Happy Birthday Ludacris!

105871-ludacris_617_409September 11 marked the 37th birthday of Chris Bridges, better known to the world as Ludacris. The Atlanta rapper has enjoyed one of the most diverse and successful careers in hip-hop history. As one of the most influential rappers from the Dirty South, Ludacris has sold millions of records, has had three albums debut at #1 on the Billboard Charts and has won three Grammy Awards in his career. (XXL Mag.)

His first five albums all achieved multi-platinum status, and his sixth album went platinum. In addition, he has 4 albums that peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 charts.

Ludacris has received seventeen Grammy Award nominations, and has also received twelve nominations from the BET Awards, winning two.

He has also won Screen Actors Guild, Critic’s Choice, and MTV Awards. Ludacris is the co-founder of Disturbing tha Peace, an imprint distributed by Def Jam Recordings. Luda has also been a successful actor appearing in films such as Fast & Furious series, Hustle & Flow and the Oscar-winning Crash. (Wikipedia.)ifwt_Luda-Day-Weekend-MAINJust before his birthday, Ludacris and his Disturbing tha Peace record label played against Lil Wayne and his label Young Money in a celebrity basketball game at the Georgia State Sports Arena. The basketball game is part of Ludacris’ 9th annual LudaDay Weekend, which raises money for local community charities. The five-day event  kicked off  with a bowling event with appearances by NBA player Dwight Howard, singer Ne-Yo and Angela Simmons. Since 2005, LudaDay has brought out numerous celebrities from Justin Bieber, Kevin Durant, Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union, Chris Brown and Vin Diesel. (Washington Times.)

Ludacris also co-wrote and performs on Justin Bieber’s hit single BABY, one of the most popular songs of all time. According to the May 17, 2013 issue of Billboard, “Bieber’s song “Baby” featuring Ludacris becomes the highest-certified single in history now that the RIAA incorporates on-demand streaming numbers into its Gold and Platinum certifications for digital singles…”Baby” is now 12-times platinum.” The official music video has been viewed over 1 billion times on YouTube, and is the second most viewed video of all time on the video site, (surpassed only by Gangnam Style by Psy, which holds the top spot.)

Happy Birthday, Luda!ludacris_51

Ving Rhames Brings His Cool Self to MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 5

BxRcldoIcAAbqBkYesterday, director Christopher McQuarrie tweeted this photo of the main cast of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 5. Jeremy Renner, Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg look great, but gotta say, Ving Rhames adds a whole different layer of cool to this team. He’s the only cast member to have returned to costar with Tom Cruise in all five pictures in this franchise. The two of them have great chemistry; it will please audiences to see them together again.

Mr. Rhames sure knows how to wear a hat. Here’s a small gallery with a few of his looks.

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Bill Murray’s Fantastic Female Cast for GHOSTBUSTERS Reboot – Plus His Secret About Living

8b2424e6-a069-4128-b696-7bca13aedb51WallpAutoWallpaper2The Toronto Film Festival celebrated Bill Murray Day last week, and some choice moments occurred.

Murray himself was on hand to take part in events, including a special question-and-answer session for fans.

“I like to feel that every day is Bill Murray day. At least for a second every day,” the star told BBC News. He was at the festival to promote his latest film, ST VINCENT, in which he plays a cantankerous war veteran who finds himself having to look after his neighbour’s 12-year-old son.

b58007f8-8c84-47c7-b0fe-d5fffdd51d65-460x276Bill Murray in ST VINCENT.

When asked about the possibility of an all female Ghostbusters reboot, “I’m fine with it,” Murray said. “I would go to that movie, and they’d probably have better outfits, too.”

The Star reports: “He’s not involved in the project, and the sequel-averse comic actor has long resisted the idea of making a third chapter of the original 1980s franchise that teamed him with Dan Aykroyd, the late Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson as New York City spook chasers.

Yet he’s got ideas when asked which women he’d like to don the Ghostbusters jumpsuits and proton packs. One of his preferred candidates is Melissa McCarthy, his co-star in St. Vincent, the dramedy that had its world premiere at TIFF on the weekend.

“Melissa would be a spectacular Ghostbuster. And Kristen Wiig is so funny — God, she’s funny! I like this girl Linda Cardellini (Mad Men) a lot. And Emma Stone is funny. There are some funny girls out there.”

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Page Six relayed a great Murray anecdote: “He recalled that the night before the festival, he got into a taxi in Oakland and ended up driving the cab driver around… the driver mentioned he was a saxophone player.

“I said, ‘When do you practice?’ He said, ‘I drive 14 hours a day.’ ” Murray then asked him, “Well, where’s your sax?” The driver replied, “In the trunk.” Murray told the cabbie, “Pull over and get in the back, I know how to drive a car.’ ”

“Not only did he play all the way to Sausalito, which is a long way, we stopped and got barbecue. He [wound up] playing in what some would call a sketchy, weird place in Oakland at 2:15 in the morning. I was like, ‘Relax, man, you’ve got the [bleeping] horn! We’re cool!’ And it was great and it made for a beautiful night!”

Fans dressed up in costumes of Murray characters in honour of the star, according to BBC News. _77424070_imageThe actor picked out a baby in the crowd, who was dressed as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters, saying: “That is one good-looking baby.”

Murray told fans at the Q&A he was honoured to be recognised at the festival for his life’s work.

“The only reason I’ve had the career I’ve had is someone told me some secrets early on about living – the more relaxed you are the better you are,” he said.

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Morgan Freeman in TED 2 and NOW YOU SEE ME 2

freeman-e1337248441536Variety reports that Morgan Freeman is joining the cast of TED 2, joining Mark Wahlberg and Amanda Seyfried alongside the titular foul-mouthed talking teddy bear, for director Seth MacFarlane, who of course will reprise his role as Ted.Ted-850x560Freeman will be playing “an iconic civil rights lawyer” who gets hired to help Ted get out of some “legal issues.” The bear better bring his best jokes to avoid being upstaged by the crafty Freeman.

NOW YOU SEE MEFreeman will also be reprising his role in another sequel, NOW YOU SEE ME 2, to be filmed in London for director Jon M. Chu. Jon-M.-Chu-circling-Now-You-See-Me-2The sequel will also see the return of stars Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, and Michael Caine.freeman460

Reese Witherspoon gets great reviews in WILD — Oscar nomination?

wild-reese-witherspoonReese Witherspoon has received rave reviews for her performance in WILD, her new film which has premiered at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals in the last two weeks. Adam Chitwood (Collider) gushes about “a truly fearless lead performance by Reese Witherspoon.” He credits the actress with raising the film above the limitations of the true life story genre: “The heart of the film is Reese Witherspoon’s bold and ultimately moving performance as Cheryl.  There are so few genuinely strong, complex female characters onscreen these days that I kept waiting to see this three-dimensional female character fall into the tired tropes that plague most films.  Witherspoon does a tremendous job of fleshing out Strayed with layers of strength, vulnerability, intelligence, and emotion.” Further, Chitwood wishes more films could deliver the level of characterization and performance that Reese gives in WILD. He continues, “Strayed is never portrayed as helplessly weak or in-need-of-a-man, nor is she shown as the stereotypical (and mostly fictional) man-hating Feminist with a capital F.  She’s a real character first and foremost, and that means there are times when she’s the strongest person in the room, and there are times when she feels compelled to ask for help.  This is a real woman, not some fictional fantasy of a woman, and it’s a shame that this kind of character is such a rarity in modern American cinema.” He concludes “I cannot stress enough how refreshing and delightful it was to spend two hours with a well-rounded female character such as this.”

wild_xlgChitwood is not alone in his enthusiasm. Kate Erbland (at Film School Rejects) calls Witherspoon’s performance “natural and winning” as well as “fine and unfussy.” Mara Reinstein (US Weekly) says “Reese Witherspoon — who, face it, hasn’t had a meaty role since 2005’s Walk the Line — is poised for a mini-comeback (and possible Oscar consideration) with her strong, vanity-free turn.” Tim Robey (The Telegraph) goes further, stating that “this is a major comeback…WILD provides a huge, dappled range of emotional tones for this perky-pugnacious star to explore…It’s her best, more natural, most appealing performance in years, because it’s different, but also because it reminds us why we immediately liked her when she first strode onto the scene…It’s so great to have her back.”

Witherspoon finds both a mature centeredness and a zen-like openness” writes Richard Lawson (Vanity Fair) “—it’s been a long time since we’ve seen her this fluidly expressive, this connected to good material.” Stephen Farber (Hollywood Reporter) agrees: “Witherspoon captures all the conflicting, dizzying emotions that the adventure stirs in her.” Farber also sees a possible Oscar, and adds praise for Laura Dern’s work as Witherspoon’s mother. Director Jean Marc Vallee, who helped Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto to Oscar wins with Dallas Buyer’s Club last year, may deliver statues to his stars for a second year in a row. Says Farber: “Dallas Buyers Club earned Oscars for both its lead and supporting actors, and it’s conceivable that the new film could repeat the trick for two actresses.” Chitwood notes Vallée’s “confident, dynamic direction” as well, and says that “WILD turns out to be an honest, surprising, and unabashedly feminist chronicle of determination and rebirth. ”

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