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- 06/03/14--16:00: _Leaked Plot Details...
- 06/03/14--16:00: _Bill Clinton Was So...
- 06/03/14--16:01: _The Success Of 'Mal...
- 06/03/14--16:06: _Beyonce Celebrates ...
- 06/03/14--16:11: _Joel Osteen: "Gay M...
- 06/03/14--16:14: _ Glamorous Photos F...
- 06/03/14--16:23: _Jhene Aiko has twit...
- 06/03/14--16:28: _The Fascinating Rea...
- 06/03/14--16:34: _Teen Wolf Season 4:...
- 06/03/14--16:40: _Bradley Cooper is T...
- 06/03/14--16:41: _The Woman on Top of...
- 06/03/14--16:41: _'Homeland' Adds Lai...
- 06/03/14--16:42: _For your Consideration
- 06/03/14--16:42: _‘The Bachelorette’ ...
- 06/03/14--16:59: _George R.R. Martin ...
- 06/03/14--17:08: _Robert Pattinson Ru...
- 06/03/14--17:08: _Housewives At War: ...
- 06/03/14--17:19: _Kris Jenner "cried ...
- 06/03/14--17:19: _MØ being cute on Ki...
- 06/03/14--17:35: _Top (5) 20 Most Eag...
- 06/03/14--16:06: Beyonce Celebrates Obama's Declaration of LGBT Pride Month
- 06/03/14--16:11: Joel Osteen: "Gay Marriage Goes Against The Rules Of Christianity!"
- 06/03/14--16:40: Bradley Cooper is The Elephant Man
- 06/03/14--16:41: The Woman on Top of the World
- 06/03/14--16:41: 'Homeland' Adds Laila Robins, Corey Stoll for Season 4
- 06/03/14--16:42: For your Consideration
- 06/03/14--17:08: Robert Pattinson Rumored To Be A Frontrunner To Play Indiana Jones
- 06/03/14--17:08: Housewives At War: Sonja Unfazed By Kristen Dissing Doggie Funeral!
- 06/03/14--17:19: MØ being cute on Kimmel, performing 'Pilgrim'
With the trailer for Disney's adaptation of Marvel's Big Hero 6 finally out, everyone has been itching for more details about the movie. There isn't much to go on yet, but some new tidbits did just get leaked — and they're interesting!
First off, Hiro's parents (who were originally going to play a role in the movie) are now dead. The child prodigy instead grew up with his older brother Tadashi, who mysteriously disappears in an accident. This is likely what will kick off Hiro's story and lead into him joining the Big Hero 6.
As for the art, here's the kind of blurry image of the battle-ready team which showed up on the Big Hero 6 Tumblr. From left to right, it looks like Wasabi-No-Ginger, Honey Lemon, Baymax, Hiro, Fred, and GoGo Tomago. I've never read the comic so I can't say how true to their origin these characters look, but they look pretty damn sweet.
That's all for now, but keep your eyes open for more details as they slowly trickle out before the movie's November 7 release.
Bill Clinton looked anything but happy as he strode into the Savoy Baur en Ville hotel in Zurich in December 2010. The receptionists could tell he was irritated, but had no idea just how angry he was.
After closing the door to his suite, he reached for an ornament on a table and threw it at a wall mirror in a fit of rage, shattering the glass.
The former US president, who had spent two years travelling the world glad-handing members of football’s governing body, Fifa, could not believe America’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup had been beaten by, of all places, Qatar.
Mr Clinton, the honorary chairman of the US bid, had wheeled out such big-hitters as Brad Pitt, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Morgan Freeman and Spike Lee to add lustre to the US Soccer Federation bid. Australia and Japan’s bids had seemed the biggest threat, but few had seriously entertained the idea that Qatar, a footballing desert, could win.
“Clinton was fuming,” said one well-placed source. “He felt humiliated and felt the decision did not make sense.”
As Qatar’s bid team celebrated and the Fifa president Sepp Blatter declared football was going to “new lands”, questions were already being asked about the decision-making process. Why would Fifa award the World Cup to a small Gulf state with no footballing history, let alone stadia, where summer temperatures can reach 50C (122F)?
The answer could lie in a series of payments made by a senior Qatari official to various Fifa members. The Qatar 2022 bid committee is adamant that there is no link.
In the wake of Qatar’s victory, the US and Australian governing bodies, or sources close to them, each hired teams of private detectives who have worked behind the scenes since, interviewing witnesses and obtaining documents in the search for what they were certain was the hidden truth about the motives of Fifa members in voting for Qatar.
Whether there is any connection between these investigations and the leak of documents to The Sunday Times is unclear, but Australia and the US have most to gain if Qatar is stripped of the World Cup.
Meanwhile, newspapers have been making their own inquiries into the controversy.
In March this year, The Telegraph disclosed that Jack Warner, the former vice-president of Fifa, and his family were paid almost £1.2million by a Qatari firm linked to the World Cup bid. This newspaper also revealed that the 10-year-old daughter of a Brazilian Fifa executive who participated in the 2010 decision had more than £2 million put into a savings account set up in her name.
The Sunday Times has been given millions of leaked documents that appear to show a further £2 million in bribes that were paid to Fifa members in a plot allegedly organised by Mohamed Bin Hammam, Qatar’s most senior football official at the time.
Mr Bin Hammam is alleged to have used ten secret slush funds to make dozens of payments, many of them to accounts controlled by the heads of 30 African football associations who could lobby the continent’s four executive members over how to vote.
Mr Bin Hammam was banned from world football in 2011 after he was caught bribing voters in his bid to be elected Fifa president.
Now The Telegraph has discovered that Michel Platini, the president of Europe’s soccer governing body UEFA, held secret meetings with Mr Bin Hammam, and that Thailand was offered a gas deal in return for its support of the Qatar bid.
The clamour for Qatar to be punished has now built such momentum that Australia is said to be ready to re-run its bid if the 2022 tournament is up for grabs again, with the US likely to follow suit.
Where that leaves England’s World Cup ambitions is less easy to predict. England bid for the 2018 World Cup, given to Russia on the same day as Qatar was awarded the 2022 tournament.
David Cameron and the Duke of Cambridge were among those lobbying Fifa in the run-up to the vote in Switzerland, yet the bid got just two votes and was eliminated in the first round of voting.
Andy Anson, the chief executive of England’s bid, said some executive committee members had told lies. He had been confident that England could secure seven votes in the first round, a base that would have provided a platform for victory.
“I do feel people let us down, I’d be lying if I said they didn’t,” he said. “People who promised us our vote obviously went the other way.”
Even before Russia annexed Crimea, concerns had been raised about the country’s human rights and safety record, and there is speculation that if the 2022 vote has to be re-run, the 2018 vote would have to be re-run also.
Fifa is already looking at the possibility of moving the 2022 tournament to the winter months, and speculation is growing that Mr Blatter is looking for an excuse to reverse the decision altogether, with health concerns being a potential excuse.
A spokesman for the Qatar 2022 bid said Mr Bin Hammam had never worked for the bid and they knew nothing about his activities.
It won the box office over the weekend, but there’s no certainty that Maleficent will wind up with a sequel. Unlike Disney’s previous live-action retellings of its own animated classics — 101 Dalmatians and Alice in Wonderland — this movie may not earn enough in the long run to warrant bringing Angelina Jolie back as the redeemed Sleeping Beauty villainess.
The studio will instead focus on its other live-action remakes already in the pipeline, namely 2015′s Cinderella and The Jungle Book and the to-be-scheduled takes on Beauty and the Beast and, again, 101 Dalmatians. That last title will, like Maleficent, be focused on the baddie and has a tentative title of Cruella de Vil. Hopefully Glenn Close will reprise the lead role (making it another sequel to the 1996 hit), as she is currently credited as an executive producer on the project.
Given today’s trend of super franchises, though, it wouldn’t be surprising if Disney announced that all these movies were leading towards a mash-up of some sort. And because the public has a thing for antagonists, which Hollywood is already looking to exploit big time with a Sinister Six movie spun-off from the Amazing Spider-Man series, it also wouldn’t be surprising if that mash-up was going to be centered on Disney’s Villains merchandising franchise. It’d be a more fruitful effort than doing something with Princesses or Fairies, even though both of those are much more lucrative licensing-wise. Brands are not proven movie-worthy simply because of clothing and toy sales, especially with Disney products since the studio would prefer to target a wider audience than just the little girls who wear Tiana or Tinkerbell pajamas.
Think of the possibility: a movie teaming up Jolie, Close, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine and a computer-generated Shere Khan voiced by Idris Elba. Maybe throw in some more male villains, because unfortunately there is a need for that, for demographics reasons. At least a Frollo, Jafar, Gaston or Captain Hook. There also must be Hades, who seems to be a good means of uniting his fellow evildoers. Yet it’d be hard to round out this movie without an Ursula or Evil Queen, too. Disney had previously planned to do a live-action version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which could’ve included the latter, but they canceled the idea when Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman pushed forth quicker.
Now we just need some kind of story that would bring all these characters together.
Disney doesn’t have any kind of backstory to the Villains merchandising, though there have been some cartoon specials and theme park attractions forcing a union. Those stories are sort of based on the idea that the characters are just “characters,” where their only shared context is that they’re part of properties owned by the same company. As if they’re conscious of the fact that they’re being lifted out of other pieces of media or the parks. That’s the only way they’d have a foundation where their common enemy is Disney heroes in general, or principally Mickey Mouse.
So far, Disney has two ways to go with mashing up their characters, either they do something like the novel “The Kingdom Keepers” and the planned live-action movie Magic Kingdom, where the characters at the theme parks come to life, Night at the Museum-style, or they integrate them in a little world, a la TV’s Once Upon a Time, though even that deals with characters pulled out of their own stories.
Could there instead be the creation of an amalgamated fantasy universe that inhabits all the characters of these stories, sort of a generic Medieval world where these wonderlands and kingdoms are in the same world yet exist great distances apart? Many of Disney’s animated features involve similar settings, but how would Cruella fit in? She’s a 20th century woman. Shere Khan, meanwhile, is very much 19th century British empire. Other characters have specific periods, too.
However, there is a way to let the imagination accept a great land made up of more Middle-Age sections as well as modern urban areas, and everything in between. That’s basically just looking at the Disney theme parks as representations of an actual world in some other universe. Look at a Disneyland map as not a directory of rides and attractions but as a loose replica of a continent consisting of nations like Fantasyland, Frontierland, etc.
Next year, the Disney Channel will air a new TV movie from High School Musical‘s Kenny Ortega that seems to be making such a shared universe. Titled Descendants, it will feature Belle and Beast as queen and king of a kingdom where other heroes and heroines also reside happily ever after. All the villains, meanwhile, are collectively imprisoned in another realm. But their kids (however these were conceived) are allowed to commute from the dark place to the kingdom in order to attend school with the good characters’ offspring. The plot does follow a team-up of the adult villains for an evil mission, too. That might either be a sufficient platform for the premise or at least an effort that beats any movie pitch to the punch. Then again, the fact that there have been numerous Superman TV series hasn’t stopped there from being Superman movies, too.
Perhaps the studio can take some inspiration from the Disney Villains fan fiction, of which there is plenty. One in particular that seems to be popular is called “The Hellbound Hearts,” which involves the simple concept of bringing a bunch of villains together for a common evil — in this case, world domination, as suggested by Hades — only for them to end up divided and conquered as a result of their disagreements and egos. The value in the story, published to the web in 2010, is not so much in the plot, since that is clearly rather cliched and predictable, but in the fun of seeing all these villainous personalities bounce off one another. Author “Da Games Elite” has mostly been praised for how he or she captures the characters’ voices and behavior in order to see how they clash. The story also begins with a perfect neutral setting: the underworld.
It’s probably best to wait and see how Sinister Six turns out, because that is going to be the first real team-up movie focused on the villains. There’s a good chance that Descendants will be the more successful, but it just seems to be the case that – Maleficent‘s minor triumph at the box office notwithstanding – we like our bad guys and antiheroes on the small screen more than the big (unless it’s a fully conventional slasher horror movie perhaps). There just aren’t a lot of ways you can go when concentrated on villains that remain villainous — not retconned as good yet misunderstood as evil a la Maleficent.
My idea to keep a Disney Villains movie a worthwhile effort throughout: no major “good guy.” No Mickey or Prince Charming or even a team-up of heroes. Let the villains truly ruin their own plan and make their flaws as a team somewhat humorous. Make the division even funnier. I envision a movie like It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World but with Disney villains, where little team-ups break off and they’re all out to try to take over the world separately. Make it happen, Mouse House.
Will you celebrate/educate yourself this month, ONTD?
Megachurch pastor Joel Osteen doesn't seem to like talking about gay issues but that doesn't mean he can avoid it. It was pointed out to Osteen in an interview that at least some of 45,000 people are expected to see speak at Yankee Stadium on June 07 will be gay.
He was asked if gay marriage is against the fundamental rules of Christianity. Osteen said it is. 'It would be, but I don't really focus on a lot of those things,' he said. 'I try to stay in my lane of what I feel called to do. [Gay marriage] does come up in interviews and things, but that's not my core message.'
Osteen described homosexuality as 'not God's best work' and has remained staunchly against same-sex marriage which is now legal in 19 US states plus the District of Columbia.
The televangelist and author is senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston which is the largest church in the US. He said he tries to focus on such things as helping people to let go of the past, to raise good children and to achieve their dreams.
Osteen acknowledged that homosexuality is among the issues faced by his church where 'everybody's welcome. But my take on it is it's easy to make one issue - to become known for that or to let it sidetrack your message,' he said.
The Seventh Annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic returned to Liberty State Park this Saturday.
Hollywood stars such as Lupita Nyong'o and Olivia Munn, designers, socialites, and polo stars were among the thousands of good-looking, well-dressed attendees.
Model Behati Prinsloo threw out the ceremonial ball toss as Team Black Watch played Team Veuve Clicquot.
But it was all about the people watching, anyhow.
Olivia Munn, Aaron Paul, and Dakota Johnson all came out for the star-studded polo classic.
Celebrities Dakota Johnson, Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong'o, Olivia Munn, Behati Prinsloo, and Busy Philipps were all in attendance.
“I love day drinking,” Olivia Munn, posing here with Julianne Moore, told the NY Post at the event. “I think it should be part of everyone’s life if you’re not driving. Especially in New York. You don’t drive anywhere."
Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o looked chic with her wide-brimmed hat.
"Fifty Shades of Grey" star Dakota Johnson also went in theme with a hat.
Nicky Hilton and her Chanel accessories.
Guests were treated to an endless chandelier of champagne in the VIP tent.
Bottle Service for those who preferred to sit...
DJ Nick Cohen
Some polo players celebrated flanked by attractive ladies.
Others, such as Nacho Figueras, celebrated his win by guzzling a giant bottle of Veuve Clicquot.
"Blue's Clues" was one of the most popular children's shows on Nickelodeon throughout its decade-long run from 1996-2006.
Steve Burns, who hosted the show, became a major celebrity among the younger crowds and was even nominated for a Daytime Emmy in 2001. In 2000, he was named one of People's most eligible bachelors alongside George Clooney and Ben Affleck.
But in 2002, at the height of the show's popularity, the beloved Burns abruptly left "Blues" to "go to college" in his final episode. The actor was actually 29 years old at the time.
Rumors immediately began to swirl that Burns died of a drug overdose, was a drug addict, or was killed in a car crash.
When I asked a coworker/fan of the show (who shall remain nameless) what she thought happened to Steve, she too had heard he turned to drugs.
Not so, says Burns — who is very much alive — in an interview for Nickelodeon’s special “Behind the Clues: 10 Years with Blue.”
Burns reveals that one of the main reasons he left the show was because he was going bald, and he didn't want that to happen on national television in front of his young fans.
"I knew I wasn't going to be doing children's television all my life, mostly because I refused to lose my hair on a kid's TV show," Burns, now 40, said in an interview on the Nick Jr. special.
"And it was happening ... fast," he added.
We went back to early "Blue's Clues" episodes and indeed, Burns had a full head of hair.
But over the years, his hairline started to recede.
By his final episode, Burns was covering his bald spot with a hat.
That's when Nickelodeon hired 24-year-old Donovan Patton to replace Burns.
Patton had an enviable head of hair that took over "Blue's Clues" until the series finale in 2006.
Since then, Steve Burns has pursued a career in music and has even worked with members of The Flaming Lips to produce his debut album "Songs For Dustmites."
He hasn't appeared much on-camera since "Blue's Clues."
With exactly 20 days to go until the return of MTV’s Teen Wolf, TVLine got an early look at the Season 4 premiere, which is equal parts sexy, enlightening and stressful. So if we had to sum it up in one word, it’s “sexlightful.”
In addition to shining a spotlight on new characters like Malia — who you’re about to love, whether you know it or not — the June 23 premiere also pays homage to the past (Allison!) and is loaded with plenty of “WTF” moments, five of which we’re about to tease for you now:
* The biggest question on all of our minds after the Season 3 finale (“What is Kate?!”) is answered in the premiere.
* Lydia’s banshee powers are, at long last, being explained/explored.
* Someone gets scratched by something. (Vague enough for ya?)
* One Beacon Hills twosome is inspired to DTR after a little nudging from an unexpected source.
* Something weird happens to Derek. Like, something really, truly weird that we’ve never seen on this show — or any recent show we can think of, for that matter.
Can't wait for this mess
Previews begin October 18; Opening Night November 13
The Broadway revival of The Elephant Man, starring two-time Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper, Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola, will begin previews Oct. 18 at the Booth Theatre, producer James L. Nederlander announced June 3.
Cooper ("Silver Linings Playbook, "American Hustle") previously appeared as John Merrick (the titular Elephant Man) in the Tony-winning Bernard Pomerance drama at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2012. Scott Ellis, who directed the Williamstown production, will also stage the Broadway return of the 1979 play that will officially open Nov. 13.
The production will play a 13-week engagement through Jan. 18, 2015.
The Broadway revival will also feature Academy Award nominee Clarkson ("Pieces of April,""Far from Heaven") as Mrs. Kendal and Nivola (The Winslow Boy, A Month in the Country) as Dr. Fredrik Treves. Both Clarkson and Nivola appeared with Cooper in the Williamstown staging.
They will be joined by Anthony Heald, Scott Lowell, Kathryn Meisle and Henry Stram. Full casting will be announced at a later date.
The Elephant Man will have scenic and projection design by Timothy R. Mackabee, costume design by Clint Ramos, lighting design by Philip S. Rosenberg and sound design by Drew Levy.
Here's how the production is billed: "The Elephant Man tells the story of a 19th-century British man (Cooper) whose severe disfigurement made him a star of the traveling freak show circuit. When the renowned Dr. Treves (Nivola) takes Merrick under his care at the London Hospital, he discovers that beneath this shocking exterior lies a brilliant mind and an unshakable faith. Soon all of Victorian high society becomes fascinated by Merrick, especially the beautiful actress Mrs. Kendal (Clarkson). But with his new life comes new complexity… and as Merrick's condition grows more severe, a 'normal' life begins to seem all but impossible."
Tickets to the Broadway production go on sale June 4 at 10 AM to American Express cardholders via Telecharge.com. The general public on sale will begin June 28.
Pricing Information (ouch)
Mezzanine Rows A-G: $149.00
Mezzanine Row H: $99.00
For performances November 28 -29; December 5 -21; December 26 - January 4; January 16-18:
Mezzanine Rows A-G: $169.00
Mezzanine Row H: $99.00
A few years ago, Beyoncé Knowles was like any other record-breaking pop star in an already crowded field. Then something changed.
If you’ve ever seen Beyoncé Knowles astride a concert stage or a red carpet, you know she is a woman with a flair for dramatic entrances. But no previous coup de théâtre prepared the world for the arrival of the singer’s fifth full-length solo record, “Beyoncé,” the “visual album” that airdropped onto iTunes at midnight on Dec. 13, 2013. For months, the music press had seethed with speculation about Beyoncé’s delayed record release, with rumors of disastrous studio sessions and dozens of scrapped songs. “There is utter disarray in Beyoncé’s camp,” the website MediaTakeOut.com hissed. It was an unheard-of turn of events for Beyoncé, whose career had been a testament to, as it were, array: a regal, orderly parade from hit to hit, milestone to milestone, strength to strength.
Sure enough, the alleged behind-the-scenes chaos turned out to be the usual behind-the-scenes order, in disguise: While the gossip mills whirred, Beyoncé stealthily recorded 14 songs and shot 17 videos, which she unleashed in that December sneak attack. Purely as a feat of information management, “Beyoncé” was impressive. The National Security Agency couldn’t stop its secrets from spilling all over the place; Beyoncé kept the lid on a project which, conservatively, involved hundreds of individuals — studio musicians, cameramen, key grips, personal assistants, even record executives, as a rule the least trustworthy people on the planet. The arrival of all that music, all at once and out of the blue, was an unprecedented shock-and-awe move, which rocked the record industry back on its heels and convulsed the Internet. A single Beyoncé video is capable of staggering the senses; the simultaneous release of 17 of them — an onslaught of sound and spectacle and costumes and choreography and, in the case of a video like the one for “Rocket,” stately slow-motion images of billowing silk sheets and water droplets tumbling onto Beyoncé’s bare midriff — it was a lot to process. We can only imagine the feelings of Beyoncé’s pop diva competitors, whose carefully plotted monthslong album rollouts were instantly rendered quaint, and moot. That whining, whirring sound you heard on Dec. 13, mingling with the strains of “Drunk in Love” — that was Lady Gaga, in her gloomy castle keep, chainsawing a meat dress into sackcloth.
Beyoncé is 32 years old. She was 9 when she began singing with Girls Tyme, the group she formed with friends in her hometown, Houston; when the successor to Girls Tyme, Destiny’s Child, first cracked the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, in 1998, Beyoncé was just 16. She never seemed like an ingénue, though: Even as a teenager, she had gravitas. In one of the centerpiece songs on the new album, Beyoncé gazes backwards: “Look at me — I’m a big girl now . . . I’m a grown woman.” But the innocence-to-experience cliché doesn’t square with Beyoncé’s life, or art. From the beginning her message has been professionalism, perfectionism, power — ideals exemplified in her fearsome live performances and dramatized in songs that view romance through the lens of finance. Hits like “Bills, Bills, Bills” (1999), “Upgrade U” (2006) and “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” (2008) have found Beyoncé figuratively hunched over a balance sheet, weighing the costs of affections dispensed and luxury goods accumulated. She’s a fit star for our new gilded age, and an apt match, musical and otherwise, for her husband Jay Z, another arch-capitalist. In recent years, Beyoncé has toned down the materialism a bit, but ambition remains her calling card. In the torrid 2011 single “Run the World (Girls)” she sang: “We’re smart enough to make these millions/Strong enough to bear the children/Then get back to business.” The song is a postfeminist anthem, sure. It’s also a business plan that she’s followed to a T.
In 2014, Beyoncé’s grip on the zeitgeist has become a stranglehold. A recent “Saturday Night Live” skit revolved around the gag that Beyoncé-worship has become compulsory in the United States, that Beyoncé refusniks will be tracked down and eliminated by deadly government goons, the Beygency. (“He turned against his country . . . and its queen,” boomed the voiceover.) As “SNL” suggests, Beyoncé has become something more than just a superstar. She is a kind of national figurehead, an Entertainer in Chief; she is Americana. Someday, surely, her “Single Ladies” leotard will take its place alongside Mickey Mouse and the Model T Ford and Louis Armstrong’s trumpet in a Smithsonian display case.
Historically speaking, this is no small achievement. Black women have always been dominant figures in American popular music, but no one, not even Aretha Franklin, has reached the plateau that Beyoncé occupies: pop star colossus, adored bombshell, “America’s sweetheart.” Inevitably, Beyoncé is also a flashpoint, provoking ire from naysayers and ideologues of all stripes. In March, Bill O’Reilly decried “Partition,” a song that details a Beyoncé-Jay Z tryst in a limousine, for setting a poor example for “girls of color.” (Postmarital sex between consenting adults: immoral.) Last month, the black feminist author and activist Bell Hooks told an audience at a New School symposium: “I see a part of Beyoncé that is in fact antifeminist, that is assaulting — that is a terrorist . . . especially in terms of the impact on young girls.” There is a growing scholarly literature on Beyoncé; the Women’s and Gender Studies department at Rutgers University has offered an undergraduate course called “Politicizing Beyoncé.” Beyoncé is, as a cultural studies professor might put it, popular culture’s most richly multivalent “text.” The question these days is not, What does the new Beyoncé record sound like? It’s, What does Beyoncé mean?
Of course, the meaning begins with sound — with the tone and timbre of Beyoncé’s voice, one of the most compelling instruments in popular music. Beyoncé has traditionalist skills. She can belt an adult contemporary ballad like Barbra Streisand; she can deliver a fiery gospel testimonial; she can channel Michael Jackson (“Love on Top”) or imitate Prince’s falsetto (“No Angel”). But she is unmistakably a product of the hip-hop era, a singer who has assimilated the aggression and slippery rhythms of rap into a virtuosic and strange vocal style. We have gotten so used to Beyoncé, it may be hard to grasp what an oddball she is, how different her approach to rhythm, melody and harmony are to those of previous generations. You can hear that eccentricity in the wild timbral shifts and skittering syncopations of “Drunk in Love,” a half-sung, half-rapped hit that sounds, in the best sense, like a song Beyoncé is improvising from scratch in real time. Like all innovators, Beyoncé has pushed back boundaries, expanding our sense of what music should sound like. To the extent that we hear Beyoncé as “pop,” it’s because she has taught us to do so.
She’s taught the world to see music differently, too. The 17 videos for her latest album capture the star in a head-spinning variety of attitudes and alter-egos: as a beauty pageant contestant; as a moll with a flapper haircut; as a roller-disco queen; as the leader of a militant street mob with her hair dyed green; as a Houston homegirl, vamping on a street in the city’s hardscrabble Third Ward, with a nasty-looking dog on a leash; as a stripper, an ardent lover, a wife; and, in “Blue,” as an earth-mother-with-child, strolling a sun-dazzled strip of Brazilian coastline with her daughter, Blue Ivy. More than three decades after the rise of MTV, there are still those who view music videos as debased or “inauthentic.” But Beyoncé’s music is inseparable from her movie-star magnetism: the way she stares down a camera, strikes a pose, wears her clothes and, especially, the way she dances. And why not? Popular music has always been an audiovisual medium. If Beyoncé is the dominant figure in 21st-century music, perhaps it’s because pop has circumnavigated back to its 19th-century vaudevillian roots, to a time before disembodied voices came to us through hi-fi speakers or noise-canceling headphones, when music was, exclusively, a performing art. Beyoncé is the greatest old-fashioned singer and hoofer, the supreme show-woman, in an era when, once again, we’ve learned to love a splashy musical show.
Of course, she’s more than that. Literally and figuratively, Beyoncé is a moving target — it’s as difficult to get a fix on her as it would be to keep up with her on the dance floor. Beyoncé represents down-home earthiness and impossible glamour, soul-woman warmth and diva hauteur, a nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic and garish 1 percent excess. Her new album is sexed-up to the point of lewdness, with punch lines about body fluids on evening wear and intimations of rough sex. Yet the sex — in the limo, in the kitchen, everywhere, apparently, but the bedroom — is married sex, family-values sex, which, the album makes clear, produced a bouncing baby girl, a result perhaps even Bill O’Reilly can feel good about.
Beyoncé’s songs are packed tight with such contradictions. Think of “Single Ladies,” an anthem of feisty feminist solidarity that endorses the most retrograde diamonds-are-a-girl’s-best-friend brand of transactional romance: “If you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it.” Or consider “***Flawless,” on the new album, which throws together a dizzying mix of sounds and signifiers. There’s a clamorous trap beat and pitch-shifted vocals; there are shout-outs to Houston (“H-town vicious”) and to Jay Z’s record label, Roc Nation (“My Roc, flawless”). There are coarse mean-girl threats (“Bow down, bitches!”) and a sampled snippet from a TEDx talk by the Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie titled “We Should All Be Feminists,” which wags a finger at mean-girl threats: “We raise girls to see each other as competitors.” The video intersperses an excerpt from 10-year-old Beyoncé’s appearance on the TV talent show “Star Search” with the current-day Beyoncé, clad in Kurt Cobain flannel, executing a spectacular dance routine in a dank basement surrounded by skinheads. It’s all tied together by a refrain — “I woke up like this!” — which, among other things, does double duty as a boast about effortless beauty and a mantra of enlightenment. What does Beyoncé mean? What doesn’t she mean.
Showtime is firming up the ranks for Homeland's next season.
The Claire Danes starrer has enlisted Laila Robins (Bored to Death) and The Strain star Corey Stoll for season four, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Robins will be a series regular and play Martha Boyd, the U.S. ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, who is professional and put-together, with a ship-to-ship voice and the personality to match. Stoll will guest-star as Sandy Bachman, the CIA chief of station in Pakistan and a rising star in the agency's firmament.
Robins' credits include In Treatment, The Sopranos and Damages as well as features Side Effects, The Good Shepherd and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. She's repped by Paradigm.
House of Cards alum Stoll next toplines FX's Guillermo del Toro/Carlton Cuse vampire drama The Strain, which debuts in July. His credits include The Normal Heart and Law & Order: L.A. He's repped by UTA and Suskin Management.
Production on season four will begin this month in Cape Town, South Africa. Homeland returns in the fall on Showtime.
Now I have to start watching again for my bb Corey.
Emmy voters are currently deciding on the best in television over the past year and, all over the streets of Los Angeles, your favorite TV shows are plastered on billboards. The Walking Dead, True Detective and many more are being pushed by their respective networks, hoping voters check them out or at least have their memories jogged about shows that finished a while ago.
Of all the ads emblazoned up and down Sunset Blvd or Highland Ave., the ones for Mad Men really stand out. Which makes sense. A show about advertising should have the best advertising. While the show’s creative team has done a great job with that in the past, these ads take things to another level.
click the source for enlargements
“The Bachelorette”: All fun and games until it isn’t anymore. That has become painfully obvious this season, as 31-year-old contestant Eric Hill died in an accident several weeks after exiting the ABC dating show. The producers have cautiously paid tribute to Eric while weaving in hours of footage of him competing for Andi Dorfman’s attention; a tough balancing act on any show, let alone one as typically frothy as “The Bachelorette.”
Then, a new challenge came up on Monday night’s episode — Eric not only exited the series, but left in an upsetting way. As a result, “The Bachelorette” pulled a rare move: Producers scrapped the traditional rose ceremony (where Andi eliminates one or more bachelors) at the end of the episode in favor of an updated, taped interview featuring host Chris Harrison and a tearful Andi, in which she explained the circumstances of Hill’s departure and reflected on her time with him.
The audience had just seen Andi and Eric have their last conversation, a fight that left her crying and him leaving the set in a taxi. Harrison explained that shortly after departing the show, Eric was tragically killed in a paragliding accident at home in Utah.
“Normally, right now, we’d all be watching the rose ceremony. But that just didn’t seem right tonight. It just didn’t seem important who did or didn’t get a rose,” Harrison said. “What does seem right is to talk about Eric. And so that’s what we’re gonna do.”
No word on when this segment was filmed, though presumably sometime recently when the show wrapped filming. After offering his “heartfelt condolences, prayers and best wishes” to Eric’s family, Harrison asked her all about what exactly happened between the two on the show that led to such a controversial goodbye.
The gist: While Eric was the first guy chosen for Andi to take on a solo date a couple weeks ago, things had slowly started fizzling between the two as Andi narrowed down her suitors. Throughout Monday’s episode, the pair addressed that their relationship was “stalling.” Eric said he felt like he couldn’t get to know her true personality, and that everything felt so formal all the time with the cameras. Andi reminded him that this was a reality show and they didn’t have much of a choice, and encouraged him to be more open. That led to a truly sad (in retrospect), prolonged scene where he talked all about how much loved his family and how his siblings meant the world to him.
All seemed okay after that, but it crumbled quickly later after a group date. During their one-on-one time, Eric confronted Andi about the fact that he didn’t really know her at all and accused her of being fake. “I came on this to meet a person, not a TV actress,” he told her. That comment made Andi particularly angry, which resulted in a long, emotional argument. She wound up breaking down in tears saying how hard it was to try to find your soulmate with cameras watching; he told her he just wanted her to be her true self.
It spiraled until she basically told him to leave. “I think at this point, you and I both know this is not going to work,” she fumed. Eric looked confused at how the conversation had arrived at that point; alas, he left, and Andi stormed off as well.
Back in real time, Harrison asked Andi about how things went south so quickly with Eric considering they really hit it off at first; she went on about how she felt sparks initially, but ultimately it just wasn’t a relationship that was going to work. Then Harrison got all “insensitive reality show host” and probed, “Looking at it now — and I know this might be tough considering the circumstances — would you have changed anything? Would you have handled it differently?”
“To be honest, the way Eric left and my last conversation with him, it’s not ideally the last conversation that I would want to have with somebody,” Andi sighed, reflecting during a moment of unusual gravitas on “The Bachelorette”: Realizing that you never know when it could be the final time you ever see someone you care about.
“It changed me in so many ways,” she said. “You know, you tend to kind of get caught up in all of this. And I’m definitely guilty of that myself. You know, you get worried in these little details and a conversation here, or your emotions there, and this date, and the logistics of things…And to lose somebody puts everything in perspective. And it just makes all those little things seem just completely irrelevant.”
Speaking of which, if “Bachelorette” fans care, Harrison added, Tasos — the 30-year-old wedding event coordinator from Denver — was eliminated in what was supposed to be Monday’s rose ceremony.
He seemed like a great guy. What a shame.
There’s this anecdote about famed trumpeter/composer Miles Davis that I really like, and it goes like this: When John Coltrane was the young up-and-coming saxophonist in Miles’s band, ‘Trane had a propensity for taking overly long sax solos. Like, 30 minutes too long, that type of thing. When Davis approached Coltrane about this, John told Miles something along the lines of that he just didn’t know how to stop playing. To which Miles replied, “Take the fucking horn out your mouth.”
I mention this because, in a piece of shocking news, George R.R. Martin, author of the Song of Ice and Fire series, apparently has an editor. Martin’s editor, Anne Groell, now thinks the book series, which was originally pitched to her as a trilogy before hitting every cardinal number of potential books on the way to seven, will now, maybe, stretch to eight.
The fifth and latest book in the series to be published, A Dance of Dragons, was released in July of 2011, after a near six-year wait following the release of the fourth book, the gloomy and incomplete A Feast for Crows. Crows featured an afterword by Martin saying that Dance would be released within the span of a year, and he was off by some 500 percent.
Page counts for each successive book have swelled as Martin has become seemingly incapable of not describing every stitch of clothing, foodstuff, sigil, backstory, and utterance of every character no matter how minor or short-lived. This creates an incredible, granular level of fictional-historical detail, and also makes large portions of Books 4 and 5 a major goddamn slog. Book 1, A Game of Thrones, came in at 704 pages. By A Dance With Dragons, we’re talking 1,056 pages, and the hardcover edition struck coffee tables around the world like the Mountain’s fist.
At one point in Groell’s Q&A she mentions trying to get Martin to cut the number of times a certain character says “Words are wind” down from 14 to perhaps six or seven, without success. George, I love your story. Love. But, please, take the fucking horn out your mouth.
In major “take this with a huge grain of salt” casting news for the day, a British tabloid reports that Twilight Saga star Robert Pattinson will play Indiana Jones in a franchise reboot for Disney. The Star quotes a source as saying, “Disney is looking at its long-term options for the Indiana Jones franchise. They feel that the series has huge potential on many levels, starting with the films leading to other spin-offs like games which can generate more money than movies.”
Pattinson, who has earned mostly positive reviews in his movies since Twilight ended, is reportedly at the top of Disney’s wish list to replace 71-year-old Harrison Ford, who has expressed his desire to play the character at least once more before he hangs up the fedora once and for all.
Ford has recently signed on to reprise his role as Han Solo in Star Wars Episode VII. When Disney purchased Lucasfilm a little over a year ago, the company’s CEO made it clear that they had done so in order to acquire the Star Wars franchise and that anything else — including Indiana Jones, Skywalker Sound and other assets — was just a bonus.
In February, two more Indiana Jones movies were rumored to be planned with Ford in the title role. In March, though, Bradley Cooper was among the names dangled as a potential replacement as soon as the next movie. That rumor also maintained that Frank Darabont, director of The Shawshank Redemption and showrunner for the first season of AMC’s The Walking Dead, reportedly has pitched an idea for the next movie, although he later dismissed the talk as just that.
who do you want to see play Indy?
Kristen Taekman may have dismissed Sonja Morgan’s dog funeral as “morbid” on the latest episode of Real Housewives of New York City, but the grieving single mom isn’t letting her costar’s negativity bring her down.
“I didn’t pay attention to Kristen’s comment at the time,” Morgan, who recently lost her beloved 18-year-old poodle Millou, tells RadarOnline.com exclusively.
Morgan, 50, explains she just felt it was strange that Taekman, 36, behaved that way— and now wants to convert the model into an animal lover.
“Just like when I took Kristen under my wing when she was new on the show, I would invite her to my home to spend time with my two dogs and my cat,” Morgan says. “Maybe she didn’t grow up with animals. How could you not love animals? Everyone loves animals!”
Despite Taekman’s behavior, Morgan insists Millou’s funeral was a special event.
“Funerals are for those who are left behind by loved ones who move to the other side,” she says. “And a lot of things change. My healer Aleta St. James… helped me with my own life shift to get through this transition.”
“We all go through transition: loss of a dog, loss of a marriage, loss of loved ones,” Morgan continues. “When you love deeply, it’s hard. And when you’re loyal like I am, it’s hard to move on. But I did.”
And Morgan says she’s grateful for the friends that did lift her spirits.
“I really appreciated all the girls coming together in solidarity to support me during this important moment,” she says.
As Beyoncé says, “If you liked it, then you should have put ring on it” — and it looks like Aviva Drescher’s father, 76-year-old George Teichner, has done just that! On this week's episode of Real Housewives of New York, the raunchy senior proposed to his much younger girlfriend Cody — popping the question at daughter Aviva’s New York City pad.
Wetpaint Entertainment caught up exclusively with the Housewife on the red carpet at OK! Magazine's So Sexy NYC soiree at Marquee, where she gave us all the juicy dish.
If you're wondering how Aviva’s kids feel about their grandfather’s new fiancée, Aviva explains, “They were just in Europe together, and before they went to Europe they stayed with me in my apartment. And my kids love my new future stepmother!”
Well, there you have it! It looks like the Drescher family is crazy about Cody, and gives George two thumbs-up for proposing to the young lady.
When we inquired about who Aviva wishes to see on the next season of RHoNY, she said, “You know, I would love to see my father’s fiancée join the cast. I think she would be really interesting.”
We would love for Cody to join the RHoNY gang — especially if it means seeing more of George and his crazy antics. We’re not so sure what the producers would think of this pitch, but we can sure cross our fingers!
If anyone was getting Ramotional on last week's episode of Real Housewives of New York, it was Sonja Morgan, not the normally loopy Ramona Singer. In fact, in her Bravo blog, Ramona almost sounds as if she's the most level-headed and logical one of the bunch. This is by no means turtle time!
Ramona begins, "It seemed childish when Kristen was speaking to Heather and LuAnn about me that Heather threw out all these negative nicknames for me. I would think they could discuss me without name calling…I really expected more from Heather, but perhaps she expected more from me in the Berkshires and felt justified."
Of the funeral for Sonja's pooch Millou, Ramona explains, "Millou was like losing a child to Sonja. He was very important for so many years in Sonja's life. When so many things change its nice to have a constant and that was Millou for Sonja. That is why the passing of Millou hit Sonja so hard. I thought Sonja did a beautiful and thoughtful funeral for Millou. I never went to a dog funeral before and had no idea what to expect," adding, "Sonja handled it with class and elegance — right down to champagne plastic glasses." Wait, was that a dig?
Discussing their bond despite this season's tension, Ramona concludes, "Sonja and I are very close. We have our differences at times and can fight and argue intensely. What will never change is that we have each other's backs and have been through thick and thin with each other.My love is always there for her and vice versa. We get each other in such a way that many people don't understand and are jealous and resentful of. We are truly friends for life."
The People’s Couch” a show that features different sets of families and friends as they watch TV’s most popular shows that air throughout the week as the audiences at home watch their reactions. The show is coming back next week with one hour episodes beginning on June 3rd from 10-11pm.
How has being on the show influenced your social media habits and how has it changed the way you watch television?
Blake McIver: Before “The People’s Couch,” I never would’ve thought to live tweet during a TV show. I thought it would be distracting but now I love it. There’s something about the immediate interactive nature of tweeting that adds a layer of excitement and intrigue. Kind of like watching TV with ten thousand of your closest friends.
Do you find that your fans tweet you about that programming they are tuning into every week and have they also introduced you to shows that you were not aware of?
McIver: Absolutely. We get so many tweets and Facebook messages each week asking, “What did you guys think about…” or “I wish we could see your reaction to…”
When you live tweet as the episodes air, do you find yourself answering questions on your comments you made on the show or on your living spaces?
McIver: It depends on the content of each episode. If we’ve said something particularly ridiculous or the slightest bit polarizing, we find ourselves answering for it on social media. I’ve spent a lot of time explaining my “I’ve just never been a Brad Pitt person” comment. Also, I’ve gotten many a tweet about people wanting to know where I get my shoes and I’m convinced that the twittersphere is completely obsessed with Scott’s socks, haha.
What are your favorite social platforms and why?
McIver: Social media has definitely enhanced the interactive experience of TV watching. My current favorite social platform is Instagram. If a picture is worth 1,000 words and a tweet can only contain 140 characters… you do the math. Actually I’m a nerd so I did the math. There’s an average of 14.98 words per tweet so therefore it would take 66.75 tweets to amount to the 1,000 words we have culturally deemed as the worth of a picture.
What are you favorite TV shows?
McIver: My favorite shows are “Mad Men,” “Nashville,” “Scandal,” and “So You Think You Can Dance.” And my ultimate “not so guilty-pleasure” show is “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” I’m really holding out for a “Branderpump” reconciliation next season.
sources: RadarOnline, WetPaint, RealityTea, LostRemote
Kendall Jenner is opening up about moving out of the Kardashian family household and getting her own apartment.
On this morning's episode of Live With Kelly and Michael, the 18-year-old model said mama Kris Jenner had a hard time with the move at first."She definitely came up to me and told me she cried herself to sleep a couple of nights," Kendall dished, adding, "When it actually happened, last week I moved in and she literally did everything, like helped moving me in and stuff and she's like, ‘I got it. I got it.' And I was like, 'But this is my first place, I want to be able to do it.'"
While Kris was super hands-on with the move, Kendall says she was the one deciding when it came to decorating. "I picked out all my stuff, but she helped basically to get it all in there," she said. "I offered to help, but she wouldn't let me!"
As for whether or not Kendall will be getting a place to share with younger sister Kylie Jenner when Kylie turns 18, Kylie said, "Probably not.""She's too messy!" Kendall added. "She's way too messy for me."
Meanwhile, Kelly Ripa complimented Kylie on her blue highlights. "I think I have an addiction with changing my hair, so I'll be like teal one week, blue the next, blond the other week," Kylie explained.
As for her family's approval on the hair dye job, Kylie said, "They all told me they didn't want me to do it before I did it...When I did it my mom was like, ‘You look like a Skittle.'I was like, ‘Now I'm going to have this hair for two years since you said that.'"
would be so much fun to see her live
Summer is almost here! In Japan, that means it’s almost time for fun summer festivals, wearing cute cotton yukata, chowing down on kakigōri until inducing brain freeze, smashing watermelons on the beach, and just generally lazing about the house with fans on full blast and complaining about the insufferable heat.
In the anime world, summer means a whole new season of shows to look forward to (and the obligatory “boobikinis-at-the-beach-swimsuit-episode”). In fact, popular anime informational website Charapedia asked 10,000 fans to pick their most anticipated anime show of summer 2014, and we’ve got the results.
30s and above: 14.8%
Individual series rankings were calculated using a combination of the number of votes cast, the voting rank, and user comments.
The following list is the comprehensive summary of results. You can also view the ranking according to the sex of survey respondents–go here and click on the grey tabs at the top of the chart that say 男性 (male) or 女性 (female) to view the results in this manner. And for your information, yes, the chiseled-ab swimming men of Free! Eternal Summer made number one on the women’s list by a long shot (was there ever any doubt?).
Note: While the majority of the promotional clips below are official trailers, a few are fan-made productions.
1. Sword Art Online II [sequel]
2. Free! – Eternal Summer [sequel]
4. Kuroshitsuji Book of Circus
7. Sailor Moon Crystal
10. Ao Haru Ride
What summer anime are you excited for?