"Dying is easy; comedy is hard."
It might have been a DC Comics character who revived these final words of 19th century thespian Edmund Kean, but it is Marvel that seems to be taking the maxim to heart, perhaps having at last stumbled upon the dark side of comedy direction. Since the latter half of its first phase of movies, Marvel Studios has prioritized a comic hue over intensity or grit, hiring unlikely folk like Joe Johnston, Shane Black, the Russo Brothers, and James Gunn (whose upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy looks like a riot) to turn what might have been adrenal actioners into wry character pieces. But the latest filmmaker to take up with the company is of a different breed. Still wading through the muck of a post-Edgar Wright production of Ant-Man, unable to find a director of note to take the reins from the manic brain behind the Cornetto Trilogy, Marvel has announced a partnership with horror director Scott Derrickson for its upcoming Doctor Strange feature. Variety reports that the man behind Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and sci-fi/thriller The Day the Earth Stood Still will handle the long gestating feature, a particular passion of super producer Kevin Feige.
Getty Images/Araya Diaz
It is interesting both that Derrickson arises as a stark contrast to the Marvel helmers of Phases 1 and 2 — genre subverters, sitcom folk, the Honey I Shrunk the Kids dude — as well as smack dab in the middle of the company's high profile Ant-Man mess. Having lost Wright over a disharmony in desired tone of the film, Marvel might only now be realizing just how ribald a comedic vision can be. The difficulty Marvel faces in replacing Wright — Adam McKay (director of various Will Ferrell movies) and Rawson Thurber (of Dodgeball and We're the Millers) have already turned down the prospect, per The Wrap — seems to be no unlikely contributor to its realization that the comedy game is a lot tougher than anticipated back in the inceptive Winter Soldier days.
So now we have Doctor Strange, a character that is far from exempt of the same brand of personality and farce that we saw in The Avengers, both Captain Americas, Thor 2, and (perhaps most of all) Iron Man 3. And we're worried. Not so much about Doctor Strange in particular — the property is steeped in supernatural elements worthy of a great horror director's touch (and Derrickson is, indeed, a great horror director) — but about the future of Marvel on the whole. The company has built such a strong, satisfying franchise thanks not simply to its devotion to its characters but principally to its devotion to joy, personality, humanity... all the inherent facets of comedy. A Marvel that is afraid to have fun — resultant of its dissolution with Edgar Wright (the "funnest" guy it has ever hired) and inability to find a director to peter down his wily voice — is not a Marvel of promise.
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A provocative new perfume featuring Rihanna has been banned from areas in Britain where children are likely to see it. Officials at the nation's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have decided to restrict the billboard over fears it's "sexually suggestive".
The ad features a naked Rihanna sitting on the floor with her legs raised against a bottle of her perfume Rogue. Bosses at Parlux Fragrances insist the nudity was not improper and the image was not offensive, suggestive or demeaning, but the ASA officials state, "While we did not consider the image to be overtly sexual, we considered that Rihanna's pose, with her legs raised in the air, was provocative."
"Because of this, and the fact that Rihanna appeared to be naked except for high heels, we concluded that the ad was sexually suggestive and should have been given a placement restriction to reduce the possibility of it being seen by children."
The news comes a day after Rihanna stunned on the red carpet at the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards in New York by wearing a sheer Adam Selman gown without a bra.
The revealing Adam Selman gown Rihanna wore to the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards on Monday night (02Jun14) was adorned with 230,000 Swarovski crystals. It took 15 people a week to create the Diamonds singer's look.
Rihanna opted not to wear a bra under the sheer dress and happily showed off her breasts, defiantly asking one reporter, "Do my t**s bother you?"
Explaining her daring red carpet look, the sexy Barbados native added, "Island girls are sassy and we love blingy, outrageous stuff."
Rihanna was handed the 2014 Fashion Icon honour at the ceremony in New York.
The surviving members of the Beastie Boys have vowed not to record new music under the group's name after making a promise to late rapper Adam 'Mca' Yauch before his death in 2012. The hip-hop trio has not released any new material since 2011 album Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, and Michael 'Mike D' Diamond reveals fans won't be hearing anything else from the Beastie Boys now that co-founder Yauch is no longer alive.
He revealed the news during a New York court hearing in the band's ongoing copyright infringement battle against the bosses of Monster Beverage Corp, who stand accused of using five of the band's tracks in a promotional video without permission. During his testimony on Friday (30May14), Diamond admitted he and Adam 'Ad-Rock' Horovitz had made a vow with Yauch to prevent any new music being released without each member's input.
Testifying at Manhattan Federal Court, the Sabotage hitmaker said, "We have not been able to tour since MCA, Adam Yauch, died. We can't make new music." Diamond returned to the witness stand on Monday (02Jun14), when defence lawyer Dana Susman attempted to depict the band as hypocrites after the rapper claimed they had turned down "a lot of money" after producers behind Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent film Sabotage asked them for permission to use their 1994 song of the same name.
Diamond revealed they had rejected the offer because they "weren't fans of Mr. Schwarzenegger's recent... work", but Susman called the rapper out and suggested they had subsequently backtracked as their song was used as the action man's walk on music during a recent appearance on America's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Susman alleged the band had received a fee of $600 (£375) in exchange for allowing a snippet of the track to be used, but Diamond insisted he had no knowledge of the deal and claimed any agreement would have been because they are "fans of that show", reports the New York Daily News. The Beastie Boys had previously performed on Fallon's previous programme, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, prior to Yauch's death.
Fox Searchlight via Everett Collection
Back when Star Wars VII announced its first rally of official players, we tackled each name on the list with a brief bit of professional history and our hopes and expectations for that with which he or she might be tasked for the upcoming film. You can check out our rundown here, which enveloped the Star Wars vets as well as franchise newcomers Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Andy Serkis, Max von Sydow, Domhnall Gleeson, John Boyega, and Daisy Ridley. But today's news, via StarWars.com, about Lupita Nyong'o and Gwendoline Christie (oh yeah, and a leaked set photo, via TMZ, revealing a practical monster) calls for another round of introductions.
Lupita Nyong'oBest known as: Patsey, the tortured slave of psychopathic plantation owner Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender) in 12 Years a Slave. The role won her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.Age: 31.In the new movie: Nyong'o's Star Wars character is anyone's guess at this point, but her tremendous command of scene-stealing gravity should land her a pretty meaty role. Perhaps a tad too old (even with the practice of actors playing years below their age) to portray a classmate of presumed central characters, the offspring of Han and Leia, and we'd guess too high profile a figure to take on a tertiary role like teacher or soldier. So we're leaning towards high-ranking officer in the plight against... whatever they're dealing with this time. As long as she has plenty of convicted diatribes and steady close-ups.
Gwendoline ChristieBest known as: Brienne of Tarth, swordsmith and Stark loyalist on Game of Thrones.Age: 35 or 36.In the new movie: Lightsabers. It's practically a given. Knowing how handy she is with a weapon on Game of Thrones, J.J. Abrams couldn't pass up the opportunity to give Christie Star Wars' answer to the sword. As such, this would land her in the Jedi Knight camp, though be she one of pure motive or corrupted soul is another question yet unanswered.
This ThingBest known as: The weird picture you saw a bunch of people sharing on Twitter on Monday morning, worrying that another experiment from Long Island's animal testing facility had washed up on shore.Age: Mid 40s?In the new movie: The suggestion that Star Wars VII will be heavy with practical effects is an encouraging one. Our friend here will probably be relegated to transporting a hero or two (or maybe just cargo), but he likely won't be the film's lone hand-crafted creature.
Keep watch for more additions to the cast!
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The Beastie Boys rejected a big money deal to allow the producers of Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent movie Sabotage to use their song of the same name - because they aren't fans of the action star. Michael 'Mike D' Diamond made the revelation in a New York courtroom last week (ends30May14) as he testified in the band's ongoing copyright infringement case against the bosses of Monster Beverage Corp, who stand accused of using five of the hip-hop icons' tracks in a promotional video without their permission.
The promo was posted online days after the 2012 death of founding Beastie Boys star Adam 'MCA' Yauch, who had made it clear in his will that he didn't want his likeness or art used in any advertisements following his passing.
During his testimony at Manhattan Federal Court, the rapper used the Schwarzenegger film offer to demonstrate how picky the group is when it comes to allowing its work to be used for promotional purposes, admitting movie chiefs had offered the stars "a lot of money" to use the 1994 hit on the soundtrack.
He explained, "We felt it was too much of an endorsement, and we weren't fans of Mr. Schwarzenegger's recent... work."
The movie Sabotage bombed at the U.S. box office upon its release in March (14), grossing just $5.3 million (£3.31 million) in its opening weekend, making it the worst debut for a Schwarzenegger film in over 30 years.
Beastie Boys star Adam 'Ad-Rock' Horovitz took the stand in New York on Wednesday (28May14) as the band's copyright infringement case against the bosses of Monster Beverage Corp went to trial. Ad-Rock and bandmate Michael 'Mike D' Diamond filed suit against the company last year (13), claiming executives used five of the hip-hop trio's tracks in a promotional video without permission.
The tribute montage was posted online days after the death of founding Beastie Boys star Adam 'MCA' Yauch, who had made it clear in his will that his likeness or art would not be used in any advertisements.
The Ruckus in the Rockies video debuted at a snowboarding event in Canada and ended with the words "RIP MCA", but the rapper's bandmates were not impressed with the promo and they have sued for $1 million (£625,000) in damages for the song usage and an additional $1 million (£625,000) for "implied endorsement".
Testifying in Manhattan on Wednesday, Ad-Rock gave the court a brief history of his band before answering defence questions.
The trial is expected to last a week.
Justin Bieber swapped his usual attire of baggy pants and a baseball cap for a smart suit to attend a wedding in upstate New York with his music mentor Usher. The troubled pop star was among the guests at the wedding of Adam Braun, brother of the singer's manager Scooter, and former model Tehillah Voslevitz in Peekskill, New York at the weekend (24-25May14).
Pictures posted on Twitter.com show Bieber posing with the bride and groom, as well as his friend and mentor Usher, at the reception. Other guests included actress Sophia Bush, who posted snaps on her Instagram.com page and added in a caption, "Celebrated the beautiful love of (Braun) and (Voslevitz) last night... so happy for my soul brother and soul sister. What a love. What a night! #fate #meanttobe #congrats (sic)."
After Ryan Murphy's The Normal Heart gobsmacked critics and audiences alike with its unflinching look at the affect of AIDS on the gay community, HBO has picked up yet another period piece detailing the struggles of gays in New York.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO has picked up the script for Open City, a period piece that profiles New York in the late 60's. The drama, from writer David Kajganich and director Adam Shankman, will reportedly follow a diverse set of characters from all corners of Manhattan, as they navigate a city going through a cultural metamorphosis. The project will also examine the gay community's unlikely partnership with New York's mafia with the opening of a West Village night club.
Ever since the critical success of AMC's Mad Men, the television landscape has been littered with period dramas claiming to "explore" a place and time in the past, but all those imitators stumbled when they found that they had nothing of substance to really say about their given era. While Mad Men was having a deep discussion about the cultural mores of the sixties, all of those other pretenders (The Playboy Club, Magic City, Pan AM... the list goes on) were just playing dress up. Open City, on the other hand, looks to have some very important things to say about the time period and the city it depicts, and this project may fill a very big hole once Mad Men wraps up its seventh season.
With the success of projects like Looking and The Normal Heart, HBO is quietly becoming the destination for gay-themed television. There was a time where TV would sideline gay characters, only featuring them as broad stereotypes, but HBO has begun crafting interesting, and unpatronizing glimpses at the characters and stories that have been sorely missing from our television sets.
Beastie Boys star Adam 'Ad-Rock' Horovitz is expected to testify in the band's copyright infringement case against Monster Energy Drink this week (begs26May14). The rapper, Mike Diamond and their bandmate Adam Yauch's widow, Denchen Yauch, filed a suit against the company in 2012, claiming bosses had used a number of songs, including Sabotage and Make Some Noise, in a promotional video at the Ruckus Festival in Canada without permission.
Horovitz is scheduled to appear appear at Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse in New York City on 27 May (14), when he'll represent the Beastie Boys, who are seeking financial damages of $150,000 (GBP94,000) for each infringement, as well as a permanent injunction.
In their suit, the band's lawyers state, "The public was confused into believing that plaintiffs sponsored, endorsed and are associated with defendant Monster in promoting defendant Monster's productions and promotional events".
The court battle comes just months after the Beastie Boys settled a copyright infringement suit over the use of their song Girls in a viral ad for toy firm GoldieBlox.
Company bosses issued an apology to the group, published in small print at the bottom of their website, admitting they should have contacted the band before deciding to use the song in their advert.