Was Carrie Underwood a good Maria? No. Was NBC’s decision to do a live staging of ‘The Sound of Music’ a good one? Maybe not. Was it fun anyway? Actually, kinda.
The poor hills. They finally come alive, only to experience a rotating flurry of emotions so dizzying it's as if the indefatigable Carrie Underwood started spinning on them at the beginning of NBC's The Sound of Music Live! and didn't stop for the entire three-hour broadcast. And, honestly, the country singer tackled her turn as Maria with such grating gusto she'd probably had done just that if she was asked to.
The experience of watching The Sound of Music Live! was a bit of an exhausting one. Not a bad one. Not a good one. But one that took energy.
‘Fruitvale Station’ star Michael B. Jordan’s name may be next to Robert Redford and Tom Hanks at the Oscars. If not, there’s always a chance he’ll be in ‘Star Wars.’
He’s come a long way from Wallace. After critically acclaimed turns in Fruitvale Station and Chronicle—not to mention his years of well regarded work on Friday Night Lights and The Wire—it seems as though 26-year-old Michael B. Jordan is the most sought after young actor in Hollywood. He’s been rumored for every major tent-pole in pre-production, from new incarnations of The Fantastic Four and Independence Day to the most coveted—and secretive—project out there: J.J. Abrams’s Star Wars. (“I can’t say anything about that. Nothing whatsoever.”)
Todd Williamson/Invision via AP
For now, we can only speculate on which superhero he’ll end up playing in 2016. Before he blows up too big, Michael B. Jordan talked to us about awards season, his acting heroes, and what exactly the year of the “Black movie” means to him.
The hip-hop mogul and Beyoncé are missing the point of successful diets—if you stay on it, it works. Why the odds are stacked against the couple in their 22-Day challenge.
Good news! Another celebrity just started a diet that he wants to tell you about!
Jay Z has let us know that he and Beyoncé are going vegan for 22 days, to celebrate his 44th birthday. Yes, that potent nexus of food, pursuit of the flat stomach, and Hollywood star-power is conspiring to educate the dim masses on how best to approach human nutrition. The logic is impeccable: If Jay Z and Bill Clinton are vegan, then it must be the right thing to do, right?
Surely America’s dietary approach could use a little tune-up, celebrity-led or not, given what a fat nation we have become. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 35.7 percent of the country is obese, leading to additional medical costs of $147 billion. Much of this bigness relates to our eating and overeating habits, though the exact role of genetic predisposition is being explored. What is certain—and let’s face it, very little is certain—is that fast foods and slow habits are a sure-fire way to pack on the pounds.
Lana Del Rey’s songs have always sounded like a groggy soundtrack to a campy art house movie, so the logical step for her was to actually make a campy 27-minute art house movie.
Lana Del Rey has been making heavier and longer and more bloated videos of her year-old songs from Born to Die: Paradise Edition as if she’s slowly releasing hostages. She’s saved her biggest victim for (hopefully?) last, a three-headed monster comprising her tunes “Body Electric,” “Gods and Monsters” and “Bel-Air,” which have been turned into a 27-minute-long short film, Tropico.
Del Rey’s songs have always sounded like a groggy soundtrack to a campy art house movie, so the logical step for her was to actually make a campy art house movie.
Well, here it is, released on Vevo Thursday. It’s directed by Anthony Mandler, who’s set to make his first feature film, Tokyo Vice, based on the book by Daily Beast contributor Jake Adelstein, with Daniel Radcliffe in the starring role.
Jennifer Grout, a 23-year-old singer from Boston, speaks no Arabic—and yet she’s become a phenomenon across the Middle East for her flawless renditions of classic songs on the spinoff series ‘Arabs Got Talent’.
Susan and Daryl Grout were in the car on a Sunday afternoon last month when their daughter, Jennifer, 5,000 miles away, emailed a link to a YouTube clip showing her flawless rendition of Um Kalthoum’s “Ba’eed ‘annuk” — “Far From You,” aptly—in perfect Arabic.
The performance floored the judges on Arabs Got Talent, which the 23-year-old Grout is now a favorite to win despite not speaking Arabic. “She’s a born performer,” Daryl Grout says of his daughter. “She can master any genre she chooses,” adds Susan.
The bizarre future world of Katniss and Peeta is an American conservative’s fantasy—a big federal government that squashes individual will.
“Remember who the real enemy is.”
It’s a pivotal line in the new Hunger Games film sequel, Catching Fire. But it might also be said of the film itself.
‘The Final Member’ chronicles the race between a womanizing nonagenarian and a well-endowed kook to get a human penis in Iceland’s Phallological Museum. Only one penis can win.
Iceland is home to many wonders. Volcanic mountains. The Blue Lagoon. Musical acts Björk, Of Monsters and Men, and Sigur Rós. Four-time “World’s Strongest Man” winner Magnús Ver Magnússon. The evil ice hockey team in D2: The Mighty Ducks.
Icelandic Phallological Museum. A collection of penises from mink whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). (commons.wikimedia.org)
It also has the distinction of hosting the world’s only penis museum.
He plays a down-and-out folk singer in Greenwich Village in the ’60s. And he’s mesmerizing. Meet Oscar Isaac, the breakout star of the Coen Brothers’ lovely new film.
Oscar Isaac could very well be nominated for an Academy Award for Inside Llewyn Davis, playing the tortured journeyman singer in the title of the Coen Brothers’ love letter to the fledgling folk revival scene in New York’s Greenwich Village in 1961—in all the romantic glamour and ugliness of the time. And he can thank the Karate Kid for that.
Being cast in a role like Llewyn was kismet for Isaac, providing an outlet for all of his passions. (Inside Llewyn Davis/Facebook)
Isaac, who has a screen presence so intense it’d be menacing were it not for the Everyman tenderness in his saucer-like brown eyes, was just 13 when he started singing and playing guitar. “I had seen that movie Crossroads with Ralph Macchio and Steve Vai, where it’s basically Karate Kid with guitars,” he tells me. “He beats the devil by playing classical music! So I was like, ‘Well, I gotta learn classical guitar.’ I went and took five months of classical guitar and got bored of that and just started playing Metallica instead.”
Lenny Cooke was supposed to be an NBA superstar. Then LeBron James hit a game-winning shot that ended the high school phenom’s career.
When Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins declare for the 2014 NBA draft, they probably won’t announce their decision at a sparsely attended press conference held at Junior’s Restaurant in downtown Brooklyn. That Lenny Cooke, the onetime number one ranked high-school basketball player in the country, announced his intention to play in the NBA in such a manner was one of many signs that, at the young age of 19, Lenny Cooke was already washed up. “I never thought it would end,” Lenny tells me of his stardom. “Then it did.”
Lenny Cooke (in white jersey)pays close attention to an important speech given by famed NBA Coach Mike Fratello at Five-Star Basketball Camp in the summer of 2001 just outside Pittsburgh, PA. (Josh Heller)
The scene is one of many poignant moments in Josh and Ben Safdie’s documentary Lenny Cooke. A title card at the beginning of the film indicates that Cooke, despite his huge high-school hype, never played a single minute in the NBA. It’s hard to watch footage of a younger, confident Lenny Cooke—he boasts, but we know where his story ends. In one scene, Cooke is asked by a reporter which NBA team he wants to play for. “Any of the lottery picks,” he says.
Benedict Cumberbatch made an appearance on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ Wednesday night, where he did a dramatic reading of the R. Kelly song “Genius” off his upcoming album, ‘Black Panties.’ It has to be seen to be believed.
We’ve already analyzed the craziest lyrics off of R. Kelly’s upcoming album Black Panties, which will be released Dec. 10. On it, there’s a song called “Marry the P**sy” that sees the R&B crooner drop the word “p**sy” a head-scratching 57 times.
But Jimmy Kimmel took things a step further. On Wednesday night, the late night host welcomed guest Benedict Cumberbatch, who is doing the publicity rounds to promote his appearance as the villainous dragon Smaug in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, as well as musical guest R. Kelly to Jimmy Kimmel Live. And then Kimmel, the viral genius, combined the two by having Cumberbatch do a dramatic reading of the R. Kelly song “Genius”—a track off Black Panties. “I can feel your body flowers while I’m kissing on your thighs,” Cumberbatch says in his distinctive baritone voice.
You can watch the whole (hilarious) performance below, as well as Cumberbatch’s interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live, below:
The celebrity chef told a court that she had dabbled with drugs but that her bullying ex-husband, Charles Saatchi, spread rumors about a daily drug habit to ‘destroy’ her.
Nigella Lawson admitted to occasionally snorting cocaine and smoking marijuana on Wednesday during an extraordinary court appearance in which she offered the first account of the notorious photograph that led to her divorce from advertizing baron Charles Saatchi.
Nigella Lawson arrives at Isleworth Crown Court in west London December 4, 2013. Lawson's two former assistants, Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo, are accused of defrauding her and her former husband Charles Saatchi out of 300,000 pounds ($484,600). (Stefan Wermuth Reuters)
The secrecy surrounding their divorce was obliterated during a testy exchange in which she claimed her former husband had been a brutal bully, who had threatened to “destroy” her before inventing the drug abuse allegations in order to salvage his own reputation.
Using only a finger and an iPad, Kyle Lambert brings Morgan Freeman to life. Watch the video.
When artist Kyle Lambert uploaded a video of his finger-painted portrait of actor Morgan Freeman to YouTube, he boldly captioned it “The world’s most realistic finger painting.” At first, this statement seems rather hyperbolic and somewhat cocky. Once the video starts rolling, it’s clear Lambert’s confidence is definitely earned. His rendering of a photorealistic portrait of Freeman was accomplished “using only a finger, an iPad Air, and the app Procreate.”
Lambert, a UK-based visual artist, was drawn to iPad art after watching Apple demo the Brushes app at the iPad announcement event in 2010. “Within a few hours of experimenting I knew that it would be possible to create good quality paintings similar to that I had been creating in Adobe Photoshop,” wrote Kyle on his website. To test this new medium, he attempted a finger-painted portrait of Beyoncé. Using only his finger and the Brushes app, Lambert recreated the cover of Beyoncé’s album I Am…Sasha Fierce, which he completed in only eight hours.
It’s confirmed: Gal Gadot has been cast as the super heroine in the upcoming Batman Vs. Superman movie.
Wonder Woman has a lasso of truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets (badass, yet feminine) and an invisible airplane. She has a wide range of superhuman powers, and major combat skills to boot. However, despite her awesome accessories and crime-fighting capabilities, the beloved DC comic and feminist icon has consistently faced one insurmountable challenge: bringing her super talents to the big screen. This isn’t to say that Wonder Woman, aka Diana Prince, hasn’t graced television sets over the years. Wonder Woman, which aired from 1975-1979, has been the most successful live-action rendering of the super heroine to date. The show, which starred Lynda Carter as Diana Prince, traced her story from World War II to the present day.
Following Wonder Woman’s cancellation, Diana Prince’s pop culture presence became just about as invisible as her airplane. Many attempted the superhuman feat of bringing her back into the zeitgeist, but few succeeded. Aside from a Wonder Woman themed Muppets episode, Diana Prince all but disappeared from the small screen. In 2010, Warner Bros. Television hired David E. Kelley to write and produce a series. The 2011 pilot starred Adrianne Palicki as a revamped Wonder Woman: a crime fighter, executive, and all-around modern woman. Warner Bros. shot the unaired pilot down, and CEO Peter Roth announced that whether or not Wonder Woman would ever be seen in another form was “to be determined.”
And the Batman/Superman movie finds its Wonder Woman.
R. Kelly will release new chapters of Trapped in the Closet next year. The IFC press release reads like a lost Twilight sequel, describing "this epic saga with more secrets, infidelity, and unyielding passion." Pitchfork
House of Cards season 2 to stream on Netflix. Season 2 will return on February 14, and all 13 new episodes will be immediately available to stream instantly. Insert painfully true Netflix binge/Valentine's Day joke here. Huffington Post
If the new Coen Brothers movie is meant to be a portrait of the pre-Bob Dylan Greenwich Village folk scene, how well did it do? Warning: spoilers abound.
Llewyn Davis seems all but lost at sea. He’s a merchant marine who’s misplaced his seaman’s papers. Come nightfall he’s a New York folk singer who is more likely to receive a beating after a gig than get royalties for his obscure recordings. At the end of the day he bounces from one benefactor’s couch to another’s, but instead of repaying them with a nice bottle of wine he loses the first one’s cat and gets the other friend pregnant. Considering Joel and Ethan Coen’s fondness for sad sacks, it’s no surprise Llewyn is their creation, the cosmic tragic schlemiel at the center of their new movie Inside Llewyn Davis.
But as rootless as Llewyn is, he is anchored on not only one but a number of scruffy fugitives who moped about Greenwich Village in the early 1960s. Many episodes of Llewyn’s journey are lifted from those of the late folk singer Dave Van Ronk, but although the plots fit, the other aspects don’t.
To start, Llewyn, as played by Oscar Isaac, who is of Guatemalan and Cuban descent, with a head of deep brown bouncy hair on top of a paperweight frame, looks nothing like Van Ronk, who was 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds and could pass for a henchman in the Irish mob with the credentials to moonlight in the WWF. Llewyn Davis is not a portrayal of Van Ronk but a faint echo, which should be evident from the very start, when the film opens to Isaac not lip-syncing but singing the traditional anguished ballad “Hang Me, Oh Hang Me” live. Isaac’s voice is pure and easy, unwavering and pitch perfect. His guitar chimes and rings bright and early in your ear. Van Ronk, on the other hand, sang like his voice scratched his throat so often that he needed to air it out. His challenging delivery demanded your attention. And that guitar! There were as many muffled and twangy notes as solidly struck strings, casual and rhythmic and one with the voice.
NBC Plans ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ Series
Will be set in Paris.More
NBC Plans More Live Musicals
After success of “The Sound of Music.”More
Actress Eleanor Parker Dies
Played baroness in “The Sound of Music.” More
Netflix Planning Romney Doc
Will air in January.More
‘Frozen’ Wins Weekend Box Office
“Catching Fire” still holding strong.More
I DREAMED A DREAM
Susan Boyle: I Have Asperger’s
Call diagnosis a “relief.”More
Former stockbroker Jordan Belfort once had sex on $3 million in cash. Check out more stats about the man behind Leo DiCaprio’s leading role in Martin Scorsese’s latest.