Shakira, Adam Levine, Sheryl Crow and Lady Antebellum were among the stars who paid tribute to singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks at the BMI Pop Awards ceremony in Beverly Hills, California on Tuesday night (13May14). The Fleetwood Mac star was feted with the Icon Award during the songwriting ceremony at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, and a number of artists took to the stage during the show to honour Nicks by performing some of her most famous songs.
Maroon 5 frontman Levine teamed up with Crow to perform Leather and Lace, country stars Lady Antebellum played Rhiannon, singer Vanessa Carlton gave an interpretation of Dreams, while Shakira sang Landslide.
Upon accepting the award, Nicks told the audience, "This is one of the best nights of my life. We are reporters - we songwriters write songs about life, not just love... I wrote my first song when I was 15 and a half, and this is what you have to look forward to if you really want to do this."
Other awards went to Levine, who was named Songwriter of the Year along with Ryan Lewis and his collaborator Macklemore, and producer/songwriter Jeff Bhasker.
The Lumineers' Ho Hey was named Song of the Year, while other featured tracks included Thrift Shop by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Roar by Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake's Mirrors, and I Knew You Were Trouble by Taylor Swift.
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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I know, that headline is trouble. You're always treading dangerous ground when you insist on defining what makes a good this or the right kind of that, as if there is no room for change or improvement when it comes to classic properties. Of course there is — Jason Segel's 2011 Muppet film approached the concept from an entirely different direction. It didn't hit all of its marks, but it prevailed overall in its conceit: make a movie not about Muppets, but about Muppet fandom. But Muppets Most Wanted, in absence of a clear mission statement and fueled largely by the monetary glimmers of the sequel game (the film's opening number admits this outright), has fewer marks readily available to hit. Landing in the ambiguity between the classic Muppet adventure formula and Segel's post-modern Henson appreciation party, Most Wanted feels like a failure on both counts. It doesn't know which kind of movie it wants to, or should, be. So it doesn't really be anything.
On the one hand, there's the half-cocked "get-the-band-back-together" through line, mimicking but not quite accomplishing the spirit of the 2011 picture. None of the Muppets are particularly likable or charming in this turn, and even fewer of them actually given anything to do. Kermit loses his s**t in the first act after a spat with Piggy and a barrage of insubordination from his troupe (provoked by the nefarious Dominic Badguy, Ricky Gervais), storms off in a huff, and gets swept up in a case of mistaken identity when his criminal doppelganger Constantine pulls the old switcheroo, landing Kermit in a Russian gulag. You'd think this would be a good opportunity for the second tier of Muppet favorites — Piggy, Fozzy, Gonzo, Scooter, Rowlf, et al — to go on a search and rescue... but save for a very brief sequence at the tail end of this achingly long film, none of the other Muppets are giving anything to do. They just hem and haw and perform the occasional "Indoor Running of the Bulls" while Dominic and Constantine scheme, rob banks, and bicker.
Meanwhile, Kermit has some fun in prison — a far more endearing plot that sees him befriending the merry convicts, organizing a penitentiary revue, and even winning the heart of the vicious warden Nadia (Tina Fey). If only we could spend more time with real Kermit and less time with fake Kermit and his second banana Gervais, an effectively boring pair.
On the other hand, though, there's the Muppet shtick that fans of The Great Muppet Caper and Muppet Treasure Island — and yes, The Muppet Show itself — will deem the movie's best material: CIA Agent Sam Eagle and Interpol Agent Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell) hot on the trail of Constantine and Dominic. Here, we get a different type of Muppet movie entirely from what Segel and the A-plot in Most Wanted are opting: the old fashioned vaudeville act, with Sam standing as an independent entity from his googly-eyed brethren, on a goofy, musical prowl with Burrell that fuels the film with its best and most consistent chuckles. Their "Interrogation Song" number is outstanding, exemplifying the many talents of Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie, who wrote all the music for this and the previous film.
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Unfortunately, Muppets Most Wanted isn't sure that it wants to be The Great Muppet Caper, beheld so stubbornly to its Segelian roots. There's a palpable compulsion to stick with this agonizingly self-aware, nostalgia-crazy, brimming-beacons-of-the-past-in-a-callous-today theme that doesn't work a fraction as well as it did in the 2011 film. Without a legitimate celebration of any of our favorite characters, how could it? With so much going on in this movie, and such a lengthy runtime at just under two hours, it's a sure sign of failure that we walk away feeling like we spent barely any time with the Muppets.
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Actress Olivia Munn has become the new face of acne treatment brand Proactiv after suffering an embarrassing breakout while starring opposite Hollywood hunk Eric Bana in a new movie. The Iron Man 2 beauty reveals she had never suffered from spotty skin until she moved from Japan, where she was raised, back to her native Oklahoma at the age of 16 and experienced a nasty outbreak of acne.
She says, "I had this horrible outbreak and I never had acne before. On my skin, on my forehead, it was covered in acne and I didn't know what to do. I'm a new kid in school and so I felt really self-conscious and didn't really lift my head up until my cousin mentioned it.
"I hadn't even heard of Proactiv, and she said, 'You should just try this.' I used it and within like a week all of it was gone."
However, the acne recently returned while she was shooting upcoming crime thriller Deliver Us From Evil, much to Munn's horror.
She tells People.com, "I'm doing a movie with Eric Bana where I play his wife, and I've got this massive cystic acne on my neck, my cheek and on my forehead. And he's so charming and good-looking, and thankfully the first time I met him was at night. But I thought, 'No!' That's when I really went full force and tried and everything. Nothing was working."
Munn turned to treatments like acupuncture and steroid injections from a dermatologist, but nothing helped until her agent suggested she try a new Proactiv+ formula.
She explains, "I guess he had also noticed my pimples. I thought, 'Will it work? I'm an adult now!' Within two weeks it was completely cleared up and I haven't had a breakout again."
The actress jumped at the chance to join the likes of Justin Bieber, Adam Levine and Katy Perry and become a spokesmodel for the skincare brand, because she knows first-hand that it really works: "It's so crazy because I have this whole story with it. It was nice. It's something that's very easy to get behind because I know what it did for me in my life."
Coldplay star Chris Martin is to appear as a guest mentor in the current season of American TV talent show The Voice. The singer will assist all four coaches during the singing competition, beginning 31 March (14).
Martin, who was rumoured to have been in talks to replace Keith Urban on The Voice Australia, will join Miranda Lambert, Aloe Blacc, Jill Scott and The Band Perry among the guest mentors for this season.
The guest stars join coaches Blake Shelton, Usher, Shakira and Adam Levine.
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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March 4, 2014
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Katy Perry and Jennifer Lawrence have emerged as top Kids' Choice stars after leading all nominees for the upcoming Nickelodeon prizegiving. Both leading ladies are up for three awards - Perry will compete for Favorite Song (Roar), Favorite Female Singer and Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie for her role in The Smurfs 2, while Lawrence has been nominated for Favorite Movie Actress and Favorite Female Buttkicker, and her film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will battle for the Favorite Movie prize opposite Iron Man 3, Oz the Great and Powerful and The Smurfs 2.
Robert Downey, Jr. could also be hitting the stage three times - as well as starring in Iron Man 3, he is also up for Favorite Movie Actor, opposite double nominee Johnny Depp, Neil Patrick Harris and Adam Sandler.
There are also multiple nominations for One Direction, Sandra Bullock, Taylor Swift and hit Nickelodeon show Sam & Cat, which leads the TV pack thanks to a Favorite TV Show nod and mentions for both stars Ariana Grande and Jennette McCurdy.
The 27th annual Kids' Choice Awards will take place in Los Angeles on 29 March (14). The event will be hosted by Mark Wahlberg.
Singer Aloe Blacc will join Adam Levine as a mentor on the upcoming sixth season of U.S. TV talent show The Voice. Other star guests include soul singer Jill Scott, who joins Usher, country siblings The Band Perry for Blake Shelton, and Shelton's wife Miranda Lambert, who will aid returning coach Shakira during the 'battle round' phase of the competition.
Post by Vin Diesel.
If we can learn anything from Miley’s tongue-lashing, no-clothes-wearing, twerk through 2013, it’s that celebrities have more media savvy than you’d think. Social media will make and break careers in the future. Viral videos have become the sex tapes of the 2010s. So it’s no surprise that a bizarre video Vin Diesel posted on his Facebook page has made him the talk of Hollywood.
To celebrate the early success of Riddick’s Blu-ray and DVD sales, Diesel decided to share a bit of a kooky video of him lip-synching “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry and Beyonce’s “Drunk in Love.” However, he randomly breaks into a frank business discussion after his own personal dance party. But the question is … what’s his thinking behind the video?
Diesel is the king of sequels. At first glance, Pitch Black and Fast & The Furious didn’t seem like they would spawn even one let alone multiple sequels. However, Diesel hasn’t starred in a film that wasn’t a sequel for years. Is this video an attempt at Diesel angling for more attention? It worked for Miley. Could his suggestive dancing and halfhearted crotch grabs be an attempt to get on the cast of Magic Mike 2? His Jersey Shore-reminiscent dancing is better than some of the cast members (Adam Rodriguez, Alex Pettyfer) of the 2012 male-stripper drama. After all, that was a huge boost to Matthew McConaughey’s notoriety.
Maybe he’s practicing lip-synching for Fast & Furious 7. Do the drag racers of the Fast & Franchise meet drag queens? Is Diesel going to go undercover as Lynne Diesel, or better yet Miss Diesel Ann-Gin to infiltrate drug runners at a drag show? As implausible as that plot may be that would be an epic storyline! It'd also would be great brand integration with RuPaul's Drag Race Season 6.
Either way, Diesel is laughing all the way to the bank. He won the Internet with a video that included bizarre celebrity behavior, a reference to something topical (The Grammys) and a plug. Achievement Unlocked! Now an entire cross-section of people who haven’t been thinking about Diesel is having second thoughts.