Actors Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary last year (14) by quietly renewing their vows while on vacation. The Halloween star tied the knot with Guest in December, 1984 and they decided to mark their anniversary a little earlier than planned last summer (Jul14) when they embarked on an historical trek to Missouri, where U.S. explorers Captain Meriwether Lewis and Lieutenant William Clark travelled in the early 1800s, on what has since become known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition.
Curtis explains, "Our anniversary is December 18th and the way we celebrated was we wanted to do a trip - we retraced... a section of the Lewis and Clark trip on the Missouri River... in July.
"We paddled with eight friends of ours... in two-man canoes... and it was just extraordinary, in the White Cliffs section of the Missouri River being out (in) the same, exact stretch that Lewis and Clark saw when they did their trip.
"It just was a perfect way to celebrate."
Curtis reveals the vacation was brought to a fitting end with an unexpected vow renewal ceremony.
She adds, "We had an impromptu redoing of our vows, right at the last (moment)... It was perfect and probably the trip of our lifetime."
David Oyelowo's parents were not convinced he had what it took to become an actor until they saw him portray the King of England in a stage play. The Lee Daniels’ The Butler star was introduced to a youth acting class in his native U.K. by his pastor's daughter, who he had a crush on, but he soon fell in love with the craft and set his sights on pursuing a career in the arts.
However, Oyelowo admits his Nigerian parents were far from happy about his non-traditional career choice.
He says, "They thought it was a phase. I told my dad I was thinking of becoming an actor and he said, ‘Why do you want to be an actor? You need a proper job; you need to be a doctor, an engineer or a lawyer'. So I secretly applied for drama school, got a scholarship. So I came home to him and I said, 'Daddy, I got a scholarship to go to drama school.’ He said, 'Scholarship? We can tell everyone back home my son is a scholar.'"
It wasn't until the Black British star landed the royal role in a William Shakespeare production that his mum and dad realised just how good he was.
Oyelowo explains, "He came to see me, I got to play Henry VI at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and my dad, he came to the U.K. when there was quite a lot of racism, and we did Henry VI parts one, two and three and he sat through 12 hours of Shakespeare... and at the end of the play, he came up to me and said, 'I cannot believe it, that they would allow a black man to play the King of England and it is my son.'"
Oak Ridge Boys frontman Duane Allen enjoyed a double delight at a recent Texas Country Music Hall of Fame gala - he was inducted and then made an honorary Admiral in the Texas Navy. The singer was feted in his native state during a ceremony in Carthage on Saturday (09Aug14) at the launch of a new Hall of Fame exhibit dedicated to Allen's life and career.
The event also featured an appearance by Governor Rick Perry, who announced the special naval appointment in recognition of Allen's achievements in the music industry, while Allen's bandmates, Joe Bonsall, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban, were made honorary Texans.
Allen says, "I am still in the after-glow of a very overwhelming event in my life. It is a huge honour, and I am humbled to the core of my soul."
Actor-turned-director James Franco is to be honoured for his moviemaking at the upcoming Venice Film Festival in Italy. The Spider-Man star will receive the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award during the event, which kicks off later this month (Aug14).
The prize recognises Franco's directing work on The Sound and the Fury, an adaptation of William Faulkner's novel starring Seth Rogen and Jon Hamm, and he will pick up the prize on the day of the film's premiere during the festival on 5 September (14).
Alberto Barbera, director of the Venice Film Festival, says in a statement, "(Franco) is one of the most versatile and multi-talented auteurs on the current American scene, as an actor in cinema and theatre, director, screenwriter, producer, soap-opera star, video-artist and much more - indeed, a relentless 'manufacturer' of cultural imagery."
Previous recipients of the award include Sylvester Stallone, Al Pacino and Spike Lee.
The Venice Film Festival runs from 27 August until 6 September (14).
Former Marilyn Manson guitarist John 5 and Van Halen's David Lee Roth have teamed up to record a new album. The heavy rocker, real name John William Lowery, landed his big break when Lee Roth hired him for his 1998 album DLR Band and now the two old friends have reunited in the studio to work on a new California Sessions project.
John 5 tells Canadian blogger Mitch Lafon, "It's 11 of the greatest songs you'll ever hear, and it's just me and Dave, and we had Gregg Bissonette play drums on it. And it's unbelievable.
"There's a song called Somewhere Over The Rainbow Bar & Grill and just great, great songs. And hopefully sometime it'll see the light of day. But he's (Lee Roth) busy with Van Halen, all that stuff. But it's an incredible record.
"I would just go over to his house during the day and write this music and then he would book the studio at night. So we would go into A&M Studios... and we'd record. It sounds like just Dave from that Van Halen I or II or Women And Children First era."
And Lee Roth isn't the only rock god John 5 has been working with - he has collaborated with Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford on the 2WO project. The guitarist is also currently working with Rob Zombie.
Hugh Jackman, Samuel L. Jackson and David and Victoria Beckham were among the celebrities who witnessed tennis champ Novak Djokovic defeat Roger Federer to win Britain's Wimbledon Men's title on Sunday (06Jul14). Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Thor star Chris Hemsworth, Orlando Bloom, Kate Beckinsale and director Guy Ritchie were also in the stands at Centre Court as the Serbian sportsman emerged victorious after an epic five-set match, narrowly beating Federer 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 to claim his second Wimbledon trophy.
Jackman shared a Twitter.com photo of himself and his wife Deborra-Lee Furness at the London venue and later congratulated Djokovic on his seventh Grand Slam title, writing, "One of the greatest matches of all time @Wimbledon. Well done @rogerfederer. Superb win and huge congratulations @DjokerNole."
He also uploaded a photo of Djokovic hugging his mentor, former tennis icon Boris Becker, after the match and added, "Epic moment for djokernole, Becker and their entire team. What a day @Wimbledon. One I will never forget."
Other stars watching the game on TV also shared their thoughts online, with British comedian Stephen Fry writing, "How magnificently graceful both players were in defeat and victory. Hurrah for that", and actor John Leguizamo tweeting, "Sorry #federer u (sic) gave it your all my friend! Great game!"
Meanwhile, One Direction singer Liam Payne added, "Congratulations @DjokerNole heard it was a great game can't wait to watch it back have a drunk (drink) on me".
Actresses Kate Walsh and Brooklyn Decker, singer Eliza Doolittle and Bridesmaids star Chris O'Dowd were also among the celebrities tweeting about the championship finals on Sunday.
Fans of the former TGIF sitcom Boy Meets World have been anxiously awaiting the debut of Disney Channel's tween-com Girl Meets World ever since the pilot was first ordered. Recently, the cable network finally released a short clip showing a now grown Cory (Ben Savage) and Topanga (Danielle Fishel) interacting with their adorable daughter Riley (Spy Kids: All the Time in the World's Rowan Blanchard). Excitement over seeing Savage and Fishel once again arm-in-arm as Cory and Topanga spread across social media, as fans of the '90s show began quickly sharing the clip.
Girl Meets World marks a departure for the Disney Channel as they attempt to market a show just as much to the parents of their normal six-to-12-year-old target audience. Someone who was 12 in 1993 when the original began — as Fishel was — is now 33, an age when it's entirely plausible to have children in the appropriate demographic.
By putting the focus on the children of one of TV's favorite teen couples, the network and producer Michael Jacobs have hit upon a way for the fans of the former show to look in on old favorites without having to worry too much about what's transpired. This isn't a Dawson's Creek-style flash-forward with a beloved character (Michelle Williams' Jen) on her deathbed. This is a Disney-style look in.
There's something reassuring about seeing a pair of characters that we cared about in the middle of their happy ending. We watched Cory and Topanga meet as kids and come together as teens, and we followed them right up until their wedding. Now they're still married with two kids and a nice home. It's like going to visit that one high school couple that is still perfectly content with their lives. Whether it happens all the time or not, it's nice to know that it happens sometimes.
More importantly, by blending nostalgia with the formula that Disney Channel has employed with its other live action hits like Jessie and Good Luck, Charlie, the show provides a unique opportunity for parents to actively watch with their children. Not in an obligatory sense, but in a true "I have to see this" way. Family-oriented sitcoms were once a staple of network television, but now those shows have largely moved to cable… taking many of the same writers/producers with them.
The marketing of Girl Meets World has produced something that 10-year-olds and their moms both want to see… how often does a TV show do that these days? As parents fill their kids in on who the older characters are, the kids can fill their parents in on what Riley is talking about with her friends. If that leads to a discussion of things transpiring in real life, well, that's a beautiful thing. Many movies and TV shows have paid lip service to providing such an opening for parents… GMW seems legitimately positioned to actually deliver on that promise.
Jacobs has lined up a series of cameos from the original series to keep the parents entertained including Cory's brother and parents (Will Friedle, Betsy Randle and William Russ), William Daniels' persnickety Mr. Feeny, and Rider Strong's brooding Shawn Hunter. Even Lee Norris, whose character Minkus was written off the show after the first season, makes an appearance as the father of Riley's friend Farkle (Corey Fogelmanis). It's hard to say why it's so good to see Mr. Feeny again — the show tweeted a photo of Daniels on set — but it just is.
Keeping with the family feel, it's come out during the promotion of the new show that most of the original cast — particularly Savage, Fishel, Strong, and Friedle — have remained friends since Boy Meets World ended in 2000. Even though most of the acting will be done by the new kids, Strong and Savage are each also taking a turn sitting in the director's chair on GMW.
The show can't live off of the nostalgia of parents alone. Blanchard's Riley and her BFF Maya (Sabrina Carpenter) have to connect with the normal Disney Channel audience, and really there's no way to predict whether or not that will happen. No matter whether the new show is a ratings success or not, fans of Boy Meets World will enjoy catching up with their old friends… and maybe share a few nice moments with their kids at the same time. As was the case the first time, having Cory and Topanga around makes television a nicer place.
Warner Bros via Everett Collection
Going back to the earliest days of both movies and television, producers have been enamored with putting sports celebrities on screen. They're some of the most recognizable people in the country and bring along a built-in audience of fans from their athletic exploits.
Of course, there is one issue that's a little hard to get around… most of the athletes that have been tapped to appear in movies can't act. We're taking a look at the most awesomely bad performances by athletes in movies… from ones that are just laughably amateurish to the truly unwatchable; the work by this group would make Lee Strasberg cry.
Shaquille O'Neal, Kazaam
In interviews, O'Neal can be utterly charming and he frequently looks like he's having a good time. Absolutely none of that translates to the big screen, however. The 7-foot-1 basketball player is a genie who emerges from a boombox and tries to help a kid (Francis Capra) who's got father issues. You'd think that a movie with a genie would be at least fun, but it has way too many dark moments and O'Neal's mugging doesn't help any. The movie was so bad that director Paul Michael Glaser hasn't got behind the camera since.
Charles Barkley, Space Jam
It's easy to point out that Michael Jordan is bad in the 1996 mix of animation and live action since he was the star of the show (along with Bugs Bunny, of course), but really, what did we expect? Jordan acted about as well as he ever did in his commercials and the rest of the NBA players, from Larry Bird to Patrick Ewing are equally awful. Barkley, however, as we've now learned from his work as a studio host for TNT has enough personality that he could’ve done better than the stiff performance that he gave.
Dan Marino, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
It's always amazing when athletes can't even play themselves convincingly. In Jim Carrey's breakout hit, Marino — along with a dolphin — is the subject of a kidnapping scheme. Marino's a good looking guy, but that's about the best thing that we can say about his abilities as an actor. When you're outdone by a sea mammal, things are pretty bad. Of course, as much as we don't like his acting, we still like him better than the movie's Mrs. Finkle, the character who famously said, "Dan Marino should die of gonorrhea and rot in hell."
O.J. Simpson, Capricorn One
Back before the Juice had his troubles with the law, he had quite the acting career. Most people remember his turn as Leslie Nielsen's partner in the Naked Gun series, but at one point, Simpson was legitimately trying to act. That's what puts his turn in Capricorn on the list. Playing a duped astronaut, along with James Brolin and Sam Waterston, who is unwittingly part of a fake mission to Mars, Simpson is all caged fury at the outrage of it all. At least the movie has some pretty rad late '70s hairdos going for it.
Wilt Chamberlain, Conan the Destroyer
At least there was logic to Chamberlain's casting in the rushed sequel to Conan the Barbarian… if you're looking for someone even more physically imposing than Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wilt certainly fits the bill. The towering Chamberlain plays a guard named Bombaata who is supposed to help Conan on a quest before killing him. Let's just say that doesn't work out too well for The Stilt. Considering his claims of prodigious sexual conquests, we're sure that Chamberlain had fun shooting the movie… and, really, he doesn’t look any more ridiculous than Grace Jones.
Dennis Rodman, Double Team
How many people can say that they were in a movie with Jean-Claude Van Damme and they were the worst actor on set? Rodman, at the height of his fame for his outrageous behavior, made the Muscles from Brussels look like Robert De Niro in comparison. The plot of the movie runs along the lines of most other JCVD flicks, with Rodman playing an arms dealer. The Worm is tasked with saying such classic lines as, "You look like trouble. I like trouble." There are a lot of explosions and Van Damme does his requisite butt-kicking, even taking on a tiger, but Rodman spends the movie seemingly smirking at the thought that someone's paying him to do… well, whatever it was he was doing.
Mike Tyson, The Hangover
Yes, The Hangover is a very funny movie and, yes, the scenes with Tyson are hysterical. Those two facts do not make Iron Mike a good actor. The former heavyweight champion just plays a slightly less scary version of himself and you get the impression that the mixture of awe and fear on Bradley Cooper's face wasn't a stretch with the real Tyson standing in front of him. As comical as it was to watch — due largely to Tyson's public persona — his reaction at the video of Zack Galifianakis peeing in his pool is on the level of a third grade school play. Just, um, maybe don't tell him we said so.
Howie Long, Firestorm
The longtime Los Angeles Raiders defensive lineman did a credible job as one of John Travolta's henchmen in the John Woo actioner Broken Arrow. That's where Long's acting career should've ended. Instead, he signed on to play the lead in a movie about the leader of a team of wild firefighters who has to rescue people trapped in a fire started by an escaped killer played by William Forsythe. The fact that someone actually bought that pitch is irrelevant and it's hard to fault Long for taking the payday, but the preposterousness of the plot is matched only by the football star's terrible line delivery. The best part of the movie is that it's mercifully short, clocking in at just 89 minutes.
Terry Bradshaw, Failure to Launch
Let's forget for a second the stretch of casting Bradshaw and Kathy Bates as Matthew McConaughey's parents. Let's even put aside the fact that the movie's awfulness has more to do with the nonexistent chemistry between McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker than anything the four-time Super Bowl winner did. The question that truly needs to be addressed is who the heck thought the idea of having Bradshaw naked in the movie was a good idea? God love him for being down for it, but the image of the former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback's naked rear-end is one of those things that you can't unsee. Bradshaw got his start in acting doing cameos in his buddy Burt Reynolds' films and luckily, he doesn't go too far out of his way to get parts. Why people feel the need to occasionally give him one is a whole other question.
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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Dame Helen Mirren is set to be honoured by Prince William at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) next week (begs10Feb14). The Duke of Cambridge, who is the President of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, will present The Queen star with the Academy Fellowship Award on 16 February (14).
Previous fellows include Sir Alfred Hitchcock, Charlie Chaplin, Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Dame Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave and Sir Christopher Lee.