"One time I waited on Brad Pitt and he ordered a Martini with extra olives and I waited for him to finish and he had a couple of olives left and I quickly bussed his Martini glass back into the kitchen and then the half of the olive that he had already eaten, I ate the other half." Scandal star Katie Lowes on her pre-fame brush with her movie idol.
Pregnant actress Drew Barrymore was joined by pals including Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow and Reese Witherspoon on Saturday (12Apr14) to celebrate the impending birth of her second child.
The Charlie's Angels star threw a baby shower at her Hollywood Hills home and was joined by around 50 guests. A source tells People.com, "Drew had a blast. (She) is so ready for this baby!" Barrymore and her husband, art consultant Will Kopelman, are expecting a sister for their 18-month-old daughter Olive. The couple wed in 2012.
I know, that headline is trouble. You're always treading dangerous ground when you insist on defining what makes a good this or the right kind of that, as if there is no room for change or improvement when it comes to classic properties. Of course there is — Jason Segel's 2011 Muppet film approached the concept from an entirely different direction. It didn't hit all of its marks, but it prevailed overall in its conceit: make a movie not about Muppets, but about Muppet fandom. But Muppets Most Wanted, in absence of a clear mission statement and fueled largely by the monetary glimmers of the sequel game (the film's opening number admits this outright), has fewer marks readily available to hit. Landing in the ambiguity between the classic Muppet adventure formula and Segel's post-modern Henson appreciation party, Most Wanted feels like a failure on both counts. It doesn't know which kind of movie it wants to, or should, be. So it doesn't really be anything.
On the one hand, there's the half-cocked "get-the-band-back-together" through line, mimicking but not quite accomplishing the spirit of the 2011 picture. None of the Muppets are particularly likable or charming in this turn, and even fewer of them actually given anything to do. Kermit loses his s**t in the first act after a spat with Piggy and a barrage of insubordination from his troupe (provoked by the nefarious Dominic Badguy, Ricky Gervais), storms off in a huff, and gets swept up in a case of mistaken identity when his criminal doppelganger Constantine pulls the old switcheroo, landing Kermit in a Russian gulag. You'd think this would be a good opportunity for the second tier of Muppet favorites — Piggy, Fozzy, Gonzo, Scooter, Rowlf, et al — to go on a search and rescue... but save for a very brief sequence at the tail end of this achingly long film, none of the other Muppets are giving anything to do. They just hem and haw and perform the occasional "Indoor Running of the Bulls" while Dominic and Constantine scheme, rob banks, and bicker.
Meanwhile, Kermit has some fun in prison — a far more endearing plot that sees him befriending the merry convicts, organizing a penitentiary revue, and even winning the heart of the vicious warden Nadia (Tina Fey). If only we could spend more time with real Kermit and less time with fake Kermit and his second banana Gervais, an effectively boring pair.
On the other hand, though, there's the Muppet shtick that fans of The Great Muppet Caper and Muppet Treasure Island — and yes, The Muppet Show itself — will deem the movie's best material: CIA Agent Sam Eagle and Interpol Agent Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell) hot on the trail of Constantine and Dominic. Here, we get a different type of Muppet movie entirely from what Segel and the A-plot in Most Wanted are opting: the old fashioned vaudeville act, with Sam standing as an independent entity from his googly-eyed brethren, on a goofy, musical prowl with Burrell that fuels the film with its best and most consistent chuckles. Their "Interrogation Song" number is outstanding, exemplifying the many talents of Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie, who wrote all the music for this and the previous film.
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Unfortunately, Muppets Most Wanted isn't sure that it wants to be The Great Muppet Caper, beheld so stubbornly to its Segelian roots. There's a palpable compulsion to stick with this agonizingly self-aware, nostalgia-crazy, brimming-beacons-of-the-past-in-a-callous-today theme that doesn't work a fraction as well as it did in the 2011 film. Without a legitimate celebration of any of our favorite characters, how could it? With so much going on in this movie, and such a lengthy runtime at just under two hours, it's a sure sign of failure that we walk away feeling like we spent barely any time with the Muppets.
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Pregnant actress Drew Barrymore called police to her home on Tuesday night (18Mar14) after a stranger repeatedly knocked on her front door. The Charlie's Angels star panicked after a white van pulled up outside her Los Angeles property and a man approached the house.
Barrymore was home alone with her 17-month-old daughter Olive and called the emergency services, according to TMZ.com.
The police later discovered the man was employed by a cell phone network company to carry out work in the neighbourhood.
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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Pink Floyd star Roger Waters fought back tears as he unveiled a monument to his father in Italy exactly 70 years after he was killed in battle. The rocker's dad, Lieutenant Eric Waters, died during the 1944 battle of Anzio when his son was just a baby, and the star spent years trying to piece together his final movements.
Waters returned to the area to unveil a special memorial in honour his father on Tuesday (18Feb14), exactly 70 years after his death.
He laid a wreath of symbolic red poppies at the foot of the plinth, which is inscribed with his father's name and rank along with a Pink Floyd lyric, and Waters was overcome with emotion as he paid tribute to his long lost dad, saying, "It is 70 years to the day since my father died here and I have finally come to the end of a journey to discover what really happened to him... I feel an enormous attachment to my father today. I'm very happy to be here."
Waters also planted an olive tree in a field close to where his father fell in battle. A solider played military funeral anthem the Last Post, and Waters later borrowed his bugle to give an impromptu performance of his band's track Outside The Wall.
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
Bill Murray must have taken a lot of phone calls as of late. The actor, who has famously done away with the standard Hollywood agent model, and instead created a 1-800 number where people can call and pitch their scripts to an answering machine, has a ton of projects lined up for 2014. From another adventure with Wes Anderson, to a secretive Cameron Crowe fantasy film, and even a television show, the actor has certainly kept himself busy. Here's the list of Murray's projects that are scheduled to come out in 2014, and the reasons we're excited about them.
The Grand Budapest HotelPlot: Ralph Fiennes plays a concierge who is framed for the muder of an elderly guest at his hotel.Why We Want to See It? - It's another chapter in the classic Wes Anderson/Bill Murray teamup - This movie somehow looks more...Wes Anderson-y than Moonrise Kingdom. - The cast offers a ton of great actors for Murray to bounce off of.
Olive KitteredgePlot: In this upcoming HBO miniseries, Frances McDormand plays a school teacher living in a costal Maine town filled with secrets.Why We Want to See It? - Bill Murray has never done a TV show so this is huge. It's a weekly dose of Bill Murray. - It's based on a Pulitzer Prize winning novel. - The cast includes McDormand, who had great chemistry with Murray in Moonrise Kingdom.
The Monuments MenPlot: A group of unlikely soldiers must rescue priceless pieces art from the Nazis before they are destroyed, and return them to their owners.Why We Want to See It? - It's Bill Murray vs. Nazis - It's like a mini Ocean's Eleven reunion, and Bill Murray decided to crash the party and no one bothered to stop him. - This is the closest you're going to get to a Bill Murray action movie so soak it up.
St. Vincent de Van NuysPlot: In this dramedy, Murray plays a grumpy misanthropic retiree who befriends a 12 year old boy.Why We Want to See It? - The cast is full of great comedians - Bill Murray plays a character named St. Vincent de Van Nuys and that's just ridiculous - The actor gets to play cranky and cantankerous old person, which is always something he does well.
Cameron Crowe's Comedy ProjectPlot: Bradley Cooper plays a defense contractor who's assigned to oversee the launch of a weapons satellite in Hawaii , but he falls for an Air Force pilot (Emma Stone) and decides to stop the launch of the satellite with the help of mystical forces.Why We Want to See It? - Because of the mystery. Cameron Crowe is keeping his cards close to his chest on this one, so we cant wait to see how it all unfolds. - Emma Stone and Bill Murray already shared some screen time in 2009's Zombieland. - What little of a plot summary we have sounds completely insane.
Healthy Hollywood will be well catered for at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Saturday night (18Jan14) - chef Wolfgang Puck is creating a Vegan Alternative Plate menu for the glitzy prizegiving. Non meat-eaters will have the choice of Chickpea, Fennel and Winter Citrus Salad with Cold Pressed Olive Oil, Winter Squash and Root Vegetable Slaw with Granny Smith Apple Cider Vinaigrette, Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Melted Kale and Farro Salad with Crispy Kale Chips at the gala.
Meanwhile, Puck will be preparing Grilled Filet Mignon with Broccoli Puree, Lemon and Croutons and Miso Glazed Wild Salmon with Spicy Orange Noodles for those with less fussy tastes.
The big event will be held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
"I would not let her (pose for Playboy). My life choices are not supposed to be the gateway to somebody else's. That's my journey." Pregnant actress Drew Barrymore insists her baby daughter Olive will not be following her into the pages of men's magazine Playboy.
Will McAvoy is officially signing off for good. HBO has announced that the third season of The Newsroom, which has just started production, will be the show's last. No reason was given as to why the show is ending, but there have been reports that the show's creator, Aaron Sorkin, was finding it hard to work the show into his busy schedule. The Newsroom also recently added Paul Lieberstein, best known for playing Toby on The Office, as an Executive Producer for the final season, which could suggest that the show is hoping to end on a more light-hearted, comedic note.
HBO also recently announced two new projects for the network: the first is a deal with director Darren Aronofsky to develop two television projects, although since the deal has just been signed, there has been no word about what to expect from the collaboration. The second is that they are planning a sequel to the upcoming movie The Normal Heart, which is directed by Ryan Murphy and stars Mark Ruffalo and Jim Parsons. A sequel announcement shows that the network has a great deal of faith in the film, which is slated to air sometime in March, and that they are expecting major ratings. The new film will written by Larry Kramer, who penned both The Normal Heart and the Tony Award winning play it is based on, and will move forward into the last 1980s, and focus on the medical developments that began to help treating the AIDS virus. Both deals seem to represent a shift in HBO's programming from a series-heavy lineup to a more cinematic model that focuses on movies and mini series directed by some of the biggest names in film.
Despite its strong start, no doubt boosted by having Martin Scorsese direct the premiere episode, and its connection to HBO's most famous program, The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire has never managed to become the massive drama that most expected it to be. Although it has earned a mostly positive reception from critics, the ratings have never been particularly high, and the show was never able to become a cultural touchstone the way that The Sopranos was. Similarly, The Newsroom looked to capitalize on Sorkin's name, and although the political subject matter gave it a strong connection to his most famous program, The West Wing, the show was never able to capture an audience in the same way. In both cases, HBO attempted to recapture some of its old television magic in order to compete with the other cable networks who have been producing the must-see dramas of recent years, but found their programming lacking.
The network's move towards more cinematic fare likely comes as a result of its most recent television movie, Behind the Candelabra, which took home two Golden Globes over the weekend. The film enjoyed massive ratings, and has swept the awards circuit, which may prove that HBO's strengths currently lie in the television movie and mini series categories. Their newest mini series, True Detective, also earned major ratings for its premiere episode, no doubt helped by the star power of Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, which seems to support the network's decision to change their focus. HBO is the ideal platform for stars and directors looking to branch out into television, because the lack of commercials and censoring standards allow them to approach their projects in the same way that they would approach a normal film. The network seems to have recognized the advantage that they have over cable networks, and is using it to corner a new market.
From a business standpoint, it makes sense for HBO to move in a different direction rather than attempt to compete with networks like AMC or Netflix, who are putting out some of the best reviewed and most talked about shows currently airing. However, the channel is practically tailor-made for television movies, and by exploiting that advantage, HBO can continue to bank on major ratings and awards. Even their mini series are moving in this new direction, as both True Detective and the upcoming Olive Kitteridge utilize big names as producers and stars. They seem to be clearing out all of their drama series - the major exception being Game of Thrones, which still remains one of the biggest shows on television - and only have one new drama in the works. That show, The Leftovers, will benefit from the name recognition of creator Damon Lindelof, and if its shot in the same epic, cinematic style as Game of Thrones, those two are set to become the cornerstones for HBO's major overhaul.
The recent changes in HBO's lineup all seem to support the same message: this is a channel all about movies now. And if their upcoming projects manage to blend a major Hollywood director with solid performances, then we're sure to see HBO films sweeping up awards for a good while longer.