James singer Tim Booth has wrecked fans' dreams of a sequel to his acclaimed 1996 album collaboration with composer Angelo Badalamenti by insisting Booth & The Bad Angel was a wonderful one-off. The Sit Down singer was recently reminded of the time he spent songwriting and recording with the man behind the haunting Twin Peak theme when Badalamenti sent him a forgotten outtake from their sessions together.
Booth says, "Angelo just sent me a song he found recently on a piece of tape, and he didn't tell me what it was and I started listening to it, thinking, 'F**k, he's written a song with a singer that sounds just like me - and he didn't ask me to sing?'
"Halfway through I realised that it was me... and it was like, 'Oh, OK, I'm not so upset'. It was cool.
"I have great memories of recording Booth & the Bad Angel and I'd love to work with him again because I adore the man. We didn't have a bad word to say to each other, but I think that album was a one-off - and I'm not complaining.
"Many people have tried to work with Angelo, including Leonard Cohen and Bono and (David) Bowie. I think I was very blessed to work with him on one album. And we were lucky enough to work with (guitarist) Bernard Butler and the engineer was Nigel Godrich. Two years later he did OK Computer with Radiohead. We had a great team."
Paramount via Everett Collection
Actor Dylan Baker has been tapped to play former U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation director J. Edgar Hoover in the Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic Selma.
The Spider-Man 2 star will portray the government official who famously wiretapped the civil rights leader's office in a failed bid to prove he was a part of the Communist party, according to Deadline.com.
Baker will join a cast that includes David Oyelowo as King, Cuba Gooding, Jr. as American civil rights lawyer Fred Gray, British actor Tom Wilkinson as former U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson and Tim Roth, who will portray controversial U.S. governor George Wallace.
Oprah Winfrey, who will play civil rights protester Annie Lee Cooper in the film, and Brad Pitt are among the producers of the project.
TV titan Oprah Winfrey has joined the cast of her Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic Selma. Winfrey is producing the film alongside Brad Pitt and now she is set to portray civil rights protester Annie Lee Cooper, an elderly woman who tried to register to vote and was denied by a sheriff.
The movie will reunite the 60 year old with her Lee Daniels' The Butler co-star David Oyelowo, who will play King, while Cuba Gooding, Jr. will star as American civil rights lawyer Fred Gray, British actor Tom Wilkinson has signed on to play former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, and Tim Roth will portray controversial U.S. governor George Wallace.
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
Actor Tim Roth has been cast as controversial U.S. governor George Wallace in the upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic Selma.
The star will play the Alabama politician who famously favoured segregation and whose policies ultimately prompted King to lead a civil rights march across the state from Selma to capital city Montgomery. Roth is no stranger to portraying historical figures - he tackled the role of Prince Rainer III in the controversial film Grace of Monaco.
He joins a cast including fellow Brits David Oyelowo as Dr. King and Tom Wilkinson, who will portray former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson. Oprah Winfrey is producing.
Much to the dismay of Trekkers everywhere, Roberto Orci will be making his directorial debut with Star Trek 3. According to Variety, Orci, who wrote and produced the first two installments of the franchise with his business partner Alex Kurtzman, has been the frontrunner for some time now, although the names of the other directors being considered haven't been revealed. Orci's name has been in contention for the job since he and Kurtzman announced their split, so the news doesn't come as too much of a surprise. He's also been working on the script with J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, while J.J. Abrams will serve as producer.
Star Trek is just the latest franchise to take a chance on a new director, as studios have recently made it a habit of picking independent or first-timer directors to helm blockbusters like The Amazing Spider Man 2 or Godzilla. In fact, many of the most expensive films ever made were headed by directors making their feature film debut. Considering Star Trek Into Darkness had a budget of $185 million, it seems as if Orci will soon join the ranks of first-time directors taking on a big-budget franchise. In honor of the major challenge that Orci has ahead of him, we've rounded up the six most expensive directorial debuts and how those directors handled them. That way, Trekkies can try and manage their expectations.
Robert Stromberg, Maleficent - $180 millionWalt Disney Studios
Though fantasy fixtures like David Yates and Tim Burton were rumored to helm the Disney prequel, the studio instead handed the reins to Stromberg, an Oscar-winning production designer. We'll have to wait until the film's May 30 release in order to see how well he handled the material, but from the trailers it's clear that the director's previous experience has resulted in visually stunning movie.
Bob Peterson, Up - $175 millionWalt Disney Co. via Everett Collection
Before he took the helm for Up, Peterson was best known for providing voices for some of Pixar's most icoinc characters. However, his directorial debut blew his other projects away, earning five Academy Award nominations — including Best Picture, making it only the second animated film to be nominated in that category — a win for Best Animated Feature, and opening the Cannes Film Festival. Oh, and it grossed over $700 million at the box office.
Carl Erik Rinsch, 47 Ronin - $175 millionUniversal Pictures via Everett Collection
Loosely based on the fictional account of 47 samurai who avenged their master's death, the big budget film was entrusted to Rinsch by Universal, despite his lack of feature film experience. Unfortunately for the studio, it wasn't a gamble that paid off, as the film's release date was pushed back several times, it received largely negative reviews and it failed to break even at the box office. Hopefully Paramount won't find themselves in the same situation with Star Trek.
Rupert Sanders, Snow White and the Huntsman - $170 millionUniversal Pictures via Everett Collection
Prior to Snow White and the Hunstman, Sanders had primarily directed commercials, although that didn't stop Universal from trusting him with this fantasy epic. The resulting film did well at the box office even though it received mostly mixed reviews, and was rumored to be getting a sequel, with Sanders taking the helm once again. However, both films were overshadowed by the tabloid frenzy that resulted from Sanders' affair with his leading lady, Kristen Stewart, so it doesn't look like that will be happening any time soon.
Joseph Kosinski, Tron: Legacy - $170 million Walt Disney Studios via Everett Collection
When Disney decided to make a sequel to Tron almost thirty years after the first film was released, they turned to Kosinski, who had become known for his work with computer generated effects in the commercials he directed. Though Tron: Legacy received mixed reviews, choosing Kosinski turned out to be a smart choice in the long run, as the film grossed over $400 million during its run in theaters.
Rich Moore, Wreck-It Ralph - $165 million Walt Disney Studios via Everett Collection
Before taking on Wreck-It Ralph, Moore made his name directing episodes of The Simpsons and Futurama, which made him a perfect fit for the goofy, self-referential film. It was a major hit for Disney, grossing over $400 million at the box office, winning the Annie Award for Best Animated Feature and earning an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Picture. Unfortunately, it lost the award to Brave, because nobody loves a Pixar movie more than the Academy.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
With only a week and change having passed since the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, we no doubt feel the question living fresh in our minds: can we ever judge a remake without considering its predecessors? The conversation about the stark contrast in critical favor between Marc Webb's release and Sam Raimi's trilogy (the second installment of his franchise in particular) buzzed loudly, and we imagine the volume will keep in regards to Gareth Edwards' Godzilla. But it'll be a different sound altogether.
The original Godzilla, a Japanese film released in 1954, reinvented the identity of the monster movie, launched a 30-film legacy, and spoke legions about the political climate of its era. The most recent of these films — Roland Emmerich's 1998 American production — is universally bemoaned as a bigger disaster than anything to befall Tokyo at the hands of the giant reptile. With these two entries likely standing out as the most prominent in the minds of contemporary audiences, Edwards' Godzilla has some long shadows cast before it. And in approaching the new movie, one might not be able to avoid comparisons to either. It's fair — by taking on an existing property, a filmmaker knowingly takes on the connotations of that property. But the 2014 installment's great success is that it isn't much like any Godzilla movie we've seen before. In a great, great way.
This isn't 1954's Godzilla, a dire and occasionally dreary allegory that uses the supernatural to tell an important story about nuclear holocaust. A complete reversal, in fact, first and foremost Edwards' Godzilla is about its monsters. Any grand themes strewn throughout — the perseverence of nature, the follies of mankind, fatherhood, madness, faith — are all in service to the very simple mission to give us some cool, weighty, articulate sci-fi disaster. Elements of gravity are plotted all over the film's surface, with scientists, military men (kudos to Edwards for not going the typical "scientists = good/smart, military = bad/dumb" route in this film — everybody here is at least open to suggestion), doctors, police officers, and a compassionate bus driver all wrestling with options in the face of behemoth danger. The humanity is everpresent, but never especially intrusive. To reiterate, this isn't a film about any of these people, or what they do.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
The closest thing to a helping of thematic (or human) significance comes with Ken Watanabe's Dr. Serizawa, who spouts awe-stricken maxims about cryptozoology, the Earth, and the inevitable powerlessness of man. He might not be supplying anything more substantial than our central heroes (soft-hearted soldier Aaron Taylor-Johnson, dutiful medic and mom Elizabeth Olsen, right-all-along conspiracy theorist Bryan Cranston), but Watanabe's bonkers performance as the harried scientist is so bizarrely good that you might actually believe, for a scene or two, that it all does mean something.
Ultimately, the beauty of our latest taste of Godzilla lies not in the commitment to a message that made the original so important nor in the commitment to levity that made Emmerich's so pointless, but in its commitment to imagination. Edwards' creature design is dazzling, his deus ex machina are riveting, and the ultimate payoff to which he treats his audience is the sort of gangbusters crowd-pleaser that your average contemporary monster movie is too afraid to consider.
In fairness, this year's Godzilla might not be considered an adequate remake, not quite reciprocating the ideals, tone, or importance of the original. Sure, anyone looking for a 2014 answer to 1954's game-changing paragon will find sincere philosophy traded for pulsing adventure... but they'd have a hard time ignoring the emphatic charm of this new lens for the 60-year-old lizard, both a highly original composition and a tribute in its way to the very history of monster movies (a history that owes so much to the creature in question). So does Godzilla '14 successfully fill the shoes of Godzilla '54? No — it rips them apart and dons a totally new pair... though it still has a lot of nice things to say about the first kicks.
Oh, and the '98 Godzilla? Yeah, it's better than that.
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Lionsgate via Everett Collection
There are certain songs that transport you back to movie scenes as soon as you hear them. Sometimes that makes you feel warm inside, sometimes it inspires you, and other times it gives you the willies. We're taking a look at the songs that we can't help but associate with the big screen, toucing on the best love songs in films and the most inspirational songs in movies. Here, though, we take a look at the pop songs that suddenly became creepy once these movies got ahold of them.
"Hip To Be Square" in American Psycho
Who knew that ax-wielding psychopaths dig Huey Lewis and the News (as well as Phil Collins)? At least Christian Bale took the time to make sure not to mess up his killer designer suit.
"Stuck in the Middle with You" in Reservoir Dogs
From Steven Wright's deadpan introduction on the radio to Michael Madsen's dancing to Stealers Wheel's lone hit, everything is unsettling in Quentin Tarrantino's ear-splitting scene.
"Tiptoe Through the Tulips" in Insidious
If you're old enough to remember him, than you already know that Tiny Tim was plenty scary on his own. Adding some nightmare-inducing marionettes to his ukulele strumming is just not fair.
"Hurdy Gurdy Man" in Zodiac
Donovan was just singing about a guy playing an odd musical instrument… we're pretty sure that he wasn't looking to provide a theme song for a serial killer. David Fincher used it to such effect in his film that others followed, turning it into the go-to '60s track for creeping everyone out.
"Jessie's Girl" and "Sister Christian" in Boogie Nights
It's not a horror movie, or even a thriller, but when Alfred Molina starts smoking crack in his underwear to his mix-tape of Rick Springfield and Night Ranger it certainly is enough to weird anyone out. We jumped right along with Mark Wahlberg and John C. Reilly every time a firecracker went off.
"In Dreams" in Blue Velvet
The granddaddy of them all. David Lynch's movie is disturbing on any number of levels, but the scene of Dennis Hopper's sexual deviant beating the snot out of Kyle MacLachlan while Roy Orbison's voice pipes out of a car radio has been the basis for too many night terrors to count.
"Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" in Pulp Fiction
The first time that you see it there isn't anything wrong with Uma Thurman dancing around to the Urge Overkill remake of a Neil Diamond song while John Travolta gives himself a bathroom pep talk. It's on the repeat viewings when you know what's going to happen afterwards that it makes you a little uneasy (especially if you're afraid of needles).
"I've Got You, Babe" in Groundhog Day and "We've Only Just Begun" in 1408
The Carpenters and Sonny and Cher are about as innocent as you can possibly get when it comes to pop music… and the two films are not anything alike. With that said, if we are ever in a hotel and the stupid clock radio starts repeatedly playing a song on its own, we're checking out right then and there. And, if the song is John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High," the tipoff to impending death in the Final Destination movies, we're running as fast as we can.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
As grand as the themes of good and evil, needs and deservings, power and responsibility and such forth are, superhero movies are generally pretty straightforward in premise: hero stops villain from wreaking havoc. As off-putting as this kind of simplicity might sound, it's usually the right way to go. If you pack enough substance into your characters and adhere your plot to these linear margins, you can actually wind up saying a healthy amount (and having a lot of fun). The Amazing Spider-Man 2 gets half of this formula down pat. Although Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker is still a moreover undistinguished identity, his emotional magnitude (re: his relationship with Gwen Stacy) is enough to keep him valid through the storm of lunacy that is his second feature. And it's not even that lunacy that holds him back. The problem isn't how wild his conquests are, how silly some of the action sequences feel, or how absolutely bonkers his villains turn out to be. It's all the other stuff (and yes, if you can believe it, there's a ton more going on in this movie than what I've already mentioned — that's the issue). All the plot twists, tertiary mysteries, ominous flashbacks, abject reveals, and weightlessly sinister pawns in this brooding game that, save for its fun with the baddies, takes itself way too seriously. All that stuff that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 thinks is necessary to make Peter Parker matter? It actually does just the opposite.
Peter is at his best when he's playing Tracy and Hepburn with the girlfriend he's perpetually disappointing (the eternally charming Emma Stone), or trying to win back the favor of the only remaining parental figure from whom he's rapidly slipping away (Sally Field, reminding us why she's a household name), or angling to connect with the mentally unstable engineer who just wants people to notice him (Jamie Foxx working his comic shtick with a frightening zest). We have the most fun with Peter when he's playing the simplest games, and we connect best with him on similar ground. But Peter and company, at the behest of The Amazing Spider-Man franchise's Sandman-sized aspirations, spend so much time exploring new avenues: the secrets surrounding the death and work of Richard Parker, the behind-the-curtains operations of OsCorp, the nefarious goings on in the waterside penitentiary Ravencroft.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
As a result of the grand stab at world building, there is just so much stuff that Peter has to wade through in this movie, dragging the likes of Gwen and his boyhood friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan, mastering angst, menace, and upper-class privilege all at once) into the dark crevasses of narrative waste. With so many diversions into the emotionally vacant, deliberately joyless explorations of Parker family origin stories, secret brief cases, and underground subways — The Amazing Spider-Man 2 rivals Captain America: The Winter Soldier in complexity, but forgets the necessary ingredient of fun — we barely have enough energy left when the good stuff hits.
And in truth, the good stuff isn't really good enough to sustain us through all the duller periods. Garfield and Stone do have laudable chemistry. Foxx is a hoot as Peter's maniacal new foe, especially when paired with the grimacing DeHaan. And the action, while often straying from any aesthetic authenticity, is nothing shy of neat-o. It's all passable, occasionally worthy of a hearty smile, but rarely anything you'll be definitively pleased you took the time to see.
But beyond coming up short in the micro, the film's regal downfall is its scope. With so much to do, both in accomplishing its own necessary plot points and setting up for those to come in future films, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 doesn't seem to take time to make sure it's having fun with its own premise. And if it isn't having fun, we won't be either.
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Leading authors Sir Terry Pratchett and Philip Pullman are among the notable figures who have signed an open letter to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron in protest after the politician branded Britain a "Christian country". Cameron hit the headlines earlier this month (Apr14) when he insisted Britain should "more confident" about its status as a country with a deep Christian history ahead of the Easter celebrations over the weekend (19-20Apr14).
Some critics dismissed the statement as a vote-winning ploy, and now a list of leading academics and writers have spoken out against his claims, insisting the comments have "negative consequences" for the country.
In the open letter, Pratchett, Pullman, performer Tim Minchin and many others have accused the British leader of fuelling "alienation and division in our society".
The missive adds: "Britain has been shaped for the better by many pre-Christian, non-Christian, and post-Christian forces. We are a plural society with citizens with a range of perspectives, and we are a largely non-religious society."
Ventriloquist Otto Petersen has died at the age of 53. The entertainer passed away on Sunday (13Apr14) at his home in Keyport, New Jersey, according to the New York Times.
Petersen appeared with his wooden puppet George Dudley on several TV shows including the Late Show with David Letterman and The Howard Stern Show.
He was also featured in the comedy concert film Comedy's Dirtiest Dozen with Chris Rock and Tim Allen.