Saturday Spotlight: Skyfall, drunk Diane Sawyer and a bunch of reality TV news
Hey you! Yes, you in the pjs with the bedhead. Every week there are a lot of happenings as far as pop culture and the internet are concerned and it's pretty much impossible to catch everything. Enter the MSN Canada entertainment editors! We've got your weekend round-up of all you may have missed while you went about your busy week:
We Have No Friends: The Podcast Episode 2: Disney + Lucasfilm, Homeland, more!
Annnnnd we're back! Okay, so it's only been a day or so since our last podcast but, well, DISNEY BOUGHT LUCASFILM for crying out loud! How were we not supposed to comment on that?! It also gave us the chance to talk a bit about Homeland which was INSANE this week, as well as a few other things. Anyway... please have a listen below.
We Have No Friends: The Podcast Episode 1: Fall TV, Iron Man 3 trailer, other stuff
Hello! We'd like to introduce our new podcast: We Have No Friends: The Podcast. Snappy sounding, right? Now you get to hear MSN Canada's intrepid entertainment team talk all things entertainment in tasty 30-40 minute chunks -- you've been WARNED! This week we'll have two entries but usually this will be a once a week sorta thang. Episode one features us talking about the highs and lows of TV this fall and then we lay out the state of superhero films after discussing the Iron Man 3 trailer. Please enjoy!
George Clooney has been arrested outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, D.C., Friday morning. Clooney was leading a protest in front of the embassy when - after three verbal warnings - he and several other activists were handcuffed and led away by police.
Clooney's publicist Stan Rosenfield told TMZ, "They were protesting the violence committed by the government of Sudan on its own innocent men, women and children. They were demanding they allow humanitarian aid into the country before it becomes the largest humanitarian crisis in the world."
CNN reports that Clooney met with President Barack Obama on Thursday to discuss his concerns about Sudan.
So far there are reports that at least a dozen people have been arrested including congressmen, Sudanese citizens and George's dad, Nick Clooney.
A few hours after his arrest, Clooney was released from police custody. He spoke with reporters and reiterated what he was trying to achieve.
"What we're trying to achieve today is we're trying to bring attention to an ongoing emergency," Clooney told reporters. "Our job is to bring attention to it, and one of those ways was, apparently, get arrested."
Clooney joked that this was his first time behind bars.
"It was my first arrest, thanks for asking. And let's hope it's my last."
Does The Artist deserve to bask in all the critical praise it's receiving, or do you think it was a good film, just not a great one? MSN UK Movies Editor Ed Holden fights a war of words, in favour of The Artist, while MSN Canada Senior Entertainment Editor Ben Carrozza argues against the popular film's accent to dominate The Oscars.
Designed for Oscar? Ed: As soon as The Artist was mentioned in the same sentence as an awards ceremony, the knives came out. The unfounded supposition is that a movie about old movies was crafted for the tastes of aging awards voting bodies. Michel Hazanavicius' motivation, if anything outside the strength of the idea itself, was to find a perfect part for his wife Bérénice Bejo. "I really wanted to offer her a role that truly fits her, that was made especially for her," he told us. Yes, there is such a thing as 'an awards movie'. This, however, is simply a 'good' movie.
Ben: Is The Artist designed for Oscar? Well, it's a "love song" to film itself so, in a word, yes. Whether purposely so or not, it satisfies the Academy's insatiable taste for unbridled sentiment and what is more sentimental today than a silent film? Granted, it's a good one, but its twee charms hit a little too on the nose to be a "best picture," no? Still, we're sure it'll swipe up the big trophy - and we'd like to submit Oscar's egregious track record of favoring sentiment over substance (see Shakespeare in Love vs. Saving Private Ryan; Rocky vs. Taxi Driver, et al) as evidence.
Gimmick? Ed: Perhaps it's because The Artist is, at its core, a comedy that naysayers have pointed the finger and deemed it a gimmick unworthy of Oscar love. If it were a gimmick it would be in the silent movie format for no real reason. But it's a movie ABOUT silent movies, making the format absolutely relevant and fitting. It's a unique entity and a true original, not a gimmick.
Ben: Writing off The Artist as a gimmick-film is a disservice to Michel Hazanavicius' heartfelt and deeply realized work. That hasn't stopped the film's marketing team from doing it, though. Gimmick can be defined as: "a device, scheme, or stratagem, especially one designed to attract attention or increase appeal." Whether Hazanavicius intended it or not, the film is sold on one thing: The Artist is "the silent film." Obviously there is a depth to the film that goes beyond a simple selling point, but the taint of gimmickry is there as anyone who intends to see it at any point in time will be seeing (or not seeing it) based on its silent movie status.
Mass appeal Ed: The Oscars have a duty to reward the best in cinema. And you don't need to have seen The Artist to know that quality and box office don't always go hand in hand. Let's allow the People's Choice awards to celebrate The Twilight kids and the MTVMAs to dish out acting gongs to Shia LaBeouf. If The Oscars had to pander to popularity, they'd lose their only real purpose which is to select the best film. This year it's The Artist. Simple.
Ben: Widespread popularity and fine art don't often mix, so giving awards to only popular films doesn't make much sense. The Academy gets this sometimes (see The Hurt Locker vs. Avatar), so I don't think perceived lack of popularity for The Artist will be a problem. Further to the point, I don't think the film is lacking in popularity at all. While box office receipts may be relatively small, the film (like Slumdog Millionaire before it) is growing in the popular consciousness daily; a measure of popularity arguably as important - and certainly just as important to Academy voters - as cash itself. The Artist is on people's minds whether they've seen it or not and if it takes home the best picture gong, the masses will not be surprised.
The competition Ed: Allow me to eliminate 5 of the 9 dubiously selected contenders. Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close: dull. The Tree Of Life: ridiculous. War Horse: lightweight. Moneyball: Good but baseball stats don't win Oscars. Hugo: The first hour was deadly boring. There. Although the remaining rivals (The Help, The Descendants and Midnight In Paris all stand alone as excellent movies, none of them provide the like-nothing-else experience of watching The Artist. We know that George Clooney is an excellent character actor and Martin Scorsese has a great eye. This is something entirely new.
Ben: Certainly, The Artist ranks among the few real contenders this year - that said, the best of the lot it is not. The best picture winner should by rights feature the best examples of the other categories within it; the best acting, direction, writing, etc. Other films in the category do all of those things better than The Artist. And most of them are done better by The Descendants. Clooney out-acts Desjardins. It's close but Payne's less-is-more approach sees him out-direct Hazanavicius. And the measured and world-weary The Descendants features much better writing. Attention Academy: sometimes you just have to give the best picture award to the best picture - no matter how hard that seems to be for you.
Closing statements Ed: Director Michel Hazanavicius put it perfectly: "When you are in a couple, the most important things you don't say with words, you say them with your eyes, with your hands, with silence. I wanted to bring that emotion to the film." And he did, wildly successfully. Rewatch the scene where Bérénice Bejo walks into Jean Dujardin's office and has a romantic encounter with his coat. Then tell us it isn't the most original, funny and genuinely touching movie of the last twelve months. We dare you. Silence really is golden.
Ben: Is The Artist a good film? Definitely. Is it a great one? Probably. Is it the best picture this year? Hardly. The Artist is a fun, sentimental film. But so what? Ice cream is tasty and awesome but it is not a healthy meal. Too often the Academy gets lost in its enjoyment of a film without stopping to consider whether that film is, in fact, the best picture. There are galleries-worth of WTF?! choices from past years that bear this out. Please don't let this be another of those years. Please, Academy, don't let the laconic charms of The Artist (and Uggie) fool you into making a choice we'll regret.
I know this might sound crazy but I don't think enough has been said about Milla Jovovich today. I mean, she's in The Three Musketeers that's coming out today and all I'm hearing is "Orlando Bloom this..." and "Orlando Bloom that..." and "That Logan Lerman is nice!!" But nothing about Milla. WTF?
Well, we're going to change that, my friends. That we are. If you'll kindly click here, you can check out our gallery that celebrates all things Milla. And then, after the jump, check out the trailer for The Three Musketeers. Yes, Orlando is in it, too. Sheesh.
If that is a question you are sitting there asking yourself, we have the answer. And the answer is: a lot. Did we mention Pee Wee Herman was there? He totally was, as were a veritable bevy of the best that the world's of horror, science fiction and fantasy entertainment has to offer.We run down some of the highlights of the evening here. Any award show that gives awards to Piranha 3D is one we can get behind!
And they gave away awards, too! Check out the full list of winners below.
Music stars tweet their reactions to the London riots
After nights of rioting in the United Kingdom, the music industry has not come out unscathed. Not only were many artists connected to the unrest through family and friends that live in the affected cities, a massive blaze gutted the North London distribution centre used by hundreds of independent British record labels.
Throughout Monday and Tuesday, many musicians took to Twitter to question the causes of the violence, show support for the victims and help spread word of a grass roots riot clean up campaign.
Read what artists like M.I.A., Jessie J, Boy George and more had to say after the jump...
Bob Marley re-releases classic song to aid East Africa
What can you do to help the situation in East Africa? Simon Fuller, Chris Blackwell and the Bob Marley Estate have approved the release of the 1973 Bob Marley song "High Tide or Low Tide" to raise funds for Save The Children and the East Africa Famine. To raise awareness a host of celebs are taking to social media today to post a short film directed by "Last King of Scotland's" Kevin Macdonald set to the Marley song and featuring images from East Africa -- the goal is to raise awareness and encourage donations.
Ghostfellas is a thing. Related: Best idea ever discovered
Hey, Society, you may not have wanted a culturally insensitive/supernaturally oriented/possibly violent reality show, but you damned well needed one. And now, well, YOU GOT IT! Congrats!
According to a casting notice "Ghostfellas" (lol!) will feature the weekly adventures of "tough guys, preferably Italian... who believe in ghosts, are fearless, and want to take on the most toughest/violent ghosts in the tri-state area for a new reality show."
We're going to prematurely crown our We Have No Friends: Woman of the Year. This year's honoree: Rupert Murdoch's wife Wendi Deng. For those of you who aren't watching BBC's live broacast of Rupert and James Murdoch answering questions before Parliament over the phone-hacking scandal, can we peak your interest by letting you know that Wendi Deng totally laid the smack down on an intruder who tried to throw a pie in her man's face? That's right, girlfriend laid the smack down. Not only that but Deng then proceeded to pick up the pie and smash it into the intruder's face before police carried him off. Wendi Deng -- the phone hacking scandal is deplorable, but we salute your moxy. And we hope you don't mind if we compare you to Gogo from "Kill Bill":
We know you won't be able to get your Wednesday started if you're under the (mistaken) notion that Twilight superstar-slash-broody nymph Kristen Stewart is unable to travel internationally thanks to an expired passport. That would be a day-breaker, amirite? Fear not, kids, KStew headed down (ran, apparently) to the America factory and hooked herself up with one of those sweet, sweet passports with the Eagle all up on the cover. Now, maybe you aren't a Twihard or whatever, and maybe you're like, "I don't know why all those damn kids are talking about that Kay Stewart and Robin Patterson and the shiny werewolves they love so damned much" and you think this story is frivolous frivolity and... well... you'd be right.
Have you heard about that whole Harry Potter film that's coming out soon? Apparently it's the last one. Crazy, right? That's been, like, what? 12 films at least. No one knows this better than the franchise's main stars and the ginger one (LOL kidding!) who have literally grown up during the series' telling. At the London premiere of the film Friday (known as Bimsbury Day over there *), the kids made everyone cry by telling them how grateful they were for the chance to be in the films and how awesome everyone was and... ugh, sniff! I promised myself I wouldn't do this... you... you should just watch the clip below...
Joan has tiny sneezes, watches too much TV, suffers from a raging case of Bieber Fever and is still in denial about Friday Night Lights ending. She's also an unusually vocal supporter of the semicolon and prone to...