"I used to love SeaWorld. I thought the animals were safe and happy. Then I learned what happened - that they're taken out of their habitat and kidnapped. It breaks my heart. They're not ours. Yo, b**ch - throw them back!" Ariana Grande became passionate about animal rights after watching SeaWorld documentary Blackfish.
Rocker/filmmaker Rob Zombie has launched a crowdfunding campaign for his new movie about killer clowns. The Dragula director's next project is titled 31 and features five people who are kidnapped and forced to fight for their survival by playing a deadly game. Each must kill their clown opponent within 12 hours in order to survive.
But instead of turning to major movie studios, Zombie is calling on his fans to donate their money to help fund the project on Fanbacked.com.
He writes, "I'm crowd funding because I realize that it's an incredible opportunity to engage the fans. They've always been the most important thing for me because, with metal and horror, the fans aren't just fans - it's their life, their lifestyle. They live and breathe it, as I do, and any way that you can bring the people that are as passionate about it as you are into the process is a win-win for everybody."
Backers can also receive rewards depending on the amount of money they donate, ranging from a 31 gift bag with a poster, keychain and bottle opener for $15 (£8.80), a follow on Twitter from Zombie for $300 (£176), the Michael Myers mask from Zombie's 2007 Halloween instalment for $2,000 (£1,176) and a role as an extra on the film for $5,000 (£2,941).
Zombie has not listed a fundraising goal for the campaign, but fans have until 30 September (14) to contribute to the film.
Walt Disney Studios/Marvel
If you've spent any time on the Internet, watching TV or, let's face it, just ventured out of your house in the past few months, you're probably aware of a little movie called Guardians of the Galaxy, which has quickly become one of the summer's most anticipated films. In fact, you've probably already got plans to go see it when it hits theaters on Friday, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have any idea what exactly you're signing up for. After all, Guardians of the Galaxy is one of Marvel's lesser-known titles, the kind that only hardcore comics nerds knew about before the studio announced plans to turn them into a blockbuster. But don't worry: you still have plenty of time to learn everything you need to know about this merry band of misfits before your Friday night showing. In fact, we've put together this handy guide to the Guardians of the Galaxy with all of the questions you might have been too nervous to ask so that you'll be able to hit the theater knowing Groot from Gamora and why, exactly, this "bunch of a-holes" have been entrusted with keeping the universe safe.
So, from what I understand, the Guardians of the Galaxy are basically just the Avengers in Space. Yes and no. They are a team of universe-saving superheroes like the Avengers, but they’re still pretty different.
Really? How? Well, for one thing, they weren’t put together by S.H.I.E.LD.; they met up in prison.
So they’re criminals. Yep. But they’re trying to do some good by saving the galaxy, so they’re not the bad guys, really.
Well, if S.H.I.E.L.D.’s not in this, how about Iron Man? No, sorry. These movies are tangentially connected to The Avengers, but none of those characters will appear in this film.
How are they connected?Remember Benicio del Toro's brief appearance at the end of Thor: The Dark World?
Vaguely.That's the connection. He has a significant role in this movie.
So does that mean Thor is in Guardians of the Galaxy?No.
How about Captain America?Dude, no.
So if we don’t have Iron Man, who is going to be the good looking, wise-cracking leader? He goes by the name of Star Lord, although he’s the only person who actually calls himself that. His real name is Peter Quill.
And who is Peter Quill? He’s a half-alien half-human who was kidnapped from earth as a child and was raised by a gang of thieves and smugglers. He’s also a pretty impressive pilot.
Who’s playing him in the movie? Chris Pratt.
Wait, we’re supposed to believe that Andy Dwyer is going to save the universe? Yeah. Isn’t it awesome?
I guess. Who else is on this team? Their names are Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Racoon, and Groot.
Okay, let’s start with Gamora. Tell me about her. She was adopted as an orphan by Thanos and—
Wait, who’s Thanos? Thanos is the murderous super villain bent on wreaking havoc and destruction. He’s determined to get the Infinity Gauntlet which has the ability to destroy a star. He’s basically the big bad in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe right now, Avengers films included.
And he’s going to be in this? Yes, he’ll be making an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy, and he’ll be played by Josh Brolin. You might recognize him as the purple dude in the credits of the first Avengers movie.
Okay, keep going about Gamora.So she was adopted by Thanos raised to be his personal assassin, and became one of the most feared fighters in the universe. But eventually, she turned against Thanos and decided to try and make amends for her past.
Okay, and who’s playing Gamora? Zoe Saldana.
Even though she’s also in Avatar and Star Trek? Yep. She’s the queen of sci-fi franchises.
Who’s next? Drax the Destroyer? Yes. Drax was originally a human named Arthur Douglas, but after his whole family was killed by Ronan the Accuser, his soul was put into a different body so he could fight Thanos.
Wait, hold on. Who’s Ronan the Accuser? I thought Thanos was the bad guy. They’re both bad guys. Ronan is a Kree radical, who has agreed to help Thanos hunt down an artifact if Thanos will destroy the Xandarians – his mortal enemies – in exchange.
What is a Kree?A technologically advanced, war-loving alien race.
And what is a Xandarian?Another alien race. Not so big on the war.
Got it. So is Ronan the Accuser a big part of Guardians of the Galaxy?Yeah, he’ll be the main villain in this one. Lee Pace will be playing him.
Any other villains I should know about? Nebula, who grew up with Gamora. Unlike her adoptive sister, she is still loyal to Ronan and Thanos. She’ll be played by Karen Gillan.
Oh, is this the thing she shaved her head for? Yes. Nebula is bald, so Gillan decided to shave her head, since it would look better than putting makeup on top of a bald cap.
So, that’s it? Ronan, Thanos, and Nebula are all the villains? There’s also Djimon Honsou as Korath, an intergalactic hunter who serves Ronan, and (like we said above) Benicio del Toro, who plays The Collector: an eccentric, obsessive keeper of intergalactic rarities. If you need something, and it might be illegal to own that thing, he probably has it.
All right, all right, is that it? There are a lot of villains in this thing. Yeah.
Walt Disney Studios/Marvel
So back to Drax: who’s playing him in the movie? Dave Batista.
You mean Vin Diesel isn’t playing the aggressive muscular dude? No, Vin Diesel’s playing a tree.
What?! Well, he’s playing Groot, a tree-like humanoid who has the ability to regrow himself from the tiniest twig.
Well, he at least has some witty banter or something, right? Of course! Provided that witty banter consists only of the phrase, “I am Groot.”
… Okay. So, why is Groot in jail, then? He’s there thanks to his job as the muscle/personal companion of Rocket Raccoon.
Is that...? The machine-gun firing, rage spewing, back-talking, possibly homicidal raccoon? Yep. You know what's even weirder? Bradley Cooper's providing his voice.
And how did he learn to fire a gun? Rocket is originally from a planet called Halfworld, which was basically a colony for the mentally ill. All of the animals there were genetically modified to become as intelligent as humans and to be able to walk in their hind legs so they could take care of the inmates there.
So, an anthropomorphic raccoon and a tree have teamed up with a criminal, assassin, and thief in order to protect the galaxy? That’s exactly what happened.
I think I need to lie down. No, no! Stay with us, you’ve almost got it.
Fine. So why exactly did they team up? Why is the galaxy in need of their help? Basically, Peter Quill steals an orb that Ronan the Accuser is after, and so he needs the rest of the team’s help in order to evade the villain and the intergalactic manhunt that he’s started. But then they discover how powerful the orb actually is, and they are determined to protect the galaxy by keeping it from falling into the wrong hands.
Why, what’s so special about the orb? That remains to be seen.
Well, then, how do they find that the galaxy is in trouble? Do they just figure it out on their own? They’re recruited by the Nova Corps, who are the military police tasked with keeping the planet Xandar and its citizens safe.
Are those they guys...? Who call them “a-holes” in the trailer? Yeah, that’s the Nova Corps.
I like those guys. So, are those all of the characters? Yep, that’s everyone and a basic rundown of what they want. Anything else you want to know?
Yeah, what's with all the classic rock in the trailer? The songs come from Peter’s Walkman, and it’s basically the last connection he has to his life on earth. Also, it’s awesome.
Can I watch the trailer again? Of course:
And when does this movie come out? Guardians of the Galaxy opens in theaters on Friday, August 1!
Actor Chris Pratt spent five months listening to the same soundtrack of soft rock songs from the 1970s to help him get into character for his role in Guardians Of The Galaxy. The Zero Dark Thirty star portrays the comic book adaptation's lead, Peter Quill, a boy who grows up in space and becomes a mercenary named Star Lord after being kidnapped from Earth carrying a mixtape his mother made for him.
Pratt, who adopted a strict fitness regimen to bulk up for his part, decided to familiarise himself with the same tunes, such as Hooked on a Feeling by Blue Swede and Escape (The Pina Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes, to help put him in the same mindset as Quill - but now he admits he's sick of the tracks.
He tells the New York Post, "This was the only music Peter Quill listened to for the 22 years that he'd been in space, so I made sure I played that music on a loop for five months....
"Some of it I hope I never hear again... There was nothing worse than running on mile five and (Holmes' song) comes on."
With the final season of True Blood wrapping up this summer, we've got to wonder which characters the vampire drama will exterminate for good by the time the finale rolls around. We've already seen the HBO series give the axe to Tara Thornton, Alcide Herveaux, and Mrs. Fortenberry, but what about the rest of the major players? Who will make it to the end, and who will meet a grim fate?
Sookie StackhouseIn the end, Sookie probably has to live. That doesn't mean we can't secretly root for her demise, though. The character has become so self-centered that in the midst of a zombie-vampire epidemic and the death of her childhood best friend, she's principally concerned with what the people of Bon Temps are thinking about her. Sookie is upset that they think she brings nothing but trouble... so, she decides to try to help her kidnapped friends by trying to get kidnapped herself (and this is how Alcide gets shot, which now she has something else to feel bad about). Girl needs to get a grip.
Bill ComptonBill has always been one of the campiest character on the show, from his pronunciation of "Sookie" to actually becoming god, and we've gone back and forth between loving to hating him again and again. At this point, it's tough to hate Bill, but that's not to say we'd be all that sad to see him go. But perhaps we'll root for him to make it through, if only because Sookie probably will, and wouldn't that just be adorable if Sookie and Bill finally got together? (See? I almost sound like I give a hoot.)
Sam MerlotteSam has been involved in his own stories for a while, and now he's finally returning to the group. After seasons of waiting for him to get killed off, now I'm sort of rooting for him to make it through. He does have a kid on the way... or something. I'm still not quite sure exactly who his fiancée is, when she got pregnant, or any of that. But I'm pretty sure he mentioned she and their baby were taken by the vampires.
Jason StackhouseThere is no way in hell Jason Stackhouse should die because that's just a waste of beauty. It's as simple as that. Next character.
Eric NorthmanIt seems like it's a given that Eric will die since he's contracted Hep V, but who knows? Let's just hope that if he dies, he dies like Godric did. Or that we see Godric again at least.
PamPam can't die, can she? She's always been one of the show's strongest characters, but the latest episode featuring her with Eric lagged a bit. Until, that is, she stole Ginger's idea for Fangtasia and passed it off as her own. Then we remembered how fun Pam can be. It'll be a sad turn of events if she goes.
JessicaJessica is another character with whom the show has always done well. Hopefully, she and Hoyt will somehow fall back in love with each other and can stay alive (or, well, vampire-alive) to enjoy some time together.
Andy BellefleurAndy has grown more than any other character on this show in the last seven seasons, evolving from an incompetent drunk on the police force to a V addict, then to sheriff, and now a father and a leader. His trajectory makes him easy to root for consistently, regardless of whether or not we actually like him.
LafayetteAh, to look back upon how upsetting it was at the end of Season 1, when the cliffhanger led us all to believe Lafayette had died. Though his bruja abilities (is that what he is? or his just a medium?) can test a fan's patience, the character is one of the greatest on the show. He's still hilarious, and he's still lovable, and he's probably the only thing about this show that still is. Hopefully, he'll wind up with Jessica's boyfriend and find the happiness he was robbed of with Jesus.
ArleneHearts shattered in the latest episode when Arlene decided not to be with Terry in death. Hopefully that's the last run-in with death she faces this season, because she has those three kids and a heart of gold.
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
We can't say exactly how much we were "supposed to" be laughing at Transformers: Age of Extinction, but we managed a few chuckles just the same. Michael Bay's latest blockbuster has no shortage of ridiculous moments, lines, scenes, and overarching themes. Here are the 10 most absurd elements in the film:
10) "MY FACE IS MY WARRANT."When asked to produce a warrant before trespassing on Yaeger property, Lost's Man in Black responds with the above proclamation... which is just a little less menacing than it is ridiculous.
9) THE KIDNAPPING OF TESSA YAEGERNicola Peltz's character serves no distinct purpose other than to be yelled about. Her overprotective dad (Mark Wahlberg) yells about her dating her thick-headed boyfriend (Jack Reynor), who yells right back. Then, the two of them get to yell about her being kidnapped by a robot spaceship. But here's the kicker: she isn't really meant to be kidnapped. She just happens to be inside a car that is a little too close to Optimus Prime when they kidnap him. Her attempts to bust open the car windshield (a suggestion that is, of course, yelled to her by her dad) are half-hearted and futile. But the kicker of the kicker: the futuristic, space-traveling robot monsters use a rope net to do the kidnapping.
8) OPTIMUS PRIME'S CLOSING MONOLOGUELittered with idioms like, "There are questions we were never meant to know the answers to, but who we are and where we came from is not one of them," and "When you look to the stars, pretend that one of them is the soul I've spent this movie trying to prove to everyone I probably have, even though I'm a robot," Optimus' final speech to close out the film is as cheesy and vacant as something out of a teen soap with a religious slant.
7) "I WENT THROUGH THE SAME THING WITH BUMBLEBEE."Optimus Prime can empathize with Cade Yaeger's fatherhood headaches. Apparently he's been dealing with his own surrogate child's teenage rebellion and sexual exploration.
6) "ALGORITHMS! MATH!"Stanley Tucci, playing a brilliant scientist, yells this at one point. You've got to imagine that Michael Bay was using these words as script placeholders until he could wrangle a technologically adroit consultant to fill in the gaps... but then just forgot about it in the wake of designing his nineteenth explosion.
5) THE ULTIMATE MESSAGE"Some things shouldn't be invented." So... Transformers is anti-science, then?
4) DRINK BUD LIGHT, EVERYBODY!Struggling to control a wayward spaceship, Wahlberg careens down into the middle of Chicago's rush hour, crashing onto a civilian vehicle and a Bud Light truck. The spill results in a flood of Bud Light bottles and cans, one of which Wahlberg cracks open on a vehicle door as a tacit threat to an angry resident of the Windy City.
3) MARK WAHLBERG'S NAME IS CADE YAEGERThat is a silly name.
2) DON'T MESS WITH TEXASWhen Mark Wahlberg meets his daughter's Irish boyfriend, he calls him "Lucky Charms" and jabs that he doesn't sound like he's from Texas. This coming from a guy who, just a few minutes earlier, exclaimed, "I think we fownd a Transfawmah!"
1) ISN'T IT ROMANTIC?In Transformers: Age of Extinction, Peltz plays 17-year-old high school senior Tessa Yaeger. Reynor plays her boyfriend, the 20-year-old Shane Dyson. Tessa's father Cade presumes such a partnership to be in conflict with statutory law, but is put in his place when Shane produces a laminated newspaper article detailing the Romeo and Juliet Laws, passed in Texas in 2011 (in real life), that allow for the maintenance of any romantic union that began when both parties were minors, even if one breaches the 18-year mark before the other. Got that? The dude carries around a copy of an article that proves he is legally cool to have sex with an underage woman. This is a several-minute-long scene in a Transformers movie devoted to excusing, or presenting a world in which excuses are readily available for, what would otherwise be deemed statutory rape. Weird as all hell.
Check out our review of the movie here!
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Three members of Mexican pop act Edith Y El Tsunami have been killed in an apparent drug-related execution. The charred remains of singer Edith Gonzalez, 31, her husband Humberto Ledezma Rodriguez and her nephew Julio Cesar Segocia Gonzalez were found inside the trunk of a car in Michoacan.
All three appear to have been executed at gunpoint and then set on fire, according to local officials.
The trio had been reported missing after performing a show in Pueblo Nuevo last weekend (21Jun14).
The murders are the latest in a series of musician-related executions in Mexico - in May (14), singer Tomas Tovar Rascon was fatally shot while he was enjoying lunch at a restaurant in Sonora, and last year (Jan13), 18 band and staff members of Kombo Kolombia were kidnapped during a private show. Their bodies were pulled from a well the following day.
Nigerian pop star Adokiye Kyrian has issued a bizarre appeal to Islamic extremists at militant group Boko Haram, offering up her own virginity in exchange for the release of the schoolgirls they kidnapped in April (14). The singer, 23, is angry the 276 youngsters the terrorists snatched from a Nigerian boarding school two months ago have still to be located, and she has now encouraged Boko Haram leaders to take her captive and do what they will to her instead.
In an interview with Vanguardngr.com, she says, "This is 11pm in the night and do you know what I am thinking about? Those little girls, where they are and what could be happening to them. It is just unfair. They are too young. I wish I could offer myself in exchange...
"They are between 12 and 15-year-old girls for Christ's sake. I am older and more experienced. Even if 10 to 12 men have to take me (rape her) every night, I don't care. Just release these girls and let them go back to their parents."
Kyrian recently revealed she was still a virgin, joking, "Any man that buys my mum the private jet I had promised her, wins my heart."
Kyrian isn't the first celebrity to draw attention to the plight of the kidnapped girls - stars including Jada Pinkett Smith, Salma Hayek, Sylvester Stallone, Alicia Keys, Alyssa Milano, Queen Latifah and Minnie Driver all threw their support behind the #BringBackOurGirls Twitter.com campaign upon its launch in May (14).
Alicia Keys, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Garner and Susan Sarandon are among the stars who have thrown their support behind a new U.S. government initiative to provide education to girls worldwide. Actor/director Tyler Perry, entertainer Nick Cannon, and Modern Family star Julie Bowen have also added their voices to the Let Girls Learn campaign, which aims to stress the importance of educating females around the globe.
The new initiative was launched on Friday (20Jun14) by officials at the U.S. Agency for International Development, who have pledged $231 million (£144 million) to the cause to fund safe learning opportunities for girls in Jordan, Guatemala, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Nigeria.
Celebrities were moved to join the Let Girls Learn campaign after more than 250 teenage girls were kidnapped from a boarding school in Nigeria by members of the Islamic militant group Boko Haram. The April (14) abduction took place two years after fellow Islamic extremists in the Taliban attempted to assassinate Pakistani student Malala Yousafzai as she made her way to school.
In the two-minute public service announcement (PSA) for Let Girls Learn, Bowen says, "A threat to girls' education anywhere is a threat to progress everywhere."
And Keys adds in a statement, "All around the world, people want to change the injustices but often times don't know exactly what they can do about it. I really wanted to participate in this (video) because empowering women changes the course of our world."
Warner Bros. Pictures
Summer is finally here, which means the mosquitoes will inherit the earth for three sweltering months and our only retreat is the freon blasted confines of your local movie theater. Luckily, there are a ton of comedy movies heading our way this summer, and there's certainly a little something for everyone on the calendar. Whether you enjoy the meta-absurdity of 22 Jump Street, the talky romance of Woody Allen's latest, or the costume hijinks of Let's Be Cops, we've created a handy guide to help you determine which of this year's summer comedies is best for you.
22 Jump Street
Release Date: June 13What's It About: In this sequel to 21 Jump Street, Detectives Schmidt and Jenko go undercover once again. This time, a new, hip drug is making its way through a college campus. Time to do the same thing all over again.What Were You Like as a Kid: You were seriously hyper, jumping from one activity to another so quickly, it drove your parents bonkers. Besides having way too much energy, you were also pretty quick witted and funny. Jokes were falling from your mouth every second, and as a result, you spent many school days hanging out in the principal's office. He's actually was a pretty swell guy once you got to know him.What You Wanted to Be When You Grew Up: A stand-up comic. A career that could take all that jubilant energy and turn it into some it some crushing self-deprecating comedy. If not that, then perhaps a screenwriter.Your Favorite Summer Activity: Catching up on classic Mel Brooks and Monty Python flicks at your local movie theater's special midnight showings. You have to keep in touch with the greats if you want to become the best comedian you can.
Release Date: July 2What's It About: After losing her job and learning that her husband has been unfaithful, Tammy hits the road with her profane, hard-drinking grandmother in order to see Niagara Falls.What Were You Like as a Kid: You were a wild child. If you're a guy, you probably had the finest pre-school mullet in the Tri-State area. It was a real work of art. You were that kid that people mostly got along with, but everyone was still slightly afraid of, and for good reason.What You Wanted to Be When You Grew Up: Is being a professional robber a thing? If it is, then definitely that. If that didn't work out, you wanted to be a professional wrestler.Your Favorite Summer Activity: Wearing sleeveless T-shirts, because sleeves in the summertime are for fancy people and democrats.
Release Date: July 18What's It About: After 10 years of a so-so marriage, Jay and Annie try to spice up their routine by making a sex tape, but the recording gets shared to that mysterious cloud thing all the young people are talking about, and the couple struggles to get it back.What Were You Like as a Kid: Even as a child, you yearned for the comforting ease of domestic life. While everyone else couldn't wait to get wild and crazy at college, you just wanted to settle down, have 2.5 kids, and live in a quiet suburb where nothing really happens. You wanted to get married to you middle-age sweetheart that you only met two weeks prior, because true love isn't bound by silly adult things like logic.What You Wanted to Be when You Grew Up: A lawyer or a doctor. Something that looks really good on a business card.Your Favorite Summer Activity: Hitting the local country club for a couple swings of golf, praying that no one else realizes you have no idea what you're doing. What the hell is a bogey anyway?
Magic in the Moonlight
Release Date: July 25What’s It About: In the 1920s, skeptic and stage musician Stanley tries to debunk a young woman named Sophie, who claims to be a spiritualist.What Were You Like as a Kid: You were a romantic. While the other kids lived in constant fear of a class 5 cooties outbreak, you spent your formative years working on your game. You saw yourself as a young ladykiller or dudeslayer, and hoped to grow up into a player. You listened to jazz, read F. Scott Fitzgerald, asked your grandpa for style advice. Most teachers said you had an “old soul.”What You Wanted to Be When You Grew Up: You were saddened to learn that “professional fancy person” wasn’t really a feasible career choice, but you’d settle with museum curator.Your Favorite Summer Activity: Sitting on a deserted beach and reading a nice jazz-age novel.
Let's Be Cops
Release Date: August 13What's It About: Best Friends Ryan and Justin go to a costume party dressed up as cops, but when everyone at the shindig actually believes that they're real officers of the law, they let the new found power go to their heads and they get wrapped up with actual mobsters.What Were You Like as a Kid: You were a control freak. You were most likely a hall monitor in elementary school and wore that plastic badge like it was the real deal. You tormented your classmates with detention slips and everything was in your jurisdiction, even the water fountains. You walked down the halls like the big man on campus and flexed what little bit of power so hard for all its worth. You liked to think of yourself as tough, but the second a big kid real threatened you, you went straight to a teacher to tattle. Hey, this cheap orange sash and badge is cool, but it ain't that cool.What You Wanted to Be When You Grew Up: A cop, obviously, but you'll probably end up a mid-level manager at your local Applebees, using your those same hall monitor scare tactics on your new 16-year-old wait staff.Your Favorite Summer Activity: Lifeguarding. What other summer activity allows you to exact dominion over people for 15 dollars an hour?
Life of CrimeRelease Date: August 29What's it About: Loving wife Margaret Dawson is kidnapped by a couple of career criminals and held for ransom, but her husband has no intention of paying to get her back.What Were You Like as a Kid: You were a hustler. You were always scheming to make more cash, whether it be selling candy out of your backpack or doing homework for the dumb kids. Eventually you refined you hustle into something more lucrative, but everyone has to start somewhere.What You Wanted to Be When You Grew up: Sawyer from Lost.Your Favorite Summer Activity: Extreme Couponing. Being an actual con man is quite dangerous, but you can still get that same adrenaline rush from scoring 300 tubes of toothpaste for 50 cents. Ah, the thrill of the chase.