Category: Arts Entertainments

John Lennon’s son unveils what makes dad’s solo music stand out from Beatles | Music | Entertainment

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This month John Lennon’s estate has re-released 1973’s Mind Games: The Ultimate Collection as a special box set featuring new mixes.

Some have been worked on to amplify the late star’s voice, while others emphasise the instruments. Promoting the release is his younger son Sean Lennon, who he had with Yoko Ono.

Speaking with The Times, he said of his parents: “Their story is a love story. They found each other across a great divide and certainly struggled through ups and downs, but never doubted their love. It is important we remember them as an example. Even through rough patches, you can see my father thought about my mother. They were simply, irrevocably intertwined.”

Meanwhile, Sean also spoke of what made his father’s solo music stand out from his Beatles tracks.

Sean added: “One thing that distinguishes my dad’s solo career,” Sean says, “is how personal his lyrics became. It is like a diary, and it is my duty to bring attention to my father’s music. Not just my duty to him, but a duty to the world. With the world as it is now, people have forgotten so many things that I never imagined could be forgotten. I refuse to let that happen to this music — it means too much to me.”

Fortnite DOWN – Server maintenance schedule for update 30.30 | Gaming | Entertainment

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Fortnite developer Epic Games has announced plans to take the entire Fortnite universe offline for server maintenance. It’s all part of the launch of update 30.30, which is the first major update in weeks. Available on PS5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, Android and PC, update 30.30 will be available to download and install on the morning of July 23. As a numbered update, the download will be accompanied by an extended period of server downtime, which means you won’t be able to play Fortnite, LEGO Fortnite, Rocket Racing and Fortnite Festival for the at least a few hours. If you want to know when you can log back into Fortnite, check out the 30.30 server downtime schedule below.

The news was announced in a tweet by Epic Games on X, including exactly when Fortnite will be taken offline.

“Downtime for v30.30 begins at 4 AM ET with matchmaking ending shortly beforehand,” reads an Epic tweet.

For UK fans, this means that Fortnite will be taken offline in full at 9am BST, while matchmaking will be disabled at 8.30am UK time.

Epic hasn’t revealed exactly when downtime will come to an end, but maintenance typically lasts for 2-3 hours.

This means Fortnite and all companion game modes should be back online from 11am BST UK time.

In terms of what fans can expect, as you can see from the trailer below, Tesla’s unique Cybertruck will join the game after the new update.

Likewise, Fortnite has announced plans to partner with Adidas for a new range of in-game clothing available in the item shop.

Elsewhere, Epic Games is planning a crossover with Fall Guys, while Rocket Racing will enter a new season.

Fortnite Crew subscribers can also expect to find out what rewards will be available in the August Crew Pack, and there’s a strong chance we’ll see an old weapon make a return, potentially in the form of the minigun.

Needless to say, Epic Games will also make a number of gameplay tweaks and bug fixes.

Nicolas Cage reveals the one film he wants you to watch | Films | Entertainment

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Nicolas Cage has handpicked the one movie he believes fans must see.

The Hollywood icon has a career spanning more than four decades and a filmography exceeding 120 titles since his silver screen debut in the 1982 classic Fast Times at Ridgemont High. With such a vast repertoire, fans often grapple with where to begin – but Cage has now revealed which of his movies is essential viewing.

In a conversation with The New Yorker, Cage revealed the film is a “tragedy” but something everyone can learn from. Fans on Twitter/X were quick to agree, lauding it as one of Cage’s best appearances.

Cage declared Pig was the must-watch film for fans. “It’s something that I think people can get something out of, because tragedy is going to hit all of us at some point. It’s just a matter of when,” he explained.

Cage reflected on how this choice contrasts with the public perception of him being eccentric. He expressed satisfaction with Pig, noting it was a unique experience for him: “It’s a very quiet, gentle movie, which is the opposite of what we started our conversation with – people thinking I’m crazy.

“That I’m happy with, because I’d never done anything like that before, where I felt like I got close to putting a meditation on camera, or a haiku.”

He also mentioned the film marked a transition towards more “personal” projects.

Social media has been abuzz with praise for Cage’s recommendation, with comments such as: “I agree. It’s not my favourite Cage movie. But it is one of his best and easily in the top 5 films of that year.” Another fan concurred: “And he’d be correct. His best film.”

One fan praised Nicolas Cage’s film selection, commenting: “It’s a cinematic masterpiece. The picture is a noir about grief and isolationism found in the corrupt inner cities of the US. It’s shot like a tense thriller action movie, but has the plot of an endearing cultural odyssey, like Huckleberry Finn. Great choice by Cage.”

Others are clamouring for Cage to be recognised at the Oscars, with remarks such as: “Criminally overlooked. Should’ve gotten him an Oscar nomination for best actor.”

EA Sports FC 25 gets September 27 release date but here’s how you can play early | Gaming | Entertainment

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EA Sports FC 25 has been officially unveiled by Electronic Arts. The upcoming football sim has a September 27 release date on PS5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch. Needless to say, the new EA FC game has a ton of new features, not to mention updated teams, kits, stadiums and leagues. Before we get to the new features, however, EA Sports is giving fans the chance to download and play the game before its official September 27 release date. Fans who pre-order the Ultimate Edition will be able to start playing EA Sports FC 25 a week early on September 20. Furthermore, EA Play subscribers can get ten hours of early access on the same date.

As an extra incentive to pre-order the Ultimate Edition, customers who purchase the game by August 20 will receive a number of player benefits, including special limited time historic player items for Ultimate Team.

As for the new game, EA FC 25 is said to feature a new FC IQ system for “greater strategic control”.

EA explains more: “FC IQ ushers in an overhaul to tactical foundations in every 11v11 match by delivering greater strategic control, while a new AI model, powered by real-world data from some of the greatest teams in football, influences player tactics through all-new Player Roles.

“A revamp of team tactics and more realistic collective movement modernises positioning at both ends of the pitch, changing how every team plays – modelled on their real-world style of play – and delivering greater variation from match-to-match.”

Elsewhere, Rush is said to be a new 5v5 experience available in Football Ultimate Team, Clubs and Kick-Off modes.

Allowing four players to team up with a computer-controlled goalkeeper, Rush features the same controls and gameplay mechanics as regular 11v11 matches.

Rush is also playable solo, where players take control of Youth Academy development in playable 5v5 tournaments.

Career mode also appears to have undergone some changes, with “Live Start Points” said to mirror real-world developments.

This includes taking over a club after mid-season transfers, or when new managers step in. Furthermore, Career Mode will also support women’s football for the first time ever.

EA Sports FC 25 is available to pre-order now from the PlayStation Store, Xbox Store, Nintendo eShop and Steam. Physical editions are also available from the likes of GAME and Amazon.

First Descendant update 1.0.3 patch notes – NEXON makes big changes after downtime | Gaming | Entertainment

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The First Descendant update 1.0.3 is out now on PS5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC. Released after a period of server maintenance, the new update makes a ton of changes to the user-interface, as well as missions, characters and infiltration. According to the patch notes further down the page, ‘Thrill Bomb’ and ‘Lightning Emission’ with the Ultimate Bunny ‘High-Voltage’ module will now target nearby targets rather than random targets. Elsewhere, an option has been added to turn off other players’ effects, while ‘away from keyboard (AFK)’ has been added to the player report menu. You can see the full list of First Descendant update 1.0.3 patch notes below.

The First Descendant update 1.0.3 patch notes…

UI/UX

• An option has been added to turn off other players’ effects (projectile explosion).

• In order to improve the visibility, the explosion effect and the duration of ‘Vestigial Organ’ have been reduced.

• A system message has been added to make it easier to check the DBNO status of allies, and an extra measure has been added to the party member UI.

• Reduced the research completion visual effect duration for materials frequently used in research.

• ‘Away from keyboard (AFK)’ has been added to the player report menu.

• The UI has been updated so that major rewards obtained from quests that have already been cleared are checked in the quest list.

• A function has been added to view acquisition information directly in the target section of Library.

• Fixed an issue of scrolling to the top when moving from the target item of Library to the corresponding item list.

• Added Firearm types and Rounds types to the Library Weapon List.

• Fixed an issue where a player who joined the Void Fusion Reactor could use the Reconstructing Device even if there were no Void Shard after completing the mission.

• When completing a Void Fragment mission obtaining two types of Void Shard, the amount obtained has increased by approximately 1.5 times.

• Void Fusion Reactor mission tooltip has been updated to display the number of Void Shards.

• Added Linked Amorphous Material to Void Fusion Reactor mission tooltip.

• Void Shard attribute will now be displayed on the map directly.

• The number of Attached Items that can be registered has been updated to 1,000 each for weapons, reactors, and external components.

Descendants

• ‘Thrill Bomb’ and ‘Lightning Emission’ with the Ultimate Bunny ‘High-Voltage’ module will now target nearby targets rather than random targets.

• ‘Allergy’ of ‘Reconstruction Serum’ of Yujin now applies to Colossus as well.

• Ultimate Bunny ‘Electric Charge’, ‘High-Voltage’ and Bunny ‘Electric Condense’ sound effects have been changed.

• ‘Use Bunny’s Skills to inflict Electrocution on enemies’ has been removed from the 2nd and 3rd stage evolution conditions of the bunny Evolving Skin ‘Speedy Awakened One’.

Infiltration Operation

• You can now view mission results through the ESC menu after completing an Infiltration Operation.

• The time limit for destroying the Ironheart has been removed in the Infiltration Operation ‘Fortress – Heart of the Fortress’.

• The location of the supply droid in the Infiltration Operation ‘Fortress – Quarantine Zone’ has been moved to the battle zone, making it easier to supply bullets.

Mission

• The position of immunity spheres of Named Monsters will not change anymore as the monsters move or rotate.

• The sequential sphere type of the Named Immunity of ‘Alternate Hand of Nazeistra’ that appears in White-night Gulch ‘Eye of Truth’ has been updated.

Field

• The drop quantity on Hard difficulty has been increased by approximately 1.5.

Miscellaneous

• The stack limit for consumable items has been increased from 1 million to 100 million.

• Updated some icon images.

Optimisation Improvements

• Fixed the memory leak that occurred intermittently in windowed mode.

• Fixed the memory leak when using Frame Generation.

• Fixed the issue of temporary frame drops when opening inventory with DLSS Frame Generation.

• Fixed an issue where frame limit was not restored even if additional options were changed to Off when DLSS Frame Generation or FSR Frame Generation is enabled.

Brian May’s 77th birthday celebrated by Roger Taylor and Andrea Bocelli | Music | Entertainment

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Yesterday marked Sir Brian May’s 77th birthday, which the Queen guitar legend spent performing with Andrea Bocelli.

During their set in Tuscany, the Italian maestro surprised the rock star with a special rendition of Happy Birthday.

Posting the clip on social media, Sir Brian shared: “How grateful am I ? Who gets to have Andrea Bocelli sing Happy Birthday for him ?!!!! (along with the entire beautiful Tuscan audience ! )

“Well, a birthday I will never forget – Thanks all – BRI XXX.”

Bocelli also treated him to a special birthday cake backstage at last night’s concert.

Meanwhile, Queen drummer Roger Taylor posted a snap of himself with Sir Brian on his Instagram, captioned: “Happy Birthday partner through the ages!”

After the Bocelli concert, the guitarist shared a selfie on his bed holding Buon Compleanno (Happy Birthday in Italian) balloons.

He captioned it: “THANKS to all of you for the wonderful birthday wishes, birthday art and birthday songs !!! I had a great one in Tuscany – never to be forgotten ! Bri XXX.”

One of the best war films ever is on the BBC – but you must act soon | Films | Entertainment

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Back in 2008, Kathryn Bigelow directed Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie in one of the most influential war films of the 21st century.

The Hurt Locker focuses on an Iraq War bomb disposal unit, as they deal with the psychological toll of being targeted by insurgents.

Screenwriter Mark Boal even drew on his experience from embedded access as a war correspondent.

Made on a budget of just $15 million, the thriller was critically acclaimed and was nominated for nine Oscars the following year.

The Hurt Locker won an impressive six including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Director.

Bigelow was the first woman to win Best Director and the film was the first Best Picture winner to be directed by a woman.

Shot in Jordan, just miles from the Iraqi border, the movie also co-stars Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes and Evangeline Lilly.

The Hurt Locker is on BBC Two this Sunday evening at 10:55pm and is also streaming on ITV Premium and NOW.

Hello, Dolly! reviews heap praise on Imelda Staunton ahead of show ope | Theatre | Entertainment

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Hello, Dolly! is a classic show that has needed a revitalisation for some time.

Enter: Dominic Cooke’s sensational new adaptation with Harry Potter star Imelda Staunton playing the titular heroine.

This is a big change for the show, as it makes the title character a middle-aged woman, rather than a young widow.

Earlier this week, the first batch of reviews were released after the release night kicked off – and they were overwhelmingly positive.

The Daily Express’ Neil Dorman particularly praised Staunton’s performance, calling her a “powerhouse”.

Dorman wrote: “There is no denying the powerhouse performance of Imelda Staunton who embraces the role with characteristic energy and intelligence, bringing light and shade to Dolly that only a serious actor at the top of her game could achieve.”

The Guardian was just as positive with its huge five-star review.

“At its core,” they wrote. “Is a deeply serious message: that it is never too late to reach for happiness, and that we must all do so. ‘My heart is about to burst,’ the chorus sings. Same here.”

inews concurred with yet another five-star review dropped overnight, titled “Staunton will be talked about for years to come”.

Writer Fiona Mountford said: “It is delightful to be able to say that right here is a landmark theatrical production that will be talked about for years to come. Don’t miss it.”

However, there were a few cracks of criticism buried within some of the praise-filled reviews.

Express’ Dorman noted: “The choreography lacks focus and there is an untidiness in the corps that will tighten up in time; the dancing waiters – beautifully caparisoned as they are in magenta velvet – requires some serious torquing. “

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Likewise, The Independent has a couple of pointers in its four-star review.

They wrote: “Detractors are more likely to be bothered by the thinness of a plot where only Staunton’s Dolly has real agency or complexity, and even that only goes so deep.”

Tickets for Hello, Dolly! are out right now, and it’s running until September 14, 2024, at the London Palladium.

Here’s where you can get your tickets now:

LOVETHEATRE – Buy Hello, Dolly! tickets here.

TODAYTIX – Buy Hello, Dolly! tickets here.

Kylie review: The crowning jewel of BST Hyde Park | Music | Entertainment

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On the evening of Saturday, July 13, 2024, Kylie Minogue proved that there was only one way you should spend your weekend: by grabbing your best glitter gear and dancing the night away. The Australian singer took Hyde Park by storm, as part of the series of BST events hosted by American Express, reaffirming her status as a pop powerhouse with a careful balance of nostalgia and contemporary vibrancy.

While the evening was bound to be nostalgic for many, it would be too simple to say that the joy of the show relied solely on revisiting past hits.

Kylie’s magnetic presence and the fresh energy from her new album, Tension, highlighted that she is as relevant and captivating as ever.

As ominous grey clouds hung over the BST stage, the backdrop for the evening’s main act was illuminated with vibrant pinks and oranges, setting up the perfect disco ambience. In true pop fashion from behind a cloud of firework smoke the ‘’Padam Padam” singer emerged from beneath the stage dressed in a red latex jumpsuit and matching gloves.

Kicking off with the sultry “Tension.” the title track of her latest album, she cheekily remarked: “I didn’t think I’d hear thousands saying ‘touch me right there,” referring to the themes of lust, love, and sex that permeate her new music.

The transition to “Come Into My World” saw the backdrop morph into a mesmerising cityscape as the dancers, now in similar green, blue and golden latex outfits, moved seamlessly with the techno beats, prompting the crowd to raise their hands in anticipation of the drop.

As “In Your Eyes” began to play, Kylie warmly greeted the audience, “Good evening everyone! Are you ready to sing some more with me?” before catwalking across the stage as the crowd eagerly filled in the choruses. The energy dialled up further as “Get Outta My Way,” echoed across the field, turning the park into an open-air dance floor.

Before continuing with “Things We Do for Love,” the pop icon removed her gloves and further highlighted her undeniable charm and magnetism by taking a moment to look at the crowd in front of her. “Here’s the thing, I knew I was going to be here tonight – but it’s breathtaking,” she expressed amidst chants of “KYLIE! KYLIE! KYLIE!”

After this came the first outfit change of the evening. She re-emerged in a dazzling gold gown to perform “Confide in Me,” briefly slowing down the tempo. But this respite was short-lived as she dove into the beats of “Slow,” followed by the infectious “Better the Devil You Know,” which whipped the crowd into an atmosphere reminiscent of a wedding reception; cheesy, exuberant, and utterly delightful.

Before the show kicked off, the timeless allure of Kylie’s tunes was unmistakable; mothers and daughters arrived hand in hand, sharing sequins and cowboy hats, while whole families keenly awaited her arrival by cosying together on their blankets. So when the disco ball descended for “Spinning Around,” is was an opportune moment for Kylie to reflect on her long-standing career and offer her gratitude at being able to play in front of people of all ages, “Spinning Around was in 2000 – at the turn of the millennium – and there are kids down the front! We’ve got generations here, it’s amazing.”

For those who’ve been dancing before the millennium, it was only fitting that “The Loco-Motion,” made the setlist. Following this, it was time to take a breather as Kylie delighted the crowd by taking requests and offering an array of charming a cappella renditions of hits like “Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi,” “Got to Be Certain,” “Step Back in Time,” “2 Hearts,” and “I Should Be So Lucky.”

As what seemed to be the final act approached, the crowd were treated to the much-anticipated “Padam Padam,” the standout lead single from Kylie’s album last year. The stage bathed in a striking red glow and set the scene for a hypnotic electro-dance experience that seamlessly flowed into the iconic “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” where Kylie was joined by support artist, Brazilian singer Anitta.

The only questionable moment of the evening was the unexpected shift in tempo with “Where the Wild Roses Grow.” Thankfully, this was followed by “All the Lovers,” but then raised the question of “what could possibly come next?”

Finally, returning to the stage with her pink cloak adorned in lights, Kylie launched into “On a Night Like This,” a perfect choice for such an iconic moment on one of summer’s grandest stages. This was succeeded by her latest single, “My Oh My,” adding a modern twist as she performed alongside Bebe Rexha and Tove Lo. Before the show reached its end with the timeless “Love at First Sight,” leaving the crowd covered in streamers and cheers reverberating through Hyde Park.

Throughout the night the pop icon managed to seamlessly transition between moments of spectacle and intimate connection with her audience. While her equally mesmerising visuals helped set the stage for pop excellence, it’s her innate warmth that creates an environment where everyone is welcome to let their hair down and enjoy the liberating power of pop music.

Top 10 James Bond films ranked: Sean Connery takes three spots but not No 1 | Films | Entertainment

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To date, there have been 25 official James Bond movies from Sean Connery’s Dr No in 1962 all the way up to Daniel Craig’s No Time To Die in 2021.

Across the past six decades, Ian Fleming’s 007 has been played by Connery six times, not including the unofficial Never Say Never Again.

Meanwhile, Bond was portrayed by George Lazenby once, Roger Moore sevenfold, Timothy Dalton twice, Pierce Brosnan four times and Daniel Craig five.

But which are the very best James Bond movies? Check out our Top 10, which features at least one outing for each 007, but you may be surprised that a certain Connery film isn’t our No 1.