Wilson Webb/Paramount Pictures(NEW YORK) -- I thought 2001’s Zoolander was OK. I’ve met people who can quote lines from it with a passion, like they were quoting from a religious text, or a Shakespearean sonnet. These are the people that will be thrilled with Zoolander 2, and stars Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell’s ability to say the most ridiculous things while staying in character. It’s what great comic actors do. Here, however, it’s not always funny.
Minor spoiler alert: Justin Bieber shows up and immediately dies. It’s in the trailer, it’s in the commercials, it’s been discussed publicly. I really wish it hadn’t been. It’s a terrific joke, one that helps drive the movie, and they gave it away for free. Bad form.
When Bieber dies, Valentina Valencia (Penelope Cruz), an agent for Interpol’s Global Fashion Division, takes it upon herself to figure out who’s killing the world’s beautiful pop stars. In the meantime, our hero, Stiller’s male model Derek Zoolander, has been in self-imposed exile in “deep Northern New Jersey.” He’s been there since child services took away his son after a video of Derek being a terrible father went viral. Derek was tasked with raising little Derek after accidentally (sort of) killing his wife, Matilda. Her death is part of a solid joke I don’t want to give away here.
Hansel (Owen Wilson) is also in exile, but he’s in a relationship with quite a few people. This is another of the movie’s more effective jokes I choose not to spoil. Ultimately, they’ll join forces with Valencia, and Derek, once again, will have to find a way to become self-actualized, forgive himself, and be who he was always meant to be. I guess. Does it really matter?
Will Ferrell returns as the villain Mugatu and neither hurts or adds to the movie. In fact, by the time he shows up, most of the best jokes have been executed. But he’s Will Ferrell and, inevitably, his level of commitment practically forces you to laugh -- especially when he’s in a scene with Kristen Wiig, who plays Alexanya Atoz, one of the world’s greatest fashion designers, a character clearly inspired by Donatella Versace.
Many of the cameos are terrific, while some of them elicit almost no reaction. Kiefer Sutherland’s turn here was, by far, my favorite.
The strength of Zoolander 2 is when a joke hits, it hits hard. The weakness is when a joke misses, it bombs badly. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misses, but enough hits to make it worth your time.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Turne(LONDON) -- Kate Winslet said she will be at the Oscars this year because she hopes to see her "closest friend" Leonardo DiCaprio finally win.
Winslet and DiCaprio, who is nominated for his role in The Revenant, appeared together in Titanic and Revolutionary Road. Although he's been nominated for an Oscar six times, DiCaprio has never won.
Winslet, who was nominated for her role in Steve Jobs, said she would attend the awards show despite the lack of diversity in this year's nominees.
"To be honest with you, it has been such an extraordinary year for women. I'd feel like I was letting my side down if I didn't go," Winslet told the BBC at the launch of her latest film, Triple 9. "And also I feel very strongly that it may possibly be Leo's year. And he is my closest friend in the world and I just couldn't imagine not being there to support him. And I think those are reasons enough really to show my face."
Will Smith, his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and director Spike Lee have all said they would boycott the Oscars this year.
ABC/Bob D’Amico(NEW YORK) -- The dark and gritty legal mystery drama How to Get Away with Murder, starring Viola Davis as the diabolical diva lawyer Annalise Keating, returns to airwaves Thursday. And the last image that has racked viewers’ minds for the past couple of months is the one of the Emmy Award-winning actress lying on the floor with blood oozing out of her chest -- after being shot by one of her legal students.
In the cliffhanging final scene, it was revealed that her mentee Wes Gibbins, played by Alfred Enoch, was the shooter.
ABC Radio caught up to the former Harry Potter star to ask him the deal on what viewers can expect this season.
“Yeah so Wes, in the mid-season finale, shoots Annalise Keating, which ya know probably about time someone did that because she's going around doing lots of crazy things,” he confessed. “So the second half of the season sort of explores the consequences of that and you see a bit more of what happened that night and how the characters sort of immediately deal with that kind of fallout and then in sort of a wider sense of the season, that's kind of tricky to shoot your boss and you have to go back to work. So that gets explored.”
Billy Brown, who plays Annalise’s hunky estranged lover, Detective Nate Lahey, told ABC Radio that this season will get “deeper” and “twisted.”
"We've got six more episodes I believe, so everything that you've learned about the Hapstalls and what you think is going on with Annalise and the students and that kind of treachery and then Lahey, it gets deeper. Ya know, it gets twisted. But Pete and the writers are bringing in more character development than they did in the first season. So it's not just plot, plot, plot. You're getting some real character insight.”
The current season of How to Get Away with Murder resumes tonight 10:00 ET on ABC.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures(NEW YORK) -- We’ve already had two trailers for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Now with just over a month to go before the movie’s release, we’ve been treated to a third, final one, and the emphasis this time is clearly on action.
Set to a guitar-driven rock soundtrack, the first thirty seconds of footage features Ben Affleck’s Batman leaping from a jet – remotely controlled by his butler, Alfred, played by Jeremy Irons – crashing through a second-story window, then smashing through the floor above to single-handedly beat down what appears to be a dozen armed thugs.
The rest of the footage we’ve pretty much already seen, though there are some new moments, including a few of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. There are also more flashes of Batman in his armored suit, duking it out with Henry Cavill’s Superman, including a final shot where Batman stops one of Superman’s punches cold – much to Superman’s surprise.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, also starring Amy Adams and Jesse Eisenberg, opens nationwide March 25.
ABC/Eric McCandless(NEW YORK) -- Gladiators, get ready because Scandal is back this week. And of course, they will be bringing the drama this spring.
The last time we saw Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington, she and POTUS Fitzgerald Grant, played by Tony Goldwyn, were calling it quits -- after finally reaching the idyllic fantasy romantic state they’ve endured so much for.
Cornelius Smith, Jr., who portrays Marcus on the hit ABC drama, tells ABC News Radio that it doesn’t look like there will be any turning back for Washington’s infamous fixer and her love affair with the leader of the free world.
“We'll see Olivia kind of working things out, I think, post-Fitz,” the former All My Children actor revealed. “She looked pretty done to me. It looked done and it felt done and until I have further information, it's done. Done is done. It has to be.”
Smith says his character Marcus is now officially a part of Pope & Associates but there will be an intense adjustment period under way.
“Coming back you will see basically how Marcus, number one, he's an official gladiator, and...number two, you'll see Marcus, he has his flag in justice and doing the right thing and he doesn't necessarily have a great impression and approve of the way the gladiators do business. So you’ll really kinda see how Marcus, number one, has set the bar and will see Marcus raise the bar."
Katie Lowes, who plays Quinn, adds, "Time has passed, and so you can really see the effects of Olivia's choice about making an abortion, you can see how O.P.A. has been through all of her transition."
The current season of Scandal resumes tonight at 9:00 ET on ABC.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- You could argue Bruce Springsteen has already written his autobiography, in the form of the dozens of deeply personal, confessional songs he’s shared with fans over the decades. But now the legendary rock musician is putting the story of his life in one place, in an autobiography to be released this fall.
The book, which will be titled -- of course -- Born to Run, will be available from Simon & Schuster September 27. Springsteen spilled the news in a tweet Thursday morning that directs fans to his official website for details.
Springsteen began working on the autobiography in 2009, right after his Super Bowl 43 halftime performance with the E Street Band in Tampa, FL. “Writing about yourself is a funny business,” Springsteen notes in the book, according to a statement on his website. “But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I’ve tried to do this.”
The book will cover Springsteen’s life and career, from his early days growing up in Freehold, New Jersey, through the rise of the E Street Band, and to the present day.
“This is the book we’ve been hoping for,” says Simon & Schuster publisher Jonathan Karp. “Readers will see their own lives in Bruce Springsteen’s extraordinary story, just as we recognize ourselves in his songs.”
More info, including pre-order dates for Born to Run, is promised soon.
JB Lacroix/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Funny or Die has made a Donald Trump biopic based on his 1987 book The Art of the Deal, and it stars Oscar-nominated actor Johnny Depp as the presidential candidate.
The 50-minute video is streaming now on the site, and Funny or Die co-founder Adam McKay, who is also nominated for an Oscar for best director this year for The Big Short, spoke to The New York Times about how the cast and crew were able to film this movie without anyone knowing.
"It was a crazy, completely nuts idea that somehow we pulled off," McKay told the paper.
Ron Howard narrates the grainy film, shot as if it takes place in the 1980s, when Trump's book first hit store shelves. Depp was able to film the movie over a few days this past December, The New York Times notes.
This movie comes on the heels of Trump's big win at the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary Tuesday night.
Fantasia with contestant Jordan Sasser; Michael Becker/FOX(NEW YORK) -- The Top 24 have been chosen, and on Wednesday night's one-hour edition of American Idol, it was time for them to show judges Keith Urban, Harry Connick, Jr. and Jennifer Lopez that they are here to stay.
Each contestant performed a solo song of their choosing in front of the judges and an intimate crowd at the Vibiana in Los Angeles. Thursday night, they’ll be paired up with Idol favorites, including Fantasia, Ruben Studdard, Nick Fradiani, Caleb Johnson, Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery.
Here are Wednesday’s highlights:
Stephany Negrete kicked things off with Jessie J’s “Mama Knows Best.” Keith praised the song choice, but thought she could’ve loosened up a little more. Jennifer said Stephany had the “full package” to be a pop star -- voice, looks and stage presence, but felt she could’ve been a little more connected to the song. Harry agreed, noting that “something was missing,” although he still thought it was a strong performance.
Next up was Mackenzie Bourg with Great Big World’s “Say Something.” Lopez said Bourg looked natural, noting that he “did what Mackenzie does.” Connick enjoyed the performance, in particular that Mackenzie changed the melody, but kept the integrity of the song. Urban added that it sounded like a song Bourg could’ve written himself.
Multi-instrumentalist Jeneve Rose Mitchell played the harp this time as she sang Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel.” Harry thought she did a disservice to herself by playing the harp on this song because it hindered her vocal performance. Keith called Jeneve “the real deal,” noting that playing the harp standing up as she did was not easy. Jennifer admitted she wasn’t sure about Jeneve at first, but “had goosies everywhere” after the performance.
Country singer Jenna Renae chose “My Church” by Maren Morris for her solo performance. Urban loved the song choice, but was still curious to hear “other sides” of her. J-Lo thought Jenna sounded like she was in her element, displaying a joy in her singing she hadn’t seen before. Harry liked the energy and enthusiasm, but warned that there is a fine line between singing with enthusiasm and shouting, and her pitch suffered because of it.
James VIII‘s version of Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown” was a hit with the studio audience, who booed Jennifer when she said the song didn’t grab her or the crowd the way it could have. Harry agreed with J-Lo, noting that the tune was “super easy,” which was fine, but he wondered when it was going to become “more complex.” Keith warned James to be careful choosing between “being chill and being indulgent.”
Sonika Vaid performed “Safe and Sound,” by Taylor Swift featuring the Civil Wars. Harry said it was one of the more emotional performances of the night. Lopez complimented the singer for having a “beautiful voice,” but suggested Sonika choose songs that aren’t only suited to her voice, but make her “feel something” as well.
Gianna Isabella, daughter of dance diva Brenda K. Starr, slayed with her delivery of Annie Lennox’s version of “I Put a Spell on You.” Urban declared that Gianna’s voice is “undeniable.” However, he also noted that while she had moments of owning the stage, the performance was a little inconsistent. Harry said Gianna was a student of American Idol and pleased the crowd with “big, loud notes in the right places,” but urged her to challenge herself and find as much “meat” in her performance as she can.
Emily Brooke belted out Cassadee Pope’s “I Am Invincible” -- a poor choice in the judges’ opinions. Jennifer didn’t think the song played to Brooke’s vocal strengths. Harry added that he didn’t think Emily “sold” the lyrics, noting that he’d never seen her struggle with her pitch as much as she did on Wednesday. Keith agreed, but was a little kinder, praising Emily for “exploring” and searching for more of her artistry.
A makeup-less, dressed-down Avalon Young performed “Love Yourself,” by Justin Bieber. Connick praised Young for being “in tune” with who she is, adding that it was a strong performance. Urban agreed, but urged her to “take charge” more. Lopez noted that Avalon had the audience in the palm of her hand, and urged her not to be too self-conscious.
Jordan Sasser delivered an overly dramatic performance of Celine Dion’s “All by Myself.” Keith thought the performance was “a little too theatrical,” causing Jordan to lose the emotion of the song. Harry noted Sasser has a great voice, but called Wednesday’s performance "show-offy.”
Thomas Stringfellow was up next with “Creep” by Radiohead. Lopez was impressed with the way he “played” with his voice in a way she hadn’t heard before, adding that his emotion “filled the room.” Harry called it a “tremendous” performance, complimenting him on being “aware of the words.” Keith was also impressed with Thomas’ tendency to “lean into abandonment,” urging him never to pull himself out of that and “let yourself go.”
Closing out Wednesday’s show was La’Porsha Renae, who won the night with her performance of Ike & Tina Turner’s version of “Proud Mary,” dancing around the stage as she did. Connick predicted the performance would push other competitors to get better or make them quit. Urban praised La’Porsha for not allowing the praise she’s received in the past for her powerful voice “wreck” it for her by becoming too self-conscious of it.
American Idol continues with a two-hour edition on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation(NEW YORK) -- It’s been years in the making but fans of Marvel’s incendiary, foul-mouthed anti-hero superhero Deadpool are finally getting a movie, and it’s the movie they’ve always wanted.
Ryan Reynolds plays Wade Wilson, a mercenary with a heart of mold. There’s nothing sentimental about him. He hangs out at a bar with other mercenaries and hit men, run by a guy named Weasel (T.J. Miller). Miller is the yin to Reynolds’… yin. They’re a ferocious comedy duo that must have supplied the editor with enough improvised material for a 10-episode series on Netflix. But I digress.
Weasel runs a “dead pool” – that is, a betting pool with odds on which one of his patrons is likely to die next. Weasel, a funny guy but a terrible person, bets on his best buddy when Wade learns he has terminal cancer. Then some shady organization offers Wade a cure. It works, but it disfigures him. That’s the bad news. The good news is he’s also developed incredible regenerative healing powers and strength. Meet Deadpool.
But before he becomes Deadpool, Wade meets Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), who shares his wit and values. Like Wade and Weasel, that makes her a terrible person, and a terribly entertaining character. Wade and Vanessa fall hard for each other and in the process we’re treated to a delightful and gut-bustingly funny montage of love scenes that, I’m guessing, took days to shoot.
Reynolds, as Deadpool, defies pretty much every superhero movie convention. He points out “superhero landings” made by characters, references the legal reason there aren’t more X-Men in the movie, constantly talks to the audience, and is self-deprecating in way I’ve never seen before. And that’s just skimming the surface.
Ed Skrein, star of the recent The Transporter reboot, is in his element as the stereotypical British bad guy, while Leslie Uggams, as Blind Al, is the best superhero roommate any superhero movie has ever known.
There’s no doubt fans are going to flip for Deadpool, but it’s not perfect. Reynolds and company get overzealous with breaking down the fourth wall and disparaging superhero movies, and realistically, it’s impossible to keep up the hilarious, breakneck pace the film establishes in the first 20 minutes.
Even so, groovy non-linear story-telling and Reynolds’ frenetic energy and comedic timing will keep the most superficial fans entertained. Deadpool is subversive fun and a likely blockbuster.
James Glader(NEW YORK) -- With the loss of so many prominent musicians in the past few months, there are bound to be plenty of tributes at this Monday night's Grammy awards. We already know about a tribute planned for David Bowie, and now Billboard reports one has been lined up for Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey, who died January 18.
Billboard reports Eagles founding members Don Henley and Bernie Leadon will perform, along with Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh and bass player Timothy B. Schmit.
In addition, the band's close friend Jackson Browne, who co-wrote "Take It Easy," will join the tribute. In their pre-fame years, Browne and Frey were roommates, and Billboard notes that Frey has said he learned how to write songs by observing Browne.
Image courtesy FOX(FLINT, Mich.) -- Last month, Jada Pinkett Smith was thrust into the international spotlight after criticizing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences for its lack of diversity. This month, she’s lending her name to another cause that has been the focal point of national outrage: the lead water poisoning crisis in Flint, Michigan.
On Wednesday, the Gotham actress tweeted a photo of herself and others alongside Flint MayorKaren Weaver. Smith aid they were together “to discuss long-term support to help the residents of her city.”
Smith previously has lent her name and voice to social causes, most notably when she testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about human trafficking in 2012.
In Flint Michigan meeting with Mayor Karen Weaver discussing long term support to help the residents of her city. pic.twitter.com/5UlhzDclw4