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Archives for: March 6, 2018

ABC President Admits “Inhumans” Didn’t Do Well

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Though the network has not yet officially canceled Marvel’s Inhumans, the president of ABC has admitted that the show failed to live up to their expectations.

“We haven’t made any official decision yet about what we’re going to pick up in May, but I will say that the numbers, unfortunately, were less exciting for us than we hoped they would be,” said Channing Dungey during the winter press tour of the Television Critics Association.

Set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (as is ABC’s other Marvel series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Inhumans was originally supposed to be a movie, but was bumped down to a TV series due to complicated backstage dealings among Disney and Marvel’s execs. Its two hour premiere got an IMAX release, but it, and then the rest of the series, was widely panned for inferior writing and a special effects budget that was incapable of bringing the surreal story and characters to life.

The story focuses on an advanced race which lives in a secret city on the moon, where they use a substance called the Terrigen Mists to give themselves superpowers. Their society is heavily stratified by a caste system that puts the most powerful individuals on top, with powerless people reduced to slavery.

The plot kicks off when Maximus, the powerless brother of the Inhuman king Black Bolt, seizes the throne. The rest of the royal family and their followers wind up sent to Hawaii by their giant teleporting dog (whom most agree is the best part of the show), where they learn more about humanity, reunite and then seek to return to their lunar city. (And yes, the fact that our “heroes” initially support the caste system against a reformer was one of the show’s problems.)

P!nk Releases Video For New Song

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On Monday, pop superstar P!nk released a video for her new song “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken,” which is from her latest album Beautiful Trauma. This comes less than a day after she gave what is for her a rather subdued performance of the song on Sunday’s Grammy Awards.

The video, which was shot completely in black and white, co-stars the singer’s 6-year-old daughter Willow. It is a far more spartan production than her recent ones, especially the dance-intensive video for the song “What about Us,” which comes from the Beautiful Trauma album as well. It also far less glitzy, and less colorful, than the video that accompanied the title track of the album.

The “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” video is more about emotion than style, and there’s a real sense of defiance expressed in the lyrics, in which she conveys to the audience that no rope can hold her down and no amount of tape can shut her up. This defiance, though, is softened somewhat by the scenes with her cradling her young daughter.

Along with the release of the video on Monday, P!nk announced that she was making a contribution to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), for which she is an embassador. She said that she is proud of her work for the organization, which she says helps women and children across the world. She further asked her fans to also make donations to UNICEF, “if the spirit moves you.”

P!nk, who was born Alecia Beth Moore in 1979, has sold more than 50 million singles worldwide and 40 million albums. She has also won 3 Grammy Awards, 7 MTV Music Awards and Billboard in 2009 named her the Pop Song Artist of the Decade.

Mission Impossible Fallout Amazes Audiences and Wows Fans

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The long running Mission Impossible film series has filmed yet another installment in the franchise. This film is now known as Mission Impossible: Fallout. The trailer appears to be another action packed installment in the franchise. Ethan Hunt is of course going on another mission in which he has to use his wits to survive his adversaries. From what it looks like, the film retains some of the visual flair of the first and fifth installment. At the same time, it shows some of the style and intensity of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th films with a call back to its most recent predecessor. From looking at the trailer, Mission Impossible looks like a greatest hits compilation of the best moments of the franchise with Ethan Hunt fighting and evading adversaries on a motorcycle for the third time in the franchise.

Tom Cruise returns to the role of Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible Fallout. Other returning actors are Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames and Michelle Monaghan. New actors in the Mission Impossible franchise include Henry Cavill, a mustached man with a very mean punch as demonstrated in a shot in the trailer. Henry Cavill’s involvement in this film has caused some issues in the production of Justice League which is perhaps similar to the dilemma that was depicted in The Disaster Artist. This has resulted in what would’ve been a scene of Superheroes facing a mustached Superman had they not digitally retouched the scenes. Other actors have appeared in superhero movies as well. There is Angela Basset who has recently appeared in Black Panther, and Alec Baldwin, who has played as The Shadow in the 1994 film. This all-star cast is looking to bring something great to the Mission Impossible film franchise.

Kitty Pryde X-Men Spinoff Reportedly in the Works

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New developments in the world of film, courtesy of Screen Rant, report that a new film starring X-Men favorite Kitty Pryde might be in development with Deadpool director Tim Miller taking the reigns.

In its bid to further the X-Men film franchise beyond the confines of the mainline series, Fox has announced several new projects it is looking into creating. Hoping to follow the breakout success of both Deadpool and Logan, these new films would follow singular characters from the X-Men stable of characters on their own adventures, potentially with little to do with the mainline film series in a similar vein to their predecessors.

Both The New Mutants and Deadpool 2 have already been announced and, according to reports, are closed to finished, with X-Force, Gambit, and Multiple Man movies also on the horizon. Finally, news of a film following X-Men member Shadowcat, also known as Kitty Pryde, is in development.

Though not as well known as other members of the team like Wolverine or Cyclops, Kitty remains one of the most popular characters among fans of the comics and cartoons, playing a major role in several series and appearing in the main X-Men films portrayed by actress Ellen Page. While it’s not clear whether or not she would reprise the role once again for the solo film, it’s at least as likely Fox may recast the character similar to other members of the team in more recent films.

The most obvious issue with the film’s future lies in the recent buyout of Fox’s movie division by Disney. As such, it’s unclear whether or not this new X-Men film would need to conform to the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or even if the plans will end up falling through in the wake of the merger. That being said, given the massive popularity of the X-Men brand and Marvel’s eagerness to make use of it, we can be certain Kitty will appear in new adventures soon enough, whether they be a solo movie or otherwise.

Despacito Music Video Performed Onstage at Grammy Awards

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The Grammy Award ceremony on Sunday night featured a number of musical performances from across the popular music spectrum. The MTV channel website recently devoted extensive coverage to the recreation of a hit music video featuring ‘Despacito’, a dance number. The live re-enactment by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and a scantily clad Zuleyka Rivera did not include Justin Beiber.

MTV reports ‘Despacito’ led the list of the Billboard Hot 100, setting a record as a leader in that venue. During the 2018 Grammy Award performance, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee sang verses to the fast-paced Spanish language song against a vivid pink and blue neon backdrop, while Zuleyka Rivera danced and gyrated across the stage. Some members of the audience reacted in surprise, while others cheered and clapped. Many people rose to their feet.

Mixed Reviews

While some critics praised the performance, a billboard.com article suggested Zuleyka River’s exotic costume (a single-piece garment in a nude colored fabric) had also elicited unkind comments from “haters”. Possibly the music video reenactment, so fresh on the heels of the MeTooMovement, also raised criticism from individuals tired of Hollywood portraying women as stereotyped sex objects? Regardless of the conflicting opinions, the ‘Despacito’ interlude certainly dispelled any pubic perception of the 2018 Grammy Award ceremonies as some staid industry event.

A Hit From Puerto Rico

Luis Fonsi, a singer and songwriter, gained worldwide fame for the ‘Despacito’ music video. It garnered four awards during the 2017 Latin Grammy Awards (including Best Song of the Year and Best Record of the Year). He collaborated with fellow Puerto Rican Daddy Yankee in the production of ‘Despacito,’ the first Spanish language song to soar in billboard charts since the 1996 hit ‘Macarena’. Justin Bieber released a remixed version of their song in 2017.

Justin Timberlake: Bringing Sexy Back in 2018

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The pop scene starting in 2017 had begun to see a domination of male artists on the charts. Songs like “Despacito” and “Shape Of You” saw the likes of Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran claiming their thrones in the world of pop music. However, 2018 has already begun to see the revival of another acclaimed male pop artist. Justin Timberlake, known for being a member of *NSYNC, dating Britney Spears in the early 2000s and launching his own solo career, has had some of the most iconic, chart-topping hits in pop music history. These include “Cry Me A River” (which included the controversial Britney lookalike), “Sexyback”, and “Can’t Stop The Feeling”. Earlier this month, Justin made his big 2018 debut with the release of his newest album, Man of the Woods, which debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Charts. The lead single, Filthy, a mid tempo track living up to the title with dubstep influences, had obtained a Top 10 debut at number 9 on the charts.
If releasing an album wasn’t already Justin’s way of telling us he’s back, his performance at the Super Bowl certainly did. The performance included a large spectacle of dancing and a medley of his most memorable hits. It had also included a tribute to the late Prince, which was met with a large amount of controversy because of Prince’s negative view of holograms/post-death tributes. Controversial performances for pop artists isn’t a new concept: it’s part of what makes them so appealing. This tactic has been used for years and is still effective.
Justin Timberlake’s return to the mainstream pop music scene has been successful thus far. If his hit single “Sexyback” is any indicator of what’s to come, it’s that he will continue to deliver beyond 2018.

End Citizens Uniteds Poll Shows ORourke Closing In On Cruz Fast

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     A poll underwritten by End Citizens United seems to show that Beto O’Rourke of the Democrats is fast closing in on Ted Cruz of the GOP. The poll apparently indicated that Cruz’s lead over O’Rourke is just 45 to 37 percent, a narrow margin. This was markedly different at the start of the year when the campaign team of Cruz claimed that the incumbent senator from Texas has an 18 percent lead over his rival O’Rourke. Google, at that time, almost had the same results with Cruz leading around 14 percent. At any rate, it now appears that in just one month, O’Rourke’s chances of winning have significantly increased.

Last year, the Democrats were able to snatch 34 seats, most of which are in places that have voted traditionally for the GOPs. It is therefore not a surprise that the End Citizens United survey shows that O’Rourke is gaining fast on Cruz. While stealing Cruz’s seat is not the primary focus of the election cycle of 2018, it will certainly encourage the Democrats if O’Rourke wins the seat.

Public Policy Pulling already has a history of failed election predictions, considering its 2009 survey with results that did not materialize. That particular survey supposedly showed that nearing the 2010 GOP primary for governor, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has a lead of 25 percentage points over Governor Rick Perry. The actual figure was 56 percent to 31 percent. But Rasmussen Reports released its own survey indicating that Perry was very much ahead, approximately 46 percent to 36 percent. Ultimately, after the actual vote was counted, Perry won the contest.

In that light, this latest Public Policy Polling survey commissioned by End Citizens United showing that O’Rourke is trailing Cruz by only eight point percentage (45 percent to 37 percent) seems to be self-serving. Considering that End Citizens United is primarily composed of Democrats targeting financial and electoral reform, the poll results are surprisingly almost the same as that of other surveys. That means O’Rourke is polling like he is an organic Democrat. For instance, in another Public Policy Polling survey, almost every individual polled gave an opinion on Ted Cruz – 38 percent favorable and 49 percent unfavorable. On the other hand, 61 percent of those polled didn’t offer their opinion on Beto O’Rourke.

End Citizens, a political action committee is an organization in the United States that is fighting for fiscal and electoral reforms. This political organization is undertaking initiatives that are designed to reverse the 2010 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that it handed down in the case Citizens United v. FEC. This decision effectively deregulates the limits on the amount being spent by independent expenditure groups for or against any specific candidates. ECU wants to drive big money out of politics, and is working for the election of people they call “campaign-finance reform champions.”

Learn more with http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/05/james-bopp-citizens-united/.

The Winter Olympics Welcome North Korea

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With the 2018 winter Olympics beginning one month from today, most people believed the list of participating countries was finalized. Early this morning, however, a latecomer was added to the list.

South Korea’s northern counterpart has expressed interest in sending a team to Pyeongchang for the Olympic games. After an official ‘high-level’ meeting of executives from each country, North Korea’s participation in the 2018 games became official.

What Else was Discussed at the Meeting?

North Korea’s addition to the Olympic roster may not have been the most important part of the countries’ meeting. South Korea has since told reporters that many other important topics were discussed, including the reunion of families driven apart by the Korean war, agreements over the North’s nuclear policy and several other high-profile issues.

The countries have not held such a meeting for over two years, and many are hopeful the Olympics meeting can serve as the start of a restorative 2018 for south and north relations. Perhaps February 9th’s opening ceremony will feature athletes from each of the feuding countries, in a flashback to the Olympic games of 2006, walking together in harmony.

What to Expect of the Olympics

So far, the 2018 winter Olympics are making a big splash in the media. From Russia’s ban from participation to the extreme security measures anticipated around Pyeongchang’s Olympic village, these winter games will look different than they have in years past

Despite their last-minute involvement, the actual composition of a North Korean team is still up in the air. Only two of their athletes qualified for the Olympics, and special arrangements still need to be made for their late registrations.

Pink’s Class Shows During The Grammys

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Last Sunday evening, four female vocalists were in competition for the Best Solo Performance Grammy. The competitors were Million Reasons by Lady Gaga, What About Us by Pink, Praying by Kesha and Love So Soft by Kelly Clarkson. The only male in the category was Ed Sheeran with Shape of You, and he walked away with the prize. Unfortunately, he was not present to accept this honor.

Pink did not seem affected by her loss, and took the stage at the Grammy’s to perform Wild Hearts Can’t be Broken. Her daughter Willow, and her husband were watching her sing from the crowd. Pink was dressed all in white with loose jeans, a T-shirt and very little makeup. A sign language interpreter stood next to her. There was no elaborate stage design, aerial stunts or costumes as in the past. All that was necessary was Pink and her lyrics. For additional details, please visit https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pink-grammys_us_5a6e6202e4b0ddb658c78517.

Pink, aka Alecia Moore began her career in the music industry late in the 1990’s. She started out with a hot pink pixie cut, and became a solo artist. Her debut album was titled Can’t Take Me Home, and was described as sassy and angry. She has not only acquired Grammy nominations, she has done so with her terms. Pink told Ryan Seacrest she just wants to be exciting. She spoke of a woman she met in the grocery store who said she enjoyed her because she made so many mistakes in public. The woman said knowing she was not the only one screwing up gave her strength.

This is how Pink explained exactly how she continues on her path in a cutthroat business. Of all the Grammy nominees between 2013 and 2018, only 9.3 percent were women. This design was not meant to let someone like Pink walk away the winner.

Mixed Reaction to Solo: A Star Wars Trailer Release

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Solo: A Star Wars Story has been wrapped in secrecy for an unusually long time. Other Star Wars events like Rogue One, The Last Jedi, and even the original Star Wars back in 1977 has had announcements and trailers released at least almost a half of a year in advance of its release. Solo is supposed to be released on Memorial day weekend and it is a mere 5 months before its release before a trailer finally gets released. The teaser for the trailer is finally released and the reactions to the trailer are mixed at best. People are finding themselves to be concerned for the portrayal of young Han Solo.

One thing that people have been saying about Han Solo is that he does not have the voice, the charisma, or any of the other qualities that Harrison Ford had from the first moment he stepped into the role. There are a few theories. For one thing, Han Solo is supposed to be in his late teens or early twenties. People often do not grow into their own until they reach their later twenties. A lot of people also said that Harrison Ford as Han Solo in The Force Awakens was not the Han Solo they knew from the Star Wars Trilogy. This could be due to age and experience.

The teaser to Solo: A Star Wars Story has shown some other characters. Among the other actors that were showcased in Solo was Donald Glover who was recognizable as Lando Calrissian. He might be the one person that steals the show in the film. After all, Lando was a charming character in The Empire Strikes Back. However, he has taken a backseat in Return of the Jedi.