U.S. basketball superstar Lebron James is set to make his feature film acting debut alongside comedian/actor Kevin Hart in Ballers. Hart and James will play mismatched brothers in the film which centres on Hart's character, who lives in the shadow of his larger-than-life sibling, but gets a chance to prove himself when he attends a fantasy basketball camp.
Production on the project was originally set to start in 2011, but producers Brian Grazer and Michael Rosenberg, shelved the project after James' Miami Heat team lost the NBA Finals, because they feared he would face criticism for spending the following summer shooting a movie instead of working on his game, according to TheWrap.com.
Hart and James will produce the movie alongside Grazer and Rosenberg, and Hart is writing the script.
Production is set to begin next summer (14).
In addition to his big screen debut, James is also developing a TV comedy series with Glee actor Mike O'Malley.
If Kevin Hart did nothing else this year other than bring us the amazingness that is Real Husbands of Hollywood, he’d still be one of the coolest people of all time. But the comedian and beloved fake reality show star has decided to go above and beyond the call of duty. He’s always been big on showing love to his fans and to his hometown, and recently he decided to express his gratitude by giving back to Philadelphia. Kevin just made a ginormous donation of $250,000 in the form of 500 new computers to the Philadelphia public school district, which means we all have one more reason to love this guy.
Many of us lament about the state of America’s public school systems, but few of us take time out of our days to actually do something. Kevin leads a great example for celebrities and non-celebrities alike. In a public statement he said, "I am blessed to be in a position that allows me to give back to the city that made me who I am." He also took to Twitter to encourage others to give back where they can as well. Kudos to Kevin!
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Victoria's Secret model Jessica Hart has backtracked after she insisted Taylor Swift was out of place at the lingerie firm's famous fashion show last week (ends17Nov13), insisting she didn't mean to say "anything bad" about the singer. The blonde beauty hit headlines when she appeared to criticise Swift, who performed on the runway during the show in New York City last Wednesday (13Nov13), telling WWD.com, "I think she's great. But, I don't know, to me, she didn't fit. I don't know if I should say that."
However, Hart insists her comments have been misconstrued, telling Usmagazine.com, "I adore Taylor Swift, and I was so excited to be with her at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show... I could never get up there and do what she does! She is a true rock star and she absolutely killed it the other night... I can't imagine why I would have said anything bad about her."
If you've spent any amount of time on the Internet recently, you're probably aware that the world is currently in the midst of a long period of '90s nostalgia. Between a Boy Meets World spin off, the 'NSYNC reunion at the VMAs, and countless BuzzFeed articles, it seems like there has never been a time period more popular than the 1990s currently are. But for everyone who enjoys complaining that the cartoons today aren't as entertaining, bemoaning the lack of TGIF every week and looking for the exact outfit that Cher Horowitz wears in the beginning of Clueless, we have some bad news: '90s nostalgia may have peaked.
Tia Mowry, who rose to fame in the '90s on Sister Sister with her twin, Tamera, posted what may be the ultimate nostalgia photo on her Instagram yesterday. For Throwback Thursday, she shared of photo of herself and Tamera with Clarissa Explains It All and Sabrina the Teenage Witch star Melissa Joan Hart, Blossom's Jenna Von Oy, and Jodie Sweetin and Andrea Barber, who played Stephanie Tanner and Kimmie Gibbler on Full House. Mowry captioned the photo "TBT Can you recognize who's who? We are all mommies now :) xx".
Mowry's photo may be the ultimate piece of '90s nostalgia. It's hard to top a photo that gathers together the stars of the biggest shows of the decade, wearing both the best and worst fashion trends of the time, posted by a '90s star herself. We, as a society, may have to move on from idolizing the 90's and choose another decade to collectively fawn over. No lists, spinoffs or reunions will be able to beat this moment. It's not like there's anything else left to say about the decade anymore. We've dissected the fashions, the music, the movies, the televison shows, and the toys in such depth that the only thing left to write are some detailed essays about POGs — and nobody wants that.
We've reached a point of nostalgia overload, and Mowry's photo may have pushed us over the edge. So, let us take her Throwback Thursday as a sign that it is time for all of us to put away our plaid vests, our platform shoes and the episodes of Hey, Arnold we've still got on VHS somewhere, and focus on a new time period. We could bring back the flapper dresses of the 1920s, celebrate the end of Mad Men with a 1960s revival, or just move forward in time and remember the early 2000s in all of their denim-tuxedoed, Britney-and-Boy-Band glory days.
Besides, let's face it, those floppy hats have never looked good on anyone.
Actress Melissa Joan Hart dumped Jerry O'Connell for the rocker who was to become her husband. The former Sabrina the Teenage Witch star recalls meeting Mark Wilkerson while she was casually dating fellow child actor O'Connell, and when her Lothario lover started flirting with other girls at a Kentucky Derby party, she decided the rocker was the man for her.
She tells Access Hollywood Live, "Jerry and I had gone to high school and college together and he ignored me, and then we were at the Derby and he's giving me all this attention and I was just newly single and I had planned I wasn't gonna meet anyone at the Derby and we started hanging out... and then I met my husband Mark.
"The next morning at the Derby races with a massive hangover, Jerry is hitting on someone else and I was like, 'Oh, I see how this is gonna be'. And then Jerry said to me, 'When we get back to L.A., are we gonna hang out?' and I said, 'I don't think so, I think I've met the man I'm gonna marry'. I had just fallen for Mark so hard, so quickly.
"I called Mark and now 10-and-a-half years later..."
Actress Melissa Joan Hart will always be grateful to her agent mum because she kept the former child star away from roles that would have ended her career early. Paula Hart was nicknamed the Dragon Lady by bosses at Nickelodeon when Hart was one of their big stars because she refused to let them transform her daughter into something she wasn't, and the actress is now glad she had such a tough woman behind her.
She says, "We're crazy about each other... We're best friends... I was getting parts that weren't appropriate for my fan base, for my age and she kept me away from all that.
"I know there's a Nickelodeon book out right now that calls her the Dragon Lady... She wouldn't let them pluck my eyebrows or put mascara on... When she came down (to set) it was like, 'What are you doing? No, you can't do that to my daughter'. They didn't like that."
Jeremy Cowart via Big Machine Records
Actress and now country singer Laura Bell Bundy talks Anger Management, Hart of Dixie, growing up in Kentucky, being nominated for a Tony, and being the next big thing in country music. This multi-talented blonde is certainly a bombshell. She's just about to explode.
Congrats on joining the cast of Anger Management alongside Charlie Sheen. Tell us a bit about your character, Dr. Jordan Denby.
I am truly having a great time doing the show. Jordan is a high strung, recovering alcoholic, emotionally unstable hot mess, yet she cares about her work and is very conscientious trying desperately to keep it together. She and Charlie go at it a bit and push each other’s buttons. The dynamic is a lot of fun. There are always funny things happening on set...Feels like all I am doing is laughing.
You were the original Elle Woods in Legally Blonde: The Musical, which led to your Tony nomination. How did you feel when you found out you were nominated?
When I heard that I was nominated I thought for sure I was dreaming, then I thought I might be dead, or that I heard incorrectly. I was silent for about 30 seconds, and then I started jumping around and screaming all alone in my apartment. When people started calling congratulating me, I finally felt assured I was alive and what I heard was true.
You are no stranger to accolades. You were recently named part of CMT’S Next Women Of Country. What sets you apart from other country artists?
I believe that every artist must follow their heart and pay attention to what is the most satisfying creatively for them and notice when they feel most inspired. I feel most inspired when I am being original or creating music that is different, it must be bold or so honest that it might reveal too much, that's when you know you are going to connect. I don't gravitate toward the in between. I never have. It is too safe. Comfort is suicide as an artist. I think what sets me apart from other country artists right now is that I am exploring the world of beats meeting banjos.
Your character on Hart of Dixie is a lot of fun. Do you relate to her in any way? Will you continue your role on HOD as you move forward with Anger Management?
I have based Shelby on my mother so, yes, I do relate to her in the way I relate to my mother, who is a total hoot! She is a high energy, all synapses firing, sweet, driven, determined southern woman. When I play Shelby I often ask myself, "how would Lorna say this? What would mom do in this situation?" Although not as frequently, I am able to still make appearances in Bluebell this upcoming season.
"Two Step," your new single, has done very well. What do you think makes the song so popular?
People have been line dancing and two-stepping for generations. I think "Two Step" connects because it has a really strong sexy beat and makes you want to move, but also gives people an excuse to dance.
What’s next for you?
When I am not filming, I am making music and writing songs. I often do concerts around the country and some overseas. I'm putting out a brand new song Nov 5th called "Kentucky Dirty," the music video being released the following week. I also put out a new mix-tape with my buddy Huff D every month on my website and soundcloud that features popular tunes and my original material. Of course, I will keep doing Cooter County videos. That's my sketch comedy web series: www.cootercounty.com
Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is less than a month away, meaning you have three solid weeks to catch up on TV before the holiday madness officially sets in. In the meantime, here are five insanely watchable shows you need to be DVRing.
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Styled to RockI know what you're thinking: she's a multi-platinum selling pop star, so why on Earth does Rihanna need a fashion show on Bravo? Well, it turns RiRi is just as comfortable in front of the camera – judging the hottest outfits from up-and-coming designers a la Project Runway – as she is singing before a crowd of 30,000. Of course it always helps when you have hip-hop super-producer Pharell Williams filling in as a fashion mentor. Maybe just a little. A new episode of Styled to Rock airs Wednesday, November 6 at 1PM ET on Bravo.
Baggage BattlesIf you're a frequent traveler, odds are you've had some kind of issue with baggage claim, only to leave the airport like a slightly less manic version of Charles Bronson in Death Wish. But did you know that there are actual people in the world that bid on your lost items at auction? Apparently the good folks over at Travel Channel did, which is why they've based a new reality show on them called Baggage Battles. People fighting over the lost goods of others – it doesn't get more American than that! Baggage Battles airs Tuesdays at 6PM ET on the Travel Channel.
Real Husbands of HollywoodChris Rock guest stars on Kevin Hart's hilarious faux reality show, which follows several real-life Hollywood househusbands – Nick Cannon among them, although first season co-star Robin Thicke has bailed on the show – on their desperate attempts to climb Hollywood's social ladder. Hey, if the ladies of New Beverly County can show what human beings look like at their lowest, most despicable form – and be successful at it – why can't a few funny dudes poke fun at them? Real Husbands of Hollywood airs Tuesday at 7PM ET on BET.
Guy's Big BiteGuy Fieri may be the most annoying TV chef on the planet, but man, that dude sure knows how to whip up some of the most visually appealing meals on the tube. This week the platinum-haired cook makes grilled skirt steak with peri-peri sauce topped with champagne vinaigrette. Sound delicious? Guy's Big Bite airs Sunday at 10:30 AM ET on the Food Network.
Mike & MollyA show about two overweight people living in one of the thickest parts of the country: Chicago. Now why didn't I think of that? Of course, before Melissa McCarthy catapulted to superstardom with her turn as a shoot-from-the-hip sister-in-law in Bridesmaids, she was a loveable teacher struggling with her weight on CBS's Mike & Molly. The show kicks off its fourth season tonight at 9 PM ET on CBS, and the promos are making a point of calling it "The New Mike & Molly," so expect some changes.
"We haven't spoken in a long time. We were doing a lot of press at the time together and running into each other a lot and she seemed like she just needed an escape; she needed someone to take her out and have some fun, and so that's what we did." Actress Melissa Joan Hart on her brief friendship with fellow former child star Britney Spears.