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Oh No They Didn't! - LiveJournal.com

older | 1 | .... | 643 | 644 | (Page 645) | 646 | 647 | .... | 4448 | newer

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    Tom Hiddleston can pull off extreme looks. In The Avengers, he strutted around in Loki's two-foot horned helmet. For Midnight in Paris, he finessed F. Scott Fitzgerald's prim finger waves. And in his latest, Jim Jarmusch's vampire romance Only Lovers Left Alive, Hiddleston lounges bare-chested in velvet-cuffed robes. The only style he can't swing — at least, as far as casting directors seem to think — is modern, everyday mortal.



    Consider his last 12 months. As if out to prove his range, the 33-year-old British actor played a god in a Marvel blockbuster (Thor: The Dark World), took Only Lovers to Cannes, clocked three months performing Coriolanus in a 250-seat London theater that was once a banana-ripening house, and, three days after the closing curtain, bounced to Toronto, where he's shooting the Victorian ghost story Crimson Peak with Guillermo del Toro. ("He's like a great Mexican bear," he laughs. "I hug him every day, repeatedly.") Even with all that, there's a huge swath of things he has yet to do: contemporary thrillers, clever dramedies, romantic comedies, and anything, well, normal.

    "It's crazy, because I was born in 1981 and I'm alive and well in 2014 — it's not that I'm conscientiously not doing contemporary stuff," insists Hiddleston. "I think it's really difficult to make a good romantic comedy. I'd love to play them; they just don't tend to come my way at the moment. I'm taking it as a compliment one way or another, but it's very much an ambition of mine to wear jeans."

    Today, Hiddleston is on the phone from Canada. But in person, it's startling to discover that filmgoers have yet to behold Hiddleston's electric charisma and shock of blond curls. His movies prefer him dark-haired, dark-tempered, and cerebral. The typecasting is understandable: He does, after all, casually reference Milan Kundera and 19th-century poet John Clare in conversation. At the University of Cambridge, he earned a double first in Classics and, for fun, pondered how to rework The Odyssey and The Iliad as films. Meanwhile, his Tumblr fans have hoisted him up as the thinking girl's dreamboat, second only to Benedict Cumberbatch. Imagine if he had a crack at the scripts that made a star of Hugh Grant.

    For now, audiences who want to see him in a rom-com can make do with Only Lovers Left Alive, a love story in which Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton play glamorous, long-married vampires reconnecting after a few years apart in Michigan and Morocco. Moody and romantic, it could be subtitled From Here to Eternity (For Serious). "And some people find it funny," Hiddleston adds with a dry chuckle.

    Swinton is the older woman, a 2,000-year-old Druid named Eve. Hiddleston plays Adam, a blood-drinking Byronic hero made immortal, naturally, during the Romantic age. Sexy and sulky, he's spent the last several centuries mastering every instrument before migrating to modern-day Detroit where his long hair, pale skin, tight pants, and emo attitude help him pass as a reclusive rock star.

    "We were creating this kind of cocktail of Gothic romance," says Hiddleston. "And once all those elements were there, we just shook it up and started shooting." Picture a post-millennial version of that glory-hog Lestat. Or really, picture one part Keith Richards to six parts Jim Jarmusch himself.

    "He seems to have poured so much of himself into the screenplay," says Hiddleston of his writer-director, who spent seven years pushing the project. Adam's obsessions are Jarmusch's obsessions: music, science, the secret biology of mushrooms. They share the same heroes — Bach, Tesla, Newton, Iggy, Hank (as in Williams) — each framed and hung on their own Wall of Fame. By channeling his personality into a fictional character that will, film format willing, outlive all of us, Jarmusch has created his own version of artistic immortality. Notes Hiddleston, "For Jim, I think that really is all that matters."

    Adam and Eve are proof of why all vampires are cool — they've had eons to master impressive talents while earning a this-too-shall-pass insouciance. In the film, the hipper-than-thou couple spend their nights driving around Detroit in a Jaguar SJS, name-dropping famous friends like Christopher Marlowe and digging into heady topics like stars in the sky that emit musical signals. That's how we might imagine them hanging out even without a camera, though Hiddleston swears that the intimidating Swinton is "enormous, enormous fun," and equally game to chit-chat about the cinnamon bagels at the craft services table.

    Often, though, they talked about the future and what they wished they could live long enough to witness. "The world is changing at an astonishing rate. Will Detroit have a second wind? What cities will last and what will not? And how fast is it all going to come? What language will we all be speaking in 100 years time?" wonders Hiddleston. "There's an interesting line in the film where Adam asks Eve, 'Have the water wars started yet, or is it still about the oil?' I won't be around to see it, I'm afraid.

    "If I lived forever, who knows what I would do?" he continues. "I would certainly get better at the piano. I would try to learn how to paint. I think I would try to read all the books I haven't read. When I was a child, the house was full of books — the walls were lined with bookshelves — and I remember looking up at them once and thinking, 'I wonder if I'll ever be able to read all those books?' and my mother said, 'It's all right; you've got loads of time.' But actually we don't have that much time — I know I won't. There will be things I'll miss out on."

    For now, his focus is on maximizing his newfound spare time. "Every six months for the last three or four years, I've been playing Loki," says Hiddleston. "This is the first year where I won't make a Marvel film for three years." Sure, he can't read every book ever written, but his increasing clout will make sure he doesn't miss out on any role he'd like to play. Maybe even one that will let him keep wearing his Levi's.

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    omg @ the imagery of him hugging Del Toro ever day :')

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    There is no greater 'master of horror' in the history of the genre than Stephen King, who has written some of the most enduring tales of fright of all time. King burst onto the scene in the early 70s with books like Carrie and The Shining, and he's still to this day churning out incredible works of written art, including the recently released Shining sequel Doctor Sleep.

    In celebration of the King's 40+ year reign of terror, Cemetery Dance Publications has just announced that they'll be releasing six of his classic works in the form of Special Edition books, which are going to be as limited as they are deluxe. First up will be Carrie, set for release in the summer of this year, followed by Salem's Lot, The Shining, Night Shift, The Stand and Pet Sematary; all books that defined King and made him a household name, in the 70s and early 80s.

    Like all of these Special Edition books will be, Carrie is jam packed with bonus features including an introduction by King as well as brand new interior and exterior artwork. It's now available for pre-order over on Cemetery Dance's website, with one edition (limited to 3,000) selling for $85 and another (limited to 750) going for $225. An even more limited version sold out in less than an hour, and the others aren't expected to last too much longer.

    Head over to Cemetery Dance Publications to learn more and pick up a copy for yourself. The other five books in the series will be released in six month increments.

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    We have five new promotional photographs for Hannibal 2×07 Yakimono! None of them are of Miriam Lass, unfortunately, but we get to see Will outside of prison! Hurray! A free Will is a Will we like to see.







    One of the great casting coups of Hannibal Season 2 is Boardwalk Empire‘s Michael Pitt as Mason Verger, and Bryan Fuller tells SciFiNow that he can’t wait for Fannibals to see him.

    “I’m eager for people to take a peek at what he does because I think it will be certainly iconic in the Thomas Harris legacy of these characters,” he tells us.

    Mason Verger is the wealthy psychopath previously played by Gary Oldman in Ridley Scott’s Hannibal, and Fuller tells us that Pitt’s take will see Dr Lecter pushed to his limit.

    “The scenes with Michael Pitt and Mads Mikkelsen have been so much fun to cut because we’ve always talked about how Mason Verger has to be a bit of the Joker to Hannibal’s Batman and they have to have a dynamic of ‘Here’s this guy who’s in therapy with Hannibal Lecter, but he clearly has no taste for him,’” he tells us.

    “Well, he does, but he just thinks he’s an atrocious human being, and the last episode of the Verger arc is one of the darkest comedies that we’ve done on the show.”

    “Michael Pitt brings such a pimp quality to Mason Verger because the first time you see him he’s dressed in this fantastic fur coat and there’s a little bit of The Great Gatsby meets Scott Disick,so he’s fantastically styled and Michael had so much fun with the role, it’s been delightful to cut him because he is trying everything and really embracing the kind of haute creep capacity of this character, and it’s really exciting.”


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    When a man’s wife decided to let go of the perms and embrace her natural hair, he was so shocked that he took cover from their home.

    The couple appeared on the Steve Harvey Show recently to discuss the wife’s frustration over how negatively her husband has responded to her new hair style.

    “The first time he saw it, he ran out of the house,” she said. “And then he came back in and asked if it was a wig. If so, take it off. He wasn’t very supportive of the natural state.”


    It didn’t help that the husband, whose wife was clearly insecure about her hair makeover, made even more insensitive remarks during the segment.

    “Of course, I try not to hurt my wife,” he said. “I love my wife with all of my heart, of course. I want to be supportive of her and the growing of her hair. All I ask is to see what else it can do. I can bare with the time that it takes for her hair to grow.”


    Yeah, we know, right. Steve was quick to step in and save the brotha from his own ignore self-destruction.
    “What’s wrong with this whole thing is that you couldn’t be more wrong with your approach,” he said. See what else Steve had to say to the young husband below.







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    While Scarlett Johansson has lived much of her life in the public eye, the blond beauty rarely opens up about her romantic life.

    There's no question the actress has had a string of high-profile relationships, including her marriage to actor Ryan Reynolds (who is now married to Blake Lively), which lasted for a brief two years before the former couple called it quits in 2010.

    "I feel I know now more of what I need in a relationship, what I want in a relationship,"Glamour's May cover girl tells the publication, opening up about her failed marriage to the Hollywood hunk. "And I know I have more tools to communicate, not just with my partner, but with myself."

    Still, the actress admits, "That's not necessarily any reflection of who I was married to or what was happening in my marriage, but really where I was in my life."

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    there's more at the source, by the way, but it's all pretty much stuff that's been covered in posts already.

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    Bravo Media unveils its ambitious slate of original programming with 15 new series including two scripted, 16 returning, and three new projects in development. The network continues to expand across every platform in 2014 with high-quality content that focuses on the network’s passion points of food, fashion, beauty, design, pop culture and digital. Committed to breakthrough programming, Bravo continues to partner with award-winning producers, prominent writers and experts in a variety of fields.

    Bravo maintained the #1 ranking for the most engaged, educated and affluent viewers for P18-49 in primetime and was the #5 most social cable reality network in 2013, according to Nielsen. After eight consecutive years of growth in total viewership, Bravo earned its best quarter in network history among all key demos in Q1, ranking #9 in the P18-49 and P25-54 demos. The network is averaging 1.1 million total viewers and 629,000 adults 18-49 year to-date, up 7 percent and 1 percent respectively vs. Q1 2013. Bravo Digital also delivered its best quarter in network history for page views and total video streams on Mobile. BravoTV.com had its best first quarter ever for tablet page views and the Bravo Now mobile app scored its best first quarter in network history for page views.


    NEW SCRIPTED SERIES:

    “Odd Mom Out”


    Produced by Left/Right with Ken Druckerman and Banks Tarver serving as Executive Producers along with Jill Kargman, and Piro Vision’s Tim Piper and Daniel Rosenberg.

    Forget about keeping up with the Joneses, in acclaimed author and celebrated fashionista Jill Kargman’s world, life is about keeping up with the Rockefellers. This hilarious half-hour comedy, based not-so-loosely on Jill’s own life, captures the fantastically outrageous world of the uber-wealthy momzillas of New York’s Upper East Side. Playing a version of herself, Jill is living in a world that has become so elite, so hip, and so trendy, that she’s now the odd mom out.

    “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce”

    Produced by Universal Cable Productions with Marti Noxon, who wrote the pilot, Vicki Iovine, Meryl Poster and Robbie Duncan McNeil serving as Executive Producers.

    Based on the best-selling “Girlfriends’ Guide” book series by Vicki Iovine, the scripted series written by Marti Noxon (“Glee,” “Mad Men,” “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”), follows Abby, played by Lisa Edelstein (“House”), a self-help book author who hides the fact that she’s separated from her husband as she starts to navigate her life as a single woman in her early 40s in Los Angeles. As previously announced, the series also stars Janeane Garofalo (“Reality Bites”) as Lyla and Beau Garrett (“Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior”) as Phoebe. The network now confirms, Necar Zadegan (“Emily Owens, MD,” “24”) will star in the new role of Delia and Robert Duncan McNeill (“666 Park Avenue,” “Chuck”) has signed on as Producing Director for the series, which is slated to begin production this summer. Paul Adelstein played the role of Abby’s husband in the pilot and Carrie Fisher made a cameo as Abby’s book editor Cat in the pilot.

    UNSCRIPTED NEW SERIES:

    “Top Chef Duels”


    Produced by Magical Elves with Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz serving as Executive Producers.

    Previously announced as “Top Chef Extreme,” this new culinary competition series hosted by celebrity chef Curtis Stone brings back eighteen of the biggest, boldest and most talked-about personalities from past seasons of “Top Chef” and “Top Chef Masters.” In each episode, two former chef’testants will Face Off head-to-head in three rounds of extreme culinary challenges, each being given the chance to up the ante and challenge the other’s culinary skills. The winners of each battle will compete in the season finale in a test of pure gastronomic talent and ambition until only one is standing to claim the $100,000 grand prize and culinary bragging rights. Curtis Stone will also anchor the judges table with Gail Simmons, while chefs Wolfgang Puck and Hugh Acheson and special guests will round out the judging panel throughout the series.

    “Best New Restaurant”

    Produced by One Potato Two Potato with Gordon Ramsay, Tom Colicchio, Elizabeth Cook, Nicola Moody, Pat Llewellyn and Ben Adler serving as Executive Producers.

    A new out-of-studio culinary competition series that tackles the food world from a fresh direction: the restaurant. Acclaimed restaurateur and host, Tom Colicchio, along with his trusted team of experts, pit 16 of the nation’s hottest new restaurants against each other in a series of challenges aimed at determining who provides the best all-around, top-to-bottom experience. Tom will travel across the nation in search of only one restaurant that deserves a cash prize and to be crowned “Best New Restaurant.” The series is modeled after the UK hit “Ramsay’s Best Restaurant” from executive producer Gordon Ramsay.

    “100 Dates” (working title)

    Produced by All3Media America, Goodbye Pictures and Lime Pictures. Eli Holzman, Stephen Lambert and Derek McLean will serve as Executive Producers for AllMedia America; Rich Bye will serve as Executive Producer for Goodbye Pictures; and Kate Little and Claire Poysner will serve as Executive Producers for Lime Pictures.

    “100 Dates” follows a group of young, successful New York singles as they search for love and live it up in the city that never sleeps. Marking the network’s first foray into real-time docu-drama production, each episode will be shot and aired within the same week. This addictive series takes transmedia to the next level as fans will be able to interact with the cast and affect the story in ways that have never been seen through social media.

    “Friends to Lovers?”

    Produced by World of Wonder with Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Tom Campbell and Angela Berg serving as Executive Producers.

    A true social experiment exploring what happens when platonic friends leave the comfort of the ‘friend zone’ behind and transition into exclusive romantic relationships. “Friends to Lovers?” attempts to answer the age old question, can friends really become lovers, as it follows multiple sets of friends who take a leap of faith and decide to take their relationships to the next level.

    “Manzo’d with Children”

    Produced by Sirens Media with Lucilla D’Agostino, Valerie Haselton and Rebecca Toth Diefenbach serving as Executive Producers.

    Caroline Manzo of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” attempts to be the ring leader of her crazy Italian family. Her children are driving her more nuts than ever as Albie is single and ready to mingle, Chris is eager to come up with the best idea since the stripper/car wash, and Lauren has finally let Vito put a ring on it. Meanwhile, husband, Al Sr., has no tolerance for all these shenanigans. It's one crowded house filled with laughter and personality...and maybe a few rounds of the Ham Game.

    “Euros of Hollywood”

    Produced by CORE Media Group with Jennifer O'Connell, Rob Lee of Bayonne Entertainment and Andrew Hoegl serving as Executive Producers.

    With personalities as big as their native countries, six successful European jetsetters are taking Los Angeles by storm. From an Albanian pop princess determined to conquer America her way, to a self-dubbed Italian Renaissance man whose personality screams “I’m a star,” these men and women are stopping at nothing on their rise to the top. With their hearts on their sleeves, they have a few things in common— the pursuit of wealth, power, fame and the American dream.

    “Ladies of London” – Premiering June

    Produced by Adjacent Productions with Izzie Pick Ashcroft, Claire O’Donohoe, Anna Geddes, Jane Tranter and Michael Brooks serving as Executive Producers.

    Set in the glittering, class-conscious city of London, the docu-series follows a group of elite British socialites, Annabelle Neilson and Caroline Stanbury along with American expats Juliet Angus, Caprice Bourret, Marissa Hermer and Noelle Reno who all run in similar social circles, but are worlds apart. From weekend getaways in the English countryside, to high tea at one of London’s exclusive polo-clubs, both groups adhere to strict unwritten Rules of Engagement where reputation is everything.

    “Game of Crowns” – Premiering July

    Produced by Shed Media US with Pam Healey, Lisa Shannon, Dan Peirson and Tess Gamboa as Executive Producers.

    Six pageant wives compete on the “Mrs.” pageant circuit to snatch the spotlight with their intense preparation from obsessing over the perfect swimsuit to honing their interview skills– all while being dedicated mothers and wives. The cast includes Susanna Paliotta, Shelley Carbone, Lynne Diamante, Vanassa Sebastian, Leha Guilmette, and Lori-Ann Marchese.

    “Million Dollar Listing Miami” – Premiering June

    Produced by World of Wonder Productions with Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Tom Campbell and Eric Detwiler serving as Executive Producers.

    The hit franchise is expanding into the sexy city of Miami where three luxury agents, Chad Carroll, Samantha DeBianchi and Chris Leavitt, battle it out in the world of high-end real estate. With a surging market in South Florida, properties are selling for record rates and agents are cashing in on massive commissions like never before. Business can get heated as the brokers attempt to make a name for themselves and outshine their competition by landing the next big listing.

    “Jersey Belle”

    Produced by Authentic Entertainment with Lauren Lexton, Tom Rogan and Sonia Slutsky serving as Executive Producers.

    A classic fish-out-of-water tale, this docu-series follows outspoken New Jersey native and Hollywood publicist, Jaime Primak Sullivan, as she navigates life in the upscale southern suburb of Mountain Brook, Alabama. Jaime’s life was turned upside down after she married the town’s “most eligible” bachelor. Despite the help of her girlfriends, who are determined to sculpt Jaime into a southern darling, Jaime can’t help but speak her mind – often to hilarious results. Can Jaime keep her Jersey cool in the Deep South, or will her southern-bred BFFs finally turn her into a true-blue Alabama belle?

    “Untying the Knot” – Premiering June

    Produced by Engel Entertainment with Steven Engel, Krystal Kennedy and Dean W. Slotar serving as Executive Producers.

    When couples go from “I do” to “I don’t,” Vikki Ziegler is who they call to mediate, advise and divide their assets out of court. Each episode features a different divorcing couple struggling to divvy up their belongings that range from dazzling diamonds to the family pets. Expert appraisers Michael and Mark Millea evaluate the items in question and help Vikki determine a fair division of assets. Why let a judge decide your fate when this “Divorce Diva” can cut through all the drama to determine who will get what?

    “Extreme Guide to Parenting” – Premiering July

    Produced by Punched In The Head Productions with Amelia D'Entrone, Craig D'Entrone and Lauren Lazin serving as Executive Producers.

    From spoiling and severe punishments to helicopter and new age methods, this is parenting at its most extreme. Each episode gives a candid look at two different households with very unique styles of raising their children – and each family strongly believes their methods are superior.

    “The Real Housewives of Atlanta: Kandi’s Wedding” (working title)

    Produced by True Entertainment with Steven Weinstock, Glenda Hersh, Lauren Eskelin and Carlos King serving as Executive Producers. Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker also serve as Executive Producers.

    You are cordially invited to celebrate the wedding of Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker. Against vocal family opposition that played out dramatically in season six of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” Kandi and Todd have decided to move forward and tie the knot. Each episode follows Kandi and Todd as they plan a larger-than-life “Coming to America” themed wedding ceremony, signifying the couple’s initial introduction in Africa.

    UNSCRIPTED DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS:

    “Going Going Gone” (working title)


    Produced by Fremantle Media North America with Thom Beers, Toby Gorman and Jodi Day serving as Executive Producers.

    A never-before-attempted live televised estate sale where viewers are given the chance to snoop around the most spectacular homes in the country and bid LIVE on what’s inside! From a hand-sewn peacock feather dress modeled by Naomi Campbell at Milan Fashion Week to a stunning worn leather knife roll used by Wolfgang Puck at the time he opened his first Spago, at home viewers will have the opportunity to own some truly unique treasures.

    “Tour Group” (working title)

    Produced by Monkey Kingdom with Will Macdonald and David Granger serving as Executive Producers.

    This luxury travel docu-series will follow a diverse group of upscale characters on a mind-blowing vacation through the most stunning, eclectic and exclusive sights and scenes around the globe. With such vibrant and varied personalities forced together in alien environments for two months, this dream holiday could be just that as some might find love under the pink light of the Taj Mahal, or turn into a nightmare for others as the furs fly in seven star resorts from Dubai to the Maldives. One thing is for certain, from a Safari in Kenya to the Souks of Morocco, this will be the ride of a lifetime.

    “Gen XYZ” (working title)

    Produced by Warrior Poets and Crybaby Media with Morgan Spurlock, Ethan Goldman, Jeremy Chilnick and Danny Passman serving as Executive Producers.

    Six ambitious and successful women from four different generations are each on the precipice of taking their career to the next level in the fashion and beauty industries. While working to navigate the delicate balance between their personal and professional realities and aspirations, these trail blazers are grappling with what "having it all" really looks like for women of today in the cutthroat fashion industry.

    RETURNING SERIES:

    This summer many of Bravo’s memorable characters return as the network confirms new season orders of high-seas and high-stakes drama with Below Deck season two, Don’t Be Tardy… season three, Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles season seven and The Real Housewives of New Jersey season six. Returning fan favorites this fall include a twelfth season of the Emmy Award-winning culinary competition series Top Chef, The Millionaire Matchmaker season eight, The Real Housewives of Atlanta season seven and The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills season five. The fall fun continues with the return of Shahs of Sunset season four, Vanderpump Rules season three, Fashion Queens season three and Newlyweds season two. Look out for the sophomore returns of Thicker Than Water and Blood, Sweat & Heels, along with more Watch What Happens Live and a third season of Newlyweds in 2015.


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    rip Real Housewives of Miami & ew @ manzo'd with children. now just waiting for Southern Charm's renewal.

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    Update:12:20 P.M. PDT -- The club just told TMZ, "DBA has a very strict door policy and Ms. Garth and her entire group of friends were asked to wait in line for entry along with everyone else. The group chose not to do so and left."

    Jennie Garth went to a wildly popular club in Hollywood Monday night ... and abruptly left in a huff, claiming the bouncers turned away her 3 friends ... all of whom were black males.

    Jennie's people claim the "90210" star went to DBA with 2 white girlfriends and 3 black men. She says the bouncer told her and the other women they were invited in but refused to let the guys go past the velvet ropes.

    Jennie stormed off ... appearing to cry and flipping off the photogs.
    You don't see the guys in the photo.

    One of the photogs told us it looked like the whole group was denied, but Jennie insists the women were given an entry.





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    On Monday, Lena Dunham was honored by the Point Foundation, an organization that helps LGBTQ students overcome obstacles to complete their educations. In her acceptance speech at the New York Public Library, the Girls creator displayed her sense of humor, saying, “This is probably the most attractive room I have yet to enter. I don't want to traffic in stereotypes, but gay men clean up real good, which is probably why I have dated so many of you.”

    Dunham also spoke warmly about her family and her lesbian sister. “I have always felt a strong and emotional connection to members of the LGBTQ community. It was actually a huge disappointment for me, when I came of age and realized that I was sexually attracted to men. So when my sister came out, I thought, Thank God, someone in this family can truly represent my passions and beliefs.

    “My sister Grace coming out as a gay woman at age 17 was a huge turning point for me in my understanding of the issues facing LGBTQ people. We were raised in an environment—the art world of downtown Manhattan—where no one hid their sexual orientation, and a common question from four-year-old me was ‘Mom, are those ladies gay together?’ I was always very jealous of any child who had two dads. And because of our parents’ deeply held commitment to acceptance and equality, my sister’s process of coming to terms with her sexuality was as angst-free as anything involving sex can really be. She was assured by the adults in her life that she was not only accepted, but adored for who she is. I am so happy that this is the way she was able to enter the world as a woman and an LGBTQ person.”

    Girls star Andrew Rannells presented the award at the gala, and Dunham mentioned her work on the series: “I love my job. I feel insanely lucky to work with talented individuals from all walks of life, who define themselves in beautiful and unusual ways. Our goal on Girls is to show you non-stereotypical examples of the range of people who inhabit this amazing city, and we are learning more about what that means every day.”

    It was announced that Dunham has donated $25,000 to the Point Foundation. Also at the gala were Mariska Hargitay, Judith Light, Tyne Daly, Billy Porter, Michael Urie, BD Wong, and TV producer Dr. Neal Baer, who was also honored.

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    Being Human, the story of four supernatural roommates and their journey to blend in with everyday, ordinary people, took it’s final bow Monday night.

    Over the past four seasons, fans of Being Human – which adapted from the British show of the same name - have come to love – and fear – the unusual group all living under one roof: Aidan (Sam Witner), a tortured and troubled vampire; werewolves Josh (Sam Huntington) & Nora (Kristen Hager); and ghost Sally (Meaghan Rath).

    When Syfy announced the shows cancelation earlier this year, fans of the series were surprised of the news – Being Human has had pretty steady ratings over it’s four season run. However, the move was something that executive producers Anna Fricke and Stefan Pieszczynski -along with series star Witner and other cast members- wanted.



    In an interview with TVGuide.com Witner sited budgeting reasons as the main cause for the desire to end the show on a high note. When asked about the difficulty of producing a fifth season of the series Witner responded with the following statement:

    “Mostly budgeting reasons. When you don’t have enough budget to do what the show requires, then you have to call in favors. For example: getting friends to guest and putting them up in apartments. I will have to say that filming in Montreal, the crews are amazing, but the acting talent pool is limited, unless you’re OK with them speaking French. So we had to get actors from Toronto and Vancouver and that costs money.”

    If you haven’t seen the Being Human yet, I suggest you stop reading the article now as there are some serious SPOILERS coming up.

    “There Goes the Neighborhood” picked up where we last left the four roommates, with Sally’s vision of the future, the one where Aidan snaps Josh’s neck moments after having to take the life of his son Kenny. Sally conjures up the strength to transport Josh, Nora and herself to the basement and seals the door to prevent Aidan from getting to Josh. Knowing that the only way to bring Aidan out of the trance and to save Aidan from himself, Sally makes the ultimate sacrifice. Sally gives Aidan a chance to finally be human again, by sacrificing herself so that Aidan can have the life she believes he deserves. Sally vanished from the room, bringing viewers the first death of the night.

    Sally’s sacrifice gives the three roommates still standing the chance to flee the house, free of Ramona’s grip. We get to see Aidan enjoy the perks of being human again, such as gulping down cheeseburgers and chili-fries, but with mortality comes limits once again. Soon it is made clear to Aidan that his time in this world is coming to an end as his organs are rapidly decaying.

    In a last attempt to cheat death, Aidan identifies a recently changed vampire in a bar and tries to get the vamp to turn him. Just when it seems that Aidan will get his wish, Josh arrives to meet Aidan at the bar only to see him pinned up against a wall in the alley. After scaring the vampire away, Josh and Aidan share a truly touching scene as Aidan confesses his fear of dying.

    Earlier in between all of the week to live, moving on scenes between the three remaining roommates, Ramona decides to send Josh, Aidan and Nora a message. She kills a construction worker, sending a bold message to the three roommates, “There is no escaping her.” Aidan comes across an article in the newspaper about the murder in the house, it’s a good thing they read the newspaper still, and shares the news with Josh. Josh and Aidan agree that they need to face Ramona and find a way to end her reign of terror. The two agree to meet up at the house in one hour, an agreement that Aidan breaks.

    Aidan enters the house and is quickly greeted by a very angry, vengeful Ramona. As it becomes clearer that Aidan will not make it out of this battle alive, Ramona literally makes Aidan choke on the blood he has spilt in the house over the years. Then in a poetic like way, Ramona sends Aidan tumbling down the stairs in the same fashion that took Sally’s human life. With his let dying breathes of air Aidan sets the house into flames, tossing a lighter onto a gasoline covered floor. As the house goes up in flames, esicentially dying, so does the house spirit Ramona.

    When Josh and Nora finally arrive at house, they’re overwhelmed by the sight they see. A body being removed on a stretcher and the remains of what used to be their home. The two enter the apartment, taking in their surroundings and accepting that their battle is finally over. As the two embrace, a familiar voice greets them from behind, Aidan. In typical Being Human form, the roommates joke about the new curveball thrown their way.

    That’s when Aidan’s door appears, I have to say I wasn’t sure this moment was ever going to happen. Aidan opens the door and walks into the bright white light, to find a very familiar face waiting for him, Sally.

    The show flashforwards slightly to the future, to find Nora & Josh asleep in a field, both dreaming of their lost roommates and happier times. As they awaken we find out that the pair have not one but two children, Sally & Aidan. The shows fades away as Nora and Josh enjoy a normal moment with their children as a family.


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    To the few of us fans on here, what did everyone think? I thought it was bittersweet. And while it had its flaws, I thought it was a very fitting ending. I am very content. BTW, The kids at the end were Sam Huntington's actual children.

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    To comprehend why the death of Peaches Geldof– a famous young woman, albeit not famous for anything in particular – has prompted such public shock, one could focus on several factors. There's her young age (25), of course, her two young children (one is two years old, the other not yet 12 months) and the devastated family she leaves behind (husband, father, three sisters). But in order to understand properly the visceral sadness that followed, you need to look back further, all the way to 1995, when many of Geldof's fans and social media followers were not even born.

    Back in the early 90s, the Geldofs – Bob, Paula, Fifi, Peaches and Pixie – were, before the Osbournes, before the Beckhams, Britain's first celebrity family.

    Their fondness for living their lives in public, the quirkiness of the children's names, their rackety fashion sense, their cosily privileged lives – all of those are par for the course for celebrities now (even the Geldof girls' names, once much mocked by the press and public, seem downright sensible next to those of some of today's celebrity children). The family occupied a unique place in Britain, amusing but loved, rock'n'roll but stable, public but familial. They anticipated trends that are commonplace today: Bob, still "Saint Bob" then, had kickstarted the fashion for celebrities getting involved in charities with Live Aid in the mid-80s, Paula Yates wrote funny manuals on parenting, long before the idea of celebrities as lifestyle gurus was commonplace. She was Little Miss Naughty, as her T-shirts famously proclaimed, but in a safe, clean-cut and teetotal context. She loved, in particular, to write about her children: "Peaches wants more than anything to dress like the Queen Mother, circa 1935. When she was two she wore a bridesmaid's dress and full veil with diamante studded plimsolls for almost a whole year … But at least we knew what it was like to live with real, natural glamour!" Yates wrote in her autobiography.

    By the mid-90s, Geldof made his already famous family even more public, having hired Yates as the celebrity interviewer on The Big Breakfast, the hugely successful breakfast TV show made by his production company, Planet24. Geldof cannily realised that his wife's fizzy flirtiness and retro-pinup looks would bring the show more adult attention than it would otherwise get. Amid Chris Evans' clowning and the neon puppets Zig and Zag, Yates would loll about on an animal-print bed flirting with celebrities in a daily interview slot dubbed – saucily, for 90s breakfast TV – In Bed with Paula. And so, one morning in 1995, she interviewed INXS singer Michael Hutchence.

    For teenagers watching that interview at the time – as I was, and did – those seven minutes were somewhat disorienting. For Geldof, it must have been something else. In those days, British teenagers were not used to watching, over their Frosties, a woman in a tiny dress wrap her legs around an Australian rock star while he stared hungrily into her eyes – these were two people clearly in lust with one another. Not long after, Yates left Geldof for Hutchence, and thus began the messy, sad story that ultimately led to the public's huge outpouring of sympathy for Peaches and her family this week.

    The vast majority of the people who have reacted so strongly to Peaches Geldof's death did not, of course, know her. But the intimate travails of her family have been a press fixture for so long now that many might have felt as if they did. If she had merely been a reality TV stalwart, her background unknown to the public, her death would have been sad, but not astonishing. Given what happened to her family in the past, the scale of the loss looks downright mythic.

    Within a year of leaving Geldof, Yates had a daughter with Hutchence, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, and she and her ex-husband were fighting bitterly over their three daughters, with Geldof eventually winning full custody. When Hutchence was found dead in a hotel room in Australia, Yates's initial reaction was to blame Geldof for, she claimed, driving her adored lover to suicide. But once the anger passed, the grief settled over her and never left. She entered rehab, had a series of misjudged relationships and suffered tabloid exposés. Interviews with her at the time show her to be a hollow-eyed outline of the sweetly sexy woman she had once been. "I was beyond grief," Yates told an interviewer at the time.

    "My mother, who was amazing, who wrote books on parenting, who gave us this idyllic childhood in Kent … turned into this heartbroken shell of a woman who was just medicating to get through the day," Peaches said in 2012. "On top of that, there was my father, who was very embittered and depressed about it, and for us children, an environment that was almost impossible."

    It was at this point that Yates was hit with yet more shattering news: she had grown up believing that Jess Yates was her father, only to discover that her biological father was, in fact, TV presenter Hughie Green. The tabloids, watching over Yates' troubles with glee, crowed over this personally devastating news.

    In 2000, Yates, the former teetotal rock'n'roll earth mummy, died from a heroin overdose. Peaches was 11.

    "I remember the day my mother died, and it's still hard to talk about it. I just blocked it out. I went to school the next day, because my father's mentality was, 'Keep calm and carry on'. So we all went to school and tried to act as if nothing had happened. But it had happened."

    The death of a parent is traumatic for any young child. For Peaches, there was added sadness in the knowledge that not even Yates's love for her children could pull her back from the heartbreak that enveloped her after Hutchence's death. "Everything changed after she met Michael," the late TV producer Andrea Wonfor, who had worked with Yates, said at the time. "She threw everything away, and found nothing left after he died."

    Bob Geldof swiftly assumed custody of Tiger Lily, and the media, who had hounded Yates ruthlessly before her death, turned its attention to her daughters. Geldof and Yates's eldest daughter, Fifi, has never had any interest in publicity. Peaches, however, dived into the spotlight with an enthusiasm that proved she was truly her mother's daughter. She has said she didn't start grieving for her mother until she was "maybe 16", which is exactly when she started to become a media figure, writing for magazines and appearing on TV. It was also around this time that photos of her looking out of it at parties started to become regular features in the tabloids. Her path, one carved ahead of her by her mother, looked set.

    But then she switched gears and surprised everyone, just as her mother had done, but in a different direction. Where Yates rejected domesticity for hedonism, Peaches gave up the parties for a life in the country with her husband, Thomas Cohen, and their two sons, Astala and Phaedra, and she credited them, along with memories of what happened to her mother, with saving her. To the public, who had known this family for so long, it looked as if Geldof and his family had finally found redemption after a long, sad and bitterly messy saga. But again, the gears changed.

    Geldof's statement following the death of his daughter – so much more emotionally charged than the bland ones usually issued by celebrity PRs – underlines another reason behind the public's shock: in contrast to most celebrity deaths, we know her parents and can imagine all too clearly her father's grief. His statement – "We are beyond pain" – echoed, perhaps unwittingly, Yates' words after the death of her lover 17 years ago. Peaches had spoken so frequently of her devastation after her mother's death, and now a similar kind of sadness has been put on her own sons, who she wanted to give a happier childhood than she had. Her half-sister, Tiger Lily, still only 18, has now lost her father, her mother and her sibling. Ultimately, the reason the public was so shocked by Peaches Geldof's death was that, even though we may not have known her, we knew her story, and it seemed too sad that it could end this way. But it has.

    IDK about this, if the reaction has been exploitative or not, but the interested was birthed long ago.


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    With its record-breaking $92 million weekend debut, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" has earned itself entry to an exclusive club: movie sequels that outdid their originals.

    Not only did "Winter Soldier" outperform "Captain America: The First Avenger," which earned $65 million domestically in its first three days out, but the sequel scored the biggest April opening of all time, according to the L.A. Times.

    The film was produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, which also released the original "Captain America: The First Avenger." The Walt Disney Co. also owns ABC News.

    Keith Simanton, managing editor of movie information site IMDb, says any ranking of the most successful sequels of all time depends on how you define success: Did the movie outperform its original in opening weekend sales or in its total lifetime gross? Was it a greater or a lesser winner with the critics?

    Simanton shared with ABC News his own ideas about what sequels might qualify as the seven most successful of all time.

    They include the late Mickey Rooney's "You're Only Young Once" (1937), the second movie in MGM's "Andy Hardy" series, whose 14 films made an estimated $75 million Depression-era dollars for MGM, according to the New York Times. (That would be over a billion dollars today.)

    You'll find the rest of Simanton's picks on the pages that follow. Sales and other performance data come from IMBd's "Box Office Mojo" rankings.
    I'd say let the party continue on tbh...

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    Despite the fact that the first Captain America wasn’t a terribly high-grossing comic book adventure (at $371m worldwide, it’s among their lowest earners since 2008) and the fact that Steve Rogers didn’t exactly shine in The Avengers, this second Captain America ope ned 47% above its predecessor; ending its debut weekend with $95 million and $302 million worldwide. Good reviews, a strong cast, and terrific trailers should not be discounted, but we may be reaching a point where the Marvel brand is in itself a major draw for audiences. We may be reaching a point where the studio is as important as the specific content. In other words, Marvel Studios may in fact be the next Pixar.

    Yes there was clearly an “Avengers Bump” that bolstered the popularity and box office fortunes of its various heroes, as first evidenced by Iron Man 3 doubling the worldwide gross of Iron Man 2. We may soon reach a point, perhaps if Guardians of the Galaxy (a science-fiction adventure based on a cult property mostly disconnected from the ongoing Avengers narrative) hits as big as the recent Thor and Captain America sequels this August, where Marvel Studios itself proves to be the selling point. There may be minor ebbs and flows in terms of box office depending on the movie (I wouldn’t expect Dr. Strange to open like Iron Man any more than Wall-E would open as high as Toy Story 3), but the results may end up being somewhat consistent because the studio is the hook. That’s pretty much the Pixar trump card at this point.

    The vast majority of moviegoers will go to see a Pixar Animation film based on the notion that it’s a Pixar film. The studio brand, and its reputation for artistic quality and (usually) emotionally-draining fables, is the selling point. Audiences flock to a Pixar film primarily because it’s a Pixar film. This “trusted brand” scenario partially explains why films as diverse as Monster’s Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Wall-E, Up, Cars 2, and Brave all opened between $60 and $70 million (Ratatouille, which opened with $48m in 2007, is the “outlier” regardless of its indisputable quality). Six years and nine films in, Marvel Studios is arguably as much a trusted brand as Pixar. It’s as much of a selling point (“from the studio that brought you Iron Man“) as the superheroes they are highlighting. Especially post-Avengers, the Marvel Studios films’ biggest strength may well be the fact that they are Marvel Studios films.

    As they prepare to sell Avengers: Age of Ultron and start releasing some less “surefire” properties like Ant Man or Guardians of the Galaxy, we’ll start to get a clearer picture. We’ll know whether Marvel has built up such a reputation for (relative) quality, as well as large-scale action and terrific actors not remotely slumming in a comic book sandbox, that the studio itself is the biggest marketing hook. Obviously this is somewhat speculative, and arguably a little optimistic. But the notion that audiences flock to Marvel films because they are Marvel films is one that, if arguably “proven” over the next few years, will give Marvel and Walt Disney far more latitude in terms of how to proceed. Marvel will have more flexibility in terms of potentially recasting or replacing certain key characters should they age out or get tired of smashing bad guys.

    Anyone can technically be in the Iron Man suit and let’s not pretend we all don’t know exactly why the Winter Soldier showed up this early in the narrative. But there can be only one Thor or one Nick Fury. Should Chris Hemsworth tire of swinging the hammer, Marvel will have more freedom in just recasting Thor if Marvel itself is the “face on the poster” as opposed to Chris Hemsworth as Thor.
    It’s a similar situation to the Cars films. Sure fans love Larry the Cable Guy as Mater, but kids won’t boycott Cars 3 if the tow truck ends up being voiced by someone else. It’s the classic star+concept scenario; with the difference being that the “star” is the studio (Pixar in this case) rather than the actor portraying a given character. How Marvel chooses to deal with the inevitable problem of aging and/or disinterested stars will arguably be a case-by-case basis. But if Marvel is the proverbial star, then they have far more latitude.

    The good news is that a Marvel Studios emboldened by the notion that they are the main attraction and that fans will (more or less) flock to their films no matter what hero is being showcased may well truly experiment and diversify. I’m not enough of a Marvel nerd to think of all the out-there characters or unconventional story arcs could be used for future installments, but I’m sure some of you can. But I’m also thinking of racial, ethnic, and gender diversity. I won’t go into the various excuses that certain Marvel higher-ups have given for not making (for example) a Black Panther film or a Black Widow or Ms. Marvel spin-off. I have to assume that a big part of that stems from the fear that something outside of a white male title character will endanger the film’s potential for worldwide grosses, especially in this early stage when each film is crucial and they make only so many per year. If Marvel itself is the core selling point, there will be that much less of an excuse not to see more diversity in title roles.

    There are other popular franchises that are considered “must see” on a relative scale by longtime fans and somewhat curious general audiences. You can name a dozen without breaking a sweat, from the Pirates of the Caribbean films to the Fast & the Furious franchise. But the Marvel Universe is on the verge of being something wholly unique. It is a film studio, which releases big-budget spectacle fantasies, that has established itself to such a degree that the studio itself is as much the “star” as the actors and iconic characters being featured. Like Pixar, Marvel is a brand name in-and-of-itself. If we have truly reached a point where Marvel Studios needs only to put their name on the poster to guarantee a relatively successfully film, then Marvel Studios has earned the right to do whatever they want for the next several years.

    Let us hope they use that freedom to continue to take some real artistic chances and start to truly bust through some arbitrary glass ceilings. Using their capital to risk failure, by expanding the notion of what a blockbuster superhero film can be would be the most superheroic feat of all. Or maybe it’s just the great responsibility that comes with such great power.

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    Single Ladies," the romantic comedy series about three female best friends working in the fashion, music and celebrity world that was just canceled by VH1 after three seasons, is coming back.

    Queen Latifah's Flavor Unit Entertainment company, which produces "Single Ladies," is developing an all-new fourth season as part of a new exclusive programming partnership with BET Networks' Centric, which is being positioned as the first network aimed at black females.

    Under the deal, Flavor Unit, which is owned by Latifah and her partner Shakim Compere, will produce new shows in addition to "Single Ladies" for the network.

    Casting for the new season is still up in the air. The VH1 show starred LisaRaye McCoy, Charity Shea and Denise Vasi, but it is unclear if any of the cast members would return. The third-season finale aired last month.

    As part of the deal, Centric also will start airing episodes of Queen Latifah's syndicated daytime talk show, which premiered last year to solid ratings, in prime time.

    The entertainer's production company also produces BET's comedy series "Let's Stay Together."


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  • 04/08/14--16:03: Smash Bros Megapost!


  • We've learned about a few new features implemented in Smash Bros Wii-U/3DS, including several returning features as well, courtesy of today's Nintendo Direct!

    During a Nintendo Direct presentation today, Nintendo revealed the release window for the highly anticipated fighter Super Smash Bros.

    The 3DS version is due Summer 2014
    The Wii U version is coming Winter 2014

    No specific reason was given for the release date disparity, though it's probably safe to assume that the more graphically intensive Wii U version would require a slightly longer development period. While there will be some differences between the Wii U and 3DS of the game, the fighter roster will be the same.

    Nintendo also confirmed that Smash Bros. would run at 60fps on 3DS, although some assist trophies would be brought down to 30fps.

    Now, here are the new and returning characters that have joined the fray:

    Bosses

    The Yellow Devil from Mega Man will be a boss character in the Dr. Wily stage.
    Ridley from Metroid made a brief teasing cameo, implying he will also be a boss in the game.

    Returning characters


    Zero Suit Samus (now with jet boots).


    Sheik

    Both Sheik and Zero Suit Samus are standalone characters this time around, and that means you won't be able to switch characters mid-stage if you're playing as Zelda or Samus.


    Yoshi (and now he stands on two-feet, rather than standing like a dinosaur).

    New Characters


    Greninja, a dual type Water/Dark Pokemon is the newest playable character to join the fray.


    Charizard (and did you catch a glimpse of his Mega Evolution form?)

    Assist Trophies


    Elec-Man from the Megaman series.


    During today's Nintendo Direct, we learned a lot of new 3DS and Wii U Smash Bros. details, including how online play is going to work.

    Like online matches for the Wii's Super Smash Bros. Brawl, you'll be able to play against anyone online, not just friends. However, Nintendo recommends using their LAN adapator on Wii U and a fast wireless access point on 3DS for the most ideal experience.

    When playing against friends online or playing locally, anything goes. But when playing against non-friends online, you have two modes to choose from:

    For Fun

    Stage select is random (but won't include Final Destination)
    All items
    Smash battles online
    Only wins are recorded


    For Glory

    All battles are on Final Destination
    No items
    1-on-1 battles are possible
    Bboth wins and losses are recorded


    To keep things from getting boring in the For Glory mode, all stages will have a Final Destination form. They'll have the same flat uniformity, but at least they'll be something different to look at besides the vastness of space.

    Online matches, unlike Brawl, will not be anonymous--your online account will be linked directly to your Nintendo Network ID. To that end, you can report players for bad behavior, and temporary bans may be instituted for the following:

    Starting matches and not playing
    Repeated purposeful self-destructs
    Relentlessly targeting one character
    Frequently dropping out of matches
    Cheating
    Baselessly reporting other players


    Rather than a global ranking leaderboard, Smash Bros. will have a skill-based matchmaking system called the Global Smash Power. Details are hazy on how exactly your score will be calculated, but the bigger your number, the better you are. So, if your rank is 6,000, that means you're better than 6,000 other Smash players.

    1, 2, 3, 4

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    Dir. Marc Webb. Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Embeth Davidtz, Campbell Scott, Colm Feore, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field, Denis Leary, Marton Csokas. 12A cert; 142 mins

    How amazing can Spider-Man be at this point? It's a question we're often wondering during The Amazing Spider-Man 2, as our webby hero (Andrew Garfield) solves the mystery of his parents' murder, tries to decide if dating Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) contravenes his promise to keep her out of danger, and takes on the scary voltage of a new baddie with electric eels up his gusset.

    We all know Spider-Man can multitask – those wrist-mounted gizmos fling out the sticky stuff every which way. But can his director? Marc Webb, returning after the last instalment, again shows a better feel for the relationships than he does for juggling all the overlapping story elements. At times, with its many villains, this one veers perilously close to the overplotted trouble zone of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 and Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises: a case of too many crooks spoiling the broth.

    Jamie Foxx's Max Dillon is a particular problem. First seen with a gap tooth and greasy comb-over, this minor lackey in the Osborn Corporation is transformed into Electro, thanks to an on-cue accident in the boiler room. Disgruntled that no one gives a fig, he's soon assailing Times Square with knockabout pyrotechnics in a large-scale, mid-moviesequence that slightly disappoints. The effects team must turn Foxx a luminous electric blue and only half succeed – he looks like the love child of Dr Manhattan from Watchmen and Mr Freeze from Batman and Robin. The shortcuts to pathos in his character feel milked and blatant.

    The thing is, all the electricity Webb needs is right before him, in the continued perfect match of his leads.Andrew Garfield's killer timing is the least of his ideal Spidey qualities– he remains a rare combination of funny, sexy and awkwardly charming, nailing every part of Peter Parker's clear agenda to be the coolest superhero ever. He could hardly do better than Emma Stone as his dream soulmate – she's button-cute and smart enough to steal his heart. They light the film up with a sparkle and sadness it couldn't live without.

    The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is released in the UK on April, and in the US on May 2


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    She is one of the world's most famous models - and for good reason.

    But cover star Cara Delevingne has proved that her beauty is all natural by posting adorable photographs of her childhood online.

    The 21 year-old catwalk queen can be seen looking cherubic alongside her two sisters, Chloe and Poppy, and her mother, Pandora, in the three pictures uploaded to Instagram on Tuesday.

    Naturally, the snapshots have been warmly welcomed by fans who follow the star online.


    But, of course, she has since morphed into a stunning woman who is often hailed as the heir to Kate Moss' throne.

    Source

    Post your baby/childhood pics

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  • 04/08/14--16:23: Beyonce for Out Magazine







  • Beyoncé Liberated

    If you pooled the collective memories of the staff at Parkwood, the small, can-do entertainment company that Beyoncé built, you would have enough material for the world’s longest biography. That it would also be a hagiography goes without saying; for those who work closest to her, Beyoncé is, quite literally, flawless. Again and again you will hear that she is the hardest-working person in showbiz, the most demanding of herself, the least complacent. And all of this, you will realize, is most likely true. But in all of the accolades and glowing character references, you will also find little shafts of light that fall on their subject in illuminating and lovely ways.

    There is Angie Beyince, vice president of operations, who grew up spending her summers with her cousins, Beyoncé and Solange. “They loved Janet Jackson,” she tells me. “We’d talk all night and watch Showtime at the Apollo and my snake, Fendi, would just be crawling around. He’d sit on our heads while we watched TV.”

    There is Ed Burke, visual director, who had never heard of Beyoncé when he met her 10 years ago, responding to a request from a friend to shoot her for a day. He spent the next seven years trailing her around the world with a camera. In Egypt, he and Beyoncé scaled a pyramid together as the rest of their group gave up or fell back. “It smelled like urine because there are no bathrooms up there,” he recalls. “She looked like Mother Teresa, wearing this white dress and a head wrap, and when we got to the top she sang Donny Hathaway’s ‘A Song for You.’ ”

    There is Ty Hunter, her stylist, who was working at Bui-Yah-Kah, a boutique in Houston, when he first met Beyoncé’s mother, Miss Tina, on the hunt for outfits for Destiny’s Child. The two clicked. That was in 1998. “Miss Tina reminded me of my mother,” he says. “I call Bey and Solange and all the girls in Destiny’s Child my sisters. The family is just, you know, humble—not what people think it is. The picture [of Beyoncé] is ‘diva, diva, diva,’ but I’ve been here this long because she’s not.”

    There is Lee Anne Callahan-Longo, the general manager at Parkwood, whose Boston childhood was informed by the music of Carole King, James Taylor, and Carly Simon. It was Callahan-Longo who came up with the arm motions that Beyoncé uses in her video for “XO.” “It’s so hilarious—I have a credit in the DVD for choreography,” she laughs, throatily. “If anyone knows me, I’m not a dancer. Never have been and never will be.”

    And there is Yvette Noel-Schure, the publicist, a kind of den mother to them all. She grew up on the Caribbean island of Grenada, and has a soft, floral accent to prove it. “The only music in the house was Catholic hymns,” she recalls. “Once in a while I heard some calypso on the radio.” Noel-Schure was with Destiny’s Child in Los Angeles on September 11, 2001, when news of the attacks on New York and D.C. reached them. “My mom’s not here, so I guess you’re our mommy today,” she remembers Beyoncé telling her. “And I said, ‘My kid’s not here, so I think you guys have to be my kids today.’” She breaks into a faraway smile. “With or without this job, I will probably always feel connected to those young women in some way, shape, or form.”

    If you want to get to know someone, it helps to get to know the people around them. In Beyoncé’s case, there was no alternative. The opportunity to write about her materialized with an unusual condition: There would be no face-to-face interview. The musician was in the midst of an intense international tour, dramatically overhauled to accommodate 10 songs from her new, eponymous album. And although I would get to fly to Glasgow to see her perform the revised set, I would have to settle for an email exchange for this story. But—and this was the silver lining—I would have unprecedented access to Parkwood Entertainment, the tight-knit, furiously devoted team at the heart of Brand Beyoncé. This was more than a concession—this was being invited into Bey’s inner sanctum.

    That sanctum is hidden in a nondescript Midtown office block in New York, high enough to have good views of the city, and a short walk from Macy’s. Decorated like a boutique hotel—plush sectional sofas, hardwood floors, an enormous contemporary chandelier—the most visible sign of Beyoncé are the 17 Grammys that line one end of the conference room and a cool portrait of a young Michael Jackson, her idol. It was in that room, on the night of December 12 last year, that the staff at Parkwood (named for the street Beyoncé grew up on) gathered to mark the countdown to the surprise release of Beyoncé, her fifth album. For such a solid hitmaker, the new material was a departure, suffused with a raw, earthy sexuality that was more personal than fans were used to—and less polished. And by managing to keep the album under wraps until the moment of its release, Beyoncé was able to do something that has become all too rare for a global star: control the way in which her fans experienced her music. It’s hard to remember a major album of the past few years that wasn’t leaked in advance, or that didn’t reach the critics and overly opinionated bloggers before it reached the fans. As Noel-Schure likes to say, “Perception unchallenged becomes reality.” That’s actually a line from Motown: The Musical, but when she heard it earlier this year, it resonated. “The Internet is equivalent to a nice big jar of glue,” she tells me in her office. “It doesn’t go away.”

    But there is a corollary to this: The Internet is one big beehive—or BeyHive, as Queen Bey’s vocal, possessive fans are dubbed. Like Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters, they are a powerful force if you know how to use them. In the 12 hours after its surprise release, the new album generated 1.2 million tweets, reaching a high of 5,300 tweets per minute at its peak. Within three days, Beyoncé had sold 828,773 digital copies, making it the fastest-selling album ever in the iTunes store (the fact that it was an iTunes exclusive helped; in response, Amazon and Target refused to stock the CD, a pissing contest they will likely not risk a second time. Amazon has since relented; Target hasn’t.). In the following weeks and months it would be augmented by a tsunami of viral fan stunts: three grandmas reading the lyrics to “Drunk in Love” (and confusing Jay Z for Kanye West in the process); the a cappela outfit Pentatonix abbreviating the entire album into a brilliant six-minute medley; and the inevitable appropriation of lyrics into the everyday vernacular. Right now, “I woke up like this—flawless” and “surfbort” seem to be tracking nicely to be on par with “put a ring on it” or “bootylicious.” (It’s a testament to Parkwood’s canniness that they had Flawless and Surfboard sweatshirts ready to sell soon after the album’s release.) And all of this was achieved without resorting to the traditional marketing machine: the endless rounds of interviews, the elaborate release parties, the in-store promotions. Instead, by appealing directly to the people who mattered most—the fans—Beyoncé and her team at Parkwood conquered the age-old challenge of politicians, business titans, and Hollywood moguls: to control the message.

    But there was something else, too. Beyoncé was designed to be the most personal statement of the musician’s career, an album not crafted to fulfill the usual dictates of the industry. Beyoncé, in an emailed response to one of my questions, described the process as “much freer than anything I’d done in the past. We really just tried to trust our instincts, embrace the moment, and keep it fun.” As an illustration she singled out the video for “Drunk in Love,” a fan favorite. “We were in Miami for Jay’s concert, and it was just the two of us, on the beach, amazing weather, and one outfit! It’s beautiful in its simplicity. If you want something to feel real and urgent, you can’t overthink it.”

    Of course, other artists—Adele comes to mind—have shown that the more visceral and personal an album, the less there is a need for bells and whistles. But Adele was still building her career when she released 21, and had less to lose. For Beyoncé, after 10 years at the top, the most obvious direction to go was down. Instead, with the aid of her stealth team, she pulled off a career high. “I really feel that 20 years from now—50 years from now—people will remember December 13, 2013,” Noel-Schure says. “People are going to remember because it will have shifted the way business is done in the record industry.”

    This may seem like so much hot air in an industry that thrives on it, but you need only compare Beyoncé’s game plan to Lady Gaga’s, with Artpop, to realize just how successfully Beyoncé has managed to insulate herself from the brutal cycle of hype and backlash that has become the industry norm.

    Out: Your new album is also your most sexually liberated project. The confidence and maturity and the fantasy speak to women almost as if in code. How do you create this conversation?

    Beyoncé: I’d like to believe that my music opened up that conversation. There is unbelievable power in ownership, and women should own their sexuality. There is a double standard when it comes to sexuality that still persists. Men are free and women are not. That is crazy. The old lessons of submissiveness and fragility made us victims. Women are so much more than that. You can be a businesswoman, a mother, an artist, and a feminist—whatever you want to be—and still be a sexual being. It’s not mutually exclusive.


    It is a Friday night in February in Glasgow, Scotland, and the wind is whipping brutally around the corners of the Hilton, where team C of Beyoncé’s tour group is staying (team B is in the more charming Malmaison Hotel; the whereabouts of team A, which presumably includes Beyoncé, are a closely guarded secret). I have arrived from New York that morning, and after a quick excursion for a sandwich and a coffee, I make my way along the rain-lashed highway to the Hydro arena, where Beyoncé has been rehearsing for most of the day.

    Although it is technically the 110th date of her eye-popping extravaganza the Mrs. Carter Show, it is only the second night of her dramatically revamped lineup. A few nights earlier she pulled an all-nighter to rehearse her new material before dashing to London for a last-minute appearance at the Brit Awards, only to dash back—still in her ball gown—to finish choreographing the show. This was no minor tweak—10 new songs were added to the lineup; others were abbreviated or turned into medleys to make room. Most artists would spend months working out the kinks. Beyoncé took three days. “She’s completely relentless in her pursuit of perfectionism,” her creative director, Todd Tourso, tells me as we sit backstage. “It sounds cheesy, but that’s why I’m willing to work so hard for her. When you have this type of leadership and muse and mentor, I think the sky’s the limit.”

    Of the 15,000 fans snaking into the venue that evening, the vast majority are young women, mostly white (it is Scotland), and primed for a big night out. A good number wear flashing plastic bows in their hair, echoing the one Beyoncé sports so fetchingly in the video for “XO.” (In the damp Glasgow air they look less adorable.) The evening’s warm-up act is Monsieur Adi, the Italian-born, Paris-based producer whose remixes of Britney Spears, Lana Del Rey, and Madonna have elevated him to a club favorite. Adi wears a permanent grin, like a kid who can’t believe his luck. A former architecture student-turned-fashion designer, Adi stumbled into remixing after a friend heard the music he’d made for his website. Now he was DJing his first concert tour. Two months earlier, he’d woken up in the early hours of December 13 to an email from Courtney Anderson, Beyoncé’s dance curator and A&R consultant. (“I always dressed to the beat of my own drum,” Anderson tells me. “I was that person who’d put on pajamas, a sarong, a T-shirt, and some flip-flops and go to school.”) Anderson wanted Adi to call him. “I gave him a call and he said, ‘Yeah, we’d like you to remix two tracks.’ ” says Adi. “I said, ‘Two tracks? Are you sure? I’m speechless…’ ”

    Like most of the staff at Parkwood, Anderson was in the office at midnight when the album dropped. “I’ve never had so many grown men and women send me ‘OMG’ tweets,” he says with a laugh, recounting the hours he had spent handing out remixing assignments to his favorite producers. “The initial reaction was, ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ And I was like, ‘But it’s here! Isn’t it great? What’s your favorite track?’ And then the conversation quickly switched to the music.”
    Which had been the point all along.

    Out: On certain songs, like “XO,” your voice is a lot more raw (and beautiful) than fans are used to. Was it a conscious decision to be less polished?

    Beyoncé: When I recorded “XO” I was sick with a bad sinus infection. I recorded it in a few minutes just as a demo and decided to keep the vocals. I lived with most of the songs for a year and never rerecorded the demo vocals. I really loved the imperfections, so I kept the original demos. I spent the time I’d normally spend on backgrounds and vocal production on getting the music perfect. There were days I spent solely on getting the perfect mix of sounds for the snare alone. Discipline, patience, control, truth, risk, and effortlessness were all things I thought about while I was putting this album together.


    If you want to understand the origins of Beyoncé, start with Angie Beyince, vice president of operations at Parkwood Entertainment, and Beyoncé’s first cousin. The similarity in their names is no coincidence: Beyoncé’s mother—Beyince’s aunt—is Tina Beyince (the name comes from their Creole ancestry), and the cousins were so close growing up that they spent every summer together. “The last day of school, Aunt Tina would pick me up and I’d spend the entire summer at her house, and then be dropped back home the night before school started again,” Beyince recalls, quickly finding her stride as we sit in her glass-walled office one frigid afternoon in February. A big Chanel purse sits next to her desk; she wears bright orange nail polish with lipstick to match. When I ask what shade of orange it is, she shakes her head playfully. “A lady never tells!” she quips. “They call me the fourth member of Destiny’s Child. I’m like the original diva. I don’t tell my lipstick colors, my perfume. I’ve been wearing the same perfume for maybe 14 years, and I’ve never uttered the words to anyone.”

    Back in the mid- to late ’90s, before she started wearing that mystery perfume, before she could afford a Chanel purse, Beyince was a fixer of sorts: tour accountant, travel booker, media liaison, laundry washer—if it needed doing, she would do it. She recalls hours spent finagling rooms at cheap hotels by trading T-shirts and autographed photos, washing outfits by hand or in machines at whatever semidecent hotel they’d booked themselves into, and hectic nights as a dresser, changing the girls’ clothes during the show. “I’d finish the show and go to the cash office with all the promoters and I’d count out the money, which is funny because I’m a very petite woman.” She shrugs. “But I refer to myself as a lioness. I’m a bad chick. I don’t play. I went in there with all male promoters, and I’d count that money out. The first day I did that they were a dollar short. And I said, ‘I’m missing a dollar.’ They said, ‘Oh no, baby girl,’ everything to shrink me, to diminish me—‘Oh no, sweetie pie, oh no, honey, no, no.’ I said, ‘OK, I’ll count again.’ ” Beyince mimes the actions of counting bills, explaining that this whole process would typically take hours—she is abbreviating for me—but of course she eventually got her dollar.

    “I shared a room with the choreographer at the time, and while she was sleeping I would stay up and count all the money, do the payroll, all the expenses,” she says. “I only got maybe two or three hours of sleep each day. Then I’d be back at that cash office: ‘Five dollars short.’ At the end of the tour, every single dollar was accounted for.”

    Beyince is, of course, a perfect evocation of the kind of female resourcefulness and grit that Beyoncé was referring to when she described herself recently in Vogue UK as a “modern-day feminist.” The claim has been much debated on blogs, and you have to admire Beyoncé for daring to go there. A minor skirmish has erupted around a lyric in “Drunk in Love”: “Eat the cake, Anna Mae,” apparently lifted from a scene of abuse in the 1993 Tina Turner biopic, What’s Love Got to Do with It? For some, this strains Beyoncé’s credibility, but Beyoncé’s masterstroke was to find a way to ensure that none of this mattered, by getting her music to the fans before the critics, professional and self-appointed, had time to weigh in. That, too, is power.

    Themes of money, gender, and power have coursed through Beyoncé’s music since 1999’s “Bills, Bills, Bills,” with Destiny’s Child, but the in-your-face sexuality of her new songs is reminiscent of Madonna’s Sex. “Gone are the days of people making you feel guilty because you’re sexual,” says Noel-Schure, who recalls the younger staff watching carefully for her reaction the first time she listened to the album. “This is not the old days. We need to teach the young responsibility, but you’re not gonna tell somebody, ‘Don’t be sexual.’ Let’s just call a spade a spade.”

    Spade-calling is something of a nascent role for Beyoncé, who unleashed her inner activist on Instagram last year, posting messages of support for marriage equality and the Justice for Trayvon Martin campaign. Like Madonna, she appears to have found her voice as she’s grown and blossomed into a global star and businesswoman. It’s no small feat for a black woman to be able to express both her power and her sexuality without being reduced in the process to a whore who has forgotten her place. As she says in a new campaign designed to help young girls develop self-esteem, “I’m not bossy—I’m the boss.” It’s a hackneyed sound bite, but on stage, where Beyoncé is at her best and most powerful, you witness how that same confidence resonates and connects. With her all-female backing crew, the Sugar Mamas, Beyoncé gave her Scottish fans a show to remember that night, but she gave them something else, too: a role model.

    Out: Your fifth album has been noted for being feminist, but a number of people in the LGBT community also identify with it. Were the lyrics ever written consciously with different groups in mind?

    Beyoncé: While I am definitely conscious of all the different types of people who listen to my music, I really set out to make the most personal, honest, and best album I could make. I needed to free myself from the pressures and expectations of what I thought I should say or be, and just speak from the heart. Being that I am a woman in a male-dominated society, the feminist mentality rang true to me and became a way to personalize that struggle…But what I’m really referring to, and hoping for, is human rights and equality, not just that between a woman and a man. So I’m very happy if my words can ever inspire or empower someone who considers themselves an oppressed minority…We are all the same and we all want the same things: the right to be happy, to be just who we want to be and to love who we want to love.


    When you talk with the team at Parkwood, it’s striking how often Thriller comes up in conversation as a kind of Holy Grail for the music industry. “The way music is distributed is so greatly different than it was in the ’80s and ’90s,” Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood, head of digital, laments one afternoon. “You don’t have those three or four iconic albums a year; you have 400 albums that came out in a year, and you have to remember what you listened to.”

    At Beyoncé HQ, as the team embarked on the project of releasing the fifth album, the specter of Thriller became something of a catalyst—the model of a cultural moment that the music industry no longer seemed capable of engineering. Part of the challenge was how to win attention long enough to give the music a chance. “I watched a 20-year-old lady go through the Miley Cyrus record in less than 35 seconds on iTunes when it came out,” says Jim Sabey, head of worldwide marketing, grimacing at the memory. “She listened to seven seconds of each song, and I looked at her and she’s, like, ‘Ugh, it’s terrible.’ I said, ‘How do you know? You didn’t even listen to it.’ ”

    This, then, is the flipside of the limitless new world in which musicians find themselves. No longer under the thumb of out-of-touch record executives, they find themselves instead at the mercy of ADD-afflicted music fans, surfing multiple sites at one time. You can imagine the anxiety at Camp Beyoncé as summer turned into fall, and they witnessed first Lady Gaga, then Katy Perry, stumble. Both those artists’ albums, ArtPop and Prism, came freighted with expectations, and both were leaked prematurely and almost immediately pronounced disappointments. “Beyoncé put two years of her heart and soul into this album,” says Sabey. “Any artist—a 13-year-old in Atlanta who puts together an album and puts it on YouTube—wants you to go on the journey. They want you to experience the art the way they intended it.”

    But the 13-year-old in Atlanta doesn’t have the support team that Beyonce has so assiduously nurtured—a team that has known her for much of her adult life, and in some cases longer. “She’s kept true to the people who have kept true to her,” says Kwasi Fordjour, creative coordinator. “I think that’s amazing—you rarely see artists who keep hold of their A-team throughout their career.” (In an email, Beyonce returned the compliment, saying, “I call them the underdogs because so many people doubted the team I put together.”)

    Much of Beyoncé was recorded in the summer and fall of 2012 in a purpose-built studio in the Hamptons. “It was kind of like Survivor or The Real World,” recalls Melissa Vargas, the brand manager. “We slept in there. Everyone had a room. There was only a certain number of people that could come, so if you were vibing with her and everything was going great, you would stay for longer. We had a chef, and every single person in that house sat down at dinner with Jay and Beyoncé.”

    It was Beyoncé who decided not to preempt the release of her album with a single, or the typical campaign. She would simply upload it to iTunes, in one go. A big part of the challenge was how to fit the making of all those videos around Beyoncé’s global tour, which had kicked off last April. “Honestly, I was, like, ‘You want to do what?’ ” recalls Vargas. “How are you going to shoot videos when she’s on tour? I mean, directors need to prep.” Beyoncé, too, worried she was losing control toward the end of the process. “I was recording, shooting videos, and performing on the tour every night, all at the same time. At some point I felt like, What am I doing? Is this too ambitious? Even the day the record was to be released I was scared to death. But I also knew if I was that scared, something big was about to happen.” Vargas found herself on a plane to Paris to shoot videos for “Flawless” and “Partition” with the English video director Jake Nava (who’d made the video for 2003’s “Crazy in Love”), and proceeded from there to hopscotch around the world—Puerto Rico, Brazil, London, Paris, Australia, New Zealand, and Houston, where the video for “Blow” was filmed in a much-loved roller rink from Beyoncé’s childhood.

    “What the visual album did for people was, they stopped and they watched the entire thing,” says Sabey. “There was no way you could listen to the first six bars of Beyoncé and skip to the next song. You were going to experience this album as a body of work.”

    Or, as Carl Fysh, Beyoncé’s U.K. publicist, tells me over a pint of beer after the show in Glasgow: “My generation remembers the excitement of knowing an album was coming out—you saved your pocket money, you went to the record store, you queued up, you got the album and took it home, but you hadn’t heard a thing about it. You looked at everything, you put it on, and you played it 85 times. I think Beyoncé, by doing what she did, let this generation have that experience—of having the album to yourself.”

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    Crystal Reed keeps it super cute as she attends the Alex Perry presentation during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia 2014 held at Carriageworks on Monday (April 7) in Sydney, Australia.

    The 29-year-old actress was accompanied in the front row by her Aussie TV host boyfriend Darren McMullen.

    “Stranded in the GC. All flights weather grounded. What happened to “Beautiful 1 day,perfect the next” Queensland?” Darren recently tweeted.

    The month before, the couple stepped out together at the 2014 ASTRA Awards after Crystal's character was killed off her hit TV show Teen Wolf.








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