Rappers The Pharcyde have been ordered to enter arbitration talks with two former bandmates to settle a dispute over rights to the group name. Rapper Fatlip, real name Derrick Stewart, left the Runnin' hitmakers after the release of their second album in 1995, while Slimkid3, aka Tre Hardson, walked away from the band to go solo in 2000, leaving Romye 'Bootie Brown' Robinson and Imani Wilcox to continue under the group moniker.
Fatlip and Slimkid3 subsequently reunited and staged a series of performances together, and all four original members joined forces in 2008 to hit the stage at the Rock the Bells Festival Series across the U.S.
However, Fatlip and Slimkid3 then decided to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band's 1992 debut album, Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde, with a tour of Europe in 2012.
The duo, along with producers J-Swift and LA Jay, were branded Bizarre Ride Live, but the remaining The Pharcyde members took issue with the advertisements using the band's name to promote the shows and took them to court in Los Angeles last year (13).
U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder banned Hardson from using the trademarks The Pharcyde and Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde and dismissed a number of other complaints last summer (13), but the plaintiffs have continued to fight on the grounds of trademark infringement, violation of right of publicity and unfair enrichment, among other counts.
Now Judge Snyder has ordered the two parties to enter arbitration talks in a bid to settle the case once and for all.
Universal via Everett Collection
Plenty of singers try their hand at acting… some successfully (Cher, Barbara Streisand) and others not so successfully (Madonna, Kelly Clarkson, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, etc.). There are times, though, when we're bowled over by the musical talents of our favorite actresses.
Whether it's voicing an animated heroine or taking an unexpected role in a big budget musical, these actresses have proven that they have the pipes to belt out a tune while still delivering top-notch acting performances.
When many people saw the credits for Disney's Frozen, they assumed that Bell was just providing the speaking part for Anna, that surely it was someone else singing on "Love Is an Open Door." Even some hardcore Veronica Mars fans had lost sight of the fact that Bell came from a musical theater background or forgot about her appearance in Refer Madness: The Musical.
So, a lot of people find Hathaway pretentious and annoying… it doesn't change the fact that the girl can sing. Audiences were surprised when her character started singing in one of her early films, Ella Enchanted, but by the time of Les Miserables, we were all aware that she had the ability. Still, her powerful rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" surprised just about everyone.
When Seyfried was first starting out in Mean Girls, we thought she was just another soap opera actress (she appeared on As the World Turns and All My Children) making a jump to the big time… which she subsequently did with her role on HBO's Big Love. Little known to the public, she had training in not only musical theater, but opera. It wasn't until 2008's Mamma Mia! that audiences got a taste of her singing… and then came her performance as Cosette in Les Miserables. C'est magnifique!
Stone doesn't sing much because of some vocal cord issues, but when she was younger she was part of VH1's In Search of the New Partridge Family. She also did some backing vocals for the remake of The Waitresses' "I Know What Boys Like" from The House Bunny. It was her performance during the school assembly scene of Easy A,where she rocked the disco classic "Knock on Wood," that left audiences wondering if it was really her voice. It was indeed, and she was spectacular.
For years, Streep was known as the premier actress of her generation, though not as a performer with any musical ability. Starting with 2006's Prairie Home Companion, however, Streep has been unafraid to put her voice out for public consumption. She looked like she was having a blast playing the lead in Mamma Mia! opposite Seyfried and will soon be back on the big screen playing the Witch in the film adaption of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods.
Despite starting her career doing Broadway musicals as a girl, the new "It" singing actress first came to notice with largely non-musical roles in Twilight and Up in the Air (although we did get a glimpse with her karaoke version of "Time After Time"). It wasn't until she killed as the reluctant a capella participant in Pitch Perfect that audiences fell in love with her voice. The actresses even scored a hit single with her version of "Cups (When I'm Gone)" from the soundtrack. With roles in Into the Woods and Pitch Perfect 2, we'll get plenty of opportunities to continue enjoying her vocal talent.
Her work with M. Ward on their She & Him projects have turned Deschanel into a legitimate recording artist, but she's still better known for her acting in movies like (500) Days of Summer and her TV show New Girl. Every Christmas the actress pops up in one of her earlier film roles as Will Ferrell's love interest in Elf singing holiday classics and she's set to appear in Barry Levinson's musical comedy Rock the Kasbah.
Adams may be a five-time Academy Award nominee and might turn heads on the red carpet with her plunging necklines, but she knows her way around a song as well. The actress made a believable live-action Disney princess in Enchanted, including taking center stage during the big production number "That's How You Know." She apparently likes to sing in kiddie fare, because her other big on-screen musical moments mostly happened with Jason Segel, Kermit and Miss Piggy in The Muppets.
Paltrow's mother, Blythe Danner, started her film career in the musical 1776 and she has an uncle that's an opera singer, so she comes by her vocal abilities honestly. After making her on-screen singing debut in Emma, she starred in her father Bruce Paltrow's Duets, where her collaboration with Huey Lewis on Smokey Robinson's "Cruisin'" spawned an adult contemporary hit. Besides having a recurring spot on TV's Glee, Paltrow also got her twang on in Country Strong.
Former Saturday Night Live star Maya Rudolph is heading back to TV with her own star-studded variety show. The comedienne will front The Maya Rudolph Show, a one-off special that executives at America's NBC network have described as a revival of the classic variety show format.
Rudolph has recruited some of her former SNL co-stars to appear on the programme, including Andy Samberg, Fred Armisen and Chris Parnell, as well as actors Sean Hayes, Kristen Bell and The Office's Craig Robinson.
Janelle Monae is set to serve as the musical guest, with soul legend Raphael Saadiq serving as bandleader.
Rudolph last starred in the short-lived NBC sitcom Up All Night with Christina Applegate and Will Arnett, until it was cancelled after two seasons in 2012.
The Maya Rudolph Show will air in America on 19 May (14).
20th Century Fox Television
Before Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill rebooted the franchise, 21 Jump Street was the definitive teen television series. Part of the new Fox Network, this cop drama premiered and seemed to feature nearly every actor of the 1980s and '90s. It also made a young Johnny Depp a household name. The 1980s kitsch of the show makes it supremely addictive.
Baby-faced officer Tom Hanson (Depp) joins an elite group of young looking cops called the Jump Street division. The cops go undercover in high schools to solve crimes and shut down illegal drug runners, chop shops, and investigate major cases. The crew is made up of wise Sergeant Judy Hoffs (Holly Robinson Peete), goofball Officer Doug Penhall (Peter DeLuise), martial artist Sergeant Harry Truman Ioki (Dustin Nguyen), and under the leadership of Captain Adam Fuller (Steven Williams). Each week, the group would not only solve a major crime but also touch on a major social issue like rape, drug abuse, homophobia, or racism.
Although there is a slight cheese factor in some of the storylines and the police work is a little outlandish like The Killing, the series does pack a major entertaining punch. The series brought pretty deep storylines to its characters including the rape of Detective Hoffs, the hidden Vietnamese identity of Nguyen’s character, and the struggle when Hanson shoots a perpetrator.
There’s a perfect blend of great acting and the right level of 1980s/1990s camp to make the series funny, yet thought provoking. Sure, it’s a little crazy and borderline unconstitutional to have undercover cops in high schools. However, its refreshing to take a look back at what life was like before kids were twerking in sex videos on the internet and spending their time stuck to their phones. This series offers a time capsule of the era with the appropriate amount of embellishment and drama. Not to mention the novelty of seeing some A-list and B-list actors as baby-faced Canadian teenagers. Let's also not forget, that Robinson recorded the catchy theme song.
Not only is Depp a shining star but he’s joined by actors that went on to have huge careers. Vince Vaughn, Brad Pitt, Christina Applegate, Rosie Perez, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Blair Underwood all had guest-starring roles in the series.
You can catch all five seasons of the series on Hulu Plus.
WENN.comFrom the latest Lady Gaga remix to late Christmas presents from several R&B stars, here's a look at the best new tracks to have been unveiled over the past seven days.Royksopp – "Twenty Thirteen"Self-described as 'a swinging summary to 2013 A.D.,' the Norwegian duo's last-minute Christmas gift sees them abandon their usual melancholic electro in favour of an unlikely foray into wartime jazz, with The Irrepressibles' Jamie McDermott providing the suitably old-school crooning.Actress – "Grey Over Blue"Teasing the sound of his forthcoming album, Ghettoville (reportedly the last one he'll release under his Actress guise), London producer Darren Robinson offers one of his most unsettling tracks to date with an ominous aptly-titled blend of murky synths and warped grooves.Lady Gaga – "Do What U Want (Rick Ross Remix)"After performing "Do What U Want" with Christina Aguilera on The Voice, Gaga now invites controversial rapper Rick Ross to drop a typically sexual verse on the latest remix of her best single since "Bad Romance."Elle Varner – "Rover"A Christmas Day gift to fans waiting for the follow-up to 2012’s Perfect Imperfect, this stopgap release sees the 24-year-old seduce guest rapper Wale over a silky smooth blend of R&B guitar licks and sensual slow-motion beats.Trey Songz – "Na Na"Hooking up with West Coast hitmaker DJ Mustard, the R&B lothario ends his relatively quiet year by venturing into the strip club on a pure party jam that uses the same anthemic Teena Marie sample that the Fugees did on their 1996 hit, "Fu-Gee-La."
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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A gunman, aged 20, opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Friday morning, and reports suggest 26 people - 18 of them children - were killed, including the shooter.
First responders and police officers are still at the scene trying to contain the area and reunite parents with their kids, and now a number of celebrities have taken to Twitter.com to express their horror as the tragedy plays out on live TV.
A post written by mum-of-two Alba reads: "One child is confirmed dead in Newtown shooting - this is just awful. My heart goes out 2 all affected... So sad", while Carell continued, "Pray for Sandy Hook, Newtown CT."
Shocked Moore added, "Absolutely devastating news this morning. There are no words.Thoughts, prayers and love to all in Newtown," and Oscar winner Spacey stated, "Just heard about the shooting in Connecticut. My thoughts go out to all who are dealing with this sad news."
New mother Hilary Duff tweeted, "Oh my. I am shocked. Heartbroken. Devastating news about this elementary school shooting. What is wrong w/ people? Praying hard 4 these family's (sic)," and actor David Boreanaz wrote, "Beyond shocked and sad... Pray."
Meanwhile, supermodel Christy Turlington hopes lawmakers will take note and push for tighter gun laws, asking, "How many of these horrible shootings can our society tolerate before we change these gun laws?" and Glee star Jenna Ushkowitz echoed the same sentiment: "My heart goes out to all the Families and children affected by the CT shooting. When will the violence end?"
Other celebrities who took to social networking sites to add their prayers for the victims of the latest school shooting spree include actresses Christina Applegate, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Courteney Cox, and Holly Robinson Peete, as well as singer JoJo and musician Moby.
While recent animated blockbusters have aimed to viewers of all ages starting with fantastical concepts and breathtaking visuals but tackling complex emotional issues along the way Ice Age: Continental Drift is crafted especially for the wee ones — and it works. Venturing back to prehistoric times once again the fourth Ice Age film paints broad strokes on the theme of familial relationships throwing in plenty of physical comedy along the way. The movie isn't that far off from one of the many Land Before Time direct-to-video sequels: not particularly innovative or necessary but harmless thrilling fun for anyone with a sense of humor. Unless they have a particular distaste for wooly mammoths the kids will love it.
Ice Age: Continental Drift continues to snowball its cartoon roster bringing back the original film's trio (Ray Romano as Manny the Mammoth Denis Leary as Diego the Sabertooth Tiger and John Leguizamo as Sid the Sloth) new faces acquired over the course of the franchise (Queen Latifah as Manny's wife Ellie) and a handful of new characters to spice things up everyone from Nicki Minaj as Manny's daughter Steffie to Wanda Sykes as Sid's wily grandma. The whole gang is living a pleasant existence as a herd with Manny's biggest problem being playing overbearing dad to the rebellious daughter. Teen mammoths they always want to go out and play by the waterfall! Whippersnappers.
The main thrust of the film comes when Scratch the Rat (whose silent comedy routines in the vein of Tex Avery/WB cartoons continue to be the series highlight) accidentally cracks the singular continent Pangea into the world we know today. Manny Diego and Sid find themselves stranded on an iceberg once again forced on a road trip journey of survival. The rest of the herd embarks to meet them giving Steffie time to realize the true meaning of friendship with help from her mole pal Louis (Josh Gad).
The ham-handed lessons may drag for those who've passed Kindergarten but Ice Age: Continental Drift is a lot of fun when the main gang crosses paths with a group of villainous pirates. (Back then monkeys rabbits and seals were hitting the high seas together pillaging via boat-shaped icebergs. Obviously.) Quickly Ice Age becomes an old school pirate adventure complete with maritime navigation buried treasure and sword fights. Gut (Peter Dinklage) an evil ape with a deadly... fingernail leads the evil-doers who pose an entertaining threat for the familiar bunch. Jennifer Lopez pops by as Gut's second-in-command Shira the White Tiger and the film's two cats have a chase scene that should rouse even the most apathetic adults. Hearing Dinklage (of Game of Thrones fame) belt out a pirate shanty may be worth the price of admission alone.
With solid action (that doesn't need the 3D addition) cartoony animation and gags out the wazoo Ice Age: Continental Drift is entertainment to enjoy with the whole family. Revelatory? Not quite. Until we get a feature length silent film of Scratch's acorn pursuit we may never see a "classic" Ice Age film but Continental Drift keeps it together long enough to tell a simple story with delightful flare that should hold attention spans of any length. Massive amounts of sugar not even required.
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox]
It must be awfully frustrating for Robert Pattinson and everyone involved in movies with him to be hamstrung by studios that want to take advantage of his Twilight fan base. There's no other explanation for this fangless adaptation of Guy de Maupassant's classic novel about a mercenary young lad who beds society ladies for political leverage. Oh and because he can.
As Georges Duroy the titular bel ami Pattinson skulks sulks and glowers his way through Paris in the 19th century. The dirt poor former solider runs into a comrade from the war who is now a powerful newspaper editor; Charles Forestier (Philip Glenister) who takes pity on the filthy drunk tosses him a few gold pieces and invites him to dinner. Madeleine Forestier is the brain behind the operation and she advises Duroy to cozy up to the other society ladies as they're the ones with the real power. Duroy gets a gig writing a column for the newspaper which Madeleine actually writes for him and his career as a professional grifter begins.
The plot of Bel Ami revolves around the political environment of France just before its invasion of Morocco as much as it does Duroy's love affairs. It's a major motivating factor for many of the characters one that has been watered down or edited out to the point where it's almost an afterthought. This takes away a lot of the urgency and the sort of backstabbing deliciousness that one would expect from a piece like this. The stakes aren't that high until near the end when they come to a sudden head. Before that the story was meandering between Duroy's dalliances with a married woman and how he's scamming the newspaper.
Christina Ricci plays Duroy's lover Clotilde one of Madeleine's friends and although she's married there's no weight to the affair other than to show the supposedly sexy sex that has been both part of the movie's hype and it would seem its main marketing problem. Marketing problems are relevant here because they generally mean more and more edits are made until what was once a coherent movie becomes a confusing mishmash through little fault of those directly involved.
Their scenes are moderately steamy for an R-rated movie. They're obviously not appropriate for his so-called fan base but it's obvious that even before the Twilight franchise was nearing its run that Pattinson wanted to take a stab at actual acting. Although Duroy is a sh*t it seems unlikely that the final cut of the film is all that true to the book or even the vision of those involved.
That's a shame since Bel Ami looks lovely even if it comes off as occasionally goofy. Ricci is beautiful but her character is banal. The men are all fairly interchangeable cigar-smoking society types or ink-stained writers. The most memorable thing about Uma Thurman's performance is how elegantly she smokes her cigarettes and how she treats Duroy's lovemaking as if it were less interesting than a fly landing on her arm. As one of the society women that Duroy beds as part of his scheming Kristin Scott Thomas goes from a typically no-nonsense married lady to a mewling quim. Pattinson can't seem to find the right balance between rage and sweetness; it's actually impossible to tell who he's in love with when or why until he bursts out with statements like "I was the one getting f*cked!" Or was the audience?
A kids’ movie without the cheeky jokes for adults is like a big juicy BLT without the B… or the T. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted may have a title that sounds like it was made up in a cartoon sequel laboratory but when it comes to serving up laughs just think of the film as a BLT with enough extra bacon to satisfy even the wildest of animals — or even a parent with a gaggle of tots in tow. Yes even with that whole "Afro Circus" nonsense.
It’s not often that we find exhaustively franchised films like the Madagascar set that still work after almost seven years. Despite being spun off into TV shows and Christmas specials in addition to its big screen adventures the series has not only maintained its momentum it has maintained the part we were pleasantly surprised by the first time around: great jokes.
In this third installment of the series – the trilogy-maker if you will – directing duo Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath add Conrad Vernon (director Monsters Vs. Aliens) to the helm as our trusty gang swings back into action. Alex the lion (Ben Stiller) Marty the zebra (Chris Rock) Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) are stuck in Africa after the hullaballoo of Madagascar 2 and they’ll do anything to get back to their beloved New York. Just a hop skip and a jump away in Monte Carlo the penguins are doing their usual greedy schtick but the zoo animals catch up with them just in time to catch the eye of the sinister animal control stickler Captain Dubois (Frances McDormand). And just like that the practically super human captain is chasing them through Monte Carlo and the rest of Europe in hopes of planting Alex’s perfectly coifed lion head on her wall of prized animals.
Luckily for pint-sized viewers Dubois’ terrifying presence is balanced out by her sheer inhuman strength uncanny guiles and Stretch Armstrong flexibility (ah the wonder of cartoons) as well as Alex’s escape plan: the New Yorkers run away with the European circus. While Dubois’ terrifying Doberman-like presence looms over the entire film a sense of levity (which is a word the kiddies might learn from Stiller’s eloquent lion) comes from the plan for salvation in which the circus animals and the zoo animals band together to revamp the circus and catch the eye of a big-time American agent. Sure the pacing throughout the first act is practically nonexistent running like a stampede through the jungle but by the time we're palling around under the big top the film finds its footing.
The visual splendor of the film (and man is there a champion size serving of it) the magnificent danger and suspense is enhanced to great effect by the addition of 3D technology – and not once is there a gratuitous beverage or desperate Crocodile Dundee knife waved in our faces to prove its worth. The caveat is that the soundtrack employs a certain infectious Katy Perry ditty at the height of the 3D spectacular so parents get ready to hear that on repeat until the leaves turn yellow.
But visual delights and adventurous zoo animals aside Madagascar 3’s real strength is in its script. With the addition of Noah Baumbach (Greenberg The Squid and the Whale) to the screenwriting team the script is infused with a heightened level of almost sarcastic gravitas – a welcome addition to the characteristically adult-friendly reference-heavy humor of the other Madagascar films. To bring the script to life Paramount enlisted three more than able actors: Vitaly the Siberian tiger (Bryan Cranston) Gia the Leopard (Jessica Chastain) and Stefano the Italian Sealion (Martin Short). With all three actors draped in European accents it might take viewers a minute to realize that the cantankerous tiger is one and the same as the man who plays an Albuquerque drug lord on Breaking Bad but that makes it that much sweeter to hear him utter slant-curse words like “Bolshevik” with his usual gusto.
Between the laughs the terror of McDormand’s Captain Dubois and the breathtaking virtual European tour the Zoosters’ accidental vacation is one worth taking. Madagascar 3 is by no means an insta-classic but it’s a perfectly suited for your Summer-at-the-movies oasis.