U.S. late-night TV host David Letterman has confirmed he is planning to retire as the host of The Late Show in 2015. Former R.E.M. star Mike Mills let the news slip on Thursday afternoon (03Apr14) after he had been a guest on the taping of the show, during which the 67-year-old host announced his plans to step down in a year.
Now, Letterman, who has been fronting the show for 21 years, has released his Thursday night monologue, in which he reveals he broke the news to his network boss at CBS, Les Moonves, before the taping began.
He said, "The man who (runs) this network, Leslie Moonves, he and I have had a relationship for years and years and years, and we have had this conversation in the past, and we agreed that we would work together on this circumstance and the timing of this circumstance.
"I phoned him just before the programme, and I said, 'Leslie, it's been great, you've been great, and the network has been great, but I'm retiring'."
Letterman added, "I just want to reiterate my thanks for the support from the network, all of the people who have worked here, all of the people in the theatre, all the people on the staff, everybody at home, thank you very much.
"We don't have the timetable for this precisely down - I think it will be at least a year or so, but sometime in the not too distant future."
A statement from Moonves reads: "When Dave decided on a one-year extension for his most recent contract, we knew this day was getting closer, but that doesn't make the moment any less poignant for us. For 21 years, David Letterman has graced our network's air in late night with wit, gravitas and brilliance unique in the history of our medium. During that time, Dave has given television audiences thousands of hours of comedic entertainment, the sharpest interviews in late night, and brilliant moments of candor and perspective around national events.
"There is only one David Letterman. His greatness will always be remembered here, and he will certainly sit among the pantheon of this business.
"On a personal note, it's been a privilege to get to know Dave and to enjoy a terrific relationship. It's going to be tough to say goodbye."
Some of U.S. TV's biggest names have taken to Twitter to acknowledge the news: Ellen DeGeneres writes, "David @Letterman announced he's retiring in 2015. It's been 31 incredible years. Television won't be the same without you, Dave," and former Seinfeld star Jason Alexander adds, "Mr. Letterman, you have always been the best. I've had more fun on your show and you've been a class guy all the way. Enjoy ur (your) final days."
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is filled — and I mean jam-packed — with genre-bending, action-heavy, sportily tense and relentlessly sinuous, sky-high-concept and maniacally bonkers stuff. Polygonal mayhem that aims, and impressively so, to top the Marvel lot in ideas, deconstructing every thriller staple from government corruption to talking computers to odd couple agents gone rogue. But oddly enough, the moment in the Cap sequel that I find most arresting several weeks after seeing the film is our peaceful reunion with Steve Rogers, trotting merrily around the Washington Monument as the sun rises on our nation's capital.
The scene is shot from far overhead, a low pulse/high spirits Chris Evans reduced to a shapeless blur as he repeatedly (but politely!) laps fellow jogger and veteran Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie)... and yet it might be the closest we feel to Cap throughout the movie.
The Winter Soldier has a lot to worry about in the delivery of its content. Managing a plot as ambitious and multifaceted as its own, with themes as grand as the scope of the American mentality — as represented by Steve Rogers, raised in the good old days of gee-golly-jingoism — it doesn't always have the faculties to devote to humanizing its central troupe. Cap isn't left hollow, but his battles with the dark cloud of contemporary skepticism play more like an intriguing Socratic discussion than an emotional arc. Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, a character who ran circles around her Avengers co-players in flavor, feels a bit shortchanged in that department here (in her closest thing to a starring role yet, no less).
Mackie's Falcon, a regular joe who is roped into the calamity thanks largely to his willingness to chat with a fellow runner — a rare skill, honestly — is less of a problem. He doesn't have much to do, but he does it all well enough. Dynamic though he may be, Mackie keeps things bridled as Cap's ad-hoc sidekick, playing up the along-for-the-ride shtick rather than going full (or even half) superhero. We might want more from him, knowing just how fun he can be, but it's a sating dose. The real hunger is for more in the way of Black Widow, Cap, and — perhaps most of all — the titular villain.
Still, these palpable holes pierce through a film that gets plenty right. As elegantly as Joe Johnston did the Spielberg thing back in 2011, Joe and Anthony Russo take on the ballots of post-innocence. They aren't afraid to get wild and weird, taking The Winter Soldier through valleys that feel unprecedented in superhero cinema. We're grateful for the invention here — for Robert Redford's buttoned-up Tom Clancy villain, for the directors' aggressive tunneling through a wide underworld of subterranean corruption, and especially for one scene in an army bunker that amounts to the most charmingly bats**t crazy reveal in any Marvel movie yet. We might be most grateful, though, for a new take on Nick Fury; here, the franchise gives Samuel L. Jackson his best material by a mile.
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But in the absence of definitive work done in our heroing couple, a pair rich in fibers but relegated to broad strokes and easy quips in this turn, most of it amounts to a fairly good spy thriller, not an ace-in-the-whole neo-superhero masterpiece... which, justly or otherwise, is what we've come to expect and demand from these things.
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In his time, Liam Neeson has endured a great deal of trauma for some very significant causes. He battled Bruce Wayne for the institution of panic as Ra's al Ghul in Batman Begins. He took down a militia of European criminals for the safety of his daughter in Taken. He waged war with society for a freer mentality towards human sexuality in Kinsey. And now, he's staring down the barrel of public nudity, for the very worthy cause of breast cancer research.
Ellen viewers tuned in on Monday to find a marginally clad Neeson, garbed only in pink briefs and sitting stoically in a glass chamber, feeling the wrath of one very unforgiving shower, all in the name of the fight against breast cancer. You can watch the video over on Daily Mail.
Watching Neeson embrace the stunt in the name of a good cause assures us that the man is just as worthy of our admiration in real life as he is when defending justice or thirsting for adventure on the big screen. As stated above, many of the 60-year-old actor's cinematic forays have pitted him against terrific adversity, in the name of some very significant motivations. In Les Miséables, he took on the July Monarchy, opting to overthrow the oppressive regime for the citizens of Paris. In The Grey, he fought a whole buncha wolves, with the motivating factor being his own survival (you can't have a sequel if the main guy dies!). In The Phantom Menace, he fended off a villainous Darth Maul for the preservation of the Force's triumph over evil... irreparably harming millions of innocent Star Wars fans in the process.
Neeson has faced his share of worthy foes, and each time has fought for something of value to him. But none of his roles live up to the valor of the real Neeson, as proven by his appearance on Ellen, and his investment in the cause of breast cancer research. Not Zeus in Clash of the Titans, Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia, or Priest Vallon in Gangs of New York. Not R'as al Ghul, Bryan Mills, or Alfred Kinsey. None of 'em. Real life Liam Neeson is a bigger hero than any of them.
Especially R'as al Ghul. That guy was a total jackass.
[Photo Credit: Ellen]
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Previous rumors that Jermane and Randy Jackson had refused to attend the Jackson 5 reunion for the Michael Jackson: 30 Anniversary Celebration, The Solo Years can now be dismissed. All five brothers from the eponymous Jackson 5 music group have confirmed their attendance at the event.
After feuding for the last month with the show's producer, David Gest, over the ticket prices, the guest list and the lineups for the all-star events, Jermaine agreed on Friday to perform at the September 7 and 10 shows, to be held at New York's Madison Square Garden.
"Having been accused of not wanting to be a part of my brother's 30th anniversary concert for publicity reasons is not right," Jermaine Jackson said in a statement Friday. "My concern was that our loyal fans were not invited nor able to attend because of excessive prices," he told SonicNet.com.
A combined total of 40,000 tickets for the September 7 and 10 Michael Jackson celebration concerts--priced $45 to $2,500 per ticket--sold out just five hours after going on sale on July 31, Launch. com reported.
"I place my family above all else and I would like to perform with my brothers in spite of all that has gone on. I'm sorry that loyalty to my fans and family has been perceived as betrayal," Jermaine added.
The Jackson brothers convened in Los Angeles on Friday to begin rehearsing for the shows.
A complete list of confirmed special guests goes as follows:
Friday, September 7: Marc Anthony; Ray Charles; Deborah Cox; Destiny's Child; Gloria Estefan; Billy Gilman; Whitney Houston; James Ingram; Quincy Jones & the Legends of Jazz including Al Jarreau, Herbie Mann, Les McCann, David "Fathead" Newman, Jimmy Smith, Clark Terry & Cassandra Wilson; Liza Minnelli; Monica; Mya; *NSYNC; Jill Scott; Shaggy featuring Ricardo "Rikrok" Ducent & Rayvon; Britney Spears; Tamia; 3T; Usher.
Monday, September 10: Marc Anthony; Mary J. Blige; Deborah Cox; Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott; Gloria Gaynor; Al Jarreau; Gladys Knight; Lil' Romeo; Ricky Martin; Liza Minnelli; Monica; Mya; 98 Degrees; Jill Scott; Usher; Luther Vandross; Dionne Warwick.
In addition, stars from television, sports, movies, and the recording industry will honor Jackson during the concerts. Confirmed guests include: Marlon Brando; Elizabeth Taylor; Samuel L. Jackson; Willem Dafoe; William Shatner; Dr. Dre; Snoop Dogg; Yoko Ono; Sean Lennon; Jane Russell; Chris Tucker; Liam Neeson; Vanessa Redgrave; Franco Nero; Muhammad Ali; Kobe Bryant; Magic Johnson; Esther Williams; Gregory Peck; Jennifer Jones; Angie Dickinson; Master P; Robert Wagner; Jill St. John; Sir John Mills; Hayley Mills; Janet Leigh; Reggie Miller; Ann Miller; Jane Powell; Macaulay Culkin; Patricia Neal.