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HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE

Friday
Mar062015

"Chappie," "Unfinished Business," "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" Open Friday

Sony / Columbia(NEW YORK) -- Here's a look at the new movies opening nationwide Friday:

-- Chappie: Dev Patel is an engineer in South Africa who, through his artificial intelligence program, creates the titular robot. However, they're kidnapped by a small group of gangsters, threatening to corrupt Chappie. Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley and the South African rap-punk-techno group Die Antwoord also star. Rated R.

-- Unfinished Business: Vince Vaughn is a small business owner who, with his two associates, heads to Europe for a business trip that becomes pretty wild. Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco, Sienna Miller, Nick Frost and James Marsden also star. Rated R.

-- The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the setting for the 2012 movie of the same name, seeks to expand, as a couple of newcomers arrive, including one played by Richard Gere. Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton and Dev Patel return. Rated PG.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Mar062015

Paula Patton 'Thankful' in Wake of Split from Robin Thicke

Ida Astute/ABC(NEW YORK) -- Actress Paula Patton say she’s getting through her highly publicized split from singer husband Robin Thicke by being grateful for the good in her life.

“I mean, it's so easy for all of us to focus on the negative things. But usually the positive in your life outweighs that,” she told ABC's Good Morning America’s co-anchor, Robin Roberts. “And you have to just be thankful for what you have right now.”

The Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol actress has a 4-year-old son, Julian, with the 37-year-old "Blurred Lines" singer. Amid rumors of his infidelity, Patton separated from Thicke last year and filed for divorce months later.

They were married in 2005.

Patton, 39, acknowledged that she’s stronger as a result of what has happened.

“I'm doing really well,” Patton, 39, said. “I mean, the honest truth is it has been challenging, but it's been a year of growth…learning about all new things.”

She added: “My son's happy and I'm very -- you know, I feel like everything happens for a reason. And then you have to move on and grow from there.”

Patton is busy with new projects -- including a clothing line collaboration with designer Ellen Tracy.

"It was kind of an amazing blessing," Patton said. "Ellen Tracy came to me and said, 'Would you like to be our brand ambassador?' And I looked at the clothing and -- amazing. It's really well made, classic clothing that's affordable. But what I liked about it was that you could, like, add your own twist to it...you can make it as edgy or quirky as you want and add your personality to it."


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Mar062015

Big Apple Comic Con Turns 20

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Saturday marks the 20th annual Big Apple Comic Con in New York City.

Mike Carbonaro, one of the most prolific comic collectors in the world, founded the convention, and tells ABC Radio the event is special because he tries "to make it at a place where everybody can get to whatever they want to."

This year's guests include the convention's usual compliment of notables from the worlds of comics, TV, movies and pop culture, including wrestler and actor Roddy Piper, Walking Dead actors Moses Moseley and Theshay West, martial artist and Power Rangers actor Jason David Frank, and more comic artists and dealers than ever.

Carbonaro says he's seen some changes as geek culture has gone more and more mainstream -- thanks in no small part to the success of superhero movies like The Avengers, and TV shows like Gotham and Arrow.

The convention lets fans of all kinds get together -- and that was intentional, Carbonaro explains.

"I was one of the first guys in the 90s -- when we started Big Apple 20 years ago -- to try to insert...not just the comic books. Add the wrestlers, add the models, add the Star Wars actors, have the celebrities. Bring in the comic artists....And then the [superhero] films come along and just take everything to the next level and all of a sudden, you have everyone coming in costume to the contest and that's amazing."

The event takes place at the Penn Plaza Pavilion in Manhattan.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Mar062015

Movie Review: “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” (Rated PG)

Fox Searchlight(NEW YORK) -- At the start of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Maggie Smith’s Muriel scolds a waiter for consistently bringing her lukewarm water for her tea, quipping, “At my age, I don’t have time.”

Did anybody tell her this movie is two hours long? I start getting antsy at 1:45, and I’m half her age.

In this sequel to 2011’s hit The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Sonny (Dev Patel) and Muriel fly to the United States, hoping to get a major senior-living chain to go into business with them, so they can buy a nearby property in India and open The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and ultimately open similar facilities all over India. The company dispatches an undercover inspector to check out Sonny’s place before making their decision.

Back in India, we discover just about everybody is back from the first movie, including Judi Dench, Celia Imrie, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Ronald Pickup, Diana Hardcastle, and Lillete Dubay. Sonny is also on the verge of getting married and has an engagement party and wedding plans to deal with, but his professional ambitions may get in the way.

The various plot lines grow a little long in the tooth, with the best one being Evelyn (Dench) landing a job, at 79 years old, as head fabric buyer for a clothing company. It’s a reassuring story that gives the divine Dench plenty of opportunity to show off her legendary acting skills. It’s also fun to see her go toe-to-toe with Smith.

Richard Gere plays a man who may or may not be the hotel inspector. Either way, the ladies love having him around but he’s only got eyes for Sonny’s mother (Dubey). It’s one of the many silly stories being told in the sequel that doesn’t live up to the charm and intelligence of the first film. Sonny’s behavior in particular is so over the top and ill-advised, it’s almost too stupid to even be considered farce.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
is a good place to check into if you want to take a nap, because frankly, while the actors give it their best shot, the story is boring. 

Two out of five stars.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Mar062015

Movie Review: “Chappie” (Rated R)

Sony / Columbia(NEW YORK) -- My visceral reaction to writer-director Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie? I loved it!

My critical, discerning reaction to Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie? It’s got some issues.

Johannesburg, South Africa -- Jo’burg, as it’s called here -- is fraught with crime. Instead of solving the issue through better governance, education and extracurricular youth programs (which makes for boring sci-fi), the city becomes the first in the world to utilize a police force of gun-wielding law enforcement robots called Scouts. 

Stop me if you’ve heard this concept before.

If you’ve seen the trailer for Chappie, it immediately conjures up memories of RoboCop, The Terminator, Short Circuit, I, Robot, The Iron Giant, Wall-E, and Boyhood. Okay, I’m kidding about Boyhood, but from the start, Chappie clearly is a derivative movie that gives you that old “been there, done that” feeling. That is, until you sit down and watch it.

Sigourney Weaver plays Michelle Bradley, the head of the company that makes the Scouts. Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel (who can also be seen this weekend in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) is Deon, the engineer who created the police robots and is on the verge of inventing a program that will turn them into sentient beings. At the same time, a mullet-wearing Hugh Jackman (brilliant. I mean the mullet, though Hugh’s excellent, too) is an ex-army officer who works for Bradley’s company and has developed his own crime-fighting robot, but his beast of a machine is remotely controlled by a person wearing a helmet that allows them to control the robot with his or her mind. 

Bradley isn’t keen on Deon’s breakthrough, but that’s not going to stop Deon. She isn’t keen on Hugh’s machine, either, but guess what? That’s also not going to stop Hugh.

Deon implants his artificial intelligence program into a damaged droid that was due to be destroyed.  That’s when both Deon and Chappie are kidnapped by a small group of “gangstas,” played by South African rap-punk-techno group Die Antwoord, who want Deon to deactivate the police robots so they can pull off a million-dollar heist to pay off a debt. This is where the seedy underbelly of Blomkamp’s Jo’burg rears its ugly, kinetic, gang-banging head. Deon wants to teach Chappie to be as human as possible -- a doting father who wants to impart important life lessons to his child. His kidnappers have other plans.

Blomkamp has said he came up with the idea for Chappie while listening to Die Antwoord’s music. The duo, comprised of Yolandi Visser, a waifish, bleached-blonde Lady Gaga lookalike, and Ninja, a tatted-up, mostly shirtless, Vanilla Ice lookalike, informs the look and feel of this movie. The good news is, it infuses Chappie with a frenetic originality. The bad news:  Yolandi and Ninja, playing exaggerated versions of themselves, are terrible actors. Fun to watch, but terrible actors.

Sharlto Copley, however, is just the opposite.  The actor Blomkamp introduced to us in 2009’s District 9 plays Chappie in a tremendous motion-capture performance that elicits immediate empathy. It’s also a seamless motion-capture effect, perhaps more impressive than the last Planet of the Apes film, which was itself spectacular.

The inherent problem with Chappie, though, is that its philosophical themes about artificial intelligence and humanity get a bit lost in Blomkamp’s fondness for destruction. There’s also the issue of how derivative it is, as well as a continuity issue, when Blomkamp uses a storytelling device at the beginning of the movie that makes very little sense by the movie’s end.

Even with its faults, however, Chappie isn’t a bad movie. It’s visually jaw-dropping, and has enough
thrilling and emotional moments to likely win you over.

Three-and-a-half out of five stars.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar052015

Harrison Ford Injured in Plane Crash

ABC News(VENICE, Calif.) -- Harrison Ford was injured when the World War II-era single-engine plane he was piloting crashed on a golf course near Santa Monica, California.

Ford, 72, was forced to make an emergency landing at Penmar Golf Course, just west of Santa Monica Municipal Airport, at 2:20 p.m. PST on Thursday after the engine of the Ryan ST3KR plane he was flying failed, said NTSB and Los Angeles fire officials.

He was taken to a nearby hospital in "fair to moderate" condition, said Patrick Butler with the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Ford was "banged up" and receiving medical care, said his publicist, Ina Treciokas, who described the actor's injuries as non-life threatening.

Ford reported engine trouble shortly after taking off from Santa Monica Municipal Airport and asked for an immediate return to the airport, said NTSB investigator Patrick Jones. He then reported that his aircraft came up short of the runway, according to air traffic controller transmissions from LiveATC.net.

The vintage airplane that Ford was piloting clipped a tree before crashing, said Jones.

Elaine Miller told ABC station KABC-TV that the pilot was able to speak and "expressed that he was in pain." She and several others helped him out of the plane after it crashed.

"He had a significant head wound," said Miller. "He asked someone to hold his legs up, and people were just saying, 'you’re okay, the fire department is on its way,' and...once police and fire started to arrive, my friends and I sort of backed away and went to the other side of the course to give them room."

 



Carlos Gomez, who lives across the street from the golf course, described the plane crash as sounding like a boom.

"I hear a lot of ambulances and I come outside and see people from the golf course pull a man from the plane," he said. "He was moving his arms and legs. I was happy he was alive and not paralyzed."

Ford's son tweeted that his father was "battered, but ok!"

 

 



The NTSB will recover the airplane Friday, said Jones.

An avid pilot, Ford told ABC's Barbara Walters in 2008 that he "loved the freedom of flight."

"I love the places you go," he said. "I love the people in aviation, the people that I meet in aviation. I love seeing the world from an airplane. I'm in love with flying."

Ford survived a crash once before. He and a flight instructor crashed a helicopter near Van Nuys Airport in California in 1999, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Ford has worked to support general aviation with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and he presented a legacy award in his name to the president of the association in January.

Ford broke his leg on the set of Star Wars: Episode VII in June 2014 after a door crashed down on it. He had successful surgery following the incident.

 



Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar052015

Kelly Clarkson Fires Back at Fat Shamer

ABC/ Ida Mae Astute(NEW YORK) -- Kelly Clarkson doesn't care what anyone thinks about her weight, not even Britain's "most hated woman."

The singer came under fire last month after showing off a fuller figure during an appearance on the British show Graham Norton Live.

Journalist and reality star Katie Hopkins, known as "the most hated woman in Britain," blasted Clarkson's size on Twitter.

"What happened to Kelly Clarkson?" Hopkins wrote on Feb. 20. "Did she eat all of her backing singers? Happily I have wide-screen."

She went on: "Darling, if you had a baby a year ago, that is not baby weight. It is fat. Quit calling it cute names to make yourself feel better."

Hopkins, who gained her reputation as the villain on The Apprentice UK, didn't leave it there.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday, she said, "Kelly Clarkson is now a chunky monkey, if we’re putting it kindly. She does look like she’s eaten her backup singers. My advice: she needs to get out there with her stroller and do some pushing and get some of that weight off."

Clarkson, who gave birth to daughter River Rose last June, was unfazed -- even puzzled -- by the fat-shaming comments when first asked about them by Heat magazine.

"I don't have a clue what you're talking about," she told the magazine. "Someone tweeted something about me?"

After the reporter explained who Hopkins is and what she'd said, Clarkson laughed.

"Oh, and she's tweeted something nasty about me? That's because she doesn't know me," she said. "I'm awesome! It doesn't bother me. It's a free world. Say what you will."

Added Clarkson, "I've just never cared what people think. It's more if I'm happy and I'm confident and feeling good. That's always been my thing. And more so now, since having a family -- I don't seek out any other acceptance."


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar052015

Martha Stewart to 'Roast' Justin Bieber

Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Say what?!

Martha Stewart is slated to roast Justin Bieber, 21, later this month for his Comedy Central special that airs later this month.

The mogul will join roastmaster Kevin Hart for the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber, which also features Snoop Dogg, Ludacris and Shaquille O’Neal, according to a release on the network's website.

Hart recently dished to MTV on what to expect from the highly-anticipated roast.

"He'll be fine, that's a great friend of mine. I'm not going to be malicious, we'll throw a couple jabs here and there, but it's all about setting the tone," Hart told MTV News over the weekend. "It's all in fun."

Hart added that he's not trying to make the pop singer cry on his 21st birthday on March 30.

"We don't," he said. "[Almost crying] where his face shakes. I don't want to make him cry, I just want to make his face shake. Then, go 'I'm kidding Bieb.'"

The 21-year-old icon has been a good sport about the whole thing, even doing funny promos with him getting egged -- a poke at his trouble the last few years.

The Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber premieres at 10 p.m. EST on March 30 on Comedy Central.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar052015

Mary Mary Says New Season of Reality Show Is About 'Evolving'

PR NEWSWIRE

(NEW YORK) -- Season four of Mary Mary's hit self-titled WeTV reality show won't be like the last. Last year, the gospel duo took a break from creating music together, split from their longtime manager, and endured the death of their father. As if that wasn't enough, Tina Campbell revealed that her husband, American Idol drummer Teddy Campbell, was unfaithful to her. So why did the ladies keep cameras rolling?

"We had to come back because we believed that [if] we allowed to show the bad then you have to see the good," Erica Campbell tells ABC Radio. "I was like, 'Tina we have to do a season four because God has to show how he fixes things because he can fix things.' And if we would've just left it with season three you would've been left with all that devastation. We would not let that be the last thing that you remember."

Tina says that since learning of her husband's transgressions, the two have come a long way. Teddy re-proposes to Tina and the two renew their vows this season. "I'm appreciative for love again," she explains. "It's kind of just like a testament of wow, real love can really make it through something. To look back at it now, we're evolving. We're growing."

The ordeal has also helped Tina's career: she's decided to go solo with an album called It's Personal. If you recall last season, Erica went solo with her Grammy Award-winning album, Help, much to Tina's dismay. Tina explains why she decided to go solo after giving her sister a hard time.

"After dealing with the devastation of my marriage...[I had] to heal through that. While I'm trying to heal, the things that I'm using to heal I did not know that that was what I was going to be giving to the world," she explains. "It was just for me, it was for God, it was to encourage myself, it was to remind myself, it was to reflect and kind of keep moving forward."

Tina previewed one song on the album, which comes out in May. "Like this one song, it goes, 'This body is the temple of the Lord. This body is the temple of the Lord...' and it's like this chant," she describes. "I wrote a song telling myself that because I was using my hands for violence, I was using my mouth to kill people with it. My thoughts and everything were evil, violent, homicidal, suicidal."

Tina says she wrote so many songs and words of encouragement during her healing process that she's even coming out with a book, titled I Need a Day to Pray.

Whether the sisters come together to produce another Mary Mary album, Erica and Tina say you have to tune into their show. They also detailed what you can expect this season, such as "seeing what forgiveness looks like," Tina says, before adding, "trying to figure out what to do with the group."

Watch it all when Mary Mary returns Thursday at 10 p.m. ET/PT.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar052015

Neil Patrick Harris Doesn't Think He'll Host Oscars Again

ABC/Craig Sjodin(LOS ANGELES) -- Neil Patrick Harris had some big shoes to fill as host of the 87th Oscars following Ellen Degeneres.

The reception of Harris was split, some liking what the How I Met Your Mother star had to bring to the table -- magic, dancing, sarcastic jokes -- while others were not so welcoming.

Harris, 41, told the Huffington Post in a recent interview that he doesn't think he'll come back and host again.

"I don’t know that my family nor my soul could take it," he said. "It’s a beast. It was fun to check off the list, but for the amount of time spent and the understandable opinionated response, I don’t know that it's a delightful balance to do every year or even again."

Harris admitted that he didn't follow the online responses to his hosting duties last month "obsessively," but that "it was interesting to see just what people thought landed and didn’t. It’s so difficult for one who’s simply watching the show to realize just how much time and concession and compromise and explanation has gone into almost every single thing. Every joke. Wording of joke. Placement of joke. Canceling of joke. Embellishment for just one line."

He added, "And I'm not saying that to defend everything I said as if it was the absolute best choice, but it’s also an award show, and you’re powering through 14 acts filled with 20 plus awards. So my job was to try and keep things as light and specific to this year’s set of films as possible. And if people are critical of that, it’s a big giant platform, so I would assume that they would be."

Harris said he thought those in attendance were "enjoying themselves more as the show went on," which is a surprise and testimate to his unique brand of comedy.

"I was told that as the room fills, with you know it's four-fifths of the room didn’t win, and you get further into the award giving they get less enthusiastic and less excited. And I felt while we were doing it that people were enjoying themselves more and more, so for that I’m happy," he added.


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