out in Looper's chaotic web of time travel logic and while their arcs fizzle out without much pay off they're a joy to watch.
What do you think? Tell Matt Patches directly on Twitter @misterpatches and read more of his reviews on Rotten Tomatoes!
Thursday evening, the who's who of Hollywood will put on their fancy pants and gather at the Staples Center for a night of shmoozing and self-appreciation. It's the party of the year, otherwise known as the MTV Video Music Awards. In years past, we've seen some jaw-dropping performances — including Madonna's of "Like a Virgin" in 1994, Michael Jackson's 1995 medley, and Britney Spears' 2001 python-draped rendition of "I'm a Slave 4 U" — and crazy pop culture mash-ups. But for every Madonna/Britney lip lock and Lady Gaga meat dress, there was also a Fartman. (A what? Click on to find out.) While filled with moments that would become iconic, the VMAs and MTV Movie Awards are also full of instances we'd like to forget.
To get ready for the 2012 VMAs that air Thursday night, we have decided not to take a look back at the show's highlights, but rather its low-lights. From the now-infamous Interrupting Kanye West to Fiona Apple's rant against the entertainment industry, we've compiled the most awkward moments from MTV award shows. Let the cringing begin!
Launch Our Gallery of MTV's Most Awkward Awards Show Moments
Follow Abbey Stone on Twitter @abbeystone
[Photo Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic]
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In the last seven years Denzel Washington has paired with director Tony Scott on four hyperkinetic ultra-saturated feature films: Man on Fire Deja Vu The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and Unstoppable. When he strays from the time-honored action collaboration you'd think the man would take a break from the format. Not so—as Washington's new film Safe House clearly demonstrates.
Daniel Espinosa director of the acclaimed Swedish crime drama Snabba Cash shoots his espionage thriller with Scott-ian flair complete with rapid camera movement a palette of eye-scorchingly bright colors and fragmented editing. If Safe House was emotionally compelling the stylistic approach might make the narrative sizzle—but the script is as simple and familiar as they come: Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) is a CIA agent with a monotonous gig. He's a safe housekeeper tasked with maintaining a stronghold in South Africa in case the feds need to stop by for some…interrogating. After a year of begging for field work and keeping the joint tidy Weston finds himself embroiled in the investigation of Tobin Bell (Denzel Washington) an ex-CIA notorious for selling information on the black market. A group of agents bring Bell in to Weston's safe house for a routine waterboarding but everything is thrown into chaos when the lockdown is infiltrated by machine-wielding baddies looking to put a bullet in Bell's head. To keep the captor alive Weston goes on the run with Bell in hand…never knowing exactly why everyone wants the guy dead.
The setup for Safe House provides Washington and Reynolds two fully capable action stars to do their thing and to do it well. The two characters have their own defining characteristics that each actor bites off with ferocity: Reynolds' Weston is a man drowning in circumstance built to kick ass but still out of his league and just hoping to get back to his gal in one piece. Bell has years of experience boring into the heads of his opponents and Washington plays him with the necessary charisma and confidence that make even his most despicable characters a treat to watch.
But the duo fight a losing battle in Safe House contending with the script's meandering action and ambiguous stakes that turn the Bourne-esque thriller into a grueling experience. Much of the movie is an extended chase scene where the object of the bad guys' desire is never identified. It's a mystery!—but the lack of info comes off as confusing. Safe House cuts back and forth between the compelling relationship between Weston and Bell and a war room full of exceptional actors (Vera Farmiga Brendan Gleeson and Sam Shepherd) given nothing to do but spurt straightforward backstory and typical "there's no time Mr. ______!" exclamatory statements. Caking it is Espinosa's direction which lacks any sense of coherent geography. The action is never intense because you have no idea who is going where and when and why.
Safe House is a competently made movie with enough talent to keep it afloat but without any definable hook or dramatic emphasis it plays out like an undercooked version of the Denzel Washington/Tony Scott formula. Which is unfortunate as four solid ones already exist.