British pop star Melanie Brown has been unveiled as a new judge on British TV talent show The X Factor. The news was confirmed by a representative from Simon Cowell's company Syco in a Twitter.com post on Wednesday (11Jun14), in which it was announced the former Spice Girls star will join Cowell, long-standing judge Louis Walsh, and singer Cheryl Cole for the 2014 series.
Brown - known as Mel B during her pop star heyday - previously appeared as a guest judge on the show in 2012 and has served on The X Factor Australia and America's Got Talent, which are both run by Cowell's company.
The singer says, "I've always thought honesty is the best policy when being a judge and that's what I'm going to bring more of this year. Whether it's spotting an incredible singer, giving someone a reality check or debating with Simon over who's got it wrong. Now I can't wait to get started and find some amazing talent."
Cowell adds, "I am thrilled that Mel B has agreed to be a judge on The X Factor this year. I thought she was fantastic as a guest judge a couple of years ago. She is feisty, opinionated and, I believe, will be a great mentor."
Auditions for the new series are set to begin on Monday (16Jun14).
Victoria Beckham has officially ruled herself out of any future Spice Girls reunions, insisting her appearance at the London Olympics was her last with the band. The Wannabe hitmakers, who first split in 2000, reunited for a world tour in 2007 and 2008 and teamed up once again for a special performance at the Olympic Games closing ceremony in 2012.
The Spice Girls are reportedly considering a deal to hit the road with the Backstreet Boys to mark their 20th anniversary in the U.K. later this year (14), and bandmate Melanie Chisholm recently revealed they might tour as a quartet because Beckham is no longer interested in returning to her pop roots alongside Emma Bunton, Melanie Brown and Geri Halliwell.
Chisholm, aka Sporty Spice, said, "We've talked about it (a reunion). Victoria doesn't want to, which we completely understand. We are so proud of her and her incredible foray into fashion; it's incredible what she's achieved as a designer. The four of us could consider it maybe. We have Victoria's blessing to do that."
And now Beckham has made it clear she will never perform as a member of the Spice Girls ever again. Making the declaration in a 40 Facts About Me survey for People magazine, she writes, "I appeared for the last time with the Spice Girls at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games."
Beckham previously admitted she had simply become too busy to juggle motherhood and her fashion career with another reunion tour after their 2008 trek left her exhausted.
Former Spice Girls star Emma Bunton has invited Emma Stone to her house after learning the actress is a huge fan of the group. The Amazing Spider-Man star famously cried when she received a video message from Melanie Brown during a radio show last month (Mar14), and she proved her fan chops by replicating the Spice Girls stars' signatures on U.S. talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! last week (ends06Apr14).
Band member Melanie Chisholm heard of her behaviour and phoned in to Capital Radio station in London on Wednesday (09Apr14), where Stone was being interviewed.
During the chat, Chisholm said, "I've got a message for you, I spoke to Emma (Bunton) earlier and she said hi, I know she's your favourite. She said she still has all of her baby doll dresses, if you ever want to pop round and try them on."
Stone, who screamed when her idol's face appeared and was shaking throughout the message, replied, "Yes I would love to, I'm so happy to meet you. Thank you for calling!"
Actress Emma Stone was overcome with emotion during an interview in Australia when she received a personal message from former Spice Girls star Melanie Brown. The Amazing Spider-Man star joined the hosts of Sydney's 2Day FM to talk about her new superhero sequel and fought back tears when she realised she came close to meeting her pop idol, who often hosts a show on the station.
Stone's voice trembled as presenters Merrick Watts and Sophie Monk apologised for the singer's absence before playing her a personalised message from Brown.
The actress said, "Wait, Mel B could have been here? I'm going to cry. Oh my God, is Mel B talking to me? I'm so excited, I'm legitimately crying. I'm the biggest Spice Girls fan ever."
In the video message, Brown challenged her superfan to sing a Spice Girls song, and Stone battled to keep her emotions under control to perform a rendition of the rap from the group's breakthrough track Wannabe.
Former Spice Girls star Melanie Brown poured her own cash into recording sessions for her comeback single. The singer released a one-off track, For Once In My Life, last year (13) and its success has encouraged her to get back in the studio to make a follow-up to her 2005 album L.A. State of Mind.
Brown has now revealed she funded the creation of her comeback track herself, telling Britain's OK magazine, "I decided I wanted to do more music after taping America's Got Talent (in 2013). I actually got in the studio that night, recorded the song and released it eight days later. We did it all in-house and I funded it myself, so I only had myself to answer to."
Brown is now hoping to find time to record a whole album, adding, "It's just about finding a beat that I like and taking time out to do it. Sometimes it's a two-second process and sometimes it's a two-week process. You have to find the right producers and co-writers, then the good ones are always busy."
"I was just in London and we all had tea together. It was a private tea, nobody saw us, but we talked about our kids and regular stuff, like what we've been working on." Melanie Brown is still good friends with her Spice Girls bandmates.
Melanie Brown has been cast opposite Hollywood veteran Rob Lowe in upcoming U.S. sitcom The Pro. The former Spice Girls singer will appear alongside Lowe, who stars as a professional tennis player in the comedy. It is not yet known what role Brown will play in the show.
Lowe confirmed the news via Twitter.com over the weekend (15-16Mar14), writing, "It's a casting avalanche! Spice Girl Mel B joins us on The Pro."
Brown has also signed up as a judge on U.S. reality TV show America's Got Talent, which kicks off in May (14), and she is currently a coach on The Voice Kids Australia, which will hit screens Down Under later this year (14).
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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You don't arrive at the Grand Budapest Hotel without your share of Wes Anderson baggage. Odds are, if you've booked a visit to this film, you've enjoyed your past trips to the Wes Indies (I promise I'll stop this extended metaphor soon), delighting especially in Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and his most recent charmer Moonrise Kingdom. On the other hand, you could be the adventurous sort — a curious diplomat who never really got Anderson's uric-toned deadpan drudgings but can't resist browsing through the brochures of his latest European getaway. First off, neither community should worry about a bias in this review — I'm a Life Aquatic devotee, equally alienating to both sides. Second, neither community should be deterred by Andersonian expectations, be they sky high or subterranean, in planned Budapest excursions. No matter who you are, this movie will charm your dandy pants off and then some.
While GBH hangs tight to the filmmaker's recognizable style, the movie is a departure for Anderson in a number of ways. The first being plot: there is one. A doozy, too. We're accustomed to spending our Wes flicks peering into the stagnant souls of pensive man-children — or children-men (Moonrise) or fox-kits (guess) — whose journeys are confined primarily to the internal. But not long into Grand Budapest, we're on a bona fide adventure with one of the director's most attractive heroes to date: the didactic Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes mastering sympathetic comedy better than anyone could have imagined he might), who invests his heart and soul into the titular hotel, an oasis of nobility in a decaying 1930s Europe. Gustave is plucked from his sadomasochistic nirvana overseeing every cog and sprocket in the mountaintop institution and thrust into a madcap caper — reminiscent of, and not accidentally, the Hollywood comedies of the era — involving murder, framing, art theft, jailbreak, love, sex, envy, secret societies, high speed chases... believe me, I haven't given half of it away. Along the way, we rope in a courageous baker (Saoirse Ronan), a dutiful attorney (Jeff Goldblum), a hotheaded socialite (Adrien Brody) and his psychopathic henchman (Willem Dafoe), and no shortage of Anderson regulars. The director proves just as adept at the large scale as he is at the small, delivering would-be cartoon high jinks with the same tangible life that you'd find in a Billy Wilder romp or one of the better Hope/Crosby Road to movies.
Anchoring the monkey business down to a recognizable planet Earth (without sacrificing an ounce of comedy) is the throughline of Gustave's budding friendship with his lobby boy, Zero (newcomer Tony Revolori, whose performance is an unprecedented and thrilling mixture of Wes Anderson stoicism and tempered humility), the only living being who appreciates the significance of the Grand Budapest as much as Gustave does. In joining these two oddballs on their quest beyond the parameters of FDA-approved doses of zany, we appreciate it, too: the significance of holding fast to something you believe in, understand, trust, and love in a world that makes less and less sense everyday. Anderson's World War II might not be as ostensibly hard-hitting as that to which modern cinema is accustomed, but there's a chilling, somber horror story lurking beneath the surface of Grand Budapest. Behind every side-splitting laugh, cookie cutter backdrop, and otherworldly antic, there is a pulsating dread that makes it all mean something. As vivid as the worlds of Rushmore, Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Moonrise might well have been, none have had this much weight and soul.
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So it's astonishing that we're able to zip to and fro' every crevice of this haunting, misty Central Europe at top speeds, grins never waning as our hero Gustave delivers supernaturally articulate diatribes capped with physically startling profanity. So much of it is that delightfully odd, agonizingly devoted character, his unlikely camaraderie with the unflappably earnest young Zero, and his adherence to the magic that inhabits the Grand Budapest Hotel. There are few places like it on Earth, as we learn. There aren't many movies like it here either.
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"A message for Mel B. You're the only Spice Girl I ever wanted to sleep with. It's true... I slept with the other ones by mistake. You slip, you trip and your d**k ends up in Geri Halliwell... yes I did." British pop star Robbie Williams regrets his brief fling with former Spice Girls star Geri Halliwell.