Filming on U.K. soap opera Coronation Street was cancelled on Tuesday (20Jan15) following the death of castmember Anne Kirkbride. The beloved actress, who portrayed Deirdre Barlow on the hit show for 44 years, passed away on Monday (19Jan15) at the age of 60 while on a leave of absence.
Her death came as a massive shock to fellow castmembers, and filming on Tuesday was called off because many of the actors were too upset to work.
Bill Roache, who played Kirkbride's onscreen husband Ken Barlow, tells U.K. TV show This Morning, "We all wanted to carry on filming today for Annie's sake but when it came to it we couldn't do it... The void just walking on set today was heart-rending... Like a family we've had a bereavement, so we will take some time to get over this."
Executive producer Kieran Roberts adds, "Today is a day to reflect. We did try and film today but after half an hour it was obvious it wasn't going to happen and everyone stood down from filming..."
There has been an outpouring of grief across the U.K. entertainment industry since news of Kirkbride's death broke, with tributes flooding in from co-stars including small screen veteran Les Dennis, Kate Ford, who played the actress' onscreen daughter, and Nigel Havers, who once shared a kiss with Kirkbride in Coronation Street.
Other stars to have offered tributes include British rapper Professor Green, and Being Human actor Russell Tovey.
The gender and name of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' newborn child has reportedly been outed in a Twitter.com post by an excited hospital worker.
The Green Lantern co-stars became first-time parents just before the New Year (15), but the baby's sex, name and other details have yet to be revealed. However, shortly after the birth news broke online on Monday evening (05Jan15), a woman who works at New York's Westchester Medical Center, not far from the couple's home in Bedford, sent a congratulatory tweet to the new parents and appeared to reveal the sought-after details about the celebrity offspring.
Sam, who tweets under the username @kimbanksy, wrote, "Congrats @blakelively #blakelively glad to have you and baby girl violet in our care".
A representative for Lively has yet to comment on the news of the baby's birth or name.
Lively and Reynolds wed in 2012.
Styx frontman Dennis Deyoung fears his band will never make it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame because the committee is made up of people who hated power rock acts. The Come Sail Away hitmakers have been overlooked again, alongside peers like Journey and Foreigner, and DeYoung admits he isn't surprised - and fans shouldn't be either.
In a post on Facebook.com, he writes, "Fans of bands like Styx, Journey, Boston, Foreigner and others, are stuck with the fact that the people who decide who is worthy of induction are for the most part the same ones who never liked these bands. Anything said by any of us who were in those groups in defense will sound like sour grapes no matter how valid the statistics, how persuasive the arguments.
"Writers are adept at making unknown acts they prefer into a big deal, thus giving them pumped up identities. Styx’s former manager not only distrusted the press and ignored them but went one step further and actively antagonized them. He and I had many a heated discussion over his policy."
But he offered a little hope, adding, "I heard that Rush‘s fan base and the Kiss Army were instrumental in getting them inducted, so there are more ways to skin a cat."
Next year's (15) inductees were announced earlier this week (ends21Dec14). They include Joan Jett, Ringo Starr and Green Day.
Nine years isn’t such a gap in comparison to the time it took to make prequels like Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Prometheus, but it still feels like we've been waiting forever for a Sin City sequel. The first film shocked audiences with a cutting edge cinematic style and a sexy, violent trip through a beloved comic franchise. This prequel has suffered some major losses to the cast and a general loss of buzz from the original. So we're wondering if waiting a decade has actually harmed the upcoming new movie.
First off, casting. Sadly, Brittany Murphy and Michael Clarke Duncan have passed away since the release of Sin City. The lengthy delay in filming cost the film these actors and quite a few more. Dennis Haysbert will be taking over the golden-eyed role of Manute. But can he play a convincing villain if his voice makes people want to double check their insurance rates? Devon Aoki’s model good looks and silent intensity were immortalized in the character of Miho. She’s been replaced by former Real World star Jamie Chung. Chung has been action-ish in Sucker Punch and Once Upon a Time , but she also starred in the utterly horrible Dragonball: Evolution. Eva Green plays the highly coveted role of Ava Lord. She’s not the worst choice but is a bit of a downgrade considering Angelina Jolie or Scarlett Johansson could have had the role. Finally, Michael Madsen has been replaced by Ari Gold himself, Jeremy Piven.
Additionally, the buzz may have all but faded. Die hard Frank Miller fans will come out for the film regardless of the questionable casting and the long delay. However, a lot of the major excitement riding off the first movie has dissipated. Sin City was monumental, but films that have come since and borrowed the same ilk, like Watchmen and Sucker Punch, have done poorly in theaters. In the last nine years, stars like Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, and Rosario Dawson have lost a lot of their A-list appeal, lowering their grade to the likes of Good Luck Chuck, Iron Man 2, and The Zookeeper respectively.
The casting may be less exciting than the original but Joseph Gordon-Levitt has joined the cast. A Dame to Kill For is also one of the most exciting and intricate stories of the comic book franchise. It’s also the entire driving force behind Clive Owen’s character in the original film. Only time will tell if the film will be as great as the original. However, the geek appeal will definitely draw some butts to seats.
Has nine years left you indifferent or dying to see the sequel?
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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Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Week after week for nine straight years, television audiences would amble into the General Mercantile in Walton's Mountain, Virginia, to be greeted by the smiling face of one Ike Godsey. Portrayed by character actor Joe Conley, Ike served as one of The Waltons' most recognizable and charming recurring players through the series' nine season-long run. In the acting business for more than 20 years prior to hitching his wagon to the CBS drama, Conley embodied roles big and small in film and television alike. Sadly, Deadline reports that on July 7, the 85-year-old Conley passed away in a California care facility, approximately a decade after setting his acting career to rest.
Among the performer's final roles was a part in the hit Tom Hanks drama Cast Away, which capped off a showbiz career that extended more than half a century. In addition to The Waltons, Conley enjoyed roles on other "small-town" classics, such as Mr. Ed, Lassie, The Brady Bunch, Dragnet, Gunsmoke, Dennis the Menace, and Green Acres, but also appeared on the likes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and in a Carol Channing Show television movie.
One of the everpresent faces in classic television, you'd be hard pressed not to happen upon Conley in the occasional late night rerun viewing. The amicable character actor is survived by his wife Louise Ann Teechen and their four children, Erin, Jana, Kevin, and Julie.
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Maximiliano Hernandez (better known as the dearly departed Agent Chris Amador) said of The Americans, "The Americans for me is analogue. There's a texture to it, you can hear it." And in Wednesday's Season 1 finale, "The Colonel," all the gears and cogs — of Directorate S, the FBI, and the Jennings' marriage — are laid bare to suspenseful, poignant effect.
The Americans has walked the line between camp and drama all season, using moments of levity (such as chuckle-worthy fashion choices and antiquated — yet period-appropriate — technology) to add lightness to what would be an otherwise very, very dark show. By including just the right amount of kitsch, we are able to continue to root for characters — namely Keri Russell's Elizabeth and Matthew Rhys' Phillip — who rack up quite the body count. And in "The Colonel," when the stakes are higher than ever, your allegiances lie firmly with the Jennings.
The main action of "The Colonel" obviously hinges on the bait-and-switch of the trap the FBI has set for the Directorate S illegals (who we know to be the Jennings). As Elizabeth prepares to meet the colonel — and then when Phillip actually does, after he goes rogue — the audience knows that the real danger lies in picking up the surveillance tapes. And therefore the moments in which Elizabeth approaches the vehicle while Phillip tries to intercept her are the most suspenseful of the episode. Although, the car chase that follows ain't bad, either (I personally loved the vintage feel and old school car stunts).
The emotional high point of the episode, however, is of course the touching final scene between Elizabeth and Phillip. When Elizabeth asks Phillip in Russian to "come home," you feel the cathartic release as a season full of back-and-forth rushes away. It's obvious these two love one another and, after the heartbreaking scene in "Covert War" during which Phillip rebuffs (or is oblivious to) Elizabeth's attempt at reconciliation, this moment of tender forgiveness seems long overdo. And I, for one, can't wait to see how their relationship progresses going forward, especially with the new specter of Phillip/Clark's marriage to Martha haunting them.
Speaking of Martha, the secondary characters really came into their own in the season's final few episodes. Martha, played with incredible earnestness and care by Alison Wright, is pitiful, yes, but you can't help but love her. She's not so blinded by her love for Clark that she fails to exert her own convictions — she was, after all, able to convince Clark to let her tell her parents about their relationship as well as move up the wedding date — and that's appealing. Wright has created a layered, nuanced character where it would be so easy to fall back on caricature. And it was a surprise to all that she was able to survive the season — although I doubt she'll be so lucky in Season 2.
The other big surprise of the season was Nina's (Annet Mahendru) new role as a double agent. Nina transformed from the victim to a force to be reckoned with, and could very well be Stan's (Noah Emmerich) downfall. Stan and Nina are, in a way, foils for one another. As Nina gains strength and grows stronger in her convictions, Stan is reduced to nearly a shell of a man. He lost his partner, he is well on his way to destroying his marriage, and his big professional moment was a bust. Nina has taken control of her fate while Stan has become victim to his — and that makes me want to root for Nina and Directorate S. Team Nina!
So, where do we go from here? When Season 2 begins, we will once again have a unified Jennings family and Directorate S will once again have an upper hand on the FBI (thanks to Nina's double agent status and the colonel's new intel) — but that doesn't mean we have returned to square one. While Elizabeth and Phillip's relationship seems stronger than ever, how will they keep the Martha ruse going? It will surely tear Elizabeth apart to watch Clark return to Martha's (soon to be redecorated) apartment night after night.
Also within the Jennings family, we have Paige's growing suspicion to deal with. Is Paige's curiosity simply reflective of your normal teen rebellion and tendency to delve into one's parents' past? Or will Paige become a real threat to her parents' secret identity? Furthermore, if Paige does discover her parents' true lives, how will she take it?
The other huge question mark is Claudia's (Margo Martindale) fate on the show. In the final episode, the audience was given a look at Claudia's true loyalties — which, contrary to the Jennings' belief — lie firmly with the agents in her care. And yet, Claudia may be out of the picture come Season 2. Unfortunately, Grannie's future on The Americans may be determined by outside forces; she has a starring role in the pilot for Will Arnett's new comedy, which is currently awaiting pickup by CBS. If her new show gets a green light, we might unfortunately lose Claudia. And what a loss it would be.
Bigger picture questions I have going forward involve the spy aspect of the show, rather than the familial one. How long can the FBI and Directorate S continue to play this game of cat and mouse without it wearing thin? And will Phillip and Elizabeth continue to be given one-off missions that don't forward the overall arc of the show? These seem to truncate the action without advancing the characters in noteworthy ways. Furthermore, how do we progress in the Cold War without rewriting history? In order to keep things accurate it seems we have to shy away from big, international moves. They can't actually assassinate Reagan or drastically change the space program... can they?
The show is ripe with possibilities for Nina's advancement as well as the Martha/Clark storyline, and I'd love to learn more about Sandra (Susan Misner), Stan's cuckolded wife with an impressive amount of backbone, so hopefully we see those progressed in a second season. Ultimately, I feel in good hands with Joseph Weisberg and Joel Fields at the helm; I can't wait to see where they take us.
Follow Abbey On Twitter @AbbeyStone
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Welcome to Pawnee, Indiana. We are located 90 miles from Indianapolis and we are the state's seventh-largest city. We are a city of kind citizens, green places, and a deep love and respect for the land. For the care and protection of these public outdoor spaces, we turn to the Parks and Recreation Department, headed by the honorable Ronald Ulysses Swanson. In order to ensure that the parks, pools, and public spaces of Pawnee remain in their tip top condition and able to provide good, clean fun for the citizens of Pawnee and their guests, the Parks and Recreation Department asks you to follow the following pertinent rules and regulations. Please and thank you, rest in peace L'il Sebastian.
Sometimes, a friend in need deserves a bailout in deed. Whether the problem is personal (like wanting your ex-boyfriend to father your child) or professional (is your coworker lazy, or is your friend's business closing?) we all sometimes need a little help to get by from our friends. And we Pawneeans are kind, helpful people, always ready to lend a hand. But when doing so, be sure to follow these 10 guidelines to ensure your friend safely gets the help he or she requires.
10 Rules and Regulations for Bailing Out a Friend
1. Does your friend seem upset? Ask yourself, what can I do to help out? What do I have that they need? Maybe your friend is trying to get pregnant, and just needs a friend to listen. Maybe your friend owns the snobbishly depressing Pawnee VideoDome and will go out of business without your financial help. Maybe your friend wants your sperm. Regardless, the first step is the same: Look deep inside yourself and determine what you can do to make his or her life happier.
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2. Sometimes, your friend will come to you. She will be forthright and forthcoming with her needs. If this is the case, play along! If, say, someone you haven't always particularly liked (because she dated and lived in a romantic way with your husband before he was your husband) asks you to be her friend — even if it is in exchange for something you need in return, like a recommendation for veterinary school in Bloomington — go along with it. You never know, she may be hurting behind her beautiful tropical fish eyes. She may be looking for more than a pedicure partner, something greater than a scary Charlotte to her Carrie.
3. Get a team behind you. Not all problems can be solved tete-a-tete, some require help from a larger group. Take, for instance, the example of Dennis Lerpiss and the closure of his VideoDome. You can't single-handedly fix that one up! To keep that sad little video rental store going you'll have to turn it into a historic landmark and bail it out with government funds. The place is a relic anyway — you can download movies on the Internet now; I'm watching zoolander on my phone right now! — might as well make it official.
4. Prepare for the opposition. Not everyone will think bailing out your friend (and his business) is the right thing to do. Expect resistance from the libertarian with the mustache, but remain strong in your convictions if you think what you are doing is right.
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5. Channel your own needs in order to better to help your friend. Perhaps you are yourself struggling with a dilemma. You can't help but wonder, Will you make a good father? Do you want to donate your sperm to a friend? Are you ready for that kind of responsibility? Will raising a kid infringe upon your strict exercise regimen? The best way to work out your issue may be to offer your assistance to someone else.
6. Say yes. After spending time pretending Tom Haverford — who is struggling with his drunk, brash, skanky (Jean-Ralphio's words, not ours) employee — is your son, you may learn something. And that thing may just be that your paralyzing fear of negatively affecting anything is something you can overcome. So go ahead and say yes to your friend. Help yourself by helping her. Now, doesn't that feel nice?
7. Don't be afraid to help yourself. Listen to your helpful friends, think about what they say, and then do what feels right for you. Stand up for yourself, lay down your own law. But at the end of the day, if you want to begin a sexual relationship with your employee, Jean-Ralphio's twin sister Mona Lisa, then do what you need to do.
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8. Listen. This is the most important rule, so we'll say it a few more times for good measure — listen, listen, listen! And really listen; like, read between the lines listen. Maybe your (new, sort of pretend) friend seems like she is happy to just sing karaoke in her office — because, let's face it, "Time After Time" really does cure all woes — but if you are really there for her you'll know that what she needs is companionship… and a baby names book with a bow.
9. Know when to stop. Because sometimes — okay, all the times — the libertarian with the mustache is correct, and you need to let your friend fight his own battles. You can always start a government-funded movie night of your own to make up for the new lack of video store in Pawnee, one where you can feel free to show The Sound of Music instead of Paths of Glory.
10. Do not throw rocks at a hornet's nest!
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[Photo Credit: Danny Feld/NBC]
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The Casino Royale femme fatale will portray the new film's deadly muse, Ava Lord - who screenwriter and co-director Frank Miller describes as "every man's most glorious dreams come true," adding, "she's also every man's darkest nightmares".
Rodriguez says, "Ava Lord is one of the most deadly and fascinating residents of Sin City. From the start, we knew that the actor would need to be able to embody the multifaceted characteristics of this femme fatale and we found that in Eva Green. We are ecstatic that Eva is joining us."
She joins a cast that includes returning stars Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson and Jaime King, and fellow newcomers Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ray Liotta, Dennis Haysbert and Christopher Meloni.
Production is underway at Rodriguez's Troublemaker Studios in Austin, Texas.