Celebrity news & gossip from the world’s showbiz and glamour magazines (OK!, Hello, National Enquirer and more). We read them so you don’t have to, picking the best bits from the showbiz world’s maw and spitting it back at them. Expect lots of sarcasm.
GARETH Edwards’ Godzilla opens this week in theaters, and the question remains: will the new film assume its place among the classics of the giant monster movie genre, or falter badly instead, much like the 1998 version of the same material directed by Roland Emmerich?
Perhaps the answer to that question will only be answered by the passage of time. How will the new Godzilla age, given advances in special effects? Will the film’s central metaphor about Godzilla and nature prove as sturdy as the original Godzilla’s (1954) anti-nuclear message?
YOU’RE down the pub and someone walks in with a haircut like Steve Strange, and you shout “ALRIGHT SEAGULL HEAD?” If you don’t get a smack in the mouth, you go back to sipping your pint, chuckling to yourself.
Or maybe, you’re mucking around on Twitter and you see a selfie which is hilarious, so you screengrab it and share it with everyone, saying “Look at this fella! He looks like someone drew a dog on a butternut squash!”
When you get famous, you have to watch out for that because you’ll get branded as a cyberbully. Of course, everyone is a cyber bully from time-to-time. You slag off someone on TV? That’s basically the same thing? You call a writer from a newspaper names, that’s basically the same.
However, if you’re famous, EVERYBODY sees it.
And so, to Rihanna, who is being accused of cyberbullying after she took the piss out of a teen fan’s homemade prom outfit. Alexis Carter, a Baltimore high school student, designed a caped prom outfit which was inspired by an outfit worn by RiRi at the 2010 Echo Awards.
The outfit had a plunging neckline and a cape that resembled bat wings.
Carter’s photos were stumbled across and shared online, becoming a viral hit, with people referring to the girl as #PromBat. That was dismissed, but inevitably hurt. Then, Rihanna found them and posted about them, with a side-by-side comparison.
The second tweet compared the prom-semble to the Wu-Tang Clan logo.
“I was very offended,” Alexis said about Rihanna’s tweets. “Why throw shade on it when you had on the exact same thing. The poses was different but the outfit wasn’t.”
Carter was so unhappy with Rihanna’s tweets that she said she was no longer a fan, and that for her next prom, she would not dress up as her former idol. “She doesn’t love her fans like she says she does.”
Bants, going wrong since time began.
IN the 1970s, the glorious afro emerged into mainstream culture as an affirmation of Black African heritage and a rejection of Eurocentric standards of beauty. The popularity of this “natural” hair style among blacks is often traced back to activists Angela Davis and Stokely Carmichael. After their radical hair statement hit televisions screens across the US, it didn’t take long for it to become widely accepted. “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud,” sang James Brown, who had also adopted the look.
And “the look” actually had many variations. We tend to think of the generic globe afro, but the styles in the 70s came in a dazzling variety…
Make no mistake, the afro is still alive and well; however, it by no means is at the level of popularity it enjoyed in the 1970s. So, in tribute to the Golden Age of the Afro, here are the top ten in no particular order.
Gamble was a decent baseball player, but nothing close to Hall of Fame level. However, he is perhaps better remembered than most of the names lining the halls of Cooperstown. This unique notoriety is due to a couple Gamble legacies.
First, there’s the infamous quote: “They don’t think it be like it is, but it do.” Originally a reference to racism in major league baseball, it has become a successful meme and viral quotation on the internet.
Second, there’s the mighty afro which Yankee’s manager, George Steinbrenner, forced him to crop. It was among the biggest in the sporting world, but it still doesn’t account for why he is so indelibly linked with the hairstyle. Look up any article on the subject and you will undoubtedly see his name brought up. And so, here he is again on Anorak, further cementing his status as symbol and spokesman for the mighty ‘fro.
After kicking ass and taking names in Blaxploitation flicks like Cleopatra Jones (1973) and Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold (1975), Dobson (unlike her afro wearing counterpart, Pam Grier) faded into obscurity in the 1980s. But her fro will live on forever.
But wait, there’s another Tamara Dobson afro connection…
In the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode “Happy Birthday, Buck” (Season 1, Episode 15), Tamara Dobson played a non-afro wearing “psychic courier” named Raylyn. And while Tamara, herself, didn’t unleash her mighty ‘fro on the show, her co-star in this episode most certainly did. The incognito assassin, Traeger (played by Peter MacLean), sports what may be the most insanely terrible afro to ever grace the small screen.
There was an embarrassment of riches of Afrotastic musical acts in the Seventies, so it’s hard to choose the best. The Jackson 5 sported a worthy lineup of ‘fros, but the Sylvers kicked it up a notch and earns the prize.
Bob Ross’ show transcended painting – it was a life affirming stroll through inner peace. It was a land where “mistakes” were actually “happy accidents”. You could do no wrong in this world. Bob’s soft tones lulled your mind into a state of tranquility only achievable elsewhere via an overdose on Benzodiazepines .
And then there was the Ross ‘fro where literally small woodland creatures would make their home. His afro was as much a part of nature as the “happy trees” in his paintings. Indeed, Bob Ross’ hair wasn’t as much a fashion statement as it was a living, breathing ecosystem.
Luke Cage (AKA Power Man) and Black Lightning were some badass black superheroes, but neither had an exceptional ‘fro. So the honor should go to Misty Knight, a former police officer and kung-fu specialist with a bionic hand given to her by Iron Man. She always played a supporting role in her various comic book appearances. Her most notable moment came when she had an inter-racial relationship with Power-Man.
In later years, her costume got a change, exhibiting a “cleavage window” made famous by Power Girl. But while her costume may have changed, her ‘fro mercifully remained intact.
You can’t have a list of top afros and not name one of the main individuals responsible for popularizing it. Whether or not you subscribed to her radical views and pro-Communist stance, her ‘fro was all over the airwaves, hurtling the style into the mainstream.
There may be a number of people who earned the right to be called the “Fifth Beatle”, but only one sports an afro big enough to engulf a small child. As Stuart Mackenzie says in So, I Married an Axe Murder: “That’s a huge noggin. That’s a virtual planetoid… Has its own weather system.”
I could have easily chosen Barbara Streisand, who had a grand Jew-fro in the 70s. Conway Twitty, believe it or not, also wore a white-person ‘fro which was nothing to sneeze at. But Leo Sayer wins based on both circumference and flair. His was akin to Richard Simmons’, but without the male pattern baldness setting in.
Sure, this close-cut afro didn’t have the volume, but it was a groundbreaker. Tyson donned the natural style on the TV show East Side/West Side long before it achieved mainstream acceptance. Audiences were appalled and outraged, but it proved to be a huge stepping stone in the emergence of the afro in popular culture. Sure, Cicely has tons of awards and accolades for her acting, but this little accomplishment deserves some kudos as well.
OVER the years, there have been a veritable zoo of musical acts with animal names: The Monkees, The Turtles, Three Dog Night, Gorillaz, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Eagles, The Byrds, A Flock of Seagulls, etc. We could go on all the live-long day. And while that may be a fun mental exercise, there’s not much sport in it. We’re hunting rarer game – so, here are 10 records by lesser known musical species.
Mid-eighties heavy metal had quite the menagerie of animal band names: Whitesnake, White Lion, Glass Tiger, Great White, Def Leppard, Britny Fox… the list goes on and on. Please, by all means, drop some names in the comments section – we’d love to read them. (Take note: it doesn’t matter if the artist is named after an animal, only that an animal is within the name – in other words, both Cat Power and Cat Stephens will work!)
BENNET & BEE
Pop music is swarming with insect bands: The Beatles, Papa Roach, Iron Butterfly, Buddy Holly and the Crickets, W.A.S.P., Adam and the Ants, etc., but none compare to Bennet & Bee. Take a listen to their rendition of Sonny & Cher’s “I Got U Babe” and you can thank me later… Actually, you’ll probably curse my name with clenched fists and tears of rage, but let’s not split hairs.
LAS GATITAS (THE KITTENS)
Of all the feline named bands (Stray Cats, White Lion, Pussy Riot, El Tigre, Pantera, Faster Pussycat, etc.) Las Gatitas are my favorite. No, I actually have never heard any of their music. I just have a really good feeling about them.
THE BEAR BROTHERS
The Bear Brothers earn extra points for not only having an animal name, but also having a tacky zebra print background. Brother Bear on the left has what may very well be the greatest haircut ever worn by man. Part mullet, part pompadour, this is a head of hair to be reckoned with.
The only other Arthropod band I can think of at the moment are the Scorpions. Spider may be among the more obscure animal named bands, but still worth a listen..
Perhaps the most well-known marine band is Phish, but there are plenty more: The Eels, Jellyfish, Great White, Blue Oyster Cult, etc. In the 1970s, prog rock bands went by names like Gong, Can, Rush and Yes. Cod seems a natural fit.
Next to Sgt. Pepper, this may be the greatest album cover of all time. Yet, the Zebras never achieved the international recognition they clearly did not deserve. And while other hooved animal bands may have been more talented (Buffalo Springfield and Neil Young’s Crazyhorse, for instance), none made thumping baby-making music better than The Zebras.
Snoop Doggy Dog, The Bloodhound Gang, Three Dog Night, Fleet Foxes, Bow Wow Wow (does that count?), Steppenwolf, Samantha Fox and Los Lobos are some pretty well-known canine acts. But what about the late-seventies Chicago band, The Hounds? They were like Loverboy crossed with The Cars; unfortunately, they never got on board the MTV gravy train and The Hounds became roadkill.
Well, I certainly wish I had a video to share with you for the eponymous 1973 album by Wolf Moon. Alas, Wolf Moon is probably extinct – which is a shame because this is some serious booger-nosed funk, produced by the one and only Swamp Dogg (yet another animal artist). They don’t make ‘em like this anymore, folks.
I can think of no better way to end this list than with a Soul Train line dance. Enjoy Foxy’s “Get Off” whilst the Soul Train dancers teach you what it means to Get Down. Enjoy.
AUGUST 22, 1977:
Mourning fans of the late Elvis Presley, dance on a traffic island outside the Palais de Danse hall in Nottingham where the convention of the dead star’s official British fan club was held.
SINCE his first silver screen appearance in 1954, Toho’s giant monster Godzilla has starred in more than two dozen epic movies.
The big green lizard has been featured as a terrifying villain, as a defender of the Earth, and, occasionally, even traveled to American shores to wreak havoc. In this span, Godzilla has stood alone, acted as a tag team player (with friends like Anguirus and Rodan…), battled ancient threats to humanity, and even fended off alien invaders on more than one occasion (Monster Zero , Final Wars ).
MAKE no mistake about it – Justin Bieber is a little turd.
However, this is not necessarily an insult to the gyrating singer. See, if there’s anything we all want out of a popstar, it is occasional bad behaviour…
HERE’S cruise ship playing Seven Nation Army on her horn:
NOT too long ago, Alec Baldwin was shooting his mouth off, saying that he was going to leave New York. Everyone started spreadin’ the news. He didn’t want to be a part of it.
New York. New York.
And today, he’s off again after getting in trouble with NYC cops. Again. The actor was arrested after he became belligerent with an officer, who pulled him over on his little bicycle.
“Basically around 10:15, he was riding his bicycle the wrong way in vicinity of 16th and Fifth, he was approached by the officers and was asked for [identification],” the NYPD spokesperson said.
WHEN George Lucas’s space fantasy Star Wars premiered in the summer of 1977 – and promptly became the highest grossing film in history – it was only a matter of time before intrepid filmmakers sought to imitate and thus re-capture the movie’s magic in a slew of lookalike films.
Importantly, the Star Wars film craze not only brought a barrage of new science fiction-themed films to the international box office, it also changed the very way that movie-makers approached the difficult-to-visualize genre.
Before Star Wars, the 1970s SF cinema obsessed, largely, on matters of environmental disaster and future dystopias like Soylent Green (1973) and Logan’s Run (1976).
After Star Wars, however, science fiction films usually featured more action, colorful laser blasts, cute robotic sidekicks, and a concentration on fantasy aspects.
CHARLIE Chaplin was woken on the morning 17 September 1921 while in his bed at the Ritz Hotel in London. “Visitors from Hoxton” he was told. From outside the window he could hear children singing the same song over and over again:
When the moon shines bright on Charlie Chaplin
His boots are cracking, for want of blacking
And his little baggy trousers need mending
Before we send him to the Dardanelles
THERE’S only a finite number of ways you can arrange a canvas. Naturally, there’s going to be some patterns that emerge, and certain motifs will be copied and repeated to oblivion within the pop art landscape. An artful conception will suddenly be mimicked on comic book covers to movie posters to paperbacks to album covers, and it will continue for decades.
GUESS what? Lily Allen is talking again, this time, saying that we shouldn’t play her music in public because it makes her hide under tables.
She says: “Usually if I’m in a club and my music comes on I find the nearest table and hide underneath it. That’s generally how I deal with it.
“It’s quite funny because in some places they think that’s the appropriate thing to do when someone like myself walks in is to play their song. I think I might be different to most people in the sense that I react: I’m horrified when that happens and hide. I’m sure some people get on the table and dance ‘Woo hoo! This is great.’ But I can’t do that.”
SO, you may have been under a rock and missed the news that Solange Knowles attacked Jay Z, right in front for her sister Beyonce, in a lift.
And yes, there’s a lovely video of it.
Of course, it is cringeworthy when any of a family’s dirty laundry gets aired, especially so when all three people involved are really very famous indeed.
SO. Gary Barlow’s been found to have “invested” in a tax avoidance scheme. So therefore there are cries that he should be stripped of his OBE, or hand it back himself. The very idea of which is bloody stupid.
For he’s not actually broken the law as yet. He’ll only do that if he doesn’t stump up the tax which HMRC now thinks is rightfully due.
David Cameron today insisted it is not ‘necessary’ for Gary Barlow to be stripped of his OBE despite a court ruling the Take That star had invested in a massive tax avoidance scheme.
Barlow has been branded ‘unethical’ by one MP and faced a barrage of criticism on social media, but the Prime Minister insisted the singer had ‘done a huge amount for the country’ including raising money for charity.
Much as it pains me to say this Cameron is correct here. Even if not for the right reason.
AND so it came to be that Thomas Neuwirth transformed a drippy signer with a terrible voice into Conchita Wurst – a bearded singer in a dress with a nightclub singer’s voice.
And he won Eurovison.
His look has caught on:
But how original is his act?
That question to you, Frank Zappa:
The man with the woman head is here to help:
And to you Steve Kardynal:
AH, yes. The school dance. Awkward and often soul shattering, it was a necessary rite of passage. It’s no surprise that such a dramatic collective memory would make for some great moments on film. Here’s a list (in no particular order) of the 16 greatest school dance scenes in movies. Feel free to add your own – I’d love to hear them.
It’s a Wonderful Life
The gym floor opening up into a pool is a beloved movie moment. It highlights perfectly George Bailey’s wild and promising youth before his big fall.
Perhaps the most memorable of all high school dance scenes. DePalma’s split screen technique in combination with Spacek’s ghastly visage is one that’s hard to shake. Last year’s remake game an honorable effort, but you just can’t recreate this sort of horror magic.
Scott Bao’s powers are taken to their limit, and we get to see Heather Thomas zapped and disrobed (well, actually her body double, but a high point in teen sex romps nonetheless).
Pretty in Pink
Andi (Molly Ringwald) ended up with Duckie in the original version of the film, but test audiences were appalled. John Hughes subsequently changed to the script to have Andi end up with Blaine (Andrew McCarthy). I strongly agree with that decision; in fact, I would have preferred Duckie die a horrible death instead.
Who cares that every kid at Rydell looks like they’re over 30. This dance scene with Travolta in his prime doing the Hand Jive is solid gold.
Can’t Buy Me Love
Somehow Patrick Dempsey’s African Anteater Ritual dance catches on, and soon the entire student body is joining in. What a bunch of sheep.
The dance scene has so much to love: “True” by Spandau Ballet, a painfully awkward dance by Farmer Ted, a brief appearance by John Cusack, Dong and his buxom soul mate, the scoliosis girl, and a $1 cover charge to see Sam’s underwear.
“My old girlfriend from Oklahoma was gonna fly out for the dance but she couldn’t cause she’s doing some modeling right now.”
Perfectly captures the awkwardness of being on the outer fringes of the popularity caste system – all to the sounds of Alphaville and Cindy Lauper.
Ren and Ariel release some seriously pent up sexual energy on the dance floor. Lithgow was not amused.
Better Off Dead
Ricky (the fat dude from Head of the Class) dances like an effing maniac to impress Monique. I laughed till I ran out of air and blacked out, woke up and laughed some more.
A prolonged dance sequence set to disco music (featuring Jamie Lee Curtis) is unusual for a slasher film, but a beautiful thing nonetheless. It’s like Xanadu meets Friday the 13th. Even better, we get to see Leslie Neilsen putting on his boogie shoes!
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion
The prom flashback is a brief but wonderfully effective reminder that high school dances feel monumentally important at the time, but really has no consequence for the life that awaits. The reunion dance to “Time After Time” is a nice touch as well.
There’s a very touching scene with Cindy Williams interspersed with plenty of mid-century tomfoolery. My personal favorite moment: Ron Howard telling the principal to go kiss a duck.
Just One of the Guys
Joyce Hyser shows her friend that she’s really a girl in disguise by exposing her breasts. An odd but historic moment in the annals of gratuitous nudity. (And, no, it’s not in the video below)
The curtain opens revealing a brawl between Randy (Nicholas Cage) and Tommy the Prom King. Hilarity ensues when the titular Valley Girl shoves guacamole in Tommy’s face and the crowd erupts into a food fight.
Back to the Future
McFly on the guitar playing “Johnny Be Good” to an eager crowd at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance is an amazing moment…. but then his digression into heavy metal guitar noodling leaves the audience saying “huh?”. Classic.
Honorable Mention: The pilot episode of Freaks and Geeks
It’s a TV show, but it still deserves a mention. Sam Weir finally gets to slow dance with his crush, but the opening to Styx’s “Come Sail Away” quickly turns loud and fast. He decides to go with the flow, stop being so damn self-conscious and just have fun. The feeling is contagious and his sister Lindsey, operating the punch bowls, who had a little something to do with the mentally challenged boy’s broken arm ventures over to see if he has forgiven her by asking him to dance. Perhaps the greatest school dance scene of them all.
KATIE Price tells the Sun that in spite of her husband Kieran Hayler’s reported cheating on her with a pal, she still wants him there by her side when their child is born at London’s Portland Hospital. We had hoped Katie would tweet this news, having broken the story of her husband’s infidelity with the autobiographical tweet:
“Jane Pountney is 50 next year cloned into me with my help she is a whore, home wrecker slut”.
That was more of a tagline for new Channel 5 biopic than a moment on Katie’s life in 140 characters or fewer.
PHILIPPE Petit Is talking to the New York Times about his new book Creativity: The Perfect Crime. It begins: “Make no mistake. I frown upon books about creativity.”Is talking to the New York Times about his new book Creativity: The Perfect Crime. It begins: “Make no mistake. I frown upon books about creativity.”
Most books on creativity are written by an author who references all the great creators of humanity — very often Einstein, the Beatles. They’re not drawing from themselves, and these books are usually in the self-help department. And very often, at the end of a chapter, they have an exercise for you to do. I don’t frown upon them; let’s be frank, I hate them.
On his wire-walking:
…two years ago in Washington Square Park. I put a little rope between two trees, and I improvised. If a leaf fell from a tree, I’d stop juggling and play with the leaf. I went to my prop bag and got a little bandage and stuck the leaf back on the tree. People loved it.
MALCOLM Gladwell has been thinking about teeth:
“If you don’t have good teeth, certain entry-level jobs are denied to you. There is fascinating stuff suggesting that you can’t work in customer-facing positions. If you go to work in a store, you’ll always be in the back. And if you’re in the back, that means you can never be in the front. You have no mobility, right? Mobility is from the back to the front.”
If you’re rich, it doesn’t matter…
SO. How do you get to marry actress and rubber glove model Helen Mirren? Thankfully, the guessing is over as Mirren told Hello! why she plighted her troth to Taylor Hackford.
“We didn’t get married for 15 years after we met each other… I couldn’t see the point until a financial adviser told me how much money we’d be saving. I was on board immediately.”
Love is… a widow’s pension…
SINCE the early seventies director Brian De Palma has crafted many intense and highly cerebral thrillers.
Alas, such efforts are often dismissed by critics as being overly imitative of Alfred Hitchcock’s films and style rather than praised for their own finely-developed sense of inter-textuality and intellectual gamesmanship.
ONE thing that has always been a major force in music, is marketing. Songs don’t accidentally find their way to listeners, unless you’re a crazy crate digger who actively looks between the cracks for music.
One of the finest pieces of music marketing, one that stills hangs around subtly today, saw Macy Gray becoming a huge star (albeit briefly). The job they did on her was magnificent. Basically, so sly was the campaign behind her, that listeners convinced themselves that they’d discovered her all by themselves.