Showbiz Showbiz en Fresh full trailer unveiled for "Murder on the Orient Express"
The two-minute clip begins with flashes of action snipped from the film, before giving the audience a closer look at Johnny Depp as the doomed gangster Ratchett, as he converses across a table with Kenneth Branagh's detective character Hercule Poirot, before becoming a murder victim.

Cue a few intense train shots, a silhouette of man with a gun accompanied by the sound of a scream, and the trailer turns to the heart of the film, with Poirot announcing to the passengers on the lavish Orient Express that "A passenger has died". "The murderer is on the train now" he continues ... "Everyone is a suspect. So let's catch a killer."

The highly-anticipated film, which will follow the plot of the 1934 Agatha Christie bestseller of the same name, is slated to debut in theatres on Nov 10 and boasts a star-studded cast, including Daisy Ridley, Penelope Cruz, Josh Gad, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Leslie Odom Jr., Tom Bateman, Michelle Pfeiffer, Derek Jacobi, Marwan Kenzari, Olivia Colman, Lucy Boynton and Sergei Polunin. — AFP Relaxnews

Watch the trailer here:

Showbiz Fri, 22 Sep 2017 19:42:45 +0000 theSundaily 485548 at
US comedian takes centre stage in battle to save Obamacare
For two straight nights he has stood on stage at an ABC studio in Los Angeles and, using his own son's harrowing story as an example of the extraordinary costs of emergency treatment, argued that poor and middle class families would be priced out of health care under the new plan.

"I want you to know I am politicising my son's health problems, because I have to," Kimmel said in a lengthy monologue Tuesday night in which he blasted a bill unveiled last week by Republican Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham.

Kimmel's wife, Molly McNearney, gave birth in April to William Kimmel, who was born with a serious heart condition that required surgery three days after his birth.

His wealthy parents can easily afford the out-of-pocket costs, but in a tearful on-air appearance in May, the late-night host stressed that "no parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child's life".

After the 49-year-old comedian publicised his son's plight, Cassidy came on Jimmy Kimmel Live to promise that the health care reforms he was proposing would "pass the Jimmy Kimmel test", meaning no family should be denied medical care because they cannot afford it.

Kimmel said this week he had felt Cassidy was being honest at the time, and sounded like a "rare, reasonable" Republican voice.

Then came the Graham-Cassidy bill, which converts the Affordable Care Act's complex system of subsidies to help Americans pay for insurance into block grants to the 50 US states.

Several patient advocacy groups have come out in opposition, warning it could lead to millions of people losing health coverage and plunging the health care system into chaos in many states.

Critics say the plan would dramatically slash funding of Medicaid, the federal health program for the poor and disabled; allow states to decide whether insurance companies can hike insurance rates for people with expensive medical conditions or impose lifetime caps on coverage; and no longer require insurers to cover essential health benefits like maternity care.

"This guy, Bill Cassidy, just lied right to my face," Kimmel said on his show.

On Wednesday Cassidy shot back: "I'm sorry he does not understand" the legislation, the senator told CNN, insisting his proposal fully protects people with pre-existing conditions and will lower premiums.

Kimmel pushed back. "There's a new Jimmy Kimmel test for you," he said. "It's called the lie detector test."

'Hollywood elites?'

Kimmel himself has become a sort of celebrity leader of the opposition, using the tense back and forth with Cassidy, which played out on America's television screens and digital devices, to impact ongoing debate over whether Congress ought to move ahead with Graham-Cassidy legislation.

Vice President Mike Pence and several Republican lawmakers have been asked about whether recent versions of Obamacare repeal efforts would pass the Jimmy Kimmel test.

Graham, frustrated at Kimmel's criticism, said Wednesday he believed Kimmel might have been fed a liberal talking point and "bought it hook, line, and sinker".

Among the critics has been conservative-leaning network Fox News, whose morning host Brian Kilmeade chastised "Hollywood elites" for "pushing their politics on the rest of the country".

"My son had an open-heart surgery and has to have two more – and because of that I learned there are kids with no insurance in the same situation," Kimmel responded.

"I don't get anything out of this, Brian you phoney little creep."

Republicans control 52 Senate seats, and can afford only two defectors. All 48 Democrats are united against the bill.

Republican leadership has signalled it wants a vote on Graham-Cassidy next week. — AFP]]>
Showbiz Fri, 22 Sep 2017 02:31:02 +0000 theSundaily 485282 at
First 'Tomb Raider' trailer shows the new Lara Croft in action (Video)
The new "Tomb Raider" film focuses on the younger days of Lara Croft, before she became a hardened warrior capable of extraordinary physical feats. The movie follows the 21-year-old British character as she embarks on a quest to solve the mystery of her father's disappearance, seven years earlier. This takes her to a mysterious island off the coast of Japan, which is home to a legendary tomb, the last place her father was seen alive.

The film is based on the video game "Tomb Raider," released on consoles in 2013, which was in turn a reboot of the franchise retracing the origins of the famous heroine and how she became a fearless adventurer.

If the movie proves a hit, it could be the first in a new series. The film is slated for release March 16, 2018, with Alicia Vikander in the lead role, plus Dominic West, Wallas Goggins and Daniel Wu. The film is directed by Norwegian filmmaker Roar Uthaug.

Watch the trailer:

— AFP Relaxnews]]>
Showbiz Thu, 21 Sep 2017 19:45:10 +0000 theSundaily 485246 at
'Raging Bull' boxer Jake LaMotta dead at 95
LaMotta, an iconic figure from boxing's 1950s golden age best known for a brutal six-fight rivalry with Sugar Ray Robinson, passed away on Tuesday, the boxer's daughter Christi LaMotta said on Facebook.

LaMotta's seventh wife, Denise Baker, told the website that the fighter died in a nursing home following complications from pneumonia.

"I just want people to know, he was a great, sweet, sensitive, strong, compelling man with a great sense of humor, with eyes that danced," Baker was quoted by TMZ as saying.

Robert De Niro, who won an Oscar playing La Motta in the 1980 classic "Raging Bull," led the tributes, saying in a statement: "Rest in peace, champ."

The De Niro-founded TriBeca Film Festival later posted a picture of the actor alongside LaMotta and the film's director Martin Scorsese.

LaMotta's long life belied a lengthy career in the ring which was notable for some of the most bruising battles the sport has ever seen.

In a career spanning 1941 to 1954, LaMotta racked up a record of 83 victories, 30 of them knockouts, against 19 defeats, according to the boxing statistics website BoxRec.

On June 16, 1949 he scored a knockout win over French boxer Marcel Cerdan to capture the middleweight title. After two successful defenses, he lost the belt in 1952 in his sixth bout against Sugar Ray Robinson.

The final fight with Robinson took place on Feb 14, 1951, and was dubbed the "Saint Valentine's Day Massacre."

Savage beating

LaMotta, his eyes badly swollen and unable to see clearly, refused to go down and endured a savage beating before the contest was stopped in the 13th round with LaMotta clinging onto the ropes.

"If the referee had held up another 30 more seconds, Sugar Ray would have collapsed from hitting me," LaMotta later joked.

Robinson would describe LaMotta as his most durable opponent in the ring.

"He's the toughest guy I ever fought, I never knew anyone who was more aggressive and rough as he," Robinson said years later.

LaMotta retired in 1954 after a split decision defeat to Billy Kilgore in Miami.

Decades later, his remarkable and often violent life story was brought to a wider audience with Martin Scorsese's spellbinding "Raging Bull."

The film charted LaMotta's rise, which included a controversial fight against Billy Fox which he threw under orders from the Mafia, his abusive second marriage, as well as his dramatic post-boxing fall.

"When I saw the film, I was upset," LaMotta said later.

"I kind of look bad in it. Then I realized it was true. That's the way it was. I was a no-good bastard. I realize it now. It's not the way I am now, but the way I was then."

In retirement, LaMotta entered the hospitality industry, managing restaurants and bars.

However in 1958 he was arrested and charged with introducing men to an underage girl after a teenager entered his Miami nightclub. He was convicted of pimping and spent six months on a chain gang in Dade County, Florida.

Later, LaMotta would find fame on the standup comedy circuit, breaking down his life into a series of memorable one-liners that revealed a flair for comic timing.

"We're going to talk about the art of self-defense tonight — in order to defend yourself you need two things, a good lawyer and a good alibi," ran one of his gags.

Another joke referenced his rivalry with Robinson. "I fought Sugar Ray so many times, it's a wonder I don't have diabetes," he said.

Daughter Christi LaMotta on Tuesday described her father as a "great athlete, he lost his title to one of the best Middleweight Boxers in history, Sugar Ray Robinson."

She revealed that his decision to throw the fight against Fox had left a lasting scar.

"When he took a dive during the Billy Fox fight, which he didn't want to do, it literally broke him & was never the same afterwards," she added. — AFP]]>
Showbiz Thu, 21 Sep 2017 08:36:59 +0000 theSundaily 485039 at
US music industry soars as streaming hits 30m
The boom in streaming – which allows unlimited, on-demand listening online – has revived the music business in recent years but the latest figures were especially strong.

Sales in the world's largest music market rose 14.6% to US$2.7 billion (RM11.3 billion) in the first six months, well outpacing the 8.1% growth a year earlier, the Recording Industry Association of America said.

Streaming revenue grew by nearly half and now accounts for 62% of the market. The growth is led by paid services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal, with subscriptions shooting past 30 million.

In another bright point, physical sales declined a marginal one percent – not the major drops of previous years – as CDs slipped only slightly and vinyl kept up its rebirth.

The biggest drop in sales was in downloads on iTunes and other services as fans instead turn to streaming.

Despite the strong growth, the association said that sales were still below levels from before the advent of the internet – which devastated the music industry as fans flocked online.

The industry group also reiterated its charges that YouTube takes advantage of loopholes to pay too little back to artists and their labels. — AFP]]>
Showbiz Thu, 21 Sep 2017 03:11:02 +0000 theSundaily 484842 at
Matt Damon to play con-man doctor in ‘Charlatan'
The film, an adaptation of Pope Brock's 2008 non-fiction book "Charlatan: America's Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam", will recount the story of John R. Brinkley, a real-life 20th century doctor who conned his patients into thinking that he had discovered the cure to impotence.

Damon would play Brinkley, who set up a medical practice in the 1920s and introduced an outlandish surgical method using goat glands to reverse impotence in local farmers, making his fortune as a result.

The movie will also mark another collaboration for Damon as a producer with K Period Media's Kimberly Steward, who worked with him behind-the-camera on the Oscar-winning drama "Manchester by the Sea". Damon's Pearl Street Films partner Jennifer Todd will co-produce (via Variety). — AFP Relaxnews]]>
Showbiz Wed, 20 Sep 2017 19:45:08 +0000 theSundaily 484688 at
Tricky goes clean and gets darker
Freed from the burden, Tricky turned back to the hard-hitting beats and vocal refrains that made him a key player in the Bristol scene of the 1990s, while still delving into his demons.

On his latest album, "ununiform", which comes out on Friday, Tricky works again with his signature vocal collaborator and former girlfriend Martina Topley-Bird – and also, reflecting a more recent passion, with Russian rappers.

"I'm still learning stuff, and I've still got ideas that I want to chase," Tricky told AFP on a visit to Paris ahead of the release.

The 49-year-old DJ became a cultural force with his 1995 debut album "Maxinquaye", a work of dark layers and diverse musical roots that he put together after leaving his limited role in Massive Attack.

But Tricky said that his more recent albums have come with a weight – he knew he had to do them to make money.

Tricky, whose real name is Adrian Thaws, said he had faced legal action and was forced to pay "a tax bill for hundreds of thousands of pounds" in both Britain and the United States.

"So every album I've been doing for the last few years has been going straight to the taxman," he said.

"This album, 'ununiform,' I didn't even have to record it if I didn't want to. I could have just taken two, three years off now. So this was done because I wanted to do it – rather than I had to do it."

"ununiform" is also Tricky's first album since moving to Berlin where he lives a self-described boring lifestyle. Despite the German capital's vibrant club scene, Tricky said he rises early, goes to bed before midnight and makes sure to exercise and eat healthy food.

Earliest memory of dead mother

Even if Tricky's life is looking up, his subject matter on "ununiform" is hardly cheery.

"When We Die," a steadily churning, rap-rooted track with Topley-Bird, asks questions about the afterlife. "Dark Days" similarly heads into bleak territory but through charging synths.

Tricky said that he remained haunted by his life's first memory – seeking the body of his mother, who died when he was four.

"When my mother died, we had the coffin at home. Like, old-school – you have the coffin at home so all the people can come and see the person," Tricky said.

"And her coffin was next to my room, so I used to go in and stand on a chair and look at her. You know, it's open coffin and stuff," he said.

Tricky on the album also enlists the actress Asia Argento and one of the most prominent Russian-language rappers, Scriptonite.

With his severe voice, Scriptonite brings an element of horrorcore to his tracks on "ununiform".

Tricky, born in Bristol of Caribbean ancestry, does not understand Russian but said that it made no difference to him aesthetically.

He calls Moscow his favourite city and spent several weeks in the Russian capital recording and relaxing in the bitter winter.

His inclusion of Russian-language lyrics doesn't mean Tricky has run out of things to stay.

"I've had a bit of a crazy life," he said. "So writing lyrics in songs is easy for me". — AFP]]>
Showbiz Wed, 20 Sep 2017 05:34:20 +0000 theSundaily 484364 at
First "Tomb Raider" poster revealed for reboot
The teaser poster, which shows an embattled Vikander looking into the distance with gritty determination and carrying a climbing axe reminiscent of the namesake video games, was released via Twitter with the generic the tagline "Her legend begins".

The reveal comes ahead of the film's full trailer debut tomorrow (Sept 19), with the movie slated to bow in theatres on Mar 16, 2018.

The film, to be helmed by Norwegian director Roar Uthaug, will see Vikander portray the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, who must push herself beyond her limits when she finds herself on the island where her father disappeared. Dominic West, Walton Goggins and Daniel Wu also star (via The Hollywood Reporter). — AFP Relaxnews]]>
Showbiz Tue, 19 Sep 2017 19:45:01 +0000 theSundaily 484168 at
'Waltz with Bashir' team takes on Anne Frank story
Writer-director Ari Folman and illustrator David Polonsky — who made the acclaimed 2008 animated documentary about Israeli soldiers during the 1982 invasion of Lebanon — are also making a film about Frank, to appear in 2019.

The diary the German-born, Jewish teenager kept, while hiding in an Amsterdam attic in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands until her capture in 1944, is one of the most-read books in the world.

Folman said he had some insight into Frank's suffering since his own parents were Holocaust survivors.

"Anne and her family arrived at the gates of Auschwitz the same day my parents arrived there," the filmmaker said.

Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp sometime in early 1945, aged 15. The camp was liberated by British troops in April.

Israeli-born Folman told AFP that when the Anne Frank foundation suggested they adapt the diary "our first response was, 'No way!'" — for them, the diary was sacrosanct.

But after thinking about for a while, they realised it would be crucial to bring the story to a new generation.

'Biting sense of humour'

"I am afraid we are coming to a time when there will be no survivors of the Holocaust left alive, and no more witnesses to tell their stories," Folman said.

"There is a severe threat that the things we have to learn (from the Holocaust) will not be taught and learned if we don't find a new language for them."

The graphic novel will first appear in Dutch, German, French and Spanish in October, with an English version following in the spring.

The 160-page book is an abridged version of the original because "it would take more than 3,500 pages to fully adapt it", Folman said.

However, several letters Anne Frank wrote to her imaginary friend Kitty have been included in full.

And Folman said they had tried to "preserve Anne's rather biting sense of humour, her sarcasm and her obsession with food."

The original "has a lot of humour," Polonsky said. "It is a beautiful work by a beautiful person... and the best thing we can do is just carry on this spirit and treat it as a work of art, and I am not afraid to say that it should even be a bit of entertainment."

The graphic novel will appear in around 50 countries from October, with publication in other languages coming later, a spokesman for the foundation told AFP. — AFP]]>
Showbiz Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:43:40 +0000 theSundaily 484006 at
Annie Lennox leads calls for sustained aid
The voice of the Eurythmics was honored in New York on Monday by Global Citizen, the advocacy movement that plans a much larger concert Saturday led by Stevie Wonder to press for sustained levels of foreign aid.

Lennox – a longtime advocate of international development, HIV/AIDS awareness and gay rights – voiced alarm at the state of the world including mass human displacement and worsening calamities linked to climate change.

"The catastrophic events of wantonly plundering Earth's natural resources," she warned, is "risking the veritable sustainability of human existence on this planet."

But she said: "My thinking is, if we can distribute Coca-Cola to all the corners of the world, and send men and women into space, then surely there are solutions to these problems."

"Collectively everybody can make a difference. But you need to choose hope over despair, responsibility over indifference, feminism over misogyny," she said to applause.

Global Citizen presented the Scottish singer with an award named after late Beatle George Harrison, who pioneered the mega-benefit show with his 1971 concert in New York to support war- and cyclone-ravaged Bangladesh.

A tambourine in hand, Lennox sang a mellow take on Harrison's Isn't It a Pity with guitar by the late Beatle's son Dhani – who playfully segued into the Fab Four's classic Hey Jude.

Global Citizen distributes tickets for free to fans who pledge to take actions such as writing letters to their governments in support of foreign aid, money which the United Nations says has helped halve the planet's extreme poverty over the past three decades.

Such advocacy is especially timely as US President Donald Trump has proposed slashing foreign aid, arguing that spending should prioritize Americans.

The prime ministers of Luxembourg, Malta and Norway and senior officials of Argentina, Belgium, Britain, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates all appeared at Monday's event to promise sustained support.

Lilianne Ploumen, the Dutch minister for foreign trade and development cooperation, pledged a fresh five million euros ($6 million) to the UN World Food Program.

Other musicians who played the concert included Rage Against the Machine guitar virtuoso Tom Morello, a left-wing activist who wrote "Arm the Homeless" in tape on his instrument.

Morello brought out a surprise spoken-word guest – director and fellow campaigner Michael Moore who, taking the tone from his ongoing Broadway show, urged the audience to organize and resist Trump. — AFP]]>
Showbiz Tue, 19 Sep 2017 08:45:35 +0000 theSundaily 483957 at