Wednesday Nov 26, 2014

Commercial break: Old Spice, Lexus and Poo-Pourri

Dads rejoice at their sons leaving home thanks to Old Spice, Lexus cars get delivered via a "Christmas train" and Santa gets caught in a compromising position. Here is our pick of the most interesting new ad campaigns happening right now.Old Spice | Dadsong | #SmellcometoManhood The follow-up...
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TV

Commercial break: Old Spice, Lexus and Poo-Pourri
Wednesday Nov 26, 2014
Commercial break: Old Spice, Lexus and Poo-Pourri

Dads rejoice at their sons leaving home thanks to Old Spice, Lexus cars get delivered via a "Christmas train" and Santa gets caught in a compromising position. Here is our pick of the most interesting new ad campaigns happening right now.Old Spice | Dadsong | #SmellcometoManhood The follow-up to Old Spice's "Momsong" ad earlier this year, in which moms emotionally lamented the fact that their little boys had become men. With "Dadsong", the fathers get the chance to chime in and needless to say, their perspective is slightly different. http://youtu.be/cKhqUOncefYNo Reindeer, Just Rails: The Lexus December to Remember Commercial "Christmas Train"Parents get inventive in this "December to Remember" ad from Lexus, which aims to prove that adults can enter into the magic of the storytelling too. http://youtu.be/Af0qBP2g9nU Even Santa Poops - PooPourri.com Poo-Pourri caused a splash last year with its ad "Girls don't poop", and now it's back with a slightly disturbing yet funny clip "Even Santa poops". http://youtu.be/b9TTz3R5SmI Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Michelle MacLaren confirmed as 'Wonder Woman' director
Tuesday Nov 25, 2014
Michelle MacLaren confirmed as 'Wonder Woman' director

The director known for her work on "Game of Thrones," "Breaking Bad," "The Walking Dead" and "The Leftovers" has signed on to direct the first movie dedicated to the iconic DC superhero Wonder Woman.MacLaren was reportedly in talks with Warner for months but her involvement was just made official. The Wonder Woman movie will likely be the first in a trilogy starting out in the '20s on the character’s Amazonian island. The following installment is set to take place in the '30s-'40s during WWII, with the last film seeing Wonder Woman join the Justice League alongside Batman, Aquaman and Superman. The anticipation will build in the meantime, as Gal Gadot is set to make her debut as Wonder Woman in the 2016 movie "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" before starring in other Justice League projects. "Wonder Woman" is to start filming by the end of 2015. The movie is slated to release in 2017, one year after "Batman v Superman." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

New Tina Fey-created sitcom headed to Netflix
Tuesday Nov 25, 2014
New Tina Fey-created sitcom headed to Netflix

NEW YORK (AP) — Netflix has picked up two seasons of a new sitcom from Tina Fey. Titled "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," it focuses on a woman who escapes from a doomsday cult and starts life over in New York. It was co-created by Fey and Robert Carlock, who collaborated on "30 Rock." It stars Ellie Kemper of "The Office." Fey isn't scheduled to appear in the series. Netflix says the 13-episode first season will premiere in March. The series had originally been bound for NBC, but that network passed. Universal Television, NBC's corporate sibling, will remain the show's producer. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

British TV wins big at International Emmy Awards
Tuesday Nov 25, 2014
British TV wins big at International Emmy Awards

Britain led at the International Emmy Awards Monday, with three trophies going to British television series at the ceremony honoring the best TV programming outside the United States."Utopia," the conspiracy series created by Britain's Dennis Kelly and directed by Marc Munden took home the best drama Emmy, while the best actor trophy went to Stephen Dillane for his role as Karl Roebuck in "Tunnel," the Canal+ series that was also nominated for best drama. "Educating Yorkshire," a documentary program directed by David Brindley and narrated by David Clews about life in a school in northern Britain, took home the award for non-scripted entertainment. British programs were nominated in six categories in total. The best actress award went to the Netherland's Bianca Krijgsman, who plays Mirte in "De Nieuwe Wereld," (The New World) about an airport cleaner's relationship with a West African refugee. Belgium took home the best comedy prize for sketch comedy series from Tim Van Aelst and Sofie Peeters, "Wat Als? 2" (What If? 2). Germany's "Unsere Mutter, Unsere Vater" (Generation War), a World War Two miniseries by Heike Hempel and Benjamin Benedict, won the top prize in its category. Canada, nominated in three categories, walked away with the statue for best arts programming for "The Exhibition," directed by Damon Vignale and produced by Miho Yamamoto. It follows the public's negative reception of an artist's show of artwork based on a police poster of missing women. The best documentary prize went to Sweden's "Frihet bakom galler" (No Burqas Behind Bars), Maryam Ebrahimi's look at an Afghan women's prison. Brazil, which earned five nominations, won the Emmy for best telenovela for "Precious Pearl," Thelma Guedes and Amora Mautner's show about the son of a millionaire factory owner. The 42nd International Emmys were hosted in downtown New York and presented by British comedian Matt Lucas. Matthew Weiner, the creator of the popular AMC series "Mad Men," received an honorable Emmy, presented by two of his show's actors, Christina Hendricks and John Slattery. The International Emmy Directorate Award went to Roberto Irineu Marinho, who heads Brazil's biggest media group Globo. A total of 19 countries competed this year, with 40 nominations in 10 categories. It was also the first time that Spanish-language productions broadcast in the United States were included in the competition. The International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which hands out the distinctions, includes media and entertainment representatives from over 50 countries and 500 companies from all sectors of television. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Britain wins 3 International Emmys
Tuesday Nov 25, 2014
Britain wins 3 International Emmys

NEW YORK (AP) — Britain's Stephen Dillane and the Netherlands' Bianca Krijgsman won the top acting prizes Monday night at the 42nd International Emmy Awards in which the honors were spread among eight countries. The highlight of the awards gala at the Hilton New York came when "Mad Men" stars Christina Hendricks and John Slattery presented the honorary International Emmy Founders Award to the show's creator and executive producer Matthew Weiner who's preparing the final episodes of the advertising agency saga to air in spring 2015. British TV productions received three International Emmys at the ceremony hosted by British comedian Matt Lucas, creator of the comedy series "Little Britain." Dillane, best known for portraying Stannis Baratheon in "Game of Thrones," won for his role as a veteran British detective in the Anglo-French crime drama "The Tunnel." Dillane's character teams with a female French detective to hunt down a serial killer who left the bodies of a French politician and British prostitute in the middle of the Channel Tunnel. The British conspiracy thriller "Utopia" received the award for best drama series. The series is about a group of comic-book fans who are pursued by a secretive murderous organization after they discover an unpublished manuscript for the sequel to a cult graphic novel rumored to predict global catastrophes. HBO has ordered an American adaptation to be directed by David Fincher ("Gone Girl"). The other British winner was "Educating Yorkshire," a glimpse into modern school life in a diverse community in northern Britain, for non-scripted entertainment. Krijgsman was chosen best actress for her role in "De Nieuwe Wereld" (The New World) as a disgruntled cleaner at an airport immigration center who forms an unexpected relationship with a West African asylum-seeker. Telemundo's "El Senor de los Cielos" (The Lord of the Skies), loosely based on the life of a powerful Mexican drug lord who died after undergoing plastic surgery to change his appearance, won the Emmy in the newly created category for non-English language U.S. primetime programs. The telenovela award went to Brazil's "Precious Pearl," the story of a girl who may be the reincarnation of a Buddhist spiritual leader. Germany's controversial "Unsere Mutter, Unsere Vater" (Generation War), about five friends from a Berlin neighborhood whose paths diverge amid the horrors of World War II, won in the TV movie/mini-series category. Belgium's irreverent "What If? 2" took the Emmy in the comedy category for its sketches on such topics as "What if Jesus was a standup comedian?" In the documentary category, Sweden's "Frihet bakom galler" (No Burqas Behind Bars), about inmates in an Afghan women's prison, took the Emmy. The Emmy for arts programming went to Canada's "The Exhibition," which describes the public opposition faced by an artist mounting an exhibition of paintings based on a police poster of missing women, 26 of whom were found murdered on the farm of Canada's worst serial killer. News Corp. and 21st Century Fox chief Rupert Murdoch joined Brazilian telenovela stars Gloria Pires and Milton Goncalves to present the honorary International Emmy Directorate Award to Roberto Irineu Marinho, chairman and CEO of the Globo Group of Companies, Brazil's leading media and entertainment conglomerate. His father founded TV Globo, which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year. The awards, presented by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, were created to honor excellence in television programming outside the U.S. ____ Online: www.iemmys.tv ____ Follow Charles J. Gans at www.twitter.com/chjgans Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Movies

Guillermo del Toro talks 'Pacific Rim 2'
Thursday Nov 27, 2014
Guillermo del Toro talks 'Pacific Rim 2'

The second installment will start a few years after the first movie and some major characters will be back, the director told Collider."It’s a few years after the first one," Del Toro told Collider. "It is the world having been freed of Kaiju, what happens to the world after -- what happens to the Jaeger technology once the Kaiju are not a threat," he adds. While the return of Charlie Hunnam and Ron Perlman had already been announced, Del Toro has confirmed that Charlie Day and Burn Gorman's characters will also be returning. "The Kaijus are very different and you’re gonna see a very different type of the robots I think.  It’s gonna be quite a different adventure." "Pacific Rim 2" will be released April 7, 2017 in the US. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Reading Harry Potter gives clues to brain activity
Wednesday Nov 26, 2014
Reading Harry Potter gives clues to brain activity

WASHINGTON (AP) — Reading about Harry Potter's adventures learning to fly his broomstick activates some of the same regions in the brain we use to perceive real people's actions and intentions. In a unique study, scientists who peeked into the brains of people caught up in a good book emerged with maps of what a healthy brain does as it reads. The research reported Wednesday has implications for studying reading disorders or recovery from a stroke. The team from Carnegie Mellon University was pleasantly surprised that the experiment actually worked. Most neuroscientists painstakingly have tracked how the brain processes a single word or sentence, looking for clues to language development or dyslexia by focusing on one aspect of reading at a time. But reading a story requires multiple systems working at once: recognizing how letters form a word, knowing the definitions and grammar, keeping up with the characters' relationships and the plot twists. Measuring all that activity is remarkable, said Georgetown University neuroscientist Guinevere Eden, who helped pioneer brain-scanning studies of dyslexia but wasn't involved in the new work. "It offers a much richer way of thinking about the reading brain," Eden said, calling the project "very clever and very exciting." No turning pages inside a brain-scanning MRI machine; you have to lie still. So at Carnegie Mellon, eight adult volunteers watched for nearly 45 minutes as each word of Chapter 9 of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" was flashed for half a second onto a screen inside the scanner. Why that chapter? It has plenty of action and emotion as Harry swoops around on his broom, faces the bully Malfoy and later runs into a three-headed dog, but there's not too much going on for scientists to track, said lead researcher Leila Wehbe, a Ph.D. student. The research team analyzed the scans, second by second, and created a computerized model of brain activity involved with different reading processes. The research was published Wednesday by the journal PLoS One. "For the first time in history, we can do things like have you read a story and watch where in your brain the neural activity is happening," said senior author Tom Mitchell, director of Carnegie Mellon's Machine Learning Department. "Not just where are the neurons firing, but what information is being coded by those different neurons." Wehbe had the idea to study reading a story rather than just words or phrases. But parsing the brain activity took extraordinary effort. For every word, the researchers identified features — the number of letters, the part of speech, if it was associated with a character or action or emotion or conversation. Then they used computer programming to analyze brain patterns associated with those features in every four-word stretch. They spotted some complex interactions. For example, the brain region that processes the characters' point of view is the one we use to perceive intentions behind real people's actions, Wehbe said. A region that we use to visually interpret other people's emotions helps decipher characters' emotions. That suggests we're using pretty high-level brain functions, not just the semantic concepts but our previous experiences, as we get lost in the story, she said. A related study using faster brain-scanning techniques shows that much of the neural activity is about the history of the story up to that point, rather than deciphering the current word, Mitchell added. The team's computer model can distinguish with 74 percent accuracy which of two text passages matches a pattern of neural activity, he said, calling it a first step as researchers tease apart what the brain does when someone reads. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trailer: Jennifer Aniston transformed for indie drama 'Cake'
Wednesday Nov 26, 2014
Trailer: Jennifer Aniston transformed for indie drama 'Cake'

Jennifer Aniston is physically transformed as a woman suffering from chronic pain in the upcoming drama "Cake,” as seen in a new trailer released by ABC News.In an effort to depart from her rom-com roles, Jennifer Aniston took on the task of portraying a woman hooked on pills to deal with the pain caused by an accident that left her scarred. The role has been hyped since its Toronto film festival screening and early Oscar talk suggests Aniston could wind up in the running for Best Actress. Her transformation brings to mind Charlize Theron’s in "Monster," for which the actress earned a 2004 Academy Award. Directed by Daniel Barnz and starring Sam Worthington, Anna Kendrick, Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy, "Cake" has yet to get a release date, although it would need to hit the big screen before the end of the year to qualify for next year's Oscars. Watch the trailer: abcn.ws/1vIPDmO Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Lebanese diva Sabah dies aged 87
Wednesday Nov 26, 2014
Lebanese diva Sabah dies aged 87

Famed Lebanese singer and actress Sabah, whose seven-decade career made her one of the Arab world's best-known entertainers, died on Wednesday at the age of 87, state media announced.Lebanon's National News Agency gave no immediate cause of death. Born Jeanette Gergi Feghal in the small Lebanese village of Bdadoun, Sabah produced more than 3,000 songs and appeared in more than 90 films. She brought out her first song in 1940, while her parallel screen career began three years later in Egypt, the centre of the Arabic film industry. She held Egyptian, Jordanian and US citizenship as well as Lebanese, and continued to perform and make television appearances into her 80s. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Shia LaBeouf making progress on treatment
Tuesday Nov 25, 2014
Shia LaBeouf making progress on treatment

NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Shia LaBeouf (SHY'-uh luh-BUF') is complying with treatment ordered as part of a plea deal stemming from a bizarre episode during the Broadway show "Cabaret." The 28-year-old "Transformers" star appeared in a Manhattan court Tuesday to show proof that he's been at the Hills Treatment Center in Los Angeles. Attorney G. Robert Gage says his client has done a "terrific job" complying. LaBeouf is due back in court March 20. While attending the June 24 performance, LaBeouf smoked cigarettes, yelled at the actors, swore at security guards and hollered as he was escorted out. If he stays in treatment for at least three months and out of trouble for six months, he'll be allowed to withdraw the guilty plea and the case will be dismissed. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Events

New Diddy fragrance coming in 2015
Wednesday Nov 26, 2014
New Diddy fragrance coming in 2015

Rapper Sean Combs, aka Sean John or Diddy, is to unveil a new men’s scent next year, according to WWD.Since 2006, the entertainer turned businessman has created a dozen perfumes. The name of the upcoming scent hasn’t been revealed, nor has its composition. WWD seems to know that it will be a men’s scent, the first one since his "I Am King," dating back to 2009. This latest addition will be sold in the US around the end of April, beginning of May 2015. In nearly a decade, Combs has become a successful scent maker for both men and women. His hit perfume Unforgivable won Fragrance of the Year in the FiFi Awards' Men’s Luxe category in 2006. The rapper's latest studio album, "Last Train to Paris," was released in 2010. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Trailer: Jennifer Aniston transformed for indie drama 'Cake'
Wednesday Nov 26, 2014
Trailer: Jennifer Aniston transformed for indie drama 'Cake'

Jennifer Aniston is physically transformed as a woman suffering from chronic pain in the upcoming drama "Cake,” as seen in a new trailer released by ABC News.In an effort to depart from her rom-com roles, Jennifer Aniston took on the task of portraying a woman hooked on pills to deal with the pain caused by an accident that left her scarred. The role has been hyped since its Toronto film festival screening and early Oscar talk suggests Aniston could wind up in the running for Best Actress. Her transformation brings to mind Charlize Theron’s in "Monster," for which the actress earned a 2004 Academy Award. Directed by Daniel Barnz and starring Sam Worthington, Anna Kendrick, Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy, "Cake" has yet to get a release date, although it would need to hit the big screen before the end of the year to qualify for next year's Oscars. Watch the trailer: abcn.ws/1vIPDmO Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Nominee questions fairness of Taiwan film awards
Wednesday Nov 26, 2014
Nominee questions fairness of Taiwan film awards

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — The golden horse statues have been awarded, but drama hasn't ended from one of Asia's biggest film festivals. Chinese actress Gong Li called Taiwan's Golden Horse Film Festival unprofessional after she lost the best actress category to Taiwanese actress Chen Shiang Chyi. Sometimes called the Chinese Oscars, the Golden Horse Awards are among the most prestigious for Mandarin-language films. While the festival home is Taiwan, the filmmakers and stars who make up the jury and compete for the awards hail from all over the region. In a statement via her manager Monday, Gong questioned the awards' impartiality and said an "unfair" festival would be looked down upon in the film industry. Speaking to The Associated Press, Gong's manager Christophe Tseng said her criticism wasn't aimed at a particular award category or any individual, rather, she wanted to bring attention to the voting process. At the Golden Horse festival, the jurors who select the nominees are asked back for the final vote. Together, the two panels choose for the winners. Tseng said that his client doesn't understand why the nominating panel is invited to vote for the winners. The festival executive committee responded in a statement that the "judging process and the result of the Golden Horse has always been independent and fair. It is not influenced by any external factor ..." The committee also called this year's 17 jurors "outstanding professionals" who voted anonymously under the watch of lawyers. The jury president, Chinese actress Joan Chen, said it's inevitable someone will think any festival's awards results are unfair and the Golden Horse is no exception. Chen called the judging process "transparent and democratic" and not interfered with or influenced by others. Saturday's big winner was Chinese-French film "Blind Massage," which won best feature and five other categories. Gong was nominated for "Coming Home" from director Zhang Yimou. Their previous collaborations include "Curse of the Golden Flower," ''To Live" and "Raise the Red Lantern." She's also appeared in "Miami Vice" and "Memoirs of a Geisha." Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Sia lights up Australian music industry awards
Wednesday Nov 26, 2014
Sia lights up Australian music industry awards

SYDNEY (AP) — Sia and her "Chandelier" lit up Australia's Aria music awards, even without appearing on stage. The singer-songwriter won album of the year for "1000 Forms of Fear" as well as best pop release, best video and best female artist. She didn't attend Wednesday's ceremony in Sydney, but Katy Perry accepted the best female artist gong on her behalf. Iggy Azalea was named best breakthrough artist, and "Fancy" collaborator Charli XCX accepted the award in her absence. "I'm going to drop it off to her and she's going to enjoy it," Charli XCX said. Best male artist was electronica musician Chet Faker and Sheppard was named best group. On the red carpet, Faker talked about his excitement. "It's cool to be here, this is my first Aria's so I'm not really looking at winning anything. I'm just here," he said. Amy Sheppard said the band put in a lot of effort. "It might seem like an overnight success, but we've been working at this for five years or more, so we work hard," she said. Boy band 5 Seconds of Summer opened the ceremony with "She Looks So Perfect," which won the public vote for song of the year. "Every single Australian has been behind our band and we're just from Sydney and we can't believe what's happened to us," Ashton Irwin said. One Direction caused hysteria on the red carpet before accepting the publicly voted award for best international artist, to whoops and cheers from the crowd. The host of a long-running TV show "Countdown," Molly Meldrum, received a standing ovation as he was inducted into the Australian Record Industry Association's Hall of Fame. "I am just like everyone in this room. I am here because I love music," he said. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

'Birdman' leads Spirit Awards nominations
Tuesday Nov 25, 2014
'Birdman' leads Spirit Awards nominations

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Birdman," a dark comedy about show business, took flight Tuesday with a leading six nominations for the 30th Film Independent Spirit Awards. Star Michael Keaton and director Alejandro González Iñárritu picked up nominations for the film from Fox Searchlight. Nods also went to its supporting actors Emma Stone and Edward Norton and to cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki. Collecting five nominations each were the coming-of-age drama "Boyhood," the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic "Selma," and the noir thriller "Nightcrawler." Other films recognized in the best feature category included "Whiplash" and "Love is Strange," both of which received four nominations. Rosario Dawson and Diego Luna announced the nominees live from the W Hotel in Hollywood. The awards recognize achievements in independent film, and Oscar hopefuls are sprinkled throughout each category. Nods in the male lead category went to David Oyelowo for his portrayal of Martin Luther King Jr. in "Selma;" Jake Gyllenhall for his turn as a sociopathic freelance reporter in "Nightcrawler;" John Lithgow for "Love is Strange;" and AndrĂ© Benjamin for "Jimi: All Is By My Side." Female lead nominations included Julianne Moore for her role as an Alzheimer's patient in "Still Alice;" Marion Cotillard for the turn of the century drama "The Immigrant;" Tilda Swinton for the vampire pic "Only Lovers Left Alive;" Jenny Slate for the abortion comedy "Obvious Child;" and Rinko Kikuchi for "Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter." In addition to Iñárritu, directing nominations went to Ava DuVernay ("Selma"), Damien Chazelle ("Whiplash"), Richard Linklater ("Boyhood") and David Zellner ("Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter"). Noticeably absent from the slate was the Alan Turing biopic "The Imitation Game" starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, and "Wild" starring Reese Witherspoon, both of which are expected to be contenders for other major awards. Film Independent would not comment on whether "The Imitation Game" was eligible for nominations. It did honor "Foxcatcher" with its Special Distinction Award and "Inherent Vice" with the Robert Altman Award. For unspecified reasons, neither film was eligible for individual nominations. The Stephen Hawking biopic "The Theory of Everything," starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, was also missing from the slate because it is not an American film The Spirit Awards tries to recognize films outside the mainstream, but recent winners have tended to overlap with Academy Awards nominees. Last year, the Spirit Awards winners matched the Academy Awards winners in several top categories, including best picture ("12 Years a Slave"), best actor (Matthew McConaughey for "Dallas Buyers Club"), and best actress (Cate Blanchett for "Blue Jasmine"). Winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony on Feb. 21. 2015, a day before the Academy Awards. The Spirit Awards ceremony will air live on IFC from Santa Monica. This year's 341 submissions were judged on such guidelines as uniqueness of vision, originality of subject matter, economy of means, and percentage of financing from independent sources. Only films with a budget of $20 million or lower are considered. Nominations are decided by members of Film Independent, which include critics, filmmakers, actors, festival programmers, past winners and nominees, and members of Film Independent's board of directors. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.