Entertainment - The Huffington Post

Entertainment news and blog articles from The Huffington Post

Published: Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:50:04 GMT

7-Year-Old With Cancer Sings 'Fight Song' In Tearjerking Video (Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:31:56 GMT)



Rachel Platten's "Fight Song" has become a special pump-up anthem for people facing hardship of all kinds, including brave cancer fighters. 


One young patient at Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) is inspiring people all over the world with his emotional performance of the song -- featuring Platten herself. 


Seven-year-old Jeremiah Succar was diagnosed in May with stage-four atypical rhabdoid teratoid, "an aggressive, fast-growing tumor that occurs in the brain and spinal cord," the CHLA blog reports. Music has played an important role in his cancer battle.


“Jeremiah loves 'Fight Song' -- he memorized the lyrics after three or four times of listening to it,” the boy's father, Jerry Succar, told CHLA. “He used to sing it when he got a lot of headaches, but now he sings it in the morning, before bed and during shots he has to get.”


When Platten found out what her song meant to Succar through his family's #RachelMeetJeremiah social media campaign, she simply had to visit him. Sitting on his hospital bed, they sang "Fight Song" together.


Platten and Sucar's sweet, tearjerking duet has over 60,000 views on YouTube and many comments of love and support to the little boy.


As the video shows, once Succar finished singing the song, he mustered up the courage to ask Platten one question: "Can I have your autograph?"


H/T PopSugar


Also on HuffPost:


-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.











Donald Trump Would Love To Run Against Kanye West For President (Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:31:53 GMT)


Unless you live under a rock, you've probably heard that Kanye West plans on running for president in 2020. The rapper made the announcement in a puzzling-yet-amazing 13-minute speech at the MTV VMAs. Ye captured the attention of the nation -- presidential hopeful Donald Trump included. 


In an interview with Rolling Stone, The Donald admitted he was watching the awards when West gave his instantly iconic speech. "I said, 'That's very interesting. I wonder who gave him that idea,'" the real estate mogul told the magazine. 


Following the awards show, the comparisons between the rapper and the creator of "The Apprentice" started rolling in, which Trump said he didn't "quite get." 


But that doesn't mean he wouldn't run against West if given the chance. In fact, he'd welcome the opportunity. 


"He's said very nice things about me in the past ... extremely positive things," Trump said. "He's actually a different kind of person than people think. He's a nice guy. I hope to run against him someday."


So there you have it. Trump vs. West could very well become a reality. Who would you vote for?




Also on HuffPost:



For a constant stream of entertainment news and discussion, follow HuffPost Entertainment on Viber.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.











Convicted Rapper's Freedom In Hands Of Combative Louisiana Lawyer (Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:28:45 GMT)


When Buddy Spell was an 8-year-old boy, he became enamored with Atticus Finch, the morally upright protagonist of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. Now, as a Louisiana defense attorney, Spell is on the verge of doing what Finch was unable to do -- win an innocent man his freedom.


Spell's symbolic mockingbird is McKinley "Mac" Phipps, an incarcerated hip-hop artist who has long claimed his innocence in a nightclub shooting that put him behind bars 15 years ago.


"The irregularities contained within Mac's situation are so glaring that we were baited by the facts of the case," Spell told The Huffington Post. "At some point, we arrived at the opinion that we might be able to successfully reverse an injustice."


Phipps, who is 15 years into a 30-year sentence, was convicted in the February 2000 shooting of a young man at a concert in Slidell, a city that sits along the shores of Lake Pontchartrain in St. Tammany Parish. Prosecutors had no physical evidence linking Phipps to the shooting, and his conviction was handed down by an all-white jury, in spite of another man's confession to the crime.




At the time of his arrest, Phipps' was a 22-year-old rising star in the New Orleans area, whom Master P had signed to No Limit Records alongside Snoop Dogg and Mystikal. According to Spell, who has been practicing law since 1989, Phipps' celebrity status did not play a role in his office's decision to take his case.


"It was simply the identification of injustice with the possibility of repair [that] motivated us to engage in this matter," Spell said.


Spell, who describes himself as a "soldier on the front line in a war against an emerging police state and encroaching governmental tyranny," said he knew as a child that he wanted to make a difference in people's lives.


"Atticus Finch was my hero," Spell said.


Finch, a lawyer in the 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird, defended a wrongfully accused African-American client against a rape charge before a bigoted southern jury. A movie by the same name, starring Gregory Peck, was released in 1962.



Spell said he had considered becoming a journalist instead of a lawyer, but was ultimately taken by his fascination with the intellectual underpinnings of the law. The media's loss turned out to be a gain for the Louisiana defense bar.


A New Orleans native, Spell graduated from St. Martin's Episcopal School before receiving his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. In 1989, after receiving his law degree from Loyola University, Spell, then 32, joined an international law firm, where he spent four years navigating some of the more complex waters in maritime personal injury law.


Spell left the law firm in 1993 and opened his own practice. Three years later, he married a law school classmate, civil rights attorney Annie Spell. Together, the couple proved to be a force to be reckoned with. Both became social justice advocates, and Annie served for a time as the only white female NAACP president to complete a term in office. Later, the couple adopted a little girl at birth, whom they named Sarah Jane Spell. Annie has since taken an extended sabbatical as a stay-at-home mom.


Buddy Spell recently moved his practice to a renovated 100-year-old cottage in Covington, and took on two partners: Tara Zeller and Jessica Karr.




Zeller has been helping Spell on the Phipps case. The attorneys took it on earlier this year after The Huffington Post published the results of a lengthy investigation in which multiple witnesses broke their silence for the first time and said in exclusive interviews that they had been threatened, intimidated or ignored by authorities.


Together, Spell and Zeller are attempting to barter a deal with prosecutors that would allow Phipps to be released under a time-served deal. While Spell is confident he will succeed, he is ever mindful of the injustice surrounding Phipps' case.


Spell said he is also aware -- despite the passing of more than a half-century since the publication of Lee's southern gothic novel -- that many of the challenges Finch faced were far from fiction and remain issues in Louisiana today. Those problems, he said, are not limited to Phipps case.


"We see injustice daily, hourly," Spell said. "We place Mac's file in our cabinet in the drawer marked ‘P,’ along with the others who have a last name beginning with that letter and who are counting upon us for relief. We feel the burden of our obligation and remind ourselves regularly that we are volunteers in the struggle. We have chosen this path for better or worse, and we have every intention of seeing each and every assignment through to its respective conclusion."


Spell added, "Mac's case is but one more battle in a war without end, and each and every battle is important."



READ MORE ABOUT MAC'S CASE:
  • Prosecutor Used Hip-Hop As A Weapon To Convict Mac Phipps

  • Eyewitnesses Join Family In Plea For New Trial

  • Witnesses: DA Bullied Testimony That Put Rapper Away For 30 Years

  • More McKinley "Mac" Phipps Coverage



  • -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.











    Randy Newman Charms a Drenched Crowd at Chateau Ste Michelle (Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:25:01 GMT)

    It was one of the most powerful wind and rainstorms I've ever experienced. Trees were down and stoplights and power were out everywhere in the Seattle area, but we managed to get through it all to Chateau Ste Michelle (CSM) for Randy Newman's concert Saturday night. I did call first to make sure that CSM had power and that the concert was happening. It was then that I learned that they prepared for almost anything with generators on hand.

    And prepared they were as staff greeted patrons as no one had been overwhelmed by winds gusting to sixty miles per hour and pounding rain. Still, the beautiful grounds showed the damage as concertgoers were guided by yellow caution tape where limbs hung from giant trees.

    The concert did begin at 7 just as advertised, and the day's weather events seem to have taken a break for Randy Newman. Granted the lawn at Chateau Ste Michelle was not brimming with fans, but those who had made the trek were treated to a single guy and a grand piano playing old favorites and a few new songs.
    2015-08-31-1441046126-5329613-RandyNewman.JPG
    Halfway through the show, it began to sprinkle, but most of the hardy Seattle fans remained bundled up in ponchos and rain gear. Then, as darkness fell, the rain picked up, but most fans remained in their seats. I don't know if it was on Newman's play list, but when he we all noticed and cheered when he performed Feels Like It's Going To Rain Today.

    Naturally, Newman performed all his hits including I Love LA, Short People and the classic You've Got a Friend In Me, which he said he was doing early in the show so that the kids in the audience could go to sleep. Still, I doubt that there were very many kids remaining for the end of the show when the rain came down in torrents. Fortunately, by that time the CSM staff was not enforcing their no umbrellas policy, so many of us just hunkered down under our umbrellas and stuck it out to the very end.

    Newman himself expressed what appeared as genuine gratitude that people showed up and stayed. Personally, I was thrilled by a wonderful show at a splendid venue - even in the pouring rain.

    And there was no lack of humor as the CSM sound system played Singin' In the Rain as we all headed for the parking lot and a long ride home through streets darkened by power outages and blocked by fallen trees and a lack of working stoplights.

    All in all, it was a difficult travel night, but well worth the trouble to hear the always entertaining Randy Newman at the always hospitable Chateau Ste Michelle.

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.











    Think Today's Internet Is Weird? Check Out This Madness From Back In The Day (Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:09:27 GMT)

    Sept. 2, 1969, is widely considered to be the Internet's birthday. But most of us didn't connect until decades later, when consumer-friendly products like America Online and EarthLink emerged. 


    To commemorate the Internet's birthday in a way that might actually mean something to you, we heartily recommend Cameron's World, a portal to some of the oddball websites that defined the World Wide Web in the 1990s.



    The site was created by Cameron Askin, a freelance designer based in Berlin. It collects archived versions of thousands of websites created on GeoCities, an old web page service that was purchased and ultimately shuttered by Yahoo. 


    "There’s some terrible stuff, but also a lot of really interesting things from a web design point of view,” Askin told Fusion in an interview last month.


    He's right. Take a look at these gems (for maximum time-traveling effect, we recommend watching this first):






    Pretty wild, right? The site serves as a sobering reminder of how far we've really come in our era of Wix and Squarespace -- services that let you create beautiful, if perhaps sterile, websites in no time at all.


    And if nothing else: Show them to your kid the next time they complain about how slowly their high-definition video is loading on the iPad. It's kind of the "I walked 15 miles in the snow, uphill both ways" of our modern age.

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.











    Josh Gad Will Play Roger Ebert In Will Ferrell Comedy (Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:05:43 GMT)


    Josh Gad will portray beloved film critic Roger Ebert.


    According to The Hollywood Reporter, the "Frozen" actor will reportedly play Ebert in the comedy biopic "Russ & Roger." The film will tell the story behind the 1970 cult satire "Behind the Valley of the Dolls," which was co-written by Ebert and directed by Russ Meyer. Will Ferrell is on board to portray Meyer, who was known for sexploitation films such as "Faster, Pussy Cat! Kill! Kill!" and "Wild Gals of the Naked West," before signing on to make "Behind the Valley of the Dolls."


    The 1970 film, which was initially given an X rating upon release, was originally conceived as a sequel to 1967's "Valley of the Dolls," but became a parody of the film. "Russ & Roger" will be written by Chris Cluess ("MADtv") and directed by Michael Winterbottom.


    For more, head to THR.


    Also on HuffPost:



    For a constant stream of entertainment news and discussion, follow HuffPost Entertainment on Viber.

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.











    A-Sides with Jon Chattman: Who Should Host the 2016 Oscars? (Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:05:13 GMT)

    I may have been in the minority, but I thought Neil Patrick Harris did a great job as host of the 87th Annual Oscars. I also thought his predecessors (respectively Ellen DeGeneres and even Seth MacFarlane) did as well. In an Entertainment Weekly story today, this year's producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin mentioned there would be two hosts for the 2016 Oscars. Naturally until the hosts are named I everyone's father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate is going to weigh in on the possible golden tag team. Include me in the mix.

    Since voters got killed last year by omitting minorities in all four major acting categories, and virtually shutting out the lauded Selma in most categories, I wouldn't be suprised if the host selection make up for that. Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, or a return trip from Chris Rock could be in the cards. Hart and Johnson, by the way, are filming a movie together right now so a pairing doesn't seem that nuts.
    EW are likely on target with their suggestion that soon-to-be Comedy Central-free Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele could do it. Anyway, I'm going to guess anyway.

    There's a pool of talent - minorities or not - who could make a vicious tandem. Here's personal choices, predictions (really you're predicting Oscar hosts, Jon?), and wild card picks. Let the search for Hollywood's newest dynamic duo begin.... Now!



    Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis
    My personal choice would go to these two guys. They were offered the gig before, would lighten up a usual long-winded show, and send ratings soaring. Imagine a live, unscripted Between Two Ferns'? I can.

    Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake
    Another dream team that scores on The Tonight Show and especially Saturday Night Live but methinks ABC will once again block Fallon from hosting since late-night competitor Jimmy Kimmel is on their network. One can hope though. David Letterman landed the gig even though he was on CBS but keep in mind ABC had Ted Koppel going up against him. That guy was hilarious.

    Tina Fey and Amy Poehler
    I'm going to nix this obvious choice right away. Their first two Golden Globe hosting gigs were classic. Their third? Not so much. Something tells me they're pretty much done with emceeing an often thankless gig.

    Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock
    This will never happen, but one can hope. Murphy was once slated to host, and I so wish he did. We so badly need Axel F. to be funny again. As for Rock, he was controversial when he hosted and nailed it. Sure, he threw Jude Law under the bus but is that really enough reason to keep him off the show?

    Ellen DeGeneres and Seth MacFarlane
    Let's see how the contrasting styles work together!

    Louis CK or John Oliver and Anybody Else
    It's time. With CK, ratings would be huge, the show would be intellectually funny, and the audience would get a little uneasy. It'd make for great TV. I could say the same for the brilliant and wicked Oliver.


    Mix and Match time
    The following is a list of my would-be contenders - feel free to comment below and mix and match them. Ditto for any of the above! Who's your perfect pair?

    Bill Murray
    Kevin Hart
    Dwayne Johnson
    Jon Hamm
    Emma Stone
    Conan O'Brien
    Jon Stewart
    Stephen Colbert
    Amy Schumer
    Seth Rogen
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt
    Hannibal Burress
    Quentin Tarantino
    Aziz Ansari
    Paul Rudd
    Kanye West
    Ricky Gervais
    Keegan-Michael Key
    Jordan Peele
    Chris Pratt
    Kristen Wiig
    Jimmy Kimmel
    Kevin Spacey
    Alf... or any of these?

    About A-Sides with Jon Chattman: Jon Chattman's entertainment series features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists featured on the series include Imagine Dragons, Melissa Etheridge, Air Supply, Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, fun, Bleachers, Charli XCX, Marina and the Diamonds and Bastille.

    Stay Connected:
    http://ThisIsASides.com
    https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsASides

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.











    Movie Review: A Walk in the Woods... An Important Film (Wed, 02 Sep 2015 15:44:38 GMT)

    Nick Nolte grabs this film and walks away with honors. Every second that he is on screen is memorable. A Walk in the Woods is a sensitive, delicate, seamless comedy. Not the guffawing laugh fest implied in its horrible trailer. No, A Walk in the Woods will leave you filled with gratitude and warmth and a belief that the future is there for us to grab and anticipate with a smile.

    "[I hope] that they walk away feeling like they've seen something that isn't that available anymore on the screen." Redford said on the Today Show. "Originally the script was meant for Paul Newman, but if you persevere long enough, it will happen. Nick Nolte was better suited for the part because not only is he smart, but he is undisciplined."

    "I was not in shape," Nolte said. "I had a bum hip and knee."

    "He never complained," Redford said.

    A Walk in the Woods directed with sensitivity by Ken Kwapis is based on travel writer Bill Bryson's 1998 memoir about two men in their seventies who try to walk the Appalachian Trail -- 2,200 miles of America's most unspoiled, spectacular and rugged countryside from Georgia to Maine. Written by screenwriters Rick Kerb and Bill Holderman the writing is sharp. When Nolte asks Redford how he knows so much about trees, Redford says, "From books. Books are TV for smart people."

    Redford portrays the aging Bryson, who after spending two decades in England, is fed up with the writing life. In the priceless opening sequence Bryson appears on a talk show in which the host does not listen to his answers, but answers for him with a smug glee. Futility of a writing career haunts Redford. He needs to change his life. Reconnect with his homeland. He needs to go for a walk in the woods, well actually to hike the Appalachian Trail. A change. He needs to refocus his priorities. His values. His space. A charming and skilled Emma Thompson portrays his wife who tells Redford he is too old to hike the Appalachian Trail. Determination is what this film is about -- not only Bryson's determination to hike this awesome trail, but Redford's for getting this film made and determination to not look at aging as an invitation to give up. Bryson invites an old, though estranged friend, Katz (Nick Nolte) to join him. The two are not specimens of physical agility. Nolte has a pot belly, beard and has never looked more narily. But it all works for him. He uses every sinew of muscle to portray a man who -- even though running from his debts-- does not regret that he has lived. He has come to terms with his alcoholic past while Redford is struggling to come to terms with his present. A bond is formed and is intense while a serenity dominates the friendship. This film. A resolve. A gentleness that comforts and becomes gratitude for life despite its pitfalls and foibles. A Walk in the Woods blows a kiss of friendship. We witness a friendship between Bryson and Katz reunited after thirty years. The idea of a friendship lost and regained. A Walk in the Woods confronts the fear of aging. "When everyone is retiring, I want a second act," Redford said. This film offers that hope -- that one will look at tomorrow with the happy thought of "what's next"?

    http://malloryhollywoodeast.blogspot.com/

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.











    J.K. Rowling Sorts New Hogwarts Students, But Teddy Lupin Isn't Happy (Wed, 02 Sep 2015 15:28:31 GMT)


    "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling recently reminded the world that James S Potter, Harry's son, is finally starting up classes at Hogwarts, which everyone was obviously excited about.


    Then, probably seeing the opportunity for a ton of retweets, Rowling also announced which house James was sorted into. One person was understandably less excited:





    That's awesome for Potter, but wait ... Lupin is in Hufflepuff? Are you Sirius right now, Rowling? Even Slytherin is better than that.


    We feel for ya, Teddy. He probably just wanted his buddy in Hufflepuff so it wasn't so lame. Robert Pattinson played Hufflepuff Cedric Diggory in the movies. Harry Potter says Diggory was killed by Voldemort, but we secretly suspect he just died of boredom. 


    The young Lupin shouldn't be too disappointed, though. On the positive side, Draco Malfoy himself, actor Tom Felton, told The Huffington Post that Kanye West would be a Hufflepuff, and that guy is probably going to be president. So there's that.


    Plus, just remember Dumbledore says you can find happiness "even in the darkest of times" if you remember to turn on the light. Then again, Dumbledore wasn't a Hufflepuff.




     


    Oh, eat slugs, Hermione. 


    H/T EW


    Also on HuffPost:



    For a constant stream of entertainment news and discussion, follow HuffPost Entertainment on Viber.

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.











    'Django Unchained' Oscar Nominee To Produce 88th Annual Academy Awards (Wed, 02 Sep 2015 15:15:33 GMT)



    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says David Hill and Reginald Hudlin will produce the 88th Oscars telecast.


    Hill is a 25-year Fox veteran and former chairman and CEO of Fox Sports Media Group. Hudlin is an Oscar-nominated producer for the 2012 film "Django Unchained."


    The Academy announced Tuesday that they'll take up the mantle from Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, who produced the show for the past three years. Meron and Zadan's stint ended this past year with a sizable ratings drop when Neil Patrick Harris hosted the proceedings.


    In a statement, Hill says he and Hudlin aim to honor film and "above all, make it fun."


    The Academy Awards will be broadcast live on ABC on Sunday, Feb. 28.


     will produce the 88th Oscars telecast.


    Hill is a 25-year Fox veteran and former chairman and CEO of Fox Sports Media Group. Hudlin is an Oscar-nominated producer for the 2012 film "Django Unchained."


    The Academy announced Tuesday that they'll take up the mantle from Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, who produced the show for the past three years. Meron and Zadan's stint ended this past year with a sizable ratings drop when Neil Patrick Harris hosted the proceedings.


    In a statement, Hill says he and Hudlin aim to honor film and "above all, make it fun."


    The Academy Awards will be broadcast live on ABC on Sunday, Feb. 28.

    Also on HuffPost


    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.











    T-Pain Singing Without Auto-Tune Is Surprisingly Wonderful (Wed, 02 Sep 2015 15:10:40 GMT)

    T-Pain, rapper best known for his excessive use of auto-tune and spending life on a boat, shocked us all this week when he proved he could actually sing. 


    On Monday night, the rapper performed the national anthem at Dodger Stadium before the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants baseball game, and to our surprise, it was great. Nay, beautiful. There was no auto-tune or added beats. Just plain old singing, with a touch of vocal gymnastics (a national anthem must, according to Christina Aguilera).  


    Don't believe us? Just watch for yourself: 




     


    Also on HuffPost: 



    For a constant stream of entertainment news and discussion, follow HuffPost Entertainment on Viber.

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.











    'Fear The Walking Dead' Showrunner Defends Black-Only Deaths (Wed, 02 Sep 2015 15:06:00 GMT)


    Warning: Spoilers for "Fear the Walking Dead" below.


    As AMC's "The Walking Dead" progressed, fans noticed an odd pattern. Not long after a new black character was introduced, another black character was killed off. You couldn't find more than a couple black characters on screen at a time. The show was criticized for perpetuating a tired trope: token black guy, only there to even out racial demographics.


    Now, "Fear the Walking Dead," the series' prequel, has some fans wondering whether the new show is off to the same irritating start. So far, three major characters have died, all of whom are black. You'd think the writers would have taken past criticism into account, right?


    The Hollywood Reporter broached the subject with showrunner Dave Erickson, who defended the story arc as we've seen it so far. 


    "I realize it's clearly become an issue and it's something we are mindful of," Erickson explained. "But ultimately it's trying to tell the story the best way we can and cast the best people we can. I wouldn't want to go back and recast a character just to avoid … if it doesn't feel true to the character or the relationship -- the relationship with Alicia and Matt or Calvin and Nick."


    Also, according to Erickson, producers casting the series didn't even know which characters were going to live or die.


    The original "Walking Dead" has somewhat remedied its "token black guy" problem by introducing some new black characters -- and letting a few live. To viewers who might want to dismiss the spinoff for dragging a racist trope into 2015, Erickson says: Keep watching.


    "When you're dealing with a show where you have a cast that is as diverse as ours is," he told The Hollywood Reporter, "it's inevitable that characters of color are going to get bit and are going to turn or die. If you look at the larger scope of this season, what people will see is that there is parity."


     


    Also on HuffPost:  



    For a constant stream of entertainment news and discussion, follow HuffPost Entertainment on Viber.


     

     

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.











    Maxim Korea Sexualizes Violence Against Women On Latest Cover (Wed, 02 Sep 2015 15:03:51 GMT)

    Sexualizing violence against women is never OK. So it's anyone's guess what the folks at Maxim Korea were thinking with their September 2015 cover. 


    Actor Byeong-ok Kim, known for his roles in "Oldboy," "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" and "Chronicle of a Blood Merchant," appears on the latest cover of the men's magazine, accompanied by the headline "The Real Bad Guy." The photo shows the star smoking a cigarette next to a car. Sticking out of the car's trunk are a woman's bare and bound legs. 



    Inside, the article features more photos of the woman in the trunk, who is barefoot and wearing short shorts and a tank top. There's also a photo of Kim dragging a bulging trash bag to a reservoir. 


    Thousands of people have signed a petition on Avaaz.org condemning the cover and asking for publication of the September issue to come to a halt. However, according to the creator of the petition, Maxim Korea defended the photos, saying, “We did depict the crime of murder and body abandonment in a film noir way, but there’s no hint of a sexual offense in the picture, and no fantasizing of sex crimes either.” 


    The petition explains why the photos are making people uncomfortable (emphasis in the original): 



    Maxim targets adult males and that’s no secret. Sexual objectification of women is its daily work and expertise. It is just natural that sexual crimes are implied when a sex-related medium deals with a male criminal and a victimized woman. Still, Maxim just chose to say 'it is a crime against a woman that isn’t necessarily a sex crime.' ... We should try to cut sexual assault rates, not encourage assaults. Please think of the social implications such a magazine issue can have.



    A representative for Maxim was not immediately available for further comment. 


     


    Also on HuffPost:


    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.











    Catching Up With Carla Bianco, Plus King Raam, Meital Dohan, Sneaky Bones and Drishti Beats Exclusives (Wed, 02 Sep 2015 14:49:16 GMT)

    KING RAAM'S "PEGASUS" EXCLUSIVE

    2015-09-02-1441203220-7650294-ScreenShot20150724at10.41.24PM.png
    photo credit: Saba Moghadami

    According to King Raam's team...

    "Raam is an Iranian musician based out of Tehran. He started his career in the undergrounds of Tehran in the early 2000s with Hypernova. The band later found its way to New York and was based out of Brooklyn for several years. After Hypernova, Raam set out in search of his true self and went through a period of revising his aspirations as an artist. He eventually bought a one-way ticket back to Iran and began his solo act, 'King Raam.' His alt-psych-folk sound falls somewhere between Nick Cave and Interpol but in Persian. He now lives in his home studio in Tehran, where he recently finished recording his third solo album, A Day And A Year."




    ******************************

    2015-09-02-1441200552-2321859-LeanintoYouphoto.jpg
    photo credit: Carla Bianco

    A Conversation with Carla Bianco

    Mike Ragogna: Carla, the Broadway musical Rent put your acting career in the spotlight with your take on Maureen. But you also had a #1 hit writing the song "The Lover That You Are." So which is it, singing or acting? You can only choose one and have to give up the other forever. And...go!

    Carla Bianco: Oooh... I would have to say singing. I think I get the best of both worlds there. There is really a bit of theatricality in everything I get to do. When I write or sing I still slip into the world of a character whether in first or third person or even when that character is myself. It's a story I tell that I get to live inside for a moment.

    MR: You have a history of co-writing or working with some music industry greats. What is your creative process when you're co-writing or working with a producer on a new album or recorded project? What are their roles in the process?

    CB: It completely depends on whom I am working with. In the writing process, I sometimes write the melody and lyrics where my collaborator writes the chords and we arrange it together. I co-wrote a lot in my earlier years when I was writing for my publishing deal with Jellybean and learned a ton from some great writers. Now, I mostly bring my songs to the table in their entirety with ideas of how I hear the songs and the producer comes up with musical arrangements to help bring that vision to life like with my first record, All This Time. But this current record I'm working on, Give Voice, I wrote and arranged the songs all in pre-production on my own. The arrangements were birthed more from the emotional life of the songs early on in the process. I sent them to my amazing engineer and co-producer, Hollis Greathouse at Audible Images, who helped bring together the right musicians to embellish the arrangements and take the songs to the next level.

    MR: In association with Steinway pianos, you recorded John Lennon's "Imagine." How did that come about?

    CB: I'll tell you, this was one of those things I wasn't looking for that just happened out of nowhere. Someone from Steinway reached out to me on social media and asked to meet with me. I performed a Christmas Concert for them and played on one of the most gorgeous pianos I ever played on.... the John Lennon Steinway Imagine piano. It's an all white grand where each piano has one of Lennon's drawings on the music stand with 'You May Say I'm a Dreamer' scripted on the inside. I never was one to get into Beatlemania. But after I played that piano, I started reading all about Lennon and The Beatles and played his song 'Imagine' at a Beatles Tribute for Autism. Lennon's publishing company gave me the okay to record the song for my new record and Steinway got involved having me record the song on the Imagine Piano. I recorded the vocals on the day of the Virginia shooting. I felt so honored and deeply moved to be singing those words Lennon wrote...still carrying on the intention he had for a better world. We can't give up on that.

    MR: If I'm not mistaken, you started your own label a while back. What were you thinking, Carla! Have you not seen the shambles, the Mad Max-ful landscape that is the ruins of the music business??

    CB: Yes, I've seen it and I've come back for more! Somebody slap me! I swear art is such a blessing and a curse. It is the most beautiful and fulfilling thing to express your heart and soul through story and song, whether you're telling your own or others' stories, to shape and change the world through that expression, hopefully for the better. But it is relentless. It will take everything you are and mostly spit you back out for the vultures. But if it truly drives you at your core for an unexplainable reason at times. You just can't stop or walk away. And you basically drive to build a mansion amongst the ruins. And sometimes life prevails despite the massacre. I stick around for that triumph.

    MR: You've also dabbled a skosh with philanthropy through The American Foundation For Disabled children, Suicide Awareness Voices Of Education, and Autism Speaks, all of which will receive the total profits off your new album Give Voice. What's your involvement with and commitment to these organizations?

    CB: I'm connecting each song from the record with a different charity. Records sales proceeds, benefit concerts and event profits will be donated. We are working on finding ways to get the music out to the people represented by the charities so they can find inspiration in hearing their life struggle voiced in a song. Through monetary and emotional support, I hope to help their causes.

    MR: By the way, can you tell us anything about the next album, maybe about the songs or how the recording is going?

    CB: I've written a group of songs that tells people's stories that can't for one reason or another, people that are facing a major life challenge in some way. For instance, there is a song called "Through the Spectrum" written through the eyes of a 9-year old boy with autism whose parents are going through a divorce. Another song called "Broken and Blessed" I wrote about a deaf and mute boy in a wheel chair I heard one day desperately trying to sing a song. And when I read an article about the African girls that were kidnapped on their way to school, I read four lines of a poem a girl from Afghanistan wrote before she committed suicide as a protest for all she wasn't allowed to do. I was so moved. I felt compelled to live inside these different people's spirits for a moment and write through their eyes and from their hearts. They have stories that need to be heard. I wanted to tell them. We are looking at a release date in November this year.

    MR: You've appeared in Unstoppable with Denzel Washington and Promised Land with Matt Damon. What does acting fulfill for you and does it affect your creative process as a recording artist/musical performer?

    CB: I love how with acting environment plays such a big part of the experience, especially with film. You are right there in the world of the character you are creating. You can literally touch it--your surroundings, the person you are speaking to--it's a tactile, 3D real live experience. Writing and singing songs is communicating an imagined experience that either really happened, is happening, or you want to happen. It's living inside an imagined world and trying to communicate it to someone. I think that's my favorite. That world can look like anything you want it to, at anytime, depending on the day, the audience or the state of the world... It's ever-changing.

    MR: For Carla Bianco personally, how does the commitment to a character differ between acting onstage and film acting?

    CB: The commitment to the character is the same. You strive for 100% commitment. That's when it gets good. The difference is the medium that you are communicating and expressing that commitment. The bigger the medium, the bigger the expression. They both have their pluses and minuses--stage and film. On days where you don't feel like expressing yourself in a big way because you'd rather express a quiet little whisper of a song idea into a recorder or have an intimate scene on set but you are about to step foot on a stage with a 3,000 person audience in the house, you've got to get your juices revved up real fast. That can be hard when you're having an introverted day. But on days when your energy level is at 10 and you feel like a lion. Well, it's the perfect place to be, on a big stage.

    MR: Rumor has it you have a certain live show on September 5th at 9:30 at 54 Below. So I guess you'll be performing all new material and nothing from your back catalog, especially any of your signature songs and hits. That's so brave of you!

    CB: Well, thanks! I thought it was about time I do a show of all my favorite Disney songs! Hmm...there's a good idea in there somewhere. Actually, I'll be pulling out some songs from my Broadway days with a song from Rent and a tune from my self-composed musical, Kaleidoscope. I'll be mixing in songs from my record, All This Time, and a certain #1 hit that I've never actually performed but wrote is making the set list too.

    MR: Can we expect at least a story or two of your harrowing climb to the top of the music business wasteland during this live show?

    CB: More than a story or two, lots of personal stuff that only a handful of people know and whom have lived to tell none of it. So I would be sure you would only hear it straight from the crazy lady's mouth! But only if you come to the show--wink, wink.

    MR: What do you do in your down time? Do you get a little sleep? Are you a secret slacker who just can't achieve the failure your secret slacker is dreaming of?

    CB: I'm pretty strict about my sleep. I need my 8 hours. When it's time to go to sleep, I go to sleep. During my waking hours, I'm pretty much non-stop, after my hour of quiet in the morning. Down time...I love hanging out with my 5-year old son, hubby and golden retriever, going for walks in the woods, picnics, ice cream and lots of silly games that always end in 'getting mama' somehow. I love to read and I love cooking for family and friends. I'm Italian so big gatherings with lots of food and wine puts everything right in the world.

    MR: What is your advice for new artists?

    CB: Get out while you can. I kid you...kind of. I always say if you can see yourself doing something else, then do that. You'll be much happier in the long run. But if you have the itch, the calling, and I mean where you would rather die than do anything else other than your art, then do it with everything you got. Everything. Don't hold back an inch. And stay in the game. Don't quit. It may take 10 years, but something will break in your favor. It will. Trust me. I promise you this.

    MR: So what's next for Carla Bianco beyond recreating Western Civilization as we know it?

    CB: Continuing the search for the holy grail--and for me, that's writing that great song--that elusive great song, that completely encompasses everything I was ever meant to do in this life. It's a dream I like chasing, perfection, where perfection doesn't exist, in art, in life... But, there are moments of it. And those moments are so worth it. And damn, it's fun!

    MR: Are you happy?

    CB: On a good day? Blissfully. On a bad day? Yes, even if I'm completely unaware of it.

    For more information: http://www.carlabianco.com

    ******************************

    MEITAL DOHAN'S "I'M TOO SAD TO TELL YOU" EXCLUSIVE

    2015-09-02-1441197773-8689125-meital.jpg
    photo credit: Paulifornia

    According to the Meital Dohan camp...

    "This exclusive new art piece from international music artist and actress Meital Dohan called 'I'm Too Sad To Tell You' is a music portrait directed by renowned visual artist Zoobs and inspired by Andy Warhol's Screen Tests. This revealing video portrait features an original song sung by Meital, which was recorded as part of the soundtrack for an upcoming film directed by Amos Kollek who also penned the lyrics.

    "Meital has toured the world and collaborated with some of the biggest names in music including Sean Kingston, Reflex (Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna), R3hab (Lady Gaga, LMFAO, Calvin Harris) and Che Pope (Kanye West, Jay-Z, Eminem). After taking Israel by storm with two Israeli Oscar nominations and an Israeli Tony award, she quickly gained fame in America with her breakout recurring role in Showtime's Weeds.

    "Director Zoobs is a contemporary artist known for his celebrity portraits."




    ******************************

    MATTHEW BEAN'S "ETERNITY" EXCLUSIVE

    2015-09-02-1441196826-4188242-sneakybones.jpg
    photo credit: Matthew Bean

    According to Sneaky Bones' Matthew Bean...

    "'Eternity' is about timelessness and how we work to try and find that in our lives. When the lights go out we are gone, but the eternal--nature and time--will live on. We compare ourselves to all of these standards that have nothing to do with the moment. It is about taking a step back and living now, 'away from eternity.' As we search for meaning and purpose, nights and days pass us by. Scenery passes us by. Moments are overshadowed by the imposition of endless time. In a moment, there is nothing greater--not what came before and not what's going to happen after--because you are living it. You can't be in the past nor in the future. The true conflation of eternity is that we are apart of it. Instead of trying to fight that, take solace in the fact that we can enjoy our time and live. The inanimate and eternal can't live or create those moments. Embrace that power. Find a moment to live."




    ******************************

    DRISHTI BEATS' "TIME FLIES" EXCLUSIVE

    According to Drishti Beats...

    "'Time Flies' is a visual journey through the rainbow spectrum from the Root Chakra, up, and out into the cosmos. As we open our energy centers, our mental, physical, and spiritual awareness align in harmony, opening space for internal alchemy. Creativity flows and connections to one another strengthen. The video is a light poem and a visual accompaniment to the full awakening experienced when listening to Drishti Beat's music."


    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.











    Samantha Bee Returns To Late Night In January For 'Full Frontal With Samantha Bee' (Wed, 02 Sep 2015 14:36:11 GMT)

    Former "Daily Show" correspondent Samantha Bee will return to late night this January with her new show on TBS and now, that show has a name: "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee."





     

    Earlier this year, the 45-year-old described the show to the Toronto Star as, "definitely a show, hosted by me, that will be mostly current events-based."



    She added, “If you’ve enjoyed my work on 'The Daily Show,' there will be something tonally similar, I would say. A continuation of the things I like to do.”



    Also on HuffPost:



    For a constant stream of entertainment news and discussion, follow HuffPost Entertainment on Viber.

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.











    Cindy Crawford: 'Unretouched' Photo Leak 'Put Me In A Tough Spot' (Wed, 02 Sep 2015 14:27:20 GMT)

    Cindy Crawford has always been known for her honesty, whether it be about aging, body image or otherwise. So it was a bit surprising when the supermodel stayed mum after an allegedly unretouched image of her went viral last year (the photographer, John Russo, later stated the image was stolen and "significantly altered").


    Now, in an interview for the October 2015 cover of Elle Canada, Crawford is setting the record straight about her reaction to the leak, admitting that at first, she was "blindsided" and wondered why "seeing a bad picture of me would make other people feel good?"



    Her response echoes a truth shared by plenty of women who feel they are their own worst critics.


    "I think that most women are hard on themselves. We think we look worse than we do. So I assumed I fell into that category, even though that picture didn’t reflect what I saw when I looked in the mirror — even in the worst dressing-room lighting," she said.


    Amidst the frustration, however, came something positive: the outpouring on social media from women who supported the "unretouched" photo of Crawford. Still, she was left conflicted, wondering how to react. She explained:



    It was stolen and it was malicious, but there was so much positive reaction [to the image]. Sometimes, the images that women see in magazines make them feel inferior—even though the intention is never to make anyone feel less. So somehow seeing a picture of me was like seeing a chink in the armour. Whether it was real or not isn’t relevant, although it’s relevant to me. I don’t try to present myself as perfect. It put me in a tough spot: I couldn’t come out against it because I’m rejecting all these people who felt good about it, but I also didn’t embrace it because it wasn’t real—and even if it were real, I wouldn’t have wanted it out there. I felt really manipulated and conflicted, so I kept my mouth shut.




     


     



    Whether she's unretouched, unfiltered or unedited, Crawford's honesty is simply inspiring. Head to Elle Canada to read the full interview, or pick up a copy when the issue hits newsstands Sept. 14. 


     Also on HuffPost Style:




    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.











    Movie Review: A Walk in the Woods -- Amblin' (Wed, 02 Sep 2015 13:53:35 GMT)

    2015-09-02-1441201264-6886705-woods1.jpg

    More than 15 years in the making, A Walk in the Woods is an entertaining and enjoyable film, if a formulaic one. 

    Adapted by Rick Kerb and Bill Holderman from the book by Bill Bryson, the story chronicles the decision by Bryson (played by Robert Redford) to hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. But veteran TV director Ken Kwapis (whose filmography includes such dross as The Beautician and the Beast and Licensed to Wed) doesn't trust the material enough not to infuse it with sit-com timing. 

    Make no mistake: Bryson's book is very funny, full of wonderful one-liners and caustic observations about everything from the U.S. Parks Service to the generally cavalier way most people treat wilderness areas and the creeping destruction of urban sprawl. 

    But the script returns time and again to the sit-com template: Look at these funny old guys struggling in the wilderness. Put a stream in front of them and you can bet they'll fall in.

    This review continues on my website..

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.











    This Is What A Bad Lifetime Biopic Of Meryl Streep Would Look Like (Wed, 02 Sep 2015 13:45:03 GMT)


    What would a Meryl Streep biopic even be about? Moreover, what would it look like if made in the vein of Lifetime's Whitney Houston and Brittany Murphy movies?


    Christina Applegate, who looks like "she's not even trying," provides a sample of that in a new Funny or Die video that spoofs the network's try-hard celebrity docudramas. Applegate fails at re-creating "Doubt," "The French Lieutenant's Woman," "Mamma Mia!" and other Streep classics, and -- gasp! -- the movie accuses Streep of needing to chop onions in order to cry onscreen. Yep, this one's going to be unauthorized.




     


    Also on HuffPost:



    For a constant stream of entertainment news and discussion, follow HuffPost Entertainment on Viber.

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.











    'Game Of Thrones' Reportedly Casts Major Villain For Season 6 (Wed, 02 Sep 2015 13:40:49 GMT)


    If you think Season 6 is going to be crazy, Euron to something, "Game of Thrones" fans. 


    HBO has reportedly cast Danish actor Pilou Asbæk as Theon's uncle Euron Greyjoy, according to dedicated fan site Watcher's on the Wall, and reported by a number of different outlets. It's also being reported that the Kingsmoot will be coming to the new season, and may have already been filmed. This is a ceremony the ironborn, aka Greyjoy's people, use to choose their kings.


    So what does this all mean?



    tv show gifs

    Image via HBO/HuffPost


    The appearance of Euron means Balon Greyjoy, Theon's dad, is finally going to meet the drowned god permanently. (Yeah. He dead.) The dude actually dies in George R.R. Martin's third book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Storm of Swords, so this has been well overdue on the show.


    Euron is a pretty terrible guy. His men have been wreaking havoc all over, and now he's coming back to try to lead the ironborn and even go after Daenerys' dragons. It's not good news for Westeros, but it should be pretty cool for all of us.


    Actually, in the books, a Red Priest named Moqorro seems to prophesize that Euron is the biggest threat out there to Dany. The Priest sees a shadow in the flames that's a "tall and twisted thing with one black eye and ten long arms, sailing on a sea of blood." Euron wears an eyepatch that is said to cover a black eye. It's bad news for Dany, but it's great news for people who like eyepatches.


    The report would also mean that, by process of elimination, Ian McShane is probably playing Sam Tarly's dad, Randyll Tarly. The character was mentioned on screen in Season 5, and McShane is said to be playing an important role. Or, perhaps he could be Septon Meribald, another character rumored to appear in the new season. 


    Whatever the case, an appearance by Euron means we could see Dany finally go back to her famous catchphrase:




    Gosh. We don't know, Khaleesi! Just chill. Jeez.


    H/T Watchers on the Wall


     


    Also on HuffPost:



    For a constant stream of entertainment news and discussion, follow HuffPost Entertainment on Viber.

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.











    Simon Cowell Moved To Tears After 'X-Factor' Contestant's Emotional Performance (Wed, 02 Sep 2015 13:39:54 GMT)


    Even Simon Cowell has a softer side. 


    "The X Factor" judge, who's known to be pretty harsh at times, was brought to tears after contestant Josh Daniels' emotional audition performance.


    Daniels, 21, sang "Jealous," by Labrinth, a choice he explained was inspired by the loss of his best friend who died in 2013. The touching lyrics of the track, along with Daniels' beautiful execution, seemed to strike a chord with Cowell, who appeared to be choking back tears during the performance. He even wiped a tear from his eye. 


    Fellow judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini also cried after the moving performance, and told Daniels, "That was the most captivated I've been in all the auditions so far." She then got up from the panel to give the performer a hug. 


    According to Hello, the segment was taped just after the death of the music mogul's mother, which may explain why he got so emotional. Julie Cowell died at the age of 89 this past July. 


    Without making a comment, Cowell took the performance straight to a vote before sending Daniels through to the next round. 


    "It's three yeses," he said. 


     You can watch the entire performance below: 




     


    Also on HuffPost:



    For a constant stream of entertainment news and discussion, follow HuffPost Entertainment on Viber.

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.