Climbing the Hollywood ladder isn't easy. One tier of success does not guarantee another. That often means actors can reach one level of notoriety, but never reach breakout status. Often it takes years to become a real movie star. Anyone remember how long it took Liam Neeson?
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Pop quiz: What do Chris Rock, Claire Denis, Eddie Vedder and Josh Hutcherson all have in common? Answer: They could all be Oscar voters very soon. The annual Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences invitation list always makes for interesting reading, shedding light on just how large and far-reaching the group's membership is -- or could be, depending on who accepts their invitations.
Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz Tour is coming to NBC
Airing July 6, the two-hour special will feature "unprecedented, behind-the-scenes” footage from Miley’s European concerts.
Netflix’s “Daredevil” gets a best friend
“The Mighty Ducks” star Elden Henson will play the role of Foggy Nelson.
“Extra” replaces Maria Menounos with Charissa Thompson and Tracey Edmonds
They’ll both co-host “Extra” with Mario Lopez, but Thompson will keep her job on Fox Sports 1.
Here’s an early photo of the “Game of Thrones” cast, including Kit Harrington with short hair wearing glasses
"Arya Stark" and "Sansa Stark" looked really young five years ago. PLUS: “GoT” gets an ‘80s opening credits.
Terry Crews to host the TCA Awards
The "Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star and "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” host will helm the TV Critics’ awards ceremony on July 19.
Cam Gigandet: "Ben McKenzie was kind of mean to me” on the set of “The O.C.”
The star of CBS’ “Reckless” recalls having a rough time when he guested on the Fox series in 2005. I hadn't done anything at that point and he was a little bit of an ass,” he says, adding: "But I love him. I think he's a great actor and I love 'Southland.'"
American Association for Nude Recreation calls the "naked reality show” trend a “mixed blessing”
Bill Schroer, executive director of the pro-nudity group, likes “Buying Naked,” but he feels “Naked and Afraid” is "kind of unreal … and starts to border on sensationalism. In other words, the nudity is just there to attract attention.”
TCM to salute Eli Wallach
The legendary actor, who died this week at age 98, will be honored in a five-film marathon on June 30.
Jimmy Kimmel gives the World’s Ugliest Dog a makeover
A team of hair, make-up and clothing specialists was assembled to beautify this year’s winner of the World’s Ugliest Dog contest.
See Jill Duggar enjoy her very first kiss ... after getting married
The "19 Kids and Counting” waited until her wedding to have her first-ever kiss.
Watch Ian McKellen on “Vicious”
The British comedy about a gay couple who’ve lived together for nearly 50 years airs on PBS beginning this Sunday.
Bravo’s “Below Deck” returns Aug. 12
Meet the new crew for Season 2.
“The Love Boat’s” Jill Whelan is getting divorced
Whelan, 47, is ending her marriage of a decade, which produced one son.
Jay Z and Beyonce took their show on the road, opening the On The Run summer tour last night at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. Amid some since-debunked rumors that the tour was not selling well, the six-week run started with more than 76,000 concert-goers singing along during the 2-1/2 hour show.
The evening uses the “Run” video as its template, using a couple on the lam as its extended theme as the pair weaves more than 40 songs songs in and out of that construct.
According to the reviews below, Beyonce brings the glamour and Jay Z brings the grit. The U.S. portion of the tour ends Aug. 6 at San Francisco’s AT&T Park.
Below is a review round-up from opening night:
New York Times: "Beyoncé and Jay Z, married since 2008, opened their sold-out Wednesday night show at Sun Life Stadium here — the beginning of their “On the Run” tour — with a string of those [conspiratorial and exuberant] hits. “ ’03 Bonnie & Clyde,” “Upgrade U,” “Crazy in Love”: These are songs of diligent, enthusiastic, sometimes giddy love. From there, for almost two and a half hours, they traded control of the stage (approximately 20 times in all), giving each other space to be the center of attention and also helping out where needed in a show that acknowledged their two very different sorts of success without diminishing either one…While Beyoncé and her dancers formed a formidable phalanx, by comparison, Jay Z looked lonely, though he easily held the stage, even without backup. On some of his most familiar songs, he rapped in a ginger staccato, as if he didn’t want to dwell. By contrast, every time Beyoncé retook the stage from her husband, it was as if reveille were blasting at full volume, announcing that boot camp had begun. Jay Z allowed for breezy enjoyment; Beyoncé demanded full and reverent attention."
Billboard: "The sheer volume of material, coupled with the cinematic theme (more on that later) and Beyoncé’s jaw-dropping wardrobe changes made for a highly entertaining and impressive show that went from the glamorous to the profane…But it was also a rather detached show… the lines between performers and audience were very sharply delineated and both Jay and Beyoncé’s were careful to adhere to script and procedure every step of the way…Alternating in the sparse, almost industrial-looking stage, Beyoncé and Jay-Z proceeded to take us on a journey of fashion, high-level performance and music, always returning to the central theme of love—challenged, perhaps, but finally standing strong."
The Guardian: "Some songs came in snippets and the show occasionally felt rushed, but with over two decades of work under their jointed belts, how else could they get through their catalogue without pushing the three-hour mark?…The tour played into both of the pair's strengths: Jay brought the Brooklyn bravado and Bey brought the southern strut. Next his wife, Jay Z isn't much a dancer, and when the tempo upped, he respectfully exited, letting her lead her Beyhive legions through their hip-shaking glory."
USA Today: "Early on, it becomes apparent that this is a totally integrated performance. Sure, it gives Beyoncé time for her phenomenal costume changes, but the coordination is not just remarkable, it's the absolute best way that two of the world's best performers can deliver a show that proves why they're on top together…This show is worth it just for Beyoncé's ensembles. She reappears in a black lace, drop-sleeve number, a la Stevie Nicks, for Haunted, a highlight performance, boasting creamy vocals that contrast with other awesome numbers like the more agro Flawless and triumphant Crazy In Love. Her vocal range is as vast as her fashion choices."
Rolling Stone: "The most powerful couple in music could have easily just coasted on their names, performing a sparse half-Jay/half-Bey concert before cashing the Roc Nation checks. Instead, over the course of two-and-a-half hours and 42 songs, the Carters opened their joint On the Run tour with a well synchronized cinematic spectacle…Husband and wife might get equal billing here, but make no mistake: This is Beyoncé's show. She monopolized the heavy-duty set pieces, she wore the jaw-dropping outfits, she delivered the mesmerizing and complex choreography. Perhaps a little too often, it felt like Jay Z was there just to kill time between his wife's costume changes, but what better way to kill time than have one of the greatest rappers of all time rifle through a few of his biggest tunes."
Greg Ellwood assures me that the buzz about Jack Reynor and his work in "MacBeth" later this year is very positive, and I'm glad I got a chance to ask Reynor about it. When I asked him if there was a culture shock that kicked in going from "Transformers: Age Of Extinction" right into Justin Kurzel's film version of "the Scottish play" with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard starring, he got real serious real fast.
He lit up when it was mentioned. "It's a step in my career that I'm incredibly proud of," he said, "and I am… fortunate to be in a position to do something like that… it was an amazing experience, and I worked with people who I have just the height of respect for."
Discussing the insane on-set conditions of making a Michael Bay "Transformers" film, Reynor was all smiles. "Not doing it is not really an option."
Reynor and his co-star Nicola Peltz discussed the practical effects and stunt work that even the primary actors in a Bay film are called on to do. It's a mark of honor to survive one of his sets with all four limbs intact, I'd even say. Bay likes to create a very real environment for these incredibly complicated effects, and part of what makes me laugh in the theater is seeing how huge the scale is this time of some of the practical builds and mechanical rigs and the way they marry things together. The next-level slick that is on display is ridiculous. That's what I can't really get past with Bay. He's diabolical in the way he stages things. He may well be a madman, and if that's true, then the "Transformers" films are even more important as they document his swing into this kind of wild, over-the-top kinetic destruction, played at a volume and a size that's just not possible for anyone else to do.
"There are things that Nicola and I were called on to do that we will never ever do again in our lives," Reynor said, almost wistful about it, even as he laughed at the memory in disbelief.
For the full video interview, watch the embed at the top of this story.
"Transformers: Age Of Extinction" opens everywhere tomorrow.
Set to premiere in its six-episode totality on August 1, the network installment of "The Killing" picks up in the immediate aftermath of the Season 3 finale, which was deemed inconclusive enough that fans clamored for additional closure.
The major new cast member this season is, as you can see from the picture above, Oscar nominee Joan Allen, who plays the headmaster of an all-boys military academy.
And what is the context for Allen's involvement? Well, Netflix has offered a full basic plot summary.
Per Netflix: "As Detective Linden (Mireille Enos) and Detective Holder (Joel Kinnaman) struggle to manage the fallout from their rash actions at the end of last season, they are assigned a new case -- a picture perfect family is murdered, survived only by the son, Kyle Stansbury (Tyler Ross), who was shot in the head during the massacre. Joan Allen guest stars this season as Colonel Margaret Rayne, the headmaster of the all-boys military academy where Kyle attends. The new season also stars Gregg Henry, Sterling Beaumon and Levi Meaden."
Netflix wants you to know that the first three seasons of "The Killing" are currently available to stream in advance of the Season 4 premiere.
Check out the picture above.
One of the hardest things about the way this generation of filmmakers has internalized the movies that inspired them is that watching their movies can sometimes feel like you're reading a laundry list of the things that they saw when they were younger, rather than watching something where all of those influences have crystallized into something new.
"Earth To Echo" could accurately be described as a "found-footage" riff on "Explorers" and "E.T.", and that description would certainly impart something of the film to someone. But the thing that "Earth To Echo" most accurately reflects from the best of the '80s movies that continue to linger with viewers, even 30 years after many of them first hit theaters, is that sense of something genuine about the kids. When I look at "E.T.", the first thing that strikes me as remarkable is just how right Spielberg got all of the kids in the film. Not just Elliott and Gertie and Michael, but all the kids in that film felt like actual kids who I knew at the time, my friends or the brothers and sisters of my friends, both older and younger. That was one of the huge appeals of Spielberg's early work, that rowdy sense of reality spilling out of the edges of the frame. When you watch the scenes in "Close Encounters" where it's just Roy Neary and his kids at home, there is nothing about those scenes that feels conventionally written. Instead, it's like Spielberg set up a camera in a real house and just captured the sort of chaos that defines family life. It's true of "Jaws," it's true of "Sugarland Express," it's true of "Poltergeist," and in its best moments, it is true of "Earth To Echo."
Jillian Michaels may have left “The Biggest Loser” over the Rachel Frederickson controversy
According to People, Michaels was "deeply concerned about the direction the show has been taking” in the wake of Rachel’s shocking thin frame.
“Big Brother” returns up from last year
About 6.6 million watched the 16th-season premiere.
David Hasselhoff to star in a “Curb Your Enthusiasm”-style comedy for the UK’s “Dave” channel
"Hoff the Record” will follow The Hoff’s life over six episodes, airing on channel Dave.
Destination America is sending The Wallflowers to small towns for the 4th of July
It’s part of a “Red White & You” promotional campaign.
Triumph the insult Comic Dog insults even more World Cup nationalities
On last night’s “Conan,” Triumph’s targets included England, the Italians and the Japanese.
Here’s Joan Allen on “The Killing”
In the final season, she plays Colonel Margaret Rayne, the headmaster of the all-boys military academy.
Jason Dohring may be part of the “Veronica Mars” spinoff
“I hope I get to be a part of it and I love Ryan and love working with him as well, he’s just such a super guy…they contacted me several weeks ago and we’ll just see what happens,” Dohring says of “Play It Again, Dick.”
Check out “Sons of Anarchy” Season 7 pics
SAMCRO is reunited.
A father discovers his missing son is in the basement, thanks to Nancy Grace
Local police and the FBI supposedly searched the basement, which surprised Charles Bothuell IV when Grace revealed his son’s whereabouts.
TV Guide magazine is being cut down to about the size of an iPad
The magazine will go from 7 3/8 by 10 1/4 inches to 7 by 10 inches.
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, June 25, 2014.
The 16th installment of "Big Brother," the show's first in HD, delivered strong numbers in its Wednesday premiere, leading CBS to narrow primetime wins both overall and among young viewers.
The "Big Brother" return certainly contributed to a big dip for FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance."
Speaking of premieres taking bites out of originals, ABC's "Motive" ceded a big chunk of viewers to NBC's decent premiere for "Taxi Brooklyn," which got a reasonable sampling despite an "America's Got Talent" encore as a lead-in.
On to the numbers...
I wrote my rave review of HBO's "The Leftovers" — which began with me wondering why on earth "Lost" co-creator Damon Lindelof would get involved in a show designed to not offer answers to a cosmic mystery — before I had a chance to sit down with Lindelof (pictured above with director Peter Berg and Justin Theroux) and Tom Perrotta (who wrote "The Leftovers" novel and co-created the series with Lindelof) and ask him that very question directly. His answer fit in with my assumption that he found the show's premise — 2 percent of the world's population disappears in a Rapture-like event called the Departure that equally baffles science and religion — freeing rather than constraining.
John Green has become something of a big deal since the opening of "The Fault In Our Stars," and more power to him. I am all for anything that gives power to the writer as opposed to basically anyone else in the food chain. Green sold the rights to this novel to Paramount years ago, and my guess is that as soon as "Fault" opened, they got real excited about what must have been a wildly reasonable investment.
Sarah Polley, writer/director of 'Take This Waltz' and 'Stories We Tell,' and Academy Award-nominated for her screenplay 'Away From Her,' is set to write and direct 'Looking For Alaska.' The book, by 'Fault In Our Stars' author John Green, has been in development for years, but is picking up steam as 'Fault' crosses the $100 million domestic box-office mark.
Gary Oldman apologizes on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" for his anti-Semitic remarks
A visibly shaken Oldman didn’t cancel his previously scheduled appearance on Kimmel to promote “Dawn of Planet of the Apes” when this week’s controversy erupted. Instead, Oldman, who has appeared several times in Kimmel sketches, thanked the host for allowing him to apologize on TV. “I’m a public figure. I should be an example and an inspiration, and I’m an A-hole. I’m 56. I should know better,” Oldman said. PLUS: Oldman does "Stranger Wrestling" for Kimmel.