Kaley Cuoco has seemingly been everywhere recently. Since showing up last fall unexpectedly on The Voice while her sister auditioned, The Big Bang Theory's resident hot girl has been chatting up reporters, even landing on the cover of Cosmopolitan, dishing openly about everything from her wedding to professional tennis player Ryan Sweeting to her breast implants. Then there are her Instagram posts, which have featured Cuoco showing off the tattoo that she got in honor of her nuptials (the Roman numeral equivalent of the date), her new shorter haircut, and her stunning bikini-clad body.
It's not as though Cuoco has been averse to publicity before this. She's been in the public eye going back to when she was 17 and playing the late John Ritter's too-sexy daughter on 8 Simple Rules. She's also never been shy about showing some skin; beyond just the skimpy outfits her character Penny wears on Big Bang, the actress has done multiple cover shoots for Maxim. Something about this recent wave feels different, however.
With a guarantee of three more seasons of her sitcom in place, Cuoco appears to be making a play for a larger role in the public's mind and to keep from being known only as "Penny." In today's world, one way to compete with the Kardashian and Jenner sisters — not to mention Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, etc. — is to put more of your personal life out for public consumption. In Cuoco's case, she's earned the right to take some chances and see if they pay off.
Over the course of her run on Big Bang, Cuoco has taken the character from being a one-note joke — the hot girl across the hall — and turned her into a three-dimensional person. She's infused her character with a funny mixture that's equal parts brashness and low self-esteem. Instead of just being the "normal" person reacting to the geniuses, we've gotten to see Penny deal with insecurities at being the non-college graduate amongst a group of Ph.Ds. Cuoco's comedic timing has improved nearly every season since the beginning of the show… with her at some point taking on somewhat of a Dean Martin persona, looking for a drink to help smooth out the rough edges.
What the actress hasn't been able to do so far, though, is make that translate into something more than being a star on TV's top rated sitcom. A lot of her recent publicity push has been in support of Authors Anonymous, a low-budget comedy costarring Chris Klein (American Pie). Her biggest on-screen success thus far has been a supporting role in the kiddie flick Hop, where she didn't even get to play the female lead (she played a secondary character, James Marsden's sister).
Despite the solid work on Big Bang, Cuoco's career hasn't exactly progressed at lightning speed. Her next project, The Wedding Ringer, puts her alongside Kevin Hart — never a bad thing — but it still places her squarely in a supporting role.
Cuoco comes across in interviews as funny and down-to-earth. She's not obnoxious about what she chooses to share about herself and it's hard to find anyone that begrudges her success. If putting her life (and body) front and center in the jostling for media attention leads to the actress being offered better film roles, then more power to her. Few others have paid their dues as long as she has for the opportunity.
Rock trio Cream cancelled plans for a long-awaited reunion tour last year (13) following a dispute between the bandmembers. The former bandmates - Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce - last reunited for a series of comeback concerts in London and New York in 2005, but it has now emerged they were hoping to hit the road again in late 2013 or 2014.
However, Bruce has revealed the tour plans were scrapped following a spat between Clapton and Baker.
He tells Rolling Stone, "I think last year or this year, everybody had agreed about doing it. But then I think Ginger upset Eric... He said something or did something, so it's not happening. It's always been like that. The first time it (a reunion) was mooted was when we were all 'indicted' to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And that was in '93. And what happened in 2005. That's the way it goes. It's fine. I think we said what we had to say at the time. And it was nice to have that little comeback. For me, that was just about right."
Reports suggest the previous Cream reunion came to a halt because of a bust-up between Clapton and Baker.
British directors Mike Leigh and Ken Loach will go head-to-head in the competition at this year's (14) Cannes Film Festival in France. Leigh's film Mr. Turner and Loach's Jimmy's Hall will both compete, along with other movies including David Cronenberg's Map to the Stars, featuring Robert Pattinson, and The Homesman, directed by actor Tommy Lee Jones. The event runs from 14 May (14) to 25 May (14).
Legendary salsa star Cheo Feliciano has died in a car crash at the age of 78. A vehicle driven by Feliciano, real name Jose Luis Feliciano Vega, collided with a post in the Puerto Rican city of Cupey in the early hours of Thursday morning (17Apr14), according to a spokesperson for the country's police.
Feliciano began his career as a percussionist in a number of high-profile salsa bands, including Tito Rodriguez's orchestra, before becoming the singer for the Joe Cuba sextet. He later joined Fania Records' Fania All-Stars.
The musician became a determined anti-drug campaigner after beating an addiction to heroin at the end of the 1960s, and he volunteered to help with the rehabilitation of other salsa stars who had were battling drugs.
In 2008, New York's then-mayor Michael Bloomberg declared 20 June Cheo Feliciano day in honour of his 50-year career in the music industry, and he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Latin Grammy the same year.
Feliciano was inducted into Puerto Rico's Music Hall of Fame in 2013, months after announcing he had been diagnosed with an unspecified form of cancer. It is not known how far the illness had progressed when Feliciano died.
"We haven't even talked about it. We looked at that evening as a night that may never happen again. That's what made it so powerful and beautiful and meaningful. And it may never happen again, so we made the most of it. And it was f**king great." Dave Grohl is adamant the Nirvana reunion on the night of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony this month (Apr14) was a one-off.
A secret show by the surviving members of Nirvana in New York City on 10 April (14) was caught on camera. The gig at a small bar in Brooklyn featured Joan Jett, St. Vincent and Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon filling in for late frontman Kurt Cobain on lead vocals and came shortly after their performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. It is not yet known if the stars plan to release the footage.
Former Nirvana stars Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic were secretly relieved when the star-studded finale was dropped from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony due to time constraints. The rockers had been due to join a number of the night's other inductees, including Bruce Springsteen's The E Street Band, for an all-star jam session at the end of the show performing AC/DC classic Highway To Hell.
However, the big finale was ditched after a number of speeches over-ran, leaving Nirvana's collaboration with pop star Lorde on All Apologies as the final performance of the night.
Bassist Novoselic admits he was secretly pleased the finale was axed, telling Rolling Stone, "I wasn't into it. I love AC/DC and I love Bruce Springsteen. I grew up listening to them. But we kept saying, 'We have the big finale. We have our finale!'"
Grohl was also unconvinced by the finale as it meant they had to learn another song for the show. He adds, "They expected Nirvana to learn that song. It's hard enough for Nirvana to learn a f**king Nirvana song."
Dave Grohl felt overwhelmed to be reunited with Courtney Love at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony last week (ends13Apr14), calling the moment "beautiful". The former Nirvana drummer has endured a rocky relationship with Love, the widow of his late bandmate Kurt Cobain, in recent years and they have been embroiled in a number of high-profile spats.
However, they appeared to put the bad blood behind them when Nirvana were honoured at the ceremony in New York City as Love hugged Grohl on stage and made a heartfelt speech comparing the band to family.
Grohl has now revealed the meeting went better than expected, telling Rolling Stone magazine, "Early on in the evening I just tapped her on the shoulder. She turned around and I just said, 'Hey.' She said, 'Hey.' Then we gave each other a big hug. I said, 'How are you?' She goes, 'Good, how are you?' I said, 'All right.' And she said, 'Let's do this. Let's rock this tonight.' And I said, 'Yes.' That was it."
He adds of Love's speech, "She's right. We're family, no matter what. And we all love each other, no matter what. It's a lot bigger than a paragraph or a picture. It's real. So it was a reunion, and we were there for Kurt. It was a beautiful night. It was good... It was a heavy night... It was a big deal to us, personally and emotionally."
Pj Harvey was Dave Grohl's first choice to front Nirvana at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony last week (ends13Apr14), but the British musician turned the opportunity down. The surviving members of the grunge group, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, were joined on stage at the show by an all-star line-up of singers filling in for late frontman Kurt Cobain, including Joan Jett, St. Vincent, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Lorde.
Grohl has now revealed he initially asked PJ Harvey to take over vocals, but she said no due to scheduling problems.
The Foo Fighters star tells Rolling Stone, "Kurt loved PJ Harvey. We had always imagined playing our song Milk It from In Utero with her. It's a twisted song, almost like something that could have been on her record Rid of Me, which was also produced by (In Utero producer) Steve Albini. It just seemed to pair up so well. Unfortunately, she couldn't make it."
The rocker goes on to admit he came up with the idea of an all-female line-up of singers after Harvey turned the offer down, adding, "We thought, 'Wait, it has to be all women' Don't even ask anyone else. If we can fill the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performance with these incredible women singing Nirvana songs, then we'll have achieved our own revolution.' It also added a whole other dimension to the show. It added substance and depth, so it didn't turn into a eulogy. It was more about the future."
Grohl also admits the process was an emotional one for him: "The first time we played together, it was like seeing a ghost. The second time, it was a little more reserved. And the last time we played it was like that f**king Demi Moore/Patrick Swayze pottery wheel scene from Ghost... I hadn't played in that band in 20 years... I'd almost forgotten what it was like to be in a room full of Nirvana."
Transcendence has lofty goals for a high-profile blockbuster. It attempts to address a deep philosophical question – what, is it exactly that makes us human? – in a film that is part sci-fi adventure, part action-thriller and part ominous warning, as well as having a strong emotional arc that connects all of these different threads. In short, it’s the kind of film that attempts to both blow you away and make you think about the world around you, but with so many different elements competing for equal screen time, it doesn’t quite manage to transcend (sorry) the high expectations it establishes for itself, even if it does succeed in creating an exciting, entertaining experience.
The film centers on Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp), a brilliant scientist who has been working alongside his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) to develop a sentient, omniscient artificial intelligence that will eventually know more about the universe than it is possible for humanity as a collective to ever understand. Their goal is to use this knowledge to cure disease and heal the planet, but the anti-technology terrorist organization RIFT wants to stop their work before it goes too far. However, their assassination attempt gives Evelyn and Will’s best friend Max (Paul Bettany) the push they need to finish his research, and they successfully manage to upload Will’s consciousness onto their AI.
It’s then that Transcendence really takes off, as the first act takes its time establishing the science behind the film and the laws in which everything functions. It’s a necessary, if somewhat slow, process, but it all pays off once Depp is off screen – or rather, on a computer screen (sorry, jeez) – and the stakes are raised, with Will quickly becoming smarter, more powerful, and more dangerous than Max and Evelyn could have anticipated.
Though Depp is the marquee name, he’s easily overshadowed by his co-stars, who carry the film’s emotional thread and do the bulk of the heavy lifting. The real star is Hall, whose blind devotion to her husband and his work slowly gives way to an understanding of the reality of what they’ve done. As Evelyn is truly the protagonist of the film, to whom we adhere the entire way, Hall is permitted to showcase the small, quiet changes that her character undergoes, perfectly befitting of the large span of time that the film covers. Though she's long been a underappreciated talent, giving wonderful performances in smaller films, her work here will hopefully earn her the kind of attention she deserves.
Warner Bros. Entertainment
But if the main character of the film is Evelyn, the one that the audience most identifies with is Max, who is torn between his devotion to his friends and his understanding of the dangers of letting things go too far. Bettany subtly plays out that internal conflict in all of his scenes, and even though Max is the least developed of the three main characters, he makes it easy to root for him. Depp, meanwhile, is relatively flat as Will, although he does have some truly terrifying moments as the AI, delivering his lines in a calm, soothing manner that hints at the inhuman coldness that lurks beneath the surface.
As the characters’ perspectives shift and change, so does your allegiance. Transcendence’s ability to manipulate the way the audience views these characters and their goals without making it obvious is one of the film’s strengths. It’s also the main source of tension, which make the few full-on action sequences even more exciting, as you’re never quite sure who you want to have the upper hand.
And yet, despite the edge-of-your-seat action, the engrossing personal relationships and interior conflicts and the beautifully shot scenery, there’s something missing from Transcendence to make it a truly satisfying experience, most likely due to the fact that the film attempts to pack so much into its 119-minute run time that certain threads are left hanging. At one point, the film jumps ahead in time by two years. While it’s necessary for the events of the third act to unfold properly, everything that isn’t Evelyn and Will's storyline gets short-changed, and it feels as if a massive piece of the plot gets left behind.
Similarly, many of the supporting characters are flimsy and one-note, with Kate Mara’s RIFT leader Bree suffering the most. The script does a cursory job of explaining her reasoning for starting the organization, but from there, she fades into the background, occasionally chiming in with a plan or a threat. Ultimately, Wally Pfister's directorial debut falls somewhat flat, and all of the stunning visuals and compelling performances can't quite make up for the fact that the pieces just don't click together in the right way.
But it's the pieces themselves — the minimalist computer labs contrasting with lush forests, the thrilling chases and the quiet character moments, and a truly exciting last-minute twist — that make Transcendence an experience well worth having. It might leave you a little cold in the end, but the journey you take to get there just about makes up for it.