Rocker Chrissie Hynde is delighted her daughter is using her parents' fame to publicise her anti-fracking campaign. Natalie Hynde, daughter of The Pretenders frontwoman and The Kinks star Ray Davies, was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay court costs over a high-profile protest last year (13).
She had glued her hands to those of her partner Simon Medhurst at the entrance of a proposed gas drilling site in Sussex, England to prevent contractors entering the area, and the Brass in Pocket hitmaker has told of her pride at her daughter's determination.
The rocker tells Mojo magazine, "Well, I'm delighted that she's getting through and people are becoming aware of it. I really reined in my celebrity when I had kids. So the fact that she's been able to come out and use it... She was on the fracking site and someone said, 'Man, if only we had a celebrity out here to help us.' And Natalie walked over and she goes, 'Actually, my parents are.' And they went, 'F**k! Go!' And they pushed her to go talk to the press.
"I was so happy that she didn't have to hide who her parents were to be herself in the world."
British rocker Simon Taylor-Davies has raised over $4,000 (£2,500) for a U.K. cancer charity after successfully completing the London Marathon on Sunday (13Apr14). The Klaxons guitarist pounded the pavement for the annual 26-mile (41.8-kilometre) race through the British capital and passed the finish line in a respectable four hours, 20 minutes and three seconds.
The funds raised from the Virginmoneygiving.com sponsorship, which is still open to the public, will benefit the Prostate Cancer UK organisation, and Taylor-Davies is determined to continue his work with the charity in the future.
He tells NME.com, "I am incredibly proud to have run and helped raise awareness for Prostate Cancer UK. They are doing a fantastic job to raise awareness amongst men. I'm a keen runner and know what it's like to be part of a group of guys. So I want to be part of this ever-growing movement of men that will help inspire change."
Taylor-Davies' bandmates also made sure to send their best wishes to him in a Twitter.com message after the event, writing, "A gigantic congratulations to Simon for completing the London Marathon today !!!"
But he wasn't the only rocker trading his guitar for running shoes on Sunday - Suede star Bernard Butler also took part in the marathon.
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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The daughter of Chrissie Hynde and Ray Davies has been found guilty of a charge relating to an anti-fracking protest. Natalie Hynde was arrested last summer (13) during a protest at a proposed gas drilling site in West Sussex, England.
Her trial at Brighton magistrates court in England concluded on Monday (24Feb14) as the 31 year old was found guilty on a charge of "besetting" the exploratory drilling site by gluing herself to a friend and preventing access to the site for several hours.
Hynde, who denied any wrongdoing, was given a 12-month conditional discharge, which means she must stay out of trouble for the next year, and ordered to pay $640 (£400) costs and a victim surcharge.
Her pal Simon Medhurst, 55, was handed a $320 (£200) fine and also ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge.
Hynde and Medhurst claimed their intention was to create a "striking and symbolic" image that would draw attention to the controversial method of extracting natural gas, but the judge ruled their actions "went beyond reasonable freedom of speech".
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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Beloved British actresses Angela Lansbury and Penelope Keith have landed Dame titles in Queen Elizabeth II's annual New Year Honours List. The Good Life star Keith and Murder, She Wrote's Lansbury join fellow thespians Michael Crawford and Lynda Bellingham, singer Katherine Jenkins, veteran TV presenter Nicholas Parsons and sculptor Antony Gormley among the other celebrities on the newly-released list.
Of her damehood Keith, 73, says, "It's a recognition for not only my 54 years being an actress but also for all the charities with which I'm associated and I think they'll be thrilled."
And Lansbury tells the BBC, "I'm joining a marvellous group of women I greatly admire like Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. It's a lovely thing to be given that nod of approval by your own country and I really cherish it."
Cats and The Phantom of the Opera choreographer Gillian Lynne will also add Dame to her name in 2014, while Turner Prize winner Gormley and theatre producer Michael Codron have both picked up knighthoods.
Michael Crawford and Nicholas Parsons have both picked up Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) medals for their charitable work, and composer and conductor Sir Peter Maxwell Davies has been named a companion of honour.
Bellingham has ended a tough year, during which she battled cancer, with an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) - an honour also bestowed on opera star Jenkins, who was left "incredibly humbled" after learning her name was on the list.
She says, "To accept such an award after only a decade of service to music and charity, comes as a wonderful surprise. I share this award with the charitable bodies I am so privileged to work with."
Meanwhile, conductor Sir Simon Rattle becomes one of only 24 living people to land an Order of Merit medal.
Others named among the New Year Honours include actress and writer Ruth Jones and DJ Pete Tong (both Member of the Order of the British Empire).
Adam Lawrence/E4/Bwark Productions
The Inbetweeners is a British import that not only brings the funny but also manages to go to a place an American series couldn’t go. A group of dorky teenagers try to make it through high school, meet girls, and be cool. But unlike in America, they’re actual nerds. Their social failure is an entertainment win. These lovable losers form a quartet of comedians. Think of it as Freaks and Geeks meets American Pie, if the few cool kids disappeared.
Will McKenzie (Simon Bird) transfers from private school to public. He is witty, intelligent and often gets his foot stuck in his mouth. He meets anxious Simon Cooper (Joe Thomas), horn-dog Jay Cartwright (James Buckley) and complete idiot Neil Sutherland (Blake Harrison). Will and his friends often get into trouble trying to be cool and impress girls like Charlotte Hinchcliffe (Emily Atack) much to the chagrin of school administrator, Mr. Gilbert (Greg Davies).
The series really capitalizes on the subtlety of British humor. The teens get into awkward situations and make epic fails romantically, socially, and academically. Despite their setbacks, the series has an optimistic bent and the boys have a strong friendship. If only high school could have been that fun and enjoyable with a great set of friends.
There’s great ensemble chemistry. Bird manages to be talkative and totally awkward. Thomas and Harrison manage to be sexy heartthrobs and total losers at the same time. Davies also steals every scene with his cutting quips.
Netflix not only has the first two series of the show but it also has The Inbetweeeners Movie.
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.
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Rolling Stones star Ronnie Wood and the man he replaced in the band, Mick Taylor, appear to have formed a new supergroup after hitting the stage together for an exclusive gig in New York on Thursday (07Nov13). Taylor joined Wood and his band onstage at the BluesFest in London at the beginning of the month (Nov13) after becoming fast friends with his Stones successor on their 50 and Counting Tour, during which the group's former guitarist joined his ex-bandmates for parts of their show.
And it seems the get together has become so much more - Wood and Taylor joined veteran musicians Al Kooper and Simon Kirke at New York's Cutting Room for one of the Big Apple's hottest tickets this week.
Fans including The Kinks star Ray Davies paid up to $300 (£200) to pack into the venue to see the new group's first official U.S. gig.
Among the old rockers' set list was one Stones track, Can't You Hear Me Knocking, and a host of blues classics from their heroes like Jimmy Reed.
Chrissie Hynde and Ray Davies' activist daughter has been given the green light to continue her protests against fracking in south-east England after magistrates eased her strict bail conditions. Natalie Hynde was arrested last month (Jul13) after gluing her hands to those of her partner Simon Medhurst at the entrance of a proposed gas drilling site in Sussex.
The 30 year old appeared at Crawley Magistrates Court in England alongside another 14 protesters on Wednesday (14Aug13) and pleaded not guilty to disrupting the work of Cuadrilla, the energy firm behind the planned drill.
Magistrates handed Hynde and her fellow accused unconditional bail, overriding the police bail she was handed after she was charged, which banned the protesters from returning to the site in the village of Balcombe.
Magistrate Michael Milne told the court, "I do not believe the police have given us sufficient grounds that they will commit further offences if they return to Balcombe."
The case was adjourned until 2 October (13).