Country star Shania Twain will wrap up her two-year Las Vegas residency by taking her final bow on the Caesars Palace stage on 13 December (14). The singer debuted the elaborate show in November, 2012.
Sir Elton John paid tribute to late U.S. radio and TV star Casey Kasem as he closed the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival on Sunday night (15Jun14). The Rocket Man legend brought the curtain down on the rural Tennessee music event by performing on the final night of the 2014 gathering.
The show marked the star's U.S. festival debut and he told the crowd, "This is my first ever festival in America and I know it's the best one." During his career-spanning set, he took a moment to remember Kasem, who died early on Sunday.
Elton John credited the TV and radio star with partly inspiring his music career as he often listened to Kasem's American Top 40 radio countdown in the 1970s. He said of his hero, "Travel safely, my good man," before performing hit track Don't Let The Sun Go Down on Me.
The music superstar also welcomed special guest Ben Folds to the stage for a duet of Grey Seal, before his set ended with a fireworks display. Other acts to play at the festival over the weekend (13-15Jun14) included Kanye West, Lauryn Hill, Frank Ocean, Jack White and Skrillex.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
With only a week and change having passed since the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, we no doubt feel the question living fresh in our minds: can we ever judge a remake without considering its predecessors? The conversation about the stark contrast in critical favor between Marc Webb's release and Sam Raimi's trilogy (the second installment of his franchise in particular) buzzed loudly, and we imagine the volume will keep in regards to Gareth Edwards' Godzilla. But it'll be a different sound altogether.
The original Godzilla, a Japanese film released in 1954, reinvented the identity of the monster movie, launched a 30-film legacy, and spoke legions about the political climate of its era. The most recent of these films — Roland Emmerich's 1998 American production — is universally bemoaned as a bigger disaster than anything to befall Tokyo at the hands of the giant reptile. With these two entries likely standing out as the most prominent in the minds of contemporary audiences, Edwards' Godzilla has some long shadows cast before it. And in approaching the new movie, one might not be able to avoid comparisons to either. It's fair — by taking on an existing property, a filmmaker knowingly takes on the connotations of that property. But the 2014 installment's great success is that it isn't much like any Godzilla movie we've seen before. In a great, great way.
This isn't 1954's Godzilla, a dire and occasionally dreary allegory that uses the supernatural to tell an important story about nuclear holocaust. A complete reversal, in fact, first and foremost Edwards' Godzilla is about its monsters. Any grand themes strewn throughout — the perseverence of nature, the follies of mankind, fatherhood, madness, faith — are all in service to the very simple mission to give us some cool, weighty, articulate sci-fi disaster. Elements of gravity are plotted all over the film's surface, with scientists, military men (kudos to Edwards for not going the typical "scientists = good/smart, military = bad/dumb" route in this film — everybody here is at least open to suggestion), doctors, police officers, and a compassionate bus driver all wrestling with options in the face of behemoth danger. The humanity is everpresent, but never especially intrusive. To reiterate, this isn't a film about any of these people, or what they do.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
The closest thing to a helping of thematic (or human) significance comes with Ken Watanabe's Dr. Serizawa, who spouts awe-stricken maxims about cryptozoology, the Earth, and the inevitable powerlessness of man. He might not be supplying anything more substantial than our central heroes (soft-hearted soldier Aaron Taylor-Johnson, dutiful medic and mom Elizabeth Olsen, right-all-along conspiracy theorist Bryan Cranston), but Watanabe's bonkers performance as the harried scientist is so bizarrely good that you might actually believe, for a scene or two, that it all does mean something.
Ultimately, the beauty of our latest taste of Godzilla lies not in the commitment to a message that made the original so important nor in the commitment to levity that made Emmerich's so pointless, but in its commitment to imagination. Edwards' creature design is dazzling, his deus ex machina are riveting, and the ultimate payoff to which he treats his audience is the sort of gangbusters crowd-pleaser that your average contemporary monster movie is too afraid to consider.
In fairness, this year's Godzilla might not be considered an adequate remake, not quite reciprocating the ideals, tone, or importance of the original. Sure, anyone looking for a 2014 answer to 1954's game-changing paragon will find sincere philosophy traded for pulsing adventure... but they'd have a hard time ignoring the emphatic charm of this new lens for the 60-year-old lizard, both a highly original composition and a tribute in its way to the very history of monster movies (a history that owes so much to the creature in question). So does Godzilla '14 successfully fill the shoes of Godzilla '54? No — it rips them apart and dons a totally new pair... though it still has a lot of nice things to say about the first kicks.
Oh, and the '98 Godzilla? Yeah, it's better than that.
Follow @Michael Arbeiter| Follow @Hollywood_com
Britney Spears has been offered a $12 million (£7.5 million) deal to extend her Las Vegas residency, according to a U.S. report.
The Toxic superstar opened her Britney: Piece of Me show at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Sin City in December (13) in a deal estimated to be worth $30 million (£18.7 million).
The concerts have proved a hit with fans and now bosses at the venue want Spears to stay on until 2016. Gary Selesner, president of the Caesars Palace resort, which owns Planet Hollywood's Vegas venue, tells the New York Daily News, "Britney Spears has been a great success for the company and will be extended, if she wants to do it, and I cannot see why not. "She has been filling out the place every night, and she is enjoying it and is in good health. She has a good life, coming in on private jet. "She has a villa upstairs at Caesars and really enjoys it here - so why wouldn't she stay?"
The residency was slated to end in 2015.
Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish celebrated the superstar's 67th birthday on Friday (28Mar14) by hosting the grand opening of their new Las Vegas bar. The Rocket Man hitmaker and film producer Furnish were joined by actor Nicolas Cage, legendary producer Quincy Jones, rock matriarch Sharon Osbourne and her daughter Kelly, The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers, actress Britt Ekland and funnyman David Spade, among others for the launch of FIZZ Las Vegas.
The Champagne lounge, a collaboration between Furnish and nightlife gurus Michael Greco and Steven Kennedy, is located next to Caesars Palace's famed Colosseum theatre, where Elton is currently performing a Sin City residency.
Furnish tells USA Today, "Fizz is an extension of our personal style. Spending so much time in Las Vegas with Elton's performance schedule, we wanted a space that would reflect our personal style and become an extension of the way we entertain at home."
And he tells U.S. breakfast show Today, "Once people are inside, it's very small and intimate... We bring the lights down to make it really, really chic and warm and welcoming. It's very much an extension of the way we would do things."
Elton turned 67 on 25 March (14).
Angelina Jolie stunned attendees at Las Vegas' CinemaCon event on Tuesday (25Mar14) by making an unexpected appearance to premiere footage from her upcoming drama Unbroken. The Salt star has been working on her second directorial project, a biopic about the life of Olympian and World War II hero Louis Zamperini, and she shared the first clips from the movie with cinema owners at the annual film conference.
Speaking to the audience at the Caesars Palace resort, she said, "Lou Zamperini is the toughest man I have ever met. He's a fighter and true hero. He is also a man of faith, full of love and humility. He sounds perfect. But he wasn't always. Smoking, stealing and drinking by the time he was nine, he was convinced he was worth nothing and full of darkness."
Jolie revealed that she had been deeply moved by Zamperini's story of survival, documented in Laura Hillenbrand's book Unbroken, and was determined to share his journey through life with the world.
She added, "I wanted to make this film because its message is one that we all need now more than ever - the journey of a man finding his way through the darkness and into the light. It's about an imperfect person... someone who helps to remind us all what each of us is capable of."
Jolie was the only talent present during the Universal Pictures presentation of upcoming releases, which included a preview from the Fast & Furious 7 movie.
The fast-paced film sequel featured footage of late actor Paul Walker opposite co-stars Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez. Many of Walker's scenes are being shot using look-a-likes following the star's car crash death in November (13).
Comedian George Lopez has revealed he has quit alcohol for good after his drunken arrest last month (27Feb14). The 52 year old was taken into custody for public intoxication in Ontario, Canada after security officials at the Caesars Windsor resort found him passed out on the floor of their casino.
Lopez was released hours later after sobering up and no charges were filed, but the incident was a wake up call for the funnyman, who confessed to U.S. talk show host Ellen DeGeneres on her show on Thursday (13Mar14) that he will never be in a similar situation again.
He divulged, "Since then, I have not had a drop of alcohol. That was a nice going away party for that guy and I'm the new George sitting in front of you. Just because Mexicans invented tequila, doesn't mean we can handle it."
But Lopez insists he's not taking the boozy incident too seriously, quipping, "You know how they say, 'Whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas?' But whatever happens in Canada, everybody knows."
He added, "I was a bit intoxicated and the authorities are much politer in Canada. They go, 'Sir, wake up. Sir, you're under arrest... Sir, this behaviour cannot continue and if it does continue we would be honoured if you would be Mayor of Toronto'", referring to disgraced politician Rob Ford, who made headlines last year (13) after he was caught smoking crack cocaine.
Comedian George Lopez poked fun at his own drunken antics during his stand-up show in Canada on Friday (28Feb14), a day after he was arrested for public intoxication. The 52 year old was taken into custody late on Thursday (27Feb14) after security officials at the Caesars Windsor resort in Ontario found him passed out on the floor of their casino.
No charges were filed and Lopez was released hours later after sobering up, and he made light of his run-in with the law during his comedy show at the Caesars Windsor venue on Friday night, reports TMZ.com.
Addressing the controversy at the start of the gig, he told the audience, "Tied one on (got drunk) last night. Not feeling great this morning. I was trying to sleep it off - unfortunately, it was on the casino floor."
He then went on to joke, "I just did in Windsor, what Justin Bieber does in America", referring to the pop superstar's recent bad behaviour. The singer was arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in January (14) after he was caught drag-racing in Miami, Florida. He is also facing an assault charge relating to an alleged bust-up with a chauffeur in his native Canada.
Comedian George Lopez was arrested for public intoxication on Thursday night (27Feb14) after he was found passed out on the floor of a Canadian casino. Security officials at the Caesars Windsor resort in Ontario called in cops to deal with the funnyman and TV host after he apparently had a little too much to drink.
He was placed in a cell overnight to sober up, but no charges were filed and he was released early on Friday (28Feb14), according to TMZ.com.
Lopez, 52, was at the casino ahead of a stand-up gig at the venue on Friday night.
As WENN went to press, he was still scheduled to perform the show.
Sir Elton John's Las Vegas residency is set to go international for one night only when the Rocket Man's Million Dollar Piano performance on 22 March (14) is beamed to cinemas around the globe. The concert will be shown in over 1,200 cinemas worldwide in over 40 countries, including the U.S., Canada, Germany, the U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Mexico and Australia.
The March gig will kickstart Elton's eighth run at Caesars Palace's Colosseum venue. He began his residency there in September, 2011.