A collection of iconic paparazzi pictures from the last 50 years, including snaps of Britney Spears, Sir Mick Jagger and Kate Moss, have gone on display in Paris, France. The images are part of a new exhibition titled Paparazzi! Photographers, stars and artists which launched at the Centre Pompidou-Metz, a branch of the world-renowned Centre Pompidou in Paris, in Metz, France.
Snaps on display include iconic paparazzi pictures of Spears, Jagger and Moss, as well Dame Elizabeth Taylor and public figures such as politicians and world leaders.
The exhibition runs from 26 February (14) until 9 June (14).
TriStar Pictures via Everett Collection
An hour and change into Pompeii, there's a volcano. You'd think there might have been a volcano throughout — you'd think that the folks inhabiting the ill-fated Italian village would have been dealing with the infamous volcano for the full 110 minutes. After all, volcano movies have worked before. Volcano, for instance. And the other one. But for some reason, Pompeii feels the need to stuff its first three quarters with coliseum battles, Ancient Rome politics, unlikely friendships, and a love story. But we don’t care. We can't care. None of it warrants our care. Where the hell is the volcano, already?
To answer that: it's off to the side — rumbling. Smoking. Occasionally spiking the neighboring community with geological fissures or architectural misgivings. Pretty much executing every trick picked up in Ominous Foreshadowing 101, but never joining the story. Not until Paul W.S. Anderson shouts, "Last call," hitting us with a final 20-odd minutes of unmitigated disaster (in a good way). If you've managed to maintain a waking pulse throughout the lecture in sawdust that is Pompeii's story, then you might actually have a good time with the closing sequence. It has everything you’d expect — everything you had been expecting! — and delivers it with gusto. Torpedoes of smoke running hordes of idiot villagers out of their homes and toward whatever safety the notion of forward has to offer. Long undeveloped characters rising to the occasion to rescue hapless princesses who thought it might be a good idea to set their vacation homes at the foot of a lava-spewing mountain. The whole ordeal is actually a lot of laughs. But it amounts to a dessert just barely worth the tasteless dinner we had to force down to get there.
TriStar Pictures via Everett Collection
To get through the bulk of Pompeii, we recommend focusing all your attentions away from the effectively bland slave/gladiator/hero Kit Harington — sorry, Jon Snow (he's actually called a bastard at one point) — and onto his partner in crime: a scowling Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje — sorry, Mr. Eko (he and Snow actually trade valedictions by saying "I'll see you at another time, brother" at one point) — who warms up to his fellow prize fighter during their shared time in the klink, and delivers his moronic material with a sprinkle of flair. Keeping the working man down is Kiefer Sutherland — sorry, Jack Bauer — as an ostentatious Roman senator, doling out vainglory in Basil Fawlty-sized portions. When he's not spitting scowls at peasants, ol' JB is undermining the efforts of an earnest local governor Jared Harris — sorry, Lane Pryce (he actually calls someone a mad man at one point) — and his wife Carrie-Anne Moss — sorry, Katherine O'Connell from Vegas (joking! Trinity) — and finagling the douchiest marriage proposal ever toward their daughter Emily Browning — sorry, but I have no idea what she's from.
But questionable television references and some enjoyably daft performances by Eko and Jack can't really make up for the heft of mindless dullness that Pompeii passes off as its narrative... until the big showstopper.
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In truth, the last sequence is a gem. It's fun, inviting, and energizing, and might even call into question the possibility that Pompeii is all about how futile life, love, friendship, politics, and pride are when even the most egregiously complicated of plots can be taken out in the end by a sudden volcanic eruption. But you have to wade through that egregious complication to get there, and you shouldn't expect to have too much of a good time doing so.
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In his Reddit AMA, Keanu Reeves was gracious, verbose, and formal. He discussed his new movies 47 Ronin and Man of Tai Chi, which is his directorial debut. He also listed some of his favorite things, which all seemed fitting for the famously morose actor. Read some of the best answers from the AMA here.
A little-known fun fact: "For a long time in Los Angeles when I first moved there, when I was 20 years old, it was such a new world and so I saw some guys at a gas station once who had hockey equipment in their car, and I asked them what they were doing, and they said they were playing street hockey, so I asked them if I could play. So I became involved in a street hockey game that took place every weekend for over 10 years, every weekend, red versus black. We would take holidays off and sometimes summers, but the game was going on for over 10 years. That was cool to be a part of. It was a cool thing to have happen. Made some friends."
On filming 47 Ronin: "You know, shooting 47 Ronin was a great experience. It's a story that is very special and close to the Japanese actors, and I could feel that and respected that during the course of the filmmaking. And it brought another element to the filming, it heightened it even more than it usually is. Which was great."
Props he's kept from his movies: "I think I have a coat from the first Matrix. I have the sword from Hamlet, I kept a lot of working scripts, I have the jersey from The Replacements, I've got Constantine's lighter and watch, I have Bill & Ted's shorts (Ted's shorts), I used to have the leather jacket from My Own Private Idaho but I gave that to a friend. And I think that's it."
His reaction to being asked about his favorite movies: "AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! Here's some: Taxi Driver, Apocalypse Now, A Clockwork Orange, Stroszek."
On the memes devoted to him:"My first experience with that was Sad Keanu, and I thought it was funny!"
On the Sad Keanu picture: "I think that a picture can tell a thousand words, and none of them can be right. Or true. I'm absolutely a very happy person."
His favorite books: "Where do I begin? Here are some. As a kid, we can start with the Count of Monte Christo. We could start with the Lord of the Rings. Then we could get into finding as a teenager getting into Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Idiot, Notes from Underground, The Brothers Karamazov, we could get into Jim Thompson, we could go into some William Gibson, then we could do In Search of Lost Time by Proust. And then just getting into the works of Philip K. Dick and recently I was reading Don Delillo, Cosmopolis, I like Updike's the Rabbit Series."
On stargazing: "I believe the other night we had an eclipse of the moon! Which was cool. In the cities, I wish you could see more of the stars, but I always love when I'm in places where you can see that blanket, that twirling, twinkling. That is one of my favorite things."
On his lifestyle: "You know, I've been very fortunate in my life. Which I am grateful for. And I guess it's just to my tastes to keep life as simple as I can."
On air guitar: "You know, I'm not an air guitar afficionado. But once in a while, the air guitar comes out. Especially when you first hear (especially for me) that chord or that moment in the song when the electric guitar cuts in, or blazes out, once in a while you just got to strum all those strings in the air."
His favorite form of martial arts: "You know, I love all martial arts. I don't practice any particular form or style, but yeah, I don't have a favorite...But it was great during the making of Man of Tai Chi, to spend time with the leading man Tiger, who has studied Tai Chi since he was a kid, and it was great to talk about how we could bring some of the ideas of Tai Chi into the story of Man of Tai Chi, and some of the philosophies."
What he's been listening to: "The music I'm listening to right now? Let's see, I just got the new Nine Inch Nails recording. I really like this other band Metz, just got their first album which was great. And I've been listening to a song that I really like from LCD Soundsystem, and the song is 'Someone Great.'"
On Bill and Ted: "Working on Bill & Ted was certainly an excellent adventure. I love those characters. I love the spirit of the film. I like the eternal goodness of these characters. I always thought of them as beautiful fools. They bring a wonder and naivete to the harsh realities of the world. I found them fun to play, and also working with Alex Winter was a great experience. We shared the same view of these characters and the film, and we had a lot of laughs making those movies. And Alex and I are friends."
Read the rest of Keanu's interview here.
When you're in high school it feels like the whole world is against you. In writer/director Stephen Chbosky's high school-set The Perks of Being a Wallflower the whole world may actually be against Charlie (Logan Lerman) whose freshman year of high school should be listed in the dictionary under "Murphy's Law." Plagued by memories of two significant deaths as well as general social anxiety Charlie takes a passive approach to ninth grade. A few days of general bullying later he falls into a friendship with two misfit seniors Patrick (Ezra Miller) and Sam (Emma Watson) who teach him how to live life without fear. Perks starts off with a disadvantage: introverts aren't terribly engaging but Chbosky surrounds Charlie with a vivid cast of characters who help him blossom and inject the coming-of-age tale with a necessary energy.
Set in a timeless version of the '90s Charlie's world is full of handwritten journals mixtapes and a just-tolerable amount of tweed. He writes letters to a nameless recipient as a way of venting a preventative measure to keep the teen from repeating a vague incident that previously left him hospitalized. The drab background of Pittsburgh fits perfectly with Charlie's blank existence. And when he finally comes to life as part of Patrick and Sam's off-beat clique so does the city. Like the archaic vinyl records Sam lusters over (The Smiths of course!) Chbosky visualizes Charlie's journey through the underbelly of suburban Pennsylvania with a raw emotion blooming lights and film grit at every turn. Michael Brook's score and an adeptly curated soundtrack accompanies the episodic affair which centers on Charlie's search for a song he hears during the most important moment of his life.
The charm that keeps The Perks of Being a Wallflower from collapsing under its own super seriousness come from Chbosky's perfectly cast ensemble. Lerman has a thankless job playing Charlie; often constrained to a half-smile and shy shrug Lerman is never allowed to grapple with Charlie's greatest fears and problems until (too) late in the film. Watson nails the spunky object-of-everyone's-affection but she's outshined by Mae Whitman as Mary Elizabeth another rebellious friend in the pack who takes a liking to Charlie. The real star turn is Miller riding high from We Need to Talk About Kevin and taking a complete 180 with Patrick a rambunctious wiseass who struggles to have an openly gay relationship with the football captain but covers his pain with humor. A scene of confrontation — at where else the cafeteria — is one of the best scenes of the year.
Chbosky adapted Perks of Being a Wallflower from his own book and the movie feels stifled by a looming structure. But it nails the emotional beats — there is no obvious path to surviving high school. It's messy shocking and occasionally beautiful. That about sums up Perks.
Instead of following a ragtag team of brutes hired for a suicide mission to destroy an Earth-bound meteor Seeking a Friend for the End of the World plays out the apocalyptic "what if?" scenario from the everyman vantage point. Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist) the film pairs average joe Dodge (Steve Carell) with wallflower Penny (Keira Knightley) for a journey across the east coast a hunt for Dodge's college sweetheart. Scafaria takes a character-first approach to her anti-blockbuster examining the end of the world with a pitch black sense of humor. But the road trip loses steam as it chugs along with the film's insistence to avoid Hollywood disaster tropes taking a toll on the entertainment value. Dodge and Penny are so normal they aren't that interesting to watch. In turn neither is Seeking a Friend.
Worse for Dodge than the whole "destruction of humanity" thing is the fact that he's facing it alone; his wife leaves him he has no real family and he hates nearly all of his friends. While everyone he knows is either hooking up or shooting up in hopes of going out on a high note Dodge buckles under the weight of an existential crisis that feels all too familiar. To his rescue is next-door neighbor Penny who insists the two hit the road together to go find Dodge's one-that-got-away. They don't have much of a choice as New York City is quickly overrun by Malatov cocktail-hurling riots.
When the catastrophe and societal chaos is seen through Dodge's eyes and Carell's complex interpretation of the straight man Scafaria hits all the marks. Watching Dodge tell his cleaning lady to go home because "What's the point?" is heartbreaking while his good friend's descent into frat boy madness for the same reasons nails mankind's vile tendencies. And through it all it's funny thanks to Carell's impeccable timing. When Dodge is eventually paired up with Penny the film meanders the two never unearthing what it is about each other that keeps them sticking together. The duo run into a kindly truck driver (who's hired an assassin to off him when he's unaware) a TGIFriday's-esque restaurant full of zany drugged up waiters and even one of Penny's ex-boyfriends whose locked down with automatic rifles and Ruffles chips in anticipation of the end. But Dodge and Penny's quest is mostly about the in-between moments the quitter grounded human reactions to the apocalypse. Even with great performers at the helm Seeking a Friend doesn't organically shape those moments so much as contrive them. In one scene Penny fondly recalls the wonders of listening to music on vinyl Dodge listening carefully and learning. It's a soft and low key discussion perfect juxtaposition against the big-scale problem at hand but when a twenty-something is explaining records to a guy nearing 50 it comes off as twee instead of truthful. The problem infiltrates most of Seeking a Friend's character moments.
Scafaria has an ear and eye for comedy but Seeking a Friend boldly reaches for something more. Sadly ambition doesn't translate to success a messy tonal mix that fail to make it all that engaging or emotional. Carell and Knightley serve the material as best they can but this is the end of the world an even that requires a little weight a little sensationalism and a little more than a casual road movie.
Ellen (Blythe Metz) receives a demon mask with a horned face in the mail an object she’s been seeing in her nightmares lately. The nightmares are so bad in fact her husband Bill (Luciano Szafir) has decided to take her to a mental institution. Along the way to the asylum they run out of gas (natch) so Bill leaves Ellen alone as he heads to the nearest gas station. The vision she's been having the actual Nightmare Man (Aaron Sherry) materializes and attacks her as she runs to a nearby cabin where some friends are having a weekend of playing Truth or Dare. Strong-willed Mia (Tiffany Shepis) opens the door to the paranoid Ellen who is screaming about the maniac chasing her much to the distress of her friends. They're afraid that either the woman is simply nuts or that she's right--and the Nightmare Man isn't far behind. Shepis is a fairly realistic in her growing panic as well as battling with the demon in black lacey underwear which is how the Nightmare Man finds her and her friends. All of the main actresses have topless scenes and there's no hint the actors are trying any harder than what is required of a campy B horror movie. Metz as Ellen is the only other notable performance and they're both becoming a regular thanks to director Rolfe Kanefsky who's written and directed a few movies for both of them already. Metz plays crazy and sexy admirably well. Director Kanefsky creates a creepy feel along with the first-person intimate camera shots throwing in some surprising plot twists and trying to fool the audience with some now-expected jump-at-you shock moments. Some of them work some don't. And practically before the credits are done at the beginning of the film the husband is scurrying his loony wife off to the nut house before we even can begin to care. As for the supernatural murders they pay homage to the old Troma films but there's not much set-up before it becomes a slasher film in which the victims get picked off one by one. Nightmare Man is not the greatest of efforts.