Review Category : Entertainment

We’ve Got a Title for the “Gilmore Girls” Netflix Revival

Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham in “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life”; Saeed Adyani/Netflix(NEW YORK) — It’s been nearly four months since the news Netflix was producing a Gilmore Girls revival, with the original cast members back on board. Now, we finally have a title.

Lauren Graham, who plays over-caffeinated Lorelai Gilmore on the show, revealed the title while recording an appearance for The Ellen DeGeneres Show: it’ll be called Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

Graham confirmed the show will be comprised of four 90-minute episodes, but further explained each episode will represent one of the four seasons.

In addition to Graham, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life will also see the return of original cast member — and new mom — Alexis Bledel as daughter Rory Gilmore. Also returning are Scott Patterson, who played diner owner Luke Danes, and Kelly Bishop, who portrayed Emily, as well as co-stars Sean Gunn and Keiko Agena.

Although for a time it seemed as if Melissa McCarthy wouldn’t be a part of the revival, she told Ellen last month that they’d worked things out so she could be a part of it.

Graham’s appearance on Ellen will air Monday.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Chicago Fans Say “Danke Schoen” with Three-Day “Ferris Fest”

L-R: Matthew Broderick, Mia Sara and Alan Ruck in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”; Paramount/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — The 30th anniversary of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off isn’t until June 11, but already fans in Chicago, where the 1986 John Hughes classic is set, are celebrating wth a three-day weekend dubbed “Ferris Fest.”

ABC News’ Nick Watt got a first look at Ferris Fest:

Alan Ruck played Cameron Frye, Ferris’ best friend, whom Ferris tries to cheer up by taking him on an adventure in Chicagoland. Now 59, Ruck says he still gets stopped in the street for his role in the movie – a testament to the movie’s enduring popularity.

“Ben Stein, who played our teacher…he said that, ‘This movie doesn’t have a mean bone in its body,’ and that’s true,’” Ruck said today on Good Morning America. “It’s really a movie about a guy who’s very successful at life helping his friend who’s got some trouble, who’s having a bad day, and that’s really all the movie is about.”

Concerning the film’s lasting appeal, Ruck says, “Everybody wants to be the guy who has the world wired and has the world at his fingertips, but most of us are the ones who have problems and need a little help.”

As part of Ferris Fest, fans created a faithful re-recreation of Ferris’ bedroom as seen in the movie. ABC Radio’s Ryan Burrow takes us on a tour:

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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So Long, Callie Torres: Sara Ramirez Leaves “Grey’s Anatomy”

ABC/Mitchell Haaseth(NEW YORK) — Goodbye, Callie Torres.

Grey’s Anatomy star Sara Ramirez, who has played the orthopedic surgeon since 2006, will not be returning next season.

At the end of Thursday night’s season-12 finale, her character seemingly finalized her divorce with Jessica Capshaw’s Arizona. As a result, she’ll be able to move to New York City.

“I’m deeply grateful to have spent the last 10 years with my family at Grey’s Anatomy & ABC but for now I’m taking some welcome time off,” Ramirez, 40, said in a tweeted statement. “Shonda’s been so incredible to work for and we will definitely continue our conversations! I send my Love to Ellen [Pompeo], the rest of the cast & crew, and I look forward to always being a part of the Shondaland family!”

#GreysAnatomy #CallieTorres #Gratitude #Love #Shondaland

— Sara Ramirez (@SaraRamirez) May 20, 2016

“Dr. Callie Torres came into our lives dancing it out in her underwear almost a decade ago and I could not be happier or more proud of her journey,” added series creator Shonda Rhimes. “Sara Ramirez’s performance inspired me as well as millions of fans each week. We wish her the best on her well-deserved time off. I will miss Callie tremendously, but am excited for what the future holds for Sara. She will always have a home at Shondaland.”

— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) May 20, 2016

Ramirez had fans speculating she might be leaving after she tweeted late last month, “That’s a wrap for Doctor #CallieTorres #Season13 #GreysAnatomy #ThankYou all for an enriching & unforgettable #Rollercoaster ride!”

Ramirez, is the latest star to leave the ABC drama. Sandra Oh departed the series in 2014, and last year audiences were shocked when Patrick Dempsey’s Derek Shepherd was killed in a car accident.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Cher Can’t Turn Back Time: She Turns 70 Today

FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Image(NEW YORK) — Even Cher can’t turn back time: the legendary diva turns 70 today.

One of the top-selling female recording artists in history, Cher’s the only artist ever to score a #1 single on a Billboard chart in the sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties, 2000s and 2010s. That six-decade career means she has multiple generations of fans — though she claims she doesn’t understand why.

“What I see more than anything else is when I’m on tour, I see people carrying children on their shoulders,” Cher told ABC Radio a few years ago. “And then, when we were in Vancouver Island, a woman on TV…it was her 90th birthday and she [said] she wanted to spend it at my concert. And I just thought, “You know, you go girl!’

“I don’t really understand it,” she says. “I’m thankful, I’m blessed, but I don’t really understand it at all.”

Among Cher’s most loyal fans over the years have been gay men.

“I think it must have been at the beginning of The Sonny and Cher Show,” she says, when asked why. “I mean that’s when I really became more aware of it. And I think it started out as a kind of a clothes thing, but after the clothes thing…my attitude was so ‘gay icon-y,’ you know. And then when Sonny and I broke up, for some reason the levels just rose. Maybe because I got to be more myself.”

Whatever the reason, Cher’s grateful for their support. “They are so loyal. I just thank God for them during all these years of having, you know, ups and downs that would choke a horse. …[W]e just have a love affair that I don’t think is ever gonna stop.”

Cher’s most recent album, 2013’s Closer to the Truth, was the highest-charting solo album of her career in the U.S. A talented actress as well as a powerhouse vocalist, she has an Oscar, a Grammy, an Emmy, and three Golden Globe Awards on her trophy shelf.

In addition, Cher’s tours are always sellouts — her Living Proof: Farewell Tour was, for a time, the highest-grossing tour ever by a solo artist, before Madonna beat her record. Sadly, she was forced to cut short her Dressed to Kill tour in 2014 due to health problems, but it was still a smash, money-wise.

In her 70 years, Cher has proved to be the consummate entertainer, conquering the worlds of music, movies and TV, and both causing and surviving controversy. A noted philanthropist and social activist, she’s also been a strong advocate for many causes, including animal rights, veterans and wounded soldiers, HIV/AIDS Prevention and — as the mother of a transgender son, Chaz — LGBT rights.

Earlier this year, Cher also helped donate over 180,000 bottles of water to Flint, Michigan after its drinking water was found to be contaminated.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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“The Angry Birds Movie,” “Neighbors 2,” “The Nice Guys” Open Today

Rovio Animation/Sony(NEW YORK) — Here’s a look at the new movies opening nationwide Friday:

* The Angry Birds Movie — The very popular birds-vs.-green piggies game comes to the big screen in an animated movie. Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Kate McKinnon, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage and Keegan-Michael Key lend their voices. Rated PG.

* Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising — In the comedy sequel, Seth Rogen’s Mac and his wife, played by Rose Byrne, have to contend not with a rowdy frat, but with an out-of-control sorority. Zac Efron returns, joined by newcomer Chloe Grace Moretz. Rated R.

* The Nice Guys — Ryan Gosling is a private eye in 1970s Los Angeles who comes together with a hired enforcer, played by Russell Crowe, in a case involving a missing girl. Rated R.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Review: “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” (R)

Universal(NEW YORK) — 2014’s Neighbors was a funny movie. It also made $150 million at the box office, which is why we have a sequel. You may not have asked for Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, but be grateful you got it.

In a terrific and absolutely gross opening scene, married couple the Radners (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) are back, doing the same thing they were doing in the opening scene of the first movie, which this time it results in a disgusting sight gag – one sure to make you both laugh and slap yourself in the forehead, because you won’t believe what you just saw.

Then we get to catch up with the brothers of Delta Psi. They’re a little older now and thriving in their respective jobs – except for Zac Efron’s Teddy. This scene includes one of the movie’s best jokes, which doubles as terrific social commentary, and also has a twist, which also serves as terrific social commentary. It’s not often that “dude-bro” humor produces a cutting joke about social injustice.

Enter Chloë Grace Moretz as Shelby, a college freshman disappointed with the local sorority scene. So she and a few of her new friends start their own sorority, and – surprise – move next door to the Radners. Turns out Teddy, after a falling out with his best friend (Dave Franco), has also been living there. He agrees to help grow the sorority, while also hoping to exact revenge on the Radners.

Like the first movie, a battle between the Radners and, this time, the sorority ensues. And once again, its brand of gross-out sight gags is used to explore a range of feminist and social themes. Male or female, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising is going to make you squirm — but most importantly, it’s going to make you laugh, a lot.

Four out of five stars.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Review: “The Nice Guys” (R)

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures(NEW YORK) — Russell Crowe is bully-for-hire Jackson Healy. You can pay him to beat up your 13-year-old’s creepy drug dealer, or any number of people you think are a threat to whatever. Ryan Gosling’s Holland March is a somewhat down-on-his-luck private eye with a bad drinking habit. He’s also a widower and single father of a headstrong 13-year-old girl named Holly (Angourie Rice).

Healy and March first meet when Healy’s hired to rough-up March to keep him away from a client named Amelia (Margaret Qualley). Turns out she’s in some trouble, and when some shady characters attempt to kill Healy in an effort to find Amelia, Healy now attempts to team up with March, who’s understandably reluctant, given their initial meeting.

The very notion of Healey and March’s working relationship is absurd but writer-director Shane Black and co-writer Anthony Bagarozzi construct a script that makes no apologies for its absurd twists and indelicate situations, challenging Oscar-winner Crowe and Oscar nominee, heartthrob and Internet meme Gosling to find the humanity and humor in their characters and the story.

Without divulging too many details, Amelia’s plight involves porn and a government official, allowing Black to dive into the seedy glamour of the porn scene in 1970s Los Angeles. The tone and feel — from the costumes, set and sound design — is fabulous. Young Angourie Rice is also a revelation, holding her own and, in some cases, stealing scenes from Crowe and Gosling.

As for those two, their bravado and chemistry, coupled with Gosling’s commitment to some of the more ridiculous tasks he’s given, lifts The Nice Guys above the modest expectations set by the movie’s marketing.

Given its box office competition, The Nice Guys is in real danger of getting lost during the summer blockbuster season. A late viral marketing campaign, featuring various bits between Crowe and Gosling, may have given the film some extra exposure, but will it be enough to give it legs for a shot at a sequel? Hopefully, word of mouth will save the day.

Four out of five stars.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Chelsea Handler’s Back & Shaking Up the Traditional Talk Format

Adam Rose/Netflix(NEW YORK) — It’s an all-new beginning for Chelsea Handler, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Handler has teamed with video-streaming giant Netflix to launch an all-new talk show, called simply Chelsea.

“I’m not saving lives but you want to entertain people,” Handler told ABC News. “I want to ask lots of questions and I want to get lots of answers. And I want to take people along for that ride.

“I don’t feel like I ever really went to college, mostly because I didn’t,” she joked. “And so I’m using this opportunity as my college education paid for by Netflix.”

Handler plans to switch things up with the new talk show, making it less traditional than her last hosting stint on the E! Network, where she hosted her the late-night talk show Chelsea Lately for seven years.

“That show was really focused on celebrity and gossip,” Handler, 41, told Peter Travers. “The company I was keeping was on a network where that was their bread and butter — was talking about celebrities, was the Kardashians, was gossip. And that’s the kind of show that was.

“So after doing that for many years — it was a huge opportunity for me and I had a blast doing it — but after a while, I wanted to broaden my horizons like any adult person,” said Handler, who added she hopes most people will relate to her new approach of hosting and interviewing, “come along for the ride” and “get educated in a fun way.”

“I want to ask questions that we all pretend we know the answers to and we don’t,” Handler said. “I don’t know how a bill is passed. I’ve read about it time and time again. But I still don’t understand what the hell goes on.”

“You’re not going to turn on my show and see me standing and doing a monologue and then having a guest, then having an actor, blah, blah, blah,” she added. “I’m done with that. It’s not going to be a set show every single night. You’re not going to turn it on and say on ‘This is when she does this.’ It’s going to be different.”

Chelsea is streaming now on Netflix.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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“Scandal’s” Joe Morton Takes On a New Role

Joe Morton on “Scandal”; ABC/Ron Tom(NEW YORK) — Playing the diabolical secret black ops leader Rowan “Eli” Pope on ABC’s hit drama Scandal doesn’t compare to Joe Morton’s newest role — which he considers “frightening.”

The Emmy-winning actor returns to his theatrical roots with Turn Me Loose, a biographical play about comedy legend and civil rights activist Dick Gregory, officially opening tonight at the Westside Theater in New York City.

It was a role like no other for the veteran actor, who’s been working professionally for over 45 years.

“The most frightening thing about playing Dick Gregory is I’ve never done stand-up before and I had to learn how to be a stand-up comedian, which was a bit of a challenge,” Morton told ABC Radio.

Gregory, now 83, first came to wide notice in the early 1960s, and is recognized as one of the first black stand-up comics to make white audiences laugh at the absurdity of bigotry.

Harlem native Morton has done it all: hit musical theatricals, long-running soap operas, TV dramas, and sci-fi action fare. But getting into the nuances of comedy presented a learning curve.

“Well, there’s a relaxation that a comedian has to have, there’s a sense of timing with the audience that a comedian has to have in terms of not only delivering the joke and nailing the punch line but nailing it in such a way so that their laughter rolls on so you can tell the next joke,” he shared.

“It’s just all these little things about standing up and telling jokes is different from standing up doing Shakespeare or doing a play. But I think I conquered that part.”

Last appearing on Broadway in the 1998 play Art, Morton said there was no better time to bring Gregory’s story to life. “I mean, his life is so prescient. The things that we talk about in this play are the things that are happening now that he was talking about 30, 40 years ago. So it’s an amazing time for us to be doing the play as well.”

Oscar- and Grammy-winning recording artist John Legend is co-producing the one-man show, written by Gretchen Law.

“Being back on stage in New York, off-Broadway, I mean that’s an actor’s dream,” Morton said. “[It] is just icing on the veritable cake.”

Morton also appears as civil rights activist Roy Wilkins alongside Bryan Cranston’s LBJ in the HBO biopic of President Lyndon Johnson, All The Way, which premieres this Saturday.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Baby Got Flak: Blake Lively Criticized for “L.A. Face with an Oakland Booty” Caption

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Image(CANNES) — A Sir Mix-a-Lot reference on social media has caught Blake Lively some flak.

The actress posted to Instagram a split photo of herself in a gold dress at the Cannes Film Festival in France, showing her from the front and from behind. She captioned it, “L.A. face with an Oakland booty.”

Not everyone appreciated the reference to the Sir Mix-a-Lot hit “Baby Got Back.” Some people thought it was racially insensitive coming from a rich, white woman.

“I want to follow Blake Lively just to unfollow after this LA/Oakland business. So much privilege even GOOP feels uncomfortable,” one person tweeted. Goop is actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s upscale lifestyle website.

“Another day, another rich white woman using WOC’s bodies as a punchline and commodity. As if Blake Lively wasn’t the worst already,” another wrote.

Lively had her supporters, too, with one person writing, “It’s not racist. People will just keep on hating. You got a nice booty.”

Lively was in Cannes to help promote Woody Allen’s new movie, Café Society, which also stars Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg.

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