Tidal's quest for streaming dominance has been making headway lately. A few days ago, Prince announced that he was removing his music from all of the streaming services, save Tidal, which left a lot of fans teary-eyed and angry (though depriving someone of "When Doves Cry" is cruel and unusual). Now Lil Wayne has dropped a new mixtape, The Free Weezy Album (FWA), exclusively on Tidal, which you can listen to here.
Speaking with Goldie Hawn at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Michael Eisner, the polarizing former Disney CEO, made some ill-considered remarks regarding women. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Eisner said, “From my position, the hardest artist to find is a beautiful, funny woman. By far. They usually—boy am I going to get in trouble, I know this goes online—but usually, unbelievably beautiful women, you being an exception, are not funny.”
Perpetually outraged conservatives, hold on to your hats: Malia Obama, daughter of Barack, is interning with Lena Dunham, creator of the licentiously liberal show Girls, which has been corrupting our youth for four seasons. According to the Root, Malia, who turns 17 today (on America’s birthday!), has been seen on the the show's Williamsburg set “delivering coffee for the cast and crew and helping block the public from entering scenes during shoots,” which is probably a lot easier when you're flanked by armed Secret Service agents. The First Daughter previously worked as a production assistant for Halle Berry’s CBS show Extant and aspires to become a filmmaker, according to her mother, who described Malia as a movie lover and voracious reader, like her father.
We know him as the master puzzle-maker, his New York Times byline synonymous with imminent frustration. But away from the newsprint grid, Will Shortz moonlights as a devoted ping-pong player and the founder of the Westchester Table Tennis Center. After being told by a neuroscientist a few years ago that ping-pong has more cognitive benefits than even crossword puzzles, Shortz decided to intensify his commitment to the game: He set out to play it for 1,000 days straight.
Thirty-six-year-old Bubba Watson, the popular Masters-winning professional golfer from Florida, has decided to expunge the Confederate flag from his original Dukes of Hazzard production car, according to the New York Times. He plans on replacing the Confederate flag with an American flag on the roof of the iconic 1969 Dodge Charger called the General Lee. The particular model Watson owns is nicknamed the LEE 1, as it’s one of the first three original Chargers used in the Southern outlaw show.
Ken Loach’s new film starts off with archival footage of New York City in the 1920s — dense, concrete skylines, the streets awash with people, bread lines, homeless men sleeping in the streets, urban vitality giving way to urban despair. Then it slams right out of that opening credits sequence into a verdant expanse of road in rural Ireland. The immediate effect is one of relief, like someone just allowed us a deep breath of fresh air. An ironic way to kick off a story that’s all about running away and liberation and the looming presence of the past. Also, perhaps, an ironic way to start off a movie that’s more Footloose than The Wind That Shakes the Barley. But more on that in a bit.
When Marvel announced several months ago that it was courting Ava DuVernay to helm one of its upcoming features, particularly Black Panther, the internet went nuts. DuVernay would have been the first black woman to direct a Marvel movie (she was already the first black female filmmaker to be nominated for Best Director at the Golden Globes, for her acclaimed Selma). Also, DuVernay directing a Marvel movie would’ve been the coolest and arguably the most interesting thing to happen to a Marvel movie in a long time — maybe ever. But there was never any confirmation, and for months rumors eddied around the internet. Now we finally have legitimate confirmation from DuVernay herself, via an interview with Essence:
The new full trailer for the latest Sharknado sequel pretty much explains itself. There’s yet another tornado full of sharks coming, and this time it’s going to destroy the entire "feast coast." There’s really no need to give any sort of plot synopsis for Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, a movie concerned exclusively with CGI sharks spilling from the sky and eating people. It stars Tara Reid, Frankie Muniz, and David Hasselhoff, with guest appearances by Ann Coulter (as the vice-president of the United States), Michele Bachmann (as herself), Anthony Weiner (as a lifeguard, hopefully with his pants on), and other, less political people. Until the movie airs on July 22 and we can all drink ourselves silly while watching Ann Coulter maybe get gobbled by flying sharks, we have this trailer to tide us over:
Could Jackie & Ryan even be called a movie? And does it really matter? This underdeveloped romance seems to be lacking an act, or two, or maybe even three. But it’s filled with such great music that the emotions are there regardless. Not unlike Once, the movie itself feels like an excuse for the music. And as with Once, that’s not always a bad thing.
A long time ago, in the ’90s, filmmaker Tim Burton infamously planned on making a Superman movie starring Nicolas Cage. At the time, Burton had yet to devolve into a parody of himself, and Cage … well, at that point in his career he was still known more as an actor than a recurring internet meme. The film, which never took off, was called Superman Lives, and you can just imagine the bizarre iteration of the Man of Steel that Burton and Cage could’ve conjured. A new documentary chronicling the film’s failure called The Death of Superman Lives (which is a most excellent title) is coming out July 9, and, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times, you can now watch a clip from the documentary showing the "holy grail" footage of Cage's costume test:
A sweet and sad African adventure with some admirably dark overtones, Zarafa is a Belgian animated film being released Stateside with English subtitles by GKids, the same company that has brought us extraordinary films like Ernest & Celestine and The Tale of Princess Kaguya. (They’re also the folks responsible for the wonderful New York International Children’s Film Festival, which I wrote about last year.) GKids has done an admirable job of bringing to the U.S. youth-oriented films, usually animated, that tackle potentially unsettling, grown-up issues. These tend to be limited releases, often subtitled and screening in small theaters — a far cry from the behemoths of Pixar and Dreamworks. It’s a curious, maybe even crazy idea: bringing together children’s movies and the art house. But over the past few years it’s paid some wonderful dividends. Zarafa, which was originally released in Europe in 2012, is one of them.
Robert Zemeckis’s beloved sci-fi comedy and coming-of-age period piece Back to the Future has spawned a lot of strange speculation from fans over the years. The film, now celebrating its 30th anniversary, seems to come alive again with each new generation, and each generation also seems to find new, bizarre conspiracies skulking in between the figurative lines. The folks at the A.V. Club have collected a bunch of the most prevalent online theories, and amid the usual JFK and Illuminati codswallop are some fun, if bonkers, ideas. Here are a few of our favorites:
One Direction, a very popular boy band that has sold a lot of records and whose posters adorn the walls of so many teenage girls, lost one of its key members, Zayn Malik, earlier this year. Fans were devastated, and theories and rumors on his return have circulated since. How’s the band doing without Zayn? Harry Styles, talking to Entertainment Weekly, has some updates:
After the enthralling “Mizumono,” which ended season two on a moribund ellipsis, and the three sublime Vincenzo Natali–directed episodes that began this season with the lingering discomfort of a faulty memory, Hannibal has finally reached its nadir. The end of “Contorno” is, while inevitable, also infuriating and emblematic of everything that’s wrong with the two most recent episodes of Hannibal: With its arm-snapping, face-cracking histrionics and unrepentant deus ex machina, it feels like fan service gone awry. It lacks the fun of the killer-of-the-week episodes and also the profundity of the slower, more pensive ones. It’s at once a not-so-sly inversion of the fight that began, and ended, the glorious second season, in which Hannibal stabs Jack in the neck and leaves him to die before departing calmly (and comely) into that good night while Jack just manages to hold on to life. And it's also an annoying ploy that serves no thematic or narrative purpose.
Can a former Disney executive undo the damage to a cable network’s reputation caused by an extinct shark? That’s the promise of new leadership at the Discovery Channel, which for the past two years has substituted fiction for fact during Shark Week and hurt both itself and the public in the process.
In weird pairings you thought you didn't need: Eminem and Gwen Stefani on Thursday hopped into a time machine set for the early aughts to whip up a new single, "Kings Never Die." The Southpaw song is as poppy as it is rappy — why, yes, that is Em sing-rapping! It almost has a Gym Class Heroes, or even Fall Out Boy, feel to it, thanks to the guitar-heavy spitting. (Who knows, maybe Em is thinking about forming a band?) The track also does a very, very good job of kvetching about the internet and sounding grumpy, all while making it clear Gwen and Em are still musical kings. It's a good time, but it's a weird, nostalgic good time. Aside from the interesting sound, it's fairly classic Em: lyrical intensity; complex, staccato rhymes; and a syncopated but unrelenting flow. (King alert, king alert.) The rapper has been heavily involved with Southpaw's soundtrack, which comes out July 24. The movie's out the same day.
Prosecutors have decided not to charge P. Diddy with felony assault and battery for his alleged kettlebell incident at UCLA, CNN reports. The case will instead go to the L.A. City Attorney's office for misdemeanor consideration. "We are thankful that the district attorney rejected felony charges in this matter," Diddy's attorney told CNN. "This case never should have been part of the criminal justice system to begin with." Still: Probably a good idea to stick with making the new music, Diddy, and doing less of the confrontational-slash-heroic-slash-mysterious things with weights in hand.
A vocal-cord hemorrhage has forced Meghan Trainor to postpone at least two of her MTrain Tour concerts until further notice. The singer announced the disheartening news via social media late Thursday, noting that she's seeing doctors in New York and currently unable to make noise. "I want to cry but can't cuz it will hurt more," she told her fans, via iPhone, in an Instagram video. "I'm sorry megatronz I will make it up to you I promise." Trainor had a kick-off show coming up in Atlantic City (July 3), as well as one in Connecticut (July 4), but her doctors have told her she needs "complete vocal rest until they are healed." As People points out, the young musician has had similar trouble before: She was forced to rest for roughly two months last year while recording All About That Bass because of polyps on her vocal cords. Let's hope this will be a speedier recovery.
For this week's installment of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld had a play date with Trevor Noah. The young, new Daily Show host bounced all over the place, talking about his rise to stardom, what comedy was like in South Africa (including incidents involving heckling and blatant racism), how he first learned the power of humor, why Jon Stewart left at the perfect time, and how he manages his insane schedule, among many, many other topics. Of all the gems in here, though, one of the best moments came from inside the coffee shop, when Seinfeld looked at Noah and said: "You know what? You're gonna do just fine. You are a purebred ... you're comedic heritage is very purebred." Noah was all smiles and laughs and took all of the other Seinfeld-isms (including the host's sage definition of pain) with no protest. The only unfortunate part about this fun-friends interview is that the whole Twitter thing apparently evaporated into thin air (would've been interesting to see these two talking more about what it means to be politically correct on social media). Very cool Ferrari, though. Watch the whole episode below, or go to Crackle for the full-res version.
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