Producers behind Reese Witherspoon's new refugee drama The Good Lie are shining the spotlight on the humanitarian crisis in war-torn Sudan by setting up a special charity fund. In the film, which is based on real-life events, the actress stars as a tough-talking American assigned to help four young Sudanese refugees, known as the Lost Boys of Sudan, relocate to the U.S.
Now filmmakers are using the movie to highlight the struggles faced by children left orphaned and homeless by the violence in the African region by establishing The Good Lie Fund to help support victims of the Civil War and in particular, those seeking solace at Kenya's Kakuma refugee camp.
Producer Molly Smith says, "We want to make a difference with this movie. It's a movie that inspires you. Their culture inspires you. Their story inspires you."
A benefit gala to raise funds for the cause is set to be held in Washington, D.C. later this month (Sep14).
Actress Anne Hathaway attended a rally in Los Angeles on Thursday (08May14) to call for the release of the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls. The teenagers were snatched from a school in northern Nigeria last month (Apr14) during a night raid by members of the Boko Haram extremist group, who want to deny them a Western education.
Oscar winner Hathaway and her husband Adam Schulman became the latest celebrities to back the cause, taking to the streets of Los Angeles in a Bring Back Our Girls rally to demand urgent action over the scandal.
Hathaway even used a megaphone to lead the crowd in chants to support the cause.
Documentary filmmaker Ramaa Mosley, who attended the rally, tells Entertainment Tonight, "She came and surprised us and her voice was louder than everybody else. They were yelling at all the cars (passing by)!"
Hathaway is just one of many stars to show their support for the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, which was first launched on Twitter.com.
Sean 'Diddy' Combs, Jada Pinkett Smith, Amy Poehler, Reese Witherspoon, Cara Delevingne, Anthony Kiedis, Alicia Keys, and Ellen DeGeneres are all backing the drive to pressure the Nigerian government to step in and rescue the missing girls.
British actor Matt Smith has landed a major new role in the Terminator reboot. The former Doctor Who star will play a man with a strong connection to Jason Clarke's lead character John Connor and his story arc is expected to grow over the trilogy, according to Deadline.com.
Smith will join Game Of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor, Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who will reprise his Cyborg role, in Terminator: Genesis, which will be directed by Thor: The Dark World filmmaker Alan Taylor.
The movie is due to hit theatres in July, 2015.
U.S. drama Days Of Our Lives will make TV history this week (beg31Mar14) by becoming the first daytime soap to feature a wedding between two gay men. The character of Will Horton, played by Guy Wilson, will marry on screen partner Sonny Kiriakis, portrayed by Freddie Smith, in a storyline which will take place over the course of three consecutive episodes later this week.
It is not the first same-sex wedding to be part of a U.S. soap - lesbians Bianca Montgomery and Reese Williams, played by Eden Riegel and Tamara Braun respectively, exchanged vows on All My Children in 2009.
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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The Hangover star Justin Bartha's real-life wedding went without a hitch when he walked down the aisle with fiancee Lia Smith on Saturday (04Jan14). The 35 year old wed the personal trainer in a sunset ceremony on the idyllic island of Oahu in Hawaii.
Exchanging vows around a lagoon at the Kualoa ranch in front of just 20 guests, including Reese Witherspoon and her husband Jim Toth, Smith wore a flowing white gown, while Bartha kept it simple in a smart black suit. Bartha's The Hangover co-star Ken Jeong and Jesse Eisenberg also attended.
He proposed to the brunette beauty while on vacation in Big Sur, California in early May (13).
Bartha famously played Doug Billings in the big screen comedy trilogy, whose bachelor party turns into a disaster during the original movie.
In the hands of an increasingly self-aware media, the traditional fairy tale romance has come under fire in the past couple of decades. The genre has earned a wealth of criticism that includes accusations of instilling limiting female role models and harmfully unrealistic illustrations of relationships. As such, we've seen a wave of deconstruction: subtle entries like Shrek, Ella Enchanted, and the upcoming play-to-film adaptation Into the Woods. Now, Reese Witherspoon — with a hue and bone structure that seem to be modeled after those of a fabled royal — is delivering Happily Ever After, a Disney film that looks to showcase what happens to your standard prince and the princess 10 years down the line.
A decade past being whisked off from the clutches of a dragon or a witch or whatever evil might have befallen Witherspoon's character, we find her and her husband struggling to keep their relationship afloat. But how biting do we expect this potentially interesting project to be? On the one hand, it's a Disney production, which suggests that a happy ending will indeed follow a rocky rom-com set-up. But there's hope: the premise was pitched to the studio by Nahnatchka Khan, the creator of the short-lived Don't Trust the B— in Apartment 23, a sitcom that was unapologetically acerbic and devilish.
Disney, through ABC, allowed Khan free reign over her dark sense of humor with Don't Trust the B— (a television show that was cut down before its due), so perhaps we'll see another impressively caustic tale in Witherspoon's Happily Ever After. After all, the actress has gained quite a colorful reputation in recent months.
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Last week, the world learned about the blog 300 Sandwiches and its creator, New York Post reporter Stephanie Smith. And everyone had something to say about it.
Here's the gist, if you somehow managed to miss the story: Smith's boyfriend begged her for weeks to make him a sandwich and when she finally gave in, announced that she was only "300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring!" And, because this is how people's minds work these days, Smith decided to take on the challenge and document her it in a blog.
The project already sounds like a poorly envisioned romantic comedy, so why don't we turn it into one? We've got our dream cast all lined up, for both the real-life players and some fictional characters we added to the mix.
Lea Michele as Stephanie Smith
As the Type-A Rachel Berry on Glee, Michele shows just the right mix of unsettling positivity and manic energy necessary to play the marriage-hungry blogger.
Ian Somerhalder as Stephanie's Boyfriend
We imagine that the sandwich-loving programmer is dashing enough to inspire this kind of lunacy, yet smarmy enough to ask for it in the first place.
Krysten Ritter as Single Gal #1
Ritter would kill it as the disapproving friend whose kitchen, Smith claims, "is used for shoe storage."
Emma Watson as Single Gal #2
We like the idea of Hermione Granger herself playing the second girlfriend ("a hard-working C-suite banking executive), who thinks Smith's plan is disturbingly outdated.
Regina Taylor as the Gourmet Deli Owner
Taylor's character could provide some wise council to Smith during her frequent sandwich ingredient shopping trips. And she can help get her into the arms of...
Chris Pine as The Good Guy Chef
How about dreamy, blue-eyed Pine for the guy who falls in love with the blogger at the deli and wins her when he offers to make her a couple hundred layered delicacies?
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Paul Sakuma/AP Photo
To paraphrase the late Gil Scott-Heron, the revolution will not be televised — it will be streamed. Given the surge of popularity of streaming devices and entertainment, Target recently announced that they'd be joining the streaming bandwagon with their new "Target Ticket" service.
In the age of "binge-watching," it almost seems archaic to watch episodic television on a weekly basis. Why must we give in to the draconian schedule of broadcasters we cry! Old Blockbuster stores will serve as the post-apocalyptic backdrop to the latest original series on Netflix and on-demand cable is just a thumb in the dam — blocking the imminent flood of streaming entertainment.
Target's catalog of 15,000 movies and shows may seem measly compared to Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, Netflix and Apple TV libraries, but they've just entered the game. While quantity is a huge appeal to viewers, quality is what will beat out the competition. One of the main reasons why movie fans flocked to Netflix and streaming services in the first place was to find alternative titles than the wall full of Garfield DVD's that would greet you at your local video store. Now Apple TV even streams movies before they hit theaters — giving indie films a whole new audience, especially for those don't have access to art-house venues.
Besides catering to niche interests using fancy algorithms and shifting libraries, original programming seems to be the new frontier of which many of these services are shooting for. With the advent of Amazon's new production company and Netflix nabbing 14 Emmy nominations for their original series, these companies are no longer just a platform. Their definition of streaming devices as "inexpensive smart TV adapters," is apt considering the way we consume entertainment now.
Despite their convenience and cost, these services still have to answer to the big entertainment companies who continue to drive up the cost of their content. Just this year, they also lost 1800 titles due to contracts with MGM, Universal, and Warner Brothers that were not renewed causing a massive backlash against this "streamageddon" by users. But for every title lost, another one takes its place, as the company announced a new deal with the Weinstein Co. that will give Netflix the exclusive streaming rights to the company's first-run films starting in 2016. The costs are understandable, considering the sheer numbers that go into making the content. And until these companies find some sort of mutually beneficial solution, your favorite titles will continue to fluctuate. Although now Netflix will update you when something is about to expire.
Our televisions have become thinner, hi-def, 3D but have they become any smarter? While the cable companies battle it out with broadcasters, Sony, Intel, Google and other companies are looking to sidestep cable altogether by offering packages of channels via online. Nobody wants to settle for exorbitant cable packages and be stuck with useless shopping channels. As the Internet would reply — "ain't no one got time for dat."
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Each week, Hollywood gives us something to whine about, and the week of April 29 was no different. We could make a drinking game out of this week, but that would be too dangerous. Instead, we'll stick to the usual formula: varying levels of alcoholic respite depending on how bothersome the week's issues are. Is your biggest complaint this week a flimsy one? How about a light cocktail to take the edge off? Got a real bone to pick with a celeb or entertainment entity this week? Go ahead, grab a drink that'll put hair on your chest. Here are the week's entertainment stories that are forcing us to seek a bubbly or boozy refuge. And maybe an idea or two about how you should wash them down.
Sip a Little White Wine Sangria
Because Kanye West is at again. He took to Twitter with a two simple words and now we're all forced to lose our minds speculating.
Lars von Trier's new movie poster is just two parentheses. But really, it's forcing us to be the perverts to fill in the female anatomy blank.
Someone needs to buy Al Pacino a calendar. He just dropped out of a movie two months before its release.
It turns out, celebrities and horse owners have a lot in common. Apparently, they employ the same thought process when naming their babies and their horses.
Upgrade Your Buzz With a Margarita
Harrison Ford doesn't seem to be too jazzed about his new movie. This video doesn't bode well for Ender's Game, does it?
Jaden Smith is supporting Justin Bieber's harem pants movement. At the cost of looking like he has baby legs.
Everyone at The Office says Steve Carell isn't coming back. But we refuse to believe Michael Scott would miss this finale.
What the hell, Showtime? This Dexter poster is going to give us nightmares.
Go Ahead, Drink Some Straight Tequila
Lindsay Lohan has been arrested so many times, we can't keep track. No really, we tried and it's near impossible.
Amanda Bynes finally gave a reason for her madness. She wants to look like a famous stripper. Great, back to square one.
This whole Reese Witherspoon thing keeps getting worse. Now there's a second video of Jim Tosh scolding Witherspoon. Will it never end?
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