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A Whole New World: Disney’s live-action 'Aladdin' hits theaters today
Disney (NEW YORK) -- Disney’s live action Aladdin hits theaters today and its star, Mena Massoud, hopes it opens up "A Whole New World" for a new generation of viewers. Massoud, who was born in Egypt and raised in Canada, says the 1992 animated version of Aladdin was one of the only movies he and his family could relate to at the time. He says it was "incredibly important" for him to have ethnic representation in this film. "Growing up as a young North African, Middle Eastern man, I rarely saw people who looked like me and that affected me,”...
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Grab your chest -- 'Alien' turns 40 Saturday
Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images (LOS ANGELES) -- Saturday marks the 40th anniversary of the release of director Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi film classic, Alien. The film, about a blue-collar crew aboard a deep space mining vessel who answer a distress call on a derelict planet and inadvertently bring aboard a killer alien, was a box office smash. It earned $80.9 million domestically -- that's nearly $285 million in 2019 dollars -- against a budget of $11 million, and was the fifth-highest-grossing film of the year. Alien also made an unlikely action star out of 29-year-old actress Sigourney...
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After fan backlash, Paramount delays 'Sonic The Hedgehog' to give character a makeover
Courtesy Paramount Pictures and Sega of America (LOS ANGELES) -- After disastrous fan reaction to its first trailer, Paramount Pictures has bumped back the release date of its Sonic The Hedgehog movie. Set to open November 8, the movie, which stars Jim Carrey and James Marsden, has now been moved to February 14, 2020. Voiced by Ben Schwartz, the first appearance of the computer-created character launched a thousand memes -- and none of them flattering. Fans of the SEGA videogame star lamented how little Sonic the Hedgehog actually looked like Sonic the Hedgehog. The word "creepy" was a common descriptive,...
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Spike Lee premieres 'She’s Gotta Have It' season two in Brooklyn
L-R - Anthony Ramos, Spike Lee -- David Lee/Netflix (NEW YORK) -- Spike Lee returned home to Brooklyn, New York Thursday night for the red carpet premiere of season two of his She’s Gotta Have It series, based on his 1986 film. The Oscar winner for BlacKkKlansman was joined by his wife and co-executive producer, Tonya Lewis Lee, and cast members DeWanda Wise, Anthony Ramos, Fat Joe, Chyna Layne, Margot Bingham, Ilfenesh Hadera, De’Adre Aziz, Cleo Anthony, and Lyriq Bent. The screening was held at the Alamo Drafthouse Brooklyn, followed by an after party at Gotham Market at The Ashland....
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"I miss him" -- Harrison Ford remembers Peter "Chewbacca" Mayhew
NBC/Andrew Lipovsky (NEW YORK) -- Harrison Ford remembered his former Star Wars series co-star, Peter Mayhew, on Thursday night's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Mayhew, who of course played Chewbacca, the Wookiee co-pilot to Ford's Han Solo in the film series, died April 30, just days short of his 75th birthday. Ford, who was on Fallon to plug his upcoming animated film The Secret Life of Pets, was emotional talking about his co-star, calling him, "a really sweet man, a nice man." Referring to the health issues the seven foot, two-inch tall Mayhew had, Ford explained to the audience,...
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Report: ABC considering bringing back 'Whiskey Cavalier'
ABC/Nick Ray (LOS ANGELES) -- The mission may yet not be over for ABC's sexy spy action-comedy show Whiskey Cavalier. ABC is reportedly reconsidering its decision earlier this month to cancel the show, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. The ratings-challenged freshman series, starring Scandal alum Scott Foley and The Walking Dead's Lauren Cohan, saw its rating among viewers aged 18-49 more than double with a week of delayed viewing, and Wednesday's season finale jumped even further, helped out by its lead-in, Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All in the Family and The Jeffersons. The initial decision...
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Mario Batali pleads not guilty to sexual misconduct charge
Scott Eisen/Getty Images (BOSTON) -- Celebrity chef Mario Batali stood before a judge in Boston Friday morning and entered a not guilty plea to a charge of indecent assault. Clad in a black jacket, purple sweater and looking thinner than he has in previous public appearances, Batali, 58, was released on his own recognizance and was ordered to stay away from the alleged victim unless he's called for a deposition in her civil lawsuit against him. Batali is accused of forcibly kissing and groping Natali Tene, 28, at a Boston, Massachusetts restaurant on March 31, 2017. Batali denies the charges,...
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Olivia Wilde's directorial debut, 'Booksmart', gives a lesson in teen comedies
Nicholas Hunt/Staff (LOS ANGELES) -- Olivia Wilde is ready to school everyone with her directorial debut, Booksmart, an edgy coming of age comedy opening nationwide this weekend. Raunchy R-rated comedies have typically been the domain of men, and even fewer teen comedies have been led by women, but in Booksmart, Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever star as a couple of best friends who focused more on studying than partying in high school, and decide to go wild the night before graduation. Wilde tells ABC Radio she hopes the movie serves as a sort of Bridesmaids for teens. "Teenage girls hadn't...
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Mario Batali's accuser is "grateful" sexual assault case is moving forward
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Food Bank of New York City (BOSTON) -- A woman who accused Mario Batali of sexually assaulting her in 2017 says she is "grateful" the disgraced celebrity chef is being charged for the incident. In a statement on Thursday, the attorney for Natali Tene's said she's "grateful that the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office in Boston has chosen to go forward in prosecuting Mario Batali on criminal charges of sexually assaulting her. In doing so, the DA’s Office has taken a strong stance in advocating on behalf of our client." Tene's lawyer adds that...
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'Aladdin' leads new Memorial Day Weekend movie releases
Disney (LOS ANGELES) -- Opening nationwide in theaters Friday: * Aladdin -- Director Guy Ritchie's live-action adaptation of the 1992 Disney animated classic about the titular character -- played by Mena Massoud -- a street urchin who finds a magic lamp and must use it to win over Princess Jasmine and defeat the evil sorcerer Jafar -- portrayed respectively by Naomi Scott and Marwan Kenzari. Will Smith stars as the Genie, the role made famous by Robin Williams in the original. Rated PG. * Brightburn -- James Gunn's superhero horror movie flips the Superman story on its head: an alien...
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Chicago judge orders unsealing of records in Jussie Smollett case
ABC (CHICAGO) -- A Chicago judge has ruled to unseal the documents in the criminal case of Empire actor Jussie Smollett, who claimed he was victim of a hate crime in January that police later alleged he staged. The records were sealed in March following the case against Smolllett being dropped by prosecutors. Cook County Judge Steven Watkins ordered on Thursday that the formal sealing of Smollett's investigative files are to be lifted. Smollett's team argued that the Empire actor had the right to privacy since the charges against him were dropped, and he was entitled to the immediate and...
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Melissa Barrera and Mishel Prada on season two of 'Vida': "It starts with a bang"
Starz (NEW YORK) -- The second season of Vida starts off with a bang… literally. Melissa Barrera and Mishel Prada, who play sisters Lyn and Emma on the GLAAD-award winning Starz series, want to warn viewers that the first episode is definitely NSFW. “Warning: The first like minute-and-a-half of season two, you probably shouldn't watch around kids or at work or anything of the sort,” Barrera tells ABC Radio. Prada adds, laughing, “Or older people with heart issues. Anything that might cause a scare.” “Yeah, it starts with a bang,” Barrera says. The show is known for its groundbreaking Latinx...
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