Eminem ‘Space Bound’ in suicide video

For the most part – I love Eminem. It’s a conundrum, see, because I completely abhor his attitude to women and gays in general.

But I also find him to be a lyrical genius with a mastery of the language that is unparallelled in the world of hip hop. He’s a powerful voice and a powerful actor – and he also has a sense of drama that I find intoxicating.

Anyway, my fan-girl-ness aside… His new video for Space Bound is no exception to the rule. Much like with Love the Way You Lie (which is also directed by Joseph Khan) there’s a strong cinematic feel to the video. Violence, too, obviously – this is Eminem, after all, and the song is another cautionary tale of the line between love and domestic abuse.

The video starts with Eminem hitching a ride from the ridiculously beautiful former porn star Sasha Grey. In the car, Eminem splits into two versions of himself – a calmer one and an aggressive one (quite possibly a throw-back to his famous Slim Shady persona).

This continues through a scene in a diner – where Eminem check the lovely Sasha’s phone and discovers that she is, in fact, two-timing him – to a room where he attempts to choke Sasha to death, before she disappears in front of his eyes and he puts a gun to his chin. The entire story then plays itself backwards to show Em climbing into the car again.

Take what you will from it – he dreamed it, it’s a hallucination, it’s a cautionary tale, it all actually happened – it’s a powerful, powerful video.

Unsurprisingly, the watchdogs were up in arms – with anti-violence group Mothers Against Violence providing my favourite soundbyte: “Children are influenced by the things they see,” the group said. “If we feed violence, it becomes strong. Like an addiction.”

“It’s all about the money with these videos. Eminem isn’t thinking about the families affected. It’s selfish — it comes to a point when selfishness becomes evil.”

It’s shot largely in pallettes of dark hues and greys with some bright pops of colour – the neon sign, the condiments on the diner table, the door – and obviously the light that Em raps against . Khan uses intense close-ups – particularly of the actors’ faces and upper bodies – much as he did with Love the Way You Lie, which produces a sense of claustrophobia and that inescapable sense of being in-your-face that Eminem trades on. It’s gritty and intense – a great piece of directing.

Well, watch it below and see for yourself. I think it’s amazing. And that’s my Entertainment Ed voice talking, not my Eminem fan-girl voice.

10 Super-Secret Celebrity Weddings

Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig

Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig

So in one of the biggest “Huh?!” moments I’ve experienced as Entertainment Ed to date, Daniel Craig and Rachel Wiesz got married in an uber-secret ceremony in New York over the weekend. Somehow, I’d forgotten the two were even dating… That’s how low-key they were! Their future kids have totally, totally lucked out in the gene pool. She’s so beautiful and he’s freaking James Bond!

Anyway, I got all carried away for work with celeb weddings… Check out the list here!

Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem: They’re one of the most notoriously private couples in Hollywood – and so it was no surprise that their wedding flew way, way under the radar. The Spanish superstars, who welcomed their son Leo into the world earlier this year, tied the knot in an intimate ceremony at a friend’s home in the Bahamas in July 2010, their representative confirmed some time later.

Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz: The musical couple – who had already taken part in a Zulu “union” during the 2010 World Cup, blessing their relationship and their unborn child – were married in an intimate ceremony in Corsica at the end of July 2010. Their marriage was performed by modern-day guru Deepak Chopra.

Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green: The former Transformers stunner shattered men’s hearts across the globe when she tied the knot with Brian Austin Green in a super-secret ceremony at the Four Season Hotel in Hawaii. They had eloped to ensure they weren’t stalked by the paparazzi – and even Fox’s father only found out about the ceremony afterwards. She was still kind enough to send him some pictures from her phone.

Jessica Alba and Cash Warren Fantastic Four beauty Jessica Alba tied the knot with musician Cash Warren at a Beverly Hills courthouse, with no guests and only officials to witness it. The wedding was such a secret that Alba’s brother only found out about the ceremony after Us Weekly magazine contacted him for comment.

Britney Spears and Kevin Federline: When Britney Spears got hitched to dancer Kevin Federline in 2007, it was in the height of secrecy. The couple – who went through a very, very public divorce not long after – invited 27 friends and family to witness their nuptials. However, their loved ones were under the impression that they were there for an engagement party.

LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian: The scandalous couple – who cheated on their respective spouses with each other – seemed to have taken their cue from Britney and K-Fed! They tied the knot in front of 40 of their closest friends and family in April this year, and much like Brit’s wedding, guests thought that they were attending an engagement party! Here’s hoping this marriage lasts a little longer.

James van der Beek and Kimberly Brooks: Former Dawson’s Creek star decided to announce that he had tied the knot with pregnant Kimberly Brooks – via Twitter. He took to the social networking site to announce the surprise ceremony, saying, “The woman I love did me the honour of became my wife today … I look forward to earning her for the rest of my life [sic]”. Aww.

Jay-Z and Beyonce : They’ve been dubbed hip-hop’s royal couple – but despite tying the knot in an ultra, ultra-secret wedding in April 2008 they’ve yet to officially confirm that they are man and wife. Talk about keeping the private, private!

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon: Never one to shy away from publicity, Mariah Carey’s beach wedding to Nick Cannon wasn’t so much a secret as a complete and total surprise… after only a few weeks of dating. It even had friends questioning the validity of the relationship – which has since produced twin babies!

Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady: A slight variation of the “surprise wedding” formula, guests at Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady’s wedding thought they were attending a christening for their infant son, Benjamin.


They need to make her go to Rehab…

This year was hailed as Amy Winehouse’s “comeback year”. This year, her team was sure, she would finally overcome her personal demons and get back to the height of her success.

But as 2011 starts slipping away at an alarming pace, that all looks impossible.

Amy Winehouse in Belgrade

Amy Winehouse during her disastrous Belgrade show.

An album was promised for Christmas 2010, which failed to materialise. Then it was set for a January release. It’s now June. She’s attempted various live performances, with varying results. She played her five shows in Brazil in January this year and seemed back on top, despite having to interrupt songs to take sips of water and falling off the stage during one gig. But then she was booed off stage in Dubai in February after appearing tired and distracted. After checking into rehab for a week at the end of May and being told by doctors “Stop drinking or die”, Amy performed a polished set at an intimate venue in London on 12 June, which an audience member described as being “like one of her old performances”.

Somehow, though, in the space of a week – the wheels fell off.

Amy performed a disastrous set in Serbia on 18 June in which she seemed trashed out of her mind. She stumbled onto the Belgrade stage over an hour late, paused to take off her shoes, introduced her band members incorrectly and mumbled her way through her song Just Friends. And that was just the opening number. If you’ve got the stomach for it, you can watch it here. It’s really not a pretty sight.

More after the jump…

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Tom Cruise in ‘Rock of Ages’

It’s one of the most talked-about projects in Hollywood at the moment. The big-screen version of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages already boasts a massive cast. Think Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul Giamatti, Alec Baldwin and… Tom Cruise.

Can we just pause to bask in the sheer awesomeness of this? (Click on the image for a larger version).

Tom Cruise - Rock of Ages

Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx in 'Rock of Ages'

Cruise is looking fantastic in this pic (which was originally posted on his official blog) – it’s gotta be all the work on the fourth Mission: Impossible. (Yes, there is a fourth. This is indeed the decade of the remake/reboot/sequel/franchise). And, can I just say, Cruise with tattoos works for me.

So sure, he looks the part, but can he sing? Rock of Ages director Adam Shankman reckons he’s going to rock it. “He’s been studying with Axl Rose’s voice teacher, like, five hours a day,” Shankman says. “The prognosis is more than excellent. The voice lesson where he opened up and suddenly let loose… was really great.”

Okay, okay. I can dig it.

Rock of Ages is scheduled for release next year. The hype may kill me.

NSFW ‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ poster

Seriously, this has to be one of my favourite movie posters of all time. I love the black and  white image, I love the sheer rawness of it. I absolutely love the sexuality.

David Fincher and his team are my heroes.

Because this is a vaguely family-friendly blog, you can check the poster out after the jump.

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Reviewed: Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’

As always, originally published on iafrica.com.

“I promised that if I won this, I would announce the name of my new album. It’s called Born This Way.

At the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards Lady Gaga picked up the Video of the Year Award and with those two lines – and the first public performance of the chorus to the album’s title track – sparked a media frenzy. The industry has been chomping at the bit since September last year for this album, and now that it’s out, does Born This Way deserve the hype? The answer: totally.

Born This Way

The cover for 'Born This Way'

Lady Gaga is the proverbial acid trip of the music world. In fact, she has an entire team – Haus of Gaga – to ensure that she keeps up the blinding kaleidoscope of her identity. So with everybody focusing on the meat dress, the crazy shoes and the Grammys egg, the album could only be one thing to succeed: obscenely over-the-top.

Sensory overload

Born This Way is a total sensory overload. It’s highly ambitious, in your face and completely excessive – and that’s why it works. There’s not a single low-energy moment; from the mood-setting opener of Marry the Night and into the iconic gay anthem Born This Way all the way through to the massive Euro-trance beats of Scheiβe and the incredible 80s/90s pop-rock feel of You and I and Edge of Glory.

Gaga and her team throw simply everything into this album. Not content to have a Bruce Springsteen-inspired sax riff in Edge of Glory, they bring out the Boss’ actually saxophonist, Clarence Clemons, to rock our socks off. And, in possibly the greatest moment of the entire album, Brian May rips into face-melting solo on the phenomenal You and I, which also samples the iconic beat from Queen’s We Will Rock You.

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A new addition to the “Why are they famous?” club

So I have quite a few people on my “Erm, why are they so famous again?” list*. You can see the original list (with original snarky comments!) on iafrica.com, if you like. But here are my favourites:

It started off with Paris Hilton (she’s famous for going to parties and releasing a sex tape), Kim Kardashian (supposed to be famous for Keeping Up With the Kardashians, actually famous for a sex tape), local girl Khanyi Mbau (in the Paris Hilton model, has she released a sex tape? I’m sure she’s made one), “Speidi” (originally on The Hills, when their fame waned they claimed there was a sex tape), Kendra Wilkinson (was a former Hugh Hefner girlfriend), Jordan (big boobs) and Mike “The Situation” (nice abs).

Sure, most of them have their own reality shows etc etc, but there’s a new addition. A spectacular new addition. Courtesy, this time, of the British Royal Family. And what, might you ask, is this new addition famous for?

Find out after the jump…

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Living on the ‘Edges’

So I went to see the musical Edges at the Kalk Bay Theatre last night. I took the Girls with me and we had a marvellous little excursion, which included cheese and wine and a full-on interrogation on my Wednesday night. (Girls’ Nights are dangerous, don’t let anybody fool you, boys.)

Anyway, it’s a marvellous show – all-music, no spoken dialogue – with a great and very pretty cast. It’s extremely funny, very clever (anybody who rhymes “verbal” with “gerbil” and manages to get “lupus” into a song gets two thumbs up from me) and also very moving (one song, Dispensible, almost had me in tears – I had one of those “It could have been written about me! *sob*” moments).


The cast of EDGES: David Fick, Luella Holland, Roland Perold and Shannyn Fourie. Pic by Andrew Brauteseth

I was chatting to our Lifestyle Ed this morning and I agree, it’s so great to see a quality production of a musical that we haven’t seen a thousand times before. The styling was fabulous (seriously, the clothes were amazing) and the set simple yet versatile. And the music was superb, with the cast of four supported by a wonderful pianist.

The four stars are fabulous – bursting with energy and sincerity – and they really did give it an absolute whirl.

The one thing that did irk me a little was how American they tried to make it. During the opening number the cast attempted strong American accents – but as the show progressed and they grew more comfortable, those accents disappeared. I was all for it – few things irritate me more than sketchy American accents. The show was originally written by two undergrads at the University of Michigan, so it’s obviously American enough by its very nature – I would have liked them to spend less energy on trying to keep the American accents up and rather just go with the flow.

Anyway, that aside – it’s fantastic fun. They’re at KBT until 25 June and will be travelling to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown – so look them up if you’re in the area.

* PS. Look at me go. Three posts in one day.

Review: ‘X-Men: First Class’

Just realised I hadn’t posted a movie review in a while. And this was a good one! As always, originally posted on iafrica.com.

Finally! A shining beacon of light in a movie season of bad sequels and pointless remakes!

Set against the backdrop of the Cold War – and eventually the Cuban Missile Crisis – X-Men: First Class looks back at the early days of the mutant storyline. We’re first introduced to telepath Charles Xavier and Polish Jew Erik Lehnsherr, who can manipulate magnetic fields, as boys in the later days of World War II.

X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class

Charles grows up in a rich home, convinced that he’s a freak of nature and the only one of his kind. He meets shape-shifter Raven (who later becomes Mystique) and the two forge a close foster-sibling relationship. Meanwhile, Erik suffers at the hands of the Nazis as they try to rein in his unique ability.

Flash forward twenty years to the early 1960s. The CIA are hot on the heels of Communist sympathiser Sebastian Shaw – but when it transpires that he and his accomplices have unique abilities, the CIA drafts in the leading expert in human mutation – Charles Xavier. Charles and Erik share a common enemy in Shaw, and together they team up to draft a small army of mutants to fight Shaw and his companions.

A human story

First Class is a wonderful blockbuster film, effortlessly blending massive special effects and thumping action sequences with a distinctly human element that makes it all the more engaging. It’s an extremely moving film – although it does hover on the edge of being overly sentimental at times – and is driven by a smart, witty script laced with clever and cheeky references (“You didn’t ask, I didn’t tell” provoked a great chuckle from the audience).

But it’s the performances that make this film so successful. Yes, First Class is a thumping action film – but at its heart it’s a human story, driven by its characters and their need for acceptance. Central to the film is the fascinating relationship between Charles and Erik – and these two leads provide sterling performances.

James McAvoy (The Last King of Scotland) brings the quiet nobility and inner strength expected of Charles Xavier. But this is a younger Charles, one who tries to pick up girls using a pre-prepared chat-up speech and celebrates his graduation by downing a yard of ale at a pub. Meanwhile, Michael Fassbender (Jane Eyre) simmers with rage and a chilling sense of pragmatism as Erik. It’s remarkable how these two channel the older selves portrayed by Patrick Stewart (Professor X) and Ian McKellen (Magneto) – their transformation into these giants is easily believable. Continue reading

Coldplay – ‘Every Teardrop is a Waterfall’

It has been a spectacularly crappy day today – Fridays always are, and they’re also my busiest workdays. I’ve had the kind of day where I haven’t been able to publish my main feature for the day because the system won’t allow it. It’s been the kind of day where I’ve sent emails to the wrong people, had to rush articles and skip some things altogether.

On the personal side, it’s been proven that I’m a completely and total lunatic, caring about things that allegedly shouldn’t be my problem anymore. I don’t want to care, but I can’t help it.

Anyway, in the midst of all of this awfulness comes Coldplay’s new single – Every Teardrop is a Waterfall. I find Coldplay extremely comforting – and so I share this with you in the hopes that it brings you a hint of joy.