Review Category : Entertainment

Melissa McCarthy returns to ‘SNL’ as Sean Spicer; Kellyanne Conway also skewered

Will Heath/NBC(NEW YORK) — Melissa McCarthy returned to Saturday Night Live this weekend to reprise her role as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, and as she did last week, she portrayed him as eccentric, short-tempered and disrespectful to journalists.

Alec Baldwin also returned to SNL this weekend, marking his 17th time as the show’s host, though he only portrayed President Donald Trump in one sketch.

During the show’s cold open, McCarthy’s gum-chewing Spicer ruled over a press briefing, and again used props to explain a point to reporters — at one point, using a male soldier doll, a white Barbie doll and a dark Moana doll to illustrate who would and wouldn’t get in the U.S. under President Trump’s immigration plan.

McCarthy’s Spicer also spoofed the real-world issue of retailers dropping Ivanka Trump’s clothing and accessories collection. “…There [was] some light terrorism this week, when Nordstrom decided to stop selling Ivanka Trump’s line of clothing and accessories,” she said, the showed how Spicer/McCarthy was wearing not only one of Ivanka’s bangles, but also a pair of heels: “And don’t even get me started on her shoes!” Spicer shouted.

Kate McKinnon also briefly appeared during the skit as newly-minted Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who took considerable criticism for his alleged racist views. “We all know there are two kinds of crime,” McKinnon/Sessions drawled. “Regular, and black,” at which point McKinnon/Spicer quickly stepped in and ushered Sessions offstage.

In another sketch, McKinnon’s Kellyanne Conway broke into CNN anchor Jake Tapper’s apartment — a la Fatal Attraction — to complain that he refused to have her on his show. “I just want to be a part of news, Jake,” she said seductively, ultimately attacking Tapper with a knife.

In another sketch, Baldwin’s Trump appeared in the TV court show The People’s Court to try and reinstate his immigration ban, bringing Russian President Vladimir Putin, again played by cast member Beck Bennett, as a character witness.

And toward the end of the show, a sketch focused on cast member Leslie Jones’ ambitions to play Trump, complete with her donning a dark suit, red tie and blond wavy hair. While SNL producer Lorne Michaels refused to allow it, Jones stormed out of 30 Rock, still dressed as Trump. A limo pulled up and a woman portraying Melania Trump cracked the window and said, “Donald? What are you doing out here?” Jones then got shrugged and then got into the limo with her.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Adele wins five Grammys, drops the F-bomb, says Beyonce should have won

Monty Brinton/CBS(LOS ANGELES) — Sunday night’s 59th Annual Grammy Awards turned out to be all about Adele — and her love for Beyonce.

The British superstar won five trophies, including Album of the Year for 25, and Record and Song of the Year for “Hello.” While accepting Record of the Year, she gushed over pregnant Queen Bey, who was sitting in the front row, saying, “You move my soul every single day and have for 17 years…I adore you and I want you to be MY mummy!” But when Adele returned to the podium minutes later to accept Album of the Year, she went even further.

“I can’t possibly accept this award,” she said. “And I’m very humbled and very grateful and gracious but my life is Beyonce, and the album to me, the Lemonade album, Beyonce, was so monumental, and so well thought out. And so beautiful and soul baring…you are our light…And the way that you make me and my friends feel, the way you make my black friends feel is empowering, and you make them stand up for themselves. And I love you. I always have. And I always will.”

She didn’t go as far as walking down the steps and handing Beyonce her trophy, but she might has well have done so.

Adele now has 15 Grammys, and she’s also the first person ever to win Album, Song, and Record of the year twice. The other artist who won five Grammys last night? The late David Bowie who, like Adele, won every category in which he was nominated.

It was an incredibly emotional night for Adele, who opened the show with “Hello,” and later dropped the F-bomb during a tribute to the late George Michael, one of her idols. While performing a dramatic, slowed-down version of Michael’s “Fastlove,” she stopped, and said, “I know it’s live TV, I’m sorry I need to start again, I f**ed up. I can’t do it again like last year.” Last year, her performance of “All I Ask” was married by technical difficulties. This year, she may have started singing in the wrong key.

“I’m sorry for swearing, and I’m sorry for starting again, can we please start it again?” she continued. “I’m sorry, I can’t mess this up for him, I’m sorry, I can’t. I’m sorry for swearing, I’m really sorry.” She began “Fastlove” again and this time sang it all the way through, while photos of Michael were shown behind her. The song ends, fittingly, with the lyrics, “I miss my baby.”

That wasn’t the only technical mishap of the night, though. When Metallica and Lady Gaga took the stage for a joint performance of “Moth Into Flame,” Metallica frontman James Hetfield’s mic didn’t work at all and he eventually had to go sing into Gaga’s microphone.

As for Beyonce, she was up for nine awards but only won two. Her performance made quite an impact, though: she appeared live onstage in a gold jeweled gown and gold halo-like crown, while projections of her wearing a gold bikini with her pregnant belly protruding were projected onstage. She recited verses about motherhood, ending with “Your mother is a woman, and women like her cannot be contained.”

Beyonce, whose appearance recalled a goddess or a Madonna in a Renaissance painting, then walked down a runway surrounded by dozens of women wearing gowns and halo-like headpieces and sat in a chair while singing two tracks from Lemonade: “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles.”

Later, when Beyonce won Best Urban Contemporary Album for Lemonade, she gave a long speech in which she said, in part, “It’s important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty, so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror, first through their own families — as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House and the Grammys — and see themselves, and have no doubt that they’re beautiful, intelligent and capable.”

She added, “This is something I want for every child of every race. And I feel it’s vital that we learn from the past and recognize our tendencies to repeat our mistakes.”

While this was mildly political, other artists were a bit more open about it. Jennifer Lopez, presenting Chance the Rapper with Best New Artist, said, “At this particular point in history, our voices are needed more than ever.” A Tribe Called Quest gave a politically-charged performance of their song “We the People,” which featured rapper Busta Rhymes accusing “President Agent Orange” of “perpetuating evil.” At the end of the performance, the group gave the Black Power salute, while frontman Q-Tip shouted “Resist!”

Katy Perry wore an armband that read “Persist” during her performance of “Chained to the Rhythm,” a dance tune about becoming complacent in the face of the world’s problems. The number ended with her standing in front of a projection of the U.S. Constitution.

In addition to the George Michael tribute, Bruno Mars performed a tribute to Prince, singing “Let’s Go Crazy” while dressed as the late musical icon. His performance was preceded by a performance from Prince proteges The Time, who sang their hits “Jungle Love” and “The Bird.”

Rock duo Twenty One Pilots raised eyebrows when, after they were announced as the winners of Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group, both members took off their pants and went onstage in their underwear. Singer Tyler Joseph said before they were famous, when he invited his bandmate Josh Dun over to watch the Grammys with some other people, and they all watched it sitting around in their underwear. According to Joseph, Dun then said that if they ever won a Grammy, they should accept their trophy that way.

First-time Grammy host James Corden kept the show moving with a series of comic set pieces, including a bit where he had a group of artists, including John Legend, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Neil Diamond, Jason Derulo and Ryan Tedder, join him behind a cardboard cutout of a car and do a group sing-along to Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Al Jarreau dead at 76

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Grammy-winning jazz, pop and R&B vocalist Al Jarreau, perhaps bestknown to non-jazz audiences for singing the theme song to hit ’80s TV show Moonlighting, has died. He was 76. In recent days, he’d been hospitalized for exhaustion, according to his Twitter feed, and announced he was retiring from live performing.

A statement on his official website reads, “Al Jarreau passed away today, February 12, 2017. He will be missed…his 2nd priority in life was music. There was no 3rd. His 1st priority, far ahead of the other, was healing or comforting anyone in need. Whether it was emotional pain, or physical discomfort, or any other cause of suffering, he needed to put our minds at ease and our hearts at rest.”

The statement goes on to say, “To everyone who attended his concerts, and listened to his albums: He needed you, and you always were there for him, for more than 50 years. He was thankful for you every day, and did his best to show that to each of you.” It also thanks all the musicians, songwriters and promoters he worked with over the years.

The statement concludes by saying, in part, “From you, Al asks a favor. Please find any artistic thing that you can do with passion, and do it. With art in your life, you will be a better family member, neighbor, friend, and citizen.”

Jarreau, one of the few vocalists to win Grammy awards in the jazz, pop and R&B categories, started his jazz career in 1968 and signed his first recording contract in 1975. His notable TV appearances included singing on the 13th episode of the then-new TV show Saturday Night Live. One of his biggest albums, 1981’s Breakin’ Away, included his hit “We’re in This Love Together.” He scored another hit in 1984 with the song “After All.”

In 1985, Jarreau wrote the lyrics for, and recorded, the theme song for the Cybill Shepherd/Bruce Willis ABC comedy detective show Moonlighting. In 1987, the song was released as a single — it received two Grammy nods and made the top 30.

Jarreau was also featured on the 1985 #1 charity hit “We Are the World.” In 1996, he appeared on Broadway in Grease in the role of Teen Angel, and on American Idol season five, he performed with finalist Paris Bennett on the season finale.

Jarreau is survived by his wife, Susan, and son Ryan.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Laverne Cox and Taraji P. Henson Added to Grammy Presenter Lineup

Courtesy Of The Recording Academy(LOS ANGELES) — A slew of celebrities, including current Grammy winners and nominees, entertainers and film and TV stars, have joined the lineup for this Sunday night’s Grammy Awards as presenters.

Current Grammy nominee Solange, Orange is the New Black‘s Laverne Cox and Hidden Figures actress Taraji P. Henson are among the stars who’ll be handing out the golden Gramophone trophies Sunday night.

Joining them will be other celebrated entertainers, including five-time Grammy winner Celine Dion, Michael Jackson’s daughter, Paris Jackson, Jane the Virgin actress Gina Rodriguez, current nominee and three-time winner Kelly Clarkson and Ryan Seacrest.

As previously reported, Grammy performers will include Alicia Keys, John Legend, Cynthia Erivo, Chance the Rapper, The Weeknd, Anderson .Paak, A Tribe Called Quest, Andra Day and Bruno Mars; there will also be tributes to both Prince and George Michael.

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards air Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

As John Wick, Keanu Reeves Is Mr. Do-It-Yourself

ABC/Alex Scott(NEW YORK) — Keanu Reeves is kicking butt and taking names once again in the new action-packed thriller John Wick: Chapter 2. And get this: Reeves is actually the one kicking, flipping and battling throughout much of the film himself. He told ABC News that’s the only way to go.

“If you’re actually doing things, you’re making a connection with the audience that might be a little different. I enjoy it like that and I love doing action,” Reeves said during an appearance on ABC’s Popcorn with Peter Travers.

Reeves teamed up with director Chad Stahelski for the sequel. The pair go way back, as he explains.

“I met Chad on the first Matrix. He was a stunt double for Neo — Thomas Anderson — in all three films…We worked…all in for three years,” Reeves told Travers. “Those filmmakers, the way they shoot action, the cinema of it, the preparation for it, the design of it, that’s a school we both went to.”

Moviegoers will note that the action gets more intense throughout the film, but Reeves made sure to set the record straight about his role.

“There’s a definite line between action and a stunt,” Reeves, 52, told Peter Travers. “I can do as much as I can do. But if it’s a stunt, I’m not there.”

John Wick: Chapter 2, which also stars Reeves’ Matrix co-star Laurence Fishburne and Ruby Rose, opens Friday.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Museum Shuts Down Shia LaBeouf’s Protest Project over “Public Safety Hazards”

Getty Images/Timothy A. Cleary(NEW YORK) — The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York has pulled the plug on Shia LaBeouf’s HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US, an ongoing streaming performance/presidential protest outside the facility.

The participatory project was supposed to last four years, but the museum shut it down, saying it devolved into a “flashpoint for violence” that, “created a serious and ongoing public safety hazard for the Museum, its visitors, staff, local residents, and businesses.”

The site made headlines for all the wrong reasons late last month, when the actor was arrested for allegedly assaulting a passerby.

Officials made mention of the incident, noting, “While the installation began constructively, it deteriorated markedly after one of the artists was arrested on the site of the installation and ultimately necessitated this action.”

The statement continued, “Over the course of the installation, there have been dozens of threats of violence and numerous arrests, such that police felt compelled to be stationed outside the installation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

While the museum allowed that “HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US generated an important conversation allowing interaction among people from many backgrounds and with different viewpoints,” it says that public safety is paramount.

“Ending our engagement with the installation is the most prudent path forward to restore public safety to the Museum, its visitors, staff, and the community,” the statement noted.

“We take our commitment to the safety of our 200,000 annual visitors and 50,000 school children attending programs at the Museum seriously, along with the safety and security of our staff and community.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

“Stranger Things” Star to Showcase Skills in NBA All-Star Celebrity Game

Netflix – 2016(LOS ANGELES) — — Stranger Things star Caleb McLaughlin will play in next week’s NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, and he is gearing up for the experience.

“I’m really nervous and I’m really excited just to see the people there,” he told ABC News. “I get to meet my favorite basketball players … a lot of the NBA stars.”

McLaughlin, who plays Lucas on the hit Netflix series, said he used to play five-on-five with his friends in the park, but he’s not yet ready to say if his team will be the winner.

“I’m not going to be too cocky,” he said. “You never know. I’m going to go there and have fun and make it the best I can.”

As for the new season of Stranger Things, which premieres on Netflix this Halloween, McLaughlin said he’s excited for fans to see what they’ve been working on. He said he thinks the buzz swirling around the first season will lead to new viewers this time around.

“People are definitely going to pick it up,” he said.

The first season of the show focused on friends Lucas (McLaughlin), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and Mike (Finn Wolfhard) teaming up with the mysterious and powerful Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) to find their missing friend Will (Noah Schnapp). Last season’s cliffhanger ending has left fans anxious to see what’s next for the gang, especially after the new trailer debuted during Sunday’s Super Bowl, and McLaughlin says he was just as enthusiastic to get back to work.

“It was a lot of pressure because the first season was so good and we want season two to be good,” he said. “It’s still fun because you get to read the second part of the Stranger Things story … and just see how our characters develop.”

Stranger Things airs on Netflix and will return Oct. 31. The NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, also featuring Mark Cuban, Andy Grammer, Nick Cannon, Ansel Elgort and more, will air Feb. 17 on ESPN.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

“Scandal” Recap: “Fates Worse than Death”

ABC – 2017(LOS ANGELES) — On this week’s Scandal, titled “Fates Worse than Death,” Cyrus Beene is back home with his husband, Michael, and their daughter as he seemingly gets ready for inauguration day and the presidency.

While all seems well, Cyrus gets a call from Abby, who warns him about the paparazzi outside his door and the impending news that he’s still a suspect in the murder of Frankie Vargas.

Meanwhile, the gladiators continue to look for clues to help explain the cause of the fight between Frankie Vargas and Cyrus. They soon learn that the issues between the two started on the night of the vice presidential debate. During a flashback, Cyrus sees Frankie fraternizing with a young campaign staffer. He immediately knows she’s going to be an issue and begins thinking of a way to break them up.

During another flashback, Cyrus runs into Olivia on the campaign trail, where she admits she’s surprised by Cyrus’ political talents. Cyrus — who’s offended by Liv’s unbelief in him –says he did not manipulate Frankie to get on the presidential ticket.

At Pope & Associates, the Gladiators find personal videos of Vargas and the staffer and infer that the two were sleeping together.

Meanwhile, Cyrus meets privately with the president. In his limo, the president tells Cyrus to resign from office — or the investigation will put him in jail. Cyrus says he will withdraw from the presidency if Mellie does as well. Fitz explains that’s not going to happen, but looks perplexed by Cyrus’ response.

Tom Larson, who during the campaign was Cyrus’ hired gun and part-time lover, resurfaces and calls Cyrus to tell him that if he “doesn’t make things right” he’s going to tell everyone what happened.

Huck, who’s investigating the staffer Jenny — who’s also the same woman murdered in the cabin — meets up with a friend of Jenny’s and learns Jenny was badly beaten. In a flashback, Tom gets Cyrus’ to authorize his orders to “handle” Jenny. During another flashback, Tom tells Cyrus he wants him to be president because Frankie is “weak”. Cyrus, who’s being seduced by Tom, agrees that he also wants Frankie out of the way because he wants to be president.

During this time, Olivia and her team learn of Tom’s connection to Cyrus. In a flashback, the argument between Cyrus and Frankie takes place, during which Cyrus realizes he overstepped his boundaries and doesn’t want any harm to come to Frankie.

Cyrus meets with Tom to call things off, but Tom sees it as a break-up and is enraged.

Back in the present day, Michael comes home with a grocery bag that also has a gun for Cyrus in it. Cyrus sets up a meeting with Tom to get him to back down from exposing him. However, things go awry when Cyrus tries to pull a gun on Tom. Tom takes the gun from Cyrus and threatens to shoot him, but decides not to, instead knocking him unconscious, declaring “There’s a fate worst than death.”

In the final scenes of the episode, Tom turns himself in and confesses to the death of Frankie Vargas. Olivia tells Mellie that she’s going to be the next president of the United States. Meanwhile, Cyrus is arrested, and in a flashback he reveals that he never wanted to be on the presidential ticket at all, but only agreed because he loved Frankie.

Scandal returns next Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on ABC.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

“Fifty Shades Darker” and “John Wick: Chapter 2” Among This Week’s New Movie Releases

Keanu Reeves in “John Wick: Chapter 2”; Niko Tavernise/Lionsgate(NEW YORK) — Here’s a look at the new movies opening nationwide Friday:

* Fifty Shades Darker — In the sequel to 2015’s Fifty Shade of Grey, Jamie Dornan reprises his role as Christian Grey, who wrestles with his inner demons, while Anastasia Steele — played once again by Dakota Johnson — confronts his jealous ex-girlfriend. Rated R.

* John Wick: Chapter 2 — The sequel to 2014’s John Wick again features Keanu Reeves as the legendary hitman, who this time is forced out of retirement by a former associate — played by Laurence Fishburne — to pay a debt, and discovers that a large bounty has been put on his life. Rated R.

* The LEGO Batman Movie — Will Arnett reprises his voice role of Batman/Bruce Wayne, which he provided for the first LEGO Movie. This time, he tries to raise a boy he adopted, aka Robin, while dealing with the criminals of Gotham City. Other voices include Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes and Zack Galifianakis. Rated PG.

Opening in limited release:

* A United KingdomSelma‘s David Oyelowo and Gone Girl‘s Rosamund Pike star in this film based on the true story of Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana, who caused an international stir when he married a white woman from London in the late 1940s. Rated PG-13.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Review: “The LEGO Batman Movie” (PG)

Warner Bros.(NEW YORK) — The LEGO Batman Movie is a love story — if you love to laugh, you’ll love this story.

First introduced in 2014’s The LEGO Movie, this version of Batman (again voiced by Will Arnett) is super-cocky and self-absorbed, and also lonely. It’s a flaw that will be exploited by the Joker (Zack Galifianakis), who, no matter how hard he tries, can’t defeat the Dark Knight. Making matters worse, The Joker is crestfallen when Batman reveals the Joker’s not his greatest enemy.

Back in the Bat Cave, Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) can’t help but notice his boss, who’s like a son to him, is lonely. But it’s about to get worse. When Commissioner Gordon retires, his daughter Barbara (Rosario Dawson) takes over but wants to rein in Batman, positioning him as a partner in fighting crime, not just a lone vigilante. Batman doesn’t like the idea but at the same time is blinded by Barbara’s beauty.

Enter an orphan boy named Dick (Michael Cera). Batman, aka Bruce Wayne, accidentally adopts Dick, something that could only happen in the silly, surreal LEGO universe. Dick, of course, becomes Batman’s sidekick, Robin.

The LEGO Batman Movie is pure joy, gut-busting and delightful. It doesn’t quite have the emotional impact of the The LEGO Movie but there’s no shortage of belly laughs and callbacks to every TV and film iteration of Batman. Much of the parody here is other-level, most notably some of the villains the Joker procures to defeat Batman.

Good for Warner Brothers to recognize that Will Arnett’s brilliant voice performance in The LEGO Movie was worthy of its own film — one that’s impossible not to enjoy.

Four out of five stars.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →