Star Trek Beyond: Why Pine Feels Like Kirk

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star-trek-beyondWhen we first met Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk in the 2009 reboot of Star Trek, he was a wild young man, motivated to join Starfleet almost out of spite. That’s all changed at the beginning of Star Trek Beyond, which finds Kirk in the middle of his five-year mission. “What he’s lost are those motivating factors that compelled him and propelled him in the beginning,” explains Pine. “He’s a man now. He’s raged. He’s done well. And then it’s like he says to himself: ‘And now what? If I don’t have these things propelling me, do I even want to be here, still?’”

“He’s lost the fire,” Pine continues. “And I totally know what that feels like.” Pine joined the blockbuster-movie class in his 20s, and his role in Star Trek led to action-guy parts in blockbuster-y movies. He fought a train with Denzel Washington in Unstoppable; he fought Tom Hardy for Reese Witherspoon in This Means War; he headlined the Jack Ryan reboot ;Shadow Recruit, and will play the soldier-boy love interest in next year’s Wonder Woman.

“When I was a younger actor, I was pretty much solely motivated by validation,” Pine explains. “I just wanted to be told I was good and handsome and a part of the gang. It was pretty simple animal-social stuff. I don’t care as much about those things anymore. Things have changed. I, like Kirk, have to find new things to compel and propel me into the future of my career.”

One of those new things arrives in August. In Hell or High Water, Pine plays a desperate man who embarks on a series of bank heists with his brother, played by Ben Foster. (Jeff Bridges is the lawman on their tail.) It’s a bold new kind of role for Pine, miles from the heroics of Star Trek and even the hero-cad type he played in Into the Woods. “The things that motivated me at 21 don’t suffice,” Pine says. “Which is scary, but really liberating in a way. It’s taken me a long time to feel like, instead of being invited to the party with a bunch of people I don’t know, that I actually deserve to be here.”

That doesn’t mean Pine’s beyond Star Trek. Far from it. “We’ve been around for a bit,” he says. “You get a chance to see how all these guys have aged. It’s been nice, instead of the reluctant boy-man hero, to be, like, ‘I’m a man now.’”

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Streep Joins Blunt In ‘Mary Poppins’ Sequel

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Meryl-StreepIs Meryl Streep ready for a spoonful of sugar?

Sources tell Variety, the Oscar-winning actress is in talks to join Emily Blunt and Lin Manuel-Miranda in Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns.”

If a deal closes, the family film would reunite Streep with the “Into the Woods” musical team of Blunt, director Rob Marshall, and producers Marc Platt and John DeLuca. Streep and Blunt also shared the screen in “The Devil Wears Prada.” Marshall and John De Luca are also producing.

Streep is said to play the role of Poppins’ cousin, Topsy, a supporting role that wasn’t in the 1964 classic. Streep would also sing for the part, much like she did in “Into the Woods,” which earned her a record 19th Oscar nomination.

David Magee wrote the screenplay, based on the stories by P.L. Travers, with Marc Shaiman composing an all-new score and writing originals songs with Emmy nominee and Tony-winner Scott Wittman.

Blunt stars as the title character in the film with Manuel-Miranda, star of the Broadway smash “Hamilton,” playing another new character, a street lamplighter named Jack. Drawing from the wealth of material in P.L. Travers’ seven Mary Poppins novels, the story will take place in Depression-era London (when the books were originally written) and follows a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, who, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.

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Beatles Documentary ‘Eight Days’ To Include Shea Stadium Concert

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ddddThe upcoming documentary “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week — The Touring Years” will include 30 minutes of footage from the group’s iconic Shea Stadium concert in 1965.

Ron Howard’s authorized documentary about the early years of the Beatles has been set for U.S. theatrical release on Sept. 16 through Abramorama. The film will become available to stream exclusively to Hulu subscribers on the next day, Sept. 17.

The Shea Stadium event, one of the first rock concerts ever staged in a stadium in front of more than 55,000 people, was filmed at the peak of the group’s popularity about a year and a half after their “Ed Sullivan Show” appearances.

The footage was shot with 14 35mm cameras by Ed Sullivan Productions and Brian Epstein and has been restored in the 4K format with sound remastered at Abbey Road Studios by Giles Martin and Sam Okell. It includes performances of “A Hard Day’s Night,” “I’m Down,” “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby” and “Dizzy Miss Lizzy.”

The film is produced with the full cooperation of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison. White Horse Pictures’ Nigel Sinclair and Scott Pascucci are producing with Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment with Howard.

Apple Corps Ltd.’s Jeff Jones and Jonathan Clyde are serving as executive producers, along with Imagine’s Michael Rosenberg and White Horse’s Guy East and Nicholas Ferrall. Also executive producing is the film’s editor Paul Crowder and long-time collaborator Mark Monroe, who is also serving as writer.

Studiocanal and PolyGram Entertainment are anchor partners on the film, having acquired U.K., France, Germany and Australia and New Zealand rights.

“The Beatles: Eight Days A Week — The Touring Years” is based on the first part of The Beatles’ career from 1962 to 1966 and will delve into how they made decisions, created their music and built their collective career together from the days of The Cavern Club in Liverpool to their last concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1966.

The title is taken from the 1964 hit single. When the band stopped touring, they had performed 166 concerts in 15 countries and 90 cities.

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Arrested Development’ Season 5 Is ‘Ready To Go’ On Netflix

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cccAt the Television Critics Association press tour on Wednesday, “Arrested Development” creator Mitch Hurwitz gave fans the update they’ve been waiting for since Netflix revived the beloved comedy series in 2013.

A rumored fifth season has long been in the making, but due to the hectic schedules of the in-demand cast, there’s been little movement on the “Arrested Development” front. That is, until now.

“We’re very close,” Hurwitz told an audience of reporters, while promoting his sister series “Lady Dynamite,” according to Entertainment Weekly.

“It’s the thing I’m really desperate to do. We’ve got a lot of stories broken. We’re ready to go,” he added. “I’m so appreciative of the fans wanting more, I’d hate to tease them with information until we know it’s going to happen … If it does happen, it looks like shooting would happen at the start of 2017.”

And what might the new season look like? In an interview with The Huffington Post in January, the baby of the Bluth family, actor Tony Hale, teased a more family-centric Season 5.

“It was really tough to pull everybody together for the fourth season,” Hale said. “I know [series creator Hurwitz] has said that he wants to have a lot more ensemble scenes where everybody is together. That’s a goal of theirs.”

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Eddie Money Responds To Ex-Drummer’s Harassment Allegations

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ppEddie Money says his former drummer’s wrongful termination lawsuit amounts to nothing more than gross and malicious falsehoods deigned to disparage and extort him, according to a Monday court filing.

In June, the rocker’s attorneys filed an anti-SLAPP motion in response to Glenn Symmonds’ claims that he was fired because of his age and disabilities from bladder cancer and a back injury, arguing that playing music is a First Amendment right and Money’s choice of band members is protected activity stemming from that right.

Money claims he laid off his band for the summer of 2015 to tour with his adult children and intended to rehire them shortly thereafter. Symmonds, he claims, responded by calling promoters and telling them to not pay for the performances.

“This show is turning into a clusterfuck,” says a phone call transcript attached as an exhibit to Money’s reply. “He’s fired everybody in his band and he’s paying his goon family to be part of the band.”

“This is a circus act gone even crazier by you hiring, allowing them to hire the family to come in,” states another transcript. “I’m gonna call every promoter that’s on the tour list and tell them not to pay you guys. That’ll be one way to get it done, and I’m going to use social media on top of it to make sure that this clown hires professional musicians.”

Money claims that vicious campaign is why Symmonds wasn’t rehired.

Symmonds tells a different story.

The percussionist claims Money mocked him onstage for side effects of his cancer treatment, saying their tour was sponsored by Depends and referring to him as “Chemo the Drummer.”

The Depends line, Money says, predates Symmonds’ treatment and was actually the singer’s attempt at mocking his own age. Money admits he did occasionally refer to Symmonds as “Chemo the Drummer” but says it was while telling audience members to purchase “Beat Cancer Like a Drum” T-shirts after the show to raise funds for Symmonds’ treatment.

“Symmonds routinely accentuated the reference to ‘Chemo the Drummer’ with a ‘rim shot’ — snare drum slap commonly used to acknowledge the punch line of a joke,” writes Shepard.

In May, Symmonds’ fiance, Tami Landrum, joined the suit, claiming that Money repeatedly sexually harassed her and that Symmonds was fired for standing up for her. Among other things, Money is accused of pretending a microphone was his penis and hitting Landrum in the face with it during a radio interview.

“Landrum is a rock and roll groupie and has a history of ‘coming on’ to musicians,” Shepard writes. “Her claims against Defendants, while salacious, are inconsistent with her conduct, her communications, and with basic common sense. That they were not asserted in Symmonds’ initial complaint, but only as an afterthought, is telling.”

A case management conference is currently scheduled for September.

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Harrison Ford Could’ve Been Killed By The Millennium Falcon On ‘Star Wars’ Set

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kkkFor Harrison Ford, life almost imitated art on the set of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” While filming the seventh installment of the fantasy saga, the actor sustained a leg injury after being crushed beneath a door of the Millennium Falcon, the starship his character, Han Solo, mans in the original trilogy.

Luckily, Ford was able to recover quickly from the accident and return to filming. But, according to new details released in court, his injuries could have been fatal.

The production company responsible for the mishap, Foodles Production, is currently being tried for breaches in health and safety, according to The Guardian. The Disney subsidiary pleaded guilty to two of four charges at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court in London on Tuesday, relating to a breach of duty in relation to employees and a breach over people not employed by the company.

Prosecutor Andrew Marshall argued that the oversight could have resulted in “a risk of death” and if it not for the door’s safety mechanism, Ford might not have made it out alive.

“It could have killed somebody,” Marshall said. “The fact that it didn’t was because an emergency stop was activated.”

A representative from The Health and Safety Executive likened the force of the door to being hit by a small car, adding that the incident was entirely foreseeable.

“The British film industry has a world-renowned reputation for making exceptional films,” they said. “Managing on-set risks in a sensible and proportionate way for all actors and staff – regardless of their celebrity status – is vital to protecting both on-screen and off-screen talent, as well as protecting the reputation of the industry.”

Foodles Production has proved to be cooperative with the legal proceedings, The Guardian notes, but is expected to challenge the level of risk of the accident during an official sentencing at the the end of August.

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Olivia Harrison Says Dhani May Finish George’s Unreleased Songs

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cccccOn July 14, along with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison attended the 10th anniversary of The Beatles Love by Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas — with an updated, remixed soundtrack by Giles Martin, son of the Fab Four’s late, legendary producer George Martin — and spoke to Overheard about percolating music projects of their own.

Harrison said she and Dhani Harrison, her 37-year-old musician son with George Harrison, have talked about him finishing some unreleased tracks that her late husband left behind. “There are a lot of songs that are unfinished,” she said. “I think there’s a project there. I just need time to get to it.”

Ono told Billboard that she’s working on an album of approximately 10 songs that she had intended to have out by now, but she was blindsided by the flu (and briefly hospitalized in February). “That derailed the whole situation,” she said. Ono explained that “everything in my body is OK now, except I have a problem walking,” adding, “I want to be a little more normal” before turning her attention back to the record.

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Charlie Sheen Reveals Gay Secret

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vvvCharlie Sheen‘s HIV status wasn’t the only major bombshell he has been hiding from the world for years: has learned that the Tinseltown trainwreck came close to revealing a massive gay secret to fans three years ago — but ultimately chickened out!

Radar has obtained a jaw-dropping PSA that Sheen made for GLAAD back in 2013, more than two years after he secretly learned of his HIV-positive status.

Joking he’s “been in the closet,” Sheen admits that he’s ready to “come out” as an advocate for LGBT rights in the clip, which was ultimately never released.

Why suppress such a positive message? “Charlie wasn’t comfortable with the clip being out there back then,” an insider told Radar, “and now the world knows why!”

Indeed, as Radar reported, Sheen secretly bedded men, women, and transsexuals for years, and many of those partners would later receive multi-million-dollar payoffs, a high-powered attorney told Radar, since Sheen had exposed them to HIV during their romps.

He was even caught performing oral sex on a man, in an XXX-rated video clip obtained by Radar.

Sheen still has never admitted bedding men.

The clip also was filmed on the heels of an explosive December 2012 incident, when tape leaked that appeared to show Sheen using a homophobic slur during a bar opening at El Ganzo hotel in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

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New David Bowie Box Set to Include Unreleased Album ‘The Gouster’

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mmmmmA new David Bowiebox set is in the works. The follow-up to last year’s Five Years (1969-1973) box set, the forthcoming Who Can I Be Now? (1974-1976) will include Bowie’s complete unreleased album The Gouster. The album morphed and eventually became Young Americans. The wildest David Bowie collaborations, including John Lennon, Cher, Iggy Pop, Bing Crosby and more.

The set is due out on Parlophone, but a release date and full track list has not yet been revealed. As Pitchfork points out, longtime Bowie collaborator and friend Tony Visconti wrote the liner notes for the upcoming set. An excerpt was unveiled via Bowie’s official Facebook page. “Gouster was a word unfamiliar to me, but David knew it as a type of dress code worn by African-American teens in the Sixties in Chicago,” Visconti explains in the excerpt. “But in the context of the album its meaning was attitude, an attitude of pride and hipness. Of all the songs we cut, we were enamored of the ones we chose for the album that portrayed this attitude.” Visconti goes on to discuss his and Bowie’s love of soul and says that with The Gouster they “sure as hell wanted to make a killer soul album.” This led to a fresh take for “John, I’m Only Dancing (Again),” which was recorded in 1974 and was supposed to be the lead song on the album’s original track list. It was later released in 1979. Visconti describes the song as an “outrageous brand new, funkafied version of David’s classic.”

In addition to housing The Gouster and Visconti’s liner notes, Who Can I Be Now? (1974-1976) will also feature on the sleeve a previously unpublished picture from the original The Gouster album photo session.

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Where Should the ‘Star Trek’ Series Go From Here?

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hjhPop-culture recycling doesn’t get much knottier than this. In 2009, J.J. Abrams directed “Star Trek,” a reboot of a popular movie franchise spun off from a legendary TV series. The film succeeded beyond all expectations — it was rousing and sharp, nostalgic yet forward-thinking, an adventure for Trekkies and newbies and everyone in between. It was also a powerful reminder that the reason this particular movie franchise got off the ground in the first place had more than a little to do with the galaxy-altering success of “Star Wars.”

In 1979, the maw of Hollywood was hungry for space operas, and here was a mythical TV series, with its army of fans, that had had a major influence on George Lucas’s Movie That Changed The World. The first three “Star Wars” films are often thought of (with justification) as a joystick update of a “Buck Rogers” serial. But really, it was the innovation of “Star Trek” — the TV series — to treat an outer-space universe of rubber-gilled aliens and lurching superships and tech-jock pilots as casually miraculous, eye-popping science. The whole Han Solo tone of wisecracks at warp drive (or light speed, or whatever we’ll be calling it in ten years) was, to a degree, a knockoff of the gospel according to Gene Roddenberry.

As long as William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and company were starring in them, the original wave of “Trek” movies, of which there were six (I count the “Next Generation” films as, in essence, a different series), were always a slightly awkward hybrid, with one foot stuck in the stodgy land of ’60s television and the other in the post-“Star Wars” nebula of FX dazzle. The godawful first movie was actually entitled “Star Trek — The Motion Picture,” which makes it sound like something you might watch at a nickelodeon. If I had to choose my all-time favorite “Star Trek” film, it would still probably be “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” even though it’s a movie whose human (or Klingon, or genetically engineered mutant tyrant) drama is ultimately more memorable than its cheesy-awesome trapped-in-the-’80s spectacle. Ricardo Montalbán, seething with vengeance and a kind of mad-dog disco-chest-thumping virility, rocked and ruled, and what more could any “Star Trek” fan really want? None of the next four films in the series could hold a phaser to it.

But then along came J.J. Abrams. By the time of his reboot, the meaning of special effects in movies had changed. In the CGI era, they were no longer added value — they’d become the value. The directors of all six “Star Trek” films (Robert Wise, Nicholas Meyer, and, yes, Messrs. Nimoy and Shatner) suddenly looked like mechanics from a distant century. Abrams, a visual wizard, was the first filmmaker to conceive and direct a “Star Trek” adventure as if it was…well, “Star Wars.”

It took genuine showbiz audacity to try and refill a set of roles as iconic as William Shatner’s mellifluously self-addicted hambone stud Captain James T. Kirk, or Leonard Nimoy’s dryly inscrutable, raised-dagger-eyebrow Mr. Spock, or DeForest Kelley’s loyal grouch Bones, and so on. But Abrams did it. Not just by recruiting a fantastic set of actors, but by cueing them to grasp something subtle: that beneath the sci-fi bluster, the drama of “Star Trek” was all play, and the play itself could be intensely dramatic. Abrams filled the vastness of space with the magic of tossed-off, fast-break personality. Yet he also took a page from George Lucas by balancing intimacy and spectacle, often at the same moment. And that was no coincidence. By the time of his second “Star Trek” movie, “Star Trek Into Darkness” sit was more or less evident that Abrams was auditioning for “Star Wars.” He wanted to captain that franchise, and he earned the promotion by proving himself to be a master of retrofitted nostalgia.

That was his achievement in “Star Trek Into Darkness,” a picture that gives off a depth charge of sinister excitement I’ll continue to go to bat for, even as I realize it’s a movie that many “Star Trek” fans dislike so intensely they feel betrayed by it. In casting Benedict Cumberbatch as a version of Khan, the amoral mutant superman who treats any planet of lesser beings as if it were an insect colony to be smooshed, Abrams cut corners in “Trek” mythology in a way that I, as an un-Trekkie, don’t pretend to totally understand — but more than that, I couldn’t pretend to see why it mattered that much. Cumberbatch is riveting, the most elegant of monsters, an onion-skin sociopath cunning enough to manipulate Kirk and his team even as he tells them a good portion of the truth. He’s also a savage who teases out the savagery in others, notably Spock. (In “Into Darkness,” the tug-of-war between logic and anger in Zachary Quinto’s performance is, to me, a high point in Spockiana.) The reason that I bring up how hated “Star Trek Into Darkness” is in so many quarters isn’t to pick a fight with Trekkies, but to ask: If the creators of the “Star Trek” films aren’t allowed to manipulate the mythology, then what are they going to do? Where is there left for the series to boldly go?

I don’t believe that “Star Trek Beyond” is the answer. Justin Lin’s new film delivers in terms of action, but it’s a deluxe place-holder, earthbound in spirit and a bit leaden, all too rooted in ancient interplanetary tropes. It has visual extravagance (especially in the vertiginous climax), as well as tasty bits and pieces of the characters’ personalities, but it rarely gets both things together in the same place, and that’s a serious setback. The movie’s caution feels, on some level, like a reaction to the negative response to “Into Darkness.” It suggests the possibility of a franchise that’s content to tread water, to be a series of mere “episodes” rather than what “Into Darkness” was trying to be (and, to me, succeeded at being): an adventure that pushed its characters to the frontier of their emotions. As a culture, we’ve been watching “Star Trek” for half a century now, and the “Star Trek” films have every right to tap our affection for things that are old. But if they don’t leaven that with things that are new, they’ll quickly come to seem like yesterday’s voyage.

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