Mariah Carey's husband, rapper/actor Nick Cannon, has dyed parts of his hair blond to resemble a cheetah print. He spent five hours in the hairdresser's chair to achieve the look and debuted the wacky new hairstyle on Instagram.com on Monday morning (31Mar14) before heading out to U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America for a TV interview.
Rapper/actor Nick Cannon welcomed the controversy sparked by his skin-lightening stunt to promote his new album White People Party Music, because he hopes the idea will help his fans recognise the difference between "humour and hatred". Mariah Carey's husband created a character called Connor Smallnut to promote the project, and he recently shared images of himself wearing a wig and heavy make-up to make his skin look white in photos as his new alter-ego.
The snaps prompted a wave of criticism online, with many making comparisons to the uproar created whenever white people don 'blackface', insisting Cannon's stunt is no different.
However, the star claims there is nothing racist about his actions.
He tells U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America, "It was one of those things, even in naming my album and naming the character, I knew it would spark some controversy, but I felt like it's a conversation we needed...
"Everybody's really sensitive when it comes to race, and that's one of the reasons why I did it... They (critics) are using this term 'whiteface,' like, I don't even know what that is. I know 'blackface' was a term that was created in 1869 to describe offensive minstrel shows. 'Whiteface,' if you look it up and Google it, it's a ski slope in upstate New York! I was doing a character impression, 'blackface' is about oppression...
"But to me, this was to have fun and to put it out there - yes, we have issues with race in this country, in this world, but it doesn't have to be with hatred. There's a big difference between humour and hatred.
"It gets about this whole double standard... It's really not that big of a deal. I'm an artist (so) I get the opportunity to create. As long as I embrace it, you know, of course, everything's gonna come with consequences and a little heat, but if I can take the heat."
Tribeca Film via Everett Collection
It seems like the general mission statement of your usual coming-of-age drama is to take the lighter fare of growing up, all those moments that we took for granted until our wistful recollections years later, and pull back the curtain on just how important they always were. The first kisses, the first fights, the first sips of beer — these are the elements that have lined the genre since before American Graffiti and Breaking Away. But in earnest, there is no cookie cutter mold for the coming-of-age experience. Romance and high jinks could well take a backseat — or fall out of the picture altogether — when your childhood is shaped by something like the subject matter of Hide Your Smiling Faces, an altogether inviting and merciless picture about the sudden death of a young boy, and the aftermath as experienced by two of his close friends.
Ostensibly, this is a movie about death — about what it means to lose a friend, a child, a neighbor. About what it means to understand, for the very first time, the idea of mortality, of impermanence, of loss. And through the often silent (though never to a fault) journeys of two brothers, young Tommy (Ryan Jones) and preteen Eric (Nathan Varnson), we see a version of "death" not often granted to the screen. Director Daniel Patrick Carbone doesn't seem too strained to avoid the theatrical, a weighty humanity sewn effortlessly into the every move, breath, and rare word ventured by the suffering boys. We're not treated to Rabbit Hole-esque diatribes or Oscar bait explosions in a movie whose subject matter might beckon the like. We're carted through an impressively effective journey inside the boys as they battle not only with their pain, but with the inscrutable parameters set for their expression of it.
Tribeca Film via Everett Collection
But the struggles of Tommy and Eric aren't limited to the time frame of human grief. Just as coming-of-age movies that present kisses and fights as representative glimpses into an endless stretch of the human condition, the brothers' experience with death is truly a bold rock with which their road to maturity is paved. The tragedy brings to the forefront issues that won't fade over time: the stinging confusion inherent in figuring out how to feel, what to think, and what to show about everything. Scenes involving Tommy's own gateway into the kissing world, and Eric's sudden rift with a friend he thought he understood (and about whom, in losing that understanding, he no longer knows how to feel) highlight just how expansive these themes are. They, in fact, might be the only permanent thing there is.
Even in its sincerity, Hide Your Smiling Faces doesn't fall shy of cinematic — shot in the beautiful New Jersey woodlands, we explore defunct bridges, silent dirt roads, and rotting old houses that feel impossibly lived in, courtesy of just how closely we are welcomed to the boys themselves.
A story about life and death alike, Hide Your Smiling Faces handles both in a fashion you won't often see in film. In its tackling of the former — of growth and discovery — it is haunting, harsh, and sad. In the latter, it isn't afraid to access joy, hypocrisy, and beauty. On each side of its impossibly vast fence, Hide Your Smiling Faces gives us something touching, tremendous, and new. Mending the two, we wind up with something altogether beautiful.
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Whitney Houston's sister-in-law has obtained a restraining order against the new husband of the late singer's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown after alleging he made threats against her. Pat Houston claims Nick Gordon also posted photos of guns on Twitter.com earlier this month (Mar14), directly after an alleged fight at a family function.
Now he has been ordered to stay away from the I Will Always Love you star's former manager and confidante, who is also the executor of her sister-in-law's estate.
Gordon received the legal paperwork on Monday (24Mar14).
Brown and Gordon announced they were married in January (14).
British rocker Billy Bragg tried to scam money out of his fellow performers with rigged mini-golf games while touring in Australia. The singer/songwriter was included in the line-up for Australia's touring festival Big Day Out in 1996 alongside acts including Rage Against The Machine, The Prodigy and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
The A New England hitmaker saw an opportunity to make some money from the other musicians with a mini-golf betting scam, but his plan ran into trouble when The Prodigy's singer Keith Flint proved unexpectedly skilled at the novelty sport.
Bragg tells NME magazine, "On the Big Day Out in 1996, I was running a mini-golf betting scam, which involved beating the s**t out of The Prodigy. Except Keith (Flint), who had never played before but won every time! No matter how I set it up and how I scammed it, Keith always managed to play that path. I was making a fortune."
Actress/singer Krysta Rodriguez has dropped out of a leading role in the How I Met Your Mother spin-off. The Smash star was set to play Juliet, the best friend of lead actress Greta Gerwig's character, in How I Met Your Dad, but she exited the pilot project after changes were made to the script following the first table read, according to Deadline.com.
The spin-off, which stars Gerwig, Drew Tarver, Nick D'Agosto and Andrew Santino, will centre on a group of friends living in New York and follow the main character's journey to meeting her future husband.
The How I Met Your Mother series finale will air in the U.S. on Monday (31Mar14).
Mariah Carey's rapper husband Nick Cannon has sparked outrage by changing his skin colour in photographs to promote his new album White People Party Music. The American Idol host has created a new character, dubbed Connor Smallnut, to promote the record, and he shared pictures of himself wearing a wig and special make-up to make his skin look white in photos as his new alter-ego.
Cannon posted a number of the snaps on Instagram.com along with a picture of actor Robert Downey, Jr. in movie Tropic Thunder, in which his character is made-up to look black, with the caption, "Shout out to @RobertDowneyJr This is one of my favorite characters of all time! Hilarious!!! There is a big difference between humour and hatred."
The pictures have sparked outrage among a number of fans, who have blasted the star on Twitter.com, but Cannon has brushed off the criticism, adding in a post on the social networking website, "It's funny how people take themselves so seriously. People love drama! We feed off of it (sic). Just relax and have fun!!"
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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R&B singer Bobby Brown had no idea his daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown secretly married her 'adopted' brother Nick Gordon last month (Jan14). Gordon was informally adopted by Bobbi's mother, Whitney Houston, when he was just 12 years old. His friendship with Bobbi Kristina turned into romance and the pair married in a secret ceremony in January (14).
Her father, New Edition star Brown, has now revealed he was unaware of the nuptials, telling TMZ.com, "She didn't get married... she's still single."
Brown admitted he was not invited to the wedding and added, "I don't have much to say about it. If she says she is (married)... I don't know about it."
The couple is reportedly planning a lavish second ceremony this summer (14).
Nick Lachey made his debut as the host of U.S. breakfast TV show Big Morning Buzz Live on Monday (03Mar14), returning to the same stage which helped launch his career over 15 years ago. The 98 Degrees star became the official presenter for the pop culture news show on America's VH1 network, which films in the heart of Times Square in New York City in the same studio that used to house popular MTV music video countdown show Total Request Live in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
And it was not lost on the singer that the home of his new daytime talk show career is where his band got their big break.
He admitted, "It's kind of a surreal, out-of-body moment for me. I mean, I look around this studio and I have so many memories of being in this space, you know back in the day, on TRL. Actually 1999, New Year's Eve, I was standing right over there with my buddies from 98 Degrees, we performed and brought in the new year."
The studio is also where he first met his now wife, Vanessa Lachey, who used to serve as a presenter on TRL.
Lachey adds, "Seeing my career launch from this point, it's crazy to be back in the studio all these years later. My now wife interviewed me in this space. It is a full circle moment."
The singer/host kicked off his first show in an unusual way - guest Sophia Bush showed off the skills she has learned from her new show Chicago PD (Police Department) by handcuffing Lachey, and he stayed locked up for half of the show.