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Oh No They Didn't! -

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    Soon-to-be dad Kris Allen let a major secret out during our SXSW chat with him –- is he having a boy or a girl? Well, you’ll have to check out the interview to find out, but let’s just say

    he/she will be wearing plenty of fedoras!

    Chelsea Briggs caught up with the American Idol alum to dig deeper on some “secret stuff” he has in the works, an embarrassing on-stage moment, and details on upcoming music he has for us.


    While Kris may still be recovering from a recent injury where he shattered his wrist and got a pretty badass scar from it, that’s not slowing him down too much when it comes to working on new music. Talking about his new album, he explained that at the end of the day, he just doesn’t care anymore about pleasing anybody but himself. “I’ll make whatever feels right and just let people hear it,” he said.
    And that “secret stuff” we mentioned earlier? Well, let’s just say that it may or may not have to do with a musical collaboration! Kris refused to go any further than revealing that, but he did tell us that he’s having a boy this summer so we can’t really complain. We will say that we’re beyond stoked for some new music from Kris in the near (hopefully very near) future!


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    BioShock Infinite aims so damn high – fittingly, since its alternate-reality 1912 city of Columbia literally floats atop clouds – that it’s a wonder it successfully hits any of its lofty goals at all. But it does hit them, again and again. A stunning original world of retro-sci-fi technology and gorgeous scenery. A cast of fully fleshed-out, memorable characters who deliver real emotional impact. A great villain and a greater monster. New and thrilling ways of traveling and changing the world around you. A story twist most people won't see coming. Even when it does occasionally miss, another hit follows so quickly that the stumble almost feels like a setup to increase the effect. Infinite comes through as a true, worthy follow-up to BioShock, one of the most-renowned shooters of this generation. In my book, it becomes one itself.

    Irrational Games – a studio that’s made a name for itself in eschewing predictability and is known for pathological cybervillains and brutish Big Daddies who earned our sympathy in their staunch protection of Little Sisters – somehow makes a city built on the clouds seem plausible. It's a place that feels alive. Townsfolk bustle in the plaza streets, birds flit about almost everywhere, and propoganda extolls the local prophet's racist, ultra-nationalist beliefs. Columbia has its own history and hierarchy, to a degree that most shooters – or games of any genre, for that matter – can’t even aspire. It's created using a vibrant color palette and a unified vision of a twisted, jingoistic take on America. Simultaneously, no two of its many diverse areas ever feel alike. All these elements give this fantastical city a sterling sense of genuine place.

    It’s that inaugural hour – and in fact the few that follow it – that build the foundation upon which the rest of BioShock Infinite stands. Er, floats. Early on, thanks to the weapons, powers, and upgrades having new names but functioning in largely the same way, it’d be fair to call Infinite an elaborate, blue-sky reskin of the first BioShock. If that's a criticism at all, it's a weak one; BioShock's about as sound a starting point to build upon as a game could hope for, and Infinite has made the most of that. I'd put the artwork, meticulously crafted detail, and overall atmosphere of Columbia right up there with BioShock's Rapture, Half-Life 2's City 17, and Mirror’s Edge’s unnamed dystopian metropolis. Two things evolve Infinite past its predecessor, however, and the first is one of its central characters: Elizabeth.

    Our mystery girl rarely leaves your side once she joins you a short time into the campaign, and unlike the vast majority of AI companions throughout the ages, she requires zero babysitting. To the contrary, she'll take care of you, tossing you ammo and health in the heat of battle, randomly throwing you money at idle moments, and even bending the layout of a combat area to your will using her dimensional-portal-opening abilities.

    Elizabeth herself, in fact, plays a central role in BioShock Infinite’s story, and in the moment-to-moment experience. Once she’d established herself at my side, any period of separation was noticeable. Not only does the action revert to feeling very much like BioShock 1, but it made me feel as if something was genuinely missing: emotional depth. Over our time together, Elizabeth's expressive performances elicited everything from sympathy to fear and even guilt. She provides motivation and moves the story forward, and like the clear bond the Big Daddies and Little Sisters had in the first game, I was compelled to protect her. And from a purely mechanical perspective, it’s a half-miracle that she never gets in the way – but she doesn't. What's great about Elizabeth is that her presence always adds something, and never takes anything away.

    This world is easy to buy into because its characters believe in it so convincingly, chief among them our player character, war veteran-turned-PI Booker DeWitt. He's a reluctant hero on a mission, vaguely referred to as a less-than-virtuous man with a shady past. The first hour chronicles DeWitt’s unusual journey to Columbia under orders to recover a teenage girl named Elizabeth so that he might “wipe away the debt.” Though he begins as both a bit unlikeable and mysterious, eventually Booker's backstory is fully filled-in and brought to a satisfactory end. Under your stewardship, he oscillates between doing good deeds and some clearly bad ones, but his words and actions eventually left me thinking of myself as a fan of the man by the time the credits rolled.
    Pleased to Meet You, Elizabeth

    In firefights, that means you might have the choice to teleport in any one of a flying gun turret, a wall of cover, a powerful weapon, or a stash of medkits. It’s yet another option that'll affect how the fight plays out in a big way – a layer that makes Infinite’s combat so refreshingly nimble. The guns may not be wholly original, and the vigors may be familiar, but in concert with the Elizabeth wildcard and the open, large-scale play spaces, Infinite offers tangible, meaningful choices in each encounter.
    Elizabeth herself, in fact, plays a central role in BioShock Infinite’s story, and in the moment-to-moment experience. Once she’d established herself at my side, any period of separation was noticeable. Not only does the action revert to feeling very much like BioShock 1, but it made me feel as if something was genuinely missing: emotional depth. Over our time together, Elizabeth's expressive performances elicited everything from sympathy to fear and even guilt. She provides motivation and moves the story forward, and like the clear bond the Big Daddies and Little Sisters had in the first game, I was compelled to protect her. And from a purely mechanical perspective, it’s a half-miracle that she never gets in the way – but she doesn't. What's great about Elizabeth is that her presence always adds something, and never takes anything away.

    Booker and Elizabeth have a strong supporting cast to work with as well. Almost from the moment Booker arrives on Columbia he's antagonized by Zachary Comstock, aka “The Prophet,” who makes for an easily hateable villain both for his morally reprehensible views on race and for his oddly personal verbal attacks towards Booker over loudspeakers and other communiques. His level of evil and the ways in which he harasses you indirectly are something of a cross between the sadism of System Shock 2’s SHODAN and the manipulation imposed by BioShock’s Andrew Ryan.

    Meanwhile, Booker’s most physically imposing opponent is the Songbird, the gigantic robo-fowl assigned to "protect" Elizabeth in a tower, Rapunzel-style. He is constantly in your rearview mirror, as it were, ominously threatening you each time he appears and giving chase in exhilarating running sequences. I wish he'd shown up more often, really – among all the players in Infinite, his is the arc that feels the least developed. That’s not to say his story isn’t satisfying, just that I was left wanting more

    Speaking of spitting-distance combat, I was particularly fond of the Skyhook’s melee attacks because of the gruesome executions they deliver. Similar in function to BioShock 2's drill, it's a vicious tool for snapping necks, boring into chests, and exploding heads into a bloody mist with its spinning rotor. It's a treat until the enemies get too tough to make it a viable strategy any longer, but I was able to stave off that time using stat-boosting Gear augmentations, the equivalent of BioShock's tonics now in the form of apparel. Specifically, in this case, I made ample use of the Deadly Lungers pants' tripling of my melee-strike range, making the guilty pleasure of those sadistic executions much more frequent.
    Infinite’s combat is nimble in the truest sense of the word thanks to its other great evolution: the aforementioned Skylines
    . Something akin to self-guided, one-man roller-coaster tracks, Booker is able to hook onto these metal rails with his Skyhook gauntlet and speedily navigate around Columbia's large open areas, often dangling perilously over the abyss below while moving from floating island to floating island. Riding a Skyline is surprisingly intuitive, useful, and perhaps most impressively, not the slightest bit scripted or disorienting. You are in full control at all times, to the extent that you're never forced into any significant encounters while you’re riding them. If you prefer to take the action to the ground, you can. Laudably, BioShock Infinite isn't so proud of Skylines that it wants to impose them on us for anything other than transportation.

    Aging console graphics hardware lets down Infinite, too. When the original BioShock debuted on Xbox 360 in 2007, it was an eye-gasmic wonder – a blissful marriage of Art Deco art direction with top-shelf graphics technology. Fast-forward almost six years, and Infinite is every bit as effective in the former area, but in the raw graphics department it fails to make anywhere near the same impact on either Microsoft or Sony’s box.

    Infinite deserves plenty of credit in its moment-to-moment storytelling too. Serious themes abound in Columbia’s alternate-reality 1912. Racism, sexism, nationalism, and religion are all put directly in front of you, whether you like it or not. It makes a point simply by confronting you with these uncomfortable issues and forcing you to at least think about them. And though Infinite never gets preachy, it certainly offers political commentary, chiming in with obvious nods to the “99% vs. 1%” debate -- even if, unlike in the original BioShock, Infinite slyly submits that both sides of the coin have their demons, and neither can claim the moral high ground in Columbia. To that end, Infinite skips out on any significant moral choices or multiple endings from the previous BioShocks. I didn’t miss them, though, as its story arc is both definitive and impactful while riding its own singular track.

    Going in, I had to question whether Infinite could live up to the BioShock name after having discarded its signature world of Rapture, with its Big Daddies and Little Sisters and warring philosophies, and starting from scratch. On the way out, I'm forced to seriously question which is the better game. In total, BioShock Infinite is a brilliant shooter that nudges the entire genre forward with innovations in both storytelling and gameplay. It trips over itself in a couple of spots, but not in any way that should keep you from embracing it with your utmost enthusiasm.

    Well that's the good news! Now for the bad.

    I spent last night playing through the first couple of hours of the first-person survival horror game, which came out yesterday for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. Survival Instinct begins with a weird, cordoned-in tutorial that first sends you in pursuit of a false objective, then puts you into an unwinnable fight against a bunch of zombies, or "walkers" in The Walking Dead parlance. You die. Then comes the big reveal—spoiler alert?—that you were in control of the father of well-known characters Daryl and Merle Dixon, and your terrible shooting and running skills got him killed. It's a crap tutorial even among other crap tutorials, and a precursor to all the crap to come.

    But first! Comes the credits sequence. Which, if you're a fan of the popular AMC Walking Dead TV show, will feel mighty familiar. Bear McCreary's six-note violin motif and string-section dive-bombs push through an evocative collection of rural imagery accompanied by the names of the actors who appear in the game. It's almost like you're watching a TV show!

    And then, back to the game, which is very clearly not a TV show. You take control of Daryl Dixon, the man you'll command for the rest of the game. Side-note on Daryl—it's interesting that the most popular character on the TV show is this guy who has no counterpart in the comics. I like Daryl on the show, too. His low-drama badassery stands in welcome contrast to the whining and carrying on of the majority of the cast, and Norman Reedus manages to inhabit the role with a sharp, morally ambiguous intelligence. And he does seem like the most obvious character on the show to base a video game around, what with his signature crossbow and mysterious backstory.

    But even if Daryl deserves to star in his own video game, it shouldn't be this one. I've spent two hours playing Survival Instinct, and those two hours were filled with frustration, boredom, and that peculiar form of bleak hopelessness that accompanies the worst games.

    Of course, it's not a huge surprise that Survival Instinct is bad. Its promotional campaign has been festooned with warning signs—in particular the fact that they've been cagey about actually showing the game. The introductory trailers made a far bigger deal about the fact that the game stars Reedus as Daryl and Michael Rooker as his brother, Merle (Wow! Real actors from a TV show! In a video game!) than anything related to the game itself. We were unable to secure an early copy of the game for review, which is never a good sign. And early footage that hit the web was… well, it wasn't promising.

    So, yes, the game is a steaming pile and an utter waste of time and money. On the off-chance that this is all new to you, allow me to demonstrate a few of the ways it comes up short.

    It's very ugly.

    Combat is a drag.

    Combat in the game is a disaster, plain and simple. In the early stages, you'll have a couple of guns and a knife. One of the guns uses a scope and is essentially useless, as the zombies are never far away enough to require you to use it. The shotgun is more useful, but is so loud that it attracts far more zombies than you could ever kill with your limited ammunition. That leaves you with the knife, which lets you get into a kind of hilarious slap-fight with a zombie until you kill it.

    Or, you could sneak up behind the biter and stab it in the brain. You will do this a lot. In fact, the ol'"Punch the zombie in the face to stun it, then run around it and stab it in the brain" trick was just about the only trick I used. Well, unless I got caught in...

    The endless zombie group-hug.

    One of the weirdest elements of Survival Instinct is the "grapple" move, which happens when a zombie gets too close to you. Daryl starts to wrestle with the zombie, and you jam the right trigger and, if you can get the cursor over the zombie's head, Daryl will stab it in the brain. It's kind of a neat idea? Except it fails in execution. The levels I've played usually end with me making a run through a pack of walkers. And if I get even remotely close to one of them, I get sucked into an unending zombie scrum, stabbing zombie after zombie after zombie, almost always until I die.

    Sweat. Everywhere.
    Survival Instinct also features a lot of sweat. Sweat? Yes, sweat. Normally in games like this, when you "sprint" for a while, you'll run out of breath. Maybe, if you're playing Far Cry 2, your vision will swim a bit. In Survival Instinct, you'll start to see a weird water effect run down the side of the screen. That is, I have to assume, supposed to be Daryl's sweat, pouring down the camera lens. Weird! And kinda gross!

    Video Game B.S.
    Survival Instinct is loaded with all kinds of shoddy video-game bullshit. The levels are very hemmed in and the world never feels reactive or real, and as a result the whole thing feels cheap and unfair. You'll carry around sports drinks that replenish your health, but equipping and using them is a nuisance. Checkpointing is a bummer and there's no quicksave option, and at least once the game crashed to desktop and forced me to restart an entire level. The heads-up display is laughably fug, a giant oblong compass in the corner of the screen that points, surprisingly unhelpfully, to your next objective.

    Level design is awful—I'd run into a room and more often than not would get cornered and die. Doors are inconsistent—some will open, but most are glued shut. And there are invisible walls everywhere.

    I'm standing on the car, the dude I'm supposed to get to is right there, and yet I have to run into the glowing green area to end the mission. Man.

    Slightly interesting ideas, poorly implemented.
    When you travel from level to level in the game, you'll have to make some decisions about which route you take. You can take backroads, regular streets, or the highway. Each one uses a certain amount of gas, and each one brings with it a chance of a breakdown. If you run out of gas or break down, you'll have to explore a small side-mission area to find more gas or locate whatever part from your car needs to be replaced.

    It's an interesting risk/reward idea that falls flat because no matter what happens, you're going to have to do the same thing: Enter an area, dodge some zombies, grab a thing, and run back to the glowing green square. Basically, these side missions give you more game to play. Because the game is terrible, they feel more like a punishment than a bonus.

    You can also manage the survivors in your crew, which is another odd idea that doesn't work but could've maybe been interesting in another game. You can give your companions weapons and even send them out on errands to get gas or food. You can also just tell them to "stay at the car," which, if you follow the TV show, is kind of funny, albeit unintentionally so.

    But really, this whole aspect of the game is a mess, and just adds some unclear, unfun micromanaging to deal with in between unfun action missions. I'd love to play a post-apocalyptic resource management/travel game like Oregon Trail, but this ain't it.

    So not only does the cutscene trigger before I touch the green box, it ends with a hilariously anticlimactic death scene. Bang! End-of-mission screen! Ha.

    Basically, everything else.
    The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is a slipshod, uninspired mess. I have to feel for the developers at Terminal Reality—whatever rushed production schedule or other behind-the-scenes shenanigans must have gone down, no professional game-maker could be happy with this final product.

    There are so many superior alternatives: If you've got a hankering to kill some zombies in a southern setting, play Left 4 Dead 2. If you love The Walking Dead and want to spend more time in that world, play Telltale's wonderful adventure game from last year. And if you want to play a tense, terrifying first-person zombie game that relies on smarts and sneaking as much as on firepower (and you own a Wii U), play ZombiU.

    I can think of no compelling reason why anyone should play this game. Ugly, flat, boring, aggravating and often broken, The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is the purest form of video game garbage. It's utterly unworthy of your time and money.

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    Lindsay Lohan is reportedly dating New York City based musician and club promoter Avi Snow.

    According to E! News, the 26-year-old actress and the guitarist from indie band, City of the Sun have been together for two weeks, with their relationship in its “early stages.”

    Avi was said to be on the Mr. Pink private jet that flew Lindsay to Los Angeles early Tuesday morning for her day in court.

    And after Lindsay posed for her latest mugshot, she hotfooted it to City of the Sun’s show at private club 41 Ocean in Santa Monica.

    “’Avi’s not a feckless party animal, he works in that industry, sure, but he’s got a good head on his shoulders,” another source told The Daily Mail.

    “He’s from a solid background and doesn’t get involved with the drugs scene, he doesn’t even drink much… basically, he knows who is and likes control, he could help Lindsay.”

    We can only hope.


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    Ryan Phillippe and Ashley Greene leave the Vignette Lounge together after a night out on Wednesday (March 20) in West Hollwood, Calif.
    The 38-year-old actor and 26-year-old actress left in his car, where they tried to avoid being seen.


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  • 03/22/13--06:13: Beyond Two Souls : preview
  • An epic story of life, death and supernatural power, the latest adventure from Quantic Dream won't be pulling any emotional punches when it arrives this autumn.

    In a nondescript office block on the east side of central Paris, there is a game development studio that is very, very interested in emotion. Even if you had never heard co-founder David Cage talking on the subject, even if you missed wrought psychological thrillers such as Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain, you'd know that 'emotion' is an important abstract noun here. That's because huge letters spelling out the word have been hung on one wall overlooking the area where many of the staff sit and code. Whenever they look up from their PCs, the word emotion towers over them with Orwellian menace. Quantic Dream is a factory of feeling.

    And its latest product, Beyond: Two Souls, certainly has emotional drama in surfeit. It has life, it has death, it has birth. Yes, birth. Just keep that in mind, we'll come back to it.

    You may already be aware of the concept behind the game. Jodie Holmes is a girl with a gift – though at dark times in this supernatural biopic she will call it a curse. Since birth, she has been psychically attached to a spectral presence named Aiden, which has taken on the role of a rather jealous and angry guardian. Holmes is played by Ellen Page who filmed for weeks in Quantic Dreams' advanced motion capture studio, lending not only her voice, but her body and face to the character. It is one of the most convincing digital performances we've yet seen: 80 reflective markers were placed on the actor's face through the capture sessions and they convey every nuance of emotion; it is eerily photographic at times. And Page inhabits this character with as much conviction as she has in any of her movie roles. "It was surprising," says Cage. "She told me that there were many aspects of Jodie's story that reminded her of her own life and things that she went through. She really became jodie - she would sometimes refuse to deliver lines, saying, 'no Jodie would never say that'. I had to say, 'hey Ellen, I'm the writer!'"

    We follow Jodie's story from the age of eight to 23 – an ambitious 15-year span in a medium that rarely shows characters ageing. We see her taken away for analysis by the apparently well-meaning psychic researcher Nathan Dawkins (played by Willem Dafoe), and later we see her homeless on the streets of some dead-end town, contemplating suicide. What happens in between is the emotional meat of the game and it seems to take her from a claustrophobic and observed childhood through to the vast deserts of the American West. "While writing Beyond, I was thinking about what makes a life," continues Cage. "There's love, hate, death - there are happy moments, there are very depressing moments. I thought, how can I put all this in this in a game? How can we offer that journey? I think we're only just at the beginning of an era in which games can address these wider themes."

    Players don't just control Jodie, they can also hit the Triangle button to play as Aiden, free to whoosh through floors, ceilings and walls, while using telekinetic powers to shove and smash objects. The two characters must collaborate to progress, and Aiden can only ever move a certain distance from his human charge – they are bound by some sort of ethereal chain. There is no escape for either of them. In practise, this relationship works like most asymmetric partnerships in games: if there is an object Jodie can't reach, Aiden can probably get to it.

    Deliberately and characteristically, Cage is keeping many of the plot details hidden. We know that something terrible happens. While Jodie is still assisting Dawkins, a government paranormal research facility accidentally unleashes a group of furious and psychotic phantasms, which murder a lab full of scientists and their would-be military rescuers. Jodie offers to go in and look for survivors. What she finds haunts her for the rest of her life.

    The game is essentially a narrative adventure, each 'scene' playing out a key moment in the character's life. In a structure Cage refers to as 'chronological disorder', these scenes are experienced out of sequence: one minute you might be controlling Jodie as a child, undergoing telepathy tests in Dawkins's creepy lab; the next you might be the teenage Jodie, on the run from government forces. It's a structure inspired by movies like Memento and Pulp Fiction. "It's very intriguing, it provides a new level of interactivity," explains Cage. "You don't just watch a story, you have to think about it, you have to connect the dots - the player is a part of the process of reconstructing the events. When people first read the script they were worried gamers would get completely lost, but when it was in the game, testers were really positive, they felt clever because they had to put the pieces together."

    During a press tour of the Quantic Dreams office, Cage sits a large group of journalists down in the motion capture studio and talks us through a 45 minute demo of quite arresting intensity. It is a scene named Homeless. Jodie is 23 and freezing to death on the streets when she is saved and befriended by a homeless man named Stan; he takes her back to a small vagrant community making shelter beneath a concrete overpass – they are troubled individuals, existing on begged food and each other's companionship; one of them is Tuesday a heavily pregnant woman terrified to seek medical help for the delivery in case her child is taken into care. Throughout the scene, Jodie helps Stan as he begs for food; when Stan is attacked by a bunch of thugs, Jodie steps in and saves him, using the game's fluid combat system to see them off.

    The interface is an evolution of the system that Quantic Dreams designed for Heavy Rain. Players move Jodie around the environment using the left analogue stick, and anything she can interact with is marked with a white dot: to use the object, you simply move the right analogue stick in the appropriate direction – so if Jodie approaches a door, pushing the right stick forward makes her stretch out her arm to push it open. Every action in the game is contextual - there are no real gameplay mechanics, no jump or crouch functions. Sometimes, if Jodie has to climb along a ledge or through an open window, there will be a specific button to press, with a command displayed onscreen, as in Heavy Rain, but this apparently is rare.

    And the story changes with the decisions and actions of the player. There are apparently dozens of ways each scene can play out, the ramifications stretching away into the future. Gameplay, too, is affected by chronology. "Every scene of Jodie's life is a challenge, and you have to adapt to each context," says lead gameplay designer, Caroline Marchal. "Aiden's powers are more limited when Jodie is a child, for example."</lj-cut>

    <a href="">Read the rest at the source, UK Guardian.</a>

    Looks really interesting; the interactive novel-type game and ones with popular actors seem to have hit roadblocks on their past attempts, so I wonder if this will really shine a light on the genre?

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    Logan Lerman showed he could play the quiet, sensitive high school student in 2012's The Perks of Being a Wallflower. But he's back to being a high school demigod in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.

    Due out Aug. 16, this sequel to 2010's Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief has Lerman reprising his title role as the half-human, half-god son of the sea god Poseidon.

    "It's fun to go back to your old shoes once again and play around,'' says Lerman of his part in the converted 3-D film. "And it's always fun to have a sword in your hand, especially when you're doing scenes which involve fighting monsters. I'm still a kid. I love doing that stuff."

    Lerman is actually not that much of a kid. Now 21, he has changed noticeably since making the original Percy Jackson at 17.

    "He's lost a little bit of the baby face," says director Thor Freudenthal. "He's gotten more angular."

    Jackson sports a more adult hairstyle and wardrobe in the new film. And Lerman admits it helps to be more experienced to take on the challenges presented in the second book from Rick Riordan's best-selling adventure series.

    "I'm a little more comfortable with the sword," says Lerman. "We need it since there are bigger monsters. If you're going to make a sequel you gotta scale it up a little bit."

    The story takes Jackson to the mythical land known as Sea of Monsters to retrieve a golden fleece that is essential to saving an ailing magical tree that protects his home, Camp Half-Blood. He departs with his Olympian sidekicks Annabeth Chase (daughter of the goddess Athena, played by Alexandra Daddario) and Jackson's protective goat-like satyr Grover (Brandon T. Jackson).

    New characters come along on the adventure, including Clarisse La Rue (daughter of war god Ares, played by Leven Rambin), and Tyson the Cyclops (Douglas Smith), who, to Jackson's dismay, is revealed to be his half-brother. Turns out Tyson was also fathered by Poseidon, this time with a sea nymph mother.

    "Those Greek gods really got around," says Freudenthal. "They were kind of dysfunctional partying drunkards: living first, thinking later."

    Two of those gods make their series debut in Sea of Monsters: the messenger god Hermes (Nathan Fillion) and Dionysus, the god of wine (Stanley Tucci).

    The daunting foes include a myriad of monsters, from the football-field-sized sea creature Charybdis to the Manticore, which Freudenthal describes as a half-lion, half-scorpion that wreaks "considerable harm."Jackson's final battle takes place with Kronos, the overlord of the gods and the central villain in the book series.(bow to them trying to fix everything they fucked up in the first movie tho)

    There are further foes and adventures in Riordan's five-book series. While there is no official talk of a third Percy Jackson movie installment, should it come, Lerman and trusty sword Riptide are ready.

    "It's a nice change of pace from doing some drama," says Lerman. "If called again, I would grab my sword and run right into battle."


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    Starting tonight and ending tomorrow night, OutFest presents films showcasing the diversity of the LGBT community.

    Some of the films shown Friday Night include:

    The DL Chronicles Returns, Chadwick Journals & Hot Guys With Guns
    Dir. Deondray Gossett and Quincy LeNear; Dir. Doug Spearman

    This eventful slate of eye candy features new episodes, webisodes, and a sneak peek of delicious manhood. The latest installment of Deondray Gossett and Quincy LeNear’s sultry drama “The DL Chronicles,” filled with hot-bodied brothas working the down-low circuit —and the winner of two Fusion Audience Awards and one GLAAD Award — does not disappoint, and the gorgeousness continues with Gossett and LeNear’s new web series, “The Chadwick Journals,” which explores the DL life through a dangerously sensuous encounter between a writer and his subject. As a special bonus, we’ll top off the program with a preview of selected scenes from Doug Spearman’s (“Noah’s Arc”) upcoming sexy comedy HOT GUYS WITH GUNS.

    El Abuelo
    Dir. Dino Dinco, 2008, 3 min

    An intimate portrait of local educator and poet Joe Jimenez, shot on location in San Antonio, Texas.

    My Brother The Devil
    Dir. Sally El Hosaini, 2012, 101 min

    This moving story about two British Arab brothers in London follows Mo, a lonely, sensitive boy who idolizes his older brother, Rashid, a charismatic, well-respected member of a local gang. Aching to be seen as a tough guy himself, Mo takes a job that unlocks a fateful turn of events and forces the brothers to confront their inner demons.

    Some of the films shown Saturday night include:

    Kimchi Fried Dumplings
    Dir. Jason Karman, 2012, 15 min

    An Asian Canadian man comes home with a new boyfriend for Christmas to find his younger brother, who is also gay, resentful for being left to care for their aging parents.

    Heart's Mouth
    Dir. Erica Cho, 2013, 3 min

    A queer/transgender story about two people of color: recent high-school graduates who try to make ends meet while navigating adulthood and community college.

    Tribute To Christopher Lee

    Christopher Lee was a groundbreaking and transgressive filmmaker whose work touched many lives. His films Trappings of Transhood and Alley of the Tranny Boys were just part of his varied résumé — he was co-founder of Tranny Fest (which evolved into the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival) and also the first FTM grand marshall of the San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade.

    Outfest Fusion Filmmaker Aurora Guerrero

    Aurora Guerrero’s Mosquita y Mari, which will have a reprise screening at Outfest Fusion 2013, was one of last year’s most acclaimed debut features, but Guerrero is no overnight sensation. Her current success comes off of years of hard work, both in academia (she has a B.A. in Psychology and Chicano Studies from UC-Berkeley and an M.F.A. in Film Directing from Cal Arts) and on the set. In addition to her acclaimed short films Pura Lengua and Viernes Girl, Guerrero paid her dues working with the directors of such prominent Latino films as Real Women Have Curves and Outfest 2009 Opening Night Gala La Mission. It’s a thrill to have Guerrero back at Fusion with her latest film, which screened as the Fusion Centerpiece at Outfest 2012.

    What film/s have you presented at Fusion in the past?

    Pura Lengua and Viernes Girl

    How has Fusion (and Outfest) helped you to get your stories to a wider audience?

    They have always been a wonderful platform for bridging our work with predominately queer of color audiences. As a queer woman of color filmmaker this space is validating and empowering.

    What challenges do POC filmmakers face in telling and sharing LGBT stories?

    Challenges continue to be access to financing, largely because the industry doesn’t believe there is an audience for lgbt themed films.

    Besides screening at Fusion, what advice do you have for other queer filmmakers of color in getting their work out to more viewers?

    There are more digital platforms available to filmmakers. I think filmmakers have to stay up-to-date on what those opportunities are.

    What are your strategies over the next few years to grow your audience?

    Aside from continuing to work on my craft so as to tell stronger stories, I think my work continues to be about engaging communities throughout my filmmaking process. These grass-roots relationships ground my projects via a strong word of mouth which, in turn, results in a growing audience for my films.

    Do you have a specific memory of attending a Fusion screening (either for your own film or someone else’s) that has stayed with you?

    I can’t say I have a specific memory. More than anything I remember the immense pride I felt in being able to offer stories to Fusions’ audience that they could directly identify with.


    Mosquita Y Mari

    Strange Frame: Love & Sax

    The Young and Evil

    Audre Lorde - The Berlin Years 1984 to 1992

    Short Film showcased at the festival

    The Queen

    Bobby works at his parents dry cleaners on prom weekend. When the prom queen and her boyfriend, stop by with their dress and tuxedo, Bobby has his own prom to remember.

    El Abuelo

    There are more films that can be found at the Source 1,2

    If you would like to share information on other LGBT related films/film festivals and/or LGBT related media , feel free to do so in the comments! I'd like to learn more more about them and others may want to do so as well! I would like to see that Strange Frame: Love & Sax film from the trailers.

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    Oscar winner Kate Winslet is set to converge with Summit Entertainment's "Divergent"

    The actress is joining stars Shailene Woodley and Theo James in the much buzzed-about YA adaptation.It was previously rumored that she was in talks for the film, but the studio has now made it official.

    Based on first-time author Veronica Roth's bestselling book, the film takes place in a dystopian future, where the population is divided into separate groups based on their personalities. Labeled as a "divergent" who doesn't fit into any of the groups, Tris Prior (Woodley) accidentally uncovers a secret conspiracy to eliminate all "divergents." So begins her battle for survival. Winslet will play a character named Jeanine Matthews.

    The confirmed cast also includes Jai Courtney, Zoë Kravitz, Ansel Elgort and Maggie Q.

    Naturally, Roth's "Divergent" is the first book in a trilogy, giving Summit another shot at a massive "Twilight"/"Hunger Games"-style YA film franchise.

    "Divergent" will be directed by Neil Burger ("Limitless") from a script by Vanessa Taylor. Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher are, along with Pouya Shahbazian. Red Wagon's Rachel Shane is executive producing.

    Principal photography will begin this April in Chicago.

    In 2011, Winslet won several awards for her work on HBO's "MIldred Pierce," and co-starred in "Contagion" and "Carnage." Most recently she was part of the huge ensemble comedy "Movie 43," and she'll next be seen in Jason Reitman's "Labor Day" along with Josh Brolin and Tobey Maguire.

    "Divergent" will be released March 21, 2014.


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    RTÉ TEN recently caught up with Tim Roth to talk about his new movie Broken which hits cinemas on Friday March 8 - and the Lie to Me star gave us some behind the scenes gossip on his Irish co-star Cillian Murphy.
    Watch the full Tim Roth interview by clicking the link on the left.

    The 51-year-old Reservoir Dogs star explained that while he was surprised by Cillian's nerves on set, he admired Murphy's way of thinking.

    Roth said: "Cillian is a hard-working and dedicated fellow. Unfortunately he's ugly which is a problem for him in life," he joked.

    "I'll tell you what's really interesting about Cillian which I hadn't suspected. I never thought not just in relation to him but to anyone. He's a serious stage actor. I have incredible stage fright. It's awful. Filming holds no fear for me. It's just where I live.

    "But he [Cillian] is the absolute polar opposite. He's really nervous about film. I really like that. I actually admire it. Every film is a battle which I think is very useful."

    Broken hits cinemas on Friday March 8.

    Is it me or is Tim looking like the late John Ritter?

    1& 2

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  • 03/22/13--19:46: Grimm 2x16: "Nameless"

  • Nick is a Jedi now...awesome
    Giant Fly Eye scooped out ice cream style....awesome
    A pregos Adalind with a royal baby....awesome
    Rosalee & Monroe...always awesome...
    Needed more Renard

    (Crazy) Juliette....die, die, die!


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  • 03/22/13--20:08: Ke$ha To Tour With Pitbull
  • ... Flo Rida Is Probably So Jealous


    Yes, Ke$ha‘s Warrior vastly under-performed (it’s also vastly underrated and people will eventually realize this), so we get it, the land of Lady Dolla needs a boost. The clock is Tik Tok-ing, you might say. So her team decided a high-profile tandem tour could do the trick. But of ALL the acts to latch onto, did it have to be Pitbull, the Duke of Dale, the Baron of Bud Light? Oh, Ke$ha… C’Mon!

    Whether we like it or not (we don’t), the duo will perform across the US and Canada, beginning May 23 in Boston and finishing up June 28 in Tampa. If you’re into partying to party music, this is surely the tour for you; both of these guys have mastered the art of the sweaty soiree beat-rager. But K$ goes deeper than that, which is why we’re a little dejected by this announcement. When you remove Pitbull’s music from the dance floor, it has no utility, it ceases to have a reason for being. His material could be described with that most odious of idioms, “it is what it is.” There’s something more vital about Ke$ha’s music — starting with the fact that there’s just a lot more going on, musically and emotionally.

    Perhaps this was a panic move, but we just hope that after spending so much time with Mr. Worldwide, K$ doesn’t herself become a cheesy party time autobot. But hey! It’s a chance to see Ke$ha live, right?

    So check out the full list of dates below, and for more tour information head to her official site or, if you must, Pitbull’s.

    May 23 – Boston, MA (Comcast Center)
    May 25 – Atlantic City, NJ (Golden Nugget)
    May 26 – Atlantic City, NJ (Golden Nugget)
    May 31 – Holmdel, NJ (PNC Bank Arts Center)
    June 1 – Wantagh, NY (Nikon at Jones Beach Theater)
    June 2 – Pittsburgh, PA (First Niagara Pavilion)
    June 4 – Montreal, QC (Bell Centre)
    June 5 – Toronto, ON (Molson Canadian Amphitheatre)
    June 7 – Detroit, MI (The Palace of Auburn Hills)
    June 9 – Chicago, IL (First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre)
    June 11 – Denver, CO (Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre)
    June 14 – Mountain View, CA (Shoreline Amphitheatre at Mountain View)
    June 15 – Las Vegas, NV (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
    June 16 – San Diego, CA (Sleep Train Amphitheatre)
    June 18 – Los Angeles, CA (Hollywood Bowl)
    June 20 – Albuquerque, NM (Isleta Amphitheater)
    June 22 – Houston, TX (The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion)
    June 23 – Dallas, TX (Gexa Energy Pavilion)
    June 24 – San Antonio, TX (AT&T Center)
    June 27 – Atlanta, GA (Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood)
    June 28 – Tampa, FL (Live Nation Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds)


    lol @ the Pitbull shading.

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  • 03/22/13--20:16: Willam's Beatdown: #14

  • Sorry, I know I'm not the regular poster. Just seen it wasn't uploaded yet, and everyone wanted this post to be displayed at night, so voila!


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  • 03/22/13--20:17: Kim Kardashian out and about

  • A very pregnant Kim Kardshian leaves Fred Segal's with a friend.


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  • 03/22/13--20:26: RIP MCR

  • "Being in this band for the past 12 years has been a true blessing. We've gotten to go places we never knew we would. We've been able to see and experience things we never imagined possible. We've shared the stage with people we admire, people we look up to, and best of all, our friends. And now, like all great things, it has come time for it to end. Thanks for all of your support, and for being part of the adventure.
    My Chemical Romance"


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    A lot of fair-skinned women steer clear of white, since it sometimes can give that “washed-out” appearance. However, ‘Sad Dream‘ songstress Sky Ferreira and ‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ actress Rooney Mara do not fear the color, and both famous gals totally rocked it in this stunning white Givenchy dress… but who wore it best?

    Ferreira suited up in the structured Givenchy stunner for the fashion brand’s runway show in Paris back in Sept. 2012. Donning dark lipstick and a half-up, half-down hairdo, she sat in the front row and took in the show aside Vogue Paris editor-in-chief, Carine Roitfeld, and Kanye West, in case you were wondering.

    Meanwhile, all the way over in Tokyo, Rooney Mara was wearing the exact same Givenchy dress during a film premiere. Like Ferreira, the trendy thespian paired it with a slicked-back hairdo and strappy white heels, but Mara opted for a much lighter shade of lipstick and also took it a lot easier in the eye makeup department.

    So, which of these celebeauties looks best in the Givenchy dress? Vote for Sky or Rooney below!


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    When Gwendoline Christie entered the room to speak to the press, she looked glamorous and feminine as opposed to Brienne, the female warrior she plays on “Game of Thrones.”

    Then Christie painfully banged her leg on the table, and her co-star, Nicolaj Coster-Waldau — who plays Jaime Lannister — couldn’t resist making fun of her. That was the tone of their interview as we assembled to talk about the upcoming third season of “Game of Thrones.”

    Nicolaj Coster-Waldau: On her flight here from London she was told twice by the staff to be quiet.

    Gwendoline Christie: That’s because I was with Charles Dance and Bryan Adams.

    Coster-Waldau: Oooh.

    Q: The airline told you to keep quiet?

    Christie: I was laughing, we were all laughing.

    Coster-Waldau: And as you can tell, her laugh is… loud.

    Christie: And then you told me last night that you made that up.

    Coster-Waldau: Well, it was true though, wasn’t it?

    Christie: Yes, but you said the airline staff…

    Coster-Waldau: So let’s talk about the show…

    Q: When were the two of you first introduced to each other professionally?

    Christie: Well, I mentioned this earlier. I heard that Nikolaj was on the set filming a different scene and he was in the makeup truck. So I went there to introduce myself, went to shake his hand and he just sat there very loosely in the chair and just went, “Hi.” and just sized me up. I felt really uncomfortable and thought well, this is a bit shaky.

    Coster-Waldau: That’s not how I recall at all.

    Christie: This is a bit shaky, but I’ll accept it and go with that. Then he just started to antagonize me, wrongfoot me.

    Coster-Waldau: That’s not quite true though, is it?

    Christie: Like before there would be a take, he would try to put me off.

    Coster-Waldau: Gwen, God, you have to get out of that fantasy world. What really happened, I found this broken woman. Well, you weren’t in tears, but so insecure and scared and afraid of the work and I said, “Listen, we’re just actors. We need to bond. We need to spend some time together. You shouldn’t be afraid.”

    Christie: Nikolaj takes 10% of my income and is my guru.

    Coster-Waldau: No, that’s not true. I wouldn’t do that. You do get to bring me coffee, but that was because you like to.

    Christie: And carry your handbag.

    Coster-Waldau: Yes, and carry my handbag. No, I think earlier on, we kind of decided without discussing it that, the scenes they have, he’s being so rude all the time, so we kind of tested that, and you’re very good at being rude. So we’re just doing that all the time and it can be very, I guess…

    Christie: Draining?

    Coster-Waldau: Draining to other people around us because they think that we really dislike each other. Often that’s true though, isn’t it?

    Q: Does Brienne have any respect for Jaime?

    Christie: I think when we first see – -

    Coster-Waldau: What was difficult was when we did the scenes, you had to work so hard to get rid of your private personal respect for me. That took a while.

    Christie: I don’t think you’re well. I think you’re having a psychotic episode.

    Coster-Waldau: No, I’ve been asleep for three roundtables and suddenly I woke up. Please answer the question.

    Christie: Thank you so much for giving me permission to do that. I think when we see the two of them together, she has no respect for him, both onscreen or off. No, she doesn’t have any reason. He has defied the knight’s code which Brienne has strived so hard as a woman to adhere to and to try to be taken seriously as a knight and to attain physical strength.

    Coster-Waldau: Also Kingsguard, right?

    Christie: Yes.

    Coster-Waldau: No, but there is a difference though.

    Christie: Yes, but she wants to be a knight.

    Coster-Waldau: You were Renly’s guard, right?

    Christie: Yeah, I was one of his Kingsguard.

    Coster-Waldau: And he is too. And he’s done the opposite of that.

    Christie: Do you think I wasn’t establishing the point efficiently enough? You thought that you had to drag it over to show some kind of dominance?

    Coster-Waldau: No. As always, I was just trying to help you.

    Christie: I’m really sorry you had to witness this.

    Q: So there’s a bear in the trailers. We’ve seen the bear.

    Coster-Waldau: Really?

    Q: What was the bear like to work with?

    Christie: As far as I’m aware, there’s a shot of a bear, but I don’t see anyone else with the bear. So as far as I’m aware, it’s just a shot of a bear.

    Q: If there were a bear, what kind of bear would it be?

    Christie: I just don’t know. I’m not quite sure what you’re talking about.

    Q: It looks real.

    Christie: Yeah, it looks like it could maybe.

    Q: If you’re fighting a bear, do you have anything to work with?

    Christie: Why would I do that?

    Q: I think some people have an idea what’s going to happen with the bear.

    Coster-Waldau: But most people don’t. So we can’t talk about that.

    Christie: A lot of people wouldn’t make any connection.

    Q: So no bear questions?

    Coster-Waldau: No, no, it’s a big thing. You don’t want to give anything away.

    Christie: It’s difficult because people feel so passionately about the show and you don’t want to spoil anything.

    Coster-Waldau: What amazes me is because there are so many fans and there are so many readers of these books, the fact that people are so loyal to keeping the secrets, because you go on these fansites and obviously so many people know what’s going to happen, but are very good at saying, “Okay, spoiler alert” or “don’t read this if…” (lol they've never been on ONTD clearly...)

    For us then to go ahead and said, “Yeah, we do this and this happens” that would be really stupid. So that’s why we’re not going to answer any bear questions.

    Christie: So really what you’ve just said is you don’t want to spoil it for people.

    Coster-Waldau: Yes, I’m just trying to put more words into it.

    Christie: Hear your own voice.

    Q: Being in the United States right now, are you experiencing the fandom more intensely?

    Coster-Waldau: Yes.

    Christie: Yes, definitely.

    Coster-Waldau: Absolutely, yeah.

    Christie: In the U.K. not everybody has Sky, so they have to wait until they can buy the DVD to watch it, so there is that. It seems to be people have greater access here. It’s overwhelming. It’s overwhelming how passionate people are about it and they’re very demonstrative and it’s very touching. It’s great as an actor to be in anything that people actually like, and a rarity.

    Q: How are your sword skills growing?

    Coster-Waldau: She’s amazing at sword fighting. You really are.

    Christie: Do you really think that?

    Coster-Waldau: Yeah. (omg so presh ;_;)

    Q: How did they do that?

    Coster-Waldau: That is a minor miracle, isn’t it? How did they do that?

    Christie: How did they do that?

    Q: How did you train?

    Christie: They gave me lessons. They were brilliant. They were incredibly supportive and I knew this was a part that would have lots and lots of sword fighting and also I was aware that Nicolaj is naturally very good and [he] has done it before. Not only [did] I [want] the character to be as good as possible, but I also didn’t want to let down my fellow actor.

    So there were two things at work and then there was just the plain, good old fashioned rivalry that I wanted to beat his ass. So I trained for a long time. He learned it in what, two hours over skype? It took me two weeks.

    Coster-Waldau: She was really good.

    Q: Jaime is now a prisoner but he still keeps the attitude of power. Is it all a front or does he really believe he’s still powerful, just stuck in this situation?

    Coster-Waldau: Well, I like the fact that he refuses to bend under pressure if you will. I don’t think it’s about being a powerful man. It’s just about not making excuses for who you are. He’s been around, he knows that it wouldn’t make a difference if he started begging Robb Stark for mercy. It wouldn’t make a difference.

    He wouldn’t care, so he might as well just… What I like about him [is that] he always uses his mind and his words to look for weaknesses in people and I think in many ways he’s even better at that than he is with his sword. He understands the situations and he reads it really well I think. It’s a war. He’s the enemy to them so he can’t trust them. He doesn’t trust anyone.

    Q: Can Jaime be redeemed, or does he even see himself as needing redemption?

    Coster-Waldau: No. I don’t think he needs redemption and I think that’s what, in a way, there are similarities with these two characters and that is that whenever they walk into a room, everyone has preconceived opinions about who they are.

    That scene when she kills those guards last season, as soon as they saw her they were just laughing because that’s ridiculous, there’s a woman and a knight. For him, it’s also oh, the kingslayer, he can’t be trusted. As I said earlier, he doesn’t feel the need to make any excuses for who he is. It really annoys him that he’s got this reputation which he believes deep down at the very core is very unjust.

    So no, I don’t think, but having said that he’s not proud of some of the things he’s done of course. Pushing Bran out a window is a horrible thing to do. At the same time he felt, and I think he still feels that, it needed to be done to save his own kids and Cersei and himself.

    Q: On a show where storylines are so separate, you two are on your own. Is it interesting to then see the other storylines on the show?

    Coster-Waldau: Like last night, we saw episode one for the first time and it was thrilling because as you say, first of all, you know the other actors. Daenerys’ storyline is just so amazing and what they do, just the CGI work, it is quite extraordinary to watch. I’ve never been in a film or television show where I could actually sit down and watch it and just enjoy it. But I can with this one.

    Q: What characters would each of you like to have some scenes with in the future?

    Christie: I’d like to have some scenes with Cersei, because I think that they are two totally opposing character types and sort of the antithesis of each other.

    Q: That’d be a powerful scene.

    Christie: Yeah, I think you don’t have any preconceived ideas, any notion of what that scene would be, how that would play. And I also think Lena’s a brilliant actress so that’s my answer.

    Coster-Waldau: I think I would like to have a scene with the new king, Joffrey, Jack Gleeson. A, I think he’s just an amazing actor. I think he does such a fantastic job, but also of course because of these issues they have. Jaime knows the truth. He knows that this is his son. This little creep of a monster. I think that would be interesting.

    Q: People who haven’t read the books don’t know that Jaime becomes a sympathetic character.

    Coster-Waldau: The thing is, the funny thing is, there’s talk about he does change. Of course we all change and he does change, but there’s also that whole truth that we meet him right in a very dark moment in his life. If we’d already known, if we’d had 10 episodes with him where he was just trying to deal with being in love with this woman.

    Maybe if we’d built up sympathy, we would understand what he did to Bran, but we haven’t had that. But what’s great with a television show, because usually in a movie you have one or two characters and the rest are just supporting. Here we actually get to know these people, we get to spend a lot of time. Often that is also the case, but with Jaime at least, I think we discover that there is more to him than just meets the eye.

    I'll never stop being amazed at how well these two understand their characters, and their banter together is great.


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    The History Channel’s miniseries on the Bible is a ratings blockbuster. The Bible is an incredibly important text in the history and culture of the United States, Western world and has its roots in the Eastern world. One would think that a media outlet which entitles itself the “History Channel” would be concerned about those roots. One might even think that the History Channel would endeavor to expose and explore those roots. But last night on episode two, the ill-named History Channel offered us a modern day Mandingo fairy tale.

    The choice to cast Nonso Anozie (a black man in a bad dreadlock wig) as Samson as is in no way an attempt to demonstrate the visual and ethnic diversity of the ancient Near East in which this story is set, specifically the West Asian, East and North African context of the scriptures. The absence of characters of African descent up to this point makes that clear. (Just as the use of Black and Asian actors for angels makes them wholly “other” in the cast and not legitimate human bodies.)

    That Samson is a big black man with brutish strength and a predilection for white women is no accident in this casting or production. One of the hallmarks of Rona Downey’s and Mark Burnett’s vision of the Bible is the erasure of Afro-Asiatic Israelite ethnic identity and its replacement with a white, American fundamentalist Christian identity. They do this in several ways.

    1) Casting: they cast an abundance of white American and European actors and occasionally paint some dirt on their faces to make them look a little brown. Consider the creation of humanity, told in a flashback. Humanity was created from the humus, an earthling from the earth, in Hebrew an adam from the adamah. Instead of the rich brown-red soil native to Israel, Palestine, and the Great Rift Valley which descends from the Holy Land down into Kenya and Tanzania, the producers use sandy white soil from which springs a sandy white man.However, Satan is played by a Middle Eastern man, Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni. While widely advertising a “Hispanic” Jesus, the producers actually cast a Portugese actor, Diogo Morgado, with white skin as Jesus. His skin has to be white since Roma Downey (of Touched By An Angel fame, part of the powerhouse team along with Mark Burnett behind this anachronistic whitewash of the bible) cast herself as the Blessed Virgin Mary – shades of Mel Gibson casting a white Jesus so he could insert his own feet into certain shots.

    2) The second way the production replaces authentic Israelite identity with a white American fundamentalist and evangelical construction is in the use of quintessentially American race motifs like that of the big black buck or Mandingo, the brutishly strong, bestial black man and his preferential taste for white women. By transforming all of the Afro-Asiatic Israelites into white people, “simply” casting an Afro-British actor as Samson stages a lynching propaganda piece that the Klan would be proud of under the cover of the bible and “diversity.

    3) The third re-writing strategy of the team involves gender. The Bible is an androcentric and patriarchal text. It is also a text that has many women’s narratives, including those of strong women wielding power and authority in spite of their patriarchal and androcentric context. There is no room in the Burnett-Downey recreation of the Bible in their own image – right down to their own skin tones – for strong biblical women so they simply exclude them. A partial list of the women who have been cut from the narrative include: Yocheved, Moses’ mother and the Hebrew midwives Shiphrah and Puah, Zipporah, Moses’ wife and her sisters so that Moses is not the product of a strong community of women all of whom save his life in different episodes, but a lone ranger, a man who became a hero on his own. Hoglah, Milcah, Maacah, Noah and Tirtzah, the daughters of Zelophehad who are mentioned in more biblical books than there are Gospels, for whom God changed inheritance laws in the Torah that women might receive an inheritance – not worthy of attention. The great woman-warrior, Prophet and Judge (sharing those titles with Moses and Samuel and no one else, not even Joshua) Deborah, who ruled the nation – excised. Hannah, the theological revolutionary who taught the priesthood how to pray – unnecessary.

    There is a final whitewashing, silencing strategy employed by the producers. That is sanitizing genocide, slavery – when the Israelites are the slavers, sexual violence, and heterodox theologies. The Bible is a wonderfully rich, complicated, challenging, illuminating, revelatory text. It is also horrifically violent and does not say what we want the way we want it to. We must take it in its entirety seriously as a cultural and historical artifact and as scripture – if that is our confession. But this series erases the texts in which Joshua and the Israelites slaughter babies, kill their mothers, fathers and brothers and take their sisters as war-brides as long as they haven’t had sex – prepubescent girl-children – on the orders of Moses and God. They ignore the texts in which God calls for the enslavement of non-Israelites and their children in perpetuity – the scriptural and theological basis for the Atlantic slave-trade and American slavocracy. They ignore the texts in which entire ethnic groups are exterminated by divine command. And they even ignore the horrific sexual violence perpetrated against women and girls within Israel: Lot’s offer of his daughters to be raped by a mob, Israelite fathers selling their daughters into sexual slavery with the permission of God and Moses, a Judge of Israel sacrificing his daughter like an animal and celebrated as a hero of faith in the New Testament, abduction, rape, forced pregnancy used repeatedly as tools of war. Bathsheba’s abduction and rape recast as consensual adultery.

    In the American context when rape is being redefined while male bible-thumping legislatures require physicians to forcibly insert instruments into women’s vaginas one day and deny them access to legal medical procedures the next, it matters that and how the Bible is being distorted in primetime. Whereas evangelical leaders like Jim Wallis watched with “great delight,” I watched with horror.

    In the American context the Israelite identity has been claimed by Christians and particularly by Western, European Christians who were also constructing the categories of white into which they placed themselves and the Afro-Asiatic Israelites. And, the United States was viewed, claimed and seized as a new Canaan for the new Israelites to conquer and subdue, hosting the reincarnation and reenactment of biblical slavery painted in black and white. This is why the whitewash of the bible on the History Channel is so pernicious. It is a continuation of slave-holding racist exegesis. And they ought to be ashamed.


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    Fur flies as Real Housewives of Vancouver star's store vandalized by animal activists

    A West Vancouver luxury boutique owned by Jody Claman of Real Housewives of Vancouver fame was allegedly vandalized Thursday night for selling fur.

    Claman said the storefront was splattered with paint and tagged with the letters ALF — which presumably stand for Animal Liberation Front.

    But the reality-TV star placed most of the blame for the attack on her co-star and nemesis, Mary Zilba.

    “I am being targeted because she told people I sell fur [in the store],” Claman told The Province.

    “It’s ridiculous.”

    Claman said that, while her store, Glass House Couture, does sell fur, most of it is vintage or sourced from places such as Finland where animals are treated ethically.

    “I don’t believe in killing innocent animals,” she said.

    A note on the store’s Facebook page advertises fur and feather vests, pointing to numerous stars and celebrities who were photographed this fall wearing fur.

    West Vancouver RCMP said they are conducting a mischief investigation. An unusual odour prompted police to close Clyde Avenue for a few hours while HAZMAT teams investigated, but no health risks were found, said Const. Jeff Palmer.

    “We have no suspects at this time,” he added.

    An ALF spokesman in the United States told The Province he hasn’t been contacted by Vancouver activists claiming responsibility for the vandalism, but the letters on Claman’s shop are a good indication it was the group.

    Several Vancouver stores that sell fur have been targeted by ALF in recent months.

    According to the ALF website, on Christmas Eve the locks at Hills of Kerrisdale were glued shut as a “warning” to stop selling fur, leather, down and silk.

    And on New Year’s Day an anonymous “communique” was posted to the website saying Speiser Furs was targeted by two separate ALF cells on the same night.

    When one group went to glue the locks and past leaflets, another group was at the back of the store “using hypodermic needles to shoot a foul substance into the store through cracks in the door.”

    The missive also spoke of another attack at Max Mara several days earlier.

    Claman said it wasn’t fair that little comments made by others on the reality-TV show should affect her business.

    “I am a human being,” she said.


    Oh, not this ALF.

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