8 items from 2014
Here’s what the early reviews are saying about the return of the colossal titans:
“As the sine qua non of the franchise, it’s the robots — endowed here with character-rich physicality and almost human-scaled facial features — who give the film its emotional heft. Optimus Prime’s charismatic leadership of his team, as well as his unwavering compassion for the humans, again makes him the movie’s moral anchor. Drift, with his samurai getup and Watanabe’s dignified line readings, strikes a neat balance with Goodman’s cigar-chewing, wisecracking Hound. Still, the character most likely to be beloved by audiences, especially tykes, remains Bumblebee.”
“The giant scale action in this one is amazingly staged once again. There are few filmmakers alive who »
- Michelle McCue
Broadway lyricist Tim Rice, whose credits include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Chess, and Aida, is more than just a wordsmith — he’s also an adept juggler. When the songwriter hunkered down to pen tunes for 1994's The Lion King, he also found himself recruited for Aladdin, taking over after the sudden passing of lyricist Howard Ashman. Rice had never written for an animated movie before. “I had two shots at it,” he says with a relieved laugh “Both worked, I'm glad to say.”With composer Alan Menken tied up on Aladdin, Rice searched for a second collaborator who could give The Lion King a “rock presence.” Elton John made perfect sense: Rice had penned “Legal Boys” for the musician’s 1982 album Jump Up!, he admired John's composing talents, and they were both British (“I was biased,” Rice jokes). When John agreed to join him, »
- Matt Patches
Where to start with Penny Rose? Pirates of the Caribbean? Evita? King Arthur? Most recently of course 47 Ronin (directed by Carl Rinsch). You do not hire Penny Rose for something small. This is not to say she won’t work on independent and low budget projects, just that her CV is becoming increasingly packed with huge scale period and/or fantasy studio movies – basically the kind of pictures that would make most costume designers weep. Multiples, armour, uniforms, plus Ms. Rose practically always builds from scratch. Not a fan of ‘shopping’ or even slightly interested in fashion, Penny Rose is old-school hands on, no-nonsense and no fear.
Nonetheless, there is a certain sense of irony in Ms. Rose’s position on contemporary fashion, being as she started her sartorial career working for Elio Fiorucci in Italy, although by her own admission this is mainly because she spoke fluent Italian. On »
- Lord Christopher Laverty
Director Michael Bay has tapped John Goodman and Ken Watanabe to voice two all new Autobots in his highly anticipated film Transformers: Age Of Extinction, the fourth film in the global blockbuster franchise from Paramount Pictures.
Goodman will play Autobot Hound, Watanabe will play Drift, while Cullen reprises his role as the voice of Optimus Prime, and Welker takes on another new character, Galvatron.
“I am pleased to welcome two gifted and versatile actors, John Goodman and Ken Watanabe, to the world of Transformers,” said Bay. “And to reteam with Peter and Frank, who have brought Transformers characters alive from the beginning. I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the best voice talent in the business, and together we will introduce several exciting new robots to fans of the franchise around the world.”
Rounding out »
- Michelle McCue
The 1970s rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar is being resurrected for a North American arena rock tour this summer, led by a former boy band member, an R&B siren and a punk icon.
It will star punk legend John “Johnny Rotten” Lydon as King Herod, Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child as Mary Magdalene, Brandon Boyd of Incubus as Judas and Jc Chasez of `N Sync as Pontius Pilate. Ben Forster, the winner of the U. »
- Associated Press
Madonna has signed on to direct her third feature film, an adaptation of Rebecca Walker's novel Adé: A Love Story, according to Deadline. In the book, two college friends travel through Africa when one falls for a Swahili man named Adé on an island off the coast of Kenya. She stay behinds and plans to marry the man, but the couple must overcome serious odds in order to survive: the woman contracts malaria and a civil war erupts around them. When the book came out, Madonna contributed this exclamation-point-filled endorsement: "Read this book! »
One of the more fascinating pre-Oscar nominations races as far as I'm concerned is the race for Best Actress. It's more-or-less a foregone conclusion Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) is going to win, but the nominees aren't as cut and dry... at least not the final nomination. Last night Blanchett walked home with a Golden Globe for Best Actress (Drama) alongside Amy Adams who won Best Actress (Musical/Comedy) for her work in American Hustle, beating Meryl Streep (August: Osage County). That is unless you considered Julie Delpy (Before Midnight), Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha) or Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Enough Said) serious competition. So now we come to predicting who will end up celebrating an Oscar nomination in the Best Actress category come Thursday morning and as far as I can tell, Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks), Judi Dench (Philomena) and Sandra Bullock (Gravity) are going to make the »
- Brad Brevet
It feels bizarre to claim that I’m a Madonna expert when, really, casual fans of the 55-year-old Material Monarch can accidentally know everything about her too. Madonna’s history is pop history, so even if you’re a Radiohead fan or a sports junkie, you still might know that “Take A Bow” is Madonna’s biggest single and that Christopher Walken guest-stars in the “Bad Girl” video. (Though you might not know that Madonna’s cited inspiration for the “Bad Girl” video is Looking for Mr. Goodbar. Diane!)
Nonetheless, I’m the anointed “Madonna expert” on this week’s episode of The Experts, a YouTube game show that tests savants on a specific area of expertise and pits them against other geeks. I’m competing with a Batman expert and a Melrose Place expert, so whether you’re a dead-eyed Madonna zealot or a low-key Daphne Zuniga fan, there’s something here for you. »
- Louis Virtel
8 items from 2014
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