Quick Quiz

Five more pop-culture questions for you!

1  In ‘Jurassic Park’, what food was Lex eating when she spotted a dinosaur in the cafeteria?

lex jurassic park ariana grande

2  Which pop band had their own TV show called ‘Miami 7’?

3  As the ad for Cadbury’s Flake says “Only the crumbliest, flakiest chocolate tastes like..” what?

cadbury's flake

4  Writer Tobias Wolff, poet Jim Carroll, poet Arthur Rimbaud, King Louis XIV, conman Frank Abagnale Jr, director Howard Hughes, FBI chief J Edgar Hoover, stockbroker Jordan Belfort – what’s the link?

5  Brad Pitt has appeared in eight films that have a number in the title;  ‘Seven’, ‘Seven Years in Tibet’, The ‘Ocean’ trilogy, ‘Happy Feet 2′, ’12 Years a Slave’ and … what?

Answers after the jump! Let me know how you do on Twitter @showbizgeek

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Quick Updates!

1970s glam-rock star Alvin Stardust has died aged 72. He had hits with ‘My Coo Ca Choo’ and ‘Jealous Mind’.

‘Coronation Street’ star Tina O’Brien is returning to play Sarah Platt next year. She began playing Gail’s daughter in 1999 and left in 2007.  She has a daughter with her ex (and Corrie co-star) Ryan Thomas (Jason Grimshaw) and a son with her partner Adam Crofts.

tina o'brien sarah platt then now 2014

Tennis star Novak Djokovic is a dad.  He and his wife Jelena Ristic welcomed a son called Stefan this week.

Warner Bros are working on a new live-action ‘Mortal Kombat’ TV series.  The video game debuted in 1992 and was previously adapted into a 1995 film.

‘Miranda’ will end with two specials this Christmas.  The comedy starring Miranda Hart began on BBC Two in 2009.

miranda hart 2014 cast characters

David Hasselhoff is set to appear in ‘Ted 2′.  The sequel will see the return of Mark Wahlberg and Seth MacFarlane (as the voice of Ted), this time the love interest will be played by Amanda Seyfried.

Keira Knightley will make her Broadway debut next year in a play called ‘Theresse Raquin’, adapted from the novel by Emile Zola.  It follows the story of an unhappy woman who has an affair with her husband’s friend.

Christian Bale will play Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in a new biopic from writer Aaron Sorkin.  Sorkin says “He has more words to say in this movie than most people have in three movies combined. There isn’t a scene or a frame that he’s not in. So it’s an extremely difficult part and he is gonna crush it.”

steve jobs christian bale

Kristen Stewart says she’s taking a break from acting. She says, “I’m going to buy a live-work space in downtown LA and I’m going to make some [stuff] with my hands. Literally, I made that decision a few weeks ago. I’m making a short film. I’m making a bunch of [stuff]. I don’t know how I’ll put it out. But I’m not going to hold it so preciously close to me. I write all the time.”

‘EastEnders’ bosses have released this trailer for the upcoming action over Halloween.

Stories via DigitalSpy

Please follow me on Twitter @showbizgeek

Avengers Vs Pinocchio

Here’s the first teaser trailer for Marvel ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’.

What’s that creepy song? It’s a slowed down version of Pinnocchio’s ‘I’ve Got No Strings’.

The movie sees the return of Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk) and Samuel L Jackson (Nick Fury) as they battle an evil robotic chap called Ultron, played by James Spader.

Joining them are Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen and the super-siblings QuickSilver (Evan Peters’ version of the same character in ‘X Men: Days of Future Past’ is rumoured to be getting his own spin-off) and Scarlet Witch.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is due out in the UK & Ireland on April 24, 2015 and in the US on May 1.


Quick Quiz

Five more pop-culture questions for you!

1  We know Frodo’s best friend was called Sam – but what were the other two ‘Lord of the Rings’ hobbits called?

hobbits merry and pippin

2  In 1998 Jay Z had a hit when he sampled a song from the ‘Annie’ soundtrack – which song?

annie dog

3  In Cher’s 1998 hit ‘Believe’ she sings “Do you believe in life after love? I can hear something inside me say… ” what?

cher believe

4  Directors Brian De Palma, John Woo, JJ Abrams, and Brad Bird – what’s the franchise?

Brian De Palma, John Woo, JJ Abrams, and Brad Bird mission impossible

5  The family name in ‘The Wonder Years’, the name of the diner in ‘Happy Days’, and a Nickelodeon cartoon about a fourth grader with an oblong head – what’s the link?

Answers after the jump! Please let me know how you do on Twitter @showbizgeek

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What Ever Happened To… the Lazytown girl?

I first became aware of a kids show called ‘LazyTown’ thanks to a supposed facial similarity to a chap called Rotten Robbie.

rory john rotten robbie lazytown

Nope. Don’t see it.

The show is about a town full of lazy people (a ‘LazyTown’ if you will) that’s stirred into action thanks to a plucky young girl called Stephanie and a sporty chap called Sportacus.  The show costs $1million an episode, but producers make the cash back by selling it to more than 70 countries around the world.  What fans may not realise is that ‘LazyTown’ is actually a massive green-screen in Reykjavik, Iceland and that all the cast bar Stephanie are Icelandic.

lazytown characters

There have been three Stephanies since the show debuted in 2004, so what happened to the girls who hung up that pink wig for good?

Find out after the jump!

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Quick Updates!

Sam Mendes is bringing Enid Blyton’s ‘Magic Faraway Tree’ books to the big screen! The four stories followed a bunch of kids (one called Fanny, that may change) who go on an adventure up a tree packed with colourful characters. Meanwhile ‘The Famous Five’ is also being made into a new movie – check out what happened to the TV cast here.

the faraway tree enid blyton sam mendes movie

Last time she starred opposite Russell in a noir thriller (‘LA Confidential’) she won an Oscar – time for another career comeback?  Kim Basinger will play a judge opposite Ryan Gosling’s detective and Russell Crowe’s hired heavy in ‘The Nice Guys’.  Shane Black’s film noir will follow the seemingly unconnected cases of a missing girl and a dead porn star in the 1970s.

S Club 7 are getting back together for a performance on ‘Children In Need’ night (Nov 14th).  It will be the first performance with all seven members (Tina, Jon, Rachel, Paul, Hannah, Jo, Bradley) in over a decade.

s club 7

During a Twitter Q&A Gwen Stefani said her new solo album should be out in December and that she’s working on new music with No Doubt.  Here’s her new single ‘Baby Don’t Lie’.


Why The Guardian is Wrong about Renee

Pursed lips, raised eyebrows, eyes widened – that was the general reaction when Renée Zelwegger debuted a brand-new face on the red carpet this week.  Gone is her trademark squint, replaced by rounder eyes and a more generic Hollywood look that falls somewhere between Naomi Watts and Katie Couric.

renee zellweger cosmetic botox then now face change plastic surgery 2014

She later offered that her vastly different new look was simply a result of her living a “different, happy, more fulfilling life“.

If she’s happy in her skin, that’s fantastic – but I don’t think, as The Guardian suggested in this article by Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy, that people commenting on the fact the ‘Bridget Jones’ star could no longer feasibly play herself in the own biopic is in any way sexist or ageist.  The Guardian (as much as I love it) has a stock in trade of taking a pop-culture moment and desperately shoe-horning it into the framework of some ‘-ism’ so people will feel duly outraged and morally superior.  They propose that people were not gasping and forwarding the photo to friends because an actress no longer has a famous face to go with her famous name, but instead because she is a woman over the age of 40 who had a bit of a touch-up.  Hmm..

Jennifer reckons, “The continued evolution of our obsession with famous people has birthed a strange phenomenon: the bodies of total strangers are considered collective public property to be casually evaluated, critiqued … and discarded.”  Discarding bodies?  That sounds a little strong and alarmist. Losing interest in a celebrity is not equivalent to dumping a body in the bins behind the local Tesco.  Plus I’m sure people have assessed the appearance of others ever since we began grunting and humping around on this earth.  It is basic human instinct and not a “strange phenomenon”.

She continues “the horror and disgust was palpable: What kind of monster is this, the world seemed to beg, that would shed her skin so easily, hoping to avert ageing and death – or at least the death of her career by physically becoming another person altogether?”  Or did people just say ‘Holy fuck, Renée Zelwegger looks different – do you think she got her eyes done?'”

“Pity the woman so brazen as to pull back the curtain on these expectations by letting herself be seen in public past a certain age – with or without the help of the medical community.”  Who mentioned age?  Nobody is banging on about a bit of botox – Jennifer look at the photo again, SHE LOOKS LIKE A DIFFERENT PERSON.

A simple test to see if this is indeed a sexist reaction – if George Clooney stepped out tomorrow looking like Dale Winton would anyone comment on it?  I imagine they would. Do people comment on male celebrities bodies?  Google ‘Justin Bieber shirtless’ or ‘Zac Efron body’ and see if people are similarly obsessed (then promptly erase search history). Is it ageist?  I imagine that if Taylor Swift got a complete facial renovation under the knife as though she was in a dodgy straight-to-video witness protection movie people may have something to say about it. Are we commodfying Renée’s face because she’s famous? If the girl who always serves you down the shops got a face refit to look like Liza Minneli you’d probably remark on that too.

The fact remains, and it’s a simple one, people are discussing Renée Zellweger because a face they were familiar with now looks COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.   If Stephen Fry got a nipple erected onto the middle of his forehead would anyone who commented on the unusual turn of events be homophobic?  No, of course not.  Commenting on Renée’s face is not sexist or ageist.

I’m sorry but on this one Guardian, I reckon you’re spouting nonsense.

I’m on Twitter @showbizgeek and @theroryjohn

Quick Quiz

Five more pop-culture questions for you!

1  How many different ‘zones’ were there in the 90s gameshow ‘The Crystal Maze’?

crystal maze richard o'brien

2  Kate Hudson’s character in ‘Almost Famous’ got her name from a Beatles song, which one?

penny lane kate hudson

3  Ella Fitzgerald (in 1955) and Justin Timberlake (in 2002) sang different songs with the same title, what was it?

4  The title translates to English as ‘One More Time’, what was the 1997 UK number 2 hit?

5  The dad from ‘The Sound of Music’, the female diner robber in ‘Pulp Fiction’ and Super Mario – what’s the link?

sound of music dad christopher plummer pulp fiction amanda plummer super mario

Answers after the jump! Please let me know how you do on Twitter @showbizgeek

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Random Flashback: Elijah Wood, Marine Biologist?

Back in 1990 a 9 year-old Elijah Wood explained why he enjoys making movies but adds that he might study sharks instead.

Marine biology’s loss was Hollywood’s gain.

Elijah appeared in a Paula Abdul video and ‘Back to the Future Part 2′ (below) before starring in ‘The Good Son’, ‘North’ and ‘Flipper’.  He graduated to adult roles with ‘The Ice Storm’ andThe Faculty’ and became a household name thanks to the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy.   

elijah wood back to the future part II 2

He recently appeared in a suspense thriller called ‘Grand Piano’ and is filming a role in ‘The Last Witch Hunter’.

elijah wood 2014

You can follow Elijah on Twitter here and I’m @showbizgeek

Quick Updates!

Sean Bean will play a flight director in Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’. The film will feature Matt Damon as an astronaut trapped on the red planet, and also includes Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, Michael Pena and Kristen Wiig.

Another 80s cartoon is coming to the big screen. Hasbro say a ‘My Little Pony’ film will be out in 2017.  The franchise was launched in 1983 and was revamped in 2010 with a new animated series.  Also a new ‘Care Bears’ series is on the way to ‘Netflix’.

my little pony then now original dolls friendship is forever

Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta has died aged 82.   He famously designed for Jackie Kennedy in the 1960s and his gowns have been worn by A-listers on the red carpet and up the wedding aisle ever since.  He was married twice and is survived by his son Moises and his stepchildren.

oscar de la renta 2014

The release of horror film ‘The Conjuring 2′ has been pushed back from October 2015 to October 2016.  It’s thought New Line are putting out another Halloween horror in its place instead.

Damon Albarn has a hit solo album out and will be adapting a kids book into a West End musical but in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald he says he’s also hoping team up with artist Jamie Hewlett again for a Gorillaz album in 2016.   The cartoon hip-hop crew went on a break in 2012.

gorillaz 2014 jamie hewlett

Renee Zellweger has raised a few eyebrows with her radically ‘freshened’ face at the Elle Women in Hollywood Awards.  Considering she now looks like a completely different person, I imagine her returning for ‘Bridget Jones 3′ anymore, can you?

renee zellweger cosmetic botox eye lift then now face change plastic surgery 2014

The third series of ‘The Syndicate’ will be set in a crumbling stately home.  Each season follows a different group of workers as they win the lottery, this time the staff win £14million but one of their daughters goes missing the same night – are the desperate aristocracy holding her hostage?  It will star Lenny Henry, Anthony Andrews, former ‘The Office’ star Elizabeth Berrington, and Star Trek’s ‘Borg Queen’ Alice Krige.

Zane Lowe is putting together a new ‘Drive’ soundtrack with artists like Chvrches, Foals SBTRKT, The 1975, Baauer, BANKS, Bastille, Bring Me the Horizon, Eric Prydz, Jon Hopkins, Laura Mvula, The Neighbourhood and ZCC reworking tracks from the original.  The film, with new soundtrack, will be played on BBC Three on October 30th.