Relatives of movie icon John Wayne have filed suit against officials at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina as part of a trademark battle over the actor's nickname 'The Duke'. The two parties have been locked in a branding feud for almost a decade, but the legal fight heated up last year (13), when school bosses objected to Wayne's family applying to register 'Duke' for use in the liquor industry to produce a bourbon in the late actor's name.
University executives claimed the use of the name for booze may cause confusion among consumers and tarnish the school's brand, which is already established in the food and beverage markets.
Chiefs at John Wayne Enterprises have now taken the case to federal court, asking for a declaratory judgement giving them permission to use the Duke branding for bourbon, arguing, "Duke University is not and never has been in the business of producing, marketing, distributing, or selling alcohol.
"On information and belief, the actual and potential customer base of Duke University is vastly different from the customer base of JWE."
The complaint, obtained by editors at The Hollywood Reporter, continues, "Duke University does not own the word 'Duke' in all contexts for all purposes. Duke is a common word that has been in use for centuries in a wide array of commercial and other applications wholly independent of Duke University. Yet by the actions alleged herein, Duke University seems to think it owns the word 'Duke' for all purposes and applications."
Psychic to the stars Kenny Kingston has died at the age of 87 after a long battle with a cardiovascular disease. The beloved seer, who boasted Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, Lucille Ball, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and John Wayne among his celebrity clients, passed away on Monday (30Jun14).
He was the first psychic to appear on primetime television in the U.S., on programmes such as The Flip Wilson Show, and he was a regular on variety hits hosted by Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin and Steve Allen.
Kingston went on to front his own online radio show, which ran until 2011, and he also found success with the Kenny Kingston Psychic Hotline, which fans looking for career and romantic advice would seek out.
He also penned five books on the spiritual world and was often approached by media outlets for insights from dead stars, like Monroe, who became one of his spirit companions from beyond the grave.
Kingston is survived by his partner of 35 years, Valerie Porter.
Music producer Alan Douglas, who worked with the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Duke Ellington, has died at the age of 82. He passed away at his home in Paris, France on 7 June (14) following a fall, according to his daughter, Kirby Veevers.
Douglas worked on Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers' Three Blind Mice albums and was credited with bringing trumpeter Kenny Dorham into the studio for his 1962 classic, Matador.
He also worked with Ellington on 1962's Money Jungle, which featured bassist Charles Mingus and drummer Max Roach, and was known for his other collaborations with guitarist John McLaughlin and the group the Last Poets.
However, the producer, who later established his own Douglas Records label, is perhaps most closely associated with Hendrix, acquiring the rights to produce the rock icon's previously unreleased tracks four years after his death in 1970.
Douglas is frequently credited with helping to keep his legacy alive, but the posthumous Hendrix work on albums like Crash Landing, Midnight Lightning and Voodoo Soup was not without controversy, with some devotees blasting the producer after it was discovered that he would often bring in new session musicians to dub over Hendrix's original band.
Veteran heavy rocker Dave Lombardo has joined Casey Chaos' group Amen for an upcoming album and tour. The former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo will join Chaos and Amen's latest line-up, featuring bassist John Fahnestock and guitarist Duke Decter, when the band tours Europe in August (14).
Meanwhile, the five-piece has started work on a new album.
Lombardo says, "I am very proud to have been asked to be part of this amazing production. My career in thrash was created from my love of the punk genre. There is an excitement in this particular style of music that's vital for me. It's aggressive, honest and needed."
The drummer parted company with Slayer last year (13) following a contract dispute with the other members of the group. He has since been replaced by Paul Bostaph, who was Slayer's drummer from 1992 until 2001.
Jazz legend Miles Davis has landed a street honour in New York. Shirley Zafirau, Davis' former neighbour, launched a campaign to have a block named Miles Davis Way five years ago after noticing many other musicians, including Duke Ellington, Chico O'Farrill and John Hicks had been feted with the honour.
She says, "I wondered, 'Why isn't Miles recognised in the same way on this block?' He interacted with the community on the street. He really liked being here." On Tuesday (27May14), former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a bill renaming the street, according to the New York Times.
Vince Wilburn, Jr., Davis' nephew, says, "It's a great honour for my uncle. The family is very excited about it." Davis died in 1991 from the combined effects of a stroke, pneumonia and respiratory failure.
U.S. singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc has scored his first solo number one in the U.K. after topping the British singles chart with The Man on Sunday (06Apr14). The hitmaker, real name Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III, hit the top of the countdown last year (13) with his Avicii collaboration Wake Me Up, and now he has his first solo number one thanks to his homage to Elton John's first U.K. top 10 single, Your Song.
Meanwhile, John Legend finds himself a runner-up on both sides of the Atlantic - his All Of Me climbs up the chart to two as the same track stays put in second place behind Pharrell Williams' Happy in America.
Duke Dumont's I Got U rounds out the new top three.
On the U.K album chart, the Kaiser Chiefs debut at one with their fifth album Education, Education, Education & War, while last week's chart-topper, Sam Bailey's The Power Of Love falls to two and George Michael's Symphonica rounds out the top three.
Teenage pop stars 5 Seconds Of Summer have become the first Australian group to top the U.K.'s singles chart in 14 years. The boyband, which supported One Direction on tour last year (13), dethroned Duke Dumont's I Got U to take the number one spot with its hit She Looks So Perfect. The last song by an Australian artist to hit pole position was Don't Call My Baby by Madison Avenue in 2000.
Last week's (begs24Mar14) chart-topper fell to second place, followed by Changes by French DJ duo Faul & Wad Ad vs Pnau, who entered the countdown at three, while Route 94's My Love and John Legend's All Of Me rounded out the top five.
Meanwhile, the latest winner of Britain's The X Factor, pregnant singer Sam Bailey, has debuted her first release, The Power of Love, at number one on the albums chart.
George Michael's Symphonic slipped to two, while Roger Daltrey and terminally-ill rocker Wilko Johnson's Going Back Home entered at three.
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Here's a feat: taking what is likely the oldest, most well-known story in the world, and making a retelling feel inventive. Over the course of its two-and-a-half-hour runtime, Darren Aronofsky's Noah takes many forms — Tolkien-esque fantasy, trippy psychological thriller, merciless dissection of the dark points of abject faith — never feeling too rigidly confined to the parameters of the familiar tale that we've all experienced in the form of bedtime stories, religious education lessons, and vegetable-laden cartoons. As many forms as the parable has taken over the past few thousand years, Aronofsky manages to find a few new takes.
The director's thumbprint is branded boldly on Russell Crowe's Noah, a man who begins his journey as a simple pawn of God and evolves into a dimensional human as tortured as Natalie Portman's ballerina or Jared Leto's smack head. Noah's obsession and crisis: his faith. The peak of the righteous descendant of Seth (that's Adam and Eve's third son — the one who didn't die or bash his brother's head in with a rock), Noah is determined to carry out the heavenly mission imparted upon him via ambiguous, psychedelic visions. God wants him to do something — spoilers: build an ark — and he will do it. No matter what.
No matter what it means to his family, to his lineage, to his fellow man, to the world. He's going to do it. No matter what. The depths to which Aronofsky explores this simple concept — the nature of unmitigated devotion — makes what we all knew as a simplistic A-to-B children's story so gripping. While the throughline is not a far cry from the themes explored in his previous works, the application of his Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, and Black Swan ideas in this movie does not feel like a rehashing. Experiencing such modern, humane ideas in biblical epic is, in fact, a thrill-ride.
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Although Aronofsky accesses some highly guttural stuff inside of his title character, he lets whimsy and imagination take hold of the world outside of him. Jumping headfirst into the fantastical, the director lines his magical realm with rock monsters — "Watcher" angels encased in Earth-anchored prisons as punishment for their betrayal of God — and a variety of fauna that range in innovation from your traditional white dove to some kind of horned, scaled dog bastardization.
But the most winning elements of Noah, and easily the most surprising, come when Aronofsky goes cosmic. He jumps beyond the literal to send us coursing through eons to watch the creation of God's universe, matter exploding from oblivion, a line of creatures evolving (in earnest) into one another as the planet progresses to the point at which we meet our tortured seafarer. Aronofsky's imagination, his aptitude as a cinematic magician, peak (not just in terms of the film, but in terms of his career) in these scenes.
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With all this propped against the stark humanity of his story — not just in terms of Crowe's existential spiral, but in character beats like grandfather Methuselah's relationship with the youngsters, in little Ham's playful teasing of his new rock monster pet — Aronofsky manages something we never could have anticipated from Noah. It's scientific, cathartic, humane. Impressively, this age-old tale, here, is new. And beyond that feat, it's a pretty winning spin.
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George Michael's comeback album Symphonica has soared to the top of the U.K. music charts, scoring him his seventh solo number one. The Wake Me Up Before You Go Go hitmaker's first album in 10 years beat out Kylie Minogue's Kiss Me Once for the coveted number one spot, and the singer is overwhelmed by the fan support.
He tells OfficialCharts.com, "Thank you so much... it's so nice to be able to savour this wonderful moment. I am a lucky man."
Pharrell Williams' G I R L slipped to third place, while Paloma Faith's A Perfect Contradiction and Elbow's The Take Off And Landing Of Everything took the fourth and fifth spots, respectively.
Meanwhile, Duke Dumont and Jax Jones' I Got U hit nabbed the number one spot on the singles chart, followed by Route 94 and Jess Glynne's My Love at two and John Legend's All of Me at three.
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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