The Boxer singer Paul Simon will tackle The Bard onstage in Los Angeles after joining the cast of this year's (14) Simply Shakespeare event. The one-off reading of William Shakespeare's As You Like It, organised by Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, will hit the Freud Playhouse next week (22Sep14) and will also feature William Shatner, Steve Carell and Martin Short. Proceeds will benefit the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles.
Michael Douglas, Sir Mick Jagger and Dame Judi Dench are among more than 200 stars who have come together to support a new drive to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom. BBC historian Dan Snow has put together a letter signed by hundreds of celebrities backing the 'No' campaign ahead of the Scottish referendum vote on independence in September (14).
A giant copy of the note was unveiled in London on Thursday (07Aug14), and is set to go on a tour of the rest of the United Kingdom countries so English, Welsh and Northern Irish members of the public can add their names to the star-studded list.
Snow says, "We think it is the most extraordinary list that has ever been compiled in modern British political history. It has taken my breath away."
Other celebrities to sign the list include Helena Bonham-Carter, Sir Patrick Stewart, Steve Coogan and Simon Cowell.
Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel
To a large extent, blockbuster movie soundtracks are all the same. There's probably some Kanye, a few dubstep tracks to keep things upbeat, maybe a classic rock song or two, and then some kind of instrumental score meant to add some tension or sentiment at the appropriate moments. And it makes sense — you're not paying for perfectly-scored moments of emotion, you're paying to watch people punch each other and blow things up. So when a blockbuster film manages to match the perfect song to the perfect scene, something special happens. Suddenly, it's not just about the effects. It's about the experience. And even though we've yet to see Guardians of the Galaxy, we can tell that it's going to be that kind of film, thanks to the cheesy classic rock featured in the trailer and the presence of the founding member of Mouserat. In honor of its August 1 release, we've rounded up some of the most iconic blockbuster movie moments in cinema history. After all, what's the point in saving the world if Kenny Loggins isn't singing about it?
“Trouble Man” by Marvin Gaye, Captain America: The Winter Soldier At the start of the film, Sam Wilson makes a tentative attempt at friendship with ol' Steve Rogers by recommending he check out Marvin Gaye’s classic 1972 album; at the end of the film, Steve wakes up in a hospital bed with Sam by his side and the title track playing over the speakers. Because even if you’re unconscious, Sam Wilson is going to ensure that your musical education is complete.
"Non Je ne Rigrette Rien” by Edith Piaf, Inception Primarily used as a way to signal to the people in-dream that the kick is coming, “Non Je ne Rigreete Rien” also warned of a much more dangerous shock headed towards the team: Mal. Sure, it’s a bit on the nose for the recurring dream-ghost of Leonardo DiCaprio’s dead French ex-wife, but finding the perfect movie music moment isn’t necessarily about being clever – it’s about creating a mood. And besides, Christopher Nolan’s not the subtle type.
“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, Rocky III It doesn’t matter that Rocky didn’t start training to the sweet, sweet sounds of ‘80s rock until the third installment of the franchise. When you think Rocky, “Eye of the Tiger” automatically starts playing in your head. It might not have been the original music moment of the series, but it’s the most enduring; even the Broadway production couldn’t resist working it into the score. You should hear it in five-part harmony.
“Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins, Top Gun The love scene scored to Berlin might be a bit more iconic, thanks to its awesomely cheesy use of backlighting, but the best musical moment in Top Gun is, without a doubt, the montage of fighter pilots taking off, scored to what is perhaps Kenny Loggins’ most ridiculous hit of all. Did Berlin give us one of the best running jokes of all time? No. No they did not.
Rogue Pictures via Everett Collection
“Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen, Shaun of the Dead Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy is filled with hilarious gags and perfectly-timed music cues but none are more elaborate, ridiculous or more pitch-perfect than the gang’s choreographed attacks on the zombies in the bar, using an assortment of pool cues, a fire extinguisher and a last-minute rifle. The fact that everyone in the film acknowledges the insanity of the situation – and even dance along! – makes it unforgettable.
“Where Is My Mind” by Pixies, Fight Club Fight Club is a weird, twisted psychological thriller that leaves you questioning what was real and what was hallucinated. Therefore, the only appropriate song to end it with is one that asks the core question of the film: “Where Is My Mind?” Just melancholy enough to fit the tone, and just obvious enough to help even the slowest members of the audience make the connection.
“Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry, Back to the Future When you’re tasked with reviving the party at your parents prom, you could go the safe route and play something everyone would be familiar with, or you could invent rock and roll by busting out some Chuck Berry… before he’s even heard it. And then you can make everything awkward by extending a guitar solo for far too long and freaking everyone out, but hey, Marty McFly was ahead of his time. It’s not his fault they didn’t get it.
“You’re the Best” by Joe Esposito, The Karate Kid In the ‘80s, wimpy kids everywhere were inspired to stand up for themselves and find their inner Karate Kid thanks to Mr. Miyagi. But his “wax on, wax off” philosophy would be nothing without the encouraging synth-pop of Joe Esposito telling them that nothing could ever bring them down. How else were they supposed to get pumped up for the biggest karate competition of their life? Or you know, the playground. Both are intimidating.
“Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf, Easy Rider Since its release in 1968, “Born to Be Wild” has been the second favorite song of music supervisors looking to indicate someone as a “bad boy” without actually forcing the other characters to say it. (The first, of course, is “Bad to the Bone.”) It might be cliché now, but it all dates back to 1969, when Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda set off on a road trip and ensuring that any time someone bought a motorcycle, a Steppenwolf reference would be made.
Steve Brookstein, the jazz singer who won the first season of Britain's The X Factor a decade ago, has urged budding stars to avoid the talent show. In a new interview, the 46 year old admits he had a lot of fun on the programme, but reveals there was a negative vibe behind the scenes that soured the whole experience.
He tells Irish radio host Ryan Tubridy, "You start to see the manipulations and the things that are going on behind the scenes and the agenda that certain people have and it starts to get a little bit ugly."
He adds, "I can't see the point of it anymore. They are always trying to put people down on the show and that will continue."
Brookstein signed to Simon Cowell's label after winning The X Factor, but he was dropped weeks later after falling out with the music mogul.
Recalling the low after his TV high, he adds, "I didn't feel as if they were really making an effort with me as an artist... It was all about my personality rather than whether or not I had the talent."
British singer James Arthur has confirmed reports suggesting he has parted ways with Simon Cowell and his record label Syco. Rumours suggested Cowell and other executives at the company had dropped the U.K. X Factor winner after he wrote a song about terrorism, and now it seems the stories are true.
Arthur took to Twitter.com late on Tuesday to confirm he had moved on, writing, "Just to clear things up - I am no longer with Syco. I would like to thank all at the label for making a great record with me.
"I now have to move on and do something different - the future is bright!"
Arthur sparked controversy with the lyrics to his song Follow the Leader, in which he sang "I'm gonna blow up your family like I'm a terrorist", and then attempted to play down the fuss, insisting he was "not promoting terrorism".
Arthur has become the latest X Factor winner to depart Cowell's label - Matt Cardle, Joe McElderry and Steve Brookstein were all dropped and last week (ends06Jun14), Leona Lewis announced she had left the company after seven years, signing a new deal with Island Records.
With the number of cartoon shows geared toward adults — as well as the number of children’s cartoons that are enjoyable for all ages — it’s no mystery why cartoon web series have become popular. Many cartoon creators, some of whom already have network shows, have turned to the web for full creative freedom and the results are amazing. We’ve picked out four of our favorite series as a little starter kit.
Bee and PuppyCat
Although originally a two-part one off cartoon, Bee and PuppyCat raised funding last fall for a full series on Kickstarter and will be coming to Cartoon Hangover’s YouTube channel. The single episode follows Bee, a girl who loses her job, and her adventures with her pet PuppyCat, who is part-dog, part-cat. Created by Natasha Allegri and Frederator Studios (ChalkZone, Adventure Time), Bee and PuppyCat is equal parts weird, endearing, and hilarious.
Created by Pendleton Ward (the great mind behind Adventure Time), Bravest Warriors follows four teenaged heroes who go on adventures and save aliens by using their emotions. Bravest Warriors was also produced by Frederator Studios and runs on Cartoon Hangover. The series won a Shorty Award in 2013 for Best Web Show. Anyone who loves Adventure Time is sure to enjoy Bravest Warriors — with the added convenience of watching it all on YouTube.
Another Frederator studios cartoon, SuperF***ers is based on James Kochalka’s adult comic book series of the same name that was published from 2005 to 2007. The web series, which ran from November 2012 to May 2013, followed the SuperF***ers, a group of superheroes that never actually do any superhero work. Additional fun fact: Jaleel White, who played iconic nerd Steve Urkel on Family Matters, voiced the character of Percy.
One of the most popular cartoon series on YouTube is Simon’s Cat, created by British animator Simon Tofield. The web series follows a man named Simon and his cat (duh) through a range of hilarious antics that any cat-owner will find hilarious and relatable. The first episode launched on the show’s YouTube Channel a little over six years ago and has since been turned into four books, as well as a comic strip in the Daily Mirror.
Russell Brand, Simon Pegg and Steve Coogan are the latest British celebrities to back a social media campaign to raise money for a cancer charity. The stars have thrown their support behind the #ThumbsUpForStephen social media fundraiser in honour of Stephen Sutton, a British teenager suffering from incurable cancer, who drew up a bucket list which included a wish to raise $1.6 million (£1 million) for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
His story hit headlines this week (beg21Apr14) after the 19 year old wrote a heartfelt message on Facebook.com, and a number of celebrities have now backed his fundraising efforts, posting images of themselves holding a piece of paper which encourages fans to donate to the campaign via text message.
Sutton's goal was reached on Tuesday (22Apr14). The campaign total had hit $2.7 million (£1.7 million) when WENN went to press.
Actor Matt Bomer has revealed he and his partner have been married for three years in a new magazine interview. The Magic Mike star 'came out' at the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards in 2012 and now he tells Details he and publicist Simon Halls wed the year before.
The couple shares three kids, six year old twins and an eight year old.
Meanwhile, Bomer will portray a gay man dying of AIDS during the early days of the epidemic in Ryan Murphy's adaptation of the play The Normal Heart, which will premiere on HBO next month (May14).
Larry Kramer's play was important to the actor when he was a teenager - because it helped him understand the health crisis that has since claimed so many gay lives.
He tells Details, "At that time, I was clueless and obviously in a different place in relation to my sexuality. I was in romantic relationships with girls - whatever that means at 14. And it completely rocked my world... It's just an amazing call to arms. On some level, Larry (Kramer) probably saved my life... I wouldn't have a lot of the rights I have today if it wasn't for people like Larry."
Now that The Neighbors has finished its second season run, fans are all a bit nervous about its propensity to return to ABC in the fall. The problem is that the show is on a network that is not known for being patient in terms of letting shows, particularly sitcoms, get past its growing pains.
The list of ABC comedies cut down before their due runs pretty long: Better Off Ted, Don't Trust the B in Apt. 23, Man Up!, Mr. Sunshine, and Happy Endings. While there are dramas that met the early axe, it seems like sitcoms have a much harder time sticking on the network. The main reason that ABC gives for getting rid of these shows is low ratings. That may be true, but they also seem to never take into account the fact that the landscape has shifted since the original three-network format. As such, other programs that proved to be formidable hits in their day might not even get the chance to blossom under this new regime. Would ABC have even let Family Matters reach the Steve Urkel stage with its present mentality?
To be fair, the other networks have been sometimes hasty on the trigger as well. Poor Matthew Perry was on an NBC show that didn't fare well either. CBS pulled a Cop Rock move on How to Be a Gentleman, sending it to the showers after only two episodes. But it just seems that the suits at ABC are the most impatient out of all of them.
The final answer to the question about why these sitcoms seem to be so short-lived: as someone once said, "Dying's easy. Comedy's hard!" It's such a broad spectrum and people have a wide range of senses of humor. What might send one person into fits of near-paralytic bouts of laughter might only elicit a chuckle from another. It's hard to cater to everyone, and it may explain why smartly-written shows like The Neighbors are living on borrowed time whereas Two Broke Girls keeps getting renewed.
So, soon we will find out what happens with The Neighbors. Hopefully this will not be its swan song and that ABC can let it flourish and grow more while showing itself to be a more patient entity. Otherwise, it may find itself continuing a bad trend of cultivating fans who are afraid to follow a show lest it get prematurely canceled. That's no fun for anyone.
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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