Beyonce has defended her decision to include audio commentary from the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in a new song. The singer's track XO, about a doomed relationship, features a snippet of NASA public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt talking about the 1986 tragedy, when the shuttle broke apart shortly after its launch, killing all seven crew members.
In the six-second clip, Nesbitt is heard saying, "Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction."
Beyonce has since come under fire for including the emotionally-charged audio in the pop song.
June Scobee Rodgers, widow of Challenger's Commander Dick Scobee, criticised the singer, saying, "We were disappointed to learn that an audio clip from the day we lost our heroic Challenger crew was used in the song XO. The moment included in this song is an emotionally difficult one for the Challenger families, colleagues and friends."
Retired NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson says, "For the words to be used in the video is simply insensitive, at the very least", while another former NASA employee, Keith Cowing, brands the inclusion "inappropriate in the extreme".
The singer has now faced down calls for an apology by releasing a statement defending her decision to use the clip.
The statement, obtained by America's ABC News, reads, "My heart goes out to the families of those lost in the Challenger disaster. The song XO was recorded with the sincerest intention to help heal those who have lost loved ones and to remind us that unexpected things happen, so love and appreciate every minute that you have with those who mean the most to you.
"The songwriters included the audio in tribute to the unselfish work of the Challenger crew with hope that they will never be forgotten."
Anthony Dixon \ WENN
Models and musicians – the pairing is as perfect as pancakes and syrup. Just last week, U2 bassist Adam Clayton married his model girlfriend Mariana Teixeira de Carvalho in Dublin, entering a long, distinguished line of rockers who have said “hell yeah” to fashionistas and models around the globe.
Here’s a rundown of some of the best model/rocker pairings over the years.
Kate Moss and Pete Doherty Kate Moss may be happily married to The Kills’ Jamie Hince, but before there was Jamie, there was her busted relationship with Pete Doherty. Moss was hardly a vision of innocence herself, but hooking up with a notorious, self-admitted junkie made for pure tabloid gold. Drugs and scandal followed, with Doherty claiming everything from “loving her bones” to saying that Moss was a “nasty old rag” who once kicked him in the head. In his mind, the pair broke up because, according to Doherty, “I can’t buy her diamonds.”
Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley The Piano Man definitely loves his statuesque blondes, and supermodel Christie Brinkley is no different. Brinkley starred in Joel’s video for “Uptown Girl,” which, contrary to popular belief, wasn’t actually written about Brinkley, but another one of Joel’s model exes – Elle McPherson. The pair married in 1985, but their marriage was strained due to Joel’s philandering and love for booze, and they finally divorced at the end of 1993.
Jack White and Karen Elson This couple was smoking hot and seemed like they were made for each other. White and Elson met when the former starred in the White Stripes video for “Blue Orchid,” and the pair married in 2005. Although they divorced 6 years later, they were awesome enough to hold a divorce party in 2011, so everyone thought that all was well between the two. However, lately Elson has accused White of basically being a douchebag (who really has it out for the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, for some reason), and White has countersued her in what’s become a messy ending for the once-reigning Couple of Cool.
Caleb Followill and Lily Aldridge Son of a preacher turned rock star who has fire-sex meets California girl at overexposed music festival, and they live happily ever after – that’s essentially the story of Kings of Leon’s Caleb Followill and Victoria’s Secret Angel Lily Aldridge. The two met at Coachella in 2011 and married later that year. Their daughter, Dixie Pearl Followill, was born in June last year.
Simon Le Bon and Yasmin Parveneh Not all model/rocker pairings end badly. Simon Le Bon has been married to Yasmin Parveneh since 1985. At the time of their marriage, their relationship was all over the gossip headlines – Le Bon was the lead singer of Duran Duran, one of the biggest bands of the 1980s, and Parveneh herself was one of the highest-earning models of the decade.
Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo Previously trying his darndest to be the Leonardo DiCaprio of the pop world, Adam Levine has had a long list of models by his side. His latest model girlfriend, Behati Prinsloo, is set to be his future wife, putting to rest his image of the perpetual pop bachelor. Though the pair had briefly broken up and Levine wasted no time in hooking up with model Nina Agdal, the two got back together and decided to get engaged.
Agyness Deyn and Albert Hammond, Jr. When Agyness Deyn and Albert Hammond, Jr. hooked up in 2008, it seemed like a match made in hipster heaven. Usually seen in paparazzi photos holding hands and walking dogs, the relationship was rumored to be much rockier than it initially seemed, and the couple finally broke up a year later. Deyn has definitely dated her share of rock stars, including The Paddingtons’ Josh Hubbard, Phantom Planet’s Alex Greenwald, and Last Shadow Puppets frontman and solo artist Miles Kane. The world is waiting for a supergroup of all the model’s exes, hopefully called Deyn’s Discards.
Rod Stewart and Rachel Hunter Like Billy Joel, Rod Stewart likes his women tall and blonde (and nearly identical-looking). In 1990, Stewart married model Rachel Hunter, the woman responsible for millions of young men saving up their dollars for Sports Illustrated issues in the 90s. The two separated in 1999 and officially divorced in 2006, and Hunter went on to have it going on as “Stacy’s Mom,” while Stewart – what else? – married another model.
Iman and David Bowie Arguably one of the coolest couples ever, Iman and David Bowie have been married since 1992. The union of Ziggy Stardust and the most gorgeous advocate for social aid had the entertainment world in a frenzy. Forget haters, barely anyone thought that this marriage would last, but twenty-one years later, the couple is still going strong.
Axl Rose and Stephanie Seymour From the documentation of his behavior in the media, it’s safe to say that anyone who dates Axl Rose is probably making up for some bad karma in a past life. Allegations of physical abuse, theft, and violence Rose’s relationship with Seymour, but for some reason, the couple still decided to get engaged. The engagement was short-lived, due to Rose accusing Seymour of being unfaithful (because why would anyone cheat on a prize like Axl Rose?) and the couple finally broke up.
Keith Richards and Patti Hansen Who would’ve ever thought that Keith Richards would be the guy to be married to his wife for thirty years? Richards married model Patti Hansen in 1983 and have been together since then. A couple that makes it through drugs, rock and roll, Mick Jagger, and everything in between, is definitely a couple that stays together.
Paulina Porizkova and Ric Ocasek When these two hooked up, most people were scratching their heads, thinking “….what?” The gorgeous, then-19 year old Paulina Porizkova was featured in the Cars’ video for “Drive,” and although lead singer Ric Ocasek was still married at the time (and 35 years old), the two started dating and have been together ever since. Porizkova has also gone on to say that Ocasek is better-looking than George Clooney.
Paul McCartney and Heather Mills And the award for the most notorious rocker/model pairing goes to Paul McCartney and Heather Mills. Mills is a former model, famous for 2 things: having a prosthetic limb as part of her leg and for trying to suck Sir Macca drier than anyone else ever could. The pair married in 2002 and divorced 6 years later, with the divorce becoming a highly-publicized affair for the settlement amount that the celebrities were fighting for. Mills wanted £125 million – McCartney offered £15.8 million. Because is £15.8 million is obviously pennies, Mills kept fighting for more, eventually ending up with a total of £24.3 million, plus £35,000 per year to take care of their daughter. The best part of this is that Mills fancies herself to be a charity campaigner.
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There's an allure to imperfection. With his latest drama Lawless director John Hillcoat taps directly into the side of human nature that draws us to it. Hillcoat finds it in Prohibition history a time when the regulations of alcohol consumption were subverted by most of the population; He finds it in the rural landscapes of Virginia: dingy raw and mesmerizing. And most importantly he finds it in his main character Jack Bondurant (Shia LaBeouf) the scrappy third brother of a moonshining family who is desperate to prove his worth. Jack forcefully injects himself into the family business only to discover there's an underbelly to the underbelly. Lawless is a beautiful film that's violent as hell striking in a way only unfiltered Americana could be.
Acting as the driver for his two outlaw brothers Forrest (Tom Hardy) and Howard (Jason Clarke) isn't enough for Jack. He's enticed by the power of the gangster figure and entranced by what moonshine money can buy. So like any fledgling entrepreneur Jack takes matters into his own hands. Recruiting crippled family friend/distillery mastermind Cricket (Dane DeHaan) the young whippersnapper sets out to brew his own batch sell it to top dog Floyd Banner and make the family rich. The plan works — but it puts the Bondurant boys in over their heads with a new threat: the corrupt law enforcers of Chicago.
Unlike many stories of crime life Lawless isn't about escalation. The movie drifts back and forth leisurely popping in moments like the beats of a great TV episode. One second the Bondurants could be talking shop with their female shopkeep Maggie Beauford (Jessica Chastain). The next Forrest is beating the bloody pulp out of a cop blackmailing their operation. The plot isn't thick; Hillcoat and screenwriter Nick Cave preferring to bask in the landscapes the quiet moments the haunting terror that comes with a life on the other side of the tracks. A feature film doesn't offer enough time for Lawless to build — it recalls cinema-level TV currently playing on outlets like HBO and AMC that have truly spoiled us — but what the duo accomplish is engrossing.
Accompanying the glowing visuals and Cave's knockout workout on the music side (a toe-tapping mix of spirituals bluegrass and the writer/musician's spine-tingling violin) are muted performances from some of Hollywood's rising stars. Despite LaBeouf's off-screen antics he lights up Lawless and nails the in-deep whippersnapper. His playful relationship with a local religious girl (Mia Wasikowska) solidifies him as a leading man but like everything in the movie you want more. Tom Hardy is one of the few performers who can "uurrr" and "mmmnerm" his way through a scene and come out on top. His greatest sparring partner isn't a hulking thug but Chastain who brings out the heart of the impenetrable beast. The real gem of Lawless is Guy Pearce as the Bondurant trio's biggest threat. Shaved eyebrows pristine city clothes and a temper like a rabid wolverine Pearce's Charlie Rakes is the most frightening villain of 2012. He viciously chews up every moment he's on screen. That's even before he starts drawing blood.
Lawless is the perfect movie for the late August haze — not quite the Oscary prestige picture or the summertime shoot-'em-up. It's drama that has its moonshine and swigs it too. Just don't drink too much.
While recent animated blockbusters have aimed to viewers of all ages starting with fantastical concepts and breathtaking visuals but tackling complex emotional issues along the way Ice Age: Continental Drift is crafted especially for the wee ones — and it works. Venturing back to prehistoric times once again the fourth Ice Age film paints broad strokes on the theme of familial relationships throwing in plenty of physical comedy along the way. The movie isn't that far off from one of the many Land Before Time direct-to-video sequels: not particularly innovative or necessary but harmless thrilling fun for anyone with a sense of humor. Unless they have a particular distaste for wooly mammoths the kids will love it.
Ice Age: Continental Drift continues to snowball its cartoon roster bringing back the original film's trio (Ray Romano as Manny the Mammoth Denis Leary as Diego the Sabertooth Tiger and John Leguizamo as Sid the Sloth) new faces acquired over the course of the franchise (Queen Latifah as Manny's wife Ellie) and a handful of new characters to spice things up everyone from Nicki Minaj as Manny's daughter Steffie to Wanda Sykes as Sid's wily grandma. The whole gang is living a pleasant existence as a herd with Manny's biggest problem being playing overbearing dad to the rebellious daughter. Teen mammoths they always want to go out and play by the waterfall! Whippersnappers.
The main thrust of the film comes when Scratch the Rat (whose silent comedy routines in the vein of Tex Avery/WB cartoons continue to be the series highlight) accidentally cracks the singular continent Pangea into the world we know today. Manny Diego and Sid find themselves stranded on an iceberg once again forced on a road trip journey of survival. The rest of the herd embarks to meet them giving Steffie time to realize the true meaning of friendship with help from her mole pal Louis (Josh Gad).
The ham-handed lessons may drag for those who've passed Kindergarten but Ice Age: Continental Drift is a lot of fun when the main gang crosses paths with a group of villainous pirates. (Back then monkeys rabbits and seals were hitting the high seas together pillaging via boat-shaped icebergs. Obviously.) Quickly Ice Age becomes an old school pirate adventure complete with maritime navigation buried treasure and sword fights. Gut (Peter Dinklage) an evil ape with a deadly... fingernail leads the evil-doers who pose an entertaining threat for the familiar bunch. Jennifer Lopez pops by as Gut's second-in-command Shira the White Tiger and the film's two cats have a chase scene that should rouse even the most apathetic adults. Hearing Dinklage (of Game of Thrones fame) belt out a pirate shanty may be worth the price of admission alone.
With solid action (that doesn't need the 3D addition) cartoony animation and gags out the wazoo Ice Age: Continental Drift is entertainment to enjoy with the whole family. Revelatory? Not quite. Until we get a feature length silent film of Scratch's acorn pursuit we may never see a "classic" Ice Age film but Continental Drift keeps it together long enough to tell a simple story with delightful flare that should hold attention spans of any length. Massive amounts of sugar not even required.
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox]
WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
Claire is an attractive CIA operative and Ray is an M16 agent who simultaneously leave their Governmental spy activities in the dust to try and profit from a battle between two rival multi-national corporations both trying to launch a new product that will transform the world and make billions. Their goal is to secure the top-secret formula and get a patent before they are outsmarted. While their respective egomaniacal CEOs engage in an unending battle of wills and one-upmanship Claire and Ray start out conning and playing one another in a clever game of industrial espionage that is even more complicated due to their own long-term romantic relationship.
WHO’S IN IT?
Reuniting Closer co-stars Julia Roberts (as Claire) and Clive Owen (as Ray) turns out to be an inspired idea. They turn out to be the perfect pair oozing movie-star charm and electricity in this elaborate con-game that might have been the kind of thing Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant might have made in the '60s (in fact they did in Charade). Roberts with that infamous hairstyle back the way we like it and Owen looking great in sunglasses prove they have what it takes to navigate us through this ultra-complex plot in which no one is sure who they can trust at any given moment. They play it all in high style and the wit just flows as the story skirts back and forth during the period of five years. The supporting cast is well-chosen with juicy roles for Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti (out of their John Adams duds) as the two CEOs going for each other’s throats. Giamatti who sometimes has a tendency to overdo it is especially slimy here and great fun to watch.
Big-star studio movies today rarely take risks and often talk down to the audience but in Duplicity writer/director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton) has crafted a complicated con-comedy that requires complete attention at all times just to keep up with the dense plot’s twists and turns. It’s the cinematic equivalent of a New York Times crossword puzzle and Gilroy and his top-drawer production team deliver a glossy beautiful-looking film that’s easy on the eyes hitting locations from Dubai to Rome to New York City.
Like any good puzzle it sometimes can be frustrating putting it all together and Gilroy’s habit of taking us back in time and then inching forward gets a little confusing even with the on-screen chyron pointing out where we are at any given moment. Stick with it though and you will be well-rewarded.
A scene near the end where the formula must be found scanned and faxed in a matter of minutes is sweat-inducing edge-of-your-seat moviemaking and it provides the ultimate opportunity for Roberts and Owen to take the “con” to the next level. Another where Roberts uses a thong to try and trick Owen into admitting an affair he never had is also priceless and gets right to the heart of the game-playing.
GO OUT AND GET POPCORN WHEN ...
Never. Stock up during the coming attractions. If you miss a moment of this entertaining romp you might never figure it all out.
The film follows the same tired action genre step by step. Ex-con and single dad O2 (Tyrese Gibson) is trying to go straight for the sake of his young son Junior. But when the kid is kidnapped in what seems to be a typical carjacking O2 has to pull out all the stops to get him back. Turns out O2 had some nefarious dealings with a gang overlord named Big Meat (The Game) who likes to hack off people’s body parts with a machete. And now Meat wants some payback taking for ransom the only thing O2 cares about in the entire world [sniffle]. So what’s a guy to do? Pit rival gang leaders against each other hook up with a beautiful street hustler (Meagan Good) rob safety deposit boxes and get caught in an extended car chase that’s what. "It's either all or nothing " realizes O2. Very prophetic. Waist Deep has got some great character names--Meat O2 Coco Lucky Junior. Too bad most of the performances can’t live up to them. Tyrese (Four Brothers) does try his best though as the hunky O2 making a convincing albeit a tad stiff attempt at playing a father who’s whole life is his son. Good (Roll Bounce) gets to wear tight sexy clothes and strut around as Coco O2’s accomplice and eventual love interest as they rob banks Bonnie and Clyde style. Larenz Tate (Crash) plays Lucky O2’s unreliable cousin who actually isn’t lucky at all caught between a rock and hard place. And then there’s Meat played by big-time rapper The Game in his feature debut. With a battered face and covered in tattoos The Game certainly looks like one mean badass wielding a mad machete. Thankfully he doesn’t have to do much more than that. Here’s a few words of advice to would-be actors who want to play effective bad guys: Less is more. It’s movies like these that really give South Central L.A. a bad rep—shoot-outs in the middle of the street in broad daylight the carjacks the depravity the sad stories of little kids getting shot. It’s not exactly a warm and fuzzy place. Of course actor-turned-director/co-writer Vondie Curtis-Hall (best known for his numerous TV guest spots) doesn’t want it to be showing the grit in all its glory and collecting a cast from the area who could lend some credibility to the surroundings. But Hall needs a few more lessons in how to craft a well-thought action movie. The script is hackneyed beyond the usual taking bits not only from Bonnie and Clyde but also Thelma and Louise Boyz N the Hood--and even a little Shawshank Redemption. Hall’s camerawork is also too frenetic at times almost dizzyingly so with unnecessary close ups and choppy sequences. That isn’t to say some of the gun play and car chases aren’t exciting enough. There just seems to be a lack of experience overall.