Guitar great Jeff Beck has scrapped his European tour after receiving "emergency medical attention" which has sidelined him for the next six weeks. The veteran rocker, who has struggled with health issues in recent years, was due to kick off the second leg of his trek in Austria on Friday (27Jun14), but an undisclosed ailment prompted Beck to pull the dates.
A statement posted on Beck's website reveals he will now undergo a "short hospital procedure" to treat the problem and rest up ahead of his scheduled U.S. tour with ZZ Top in August (14).
Apologising to fans for the cancellation, a representative adds, "He sends his profound apologies to those fans who had bought tickets for the European concerts and very much looks forward to playing for his American audiences after he has completed his treatment."
The 70 year old previously had to play through the pain on his joint tour with Beach Boys star Brian Wilson last year (13) after undergoing an endoscopy for another illness in between live shows.
Brian Wilson's daughters Carnie and Wendy have expressed their disappointment at guitar great Jeff Beck after he publicly questioned the Beach Boys legend's mental state following their joint tour last year (13). Beck hit headlines last month (May14) when he opened up about the old pals' "nightmare" tour, claiming the notoriously private Wilson, who has suffered decades of mental health issues, hardly spoke to him while on the road, adding, "He's clearly in need of attention. But that's just my opinion."
The Good Vibrations rocker has yet to respond to Beck's comments, but his singer daughter Carnie Wilson has taken aim at Beck for failing to take up any issues he might have had with her father in private.
She tells the New York Daily News, "It is crass and out there. I thought they had a good time on tour."
Carnie's sister and Wilson Phillips bandmate Wendy adds, "I think you have to support your colleagues and the people you work with. It is in good taste to say nice things about them, even if you think otherwise."
Carnie insists their father is doing well, but she has been urging the 71 year old to take it easy: "(He) is doing OK. He is laying back a little bit, which is about time. I want him to do that.
"He has been on the road for 15 years, and he has continued to do whatever he wants. I like to make him dinner and hang out... I want him to slow down."
Rocker Jeff Beck has opened up about his recent health crisis, revealing he played through the pain on his joint tour with Brian Wilson despite undergoing an invasive medical procedure. The veteran guitarist headed out on the road with the Beach Boys legend last year (13) for a series of shows, but the gruelling schedule took its toll on him.
During a stop in Chicago, Illinois, Beck attended a hospital and underwent an endoscopy - an internal examination with a flexible camera - but he was determined to continue with the concerts.
He tells Mojo magazine, "What I didn't realise was that (the tour bosses) wanted me to spend the whole afternoon doing promo to prop up the ticket sales. So we did this meet-and-greet stuff where audiences pay good money to watch rehearsals which robbed me of the afternoon nap.
"I ended up in Chicago University Hospital having an endoscopy. They still had me playing the next night. It was a bit blood and guts, but I had fallen in love with the idea of playing with Brian Wilson."
However, Beck also reveals he struggled to click with the notoriously private Wilson, who has suffered decades of mental health issues, adding, "(It was) a bit of a nightmare. He doesn't speak. He's clearly in need of attention. But that's just my opinion."
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Here's a feat: taking what is likely the oldest, most well-known story in the world, and making a retelling feel inventive. Over the course of its two-and-a-half-hour runtime, Darren Aronofsky's Noah takes many forms — Tolkien-esque fantasy, trippy psychological thriller, merciless dissection of the dark points of abject faith — never feeling too rigidly confined to the parameters of the familiar tale that we've all experienced in the form of bedtime stories, religious education lessons, and vegetable-laden cartoons. As many forms as the parable has taken over the past few thousand years, Aronofsky manages to find a few new takes.
The director's thumbprint is branded boldly on Russell Crowe's Noah, a man who begins his journey as a simple pawn of God and evolves into a dimensional human as tortured as Natalie Portman's ballerina or Jared Leto's smack head. Noah's obsession and crisis: his faith. The peak of the righteous descendant of Seth (that's Adam and Eve's third son — the one who didn't die or bash his brother's head in with a rock), Noah is determined to carry out the heavenly mission imparted upon him via ambiguous, psychedelic visions. God wants him to do something — spoilers: build an ark — and he will do it. No matter what.
No matter what it means to his family, to his lineage, to his fellow man, to the world. He's going to do it. No matter what. The depths to which Aronofsky explores this simple concept — the nature of unmitigated devotion — makes what we all knew as a simplistic A-to-B children's story so gripping. While the throughline is not a far cry from the themes explored in his previous works, the application of his Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, and Black Swan ideas in this movie does not feel like a rehashing. Experiencing such modern, humane ideas in biblical epic is, in fact, a thrill-ride.
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Although Aronofsky accesses some highly guttural stuff inside of his title character, he lets whimsy and imagination take hold of the world outside of him. Jumping headfirst into the fantastical, the director lines his magical realm with rock monsters — "Watcher" angels encased in Earth-anchored prisons as punishment for their betrayal of God — and a variety of fauna that range in innovation from your traditional white dove to some kind of horned, scaled dog bastardization.
But the most winning elements of Noah, and easily the most surprising, come when Aronofsky goes cosmic. He jumps beyond the literal to send us coursing through eons to watch the creation of God's universe, matter exploding from oblivion, a line of creatures evolving (in earnest) into one another as the planet progresses to the point at which we meet our tortured seafarer. Aronofsky's imagination, his aptitude as a cinematic magician, peak (not just in terms of the film, but in terms of his career) in these scenes.
The best player in the World for movie trailers, Hollywood interviews and movie clips.
With all this propped against the stark humanity of his story — not just in terms of Crowe's existential spiral, but in character beats like grandfather Methuselah's relationship with the youngsters, in little Ham's playful teasing of his new rock monster pet — Aronofsky manages something we never could have anticipated from Noah. It's scientific, cathartic, humane. Impressively, this age-old tale, here, is new. And beyond that feat, it's a pretty winning spin.
Follow @Michael Arbeiter| Follow @Hollywood_com
I know, that headline is trouble. You're always treading dangerous ground when you insist on defining what makes a good this or the right kind of that, as if there is no room for change or improvement when it comes to classic properties. Of course there is — Jason Segel's 2011 Muppet film approached the concept from an entirely different direction. It didn't hit all of its marks, but it prevailed overall in its conceit: make a movie not about Muppets, but about Muppet fandom. But Muppets Most Wanted, in absence of a clear mission statement and fueled largely by the monetary glimmers of the sequel game (the film's opening number admits this outright), has fewer marks readily available to hit. Landing in the ambiguity between the classic Muppet adventure formula and Segel's post-modern Henson appreciation party, Most Wanted feels like a failure on both counts. It doesn't know which kind of movie it wants to, or should, be. So it doesn't really be anything.
On the one hand, there's the half-cocked "get-the-band-back-together" through line, mimicking but not quite accomplishing the spirit of the 2011 picture. None of the Muppets are particularly likable or charming in this turn, and even fewer of them actually given anything to do. Kermit loses his s**t in the first act after a spat with Piggy and a barrage of insubordination from his troupe (provoked by the nefarious Dominic Badguy, Ricky Gervais), storms off in a huff, and gets swept up in a case of mistaken identity when his criminal doppelganger Constantine pulls the old switcheroo, landing Kermit in a Russian gulag. You'd think this would be a good opportunity for the second tier of Muppet favorites — Piggy, Fozzy, Gonzo, Scooter, Rowlf, et al — to go on a search and rescue... but save for a very brief sequence at the tail end of this achingly long film, none of the other Muppets are giving anything to do. They just hem and haw and perform the occasional "Indoor Running of the Bulls" while Dominic and Constantine scheme, rob banks, and bicker.
Meanwhile, Kermit has some fun in prison — a far more endearing plot that sees him befriending the merry convicts, organizing a penitentiary revue, and even winning the heart of the vicious warden Nadia (Tina Fey). If only we could spend more time with real Kermit and less time with fake Kermit and his second banana Gervais, an effectively boring pair.
On the other hand, though, there's the Muppet shtick that fans of The Great Muppet Caper and Muppet Treasure Island — and yes, The Muppet Show itself — will deem the movie's best material: CIA Agent Sam Eagle and Interpol Agent Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell) hot on the trail of Constantine and Dominic. Here, we get a different type of Muppet movie entirely from what Segel and the A-plot in Most Wanted are opting: the old fashioned vaudeville act, with Sam standing as an independent entity from his googly-eyed brethren, on a goofy, musical prowl with Burrell that fuels the film with its best and most consistent chuckles. Their "Interrogation Song" number is outstanding, exemplifying the many talents of Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie, who wrote all the music for this and the previous film.
The best player in the World for movie trailers, Hollywood interviews and movie clips.
Unfortunately, Muppets Most Wanted isn't sure that it wants to be The Great Muppet Caper, beheld so stubbornly to its Segelian roots. There's a palpable compulsion to stick with this agonizingly self-aware, nostalgia-crazy, brimming-beacons-of-the-past-in-a-callous-today theme that doesn't work a fraction as well as it did in the 2011 film. Without a legitimate celebration of any of our favorite characters, how could it? With so much going on in this movie, and such a lengthy runtime at just under two hours, it's a sure sign of failure that we walk away feeling like we spent barely any time with the Muppets.
Follow @Michael Arbeiter
| Follow @Hollywood_com
Guitar greats including SLASH, Brian May, Peter Green, and Jeff Beck have been photographed with their most beloved instrument for a new charity exhibition. The rockers joined other stars including Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera, MC5 rocker Wayne Kramer, and the Stone Roses' axeman John Squire for the display, in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust.
They all posed for snapper Scarlet Page while clutching their most treasured guitar, and the images will be exhibited at London's Royal Albert Hall during the Teenage Cancer Trust gigs later this month (Mar14).
Page confesses one of the hardest stars to convince to take part was Fleetwood Mac's Green, telling Mojo magazine, "I felt truly honoured that he said yes and, aware that photography is not one of his favourite things, I tried to keep it as quick and painless as possible."
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
Follow @Michael Arbeiter
| Follow @Hollywood_com
Former Beach Boys bandmates Brian Wilson and Blondie Chaplin are set to reunite on the road. Singer/guitarist Chaplin will join the rock icon for select dates on his upcoming tour, which will also feature guest spots from Beach Boys founding members Al Jardine and David Marks.
Chaplin, who was a Beach Boy in the early 1970s, will be part of Wilson's performances in Florida, New York City, Las Vegas, Oakland and Los Angeles.
Wilson tells the Los Angeles Times, "Blondie was one of my favourite singers in the '70s. He blew my mind with Sail on Sailor, and he also sang on a song called Funky Pretty, on the Beach Boys' Holland album.
"Until two weeks ago, I hadn't seen him since 1974. It was great to see him again. He came into the studio and sang on one of my new tracks called He Come Down - he sang it great! It will be fun to have him at a few of our concerts."
Wilson is touring North America from 27 September (13) on a split bill with Jeff Beck, who also has been contributing to the Beach Boys star's new solo album.
The Good Vibrations singer and Jardine and Marks last hit the stage together last year (12) for the 50th anniversary Beach Boys reunion tour, which ended when former bandmates Mike Love and Bruce Johnston announced plans to resume touring with an alternative group.
Beach Boys star Brian Wilson is heading off on a joint tour of North America with Jeff Beck. The musicians, who recently collaborated in the studio, will kick off the trek on 27 September (13) in Florida and visit cities including Washington, D.C. and Boston, Massachusetts before concluding in Akron, Ohio on 27 October (13).