Review Category : Entertainment

Kevin Hart to Star In and Produce History Channel’s “The Black Man’s Guide to History”

ABC/Ida Mae Astute(NEW YORK) — Comedian, actor, writer, producer — Kevin Hart does it all, and now the actor is gearing to explain it all in a new two-hour special on the History Channel.

Deadline has learned that Hart will star in and executive produce Kevin Hart Presents: The Black Man’s Guide to History, that centers around the comedian explaining the lesser-known but important stories from black history. The special comes from Kevin’s Hearbeat Productions and Comedy Dynamics.

According to the site, the show begins with Hart finding his daughter upset after watching 12 Years a Slave and believing that black history is only about slavery and struggle. In an effort to show her a different reality, Hart begins to educate his daughter through scripted re-enactments about black historical figures that may not be widely known. Those figures included: Robert Smalls, a former slave who led a revolt on a Confederate warship and pretended to be the captain to evade capture; Mae Jemison, the first black female astronaut; and Henry “Box” Brown, a slave who courageously mailed himself to a free state in a box.

“I’m very excited to be working with History on this show because not only is it entertaining, and it’s hysterical, but it also is an important program for our country right now,” Hart said. “We hope to make people laugh and learn a bit too.”

No word on an air date for the project yet.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Priyanka Chopra Resting After “Minor Incident” on Quantico Set

ABC/Phillippe Bosse(NEW YORK) — Quantico star Priyanka Chopra had to be examined by a doctor after a mishap took place on the New York City set of the ABC drama.

While TMZ reported the actress was rushed to the ER, a rep for the spy show confirmed only that a “minor incident” had taken place Thursday evening.

“We can confirm that there was a minor incident on the NY set of Quantico last night,” the rep tells ABC Radio, adding, “It would be premature to comment further until we have all the information. Priyanka was examined by a doctor, released and is home resting comfortably.”

ABC Radio has also learned that Chopra was a no-show for shooting today, which required some schedule shifting by her co-stars.

She was also absent from a press event held Friday morning in New York City, where reporters were informed she was home on doctor’s orders.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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“Urban Myths” Episode Starring Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson Pulled After Complaints from Jackson Family

C. Flanigan/Getty Images(LONDON) — Hours after Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris said that seeing British actor Joseph Fiennes portraying her late father in the TV show Urban Myths made her “want to vomit,” the show has pulled the episode.

Urban Myths: A Brand New Collection of Comedies is what the British network Sky Arts describes as dramatizations of “true…ish” pop culture stories. One of the episodes was to feature Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson, and Marlon Brando; fleeing New York City by car after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

A trailer, which has now been removed, dropped earlier this week. It showed Fiennes as Jackson, wearing what appears to be a prosthetic nose.

Sky Arts issued an official statement this morning explaining its decision to pull the episode.

“We have taken the decision not to broadcast Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon, a 30min episode from the Sky Arts Urban Myths series,” the message begins. “This decision was taken in light of the concerns expressed by Michael Jackson’s immediate family.”

The statement continues, “We set out to take a light-hearted look at reportedly true events & never intended to cause any offense. Joseph Fiennes fully supports our decision.”

Paris Jackson, Michael’s daughter, wrote Wednesday on Twitter, “i’m so incredibly offended by it, as i’m sure plenty of people are as well, and it honestly makes me want to vomit.”

As previously reported, Paris wasn’t the only Jackson family member to speak out about the portrayal.

“Unfortunately this is what my family has to deal with. No words could express the blatant disrespect,” MJ’s nephew Taj Jackson wrote on Wednesday.

The show’s director, Ben Palmer, previously told the British paper The Guardian, “we really think Joe Fiennes…[has] given a really sweet, nuanced, characterful performance.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Ashton Kutcher “So Proud” of Former Co-Star Natalie Portman for Speaking Out on Gender Pay Gap

ABC/Tyler Golden(LOS ANGELES) — In an interview with in Marie Claire UK, Natalie Portman revealed she earned three times less than Ashton Kutcher did on their bomb of a romantic comedy called No Strings Attached.

Now Kutcher is speaking out — but he’s applauding the Oscar winner.

In a tweet linking to the article, Kutcher said he is, “so proud of Natalie and all women who stand up for closing the gender pay gap!”

“I wasn’t as pi**** as I should have been,” said the 35-year-old Jackie star to the magazine about the salary difference. “I mean, we get paid a lot, so it’s hard to complain, but the disparity is crazy.”

“We just have a clear issue with women not having opportunities,” Portman said. “We need to be part of the solution, not perpetuating the problem.”

She and Kutcher join a host of other stars, including fellow Oscar winners Jennifer Lawrence, Patricia Arquette, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Bradley Cooper, who have spoken out about the wage gap in Hollywood.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Andrew Garfield Says He’s Emma Stone’s ‘Biggest Fan’

Getty Images Entertainment(NEW YORK) — When Andrew Garfield gave his ex-girlfriend Emma Stone a standing ovation at the Golden Globes after she won the best actress award for La La Land, it became one of the night’s most talked about moments.

Now, the 33-year-old English actor is opening up about that moment.

“We care about each other so much, and that’s a given, that’s kind of this unconditional thing. There’s so much love between us and so much respect,” he told Vanity Fair‘s “Little Gold Men” podcast. “I’m her biggest fan as an artist. So for me, it’s been bliss to be able to watch her success and watch her bloom into the actress that she is. And it’s also been wonderful to have that kind of support for each other. It’s nothing but a beautiful thing.”

In fact, Garfield counts Stone among his closest friends, who, he said, keep him grounded in Hollywood. Many of those friends were with him Sunday night at the Globes.

“I was overwhelmed that I had such sincere, authentic Hollywood friends,” he said about the way he felt during the Globes telecast. “Which I don’t think is a common occurrence. I had about seven or eight real, true anchors in that room and in the parties following. Emma, of course, is one, Claire Foy is another, Laura Dern. Eddie Redmayne, Jonah Hill … these are people that I actually love in a real, sincere way, and I believe they love me back. I was just struck with this deep gratitude.”

Garfield also had kind words for his Hacksaw Ridge director Mel Gibson, saying he has, “done that work, that very difficult, internal, transformative work” to improve himself after the scandals that threatened to eclipse his career.

Garfield also made headlines at the Globes for his public smooch with fellow actor Ryan Reynolds after Reynolds lost the Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy to Ryan Gosling.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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“American Horror Story” Picked Up for Two More Seasons; “Atlanta” Delayed Until 2018

From “Atlanta,” (L-R) Brian Tyree Henry, Donald Glover, Zazie Beetz – Courtesy Robin Lori for FX Networks(LOS ANGELES) — FX Networks unveiled its upcoming premiere dates on Thursday, and there’s good news and bad news regarding its two biggest hits, American Horror Story and Atlanta.

The good news is that FX has given AHS a multi-year pickup, renewing the award-winning franchise for an eighth and ninth season. AHS regulars Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters are back for season seven, which kicked off Thursday.

Atlanta will also be back for a second season, along with its Golden Globe-winning creator and star Donald Glover, which is also good news. The bad news: the show about up-and-coming rappers in Georgia’s capital city won’t return until 2018, due to Glover’s busy schedule. He’ll be playing Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Star Wars spinoff, also due out in 2018.

FX also announced Thursday that Glover inked a production deal to develop television series for FX and other networks and streaming services, in addition to executive producing, writing, directing and starring in Atlanta.

In other news: the new anthology FX series, Feud: Bette and Joan, documenting the rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford — played by Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange, respectively — will debut March 5. Alfred Molina and Stanley Tucci also star, along with guest appearances by Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sara Paulson and Kathy Bates.

Elsewhere on FX, The Americans returns on a new night, moving to Tuesdays, starting March 7, and Archer will move to FXX for its eighth season, beginning April 5.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Gabrielle Union Says “Crime Thriller Popcorn Movie” Sleepless Will Heat Up Audiences

ABC/Image Group LA(NEW YORK) — Gabrielle Union promises that her new action thriller movie, Sleepless, not only will leave you breathless, but also “warmed up” in the face of the winter cold.

Union, who plays Dena, the estranged wife of Jamie Foxx’s character, Vincent Downs, says she and Foxx already had a working relationship prior to the film, which included playing a “cute little couple.”

“Jamie and I did a movie a thousand years ago called The Break-Up Handbook,” Union tells ABC Radio. “Yeah, we did a rom-com. In that movie we were kissing, we were a cute little couple, we would break up and get back together. Now we’re estranged former spouses in a bit of a custody situation when our child goes missing. And we go full-tilt to get our child back.”

Sleepless, which is a remake of the French thriller Sleepless Night, follows Foxx and his partner, played by T.I., as a pair of corrupt Las Vegas cops who become the target of a powerful drug lord.

According to Union, the movie will keep you on the edges of your seat.

“It’s like action, crime thriller popcorn movie,” Union explains. “It’s just one those great escapist sort of guilty pleasures. So, definitely your cold, terrible weather — go see Sleepless, you’re going to leave feeling warmed up for sure.”

Sleepless hits theaters today.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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“Live by Night,” “The Bye Bye Man” Among This Weekend’s New Films

Ben Affleck in “Live by Night”; Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures(NEW YORK) — Plenty of new films are opening this weekend. Opening in wide release:

* Live by Night — Ben Affleck wrote and directed this prohibition-era drama about the son of a Boston police superintendent who ditches the straight life to become an outlaw, but runs into trouble after crossing a powerful mob boss. Elle Fanning and Sienna Miller co-star. Rated R.

* The Bye Bye ManBig Love‘s Douglas Smith, Scream Queens‘ Lucien Laviscount and British actress Cressida Bonas star in this horror flick about three college kids who stumble upon the origins of the Bye Bye Man, played by Doug Jones. Once possessed by him, people are driven to commit evil acts. The only way out is by not thinking or mentioning his name. Faye Dunaway also stars. Rated PG-13.

* Sleepless — Jamie Foxx stars as an undercover cop in Las Vegas investigating corrupt cops and the mob, who finds himself with one night to rescue his kidnapped son from the bad guys, and bring them to justice. Gabrielle Union and Michelle Monaghan also star. Rated R.

* Monster Trucks — This live-action/CGI adventure stars MacGyver‘s Lucas Till as a high school senior whose ticket out of the life and town he was born into is through a strange creature displaced by an accident at a nearby oil-drilling site. Rated PG.

Opening in limited release:

* The Book of Love — Jason Sudeikis plays a widowed architect who befriends a homeless teen — played by Game of Thrones‘ Maisie Williams — in search of her long-lost father. The two become friends and set out on an exciting adventure after he helps her build a raft so she can cross the Atlantic. Jessica Beil, Orlando Jones, Mary Steenburgen and Paul Reiser also star. Rated PG-13.

Expanding to wide release:

* Patriots Day — Mark Wahlberg stars as police Sgt. Tommy Saunders in this thriller about first-responders racing against time to in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings to locate the terrorists behind it. John Goodman, Kevin Bacon and J. K. Simmons also star. Rated R.

* Silence — Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield play couple of 17th century Portuguese priests who embark on a dangerous mission to Japan to locate their mentor, played by Liam Neeson, and spread Christianity in this film from director Martin Scorsese. Rated R.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Review: “Patriot’s Day” (R)

CBS Films/Lionsgate(NEW YORK) — At some point, Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg are going to have a cable channel devoted to recreating actual events. Berg, who’s also an actor, excels at capturing and conveying raw human emotion. Wahlberg excels at earnestness and subtle humor, balancing Berg’s emotionally fueled dramas, leading the two of them to deliver, within the last 12 months, two formidable fictionalized accounts of major tragic events.

Last year, we had Deepwater Horizon, which was good. Here we have Patriot’s Day, about the Boston Marathon bombing. And this film is terrific.

Wahlberg is an officer named Tommy Saunders, a high-ranking cop suffering through a temporary demotion. Part of his “punishment” is wearing a uniform and greeting VIPs at the finish line of the marathon. Berg introduces us to several of the surviving victims before their lives were turned upside down. We also meet the Tsarnaev brothers, the terrorists who planted the two bombs on Patriot’s Day 2013 and who would later shoot and kill an MIT police officer.

Berg turns a shot of lovers’ intertwined legs into a subtle harbinger of doom, focusing on the minutiae of life to establish a beauty and humanity in the mundane. And yet he also moves at a brisk and, I hate to say it, entertaining pace, keeping us on the edge of our seats while simultaneously breaking our hearts and, every so often, even making us laugh.

Kevin Bacon is perfectly cast as Special Agent Richard DesLauriers, the FBI agent in charge of the investigation, and John Goodman is a force of nature as Police Commissioner Ed Davis. For good measure, we get Oscar-winner J.K. Simmons as the down-to-earth, cigarette-smoking Watertown Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese.

Patriot’s Day is a profound and moving film about a city, ripped apart by hate, that quickly comes together to heal through love, heroism and patriotism.

Four out of five stars.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Review: “The Bye Bye Man” (PG-13)

Douglas Smith in “The Bye Bye Man”; Courtesy of STX Entertainment(NEW YORK) — Movies debuting in January are bad news. The month is Hollywood’s dumping ground for films that didn’t turn out as hoped — kind of like a boulevard of broken dreams. On the flip side, it’s also not a bad time to release a mediocre, low-budget horror film.

Allow me to introduce you to The Bye Bye Man.

It starts out with a bang — several bangs, actually. It’s 1969 and a middle-aged man in slacks, a buttoned-down shirt and tie pulls into the driveway of a suburban home, seemingly upset about something. When the woman who lives in the house answers the door, the man demands to know whether she told anybody “his name.” When she answer yes, he retreats to his car, grabs a rifle and starts shooting everybody.

Cut to present day, where me meet college students Elliot (Douglas Smith), his girlfriend, Sasha (Cressida Bonas), and Elliot’s best friend, John (Lucien Laviscount). They’re taking the big step of renting a house off campus and, of course, the house is super creepy. Predictably, weird things start happening the night they move in.

At first, Elliot’s skeptical of the paranormal overtones but after a housewarming party, he lets Sasha talk him into participating in a séance with her clairvoyant friend, Kim (Jenna Kanell). That séance really sets the story in motion, inviting the title character into their lives by saying and thinking his name.

The question is whether you, as an audience member, will find the story creepy and/or scary. The answer is yes — at least, at the beginning.

As far as bogeymen go, the Bye Bye Man is decent. He wears a menacing cloak, is tall, has long fingers, gray skin and is accompanied by a demonic hound. He manipulates his victims through hallucinations, causing them to unknowingly murder their friends and family. But the story soon loses steam. The scarier it’s supposed to be, the sillier it gets. It’s as if director Stacy Title wasn’t sure whether a scene should plays as scary or funny. But to her credit, The Bye Bye Man is creepy enough for most fans of the genre to enjoy.

Three out of five stars.

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