Quickly enough, the varied rage-aholics comprising Vice President Selena Meyer's immediate staff have eased back into their insult- and obscenity-spouting M.O.s, churning out a whole bunch of hostility in the second episode of the stellar comedy's Season 3. This week, Selena faces the stresses of having to choose a new stance on abortion in light of her POTUS' quick shift toward the pro-life side. Naturally, the high-tension situation brings out a lot of colorful language in her crew. But who topped the lot with the harshest one-liners?
7. Secretary of the In-terror: JONAH
"Old Media like the Washington Toast better run and hide in the bathroom and join the Poo York Times."Oh Jonah...
"F**k HuffPo. They should be called 'PuffHo,' because Ariana Huffington is a straight-up ho and all they do is puff pieces."...you horrible idiot.
6. Abhor-ney General: SUE
"[Selena] is on the Coast Guard boat. Meeting and greeting fish."Self-explanatory. Somehow a much funnier line than it sounds like it would be.
"I don't need an enhanced roll to know my worth, Gary."After Gary explodes with giddiness over his being asked to handle a task over Sue.
5. Secretary of Offense: BEN
Responding to Selena's sarcastic quip about the existence of an "I don't give a s**t" lobby:"You're looking at him. I've got posters, buttons... not really. Because I don't give a s**t."
"I can't get POTUS to wave his transvaginal wand and make it go away." What do you even make of this?
"It would take a brain about this sizeMocking Gary's display of fruits representing the sizes of fetuses at different stages of gestation.
"I'm going home. If anybody needs me, I don't care."A classic, always.
4. Secretary of Treachery: MIKE
"Walt, Randal, this is Sasquatch. The edible garbage is out back."Introducing his new stepsons to Jonah.
"'Copy Cat Selena,' that's what they'll say. 'Me Too Meyer.' 'S**t for Brains.'"Predicting the public's antagonism for Selena's decision to mimic the abortion cut-off of another candidate.
3. Secretary of Hate: SELENA
"It begins here. In this Polish dungeon."Selena's grinning dismissal of her Maryland campaign office.
"I can’t identify myself as a woman. People can’t know that. Men hate that. And women who hate women hate that… which, I believe, is most women."Regrettable bonus points for putting down her gender as a whole.
"You let that unstable piece of human scaffolding into your house?"To Mike, about Jonah.
"I can't listen to that Joan Crawford b**ch about Bette Davis anymore."In the parameters of this insult, Ben is Joan Crawford and Kent is Bette Davis.
"I accept your apology while retaining the right to fire the f**k out of you. Should I print that up on a t-shirt that I can give to you?"Said to Dan, following his outburst over her inability to make a decision on the abortion issue. It's at once horrifying, condescending, and hilarious.
2. Vicious Vice-President: AMY
"You just gonna sit there, SpongeBob?"Mocking Dan for his seasickness. It's not so much the insult itself, but Amy's ability to make such a banal joke so pointedly mean that wins her points here.
"Tell Mike to climb off his wife and get on speakerphone now."I'm picking up on a very subtle undercurrent that everybody hates Mike's new wife. Or at least the idea of another human being entering their lives in a personal capacity.
"Jesus, what a talking gas giant. It's like listening to Jupiter."About Maddox.
"Moving on, and Dan may be quite soon..."Immediately following Selena's threats to oust Dan from his job. The callousness of her noting that Dan might actually get fired is what makes this such a gem.
"Go home. Take an ambien. Take 50."Said to Dan. Jeez, Amy really hates Dan.
"'Twenty-two-and-a-half Weeks' sounds like an erotic thriller."Putting down Gary's suggestion for an abortion cut-off. She could have just said 'no' ... but she's an artist.
1. The President of Put-Downs: DAN
"You don't announce your candidacy while the incumbent is still warm. That's like trying to bang the widow at the funeral."Putting down Gary's suggestion that Selena tell the world she's running for president. He could have just said 'no' ... but he's a wizard.
"That s**t-shoveled-faced-f**kin' Jonah."I don't even know what this means.
"I am going to rip your guts out of your tiny, shriveled little Chihuahua c**k."To Jonah.
"Hey, Ugly Betty, give me that burrito."To Jonah's friend.
"If you say anything about the Veep, I will break your legs so severely you will end up normal height."To Jonah.
But Dan's real genius comes in the nonverbal form this week, blowing up at Selena to the point of physical tremors and shoving aforementioned burrito into Jonah's face as a symbol of his menace. Both are sights to behold from the usually stoic-to-the-point-of-soulless Dan.
NICE THINGS GARY SAID
"Every angel needs an archangel!"In this scenario, he's the angel and Selena is the archangel. Gary... you weirdo.
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Singers Patti Labelle, Janelle Monae and Melissa Etheridge taught students about soul music at the White House on Thursday (06Mar14). The singers joined America's First Lady Michelle Obama in Washington, D.C. to teach more than 100 schoolchildren and college students about the history soul music.
The stars took part in a question and answer session about their careers before each performing one of their own songs.
They were later joined by Aretha Franklin, Jill Scott, Ariana Grande and Tessanne Chin for a special music concert called Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House.
Monae writes on Twitter.com, "Thank U (sic) to the coolest FLOTUS (First Lady of the U.S.) & BarackObama 4 (for) having me share the stage w/ (with) so many brilliant women!! Speechless!"
The concert will be broadcast in the U.S. in April (14).
Singing legends Aretha Franklin and Patti Labelle are among the headliners for the upcoming Women of Soul concert hosted by America's First Lady Michelle Obama. Some of music's biggest names are heading to the White House in Washington, D.C. on Thursday (06Mar14) for a special event titled, I'm Every Woman: The History of Women in Soul, a nod to Chaka Khan's 1978 classic track.
In addition to Franklin and LaBelle, other singers slated to perform are Melissa Etheridge, Janelle Monae, Ariana Grande and Jill Scott.
The concert will be streamed live on the White House website, and will be broadcast on America's PBS network on 7 April (14).
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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After Dark Films
It seems a bit odd to take on a movie review of Courtney Solomon's Getaway, as only in the loosest terms is Getaway actually a movie. We begin without questions — other than a vague and frustrating "What the hell is going on?" — and end without answers, watching Ethan Hawke drive his car into things (and people) for the hour and a half in between. We learn very little along the way, probed to engage in the mystery of the journey. But we don't, because there's no reason to.
There's not a single reason to wonder about any of the things that happen to Hawke's former racecar driver/reformed criminal — forced to carry out a series of felonious commands by a mysterious stranger who is holding his wife hostage — because there doesn't seem to be a single ounce of thought poured into him beyond what he see. We learn, via exposition delivered by him to gun-toting computer whiz Selena Gomez, that he "did some bad things" before meeting the love of his life and deciding to put that all behind him. Then, we stop learning. We stop thinking. We start crashing into police cars and Christmas trees and power plants.
Why is Selena Gomez along for the ride? Well, the beginnings of her involvement are defensible: Hawke is carrying out his slew of vehicular crimes in a stolen car. It's her car. And she's on a rampage to get it back. But unaware of what she's getting herself into, Gomez confronts an idling Hawke with a gun, is yanked into the automobile, and forced to sit shotgun while the rest of the driver's "assignments" are carried out. But her willingness to stick by Hawke after hearing his story is ludicrous. Their immediate bickering falls closer to catty sexual tension than it does to genuine derision and fear (you know, the sort of feelings you'd have for someone who held you up or forced you into accessorizing a buffet of life-threatening crimes).
After Dark Films
The "gradual" reversal of their relationship is treated like something we should root for. But with so little meat packed into either character, the interwoven scenes of Hawke and Gomez warming up to each other and becoming a team in the quest to save the former's wife serve more than anything else as a breather from all the grotesque, impatient, deliberately unappealing scenes of city wreckage.
And as far as consolidating the mystery, the film isn't interested in that either, as evidenced by its final moments. Instead of pressing focus on the answers to whatever questions we may have, the movie's ultimate reveal is so weak, unsubstantial, and entirely disconnected to the story entirely, that it seems almost offensive to whatever semblance of a film might exist here to go out on this note. Offensive to the idea of film and story in general, as a matter of fact. But Getaway isn't concerned with these notions. Not with story, character, logic, or humanity. It just wants to show us a bunch of car crashes and explosions. So you'd think it might have at least made those look a little better.
More Reviews:'The Hunt' Is Frustrating and Fantastic'You're Next' Amuses and Occasionally Scares'Short Term 12' Is Real and Miraculous
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From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)
Celebrity pregnancies are a common occurrence among the Hollywood realm, however, 2012 has already seen a plethora of baby bumps and births, and it's only March. So to help everyone get a full look at this year's exceptional baby boom, Hollywood.com has compiled a list of stars who are about to become (or already have become) parents.
First out of the baby gate were Beyoncé and Jay-Z, who officially became parents to baby girl, Blue Ivy Carter, on Jan.7. The superstar couple first announced the pregnancy at the 2011 VMA's after Beyoncé strategically placed her hand on her stomach, while giving a knowing smile. This is the duos first and only child.
Robert Downey Jr. and his wife Susan welcomed a son into the world on Feb. 7 and named him Exton Elias Downey. The baby weighed in at 7 lbs., 5 oz., and was 20 inches long. This was the couple's very first kid together, though Downey also has another son from his previous marriage with Deborah Falconer.
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck welcomed their third child and first son on Feb. 27. Affleck posted the exciting news on his Facebook page along with revealing their newborn's name: Samuel Garner Affleck.
James Van Der Beek and his wife Kimberly welcomed a baby boy into the world on March 13. The pair already have a daughter named Olivia, who's 17-months-old, however, they've yet to announce the name they've chosen for their newest little bundle of joy. Feel free to throw out any suggestions.
Charlize Theron shocked the world on March 14 when her rep announced that the actress decided to adopt a healthy baby boy named Jackson. The child was born in the United States and is of African-American decent. And since Theron currently isn't seeing anyone at the moment, she's taking on this new role of motherhood completely solo.
Maggie Gyllenhaal's pregnancy became public knowledge in late November 2011, where she was reportedly already six months along. So, if you do the math, she should be due any day now. This will be the actress's second child with her husband Peter Sarsgaard. The couple already share a five-year-old daughter together, Ramona.
Hilary Duff announced her pregnancy on her official website in August 2011. Later on in October, the actress revealed on The Ellen Show that she and her professional hockey player husband, Mike Comrie, are expecting a baby boy. And though Duff has yet to give birth, she's scheduled to be due in late March or early April, so there's only a few more weeks to go.
Jessica Simpson revealed her baby bump on Halloween 2011, after dressing up as a "mummy" and cradling her stomach. Since then, she's been a pretty open book in regards to her pregnancy and even posed nude for Elle magazine — where she announced that she and fiance Eric Johnson are expecting a girl. Simpson's little girl is due sometime in April, and the baby's name is rumored to be Maxwell (Maxi for short).
Chris Hemsworth's rep confirmed in January 2012 that the actor will become a first-time father sometime this spring, after news broke that his wife Elsa Pataky was pregnant. The couple are extremely excited about the upcoming birth and have opted to be surprised by the child's gender. But whether it's a boy or girl, it's bound to be a good looking baby.
Kourtney Kardashian announced that she was expecting a second child with her boyfriend of five years, Scott Disick, back in November 2011. At the time she was only nine weeks along in her pregnancy, which means she's scheduled to give birth sometime in June. The reality, who already has a two-year-old son named Mason, revealed in February that she'll be having a baby girl.
Alyson Hannigan and her husband of eight years, Alexis Denisof, are currently expecting their second child together. And while the news was officially confirmed by Hannigan's rep back in December, the actual due date is not yet known. She currently has a 2-year-old daughter, Satyana Marie.
After a lot of back and forth baby rumors over the past few months, Snooki finally confirmed that she's fifteen weeks pregnant as of March 2012. The reality star is due sometime over the summer, either in late July or early August, and the father is her longtime boyfriend Jionni LaValle.
Nick Lachey announced on Live! With Kelly on March 5 that his wife Vanessa Minnillo is pregnant with their very first child. The gender and name choice are still unknown, however, Lachey did reveal that the due date is in late summer or early fall.
Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kim Zolciak and her husband Kroy Biermann are also expecting another child later this fall. The reality star shared the news via Twitter on March 20, writing, "@biermann71 and I are happy to announce YES WE ARE PREGNANT!" The couple just welcomed a son Kroy Jagger Jr. in November 2011. Zolciak also has two daughters -- Brielle, 15, and Ariana, 9 -- from a previous relationship.
And last, but certainly not least, news broke on March 21 that Reese Witherspoon is 12 weeks pregnant, which puts her due date in either late August of early September. The actress already has two children with her ex-husband Ryan Phillippe (daughter Ava, 12, and son Deacon, 8), however, this will be her first child with her new hubby Jim Toth.
In a post-Harry Potter Avatar and Lord of the Rings world the descriptors "sci-fi" and "fantasy" conjure up particular imagery and ideas. The Hunger Games abolishes those expectations rooting its alternate universe in a familiar reality filled with human characters tangible environments and terrifying consequences. Computer graphics are a rarity in writer/director Gary Ross' slow-burn thriller wisely setting aside effects and big action to focus on star Jennifer Lawrence's character's emotional struggle as she embarks on the unthinkable: a 24-person death match on display for the entire nation's viewing pleasure. The final product is a gut-wrenching mature young adult fiction adaptation diffused by occasional meandering but with enough unexpected choices to keep audiences on their toes.
Panem a reconfigured post-apocalyptic America is sectioned off into 12 unique districts and ruled under an iron thumb by the oppressive leaders of The Capitol. To keep the districts producing their specific resources and prevent them from rebelling The Capitol created The Hunger Games an annual competition pitting two 18-or-under "tributes" from each district in a battle to the death. During the ritual tribute "Reaping " teenage Katniss (Lawrence) watches as her 12-year-old sister Primrose is chosen for battle—and quickly jumps to her aid becoming the first District 12 citizen to volunteer for the games. Joined by Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) a meek baker's son and the second tribute Effie the resident designer and Haymitch a former Hunger Games winner-turned-alcoholic-turned-mentor Katniss rides off to The Capitol to train and compete in the 74th Annual Hunger Games.
The greatest triumph of The Hunger Games is Ross' rich realization of the book's many worlds: District 12 is painted as a reminiscent Southern mining town haunting and vibrant; The Capitol is a utopian metropolis obsessed with design and flair; and The Hunger Games battleground is a sprawling forest peppered with Truman Show-esque additions that remind you it's all being controlled by overseers. The small-scale production value adds to the character-first approach and even when the story segues to larger arenas like a tickertape parade in The Capitol's grand Avenue of Tributes hall it's all about Katniss.
For fans the script hits every beat a nearly note-for-note interpretation of author Suzanne Collins' original novel—but those unfamiliar shouldn't worry about missing anything. Ross knows his way around a sharp screenplay (he's the writer of Big Pleasantville and Seabiscuit) and he's comfortable dropping us right into the action. His characters are equally as colorful as Panem Harrelson sticking out as the former tribute enlivened by the chance to coach winners. He's funny he's discreet he's shaded—a quality all the cast members share. As a director Ross employs a distinct often-grating perspective. His shaky cam style emphasizes the reality of the story but in fight scenarios—and even simple establishing shots of District 12's goings-on—the details are lost in motion blur.
But the dread of the scenario is enough to make Hunger Games an engrossing blockbuster. The lead-up to the actual competition is an uncomfortable and biting satire of reality television sports and everything that commands an audience in modern society. Katniss' brooding friend Gale tells her before she departs "What if nobody watched?" speculating that carnage might end if people could turn away. Unfortunately they can't—forcing Katniss and Peeta to become "stars" of the Hunger Games. The duo are pushed to gussy themselves up put on a show and play up their romance for better ratings. Lawrence channels her reserved Academy Award-nominated Winter's Bone character to inhabit Katniss' frustration with the system. She's great at hunting but she doesn't want to kill. She's compassionate and considerate but has no interest in bowing down to the system. She's a leader but she knows full well she's playing The Capitol's game. Even with 23 other contestants vying for the top spot—like American Idol with machetes complete with Ryan Seacrest stand-in Caesar Flickerman (the dazzling Stanley Tucci)—Katniss' greatest hurdle is internal. A brave move for a movie aimed at a young audience.
By the time the actual Games roll around (the movie clocks in at two and a half hours) there's a need to amp up the pace that never comes and The Hunger Games loses footing. Katniss' goal is to avoid the action hiding in trees and caves waiting patiently for the other tributes to off themselves—but the tactic isn't all that thrilling for those watching. Luckily Lawrence Hutcherson and the ensemble of young actors still deliver when they cross paths and particular beats pack all the punch an all-out deathwatch should. PG-13 be damned the film doesn't skimp on the bloodshed even when it comes to killing off children. The Hunger Games bites off a lot for the first film of a franchise and does so bravely and boldly. It may not make it to the end alive but it doesn't go down without a fight.