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Oh No They Didn't! -

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    Alana (Constructivism)

    Eddie (Expressionism)

    Frank (Constructivism)

    Laney (Pop Art)

    Laura (Cubism)

    Miranda (Cubism)

    Roy (Expressionism)

    Scott (Surrealism)

    Tate (Surrealism)

    Winner: Flawless Laura Queen of the Universe

    Loser: That guy who insulted surrealism (Scott)


    People need to learn that painting with reds as a blended technique never works out tbqh.

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    Here's another interview Daniels gave to KCRW that I thought was worth sharing.

    Daniels talks in detail about the making of the film, and specifically addresses being an *out* gay black filmmaker in Hollywood. One of the more distressing, although *understandable* things that Daniels shares during the conversation comes towards the end of it, when he's asked to comment specifically on Hollywood's acceptance of black artists, versus gay artists, versus black gay artists, Daniels replies, stating that he's actually "afraid" to answer the question, and that he'll have to remain silent on it, because, "I want to work."

    I mention this because, in my experience, given the number of interviews I've done over the years, this is very much the position that many (and not just artists of color) take - understandably so. They want to work in an industry in which very few companies retain a monopoly. Criticize it and its practices, no matter what you think of them, and you might find yourself kicked out and blacklisted. So, instead, many take on a vow of silence, and maybe vent their frustrations in private instead.

    This may not be acceptable for some of us on the outside looking in, who would prefer that they be completely fearless and speak truth to power, regardless of what the consequences might be. But this is the reality of the business for many, whether you think it's "right" or "fair."

    Daniels' interview begins around the 6:50 mark (skip to for the question/answer 27:42)


    The whole interview is interesting to listen to if you are interested in behind the scenes of the film industry and getting a (black) film off the ground. The story about how the producer who found a black lady that had won the lotto and tried to get her to invest in the film was so random & brilliant!

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    Madonna at the Secret Project Screening in New York City
    Madonna with Sean Penn, Lindsay Lohan, Anderson Cooper, Steven Klein, Rocco and others at the screening of her short film the Secret Project in New York (September 24)

    Finally, Madonna, who had been seated on the floor several people deep into the audience, was dragged back onto the stage by two "cops."She then performed an exquisite cover of Elliott Smith's "Between the Bars" in perfect voice. (The song appears on the Good Will Hunting soundtrack, and as I recall, Madonna named that film her favorite the year it was released.)


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    Samuel L. Jackson criticizes President Obama in the October issue of Playboy, telling the leader to “stop trying to ‘relate’” to the public and “be f**king presidential.”

    After ranting about the importance of good grammar, the interviewer asks the star what he thinks about “President Obama or other highly educated Americans consciously drop[ping] gs off the ends of words to sound like Joe Average.”

    Jackson replies, “First of all, we know it ain’t because of his blackness, so I say stop trying to ‘relate.’ Be a leader. Be f**king presidential.”

    The actor continues, “Look, I grew up in a society where I could say ‘It ain’t’ or ‘What it be’ to my friends. But when I’m out presenting myself to the world as me, who graduated from college, who had family who cared about me, who has a well-read background, I f**king conjugate.”


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  • 09/25/13--07:37: Celebrity Picture Post
  • Liam Hemsworth and Josh Duhamel attending the HUGO BOSS flagship opening in New York City

    January Jones and Xander out in LA

    Heidi Klum catching a flight out of LAX

    Halle Berry grabbing a smoothie in Studio City

    Katie Holmes in New York City

    Miranda Kerr out in NYC with Orlando Bloom and Flynn

    Rita Ora in LA

    Diane Kruger in East Village

    Jessica Alba in West Hollywood

    Avril Lavigne on Extra

    Leigh-Anne Pinnock of Little Mix band and her boyfriend Jordan Kiffin seen leaving Mahiki Night Club in Mayfair

    Mandy Moore in Beverly Hills

    Sarah Jessica Parker and twins in West Village

    Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck in LA

    Joseph Gordon Levitt in NYC

    Nicole Kidman at LAX

    Kimberley Walsh at BBC studio in London and promoting her book with Cheryl Cole

    Naomi Campbell attends the 2013 South-South Awards at The Waldorf Astoria in New York City

    Michael Polish and Kate Bosworth in LA

    Mel B co presents the today show

    Rachel Zoe and Skyler in LA

    Kate Beckinsale at LAX

    Kardashian- Jenners in LA

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    It’s another week and another episode of MTV’s Catfish. This week, we head to Florida to meet Nick. He’s 18 and wants to meet his first love, Melissa. His first crush, really. They’ve been talking for 6 and a half years. Melissa lives in Iowa and not only has a boyfriend, but she’s living with him. That’s a bit of a red flag. An even bigger red flag? Tila Tequila brought them together.


    Nev and Max must get it wrong sometimes. There must be Catfish episodes they’ve shot and shelved because it turned out that the circumstances just weren’t that dramatic, with no crazies involved and an ending that was neither fairy tale nor train wreck. That was my takeaway from last night's lackluster episode, anyway, but at least Nev and Max tried to up the drama with their own theories.

    The setup seemed ripe for the picking: Nick and Melissa met when they were 12 in the time-honored romantic tradition of Tila Tequila chat rooms. (That’ll make the Viacom suits happy!) For the last six years, Nicholas and Melissa have helped each other brave the tougher moments of life — from self-harm rehab to death in the family— growing up along the way. Now Nick wants more from his “first love” before he ships off from Florida to Texas for college. The two have video-chatted no more than a couple of times, mostly owing to Nicholas’s lack of a webcam, but it certainly doesn’t help that for the last seven months, Iowa-based Melissa has lived with her boyfriend Olin. Nicholas seems only slightly deterred by this, noting that Melissa continually mentions what an ass he is and that she only lives there because she has nowhere else to go.

    As if this story doesn’t have enough caveats, Max and Nev created a number of whack theories about Melissa. I know it’s their job to question people’s existences based on online clues, but this week’s probing went too far. After quickly discovering that Melissa is in fact an IRL human with the same face, they raise a stink over her being “a lot bigger” than expected. Catfish continually dances around fat-shaming, and most of the time the overweight people on the show take care of the loathing so that Nev and Max are able to be mostly PC. This week, however, Sherlock and Watson got in the shit. They find a full-length photo of Melissa on a friend’s Facebook and seem sort of horrified by her body. Admittedly, it’s a terrible photo — she appears to be mid-walk at some sort of amusement park clad in an oversize T-shirt, mean-mugging nonetheless. Grade-A sleuthing, Nev and Max, for figuring out that people build their online identities using photos that create an impression of increased hotness — that's some 2013, big discovery being made about the Internet right there: Apparently girls take angled face pics when they wanna hide their bodies!

    The guys bring their chubby girl witch hunt to Nicholas, who tries to be sensitive about not saying something shitty about the woman he thinks is his soul mate. “She’s bigger than I thought she was,” he says over a dramatic instrumental. “I mean, I don’t want to be an asshole… I don’t know if I can get over that.” Seeming less like an ass, Max says something about how an emotional connection with someone makes them more beautiful. True … but what about her bisexuality? Wait, what?

    Nev and Max’s ridiculous Melissa theory No. 2... Full recap here

    Nicholas’s Delusion Score (out of 10): 3.1 — Slightly deluded about Melissa’s relationship with Olin, but he’s grounded otherwise.

    Melissa’s Delusion Score (out of 10): 2.2 — She mostly sees the writing on the wall with regards to life’s hardships and realities.

    Outcome: No catfish but certainly a fish swimming solo, away from the school.

    Watch episode (MTV)

    click to view video

    Sources 1, 2, 3

    catfish moved in

    catfish pout

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    Some very exciting and positive news from the Teen Mom world today as there are reliable reports that Amber Portwood will be getting out of prison on November 6, which is less than a year-and-a-half into her five-year sentence for a felony drug conviction!

    The former reality star stated back in July, “I’m working my a** off to get out of here!” and it appears as though her hard work has paid off. “Although she is scheduled to be released on November 6, this is the prison system so something could go wrong between now and then, but as of now, Amber’s scheduled to be released.”

    If you remember, Amber elected to serve out the sentence instead of returning to rehab because rehab wasn’t working and she was afraid she was going to die from abusing Fentanyl pain patches.“I just hope you guys understand that I chose prison to help me, and pretty much save me from myself,” she later told her brother Shawn in an email.

    And speaking of her brother, Shawn confirmed the report of her November release with this statement posted on Amber Portwood’s official Facebook page:

    Possibility of a media uproar so I just want to be the first to say before it is heard in the tabloids that Amber will be released soon. She has done everything required to be released long before the five year sentence. Congratulations sis, and I know that you will do everything we talked about. You now have control of your future and from what I know it looks bright. – Shawn Portwood

    He also tweeted a little over a half hour ago, “Congratulations sis. I am so happy that you are finally being released. You did everything you needed to do to get out long before 5 years.”

    Amber “working her a** off” includes going through the CLIFF (Clean Living Is Freedom Forever) drug rehabilitation program and working toward finally getting her GED. She revealed back in July that she had taken her TABE testing in preparation for the GED and did exceptionally well. “I got my scores back and I had college level scores in English. And I got a perfect 12.9 in social studies and science,” she revealed at the time.


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    ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Joseph Fauria practiced the dance in the mirror just in case he was going to use it in a game. He had the Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake YouTube video, and wanted to make sure he was prepared if he could try it out.

    Then came Sunday, a touchdown against Washington and a celebration that could turn the Detroit Lions tight end into a minor celebrity. Fauria did a quick version of the 'N Sync dance to the song "Bye Bye Bye" after he scored, and caught the attention of the band -- and of Fallon.

    On "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" early Wednesday morning, Fallon came through on his promise to donate money to charity in honor of the first player to do it. Even though Fauria said he is not being fined for the celebration, Fallon is donating $10,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

    "We were going nuts," Fallon said on the show. "We all saw it on Twitter. We were going crazy."

    Fallon wasn't the only one to notice Fauria's moves. 'N Sync member Joey Fatone tweeted at Fauria on Monday, complimenting his dance.

    This started when Fallon and Timberlake performed the dance as part of the "Evolution of End Zone Dancing" skit on Fallon's show earlier this month. At the end, Fallon did what he called the "Justin Timberlake," the dance 'N Sync made famous with the song "Bye Bye Bye."

    "That's where I got it from," Fauria said. "And also being an 'N Sync fan for a long period of time. You know, when I had my bleached blond tips when I was 10, you know."

    The song "Bye Bye Bye" was released the day after Fauria's 10th birthday.

    Dancing isn't a new thing for Fauria. His uncle, former NFL tight end Christian Fauria, said his nephew used to do the Macarena on the field during flag football games when he was a kid.

    "He kept getting yelled at because after every play, he was doing the Macarena," Christian Fauria said. "In the middle of the field. He did not care.

    "As silly and as goofy as he was Sunday doing 'Bye Bye Bye.'"

    Joseph Fauria learned, though, to keep his dancing for the end zone. And it already has earned the rookie some notoriety as a player who will be willing to celebrate when he can.

    "Do I love attention? Yes," Fauria said. "I'm not trying to hide it. My personality is one that can be shown, and if it is in a positive light, I'm not going to be in a negative eye. I'm going to just keep [going], once I'm making plays.

    "I'm not going to miss a block and start doing a dance. I'm getting touchdowns and doing dances. That's always a positive. But I'm going to continue to keep a short leash on it and make sure I'm not stepping out of line."

    Now he has received some national recognition for it -- and appreciation from a late-night talk show host.

    "Thank you," Fallon said on the show. "For dancing out there and making it fun."



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    Jimmy asks guests Joseph Gordon Levitt and Stephen Merchant to battle in an epic lip sync-off

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt sings "Elton John - Tiny Dancer"&"Nicki Minaj - Super Bass"
    Stephen Merchant sings "DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Boom! Shake the Room"&"Beyonce - Single Ladies"
    and Jimmy Fallon sings "The Human League - Don't You Want Me"&"A-ha - Take On Me"


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    Fall’s buzziest new drama had a super-powered premiere Tuesday night: ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.— a show so big it takes two company names to officially describe it — delivered 11.9 million viewers and a 4.6 adults 18-49 rating. That makes S.H.I.E.L.D. TV’s highest-rated drama debut in nearly four years (since ABC’s V premiere in November, 2009).

    That adult demo number is particular impressive given the show’s time slot. S.H.I.E.L.D. had to self-start at 8 p.m. — no lead-in — and ran against huge competition: NBC’s The Voice and CBS’ NCIS, two of the most popular shows on television. And how did it stand up to those rivals? S.H.I.E.L.D. actually managed to tie the two-hour The Voice overall in the demo (4.6) — and beat it head-to-head during the 8 p.m. hour — while trouncing the return of NCIS in the demo (3.4), though obviously losing among total viewers (19.4 million).

    S.H.I.E.L.D. may technically be a new show, but it dove into the mix with with a very familiar skill set. The Marvel universe has been bombarding theaters for years with Thor, Captain America, Iron Man and The Avengers. S.H.I.E.L.D. is basically brand extension, a TV-sized spin-off. And tapping pre-existing fantasy universes was already proven to work with two recent primetime shows — ABC’s fairy tale-stuffed Once Upon a Time and The CW’s DC Comics lynchpin Arrow. And now Fox is getting into the game by developing a Batman-verse series. In fact, some were so caught up in the hype they were privately predicting a rating like 5.0 for the show, but that always seemed a bit unrealistic for a drama opening against huge competition with no lead-in.

    S.H.I.E.L.D. co-creator Joss Whedon, who previously launched modestly rated culty dramas like Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, told EW that ratings for the new show don’t really matter — except for when they do. “I mean, I want it to be a hit because people who I work for have invested in it, and people I work with are in it, and writing it, and I want it to continue,” Whedon explained. “We have the opportunity to do something special. If it’s not special, hopefully it will go away. I think we’ll be okay there. But I can’t measure it in those terms. It doesn’t seem useful to me.” Check the full extensive Q&A with Whedon where he talks the inspiration for S.H.I.E.L.D., among many other things. This also means were two-for-two so far in our time-slot battle predictions.

    I liked it! It's pretty much what I thought it would be since Joss had said that the series was really inspired by "The Zeppo" and how it isn't really about superheroes but how the people in the background matter. I'm interested in seeing where it goes next (hopefully more scenes with Coulson and Melinda May). What did you think?

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    NBC was the number one network in adults 18-49 while CBS was on top with total viewers.

    On NBC, The Voice earned a 4.6, down from yesterday's colossal 5.1 adults 18-49 rating, but up from last fall's Tuesday debut (which earned a 4.0 adults 18-49 rating). The season premiere of Chicago Fire earned a 2.8 adults 18-49 rating, up almost a full ratings point from last year's 1.9 series premiere rating.

    On CBS the premiere of NCIS earned a 3.4 adults 18-49 rating, down from last year’s 4.1 premiere rating. NCIS: Los Angeles earned a 3.0 adults 18-49 rating, down from last year’s 3.4 premiere rating. Person Of Interest premiered to a 2.3 adults 18-49 rating, down from last year’s 2.9 adults 18-49 rating.

    On ABC, the premiere of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. earned a 4.6 adults 18-49 rating. Your predictions were accurate. The premiere of The Goldbergs earned a 3.2 adults 18-49 rating. Trophy Wife premiered to a 2.3 adults 18-49 rating. The premiere of Lucky 7 flopped with a 1.3 adults 18-49 rating.

    On FOX, Dads earned a 1.5, down sharply from last week's 2.2 adults 18-49 premiere rating. Brooklyn Nine-Nine scored a 1.8, down eight tenths from last week's 2.6 adults 18-49 rating. New Girl garnered a 2.1, also down eight tenths from last week's 2.9 adults 18-49rating. The Mindy Project notched a 1.5, down four tenths from last week's 1.9 adults 18-49 rating.

    On the CW, Whose Line Is It Anyway? earned a 0.5, down three tenths from last week’s 0.8 adults 18-49 rating. Capture notched a 0.2, down two tenths from last week’s 0.4.


    Glad to see 'Dads' flopping

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  • 09/25/13--09:16: Billboard Hot Digital Songs
  • Lorde-010
    Over on the Digital Songs chart, history is made. The top three songs each sell in excess of 300,000 downloads for the first time outside of the Christmas holiday season.

    Lorde's "Royals" jumps 3-1 with 307,000—up 17% for its first week at No. 1 and best sales week yet. Behind her is Katy Perry's "Roar," which holds steady at No. 2 with 301,000 (down 10%) and Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball," down 1-3 with a little more than 301,000 as well (down 37%). (The sales of both titles have been rounded to the nearest thousand. "Wrecking Ball" is behind "Roar" by a margin of less than 1% in sales.)

    The top three songs on the tally have each moved 300,000 downloads in six previous weeks, but all were during the post-Christmas time period. That's when digital song sales are extraordinarily high thanks to consumers redeeming just-received gift cards.

    Perry has a second song in the top 10 this week, as her new track "Dark Horse" (featuring Juicy J) bows at No. 4 with 194,000. Right behind it is Avicii's "Wake Me Up!," which slips one rung to No. 5 with 189,000 (down 6%).

    Britney Spears' "Work B**ch!" debuts at No. 6 with 174,000 downloads. It's the first single from her forthcoming studio album, due in December. Comparably, her last album's first single, "Hold It Against Me," launched with 411,000 in January 2011.

    Lady Gaga's "Applause" is down 13% this week, slipping 5-7 with 160,000. Drake's "Hold On, We're Going Home" (featuring Majid Jordan) is steady at No. 8 with 150,000 (up 5%).

    Eminem's "Berzerk" descends 6-9 with 147,000 (down 11%), and Jay Z's "Holy Grail" (featuring Justin Timberlake) moves 7-10 with 134,000 (down 8%).Over on the Digital Songs chart, history is made. The top three songs each sell in excess of 300,000 downloads for the first time outside of the Christmas holiday season.


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    Over a quarter century, Trent Reznor, the subject of our annual Icon Issue this year, has slashed one of the most unlikely paths toward music industry success. In 1989, Nine Inch Nails’ debut Pretty Hate Machine made industrial accessible, going three times platinum in the process. In 1994, a year dominated by soft acts, NIN’s The Downward Spiral offered a harrowing vision of sadomasochism and suicide, and still charted #2 on the Billboard 200; 1999’s The Fragile went on to claim the chart’s top spot.

    In the decade since, whether he’s boldly collaborating outside his genre, experimenting with digital distribution, producing award-winning soundtracks or creatively helming a forthcoming digital streaming service, Reznor has remained profoundly relevant in a way few of his contemporaries have.

    After a four-year hiatus, this fall the tortured virtuoso marks a triumphant return to NIN with Hesitation Marks, an album that harkens back to the project's earlier records without losing any forward-facing momentum. The band’s ninth release is the latest milestone in the brilliant career of a musician who’s never compromised his terrifying vision.

    FADER’s Icon Issue hits newsstands on October 15th, but you can read all of its Trent Reznor features now. For this issue, Trent Reznor spoke with Andrew Nosnitsky about his first synth, social media, EDM and reinvention. We talked to 14 of Reznor’s colleagues for an oral history of Nine Inch Nails, and to director David Fincher about Reznor’s movie scores. We looked at nine NIN artifacts and their design influences, and profiled three three young artists who, like Reznor before them, use today’s technology to predict music’s future. Essayist Daphne Carr investigated the parallels between Reznor’s life and his songs, and photographer Ross Mantle photographed landscapes in Reznor’s hometown. Find links to those stories below, along with audio excerpts from the issue’s centerpiece interview, where Reznor talks about Kanye West, Disclosure and avoiding nostalgia.

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    Forbes released its list of the highest-earning hip-hop cash cows, and it's clear that Diddy makes way more than 50 Cent.
    And he's glad that Forbes got it right, telling the magazine, "You started learning how to count right, I see. Thank God!"
    Sean Combs, AKA Puff Daddy/P.Diddy/Diddy, reeled in $50 million in the past 12 months, thanks to his Bad Boy record label, Sean John clothing line, Blue Flame agency, and endorsement deal with Diageo’s Ciroc vodka.
    The rap mogul has payed close attention to Forbes' rankings over the years, and hasn't always agreed with its estimates of his fortune.
    Diddy has an estimated net worth of $580 million, so he can afford a little creative license.

    The top 5 includes:
    1. Diddy — $50 million
    2. Jay Z — $43 million
    3. Dr. Dre — $40 million
    4. Nicki Minaj — $29 million
    5. Birdman — $21 million

    ngl i love me some Ciroc

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    It's called Day of the Doctor, and it's showing on the 23rd November 2013

    The feature length episode title was officialy revealed as The Day of the Doctor, which frankly doesn't give much away.

    David Tennant and Billie Piper

    Former Doctor David Tennant will reunite with former companion and unrequited love Rose (Billie Piper) for the special. They will team up with current Doctor and companion Matt Smith and Jenna Colman. The two Docs apparently love working with each other, proving that the Tardis is big enough for the both of them.

    Baddies: Daleks and the Zygons

    Come on, the Daleks were never going to miss the Doctor's big day, were they? The tin-pot dictators will return, along with an enemy we've hardly glimpsed since their first appearance almost 40 years ago: the creepy shape-shifting Zygons.

    Goodies: UNIT

    Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) – daughter of the legendary Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart and head of scientific research at the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce – will be returning to fight alongside the Doctor. Fans are hoping that means a rematch between the Zygons and UNIT, who last tangled in 1975's Terror of the Zygons.

    Who is John Hurt?

    Well, John Hurt is Who. As revealed at the end of the last series, John Hurt plays a previously unknown version of the Doctor. According to costume designer Howard Burden, he is a 'dark' Doctor who fits in between Paul McGann (who starred in the 1990s TV movie) and Christopher Eccleston. He said: “There was a gap between Paul McGann playing the Doctor and Christopher Eccleston, when we didn’t see a regeneration, and John Hurt will fit into that gap. He is a past Doctor, not a future Doctor.”

    The Time War, Bad Wolf and a Red Sonic Screwdriver

    Careful inspection of the poster seems to reveal the story will involve the last great Time War between the Time Lords and the Daleks, while John Hurt's Doctor might wield a red sonic screwdriver. Also featured: a possibly exploding Tardis and the words 'Bad Wolf', a reference to the very first series of the relaunched Doctor Who.

    It will be shown around the world, in 3D

    To avoid spoilers, the special will be shown in over 200 countries at the same time, the biggest simulcast in history. British viewers will be able to watch the special in 3D at cinemas.

    American fans have seen more than the rest of us

    Guests at the San Diego Comic-Con got a sneak peak of the anniversary special's trailer, and no-one else was allowed to see it. This annoyed people, quite a lot.

    Classic Doctors

    Peter Davison is making an appearance during the 50th Anniversary, but we don't where, when or in what way. He implied that other former Doctors are taking part. "It is a big year for the show and we're all doing our bit for it. Trust me." However, Stephen Moffat squashed hopes of a "traditional massive reunion", saying ""We can't do eleven Doctors! Three of them are dead!"

    Matt Smith is still around for the Christmas episode

    And he'll be wearing a wig. Here he is on set, frollicking with a Christmas turkey and sporting a hairpiece to cover his shaved head.

    It also means new Doctor-in-waiting Peter Capaldi is unlikely to make an appearance in the 50th, but then again, who really knows...?

    This could all be wrong

    Stephen Moffat claims he has lied until his pants burned in order to keep the true story a secret, and for once we believe him...


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    Josh Brolin says he spent three days in solitary confinement to prep for Oldboy. That’s pretty serious stuff. He doesn’t make the mistake of thinking that it really gave him the mindset of Joe Doucette, the character he plays who is imprisoned for 20 years for reasons unknown. But it does represent a level of commitment to the film.

    This Oldboy featurette gives that background info, and also features quite a bit of new footage and other interviews. Brolin calls the movie “the most difficult thing I’ve ever done,” as he, director Spike Lee and co-stars Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson, Sharlto Copley and Michael Imperioli talk about the film. If nothing else, the plentiful new footage will be enough to warrant a look from those curious about this remake.

    Oldboy opens on November 27.

    Oldboy is a provocative, visceral thriller that follows the story of Joe Doucette, a man who is abruptly kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement, for no apparent reason. When he is suddenly released without explanation, he begins an obsessive mission to find out who imprisoned him, only to discover that the real mystery is why he was set free.


    Only for you Sharlto, only for you...

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  • 09/26/13--10:38: ONTD Roundup
  • 0 0
  • 09/26/13--11:33: NEW! Daley - Look Up
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    Actress Ming-Na Wen loves being in the spies and superhero action drama “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” But she’s also dreaming of “Star Wars.”

    “My ultimate dream is to be in a ‘Star Wars’ film,” she laughs. “If the right people at Disney are reading this, now that the series is moving along, I’m happy to just be an extra! Really! Just so I can check that off my bucket list.”

    Some movie lovers may remember Wen from her breakthrough as June in the film adaptation of Amy Tan’s “The Joy Luck Club.” Others may recall that she was the voice behind Disney’s take on the classic Chinese legend “Mulan,” or seen her on television in roles ranging from “The Single Guy” to “E.R.” But in parallel with what she jokingly refers to as her “serious actor” work, Wen has accumulated an astonishingly awesome geek resume: Long before her arrival in the Marvel Universe, she starred in the 1998-99 TV adaptation of Todd McFarlane’s “Spawn”; she voiced the lead role of Dr. Aki Ross in the 2001 CGI-animated movie based on the epic adventure videogame series “Final Fantasy”; she voiced Detective Ellen Yin in a season of the animated TV series “The Batman”; and, of course, from 2009 to 2011, she played Camile Wray on “SGU Stargate Universe,” the final installment in the long-running “Stargate” franchise. (And let’s not forget that she also portrayed everyone’s favorite high-kicking dumpling-head, Chun Li, in the first live-action adaptation of the videogame “Street Fighter.” Spinning bird kick!)

    It’s an amazing run, though one that took her a while to embrace. “When I first started out, I was trying so hard to not be in that realm,” she says. “It was against all of my instincts — I grew up as a total geek girl, I was the president of my high school’s sci-fi club — but I kept on telling myself, if you want to get respect, you have to be a serious actor.”

    Despite Wen’s long list of comic-book credits, getting cast as Melinda May was something of a surprise. “You get to a certain age, you’re going out for roles and oh look, you’re competing with Sigourney Weaver,” she says. “Well, that’s not going to work! But after my agent decided to change career paths, I got a new set of agents, and they said, ‘You know what, you still look pretty good. We’re going to try sending you out for a different set of roles.’”

    That’s an understatement, to say the least. Wen doesn’t just look “pretty good”: When you see her in “S.H.I.E.L.D.,” you’ll swear her mutant ability is eternal youth.

    “Well, there’s this special Chinese tea — you mean you don’t drink it?” she laughs. “Seriously though, it’s hard work. I tell people this and they don’t believe me, but I really do not like working out. I’m not the kind of person who likes to get up early and put in an hour jogging or whatever. But I’m motivated by fear. I say to myself, ‘You’re wearing a leather catsuit. Do you want to look bad, or badass?’ So it’s martial arts training, pilates, and every five minutes, if no one’s looking, I’m doing lunges and squats.”

    The work paid off. The role of Melinda May was originally written as “Althea Rice,” a non-Asian character. “But once I got the part, one of the exec producers — I’m assuming it was Maurissa — pointed out that it was a problem to have an Asian named ‘Agent Rice.’ Might get a little backlash, you think? So they actually changed her name for me.” (Maurissa, of course, is Thai American Maurissa Tanchaeron, frequent collaborator with Whedon and cowriter of the pilot along with her husband, Whedon’s brother Jed.)

    What they didn’t change was the character’s identity. May is a “damaged soldier” who, due to some as-yet-unrevealed trauma, had relegated herself to desk duty until Coulson convinces her to return to the field, promising that all she has to do is “drive the bus” — that is to say, fly the massive stealth jet that’s used to bring the S.H.I.E.L.D. team to crisis points around the globe.

    “Naturally, she doesn’t just drive the bus,” says Wen. The character’s nickname, “The Cavalry,” refers to her incredible combat skills — she’s described as being the only S.H.I.E.L.D. agent with more black belts than Natasha Romanoff, that is to say, the Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson in “Iron Man 2” and “The Avengers”). Wen puts those skills on display in the pilot in one remarkably efficient ass-kicking sequence — taking a burly security guard down with a few lightning-swift kicks and punches. (“The guy playing the cop made me look good,” says Wen. “I mean, it convinced my seven-year-old, and he’s a tough critic.”)

    As to May’s backstory, Wen doesn’t know everything, and what she knows, she won’t tell. “It’s a secret!” she says — something that requires Level 8 clearance, I guess. “All I’ll say is that over the course of the series, you will see the pieces of her emerging. Her storyline will unfold very slowly, because they’re set on maintaining that mystery, that intensity about her. But it’s been a lot of fun. She’s one of my most favorite chars I’ve ever had to play.”

    Until then, she says, enjoy the ride. “We’re working on our seventh episode now, and every time I pick up a new script, I can’t put it down,” she says. “NO WAY! This is going to happen? That person shows up? It’s such a good read.”

    And an even better watch. In the classic Marvel Comics tradition, it even manages to address some real social issues with a candor you won’t see anywhere else on primetime. So buckle up, fans: This helicarrier is going places.



    0 0

    Mariah Carey is the best-selling female artist of all time with more than 200 million albums sold to date and eighteen Billboard #1 singles (seventeen self-penned), more than any solo artist in history. With her distinct five-octave vocal range, prolific song writing, and producing talent, Carey has defined the modern pop performance.

    In 1998, eight years after her debut, Carey released #1's, a compilation of her chart-topping hits. The album also included a new song, When You Believe (from the Dreamworks film, The Prince of Egypt), a duet with Whitney Houston that paired two of the most successful female recording artists in pop history. The song went on to win the 1999 Academy Award for Best Original Song.

    On October 1, Sony Music will release a 24 karat gold CD. This CD is compatible with all CD players, but it is doutbtful this CD is really made of gold, because the price is only $47.23.


    cheers darling

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