Connect with us
[bsa_pro_ad_space id=12]

National Entertainment

Dick Cheney biopic ‘Vice’ tops Golden Globes nominations

Published

on

If you like this, share it!




  • NEW YORK — Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice” seized control of the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards with a leading six nominations, narrowly edging Bradley Cooper’s tear-jerking revival “A Star Is Born,” the interracial road-trip drama “Green Book” and the period romp “The Favourite.”

    “Vice” topped all contenders Thursday in nominations announced at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., including best picture, comedy and best actor nominations for Christian Bale’s nearly unrecognizable performance as the former vice-president. It also earned nominations for Amy Adams, Lynne Cheney, Sam Rockwell’s George W. Bush and both the screenplay and direction by McKay, the veteran comedy filmmaker who once skewered politicians as a “Saturday Night Live” writer.

    For even the often-quirky selections of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a collection of 88 mostly less-known freelance film journalists, the strong support for “Vice” (which arrives in theatres on Dec. 25) was a surprise. Even its categorization of the film — a highly critical portrait of Cheney as a power-hungry, behind-the-scenes tyrant — as a comedy raised some eyebrows, just as Globes recent comedy selections “Get Out” and “The Martian” did.

    “It’s a movie that’s a lot like the times we live in. there’s part of it that’s absurdist and comedic and then there’s another part of it that’s darkly tragic and dramatic, but they are definitely both there,” said McKay by phone from London. “But I do know I’m glad we’re in that category because we will take ‘Mary Poppins’ out. I’m not competitive with the other movies but I am competitive with ‘Mary Poppins.’ Dick Cheney is going for her.”

    But it was far from a runaway win for “Vice” since the press association typically spread its awards around. Oscar front-runners “A Star Is Born,” ”Green Book” and “The Favourite” trailed close behind with five nominations each.

    On the television side, awards were even more widely dispersed among the likes of “The Americans,” ”Barry,” ”Homecoming,” ”The Kominsky Method” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Leading all small-screen nominees was the FX anthology series “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” with four nods.

    For the first time, FX bested heavyweights like HBO, Netflix and Amazon with a network-best 10 nods, even though the exalted second season of its “Atlanta” received only a single nod for Donald Glover’s acting.

    Curiously, the Hollywood Foreign Press doesn’t consider foreign-language films for best film, so Alfonso Cuaron’s acclaimed Netflix drama “Roma” was left out of the Globes’ top category. It was still nominated for best screenplay, best director and best foreign language film.

    For the first time, the Globes nominated three films directed by African-American filmmakers for best picture, drama: Ryan Coogler’s superhero sensation “Black Panther,” Spike Lee’s urgent white nationalist drama “BlacKkKlansman” and Barry Jenkins’ James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk.” The other nominees are “A Star Is Born” and the Freddie Mercury biopic.

    All earned nods in other categories, too, including Rami Malek’s prosthetic tooth-aided performance as Mercury, and the leading turn by John David Washington in “BlacKkKlansman,” who said his father, Denzel, woke him up for the nominations announcement.

    “I had flashbacks when I was watching the (NFL) draft when they never called my name,” said Washington, a former football player. “When I heard them say my name, it happened in slow motion.”

    While Sam Elliott’s supporting performance in “A Star Is Born” was unexpectedly overlooked, the Warner Bros. hit (which elected to compete on the more hefty drama side of the Globes despite its many songs) earned the expected nods for Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, as both actor and director, and the song “The Shallow.”

    Up for best picture comedy alongside “Vice” are Yorgas Lanthimos’ wild palace power struggle “The Favourite,” Peter Farrelly’s divisive crowd-pleaser “Green Book,” the upcoming Disney sequel “Mary Poppins Returns” and the rom-com hit “Crazy Rich Asians.”

    The Oscar path for both “Green Book” and “The Favourite” appeared to be solidified, with nods for all of the leads for each: Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali for “Green Book”; and Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone for “The Favourite.”

    While some critics have taken issue with “Green Book” for relying on outdated racial tropes, the uplifting drama’s once flagging Oscar campaign has lately received a boost with both better ticket sales and accruing awards love. Farrelly, best-known for broader comedies with his brother, Bobby, like “There’s Something About Mary,” also received a best director nod for his first dramatic film.

    Performers like Constance Wu (“Crazy Rich Asians”), Regina King (“Beale Street”), Ali and Washington, insured a somewhat diverse field of nominees. Spike Lee was nominated for directing “BlacKkKlansman,” three decades after last being included in the category for “Do the Right Thing.”

    “The first word that came to mind was ‘BOOM SHAKALAKA,'” Lee said in a statement.

    But the Globes also didn’t nominate any of the year’s acclaimed female filmmakers for best director, and none of the 10 best picture nominees were helmed by a woman. At the previous Globes, presenter Natalie Portman pointedly introduced the “all-male” directing nominees.

    Damien Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong biopic “First Man,” which has seen its awards hope wane in recent weeks, failed to liftoff, scoring neither a best film nod, nor one for Ryan Gosling’s leading performance. (It did land nominations for Claire Foy and its score.) The news was worse for Steve McQueen’s heist thriller “Widows,” which was shut out entirely.

    Also left out, to gasps heard across social media, was Ethan Hawke’s performance as an anguished pastor in “First Reformed” and Pawel Pawlikowski’s Polish stunner “Cold War,” his follow-up to the Oscar-winning “Ida.” (The nominees for best foreign language film alongside “Roma” were “Capernaum,” ”Girl,” ”Never Look Away” and “Shoplifters.”) Some of the TV snubs — “Atlanta,” ”This Is Us,” ”Better Call Saul” — were even more surprising.

    But the Globes also handed nominations to some up-and-comers, including Lucas Hedges (“Boy Erased”), Timothee Chalamet (“Beautiful Boy”) and Elsie Fisher, the 15-year-old star of the coming-of-age tale “Eighth Grade.” ”WHAT,” said Fisher on Twitter. When reached by phone Thursday morning and told she was trending, Fisher — whose character is a little-liked YouTuber — replied “Hell yea!”

    And the press association made room for one old favourite: Robert Redford, in what he has said may (or may not) be his final acting performance, received his 10th Globe nomination for “The Old Man & the Gun.” He was given the group’s Cecil B. DeMille achievement award in 1994.

    Glenn Close, nominated for her performance in “The Wife,” said Thursday morning she had done two performances of the off-Broadway play “Mother of the Maid” the day before and said her voice was “gone.”

    “Maybe today it’ll be tequila,” she said of her celebration plans. Or maybe not. “I have a show tonight. And I’ll probably have to go back to sleep at some point today.”

    In film and television, the nominations guaranteed the Globes what it most craves for its famously frothy broadcast: stars. Among them: Julia Roberts (“Homecoming”), Amy Adams (“Sharp Objects”), Nicole Kidman (“Destroyer”), Hugh Grant (“A Very English Scandal”), Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”), Benedict Cumberbatch (“Patrick Melrose”), Emily Blunt (“Mary Poppins Returns”), Charlize Theron (“Tully”) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Mary Poppins Returns”).

    The nominees for best animated film were: “Incredibles 2,” ”Isle of Dogs,” ”Mirai,” ”Ralph Breaks the Internet” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”

    Though the major studios like Disney (“Black Panther,” ”Mary Poppins Returns,” ”Incredibles 2″), Warner Bros. (“A Star Is Born”) and Universal (“Green Book”) are more in thick of awards season than usual, indies carried the day. Annapurna Pictures (“Vice,” ”Beale Street”) and Fox Searchlight (“The Favourite,” ”Can You Ever Forgive Me?) led the studios with 10 nods apiece, especially welcome news for billionaire heiress Megan Ellison’s Annapurna, which struggled through financial difficulties this fall.

    Still, Disney could in, a way, claim supremacy. Its soon-to-be-finalized acquisition of Fox would make its nominations tally 21. The nod for its “Black Panther” marked Marvel Studios’ first best picture nomination at the Globes, a feat it is hoping to repeat at the Academy Awards.

    The ratings for last January’s broadcast, hosted by Seth Meyers and graced with an impassioned speech by Oprah Winfrey, dipped 5 per cent with approximately 19 million viewers. As the first major award show following the Harvey Weinstein revelations and subsequent launch of the #MeToo movement, the usually more frivolous ceremony had an atypical edge of seriousness. In a demonstration organized by the then-just-founded Time’s Up, many women wore black on the red carpet.

    Whether this year will return the Globes to their more lighthearted celebrations will rest partly with its unexpected pairing of Andy Samberg and “Killing Eve” star Sandra Oh, who on Thursday was nominated for best actress in a TV series drama. They were announced as hosts to the Jan. 6 ceremony, to be broadcast live on NBC.

    ___

    Associated Press Writers Lindsey Bahr and Andrew Dalton contributed to this report from Los Angeles

    Jake Coyle, The Associated Press


    If you like this, share it!

    National Entertainment

    R. Kelly due in Chicago court to face sex abuse charges

    Published

    on

    If you like this, share it!




  • CHICAGO — R. Kelly, the R&B star who has been trailed for decades by allegations that he violated underage girls and women and held some as virtual slaves, is due in court Saturday after being charged with aggravated sexual abuse involving four victims, including at least three between the ages of 13 and 17.

    In a brief appearance before reporters, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx on Friday announced the 10 counts against the 52-year-old Grammy winner, whose real name is Robert Kelly. She said the abuse dated back as far as 1998 and spanned more than a decade. She did not comment on the charges or take questions.

    Kelly was driven to a Chicago police station in a dark colored van with heavily tinted rear windows around 8:15 p.m. Friday. He did not respond to questions from gathered reporters as he walked inside the building.

    Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted a short time later that Kelly was under arrest. He was expected to be held overnight before an appearance Saturday in bond court.

    Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, told reporters following the singer’s arrest that one of the charges he faces appears to be tied to a decade-old child pornography case.

    “Double jeopardy should bar that case,” Greenberg said. “He won that case.”

    Kelly, who was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008, has consistently denied any sexual misconduct.

    Greenberg said he thinks prosecutors rushed to judgment Friday in charging Kelly, calling the singer “an innocent man.”

    “Mr. Kelly is strong,” Greenberg added. “He’s got a lot of support and he’s going to be vindicated on all these charges.”

    The arrest sets the stage for another #MeToo-era celebrity trial. Bill Cosby went to prison last year, and former Hollywood studio boss Harvey Weinstein is awaiting trial.

    Best known for hits such as “I Believe I Can Fly,” Kelly was charged a week after Michael Avenatti, the attorney whose clients have included porn star Stormy Daniels, said he gave prosecutors new video evidence of the singer with an underage girl.

    At a news conference earlier Friday in Chicago, Avenatti said a 14-year-old girl seen with R. Kelly on the video is among four victims mentioned in the indictment. He said the footage shows two separate scenes on two separate days at Kelly’s residence in the late 1990s.

    During the video, both the victim and Kelly refer to her age 10 times, he said.

    Avenatti said he represents six clients, including two victims, two parents and two people he describes as “knowing R. Kelly and being within his inner circle for the better part of 25 years.”

    “I don’t know what the tape is,” Greenberg said of the video Avenatti gave prosecutors. “We haven’t seen it. No one’s showed us the tape.”

    The new charges marked “a watershed moment,” Avenatti said, adding that he believes more than 10 other people associated with Kelly should be charged as “enablers” for helping with the assaults, transporting minors and covering up evidence.

    The video surfaced during a 10-month investigation by Avenatti’s office. He told the AP that the person who provided the VHS tape knew both Kelly and the female in the video.

    The jury in 2008 acquitted Kelly of child pornography charges that arose from a graphic video that prosecutors said showed him having sex with a girl as young as 13. He and the young woman allegedly seen with him denied they were in the 27-minute video, even though the picture quality was good and witnesses testified it was them, and she did not take the stand. Kelly could have gotten 15 years in prison.

    Charging Kelly now for actions that occurred in the same time frame as the allegations from the 2008 trial suggests the accusers are co-operating this time and willing to testify.

    Because the alleged victim 10 years ago denied that she was on the video and did not testify, the state’s attorney office had little recourse except to charge the lesser offence under Illinois law, child pornography, which required a lower standard of evidence.

    Each count of the new charges carries up to seven years in prison. If Kelly is convicted on all 10 counts, a judge could decide that the sentences run one after the other — making it possible for him to receive up to 70 years behind bars. Probation is also an option under the statute.

    Greenberg said he offered to sit down with prosecutors before charges were filed to discuss why the allegations were “baseless.” But they refused, he said.

    “Unfortunately, they have succumbed to the court of public opinion, who’ve convicted him,” he said.

    Legally and professionally, the walls began closing in on Kelly after the release of a BBC documentary about him last year and the multipart Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which aired last month. Together they detailed allegations he was holding women against their will and running a “sex cult.”

    #MeToo activists and a social media movement using the hashtag #MuteRKelly called on streaming services to drop Kelly’s music and promoters not to book any more concerts. Protesters demonstrated outside Kelly’s Chicago studio.

    As recently as Thursday, two women held a news conference in New York to describe how Kelly picked them out of a crowd at a Baltimore after-party in the mid-1990s when they were underage. They said Kelly had sex with one of the teens when she was under the influence of marijuana and alcohol and could not consent.

    Latresa Scaff and Rochelle Washington were joined by lawyer Gloria Allred when they told their story publicly for the first time.

    In the indictment, the prosecution addressed the question of the statute of limitations, saying that even abuse that happened more than two decades ago falls within the charging window allowed under Illinois law. Victims typically have 20 years to report abuse, beginning when they turn 18.

    The singer and songwriter, whose legal name is Robert Kelly, rose from poverty on Chicago’s South Side and has retained a sizable following. He has written numerous hits for himself and other artists, including Celine Dion, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga. His collaborators have included Jay-Z and Usher.

    Kelly broke into the R&B scene in 1993 with his first solo album, “12 Play,” which produced such popular sex-themed songs as “Bump N’ Grind” and “Your Body’s Callin’.”

    Months after those successes, the then-27-year-old Kelly faced allegations he married 15-year-old Aaliyah, the R&B star who later died in a plane crash in the Bahamas. Kelly was the lead songwriter and producer of Aaliyah’s 1994 debut album.

    Kelly and Aaliyah never confirmed the marriage, though Vibe magazine published a copy of the purported marriage license. Court documents later obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times showed Aaliyah admitted lying about her age on the license.

    Jim DeRogatis, a longtime music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, played a key role in drawing the attention of law enforcement to Kelly. In 2002, he received the sex tape in the mail that was central to Kelly’s 2008 trial. He turned it over to prosecutors. In 2017, DeRogatis wrote a story for BuzzFeed about the allegations Kelly was holding women against their will in Georgia.

    ___

    Associated Press Writer Amanda Seitz contributed to this report.

    ___

    More of The Associated Press’ coverage of the investigations into R. Kelly can be found at: https://www.apnews.com/RKelly .

    Sara Burnett And Michael Tarm, The Associated Press

















    If you like this, share it!
    Continue Reading

    National Entertainment

    Monkees’ lovable bass-guitar player Peter Tork dead at 77

    Published

    on

    If you like this, share it!




  • LOS ANGELES — Peter Tork, a talented singer-songwriter and instrumentalist whose musical skills were often overshadowed by his role as the goofy, lovable bass guitarist in the made-for-television rock band The Monkees, has died at age 77.

    Tork’s son Ivan Iannoli told The Associated Press his father died Thursday at the family home in Connecticut of complications from adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer of the salivary glands. He had battled the disease since 2009.

    “Peter’s energy, intelligence, silliness, and curiosity were traits that for decades brought laughter and enjoyment to millions, including those of us closest to him,” his son said in a statement. “Those traits also equipped him well to take on cancer, a condition he met like everything else in his life, with unwavering humour and courage.”

    Tork, who was often hailed as the band’s best musician, had studied music since childhood. He was accomplished on guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, banjo and other instruments, and Michael Nesmith, the Monkees’ lead guitarist, said Tork was actually the better of the two.

    He had been playing in small clubs in Los Angeles when a friend and fellow musician, Stephen Stills, told him TV casting directors were looking for “four insane boys” to play members of a struggling rock band.

    Stills, a member of Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, reportedly told Tork he had been rejected because his teeth were ugly. He thought the handsome Tork might fare better.

    When “The Monkees” debuted in September 1966, Tork and fellow Monkees Nesmith, Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones became overnight teen idols.

    Producers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider modeled the show after the Beatles’ popular musical comedies “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help!,” seeking to create a band that would mirror them in cheekiness if not musical talent.

    In the Monkees iteration, Nesmith was the serious one, Jones the cute one and Dolenz the zany one.

    Tork said he adopted his “dummy” persona from the way he’d get audiences to engage with him at Greenwich Village folk clubs in the early 1960s.

    He knew only one member of the Monkees before the show’s debut, Nesmith who had been running “Hoot Nights” at the Troubadour nightclub, where Tork would occasionally perform after moving to L.A.

    “As I write this my tears are awash, and my heart is broken,” Nesmith posted on his Facebook page Thursday. “PT will be a part of me forever.”

    During its two-year run “The Monkees” would win an Emmy for outstanding comedy series and the group would land seven songs in Billboard’s Top 10. “I’m a Believer,” ”Daydream Believer” and “Last Train to Clarksville,” would reach No. 1.

    Initially, the Monkees was a band whose members didn’t play their instruments or write many of their songs, something that infuriated both Tork and Nesmith.

    Tork would tell of going to an early recording session, only to be told dismissively that session musicians were laying down the musical tracks and all the Monkees had to do was sing.

    “I was a hired hand, and I didn’t quite know that, and I didn’t quite get it,” he told The Associated Press in 2000. “I had fantasies of being more important than it turns out I was.”

    Eventually he and Nesmith wrested control of the band’s musical fate from Don Kirshner, who had been brought in as the show’s music producer. By the group’s third album, “Headquarters,” the Monkees were playing their instruments and even performed live in Hawaii.

    After the show concluded in 1968 the band went on a lengthy concert tour that at one point included Jimi Hendrix as the opening act. But music critics had turned on them. They were dismissed as the PreFab Four, a mocking comparison to the Beatles.

    That and creative differences led Tork to leave soon after the group’s 1968 movie and album “Head.”

    For several years he struggled financially and creatively, working for a time as a waiter and a schoolteacher.

    By the mid-1980s, thanks to TV reruns and album reissues, the Monkees gained a new, younger following, and Tork rejoined the others for reunion tours. All four produced a new album, “Justus,” in 1996 featuring them on all of the instrumentals and including songs they had written.

    In the 1990s Tork also formed the group Shoe Suede Blues and toured and recorded frequently.

    Later albums included the solo work “Stranger Things Have Happened” and the Shoe Suede Blues albums “Cambria Hotel,” ”Step By Step” and Relax Your Mind.”

    Tork begged off a Monkees reunion tour with Nesmith and Dolenz just last year to finish “Relax Your Mind.” Jones died in 2012.

    ___

    This story has corrected the spelling of Stephen Stills, and adenoid cystic carcinoma.

    ___

    Associated Press Writer Pat Eaton-Robb in Hartford, Connecticut contributed to this story.

    John Rogers, The Associated Press






    If you like this, share it!
    Continue Reading

    february, 2019

    fri15feb - 3marfeb 151:00 ammar 32019 Canada Winter Games1:00 am - (march 3) 1:00 am Red Deer

    sat23feb1:00 pm- 4:00 pmMAGSaturday @ the MuseumMAGnificent Saturdays welcomes all ages and abilities to participate in a fun art project every week! 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    sun24feb11:00 am- 2:00 pmOne Eleven Jazzy Brunch11:00 am - 2:00 pm

    wed27feb12:30 pm- 1:00 pmBusiness Professionals Video Lecture LunchThis course explains high-level business concepts in simple ways. 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm

    Trending

    X