Review Category : Entertainment

“Fantastic Beasts” Levitates Past Half Billion Dollar Mark

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures(LOS ANGELES) — Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J.K. Rowling’s spinoff of the Harry Potter franchise, has topped the $500 million mark at the worldwide box office, Sue Kroll, Warner Brothers’ president of worldwide marketing and distribution announced Wednesday.

The film, starring Eddie Redmayne, opened at number one in the United States on November 18, earning $74.4 million its first weekend, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This past weekend, it had its premiere in China, where it grossed $41.1 million, beating out Disney’s Moana.

So far, Fantastic Beasts has taken in $161 million domestically and $344 million internationally. As of Tuesday, the film’s global box-office stood at $505 million in just its second weekend of release.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Stars Shine and Light Up the Tree on “Christmas in Rockefeller Center”

Jonathan Orenstein/NBC(NEW YORK) — The stars were out Wednesday night for the annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, kicking off Christmas season in New York City on NBC’s Christmas in Rockefeller Center.

The all-star live musical event, hosted by Today show crew Matt Lauer, Natalie Morales, Hoda Kotb and Al Rooker, featured special guest appearances from Alec Baldwin, Kate McKinnon and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who helped throw the switch to light the tree.

Performers included Tony Bennett, Neil Diamond, Sarah McLachlan, Pentatonix, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, Dolly Parton, Tori Kelly, Josh Groban, Jordan Smith and Anthony Hamilton with The Roots.

When asked what the celebration meant to him, Neil Diamond kept it simple: “This is all about having a good time, and opening the holiday season and everybody just getting with the program.”

This year’s tree is a 94-foot Norway spruce decorated with tons of lights and topped with a Swarovski star made of 25,000 crystals.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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No WiFi? No Problem – Netflix Now Lets Users Download

Netflix-2016(NEW YORK) — Ever want to watch a Netflix show or movie, but you’re stuck on a plane or train with no WiFi?

Well, that’s no longer a problem. Today, the streaming service announced that, “members worldwide can now download in addition to stream great series and films at no extra cost.”

Films and shows can be downloaded to a tablet, phone or computer, just like Apple’s iTunes service.

“We’ve often heard [members] also want to continue their Stranger Things binge while on airplanes and other places where Internet is expensive or limited,” the official release said. “Just click the download button on the details page for a film or TV series and you can watch it later without an internet connection.”

The company confirmed the news in a video tweet, the caption of which read, “Airplane mode. Road trip mode. Stuck-in-the-subway-for-20-minutes mode. Your favorite stories are now available for download any time.”

Not every Netflix show is yet available for download, but more will be added, the streaming service promises.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Decades After Vatican Rebuke, Scorsese Screens “Silence” for the Pope

Paramount Pictures – 2016(ROME) — Thirty years ago, Martin Scorsese — who was raised Catholic, and even thought of becoming a priest before he found cinema — was rebuked by the Vatican for his controversial film The Last Temptation of Christ.

The movie, which starred Willem Dafoe as a Jesus Christ wracked with doubt, and who has sex with Mary Magdalene in a dream sequence — was deemed morally offensive by the city-state home of the Pope and the headquarters of the Catholic Church.

However, Wednesday was a kind of come-to-Jesus moment for the filmmaker, who was personally invited by Pope Francis to meet the pontiff, who screened Scorcese’s upcoming film Silence.

Set in the 17th Century, the film has Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver playing Portuguese Jesuit priests who travel to then-isolated Japan, to try to find their mentor, played by Liam Neeson, who vanished on a missionary mission in the country where practicing Christianity was punishable by torture and even death.

The movie opens in limited release December 23.

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“Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Uh-Oh” – Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Son “Played Negan” with Hens on Their Family Farm

Gene Page/AMC(NEW YORK) — Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays skull-cracking baddie Negan on The Walking Dead, appeared as Kelly Ripa’s co-host on Live with Kelly Wednesday. Morgan, who lives on a working farm in Upstate, New York, explained his hens are a particular favorite of Gus, Morgan’s 6-year-old son with his actress wife Hilarie Burton.

Morgan shared a story about a momentarily scary “art imitating life” moment Gus pulled off on the farm, that left the audience — but fortunately not the livestock — in stitches.

“I see him crawling out of the chicken coop, all dressed in black with a red scarf on and a baseball bat,” Morgan recalled to a stunned Ripa. “I’m like, ‘Dude! What are you doing!?” And he was like, “I’m playing Negan with the hens!…I was doing, ‘Eeny Meeny Miney, Moe’ to the hens.”

The act — and the wardrobe — was Gus’ tribute to his father’s character, who threatened random good guys with his trusty baseball bat Lucille on The Walking Dead, using the schoolyard taunt to pick his first victim.

“And so I go running down, I’m thinking I’m gonna see chickens splattered all over the coop, but they were all fine,” Morgan said to laughs, admitting he congratulated himself for his parenting because Gus didn’t go full Negan on the birds.

The Walking Dead returns Sunday night, December 4, at 9 p.m. Eastern on AMC.

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Walmart Driver in Tracy Morgan Crash Accepts Plea Deal

ABC/Lou Rocco(NEW JERSEY) — Kevin Roper, the Walmart truck driver who crashed into the limo van carrying comedian Tracy Morgan on the New Jersey Turnpike in June of 2014, accepted a plea deal Tuesday that allows him to enter a pre-trial intervention program.

If Roper successfully completes the program’s 300 hours of community service, all charges will be dismissed and he’ll avoid trial for the crash that killed Morgan’s friend, comedian James McNair and left the Saturday Night Live alum severely injured.

Roper had no record prior to the accident and was eligible for the non-prosecution diversion program as a first-time offender.

Roper’s defense attorney, David Glassman, told reporters outside the court house on Tuesday, “The fortunate thing about this is he can go forward with his life. If he completes the program, the charges will be extinguished and he won’t have a criminal record,” he said.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, Roper had been awake for more than 28 hours prior to the collision and was driving 20 miles per hour above the speed limit.

McNair’s family and Morgan both sued Walmart, who settled both suits out of court for undisclosed terms.

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Lin-Manuel Miranda Tackles “The Kingkiller Chronicle”

ABC/Heidi Gutman(LOS ANGELES) — Lin-Manuel Miranda, star and creator of the smash Broadway musical Hamilton, will lend his talents to feature film and TV series adaptations of Pat Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicle.

He’ll serve as creative producer, while composing original music and writing songs. Miranda also has an option to be involved in future stage productions. The series of books and novellas, which centers on the wizard Kvothe, has sold 10 million copies.

Says Miranda, “Pat Rothfuss’ Kingkiller books are among the most read and re-read in our home…Pat also writes about the act of making music more beautifully than any novelist I’ve ever read. I can’t wait to play a part in bringing this world to life onscreen.”

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“The Voice” Recap: Dolly Parton Performs, Blake Shelton Loses Two Artists

“The Voice” final eight contestants: (L-R) Sundance Head, We McDonald, Christian Cuevas, Ali Caldwell, Aaron Gibson, Billy Gilman, Josh Gallagher, and Brendan Fletcher; Trae Patton/NBC(LOS ANGELES) — On Tuesday’s episode of The Voice, the 10 artists who performed Monday learned that Austin Allsup and Courtney Harrell, from Blake Shelton’s team, were sent home.

Dolly Parton opened the show, joined by Jennifer Nettles — both of whom star in Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love, airing Wednesday on NBC — and The Voice top 10 artists for a performance of “Circle of Love.”

Later, Dolly was joined by her goddaughter Miley Cyrus and a capella group Pentatonix for a performance of Parton’s hit, “Jolene.” Afterward, host Carson Daly took the opportunity to mention that their thoughts were with the people of Tennessee and other areas affected by raging wildfires. Dolly’s theme park, Dollywood, located in Pigeon Forge, has been directly affected by the fires.

Austin and Courtney were eliminated on a one-hour results show. They lost an “Instant Save” vote to Team Miley member Aaron Gibson.

Prior to the vote, Austin, Courtney and Aaron sang for an opportunity to be saved by the viewers. Aaron covered “Tennessee Whiskey,” by Chris Stapleton; Courtney sang “Bless the Broken Road,” by Rascal Flatts and Aaron performed “Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right,” by Bob Dylan.

There are now eight artists remaining in the competition, including those on Teams Alicia Keys and Adam Levine.

The Voice returns Monday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and Ghost Rider Return to ABC Tonight

ABC/Kelsey McNeal

Bumped for presidential election coverage, and for David Blaine’s Beyond Magic special, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns to ABC Tuesday evening. With it comes the return of Gabriel Luna’s Ghost Rider, the demonic alter-ego of his character Robbie Reyes.

Reyes, who in the Marvel comic is the third to go by the name of Ghost Rider, made a deal with the devil in order to avenge a horrible attack on his family. That deal transforms the muscle car-driving mechanic into a living symbol of vengeance against evil, complete with a flaming skull and super-strength.

Luna tells ABC Radio that he’s been having a blast letting loose as Ghost Rider. “It’s an animal quality. He’s always growling,” he says. “You can see it written across all the comic panels: ‘Grrrr!’ he’s an animal. The car growls, he growls. He’s got this beast inside him.”

Luna, whose brother was a huge fan of the character for years, said it was also important to him as a Latino to embody Reyes onscreen.

“Boy, that’s a great honor…I think it’s true, that he is the first Mexican-American superhero in the MCU,” Luna said of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “And that’s just perfect, man. It’s a good time for that.”

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns at 10 p.m. Eastern on ABC.

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Pretty Little Liars Star Ashley Benson Supports Dog Rescue This #GivingTuesday

Freeform/James White(LOS ANGELES) — Want to make Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson happy this holiday season? Forget presents. Instead, make a donation to her favorite charity. The actress is leading by example, starting this #GivingTuesday.

#GivingTuesday — the antidote to Black Friday and Cyber Monday — is a worldwide day of giving centered on supporting various charities. Ashley has teamed up with PayPal to spread the word.

“PayPal has been supporting #GivingTuesday for the last five years and the reason that I got involved was because they actually match all donations by one-percent,” she explains to ABC Radio. “So it ensures that a hundred-and-one-percent of your gift goes to a charity of your choice.”

Just go to PayPal’s website, choose from thousands of charities and make your donation. Ashley’s already chosen one charity in particular that’s close to her heart.

“It’s called Wags and Walks,” she says. “So I started a GoFundMe page for them, and my friend Leslie started that charity. It’s a dog rescue. I’m a huge animal lover.”

And if you can’t donate, Ashley recommends volunteering. You’ll certainly make it onto Santa’s “nice” list that way.

Pretty Little Liars‘ seventh and final season premieres April 18, 2017 on Freeform.

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