I was recently whisked off to London to hang out with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, best friends and stars of the apocalyptic comedy ‘The World’s End.’ Here’s what transpired.
It’s inherently odd to run a piece pegged to a film’s DVD/Blu-Ray release, but then again, the installments in the Cornetto trilogy—Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End—aren’t like most films. As Simon Pegg, the star of these genre-exploding films would later tell me, “We make cult films.” Indeed, they do. While the oeuvre of filmmaker Edgar Wright and duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost doesn’t tend to break box office records, the films have a very long shelf life. Hot Fuzz, the second installment in the Cornetto trilogy, grossed close to $40 million on DVD. So when Focus Features, a subsidiary of Universal Pictures, offered to fly me to London to interview Pegg and Frost at a pub in London, I jumped at the chance.
For starters, I love The World’s End. It’s one of the two or three best comedy films of the year, alongside another apocalyptic comedy, This Is the End, and Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, so partiality wasn’t an issue. And, owing to a particularly cramped schedule, I’d neglected to give it the kudos it deserved during its theatrical run.
For the uninitiated, all three films in the Cornetto Trilogy were directed by Wright, written by Wright and Pegg, and star Pegg and Frost. The trilogy’s name was coined by a blogger for Imagine Games Network, who noted the inclusion of different Cornetto ice cream flavors in the first two films—strawberry in Shaun of the Dead, signifying blood and gore, and blue for Hot Fuzz, signifying the fuzz. The World’s End features mint chocolate chip, for the film’s alien/sci-fi elements. The film centers on Gary King (Pegg), a high school legend-turned-middle-aged alcoholic who vows to reclaim his glory years by tracking down his estranged crew and finishing the “Golden Mile,” a 12-pub crawl in their hometown of Newton Haven. Along the way, however, the old friends—Andy (Frost), Steven (Paddy Considine), Oliver (Martin Freeman), and Peter (Eddie Marsan)—encounter some otherworldly guests.
Five years after exiting the adult industry, the iconic Jenna Jameson is making a triumphant return. And this time it’s for the same reason she quit—her children.
“Honesty is key. I will never ever ever spread my legs again in this industry. Ever!”
That’s what Jenna Jameson said five years ago when presenting the AVN Crossover of the Year Award. I, much like everyone in the audience, was stunned. There was applause. There were boos. It was a slap in the face to an industry that had put her on the pedestal. And yet, even then I could understand what she was saying. She’d done her time, paid her dues, and she was officially moving on. The industry had already grown small in her rearview mirror. She had a bigger dream.
Then why is the 39-year-old mother of two coming back to porn?
Many call the new Italian film ‘The Great Beauty’ a reinvention of Fellini’s ‘La Dolce Vita’ for the 21st century, but there’s more to it than that.
In the final chapter of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon tells us that in the early days of the Renaissance, before Rome was revived by a series of powerful popes, a brilliantly learned apostolic secretary (with sublime penmanship) and a ferocious book hunter by the name of Poggio Bracciolini grabbed a friend one day and hiked up the Capitoline Hill to carefully survey and record the ruins around them. Rome was in a bad way, and because Poggio had read all the books about the great city, he knew just how to mourn her former magnificence. The benches where senators once oversaw the empire’s finances and battled Caesars were now buried under a hill of dung. The forum, where citizens used to assemble for triumphs that brought back riches from the frontiers and to hear speeches that were transcribed for eternity, had become a farm that grew pot-herbs and raised pigs that were fed slops. “The place and the object gave ample scope for moralizing on the vicissitudes of fortune,” Gibbon writes in a famous passage, “which spares neither man nor the proudest of his works, which buries empires and cities in a common grave.”
The Italian director Paolo Sorrentino has now given us a lush and pensive poetizing of Gibbon’s great decline and fall. Of course his new film, The Great Beauty, in all its symbolic representation of Italy, has become the country’s official entry to the 2014 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film, and it has already been nominated for five European film awards.
The Great Beauty begins on April 20, Rome’s birthday, on a hill similar to the one Poggio ascended, but on the other side of the Tiber, at the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola. Canon charges are fired in celebration. The film’s very first shot is just that, a shot: the camera peers down the barrel and backs off just before the explosion. Sorrentino launches us into orbit—or is it a violent birth?—and the camera soars and glides around the Janiculum Hill in an almost wordless prologue. We are introduced to Rome reborn, ancient and eternal but all the more potent. That’s unfortunate for a Japanese tourist who’s taking pictures under the bronze sun, because he just drops dead without warning. Sorrentino gives no explanation, but we know the reason: Rome is so beautiful, it kills.
While the Governor isn’t such a villain anymore—he doesn’t hold grudges against Rick and Michonne—actor David Morrissey says he’s still a lady killer.
The Governor is back! And he’s…nicer than ever?
In “Live Bait,” we get to see what The Walking Dead’s one-eyed villain has been up to since Season Three’s finale, when he shot down his own people and drove off with loyal lackeys Martinez and Shumpert. While Rick was off growing runner beans and raising piglets, the Governor was wandering around Georgia in a self-hating, half-suicidal daze. The deaths of Milton, Merle, and Andrea (not to mention the Woodburians and a few unlucky National Guard soldiers) weigh heavily on his mind—and for the first time, we see regret all over the Governor’s now gnarly-bearded face.
“He has shame, guilt, remorse and I think he’s deeply, deeply troubled about what he’s done,” says David Morrissey, who plays The Walking Dead baddie. Despite the Governor’s past, Morrissey says he believes his character can still go back to who he was before the apocalypse hit: devoted family man Philip Blake. “I believe in redemption for the human race. I’ve seen it happen,” he says. “There’s people who’ve done terrible things and whose lives have been completely devastated by their own actions, so I certainly believe in redemption with the Governor.”
Everyone’s favorite Fame Monster tried her best to impress as host and performer on this weekend’s ‘SNL.’ But subpar writing and silly sketches failed to earn her the applause.
Lady Gaga is here for the applause. Good lord, has the ARTPOP pop artist made that epically clear. Pulling double duty as host and musical guest on this weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live, she even confessed she’s not afraid to pander to get it, and pander she did. If only it worked more often.
Lady Gaga performs on Saturday Night Live. (Dana Edelson/NBC)
“There are two kinds of applause: the kind you earn, and the kind you get by pandering to the audience and saying things like, ‘Give it up for New York,’” the singer explained in her opening monologue. “I am a fan of both.”
Despite the lovable human and robot crime-fighting duo, Fox’s 'Almost Human' fails to deliver any revolutionary science fiction.
In 2048, Los Angeles has been flooded with unknown weapons and drugs. Crime has risen 400 percent. The LAPD can’t keep up with the rate at which science and technology evolve—the cops are outnumbered and overwhelmed. But there is a solution: Every officer is partnered with a MX-43, which is “an advanced, combat-model android.”
This is the storyline of Almost Human, Fox and J.J. Abrams's odd-couple police drama. The network has had a hard time launching sci-fi television series. Alcatraz and Terra Nova did not live past 13 episodes and Fringe had to fight to make to it to five seasons. This fall, the network launched two: Sleepy Hollow and Almost Human. The former has surprised viewers and critics alike by how well it’s doing. If you can get past the feeling that Almost Human is a rehash of sci-fi stories from TV and movies, this show may actually have a future.
In this dystopian future we’re not subjected to gratuitous amounts of exposition and terrible “as you know” lines since this is all explained with on-screen text read by a robotic female voice. When the pilot begins, we find LAPD Detective John Kennex (Star Trek’s Karl Urban) and his squad ambushed by a criminal organization called “The Syndicate.” The show’s writers waste no time showing us that Kennex hates the MX-43s and violates protocol quite regularly. While attempting to save a wounded squad mate, the Syndicate detonates a grenade, killing one officer, and leaving Kennex missing a leg and in a coma.
An alternate ending to ‘Breaking Bad,’ starring Bryan Cranston, has hit the Internet—and it is downright hilarious. Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to Hal from ‘Malcolm in the Middle.’
During the lead-up to the series finale of AMC’s Breaking Bad, many outlandish theories began circulating the Internet about how one of the greatest TV shows of all time would wrap things up. Would Walt kill Skyler? Would poor Holly die? What about the color green?
The wackiest theory of them all, however, was that Breaking Bad merely served as a prequel to the Fox sitcom Malcolm in the Middle, which also starred Bryan Cranston as Hal, a goofy, emasculated husband/father in the ‘burbs. The theory: “At the end of Breaking Bad, Walter White loses everything, falls in love, and escapes from Albuquerque. The two spend the last money they have on fake identities ‘Lois’ and ‘Hal,’ as well as plastic surgery that makes them look younger. They start a new family in suburbia.”
In advance of the release of the box set Breaking Bad: The Complete Series, available on Nov. 26, an alternate ending to Walter White’s grisly saga has hit the Internet, and boy, is it a doozy:
Bob Odenkirk hates the word, and so do we. But honestly, aren’t his roles in Alexander Payne’s ‘Nebraska’ and ‘Breaking Bad’ the apotheosis of the ‘genre’?
Bob Odenkirk loves dramedy.
In part, that’s a joke. (Read on and you’ll see why.) But it’s also a pretty accurate assessment of the last few years in Odenkirk’s life and career.
The Berwyn, Illinois native got his start in comedy—collaborating with Robert Smigel, writing for Saturday Night Live, performing in sketches (The Ben Stiller Show) guesting on various sitcoms (The Larry Sanders Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm), and creating, with David Cross, his own cult classic (HBO’s legendary Mr. Show).
When someone in the public eye tries to offend you these days, you can bet they’re trying to sell something. Outrage isn’t about values, it’s about marketing.
We can’t make her go away because we don’t want her to go away. And there she is again, the tedious pop sensation Miley Cyrus—whose name I cannot escape, whose music I cannot identify—with her bovine tongue hanging out of her mouth, this time at the European Video Music Awards in Amsterdam. Like most other 20-year-old Americans embarrassing themselves in the Dutch capital, Cyrus was rather amused by the availability of semi-legal marijuana and puffed a joint on camera, a stage-managed bit of outrage that was only considered outrageous for the grave sin of flouting EU regulations banning smoking indoors. (The Dutch government is indeed investigating Cyrus because, according to a government spokesman, “employees have the right to a smoke-free environment and this includes camera and sound personnel.”)
The Associated Press, once a serious news outlet, duly filed a story on the stunt: “In an unabashed—and likely successful—bid for attention, singer Miley Cyrus smoked a joint on stage and twerked with a dwarf during the MTV Europe Music Awards.” It was, of course, “likely successful” thanks to the efforts of media organizations like the Associated Press. (In a moment of lucidity, they later scrubbed the sentence, though they weren’t lucid enough to pull the entire “story”).
For decades, Evan Rachel Wood has proven that actresses can say what they think and still be successful. Blessedly, the ‘Charlie Countryman’ star isn’t going to change her ways.
She’s the girl you love.
In Charlie Countryman, Evan Rachel Wood is Gabi, the girl you meet for two seconds and instantly fall for. Well, Shia LaBeouf’s Charlie is the one who falls for her, but you do, too. She’s the hardened Romanian cellist with the short hair red hair, and brittle gaze betraying a lost soul. She’s the girl you love.
Mads Mikkelsen, left, and Evan Rachel Wood in a scene from "Charlie Countryman," about a man who falls for a woman who belongs to a violent crime boss. (Millenium Entertainment/AP)
A new documentary, ‘Dear Mr. Watterson,’ explores the undimmed greatness of the long-gone comic strip through interviews with fans and other cartoonists.
I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like Calvin and Hobbes and I hope I never do. It would be like meeting someone who didn’t like music, or ice cream. And what would we have to talk about?
Calvin and Hobbes. ((C)2013 Watterson. Universal Uclick/GoComics)
Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes comic strip began its syndicated run in American newspapers in 1985 and continued for a decade. The last strip ran on Sunday, January 1, 1996. In that ten-year span, the strip came as close to perfection as a comic strip can, ranking with Krazy Kat, Pogo, Peanuts, and Doonesbury, with nods (for the drawing) to the various strips of Alex Raymond and Milton Caniff.
From Rob Ford’s jaw-dropping press conference to a flash mob re-enactment of the ‘When Harry Met Sally’ fake orgasm, WATCH our countdown of this week’s buzziest videos.
5. Jingle Hoops
Who knew basketball players could be great musicians? Watch them shoot hoops to the tune of ‘Jingle Bells.’
What’s turned Los Angeles into a culinary boomtown? Chef Roy Choi and New Yorker staff writer Dana Goodyear know.
If you want to fall in love with Los Angeles, have a meal with Roy Choi and Dana Goodyear. That should do it.
Roy Choi, chef and owner of Chego restaurant and the Kogi Korean taco trucks in Los Angeles, on May 11, 2010. (Axel Koester/The New York Times via Redux)
On paper Choi and Goodyear have little in common. Choi was born in South Korea and raised in Southern California; poor in Koreatown, better off in Anaheim, prosperous in Coto de Caza. Goodyear comes from WASPier, wider ranging stock: Princeton, Cleveland, London, Bethesda, St. Louis, New York, and finally, a few years ago, the upscale bohemia of Venice Beach. She is a poet, teacher, and New Yorker staff writer, educated at St. Paul's and Yale. He went to Cal State Fullerton for awhile, then sold mutual funds, then became the chef behind the mobile Korean taco empire known as Kogi BBQ.
After disappearing for more than three weeks in Russia’s draconian prison system, Pussy Riot member Nadya Tolokonnikova has been located in a remote hospital.
Finally, after more than three weeks of looking for her, and rumors that she had been killed, Pyotr Verzilov finally found his wife at a Siberian hospital.
Member of female punk band "Pussy Riot" Nadezhda Tolokonnikova gestures before a court hearing in Moscow on August 8, 2012. (AFP/Getty)
Verzilov, a radical Russian artist and husband of the Pussy Riot activist NadezhdaTolokonnikova, received a phone call yesterday morning from an acquaintance: “Your wife is at the TB clinic in Krasnoyarsk,” he was told. After 21 days, during which Tolokonnikova was missing in the Russian prison system, somewhere between the Mardova region and Siberia, the news was “ a big joy.” Besides, Verzilov did not feel particularly alarmed, as Tuberculosis Hospital No. 1, despite its name, treats a wide range of diseases. Hospital authorities allowed Verzilov to speak to his wife on the phone yesterday, and today, he was invited to come to the hospital, though he would only be permitted to speak to his wife by video linkup.
NBC Plans More Live Musicals
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Actress Eleanor Parker Dies
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Will air in January.More
‘Frozen’ Wins Weekend Box Office
“Catching Fire” still holding strong.More
I DREAMED A DREAM
Susan Boyle: I Have Asperger’s
Call diagnosis a “relief.”More
Hilton Blames Lohan for Attack
Says she ordered friend to beat him up.More
Former stockbroker Jordan Belfort once had sex on $3 million in cash. Check out more stats about the man behind Leo DiCaprio’s leading role in Martin Scorsese’s latest.