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Oh No They Didn't! -

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    Big news 2014 continues with more on Star Wars, specifically Episode VII and the view from the outside of the Disney/Abrams Death Star.

    Everything Star Wars is LOCKED DOWN like nobody’s business. The Disney/Star Wars team is monitoring the internet activity of anyone with story-level involvement and access to the slightest bit of information. As we rapidly approach production, things are solidifying and Disney/Star Wars is getting ready to board the Abrams Denial Train (previous passenger Benedict KAHNberbatch).

    It’s going to be dodgy territory for entertainment news reporting on Star Wars from here on out, so let’s begin by putting our cards on the table: Please pay close attention to what we are and are not reporting. Especially with something like Star Wars, we stand by what we’ve reported only as far as we can – which is to say meetings don’t always lead to castings and scripts can get tossed around or out at the drop of a hat.

    Speaking of whole scripts being booted, let’s get to it:


    We’ve heard that the big difference of opinion between JJ Abrams and screenwriter Michael Arndt was the story direction of Episode VII. We know Arndt (Toy Story 3) got booted from Episode VII scripting duties and was replaced by Lawrence Kasdan with some JJ for good measure. We’ve heard that Arndt was much more into the story of the Solo kids, while JJ felt – and still feels – that this the story of the Skywalker line.

    Since Arndt walked almost all of his ideas have been tossed and Abrams/Kasdan are pursuing the Skywalker-centric version they wanted. Mark Hamill’s part has been beefed up so much he might end up shooting 6 months on the movie, our source estimated.


    Jesse Plemons of Friday Night Lights and Breaking Bad was heavily rumored to be under consideration for a lead role in Star Wars Episode VII. We heard that this is basically a locked deal, at least as locked as anyone can be at this point.

    We expect Plemons’ involvement will be announced early on, but the Disney/Star Wars PR Plemons Plan, currently, is to confirm his involvement without naming his part. So we’ll get a confirmation, but not an official confirm that Plemons is playing Ben Skywalker, Luke’s son. Plemons’ character would be the main protagonist of Episode VIII. EIGHT!


    Strap in, a lot of you aren’t going to like this.

    To counter-act the prequels, the Boba Fett spin-off movie planned for 2018 has an interesting twist pitched by Episode VII writer Lawrence Kasdan: the spin-off will start with a complete stranger killing Boba Fett and taking his armor, starting a Man-With-No-Name bounty hunter tale. So: someone kills the Boba Fett from the prequels and takes his armor and name. One this is for certain is that Kasdan didn’t like the prequel and wants no Bobba Fett Clone in the spin-off film.

    Sounds a lot like a Western and it sounds like it could restore a fan-favorite character that was totally a little boy with thousands of versions of his father running around. Or it could just be a lot of stupid rib-elbowing about this stranger doomed to fall into a Sarlaac pit in the most anti-climactic franchise exit ever.

    Lastly I was told by 3 sources, reps etc, etc…(so call who ever you want) that Captain America director Joe Johnston is on top of the list to direct the spin-off, which makes sort of sense since he began his career as a concept artist and effects technician on the first Star Wars film. REMEMBER NOW before you all go and say he’s directing the project, I never said he has the job, just that he’s on top of the list, let’s get that perfectly clear.


    In response to a rumor that Obi-Wan would have some sort of offspring, we’re told that it’s absolutely not true. That being said, the Kenobi family will come into play. Could be niece nephew, no real details on that one. It could be a Force Ghost or a something else, we just know it’s not his daughter or grandkid.

    That’s all we’ve got for you at the moment, but we’re still on the never-ending hunt for Star Wars news. Until Episode IX, or at least until they cast all of us as senators in our own New Republic Planet, we’ll be here with you.

    Source: Wouldn’t you wanna know.


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    Hugh Jackman, who has become one of the theater world’s most lucrative draws, will return to Broadway next season starring in Jez Butterworth’s play “The River,” the producers and Mr. Jackman said on Friday.

    “The River,” a spiritually searching drama about a trout-loving loner in a remote cabin and two of the women in his life, was a critically acclaimed hit in its premiere at the Royal Court Theater in London in 2012. It was Mr. Butterworth’s first new play since “Jerusalem,” another much-praised work that ran on Broadway in 2011 starring Mark Rylance, who won a Tony Award for his performance. Ian Rickson (who directed “Jersualem”) will stage the 80-minute “River,” as he did in London. The play is expected to begin performances on Broadway in early 2015.

    Many theater producers consider Mr. Jackman to be a box office prize, because his popularity – he is best known as Wolverine in the X-Men action movies – has allowed them to charge exorbitant prices for tickets, up to $350. In his last outing on Broadway Mr. Jackman, who recently quit a long-gestating musical project called “Houdini” (citing his schedule), brought in a total of $14.6 million over 10 weeks for his concert performance in late 2011, which sold many $350 tickets over the busy holiday season. Prior to that, he and Daniel Craig starred in the Broadway play “A Steady Rain” in 2009, grossing $15.2 million over 13 weeks. By contrast, in his Broadway debut in the musical “The Boy From Oz” in 2003, when premium pricing strategy hadn’t been perfected and Mr. Jackman wasn’t as famous, the show grossed less per week than his later Broadway outings, for a total of $42.7 million over 51 weeks. Mr. Jackman won a Tony for “Boy From Oz.”

    “The River” will be mounted on Broadway by Sonia Friedman Productions and the Royal Court. The New York Post first reported the news about the Broadway production. Mr. Jackman also tweeted about the news on Friday morning. No theater or other casting has been disclosed.


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    Teller plays a drummer who wants to be the next great jazz musician in “Whiplash”

    Sundance opened with a bang – loud banging, in fact – on Thursday, as the opening night film starring Miles Teller as a young drummer drew a rapturous audience response and immediate raves on social media.

    A year after he charmed Sundance in the coming of age drama “The Spectacular now,” Teller won praise in first-time director Damien Chazelle’s film as a drummer determined to achieve musical greatness. For Teller, it’s Charlie Parker or bust.

    The film is one of several in the festival, which is screening more than 120 feature-length films, that examine the power of music. Others upcoming include “Song One,” starring Anne Hathaway, “Alive Inside,” a documentary about how music helps trigger memory and “Under the Electric Sky,” a 3D documentary about a popular electronic music festival.

    Now in its 30th year as the premiere showcase for independent filmmaking, Sundance is as popular as ever despite the challenging business models that persist for indie film. Distributors are nonetheless lined up to acquire films as buzz has built around titles including John Slattery’s “God’s Pocket” and Joe Swanberg’s “Happy Christmas.” The latter was acquired on Thursday by Magnolia in the festival’s first purchase.

    Festival programmers credited the depth of quality this year, emphasizing sections devoted to films with lower budgets and documentaries. “When I took over the festival it was in the middle of the financial crisis,” festival director John Cooper told TheWrap on Thursday. “The biggest change I did was look at the categories and say ‘Are they representing the films being made?’ I didn’t think they were. That’s why we created the Next section (for lower-budget films). Those Next films weren’t making it in because there was no place for them.”

    “Whiplash” was a strong start to the festival. Indiewire’s Eric Kohn labeled an epic solo in the film’s final scene “the best drum solo ever caught on film.” One member of the audience was so moved by the display that he asked who played the drums, much to amusement of director Chazelle.

    “Miles,” Chazelle responded.

    Teller’s cadre of supporters read him the glowing praise as he stood in line for the film’s after party, a few spots in front of producer Jason Blum, who flew back from Mexico just to catch the premiere.

    A feature-length version of Chazelle’s short that screened at Sundance a year ago,“Whiplash” is loosely based on Chazelle’s own experience in high school with an irascible conductor. The director employs the throbbing sound of a drum beat to convey Teller’s rocky, aggressive pursuit of greatness, and his tortured relationship with his conductor, played by JK Simmons. Simmons’ character berates his students, tossing around musical stands and gay slurs with equal pleasure.

    “He’s lately been playing lighter-hearted roles, kinder roles,” Chazelle told the crowd, referring to Simmons. “When I first met him I said remember who you were in Oz? I wanna make that guy look like the teacher in Mr. Holland’s Opus.”

    While Simmons’ menacing conductor was excellent, it is Teller who people will remember. The actor has been climbing the Hollywood ladder in recent years, even linked by TheWrap to the upcoming “Fantastic Four” reboot.”

    This movie is not conventionally commercial, with several lengthy musical performances, but that didn’t stop Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions from claiming international rights before the film debuted. Whether he is drumming so hard his hands bleed or walking away from a car crash to take the stage, Teller exhibits an intensity in the film not seen in more playful movies like “21 and Over” and “Project X.”

    But Teller told the audience he almost didn’t take the part in the film, having just finished a movie when his agent called.

    “I just wanted to hang out on the beach, but my agent said this is one of the best scripts I’ve ever read and you’re going to do this,” Teller told the audience.

    He looked pretty happy with that decision Thursday night.


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    Novels (and a comic) that made the jump from words to wow in movies and TV:

    Harry Potter series (2001-2011)

    Special Award for Overall Excellence


    Source: Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (1997-2007)

    Seven beloved books became eight blockbuster movies (the seventh book was split into two parts), and while some changes — such as the nixing of S.P.E.W and other subplots — made devoted fans grumble, overall, the fantasy and wonder of the books remained intact despite the big-budget Hollywood involvement. Now that's magical. —Erin Strecker

    Sherlock (2010-present)


    Source: Sherlock Holmes stories (1887-1927)

    The creation of Doctor Who scribes Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss, this update on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective series revamp benefits from both extremely clever writing and the undeniable chemistry between Benedict Cumberbatch's laser-focused Holmes and Martin Freeman's dogged Dr. Watson. Also? Awesome coat. —Clark Collis

    Game of Thrones (2011-present)


    Source: A Song of Ice and Fire series (1996-present)

    George R.R. Martin's Westeros fantasy — thousands of pages long in total with two more books still to come — should've proved trickier to adapt. So it's pretty impressive that with only 10 hours per season, show runners Dan Weiss and David Benioff have been able to hit all the major plot points with only minor changes and omissions. Having a home on a cable network that allowed it to delve into the gore and nudity that the show required didn't hurt things either. —Andrea Towers

    The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)


    Source: Catching Fire (2009)

    Given its bonkers arena (howler monkeys! blood rain!), colorful array of Capitol denizens, and amped-up stakes, Catching Fire presented more than a few challenges for director Francis Lawrence, who took up the reins from Hunger Games director Gary Ross at the 11th hour before production began. With a few tweaks (all approved by author Suzanne Collins) — and a healthy infusion of studio money after the first film's runaway success — Lawrence pulled it off, all while honoring (some might even say improving) his source. —Lanford Beard

    Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)


    Source: The Return of the King (1955)

    The fantasy series was already well-adapted in the television and film world by the time Peter Jackson took the reins, but what the director did for the tale was unparalleled: he used New Zealand and a lot of impressive technology to transform J.R.R. Tolkien's work into a sweeping epic, complete with breathtaking battles and intense action. His passionate filmmaking paid off — the movie was honored with 11 Oscars, including the 2004 Best Picture statuette. —Andrea Towers

    25 more at the SOURCE

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    Laura Linney sure knows how to keep a secret!

    The actress, 49, recently became a mom after giving birth to a baby boy on Wednesday, Jan. 8, her rep confirms to PEOPLE exclusively.

    Son Bennett Armistead Schauer is the first child for Linney and her husband Marc Schauer.

    The couple became engaged in 2007 and were married in May 2009.


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    Joe Jonas is now a certified Uber driver.

    The performer is an officially verified driver on the app-based ride service, apparently in preparation for an unspecified video project that will be released in the future.

    But the certification is legit, and Jonas really is now able to pick up passengers and take them around the streets of Los Angeles.

    On Thursday, he did just that.

    Lee Mills and Lindsey Farwell were two unsuspecting Uber users whom Jonas picked up… and took to Pinkberry.

    The trio posed for a selfie that Farwell posted on Twitter.

    There’s no word on whether Jonas’ famous brothers will get in on the Uber action.


    What would you do if Joe was your Uber?

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    Hanna Brooks Olsen for KOMO News writes:
    Who else could possibly perform at the halftime show of this weekend's NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field but the city's most beloved hip-hop duo, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis?

    The Seahawks announced this morning that Macklemore, who spent the last home game against the Saints on the sidelines under a very wet poncho, and producer Ryan Lewis would perform during halftime at Sunday's Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers.

    Macklemore and Ryan Lewis swept the MTV Video Music Awards in 2013 and are expected to win [at the Grammy Awards] this year for their platinum album, "The Heist."

    The duo will also be performing at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards on January 26.

    Macklemore, a confirmed Seahawks fan, has expressed an interest in the team for some time;  this week, he posted a photo to Instagram of a jacket that read "49ers Suck."

    I'm getting caught up in all this football hype. You know it's serious when mayors bet ice cream:

    Source 1 | 2

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    Beyonce has cut Kelly Rowland out of her life -- and it was truly the unkindest cut of all.

    Check out this photo (above) Beyonce posted on Instagram last night ... in honor of Aaliyah's 35th birthday.

    But here's what you don't see ... Kelly Rowland ... who was in the pic when it was snapped in 2001 at the MTV Movie Awards, mere months before Aaliyah was killed in a plane crash.

    Kelly posted the original photo on Instagram hours before Beyonce. Then Beyonce reposted it in black and white, completely cropping Kelly out of the pic ... and putting herself smack in the middle of the shot



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    Modern rock favorites Neon Trees return with "Sleeping With a Friend," the first track from the band’s forthcoming album, Pop Psychology, which drops April 22nd. "Sonically speaking it's our biggest-sounding song to date," frontman Tyler Glenn tells Rolling Stone. "That is probably because I was listening to a lot of Peter Gabriel's So record. Those pop songs of his are so huge and great. However, this record is a lot more personal in nature overall. I mean, how much more personal can you get than sex? This is not a sex song the way 'Blurred Lines' is . . . It's the kind of sex song that isn't this S&M, Rihanna-fueled fantasy world, but something a lot more intimate and therefore dangerous." The band's third major label album follows 2010's Habits and 2012's Picture Show. Those albums yielded the respective hits "Animal" and "Everybody Talks." The group, which includes guitarist Christopher Allen, bassist Branden Campbell and drummer Elaine Bradley, performed a series of surprise shows for fans this week in Salt Lake City, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

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    Plot: Set against the backdrop of the residential schools tragedy -- when thousands of Aboriginal children were separated from their families, culture, and language -- his much-anticipated debut feature Rhymes for Young Ghouls resembles an S.E. Hinton novel re-imagined as a surreal, righteously furious thriller. At the tender age of 15, Aila (Kawennahere Devery Jacobs) has taken over the drug business of her father Joseph (Glen Gould) while he serves a stint in prison. Joseph's return signals an abrupt end to Aila's reign as the reservation's drug queen; it also piques the interest of Popper (Mark Antony Krupa), the reserve's corrupt and sadistic Indian agent. The bloody tragedy that unfolds becomes an angry and poetic howl for lost lives, lost opportunities and lost loved ones -- a fever dream whose terrifying fictions are grounded in even more terrible fact.

    Sources: 12

    this film is made by an aboriginal canadian filmmaker; not sure about the release date for the u.s. or elsewhere but if you want to follow the film its facebook page is here

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  • 01/17/14--15:19: 'Adult World' Trailer

  • A recent college graduate who believes she's destined to be a great poet, instead winds up working for an adult book store. "Adult World" opens in theaters and VOD on February 14th.


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    Suffice it to say that ONTD did not, on the whole, love the premiere of LOOKING last night. The people who think it's too white still think it's too white, and some who had been looking forward to it were put off by the ambling pace and casual dialogue.

    Watching it on a blurry and stuttering online stream I was a little deflated myself: Half an hour wasn't enough to really establish the characters and situations, so the whole thing did feel a little insubstantial. But when I found a clearer version, I thought it was lovely - a very non-glam view of San Francisco, but for sure the city of MUNI stops and grey skies I know.

    So I'm still excited for the rest of the season, and I thought I'd throw ONTD the most skin that we got last night. Don't bother reaching for the lotion: it's considerably less heat than we got way back in the nineties when Littlefinger ate out Jax Teller's underage ass.


    But I think the scene was nicely played, so here it is.

    And I guess I need a source or something to post, not just a ripped clip, so, well ... you say the AVClub is banned, mods? Okay, I guess I'll just post this then.

    "After a good six months of increasingly intense anticipation (at least within certain circles), Michael Lannan and Andrew Haigh's San Francisco-set HBO series "Looking" finally made its official debut last night. With it came some pretty remarkable expectations that are really no surprise when...a show is representing an oft-ignored demographic that's been, uh, "looking" [Jesus. I told you not to click the cut but you did. -ed.] for the next "Queer as Folk" for nearly a decade. And surely as a result there were many a living room last night where conversations echoed many of the premature criticisms the show has received in its reviews (though certainly not in all of them -- check out our own very positive one here): There's not enough sex. They talk about sex too much. Why are they all so masculine and good-looking? It's not body positive enough. Why are they all hipsters? It's not as good as "Weekend." It's too much like a gay "Girls"!

    Let's all just calm down a bit. It's only the pilot episode, and let's all remember that pilot episodes are not easy to pull off, particularly when expectations are this high. Lannan, Haigh and company were clearly handed a huge opportunity here which a certain demographic of folks are probably just as excited to tear down as they are to watch it. "Looking" is never going to pull off an all-encompassing representation of the queer men of today in its entire run, let alone in its first 30 minutes -- and that's okay. The primary thing I for one expect from "Looking" -- at least for now -- is that it's a good show. A good show with strong writing and strong acting and interesting ideas. I've been waiting for this with just as much anticipation as the next gay, and I'm happy to say I think things are off to a good start.

    Basically, what "Looking" was trying to pull off in its first episode -- titled "Looking For Now" -- is to offer up an introduction to its trio of protagonists, Patrick (Jonathan Groff), Agustín (Frankie J. Alvarez) and Dom (Murray Bartlett). Where do they live, what to do they do and -- at least right now -- what (and who) are they looking for?

    Patrick (or Paddy, as his friends call him -- though frankly I'm not so into that nickname so I'll mostly refrain) is our primary character -- the Carrie Bradshaw or Hannah Horvath of this world, if I must. He's 29, works as a video game developer, and has been roommates with Agustín since they moved to San Francisco after college.

    Agustín is presumably around Patrick's age (though they never say), and works as an artist's assistant (and clearly aspires to remove the word "assistant" from that equation). He's in a long-term relationship with Frank (O. T. Fagbenle), and by mid-episode the two of them have decided to move into together, leaving Paddy all by his lonesome. Oh, and I suppose notably given the aforementioned representational concerns, Agustín is Cuban-American and Frank is black (which off the bat gives "Looking" a diversity one up on the primary quartets of "Girls" and "Sex and the City").

    And there's Dom -- who as far as I'm concerned is the most interesting (not to mention most physically attractive) character of the pilot. Pushing 40, Dom works as a waiter at a high-end restaurant (which he has since at least 1999), sports an epic moustache, and lives with his ex-girlfriend (from what we can assume was a very long time ago) and current BFF Doris (Lauren Weedman, who is hilarious in this first installment). We don't know how Dom met the others, though its suggested his first encounter with Paddy resulted in sex (which is a flashback episode I'd be very happy to see).

    So what are they all looking for? Well, we're introduced to Patrick -- and the series altogether -- in the bushes of a park, about to get a handjob from a bear with cold hands who is annoyed at Patrick's request to both kiss him and exchange names. But its quickly apparent this kind of throwback cruising isn't everyday Paddy. When his iPhone rings and interrupts the bear's handjob (oh, park cruising in 2014), he uses it as an excuse to rush off and find Agustín and Dom. The three of them had all gone to park seemingly for reasons of nostalgic novelty, and its clear Patrick wasn't entirely comfortable with it to begin with (he says he half-expected the phone call to be his mom stopping him from "being one of those gays who hooks up in a park").

    But while he may not be so into finding sex in the park, Patrick sure is looking for it via more contemporary venues. He spends a good chunk of the episode's first half on OkCupid, eventually finding himself a date with a douchey oncologist named Benjamin. They meet at an overpriced bar, and Benjamin immediately starts condescendingly grilling Patrick, first asking whether "he's drug and disease free" (a valid question, sure, but not during the first five minutes of a date) and then -- after Patrick offers him the story of his trip to the park -- whether Patrick's just "looking to hook up." Here's where we learn that Patrick sorta kinda considers himself "a relationship person," even though his longest relationship lasted only six months (which we learn later on from Dom is a slight overstatement). This information is somehow a dealbreaker for Dr. Douchebag, who shuts things down immediately and doesn't even pick up the tab.

    On the bus ride back from his disaster of a date, Patrick gets hit on by a cute -- but perhaps a little dumb -- aspiring cosmetologist named Richie, who is on his way to work the door at his friend's bar. Richie invites him to join (and somehow sincerely pulls off the pickup line "we have a special tonight for pretty blue eyes"), but Patrick -- who doesn't seem to be taking Richie too seriously even if he clearly finds him attractive -- declines because he's late meeting Dom to go to a bachelor party (for his ex-boyfriend's engagement, no less).

    By the time he meets Patrick at said party (which judging from a quick interaction in the bathroom, makes clear Patrick's engaged ex is as much of a prick as the oncologist), it's obvious Dom hasn't exactly been having the most fun first half hour of the series either. We're introduced to his living situation with Doris when Dom asks her whether he should contact his ex-boyfriend, who he has learned via Facebook is making a killing selling condos in LA -- and he wants in. It's the first hint of Dom's developing mid-life crisis, and Doris is quick to call him out on it. "We've come a long way for a couple of Modesto rednecks, all right," she spits at him, confirming her as my favorite character of this episode. "You don't need to be taking career advice from a psychotic narcissist."

    Dom eventually agrees with his level headed (so far) BFF, and decides his actual problem is just needs to get to laid. Which he attempts at work with a young new fellow waiter, resulting in an exchange between him and the restaurant's bartender that's a definite episode highlight:

    Dom: "What's his name again?"

    Bartender: "'No.' His name's No. It gets weird, they quit..."

    Dom tries anyway, and things indeed get weird -- but not in the way Dom hopes. The young waiter resists Dom's come on, resulting in another great line when Dom complains about it to Paddy later that night at the party: "Something awful happened to me at work today: I didn't get to fuck someone I wanted to fuck. It's the first time that's ever happened to me."

    The only people that end up fucking in the first episode of "Looking" are Agustín and Frank -- and not just with each other. Shortly after deciding that Agustín will move into Frank's apartment in Oakland (which Agustín unromantically initiates in bed with the line "I really can't afford the city anymore"), the two have their very first (it seems) threesome. Working late to finish an installation for his boss, Agustín gets his own assistant in the very adorable Scotty. When Frank shows up later to help out too, their mutual flirtation evolves into sex after Scotty instigates it via the episode's other come-on that shouldn't work as well as it does: "While we're on the subject of fine art, do you guys want to see my new tattoo? I designed it myself. It's Dolly Parton's signature."
    Agustín and Frank end the episode in at their soon-to-be-shared apartment in Oakland, with Frank clearly a little more concerned with the events of the evening than Agustín. "So, are we one of those couples now?" he asks.

    "We can be whatever we want to be," is Agustín's perhaps over-confident answer, at which Frank reasonably wonders what happens if they don't agree on what that is. But even with this questionable development, Agustín is -- for now -- definitely the most stable "Looking" protagonist. He's looking to move forward in his relationship with Frank -- both in terms of shared apartments and threeways -- in a seemingly open and honest way.

    Dom, meanwhile, ends the episode by doing something not so stable (and something Doris is not going to like): Calling his condo-selling ex and leaving a message. Dom has definitely not figured out what he's looking for, but he's apparently up for trying a few potentially self-destructive short cuts to help him get there.

    Which leaves us with Patrick, who seems to come to a momentary acceptance that he doesn't need to know what he's looking for. After Dom leaves him at the party to go "find some blonde slut to help me regain my self-respect" (which we sadly don't end up seeing, if it indeed happened), Paddy decides to take a little chance and go look for the cute cosmetologist from the bus. Who, he decides, is good enough for now. Which is also a reasonable summation of the episode itself. It sets things up nicely -- and rather uneventfully -- without trying too hard to be everything everybody wanted it to be when HBO first announced the series. Which might feel like a disappointment, but thankfully works quite well as the series goes on -- I'm happy to admit I've seen the first four episodes and each is better then the one before it. So just hang in there and see how "Looking" develops. You waited this long, and you can surely wait a few more weeks to fully decide whether or not "Looking" fulfills the extreme expectations you probably placed upon it long before you even saw last night's episode.

    Right. That's great. So there it is, then: a strong A-minus for HBO's LOOKING!

    Source: IndieWIRE (although the AVClub was funnier, mods.) and also my totally-fair-use hard drive

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    Ask those who knew Russell Wilson growing up why the Seattle Seahawks quarterback is the way he is, and before long they're not talking about Russell Wilson anymore. They're talking about Harrison B. Wilson III, his father.

    Or Harry B., as his classmates and teammates on the baseball and football teams at Dartmouth referred to him. Or, "H.B. Productions,'' as former NFL linebacker Reggie Williams called him when they played together at Dartmouth in the 1970s.

    "All the things you heard about him with his teammates, all the things you heard about him from everyone at that school?'' said Williams, who played 14 years with the Bengals and was on both their Super Bowl teams. "Russell is everything that his father was, on the football field and in academic and social settings.''

    Nobody crossed between and through the differing cultures and communities at the Ivy League institution, still with sparse numbers of African-American students, the way Wilson did, he added.

    "And with all of that, I never heard a single person say a negative thing about him,'' Williams said.

    The same goes for Russell Wilson, not just in Seattle, around the NFL and at his college stops at North Carolina State and Wisconsin, but in Richmond, Va., where he grew up. All stories circle back to the elder Wilson, a lawyer who raised two sons and a daughter with his wife Tammy.

    Harrison Wilson III died in 2010 from complications of diabetes, while Russell was at N.C. State, and just after he was picked by the Colorado Rockies organization.

    When Russell Wilson is praised for leading by example and for not backing down from a challenge, those who saw him as a youngster know how he learned that. The idea that he was too small to succeed either in college or the NFL at quarterback, or that he couldn't play both football and baseball (the choice that eventually drove him to transfer to Wisconsin in 2011) were never obstacles — thanks largely to what his father had instilled in him.

    Williams remembers showing up at Dartmouth in 1972, a year before Wilson, as the first of his family to attend college, when he figured there weren't more than 12 black athletes on all the intercollegiate teams there. "After I arrived on campus and saw the Wilson family, that was so racially important to me,'' he said.

    For Wilson, he said, "His expectations and standards of success were already much higher than mine.''

    Wilson met them. He was a wide receiver in football and infielder in baseball, an excellent student, and helped start the first black fraternity chapter at Dartmouth. He thought of trying out for the NFL upon graduation in 1977 — but only briefly, because he'd been accepted to the University of Virginia Law School. After getting his law degree in 1980, he tried out for the San Diego Chargers and made it until the final cut.

    Russell, then, took his father's athletic dream a step further, while holding onto the other priorities he learned.

    "You see the influence he's had on him,'' said Weldon Bradshaw, an English teacher at the Collegiate School in Richmond who also has covered Richmond sports for numerous publications for more than 40 years. "Russell has taken the high road, but you see where he got the training for that.''

    Harrison Wilson "was certainly a great role model for his sons,'' said Charlie McFall, Wilson's coach at Collegiate, who also coached his older brother Harrison IV. McFall remembered when the city public schools started angling for Russell to transfer from Collegiate as a ninth-grader. His father went to McFall's office, he recalled.

    "He said, 'Let me tell you something: I didn't put Russell in Collegiate for sports, I put Russell in Collegiate to get the best education he could get,' '' McFall said.

    Sports are central to the family: Harrison IV, Russell's older brother, also played football and baseball in college, at Richmond; sister Anna is a basketball star who has verbally committed to Stanford as a high school sophomore. The elder Wilson and his sons played football on the Collegiate grounds when Russell was 6 — that was where he became a quarterback, because his father and brother were receivers.

    One Wilson legends in Richmond revolves around Russell, as a 9-year-old ballboy at one of his brother's games, whipping a pass to a referee so hard and perfectly that everybody's jaw dropped.

    "That's was the moment I decided to keep coaching,'' said McFall, joking. McFall did retire last year after 43 years.

    russell wilson and his wife, mom, brother, and sister

    But the vision of Russell's family going back several generations had sports in context with other goals.

    "Our mother and father had a vision during the Civil Rights era — they saw a world that would not be segregated, and they wanted us to be ready for it, and they thought education was the path to it,'' said Benjamin Wilson, Russell's uncle, who preceded his brother Harrison to Dartmouth and is now a Washington lawyer and a member of Dartmouth's board of trustees.

    Russell's grandfather, Harrison Jr., was a multi-sport star at Kentucky State, then basketball coach at Jackson State, and then president at Norfolk State. So being well-rounded and striving high was a family mandate — one that Harrison III learned and passed down to Russell.

    "My brother showed him early on how to play the game, and how to respect the game,'' Benjamin Wilson said. "They're different things, but they're very complementary things.''

    What Russell Wilson has become has surprised nobody who saw him from the early days. It also surprises no one who knew the man from whom he learned.

    "When I met him,'' Williams said of Russell, "he was exactly like I thought he would be. Not only the spitting image of his father, but exactly who his father always was.''



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    Iranian filmmaker Marjane Satrapi is known best for Persepolis, the award-winning 2007 animated film based on her own graphic novel about growing up during Iran’s Islamic Revolution. But she’s turned that reputation upside down with the Sundance film The Voices, a twisted, disturbing horror-comedy that stars Ryan Reynolds as Jerry, a man with few friends — but two talking pets. During the day, Jerry is the sweet but slightly-off warehouse worker who catches the eyes of the office girls at a bathroom factory in a small blue-collar town called Milton. At night, he comes home to discuss his life with Bosco, his loyal bull mastiff, and Mr. Whiskers, a brogue-accented tabby who fans the flames of Jerry’s darker urges. When Jerry sorta accidentally-on-purpose kills one of his pretty co-workers, he finds it difficult to cap those tendencies, and before long, his apartment is full of body parts packed neatly in Tupperwear and a fridge full of severed heads.

    Um, what gives, Marjane?

    “When first I read the script and I said to my producer, ‘We are not going to do any gore,’” the director said on Sunday after the film’s world premiere in Utah. “I don’t like blood. No way I’m going to do this kind of stuff. Then there was that first scene where there’s blood all over [Gemma Arterton] and I was like, ‘More blood! More blood!’ And I realized actually that I really liked that. I showed my mom a version of the movie, and she told me, ‘You’re completely sick in your brain.’”

    The movie is especially unsettling, in part because no matter how horribly Jerry behaves, you still like him. It turns out he’s a victim in his own right, and like Norman Bates in Psycho, you can’t help but see the helpless boy in him right up to the moment when he releases the beast within. After all, the cat made him do it.

    “Persepolis is one of the greatest and most unique films I’ve ever seen, and then when I read this script — I mean, it’s f–king insane,” says Anna Kendrick, who plays one of the flirty office women. “I knew that it would be an experience and a finished product unlike any other that I might ever get to do.”

    No doubt. The movie is funny at times but it’s humor dares you to laugh, not unlike that of American Psycho. In fact, Reynolds’ Jerry might become the most disturbing and most-talked about serial killer since Christian Bale’s Patrick Bateman. Reynolds not only instills Jerry with a Gump-like blank-faced innocence that makes his actions that much more sinister to witness on screen, but he also devised the voices of his two pets (as well as two other characters that I won’t spoil here). “The table read was very exciting,” says Kendrick, describing how Reynolds switched back and forth between the voices his character hears in his head.

    Reynolds didn’t get along with one of his co-stars, however — Mr. Whiskers. “Ryan is scared of cats,” said Satrapi. “Ninety-eight percent of when you see Ryan and the cat, they aren’t in the same room.”

    In one scene that required Reynolds to caress and cradle the cat, Reynolds reluctantly agreed after some careful instructions about how to handle Mr. Whiskers. But when Satrapi yelled “Action,” Reynolds was a little too rough with the feline, and Mr. Whiskers freaked out and tore up Reynolds’ arm. “But that’s Ryan’s fault,” said Satrapi. “Be patient instead of just going grabbing a cat. It is a cat. Not a dog. It’s not your slave. A cat is your master.”

    It’s funny a little… because that is just so Mr. Whiskers.


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  • 01/20/14--13:05: Taylor Swift Walking™
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    gym post :D

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    It was the bounty heard ‘round the world last week when Jezebel offered $10,000 for unretouched photos of Lena Dunham in Vogue. Jessica Coen, editor of the Gawker-run women’s site, wrote that they were offering cash for the before pics from Dunham’s cover shoot because the after images are, “all in all, quite nice. She's well-styled and looks fantastic. As if Vogue would have it any other way.”

    Because there’s no way a known slob like Dunham could look good without technological assistance, right?

    Coen was quick to point out that the bounty wasn’t about seeing Dunham’s “real” body, nor was it about shaming her for working with a known-Photoshopper like Vogue. After all, anyone can see Dunham’s body for the price of an HBO subscription, and Dunham can work with whomever she wants. What then, was Jezebel’s point?

    Clickbait. Attention. Body shaming. Um, Coen says “This is about Vogue”?

    Offering a queen’s ransom for unaltered images of someone who is consistently shamed and policed simply for being okay with her body does nothing more than reinforce the notion that Dunham is abnormal and worth gawking at. “Oh, that woman looks pretty on the cover of a fashion magazine?! $10,000 for someone who can prove she’s actually a giant turd.” It’s a higher-stakes equivalent of pantsing someone at the middle school dance—a desperate attempt to prove that, deep down, they’re just as gross as you always thought.

    Lest you argue that Jezebel is trying to uphold its mission of “Celebrity, Sex, Fashion for Women. Without Airbrushing” remember that no one is offering to make it rain for unaltered photos of other recent Vogue cover models like Jessica Chastain, Kate Winslet, or Sandra Bullock. If this were really about Vogue, wouldn’t the offer extend to unretouched photos of any celebrity and not just Dunham? The last and only other time Jezebel offered cash for unaltered pics was in 2007, and that time it was for any magazine with any celebrity on its cover—because that time it really was about calling the fashion industry out for retouching women, not calling out the women themselves for being retouched.

    Of course, it goes without saying that if Jezebel has $10,000 to throw around in the name of women’s empowerment there are countless other ways to spend that cash than on unaltered images of someone we’ve all already seen naked.

    But in the immortal words of Fran Drescher, “money talks and bullshit walks.” It only took hours for Jezebel to trade 10 Gs for some original photos from the Vogue shoot. And while Coen predicted they’d be radically different from the finished product, they… weren’t very different at all.

    Dunham was retouched in small ways, sure, but her face and body remain basically unaltered. In fact, even the pigeon-on-the-head photo turned out to be legit.

    Coen explains that, “These slight tweaks [to the Vogue photos], the ‘you look great, but you'd look just a little more great if...’ stuff is insidious.”And yes, she has a point. A point that could also be made about the Instagram photos I take of my dog:

    When alerted to the bounty and the unaltered photos, Dunham didn’t appear to give a rat’s ass. And seeing as how she’s currently living it up in Paris looking fly on the cover of a magazine, why should she?

    None of this is to say that Photoshop is a good thing or that Vogue is right to promote an unattainable standard of beauty—it’s not, and Vogue is no champion of body acceptance. But Jezebel singled out Dunham for the same reason her other detractors do: Because they don’t think she belongs in a fashion magazine. By offering a boatload of cash (fun fact: Someone earning minimum wage would have to work full time for 34 weeks to earn 10K) for pre-Photoshop pictures of Dunham, Jezebel is reinforcing the idea that someone like her—someone comfortable with her body even though it’s not the body of a runway model—shouldn’t be in Vogue. And that stuff is truly insidious.


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    A 60 second video portrait of actor Avan Jogia.

    Filmed in Vagabond N7 in London.
    Music: 'Enemies' by Hannah Georgas remixed by Ketan Jogia.

    Twisted Preview
    video won't embed

    1-12 "Dead Men Tell Big Tales" Tuesday, February 11, 2014, at 9 PMLacey meets Charlie (Jack Falahee), who's recently out of juvie. He connects with Lacey. What is he hiding?

    We'll also meet Jack (Ivan Sergei), a man from Karen's past. Karen suspects that Vikram is alive....she doesn't realize that Tess has brought Vikram back to town.

    The search is on for Danny...he turns to Jo for help, and she's conflicted about what to do.

    Lacey brings Kyle some info about Regina, which points to a surprising new suspect in the murder.

    spoilers for the rest of the season at source.

    source: 1, 2, spoilers

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    Kasabian have branded Miley Cyrus "a fucking nightmare of the 21st century".

    The NME cover stars have slammed the music industry over their marketing of the singer. The 'Wrecking Ball' singer has courted controversy in recent months due to a number of high-profile incidents, including her much-discussed performance at the MTV VMA's when she danced with giant teddy bears and twerked on singer Robin Thicke. She has since hit out at criticism of her behaviour by claiming that she is just playing a "character".

    Songwriter and guitarist Serge Pizzorno told NME: "I don't really know what that world is man. It's just a fucking money making thing. We (the music industry) created Miley Cyrus man, that's our fault. She's just a fucking accumulation of internet porn, fucking hip-hop, fucking Disney world. She's just a fucking nightmare of the 21st century."

    He went on: "It's not her fault but we created that. The way she goes about her business, Twitter, all this bollocks, blows my mind."

    Singer Tom Meighan, who now has a baby daughter, added: "I'll tell you something my daughter's not going to be anything like her no way." The Leicester band also paid tribute to Chase and Status, who were among a number of artists they say influenced their forthcoming album. "Fucking Chase And Status at Reading last year was massive, beyond big. There's a lot to be learned from seeing Chase And Status, the atmosphere they generate, it's fucking energy man. It's exciting," Pizzorno said.


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    Justin Bieber has already marked his territory in Colorado ... pissing his initials in the snow ... while nearby residents looked on in disbelief.

    An eyewitness tells TMZ ... Bieber and his crew were driving in Snowmass, CO, Sunday when his motorcade of Escalades pulled to the side of a private road in a wealthy residential area.

    We're told Bieber hopped out, surrounded by bodyguards, and proceeded to whizz in the snow.

    Bieber was gone in a flash, and stunned residents went over to inspect the scene ... where they say Bieber had peed his initials "JB" in the snow (PHOTO).

    Probably not the smartest move when he's having trouble with cops ... but at least it wasn't a mop bucket.

    This child is so embarrassing.

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