Thursday Aug 21, 2014

Winona Ryder to play a politician for HBO

The actress has joined the cast of "Show Me a Hero," a miniseries developed by "The Wire" creator David Simon.Based on Lisa Belkin's non-fiction book of the same, which was published in 1999, the six-episode drama is set in Yonkers, New York, in 1987, when a federal court ordered the city to...
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TV

Winona Ryder to play a politician for HBO
Thursday Aug 21, 2014
Winona Ryder to play a politician for HBO

The actress has joined the cast of "Show Me a Hero," a miniseries developed by "The Wire" creator David Simon.Based on Lisa Belkin's non-fiction book of the same, which was published in 1999, the six-episode drama is set in Yonkers, New York, in 1987, when a federal court ordered the city to build low-income housing in its predominately white neighborhoods. The decision divides the community along racial and political lines and ultimately destroys the mayor's political career. The miniseries, which stars Oscar Isaac ("Inside Llewyn Davis") in the role of the young mayor Nick Wasicsko, will be David Simon's fifth collaboration with HBO after "The Wire" and the more recent "Treme." After cameos on "The Simpsons," "Strangers with Candy" and "Friends," Winona Ryder's first major TV role will see her play Vinni Restiano, a Yonkers councilwoman and confidante to the mayor who loses her seat after a housing vote but returns to the scene four years later. The actress will appear alongside Catherine Keener ("Capote") in the role of Mary Doman, a homeowner attempting to influence the location of the future low-income housing. Alfred Molina ("Spider-Man 2") is cast in the role of a police officer turned councilman who increasingly acts as a spokesperson for opponents of the housing project, while Jon Bernthal ("The Walking Dead") will play a lawyer representing the NAACP. Due to air next summer, "Show Me a Hero" will be helmed by Paul Haggis, whose film "Crash" won the Oscar for best picture in 2006. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Watch celebrity chefs take the ALS ice bucket challenge
Thursday Aug 21, 2014
Watch celebrity chefs take the ALS ice bucket challenge

A growing list of chefs around the world have joined the viral ice bucket challenge for ALS, including Gordon Ramsay, Rene Redzepi, Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain.The list of participants has been growing thanks to chefs nominating fellow chefs. In a friendly rivalry, Ripert, chef of the Michelin-starred New York restaurant Le Bernardin, calls out Bourdain for taking the challenge by the side of a pool, and engages in some one-upmanship by throwing a tub of water over his head in the kitchen. Jamie Oliver switches things up by performing his ice bucket challenge à la "Flashdance", and Gordon Ramsay takes his shirt off. But RenĂ© Redzepi of Copenhagen in Noma could take the cake, for allowing a parade of chefs -- a staff of about 30 -- to join in the fun and throw buckets of cold water on their boss. ALS or Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Later stages of the disease can lead to complete paralysis. As of August 21, the ALS Association has received $41.8 million in donations compared to $2.1 million during the same period last year (July 29 to Aug. 21). Check out Redzepi's video at http://vimeo.com/103919186. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Julianne Hough dances back to 'Dancing' as judge
Thursday Aug 21, 2014
Julianne Hough dances back to 'Dancing' as judge

NEW YORK (AP) — "Dancing With the Stars" says two-time champion Julianne Hough is returning to the ballroom as a judge this season. She will preside alongside Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. After serving as a company dancer-choreographer, Hough left the show in 2009 to focus on acting and music. Her films include "Safe Haven," ''Paradise," ''Rock of Ages" and the 2011 remake of "Footloose." She released a best-selling album in 2008. "Dancing With the Stars" is hosted by Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews. Its new season launches Sept. 15 on ABC. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Matthew McConaughey to pitch for Lincoln brand
Thursday Aug 21, 2014
Matthew McConaughey to pitch for Lincoln brand

DETROIT (AP) — Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey is the new spokesman for Ford's luxury Lincoln brand. Lincoln says McConaughey will appear in a series of TV and digital ads featuring Lincoln's new small SUV, the MKC. McConaughey has a multiyear contract with the brand. The actor says in a statement that he is a longtime admirer of Lincoln. In his 2011 movie "The Lincoln Lawyer," McConaughey stars as an attorney who works out of the back of a 1988 Lincoln Town Car. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

A tablet for all of the family, at the same time
Thursday Aug 21, 2014
A tablet for all of the family, at the same time

With a 24-inch full HD display, the nabi Big Tab HD is not only bigger than the average Android tablet, it's bigger than most desktop computer monitors.However, all of that screen real estate, plus the fact that it can respond to 15 simultaneous touches, means that a group can sit around it and use it together rather than taking it in turns.  Fuhu, the company behind it, has been building up a good reputation for developing child-focused tablets that offer interactive education as well as Candy Crush Saga. It claims that the idea behind this uber tablet is to promote increased social interaction and socialized learning. Therefore, as well as working like a stock Android tablet (when not in child mode), it has a host of integrated family and child-friendly features too. For example, it can be used to play classic two-player board games such as Chess and Hangman or as a huge, interactive storybook. It can also help children with their homework or their school curriculum thanks to the Wings Learning System which offers over 17,000 lessons in math, reading and writing for students in grades 1-6. There are also a number of parental controls such as being able to set a chores list that needs to be completed before tablet time begins, and of course how often kids get to use it without direct supervision can also be controlled directly, or indirectly via a smartphone app. When the kids are in bed, the tablet can be switched over to a normal Android tablet and parents can access any of the 1 million+ apps on Google Play. "We are so pleased to introduce the nabi Big Tab line of products and are excited about the implications as a new category of family tablets. We were simply amazed at how Big Tab's larger format transformed our interactions with our children, family gatherings and made the tablet experience easier for seniors," said Jim Mitchell, Fuhu CEO. A host of computer makers have attempted to offer families something similar in recent years. At the start of 2013 it looked as if the tabletop PC was going to be one of the year's top trends. An all-in-one PC with a 20-to-24-inch flatscreen monitor that could be laid flat on the table and used as a tablet seemed like a great idea. However, the devices, built by Sony, Lenovo and HP, among others, have remained niche products. This could be because each of the computers were running Windows 8 and its associated apps rather than offering consumers the popular range of apps in the Android and iOS universes. Therefore by using an Android approach and by overlaying a special child-friendly and control-restricting operating system, Fuhu could be on to something. And at $549 for the 24-inch model and $449 for a smaller, 20-inch version, both launching this fall, they're both cheaper than a 32GB iPad Air. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Movies

Accuser of 'X-Men' director seeks case dismissal
Thursday Aug 21, 2014
Accuser of 'X-Men' director seeks case dismissal

HONOLULU (AP) — A former child model accusing "X-Men" director Bryan Singer of sex abuse in Hawaii said he wants to dismiss the lawsuit — not because it lacks merit but because he can't find a new attorney to represent him. Michael Egan III said in a court filing Wednesday that he previously sought the dismissal in sealed documents in federal court in Honolulu. He wants the case dismissed without prejudice, meaning he could file it again later. His motion to dismiss "has little to do with the strength of (Singer's) defense, but rather, it is a consequence of the current circumstances regarding my case, my lack of legal counsel, and my inability to proceed in this matter acting on my own behalf," Egan said in his latest filing. Egan's former attorneys asked to be removed from the case after their relationship with him deteriorated. Singer has filed papers saying he wants the case dismissed with prejudice, with costs and fees imposed against Egan. "By allowing Egan to walk away from this lawsuit now — without any consequences whatsoever — would be inherently prejudicial to Singer," his attorneys said in court papers. The attorneys said Singer must be given the opportunity to clear his name and "dispose of Egan's malicious lawsuit once and for all." Egan, 31, accuses Singer of sexually abusing him during trips to Hawaii when Egan was 17 in 1999. Singer has denied the allegations. Egan previously dropped three similar Hawaii lawsuits against other entertainment figures. The lawsuits were filed under an unusual state law that created a window for civil cases in sex-abuse cases when the statute of limitations has passed. Singer's Los Angeles attorneys didn't immediately respond to requests for comment on Egan's recent filing. One of the lawyers, Marty Singer, who is not related to the director, previously said in a statement that Egan's lawyers were willing to settle the case for a low amount, demonstrating a lack of confidence in their chances for success. The amount was not specified. Egan's latest filing lists a phone number for Vince Finaldi, an attorney in Irvine, California, who Egan said is advising him but not officially representing him. That lawyer didn't immediately return a call seeking comment. A judge denied a request by Egan for a 180-day continuance of a hearing set for next month on Singer's motion to dismiss the lawsuit. __ Follow Jennifer Sinco Kelleher at http://www.twitter.com/JenHapa . Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Julianne Hough dances back to 'Dancing' as judge
Thursday Aug 21, 2014
Julianne Hough dances back to 'Dancing' as judge

NEW YORK (AP) — "Dancing With the Stars" says two-time champion Julianne Hough is returning to the ballroom as a judge this season. She will preside alongside Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. After serving as a company dancer-choreographer, Hough left the show in 2009 to focus on acting and music. Her films include "Safe Haven," ''Paradise," ''Rock of Ages" and the 2011 remake of "Footloose." She released a best-selling album in 2008. "Dancing With the Stars" is hosted by Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews. Its new season launches Sept. 15 on ABC. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Matthew McConaughey to pitch for Lincoln brand
Thursday Aug 21, 2014
Matthew McConaughey to pitch for Lincoln brand

DETROIT (AP) — Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey is the new spokesman for Ford's luxury Lincoln brand. Lincoln says McConaughey will appear in a series of TV and digital ads featuring Lincoln's new small SUV, the MKC. McConaughey has a multiyear contract with the brand. The actor says in a statement that he is a longtime admirer of Lincoln. In his 2011 movie "The Lincoln Lawyer," McConaughey stars as an attorney who works out of the back of a 1988 Lincoln Town Car. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Nicolas Cage teams with heirs to Chinese throne in 'Outcast'
Thursday Aug 21, 2014
Nicolas Cage teams with heirs to Chinese throne in 'Outcast'

Deadline has released the first trailer for this action movie set in 12th-century China and starring the actor in the title role.The release of the trailer was quickly met with derision from American media, namely due to the vaguely British accents of the Chinese characters and to Nicolas Cage's allegedly sub-par performance as the White Ghost, a former soldier from the time of the Crusades. Aided by a fellow ex-crusader played by Hayden Christensen, the White Ghost attempts to right his past wrongs by helping the two children of the fallen Chinese emperor to defeat their uncle, who has usurped the throne. Written by James Dormer, "Outcast" is the directing debut of Nick Powell, who is known for his work as a stunt coordinator on features including "X-Men 3" and "The Last Samurai." The film is due in US theaters on February 27, 2015. Watch the trailer: http://youtu.be/xd5-w9-GaBw Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Legoland Hotel in Florida accepting bookings for next year
Thursday Aug 21, 2014
Legoland Hotel in Florida accepting bookings for next year

Legoland Florida Resort has opened the reservation line for overnight stays at its new Legoland Hotel, set to open next year.Though this year’s summer holidays may be drawing to a close, families with little fans of the stackable building bricks may want to consider a trip to the largest Legoland park in the world for next year, now that it’s about to open an on-site hotel. Lego has recently experienced a major renaissance thanks to the major silver screen hit “The Lego Movie” released earlier this year. The five-storey Lego-themed hotel is currently being built at the main entrance of the theme park, 45 minutes from Orlando, and will include a pool, restaurants, interactive play areas and nightly entertainment. Pirate, Kingdom or Adventure-themed rooms can now be booked for mid-June, and come with a queen-size bed for grown-ups, and a separate sleeping area for up to three kids. The hotel features 152 rooms and suites. Legoland Florida Resort includes 50 rides, shows and attractions, in addition to a Water Park. http://www.legolandhotel.com/ Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Events

Amy Winehouse to be honoured with hometown statue
Thursday Aug 21, 2014
Amy Winehouse to be honoured with hometown statue

The late singer Amy Winehouse will be honoured with a lifesize statue in her old London neighbourhood on what would have been her 31st birthday, her family said Thursday.The bronze of the "Back to Black" singer, complete with her famous beehive hairdo, will go on display September 14 at Camden's Stable Markets. "Now Amy will oversee the comings and goings of her hometown forever," her father Mitch Winehouse said. The six-time Grammy award winner died nearby at her Camden home in 2011, aged 27, after years of drug and alcohol abuse. The statue, designed by artist Scott Eaton, is the result of a collaboration between the Amy Winehouse Foundation, set up by her family to help young people with problems including addiction, and camdenmarket.com. "Amy was in love with Camden and it is the place her fans from all over the world associate her with," Mitch Winehouse said. "The family have always been keen to have a memorial for her in the place she loved the most, which will provide fans a place to visit and attract people to the area." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Joel, Wonder, Brooks to receive ASCAP honors
Thursday Aug 21, 2014
Joel, Wonder, Brooks to receive ASCAP honors

NEW YORK (AP) — Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and Garth Brooks are among a list of performers set to receive ASCAP Centennial Awards. Joan Baez and Stephen Sondheim will also receive the top honor Nov. 17 at the Waldorf Astoria gala in New York, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers announced Thursday. The event will celebrate ASCAP's 100th anniversary. It's also the first fundraiser benefiting the ASCAP Foundation. The five honorees will attend the gala, where other artists will perform in tribute. ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams, who recently won Grammy Awards for co-writing Daft Punk's "Random Access Memories," will host the event. Williams says in a statement the honorees have created songs "that have touched the lives of people across the globe." ___ Online: http://www.ascapfoundation.org/centennial Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Bring on the screams: 5 MTV VMA boy band moments
Thursday Aug 21, 2014
Bring on the screams: 5 MTV VMA boy band moments

Get ready for another potential OMG boy band moment: 5 Seconds of Summer is about to make its debut on the MTV Video Music Awards. The Australian pop-punk-loving quartet of tousle-haired hunks (whose members don't consider themselves a boy band) will make its debut Sunday on MTV's over-the-top annual celebration. Boy bands have a long history of VMAs hysteria and much-hyped appearances (think 'N Sync and its 2013 reunion rumors). 5SOS rides the release of a hit album and an opening gig on One Direction's stadium tour into its appearance at the Forum in Inglewood, California. Here's a look back at five key moments in boy band-VMA history, in chronological order: — New New Edition: There were plenty of bands with good lookin' boys on the VMAs in the early years, but the first official boy band appearance didn't come until New Edition's epic 1990 reunion on the show. Covering six songs and more than 10 minutes, Bel Biv DeVoe (which included three of New Edition's original members), Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant all performed separately before coming together in a reunion performance — complete with mirrorball suit coats, bowler caps and a confusing array of hairstyles — to celebrate the 12th anniversary of the group's founding. — Bigtime Boys: Sure, looking back it's a head-scratcher, but the Backstreet Boys used to be the biggest boy band in the world. Look no further than the band's run of VMA appearances at the turn of the century. Appearing for the first time in 1998, BSB flexed its muscle-shirted muscle by taking best group video over ... Radiohead? ... and performed the instantly recognizable hit "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)." — 'N Sync 'n' Britney: 'N Sync arrived a year after BSB in 1999 and immediately played a trump card: Britney Spears. The future megastars teamed up for a medley of "... One More Time" and "Tearin' Up My Heart." With a production design that evoked after-school detention, it was not either baby-faced act's greatest moment on the awards. — Ringing up the Jonases: Not every trip to the VMAs comes up moonmen for boy bands. The super-wholesome Jonas Brothers showed up in 2008 to play "Lovebug" and got roughed up by Russell Brand. Making fun of boy bands on the VMAs is a little like shooting fish in a barrel — and every host does it. Brand showed up with a shotgun when he took out the boys for their promise rings and abstinence vows. It got worse when Brand's future wife, Katy Perry, turned her version of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" into a "Like a Jonas." — Poor Harry: And then there was One Direction's reception in 2013. The British group was booed by fans while accepting an award and the always-tousled Harry Styles became the apparent target of Taylor Swift's ire. Swift took home a trophy for her "I Knew You Were Trouble" video and said, "I also want to thank the person who inspired this song — who knows exactly who he is — because now I've got one of these." Cameras cut to Styles. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Commercial break: Miller Lite, Newcastle Brown Ale and the Emmy Awards
Thursday Aug 21, 2014
Commercial break: Miller Lite, Newcastle Brown Ale and the Emmy Awards

Miller Lite uses its fans' photos to create a user-generated ad, Newcastle Brown Ale immediately hijacks the approach, and TV's baddest duo Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul go into business together once again. Here is our round-up of the most interesting ad campaigns this week.Miller Lite | Most Wonderful Time - Fan Version Earlier this year, beer company Miller Lite campaigned for fans to send in photos of themselves enjoying the beverage under the campaign #ItsMillerTime. Now the brand has released an ad made entirely of the user-generated content celebrating the summer.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QMlamqvfNo Newcastle Ad Aid Quick as a flash, the deadpan marketing team over at British beer brand Newcastle Brown Ale jumped on the bandwagon, asking customers to send in photos of themselves under the hashtag #NewcastleAdAid, to be photoshopped into awful advertising pictures. The brand's excuse? It has blown its advertising budget for this year on hiring out celebrities for its Super Bowl commercial. http://youtu.be/-HAFPjKdS3k?list=UUdfrgbb2njONUvgXqcpbD6QBarely Legal Pawn, feat. Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Julia Louis-Dreyfus Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul -- better known as Walter White and Jessie Pinkman from "Breaking Bad" -- star in this hilarious promo clip for the Emmy Awards, which air on August 25. Also starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovqM72em1dA Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Emmys: Billy Crystal to pay tribute to Williams
Wednesday Aug 20, 2014
Emmys: Billy Crystal to pay tribute to Williams

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Billy Crystal will pay tribute to Robin Williams, his longtime friend and fellow comedian, at next week's Emmy Awards. Crystal will honor Williams as part of the traditional "in memoriam" segment for industry members who died during the past year, Emmy executive producer Don Mischer said in a statement Wednesday. Mischer said the memorial segment during Monday's ceremony will include a performance from Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles. Williams was found dead in his Northern California home on Aug. 11. At last year's Emmys, Williams honored his friend and mentor Jonathan Winters during the tribute segment. The Emmy Awards will be broadcast by NBC. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.