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Friday
May062011

Movie Review: 'Thor'

AbleStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Virtually unknown here, Australian actor Chris Hemsworth takes on the role of the god of thunder, and it turns out to be an excellent piece of casting.

You see, Thor is a belligerent jerk, or as his father -- the Norse god Odin, played by Anthony Hopkins -- likes to call him, "a vain, greedy, cruel boy."  And Hemsworth seems as if he was born to play this role.

Thor's reactionary attack on the frost giants proves to be his undoing.  As punishment, Odin banishes Thor to Earth, where he meets an astrophysicist named Jane, played by Natalie Portman.  Back in Asgard, Thor's duplicitous brother Loki is quietly planning a coup of mythological proportions.

Thor feels epic while thematically balancing a comic book sensibility with a mesmerizing aesthetic -- most notably the design of Asgard, which is stunning.

Four out of five stars.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
May062011

Blind Film Critic Takes Internet by Storm

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Tommy Edison reviews films and posts his critiques online, but with one major difference from other reviewers: he was born blind.

After posting his first review a few weeks ago, his videos have steadily grown online as people enjoy his humor and his reviews.

"I've always liked film," Edison, who is a traffic reporter for a Connecticut radio station, told ABC News. "It's always been something I've enjoyed."

Along with his friend Ben Churchill, who directs and produces the videos he posts, they have created a rating system starting with one eye for a bad movie to four eyes for a great movie.

Churchill shot and edited the video critique of their first movie review, Scream 4, and they posted it online. Since then, his reviews of films like Scream 4 and Water for Elephants have been viewed by several thousand Youtube users.

Edison, who lives in Milford, Conn., believes that, although he can't see the movie, he is able to pick up on other cues like dialogue, sound editing and music choice that other reviewers may miss.

"Content is king with film," he believes. "For example, in the Water for Elephants review that I did, I talk about the part where the elephants are doing all sorts of tricks and circus things and whatever…it's gratuitous. It added nothing to the story."

His favorite movie is Goodfellas. "It's so well written, and the narration is great in it...Just boom, boom, boom, it keeps on moving. It's just wonderful," he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
May062011

Taylor Swift Dress Rehearsal a Fundraiser for Tornado Victims 

Jordan Strauss/WireImage(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- Taylor Swift is opening up the final dress rehearsal for her upcoming Speak Now tour to fans, as a fundraiser for the victims of last week's tornadoes in the southeastern part of the U.S.  Thirteen thousand Taylor fans will be able to purchase tickets to the rehearsal, which takes place May 21 at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.  Taylor's been rehearsing there for five weeks.

"I wanted to do something for the families affected by the damage,” Swift said in a statement. “I’ve never opened a rehearsal to the public before, but I felt that inviting my fans to the last rehearsal for the Speak Now Tour would be a great way to raise money."

Ticketing information for the event, called Speak Now...Help Now, will be released Monday. Proceeds will go directly to help the victims.

The tour itself kicks off May 27 in Nebraska.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
May062011

Who is Pippa Middleton's Boyfriend?

Marcus Trescothick/Getty Images(LONDON) -- After Kate Middleton and Prince William tied the knot, eyes turned to Kate's stunning sister Pippa -- who glided down the aisle, garnering almost as much attention as the bride herself. Dressed in a butter cream dress adorned with buttons down the back, Pippa Middleton, the maid of honor, was nicknamed "Her Royal Hotness" by the London tabloids.

But heads up, guys, Pippa is off the market. Alex Loudon -- Alexander Guy Rushworth Loudon, 30, son of James Loudon, a retired financier -- accompanied Pippa to the royal wedding and the two have reportedly been dating since December 2010.

Loudon attended the independent school Eton College, and went on to Durham University before seeking an MBA at the London Business School. At Eton, Loudon was named president of an elite society called Pop and was "unbelievably popular" at both Eton and Wellesley House, the prep school he attended, according to the Daily Mail.

Nicknamed "Noisy," "Minor," "A-Lo" and "Minotaur," Loudon spent time on the cricket field and even played professionally for a short time before retiring in 2007 to pursue his MBA. This 6-foot 3-inch athlete captained the England-Under-19 team for the 1999-2000 World Cup, according to ESPN Crickinfo. "I will continue to closely support the club and wish the boys every success for the next season and beyond," Loudon told the BBC when he retired.

Reports say Pippa and Loudon tried to stay out of the spotlight leading up to the royal wedding, but a source told Marie Claire "He's madly in love with her." The source also said, "Alex thinks it's hilarious that suddenly the world has discovered Pippa."

Her profile got a major lift last month the moment she walked down the red carpet in her white satin Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen dress.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
May062011

Jacob Lusk Goes Home on 'American Idol'; Lady Gaga to Mentor?

PRNewsFoto/Zumobi(LOS ANGELES) -- Jacob Lusk got the boot on American Idol Thursday night, leaving just four contestants still in the contest.

He sang "A House Is Not a Home" for his farewell song and continued doing vocal runs after the song was over and as the credits rolled.  Lauren Alaina was in the bottom two with Lusk, but she'll be back next week.

The top five opened the show with a group performance of The Turtles' classic hit "Happy Together."  Lady Antebellum also returned to American Idol to debut their brand-new single," Just a Kiss," and judge Jennifer Lopez took the stage for a highly-produced performance of "On the Floor" with Pitbull.  She also gave a sneak peek of her new video for "I'm into You."

Speaking of videos, Lady Gaga's video for "Judas" was scheduled to premiere on last night's American Idol, but it never aired.  No doubt the reason why is because it leaked online earlier Thursday, prompting Gaga to officially release the video before the scheduled Idol premiere.

If you were disappointed in the video no-show Thursday night, however, there may be something even better in store for next week.  After Thursday's show, host Ryan Seacrest tweeted, "I only have one word for our mentor on @AmericanIdol next week...Gaga."  If true, that pretty much says it all.

On Thursday's show, Seacrest also announced some of the audition cities for American Idol's eleventh season.  They'll be hitting St. Louis on June 28, Portland on July 2 and Charleston, South Carolina on July 22.  More audition cities will be announced next week.

American Idol's top four return to perform for the nation's vote next Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
May062011

Movie Review: 'The Beaver'

AbleStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After being thrown out of the house by his wife, played by director Jodie Foster, Mel Gibson's depressed Walter Black finds a beaver puppet in the trash.

Later that night, after a failed suicide attempt, the beaver, who sounds like Gibson impersonating Michael Caine, finds his way onto Walter's hand.  The beaver usurps Walter's personality, leading Walter to become more productive at his job and seemingly repair his relationship with his youngest son.  As for his relationship with his eldest son Porter -- well, not so much.

It's hard for many to separate Gibson from his issues but if you can, you'll see a soulful performance in The Beaver, a profound film by Foster.

Four out of five stars.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
May062011

Nicolas Cage Won't Face Charges in Domestic Abuse Case

David Livingston/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Nicolas Cage is off the hook in his domestic abuse case.

Cage, who was arrested in New Orleans last month after arguing on the street with his wife while allegedly drunk, will not face charges, according to People magazine.

His attorney tells the magazine that the matter has been closed, adding, "We are pleased that the process led to the correct result, despite inaccurate media reports, and that Nick has been cleared and all charges have been dropped."

Police had said a heavily intoxicated Cage had an argument with his wife, Alice Kim, in front of a home in New Orleans' French Quarter that he claimed they were renting.  He allegedly grabbed his wife by her upper arm and dragged her towards the home, and then also struck some parked vehicles.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
May062011

'Thor,' 'The Beaver' Among Films Opening Friday

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The summer movie season officially begins this weekend with the opening of what could turn out to be one of the year's biggest blockbusters, Thor. Here's a closer look at it and the other movies arriving in theaters Friday:

* Thor -- Australian actor Chris Hemsworth portrays the titular Marvel superhero, the brash, hammer-wielding Norse god of thunder, banished from the cosmic realm of Asgard to Earth. Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Kat Dennings and Rene Russo also star in the film, directed by Kenneth Branagh. Rated PG-13.

* Something Borrowed -- Ginnifer Goodwin is a 30-year-old attorney who falls for her best friend's fiancé. Kate Hudson, John Krasinski and Colin Egglesfield also star. Rated PG-13.

* Jumping the Broom -- In this comedy, two African-American families come together for a wedding at Martha's Vineyard. Angela Bassett and Paula Patton star. Rated PG-13.

And opening in limited release:

* The Beaver -- In his first film since his much-publicized recorded rants against his ex-girlfriend leaked online last summer, Mel Gibson plays a depressed man who tries to turn his life around with the help of a beaver puppet he wears on his hand and uses to communicate with others. Jodie Foster directs and co-stars. Rated PG-13.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Thursday
May052011

Lady Gaga Releases 'Judas' Video After Leak

Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- A few weeks ago, Lady Gaga was forced to release her single "Judas" early because someone leaked it online.  Now, the video for the song has leaked, so once again, Gaga has been forced to release it. NME.com reported that Gaga tweeted, "Stop leaking my motherf***g videos," but that post has been removed.  The clip was supposed to have premiered on E! News Thursday night, but in a longer, “uncut” version.

The "Judas" video re-imagines the betrayal of Jesus Christ by Judas Iscariot as a biker flick.  Gaga, a Mary Magdalene figure,  is a biker chick in a motorcycle gang, riding with Jesus, who wears cornrows and a crown of thorns.  The apostles ride along with them -- we know they're apostles because their names are written on the back of their leather jackets -- including Judas, who catches Gaga's attention.  Then, they stop at what Gaga has described as a "modern Jerusalem," where Gaga dances around in various skimpy outfits, including one that seems to have a "sacred heart" embroidered on it.  That's intercut with close-ups of Gaga with crazy, long, painted fingernails and bizarre makeup.

Then, there's some sort of altercation, where a gun is pointed at Judas.  Instead of a bullet, lipstick comes out of it and smears across his face.  The Jesus figure tries to calm everybody, and then there are scenes of Gaga on the edge of the ocean being battered by waves, and in a hot tub -- fully clothed -- with both Jesus and Judas, pouring water on each other.  At the end, Gaga, in a completely different white outfit, falls down and appears to die.

Copyright 2011 

Thursday
May052011

How Will Oprah's Final Show Go?

PRNewsFoto/Discovery Communications, George Burns(CHICAGO) -- The Oprah Winfrey Show signs off May 25, but it's still unclear what will take place on the finale.  According to PopEater.com, though, Oprah herself may be the star of the show. 

The source said, "How can one celebrity possibly sum up 25 years of such a groundbreaking show?  Who could possibility come on the show and represent everything Oprah has done?...Only one person could do that and that is Oprah herself."  Another source said, "Her last show will look back at some of her most important and favorite moments from her show."

Oprah's third-to-last and penultimate shows will be glitzy affairs.  They'll tape at Chicago's United Center and feature stars from all walks of life as they pay tribute to the talk show legend.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio