A supergroup featuring members of Guns N' Roses and Thin Lizzy are set to make history this month (Feb15) by becoming the first U.S. rock act to perform in Cuba since President Barack Obama relaxed travel and trade rules between the two countries. The Dead Daisies, featuring Guns N' Roses stars Richard Fortus and Dizzy Reed and Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake's bassist Marco Mendoza, will be guests of the Cuban Ministry Of Culture in Havana from 20 February (15) to the end of the month as part of a cultural exchange.
The band will perform a series of dates in Cuba's capital with local music stars like Yasek Manzano, Harold Lopez and Yaimi Karel. The group will also visit schools and conduct workshops with students, according to Blabbermouth.net.
The trip will conclude with a performance at the Cuba Rocks For Peace concert at the Salon Rosado de la Tropical on 28 February (15).
Rolling Stones session and tour veterans Darryl Jones and Bernard Fowler and former Motley Crue star John Corabi will also be part of the Dead Daisies for the Cuba trip.
Excited Dizzy Reed says, "For my entire life, Miami was as close to Cuba as myself and all Americans could get and I assumed it would remain that way for the rest of my time. Now, we are all coming down to Cuba to play some kick-ass rock 'n' roll and soak in the culture, the food, the rum and, of course, the music. And with the long-overdue changes in diplomacy just ahead, it feels like the right time to come and hang."
Following the Cuban trip, the supergroup will prepare to hit the road with Kiss in Europe this summer (15).
British child star Mark Lester is to be the subject of a new documentary, in which he'll discuss his long friendship with Michael Jackson. The Oliver! star, who worked with the likes of Oliver Reed, Charlton Heston, Kirk Douglas, Ernest Borgnine, Rex Harrison, David Hemmings and Raquel Welch, will tackle a string of tabloid stories in the film, which will be directed by Robin Jacob.
The actor will also go into detail about his 2013 claims he could be the father of Jackson's kids after donating sperm to the King of Pop in the mid-1990s.
Jacob, who is also behind the camera for Lester's comeback movie, 1066, tells WENN, "It will cover his life from his first acting roles and the various stars he has worked with to his friendship with Michael Jackson and beyond."
In 1066, the former child star's first film since 1977, Lester will play King Harold II opposite Katia Winter, Olivia Hussey and John Altman.
Actress Nikki Reed's divorce from American Idol star Paul Mcdonald has been finalized.
The Twilight star has kept the couple's dog, a German Shepherd called Enzo, three of their homes and three cars - a Range Rover, a Toyota Rav4 and a Toyota Tundra.
Documents of the final judgement, obtained by TMZ.com, show that McDonald was granted ownership of the pair's home in Nashville, Tennessee.
Neither Reed nor McDonald is claiming any spousal support.
Music mogul Clive Davis and Billy Joel's backing band will headline the inductees into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in New York next week (23Oct14). Rapper Kurtis Blow, songwriter Gerry Goffin, Patti Lupone and Debbie Gibson are also among the local heroes who make up the fifth induction class, while Darryl 'D.M.C.' McDaniels has been named the recipient of the 2014 Harry Chapin Award.
Joel and McDaniels' group Run-D.M.C. have already been inducted - the Piano Man singer was among the inaugural class in 2006. His bandmates, drummer Liberty DeVitto, bassist Doug Stegmeyer, Richie Cannata and guitarist Russell Javors, have backed the star since the mid-1970s. Cannata left the group in 1982 and Stegmeyer died in 1995.
Previous Long Island Music Hall of Fame inductees include the Ramones, Tony Bennett, Public Enemy, Lou Reed, Mariah Carey and John Coltrane.
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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Sir Elton John jumped on stage to duet with Ed Sheeran during the British singer/songwriter's performance at his Oscars viewing party. The Rocket Man star hosts the glitzy event in Los Angeles every year on the night of the Academy Awards to raise money for his charity, the Elton John Aids Foundation.
Guests at the 2014 event included Britney Spears, Kim Kardashian, Heidi Klum, Ashley Greene and Neil Patrick Harris, and they were amazed to see the host take to the stage with the night's performer, Sheeran, for a joint rendition of Candle In The Wind.
Actress Nikki Reed posted pictures of the performance on her Twitter.com page, showing the veteran musician sitting at a piano while Sheeran plays guitar, adding in a caption, "No big deal. I'm just hyperventilating. Sir Elton John singing Candle In The Wind with Ed Sheeran."
Prior to the performance, Sheeran posed for a picture on the event's red carpet with Sir Elton John wearing the host's iconic glasses, adding in a Twitter.com caption, "Real life face swap."
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Now that the new season of House of Cards has been released, David Fincher might be leaving behind the cutthroat world of politics in favor of the cutthroat world of Silicon Valley (again), as the director is in talks to helm the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic based on the best-selling biography by Walter Isaacson. The film, which has a script written by one-time Fincher collaborator Aaron Sorkin, will chronicle Jobs' career at Apple through three "real time" scenes of major product launches, running at about a half hour each. If, by chance, this project sounds a bit familiar to you, that's probably because Fincher and Sorkin have already teamed up to make a movie about a technological giant, way back in 2010. It was called The Social Network. You might remember it; it was nominated for Best Picture.
"Okay, so they have the same creative team," you might be thinking, "so what? How similar could they actually be?" Shockingly similar, as it turns out. In fact, we've compiled all of the things that the two films have in common in order to give you a comprehensive look at all of the ways that this Steve Jobs biopic is, for all intents and purposes, The Social Network 2. Look on the bright side, though: at least it doesn't have very much in common with Jobs.
Both Films Will Focus on a Tech Guru...This film will, of course, follow the rise of Jobs, who co-founded the Apple computer company and became the face of the organization, while The Social Network, followed the rise of Mark Zuckerberg, who founded the social networking site Facebook, and became the face of the organization. You know, completely unique and original storylines.
Who Dropped Out of College...Unfortunately for frustrated high school students everywhere, Zuckerberg and Jobs dropped out of Harvard University and Reed College, respectively, in order to focus on what would become multi-billion dollar companies. And no, that line of reasoning still won't get your parents to stop bugging you about your grades.
And Created Products That Became a Pop Culture Phenomenon...When was the last time you actually purchased a CD instead of just buying it on iTunes? Be honest. Also, how many times would you have forgotten your friends' birthday if it weren't posted on Facebook? Seriously, be honest.
While Wearing a Signature UniformLuckily for Fincher's potential budget, a Jobs film will only require one outfit of its star — a black turtleneck and jeans — just like The Social Network only required Zuckerberg to wear the standard uniform of a hoodie and jeans.
Both Had Incredibly Volatile Personalities... Jobs fought with most of the staff at Apple, and employees were often scared that they would get fired at any moment, and the most iconic scene in The Social Network occurs when Zuckerberg is dumped by his girlfriend for being a condescending tool. They were both total jerks, is what we're trying to say.
Which Resulted in the Dissolution of Partnerships... As Facebook became more popular and more profitable, the friendship between Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin, Facebook's co-founder, fell apart, resulting in a heated court case. Meanwhile, Jobs' temper and erratic work schedule caused such a rift in his partnership with John Sculley that it resulted in an intense power struggle. And you though your boss was bad.
And a Founder Being Ousted from the CompanyAfter it was discovered that Jobs was attempting to instigate a coup and get Sculley fired, Apple's board of directors stripped Jobs of his duties, and he left the company. However, in the Facebook power struggle, it was Saverin who was kicked off the board after Zuckerberg and Sean Parker reduced his share without any warning. So, at least Fincher and Sorkin have that to differentiate the two films.
Both Were Accused of Stealing Someone's IdeasZuckerberg was sued by the Winklevoss Twins for allegedly stealing the concept for Facebook — which gave the world the immortal line, "If you were the inventor of Facebook, you would have invented Facebook" — and Jobs got his first job by taking credit for the version of Pong that Steve Wozniack built. We're looking forward to the Atari-equivalent line in this film.
Both Films Will Tell Their Story Using a Creative Framing DeviceThe Social Network bounced between not one, but two different lawsuit depositions and scenes from Zuckerberg's life, and Jobs' film will focus on the three biggest product launches of his career: the Mac, the NeXT computer, and the iPod. Because like their subjects, these biopics are innovators, looking to change the world without having to put on a suit.
Both Films Could Star Jesse Eisenberg (Sorry, Ashton Kutcher)The actor earned an Oscar nomination for his performance as Zuckerberg, and he could earn another one if Fincher and Sorkin decide to cast him as Jobs and he might as well make the most of the time before his hair grows back after Batman Vs. Superman. We're sure there's another part for Andrew Garfield or Justin Timberlake in there somewhere.
Broadway producer Vivek Tiwary landed his very own, custom tour of The Beatles's native Liverpool, England as he researched the life of Fab Four manager Brian Epstein for a planned biopic. Tiwary has been working on a movie version of his The Fifth Beatle graphic novel for some time, and he previously flew over to the U.K. to learn more about what life was like for the stars in their famous hometown.
But instead of taking the typical Beatles history tour offered by local guides, he managed to score a personalised journey all about Epstein.
Tiwary tells BlogTalkRadio.com, "In my early days of research I asked the Magic Mystery Tour Bus folks if they would design a Brian Epstein heavy tour for me and take me to places a lot of typical Beatles fans may not care about. So we went to the place where Brian Epstein was born and the house that he grew up in; his flat (apartment) on Faulkner Street that he kept and gave to John (Lennon) and (first wife) Cynthia. When John got Cynthia pregnant Brian said you have to marry her and your child needs to have a proper home. John couldn't afford that so Brian said, 'You can have my home,' and the first home that John, Cynthia and Julian lived in was Brian's flat and it still exists. They designed that tour for me and it was fun."
Tiwary's upcoming The Fifth Beatle film has already won the backing of surviving Fab Four member Sir Paul McCartney, who personally gave his permission for the producer to use original Beatles tunes for the movie soundtrack.
Bring It On director Peyton Reed will take charge of the Epstein biopic. Casting details have yet to be announced, although production is expected to begin in 2014.
The music guru died from a drug overdose in 1967.
Sir Paul McCartney has been credited with helping Broadway producer Vivek Tiwary score the rights to use the Beatles' music in a planned biopic about legendary Fab Four manager Brian Epstein, after his requests to publishing bosses were repeatedly snubbed. Tiwary detailed Epstein's life story in last year's (12) graphic novel The Fifth Beatle, and he has been working on adapting the project for the big screen for years.
However, he struggled to secure permission to use a handful of Beatles songs for the movie soundtrack for some time, until his letters finally reached surviving Beatle Sir Paul McCartney. The rocker checked out Tiwary's comic book and became such a big fan, he greenlit the request himself and enlisted the backing of former bandmate Ringo Starr, John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono and George Harrison's widow Olivia, too.
Tiwary tells BlogtalkRadio.com, "One of the exciting things about the film is that we got music rights; the sign-off from Paul, Ringo, Yoko and Olivia Harrison, which allowed us to do a deal with (bosses at publishing company) Sony ATV.
"We are literally the first and only film in history to have gotten those rights. It took me three years and I literally, in my momentos, have four rejection letters. I just kept going until I got to Paul McCartney. He loves the book. He's very protective of the Beatles' legacy and he's been very, very warm in recent years about Brian's memory. It's Paul who very famously said, 'If anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Brian.'"
Tiwary admits he was "a little nervous" to receive feedback on the comic from McCartney, but his fears quickly melted away: "He loved it. He was also very moved in particular that Andrew C. Robinson, the artist (for the graphic novel), painted every single page on a canvas.
"In fact, one of Paul's lesser known songs is Magneto vs. Titanium Man so he's literally a hardcore comic book guy. It was a great thrill to know that he is a supporter of the book. He wrote us a lovely note and I'm very humbled and honoured by that."
Bring It On filmmaker Peyton Reed has been hired to direct The Fifth Beatle, which is due to begin production next year (14).
Epstein died of a drug overdose in 1967.
Casting details have yet to be announced. David Angus played the manager in 1991's The Hours & Times and Rory Kinnear portrayed Epstein in 2010's Lennon Naked.
HBO has the street cred for edgy television series. However, Showtime has created some amazing series like Masters of Sex, Homeland, and Shameless. Before those series hit the air, United States of Tara was paving new ground on the cable network. It featured amazing actors like Toni Collette and resulted in an Emmy and Golden Globe for the Australian actress. It was also penned by former stripper and dialogue wunderkind Diablo Cody.
Tara Gregson (Collette) is a normal wife, mother and sister...except for the fact that she’s struggling with dissociative identity disorder (DID). She has multiple personalities including Alice, a Donna Reed-style housewife, Buck, a Vietnam veteran male, T, a teenage girl, and Shoshana, a budding therapist. Her personalities tend to steal the thunder from her family. Her husband Max (John Corbett) is a landscaper struggling with his own business. Her daughter Kate (Brie Larson) is trying to figure out her goals in life. Marshall (Keir Gilchrist) is dealing with his budding homosexuality. Charmaine (Rosemarie DeWitt) is Tara’s self-absorbed sister who constantly needs to be rescued.
The series has amazing actors. Collette shines in her ability to play so many different characters and to imbue them with multiple layers. Corbett is one of the most attractive, lovable, and endearing actors working today and is often underrated. Gilchrist and Larson went on to star in major motion pictures like It's Kind of a Funny Story and 21 Jump Street. The series also included recurring characters by Patton Oswalt, Viola Davis, and Eddie Izzard.
The series subverts your expectations for a family drama. It manages to be deep while maintaining a sense of levity. The characters all have different sides and “personalities” but they all fundamentally love each other. This series is definitely worth checking out at length.
Luckily, the entire series (all three seasons) is available on Netflix.