To brand someone with the moniker “Yoko” has, for many years now, meant to assign him or her the blame for a group’s undoing — many a social clique has fallen victim to the influence of an interloping Yoko, a figure that disrupted the status quo with its “new ideas” on how things should operate. Well, if the namesake of this unflattering designation, Yoko Ono, is to be believed in her recently publicized revelations about the breakup of The Beatles, you might begin to put into retirement the Yoko stamp and instead start wielding a new title for said offenders: Paul. Although, really, this would probably get a little confusing, since the odds have it that you actually know a few people who are named Paul.
In a newly released 1987 interview with the iconic rock and roll reporter Joe Smith, courtesy of The Huffington Post, Ono disclosed her perspective on the downfall of the Fab Four, which she places on the shoulders not of herself, nor of the late John Lennon, but of Paul McCartney and his influence on the other band members. “The Beatles were getting very independent," Ono said. "Each one of them [was] getting independent. John, in fact, was not the first who wanted to leave the Beatles.”
Ono explains that one by one, each of the musicians expressed desire to leave the group behind: “[We saw] Ringo [Starr] one night with Maureen [Starkey Tigrett], and he came to John and me and said he wanted to leave. George [Harrison] was next, and then John.”
The avant-garde artist told Smith, “Paul [McCartney] was the only one trying to hold the Beatles together. But the other three thought Paul would hold the Beatles together as his band. They were getting to be like Paul's band, which they didn't like."
Recent years have already worked to mend Ono's reputation as the guilty party behind the Beatles' breakup. McCartney has gone on record to absolve Ono of this fault, most recently in an October interview with David Frost, when he pegged the blame to the Beatles' agent Allen Klein in the wake of their manager Brian Epstein's death. This latest perspective is yet another nail in the coffin of the stigma against the Yokos of the world. I guess the Barenaked Ladies were right.
[Photo Credit: Dave Hogan/Getty Images]
Kings of Leon Baby Boom! Nathan Followill Tweets About New Daughter
Miley Cyrus Covers 'Jolene' Pre-Haircut, Reminds Us What She Used to Be Like — VIDEO
A 'YOLO' History Lesson: Drake's Slogan Dates Back to the 1700s
You Might Also Like:
20 Hottest Bikini Bodies of 2012: Kim Kardashian and More!
Best Movie & TV Ugly Criers of 2012: PICS
The end of the year brings more best/worst/top lists than you could possibly imagine, but one list that really matters is DoSomething.org's Most Charitable Celebrities of 2012, which was just released.
All year long, we've kept up with celebrity news, gossip, and rumors, and it's nice when those celebrities who dominate the headlines and charts give back. They truly put their success to good use. And you wouldn't believe who made this year's list!
Here are the top 5 most charitable celebrities of 2012:
5. Justin Bieber
The teen pop sensation's Believe Charity Drive raised over $1 million for charity, and he works with Pencils of Promise to build schools in third-world countries. He also takes time out of his crazy touring schedule to visit young cancer patients in the hospital. And to cap it all off, he donated $100,000 so homeless children can go to school. Beliebers, you've picked a great role model to idolize.
4. Lady Gaga
With a $1.2 million personal donation, Mother Monster started her Born This Way Foundation, which combats bullying and promotes acceptance of the LGBT community. She also pledged $1 million to relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. All this, and she started her own body revolution to help put an end to body-shaming, and kick start healthy body images for her Little Monsters.
3. Channing Tatum
People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive and his wife, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, helped raise millions for the Rainforest Foundation. They also support Angels for Animals and sponsor abused farm animals through Gentle Barn. All that good karma is manifesting: Channing and Jenna are bringing another beautiful, charitable person into the world.
2. Miley Cyrus
Despite all her crazy and scandalous antics, and along with getting engaged to Liam Hemsworth, Cyrus has had quite the charitable year. She spent her 20th birthday promoting Saving Spot! Rescue, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to finding homes for dogs in shelters with high rates of euthanasia. Additionally, Cyrus participated in 2012's TOMS’ One Day Without Shoes challenge and has worked toward the benefit of Save The Music Foundation, the Starkey Hearing Foundation, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
And the No. 1 most charitable celebrity of 2012 is...
1. Taylor Swift
It's safe to say that 2012 has been this country/pop star's year. First came the successful release of her album, Red, then she celebrated her 23rd birthday, and then there's the long list of her bevy of boyfriends (while that could be viewed as a negative, at least it gave her lots to write about!), and now she's been named the most charitable celebrity of the year. Not bad, Swift. Not bad at all. She is the youngest person to ever receive the Ripple of Hope Award from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for her charity work. She also donated a record $4 million to the Country Hall of Fame Museum, and has made large contributions toward organizations supporting young cancer sufferers.
Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo credit: David M. Benett/Getty Images]
Music Video for Taylor Swift's 'I Knew You Were Trouble' Shows a Whole New Girl
Miley Cyrus Finds a Travel Companion in a Blow-Up Doll — PHOTO
Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum Are Expecting Their First Child
You Might Also Like:
20 Hottest Bikini Bodies of 2012: Kim Kardashian and More!
’The Hobbit’: Making Sense of Kili, the Hot Dwarf
Robert Zemeckis is a blockbuster director at heart. Action has never been an issue for the man behind Back to the Future. When he puts aside the high concept adventures for emotional human stories — think Forrest Gump or Cast Away — he still goes big. His latest Flight continues the trend revolving the story of one man's fight with alcoholism around a terrifying plane crash. Zemeckis expertly crafts his roaring centerpiece and while he finds an agile performer in Denzel Washington the hour-and-a-half of Flight after the shocking moment can't sustain the power. The "big" works. The intimate drowns.
Washington stars as Whip Whitaker a reckless airline pilot who balances his days flying jumbo jets with picking up women snorting lines of cocaine and drinking himself to sleep. Although drunk for the flight that will change his life forever that's not the reason the plane goes down — in fact it may be the reason he thinks up his savvy landing solution in the first place. Writer John Gatins follows Whitaker into the aftermath madness: an investigation of what really happened during the flight Whitaker's battle to cap his addictions and budding relationships that if nurtured could save his life.
Zemeckis tops his own plane crash in Cast Away with the heart-pounding tailspin sequence (if you've ever been scared of flying before Flight will push into phobia territory). In the few scenes after the literal destruction Washington is able to convey an equal amount of power in the moments of mental destruction. Whitaker is obviously crushed by the events the bottle silently calling for him in every down moment. Flight strives for that level of introspection throughout eventually pairing Washington with equally distraught junkie Nicole (Kelly Reilly). Their relationship is barely fleshed out with the script time and time again resorting to obvious over-the-top depictions of substance abuse (a la Nic Cage's Leaving Las Vegas) and the bickering that follows. Washington's Whitaker hits is lowest point early sitting there until the climax of the film.
Sharing screentime with the intimate tale is the surprisingly comical attempt by the pilot's airline union buddy (Bruce Greenwood) and the company lawyer (Don Cheadle) to get Whitaker into shape. Prepping him for inquisitions looking into evidence from the wreckage and calling upon Whitaker's dealer Harling (John Goodman) to jump start their "hero" when the time is right the two men do everything they can to keep any blame being placed upon Whitaker by the National Transportation Safety Board investigators. The thread doesn't feel relevant to Whitaker's plight and in turn feels like unnecessary baggage that pads the runtime.
Everything in Fight shoots for the skies — and on purpose. The music is constantly swelling the photography glossy and unnatural and rarely do we breach Washington's wild exterior for a sense of what Whitaker's really grappling with. For Zemeckis Flight is still a spectacle film with Washington's ability to emote as the magical special effect. Instead of using it sparingly he once again goes big. Too big.
In a post-Harry Potter Avatar and Lord of the Rings world the descriptors "sci-fi" and "fantasy" conjure up particular imagery and ideas. The Hunger Games abolishes those expectations rooting its alternate universe in a familiar reality filled with human characters tangible environments and terrifying consequences. Computer graphics are a rarity in writer/director Gary Ross' slow-burn thriller wisely setting aside effects and big action to focus on star Jennifer Lawrence's character's emotional struggle as she embarks on the unthinkable: a 24-person death match on display for the entire nation's viewing pleasure. The final product is a gut-wrenching mature young adult fiction adaptation diffused by occasional meandering but with enough unexpected choices to keep audiences on their toes.
Panem a reconfigured post-apocalyptic America is sectioned off into 12 unique districts and ruled under an iron thumb by the oppressive leaders of The Capitol. To keep the districts producing their specific resources and prevent them from rebelling The Capitol created The Hunger Games an annual competition pitting two 18-or-under "tributes" from each district in a battle to the death. During the ritual tribute "Reaping " teenage Katniss (Lawrence) watches as her 12-year-old sister Primrose is chosen for battle—and quickly jumps to her aid becoming the first District 12 citizen to volunteer for the games. Joined by Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) a meek baker's son and the second tribute Effie the resident designer and Haymitch a former Hunger Games winner-turned-alcoholic-turned-mentor Katniss rides off to The Capitol to train and compete in the 74th Annual Hunger Games.
The greatest triumph of The Hunger Games is Ross' rich realization of the book's many worlds: District 12 is painted as a reminiscent Southern mining town haunting and vibrant; The Capitol is a utopian metropolis obsessed with design and flair; and The Hunger Games battleground is a sprawling forest peppered with Truman Show-esque additions that remind you it's all being controlled by overseers. The small-scale production value adds to the character-first approach and even when the story segues to larger arenas like a tickertape parade in The Capitol's grand Avenue of Tributes hall it's all about Katniss.
For fans the script hits every beat a nearly note-for-note interpretation of author Suzanne Collins' original novel—but those unfamiliar shouldn't worry about missing anything. Ross knows his way around a sharp screenplay (he's the writer of Big Pleasantville and Seabiscuit) and he's comfortable dropping us right into the action. His characters are equally as colorful as Panem Harrelson sticking out as the former tribute enlivened by the chance to coach winners. He's funny he's discreet he's shaded—a quality all the cast members share. As a director Ross employs a distinct often-grating perspective. His shaky cam style emphasizes the reality of the story but in fight scenarios—and even simple establishing shots of District 12's goings-on—the details are lost in motion blur.
But the dread of the scenario is enough to make Hunger Games an engrossing blockbuster. The lead-up to the actual competition is an uncomfortable and biting satire of reality television sports and everything that commands an audience in modern society. Katniss' brooding friend Gale tells her before she departs "What if nobody watched?" speculating that carnage might end if people could turn away. Unfortunately they can't—forcing Katniss and Peeta to become "stars" of the Hunger Games. The duo are pushed to gussy themselves up put on a show and play up their romance for better ratings. Lawrence channels her reserved Academy Award-nominated Winter's Bone character to inhabit Katniss' frustration with the system. She's great at hunting but she doesn't want to kill. She's compassionate and considerate but has no interest in bowing down to the system. She's a leader but she knows full well she's playing The Capitol's game. Even with 23 other contestants vying for the top spot—like American Idol with machetes complete with Ryan Seacrest stand-in Caesar Flickerman (the dazzling Stanley Tucci)—Katniss' greatest hurdle is internal. A brave move for a movie aimed at a young audience.
By the time the actual Games roll around (the movie clocks in at two and a half hours) there's a need to amp up the pace that never comes and The Hunger Games loses footing. Katniss' goal is to avoid the action hiding in trees and caves waiting patiently for the other tributes to off themselves—but the tactic isn't all that thrilling for those watching. Luckily Lawrence Hutcherson and the ensemble of young actors still deliver when they cross paths and particular beats pack all the punch an all-out deathwatch should. PG-13 be damned the film doesn't skimp on the bloodshed even when it comes to killing off children. The Hunger Games bites off a lot for the first film of a franchise and does so bravely and boldly. It may not make it to the end alive but it doesn't go down without a fight.
Dallas FBI Agent Thomas Mackelway (Aaron Eckhart) ignored extradition procedures that caused serial killer Raymond Starkey to walk--and landed the detective a fat demotion to a remote branch of the agency in Albuquerque. But before he even gets a chance to settle in his new digs Mackelway is called to investigate the nearby murder of traveling salesman Harold Speck whose body was found with one eyelid sliced off. On top of his face rests a sheet of paper with a red circle and a line drawn through it--the telltale mark of a serial killer. When the next victim turns out to be Starkey the serial killer who once eluded Mackelway the agent realizes this is not a textbook case. As he delves deeper into the investigation he discovers the victims in this murderous spree have something in common: They have all committed manslaughter themselves. With the help of his partner Fran Kulok (Carrie-Anne Moss) Mackelway connects Benjamin O'Ryan (Ben Kingsley) to the crimes a loner who seems to be taunting the agents to find him as well as marauding serial killers who have managed to evade authorities. O'Ryan it turns out was one of five subjects in a secret government project dubbed "remote viewing " which trained FBI agents to see distant locations using clairvoyance. What Mackelway has to figure out is whether O'Ryan is an antihero ridding the world of dangerous criminals or a cold-blooded killing machine.
Ever heard the saying "Keep it simple stupid"? The makers of Suspect Zero sure haven't. The film which boasts a surprisingly impressive roster including Kingsley Eckhart and Moss benefits from strong and touching performances from all its cast members but fails to successfully exploit them. Veteran thesp Kingsley demonstrates an impressive range here as O'Ryan a gray character who is both wickedly sinister and neurotically compassionate. Not many actors have the ability to make moviegoers empathize with a ruthless bloody killer but Kingsley does and he does it faithfully despite the lousy script that turns his potentially fascinating character into a cliché. Eckhart who plays the film's main character and protagonist Mackelway churns out a decent performance as the disgruntled agent but the role is too paint-by-numbers. Like most cinematic tough cops before him Mackelway breaks the rules to apprehend the bad guys and is so rugged that he chomps aspirin like Tic-Tacs. There is not a glimmer of originality in the character much like Moss's Kulok. Predictably Kulok and Mackelway have a tangled romantic past and although there is some chemistry between the two actors it isn't really needed in the story. Their liaison is just one of too many distracting sub-plots.
Director Elias Merhige who four years ago helmed the brilliant supernatural thriller Shadow of the Vampire carries his artistic vision to a contemporary setting here but in doing so loses some of the mystical elements that made his horror feature so unique. Merhige gives us dark and sinister sequences similar in style to Vampire but in a modern setting they come across as derivative of director David Fincher's 1995 crime thriller Seven. In fact it's almost impossible not to draw comparisons between the two. In Suspect Zero for example Mackelway enters a basement dwelling without working electricity so that the only thing discernible to the audience is spotlighted by the agent's flashlight--it's extremely similar to an early scene from Seven. On the surface the themes are also comparable: Both films involve an antagonist playing cat-and-mouse games with a particular authority figure. What is different is Suspect scribes Zak Penn and Billy Ray's very distinctive slant with the whole remote viewing phenomenon. But unfortunately the angle becomes a casualty of Merhige's overzealous desire to make this film a visual tour de force.