Top nature expert Sir David Attenborough has joined SLASH and Brian May on their new badger-love anthem. May has recorded the star-studded track to promote his ongoing campaign against the U.K. government's decision to cull badgers in a bid to combat tuberculosis in cattle.
Badger Swagger, which will be released on Tuesday (04Jun13), also features Massive Attack star Shara Nelson.
The song will hit iTunes just three days after May led thousands of animal lovers on a march through London to protest the badger cull.
Meanwhile, Attenborough has become an unlikely pop headliner in recent days - The Wanted singer Jay McGuiness named him among the three people he'd most like to sit around a dinner table with during an interview with U.S. newswoman Katie Couric last week (ends31May13).
Hello there, old person. If you're reading this, you are probably old. Well, not necessarily old, but at least old enough to not know who The Wanted are. Don't worry, I'm here to help and give you an education so that when you hear about The Wanted on television or you see that one of your friends has been listening to them relentlessly or you see a throng of screaming girls running down the street after five Brits, you know just what the heck is going on. Shall we get started?
Who the heck are The Wanted?
They're the British and Irish boy band that's sweeping the nation and stealing every little girl's heart.
Wait, so this has nothing to do with an Angelina Jolie movie?
No, that's just Wanted, and that is totally different.
Why should I care about them?
Even though they've had a few hit singles in Europe and released two albums across the pond, they just released their first American EP on April 24. You can now buy seven of their songs repacked for an American audience.
You mean like from the record store?
What's a record? You get it from iTunes or wherever else you download music these days.
Are any of the songs good?
It's your standard boy band pop muusic. Their first hit, "All Time Low," is a little too orchestral for my tastes, but it debuted at number one on the UK pop charts. Their second big hit, "Glad You Came," is the sort of infectious summer jam that you can't get out of your head no matter how hard you try. Get into humming it now.
So, just who are these kids anyway?
Like so many other boy bands, they came from a giant casting call to create the ultimate super group of dreamy teenage boys. In the new mode of the boy band: they're a little bit older, a little bit sexier, and a little bit wilder.
Which of the boys should I have a crush on?
Well, I'd go with Max George. He's the most popular (based on number of Twitter followers he has). He looks sort of like Puck from Glee, but without the mohawk. He's 23, from Manchester, and was in another boy band called Avenue that had a modicum of success after getting booted from Britain's X-Factor for not following the rules. He posed naked on the cover of a gay magazine and, well, see for yourself.
Wow, he's hot. What about the other guys?
There is Nathan Sykes, who is 19 and like a little Justin Bieber; Siva Kaneswaran, who is half-Irish, half-Sri Lankan and beautifully swarthy and has an identical twin; Tom Parker, who is like the funny looking outcast; and Jay McGuiness, who looks Irish but was born in the UK and also has a twin brother.
What is up with these guys and twins?
No clue, man.
Are they really going to be the next big thing?
Well, Justin Bieber has 20 million Twitter followers and the boys have about 500K each, so they still have a long way to go. However, MTV is premiering their new video tonight — so for MTV to actually play real music, that's a pretty big deal. Also, the marketing and promotions have been heavy. The Wanted seem to be the keystone of the new "boy band revolution" we're experiencing. That said, they could be the next 'NSYNC or Backstreet Boys. Only time will tell.
Wait, did I see these guys on Saturday Night Live?
No, that's One Direction.
What's the difference?
Those are just different set of British and Irish kids. They were a huge hit on X-Factor. Otherwise what's the difference? Is there a difference between 'NSYNC and The Backstreet Boys? Is there a difference between The Beatles and The Rolling Stones?
Are you going to try to tell me that The Beatles and The Rolling Stones are basically the same band?
Gosh, you really are old, aren't you! OK, that's a bad example, but you hear what I'm saying. Just don't tell any 14 year-olds you can't tell the difference between 1D and The Wanted.
[Image via PNP/WENN.com]
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
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Since his days directing sketches for comedy troupe The State and his seminal debut feature Wet Hot American Summer David Wain has been expertly calculating ways to make his brand of absurdist humor work within the rigid conventional world of Hollywood movies. His latest Wanderlust is the perfect example of a hollow rom-com template that Wain fills to the brim with bizarre jokes and perfectly timed physical humor. His soldier of fortune is Paul Rudd who brings the golden ratio: looks of a leading man and a comedic gravitas that is unmatched. Rudd's at the top of his game whether he's landing a one-liner stretching his face to Jim Carrey-like proportions or reacting to his maniac co-stars the actor delivers—making Wanderlust charming deranged and very funny.
George (Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston better suited for this wacky comedy than you'd think) are a happily married couple living in New York attempting to live the dream lifestyle without any of the reality to fall back on. It doesn't work—George loses his job Linda fails to sell her documentary on penguin testicular cancer and the two find themselves forced to sell their "micro-loft" in the West Village and move in with George's brother in Atlanta. During their epic car ride George and Linda make a pit stop at a local Georgian B&B only to discover it's a counterculture commune home to an eclectic group determined to live on their own alternative terms. The inhabitants of "Elysium" range from nudists to tai chi experts to organic farmers but they all have one goal: live free. Realizing they don't have too much else going on in their lives (their alternative is shacking up with George's materialistic misogynistic businessman brother Rick played by the amazing Ken Marino) George and Linda dive head first into the off-beat world of Elysium.
Wanderlust dishes out its fair share of oddities when exploring the world of Elysium but isn't content in simply exploiting those quirks. Wain who co-wrote the script with Marino fleshes out the ensemble and makes keen choices so that no character is just a face in a crowd. Comedy pros like Justin Theroux Alan Alda Malin Akerman Joe Lo Truglio Kathryn Hahn Kerri Kenney Lauren Ambrose and more round out the cast and help color the world of Elysium piling laughs on top of laughs with every scene. Theroux stands out as Seth a spiritual leader for the group who begins to woo Linda away from George with his savvy guitar skills and potent herbal teas. Seth's slow and steady demeanor is a welcome change from the usual rapid-fire style seen in the modern comedy (the movie was produced by Judd Apatow so it wouldn't have been a surprise to see the approach replicated in Wanderlust) making us laugh in a zen fashion.
Meanwhile George just can't get anything right from group "truth circle" exercises to drinking coffee made of dirt to Elysium's "free love pact " which gives both he and his wife the chance to sexually explore outside of their relationship. The couple quickly realizes the freedom of their new home divides them and Wain's sensitivity to story and character evolve the relationship in a rather conventional yet desirable fashion.
Wanderlust falls somewhere between a Katherine Heigl romantic comedy vehicle and the pleasantly obscene work of Wain's past—and it may catch some off guard. The movie doesn't mind throwing in a bit of male nudity playing with abrasive repetition or those who find laughs in patience. The movie fully embraces the weird while never lettings its characters slip fully into caricature. Much like George and Linda's own dilemma Wanderlust wants to find harmony between the mainstream and the not-so-much. Thankfully it achieves inner peace.
Sydney Wells (Jessica Alba) is a Los Angeles-based concert violinist who has been blind since she was 5 years old. She gets by the best she can and sees “using my other senses ” as she explains to a passer-by whom she saves from getting run over by a bus. But Sydney still desperately misses her vision and is one day away from a once-in-a-lifetime medical miracle that will bring her the gift of restored sight: a double corneal transplant. Almost immediately following the operation Sydney through extremely blurred vision begins seeing strange silhouettes but thinks nothing of them. As her sight improves with each passing day however the figures become clearer and much more troubling. Before long Sydney identifies them as “escorts” that take people away when they’re dead and she can’t escape the horrifying visions even while sleeping. But she’s forced to investigate and solve the situation mostly on her own as both her sister (Parker Posey) and ophthalmologist (Alessandro Nivola) swear it’s all in her mind’s eye. What Sydney discovers is both hair-raising and of course eye-opening. The opening shot features Alba looking glamorously hot in the way we’re used to seeing her as though just finishing a photo shoot for the cover of another glossy magazine. Then the camera pans down to her walking stick and you admit to yourself not three minutes in that Alba as a blind woman (and later a violinist!) will necessitate complete suspension of disbelief. Same can be said for The Eye’s few dramatic scenes namely one in which an extreme close-up draws attention to the actress' complete inability to fake-cry. Alba can pull off much of the rest of the movie since it’s relatively low on dialogue and emotion but The Eye is just another example of her trying in vain--much like Good Luck Chuck--to un-pigeonhole herself. In supporting roles veterans Nivola (Junebug) and Posey (Dazed and Confused) show that they’re much too esteemed for a B-grade horror movie and much better than the actress to whom they are playing second- and third-fiddle respectively. Although that’s usually the case in movies like this. Ah the much-too-frequent adaptation of the exotic-import horror movie--always reliable for a few cheap thrills and nothing more. The Eye based on the Pang brothers’ 2002 Chinese film is no exception to that rule and is undoubtedly a dumbed-down less-scary version of the original. The director duo of David Moreau and Xavier Palud who collaborated on 2006’s creepy French film Them manage to somewhat dilute all that is bad about The Eye by using music and style but there’s ultimately no way around the anemic adapted script by Sebastian Gutierrez (Snakes on a Plane) and acting by Alba. While the concept of someone having her vision restored after 20-plus years without it is fascinating and tantalizing for all the directions in which a filmmaker could take it there’s nothing post-setup--or post-op in this case--that eclipses the mildest of scares and this meant to be a horror film. To the directors’ credit The Eye looks gorgeously foreboding and the movie’s elevation to mere watchability shows that they have some promise in this genre.
Holly Kennedy (Hilary Swank) doesn’t know how lucky she has it. She’s smart beautiful and married to Gerry (Gerald Butler) a passionate funny and impetuous Irishman who loves her with every breath in his body. But when that breath runs out--Gerry dies unexpectedly from an illness--Holly’s luck runs out. Barely coping her salvation arrives in the form of letters from Gerry that come to Holly in unexpected ways--letters he wrote to her before he died to help her get through the pain and move on with her life and letters that always end with “P.S. I Love You.” A saint huh? Holly’s mother (Kathy Bates) and best friends Sharon (Gina Gershon) and Denise (Lisa Kudrow) begin to worry Gerry’s letters are keeping Holly tied to the past but in fact each letter pushes Holly on a journey of rediscovery and to show her how a love so strong can turn the finality of death into new beginning for life. Tissues please! Swank will be damned if she pigeonholes herself into always playing serious women who don’t wear makeup. P.S. I Love You is her stab at romantic dramedy and while the genre may not suit her best the Oscar-winning actress still has fun playing a spirited woman who wears designer clothes cute hats and gets to make out with a strapping Irish hunk. Actually Swank gets to bed TWO strapping Irish hunks in P.S. I Love You: The first is the yummy Butler of course and the other is Gerry’s old bandmate William played by American Jeffrey Dean Morgan (who’ll be seen in the upcoming romantic comedy The Accidental Husband with Uma Thurman). Lucky girl. Butler however is the one the ladies will sigh over the most. Having already given a powerhouse performance this year as the Spartan king in 300 the Scottish actor turns the tables to show his soft underbelly as the adorably romantic and fun-lovin’ Gerry. The abs still rock though. One can easily see why Holly is such a mess after he dies. Gershon and Kudrow add some genuineness as Holly’s friends (someone please find a Kudrow a TV show) as does Bates as Holly’s hardened mother. Harry Connick Jr. however seems out of place as Holly’s would-be suitor. She just needs to stick with the Irish guys. Hilary Swank teams up with her Freedom Writers director Richard LaGravenese once again for P.S. I Love You and it’s clear they have a symbiotic relationship. Swank probably likes the way LaGravenese accentuates her best features turning her into a glam leading lady while LaGravenese obviously enjoys gazing at her through his camera lens. Unfortunately the two really haven’t found the best material. Freedom Writers is the mother of all teacher-gets-students-motivated retreads while P.S. I Love You--based on a novel by Cecelia Ahern and adapted by LaGravenese and Steven Rogers--is just pure fluff with very little substance behind it. Not that the film won't inspire some romantic feelings or work up tears but its only real strengths are: 1) the players who somehow rise about the triteness of it all especially Butler and 2) the gorgeous landscapes of Ireland which should send any woman in her right mind straight to the Emerald Isles to find her perfect man. Seriously ladies book your trips NOW.