Tragic singer Simone Battle has posthumously returned to the U.K. singles chart with her pop group G.r.l., two days after her death. The 25 year old, who joined the girl band after reaching the live finals of America's The X Factor in 2011, was found dead from an apparent suicide at her Los Angeles home on Friday (05Sep14), just as G.R.L.'s new song, Ugly Heart, began growing in popularity in the U.K.
Ugly Heart enters the U.K. countdown at 11, four months after G.R.L. featured on rapper Pitbull's hit track Wild Wild Love.
Elsewhere in the singles chart, Lilly Wood and producer Robin Schulz hold on to number one for a second week with Prayer In C, while Duke Dumont's Won't Look Back jumps 167 spots to land at two, followed by The Script's Superheroes, which debuts at three.
In the U.K. albums chart, Sam Smith returns to first place with In the Lonely Hour, while Royal Blood's self-titled release slips to two.
Maroon 5 score the only new entry in the top five, debuting V at four.
Kate Bush has made history in the British charts by becoming the first female artist to score eight albums in the Top 40 in the same week. Bolstered by the reclusive singer/songwriter's comeback tour - her first since 1979 - sales of albums like Hounds of Love and The Kick Inside have swelled, giving the Wuthering Heights star a huge career boost.
Madonna previously held the record with three albums in the Top 40 back in 1987.
Only Elvis Presley and the Beatles have enjoyed a greater album chart run - Elvis had 12 releases hit the Top 40 following his death in 1977, and the Fab Four landed 11 albums in the top 40 in 2009.
Bush is currently performing 22 shows at London's Hammersmith Apollo venue in total. Tickets for the shows sold out in just 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, duo Royal Blood have scored the fastest-selling rock debut album in three years, rocketing to the top of the Official Charts Company with their eponymous new release, while Lilly Wood & Robin Schulz top the Official UK Singles Chart with their track Prayer In C.
Broadway's Tupac Shakur musical Holler If Ya Hear Me is to close early due to disappointing ticket sales.
The stage show, based on the music of the late rapper, officially opened at New York City's Palace Theatre on 19 June (14) and less than two months after its debut, the curtain will come down for the last time on Sunday (20Jul14).
Producer Eric L. Gold made the announcement on Monday night (14Jul14), attributing declining sales to the show's ultimate demise. He says, "We are so proud to be a part of this ground breaking production... My hope is that a production of this calibre, powerful in its story telling, filled with great performances and exciting contemporary dance and music will eventually receive the recognition it deserves."
"It saddens me that due to the financial burdens of Broadway, I was unable to sustain this production longer in order to give it time to bloom on Broadway. Tupac's urgent socially important insights and the audiences' nightly rousing standing ovations deserve to be experienced by the world."
The production reportedly cost $8 million (£4.7 million) to stage, and, after receiving mixed reviews from critics, box office figures have been declining ever since the show began previews on 2 June (14).
Charles M. Schulz
It’s a big day, Charlie Brown! A teaser trailer for the upcoming Peanuts movie has been released, and although it doesn’t reveal much about the plot of the film, it does show Charlie Brown and Snoopy, who have gotten a 3D makeover for the big screen. But Peanuts purists shouldn’t worry about what will become of their favorite overly neurotic children just yet, as the film has the blessing of Craig Schulz – son of cartoonist Charles Schulz – and will be produced by Paul Feig, and his involvement is always a good sign for comedies. In honor of the new teaser trailer, we've ranked all 13 of the main Peanuts characters, in order to determine once and for all which ones are the best, and which ones are better off forgotten about. Could Marcie actually be a better character than Peppermint Patty? Which Van Pelt sibling comes out on top? You can find out the answers to these questions, along with where your favorites landed on our list by clicking through to the gallery, below.
GALLERY: Ranking the Peanuts Characters from Worst to Best
Not much about the plot of the film has been revealed yet, but both Feig and director Steve Martino have hinted that they will explore Snoopy’s imagination and follow Charlie Brown’s loyal companion on some exciting adventures. But as much as we love Snoopy and his pals, we’re really more interested in seeing the rest of the Peanuts gang hit the big screen. After all, what's a Peanuts movie without Lucy pulling the football out from under Charlie Brown, or Linus dispensing life-altering philosophy from under his blanket or even Franklin asking the tough questions? Sure, Snoopy's cool, but some of Charlie Brown's other friends are much cooler.
Cartoonist Morris Turner has died at the age of 90. The illustrator, also known as Morrie Turner, passed away peacefully at a hospital in Sacramento, California on Saturday (25Jan14).
He began his career during World War II, when he had his early works published in America's Stars and Stripes military news publication, and went on to create his own comic strip, Wee Pals, at the encouragement of his mentor, Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz.
The ethnically-diverse cartoon about a group of buddies became a big hit in the late 1960s and made Turner the first African American artist to be syndicated nationally. His work was also known for recognising prominent figures in black history.
Turner was honoured for his work in 2000, when officials at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco presented him with the Sparky Award, named in memory of the late Schulz. He also received the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Cartoonist Society in 2003 and was most recently presented with the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award for his charity work at the San Diego Comic-Con event in 2012.
When it comes to our cherished childhood properties, we generally approach the idea of contemporary adaptation or reboot with hesitance as opposed to excitement. We don't want to see the television shows, cartoons, or comic strips we loved unconditionally "ruined" for a new generation by a commercial lens or a creative force without the appropriate appreciation for the works in question. At the top of the list for a good sum of Americans born in the latter half of the 20th century is Charles Schulz's Peanuts, rating more sacred than just about any other piece of childhood scripture. Naturally, living within a pop culture era that has churned out more bastardized reimaginings to old favorites than we can count — notable examples: Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, James Wong's Dragonball: Evolution, Tim Hill's Alvin and the Chipmunks/Garfield/developing Short Circuit movies (we know it isn't fair to cast out a movie that's still in the works, but we're making an educated guess here) — we approach the news of a developing Peanuts movie with apprehension. But buried deep beneath the cynicism is that blip of hope (cemented inside of us, funnily enough, by the never-give-up attitude of one Charlie Brown) that this movie might actually work. And that hope is abetted by the announcement that Paul Feig will be producing the Fox project.
Those new to Feig fandom will raise an eyebrow at the reports from Deadline. His contemporary image has him connoted with hard R send-up comedies — Bridesmaids, The Heat, and his developing Melissa McCarthy spy flick and Channing Tatum-led gay rom-com. But if you know Feig from his Freaks and Geeks days, then you know precisely why he's the perfect pick for Schulz's universe. In essence, a lot of what Feig transmitted to the small screen in his one-season wonder could be likened to the themes of Schulz's comic strip. His main characters were sad, confused, lonely big dreamers at ceaseless odds with the kooky, convoluted, decidedly bleak world around them. But, just as Schulz did so masterfully with his cartoon, Feig never let his program feel defeatist. As low as Lindsay Weir might have plunged from her once stellar personal and academic stature, latching desperately to her existential crisis that was the plotline of the show, we never felt that she was "gone for good." We never felt that her brother Sam would be destined forever to a life of being bullied, or that Nick Andopolis would be overwrought with those troubling psychological maladies for all time. Feig always let us feel that there was a chance... a chance that maybe, maybe this time, Lucy wouldn't pull that damn football away.
Feig tells Deadline, "Growing up, Peanuts was my Star Wars. Charles Schulz's characters influenced everything in my career, especially Freaks And Geeks. I'm thrilled I finally get to be pals with Charlie Brown and Snoopy." So with the grounded, imaginative, somber, and overall hopeful ideology of Feig set to instill into this new incarnation of Peanuts, we do indeed look forward to something special.
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Singer Michael Jackson has been named the top-earning dead celebrity of 2013. The administrators of the King of Pop's estate have brought in an estimated $160 million (GBP106.6 million) in the past year, according to Forbes magazine, thanks to deals with Cirque du Soleil and recorded music sales.
Jackson beats Elvis Presley, whose daughter Lisa-Marie was once the pop star's wife, and Peanuts cartoonist Charles M Schulz, who comes in third with a $37 million (GBP24.6 million) fortune.
Elizabeth Taylor and reggae star Bob Marley round out the top five.
Ironically, Jackson topped the very much alive Madonna on the pop fortune list - the Material Girl singer was named the top earner on the 2013 celebrity 100 list, with $125 million (GBP83.3 million) in earnings.
It's no surprise that Hollywood has been so invested in Proposition 8 over the past few years. Never mind that the controversial ballot proposition and the landmark case that followed which banned same-sex marriage (the ban was later declared unconstitutional) is happening right in their own backyard in California, but Hollywood — which never shies away from speaking out about a cause it believes in — is both a largely gay and gay-friendly community.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court justices are hearing arguments on Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (which denies federal spousal benefits to same-sex couples), with the future of marriage rights and equality in the country hanging in the balance. The headline-grabbing news and debates regarding Prop 8 is intense and dramatic as is in real-life, but Hollywood has been telling the important page in American history, as its happening, and it seems as though they will continue to do so, no matter what today's outcome is.
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Prop 8 has already been turned into a musical and a play, now it seems it could be headed for the silver screen. According to BuzzFeed, actor/writer/director/all-around mensch Rob Reiner is working with Oscar-winning scribe Dustin Lance Black (Milk) to turn his play 8 into a film. Reiner, who is a co-founder of the American Foundation of Equal Rights (a backing the Prop 8 challenge), told the site, "We are working on it. Lance is working on a screenplay, and hopefully, when he finishes it, I'm going to direct it." No word on whether the original casts (plural) will return for the movie treatment.
Reiner was just one of the big name stars to appear in the 2011 Broadway production of the courtroom reenactment. (Among the other stars to take part in the original cast presentation were Morgan Freeman, Matt Bomer, Ellen Barkin, Bradley Whitford, and John Lithgow). The show, in which Black gave a detailed, verbatim account of transcripts from the 2010 trial and personal testimonials, went on to have another show in Los Angeles which featured an even bigger line-up (Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Colfer, and John C. Reilly, just to name a few) and was broadcast worldwide.
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The play/educational tool, which raised around $2 million for the American Foundation of Equal Rights and was described by the Los Angeles Times at the time as "part activist theater, part Hollywood in-party", is still available to watch online. You can watch the entire 90 minute show here:
Of course, before 8 the Play, there was Prop 8 the Musical, the less-serious, but equally impactful (if not more so, considering it has over 7 million views to date) viral video from Funny or Die. Released in 2008, before the trial, the social commentary in the clip is as scathing as it is, well, funny. Featuring the likes of Rashida Jones, Neil Patrick Harris, Andy Richter, Maya Rudolph, and Jack Black as Jesus Christ, Prop 8 the Musical is as hysterical, catchy, and sadly, all too relevant today as it was five years ago. See it again below:
"Prop 8 - The Musical" starring Jack Black, John C. Reilly, and many more... from Jack Black
[Photo credit: American Foundation for Equal Rights]
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The date was January 1, in the first year of the Anno Domini era. Someone — a peasant? an apostle? those talking bushes the Bible was always mentioning? — turned to someone else and remarked wryly, "Hey. It's 1/1/1." A chuckle was shared. The date was sanctified.
And for millennia since, the practice has carried forth, reveling in its timeless glory. Today marks December 12, 2012 — 12/12/12 — a particularly magnificent embodiment of the phenomenon as it marks the last time we'll see such numerical poetry overrun our calendars until the turn of the 22nd Century... and we'll probably all be too busy serving the tyrannical Zorlog by then to even enjoy it. So we must make the most of today! As such, we at Hollywood.com (a regular gaggle of duodecaphiliacs — and it's not often we get to grab ahold of this passion: it truly is eXIIting) have mustered together our 12 favorite "12" movies. Movies that represent the philosophy of the dozen. That uphold the glory of the square root of 144. That understand what it truly means to be the largest single-morpheme number in the English language. So without further ado, we present do you: The 12 Best "12" Movies!
12 Angry Men
Proof that 12 is the only number of jurors that can adequately determine the verdict in a case of justice.
When a pandemic overtakes a human planet, there is only one number of monkeys that can save the day: 12.
Sure, they knocked over a casino just fine with 11 dudes. But 12 dudes? That's what it takes to steal an egg, people!
Twelve and Holding
13 gets all the star power for being the scariest number. Even 23 got its shot at the title a few years back. But this movie proves that no number holds a candle to 12.
Don't mess with 12! It's all about the action in this crime thriller.
The Twelve Tasks of Asterix
This German cartoon teaches us that 12 is the only appropriate number of tasks one might endure to overtake the Roman Empire.
The Twelve Chairs
Mel Brooks made this movie. It's about 12 chairs. The best number of chairs ever.
Twelve O'Clock High
War. What is it good for? Who the hell knows. But 12? That's good for everything. That's what America is all about.
Twelve Years a Slave
Michael Fassbender's Shame follow-up expresses that sometimes, 12 can be a solemn number.
Need we say more?
Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses
When all conceivable joy is stolen from King Randolph's empire in an effort to subjugate the young women of his lineage, the stakes escalate beyond fathomable height. Never before have Princess Genevieve and her oppressed sisters known this degree of misery, being robbed of their only creative outlet, their only true connection to themselves and one another: the art of dance. The time-honored practice of melding oneself with the air around and floor beneath her. The injection of symphony into ones veins as a superpower of sorts courses directly through the heart and mind, transforming the very entity of life itself into a dynamic miracle. In the absence of this divine right, this unsung glory, renegade heroine Barbie is charged with restoring hope to the audacious king's reign, salvaging the viscerally maimed princesses from the hell that has absconded with their souls. It's 12-tastic.
Untitled 12-Year Project
Richard Linklater has been making this movie for the 12 years. He knows the drill.
[Photo Credit: Reuben Schulz/Getty Images]
It's 10/11/12! Let's Celebrate By Counting Together
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David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas consists of six stories set in various periods between 1850 and a time far into Earth's post-apocalyptic future. Each segment lives on its own the previous first person account picked up and read by a character in its successor creating connective tissue between each moment in time. The various stories remain intact for Tom Tykwer's (Run Lola Run) Lana Wachowski's and Andy Wachowski's (The Matrix) film adaptation which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. The massive change comes from the interweaving of the book's parts into one three-hour saga — a move that elevates the material and transforms Cloud Atlas in to a work of epic proportions.
Don't be turned off by the runtime — Cloud Atlas moves at lightning pace as it cuts back and forth between its various threads: an American notary sailing the Pacific; a budding musician tasked with transcribing the hummings of an accomplished 1930's composer; a '70s-era investigatory journalist who uncovers a nefarious plot tied to the local nuclear power plant; a book publisher in 2012 who goes on the run from gangsters only to be incarcerated in a nursing home; Sonmi~451 a clone in Neo Seoul who takes on the oppressive government that enslaves her; and a primitive human from the future who teams with one of the few remaining technologically-advanced Earthlings in order to survive. Dense but so was the unfamiliar world of The Matrix. Cloud Atlas has more moving parts than the Wachowskis' seminal sci-fi flick but with additional ambition to boot. Every second is a sight to behold.
The members of the directing trio are known for their visual prowess but Cloud Atlas is a movie about juxtaposition. The art of editing is normally a seamless one — unless someone is really into the craft the cutting of a film is rarely a post-viewing talking point — but Cloud Atlas turns the editor into one of the cast members an obvious player who ties the film together with brilliant cross-cutting and overlapping dialogue. Timothy Cavendish the elderly publisher could be musing on his need to escape and the film will wander to the events of Sonmi~451 or the tortured music apprentice Robert Frobisher also feeling the impulse to run. The details of each world seep into one another but the real joy comes from watching each carefully selected scene fall into place. You never feel lost in Cloud Atlas even when Tykwer and the Wachowskis have infused three action sequences — a gritty car chase in the '70s a kinetic chase through Neo Seoul and a foot race through the forests of future millennia — into one extended set piece. This is a unified film with distinct parts echoing the themes of human interconnectivity.
The biggest treat is watching Cloud Atlas' ensemble tackle the diverse array of characters sprinkled into the stories. No film in recent memory has afforded a cast this type of opportunity yet another form of juxtaposition that wows. Within a few seconds Tom Hanks will go from near-neanderthal to British gangster to wily 19th century doctor. Halle Berry Hugh Grant Jim Sturgess Jim Broadbent Ben Whishaw Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon play the same game taking on roles of different sexes races and the like. (Weaving as an evil nurse returning to his Priscilla Queen of the Desert cross-dressing roots is mind-blowing.) The cast's dedication to inhabiting their roles on every level helps us quickly understand the worlds. We know it's Halle Berry behind the fair skinned wife of the lunatic composer but she's never playing Halle Berry. Even when the actors are playing variations on themselves they're glowing with the film's overall epic feel. Jim Broadbent's wickedly funny modern segment a Tykwer creation that packs a particularly German sense of humor is on a smaller scale than the rest of the film but the actor never dials it down. Every story character and scene in Cloud Atlas commits to a style. That diversity keeps the swirling maelstrom of a movie in check.
Cloud Atlas poses big questions without losing track of its human element the characters at the heart of each story. A slower moment or two may have helped the Wachowskis' and Tykwer's film to hit a powerful emotional chord but the finished product still proves mainstream movies can ask questions while laying over explosive action scenes. This year there won't be a bigger movie in terms of scope in terms of ideas and in terms of heart than Cloud Atlas.