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Friday
Jan182019

'Roma', Alfonso Cuarón, and Mahershala Ali all Oscar nomination locks, say oddsmakers

Image from "Roma"; Alfonso Cuarón/Netflix(LAS VEGAS) -- With the Oscar nominations just around the corner, the oddsmakers at SportsBettingDime.com have weighed in with the odds for six of the most popular categories.

The early favorites in the six major categories include:

Best Actor -- Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody at 9/10 and Christian Bale for Vice at 2/1.

Best Actress -- Glenn Close for The Wife at 2/1, Olivia Colman for The Favourite at 5/2, and Lady Gaga with a 7/2 chance for A Star Is Born.

The Best Director Oscar race is between Alfonso Cuarón for Roma at 1/5 and Bradley Cooper, a 15-1 shot for A Star Is Born.

Best Picture -- Roma at 3/2 and A Star Is Born at 4/1.

Best Supporting Actress -- Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk comes in at 9/5 and Amy Adams for Vice has a two-in-seven chance.

Best Supporting Actor -- Mahershala Ali for Green Book at 1/2 and Richard E. Grant for Can You Ever Forgive Me at 5/1.

Oddsmakers are also laying 1/7 odds that the Academy forgoes hiring a single host, but if one is chosen, past host Billy Crystal has a 55/1 chance of getting the call.

Last year, five of the six favorites selected by the oddmakers at SportsBettingDime before the nominees were announced were the eventual winners. The only one they blew was Best Picture, offering 2/1 odds for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri and a 3/1 chance for the eventual winner, The Shape of Water.

The Academy Award nominations will be announced Monday. The 91st annual Academy Awards will be carried live on ABC from Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre on February 24.

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Friday
Jan182019

'Happy Death Day 2U' changes release date to avoid Parkland shooting anniversary

Universal Pictures(LOS ANGELES) -- Universal Pictures has changed the release date for its upcoming slasher movie Happy Death Day 2U from February 14th to the 13th to so it won't coincide with the first anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, according to Miami ABC affiliate WPLG TV.

The move was in response to an appeal on Twitter from Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter, Jaime, was killed in the massacre.

“My daughter and 16 others were killed on February 14th,” Guttenberg tweeted Tuesday. “Universal Studios is releasing a movie called Happy Death Day 2 U? I get the pun on Valentines Day, for me it will always be the day my daughter was murdered. Please reconsider this!!!!”

It didn't take long for Guttenberg to get results. "Very happy to announce that I just got off the phone with executives at Universal Studios," he tweeted the following day. "They will be moving the release date of the movie off of February 14th and they will also be taking steps to address the local needs of the Parkland community. This was a great outcome," Guttenberg wrote.

In addition to moving the release date, Universal said it would not show the movie or promote the film in the Parkland area.

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Friday
Jan182019

Harvey Weinstein and attorney Benjamin Brafman part ways

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Harvey Weinstein's criminal defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman announced his intention to withdraw as counsel for the embattled movie mogul in a joint statement obtained by ABC News on Thursday.

Weinstein authorized Brafman to formally notify Judge James Burke, who is overseeing Weinstein's criminal case in New York, of his decision to withdraw as his counsel in connection with all legal matters currently pending.

The split was amicable, according to the statement, and Brafman has agreed to cooperate fully with Weinstein's new legal team in order to ensure an orderly transition.

"Mr. Weinstein praised Mr. Brafman for his legal work to date and Mr. Brafman reiterated his belief that Mr. Weinstein would be exonerated of the charges that have been filed against him and Brafman personally wished Mr. Weinstein the best of luck as he defends the case and the accusations that Mr. Weinstein has vehemently denied," the statement declared.

The statement concluded by saying that Weinstein intends to introduce his new legal team by early next week.  According to The New York Post, Brafman's decision to leave Weinstein was prompted by his former client's decision to solicit legal advice from other attorneys, against Brafman's wishes.

Weinstein's facing five criminal counts in New York of rape and sexual assault, all of which he's denied. A sixth count against the film producer was dismissed in October after prosecutors revealed to the defense that they'd discovered a written account from his accuser that suggested the encounter that prompted the count against him was consensual.

Weinstein's trial is set for May 6.

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Friday
Jan182019

Stephen Colbert's 'Late Show' selling "shutdown coffee mugs" to help feed furloughed government workers

Scott Kowalchyk/CBS(NEW YORK) -- Buy a coffee mug, help feed a furloughed federal worker?

That's the deal host Stephen Colbert announced last night on The Late Show.  He started by noting that celebrity chef José Andrés had opened a relief kitchen in Washington, D.C. to feed furloughed government workers, and anyone else in need of a meal, for free -- to the tune of up to 200,000 meals a day.

Colbert then played footage of a joke from Wednesday night's show, during which he noted President Trump's order for thousands of federal workers to return to their jobs without pay.  Colbert then showed what he called a "shutdown coffee mug" emblazoned with the words "Don't even talk to me until I've had my paycheck," and then remarking, "Can we sell these?"

"So we're selling these," Colbert said Thursday after playing the Wednesday footage.  "Go to ColbertLateShow.com/ShutdownMug to get one.  100% of The Late Show's profits benefit World Central Kitchen to help José Andrés' team feed federal workers during the shutdown.  Get a mug!"

The mugs retail for $14.99 each, plus shipping.

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Friday
Jan182019

M. Night Shyamalan's 'Glass' opens nationally today

Universal(NEW YORK) -- Opening in wide release today:

* Glass -- The third and supposed final installment in in M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable series, which includes Unbreakable and Split, again features Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson reprising their roles as, respectively, the indestructible hero David Dunn and the physically fragile criminal genius Elijah Price, aka Mr. Glass.  Joining them is James McAvoy's Split character, Kevin Wendell Crumb, aka The Horde -- a man with nearly two dozen personalities, one of whom is the super-strong, homicidal Beast.

All three all end up in the care of Sarah Paulson's Dr. Ellie Staple, a psychologist who specializes in treating patients who have what she says are delusions of being superheroes and villains. When Mr. Glass sets the Beast free, Dr. Staple learns she was very much mistaken.  Rated PG-13.

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Thursday
Jan172019

'Spider-Man: Far From Home' cast includes trans actors

Sony Pictures(NEW YORK) -- While comic fans buzzed about seeing Spidey alongside Marvel movie newcomer Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio in the first trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home, the LGBTQ community had something else to cheer about. One of Peter Parker's buddies in the movie is played by 22-year-old trans actor Zach Barack.

This marks one of the first times a trans actor has been featured in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In addition, The Advocate reports trans actor Tyler Luke Cunningham is a featured extra in the same film.

In Barack's Instagram posts, you can see the actor alongside his good buddy Jacob Batalon, who plays Peter's bestie Ned in the upcoming film from Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures. 

Spider-Man follows popular CW show Supergirl, which cast 21-year-old trans performer Nicole Maines as the hero Dreamer. Maines knows her casting was significant for other trans actors.

"If I had had a trans superhero, someone who looks like me wearing a cape, [while] growing up, that would have changed the game," the actress recently told USA TODAY. "That would have been an entire new level of validation in myself, to think that I can be a superhero!"

Venus Lux, a trans activist, entrepreneur, and adult film star, tells ABC Radio that the tide is finally turning.

"I'm so proud and I'm so happy to be in this...time right now, that, you know, this can actually happen," she says. "It's not a dream. It is a reality."

She adds, "It just requires consistency of like pushing the envelope, and allowing more trans folks to be included and not just in a way where we're portraying certain characters, but also having the stories behind us." 

Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News. 

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jan172019

Kevin Hart to star in live-action "Monopoly" movie 

ABC/Ida Mae Astute(HOLLYWOOD) -- Fresh off the #1 box office success of his latest movie The Upside, Kevin Hart has announced his next movie project.

The Jumanji actor is set to star in a live-action movie based on Hasbro's classic game Monopoly. It re-teams Hart with Ride Along director Tim Story, who is set to helm the project.

In an Instagram post on Thursday, Hart confirmed the good news.

"Let's gooooooooo @timkstory ....We got work to do damn it!!!!!" he wrote, sharing a Deadline report about the casting.

"Still grinding with the attitude of an individual that hasn't accomplished anything yet. Let's gooooooooo HartBeat Productions."

Together, Hart and Story have worked on Think Like a Man, Ride Along, Think Like a Man Too, and Ride Along 2

Hasbro has been trying to make a Monopoly movie for at least a decade, reports Deadline, which notes that an early version of the story would have focused on a young man from Monopoly's cheapest property, Baltic Avenue, who attempts to make a fortune.

Despite the controversy surrounding his short-lived gig as Oscar host, Hart is obviously still a hot property in Hollywood, as the success of The Upside, co-starring Bryan Cranston, proved.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jan172019

Watch now: John Wick is on the run in 'Chapter 3 - Parabellum'

Lionsgate(NEW YORK) -- Keanu Reeves is back in black in the trailer for John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum.

The preview, which just debuted, shows "The Boogeyman" on the run.

"A 14-million dollar bounty on his head, and everyone in the city wanting a piece of it," says Winston, played by returning star Ian McShane.  Of Wick's odds, he says, "I'd say it's about even."

Set to Frank Sinatra's cover of "The Impossible Dream," the trailer contains all the hallmarks any John Wick fan has come to expect: eye-popping visuals, dogs, shadowy criminal doings, and baddies being dispatched in just about every conceivable way -- from bullets to blades to books. 

This time around, Anjelica Huston joins the fun as some sort of criminal kingpin, as does fellow Oscar-winner Halle Berry.  She plays Sofia, a former associate of Wick's who appears to be every bit the butt-kicker he is. 

The movie, with stuntman-turned director Chad Stahelski behind the camera once again, opens May 17.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jan172019

Brad Pitt, Josh Brolin, Leonardo DiCaprio and more on hand for the tribute to Chris Cornell 

(LOS ANGELES) -- Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Chris Cornell EstateThe "I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell" event at The Forum near Los Angeles was a night of music, passion and stars, but mostly -- as many of the performers noted from the stage -- a celebration of the life of the musician, who died by suicide in May of 2017.

Performers from the Foo Fighters, Metallica and Audioslave to Miley Cyrus and Adam Levine were joined by other special guests, including Brad Pitt introducing a special performance of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" by Chris Cornell's daughter Toni Cornell and Ziggy Marley.

In addition to Pitt, other non-musical guests included his Deadpool 2 co-star Josh Brolin, as well as Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale, Tom Hanks, Courteney Cox, Cameron Crowe, Kaley Cuoco, David Spade and more.

Jimmy Kimmel served as host for the evening. In his opening remarks, he said, "This is an emotional night for a lot of you and it’s a meaningful night for me as well...There are so many great artists here to remember Chris...I think you're going to remember this night for the rest of your life."

Despite pouring rain and traffic in the area, The Forum was packed, and even four hours into the show, the crowd stayed put, sang along and cheered, especially near the end, when Cornell's former bandmates from Temple of the Dog and Soundgarden -- along with special guests like Fiona Apple, Peter Frampton and Taylor Momsen -- played the fan favorites everyone had been waiting to hear.

In addition to the live performances, breaks between sets included videos and photos and clips of some of Chris Cornell's performances, showcasing his talent and especially his legendary vocal range.

A video at the beginning of the night featured celebrities from Jennifer Lopez to George Clooney talking about Cornell's commitment to human rights, adding, "Keep the Promise for Chris Cornell" and highlighting the hashtag #KeepThePromise.

There were emotional elements throughout the night as well as Cornell's bandmates, friends and collaborators shared their memories of Chris, expressing their wish that he could be there.  But at the top of the show, his former bandmates insisted, "Chris is here with us tonight. He has the best seat in the house."

In the middle of the Foo Fighters' performance, Dave Grohl said, "I woke up a little sad this morning because I realized that with all this love, the one person who would have appreciated it the most can't be here tonight."

But Pearl Jam and Temple of the Dog guitarist Stone Gossard said, "I think we're all here for the same reason. I think it's to share and it's to grieve but mainly it's to celebrate...Chris' artistry and to hear his incredible music."

He added, "Here we are now with this loss, this pain, this anger. Families needing healing, fans needing healing, friendships and relationships shattered. And all of our lives still tumbling along without our leader: a sensitive and gifted Irish boy from North Seattle who changed us all."

Chris Cornell's widow Vicky expressed her gratitude, saying, "This event showcases [Chris'] contributions to music history across genres and generations."

And in addition to his daughter Toni's performance, Chris' other daughter, Lily, spoke, saying her Dad had a beautiful gift and made music because he loved it.

The concert raised over $1 million for the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation, as well as The Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation (EMBRF).

For fans unable to make it to the show but who still want to support Cornell's legacy and his Foundation, Kimmel announced that a pair of Chris Cornell limited-edition Gibson guitars, made to honor the late singer, had been signed by many of the evening's artists, and will be up for sale on eBay, with money going to EBMRF. 

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Thursday
Jan172019

Betty White is "feeling great" today on her 97th birthday

Eric McCandless/Freeform(LOS ANGELES) -- Happy Birthday Betty White! The iconic Golden Girls actress turns 97 years old today.

Her rep tells Us Weekly the always-active star is spending her special day with some poker buddies.

“In [the] evening, Betty is playing poker with friends that she has played with for decades,” the rep says of her birthday plans.

And when she blows out the candles on her birthday cake, the veteran star has just one wish: “[Betty is] waiting for Robert Redford to call!” her rep says.

“Betty is feeling great,” adds the rep, and she “still loves to work and offers keeping coming in.”

White previously appeared in the TV series Hot in Cleveland from 2010 to 2015 and has been seen in TV guest appearances as recently as last year.

While being honored at the Emmy Awards last year, White told the crowd, “Little did I dream that I would be here and it’s incredible that I’m still in this business, that you’re putting up with me.”

She continued, “I’m thanking you. It’s incredible that you can stay with a career this long and still have people put up with you. I wish they did that at home!”

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