"The Force of Sound" is an aural history of a galaxy far, far away

Disney(LOS ANGELES) -- A new ABC News documentary takes a closer look at -- or, rather, a closer listen to -- the Star Wars galaxy.

The film, The Force of Sound, is an aural history -- that's "a-u-r-a-l" -- of the team at Skywalker Sound, whose ingenuity helps bring to life George Lucas' galaxy far, far many cases, by recording sounds in our real world. 

"Good sound helps add richness and believability to the images you are seeing and do a lot to convince your brain that what you are seeing is real,” John Knoll, the writer of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, tells ABC News.

"The sound of rending metal and cracking glass can create the illusion that you're seeing more detail in our crashing spaceship shot than there really was, because our friends at SkySound are using a different pathway into your brain to convey that information."

Longtime Star Wars fans may remember behind-the-scenes footage of original Star Wars sound editor Ben Burtt tapping spoons on wires to make the original saga's iconic blaster sounds, or mixing the hum and clackety-clack of an old movie projector to create the sound of a lightsaber. 

Burtt's successor, Matthew Wood, as well as Ren Klyce, have received Oscar nominations for sound editing on the latest Star Wars film, The Last Jedi.  David Parker and Michael Semanick earned additional nominations for for sound mixing.

Last Jedi's director Rian Johnson, can't say enough about his team.

"It doesn't feel like a movie until you get that sound mix tuned in," he says. "When you get on that stage -- the sound just completes things. It's impossible to describe the degree to which the sound makes those visuals work."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


"This Is ... Live" - "Black Panther" and "This Is Us" Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown to host "SNL"

CBS/Trae Patton(NEW YORK) -- Emmy winning This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown, who can be seen in theaters in the blockbuster Black Panther, will host Saturday Night Live. 

The NBC sketch show announced Brown will take the stage March 10, with singer James Bay, the latter making his debut as the show's musical guest. 

Brown has been on quite the run; his recent second Emmy win came after winning a mantle full of others -- including his first Emmy -- for his work in The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story in 2016.

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George and Amal Clooney donate a half million to gun control event

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- Following last Wednesday’s shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida that left 17 students dead, George and Amal Clooney have announced they will donate $500,000 to the survivors' planned March for Our Lives anti-gun demonstration.

Students from the school plan to march in Washington D.C. to lobby lawmakers on gun control legislation.  Attendees at the event, which was announced almost immediately after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, will now include the celebrity couple and their twins Ella and Alexander.

In a statement, Clooney said, "Amal and I are so inspired by the courage and eloquence of these young men and women from Stoneman Douglas High School. Our family will be there on March 24 to stand side by side with this incredible generation of young people from all over the country, and in the name of our children Ella and Alexander, we’re donating 500,000 dollars to help pay for this groundbreaking event. Our children’s lives depend on it."

Nikolas Cruz, 19, has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the Valentine's Day massacre. The FBI has admitted it didn't follow proper protocols in following up on tips from concerned citizens about the alleged shooter.

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"Black Panther" star Chadwick Boseman discusses the importance of Black History Month

Marvel Studios(NEW YORK) -- Chadwick Boseman is making history with his latest film, Black Panther, the biggest-ever superhero motion picture where the central character is black.

Taking it in stride, Boseman is also reflecting on the significance of Black History Month, and how more needs to be done for the annual observance.

"Black History Month is extremely important because we actually do need to make people focus on black history at a particular time because it's not done in our education system," Boseman tells ABC Radio exclusively. "It's not done even sometimes in our churches. It's not done enough."

Chadwick, who plays King T'Challa, aka Black Panther, in the film, adds that the history of African-Americans is just not important for the people from the diaspora -- it important for our nation.

"I also feel like we just have a month where we do it. You know? It's my belief that it's something you should do all the time because black history is part of all of our history," he explains. "You can't really find the time where black people have not affected our history and our civilization." 

Black Panther, directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, and Lupita Nyong'o, is in theaters now from Marvel Studios and Disney, parent company of ABC News.

 Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" scores big at BAFTAs; Gary Oldman hailed again for "Darkest Hour"

Photo by Merrick Morton. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved(LONDON) -- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri bagged five trophies at Sunday's 71st British Academy Film Awards, also known as the BAFTAs.

In addition to best film and best British film nods, the film’s stars, Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell, won best actress and best supporting actor, respectively, while Martin McDonagh won for best original screenplay. 

The Shape of Water took home three awards, including best director honors for Guillermo Del Toro. 

As the Oscar spotlight begins to focus on him following a string of wins for his performance, Gary Oldman nabbed another: best actor for his role as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour

The awards, sometimes referred to as the "British Oscars," also hailed Allison Janney in the best supporting actress for her role in I, Tonya.

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Is Jennifer Lawrence taking a "year off" from acting to focus on politics?

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- Jennifer Lawrence may or may not be planning to put her acting career on hold to concentrate on political activism, depending on whom you believe.

During a recent roundtable for her upcoming film Red Sparrow, the 27-year-old Oscar-winning actress told Entertainment Tonight that she's "taking the next year off" to join with the non-profit organization Represent.Us in an effort to "get young people engaged politically on a local level."

"It doesn't have anything to do with partisan [politics]," says Lawrence, explaining, "It's just anti-corruption and stuff trying to pass state by state laws that can help prevent corruption, fix our democracy."

However, the New York Post quotes JLaw's publicist as saying she'll, "resume her acting work as soon as one of a number of in-development movies is ready to start shooting. Among those is a biopic about famed Jazz Age socialite Zelda Fitzgerald, directed by Ron Howard."

This is not the first time Lawrence has threatened to step away from acting. After she wrapped the Hunger Games series, she swore she would “turn [her] phone off for a year.” says the newspaper. And last September, she told on the Today show that she was taking a break and didn’t have a movie scheduled “for two years.”

Red Sparrow opens nationwide March 2.

 Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


"The Bachelor" recap: Meet the parents

ABC/Lou Rocco(LOS ANGELES) -- Week eight of The Bachelor showcased Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s trips to meet the families of the four remaining women -- Tia, Lauren, Becca K. and Kendall -- during the hometown dates portion of the show.

With Krystal long gone, and a week after Becca M. got shockingly sacked, Arie’s new challenge was facing down the families, all of whom were suspicious of him.

First off was a day with Kendall, who showed Arie her taxidermy storage unit. Afterward, Arie said, “I’ve never dated anyone like her. She really just keeps things interesting.” Then she made him join her stuffing rats. 

Arie insists that he’s falling for Kendall.  That night, Kendall brought Arie home to meet her mother and father, twin sister Kylie and her baby brother. After some pleasantries, Kendall’s mother took her into another room to “dish” while Kylie grilled Arie about his feelings and questioned the “space” between them. Later, Kylie took Kendall aside to talk to her and expressed her concern that she doesn’t feel Kendall is truly in love with Arie.

Kendall’s father was predictably suspicious of Arie and told him that he didn’t think Kendall was ready for marriage, and was reluctant to give his blessing. Kendall also told Kylie that she’s afraid of losing Arie.

Later, Arie joined Tia in Weiner, Arkansas and she took him to a racetrack. Later, Tia brought Arie home to meet her mother and father, Denise and Kenny, her brother Jason, her aunt Carol and her cousin Rhonda. She warned him that her brother might be tough on him.

Not long after they arrived, Arie was out on the patio being grilled by Jason. Tia sat with her father and both relatives expressed concern that Arie is a playboy and might not be serious, and even more concerned that he maybe serious about Tia. Arie said that he’s falling for Tia. Her father took Arie out for a chat and said that he trusts Tia’s judgment, but stipulated, “If you hurt her, I can find you.”

Arie met Becca K in Minnesota and she took him to an apple orchard. After picking apples, she warned him about meeting her uncle Gary, who's a pastor and a father figure since her own father passed away.

After meeting her family and sitting for dinner, Gary took Arie away from the table to talk. He didn't mince words and asked Arie, "Are we wasting time here or is Becca the real deal to you?" Arie answered affirmatively, saying, "I feel very strongly about Becca and I'm definitely falling for her."

Her mother was just as tough with Becca, and later told Arie she liked him, thanked him for putting up with the family, and giving him her blessing to get married.

The last hometown date was with Lauren, who took Arie horseback riding on the beach. They sat and talked and, like the other girls, Lauren told him that her family might be skeptical about their relationship. Arie said that he was nervous to meet them.

Their meeting seemed adversarial from the get-go, with Lauren's family seated across the room from Arie in a meeting punctuated by awkward silences. At dinner, Arie was so nervous he excused himself to fluff his shirt and wipe the sweat off his forehead.

Lauren's father, a retired Air Force pilot, took Arie outside and surprised Arie with his demeanor. The two seemed to connect after Arie shared a story about participating in a Goodwill tour of Iraq to visit U.S. troops. It was Lauren’s mother who was tough, telling Arie she was worried that Arie is saying the same things to Lauren as the other girls.

Arie asked for her mother’s blessing but rather than give it to him, she said that she would have to trust Lauren.

The hometown dates concluded, Arie had to choose three girls at the Rose Ceremony, and he was clearly conflicted about it -- one girl, of the four he professed he was falling in love with, was going to be eliminated. Arie told host Chris Harrison that he had no idea what he was going to do and during the ceremony had to step away to compose himself.

Before he made the decision, Arie took Kendall aside and she admitted that she couldn't say if she's ready to get engaged.

Having made up his mind, Arie chose Becca, Lauren and, surprisingly, Kendall, eliminating Tia, who started crying. Arie walked her out and told her that she didn't do anything wrong, and that he didn’t have a good explanation for not picking her. He said he was up all night trying to decide but that there was something missing. They embraced and she told Arie to go with his heart. Still, in the car she continued to cry.

Next week, The Bachelor will return with two back-to-back episodes. Sunday night, a very special episode titled The Bachelor: The Women Tell All will feature all the girls returning to dish.  Then on Monday night, Arie’s romantic journey continues as he and the remaining girls go to Peru, and Arie is confronted by one of the girls’ ex-boyfriends.

The Bachelor airs Sunday and Monday night at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


"Black Panther" roars; scores fifth-largest debut of all time with $201.8 million weekend

Marvel StudiosIt was a record-breaking opening for Marvel's Black Panther, which far exceeded expectations, raking in an estimated $201.8 million from Friday-Sunday, becoming just the fifth film ever to break the $200 million threshold in its first three days of release.

That number is expected to swell to $235 million factoring in the President's Day totals, making it the third-highest four-day gross in history, right behind 2015's Jurassic World.  

Black Panther also scored the best February opening of all time, the best President's Day weekend opening, the best-ever non-sequel superhero debut, and the fifth-largest opening of all time. 

Internationally, the 18th film Marvel film earned an estimated $192 million over the three-day weekend. Marvel Studio is owned by Disney, parent company of ABC News.

The CGI animation/live action Peter Rabbit grabbed second place with an estimated $17.25 million from Friday-Sunday, expected to top $22 million through Monday.

Fifty Shades Freed took third place with an estimated $16.9 million over the three-day weekend. Overseas, it grabbed an additional $47.7 million, bringing its worldwide numbers to around $268.9 million.

In fourth place was Sony's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, earning an estimated $7.9 million over the three-day weekend. Overseas, the film added an estimated $4.8 million internationally, bringing its worldwide tally to $904.6 million -- the studio's second-highest-grossing release, behind 2012's Skyfall.

Rounding out the top five was The 15:17 to Paris with a $7.7 million haul for the three-day weekend.

Here are the top 10 movies from Friday through Sunday, with estimated weekend gross ticket sales:

1. Black Panther, $201.8 million
2. Peter Rabbit, $17.25 million
3. Fifty Shades Freed, $16.9 million
4. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, $7.9 million
5. The 15:17 to Paris, $7.7 million
6. The Greatest Showman, $5.1 million
7. Early Man, $3.15 million
8. Maze Runner: The Death Cure, $2.6 million
9. Winchester, $2.19 million
10. Samson, $2 million


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Balancing tragedy with comedy in Netflix’s "Irreplaceable You"

Netflix/Linda Kallerus (LOS ANGELES) -- Netflix’s Irreplaceable You promises to make you both laugh and cry...maybe at the same time.

The film stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw -- from Black Mirror's Emmy-winning episode "San Junipero" -- and Michiel Huisman, who plays Daenerys' lover Daario in Game of Thrones.  They play a newly engaged couple faced with an uncertain future after a devastating cancer diagnosis, but they handle the tragic situation with humor.  That's what Mbatha-Raw said drew her to the role.

“It's like a tightrope 'cause I'm laughing one minute and crying the next and this is a really tricky tone to pull off,” she told ABC Radio at the film's New York premiere. “Not to take away from the seriousness of the subject matter, but I think this movie is not about cancer, it's about letting go [and] releasing control.”

Much like her character, Mbatha-Raw had to learn to “let go” during the movie’s “very quick shoot.” She and Huisman had to develop their characters’ long-term relationship in a matter of days.

“We didn't have a lot of time so I think we both just had to kind of jump in and try and create this relationship that had been going since they were like eight years old, you know?” she said. “So we sort of relied on being really playful with each other.”

That playfulness carried over to her other co-stars as well. Mbatha-Raw, who hadn’t done much comedy before, was thrown into scenes with comedic heavyweights Kate McKinnon, Steve Coogan, and Christopher Walken.

“It was really a master class to be able to be around that energy and I learned so much,” she says. “…There was a real improvisation spirit within, certainly, the group scenes, which I just love.” 

Prepare to feel all the feels. Irreplaceable You debuts on Netflix today.

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Chris Rock confesses his infidelity and being a "bad husband" in his Netflix special, "Tamborine"

Netflix/Kirill Bichutsky(LOS ANGELES) -- Chris Rock is holding nothing back in his new Netflix special Chris Rock: Tamborine -- and that includes the ugly end to his 19-year marriage to Malaak Compton.

In his special, which debuted on Valentine’s Day, Rock opens up about his bad behavior during his marriage and admits he was “not a good husband."

“It’s f***** up. When guys cheat, it’s like we want something new,” Rock says. “But then you know what happens? Your woman finds out, and now she’s new. She is never the same again. So now you have new, but you have a bad new.”

Rock admits he cheated on his wife with three different women while on the road, but in his special he takes full responsibility for his actions.

"Some of these lessons you've just got to learn," he says. "Like, I brought this s*** on myself; nobody told me to go ho up. I brought this s*** on myself, and you've got to learn some lessons -- some man lessons."

Rock continues, “It’s my fault, because I’m a f****** asshole. I didn’t listen. I wasn’t kind. I had an attitude. I thought, ‘I pay for everything, I can do what I want.’ That s*** don’t f***** work! I just thought I was the s***.”

Chris Rock: Tamborine is now playing on Netflix.

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