Review Category : Entertainment

Paramount Unveils Hard-Hitting Jack Reacher Promotion

Paramount 2016(NEW YORK) — Author Lee Childs’ hero Jack Reacher is six-foot-five, 250 pounds of butt-kicking problem solver. But to prove you don’t need to be big to hit hard — as if five-foot seven-inch Tom Cruise playing Reacher for a second time isn’t proof enough — Paramount is letting moviegoers test their strength.

To promote Cruise’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, which opens October 21, the studio has installed the Jack Reacher Punching Standee in lobbies of select theaters nationwide.

Like the punching bag game seen in bars and arcades, the standee lets moviegoers test their skill on a boxing speed bag, with the results of their punching power displayed in lights.

Cruise’s second go-round as Reacher is based on Childs’ 18th book in his Jack Reacher series, which shares a name with the film. Never Go Back has Reacher fighting to prove the innocence of his former Army buddy — Avengers and former How I Met Your Mother star Cobie Smulders — who’s been wrongly arrested for treason.

Here’s where the interactive displays will be ready to take a licking:

Atlanta – Regal Atlantic Station Stadium 18
Boston – AMC Boston Common 19
Chicago – AMC Barrington 30
Dallas – Cinemark Legacy 24
Knoxville – Pinnacle Stadium Cinemas 17
Los Angeles – Regal Long Beach Stadium 26
Los Angeles – AMC Burbank 16
New York – AMC Lincoln Square 13
New York – Regal Union Square Stadium 14
Philadelphia – AMC Neshaminy 24
Phoenix – Harkins Superstition Springs 25
San Antonio – Santikos Palladium 19
San Francisco – AMC Metreon 16
Washington, D.C. – AMC Hoffman Center 22


Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Paramount Unveils Hard-Hitting Jack Reacher Promotion

Paramount 2016(NEW YORK) — Author Lee Childs’ hero Jack Reacher is six-foot-five, 250 pounds of butt-kicking problem solver. But to prove you don’t need to be big to hit hard — as if five-foot seven-inch Tom Cruise playing Reacher for a second time isn’t proof enough — Paramount is letting moviegoers test their strength.

To promote Cruise’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, which opens October 21, the studio has installed the Jack Reacher Punching Standee in lobbies of select theaters nationwide.

Like the punching bag game seen in bars and arcades, the standee lets moviegoers test their skill on a boxing speed bag, with the results of their punching power displayed in lights.

Cruise’s second go-round as Reacher is based on Childs’ 18th book in his Jack Reacher series, which shares a name with the film. Never Go Back has Reacher fighting to prove the innocence of his former Army buddy — Avengers and former How I Met Your Mother star Cobie Smulders — who’s been wrongly arrested for treason.

Here’s where the interactive displays will be ready to take a licking:

Atlanta – Regal Atlantic Station Stadium 18
Boston – AMC Boston Common 19
Chicago – AMC Barrington 30
Dallas – Cinemark Legacy 24
Knoxville – Pinnacle Stadium Cinemas 17
Los Angeles – Regal Long Beach Stadium 26
Los Angeles – AMC Burbank 16
New York – AMC Lincoln Square 13
New York – Regal Union Square Stadium 14
Philadelphia – AMC Neshaminy 24
Phoenix – Harkins Superstition Springs 25
San Antonio – Santikos Palladium 19
San Francisco – AMC Metreon 16
Washington, D.C. – AMC Hoffman Center 22


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Harry Potter Fans, Rejoice: “Fantastic Beasts” Film Series Expands to Five Movies

Jaap Buitendjik/Warner Bros(NEW YORK) — The Harry Potter spin-off series of films just got even more fantastic.

At a fan event for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in London on Thursday, J.K. Rowling said that five films are now planned for the franchise. It was previously expected to be a trilogy.

The Harry Potter author confirmed on Twitter that she’s the screenwriter for all of the prequels, adding that she’s putting the “finishing touches to the second one.”

I’m the screenwriter. Currently putting the finishing touches to the second one. https://t.co/smffkQ42GZ

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) October 13, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, opening November 18, stars Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, a wizard who arrives in New York in the 1920s and loses some of his fantastic beasts.

The second film in the series is due out in November of 2018.

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Things Get Spooky on “The Simpsons” 600th Episode Sunday

FOX(NEW YORK) — Sunday, The Simpsons turns 600 episodes old, and that milestone is also the long-running series’ annual Halloween episode.

Treehouse of Horror XXVIII starts with a couch gag designed in conjunction with Google wherein you can wear virtual reality glasses to enjoy the experience.

The company created specially-designed Simpsons themed cardboard goggles into which you peer at your VR-ready smartphone and take in the virtual reality goodness.

As always, this “Treehouse of Horrors” is broken into three segments, The first of which being “Dry Hard,” a Hunger Games spoof in which Bart and his drought-parched pals are pitted against each other for the reward of accessing Mr. Burns’ private water reservoir

“BFF” has Sarah Silverman guest voicing as Lisa’s murderous imaginary friend, while the third segment “Moefinger” has Moe’s Tavern standing in for the headquarters of a secret Kingsman-like group of world-saving heroes. Donald Fagen of Steely Dan provides his voice to the segment.

The episode also has the Simpsons’ enemies, including the dead Frank Grimes and Kelsey Grammer’s Sideshow Bob, coming back for revenge against the titular famous family.

Thursday night, in a celebration ahead of the episode, Jimmy Kimmel shared a special tribute on his show, Jimmy Kimmel Live! Kimmel traveled from his set through the TV set of Homer Simpson and arrived, animated, in Springfield. He got a personal tour of the city from Homer, which included a stop by the nuclear plant where Homer works and a visit to Moe’s Tavern. Laster, Kimmel stood at the school chalkboard where Bart usually writes during the opening credits. Kimmel took a turn and wrote, “I will not make celebrities read mean tweets!” When the segment ended, Kimmel returned to his show as Homer said, “Bye, one of the Jimmys!”

“Treehouse of Horrors XXVIII” airs at 8 p.m. Eastern time on Fox.

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“The Accountant,” “Kevin Hart: What Now?,” “Max Steel” Open Today

Kevin Hart; Jeff Vespa/Getty Images for Hilarity for Charity(NEW YORK) — Here’s a look at the new movies opening nationwide Friday:

* The Accountant — Ben Affleck is an accountant who works for criminal organizations. Things get hairy when he takes on a robotics company as a client. Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jean Smart, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Jeffrey Tambor and John Lithgow also star. Rated R.

* Kevin Hart: What Now? — The ubiquitous comedian delivers a new stand-up concert movie. This one was filmed at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field football stadium. Rated R.

* Max Steel — In the adaptation of the Mattel toy figures, a teen named Max becomes the titular superhero when he teams up with an alien robot named Steel. Rated PG-13.

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Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan Headline All-Star Prince Tribute

Adam Bettcher/Getty ImagesStevie Wonder and Chaka Khan brought the party to the official Prince tribute concert which took place at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota on Thursday, according to Minneapolis’ Star Tribune.

Wonder — dressed in a suit and purple shirt — added his signature harmonica licks to Khan’s 1984 hit, “I Feel for You,” written by Prince. The two followed that with a version of Prince’s hit “1999,” delighting the 18,000 fans in attendance.

Other acts on the bill included Doug E. Fresh, Tori Kelly and Prince’s Purple Rain co-stars Morris Day and the Time, alongside many of Prince’s own bandmates in NPG and 3rdEyeGirl.

Christina Aguilera canceled her scheduled appearance due to a “vocal illness,” according to her rep. Fellow pop singer Jessie J stepped in to replace her in the lineup.

Singer and guitarist John Mayer also bowed out of the concert earlier, citing a “change of schedule.” R&B vocalist Anita Baker canceled her appearance just before the event as well, although the reason was unknown.

Also missing from the show were Prince’s “Purple Rain”-era group The Revolution, who did their own tribute shows last month. Singer, percussionist and longtime Prince friend Sheila E. — who’s heading up a tribute at Orchestra Hall on October 23 — was a no-show as well.

Fans from around the world turned out to remember the icon. Also present at the event was Prince protege Shelby J and Prince’s younger sister, Tyka Nelson.

The Prince family-sanctioned concert — dubbed Prince: The Official Tribute — originally was planned for the Minnesota Vikings’ new U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis, but was moved to the smaller Xcel Energy Center, home of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild.

Prince died of an accidental painkiller overdose at the age of 57.

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Review: “The Accountant” (R)

Chuck Zlotnick/Warner Bros.(NEW YORK) — Even with his recent acting “comeback” — his “Benaissance,” if you like — I find Ben Affleck is still underrated. Sure, we understand he knows how to direct a film with the best of them, winning a Best Picture Oscar for Argo, but as an actor, I don’t think he get a fair shake from critics.

The Accountant should dispel any notion that Affleck isn’t a solid actor. To deny that is just pure hating. Don’t hate.

Affleck is Christian Wolff, an accountant with autism. Through flashbacks, we learn about his difficult childhood and his family’s efforts to treat him. His parents explored putting him in a home for autistic kids but his military father didn’t want that. Instead, Dad taught him to function in the “real world” by teaching him and his brother to be, well, badass in the ways of self-defense. I’ll keep the rest of his backstory spoiler-free.

J.K. Simmons plays Ray King, a treasury agent who tasks Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) with figuring out Christian’s identity and whereabouts, after he keeps showing up in surveillance pictures with the most powerful, dangerous arms and drug dealers in the world.

Though Christian works as a regular accountant out of a storefront office in a Chicago suburb, he’s anything but. A biotech firm run by Lamar Black (John Lithgow) hires Christian to figure out a discrepancy discovered by one of the firm’s own accountants, Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick). Before long, Christian and Dana become targets for assassination – and that’s when all of Christian’s exceptional, and lethal, skills come into play.

There are some twists and turns here, a few of them contrived. For example, King’s interest in Christian is farfetched. At the same time, Affleck gives one of his better performances here. Kendrick’s perfect comedic timing adds an appealing layer to the film, and John Bernthal (The Punisher in Netflix’s Daredevil), as head of the team of assassins, it a terrific bad guy. Director Gavin O’Connor has a knack for making good but underrated films (Warrior comes to mind), and The Accountant will probably be one of those, too.

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

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“The Walking Dead” Star Norman Reedus Learned to Avoid Biters — Fans, Not Zombies

Mark Schafer/AMC(NEW YORK) — On The Walking Dead, Norman Reedus’ Daryl Dixon knows a thing or two about avoiding a fatal bite from walkers on the hit show; in real life, however, it’s a little tougher, seeing as the AMC show has some rabid fans — luckily, not literally.

After all, last year, one bit him.

On Live with Kelly Thursday, Reedus explained how fans of the series give him all sorts of trinkets and other mementos — including “body parts,” like breast implants.

But one fan really left her mark on him when she up and bit him at a fan convention. “There was a really nice lady, and I went in to hug her, and she kind of turned into a werewolf…she kind of howled to the sky and chomped on me…”

Kelly and her guest co-host Carrie Ann Inaba were shocked. “When they escorted her from the building she asked, ‘What happened?’ And they were like, ‘You bit Norman!’ And she said, ‘I did?'”

Indeed, the woman’s Instagram posted proof, with the biter captioning a picture with Reedus with the confession, “Finally got to meet the love of my life, and get banned…because I lost my mind…Got so excited standing beside him… & just turned my head and bit him! I don’t know what came over me. It wasn’t my intention to hurt him. I’m sorry Norman!”

“That’s not even the weirdest thing,” Reedus laughed on Live, “But it’s up there.”

As for October 23rd’s Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead, look elsewhere for spoilers, the star recommends. Season 6 ended with Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan bludgeoning one of the show’s heroes to death — but the fans still don’t know which one bought it at the end of Lucille, Negan’s barbed wire-covered bat. “It’s one of the biggest seasons and episodes — I can’t imagine it being bigger,” the star says. As for spoilers? “You don’t wanna know. Trust me. I feel people are gonna lose their mind. It’s crazy.”

Apparently we find out which character literally lost their mind right off the…ahem…bat when the show returns October 23 at 9 p.m. Eastern on AMC.

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Hail to the Geek: President Obama’s Essential Sci-Fi Viewing

Photo by Christopher Anderson for WIRED(WASHINGTON, DC) — It’s well known that President Obama is pretty steeped in geek culture. He’s a self-confessed sci-fi fan and even once appeared in a Spider-Man comic, so the POTUS guest-editing Wired magazine‘s a good fit.

As such, the president offers a list of his eight favorite sci-fi movies and shows, and what he thinks about each.

Topping Obama’s list is 1969’s influential Stanley Kubrick film 2001: A Space Odyssey, which the president says “captures the grandeur and scale of the unknown.”

Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope made #4 on Mr. Obama’s list, “because it was fun and revolutionized special effects,” and is “the ultimate science-fiction popcorn flick,” and gave birth to the franchise that, “will entertain people for generations to come.”

Obama’s most recent entry on the list is 2015’s The Martian, which he says is “my favorite movie of last year,” in part because it “shows humans as problem solvers.”

Other notables include the original Star Trek TV series, which Obama says “wasn’t actually about technology. It was about values and relationships,” and The Matrix, “because it asks basic questions about our reality — nd looks very cool.”

Here are President Obama’s essential sci-fi TV shows and films:

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey
2. Blade Runner
3. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
4. Star Wars
5. Star Trek (the series)
6. The Martian
7. The Matrix
8. Cosmos (original TV series)

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“Hamilton” Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda Talks “Mary Poppins Returns,” and Writing Moana Songs for The Rock

ABC/Heidi Gutman(NEW YORK) — Lin-Manuel Miranda is everywhere these days. The Hamilton composer hosted Saturday Night Live last weekend and the premiere of the much-awaited Hamilton documentary airs on PBS next week.

The Tony winner is also preparing for the release of Moana, the Disney animated movie whose music he composed, and packing for London, where he will spend the next year filming Mary Poppins Returns.

Miranda said Thursday’s Good Morning America that after the show he would be “packing boxes” for London. He’ll play in Mary Poppins Returns, a role similar to the one made famous by Dick Van Dyke in the original Mary Poppins movie, but with a twist.

“This takes place about 20 years after the original Mary Poppins film took place but I get to be around for the adventures with Mary and the kids and sing and dance and do all the fun things,” said Miranda, who will co-star with Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt in the Rob Marshall-directed film.

For Moana, Miranda had to figure out how to give voice to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who voices Maui, the great ocean demigod who helps fearless Moana as she embarks on an epic adventure to discover what is beyond the confines of her island.

“I didn’t know if he could sing so I went on YouTube to sort of find any examples of The Rock singing and what I found was this super cut when he was a bad guy wrestler,” Miranda said, to laughs.

“The fun thing about writing for The Rock is he’s so charming you can give him Gaston-level arrogant lyrics and it’s still charming,” he said, referring to the villain in Beauty and the Beast.

Moana opens November 23 from Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

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