There are few better feelings than starting up your computer, logging onto the Internet, and finding a fresh Google Doodle waiting for you. Okay, maybe the birth of your first child or a fresh snow cone make for better feelings, but that's pretty much it. For the past few years, Google has graced the technologically-inclined public with animated greetings, celebrating whatever birthday, anniversary, or holiday might fall on the date. Each and every time, it's a fun distraction (sometimes one so engaging as to actually put your job in peril). But sometimes, they crank out some especially great gems.
As such, we've put together a gallery of our favorite Google Doodles. From today's honoring of cinematic legend Saul Bass, to a recent tribute to the Star Trek franchise, to the expression of the importance of Earth Day, Google has managed to work up some wonderful, charming creations. Click through our gallery of the 10 Best Google Doodles, and let us know your own picks.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter
More:Google Doodle Celebrates Saul BassA Hitchhiker's Guide to the Google DoodleWill Charles Ramsey Join the Ranks of Other YouTube Celebs?
From Our Partners:What Happened to 33 Child Stars (Celebuzz)40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)
Usually it's finding the good guy to save the day that proves difficult, but for the Gavin O'Connor-directed western, Jane Got a Gun, finding a bad guy to go up against has been the most challenging part. And with the exit of its latest candidate, Bradley Cooper (who had agreed to replace Jude Law), it seems the trickiest adversary of all has been keeping someone in the role. And he'd only booked the job less than a month ago!
Deadline reports that the troubled film, which lost its original director, Lynne Ramsay, the night before production was slated to begin, has already begun courting big names like Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Tom Hiddleston to play the film's bad guy alongside stars Natalie Portman and The Great Gatsby's Joel Edgerton, who had previously replaced Michael Fassbender. (We weren't kidding when we said this film had problems.)
The film centers around Jane and Bill Hammond (played by Portman and Noah Emmerich, respectively), and the journey taken by Jane and her ex-lower (Edgerton) in order to keep her husband — who is definitely not one of the good guys — safe from the other outlaws intent on killing him. Cooper was set to play the main no-good baddie, but it is said that the delayed shooting of Cooper's current project (David O'Russell’s American Hustle) after the Boston bombing coupled with his obligations surrounding The Hangover Part 3 aided in this decision.
There is, of course, a silver lining (stop groaning, it works!) to all of this: Cooper's former role isn't slated to begin shooting scenes until June — surely enough time to find a solid actor.
Follow @AliciaLutes on Twitter
More: Bradley Cooper is The New Jude LawThe Behind-The-Scenes Switcheroos of 'Jane's Got a Gun' Michael Fassbender May Be In for 'Jane's Got a Gun'
From Our Partners:Beyonce Flaunts Bikini Bod for H&M (Celebuzz)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz)
1. Gossip Girl: Finale Flashbacks
Fun-Fact: Did you know that in Monday’s episode there was a pretty major spoilerly spoiler about the identity of Gossip Girl? I’ve known which Upper East Sider is a secret socialite blogger for months now, so I definitely caught the subtle nod. But did you? Not to worry NYC lovers! With only two episodes left in the series, y’all will know soon enough. (But you may want to re-watch the last 30 minutes again just in case you need a bit of a hint.) Lets look ahead, shall we? I hate to say it, but someone major does not make it to the end of the finale. No, this is not escape to the south of France for a vaycay — it’s much more serious than that.
Unfortunately I cannot reveal who but I can give you a hint: It’s not Blair. Phew! Macaroon and peony-lovers can breath a sigh of relief because our favorite mean-girl will be safe while she marries the man of her dreams. (Side-Note: Is anyone else obsessed with that gorgeous light blue wedding dress?) Lastly, get excited for one of my favorite TV show tricks — flashbacks! In our final episode of The CW hit, fans will be satisfied to see a blast from our character’s past as we take a look back at when it all began: 2007. Oh how I miss seeing those always accessorized Constance school uniforms, but luckily we’ll be seeing them again very soon! P.S. This may or may not have to do with the identity of Gossip Girl...
2. Dexter: Who Will He Choose?
Holy freakin’ crap. Any Dexter fan knows that this season has been really good — and by good, I mean absolutely amazing. Well, get excited because this Sunday’s episode, “Do You See What I See?,” is jam-packed with twists, turns, and jaw-dropping moments. Maria LaGuerta gets closer than ever before to finding out the identity of the Bay Harbor Butcher. (Psst! In case you didn't know, it’s Dexter!) To say that she is unbelievably dead-set and determined to find this murderer would be an enormous understatement — she may even go as far as plant the evidence she needs to finally catch him. Oh, and how could I forget? Dexter finally chooses between the two women in his life: Deb and Hannah! After a car crash puts Deb in the hospital, many questions are raised: Did Hannah sabotage her boyfriend’s overbearing sister? Is Deb trying to frame her brother’s psychotic girlfriend? One thing I can reveal is this is definitely not an episode that you want to miss, especially because it may be your last chance to say goodbye to a few characters.
3. Switched at Birth: Independent Ladies!
Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting the Switched at Birth set and laughing/chatting with the hilariously awesome cast — you know, just a typical Tuesday in my quest for spoilers. The second season of the ABC Family drama premieres Tuesday, Jan. 3, but I can’t wait until then! To help spread some early holiday cheer, I sat down with leading ladies Vanessa Marano and Katie Leclerc to tease what’s coming up for their characters this season. Leclerc revealed to me that Daphne is trying to get over her former flame when we first see her again. “So Daphne had some issues at the end of Season 1, she got way over-involved in this boy and totally lost herself. “ (Damn you, Chef Jeff!) Luckily, this heartbreak isn’t going to keep our girl down for long. Leclerc explains, “You have to figure out your independence and you have to figure out what your priorities are and you have to figure out who is going to be with you when you do that.”
Our other Switched at Birth sweetheart says Bay is doing her best to stay low-key when we see her in the premiere. Marano reveals, “So Bay, as we left her last season coming out of her rebellion, we see that she’s a good kid right now. She’s studying and listening to her parents and not conducting illegal activities.” The actress says, laughing, “It’s weird, I don’t know if I like it.” But there is one thing that Marano does like about Season 2 Bay: “I like that Bay is starting to get more motivated by her own beliefs in her own worth rather than the approval of male attention.” Yeah! Girl power! It doesn’t last for long but, go Bay and Daphne!
4. Once Upon a Time: The (Not-So) Evil Queen
Once Upon a Time’s winter finale was enchantingly exciting, but just in case you need to catch up, read this and come right back. Okay great, now that we’re all on the same page, we know that Snow and Emma have been welcomed back to Storybrooke, while Cora and Hook are currently sneaking their way in via a gigantic pirate ship in the harbor. Subtle. With Cora on her way back to “help” her daughter, I made sure to chat with the wickedly wonderful Lana Parilla about Regina’s upcoming mommy issues. Parilla says that no matter what evils Cora has done to Regina in the past, some bonds just can’t be broken. “She is her mother and at the end of the day, your parents can do no wrong. Even though she has betrayed her multiple times, she still loves her mother,” Parilla says. Aww, that’s really sweet if you forget the part where Cora killed the love of Regina’s life.
Although Regina has never really been an angel herself, fans have been intrigued by the lighter, more compassionate side of the former Fairytale Land Queen. So could there be love in the air for sweeter Regina? “So I don’t know if there’s going to be love in the future for Regina. We tease a little bit with her and Hook in the ninth episode, but then Hook kind of seems to have his hook in many women… I think she is on the road to redemption and maybe that entails a love for her as well, so we’ll see.” I don’t know about you guys, but I’m going to be mighty pissed if they pair Hook with Regina before Hook and Emma. Captain Swan FTW! Looking into the future episodes, Parillia says that she hopes to see more flashbacks of pre-evil Regina. “I love young Regina because she’s a breath of fresh air and I feel really light when I’m playing her and she’s more reactive to everything that’s going on around her," she says. "She’s more on the receiving end and she’s learning and I love that whole process when one is learning something, so it was a lot of fun for me.” Only one more month until Once Upon a Time magically returns to our TV screens!
5. Arrow: Romance v. Bromance
This week’s episode of Arrow, “Vendetta,” shows Oliver getting closer with the masked maven who prefers to dish out vengeance, rather than justice. To help shed some light on tonight’s dark CW drama, David Ramsey — aka Arrow’s “not-a-sidekick” sidekick — talked to me about tonight’s continued problem: Helena Bertinelli. Although Diggle and Helena won’t be sharing any scenes together, Ramsey reveals that The Huntress is definitely going to get on the bodyguard’s bad side. “Helena's presence will effect the mission. Diggle is going to have a problem with that. Period. End of story.”
That’s right — it’s a classic CW story: Boy with amazing abs fights crime. Boy meets bad girl. Boy’s crime fighting partner gets pissed. The End. Ramsey explains that Diggle’s main goal has been and will continue to be keeping Ollie focused on the difference between justice and revenge — unfortunately, it looks like Helena’s hot bod is going to cloud our hero’s judgement. Ramsey reveals, “It's going to cause a problem between him and Oliver. It's going to be one more sticking point for these guys.” What do you think is going to win: romance or bromance?
Who do you think is going to bite the dust on Gossip Girl? Excited for Switched at Birth to return? Will Dexter choose Deb or Hannah? Tell me everything in the comments below!
Follow Leanne on Twitter @LeanneAguilera
—Additional reporting by Shuanna Murphy, Alicia Lutes and Sydney Bucksbaum
[Photo Credit: ABC, ABC Family, Showtime, The CW]
Leanne's Spoiler List: 'True Blood' Wants Fresh Meat, 'Parenthood' Heads to Court, & More!
Leanne’s Spoiler List: 'AHS: Asylum' Mommy Issues, Love and Loss on ‘Dexter’
Leanne’s Spoiler List: Love is Shaky on ‘Grey’s Anatomy,' ‘Vampire Diaries’ Gets Darker
Celeb and TV stories:
From Our Partners:
Harry Styles Spotted Outside Taylor Swift’s Hotel Room The Morning After Their Date Night (PHOTOS)
Fall Bikini Bodies: The Good, The Great, The OMG (GALLERY)
A kids’ movie without the cheeky jokes for adults is like a big juicy BLT without the B… or the T. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted may have a title that sounds like it was made up in a cartoon sequel laboratory but when it comes to serving up laughs just think of the film as a BLT with enough extra bacon to satisfy even the wildest of animals — or even a parent with a gaggle of tots in tow. Yes even with that whole "Afro Circus" nonsense.
It’s not often that we find exhaustively franchised films like the Madagascar set that still work after almost seven years. Despite being spun off into TV shows and Christmas specials in addition to its big screen adventures the series has not only maintained its momentum it has maintained the part we were pleasantly surprised by the first time around: great jokes.
In this third installment of the series – the trilogy-maker if you will – directing duo Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath add Conrad Vernon (director Monsters Vs. Aliens) to the helm as our trusty gang swings back into action. Alex the lion (Ben Stiller) Marty the zebra (Chris Rock) Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) are stuck in Africa after the hullaballoo of Madagascar 2 and they’ll do anything to get back to their beloved New York. Just a hop skip and a jump away in Monte Carlo the penguins are doing their usual greedy schtick but the zoo animals catch up with them just in time to catch the eye of the sinister animal control stickler Captain Dubois (Frances McDormand). And just like that the practically super human captain is chasing them through Monte Carlo and the rest of Europe in hopes of planting Alex’s perfectly coifed lion head on her wall of prized animals.
Luckily for pint-sized viewers Dubois’ terrifying presence is balanced out by her sheer inhuman strength uncanny guiles and Stretch Armstrong flexibility (ah the wonder of cartoons) as well as Alex’s escape plan: the New Yorkers run away with the European circus. While Dubois’ terrifying Doberman-like presence looms over the entire film a sense of levity (which is a word the kiddies might learn from Stiller’s eloquent lion) comes from the plan for salvation in which the circus animals and the zoo animals band together to revamp the circus and catch the eye of a big-time American agent. Sure the pacing throughout the first act is practically nonexistent running like a stampede through the jungle but by the time we're palling around under the big top the film finds its footing.
The visual splendor of the film (and man is there a champion size serving of it) the magnificent danger and suspense is enhanced to great effect by the addition of 3D technology – and not once is there a gratuitous beverage or desperate Crocodile Dundee knife waved in our faces to prove its worth. The caveat is that the soundtrack employs a certain infectious Katy Perry ditty at the height of the 3D spectacular so parents get ready to hear that on repeat until the leaves turn yellow.
But visual delights and adventurous zoo animals aside Madagascar 3’s real strength is in its script. With the addition of Noah Baumbach (Greenberg The Squid and the Whale) to the screenwriting team the script is infused with a heightened level of almost sarcastic gravitas – a welcome addition to the characteristically adult-friendly reference-heavy humor of the other Madagascar films. To bring the script to life Paramount enlisted three more than able actors: Vitaly the Siberian tiger (Bryan Cranston) Gia the Leopard (Jessica Chastain) and Stefano the Italian Sealion (Martin Short). With all three actors draped in European accents it might take viewers a minute to realize that the cantankerous tiger is one and the same as the man who plays an Albuquerque drug lord on Breaking Bad but that makes it that much sweeter to hear him utter slant-curse words like “Bolshevik” with his usual gusto.
Between the laughs the terror of McDormand’s Captain Dubois and the breathtaking virtual European tour the Zoosters’ accidental vacation is one worth taking. Madagascar 3 is by no means an insta-classic but it’s a perfectly suited for your Summer-at-the-movies oasis.