Thursday Oct 23, 2014

Iggy Azalea, 'Gone Girl' up for Logo TV awards

NEW YORK (AP) — Rapper Iggy Azalea, actor Bryan Cranston and the film "Gone Girl" are nominees for Logo TV's 2014 New Now Next Awards. The network announced Thursday that singer Sam Smith, the ABC series "How to Get Away With Murder" and the play "Hedwig and the Angry...
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TV

Iggy Azalea, 'Gone Girl' up for Logo TV awards
Thursday Oct 23, 2014
Iggy Azalea, 'Gone Girl' up for Logo TV awards

NEW YORK (AP) — Rapper Iggy Azalea, actor Bryan Cranston and the film "Gone Girl" are nominees for Logo TV's 2014 New Now Next Awards. The network announced Thursday that singer Sam Smith, the ABC series "How to Get Away With Murder" and the play "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" are also up for awards. The show will tape Dec. 2 in Miami, and air Dec. 7 on Logo and Dec. 12 on MTV. The New Now Next Awards honor musicians, TV shows, films and Broadway productions that have had breakthroughs in the past year. Gwen Stefani is nominated for best new television personality for her role on NBC's "The Voice." Michael Cera will compete with Cranston for best new Broadway lead actor. Fan voting begins Thursday. ___ Online: http://www.logotv.com/ Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Spooky Halloween ads putting the fright on this fall
Thursday Oct 23, 2014
Spooky Halloween ads putting the fright on this fall

Ikea has recreated a scene from classic horror movie "The Shining," in what could be its scariest advert yet just in time for Halloween. Here we take a look at some of the best frightening ads to hit screens so far this year.IKEA Halloween Ikea Singapore has recreated the famous hallway scene from Stanley Kubrick's spine-tinglingly scary film "The Shining" featuring a little boy riding a trike around one of its darkened warehouses. How does it end? See if you dare watch.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqsonfSQk2I Skittles Web - Extended Version The extended version of the #SkittlesWeb commercial tells the touching tale of a giant spider adapting to family life... but there's a twist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPt0x0uJ1H8 Horror Movie: It's What You Do - GEICO Horror movie clichés are a dime a dozen but it doesn't stop Hollywood from churning them out, or cinemagoers from lapping them up. Now insurance brand Geico has turned them into a clever commercial.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWv-dIUP9oc Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Q&A: Mick Jagger, the film producer, heads to work
Wednesday Oct 22, 2014
Q&A: Mick Jagger, the film producer, heads to work

NEW YORK (AP) — Song credits won't be the latest place to feature Mick Jagger's name. Instead, look to upcoming films and TV shows. The Rolling Stones frontman has been busy producing projects, from this year's James Brown biopic "Get on Up" to a not-yet-titled HBO series directed by Martin Scorsese. Jagger is also behind the HBO documentary "Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown," which debuts Monday (9 p.m. EDT). The rock icon said he was asked to produce the documentary before the film. "I was really interested, but I was kind of a bit documentary-ed out at that point," the 71-year-old said with a laugh, explaining that he was asked to produce "Mr. Dynamite" around the time he finished working on the 2012 Stones' documentary, "Crossfire Hurricane." "It's very time-consuming ... but I said, 'Yeah and I'd really like to do the documentary.' Then I woke up the next morning and thought a feature film would be a great idea." Jagger asked Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney to work on the documentary, which takes an overarching look at the Godfather of Soul's life. Brown died in 2006, at 73. "The fact that we were doing it after Mr. Brown had passed allowed people to be a little bit more free about talking about him," Gibney said. Gibney, whose credits include "Taxi to the Dark Side," said he enjoyed collaborating with Jagger. "I heard some things that made me nervous, but I had a great time. He's a good producer," he said. "I just heard rumbles ... but I didn't find that to be the case. Just the opposite." Jagger's other upcoming production projects include the films "Tabloid" and "The Tiny Problems of White People" with Colin Firth. He'll play rescheduled dates with the Stones in Australia starting Saturday, and said in a recent interview that his production duties have helped him deal with his tumultuous year following the suicide of his longtime partner, L'Wren Scott. ____ AP: What was your relationship with James Brown? Jagger: I'm not claiming that we were buddies (laughs), but I met him early on in my career. When I first came to New York ... I went to the Apollo and I spent the day there ... I introduced myself to him, I'm sure he had no clue (who I was) ... But he was very, very nice to me. Very generous. AP: How influential was Brown? Jagger: He was such a big influence on all kinds of music. He was influential on performers that came later like Michael Jackson, Prince, and then the beginning of hip-hop and so forth. But he was also influential (on) every band, every rock band, (they) didn't necessarily play all James Brown numbers, but we all knew them. AP: The documentary focuses on his music and activism, but it also touches on domestic violence, which was glossed over in the film. Jagger: I think Alex wanted to concentrate really on the two areas (music and activism) ... without ignoring the other areas. We could have made a whole movie (on), 'Was James Brown a drug addict and wife abuser?' but that's the negativity and I don't think you want to be ... white-washing people, but you don't want to be turning up their negative side. And really we wanted to explore James Brown the musician, the performer. We wanted to explore James Brown the activist, because those we really interesting times. A lot of people obviously didn't live through them and a lot of people forget, me included, so we didn't heavy-hand the negativity of it. AP: What other musicians would you like to do a documentary about? Jagger: I have been asked to be involved in producing a movie on an adolescent Elvis ... so that's in the works. And I'm doing a series on HBO which is very much music-orientated. It's fictional drama. The lead character is the owner of a record company and it's about his life. AP: Are you going to appear on the HBO series? Jagger: I'm not in it. It's a story I worked on with Marty (Scorsese). ... It was going to be a movie and then we made it into a TV series. ... The action starts in 1973 in New York so it's a kind of a weird time because it's like the beginning of punk, the very beginning of hip-hop and so a lot is going on. AP: This has been an emotional year for you. How are you doing? Jagger: I'm doing fine. ... Everyone's been kind to me. My family's been very supportive, you know. I've had a lot of work to do so that's kept me, you know, in a good way. So I'm fine. ____ Online: http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/mr-dynamite-the-rise-of-james-brown#/ http://www.rollingstones.com/ ____ Follow Mesfin Fekadu on Twitter at twitter.com/MusicMesfin Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Debut 'Age of Ultron' trailer dated for October 28
Wednesday Oct 22, 2014
Debut 'Age of Ultron' trailer dated for October 28

The first trailer for 2015's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" will premiere during a break on October 28's TV episode of spin-off serial "Agents of SHIELD," with theatrical and online versions expected to follow soon after.Joss Whedon's second ensemble film for the Marvel Cinematic Universe is to pull in repeat appearances from a number of core characters, including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). In addition, several new faces to the franchise arrive including James Spader's malevolent AI Ultron, Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as her twin brother Quicksilver. The film, due from May 1, 2015, is to conclude Marvel's second phase of cinematic outings, a relatively quick arc that began in May 2013 with "Iron Man 3" and went on to encompass "Thor: The Dark World," "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and the largely unrelated "Guardians of the Galaxy." Next up after that will be "Ant-Man" in July 2015, starring Paul Rudd ("This is 40") and directed by Peyton Reed ("The Break-Up"), with titles beyond that including a third "Captain America" (May 2016), "Doctor Strange" (July 2016) and a "Guardians of the Galaxy" sequel (July 2017). Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Former 'Gossip Girl' star cast in 'The Slap'
Wednesday Oct 22, 2014
Former 'Gossip Girl' star cast in 'The Slap'

The American remake of the Australian miniseries "The Slap" has been joined by Penn Badgley, the actor known to teen audiences for his role on "Gossip Girl."The actor who plays the budding novelist Dan Humphrey has not appeared on the small screen since the end of the teen drama on Manhattan's privileged youth. NBC will soon bring him back into the limelight through a recurring role in its eight-episode miniseries "The Slap," adapted from the Australian format of the same name. The American remake will have the same plot as the original, exploring the chain of consequences arising when an adult slaps someone else's child at a birthday party. Lisa Cholodenko ("The Kids Are All Right") will helm the eight episodes, which will also feature Peter Sarsgaard ("The Killing"), Mary Louis-Parker ("Weeds"), Zachary Quinto ("Heroes," "Star Trek") and Brian Cox ("Deadwood"). Based on the eponymous novel by Christos Tsiolkas, the Australian miniseries "The Slap" was set within a group of friends living in Melbourne's suburbs and included a number of Greek-Australian characters. First aired in 2011 on Australian TV, the original production was headlined by Jonathan LaPaglia ("The District") and Alex Dimitriades, who played a high school student on "Heartbreak High" during the 1990s. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Movies

'Boyhood' tops Gotham Awards with 4 nominations
Thursday Oct 23, 2014
'Boyhood' tops Gotham Awards with 4 nominations

NEW YORK (AP) — Richard Linklater's 12-year-long family drama, "Boyhood," leads the Gotham Independent Film Awards with four nominations, including best feature. The Independent Filmmaker Project announced nominations Thursday for its 24th annual awards Dec. 1 in New York. The Gothams honor independent film and mark one of the first galas in the film industry's lengthy awards season. "Boyhood" is also up for best actor (Ethan Hawke), best actress (Patricia Arquette) and breakthrough actor (Ellar Coltrane). Also nominated for best feature are "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)," ''The Grand Budapest Hotel," ''Love Is Strange" and "Under the Skin." The trio of stars in "Foxcatcher" — Channing Tatum, Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo — will be given a special jury award for their ensemble work. ___ Online: http://gotham.ifp.org Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Spooky Halloween ads putting the fright on this fall
Thursday Oct 23, 2014
Spooky Halloween ads putting the fright on this fall

Ikea has recreated a scene from classic horror movie "The Shining," in what could be its scariest advert yet just in time for Halloween. Here we take a look at some of the best frightening ads to hit screens so far this year.IKEA Halloween Ikea Singapore has recreated the famous hallway scene from Stanley Kubrick's spine-tinglingly scary film "The Shining" featuring a little boy riding a trike around one of its darkened warehouses. How does it end? See if you dare watch.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqsonfSQk2I Skittles Web - Extended Version The extended version of the #SkittlesWeb commercial tells the touching tale of a giant spider adapting to family life... but there's a twist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPt0x0uJ1H8 Horror Movie: It's What You Do - GEICO Horror movie clichés are a dime a dozen but it doesn't stop Hollywood from churning them out, or cinemagoers from lapping them up. Now insurance brand Geico has turned them into a clever commercial.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWv-dIUP9oc Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

James Wan to return to horror with 'The Conjuring 2'
Wednesday Oct 22, 2014
James Wan to return to horror with 'The Conjuring 2'

After helming the 2013 movie about the paranormal detective team, James Wan will return for the sequel, Deadline reports. News of his arrival follows the decision to push "The Conjuring 2" forward to 2016.James Wan, who recently wrapped "Fast and Furious 7," is no stranger to the horror genre. Among his directing credits are the first "Saw" movie, "Insidious 1 & 2" and "The Conjuring." And after the success of the latter movie, it's hardly surprising that New Line called upon him to helm the sequel. Confirmation of "The Conjuring 2" comes just weeks after the release of the prequel "Annabelle," which has been an international success. The sequel is due to begin lensing next summer for a release in 2016. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Sam Mendes to direct Enid Blyton adaptations
Wednesday Oct 22, 2014
Sam Mendes to direct Enid Blyton adaptations

The "Skyfall" director is to helm a film based on Enid Blyton's "The Faraway Tree" stories after his production company acquired rights to the series' four books.The stories were childhood favorites, Mendes's production partner Pippa Harris told Variety, as their company, Neal Street Productions, announced plans for the franchise to Variety. British children's author Enid Blyton is perhaps better known for creating "Noddy" and "The Famous Five," but "The Faraway Tree" would appear to be fertile ground for Mendes. Currently helming the 24th James Bond film for MGM, Mendes has also involved himself in stage productions, most recently directing 2013's hit West End musical "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," an updated version of the Roald Dahl children's story. First in "The Faraway Tree" series is 1953's "The Enchanted Wood," introducing its forest setting and recurring characters in sibilings Fanny, Bessie and Jo; the next 12 years saw debuts for "The Magic Faraway Tree," "The Folk of the Faraway Tree" and "Up the Faraway Tree." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Review: Shailene Woodley gets lost in a blizzard
Wednesday Oct 22, 2014
Review: Shailene Woodley gets lost in a blizzard

By now, there should be no question in anyone's mind that Shailene Woodley is an actress on a rapid-fire journey to stardom. She's enchanted us in enough films — "The Descendants," ''The Spectacular Now," ''The Fault in Our Stars" — that one less-than-stellar film won't alter her upward trajectory. Which is good, because "White Bird in a Blizzard" doesn't do her many favors. Actually, let's amend that — those Woodley fans who are excited about the news that she sheds some clothes here will probably not care a whit about whether the film meets its lofty artistic goals. As for the rest of us, well, it's not that Woodley herself disappoints — as usual, she's fresh, natural and always interesting to watch — but the film is such an uncomfortable oddity that its overall weirdness ultimately swallows her up a bit, too. There's a kernel of something tantalizing in "White Bird," writer-director Gregg Araki's highly stylized adaptation of the YA novel by Laura Kasischke about a teen girl discovering herself emotionally and sexually amid some serious family trauma. And few actors portray the awkwardness of teen self-discovery — and sometimes its grace — as well as Woodley. But there's a fine line between stylized and campy, and Araki defiantly crosses it, in any number of cringe-in-your-seat, can-you-believe-this-dialogue, my-gosh-that-feels-fake moments. The voiceover narration is also particularly clunky. Woodley plays Kat Connors, who's 17 when her tragically beautiful mother, Eve (Eva Green, going all-out vampy here, and then some, and then some more) disappears, leaving Kat and her repressed father, Brock (Christopher Meloni) alone and bewildered. Where has she gone? That question would surely consume any household, but Kat seems relatively unaffected at first, assuring her dad that hey, Mom will come back eventually. Even in her periodic meetings with a therapist (Angela Bassett, not given much of anything to do here), she doesn't seem that upset. Except for those darned dreams, where she's wandering through a fake blizzard, everything all bleachy white like in a snow globe — and comes across her mother lying there, nude. Araki has departed in various ways from the book, moving the action from Ohio to suburban California, and changing the time frame; we begin in 1988 and move ahead to 1991 (the soundtrack includes Depeche Mode, The Cure and Cocteau Twins). He's also changed key details about Kat's two best friends. That's fine, but the dialogue between the three — Woodley, Mark Indelicato and Gabourey Sidibe — is inexplicably clunky. The film hops around in time as it explores the mystery of what happened to Eve. We see her in flashback as a pretty young mother, frolicking with her daughter (once again, these scenes feel strangely fake, not to mention vaguely 1960-ish) and later as a frustrated housewife, chafing at the nightly chore of making dinner, competing with her own daughter for the attention of the studly young stoner, Phil (Shiloh Fernandez), who Kat's sleeping with, and slowly going nuts. Woodley gets to be sexier and brasher here than we're used to (not to mention topless, and a bit more). Exploring her newfound sexuality, she even makes a play for the handsome, grizzled detective (Thomas Jane) who's investigating her mother's disappearance. Their seduction scene is one of the best in the movie, because it feels authentic, a quality often lacking elsewhere. It all comes down to a doozy of a plot twist, and it's enjoyably shocking. But at the end you're still left shaking your head, feeling lost, wishing there was something tangible to hold on to — perhaps a bit like being trapped in a snow globe. "White Bird in a Blizzard," a Magnolia Pictures release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America "for sexual content/nudity, language and some drug use." Running time: 91 minutes. Two stars out of four. ____ MPAA definition of R: Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Events

'Boyhood' tops Gotham Awards with 4 nominations
Thursday Oct 23, 2014
'Boyhood' tops Gotham Awards with 4 nominations

NEW YORK (AP) — Richard Linklater's 12-year-long family drama, "Boyhood," leads the Gotham Independent Film Awards with four nominations, including best feature. The Independent Filmmaker Project announced nominations Thursday for its 24th annual awards Dec. 1 in New York. The Gothams honor independent film and mark one of the first galas in the film industry's lengthy awards season. "Boyhood" is also up for best actor (Ethan Hawke), best actress (Patricia Arquette) and breakthrough actor (Ellar Coltrane). Also nominated for best feature are "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)," ''The Grand Budapest Hotel," ''Love Is Strange" and "Under the Skin." The trio of stars in "Foxcatcher" — Channing Tatum, Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo — will be given a special jury award for their ensemble work. ___ Online: http://gotham.ifp.org Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Iggy Azalea, 'Gone Girl' up for Logo TV awards
Thursday Oct 23, 2014
Iggy Azalea, 'Gone Girl' up for Logo TV awards

NEW YORK (AP) — Rapper Iggy Azalea, actor Bryan Cranston and the film "Gone Girl" are nominees for Logo TV's 2014 New Now Next Awards. The network announced Thursday that singer Sam Smith, the ABC series "How to Get Away With Murder" and the play "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" are also up for awards. The show will tape Dec. 2 in Miami, and air Dec. 7 on Logo and Dec. 12 on MTV. The New Now Next Awards honor musicians, TV shows, films and Broadway productions that have had breakthroughs in the past year. Gwen Stefani is nominated for best new television personality for her role on NBC's "The Voice." Michael Cera will compete with Cranston for best new Broadway lead actor. Fan voting begins Thursday. ___ Online: http://www.logotv.com/ Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

'Little Dancer' musical readies for opening in DC
Thursday Oct 23, 2014
'Little Dancer' musical readies for opening in DC

WASHINGTON (AP) — "Little Dancer Aged Fourteen," a famous sculpture by Edgar Degas that can be seen in museums around the world, is coming to life in a new musical exploring the story of a mysterious 14-year-old dancer and the artist who portrayed her. The production imagines the story of Marie van Goethem, a struggling dancer in the world of the Paris Opera Ballet in the late 1800s when dancing represented a chance at escaping poverty. Degas took an interest in dancers for his paintings and sculptures, leaving behind images of young ballerinas popular more than a century later. The $7 million Kennedy Center musical opens Saturday for previews and runs through Nov. 20 in Washington. It's the brainchild of the Broadway team of playwright and lyricist Lynn Ahrens, composer Stephen Flaherty and director and choreographer Susan Stroman. The show was born out of their love of dance and an interest in one of the most important sculptures at the National Gallery of Art. "I would wonder about that little girl," Stroman said during a recent visit to the museum. "Like, 'Who was she? Why did he choose her?' She looked different from all the other ballerinas that he would paint, and you could tell that she had spirit, she had character." Degas, played by Tony Award-winning actor Boyd Gaines, made the wax-and-clay sculpture between 1878 and 1881 as his eyesight began to fade. The piece was cast in bronze and circulated widely after the artist died, making it a fixture in museums. Parts of the story are based on writings left by Degas and American artist Mary Cassatt, who collaborated with him and who figures in the story as a strong woman amid a rising feminist movement. When Degas exhibited his sculpture, critics disapproved, saying he created a homely specimen. Later, his young subject was fired from the ballet, though it's not clear why. She disappears from the records, curators said. That gave Ahrens an opening to create the rest of Marie's story. Stroman and Ahrens said they grew up seeing Degas' images of dancers. Ahrens would pose like the "Little Dancer" as a girl. "For every little girl, every dancer, everybody who loves art ... they know the face of that tough little girl," Ahrens said. "But they don't know her name." The story is a unique concept, crossing art forms with a music-and-dance-infused story inspired by a 130-year-old artwork that was inspired by the ballet. It's a risk for the Kennedy Center in seeking to draw a crowd and to recoup its costs from often disparate audiences for theater, dance and fine art. Stroman — whose Broadway credits include "The Producers," ''Contact" and "The Music Man" — said she is one of the few people bridging genres as a lover of both ballet and musical theater. But she hopes "Little Dancer" will appeal more widely. "What I'm hoping for is that someone who loves the ballet will want to come see a story about a ballet dancer in Paris and then someone who loves art will come to see the real story about the sculpture and then someone who loves musical theater will come because of that," she said. Tiler Peck, the New York City Ballet principal dancer who plays the young Marie, has visited the sculpture twice since rehearsals moved to Washington. "I want to make sure I get it as perfectly as possible and to be as true to the sculpture as I can," she said. "To be able to see exactly how her hands are clasped and what her hair looked like, where the ribbon was placed." The role is emotionally exhausting, Peck said, because Marie's life was traumatic. "She was a complete survivor, and she'll do whatever she can to make her dreams of becoming a ballerina come true," Peck said. "I feel like that's the one hope she has." ___ Follow Brett Zongker on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DCArtBeat . Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Sam Smith, 5SOS, Blige to perform 2014 AMAs
Thursday Oct 23, 2014
Sam Smith, 5SOS, Blige to perform 2014 AMAs

NEW YORK (AP) — Breakthrough newcomers Sam Smith and 5 Seconds of Summer will take the stage at the 2014 American Music Awards. Dick Clark Productions announced Thursday that Mary J. Blige will join the British pop crooner and Australian boy band at the Nov. 23 event at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live. It will air live on ABC. Smith and 5SOS will compete for new artist of the year. Iggy Azalea is the leading nominee at the AMAs with six. John Legend, Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams each have five nominations. Lorde is up for four honors at the fan-voted show. Those acts are all nominated for artist of the year, competing with Beyonce, Luke Bryan, Eminem, Imagine Dragons and One Direction. Pitbull will host the show and perform. ___ Online: http://abc.go.com/shows/american-music-awards Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Guitarist Wilko Johnson says he is cancer-free
Thursday Oct 23, 2014
Guitarist Wilko Johnson says he is cancer-free

LONDON (AP) — British guitarist Wilko Johnson says he is free of cancer, two years after being told he had months to live. The former member of rowdy blues-rockers Dr. Feelgood launched what he said would be a farewell tour after being diagnosed in 2012 with incurable pancreatic cancer. He also recorded a "final" album with Roger Daltrey of The Who. He told The Associated Press at the time that the diagnosis had made him feel "intensely alive" and renewed his creativity. Accepting a trophy Wednesday at the Q Awards in London, Johnson, 67, said that after meeting a doctor "curious as to why I'm not dead," he had undergone radical surgery at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, England, to remove a 3-kilogram (6.6-pound) tumor. "Anyway, they got it all and they cured me," he said. Johnson, who has also appeared on TV series "Game of Thrones," said he hoped to be back to full strength and out on the road again soon. "And if there's a moral to this story it's that you never know what's going to happen," he said. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.