Dolly Parton has been a country star for most of her life, and yet little is known about her husband of 52-years, recluse hunk Carl Thomas Dean.
During a cover story interview with PEOPLE, the “I Will Always Love You” singer opened up about her low-key relationship with her hubby, who she met when she was just 18 years old.
“I’ve been married for 53 years come next May, and my husband and I have a great relationship,” said Parton, 72. “We’ve been together most of our lives.”
Though Dean and Parton are never spotted at public events together — especially Hollywood galas — the arrangement seems to work just fine for the love birds.
“I always joke and laugh when people ask me what’s the key to my long marriage and lasting love,” continued the singer. “I always say ‘Stay gone!’ and there’s a lot of truth to that. I travel a lot, but we really enjoy each other when we’re together and the little things we do.”
RadarOnline.com readers know Parton and Dean eloped in 1966 after her record company told her they didn’t want her to get married.
“We’d already sent out invitations and so I thought, ‘I ain’t waiting!’ We went that same weekend to Ringgold, Georgia in a little church. I had a little white dress and little flowers, and my mom went with me,” recalled Parton.
And after five wonderful decades, the two renewed their vows two years ago in a “beautiful ceremony” inside their Nashville home with all their friends and loves ones. Plus, the star got to wear the gown of her dreams!
“I never really felt like I had the wedding that we really wanted,” said the singer. “He got all dressed up and I got all dressed up. Fifty years is a long time for anything, and I felt that we needed to do something to commemorate this. It’s been a good 50 years and I don’t know how many more years we’ll have left.”
Though Parton has long been known for her flashy style and loud, vibrant demeanor, her time with her hubby is very different.
On their days off, the two take mini trips in their “little camper” and go on romantic picnics in Tennessee’s countryside. After all, Parton is a country girl at heart.
Though she enjoys the occasional black-tie event, Parton told the publication that Dean prefers the more relaxed pleasures of life.
“When I met my husband, he wanted to take me out to dinner. He pulled up to the drive-in window and got our food at McDonald’s,” remembered Parton. “We know a few little places we can go without being bothered. He only likes to go places where he can be comfortable!”
And speaking of comfort, Parton said that she still gets dressed up for her longtime love, but regardless of what she wears of what she looks like, he still adores her.
“He doesn’t care what I wear as long as I’m happy,” revealed Parton. “He loves me the way I am.”
The two chose not to have children of their own, but with 52 amazing years of marriage behind them, Dolly Parton and Carl Thomas Dean are doing just fine.
What do you think of the country star’s love story? Sound off below.
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Good morning! Except if you’re a hosted Microsoft customer who’s locked out of your account right now.
Microsoft’s cloud-based multi-factor authentication services went down across the globe early Monday morning, preventing access to users who are required to sign in using a second layer of authentication to their account, such as a text message, a push notification on their phone, or a hardware key. You hit the password page, and then you’re stuck — no code, no notification, nothing.
“Affected users may be unable to sign in,” said a notice on Office 365’s service health page, confirming the outage.
More than half a day later, the service is still struggling.
Engineers are actively investigating an ongoing issue affecting Azure Active Directory, when Multi-Factor Authentication is required by policy. Please refer to https://t.co/Dw19fIoS5H for updates.
— Azure Support (@AzureSupport) November 19, 2018
Impacts O365 MFA too. I should point out, it is normally rock solid – I ponder how many orgs will globally turn it off due to this outage.
— Kevin Beaumont (@GossiTheDog) November 19, 2018
At the time of writing, Microsoft said it has deployed a hotfix to get the service up and running again, but will “continue to monitor any updates” for the next couple of hours. “We’ve received reports that users may no longer receive alerts, so we’re analyzing diagnostic logs to understand why,” the company added.
So far, there’s no clear reason for the outage. We’ve reached out to Microsoft for more, and will update when we hear back.
Multi-factor authentication adds a significantly greater layer of protection on an email account than just a password. But, as a crucial mechanism for users to log in, it’s also a single point of failure if the system breaks.
A system so secure that even its users can’t log in. Who knew?
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And now for some news that proves that Thanksgiving week only gives us the most important stories…
When it comes to shocking break ups where everyone assumed the couple would be together forever, many names come to mind. Of course the most recent would be Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson, but a classic would also be Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. Another, less publicized but equally epic in terms of it’s love story, was the short-lived whirlwind romance of Noah Cyrus and Soundcloud rapper Lil Xan. The two of them broke up back in September, shocking the world and making Cupid hit the bottle hard as he tried to drown his sorrows of another star-crossed romantic failure. Well he better get himself another bottle of vodka, because Noah is putting a nail in the coffin of her once true love, saying that it was all a “mistake”.
People is reporting that Noah Cyrus let us all know that she will never be getting back together with her Cheetho-loving ex-boyfriend, leaving a comment on one of World Star’s Instagram posts about mistakes in relationships:
Noah, who is clearly a member of the predominantly black and latinx World Star Hip Hop audience, wrote back:
“my last relationship was the mistake.”
If you forgot because you’re an ignorant cur who doesn’t care to educate yourself on important world history, Lil Xan and Noah broke up because of a fake Charlie Puth nude. Because she thought it was funny, Noah sent her man a picture of a Sean Cody model’s body with Charlie’s head photoshopped on top and Lil Xan obviously came to the highly-rational conclusion that Noah was cheating on him with this masc-for-masc gay porn Frankenstein.
Lil Xan later did an interview for Complex‘s YouTube series Open Late with Peter Rosenberg and he spoke about the breakup, shockingly being mature and taking responsibility for the ridiculous end to their clearly destined relationship:
“Honestly, honest to God, I would say, most of the reason the breakup happened, it was my fault… We could’ve still been together… I just feel like I fucked everything up… I have nothing but love for the Cyrus family… I was still coming down from all the drugs and stuff so I was just everywhere. I have no bad blood between Noah or nothing like that of any sense with the family. It’s a great family. They treated me very nicely.”
While Lil Xan seems to harbor no ill will against Noah for hooking up with that meme, it seems Noah has a bit of salt left in her. You were a mistake, Lil Xan: she couldn’t care less if you choked on all the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos in the world. Sigh, another pure love story comes to it’s tragic end.
Allison Mack has begged a judge to toss out sex trafficking charges for her alleged involvement in the NXIVM sex cult, RadarOnline.com can exclusively report.
According to explosive documents filed in federal court on Nov. 16, Mack makes an epic denial that she is not guilty of racketeering, forced labor conspiracy and sex trafficking because her “conduct simply does not fit the crimes with which she is charged.”
Mack was arrested earlier this year in addition to NXIVM founder Keith Raniere and four others. The six defendants were charged with racketeering and other sex-related charges for allegedly blackmailing, threatening and assaulting women.
In the shocking documents, Mack claims she did not know about the alleged sex crimes, which included forced labor services.
“The sex-trafficking charges likewise fail to state a claim because Ms. Mack never received anything of value on account of a sex act,” the document stated.
Plus, the Smallville actress claimed in the documents that she “never received any money from her participation in DOS at all, let alone on account of a sex act as required under the statutes.”
Mack formerly admitted to creating a branding ritual, where NXIVM women who joined the alleged inner sex ring known as DOS were branded with Raniere and Mack’s initials using a cauterizing iron.
However, Mack claims the government’s allegations against her “show that Ms. Mack never instructed anyone to partake in a sex act and did not even know that the alleged sex acts were occurring.”
Actress Catherine Oxenberg claimed in her tell-all that her daughter, India, was one of Mack’s sex slaves. She wrote that the former CW actress took her “pimping” duties “very seriously.”
According to Catherine, Mack instructed women to have sex with the middle-aged Raniere and “granted” the women permission to “enjoy” it. However, the Smallville star would then turn her back on slaves because of jealousy, Catherine claimed in the book.
However, Mack’s attorneys claimed the indictment which charged her and five other defendants is missing information that would make it possible for her to be guilty of the charges.
According to the document, Mack’s attorneys argue that the indictment is “constitutionally deficient” because the trafficking counts against Mack “lack specificity.”
All six NXIVM defendants are scheduled to appear in court next month. The shocking filing stated that if the court denies their motions to dismiss, they will file additional motions for severance and suppression.
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Alaskan Bush People star Noah Brown‘s new wife Rhain is pregnant — just three months after tying the knot!
The 26-year-old son of Billy, 65, and Ami Brown, 54, exclusively told Radar, “She is my wife for life and is going to make an amazing mom!”
Noah previously told Radar that they “want several children together.”
As fans know, Noah and Rhain, 27, tied the knot in Idaho on August 15 in an intimate ceremony attended by all of the Brown family, as well as Rhain’s mother Marilyn Merrill and her lifelong husband.
And although Noah told Radar at the time of his wedding that baby Brown would “happen when it happens,” Noah’s family felt that it would be happening very soon.
“Noah already has his mind made up. He found a good girl and they are going to have a great and happy life together,” Bear previously said, adding that “grandbabies” for Billy and Ami were already on the agenda!
Speaking of grandkids, how do Rhain’s mother and father feel about becoming first-time grandparents?
“She is so happy and is so in love. And we are happy for her,” Marilyn said.
People was the first to report on the story.
Do you think that Rhain Brown got pregnant during the couple’s honeymoon? Sound off in the comments.
We pay for juicy info! Do you have a story for RadarOnline.com? Email us at email@example.com, or call us at (866) ON-RADAR (667-2327) any time, day or night.
The Ars Holiday Gift Guide 2018—good tech for the home and home office
The first entry in our holiday gift guide dealt with gear your loved ones could use on the go. In contrast, today's edition centers all on tech that's more suited for the house—be it gadgets for improving a desk setup or an A/V upgrade for the living ...
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are happily married and expecting, and the Royal Family has never looked so happy.
But Harry and Meghan aren't entirely content and are itching to leave their current residence.
Not only are their accommodations too small, but Harry wants to step out of his brother's shadow.
RadarOnline reports that Harry and Meghan are eager to move.
"Harry and Meghan want to move," an insider reveals.
They know that their family is growing, the source says, "and need more space."
We know that it's tempting to claim that they're being greedy or absurd by demanding more space.
But as we describe their current residence -- Nottingham Cottage, on the grounds of Kensington Palace -- you'll understand why.
"But," the insider says. "They don’t want to live next door to William and Catherine."
We so often tend to imagine the royal family living within a massive, spacious palace.
But Nottingham cottage is just that. From the description, it sounds like a starter home.
Harry and Meghan's current residence has only two bedrooms for a household that's about to have three people.
(Sure, newlyweds may share a bed, and many married couples continue to share a bed, but they'll want a guest room)
The cottage also has two reception rooms -- so, you know, normal rooms. That's fine.
RadarOnline describes the cottage as having one single bathroom.
That's barely enough for two people. They need to upgrade.
Another impetus for their upcoming move is so that Harry and William can take a step apart.
"They are planning a formal division of their joint royal household," the source notes. "Which is based at Kensington Palace."
"And," the insider continues, they are planning "the creation of separate courts to reflect their increasingly different responsibilities."
We've reported on this previously. The brothers have grown up and don't want to step on each other's toes.
"The brothers have leant on each other and looked after each other since their mother died," the source affirms.
"But now they have their own families," the insider explains. "They no longer rely on each other as before."
Now that William and Harry are adults, they don't need to be literal neighbors.
"They will soon have separate offices and separate lives," the source explains. "So it would make sense for them to live further afield."
And Harry and Meghan's options are broader than some might imagine.
"There is no reason why Prince Harry and Meghan’s London home has to be at Kensington Palace," the insider notes.
"There are plenty of other options," the source adds.
"Including," the insider says. "Using their own money to buy their own place."
Of course, some believe that it's really Meghan and Kate who are tearing the princes apart.
"Kate and Meghan live very different lives," the source notes.
Certainly. They're both Duchesses, but they are of course different people.
"And," the insider continues. "That is likely to become more marked over time."
In other words, Meghan and Kate socialize differently, focus upon different charitable endeavors, and otherwise spend their time differently.
There was a time when royal brides were permitted to do little save produce heirs.
Good for them for living their own lives.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are hot topics.
Unfortunately, some -- like Meghan's irredeemably vile sister, Samantha -- seem eager to cash in on that by painting Meghan as a monster.
Whether it's rumors of Meghan feuding with Kate or allegations about Meghan's diva behavior, people love to talk.
We know that some may be tempted to believe that Meghan is forcing Harry to change his lifestyle.
He's a grown man and a prince. He'll soon be a father.
We imagine that these two are making decisions together, like any expecting parents might.
Fallout 76 players launched so many nukes at once that they crashed a server
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Even though Eugenie Bouchard is no Anna Kournikova or Maria Sharapova, she is pretty damn hot in terms of tennis stars. Also, she likes to entertain on Instagram which I admire! Why be the best tennis player in the world, when you can easily flaunt your body on Instagram and get beverage sponsorships. Smart move!
With each rocket launch, 'I have three heart attacks'
Kurt Eberly has hardly any hair and keeps losing more. His job is to launch, two times per year, a metallic cylinder packed with several tons of supplies, at high speeds toward the International Space Station, 250 miles (400 kilometers) above the Earth.
For NASA Wallops, the final frontier is the current one
ISS receives cargo launched on Antares from Wallops, including Thanksgiving dinner
A 3D printer with a recycling device is headed to the International Space Station
NASA officially cuts off communication with telescope 94M miles from Earth
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Kepler telescope bids 'goodnight' with final commands
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I’m so happy to see Dolly Parton on the cover of People Magazine. She has songs on the soundtrack to Jennifer Aniston’s upcoming Netflix film, Dumplin. The title character, Aniston’s character’s daughter, also loves Dolly and is a fan. I only wish she had a cameo in this. Dolly talked to People about her relationship with her husband of 53 years, Carl Dean. People have a lot of interest in their relationship because Carl is rarely seen in public. In fact I can’t find a photo of him that’s recent, although there are a lot of cute vintage photos of the two of them together. Maybe due to that, there are rumors that Dolly has been in a long term relationship with her female best friend, which she has denied. Dolly told People that Carl took her to McDonalds on their first date. Not only that – it was McDonald’s drive through.
“I’ve been married for 53 years come next May, and my husband and I have a great relationship,” says the star, 72. “We’ve been together most of our lives.”
Dean has long shunned the spotlight and never appears at public events with his superstar wife — and that’s just the way the couple likes it.
“I always joke and laugh when people ask me what’s the key to my long marriage and lasting love,” says Parton, who recorded six new songs for the soundtrack of Dumplin‘, Netflix’s upcoming film (starring Jennifer Aniston) about an overweight teen inspired by the “Jolene” singer. “I always say ‘Stay gone!’ and there’s a lot of truth to that. I travel a lot, but we really enjoy each other when we’re together and the little things we do.”
On her days off, Parton and Dean take mini trips in their “little camper” and have picnic lunches in the Tennessee countryside. They also forgo glamorous date nights for low-key dinners at their favorite local restaurants.
“When I met my husband, he wanted to take me out to dinner. He pulled up to the drive-in window and got our food at McDonald’s,” recalls Parton about their early courtship. “We know a few little places we can go without being bothered. He only likes to go places where he can be comfortable!”
And though Parton certainly loves to get dolled up — “He knows I’m always going to kind of be fixed up for him because I don’t believe in going home and being a slouch” — she is most grateful that Dean sees her inner beauty. “He doesn’t care what I wear as long as I’m happy,” says Parton. “He loves me the way I am.”
I did find an interview Carl did for his 50th anniversary with Dolly. They actually renewed their vows for their 50th. Carl said at the time that he knew he would marry Dolly when he first saw her and that the day he met her “Was the day my life began. I wouldn’t trade the last 50 years for nothing on this earth.” Maybe this McDonald’s story just reveals Carl’s personality. He’s low key, he’s happy to let Dolly be the star, and that works for them.
A McDonald’s trip on a first date might be a deal breaker for me. I guess it depends on the guy and the circumstances. Maybe it would be ok if it wasn’t a date-date and we were just hanging out for some other reason. Also that’s not to shade McDonalds. I prefer Wendy’s, their fries are only a dollar now and I get the free frosty keytag every year, but I just ate McDonald’s yesterday. I should probably cut back on fast food.
photos credit WENN and via Instagram, People
Family goals! This Sunday, Bradley Cooper and supermodel girlfriend Irina Shayk were spotted on a rare family outing with 1-year-old daughter Lea De Seine. The two looked happy and in love while walking to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market with their bundle of joy. Click through RadarOnline.com’s gallery to see the sweet photos!
The Carbo is a new electric bike that weighs a mere 27 pounds and can pep up your morning commute. Created by the Montreal-based team that successfully shipped the Veco, this crowdfunded electric bike can collapse for travel and can go 40 miles with pedal assist and 28 miles on full automatic.
Early birds can get the single gear bike for $1,199 or upgrade to a seven gear bike for $100 more. The tema has already hit their $50,000 and they will ship in April 2019.
I saw an early version of the Carbo and was impressed. Although it looked thin and flimsy – the entire frame looks like you can bend it on a bad curb – it was very resilient and withstood my urban abuse. There are multiple modes including Sport which takes you almost immediately up to about 20 miles an hour with pedal assist, a great feeling. The battery is hidden inside the seat post and can be swapped out.
The bike seems like a good last-mile solution. Since you can collapse it almost completely it works as a portable mode of transport similar to a scooter but far more effective. As a fan of electric bikes, this thing really hits the sweet spot between price, portability, and power.
While the price is a little high, it’s on par with other pedal assist bikes and it should be considered legal in the United States when it ships because it does not have a full throttle system. Ultimately, however, this thing is about convenience and portability versus true power so it’s worth looking into if you want a boost to work or school.
Mandy Moore is taken!
As RadarOnline.com has learned, the This Is Us beauty married musician Taylor Goldsmith in an intimate ceremony this Sunday in Los Angeles.
While the two have been very low-key about their relationship, they celebrated their two-year anniversary in the summer of 2017 and announced their engagement that September.
They also worked on a beautiful song together — “Invisible Ink” — which he wrote, and she performed on her hit show.
As for their nuptials, E! News reported Moore, 34, and Goldsmith, 33, had “an intimate backyard wedding at Mandy’s home that started just after sundown on Sunday evening.”
In true Mandy Moore flair, the style of the wedding was “very boho, with rugs on the floor surrounding the altar.”
After the couple said “I do,” they took the party to another location: L.A.’s very cool event space, The Fig House.
While Moore was previously married to Ryan Adams — who recently called her a “soggy piece of cardboard” during a wild Twitter rant — this is Goldsmith’s first wedding, which explains why pals said he was “petrified” during his proposal!
Congratulations Mandy Moore and Taylor Goldsmith!
Pandora Premium is finally available on Echo devices. The streaming music company this morning announced its top-level paid subscription tier will launch across Alexa-powered devices, including the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show, as well as on all third-party Alexa devices that support Pandora.
The company’s free, ad-supported music service has been available on Echo devices for some time, while its Premium tier recently made its way over to Google Assistant-powered devices, like the Google Home. However, Premium has not yet been an option on Echo until today.
Once enabled, Pandora Premium users will be able to play favorite songs, albums and playlists using Alexa voice commands, as well as browse and play Pandora’s curated featured playlists, Pandora says.
The newer, personalized soundtracks that Pandora rolled out to its Premium users won’t be available at launch, however. But the company says they’ll be “coming soon.”
The service will also support Pandora’s AutoPlay feature, which continues playing music without interruption, even when a song, album or playlist is over.
To use Pandora on Alexa devices, you can say things like “Alexa, play Pandora,” or “Alexa,” followed by the name of a song, album, or even a genre.
The service can also be set as the default – something that’s possible with the free tier, as well.
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Britney Spears' frustration over her costly new child-support agreement with Kevin Federline has been eclipsed by gratitude.
She and her loved ones are a live and safe. In these wildfires, so many others cannot say the same.
Evacuating her Thousand Oaks home has reportedly made her eager to stop taking things for granted -- and to get engaged.
HollywoodLife reports that the horrific wildfires in California have spurred Britney to action -- and possibly to get engaged.
The insider says that, in the aftermath of the Thousand Oaks fire that forced Britney to evacuate her home, she doesn't want to "waste a moment."
"Britney has been very shaken up by the fires," the source explains.
She had to evacuate her home on November 13 as the raging fire tore through, consuming entire towns.
All told, the California fires have left more than 80 dead, and there are at least 1,000 people missing or unaccounted for. Britney knows this.
"She’s feeling so lucky to be out of danger with her family," the insider reveals.
Britney and her loved ones are safe and she's really living up to the title of one of her best songs -- "Lucky."
"But," the source notes. "It’s still very emotional for her."
Of course! This news has been heartbreaking for us all.
"She’s going to be making a lot of donations to help the victims," the insider claims.
(That would be wonderful, but let's not put words in someone's mouth or make promises on their behalf)
"And," the source continues. "She’s making a point to let everyone in her life know how much she loves them."
That includes her wonderful sons, Sean Preston and Jayden. But they're not the only ones she loves. ...
She and her hunky boyfriend Sam Asghari are extremely close.
"She and Sam are already like two peas in a pod," the insider affirms.
That much has been evident to us all based upon their activity on social media.
They were already close, the source says, "but this tragedy has made her even more aware of how lucky she is."
He's a younger, outrageously good-looking fitness model. She's gorgeous and she's also Britney Freaking Spears. They're both lucky.
"And," the insider continues, Britney can't stop thinking about "how very much she loves him."
This isn't just a relationship built on branding or lust or mutual convenience, folks. It sounds like love.
"She knows she wants to spend her life with him," the source reports.
Initially taken in by his overpowering hotness on the set of her music video for "Slumber Party," she's been captivated by who he is as a person and partner.
"He’s her Prince Charming," the insider characterizes.
"And," the source explains. "The fires this week have reminded her how very precious life can be."
That makes a whole lot of sense.
Nothing makes you remember to make it clear how much you love people like the experience of losing a loved one.
Now more than ever, Britney is conscious of how quickly things can change for the worst.
"And," the insider says. "It’s made her really focus on not wasting one moment."
Apparently, she's looking to take things to the next level.
"Britney’s more eager than ever to get engaged to Sam," the source reports.
(Insert the obligatory joke about how a lot of people want to get engaged to Sam Asghari)
The insider says that Britney wants to make things official soon "and she wants it to happen over the holidays this year."
As with any rumors of an engagement or looming engagement, we'll take this report with a grain of salt.
Obviously, Britney and Sam are a beautiful, loving couple.
We don't know that they're looking to change anything about their relationship. What's the rush?
And, given how recently Britney was reminded of the staggering financial cost of past marriages (thanks, Kevin Federline), she may not be in a hurry.
We're not suggesting that Sam Asghari is a mistake.
We're just saying that he and Britney can take thier time and enjoy themselves.
Mel B’s marriage and divorce from Stephen Belafonte was a classic and heartbreaking study of how abuse operates, and how narcissistic abusers work to control, isolate, gaslight and blame their victim. (See also: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.) During her divorce the press reported that there were sex tapes of Mel, that she was in a controlling relationship with her children’s nanny, and that she had threesomes. These were all stories released by Stephen to try to smear her. In a 2017 request for a restraining order, Mel detailed Stephen’s abuse including beating her, forcing her into threesomes, secretly taping them and threatening to ruin her by releasing those tapes. She also described a suicide attempt in 2014, shortly after she was seen on the set of X-Factor with visible bruises and not wearing her wedding ring. (The Sun has those photos here.) It turns out that Mel made sure that her arms were visible and that her bruises weren’t covered up. In her new memoir, Brutally Honest, [excerpt via The Sun] she tells her side of the story and it’s harrowing. She attempted suicide and the bruises were from her trying to escape from the room where she was trapped.
On her suicide attempt
HERE I am, 39 years of age, staring in a mirror in the en-suite bathroom of my rented house in Kensington, London, holding an open bottle of aspirin from the stash I’ve stockpiled over the years, putting one pill after another into my mouth.
As each pill goes into my mouth, I ask myself: “Are you sure?” And I take another one. Ten, 20, 50, 100. “Are you sure?”
It’s Thursday night. 11 December 2014. I’ve come back from dinner with my husband Stephen. Tomorrow I’m going to The X Factor.
It will be the red-carpet launch for the final weekend. I’ll be wearing a beautiful dress, my hair and make-up will be perfect. But if you want the absolute truth, I don’t care about any of it. My life is a mess and I want out…
Suicide was not the answer. I had to make my life count. I had to get to a hospital. I had to get those pills out of my stomach before anything happened.
My head was spinning. All I thought was that I needed to get out of the room but for some reason the door was jammed.
I can’t clearly remember what happened next but I remember throwing myself at the door, crashing my full weight against it.
Those bruises on my face and shoulder everyone saw at The X Factor final three days later — most of them were caused by those moments trapped in that doorway.
I can’t remember the pain but I can still remember the fear, panic and absolute confusion in my head…
If you think I was surrounded [in the hospital] by friends, relatives, other concerned celebrities and flowers, you would be wrong. Thanks to my relationship with Stephen, I was pretty much on my own apart from my security, my hairdresser and Simon my publicist…
On choosing a sleeveless dress for her X-Factor return after her suicide attempt
I would stand proud in this stunning white dress, the marks of my agony all over me. I asked for my hair to be pulled right back from my face. I needed to be seen. I needed all those bruises to be seen.
My message to the world and to my husband was going to be VERY CLEAR. I wanted people out there watching to be my witnesses. I took off my vast, square-cut diamond wedding ring. A ring I’d worn on The X Factor a few weeks before to show the world what a solid couple Stephen and I were.
The Sun has another excerpt from Mel’s memoir, in which she talks about her sex life and how it went from consensual swinging and recreational drug use to horrifying and traumatic. She experienced blackouts and what sounds like near overdoses in some of those encounters. Stephen took 65 hours of video of her (that she knows of) to use as leverage. Her account of having to watch those videos was moving. She writes “I like sex. I am adventurous with sex. I have enjoyed threesomes. I have initiated threesomes. I enjoy a woman’s body and I enjoy a man’s body. I have participated in threesomes while being videoed… I am frightened when I see myself in some of these videos. I have seen myself used sexually in a way that I did not enjoy or want.”
Mel is a enormously wealthy, famous woman and it took her two years after her suicide attempt and to escape her abuser. This is just a small glimpse of how abusers operate, and it absolutely shows how women end up trapped in this vicious cycle. Also, you don’t have to admire someone or consider them a perfect victim to have sympathy and believe that they were abused.
photos credit: WENN.com
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Cardi B is one hot mama!
This Sunday night, the “Bodak Yellow” rapper took to Instagram to share a video of her naked post-baby body.
Posing in nothing but a nude thong, the singing beauty showed off her fit figure and rock-hard abs — just four months after welcoming daughter Kulture with husband Offset!
As RadarOnline.com readers know, Cardi B, 26, jumped right back into the spotlight following her first child’s birth. In the past few months, she’s started a heated feud with nemesis Nicki Minaj, and gotten arrested for attacking a group of women outside a club.
Regardless, she’s clearly been working on her fitness!
What do you think of Cardi B’s sexy physique? Sound off below.
Sunday's episode of The Walking Dead continued to fill in the blanks about what happened during the time jump.
We started things off with Carol and Henry finding Daryl in the woods living rough.
Not one to show up without an ulterior motive, Carol said that she needed Daryl to coach Henry into becoming a solid fighter and a stand up young man.
Daryl was against this because he was happy staying alone with his trusty four-legged companion. Oh yes, Daryl got himself a dog, and it's smarter than you would think.
In any case, Carol put her manipulation head on, and got the dog trapped, fully knowing that Henry would help free the companion.
It went to plan and allowed Daryl to see that there was a lot to like about Henry.
Daryl subsequently opened up about why he was out there in the open without any human interaction. He was skeptical that Rick was actually dead because there was no body.
He made a great point, and it proved that even though he and Rick had their differences before the big event, Daryl was still going to be there for his friend.
Elsewhere, Jesus and Aaron were on what appeared to be a date when they noticed a flare lighting up the sky in the distance.
It was Rosita, and she claimed that Eugene was locked up in a barn after they heard walkers whispering. Rosita was adamant that they needed to get their ally back.
However, Jesus and Aaron were all about getting Rosita to safety because their friend was safe in a barn and she was a bit worse for wear.
Back at the Hilltop, we learned that Maggie took off with Georgie with the aim of building a new community, and Jesus was left in charge.
Jesus was struggling to get acclimated with leading the people, and it was starting to rub Tara the wrong way. Without guidance, the place would fall apart.
Jesus resolved that he needed to switch things up if he wanted to prove that he was the right candidate for the job.
Meanwhile, Michonne, Siddiq, and D.J. traveled with Magna, Yumiko, Kelly, Connie, and Luke towards the Hilltop.
Despite the newbies claiming that they were thankful, Michonne took a chance on them, she stopped them in their tracks.
She only went along with them to see if their story checked out, presumably so she could get some revenge if they were liars.
The biggest surprise was that Michonne had no idea Maggie left the Hilltop behind. It confirmed that the relationship between the communities was hanging by a thread.
Siddiq had to tell his boss about it, and she was not impressed because she thought they were closer.
In the end, Daryl, Carol, and Henry arrived alongside the new group at the Hilltop, and everyone got ready to go on the mission to save Eugene's life.
What are your thoughts on the episode?
The Walking Dead continues Sundays on AMC.
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Knack, a peer tutoring platform aimed at college students, is taking a different approach than some online tutoring marketplaces have in the past. As a result, the Florida-based startup has raised a $1.5 million seed round co-led by Charles Hudson’s Precursor Ventures and Tampa Bay Lighting owner and Fenway Sports Group Partner, Jeff Vinik.
Other investors in the round included Bisk Ventures, the corporate venture-arm of Bisk Education; Arizona State University Enterprise Partners; Doug Feirstein, founder of Hired, uSell, and Liveops; former State of Florida CFO Alex Sink; Tom DiBenedetto of Fenway Sports Group; PAR Inc.; and Elysium Venture Capital.
While many tutoring marketplaces have focused on only connecting students with others who could help them with their studies, Knack has been instead also focusing on adding institutional partners as its customers.
Today, it works with over 50 colleges across the U.S., like seed investor ASU, who are licensing Knack to modernize their student support services and increase access to supplemental help for students.
“Although most universities already have on-campus tutoring centers,” explains company co-founder and CEO Samyr Qureshi, “Knack partners with institutions as a technology-enabled supplemental solution, filling in the gaps by increasing course and topical coverage for nuanced courses that campus learning centers may not be able to cover due to budgetary and resource constraints,” he says.
In addition, Knack is also now working with corporate employer sponsors like PwC and ConnectWise who want to engage with high potential students from Knack’s campus networks.
“We’re focusing on the full life cycle of learning from: ‘I need some help on Knack’ to ‘I can offer help through Knack’ to ‘my skills built and showcased through Knack helped me land a job,'” notes Qureshi.
The CEO says he was inspired to work in the edtech space because, as a first-generation immigrant, education has been at the forefront of his life. His mother brought Qureshi and his sister over to the U.S. to allow them to pursue college degrees.
During his own time in school, Qureshi both sought tutoring and tutored himself, which led him to believe that one of the best ways to learn was from a peer.
In 2016, the startup applied to the University of Florida’s Business Plan Competition and took home the first place, winning a $25,000 cash prize. That opened the door to venture capital, and its first pre-seed round of funding.
While institutions and businesses are the focus in terms of monetization, Knack still caters directly to students today. Those who need help with their coursework can use Knack to book tutoring, and those who want to offer their skills can create a tutoring profile with basic info like their bio, courses, rates and availability.
The platform then handles all the logistics, including searching, matching, scheduling, tracking, billing and rating and reviewing.
Knack takes a 20 percent service fee on this tier of its service. University partners are on SaaS-based annual platform, and Employer partners are charged a sponsorship amount depending on their targeting criteria.
The team of eight is based in Tampa, Florida and plans to use the seed funding for sales and marketing, as well as making some key engineering hires, the CEO says.
Two years ago, at Cincinnati Comic Expo, during a Q&A session with the late Stan Lee, Allen Harrington asked Stan to marry him. To his fiancee, Nia.
And Stan, a certified minister, did just that, with his then-business manager Max Anderson assisting.
The couple then had a full ceremony a year later. And now, a year after that, the couple have moved onto the next phase in their relationship, opening a comic store, Krazzy Comics in Gahanna, which opened last month. Just like every happy couple.
The new store includes a back issue long box room full of dollar comics, an Artists Alley hallway as a media room for events, and for recording Allen’s podcast, Uncanny Nerdverse.
And they just celebrated their first month of opening, with this message to their customers.
Worth popping by if you’re in the vicinity? Congratulations and good luck to you both.
Bleeding Cool tries to mark the passing of comic stores as well as new arrivals on the scene. We’re more likely to hear about the former rather than the latter due to concerned fans, but do please feel free to let us know the changes in your own local marketplace.
The post A Couple Who Stan Lee Married, Open Krazzy Comics Store in Gahanna, Ohio appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.
Wonolo, a staffing platform for blue-collar and labor contractors ‘left behind by Silicon Valley’, raises $32M
Five days after Kim Porter was found dead inside her California home, her longtime love, Diddy, is still in shock over her tragic demise. This Sunday night on Instagram, the rapper posted a series of photos of him with his late baby mama. He also shared some touching clips of what looked like a candle-lit memorial inside his home. Click through RadarOnline.com’s gallery to see the photos and learn more.
Is Bob Barker ok?
As RadarOnline.com has learned, the former The Price Is Right host was rushed to the hospital over a medical emergency this Sunday night, marking his second serious health scare in two months.
According to reports, the 94-year-old TV star was picked up from his Hollywood Hills home by an ambulance this Sunday evening and taken to Cedars-Sinai hospital. At the time, he said he was experiencing severe back pain related to his 2017 fall.
Radar readers recall Barker was rushed to the hospital last month for the same reason, but quickly recovered under medical care.
Reports say Bob Barker is doing much better after his recent scare.
Stay with Radar for updates.
Porsha Williams has a new boyfriend on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and it appears that he's attempting to deceive her.
Sunday's episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta featured a string of bombshells about Dennis, and it was all thanks to Kandi Burruss and her curious mind.
Kandi met up with her friends, Carmon and Jami, and wasted no time in talking about Dennis. To the surprise of nobody, it emerged that Dennis was allegedly dating a woman to two-and-a-half or three years while when he first got together with Porsha.
"She was talking to us about her new boyfriend, child," Kandi said to Carmon the moment Dennis came up. "I mean, obviously, we know people that he kicked it with before. He went and bought her a little Rolex, girl!"
"Oh, he likes Rolexes, huh?" Carmon responded, talking about the watch Dennis allegedly bought for another girl.
"Yeah, I know him," Jami said, clearly wanting to throw her two cents into the ring.
"My friend dated him. When we were in Africa, she found out 'cause her friend texted her and said that he's with Porsha now, and so it was a big situation. She was crying!"
"You mean, she didn't know he was dating somebody?" said a stunned Kandi, who went on to take issue with the length of time he was with the other woman.
"That can't be right because I know a couple girls that he was dating during that time," she admitted, adding:
"He falls pretty quickly -- and he tattoos people's names on him. I think he got her face and her name."
That's when things got extra awkward: Jami claimed that Dennis had a picture of the woman's name. The woman started to laugh about what would happen if Dennis got Porsha's name on his body.
In another part of town, Porsha was none the wiser, and telling her mother all about her relationship.
"We're down in Miami, we have this beautiful dinner, he gives me my Rolex watch," Porsha told her mom while grinning from ear-to-ear.
That's when disaster struck, and Porsha showed her mother a photo of Dennis' thigh, and it had a tattoo of her name.
"I didn't tell you the other part!" Porsha continued.
"He's gonna put my face on his back! This is for real, like, he ain't going nowhere."
"He said, 'You're the first person that has brought this type of happiness and joy in my life,'" Porsha said, clearly happy with herself. "It's like a freaking dream! He said, 'If I can't make dinner, I order freshly prepared meals from a meal-prep company.'"
What a crazy way all of that played out, right?
I mean, I'm no relationship expert, but whatever Dennis is doing, it's not healthy and he will likely get his comeuppance in the coming weeks.
Elsewhere, Gregg Leakes decided against getting chemotherapy after being diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer, and NeNe had a lot to say about it.
“Chemo is not something that Gregg is thinking about doing at the moment," she said in a confessional.
"Obviously we hear all the report of people doing chemo and being very sick. So he feels like if there’s any other options that can take, I’d rather take those options and let chemo sit on the back burner for now.”
However, Gregg's doctor had other ideas.
“There other areas of cancer that may still be in the body that we just don’t know about. Microscopic cancer cells floating around somewhere in the body that, if we don’t do anything for those, will grow back and show back up as cancer,” he told Gregg.
“I would use chemotherapy at this point to try to reduce that risk of the cancer coming back. What we do know is that chemotherapy can reduce that risk of the cancer coming back by about half.”
Gregg quizzed the doctor about any other potential treatment plans.
“We’re certainly supportive of patients who want to think about how to integrated that,” the doctor said of other ways.
“Unfortunately, there’s nothing that we have that I can recommend in lieu of the chemotherapy that we know could help reduce that risk.”
“I don’t want to miss out of the big picture, which is this is something we can fight,” Dr. Kopetz continued.
But Gregg was defiant and stuck to what he believed in.
“If the cancer was more active, I would entertain chemo a lot quicker,” Gregg later told Cynthia Bailey.
“I’m deciding to really take my life and use it as a mouthpiece for other people,” he said.
“I just want to use my life in a way to help someone. So I can say I’m Gregg Leakes, and I have cancer, but I will be a survivor.”
NeNe was on the same page as her husband.
“I’m very much on the same page as Gregg,” she said.
“I’m not sure I would do chemo. We’ve watched chemo destroy people, so it’s not something that he is even interested in.”
“Gregg is definitely on a rollercoaster. His emotions are all over the place. He cries, he’s short patience, he’s frustrated,” she added.
“I feel like because he is weak at this moment, he needs someone who is going to be strong, so I feel like I have to be his rock as he has been my rock for so many years.”
Toni Braxton recommended some holistic options, but it didn't quite help matters. One of the therapists told Gregg he needed to eat a snake.
What are your thoughts on all the action?
Hit the comments below.
RHOA continues Sundays on Bravo.
A week ago, a security guard at Manny’s Blue Room – a suburban Chicago bar – stopped an active shooter. A guy was trying to shoot up the bar, and security guard Jemel Roberson stopped the shooter, disarmed him and had him pinned to the floor while they waited for the cops to arrive. When the cops arrived, they shot and killed Jemel. Jemel Roberson was 26 years old and working extra security guard shifts so he could buy extra presents for his girlfriend and their 9-month-old son. It’s yet another devastating tragedy about white police officers killing black men over nothing. Jemel was, as his lawyer said, literally the “good guy with a gun” that conservatives and gun-rights people always say we need more of. And he was shot dead because that’s what happens when you give white people badges and guns.
Kanye West decided to donate to the GoFundMe page set up by Roberson’s family. Kanye made a very large donation:
Kanye West has donated $150,000 to the family of Jemel Roberson, who was the black security guard tragically killed by police after he subdued a shooting suspect. West, 41, made the outstanding donation on the GoFundMe page the 26-year-old’s family created following his murder on Nov. 11. A fan account took a photo of West’s 10 donations of $15,000 and shared the screenshot on Instagram Friday.
Roberson, who was the father of a 9-month-old son, was in uniform and wearing a hat, emblazoned with the word “security,” while holding down the alleged assailant early Sunday at Manny’s Blue Room Lounge in Robbins, outside of Chicago, Illinois. Roberson also was holding his licensed firearm at the time, WGN-TV reported.
When officers from the neighboring suburb of Midlothian responded to the shooting, they encountered Roberson holding “somebody on the ground with his knee in his back, with his gun in his back,” witness Adam Harris told the TV station.
“Everybody was screaming out, ‘Security!’ ” Harris told WGN. “He was a security guard. And [police] saw a black man with a gun, and basically killed him.”
You can donate to the GoFundMe account here. I think it’s nice that Kanye donated, and I’m not going to shade him for being moved to donate to this family, especially given his Chicago roots. What I will shade him for? Literally everything he’s said about race and politics over the past three years. If Kanye doesn’t see how the murder of Jemel Roberson happened because of structural racism and structural white supremacy – both of which are personified in Donald Trump – then there’s nothing that can help him.
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There were absolutely zero arrival photos, but it seems that the Cambridges and Sussexes were out together at the same event on Thursday night. They attended the Royal Foundation Dinner at Victoria House, and by that I believe it was the annual “holiday” dinner/party for the Cambridges and the Sussexes’ royal foundation, their umbrella foundation which supposedly filters money to other charities. Just know that if you’re donating to Will, Kate, Harry and Meghan’s foundation, they’re going to spend thousands of dollars throwing dinners and parties for their staffers. That’s why there weren’t any arrival photos – when they’re using donor money on their own foundation parties, it’s best not to advertise it. Meghan apparently wore a strapless Roland Mouret number in black (you can see it below). Kate wore a sleeveless Preen gown.
We have a very quick post up on last night's Royal Foundation dinner: "Meghan in Roland Mouret for Royal Foundation Dinner: https://t.co/aG74aLCqcs With thanks to @samsfashionfind for the dress ID & @BettyBader1 for the photos tip. pic.twitter.com/vP7Vo2K7rA
— What Meghan Wore (@whatmegwore) November 16, 2018
Meanwhile, there’s some news about the Sussex Habitat in the Daily Mail’s Eden Confidential gossip column. I’ve been wondering about this for some time, and I still don’t know why the Queen hasn’t “given” Harry and Meghan a larger apartment in one of the many palaces in London. Right now, their London home is the small, two-bedroom Nottingham Cottage on the grounds of Kensington Palace. Their country home is a rental, and not part of any royal estate. So why hasn’t the Queen given them a property to renovate, so it can be done in time for the birth of the the Royal Polo Baby? Well…
With a baby on the way, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are keen to move up the property ladder from the two-bedroom Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace. Royal insiders had widely expected the Queen’s cousin, the Duke of Gloucester, 74, and his Danish-born wife, Birgitte, 72, to move out of their lavish 21-room Apartment 1 to make way for Prince Harry and Meghan. But I hear there is a spanner in the works: Birgitte wants to stay put in the apartment, which is right next door to Prince William and Kate’s huge home.
‘Birgitte doesn’t want to leave,’ one of her friends tells me. ‘And why should she? She and her husband are still full-time working members of The Firm and they were given their apartment by Her Majesty.’
A Kensington Palace spokesman insists it’s ‘not true’ that Harry and, in particular, Meghan covet the Gloucesters’ spacious home. Intriguingly, a royal source tells me that Harry and the American former actress may leave the confines of Kensington Palace altogether.
‘Harry and Meghan want to move, and need more space, but they don’t want to live next door to William and Catherine,’ says the source. ‘They will soon have separate offices and separate lives, so it would make sense for them to live further afield. There is no reason why their London home has to be at Kensington Palace. There are plenty of other options, including using their own money to buy their own place.’
‘Catherine and Meghan live very different lives,’ adds the source. ‘And that is likely to become more marked over time.’
Ah, yes, the Gloucesters, known for all of their full-time royal duties and always raising awareness for… things. I honestly couldn’t pick the Gloucesters out of a line-up and I have no idea what they do, but I’ll take them at their word that they work very hard on behalf of the Queen. Here’s something I wonder: Prince Charles basically has control of Clarence House AND St. James’ Palace now, and does he need ALL that space? He uses Clarence House as his home and SJP as his office space. I remember, years and years ago, hearing that Harry used to have a smallish apartment in SJP. I wonder if there’s room to carve out a larger apartment in SJP, that way the Sussexes and the Cambridges won’t be in each other’s hair constantly? And truly, why hasn’t the Queen already figured out where to put the Sussexes?
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On the latest episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Burruss revealed Dennis McKinley was not only dating two other women when he got together with Williams, but that he actually got tattoos of both their faces and names!
“She was talking to us about her new boyfriend, child,” Burruss, 42, told her friend Carmon about Williams, 37, gushing over McKinley, 42, before introducing him to the rest of the RHOA ladies.
“I mean, obviously, we know people that he kicked it with before. He went and bought her a little Rolex, girl!” Burruss spilled.
Carmon snickered, “Oh, he likes Rolexes, huh?” and Burruss said: “I guess he does, cause didn’t he buy that other girl a Rolex?” Burruss asked.
“That’s what I heard,” Carmon said.
Soon, Jami Ziegler, who had a nasty fight with Williams three years earlier, showed up to talk to Burruss and Carmon.
“Yeah, I know him,” Ziegler said about McKinley.
“My friend dated him. But when we were in Africa, she found out ’cause her friend texted her and said that he’s with Porsha now, and so it was a big situation. She was crying!”
Burruss was stunned. “You mean, she didn’t know he was dating somebody?”
Ziegler said her friend and McKinley dated for “two-and-a-half, three years,” but Burruss said she wasn’t his only girlfriend.
“That can’t be right because I know a couple girls that he was dating during that time,” she dished.
Then Burruss revealed McKinley’s trademark move.
“He falls pretty quickly — and he tattoos people’s names on him. I think he got her face and her name,” she said about another woman he dated.
“She said that he had a tattoo of her name,” Ziegler revealed about the other woman.
The three shrieked and laughed about the prospect of McKinley getting a tattoo of Williams.
Switch to Williams talking to her mother about her new boyfriend.
“We’re down in Miami, we have this beautiful dinner, he gives me my Rolex watch,” she revealed and then she showed her mom a picture of a tattoo on McKinley’s thigh – of her name!
Williams dropped another bombshell on her mom.
“I didn’t tell you the other part! He’s gonna put my face on his back! This is for real, like, he ain’t going nowhere,” she said about her boyfriend’s plan to get a new tattoo.
“He said, ‘You’re the first person that has brought this type of happiness and joy in my life,'” she explalined. “It’s like a freaking dream! He said, ‘If I can’t make dinner, I order freshly prepared meals from a meal-prep company.'”
“Chemo is not something that Gregg is thinking about doing at the moment,” Leakes, 50, said after they visited the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
“Obviously we hear all the report of people doing chemo and being very sick. So, he feels like if there’s any other options that can take, I’d rather take those options and let chemo sit on the back burner for now,” she continued.
Dr. Kopetz spoke to Gregg about the risks he still faced.
“There other areas of cancer that may still be in the body that we just don’t know about. Microscopic cancer cells floating around somewhere in the body that, if we don’t do anything for those, will grow back and show back up as cancer,” he explained.
“I would use chemotherapy at this point to try to reduce that risk of the cancer coming back. What we do know is that chemotherapy can reduce that risk of the cancer coming back by about half,” he added.
Leakes and her hubby asked about alternative medicines, but Dr. Kopetz said none of those “have been studied in a more rigorous way,” or had been found effective.
“We’re certainly supportive of patients who want to think about how to integrate that. Unfortunately, there’s nothing that we have that I can recommend in lieu of the chemotherapy that we know could help reduce that risk.”
“I don’t want to miss out of the big picture, which is this is something we can fight,” Dr. Kopetz told the couple.
But they decided against chemotherapy.
“I’m very much on the same page as Gregg,” Leakes said. “I’m not sure I would do chemo. We’ve watched chemo destroy people, so it’s not something that he is even interested in.”
“Gregg is definitely on a rollercoaster. His emotions are all over the place. He cries, he’s short patience, he’s frustrated. I feel like because he is weak at this moment, he needs someone who is going to be strong, so I feel like I have to be his rock as he has been my rock for so many years,” she said.
Leakes then joked about the drastic measures she would take for her husband.
“I’m here to do whatever I can to make Gregg heal. So, Toni Braxton called us and gave us her holistic wellness person to talk to. If someone tells me I need to buy trees, I buy the whole damn forest. ‘Cause I want my Gregg back. The one I married,” the star concluded.
Stay with Radar for weekly updates on The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
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The look of two tired people who were awoken by the hotel fire alarm at midnight. Also the look of two people grateful for 24 hours together after being apart almost a month. It’s always a worth a trip to see @dawestheband play a gig too…. you’re in for a treat tonight, #portland.
A post shared by Mandy Moore (@mandymooremm) on
I actually like Mandy Moore a lot, even though I barely pay attention to her. Out of all the bubble-gum pop stars to break out in the late 90s and early 00s in the wake of Britney Spears, I never really thought Mandy Moore would still be around, and that she would be a for-real actress. It’s strange to think of her journey. Anyway, all of that to say, I forgot she even had a boyfriend/fiance, but she did. She married Taylor Goldsmith in a quiet backyard ceremony Sunday evening at her home – you can see an Architectural Digest video of her house here. It sounds really low-key and nice:
Mandy Moore is officially a bride! E! News can confirm that the This Is Us star married Dawes musician Taylor Goldsmith in front of family and close friends Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles. A source told E! News that the ceremony was “an intimate backyard wedding at Mandy’s home that started just after sundown on Sunday evening.”
The private wedding ceremony comes after Mandy hinted to E! News that her ceremony wouldn’t be an over-the-top affair. It seemed like a very convivial gathering. The source added, “There was a small group of family and friends that looked to be about 50 people.”
According to the insider, the look of the wedding was “very boho,” which included “rugs on the floor surrounding the altar. The flower arrangements were beautiful with lots of large feathers.” After the nuptials, guests then traveled to The Fig House, which is a private event space in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Some attendees include Minka Kelly, Wilmer Valderrama, Milo Ventimiglia, Chrissy Metz and Sterling K. Brown.
According to another insider, there was a plethora of culinary options at the reception. The source said there was no formal dinner, but there were a “number of food stations around the venue, including meat, chicken, vegetarian, raw food, flat bread, cheese and charcuterie and more.” The catering was all provided by Room Forty. Like many weddings, guests could also enjoy lots of drinks provided by Pharmacy, which involved “a whiskey station and lots of wine.”
So what about the cake? Well, Mandy and Taylor went with something a bit more “non-traditional.” The insider said, “They’ll have 12 different kinds of cake for people to try.”
I knew I liked Mandy for a reason. She didn’t force her wedding guests to eat one particular way, and she gave them lots of cake options. Well done, Mandy. That, to me, says a lot about her and her vibe, plus it was her second marriage. She probably figured out a lot about what she wanted and didn’t want, and so for this wedding, she just went low-key and tried to ensure that everyone would have some good food and good drinks. Her new husband is cute too – not in a crazy-hot heartthrob way, but he looks like a sweetheart. I hope they’re very happy together.
As RadarOnline.com readers know, Tristan Thompson was busted making out with a series of other women days before Khloe, 34, delivered their daughter. But despite the family’s rage over the matter, the Revenge Body star ordered them to let her have her child in peace.
“It’s important for me to stick to my birthing plan, because this is something that I’ve waited for my entire life,” Khloe said about the big day.
“I don’t want to take away anything from this moment. I’ve always been a big believer of don’t make permanent decisions off of temporary emotions. I want Tristan here with me, I want to experience this magical moment,” she insisted.
Khloe even live-Tweeted during the episode, echoing that sentiment.
“Regardless of what Tristan did to me, I was never going to take that moment away from True or Tristan. She should not be punished for his actions. He is her father and they both deserve to love one another as deeply as they possibly can #KUWTK,” she wrote.
So despite the NBA star’s infidelity, Khloe didn’t ban him from being a part of the birth.
“I want this for me and my daughter, and for him, at the end of the day,” she confessed on KUWTK.
“I’m mature enough to say that. I’m mature enough to put personal feelings aside. Me and Tristan will deal with him and I at a later time, when this isn’t affecting our child.”
“The vibe in the room is calm. I thought there would be way more tension,” Kim, 38, said. “As much as I want to go off, I just don’t think it’s the time. So, I’m going to keep it cute. I don’t have to have a lot of interaction, I just have to be there for her.”
Dr. Thais Aliabadi delivered the baby with the momager’s help, while Tristan, 27, cut his daughter’s umbilical cord.
Khloe was emotional about the event after the fact during her confessional, saying: “You’re experiencing a miracle take place. I’ve always dreamed of being a mom, and I think I came to the place where I didn’t know if that was actually going to happen for me, so the fact that we’re in a delivery room — for myself this time, for me to give birth — it’s just unreal.”
She continued: “I feel so blessed. This is something that I’ve waited for forever. I can’t wait to meet her and just spend the rest of my life with her. The minute I met my daughter — I cannot believe I’m even saying the words ‘my daughter’ — I was so in love with her. She’s just perfect.”
Khloe said that she didn’t know how her family would react and handle the situation, but they didn’t disappoint her.
“I was so anxious about having everybody in the hospital room because it was really crucial and important for me that it was a very healthy, happy, positive experience. And everyone put their differences aside for that moment. I’m really grateful for that. But obviously, there’s a big elephant in the room,” she admitted.
And despite her sisters pressuring her, Khloe refused to say whether she and Thompson would last as a couple.
“My focus is not if we’re going to be together or not. My focus is just on my daughter and having these beginning moments with my daughter and seeing him be such a great father to her — that’s really what’s important to me,” she said.
Khloe said that Tristan wanted to have a conversation with her mom and sisters off camera and she agreed, admitting that he did things differently than the famous family — who shares just about everything on television.
“I’ve always been very respectful that this is not Tristan’s career, and having conversations like this isn’t comfortable for him on camera,” Khloe explained. “He might not want to be as vulnerable as he normally would in private. Me and Tristan will deal with this at a later time, because there are some things [that are] deeper than being documented. It takes more time than just an episode,” Khloe continued.
“It’s so much harder to deal with it when it’s so public. Everyone is giving you their opinions and their input and their unsolicited advice,” she said. “Even the nurses and the doctors, everyone kind of like, looking sideways at the whole situation. That’s hard, and it’s humiliating.”
But she knew that she couldn’t ignore what Tristan did.
“He obviously f**ked up, major, but I’m not sure how I feel about everything right now,” she said. “In two weeks, I might be like, ‘You know what? I don’t trust you and this isn’t for me.’ Or I might say, ‘This is perfect. Let’s keep it going.’ ”
Kim went back to Los Angeles and told her cousin that the conversation with Tristan was difficult.
“I told him, ‘I think you’re more remorseful because it’s affecting your job.’ I think he’s more embarrassed that he looks stupid, because of the public … booing him. And I think it’s more of that than anything, and I told him that.”
She said the situation turned tense.
“I think the convo was going okay at the beginning and then it got heated. I don’t know, it just kind of took a left turn,” Kim confessed. “Overall, I think it was definitely necessary for us to let out how we all felt, and since he is the father of Khloé’s baby, I definitely wanted to take the time to hear what he had to say.”
Days after the scandal, Kim appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk about Tristan’s cheating.
Kim told the talk show host what Thompson did was “so f**ked up,” and when she told Khloe it was a sad conversation.
“It is f**ked up. And he’s a complete piece of sh*t,” she admitted.
“Honestly, you can feel however you want, but I’ve got other sh*t to deal with right now,” Khloe responded.
Thompson was not pleased with Kim’s interview, telling Khloe that he thought she was an “instigator.”
“I unfollowed him on Instagram,” Kim told Kourtney, 39.
“I literally wrote to [Khloe] and said, ‘Look, let’s change the subject. I love you and I support you, but I’m done with him. Over it.’ She just should have stood her ground.”
Kourtney was less harsh about the situation and referenced Scott Disick‘s cheating.
“She should just do what’s in her heart and she should either give it a chance — if that’s what makes her feel best for her family, I’ve been there,” Kourtney confessed.
“I don’t think his intentions are right. I don’t think he’s going to change,” Kourtney continued. “But I’m just saying, if she wants to feel like she’s trying for her own heart and know that she’s doing her best, then I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I think it takes a lot more strength to hang in there and try for your family than to just walk away.”
Kim finally decided she had to support her sister.
“I won’t make her feel bad about anything, but I just generally don’t care to be around him,” Kim said. “Whatever makes her happy. I’ll stay out of the way.”
Stay with Radar for weekly recaps of KUWTK.
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Prince Charles organized the “birthday photo shoot” with Getty photographer Chris Jackson. Jackson photographed Charles with his sons, his sons’ wives and Charles’ three grandchildren at Clarence House in London. Two of those photos – the group photos – were released on the eve of Charles’ 70th birthday, and those pics were completely lovely, especially seeing Charles interact with Prince George, and seeing “the Wales line” of succession. Well, Chris Jackson obviously took more photos then just those two, and they’re slowly being released. This was the cover for the Sunday Times Magazine (Charles with Prince Lou), and there a few other “new” photos in that magazine.
Us Weekly had some new details about the photoshoot at Clarence House. Apparently, it went down mid-September, weeks before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced her pregnancy. She was probably around two months pregnant at the time (maybe nine or 10 weeks, by my math) and according to Us Weekly, no one knew about her pregnancy during the shoot (except Meg and Harry, presumably). Us Weekly also said that Nanny Maria was on hand, off camera, to keep the kids amused and get them to smile and pose for photos. The photo session with all three kids only lasted 15 minutes and “everyone had to work fast.” And apparently the Cambridge kids are getting progressively more chill with each new birth – George was a handful as a baby, Charlotte less so, and now Prince Lou is being described as “so well behaved. … He is the most adorable, placid little boy you will ever meet!”
Us Weekly’s sources also claim that Charles initially requested that he would like to take portraits with just his grandchildren, but that William and Kate turned him down and said that if he wanted photos with the kids, they had to be in the photos too. Which is very interesting.
New pictures have a been released taken by Chris Jackson pic.twitter.com/g2Pph7Q7AU
— FUTURIST2020 (@futurist2050) November 18, 2018
Jenna Dewan's reaction to Channing Tatum and Jessie J may surprise you. https://t.co/nyn70GBU23
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) October 11, 2018
I’m going to tell a story that will go largely ignored because it’s in this post about people behaving nicely to each other. This is actually the best place to tell it, hiding in plain sight. My divorce went somewhat well because a) we waited until we were over the pain and no longer fighting about nothing (we still will though if we spend too much time together, that’s why we got divorced) and b) watching celebrity divorces for years helped. (My ex is pretty logical and reasonable and I also can’t discount that.) So that’s why I believe and like to report about these stories about celebrity divorces going ok, all things considered. I appreciate the examples celebrities set by portraying these type of “friendly” divorces, even if I know it’s much messier than that behind the scenes.
The latest trend, beyond conscious uncoupling, is for celebrities to date new people and for them all to hang out together and get along. That’s kind of amazing, even if I’m not in that space with my ex yet and don’t know if I ever want to be. We last saw Anna Faris, Chris Pratt and both their new partners all trick or treating together with Anna and Chris’s son. Recently divorced couple Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan are both dating new people and Jenna has just publicly supported Channing’s new girlfriend, British singer Jessie J. They’re not going out dancing or anything, but they did write nice things about each other and that’s close.
Apparently there was some kind of published report comparing these two women, who are both gorgeous and do bear a resemblance to each other. Jessie wrote a whole treatise on why this was not ok and Jenna gave her a Twitter high five basically. Here’s Jessie’s response to the reports. It’s a bit Hallmark card-y, but it’s a true and nice sentiment.
This is how Jenna responded!
— Jenna Dewan (@jennadewan) November 17, 2018
See that’s nice, that’s how you take the high road. You change the narrative and then connect with the other person on a different level.
Meanwhile Jessie has recently been open about the fact that she can’t have kids biologically. She says she still wants kids and will make it happen. Also Jenna just did another pap stroll with her hot new boyfriend, Steve Kazee. Jenna and Jessie need to go to lunch together and invite the paps! That’s the next stage and I will gleefully report it.
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Today is Major’s lucky day! Not only did Major find his forever home, but he got adopted by Vice President Joe Biden & Dr. Jill Biden! The Bidens have gotten to know Major while fostering him and are now ready to make the adoption official. Best of luck and thank you for being one of our Friends for life! 🐶🇺🇸🐾
A post shared by Delaware Humane Association (@delawarehumane) on
Joe Biden is probably going to run for president in 2020. He’s made moves for months, and he’s left himself open to it in interviews. So it makes sense that this is a “sign” that he’s getting serious about running: Joe Biden has adopted a shelter puppy. Joe and his wife Dr. Jill Biden apparently fostered and then adopted a German Shepherd from the Delaware Humane Society, and the DHS posted photos of their new addition. They named him Major. Major Biden!! I was hoping for something impossibly Irish, like Seamus Biden or Malarkey Biden.
Meet the newest member of the Biden family! Joe and Jill Biden adopted a German Shepherd named Major from the Delaware Humane Association on Saturday. The organization shared photos of the former vice president, 75, and his new four-legged family member on Facebook, including a photo of the pair spending time with one another at a local shelter.
“We are so happy to welcome Major to the Biden family, and we are grateful to the Delaware Humane Association for their work in finding forever homes for Major and countless other animals,” the Bidens said in a statement obtained by CNN. Major, who joins Biden’s other German shepherd named Champ, “is from the litter of German shepherd pups that were surrendered and not doing well at all,” according to the Delaware Humane Association. “Once we posted about them for your help, Joe Biden caught wind of them and reached out immediately. The rest is history!”
The Delaware Humane Association also shared that the Bidens had been fostering Major.
“Today is Major’s lucky day! Not only did Major find his forever home, but he got adopted by Vice President Joe Biden & Dr. Jill Biden!” the organization happily announced.
I forgot about Champ Biden, who is around 10 or 11 years old. Now I feel sorry for Champ a little bit – he’s getting older, and his mom and dad wanted a fresh new puppy for the campaign trail. Enter Major, who is going to be used as a cynical prop for two years!! No, I jest. I bet Major will enjoy sitting with Joe and Jill as they watch football games and give him good-boy scritches.
Embed from Getty Images
I wrote and then scrapped the intro to this story, because I intended to make this about the fact that Viola Davis said she only lasted two days on a 28 day liquid diet cleanse. This was so honest and relatable to me. Nothing sours me quicker on a celebrity than when they tout some stupid diet that involves drinking weird concoctions, cutting out entire food groups or fasting for long periods of time. (Intermittent fasting sounds ok though, it’s just not for me.) These radical diets, especially when celebrities are endorsing them, play into the mistaken belief that dieting is unsustainable, punishing or involves eating much differently. Viola revealed the issue so many of us have with these diets: we’re hungry and we want to actually eat.
Then I watched the video of Viola Davis on The Tonight Show. She mentioned that she wrote a children’s book, it’s a follow up to Corduroy and I’m crying a little! I loved this book so much when I was a little girl and I just ordered Viola’s version. It’s called Corduroy Takes a Bow. It follows the characters from the 1986 children’s classic by Don Freeman, a heart-warming story about a department store teddy bear who has adventures and ends up largely forgotten before getting a forever home. The illustrations look just like the original.
I read this so often when I was a kid and loved it. Viola did too! She said that she wrote it for her daughter Genesis, 8, and also because she remembers the book so fondly from her childhood. At the age of five Viola would go to the library because the librarian would save half her lunch for her. When she was there she read Corduroy over and over. Viola has been open about growing up in poverty and this was a powerful story about the lasting kindness of strangers. ALSO SHE WROTE A FOLLOW UP TO CORDUROY I AM SO HAPPY! (There was another follow up I’ve never heard of called A Pocket For Corduroy published by Freeman in 1978 and a more recent one called Corduroy Lost and Found by a different author in Freeman’s style.) Viola’s book has been out since September and I’m just hearing about it now.
At age 5 she would wait at the library for half the librarian’s lunch
I would go to the library because the head librarian would save half her lunch for me. I’d go there every single day and wait there like a dog. Wait for that half a tuna fish sandwich and oreo cookie. But I loved Corduroy so I did the book… I like that Lisa is a little black girl like my daughter.
So many celebrity children’s books seem self indulgent, with the exception of those written for charity. Not this one. Viola just honored the book that helped her through childhood by working with the author’s estate to imagine a follow up story for the lead characters. I read the half of the book that’s online but sh-tty Jimmy Fallon just spoiled the rest of it for me. I’m still getting it! I will donate it to the library after I get my kid to read it with me. So if you want to watch the video below, just know that there are spoilers. Also I’m so excited for Widows but Jimmy Fallon spoils parts of that too. More Viola please, less Fallon.
photos credit: Avalon.red and Getty
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“On the one hand, Naomi is thrilled because this is a chance of a lifetime but on the other hand, they don’t know where this leaves their relationship,” an insider told Radar of the pair, who have been dating for over a year.
Watts and Crudup, both 50, met while filming the Netflix show Gypsy, and the source said her new role could have serious consequences for their standing as a couple.
“Until now, it’s been great with them both in NYC the majority of the time,” the insider noted.
However, “the show will be shooting for months at a time on location thousands of miles away and it won’t be logistically possible for him to fly over to see her,” the source said.
“They’re going to see how it goes, but they’d be lying if they said they’re not worried how this will affect them .”
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RadarOnline.coms can exclusively reveal that In stark contrast to his shrinking ex, Anna Faris, Chris Pratt is piling on the pounds — and his new girlfriend, Katherine Schwarzenegger, couldn’t care less!
“She loves a guy with meat on the bones, and her favorite thing to do is to cook for him,” an insider told Radar. “They’ll enjoy breakfast in bed most days and often spend an entire weekend in bed munching takeout and drinking champagne.”
Pratt, 39, isn’t worried about the extra weight.
“Chris is giving himself a break body-wise right now, but eventually he’ll get back in the gym and tone it all up,” said the insider.
“In the meantime, he loves how non-judgmental and cool Katherine is about it all, which is virtually the opposite compared to the pressure he’d get from Anna.”
As Radar reported, Pratt and 41-year-old Faris called it quits on their marriage over a year ago.
The Avengers actor went public with Schwarzenegger, 28, in August, and a source previously noted the new couple are a perfect match.
“It may sound cliché, but they share the same values and are big on family,” the insider said. “Having children is on both their agendas.”
Sarah Jessica Parker has been involved in a nasty legal battle with Kate Florence Design, a jewelry company that accused her of breaching an endorsement agreement and refusing to return jewelry. RadarOnline.com can reveal exclusive updates on the bitter lawsuit the ex Sex and the City star is involved in.
In the amended complaint filed on April 25, 2018, Kate Florence discussed Parker creating a line of jewelry. They agreed she would license her name and likeness for marketing purposes of the line being created.
“The Defendant Parker agreed to be part of the process in exchange for a payment over time of $7,500,000,” the amended complaint read. “Notwithstanding such agreement, she refused to properly participate and comply with her contractual obligations, making the success of this enterprise impossible.”
Parker allegedly failed to make appearances for the launch and “refused” to do interviews in relation to the jewelry line.
In March 2016, she attended a photo shoot, where she was given jewelry that had a value of $149,501.96. Parker asked if she could borrow several pieces to wear for a few months. But she never returned the jewelry two months later.
In Parker’s amended response and counterclaim filed on October 15, 2018, she alleged the company “abruptly and without notice or explanation stopped making its quarterly payments to Ms. Parker.”
Kate Florence allegedly blamed “addition of new investors, who directed the company to suspend payments,” in October 2016.
She claimed they insisted she perform additional services that were not part of the agreement, including 100 Instagram posts per year even though the agreement contained no social media obligations.
“KDF has paid only $1.375 million and has refused to make any additional payments under the agreement based on these pretexts,” the lawsuit claimed. “Nevertheless, KFD and Kristy Ann Florence brazenly continue to use Ms. Parker’s name and likeness to promote their products.”
After a year of Parker’s attempts to resolve the matter, Parker informed them they would “initiate litigation.”
“KFD raced to the courthouse in an effort to paint itself as the wronged party,” the suit claimed. “KFD itself prevented Ms. Parker from performing such services by refusing to discuss scheduling in good faith, by failing to make payments under the agreement.”
Parker claimed she is entitled to damages of no less than $6.125 million.
Kate Florence filed a motion to dismiss Parker’s seventh count in her counterclaim, which was fraudulent conveyance.
“The counter-plaintiffs have failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted,” the filing read.
But on November 5, 2018, she withdrew her memorandum of law in support of her motion to dismiss the counterclaim.
The case remains ongoing.
The Blast was the first to report on the story.
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Vanderpump Rules cast has turned their back on costar Billie Lee, RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned.
“Billie’s ‘poor me’ act is getting old to everyone. She is constantly upset and pissed off and her cast mates think that if she isn’t happy then she should just quit instead of taking it out on her costars,” a source said of the SUR hostess and trans activist.
“She feels like she is never included on any of the girls’ getaways, which is kind of true. But it’s her own fault and it has nothing to do with her being transgender.”
“Billie has been trying to come up with storylines since she started on the show, and she now just picks fights with everyone to try and remain relevant.”
But there is one person on the cast who has not put Billie Lee out — Scheana Marie, 33.
“Scheana has been trying to include Billie and invites her on her podcast. That’s because Scheana knows more than anyone what it is like to be outcast,” the insider added.
Do you think that Billie Lee is wrong for thinking the way that she does? Sound off in the comments.
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Porsha Williams’ baby daddy Dennis McKinley was involved in two legal battles over his company Queen Virgin Remy. Now, RadarOnline.com can exclusively reveal The Real Housewives of Atlanta star’s weave and extensions business was hit with a D- rating!
Better Business Bureau gave the business a D- rating for failing to respond to two complaints filed against the company.
On BBB, several customers complained about the business.
“I paid $250 for four bundles of Cambodian loose wave hair,” the customer wrote on August 9, 2017. “I received one bundle of Cambodian loose wave and three bundles of Brazilian loose wave. I immediately called customer service and was told to take pictures, submit them via email, and the store manager would call me back. I called the store three times that day and during my last call I was told that I would not receive a call back, all sales are final, no exchanges or refunds. There’s no refund policy listed on the website.”
The complaint went unanswered.
A second customer fired in another complaint on May 20, 2016, “I ordered Peruvian deep wave online about a month ago, two co-washes, conditioner, water and oil everyday, comb about 4-5 times a day and right now it’s so tangled and matted that I’m beyond frustrated. I just feel as if I paid too much money for it to be tangled the way it is. They responded claiming that I did not use alcohol free products and the oil was too heavy; rewash hair with shampoo and conditioner. My response: I was giving it some time until I responded after rewashing the hair with “alcohol free” conditioner and the results are the same; knotted and tangled. I’m very displeased with this hair and I feel that $222 for one month of wear is not satisfactory. The company claimed they sent a card on instructions of how to wash the hair and therefore a refund could not be given. I rewashed a third time with shampoo and conditioner and that hair is still matted.”
The company responded to the complaint, “For all purchases at Queen Virgin Remy, we provide hair care tips on the back of our flyer. The flyer states that products containing alcohols, sulfates and paragons are not recommended. We also recommend a light serum such as organ oil. The flyer also states that it is important to condition more than you shampoo.
In a third complaint, an unsatisfied customer complained about shipping.
“I placed an order with this company on 3/12,” the customer wrote in the March 23, 2016 complaint. “My order was processed 3/14 and product was shipped, stating it would arrive in two business days. I am filing this claim on 3/21 after my product has not shipped. I notified Queen Virgin Remy that USPS tracking number provided states that the product shipping label [was] created, [but] the product has not been processed by USPS. I, as the consumer, cannot even tell if the post office has received the product. I called customer service twice and emailed regarding this situation and lack of shipping. I was told that ‘once they create the shipping label, it is up to me to deal with USPS, they don’t have to do that.’ This business needs to be reported and penalized. I asked to speak with a manager, she then informed me this has happened before, and they take no responsibility. They are the shipping institution and they can pursue insurance claims with USPS since they are the entity that purchased the shipping and insurance. I as the consumer am left without either product or my original $300+ dollars that I paid to Queen Virgin Remy.”
The company responded, “Once the customer submits a claim informing the post office that she has not received her hair, the post office will contact us so we can provide further information to have the issue resolved. Once the hair is out of our possession, even though it is insured, it is up to the customer to inform the postal services that the product was not received. We are not able to file a claim as the retailer on behalf of a custom not receiving hair after we have shipped the hair out.”
As Radar broke, customer Kimberly Garlick accused McKinley of “selling faulty merchandise” in the amount of $400 and “refusing to mediate” in June 2014.
McKinley denied the accusations against him and filed a motion to dismiss the civil suit in August 2014.
In September 2014, the Plaintiff asked for the case to be dismissed with prejudice.
Radar reported in October that McKinley was involved in a legal battle with his ex-girlfriend.
In court papers obtained from the Northern District of Georgia, McKinley slapped Shanise Thomason with a lawsuit for “trademark infringement, conversion and other wrongful acts” in regards to Queen Virgin Remy.
McKinley claimed Thomason, who he alleged had no “ownership rights or interests in Queen Virgin Remy,” stole $5,900 worth of merchandise from a retail store in Georgia on February 9, 2015.
McKinley filed a police report, claiming Thomason evaded arrested by saying that she “shared ownership” of the store. She later turned herself in on February 25, 2015 and the Columbus Police Department charged her with shoplifting.
In Thomason’s answer and counterclaim, she alleged that she is co-owner of Queen Virgin Remy. She denied the shoplifting allegations and accused McKinley of initiating the charges maliciously and falsely.
In McKinley’s answer to the counterclaim, he admitted to discussing the possibility of joining separate businesses under a single storefront in Atlanta.
“This idea never materialized beyond initial discussions, and McKinley and Thomason continued with their separate businesses, with McKinley later operating his first storefront business for Queen Virgin Remy and Thomason opening a new location in Buckhead, Atlanta for her EgoXtensions business,” the court papers claimed.
The couple agreed upon a confidential settlement on July 16, 2018.
Williams, 37, announced her pregnancy with McKinley in September after months of dating. He proposed in October. They are expecting a girl.
On a recent episode of RHOA, they fought over his partying and reluctancy to propose.
Do you think Williams should be worried? Tell us in the comments!
A-lister is “desperate” for Maleficent 2 to wrap so she can collect the full installment of her $25 million fee, claimed a source.
Jolie’s decision to pause her acting career to focus on directing has said to have left a “gaping hole in her wallet.”
“Maleficent 2 is her first blockbuster role in years and she’s currently searching for another big movie to star in as a follow-up,” the informant dished exclusively to Radar. “Her days of taking a five-year break from acting at a time are over, simply because she won’t be able to continue to afford her family’s lifestyle if she does.”
The actress realized dreams can’t fund her ritzy way of life. “Directing is Angie’s passion but those projects have only made her a couple of million in total.”
“Acting is the major business in her life and she knows it’s time to ramp that up even further.”
Do you think Angelina Jolie should stick with her dreams of directing or get back in front of the camera? Sound off in the comments below!
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Diddy has spoken out for the first time since the stunning death of Kim Porter.
As previously reported, Porter passed away last week for unknown reasons.
She had been suffering from pneumonia for several weeks and had called her doctor the day before her death because she was not feeling well.
At this time, however, we cannot say for certain what caused the passing of the 47-year old actress and model, who dated Diddy off and on for 13 years and who was the mother to three of his kids.
According to a 911 call, Porter was in "cardiac arrest" prior to paramedics arriving at her home.
She was pronounded dead at the scene.
We've heard from many sources in the time since, all explaining how close Diddy and Porter remained after their final break-up in 2007 and all describing Diddy as devastated and heartbroken.
But, as we said, this is the first time we've heard from Diddy on the subject.
“For the last three days I’ve been trying to wake up out of this nightmare. But I haven’t,” the music mogul wrote on Saturday, alongside a throwback video of the pair posing together for a pregnancy photoshoot.
"I don’t know what I’m going to do without you baby. I miss you so much.
"Today I’m going to pay tribute to you, I’m going to try and find the words to explain our unexplainable relationship.
"We were more than best friends, we were more than soulmates. WE WERE SOME OTHER SHIT!! And I miss you so much. Super Black Love."
This is a screen shot from the aforementioned video Diddy posted:
Diddy and Porter were on such good terms after they split over a decade ago that they never formalized a custody arrangement.
They were able to work everything out on friendly and flexible terms.
“He and Kim were still very close friends and co-parents even though their romantic relationship didn’t work,” a People Magazine source says. “They were still a family.”
The pair were parents of twin girls born in 2006 and a son born in 1998.
Porter, meanwhile, was also the mother of another son from another relationship.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Porter’s death in a statement explaining that officers responded to a death investigation at 11:40 a.m. local time in Toluca Lake, California.
Once they arrived, they found a female unresponsive at the residence.
Her cause of death remains undetermined at this time.
Diddy and Porter started dating in the 1990s and ended for good in 2007.
Their kids include: Christian, 20, and 11-year-old twin daughters D’Lila Star and Jessie James.
Additionally, Combs raised Porter’s eldest child, Quincy, 27.
The Bad Boy Records entrepreneur is also the father of two other kids - son Justin, 24, and daughter Chance, 12 -whom he shares with exes Misa Hylton-Brim and Sarah Chapman, respectively.
He's often spoke positively of their mothers, and of Porter.
“I’ve been truly blessed to have some great, incredible relationships that have afforded me these children by these very strong, intelligent, beautiful black women,” Combs has told People of his exes, adding:
“The mothers of my children [are] my best friends. My hat goes off to them."
May Kim Porter rest in peace.
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD – 15 Biggest Easter Eggs And HARRY POTTER References – SPOILERS
In case you somehow had not heard, Tristan Thompson is a total pumpkin eater.
The guy has cheated a lot, is what we're saying.
And Sunday night's new episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians focused on the fallout from the basketball player's unethical actions.
“This is crazy,” said Khloe to Tristan upon seeing him in person for what appeared to be the first time since his infidelity scandal broke.
And by broke, we mean it went crazy viral and the entire world found out he had been sleeping with woman behind Khloe's back.
While was pregnant.
The interactions between Khloe and Tristan continue to get crazier and more awkward on this installment once Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner arrived.
Inside the hospital room -- because Khloe discovered Tristan was a cheater TWO DAYS BEFORE GOING INTO LABOR -- tensions were clearly high.
Everyone tried very hard not to mention the fact that they had seen literal video evidence of Thompson kissing other women.
At one point, Kim was standing behind Tristan and menacingly sliced her finger across her neck, as you can see in the clip below.
Yes, she and her loved ones played nice in front of their sister, who wanted a peaceful delivery, but it was often a challenge not to basically attack Thompson.
"This is something I've been waiting for my entire life," Khloe told the camera of having a child, adding:
"I don't want to take away anything from this moment, and I have always been a believer of 'Don't make permanent decisions off temporary emotions.'
"I want to experience this magical moment, and I want this for me and my daughter and for him at the end of the day."
Eventually, with her strong mother pushing through the pain, True Thompson was born.
We got to witness her first few moments of life, along with a quick kiss between her parents.
Khloe commented on her amicable attitude toward her cheating boyfriend in a testimonial saying:
“With Tristan, my focus is not whether we’re going to be together or not. My focus is on my daughter and … seeing him be a really great father to her.”
Which is not to say there wasn't a lot of anger on her part.
While still in the hospital, Khloe vented to her sisters at one point as follows:
“It’s a lot harder to filter through this stuff when it’s so public and when I gave birth the following day.
"Everyone is giving you their opinions and their input and their own unsolicited advice.”
She commented that she felt the “doctors and nurses” knew what was going on and called the whole phenomenon “humiliating.”
We seriously can only imagine.
A few days after the birth, Kim, Kourtney and Kris had a serious off-camera family discussion with Thompson.
“He was very remorseful," Kris claimed of her quasi son-in-law, but Kim wasn't so certain.
"I think he’s more embarrassed that he looks stupid," she said, while both sides wondered how many more women would be revealed as Thompson mistresses.
We were also taken back to Kim's appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, during which she referred to Tristan’s affair as “so f–ked up."
She then made a point to call Khloe (something we did not previously know) and give her a heads-up about her statement.
Khloe replied: “I mean, it is f-cked up and he’s a complete piece of sh-t."
Finally, while speaking with Kourtney, Kim vented that Tristan had called her “an instigator” for going on Ellen.
He really did have that kind of nerve!
“I unfollowed him on Instagram. … I’m like done. Done with him. Over it," she said.
The episode concluded up with Kourtney showing sympathy for her sister’s turmoil, commenting that she’d “been there” with Scott Disick.
Kind of. Sort of. We never thought we'd say this, but:
Tristan Thompson makes Scott Disick look like a responsible saint.
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Tubberware is a drag when happy homemaker Marge Simpson throws a dinner party on The Simpsons' Werking Mom.
This The Simpsons review contains spoilers.
The Simpsons: Season 30 Episode 7
Sacrebleu, the women of Springfield, all the good ones are either married or Homer. And his wife, Marge, may be the top of the line in town. All she needs are a few brotherly and otherly sisters to bring out the real her, buried under the self-and outwardly-imposed her, to find the confidence which only comes with a pseudonym. But how many licks does it get to the fierce center of a tootsie rolled? "Werking Mom," The Simpsons season 30 episode 7, labors to learn.
Marge finds herself adding to the family pot as a working mom and works it like a mother. She becomes an independent operator, selling Tubberware, the vacuum packed plastic which I imagine lets out a belching seal sound when encasing all the nutritional goodness inside a bell-shaped container. At first Marge is less than a perfect fit. Her usual ubermom exuberance gets doors politely slammed in her face, and her shoes don't have the chutzpah it takes to be a door-stop. This is because the feet they cover are attached to what everyone sees as a doormat. Perfect for wiping your feet, but not interesting enough for a dinner party.
The episode is redundantly narrated by a man with a French accent because Lisa is following a fabulous destiny, much like Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, better known as Amélie. Lisa is a bright girl in a dull school. But she makes the world is magical for Jasper Beadsley, who finds a chunk of his childhood anger melted by an old toy, and brings magic back to the Van Houten family, and makes Kirk think dying his nose hair really pays off.
Marge breaks out of her own personal La Cage aux Folles into fabulousness. Her beak is wetted by her hair dresser, voiced by Hank Azaria, who had a big part in the American remake, The Birdcage. It is also lipsticked heavily, and her shy shoes are replaced by pumps which turns Marge's rump becomes a booty. Whatever is going on back there pays off as she is liberated by the overdone makeup of the true believer, faithful there's nothing Marge C-A-Next-Tuesday do. Marge helps herself to double entendre portions, assures the assembled the lids match he tubs, and puts tops on bottoms and they agree she is even more fun than dancing.
So, do you tell someone people think they're beautiful in drag? It's the kind of thing that can erode self-confidence. But it can also embolden someone as they realize they can be as real as a cross-dressed version of themselves. Marge fronts as a man performing as a woman, but underneath it, she is a lady. It's Victor/Victoria without Julie Andrews' vocal range. But it is also why you forget about an Adam's Apple or a nose when Lady Gaga sings in French at a drag club in the A Star Is Born remake.
Drag is liberating, and it's very effective in the work place. All the top Tubberweare salespeople are drag queens. Once Marge allows herself to be unveiled she joins the inner circle, which includes the Mysterious Waylon, and those in the know about Sideshow Mel's true comic talent. He gets off the best rim-shot of the night by explaining he tapes his bone between his legs for a more contoured flow.
Homer comes across as very supporting in the episode. When she first brings up the idea of getting a job, he scoffs at old notions that women shouldn't work, and he even confirms the existence of leftover lasagna. He gets goaded into drunken action at Moe's bar because the guys razz him about his wife's double life. But they were only trying to make him feel bad about her being able to pass for a guy passing as a woman. Even as he says it out loud he realizes it doesn't sound so bad, he comes to fully realize it and appreciate the implications readily.
Poor Homer, a day late and a dollar short are both underestimated when he shows up in a room. Like a glamazon princess, Marge overreacts and once again on The Simpsons, their marriage is on the line. She doesn't know if she can live with him after his public gaffe, and it triggers all her microaggressions. If it seems a little out of character for Homer to get so in touch with his feminine side, remember it's in his DNA. Abe Simpson donned fishnets during the war. Homer also appreciated himself heavily with a blue wig imagining life without Marge. Although, he didn't cut quite the dashing figure mowing lawns in Marge's wedding dress as stupid Flanders did.
The episode belongs to Marge, whose arc is as high as the blue of her beehived coif. But Lisa also learns a valuable lesson. The problem of playing god is people forget how horribly wrong go things go with the real god. Her completely altruistic success goes to her head.
"Werking Mom" is a sweet episode, not unlike mille-feuille pastry. Everyone gets what they want. Lisa finds a place to eat her lunch. Marge is reassured. Homer both regains the will to drink and a place to store his pot. Such is the power of dinner party salespersonship and inclusion, at least of an exciting beat. The jokes work playfully but softly without subversive rancor or larger social commentary. It is a a family episode in other people's homes.
"Werking Mom" was written by Carolyn Omine and Robin Sayers, and directed by Michael Polcino.
The Simpsons stars Dan Castellaneta as Homer and Abe Simpson, Julie Kavner as Marge Simpson, Nancy Cartwright as Bart Simpson, Yeardley Smith as Lisa Simpson. Hank Azaria plays Kirk Van Houten, Chief Wiggum, Professor John I.Q. Nerdelbaum Frink Jr., and Moe. Harry Shearer is Seymour Skinner, Kent Brockman, C. Montgomery Burns and Waylon Smithers. Guest stars: Raja Gemini as himself, RuPaul as Queen Chante, and Scott Thompson as Grady.
The Simpsons' " Werking Mom” aired Sunday, November 18 at 8:00 p.m. on Fox.
Culture Editor Tony Sokol cut his teeth on the wire services and also wrote and produced New York City's Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera AssassiNation: We Killed JFK. Read more of his work here or find him on Twitter @tsokol.
Everything you need to know about The Walking Dead season 9 episode 7, including latest news, release date, trailer, and much more!
The Walking Dead season 9 is here. And the show is entering into a brave new world.
Scott Gimple, the executive producer and showrunner since season 4, will not be around for The Walking Dead season 9. Instead, he'll be elevated to "Chief Content Officer," which sounds like it could just mean "Emperor of The Walking Dead Extended Universe." Long time writer for the show Angela Kang will take over as showrunner, making her the fourth showrunner in Walking Dead history, following Frank Darabont, Glen Mazzara, and Gimple.
On the storytelling side of things, The Walking Dead Season 9 will feature a long-anticipated time jump following the "All Out War" storyline. Things will look peaceful for our survivors as the season starts, but as we know that's not always destined to last.
Here's everything else we know about The Walking Dead Season 9:
The Walking Dead Season 9 Premiere Date
The Walking Dead will return on Nov. 25 at 9 pm ET with episode 8, titled "Evolution."
Here's a synopsis: "A small rescue mission braves a dangerous herd in their hunt for a missing comrade, only to discover a surprising threat that could doom them all."
Check out a trailer for the episode here:
Check out our latest review of the show.
The Walking Dead Season 9 Episodes
Here's where we'll compile episode titles, official synopses, and reviews as they become available. Click the titles to go to the full reviews.
Rick and his group make a run into Washington D.C. and search for artifacts they will need to build the civilization he and Carl envisioned.
Greg Nicotero directed the episode written by Angela Kang.
The communities join forces to restore a bridge that will facilitate communication and trade. Someone is gravely injured at the construction site.
Daisy Mayer directed the episode written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick.
Rick’s vision for the future is threatened by a mysterious disappearance that divides the work camp where the communities are building a bridge.
Dan Liu directed the episode written by Channing Powell.
Rick's vision of a civilized future is threatened by a sudden reckoning with past sins that remain unavenged and unforgiven.
Rosemary Rodriguez directed the episode written by Geraldine Inoa.
Rick is forced to face the past as he struggles to maintain the safety of the communities and protect the future he and Carl envisioned.
Greg Nicotero directed the episode written by Matthew Negrete.
Six years after Rick's disappearance, a group of strangers tests Alexandria's trust and patience.
Larry Teng directed the episode written by Eddie Guzelian.
Carol seeks out an old friend living alone in a wilderness teeming with walkers; survivors make the perilous trek to a new home.
Michael Cudlitz directed the episode written by Vivian Tse.
The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 8: Evolution
A small rescue mission braves a dangerous herd in their hunt for a missing comrade, only to discover a surprising threat that could doom them all.
Michael E. Satrazemis directed the episode written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick.
The Walking Dead Season 9 Trailer
The Walking Dead season 9 has released a lengthy trailer, provocatively titled, “Rick Grimes' Final Episodes,” playing on the imminent exit of star Andrew Lincoln.
Yet, if you’ve been keeping up with the trailers and teasers for Season 9, then the bulk of this clip – focused on the new inter-community dynamics and more primitive aesthetics achieved in the 18-month time jump – will likely feel familiar to you, since it’s pretty much a catch-up collage of what’s we know so far.
However, the clip does focus on a generally understated narrative going into Season 9 with the arrival of newcomers to Alexandria in Magna (Nadia Hilker), Luke (Dan Fogler), Connie (Lauren Ridloff) and Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), all of whom are prominently featured in the clip.
AMC has also dropped a whole bunch of photos from The Walking Dead season 9. Check them out in the gallery below:
The Walking Dead Season 9 Synopsis
Here's the official synopsis from AMC:
Last season brought the culmination of “All Out War,” which pitted Rick Grimes and his group of survivors against the Saviors and their cunning leader, Negan. With Negan’s life in his hands, Rick had a character-defining choice in front of him. By making the unilateral decision to spare Negan, Rick upheld the values his late son, Carl, championed in order to build for the future, but created conflict within his group.
Now, we see our survivors a year and a half after the end of the war, rebuilding civilization under Rick’s steadfast leadership. It is a time of relative peace among the communities as they work together, looking to the past to forge the future, but the world they knew is rapidly changing as man-made structures continue to degrade, and nature takes over, changing the landscape and creating new challenges for our survivors.
As time passes, the communities confront unexpected obstacles, danger, and of course, walkers, but nothing quite prepares them for the formidable force they are about to encounter, which threatens the very idea of civilization that our survivors have worked so hard to build.
The Walking Dead Season 9 Cast
In a shocking turn of events, series lead Andrew Lincoln will exit the show during season 9. In fact, he's only expected to appear in "half-a-dozen" episodes next season. Norman Reedus will succeed Lincoln as series protagonist.
Lauren Cohan is also expected to exit in season 9. You can read more about Maggie's final episodes here.
Meanwhile, Avi Nash (Siddiq) and Callan McAuliffe (Alden) have both been promoted to series regulars. Both characters debuted in season 8.
As for new cast members...
The show has found its new villain in Alpha, the leader of the Whisperers, who will be played by Samantha Morton (Minority Report). Read more about the character here.
Ryan Hurst (Sons of Anarchy) has been cast as Whisperer villain Beta, Alpha's second in command. Cassady McClincy (Love, Simon) will portray Lydia, Alpha's daughter.
The Walking Dead has also found its Magna in Nadia Hilker (The 100). Magna should be a familiar addition to the cast if you're a comic book fan. She was first introduced in issue #127 of Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard's book as the leader of a new group of survivors that are taken in by Alexandria.
Yumiko, another member of Magna's group, will be played by Eleanor Matsuura (Into the Badlands). She is Magna's girlfriend in the comics.
Tony-nominated actress Lauren Ridloff has also joined the cast as Connie. Her character is deaf and uses American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate. Ridloff is, in fact, deaf in real life. Connie is also a member of Magna's crew. It should be noted that Connie isn't deaf in the comics.
Dan Fogler (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) has been cast as Luke.
The Walking Dead Season 9 will feature some returning favorites. Shane (Jon Bernthal), Hershel (Scott Wilson), and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) will all guest star.
The Walking Dead Season 9 Spoilers
There's going to be a serious time jump as we head into The Walking Dead Season 9. We outlined what this is all going to mean for the future of the show right here.
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Michonne seems to have an itchy sword hand as The Walking Dead once attempts to move past Rick and Maggie.
This The Walking Dead review contains spoilers.
The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 7
This is the 122nd episode of The Walking Dead. For nine seasons, I've watched this show, not counting a couple of seasons of spin-off Fear The Walking Dead that I also covered for Den of Geek. That's a long time to watch a show, and I'll be honest, I'm feeling a little burned out on the show. Even with the big changes in the show's team, both in front of and behind of the camera, the change hasn't been dramatic enough, or positive enough, to make the show feel different in episodes like this.
The episode is split pretty evenly between two events. Carol and Henry have a nice time camping with Daryl, and Michonne leads Magna's group to Hilltop with a little help from DJ (Matt Magnum), a former Savior, and Siddiq. With no Rick to keep them together and no Maggie around to run Hilltop, things have gotten increasingly distant between the four possibly extant survivor communities. The Kingdom is trying to bring everyone together with a fair, but Alexandria is against the idea and Hilltop seems ambivalent at best, despite Jesus's work at trying to keep the communities bonded and the inevitable exchange of food and supplies (and community members) between the three. (Oceanside is not discussed).
The ties that bonded the survivors together for years are strained by separation and by political differences. Michonne has been avoiding Hilltop—and is going to leave Magna's group to fend for themselves halfway to Hilltop—because of her disagreements with Maggie, who isn't even at Hilltop. Her lack of presence at Hilltop doesn't make a difference to Michonne. Without Rick, or rather with Rick as something to search for, Daryl has gotten so used to living outside of the confines of one of the survivor groups that he's still almost feral, even if he's a little more willing to talk now that he's got people to talk to in the form of his oldest friend Carol and Henry. Some folks, like Aaron and Jesus and Ezekiel, are trying to keep everyone together, if not united, but it's a struggle in a world in which even a short trip from one community to another carries the risk of robbery or death by zombie.
Putting Melissa McBride and Norman Reedus together always just seems to work. There's a reason people have shipped Caryl for eight seasons, and that's not changing just because Carol is now with the King. There's still a connection between the two, a unity of damaged souls that brings them closer than most friends get. That's a clever subtext in Vivian Tse's script; no one comes out and says it—which is a huge improvement over previous seasons—but it's there. Carol wants to get Daryl to watch over Henry not because Henry needs it, but because Daryl needs it.
He's shut himself off, as Carol did, and he's actively avoiding being part of a community and making friends because he feels as though he let down everyone by not somehow managing to track down Rick or Rick's body. He'll teach Henry valuable survival skills while getting something to do out of things. Carol has proven herself to be one of the smartest survivors, particularly when it comes to manipulating people in positive ways, either to her benefit or to their own benefit.
Michonne never learned that soft skill. Her interactions, even when she tries to be nice, are blunt and direct. She's a hammer, or a sharp edge, and not glue. Michonne is very much the outsider where it concerns Magna and her group, and while she tries to talk to them, sometimes, she's not very good at it, and she's not interested in getting to know them or having them get to know her.
Danai Gurira goes a great job at communicating this mostly through looks and expression. She doesn't have the chemistry with her group that McBride and Reedus do, but that's by design. Michonne is the boss, not so much a friend, and the only reason why she's going out of her way to be nice to Magna's group is because she made a promise to her daughter Judith. There's distance there, and hesitance; Michonne has seen too much death to go looking to make new friends, even with a perfectly nice group of survivors.
For a first time director, Michael Cudlitz makes some bold moves here. The opening montage, of a terrified Rosita fleeing through the woods, while whispering voices are heard all around her saying disparaging things, is really well done. Cudlitz, probably because he spent so long on the show, has a good sense of place, and he does a great job of establishing the sets with a couple of beautiful swooping camera pans that have to be from drones given the height and speed at which they dip through the constructed sets (it looks to real to be CGI, though I'm certain CGI has sweetened the scenery a bit).
The action scenes are fun and energetic. Henry and Daryl's trap and walker fight is a little cluttered, but I enjoyed the novelty of the special effect of the foot ripping off to escape the snare, and the slingshots are a novel weapon that hasn't been seen before on the show, which adds a little spice to the new survivor group. Daryl's traps, and rescuing the dog, is an obvious setup for Daryl to run afoul of the Whisperers, as is the scene in which Connie notices something hiding off by the side of the road (which is hammered home by a POV of the survivor group from within the woods that's entirely too heavy).
There's some much-needed character development for one of the new survivors. They're worked into the mix with more grace this week, and being paired up with a character that's popular and well known is a smart decision. I've been watching this show for too long to become fast friends with some random group who may not be around after this episode. Magna and her group seem like they'll be on for the long haul, but still, we don't know them and we don't have a real reason to care about them, slashed violin or no. Having Michonne to play off gives them a reason to be important, and the action sequence helps to flesh them out as a group on their own with their own unique survival style.
I'm still not invested in them, but it's at least something. The episode itself is fine, but without Rick and Maggie, there's going to be a struggle to retain interest. Leaning on new people won't help things, but going back to what works, like Caryl and Michonne, will. The newer characters will integrate in time, but they can't be forced in after nine seasons.
You’d be forgiven if Royole doesn’t ring any bells. Even here China, it’s far from a household name. Still, the Shanghai-based startup recently secured an undisclosed Series E, vaulting its valuation to an apparent $5 billion, up from $3 billion in late 2016.
Founded in 2012, Royole’s best-known release was a wearable cinema display. That changed last month, however, when it surprised the industry by announcing the imminent arrival of the FlexPai, a flexible screen smartphone that appears on track to to beat the Samsung Galaxy X to market.
The FlexPai’s anticipated December release seemingly came out of nowhere. Like competitors, Royole had shown off its proprietary folding technology as part of a standalone demos, but it hadn’t teased the arrival of a smartphone until the device was ready to ship. It’s a far cry, certainly, from the not ready for prime time prototype Samsung marched out on stage last month.
At an event in Shenzhen, CEO Bill Liu told TechCrunch that the company was built around the desire to bring the technology to market. “We started from the flexible displays and flexible sensors,” he explained. “We started the company with a focus on the flexible displays and sensors. And then along the way, we realized this could be a huge application for the technology.”
A foldable smartphone was simply the first product that made sense for the underlying tech. With development dating back a half-dozen year, Royole was the first to achieved the industry’s long standing goal of delivering a foldable screen — beating even the massive Samsung to market.
Being first isn’t always a blessing in this industry, but it’s an impressive feat, nonetheless. The FlexPai is real. I can’t speak to the scalability of the product, until it actually starts shipping out next month, but I can attest to the fact that at least one of the things exists in the world. I held it in my hands. I folded it. It worked.
It’s a difficult problem and Royole solved it with in-house technologies. No one can take that away from the company. I can’t say my initial apprehensions were ultimately dissuaded, however. The FlexPai mostly works as desired, but the execution isn’t what ultimately the kind of premium product one would expect, given the ultra-premium price tag (around $1,300 American).
Liu happily dropped the phone a couple of times on stage, in an attempt to put to rest any durability question. While the display ultimately didn’t crack or scratch, the flexible material looks almost like cellophane and sports crinkles that catch the light — the clarity also leaves something to be desire.
As far as portability, it’s true that you can fold it up and stuff it in your pocket, though it’s pretty chunky when you do so. Ultimately, these are first generation products — and likely a result of a company pushing to be first to market, knowing full well that companies like Samsung were breathing down its neck.
Royole sees potential to license the technology out for other categories. “Right now for the smartphone industry, we haven’t done any licensing,” said Liu. “For industrial applications like automotive or media, we do have customers. We sell the licenses to them, and we’ve already sold a lot of licenses.”
The company will also be working with developers to create content for the new form factor, with a $30 million program it launched last month. The Chinese version is due out in December.
Laura Osnes (33)
Adam Driver (35)
Daria Werbowy (35)
Barry Jenkins (39)
Lil’ Mo (39)
Kerri Strug (41)
Jack Dorsey (42)
Billy Currington (45)
Savion Glover (45)
Sandrine Holt (46)
Erika Alexander (49)
Rocco DiSpirito (52)
Pic: Buena Vista Pictures
Jodie Foster (56)
Meg Ryan (57)
Matt Sorum (58)
Allison Janney (59)
Charlie Kaufman (60)
Ann Curry (62)
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Dick Cavett (82)
Larry King (85)
Gene Tierney (1920-1991)
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Alien Object 'Oumuamua May Be Smaller Than We Thought
Scientists have long expected that we would eventually find an object in our solar system that started out orbiting another star. However, no one expected it to be so weird. The alien comet 'Oumuamua appeared in the sky last year as it tumbled past the ...
Spitzer Space Telescope sheds new light on 'Oumuamua ... by not being able to see it
Mysterious interstellar object conundrum intensifies as NASA reveals it did not initially see it
Supergirl struggles with tone when the Children of Liberty try to carry out their version of Kristallnacht
This Supergirl review contains spoilers.
Supergirl Season 4 Episode 6
The trickiest part of this episode is that Supergirl’s tone is so buoyant that it’s all a bit too light to support the emotional heft of what transpires. Aliens homes are marked and roving bands of the Children of Liberty wander the streets to harass, attack, and intimidate them. It's not clear how far they would have gone without interference. It certainly seems like it was meant to be a sort of Kristallnacht for aliens, a turning point where suddenly persecution moves from social to physical.
But the lizard-turned-dragon makes it all a bit too quip-filled and goofy, and the big showdown of the episode is between two good guys. I wish Supergirl had the confidence to follow through with the story it outlined, whether our heroes saved the day or not, and simply let the audience sit with that, without the jokey Harry Potter cross-promotion.
From the beginning, Colonel Haley waved the sisters Danvers off in no uncertain terms. After all, the Children of Liberty are a human hate group. It’s clear that in her and the president’s estimation, aliens are a group that the general population needs to be protected from, but not a group that themselves warrants protection. It would almost be like if we had a standing new branch of law enforcement that was concerned with a population, both foreign and domestic, that only cared about whether that population committed crimes, and never concerned itself with keeping that population safe, even from itself. I guess we could call it ICE. Unlike ICE, the DEO has Director Danvers, who does not believe in caging children or ignoring threats of domestic terrorism, even if it means pissing off her new boss.
I’m glad that Supergirl didn’t let Kara’s characteristic naïve optimism go unanswered when it comes to the sanitized version of the Thanksgiving myth. The story of this holiday is not one of cultures happily coming together – it’s one of kindness met with betrayal, genocide, and occupation. But as we all know, Ben Lockwood is being disingenuous when he aligns himself with the Wampanoags and any other marginalized people. Like myself and all other Americans of European decent, he lives on stolen land and benefits from it daily.
Ben Lockwood is smart enough to know he has to play the civility card all the way, though his annoyed phone call about the harassment in the cold open might betray that he’s losing control of this supposedly leaderless movement. His Crossfire-style appearance with Kara clearly worked, because regardless of whether he won the day, he won himself a television show. So far this season we’ve watched his platform grow and become more legitimate, which has only helped him grow the movement and give cover and legitimacy to the moderate interpretations of it, or as I like to think of it, “rebranding as Alt-right.”
The imagery of The Children of Liberty is very intentional – the name obviously harkens back to the Sons of Liberty and Daughters of Liberty from the American Revolution, and attempt to cast them as picking up the metaphorical baton of freedom from their forebears. It also creates a neat parallel with the Tea Party. They patrol like neighborhood watch, which is meant to broadcast a sense of safety, but likely reminds viewers of self-appointed vigilantes like George Zimmerman. The tiki torches they carried were a direct reference to Charlottesville. Kara and Alex mention the White Rose in Germany and the CIA in 1954, creating a coup d’etat in Guatemala, although the CIA’s greatest hits also include Iran in 1953 and Chile in 1973.
For his part, James seems to be somewhere between fact-finding mission and naivete. He certainly seems flattered by the low-level operative he meets, which is perhaps why he so easily misses basic information, takes no notes, and doesn’t even ask if he can’t record audio of their conversation. To his credit, James calls him out for calling aliens roaches, and accurately identifies it as dehumanizing them to make it easier to treat them poorly, a key step in war propaganda and genocide campaigns. But though I wanted to be on James’s side here, he made it hard, and reminded me how poorly Supergirl represents the profession of journalism.
For her part, Lena is seriously muddling business and pleasure here. She went from one extreme to the other in the blink of an eye on this issue and essentially gave James orders. Oof.
Strangely, one place where Supergirl has its cold, dark heart firmly in place is Lena Luthor’s capitalist intentions. Like any Silicon Valley blowhard, she truly thinks she can save the world through tech, in spite of not particularly understanding the problem, and having a completely opposing view the week prior. This isn’t a criticism of the show – it rings completely true of Lena’s intelligence and the world she spends time in, as well as her issues with Supergirl. Her view of exceptionalism, “leveling the playing field” and the inability to understand social issues and nuance generally that she demonstrated just last week when she had no idea that “moderates” in news media are vehemently anti-alien make this a perfect next step for her character. A vexing one, but it fits.
Speaking of vexing: lets just agree that HIPAA exists and everyone, especially her managers, should stop discussing Nia’s possible medical conditions and doctors without her permission.
Manchester Black represents the darkest response to what should have been a very dark step from this show. While Brainy is inexplicably using Manchester’s fighting style, in spite of not having learned it from him, Manchester has been torturing Children of Liberty of screen and starts shooting people. The action is still so off-screen that the writers will probably still bail him out, but frankly this would be a reasonable reaction from a character, even if it’s one we disagree with or wish didn’t happen. Again, this could be a place where Supergirl’s worldview fails its storytelling.
Until next time, always bring something to the party and enjoy the sweet potato pie!
Finally, someone listened to Al Gore. South Park is on the road to addressing climate change in its latest episodes.
This review contains spoilers for South Park.
South Park Season 22 Episode 6 and 7
Just a decade ago, it felt like we were starting to think more critically about our impact on the environment. Al Gore was winning awards for warning us about an impending disaster. We were buying Prius cars and recycling. It was progress, but it sadly wasn’t enough. The reality is climate change is gradually compromising our planet. It may not come as rapidly as the day after tomorrow or two days before the day after tomorrow, but we’re reaching a critical tipping point at a time when the federal government is making decisions that seem to take us further away from solving the problem.
The urgency must be weighing on Matt Stone and Trey Parker. In its two most recent episodes, South Park finally address climate change head on, using ManBearPig as allegory for made-man global warming. Based on the show’s own history of satirizing both deniers and those working to prevent climate change, the two-episode arc can be interpreted as a mea culpa of sorts – they’re own “WE DIDN’T LISTEN” moment.
South Park’s suspect record on the topic goes back to 2005 when it parodied the climate change blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow in an episode titled “Two Days Before The Day After Tomorrow.” In the episode, the government and townspeople scramble to assign blame for a disaster that, in the end, is wrongly assumed to be caused by global warming. Stone and Parker made the episode to take pot shots at a film they loathe, but it was also South Park’s response to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It captured both the panic of being late to a problem of our own creation (“WE DIDN’T LISTEN”) and the futility in squabbling over the response when people’s lives have already been deeply impacted by a natural disaster. Yet climate change and they impact we have on our environment was at best an afterthought. Despite the show mocking climate change deniers, from the rednecks blaming Osama Bin Laden to pushback from any “cliche dissenting Republican,” the adults refuse to listen to Stan when he says the disaster is his fault, instead taking responsibility as a community only after the government falsely uses Crab People as another scapegoat. It was par for the course at the time - the citizens of South Park routinely misinterpreting the boys’ moral lesson as justification to continue their comfortable way of life.
A year later in an underrated 2006 episode of South Park titled “Smug Alert,” Gerald buys an eco-friendly Prius to feign social responsibility when all he really wants to do show off how progressive he is. One problem begets another when Stan convinces everyone to be environmentally consciousness and buy hybrid cars, which creates the perfect storm of fart-smelling self-satisfaction. Though the episode was a giggly mix of crass parodies and gross-out humor, in hindsight you can make the argument it did more harm than good. South Park’s equal opportunity offending took aim at the smug behavior of Gerald, Hollywood elites like George Clooney, and the city of San Francisco, but it also unfairly put a stigma on hybrids, labeling that eco movement as self-righteous and problematic (the cars lead to “Global Laming”) in a way that unfairly diminished the good they were doing in the first place. In the end of the episode, boys make the point that you can drive hybrid cars without being smug, and the adults agree that they’re just not ready for it.
A few weeks after “Smug Alert” aired, Stone and Parker unleashed ManBearPig on South Park. In the fan-favorite episode, Al Gore shows up to warn the students about the threat, but no one really believes him. Now as California burns amid report, after report, after report of terrifying climate change data, South Park is saying sorry to Al Gore, and they’re ready to get cereal. The two most recent episodes, “Time To Get Cereal” and Nobody Got Cereal” continue a season-long arc of the town being impassive to school shootings, leading the police to ignore ManBearPig sightings and instead lazily conflate them as part of the ongoing and accepted culture of school violence.
South Park has been correcting some of its most problematic areas in recent seasons, spending a full season arc analyzing its role in a politically correct world, and purging characters like Mr. Hankey, who proves himself to be a real piece of shit. When it comes to the blissful ignorance of certain characters or the town as a whole, South Park has moved away from nitpicking the arguments on both sides, and is more concerned with atoning by putting the full weight of its over-the-top satire into gradually moving the town forward. No one ever said that would be easy. The folks who were not ready to give up smugness to save the environment in 2006 were no doubt impacted by climate denial rhetoric in the years since. In a world where climate change denial is given far more oxygen than it deserves, South Park literally had to rip its citizens apart by a vicious and unforgiving beast just to hammer home the point that people are still skeptical about the impact of climate change in spite of all the evidence around them.
In bringing characters like Al Gore back, there’s always the question of whether they can they do it in a way that moves the plot forward, serves whatever current issue is top of mind, and doesn’t fall into the usual South Park pitfall of being overstuffed with ambition. Though his return gets repetitive, the self-aware storyline of Al Gore only wanting an apology for being right feels like the ideal thematic middle ground of “Two Days Before The Day After Tomorrow” and “Smug Alert.” The end of “Nobody Got Cereal” sees the people of South Park finally acknowledge that they’re ready to tackle climate change, and that feels like progress. But not too much progress: They still opt to make the wrong choice in the end, which means ManBearPig will be back eventually. They couldn't give up Red Dead Redemption 2, and we don't blame them.
The combination of making a sequel to a fan-favorite episode, integrating a heavy social commentary on climate change and the sickening prevalence of school shootings, and professing an inseparable love for Red Dead Redemption 2 should not work. Yet somehow the arc manages to maintain its focus, have an undeniable message about greed and our commitment to making the world a better place for future generations, and be really, really funny at times. South Park can change, slowly, but on their own terms. Though it might not be fast enough to save the future if they keep renegotiating.
Chris Longo is the deputy editor and print editor of Den of Geek. You tell him your favorite part about Red Dead Redemption 2 on Twitter @east_coastbias.
An unfocused episode can’t decide whether it wants to be about an old character, a new character, or neither one at all.
This Star Wars Resistance review contains spoilers.
Star Wars Resistance Episode 8
“Synara’s Score,” for some reason, isn’t really about Synara. It’s about Tam. But it’s not really about Tam. Sure, she connects with Synara to the point that our mechanic tells her about what essentially trapped her, both on The Colossus and in life, but the information she reveals is fairly perfunctory.
Suzie McGrath sells Tam’s distraught backstory well enough, but there isn’t anything specific about it that’s revealed to really deepen the character. He father was a racer and she moved from planet to planet, like a military brat. She tried her hand at racing as well. She made a bet that she would win, and put her ship down as collateral. She lost the bet, ad therefore she lost her ship. And now she’s working as a mechanic until she can acquire another one.
We already knew about half the story, and the second half tells us little about the extent of the struggle Tam may have gone through in losing the bet. (There’s an implication that she didn’t really want to be a racer like her father, but it’s ambiguous, and little is revealed that suggest really how she feels about all that). I like the idea that Tam may have took the loss in stride, but it would be good to get an idea of that, too.
This is an episode that just… functions. It has all the requisite beats that Resistance has established since the pilot but is slowly starting to overuse (acquiring a missing part that’s really rare; silly if unnecessary side comedy; a decent, chaotic climax that’s exciting but lacking real tension), but it also has a curious lack of focus. It isn’t clear, for example, how Synara wiggled her way into becoming a scavenger (which looks like a specific job on The Colossus, as opposed to a broad hobby anyone can do), nor is it quite clear why Tam ever-so-slightly cozies up to Synara. Sure, the pirate spy provides the part they need, and tosses a few pot shots at Kazuda, but it doesn’t seem like Tam and Synara are on the same level at all. Not enough is divulged in either person’s history to suggest they’re building up to be friend-friends.
The connection moment is supposed to occur when the two talk in the middle of the episode, when Tam leaves with Synara in order to distract her from noticing their super-secret project about repairing the laser guidance systems. (An aside: would such a serious project be handed off to these guys? Yeager and his motley crew don’t seem like the kind of people that would be trusted with such a task, unless that was the point?) On paper, Tam and Synara becoming friends, connecting over mutual tough lives, seems like a good idea (especially, at a narrative level, the fact that Synara will be faced with the choice whether to betray Tam or not, and what Tam’s reaction might be upon finding out the truth about Synara).
But The Colossus is filled with people with tough lives. Not enough time is spent between them to make their specific, budding friendship viable. Watching Tam risk her life to try and find and rescue Synara comes across more like an excuse to watch Tam be badass, versus accepting what the two now see in each other. Synara asks why Tam risks her life for her, and Tam says its because they’re friends, but little in the episode suggest they are. There isn’t even enough to satisfy any potential shippers.
On the Kazuda front, there’s nothing much happening here either, although I kind of like that the character is pushed to the background here (along with the Aces)… except when he’s not. The third act brings him and Yeager front and center again in a rather cool, goofy action scene in which the two have to fight off pirates on a tiny speeder while simultaneously forcing that large, newly-fixed guidance system into place. I
t has the kind of absurd, chaotic action that Resistance is fairly strong with (the fight referencing both various Han Solo fights and Indiana Jones' infamous tank fight), possessing both a solid handle on humor and danger. Even though they’re victorious, the increased pirate attacks force Captain Doza’s hand. He contacts the First Order to request their assistance, deepening the echelons of power into the literal and metaphorical dark side.
“Synara’s Score” has elements of a fine episode but it’s too unfocused to matter. What, exactly, is “Synara’s score”? It’s never explained, and you can hardly count “friendship” as something Synara “won”. We know slightly more about Tam, but nothing particularly notable. And we take a deeper step into danger, with Doza desperate for First Order help (who recognizes, at some level, the connection between them and the pirates, but feels trapped with limited options) and the (pretty obvious) reveal that there’s more spies aboard The Colossus whose agendas are more than suspect. It’s the most significant piece of development this episode offers, since the characters are too trapped in service to the plot, and little else.
Scientists create atomic scale, 2-D electronic kagome lattice
Scientists from the University of Wollongong (UOW), working with colleagues at China's Beihang University, Nankai University, and Institute of Physics at Chinese Academy of Sciences, have successfully created an atomic scale, two-dimensional electronic ...
Researchers have created a virtual reality simulation of a supermassive black hole
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Amazing simulation gives you a virtual tour of the violent black hole at the centre of our galaxy
Sagittarius A*: Take a virtual tour into supermassive black hole heavier than 4 million suns
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The internet is going wild for this unknown iPhone trick
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The hosts of our Star Wars podcast share their impressions of Star Wars Resistance, discuss rumors about The Mandalorian, and much more.
Each month, the hosts of our Star Wars podcast, Megan, Paul, and Saf, take on the latest topics in the Expanded Universe, on television, and in the theater on Star Wars Blaster Canon.
Rogue One hero Cassian Andor is coming to live action TV, and our Star Wars hosts have the details on how this show connects to the movies and why Cassian is a good fit. As usual, Blaster Canon covers new Star Wars book releases including Lando’s Luck, Women of the Galaxy, and the upcoming Alphabet Squadron.
This month also brings more news and rumors around The Mandalorian, the much-hyped live-action gunslinger show which hasn’t yet announced its cast. Is Pedro Pascal the new face under the classic Star Wars helmet? What’s in store for martial artist Gina Carano, also reported to be attached to the project?
Our main topic is the animated show Star Wars Resistance, which has, as many subjects do, divided the fandom. Does it work for adults and children, or is this one solidly just for the younger set? Resistance does give a few hints at the state of the First Order, and may answer questions fans have wondered about since The Force Awakens, but our review of the season so far shows that those answers are few and far between.
0.00 - Cassian Andor TV show
19:40 - The Mandalorian TV show
25:56 - Books news
33:54 - Star Wars Resistance
The new trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has arrived! Check it out here...
Spoilers for Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them lie ahead.
The magizoological exploits of Eddie Redmayne's Newt Scamander continue in this sequel to the 2016 Harry Potter movie series spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
While Fantastic Beasts 2 reunites Newt with American friends Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) and Muggle Jacob Kowalski (Dan Folger), the stakes will rise significantly as Johnny Depp's Gellert Grindelwald steps into the sinister spotlight, concocting a dangerous new plot. Thankfully, a younger version of the sagely Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) will help tackle this threat.
David Yates, who helmed the last four Harry Potter films, as well as Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, is directing this movie.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Trailer
We have the final Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald trailer at is the best yet. Not only do we see a few proper conversations between Newt and Dumbledore, but we get a better glimpse at the Parisian wizarding world than ever before, and get further glimpses into the wonders and horrors of this period magical universe in general.
There's also Nagini, Newt's brother, and a look at what Dumbledore see when he peers into the Mirror or Erised. Check it out...
Here's the second trailer...
Here's the first trailer:
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Release Date
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald arrives on November 16. It will be the second entry of what's being planned as a five-film franchise.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Details
Harry Potter fans now have a new word to add to their lexicon: Non–magique. That’s the nomenclature that the wizarding communities of France embrace regarding non-magical people, as will be revealed in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, according EW. Of course, it contrasts with the tried-and-true U.K. Hogwarts-standard word, "muggle," and, as we learned in the original Fantastic Beasts, the American term, "no-maj."
As more intriguing plot details about Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald emerged, discussion about the titular fantastic beasts themselves has been oddly scarce. However, it seems that Newt Scamander’s mischievous suitcase dwellers will still live up to the billing of the first part of the sequel's title.
Executive producer David Heyman reveals that while the plot has shifted away from the escape of the beasts in the first film, they will still be a strong presence in the Paris-set sequel. As Heyman explained last December to EW:
“There are as many beasts in the film as in the first. But the main driver in the first film was finding the beasts. That’s not the driver in this film, it’s not a central part of the plot. But beasts feature in the film and feature strongly.”
Eddie Redmayne, who stars as the keeper of the movie’s magizoological menagerie, Newt Scamander, also confirms that we’ll see the return of purloining platypus the Niffler, as well as Pickett, the Bowtruckle (green twig pet,) that lives in Newt’s pocket. However, he also teases the presence of a new creature that originates from a continent that’s not typically referenced in the Harry Potter mythology. According to Redmayne, “There’s a Chinese creature that’s formidable.”
The Fantastic Beasts sequel’s eponymous “crimes of Grindelwald” will not fall under the jurisdiction of either the NYPD or MACUSA. While the first film set itself in New York City, introducing audiences to the hierarchy of the wizarding community of the United States, executive producer David Heyman tells EW that the 1927-set Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will take place “almost entirely” in Paris, France.
Before the reveal of Paris as the sequel’s primary setting, Heyman previously explained at length:
“We delve deeper into [J.K. Rowling’s] wizarding world — we’re in Paris, we’re in London and New York — the world is expanding. As you can tell from the [cast photo], we’re following quite a few characters. The new film has a very different feel than the first. It’s got a thriller quality. And it’s also a story about love and passion and all its forms — paternal, romantic, political. And it’s just a thrilling and very fun adventure. We took all we’ve learned from one and just expanded that and created a richer, deeper and more thrilling film which I’m excited to be a part of.”
Consequently, it’s looking like the Fantastic Beasts films are serving to paint a wider picture of the wizarding world, which introduces the possibility that future installments of the film series – planned for five films total – could become a continent-jumping global tour.
Check out our gallery to see the larger version.
While Newt's story is still central, the old friendship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald will take a dominant spot in the story this time, as we witness the latter becoming one of the most powerful dark wizards the world has ever seen (at least until that Tom Riddle kid shows up later in the mythology and starts calling himself Voldemort).
In the image above, Dumbledore is seen holding the mysterious black wand showed in the recent Twitter teaser photo opposite the famed Elder Wand, which Grindelwald is clearly holding. While details about the black wand on the right were initially a mystery, Harry Potter connoisseurs immediately recognized the skinnier wand on the left as the powerful Elder Wand, a prominent part of the wizarding mythology and one of the three Deathly Hallows.
— Fantastic Beasts (@FantasticBeasts) November 15, 2017
In the Harry Potter books and films, the Elder Wand was famously wielded by Albus Dumbledore, later taken by Voldemort and eventually mastered (and subsequently destroyed) by Harry Potter himself. However, Fantastic Beasts big bad Gellert Grindlewald possessed it before all of them, having stolen it as a young man (played by Jamie Campbell Bower,) from Mykew Gregorovitch in a scene depicted in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
That’s where the revelatory nature of the wand photo comes into play. Dumbledore would come into possession of the object after he famously defeated rival Gellert Grindelwald in a legendary 1945 duel. While that’s quite far away from the 1927 setting of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, we do know that the Elder-Wand-wielding Grindelwald will be present, now played by Johnny Depp, who will ignite a legendary rivalry with Albus Dumbledore, played here by Jude Law.
Thus, with the first official cast photo showing Dumbledore holding the formerly-mysterious black wand, the wand teaser image pretty much confirms a major showdown of some kind with Grindelwald, which is exciting stuff.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Cast
Let's start with the two newest additions!
Brontis Jodorowsky (Entebbe, Opus Zero) will play a character who’s well-known in the history of the Harry Potter universe. Jodorowsky will embody the role of Nicolas Flamel, an oft-mentioned legendary alchemist – several centuries old, thanks to the Elixir of Life – who is credited as the maker of the mythology’s original MacGuffin, the Philosopher’s Stone. Since the character was also said to be a friend of Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore (played this time by Jude Law,) expect Flamel to become a key character in the fight against Johnny Depp’s Gellert Grindelwald.
Jessica Williams has also been cast for a mystery role. The actress, who gained significant exposure as a correspondent on The Daily Show from 2012-2016, has been quietly boosting her onscreen CV. She recently starred in the Netflix comedy movie The Incredible Jessica James, with previous film appearances in Hot Tub Time Machine 2, People Places Things and Delivery Man. She also fielded a 2014 recurring run on HBO’s Girls. – Long before all of that, she was part of the 2006 Nickelodeon comedy Just for Kicks.
Eddie Redmayne is, of course, back in the lead role of Newt Scamander, joined by Katherine Waterston's Tina Goldstein, Alison Sudol's Queenie and Dan Fogler's (apparently un-Obliviated) Jacob Kowalski.
Then we get Johnny Depp in the role of Gellert Grindelwald, Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore (the younger version), Ezra Miller as Credence, Zoe Kravitz as Leta Lestrange, Callum Turner as Theseus Scamander, and Claudia Kim, who will play a version of Nagini, Voldemort's notorious snake.
David Sakurai will play a character named Krall, described as an “ambitious and sulky henchman” of Gellert Grindelwald.
Pottermore revealed more of the supporting cast, whose characters' surnames will ring familiar to Harry Potter fans.
Wolf Roth will play Spielman
Victoria Yeates will play Bunty
Derek Riddell will play Torquil Travers
Poppy Corby-Tuech will play Rosier
Cornell S John will play Arnold Guzman.
The names "Travers" and "Rosier" notably belong to two Death Eaters who, later down the line, will serve the evil Voldemort.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Story
From the official announcement comes the following story details…
J.K. Rowling wrote the screenplay for the film, which opens in 1927, a few months after Newt helped to unveil and capture the infamous Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. However, as he promised he would, Grindelwald has made a dramatic escape and has been gathering more followers to his cause—elevating wizards above all non-magical beings. The only one who might be able to stop him is the wizard he once called his dearest friend, Albus Dumbledore. But Dumbledore will need help from the wizard who had thwarted Grindelwald once before, his former student Newt Scamander. The adventure reunites Newt with Tina, Queenie and Jacob, but his mission will also test their loyalties as they face new perils in an increasingly dangerous and divided wizarding world.
The film expands the wizarding world, moving from New York to London and on to Paris. There are also some surprising nods to the Harry Potter stories that will delight fans of the books and film series.
With huge implications in the Potterverse, we break down the ending of The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2: The Crimes of Grindelwald had many plot threads to pull together, a few twists to pull off, and a ton of mythology to boot. We’ve got it all here to make sure you didn’t miss any of the action or the implications across the Potterverse.
Everyone comes together in the Lestrange family crypt in a Parisian cemetery, where each half-sibling tells a different tale that is as compelling as it is complicated, while the audience and Credence are left to sort out the truth.
The reality is that when Yusuf was a child, Leta’s father used the Imperious curse to rape Leta and Yusuf’s mother. Their mother died in childbirth and Yusuf’s father told him to avenge his mother by killing the one thing Leta’s father loved. Leta was spared not out of any love Yusuf had for her, but because her father, a misogynist through and through, didn’t care about her. But her remarried quickly and had another kid, falsely believed to be Credence.
Everyone, including Yusuf thought that pure-bred Lestrange was sent to America with Leta, but Leta switched the babies en route, unwittingly setting off a chain of events that led to the death of the real Corvus Lestrange. While Leta had no idea whose baby she swapped, Grindelwald apparently thinks it was a here-to-for-unmentioned fourth Dumbledore sibling, apparently confirmed by the presence of a baby phoenix, a bird drawn to the Dumbledore family, which had the appearance of a raven, the Lestrange family bird.
This takes Credence out of Yusuf’s crosshairs and takes Leta’s greatest shame off her chest, as Dumbledore had suspected, hinting at a similar shame of his own regarding his own sister, one that book readers already know.
The group of Leta, the Scamander brothers, Tina, Jacob, and Yusuf went further inside, only to find Grindelwald’s demonstration. Oddly, while much of the plot is predicated on the concept that Grindelwald will use Credence as a symbol, that doesn’t take place in this movie. Instead, no one in the crowd appears to even recognize him. Queenie was already there, drawn in by Grindelwald’s promise of freedom and his supposed value of love, ignoring his blatant disregard for no-majes.
Theseus and his auror showed up, and in spite of following Theseus’s advice by way of Dumbledore, one fell into Grindelwald’s trap. A young woman drew her wand and an auror acted far two quickly, throwing out an Avada Kedavra and playing right into Grindelwald’s hand. After the necessary play-acting, Gellert’s audience left, their views reaffirmed.
The only people left in the theatre on the round, mysteriously attached to the cemetery, are the aurors, Newt Scamander’s friends, and Gellert Grindelwald’s inner circle. Oh, and one niffler, but more on that later. Some aurors get away while others are killed.
Heartbreakingly, Queenie goes with Grindelwald to use her gifts for his side. She truly seems to believe he will help her be with her love, and even asks Jacob to walk by her side, as though he would ever allow someone like Jacob to survive walking through a ring of flames.
Nagini tries to convince Credence not to go with Grindelwald – she sees the truth – but Credence has spent the entire movie and really his entire life wanting to know the truth about who he is. Grindelwald’s greatest trick is convincing people that he isn’t about killing humans, he’s about freedom, love, and truth, and everyone wants at least one of those.
It looks like Leta might go with Grindelwald, and he seems quite confident that the outcast will join him. Indeed, she is one of the last people in the amphitheater. But having confessed the truth about her brother and used her cleverness to get close to the dark wizard, she says goodbye to the brothers Scamander and goes down fighting.
After spending much of the movie focused on their differences, the Scamander brothers come together to fight off Grindelwald and to grieve the death of the woman they both loved. Ultimately, it’s unclear which Scamander she meant when she turned to say, “I love you,” before attacking the dark wizard. Perhaps she meant she loved both, each in their own way and in their own time.
Nicholas Flamel shows up one more time to help, as a fun tip of the cap to where it all began with the Philosopher and his stone. Those who remained vanquished the blue flames of Grindelwald, for now, and made their way to Hogwarts to release Dumbledore from the bracelets tracking his spells. Oh and that niffler? When Grindelwald left the ring of fire to arrogantly collect Leta, the little beastie collected the shiny blood pact that had been holding Dumbledore back this whole time. As Newt pointed out, Grindelwald underestimates those he thinks are simple, like the niffler and likely Newt himself, so he never noticed. And now Dumbledore will be coming for him.
Newt, radicalized by Leta’s death, goes on to tell his brother he has chosen a side. Of course, his scenes with his friend and former teacher Dumbledore show us he hasn’t changed all that much.
So back to that whole Credence is a Dumbledore thing…
Up until now we’ve only ever known about three Dumbledore siblings: Albus, Aberforth, and Ariana. Ariana died tragically during a duel between Albus, Aberforth and Grindelwald, for which Albus still feels guilty to this day. He alluded to that in his conversation at Hogwarts with Leta. We know from the books that Aberforth disagreed with Grindelwald’s vision and knew that Gindelwald wouldn’t see a place for someone like Ariana in his world, since she had disabilities. It was Aberforth’s anger with Albus following Gindelwald that started the duel.
But as far as we know, Albus and Aberforth as in the forties and Credence is in his early twenties, making this timeline a bit fuzzy. Aside from the presence of the phoenix echoing Albus’s earlier statement and Grindelwald stating it, there’s no other hint about this familial connection. Admittedly, I can’t recall if witch menopause has ever been addressed. Perhaps their fertility lasts longer, coinciding with longer lifespans? And the other three children were all born in a cluster and not a secret but only this child was? I guess we’ll have to wait until Fantastic Beasts 3 to find out!
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a darker and more straightforward movie. It's also a better one for it.
Two years later and it’s clear that J.K. Rowling has had more than fuzzy, enchanted animals on her mind. In 2016, Rowling and David Yates’ Harry Potter prequel screened on the eve of the U.S. presidential election and appeared to be a film divided by itself: is it a whimsical adventure about fantastic beasts and those who find them or a stark prelude to another fable about the rise of fascism? In the time since then, it’s clear who won, in more ways than one, while watching Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
A stark and sometimes disturbingly dark follow-up to what came before, the second chapter of Newt Scamander’s Jazz Age adventures is leaner and more straightforward. Yet it paradoxically has much more on its mind. To be sure, there’s wizarding wonderment, more suspense than before, and even a few sequences of genuine magic in this finely tuned reaction to the first film’s critics. However, it is also ever so entrenched in the themes that have always driven J.K. Rowling’s darker passions, and now with a heightened urgency since the kind of dark arts she’s warned against have become more pronounced, both on the screen and off. For proof of that back-and-forth dialgoue, one need only consider the titular villain’s grand scheme: to hold a rally and create an enemy.
Set a fair amount of time after Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ends, the picture opens with a rollicking, albeit perfunctory, escape sequence for Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), the the demagogue with a German name to accompany his blonde hair, blue heterochromiaed eye, and wispy moustache. The escape from American wizards’ custody is the first of several requisite CGI-heavy moments, but its implications are not. If you do not recall, in the last film Grindelwald secretly sought Credence (Ezra Miller), a young man who’d been raised in a fanatical family, thus repressing his magical abilities to a dangerous extent. The Magical Congress of the United States thought Credence was eliminated, yet he has survived and gone to Paris.
Hence where our heroes come into play. After his exploits in the last movie, Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander remains unable to leave his British homeland to indulge in his magic-zoological pursuits, and he further enrages the British Ministry of Magic when he refuses to seek and execute Credence like a 1930s version of wizard-007. Yet when his old Hogwarts teacher Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) asks him to find Credence in Paris and save him from both the Ministry and the approaching influence of Grindelwald, how can Newt refuse? Especially as American witch Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) is also in the city of lights, searching for the same lad on behalf of her U.S. counterparts. Even old friends Queenie and No-Maj Jacob Kowaski (Alison Sudol and Dan Fogler) are bouncing around with secrets of their own.
If the first Fantastic Beasts relied heavily on your nostalgia and knowledge of Rowling’s world then its sequel is truly a gospel for the most doctrinaire converts, at least in terms of the script. With lore of the wizarding world and the shrouded histories of both Dumbledore and Grindelwald at play, Rowling’s screenplay can be trenchant, yet as an overall moviegoing experience, it is much more broadly streamlined. Perhaps due to the spirit of Parisian sensibilities or simply in order to respond to notes of the rather somber grayness permeating Fantastic Beasts’ New York, The Crimes of Grindelwald has a comparably diverse aesthetic. With warm golden hues permeating the city streets and ancient continental lairs of its villains, the sequel is a more visually pleasing affair in terms of both production design and Phillippe Rousselot’s cinematography.
It’s also a fairly direct case of action movie plotting. The goofy premise of an animal-seeking adventurer at the heart of the first Fantastic Beasts ultimately became an incongruent pretext for Rowling to create a saga about the rise of her world’s own version of Nazism (which is itself only a more direct parallel to history than Voldemort’s followers in the original Harry Potter stories). So while the few narrative detours into Newt’s animal sanctuary-in-a-briefcase feel increasingly obligatory in the sequel, the film as a whole is also more digestible as an action-adventure chase across Paris for the majority of its runtime. It’s likewise decidedly confident about the darkness it now reaches for.
In this context, Redmayne’s introverted and standoffish protagonist remains a bit more aloof than what the material needs, but much of the remaining cast around him shine like a Lumos Maxima spell. In their few moments of levity together, Fogler’s outer-borough schmuck and Sudol’s witchy flapper are still a delight with their odd couple pairing. Yet both get intriguing new roles to play as they’re divided in Paris, and just as their comic relief adds nuanced layers, the new character introductions open Fantastic Beasts’ world up in exciting ways.
Essentially a newcomer after her cameo in the first movie, Zoë Kravitz brings an enigmatic mystique to the material as Leta Lestrange, Newt’s ex who is now engaged to his brother. Digging into the complications of what it’s like to grow up as an adult with some perspective on her Hogwarts school days, Kravitz crackles in scenes with Law’s Dumbledore. In an inspired bit of casting, Law inhabits a young (or at least middle-aged) Dumbledore with a mischievous glint in his eye. Often resigned to the role of heavies as of late, Law seems to wallow in the good professor’s tweed coats and tender inflections, even if there is always a slight shadow surrounding the instructor—a shadow that, along with his sexuality, is now further teased (ever so gently in the latter’s case).
Dumbledore’s scenes take Potter fans back to their beloved Hogwarts, as well as down memory lane for both Newt and Leta. These sequences are unquestionably, on a surface level, fan service, but they’re also the best scenes in the movie. In retrospect, it’s easy to imagine that a stronger prequel series might’ve just followed the adventures and schemes of a young Dumbledore, turning the tables on the school years’ formula of the original stories. It seems like an apt route to have gone because, two movies in, and it’s apparent this isn’t Newt’s story. It’s Dumbledore and Grendelwald’s.
Hogwarts’ beloved scholar is the one who sees the writing on the wall and the dark days that approach, and it is Grendelwald who hastens them not with the rhetoric of a monster, but as a self-proclaimed lover and protector of his fellow wizards—Depp even sneers he doesn’t hate muggles; he views them simply as “beasts of burden.” He wants to make the wizarding world great again, but as the form of that alleged greatness takes shape, the movie and franchise head toward uncomfortable waters. There are scenes in this movie that will be too grim for the youngest of children, and the picture’s cliffhanger ending is the epitome of downbeat, even with its vivid visual effects incantations attempting to distract from the bitterness.
It’s also bold territory for a four-quadrant franchise effort in this day and age to be so ambitious, even if it’s occasionally to its own detriment. That Rowling wants to take mainstream audiences here, all while her early 20th century allegory increasingly resembles a prophecy of the 21st century to come, makes this its own kind of magic trick.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald opens on Nov. 16.
David Heyman and David Yates talk about bringing fan favorites like Dumbledore and Hogwarts back to the Wizarding World franchise...
This story originally appeared on Den of Geek UK.
Not many filmmakers besides perhaps Peter Jackson with the Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit movies could say that they have shepherded a franchise through multiple films across two separate franchises. Director David Yates and producer David Heyman, however, are now working on their seventh and eleventh Wizarding World movie, respectively, and spoke to Den of Geek about the current release The Crimes Of Grindelwald.
The first Fantastic Beasts film in retrospect could be seen as a kind of soft-reboot, easing in old and new fans alike to a new time period and world outside of the UK, this second film takes no prisoners layering in mythology, hidden family connections, creatures from the Potter films, and details until now only explored in J.K. Rowling’s books.
“Those big sequences are always fun to put together, because you bring everyone in from visual effects to makeup and storyboard artists,” Yates said of the film’s escalated action. “It’s just a wonderful collective that we bring around that. Bringing in Thestrals and going back to Hogwarts, it has this special resonance in many ways.”
The film follows Newt as he and Jacob travel to Paris in search of Queenie and Tina, who herself is searching for a missing Credence following the events in New York. Meanwhile, Grindelwald escapes from prison and continues to gather followers for his cause. At Hogwarts, Dumbledore contemplates his role in Grindelwald’s mission, and the ways in which he can help stop him.
On the danger of information overload, especially for casual viewers, he continued: "We knew very early on that people who knew the world really, really well got it very quickly, but people on the periphery did not necessarily understand it and struggled a wee bit. There is a balancing act that we have to strike that is to please the fans who are so up to speed, but then make sure we don’t alienate those who aren’t so knowledgeable about the world."
“Sometimes we get it right and sometimes we get it wrong, and it's always a juggling act… We don’t want people to have to have a degree in Harry Potter to be able to enjoy the film.”
Heyman added: “For me this feels quite separate from Potter, in the sense that we’re following such a multitude of characters. All of the Potter films were so clearly told through Harry, and here it's more of an ensemble, It feels a little darker in some ways, but of course there are the touchstones like Dumbledore and Hogwarts and Nagini and the Philosopher’s Stone which take you back.”
One big draw for this film is the return of Dumbledore, now played by Jude Law. On his performance, Yates and Heyman said that he had “made it his own” rather than copy anything Richard Harris or Michael Gambon had done in previous films, but his meetings with Rowling have afforded him information about the character that nobody else besides the author has ever been told.
“There’s this new part that we haven’t really dug into before, which is this tragic, troubled, burnt side of Dumbledore coming out of the relationship with Grindelwald and having to deal with family tragedy,” said Yates. “There’s something quite broken about him as a human being. That’s something that Jude reaches for and will reach for as the stories go forward.”
On the controversial subject of Dumbledore’s sexuality, for which Yates caused a stir when he said in an interview that it would not be "explicitly" explored in the film, the director is eager to clarify his intentions.
He said: “It just seems to be a part of the world in which we operate, that people want to weigh in early before they’ve seen the movie… I was asked whether we were dealing with the gay relationship and I didn’t say they’re not gay or anything like that, I just said that it’s not the focus of this particular story. But we created this very tender, beautiful scene between the two of them and I think it’s so clear that this is a very passionate, emotional, sensual relationship.”
“Jo talks about how Dumbledore and Grindelwald had a sexual relationship and an emotional relationship, and she’s more interested in the emotional relationship,” added Heyman. “It has more complexity and more depth, more room to explore. What do you need to see to satisfy those viewers? People tend to look at things in very broad strokes, such is the nature of the news cycle. They’re either having sex or they’re not. But actually David and Jo have shown a tender, intimate, emotional and ideologically complex, layered, rich relationship. That’s much more interesting than seeing two people, heterosexual or homosexual, shagging.”
But it wasn’t all troubled times, with filming in the old Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom involving children of parents who had grown up with the Potter books and films.
Heyman said: “Seeing people walk into the Dark Arts classroom for the first time, shooting with Jude, it was so precious. You realise that this world has such an interesting effect on so many people, and it’s quite magical… Some of the children who were so in love with the books and films are now parents themselves. It’s an amazing, timeless thing.”
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is out in cinemas today. You can read our review here.
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As The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters, we ask where next for the Wizarding World? Spoilers ahead for Fantastic Beasts 2.
The following comes from Den of Geek UK.
Warning: contains spoilers for Fantastic Beasts: The Grimes of Grindelwald
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has now been unleashed on the world, and it's fair to say that certain elements both large and small will have fans scratching their heads as they exit the cinema. What began as a sweet Hufflepuff movie about magical creatures has now become a sprawling epic set to take us around the world (next stop: Rio!), and Rowling dropped a revelation or two in this second instalment that again reframes what we thought we knew.
Here’s a little look at what the events of The Crimes of Grindelwald might mean for the next film, and parts four and five after that.
Newt, Tina, Queenie and Jacob
Starting with the core four, Newt and Theseus are grieving at the end of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald after Leta Lestrange sacrificed herself in order to allow her fiance and school friend to escape from the rally. This is an emotional thread that will likely carry over to the next film, especially for Theseus, and we can assume from their final words to one another that both are very much going to stay white hats for the remainder of the series.
The same goes for Tina, but unfortunately not for Queenie. It was inevitable that one member of the first film’s hero roster would switch sides to Grindelwald’s cause, and the set-up of her wanting to be able to marry Jacob freely carries through the thread of prejudice that Rowling introduced in the first Fantastic Beasts movie (and the Harry Potter series).
Queenie is incredibly useful because of her abilities, and we see Grindelwald utilise these when he asks about Credence’s fear of him.
We also know as an audience that Grindelwald has no intention of uniting Muggles and Wizards, and the turn strongly implies that Queenie won’t make it out of the series alive. Jacob, meanwhile, must play a role in the upcoming fight without any magical abilities at all. His fan-favourite status protects him for now, but perhaps we’ll see both of them go out in a blaze of glory later in the series.
Credence and Nagini
Seperated by Credence’s single-minded desire to discover his true identity, Nagini is now on Team Dumbledore and doomed to at some point fall into the hands of Voldemort as a Horcrux. The revelation that she is a Maledictus means that the time between those two outcomes is one fans are extremely curious about, and Rowling’s job is to make us understand how one character can become the other.
A lot of fans have also mentioned the likelihood that Dumbledore was never aware of Nagini’s true identity, since he never mentioned it when discussing the Horcruxes with Harry. Then again, there’s a lot of things that Dumbledore failed to mention, so I wouldn’t bet against them crossing paths.
Speaking of things Dumbledore never talked about, Credence’s story is much better-defined after the film’s conclusion, as we learn that he is in fact a long-lost Dumbledore and presumably destined to help Grindelwald battle against his old friend.
A lot of his role, on a practical level, will be about keeping the two magical titans away from each other until movie five, given that established canon has them meeting only when it comes time to fight. Credence, then, is now a character who is inextricably linked to both characters, and can serve as the stand-in for the rivalry.
Dumbledore and Grindelwald
Which brings us to the main attraction of The Crimes Of Grindelwald - Albus Dumbledore. In terms of big revelations, aside from the final one there’s not much in this film that book fans hadn’t already compiled from information across the series, Rowling’s words after the fact and their own headcanon.
At this time Dumbledore is still full of shame and regret over his relationship with Grindelwald and, blood vow or no blood vow, he was scared to face him directly in case the truth of his sister Ariana’s death be revealed. The existence of Credence throws this on its head, but the emotional stakes presumably remain the same.
We get only a glimpse of their true relationship in this film, so the question remains whether anything more will be spelled out in future movies for audience members who aren’t familiar with all of the extra-textual information revealed about the pair since Deathly Hallows was released. It seems unlikely we won’t, after fan reaction was less-than favourable when faced with the possibility that the romantic element would be excised completely.
As for what Grindelwald might get up to in the next film, we still need to see him establish his own prison, Nurmengard, which will house his detractors until after his defeat.
Second World War?
While Grindelwald’s rise to power is not referred to by the wizarding community as a war in the same way that Voldemort’s first and second reigns are, his activity does directly match up with the real-world Second World War. Rowling has always been clear that Grindelwald is a magical stand-in for Hitler during this time, so now it’s time for that to be seen on screen.
That potentially means getting to see the ways in which witches and wizards interacted with muggles in times of incredible crisis, as we’ve already touched upon their involvement in the First World War. In the first Fantastic Beasts, Jacob reveals that he served in France and Newt responds by saying he had also been present working with dragons on the Eastern Front.
In this film, Grindelwald’s strategy for gaining support at the rally is to show them images of another global war - one that will be taking place during at least some of the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Jacob, the only muggle present, reacts in horror to the image.
The centring of the Dumbledores suggests one thing - we might finally get a clear on-screen glimpse of Aberforth and his legendary goats. Perhaps not his goats, but Dumbledore’s brother is almost a lock now that this new wrinkle in the family tree has been revealed, whether that be in flashback or present-day.
Speaking of flashbacks, ever since the film was announced fans have been clambouring for a proper exploration of what happened on the night of Ariana’s death, as well as a clarification of whether she was indeed an Obscurus. If nothing else the mention of her by Dumbledore when speaking with Leta shows, if we had any doubt, that Rowling has plans to explore this thread in one way or another.
One confirmed casting for Fantastic Beasts 3 is Jessica Williams as Eulalie Hicks, briefly glimpsed in this film but set to have a much larger role in part three. Nothing is known about her except that she is a professor at Ilvermorny during the 1920s, confirming that we will revisit America.
What comes next?
Speculation aside, the end of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald sets up the central mission of at least the next film - find a loophole in the blood vow Dumbledore made with Grindelwald when they were teenagers, which is now in the good guys’ possession thanks to the Niffler.
There will also undoubtedly be lots more beasts in part three, even if they take a back seat to the pressing concern of Grindelwald’s rise to world domination, and we can bet that the dual human/beast roles of characters like Nagini and Credence will put them in the middle of the conflict.
Then again, perhaps the real Fantastic Beasts were the enemies we made along the way.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is out in theaters today. You can read our review here.
We look back at the role Nagini has played in the Potterverse so far, and delve into her story in prequel The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Warning: contains spoilers for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
A secret that author J.K. Rowling claims to have been keeping to herself for twenty years, Nagini is now one of the few characters to play a key role in both Wizarding World franchises, and fans have been clamouring to know more ever since her name was uttered in the trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
But who is she, and where does she fit into the franchise as a whole? Known primarily as Voldemort’s "right hand snake" during the Harry Potter books and films, she is now a figure we must reassess as the events of this prequel series unfold. As we take in the new information, then, we have the chance to look back at what we know about her so far.
Nagini is originally from Indonesia, or at least that’s what the posters in Circus Arcanus claim. Stopping in Paris in early 1927, Nagini was a main attraction - a Maledictus who could turn into a snake at will. We’re informed that a blood curse, which is passed down between mother and daughter, means that she will one day be unable to take human form.
Almost nothing of the character’s story between the events of The Crimes of Grindelwald and the Harry Potter series is known, so the job of future Fantastic Beasts films will be to fill in these gaps.
Nonetheless, while imprisoned at the circus she befriends Credence Barebone, who shares her outsider status due to the Obscurus living inside him. Like Nagini, this gives him both a power that he can’t control and a rapidly approaching death sentence.
Sometime after the pair are separated and Nagini escapes Grindelwald’s rally with Newt and his team to Hogwarts, Nagini turns into a snake permanently and meets another dark wizard - Voldemort. We don’t know as yet whether this meeting took place before the events of Harry Potter and prior to Voldemort’s first defeat, or whether she was recruited during his time as a phantom in Albania.
It’s likely it’s the latter because, as a parseltongue, it’s possible that Voldemort was the first person to communicate with Nagini for years or even decades. This would, of course, make her susceptible to manipulation even if it doesn’t explain her later actions in his name, and is why she retains her human name throughout the series. According to Dumbledore, Nagini was the only living thing Voldemort cared about.
In this version of events, shortly after meeting Voldemort, Nagini is turned into a Horcrux - a host for part of Voldemort’s soul that can only be created through an unspeakable act such as murder. Here it was Bertha Jorkins, who knew vital information about the Triwizard Tournament and status of Death Eater Barty Crouch Jr. (played by David Tennant in the films) ahead of Goblet of Fire. The information was extracted from her and she was then killed.
If there had been no Nagini, there would be no Voldemort and no second half of the Potter series, which puts her expanded role in Fantastic Beasts into new context. After becoming a Horcrux, Nagini’s venom was used to create the potion that sustained Voldemort in a temporary body (the gross foetus thing), making her the closest living thing to Voldemort during his life (ignoring Cursed Child).
The first time we see Nagini in the books and films is during the time that she, Voldemort and Peter Pettigrew were hiding out in the Riddle House at the start of Goblet of Fire. This means that her first act in the series is to help kill the innocent groundskeeper who had discovered them. At the end of that book, she was also present for Voldemort’s resurrection, and promised she would be able to eat Harry after the process. Yum.
There could be an argument that Nagini’s transformation into an animal meant that she no longer had so much control of her actions, but this is not entirely supported by the text. In Order of the Phoenix, for example, she was sent on a solo mission to the Ministry of Magic to investigate the prophecy room, during which she attacked and almost killed Arthur Weasley.
Interestingly, because of their joint status as living Horcruxes (the rest were objects), Harry was able to witness the attack from Nagini’s point of view in this instance. An alternative theory is that Voldemort had possessed her, thickening the plot again.
The final Potter story, Deathly Hallows, begins with another murder by Voldemort followed by dinner for Nagini, and continues to see Nagini impersonate Bathilda Bagshot via her corpse and some dark magic. Again, it’s unclear how much of these events of down to Nagini’s free will or Voldemort’s control of her, but tracking Harry’s connection to Voldemort throughout the series, it could be a mixture of both.
In the end, Nagini plays perhaps the most vital role in the finale than any other villain, killing Snape on Voldemort’s orders and then becoming the last Horcrux to be destroyed by Neville Longbottom. Once she is disposed of by the Sword of Gryffindor, Harry is free to defeat Voldemort and end the war.
(Un-ignoring Cursed Child for a moment, in an alternate reality Neville is murdered before he can kill Nagini, and so she lives.)
Nagini has now become a lightning rod character for fans due to her surprise identity, and could very well be the glue that holds the two franchises together. Will she be a tragic figure, living through Grindelwald’s reign only to be manipulated into serving his successor, or may we see her turn into a villain by some sort of betrayal? My guess? She’ll be Rowling’s excuse to slot a Tom Riddle cameo into film five.
The DCEU continues to expand with Aquaman, Shazam, Wonder Woman 2, Joker, Birds of Prey, and more!
The DC Extended Universe is in full swing! With a healthy schedule of upcoming DC movies in development, the DCEU isn't going away anytime soon, and there's still lots to look forward to.
So, it's time to take a look at all of the DC superhero movies that will be released over the next few years. And trust us, there are a ton of them on the way, and we expect more details will be announced as we go forward. We have all the release dates for every one of 'em right here, as well as official details, the most interesting rumors, and suggestions for further reading where appropriate. Aquaman, Shazam, Joker, Birds of Prey, and Wonder Woman 2 will all arrive on schedule between now and the end of 2020, and more will follow!
Here's how this works, because the schedule is getting a little weird. We're starting with the dates that we know Warner Bros. has reserved specifically for DC superhero movies. You'll find that in some cases, there isn't officially a project attached to that date yet. Then we'll get into the stuff that we know for 100% certain is in development, but that don't have release dates for. Then we'll get into some of the long shots at the bottom.
We'll keep updating this with more information as we get it...
December 21, 2018 - Aquaman
Jason Momoa is playing Aquaman. There's no doubt that they studio has been taking Aquaman very seriously, and he was a standout character in Justice League. Amber Heard will appear as Mera. Patrick Wilson is Ocean Master and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is Black Manta, with Nicole Kidman as Atlanna.
Here's the official synopsis:
"The film reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime—one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be…a king."
James Wan (Furious 7) directs. Expect a big, high adventure style romp.
April 5, 2019 - Shazam
Lights Out director David F. Sandberg is directing Shazam, from a script by Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke. Asher Angel will play Billy Batson, Zachary Levi is Shazam, and Mark Strong is the villainous Dr. Sivana. It star Jack Dylan Grazer is on board as Freddy Freeman, too!
Here's the official synopsis:
"We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong)."
October 4, 2019 - Joker
The Joker, Batman's greatest villain, is getting a movie all his own. Todd Phillips (The Hangover, War Dogs) will direct, and co-write a script with Scott Silver (8 Mile, The Fighter). Martin Scorsese is producing. This is to be a Joker origin story, told as "a gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film set in early-’80s Gotham City that isn’t meant to feel like a DC movie as much as one of Scorsese’s films from that era."
This movie is called, simply, Joker, and will feature Joaquin Phoenix (not Jared Leto) in the role, and this will not officially tie in with the rest of the DCEU continuity. It sounds like the studio is pursuing a big screen version of DC Comics' "Elseworlds" line.
February 7, 2020 - Birds of Prey
Cathy Yan will direct the Birds of Prey movie, from a script by Christina Hodson. Birds of Prey may feature Batgirl, Black Canary, Harley Quinn, Huntress, and others, and it Ewan McGregor will appear as the villainous Black Mask.
April 3rd, 2020 - Cyborg
Ray Fisher made his first (very brief) appearance as Vic Stone/Cyborg in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and played a crucial role in Justice League. At one point he was supposed to feature in The Flash solo movie, too, but it's not clear if that's still the case.
No other details are presently available, and there had been rumors that this one might be reworked into a movie that would introduce the Teen Titans to the big screen. But also note that there has been no movement on this project in quite some time, so don't be surprised if this loses its release date. But until we hear otherwise, this is what was announced.
June 5, 2020 - Wonder Woman 2
The most critically acclaimed DCEU movie is definitely getting a sequel. Patty Jenkins will return to direct Wonder Woman 1984, which will move Diana's story forward in time...to 1984. Expect what another adventure set in the past, this time the 1980s. Kristen Wiig will play Wonder Woman's enemy, the Cheetah.
Here's the official synopsis:
Fast forward to the 1980s as Wonder Woman’s next big screen adventure finds her facing an all-new foe: The Cheetah.
July 24th, 2020 - Green Lantern Corps
Fairly or unfairly, Green Lantern has the most working against him. The 2011 film failed to kickstart the DC Universe as planned, and received a lukewarm (at best) critical and box-office reception. There are, of course, ways around this.
One way is to simply not make Hal Jordan the central Green Lantern of the movie. This one may focus on as many as three Green Lanterns, with the main focus on a kind of buddy/cop movie with John Stewart and Hal Jordan. Geoff Johns is writing the script, but there's no director in place yet, although Rupert Wyatt's name had been linked to the job at one point. Rumors that Tom Cruise would play Hal Jordan appear to have been premature.
Unless there's some serious forward movement on this in the next few months, expect this release date to move.
Now, let's get into the projects that are in the works, but don't have release dates yet. We've grouped these roughly in the order we expect to see them based on how far along they are.
Suicide Squad 2
David Ayer going to be too busy with Gotham City Sirens until further notice, and now none other than James Gunn (he of Guardians of the Galaxy fame) has stepped in to write and direct Suicide Squad 2. At one point this was expected to shoot in late 2018, but that no longer appears to be the case.
Gotham City Sirens
David Ayer is looking to direct a Harley Quinn and friends "girl gang" movie. Geneva Robertson-Dworet is writing, with Margot Robbie producing. It's not clear where this stands on anybody's priority list, especially with Birds of Prey, a Harley Quinn solo movie, and other projects in development.
The Flash: Flashpoint
Ezra Miller will reprise his Justice League role as Barry Allen. Kiersey Clemons is Iris West. It's possible that we'll get a guest appearance from Ray Fisher as Cyborg and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, as well.
Maybe not, though. This movie has had an extraordinary amount of trouble getting off the ground, at one point it was said to be based on the Flashpoint story, but that might not be the case any more.
The New Gods
Ava DuVernay will direct a movie based on Jack Kirby's New Gods. It's not clear yet whether this will fit into the traditional DCEU, but really, it doesn't need to. The New Gods is a cosmic story of such incredible scale that there's no reason to try and connect this to earthbound concerns.
The New Gods is the story of two worlds, the warlike Apokolips and the peaceful New Genesis, each populated by immensely powerful beings with fantastic technology. Darkseid is the evil dictator of Apokolips, and he swaps sons with Highfather, the leader of New Genesis, and each child is raised on the opposite world. Darkseid's son, Orion, becomes a troubled champion of New Genesis, while Highfather's son (raised by Darkseid) revolts and becomes the super escape artist, Mister Miracle. This barely scratches the surface of what this movie is about. We tried to get into more detail about it here.
The Batman solo movie has Matt Reeves as director but...might not star Ben Affleck. We're not sure what the status of that is at the moment, but we've assembled everything we know so far right here.
Steven Spielberg has long wanted to make a Blackhawk movie, and he's finally going to get his wish. And if it was your wish to see Steven Spielberg direct a DC movie, you're also in luck. David Koepp is writing the screenplay. We have more details on this one here.
The Lego Batman movie director Chris McKay has been tapped to direct a Nightwing movie. Bill Dubuque (The Accountant) is working on a script. No other details are currently available, and this one doesn't have a release date yet.
Joss Whedon was originally supposed to write, direct, and produce the Batgirl movie, one that was reportedly based on Gail Simone's recent New 52 take on the character. He has exited the project and now Christina Hodson is writing.
Oren Uziel is working on a script for a Supergirl movie. It's not clear what kind of ties this will have to the currently dead Man of Steel franchise, especially given the uncertain state of Henry Cavill's future as Superman.
Shazam doesn't have a star to play its title character yet, but it sure does have a villain. And that villain, who will be played by Dwayne Johnson, is certainly strong enough to sustain his own movie.
There's no release date set for the Black Adam movie, and this is the kind of thing that could work as a nifty prequel to further flesh out the mystical world of Shazam if they choose to go that route. We're currently on the lookout for more info.
Adam Sztykiel (Due Date, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul) is writing. We have a little bit more info right here.
Joe Manganiello has been cast as Slade Wilson, known to DC fans as Deathstroke. Long rumored as the villain of The Batman solo movie (that is no longer the case), Deathstroke is now going to get a solo film, written and directed by The Raid's Gareth Evans. At the moment, there is no release date.
This isn't terribly likely at the moment given how the first film underperformed at the box office, but don't count it out yet! We have some ideas about how Justice League 2 could still move forward right here.
Man of Steel 2
Never officially announced, with no director or writer ever attached...don't get your hopes up for a solo Superman movie any time soon. Especially considering that Henry Cavill appears to be finished as Superman.
Justice League Dark
At one time this was called Dark Universe, until Universal came along and ruined that name with their failed horror movie shared franchise. This one will feature the supernatural characters from the DC Universe. Characters like Swamp Thing, Demon, Deadman, Zatanna, and possibly even John Constantine.
Guillermo del Toro was attached to this one for quite some time, but had to leave the project. Then it was Doug Liman. Now it might be Daniel Espinosa or Gerard Johnstone. This will probably remain slow going.
And now for the long shots...projects mentioned, rumored, or that haven't had any movement in a while.
Joker & Harley Quinn Movie
There's another Joker-centric flick in the works this one, a Joker and Harley Quinn movie is absolutely part of the DCEU, and would pick up where Suicide Squad left off. There are currently on additional details available on this one, either.
Not to be confused with...
Jared Leto Joker Movie
Honestly, we're having trouble keeping track of all these, but yes, there is also yet another Joker solo movie in development focusing on Jared Leto's version of the character.
Yes, there's also another Harley Quinn movie in development! Whether this is a solo project or something else remains to be seen. Could this be Birds of Prey? Your guess is as good as ours!
Booster Gold (and maybe Blue Beetle)
Flash and Arrow executive producer Greg Berlanti is going to executive produce and possibly direct a Booster Gold movie. Zack Stentz (Thor, X-Men: First Class) will write the script.
Early reports described this as a "superhero buddy cop movie" that would involve Blue Beetle. We'll get you more updates on this as they become available.
Warner Bros. knows they have one of the biggest stars in the world already in costume, so they're reportedly considering a Deadshot solo movie, as well.
Back on the schedule after years of being dormant, the Lobo movie may attempt to be the DCEU equivalent of Deadpool. Jason Fuchs must have impressed Warner Bros. with his work on Wonder Woman, because he's on board to write the script for this one. Michael Bay might direct.
Sandman isn't a superhero movie, and it isn't a DC Universe movie that will have any bearing on future Justice League films. But it is one of the most successful, enduring comics of all time.
The latest news on this isn't encouraging, though. It appears to be a dead project. Maybe they'll finally come to their senses and make this an HBO series instead.
Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone return for a Creed 2 that plays more like a hybrid of Rocky II and IV.
Just when it seemed as if the Rocky boxing franchise had finally come to a close in 2006 with the earnest and decently received Rocky Balboa, the long-running series pivoted in 2015 with the stunning Creed. Shifting the focus to Adonis “Donnie” Creed (Michael B. Jordan), the son of late champ Apollo Creed, while relegating Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) to a supporting role as the younger Creed’s reluctant trainer, the Ryan Coogler-directed melodrama was a surprise crowdpleaser, charting a natural evolution for Rocky, establishing Jordan as a compelling leading man, and infusing the whole picture with a gritty, streetwise sensibility that attracted both old and new fans.
Creed ended in such a good place--with Adonis embracing his heritage as Apollo’s son, forging his own destiny as a fighter, and finding friendship and love with Rocky and a musician named Bianca (Tessa Thompson)--that a sequel, while inevitable after the movie proved a hit, seemed like a bad idea from the get-go. Remember all those average-to-poor Rocky sequels? And Creed II, it seemed, would be a semi-sequel to one of the least impressive Rocky movies, the Cold War-inspired Rocky IV.
The good news is that Creed II won’t be sandwiched among the lesser Rocky sequels by any stretch; although it misses the confident, propulsive direction of Coogler (who helmed Black Panther and is now prepping its sequel), new director Steven Caple Jr. moves the story along in efficient if unremarkable fashion, aided tremendously by his empathetic and engaging cast. The biggest issue is that the movie’s narrative seems perfunctory and Adonis Creed’s motivations fuzzy; Creed just skirts the line of being kind of a brooding, self-absorbed jerk, but is yanked back from the brink by Jordan’s natural likability.
As Creed II opens, Adonis has plowed through six lesser fighters as his career continues to thrive and finally gets a shot at the light heavyweight title again, this time winning it. But no sooner is the belt around his waist than he is challenged for it by Russian contender Viktor Drago (Florian Monteanu), a gigantic slab of meat who is built like the Hulk and can barely grunt out a sentence. Drago, of course, is the son of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), who killed Creed’s father in the ring 33 years ago in Rocky IV before being in turn pummeled by Rocky. He thereafter became a disgrace in his own country as a result.
The younger Drago’s taunting proves impossible for Adonis to ignore, even as Bianca and Rocky--who has his own tense sitdown with Ivan--warn him against taking the fight. “You think I’ll lose,” says Adonis to Rocky, who elects not to train his protégé for this one. “Who are you fighting for?” asks Rocky, who is afraid that history will repeat itself and he’ll end up burying another Creed once the fight is finished.
Whether it’s revenge or some sort of ill-defined validation he's after, as the champ's got everything he could want at this point, Adonis trains with Tony “Little Duke” Evers (Wood Harris) and enters the ring with Viktor, only for things to go decidedly south. While Creed retains his heavyweight crown, the bout takes a heavy toll both physically and psychologically, and it’s only a short amount of time before a rematch appears all but certain. But can he survive the wrath of Drago a second time?
The screenplay by Stallone and Juel Taylor (from a story by Sascha Penn and Cheo Hodari Coker) follows the beats set down by previous Rocky pictures (and Creed itself) so slavishly that one could count them out on a metronome. Everything that happens feels pre-ordained and a bit rushed, with very little that will surprise Rocky fans or anyone familiar with the basic mechanics of storytelling. It’s also loaded with plots and subplots, involving everything from Rocky’s relationship with his own estranged son to the (rather rapid) birth of a baby for Adonis and the ever-patient Bianca, whose budding musical career gets tabled as soon as the pregnancy test comes back positive.
The relationships between fathers and sons are examined from three or four different angles. And somewhat refreshingly, the Dragos are not portrayed as cartoon villains; the dynamic between an understated and effective Lundgren and the perpetually scowling Monteanu conveys an abyss of genuine shame and emotional longing that neither man seems able to bridge. It’s almost more difficult to sympathize with Adonis Creed himself, who has a loving partner, a baby on the way, a spectacular new crib in downtown Los Angeles, and plenty of money and fame, yet still seems perpetually unhappy.
As a result, the showdowns and triumphs in the ring simply don’t feel as earned as those in Creed, missing the sense of destiny and jubilation we experienced watching Adonis finally embrace his father’s legacy while stepping out from his shadow. That leaves us with our basic affection for the characters, which is intact. The now-elderly but still strong Rocky is as endearing as ever, and Jordan of course has charisma to spare. Thompson is again appealing, and we also get another sharp turn from Phylicia Rashad as Mary Anne Creed. The palpable warmth we feel toward these folks, even the ones we just met one film ago, goes a long way toward making Creed II feel less mechanical than it actually is.
Even if the breath of fresh air that the first Creed provided isn’t there anymore, viewers may just relax and let themselves go the distance this time around even if they can’t help but feel like the bout is more or less fixed. Thankfully more Rocky II than Rocky IV (or Rocky V, heaven forbid), Creed II is serviceable and enjoyable even if one can see the punches coming from a mile away.
Creed II is out in theaters next Wednesday, Nov. 21.
Don Kaye is a Los Angeles-based entertainment journalist and associate editor of Den of Geek. Other current and past outlets include Syfy, United Stations Radio Networks, Fandango, MSN, RollingStone.com and many more. Read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @donkaye
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With the new Mystery Science Theater 3000 season hitting Netflix on Thanksgiving, the MST3K Turkey Day marathon comes early this year.
Thanksgiving Day is always a big deal for Mystery Science Theater 3000. It’s when the show debuted way back in 1988, it’s when the upcoming MST3K season 12 will debut on Netflix, and it’s when they regularly do their annual Thanksgiving marathon. The fact that it’s going to be the 30 year anniversary of the show helps make it seem like an even bigger deal this year.
There’s been an elephant in the room, though. There’s a little too much going on this Thanksgiving. How are you supposed to enjoy the MST3K Turkey Day Marathon, which is ultimately a handful of beloved reruns with unique introductions, when there’s a whole season of episodes suddenly ready for you to watch? It’s like when you’re aiming a gun back and forth between two people who look the same and wonder which one you’re supposed to shoot, only this time it’s a positive thing.
So instead, Shout! Factory TV will be broadcasting the Turkey Day Marathon on Sunday, November 18. Starting at 12pm ET, they will show six classic episodes with new intro segments by Joel Hodgson and Jonah Ray. There will also be sneak previews of MST3K season 12, otherwise known as Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Gauntlet (which we will have more information on soon enough).
During the day, fans are encouraged to share their thoughts on their favorite memories of the show with the social media hashtag #MST3KTurkeyDay.
Then on Thursday, the new season will hit. While it’s cut down to a scant six episodes compared to last season’s 13, it does have a gimmick going for it where it’s supposed to be binge-watched over the course of eight hours or so. Gimmicky ratings ploys are Kinga Forrester's thing, after all.
Reminder: the marathon on Sunday will not be the new episodes. Those will drop on Netflix on Thursday as normal.
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MST3K Season 12 on Netflix is a go! Expect more Mystery Science Theater 3000 on your screens just in time for Turkey Day.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 Season 12 will head back to Netflix for more mirthful movie-riffing, just in time for a proper Thanksgiving Turkey Day marathon. Indeed, Jonah Ray, Felicia Day, Patton Oswalt will be back in their respective MST3K roles, joined, of course, by Crow T. Robot, Tom Servo and Gypsy.
Last year’s inaugural revival season was officially titled Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return. This time, however, the sophomore round will bear the formal title, Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Gauntlet. This is because the series is upping the cheesy movie stakes higher than ever with a cinematic sextet ominously referred to as “The Gauntlet.”
MST3K Season 12 Trailer
The long wait is finally about conclude, as teased by the MST3K Season 12 trailer. As we can see, space-stranded Jonah Heston (Ray) and the Satellite of Love’s longtime bot residents will be subjected to six especially unendurably cheesy offering, collectively called “The Gauntlet,” with Kinga Forrester (Day) and Max (Oswalt) forcing their perennially captive audience to catch the entire run – apropos to the name – in one grueling sitting.
MST3K Season 12 Movies
The Gauntlet of MST3K Season 12 will consist of the following films:
Mac and Me (1988), director Stewart Raffill’s box-office-failure fantasy film about a wheelchair-bound boy and his NASA-escaped alien friend, MAC (Mysterious Alien Creature).
Atlantic Rim (2013) director Jared Cohn’s strategically-titled Pacific Rim-capitalizing kaiju genre offering.
Lords of the Deep (1989) director Mary Ann Fisher’s undersea sci-fi thriller, which managed to arrive a few months before that summer’s major undersea effort, James Cameron’s The Abyss.
The Day Time Ended (1980) director John “Bud” Cardos’s genre-masher, depicting a middle-class family’s encounter with extraterrestrials, which leads to them being whisked back in time to a prehistoric era.
Killer Fish (1979) director Antonio Margheriti’s horror film about an undersea jewel heist in piranha-teeming waters. Big-name headliners Lee Majors and Karen Black were not able to salvage this one from Davy Jones's Locker.
Ator, the Fighting Eagle (1982) director Joe D’Amato’s Conan: The Barbarian-capitalizing fantasy actioner, depicting a swords-and-loincloth-rocking tale about a warrior who must rescue his step-sister/love-interest from the dark priest (and his cult,) who slaughtered his village.
MST3K Season 12 Release Date
Thursday, November 22, 2018 will see the release of all six episodes. The original version of the show started on Thanksgiving of 1988. It's only fitting that we'll get a new set of episodes on Thanksgiving of 2018, thirty years after. What better day to binge a new season than the day constantly used for binging MST3K?
MST3K Season 12 Renewal
Back in 1988, on Thanksgiving Day, a new show debuted on KTMA in Minneapolis, Minnesota called Mystery Science Theater 3000. While extremely rough at first, it found its footing over time and got picked up by the Comedy Channel, later known as Comedy Central. On Thanksgiving 1991, a new annual tradition started where Comedy Central would do a marathon of the show throughout Turkey Day. Even with two cancellations to its name, MST3K still held onto the Thanksgiving marathon tradition in one way or another via the internet.
Last year, series creator Joel Hodgson hosted the annual Turkey Day Marathon alongside new cast members Jonah Ray and Felicia Day. After spending half the day showing off classic episodes and clips of the latest season (including a promotional clip of Jonah and the bots watching several minutes of the first episode of Stranger Things), there still appeared to be no word on whether or not Netflix would be bringing the show back for a 12th season.
That is, until the very, very end of the feed. That’s when this baby kicked in.
And once again, we have movie sign! Joel and his buff arms then sent out an email to the Season 11 Kickstarter backers to reiterate this. Over time, he explained that the season would be half as long as the previous one, mainly due to making easier to get these new seasons out the door faster in-between releases. The filming finished and although he wouldn't mention what movies would be watched, Joel did say that one was something people have wanted them to cover for a long while.
Martin Campbell's Goldeneye rebooted James Bond, introduced Pierce Brosnan in the role, and proved to be a major hit.
This article comes from Den of Geek UK.
Goldeneye: a mostly triumphant return for James Bond after an extended absence. Far from perfect but its flaws are overwhelmed by the sheer brio of the whole thing, especially once former Bond bestie Alec Trevelyan finally shows up. The reliance on gadgets is just about right (the exploding pen got a Skyfall namecheck) and the action is reliably entertaining. At least provided you can enjoy a tank chase through Moscow - which this writer certainly can.
Probably the most loved of the Pierce Brosnan Bonds, although arguably Tomorrow Never Dies is a more coherent film. But this one had a lot riding on it. After six years it was do or die - and safe to say Goldeneye does, and then some.
The Villain: Not quite a villainous great but certainly very sharp. The great masterstroke of Alec Trevelyan isn’t his personality but his history: a former bosom buddy of Bond’s turned bad. Pitting 007 against his physical match always works well, and their rivalry gives real bite to the climatic battle royale.
Sean Bean wisely underplays Alec, giving a vital believability to his and Bond’s past friendship. However the character is never quite fleshed out by the script, and the whole parental vendetta thing doesn’t really work.
The Girl: Much to like here. Clever? Check. Resourceful? Check. Important to the plot, as opposed to merely checking the Bond girl box? Um, check.
Like Trevelyan, Natalya Simonova is a very assured spin on a well-driven model. Surviving a massacre in the first hour is a sign the woman shouldn’t be taken lightly. Her treatment of Bond as an equal, not a savior, certainly refreshes; indeed she even pops up at the end to save his skin. Deserves to be more lauded than other, weaker heroines with sillier names.
Way back in some earlier retrospective (Thunderball?) I arbitrarily flourished a list of the landmark Bond films and Goldeneye wasn’t on it. Time to recant? Not really.
Obviously Goldeneye is a crucially important film. Not only because it came a full six years after License To Kill (double the previous longest gap) but also due to the vastly changed political landscape into which the series blearily emerged. What, no Cold War? Now which global powers can aspirational supervillains manipulate to the brink of nuclear destruction? And what the hell’s the internet?
Fortunately, Bond had often stepped outside his Cold War comfort zone. License To Kill, A View To A Kill, Moonraker, The Man With The Golden Gun, Live And Let Die were all basically free of any Red Peril. Okay, most of those weren't very good, but it could be done. And, quite frankly, the series needed an extended break.
Accepting the divisive legacy of License To Kill (despite its love here), you must retrace your steps back to The Spy Who Loved Me to find the last bona fide Bond smash. That would be 1977. A recharging of creative batteries really was overdue.
And look what we got. An absolute slam dunk of a film, one of the biggest success stories of the series. To pretend the film is flawless would be a stretch but it brings a whole lot of joy. Let’s get the negative stuff out of the way.
Firstly, the Severnaya scenes drag. The office banter, office massacre and fighter jet crashing into the office all take longer than required. Ourumov and Xenia should shoot faster, leave quicker. Post-crash, we get a lot of a screaming Natalya hurling herself out of the path of falling debris. Put bluntly, I rarely enjoy this segment on a rewatch; it certainly could have used a cut.
Bond’s escape from the kamikaze helicopter should have been cut completely. Did nobody notice the giant red ejector button directly next to his head? Henchman banter must be pretty absorbing if you overlook that eyesore while strapping Bond in. In all seriousness, a more subtle film might have explored the idea of Trevelyan letting Bond live due to past friendship rather than sheer incompetence.
Speaking of incompetence, remember when Ourumov bursts into Bond’s interrogation, shoots the Minister of Defence and helpfully tosses Bond a gun (which he reloads first!) as he externally monologues his plan of action: ‘and now I kill you - oh no you’ve escaped.’
What happened to the scene where Professor Dumbledore gives Bond a magical force field cloak? It's surely the only explanation for a roomful of Russian soldiers being unable to hit Bond as he runs directly above them or swings over their heads (yes, we all know bullets love to fly anywhere but Bond. Yet a line must be drawn. There are dozens and dozens of soldiers, he’s literally two yards away and they’re all firing machine guns).
And (last one) a personal pet peeve: right at the start, after Ourumov fake-shoots Trevelyan, he then real-shoots a jittery Russian soldier. You’ll never remember it on first watch, or notice it on the second. But I’ve seen Goldeneye many times. And I don’t believe Ourumov only left one blank chamber in his otherwise loaded gun.
Pendency? Probably. But there’s a reason for that (we’ll reach later). Enough of the negatives. Let’s have some cheer.
First and loudest for Pierce Brosnan. The critically beloved Daniel Craig has rather overshadowed Pierce in recent years. In the current era of rugged authenticity poor Pierce has been dismissed as too slick, too smug, too lightweight. Even the man himself got in on the act, saying: “I have no desire to watch myself as James Bond. ’Cause it's just never good enough. It's a horrible feeling."
No offence, Pierce, but hush. You were quite clearly the best Bond since Sean Connery (especially as Roger Moore played an entirely different character who happened to share the same name/job). You had the look, the wit, the killer touch. At your best you could combine the lightness of Moore with the grit of Dalton; the cold heart of Connery hidden beneath Lazenby’s boyish charm. Just because scowls and muscle are currently in vogue doesn’t mean your legacy - certainly as an actor - should be subsequently trashed. Even by you.
Indeed Brosnan’s versatility was arguably his curse, Had he more weaknesses, we might better have appreciated his strengths. Flaws endear. People warm to Moore’s camp, or Dalton’s struggle with the quip. But Pierce’s effortless mastery of all guises - hitman, heartthrob, spy, wit - begat fewer fanatical Brosnan fans. Like the annoyingly talented kid in school - top grades, hottest girlfriend, star of track and field - he can be easy to admire but hard to love. At least for some - cue the torrent of Brosnanites…?
Xenia Onatopp dominates the first half of the film. For a supposedly established convention, genuine Bond femme fatales come few and far between. Rosa Klebb and Irma Bunt were villains who happened to be women. Rosie Carver was too useless, Naomi too fleeting. Mayday turned good. Obviously Fiona Volpe, and her unofficial alter ego Fatima Blush, but otherwise pre-Xenia the cupboard was pretty bare.
Enter Ms. Onatopp and her deadly thighs. Xenia does enough in one film to last a franchise: it’s almost as though the filmmakers wanted to make up for lost time. So first she races Bond in a scarlet Ferrari. Then she plays Bond at baccarat while sucking on a large cigar. Then she leg-strangles a Russian general during sex. Still unsatisfied, she shoots two pilots, steals a helicopter, flies to Severnaya and machine guns everyone, panting loudly.
Suffice to say the woman has fun. We have fun watching her, great fun, although I admit the deadly sex scene isn’t an easy watch with the family around. I call that my ‘cup of tea’ moment.
Sadly Xenia fades as the film progresses - I, for one, would like a scene of her and Trevelyan, just to establish the dynamic - but her legend has already been established. Future X-Woman Famke Janssen will always be the lady who liked a good squeeze. Never has one character caused so much awkward seat-shifting on a Christmas afternoon.
Another woman almost steals the film from between under Xenia’s nose. The redoubtable Judi Dench takes her bow as M. The relationship between her and Bond is wonderfully fraught: “You don’t like me, do you, Bond?” Don’t beat around the bush, M. Say what you mean. “Good, because I think you're a sexist, misogynist dinosaur. A relic of the Cold War…” Things haven’t been this spiky since Bernard Lee sat behind the desk.
Posterity will remember Craig as Dench’s Bond, just as Connery is Lee’s, but the strength of the Brosnan-Dench dynamic shouldn’t be forgotten. Their brittle respect is pitched almost identically to the later Craig-Dench dynamic, although it’s hard to imagine Brosnan bundling M off to the Highlands.
Incidentally, Dench is presented as a ‘new’ M; she’s not a female version of the same Lee/Robert Brown character. I like this. It’s good to acknowledge the passing of the baton; to encourage each new incumbent to play the role a little differently from the predecessor. Should the same be done for Bond? (I’m thinking the ‘code name’ theory.) Harder question, and one worth tackling at a later date.
Making the villain a former friend of Bond’s is an inspired idea that provides the strongest thread of the film. The emotional connection between Bond and former 006 Alec Trevelyan means the stakes always feel higher than a laser scheme you know must be foiled. The ‘Janus’ reveal is one of the best written scenes of the franchise. Bond’s pained “why?” on discovering his friend’s betrayal is a line that sticks. Equally the final payoff - “For England, James?” “No - for me” - may be the most satisfying of them all.
Quibbles? A couple.
Trevelyan’s motivation - avenge his parents, Lienz Cossacks betrayed by the British in 1945 - is a failed attempt to give the character more depth. But the numbers don’t add up. By Goldeneye the event was 50 years in the past. Sean Bean was in his mid-30s. It all seems rather unlikely; the Trevelyan parents must have carried the shame of survival for twenty years, while siring a son, for any of this to work. Frankly, it doesn’t.
That leads to Quibble 2.0. Presumably part of the reason the writers felt the need to introduce this elaborate scenario is Trevelyan himself. He never quite takes off. He’s a perfectly fine villain, very well played by Bean, but we never really get a sense of him as a person. The truly great villains (indeed, characters) have a life beyond what we see on the screen. Goldfinger, Scaramanga, Sanchez - the viewer can infer/imagine stuff about them not explicitly shown. Yet Alec fails this test.
How does he pass the time on that bullet train? Play cards? Read? Stage confined orgies? Your guess is as good as mine. I like Alec but the cold truth is that he works better as a concept than a character.
Natalya likewise flirts with greatness without ever quite making the transition. I have a lot of time for Natalya. She’s smart, resourceful and plays a crucial role in the location and subsequent destruction of Goldeneye. Moreover some of her lines are genuinely funny: “What is it with you and moving vehicles?”
Despite such attributes she doesn’t linger after the credits roll. Again, like Pam Bouvier, I wonder if a more conventionally stupid name might have helped her cause. But calling her Layla Rumpypumpnov wouldn’t change the fact she exists largely in Xenia’s shadow. Nor does she possess the glamor of more feted predecessors. Computer programming is very admirable but it hardly captures the imagination like smuggler/priestess/secret agent.
A brief word for three different men, each of whom flavors the film.
First and best is Valentin Zukovsky, a Russian mafia boss kneecapped by Bond in his previous incarnation as KGB. Understandably, Valentin wasn’t thrilled. Their tense, amusing conversation harks back to the memorable cameos of the past; think Henderson in You Only Live Twice or Lazar in The Man With The Golden Gun. Charming rogues have a fine Bond tradition and Valentine slots right in.
Bluff CIA agent Jack Wade isn’t quite as memorable but he adds a bit of color to grey old Moscow. Slightly odd the character isn’t Felix Leiter; presumably after the shark mauling last time out the character was considered retired. Anyway, Wade is refreshingly different, and his late appearance (plus marines) ends the film on a laugh.
Least successful is treacherous technician Boris Grishenko. A computer whizzkid-cum-sexpest whose trademark “I am invincible!” quickly grates. However the character isn’t a Pepper-like travesty; just a bit irritating, although arguably that’s the point. And his pen-twirling habit is cleverly utilised at the climax; click, click click... tick, tick, tick…
Wait - forgot someone! General Ourumov, who briefly appears to be the villain of the film. The tormented Ourumov is a rather interesting character regrettably sidelined. He’s the least overtly memorable of the villainous quartet (lacking Alec’s importance, Boris’s annoying tics and, well, Xenia) but Gottfried John plays Ourumov well, without once slipping into ‘a Berkoff’. He deserves a less abrupt death.
Let’s conclude by cheering three great set pieces. The pre-credits scene is a classic, among the very best. The bungee jump is about as memorable a cold opening as you get. Watching Bond operate in tandem with another 00 is another treat; I never understand why his MI6 counterparts don’t feature more often. Okay, flying into the plane stretches credibility (how deep is that ravine) but I wager its subsequent reappearance brought many a cheer in the cinema.
The tank chase is big, dumb fun. What I like about Brosnan-Bond is the broadness of the church; we get emotional showdowns and tanks flattening statues, something for everyone. As alluded to above, I suspect this versatility/incoherence hasn’t helped the Brosnan era in retrospect; people like labels. (Connery is classic, Moore is silly, Dalton is gritty, etc.) But I, for one, salute the tank.
And we get a belter of a climax. A ticking clock, a remote base, a space laser (yay! we were due a laser) and two bitter rivals fighting to the death. While not as celebrated as the Bond, Red Grant fight, the lost friendship makes the battle thrillingly personal.
Just as Duran Duran and A-ha recorded the strongest successive title tracks, the climaxes of License To Kill and Goldeneye offer the greatest pair of finales. In both, notably, more is at stake than the mission. And in both the resolution is totally satisfying. I particularly like the gratuitousness of keeping Alec alive long enough to drop the station on his head.
So why no landmark? Just because, personally, I don’t think Goldeneye breaks any new ground. It updates the formula, tweaks the rules, but ultimately it plays by both. The concept of Bond isn’t stretched in any way. Just reinvigorated. Which, really, is all the film wanted. After six years off, this wasn’t the time to forge a brave new world but rather prove the old one wasn’t lost for good.
One last disclaimer. I try and write these retrospectives as impartially as possible; to view the films I dislike through the eyes of their fans, and those I favour through the eyes of their detractors. Even if you disagree with my opinions (and that’s all they are) I hope you find them balanced, not unfair. For most of us, Bond started in childhood, and we all have our favourites, often irrationally so. And our favourite film, or indeed Bond, isn’t necessarily the film or Bond we consider the best.
And now that this is over, I can admit it; if you asked my favorite Bond I would reply "Pierce Brosnan." And my favorite film? Goldeneye.
Best Bit: Alec reveals himself to Bond in the graveyard of statues. Emotional and eerie.
Worst Bit: That stupid ejector button.
Final Thought: I find myself humming the Tina Turner title song more than any other of the series.