When the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie came out, it seemed Hollywood had hit peak pirate attractiveness levels — Johnny Depp wearing black eyeliner, Orlando Bloom and Jack Davenport sent the hearts of middle school girls (and women of all ages probably) around the world a-fluttering. Now, the new Starz series Black Sails totally outshines all the Pirates of the Caribbean films put together. Apparently there is room for more attractive pirates in Hollywood.
Let’s start with the men: in the main cast we’ve got Luke Arnold as John Silver, Tom Hopper as Billy Bones, Zach McGowan as Captain Vane, and Toby Stephens as Captain Flint. For those who love tall guys, Hopper is 6’5” (yes, I absolutely looked that up). McGowan is shirtless in the first episode and has the body of Chris Hemsworth in the Marvel films. Stephens is a mix of Michael Fassbender and Damian Lewis (it’s a deadly combination). Meanwhile, Arnold has the bad boy smirk down, reminding us of that elusive older guy we crushed on in high school.
However, as much as the men of Black Sails are attractive, so are the ladies (though there aren’t quite as many). Hannah New plays Eleanor Guthrie, a take charge kind of woman who isn’t afraid to get in a guy’s face; Max, a smart and cunning prostitute, is played by Jessica Parker Kennedy; and the mysterious Anne Bonny, who hides under her hat most of the time, is played by Clara Paget. The women of Black Sails could definitely give the men a run for their money.
No matter what you’re into, it’s likely you’ll be attracted to at least one character on Black Sails — or all of the characters, that is totally possible as well. It has us wondering if a cast could be anymore attractive (we think not).
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Two new bits of information from the set of The Avengers: Age of Ultron. First, according to Twitch, the movie is looking to add a new international location to its filming schedule, and will be shooting in the Gangnam neighborhood of Seoul, South Korea. Rumors of a Korean shoot have been circulating for some time now, and although star Mark Ruffalo has shot them down in the past, Korean representatives have confirmed that South Korea will be joining Italy and the U.K. as filming locations for the upcoming film. In addition, Korean actress Kim Soo-hyun has been added to film's cast of thousands, and although her character has yet to be revealed she has reportedly been cast "in a villain role."
Kim's character would be the third villain in Age of Ultron, as James Spader and Thomas Kretschmann have already signed on to play Ultron and Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, respectively. It's very likely that her character will play more of a supporting role, and probably work for or with one of the two main villains of the film, although, since her role is being kept under wraps, there's still a chance that she would be playing a more prominent villain. Superhero films have often been known to use multiple villains as a way of distracting both the heroes and the audience from the real villain of the piece, which means either Strucker or Ultron would be used to draw attention away from a more important character. However, both Ultron and Strucker are long-term adversaries of the Avengers in the comics, so it would be a more logical choice for the film to use them as the primary villains.
Regardless of the size of the role that Kim will play, the addition of a third villain might be cause for concern amongst fans of the series. Of course, having multiple villains in a superhero film is nothing new, but it's a difficult feat to pull of successfully, which might explain why there are so few films in which such a trope has worked well. Most movies like to establish some sort of backstory for their villains, in order for the audience to understand why they have turned to evil, and why they choose to terrorize this particular city or hero. Adding a second or even third villain would then require additional backstory for those characters as well, which tends to eat up a significant amount of the film's runtime — not to mention the fact that a film can only sustain so many subplots before everything starts to become convoluted. Spider-Man 3 attempted to circumvent the backstory issue by connecting Sandman with Uncle Ben's murder, but even that became confusing when added to Harry Osborn inheriting his father's role as the Green Goblin and Venom turning to evil after a petty feud with Peter Parker. Yes, that film has a myriad of other issues, but having three separate superheroes competing for screentime and Spider-Man's attention did nothing but drag things down even further.
Of course, even if Kim is playing a more supporting, henchman-type role instead of being a distinct villain in her own right, that doesn't necessarily mean the film is in the clear. Iron Man 2 attempted to add in a second villain with the addition of Justin Hammer, who plays a secondary role to Ivan Vanko, and assists in his scheme to take down Tony Stark, but ultimately, his storyline feels like an unneccessary subplot, and he's dispatched with easily and quietly. The plot of the film works just as well without him, and he doesn't add anything important to Tony's story or even to Vanko's story, so all he's doing is providing addition wisecracks and taking attention away from the rest of the story. It's not just Marvel that has difficulty balancing multiple villains, either; The Dark Knight Rises attempted to work in both Bane and Talia al Ghul by having the former provide the main villainy causing problems within Gotham, while distracting Batman from the fact that Talia was the mastermind behind the whole thing. Most of the film's plot focused on Bane, and when it was revealed at the very end that his story was actually hers, it felt more like an attempt at a surprise twist ending than anything else. She was never given the attention needed to make that ending feel earned or justified, which again, results in the double-villain trope being unsuccessful.
Even without factoring in Kim's character, the deck is stacked against Age of Ultron. Both Ultron and Strucker are significant parts of the Avengers mythology, which means they have complicated and dense histories, which the film will have to find a way of condensing or entwining in order to do justice to both of the character's origins and relationship with the Avengers. Marvel has been known to focus on one villain as the main antagonist, and slowly establish the second one as a long-term villain who will play a more significant role in the next film. However, in this case, it's impossible to tell if that will be the direction they choose for Age of Ultron, as neither Ultron or Strucker gives of the impression of being a one-and-done character, which makes it all the more important that both characters receive the time and attention they need. The best way to go about this would be to follow in the footsteps of The Dark Knight, which incorporated Two-Face's origin story into the Joker's plot, and allowed them both to succeed as the villains of the piece. If Age of Ultron can find a way to combine the two stories — for example, having Ultron work for HYDRA, or having him be the catalyst for Strucker's founding of the organization — then it might be able to avoid the "multiple villain" curse that haunts superhero films.
With the addition of Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and Rhodey, Age of Ultron already has the difficult task of keeping the story from becoming over-crowded with characters, and so, as a result, multiple villains doesn't seem to be a solid plan. They're already having to relegate some of the good guys to background and subplots, which makes it hard to see where writer/director Joss Whedon will be able to fit in the many backstories needed to sustain a proper villain arc. Furthermore, the increased size of the cast seems to be counterintuitive to the "smaller" and "more personal" nature of the story that he has promised, as more characters means there is less room to focus on the individual, be it hero or villain. The Marvel universe has thus far seen great results with its attempts to focus on the psychological and emotional elements of the characters as well as the action that we expect, and the description of the script for Age of Ultron makes it sound as if this will be joining Iron Man 3 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier as successful looks at the inner lives of the heroes. But adding in so many new characters seems to undermine that story thread, and might only result in a film that has too many plots to properly explore anything.
We're hoping that Marvel will be able to avoid the pitfalls that come with having too many villains in a film, and we'd like to see Age of Ultron join the short list of superhero films that have been successful. However, the larger this cast seems to grow, the more reservations we have about whether or not the film will be able to pull it off. It's a delicate balancing act to work so many subplots and backstories into a film that is cohesive and engaging, but Marvel's on a hot streak right now, so we'll just have to hold out hope that Age of Ultron won't allow everything to come crashing down. And if it does, at least they'll have a few dozen more films in which to make things right.
A year never looked quite as good as 2014 in the new calendar from Reflect it Back, a project for social good. Tyler Posey and Colton Haynes rounded up some of their Teen Wolf buddies as well as some other young Hollywood stars in order to create MIRROR: A Calendar for Social Good. The calendar, shot by photographer Doug Inglish, features the abs of Posey and Haynes as well as their werewolf pals Tyler Hoechlin, Max Carver, and Charlie Carver. Parker Young of Suburgatory, Chris Zylka of Twisted, and Kendrick Sampson recently on The Vampire Diaries joined the Teen Wolf guys in posing for the calendar.
An information video on the Reflect it Back site features a few of the stars talking about the project — they wanted to use their talents to give something back to the world. Attractive and philanthropic? What more could you ask for in a dream guy (or guys)? There are also plenty of clips from behind the scenes of the photo shoot, which seems like it would have been a blast.
For those wondering, the calendar costs $24.99 (before shipping and taxes) and the proceeds will benefit several charities including the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Check out the hashtag #ReflectitBack to get in on the conversation and see some more behind the scenes photos of the calendar’s stars.
In the action packed trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) starts us off with his bleak realization that "Everyday I wake up knowing that the more people I try to save, the more enemies I will try to make and it's just a matter of time until I face those with more power than I can overcome." Well, Parker, it looks like you are correct. In just under three minutes we get a sneak peek at all Spider-Man's latest enemies, including Electro (Jamie Foxx), Rhino (Paul Giamatti) and Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper). Also introduced? Peter's friend (or foe) Harry Osborn played by up-and-comer Dane DeHaan.
First and foremost, we are shown Peter and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) are happily back together, though it seems like that relationship may not end well in the wake of all these new enemies. And (spoilers) if you know anything about the comics you know that Gwen Stacy doesn't last too long after the Green Goblin is created, and that Harry Osborn (DeHaan) eventually becomes the Green Goblin. So, after the quick and humorous introductory scene of the blissful duo, the trailer jumps right into the gritty and epic plot. Right off the bat Peter discovers that he has been under surveillance at OsCorp for years. Confused, Peter looks for answers and shocklingly finds out that his father's work may have been used to create his latest villain, Electro. And, it is that villain that dominates the rest of the trailer as we get plenty of glimpses of just how powerful Electro truly is. In the final minute, we see Spider-Man and Electro come face to face while swinging through the streets of Manhattan. It is then that Electro seems to be the most theatening as it looks like his may have the power to defeat Spider-Man, especially when he menacingly claims, "Soon everyone in this city will know how it feels to live in a world without power, without mercy, without Spider-Man." Yup, we got the chills too.
Begin your countdown, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will hit theaters May 2, 2014.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Actor Chris Noth wasn't the only star forced to slim down for his role on Sex And The City - his onscreen love rival John Corbett was also asked to lose weight for the hit TV series. The Law & Order star recently revealed that he had been asked by show creator Michael Patrick King to shed a few extra pounds before reprising his character Mr. Big in the film adaptations of the programme, and now producer Amy B. Harris confesses Noth wasn't alone.
But it wasn't his leading lady Sarah Jessica Parker who was asked to watch her weight - it was her other love interest Aiden, played by Corbett.
Harris admits TV executives wanted Corbett's character to make a return to the TV version after his initial split from Parker's Carrie Bradshaw looking sexier than ever, so he had to embark on a strict diet plan.
She tells Eonline.com, "We told Corbett to lose weight between seasons three and four. When we talked about whether or not we wanted to see John come back, we basically said we want him to come back so hot that she cannot believe it. Like, he looks so much better after she left him. And we made him lose weight. And then we made Chris lose weight for the movie."
And Harris still finds it funny how the male stars were the only ones placed under pressure to watch their figures: "It's hilarious. The women were, like, perfection, and no one ever mentioned anything about their weight ever. It was just the two guys! I think the women were just predisposed to be lucky and didn't have to worry."
Actor Chris Noth has revealed he was forced to lose weight prior to shooting the big screen version of popular U.S. TV series Sex And The City. The actor, who played Mr. Big - the longtime love interest and eventual husband of Sarah Jessica Parker's leading lady Carrie Bradshaw, agreed to return to the iconic role in 2008, four years after he had said goodbye to his alter-ego on television.
But creator Michael Patrick King had one requirement for Noth before he reprised the role on the big screen - he had to lose the extra pounds and return to a leaner frame.
Noth tells HuffPost Live, "He came up to me and said, 'Listen, dude, we're not calling you Mr. Big because of the size of your stomach, so go lose that before we start shooting.'"
Thunder Kick Photos/Splash News
What is it about certain stars that has girls cooing at the TV in delight, while their boyfriends invent mutant junk foods in their heads (“KFC pizza… Cinnabon White Russians… Man, I should really be writing these down…”)?
While a luminous Cate Blanchett, sassy SJP, or gamine Anne Hathaway should surely appeal to even the blind Inuit, the genders stand divided on these beauties. While gay men and fashionable women swoon for Tilda Swinton, her ginger eyelashes hold little charm for the average dude. While a generation of women admired Carrie Bradshaw’s fearless approach to challenging hem lengths, Maxim voted Sarah Jessica Parker the ‘Unsexiest Woman in the World’. And, even though burlesque stripper Dita Von Teese should get everyone hot under the collar, it says a lot that the last guy who really dated her was called Marilyn.
So which other polarizing goddesses make the list of women who are only hot to other women? Join us as we negotiate the ultimate hot-or-not list.
GALLERY: Celebrity Hotties Who Leave Guys Cold
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Gwyneth Paltrow and Stella Mccartney recently hosted a star-studded "English garden party" in The Hamptons, New York, to launch their new fashion collaboration. The designer's dad Sir Paul McCartney, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cameron Diaz, Paltrow's husband Chris Martin and mum Blythe Danner were among the guests celebrating the new Stella McCartney x Goop collection, which is available on the actress' Goop.com website.
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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