Summit via Everett Collection
You can imagine that Renny Harlin, director and one quadrant of the writing team for The Legend of Hercules, began his pitch as such: We'll start with a war, because lots of these things start with wars. It feels like this was the principal maxim behind a good deal of the creative choices in this latest update of the Ancient Greek myth. There are always horse riding scenes. There are generally arena battles. There are CGI lions, when you can afford 'em. Oh, and you've got to have a romantic couple canoodling at the base of a waterfall. Weaving them all together cohesively would be a waste of time — just let the common threads take form in a remarkably shouldered Kellan Lutz and action sequences that transubstantiate abjectly to and fro slow-motion.
But pervading through Lutz's shirtless smirks and accent continuity that calls envy from Johnny Depp's Alice in Wonderland performance is the obtrusive lack of thought that went into this picture. A proverbial grab bag of "the basics" of the classic epic genre, The Legend of Hercules boasts familiarity over originality. So much so that the filmmakers didn't stop at Hercules mythology... they barely started with it, in fact. There's more Jesus Christ in the character than there is the Ancient Greek demigod, with no lack of Gladiator to keep things moreover relevant. But even more outrageous than the void of imagination in the construct of Hercules' world is its script — a piece so comically dim, thin, and idiotic that you will laugh. So we can't exactly say this is a totally joyless time at the movies.
Summit via Everett Collection
Surrounding Hercules, a character whose arc takes him from being a nice enough strong dude to a nice enough strong dude who kills people and finally owns up to his fate — "Okay, fine, yes, I guess I'm a god" — are a legion of characters whose makeup and motivations are instituted in their opening scenes and never change thereafter. His de facto stepdad, the teeth-baring King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins), despises the boy for being a living tribute to his supernatural cuckolding; his half-brother Iphicles (Liam Garrigan) is the archetypical scheming, neutered, jealous brother figure right down to the facial scar. The dialogue this family of mongoloids tosses around is stunningly brainless, ditto their character beats. Hercules can't understand how a mystical stranger knows his identity, even though he just moments ago exited a packed coliseum chanting his name. Iphicles defies villainy and menace when he threatens his betrothed Hebe (Gaia Weiss), long in love with Hercules, with the terrible fate of "accepting [him] and loving [their] children equally!" And the dad... jeez, that guy must really be proud of his teeth.
With no artistic feat successfully accomplished (or even braved, really) by this movie, we can at the very least call it inoffensive. There is nothing in The Legend of Hercules with which to take issue beyond its dismal intellect, and in a genre especially prone to regressive activity, this is a noteworthy triumph. But you might not have enough energy by the end to award The Legend of Hercules with this superlative. Either because you'll have laughed yourself into a coma at the film's idiocy, or because you'll have lost all strength trying to fend it off.
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Actress Michelle Trachtenberg had to call on her mother to help her nail her Russian for new movie Killing Kennedy after realising she didn't know enough of the language to portray alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald's wife Marina. The former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star is fluent in basic Russian thanks to her parents' Soviet heritage - but she admits she couldn't master some of the more difficult scenes as the wife of the man who allegedly shot President John F. Kennedy.
She explains, "(My mom) translated the entire script for me; we wrote it out phonetically, so that I knew the exact pronunciations.
"I'm fluent in Russian, but I didn't grow up, luckily, with sentences like, 'You can't see your children. Hide the guns. Don't shoot the president!' That was not in my repertoire as a six year old.
"There were different conjugations... I had to change it to a housewife in the late 1950s."
And her mother's language skills were noted by producers, who listed Mrs. Trachtenberg as a consultant on the film in the credits.
Actress Michelle Trachtenberg is keen to meet the widow of the man accused of assassinating John F. Kennedy after portraying her in new TV movie Killing Kennedy. Marina Oswald has always made it clear she does not want to be associated with what her husband allegedly did way back in 1963, and so the actress refused to try and track her down as she researched her latest role.
But she admits she would love to meet up with the Russian, who is now in her 70s.
She tells U.S. news show Access Hollywood Live, "Of the main players in the movie, she's the only one who's still alive... When I started to do my research, there was a minimal amount of information about her; I found an out-of-print biography, called Marina and Lee, which is a huge, thick book that I brought to set... but she didn't really exist to me.
"I found a YouTube video of her on the 30th anniversary (of the assassination) saying, 'My husband was innocent', so I didn't want to disrespect her in any way... but if she would ever like to meet me it would have to be on her terms."
Lady Gaga just released a new track earlier this week, and Do What You Want served as a reminder of one indisputable fact: R. Kelly knows how to make a hit record. Even the Gaga haters had to admit that the song is one of her best in a long time, and we think Kelly’s feature vocals have much to do with that. In addition to being a dope single for Lady Gaga's ARTPOP album, Do What You Want is great excuse to relive some of R. Kelly’s other unforgettable collaborations.
"Down Low," Featuring Ronald Isley And Ernie Isley
R. Kelly + Ron Isley (AKA Mr. Biggs) = musical gold. These two together always bring the jams and Down Low is still – almost 20 years later – the jam.
"Fiesta," Featuring Jay Z And Boo & Gotti
Before Blue Ivy and Beyoncé, before he worked with performance artist Marina Abramović, and back when his name was still hyphenated, Jay Z used to wear bucket hats and dance with video girls. This was one of many songs that proved R. Kelly was actually, really, a rapper who just so happened to sing.
"Feelin’ On Yo Booty," Video Featuring Lil’ Kim
Ahhh, classic R. Kelly! And even though Lil’ Kim is not actually on the song, all of our jaws totally dropped when she popped up in the music video. But don’t call her R. Kelly’s video girl – the Queen Bee totally owned the whole feelin’ on yo booty movement with this very special guest appearance.
Kelly Price’s "Friend Of Mine," Featuring R. Kelly & Ronald Isley
First of all, we need Kelly Price to come back. Second of all, we need Kelly Price, R. Kelly, and Ronald Isley to make another track together. ASAP.
"Cassidy’s Hotel," Featuring R. Kelly
The Pied Piper teamed up with a super-young (super-cute) Cassidy back in 2003, and Hotel went on to become a huge first single for Cass. A lot’s changed since then, but R. Kelly is still taking every artist he works with to the next level (even Gaga), and still churning out those hits.
Lady Gaga did more than simply bare her bottom and flash a bit of flesh at fans during an unannounced show at a London gay club on Saturday night (26Oct13) - she disrobed and left the stage completely naked. The provocative pop star took to the stage in a flowing white petticoat-style dress and long blonde wig at nightclub Heaven to perform her upcoming single, Venus, live for the first time.
And she made sure her gay fans in attendance had plenty to talk about when she slipped out of her stage costume and walked off naked with her arms in the air.
The gig came just days after Gaga stripped down to a black bra and stockings and donned a moustache for an odd performance at a fabled sex club in Berlin, Germany.
And it's not the first time she has stripped off recently - she bared all for the Jeff Koons cover art of her new album, ARTPOP, and she also disrobed for a promo video with performance artist Marina Abramovic this summer (13).
Melissa Mccarthy has spoken out about the controversy surrounding her Elle magazine cover, revealing she picked out the oversized coat which prompted critics to blast editors at the publication for trying to conceal the star's weight. The Bridesmaids star is featured on the November (13) issue sporting a Marina Rinaldi coat and reveals the wardrobe choice was all her idea.
She tells Eonline.com, "I was so sick of summer. I live in Southern California. I was like, 'Give me a big coat to wear. Give the girl some cashmere!
"I picked the coat. They were like, 'The dress is really great,' but I was like, 'Yeah, but look at this'. I was just shocked I didn't steal it. Now I think I really should have the coat. I'm petitioning for that coat. Give me that coat. I earned it, damn it!"
A publicist for the magazine defended the cover in a statement shortly after the controversy erupted, stating, "On all of our shoots, our stylists work with the stars to choose pieces they feel good in, and this is no different: Melissa loved this look, and is gorgeous on our cover."
A yacht owned by Las Vegas entertainer Wayne Newton has been found at the bottom of a marina. The veteran singer's 65-foot (19.8-metre) ship, named Rendezvous, sank stern-first in Lake Mead on Friday (18Oct13) while it was in a slip at Arizona's Temple Bar marina, according to National Park Service representative Christie Vanover.
There were no passengers on the boat at the time of the incident, which took place while Newton and his wife were on vacation outside of the U.S., reports The Associated Press.
Elle magazine is celebrating the women of Hollywood with their annual issue that feature numerous talented and beautiful actresses. This year, six women were selected, including Reese Witherspoon, Penelope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, Marion Cotillard, Naomie Harris, and Melissa McCarthy. However, it is McCarthy's cover that is sparking a weight debate.
In her cover (above), McCarthy is wearing a large Marina Rinaldi coat that completely obscures her body. While her hair and makeup look flawless, and it is awesome to see the funny girl dolled up on the cover of the magazine, it seems unfortunate that the rest of the actresses are displayed in tight fitting dresses and bathing suits, while McCarthy's body is hidden. While it may be argued that the oversized coat is a popular fashion item this season, it begs the question of why none of the other actresses are seen wearing something similar. Instead, literally every other cover shows these actresses showing off more skin than they are clothing. The only skin we see on McCarthy is her calf and her neck. Even her face is partially hidden.
The choice to cover up McCarthy has led to public outrage against Elle for not celebrating a woman's curves. Psychotherapist Stacey Kaiser told FOX 411 that "It’s a disappointment the way they covered her up so much. It is sending the psychological message that hiding is what full-figured women should do. Melissa is beautiful, talented and popular – her beauty should be flaunted not covered. This shows that the fashion world is trying to strike the balance between featuring full-figured women, while still hiding them as well.”
Slate also commented on the cover saying, "This year, Elle's token plus-size cover girl is McCarthy, who was photographed in a Marina Rinaldi coat so huge that she could hide her Mike and Molly co-star Billy Gardel underneath ... Perhaps photographer Thomas Whiteside only knows how to photograph the usual stick insect models, because he clearly has no clue how to highlight McCarthy's curves."
Although this cover is a sad reflection of how little the magazine industry has progressed, it is also not a singular occurrence. Elle also hid Gabourey Sidibe's body in 2010 when they featured her on their cover. Instead of giving Sidibe a full body shot like the other actresses, they instead only showed a close-up of her face. Meanwhile, Adele's 2011 Vogue UK cover did the same thing when the singer was only shown from the neck up.
Elle finally responded to the controversy, saying, "On all of our shoots, our stylists work with the stars to choose pieces they feel good in, and this is no different: Melissa loved this look, and is gorgeous on our cover. We are thrilled to honor her as one of our Women in Hollywood this year."
While it doesn't look like this trend of hiding full-figured women is going to end anytime soon, at least we get to see our favorite actresses finally making it onto the covers of magazines. Hopefully, the continued public outrage over these covers will shake some sense into the magazine industry, and get them to give women like Melissa McCarthy the kind of covers they deserve, showing off curves and all.
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Lady Gaga has gone nude for the cover of her new album, Artpop. The pop superstar commissioned celebrated artist Jeff Koons to create a sculpture of herself for the project's artwork, and the finished product was unveiled on Monday (07Oct13).
The cover features a blonde-wigged Gaga sitting with her legs spread open around a large, mirror-polished blue ball as she covers her breasts with her hands.
Sharing the image on her Twitter.com page, the singer writes, "FULL ARTPOP ALBUM COVER.'One second I'm a Koons, then suddenly the Koons is me!'".
The sculpture itself is set to be displayed as part of a special art show celebrating the November (13) release of ARTPOP.
The Applause hitmaker is no stranger to stripping off - she's previously disrobed for numerous fashion photoshoots and went completely naked for a promo video for performance artist Marina Abramovic this summer (13).
Forget sending out résumés. If you want to score a job offer from Queen Latifah, all you need is a Kanye West song and a video camera. At least, that's what worked for Marina Shifrin, who quit her job by filming herself dancing around her empty office in the middle of the night to West's "Gone." The clip quickly went viral, which is unsurprising as her former employer is Next Media Animation, the Taiwanese company that produces those weird animated news clips. But before heading back to her parents' basement, Shifrin stopped by The Queen Latifah Show to talk about her video and wound up recieving a job offer from the Queen herself. (That groaning noise you just heard were millions of college graduates complaining about the unfairness of the universe.)
Latifah is apparently such a big fan of Shifrin's that she even offered to create a new position for her: digital content producer. After Shifrin got over her shock and disbelief, she found herself with both Internet fame and a new job... sort of. Even though Latifah offered her the position, Shifrin still needed to interview with the boss backstage, where Latifah said they would see if she could "hook [her] up." All of which means that Shifrin may still have to move back in with her parents after all.
Based on her Twitter account, it doesn't seem as if Shifrin is working for Queen Latifah yet, although she did write that the rapper-turned-talk-show-host had "changed her life." She is trying to pursue a career in stand-up comedy, and her YouTube account contains clips of her sets along with the now famous video. So, unemployed or underemployed 20-somethings, this is your chance! Jump on this job opening before Shifrin changes her mind! And forget everything you learned in school about networking and writing a perfect cover letter; if you want to get a job, all you need is one viral video.
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