Katy Perry made an impressive entrance for her Super Bowl performance in Arizona on Sunday (01Feb15), riding in on an animatronic lioness. The pop star performed Roar as puppeteers manoeuvred the huge metal beast.
Wearing a fiery flame two-piece dress, Perry then performed Dark Horse before introducing Lenny Kravitz for a rocking rendition of I Kissed a Girl.
The singer then switched styles and dresses for bubblegum pop takes on Teenage Dream and California Gurls, surrounded by dancing sharks, beach balls and palm trees.
Rapper Missy Elliott, who had been touted as Perry's special mystery guest, then hit the stage to perform her hits Get Ur Freak On, Work It and Lose Control with the headliner and a small army of Tron-like neon-outfitted dancers.
Perry then closed her 12-minute set with a stunning version of her hit Firework as she was hoisted high into the sky above the University of Phoenix Stadium stage, while pyrotechnics lit up the sky above the arena.
The set ended with Perry yelling, "Thank you and God bless America."
The Super Bowl was a star-studded affair - Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell, Kenny Chesney, Sir Paul McCartney, Steven Tyler and Kevin Hart were all spotted in the crowd, as was Chris Pratt, who bet on the outcome game with his fellow Marvel superhero Chris Evans.
Evans won the challenge when his New England Patriots beat Pratt's Seattle Seahawks, and now the Guardians of the Galaxy star will visit a children's hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
Stephen Fry appeared at a court in Wales on Wednesday (07Jan15) to support his fiance Elliott Spencer as he was slapped with a driving ban just a day after their engagement was confirmed. Spencer, 27, appeared at Cwmbran Magistrates' Court in south Wales to face claims he was caught speeding at 101 miles per hour (163 kilometres per hour) while the couple was travelling to the Hay-on-Wye Literature Festival last May (14).
Fry was in court to support his fiance, and Spencer's attorney Mark Wyeth, QC, revealed the star persuaded his partner to break the speed limit to avoid being late.
He added that Fry "assumes all responsibility because it was his decision that made Spencer put his foot down".
Spencer was slapped with a seven-day driving ban and was ordered to pay a $160 (£100) fine, costs of $140 (£85) and $32 (£20) victim surcharge.
Fry confirmed his engagement to Spencer on Tuesday (06Jan14).
Tom Hiddleston has been nominated for the best actor prize at Britain's Evening Standard Theatre Awards for his role in William Shakespeare's tragedy Coriolanus.
The Thor actor starred as the titular Roman leader in the production at the Donmar Warehouse in London in December (13) and he has now landed a top nod for the part. He will compete against Zero Dark Thirty actor Mark Strong, who is nominated for his role in Arthur Miller's play A View from the Bridge, and V for Vendetta actor Ben Miles, who starred in Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies - a double bill stage adaptation of Hilary Mantel's two novels.
Gillian Anderson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Harry Potter star Helen McCrory and singer-turned-actress Billie Piper will battle it out for the best actress prize.
Billy Elliott film maker Stephen Daldry is nominated for best direction for Skylight, and Sunny Afternoon, the new production telling the story of The Kinks, is in the running for best musical.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony hosted by comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon at the London Palladium on 30 November (14).
The Who guitarist Pete Townshend missed the band's 50th anniversary celebration concert in London on Tuesday (11Nov14) because he was busy looking after his dogs. Frontman Roger Daltrey organised the tribute to mark the band's milestone and raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust, but Townshend was noticeably absent from the gig at the Shepherd's Bush Empire.
During the show, Daltrey told the audience his bandmate was "at home looking after the dogs" before adding, "I think he'd rather do anything than hear his songs played back to him! He doesn't like playing them himself."
The evening featured a star-studded line-up playing the band's hits, including rocker Liam Gallagher, who returned to the spotlight for the first time since disbanding his group Beady Eye, to perform The Who's My Generation - a song he often covered with Oasis.
Other performers included Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson, Def Leppard rocker Joe Elliott and Wilko Johnson.
The gig also featured video tributes from Sir Paul McCartney and Iggy Pop along with performances from comedians Johnny Vegas and Rich Hall.
Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Jessica Chastain are among the stars who have taken to the Internet to mark 13 years since the terrorist atrocities of 9/11. New York City was devastated by the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 11 September, 2001, which - along with a downed airliner in Pennsylvania on the same day - claimed almost 3,000 lives.
Some of the world's biggest stars joined together on Thursday (11Sep14) to mark 13 years since the horrifying events, with pop superstar Lady Gaga writing in a post on her Twitter.com page, "Today we remember and honour all the lives + families ruined by the tragedy of 9/11. Practice love in their memory today #WeWillNeverForget (sic)."
Fellow singer Taylor Swift reveals she recently visited the 9/11 memorial site in New York City and it had a profound effect on her: "Visiting the @Sept11Memorial this year was something I'll never forget, in memory of a day we will always remember with tears in our eyes."
Hollywood actress Chastain urged fans to visit the 9/11 memorial museum in the Big Apple, tweeting, "Today the 9/11 museum is open to the public. We remember the lives that were lost this day 13 years ago."
LeAnn Rimes simply writes, "September 11 #NeverForget #September11 (sic)," while actor Gary Sinise adds, "Remembering all those lost in terrorist attack 13 years ago, and remembering with gratitude all who have stepped up to serve. Never Forget."
Other tributes have come in from singer Chris Brown, hip-hop stars Missy Elliott and Queen Latifah, music mogul Russell Simmons, rocker Bret Michaels, and John Stamos, Alyssa Milano, Gabrielle Union and singer Chely Wright.
Once a year, we're treated to a cultural event unlike any other: the MTV Video Music Awards. Some of the moments from ceremonies past will live forever in our mind, from Chris Rock joking about Jennifer Lopez and her derrière's need for more than one limousine to Diana Ross jiggling Lil Kim's exposed breast. The show knows how to provoke controversy, and has thus remained a lightning rod for pop culture discussion since it began in 1984. This list isn't about the most controversial moments in the award show's history, but the most mesmerizing live performances it gave us (some of which, yes, surely did drum up some controversy).
1. Madonna - "Like A Virgin" 1984
Possibly one of the most iconic performances ever, period. Madonna's signature wedding dress and 'boy toy' belt are still synonymous with 80s pop culture, and it's all thanks to this performance. She rolls around on the floor quite suggestively, setting the tone for what we've come to expect from both the Queen of Pop and the VMAs.
2. Madonna - "Vogue" 1990
Madonna returned to the stage in 1990, decked out in Marie Antoinette-inspired clothing, and delivered this perfectly choreographed rendition of her classic "Vogue." Though completely covered as an 18th century aristocrat, Madge still managed to sexualize the performance by shoving faces into her bosom and lifting up her skirt to allow her backup dancers a peak beneath.
3. Madonna, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Missy Elliott - "Like A Virgin/Hollywood Medley" 2003
Now that's how you open an award show. Or is it? The downside of this majesty: it ended up being all anyone could talk about... for ten years. I don't think anything in VMAs history earned this must discussion until the dawn of Miley. Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, at the time the two biggest pop stars around, having been so clearly influenced by Madonna, took to the stage to pay homage to her 1984 VMA performance only to be joined by the Queen herself. As everyone knows, eventually the Material Girl smooched both Spears and Aguilera (though for some reason, we mostly just focus on Britney Spears) before Missy Elliott came in and got everyone dancing away the shock.
4. Beyoncé - "Love On Top" 2011
NO. SHE. DIDN'T. This was a moment I'll never forget. Beyoncé came out, annihilated the song (which is an incredible feat in and of itself, spanning six key changes in one number), but then dropped the microphone and grabbed her budding baby bump to announce her pregnancy to the world. This performance still gives me chills, and when I think about it, I can't help but want to jump up and down like Kanye does at the end. It's just perfect.
5. Miley Cyrus & Robin Thicke (feat. 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar) - "We Can't Stop/Blurred Lines/Give It 2 U" 2013
The performance that everyone knows about... so much so that my grandfather just called me to ask how he can clear "Miley Cyrus twerk" from his YouTube history. In combination with her video for "Wrecking Ball," this performance made sure everyone would be talking about Miley Cyrus for months to come. It provoked discussions about sexuality, racial appropriation, and age differences. Not to mention, it helped destroy a marriage (thus leaving us to deal with a groveling Robin Thicke).
6. Diddy, Sting, Faith Evans, 112 - "I'll Be Missing You" 1997
A tribute to The Notorious B.I.G., this is an undeniably beautiful and meangingful song. Sting coming on stage to perform the sample of "Every Breath You Take" shows more than just artists collaborating to make wonderful music, but it demonstrates the music community coming together in remembrance of loved ones.
7. Beyoncé - "Ring the Alarm" 2006
Beyoncé is a goddess. We know. Beyoncé can do no wrong. We know. At the time of this performance though, Queen Bey was just beginning to prove just how much of a force to be reckoned with she was. I distinctly remember not being familiar with this song as she descended to the stage, but this performance sold me on it. The highlight isn't the amazing trench coat she twirls around in during the beginning of performance, but that unexpected hydraulicks-inspired dance routine that she does in the middle. Girl just slayed and slaaaayed.
8. Chris Brown & Rihanna - "Wall to Wall"/"Umbrella"/"Billie Jean"/"Kiss Kiss" Medley 2007
Let's go back to a time when saying "Chris Brown" and "Rihanna" in the same sentence didn't immediately present a problem and focus on this gem of a performance from 2007. The two were rising stars with some of the biggest songs of the year, joining forces on stage for a magical moment. Say what you will about Chris Brown, but he's the best dancer we've had around since Michael Jackson. As he table-top dances and leaps from table to table, even eventually paying tribute to MJ, we were reminded of just how good he is.
9. Lady Gaga - "Paparazzi" 2009
Ladies and gentleman, Lady Gaga has arrived. She gave the sort of performance we've come to expect from her: theatrical, filled with musical ability, bizarre, and shocking. Mostly in the way it ended, with Mother Monster hanging on stage and bleeding to "death." Um... this was truly a shocking moment, even for her.
10. Britney Spears - "I'm a Slave 4 U" 2001
What made this one memorable? For one thing, she beings the performance in a cage with a tiger. That's just the start. Then she gives us the sort of magnificent dance routine that we love so much we're willing to worship whatever she does now just in memory of a performance like this. Just as you're thinking it won't get any better, the python comes out and Britney shimmies around the stage with the albino snake around her shoulders. (Can you believe there is an entire generation of people who were only able to witness Britney performances like "Gimme More?" I shudder to think).
11. Britney Spears - "Satisfaction/Oops! I Did It Again" 2000
This performance is perfect (and by that, we mean that it's flawed in a variety of ways, but if you're looking for real singing or anything substantial, watch the Grammys and hope for the best). Watching it now, knowing that she's going to rip off that suit and hat and give us one of the best choreographed hair tosses ever recorded, we can't help but get excited. The nude body suit and that booty grab at the 2:00 mark really cemented her place as a sex icon (as if the subtle schoolgirl costume and red latex catsuit hadn't already).
12. Hole - "Violet" 1995
Courtney Love is nothing if not raw. She dedicated this performance to a slew of deceased musicians and loved ones, including husband Kurt Cobain and bandmate Kristen Pfaff, and proceeded to rock out in typical Courtney style and tried to destroy everything on the stage. This, of course, happened before she threw the contents of her purse at Madonna and struck up a conversation in the middle of an interview.
13. Eminem - "The Real Slim Shady" / "The Way I Am" 2000
Eminem made a statement in 2000 by proving that he was the real Slim Shady, marching through Radio City Music Hall with a sea of imitators. More impressively is how many times he grabs his crotch. You'd think he was in genuine fear of being assaulted or something.
14. Kid Rock (feat. Run-DMC, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and Joe C.) - "King of Rock"/"Rock Box"/"Bawitdaba"/"Walk This Way" 1999
What's not to like about this performance? As much as I wish I didn't like Kid Rock, I have to give him his props. This performance was stellar, and is probably one of the only performances on this list that my brother enjoyed watching too (just kidding, we mentioned Britney Spears stripping into a nude bodysuit, right?).
15. Michael Jackson - Medley 1995
At a whopping fifteen minutes long, this performance is more of a Michael Jackson concert than a VMA performance. However, it's definitely one of the better ways to spend fifteen minutes, as this performance is jam-packed with everything you'd expect from a Michael Jackson performance. He is the King of Pop, after all.
Little-known Canadian actor Izaak Smith and industry newcomer Chattrisse Dolabaille have been respectively cast as producer Timbaland and rapper Missy Elliott in a new TV biopic based on the life of tragic R&B star Aaliyah. Nickelodeon regular Alexandra Shipp recently stepped in to replace Zendaya Coleman as the late Try Again hitmaker for the film project, and now TV bosses have found the people they want to play Aaliyah's music mentors.
Smith previously appeared in 2010's Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief and 2012's Mirror, Mirror, while Aaliyah: Princess of R&B will mark Dolabaille's professional acting debut.
However, the latest casting decisions have not gone down well with many fans, who have taken to Twitter.com to express their disappointment, insisting slim and light-skinned Dolabaille, in particular, looks nothing like Elliott, who was previously known for her short stature and heavy frame.
One Twitter user wrote, "Whoever is doing the castings for @lifetimetv needs to be fired with the quickness (sic)... Did you even try with the Missy Elliott casting? Like you know she's like seven shades darker with hips right? #LifetimeCastings", while another joked, "Lifetime should let (basketball icon) Magic Johnson's son play Missy in the Aaliyah movie @lifetimetv #lifetimecastings".
Lifetime executives have yet to respond to the criticism.
It's not the first time the project's casting directors have come under scrutiny - Coleman faced a similar backlash when she was first picked to play Aaliyah in June (14), before dropping out weeks later.
The biopic has also been blasted by members of Aaliyah's family, who have since announced plans for their own big screen film based on Aaliyah's life story, with singer B. Simone in the lead role.
The singer was just 22 when she died in a plane crash in 2001.
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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Tribeca Film via Everett Collection
For a film that involves a love triangle, mental illness, a Bohemian colony of free-spirits, an impending war and several important historical figures, the most exciting elements of Summer in February are the stunning shots of the English country and Cornish seaside. The rest of the film never quite lives up to the crashing waves and sun-dappled meadows that are used to bookend the scenes, as the entertaining opening never manages to coalesce into a story that lives up the the cinematography, let alone the lives of the people that inspired it.
Set in an Edwardian artist’s colony in Cornwall, Summer in February tells the story of A.J. Munnings (Dominic Cooper), who went on to become one of the most famous painters of his day and head of the Royal Academy of Art, his best friend, estate agent and part-time soldier Gilbert Evans (Dan Stevens), and the woman whom they both loved, aspiring artist Florence Carter-Wood (Emily Browning). Her marriage to Munnings was an extremely unhappy one, and she attempted suicide on their honeymoon, before killing herself in 1914. According to his journals, Gilbert and Florence were madly in love, although her marriage and his service in the army kept them apart.
When the film begins, Munnings is the center of attention in the Lamorna Artist's Colony, dramatically reciting poetry at parties and charming his way out of his bar tab while everyone around him proclaims him to be a genius. When he’s not drinking or painting, he’s riding horses with Gilbert, who has the relatively thankless task of keeping this group of Bohemians in line. Their idyllic existence is disrupted by the arrival of Florence, who has run away from her overbearing father and the fiancé he had picked out for her in order to become a painter.
Stevens and Browning both start the film solidly, with enough chemistry between them to make their infatuation interesting. He manages to give Gilbert enough dependable charm to win over both Florence and the audience, and she presents Florence as someone with enough spunk and self-possession to go after what she wants. Browning’s scenes with Munnings are equally entertaining in the first third of the film, as she can clearly see straight through all of his bravado and he is intrigued by her and how difficult she is to impress. Unfortunately, while the basis of the love triangle is well-established and entertaining, it takes a sudden turn into nothing with a surprise proposal from Munnings.
Neither the film nor Browning ever make it clear why Florence accepts his proposal, especially when they have both taken great pains to establish that she doesn’t care much for him. But once she does, the films stalls, and both Stevens and Browning spend the rest of the film doing little more than staring moodily and longingly at the people around them. The real-life Florence was plagued by depression and mental instability, but neither the film nor Browning’s performance ever manage to do more than give the subtlest hint at that darkness. On a few occasions, Browning does manage to portray a genuine anguish, but rather than producing any sympathy from the audience, it simply conjures up images of a different film, one that focused more on Florence, and the difficulties of being a woman with a mental illness at a time when both were ignored or misunderstood.
Stevens is fine, and Gilbert starts out with the same kind of good-guy appeal the won the heart of Mary Crawley and Downton Abbey fans the world over. However, once the film stalls, so does his performance, and he quickly drops everything that made the character attractive or interesting in favor of longing looks and long stretches of inactivity. He does portray a convincing amount of adoration for Florence, although that's about the only real emotion that Gilbert expresses for the vast majority of the film, and even during his love scene, he never manages to give him any amount of passion.
Cooper does his best with what he’s given, and tries his hardest to imbue the film with some substance and drama. His Munnings is by turns charming, brash, and brooding, the kind of person who has been told all of their life that they are special, and believes it. He even manages to give the character some depth, and even though he and Browning have very little chemistry, he manages to convey a genuine affection for her. It’s a shame that Munnings becomes such a deeply unlikable character, because Cooper is the only thing giving Summer in February a jolt of life – even if it comes via bursts of thinly-explained hostility. It's hard to watch just how hard he's working to connect with his co-stars and add some excitement to a lifeless script and not wish that he had a better film to show off his talents in.
Unfortunately, by the time Florence and Gilbert are finally spurred into activity, the film has dragged on for so long that you’re no longer invested in the characters, their pain, or their love story, even if you want to be. Which is the real disappointment of Summer in February; underneath the stalled plot and the relatively one-note acting, there are glimmers of a fascinating and compelling story that’s never allowed to come to the forefront.
London's historic Apollo Theatre has been evacuated after part of the building's roof appeared to collapse, causing multiple injuries. Members of the public were attending a West End performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time on Thursday (19Dec13), when debris began falling from the ceiling during the first half of the show.
Emergency services were called to the Shaftesbury Avenue venue shortly after 8.15pm local time as people rushed towards the exits.
A number of people were trapped by the falling concrete, but they have since been freed.
A spokesperson for the London Fire Brigade has been sharing updates about the rescue mission via Twitter.com, writing, "It's thought there were around 700 people in the theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue in Soho. It's thought between 20-40 people were injured."
Minutes later, the representative added, "all casualties who were trapped have been freed".
Meanwhile, audience member Martin Bostock, who suffered a head injury in the incident, has described the panic and chaos that erupted as the drama unfolded.
Speaking to Britain's Sky News, he said, "It was just terrifying and awful. I think the front part of the balcony fell down. At first we thought it was part of the show. Then I got hit on the head.
"It was complete chaos in the theatre. Absolutely terrifying and awful. We got out with cuts and bruises. I think most people did."
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time play, adapted from author Mark Haddon's book of the same name, opened in the West End in March (13) under the direction of Marianne Elliott.
The Apollo Theatre opened in 1901.