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Barkhad Abdi adds another film role

Posted by: Colin Covert Updated: May 15, 2014 - 4:44 PM
Photo: John Shearer, AP

Photo: John Shearer, AP

Barkhad Abdi’s film career is building momentum. The “Captain Phillips” Oscar nominee has added a the military Drones thriller “Eye In the Sky,” joining a cast led by Colin Firth.

Abdi is already booked to portray famous South African marathon runner Willie Mtolo in an upcoming biography, and to test his comedic chops in Judd Apatow's “Trainwreck.” The new film, directed by Oscar winning South African director Gavin Hood (Tsotsi), returns him to a drama about African terrorism. Cue the official synopsis:

“A group of leading terror suspects gather in a secluded safe house in Nairobi, Kenya, to plan a suicide bombing mission. Meanwhile, British, Kenyan and American intelligence units, working together, keep the terrorists under real-time surveillance using cameras mounted on a remotely piloted, heavily armed MQ-9 Reaper Drone: an "Eye in the Sky." But as the British and Americans prepare to assassinate the terror suspects using a Hellfire missile, launched from the unseen drone flying at 20,000 feet, a little Kenyan girl walks into the kill zone, selling bread.”

Firth, who is producing the film, seems likely to play the man with his finger on the launch button, caught in a crisis of conscience. No word on Abdi’s role as of yet.

Bob Dylan previews new album with song made famous by Sinatra

Posted by: Jon Bream Updated: May 14, 2014 - 3:08 AM



Looks like Bob Dylan will drop a new album this year.

In his typical cryptic fashion, there’s a photo of him on his website and the words “Shadows in the Night.” Rollingstone.com reports that a Dylan spokesman confirmed a new album for 2014 but did not confirm the title.

bobdylan.com offers one new track from the album – “Full Moon and Empty Arms.” It’s a standard that has been recorded by everyone from Sarah Vaughan to Jim Nabors to the Platters. The most famous version is Frank Sinatra’s 1945 hit.

Dylan’s rendition attempts to follow the Sinatra treatment but old Bob is no match for young blue eyes. Listen for yourself at www.bobdylan.com/us/home 

This will be Dylan's 36th studio album -- his first since 2012's "Tempest."

Elizabeth Gilbert is next Talking Volumes guest

Posted by: Kristin Tillotson Updated: May 13, 2014 - 3:12 PM

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the smash hit memoir "Eat, Pray, Love," will be a special summer guest for the Talking Volumes book series, appearing July 11 at the Fitzgerald Theater to discuss her novel "The Signature of All Things." 

Published in 2006, "Eat, Pray, Love," based on Gilbert's soul-searching travels abroad following a difficult divorce, sold over 10 million copies and was made into a 2010 movie starring Julia Roberts. With "The Signature of All Things," a saga about a 19th-century botanist who finds love after decades of communing primarily with foliage, Gilbert proves she's no one-hit wonder.

Critical praise for the ambitious novel includes "This whimsically engaging and wonderfully imagined novel can only be called her most ambitious and most notable work yet"  (Star Tribune) and "Looks like Gilbert keeps raising the bar" (Elle).

Talking Volumes is presented by the Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio, in collaboration with The Loft Literary Center. Tickets ( $25, $23 for members) are on sale here

Lisa Marie Presley cancels her Minneapolis gig, U.S. tour

Posted by: Jon Bream Updated: April 27, 2014 - 6:35 PM

Lisa Marie Presley, who was scheduled to begin a U.S. tour on Tuesday at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis, has canceled her entire tour.

Apparently, it was doctor's orders, Dakota proprietor Lowell Pickett said on Sunday. He just received word of the cancellation on Saturday.

Presley, 46, daughter of Elvis Presley who had released her third solo album in 2012, had just completed tours of Australia and Japan on April 10, and some of the equipment for her U.S. tour had already been shipped to the Dakota.

The Minneapolis club hopes to reschedule Presley in 2015. Ticket holders will receive refunds.

Meanwhile, Presley's hand-picked opening act -- Grace Askew, a contestant on NBC's "The Voice" -- will honor her commitment and perform Tuesday and Wednesday at the Dakota. Tickets will cost $7 but people who had tickets to Presley's shows will be admitted for free.

Segel, Eisenberg on location at MOA

Posted by: Kristin Tillotson Updated: March 19, 2014 - 11:05 AM

Jesse Eisenberg, left, and Jason Segel braved the Mall of America shopping hordes to shoot movie scenes last weekend -- and did a little shopping. 

When you think of shooting locales for an arthouse film about "Infinite Jest" author David Foster Wallace, the Mall of America doesn't immediately spring to mind. But several spots around the MOA -- including Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, Nickelodeon Universe and the movie-theater complex --   were perfect for scenes from "The End of the Tour," starring Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg. The film is based on a book by a Rolling Stone reporter who accompanied Wallace, who famously suffered from severe depression and killed himself in 2008, on a nationwide book tour just as he was becoming a bold-face name.Segel plays Wallace, Eisenberg the reporter David Lipsky.  Joan Cusack and Mamie Gummer were also on hand for a few scenes with the guys.

An unsuspecting audience at a Muppets movie -- not the new one, "Muppets Most Wanted," but a "free family flicks" screening of 2011's "The Muppets" --  got a special meta-experience from Segel, who starred in it. Reports critic Tim Kelly, who was there, on his movie blog Cinematallica, just as Segel " was onscreen singing his third bar of 'Life's a Happy Song,'  the projector fritzed out, the lights came on and a guy walked out.  'Hi everyone, I’m Jason Segel. Thanks for coming today. In a moment you’re going to see me sing some more songs.' He thanked everyone again, made his way back out and left a theatre of stunned parents and kids to process what just occurred."  What a mensch, that Jason!

As can be seen from this passerby-shot photo found on Tumblr, Segel was in full Wallace drag for the shoot -- long unkempt dark hair, baggy clothes, bandana tied around his dome.


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