18 items from 2015
In a recent episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver psyched out the viewing public with a fake factoid, claiming Abraham Lincoln once pardoned John Wilkes Booth of attempted bestiality because the criminal was intoxicated at the time. That information, he claimed, came from a fake-sounding book called Stranger Than Truth: John Oliver's 101 Favorite History Lies. But in his latest web exclusive, Oliver says that book is legitimate – and scheduled for publication next Spring via Simon & Schuster.
Or is it? The host keeps viewers guessing throughout the segment, teasing »
A reimagining of the Hollywood film Warriors, Brothers set in the world of mixed martial arts fighting tells the story of Monty and David and their father Gary who just got out of jail after 10 years. Akshay’s character David is an ex-fighter turned school teacher. He and his wife Jenny work hard to make ends meet and to provide the best they can for their ailing daughter Poopoo. Troubled financial circumstances drive a desperate David to return to the world of street fighting. As the story unfolds, we see the journey of these three men, as they seek to find redemption and healing. Meanwhile, the arrival of ‘Right to Fight’ is announced in India — the biggest international event in mixed martial arts history. »
- Stacey Yount
Fiona Hanson/Pa Archive
Remember Blur vs Oasis, the chart battle that celebrates its 20th anniversary this month?
For those that answered “no”, here’s a primer: to massively hype two below-par singles, the bands’ respective labels decided to release both on the same day, pitting them against each other. For anyone under 30, it was mandatory to pick a side – conscientious objection was not an option.
This indie version of a playground scrap caused a sensation, utterly captivating people. NME called it the “British Heavyweight Championship”, making it sound like Ali vs Frazier, rather than some Manc oiks saying nasty things about some Southern fops. It even made the main headline on the actual TV news, forcing seasoned pop-hater John Humphrys to pretend he cared about it.
In my house, sides were taken and lines were drawn. My sister chose Blur and I, in the folly of youth, chose Oasis. »
- Thomas Bagnall
Riteish Deshmukh and Pulkit Samrat have respectively become the world’s most wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden and Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein for a new Rat Battle song from their upcoming film ‘Bangistan’. Riteish as Osama and Pulkit as Saddam flaunt their rapping and acting skills in this wacky and hilarious rap battle! Watch it right now and I bet you will enjoy it a lot.
The song is the brainchild of Anand Doshi and his Shudh Desi Raps team. Truly a wonderful masterpiece, don’t miss.
- BollySpice Editors
Riteish Deshmukh may have got recognition as an actor a little later than he should have but it's always better late than never. And why shouldn't we applaud someone who has impressed us.
The very versatile Riteish has experimented with his roles; he has tickled our funny bones and made us laugh till our stomach hurts, made us hate him when he displayed his villainous side and also fall in love with him when he was the cute lover boy!
We were taken by surprise when we saw the 'pretty' Riteish in the drag act in Apna Sapna Money Money and Humshakals. We were still coming to terms with Riteish's amazing portrayal of the feminine side and he yet again pleasantly surprised us in Ek Villain as the bad man.
Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino might not have been involved in the long-running dramedy’s final season, but as Atx Television Festival goers learned Saturday, the baroness of banter bears no ill will.
“The last season was the last season, s–t happens,” she said during the “Coffee With Amy Sherman-Palladino” panel. “We left it in the hands of our writers, so it wasn’t like we got Saddam Hussein to come in. We had smart, strong writers who had been with us and trained with us. We felt like, »
The old Iraq One-Step tripped up a pair of Gop candidates this week and swung the foreign policy discussion momentarily in anti-interventionalist Senator Rand Paul's (R-ky) favor. On that note, Meet the Press host Chuck Todd asked the 2016 candidate if he thought the world would have been better off with Saddam Hussein in power, those being the only two options. »
- Evan McMurry
In the lead-up to the Iraq War, defector Rafid Ahmed Alwan, aka “Curveball,” became an expert at telling his interrogators what they wanted to hear, ultimately supplying the “evidence” the George W. Bush administration needed to oust Saddam Hussein. In “War of Lies,” the notorious (mis)informer proves an equally slippery interview subject, spinning his version of events in a transparently opaque attempt to restore his reputation, if only in his own eyes. Though Alwan takes just enough accountability to appease German filmmaker Matthias Bittner, audiences are left with ample reason to doubt every word he says — but then, the facts are almost beside the point in what amounts to perhaps the most fascinating psychological exploration of truth and deceit to reach the screen since “The Impostor.” This endlessly fascinating, meta-minded project has had a healthy festival life since its premiere at Idfa last fall and should spark considerable interest with U. »
- Peter Debruge
Former New York Times journalist Judith Miller walked into the lion’s den on Wednesday when she appeared on “The Daily Show” and went head-to-head with Jon Stewart over her reporting during the lead up to the Iraq War. Miller’s reporting of Saddam Hussein‘s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) both before and after the 2003 invasion sparked intense controversy when it was discovered to be based on faulty information — especially from now-discredited source Ahmed Chalabi — and Stewart was quick to point the finger of blame for the conflict at the disgraced journalist. “I believe that you helped the administration »
- Debbie Emery
There are many firsts which Aamir Khan has attached to his name. Adding yet another to his list of 'firsts' is him being the first Bollywood personality till date to have been invited to the 3-day 'Women In The World Summit' which started yesterday in New York, USA. Aamir Khan, in his speech, touched upon the issues of tackling taboos in India. He also interacted with the multi-faceted personality Zainab Salbi, who also happens to be an Iraqi- American humanitarian, entrepreneur and author. In addition to that, Salbi also happens to be the daughter of the (in)famous dictator Saddam Hussein's private pilot. The said event will see the presence of many heavyweights like Helen Mirren, Freida Pinto, Meryl Streep, Hilary Clinton amongst others. When asked about the experience, Aamir Khan said that it was an enriching experience. »
- Bollywood Hungama News Network
A Us-led coalition invaded Iraq in 2003 in order to remove the nation’s President, Saddam Hussein from office – with the accusation being that the Middle-Eastern leader was harbouring weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
Although the presence of WMDs may have been wide of the mark to say the least, the true atrocities committed by Hussein during his time in office between July 1979 and April 2003 were brought to the fore by the invasion. This is a man who systematically ordered the genocide of thousands of ethnics Kurds, who drained the historical marshes in the south of Iraq in response to a rebellion, and who invaded Kuwait in order to try and claim a stranglehold on oil in the region.
However, there was so much more to Hussein than merely a brutal dictator who appeared to pick fights with the Americans on more occasions than was advisable. For Hussein »
- Chris Waugh
“The future is shit, just like the past.”
Tyrion Lannister punctuates his brief thesis on the value of life by bending over to vomit. In an episode that begins with a young Cersei slogging through what looks like a mixture of mud and offal and ends with a man being burned alive after leading his people out of the frozen north, it’s a point that bears thinking on. The future isn’t better just because it’s new, and the past isn’t rosy just because it’s over. (Though no matter which set of sins he’s mired in remembering, Peter Dinklage can still crack a great one-liner).
Dwelling on the inherent crappiness of life isn’t exactly a guaranteed home run in terms of dramatic pacing, but “The Wars to Come” handles it without devolving into maudlin tears or too much domino-setting. That isn’t to say the episode crackles, »
- Gretchen Felker-Martin
The questions isn’t whether Dwayne Johnson will be a good host (since he excelled during his first two times in Studio 8H), but whether or not “Saturday Night Live” can finally start regaining some of the momentum that propelled it through its Fall run. That was possibly the strongest stretch during my five years covering the show here at HitFix, but 2015 has been marked by less-than-stellar episodes and a less-than-ideal production schedule. As such, “SNL” has been spotty both in terms of quality and production. But maybe tonight will be a turning point as the show heads into this season’s home stretch. As always, I’ll be liveblogging each segment in real time. I’ll give that segment a grade. I highly encourage you to not stress too much about the grades. The Rock Obama will get angry if you stress about the grades. See you at 11: »
- Ryan McGee
This is a reprint of our review from the 2014 Telluride Film Festival. 25 years ago, director Wim Wenders’ discovered the haunting black-and-white artwork of celebrated Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado. Now a 70-year-old man who has traveled to nearly every corner of the Earth for more than 40 years, Salgado has documented some of the most tragic and catastrophic events in recent history: revolutions and international conflicts, genocide in Rwanda, wars in Yugoslavia, starvation in Ethiopia, the Saddam Hussein-devastated Kuwaiti oilfields, mass exoduses around the globe, and more. So taken with Salgado's iconic photos — striking works often bearing witness to the poor, the suffering, and neglected members of society — Wenders bought two prints and promptly framed them above his office desk where they remain to this day. But the more Salgado’s ghostly photos preoccupied Wenders’ heart and psyche (this photo in particular), the more the venerable German filmmaker »
- Rodrigo Perez
The director Raja Menon is shooting on the old streets of Ras Al Khaimah which looks like Kuwait of 1990s.
Few leaders in the Western World have drawn as much criticism as George W Bush, the 43rd President of the United States of America.
Bush served two terms as President, between 2001 and 2009, and he split opinions both domestically and internationally. His “War on Terror” – in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks – saw Bush commit troops to a war in Afghanistan, which was largely supported, but also to toppling Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, which drew much criticism.
But it was not just Bush’s foreign policy that proved controversial – his first election victory in 2000 was overshadowed by allegations of vote-rigging and intimidation in the hotly-contested state of Florida, and he was only confirmed as President-Elect following a Us Supreme Court ruling.
Also, Bush has often been portrayed as a “dumb” person who was not intellectually gifted enough to hold the office of President, and he has been mocked in popular culture because of this. »
- Chris Waugh
A director and a producer in Iraqi Kurdistan battle the odds to make a feature about Saddam Hussein’s Al Anfal massacre in “Memories on Stone,” a dark tale of an inescapable past told with expected dollops of absurdist humor. Presumably full of semi-autobiographical touches, the film fits snugly into director Shawkat Amin Korki’s body of work (“Kick Off,” “Crossing the Dust”) and the long line of pics dealing with the social and personal pressures of making a relevant movie. “Memories” has been picking up awards (Abu Dhabi, Unesco), and while weak on character development, it will continue to find hospitable fest berths.
A “Cinema Paradiso”-style prologue shows young Hussein (Birhat Hussein) visiting his projectionist father (Kamiran Betasl) during a screening of “Yol” (the art department adds a nice cinephile flourish with a “Mogambo” poster in the booth). Soldiers storm the theater saying the film is forbidden, beating »
- Jay Weissberg
“Has anybody ever said ‘No, thank you’ to being on The Simpsons?” wonders a giggling Cat Deeley. “Maybe Saddam Hussein turned around and said ‘No.’ Like, if you were a terrible dictator, you might not want to open that Pandora’s box.”
Thankfully, the Emmy-nominated host of So You Think You Can Dance had no such reservations, and thus will make her animated debut on Fox’s long-running comedy on Sunday, March 15 (8/7c).
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Deeley says when she received an email from the show’s producers with an »
18 items from 2015
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