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Neil Patrick Harris was the perfect choice to host the Oscars — but maybe not for the obvious reasons.
When Variety broke the announcement of the host Wednesday, industry reaction was positive. He’s like the Sara Lee of performers: Nobody doesn’t like Nph. But some shrugged that he was a safe choice.
Here are three reasons why TV viewers and the Academy should be excited:
1. He actually Is edgy: True, he has proven his ability when hosting the Tony and Emmy Awards. But Harris is also capable of being edgier than that. On Broadway in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” he showed a demented energy, like a combination of Al Pacino in “Dog Day Afternoon” and Anna Magnani in just about everything she made.
- Tim Gray
As we near the end of another year, WWE’s yearly wrestling game will soon be with us in form of WWE 2K15, which is released in October for PS3 and Xbox 360, and in November for the PS4 and the Xbox One. The biggest difficulty in designing and developing a yearly wrestling title must be keeping it fresh, as is the case with every yearly sports titles such as Madden or FIFA – if the product seems to be the same game from last year but packaged differently, gamers might not be tempted to purchase. The modes vary, change and evolve from year to year, but one element that’s always compared directly in each wrestling game is the roster.
While most of the roster spots go to the superstars and divas currently appearing on WWE TV, decisions have to be made in regards to which legends and wrestlers »
- Sam Thorne
It was not meant to be a roast, but there was certainly some ribbing happening at the Friars Foundation’s annual gala honoring Robert De Niro and Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim on Oct. 7 at the recently sold Waldorf Astoria.
A parade of industryites appeared in-person and via video including David O. Russell, Sharon Stone, Christopher Walken, Martin Scorsese, Orlando Bloom, Billy Crystal, Barbra Streisand and Don Rickles. All paid tribute to thesp, who received the Friars Club’s fifth-ever Icon Award.
Sting, Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin also serenaded De Niro and Slim, who took home the Icon Award for Philanthropy. Warren Buffett, in a pre-recorded video alongside Paul Anka, sang a rendition of “My Way” to Slim.
As the event’s emcee, Larry King (Friars’ Dean) attempted to keep the crowd — full of old men and their model/drag queen dates — in check by “shushing” the room several times. »
- Addie Morfoot
I talked with Nick Offerman earlier this week and got the answer to the question I'm sure you're all wondering: A ukelele. What? You weren't clamoring for details on the latest carpentry projects from Hollywood's endlessly busy Renaissance Man? Personally, I'm always interested in Offerman's woodworking, because I know the value he puts in maintaining that pursuit and skill -- it's not just a hobby -- while following a schedule that would exhaust a lesser man. On Offerman's recent/current slate: He's completing work on the final season of "Parks and Recreation." He's touring the country with his one-man humor/lifestyle spectacle "Full Bush." He directed the marvelous and star-studded video for Tweedy's "Low Key." He's apparently co-producing a documentary about writer Wendell Berry. He appeared in the summer blockbuster "22 Jump Street" and probably has another half-dozen movies coming out soon. And this Sunday night (October 5), Offerman can be heard »
- Daniel Fienberg
The relationship between rockers Metallica and jazz might seem spurious. But Robert Trujillo and Lars Ulrich, the bassist and drummer, respectively, for the thrash metal band — who act as Artists in Residence at this year’s Mill Valley Film Festival — are not all they seem on the surface.
As guest curators for the 11-day event, each member picked a movie they’ll be presenting: Trujillo with “Jaco,” a documentary work in progress about groundbreaking crossover jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius that he produced with John Battsek of Passion Pictures (the Oscar-winning “Searching for Sugar Man”); and Ulrich with “Whiplash,” about an aspiring jazz drummer and his thorny relationship with a tough-love, Juilliard-like instructor.
“A lot of the younger jazz enthusiasts who are really into Jaco don’t want to believe the bass player for Metallica actually went to jazz school, saw Jaco play and had a band that was completely inspired »
- Steve Chagollan
20. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Directed by: Terry Gilliam
So…drugs, right? Based on Hunter S. Thompson’s 1971 novel of the same title, Fear and Loathing stars Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro as Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo, respectively. The pair is heading to Sin City, speeding through the Nevada desert, under the influence of mescaline. From there, the film is series a bizarre hallucinations seen through the eyes of Duke. So, we jump from hotel room to hotel room, all of the action a blur of what is happening and what really isn’t. Throughout the course of the film, Duke and/or Gonzo ingest the following drugs: mescaline, sunshine acid, diethyl ether, LSD, cocaine, and adenochrome (probably more). Duke – who is a Thompson stand-in – is supposed to be writing an article before heading back to Los Angeles, but tends to get sidetracked quite a bit. In »
- Joshua Gaul
If you caught any of Fxx’s epic 12-day Simpsons marathon, then you must have seen at least one great musical moment. Now Springfield is getting the big Hollywood salute it deserves with three performances of The Simpsons Take the Bowl.
Hosted by Hank Azaria (and the countless characters he voices on the show), the event—featuring the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra—highlights some of the sitcom’s best song parodies and musical scoring. Also on tap: Special guests, both in person and in animated form. Here are 6 of the most memorable moments from Friday night’s opening concert:
The Simpsons are fans too! »
- Jake Perlman
[Press Release] (New York, NY – September 4, 2014) Executive Producers Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin) and Bruce Cohen (American Beauty, Milk, Silver Linings Playbook) are proud to announce that Emmy Award winner Jane Lynch (Glee) will host Uprising of Love: A Benefit Concert for Global Equality on Monday, September 15th at Broadway’s Gershwin Theatre (222 West 51st Street). Also joining the lineup for the evening is the cast of Broadway’s Wicked, the cast of the Tony Award winning Broadway musical Once, and the cast of I Am Harvey Milk. They join the previously announced roster of appearances and performances by 16-time Grammy Award-winner Sting,two-time Tony Award and two-time Grammy Award-winner Patti LuPone, Tony Award winner Billy Porter (Kinky Boots), country »
- Pietro Filipponi
Fox is getting into business with Carrie Underwood.
The network is developing a six-hour limited event series based on the singer’s hit single “Two Black Cadillacs,” our sister site Deadline reports.
Related Fall TV Spectacular: Exclusive Scoop and Photos on 42 Returning Favorites!
The project explores a murderous love triangle, featuring two scorned women, in the modern South.
Ready for more of today’s newsy nuggets? Well…
* Lifetime has two more Flowers In the Attic films in the pipeline, per The Hollywood Reporter. If There »
“The Voice” has probably helped no one’s career as much as coach Adam Levine and his band, Maroon 5. While they certainly weren’t dormant, the NBC talent reality show revived the band and brought them back to a level they hadn’t seen since their breakthrough, 2002’s “Songs About Jane.” Ever since 2011’s “Moves Like Jagger,” featuring fellow sometimes “Voice” coach Christina Aguilera, Maroon 5 has seldom been of a pop or AC chart. Just as Maroon 5 did on its last album, 2012’s “Overexposed,” for new set, “V,” the group also enlisted a phalanx of hit songwriters and producers — Ryan Tedder, Shellback, Dr. Luke, Sia, Stargate, Benny Blanco— to come up with the poppiest of pop material. The result is a shiny, pristine album that sounds great, if a little anodyne and generic. Maroon 5’s self-penned earliest hits like “This Love” and “Harder To Breathe” were less well-crafted, »
- Melinda Newman
Modern music is chalk full of so-called love songs that actually hide some rather unromantic notions. These secretly depressing, bigoted, or just plain idiotic ballads go unnoticed by listeners because they have a catchy chorus that mentions the words “love” and “baby,” so they Must be singing about something sweet, right?
Wrong. Oh so very, very wrong. Ever since Sting wrote the definitive stalker anthem in “Every Breath You Take” and then managed to convince the general public that it was actually a perfectly reasonable love song, there has been no shortage of musicians tucking away horrible messages in their supposedly tender ballads. And, for the most part, they get away with it.
But it’s time to pull back the curtain on some of these deceitful tunes and show you the seedy world of Top 40 hits, littered with perversion, drugs and, yes, even more stalkers. Some of them are tasteless, »
- Jacob Trowbridge
Welcome, friends, to HitFix's MTV Video Music Awards 2014 live-blog. Earlier today I was watching Fxx's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon and it was the "Homerpalooza" episode, which begins with Homer lamenting that he's no longer hip to the contemporary music scene. Marge tells him not to worry. "Record stores have always seemed crazy to me," she declares. "Music is none of my business." Well, music is none of my business. Artists who aren't "American Idol" veterans or who haven't appeared on "American Idol" are none of my business. Actually, I take that back. I also know people who were on "X Factor," which is why I know who Fifth Harmony and Demi Lovato are. But with HitFix's actual qualified music staffers doing breakout stories and reviews of performances, I get to do a live-blog even though I know who none of these people are. Follow along and make fun of my musical ignorance. »
- Daniel Fienberg
Aside from WrestleMania, one of the most anticipated events of the year for wrestling fans is the release of the latest WWE video game. Thq and now 2K Sports have done a tremendous job over the years of updating and adjusting the game play, adding new content and, of course, refreshing the roster. However, there are only so many Superstars spots that can be filled. Not every active competitor can make the cut, as a handful of spots are also occupied by WWE Legends, Hall of Famers and other alumni.
It’s become a tradition over the years to reveal the roster over SummerSlam weekend and this year was no exception. A part of a star-studded panel featuring the likes of John Cena, Hulk Hogan and Sting among others, hosts Stone Cold Steve Austin and Renee Young ran down the list of the Superstars that will be included in WWE »
- Graham GSM Matthews
The WWE launched its much-spoken of, much-publicized and much-advertised by its announcers on television every single week, Network at the end of February and now we are just over five months on from the launch, so I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the Network now that the issues have been ironed out, more content has been added and rumours have begun to swirl that WWE are planning to launch it in the rest of the world before 2014 comes to a close.
When it launched five months ago the WWE Network was a big of a mess in terms of glitches and errors, from people experiencing numerous problems with the sign-up process, people being charged twice, people being charged even though they cancelled before the end of the “free trial”, and then the issues that came once you signed in. Freezing during the on-demand portion of the service, »
- Chris Cummings
With the announcement that Sting would be joining the roster of the upcoming WWE 2K15 as a pre-order bonus character, fans were agog.
Last year’s WWE2K14 was a showcase for how it was possible to combine the rich history of World Wrestling Entertainment with the incredible graphics and state-of-the-art gameplay of a cutting edge video game. The two story modes in particular, 30 Years Of Wrestlemania and The Streak, brought Wrestlemania to life for gamers the world over, allowing us to work our way through three decades of WWF and WWE stories on the grandest stage of them all.
But Sting… he was one of the only professional wrestling legends never to wrestle for either WWF or WWE. Although the company had teased signing The Icon for some time (even posting a speculative promotional video for a potential Sting/Undertaker match on wwe.com back in April »
- Ben Cooke
The week after WWE Battleground was certainly an eventful one, but what’s gotten more attention than the results of the pay-per-view is a moment many wrestling fans thought may never come, as Sting made his first official appearance at a WWE event, joining a panel to debut his new WWE action figure.
Plenty more happened as well: we saw an arrest on Raw, heard from Triple H about Brock Lesnar, and Bad News Barrett made a surprise return. And again, that wasn’t all, so read on to see the best things you didn’t see this week.
Before you do, though, here’s a bit about what this article series is all about. The content on the following pages almost exclusively comes from the WWE App, WWE.com, the WWE Network, and WWE television shows by way of WWE’s YouTube page. Because fewer people watch Main Event, »
- Alex Musso
The San Diego Comic-Con International is in full swing, and we’ve got a few of yesterday’s big panels for you to watch right here, starting with Benedict Cumberbatch talking about his upcoming role in Penguins of Madagascar (and Sherlock, of course):
Creator and showrunner John Logan is joined by spellbinding stars Josh Hartnett (Ethan Chandler), Reeve Carney (Dorian Gray), and Harry Treadaway (Victor Frankenstein), as the monstrous new series possesses Ballroom 20. Enter the demimonde to find out what moments haunt the writer and cast from the first season and view a sneak peek to see what the cards reveal about the season ahead. The panel will be moderated by Emmy Award-nominated actress and host Aisha Tyler (Archer, The Talk), followed by a Q&A session with the “Dreadfuls.” Penny Dreadful returns to Showtime in 2015.
Join the creative minds behind the award-winning TV seriesHannibal. »
- Gary Collinson
Begin Again, starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo, sees Irish-born director John Carney (who brought us Once), explore the story of a chance encounter between a troubled music-business executive and a struggling singer-songwriter. Set in New York, their encounter leads to a captivating and creative collaboration which is the perfect excuse for a great soundtrack. The soundtrack includes interesting contributions from Knightley, Maroon 5′s Adam Levine and songs written by the director himself. To celebrate the release of Begin Again, we take a look at ten film actors that have surprisingly delved into a career in music and expanded their CV’s – for better or worse! Headphones at the ready!
There is nothing Hollywood star Robert Downey Jr. can’t do, so it’s no surprise he made his own album called The Futurist that was released in 2004. Before this, he sang in various films such »
- Louise Tooth
Right about now, the lights should be on in the Beverly Hilton ballroom for the very first panel of the summer 2014 Television Critics Association press tour. I'm not due to arrive at tour until sometime tomorrow, but Fienberg and other members of the TCA should be there, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the start of the 16-day event (which, for many people, will run straight into the start of Comic-Con). Each time I get ready to go to press tour (give or take that time that I broke my ankle), I like to present some version of the guide to press tour I originally wrote in my Star-Ledger days (with a lot of help from Matt Zoller Seitz). If you've been following my tour coverage all this time, odds are you know a lot of this and can skip down to the bottom for the 10 biggest questions Dan and I have about this current tour, »
- Alan Sepinwall
Since acquiring both Ecw and WCW, Vince McMahon’s WWE has become the veritable titan in the sports entertainment industry. Their “Then. Now. Forever.” ethos has been exemplified on their recent video archive, the WWE Network, their Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, and every episode of Raw where Michael Cole refers to a flying elbow as “shades of Randy Savage.”
Most recently, this mentality has been at the center of the last two installments of 2K’s WWE video game series, with the Attitude Era being represented in 2012, and 30 Years of Wrestlemania being showcased last year. With Sting finally signing his Legends contract, it’s the perfect opportunity for the upcoming 2K15 installment to honor World Championship Wrestling and show off some of their more entertaining storylines.
Disclaimer: No title on a pole matches included.
- Kiefer Vincent Storrer
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