Rapper Nelly led a star-studded protest against the killing of Missouri teenager Michael Brown during a celebrity football game in California on Saturday (16Aug14).
The star attended the charity flag football event organised by Chris Brown and Quincy Combs, stepson of rapper Sean 'Diddy' Combs, and he led the guests in a demonstration against the killing of the unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri earlier this month (Aug14).
The Dilemma hitmaker asked attendees at the Jack Kemp Stadium in Glendale to raise their hands in the same gesture used by protesters, which has come to be known as 'Hands Up Don't Shoot'.
Nelly, who grew up in Missouri, appealed for the crowd's support, saying, "If I could get everybody to rise and just raise their hands in support for everything that's going on back home in my city right now at this minute. If anybody can sympathise with what my city is going through, it's this city of L.A. right now. On so many levels."
Other celebrities at the match included The Game, Trey Songz, Omarion, Bow Wow, Wale, Lil Mama and Jermaine Dupri. The death of Michael Brown, who was a suspect in a robbery, sparked a series of heated protests in the state, while the use of tear gas and rubber bullets by riot police prompted widespread condemnation.
R&B star Chris Brown called on his celebrity friends to take part in a friendly kickball match to support his charity on Saturday (19Jul14). The Kiss Kiss hitmaker gathered his pals at the Glendale Sports Complex in California to raise funds for his Symphonic Love Foundation, which supports arts programs for youngsters.
Brown served as the captain of an all-star team which included Jamie Foxx, Paris Hilton, Christina Milian, Omarion, Kendall and Kylie Jenner and DJ Khaled, and they went up against a team led by Sean 'Diddy' Combs' stepson Quincy, who saw over a crew including The Game, Ne-Yo, Keke Palmer and Amber Rose.
Brown, who was released from jail last month (Jun14) following a three-month stint behind bars, led his team to victory and even treated the fans in attendance to a performance of his new single, Loyal.
Busta Rhymes is planning to include a special tribute to his late manager Chris Lighty in the artwork for his new album because the music mogul died before the project was finished. Lighty, who managed stars including Mariah Carey and Sean 'Diddy' Combs, was found with a gunshot wound to the head at his apartment in New York in 2012 and officials ruled his death a suicide.
Rhymes was recording his new album, Extinction Level Event 2, at the time of the tragedy, and he wants to honour Lighty's memory by including an email from him in the artwork.
He tells Rolling Stone, "The only misfortune I have about this project is I lost Chris Lighty... in the making of this album. I saved this email that Chris sent me on August 9th, 2011 where he deemed this album my best album of my entire career... I never had Chris say this to me before and he was my manager for years. To get that from your manager who was like your big brother, it's like, 'Damn. I finally did it' and now he's not here. I'm going to take a snapshot of the email and put it in the artwork of the project and share it with the world when the time is right. I feel a little cheated, but that's the bittersweet part of the whole thing."
The album is due for release in the autumn (14).
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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Summit via Everett Collection
You can imagine that Renny Harlin, director and one quadrant of the writing team for The Legend of Hercules, began his pitch as such: We'll start with a war, because lots of these things start with wars. It feels like this was the principal maxim behind a good deal of the creative choices in this latest update of the Ancient Greek myth. There are always horse riding scenes. There are generally arena battles. There are CGI lions, when you can afford 'em. Oh, and you've got to have a romantic couple canoodling at the base of a waterfall. Weaving them all together cohesively would be a waste of time — just let the common threads take form in a remarkably shouldered Kellan Lutz and action sequences that transubstantiate abjectly to and fro slow-motion.
But pervading through Lutz's shirtless smirks and accent continuity that calls envy from Johnny Depp's Alice in Wonderland performance is the obtrusive lack of thought that went into this picture. A proverbial grab bag of "the basics" of the classic epic genre, The Legend of Hercules boasts familiarity over originality. So much so that the filmmakers didn't stop at Hercules mythology... they barely started with it, in fact. There's more Jesus Christ in the character than there is the Ancient Greek demigod, with no lack of Gladiator to keep things moreover relevant. But even more outrageous than the void of imagination in the construct of Hercules' world is its script — a piece so comically dim, thin, and idiotic that you will laugh. So we can't exactly say this is a totally joyless time at the movies.
Summit via Everett Collection
Surrounding Hercules, a character whose arc takes him from being a nice enough strong dude to a nice enough strong dude who kills people and finally owns up to his fate — "Okay, fine, yes, I guess I'm a god" — are a legion of characters whose makeup and motivations are instituted in their opening scenes and never change thereafter. His de facto stepdad, the teeth-baring King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins), despises the boy for being a living tribute to his supernatural cuckolding; his half-brother Iphicles (Liam Garrigan) is the archetypical scheming, neutered, jealous brother figure right down to the facial scar. The dialogue this family of mongoloids tosses around is stunningly brainless, ditto their character beats. Hercules can't understand how a mystical stranger knows his identity, even though he just moments ago exited a packed coliseum chanting his name. Iphicles defies villainy and menace when he threatens his betrothed Hebe (Gaia Weiss), long in love with Hercules, with the terrible fate of "accepting [him] and loving [their] children equally!" And the dad... jeez, that guy must really be proud of his teeth.
With no artistic feat successfully accomplished (or even braved, really) by this movie, we can at the very least call it inoffensive. There is nothing in The Legend of Hercules with which to take issue beyond its dismal intellect, and in a genre especially prone to regressive activity, this is a noteworthy triumph. But you might not have enough energy by the end to award The Legend of Hercules with this superlative. Either because you'll have laughed yourself into a coma at the film's idiocy, or because you'll have lost all strength trying to fend it off.
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The intriguing rumor about casting for Broadway's upcoming revival of Of Mice and Men was quickly confirmed, and now we know that Chris O'Dowd (Bridesmaids) and James Franco (everything else) will be our leads. Neither is without a great deal of talent (though some might argue that Franco's talents don't lie, as he would have us believe, in every art form), but the announcement still raised some eyebrows. "Huh," we all said, collectively. But this show wouldn't be the first time that Broadway has brought such seemingly disparate actors together. Here are some of the more memorably unexpected onstage duos.
Nick Jonas and Beau Bridges — How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
When the youngest Jonas took over the role of J. Pierrepont Finch from Daniel Radcliffe and Darren Criss in the revival, he was paired up with veteran thespian Beau Bridges as his boss, J.B. Biggley. Their big moment as a delightfully mismatched stage team is a musical production number that involves mimed, old-timey football and Jonas ending up on Bridges's shoulders.
Paul Rudd and Michael Shannon — Grace
These actors are heavyweights , and both of them have plenty of stage experience. The fun here is picturing the totally chill Rudd hanging out with Shannon, the human embodiment of intensity, for eight shows a week.
Alicia Silverstone and Henry Winkler — The Performers
The Performers didn't last very long and begs the question, "Who thought a romantic comedy set at the Adult Film Awards would?" But the show left its mark in the annals of Broadway history by pairing up Cher Horowitz and the Fonz within its ensemble, in one big meta-celebration of the coolest kids in school.
Diddy and Audra McDonald — A Raisin in the Sun
When a stage virgin who's willing to leverage his industry power and put up a lot of cash to play a legendary role in a legendary play, you'd do well to ground that production with a stalwart talent. Say, a five-time Tony Award winner?
The WB/The CW
Move on over, Murder, She Wrote. A new reboot is in the works. Just a day after news hit that NBC is bringing back everyone's favorite amateur sleuth (only this time starring Octavia Spencer), Vulture learned that CBS is looking to re-imagine Charmed.
Not much is set in stone, but what we do know is that Chris Keyser (Party of Five co-creator) and partner Sydney Sidner are penning the new version of the original WB drama that followed a sisterhood of witches who use their powers to battle against the forces of evil. CBS has only ordered a script for a pilot, and it has not promised to film anything as of yet.
Considering that the horror/fantasy/mystical genre is killing it in primetime right now, it makes sense that a show about butt-kicking sister witches would make a comeback (although, we're a little confused why it's happening so soon after the show ended).
The original show ran for eight seasons and 178 episodes, and starred Alyssa Milano, Rose McGowan, Holly Marie Combs, and Shannen Doherty.
Power of Three, unite!
Sean 'Diddy' Combs and Chris Brown have paid tribute to a rising rapper who was shot dead in Louisiana on Thursday (20Jun13). Lil Snupe, real name Addarren Ross, was just 18 years old when he was gunned down in the city of Winnfield and he was on the verge of making a name for himself in the rap world after signing to Meek Mill's Dream Chasers Records label earlier this year (13).
News of the youngster's death hit rap mogul Combs hard and he posted an emotional message on his Twitter.com page in the aftermath of the shooting, writing, "RIP Lil Snupe... prayers to his family... Some of the saddest news you ever (sic) hear... rise up and be leaders for the future. Lives depend on it."
R&B singer Brown was also shocked to hear of Ross' death and he sent his sympathies to Meek Mill, writing, "Prayers go out to Meek and his team. We (are) killing our own brothers over jealousy, envy and pure hatred. Ignorance is a disability!"
Further details about the incident were not available as WENN went to press.
Melissa Joan Hart and Mandy Moore marked America's Mother's Day on Sunday (12May13) by reaching out to the women who lost children in the Connecticut school massacre. The actresses took a moment to sign an e-card to pledge support to the Sandy Hook Promise group, which supports families affected by the elementary school shooting in December (12) which left 20 children and six adults dead.
In a post on her Twitter.com page, Moore writes, "Just signed sandy hook's card supporting Moms of Gun Violence victims on Mothers Day. You can too", while Hart posted a similar message.
Chris Brown, Sean 'Diddy' Combs, Ricky Martin and Kelly Osbourne were also among the celebrities who took to their Twitter accounts to mark the special day, with the singer-turned-reality TV star praising her mother Sharon.
She wrote, "To cherish, love all. realize my dreams & always appreciating my many blessings I learned all of these things from you MrsSOsbourne I Love U", while Brown added, "I wanna praise the woman who created me! 'Momma Joyce' happy Mother's Day. Thank u for always letting me be creative and dream! Love you mom."
Cher posted, "I want to send my love, to mothers everywhere! I know what a hard job it is, because I've fallen short So Many times!", Combs declared, "Happy Mother's Day to all of the beautiful mothers out there", and Paula Abdul shared, "No matter what you give Your Mom... presents aren't nearly as important as PRESENCE. Time spent is priceless."
Martin, who is father to twin boys born via a surrogate, writes, "Happy Mothers Day! Specially mine (Nereida)... And also to all those amazing surrogate mothers out there! You are a blessing!" and Missy Elliott gushed, "Not just 2day but every day is Happy Mother's Day to all the Great moms!"
New mother Beverley Mitchell revealed her first Mother's Day since giving birth to daughter Kenzie was set to prove challenging, stating, "Kenzie is certainly having a day! Making me work hard to earn my first Mother's Day. Thank goodness Michael & I are taking turns. meltdown."
Chris 'daddy Mac' Smith has broken his silence following the death of his Kris Kross bandmate Chris 'mac Daddy' Kelly on Wednesday (01May13), insisting he will "always cherish the memories" of their friendship. The 34 year old was pronounced dead at a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia after he was found unresponsive at his home in the city, and stars including Sean 'Diddy' Combs, LL Cool J and Nicki Minaj took to Twitter.com to pay their respects to the star, who was discovered in an Atlanta shopping mall by Jermaine Dupri in 1990.
Now Smith has added his tribute to his close pal in a statement, which reads: "Chris Kelly was my Best Friend. He was like a brother. I love him and will miss him dearly.
"Our friendship began as little boys in first grade. We grew up together. It was a blessing to achieve the success, travel the world and entertain Kris Kross fans all around the world (sic) with my best friend. It is what we wanted to do and what brought us happiness. I will always cherish the memories of the C-Connection. Kris Kross forever."
Smith's autopsy was carried out on Thursday (02May13) and there was no indication of foul play. Cops are investigating the possibility that drugs were involved in the rapper's death.