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Gaga’s Wild Style Is Back!

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Theo Wargo/Getty; AKM-GSI

Following a minimalist turn, Lady Gaga is back with a vengeance. But are her skin-tight ensembles, crazy headpieces, and sky-high shoes just compensating for her fading relevance?

When Lady Gaga returned from her six-month hiatus in August 2013, her stylist Brandon Maxwell assured the public that the singer’s newfound fashion direction would be “more toned down and pulled back and chic.” To promote her latest album, ARTPOP, Gaga selected a slew of minimalist pieces—long black sheaths, simple designer footwear, and more monotonous, muted tones. Following a series of press appearances related to the album, I dubbed the singer’s new style “Gaga 2.0,” questioning where is there to go when you’ve already done it all.

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AKM-GSI; NCP/Star Max/GC; Michael Stewart/GC

Drake Featuring Drake

Why Drake Dissed Jay Z

The Canadian child actor-turned-rapper loves moms, hugs, and sweaters and he knows how easy that is to make fun of. No matter, Drizzy’s poised to eclipse the hip hop sphere.

On a Friday night last fall, Drake joined a handful of friends for drinks in a dark corner of a popular pub in downtown Toronto’s Queen West strip and then stealthily paid every customer’s bar tab before quietly walking out. At another party down the block, the lyrics to half a dozen songs off Nothing Was the Same, his third studio album, were on many lips, despite being only two weeks old.

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Reuters

This is Drake’s Toronto, where sightings of the rapper and his white Rolls Royce, easily identifiable by the Instagram handle-referencing “C PAPI” vanity license plate, are common. He’s already proven himself here, so a move like paying for dozens of strangers’ night out is taken as a genuine display of generosity, a relatively tiny but sincere gesture made by a man who wants his city to know he hasn’t forsaken it. In consistently declaring his allegiance to Toronto—by, among other things, championing local artists, signing on to help promote the Raptors in an official capacity, and launching an annual music festival—he’s opened up the possibilities of success beyond Canada, inspiring a palpable hustle in a city often criticized for having a chip on its shoulder. If Drake could make it, so can we is the unspoken refrain. Here, he’s understood and appreciated: “My city love me like Mac Dre in the Bay.”

Winter Is Coming

‘Thrones’: Best Fantasy Show Ever

Don’t like fantasy shows? Get over it. Game of Thrones has transcended its genre to become one of the best dramas on TV. Season 4 starts Sunday. Here’s why you should tune in.

Breaking Bad unsettled me. Freaks and Geeks warmed my heart. The Sopranos floored me. True Detective made me think. Friday Night Lights made me swoon.

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Emilia Clarke in HBO's "Game of Thrones." (Macall B. Polay/HBO)

But of all my favorite series, none has made me as happy—week after week, episode after episode—as Game of Thrones. It is, simply put, the most pleasurable television show I’ve ever seen.

In a new doc, the former defense secretary says he never meant to imply that Saddam was behind 9/11—despite the implications that the Iraqi dictator and al Qaeda were in cahoots.

In The Unknown Known, Oscar-winning documentarian Errol Morris (The Fog of War) turns his infamous interrotron on former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. He was one of the key architects of the U.S. response to the attacks of September 11th under President George W. Bush, which included wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Donald Rumsfeld

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld speaks during a briefing October 26, 2006 at the Pentagon. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty)

The title of Morris’ documentary, out April 4, is taken from a controversial response Rumsfeld gave in February 2002 when, as Secretary of Defense, he was prodded about the lack of evidence concerning “reports” propagated by the Bush administration that Iraq was supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups:

The editor who invented high/low media says the Vogue cover is no scandal but, on the eve of the Women in the World Summit, she has a few ideas about women who really are cool.

It was fun watching the festival of media umbrage over April’s Vogue cover—you know, that Annie Leibovitz portrait of a sloe-eyed Kim Kardashian in a white ruched wedding bustier, nuzzled by her equally spiffy baby daddy, Kanye West.

Cool Women

Getty

It’s not entirely clear why a fashion shot of the reigning queen of trash television—whose 2007 “leaked“ sex tape lifted her from the status of Paris Hilton’s B-list BFF to the star of her own little reality-TV empire—should prompt so much punditry bewailing the decline of Western civilization. True, Anna Wintour may have gone a little overboard when she celebrated Kim’s “courage” in her editor’s letter. But come on. The cover of Vogue is not exactly the Nobel Peace Prize, and Kim Kardashian isn’t exactly Pol Pot.

JUST KIDDING

Greatest April Fools Pranks

Behold! Here are the top six April Fools stunts of all time. (Got ya! There’s only five.) But really, these heroes of hilarity past put the oof in “spoof.”

Back in the more innocent, easily-duped days of 2004, I wrote a feature on a hot new trend called “gancing”, aka (guy-on-guy dancing) for the April issue of Stuff magazine, (RIP). The gist: heterosexual men, throughout the clubs of Manhattan were engaging in performance-art like choreography so as to garner the favor of the opposite, and totally impressed, sex. There was Birth (one dude squats and begins to squeal, while his buddy, with back on the ground, pretends to push himself through his “mother’s” mangina) and Bull, (the “matador” uses his cape as a coat while his toro partner fashions two empty beer bottles into horns and charges) to name two. Of course, the entire piece was less an exclusive and more a bold-faced lie. And as gratifying as it was to watch hundreds of media outlets report a made-up-fad as fact, (Jay Leno chided gancing on The Tonight Show, and Ryan Seacrest actually claimed he was a pioneer of the practice on his radio program).  I also realize that the whole idiotic enterprise doesn’t hold a candle to some of the more storied holiday scams of all time. Herein lie my five favorite from The Museum Of Hoaxes.

April Fools Day

The Daily Beast

Top 100 April Fools Pranks Of All Time…

Head-Scratcher

Why Did Halle’s Movie Disappear?

Halle Berry earned a Golden Globe nod in 2011 for her turn as a ‘70s go-go dancer battling with a white supremacist in her head. So why is ‘Frankie & Alice' only hitting theaters now?

Halle Berry was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2011 for the movie Frankie & Alice. You probably don’t remember the film itself, though, since you wouldn't have been able to see it. Frankie & Alice, shot way back in the winter of 2008, was never released in theaters—it only enjoyed a “qualifying run” for awards consideration on one screen in Los Angeles for one week. Why is this worth mentioning now? Well, because in a rare move, the film is being released this week by Codeblack Entertainment, a small offshoot of Lionsgate. And so far, it isn’t that clear what the hell took so long.

Frankie & Alice

Codeblack Films

The film, starring Oscar winner and X-Woman Berry and directed by Geoffrey Sax, tells the true tale of a 1970s Los Angeles go-go dancer named Frankie who suffers from dissociative identity disorder. And because truth is always more f*@!ed up than fiction, one of the personalities rolling around in her head is a white supremacist from Texas named Alice. (Now that’s what it means to battle demons.) After screening in Cannes in 2010, the film received some positive reviews, with The Hollywood Reporter even joking of its potential marketability with male viewers (Berry as stripper!) and female viewers (Berry as victim of mental disorder!) alike. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone also shared his approval, referring to Berry as “a mesmerizer who makes every moment count.”

It’s What’s For Dinner

What’s Next for ‘Walking Dead’

Put a little meat on the grill and people go crazy with speculation about cannibals. ‘Walking Dead’ showrunner Scott Gimple tells us that it’s total fair play—but Mary, the grill, and Terminus weren’t in the comics.

The Walking Dead’s showrunner, Scott M. Gimple, knows about your crazy Terminus cannibal theories—and he’s a little confused.

The Walking Dead

Gene Page/AMC

To hear Gimple tell it, the mysterious residents of Terminus—who opened fire at Rick’s group in Sunday night’s Season 4 finale and locked them in a cargo container—might just be … misunderstood? They’re “maybe not the worst guys in the world,” he says. (After all, main hero Rick Grimes is now the guy who bites people’s throats out.)

GOTTA HAVE FAITH

Why Christians Now Rule Hollywood

This Holy Week sees an unprecedented four faith-based films bringing in the box office bucks. Next up? God gets a star on the Hollywood walk of fame.

When last weekend’s box office numbers were revealed one superstar came out on top. It wasn’t Denzel Washington, Robert Downey, Jr. or any of the other usual names from Hollywood’s A-list. In fact, this A-lister did not even appear in any film credits at all, but may have just become Hollywood’s hottest commodity. The new power player: God, or more specifically God and his many Christian followers. For the first time, two Christian themed films appeared in two of the top box office slots.

Son of God

Casey Crafford/LightWorkers Media/Hearst

Russell Crowe’s Noah, inspired by the Bible story, was number one raking in a hefty $44 million. Its box office dominance inspired a flood (no pun intended) of pun-ny headlines, among them “Noah Floats, Sabotage Drowns” from Forbes. But what’s more shocking to Hollywood insiders is the appearance of Gods Not Dead on the box office power list. The fifth most popular film in America for the second week in a row tells the story of a Christian college student locked in a battle of wills against a professor who is an atheist. Despite a tiny budget and its lack of marquee stars (TV actors Kevin Sorbo and Dean Cain appear) the film has pulled in more than $20 million at the box office so far.

Blue French Horn

How I Met Your Meh

Ted ends his tale, but the kids look a little pissed off. It turns out the love story of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ wasn’t really about their mother. But we knew that.

If it feels like How I Met Your Mother has been airing for decades, that's because it has. Well, more like a year under one decade, but still. The first episode of the beloved sitcom hit the small screen in 2005, back when George W. Bush was still president and Miley Cyrus was still Hannah Montana. A lot has changed since 2005, but How I Met Your Mother is not one of those things.

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Ron P. Jaffe/Fox

The show has managed to stay true to its initial premise: one man sitting his children down and telling them the story of how he met their mother. The narrative arc of the story is relayed through flashbacks and narration, but the real draw of the series has always been the ensemble cast. Marshall, Lily, Barney, Robin, and Ted, with their eccentric personalities and never ending supply of elaborate inside jokes, made an entire nation of viewers want to quit their jobs and hang out in a bar all day with their own co-ed clique.

POW-ERFUL PICS

Chief Keef: The Neighbor from Hell

The teenage rapper who once got booted from Instagram for explicitly sexual content is back with a bang and causing ruckus in his quiet Chicago suburb.

When the rising rap star Chief Keef posted a photo of himself having oral sex in 2012, he was immediately booted off Instagram.

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via Instagram

Now, the 18-year-old Keef is back on the photo sharing web site positing photos of himself and a friend brandishing semi-automatic weapons in a ritzy marble bathroom.

LEGENDARY

A Primer on 'HIMYM’

How did Ted Mosby meet the mother of his children? After nine seasons on air, we’ll finally get some closure.

Someone once called How I Met Your Mother “the Lost of sitcoms.” That’s exactly it. Like the cult drama that drove us all crazy (a polar bear?!) HIMYM revolves around a series-long mystery, constant use of flashback and flashforwards, a comprehensive mythology, polarizing seasons towards the end of its run, and even time travel.

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER

Ron P. Jaffe/Fox

For diehards of the show, staying abreast of everything that happens to Ted and the gang is moderately difficult. For those who tune in for the first time to the series finale, is damn near impossible.

What Cannibals?

Bloody Bloody Andrew Lincoln

The star of ‘The Walking Dead’ talks to The Daily Beast about Terminus and how much he knows about the cannibals theory. Spoiler alert!

Andrew Lincoln is minutes away from finding out what happens at Terminus.

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Gene Page/AMC

The British actor, who plays former Atlanta police officer Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead, is just about to step into the writer’s room of the AMC zombie drama and get a “general sketch” of what’s going down in Season 5. (“It’s an incredibly exciting day,” he says.) Meanwhile, the rest of us are still reeling from the Season 4 finale that aired last night. “A” debuted the most vicious version of Rick Grimes we’ve ever seen, who’d rip through a man’s jugular with his bare teeth, then repeatedly stab a man to death for attacking his son.  Rick, Daryl, Michonne, and Carl reunited with Glenn, Maggie, and the others at Terminus, but there was no “sanctuary” awaiting them there. With snipers’ rifles aimed at their heads, the group was herded into a cargo container and locked inside—which actually made Rick smile. “They’re gonna feel pretty stupid when they find out,” he says. “They’re screwing with the wrong people.” 

'Frozen' is now the highest-grossing animated film in history, earning $1.072 billion worldwide. Here’s how it happened.

Statistically speaking, Frozen is the best animated film. Ever.

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Disney

Buoyed by a strong debut in Japan, the movie is now the highest-grossing animated film in history, earning $1.072 billion worldwide. (That’s just more than Toy Story 3, which grossed $1.063 billion.) Here’s how it happened:

1) Inflation! In domestic sales it's still technically behind (in ascending order): Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., Toy Story 3, Aladdin, Lady and the Tramp, Finding Nemo, Bambi, Pinocchio, Shrek 2, The Jungle Book, Fantasia, The Lion King, 101 Dalmatians, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

2) That being said, the film received excellent reviews and has an 89 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. The Daily Beast’s Kevin Fallon was early on the Frozen bandwagon, anointing the flick “the best Disney film since The Lion King.” Melissa Leon agreed, saying that the film debunked outdated tropes like love at first sight and damsels in distress, slyly showing us how not to make a princess movie. The film won Oscars for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song (more on this later) and a Golden Globe for Best Animated Film.

3) Hitting theaters on November 27, 2013, the film capitalized on the Thanksgiving box-office rush. It banked a Disney-record $67.4 million over the three-day weekend, and $93.9 million for the five-day holiday. These hauls shattered the previous Disney records, held by Wreck-It Ralph and Tangled, respectively. Big weekend, right?  Frozen didn’t even open at no.1 at the box office. It was second, behind The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

4) Of its total gross, $398 million (37.2 percent) is from domestic sales, while $674 million (62.8 percent) is from international audiences.

5) One of these nations was South Korea, where Frozen demolished records and crossed the $75 million mark in early March.

6) When it comes to 2013 worldwide grosses, Frozen sits comfortably at no.2 on the list, behind Iron Man 3 and above Catching Fire.

7) At the all-time box office, that puts Frozen at no.10, within striking distance of The Dark Knight Rises. (Transformers: Dark of the Moon is on that list, so that’s something to think about.)

8) The top grossing animated film, in order: Frozen, Toy Story 3, The Lion King (which came out in 1994!), Despicable Me 2, Finding Nemo.

9) The movie’s soundtrack has spent a seventh week at no.1 on the Billboard 200. This is partially because of the release of the film on DVD and Blu-ray. It’s only the fourth animated film soundtrack to do this.

10) Director Jennifer Lee is the first female director of a Disney animated feature film.

11) “LET IT GO.” John Travolta. Adele Dazeem.

The notorious vixen has been in her share of controversies before—and had even supported the occasional dictator. But nothing like this.

On Sunday, sex tape vixen/reality TV starlet/entrepreneur Kim Kardashian took a break from the #belfies to wade into geopolitics—specifically, the ethically murky territory of the Syrian civil war.

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Karwai Tang/WireImage

On Twitter, she made what seemed like a simple cry to save the citizens of Kessab, a town in Syria that’s been the scene of intense fighting in recent days. The tweet was even welcomed by one of the country's main rebel groups. But, as with all things Syria, the reality is far more complicated. Kessab was, until recently, part of a stronghold for Damascus dictator Bashar al-Assad. Some are accusing the campaign to “save” the place of using fake images as part of a possible stealth movement to support the Assad regime.

Why the GOP Is Angry About Colbert

When Stephen Colbert was announced as David Letterman's successor, Rush Limbaugh and company both criticized and politicized the move. Keli Goff discusses whether they're actually mad.

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