Review Category : Entertainment

PTA Factions Go to War in New Trailer for “Bad Moms”

L-R: Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis and Kathryn Hahn in “Bad Moms”; Image courtesy STX Productions, LLC. (NEW YORK) — It’s Christina Applegate versus Mila Kunis in the new trailer for Bad Moms. The movie, written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, the team who wrote The Hangover, pits Applegate’s perfect, prim PTA leader and her clique against Kunis’ group of moms gone wild.

In the second trailer for the R-rated comedy, released Thursday, we get to see Kunis corrupt Kristen Bell’s stay-at-home mom with the temptation of daytime movie outings, trade in her minivan for a muscle car and turn a PTA meeting into a drunken rave.

Bad Moms, which also stars Jada Pinkett Smith and Kathryn Hahn, arrives July 29.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Audio of Prince’s Emergency Plane Landing Released

Kevin Mazur/WireImage for NPG Records 2013(NEW YORK) — Six days before Prince’s untimely passing, the legendary musician was on a flight that made an emergency landing on April 15 in Moline, Illinois. EMTs came to the scene to find Prince’s unconscious body in the cabin of his private plane.

Now, audio of the emergency call to air traffic control has been released.

“What’s the nature of the emergency,” an air traffic controller at the Chicago Center asks at the beginning of the audio exchange.

“An unresponsive passenger,” comes one reply.

Initially, Chicago ATC wasn’t able to provide the nature of the emergency, or even the sex or of the passenger, although ultimately they were able to say it was a man.

The flight landed in Moline as directed at 1:17 a.m. Medics tended to the star for nearly 20 minutes and the ambulance raced off with emergency lights and sirens on at 1:35 a.m. A few hours later, Prince was well enough to fly the rest of the way home to Minneapolis.

April 21, Prince passed away at his Paisley Park estate from what was determined to be an accidental overdose of the potent painkiller fentanyl.

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Anna Kendrick Says Fans Who Meet Her Expect Snarkiness

L-R: Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick in “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates”; Gemma LaMana/Fox(NEW YORK) — If you meet Anna Kendrick in the street, don’t expect a warm and fuzzy reaction.

“When I’m snarky with people, they know that’s just how I communicate,” the Pitch Perfect actress and singer tells fashion website Net-a-Porter. “I’d be terrible at being like Taylor Swift, the perfect Miss America version of interacting with fans and making sure they have a good experience.”

“I mean, I don’t want people to meet me and have it f*** up their day,” she adds, “but I’m glad I can say something weird to them and they know that’s just me.”

The actress’ attitude is on display in Twitter feed, which includes recent quips like, “I’ve always heard that Tom Cruise is tirelessly positive and upbeat and I’d to work with him one day. I think I could break him,” or, “Oh God. I just realized I’m stuck with me my whole life.”

Her tweets helped Kendrick land a book deal. Scrappy Little Nobody is due out in November. And while she was happy to have an outlet, she couldn’t escape approaching even that with cynicism. “I was so happy to create something that was all mine,” she tells the website. “Although, my editor kept saying, ‘It’s up to you, it’s your book.’ And I was like, ‘But could you tell me what to do?’”

Kendrick stars in the R-rated comedy Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, out July 8.

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Samuel L. Jackson Watched the Grass Grow on the “Tarzan” Set

Samuel L. Jackson as George Washington Williams in “The Legend of Tarzan”; Jonathan Olley/Warner Bros.(NEW YORK) — If you check out The Legend of Tarzan over the weekend, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking the movie was shot on location in Africa. But you’d be wrong.

The adventure wasn’t shot on location, co-star Samuel L. Jackson tells ABC Radio — it just felt that way.

Director David Yates had a meticulously crafted set created inside a UK soundstage, complete with real growing grass.

“To see it, it was extremely amazing to look at,” Jackson enthused to ABC Radio. “‘Oh my God! It, it looks like we’re there!”

“There were only a few times in that I could feel the largeness of what David was trying to do while were shooting,” the actor said, noting with a smile, “I mean, we had our own air conditioned, bug-free jungle.”

Incidentally, Jackson visited the set when he was working on the hit Kingsman: The Secret Service — when the tall jungle grass was just planted and, “before I was even attached to Tarzan,” he noted with a laugh.

In The Legend of Tarzan, Jackson plays a historical character, adventurer George Washington Williams, who fought in the Civil and Mexican American Wars, who eventually swindled his way into the Congo and exposed a slave trade run by King Leopold.

The movie, which also stars Margot Robbie, and Jackson’s Django Unchained co-star Christoph Waltz, opens today.

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“The Legend of Tarzan,” “The BFG,” “The Purge: Election Year” Open Today

Margot Robbie and Alexander Skarsgård in “The Legend of Tarzan”; Jonathan Olley/Warner Bros.(NEW YORK) — Here’s a look at the new movies opening nationwide Friday:

* The Legend of Tarzan — Alexander Skarsgård is Tarzan, now living a normal life with Jane, played by Margot Robbie. He’s invited back to the Congo as an unknowing part of an evil plot. Samuel L. Jackson, Djimon Hounsou, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent and Christoph Waltz also star. Rated PG-13.

* The BFG — Steven Spielberg directed the adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic. A young girl is introduced to Giant Country and the BFG — Big Friendly Giant. Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton, Jemaine Clement, Rebecca Hall, Rafe Spall and Bill Hader star. Rated PG.

* The Purge: Election Year — Leo Barnes, as head of security for a senator/presidential candidate, tries to protect her in Washington, D.C., during Purge Night. Frank Grillo and Elizabeth Mitchell star in the third film in the horror franchise. Rated R.

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Review: “The Legend of Tarzan” (PG-13)

Samuel L. Jackson and Alexander Skarsgård in “The Legend of Tarzan”; Jonathan Olley/Warner Bros.(NEW YORK) — Look, Warner Brothers has given us a gift! It’s called The Legend of Tarzan, and it’s got all sorts of CGI, handsome buff shirtless men, a stunning Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson being Samuel L. Jackson-y, and Christoph Waltz as the bad guy, being all Christoph Waltz-y. And most importantly, it’s got Tarzan!

Um, yeah. About all that.

This movie lost me after the first five minutes and didn’t try very hard to win me back. At least the opening scene employs some stunning cinematography. This is where we met Waltz’s Leon Rom, King Leopold of Belgium’s emissary to the Congo. He’s searching for Chief Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou), a tribal leader who controls vast amounts of diamonds. Mbonga agrees to give Rom the diamonds in exchange for Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård). If you stop to think about the manner in which this deal went down, it will ruin the entire movie for you — much like it ruined it for me.

Fortunately, we’re not subjected for too long to Tarzan’s backstory. We meet him as John Clayton, national hero and celebrity once known as Tarzan. King Leopold, who’s driven his country into a debt crisis over its investment in the Congo, invites Clayton to go there. When Clayton declines, Civil War hero George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson) convinces John it’s his moral obligation to accept. He suspects Leopold is using slaves to develop the Congo, many of whom could be Clayton’s friends. In case you don’t get it, the invitation is a trap.

So John packs up and returns home to Africa, with Jane (Margot Robbie) in tow. Brilliant thus far in her short career, Robbie takes a misstep here, but it’s not her fault. Her Jane sounds and feels likes she’s an actress from 2016 playing a woman in the 1880s. Having seen what Robbie’s capable of, we’re going to blame director David Yates for this one.

Like Robbie, Yates has certainly done great work, particularly with the four Harry Potter movies he directed. But here, he either gave his actors bad direction, or not enough. Given that Waltz and Jackson are pretty much exactly as they are in other films, I think he didn’t give them enough.

Five years ago, the CGI of apes and other animals would’ve been a bit more impressive, but here it’s dwarfed by the natural beauty captured by cinematographer Henry Graham, who does great work when computer generated effects and overzealous color-grading aren’t sullying his beautifully composed shots.

As Tarzan, Skarsgård does well with what he’s given but, on a few occasions, I found myself laughing when he seemed to strike Derek Zoolander’s Blue Steel pose. Did Yates tell him to do that? I don’t know.

What I do know is The Legend of Tarzan needs to be a much better movie, considering there was virtually no one asking to see another film about a character that, popular as he once was, hasn’t been part of our cultural conversation for decades.

Two out of five stars.

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Review: “The Purge: Election Year” (R)

Universal(NEW YORK) — The Purge movies are great business. The first two, combined, cost 12 million dollars to make and went on to gross nearly 200 million dollars globally, thanks to a delightfully sick and twisted premise.

In the not-so-distant future, a new U.S. government is formed to save a dying country, promising that one day a year, for 12 hours, nothing is illegal, most notably murder and torture. That day is called “The Purge,” and has become a way for people to release their pent-up anger and frustration — and also, clearly, a way for the government to control the population.

The first Purge movie in 2013 was a fascinating original, if not an excuse for excessive and gratuitous violence. While there was a little too much of the latter, it wasn’t awful – unlike 2014’s The Purge: Anarchy. That movie starred the charismatic Frank Grillo, the only strength, somewhat, in a very weak film.

Grillo returns here but is given a formidable and likable scene partner in Elizabeth Mitchell. She plays Senator Charlie Roan, a woman who lost her family to a Purge. She’s running for president, promising to end The Purge if she wins. That makes her a threat to the New Founding Fathers, the idiots who concocted The Purge. When it becomes apparent Roan has a legitimate shot at winning, the government uses The Purge to try to get rid of her. As head of Roan’s security detail, Grillo’s Leo Barnes has his work cut out for him.

Writer and director James DeMonaco puts forth his best effort here. From production values to story, this is a vast improvement over the first two movies, which he also wrote and directed. Obviously, creating a story centered around a presidential election in a presidential election year is only good business, but DeMonaco had to know using his stylized snuff films to take a, um, stab at serious political and social commentary would be frowned upon by most critics.

But while he uses that superficial commentary as an entry point for the violence, DeMonaco gives us better characters, funnier banter and more thoughtful choreography and composition here. The Purge: Election Year looks better and is just more entertaining than the first two.

Even so, The Purge: Election Year can’t escape its DNA – it’s a low-budget, sickening, gratuitously violent escapade with an outlandish premise. Yet despite that, it’s well-executed for what it is.

Three out of five stars.

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Stephanie March Describes Breast Augmentation Health Scare

Stephanie March on “Law & Order: SVU”; Will Hart/NBC(NEW YORK) — Actress Stephanie March, best known for playing Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cabot on Law & Order: SVU, has opened up about a dangerous reaction she experienced after undergoing breast augmentation.

March, 41, described the episode in a candid essay she wrote for Refinery29. The actress said she decided to have the surgery during a painful time in her life — her split from her then-husband, chef Bobby Flay.

“The other thing that was happening was that my marriage of nearly 10 years (and 14 together) was falling apart. And nothing, nothing was helping me cope,” March wrote. “I decided to try one last thing. And what I did next was exactly what you are not supposed to do when it comes to plastic surgery. I decided to change my body because I couldn’t change my life.”

March wrote that just two months after the surgery she experienced complications. Her right implant was infected and the seams of her scar on her right side had burst. Her surgeon removed the implant and sent her to an infectious disease doctor.

“I a hole in my breast for six weeks while I blasted my body with antibiotics,” March details. “I had the implant put back in. I had another infection and rupture on Christmas Eve. I had it taken out again. I had more cultures and tests and conversations with doctors than I care to recall.”

March said she came to the conclusion that her complication was not something anyone could have prevented but that, “I am allergic to implants. Plain and simple. My body did. Not. Want. Them. I kept trying to ‘fix’ my body, and it kept telling me to leave it alone.”

The actress, whose divorce from Flay was finalized in July 2015, ultimately had her implants removed.

“I have accepted this episode as a part of my larger story. And I refuse to be ashamed of it. I am taking back my body, my story, and myself in a bathing suit,” March wrote. “All that I had, all that I was, from the beginning, was all I needed to be. And now, I anticipate summer of 2016 with great joy.”

March told ABC News in a statement she is “overwhelmed” and “very moved” by the “positive reaction” to her article.

Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News Chief women’s health correspondent, said Thursday on Good Morning America that even common plastic surgery procedures like breast augmentation are “not without complications.”

“You need to know about these possible complications and they do differ based on the type of implant used, the approach used, the incision and generally the skill and the expertise of the surgeon, although these can happen with the best surgical technique,” Ashton said, adding that March noted in her Refinery29 article she did not blame her own surgeon.

Ashton recommends that patients ask their doctor the following three questions before undergoing plastic surgery: Are you board-certified in plastic surgery? How many of these operations you do per year? What is your complication rate?

“If you think that having cosmetic surgery is going to change your life, it’s not,” Ashton added. “And there’s no such thing as minor surgery. You get a complication, it becomes major real fast.”

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“The Devil Wears Prada” Turns 10: How Things Would Be Different If It Were Made Today

Evan Agostini/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Ten years ago today, Vogue devotees everywhere flocked to movie theaters to see The Devil Wears Prada on opening night.

Based on a book of the same title, the film starred Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly, the curt, impeccably coiffed editor-in-chief of Runway magazine, and Anne Hathaway as her ambitious assistant, Andi Sachs.

With its zippy one-liners and rewind-worthy fashion montages, the film, rumored to be based on the book’s author’s experiences working for Vogue’s Anna Wintour, charmed critics and fans alike. Ultimately, The Devil Wears Prada grossed more than $326 million worldwide and earned Streep her fourteenth Oscar nod.

“It’s a f***ing brilliant movie,” Stanley Tucci, who played a top Runway staffer, told Variety recently. “The brilliant movies become influential, no matter what they are about.” In fact, this movie was so influential that there’s now a metal band called The Devil Wears Prada. But that doesn’t mean it’s timeless.

As technology has evolved, so too has the way journalists report the news, whether it’s at a monthly magazine or elsewhere. Among the ways The Devil Wears Prada would need to be updated in 2016:

1. Smartphones changed the game: Andi’s Sidekick — the 2006 cellphone of choice of A-listers everywhere — is now obsolete. Throughout the film, Miranda called Andi constantly, asking her to run small errands, like picking up lunch, and big ones, such as procuring an unpublished Harry Potter manuscript. She also asks her to do the impossible, like book her a flight home in the middle of a hurricane. These days, Andi would have an iPhone, and in addition to managing Miranda’s phone calls, she’d be required to answer emails and texts from other Runway staffers. But there’s an upside: at the Met Gala, when Miranda needed to be reminded of who all the guests were, Andi would have Google right at her fingertips.

2. … And so have apps: Half of the errands that kept Andi so busy now can be accomplished in seconds by using an app. Miranda wants lunch? Fire up Seamless. Miranda needs a ride? That’s why we have Uber and Lyft. Miranda’s flight was canceled? Andi could look at alternative options using Kayak or JetSmarter.

3. Social media has exploded: Beginning in 2006, Facebook, previously a service for select college students, became available to anybody over the age of 12 who had an email address and wanted to join. That same year, the first tweet was sent. Since then, both social media platforms have become major reporting tools for media companies, as have Instagram and Snapchat. At least one of these platforms would have influenced Andi’s job and they certainly would have changed the way Runway covers fashion.

4. The 24-hour news cycle has taken over: Vogue has long been considered the fashion Bible, but for those looking to get their daily fix of the brand, has it all. More recently, the fashion magazine launched its app, which was promoted by Wintour herself in a video. In fact, Wintour has become more and more of a celebrity as the brand has evolved, doing interviews on TV and even answering questions for one of Vogue’s digital franchises. In The Devil Wears Prada, Miranda Priestley is equal parts feared and revered, partially because she was such a mysterious entity. Today, she’d have to do more press herself — and Andi’s job would have to be adjusted accordingly.

5. New media outlets crop up every day: In 2006, blogs and websites were gaining popularity, but many journalists still only aspired to work for traditional media brands. Not so anymore. With the rise of social media and digital journalism, there are countless ways to get published and more ways to break news. It’s safe to assume that Andi, who had zero interest in fashion or beauty, would ever consider taking her Runway job in 2016, nor would it be offered to her.

6. The Met Gala is more influential than ever: The Met Gala, an annual party thrown in part by Wintour, has long been touted as one of the biggest bashes of the year for the fashion elite. However, at the time of the movie’s release, it wasn’t necessarily as popular as it is now. Why? Well, one reason may be that in the past, stars weren’t able to share photos of their experiences at the party; another could be that before many journalism outlets had websites, there wasn’t nearly as much coverage of the event. Either way, had the movie been made today, the scene featuring the Met Gala would be much bigger.

7. … And so is Paris Fashion Week: As more and more fashion brands have cropped up, more and more fashion bloggers have become famous, so Paris Fashion Week has taken on an entirely new meaning. At the end of the film, Andi gets the opportunity to travel with Miranda to the event, attending the shows and meeting the designers. However, if the film were made today, she too would need to be sure that she was appropriately dressed and coiffed at all times because she’d be photographed almost constantly on the red carpet and off. These days, street style matters too.

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Sweet! “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” Turns 45 Today

Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — It’s been 45 years since Gene Wilder slipped on Willy Wonka’s top hat and purple jacket and escorted five lucky kids through his mysterious chocolate factory. The film, based on the popular Roald Dahl book, was released on June 30, 1971, and earned just $4 million at the end of its original run, according to one estimate. However, it was beloved by critics and fans alike, and in 1972, Wilder was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role.

Decades later, the movie, which currently has an 89 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, has developed a cult following, in part because of its regular TV showings.

But here are a few stories about the film that even the most die-hard fans might not know.

1. Roald Dahl hated the movie: According to a 2005 BBC story, Dahl wanted comedian Spike Milligan to play Willy Wonka, and when Wilder was cast instead, he soured on the project. Then, he became infuriated when he discovered that the plot of the film would deviate from the book. “He thought it placed too much emphasis on Willy Wonka and not enough on Charlie,” Liz Attenborough, trustee of the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, told the BBC. “For him, the book was about Charlie.”

2. Producers wanted to cast Wilder the moment they met him: David Wolper, one of the film’s producers, told AMC that both Milligan and Joel Grey were considered for the role of Willy Wonka, and he’d heard a rumor that Fred Astaire had also been interested. However, when he and director Mel Stuart met Wilder, they knew they’d found their Wonka. Stuart said, “Gene walked in and I realized that his presence — his humor, the humor in his eyes … was Wonka. … He had the sardonic, demonic edge that we were looking for.” Ultimately, they paid the actor $150,000 to take the part.

3. Wilder influenced Wonka’s actions: According to the BBC, Wilder wanted Wonka’s first appearance in the film to confuse the viewer. In the scene in which he walks out of the chocolate factory, he pretends to be a frail, elderly man before tumbling to meet his guests. “I knew that from then on the audience wouldn’t know if I was lying or telling the truth,” Wilder later explained. Stuart also said that Wilder made up the eerie song that Wonka sang on the psychedelic boat ride, and that he improvised the explosive scene toward the end of the film in which Wonka yells at Charlie.

4. Shoots weren’t always easy: Peter Ostrum, who played Charlie, and Julie Dawn Cole, who portrayed Veruca Salt, said in a 2011 interview that some of the scenes in the movie were difficult to film. The black and white room was “particularly uncomfortable,” Cole said, and Ostrum added that it was difficult to film the scene involving the Fizzy Lifting Drink because of the harnesses and wires involved. But even some of the more low-tech scenes had their challenges. Cole said that the scene in which she sang “I Want It Now” required 36 takes.

5. The actors were kept from seeing the “Chocolate Room” until filming began: Rusty Goffe, who played an Oompa Loompa in the film, said in 2011 that Stuart didn’t allow the child actors in the film to see Wonka’s famous “Chocolate Room,” where everything is edible, until he had cameras rolling. Their reactions, he explained, were captured on film, and used in the movie.

6. Some of the candy on set was actually real: Paris Themmen, who played Mike Teevee, wrote in a Reddit Ask Me Anything chat that Violet Beauregarde’s “three-course gum” was actually a toffee-based candy and that marzipan was also everywhere. However, the giant gummy bears, were plastic, and the wallpaper tasted … like wallpaper, not Snozzberries. “In general, if we ate it on film, it was real, and if not, it was fake,” Themmen wrote. “Visually, the room was unbelievable.”

7. The Oompa Loompas actors played pranks: Themmen also revealed in his AMA chat that the actors who played the Oompa Loompas were “notoriously mischievous.” “We all stayed in a hotel together. In those days, when you wanted to have your shoes shined, you’d leave them outside of your hotel room door. One night the Oompa Loompas grabbed all the shoes, tied the laces together, and left them in a pile to be found in the morning,” he wrote.

8. Willy Wonka’s office was originally meant to be as beautiful as the factory: Stuart described the original set of Wonka’s office as “the most gorgeous office you’ve ever seen,” but he realized quickly that it just didn’t fit the character. To rectify the situation, “I had the crew come in and cut the desk in half, the chairs in half, the safe in half, everything except the lightbulbs had to be in half,” he said in a 2011 interview, “because it had to reflect Willy Wonka’s fake madness.”

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