Character actor Stephen Lee has died.
The Seinfeld and Nash Bridges star passed away on 14 August (14) after suffering a heart attack. He was 58. Lee portrayed the Big Bopper in Ritchie Valens biopic La Bamba and also appeared in the movies RoboCop 2 and Burlesque, but he'll perhaps be best remembered as an inquisitive contractor hired to install kitchen cabinets in Jerry Seinfeld's apartment in a 1997 episode of Seinfeld.
Lee also played Tom Arnold in 1994 TV movie Roseanne and Tom: Behind the Scenes. He made his debut in a 1981 episode of Hart to Hart and became a TV staple in shows like Hill Street Blues, Family Ties, Roseanne, Quantum Leap and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Michael J. Fox's Back To The Future hoverboard and Arnold Schwarzenegger's iconic biker outfit from The Terminator series are among the items going under the hammer in the U.K.'s biggest ever film props auction. Bosses at movie memorabilia company Prop Store are giving fans the opportunity to own some of the most recognisable items in film by holding a huge auction in London this autumn (14).
Some of the notable items include the pink hoverboard Fox used in Back to the Future Part II, the shirt worn by Sir Christopher Lee as Bond villain Francisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun, the leather biker costume Schwarzenegger donned in Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and a coveted Golden Ticket from 1971's Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
Fans will be able to view the items prior to the auction when more than 300 lots go on display at the Westfield London shopping centre in Shepherd's Bush starting 1 October (14).
The exhibition lasts for two weeks until 16 October (14), when the items will go under the hammer.
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.
U.S. comedy veteran Sid Caesar has died at the age of 91. The TV icon's friend and collaborator Carl Reiner and biographer Eddy Friedfeld confirmed the sad news on Wednesday (12Feb14).
Caesar starred on beloved 1950s TV variety show Your Show of Shows and went on to host Caesar's Hour, and he also appeared in films like It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Airport 1975, Silent Movie and Grease.
Flowers will be placed on his Walk of Fame star in Hollywood on Wednesday afternoon.
Newsman Larry King was among the first celebrities to pay tribute to Caesar on his Twitter.com page on Wednesday (12Feb14). He wrote, "Sorry to learn about the passing of Sid Caesar-a dear friend, a comic genius & an American classic. There will never be another one like him."
Whoopi Goldberg added her tribute on Twitter too, writing, "Life...doing her thing, another great has passed Sid Caesar. Funny man We honored him at the very first Comic Relief. RIP turn turn turn", while Arnold Schwarzenegger posted, "We've lost one of the greats. Sid Caesar was a fantastic comedian and entertainer. His quadlingual schtick was always a hit. We'll miss him."
The son of Jewish immigrants, Isaac Sidney Caesar began his career in the late 1940s and won his first Emmy Award in 1952 as a regular on Your Show of Shows. He was also Emmy nominated for his appearances in Mad About You and Love & War.
Caesar was also a theatre veteran and earned a Tony Award nomination for his multiple roles in 1962 Broadway musical Little Me, based on the book by Neil Simon. He later starred alongside Carol Channing and Tommy Lee Jones in a Broadway production of Four on a Garden in 1971, and also performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in the late 1980s.
He was also an accomplished saxophonist and studied the instrument at the Julliard School of Music before becoming an actor/comedian.
He was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960 and received a career achievement award from the Television Critics Association in 2001. He was also voted America's Best Comedian by Motion Picture Daily's TV poll in 1951 and 1952 and won a Sylvania Award in 1958 for his work in television.
Caesar's autobiographies, Where Have I Been and Caesar's Hours, both chronicled his struggle to overcome alcoholism and drug addictions.
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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Game Of Thrones star Emilia Clarke, Brie Larson and Margot Robbie have emerged as frontrunners for the lead in the latest Terminator movie. Director Alan Taylor has already started screen testing the actresses for the role of young Sarah Connor in the prequel, in which Arnold Schwarzenegger will reprise his role as the title character.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Clarke and Larson will be tested next week (beg11Nov13), while sources tell the publication that producers are also interested in Robbie.
Connor was played by Linda Hamilton in the classic James Cameron-directed Terminator movies, while Clarke's Game of Thrones co-star Lena Headey played the freedom fighter character in TV spin-off Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
Action man Arnold Schwarzenegger has been named an honorary ranger by officials at the U.S. Forest Service. The actor, who served as California governor from 2003 to 2011, has been recognised for his continued efforts to combat climate change.
A statement from agency bosses reads, "Thanks to Governor Schwarzenegger, California is now well on its way to meeting its targets through a ground-breaking mix of measures, including a low carbon fuel standard, a renewable energy portfolio, and a cap-and-trade program.
"Governor Schwarzenegger also approved tough new vehicle fuel economy standards that have since been adopted at the national level."
The Terminator star, who co-founded the non-profit R20 Regions of Climate Change organisation, joins Betty White and Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell as the only other honorary rangers in the agency's history, according to the Huffington Post.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robin Williams, Cher, Robert De Niro, and Ian Somerhalder were among the celebrities who got swept up in a Sharknado storm to spoof the popular TV disaster movie for a special Halloween (31Oct13) skit. The pre-taped segment for U.S. morning show Live! with Kelly and Michael featured Sharknado star Ian Ziering trying to help the Hollywood stars fend off killer sharks just like the movie, but no one survived the attack from the skies.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's son, Patrick, plays Ariana Grande's love interest in her new music video for Right There. The onscreen couple portray Romeo and Juliet in the video, which also features rapper Big Sean.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has launched an online campaign urging political leaders to support after-school programs. The actor and former Governor of California was in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday (30Oct13) to urge congressional leaders not to cut funding to educational projects, and he took to Reddit.com to rally support for his campaign.
The meetings follow an article written by Schwarzenegger on the impact of after-school schemes in guiding students later in life, which was published on Politico.com on Wednesday (30Oct13).
The Terminator star writes on Reddit, "This is something I think everyone can agree on. I've been involved with after-school programs for 20 years so I know how effective they are. I'm in Washington today having meetings on the Hill to talk to congressional leaders about how after-school funding is an investment that we can't afford to cut. I'd love to hear your thoughts."