Coldplay rocker Guy Berryman is engaged, according to a U.K. report. The Scottish guitarist proposed to his girlfriend Keshia Gerrits last month (Feb14) after two years of dating.
The pair is now putting plans together for their wedding in London, according to Britain's Daily Mirror.
A source tells the newspaper, "They're really loved-up and are already planning to get married in a secret London location.
"Of course (Berryman's bandmate) Chris Martin and (wife) Gwyneth Paltrow will be there, as will the rest of the band and a selection of close friends from the group's intimate circle."
On Twitter.com last month, Gerrits uploaded a snap of her manicured nails and inadvertently showed off what seemed to be a diamond ring on her wedding finger.
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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WENNPreviously the sole preserve of aging prog-rockers, the concept of the supergroup has recently been embraced by artists from the worlds of EDM (Swedish House Mafia), indie-rock (Tired Pony) and hip-hop (Slaughterhouse) and even the odd boyband (NKOTBSB). But only a handful ever live up to their 'super' billing. Here’s a look at five of the best from the 21st century.
Lucy PearlThe brainchild of A Tribe Called Quest DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad and former Tony! Toni! Tone member Raphael Saadiiq, Lucy Pearl then became worthy of their supergroup tag when they recruited Dawn Robinson as a last-minute replacement for D'Angelo. A glorious mix of neo-soul, funk & R&B, their 2000 self-titled debut album produced a string of classic singles ("Dance Tonight," "Don’t Mess With My Man"). But following the En Vogue star's departure, the whole project sadly disbanded just two years later.
Atoms For PeaceNamed after a speech by former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Atoms For Peace saw Thom Yorke form an unlikely alliance with permanently shirtless bassist Flea alongside longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, Beck drummer Joey Waronker and Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco. Their debut album's sketchy and minimalist blend of IDM, post-garage and experimental electronica may have confused fans of Red Hot Chili Peppers' funk rock. But Amok proved that their random line-up wasn’t the only intriguing thing about them.
ApparatijkDespite featuring the bassist from arguably the world’s biggest band, Apparatijk's cinematic blend of post-rock, indie and electronica has been all but ignored since they first came together to record the theme tune to BBC documentary, Amazon. Which is a shame as Coldplay's Guy Berryman, A-Ha's Magne Furuholmen, Mew's Jonas Bjerre and producer Martin Terefe have produced two albums (We Are Here, Square Peg In A Round Hole) which stand up against any of their respective groups' output.
The Last Shadow PuppetsAllowing Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner, former The Rascals frontman Miles Kane and Simian Mobile Disco's James Ford to embrace their love of '60s orchestral pop, The Last Shadow Puppets reached number one in the UK and even earned a Mercury Prize nomination with a grandiose debut album, The Age Of Understatement, which recalled everything from the classic Bond themes of John Barry to the wondrous The Walker Brothers.
Magnetic ManPioneers of the dubstep sound, Benga, Skream and Artwork then took the genre to new commercial heights with a 2010 self-titled debut album under the guise of Magnetic Man which featured inspired collaborations with the likes of John Legend and Ms Dynamite and also introduced the talents of a young Katy B.
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With The Vampire Diaries' spin-off The Originals, sci-fi fantasy The Tomorrow People and Mary, Queen Of Scots period piece Reign all set to debut on The CW next month, the US teen drama genre appears to be just as popular as it always has been. But will any of the new arrivals be able to provide a theme tune as memorable as the five entries below?
Paula Cole – "I Don’t Want To Wait" (Dawson’s Creek)
A tribute to her World War II veteran grandfather, the subject matter of Paula Cole's "I Don’t Want To Wait" initially seemed an unlikely to choice replace Jann Arden's breezier original theme. But its emotionally-charged alt-rock sound proved to be the perfect warm-up for the angst-ridden trials and tribulations of Dawson, Joey and the rest of the super-wordy gang.
The Dandy Warhols – "We Used To Be Friends" (Veronica Mars)
After "Bohemian Like You" landed on the soundtrack to a Vodafone commercial, The Dandy Warhols will have no doubt angered their underground frenemies The Brian Jonestown Massacre even further when this falsetto-led slice of fuzzed-up synth-pop ended up as the theme to UPN prime-time teen detective show Veronica Mars.
The Pierces – "Secret" (Pretty Little Liars)
Around the same time that Coldplay’s Guy Berryman offered to produce their fourth album, New York sisters The Pierces received another major boost to their previously flagging career when the makers of mystery thriller Pretty Little Liars chose this suitably noirish chanson to open its adaptation of Sara Shepard's mystery novels.
The Charlatans – "One To Another" (My Mad Fat Diary)
A hugely under-rated classic from the Britpop era, the thrilling mix of pounding piano keys and Chemical Brothers-produced drum loops of The Charlatans' "One To Another" was introduced to a whole new generation earlier this year when it featured on the opening credits to the charming British '90s-set comedy drama, My Mad Fat Diary.
Phantom Planet – "California" (The O.C.)
Avoiding the fate of Keanu Reeves' Dogstar, Jason Schwartzman and Alex Greenwald proved that not every moonlighting actor's guitar band automatically sucked with a sun-kissed emo-pop ode to travelling on U.S. Route 101 which would later soundtrack four series' worth of the Orange County's most self-obsessed teens.
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The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
If a major motion picture studio gave you $50 million to make the movie of your choice what would it be like? If you’re producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner and writers Simon Pegg and Nick Frost it’d be a loving lampoon of geek culture and an homage to the films of the Spielberg/Lucas revolution but nostalgia is both an advantage and disadvantage in director Greg Mottola’s Paul.
Pegg and Frost star as a pair of nerds from across the pond who fulfill lifelong dreams when they fly to San Diego for the annual Mecca of nerdom Comic-Con. The doofy duo extend their trip to tour America’s extraterrestrial hot spots including Area 51 where they pick up an unexpected alien hitchhiker on the run from the proverbial men in black. Across the country they go getting into trouble picking up more passengers and building bromantic bonds as the little green man Paul inches closer to his escape from planet Earth and the shadowy government official who has been exploiting his knowledge of the universe since he crash landed in Wyoming over 60 years ago.
Fan-favorite filmmakers since 2004’s Shaun of the Dead Pegg and Frost have been making geek chic for years now and continue to create identifiable roles for themselves while finding humorous ways to write their like-minded friends into their movies. Their collection of wacky characters is charming if incredibly derivative but for better or worse they are the heart and soul of the film. Jason Bateman Kristen Wiig Bill Hader and Jo Lo Truglio turn in fun performances but I expected a bit more from the Jane Lynch David Koechner and Sigourney Weaver cameos. Still Seth Rogen’s vocal performance as Paul adds significant layers to an already adorable alien and enlivens the adequately rendered CG character.
The comedy is surprisingly sweet and doesn’t bite like Mottola’s Superbad though there are enough religious jabs and signs of anti-establishment fervor to call it mildly subversive. Lack of laughs isn’t the issue here; lack of originality is. Mottola is too dependent on pop-culture references and inside jokes pertaining to E.T. Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind so much so that the film ultimately becomes a parody of itself as its storyline mirrors that of Steven Spielberg’s massive 1982 blockbuster (in this world the movie mogul actually consults the incarcerated alien for inspiration for his beloved family film). While these nods are all amusing they’re not enough to carry the film and Mottola/Frost/Pegg offer little else. At its worst Paul will give you a reason to revisit those classic sci-fi staples and remember the good old days. At best it provides a few mindless chuckles and gives you good reason to give the geek next to you a great big hug.