Arctic Monkeys and One Direction were double winners at the 2014 BRIT Awards on Wednesday night (19Feb14). After opening the ceremony with a fiery performance of their hit RU Mine?, the British rockers took home the trophy for Best British Group, joking that they had lost money by betting on category rivals One Direction to win.
The band also took the stage to accept the coveted Best British Album award for AM, which beat off releases by Rudimental, David Bowie and Disclosure, and frontman Alex Turner delivered a poetic acceptance speech about the resurgence of rock music.
He told the audience at London's O2 Arena, "That rock and roll just won't go away. It might hibernate from time to time... but it's always waiting there, just around the corner, ready to make its way back through the sludge and smash back through the glass ceiling, looking better than ever. That rock and rock, it seems like it's faded away sometimes but it will never die. And there's nothing you can do about it."
The band has now won the British Group award three times.
One Direction also took a pair of honours, claiming the Global Success Award for the second year in a row, and picking up the Best Video trophy after winning a live Twitter.com fan vote by a landslide.
An emotional Ellie Goulding kicked off the prize list at the top of the show, when she was handed the award for Best British Female by pop superstar Prince. The win ended years of disappointment since her last BRIT - a Critics' Choice award in 2009.
David Bowie was handed the prize for Best British Male, a prize he last won in 1984, but he did not attend in person, and asked model pal Kate Moss to collect his award, dressed in one of his old stage costumes.
Bruno Mars was named Best International Male for the second time, having previously scooped the gong in 2012, while 17-year-old New Zealander Lorde continued her amazing 2014 by winning International Female, Daft Punk were handed the International Group award, and Bastille were shocked to take home the British Breakthrough Act prize, beating brotherly duo Disclosure, who went home empty handed despite being nominated for four awards.
Live performances came from Katy Perry, who strutted the stage as a day-glo Egyptian queen, Bruno Mars, who bounced around the stage while he performed Treasure, Ellie Goulding and Beyonce, who performed her track XO live on TV for the first time.
It was also a night for onstage collaborations as Lorde and AlunaGeorge singer Aluna Francis teamed up with Disclosure to play a mash-up of their respective hits Royals and White Noise, and Rudimental were joined on stage by Bastille.
Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers closed the show with a medley of Daft Punk's hit Get Lucky and Williams' No. 1 Happy.
The full list of winners is as follows:
British Female Solo Artist: Ellie Goulding
British Group: Arctic Monkeys
British Breakthrough Act: Bastille
British Male Solo Artist: David Bowie
International Female Solo Artist: Lorde
Best British Video: One Direction - Best Song Ever
British Single: Rudimental featuring Ella Eyre - Waiting All Night
International Group: Daft Punk
International Male Solo Artist: Bruno Mars
British Album: Arctic Monkeys - AM
Special Recognition Award: War Child UK
Critics' Choice Award: Sam Smith
Global Success Award: One Direction
British Producer Of The Year: Flood & Alan Moulder
Music legend David Bowie was honoured with a top prize at the Music Producers Guild (MPG) Awards in London on Thursday night (13Feb14). The Let's Dance hitmaker landed the Innovation Award in recognition of his 2013 comeback album The Next Day.
He was not present to pick up the trophy in person, so his producer Tony Visconti accepted it for him, telling the crowd, "On behalf of my friend David Bowie it feels absolutely great... No one believed that David Bowie was going to make another album and so the timing was perfect, because everyone kind of gave up on him. There were rumours of bad health and rumours of retirement, and I'm laughing my head off every time I hear them."
During the show, British producer/songwriter Trevor Horn was handed the Outstanding Contribution to UK Music award by his collaborator Seal and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich.
Seal, who won three Grammy Awards with Horn for their hit 1995 track Kiss From A Rose, said of his mentor, "I don't think it would have been possible for me to have had the career that I've had and enjoyed the success that I continue to enjoy without Trevor Horn... being in my life. He is a huge influence. He pretty much taught me what I know in terms of my trade in the music industry."
The pair later took to the stage together to perform Kiss From A Rose.
Production duo Flood and Alan Moulder landed the U.K. Producer Of The Year prize, which automatically earned them a BRIT Award, and Disclosure brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence scooped the Breakthrough Producer accolade for their band's debut album Settle.
Everything Everything's hit track Kemosabe was named UK Single Of The Year, Nile Rodgers took the Inspiration Award, and International Producer Of The Year went to Rick Rubin.
Rockers Bastille and dance duo Disclosure will lead the way at the U.K.'s 2014 Brit Awards after landing four nominations apiece. The quartet's Pompeii hit will go head-to-head with Disclosure's White Noise for British Single, while Bastille's Bad Blood debut will compete against the electronic stars' Settle for the British Album of the Year prize.
The two acts will also fight it out for British Group and Best Breakthrough Artist.
David Bowie has landed a nod in the British Male Solo category, alongside James Blake, John Newman, Tom Odell and Jake Bugg, while the British Female Solo category will be a battle between Ellie Goulding, Jessie J, Laura Marling, Birdy and Laura Mvula.
Goulding has also scored a double nomination for British Single with her Calvin Harris collaboration I Need Your Love and solo hit Burn both earning mentions, while contenders for the International categories include Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Lorde, Arcade Fire, Daft Punk, Kings of Leon and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
The winners will be unveiled during a ceremony in London on 19 February (14), when the shortlists for the Brits Global Success Award and the British Music Video title will both be announced.
The full list of nominees is as follows:
British Male Solo:
British Female Solo:
Best Breakthrough Act:
Bastille - Pompeii
Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding - I Need Your Love
Disclosure - White Noise
Ellie Goulding - Burn
John Newman - Love Me Again
Naughty Boy featuring Sam Smith - La La La
Olly Murs - Dear Diary
One Direction - One Way Or Another
Passenger - Let Her Go
Rudimental featuring Ella Eyre - Waiting All Night
British Album of the Year:
Arctic Monkeys - AM
Bastille - Bad Blood
David Bowie - The Next Day
Disclosure - Settle
Rudimental - Home
International Male Solo:
International Female Solo:
Kings of Leon
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
British Producer of the Year:
Flood and Alan Moulder
Brit Critics Choice:
Theatrics slapstick and cheer are cinematic qualities you rarely find outside the realm of animation. Disney perfected it with their pantheon of cartoon classics mixing music humor spectacle and light-hearted drama that swept up children while still capturing the imaginations and hearts of their parents. But these days even reinterpretations of fairy tales get the gritty make-over leaving little room for silliness and unfiltered glee. Emerging through that dark cloud is Mirror Mirror a film that achieves every bit of imagination crafted by its two-dimensional predecessors and then some. Under the eye of master visualist Tarsem Singh (The Fall Immortals) Mirror Mirror's heightened realism imbues it with the power to pull off anything — and the movie never skimps on the anything.
Like its animated counterparts Mirror Mirror stays faithful to its source material but twists it just enough to feel unique. When Snow White (Lily Collins) was a little girl her father the King ventured into a nearby dark forest to do battle with an evil creature and was never seen or heard from again. The kingdom was inherited by The Queen (Julia Roberts) Snow's evil stepmother and the fair-skinned beauty lived locked up in the castle until her 18th birthday. Grown up and tired of her wicked parental substitute White sneaks out of the castle to the village for the first time. There she witnesses the economic horrors The Queen has imposed upon the people of her land all to fuel her expensive beautification. Along the way Snow also meets Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) who is suffering from his own money troubles — mainly being robbed by a band of stilt-wearing dwarves. When the Queen catches wind of the secret excursion she casts Snow out of the castle to be murdered by her assistant Brighton (Nathan Lane).
Fairy tales take flack for rejecting the idea of women being capable but even with its flighty presentation and dedication to the old school Disney method Mirror Mirror empowers its Snow White in a genuine way thanks to Collins' snappy charming performance. After being set free by Brighton Snow crosses paths with the thieving dwarves and quickly takes a role on their pilfering team (which she helps turn in to a Robin Hooding business). Tarsem wisely mines a spectrum of personalities out of the seven dwarves instead of simply playing them for one note comedy. Sure there's plenty of slapstick and pun humor (purposefully and wonderfully corny) but each member of the septet stands out as a warm compassionate companion to Snow even in the fantasy world.
Mirror Mirror is richly designed and executed in true Tarsem-fashion with breathtaking costumes (everything from ball gowns to the dwarf expando-stilts to ridiculous pirate ship hats with working canons) whimsical sets and a pitch-perfect score by Disney-mainstay Alan Menken. The world is a storybook and even its monsters look like illustrations rather than photo-real creations. But what makes it all click is the actors. Collins holds her own against the legendary Julia Roberts who relishes in the fun she's having playing someone despicable. She delivers every word with playful bite and her rapport with Lane is off-the-wall fun. Armie Hammer riffs on his own Prince Charming physique as Alcott. The only real misgiving of the film is the undercooked relationship between him and Snow. We know they'll get together but the journey's half the fun and Mirror Mirror serves that portion undercooked.
Children will swoon for Mirror Mirror but there's plenty here for adults — dialogue peppered with sharp wisecracks and a visual style ripped from an elegant tapestry. The movie wears its heart on its sleeve and rarely do we get a picture where both the heart and the sleeve feel truly magical.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Cliff and Cydney are happy newlyweds headed to Hawaii for a quiet honeymoon on a remote portion of the island of Kauai. Their marital bliss is abruptly interrupted however when they receive word that just a few days prior a pair of newlyweds not unlike themselves were murdered on Maui and that the killers believed to be a man and a woman were still at large.
Dismayed by the unsettling news Cliff and Cydney nonetheless resolve to move forward with their honeymoon but start to become anxious when they encounter not one but two exceedingly strange couples each of whom seemingly fit the profile of the killers. Miles away from civilization unable to get a decent cell phone signal and seemingly surrounded by possible murderers they begin to wonder if they might be the next victims.
WHO’S IN IT?
Playing the part of Cliff is Steve Zahn a prolific character actor best known for supporting roles in films like Rescue Dawn and Sunshine Cleaning. As a jittery Hollywood screenwriter who too often lets his overactive imagination get the best of him Zahn’s performance is the most credible aspect of the movie. In the role of his wife Cydney is Resident Evil series star Milla Jovovich demonstrating how truly unremarkable she can be when not cast opposite expressionless zombies.
Despite being saddled with most of the film’s worst lines Hitman star Timothy Olyphant proves convincing as Nick a wild-eyed survivalist who claims to have served as an army special forces operative in Iraq. Laying it on a little too thick with the fake Southern accent is Kiele Sanchez who plays Nick’s equally suspicious girlfriend.
Director David Twohy (Pitch Black The Chronicles of Riddick) makes an earnest attempt at crafting a modern-day murder mystery and for the most part he does a commendable job of messing with audience expectations setting the stage for a major second-act plot twist that proves every bit as surprising as advertised.
Twohy is one of the more likable Hollywood directors and it’s good to see him back from the dead after the Riddick disaster set fire to his career. Unfortunately he falls headlong into the M. Night Shyamalan trap with A Perfect Getaway focusing too much on pulling off the big twist and forsaking just about every other element of the movie. To be fair Twohy’s film isn’t nearly as dreadful as Shyamalan’s recent Razzie-amassing efforts like The Happening and Lady in the Water but its deficiencies are similarly multifaceted. Awkward dialogue mediocre performances by Jovovich and Sanchez and an excessively aimless pre-twist plotline are just a few of the problems that plague the movie.
But my biggest gripe with A Perfect Getaway is that Twohy fills the story with so many seemingly important plot devices which end up going nowhere that the film could very well be re-titled Red Herring: The Movie. At a certain point you throw up your hands and ask “Well then is any of this s--t real?” And the answer is: No probably not. But isn’t Kauai beautiful?
Admittedly the twist is pretty darn clever. Too bad we have to wait over an hour to see it.
The climax features an excruciating scene in which a key character’s cell phone previously assumed to be out of service receives a sales call from an Indian-accented telemarketer. Rather than simply hang up and dial 911 the character pleads with the befuddled phone company rep to alert the police with predictable lack of success. All this while a deranged killer stalks the vicinity. Characters that stupid deserve to die.
September 16, 2005 5:05am EST
The socially inept Elizabeth Masterson (Reese Witherspoon) is a workaholic doctor who never leaves the hospital. Her married sister Abby (Dina Waters) tries in vain to set up with a good man to no avail. But fate is about to intervene. On her way home from a long shift Elizabeth gets into a head-on collision with a semi-truck and suddenly the lines between life and death are blurred. Jumping forward we meet David Abbott (Mark Ruffalo) a guy wallowing in self-pity from the death of his wife two years earlier who to find some solitude moves into a fabulous furnished apartment. What he doesn't know is the previous tenant hasn't left not really. That's right it was Elizabeth's apartment and for whatever reason (seriously they don't entirely explain it) Elizabeth--or her spirit I guess--hasn't grasped the idea that she is in well limbo. Only David can see her of course as she yells at him for leaving sweat rings on the coffee table but Elizabeth eventually grows on him. She elicits his help in finding out what happened to her and with a little help from the eccentric Darryl (Jon Heder) a bookstore employee who has the gift for sensing spirits David and Elizabeth find that heaven and earth are not really that far apart.
As our romantic pair Witherspoon and Ruffalo do an adequate job adhering to the staid romantic comedy formula. Witherspoon is one of the more consistent comedic actresses these days and has the sweet but controlling ingénue routine down to a science. But it may be time for her to take a break from the standard fare and head back to the indies getting down and dirty like she did in Election. Ruffalo does a pretty impressive job for his second time as the romantic lead. As he did with 13 Going on 30 Ruffalo at least tries to add some quirky twists to a boring character. Still he should also probably stick to showcasing his dramatic acting talent in cool indies much like he did in You Can Count on Me. It's Heaven's side characters who have all the fun. Waters (The Haunted Mansion) does a nice turn as the caring sister who's own hectic life as a mother of two rambunctious kids always seems to interfere with what she's doing. Donal Logue (TV's Grounded For Life) as David's therapist best friend too has a fun time yuking it up. But the real standout in an otherwise dull universe is Napoleon Dynamite himself Jon Heder in his second feature film. He's still a geek but at least this time he's a mystical one who knows a thing or two about wandering spirits. Of course he also gets the best lines: "I'm 99.9 percent parched here. I need a cola." I'm going to use that one from now on.
As the director of the satirical Mean Girls and the cutesy Freaky Friday Mark Waters may be out of his element with an out and out romantic comedy. The initial idea about a women whose stuck in the spirit world until she finds the true love she never sought after in life is somewhat intriguing. But rather than play with that the film just ends up your standard romantic comedy while also stealing from other films such as Ghost and The Sixth Sense. Just Like Heaven also has some serious logistical flaws. For example seeing how Elizabeth is supposed to be a ghost--that she can't touch anything tangible and can walk through walls tables and just about anything else--she is later seen laying on top of a table. It doesn't make sense as to how she can walk through it at one moment and be on it the next. And the fact you are paying attention to these inconsistencies means you just aren't caring that much about the rest of the film.