Kanye West shocked the audience at the AAHH! Fest in Chicago, Illinois by making a surprise appearance on stage on Sunday (21Sep14).
The Stronger hitmaker was a shock addition to the bill at the inaugural music festival in his hometown which was organised by fellow rapper Common in conjunction with West's arts organisation Donda's House Inc. West performed 16 tracks including All of the Lights, Jesus Walks, Gold Digger and his collaboration with Common, Get Em High.
The AAHH! Fest, held in Chicago's Union Park, was hosted by comedian David Chappelle and included sets from Common, Lupe Fiasco, Jay Electronica and Jennifer Hudson.
Jennifer Connelly lost 25 pounds (11.3 kilograms) to play a homeless woman in her real-life husband Paul Bettany's directorial debut. The Noah star really jumped into the world of the displaced to research her role as Hannah in Shelter, and as well as learning how to use needles and drug paraphernalia and spending time with addicts, she also underwent a drastic weightloss to look gaunt for the part.
She tells WENN, "There was so much to work to do about her (Hannah) and the circumstances of her life that I knew nothing about. I had a lot of practical research to do. Slowly, over months, I lost a lot of weight and ultimately lost about 25 pounds.
"I wanted to be quite comfortable with her and I had no experience of using needles, so I spent a lot of time working on that so I could be quite at ease; practising using the paraphernalia.
"There's an organisation called Coalition for the Homeless in New York City, which is a phenomenal organisation and they were very generous with their time. Also, my character is an intravenous drug user so I spent a lot of time with people who are currently struggling with addiction, with doctors who are experts on addiction and some recovered addicts who shared their stories with me and worked with me closely on the script.
"Another organisation, called Lower East Side Home Reduction Center, was also very useful to me with their outreach programmes. We'd walk around Astor Place and Tompkins Square Park at night (in the East Village) and got ideas from people I met. I watched a lot of documentaries and looked at images and photos to see what her skin would look like and what her arms would look like. It was pretty quite specific."
But her research was also distressing, because she came face to face with the shocking homeless statistics, adding, "The sheer numbers are quite striking. I had no idea. For me it was quite revelatory to realise how many children are homeless in New York; 56,000 people each night in New York City are in shelters alone. So those numbers are quite staggering and that doesn't count for people who are sleeping rough, sleeping in the streets and not in shelters."
Friends who star on Saturday Night Live together go on to star in almost every movie they make together. At least, that appears to be Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader's philosophy, and the two are carrying on the tradition with their latest film The Skeleton Twins. The first trailer for the Sundance darling showcases a slightly different side of the pair, however, as they play twins who reconnect after they coincidentally each cheat death on the exact same day. Their second chance at life inspires both of them to re-evaluate their lives and mend their relationships with one another. Between the eight years they spent together on SNL, the 10 movies they've both starred in, and the countess talk show and award show appearances they've made together, Wiig and Hader have created many wonderful, weird, and goofy characters. In celebration of their chemistry, here's a look back at all of the hilarious pairings that Wiig and Hader have entertained us with over the years...
Devin and Karina, The Californians Despite being one of SNL's most divisive recurring sketches, The Californians was a cast favorite, which explains why it was performed so many times. Still, the pointless soap opera about rich people giving directions would be nothing without Hader's Devin, whose close relationship with Wiig's Karina caused a great deal of tension with her husband, Stuart (Fred Armisen).
Brady Trunk and Anastasia Hicks, Hollywood Dish As the world's worst entertainment news hosts, Wiig and Hader had the perfect opportunity to showcase both their most obnoxious, arrogant voices and their silliest faces during some extremely uncomfortable interviews with various celebrities that culminated in a series of dramatic spit takes.
Lyle Round and Mindy Elise Grayson, Secret Word Nine times out of ten, if SNL was doing a game show sketch, Hader played the host. Still, his most famous host was Lyle Round, an obnoxious, sleazy '50s television personality who always laughed at his own jokes and alternated between flirting with and yelling at Wiig's Mindy Elise Grayson, who has never been able to understand the one rule of the show. It's Wiig and Hader at their most over-enunciated, which is generally when they're at their finest.
Bobby and Paulette, Adventureland As the permanently exasperated couple that runs the titular theme park, Hader and Wiig got the chance to introduce audiences to their relaxed, hilarious chemistry and the oddball characters that we'd come to love them for, along with the real reason why nobody ever wins a giant panda while playing arcade games. They just don't have that many left.
Phone Sex Callers, Her In perhaps their strangest co-starring role (and considering the kind of weirdos these two normally play, that's saying something), Hader and Wiig each provided voices for people in a chat room that Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) enters at the beginning of the film to connect with another person. Though Hader plays a man pretending to be a woman, his cameo is brief (and if you didn't know to listen for him, it would probably pass you by completely). Wiig's performance as SexyKitten, on the other hand, is much more memorable, primarily because she asked Theodore to... well, "choke [her] with the dead cat" in the throes of passion. You'll never be able to watch Bridesmaids the same way again.
Lana Del Rey has scored her first U.S. number one album as Ultraviolence debuts at the top of the Billboard 200 as expected. The new release sold 182,000 units in its first week on sale, giving the singer/songwriter her best week on the countdown.
British soul sensation Sam Smith is also celebrating after debuting his first album, In the Lonely Hour, at two, with 166,000 first-week sales, and Linkin Park make it an all-new top three by entering at three with The Hunting Party.
The Frozen soundtrack lands a 26th consecutive week in the top five at four and Willie Nelson returns to the top 10 with his highest-charting album since 1982 - Band of Brothers debuts at five.
Other new entries in the top 10 are Jennifer Lopez's AKA at eight and Deadmau5's while(1
"I have pictures of myself on that beach when I was one year old. Everything I am is because of where I grew up, and after touting that around the world, it was nice to be able to come back and say thank you. My whole family was there; it was very moving." New York native Jennifer Lopez on her recent homecoming show at Orchard Beach in Pelham Bay Park, the Bronx.
Superstar Jennifer Lopez will miss out on joining rapper Pitbull and singer Claudia Leitte in Brazil on Thursday (12Jun14) after pulling out of a planned performance of the trio's official 2014 FIFA World Cup soccer anthem at the competition's opening ceremony. The trio recorded the track We Are One (Ole Ola) for the global soccer competition, but FIFA officials have announced that Lopez will no longer be able to take part in the World Cup kick-off event due to unspecified "production issues". The singer has yet to comment on the news, but she has been busy promoting her forthcoming album A.K.A. in and around her native New York in the past few days. And there's personal drama in her life - Lopez has reportedly split from dancer boyfriend Casper Smart. Pitbull and Brazilian vocalist Leitte will take the stage at the Arena de Sao Paulo on Thursday before host nation Brazil takes on Croatia in the first match of the World Cup. The three musicians performed We Are One (Ole Ola) together for the first time on TV at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas last month (May14).
Jennifer Lopez told residents of her former New York neighbourhood she was "happy to be home" as she performed her first concert there on Wednesday (04Jun14) despite an outcry from locals. The Jenny From The Block hitmaker faced resistance after announcing plans to play a gig in Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, the tough neighbourhood where she grew up.
It was her first show in the area since she shot to fame with her debut album On the 6 in 1999, but locals weren't so welcoming - members of the City Island Civic Association urged authorities to cancel the event amid fears it would cause chaos on the roads.
Officials refused to bow to pressure and Lopez graced the stage as scheduled in front of thousands of fans, performing tracks such as If You Had My Love and Jenny From The Block.
She told the crowd, "I'm so happy to be home."
During the concert, Lopez gave a nod to the notorious green Versace dress she wore to the 2000 Grammy awards by wearing a swimsuit-style costume in a similar print.
After the gig , she tweeted: "Had so much fun tonight! Thank you #JLovers #JLoComingHome."
However, some Bronx natives bemoaned the fact the star had failed to put on a show for her community in 15 years. One told the New York Post, "She's been making all this money... but she doesn't even help out the neighbourhood. Most of the people I know think she's a sellout."
Jennifer Lopez returned to her old New York City neighbourhood on Sunday (01Jun14) to urge residents to follow her healthy eating campaign. The star teamed up with health experts at the Montefiore Medical Center last month (May14) to promote a better understanding of nutrition in the Bronx, which is struggling with a childhood obesity epidemic.
She shocked locals who had turned out at the medical facility's Norwood campus, before explaining that she had found it daunting to switch from eating a meat and carbohydrate heavy diet to veganism.
Lopez explained, "I grew up on rice and beans and pork chops... (Change is) scary... But all it means is making grains and fruits and vegetables the main part of every meal we make."
The mother-of-two also vowed to help bring down the official rate of overweight children in the borough, which is currently at 50 per cent.
She added, "I'm not having that! No. This has to change. We have to start doing good things for ourselves now."
Lopez's visit comes amid growing calls from many locals in the Bronx's City Island for officials to step in and cancel her free concert at Pelham Bay Park on Wednesday (04Jun14) over fears the roads will come to a standstill with extra traffic.
Residents in the Bronx, New York are urging local officials to cancel an upcoming Jennifer Lopez concert amid concerns the superstar's homecoming show will cause big traffic problems in the surrounding neighbourhoods. The Jenny from the Block hitmaker is set to head home to headline a free gig in Pelham Bay Park on Wednesday (04Jun14), but a number of locals in City Island, a town which borders the park, are already upset by the impending chaos the gig will cause.
Members of the City Island Civic Association and its president, Bill Stanton, have penned a letter to both the Parks Commissioner and New York Police Department Commissioner to urge them to axe the concert so as to not overwhelm the neighbourhood of City Island.
In the letter, obtained by the New York Daily News, they state, "We write to you today on behalf of our small community of 4,500 residents... located next to Pelham Bay Park... the selected site for a free Jennifer Lopez concert for 25,000 visitors on June 4...
"To our knowledge, none of our elected officials or even our local community board had been consulted... They would have surely informed you that our small community sits immediately off of this venue and relies on the roadways within Pelham Bay Park to enter and exit our neighborhood."
Stanton goes on to state that a previous appearance by Lopez in Pelham Bay Park led to "illegal parking, tons of litter and standstill traffic on roads leading to City Island," adding that they are "nervous of a similar ordeal repeating itself".
The letter continues, "In our opinion this is grossly unfair, and steps must be taken to rectify this situation."
The members of the association are requesting for a special traffic lane designated for City Island residents to get home easily.
Lopez has yet to comment on the matter.
Not every show can go out on a good note. Sure, some shows like Breaking Bad come up with a conclusion that feels right and true to most fans. But usually, when a show has been on the air for a while, finding a tidy way to wrap things up can be a chore.
Even if it's been planned out since the beginning, as was the case with the series finale of How I Met Your Mother, it's hard to make people who have invested time in the characters feel like they've said goodbye in a satisfying way. While the fury swells over the HIMYM's controversial ending, it's helpful to distract ourselves with other epic finale fails Ted and his stupid blue French horn are up against.
It's like the start of a joke… Tony Soprano walks into a diner.
That's how David Chase sets up the finale of his landmark HBO series. The Mafia boss made famous by the late James Gandolfini rifles through a jukebox at his table and picks out Journey's "Don’t Stop Believing." His wife Carmela (Edie Falco) joins him, soon followed by his son A.J. (Robert Iler). The diner is full. A guy in a hat sits at a nearby booth and may have eyed Tony when he was alone. Another guy in a Members Only jacket enters right before A.J. and seems kind of twitchy. Another pair of guys lingers near the counter. Tony's daughter Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) is late because she can't parallel park. The jacket guy walks past the Soprano's table and goes into the bathroom. Meadow, finally out of the car, walks towards the door of the diner. She reaches out to open it, the bell rings above the door and… nothing. Cut to a black screen.
Millions of Americans reached for their remote, sure that their TV sets had just completely screwed them over and were poised to call their cable company... when suddenly the credits started to roll. The shock that the series ended with a cut to black set fans howling and looking for answers. Did we go black because a bullet just went through Tony's head? Did the bell mean something? Were the potential threats in the diner just a part of Tony's normal paranoia? What the heck does any of it mean? Chase has steadfastly refused to provide much in the way of explanation, leaving a large section of the fan base furious over the ambiguity.
The show about nothing decided to make the end about something. That's a problem. With Larry David back to write the final episode of the show that he created with his friend Jerry Seinfeld, the group is about to have some good fortune. The show-within-a-show created by Jerry and George (Jason Alexander) finds new life and the duo, along with Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Kramer (Michael Richards), are jetting off to Paris to celebrate in a private jet courtesy of NBC. But, some mechanical issues ground them and while they wait, they stand around making jokey comments about a car-jacking that they're witnessing. Next thing you know, we're in a court room with every ancillary character in the history of the show, each with his or her own story of how horrible Jerry and his friends are. The foursome is led to a single jail cell after being convicted under a Good Samaritan law and, essentially, starts having a conversation the same as they would at Monk's or Jerry's apartment.
As the credits role, Jerry, dressed in prison orange, performs a stand-up routine for the other inmates. The finale was bloated, lazy, and worst of all, not funny… with jokes falling flat left and right. Apparently most of the humor was supposed to come from the audience seeing the Soup Nazi or Newman one last time. For a show that had delivered consistent laughs throughout its entire run, not remaining true to the style of humor that had made it a cultural phenomenon was the ultimate sin.
The critically acclaimed '80s medical drama had a very loyal fan base that kept it on the air. It's hard to remember but the Boston-based show was the career launching pad for a number of actors, Denzel Washington and Mark Harmon chief amongst them, and was a major influence on later hospital series like ER and Grey's Anatomy. In the finale, a bearded Howie Mandel leaves after finishing his residency and David Morse's soulful Dr. Morrison collects his young son to depart as well. As the show's moral center Dr. Westphal (Ed Flanders) returns to his office, his autistic son (Chad Allen) stares out the window at the falling snow.
Cut to: Westphal now dressed as a construction worker entering an apartment where his son is on the floor staring at a snow globe. What's inside the globe? A replica of St. Eligius Hospital, or St. Elsewhere, as it's more commonly called. So, the whole show was just something that played out in the mind of an autistic boy? Is that it? Really? The whole "it was all fake" ending worked exactly once with the brilliant final reveal on Newhart, but that's it.
The closet serial killer played by Michael C. Hall is getting out of the game. With his girlfriend Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski) and son Harrison (Evan and Luke Kruntchev) in tow, he's going to skip out to Argentina and lead a more peaceful life... then a criminal shoots Dex's sister Debra (Jennifer Carpenter). Even though she seems fine, she suddenly lapses into a coma after a massive stroke. Dexter kind of matter-of-factly kills Saxon while he's in police custody, sends Hannah and Harrison off to Buenos Aires, and then takes Deb off life support. He steals her body and dumps it into the sea, before faking his own death. Except when we see Hannah and Harrison way down south, Dexter isn't with them and Hannah is reading a news story about his presumed watery demise.
We hear Dexter in a voice-over explaining how hard it is to be him. So, where is he? Well, why don't we let every fan of the Showtime hit take over from here: "A lumberjack?! He's a f**king lumberjack?! What do you mean he's a f**king lumberjack?!" Before that final scream-inducing reveal — seriously, how many TV sets were broken when remotes went sailing into them immediately after the shot of bearded Dexter? — the episode was pretty lifeless, moving from point A to B to C in a paint-by-numbers kind of way.
Just like with Seinfeld, the ending to Roseanne Barr's long-running sitcom felt like a cheat. Really it was a case where the show probably should've ended a couple of seasons before it actually did. The final season was an unmitigated disaster as the Connors won the lottery and the entire premise of the show changed, becoming a distorted rumination on the meaning of life. In the final episode, we see the cast of the show gathered around the kitchen table eating, laughing, and joking. Then a voice-over from Rosanne tells us that what we've been watching was a figment of her imagination. She's changed things from real life as she's written, including having Dan survive the heart attack that actually killed him two years prior. Worse, she calls into question what parts of the show going back before the heart attack were real (what do you mean David is really Becky's boyfriend?). Considering that the show became a ratings juggernaut with its funny portrayal of the real issues that face lower-middle class Americans, being told that it was just the main character's alternate reality was a slap in the face. And, while it's fine for a finale to be packed with emotion — plenty of fans cried at the end of M*A*S*H and The Mary Tyler Moore Show — the final shot of Roseanne sitting alone on her couch was unnecessarily depressing.