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Here are Rachel Bloom's Favorite Songs and Song-Based Memories About Sex and Death

As of tonight, the long wait for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's second season on The CW has ended. But if you're a super fan and need something to hold you over between episodes (damn you, un-binge-able, regular old, one-week-a-time episodic cable TV!), may we recommend sampling creator and star Rachel Bloom's favorite songs and music-based memories, courtesy of a very fun Q&A with Billboard? Her tastes and recollections are all either perfect, or perfectly strange — befitting of someone who can straddle sexy, goofy, and freaky, often in a single scene.

It makes sense, for example, that her first concert was Bette Midler with her parents; it makes less sense (but a lot of sense, if you really think about it) that her first album purchase was the soundtrack to A Goofy Movie (verdict? It "holds up"). Similarly, it's understandable that she'd go through an Offspring phase (us too, Rachel), but less so that she'd think, "There is something about them that feels musical theater just because their songs are these weird, wacky stories and they are very lyric focused." And of course, someone as sunny and funny as Bloom would want the song "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" by Monty Python played at her funeral. But only someone who composed a song called "Don't Settle For Me" would associate her first sexy time memory with the theme song to Futurama. With all of that ammunition in her music brain, we can't wait to see what comes of Rebecca and Josh in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend season two.

What Do the Gotham Award Nominations Tell Us About the Oscars?

Long considered the unofficial opening of awards season, the Gotham Independent Film Awards (which announced its 2016 nominations yesterday and will be held at Cipriani Wall Street on November 28), have never been the kind of bellwether of future Oscar success that, say, the SAGs and PGAs have been. Mostly, it's just a great party where all of New York's independent film scene turns up and gets drunk together.

But maybe they should be.


Kanye Made a Very Sweet Video for Kim's Birthday

This afternoon, Kanye West rather quietly (by Kanye standards) released a video on Twitter honoring his wife Kim Kardashian West on her 36th birthday. Clocking in at just over five minutes, the unexpectedly moving video comprises home footage spanning from around age six to what appears to be her sixteenth birthday party, much of it seemingly shot and narrated by her father, Robert Kardashian, who died of cancer in 2003. Under the simple headline "Happy Birthday babe," and accompanied by a subtle soundtrack (presumably created by West), it's a very thoughtful, intimate, and rather touching — albeit totally public — tribute to the mother of his two children. At one point, while in the hospital with her mother Kris just after she has given birth (probably to either Kylie or Kendall), a teenage Kim looks right in the camera and says, "I can't wait until it's my turn." Take a look at video below, and enjoy seeing one of the world's most famous and glamorous women just goofing around with her (yes, super wealthy, but) loving family.

The Rock and Will Ferrell are Tag-Teaming a Wrestling Pilot at Fox

It looks like Fox's spandex budget just went up: The Wrap reports that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is producing a behind-the-scenes pro wrestling series pilot for the network. According to Johnson, the as-yet-unnamed series details the friendship between a budding wrestling star and a writer who pens all that witty, high-minded dialogue for people to say before they hit one another with chairs. It appears to be loosely based on the relationship between The Rock and former WWE head writer Brian Gewirtz, which blossomed twenty years ago when both were starting out in the wrestling biz. (Gerwitz is also producing the put pilot.) Helping matters along — much like a greased-up body helps one body slam an opponent — Will Ferrell and Adam McKay are executive producing under their Gary Sanchez Productions banner. Will The Rock himself appear in the pilot, one asks? Well, as the man himself might answer, "Know Your Role, Dwayne" (which is producer, and that ain't half bad).

Chris Pine Joins A Wrinkle in Time; Ava DuVernay Settles the Question of the Best Superhero-Chris

The most sensitive Chris, Chris Pine, has joined Ava DuVernay's epic adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time, reports Deadline. He'll play Dr. Alex Murry, the scientist dad who goes missing after working on a top-secret project called a tesseract, completing the hot scientist couple with Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who plays his wife, Dr. Kate Murry. They'll parent the adorable Meg, played by Storm Reid, who will travel through time and space to track down her father. And if that's not enough casting magic for you, may we remind you that Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling will play the trio of powerful, intergalactic beings Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Who, respectively — and respectfully.

Donald Glover Is Your New Lando Calrissian in the Star Wars Han Solo Prequel

Sound the alarm, Star Wars has made at least one of your fan-casting dreams come true: Donald Glover has officially been cast as a young Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Han Solo stand-alone movie, LucasFilm announced on Friday. He'll star opposite Alden Ehrenreich, your new Han, as the famous smuggler in the still-untitled film slated for 2018. “These are big shoes to fill, and an even bigger cape, and this one fits him perfectly, which will save us money on alterations," directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller said in statement. "Also, we’d like to publicly apologize to Donald for ruining Comic-Con for him forever.” Poor guy. On top of a year that's already seen Glover rise to the top of the list of greatest young comedian-auteurs of his time, he's also previously been cast in the Spider-Man reboot, fulfilling all your nerdiest fantasies. Thank him later.

RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Katya Has a Wild Story About a Time She Hooked Up With a Guy in Drag

Here at Vulture, we've had the queens from the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars come by to tell us memorable stories about themselves in drag: Alyssa Edwards told us a touching story about the first time she ever did drag as a teen in Mesquite, Texas, and Alaska remembered the time that she slayed a drag competition while lip-syncing Lil' Kim's "How Many Licks." Well, Katya Zamolodchikova went in a completely different direction, opting to tell us the craziest thing that ever happened to her while she was in drag. That is, the time she hooked up with a guy in Australia, in full drag, only for it to all end very badly. Bless your sweet Russian hooker heart, Katya.

Daisy Ridley Uses Jedi Mind Tricks on a Wolf; Speculates on Rey’s Parentage

Star Wars actor Daisy Ridley executive produces and narrates the new documentary The Eagle Huntress, a film about a 13-year-old girl who becomes Mongolia's first female eagle hunter. And apparently, Ridley herself has a way with animals, too. At last night's screening, hosted by Sony Pictures Classics and the Cinema Society, Ridley told us about the time she was face-to-face with a wolf. “Fun story,” Ridley told Vulture. “I went on a moonlit hike with wolves on Sunday at a wolf sanctuary outside of L.A. We were walking with Willow, she is the very sedate one, and I went to say, ‘Hi.’ You had to be super-careful. She put her face in my face, and it was amazing. So I would like to say that animals respond well to me. Wolf whisperer — that sounds like that could be my name.”


Leonardo DiCaprio Has a New Biopic to Star In As Music Producer Sam Phillips

Leonardo DiCaprio has starred in his fair share of biopics. He’s been an American entrepreneurial billionaire, the first director of the FBI, a Wall Street tycoon, a rugged explorer, a teenage con man, and he’s even played King Louis XIV. But he’s never played a music-industry icon — until now! According to Deadline, DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company has acquired the rights to the book Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll and the newly minted Oscar winner is set to play the title role. Phillips was a producer at Sun Studio in Memphis, and he worked with legendary figures like Elvis Presley, Howlin’ Wolf, Johnny Cash, and more. Mick Jagger has also come onboard to help produce.

Bill Murray Stops by White House Press Briefing to Talk Sports and Otherwise Hang

It's a Friday afternoon and the internet is acting spooky, so you tell me, who among us currently has anything better to do than stroll into a White House press briefing? Not Bill Murray, erstwhile elusive curiosity and recently ubiquitous man of the people. In town to pick up the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Sunday, Murray made a detour while visiting President Obama, wandering in to the White House press corp. He talked sports, specifically the Cubs' World Series chances and how he thinks they're good. And come on — that face, behind that podium? Now, there's an America you can believe in.

BBC America’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency Will Try Your Patience

I have no idea what’s going on in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. Although I haven’t read the two Douglas Adams novels that it’s based on, I’ve been assured by Adams devotees that you’re not supposed to know what’s going on — that knowing what’s happening is not the point of the exercise. You’re supposed to sort of feel your way through it all, go with the flow; at least that’s how the title character (Samuel Barrett) describes his investigation into a bloody cosmic disturbance that opens this BBC America series, by way of enticing a bellhop named Todd (Elijah Wood) to become his sidekick. He tells Todd that he’s less interested in the sorts of procedural details that typically obsess TV detectives than in “the fundamental interconnectness of all things.” “You’re a detective who doesn’t find clues,” Todd says, his exasperation mirroring my own.


7 Most Absurd Lines From R. Kelly’s Christmas Album

Nothing says Christmas spirit quite like R. Kelly, am I right? Whether the world wanted it or not, Kellz has taken the natural progression from 12 Play to 12 Nights of Christmas, which is both the title of his new holiday album and the number of times he's threatened to fill up your, ahem, stockings this season. Given that this is his first-ever Christmas album, any reasonable person might expect him to stick to the classics, but that would just be too tame. All of his Christmas carols are originals and come rated-R for extreme ridiculousness (and, uh, sex, obviously). Is it okay to listen to any of them, Christmastime or not? Only if you'd like to kill your holiday buzz months in advance. Below, we unwrap the silliest things he says on this album. Cheers!


Get Jazzed: Jennifer Lawrence Is Playing Zelda Fitzgerald in Ron Howard Biopic

Jennifer Lawrence, who may know a thing or two about the muse-lover role, is set to play Zelda Fitzgerald in a biopic. Zelda, about the Jazz Age "It" girl who famously struggled with her own creative works while inspiring those of husband F. Scott Fitzgerald, will pair Lawrence with possible director Ron Howard. Howard is developing the project now, with an interest in stepping behind the camera, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Nancy Milford’s biography Zelda is the basis of the project, which has a script penned by Emma Frost (The White Queen). Lawrence's casting sounds like a good fit — after all, Fitzgerald was known as the "first American flapper," while Lawrence is famously, gloriously flappable. So ... just how high are the odds for Bradley Cooper as F. Scott?

Moonlight’s Barry Jenkins on Directing One of the Best Films of the Year

There's been no sophomore slump for Barry Jenkins. Eight years after his first film, the influential Medicine for Melancholy, Jenkins has written and directed Moonlight, which is earning some of the best reviews of the year. Adapted from the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney, the film tracks its protagonist, Chiron, through three pivotal periods of his life: as a boy (Alex Hibbert) mistreated by his drug-addicted mother (Naomie Harris), as a wiry teenager (Ashton Sanders) figuring out his sexuality, and as a man (Trevante Rhodes) who wears his muscles like a suit of armor but finds an unexpectedly emotional connection with an old friend (André Holland). For Jenkins, the film sometimes hit too close to home: He, too, grew up in Chiron's rough Miami neighborhood with a mother who grappled with substance abuse. For those reasons, Moonlight is hard for him to watch. For other people, though, it is a necessity.


  • Posted 10/21/16 at 3:02 PM

This Is What a $30,000 Cosplay Outfit Looks Like

Among the thousands of cosplayers and attendees at New York Comic Con this year, one stood, quite literally, above all the rest. The over 9-foot-tall costume lurched through crowds, parting the masses of comic fandom. The cosplay is based on Reinhardt, a hero character from Blizzard's popular first-person shooter game Overwatch. Created by Thomas DePetrillo, the costume cost, in parts and labor, upward of $30,000.

Every Episode of Black Mirror, Ranked From Worst to Best

Anthologies are all the rage these days, from Ryan Murphy's ever-expanding empire of not-so-mini mini-series to Joe Swanberg's recent collection of romance shorts. And yet no program has taken advantage of the elasticity of anthology storytelling quite like Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror, trading pet themes, genres, creative personnel, and tones from one episode to the next. A newfangled, potentially disastrous technology pops up in each installment, giving the collection a healthy sense of cohesion, but the 13 episodes aired so far could not be more all over the map. Political satires and future dystopias, cop procedurals and war dramas, soulless nihilism and life-affirming humanism — if you dislike Black Mirror, perhaps you just haven't found the right episode yet.

Such a varied palette of styles and stories means that the series is naturally hit or miss. It delivers far more hits than misses, but hashing out which episode hits hardest can be helpful for a newbie who wants to customize their viewing order. Read on for Vulture's definitive ranking of all 13 episodes of Black Mirror, from the worst to the best.


The High Maintenance Creators on Their First HBO Season, Interrogating Their Fans, and Why ‘The Guy’ Is Less Chill These Days

High Maintenance wraps its first run on HBO tonight, a six-episode season that told 11 short stories, each reflecting a different corner of human experience in New York. It caps things off with the return of Patrick (Michael Cyril Creighton), one of the web series’ most affecting characters, and in a High Maintenance first, we finally get a glimpse into the Guy’s (co-creator Ben Sinclair) life. Show creators Katja Blichfeld and Sinclair joined the Vulture TV Podcast recently to discuss their influences, which characters they feel most deeply for, and why the Guy is less chill this season. (Listen to our conversation on the next Vulture TV Podcast, out Tuesday, October 25). 


Anne Hathaway Truthers Rejoice: She Admits She Faked Her Way Through That Oscar Acceptance Speech

Alright, you can get that light out of Anne Hathaway's face already, because she's ready to confess. That Oscar acceptance speech that became the flashpoint around Hathaway's label as a phony try-hard? The actress admits it was a sham, but only because Les Misérables left her in a suuuper-weird head space. "It’s an obvious thing, you win an Oscar and you’re supposed to be happy. I didn’t feel that way," Hathaway told the Guardian, explaining that the experience of making Les Mis — wherein Hathaway chopped off her hair, whittled herself down to skin and bone, and bellowed her guts out while cameras swung in dizzying circles around her — took its toll. In Hathaway's words: "I felt very uncomfortable. I kind of lost my mind doing that movie and it hadn’t come back yet. Then I had to stand up in front of people and feel something I don’t feel which is uncomplicated happiness."

I felt wrong that I was standing there in a gown that cost more than some people are going to see in their lifetime, and winning an award for portraying pain that still felt very much a part of our collective experience as human beings. I tried to pretend that I was happy and I got called out on it, big time. That’s the truth and that’s what happened. It sucks. But what you learn from it is that you only feel like you can die from embarrassment, you don’t actually die.

Let he among us who has endured Les Mis sans prolonged funk throw the first stone.

The Ivory Game Trailer: Save the Elephants!

Leonardo DiCaprio, he's our hero. A week before his climate-change documentary Before the Flood is set to premiere on the National Geographic Channel, Netflix is releasing the first trailer for the DiCaprio-produced The Ivory Game, which illuminates the shadowy and horrifying black market of ivory trafficking, and explains how it's wiping out global elephant populations. “Traders in ivory actually want extinction of elephants,” says one man. “The less elephants there are, the more the price rises.” So get ready to see a grown elephant pushing around a large piece of elephant skeleton on the ground as a disembodied voice tells you how elephants treat each other as family and we don’t yet have an understanding of how deeply they feel for each other. Yeah. It’s like that. The Ivory Game premieres on Netflix on November 4.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Is a Model of Mindless Pulpy Action

Given that Tom Cruise is of relatively small stature and that a defining element of Lee Child’s do-gooder killing machine Jack Reacher is that he’s six-foot-five, the second Cruise-Reacher outing is not bad at all. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is a tight little thriller directed by Edward Zwick, who generally does highbrow projects but worked with Cruise on The Last Samurai and probably needed a commercial hit. The choice of this particular Child novel seemed odd, given that it’s one of the talkiest and the payoff is muted, but Zwick and his partner Marshall Hershkovitz (Richard Wenk also has screenplay credit) have changed the story and upped the number of kills. My hunch is that, like Nicholas Meyer with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, they pored over the Reacher canon to find the most Ur-Reacher moments and sprinkled them through the script. Although the reviews have been bad (there are people who think, inexplicably, that Christopher McQuarrie, the director of Jack Reacher, is a master of the genre), the movie is lighter, more fun, and ultimately more satisfying than its weighty predecessor.



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