Singer Rihanna, Sex And The City's Sarah Jessica Parker and actor Kevin Bacon are among the stars offering their thoughts and prayers to the victims of a deadly typhoon in the Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record, tore through the island nation on Friday (08Nov13), leaving vulnerable citizens seeking shelter as homes and schools were wiped away.
The death toll, which was initially estimated by officials at the Philippine Red Cross at up to 1,200, is expected to soar as authorities attempt to determine the full extent of the devastation, while the news has prompted an outpouring of emotion from around the world on Twitter.com.
A host of famous faces have also weighed in on the latest natural disaster, with actress Parker tweeting, "My very best to all in the Philippines. I met some wonderful friends while visiting.The news from there is devastating," while Bacon shared a link to a donation page, writing, "Please help: join me to support Typhoon Haiyan relief."
R&B star Rihanna, who recently visited South East Asia as part of her world tour, reached out to her fans, writing, "Navy please keep the people of The Philippines in your prayers!!! I was just there and this truly breaks my heart!!!"
Crooner Josh Groban adds, "My heart is heavy for the people of the Philippines tonight. Devastating," while Backstreet Boys singer Howie Dorough writes, "My heart goes out to all those affected by the destruction in the Philippines. Wishing all our fans there a speedy recovery. God bless!"
Modern Family's Eric Stonestreet, Pamela Anderson, Girls Aloud singer Nicola Roberts, sports icon Mike Tyson and Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz also took to Twitter to share messages of support.
After Dark Films
It seems a bit odd to take on a movie review of Courtney Solomon's Getaway, as only in the loosest terms is Getaway actually a movie. We begin without questions — other than a vague and frustrating "What the hell is going on?" — and end without answers, watching Ethan Hawke drive his car into things (and people) for the hour and a half in between. We learn very little along the way, probed to engage in the mystery of the journey. But we don't, because there's no reason to.
There's not a single reason to wonder about any of the things that happen to Hawke's former racecar driver/reformed criminal — forced to carry out a series of felonious commands by a mysterious stranger who is holding his wife hostage — because there doesn't seem to be a single ounce of thought poured into him beyond what he see. We learn, via exposition delivered by him to gun-toting computer whiz Selena Gomez, that he "did some bad things" before meeting the love of his life and deciding to put that all behind him. Then, we stop learning. We stop thinking. We start crashing into police cars and Christmas trees and power plants.
Why is Selena Gomez along for the ride? Well, the beginnings of her involvement are defensible: Hawke is carrying out his slew of vehicular crimes in a stolen car. It's her car. And she's on a rampage to get it back. But unaware of what she's getting herself into, Gomez confronts an idling Hawke with a gun, is yanked into the automobile, and forced to sit shotgun while the rest of the driver's "assignments" are carried out. But her willingness to stick by Hawke after hearing his story is ludicrous. Their immediate bickering falls closer to catty sexual tension than it does to genuine derision and fear (you know, the sort of feelings you'd have for someone who held you up or forced you into accessorizing a buffet of life-threatening crimes).
After Dark Films
The "gradual" reversal of their relationship is treated like something we should root for. But with so little meat packed into either character, the interwoven scenes of Hawke and Gomez warming up to each other and becoming a team in the quest to save the former's wife serve more than anything else as a breather from all the grotesque, impatient, deliberately unappealing scenes of city wreckage.
And as far as consolidating the mystery, the film isn't interested in that either, as evidenced by its final moments. Instead of pressing focus on the answers to whatever questions we may have, the movie's ultimate reveal is so weak, unsubstantial, and entirely disconnected to the story entirely, that it seems almost offensive to whatever semblance of a film might exist here to go out on this note. Offensive to the idea of film and story in general, as a matter of fact. But Getaway isn't concerned with these notions. Not with story, character, logic, or humanity. It just wants to show us a bunch of car crashes and explosions. So you'd think it might have at least made those look a little better.
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Widening the thematic scope without sacrificing too much of the claustrophobia that made the original 1979 Alien universally spooky Prometheus takes the trophy for this summer's most adult-oriented blockbuster entertainment. The movie will leave your mouth agape for its entire runtime first with its majestic exploration of an alien planet and conjectures on the origins of the human race second with its gross-out body horror that leaves no spilled gut to the imagination. Thin characters feel more like pawns in Scott's sci-fi prequel but stunning visuals shocking turns and grand questions more than make up for the shallow ensemble. "Epic" comes in many forms. Prometheus sports all of them.
Based on their discovery of a series of cave drawings all sharing a similar painted design Elizabeth (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie (Logan Marshall-Green) are recruited by Weyland to head a mission to another planet one they believe holds the answers to the creation of life on Earth. Along for the journey are Vickers (Charlize Theron) the ruthless Weyland proxy Janek (Idris Elba) a blue collar captain a slew of faceless scientists and David (Michael Fassbender) HAL 9000-esque resident android who awakens the crew of spaceship Prometheus when they arrive to their destination. Immediately upon descent there's a discovery: a giant mound that's anything but natural. The crew immediately prepares to scope out the scene zipping up high-tech spacesuits jumping in futuristic humvees and heading out to the site. What they discover are the awe-inspiring creations of another race. What they bring back to the ship is what they realize may kill their own.
The first half of Prometheus could be easily mistaken for Steven Spielberg's Alien a sense of wonder glowing from every frame not too unlike Close Encounters. Scott takes full advantage of his fictional settings and imbues them with a reality that makes them even more tantalizing. He shoots the vistas of space and the alien planet like National Geographic porn and savors the interior moments on board the Prometheus full of hologram maps sleeping pods and do-it-yourself surgery modules with the same attention. Prometheus is beautiful shot in immersive 3D that never dampers Dariusz Wolski's sharp photography. Scott's direction seems less interested in the run-or-die scenario set up in the latter half of the film but the film maintains tension and mood from beginning to end. It all just gets a bit…bloodier.
Jon Spaihts' and Damon Lindelof's script doesn't do the performers any favors shuffling them to and fro between the ship and the alien construction without much room for development. Reveals are shoehorned in without much setup (one involving Theron's Vickers that's shockingly mishandled) but for the most part the ensemble is ready to chomp into the script's bigger picture conceits. Rapace is a physical performer capable of pulling off a grisly scene involving an alien some sharp objects and a painful procedure (sure to be the scene of the blockbuster season. Among the rest of the crew Fassbender's David stands out as the film's revelatory performance delivering a digestible ambiguity to his mechanical man that playfully toys with expectations from his first entrance. The creature effects in Prometheus will wow you but even Fassbender's smallest gesture can send the mind spinning. The power of his smile packs more of a punch than any facehugger.
Much like Lindelof's Lost Prometheus aims to explore the idea of asking questions and seeking answers and on Scott's scale it's a tremendous unexpected ride. A few ideas introduced to spur action fall to the way side in the logic department but with a clear mission and end point Prometheus works as a sweeping sci-fi that doesn't require choppy editing or endless explosions to keep us on the edge of our seats. Prometheus isn't too far off from the Alien xenomorphs: born from existing DNA of another creature the movie breaks out as its own beast. And it's wilder than ever.
At some point in the early years of the 21st century a bunch of Hollywood executives must have gotten together and decided that animated films should be made for all audiences. The goal was perhaps to make movies that are simultaneously accessible to the older and younger sets with colorful imagery that one expects from children’s films and two levels of humor: one that’s quite literal and harmless and another that’s somewhat subversive. The criteria has resulted in cross-generational hits like Wall-E and Madagascar and though it’s nice to be able to take my nephew to the movies and be as entertained by cartoon characters as he is I can’t help but wonder what happened to unabashedly innocent animated classics like A Goofy Movie and The Land Before Time?
Disney’s Winnie The Pooh is the answer to the Shrek’s and Hoodwinked!’s of the world: a short sweet simple and lighthearted tale of friendship that doesn’t need pop-culture references or snarky dialogue to put a smile on your face. Directors Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall found some fresh ways to deliver adorable animation while keeping the carefree spirit of A.A. Milne’s source material in tact. Their story isn’t the most original; the first part of the film finds Pooh Piglet Tigger and Owl searching for Eeyore’s tail (a common plot point in the books and past Pooh films) and hits all the predictable notes but the second half mixes things up a bit as the crew searches for a missing Christopher Robin whom they believe has been kidnapped by a forest creature known as the “Backson” (it’s really just the result of the illiterate Owl or is it?).
The beauty of hand-drawn animation all but forgotten until recently is what makes Winnie the Pooh so incredibly magnetic. There’s an inexplicable crispness to the colors and characters that CG just can’t duplicate. It’s a more personal practice for the filmmakers and should provide a refreshing experience for audiences who have become jaded with the pristine presentation of computerized imagery. The film is bookended by brief live-action shots from inside Robin’s room an interesting dynamic that plays up the simplicity of youth ties it to these beloved characters and brings you right back to memories of your own childhood.
With a just-over-an-hour run time Winnie the Pooh is short enough to hold the attention of children but won’t bore the parents who will love the film mainly for nostalgic musings. Still it’s the young’uns who will most enjoy this breezy bright and enchanting film that proves old-school characters can appeal to new moviegoers.
Are you tired of all award nominations announcements looking alike? Would you rather rag on crummy films than praise good ones? You're in luck today! The 31st Annual Razzie Awards announced their very specific nominations for the worst in cinema over the last year and man, was it a bad year. Of course, that means that the awards ceremony will be that much more fun! The festivities occur on Saturday, February 26th at Hollywood’s Barnsdall Gallery Theater and until that hilarious celebration of shitty movies goes down, you can relive the absurdity of the worst films of 2010 by glancing over the nominations list below!
THE BOUNTY HUNTER
THE LAST AIRBENDER
SEX & THE CITY #2
TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE
Jack Black - GULLIVER’S TRAVELS
Gerard Butler - THE BOUNTY HUNTER
Ashton Kutcher - KILLERS and VALENTINE’S DAY
Taylor Lautner - TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE and VALENTINE’S DAY
Robert Pattinson - REMEMBER ME and TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE
Jennifer Aniston - THE BOUNTY HUNTER and THE SWITCH
Mylie Cyrus - THE LAST SONG
Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis & Cynthia Nixon - SEX & THE CITY 2
Megan Fox - JONAH HEX
Kristen Stewart - TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE
WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jessica Alba - THE KILLER INSIDE ME, LITTLE FOCKERS, MACHETE and VALENTINE’S DAY
Cher - BURLESQUE
Liza Minnelli - SEX & THE CITY 2
Nicola Peltz - THE LAST AIRBENDER
Barbra Streisand - LITTLE FOCKERS
WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Billy Ray Cyrus - THE SPY NEXT DOOR
George Lopez - MARMADUKE, THE SPY NEXT DOOR and VALENTINE’S DAY
Dev Patel - THE LAST AIRBENDER
Jackson Rathbone - THE LAST AIRBENDER and TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE
Rob Schneider - GROWN UPS
WORST EYE-GOUGING MIS-USE Of 3-D (Special Category for 2010!)
CATS & DOGS #2: REVENGE OF KITTY GALORE
CLASH OF THE TITANS
THE LAST AIRBENDER
SAW 3-D (aka SAW VII)
WORST SCREEN COUPLE / WORST SCREEN ENSEMBLE
Jennifer Aniston & Gerard Butler - THE BOUNTY HUNTER
Josh Brolin’s Face & Megan Fox’s Accent - JONAH HEX
The Entire Cast of THE LAST AIRBENDER
The Entire Cast of SEX & THE CITY #2
The Entire Cast of TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE
Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer - VAMPIRES SUCK
Michael Patrick King - SEX & THE CITY #2
M. Night Shyamalan - THE LAST AIRBENDER
David Slade - TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE
Sylvester Stallone - THE EXPENDABLES
LAST AIRBENDER Written by M. Night Shyamalan, based on the TV series created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Brian Konietzko
LITTLE FOCKERS, Written by John Hamburg and Larry Stuckey, based on Characters Created by Greg Glenna & Mary Roth Clarke
SEX & THE CITY #2, Written by Michael Patrick King, Based on the TV Series Created by Darren Star
TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE, Screenplay by Melissa Rosenberg, Based on the Novel by Stephenie Meyer
VAMPIRES SUCK, Written by Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer
WORST PREQUEL, REMAKE, RIP-OFF or SEQUEL (Combined Category for 2010)
CLASH OF THE TITANS
THE LAST AIRBENDER
SEX & THE CITY #2
TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE
The popular vampire sequel is on the shortlist for Worst Picture, while Kristen Stewart is up for the Worst Actress trophy and the film's lead male stars Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner are set to battle it out for Worst Actor.
Jackson Rathbone, who plays Jasper in the blood-sucking series, picked up two nominations for Worst Supporting Actor - one for his role in the latest Twilight project and another for his part in The Last Airbender, which also picked up a total of nine nominations.
The film, starring Dev Patel, landed on the shortlist for awards including Worst Picture, Worst Supporting Actor (Patel) and Worst Supporting Actress (Nicola Peltz).
The other Worst Picture contenders are The Bounty Hunter, Sex and the City 2 and Twilight spoof Vampires Suck.
Joining Stewart in the Worst Actress category are Jennifer Aniston (The Bounty Hunter), Miley Cyrus (The Last Song) and Megan Fox (Jonah Hex), while Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon received a shared nomination for their roles in the second Sex and the City sequel.
Other contenders for this year's (11) Worst Actor title include Jack Black (Gulliver's Travels), Gerard Butler (The Bounty Hunter) and Ashton Kutcher, who is nominated twice for his parts in Valentine's Day and Killers.
The winners of the awards will be announced at a ceremony in Los Angeles on 26 February (11) - a day before the Academy Awards take place.
Last year (10), Sandra Bullock attended the event to pick up the Worst Actress trophy for All About Steve - a day before she won an Oscar for her part in The Blind Side.
The Tourist is about as difficult to get through as spotting the vowels in the name of its director. Florian Henckel von Donnersmark was last seen receiving a Best Foreign Film Oscar in 2007 for The Lives of Others which was about a couple living in East Berlin who were being monitored by the police of the German Democratic Republic. Its positive reception made way for the assumption that Donnersmark would continue to populate the USA with films of seemingly otherworldly and underrepresented themes. But his current project is saddening in its superficiality and total implausibility.
The film’s only real upside is its stars: two of our most prized Americans. Johnny Depp plays Frank Tupelo a math teacher from Wisconsin who travels to Europe after his wife leaves him presumably because of his weakness and simplicity. While en route to Venice he meets Elise Clifton-Ward (Angelina Jolie) who situates herself in his company after she receives a letter from her criminal lover Alexander Pearce (who stole some billions from a very wealthy Russian and the British government) with instructions to find someone on a train who looks like him and make the police believe that he is the real Alexander Pearce to throw the authorities and the Russians off his track. Elise picks Frank and after they are photographed kissing each other on the balcony of Elise’s hotel everyone begins to believe Frank is the real Pearce and so begins the chase.
While Donnersmark could not have picked two better looking people to film roaming around Venice his lack of faith in the audience is obvious. Every aspect of the characters is hammed up again and again as if Donnersmark felt burdened with the task of making us see his vision. Doubtful that we’re capable of getting to where he wants us he has crafted a movie completely devoid of subtlety. Elise’s strength and superiority over Frank are portrayed by close-ups and repeated instances of men burping up their lungs upon seeing her (as if her beauty is in any way subjective?). And in case we forgot that Frank is the victim in this story -- even though he’s been tricked chased and shot at - Donnersmark still felt the need to pin him with a lame electronic cigarette to puff on. Frank and Elise somehow manage to lack mystery even though we get very few factual details about each of them.
Nothing extraordinary comes to us in the way of the film’s structural elements either. There is very little of the action that The Tourist’s marketing led us to believe and the dialog is often painful. The plot itself is almost shockingly unbelievable especially when we’re asked to believe that Elise falls in love with Frank after a combination of kissing him once and her disclosed habit of swooning over men she only spent an hour with (yes that was on her CV).
The Tourist is rather empty and cosmetic. It’s worth seeing if you’re a superfan of Jolie or Depp but don’t expect to walk out of the theater with anything more than the stub you came in with.