Sunday Jan 25, 2015

TV talk show pioneer Franklin, who gave Pacino chance, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Pioneering radio and TV host Joe Franklin, who gave breaks to the likes of Al Pacino and Bill Cosby on his variety show long before they became famous and who boasted he never missed a broadcast in decades, has died at age 88. He died Saturday of cancer,...
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TV

TV talk show pioneer Franklin, who gave Pacino chance, dies
Sunday Jan 25, 2015
TV talk show pioneer Franklin, who gave Pacino chance, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Pioneering radio and TV host Joe Franklin, who gave breaks to the likes of Al Pacino and Bill Cosby on his variety show long before they became famous and who boasted he never missed a broadcast in decades, has died at age 88. He died Saturday of cancer, which he had had for a few years, longtime producer and friend Steven Garrin said. Franklin often is credited with developing the standard TV talk show format, sitting behind a desk while interviewing wanna-be celebrities, minor celebrities and the occasional bona fide celebrity. The host of "The Joe Franklin Show" started in TV in 1950. By the early 1990s, he often said, he had chatted with more than 300,000 guests, including Marilyn Monroe, Liza Minnelli and Madonna. But the notables often had to share air time on his low-budget show with a tap-dancing dentist or a man who whistled through his nose. Garrin recalled how Franklin, who was parodied by Billy Crystal on "Saturday Night Live," hired a young Bette Midler as his studio singer and gave a chance on his show to every up-and-comer trying to make it big: Bruce Springsteen, Woody Allen and Dustin Hoffman among them. "He was a wonderful guy," Garrin said Sunday. "He gave everybody an opportunity." Garrin said he remembered how Pacino, after he became a Hollywood movie star, told Franklin in a private meeting: "Joe, why don't you interview me now that I'm somebody? You interviewed me when I was nobody." After Franklin's TV show ended in 1993, he worked on his late-night radio show. He continued to work even after he developed cancer, doing celebrity interviews on the Bloomberg Radio Network. Tuesday was the first scheduled broadcast Franklin had missed in more than 60 years, said Garrin, who worked with him for 20 of those years, booking all his interviews and recording the shows in his studios in Times Square between 1991 and 2010. Copyright (2015) 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.

Kaling, Dunham, Wiig, Kohan talk women in Hollywood
Saturday Jan 24, 2015
Kaling, Dunham, Wiig, Kohan talk women in Hollywood

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — Lena Dunham dreams of the day when a man might say, "It's impossible to get into Hollywood. It's an old women's network." The creative force behind HBO's "Girls" shared the stage with "The Mindy Project" creator Mindy Kaling, "Bridesmaids" star and co-writer Kristen Wiig and "Orange Is the New Black" show-runner Jenji Kohan for a discussion on women in Hollywood Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival. The four women weighed in how they broke into the entertainment industry and the challenges they face as its minority gender. All said they realized early on that if they wanted to tell the stories they cared most about, they'd have to take the reins and do it themselves. And they found TV a far friendlier environment for female voices than film. "There's just a lot more opportunity," Kohan said. "It seems like film is really behind." Even with the success of "Weeds" and "Orange Is the New Black," Kohan said the only scripts she's been offered to write involve "weddings and moms." Dunham, too, said after earning acclaim for her first film, "Tiny Furniture," she was given opportunities to pen such scripts as "Strawberry Shortcake." She wasn't interested, so she created "Girls." They hope their current successes help pave the way for other women with Hollywood dreams. All four rely on writing teams populated by mostly women, but they don't count men out. "You shouldn't have to just limit yourself to one gender," Kohan said. "You want to work with whoever is the best at what they're doing." — Sandy Cohen, www.twitter.com/APSandy . Copyright (2015) 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.

Rose McGowan to direct her first feature
Saturday Jan 24, 2015
Rose McGowan to direct her first feature

After rising to fame on the series "Charmed" and headlining Robert Rodriguez's 2007 film "Planet Terror," the American actress will helm "The Pines," which is set to begin lensing this fall.At Sundance in 2014, Rose McGowan made her directing debut with a short film titled "Dawn." This year, at the start of the same film festival, the actress announced plans to helm her first feature, a psychological thriller titled "The Pines." Based on a script by Alex Mar, the feature centers on a troubled woman who becomes involved with a family of healers, who could either help her to find stability or else cause her to lose her mind entirely. Aside from starring in "Charmed," which propelled her to fame in 2001, and in Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's "Grindhouse" ("Planet Terror" and "Death Proof"), McGowan has had a relatively low-profile film and TV career. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

YouTube most popular: Bad Lip Reading, 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt'
Saturday Jan 24, 2015
YouTube most popular: Bad Lip Reading, 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt'

"Bad Lip Reading" returns, Will Ferrell causes a scene at a basketball game and Tina Fey's new comedy series trailer is released. Here are YouTube's five Most Popular entertainment and lifestyle videos as recorded on Friday, January 22 at 11:30am GMT."NFL 2015" - A Bad Lip Reading of The NFL First published: January 22Total views: 7.79millionBad lip reading is here again, and this time the victims are the players of the NFL, who find themselves saying all sorts of ridiculous things. youtu.be/OTRmyXX6ipUWill Ferrell - Daddy's Home First published: January 21Total views: 2.4 millionHollywood star Will Ferrell shoots a scene in the middle of a basketball game between the Pelicans and the Lakers. youtu.be/6FugC4FkgoIUnbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - Trailer - Netflix [HD] First published: January 22Total views: 673,311Tina Fey and Robert Carlock star in the new comedy series "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," which tells the tale of a woman rescued from a doomsday cult who starts life over as a nanny in the Upper East Side in New York. youtu.be/mNKEKlXY3Z4 Bill Gates and Jimmy Drink Poop WaterFirst published: January 22Total views: 556,933Bill Gates drinks water from the Omniprocessor, which turns sewage into clean drinking water, on the "Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon."youtu.be/FHgsL0dpQ-U Elders Play Grand Theft Auto V (Elders React: Gaming)First published: January 21Total views: 2.5 millionWhat happens when you put a bunch of older people in front of "Grand Theft Auto 5"? This does.youtu.be/KHoOrFdgYR8 Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

'Hannibal' offers a first taste of its third season
Friday Jan 23, 2015
'Hannibal' offers a first taste of its third season

While Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham are not set to return to NBC until summer, fans can already savor a slice of the third season in the new trailer.Following the developments of the previous season, the FBI profiler Graham (Hugh Dancy) will continue his search for Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), as seen in the video uploaded to NBC's "Hannibal" channel on YouTube. Ultimately, he appears to have located the cannibal killer in Florence, Italy. The third season will include flashbacks to several years earlier, unveiling a new origin story for the psychopathic doctor and introducing a number of new faces. Richard Armitage ("The Hobbit") will make his debut as Francis Dolarhyde, a killer whose name is familiar to readers of Thomas Harris's novels. Nina Arianda ("Midnight in Paris") is also to appear in the role of Molly. Watch the season three trailer: youtu.be/9kN7fhWnhdM Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Movies

First Look: Gerwig shines in a delightful "Mistress America"
Sunday Jan 25, 2015
First Look: Gerwig shines in a delightful "Mistress America"

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig, the crack-pot team behind "Frances Ha," have proven their delightful screwball talents once more with "Mistress America," which premiered Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival. The film is a dreamy and idiosyncratic comedy about two enigmatic soon-to-be stepsisters who are just trying to figure out how they fit in the world, One, Tracy (Lola Kirke, who audiences might remember from a bit part in "Gone Girl") is an introspective Barnard freshman and aspiring writer who can't seem to find any friends. The other, Brooke (Gerwig), is a 30-year-old romantic and striver who lives in her own alluring, albeit delusional, reality. Everything changes for Tracy when she enters Brooke's intoxicating world. She even begins to use Brooke as an inspiration for a short story about a tragic aging dreamer, "Mistress America." But plot is almost beside the point. The inspired situational and physical comedy, sharp, witty dialogue and synthy music propel the story forward as the characters get into stranger and stranger situations. "I was thinking of these movies from when I was a teenager in the '80s, almost like a subgenre of movies of people who get taken out of their comfortable lives and put into sort of strange environments," said Baumbach "Like 'Something Wild' and 'After Hours,' like 'I'm being pulled into this crazy thing...and there's a motorcycle!'" added Gerwig. Gerwig brings her signature quirky but effortless charm to Brooke, and Kirke more than holds her own in her first big role, with the help of an excellent supporting cast (Michael Chernus, Matthew Shear, Jasmine Cephas Jones, to name a few). Baumbach fans will not be disappointed, but the movie, like Brooke, exists in its own universe, and might not be for everyone. ____ Lindsey Bahr, http://www.twitter.com/ldbahr Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lindsey Bahr from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Sundance Watch: Franco falls in love, Reed coy on engagement
Sunday Jan 25, 2015
Sundance Watch: Franco falls in love, Reed coy on engagement

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — The Associated Press is all over the Sundance Film Festival, from its premieres to the Hollywood glitz. Here's what they've seen and heard: ____ FIRST LOOK: 'MISSISSIPPI GRIND' Two wildly different strangers with a shared and debilitating love of rainbows and poker take a high stakes gambling road trip from Dubuque, Iowa to New Orleans in "Mississippi Grind," a deft, entertaining and messy look at depression, addiction and the highs of winning that premiered Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival. Ryan Reynolds co-stars as a slick drifter who's always ready with charming, perfectly rehearsed story or joke. The other party in question doesn't even seem to exist in the same universe as Reynolds' Curtis. Gerry, played by Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn, is an empty shell of man who slumps through life in dumpy trousers listening only to Joe Navarro books on tape. The two meet on a lark and immediately take to one another, and it's not just the enabling that keeps them on a shared path of self-destruction. Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck ("Half Nelson") keep the motives and backstories of their leads ambiguous for most of the film, which laces every moment with tension and suspicion. While the mystery is compelling at the start, nothing is spoon-fed to the audience, which leads to a few scenes that just don't track at all. In the Q&A an audience member asked the directors to explain one. Fleck joked that he didn't know what she was talking about since he wasn't there that day and moved on, eliciting some groans from audience members expecting a more thoughtful answer. The beautifully shot "Mississippi Grind" isn't concerned with answers, though, which could be infuriating for some, but the charm of the film rests in the hands of its tragic but intoxicating leads — not dissimilar to the allure of gambling. —By Lindsey Bahr ____ JAMES FRANCO QUICK QUOTE: ON MEETING BRAD PITT FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME "We fell in love last night. He's the coolest guy." — James Franco, on meeting Brad Pitt for the first time at the Sundance premiere of "True Story," which Pitt's company Plan B produced ____ NIKKI REED IS CRAZY FOR CATS, COY ON ENGAGEMENT Nikki Reed was coy when asked about her rumored engagement to actor Ian Somerhalder, saying only, "Life is really great right now and I'm so excited for the future." But she was effusive about her love for animals. The entertainer came to Sundance on Saturday to host the third annual Catdance Film Festival, a celebration of cats on screen that benefits the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Reed says she's been an animal advocate since she was a kid. "I learned how to change a cloth diaper on a raccoon," she said. "I was maybe 8 or 9." Her mom let her bring home "any and every thing that needed love or needed food," including, for a brief time, a coyote. Now Reed has nine pets of her own — two horses, four dogs and three cats — and provides foster care for countless other cats and dogs. She has taken in so many homeless animals that her mother recently moved in to help her care for all the critters. Cradling a tiny white kitten available for adoption, Reed says it was a natural fit for her to join Catdance, where all the felines on film are in need of homes. Kitty fans not at Sundance can check out the Catdance shorts at www.freshstep.com/cat-world. — By Sandy Cohen ____ LENA DUNHAM QUICK QUOTE: 'I FEEL SO LUCKY' "I think the thing about expressing yourself is you have to be ready for all kinds of reactions and I feel so lucky about the support I've gotten both from the people close to me and my readers and I love the experience." —Lena Dunham at Sundance, on the controversy surrounding her book "Not That Kind Of Girl" ____ FIRST LOOK: 'THE D TRAIN' Jack Black said he was drawn to 'The D Train' because he recognized the desperation of the character he plays: An outcast willing to do anything to get the most popular kid from his graduating class to attend their 20th high school reunion. The male buddy comedy, which premiered Friday at the Sundance Film Festival, turns a different lens on the trope of the drunken one-night stand and shows how far Black's character will go to get the attention of the popular guy (James Marsden), who left their Pennsylvania hometown to become an actor in Los Angeles. Dan Landsman (Black) thinks wooing this Hollywood star back to their high school would make him the hero of the reunion. As Landsman, Black dupes his boss, lies to his wife and ignores his son to gain favor with the handsome actor. Black's performance is heartfelt and heartbreaking. Marsden is on point as a self-absorbed actor. But this flawed comedy comes with a strong undercurrent of sexism and homophobia. To offer more details would tread into spoiler territory, but safe to say that had one of the lead characters been female, there would probably be little to laugh at, and perhaps no movie at all. —Sandy Cohen ____ JENJI KOHAN QUICK QUOTE: THE WISH THAT WON'T COME TRUE "I wish everyone would get naked and simulate sex all the time, but they won't." —"Orange is the New Black" creator Jenji Kohan at Sundance, on the difficulty of filming sex scenes ____ JEFFREY TAMBOR QUICK QUOTE: WHAT A DIFFERENCE STREAMING MAKES "You push a button and it goes all over the world and on Sunday people are saying, 'Oh, I binge watched all 10 of them. Where's more?' and you go oh, the world has changed. It's not my dad walking to the television set and turning a knob to Ed Sullivan." —Jeffrey Tambor at Sundance on how streaming is changing the world of entertainment ____ Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by The Associated Press from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Al Pacino looks to diversify, not retire from acting
Sunday Jan 25, 2015
Al Pacino looks to diversify, not retire from acting

NEW YORK (AP) — Al Pacino says he can relate to Simon Axler, the lead character in his film 'The Humbling' — about an aging actor who worries he's lost his craft and his appetite for acting. That's partly why he made the film. "I thought I had a better chance of making a movie that was effective because it was about a world I understood," the Oscar-winning actor said in a recent interview to promote the film. Adapted from Philip Roth's 2009 novel, "The Humbling" was directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barry Levinson ("Rain Man") and co-stars Golden Globe nominee Greta Gerwig ("Frances Ha"). At 74, Pacino says that at times he feels his age. "I do feel differently. I don't quite get up from this table the same way. I may want to but I don't." Yet the actor says the similarities end there. Simon may be ready to give up acting but Pacino is not. "Acting, especially if you've done it as long as I have," he said, "it becomes such a part of your nature you rarely ever think about quitting or anything like that." The star of such iconic films as "The Godfather" trilogy and "Scent of a Woman," which won him his 1992 best actor Oscar, says he's convinced there's another big role ahead of him, but adding, "I don't know if it's going to be in movies. ... Acting, it can take on different forms." Pacino was scheduled to perform with the Philadelphia Orchestra this weekend, doing Shakespeare and personal readings. "That's a variation on a thing that takes acting and it's a little different," he explained. Pacino will return to Broadway this fall to appear in David Mamet's latest work "China Doll," even if he won't do the standard eight performances a week. "I wouldn't do eight performances if you paid me," he said. "It's too much. I gave that up a long time ago." Television remains in Pacino's acting future, as well. The two-time Emmy winner ("You Don't Know Jack," ''Angels in America") says he's looking into an episodic series that could stream on a service like Netflix or Amazon about Napoleon's final days on the Island of Saint Helena. "I always found it was really interesting the last days, the last months of his life," said Pacino. While he's been offered a lot of different scripts, he said he's "never found the right vehicle" until he recently read "one of those series types." He says the project is still in the "talking stages" but that Michael Radford, who Pacino worked with on the film "The Merchant of Venice," is interested in directing. The actor says maturing has also presented him with a new way to look at family, specifically how to raise his 14-year-old twins, Anton and Olivia, with actress and former girlfriend Beverly D'Angelo. Pacino, who also has a 25-year-old daughter with acting coach Jan Tarrant, says he has the younger children 50-percent of the time. "My younger children I had when I was older and so that's something that I'm involved in, very much," he said. "Life has so much variety that acting is just a part of it now. It used to be all of it. Now it's a part of it." The actor says he's fascinated how growing up with computers and the Internet have given his younger children a jump on their own creativity. "My daughter showed me something the other day she did, just sort of in passing," he says. "She says, 'Here Dad, look at what I made,' and she made a video. Naturally it just had me laughing it was so funny, so interesting the way she made the shots too. She edited it, put it together, the whole thing." Does he see another generation of Pacino performers in the making? "If I see there's talent, which I see there is, oh I would love it," Pacino said with a laugh. "Who else is going to hire me when I get old?" ___ Online: http://www.thehumblingmovie.com/ ___ Follow Lauri Neff on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lneffist Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lauri Neff from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Lock of Lincoln's hair among items auctioned in Dallas
Sunday Jan 25, 2015
Lock of Lincoln's hair among items auctioned in Dallas

DALLAS (AP) — A collection of Abraham Lincoln memorabilia that includes a lock of the slain president's hair has been sold for more than $800,000 at auction Saturday in Dallas. The Donald P. Dow collection brought top bids totaling $803,889, doubling expectations, said Eric Bradley, spokesman for Dallas-based Heritage Auctions. Greg Dow said his father, who died five years ago, was fascinated with presidential assassinations. The lock of hair, taken by Surgeon General Joseph K. Barnes shortly after Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth, sold for $25,000. An 1861 letter written by Booth to a friend boasting about his career and value as an actor sold for $30,000. "The public was so disgusted by Booth's atrocity that most all letters, signatures and documents mentioning him were destroyed after Lincoln's death, making any that survive 150 years later exceedingly rare and valuable," said Don Ackerman, Consignment Director for Historical Americana at Heritage Auctions. "The Dow Collection gave us a unique perspective of the assassination and I doubt we'll ever see a grouping like this outside of a museum setting." Other items auctioned Saturday included: — a clipping of linen from Lincoln's death bed and stained with Lincoln's blood, for $6,000. — an1864 letter signed by Lincoln and authorizing prisoner-of-war swap involving Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's son from a Union POW camp, for $27,500. — A display of photographs and autographs from Lincoln, Booth and Boston Corbett, the soldier who shot and killed Booth — a set nicknamed "The Martyr, The Assassin and The Avenger" — which sold for $30,000. — a set of four oil paintings created for a carnival side show displaying the mummified remains of a man claimed to be Booth, for $30,000. — Booth's military arrest warrant, for $21,250. — a framed White House Funeral Admittance Card, for $11,875. — a letter signed by Mary Todd Lincoln on her personal mourning stationary, for $10,625. Copyright (2015) 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.

First Look: Reynolds charms in drama 'Mississippi Grind'
Saturday Jan 24, 2015
First Look: Reynolds charms in drama 'Mississippi Grind'

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — Two wildly different strangers with a shared and debilitating love of rainbows and poker take a high stakes gambling road trip from Dubuque, Iowa to New Orleans in "Mississippi Grind," a deft, entertaining and messy look at depression, addiction and the highs of winning that premiered Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival. Ryan Reynolds co-stars as a slick drifter who's always ready with charming, perfectly rehearsed story or joke. The other party in question doesn't even seem to exist in the same universe as Reynolds' Curtis. Gerry, played by Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn, is an empty shell of man who slumps through life in dumpy trousers listening only to Joe Navarro books on tape. The two meet on a lark and immediately take to one another, and it's not just the enabling that keeps them on a shared path of self-destruction. Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck ("Half Nelson") keep the motives and backstories of their leads ambiguous for most of the film, which laces every moment with tension and suspicion. While the mystery is compelling at the start, nothing is spoon-fed to the audience, which leads to a few scenes that just don't track at all. In the Q&A an audience member asked the directors to explain one. Fleck joked that he didn't know what she was talking about since he wasn't there that day and moved on, eliciting some groans from audience members expecting a more thoughtful answer. The beautifully shot "Mississippi Grind" isn't concerned with answers, though, which could be infuriating for some, but the charm of the film rests in the hands of its tragic but intoxicating leads — not dissimilar to the allure of gambling. ----- Lindsey Bahr, www.twitter.com/ldbahr Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lindsey Bahr from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Events

'American Sniper' holds top spot at weekend box office
Sunday Jan 25, 2015
'American Sniper' holds top spot at weekend box office

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "American Sniper" hit the mark with moviegoers again. The military drama starring Bradley Cooper as Navy SEAL marksman Chris Kyle topped the box office for a second weekend in a row with $64.4 million in first place, according to studio estimates Sunday. "American Sniper" is up for six Academy Awards, including best picture and best actor for Cooper. The total haul for the Warner Bros. film now stands at $200.1 million. "American Sniper" also earned an additional $17.6 million in 16 international territories, including Australia, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. "We've never quite seen anything like this at this time of year," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at box-office tracker Rentrak. "'American Sniper' is helping to propel the box office, which is already 9.3 percent ahead of the same time last year." The film, directed by Clint Eastwood, already broke box-office records when it expanded to wide release last weekend, easily surpassing "Avatar" to become the biggest January opening for a movie and immediately becoming the top grosser among best-picture Oscar nominees. In a distant second place, the saucy Universal thriller "The Boy Next Door" featuring Jennifer Lopez as a teacher who engages in an affair with a younger man played by Ryan Guzman, debuted with $15 million. The weekend's other major new releases weren't even in the neighborhood of "The Boy Next Door." The animated fantasy "Strange Magic" from Luscasfilm and Disney flopped in seventh place with $5.5 million. Lionsgate's Johnny Depp dud "Mortdecai" tanked in ninth place with $4.1 million. The eccentric heist comedy, which also stars Gwyneth Paltrow, marks another box-office bomb for Depp, following the leading man's disappointing "Transcendence," ''The Lone Ranger," ''Dark Shadows" and "The Rum Diary." "I think he chooses projects that appeal to him," Dergarabedian said. "I've always appreciated Johnny Depp for marching to the beat of his own drum, but he still needs to get audiences in the door. Sometimes, if you go too far afield, that's reflected in the numbers." Overseas, "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" dominated the international box office with $54.2 million. The final installment of the Middle-earth saga debuted in China with $49.5 million. __ Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak. Where available, the latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday. 1. "American Sniper," $64.4 million ($17.6 million international). 2. "The Boy Next Door," $15 million ($560,000 international). 3. "Paddington," $12.4 million ($4.3 million international). 4. "The Wedding Ringer," $11.6 million ($1.1 million international). 5. "Taken 3," $7.6 million ($26.3 million international). 6. "The Imitation Game," $7.1 million ($4.6 million international). 7. "Strange Magic" $5.5 million. 8. "Selma," $5.5 million. 9. "Mortdecai," $4.1 million ($5.2 million international). 10. "Into the Woods," $3.9 million ($5.1 million international). ___ Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Rentrak: 1. "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," $54.2 million. 2. "Taken 3," $26.3 million. 3. "American Sniper," $17.6 million. 4. "Big Hero 6," $14.9 million. 5. "Penguins of Madagascar," $9 million. 6. "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb," $8.7 million. 7. "The Theory of Everything,"$7 million. 8. "Seventh Son," $6.8 million. 9. "Gangnam Blues," $6.4 million. 10. (tie) "Exodus: Gods and Kings," $5.2 million. 10. (tie) "Miss Granny," $5.2 million. 10 . (tie) "Mortdecai," $5.2 million. ___ Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC. ___ Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang. Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Derrik J. Lang from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Al Pacino looks to diversify, not retire from acting
Sunday Jan 25, 2015
Al Pacino looks to diversify, not retire from acting

NEW YORK (AP) — Al Pacino says he can relate to Simon Axler, the lead character in his film 'The Humbling' — about an aging actor who worries he's lost his craft and his appetite for acting. That's partly why he made the film. "I thought I had a better chance of making a movie that was effective because it was about a world I understood," the Oscar-winning actor said in a recent interview to promote the film. Adapted from Philip Roth's 2009 novel, "The Humbling" was directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barry Levinson ("Rain Man") and co-stars Golden Globe nominee Greta Gerwig ("Frances Ha"). At 74, Pacino says that at times he feels his age. "I do feel differently. I don't quite get up from this table the same way. I may want to but I don't." Yet the actor says the similarities end there. Simon may be ready to give up acting but Pacino is not. "Acting, especially if you've done it as long as I have," he said, "it becomes such a part of your nature you rarely ever think about quitting or anything like that." The star of such iconic films as "The Godfather" trilogy and "Scent of a Woman," which won him his 1992 best actor Oscar, says he's convinced there's another big role ahead of him, but adding, "I don't know if it's going to be in movies. ... Acting, it can take on different forms." Pacino was scheduled to perform with the Philadelphia Orchestra this weekend, doing Shakespeare and personal readings. "That's a variation on a thing that takes acting and it's a little different," he explained. Pacino will return to Broadway this fall to appear in David Mamet's latest work "China Doll," even if he won't do the standard eight performances a week. "I wouldn't do eight performances if you paid me," he said. "It's too much. I gave that up a long time ago." Television remains in Pacino's acting future, as well. The two-time Emmy winner ("You Don't Know Jack," ''Angels in America") says he's looking into an episodic series that could stream on a service like Netflix or Amazon about Napoleon's final days on the Island of Saint Helena. "I always found it was really interesting the last days, the last months of his life," said Pacino. While he's been offered a lot of different scripts, he said he's "never found the right vehicle" until he recently read "one of those series types." He says the project is still in the "talking stages" but that Michael Radford, who Pacino worked with on the film "The Merchant of Venice," is interested in directing. The actor says maturing has also presented him with a new way to look at family, specifically how to raise his 14-year-old twins, Anton and Olivia, with actress and former girlfriend Beverly D'Angelo. Pacino, who also has a 25-year-old daughter with acting coach Jan Tarrant, says he has the younger children 50-percent of the time. "My younger children I had when I was older and so that's something that I'm involved in, very much," he said. "Life has so much variety that acting is just a part of it now. It used to be all of it. Now it's a part of it." The actor says he's fascinated how growing up with computers and the Internet have given his younger children a jump on their own creativity. "My daughter showed me something the other day she did, just sort of in passing," he says. "She says, 'Here Dad, look at what I made,' and she made a video. Naturally it just had me laughing it was so funny, so interesting the way she made the shots too. She edited it, put it together, the whole thing." Does he see another generation of Pacino performers in the making? "If I see there's talent, which I see there is, oh I would love it," Pacino said with a laugh. "Who else is going to hire me when I get old?" ___ Online: http://www.thehumblingmovie.com/ ___ Follow Lauri Neff on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lneffist Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lauri Neff from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

'Birdman'? 'Boyhood'? SAG Awards to offer Oscar preview
Saturday Jan 24, 2015
'Birdman'? 'Boyhood'? SAG Awards to offer Oscar preview

The 21st annual Screen Actors Guild Awards should offer a low-key preview to the Academy Awards and a chance for favorites to begin polishing up their acceptance speeches. The show kicks off Sunday night at 8 p.m. EST from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The two-hour ceremony will be broadcast live on TNT and TBS. Vying for the evening's top honor, best ensemble, are: "Birdman," ''Boyhood," ''The Grand Budapest Hotel," ''The Imitation Game" and "The Theory of Everything." Because actors make up the largest portion of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the SAG Awards are considered one of the most telling Oscar previews. Individually acting winners usually mirror each other exactly, or very nearly. Last year, the top four winners — Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Lupita Nyong'o, Jared Leto — all went on to win Academy Awards after first scooping up SAG awards. This year, there appears to be three fairly certain locks: Julianne Moore ("Still Alice"), Patricia Arquette ("Boyhood") and J.K. Simmons ("Whiplash"). Best actor is harder to call, with Michael Keaton ("Birdman") seen as the front-runner and Eddie Redmayne ("The Theory of Everything") close behind. The predictive powers of the SAGs have been more checkered in matching its top award with eventual best-picture Oscar winners. In the last six years, SAG best-ensemble and Academy Award best-picture winners have lined up three times ("Argo," ''The King's Speech" and "Slumdog Millionaire"), while diverging just as often. Last year, the actors chose "American Hustle" over eventual Oscar winner "12 Years a Slave"; in 2011, they picked "The Help" over "The Artist"; and in 2009, "Inglourious Basterds" defeated "The Hurt Locker." Though movie categories will dominate the evening, the SAGs also honor television. The ensemble comedy nominees are: "Modern Family," ''The Big Bang Theory," ''Brooklyn Nine-Nine," ''Orange is the New Black" and "Veep." Ensemble drama nominees were "Downton Abbey," ''Homeland," ''Boardwalk Empire," ''Game of Thrones" and "House of Cards." This year's lifetime achievement award will go to Debbie Reynolds, the 82-year-old veteran of stage and screen and, of course, "Singin' in the Rain." ___ Online: www.sagawards.org ___ Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jakecoyleAP Copyright (2015) 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.

Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks dies at 83
Saturday Jan 24, 2015
Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks dies at 83

Even as the Chicago Cubs lost one game after another, Ernie Banks never lost hope. That was the charm of "Mr. Cub." Banks, the Hall of Fame slugger and two-time MVP who always maintained his boundless enthusiasm for baseball despite decades of playing on miserable teams, died Friday night. He was 83. The Cubs announced Banks' death, but did not provide a cause. Banks hit 512 home runs during his 19-year career and was fond of saying, "It's a great day for baseball. Let's play two." In fact, that sunny finish to his famous catchphrase adorns his statue outside Wrigley Field. "His joyous outlook will never be forgotten by fans of the Cubs and all those who love baseball," Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. And on a cold winter night Friday in Chicago, the ballpark marquee carried the sad news for the entire town to see: Ernie Banks. "Mr. Cub." 1931-2015. "Words cannot express how important Ernie Banks will always be to the Chicago Cubs, the city of Chicago and Major League Baseball. He was one of the greatest players of all time," Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said in a statement. "He was a pioneer in the major leagues. And more importantly, he was the warmest and most sincere person I've ever known." "Approachable, ever optimistic and kind hearted, Ernie Banks is and always will be Mr. Cub. My family and I grieve the loss of such a great and good-hearted man, but we look forward to celebrating Ernie's life in the days ahead." In a statement Saturday, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama expressed their condolences "to the family of Ernie Banks, and to every Chicagoan and baseball fan who loved him." The president said Banks became known as much for his optimism and love of the game as his home runs and back-to-back National League MVPs. "As a Hall-of-Famer, Ernie was an incredible ambassador for baseball, and for the city of Chicago," President Obama said. "He was beloved by baseball fans everywhere, including Michelle, who, when she was a girl, used to sit with her dad and watch him play on TV. And in 2013, it was my honor to present Ernie with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. "Somewhere, the sun is shining, the air is fresh, his team's behind him, and Mr. Class — "Mr. Cub" — is ready to play two." Though he was an 11-time All-Star from 1953-71, Banks never reached the postseason. The Cubs, who haven't won the World Series since 1908, finished below .500 in all but six of his seasons and remain without a pennant since 1945. Still, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977, the first year he was eligible, and was selected to baseball's All-Century team in 1999. "After hitting his 500th home run, Ernie summed up his feelings by saying: 'The riches of the game are in the thrills, not the money.'" Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said in a statement. "That was the essence of Ernie Banks. There was no one who adored the Cubs and the city of Chicago more than Ernie." Banks' infectious smile and non-stop good humor despite his team's dismal record endeared him to Chicago fans, who voted him the best player in franchise history. One famous admirer, actor Bill Murray, named his son Homer Banks Murray. In 2013, Banks was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom — by Obama, a noted White Sox fan,. The award is one of the nation's highest civilian honors. "Ernie Banks was more than a baseball player. He was one of Chicago's greatest ambassadors. He loved this city as much as he loved — and lived for — the game of baseball," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "This year, during every Cubs game, you can bet that No. 14 will be watching over his team. And if we're lucky, it'll be a beautiful day for not just one ballgame, but two." Banks' No. 14 was the first number retired by the Cubs, and it hangs on a flag from the left-field foul pole at the old ballpark. "I'd like to get to the last game of the World Series at Wrigley Field and hit three homers," he once said. "That was what I always wanted to do." But even without an opportunity to play on the October stage, Banks left an indelible mark that still resonates with fans and athletes from all sports. "Ernie Banks... We are going to all miss you. #Legend," quarterback Russell Wilson tweeted as he and the Seattle Seahawks were getting ready to defend their Super Bowl title. Banks was playing for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues when the Cubs discovered him in 1953, and purchased his contract for $10,000. He made his major league debut at shortstop on Sept. 17 that year, and three days later hit his first home run. Tall and thin, Banks didn't look like a typical power hitter. He looked even less so as he stood at the plate, holding his bat high and wiggling it as he waited for pitches. But he had strong wrists and a smooth, quick stroke, and he made hitting balls out of the park look effortless. When he switched to a lighter bat before the 1955 season, his power quickly became apparent. He hit 44 homers that season, including three against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Aug. 4. His five grand slams that year established a major league record that stood for more than 30 years before Don Mattingly hit six in 1987. Banks' best season came in 1958, when he hit .313 with 47 homers and 129 RBIs. Though the Cubs went 72-82 and finished sixth in the National League, Banks edged Willie Mays and Hank Aaron for his first MVP award. He was the first player from a losing team to win the NL MVP. Banks won the MVP again in 1959, becoming the first NL player to win it in consecutive years, even though the Cubs had another dismal year. Banks batted .304 with 45 homers and a league-leading 143 RBIs. He led the NL in homers again in 1960 with 41, his fourth straight season with 40 or more. His 248 homers from 1955-60 were the most in the majors, topping even Aaron and Mays. "Mr Cub. What you have done for the game of baseball the city of Chicago and everyone you have ever touched will never be forgotten. RIP," tweeted Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Though Banks didn't break the 40-homer barrier again after 1960, he topped the 100-RBI mark three more times, including 1969, his last full season. Then 38, he hit .253 with 23 home runs and 106 RBIs, and was chosen an All-Star for an 11th time. On May 12, 1970, he hit his 500th home run at Wrigley Field, becoming only the eighth player at the time to reach the plateau. Banks retired after the 1971 season. He owned most of the Cubs' career slugging records, some of which still stand today. Known mostly for his power at the plate, Banks was a solid fielder, too. He is best known as a shortstop, where he won a Gold Glove in 1960, but he switched to first base in 1962. He played 1,259 games at first and 1,125 games at shortstop. Born and raised in Dallas, Banks would be bribed to play catch by his father, who always wanted him to be a baseball player. Banks grew to love the game and was a standout in high school, along with participating in football, basketball and track and field. He joined a barnstorming Negro Leagues team at 17 and was spotted by Cool Papa Bell, who signed him to the Monarchs in 1950. Banks played one season before going into the Army. He returned to Kansas City after he was discharged, playing one more season before joining the Cubs. "He was one of the great crossover baseball players of his day," the Rev. Jesse Jackson said. "His personality was a racial bridge builder. He treated all people with dignity and respect. He never stopped reaching out to bridge the racial chasms." Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Mike Fitzpatrick from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Black Keys cancel Europe tour due to injury
Friday Jan 23, 2015
Black Keys cancel Europe tour due to injury

The Black Keys on Friday canceled a tour of Europe after the US duo's drummer Patrick Carney injured his shoulder. The Black Keys, known for their hard-edged garage rock sound, had been due to start a European tour in Zurich on February 16 and close it at the Zenith in Paris on March 10. The duo apologized to fans in a statement, saying that Carney's injury was "serious" and that he "needs time to heal." The Black Keys plan to go ahead with a tour of Australia, New Zealand and Japan starting on April 2 as well as appearances at summer festivals including Primavera Sound in Barcelona and Rockwave in Athens. The Black Keys' latest album "True Blue" takes a darker lyrical turn inspired in part by frontman Dan Auerbach's divorce. "True Blue" is contention for the Best Rock Album at the Grammy Awards next month. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.