Bruce Dern’s turn as a booze-addled man suffering from dementia in Alexander Payne’s ‘Nebraska’ is earning him Oscar buzz.
In the much-maligned 1974 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, Robert Redford plays Jay Gatsby, a flashy pseudo-aristocrat who pines for the wife of Tom Buchanan, a philandering blue-blooded ingrate portrayed by Bruce Dern.
The harsh reality for Dern is, in Hollywood, their roles couldn’t have been more reversed.
At least one thing works in Venezuela: the Bolivarian republic is world-class at churning out beauty queens. Maybe President Maduro should be taking notes.
Last weekend, Venezuela came to a halt. This was not a power failure. Nor one of those tropical torments that periodically lash the country. And no, it wasn’t another wave of rumors about the late Hugo Chávez, the beloved Comandante of the Bolivarian revolution, suddenly back from the grave. What stopped this nation in its tracks was the Miss Universe pageant. Militants on the left and right, devoted “chavistas” and raging oppositionists, intellectuals and “boligarchs,” everyone in Venezuela loves a beauty contest.
Gabriela Isler from Venezuela celebrates after being crowned Miss Universe. (Kommersant Photo/Getty)
There, in Moscow, in Crocus City Hall, native daughter Gabriela Isler bore the national colors in the most prestigious beauty smackdown of the planet. To win the Miss Universe crown, Isler, aged 25 and boasting a floodlight smile, went hem to hem with contestants from 85 other countries. She was crowned by a stellar panel of judges, including celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Olympic figure skating gold medalist Tara Lipinski, and Aerosmith vocalist Steven Tyler.
Was Shaquille O’Neal’s turn in the ’90s dud ‘Steel’ really one of the only superhero movies with a lead black character? Get ready for Netflix and Marvel’s ‘Luke Cage’ TV show.
The superhero movie genre is booming, raking in millions of dollars, destroying countless fictional cities, and now, merging multiple iconic characters into single 120 minute blockbusters. But where are all the black people?
Marvel character Luke Cage. (Marvel Entertainment)
It’s not that there haven’t been any black superheroes. There have been a few memorable turns in film: Hallie Berry as Storm in the X-Men movies, Don Cheadle as War Machine in Iron Man 2 and 3, and Idris Elba as Heimdall in the Thor franchise, to name a few.
Perfect bone structure, huge muscles, and piercing eyes. It’s no wonder Sam Claflin is Finnick Odair in ‘Catching Fire.’ Then why the hell was he, and everyone else, so surprised?
Sam Claflin is pretty. No. Sam Clafin is extremely pretty.
Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin) and Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in "The Hunger Games." (Murray Close/Lionsgate)
The 26-year-old chiseled specimen of an actor—perfect bone structure, bulging muscles, piercing eyes, mischievous smile, and wily, charmingly unkempt hair—is what one might call a “hunk.” A little over a year ago, the creative team behind the new installment of the Hunger Games franchise, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, called for one such hunky actor to play the role of charming sexgod Finnick Odair in the film.
The juggernaut franchise that has made obscene amounts of money may have finally reached the point of diminishing returns. Why ‘Call of Duty: Ghosts’ is pretty lackluster.
Call of Duty is in decline. The juggernaut franchise that has broken all kinds of records and made obscene amounts of money may have finally reached the point of diminishing returns. Call of Duty: Ghosts could mark the beginning of the end.
Riley, the canine star of the video game, "Call of Duty: Ghosts." (Activision/AP)
Activision has confirmed that Call of Duty: Ghosts did not sell as well as its predecessor, choosing to release extremely impressive shipment numbers (sold to retail) versus actual sales numbers (to consumers). Although Activision CEO Bobby Kotick was quick to point out that actual sales figures would not include either the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 versions of the game, it’s hard to see that as anything but bad news. This is also the first time that a game in the main series dipped below a 75 (the bar for “Generally favorable reviews”) on Metacritic on one of its main platforms. The Xbox 360 version of the game currently sits at a 74. Every game since Call of Duty 2 has received at least an 82, and no Infinity Ward-developed game has dipped below an 88.
And J.Law wants a fifth ‘Hunger Games.’
This is the End was the last movie ever rented from a Blockbuster. Although there will be 50 non-company run Blockbusters puttering around for a while longer. Variety
Miley Cyrus tweets response to her pot-smoking EMA controversy. Spoiler: She doesn’t care. At all. USA Today
With a new comedy special on Netflix and a book about modern love in the works, the dangerously delicious star of NBC’s ‘Parks and Recreation’ is all grown up.
Aziz Ansari is all grown up. Mostly. The Parks and Recreation star, whose third comedy special Buried Alive debuted on Netflix on November 1, gets anxious at the mention of silly questions. “I love getting in long, meaningful conversations with people,” he confesses. Unlike the absurdly immature (but loveable) character “Tommy Tom” Haverford he plays on Parks—Ansari is thoughtful and startlingly serious. “Rudeness makes me angry,” he says. “I can’t take people who are rude in everyday life.”
Aziz Ansari is photographed on February 28, 2013 in London. (Charlie Gray/Contour by Getty )
Luckily for the South Carolina native, his encounters with the impolite are rare. Most, he says, are genuinely nice. His fans love him, and it’s a feeling that’s mutual. In Buried Alive, which has landed 4.2 out of 5 stars among Netflixers, he asks random audience members to tell him how they would (or did) propose to their loved ones. Ansari lives for interactions like this. “I love talking to people about their experiences—especially ones like marriage and divorce—ones that I don’t have. It’s so fascinating to me.” His next show, which he’s written, has even more audience involvement.
No transgender model has cracked something as mainstream as Victoria’s Secret—for whom much of the audience is straight men. Is Carmen Carrera ready for the runway?
Within a few days of being posted last week, a Change.org petition pushing for model Carmen Carrera to be the first transgender Victoria’s Secret Angel had garnered over 34,000 signatures.
Carmen Carrera at the premiere of "Show Girl" created by Steven Meisel at No. 8 in New York. (Patrick McMullan Co./Sipa USA)
“To see a transgender model walk would show that trans women are to be taken seriously and that Angels are selected because of their character and talent. As a brand, Victoria's Secret should feel comfortable marketing towards ALL types of women,” wrote Marco Regalado, the fan who posted the petition.
The voice of Lois Griffin on ‘Family Guy’ and a writer/producer on ‘Shameless,’ journeywoman Alex Borstein will get her big break in front of the camera, on the HBO series ‘Getting On.’
You’ve heard Alex Borstein before.
For 12 seasons, she’s played the voice of Lois Griffin, nasally matriarch of the Griffin household, on the celebrated animated TV series Family Guy. She’s also, in addition to writing and producing on the Fox sitcom, served as a writer and consulting producer on the Showtime series Shameless, and popped up in several small movie roles over the years, from the assistant to Edward R. Murrow in Good Night, and Good Luck to the mother of Mark Wahlberg’s character in Ted.
The Daily Beast
In Brooklyn, a group of young Iranian musicians finally found a place to freely express themselves—until a jilted ex-bandmate turned their inspiring story into a tragedy.
After the carnage, police found a guitar case and decided that bassist Akbar Mohammadi Rafie must have used it to carry his assault rifle as he went from roof to roof along Maujer Street in Brooklyn just before midnight on Sunday.
The Yellow Dogs play at the SXSW Music Festival Wednesday March 17, 2010 in Austin, Texas. (Lance Dawes/Blixah for AP)
At midblock, Rafie, 29, came to a three-story building that was home to several indie rock musicians he had first played with back in his native Iran. He had been with the Free Keys back then, and they had joined a band called The Yellow Dogs in a hidden chamber in a west Tehran basement soundproofed with Styrofoam. Their audience had been a few friends who had received whispered invitations along with a warning not to park their cars nearby. A friend’s dad kept watch for the official forces of repression by pretending to water a plant outside.
And 'Downton Abbey' is renewed.
Amy Robach reveals breast cancer diagnosis on Good Morning America. Robach said she will undergo a double mastectomy on November 14th. Thankfully, her cancer was caught rather early because of an assignment she had in early October in which she had mammogram done. New York Daily News
Miley Cyrus smokes a joint on stage at the EMAs. Kids these days! Huffington Post
In the age of overwrought, overproduced, oversung “artpop,” Mariah Carey’s latest ballad is refreshingly straightforward and simple—even if there’s no real chorus.
The timing of the release of Mariah Carey’s latest single, “The Art of Letting Go,” couldn’t be more refreshing. It arrives the same day as Lady Gaga’s new album, ARTPOP, a dizzying kaleidoscope of production tricks and vocal ticks. The simplest of ballads, “The Art of Letting Go,” is a much-needed lesson that great pop music is composed of the most basic group of ingredients—a stellar voice and straightforward orchestrations—even if it’s admittedly not the most explosive track that Carey has ever produced.
“The Art of Letting Go” comes six months after Carey’s breezy, though insufferably titled, duet with Miguel, “#Beautiful,” another stark, barebones track that thrives on the sunny, feel-good call-and-response of its vocalists. There’s an undeniable throwback vibe to the Rodney Jerkins-produced song that recalls “Vision of Love," a ballad stripped down to a piano, heartfelt lyrics, and the vocal pyrotechnics of Mariah.
Whereas so much of Carey’s repertoire in the aughts features the singer breathily cooing over nondescript bass beats, “Letting Go” has the diva back in full voice, even if that whistle register isn’t as strong as it used to be. The lyrics are certainly assertive—“I’m making a statement,” she begins the track, a torch song addressed to an old lover—and brimming with an amusing amount of needless polysyllabic words like “dominion,” “audacity,” and “evidently.” Undeniably, the song’s tagline lyric is more than a wee tedious: “Letting go ain’t easy, it’s just exceedingly hurtful.”
When Will Smith was allegedly caught getting intimate with a woman who is not his wife, Jada, gossipers immediately jumped to allegations of an open marriage.
Will and Jada Smith found themselves at the center of a scandal last week, when the tabloid Star Magazine allegedly caught Will canoodling with Margot Robbie, a 23-year-old actress and a costar of Focus, a movie he’s shooting in New Orleans.
Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith. (Getty)
The tabloid ran pictures from a photo booth photo shoot of Will and Robbie hamming it up. In one picture they are baring their chests at the camera; in another they are flashing peace signs; in the third, he’s hugging her from behind and throwing the peace sign. It looks pretty chummy, if not necessarily lascivious.
They have the traditional form, but these are no regular jogging pants. In leather and silk, and worn by stars from LeBron James to Dwyane Wade, are sweatpants really ‘the new denim’?
Sweatpants aren’t stylish. Traditionally worn by sixth-graders and jocks and those who lounge aggressively, the draw-stringed trouser is defiantly apathetic. Wikipedia says sweatpants, otherwise known as tracksuit bottoms, are “one of the most commonly worn items of clothing.” There are no statistics on this, but you know it’s true. The image on the site is unapologetically blunt: three tailgating bros holding wine glasses, smiling. Of course they are smiling. They are comfortable.
Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. (Noah Graham/NBAE, via Getty)
That may be why NBA players, tall men who are paid exorbitant sums of money to put a ball in a basket, are wearing these jogging pants again. In the fashion-conscious league, where the walk from the bus to the locker room has turned into a runway, it’s a counter-revolution of young millionaires doing what they want.
‘ARTPOP’ is a starkly naked exhibition of an artist whose brilliance is stripped away by her obsession with creativity. For all of her art, Lady Gaga’s album never really pops.
“My artpop could mean anything,” Lady Gaga sings in the title track of her new album, ARTPOP. It also, it turns out, could mean nothing at all.
The music industry’s most thoughtful, if not overthinking, superstar teased ARTPOP to be many things. On Twitter, she proclaimed it “the album of the millennium.” In an interview in England, she defined the confusing combination of “art” and “pop” as entities that have hitherto been mutually exclusive (as David Bowie, Bjork, and Madonna presumably raised a collective eyebrow) and which will be united in her album: “the dream of these two things belonging, art and pop together, but with art in the front.”
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The Daily Beast goes backstage at the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, seeing how models like Doutzen Kroes and Lily Aldridge get ready for the runway.