This week's episode of The Mindy Project kicked off with a lot of callbacks to the first season. The first and most central to the plot, Mindy's ex-boyfriend Josh (Tommy Dewey) is getting married to a woman he met in rehab (swoon). Mindy dated the semi-sociopathic sports attorney for a few episodes before finding out he had a long-term girlfriend named Heather, played by the delightful Ellie Kemper (yet another member of The Office family) who unfortunately did not return this week. The second reference follows when Danny (Chris Messina) tries to talk Mindy out of going to another exe's wedding because last time she got drunk and rode a bike into a pool, calling back to the pilot. When Danny can't be Mindy's plus-one she's left with no option other than Party Boy Peter (Adam Pally) aka Mr. Wedding. Teaming those two up for a romantic misadventure starts off a story even more fun than Mindy's outfit (more like Dr. Carrie Bradshaw).
Danny can't accompany her because he's too busy kissing his brother on the mouth and working out daddy issues. Danny's brother Richie, played by British actor Max Minghella, is in town and the rest of the Mindy gang gathers for a party in his honor. Richie gives Danny the Miami Vice soundtrack album as a present, but the catch is that it's from his father. Danny breaks the vinyl album, but not the mood of the party, as he and Richie hash it out. The party can't compete with the kind of insanity Mindy and Peter generate, but it serves a purpose as a subplot, giving Danny more back story and everyone else something to do.
Not only does this plot set up Peter and Mindy to bond further, it also sets up Peter to look like a major babe. Never doubt what a good suit and shave can do. Not only that, the emotional support and empathy he offers is endearing and funny, a rare balance only struck when great comedic acting meets excellent writing. By the time he hits the dance floor, it is impossible not to be in love with this man. And just when everyone thinks Mr. Wedding can do no wrong, he does and it's amazing. As Mindy gloats with the groom about her date, they walk in on Peter and the bride, presumably the real Mrs. Wedding, having sex on a public bathroom diaper-changing table (her something new). Peter brilliantly justifies his actions: "I can't say no. It's her day!"
In a moment of sympathy for the man that cheated on her, Mindy saves him the embarrassment of calling off the reception by doing what she does best - ruining weddings! This ultimate outcome was so climactic it was hard to believe it wasn't the season finale. It was like watching Mindy Kaling transform into Rocky Balboa. Mindy takes the stage and the fall for Peter saying that she was trying to have sex with the groom, all while being heckled about eating all the meatballs. Between that and shaving her arms nonchalantly on national television, Dr. Mindy Lahiri is a hero.
Bono and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin helped raise $26 million (£17.3 million) for charity by singing at a star-studded auction in New York on Saturday (23Nov13). The U2 frontman teamed with top designers Sir Jonathon Ive and Marc Newson to put together a collection of specially designed luxury items, from companies such as Hermes and Apple, for Jony and Marc's (RED) Auction at Sotheby's in Manhattan.
The event included a performance by Bono and Martin, who joined forces to sing a medley of U2's Beautiful Day and Lou Reed's Perfect Day, with the Coldplay star playing a custom-built red grand piano which was sold for $1.9 million (£1.3 million).
Other items featured in the sale included a storm trooper helmet from the Star Wars franchise signed by George Lucas which sold for $245,000 (£163,333).
The auction was attended by more than 1,000 guests including Harrison Ford, Meg Ryan, Courtney Love and Hayden Panettiere, and it raised around $13 million (£8.7 million) for Global Fund to Fight AIDs, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The final total came in at around $26 million (£17.3 million) after executives of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation agreed to double the sales figure.
Embattled star Chris Brown has been given permission to skip a day in court in Washington, D.C. so he can concentrate on a lockdown rehab stint. The singer was ordered into anger management rehabilitation this week (ends22Nov13) after he was kicked out of a treatment facility for hurling a rock through his mother's car window during a row.
On Friday (22Nov13), Brown's lawyer asked a judge to excuse his client from a court hearing in Washington D.C. next week (beg25Nov13) so the star can remain in Los Angeles, where he is currently seeking treatment for his temper troubles.
The Kiss Kiss hitmaker was due to appear before a judge on Monday (25Nov13) in relation to a charge of misdemeanour assault following a fight outside a Washington, D.C. hotel last month (Oct13), but Superior Court Judge Robert Tignor has agreed to let Brown waive his scheduled appearance.
Ol' Dirty Bastard's widow has hit back at allegations she is to blame for the last-minute cancellation of a New York documentary screening about the late rapper, insisting organisers had known about her objections well in advance. Friends and fans of the tragic star, real name Russell Jones, had gathered at the Brooklyn Historic Academy of Music last week (15Nov13) to view Dirty: Platinum Edition, which was shot by the star's cousin, Stephon Turner, but the screening was halted moments before it was due to be unveiled after organiser Chris Kanik was served with a cease and desist order from estate lawyers, preventing him from airing the film.
However, Icelene Jones, who controls the Wu-Tang Clan star's estate, claims the event could have been axed at least two weeks earlier - as she had already made her feelings about the documentary known.
She tells XXL magazine, "It (the ban) wasn't a last minute thing. The communication has been very clear. The letter (cease and desist) didn't go out the day of; this is something that's been going back and forth for a while. And that's what they tried to make it seem like - like Icelene Jones messed up everybody's good time and stopped everybody from seeing the film."
Jones' manager, Melissa Jacobs, reveals estate officials had asked for money "up front" for permission to use ODB's likeness in the film, but Kanik refused, insisting they were motivated by "greed".
Jacobs adds, "We are the estate of Russell Jones, we have been appointed by the courts. You're using his birthday, you're using his picture, you're promoting this event... Then when we ask for compensation he's trying to make it sound like we're asking for something we're not entitled to have."
Ol' Dirty Bastard passed away in 2004 from a drug overdose.
Firefighters in Thailand were called to the set of Owen Wilson's new film The Coup late on Wednesday (20Nov13) after a blaze broke out. Flames ripped through the film set in northern Thailand shortly after Wilson and his co-star Lake Bell had finished work for the day. Both stars had left the set and were unharmed.
Emergency services were called to tackle the blaze, which is believed to have broken out after the crew filmed an action scene in an area dressed as a government office. No one was hurt, but some of the film equipment was damaged.
Chris Lowenstein, executive director of local production company Living Films, tells The Hollywood Reporter, "The day's shooting proceeded uneventfully, with the final shot being the destruction of the office, as it's supposed to look like it is being hit by a tank shell. The scene involved air mortars with dust, cork and debris, but no explosion, fire or other pyrotechnics... The air mortars fired and the wall was destroyed as planned. The director called cut, the assistant director called wrap on the day, the actors exited the set, the director... producers began to view playback and discuss what had been shot and the shooting for the next day, and the crew started to wrap the equipment. Shortly thereafter, a small fire broke out in the ceiling of the set."
The film revolves around the story of an American family caught in a political uprising. Pierce Brosnan is also part of the cast, but he has yet to join the shoot in Thailand.
Filming continued as planned on Thursday (21Nov13).
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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Mission Briefing:This week, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gets an Asgardian-sized crossover with Thor: The Dark World, but reign in all that excitement because neither Chris Hemsworth nor Dark Elves or really anything from the film are anywhere to be found. Instead, while the team cleans up the wreckage of Thor's recent battle, a Norse-Paganist Hate Group uncovers a section of an ancient Asgardian staff (that was left on Earth hundreds of years ago and has nothing to do with the events of Thor 2) that channels the darkness of whoever touches it, and gives them a burst of super-strength and seething rage. The S.H.I.E.L.D. team must track down the other pieces of the staff before the hate group can get their hands on them and wreak havoc across the globe. First, however, they need to learn a thing or two about Asgard from a professional (nope, not Thor).
The Agents:Agent Ward is the star of the show this week. He accidentally touches the staff which dregs up some painful childhood memories that he has worked hard to push deep into the dark crevices of his psyche. Agent Ward somehow manages to be even more broody than normal (which is impressive), and in his new found rage, he says some nasty things to his fellow agents, but that's just the alien staff talking, right?
Mission Fallout:The team seeks out professor Elliot Randolph, an expert on Asgardian history. The professor turns out to not be not only an Asgardian himself, but the original owner of the staff. He hid the pieces of the staff around the world hundreds of years ago. The Asgardian helps the team track down the other pieces of the staff that he hid all those years ago. They find the last piece of the staff, but also bump into the juiced-up members of the hate group. Ward and the super-powered thugs commence in a battle royale, and when Ward looks down for the count, Melinda May takes in some of the staff's power for herself and helps put the beat down into the hate group. May and Ward bond over their shared dark experiences, while Agent Coulson is still struggling to understand his second chance at life. Just how magical can Tahiti be anyway?
Mission Highlights:— It's hard not to feel a bit swindled after this episode. We were promised a Thor 2 crossover event, but the episode's plot is only just tangentially related to anything that happened in the latest Marvel film. At least we got to see some Asgardians, I guess.— Ward's backstory involving his abusive brother finally gives the character some interesting wrinkles outside of his ability to punch things really good.— After a day of kicking tail and taking names, Melinda signals Ward to come to her room to presumably have a little talk. Are they going to talk, or are they going to "talk."— Coulson quips about not being able to afford a fancy pen but you'd think someone as far up the ranks of a clandestine organization as he is would have a little bit of cash to throw around.— "You know, it'd be nice if, for once, Thor and his people sent down the god of cleaning up after yourself."
We all know his name by now. Chris Hemsworth. Oh mighty mighty Chris Hemsworth. Your eyes so blue, your hair so fine. You bring lightning from the heavens above, you’ve saved this Earth from perilous danger! Wait a minute ladies, is that really Chris? Let’s pretend for a minute that a lightning-calling hammer did exist in the real world, and let’s say there was a more than handsome man wielding the power to this tool. Would it really be Chris?
Yes, he is from Australia. Australia, Asgrad, Australia, Asgard? Thor has two parents, Chris has two parents. This is as close as the similarities get. Hemsworth has admitted publicly to bulking up for the role. He had apparently never lifted weights until he was cast in the role as Thor, so how the hell could he ever lift a hammer that saves the entire human race? Poor Chris cut his hand while grating ginger, the grater came apart and he cut his fingers fixing it. One wonders if he bandaged his hand himself or drove to the ER for stitches? Does he get a discount if he brings his hammer with him?
We’re not saying don’t believe what you wanna believe. But personally there’s probably a lot more to the man behind the cape that is Thor. Maybe his shoulder presses stop after filming, but he can probably make a really good banana ginger smoothie, even if it’s topped off with a little superhero wanna-be blood. Who wouldn’t drink that?
Troubled R&B star Chris Brown has left a rehab facility in Malibu, California and will continue to receive anger management treatment in an outpatient programme. The Kiss Kiss hitmaker sought professional counselling on 29 October (13), a day after pleading not guilty to a misdemeanour assault charge relating to a fight outside a Washington, D.C. hotel.
However, he has since checked out of the treatment centre and made a start on the community service hours he was ordered to complete as part of his 2009 conviction for beating up his then-girlfriend Rihanna.
Speaking to People.com on Thursday (14Nov13), his representative says, "Chris is continuing his rehab programme as an outpatient and is also completing his community service in the Los Angeles area. He appreciates all of your encouragement and support."
Brown had originally been sentenced to 180 days of community labour, in addition to a year-long domestic violence course and five years probation, but his 1,440 volunteer hours were rejected by a Los Angeles judge in August (13) over a discrepancy and he was slapped with another 1,000 hours as his probation was reinstated.
Brown's community service is just part of a long list of upcoming legal woes for the 24 year old - he faces up to four years in jail if prosecutors rule the Washington, D.C. incident, in which he stands accused of punching a 20-year-old man who was attempting to board his tour bus, violated his probation. He is also fighting a lawsuit against a woman who alleges she was assaulted by the star during a night out at a California club in June (13).
And last month (Oct13), Brown filed a countersuit against singer Frank Ocean's cousin, accusing him of provoking a parking lot brawl between the stars' entourages in January (13).
"When we woke up it was raining and that was a bit of a bummer because the ceremony location was outside. Luckily the rain went away and the show went on as planned." Former 'N Sync star Chris Kirkpatrick was worried by the rainy weather on the day he married his longterm girlfriend Karly Skladany on 2 November (13) at the Loews resort hotel in Orlando, Florida.