Rapper French Montana has his record label boss Sean 'Diddy' Combs to thank for introducing him to his new girlfriend, reality TV star Khloe Kardashian. The Pop That hitmaker went public with his romance with Kim Kardashian's younger sister earlier this year (14) and he helped her celebrate her 30th birthday last month (Jun14) by showering her with $100,000 (£58,824)-worth of gifts, including a brand new SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle).
They conducted their first joint interview together on Thursday (24Jul14), when they appeared on New York's Power 105 radio station with host Angie Martinez, and Montana admitted mutual friend Combs played matchmaker for the pair.
He said, "Khloe's cool as hell. Puff (Combs) is the one who put us together."
The rapper also revealed he will be making a number of appearances on his girlfriend's family reality show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, alongside Khloe's new brother-in-law Kanye West, adding, "They called me a couple of times for the new season, they got me. They got Kanye on there (too)."
West wed Khloe's sister Kim in May (14).
Khloe's relationship with Montana is her first since filing for divorce from her sports star husband Lamar Odom in December (13).
British pop star Rita Ora is reportedly moving on from her split from DJ Calvin Harris by romancing the rapper son of U.S. fashion mogul Tommy Hilfiger.
The I Will Never Let You Down hitmaker, 23, sparked rumours of a new romance with Ricky Hil after they were spotted holding hands while dining at Nobu in London on Saturday night (05Jul14), before heading to the Drury Club to party.
Hil, 24, has also been showing off his blossoming relationship with Ora with images on his Instagram.com page, uploading a picture of the rumoured couple cuddling for a snap last week (ends04Jul14).
A source tells Britain's Mirror newspaper, "They really hit it off when they met and really like each other, so Rita invited him over (to Europe) to join her. They want to see where things might take them - they're just having a lot of fun."
Ora and Scottish dance star Harris announced their on/off romance was over for good in early June (14), confessing they had called time on the relationship "some time ago". She previously dated Kim Kardashian's younger brother Rob.
Rapper French Montana has reportedly spent $100,000 (£62,500) on gifts in honour of his girlfriend Khloe Kardashian's 30th birthday. The reality TV star marked her age milestone on Friday (27Jun14), but she celebrated the event a day early by partying with friends and family, including sisters Kourtney and Kim Kardashian and hip-hop mogul Sean 'Diddy' Combs and his girlfriend Cassie, at Don Coqui in her beau's native The Bronx, New York on Thursday (26Jun14).
During the night out, Montana presented the birthday girl with the keys to a white Jeep Sahara, reportedly worth $60,000 (£37,500), and handed her a $25,000 (£15,625) gold ring decorated with Colombian emeralds and yellow canary diamonds.
Earlier in the day, the Pop That hitmaker also gifted Kardashian with two mouth grills, which set him back an estimated $10,000 (£6,250), according to TMZ.com.
The couple became romantically linked four months ago, but has yet to officially confirm the status of its relationship.
The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star split from her estranged husband, basketball player Lamar Odom, last year (13), and she filed for divorce in December (13).
Hollywood actress Charlize Theron has risked the wrath of women's rights campaigners by comparing life in the Hollywood spotlight to rape. During an interview with Sky News, the Oscar-winning actress was asked whether she reads coverage of herself on the Internet and she insisted she tries to avoid looking up stories online.
She went on to compare coverage of her private life to being sexually violated, saying, "I don't do that (Google myself). So that's my saving grace. I think it's when you start living in that world and doing that that you start... I guess feeling raped." Theron, who adopted a son in 2012, recently hit headlines when her new relationship with actor Sean Penn became public, but the Monster star explains she tries to keep her family time private and doesn't understand why some celebrities publicise their personal lives.
She adds, "When it comes to your son and your private life (I keep it private), maybe that's just me, some people might relish in all of that kind of stuff (but) there are certain things in my life that I think of as very sacred and I'm very protective over them, that doesn't mean I always win that war, but as long as I don't have to see that stuff or read that stuff or hear that stuff... Then I can live with my head in a clear space. That's probably a lot healthier... "My job has made my live incredibly blessed and good and I am very grateful for that but that doesn't mean that every aspect of my life becomes fodder for an article. I try to protect that as much as I can."
Twilight actress Kristen Stewart issued a public apology in 2010 after she made remarks comparing the media intrusion in her life to sexual assault, while veteran star Kim Novak was criticised by women's groups after she used the word "rape" when talking about the similarities between The Artist's film score and the music from her 1958 classic Vertigo.
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are reportedly spending their first days as newlyweds on a secret honeymoon in Ireland. The couple tied the knot on Saturday (24May14) in Florence, Italy, and on Sunday (25May14) they jetted west for a stay in County Cork, Ireland, according to multiple reports.
Editors at the Irish Independent report the rapper and his reality TV star wife arrived by private jet at Cork Airport and were whisked away for a five-day honeymoon at an undisclosed location.
However, their post-wedding getaway will be cut short as they are expected to attend West's stylist's wedding in Prague, Czech Republic next weekend (begs30May14), according to E! News.
West and Kardashian's week-long celebrations began in Paris, with Kardashian enjoying her bachelorette party on Thursday (22May14), and festivities continued on Friday (23May14) with a lavish luncheon at fashion mogul Valentino's mansion in the French countryside, and a dinner party with their celebrity friends later that night at the historic Palace of Versailles.
Lana Del Rey performed a set following the dinner, and guests included Alexander Wang, director Steve McQueen, illusionist David Blaine, Serena Williams, and rappers Big Sean and Tyga.
The actual wedding ceremony was held in Florence and was attended by 100 of their closest friends and family at the historic Forte di Belvedere, a 16th-century-era fortress on top of a hill overlooking the Arno river.
E! News reports Kardashian's mum, Kris Jenner, gave an emotional speech during the reception, while West also gushed about his new bride and the Kardashian family, calling them "the most remarkable people of our time".
An insider reveals that the newlyweds' first dance was to an Etta James mash-up, and West even took the mic to perform live.
Lana Del Rey performed at Kanye West and Kim Kardashian's lavish pre-wedding dinner in France on Friday night (23May14). The singer/songwriter was West's surprise for his bride-to-be, who reportedly started sobbing when Del Rey appeared on a makeshift stage at the bash, held at the historic Palace of Versailles, and performed three songs.
The Summertime Sadness singer has a special place in the couple's hearts - the rapper hired an orchestra to perform her track Young & Beautiful when he proposed at AT&T Stadium in San Francisco, California on Kardashian's 33rd birthday last year (13).
Guests at the pre-wedding party included Valentino, Alexander Wang, director Steve McQueen, illusionist David Blaine, Serena Williams and rappers Big Sean and Tyga.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
With only a week and change having passed since the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, we no doubt feel the question living fresh in our minds: can we ever judge a remake without considering its predecessors? The conversation about the stark contrast in critical favor between Marc Webb's release and Sam Raimi's trilogy (the second installment of his franchise in particular) buzzed loudly, and we imagine the volume will keep in regards to Gareth Edwards' Godzilla. But it'll be a different sound altogether.
The original Godzilla, a Japanese film released in 1954, reinvented the identity of the monster movie, launched a 30-film legacy, and spoke legions about the political climate of its era. The most recent of these films — Roland Emmerich's 1998 American production — is universally bemoaned as a bigger disaster than anything to befall Tokyo at the hands of the giant reptile. With these two entries likely standing out as the most prominent in the minds of contemporary audiences, Edwards' Godzilla has some long shadows cast before it. And in approaching the new movie, one might not be able to avoid comparisons to either. It's fair — by taking on an existing property, a filmmaker knowingly takes on the connotations of that property. But the 2014 installment's great success is that it isn't much like any Godzilla movie we've seen before. In a great, great way.
This isn't 1954's Godzilla, a dire and occasionally dreary allegory that uses the supernatural to tell an important story about nuclear holocaust. A complete reversal, in fact, first and foremost Edwards' Godzilla is about its monsters. Any grand themes strewn throughout — the perseverence of nature, the follies of mankind, fatherhood, madness, faith — are all in service to the very simple mission to give us some cool, weighty, articulate sci-fi disaster. Elements of gravity are plotted all over the film's surface, with scientists, military men (kudos to Edwards for not going the typical "scientists = good/smart, military = bad/dumb" route in this film — everybody here is at least open to suggestion), doctors, police officers, and a compassionate bus driver all wrestling with options in the face of behemoth danger. The humanity is everpresent, but never especially intrusive. To reiterate, this isn't a film about any of these people, or what they do.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
The closest thing to a helping of thematic (or human) significance comes with Ken Watanabe's Dr. Serizawa, who spouts awe-stricken maxims about cryptozoology, the Earth, and the inevitable powerlessness of man. He might not be supplying anything more substantial than our central heroes (soft-hearted soldier Aaron Taylor-Johnson, dutiful medic and mom Elizabeth Olsen, right-all-along conspiracy theorist Bryan Cranston), but Watanabe's bonkers performance as the harried scientist is so bizarrely good that you might actually believe, for a scene or two, that it all does mean something.
Ultimately, the beauty of our latest taste of Godzilla lies not in the commitment to a message that made the original so important nor in the commitment to levity that made Emmerich's so pointless, but in its commitment to imagination. Edwards' creature design is dazzling, his deus ex machina are riveting, and the ultimate payoff to which he treats his audience is the sort of gangbusters crowd-pleaser that your average contemporary monster movie is too afraid to consider.
In fairness, this year's Godzilla might not be considered an adequate remake, not quite reciprocating the ideals, tone, or importance of the original. Sure, anyone looking for a 2014 answer to 1954's game-changing paragon will find sincere philosophy traded for pulsing adventure... but they'd have a hard time ignoring the emphatic charm of this new lens for the 60-year-old lizard, both a highly original composition and a tribute in its way to the very history of monster movies (a history that owes so much to the creature in question). So does Godzilla '14 successfully fill the shoes of Godzilla '54? No — it rips them apart and dons a totally new pair... though it still has a lot of nice things to say about the first kicks.
Oh, and the '98 Godzilla? Yeah, it's better than that.
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Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
As grand as the themes of good and evil, needs and deservings, power and responsibility and such forth are, superhero movies are generally pretty straightforward in premise: hero stops villain from wreaking havoc. As off-putting as this kind of simplicity might sound, it's usually the right way to go. If you pack enough substance into your characters and adhere your plot to these linear margins, you can actually wind up saying a healthy amount (and having a lot of fun). The Amazing Spider-Man 2 gets half of this formula down pat. Although Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker is still a moreover undistinguished identity, his emotional magnitude (re: his relationship with Gwen Stacy) is enough to keep him valid through the storm of lunacy that is his second feature. And it's not even that lunacy that holds him back. The problem isn't how wild his conquests are, how silly some of the action sequences feel, or how absolutely bonkers his villains turn out to be. It's all the other stuff (and yes, if you can believe it, there's a ton more going on in this movie than what I've already mentioned — that's the issue). All the plot twists, tertiary mysteries, ominous flashbacks, abject reveals, and weightlessly sinister pawns in this brooding game that, save for its fun with the baddies, takes itself way too seriously. All that stuff that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 thinks is necessary to make Peter Parker matter? It actually does just the opposite.
Peter is at his best when he's playing Tracy and Hepburn with the girlfriend he's perpetually disappointing (the eternally charming Emma Stone), or trying to win back the favor of the only remaining parental figure from whom he's rapidly slipping away (Sally Field, reminding us why she's a household name), or angling to connect with the mentally unstable engineer who just wants people to notice him (Jamie Foxx working his comic shtick with a frightening zest). We have the most fun with Peter when he's playing the simplest games, and we connect best with him on similar ground. But Peter and company, at the behest of The Amazing Spider-Man franchise's Sandman-sized aspirations, spend so much time exploring new avenues: the secrets surrounding the death and work of Richard Parker, the behind-the-curtains operations of OsCorp, the nefarious goings on in the waterside penitentiary Ravencroft.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
As a result of the grand stab at world building, there is just so much stuff that Peter has to wade through in this movie, dragging the likes of Gwen and his boyhood friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan, mastering angst, menace, and upper-class privilege all at once) into the dark crevasses of narrative waste. With so many diversions into the emotionally vacant, deliberately joyless explorations of Parker family origin stories, secret brief cases, and underground subways — The Amazing Spider-Man 2 rivals Captain America: The Winter Soldier in complexity, but forgets the necessary ingredient of fun — we barely have enough energy left when the good stuff hits.
And in truth, the good stuff isn't really good enough to sustain us through all the duller periods. Garfield and Stone do have laudable chemistry. Foxx is a hoot as Peter's maniacal new foe, especially when paired with the grimacing DeHaan. And the action, while often straying from any aesthetic authenticity, is nothing shy of neat-o. It's all passable, occasionally worthy of a hearty smile, but rarely anything you'll be definitively pleased you took the time to see.
But beyond coming up short in the micro, the film's regal downfall is its scope. With so much to do, both in accomplishing its own necessary plot points and setting up for those to come in future films, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 doesn't seem to take time to make sure it's having fun with its own premise. And if it isn't having fun, we won't be either.
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"Everyone please say a prayer for my family. Sarah Porter, the grandmother of my children and the mother of (ex-fiancee Kim Porter) has passed on. She was the nicest person I have ever met, had a heart of gold, and truly a great grandmother... and mom..." Rap mogul Sean 'Diddy' Combs mourns the death of his four kids' maternal grandmother. The loss is the second tragedy to hit the star in as many weeks - his beloved dog Honey died earlier this month (Apr14).
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is filled — and I mean jam-packed — with genre-bending, action-heavy, sportily tense and relentlessly sinuous, sky-high-concept and maniacally bonkers stuff. Polygonal mayhem that aims, and impressively so, to top the Marvel lot in ideas, deconstructing every thriller staple from government corruption to talking computers to odd couple agents gone rogue. But oddly enough, the moment in the Cap sequel that I find most arresting several weeks after seeing the film is our peaceful reunion with Steve Rogers, trotting merrily around the Washington Monument as the sun rises on our nation's capital.
The scene is shot from far overhead, a low pulse/high spirits Chris Evans reduced to a shapeless blur as he repeatedly (but politely!) laps fellow jogger and veteran Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie)... and yet it might be the closest we feel to Cap throughout the movie.
The Winter Soldier has a lot to worry about in the delivery of its content. Managing a plot as ambitious and multifaceted as its own, with themes as grand as the scope of the American mentality — as represented by Steve Rogers, raised in the good old days of gee-golly-jingoism — it doesn't always have the faculties to devote to humanizing its central troupe. Cap isn't left hollow, but his battles with the dark cloud of contemporary skepticism play more like an intriguing Socratic discussion than an emotional arc. Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, a character who ran circles around her Avengers co-players in flavor, feels a bit shortchanged in that department here (in her closest thing to a starring role yet, no less).
Mackie's Falcon, a regular joe who is roped into the calamity thanks largely to his willingness to chat with a fellow runner — a rare skill, honestly — is less of a problem. He doesn't have much to do, but he does it all well enough. Dynamic though he may be, Mackie keeps things bridled as Cap's ad-hoc sidekick, playing up the along-for-the-ride shtick rather than going full (or even half) superhero. We might want more from him, knowing just how fun he can be, but it's a sating dose. The real hunger is for more in the way of Black Widow, Cap, and — perhaps most of all — the titular villain.
Still, these palpable holes pierce through a film that gets plenty right. As elegantly as Joe Johnston did the Spielberg thing back in 2011, Joe and Anthony Russo take on the ballots of post-innocence. They aren't afraid to get wild and weird, taking The Winter Soldier through valleys that feel unprecedented in superhero cinema. We're grateful for the invention here — for Robert Redford's buttoned-up Tom Clancy villain, for the directors' aggressive tunneling through a wide underworld of subterranean corruption, and especially for one scene in an army bunker that amounts to the most charmingly bats**t crazy reveal in any Marvel movie yet. We might be most grateful, though, for a new take on Nick Fury; here, the franchise gives Samuel L. Jackson his best material by a mile.
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But in the absence of definitive work done in our heroing couple, a pair rich in fibers but relegated to broad strokes and easy quips in this turn, most of it amounts to a fairly good spy thriller, not an ace-in-the-whole neo-superhero masterpiece... which, justly or otherwise, is what we've come to expect and demand from these things.
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