Miramax via Everett Collection
Between the two of us, my friend Jay and I had probably watched Good Will Hunting more than 50 times through. Like many, we had attached with sincerity to the story of a practically prepubescent Matt Damon, a genius of the Boston slums. As such, the familiar embrace of this particular movie seemed like a good choice when he showed up at my apartment — unanounced, as per usual — with the news that he and his girlfriend had just broken up.
As we sat in my living room on what I remember to be a bizarrely humid afternoon for upstate New York's autumn, trying our best to invest in the rise and fall of the prodigious Will Hunting, we both experienced something new. We weren't watching the very same movie that we had time and time over; we weren't adhered with irreverent empathy to the misunderstood bad boy that we both so vapidly wanted to be (and oh, that hair). Instead, our attentions turned with unprecedented domination to his screen partner: not the cackling Ben Affleck, but Robin Williams. As Sean Maguire, Williams always seemed more like a background player, a vehicle for Will's transport through his troubles. That is until this unusually muggy Sunday when Sean's charms and strengths seemed to rear themselves in a new way altogether.
We noticed, sharing our discovery tacitly, that in even the heaviest scenes, Williams was able to command a sharp, hearty laugh. Mere syllables uttered by the master of performance, portraying a man who embodied the idea of disgruntlement, sent Jay and I into delirious cackling fits. Williams was doing more with this role — the would-be square straight man part to the effortlessly cool Damon's young, debonair rebel — than we had ever understood. He was playing anger, judgment, and frustration in a very special way. A way that conveyed colossal pain and tremendous humor all at once.
After so many views of Good Will Hunting, we had discovered anew just how funny it was. And from this was born our mission: we decided to dub over it. A project pioneered in the interest of emancipating Jay from concentration on his heartbreak, we leapt into intense study of the film — of Damon's swagger, of Ben Affleck's buffoonery, and most of all, of one Robin Williams' freshly realized exhilirating display of dry humor.
Jay, whose timber was more conducive to the leading man position, played Will. I happily nabbed Affleck's Chuckie. We traded off the Stellan Skarsgaard and Cole Hauser roles, and left all of Casey Affleck's original dialogue in the finished product... for good measure. And I, the significantly faster speaker, was lucky enough to play the coveted role: Robin Williams.
To everyone else our project seemed like a bout of idiocy. Occasionally, we submitted to this designation. But we weren't in this to waste our junior year, or even (as so many seemed to think) to mock or parody a movie that we had seen one too many times. No, we were in it because we saw something in Williams and his role that spoke to us at that time. In the dark hours that met with Sean Maguire, he — or maybe Williams — made us laugh. Hardly at the expense of empathy or sincerity; in fact, Williams/Maguire's ability to incite a chuckle in the very interest of some of the most emotionally substantial scenes in Gus Van Sant's film is what stirred and provoked us so. That's exactly what Jay needed at this time — to find laughter when flat drama was more readily available.
And it's what I came to need, several months later — our project having fallen by the wayside, what with plenty of other understandable distractions getting in the way — when my own blossoming romance came to a crashing halt. "We've got to finish that movie," I decided then, thinking back on the carnal laughter incited by our scholarly expedition of Williams' every meticulous nuance.
We did. We stayed up 'til 3 throughout the week, watching, laughing, revising, remodeling... we'd turn away chances to go out with our friends — you know, like normal people — to stay in Jay's room and work on this masterpiece. We fell hard and fast in love with our take on Good Will Hunting. On Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's clunky but charming script, Gus Van Sant's occasionally schmaltzy direction. And Robin Williams' profoundly empathetic and hilarious performance.
By the time we were finished, our respective heartaches had won new perspective. Call it an effective distraction, or maybe it was just therapeutic. But I don't think quite anything would have worked so well to inspire the greatest creative exploit that the two of us would ever bring to life, nor would just anything help to foster us through lost love with such efficiency. There was just something about that messy, cathartic, ultimately special little movie, and the bearded man who stole the show.
It had to be Good Will Hunting. It had to be Robin Williams.
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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).
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.
Sean 'Diddy' Combs' impact on popular culture is to be examined by students at New York University's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. Topics: Sean Combs & Urban Culture will be taught by Jayson Jackson, who was the former Vice President of Marketing and Promotions at the rapper/producer's Bad Boy Entertainment company.
The course description reads, "No single personality dominated the landscape of urban mainstream popular culture in the 1990s (and since) more than producer, rapper and entrepreneur Sean 'Puff Daddy' Combs."
The class will "investigate the social and cultural and political changes of the 1990s and how Sean Combs was catapulted to success by those changes".
Combs is not the only hip-hop musician to be the focus of a current college course - Jay Z and Kanye West are subjects of a class at the University of Missouri.
And, earlier this week (beg24Mar14), professors at Skidmore College in New York announced they were offering a course on singer Miley Cyrus, titled The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender and Media.