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Oh No They Didn't! -

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    (oh hey Jack O'Connell)

    "You've come a long way to stroke your cock watching real men train," says Sparta's Queen Gorgo (Game of Thrones' Lena Headey) to Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton), the Athenian protagonist of 300: Rise of an Empire. This serves as a quick lesson in how to watch this thing, director Noam Murro's not-quite-sequel to Zack Snyder's 2006 movie 300. ("What do you call it? A prequel? A sequel?" Murro said to the L.A. Times. "It's an equal, hopefully. It's a different perspective of the same time. Thematically, that's an interesting place to be." Yes. Innnnnteresting.)

    Snyder's fictionalized retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae (based on Frank Miller and Lynn Varley's comic book) was less notable for its slow-mo prone, sepia-kissed visuals than for its homoerotic portrayal an army full of grunting, pneumatic hunks driven by testosterone. For that, it became something of a laughingstock, which seems fair to me.

    In an era wherein it is (mostly) OK to say "gay,"unspoken homoeroticism functions primarily as comedy, regardless of intention. Where 300 seemed mostly clueless about how gay it seemed, Rise of an Empire is a bit more aware. The screenplay has a bunch of disgruntled Athenians say things like, "Shut your cock hole!" and "Fuck those muscle-bound boy lovers!" in an early town square meeting. Themistocles takes a particular shine to a young, nubile member of his army, Calisto (Jack O'Connell), who tells his commander, "My blade will be sharp and ready by the morning." That is, after all, when they're sharpest. Themistocles' No. 1, though, his rock, is the long-haired and relentlessly faithful Aesyklos (Hans Matheson).

    But no one man can satisfy Themistocles. "I have spent my life on my one true love: the Greek fleet," he proclaims. Sounds like an active life!

    Because today's world offers plenty of places to see more male flesh even more openly eroticized than what 300: Rise of an Empire offers—porn, a circuit party, your local steam room—the movie's glistening coyness comes across as a reminder of yesteryear's cinematic gay coding, when you had to squint real hard at a movie to see what was going on. That's about the only useful history lesson this film provides. Taken as text, rather than subtext, 300 is to ancient Greek history what the Olive Garden is to Italian food.

    If this movie is garbage, though, it's perfect garbage, an always entertaining stream of absurdity that tells a very basic story of good guys versus bad guys. The good guys are the Athenians and the bad guys are the Persians. This particular Persian army is led not by the previous film's drag-queen god-man Xerxes, he of the eye-filling package, but by his sister Aretemisia (Eva Green). Aretemisia's so goth, she eats an apple with a 16-inch dagger that she then uses to decapitate a dude. Holding his disembodied head by its hair, she kisses it passionately. She's basically Evanescene rebooted.

    CGI blood ripples in bullet time, a horse smashes a soldier's face in, another horse gallops from boat to boat during a climactic battle scene on water, at times submerging and leaping from the sea. Man rides horse, horse rides sea. (Horseboard. Horseboard.) There's a hunchback messenger who's reminiscent of Sloth from The Goonies. There's a scene in which, as a Persian boat blasts oil at the Athenians, the soldier controlling the oil gets hit with a flaming arrow, falls overboard right into the oil stream, and creates a fireball. There's a crow that not only plucks the eye out of a corpse, but holds the optic nerve in its beak, gratuitously tilting its head so that the eyeball swings several times. There's a scene of rough, standing sex between Themistocles and Artemesia. Later, she evaluates his performance: "You fight much harder than you fuck."

    This is a ridiculous collage of spectacle, like an incredibly well paced horror flick. 300: Rise of an Empire is an exploitation movie several times over: It's absploitation, it's warsploitation, it's goresploitation. Murro also told the L.A. Times, "I understood this movie as populist entertainment through the eyes of an opera." I'm pretty sure he was being serious, but as with most everything else here, it's impossible to be sure.


    What movie(s) are you watching this weekend?

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    Snoop Dogg’s french manicure has been the talk of the town on the hip-hop scene and 50 Cent now comes forth calling him out for it. Questioning Snoop’s recent actions, 50 joked that the rap OG was going to have to further explain the odd incident and his reasoning behind the feminine nail designs.“What the f*ck is going on snoop. Talk to me about this one man,Damn #smsaudio,” 50 tweeted.

    What was Snoop's response? He not only liked the photo but also left a comment:

    “Pimpin. That’s what it is spooned n groomed dipped n whipped suited n booted gooted n looted. Real playas keep they nails fly fresh n dipped at the tip. I does what I does cuZ but but please believe me. Don’t let the smooth taste fool ya. BTW. This still crip. So fuxk. The haters jus wanted my nefew 50 to know the dynamics to what his big homie on !! Now for u haters. Suck d*ck or die trying. Hahahahahahahah I’m out. Much love 50. Get money !! cuzz I am."


    src | 2

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    Hollywood has been trying to reboot the Zorro franchise for a few years now, and it looks like things are heating up for the project once again. Two years ago, a post-apocalyptic futuristic reboot called Zorro Reborn was planned at 20th Century Fox that would have painted the titular character as more of a vigilante than a hero. Gael Garcia Bernal was poised to star, but the film never materialized. Now there’s movement on a new adaptation of the character, as Sony is gearing up to start work on a Zorro film described as a “gritty” reboot of the swashbuckler.

    Per Deadline, Sony has hired playwright Chris Boal to pen the script for a Zorro reboot. The goal of this new film is to make a movie that ditches the traditional swashbuckler tone in favor of “more of a Dark Knight-style unveiling of the character with a new backstory, gritty realism, and emotional core.” The report notes that the film will incorporate swordplay with “the martial arts that came from Europe and created a deadly combination of action and lethal fighting systems that combined swords, daggers, grappling, and bare knuckles.”

    Sony first hired Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia to write the Zorro reboot in late 2011, but that film never progressed past the script stage. Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald—who are also producing the Men in Black reboot for Sony—are producing this new reboot, and now that a new writer has been set, this thing can start moving closer to fruition.

    The most recent incarnation of Zorro on the big screen was director Martin Campbell’s excellent 1998 film The Mask of Zorro and its 2005 sequel The Legend of Zorro. Both movies starred Antonio Banderas as the titular hero and served as thrilling action-adventure throwbacks, mixing in plenty of swordplay and one-liners while steering clear of unintentional comedy. I’m not convinced that “gritty realism” is what the Zorro franchise needs (would it kill us to have some fun with a traditional action-adventure film?), but I guess that’s what Sony has in mind for the Zorro franchise—assuming this iteration finally gets off the ground.


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  • 03/07/14--20:31: Hannibal 2.03 Hassun Promo
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    Halle Berry, Viola Davis, Anthony Anderson and Octavia Spencer are among those starring in pilots this season.

    With Scandal ruling primetime and star Kerry Washington becoming an awards-season fixture, more pilots led by black actors are in the works this season.

    Viola Davis has been tapped to star in Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers' How to Get Away With Murder at ABC, Romany Malco and Anthony Anderson will top the network's Kevin Hart and Kenya Barris comedy pilots, respectively. NBC hasThe Office's Craig Robinson and Deception's Meagan Good leading the call sheet in Mr. Robinson and sci-fi drama Babylon Fields, respectively.

    At Fox, Lee Daniels' Empire pairs Hustle & Flowduo Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson as the backbone of a hip-hop label, Jada Pinkett Smith terrorizes Batman origin story Gotham, and Octavia Spencer heads the hospital drama Red Band Society. Of these, Robinson's comedy already has been picked up to series, whileGotham has a series commitment attached. Not to be outdone, CBS has Halle Berry starring in its summer sci-fi drama series Extant.

    And that's only midway through casting season.

    Noted Fox chief Kevin Reilly in January: "I see the shift in the way people are conceiving the roles [and] casting them."


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    Chipotle is suing Frank Ocean for backing out of a $425,000 deal to sing a remake of "Pure Imagination" for an animated Chipotle ad.

    As TMZ reports, Ocean didn't want Chipotle's logo to appear at the end of the advertisement, so when company reps showed him a final cut that displayed the logo prominently, he reneged on his obligation to record the track. Chipotle claims to have received an email from Ocean's camp claiming that the singer believed he had a final say over the recorded material and its use.

    As previously reported, Fiona Apple recorded "Pure Imagination" when Frank Ocean backed out of the deal. (Read Apple's thoughts on the Chipotle ad, and listen to her recording, here.)

    Chipotle is suing Ocean for his $212,500 advance.


    ONTD, what is your favorite item on the menu at Chipotle?

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    Naomi Campbell chatted with Andy Cohen on Thursday’s edition of Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, giving her opinions about ongoing scandals involving the networks flagship Real Housewives series.

    Of Beverly Hills, she said the ongoing with between Brandi and Lisa — which has dominated much of this season’s storyline — has been “pathetic” on Brandi’s behalf, as she made no bones about which side she’s taking.

    “I’m on Lisa’s side!” the beauty said, adding she’s known the Vanderpump Rules star since she was 7-years-old.

    Moving onto Atlanta, there was the question about Mama Joyce, Kandi Burruss‘ meddling, helicopter mother who’s never short of a strong opinion about her daughter’s love life or life, in general. “I don’t want to be disrespectful to her mother, but Mama Joyce has way overstepped her boundaries.”

    Asked about Porsha, Naomi said the reality star should be “a little ashamed” about her infamous Underground Railroad railroad flub; she stopped short of casting any aspersions about her break up from former NFL star Kordell Stewart.

    “Oh God, do I have to answer this question?” Naomi joked, before delivering a diplomatic soundbite about how Porsha seems to be adapting to the single life well.

    Heather Dubrow teases RHOC season 9!

    Heather and the cast of The Real Housewives of Orange County have been filming with Bravo since late last year, and soon, fans will get to see them return to the network in the latest installment.

    Although Bravo has yet to release any information about the upcoming ninth season, Heather recently shared a photo of herself with fans which seems to be a behind the scenes shot of her cast photo.

    "Sneak peek from fun photo shoot! More to come! #RHOC," Heather wrote on Instagram.

    She didn't directly confirm the shoot was for her cast photo, her RHOC tag seems to speak for itself, and it's around the time the season should be wrapping, so a cast shoot is a possibility.

    As for what fans can expect from the upcoming season, there are three new wives and two trips abroad. Joining the cast for season nine are Lizzie Rovsek, Shannon Beador, and Danielle Gregorio. The new ladies, along with the returning wives, including Heather, Vicki Gunvalson, and Tamra Judge, will travel to Hong Kong this year, as well as Bali, and an early trip to Hawaii.

    Carlton Rushed to Hospital After Tequila Shots!

    Gebbia (known for being the reality show's resident Wiccan) blacked out after having six shots of tequila during a dinner with friends at Mastro's Steakhouse in Beverly Hills.

    "Sorry!Apparently I don't hve the Irish wooden leg! All is well Thk uCant handle 6shots of tequila.Wen did I become such a lightweight?" Gebbia tweeted earlier today.

    She followed up with, "I can't even explain what happened.Nvr knew there was a limit. Brokers sent over shots I drank n lost count.Didn't even order bloody dinner."

    Gebbia, who was rushed to the hospital last night after the blackout incident, also wrote, "Hello gorgeous souls.I'm honestly sorry. I apparently drank way tooo much n blacked out.I wasted some gr8 nurses n staffs time. #Dorothy."

    Luckily, Gebbia sounds like she's doing better today. She even got a Twitter shout-out from a fellow RHOBH cast mate this morning.

    "@CarltonGebbia13 are you ok ...called you many times!" Lisa Vanderpump wrote today, to which Gebbia responded, "Thk u Lisa I'm so ok,slight headache!Missed ur call but txtd u 8ish."

    Jeff Lewis doesn't like NeNe Leakes!

    The star appeared on Thursday's episode of Wendy Williams and swiftly weighed in on the casting of NeNe Leakes on the upcoming season of Dancing With the Stars.

    “I'm actually very happy that she has this gig, because I feel like this last season we're watching right now, I feel like she has kind of regressed, taken a step backwards. I feel like she's getting a little dirty,” Lewis told Williams.

    Leakes, whose NBC comedy The New Normal was canceled after one season, had been in the middle of a massive brawl on the Bravo show, which led to some serious injuries to Kenya's friend.

    “I felt like this has gone too far. I don't mind flipping tables, I don't mind screaming at each other, but when they start breaking ribs, that's where I'm like, ooh, this is a line.”

    Williams agreed, saying she had “backed out” of the show after that incident.

    sources: E!, TheWrap, Examiner, RadarOnline

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    Michael B. Jordan poses on the carpet at the premiere of his film Fruitvale Station at Cinema Barberini on Thursday (March 6) in Rome, Italy.
    The 27-year-old actor wore some chic casual clothes earlier in the day while attending a photo call at the Hotel Bernini.

    FYI: Michael is wearing a Louis Vuitton suit and Prada shoes at the premiere. He wore a Bellerose sweater, Hudson jeans, and Calvin Klein shoes to the photo call.


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    Images via National Geographic

    If you happen to watch Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey on Sunday night at 9pm—and you should, because it’s incredible—then you’re going to notice a lot of really gorgeously animated sequences over the course of the series. We wanted to know what went into making these parts of the show, so we went straight to the source.

    Kara Vallow might not be a name you’re very familiar with, and that’s okay; she tends to stay behind the scenes on the production side of animation. Her resume, however, is pretty stacked: she’s worked on Dilbert, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Johnny Bravo and Drawn Together, as well as the Jessica Yu documentary, In The Realms of the Unreal, about the life and work of painter Henry Darger. Of course, she’s probably best known for her work with Seth MacFarlane, which includes Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show. She was kind enough to speak to us this week about her involvement with Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey, and what went into creating such a distinct, integral part of the series.

    I also got the chance to speak with Ann Druyen last week as part of Nat Geo’s Space Camp experience, and she said that the animation sequences were something Seth [MacFarlane] was really interested in doing from the get-go.

    What was that process like from your point of view? When did you first get involved?

    The narrative portions of the original Carl Sagan series were done in live action; they were sort of like historical recreations of different time periods. Seth thought that was going to be prohibitive in this incarnation of the series, because viewers are much more sophisticated now than they were then in terms of historical time periods being recreated by Hollywood. We’re attuned to seeing big budget period movies and costumes and stuff, and in the original series they were done very low budget. I don’t think they thought that viewers were going to accept that now, and they didn’t have the time to do a big budget Gosford Park type imagining of the narrative. So, it was Seth’s idea to do those in animation.

    I was not involved in the show at all at that point. Seth approached me about a year and a half ago about creating those animation portions. I initially turned him down, because I honestly didn’t think I could do the material justice—the pure scope and ambition of Cosmos and the impact that the original series had on so many people was intimidating to me. But I met with Ann and her partner Mitchell, and talking to them really changed my mind. They sort of charmed me into it! Especially talking with Ann about how she imagined the show and her trepidation about using animation, because it’s nothing that she was familiar with. The animation process can be very intimidating to people who aren’t used to working in the medium. It’s a huge leap of faith, and you have to put a lot of trust in the hands of the animators that are going to realize your vision without being able to draw it yourself.

    That actually makes for a great segue—I’m really curious to know how you came up with the overall aesthetic of these sequences. The Giordano Bruno segment in the first episode is so surreal and compelling.

    When I first talked to Seth about what he was imagining, he threw a few key words at me: “adult” and “sophisticated” and “noire.” And then he sort of left me on my own to figure it out, which was a little intimidating. I’ve been working on television and animation for so long and it involved thinking outside of that arena completely. I hadn’t really done that in a while!

    So I went to a lot of independent and non-American animated films. I hadn’t really seen any non-commercial cartoons in a long time and felt out of the loop! But I saw a lot of really interesting stuff that really inspired me to start thinking about different modes and styles of animation. The Secret of Kells was a big one—flat and sort of primitive but stylistically really distinct, like a painted mural. Another one was called The Invention of Love, a short by this art student. It had this really beautiful romantic story told all in silhouettes. I showed stills from some of these films to the producers and they loved a lot of them, and we sort of went from there.

    I also wanted to produce the animation in a small, very contained way, because the scope of the entire show is so huge with all of its visual effects and location shots. We decided to do it all digital in After Effects and worked with a team of four people to develop a style of animation that was sophisticated and “adult” but uncomplicated. The narrative needed to be advanced, with all these profound scientific concepts that needed to be presented clearly with an authored vision. And some of these episodes have quite a bit of animation, so we really wanted it to be stylistic and vibrant, like pieces of artwork that tell a rich story. It’s a part of the show that’s more than just an exposition of science. The way Ann described to me was that the narrative was an expression of a quasi-mystical reverence of the universe—this big vast thing we had to pay homage to. It was intimidating, but became a wonderful experience.

    That definitely comes across, especially in the Bruno segment.

    Yeah, the characters themselves are very stylized and not multi-dimensional, but they have to be evocative of emotion. The setting and background are all amalgams of photo-real elements. We used a lot of real photographs and brought in a lot of the physical world—there’s real fire and real mist and rain, and different textures from floor patterns. Which is one of the big advantages of using After Effects.

    Did you have any say in what kind of characters you were working with or was that something Ann and Seth worked together on? Judging from the trailer, it seems like we do get to see a little beyond the common Western male canon of science.

    Everything was dictated to us by Ann; she wrote all the scripts and gave us direction on all the characters. She was very picky about historical accuracy. The amazing thing about her is that she has every detail in her mind as if she lived it. She’ll talk to you as if they were personal friends of hers. She presented us with so much information that the designs couldn’t have come more from her than if she did them herself.

    Ann name dropped a lot of big names in the cast of voice actors, like Richard Gere and Marlee Matlin. Were you involved in the casting process? Were you guys always looking to get bigger names?

    No. Actually at the beginning, we were probably trying to convince them not to use so many big names! The voice acting community is already so vast and talented. And having worked with Seth for so long, the quality of voice acting is something that Seth is so attuned to, and so often the big name celebrities don’t make the best voice actors compared to others—including Phil! [I had mentioned to her that I'd recognized Phil Lamarr's voice in the first episode immediately, because I'm a giant dork.] Phil is so versatile and has done so many different types of voices. Not that many people know that Seth is in the first episode, either, and that might have been a mistake on my part. But he was amazing. You really don’t know it’s him from listening.

    It’s definitely hard to tell. I have a lot of friends who’ve been questioning me about Seth MacFarlane’s involvement, who don’t see how he lines up with Cosmos. But he really makes it work so well. He seems like such an interesting, integral part of the process.

    Right. He’s the only reason the show is what it is, and he has such an enormous love of the material. Anyway, when you have a new show, the instinct is to want to use “name” actors. But I think we had a mix of both. You know, Patrick Stewart, for example, is a regular on American Dad; we’ve used him many times. He’s almost a go-to. I would like to use him for any British character, because he’s so game and he’s so good—and funny. I’d use him for every voice.

    [From here the conversation strayed a bit into some of Vallow's previous work. I'd also mentioned previously that I'd been a fan of Johnny Bravo growing up.]

    It was one of those formative shows, you know? You’re going to have to deal with this type of dude, so you might as well study the enemy.

    [Laughs] It’s interesting: when I was working on it in ’96, ’97, I didn’t really appreciate it. At the time, Cartoon Network was switching from airing reruns of old classic cartoons like The Flintstones and coming out with their original shows—Dexter’s Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls. Johnny Bravo was dismissed as being puerile and mediocre, with a simplistic animation style. But I hear so much from younger people who just love it. (op: ahem. just like FG and AD.)

    I think it’s that a lot of those shows are smarter than people gave them credit for. Like, I see a lot of people talking about the Powerpuff Girls as being so formative for their current mode of feminist thought, because they’re these girls who can do anything. And Johnny Bravo’s kind of similar in that the joke is always on this awful, womanizing guy.(op: again, just like FG and AD!) Wasn’t there one episode where he’s turned into a woman?

    I think that might have been. It came back sometime later without the original creative team behind it. But it was definitely more forward thinking than I could have appreciated at the time, and it launched a lot of big careers—like Seth and [Butch] Hartman, who created The Fairly Oddparents.

    That one was a little less great for me growing up, what with the evil babysitter named “Vicky” and all.

    [Laughs] Well, it definitely did launch some people!

    So after Cosmos wraps up, what’s next for you?

    Family Guy and American Dad (op: roger is my one true king tbh!!) are still going along. We’re on a new network with American Dad, so we’re excited about that. And with Family Guy, we have that big Simpsons crossover coming up.

    Cosmos has really been the big project in my life for the past year, though, and since we haven’t premiered yet, I haven’t quite thought beyond it. We still have so many episodes to deliver! But I’m hoping nothing comes up to replace it right away. It was such a privilege to work with everyone, especially Neil Tyson, since I’m a big fan. As hard as it was, it was well worth it.

    Cosmos premieres across ten different channels on Sunday night, so remember to sit your butt down and watch it live. True Detective can wait, we swear.


    op: kara's twitter has been awesome for a long time fyi

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    Zac Efron keeps it cool in a pair of sunglasses while catching a flight out of LAX Airport on Friday (March 7) in Los Angeles.
    Zac is scheduled to make an appearance at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival this weekend to promote his upcoming flick Neighbors, also starring Seth Rogen.


    Source 12

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    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Four new photos from the upcoming FX series The Strain are out to introduce you to the show's characters.

    The Strain kicks off this summer and is based on the novels by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. Del Toro directed the pilot.

    The tale is a high concept thriller that tells the story of “Dr. Ephraim Goodweather” (Stoll), the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers, wage war for the fate of humanity itself.

    Here, you'll find David Bradley as Abraham Setrakian, Sean Astin as Jim Kent, Mia Maestro as Nora Martinez and Corey Stoll as Ephraim Good Weather.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    "The Strain" premieres in July on FX.


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    A death in the entertainment industry has caused widespread grief and anger throughout the community, and has led to the widespread 'Slates for Sarah' movement.

    On February the 20th, Sarah Jones, was tragically killed in the process of filming a stunt, involving a train, on the set of Midnight Rider. Investigations are underway in determining who is to blame for the camera assistant's death, with Georgia law authorities treating the tragedy as negligent homicide.

    Initial reports are suggesting that shortcuts in production led to the unfortunate event, which also injured four other people. During an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Jones's father describes how she had commented: "Some of the people asking her questions should have known more than her and she thought that was odd."

    Regardless of who is at fault, the event has highlighted the need for increased safety measures on set. It has spurred numerous filmmakers to honor her memory by posting pictures of slates in memory for Sarah to the SlatesforSarah Facebook page.

    Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, the camera assistant's parents describe their reaction to the response to Sarah's death: "We are both overwhelmed with the response, the love and the condolences from the public. It's overwhelming, that one person's life can make such a difference, it's incredible. It's part of therapy. It's helping us get through this whole ordeal. It does offer some level of comfort to have so much support. It's good to think that it appears that this will make a difference."


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    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    One of the many indie films we really think deserves to break out this year is the latest feature from British filmmaker/actor/comedian Richard Ayoade, a funky dystopian sci-fi dark comedy based on Dostoyevsky's The Double, starring Jesse Eisenberg. The film premiered at TIFF last year and we've been promoting it with reviews, trailers, interviews and plenty of other posters in the past, but this new poster is the best one yet. This new UK poster for The Double has a very minimalistic, artistic feel to it, like it was hand-drawn. A single ray of light shines down across a city on one man. It's impressive, and I'm glad it's an official poster.

    The Double is directed by Richard Ayoade (watch our TIFF interview with him here) who co-wrote the script with Avi Korine (brother of Spring Breakers director Harmony Korine), based on Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Double: A Petersburg Poem. The film follows Jesse Eisenberg as Simon, who arrives at work only to find an exact double of himself has usurped his tenuous position in the company. Routinely humiliated by his boss (played by Wallace Shawn), the neurotic Simon now has to deal with a doppelgänger that is everything he isn't: confident, charming, successful, superficial.

    US Official Trailer

    UK Trailer

    Mia Wasikowska and Noah Taylor also star in the film which played at London, Toronto and Sundance before hitting the UK April 4th. US release in theaters and VOD May 9th.


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  • 03/08/14--06:02: Ireland's Eurovision Entry

  • During the final, Louis Walsh and former Eurovision winner Linda Martin got into a fight with Billy McGuinness which was kinda hilarious. Videos here:

    Source 123

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    Scott Kalvert, a director who made music videos for performers such as Will Smith and Cyndi Lauper and directed a teenage Leonardo DiCaprio in the 1995 film "The Basketball Diaries," died Wednesday at his Woodland Hills Home. He was 49.

    His death is being investigated as a suicide
    , according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office. No other details were given.

    Kalvert began directing music videos in the late 1980s, scoring a massive hit with his first major assignment, "Parents Just Don't Understand," based on the Grammy-winning song by hip-hop artists DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Will Smith.

    The zany, cartoonish video, featuring Smith as a teenager being hassled by his mother, won an MTV Award in 1989 and has been credited with helping give hip-hop music mainstream appeal.

    "The video had almost a Marx Brothers feel," Ann Carli, then an executive at Jive Records, said in the book "I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution" by Rob Tannenbaum and Craig Marks. "It was a tipping point in hip-hop."

    Kalvert went on to direct other music videos for the duo, including "Girls of the World" and "I Think I Could Beat Mike Tyson." He also directed videos for Mark Wahlberg, who led the hip-hop group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch before turning full time to acting, as well as for other popular artists, including Lauper, B.G., Bobby Brown and Snoop Doggy Dogg.

    After a string of successful videos, Kalvert began pursuing opportunities to break into film. He had known for years that he wanted to make a movie from one of his favorite books, "The Basketball Diaries."

    The best-selling 1978 memoir by poet and punk rocker Jim Carroll was a collection of wry, graphic tales about a rocky adolescence as a Catholic high school basketball star and heroin addict.

    Kalvert was about 14 when he read it "and it really affected me," he told the Miami Herald in 1995. "It was a very powerful book written from a kid's point of view, and it introduced me to a darker side."

    The film rights had been in play for years with a number of prominent directors and actors interested in the property, but none had succeeded in turning the plotless memoir into a workable script.

    Using a screenplay by Bryan Goluboff, Kalvert made the film with DiCaprio as Carroll, Lorraine Bracco as Carroll's mother, and Wahlberg as Carroll's brutish buddy Mickey, casting them early in their rise to stardom.

    "He had an incredible eye for talent," Liz Heller, a producer on the project, said Friday. "So many in 'Basketball Diaries' have gone on to have amazing careers."

    Carroll, who had a small role in the film, praised it as a faithful reflection of his book. Reviewers particularly admired DiCaprio's performance but were sharply critical of the movie's overall tone.
    The New York Times called it "self-consciously bleak," while the Los Angeles Times panned it as "a reverential wallow in the gutter of self-absorption." The Washington Post, however, praised Kalvert for "a beautiful job of creating a visual equivalent for Carroll's metaphors."

    Kalvert followed "Diaries" with only one other film, "Deuces Wild" (2002), about rival New York street gangs in the 1950s.

    Born in New York City on Aug. 15, 1964, Kalvert earned a film degree from Emerson College in Boston in 1985. While at Emerson he won the first of several MTV video contests, which led to a directing job with a New York production company. He moved to Los Angeles in 1990.

    In recent years, Kalvert had returned to making videos and headed his own production company, Alliance Media Group, according to his wife, Sonia.

    She survives him along with two daughters, Madison and Tyler; his father, Michael Kalvert of Henderson, Nev.; and mother Nancy Permakoff and brother David, both of New York.


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    It’s no surprise that Gravity took home an Oscar for sound mixing. The thriller, which puts the viewer in the open void of space, used immersive audio to great nerve-jangling effect. Gravity‘s sound effects may have put you on edge, but chances are you didn’t experience the full impact of the film’s audio.

    Only those who saw Gravity in one of 300 theaters designed with a new Dolby technology heard the movie exactly as its makers intended. Announced in 2012, Dolby Atmos is “object based” sound mixing. In traditional stereo sound, a number of speakers are placed around the walls of the theater, many of them playing the same audio track. Atmos theaters have speakers all over the walls and ceiling. And when the movie’s sound is mixed, engineers work with a 3D computer simulation of the theater space, placing individual bits of audio in specific locations. So in a horror movie, the sound of a ghoul sprinting down the upstairs hall can actually be heard from above, and a more insidious scratching in the walls can come from a single speaker in the far corner of the room.

    Other movies have been released in Atmos, but Dolby seems to be counting on Gravity to do for Atmos what Avatar did for RealD 3D technology— showcase the technology with a lovingly crafted use of it, enticing other directors to get on board.

    image source

    Why is the sound in Gravity Oscar-worthy? Because most of the movie takes place in the vacuum of space, where sound doesn’t travel. Instead of the minute noises that usually color a film’s soundtrack, Gravity features an original score tailored to contrast with the total silence of space, both breaking it up and amplifying it.

    And to experience that score as director Alfonso Cuarón intended, Atmos is a must. “Honestly, if you listened to the original mix that Alfonson and [sound designer] Glenn Freemantle put together for this movie and then compared it to our Atmos remix,” said the sound editor for the film, Skip Lievsay, in an interview with the Huffington Post, “it’s like going mono to stereo.” He further compared the “jump in quality” to going from a VHS to a DVD, or from DVD format to Blu-ray.

    A behind-the-scenes video of Gravity's award-winning sound mixing:


    Also, can we talk about how amazing this score is?

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    Katherine Pierce has gone to Hell — or at least The Vampire Diaries' version of the dark side — and she's not coming back.
    In the final moments of Thursday's episode, Katherine (Nina Dobrev) made her peace with losing her centuries-long battle to stay alive, but as she put her hands on Bonnie's shoulders, the gateway to the other side, nothing happened. Suddenly, the wind started blowing, and Katherine was sucked into oblivion.
    "It's unlike anything we've seen before," executive producer Caroline Dries tells "We've seen characters appear to Bonnie [Kat Graham], the anchor, and go through Bonnie and that's their initiation into the other side. When Katherine died, that didn't happen and [instead] she's ripped out of Bonnie's arms and sucked into wherever by some dark void. We don't say anything religious like Heaven or Hell, but that's the implication — she's going to a dark world."

    As the series has shown countless times, a character can die and come back to life, but Dries says this isn't their way of keeping Katherine around and they don't intend on delving into this darker world.
    "I don't think we'll explore it so much as in the future, we'll use something similar happening like that on the other side where it becomes a bit of disarray over there and people get sucked into oblivion," Dries says. "What we wanted when we were writing the Katherine story line this season was to really deliver on her as a character. This show is known for bringing people back to the dead, so death didn't ever feel final; they could hop over from the other side if we feel desperate. So we wanted to say, 'No, she's gone.'"
    Katherine being the master manipulator, she of course didn't exit without leaving a very deadly parting gift. Poor Elena might be returning to her body, but she's now been injected with the vampire-eating virus that Damon (Ian Somerhalder) has been suffering with. Together the two will have a mighty battle to face in the final chapter of Season 5.

    "It's now, how do we get out of this?" Dries says. "Elena is dealing with the turmoil and emotional damage left in Katherine's wake, but Elena is also dying. This virus is killing her. Two of our main characters have this incurable virus and they want to kill everyone, so what do they do? Our guys will have to make a deal with the devil to save their friends."
    While Katherine certainly had her flaws, many fans — us included — loved watching her character be so ensconced in the story lines lately. So why did the writers ultimately decide to let one of the best parts of this season go? It was a necessary evil. "Last season there was the tentpole episode where Jeremy [Steven McQueen] died and then we had Elena before Jeremy and Elena after Jeremy. It helped with the plot so much in terms of emotional character movement," Dries says. "So we knew we needed to have a big splash [this season], but also Katherine has been so instrumental to all the story lines this season and at some point it has to end — but it has to matter. So that's what we did and then we threw a twist in there to shock people a little bit."
    Are you bummed Katherine is gone? Or are you glad she's gone to the dark side?


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    American Apparel has sparked controversy once again with a new ad starring a topless former-Muslim model from Bangladesh.
    The bold image, which appears in Vice magazine's U.S. and Canada editions, stars 22-year-old Maks, a merchandiser for American Apparel, who was born in Dhaka but has lived in California since the age of four.

    The words 'Made in Bangladesh' are printed across her chest - referring to the woman, of course, not her jeans, a means of raising awareness about American Apparel's fair labor practices - all its clothing is made in downtown LA.
    The powerful image is accompanied by a description of Maks, revealing how she was raised a strict Muslim but 'distanced herself' from her Islamic faith as she grew up, in search of her 'own identity.'
    The words explain that the bare-chested beauty 'doesn't feel the need to identify herself as an American or a Bengali and is not content to fit her life into anyone else's conventional narrative.

    'That's what makes her essential to the mosaic that is Los Angeles, and unequivocally, a distinct figure in the ever expanding American Apparel family.'
    The striking ad is likely to cause some upset among traditional Muslims for linking a half naked model to a country where Islam is the dominant religion and nudity is frowned upon.

    American Apparel, which was established in Canada in 1989, has a long history of sparking both celebration and outrage for its daring campaigns.
    Recent activity includes a campaign featuring a 62-year-old model in lingerie and a New York based Valentine's stunt in which their window-front mannequins were given fake pubic hair.

    It has been repeatedly blasted for pushing the boundaries, degrading women and even sexualising young girls in its famously provocative campaigns.

    Last year, a series of 'gratuitous' ads were banned by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority for using 'overtly sexual images' of women who appear to be wearing no underwear.
    The ASA said: 'Although we considered it was reasonable for ads for hosiery to feature women in limited clothing, we considered the images and the model's poses gratuitous.'
    It's too early to tell what sort of reactions the latest ad will draw, but chances are this won't be the last we hear of it.


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    Frank Ocean has made a drastic decision to legally change his name, but fear not, it's not a  Prince-esque symbol.
    Ocean -- whose real name is Christopher Edwin Breaux -- filed legal docs to officially change his name to Frank Ocean.
    To make it official, Frank has to plaster his intentions in a newspaper on 4 separate occasions -- once a week, 4 weeks in a row. The idea is that if he's using the name to defraud someone, potential victims can come forward and object in court.
    Yes, newspapers still exist.


    ONTD, are you happy with your name?

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