After watching the new trailer for Michael Bay's production of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Hollywood.com staff had a couple of issues. One was the tone that seemed to envelop the film, the other was the aesthetic of the turtles in question:
Julia Emmanuele, on the toneThere are quite a few jokes in this trailer, including a well-done dig at the original idea to turn the turtles into aliens. But there is much more emphasis on the action and grit of these mysterious vigilante heroes. While action was always a significant part of what made the Turtles so cool, their insane, goofy nature made them the Turtles. A certain amount of humor and suspension of disbelief is required to tell a story about pizza-eating mutant turtles who live in a sewer and use their ninja training to keep the city safe, and that humor is nowhere to be found in this trailer. It’s irreverent, sure, and Michelangelo even gets in a few wisecracks, but it’s far too action-focused to truly inhabit the spirit of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
And we haven't even gotten started on a scene that appears to hint at a dramatic death for Splinter, one which inspires the Turtles to band together and avenge their dead father. It’s a staple of the action genre, but it’s the antithesis of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They’re already a team; they’re already devoted to one another and Splinter. Like all teenagers, they fight with one another, but there’s never the sense that the Turtles are anything other than a unit. Very little of that familial, brotherly dynamic is present in the trailer, other than a quick shot of them huddling up near the beginning. Instead, they seem to be setting out on their own, which goes against anything they would do, or anything Splinter would tell them to do. Besides, considering how many times Splinter has had to rescue them from certain doom, it seems unlikely that they would ever have to avenge his death in the first place.
All of these things might seem like nitpicking, but without them, the essence of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles won’t be translated into this film. These are weird, goofy guys who care about each other and their leader, and who just happen to be junk-food loving, wisecracking mutant turtles. That needs to come through in the film, or else it’s just another summer blockbuster.
Jordan Smith, on the CGIThere's something seriously up with the CGI in this latest trailer. Now that we've gotten an extended look at the Turtles in motion, the heroes in a half shell just don't look all that convincing. Not that rubber suits of old were that much better. We all knew as kids that there were actual human actors inside the blubbery green reptiles from the trio of '90s movies, but at least those versions of the Turtles felt like they were a part of the world around them.
What it boils down to is that there’s something really intangible about the new Turtles. The CGI looks off when the turtles are interacting with real things in the environment, and as our heroes mash their way through dozens of Foot ninjas, there’s a certain lack of humanity (turtality?) there. That crisp, shiny brand of CGI that works oh so well for something like Transformers, where the combatants are shiny metal robots, looks really off when applied to living, breathing, supposedly organic ninja turtles.
Weinstein Company via Everett Collection
Stop the presses. Repeat, stop the presses. In addition to planning a four-part television miniseries event with uncut footage from Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino is now planning to write a comic book based on the hero Jamie Foxx played on screen. But here's the twist—Matt Wagner is actually writing the piece (based on Tarantino's plot ideas) and will be incorporating the character of Zorro.
The Django Unchained/Zorro crossover comic will be brought to us by DC Entertainment and Dynamite Entertainment, and although the Django Freeman/masked man mash-up might sound a bit surprising at first, it's ultimately exciting. This is especially true for the creator. Of the project, Tarantino says, "I'm very very excited about both this story and the opportunity to work with Matt... It was reading his Zorro stories that convinced me what a good idea it was to join these two icons together. And the story idea we came up with is thrilling, and I think will be an exciting new chapter for both characters.”
So no, we're not ready for all of this epic. But it still sounds amazing.
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Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan were crowned the kings of the 2014 CMT Music Awards after they each took home two trophies at the TV network's annual prizegiving on Wednesday (05Jun14). Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard earned prizes for Duo Video of the Year as well as Collaborative Video of the Year for This is How We Roll featuring Bryan.
The Drunk On You hitmaker landed a second award, CMT Performance of the Year, for a separate duet with Lionel Richie thanks to their Oh No/All Night Long set from the 2012 CMT Artists of the Year TV special.
The trio dominated the show at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee from the start of the ceremony, when they were joined by ZZ Top and R&B star Jason Derulo to sing and dance to a mash-up of his song Talk Dirty and Florida Georgia Line's This is How We Roll to kick off the programme.
It was also a big night for Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, and Miranda Lambert, who won the Video of the Year, Male Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year, respectively. This is the second year in a row in which the trio has taken the top honours.
The ceremony, which was hosted by three-time emcee Kristen Bell, also included sets from Keith Urban, Hunter Hayes, Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen, Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town.
John Legend sang a special version of his hit All of Me arranged by Hunter Hayes, while Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles joined in with vocals, and Lee Ann Womack and Kacey Musgraves took on Alan Jackson's Livin on Love just before Underwood presented him with the first-ever CMT Impact Award.
The top winners are:
Video of the Year - See You Again by Carrie Underwood
Female Video of the Year - Automatic by Miranda Lambert
Male Video of the Year - Doin' What She Likes by Blake Shelton
Group Video of the Year - Done by The Band Perry
Duo Video of the Year - Round Here by Florida Georgia Line
Breakthrough Video of the Year - Wasting All These Tears by Cassadee Pope
Collaborative Video of the Year - This is How We Roll by Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan
CMT Performance of the Year - Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie for Oh No/All Night Long from 2012 CMT Artists of the Year
CMT Impact Award - Alan Jackson
Pharrell Williams has invited British singer Foxes to join him on tour after impressing the hip-hop superstar with her cover of his hit song Happy. The pop newcomer performed a unique mash-up of the Oscar-nominated track with Massive Attack's Teardrop during a BBC Radio 1 session earlier this year (14).
The reworked version of Happy wowed Williams and he had his people reach out to Foxes to offer her a job on his upcoming European trek.
Foxes tells the BBC, "He heard it and invited me on his tour. Apparently that's how it came about. You don't get a personal phone call, unfortunately."
The singer is hopeful the support slot will lead to a new collaboration with Williams, but she adds, "I won't badger him."
She continues, "It's just amazing to be going on tour with such an incredible artist. His music has gone worldwide."
Pharrell Williams stunned members of the Harlem Gospel Choir on Monday (26May14) when he joined them on TV for an uplifting a capella version of his hit Happy.
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The nine-piece choir was performing a mash-up of gospel favourite Oh Happy Day and the hitmaker's tune on VH1's Big Morning Buzz when he stepped out from behind a curtain. The singers kept their composure and sang on as Pharrell clapped along.
After the performance he told host Nick Lachey, "This is an amazing gift... We're blessed." Williams is taking the morning show this week (beg26May14), performing tracks from his new album G I R L every day.
Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn has come to the defence of his pal Ryan Gosling and his critically panned directorial debut, insisting the film is a "great movie". The Notebook actor stepped behind the camera for Lost River, which made its premiere at the Cannes International Film Festival last week (ends25May14) to scathing reviews from many critics.
The movie, starring Christina Hendricks as a struggling single mum who is drawn into a dark underworld in a mysterious town on the outskirts of Detroit, Michigan, drew mixed reactions from attendees at the screening, many of whom booed the picture, above a small smattering of applause. A number of critics were quick to notice similarities between Gosling and Winding Refn's directing styles, and the Drive filmmaker is eager to praise his pal on the project.
Winding Refn tells New York Magazine, "I think it's a beautiful, beautiful, great movie that will grow on people. There are images from it that still stick with me. "Because we're twins we make the same movie. Separated at birth, we found each other. That's the thing about twins. We stick together."
Unfortunately some reviewers found the similarities off-putting, with Kate Muir from The Times calling Lost River a "lurid mash up of (David) Lynch, Refn and (artist) Edward Hopper. In a bad way", while the Daily Telegraph's Robbie Collin stating Lynch, Winding Refn and David Cronenberg's "ideas and imagery aren't developed, they're simply reproduced".
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are reportedly spending their first days as newlyweds on a secret honeymoon in Ireland. The couple tied the knot on Saturday (24May14) in Florence, Italy, and on Sunday (25May14) they jetted west for a stay in County Cork, Ireland, according to multiple reports.
Editors at the Irish Independent report the rapper and his reality TV star wife arrived by private jet at Cork Airport and were whisked away for a five-day honeymoon at an undisclosed location.
However, their post-wedding getaway will be cut short as they are expected to attend West's stylist's wedding in Prague, Czech Republic next weekend (begs30May14), according to E! News.
West and Kardashian's week-long celebrations began in Paris, with Kardashian enjoying her bachelorette party on Thursday (22May14), and festivities continued on Friday (23May14) with a lavish luncheon at fashion mogul Valentino's mansion in the French countryside, and a dinner party with their celebrity friends later that night at the historic Palace of Versailles.
Lana Del Rey performed a set following the dinner, and guests included Alexander Wang, director Steve McQueen, illusionist David Blaine, Serena Williams, and rappers Big Sean and Tyga.
The actual wedding ceremony was held in Florence and was attended by 100 of their closest friends and family at the historic Forte di Belvedere, a 16th-century-era fortress on top of a hill overlooking the Arno river.
E! News reports Kardashian's mum, Kris Jenner, gave an emotional speech during the reception, while West also gushed about his new bride and the Kardashian family, calling them "the most remarkable people of our time".
An insider reveals that the newlyweds' first dance was to an Etta James mash-up, and West even took the mic to perform live.
American Idol judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. performed together for the first time during the U.S. talent show's star-studded season finale. The 13th season of the singing competition came to an end on Wednesday night (21May14) and to celebrate the crowning of a new winner, the trio, alongside former judge-turned-mentor Randy Jackson, joined forces to sing a medley, marking the first time in the show's history that all the judges took the stage to perform together.
With Connick Jr. on the piano, Urban on guitar, Jackson on bass, and Lopez providing vocals, the supergroup sang a mash-up of Cyndi Lauper's True Colors and Fleetwood Mac's Go Your Own Way. Earlier in the show, Lopez took the stage solo to perform her latest single, First Love.
The night was filled with other superstar performances, including sets from KISS, Demi Lovato, Paramore, John Legend, Jason Mraz, Lady Antebellum, Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles, Darius Rucker, Aloe Blacc, and season 11 winner Phillip Phillips, who all shared the stage with this season's finalists.
In another Idol first, host Ryan Seacrest showed off his vocal skills by belting out Richard Marx's hit Right Here Waiting, and was joined by Marx himself for a memorable duet.
Caleb Johnson, 23, who had previously auditioned for the programme twice before, was named this year's (14) American Idol, beating 17-year-old Jena Irene to the title.
Ryan Gosling's directorial debut Lost River has been lambasted by movie critics following its premiere at the Cannes International Film Festival on Tuesday (20May14). The Notebook actor stepped behind the camera for the fantasy thriller, previously titled How To Catch A Monster, which stars Mad Men beauty Christina Hendricks as a struggling single mum who is drawn into a dark underworld in a mysterious town on the outskirts of Detroit, Michigan.
The movie was unveiled this week, but it drew mixed reactions from attendees, many of whom booed the picture, while a few others tried to counter the negativity with a smatter of applause. Reviews for the film proved to be far from favourable, with Variety's Justin Chang branding it an "altogether inauspicious writing-directing debut for Ryan Gosling", and quipping, "Lost is indeed the operative word for this violent fairy tale".
The muddled storyline for the film, which also features former Doctor Who star Matt Smith as a neighbourhood troublemaker and Gosling's real-life girlfriend Eva Mendes as a nightclub boss who performs bloody rituals, also drew scathing comments from the Telegraph's Robbie Collin, who awarded it just one out of five stars and declared it "mouth-dryingly lousy". He noted similarities to the work of David Lynch, Gosling's Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn and David Cronenberg, but added, "These filmmakers' ideas and imagery aren't developed, they're simply reproduced."
Kate Muir from The Times also dismissed the movie as a "lurid mash up of Lynch, Refn and (artist) Edward Hopper. In a bad way", while Mark Adams of ScreenDaily.com called the film "an over-cooked affair that lacks a much needed wit and humour to go alongside its self-aware art intentions".