TheWrap Covering Hollywood Fri, 28 Aug 2015 01:07:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Miley Cyrus Pokes the Taylor Swift-Nicki Minaj Hornet’s Nest Just in Time for the MTV VMAs Fri, 28 Aug 2015 01:07:24 +0000 Tim Kenneally Looking to stir up a beef to spice up Sunday’s VMAs, Miley Cyrus?

The pop star, who’s hosting Sunday’s festivities, dredged up the feud between Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift in an interview with the New York Times on Thursday.

In the process, she seemed to place herself on Team Taylor, characterizing Minaj as “not very polite.”

To recap from way back in July, Minaj had groused that her video “Anaconda” hadn’t received a Video of the Year nomination.

“When the ‘other’ girls drop a video that breaks records and impacts culture they get that nomination,” Minaj complained, suggesting that she’d been snubbed because of her race and body type.

Swift, whose “Bad Blood” did receive a Video of the Year nomination, perhaps perceived Minaj’s comment as a personal attack and accused Minaj of using social media “to pit women against each other.”

The two later cleared up the misunderstanding and made nice, but Cyrus weighed in on the feud in the Times interview.

“What I read sounded very Nicki Minaj, which, if you know Nicki Minaj is not too kind. It’s not very polite,” Cyrus said. “I think there’s a way you speak to people with openness and love. You don’t have to start this pop star against pop star war.”

The “Wrecking Ball” singer went on to suggest that Minaj’s approach only served to diminish her message.

“It became Nicki Minaj and Taylor in a fight, so now the story isn’t even on what you wanted it to be about,” Cyrus said. “Now you’ve just given E! News ‘Catfight! Taylor and Nicki Go at It.'”

Minaj has been tapped as the opening performer at this year’s ceremony, which will air Sunday on MTV at 9 p.m. and hosted by Cyrus.

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‘No Escape’ Reviews: Critics Call Owen Wilson’s Actioner ‘Racist,’ ‘Cliche-Ridden,’ ‘Monotonous’ Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:53:15 +0000 Beatrice Verhoeven “No Escape,” Owen Wilson‘s new action thriller, received harsh reviews from critics leading up to its release on Wednesday, which raked in $1.8 million its opening night. So even though moviegoers flocked to the Wednesday night showings of the action thriller, critics seemed less impressed by it, calling it a “white guilt story” that is “borderline racist” with “bad storytelling.”

Moreover, it scored a 42 percent Rotten Tomato score, but a not-too-shabby Cinemascore of B+. Comparably, Wilson’s recent comedies better. 2014’s “Night at the Museum: Secret of The Tomb” opened with $5.7 million, and received a Rotten Tomato score of 50 percent, with a Cinemascore of B+. Yet, although “The Internship” grossed $6.5 million its opening night, it received a miserable score of 34 percent.

The film stars Wilson, Pierce Brosnan and Lake Bell, and is written and directed by John Erick Dowdle, with Drew Dowdle writing as well.

TheWrap’s film critic Alonso Duralde in his review titled, “Owen Wilson Saves His Family in This Slick, Racist Thriller,” said that “it’s fair to say that this new movie combines genuine filmmaking skill and effective action editing with a queasily racist subtext, one in which a bloody revolution in Asia only matters insofar as some white people might get killed.”

And most other critics agree that this film is racist, to the point where it doesn’t mention the country in which the film is set, making it “surround our American protagonists with a bloodthirsty, faceless Yellow Peril.”

Here are nine other examples of the harshest reviews for “No Escape:”

Jake Cole from Slant Magazine:

“The only way that this film could be any more racist is if the Dwyer family holed up with Lillian Gish and waited for the Klan to save them.”

Laura Clifford from Reeling Reviews:

“No Escape” is a visceral, stomach knotting actioner and for that it deserves some credit, but it’s disappointing when one considers how much better it could have been had the Dowdles had any sense of nuance.”

Stephanie Merry from The Washington Post:

“As the movie wears on, however, the gore is increasingly over-the-top, as each of the family’s encounters with bad guys becomes more and more sickening. Meanwhile, every Asian character is either a ruthless murderer or anonymous collateral damage. A lot of locals have to die, the film suggests, in order for one white family to survive.”

Peter Sobczynski from Roger Ebert:

“With its clunky filmmaking, overt sadism (with the expected shootings, slashings and burnings augmented by an attempted rape and a little girl being forced at gunpoint to shoot her own father) and borderline xenophobia, one might assume that “No Escape” was the latest film from Eli Roth.”

Peter Travers from Rolling Stone:

That’s the setup for the shamelessly risible and racist No Escape, the screwiest mix of suspense and stereotypes since Michael Bay was a pup. […] This movie really moves. But a fleet of tanks couldn’t help the brothers Dowdle push past the plot holes in this rancid mess.”

Kevin P. Sullivan from Entertainment Weekly:

“Even ignoring the racism–which is pretty much impossible–No Escape is a cliché-ridden, artless relic.”

Richard Roeper from Chicago Sun Times:

“There’s no denying director/co-writer John Erick Dowdle‘s skill set for creating almost unbearably tense and quite twisted suspense pieces in which you’ll find yourself laughing at the sheer unapologetic insanity of it all.”

Joe Morgenstern from The Wall Street Journal:

“I won’t make a case for “No Escape” being a good film; the first half is pretty good and the second half ranges from pretty bad to truly awful. Nor will I deny having enjoyed quite a bit of it as a zombie film, never mind that it’s supposed to be an international thriller with contemporary political significance.”

Nick Schager from The Playlist:

“A preposterous, monotonous action saga primarily notable for boasting a miscast lead and advancing a less-than-tolerant geopolitical fantasy. To say John Erick Dowdle‘s film takes a negative view of its Southeast Asian setting would be an understatement, to the point that it doesn’t even explicitly denote where its action is taking place.”

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Focus Features Moves Up Jesse Owens Drama ‘Race’ to February 2016 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:36:12 +0000 Jeff Sneider

Focus Features has moved up its Jesse Owens drama “Race” from April 8, 2016 to February 19, 2016, where it will open against “Barbershop 3” and the Naomi Watts thriller “Shut In.”

It’s a smart move on Focus’ part, as “Race” had been slated to open against Melissa McCarthy‘s comedy “Michelle Darnell,” George Clooney‘s thriller “Money Monster,” Jake Gyllenhaal‘s drama “Demolition” and the big-budget fantasy film “Gods of Egypt.”

Rising star Stephan James plays Olympic hero Jesse Owens in the film, which co-stars Jeremy Irons, William Hurt, Jason Sudeikis and Carice van Houten.

“Race” tells the incredible true story of Jesse Owens, whose quest to become the greatest track and field athlete in history thrusts him onto the world stage of the 1936 Olympics, where he faced off against Adolf Hitler’s vision of Aryan supremacy.

The film was directed by Emmy winner Stephen Hopkins and filmed on location at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin where Owens won a record-breaking four Olympic gold medals in 1936. The movie has the support of the Owens family, the Jesse Owens Foundation, the Jesse Owens Trust, and the Luminary Group.

“Race” was written by Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel. The movie was produced by Jean Charles Lévy for Forecast Pictures, Luc Dayan for ID+, Kate Garwood and Mr. Hopkins for Totally Commercial Films, Louis-Philippe Rochon and Dominique Séguin for Canada’s Solofilms, and Karsten Brünig and Thierry Potok for Germany’s Trinity Race GmbH.

The film’s executive producers include Christopher Charlier, Ben Grass, Scott Kennedy, Bonnie Timmermann, George Acogny, Nicolas Manuel, Jonathan Bronfman, and Al Munteanu. Square One, which is distributing the film in Germany, is a co-producer on the film. Entertainment One is distributing “Race” in Canada.

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Fox News Coverage of TV News Shooting Tops CNN, MSNBC Combined Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:19:31 +0000 Daniel Holloway Fox News led all cable news networks in primetime Wednesday in the wake of the WDBJ shooting in Virginia.

In the 8-11 p.m. block, the network drew 2.6 million total viewers and 626,000 viewers ages 25-54 — the key demo for television news, according to Nielsen.

In both categories, those numbers were enough to exceed the combined viewership of rivals MSNBC and CNN. The former averaged 849,000 total viewers, while the latter averaged 736,000.

For Fox, it was the highest rated night of regular programming since coverage of civil unrest in Baltimore in April. The network was up 21% from its 2015 primetime average in total viewers and 48% in 25-54.

“The O’Reilly Factor” was cable news’ No. 1 program Wednesday night, drawing 3.1 million total viewers.

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NBC’s ‘Chicago Med’ Names New Showrunners Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:16:40 +0000 Linda Ge NBC’s “Chicago Med” has named Andrew Schneider and Diane Frolov as its new executive producers and writing showrunners following the exit of Andrew Dettman earlier this month.

The latest addition to the Dick Wolf franchise that also includes “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago PD,” revolves around the day-to-day chaos of the city’s most explosive hospital and the courageous team of doctors who hold it together. They will tackle unique new cases inspired by topical events, and familiar faces from the Chicago police and fire departments will intertwine as this third team of Chicago heroes hits the ground running.

Schneider and Frolov most recently served as co-EPs on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and consulting producers on Amazon’s “Bosch.”

Oliver Platt, S. Epatha Merkerson, Laurie Holden, Nick Gehlfuss and Yaya Dacosta are among the cast of “Chicago Med.”

The upcoming series was bumped up from midseason to the fall schedule by NBC as a replacement for “Heartbreaker.” That series has been pushed back due to “Heartbreaker” star Melissa George’s pregnancy.

Wolf, Schneider and Frolov are represented by WME.

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‘Days of Our Lives’ Anniversary Footage Teases Patch and Bo Return (Video) Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:14:02 +0000 Tim Kenneally There’s a serial killer coming to Salem — along with some familiar faces.

“Days of Our Lives” is heading toward its 50th anniversary, and in addition to a murderous storyline, the NBC soap is packing the lead-up to the big day with returning fan favorites.

A 50th Anniversary promo for “Days of Our Lives” offers brief, teasing glimpses of Peter Reckell and Stephen Nichols reprising their roles of Bo and Patch, respectively. This will mark Nichols’ first time back on the show since 2009, while Reckell has been absent since 2012.

Along with the returning characters, the promo showcases plenty of fighting, hooking up, life-threatening situations and lots of “I love you”s. Oh, and strings — lots of swelling violin strings to help put nostalgic tears in viewers’ eyes.

Watch it all unfold in the video.

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Sam Worthington, Ruth Wilson to Star in Futuristic Love Story ‘The Titan’ Thu, 27 Aug 2015 23:46:54 +0000 Jeff Sneider Sam Worthington (“Avatar”) and Ruth Wilson (“The Affair”) are set to star in the indie sci-fi movie “The Titan,” which will co-star Sofia Boutella (“Kingsman: The Secret Service”), TheWrap has learned.

Lennart Ruff is directing from a script by Max Hurwitz, based on an original story by Arash Amel (“Grace of Monaco”). Amel is also producing with Brian Kavanaugh-Jones of Automatik and 42’s Ben Pugh and Rory Aitken.

The futuristic love story follows a military family who take part in an experiment involving space exploration.

Production is slated to start in January in Europe. Voltage Pictures will begin shopping foreign rights in Toronto, while CAA will handle domestic rights.

Worthington will soon be seen in “Everest” while Wilson’s Showtime series “The Affair” returns for a second season this fall.

CAA represents Worthington, Wilson, Boutella, Ruff, Hurwitz and Amel.

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Bill Murray Puts Himself in Danger to Find Afghanistan’s New Star in ‘Rock The Kasbah’ (Video) Thu, 27 Aug 2015 23:03:26 +0000 Beatrice Verhoeven Bill Murray puts himself smack in the danger zone while searching for a talented singer to showcase on Afghanistan’s hit show, “Afghan Star.”

In the latest trailer for “Rock The Kasbah,” Murray’s character, Richie Lanz, is out of luck when it comes to signing new talent. Heading to Afghanistan to find his next star, he experiences car bombings and men running after him shooting guns. Yet, he seems to find exactly what he is looking for, a woman with one of the best voices he’s ever heard.

“She has the gift, she has the magic, she’s the best I’ve ever heard,” Murray says in the trailer. 

While it is dangerous for her to sing, Lanz takes it upon himself to take his discovery to Kabul — as long as he gets his 20 percent commission from her success.

“Rock The Kasbah” also stars Kate Hudson, Zooey Deschanel, Danny McBride, Bruce Willis, Scott Caan and Leem Lubany.

Barry Levinson directs the comedy, from Open Road Films, written by Mitch Glazer. It is set to hit theaters on Oct. 23.

Watch the video.

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Nicki Minaj to Open MTV Video Music Awards Thu, 27 Aug 2015 22:56:03 +0000 Joe Otterson Nicki Minaj will open the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, the singer announced Thursday via Instagram by posting a sonogram image of a gestating Moonman, the statuette given out at the annual awards show.

Minaj made her VMA debut in the 2010 pre-show, took to the main stage in 2012 to join Alicia Keys for “Girl on Fire,” and performed her controversial mega-hit “Anaconda” in 2014.

Ironically, Minaj blasted the VMAs shortly after the nominations were announced last month by launching into a stream of tweets criticizing the nominations for snubbing her videos because of race and body type.

“When the ‘other’ girls drop a video that breaks records and impacts culture they get that nomination,” she wrote, which some took as a jab against Swift, whose “Bad Blood” music video featured a bevy of predominantly white women, and received a nomination for Video of the Year.

The 2015 MTV VMAs will feature Miley Cyrus as host. In addition, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Pharrell Williams, Demi Lovato, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Tori Kelly, A$AP Rocky and Twenty One Pilots are confirmed to perform. Presenters will be announced at a later date.

In addition, MTV has teamed up with fashion designer Jeremy Scott to redesign the MTV Moonman for the 2015 VMAs.

Artists who win a 2015 “Video Music Award” will take home a special-edition Jeremy Scott Moonman, which was created exclusively for this year’s show.

The VMAs will air on MTV Aug. 30 at 9/8c.

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Christine Baranski on ‘The Good Wife’s’ Writing Snub and 5 Other Emmy Nominee Questions Thu, 27 Aug 2015 22:47:32 +0000 Joe Otterson Christine Baranski is nominated for an Emmy for her role on “The Good Wife,”  but the veteran actress thinks the writers of the hit CBS drama deserve a little love from the Television Academy as well.

“I find it just extraordinary that ‘The Good Wife’ did not get a nomination and it did not get a writing nomination,” Baranski told TheWrap. “I think it’s been consistently one of the most well-written shows in television.”

The actress, who is also nominated in the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series category for “The Big Bang Theory,” touched on the possibility of a reunion for “Cybill,” the 1990s Chuck Lorre sitcom that Baranski co-starred on with Cybill Shepherd. Baranski won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for that show in 1995.

Read below for TheWrap’s full interview with Baranski.

TheWrap: Who is the stiffest competition in your category?
Christine Baranski: Oh my goodness. The only thing that occurred to me is the “Mad Men” and Mad women, actors who have done such extraordinary work. They’re so long overdue. They’re amazing and it’s such an extraordinary contribution to television. I think there may be something there.

Other than that, I think it’s amazing just to be nominated in this period of time when there’s just so much competition. Just to find yourself in a small category of actors, being singled out is such a huge achievement.

What were the biggest snubs this year, either for your show or in general?
Well, I’ll just speak personally. I find it just extraordinary that “The Good Wife” did not get a nomination and it did not get a writing nomination. I think it’s been consistently one of the most well-written shows in television. And week after week, it delivers not just one interesting plot line per episode but multiple, parallel stories that are complicated and so well written. They also address what’s happening in the world, current events, current conflicts, its contributions to how women are portrayed.

I think [Michelle and Robert King] have been really overlooked. I think they should have gotten a writing nomination for the episode that I submitted, which was the episode about the gay couple that can’t get a wedding cake. Actually, the episode was written and then all that happened in Indiana. It was almost like the writers were present.

Have you been actively campaigning?
No, I actually don’t believe in campaigning. I think that the Emmys generate a lot of interest and excitement and if it gets people talking about shows and it brings even more attention to the medium and the wonderful work that’s being done, I’m fine with that. But this whole business of campaigning for awards, it makes me very uncomfortable. I think one should get the nomination for the work one has done and then you submit an episode that you think represents the best of what you’ve done. It shouldn’t be about how hard you campaigned or how charming you were or how often you went on Twitter or Facebook or whatever.

Did you have any naysayers when you decided you wanted to be an actress?
No. I was lucky. Back in the day when I wanted to be an actor most people in my town of Buffalo, I was the only girl in high school who actually wanted to do that. I was the lead in some of the plays and I played Mame for a senior class project.  I applied to some really great acting schools, but I had no sense I could get in. And when I did, I was wait listed at Juilliard and I finally got in, which was all very exciting. Nobody I knew at the time when I wanted to be an actress said, “Hey, you know this is gonna be really hard.”

What would your Emmy victory song be?
I would put on Diana Ross’s key change in “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and make my way up there.

Any chance of a “Cybill” reunion in our future?
Oh my gosh! You know, I keep hoping for a “Mamma Mia” reunion. Nobody has said “Cybill.” Wow. Nobody has, but at our best we were… I have to get myself the first 13 episodes and re-watch them because that was Chuck Lorre and he wrote some seriously funny stuff and nobody had seen anything like that at that time. It started spinning off a lot of variations on that kind of character, but when it hit, it was very new and very fun.

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