WENN/Adriana M. Barraza
Will Ferrell is set to adapt cult U.S. TV series Manimal into a feature film.
The Anchorman star and his producing partner Adam McKay's next project is reviving the short-lived crime series with a hybrid live-action/animated movie.
Manimal, which ran for just three months in 1983, starred Simon MacCorkindale as Dr. Jonathan Chase, who had the ability to transform into any animal in an effort to help police solve crimes.
Glen A. Larson, who created Manimal as well as shows such as Battlestar Galactica, Magnum, P.I. and Knight Rider, is also on board to produce the film with Ferrell and McKay.
Actor David Hasselhoff was held up during the London leg of the Gumball 3000 rally on Sunday (08Jun14) after police pulled over his famous Knight Rider sports car for speeding. The former Baywatch star is among the celebrities taking part in the annual event, in which a host of famous faces drive luxury cars across the world, and the Gumball regular is racing across the globe in a modernised version of his high-performance sidekick KITT, a car fitted with artificial intelligence which featured in the hit 1980s show.
However, Hasselhoff ran into a little trouble with cops after he was spotted travelling at high speed, and the actor admits his usual charms failed to convince the officers to let him go with a warning.
He explains, "Police pulled me over, for speeding.
"Normally on Gumball, when I get pulled over by the police, I have a photo with them and they let me off. But not this year.
"I told them that it wasn't my fault, because KITT drives itself!"
More than half a million fans turned out to cheer on the celebrity drivers as they pulled up on London's Regent Street on Sunday for the U.K. leg of the world's biggest rally.
The famous shopping district was shut down for the day to allow the fleet of supercars to pass through, with other star participants including rappers Eve, Xzibit, Dizzee Rascal and Tinie Tempah, dance DJ Deadmau5 and British TV host Jonathan Ross.
The Gumball rally continues across Europe, with the finish line set in clubbing Mecca Ibiza, where Gumball founder Maximillion Cooper will wed Eve.
Funnyman Robin Williams' return to TV has been short-lived - network bosses have cancelled his comedy The Crazy Ones after just one season. The show was the Mrs. Doubtfire star's first regular small screen role since he shot to fame on TV classic Mork & Mindy, which ran from 1978 to 1982, but it struggled to pull in impressive ratings.
Executives at CBS have now decided to bring the axe down on the show, which co-starred Sarah Michelle Gellar as Williams' daughter.
Williams had revealed that he was tempted to take the job so he had a regular income, saying, "The idea of having a steady job is appealing. I have two (other) choices: go on the road doing stand-up, or do small, independent movies working almost for scale (minimum union pay). The movies are good, but a lot of times they don't even have distribution."
He's not the only Hollywood star to lose a U.S. TV show this week (begs05May14) - Irish hunk Jonathan Rhys Meyers' much-hyped show Dracula has also felt the bite and was cancelled by executives at NBC after one season, and Malin Akerman's comedy Trophy Wife has also been scrapped.
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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The former aide to British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who sued comic Alan Davies over a libellous tweet, has died. Conservative politician Lord Robert McAlpine passed away at his home in Italy on Friday (17Jan14), aged 71.
McAlpine was a longtime adviser to Britain's only female leader during her time at Downing Street during the 1970s and '80s.
He was also a hugely successful fundraiser for the Conservative Party.
McAlpine hit headlines in 2012 when BBC editors ran a report on its Newsnight programme about allegations of sexual abuse at a Welsh children's home, and accused a "leading Conservative politician... of sexually abusing boys in care".
Jonathan Creek star Davies then asked his thousands of Twitter followers for "clues" to the alleged abuser's identity. He received a message mentioning the name of Lord McAlpine, which he then re-tweeted.
The political adviser launched legal action against the British actor and was awarded $24,000 (£15,000) in damages in October (13).
Warning: This article reveals a pretty shocking spoiler, so be wary!
Last night's episode of Community seemed like a standard concept episode parodying the recent influx of dark detective dramas, until it ended with a shocking twist: Pierce Hawthorne, wet-wipes mogul, 14-year Greendale student and "expert faker of heart attacks," had suddenly passed away. As Pipes-of-Steel Neil said on his radio broadcast, Pierce is survived by seven ex-wives, about 30 step-children, the Greendale student body, and the enduring hope that he recorded enough hologram messages to last us through the rest of the season. While we're sure that the study group will take the time to process and grieve over the loss of their oldest friend, we feel it's only appropriate to remember Pierce in our own way.
As we look back on Pierce's time at Greendale and Chevy Chase's tenure on Community, we remember the good times, the bad times, and the times that he went completely off the rails (which were plentiful). You will be missed by all of us, Pierce. Except Vicky. She still hates you, and your hologram still isn't invited to her Halloween party.
Pierce and the Study GroupAlways the most divisive member of the study group, he prided himself on articulating the things that nobody else was brave enough to say out loud. He was often brash, aggressive and offensive, although he would probably describe himself as being "streets ahead." He was the natural antagonist within the study group, causing fights and making people uncomfortable, which resulted in him being left out of the group's activities. Which would then, in turn, led to him becoming upset and attempting to destroy his friends' happiness. But after he got over his pain pill addiction and discovered "Buddhism," he managed to get that urge under control. He was there to insult and tease people, and then surprisingly step up at the last moment when everyone was depending on him.
He offered Troy a place to live when he got kicked out of his house. He helped Shirley overcome her fear of public speaking, invested in her business, and then dropped the lawsuit against her. He called in a favor with Susie B. Hawkins so that Britta wouldn't be humiliated yet again. He wanted to give Annie a genuine inheritance when he pretended to be on his deathbed. He was a living example of all of the ways Jeff's life could go wrong, and as such, was always there to advise him. Sure, he and Abed never really got each other, but hey, he saved Neil's life in a game of Dungeons & Dragons. That counts for something.
When Pierce wasn't being a surprisingly decent human being, he was busy being the best supervillain the show has ever created. Chang may have taken over the school, but Pierce bought Troy and Abed's handshake and misused it, stole all of the elementary school's flu shots so that he would become a living god, and pretended to be dying just to mess with everyone's minds, and done it all in a way that was strange and hilarious in equal measures. No matter how many grabs for power Chang makes, or how many minuses Professor Hickey gives out or how many former students try and sue the school, Community will never again have a villain as completely unhinged and completely brilliant as Pierce.
The Empty ChairThus far, the fifth season has compensated for Chase's absence with the excellent addition of Jonathan Banks as Professor Hickey, and the writers spent much of last season transitioning him from the forefront of episodes to the back, so that it makes his departure feel more natural within the show. However, without Pierce, all of the group's antagonists must now come from outside of the group, which takes away the element of them learning to understand and accept Pierce despite him behaving in terrible ways. Pierce was also an asset in that it was hard to predict how he would react to events or remarks, or just how far he was willing to go in order to prove a point. He ran for school office purely as a way to enact revenge on Vicky for never lending him a pencil. He pretended to be on his death bed to teach his friends a lesson. He was a completely unhinged character, which meant the writers had every path open to them when developing plots.
Unlike some of the other insane characters that Community has, Pierce was able to be at the forefront of a plot, and go totally off the rails without becoming unbearable. He was a fully realized character, and the writers always made his motivations clear, which helped keep him from becoming a caricature. His crazy schemes and revenge plots helped make his moments of growth more poignant, and that balance is what drives Community as a show. We're sure the show will continue to come up with wilder and wilder plots, but the loss of Pierce means that the show is losing a small piece of what made it so weird and wonderful in the first place.
Remembering PierceCommunity has always excelled at poking fun at itself, and we have no doubts that the death of Pierce will be no exception. So far, they have done a great job at referencing his absence without having it drag down the episodes, and so we hope that things continue in that manner. We've mentioned the hologram before, we know, but it's so perfectly in-character, that it would be great to see it pop up again to dispense life advice to the study group at random intervals. Pierce's death is also ripe for call-backs and in-jokes, which Community and its fans love to sprinkle throughout every episode. Maybe someone in the study group can inherit his hairpiece, like Jeff did when he killed Pierce's dad. Maybe he will be "reincarnated" as a vial of purple sludge that can sit in the study room with them. With a character as erratic as Pierce, anything is possible.
His Greatest MomentsBecause this is Community, the only way to properly memorialize Pierce is through a "montage" of his funniest and most memorable moments. Insert your favorite poignant and topical television reference here, in your best Abed voice.- Causing the greatest freakout of all time by introducing Troy to LeVar Burton when he knew full well that all Troy wanted was an autograph- "You know, when I was 30, people used to wish I was dead to my face. Now, that was respect."- Coining and minting the "verbal wildfire" that is "streets ahead"- His long-standing feud with Vicky over her never lending him a pencil- On the paintball tournament prize being "TBD": "If that's what I think it is, I had it for a month in the '70s."- Choreographing a ridiculous and over-the-top skit with Jeff for Spanish class that involved tiny sombreros, afro wigs, and a robot battle- Joining and leaving Vaughn's band, resulting in the classic songs "Getting Rid of Britta" and "Pierce, You're a B"- And his greatest moment of all: pretending to be Jeff's dad and getting bodily dragged out of a car and beaten up
We'll miss you, Pierce. Feel free to play yourself out.
Summit via Everett Collection
You can imagine that Renny Harlin, director and one quadrant of the writing team for The Legend of Hercules, began his pitch as such: We'll start with a war, because lots of these things start with wars. It feels like this was the principal maxim behind a good deal of the creative choices in this latest update of the Ancient Greek myth. There are always horse riding scenes. There are generally arena battles. There are CGI lions, when you can afford 'em. Oh, and you've got to have a romantic couple canoodling at the base of a waterfall. Weaving them all together cohesively would be a waste of time — just let the common threads take form in a remarkably shouldered Kellan Lutz and action sequences that transubstantiate abjectly to and fro slow-motion.
But pervading through Lutz's shirtless smirks and accent continuity that calls envy from Johnny Depp's Alice in Wonderland performance is the obtrusive lack of thought that went into this picture. A proverbial grab bag of "the basics" of the classic epic genre, The Legend of Hercules boasts familiarity over originality. So much so that the filmmakers didn't stop at Hercules mythology... they barely started with it, in fact. There's more Jesus Christ in the character than there is the Ancient Greek demigod, with no lack of Gladiator to keep things moreover relevant. But even more outrageous than the void of imagination in the construct of Hercules' world is its script — a piece so comically dim, thin, and idiotic that you will laugh. So we can't exactly say this is a totally joyless time at the movies.
Summit via Everett Collection
Surrounding Hercules, a character whose arc takes him from being a nice enough strong dude to a nice enough strong dude who kills people and finally owns up to his fate — "Okay, fine, yes, I guess I'm a god" — are a legion of characters whose makeup and motivations are instituted in their opening scenes and never change thereafter. His de facto stepdad, the teeth-baring King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins), despises the boy for being a living tribute to his supernatural cuckolding; his half-brother Iphicles (Liam Garrigan) is the archetypical scheming, neutered, jealous brother figure right down to the facial scar. The dialogue this family of mongoloids tosses around is stunningly brainless, ditto their character beats. Hercules can't understand how a mystical stranger knows his identity, even though he just moments ago exited a packed coliseum chanting his name. Iphicles defies villainy and menace when he threatens his betrothed Hebe (Gaia Weiss), long in love with Hercules, with the terrible fate of "accepting [him] and loving [their] children equally!" And the dad... jeez, that guy must really be proud of his teeth.
With no artistic feat successfully accomplished (or even braved, really) by this movie, we can at the very least call it inoffensive. There is nothing in The Legend of Hercules with which to take issue beyond its dismal intellect, and in a genre especially prone to regressive activity, this is a noteworthy triumph. But you might not have enough energy by the end to award The Legend of Hercules with this superlative. Either because you'll have laughed yourself into a coma at the film's idiocy, or because you'll have lost all strength trying to fend it off.
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Comedienne Jennifer Saunders has confirmed reports she is developing an Absolutely Fabulous movie. In a new British TV interview with Jonathan Ross, Saunders revealed she has bowed to pressure from co-star Joanna Lumley to come up with a script for a film.
In the cult TV comedy series, which ran from 1992 to 2005 and returned for three anniversary episodes in 2012, Saunders and Lumley played boozy socialites Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone.
Saunders says, "I have to do it now because I’ve threatened to a lot, and then she (Lumley) kept announcing it and saying, 'Yes, she’s going to do it,’ and then (writing partner) Dawn French on our radio show at Christmas said, 'I bet £100,000 that you don’t write it,’ so now I have to write it, otherwise I have to pay her £100,000.”
British actor Alan Davies has paid damages to a former politician after he re-tweeted a post falsely linking him to a child abuse scandal. Last year (12) the BBC ran a report on its Newsnight programme on alleged sexual abuse at a Welsh children's home, and accused a "leading Conservative politician... of sexually abusing boys in care".
The Jonathan Creek star then asked his thousands of Twitter followers for "clues" to the alleged abuser's identity. He received a message mentioning the name of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's advisor, Lord McAlpine, which he then re-tweeted.
The politician launched libel action against Davies, among others in the public arena, and on Thursday (24Oct13), the actor agreed to pay undisclosed damages to Lord McAlpine, while apologising for the "great damage and distress" his actions caused.
After the hearing at London's High Court, which neither party attended, Davies' lawyer Steve Hudson said the star hopes the case makes people think about how they operate on social media.
He said, "Mr Davies hopes that as a result of this matter other Twitter users will be more aware of the potential damaging consequences of tweeting and be more careful in how they use that platform."
British actor Alan Davies took a massive pay cut to keep his TV drama Jonathan Creek on air amid crippling budget reductions. The mystery show, which originally ran between 1997 and 2004, returned to the small screen in 2009 after a five-year absence, but Davies fears it could go off air again if the cuts continue.
The actor reveals he has given up a portion of his pay, and production staff are constantly thinking up new ways to slash filming costs, including shooting in the dark to disguise the lack of lavish set designs.
He tells Britain's The Sun, "The budgets on Creek are really squeezed. One of the films we made recently was set in a country house and (writer/creator) David Renwick had to write into the script that the house had been mothballed while a family was away overseas. That meant the design department didn't have to decorate any rooms. We could put sheets on furniture.
"Or we do scenes at night so it's in the dark and the viewer can't see we haven't had the money to dress it (the set)."
He goes on to warn TV companies in Britain need to increase investment in drama or else cheap reality shows will take over the schedule.
Davies adds, "If you keep slashing budgets, it makes it hard to produce a quality drama... Everyone is tightening their belts and there are cheaper things to put on screen... You don't always just want the easy moving wallpaper of reality shows."