If this is a tribute show then it is the ultimate homage. Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour by Cirque du Soleil, is a spectacular creation that celebrates the undisputed King of pop’s musical legacy.
Cirque du Soleil is the only entertainment company that could match Jackson’s creativity, innovation and dedication to performing. It makes sense then that the imagination of Cirque be combined with Jackson’s music to produce an engaging two-hour production.
Jackson was reportedly a fan of Cirque and before his untimely demise had the goal of collaborating with them. This is the next best thing, as Cirque takes the best pieces of Jackson’s iconography and integrates them into a dynamic show featuring everything from the gates of his Neverland Ranch to Bubbles the chimp.
The constantly evolving sets are smooth and create the right amount of misdirection so that one scene blends effortlessly into the next. A mime dressed in white is the device to tie each scene together as he explores and evokes Jackson’s spirit.
The first half is enthralling as dancers, aerial artists, musicians and acrobats bounce around the stage to songs like Smooth Criminal, Thriller and Wanna Be Starting Something. Each discipline is perfectly suited to the song, from a Dangerous pole dancer to a Scary Story contortionist.
The second half slows when Jackson’s legacy of hope and healing the world becomes the focus. There is still so much going on, but the spirit of Cirque seems to take a back seat to a more subdued theatrical experience.
Cirque remains true to Jackson by ending the show with Man in the Mirror – a reflective song that Jackson often ended his concerts with.
Jackson’s songs are magnanimous and combined with cutting edge technology and the wonder of Cirque, Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour is a show that will entertain everyone.
Australian Release: July 18, 2013; Running: 107mins; Rated: MA15+
Starring: Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Craig Robinson
Trust Seth Rogen to take on a serious topic like religion and make it hilarious.
Rogen and writing partner Evan Goldberg have created an original film that will unite people of different faiths under one thing - humour.
In This Is The End Rogen and actor-pal Jay Baruchel attend James Franco’s house-warming bash. Everyone from Rhianna to Michael Cera is there to party when the world is suddenly faced with the apocalypse.
Franco, Baruchel and Rogen end up trapped with Jonah Hill and Craig Robinson, and these five ill-equipped actors try to survive.
With an abundance of hilarious cameos (including a tough-girl Emma Watson), This Is The End walks the line between smart and smut as all of the actors self-depreciate and shrewdly poke fun at the entertainment industry while trying to negotiate the apocalypse and each other.
Improvised sections don’t move as smoothly with so many cooks in the film’s kitchen but overall This Is The End is clever comedy and holds an important message for humanity. Don’t be a dick.
Australian release: May 30, 2013, Running: 86mins, Rated: CTC
It is a very, very Wayans world in Australia at the moment. The memory of the brothers' fifth Scary Movie instalment is still sticky in our cerebral cortex and Shawn and Marlon have arrived on our shores to tour their live stand-up.
They are a featured part of the Sydney Comedy Festival doing their thang at The Enmore in Sydney next week.
Beyond that there is ANOTHER Wayans brand of celluloid about to hit our screens.
A Haunted House, co-written by and starring Marlon, is about to bump uglies with the back end of Scary Movie 5, ensuring that you are never without the Wayans!
This new flick spoofs the 'found footage' horror trend.
When Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) and Kisha (Essence Atkins) move into their dream home, they find the things that go bump in the night, stop them from going bump in the night. Malcolm enlists the help of a priest, a psychic and a team of ghostbusters to rid the house of the supernatural.
Ahead of their hilarious stand-up gigs, Marlon is going to be making a star appearance at a preview screening of A Haunted House on Tuesday May 14 at Hoyts Broadway in Sydney.
YOU could be there too!
I'm giving away five double passes to attend this special preview screening and all you have to do is submit your entry below telling me which famous horror movie franchise A Haunted House is spoofing.
The giveaway closes at 5pm Monday, May 13, so get your entry in!
**This competition has now closed**
Don't forget to share this with your friends for even more chances of winning.
Important: You must submit an entry to be eligible. To ensure people do not have an unfair advantage by entering multiple times, only 1 entry per person will be accepted.
This competition is only open to residents of Australia and the winners are drawn randomly. Screening is held in Sydney and winners are responsible for making their own way to the venue.
The competition closes 5pm Monday 13 May 2013.
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- The site owner and the distributor take no responsibility for any delay, loss or damage to prizes sent to winners.
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- You must be at least 15 years of age to enter this competition, or have a parent's or guardian's permission.
- Decisions are final and no correspondence will be taken into consideration.
Australian release: April 24, 2013, Running: 130mins, Rated: M
Starring: Robert Downey Jnr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce
The second phase of the Marvel Universe franchise has finally begun, the eagerly awaited Iron Man 3 is here and what a statement new director and writer Shane Black has made.
I was lucky enough to see it on the biggest screen thanks to IMAX Sydney and I highly recommend it. This is one cinema outing that should definitely not be missed.
Following the traumatic events in New York at the end of the Avengers film, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jnr) is a more settled but world-weary Iron Man. The results of his party-boy lifestyle have caught up with him and he must face them head-on as well as new nemesis, The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley).
Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) steps up her role a few thousand degrees in this outing, even donning the infamous suit during an explosive sequence. Aussie favourite Guy Pearce also features as the mysterious Aldrich Killian.
Special effects with a subtle 3D element are just the right amount of bang for the action scenes and there are twists and turns played to near-perfection by an outstanding cast in a more mature story.
A troubled Stark still pops with his trademark humour and bravado, which keeps the entertainment levels high during dark times, but successfully avoids being inappropriate.
The role of Tony Stark could have been made for Downey Jnr and although this is the end of his current contract, hopefully Iron Man will appear in an upcoming Marvel film to keep audiences happy. He has firmly cemented himself as a fan favourite in the Marvel Universe.
Australian Release: April 18, 2013, Running: 120mins, Rated: MA15+
Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman
I was lucky enough to see a preview screening of Olympus Has Fallen recently (thank you Roadshow Films).
It was an interesting experience, the basic premise is an action flick starring the (I think) usually very cool Gerard Butler but surprisingly it was all a bit unoriginal and uninspiring. Even laughable at some points, the audience couldn't help but guffaw inappropriately.
Here is my review published for Alternative Media Group:
Former Presidential guard Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) puts himself inside the White House or ‘Olympus’, during a highly organised terrorist attack. When Olympus falls and incredulously every other agent is slaughtered, it is up to Banning to singlehandedly save the President and the day.
Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) Olympus Has Fallen is full of over-the-top action and cheesy one-liners. It is easy entertainment where everyone is expendable, except for the President, of course.
Butler is believable as a heroic former agent, but even he cannot carry the film on his carved shoulders alone.
Excessively patriotic shots of a burnt American flag and bloodied but defiant Presidential staff don’t make up for the abundance of plot flaws throughout. Overkill is an understatement.
Australian Release: March 14, 2013, Running: 100mins, Rated: M
Starring: Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Jim Carrey
It is an exciting prospect to see Steve Carell, Jim Carrey and Steve Buscemi work together on a film. The reality of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is that while Carell is the headline act, playing superstar Wonderstone, Carrey steals the show out from under him. He is back at his comedic best as up-and-coming street magician Steve Gray and although he has half the screen time, he gets all the best lines.
If Carrey is the funny bone then Buscemi is the heart that drives the storyline as Wonderstone’s long-suffering best friend Anton Marvelton - disappointingly Carell is bland in comparison to the two.
There are plenty of chuckle moments, which include ridiculous costumes, ludicrous magic acts and over-the-top pompous behaviour to make this a comedy worth seeing despite its downfalls.
Australian Release: January 10, 2013, Running: 113mins, Rated: MA15+
Starring: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone
Check out the trailer for the sexy, action-packed Gangster Squad being released in Australia this week.
It has definitely shot to the top of my viewing list. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone make one red-hot pair... again.
Samuel L. Jackson & Anne Hathaway
There can't be a true winner announced until Django Unchained gets worldwide release but based on this hilarious video for Funny Or Die featuring Samuel L. Jackson and Anne Hathaway - who do you think would win "The Sad Off"?