“Elvis,” directed by Baz Luhrmann, might be one of the most well-done biopics of all time. The movie shows the life of megastar Elvis Presley.
Actor Austin Butler, who donned Elvis’ iconic outfits, outdid himself. He transformed himself for the film with so much commitment. The actor did not play Presley — he became Presley. Butler went through two to three years of voice training, perfecting his tones. The actor ended up with a voice so similar to Presley that audiences are convinced that he was lip-syncing.
He also studied Presley during the different eras of the music star’s life and evolved his character during the movie in a way that was true to each era.
The movie dives into an aspect of Presley’s life that has not been talked about enough — his relationship with his manager Tom Parker, played by the talented Tom Hanks. Hanks played the role so well that audiences came out of the movie hating the character, but also understanding why he did what he did.
The cinematography of the movie is stunning. Luhrmann was able to deliver the exact emotions he wanted the audience to feel. Each scene is carefully crafted to make the audience feel something, whether excitement, anticipation, sadness or loss.
The larger-than-life public personality of Elvis Presley was reduced in the movie. The way “The King” worked himself to exhaustion, his genuine love for his mother and his attachment to his daughter is well done and balanced. There are moments we see him break and moments we see him happy — in these moments we see the human side of Elvis that is often forgotten.
The team recreated some of Presley’s most iconic performances, like the “1968 Comeback Special,” in which the star rebelled against racism. Songs featured in the film include “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock.”
Presley’s wife, Priscilla, is played by Olivia DeJonge, who expertly portrays the character and her relationship with Elvis.
Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis’ only child, watched the movie and praised Butler’s performance as Elvis. The movie received a 12-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival and deserved every second of it.
The movie is available for booking in all Saudi cinemas.
Timothy Kelly, the executive vice president and managing director of Atlantis, said in a statement: “We are incredibly excited to welcome the return of Kylie Minogue to Atlantis, The Palm for a spectacular New Year’s Eve performance.”
“As the leading entertainment destination in the region, our New Year’s Eve Gala Dinners have become legendary, with Kylie joining the likes of rock band KISS in 2020, and Robbie Williams in 2021. We no doubt that 2023 will be another exceptional moment and can’t wait to give our guests one of the most memorable New Year’s Eve of their lives,” added Kelly.
Director Bassam Tariq exits Marvel’s ‘Blade’ over schedule conflicts
Updated 28 September 2022
DUBAI: US Pakistani filmmaker Bassam Tariq has exited his role as director of Marvel Studios’ “Blade” due to shifts in production schedule, according to a report by Variety.
Tariq’s departure comes before production was set to commence in November on Marvel’s upcoming feature about the iconic comic book vampire slayer. The film stars Mahershala Ali in the title role, alongside a cast that includes Delroy Lindo and Aaron Pierre.
“It’s been an honor working with the wonderful folks at Marvel. We were able to put together a killer cast and crew. Eager to see where the next director takes the film,” Tariq said in a statement, confirming his exit as director.
Part-Lebanese singer Shakira to face trial for tax fraud in Spain
Updated 27 September 2022
BARCELONA: A Spanish judge on Tuesday approved a trial for Lebanese Colombian pop singer Shakira on charges of tax fraud.
Spanish prosecutors accused the entertainer in 2018 of failing to pay $13.9 in taxes on income earned between 2012 and 2014. Prosecutors are seeking an eight-year prison sentence and a hefty fine if she is found guilty of tax evasion.
Shakira, 45, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and rejected a deal with authorities to avoid going to trial. Her public relations firm has said that she has already paid all that she owed and an additional $2.8 million in interest.
The date for the trial has yet to be set.
The case hinges on where Shakira lived during 2012-14. Prosecutors in Barcelona have alleged the Grammy winner spent more than half of that period in Spain and should have paid taxes in the country, even though her official residence was in the Bahamas.
Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, has been linked to Spain since she started dating soccer player Gerard Pique. The couple, who have two children, used to live together in Barcelona but recently ended their 11-year relationship.
Spain has cracked down on soccer stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo over the past decade for not paying their full due in taxes. Both players were found guilty of evasion and received prison sentences that were waived for first-time offenders.
Directed by the French auteur Jimenez, the intense film charts the five days after the devastating November 2015 attacks in Paris that killed more than 100 people.
The movie premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this year in the Out of Competition section.
Speaking at a press conference after the film’s premiere in May, Jimenez said his mission was to show how the anti-terrorist unit experienced five “awful days.”
“The idea was not to turn them into heroes,” he said. “Even though the situation was resolved, there are only losers: the many people who died, the witnesses who are upset forever, the police officers who resigned because it was such a terrible hardship. In this kind of event, there are no winners.”
Khoudri stars as Samia in the film — a charitable young woman who volunteers at a homeless camp. Her flat mate is bankrolling her cousin, one of the terrorists.
She stars alongside actors Jean Dujardin – who plays the leader of the police division — Anaïs Demoustier, Sandrine Kiberlain, Jérémie Renier, Cédric Kahn, Sofian Khammes, Sami Outalbali, Stéphan Bak, Annabelle Lengronne and Raphaël Quenard.
Popstar Jason Derulo lauds AlUla’s unique ‘blend of worlds’
Singer says Saudi Arabia becoming world’s most attractive destination
Updated 27 September 2022
ALULA: In the historical epicenter for cross-cultural exchange, between the majestic mountains of AlUla, popstar Jason Derulo took the stage to deliver a performance unlike any other at the second edition of the Azimuth music festival on Saudi National Day last weekend.
The American artist entranced the crowd with some of his most recent hits, including “Swalla” and “Jelebi Baby,” as well as some of his older fan favorites such as “Solo” and “In My Head.”
The concert took place in the same valley that hosted the contemporary art exhibition Desert X earlier this year, ensuring a special music experience for nationals and visitors alike in celebration of the Kingdom’s 92nd National Day.
“Any time you can come to a place and have an experience … it makes the show so much better because it’s something that’s completely different that you can’t get anywhere else,” Derulo told Arab News in an exclusive interview.
Historically known as a strategic crossroads for trade and pilgrimage routes, the settlement conceals hidden gems such as the narrow valley oasis and the unique Elephant Rock. As part of the Madinah province, AlUla is a symbol of the cultural richness found throughout the eastern region of Saudi Arabia and beyond.
Any time that I can spread the word about how incredible this place is, I jump at the opportunity, and this is another one of those opportunities.
“Coming through the rock and all the sand, it’s almost like it’s a hideaway from everything, and to bring all of this luxury to the middle of the desert is unlike any other experience,” he said.
“Here you get to really see all the stars, you get to see all the rock, the mountains, you get a piece of that world. Then you bring the highest level of luxury to it and it’s just a blend of worlds that you can’t get anywhere else,” Derulo added.
Derulo has performed throughout the region, headlining in Saudi for the first time in 2018 at the Saudia Diriyah E-Prix alongside Enrique Iglesias, The Black Eyed Peas, and Egypt’s Amr Diab.
“I’ve been performing for a very long time and I can say that this experience was unique, unlike any experience I’ve ever had. I’ve performed all over the world and even coming here today, I pulled out my phone — I was like, ‘this is amazing,’” he said.
The three-day Azimuth festival is one of several initiatives, forming part of Vision 2030, to position the Kingdom as a tourism hub.
• The American artist entranced the crowd with some of his most recent hits, including ‘Swalla’ and ‘Jelebi Baby,’ as well as some of his older fan favorites such as ‘Solo’ and ‘In My Head.’
• The concert took place in the same valley that hosted the contemporary art exhibition Desert X earlier this year, ensuring a special music experience for nationals and visitors alike in celebration of the Kingdom’s 92nd National Day.
• Jason Derulo commended the efforts made to globalize local talent and create new avenues for entertainment, recalling his performance during the professional LIV Golf tour, financed by the Public Investment Fund.
“I was actually one of the first performers, if not the first performer, that performed with an integrated crowd between men and women here, and I feel honored and blessed to be a small piece of history.”
“Any time that I can spread the word about how incredible this place is, I jump at the opportunity, and this is another one of those opportunities,” Derulo said.
“I love that people from across the world have come here and made this home because it really is a special place. They have a sense of pride, a small piece of ownership even, you would think that they were from here and they know so much about the history,” he added.
The artist believes that Saudi Arabia is on the verge of becoming one of the “biggest” attractions in the world.
“This is something that’s just starting, though people are just now starting to see it, I’m sure this has been in the works for such a long time. There’s still so much room for growth, but it’s already incredible,” he said.
Bringing in a diverse lineup of both local and international artists was a key goal for the event, collaborated by entertainment festival MDLBEAST and the Royal Commission for AlUla.
Ahmed Alammary, the Saudi DJ and chief creative at MDLBEAST, told Arab News that this celebration was a chance to create cultural exchange opportunities with international artists while also catering to a local audience.
Derulo commended the efforts made to globalize local talent and create new avenues for entertainment, recalling his performance during the professional LIV Golf tour, financed by the Public Investment Fund.
“This is becoming a melting pot, and it’s beautiful to see … I think Saudi is really pushing the envelope in terms of tourism and technology. When you think of arts when you think of entertainment, Saudi has become really high up on the list because they really took a stand and really took a giant leap in that world,” Derulo said.