Category Archives: Entertainment

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Why the rhinos are the real MVP of ‘Black Panther’

Excited for Black Panther? So are we. Which is why we’re rolling out obsessive coverage with Black Panther Week

Spoilers ahead for Black Panther.

One of the most unexpected joys of Black Panther is how it leaves you with the sudden, overwhelming, impossible urge to get a pet war rhino. And we need to talk about it.

There’s a lot to love, analyze, and discuss about Ryan Coogler’s monumental Marvel feat, so we  understand why this particular aspect of the film’s magic has gone criminally undiscussed. But the Very Good Boy war rhinos of Black Panther deserve their time in the spotlight, too. And we’re here to let them bask in it. Read more…

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Bill Gates is going to appear as himself on ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Bill Gates, the man Dennis Feinstein once famously referred to as “like a super-nerd,” is reportedly set to appear on TV’s nerdiest sitcom: The Big Bang Theory.

The Microsoft founder-turned-billionaire philanthropist will play himself in a March episode of the series, EW reports. He pops up when he visits the pharmaceutical company where Penny works, and of course the guys want to meet him.

SEE ALSO: The cast of ‘Queer Eye’ gives us their take on millennial trends

Gates has been mentioned on the show before, having once punched Sheldon for criticizing Windows Vista, but he’s never appeared in person. The chances of Sheldon saying something dumb again — he suggested that Gates’s focus on philanthrophy was the reason Vista had problems — seem extremely high. Read more…

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Randall Pearson – um, Sterling K. Brown is hosting ‘SNL’

He made you cry, America, and now he’ll make you laughSterling K. Brown will host Saturday Night Live on March 10, presumably in honor of Black Panther‘s monumental success and America’s ongoing obsession with This Is Us.

SEE ALSO: Why we’re so addicted to watching ‘This is Us’ and crying

Brown will be joined by musical guest James Bay. He’s one of three upcoming hosts SNL announced on Tuesday, the others being NBA alum Charles Barkley and former SNL cast member Bill Hader joined respectively by Migos and Arcade Fire.

Yes, yes, yes, yes,

— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) February 20, 2018 Read more…

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What your favorite ‘Black Panther’ crush says about you

Excited for Black Panther? So are we. Which is why we’re rolling out obsessive coverage with Black Panther Week.

The Marvel universe never lacked baes. But Black Panther raised the bar to untold heights, by introducing such an overwhelming abundance of marriage-quality characters that even the most hydrated among us could not stave off the thirst.

At any given time, there are anywhere from one to six baes on screen at the same time in Black Panther. That’s a lot to handle. And the same question hangs over our heads throughout the movie: who is most bae? Which among this wide array of uniquely complex, multi-layered, and – of course – sexy characters reigns as queen or king of your heart? Read more…

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‘Black Panther’ hides a key to Marvel’s future at the movies in Wakanda

Excited for Black Panther? So are we. Which is why we’re rolling out obsessive coverage with Black Panther Week. 

Black Panther spoilers ahead. You have been warned.

As the credits roll on Black Panther, a seismic shift occurs in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. King T’Challa informs the United Nations that Wakanda’s isolationist era is at an end, and the African nation will henceforth share its technology and its resources with the outside world.

SEE ALSO: The best Black Panther comics to read if you’re amped for the movie

One representative asks in response, “What does a nation of farmers have to offer the rest of the world?” T’Challa merely smiles. We know it’s vibranium, but the rest of the planet has no clue. Read more…

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This Is Not A Witch-Hunt. It’s An Exorcism

As the tidal wave of protests about sexual assault, bullying, and ‘inappropriate conduct’ becomes a worldwide tsunami, there is an inevitable backlash.

Trivial matters are being elevated into career wrecking accusations, goes the complaint. Women are being treated like helpless, delicate Victorian maidens, they say. All of this will backfire on the women, who will find employers reluctant to appoint them and suitors too fearful to court them. There is widespread hysteria and a conspicuous lack of due process.

I’m not sure what due process has been accorded to the women – and men – who’ve been groped, assaulted or raped, but I agree we should not rush to judgment over unsubstantiated accusations. And it is important to maintain a sense of proportion about some of the more marginal complaints. But the scale of the bullying and abuse suffered by women across the world is beyond doubt.

The sea-change began in October with revelations about Harvey Weinstein but spread quickly to numerous powerful men in the media. And it has rippled far beyond that. Last month, Beihang University in Beijing fired one of its most prestigious scholars, Professor Chen Xiaowu, for inappropriate behaviour. The university put out a statement we should all adopt: “Morality and ability are paired; actions and talent are one.” The scandals have resonated all over the world. Universities, TV companies, aid agencies, government bodies, have all found themselves having to justify their conduct – and their lack of remedial processes when their behaviour is found wanting.

Ironically, since it was clearly no part of his intention, the Weinstein affair may end up helping woman everywhere. It will help ensure that, finally, they will be listened to. Now we have shocking stories about aid workers employing prostitutes and staging orgies. We hear tales of UN officials coercing war victims into sex. We see the impunity these men enjoy even when their misconduct is revealed. Does anyone believe we would be hearing all these stories – on this massive scale – but for #MeToo, #TimesUp, Call Out Your Pig and all the other movements started by brave young women angry about the indignities thrust upon them?

In the UK, even the fuss over unequal pay for women at the BBC plays into the same narrative. 100 years after winning the vote, women are still fighting for equality, for recognition, for respect. This year, as more British companies are forced to publish their gender pay gap, this story will run and run.

Here too there has been a backlash. What are these posh Oxbridge-educated women complaining about? After all, the aggrieved BBC women are all relatively well paid. (Although not, perhaps, relative to the men.) But the principles of fairness and transparency these women are demanding will benefit women everywhere. Whether it’s over pay, bullying or harassment, secrecy is our greatest enemy, openness our strongest weapon.

When we threaten change on this scale we frighten the people in power, especially the men who benefit most from a lazy status quo. And they fight back. Yes, Harvey was a bully, but he had great taste in movies. Yes, Kevin Spacey was ‘inappropriate’, but he is a wonderful actor. Of course men should behave themselves, but we mustn’t let this hysteria build into a witch-hunt.

I think that Chinese university has it right: “Morality and ability are paired; actions and talent are one.”

This is not a witch-hunt. It’s an exorcism.

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Music Will Be One Of The UK’s Strongest Calling Cards As It Sells Itself Post Brexit

As Brexit battles continue to rage across the media and in the Cabinet, with new claims daily about the risks or opportunities for the UK outside the EU, for the UK outside the EU, one thing is obvious: our country will need to play to its strengths as it forges a new position in the world.

The creative industries are one of the UK’s biggest trade success stories; accounting for £92 billion of value added and growing at twice the speed of the rest of the economy. Music is one area in which Britain really punches above its weight – it’s the largest exporter of recorded music in the world after the US, accounting for one in every eight albums purchased globally. In eight of the past 12 years the world’s best-selling artist album has come from a British artist. As the music played at the Winter Olympics shows, everywhere you go in the world, people know our songs.

Britain’s recorded music business returned to solid growth in 2017 after a long period of uncertainty and digital transition. It still faces challenges, in particular the need for certain digital platforms like YouTube to pay a fair rate for music, but if given the right conditions by Government, the UK music industry can prove one of the UK’s export champions. Music is a powerful force for social mobility and it’s exciting to see that 2017’s success embraces the full breadth of Britain’s diverse talent, from original new female voices to the growing diversity of genres, not least grime, hitting the music mainstream.

In early February Rag’n’Bone Man released Human, which went on to be not just the biggest debut of the year but the second-biggest album overall, topping the million sales mark. Two weeks later Stormzy released his hotly anticipated Gang Signs & Prayer, giving him both a No.1 and, later, a place in the year-end top 10 best-sellers chart.  Then, in March, came Divide. Few superlatives remain unused regarding the success of Ed Sheeran’s third album but, undoubtedly, it confirmed him as a global superstar with the power to reach audiences at a scale that few manage in this fragmented day and age.

In the week of release, Divide achieved the now-unrepeatable feat of nine tracks in the Official Singles Chart Top 10. But there were plenty of other interesting stories to report, including Sam Smith’s hugely successful sophomore release The Thrill of It All, Harry Styles’ solo foray into classic Rock stylings, a Hyundai Mercury Prize win for the supremely talented Sampha and a first solo outing for Liam Gallagher that became one of the fastest-selling releases of the year. Add into the narrative a Gold-selling breakthrough for the melting pot of genres that was J Hus’s Common Sense and it’s clear that 2017 was a really strong year for male solo artists.  

However, whilst the sometimes cyclical nature of recorded music meant that the release slate had a more discernible male accent last year, and British female solo artists did not fare quite as strongly as in recent years – when we witnessed the global dominance of Adele as well as the notable success of artists such as Emeli Sandé, Leona Lewis, Duffy and, of course, Amy Winehouse – it’s fair to say that the new generation of female talent is very exciting.

The biggest pop breakthrough of the year was Dua Lipa, the first female act to receive five nominations for the Brit Awards in a single year.  All three of the nominees for the Brits Critics’ Choice Awards are women who look set to achieve long-term success: Mabel, Stefflon Don and, of course, the eventual winner Jorja Smith, who has also been announced as one of the performers at this year’s Brits.  Add to this Sigrid winning the BBC’s Sound Of 2018 poll, and it’s clear that female artists are strongly positioned for success in 2018 and well beyond. The Critic’s Choice Award is voted for by the media and since its inception 58% of all the nominees and 55% of all the recipients have been women.

With Jessie Ware already having kicked off another brilliant Brits Week line-up, excitement is building for the industry’s big music showcase, The BRITs on 21st February. Huge international stars including Justin Timberlake and Foo Fighters will be joining Stormzy, Jorja Smith, Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, Rag’n’Bone Man, Rita Ora and Sam Smith, on stage at the BRIT awards that will be watched by millions on TV and online. This isn’t just great entertainment, The BRITs are also a major charity fundraiser. The show has raised over £15m for The BRIT Trust to donate to music charities including The Brit School, Nordoff Robbins music therapy and War Child. Most of all The Brits are a compelling reminder that the diversity and reach of British music will be one of the UK’s strongest calling cards as it sells itself to the world.

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Porgs are sped up chickens, and other ‘Star Wars’ sound design secrets

In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, all those wailing porg squeals are just chickens processed through what amounts to an Alvin and the Chipmunks filter.

A new ABC News documentary covering the sound design in The Last Jedi takes an up-close look at the efforts of the foley crew. They’re the reason that porgs, rolling droids like BB-8, or even something as simple as footsteps all sound like distinct, natural extensions of the images on screen.

SEE ALSO: Peak Star Wars? Why we could be in for a galaxy of bad content.

There are several big spoilers in here, so don’t hit “play” until you’ve seen The Last Jedi. Read more…

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