My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James and rock guitarist John Oates gave revellers at Tennessee's Bonnaroo music festival a concert to remember on Saturday (15Jun13) after inviting R. Kelly and Billy Idol to join them for an all-star jam session. The collaborations, part of the festival's Rock N' Soul Dance Party Superjam, kept fans dancing the night away as James and Oates led a house band which included My Morning Jacket's Carl Broemel and soul singer Bilal.
The group was first joined by R. Kelly, fresh from his set on the Bonnaroo main stage, as he belted out a cover of Sam Cooke's A Change is Gonna Come and Prince's 1999, while he also teamed up with Alabama Shakes star Brittany Howard to perform a handful of Sly & the Family Stone tracks.
Rocker Idol also joined in the fun, taking the microphone for a rendition of T. Rex's Bang a Gong (Get It On), as well as Bill Withers' Use Me and The Meters' Hey Pocky Way.
The event was one of three special Superjams scheduled for the Manchester, Tennessee festival - RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan hit the stage with DJ Jazzy Jeff, The Neptunes superproducer Chad Hugo and R&B singer Solange to perform on Friday night (14Jun13), and The Hangover star Ed Helms put together a bluegrass set on Sunday (16Jun13) with Crooked Still bandleader Aoife O'Donovan, John Fullbright and Black Prarie, which featured members of The Decemberists.
The National Geographic Channel has been releasing a series of photos from their November TV movie Killing Kennedy, each worthy of Zapruder-like scrutiny. First, they gave us Rob Lowe as JFK. And now they've given us our first glimpse of Ginnifer Goodwin as Jackie. With her hair styled into that iconic coif, she's pretty much the spitting image of the former First Lady. Of course, she's following in the footsteps of many, many actresses before her, like Jaclyn Smith in the 1981 TV movie Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Katie Holmes in 2011's controversial mini-series The Kennedys, and Minka Kelly in this coming August's The Butler. Check out the photo of Goodwin as Jackie O. (in her pre-O. days) below and see how she compares to others who've played her.
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You don’t have to be a Shakespeare buff to enjoy Joss Whedon's modern adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. Filmed at Whedon’s house in only 12 days with a cast of his friends from various past projects, the movie stays true to the playwright's comedy, but places his prose in a more relatable setting. Unlike another Shakespeare adaptation that keeps the original language but uses a modern setting, Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet, Whedon's black-and-white interpretation is more casual and subtle.
Although the dialogue may be a bit hard to follow for those who aren't familiar with the play, the actors deliver their lines in such a way that makes their intent clear. You can understand when they are teasing, when they are fighting, and when they are being sarcastic (and there is a lot of sarcasm). They aren't giving dramatic performances on a stage; they are having normal conversations with each other that just happen to be spoken in flowery language.
As it turns out, many of today's romantic comedy tropes are found in the 400-year-old text. Full-of-himself playboy Benedick (Alexis Denisof) and independent, quick-witted Beatrice (Amy Acker) despise each other and are constantly bickering. Even if you haven’t read the play, I think you can guess what happens between them. The plot also includes a called-off wedding between Beatrice's cousin Hero (Jillian Morgese) and Claudio (Fran Kranz). Of course, there are elements of the story that wouldn't make sense in contemporary society, like Hero faking her death due to some big blow-up that arose because she might not be a virgin. But while there isn't always a happy ending in Shakespeare, for this rom-com, it's basically a given.
Much of the cast was already quite familiar with Shakespeare, because Whedon has hosted many readings of his plays over the years (one of which inspired this version of Much Ado). It's as though the audience was invited to one of Whedon's get-togethers... only there are also trapeze artists there for some reason. For Whedon fanatics, it's fun to see who the director rounded up to star in the film. (Look, it's Wesley! And Mal! And Agent Coulson!) Denisof and Acker pull off some physical comedy as they eavesdrop on conversations about each other, and Nathan Fillion is great in a small part as police officer Dogberry. It's obvious that the cast, as well as Whedon, have a sincere appreciation for Shakespeare's original work, but also had a fun time giving it their own twist.
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Sir Elton John, Hilary Swank and Melanie Griffith and were among the stars who turned out to raise money for AIDS research at a glittering ball in Vienna, Austria on Saturday night (25May13). The Life Ball, Europe's biggest fundraiser for HIV and AIDS charities, was hosted by pregnant Black Eyed Peas star Fergie, who showed off her baby bump in a long, black gown, and included performances from Azealia Banks and Adam Lambert.
Lambert performed a song called Love Wins Over Glamour, which he wrote especially for the event, while other famous faces in the crowd included Kelly Osbourne, Carmen Electra and Bill Clinton.
Sir Elton John, who is a passionate fundraiser for AIDS research, gave a speech at the event and Swank was enlisted to present one of the awards.
Mafia legend John Gotti's widow Victoria has been hospitalised, according to a U.S. report. The late crime boss' wife, who will be played by Kelly Preston in her husband John Travolta's upcoming biopic of the mob chief, suffered a stroke last week (begs13May13) and her children are currently asking for privacy as they cope with their mother's condition.
Marc Fiore, the producer behind the much-delayed film Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father, has also declined to comment on her alleged health woes, telling the New York Daily News, "This is a personal family crisis."
Gotti has suffered two strokes in the last eight years and she underwent surgery in 2007 to treat a blockage in her brain.
Preston is set to portray the 70 year old in the movie, while the actress' real-life partner Travolta will play the convicted Gambino family boss, who died behind bars in 2002.
Sir Anthony Hopkins has reportedly joined the cast of John Travolta's much-anticipated new movie about mobster John Gotti. Gotti: In The Shadow of My Father picked up Travolta as its lead in 2010, while Nick Cassavetes signed on as director and Lindsay Lohan and Joe Pesci were announced as potential co-stars.
Cassavetes and Pesci dropped out amid delays in 2011 and a deal with Lohan didn't pan out, prompting many Hollywood insiders to believe John Gotti, Jr.'s family drama would never be made.
But Travolta recently insisted he was still on board and now it appears the film is finally coming together - and it has some added star power.
The project's international distribution is up for sale at the Cannes Film Festival and executives at IM Global have announced that Hopkins has signed up for the film, although his role remains a mystery.
But Travolta is still set to play Gotti and his wife Kelly Preston will portray Gotti's partner Victoria, while the couple's daughter, Ella, will play Gotti kid Angel.
It is not clear if Ben Foster, who was attached to play Gotti's son, is still on board.
Well, that was tremendously satisfying.
That's what she said.
After nine seasons on NBC, the American adaptation of Ricky Gervais' beloved British series of the same name, The Office was given an absolutely lovely, sincere, and near-perfect send-off. No, not everything in the episode worked. But what did work — those heartfelt reunions and goodbyes — are what really stood out and what mattered and what made this 75-minute finale so very special.
But, that's almost fitting in a way. The past few years of The Office were pretty bad, but the finale erased all of that. This is exactly what the conclusion was about: redeeming yourself, making peace with something, remembering the good over the bad, and finding the beauty in imperfections. Everyone had their happy ending, including The Office itself.
Picking up a year after the airing of the PBS documentary about them, and a day before Dwight and Angela's wedding, we found our favorite characters at different places in their lives. But the employees of Dunder Mifflin were — and still are — at their core, a family. But, you can't have a family unit without it's papa bear, which in their case is Michael Scott. Yes, the rumors were confirmed and our wishes came true: Steve Carell returned for the finale, and it was just perfect.
After Jim was named best man for Dwight's wedding — or, as the Schrute's call it, Bestest Mensch — and he went above and beyond the call of duty (aw, remember the episode when Jim was terrible at Call of Duty?) by pulling off the Best... Prank... Ever... and surprising the groom with a new Bestest Mensch: one Michael Gary Scott. And their first exchange in nearly two years went as follows:
Dwight: "I can't believe you came." Michael: "That's what she said."
Oh, Michael, you haven't changed a bit. Well, he did a little, in that he now has gray hair and is blissfully happy with a wife and their kids. But at the core, he's still the same old Michael. He still can't dance and he still says things that come out wrong ("I feel like all my kids grew up and married each other... it's every parent's dream!"), but his heart is still in the right place. Please, please let the Emmys at least give Carell one for a guest appearance.
Michael wasn't the only one who got a happy ending so richly deserved. Pam finally made a big, romantic gesture to Jim and decided to move their family to Austin so he could pursue his dream; Dwight and Angela got married; Kelly and Ryan (that's right, Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak returned, too) got back together (even if they did so in the most terrible way possible: by ditching a baby... though would you expect any different from those two?); Andy went from a laughing stock to a hometown hero; Darryl enjoyed his continued success; Toby enthusiastically got invited to hang out; Oscar enjoyed a senatorial campaign (but sadly no showcase of his origami skills) and, in the most touching happy ending of them all, Erin finally got to meet her birth parents (played by Joan Cusack and Ed Begley Jr.).
But, really, even if they didn't have a big goodbye, all the characters walked away with something: wisdom. Lucky for us, they all got to share a few pearls (major kudos to The Office writing team for this episode, it was some absolutely beautiful stuff):
- "I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them." Oh, Nard Dog. Someone should write a song about that.
- "I worked for a paper company all these years, but I never wrote anything down." Phyllis just destroyed me in this episode (she was so concerned about Andy, and she carried her old nemesis Angela down the aisle, and was so genuinely happy to receive her gift of a cute bird statue of herself from her grumpy pal Stanley) and this little snippet was a reminder to us all to take more pictures and write down your memories — you'll really cherish them someday.
- "Yes, I'd say I have gotten along with my subordinates." Dwight, referring to his wife Angela, best man Jim, and his best friend (aw!) Pam, among others.
- "Everything I have I owe to this job. This stupid, wonderful, boring, amazing job." Jim, TV's best crush, always and forever.
- "There's a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn't that kind of the point?" Pam, who grew into her own and allowed herself to find happiness over the course of nine years. As she simply put it, "Be strong, trust yourself, love yourself, conquer your fears, go after what you want." And thank goodness that The Office saw the beauty in ordinary things and ordinary people who were capable of extraordinary things.
Other finale highlights:
- Bringing back characters like Carol the realtor (Carell's wife in real life, Nancy Walls), Elizabeth the stripper, and of course, Mose. - Cameos by Seth Meyers and Bill Hader as themselves. Hey, we'll take as much of those guys on SNL as we can while we can get 'em. - Dwight carrying/dancing with Angela. - The group shot in front of Pam's mural calling for "everyone from the office." Judging by the cameo by Greg Daniels, it was likely everyone from The Office. - Creed's beautiful guitar serenade in the office. - Reminscing about the Office Olympics. - Pam getting in one last "Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam" and taking her painting of the office building with her. - Just. All of it, really. Goodbye old friends. And thank you.
Follow Aly on Twitter @AlySemigran and Hollywood.com @Hollywood_com
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Fox has picked up a couple new drama series for next season, you guys! Look at them go, those crazy kids — ordering up shows during pilot season. Who would've thought, right? (Well, there is that whole "this is what networks do around this time every pilot season" pesky detail thing, but shh!) Fans of pilot season should get ready, steady, and start their engines, because there's only more where this came from.
The network has shown their dramas who's boss today, and those shows in charge include J.J. Abrams' new series Almost Human, the Greg Kinnear-fronted Rake, a contemporary retelling of Sleepy Hollow, and a show about gangs. It's called (wait for it), Gang Related.
But it wasn't all good news for potential Fox pilots: those not moving forward (at least at the network) are Boomerang, Delirium, and The List. A fourth series, Wild Blue, has been pushed towards a potential run off-cycle. Sorry guys, maybe next year or on a different network.
For those wondering what these new series are about, look no further than the descriptions below! We're pretty helpful 'round here, and never afraid of being a even bit servicey:
- Almost Human: A cop drama, set 35 years in the future in a time when all cops are given human-esque android partners. Stars Karl Urban, Michael Ealy, Lili Taylor, Mackenzie Crook, Michael Irby and Minka Kelly. From Abrams' Bad Robot production company and former Fringe showrunner J.H. Wyman.
- Rake: A lawyer drama adapted from its original Australian counterpart of the same name. Basically House but about law. Expect self-destructive behavior and brilliant minds. Stars Kinnear, Miranda Otto, and John Ortiz. Produced by Australian creator Peter Duncan and Rescue Me's Peter Tolan. Fun fact: Sam Raimi directed the pilot.
- Sleepy Hollow: A contemporary drama retelling the iconic story of Ichabod Crane. Stars Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie, and Orlando Jones. Produced and written by Fringe co-creators Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orcie.
- Gang Related," A crime drama that follows Los Angeles' gang task force and its rising star (Ramon Rodriguez) after he's teamed with longtime member Cassius Green (RZA) to take on some of the city's most dangerous gangs. It gets complicated. Stars Rodriguez and RZA. Written by Chris Morgan, directed by Allen Hughes.
These four pilots will be joining the already-renewed line-up of Glee, Bones, New Girl, Raising Hope, The Following and The Mindy Project, in addition to the already-ordered new comedy from Seth MacFarlane, Dad.
What do you think of Fox's new series? Excited about how the fall schedule is shaping up? Let us know in the comments.
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
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Movies that take place in the White House are usually focused on the President of the United States, but Lee Daniels' drama The Butler serves up a new perspective on the old location. Starring Forest Whitaker, Jane Fonda, and Oprah Winfrey (among a long list of Hollywood power players that make up the rest of the cast), the movie tells the story of Eugene Allen, the longtime White House employee who served under eight American presidents.
Allen was the White House's head butler from 1952 to 1986, and had a unique front-row seat as political and racial history was made. The Butler also stars Alex Pettyfer, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Melissa Leo, Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, Terrance Howard, Minka Kelly as Jackie Kennedy, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Vanessa Redgrave.
Watch the just-released trailer below:
The Butler hits theaters October 18, 2013.
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Sharon Osbourne and her son Jack have been honoured in Los Angeles for their work to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis. The reality TV stars were presented with a joint Medal of Hope award by Jack's sister Kelly Osbourne at the 20th annual Race to Erase MS gala on Friday (03May13).
Jack Osbourne, 27, announced he had been diagnosed with the neurological condition last summer (Jun12), and he and his family have been using their fame to accelerate the campaign to find a cure for the disease ever since.
Speaking before the event, rock matriarch Sharon admitted she has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from her friends and relatives after going public with her son's health crisis.
She said, "We feel totally spoilt by our friends and family and everybody has been amazing with us. At times like this you realise how lucky you are to be surrounded by so many friends."
And Jack was full of praise for the strength his mum has shown in the months since his diagnosis.
He added, "If anyone is deserving it's her because she's been more out front about this than anyone. She's been so supportive - it's nice that it's a family affair."
Jack's wife, Lisa Stelly, also attended the bash, while other guests included singers Rod Stewart, Melanie Brown and LaToya Jackson, who were treated to performances by Sir Elton John and R&B star Taio Cruz.