Review Category : Entertainment

Sylvester Stallone Says He Considered Boycotting the Oscars

Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan in “Creed”; Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros.(LOS ANGELES) — The topic of diversity in Hollywood and within the Academy was addressed by several stars Monday at the Oscar nominees luncheon in Beverly Hills.

Sylvester Stallone, a best supporting actor contender for Creed, made headlines by saying he had been open to the idea of boycotting the upcoming Oscars ceremony, due to the all-white field of acting nominees. He says he left it up to Creed director Ryan Coogler, who is black, to make the call.

Stallone shared, “I said, ‘If you want me to go, I’ll go, if you don’t, I won’t.’ And he goes, ‘No, I want you to go.’ That’s the kind of guy he is. ‘I want you to go and respect us and stand up for the film.’”

The 69-year-old actor said he believes it’s “a matter of time” before more improvements on the diversity issue are made.

“Eventually all talent will rise to the top. It’s just a matter of getting, I guess, a new paradigm, a new way of thinking,” he said.

George Miller, a best director nominee for Mad Max: Fury Road, was asked whether the ongoing diversity conversation will affect the way he makes movies in the future. He replied, “To be honest, I hadn’t thought about it in terms of the next movies I hope to make.”

He added, “I think casting is story-driven, but I think what’s really good about what’s happened, if there’s a positive to come out of it, it’s alerted everybody to the problem.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently voted unanimously to make the voting members “significantly” more diverse, with the goal to double the number of women and diverse members by 2020.

The vote came after stars like Will Smith, his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, and Spike Lee said they will not attend the upcoming Oscars ceremony, airing live on ABC on February 28.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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“The Bachelor” Recap: Shocking Eliminations in the Bahamas

ABC/Craig Sjodin(NEW YORK) — Monday night’s episode of The Bachelor picked up where last week’s episode left off: with Ben Higgins having a private chat with Olivia after he received several complaints about her from the other women.

Olivia played the victim, saying she has a target on her back and that her fellow bachelorettes were put off by her aggressiveness in pursuing Ben.

The conversation wasn’t going to have any immediate effects on Olivia’s status on the show, since she earned the previous group date rose. But things would change for her soon enough.

At the rose ceremony, Jennifer was eliminated.

The rest of the episode took place in the Bahamas, where Caila scored the first date. While they went fishing, Leah sobbed at the bachelorettes’ place, wondering why she wasn’t the one who was invited to the date.

Caila confessed to Ben that she wasn’t quite ready to be more vulnerable around him. When asked point-blank if she’s ready to commit to him, she expressed reluctance, saying, “I feel my greatest fear is I can’t totally, completely fall in love with somebody.”

Yet moments later, she said she’s falling in love with Ben because she feels understood. After all the confusion, Ben gave her a rose.

Six women joined Ben on the group date, which involved riding a boat and feeding swimming pigs. Seriously.

Leah continued to doubt her future with Ben, and his attempt to reassure her didn’t help much. She later gave Ben something new to worry about, when she told him that a potential relationship between him and Lauren B. wouldn’t work out because she acts differently when she’s not around him. Ben raised the issue with Lauren B., and she was confused and distraught.

When an emotional Lauren B. told the others what had happened, Leah lied and claimed she wasn’t the one who made the comments to Ben.

Lauren B. wondered whether all of this cost her the group date rose, after Ben presented it to Amanda.

Leah tried to dig Lauren B. into an even deeper hole by visiting Ben and suggesting that Lauren isn’t a genuine person. Her plan backfired, big time; Ben was tired of the Lauren B. talk, and he chose to send Leah home after admitting that something was missing between them.

“Leah, I don’t want to put you through this…I think it’s best for us to kind of say goodbye,” he said.

Olivia was back in the picture for a two-on-one date with Ben and Emily. With only one rose up for grabs, one of these bachelorettes would be eliminated. Ben had private time with each of them on a rainy tropical island.

Right before he awarded the rose, he took Olivia aside and said that while he appreciated how open she was with her feelings, he couldn’t reciprocate. “I think as honest as you’ve been with me about your feelings, I have to be honest with you about mine and tell you that today I can’t give you this rose,” he explained.

Emily happily accepted the rose moments later.

Ben wasn’t feeling up to the cocktail party, so he cancelled it. He jumped straight to another rose ceremony, where he said goodbye to Lauren H.

Next Monday, the remaining six women will visit Ben’s hometown of Warsaw, Indiana.

For more Bachelor fun, tune in to ABC this Sunday night — Valentine’s Day — for the special The Bachelor at 20: A Celebration of Love, which will include footage of Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert’s recent wedding.

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Ryan Reynolds Says He’s “Always Related” to Foul-Mouthed, Violent Superhero, Deadpool

(L-R) Morena Baccarin, Leslie Uggams, Ryan Reynolds and Brianna Hildebrand; Gary Gershoff/WireImage(NEW YORK) — Deadpool, opening Friday, is the latest flick about a Marvel superhero to hit the big screen. But unlike previous Marvel heroes you’ve seen, Deadpool doesn’t play nice. He’s a foul-mouthed, uncensored and mentally unstable mercenary whose story is so edgy, it took years for a studio to agree to actually make a movie about him. But despite his R-rated ways, Ryan Reynolds, who plays Wade Wilson/Deadpool, says he’s never felt so close to a character before.

“There’s just a kind of a weird symmetry between our personalities and I don’t know exactly what that is, but it feels as close as an alter ego could feel, you know, when it’s just a role,” he told ABC Radio at a New York City fan event for the movie. “I just have always related to him. I’ve always been able to kind of ‘freestyle’ as Deadpool, much like, maybe, someone can freestyle sing, which I can’t do! So I love it. I’ve always loved it.”

At the fan event, dozens and dozens of fans showed up in Deadpool outfits, some in pretty bizarre configurations, including Ballerina Deadpool, Pee-wee Herman Deadpool and “Kiddie Pool,” a five-year-old dressed up in Deadpool’s trademark red and black costume. Clearly, fans don’t take their hero too seriously, and neither does Reynolds. In fact, it was his idea to include a lot of self-deprecating humor in the script, taking shots at himself and his career — most notoriously, his superhero misfire Green Lantern.

“My whole career is built on making fun of myself and, and, and there’s no better person to make fun of,” he tells ABC Radio. “You know, when you think of a funny joke about someone, it’s nice when you can point it towards yourself, instead of them. That way no one gets hurt and everyone still laughs!”

Because there’s so much humor in the script, Reynolds’ co-star Morena Baccarin, who plays his love interest, says it was hard to keep a straight face while shooting.

“He’s so g**damned funny,” the Gotham actress tells ABC Radio. “And it was a blast working with him.” She joked, “He’s a really sweet, self-effacing, obviously ugly as sin, and so has to make up for it with a winning personality.”

Baccarin is currently hugely pregnant with her baby with Gotham co-star Ben McKenzie, and she says watching herself onscreen in Deadpool makes her long for her pre-pregnancy body. She laughs, “You know what? I don’t want to look at it too much until I’m done with this!”

By the way, the character of Deadpool first appeared onscreen in the 2009 movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Reynolds played him back then, too, but the character was portrayed completely differently as he is in the comics, which angered fans. However, Deadpool fans swooned in 2014, when director Tim Miller posted online computer-generated test footage of the “Merc with the Mouth,” voiced by Reynolds. The viral response the action scene received prompted 20th Century Fox to greenlight Miller’s big-screen version, which presents the snarky, saber-swinging character just as he exists in the comics.

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President Obama to Appear on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”

James Devaney/GC Images(NEW YORK) — President Obama will want to pack his dancing shoes for his trip to California this week, as he is set to make a special in-studio appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Friday, February 12.

The announcement was sent out through Ellen DeGeneres’ Twitter account, including a joke that the president would be participating in a game of “Never Have I Ever” with the host.

The taped appearance will be the first time a sitting president appears in studio on the show. Obama was last interviewed in 2014 by Ellen DeGeneres in a two-way camera interview from the White House, where he promoted enrollment in the Affordable Care Act and joked about how DeGeneres broke his “retweet” record.

But his 2007 appearance on the show as he was campaigning for president was arguably the most playful — as he entered the studio dancing to Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love.”

His wife, first lady Michelle Obama, followed up with a dance-filled performance of Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” in March of last year to highlight her “Let’s Move” fitness campaign.

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“Taxi Driver” Turns 40 Today

Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Monday, February 8 marks 40 years since Taxi Driver first hit theaters, grabbing us by the throat and dragging us into lead character Travis Bickle’s dark, twisted world.

The film, which starred Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster and Harvey Keitel, was an instant classic, the 12th-highest-grossing movie of 1976. It earned four Academy Award nominations and won the Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious Palme d’Or. It also established the careers of director Martin Scorsese and star De Niro, and cemented their on-screen partnership, which continues to this day.

Taxi Driver not only changed the movies, it changed history. Here are five ways:

1. Taxi Driver established director Scorsese, then 33, as Hollywood’s premier auteur, whose influence would be later felt by a new generation of filmmakers like Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino.

2. Coming off his Oscar win for The Godfather: Part II, De Niro turned down half-million dollar offers to star in Taxi Driver, his second collaboration with Scorsese, after 1973’s Mean Streets. It sealed his reputation as one of Hollywood’s greatest actors, while the character he embodied, Travis Bickle, became a cinema classic.

3. Bickle’s memorable line — “You talkin’ to me?” — became one of film’s most recognized and is included in the top 10 most famous movie lines by the American Film Institute. Screenwriter Paul Schrader later said, “It’s the best thing in the movie, and I didn’t write it.” De Niro, who improvised the entire monologue that included that famous line, borrowed it from Bruce Springsteen, whom he’d seen perform in Greenwich Village just days earlier.

4. Scorsese’s portrait of New York City in 1976 was dark, cramped and filled with garbage — the latter of which, it turns out, was real. In the summer of 1975, when he shot Taxi Driver, a sanitation workers’ strike left garbage piled on the streets and sidewalks. The film, Scorsese’s farewell to his hometown, also signaled the end of an era in New York. The Checker cabs, grimy neighborhoods and Times Square of the movie no longer exist.

5. Schrader’s script was inspired in part by the failed political assassination of presidential hopeful George Wallace in 1972. In the film, Bickle plots to assassinate presidential candidate Senator Charles Palantine after he’s rebuffed by Palantine’s campaign volunteer, Betsy, played by Cybill Shepherd. Five years later, John Hinckley, Jr., who was fixated on the film and its star Jodie Foster, mimicked Bickle’s Mohawk-wearing appearance from the film and attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan. White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head in the attack and left severely disabled. Hinckley was found not guilty of the shooting by reason of insanity and remains under institutional psychiatric care.

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“black-ish,” “Empire” Winners at NAACP Image Awards

“black-ish” star Anthony Anderson; ABC/Bob D’Amico(PASADENA, Calif.) — ABC’s black-ish and the Fox drama Empire won major awards Friday night at the 47th NAACP Image Awards, held Friday night in Pasadena, California.

black-ish was named outstanding comedy series, while stars Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross received acting prizes.

Anderson was the host of the ceremony.

Empire earned the award for outstanding drama series, and stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson were honored for their performances on the show.

On the movie side, Straight Outta Compton and Creed were among the winners.

A complete list of winners is available on NAACPImageAwards.net. Here are the winners in the major categories:

Outstanding Comedy Series
black-ish (ABC)

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson – black-ish (ABC)

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
Tracee Ellis Ross – black-ish (ABC)

Outstanding Drama Series
Empire (FOX)

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Terrence Howard – Empire (FOX)

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Taraji P. Henson – Empire (FOX)

Outstanding Motion Picture
Straight Outta Compton

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Michael B. Jordan – Creed

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Sanaa Lathan – The Perfect Guy

Entertainer of the Year
Michael B. Jordan

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Teresa Giudice Talks Finances, Prison, Future in Exclusive “GMA” Interview

ABC/Jeffrey Neira(NEW YORK) — Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice opened up about her financial situation, her time in federal prison and what her future holds in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Amy Robach.

“[We’re not in] foreclosure any longer, thank you, God,” Giudice said in the interview, airing Tuesday on Good Morning America. “And our restitution’s paid off. We’re in — thank God — in good shape.”

The interview marks the first sit-down television interview with Giudice, 43, since she was released from a federal correctional institution in Danbury, Connecticut, in December.

The reality-TV star served 11-and-a-half months after pleading guilty last year to tax fraud. Despite her guilty plea, when asked whether she believed she was “breaking the law,” Giudice replied, “No.”

“This is what happened in my eyes. I signed some papers. There was no intent to commit a crime. I didn’t know I was committing a crime,” Giudice told Robach. “I got indicted. The government saw it differently. I got sentenced. I … served time. I did what I had to do and now I’m moving past it.”

Her husband, Joe, also pleaded guilty. He’s set to begin his own 41-month prison sentence in March.

Giudice was released from jail before her sentence of 15 months for good behavior, her attorney, James Leonard, told ABC News at the time.

Giudice has spent her time since the release at home with her husband and their four daughters, Gia Gabriella, Milania and Audriana. She recounts her experience in her first-ever memoir, Turning the Tables: From Housewife to Inmate and Back Again, out Tuesday.

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Alejandro G. Iñárritu Wins Top Prize at Directors Guild of America Awards

“The Revenant” star Leonardo DiCaprio and director Alejandro G. Iñárritu; Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) — The Revenant director Alejandro G. Iñárritu won a major award over the weekend.

He received the prize for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film at the Directors Guild of America Awards Saturday in Los Angeles.

The DGA Awards are traditionally a bellwether for who will win the best director Oscar. Only seven times has the DGA winner for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film not gone on to win an Academy Award the same year.

Iñárritu won the directing award at the DGAs and the Oscars last year for Birdman.

The other DGA nominees this year were, in alphabetical order: Tom McCarthy, for Spotlight; Adam McKay, for The Big Short; George Miller, for Mad Max: Fury Road; and Ridley Scott, for The Martian.

Check out the winners in the other categories on DGA.org.

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Elton John Hits the Road with James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke”

Darren Michaels/CBS(LOS ANGELES) — Elton John was in the passenger seat for the latest installment of James Corden’s popular feature “Carpool Karaoke” during a special edition of The Late Late Show following Super Bowl 50 Sunday.

After breaking into a chorus of Elton’s “Your Song,” the rock legend told Corden that the tune marked a big step in his long songwriting partnership with Bernie Taupin.

“[I] sat at the piano, read it through and said, ‘God, this is amazing for an 18-year-old poet to write this lyric.’ And I played it to him, and I think when I finished playing we both realized that this was a huge step forward in our songwriting. We never looked back from that song.”

Corden and his passenger then donned funny sunglasses and boas as they launched into “Crocodile Rock.” Other songs included “Tiny Dancer and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.”

In between, Elton explained that his crazy stage costumes were born out of necessity. noting, “I was never a lead vocalist. I was playing the piano…and I wasn’t you know, a sex symbol, and so I had fun with my outfits.”

Elton and his partner of more than 20 years, David Furnish, have two sons via surrogate — 5-year-old Zachary and 3-year-old Elijah — and insisted that at 68, the recording artist doesn’t feel like he’s too old to be a dad.

“I love it. They’ve been amazing,” he says. “And I haven’t had one second in Zachery or Elijah’s life where I felt that they’d been getting on my nerves…Ten years ago if you’d have told me that I’d be saying this, I would’ve said, ‘you’re crazy,’ but it’s changed my life.”

Elton appeared on the Late Late Show to promote his new album Wonderful Crazy Night, which arrived Friday.

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Sunday Night’s Super Bowl Scores Second-Highest Ratings Ever

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Sunday night’s match-up between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers scored the second-highest overnight rating for a Super Bowl, according to Variety. Only last year’s game drew more viewers.

Variety reports that, according to Nielsen, Super Bowl 50 averaged a 49 rating/73 share. Last year’s game scored a 49.7 rating, which equaled 114.4 million viewers — an all-time record. Actual viewer estimates for Sunday’s game will be out later today.

The Bronco’s beat the Panthers 24-10, while Beyonce and Bruno Mars upstaged Coldplay during the halftime performance. Lady Gaga nailed the national anthem all by herself.

This year, digital ratings are expected to set records as well; this year’s game was available for free viewing on devices like Apple TV and Roku for the first time.

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