Review Category : Entertainment

“Captain America: Civil War” Tops Fandango’s Most Anticipated Summer Movies

L-R: Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan in “Captain America: Civil War”; Marvel/Disney(NEW YORK) — Captain America: Civil War was voted by movie fans as the most anticipated action movie of the season, according to Fandango’s Most Anticipated Summer Movies Survey.

The film, which opens nationwide May 6, is currently outselling all previous Marvel movies, including the first two Avengers movies and Captain America: Winter Soldier, at the same point in the sales cycle on Fandango. It’s distributed by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

Finding Dory was selected as the most anticipated family film — according to the ticket service, which surveyed thousands of moviegoers — followed by The Secret Life of Pets and Alice Through the Looking Glass coming in second and third.

Paul Feig’s female-led Ghostbusters reboot was voted the most anticipated summer comedy, followed by Central Intelligence and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.

Here’s the complete list of Summer’s Most Anticipated Movies:

Most Anticipated Summer Action Movie:
1. Captain America: Civil War (May 6)
2. Independence Day: Resurgence (June 24)
3. Jason Bourne (July 29)
4. X-Men: Apocalypse (May 27)
5. Suicide Squad (August 5)

Most Anticipated Family Film of the Summer:
1. Finding Dory (June 17)
2. The Secret Life of Pets (July 8)
3. Alice Through the Looking Glass (May 27)
4. Ice Age: Collision Course (July 22)
5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (June 3)

Most Anticipated Summer Comedy:
1. Ghostbusters (July 15)
2. Central Intelligence (June 17)
3. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (May 20)
4. The Nice Guys (May 20)
5. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (July 8)

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Back to the Beach: Pamela Anderson Joins “Baywatch” Movie

Gennadiy Avramenko/Epsilon/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Pamela Anderson became a household name — and many a young man’s fantasy — when she starred in the original Baywatch TV series. Now she’s heading back to the beach with a role in the new Baywatch movie.

“A pleasure to welcome (as gorgeous as ever) Pamela Anderson to our #BAYWATCH cast,” star Dwayne Johnson posted on his Instagram late Thursday night, along with a photo of him standing with Anderson on the set. “We couldn’t have made this movie without you. Welcome home. Thrilled you had a blast with us!” he adds.

Anderson played lifeguard C.J. Parker for six years on Baywatch in the ’90s. She won’t be playing that role in the movie, however — Kelly Rohrbach’s got that part — so we’ll have to wait and see whom Anderson will play.

Baywatch, also starring Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario and lots of other people who look great in swimsuits, is scheduled for release May 19 of next year.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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More Landmarks Bite It in New “Independence Day: Resurgence” Trailer

Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox(NEW YORK) — We’ve got a fresh trailer for Independence Day: Resurgence, four months after the first one dropped.

This one reveals more of why the aliens have returned, twenty years after their first attack on Earth — apparently, they sent a distress call.

There are also teases about various characters, including the fact Liam Hemsworth’s character is apparently in a relationship with former President Whitmore’s daughter, now all grown up, and a glimpse of how Will Smith’s character, Capt. Steve Hiller, died — although now we’ve got his son on board as well.

There’s also lots more footage of the aliens destroying cities and global landmarks, affording Jeff Goldblum’s David Levinson the trailer’s best line: “They like to get the landmarks.”

Independence Day: Resurgence opens June 24.

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“The Huntsman: Winter’s War,” “Elvis & Nixon” Open Today

Michael Shannon as Elvis Presley and Kevin Spacey as Richard Nixon in “Elvis & Nixon”; Steve Dietl/ Bleecker Street(NEW YORK) — Here’s a look at the new movies opening today:

* The Huntsman: Winter’s War — Chris Hemsworth reprises his Snow White and the Huntsman role of the huntsman Eric, who must help the queen Freya — Emily Blunt — defeat her evil sister, Queen Ravenna, played by Charlize Theron. Jessica Chastain also stars. Rated PG-13.

Opening in limited release:

* Elvis & Nixon — It’s the story behind Elvis Presley’s meeting with President Richard Nixon at the White House in 1970, which led to their famous photo. Kevin Spacey plays Nixon and Michael Shannon portrays Elvis. Rated R.

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Prince’s ’80s Reign: Why He Was the Defining Artist of the Decade

Prince performs live in February, 1985; Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Prince’s shocking death Thursday at the age of 57 reminds us of when he first burst onto the scene: he pretty much ruled the 1980s, along with Michael Jackson, Madonna and Bruce Springsteen. But Prince actually may have been THE defining artist of the ’80s.

As Billboard Senior Editor Alex Gale explains, Prince combined musical styles “like no one had ever really done before.”

“If you look at the sound of the ’80s, a lot of that started with Dirty Mind, which is Prince’s third album,” Gale tells ABC Radio. “The sound of that album…here’s drum programming, the synthesizers, some of the ’50s influence…the ways he played with different genres, and this was a time, mind you, when black music and white music were very, very segregated.”

“And here comes Prince basically combining white rock music and funk music and soul and all these things,” he adds. “And combining them seamlessly like no one had ever really done before.”

Prince also helped break MTV’s color barrier during a time when the channel played very few videos by black artists. Of course, his outrageous, androgynous appearance in videos like “Little Red Corvette” and “1999” helped him grab people’s attention.

“He was absolutely a master of image,” explains Gale. “I mean, people weren’t quite sure even what race he was for a little while. [He] absolutely played with gender, and really shocked people.”

Not only did Prince shock with his appearance, he shocked with his explicitly sexual lyrics. It was one of Prince’s songs that led to one of the biggest controversies of the ’80s — the movement to label albums and songs that had racy lyrics with “Parental Advisory” stickers.

“The song ‘Darling Nikki’ is basically the song that started the censorship wars in the music industry with Tipper Gore and the PMRC,” explains Gale. “He played with sexuality, not just genre. He basically combined the sexual and the spiritual into the same song.”

Of course, Prince’s creative peak came with the multi-million-selling album Purple Rain, and the movie of the same name.

Purple Rain was just a crowning pop culture achievement, not just of the ’80s, but really at any time,” says Gale. “To have an album like that…combined with a movie that really explained almost better than anything else who Prince was…it’s just amazing how those two things combine so seamlessly.”

As Gale notes, “It wasn’t forced, it wasn’t like, ‘Oh, here’s a big album, now we have to make a movie about it.’ They really go hand in hand. You can’t separate some of these great songs from some of these classic scenes from the movie.”

While Prince was writing, recording and touring right up until his death, he never again dominated the charts and the pop culture conversation as he did in the ’80s, but he remained one of the most respected and revered artists to emerge from that era.

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Review: “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” (PG-13)

Jessica Chastain and Chris Hemsworth in “The Huntsman: Winter’s War”; UniversalIf you’re anything like me, you remember the first film in this franchise, 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman, as that movie where Kristen Stewart fooled around with her director. Not that that matters — it’s just literally all I remember about it. I couldn’t tell you anything about the plot or acting, and was surprised to look it up and see it made almost 400 million bucks worldwide. That’s a decent chuck of change, and I can see why the studio, Universal, would be eager go for a sequel in the hopes lightning might strike twice.

It didn’t.

It’s not that the first one was bad: for me it just wasn’t memorable. The Huntsman: Winter’s War is memorable — for not being very good. And what’s astounding is that this many great (not good: GREAT) actors read this script and said yes. Because that’s where the problems lie — the script. The acting is fine, the sets look great, the directing is solid. But how three of the best actresses in Hollywood — Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt, and Jessica Chastain — agreed to this film is beyond me.

It’s basically the story of how Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman became the Huntsman. It starts before the events of the first film, then time-jumps and picks up after the Snow White plotline. Along the way there’s a stormy love story between the Huntsman and Jessica Chastain’s expert archer warrior, Sara. They serve Queen Freya (Emily Blunt) until they don’t. Freya, by the way, is the sister of Charlize Theron’s Ravenna, who wreaked havoc in the first film. Got it? Good.

Because none of that really matters — this movie’s plot is just a device to take us from fight scene to fight scene. It is fun to see Jessica Chastain suit up and kick butt, something she normally doesn’t do, and she and Chris Hemsworth have good chemistry. But that’s hardly enough to fill two hours.

While it’s great that the film really focuses on three strong female characters in Chastain, Theron and Blunt, Blunt and Theron’s queens have zero dimension. They’re just evil and angry, and not in a way that’s fun to watch. Blunt, as the Ice Queen Freya, is just cold (and not in a good, Frozen kind of way). And the scene where Freya and Ravenna have it out is so anti-climactic and predictable, it’s hard to imagine these two stellar actresses saying their lines and not cracking up every take.

Kudos, though, to first-time director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan for creating a visually interesting world. This may not be his masterpiece, but he should be able to survive this and live to direct another day. One scene, where Hemsworth is jumping/falling off castle rooftops, is so realistic, I felt like I was going to get vertigo. That’s something.

But in the end, the whole film comes off feeling like a hastily written money grab, made not because there was excitement and love for these characters and this story, but because someone thought there was some cash to be squeezed from this stone. I don’t know what dirt, if any, the studio has on the actors to make them do The Huntsman: Winter’s War, but if it’s there, it must have been good.

One-and-a-half out of five stars.

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George Clooney on Amal: “Oftentimes, I Feel Like an Idiot Talking to My Own Wife”

Mike Coppola/Getty Images for 100 LIVES(NEW YORK) — Despite all of his accomplishments, George Clooney thinks his wife Amal is the real star in their house.

“Oftentimes, I feel like an idiot talking to my own wife,” Clooney, 54, admits in the May edition of Esquire magazine.

Amal Clooney, 38, is an attorney who specializes in international law and human rights.

“I’ve never been happier in a relationship by any stretch of the imagination,” he adds. “At 52 I found the love of my life and I’m really happy.”

Clooney also discusses his friendship with President Barack Obama, whom he describes as “deeply funny.”

Obama is also good at shooting hoops, according to the Monuments Men star, who joined the president for a game of basketball after a joint fundraiser in Los Angeles.

“He said, ‘What are you doing tomorrow morning?’ I go, ‘What time?’ He goes, ‘5:30. You wanna play some hoops?’ And I go, ‘Yeah,'” recalls Clooney. “And he goes, ‘All right, we’ll set it up. You got any of your friends want to play?'”

“So I started writing my friends, going, ‘You wanna play basketball with the president of the United States?’ he tells the magazine. “Now I have this picture of my buddy elbowing the President. It was really fun. He’s a good basketball player.”

Clooney stars as a Wall Street newsman who gets held hostage onscreen by an irate investor in the upcoming thriller Money Monster. The film, co-starring Julia Roberts and directed by Jodie Foster, opens nationwide May 13.

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“Inside Amy Schumer” Returns Tonight on Comedy Central

Justin Stephens/Comedy Central(NEW YORK) — When season three of Inside Amy Schumer ended last July, Amy Schumer was just beginning to get wider notice.

Things have changed for the star quite a bit since then.

The fourth season of the sketch comedy series premieres tonight at 10:00 Eastern on Comedy Central, following a breakout 2015 for its 34-year-old star. Schumer won the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, and her big-screen comedy Trainwreck was a hit, grossing over $140 million worldwide and earning her a Golden Globe nomination.

If you want a tease of what’s to come this season on Inside Amy Schumer, there’s a most definitely NSFW trailer posted now on Comedy Central’s YouTube page. You have been warned.

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Lena Dunham Feels “Really Alive” Following Surgery

Larry Busacca/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Lena Dunham is doing much better following surgery in March.

“I feel great. I feel really alive,” the Girls creator, 29, told People magazine Tuesday at the 8th annual Blossom Ball organized by the Endometriosis Foundation of America.

Dunham, who has been public about her struggle with endometriosis, which causes the lining of the uterus to grow outside of the uterus, was taken to the hospital in March after suffering from a ruptured ovarian cyst.

Following surgery, she recovered at home.

“I got much more rest time than the average woman with endo would probably be permitted, considering my job,” she told People. “I have been treating myself like a delicate, delicate flower.”

Dunham, who also stars in and writes for the hit HBO series, had taken February off after announcing that she was going through a “rough patch” with the illness and that doctors had told her to rest.

Dunham revealed Tuesday that she is ready to return to the helm of Girls and will begin directing the first two episodes of the final season in the coming weeks.

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“Blade Runner” Sequel Bumped Up Three Months

Harrison Ford in 1982’s “Blade Runner”; Warner Bros./Archive Photos/Getty Images(NEW YORK) –Things must be going pretty well on the set of the Blade Runner sequel. The planned release for Director Ridley Scott’s follow-up to his groundbreaking 1982 original has been moved up by three months.

The as-yet untitled film is now set to open October 6, 2017, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It was initially scheduled for January 12, 2018.

Harrison Ford is reprising his role of Rick Deckard, aka the blade runner, a cop who hunts down and “retires” synthetic humans, known as replicants. One question has persisted in the more than three decades since the original film’s release: is Deckard himself a replicant, and doesn’t know it?

The original Blade Runner also starred Rutger Hauer, Daryl Hannah and Edward James Olmos. Ford will be joined in the sequel by newcomers Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright and Dave Bautista.

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