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San Diego Comic-Con Roundup: A Look at Thursday’s Highlights

Friday, July 25th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) — Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey made an unannounced landing Thursday at Comic-Con in San Diego along with Dark Knight trilogy director Christopher Nolan to promote their upcoming film, Interstellar.

It was both celebrities’ first appearance at the annual geek mecca — surprising considering Nolan’s filmography. The director told the crowd, “I thought I’d see what the fuss was about” this time around.

McConaughey recalled the first time he met Nolan, describing a meeting at Nolan’s home. “He doesn’t say one word about any new film or me being in a role in it, it was just he and I talking,” the actor says. “So I remember leaving there going, ‘What the hell was that about? I’m not sure.’ Anyway, evidently…he liked me,” McConaughey said to laughs.

As for the film — about space travel to find a new planet for mankind to live, according to the trailers — neither man said much about the hush-hush plot.

Nolan spoke about his admiration for the spirit of exploration in the early days of the space program. McConaughey offered, “It’s by far the most ambitious film that Mr. Nolan’s ever directed. When you see it you’ll see why.”

Incidentally, Jeff Bridges isn’t into spoilers, either. He was on hand to promote his own sci-fi movie, The Giver, to an audience of people who haven’t seen it. “Going to the movies myself, I like to know as little as possible,” Bridges said. “So it’s tough….For me, it’s challenging to try to entice people in without telling them too much.”

[PHOTOS: Day 1 at Comic Con 2014]

Other Comic-Con highlights from Thursday included:

  • Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson making his way through an adoring crowd to promote his upcoming Hercules — for which he apparently bought hundreds of tickets so Comic-Con attendees could go, The Hollywood Reporter notes.
  • A close-up of Ben Affleck in Batman’s cowl was tweeted by Zack Snyder ahead of the Saturday panel for his upcoming Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Oddly, considering Superman is a Warner Bros. — not a Lucasfilm/Disney — property, Snyder also made waves when he posted a picture of his Man of Steel, Henry Cavill, dressed as a Jedi. Given the Dark Side influence of the picture — as evidenced by the red lightsaber — some fans thought it could be a reference to the DC villain Darkseid.
  • Speaking of Star Wars, at a panel for Disney’s upcoming animated series Star Wars: Rebels, an all-new trailer was released.
  • Marvel released a pre-production concept art poster for its upcoming Ant-Man specifically created for San Diego Comic-Con. In addition to teasing the hero’s size-changing powers, the poster features the faces of Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd, who will play Dr. Hank Pym and Scott Lang — the scientist who created the technology that gives Ant-Man his power, and the thief he taps to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. Marvel’s panel — always a must-see — is Saturday.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Pet of the Week

Movie Review: “Lucy” (Rated R)

Friday, July 25th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

Universal(NEW YORK) — According to writer/director Luc Besson’s Lucy, if we were able to use 100 percent of our brains, we’d become Neo and the world would be our Matrix.  We’d be able to manipulate time, control people and change the configuration of our very cells.  Scarlett Johansson, as the title character, is able to do all of that and more, after she’s abducted, knocked out and wakes up with a bag of CPH4 surgically implanted in her stomach, which she’s forced to smuggle for some very nasty men.  The blue synthetic drug emulates a substance produced in the womb that gives a fetus the energy to survive.  When the bag breaks, the drug leaks into Lucy’s system, instantly endowing her with super powers — or just a better brain.
Enter Morgan Freeman’s Professor Norman, a neuroscientist with lots of theories about how much, or really how little, we use of our brains.  While Lucy is being turned into an unwilling drug mule, Norman is lecturing at a Paris university about our untapped brain potential.  If we only use 10 percent of our brains, he says, what might we be able to do if we could access the remaining 90 percent?
Lucy is suddenly using more than 20 percent of her brain, enough to give her the ability to escape her captors and expertly handle a gun.  Her next move: go to a hospital and have a surgeon remove the bag of drugs from her belly, something she’s able to endure without anesthesia.  She then calls in a tip to a French police officer about the other drug mules, and which countries they will be entering.  Because Lucy wants the rest of the drugs for herself.
What does Professor Norman have to do with all this?  His research and theories serve as Lucy’s hypothetical blueprint for her transformation, and she needs his help.  I think.  It’s not really all that clear why she needs Norman and his colleagues — since she’s becoming so intellectually superior to pretty much everyone, Lucy should be able to execute her plan without anyone’s help.  It’s a major flaw in a story I was absolutely rooting for, but I eventually realized I was rooting for a losing team.
Johansson uses 100 percent of her acting ability to breathe life into a character that deserved better treatment.  Lead roles for women in action movies are scarce, so kudos to Besson and company for trying to create something unique for one of Hollywood’s best — but jeers to Besson and company as well for not allowing Lucy, a woman, to resolve this story without the help of men.  That would’ve been a nice statement.
Ultimately, Lucy devolves into something that doesn’t make much sense.  The good news is it starts out well and since it’s less than 90 minutes long, you won’t feel like you’ve wasted your time on a mindless second and third act.
Three out of five stars.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Home Instead Senior Care

Stan Lee Bows Out of San Diego Comic-Con Due to Laryngitis

Friday, July 25th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(SAN DIEGO) — Stan Lee had to abruptly cancel his scheduled appearance at the San Diego Comic-Con due to a case of laryngitis.

The 91-year-old creator of Marvel heroes Spider-Man, Hulk, The Avengers and X-Men, among others, was due to make appearances and signings on Friday and Saturday.

A spokesperson for Lee says the comics legend is otherwise in good health.

Lee is still scheduled to appear at other upcoming conventions, including San Antonio’s Alamo City Comic-Con in September and his own get-together, Stan Lee’s Comikaze, in October in Los Angeles.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Crusin In Cruces

Alec Baldwin Appears in New York City Court, Then Tweets About It

Friday, July 25th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

Art Streiber/NBC(NEW YORK) — Alec Baldwin was in a Manhattan court Thursday morning in connection with a May 13 incident in which the 30 Rock actor was stopped for riding his bike the wrong way down Fifth Avenue before being arrested by police for disorderly conduct, reports E! Online.

During the court appearance, the 56-year-old told the judge he’d rather pay a fine than apologize for getting a little “belligerent” during his run-in with the police.

Judge John Delury said to Baldwin, “Looks like you have a short fuse.”  Then, the judge asked, “Can you stay out of trouble, Alexander?”

Baldwin responded, “Sure, sure.”

The judge then gave him an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, which means the case against Baldwin will be dismissed if the actor avoids re-arrest for six months.

After court, Baldwin took to Twitter to share his thoughts about his meeting with the judge.  He tweeted, “NY City is a mismanaged carnival of stupidity that is desperate for revenue and anxious to criminalize behavior once thought benign.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Metal Depot

On “Kimmel,” Justin Theroux Laughs at “Star’s” Aniston Wedding Story

Friday, July 25th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

Jason Merritt/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — On Thursday night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! Jimmy welcomed Justin Theroux, the fiance of Jennifer Aniston. Kimmel wondered why Theroux appeared on the show, considering Star magazine says the couple is getting married in Mexico Friday. For the record, they’re not.

Theroux, currently on HBO’s The Leftovers, laughed, saying you’d think the tabloids would look at his “itinerary [and say,] ‘He’s gonna be on Jimmy that night, so probably not.’”

The actor and screenwriter popped the question to the Friends alum in August of 2012. Officially, no wedding date has been set.  

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Double Your Dollars

Movie Review: “And So It Goes” (Rated PG-13)

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

Clarius Entertainment(NEW YORK) — Michael Douglas’ Oren Little is very focused on…Oren Little. He is, or at least at one time was, a very successful realtor. These days, he’s close to retirement: all he has to do is sell his sprawling ocean-side mansion.  But he’s having a tough time — he’s unwilling to negotiate the asking price, and this old rich white dude also has trouble relating to several potential buyers who aren’t white dudes.  There’s also his sentimental attachment to the home he shared with his late wife, who died of cancer.
Oren is also a terrible neighbor, which is a precarious situation for the inhabitants of the apartment complex in which he lives.  That’s because he also owns the place, a fact of which all of his tenants are apparently completely unaware: that the cantankerous old man who yells at their kids and won’t move his car so a very pregnant woman can park in front of the building, is their landlord.  The only person who appears to get along with Oren is his next-door neighbor, Leah (Diane Keaton), a widow and aspiring lounge singer.  Even so, Oren is as nice to Leah as an alligator is to a turtle.
Just when you think writer Mark Andrus and director Rob Reiner couldn’t make Oren less likable, he refuses to take care of his 10-year-old granddaughter, Sarah, who has no place to go because her father, Oren’s son and a former drug addict, is going to prison for nine months.  Oren, by his own admission, was a terrible father who did little to help his son when he needed Oren most.  So it’s Leah who takes in Sarah and becomes the young girl’s de facto grandmother.
Of course, Oren and Leah are destined to fall for one another.  Indeed, their relationship is so predictable, it’s the only thing Nostradamus didn’t foresee: “In the year 2014, Michael Douglas’ Owen and Diane Keaton’s Leah will clumsily hook up, break up and get back together again in a Rob Reiner film written by Mark Andrus.  Love, Nostradamus.”
Michael Douglas takes pride in his ability to play unlikeable characters who win the audience over by movie’s end, and he’ll no doubt win over many people with his performance here.  But no matter how great Douglas is, it’s hard to feel bad for Owen because he’s so difficult for the average person to relate to.  Even when you finally believe he has a heart of gold, Oren and his sprawling ocean-side mansion are still obnoxious.
Despite its predictability and a script that feels out of touch, Douglas certainly does charm in And So It Goes, and he has excellent chemistry with Diane Keaton, who is as Diane Keaton-ish as Diane Keaton gets.  For many, that never gets old.  And so it goes.
Three out of five stars.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kids Kare PC

Adele’s Son Wins Five-Figure Sum in Paparazzi Case

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

Cliff Lipson/CBS(LONDON) — Adele’s son is only two years old, but he’s already well on his way to being rich like his mom. The BBC reports that lawyers for the boy, referred to as Angelo Adkins, despite Adele never publicly revealing his name, have accepted a five-figure sum in damages to settle a case over paparazzi photos.

Adele, who was born Adele Adkins, and her partner Simon Konecki, Angelo’s father, sued a photo agency for taking photos of Angelo’s “milestone moments” between June and November of 2013, and then selling them to the British press.

A lawyer for Adele told a High Court in London that she doesn’t want her son to be thought of as “public property,” and added, “It is a matter of profound sadness that many of his milestone moments, such as his first family outing and his first trip to playgroup, were photographed and published worldwide expressly against his family’s wishes.”

Added the lawyer, “These images were taken during private, recreational time unconnected with professional or public engagements. They represent a clear infringement of our client’s right to privacy.”

The photo agency agreed to pay damages and legal costs, and has also agreed not to re-use the photos.

Adele’s lawyer said that the singer and Konecki would “continue to do all they can to protect Angelo’s rights in relation to the paparazzi, including taking legal action where necessary.”  The lawyer noted that Adele helped fund a similar campaign in California to create stricter laws regarding the photographing of children of celebrities.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Hometown Headlines w/ Brad Barrett

Robert Downey Jr. on “Iron Man:” ‘Why Give Up the Belt…?’

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

ABC/Ida Mae Astute(NEW YORK) — In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, it seems that Robert Downey Jr. would certainly be up for a fourth Iron Man film.

On the set of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Forbes’ highest-earning actor in Hollywood — thanks in no small part to his multi-million-dollar Marvel deal that kept him playing Tony Stark through that sequel — Downey said, “Why give up the belt when it feels like you can barely get jabbed?” He then added, however, “Most people are saying that right when they get knocked out.”

The actor had expressed that as any actor’s price tag rises as a long-running series continues, so does the specter of the role being recast, though in the past he’s admitted, “I would really hate for someone else to think they could step into my shoes.”

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has said he sees Iron Man as on par with James Bond or Batman — an iconic character that will live on onscreen for years, and thus would logically have to be recast at some point.

Luckily for Downey, most Marvel fans worldwide agree — and the box office bears it out — that his red-and-gold iron boots would be tough to fill, as the actor is now synonymous with the billionaire, genius, playboy philanthropist he brought to life onscreen.

Even comic book legend Stan Lee, co-creator of Tony Stark/Iron Man, agrees. He recently told ABC News Radio, “I think that Robert Downey Jr. thinks he is Tony Stark…Nobody can play the role better than him. He is Tony Stark.”

For now, it seems Downey is optimistic he’ll get a shot at an Iron Man 4, telling EW, “It’s down to Kevin and [Marvel Entertainment CEO] Ike [Perlmutter] and Disney to come to us with what the proposal is, and that’s on us to agree or disagree,” allowing, “When things are going great, there’s a lot of agreement.”

Falling into the “great” category, no doubt, is the fact that every Iron Man movie has out-grossed its predecessor, leading up to the staggering 1.3-billion-dollar take of the last installment.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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“Better Call Saul” Billboard Spotted in Albuquerque

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

Ursula Coyote/AMC(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) — Better Call Saul has yet to air, but the Breaking Bad spin-off already has a leg up on viral marketing thanks to an attention-getting new billboard in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

An eagle-eyed Instagram user first pointed out the billboard, which features a photo of the fictional lawyer and the name he used before becoming sleazy Saul Goodman: James M. McGill. The sign also includes a phone number that leads to an active line.

“Hello, you’ve reached the law office of James M. McGill esquire, a lawyer you can trust,” says a voice that sounds like star Bob Odenkirk. “Kindly leave your information at the tone and Mr. McGill will phone you promptly.”

The billboard is apparently being used in an episode of the AMC series, which recently started shooting in Albuquerque and is set to air in early 2015. The spin-off is set to pick up before the events of Breaking Bad.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Loyal Listeners Club

Russell Simmons Explains Why He’s Honoring Ex-Wife

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

Lawrence Lucier/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Russell Simmons is set to honor his ex-wife, Kimora Lee Simmons, among others at the 15th annual Art for Life Benefit in Bridgehampton, New York, on July 26, which will benefit his Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. Although it may raise eyebrows for some, the rap and media mogul tells ABC News Radio that in fact, Kimora and her husband, investment banker Tim Leissner, are huge supporters of the foundation and are expected to announce a “huge number” donation that evening, marking the “biggest donation we ever received.”

So how do the two exes remain friends after splitting in 2009?  “How is that possible that you could love somebody so much and then create something so beautiful as your children and not share that bond and appreciate the process?” Simmons asks rhetorically.

“No matter what your differences are you should have something much greater than those differences in your children,” he adds. “And I think it seems to me elementary but, you know, surprising to some other people.”

Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons are parent to two daughters, Ming Lee and Aoki Lee. Kimora also has a son, Kenzo, with her ex-boyfriend, actor Djimon Hounsou.

With the help of Kimora’s donation, the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation will continue to expose the arts to inner city youth in New York City. Russell said he started the foundation with his brothers, rapper/minister Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons and Danny Simmons, because it was instilled in them at an early age that arts and creativity were important.

“My mother was a painter. My father was a poet. My brother is a painter. My other brother is a poet. I’m a producer of creative projects and a writer of creative projects. And so I realized that the outward expression and everything you do is informed by some creativity, some imagination,” Simmons explains. “It’s very important to cultivate the imagination.”

Music lovers may want to check out the “Art for Life” auction on Charitybuzz, in which proceeds will also go to the foundation. The auction includes the opportunity to meet LL Cool J, meet Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and attend their Sept. 13 concert in Las Vegas, hang out with John Legend while he’s on the road or meet Will Smith and attend the red carpet premiere of his upcoming film, Focus, in 2015. Bidding is open for those prizes until Aug. 7.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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