Tag Archives entertainment

The Many Facets of Anna Kendrick

by

Screen Shot 2013-07-21 at 10.51.57 PMAt just 27-years-old, actress Anna Kendrick has already accomplished more than what many dream to achieve in their entire careers.  Though you may have only heard of her recently, she has been professionally acting since she was 12. While the rest of us were trying to identify newly emerging body parts and figuring out how to french kiss without our noses getting in the way, Kendrick was acting in the Broadway musical High Society — a role earned her a nomination for a Tony Award.

Most teens and tweens first knew Kendrick when she scored the role of Jessica Stanley in the blockbuster film-adaptation of Twilight.  From here, Kendrick went on to act in more sophisticated and dramatic roles such as Natalie Keener in the film Up in the Air, for which she was nominated for an Oscar.  Since then she dabbled in comedies, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and What to Expect When You’re Expecting.
In 2012, Anna showed the world she could sing in her role as Beca Mitchell in the comedy Pitch Perfect. Earlier this year, her version of the song “Cups,” which was featured in Pitch Perfect, aired on the radio and hit the US Top Ten charts.  I know, I know – it’s not fair for one person to have all this talent. She’s beautiful, talented, and one look at her Twitter page will convince you just how down-to-earth and human she actually is. But lucky us we get to enjoy her talents for years to come. Keep an eye out for her upcoming performance in Drinking Buddies, due out August 23rd.

 
Feature Image and Post Photo Courtesy of http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1555934208/nm0447695

Review: “White House Down”

by

WHD_FNL_1SHT-2I recently saw the movie White House Down. Generally, I was pleased with the movie. I was hesitant at first because I don’t like loud noises, and this was an action movie. Yet White House Down does not have a lot of cheap tricks to make you jump in your seat, which is a major positive. This is not the only positive, of course; the movie makes you think, is witty, and is an overall fun romp.

 White House Down hits some very funny notes, and the movie contains some dialog that makes you think about the nature of politics and how hard it is to be true to yourself when involved in it. For instance, the President (Jamie Foxx), looks up to Lincoln and tries to live up to the man that he reveres. Additionally, his character delivers one of the most poignant lines of the film, asserting that the President was not a politician at first; rather, the office made him a politician. It will make one ponder if this is true for today’s politicians in reality.

Whether you’re a political junkie, like to think or just enjoy a great action film, White House Down is for you! It has the high-energy that you want, things blowing up, and witty and timely dialog. It’s an overall “what if” about what would happen if Washington D.C. were to come under attack by terrorists.

The Power of Entertainment: B.E.T. Awards

by

bet-awards-2013If you’ve never witnessed the excitement of music, movies, television shows and fashion statements all at once, then you’ve probably never tuned in to the network, BET. Each year BET celebrates its success by having award shows. The show that “Anything can happen”, according to this year’s host, Chris Tucker. The 2013 BET awards was memorable because of its talented guests and performers in the entertainment industry.

I’ve been anticipating the exciting event all summer when it finally aired on Sunday June 30th. I was anxious to see what some of my favorite celebrities were wearing, who looked “Hot or Not”, and the most memorable performances. The most important event of the show consist of entertainers earning awards. Some of the categories included “Best new artist, best collaboration, best video, viewers choice”, and much more.

One of my favorite performances was by R&B legend R Kelly. His music has been around for generations and his talent has impacted new artists of the future. When he performed, his name was a trending topic on twitter, meaning millions of people were mentioning him in their tweets. He performed some of his most classic hits and the crowd went wild! Most of the guests in the audiences were singing along word for word.

Singer Chris Brown had a great opening performance and his dances were full of energy. He has always been a great performer and known for his talented skills. The BET awards gets better and better each year because there is always going to be something new for us to see. These performers plan and practice all year around, knowing that the performances are a huge deal to the guests and viewers at home watching.

The exciting genres of music such as hip hop, R&B, jazz, pop and reggae are celebrated with memorable performances. I am always thrilled to see will happen on next year’s show!

The Magic of Pixar

by

pixar-logo

The magic of Pixar is that it never gets old.

 Sure, there might have been some questionable ideas like Cars 2, but all of Pixar’s films are commercially successful.

As a whole, the company holds a Rotten Tomatoes score of 89%.

 Since the company released Toy Story, its first feature film, in 1995, it has won 27 Academy Awards, seven Golden Globe Awards, eleven Grammy Awards and an assortment of other awards.

Pixar knows how to appeal to children, but they know what will make an adult enjoy the film. Re-watching all of my old favorites has given me a fresh appreciation for the comedy they incorporate in the films.

The company has also played with my emotions because I’ve grown with it. I was three when Toy Story came out, and I was in my senior year of high school when Andy went to college 2010. I was eight when Mike Wazowski, Sully and Boo became a part of my life, and I finished my sophomore year of college when Pixar traveled back in time to show Mike and Sully at Monster University.

Pixar gets me. They get everybody.

I only know three of the next seven Pixar films in production, but I guarantee I’ll see all of them, whether it’s because I want to or my future kids want to. But who am I kidding? It’s for us and always will be. That’s the magic of Pixar.

Feature and Post Image Courtesy of http://collider.com/pixar-sequels-every-other-year/

Davey Havok: POP KIDS

by

PopKids
Davey Havok can now add “author” to his list of accomplishments. The brilliant singer and actor recently released his first book POP KIDS, and there is no doubt that the success of the book has been anything less than fantastic. The novel is about the addiction of social media, sex, and drugs, the opposite of the straightedge lifestyle Havok lives. The author talks to us about his writing process, desire to turn the book into a movie, and his plans to release a second novel.
CLICHÉ: What was your inspiration for POP KIDS?
Davey Havok: The effect I see on youth culture that modern media has had over the years since the beginning of the Internet and the beginning of social media, which has accelerated the rise of cultural celebrity and really morphs it in a very powerful way, is what really pushed me into the story that you’ll see in POP KIDS. I saw it both from a distance and a very close perspective.
Have you always wanted to write a book?
DV: I have. To say always would be an exaggeration, but I’ve enjoyed creative writing for a lot of my life. Writing a novel is something that I wanted to do and it wasn’t until 2008 that the general concept of POP KIDS hit me, and when it did, I just sat down and started writing it. Prior to that, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do within a story and even at that point I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but throughout the process, the story began to tell itself. I never wanted to write an autobiography, and I’m not versed enough in any one particular field to embark on a nonfiction piece, so a novel is the best way for me to write; I’m a big fan of fiction.
Can you explain your writing process?
DV: The spark came in the fall of 2008 and I began writing then. It was a long process; I was very busy at the time writing and recording the Crash Love album for A.F.I. Once the touring cycle was over, I spent the majority of 2010 writing for hours and hours and hours every day. It became quite obsessive for me.
Did you write on paper or a laptop?
DV: Macbook Air. A lot of it was done in different parts of the country and different parts of the world because I worked on it while I was on tour, but the majority of the book was written in Oakland.
When did you finish writing POP KIDS?
DV: The final version of what we have now was finished in the fall/winter of 2010.
How does it feel to hold the finished product of POP KIDS in your hands after all this time working on it?
DV: It’a surreal experience to hold it and it’s really exciting. It’s really satisfying, gratifying, and odd. Certainly reading it in its true book form is such a surreal pleasure for me to see physically. The book itself feels very nice.
When naming your characters, did you relate them to your friends? For example, is the character “Star” named after Jeffree Star?
DV: No, no she’s very different than Jeffree. The character’s true names came from different places. I felt that the names suited the character in one way or another based on my relationship with someone with the same name in real life or just my perception of that name. As you see, the characters’ screen names were given to themselves by themselves as they felt appropriate for their own personas.
The character “Score: is italian and vegetarian. Did you base this character off yourself?
DV: Barely, I mean, some of the interests Score professes have the facade of his greater persona and could correlate to my own, but he is so wildly empty we truly have little in common.
At the end of the book, Score says “I’m tempted to tell her. But I won’t. I’m tempted to say it out loud. But I don’t need to. She already knows. We both do.” Is that going to be explained deeper into the second book?
DV: That moment is for the reader to decide. I as the author absolutely know what Score wanted to say and Stella knows the truth. Score lies to himself and to the reader frequently, but not at that moment. That is the moment of truth for the young man.
I watched the trailer for the prologue of POP KIDS. Would you ever consider turning the book into a movie?
DV: Absolutely. With the right producer and the right director, I would love to have that opportunity. It would be such an ambitious pursuit for someone. They would have to truly love the book due to its explicit nature and how really upsetting and awful it is and how those explicit moments really define the characters in a way. I would love to have the opportunity to work with Harmony Korine. I mean, what he’s done really speaks to me and what he’s done recently with Spring Breakers really highlights culturally what I was trying to highlight with POP KIDS.
Have you started working on the second book?
DV: I began working on the second book almost immediately after finishing POP KIDS. I feel that for the process of writing the first book and it being the first book I’ve ever written, I learned a bit and I feel that I will be able to finish the second novel faster so that it will hopefully be better written, but we shall see.
What other projects are you currently working on?
DV: Right now our agent is discussing a Blaqk Audio tour and I’m working on the second novel.
 
Read the full story on p. 138 in our June/July issue!

The 11th Doctor: What He Leaves Us

by

343563-doctor-who-matt-smith
Over the years, Matt Smith–who played the Doctor–has fought giant eyeballs, Cybermen, Dalek, and a host of other beings in Doctor Who. He has met Vincent Van Gogh, Winston Churchill, and Richard Nixon. He has saved the world many times over with only his “cool bow-tie” and sonic screwdriver. Of all the things the eleventh Doctor will be remembered for, it will be for his four great companions and his scary battles against the Weeping Angels and the Silence.
Amy Pond, as a child played by Caitlin Blackwood and as an adult played by Karen Gillan, shows the Doctor for what he has always been, a “mad man in a box.” She grows to be the center of much of the his emotions, from heartache to joy. It was very clear that she would have a lasting effect on the Doctor. Meanwhile, Rory Williams, played by Arthur Darvill, was able to give the Doctor a challenge and deep friendship. Where Amy would let the Doctor be the Doctor, Rory was quick to give the man limits. Rory may not have started off as a strong character, but he quickly developed into a being that was beyond worthy of traveling with the Doctor. He was made even cuter by the fact that his great victories meant nothing compared to having a simple life with his family.
On the other hand, River Song, played by Alex Kingston, was truly an amazing source of entertainment over the last few seasons. So much of her character was fleshed out and evolved with the eleventh Doctor. She earned the right to be called his match and showed how truly sad her death in season four was to the Doctor. No woman will ever be able to replace her.
These three companions helped the Doctor face the Weeping Angels and the Silence, two monsters I’d hate to be alone with. Their terror steamed from the fact that looking away for one second, even blinking, could mean the death of you. While I Dalek and Cybermen could kill you in a number of horrible ways, the fact that your survival was linked to your ability to keep eye contact elevated the Weeping Angels and Silence to a higher threat level. It is hard to image keeping your eyes open for very long. Add that with the other nasty tricks these monsters had, it was clear that without the Doctor around, you wouldn’t stand much of a chance.
The Eleventh Doctor’s last companion will be Clara Oswald, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman. While she has been only around for half a season, she has been in some of the best episodes of season seven. It will be a joy to see where her character will go after the amazing season seven finale.
While Matt Smith will be saying goodbye to the role of the Doctor, he has left behind a rich history for fans of the series. His run was marked with great losses and amazing surprises. We watched the rebirth of worlds through him and the rise of some amazing companions. The death of the eleventh Doctor will be a sad one, but will not be the end to the story. Mat Smith will be added to the collection of timeless actors who honored us with their versions of the greatest time lord: the Doctor.

Epic: A Family Classic

by

Epic

Recently, I saw the film Epic. I knew before sitting down that I would be watching a new take on old ideas. From the trailers, I thought the film would be like Arthur and The Invisibles, or FernGully: The Last Rainforest. In a way, it was. It dealt with a human being turned into a smaller size to help save nature from an evil force. With that said, I was shocked at how grown up the story was.
Epic has a bunch of characters that felt human and showed a side of strength that never gets played much in animated films. In the face of death, there is hope and the importance of moving forward. Many of the key characters show that while losing someone is painful, life is beautiful and worth fighting for. There is no whining or complaining about how life is unfair. There is just understanding that sometimes, life takes the ones you love from you. The only thing you can do is work to be the best you and to create the best future in the name of those you have lost. In time, new life comes into the world, and though it can not replace what was lost, it shows why we dare to care in the first place. The message of the film is simple and not overly stated. It is quite and beautiful, just like nature.
The film’s touching story telling is matched perfectly with the imagery. There was one moment in the film that I felt as I were in a real forest. It is not easy to create moments that tell volumes without anything being said, but this film was able to create such a thing. Epic is a movie that should be owned in every family and should be seen in theaters while you still can.

Death In Paradise: Cast Change

by

One of my favorite shows is Death In Paradise, a British mystery show set in the Caribbean. When I started watching it, I quickly fell in love with the cast and characters. They have a realistic dynamic that is normally lacking in the mystery genre. It is often that one character is smart then the rest of the cast tries to understand what’s going on. I found it fun watching Ben Miller play Detective Inspector Richard Poole, a man who is amazing at solving crimes, but awkward around other people. I also enjoy Sara Martins as Detective Sergeant Camille Bordey, a smart, charming woman who often lovingly mocks Richard’s odd behavior. Gary Carr’s character of Fidel grows into a stronger investigator as the series goes on, and I like Danny John-Jules as Dwayne as the more laid back, easygoing member of the group. The cast does an amazing job of making the show fun to watch.
Screen Shot 2013-05-27 at 10.45.38 PM
So as Death In Paradise films its third season, I am sad to say that Ben Miller will be leaving the show and replaced by another actor, Kris Marshall. The cast change will be shock to the structure of the show since much of the humor came from watching the very British DI Poole deal with the tropical heat and new cultural when all he wants to do is return to London. I am hopeful that Death in Paradise will still remain an enjoyable past time even without Ben Miller.

Gatsby’s Soundtrack, ‘a triumph. What thoroughness! What realism!’

by

gatsby

The buzz about this soundtrack is almost as colossal as the movie itself. Almost. When news got out that hip hop mogul Jay-Z would be producing the soundtrack for Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, music critics and fans of the original novel were eager to find out what direction the rapper would go in. The public was naturally curious as to how a hip hop giant of the 21st century could pull a soundtrack together for a movie set in the Roaring Twenties. Not surprisingly, Jay-Z pulled out the big guns for this project, including wife Beyoncé, Andre 3000, Gotye, The xx, and Florence + the Machine, to name only a few. The addition of the retro-inspired Lana Del Rey, an obviously natural fit for the soundtrack, diversified the set even more.

Like the movie, the soundtrack is a gamble. Most people agree that Jay-Z took an epic risk using modern day hip hop and pop artists for a film that is so symbolic of such a defining time period in our history. Naturally, critical reception of the soundtrack has been mixed. Some critics describe it as a sort of hodgepodge of mismatched tracks that are wildly inappropriate, and far from representative, considering the time period of the original novel’s setting. Fans of the soundtrack beg to differ, instead interpreting it as a carefully crafted fusion of modern day hip hop, jazz, pop, and alternative music that is largely symbolic of the canonized novel. One look at the titles of the tracks Jay-Z chose, such as Goyte’s “Hearts a Mess,” and it’s obvious they were indeed meticulously selected to serve as a musical manifestation of the film’s focal point: the tortured romance of the relentless Jay Gatsby and the always flighty Daisy Buchanan.

As with the film itself, the jury is still out on the soundtrack. Even so, there is no doubting the unmistakable cinematic quality of this soundtrack that Jay-Z was able to capture with his carefully selected musical contributions. The tracklist, while controversial, is undoubtedly worth the buzz. It’s a flawlessly evocative parallel to the film itself, increasingly compelling and climactic from one track to the next. Highlights include the arrestingly haunting “Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Rey, as well as the unexpected, flapper-esque cover of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” by Emeli Sandé featuring the Bryan Ferry Orchestra. 

The Great Gatsby Soundtrack is now available for purchase on iTunes for $15.99.