Filmmaker Steven Spielberg is reportedly in talks to revive classic movie musical West Side Story. Executives at Fox have released the title for a remake after hearing Spielberg is keen to develop the movie, according to Deadline.com.
A screenwriter has not yet been hired and the director has not revealed any details about the remake.
West Side Story, which starred Rita Moreno and Natalie Wood, was originally released in 1961 and picked up 10 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Music.
The daughter of Chrissie Hynde and Ray Davies has been found guilty of a charge relating to an anti-fracking protest. Natalie Hynde was arrested last summer (13) during a protest at a proposed gas drilling site in West Sussex, England.
Her trial at Brighton magistrates court in England concluded on Monday (24Feb14) as the 31 year old was found guilty on a charge of "besetting" the exploratory drilling site by gluing herself to a friend and preventing access to the site for several hours.
Hynde, who denied any wrongdoing, was given a 12-month conditional discharge, which means she must stay out of trouble for the next year, and ordered to pay $640 (£400) costs and a victim surcharge.
Her pal Simon Medhurst, 55, was handed a $320 (£200) fine and also ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge.
Hynde and Medhurst claimed their intention was to create a "striking and symbolic" image that would draw attention to the controversial method of extracting natural gas, but the judge ruled their actions "went beyond reasonable freedom of speech".
In just about every one of Kevin Hart's scenes in Ride Along, there's a joke that is just aching to find its way out of the diminutive, rascally comic actor. Hart is a small-scale physical comedian — of the same ilk as Jack Black — who puts nuclear-degree energy into his facial contortions, anatomical outbursts, and the delivery of every gag in general. If only he had material that was crafted with the same energy.
Unfortunately, nothing else about Ride Along seems at all "hard at work." Not the script, which pads a lifeless story with lazy comedy, and certainly not his screen partner Ice Cube, whose only stage direction seems to be "frown, and be taller than Kevin Hart." So lifeless is Ice Cube that even his machismo-obsessed straight man bit doesn't really work. Instead of the virile and intimidating "bad cop," he comes off as a disapproving middle aged dad without much to show for his own life.
But the script pairs the wily, overzealous high school security guard and video game junkie Ben (Hart) with no-nonsense lawman James (Ice Cube) on the titular ride along, with the scrappy cop-wannabe hoping to prove to the force veteran that he's good enough to marry the latter's younger sister. In earnest, he's not. Ben never puts any respectable effort into learning the tools of the trade, insisting on employing his amateur style and controlling the radio despite his proclamations that he wants, and deserves, James' trust. And James is no saint either — he's irresponsible on crime scenes, violent with perps, and disgruntled to the point of being unable to work with anybody else on the force. These are not good police officers... of course, you'll say, this is a comedy. But where are the laughs, then?
They're not absent entirely, you just have to look for them. In a movie so focused with big, broad humor, it's the smaller comedy that actually lands best. Hart's background mutterings and fumblings, his emoticon-laden texts to girlfriend Angela (Tika Sumpter, whose only stage direction seems to be "smile, and never wear a full outfit of clothing"), and a bizarre repetition of the word "weird" from supporting player John Leguizamo. All good for unexpected chuckles, while jokes like Hart facing off with a pre-teen or being blown backwards into a brick wall after firing a large gun are all lazy, familiar, and flat.
Structurally, the script is a mess. Ride Along spends far too much time on set up — we get it, Hart and his soon-to-be-brother-in-law Ice Cube don't get along — and far too much time on wrap-up — there's a gigantic, dramatic warehouse shootout that, in any other movie, would be the climax, but there's plenty more to go after that — without any cohesive middle to make the movie feel like... a movie.
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Hart, who leaps at every comic opportunity like a kangaroo (wallaby would be more appropriate), is suited just right for a buddy cop comedy, but he needs something fresh with which to work — a real character, an interesting story, actually funny jokes. Even just one of these would be fine!
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The genesis of Universal's 47 Ronin is almost as tragic as the actual history that the movie is culling from. As the story goes, Universal saw the sprigs of talent sprouting from fresh faced director Carl Rinsch, whose previous experience was limited to just a couple of commercials and a nifty short film. The studio decided to ease the new director into feature filmmaking by cutting him what amounts to virtually a blank check, and giving him charge over a multi-national samurai fantasy epic. Almost impossibly, the film isn't a complete disaster. It's just a minor one.
47 Ronin follows the classic story of the titular team of warriors, a group of disgraced samurai who band together to seek revenge against a merciless warlord that betrayed and killed their master. But this isn't your grandfather's version of the story. 47 Ronin is an international affair, and it's covered with a veneer of Japanese mysticism and a thick coating of Hollywood lacquer, but east meets west rather uncomfortably, and it's mostly due to Keanu Reeves. Reeves' character is clearly crowbarred into the story that has no room for him, and it's plainly obvious where the seams of the story were stretched in order to patch him into the narrative. Reeves plays Kai, a half Japanese, half English orphan who is adopted by the samurai clan. His character serves no real purpose beyond being white, slicing things until they die, and playing the male lead of the most superfluous love story of the year. Rinsch simply can't make the inclusion of the character feel organic in any way, and "Kai" ends up feeling like a calculated studio move. It's a shame that the film spends so much time on Reeves when the real star is clearly Hiroyuki Sanada, who plays off the stoic samurai most believably among the rest of the cast.
It's also shame that with all the mysticism pumped into the story, there's no magic in the actual center of the film, the ronin themselves. The only personality trait a samurai is allowed to possess seems to be unerring stoicism, and between all 47 ronin, there are probably only three distinct samurai with any discernible character traits beyond an intense need to brood, and you'll probably only remember those three by the time the credits roll, only to promptly forget about them only a few hours later. Thankfully, Rinko Kikuchi's slinky and treacherous witch adds some much needed camp and personality to the mostly forgettable human characters.
And that's the issue with 47 Ronin. It's largely forgettable. When your film takes on a historical legend like the tale of the 47 ronin, a story that has been told and told again ad nauseum over the years, you really need to justify your own version. There are reels and reels of film dedicated to this story, and 47 Ronin doesn't manage to add anything significant to the canon. It promises to weld myth and history together, but does so clumsily, and while some of the action scenes are exciting, especially a particularly inspired set piece that involves the ronin noiselessly breaking into a heavily guarded fortress, the film is a bore when it's not clanking swords together.
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47 Ronin is a film with many stories. As much as it is a tale about the revenge of four dozen masterless samurai, it's also the tale of an inexperienced filmmaker swallowed up by the enormity of blockbuster filmmaking. Most of all though, It's proof that you shouldn't cram Keanu Reeves into a movie that doesn't really need Keanu Reeves. What you're left with is a dull and bloated samurai epic that has its moments, but feels largely unnecessary.
Chrissie Hynde and Ray Davies' daughter is set to stand trial next year (14) on a charge relating to an anti-fracking protest. Natalie Hynde, 30, was arrested over the summer (13) as she protested against a proposed gas drilling site in West Sussex, England.
She has denied a charge of trespassing, and appeared at Brighton Magistrates' Court on Wednesday (18Dec13) for the first day of her trial.
However, the case was adjourned and she will now stand trial next year (14). The activist, who is free on bail, will be back in court on 17 March (14).
Fashion mogul Dame Vivienne Westwood took to the streets with protesters in the U.K. on Friday (16Aug13) to demonstrate against fracking. The designer marched past a proposed drilling site in West Sussex, England along with around 1,000 other activists as part of ongoing protests against the controversial gas-extraction method.
Westwood waved a placard as she marched, and later explained her involvement in the protest to the Press Association, saying, "I'm anti-fracking and I'm here to protest. There has been no debate. They are trying to rush this thing through, for what? It's not going to go away. We don't know whether it will do good or bad. I'm sure it's bad and the only people who are going to benefit from it is this energy company who are associated with the Government... It won't supply energy security whatsoever. It will actually store up trouble for the future, financially as well as environmentally."
Chrissie Hynde and Ray Davies' activist daughter, Natalie Hynde, was arrested during a protest at the same site last month (Jul13).
Fracking has also caused outrage in the U.S. - Yoko Ono set up a campaign against the practice last year (12) and won support from stars including Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Julianne Moore and Lady Gaga.
Dixie Chicks star Natalie Maines included a cover of Dan Wilson's Free Life on her new solo album as a tribute to former incarcerated West Memphis Three member Damien Echols and his wife Lorri. The singer was one of the leading celebrity campaigners fighting for the release of the three Arkansas men imprisoned for the murders of three boy scouts in 1993.
Echols, who was sentenced to death in 1994, and friends Jessie Misskelley, Jr. and Jason Baldwin were released in 2011 after serving 18 years behind bars for a crime most people - including Maines and Pearl Jam star Eddie Vedder - believe they did not commit.
The singer admits Wilson's anthem has meant a lot to her ever since the day her friend Echols won his freedom.
She tells The Hollywood Reporter, "That song is about the West Memphis Three. The words, to me, speak to their first year of freedom. I sang that song at a rally for them in Arkansas when they were still in prison, and Damien Echols' wife Lorri said she listened to the board tape of that song every day until his release. So I put that song on there for her and for them, and to speak to that time of my life.
"The day they got released was the greatest day of my life. I hate to say even more than the birth of my children. Don't tell them that! But it's something else to witness people get their lives back after 18 years of false imprisonment."
The West Memphis Three didn't win their freedom outright with pardons - Echols, Miskelley, Jr. and Baldwin had to enter Alford pleas, which allowed them to assert their innocence while acknowledging that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict them, before they were released. They were freed with 10-year suspended sentences.
We've learned not to get too attached to Jane Got a Gun cast members. We've seen Michael Fassbenders, Jude Laws, and Bradley Coopers alike come and go from the production — not to mention original writer/director Lynne Ramsay — so any new names thrown into the mix are to be met with reservation.
The latest: Ewan McGregor, who is climbing aboard this sinking ship to take on the role formerly inhabited by Cooper (and formerlier inhabited by Law). Deadline reports that the actor will be joining fellow Star Wars vets Natalie Portman and Joel Edgerton, taking on the central villain in the Western drama.
The reunion will take place in the Old West, where McGregor will lead a gang of outlaws in the seizure of renegade Noah Emmerich, whose wife Portman calls upon a spurned, gunslingin' lover Edgerton to rescue him.
But of course, all that is just tentative. At the rate of Jane dropouts (and , perhaps we might be seeing Emmerich give way to more prequel trilogy replacements pop in and out — maybe Liam Neeson will sub in for Emmerich? Maybe Lucas will step in as director? Maybe Jar Jar will play the horse?
In the meantime, revel in the original union of McGregor and Portman...
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Amanda Bynes might currently spend her days lusting after Drake on Twitter, but her taste was much different just five years ago. Though it's now just a footnote in her cheek-studded existence, the actress raised eyebrows in 2008 for dating Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, who is 12 years her senior.
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Each week, Hollywood gives us something to whine about, and the week of March 18 was no different. We could make a drinking game out of this week, but that would be too dangerous. Instead, we'll stick to the usual formula: varying levels of alcoholic respite depending on how bothersome the week's issues are. Is your biggest complaint this week a flimsy one? How about a light cocktail to take the edge off? Got a real bone to pick with a celeb or entertainment entity this week? Go ahead, grab a drink that'll put hair on your chest. Here are the week's entertainment stories that are forcing us to seek a bubbly or boozy refuge. And maybe an idea or two about how you should wash them down.
Take it Easy With a Mimosa
Dear God, Amanda Bynes Is Losing It: Look, as a woman it's not hard to see why another lady might feel a certain tingly sensation when it comes to Drake, but no one wants him to "murder [their] vagina."
Speaking of Train Wrecks, Lindsay Lohan Has Another Mug Shot For Her Collection: She's got so many, you could make a Brady Bunch title card with them.
This Miley Magic Only Happened Once: Bring back the twerking unicorn, girl.
We're Supposed to Be Surprised That Rihanna's Bus Had Weed on It: Right, because the woman who Instagrammed a bouquet of marijuana definitely didn't take any of it on tour with her. Trapped on a bus for hours at a time? That's no place for recreational drugs.
Let Your Hair Down: Grab a Midday Fruity Cocktail
We Really Need to Get Over Jon Hamm's Penis: We're not going to stop admiring it, just maybe the chatter part could go away?
Late Night Wars Are Back: And once again, everyone is obsessing about it like someone forced to choose between a Nacho Cheese or Cool Ranch flavored Doritos Locos taco.
Nicki Minaj's Nipples Never Seem to Fit In Her Clothes: Sounds like our girl could use a tailor.
Natalie Portman's Movie Is Haunted: Or something. Jude Law and another big player dropped out days into production of Jane's Got a Gun.
Kim and Kanye are Either Dumber Than We Thought, Or They're Evil Geniuses: They're naming their baby North West. As in the direction.
Shut It Down: This Calls for a Martini, Straight Up
Ryan Gosling Isn't Going to Act For a While: NOOOOOOO.
In Related News, Ryan Gosling Says He's a Nightmare: What ogre stepped in a made this perfect human man believe for even a second that he was not a lovely slice of man-shaped heaven?
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[Photo Credit: Twitter]
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