Saturday Apr 30, 2016

April's best new mobile games: 'Disney Crossy Road,' 'Chameleon Run,' 'Warbits'

See what's at the top of the mobile pile for April 2016 with five of the best new games released for smartphone and tablet: the 100+ characters of "Disney Crossy Road," a speedy color rush in "Chameleon Run," the engrossing world of "Fallen London," cute robot battles in "Warbits" and Scrabble with...
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TV

April's best new mobile games: 'Disney Crossy Road,' 'Chameleon Run,' 'Warbits'
Saturday Apr 30, 2016
April's best new mobile games: 'Disney Crossy Road,' 'Chameleon Run,' 'Warbits'

See what's at the top of the mobile pile for April 2016 with five of the best new games released for smartphone and tablet: the 100+ characters of "Disney Crossy Road," a speedy color rush in "Chameleon Run," the engrossing world of "Fallen London," cute robot battles in "Warbits" and Scrabble with wizards in "Spellspire."Disney Crossy Road, iOS, AndroidRatings: 4.5/5 on iTunes and Google PlayPrice: Free with in-app purchases Australian studio Hipster Whale had already blended breakout hit "Crossy Road" with Pac-Man, but this Disney/Pixar collaboration takes everything to another level, thanks to a panoply of new characters and corresponding levels, sound effects, and in some cases, special powers. Extra characters can be unlocked via a virtual slot machine or for $0.99 to $4.99 a pop. A big month for licensed games on iOS and Android with this, "Lego Jurassic World," and Powerpuff Girls' "Flipped Out."Website | iTunes | Google Play Chameleon Run, iOS, AndroidRatings: 4.5/5 iTunes, 4.5/5 Google PlayPrice: $1.99 (iTunes), $2 (Play Store)The endless runner genre gets a colorful twist in this, the latest from "Stickman Golf" studio Noodlecake; tapping one side of the screen makes your character jump -- handy when avoiding those fast-approaching obstacles or drops -- while tapping the other side makes it change colors, ensuring your outfit matches your landing pad. Everything gets more complicated as extra tricks are added into the mix.Website | iTunes | Google Play Warbits, iOSiTunes Rating: 4.5/5Price: $2.99 Raise a virtual army of mechanized infantry and enter into a series of titanic struggles to take enemy land, level by level, through devious strategy and manufacturing nous. Play against AI through 20 missions or against people across 40 maps.Website | iTunes Fallen London, iOSiTunes Rating: 3/5Price: Free with in-app purchases Escape from prison and find work among the curious locals of a decidedly strange underground city, Fallen London. Portable, pocket edition of Failbetter Games' textual, browser-based 2009 expedition. In-app purchases allow for more than 20 turns per 15-minute period. Android version to follow, pending iOS success now that updates have significantly improved performance.Website | iTunes Spellspire, iOSiTunes Rating: 4.5/5Price: Free with in-app purchases Use the power of words to travel upwards through a treasure trove of a monster-filled tower, with each handful of ten letters providing the means to dispatch a level's worth of beasts -- longer words prove much more effective against the column's creatures, with judicious equipment upgrades aiding even the most lexically adventurous.Website | iTunes App ratings correct as of April 26, via AppAnnie. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Tom Hiddleston movie 'High Rise' gets streaming premiere
Saturday Apr 30, 2016
Tom Hiddleston movie 'High Rise' gets streaming premiere

Sci-fi movie "High Rise" could be looking to the future in more ways than one, with the glossy J.G. Ballard adaptation hitting streaming services two full weeks ahead of its US theatrical debut on May 13.-- Ballard's tower block -- The prolific Tom Hiddleston stars as Dr. Robert Laing, resident of a high concept, luxury apartment block designed by one of the world's most accomplished architects. It's a place where residents are so pampered that there is not much of an incentive to leave, especially for the wealthiest inhabitants. All basic and higher needs are taken care of, from schooling and shopping to fine dining and fitness. But things start to turn sour, as Laing becomes increasingly consumed by life within the complex, and his fellow residents -- portrayed by a cast that includes Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans and James Purefoy -- coagulate into cliques and then increasingly venal factions. "High-Rise" isn't the first J.G. Ballard novel to make it into cinemas -- there's "Empire of the Sun," "Crash," even "When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth" -- nor is it the first to make itself available online before theatrical launch, but it's certainly among the most high-profile. -- Digital debuts -- The Weinstein Co. made the multi-award winning "Snowpiercer" available online a fortnight in advance of a very long-awaited theatrical release -- a risk minimization strategy after disputes arose between director and studio head. Netflix, in expanding from digital into theatrical distribution, has been experimenting with simultaneous debuts. The 2015 Oscar prospect "Beasts of No Nation" saw four of the US' biggest chains refusing to participate; the same quartet again closed their doors to a "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" sequel in February. Like those Netflix features, "High-Rise" is also looking at a limited theatrical distribution in the US, courtesy of independent cinemas. Following a gradual international rollout that started in the UK and Ireland in March, then France in April, plus film festival appearances since its Toronto premiere last September, "High-Rise" has secured screenings in around 30 cities across the US. By then, it will have been available inside the US since April 28, via 18 video platforms that include iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, Vudu, Xbox and PlayStation, as well as directly from a dozen or so telecom and cable companies. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

'Maze Runner' shoot delayed further due to star's injuries
Friday Apr 29, 2016
'Maze Runner' shoot delayed further due to star's injuries

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Principal photography on "Maze Runner: The Death Cure" has been further delayed to allow star Dylan O'Brien more time to recover from injuries he suffered during the shoot in mid-March. 20th Century Fox said in a statement Friday that it looks forward to restarting production as soon as possible. O'Brien stars in the dystopian sci-fi franchise based on author James Dashner's novels. He was filming the third and final installment in the series in British Columbia when he was injured. A rep for the actor confirmed that the 24-year-old is recovering. Fox did not comment on whether or not the delay would impact the film's planned February 2017 release. O'Brien is also known for his role on TV's "Teen Wolf" series. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Strahan-Ripa breakup isn't TV's first botched transition
Friday Apr 29, 2016
Strahan-Ripa breakup isn't TV's first botched transition

NEW YORK (AP) — "Live with Kelly and Michael" host Kelly Ripa emerged from her brief "strike" this past week on stronger footing, having extracted an apology from Walt Disney Co. officials for giving her little advanced word that her co-host Michael Strahan was leaving for "Good Morning America." She had briefly boycotted the popular daytime talk show, saying she had earned the right to better treatment. Her audience gave Ripa a standing ovation upon her return Tuesday, and ABC said Strahan was leaving nearly four months earlier than expected. It was hardly the first time television executives had botched a transition, nor the most spectacular. Here are some other dropped batons: THE YOUNGER WOMAN Jane Pauley had been a mainstay on NBC's "Today" show for 13 years, first as co-host with Tom Brokaw and later with Bryant Gumbel, when the show's executives were seduced by a younger woman. Deborah Norville, seven years Pauley's junior, lit up the screen on NBC's early-morning newscast. She was reassigned to "Today" in late summer 1989 with a big new contract, given a more prominent role than predecessor John Palmer. Norville was widely viewed as Pauley's successor, certainly to Pauley, who quit before she could be pushed out. During her last show, on Dec. 29, the New York Daily News wrote that Pauley "often looked like she'd rather have been queued up in a 5-hour rice line in Bucharest." Most unfortunately, the show featured a long report on a horse that had been racing 11 years but had to be retired. The optics were horrible. Women dominate the morning news audience, and "Today" was serving up their worst nightmare onscreen: a loyal woman approaching middle age pushed aside for a sexy new model. The show's ratings instantly fell behind ABC's "Good Morning America." They didn't recover until Norville left on maternity leave 19 months later and was herself displaced by Katie Couric. Norville fought depression, then battled back as an author and host of "Inside Edition." "It was personally devastating to, in less than two years, go from 'NBC's fastest-rising star' to a pariah in television," Norville wrote for The Hollywood Reporter in 2012. TEAM COCO If you still have a "Team Coco" shirt in a back closet, you remember late-night television's worst transition. NBC thought it was being foresighted when it announced in 2004 that five years later, Jay Leno would retire as "Tonight" show host and be replaced by Conan O'Brien. "I was blindsided," Leno recalled in a later "60 Minutes" interview, likening it to being told by a girlfriend that he was no longer wanted. He didn't feel much better five years later. He vacated the late-night perch, and was given a prime-time show that not many people watched. Meanwhile, "Tonight" ratings sank when after O'Brien took over and NBC executives worried that the quirky sensibility that worked for O'Brien's later-night show didn't translate to a more mainstream earlier audience. They floated a plan to cut the "Tonight" hour in half, giving part of Leno and part to O'Brien. O'Brien rejected it early in 2010, and began negotiations for a contract buyout. With the axe near, O'Brien's "Tonight" show became white hot. Ratings soared, and his persona as the put-upon employee fueled superb comedy. Fans rallied around, buying "Team Coco" shirts, and Leno was brutalized regularly by fellow late-night hosts David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel as a turncoat, someone who couldn't give up his seat of power. Besides a reported $45 million buyout, O'Brien earned another late-night gig at TBS, where he works today. Leno's transition to Jimmy Fallon in 2014 went much more smoothly. Fallon was an immediate hit, and Leno gracious in his exit. Even then, though, he made sure to note that leaving wasn't his decision. STAR TIME Star Jones, panelist on daytime TV's "The View," surprised that show's audience in July 2006 by announcing after a commercial break that she would soon be leaving after 10 years. "That's shocking to me," co-host Joy Behar said. It shouldn't have been. The show's creator, Barbara Walters, said later that Jones had known for months that the show was going in a different direction. Jones said in a magazine interview that appeared that day that she had been fired. As Jones made her announcement, Walters sat at her side, glaring. To the proper television doyenne, few things were as important as appearances and the illusion that the ladies of "The View" were a convivial bunch. She told The Associated Press that day that Jones' announcement was a betrayal. The next day, Jones was gone. Walters said Jones had been given time to find another job so the transition would appear smooth. "I would have loved for Star to have left and not said 'I was fired' and not make it look like the show was somehow being cruel to her," she said. It was six years before she was welcomed back onto the ABC show as a guest. Even on a program that featured the colorful and combustible Rosie O'Donnell for two separate tenures, Jones had the most memorable flameout. CRYING CURRY Two decades after the Norville debacle, the "Today" show managed to top itself with Ann Curry's tearful exit. Curry was a loyal soldier, reading the news for "Today" starting in 1997 and remaining after she was passed over for Meredith Vieira as co-host when Couric left in 2005. When Vieira quit in 2011, Curry earned the job next to Matt Lauer. Yet "Today" started fading in the ratings, running neck-and-neck with "Good Morning America" in the spring of 2012 after many years of dominance, and executives worried that Curry and Lauer had little on-screen chemistry. They decided to replace her with Savannah Guthrie. Curry's final show made for excruciating television. She was in tears seated next to Lauer on the show's couch, telling viewers: "For all of you who saw me as a groundbreaker, I'm sorry I didn't carry the ball over the finish line. But man, I did try." Again, the effect was immediate. ABC's "GMA" took over as morning television's favorite and while things have been looking up lately, "Today" remains in second place. Lauer's reputation with viewers took a beating, especially when Curry did little to discourage accounts that she partly blamed him for her demise. After reporting primarily on international stories, Curry left NBC News in January 2015. "It was a hard time for everybody," Lauer told the Daily Beast in 2013. "I don't think the show or the network handled the transition well. You don't have to be Einstein to know that." ___ Follow David Bauder at twitter.com/dbauder. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/david-bauder Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by David Bauder from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

James Corden confirms Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato for 'Carpool Karaoke' ahead of joint tour
Friday Apr 29, 2016
James Corden confirms Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato for 'Carpool Karaoke' ahead of joint tour

"Late Late Show" host James Corden has confirmed that singers Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato will be the next crooners to star in his hit "Carpool Karaoke" segment."Late Late Show" host James Corden has confirmed that singers Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato will be the next crooners to star in his hit "Carpool Karaoke" segment. The segment, which features Corden singing along with various musical celebrities per episode, has become hugely popular and peaked when songstress Adele appeared on the show. Adele's "Carpool Karaoke" episode 42 million views within five days, making it the most-watched late night YouTube clip ever; to date the clip is just shy of 100 million views (via Billboard). While Corden didn't mention the release date for the duo's appearance, the announcement - which he made via Twitter - comes ahead of Lovato and Jonas joint "Future Now" tour which kicks off in June.   Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Movies

Tom Hiddleston movie 'High Rise' gets streaming premiere
Saturday Apr 30, 2016
Tom Hiddleston movie 'High Rise' gets streaming premiere

Sci-fi movie "High Rise" could be looking to the future in more ways than one, with the glossy J.G. Ballard adaptation hitting streaming services two full weeks ahead of its US theatrical debut on May 13.-- Ballard's tower block -- The prolific Tom Hiddleston stars as Dr. Robert Laing, resident of a high concept, luxury apartment block designed by one of the world's most accomplished architects. It's a place where residents are so pampered that there is not much of an incentive to leave, especially for the wealthiest inhabitants. All basic and higher needs are taken care of, from schooling and shopping to fine dining and fitness. But things start to turn sour, as Laing becomes increasingly consumed by life within the complex, and his fellow residents -- portrayed by a cast that includes Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans and James Purefoy -- coagulate into cliques and then increasingly venal factions. "High-Rise" isn't the first J.G. Ballard novel to make it into cinemas -- there's "Empire of the Sun," "Crash," even "When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth" -- nor is it the first to make itself available online before theatrical launch, but it's certainly among the most high-profile. -- Digital debuts -- The Weinstein Co. made the multi-award winning "Snowpiercer" available online a fortnight in advance of a very long-awaited theatrical release -- a risk minimization strategy after disputes arose between director and studio head. Netflix, in expanding from digital into theatrical distribution, has been experimenting with simultaneous debuts. The 2015 Oscar prospect "Beasts of No Nation" saw four of the US' biggest chains refusing to participate; the same quartet again closed their doors to a "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" sequel in February. Like those Netflix features, "High-Rise" is also looking at a limited theatrical distribution in the US, courtesy of independent cinemas. Following a gradual international rollout that started in the UK and Ireland in March, then France in April, plus film festival appearances since its Toronto premiere last September, "High-Rise" has secured screenings in around 30 cities across the US. By then, it will have been available inside the US since April 28, via 18 video platforms that include iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, Vudu, Xbox and PlayStation, as well as directly from a dozen or so telecom and cable companies. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

'Shinobi' ninja video game to be made into a movie
Friday Apr 29, 2016
'Shinobi' ninja video game to be made into a movie

Producer Marc Platt has joined forces with Sega to bring video game franchise "Shinobi" to life as a movie.Deadline reports that Platt's production company will work with Sega and Hakuhodo DY Group's production arm and joint venture Stories International, Inc to execute the project. The result a feature film developed and produced around the "Shinobi" theme -which translates to "ninja" in Japanese. The warrior game, which started as an arcade game, usually involves fight scenes with swords and knives. Commenting on the move, Platt said that he felt that "the world of ninjas has never been properly explored onscreen". "We now have the opportunity to do just that. With Shinobi, we hope to make a film that honors the essence of the games."   Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Who you gonna call? 'Ghostbusters' is back in business
Friday Apr 29, 2016
Who you gonna call? 'Ghostbusters' is back in business

NEW YORK (AP) — For decades, the quest for another "Ghostbusters" movie was as elusive as an ectoplasmic phantom. Various iterations for a third "Ghostbusters" movie cycled through countless rumors and possibilities that had one thing in common: Bill Murray just didn't want to do another one. Eventually, the proton pack was passed to Paul Feig, the "Freaks and Geeks" creator turned de facto filmmaker of female comics ("Bridesmaids," ''Spy"). Amy Pascal, then-Sony Pictures chief, convinced Feig to take on a reboot of the 1980s comedy franchise. "I was like: OK, how would I do it? I don't want to compete with the memory of those guys, but if I got the funny women that I love working with, that, to me, I have ideas with," Feig says. "In my mind, it would avoid comparisons going: 'He's not as funny as Bill Murray' or 'He's not as funny as Dan Aykroyd.' And the main reason being: I love my funny ladies." "Ghostbusters," which opens July 15, stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones as the ghost-fighting foursome. Of all the summer's blockbuster-hopefuls, none has had more eyes on it than "Ghostbusters." It's the rare big-budgeted comedy (reportedly costing more than $150 million to make), so the stakes are as high as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. And "Ghostbusters" has proven a curious kind of lightning rod to some, in part for nothing more than the gender of its paranormal pursuers. When the film was announced, some on social media decried it. "This is the first time I've actually done something where right out of the gate, people cared so much that it just brought all this extra scrutiny on it," says Feig. "Truth be told going into it, I kind of thought: This will be fun and didn't realize there would be a small segment so vocally against it." Feig understands those who simply didn't want to see a beloved classic remade, but not those who object to his female-led cast. "Look, I totally understand the fear of somebody touching something you love. I completely get that. That's kind of why I wanted to do a reboot because that's almost the more respectful way to do it," says the director. "Then there's a small, tiny segment that have a problem with it being women, and that's a nonstarter for me. That just is ridiculous." More controversy followed, though. When the film's trailer debuted in March, some questioned why Jones, the lone black star in the leading quartet, wouldn't play a scientist like the other characters. She plays a subway worker. There's some history of "Ghostbusters" and stereotyping. Ernie Hudson, who played Winston in the first film, has lamented the relative insignificance of his character. "I put people in the roles that they are going to be funniest in, and that's the only way I cast them," says Feig. "We had this role and it's the exact, perfect showcase for Leslie's comedy. Personality-wise, it matched what I knew she was going to be the funniest doing." Jones, the "Saturday Night Live" standout, earlier took to Twitter to defend her role. Feig encourages fans not to "pre-judge" from a trailer. "You've got to see the movie," he says. "She's awesome in it." Feig's track record of putting funny people in the right position — from "Freaks and Geeks" to "The Heat" — makes "Ghostbusters" one of the year's absolute most must-see comedies. Feig, who's currently finishing the edit and doing test screenings, promises his cast's chemistry is excellent and that co-star Chris Hemsworth proved an equally talented comic performer. "It's just the greatest idea in the world to have funny people fighting the paranormal with technology," he says. "There's too much there for it to have just been two movies." Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Jake Coyle from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

New 'The Nice Guys' retro trailer unveiled
Friday Apr 29, 2016
New 'The Nice Guys' retro trailer unveiled

Warner Bros. Pictures has unleashed a retro trailer to the upcoming film "The Nice Guys," starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe.The fresh clip comes ahead of the movie's debut in cinemas on May 20. "The Nice Guys" recounts the journey of private eye Holland March (Gosling) and hired enforcer Jackson Healy (Crowe) as they unravel a murder mystery in 1970s Los Angeles. Directed by Shane Black from an original screenplay he wrote with Anthony Bagarozzi, the film also stars Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Margaret Qualley, Keith David and Kim Basinger. Watch the latest trailer for "The Nice Guys" here: https://youtu.be/WJUES1SIvzw   Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

3 minute preview: 'Mother's Day'
Friday Apr 29, 2016
3 minute preview: 'Mother's Day'

Four women at different stages in their life cross paths as they explore, in different ways, the bond between mothers and daughters as Mother's Day approaches. Find out who's in "Mother's Day," one actress's connection with its director and early buzz during its week of release.-- Who's in it? -- There's a bit of an all-star tone to this one, with Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson and Britt Robertson leading. Aniston plays Sandy, a single mother of two boys, whose ex has just married a much younger woman. Bradley (Jason Sudekis) has two daughters to look after and meets her at the supermarket. Jesse (Hudson) receives a surprise visit from her own parents, while encouraging friend Kristen (Robertson) to seek out her biological mother -- who is actually Miranda (Roberts), in charge of the hotel where Sandy has applied to work. Aniston ("Friends"), Roberts ("Steel Magnolias," "Erin Brockovich," "Pretty Woman"), and Hudson ("Almost Famous") have five Golden Globe awards between them. Robertson picked up two Teen Choice Award nominations for "The Longest Ride" and "Tomorrowland." -- Who's behind it? -- For Garry Marshall, "Mother's Day" is the third film in six years to take its title from an annual celebration, after multithreaded 2010 film "Valentine's Day" (which had Roberts in one of its segments) and 2011's similarly interwoven "New Year's Eve." He's best known for 1990 smash "Pretty Woman." -- Is it any good? -- Certainly, users over at Rotten Tomatoes anticipate a good time at the movies with 91% of nearly 6,000 respondents wanting to see it on release. On IMDb, 250 early user ratings have resulted in an initial 5.4/10 score. Professional critics have not been so hot, with the Tomatometer at 13% approval (3.7/10 average score) and Metacritic's two early reviews both unimpressed. -- When's it out? -- In most territories, distributors appear to have targeted release a week or two in advance of each country's own Mother's Day, excepting those where the celebration has already passed. Debuting in Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Russia on April 28, "Mother's Day" then releases in the US and Canada on April 29. It opens in Brazil, the Philippines, Singapore, Norway and Sweden the week of May 5, with France and Belgium included from May 25. In the UK and Ireland, where Mother's Day was in March, "Mother's Day" is out June 10. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Events

Obama out: President closes out his run as comedian-in-chief
Sunday May 1, 2016
Obama out: President closes out his run as comedian-in-chief

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama performed his brand of sharp-tongued comedy at the White House Correspondents' Dinner for the last time — wrapping up with "Obama out" and dropping the mic while the crowd cheered. Obama's performance Saturday night proved he hasn't lost a step. "If this material works well, I'm going to use it at Goldman Sachs next year," Obama quipped. "Earn me some serious Tubmans." Obama drew plenty of laughs with his barbed remarks to a ballroom filled with journalists, politicians, and movie and television stars. It was his eighth appearance at the event and his last as president and he kidded about the pains of being a lame duck. "Last week Prince George showed up to our meeting in his bathrobe," Obama cracked. "That was a slap in the face." The president waxed nostalgic at times. "Eight years ago I said it was time to change the tone of our politics. In hindsight, I clearly should have been more specific." And he acknowledged that the years had taken their toll. "I'm gray, grizzled ... counting down the days to my death panel." On the other hand, he pointed out that his approval ratings are up. "The last time I was this high," he said, "I was trying to decide on my major." When he said he couldn't explain the rise in his popularity, two photographs of scowling presidential candidates appeared on ballroom screens: Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Obama took a few more swipes at the presidential race, noting that "next year at this time someone else will be standing here in this very spot, and it's anyone's guess who she will be." After calling presidential candidate Bernie Sanders the bright new face of the Democratic Party, Obama contrasted the slogan "Feel the Bern" with one he said was rival Hillary Clinton's: "Trudge Up the Hill." Republicans took most of Obama's humorous broadsides. "Guests were asked to check whether they wanted steak or fish," he told the diners, "and instead a whole bunch of you wrote in Paul Ryan." Obama said of the billionaire businessman and real estate mogul leading the GOP race: "He has spent years meeting with leaders from around the world — Miss Sweden, Miss Argentina, Miss Azerbaijan." He added: "And there's one area where Donald's experience could be invaluable, and that's closing Guantanamo — because Trump knows a thing or two about running waterfront properties into the ground." Turning serious, the president thanked the White House press corps and praised a free press. Obama took a few hits, too. Preceding his remarks was a tongue-in-cheek video tribute to his seven-plus years in office that contained highlights of his verbal gaffes — his reference to "57 states" and misspelling 'rspect" among them — as well as light-hearted moments. Comedian Larry Wilmore, the evening's professional entertainment, began by saying, "It's not easy to follow the president." Then he proved his point, offering a series of jokes about the president, different media organizations and various presidential candidates that often were racially tinged and drew a mixture of laughter and groans. "Welcome to Negro night," Wilmore said, and added that Fox News had reported that "two thugs" disrupted an elegant dinner, also mixing in critiques of CNN's viewership and MSNBC's firing of black anchors. Wilmore said the president is showing signs that his time in office has been hard on him. "You came in here looking like Denzel, now you're going out looking like Grady from 'Sanford and Son.'" As usual the Washington Hilton ballroom was a celebrity-spotters dream. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders joined Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and other government officials taking a seat. Also on hand were Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Trump, a regular in recent years, was absent this time, but a son and daughter-in-law, Donald Jr. and Vanessa Trump, were spotted on the red carpet. Among the film and television performers at the event were Oscar winners Helen Mirren and Jared Leto, "Breaking Bad" actor Bryan Cranston, "Independence Day" stars Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum, actress Rachel McAdams, and "Night Manager" miniseries star Tom Hiddleston. Proceeds from the dinner go toward journalism scholarships and reporting awards. This year's winners: — Carol Lee of the Wall Street Journal, winner of the Aldo Beckman Memorial Award for excellence in White House coverage. — Matt Viser of the Boston Globe, winner of the Merriman Smith Award for outstanding White House coverage under deadline pressure. — Norah O'Donnell of CBS News, winner of the Merriman Smith Award for broadcast journalism. — Terrence McCoy of The Washington Post and Neela Banerjee, John Cushman Jr., David Hasemyer and Lisa Song of InsideClimate, winners of the Edgar A. Poe award, which recognizes excellence in coverage of events or investigative topics of regional or national interest. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Douglass K. Daniel from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Tom Hiddleston movie 'High Rise' gets streaming premiere
Saturday Apr 30, 2016
Tom Hiddleston movie 'High Rise' gets streaming premiere

Sci-fi movie "High Rise" could be looking to the future in more ways than one, with the glossy J.G. Ballard adaptation hitting streaming services two full weeks ahead of its US theatrical debut on May 13.-- Ballard's tower block -- The prolific Tom Hiddleston stars as Dr. Robert Laing, resident of a high concept, luxury apartment block designed by one of the world's most accomplished architects. It's a place where residents are so pampered that there is not much of an incentive to leave, especially for the wealthiest inhabitants. All basic and higher needs are taken care of, from schooling and shopping to fine dining and fitness. But things start to turn sour, as Laing becomes increasingly consumed by life within the complex, and his fellow residents -- portrayed by a cast that includes Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans and James Purefoy -- coagulate into cliques and then increasingly venal factions. "High-Rise" isn't the first J.G. Ballard novel to make it into cinemas -- there's "Empire of the Sun," "Crash," even "When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth" -- nor is it the first to make itself available online before theatrical launch, but it's certainly among the most high-profile. -- Digital debuts -- The Weinstein Co. made the multi-award winning "Snowpiercer" available online a fortnight in advance of a very long-awaited theatrical release -- a risk minimization strategy after disputes arose between director and studio head. Netflix, in expanding from digital into theatrical distribution, has been experimenting with simultaneous debuts. The 2015 Oscar prospect "Beasts of No Nation" saw four of the US' biggest chains refusing to participate; the same quartet again closed their doors to a "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" sequel in February. Like those Netflix features, "High-Rise" is also looking at a limited theatrical distribution in the US, courtesy of independent cinemas. Following a gradual international rollout that started in the UK and Ireland in March, then France in April, plus film festival appearances since its Toronto premiere last September, "High-Rise" has secured screenings in around 30 cities across the US. By then, it will have been available inside the US since April 28, via 18 video platforms that include iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, Vudu, Xbox and PlayStation, as well as directly from a dozen or so telecom and cable companies. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

The Latest: Numbers from the first 2 rounds of the draft
Saturday Apr 30, 2016
The Latest: Numbers from the first 2 rounds of the draft

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the second day of the NFL draft (all times local): 10 p.m. Some numbers from the first two rounds of the NFL draft: —Four quarterbacks were taken, including the first two picks. —Defensive backs were at a premium, with 10 cornerbacks and four safeties picked. —Those secondary players will have to cover seven receivers who were picked in the first two rounds. —Seven Ohio State players were drafted, and six Alabama players were picked. ___ 9:25 p.m. Roberto Aguayo put his best foot forward and will stay in the state of Florida. Aguayo, from Florida State, was selected by the Buccaneers in the second round of the draft and was the 59th overall pick. The previous kicker to go in the second round was Mike Nugent, who was the 47th overall pick by the New York Jets in 2005. Aguayo also became the first kicker since Sebastian Janikowski to forgo his senior year in college. As a freshman in 2013, he won the Lou Groza Award as the nation's top kicker, setting an FBS record with 157 points as the Seminoles won the national championship. As a sophomore he was a first-team selection to The Associated Press All-America team for the second straight season. Had he stayed for his senior season, Aguayo would have likely set NCAA records for scoring. ___ 8:35 p.m. The Alabama getaway began late at the NFL draft. Only one member of the national champion Crimson Tide, center Ryan Kelly, went in the first round. And none was selected through nine spots in the second round. Then three All-Americans heard their names called. Linebacker Reggie Ragland went to Buffalo, which traded up to the 41st spot with Chicago for him. At No. 45, Tennessee took Heisman Trophy-winning running back Derrick Henry. And on the very next pick, defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson was selected by Detroit. Ragland should fit nicely in Rex Ryan's attacking defense. Henry joins DeMarco Murray and 2014 second-round pick, Bishop Sankey, in the Titans' backfield. Robinson fits a need for the Lions, who lost Ndamukong Suh in free agency last year. Defensive tackle Jarran Reed then went 49th to Seattle, which traded up for him. And cornerback Cyrus Jones went to New England with the 60th pick. ___ 7:05 p.m. A growl would have been a more appropriate way to open Round 2, considering who the official greeter was. "Welcome to Chicago, home of the world's greatest fans," said former Bears linebacker Dick Butkus, one of the meanest defenders pro football has seen. "And as always," he couldn't resist adding, "Go Bears!" Butkus was the last in a long line of former NFL greats to be introduced by commissioner Roger Goodell, who then officially opened the second round. But if Goodell's intention in appearing alongside Butkus was to soften up the fans in the Auditorium at Roosevelt University, it didn't work. By the time the commissioner showed up to introduce the first pick, he was roundly booed once again. ___ 7 p.m. Kansas City hopes to land the NFL draft in the near future, joining cities such as Atlanta, Denver and Los Angeles in expressing interest in what has become a three-day football festival. Chiefs owner Clark Hunt said before Friday night's second and third rounds that the organization would work with civic leaders on a bid. Kansas City has aggressively pursued numerous sporting events the past few years, ranging from NCAA regionals to next year's U.S. figure skating championship. Chicago is hosting the event for the second straight year, but Commissioner Roger Goodell said recently it was "very likely" to move next year. Falcons owner Arthur Blank is hoping to land that edition. "Chicago has shown you can have the draft somewhere other than New York City," Hunt said. "I'm interested and the organization is interested and the city is interested in bringing the draft here. When that opportunity presents itself, we'll put our best foot forward." ___ 5:45 p.m. The president of the NFL players' union is taking exception to how the league and Commissioner Roger Goodell responded to the problems of Mississippi offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, who dropped in the first round after a video was posted to his Twitter account showing him smoking from a bong contraption. Eric Winston, an offensive tackle with the Cincinnati Bengals, posted on Twitter that he was "stewing" over what had happened the previous night. He followed with a series of tweets: "Last night everyone saw a young man's dream turn into a nightmare. The mistakes he made in the past were released out there to millions with an intent to harm him. What did the NFL do? Nothing. In fact, if Roger is to be believed, they loved it because it made the draft 'so exciting.' "The NFL invested big on this marketing campaign of 'family.' It was all over Chicago on every billboard. Let me dish out some free advice to the young men coming into this league this weekend: they are not your family. This is a business. I hope that what Laremy said is true and that he learned from his mistake. I wish him good luck and hope every drafted player is wise to what it takes to make it in the NFL and who really has your back." ___ 3:05 p.m. Mississippi offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil was a no-show at the Miami Dolphins' news conferences Friday to present him as their first-round pick. Tunsil was absent due to an allergic reaction, the team said. "Unfortunately, Laremy had an allergic reaction this afternoon, so right now he's with our medical staff and hopefully it's just a quick, short-term thing," Dolphins executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum said. Tunsil went through a bizarre plummet in the first round on Thursday. Considered a top-five pick, he went 13th overall after he said his social media accounts were hacked and incidents of his troubled past became public minutes before the first round began, including a video of him smoking from a gas mask-bong contraption. Also, a post on his Instagram showed an alleged text message exchange between the offensive lineman and an Ole Miss football staff member that included Tunsil's request for money for bills. ___ 2:40 p.m. Before the second round of the NFL draft begins, team winners of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award will walk the red carpet. They also will announce some third-round selections. Two winners of the national Payton honor, Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis (2014) and former Kansas City Chiefs guard Will Shields (2003), will take part in the festivities. The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes a player for his excellence on and off the field and his commitment to philanthropy and community impact. Team winners, representing past and present players, are: Arizona Cardinals:Jay Feely Atlanta Falcons:Patrick DiMarco Baltimore Ravens:Mike McCrary Buffalo Bills:Eric Wood Carolina Panthers:Thomas Davis Chicago Bears:Israel Idonije Cincinnati Bengals:Carlos Dunlap Cleveland Browns:Gary Barnidge Dallas Cowboys:Brandon Carr Denver Broncos:DeMarcus Ware Detroit Lions:Mike Furrey Green Bay Packers: Sam Barrington Houston Texans:Chester Pitts Indianapolis Colts:Reggie Wayne Jacksonville Jaguars:Maurice Jones-Drew Kansas City Chiefs:Will Shields Los Angeles Rams:Johnny Hekker Miami Dolphins:Ronnie Brown Minnesota Vikings: E.J. Henderson New England Patriots:Kevin Faulk New Orleans Saints: Scott Fujita New York Giants:Steve Weatherford New York Jets: Kevin Mawae Oakland Raiders:Willie Brown Philadelphia Eagles:Bennie Logan Pittsburgh Steelers: Cameron Heyward San Diego Chargers: Quentin Jammer San Francisco 49ers:Takeo Spikes Seattle Seahawks:Shaun Alexander Tampa Bay Buccaneers:Rondè Barber Tennessee Titans:Delanie Walker Washington Redskins:Ryan Kerrigan ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Hawaii selects businesses for medical pot but excludes actor
Saturday Apr 30, 2016
Hawaii selects businesses for medical pot but excludes actor

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii selected eight businesses Friday to open medical marijuana dispensaries — but not one owned by Woody Harrelson. The actor was among nearly 60 Hawaii residents who applied in January to open the state's first medical marijuana dispensaries. Dispensaries can open as soon as July 15. Ina Treciokas, a spokesperson for Harrelson, said there was no comment on the selection announcement. A four-member panel reviewed nearly 66 applications to open dispensaries based on criteria including companies' proof of financial stability, ability to comply with security requirements and being able to meet patient needs. The panel wouldn't discuss Friday why it selected and rejected particular dispensaries, but the health department said it expects to release the scores of each applicant in the next two weeks. Aloha Green Holdings Inc., Manoa Botanicals and TCG Retro Market 1 were selected to open dispensaries on Oahu. Hawaiian Ethos and Lau Ola were chosen for the Big Island, while Maui Wellness Group and Pono Life Sciences Maui were selected on Maui. One company, Green Aloha, was selected to open dispensaries on Kauai. "It's a feeling of huge responsibility and potential for doing good, so it's lots of emotions," said Richard Ha of Lau Ola, one of the companies selected for the Big Island. "We're really happy to participate in this, but we got to do this right and we fully intend to do that." Ha said his company already has a lease on a property and building plans for facilities, but he expects that the dispensary won't be up and running until at least after July. Video game entrepreneur Henk Rogers of Blue Planet Healing was among dozens of applicants who weren't selected for a license. Rogers is famous for designing the video game "Tetris" more than 20 years ago, and lives in Hawaii in an entirely solar-powered home. "We look forward to applying for a medical marijuana dispensary license in the future should the Department of Health decide that the granting of additional licenses to operate a medical marijuana dispensary is in the best interest of the people of the state of Hawaii," Blue Planet Healing said in a statement. Dispensary applicants are required to pay a $75,000 licensing fee to the Department of Health within seven days of receiving written notice of their selection. Applicants were required to have $1 million cash, plus $100,000 for each dispensary location. The Hawaii Department of Health, which awarded the licenses, must inspect facilities before they can open. The law allows medical marijuana businesses to have two production centers and two retail dispensaries, for a total of 16 dispensaries statewide. Six are allowed on Oahu, four on Hawaii Island, four on Maui and two on Kauai. Hawaii became the first state to legalize medical marijuana through the legislative process 16 years ago. Under a law passed in 2015, the state could grant eight licenses. Industry experts say Hawaii's medical marijuana businesses could be confronted with challenges unlike those in other states, such as navigating rules that ban inter-island transport and limit the number of growers. They say the new Hawaii industry could also face problems such as the nation's highest electricity costs for indoor growing and a thriving underground market. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Marina Starleaf Riker from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Former star of "The West Wing" greets White House reporters
Friday Apr 29, 2016
Former star of "The West Wing" greets White House reporters

WASHINGTON (AP) — Allison Janney played a White House press secretary on "The West Wing." She got a chance to do the real thing on Friday. Janney won four Emmy Awards playing C.J. Cregg and now stars on "Mom," for which she also won an Emmy. She took the podium normally reserved for spokesman Josh Earnest and told reporters she hoped to bring attention to the nation's opioid epidemic. Janney says addiction is a disease that can touch anybody. She noted the White House would be recognizing 10 people from across the country for their work to prevent prescription drug abuse. A reporter asked Janney who President Bartlet from her old show would be supporting for the Democratic nomination: "I think you know the answer to that," Janney responded. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.