Ozzy Osbourne's mansion in Buckinghamshire, England has been severely damaged by flooding and will cost more than $48,000 (£30,000) to repair. Many regions were deluged when torrential downpours hit the U.K. this year (14) in the wettest winter since records began in 1910, and Buckinghamshire was one of the worst affected areas.
Osbourne and his wife Sharon are based in Los Angeles but they will not be able to live in their $8 million (£5 million) English base for months due to water damage.
The Black Sabbath frontman tells the Daily Mirror newspaper, "It's been completely flooded. The rain has battered down the walls and seeped through everything. There is water everywhere.
"We've been told it's going to cost £30,000 to repair but we can't go about getting it fixed because it's going to take nine months to dry out. The place is ruined."
Writer John Ridley won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for 12 Years a Slave. It's hard to think of any other nominee that could have taken the award besides the gripping adaptation of Solomon Northrop's memoir. Ridley, of Undercover Brother fame, adapted Northrup's real-life story of imprisonment slavery into a vivid study of battered humanity that shattered audiences and critics alike. Thanks to Ridley's assured script, 12 Years a Slave was given a raw emotive power that went hand in hand with Steve McQueen's direction.
The original 19th century memoir, which saw little play outside of history classrooms, is now among the exclusive community of Hollywood's awarded screenplays. In his speech, Ridley naturally thanked Solomon Northrup, whose searing account inspired the film. He also thanked the producers of the film.
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
There is a certain level of enjoyment you are guaranteed when signing on for a movie that boasts a cast of George Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman, and Bill Murray. And that's the precise level of enjoyment you'll get from The Monuments Men — that bare minimum smirk factor inherent the idea that your favorite stars are getting to play together. In FDR-era army helmets, no less. But what we also get from the film is an aura of smug self-confidence from project captain Clooney, who seems all too ready to take for granted that we're perfectly satisfied peering into his backyard clubhouse.
So assured is the director/co-writer that we're happy to be in on the game that there doesn't seem to be any effort taken to refine the product for the benefit of a viewing audience. An introductory speech from art historian Frank Stokes (Clooney) sets up the premise straight away: the Nazis are stealing and destroying all of Europe's paintings and sculptures, and by gum we need to stop them! The concept doesn't complicate from there, save for a batting back and forth of the throughline question about whether the preservation of these pieces is "really worth it." Stokes rallies his own Ocean's Seven on a fine arts rescue mission, instigating an old fashioned go-get-'em-boys montage where we learn everything we need to know about the band mates in question: Damon has a wife, Goodman has gumption, Murray doesn't smile, Bob Balaban is uppity, and Jean Dujardin is French.
The closest thing to a character in The Monuments Men comes in the form of Hugh Bonneville, a recovering alcoholic whose motivation to take on the dangerous mission is planted in a festering desire to absolve himself of a lifetime of f**king up. When we're away from Bonneville, the weight disspears, as does most of the joy. Without identifiable characters, even master funnymen like Goodman, Murray, and Balaban don't have much to offer... especially since the movie's jokes feel like first draft placeholders born on a tired night.
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
But wait a minute, is this even supposed to be a comedy? After all, it's about World War II. And no matter what Alexandre Desplat's impossibly merry score would have you believe (coupled with The Lego Movie, this opening weekend might be responsible for more musical jubilance than any other since the days of "Make 'Em Laugh!"), warfare, genocide, and desecration of international culture all make for some pretty heavy material. But The Monuments Men's drama is just as fatigued as its humor, clumsily piecing together a collection of mini missions wherein the stakes, somehow, never seem to jump. We're dragged through military bases, battered towns, and salt mines by Clooney and the gang — occasionally jumping over to France to watch Damon work his least effective magic in years on an uptight Cate Blanchett, who holds the key to the scruffy American's mission but doesn't quite trust him... until, for no apparent reason, she suddenly does. We never feel like any of these people matter, not even to each other, so we never really feel like their adventures do.
The Monuments Men doesn't have much of a challenge ahead of it. Its heroes are movie stars, its bad guys are Nazis, and its message is one that nobody's going to refute: art is important — a maxim it pounds home with the subtlety of a sledgehammer, through countless scenes of men staring in awe at the works of Michelangelo and Rembrandt. And in this easy endeavor, Clooney decides to coast. How could it possibly go wrong? Just grab hold of the fellas, toss 'em in the trenches, and let the laughs and danger write themselves. "This is what they came to see," Monuments Men insists. "Just us guys havin' a ball." But we never feel in on the game, and it isn't one that looks like that much fun anyhow.
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Irish singer Keith Duffy stunned TV viewers in the U.K. on Friday (31Jan14) by dropping his trousers in the middle of a live daytime show. The Boyzone star appeared on lunchtime talk show Loose Women to discuss his latest role as a contestant in high-diving competition Splash!, and he told the female hosts the programme had left him battered and bruised.
As the audience gasped and shrieked in amazement, Duffy said, "My legs are black and blue - want to see?" before unhooking his belt, unfastening his pants and pulling them down to his knees.
The pop star's black briefs were clearly visibly as he pointed out his bruises and added, "I'm not joking you - that's it."
Asked how he came to be so injured plunging from a swimming pool diving board, Duffy answered, "If you land wrong it's not pleasant, put it that way."
Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi is turning her back on martial arts movies as she is still suffering from injuries she received on the set of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Ziyi shot to international fame with her role in the hit 2000 movie but she was left battered and bruised after shooting its hard-hitting combat scenes.
She has just wrapped filming on new martial arts movie The Grandmaster, but the lengthy three-year shoot has convinced Ziyi that her days as a deadly onscreen fighter are over.
She tells British magazine Hello!, "I don't believe there's another role that can surpass this. And I've had so many injuries from a long time ago during Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon when I injured my neck. Those old injuries really bother me and after three years of this one, my body cannot take it any more. So I think this is a pretty good finale."
Actor Kelsey Grammer's ex-wife Camille has been given another new year's boost after a judge granted her a permanent restraining order against a former boyfriend. The reality TV star announced she had completed treatments for endometrial cancer last week (ends03Jan14), and now she has been informed her ex Dimitri Charalambopoulos will not be a part of her life for the next three years - after he allegedly battered her during a hotel room fight in Houston, Texas in October (13).
Grammer won a temporary restraining order against Charalambopoulos after claiming her then-boyfriend attacked her, grabbing her by the hair, yanking out clumps in the process.
The temporary restraining order was extended on Monday (06Jan14) and now Charalambopoulos will not be able to contact Camille or her two kids until January 2017.
Construction experts are carrying out detailed tests at London's Apollo Theatre following the horrifying roof collapse which injured 76 audience members on Thursday evening (19Dec13). Seven people were taken to hospital with serious injuries and dozens more were treated at the scene after a huge chunk of the venue's ceiling fell down during a performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
The 112-year-old Grade II listed building was still sealed off on Friday morning (20Dec13) as structural engineers and a surveyor from the local Westminster City Council carried out an assessment to discover what caused the collapse.
Heavy storms had battered London during the evening, and there were unconfirmed rumours the venue had been hit by lightning earlier in the day. Local police have ruled out any criminal involvement.
Chief Superintendent Paul Rickett, of the Metropolitan Police, says, "(There is) no suggestion at this stage that (the incident) was as a result of a criminal act."
A spokesman for Nimax Theatres, which owns the Apollo, said the collapse was "shocking and upsetting".
Leaders of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association have donated $100,000 (£66,000) to a United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Philippines branch for the victims of deadly Typhoon Haiyan, which battered the country earlier this month (Nov13). The organisation behind the annual Golden Globes prizegiving is following Rihanna, who also pledged the same amount to UNICEF Philippines on Tuesday (26Nov13).
Rapper Ludacris has donated $50,000 (GBP33,300) to help the victims of the deadly typhoon which battered the Philippines earlier this month (Nov13). The Area Codes hitmaker's pledge will benefit officials at the mGive Foundation, who are distributing money to five non-profit agencies.
A statement from Ludacris, reads, "Typhoon Haiyan has hurt so many people. If we can give what we are able to help the families who have been devastated by this tragedy, we can all make a difference. You don't need to be an entertainer to help...
"The world is made up of many voices, but we are one community... We are a community of action, helping our fellow world citizens in their time of need. Suffering knows no borders. Our charity and compassion can stretch across the sea."
Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the Asian nation, claiming the lives of over 5,200 people and leaving thousands homeless.
In addition to his generous donation, the rapper is getting into the Thanksgiving spirit by giving away turkeys, collard greens and sweet potatoes to 250 families in Atlanta, Georgia through his The Ludacris Foundation.
He says, "This is the foundation's 11th year giving away turkeys and distributing food boxes for Thanksgiving. I especially look forward to this time of year because it allows me to directly touch the people we are trying to help. If we all pitch in, we can help families who have unfortunately been overwhelmed by a hurting economy and possible joblessness.
"Collectively we can make a huge difference - you don't need to be an entertainer or rich to help! Just do something small - something that says that they are not forgotten - something that says they are not alone."
He's not the only music star digging deep this Thanksgiving - Rihanna has also pledged $100,000 (GBP67,000) to the typhoon relief effort in the Philippines.
Rihanna has pledged $100,000 (£61,656) to help the victims of the deadly typhoon which battered the Philippines earlier this month (Nov13). The Diamonds hitmaker is the latest celebrity to contribute to the relief effort as aid officials and volunteers attempt to help help the citizens affected by Typhoon Haiyan rebuild and recover.
Rihanna has pledged the big-figure sum to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and she is urging others to do and give what they can to help the cause.
A statement from the Umbrella singer reads: "Emergencies make headlines, but the recovery continues long after the news cameras leave. Having been a fan and supporter of UNICEF's work over the years, I am honored to join them in helping children who have been impacted by Typhoon Haiyan.
"More than five million kids in the Philippines need our help. UNICEF is there for them today, and for the long road ahead, and so am I."
The storm ravaged the Asian nation, claiming the lives of over 5,200 people and leaving thousands homeless.