When a hot-button issue and a Hollywood feature cross paths, the result can be a powerful one.
That's the case with Davis Guggenheim's "Waiting for 'Superman,'" a documentary that examines the myriad issues students and teachers in public schools face and the programs and people trying to find solutions.
"By getting to know these children - and the mothers and fathers who are fighting for them - then maybe people will be outraged enough to demand real change in their own neighborhoods," Guggenheim has told CNN. "The idea of education reform becomes a lot less abstract and a lot more compelling when you see these beautiful kids and realize all their potential."
Kenneth Mars, who played two of Mel Brooks' most memorable characters, died on Saturday at his home in Granada Hills, California, at the age of 75 from pancreatic cancer, CNN has confirmed.
Mars is best known for portraying Nazi playwright Franz Liebkind in the original 1968 film "The Producers" (a role taken on by Will Ferrell in the 2005 version), and police inspector Hans Wilhelm Friedrich Kemp (he of the wooden arm, eye patch and monocle) in "Young Frankenstein."
Mars also had a role on the 1967 sitcom "He & She," made many guest appearances on television in the succeeding decades and had roles in other big-screen comedies such as "Fletch" and "Yellowbeard."
Christina Aguilera can rest easy. There won't be any vocal aerobics or powerhouse pipes on display when Kim Kardashian's first record, "Turn It Up," drops in about three weeks.
Kardashian, who collaborated on the one-off single with music producer The-Dream, admits to MTV that she was concerned about her singing skills before heading into the recording studio.
"You know, it was something that I was really uncomfortable and nervous about, and [The-Dream] really just wanted me to step outside of my box and try something I've never done before," says the "Kourtney & Kim Take New York" star. "So I was really honest. I'm like, 'You're not gonna get Beyoncé here, you're not gonna get Celine Dion,' and he really pulled something out of me."
Ultimately, Kardashian was thrilled with the music and the fact that the song will benefit charity.
"I'm proud of myself that I tried something. It's all in fun," she explained. "We just had a good time and the proceeds are going to a cancer organization [because we both] lost a parent to cancer. So it's just fun."
While celebrity parents like Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith may encourage their kids to pursue show business careers, Johnny Depp doesn't want his children following in his footsteps.
"I’d be horrified," he tells CNN of how he would react if daughter Lily-Rose and son Jack became entertainers.
Depp, whose partner Vanessa Paradis is an actress/singer/model, explains that being a performer involves too much heartache.
Back when offbeat director Tim Burton was starting out at Walt Disney Pictures as an animator, he shot a short live action film called "Frankenweenie" (his budget didn't allow for it to be animated). It told the story of a boy scientist who brought his dead dog back to life, a la "Frankenstein."
The movie didn't get much notice until after Burton gained a cult following with his films "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" and "Beetlejuice."
Now, 27 years later, Burton has come full circle.
Lady Gaga can’t seem to distance herself from all the speculation that her new single “Born This Way” sounds suspiciously similar to Madonna’s “Express Yourself." People are calling Gaga a copycat and questioning the originality of the song.
I think Gaga is gifted, and I believe she is an amalgamation of a number of different styles and artists. I do think she is heavily influenced by Madonna, and Gaga has said she admires her tremendously. I do detect a little Madonna in “Born This Way,” but then I also see and hear Michael Jackson in Usher’s and Justin Timberlake’s music. It doesn’t make any of them less talented! Remember, imitation can be the sincerest form of flattery.
But what do you think? Did Lady Gaga copy Madonna? Post your thoughts below.
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