More than 100 artists including Garth Brooks, Dierks Bentley, Kid Rock, Megadeth and Brad Paisley took to the stage in Nashville, Tennessee on Friday night (22Nov13) to honour late country legend George Jones. The date at the city's Bridgestone Arena had originally been booked by Jones to host his final show before retirement, but the gig was transformed into a memorial concert following his death in April (13) at the age of 81.
The cream of country music turned out to honour Jones at the event, billed as Playin' Possum: The Final No Show, which was opened by Big & Rich, who sang 1965 hit Love Bug while riding lawn mowers on stage. The duo's act was a reference to the late singer's infamous drunken ride to a liquor store on a lawn mower after his wife took away his car keys.
The sold-out show featured 112 artists over four hours, including George Strait, Martina McBride, Eric Church, Emmylou Harris, Rodney Atkins, Montgomery Gentry, Thompson Square, Vince Gill and duets by married stars Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, and Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.
Jamey Johnson also paired with heavy metal band Megadeth to play 1998 single Wild Irish Rose, with Dave Mustaine saying of the band's inclusion in the line-up, "Heavy metal is all about rebellion, and George was definitely a rebel."
The show was closed by Alan Jackson, who performed Jones' hit He Stopped Loving Her Today and branded him "the greatest country singer that ever was".
Country veteran Reba McEntire had been due to take part in the event, but had to withdraw due to illness, and she posted an apology to Jones' widow, Nancy, on her Twitter.com page, writing, "Lost my voice tonight at the George Jones tribute. So sorry Nancy. Sure wanted to be a part of country music history."
The California home where civil rights activist Rodney King was found dead last year (12) has sold for $260,000 (£173,000). The 47 year old drowned in the property's pool in June, 2012 while under the influence of alcohol, cocaine and marijuana.
From criticially acclaimed director Scott Cooper comes the gripping thriller Out of the Furnace. Russell Base lives an unfortunate life: he works a dead-end blue collar job at the local steel mill during the day, and cares for his terminally ill father by night. When Russell's brother Rodney returns home after serving time in Iraq, he is lured into one of the most ruthless crime rings in the Northeast and mysteriously disappears. When the police fail to crack the case, and with nothing left to lose, Russell takes matters into your own hands. The impressive cast, including Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck and Forest Whitaker deliver a gritty drama about family, fate, circumstance and justice.
In honor of the opening of this film, which hits theatres on December 6, we're giving away a Vintage 1910 Heavy Bag kit!
Everlast Boxing Gloves
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It's SUPER easy to enter, all you have to do is...
1. Follow Hollywood.com on Twitter at @Hollywood_com starting Thursday, November 21, at 12 PM ET.2. Retweet: "RT and FOLLOW to win an 'Out of the Furnace' prize pack in our #OutoftheFurnaceGiveaway http://hllywd.co/18T6K4M" The contest runs from 12 PM ET Thursday, November 21 until 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, December 6.
Out of the Furnace hits theaters December 6, 2013.
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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If there's one thing going to the movies has taught me over the years, it's not to get Christian Bale's bad side. In these exclusive pics from the film Out of the Furnace, Bale looks like he's getting good and ready to kick some teeth in. In the film, Russell Baze (Bale) is a man on a mission, seeking small-town American revenge when his brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) goes missing and a local crime lord (a sneering Woody Harrelson) is suspect number one. Out of the Furnace, Scott Cooper's sophomore effort after Crazy Heart, looks to have all the trappings of a great thriller, with the two brothers' relationship remaining the beating heart of a film with revenge on its mind. Who's ready for a slide into the Rust Belt's murky underworld?
Check out these exclusive shots below:
Country star Rodney Atkins is a married man after exchanging vows with singer/songwriter Rose Falcon in Florida. The happy couple tied the knot on the beach on Captiva Island on Sunday (10Nov13), with Atkins' son Elijah, from his first marriage, serving as the groom's best man.
The nuptials were made extra special by the fact that Atkins had asked Charles Hutchins, the founder of the children's home where he spent much of his youth before he was adopted by Allen and Margaret Atkins, to officiate the ceremony.
The date was already of significance to Atkins - his parents wed on that day 51 years ago, and the newlyweds decided to mark the special occasion by presenting the singer's mother with a three-carat aquamarine ring.
Atkins began dating Falcon following his 2011 split from first wife Tammy Jo amid allegations of domestic violence. He was cleared of the assault charge and their divorce was finalised in September, 2012.
Veteran singer Emmylou Harris and folk duo Shovels & Rope were double winners at the 2013 Americana Music Honors & Awards on Wednesday (18Sep13), taking home two prizes each. Harris and her longtime collaborator Rodney Crowell were named Duo-Group of the Year and their joint project Old Yellow Moon claimed Album of the Year, while Shovels & Rope stars Cary Ann Hearst and her husband Michael Trent beat the likes of The Lumineers' Ho Hey to score Song of the Year for Birmingham. They were also feted as Emerging Artist of the Year.
Another big winner at the Americana Music Association's Nashville, Tennessee event was Dwight Yoakam, who received the Artist of the Year title, and musician Larry Campbell earned the Instrumentalist of the Year prize.
The late Hank Williams was remembered with the President's Award, while Duane Eddy and Dr. John were among those to receive Lifetime Achievement honours.
R&B star Monica is praying her father recovers from a bout of ill health after he was hospitalised on the same day she gave birth to her baby girl. The Boy Is Mine hitmaker became a mother for the third time last week (03Sep13) when she and her husband, basketball player Shannon Brown, welcomed little Laiyah, but her joy was tinged with sadness after learning her dad had ended up in hospital, too.
The new mum shared a photo of her father, Billy Arnold, Jr., cradling his newborn granddaughter in a post on Instagram.com on Thursday (12Sep13), and explained, "The same day our daughter was born my father was admitted. Dr's (doctors) say Kidney failure. I just stay in prayer because I know God never fails!!! I'm never phased (sic) by the world. The only thing that matters to me is Christ & My Family".
Monica also has two sons, Rodney and Romelo, with rapper Rocko, while Brown is father to Shannon Christopher, his child from a previous relationship.
Singer Monica has become a mum for the third time. The Angel of Mine hitmaker welcomed daughter Laiyah with her NBA player husband Shannon Brown on Tuesday (03Sep13), and Kobe Bryant's wife Vanessa revealed her friends' happy news in an Instagram.com post on Thursday (05Sep13).
She wrote, "I am so honored to announce that baby Laiyah Brown has arrived! Mommy and baby are healthy and well. Congratulations @shannonbrown26 and @monicamylife! We love you guys and we can't wait to meet Laiyah! 6lbs (pounds) 9/3/13."
The proud dad gave fans a sneak peek at the newborn later on Thursday, when Brown shared an Instagram photo of himself holding the baby in his arms.
In the accompanying caption, he writes, "I THANK GOD for her!!! JOY has been restored in my LIFE!!!"
This is the first child for the couple, which married in 2011. Monica also has two sons, Rodney and Romelo, with rapper Rocko, while Brown is father to Shanonn Christopher, his child from a previous relationship.
After Dark Films
It seems a bit odd to take on a movie review of Courtney Solomon's Getaway, as only in the loosest terms is Getaway actually a movie. We begin without questions — other than a vague and frustrating "What the hell is going on?" — and end without answers, watching Ethan Hawke drive his car into things (and people) for the hour and a half in between. We learn very little along the way, probed to engage in the mystery of the journey. But we don't, because there's no reason to.
There's not a single reason to wonder about any of the things that happen to Hawke's former racecar driver/reformed criminal — forced to carry out a series of felonious commands by a mysterious stranger who is holding his wife hostage — because there doesn't seem to be a single ounce of thought poured into him beyond what he see. We learn, via exposition delivered by him to gun-toting computer whiz Selena Gomez, that he "did some bad things" before meeting the love of his life and deciding to put that all behind him. Then, we stop learning. We stop thinking. We start crashing into police cars and Christmas trees and power plants.
Why is Selena Gomez along for the ride? Well, the beginnings of her involvement are defensible: Hawke is carrying out his slew of vehicular crimes in a stolen car. It's her car. And she's on a rampage to get it back. But unaware of what she's getting herself into, Gomez confronts an idling Hawke with a gun, is yanked into the automobile, and forced to sit shotgun while the rest of the driver's "assignments" are carried out. But her willingness to stick by Hawke after hearing his story is ludicrous. Their immediate bickering falls closer to catty sexual tension than it does to genuine derision and fear (you know, the sort of feelings you'd have for someone who held you up or forced you into accessorizing a buffet of life-threatening crimes).
After Dark Films
The "gradual" reversal of their relationship is treated like something we should root for. But with so little meat packed into either character, the interwoven scenes of Hawke and Gomez warming up to each other and becoming a team in the quest to save the former's wife serve more than anything else as a breather from all the grotesque, impatient, deliberately unappealing scenes of city wreckage.
And as far as consolidating the mystery, the film isn't interested in that either, as evidenced by its final moments. Instead of pressing focus on the answers to whatever questions we may have, the movie's ultimate reveal is so weak, unsubstantial, and entirely disconnected to the story entirely, that it seems almost offensive to whatever semblance of a film might exist here to go out on this note. Offensive to the idea of film and story in general, as a matter of fact. But Getaway isn't concerned with these notions. Not with story, character, logic, or humanity. It just wants to show us a bunch of car crashes and explosions. So you'd think it might have at least made those look a little better.
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