Veteran crooner Harry Belafonte is to receive an honorary doctorate from a music school in Boston, Massachusetts. The singer will be feted by members of the Berklee College of Music on Thursday (06Mar14) when he will be handed the special degree in honour of his long-running entertainment career.
Belafonte's music will also be the focus of a tribute concert by students at the school.
The school has previously bestowed honorary doctorates on stars including Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler and soul legend Aretha Franklin.
Students at Boston University in Massachusetts have launched an online petition calling on school officials to cancel an upcoming concert by Robin Thicke. Officials at student organisation the Humanists of Boston University have started a petition to put a halt to the Blurred Lines hitmaker's tour stop on 4 March (14) because of his "sexist lyrics".
The petition reads, "It is a dishonor to our feminist history to symbolically idolize Robin Thicke by allowing him to perform his misogynist music at our university... Blurred Lines celebrates having sex with women against their will."
Despite the fact that about 1,400 students have signed the petition as of Thursday (20Feb14), a school official tells The Huffington Post that administration had no part in booking the Thicke gig and it is unlikely to be cancelled.
Warner Bros via Everett Collection
For every actor or actress cast in a superhero film, there has been/will be some kind of controversy or uproar. The biggest of the past year, of course, was Batfleck. (Cue all the Batman-with-a-Boston-accent jokes.) Then there was Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. The list could go on for ages. But is there something to be said for studios willing to cast a relatively unknown actor in the role rather than a big name star?
Usually the issue fans take with any casting is that the actor or actress may not have the right appearance or body type to fit the character — or that they don’t have the right resume. With Ben Affleck, many blame Daredevil (which was a total flop) on the actor, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t be a fantastic Batman.
For similar reasons, Rudd has been criticized for his role in the upcoming Ant-Man film since he is primarily known for comedy rather than action. However, even Gadot — who has a background in action films — was criticized because she didn’t fit the appearance of Wonder Woman as originated by Lynda Carter.
Fans are hesitant about casting choices because they don’t know whether the decisions were made based on talent or star power. If DC and Marvel are stunt casting — making decisions with the sole purpose of generating media attention — then those films will not turn out well and fans will be disappointed.
However, in the past, the studios have cast big stars like Robert Downey Jr. or Chris Evans and they were perfect for their roles. The same can be said for lesser-known stars like Christian Bale and Henry Cavill. It’s not whether studios should cast big name stars or lesser known actors and actresses, studios should cast whoever is right for the role.
Former Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul celebrated the screening of his upcoming film Need For Speed by inviting a group of fans to one of America's most iconic bars for post-movie drinks. The Emmy-winning actor attended a preview of his new car racing movie in Boston, Massachusetts on Wednesday (12Feb14), and to show his appreciation to the fans who turned out, he invited the entire audience to Cheers, the watering hole that served as the inspiration for the beloved U.S. sitcom of the same name.
Paul told a local Boston news station, "I am in Boston and am loving it. We had a screening of the film last night and I invited everyone to join me in Cheers, and it was awesome."
The actor signed autographs, took photos with fans, and even jumped behind the bar to hand out drinks.
Look who's outshining her famous sons every week on A&E.
Viewers tuned into Wahlburgers because of the famous names behind the show's titular Boston burger joint. But we're staying because of the Wahlberg family's fierce and loving matriach Alma. Donnie and Mark may be key investors. Her chef son Paul may run the kitchen. But it's Alma who rules the roost. They adore her. We adore her.
Alma's no Real Housewife. She raised nine kids on welfare in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood. And we can see how she managed it. She's got a habit of imposing her will on her boys, even if they resist. She hires Paul an assistant and gets her started without his permission. She knows she's always right, he just has to come around to it. She puts Donnie's new girlfriend Jenny McCarthy to work in the kitchen as soon as she walks into her house. And Alma's sons are forever arguing with each other over who is mom's real favorite.
With her raspy voice and thick Boston accent, Alma's constantly letting her will be known. It's no secret that the boys were wild in their youth, and they make frequent mention on the show of her regular trips to collect them from hospital or, on occasion, jail. But now they're older, wiser, and totally devoted to the woman who stuck by them. And, despite their fame and forture, she's still keeping them in line.
A&E has already ordered 18 more episodes of Wahlburgers. Have you been watching and loving Alma as much as we do?
American baseball icon Derek Jeter has announced his retirement. The New York Yankees shortstop's upcoming 17th season in the major leagues will be his last.
Announcing the news on his Facebook fan page on Wednesday (12Feb14), the 39 year old, who briefly dated Mariah Carey, Jessica Biel and Adriana Lima, admits he made the decision after struggling through the 2013 season with a broken ankle.
He writes, "It was months ago when I realized that this season would likely be my last. As I came to this conclusion and shared it with my friends and family, they all told me to hold off saying anything until I was absolutely 100 (per cent) sure.
"I will remember it all: the cheers, the boos, every win, all the plane trips, the bus rides, the clubhouses, the walks through the tunnel and every drive to and from the Bronx."
If the Yankees fail to make baseball's play-offs at the end of the upcoming season, Jeter's final game will be at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts on 28 September (14).
Johnny Depp is back on board to portray notorious crime boss James 'Whitey' Bulger in a new biopic. The Edward Scissorhands star was originally cast in Black Mass last February (13), but dropped out in May (13) after he was reportedly asked to take a $10 million (£6.25 million) pay cut due to budget constraints.
Last month (Jan14), it was reported the actor was back in talks and now he has officially signed on to play the Boston, Massachusetts gangster, who spent almost two decades evading capture after he was placed on the Federal Bureau of Investigation 's (FBI) Most Wanted List, according to Deadline.com.
Rain Man director Barry Levinson was initially attached to direct the film, but Out of the Furnace filmmaker Scott Cooper has taken over the project.
In addition to Depp's casting, The Dark Knight Rises actor Tom Hardy is reportedly in talks to star as former FBI agent John Connolly, a childhood friend of Bulger who served time in prison for racketeering and obstruction of justice charges stemming from his relationship with him.
Production is expected to begin in May (14).
Black Mass isn't the only film based on Bulger's life story in development - Matt Damon is also set to star as the crime lord in a new project directed by his pal Ben Affleck, while Twilight actor Peter Facinelli is working on a TV adaptation of Edward MacKenzie and Phyllis Karas' book Street Soldier: My Life as an Enforcer For Whitey Bulger and the Boston Irish Mob.
NBC / Everett Collection
Get ready, Hollywood, for there is an epic prank war happening in your midst. At this year's Golden Globes, hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler poked fun at, amongst many other things, George Clooney's perpetual bachelorhood, which Clooney interpreted as the perfect opening for a joke of his own. At a Sirius XM Town Hall event to promote his latest film, The Monuments Men, Clooney revealed that he had stolen some stationary belonging to his co-star Matt Damon — who the ladies jokingly called "a garbage person" at the awards — and wrote Fey and Poehler a long letter as Damon, in which he pretended to be terribly hurt by their jokes. In response, Fey and Poehler sent the unsuspecting Damon two huge fruit baskets, and attached a letter to each one. In the first, they apologized for hurting Damon's feelings, and asked for forgiveness. In the second, however, they revealed that they suspected the whole thing was Clooney's fault, and challenged the two to "step it up."
Whether Damon likes it or not, he has been officially roped into a prank war for the ages, and Clooney couldn't have picked two tougher opponents. But will Fey and Poehler's quick wit be enough to out-plot such a master prankster? We've evaluated the teams based on their prank history, special skills, and comedic talents to determine who we think will win the Great Celebrity Prank War of 2014. Will it be Everyone's Favorite A-listers or the Funniest Ladies Around?
Team Clooney and DamonPrank War History: Clooney is a seasoned prankster, and has become known amongst his friends and co-stars for always having a trick up his sleeve. When it comes to pulling pranks, Clooney's in a different league than everyone else. He never give up, and he never forgets. However, while Damon has assisted his friends and co-stars on a few pranks of their own, he's been dragged into this war against his will, which means he's likely not planning to give it his all. Longest Running Showdown: 11 years and counting for Clooney, opposite Brad Pitt. 8 years and counting for Damon, against Jimmy Kimmel. Free Time to Devote to Pranking: Damon's starring in one upcoming film, and the television pilot he and Ben Affleck are producing just got picked up. Plus, as he said on Letterman, he's got four kids. Clooney also has one upcoming film, but without any kids to contend with, he's basically got all the time in the world for pranks. Collective Number of SNL episodes hosted: 6 (5 for Clooney, one for Damon)Collective Number of 30 Rock episodes: 4, all Damon. Team Members from Boston (the pranking capital of America): Will Hunting himself, Matt Damon.Collective Number of "Sexiest Man Alive" Covers: 3Potential Prank Backup Team: Sandra Bullock and Ben Affleck. Are They Considered to Be National Treasures?: Damon definitely is. It can go either way for Clooney. Special skills: An abundance of charm, the fact that Clooney doesn't appear to have any hobbies besides pranking, an absurd number of villas, great hair.Key Weakness: Damon doesn't seem that into it.
Team Fey and PoehlerPrank War History: Funnily enough, they once compared themselves to "Cloons and Damon" in an interview with Marie Claire, in which they joked about pulling pranks on each other while filming Baby Mama. However, neither one is particularly well known for pranking people, it's important to remember that, as they said in their letter to Damon, these are "grown-ass professional comedians" and as a result, they're not afraid of anything. They've both got years of improv, Saturday Night Live, and long-running sitcoms under their belt, so they know what's funny, and they're not afraid to look stupid in the name of comedy. Longest Running Showdown: Two years and counting for both of them and Taylor Swift. And only one side of that feud seems to be having fun.Free Time to Devote to Pranking: Both Fey and Poehler each have two young kids, which eats up a great deal of plotting time. Fey also has two upcoming films and two sitcoms in the works, while Poehler also has two films in the pipeline, as well as her role as Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation.Collective Years Spent at SNL: 17 (9 for Fey, 8 for Poehler)Collective Number of Sitcom Seasons: 14 (7 each for 30 Rock and Parks and Rec)Team Members from Boston: Amy "Boston" Poehler. Improv History: They spent 4 years at Second City in Chicago and Poehler is the co-founder of the Upright Citizens Brigade.Potential Prank Backup Team: Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers. Are They Considered to be National Treasures?: You betcha. Special Skills: Innate comedic timing, the kind of creativity spawned by three very weird shows, the ability to make everyone want to be their friend, great hair. Key Weakness: Poehler is considered to be the nicest woman in Hollywood.
Overall Winner: Team Fey and Poehler. Clooney's got the experience and dedication, but his reluctant teammate may hurt him in the long run. Fey and Poehler might not have such a storied pranking history, but they've got plenty of creativity and they're always willing to commit to a bit. We're going to give this one to the ladies. Your move, Clooney.
Miramax/Warner Bros./Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Now what took us so long to get a mash-up like this online? Filmmaker Martin Scorsese has been changing our lives for decades, and he's done it with the help of the great city of New York. So many of your favorite Scorsese moments happened in NYC, and it's about time someone collected them all and put them in one place.
From the great minds at production company House of Nod and editor Robert Kolodny, we have bits and pieces of Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, Taxi Driver, The Wolf of Wall Street, and a host of other Scorsese productions. Now Marty knows his way, cinematically, around many cities (Boston, Las Vegas, Paris), but he will always and forever be the film world's King of New York.
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Golden Globes co-host Tina Fey has managed to outsmart George Clooney after seeing through a note he sent as Matt Damon, criticising an awards show joke she made at the The Bourne Identity star's expense. The 30 Rock comedienne and her fellow Globes presenter Amy Poehler poked fun at a host of famous faces at the Los Angeles prizegiving last month (Jan14), calling out Leonardo DiCaprio for his penchant for dating models, Clooney for his love of younger women, and they branded Damon "a garbage man" compared to the Hollywood heavyweights at the event.
Prankster Clooney decided to use the incident to tease Fey, but he had no idea the actress was waiting for his practical joke.
He explains, "I got stationery made up that says Matt Damon, so it's Matt Damon's stationery. So I sent Tina a note saying, 'Look, I know it sounds hypocritical because I laughed at the George and Leo jokes, because they're kinda known for that, but you called me a garbage man and it just seems like an easy joke and I don't want an apology, but my kid calls me a garbage man now...
"And then Tina sent Matt, who knows nothing about this, she sends him two giant baskets of fruit with letter number one, and letter number two."
Picking up the story, Damon continues, "I'm going, 'What is this?' so I open letter number one and it's this apology from Tina and Amy...
"Letter number two says, 'Dear Matt, if your note is part of some George Clooney prank, as I very strongly suspect it is, you A-List amateurs are gonna have to step it the f**k up... We are not some easily confused starlets you're dealing with here, we're grown a** professional comediennes. Please accept this fruit as a token of our sincerity. Best wishes, Elizabeth Tina Fey, Amy 'Boston' Poehler.'
"I immediately knew what had happened... I have no idea how many letters are out there, (or) for how many people. I'm gonna get apology letters from people..."
Clooney is still plotting his revenge on Fey and Poehler. He states, "I'm doing something that I'm actually ashamed of, that's going to hurt them."