The 2014 CMT Music Awards kicked off with a star-studded video intro on Wednesday night (04Jun14), with host Kristen Bell in search of a co-host for the ceremony. She "interviewed" comedian Tom Arnold, Sean Hayes, and her real-life husband Dax Shepard for the job, but with the help of pals Malin Akerman and Cheryl Hines, decided to go solo. The clip also featured a parody of Jay Z's recent elevator brawl with sister-in-law Solange Knowles, as Luke Bryan was forced to break up the duelling members of Florida Georgia Line, Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard in a lift.
Fans have launched a petition in a bid to turn Jay Z and Beyonce's star-studded concert promo into a full-length film. The superstar couple thrilled fans over the weekend (17-18May14) when they released a four-minute promo set to the tune of their duet Part II (On The Run) to promote their upcoming joint tour.
Stars like Sean Penn, Don Cheadle, Jake Gyllenhaal, Blake Lively and Emmy Rossum appeared in the crime-themed short film, in which Beyonce and Jay Z play a gun-toting couple on the run from the police, and it was a big hit among fans, who have launched a petition on Change.org for a movie version.
It reads, "After the release of Beyonce and JAY Z's RUN trailer... millions of fans across the world became devestated (sic) after seeing 'coming never' at the end of the exciting and action packed RUN trailer. We... would love for our two favorite artists to actually make a full length movie based off of the trailer. "Why? It would most definitely sell millions, it's also casted (sic) so perfectly... and most importantly, it would make your fans happy. We love you B and Jay, you two have to make this happen. Please, the world wants the ON THE RUN movie!"
Beyonce and Jay Z have released a star-studded short film ahead of their first joint world tour later this year (14). They are teaming up for their On The Run summer stadium tour across the U.S., which kicks off in Miami, Florida on 24 June (14), and have now thrilled fans with an explosive four-minute promo set to the tune of their duet Part II (On The Run) to promote the trek.
The clip includes appearances from Sean Penn, Don Cheadle, Jake Gyllenhaal, Blake Lively and Emmy Rossum.
In the crime-themed footage, gun-toting Beyonce and Jay Z are on the run from cops, and the 99 Problems hitmaker is seen having intense discussions with Penn and Cheadle, while his wife tells actress Lively, "You don't know who I am anymore."
The action heats up as the footage shows Beyonce running away from a cop, played by Rossum, who begins firing shots at the singer as she races down a back alley.
Beyonce then tends to a wound on the rapper's arm, asking, "Do you trust me?", before they appear on a motorbike, with the Crazy in Love superstar wearing a wedding dress and veil.
The couple is then seen holding up a bank, and a blood-soaked Beyonce appears in a police line-up alongside sisters Rashida and Kidada Jones.
The clip, directed by Melina Matsoukas, ends with Beyonce singing, "Who wants that perfect love story anyway? Cliche, cliche, cliche."
The film was released on Saturday (17May14), the same day Beyonce posted a new snap of her smiling with her sister Solange Knowles on Instagram. It is the first new photo of them together since footage of Solange attacking Jay Z in an elevator was leaked earlier this month (May14).
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
With only a week and change having passed since the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, we no doubt feel the question living fresh in our minds: can we ever judge a remake without considering its predecessors? The conversation about the stark contrast in critical favor between Marc Webb's release and Sam Raimi's trilogy (the second installment of his franchise in particular) buzzed loudly, and we imagine the volume will keep in regards to Gareth Edwards' Godzilla. But it'll be a different sound altogether.
The original Godzilla, a Japanese film released in 1954, reinvented the identity of the monster movie, launched a 30-film legacy, and spoke legions about the political climate of its era. The most recent of these films — Roland Emmerich's 1998 American production — is universally bemoaned as a bigger disaster than anything to befall Tokyo at the hands of the giant reptile. With these two entries likely standing out as the most prominent in the minds of contemporary audiences, Edwards' Godzilla has some long shadows cast before it. And in approaching the new movie, one might not be able to avoid comparisons to either. It's fair — by taking on an existing property, a filmmaker knowingly takes on the connotations of that property. But the 2014 installment's great success is that it isn't much like any Godzilla movie we've seen before. In a great, great way.
This isn't 1954's Godzilla, a dire and occasionally dreary allegory that uses the supernatural to tell an important story about nuclear holocaust. A complete reversal, in fact, first and foremost Edwards' Godzilla is about its monsters. Any grand themes strewn throughout — the perseverence of nature, the follies of mankind, fatherhood, madness, faith — are all in service to the very simple mission to give us some cool, weighty, articulate sci-fi disaster. Elements of gravity are plotted all over the film's surface, with scientists, military men (kudos to Edwards for not going the typical "scientists = good/smart, military = bad/dumb" route in this film — everybody here is at least open to suggestion), doctors, police officers, and a compassionate bus driver all wrestling with options in the face of behemoth danger. The humanity is everpresent, but never especially intrusive. To reiterate, this isn't a film about any of these people, or what they do.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
The closest thing to a helping of thematic (or human) significance comes with Ken Watanabe's Dr. Serizawa, who spouts awe-stricken maxims about cryptozoology, the Earth, and the inevitable powerlessness of man. He might not be supplying anything more substantial than our central heroes (soft-hearted soldier Aaron Taylor-Johnson, dutiful medic and mom Elizabeth Olsen, right-all-along conspiracy theorist Bryan Cranston), but Watanabe's bonkers performance as the harried scientist is so bizarrely good that you might actually believe, for a scene or two, that it all does mean something.
Ultimately, the beauty of our latest taste of Godzilla lies not in the commitment to a message that made the original so important nor in the commitment to levity that made Emmerich's so pointless, but in its commitment to imagination. Edwards' creature design is dazzling, his deus ex machina are riveting, and the ultimate payoff to which he treats his audience is the sort of gangbusters crowd-pleaser that your average contemporary monster movie is too afraid to consider.
In fairness, this year's Godzilla might not be considered an adequate remake, not quite reciprocating the ideals, tone, or importance of the original. Sure, anyone looking for a 2014 answer to 1954's game-changing paragon will find sincere philosophy traded for pulsing adventure... but they'd have a hard time ignoring the emphatic charm of this new lens for the 60-year-old lizard, both a highly original composition and a tribute in its way to the very history of monster movies (a history that owes so much to the creature in question). So does Godzilla '14 successfully fill the shoes of Godzilla '54? No — it rips them apart and dons a totally new pair... though it still has a lot of nice things to say about the first kicks.
Oh, and the '98 Godzilla? Yeah, it's better than that.
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Hip-hop star Jay Z staged a mock proposal to wife Beyonce on the red carpet for the 2014 Met Costume Institute Gala after she dropped one of her rings. The superstar couple were among the A-list guests at the annual New York City event on Monday (05Apr14).
The Crazy in Love hitmaker donned a sheer black Givenchy dress with a veil headpiece, but when she dropped one of her Lorraine Schwartz rings, her chivalrous husband was quick to pick up and perform a pretendproposal in front of photographers.
Beyonce and Jay Z weren't the only head-turning couple at the charity ball - Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, Victoria and David Beckham, Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady, Charlize Theron and Sean Penn, Johnny Depp and his new fiancee Amber Heard, and Michael Sheen and Sarah Silverman, were all among the attendees.
The bash, overseen by Vogue U.S. editor Anna Wintour, was co-hosted by Sarah Jessica Parker and Bradley Cooper, and was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
On May 19 at 10 PM, The Maya Rudolph Show will premiere on NBC. After some time out in Hollywood making films like Grown-Ups and Friends with Kids, and a short stint with Up All Night, the Saturday Night Live veteran is returning to the variety show format to bring us a little song, dance, and live sketches. Right now it sounds like The Maya Rudolph Show is a one-time special that could become a series. And if NBC does pick it up for more, there are a few things we hope to see.
As Many Beyoncé Impersonations as Possible
The "Drunk in Love" video has been patiently awaiting a Maya Rudolph/Jay Pharoah remake since their unforgettable SNL skit. And the thought of Rudolph in any of those NSFW Mrs. Carter World Tour costumes is enough reason to tune in.
More Kristen Wiig, Please
Wiig and Rudolph have done so many memorable things together (their skits on SNL, Friends with Kids, and Bridesmaids), so we have every reason to demand a little Wiig cameo or two (even though we also look forward to confirmed guest appearances from Kristen Bell, Andy Samberg, Fred Armisen, Craig Robinson, Sean Hayes, and Chris Parnell). Come to think of it, a Bridesmaids cast reunion moment is long overdue and probably needs to happen as well.
The Maya Rudolph Family Hour
Maya Rudolph has four children with acclaimed director Paul Thomas Anderson, and just once it would be nice to see the whole family together... maybe doing a Sound of Music "Edelweiss" thing? Something tells us that people would definitely tune in to watch a room full of little Rudolph Andersons being extremely adorable and wonderful on stage. If Rudolph thinks this is too much, a nice big family photo shown before the first commercial would also be acceptable. Don't make this weird, Rudolph... we just want to bask in your family's talent!
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Rapper Nas was joined by Lauryn Hill and Damian Marley during his second weekend performance at the 2014 Coachella music festival in California on Saturday night (19Apr14). To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the One Mic hitmaker's debut album Illmatic, he invited Marley to perform their 2005 collaboration Road to Zion as well as the reggae singer's hit song Welcome to Jamrock.
R&B songstress Hill thrilled fans when she teamed up with the rapper on the Fugees' Ready or Not and If I Ruled The World, her duet with Nas.
The set came one week after the 40 year old hit the stage with former rival Jay Z to perform a rendition of Dead Presidents II during the first weekend (11-13Apr14) of Coachella.
Jay Z was a special guest again on Saturday (19Apr14), but this time he helped close out Pharrell Williams' star-studded set by performing Frontin', Excuse Me Miss, La La La (Excuse Me Miss Again), and I Just Wanna Love U (Give it 2 Me).
Williams also brought out T.I., Usher and Clipse frontman Pusha T as part of his hits-laced performance at the annual festival in the desert.
T.I. performed Blurred Lines with the Grammy winner, while Usher hit the stage for a rendition of U Don't Have to Call, and Pusha T took on his hit, Grindin', with Williams.
Rapper Busta Rhymes also joined the headliner for the second weekend in a row to perform Pass The Courvoisier Pt 2.
The gig followed Williams' cameo-filled performance last weekend (12Apr14), when he brought out Gwen Stefani, Rhymes, Nelly, Sean 'Diddy' Combs, Diplo and Snoop Dogg.
Sean 'Diddy' Combs has been named 2014's Wealthiest Hip Hop Artist. Editors at Forbes.com estimate the mogul is worth $700 million (£437.5 million) - $120 million (£75 million) more from last year (13).
They attribute the rise in fortune to the launch of his cable network Revolt TV.
The news comes a day after officials at Howard University announced Combs will receive an honorary doctorate in humanities and will give the commencement speech to graduates at the Washington, D.C. college in May (14).
Coming in second on Forbes.com's rich list is Dr. Dre with $550 million (£343.8 million), while Jay Z takes the third spot with an estimated $520 million (£325 million) worth.
Rounding out the top five are Bryan 'Birdman' Williams with $160 million (£100 million) and 50 Cent with $140 million (£87.5 million).
Former rap rivals Nas and Jay Z reunited on stage at California's Coachella music festival on Saturday (12Apr14) to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the I Can hitmaker's classic Illmatic album.
Nas marked the milestone by playing the 1994 release in its entirety, before inviting Jay Z to join him in the spotlight for a rendition of Dead Presidents II, his 1996 track which sampled Illmatic's The World Is Yours.
The 99 Problems icon, who was engaged in a lyrical feud with Nas back in 2001, also treated the audience to a performance of Where I'm From. But he wasn't Nas' only special guest - Sean 'Diddy' Combs later appeared onstage to join Nas for his 1999 single Hate Me Now, hours after the rapper/producer teamed up with another Coachella artist, Pharrell Williams, for Pass The Courvoisier Pt. II with Busta Rhymes.
Paying tribute to Nas during the late set, Combs said, "Nas, you have to understand. If it wasn't for you, hip-hop wouldn't be where it is today." Meanwhile, Jay Z's wife, Beyonce, also made an unannounced appearance on Saturday alongside her sister Solange Knowles at the end of the singer's track Losing You, where they performed a brief choreographed dance routine together.
The 2014 Coachella line-up has already seen performances from Outkast, Muse, Haim, Queens of the Stone Age, Lorde, Pharrell Williams and the Pet Shop Boys, while Arcade Fire, Motorhead, Lana Del Rey and Calvin Harris were among the acts on Sunday's (13Apr14) bill. The artists will do it all again next weekend (18-20Apr14) for the second round of Coachella.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is filled — and I mean jam-packed — with genre-bending, action-heavy, sportily tense and relentlessly sinuous, sky-high-concept and maniacally bonkers stuff. Polygonal mayhem that aims, and impressively so, to top the Marvel lot in ideas, deconstructing every thriller staple from government corruption to talking computers to odd couple agents gone rogue. But oddly enough, the moment in the Cap sequel that I find most arresting several weeks after seeing the film is our peaceful reunion with Steve Rogers, trotting merrily around the Washington Monument as the sun rises on our nation's capital.
The scene is shot from far overhead, a low pulse/high spirits Chris Evans reduced to a shapeless blur as he repeatedly (but politely!) laps fellow jogger and veteran Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie)... and yet it might be the closest we feel to Cap throughout the movie.
The Winter Soldier has a lot to worry about in the delivery of its content. Managing a plot as ambitious and multifaceted as its own, with themes as grand as the scope of the American mentality — as represented by Steve Rogers, raised in the good old days of gee-golly-jingoism — it doesn't always have the faculties to devote to humanizing its central troupe. Cap isn't left hollow, but his battles with the dark cloud of contemporary skepticism play more like an intriguing Socratic discussion than an emotional arc. Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, a character who ran circles around her Avengers co-players in flavor, feels a bit shortchanged in that department here (in her closest thing to a starring role yet, no less).
Mackie's Falcon, a regular joe who is roped into the calamity thanks largely to his willingness to chat with a fellow runner — a rare skill, honestly — is less of a problem. He doesn't have much to do, but he does it all well enough. Dynamic though he may be, Mackie keeps things bridled as Cap's ad-hoc sidekick, playing up the along-for-the-ride shtick rather than going full (or even half) superhero. We might want more from him, knowing just how fun he can be, but it's a sating dose. The real hunger is for more in the way of Black Widow, Cap, and — perhaps most of all — the titular villain.
Still, these palpable holes pierce through a film that gets plenty right. As elegantly as Joe Johnston did the Spielberg thing back in 2011, Joe and Anthony Russo take on the ballots of post-innocence. They aren't afraid to get wild and weird, taking The Winter Soldier through valleys that feel unprecedented in superhero cinema. We're grateful for the invention here — for Robert Redford's buttoned-up Tom Clancy villain, for the directors' aggressive tunneling through a wide underworld of subterranean corruption, and especially for one scene in an army bunker that amounts to the most charmingly bats**t crazy reveal in any Marvel movie yet. We might be most grateful, though, for a new take on Nick Fury; here, the franchise gives Samuel L. Jackson his best material by a mile.
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But in the absence of definitive work done in our heroing couple, a pair rich in fibers but relegated to broad strokes and easy quips in this turn, most of it amounts to a fairly good spy thriller, not an ace-in-the-whole neo-superhero masterpiece... which, justly or otherwise, is what we've come to expect and demand from these things.
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