After a seemingly eternal hiatus away from multiplex screens, country/pop music legend Dolly Parton and rapper-turned-nominated film star Queen Latifah have combined their acting and singing talents for a music-filled film of hope, 'Joyful Noise.'
Although it's been nearly two decades since country music icon Dolly Parton-turned-actress (Steel Magnolias, Nine to Five) had a starring role in a major motion picture, her fans of all ages have been rejoicing for several months now -- ever since her return to the silver screen in the musical comedy Joyful Noise. Surprisingly, in the years since her appearance in the films TransAmerica and Miss Congeniality 2, she has kept herself busy by making music and recording albums, doing TV shows like Glee,a guest on talk shows, a performer on televised singing contest (American Idol, The Voice) and hit TV comedies (Two and A Half Men). Luckily, Dolly finally made it back to the big screen this past holiday season -- in a big way - by co-starring alongside movie star (and former rap royalty) Queen Latifah (Chicago, Hairspray) in the song-and-dance inspired comic-drama, Joyful Noise.
The Todd Graf written-and-directed Joyful Noise is a funny and inspirational story of music, hope, love and renewal. The film is set in the small town of Pacashau, Georgia, which has fallen on hard times, but the people are counting on the Divinity Church Choir to lift their spirits by winning the National Joyful Noise Competition. The choir has always known how to sing in harmony, but the discord between its two leading ladies now threatens to tear them apart. Their newly appointed director, Vi Rose Hill (Latifah), stubbornly wants to stick with their tried-and-true traditional style, while the fiery G.G. Sparrow (Parton) thinks tried-and-true translates to tired-and-old.Shaking things up even more is the arrival of G.G.'s rebellious grandson, Randy (Jeremy Jordan). Randy has an ear for music, but he also has an eye for Vi Rose's beautiful and talented daughter, Olivia (Keke Palmer), and the sparks between the two teenagers are causing even more heat between G.G. and Vi Rose. If these two strong-willed women can overcome their differences and find a common voice, they - and their choir - may make the most joyful noise of all.
Before the Joyful Noise opening this past holiday season, I sat down with the Queen of Country and the one-time Empress of Rap for a candid, laugh-filled and entertaining interview with the pair of stars in which Dolly explained why she hasn't done a major film in 20 years, how well she got along with Queen Latifah, her most memorable fan encounter, explains how she developed her look, discusses her famous boobs, her life motto and how important music is to her. Queen Latifah (born Dana Owens), dressed in black slacks and a white shirt, with her hair in a ponytail, Latifah explains what it was like working with Parton, describes the main theme of the movie, airs her single complaint about Dolly, reveals how her skin remains so silky smooth, her early days singing in church and Bible school and explains how gospel music changed her.
Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah in 'Joyful Noise'
DOLLY PARTON & QUEEN LATIFAH ON JOYFUL NOISE:Dolly, you started your movie career with Nine to Five in 1980 and have done some great films like The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and Steel Magnolias. But you haven't done much of anything on the big screen in 20 years, why?
Dolly: "I haven’t made a live action movie for awhile because I haven’t had the opportunity. Nobody sent me anything good the last few years. I think the last big film I did was Straight Talk. Now, I’m a little too old to play the younger parts and a little too young to play anything, but a glamorous grandmother."
Queen Latifah, your Joyful Noise costar, Dolly Parton, is a sweet and wonderful person, as you well know. Do you have any complaints about her -- at all?
Latifah: "I only have one gripe with Dolly Parton. It’s hard to lose any weight with her around." (laughs)
Queen Latifah onstage in 'Joyful Noise'
Why, what would Dolly do?
Latifah: "She would bring the most delicious homemade fudge that she made in her own kitchen. We were like little addicts going, ‘Where is it? Where is that Dolly fudge?’"
You still look great. Do you have any beauty secrets you stand by?
Latifah: "Oh, I still believe in what my grandmother taught me. You wash your skin with pure baking soda and a little water. It works just wonders."
A lot has been said about your look over the years, Dolly. Who did you fashion it after?
Dolly: "The true story is I’ve always patterned my look after the town tramp. When I was growing up, there was this woman who walked the streets in my town. I thought she was the prettiest thing in the world. I can’t say her name, but it’s enough for you to know that she was absolutely beautiful. I’d say to people, ‘Ain’t she pretty?’ I’d hear back, ‘She ain’t nothing but trash.' At that moment, I knew I wanted to have pretty things, but we couldn’t afford it when I was growing up. But I wanted to look good, so I’d pick berries and make lipsticks. I’d use matches and draw brows and beauty marks. My grandfather was a preacher and he teamed up with my Daddy. Neither of them wanted me to ever wear any makeup, but they couldn’t wipe it off me or burn it out of me. But I was a rebel. I got whipped a lot for just being myself."
Of course, Dolly, your biggest physical trademark has always been your large upper torso, but you are thin as a rail. At 65, you have a body that 21 year olds would envy.
Dolly: "Well, I've always had nice boobs. I got them doctored some, as years when by. As for my waist, I stay so skinny because I starve! (laughs) I gained a bunch of weight when I was middle aged and I knew that I couldn’t continue to eat like a country girl anymore. Now, I’m just a tiny thing."
Dolly Parton onstage in 'Joyful Noise'
Dolly, there a rumor that your waist is only ten inches around.
Dolly: "It depends on what I’m eating. I promise you it will be bigger after Christmas."
In your new film Joyful Noise (her first major big screen role since 1992’s Straight Talk) you and Queen Latifah work wonderfully together. What was that like? How did the two of you get along?
Dolly: "It was great. I wanted to set out to inspire people with this movie. But what was really inspiring to me was working with Queen Latifah. I’ll never forget the first day in the recording studio. It was the first time we laid eyes on each other in person and we just went to the mike and started jamming and singing. I thought, ‘I just love her.' I loved her ‘tell it like it is’ demeanor. Where I’m from, we always tell it like it is. (laughs) Let’s be honest here. You can get some Hollywood individuals in a room and you just don’t have that thing that clicks. We really liked each other. We weren’t playing with each other. We just clicked from the beginning."
Latifah. did you ever have any worries about working with Dolly?
Latifah: "We talked on the phone first about how we felt about this idea for the movie and the script. I was excited and she was excited to work together. It was a given that we were going to make this movie."
Queen Latifah in 'Joyful Noise'
How would you describe Joyful Noise?
Latifah: "This movie is about love. It’s uplifting, which is what all of us need during these tough times."
It must have been a thrill working with Dolly.
Latifah: "It was, but I wasn’t surprised that I liked her as much as I did. It was a happy thrill to find out that she was everything I thought she would be and much more. She was so humble, giving and cool. Dolly is just Dolly. I could barely keep my uncles off the phone. They were like, ‘Tell Dolly, I love her!’ I was like, ‘OK, enough!’"
The two of you have to get into a catfight in the movie. What was that like? Was it a hoot?
Dolly: "That fight was such good fun and that showed on camera. We shot it for a whole day and we were in deep by the end of the day. I was worn out, but I was also ready to get down and dirty. We were even on the floor sliding around in spaghetti. It was so much fun."
Latifah, I heard Dolly was pretty fast in your catfight scene.
Latifah: "Who knew that Dolly had the deadliest aim? The short ones are always quicker."
Dolly Parton in 'Joyful Noise'
After all your years in the entertainment business, what would you say was you strangest fan encounter?
Dolly: "I have a farm in Nashville and one day in the ‘60s we came home and there was a box near our gate with a baby in it. I had just recorded the song ‘Jolene’ and the note said, ‘Her name is Jolene. I named her after you, so please keep her.’ (laughs) I called child services. Immediately! Can you even believe it?"
Latifah, is it true that one of the ways you like to relax is to listen to gospel music?
Latifah: "Absolutely. I grew up on it. I grew up between New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland churches. You didn’t have a choice, but learn to love gospel music and I still love it."
Did you sing at church or when you went to vacation Bible school?
Latifah: "I did. I used to stay with my aunt in Virginia and she directed a big mass choir in Virginia. I loved going to choir rehearsal and watch how they built a song. When the choir began to rock it, I had a joyful feeling. I loved when it was Christmas time and I came to learn all the new songs. Gospel still soothes me. It’s praise music. No matter what denomination that music has feeling to it."
Can music change your life?
Latifah: "Of course. The only time I can say I almost caught the Holy Ghost was in choir rehearsals. This song moved me to the point that I had to have a little talk with my grandmother. I said, ‘Something about that music changed my life.’ She said, I know what you’re feeling.’ Music just gets into your soul."
Dolly, you also have your own amusement park with Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Do you like being a part of the park.
Dolly: "I do. I love everything that I do. My music is the reason why I’m enjoying my Dollywood and all the other stuff. Honestly, the music is still the most important thing to me. It’s a song that brought me out of the Smokey Mountains. God has been so good to me. So many of my friends who are my age aren’t doing much anymore. I feel like I’m just starting again. I’m dreaming new dreams."
Dolly, do you have a life motto you live by?
Dolly: "My basic motto in life is if you want rainbows then you’ve got to put up with the rain." (laughs)
Have you ever thought about retiring, Dolly?
Dolly: "I just got off tour. I love being on the road. As for slowing down, I’m like the Energizer Bunny – the Playboy version." (laughs)
Joyful Noise Bonus Features: "Make Some Noise" featurette and "Leading Ladies" featurette. (Available May 1)NOW AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY AND/OR DVD:
Camelot 45th Anniversary Blu-ray Book
The oft-told tales of Arthurian legend have always been fertile ground for art. With countless books, films and songs on the subject, there have been many interpretations of Merlin, the Knights of the Round Table, and the glories of the kingdom of Camelot and the doomed love triangle of King Arthur, Lady Guenevere and Sir Lancelot du Lac. The musical Camelot, however, remains the most iconic --winning three Academy Awards in the brilliant film adaptation, released seven years after Camelot opened on Broadway. Take a moment and consider the historical context of the piece. Originated for the stage in 1960, Camelot, which starred Richard Harris, Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero, coincided with the presidency of a young John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was a big fan of Camelot; he identified with King Arthur and, according to the First Lady, she and the President would often listen to the soundtrack before going to bed at night. Tragically, and ironically, just as Arthur’s rule lasted for "one brief, shining moment," so did Kennedy’s and the press forever linked the two legendary leaders many hundreds of years apart.Camelot is emblematic of JFK and, as such, it is emblematic of an era. Bonus Features: "The Story Of Camelot"; The World Premiere Of Camelot; "Camelot: Falling Kingdoms"; Commentary By Stephen Farber 5 Theatrical Trailers and a CD Soundtrack Sampler With 4 Songs -- "I Wonder What The King Is Doing Tonight" (sung by Richard Harris), "Camelot and the Wedding Ceremony" (Harris), "How To Handle A Woman" (Harris) and "If I Ever Leave You - Love Montage" (Franco Nero). CAMELOT ONLINE: If you might trouble finding the classic Camelot, go to the Official WB Shop Link at http://bit.ly/IbPqvt For more info and visuals from the film, try Official Facebook: http://on.fb.me/Camelot45 And if you are anxious to see clips for the musical masterpiece, check the out at Official You Tube Clips: http://youtu.be/3JYAXydDfFI * http://youtu.be/aFZQr3JrpaI * http://youtu.be/4L-4QuVHHRw
In his latest action film, Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter, The Departed) plays Chris Farraday, a legendary smuggler who long ago abandoned his life of crime -- always struggling to stay out of the world he worked so hard to leave behind -- only to become a law-abiding family man that is dragged back into the cutthroat, underground world of international crime in the suspenseful thriller Contraband. Although, he may be forced into doing things that he long ago left behind, he refuses to involve his family and will do ANYTHING to protect his wife (Kate Beckinsale, Underworld series) and son. When a ruthless drug kingpin (Giovanni Ribisi, Avatar) threatens his family, Farraday must summon his old skills and contacts for one last run. The Contraband Blu-ray Combo Pack delivers the film in perfect hi-def picture and perfect hi-def sound. The Contraband Blu-ray Combo Pack Bonus Features: Deleted Scenes; "Under The Radar – The Making of Contraband" -- a comprehensive guided tour through the making of Contraband; "Reality Factor – The Stunts and Action of Contraband" and Feature Commentary: with Director/Producer Baltasar Kormákur and Producer Evan Hayes. EXCLUSIVELY ON BLU-RAY: UltraViolet -- The revolutionary new way for consumers to download and stream instantly to computers, tablets and smartphones; Digital Copy; U-Control; Picture-in-Picture; Pocket BLU App; Advanced Remote Control; Video Timeline; Mobile-To-Go; Browse Titles; Keyboard and BD-LIVE.
Prepare to swim with the sharks in Dark Tide. Starring Academy Award winner Halle Berry (Best Actress in a Leading Role, Monster’s Ball, 2001) and Olivier Martinez (Unfaithful), the taut and suspenseful thriller follows a small boat expedition deep into the dangerous South African waters known as Shark Alley. Kate (Berry) is a shark expert whose business has been failing since a shark attack killed a fellow diver under her command. Once dubbed "the shark whisperer," Kate is haunted by the memory of the attack and unable to get back into the water. With bills piling up and the bank about to foreclose on Kate's boat, Kate's ex-boyfriend Jeff (Martinez) presents her with a lucrative opportunity: lead a thrill-seeking millionaire businessman on a dangerous shark dive…outside the cage. Battling her self-doubts and fear, Kate accepts the proposal -- and sets a course for the world's deadliest feeding ground: Shark Alley. Dark Tide was directed by John Stockwell, (Into the Blue, Turistas), from a screenplay by Amy Sorlie and Ronnie Christensen (story by Amy Sorlie). Bonus Feature: Trailer Gallery.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Now on Blu-ray, Alec Guinness stars in John le Carré’s original filmed classic Cold War spy thriller. An intricate drama hailed as one of the finest ever made for television, John le Carré’s classic Cold War-era spy drama Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy stars Oscar-winner Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars, Lawrence of Arabia) and an all-star ensemble cast with the performance of a lifetime in his BAFTA-winning role as George Smiley, a retired spymaster recruited to find a mole in the British intelligence service. No doubt remains: a mole has infiltrated the Circus, code name for the British Secret Intelligence Service. It can only be one of four men operating at the very highest level. Sidelined agent George Smiley is covertly tapped to root out the mole, a task that requires a painstaking dig through the double-blind world of Cold War-era espionage and his own past. Alec Guinness brilliantly captures the weary heart and steely soul of John le Carré’s master spy. This 1979 BBC miniseries garnered universal critical acclaim for its stellar ensemble cast, literate writing and intricate plots. The Blu-ray debut coincides with the home video release of the recent film adaptation starring Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight), which received Oscar nominations for Best Screenplay and Best Actor. Bonus Features: Exclusive interview with director John Irvin (29 min.); Deleted Scenes; John le Carré interview (27 min.); Production Notes; Glossary of main characters and terms, and le Carré biography and booklist.
Kim Wayans, Adepero Oduye, Aasha Davis and Charles Parnell star in Dee Rees's inspiring film that Peter Travers of Rolling Stone hailed the film as "vibrantly alive, potently moving and heartfelt!" Seventeen-year-old Alike (pronounced ah-lee-kay) lives with her parents and younger sister in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood. She has a flair for poetry, and is quietly embracing her identity as a lesbian. But whenever Alike's development becomes a topic of discussion at home, her parents' already strained marriage is pushed to the breaking point. Wondering how much she can confide in her family, Alike strives to get through adolescence with grace, humor, and tenacity -- sometimes succeeding, sometimes not, but always moving. Directed and written by Dee Rees, Pariah also stars Sahra Mellesse and Pernell Walker. Bonus Features: "Dee Rees: A Director's Style"; "A Walk In Brooklyn" and "Trying Out Identity: Pariah's Wardrobe."
Patton Oswalt's Finest Hour
A 20-year veteran of the stand-up comedy scene with multiple critically acclaimed DVDs, albums, tours and various acting and voiceover roles under his belt, Patton Oswalt has become ubiquitous in the world of stand-up. In his fourth (and Grammy Nominated) full-length special, Patton covers a range of topics from how hipsters make the Spam museum sad, the greatness of sweatpants and revisits his attack on KFC Famous Bowls. Bonus Features: Encore - KFC Bit; Pre-Show Superstitions and Stuff That Patton Mentions.
Agatha Christie's Poirot, Series 4
Newly remastered and restored to their original U.K. broadcast order, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Series 4 features a trilogy of cases. The endearingly eccentric detective Hercule Poirot (David Suchet) is back on the case in these three feature-length mysteries from the hit series. Brimming with beguiling 1930s period details and pitch-perfect performances, these lavish adaptations look better than ever in this remastered edition. Series 4 also stars Donald Sumpter (Game of Thrones), Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who), Hugh Fraser (Sharpe) as the affable Captain Hastings, and Philip Jackson (Little Voice) as Chief Inspector Japp. THE MYSTERIES: "The ABC Murders" — Poirot investigates the baffling mystery of a murderer who announces his next victims through a series of chilling letters, each addressed to the detective himself. "Death in the Clouds" — There’s murder in the skies as a ruthless blackmailer is killed on board a plane full of likely suspects. Unfortunately for the culprit, a certain Belgian detective is a fellow passenger. “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe" — When a popular dentist is gunned down, a murderous chain of events ensues. A broken shoe buckle becomes the key to untangling a deadly web of deception. For more information about Series 1, and 3 on Blu-ray, visit www.AcornOnline.com
Car 54 Where Are You ?: The Complete Second SeasonCar 54 Where Are You? was set in the Bronx’s 53rd precinct, where the cops depicted are all great comedic characters, as are the residents of the neighborhood they patrol. The central figures of the show are the Mutt & Jeff squad car team of Toody and Muldoon, played by Joe E. Ross and Fred Gwynne, and the ensemble of supporting actors was perfectly cast with Beatrice Pons as Toody’s domineering shrew of a wife, circus veteran Al Lewis as the irascible Officer Leo Schnauser, Charlotte Rae as Schnauser’s moody, hot-tempered wife, and Catskill comic /body builder Hank Garrett as Officer Ed Nicholson. Many critics and comedians believe that Car 54 Where Are You? is one of the greatest comedy series ever to appear on television. In Carl Reiner’s words, “All comedy writers of (series creator Nat) Hiken’s day agreed that he had no peer.” Season Two's episodes feature Molly Picon, Larry Storch, Mitch Miller, Jack Guilford, Shari Lewis and reflecting Hiken's passion for boxing, Sugar Ray Robinson and Rocky Graziano. Bonus Feature. A hilarious ten-minute standup comedy routine by series star Joe E. Ross. CAR 54 ONLINE: For some great laughs, view some classic scenes from the second season of Car 54 Where Are You? including "Pretzel Mary" on YouTube link: http://youtu.be/xk4ueNL0XTk * "A Star is Born in the Bronx" on the YouTube link: http://youtu.be/AU3pmgm9slk * "Joan Crawford Didn't Say No" - click to the YouTube link: http://youtu.be/nLIyyqKdn_M and "The Puncher and Judy" at the YouTube link: http://youtu.be/mbHxYhTGlZY
Ultimate Avengers Movie Collection 3-Movie SetMarvel Animated Features 3-Movie Collection
Perfectly timed for the theatrical release of The Avengers on May 4th, Lionsgate and Marvel Animation have teamed together to release two animated feature movie collections: Ultimate Avengers Movie Collection 3-Movie Set and Marvel Animated Features 3-Movie Collection. These films were the first-ever full-length animated movies from Marvel and star some of the most popular super heroes in the Marvel Universe while staying true to the best-selling comic book roots. These collections give fans of all ages their favorite characters in two convenient sets. Ultimate Avengers Movie Collection 3-Movie Set includes Ultimate Avengers: The Movie -- A world in crisis. Age-old enemies on the verge of attack. A mighty team is recruited, and Earth's ultimate hero is sought to lead them -- Captain America. Unfortunately, he's been frozen in ice for over sixty years. Inspired by Marvel's best-selling books, The Ultimates, this is the extraordinary story of six very independent heroes who, like it or not, must fight as one to save the world. Ultimate Avengers 2: The Heroes head to mysterious Wakanda. It lies in the darkest heart of Africa -- an isolated land hidden behind closed borders, fiercely protected by its young king -- the Black Panther. But when brutal alien invaders attack, that leaves the Black Panther must ask for help from outsiders. And so he turns to The Avengers -- Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Giant Man, Wasp, Black Widow and the Incredible Hulk. Next Avengers: To save mankind The Avenger make the ultimate sacrifice in their final fight with the indestructible robot, Ultron. But all was not lost, for Tony Stark (Iron Man) kept the children of the Avengers safe and raised them to become the teenage heroes of tomorrow. Now James (Son of Captain America and Black Widow), Torunn (Daughter of Thor), Azari (Son of the Black Panther) and Pym (Son of Wasp and Giant Man) must finish the fight their parents started.
Marvel Animated Features 3-Movie Collection: Planet Hulk: He was a monster, impossible to control, too dangerous to ignore. So Earth's mightiest heroes exiled him into outer space. But now the Incredible Hulk crash lands on the distant planet Sakaar, ruled by the tyrannical Red King. Sold into slavery, Hulk becomes the planet's mightiest gladiator-but his new masters get more than they bargained for when he forges a bond of brotherhood with his fellow fighters. The Invincible Iron Man: Past and present collide in this epic adventure that reveals the origin of Iron Man. While raising the ruins of a long buried Chinese kingdom, billionaire inventor Tony Stark digs up far more than he originally thought. He unleashes an age-old prophecy that foretells the resurrection of the Mandarin, the emperor of China's darkest and most violent dynasty. In order to confront the destructive force, Tony creates an armored suit infused with high-tech weaponry. To stop the evil that he himself has raised from the earth, Tony must become his greatest invention ever-Iron Man! Doctor Strange: Join us as Dr. Stephen Strange embarks on a wondrous journey to the heights of a Tibetan mountain, where he seeks healing at the feet of the mysterious Ancient One. But before his wounds can mend, Strange must first let go of his painful past, and awaken a gift granted to very few. The gift of magic. Empowered as the new Sorcerer Supreme, Dr. Strange now tests his limits, rising up against monsters that push at the gates, facing the most terrifying entity humankind has ever known. Bonus Features: Both Collections are loaded with bonus materials including "making of" featurettes, games, concept art, "first looks" and more.
A deadly creature emerges from the dark in Night Wolf. Sarah (Isabella Calthorpe) has avoided coming home to visit her family for quite some time. But when she finally does arrive, a storm is raging through her hometown and she and her family find themselves isolated. As night falls, a bloodthirsty creature emerges and terrorizes the family. Trapped and scared, they must survive together to outwit the creature hunting them. In addition to Calthorpe (How To Lose Friends & Alienate People), Tom Felton (the Harry Potter series), Joshua Bowman (Revenge), Gabriel Thomson (Enemy at the Gates), John Lynch (In the Name of the Father) and Simon MacCorkindale (Jaws 3). Bonus Feature: Trailer Gallery
A Mother's Love
Regina Reynolds is a strong, independent woman in the truest sense. However, her taste for the good life doesn’t necessarily include her husband Marcus or her daughter Monica. It truly takes "a mother’s love" from Georgia, Regina’s mother, to pray her down to earth. Directed by Tim Alexander (Diary of a Tired Black Man) and starring actress and talk-show host Rolonda Watts and Vanessa A. Williams (Melrose Place, Soul Food), A Mother’s Love was an official selection at the 2011 Pan African Film Festival. The Dove Foundation said, "This is a remarkable and inspiring film! It has all the key elements: good acting, fantastic direction, and a good story to boot. We at Dove can’t recommend this one enough. We are most pleased to award this film five Doves, our highest rating." While Christian Cinema added, "A new cinematic experience and a story too big for the stage, and so real you will think you are living it yourself!" Bonus Features: Producer's Interview; Commentary with director Tim Alexander and Theatrical Trailer.
Spot and His Grandparents Go To The Carnival
Spot, the star of Eric Hill’s beloved children’s books, is bringing his delightful half-hour Grandparents special to DVD. It’s a wonderful day for Spot. He is spending the day with Grandma and Grandpa and they are taking him to the carnival. And there’s an extra special surprise in store. Spot and his friends get to ride in the carnival parade on an actual fire engine. But when the float with the carnival’s band gets a flat tire, who will save the day? Bonus Features: Two additional 4-minute stories: "Spot’s Grandpa" and "Spot Helps Grandma."