Review Category : Entertainment

“X-Men: Apocalypse,” “Alice Through the Looking Glass” Open Today

Michael Fassbender as Magneto in “X-Men: Apocalypse”; Marvel Studios/Twentieth Century Fox(NEW YORK) — Here’s a look at the new movies opening nationwide Friday:

* X-Men: Apocalypse — The powerful and ancient mutant Apocalypse arises and recruits other mutants, including Magneto, in an attempt to rule the world. James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne and Olivia Munn star. Rated PG-13.

* Alice Through the Looking Glass — Mia Wasikowska reprises the titular role from 2010’s Alice in Wonderland. This time, she travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter. Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Rhys Ifan, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry and Michael Sheen also star. Rated PG.

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Review: “X-Men: Apocalypse” (PG-13)

Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse; Marvel Studios/Twentieth Century Fox(NEW YORK) — Ten years after the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past, humans and mutants coexist — but not exactly in peace.

Rewind, because that’s not how our story starts. It begins in ancient Egypt, where we first meet our bad guy: Apocalypse. It’s simultaneously electrifying and slightly hilarious. No, I’m not going to elaborate — I’ll just leave it there. In fact, I can’t wait for Honest Trailers to give this movie their treatment. But I digress.

Apocalypse is a mutant with a god complex. In an effort to take over the world, he seduces four mutants to help him do his bidding. But things don’t exactly work out for him and he winds up buried in the ground for a few thousand years.

Back to the present day. Apocalypse — En Sabah Nur, if you’re nasty — is kind of a myth but has a small group of followers who not only believe he exists, they’ve unearthed his tomb in hopes of resurrecting him.

In the United States, we get the origin story of Cyclops, aka Scott Summers, a kid whose looks can, literally, kill. We’re introduced to a number of new mutants in this movie, in fact, and reintroduced to others, the most interesting of which is Evan Peters’ Quicksilver. In addition to one particular, jaw-dropping, “explosive” sequence in which Quicksilver steals the show, Peters is an engaging, scene-stealing presence. The guy’s got a high ceiling and I expect, at some point in his career, he’ll be one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood.

There’s really only one other emotionally engaging element to this movie, and that’s Magneto’s storyline. He goes into hiding in Germany, pretending to be a regular guy who gets married, has a daughter and works in a steel factory — which given his metal-manipulating mutation is kind of like a recovering alcoholic taking a job in a distillery. While it’s a choice that defies logic, Magneto’s plight, and the way Michael Fassbender plays it, elicits empathy.

I forgot to mention that Oscar Isaac plays Apocalypse and for, perhaps, the first time in his career, he makes zero impact. You can barely tell its him. Quite frankly, you could’ve put any number of actors in all that make-up and I don’t think it would’ve made a difference. Apocalypse feels more like a symbol than a fully fleshed-out character.

In other words, X-Men: Apocalypse focuses on — nothing. It doesn’t have a focus. Instead, too many chefs in the kitchen kind of spoil the apocalypse. It’s overwritten, overproduced and underdeveloped, but even so, it’s not bereft of entertainment value. It’s still a visual spectacle with some outstanding performances, most notably from Fassbender, James McAvoy’s Professor Charles Xavier, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, and Peters.

Three out of five stars.

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Do “Dancing with the Stars” Pros Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd Have a Baby on the Way?

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Are Dancing with the Stars pros Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd making room for another little pair of dancing feet?

The couple, who got engaged back in December, are expecting, sources tell People magazine.

This will be the first child for both Murgatroyd, 29, and Chmerkovskiy, 36.

Peta — who along with her DWTS partner, America’s Next Top Model season-22 winner Nyle DiMarco, was crowned this season’s Mirror Ball champion on Tuesday — was tight-lipped when asked about wedding plans after the show, according to the entertainment magazine, but did reveal that she and Chmerkovskiy have “chosen some dates.”

A rep for the couple has yet to comment.

In the meantime, Maks will head out with his brother Valentin Chmerkovskiy on Maks & Val Live on Tour: Our Way this summer.

Dancing with the Stars returns for its 23rd season in September on ABC.

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“Alice Through the Looking Glass” Director Shares the Advice Tim Burton Gave Him

L-R: Anne Hathaway, Johnny Depp and Mia Wasikowska; Peter Mountain/Walt Disney Studios(LOS ANGELES) — Alice Through the Looking Glass, the follow-up to 2010’s Alice in Wonderland, opens in theaters tonight. If you’ve seen the trailers, you know it’s a CGI effects spectacle. And that led to director James Bobin receiving some sage advice from the previous film’s director, Tim Burton.

“Don’t shoot on green screen, it kills your eyes,” Bobin said Burton told him, referring to the backdrop of scenes to which computer-generated effects will later be added.

“Because after four weeks of doing it he started wearing purple sunglasses,” Bobin explains. “So I said great, I won’t do that, I’ll shoot on blue, so we shot this movie on blue screen, which I’m here to say is really a lot easier.”

Bobin says he felt a “great weight of responsibility” in directing the project. “Alice is a thing as a kid in England you read, you know, when you’re growing up, your parents read it to you, you read it yourself,” the British filmmaker says. “And in England everyone knows that there’s two books, you have the two books as well, so you know the books better than you know the movie in many ways.”

Alice Through the Looking Glass stars Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen. It will be released by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

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“’X-Men: Apocalypse”: The Mutants Are Back!

L-R: Jennifer Lawrence, Rose Byrne, James McAvoy, Lucas Till and Nicholas Hoult; Alan Markfield/Marvel Studios/Twentieth Century Fox(NEW YORK) — The mutant superheroes are back in X-Men: Apocalypse.

“The stakes are definitely higher in this one because we’ve never had a villain before that’s like straight up about to wipe off the face of the earth,” star Jennifer Lawrence tells ABC News of the latest chapter in the X-Men film franchise.

Lawrence’s character, the shape-shifting Mystique, teams up with telepath Professor Charles Xavier, leader of the X-Men, to battle the most powerful mutant of all — the immortal Apocalypse. But our heroes get the job done, with help from a new generation of mutants.

“It’s got everything you want in your summer blockbusters in terms of all that crash, bang and wallop in action, and all that stuff,” says James McAvoy, who plays Xavier.

Lawrence also says that in this film, her character is “growing up a little bit more. “She’s not so focused on rebelling anymore, she’s more interested in the betterment of the mutants.”

Sophie Turner, best known to most as Sansa Stark from HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones, plays a young Jean Grey, armed with her own formidable telepathic and telekinetic powers.

“Everyone was so welcoming, it was good,” said Turner of joining the franchise veterans. “And it’s just fun to play a small part in such a big ensemble cast.”

Oscar Isaac, who plays Apocalypse, agrees. “It feels like an X-Men movie that I’ve been waiting for as well, you know, because some things happen that are so classic form the comic books,” he says.

X-Men: Apocalypse opens nationwide tomorrow.

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“Saved by the Bell” Actor Dustin Diamond Arrested

Jeffrey Phelps/Getty Images(OZAUKEE COUNTY, Wis.) — Former Saved by the Bell actor Dustin Diamond has been arrested, according to the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office in Wisconsin, less than a month after he was released from jail.

Diamond was arrested for an unspecified alleged probation violation, according to officials.

The 39-year-old actor, who played Screech on the sitcom Saved by the Bell, was released from jail earlier this month after serving time for allegedly stabbing a 25-year-old man in a Port Washington, Wisconsin, bar on Christmas Day 2014, according to a police report. The scuffle was captured on video.

Diamond was found guilty of carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors, after a three-day trial in June 2015 and sentenced to four months behind bars.

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Teresa Giudice’s Bankruptcy Case Will Be Re-Opened

Teresa Giudice on ABC’s “Good Morning America” in February 2016; Fred Lee/ABC via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — A federal judge in New Jersey has re-opened the bankruptcy case against Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice.

Giudice just finished serving a 15-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to bankruptcy fraud and admitting that she and her husband adjusted their income on bank and tax documents to qualify for certain loans.

Earlier this week, her lawyers argued before U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Stacey L. Meisel that the bankruptcy case shouldn’t be re-opened because Giudice has paid off or has agreements to pay 27 of the 29 creditors listed in her 2009 bankruptcy filing, according to

But Meisel ruled against Guidice’s team and ordered the case re-opened. Her decision could mean the reality star’s unsatisfied creditors can collect from any proceeds she gains from a lawsuit she filed last year against her former bankruptcy attorney, James Kridel.

Giudice was not at the hearing.

The judge also appointed a trustee, John Sywilok, who will determine whether all of Giudice’s creditors have been satisfied. “She has made allegations that creditors have been satisfied,” Sywilok told ABC News. “I have to look into that.”

Giudice has written a book and appeared on television since her December release, but any income from those activities is considered post-petition funds and not part of any bankruptcy proceeding.

The only way unsatisfied creditors could collect is if Giudice’s malpractice case against her bankruptcy attorney moves forward.

“Assuming a jury determines the attorney charged with illegal malpractice that he did it then the creditors could collect,” Sywilok said.

The judge will review the case again in 90 days.

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Court Denies Gawker’s Request for New Trial in Hulk Hogan Case

Matt Jelonek/WireImage(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.) — Gawker lost its bid Wednesday to get a new trial in its legal battle with former wrestler Hulk Hogan.

Hogan had sued for invasion of privacy and won $140 million in damages from the case back in March.

During the trial, Gawker’s legal team claimed publishing the Hogan video, which featured him having sex with Heather Clem, the former wife of Hogan’s estranged best friend Todd Clem, was protected by the First Amendment, especially with Hogan being a celebrity. Furthermore, Gawker’s lawyer, Michael Berry, claimed Hogan filed his lawsuit just to get “lots and lots of money.”

But Hogan’s legal team noted Wednesday that the court has sided with Hogan yet again in a St. Petersburg, Florida, courtroom.

“The court today denied Gawker’s request for a new trial and to reduce damages. Plaintiff Bollea believes rightfully so,” Hogan’s legal team said in a statement after the request was denied, referring to Hogan’s birth name, Terry Gene Bollea.

“Gawker has failed and continues to fail in recognizing their obligation to Bollea for their reprehensible behavior and method of doing what they call journalism. Their refusal to accept responsibility for their conduct and denial of the obvious continues to drive their litigation strategy,” Hogan’s legal team added.

Hogan received the $140 million verdict earlier this year, when a jury in Florida awarded $55 million in economic damages and $60 million for emotional distress. An extra $25 million was added on for punitive damages.

During the trial, Hogan said he had no knowledge that his encounter with Clem was being filmed, and thus was a protected private moment. When the tape was released and published on Gawker, Hogan told the court, “My whole world went upside down.”

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Updated: Gunshots at T.I. Concert in NYC; One Dead, Three Injured

Ben Rose/WireImage(NEW YORK) — A concert by rapper T.I. in New York City got violent on Wednesday night, resulting in one person’s death and injuring three others.

Four people were shot at the Manhattan venue Irving Plaza, the site of the concert, at 10:15 p.m. local time. T.I. was not performing at the time of the shooting, but was inside the venue. The shootings took place in the venue’s third-floor green room, according to NYPD Chief of Manhattan Detectives William Aubry.

One unidentified 33-year-old male victim was pronounced dead at Beth Israel hospital of a gunshot wound to the stomach, Aubry said. Two other victims, a man and a woman, who were taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition with a gunshot wound to the chest and leg, respectively. The fourth victim, a man, was taken to New York University Hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg. His condition was unknown as of Thursday morning.

So far, there have been no arrests in the shooting, said Aubry, who adds police are investigating, including recovering ballistic evidence at the scene. He also said there was security at the event, including metal detectors.

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Jennifer Aniston’s Mother, Nancy Dow, Has Died

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Jennifer Aniston is mourning the loss of her mother, Nancy Dow.

The actress told People magazine in a statement that Dow died “after enduring a long illness.” She was 79.

“It is with great sadness that my brother John and I announce the passing of our mother Nancy Dow. She was 79 years old and passed peacefully surrounded by family and friends,” Aniston’s statement read. “We ask that our family’s privacy be respected as we grieve our loss.”

Dow, an actress and model, was married twice — first to Jack Melick, with whom she had a son, and then to Aniston’s father, John Aniston. They divorced when the actress was a child.

Aniston, 47, opened up a bit about her relationship with her mother last year in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Explaining that at one point, Dow “was very critical of me,” Aniston admitted that they did not always enjoy the easiest relationship.

But more recently, she added, “We’re all fine.”

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