Pharrell Williams has scored a fifth week at number one on the U.S. pop charts as he prepares for another battle with Idina Menzel. Williams' Despicable Me 2 tune Happy missed out on an Oscar for Best Song earlier this month (Mar14) when Menzel's Frozen theme Let It Go claimed the gold - and now the two stars are set for another battle on the Billboard Hot 100.
Menzel's song has charged into the new top five and she is expected to challenge for the number one spot next week.
Meanwhile, John Legend's All of Me climbs to two on the countdown, switching spots with Katy Perry's Dark Horse.
Russell Brand's girlfriend has sparked engagement rumours after she was spotted wearing a ring on her wedding finger during an outing with the funnyman. The actor/comedian has been dating British socialite Jemima Khan on and off since last year (13), and they fuelled gossip about the status of their relationship during a day out in London on Saturday (22Mar14).
Khan was photographed wearing a gold ring on her left hand, prompting speculation the couple is planning a wedding.
They have yet to comment on the rumours. Brand was previously married to pop star Katy Perry, while Khan previously dated actor Hugh Grant.
Paramount via Everett Collection
You don’t mess with a geek’s favorite comic book characters. Ben Affleck was cast as Batman and it almost broke the Internet. Halle Berry was cast as Storm and Catwoman and people are still dealing with it in therapy. Yet, the new Fantastic Four’s cast of Kate Mara, Jamie Bell and That Awkward Moment co-stars Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller has actually drummed up some excitement for a reboot. Although offbeat choices, the actors are actually making the generally lame Fantastic Four seem... interesting.
It’s hard to cast iconic roles like Batman, Superman, and Spiderman because everyone has an opinion. They are beloved, timeless, and it can be challenging to decide whether to cast an unkown or a major star. But the Fantastic Four are hardly as iconic as either of DC's top dogs, or any of Marvel's other heroes. The distinct casting choices might actually save the Fantastic Four reboot, after the critical failures of the first go 'round.
For instance, Bell might not look like a big goon like Ben Grimm, but he might better capture the alienation of turning into a big rock than Michael Chiklis could. Mara is a vastly different choice than Jessica Alba was for Sue Storm. The House of Cards star may be able to give her more of an edge than she usually gets in the comics. Jordan is perfect because he can blend comedy with drama. He stretched his dramatic muscles in Fruitvale Station and showed the human side of superpowers in Chronicle. These casting choices add another vital layer to a comic book that’s about a family unit. But families are more complicated than road trips to Venus and the drama of sharing a bathroom. The former films focused too much on keeping the look and cheesy tone of the original comics. Alba may have been the physical match for Sue Storm, but her character didn't have the necessary flare.
The Avengers is a prime case for lame characters saved by good acting. Thor is an obnoxious thunder god who decides to spend his free time on Earth? Chris Hemsworth captures that cockiness but also brings the superpower of abs to the table. Robert Downey Jr. patented blend of sarcasm and humor saves a character whose super power could have read like a glorified Inspector Gadget. The Hulk is such a hard sell it took two movies and three actors to get him ready for The Avengers. Thanks in no small part to such gifted actors, the movie ranks as one of the highest grossing in history.
Conversely, Affleck went to a much darker place than the comics might have allowed for the role of Daredevil. Matt Murdock is a blind lawyer with vastly enhanced senses. Affleck did a great job and, shockingly, proved he could play Batman. Affleck’s character was battle-worn, addicted to painkillers, and cut off from society. All that and he actually had super powers. This film is like one long screen-test. It was actually disappointing that Affleck couldn’t just put on the black leather outfit and pointy ears. A blind superhero who uses sonar to “see” seems to undercut the character succeeding over adversity. Also, he, Bullseye, and Kingpin aren’t interesting enough characters for their own movie.
Likable actors who give great performances make the difference. They not only ground the magic and science-fiction and the ever-revolving high stakes but they also make the movie fun to watch. They are also able to find another access point to the character. On paper, these characters are just archetypes but the right actor can make them full-fledged people. If you have any questions as to the complexities of playing comic book heroes be sure not to ask Brandon Routh, Ryan Reynolds, or Jennifer Garner.
Rocker Neil Young has postponed the release of his four-album Record Store Day box set until later this year (14) to focus on his other projects. Official Release Series Discs 5-8 Vinyl Box Set, which will feature On The Beach, Tonight's The Night, Zuma and 1973's Time Fades Away, was scheduled to hit stores in April (14), but fans will now have to wait until November (14).
Only 3,500 copies will be released.
Meanwhile, the Heart of Gold hitmaker is currently working on digital music player Pono, a second memoir and covers album A Letter Home, which is due for a spring (14) release.
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?
Bravo has definitely promised more than it is delivering from the Mexico trip. Everyone is expecting some sort of Kenya-pocalypse due to her unfinished business with Apollo Nida. Instead, the show has been pretty tame, limiting us to Apollo’s lingering glances at Kenya. But we need more!
This week, Kenya decides to take the ladies for a trip to “the caves.” What better way to show you care than to take a bunch of high maintenance women to some underground ocean caverns? Todd Tucker and Kandi Burruss share a whole mess of drama with the people in the car. He keeps floating the fact that he may in fact leave because things don’t work.
Once the gang arrives at its destination, the producers showing Apollo staring at Kenya as often as he can. He is legit staring at her. He has a crisis of conscience about getting in the water until Phaedra Parks joins him. However, it’s clear that he is all about getting a gold medal for running through Kenya. Phaedra might want to make sure her pre-nup is all set.
Kenya takes NeNe, Cynthia Bailey, and Kandi Burruss to go to a fertility doctor. Apparently, magic spells are the perfect way to ensure a pregnancy with the Nigerian Prince. He may not really exist so magic is the perfect bonus to identity theft via the Internet. The ladies bond as Kenya deals with all of her issues with wanting to be a mother and her past relationship with a guy with no interest in marrying her. Meanwhile, Phaedra and Porsha Stewart decide to have a dip in the pool and spill some tea all over Ms. Moore. Talking smack in the pool burns twice the calories.
Peter Thomas continues his campaign for shadiest girl on the show. It’s unclear why he’s getting into everyone’s business. However, it may all be to keep his wife on the show. He takes Todd and Apollo to have a cigar, and who should come by but Kenya and Miss Lawrence. Kenya flirts and orders shots for the guys. Then the inevitable confrontation between Kenya and Apollo happens. Apollo stands by the fact that he and Kenya almost bumped uglies. Meanwhile, Kenya does not enjoy her name being dragged through the mud by Apollo. It’s unclear who is in the wrong. Clearly, she’s flirting with him and clearly he’s interested. Regardless, these two seem a few minutes from sealing the deal.
Phaedra makes an appearance and BOOM! drama prepares to commence. It doesn’t happen…sadly. Instead, Phaedra walks over and as cagey as Apollo acts she seems content with his response. Kenya and Apollo have a lot of chemistry but if Phaedra has anything to do with it that solution with be very, very volatile. We will have to wait a weak to figure out what happens. However, it seems clear that Apollo and Kenya are a match made in the motel on a Sunday afternoon.
It looks like this trip is going to end with drama. Clearly, NeNe feels above the law, Phaedra has beef with Kenya, and Peter is dying for more attention on the show. After all, he doesn’t want to have to change the name of Industry into For Lease.
Shaddiest Lines of the Night
"Even though I’m traveling far from home. I still have to watch my figure and watch what I eat. I don’t want to leave here looking like Phaedra." – Kenya
"If you were to take the Porsha gift certificate to redeem it, it would be good for one coloring book." – Kenya
"Bats don’t bother me at all, honey. As a matter of fact, we have a few bats and monkeys in our party already." – Phaedra
"Kenya says she found the fountain of youth. Well, she should have drank the whole damned pond." – NeNe
"I’m so glad I let my guard down and tied my weave down and got in this water." – Porsha
"I guess a witch would love a witch." – Phaedra
"I just know Marlo might show up in someone’s luggage carrier. You know Marlo." – Phaedra
"Jump off a bridge with weights on your neck, honey." – Phaedra
"No one’s buying it, Apollo. Like your DVD." – Kenya
Everybody has a weakness. For Selena Gomez, that is apparently Justin Bieber. The former Disney star was recently spotted with Bieber in Texas after he flattered her via Twitter during the Academy Awards. It's a shame that Gomez is so adherently linked to Bieber, since she has something special that is worthy of our attention.
Presently only 21, the actress and singer spent five years building up a tween following on Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place. Like her network predecessor, Miley Cyrus, Gomez has begun working to transition into the world of grown-ups, playing a girl spiraling out of control in a kingdom of corruption in Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers, opposite fellow Disney alum Vanessa Hudgens. She continues to explore more adult terrain in this fall's Behaving Badly, a sex comedy.
In the short term, her baby face might limit her in some ways, but that shouldn't stand in the way of Gomez being able to secure more substantial film roles. While the movie Getaway wasn't well received, the actress held her own while playing against type as a car-jacker who holds up Ethan Hawke. Even though Wizards didn't ask the young star to do any heavy lifting, she was able to show more range than Cyrus ever did on Hannah Montana. Spring Breakers might have been nothing more than an interesting mess (James Franco in cornrows and a gold grill?), but it did show that Gomez isn't afraid of taking chances.
Musically, Gomez's first solo album garnered mixed reviews, although it did yield a Top 10 hit in "Come & Get It." Still, Gomez has showed, in her work with The Scene, that she has a wide range of influences. She could just put out bubblegum pop as any number of teen sensations has before her, but that willingness to mix things up makes her more interesting than others that have come through the Disney factory. Being as young as she is, Gomez has time to develop a unique style. At least she seems interested in being unique, which is more than can be said for many of her contemporaries.
Hanging out with Bieber, doing a stint in rehab for "exhaustion," and partying with Hudgens and Demi Lovato might make for great tabloid fodder, but Gomez has the ability to craft a diverse and long-term career as an adult, both as an actress and a singer. Hopefully her association with Bieber doesn't drag her down to the point that when she's fully realizing her talent nobody will be able to see past the sensationalism to care.
Reunited new romantic band Spandau Ballet played its first concert in America in almost three decades on Wednesday (12Mar14) when singer Tony Hadley and his bandmates performed at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. The British band is at the festival promoting new documentary Soul Boys of the Western World, which chronicles the group's rise in the 1980s, and the stars hit the stage at the Vulcan Gas Co. venue for a hits-filled set, featuring songs like To Cut a Long Story Short, True and Gold.
The gig followed the premiere of the new George Hencken film, which features archival footage which traces the bandmembers' roots in London to their international success and their performance as part of Live Aid in 1985.
Spandau Ballet were forced to abandon a U.S. tour the same year - the last time they played in America - after saxophonist Steve Norman injured his knee.
The group's return to America was marred by a festival tragedy on Wednesday night (12Mar14) when a suspected drunk driver ploughed into a crowd of music fans outside an X concert, killing a man and a woman and injuring 23 others.
Producers for an animated children's TV series have struck Beatles gold after acquiring the rights to the Fab Four's back catalogue via Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Josh Wakely's Beat Bugs, which chronicles the lives of urban creepy-crawlies, will feature a collection of Lennon & McCartney tunes.
Announcing the news on Tuesday (11Mar14), Sony/ATV managing director Damian Trotter states, "Josh's ingenuity and creative exploration of these iconic songs in a wholly imaginative world was too good to pass up and the idea of opening up the single greatest music catalogue of the 20th Century to the next generation is something we are particularly excited about."
Sony/ATV Music Publishing bosses have always been guarded about issuing rights to use Beatles songs - many filmmakers and producers have been forced to use Beatles tracks recorded in the group's early days and the band's cover songs to get around the tight licensing issues.
Chaos continues to reign in the Gallagher household.
Fiona's trapped by house arrest and insomnia, Carl's suspended (with looming threat of expulsion) for bullying, Lip's still juggling school with his siblings, Ian's starting to look like he inherited his mother's bipolar disorder (his pages upon pages of scrawled notes were reminiscent of Carrie Mathison), and Debbie's scheming to get back her 20 year-old boyfriend. Whew!
With an ominous ankle monitor at large, and nothing to keep her occupied, Fiona's going stir-crazy (the episode OD'd a little in terms of montages of Fiona manically doing housework, in my opinion). After spending much of the episode alone, she finally cracks and invites V over for booze, and it's game over: presented with the chance to cut loose, they proceed to get so drunk they let dinner burn in the oven. Which might have been fine, only Lip comes home and catches them at it – grossly inebriated with the whole house filled with smoke. Like last week (and the week before that, and so on), he shows open disgust at her actions, and swoops up Liam and Carl, and carts them back to school with him.
And Lip's not the only one who has lost his respect for his older sister — Ian's AWOL literally and figuratively with Mickey, and Debbie's furious at her for throwing away her disturbing "virginity countdown" and subsequently runs over to stay with Sammi, which leaves an empty house. In a heartbreaking (though slightly overwrought) scene, Fiona goes through the house, saying goodnight to everyone's (even Frank's) empty beds – an action that reads as more than a little suicidal. She recognizes the death wish in herself, though: she calls Lip, and begs him to bring back her family — she knows he doesn't trust her anymore, but she admits to him (and herself) that she just might be dying without them. And after all of the crazy cleaning montages and tears and screaming, we know she's right. The look on her face when she wakes up to Liam patting her cheek and Lip smiling ruefully at her from across the room is like the light at the end of a long tunnel of angst. Is Fiona finally on the upswing after hitting rock bottom week after week?
Signs point to yes (though not for long, knowing this show).
* Can I just say that I totally called Lip getting together with his roommate's girlfriend?
* Good to see Sammi got the Gallagher conning genes.
* How did Ian and Mickey slowly become the big romantic center of the series? In other words: Mickey finally admitting that the two of them were together was a big "aww" moment for Ian/Mickey shippers the world over.
* After some advice from big sister Sammi, Debbie looks like she's on her way to man-eater status.
* V's mom finally had the baby! And Kev and V decide to let her keep it (much to Kev's chagrin – he even dons mourning black for the occasion).
* Frank's speech on the benefits of bullying was kind of gold.
* Shameless writers, we still want more Sheila! And while you're at it, could you kill Robbie off? Excrutiatingly?