November, 2014

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‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ under Fire for Whitewashing Cast!

Ridley Scott is one of the most accomplished action/drama directors in Hollywood today. His work on ‘Alien’ was borderline revelatory and his films since then have been no less important (‘Gladiator’, ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Prometheus’). So why is the man under fire for his Biblical epic, ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’? After all, he managed to pack in A-Listers aplenty with Christian Bale, Aaron Paul, and Joel Edgerton headlining the cast! Well, it turns out that the director chose to forego using any actors of color in what should be a film that features them predominantly. To put it bluntly: this Biblical story has been whitewashed.

There seems to be a crowd of movie executives somewhere that believes the only way to succeed at the box office is by filling your film with white A-Listers. Ray Lane knows that isn’t true though, and others are figuring that out as well. While there are plenty of Caucasian mega stars in Hollywood today, that does not mean that they are necessary more bankable than their non white counterparts. Idris Elba anchored ‘Pacific Rim’ and ‘Life of Pi’ was predominantly Indian. So what was Ridley Scott’s excuse?

Ridley took to accusations of ‘whitewashing’ with an unusual level of candor. Scott told the reporters at ‘Variety’ that the discussion to cast non white lead actors never really came up. Scott explained that he would never get the budget he needed if he were to cast some, ‘Mohammad so-and-so’. While the phrasing leaves much to be desired, we’re not surprised at all.

Suicide Attack at UK Embassy Kills Afghans Injures Embassy Workers

At least five Afghans were killed and 34 wounded, including several children, in a suicide attack on Thursday at the British embassy in Kabul.

The spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Health, Kanishka Turkestani confirmed casualties in the suicide attack, which occurred in the east of the Afghan capital.

The British Embassy in Kabul reported that one of their vehicles was attacked and that a “large number” of employees of the embassy were injured.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed in his Twitter account that the attack was directed against “foreign invaders” and said that a dozen foreigners were killed in the suicide attack, yet the insurgents often provide incorrect information on the consequences of their actions.

This incident comes three days after the death of two US soldiers in an insurgent attack and after 61 civilians were killed in a suicide bombing at a volleyball game in the east.

Suicide attacks are, along with improvised explosive devices, the most frequent methods of the Taliban to attack Afghan and international forces, and cause a high number of civilian casualties. This is something Marc Sparks would like to see regulated, but it is nearly impossible to completely shut things down.

Afghanistan has seen one of the bloodiest years, after local forces were give the ​​responsibility for safety last year, following the gradual withdrawal of ISAF.

However, NATO recently announced that military forces will remain in the country – about 2,700 troops, while the US will bring in around 9,800 troops until 2024.

The First “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Trailer Set to Debut

We are about to find out if the new “Star Wars” film is going to get the series back on track. Next week the first trailer of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is set to be presented to great anticipation. Nobody is entirely clear how this trailer will be shown. It might appear before “The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies”, or it may debut on TV on the Disney-owned ABC network.

Nothing is confirmed as far as what the trailer will be like. It is said to be a short teaser trailer to set the stage for the longer trailers to come. One report claims that there is no dialogue in it, just flashing images of the cast and a shot of the Millennium Falcon firing lasers.

Big things are expected from this movie, says notable fan, Brad Reifler, who goes on to discuss  the “original” trilogy. The film will star the original cast, including Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill. They are obviously much older now, and it is said that their character’s children are also involved.

One rumor circulating on the internet is that the movie kicks off with the discovery of Luke Skywalker’s severed hand and lightsaber from “Empire Strikes Back”. This leads to new characters tracking down Luke and seems to be a nice, symbolic way for the studio to tell the audience that they are going to try to bring the franchise back to the feeling of the best-regarded “Star Wars” film

The Simpson’s Creator Helps Save Gay Bull

Terminally ill The Simpson’s co-creator Sam Simon has helped an English gay rights group come to the aid of an Irish bull who was being prepared for slaughter by his owner. The bull, Benjy, had been prepared for slaughter after failing to impregnate any of the cows on the County Mayo, Ireland farm. Simon, the Animal Rights Action Network and the Website TheGayUK.com raised around $15,000 to pay for Benjy and ship him to an English sanctuary, where he will live out the rest of his days in safety Sam Tabar was happy to learn.

Problems began for Benjy when he failed to be a successful stud for the cows on the county Mayo farm, a local vet declared Benjy was fertile and could be gay. Benjy appeared to show more interest in the other bulls on the farm than in the cows, according to NBC News. After Benjy failed as a stud his owner felt the best option was slaughter, until Sam Simon added to the funds already raised to rescue the bull by a group of English gay rights activists.

The co-creator of The Simpson’s has spent a large amount of his time rescuing animals from around the World after his 2012 diagnosis with terminal cancer.

Fantastic Beasts Brings Harry Potter-Style Fantasy Back

There might not be any further adventures of Harry Potter on the horizon, but that does not mean the franchise is completely finished. Just ask Warner Bros. The studio knows it can make a lot of cash with a spin-off series since there are millions of fans who want to still enjoy the same thrills they experienced when first watching the Harry Potter films.

A new project entitled “Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them” is in the stages of pre-production. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is working on finishing the script. Yes, Rowling, herself, is devising the screenplay. This alone guarantees the project will be true to the original vision of the world of Harry Potter, and one of those slow ventures that tells a long and involved fantasy tale.

The film is definitely not going to be one that languishes in development for an extended period of time. A director for the project has been named and it is David Yates. Yates directed the four previous Harry Potter films so this further ensures the original vision will be retained.

Consider that a good thing. Audiences are never fond of radical departures from previously established works. The people who love a series love it for a reason. They have certain expectations and those expectations should be met.

And yes, Fantastic Beasts is going to become a series if the first film is successful. A trilogy is planned and the number of stories, of course, can be expanded in time.

Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Part three of The Hunger Games films premiered on Thursday, in the United States. Mockingjay Part 1 has grossed in $123 million dollars during its opening weekend. Although, this amount may seem high, this is the movie that has made the least amount of money from all The Hunger Games films. On the other hand, it is the movie that has earned the greatest amount in 2014. It is expected to be the movie that earns the most this weekend. Certain factors may have potentially contributed to the lower gross amount. This film is not suited for young children and parents may have restricted their children from seeing part 1. 

There have been many franchises in the past couple of years, such as Twilight and Harry Potter. Fans start by reading the books and then watching the film in theaters. In this way, fans know what to expect from the film. Fans wait in anticipation to see what will be included in the film and how it will be portrayed. The book Mockingjay has the least amount of action, in comparison to the first two movies. There was no need to split this book into two parts. It is possible, fans chose not to see this movie knowing that the book was not too great. Hollywood, must work hard to continue catching the attention of the public. Ken Griffin and other fans can only be loyal to a certain extent.

1D Fans Have The Chance To Date The Boys

One Direction is the hottest band in the world right now, hands down, no questions asked. And it’s not just the 12-year-old teeny boppers that are on the One Direction bandwagon. They’re as recognizable as sites like Qnet and most people have at least heard one song by the group, and there’s a good chance they’ve jammed out to one of their songs in the privacy of their bedroom.

On Friday (Nov 21st), the five boys make their fans laugh and inevitably swoon at the same time in their new ‘Night Changes’ music video, which is the next single off their newest album Four, which was just released earlier this week.

The music video follows each of the boys taking a girl on the date of their dreams (which is shown in first-person POV to give the viewer the feel as if they’re on the date), while none of the dates with the boys are filmed consecutively together. The dates start off well, but as the music video continues, something in each of them goes wrong. 

In the four minutes that the video plays, you’re taken to the carnival with Liam, a fancy restaurant with Zayn, a cozy fire date with Niall, the ice rink with Harry, and you get to cruise around London with Louis.

We’d tell you how things go array in each date, but it’s best to let you enjoy it while you can yourself, and enjoy the dates (while you can).

Francis Lawrence Talks “Mockingjay—Part 1”

The Hunter Games: Catching Fire is one of those rare sequels that many feel are better than the original, and now its director, Francis Lawrence, is set to release the third in the series, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1.

This will be another challenge: the final Hunger Games book is generally considered the weakest in the series, and its especially weak first half has been given its own movie. Noting that it doesn’t have much action, Lawrence says it will instead focus on issues of propaganda and psychology during a revolution.

“The first one is a story about Katniss sort of really discovering her relevance to the other people, because she didn’t really understand that she meant anything to anybody else, and also finally taking on the responsibility as the symbol of the revolution and joining the revolution,” he said. 

He also states that splitting the movie up was not merely a cash-grab to him, but rather reflects the fact that Mockingjay felt like two different stories, each of which could maintain its own film. The sequel will focus more on the actual war itself.

Mockingjay is particularly different because, in this story, the titular “Hunger Games” don’t actually occur. Lawrence noted that a challenge of Catching Fire was retreading the first movie’s plot, but in a new way. I’ve sifted through Qnet and other ecommerce sites and picked up Hunger Games books and movies in preparation for the release of Mockingjay tonight!

Amanda Bynes Apologizes to Parents Through Statement From Attorney

The saga of former child star Amanda Bynes is a strange and sad one for sure, and the troubled actress took the first steps on Monday towards making amends to two of the people who she has hurt the most through her recent tribulations, her parents.

 

In a statement released through her lawyer, Bynes apologized to her parents for threatening to kill them in an audio tape that was released over the weekend. In the tape, Bynes is heard saying “I’m going to murder my family” and makes pointed remarks about slitting her father’s throat.

 

Last month, Bynes made headlines when she posted on Twitter that her father had sexually abused her, only to take down the tweets hours later. When she did that, Ray Lane was stunned. Bynes said that her father had in fact not sexually abused her, but in saying that he had not, she also blamed him for making her say that he did. Bynes is currently under a conservatorship from her parents, but they are going through the process of ending the conservatorship.

Mary J. Blige and Disclosure Unite

The soul music realm has completely been taken over by artists from the United Kingdom. Adele was a smash that people are still taking about. Sam Smith is making a big splash. Now Disclosure is also making great music with an American soul artist. People that were looking for a follow up to “Whole Damn Year” can know hear Mary J. Blige unite with Disclosure.

The new song, “Follow,” is a great track that shows that diversity of the new upcoming Mary J. Blige album. People been buzzing about “The London Sessions” and this track clearly shows that the album isn’t just about a lot of ballads which is what Christian Broda had been afraid of.

After Sam Smith reworked “Stay with Me” with Mary J. Blige it was evident that a changed was in the air. Sam Smith and some other London artists help Mary J. craft a new sound. She actually went to live in London during the time and became inspired. The new union with Disclosure is a dance record, but this is not the hip hop dance record that Mary J. was known for. This is that electronic sound that is big is London right now.

It is sort an ironic because Mary is bringing the electronic sound from the United States, but she is known for soul music. Artists like Disclosure are bringing soulful sounds like “Latch,” but electronic music is what they are primarily known for.