Every once in a while during the 110-minute screwball comedy We're the Millers, you'll get the feeling that one of the four screenwriters stood up, grabbed hold of their shared laptop, and shouted, "Okay, my turn!" veering off in an entirely different direction with the plotline in tow. This year's answer to the Horrible Bosses of summers past doesn't exactly have the patience to be, in the most official definition of the word, a story, capping each of its 14 mini-acts in explosive conclusions that lead, abruptly, to new scenes built on madcap, quasi-humorous non sequiturs.
The ostensible synopsis follows drug dealer David (Jason Sudeikis) as he wrangles a fake family to transport a ton — quite literally — of marijuana over the Mexican/American border to square off with a Denver-based super criminal. Sounds like it could be a movie, right? Travails through the Mexican desert? Squabbles with the immigration officers? Anxiety over making it safely back into the States? Well, don't get invested in any of that — the border-cross goes off without a hitch approximately 20 minutes into the movie, leaving the rest of our time with the Millers (that's their false surname) to be spent embedded in quarrels, fight scenes, spider-bites, and some outlandish sexual misconduct.
David's false family is made up of a team of outcasts — an embittered stripper (Jennifer Aniston), a dopey, good-natured 18-year-old whose mother ran out on him (Will Poulter), and an acerbic runaway who lives on the streets (Emma Roberts). Interesting characters the lot of them, all worthy of the film's attention...though never quite awarded it.
Yes, we get a romantic arc brewing between Dave and Rose (Aniston), as anyone who read as far as the cast list for this movie might expect. We even get a turn of romance for young Kenny (Poulter), who earns a boost in self-esteem thanks to dad Dave and sister Casey (Roberts). But what about Casey herself? The rebellious teen whose home life was bad enough to result in her running away and living on the street? On paper, she's the most interesting character in the film. But we see Roberts contributing little more than a vehicle for Kenny's sexual maturation, a few R-rated gags, and your standard plot-forwarding exposition.
And why? Probably because she's a 20-year-old girl, which translates in Hollywood terms to set dressing and the occasional kiss. Aniston isn't dealt much better a hand, playing a stripper who, of course, is forced to strip. Several times throughout the movie. Hey, that's showbiz!
A few laughs do permeate through — Sudeikis, inscrutably becoming a less likable character as the film goes on (an interesting choice, if it is indeed a choice), manages some one-liners of note; Poulter is more over charming as the good-natured Kenny; cameos by Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn will appease all fans of the usual Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn routine. And if you're into pop culture references, there's one every minute. So it's not so much a deficit of jokes that'll drag you down to disappointment with We're the Millers. It's the conniving feeling of puzzlement that comes with every quick twist of events, every cataclysmic explosion of a scene, every convoluted thoroughfare from one unfounded bit of nonsense to another that'll getcha. It isn't that We're the Millers isn't funny. It just doesn't make any sense.
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Country singer Kenny Chesney has defended the reputation of his fans after American football player Riley Cooper was filmed using racist language at one of his recent concerts. The Philadelphia Eagles star was at the centre of a Twitter.com storm on Wednesday (31Aug13) when video footage of him using the N-word at Chesney's gig in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in June (13) went viral.
Caught on camera, an angry Cooper, who appears to embroiled in an argument at the show, can be heard ranting, "I will jump that fence and fight every (N-word) here, bro."
Chesney has now distanced himself from Cooper's behaviour, insisting his fans and the football community should not be tarnished because of the language used by one man.
He tells ESPN, "I'm as shocked as anyone to see the video of Riley Cooper that's started circulating on the Internet. I don't believe in discrimination in any form, and I think using language like that is not only unacceptable, it is hateful beyond words.
"To judge an entire audience by one loud mouth isn't fair... not to the NFL (National Football League), not to the city of Philadelphia and that awesome crowd, not to my band and crew and certainly not to me, who believes music is about bringing people together for friendship and forgetting about the things in life that bring you down. The music I make is about living life, loving life and loving everybody - no matter who they are. That's how I was raised, and what someone else does or says doesn't reflect who I am or what my fans stand for."
Cooper has since released an apology, saying, "I am so ashamed and disgusted with myself. I want to apologise. I owe an apology to the fans and to this community. I am so ashamed, but there are no excuses. What I did was wrong and I will accept the consequences."
Country music superstar Kenny Chesney has announced a touring hiatus in 2014 so he can concentrate on recording a classic album. The singer/songwriter has embarked on a major North American summer tour every year since 2001, but he's putting his concert plans on hold next year.
He tells The Hollywood Reporter, "I love touring more than anyone in the world. I love the band, the crew, the whole team - and it's weird to not be looking at next year's stage design (right now), but I shouldn't make albums to service the tour. So I'm going to put the music first, dial it back and do the strangest thing in the world - not hit the road next summer."
The country star, who is currently in the middle of his No Shoes Nation dates, will spend the time working on a follow-up to his hit new album Life on a Rock, which became his seventh number one album on America's Billboard 200 chart when it was released in April (13).
But Chesney knows he'll miss the road when he's not on it: "We have so much fun out there... with the fans, the other bands... It's summer camp with guitars and a great sound system.
"And when we hit that stage every night, and hear the crowd, that's the best drug in the world. How you take a year off from that is hard, but music is the reason I do all of it... You get to a point when you've made a lot of albums and you need to challenge yourself, to really make the record the focus, to ask yourself what you want to say... and not just cut songs because they fit what people expect."
Status Quo rocker Francis Rossi has shown his softer side by backing a campaign to save Britain's iconic ice cream vans. The singer used to help his grandfather sell ice cream from a truck around London and the family connection to the business has prompted him to back the Sunday People newspaper's Cone and Get One drive to save the dwindling trade.
The campaign urges Britons to support ice cream vans by making a purchase whenever they see one, and Rossi hopes the drive will help protect the business.
He says, "I'm fully behind the Sunday People's campaign. Ice cream vans were my family's livelihood and I grew up... with them around... It would be so sad if (ice cream vans are) consigned to yesteryear so I really hope people can come out, get out of their houses when they hear those chimes and buy some ice cream... There are far too many rules and regulations facing ice cream van men these days. It makes it extremely hard for them to make a living... I just hope people can come out and support the vans before it is too late."
Francis goes on to reveal that his father used to sell ice creams to members of rock band Small Faces before they found fame, adding, "My dad used to serve Steve Marriot, Kenny Jones and Ronnie Lane, who were all later in the Small Faces. So when Status Quo supported them (on tour) years later on, they already knew my dad."
Footage from Kanye West's flop sitcom pilot has leaked online. The rapper attempted to launch himself as a TV star back in 2008 when he shot a pilot episode of a comedy show for America's HBO network.
The untitled series was soon shelved and the pilot was never aired, but scenes have now hit the Internet after they were uploaded to YouTube.com by West's co-star, actress Alison Quinn.
West appears to play himself in the clip, and Quinn's character mocks him by continually calling him 'Kenny' instead of Kanye.
Seinfeld writer and Curb Your Enthusiasm director Larry Charles was involved in the project, and at the time of making the show, he revealed West introduced himself as "the black Larry David".
Speaking to MTV back in 2008, Charles said of the series, "What Kanye West said to me the first time... he said, 'I'm the black Larry David.' That's the first thing he said to me. So it's like a Kanye and Curb show, it's kind of improvised about the situations and stuff. It was really good, but again I think it was too hardcore for HBO."
Comedian Kenny Kramer is qualified to marry couples after becoming a fully-licensed minister. The funnyman, who served as the real-life inspiration for the character of Cosmo Kramer in TV hit Seinfeld, decided to obtain a license after watching several weddings because of his girlfriend's job as a musician.
He tells the New York Daily News, "I thought, 'I could do this much better than them (the ministers I saw)'."
Kramer filed an application to become a minister with the Universal Life Church and was declared an official marriage officiant in June (13), obtaining a licence from the City Clerk in New York.
He adds, "This is a new identity - it's Rev. Kramer. When I got my certificate, it gave me options: Reverend, minister, father. I thought, 'Reverend. Why not?' So here in New York, if I say you are man and wife, you're married."
Michael Jackson's This Is It director broke down in tears in court on Wednesday (10Jun13) as he read out an email he sent to AEG Live boss Randy Phillips about the King of Pop's health during the singer's ongoing wrongful death trial. Kenny Ortega wrote the correspondence, in which he opened up about his concerns for the superstar, five days before Jackson's death in June, 2009.
Ortega told Phillips he felt the star needed to see a therapist.
The email had been shown to the jury at the beginning of the wrongful death case, but on Wednesday the director/choreographer read it allowed - and broke down on the stand.
He read: "My concern is, now that we've brought the doctor in to the fold and have played the tough love, now or never card, is that the artist may be unable to rise to the occasion due to the real emotional stuff. He appeared quite weak and fatigued this evening. He had a terrible case of the chills, was trembling, ranting and obsessing."
He added: "Everything in me says he should be psychologically evaluated. If we have any chance at all to get him back in the light, it's going to take a strong therapist to help him through this as well as immediate physical nurturing."
But Ortega also insisted that Jackson really wanted to perform the 50 London dates he and Ortega were preparing for, declaring, "It would shatter him, break his heart if we pulled the plug. He's terribly frightened it's all going to go away. He asked me repeatedly tonight if I was going to leave him. He was practically begging for my confidence. It broke my heart. He was like a lost boy. There still may be a chance he can rise to the occasion if we get him the help he needs."
While reading the email, Ortega began to cry and paused to wipe tears from his eyes, prompting the judge in the case to call a short recess. Jackson's mother Katherine, who has accused AEG Live executives of ignoring her son's health woes and pushing him towards his death, was also clearly overcome with emotion in the courtroom.
She and Jackson's kids are suing AEG Live and two of its executives, accusing them of negligently hiring and controlling the singer's incarcerated physician Dr. Conrad Murray, who administered the fatal dose of the anaesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009.
AEG's lawyers maintain Murray worked for Jackson.
The trial continues.
Stars who took to the stage during Britain's Glastonbury Festival, including Rita Ora, Kenny Rogers and Seasick Steve, have donated a pair of their shoes to raise funds for charity. The singers, alongside British rapper Professor Green, handed over their footwear to representatives from the Small Steps Project who set up a stall at the event to collect shoes for the organisation's annual auction.
Ora autographed a pair of blue waterproof boots she used during the festival, while blues musician Seasick Steve donated the shoes he wore during his career-changing performance on Jools Holland's U.K. TV show Jools' Annual Hootenanny in 2006.
Country star Rogers handed over a pair of signed cowboy boots to the charity, which aims to deliver shoes, aid and medical care to children surviving on rubbish dumps all over the world.
Kanye West's new fashion collaborator Jean Touitou had no idea who the rapper was when they first met at the designer's studio in France more than two years ago. Executives at Touitou's company, A.P.C., announced on Sunday (07Jul13) that they had teamed up with the Stronger hitmaker to create a capsule collection for men, but the label boss confesses he had never even heard of the hip-hop superstar when he agreed to give him a tour of his offices.
In a candid press release, the designer recalls, "Over two years ago, a visitor to the A.P.C. studio was announced to me as 'Kenny.' He wanted my advice on the fashion industry; although I found such a request quite vague, as a mutual friend introduced us, I met with the guy.
"The guy talks, talks and talks and I was having a good time listening. He had nice manners and spoke about losing his mother (Donda West) in a surgery accident, about losing his girlfriend too, and about how difficult doing the right thing in fashion was. After a while, I was curious to know what this gentleman was currently doing in his life. I simply asked him: 'May I know what your trade is, sir?' He took his shades down, so that finally I could see his eyes, and answered me: 'I am a hip hop artist.'"
The pair kept in touch in the years following the studio meeting and they decided to put their creative minds together to come up with the A.P.C. Kanye mini-collection.
Touitou adds, "Over the months, we kept hanging out and finally came up with the idea of doing a small capsule collection of clothes together. 'Small' meaning that this capsule collection consists of a jean, a hoodie and a T-Shirt. Those are precious to me and to Kanye too, because it took time and thoughts to get there."
The range, which is set to go on sale from 14 July (13), isn't West's first fashion venture - he debuted his DW line in October, 2011 at Paris Fashion Week, but the preview failed to impress notoriously tough critics.
Country superstar Kenny Rogers once fooled fans in Las Vegas by impersonating himself at a karaoke bar. The singer pretended to be a Kenny Rogers look-a-like when he took to the stage with a Dolly Parton impersonator to sing their hit track Islands in the Stream.
Rogers insists no one suspected he was the real deal, telling newsman Piers Morgan, "I was in Vegas and, as a joke, I went into one of those things where they have the impersonators and I didn't tell anybody it was me. So I go up on stage and I'm singing with this girl who looks like Dolly, sang great like Dolly.
"We did Islands in the Stream and when it was over, this man comes up to me and says, 'I'll tell you one thing, you're a hell of a lot better than the real guy.'"