Dimension Films via Everett Collection
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For really values its volume. The movie tosses out three or four stories, twenty-odd characters, a handful of car chases, several dozen throat-slittings and skull-bludgeonings… in their return to the cinematic adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel series, Miller and director Robert Rodriguez seemed bent on packing in as much as they conceivably could. The unfortunate result: not quite the intricate, inviting narrative web that the men set out to create, but a straight through-line of nonstop stuff.
In the most egregious sense, too. While we remember Sin City as a relatively patient illustration of Miller’s virtue-deficient neo-noir kingdom, what we find in this year’s follow-up is a feverish race to expose the audience to every idea the directing duo has up its sleeve.
Dimension Films via Everett Collection
So, what we get instead of a fluid story is a whirlpool of events. Each chapter of the clumsily manufactured movie will set you up with a character — an out-of-place Joseph Gordon-Levitt as cocky gambler Johnny, Josh Brolin as a thickheaded do-gooder, and the ragtag team of a destitute Jessica Alba and her devoted muscle Mickey Rourke — only to watch the hero in question stumble upon plot contrivance after plot contrivance, never getting to do much all the while.
And while the style outdoes the substance in the scope A Dame to Kill For’s strong suits, Miller and Rodriguez are not exactly displaying the utmost aesthetic panache in this latest outing. Sure, certain chase scenes are kinetic — and the film might offer the most invigorating visual design of an onscreen hot tub in the history of cinema — but sloppy choreography and a world constructed without depth or sense of place leaves us feeling completely out of touch with the film’s most important character: Sin City.
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With Season 5 of The Walking Dead approaching with the speed of one of those particularly fast World War Z zombies, we find it hard to concentrate on anything else. What is set to befall Rick, Carl, and the remaining prison residents now that their relative safe haven is no more? Although we won't have the answers to this and other questions until Oct. 12, we can devote our walker love to Hollywood.com's The Walking Dead prize pack giveaway, which you can enter now.
One winner will receive one (1) Limited Edition "Tree Walker" Blu-ray set.
Second prize will be one (1) cool WALKING DEAD branded two-person Survival Kit, which you can check out here.
Here's what to do:
1. Follow @Hollywood_com starting August 21, 2014.
RT and Follow for a chance to win a Blu-ray set or a Survival Pack in our #WalkingDeadGiveaway http://t.co/VRE0vvnsH9
— Hollywood.com (@Hollywood_com) August 21, 2014
The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on Aug. 26. Good luck, and stay out of The Governor's territory!
Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall has been laid to rest following an intimate family funeral in New York City. The iconic actress passed away last week (ends17Aug14) at the age of 89 after suffering a stroke at her home in Manhattan, New York, and she was remembered at a memorial service in the Big Apple on Tuesday (19Aug14).
Around 50 guests attended the private ceremony at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home, while a larger congregation gathered at Bacall's apartment for the wake, according to New York Post gossip column Page Six.
Attendees included Anjelica Huston and Michael Douglas, whose father Kirk was a good friend of the late star.
Director Brian G. Hutton has died, aged 79. The filmmaker passed away on Tuesday (19Aug14) after suffering a heart attack last week (begs11Aug14).
The New York City native began his career as an actor, but stepped behind the camera after taking part in a directing programme with Universal Studios.
In 1968, Hutton directed Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton in the war classic Where Eagles Dare, and he teamed with the duo again in 1970 for Kelly's Heroes, which also starred Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Carroll O’Connor and Donald Sutherland.
Hutton also made two movies with Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor - drama X, Y and Zee opposite Michael Caine and Night Watch with Laurence Harvey.
In 1980, Hutton was recruited to replace Roman Polanski as the director of The First Deadly Sin, after his predecessor fled America to escape statutory rape charges. The movie featured Faye Dunaway and Frank Sinatra in his final major film role.
Hutton also directed the films High Road to China, The Pad and How to Use It, and Sol Madrid.
As an actor, Hutton starred in movies like Fear Strikes Out, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, King Creole, The Case Against Brooklyn, and TV shows such as Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, Have Gun - Will Travel, Rawhide and The Rifleman.
Getty Images/Jason LaVeris
"It's Saturday Night Live!" will forever be the four words we associate with Don Pardo, announcer for the NBC variety show for nearly 40 years, who passed away Monday night at the age of 96 (via CBS News). Since 1975 — with only a single season-long hiatus in the early '80s — Pardo's inimitable timber introduced us to SNL’s stars, featured players, musical guests, and episode hosts, earning a permanent residence in the pop culture realm’s collective auditory cortex. But there’s more to the man than his weekly exclamations from the announcing booth at Studio 8-H. Pardo’s 75-year-long career took him to a multitude of interesting corners that we so often overlook:
Let the Games BeginA staff fixture at NBC, Pardo announced the original iterations of many of its game shows, including The Price Is Right (from 1956 to ’63) and Jeopardy! (from ’64 to ’75), as well as later programs Three on a Match, Winning Streak, and Jackpot! between ’71 and ’75.
Happy Turkey Day!For many years, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade presented its army of inflatable cartoon characters with the gravitas of Pardo’s smooth baritone. Pardo announced the annual event for NBC straight up through 1999.
NBC via Getty Images
And That’s the NewsPardo boasted a longstanding career as a news broadcaster, both on radio and television; he started out as a World War II reporter for NBC Radio. On the date of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Pardo announced the tragedy to NBC’s television audience, becoming one of the first parties to report on the death of the 35th president.
He Also Had a Musical SidePardo proved his tastes in music to be rather esoteric when he teamed with the likes of Frank Zappa and Weird Al Yankovic for performances and recordings. Pardo first collaborated with Zappa in 1976 on a rendition of “I’m the Slime,” and then again joined forces with the innovative rock artist for his live album Zappa in New York in ’78.
Five years later, Pardo would pay homage to his game show era by contributing vocally to Weird Al’s “I Lost on Jeopardy” as well as appearing in the music video.
Of Course, He Had His Woody CredAn honorary New Yorker, Pardo managed to work his way into the filmography of Woody Allen, appearing in the 1987 comedy Radio Days as a host of the Name That Tune parody “Guess That Tune.” His acting career beyond the Allen picture includes Honeymoon in Vegas and the John Ritter comedy Stay Tuned.
And He Could Take a JokePardo was a hard worker until the very end — flying back and forth between his home in Arizona and New York City every week to announce episodes of SNL — but was hardly a man who took himself too seriously. This is evident by his self-parodying appearances on The Simpsons and SNL vet Tina Fey’s 30 Rock.
Naturally, we will always remember Pardo best for his work on Saturday Night Live, but there is clearly a lot more to celebrate about the man, his indomitable career, and his unmistakable voice.
Rapper J.cole has paid tribute to a black teenager killed by a police officer in Missouri by releasing a new song dedicated to him. Darren Wilson shot unarmed Michael Brown, who was suspected of stealing a box of cigars from a suburban St. Louis store, on 9 August (14), and the incident has sparked a series of tense protests between African-Americans and civil rights leaders and officials in the state.
As Governor Jay Nixon, President Barack Obama and Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson join forces in a bid to end days of violence, hip-hop star Cole has released Be Free to voice his frustrations with the deaths of African-American men in the U.S.
In a post on his website, Dreamvillain.com, he writes, "That coulda (sic) been me, easily. It could have been my best friend. I'm tired of being desensitized to the murder of black men. I don't give a f**k if it's by police or peers. This s**t is not normal. I made a song. This is how we feel."
Cole is not the only celebrity to speak out about the incident in Missouri - John Legend, Kerry Washington and Mark Ruffalo have voiced concerns over the treatment of protesters by police following the shooting.
Legend took to Twitter.com to voice his opinion, writing, "I believe these cops are intentionally trying to inflame the situation. They want an excuse. Recall the local cop telling those 'animals' to 'bring it' on (news channel) CNN... He wants a fight.
"Calling us 'animals' has been the language to justify slavery... Dehumanization and racism go together."
Meanwhile, R&B star Frank Ocean took to Tumblr.com to comment on an image of Governor Nixon standing in front of a black woman as he addressed the slaying of Brown and wrote, "You see that black woman standing up there? I wonder if she was called to stand behind the governor because she’s black. I wonder if i’m supposed to think Missouri’s gov’t is pro-black because of her being stood up there with those other black men being all black and everything. I wonder if she was off the clock while she stood up there... then i wonder if she was getting paid for her time off like the guy who shot Michael 8 times."
"It was quite liberating to hide behind a mask; it encourages a level of mischievousness. I wish I could do everything in the head." Actor Michael Fassbender enjoyed wearing a giant papier-mache head to portray the disguised frontman of an eccentric rock band in new film Frank.
Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale is launching a clothing collection with U.S. fashion retailer Hollister. The line, which is the company's first celebrity collaboration, will reflect her relaxed Southern California lifestyle and will be available online and in stores from 8 August (14).
Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel
The summer movie season is changing. What used to be a predictable tide of releases, with wanes and surges at certain spots on the calendar, has become a far less predictable swell of films. Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened in April, way ahead of the usual start of the season, and while big blockbusters are beginning to creep further back into the spring, they are also creeping ahead, later and later into the summer as well. While the month of August usually sees the big summer releases starting to wind down, this August features one of, if not the biggest film releases of the year. Marvel’s space epic Guardians of the Galaxy is hitting theaters August 1, and will be the first Marvel studios film to be released in the late summer month. So what's happening here? Is the summer movie season just expanding out from its traditional boundaries? There's certainly a case to be made for that conclusion. August 2014 may be the biggest August for blockbuster movies ever: along with Guardians of the Galaxy, the Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and The Expendables 3 are all being released this August. Compare this to August 2013, where the two biggest releases were Kick-Ass 2 and We're the Millers, two R-rated movies that don't nearly have the same mass appeal as something like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Guardians of the Galaxy. It's possible that we've reached a point of saturation for these films, where it doesn't make sense to cram your hundred million dollar production into June or July where it can be easily cannibalized by other hundred million dollar films. Last year, big productions like After Earth, White House Down, R.I.P.D, and The Lone Ranger all struggled to recoup their budgets while competing in May, June, and July. Why not spread out into months with less traffic? 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes premiered in August of that year, and did surprisingly well in a month not known for launching blockbuster franchises. But the surprise success of of that film brings up an even bigger question: Does the summer movie season even matter anymore?
In the past few years, several films have proved that there is a lot of money to be made at the box-office outside of summer. Just this year, Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened to a $96 million dollars at the beginning of April, a solid month before Memorial Day weekend. Elsewhere, the Hunger Games franchise has proved that it's possible to make summer blockbuster money in November, with the second installment in the series grossing $158 million on its opening weekend. That film went on to become the tenth highest grossing film of all time in the U.S. It's becoming increasingly apparent that the time of the year a film releases isn't nearly as important as the film itself, and that people will chase down tentpole movies regardless of their spot on the calendar. Would the Hunger Games: Catching Fire have done any better had it been released in May 2013 alongside Iron Man 3? It's much more likely that both films would have done worse.
Despite the long-standing tradition, it's becoming increasingly clear that crowding most of the year's spectacle-laden blockbusters into a small handful of summer weekends doesn't make sense anymore. There are just two many movies clogging up the summer while other parts of the year lay untouched. Studios think blockbusters have to come out during the summer because that's how it has always been, but audiences are proving that they'll line up at any time of the year to watch Captain America save the day.
Michael Douglas and his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones attended a conference for doctors on Sunday (27Jul14) to thank them for saving the Traffic star's life during his cancer battle. The actor was diagnosed with tongue cancer in 2010 and he had six months of treatment before discovering he was in remission in 2011.
The couple attended The International Federation of Head and Neck Oncologic Societies conference in New York City to pay tribute to 3,000 doctors who battle the disease on a daily basis.
Zeta-Jones, who reconciled with Douglas last year (13) after a short separation, made a heartfelt speech onstage, saying, "I'm very happy to be here this morning with my husband... I mean that literally...
"I was a mess (during his illness). I'll be quite frank, I was a mess... When I'm married to a man who has such a conviction for life... he fights to make the wrongs right... for the first time he was fighting for his life."
Douglas credited experts at the city's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for their research and treatment, adding, "We can only imagine what the next century will bring. Thank you for saving my life."