TheWrapTheWrap https://www.thewrap.com Covering Hollywood Mon, 18 Dec 2017 14:14:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Sean Combs Wants to Buy Carolina Panthers, Sign Colin Kaepernick as Quarterback https://www.thewrap.com/diddy-says-he-wants-to-buy-the-panthers-and-sign-colin-kaepernick-as-starting-quarterback/ https://www.thewrap.com/diddy-says-he-wants-to-buy-the-panthers-and-sign-colin-kaepernick-as-starting-quarterback/#respond Mon, 18 Dec 2017 14:11:38 +0000 Jon Levine https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1761270 Music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs said he wants to buy the up-for-sale Carolina Panthers in a series of social media posts Sunday. Additionally, Combs added he was interested in signing the league’s most controversial free agent — Colin Kaepernick — and give Cam Newton competition for starting quarterback if were to buy the NFL franchise.

“I would like to by the @Panthers. Spread the word. Retweet!.” he said in a tweet Sunday. “There are no majority African American NFL owners. Let’s make history.

In an Instagram video, Diddy sounded more like a political candidate when he said Kaepernick would be “in the running” for starting quarterback. The ex-49ers quarterback has been unable to land a roster spot after igniting the controversial “take a knee” movement to protest police violence.

“North Carolina Panthers are up for sale. I believe it’s time to turn the franchise over to new ownership. I need to send a message out to everybody in the beautiful state of North Carolina, I would be the best NFL owner that you can imagine,” he said.  “I will immediately address the Colin Kaepernick situation and put him in the running for next year’s starting quarterback. It’s just competition baby, just competition.”

Combs also promised to bring a Super Bowl title to Charlotte if he purchased the team.

Current Panthers owner Jerry Richardson said he was putting the team up for sale after being accused of sexual misconduct allegations in the workplace.

“I believe it is time to turn the franchise over to new ownership. Therefore, I will put the team up for sale at the conclusion of the NFL season,” said Richardson in an open letter on Sunday.

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Mark Wahlberg and Sean 'Diddy' Combs Go 'Double or Nothing' With Mayweather vs McGregor Bet (Video)

Kanye West, Drake, Diddy Were Discriminated Against by Atlanta Hawks Security, Lawsuit Says

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Tavis Smiley Admits Consensual Relationships, Denies Misconduct: ‘I Am Not An Angry Black Man’ https://www.thewrap.com/tavis-smiley-consensual-denies-misconduct-not-angry-black-man/ https://www.thewrap.com/tavis-smiley-consensual-denies-misconduct-not-angry-black-man/#respond Mon, 18 Dec 2017 13:14:59 +0000 Jon Levine https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1761262

Tavis Smiley pushes back against allegations of sexual misconduct: “I have never groped, I have never coerced, I have never exposed myself inappropriately…I celebrate and applaud these women who’ve had the courage to come out and tell their truth.” pic.twitter.com/VNuxgQczrS

— Good Morning America (@GMA) December 18, 2017

Suspended PBS host Tavis Smiley doubled down on his denials of sexual misconduct and creating a hostile work environment, saying that while he did have consensual relationships with women from his company, none of them had been inappropriate or coercive.

“There are millions of Americans who are watching this program right now who met their spouses at work,” Smiley told “Good Morning America” reporter Paula Faris on Monday. “I may be the brand of my company but I am not an inanimate object. I am not an angry black man and this notion of a hostile environment just doesn’t’ fit.”

In addition, Smiley repeated almost verbatim an earlier denial of misconduct he posted to Twitter last week.

“I have never groped, I have never coerced, I have never exposed myself inappropriately to anyone,” Smiley said while adding that he was still a supporter of women who came forward to report actual abuse. “I celebrate and applaud those women who had the courage to come out and tell their truth.”

He also took PBS to task for suspending his long-running talk show on the network in the wake of accusations by a woman who had worked on the show.

“PBS made a huge mistake here, they need to fix this, they need to correct it,” adding that he was unsure whether he would be able to ever work with them again.

For its part, PBS stood by their decision to suspend Smiley’s show.

“Following receipt of a complaint, PBS hired an independent law firm to conduct an investigation and we stand by its integrity,” said a network spokesperson. “The totality of the investigation, which included a three-hour interview of Mr. Smiley, revealed multiple sexual relationships with subordinates over many years, and other acts that together constitute a pattern of conduct inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS.”

In addition to PBS, Smiley was also dropped by Walmart, a prominent sponsor, and Mills Entertainment, an entertainment production company which had been producing Smiley’s latest project, “Death of a King,” a theatrical retelling of the life of Martin Luther King Jr.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Tavis Smiley Dropped by Live Entertainment Producer Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Laura Ingraham Defends Tavis Smiley Against Misconduct Charges: 'I Think He Is Telling the Truth' (Video)

Tavis Smiley Blasts PBS for 'So-Called Investigation' Prompting Show Suspension: 'This Has Gone Too Far'

Tavis Smiley's PBS Show Pulled From Air Amid 'Credible' Misconduct Allegations

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8 Unforgettable Hollywood Party Moments of 2017: From Fergie to Katy to Weinstein’s Last Oscar Bash https://www.thewrap.com/hollywood-party-report-top-moments-of-2017/ https://www.thewrap.com/hollywood-party-report-top-moments-of-2017/#respond Mon, 18 Dec 2017 03:32:47 +0000 Mikey Glazer https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1759435 The first surreal one-off industry gathering of 2017 was not a party, but a protest: the Women’s March at the Sundance Film Festival. In between that Saturday morning in Park City, Utah, and the year ending with a less-merry-than-usual awards season marching through the industry sexual assault reckoning, there were standout moments on the Hollywood party circuit.

Here are eight of the best bashes, moments and debuts.

Chris Martin Serenades Julia Roberts With “Pretty Woman”

 

At the L.A. amfAR Gala in October, this crazy rare performance of the Coldplay frontman serenading the movie star on the eve of her 50th birthday got lost in blowback over James Corden’s Harvey Weinstein jokes. Separate from that controversy, the Tom Hanks, Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson dinner party in Ron Burkle’s Bel Air backyard hit all the right notes.

As dessert, Fergie danced her way through the crowd while singing “I’ve Gotta Feeling,” ruining all future wedding and bar mitzvah bandleaders’ attempts at the same for the rest of our lives.

CAA’s Emmy Celebration

Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Paulson, JJ Abrams, Seth MacFarlane, Laura Dern, Kevin Bacon, and Dwayne Wade amongst the crowd at the CAA Emmys Party 2017. (Alex Berliner/AB Images)

This Beverly Hills soiree left me asking one question:

“Jane’s” Hollywood Bowl Movie Premiere

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” wasn’t the only film to get a super-sized rollout this year. In October, National Geographic and Brett Morgen leveled-up with a King Kong-sized outdoor seated dinner, premiere and live orchestra scoring the Jane Goodall documentary for over 15,000 guests.

John Mayer Plays An L.A. Dive Bar

Jon Mayer played a dive bar in the  Echo Park section of L.A. on July 26. (Rich Fury, Getty Images for Bud Light)

There was a surprise within a surprise when Alessia Cara joined John Mayer’s Bud Light Dive Bar Tour on July 26. They sang together an Erykah Badu cover, “Gravity” and Cara’s “Stay” for just 300 fans, part of a full 90-minute set. The beer giant’s muscular “underplay” went over big, with Lady Gaga beating this same path amidst the Super Bowl Halftime Show and stepping in as an emergency replacement headliner at Coachella.

The Block Is Hot in Hollywood

TAO Group’s Noah Tepperberg, Pavan Pardasani, and Jason Strauss and team celebrated the opening of their new entertainment block in Hollywood on Thursday, March 16. (Instagram (2))

The undisputed L.A. nightlife game change in 2017 was the arrival of the Tao Group complex in Hollywood. The three restaurants, Avenue nightclub and the mixed-use rooftop pool club and night lounge The Highlight Room enveloping the new Dream Hotel tilted the social axis. The New York and Vegas heavyweights waited over a decade before planting a flag in L.A., but when they did, their peers came to celebrate.

On scene on opening night: David Grutman (Liv, Story, Komodo – Miami), Mark Birnbaum (Catch – LA and NYC), Rande Gerber, Cindy Crawford (Getty Images)

The opening night party back in March was a stunning congress of hospitality rivals, competitors, big shots (present and long ago retired), festival titans, and at least a few former partners-turned-litigants, all responsible for captaining the U.S. nightlife industry over the past three decades. Of course, Leo D. was in the corner booth.

Nobody will ever remember that one of the sneak peek pre-opening events was the (last-ever) Weinstein Company Oscar night viewing party.

Rapper Desiigner Pukes on a Table in Front of his Label Bosses, as Katy Perry Mocks Pop 

Capitol CEO Steve Barnett, Katy Perry, and Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grange at Grange’s Grammy Weekend showcase at the Ace Theater in L.A. on February 11, 2017. (Lester Cohen/WireImage)

This list is heavy on music, but those guys have the most fun.

On the afternoon before the Grammys, Universal Music Group’s four-hour-plus showcase at the Ace Hotel in downtown L.A. brought artists as varied as Machine Gun Kelly, Bishop Briggs, Niall Horan, Jordan Smith and Lil Yachty to the stage for an industry audience of label heads.

Desiigner rose to the occasion (literally, standing on a cocktail table with his shirt off) by vomiting twice mid-song, and Katy Perry recalled her time working in a cubicle in Calabasas.

Sir Lucian, this event needs a TV deal.

Genius Innovation: Shared Table Bottle Service 



The sharing economy of Lyft, Airbnb and urban Bike Share came to nightclub bottle service this year.

Dubbed “V-I-We,” it is the brainchild of longtime TAO executive Mike Snedegar. The Kentucky native launched it with a professional infomercial. (See above, he plays newsman Kent Brockman).

Between 40-50 guests a night — think of bachelorettes on a budget, couples and younger clientele — get access to the VIP Skybox where Kim Kardashian has celebrated her birthday on the E! show for bottomless bottles at the Las Vegas hotspot for a $100 flat buy-in (plus tax and gratuity).

Cocktail waitresses mix the drinks, presumably to keep the peace, and patrol the party pests known as “Grey Goosae Vulturus,” latin for “bottle vultures.”

“It’s a party within a party,” Snedegar told The Party Report at launch.

George Clooney, Rande Gerbe, and Mike Meldman’s Casamigos Halloween on the Sunset Strip

In June, the celebrity tequila buds sold their startup spirit in a deal reported to be worth up to $1 billion. This upped the volume on their ’70s-themed Halloween party in the old Tower Records on Sunset.

While George did not make it, Mrs. Amal Clooney stole the show, along with the Kardashian “Sonny and Cher” costume, and Adam Levine (center), whose band played a surprise set as AC/DC.

Bonus: A 2018 Red Carpet Game Changer?

A post shared by Polaroid (@polaroid) on


There’s now a device that snaps on to the back of your phone that will have you shaking your photos of Chris Martin, Kim Kardashian, Amal Clooney and more like a you-know-what.

This Polaroid Insta-Share is a hardware mod for the Motorola’s Moto Z phone. Other mods can turn phones in to 70-inch projectors and 360-degree cameras. This printer’s won some “Best of the Best” awards among tech press, but hasn’t yet dented the binary iPhone/Samsung mindset of the entertainment industry and event community as a red carpet novelty.

Wake up people!

Related stories from TheWrap:

Golden Globes 2018: W Magazine's 'Best Performances' Bash, 'It Girls' Lunch Return (Exclusive)

Art Basel Party Report: Drake, 50 Cent and Ricky Martin Rock South Beach (Photos)

Oscars 2018 Party Report: 'The Final Year', 'Call Me by Your Name' and Brooklynn Prince on the Scene (Photos)

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Jerry Richardson to Sell Carolina Panthers Amid Sexual, Racial Misconduct Investigation https://www.thewrap.com/jerry-richardson-sell-carolina-panthers-amid-sexual-racial-misconduct-investigation/ https://www.thewrap.com/jerry-richardson-sell-carolina-panthers-amid-sexual-racial-misconduct-investigation/#respond Mon, 18 Dec 2017 02:51:36 +0000 Rosemary Rossi https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1761241 Jerry Richardson will sell his Carolina Panthers at the end of the season in the wake of an investigation into allegations of his “workplace misconduct,” the NFL confirms.

At least four former Panthers staffers have received monetary settlements due to Richardson’s inappropriate workplace comments, including sexually suggestive language and behavior, and the use of a racial slur toward an African-American scout, Sports Illustrated reports.

In a letter released Sunday, Richardson wrote, “I believe it is time to turn the franchise to new ownership. Therefore, I will put the team up for sale at the conclusion of this NFL season.”

No mention was made of the investigation in Richardson letter.

Multiple complaints have been triggered by female employees for sexual harassment and on one occasion, for directing a racial slur at an African American employee. Sources told SI that on the team’s Jeans Day, Richardson would ask female employees to turn around “so he could admire their backsides” and then say, “Show me how you wiggle to get those jeans up.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Jameis Winston Groping Accusation Under Investigation by NFL

NFL Network Suspends Three Analysts After Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Fox Sports Tried to Cast Actors as L.A. Rams Fans for NFL Pre-Game Show

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11 Best Theater Productions of 2017, From Oscar Isaac to ‘A Doll’s House Part 2’ (Photos) https://www.thewrap.com/11-best-theater-2017-billy-crudup-sam-gold/ https://www.thewrap.com/11-best-theater-2017-billy-crudup-sam-gold/#respond Mon, 18 Dec 2017 01:48:36 +0000 Robert Hofler https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1760741 10 “Harry Clarke,” by David Cale, at Off Broadway’s Vineyard Theatre. Patricia Highsmith didn’t write plays, but fortunately Cale does. Playing a charismatic anti-hero, Billy Crudup gives the year’s best non-musical performance. What with his awful father, Harry Clarke is a victim. The wonderful thing about Cale’s play and Crudup’s performance is that Harry never sees himself that way.

9 “Werther,” by Jules Massenet, at the Metropolitan Opera. Opera is theater too, and by far the best performance on the musical stage in New York City came from Vittorio Grigolo in Richard Eyre’s staging of “Werther.” The Italian tenor moves and acts like a young Kevin Kline, looks handsome enough to be Bryce Pinkham’s slightly older brother, and possesses a Golden Age voice. “The Band’s Visit” is the best new musical now on the boards. It would have made this list if it hadn’t appeared on last year’s.

8 “Oedipus el Rey,” by Luis Alfaro, at Off Broadway’s Public Theater. Alfaro not only has the audacity to update a Greek tragedy to a contemporary L.A. barrio. He makes a classic tale sizzle with new life.

7 “The Children,” by Lucy Kirkwood, on Broadway. Martin McDonagh appears to be wrestling with Rod Serling in the play’s very disturbing opening moments. But Kirkwood soon takes her three character to an even scarier place when they are forced to re-examine their retirement in the aftermath of a nuclear-plant meltdown.

6 “Jitney,” by August Wilson, on Broadway. Wilson’s early play finally made it to Broadway in a near-definitive production directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson.

5 “Illyria,” by Richard Nelson, at Off Broadway’s Public Theater. Nelson eavesdrops on Joe Papp and other players in the early days of the Public Theater, when it all seemed to be falling apart even before it really got going. Papp wanted to be a creative artist; he had to settle for being something much greater.

4 “The Glass Menagerie,” by Tennessee Williams, on Broadway; and “Hamlet,” by William Shakespeare, at Off Broadway’s Public Theater. Sam Gold brought these two controversial revivals to the stage, and you will never see either of these classics in quite the same way. Which may be why some critics hate this director’s work so much.

3 “Antipodes,” by Annie Baker, at Off Broadway’s Signature Theatre. There are no new plots, which doesn’t mean that several characters trapped in a conference room for what seems to be forever aren’t expected to come up with several stories to feed a new entertainment project (video game, podcast, TV series) for a boss who’s nothing more than a crackling, disembodied voice. Chilling.

2 “If I Forget,” by Steven Levenson, at Off Broadway’s Roundabout Theatre Company. A Jewish family undergoes crisis after crisis when a favorite son dares to write a tome titled “Forgetting the Holocaust.” Levenson is much-lauded for writing the “Dear Evan Hansen” book. His “If I Forget” shows an even greater mastery for mixing humor and pathos.

1 “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” by Lucas Hnath, on Broadway.  Ibsen’s Nora returns to the household she abruptly left years earlier.  Everyone, including the housekeeper, has a very good reason to be pissed off. Sam Gold, helmer of the year, directs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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https://www.thewrap.com/11-best-theater-2017-billy-crudup-sam-gold/feed/ 0 TheWrap theater critic Robert Hofler picks his favorites of the year.

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TheWrap theater critic Robert Hofler picks his favorites of the year.

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10. "Harry Clarke," by David Cale (Off Broadway)  

 

Patricia Highsmith didn't write plays, but fortunately Cale does. Playing a charismatic anti-hero, Billy Crudup gives the year's best non-musical performance. What with his awful father, Harry Clarke is a victim. The wonderful thing about Cale's play and Crudup's performance is that Harry never sees himself that way.

 

]]>
10. "Harry Clarke," by David Cale (Off Broadway)  

 

Patricia Highsmith didn't write plays, but fortunately Cale does. Playing a charismatic anti-hero, Billy Crudup gives the year's best non-musical performance. What with his awful father, Harry Clarke is a victim. The wonderful thing about Cale's play and Crudup's performance is that Harry never sees himself that way.

 

]]>
9. "Werther," by Jules Massenet (Metropolitan Opera) 

 

Opera is theater too, and by far the best performance on the musical stage in New York City came from Vittorio Grigolo in Richard Eyre's staging of "Werther." The Italian tenor moves and acts like a young Kevin Kline, looks handsome enough to be Bryce Pinkham's slightly older brother, and possesses a Golden Age voice. "The Band's Visit" is the best new musical now on the boards. It would have made this list if it hadn't appeared on last year's.

 

]]>
9. "Werther," by Jules Massenet (Metropolitan Opera) 

 

Opera is theater too, and by far the best performance on the musical stage in New York City came from Vittorio Grigolo in Richard Eyre's staging of "Werther." The Italian tenor moves and acts like a young Kevin Kline, looks handsome enough to be Bryce Pinkham's slightly older brother, and possesses a Golden Age voice. "The Band's Visit" is the best new musical now on the boards. It would have made this list if it hadn't appeared on last year's.

 

]]>
8. "Oedipus el Rey," by Luis Alfaro (Off Broadway) 

 

Alfaro not only has the audacity to update a Greek tragedy to a contemporary L.A. barrio. He makes a classic tale sizzle with new life.

 

]]>
8. "Oedipus el Rey," by Luis Alfaro (Off Broadway) 

 

Alfaro not only has the audacity to update a Greek tragedy to a contemporary L.A. barrio. He makes a classic tale sizzle with new life.

 

]]>
7. "The Children," by Lucy Kirkwood (Broadway)  

 

Martin McDonagh appears to be wrestling with Rod Serling in the play's very disturbing opening moments. But Lucy Kirkwood soon takes her three characters to an even scarier place when they are forced to re-examine their retirement in the aftermath of a nuclear-plant meltdown.

 

]]>
7. "The Children," by Lucy Kirkwood (Broadway)  

 

Martin McDonagh appears to be wrestling with Rod Serling in the play's very disturbing opening moments. But Lucy Kirkwood soon takes her three characters to an even scarier place when they are forced to re-examine their retirement in the aftermath of a nuclear-plant meltdown.

 

]]>
6. "Jitney," by August Wilson (Broadway)  

 

Wilson's early play finally made it to Broadway in a near-definitive production directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson.

 

]]>
6. "Jitney," by August Wilson (Broadway)  

 

Wilson's early play finally made it to Broadway in a near-definitive production directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson.

 

]]>
5. "Illyria," by Richard Nelson (Off Broadway) 

 

Nelson eavesdrops on Joe Papp and other players in the early days of the Public Theater, when it all seemed to be falling apart even before it really got going. Papp wanted to be a creative artist; he had to settle for being something much greater.

 

]]>
5. "Illyria," by Richard Nelson (Off Broadway) 

 

Nelson eavesdrops on Joe Papp and other players in the early days of the Public Theater, when it all seemed to be falling apart even before it really got going. Papp wanted to be a creative artist; he had to settle for being something much greater.

 

]]>
4. "The Glass Menagerie," by Tennessee Williams (Broadway) and "Hamlet," by William Shakespeare (Off Broadway)  

 

Sam Gold brought these two controversial revivals to the stage, starring Sally Field and Oscar Isaac, and you will never see either of these classics in quite the same way. Which may be why some critics hate this director's work so much.

 

]]>
4. "The Glass Menagerie," by Tennessee Williams (Broadway) and "Hamlet," by William Shakespeare (Off Broadway)  

 

Sam Gold brought these two controversial revivals to the stage, starring Sally Field and Oscar Isaac, and you will never see either of these classics in quite the same way. Which may be why some critics hate this director's work so much.

 

]]>
3. "Antipodes," by Annie Baker (Off Broadway)  

 

There are no new plots, which doesn't mean that several characters trapped in a conference room for what seems to be forever aren't expected to come up with several stories to feed a new entertainment project (video game, podcast, TV series) for a boss who's nothing more than a crackling, disembodied voice. Chilling.

 

]]>
3. "Antipodes," by Annie Baker (Off Broadway)  

 

There are no new plots, which doesn't mean that several characters trapped in a conference room for what seems to be forever aren't expected to come up with several stories to feed a new entertainment project (video game, podcast, TV series) for a boss who's nothing more than a crackling, disembodied voice. Chilling.

 

]]>
2. "If I Forget," by Steven Levenson (Off Broadway)  

 

A Jewish family undergoes crisis after crisis when a favorite son dares to write a tome titled "Forgetting the Holocaust." Levenson is much-lauded for writing the "Dear Evan Hansen" book. His "If I Forget" shows an even greater mastery for mixing humor and pathos.

 

]]>
2. "If I Forget," by Steven Levenson (Off Broadway)  

 

A Jewish family undergoes crisis after crisis when a favorite son dares to write a tome titled "Forgetting the Holocaust." Levenson is much-lauded for writing the "Dear Evan Hansen" book. His "If I Forget" shows an even greater mastery for mixing humor and pathos.

 

]]>
1. "A Doll's House, Part 2," by Lucas Hnath (Broadway) 

 

Ibsen's Nora returns to the household she abruptly left years earlier. Everyone, including the housekeeper, has a very good reason to be pissed off. Sam Gold, helmer of the year, directs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

]]>
1. "A Doll's House, Part 2," by Lucas Hnath (Broadway) 

 

Ibsen's Nora returns to the household she abruptly left years earlier. Everyone, including the housekeeper, has a very good reason to be pissed off. Sam Gold, helmer of the year, directs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

]]>
Now check out Robert Hofler's list of the worst stage shows of the year.

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Now check out Robert Hofler's list of the worst stage shows of the year.

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10 Worst Theater Productions of 2017: From Michael Moore to ‘Amelie’ (Photos) https://www.thewrap.com/10-worst-theater-2017-michael-moore-amelie/ https://www.thewrap.com/10-worst-theater-2017-michael-moore-amelie/#respond Mon, 18 Dec 2017 01:47:39 +0000 Robert Hofler https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1760727 10 “The Whirligig,” by Hamish Linklater, at Off Broadway’s New Group. Who’s to blame for a young woman’s impending death from drug addiction? Bigger question: who talked such talented actors (Norbert Leo Butz, Zosia Mamet, Dolly Wells) into performing this script?

9 “Amelie,” by Craig Lucas, Daniel Messe and Nathan Tysen, on Broadway. The movie’s whimsical heroine turns into an insufferable annoyance on stage.

8 “Gently Down the Stream,” by Martin Sherman, at Off Broadway’s Public Theater. An old gay man (Harvey Fierstein) not only talks and talks about every atrocity suffered by the LGBT community. He has somehow been witness to them all in this pity party of a play.

7 “Office Hour,” by Julia Cho, at Off Broadway’s Public Theater. Playwrights’ fixation on creating pathetic victims continues with this drama about a dreadful student who should have been flunked out of college long before he created so much trouble in the English department. You will side with Cho’s villain.

6 “The End of Longing,” by Matthew Perry, at Off Broadway’s MCC Theatre. What begins as a sexy, trite sitcom turns into the kind of treacly Alcoholics Anonymous drama that populated the major networks before cable came to the rescue.

5 “The Penitent,” by David Mamet, at Off Broadway’s Atlantic Theater Company. A shrink is accused of bigotry because he wrote about homosexuality being “an aberration.” Once again, Mamet writes an argument, posing as a play, with a twist at the end.

4 “The Terms of My Surrender,” by Michael Moore, on Broadway. Just because someone’s against Trump doesn’t make him talented. Moore’s politics have never looked so benign and juvenile. And he can’t ad lib, which is lethal for a show that invites audience participation.

3 “Anastasia,” by Terrence McNally, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, on Broadway. Speaking of Trump, this is a musical perfectly suited to his family, who will find much to admire in this tribute to the excesses of the Romanoffs.

2 “The Portuguese Kid,” by John Patrick Shanley, at Off Broadway’s Manhattan Theatre Club. Two mismatched couples argue up a storm that’s definitely all wet and rarely funny. Most awkward bit in the theater this year: Jason Alexander getting wood.

1 “The Play That Went Wrong,” by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, on Broadway. Then again, nothing goes right in this forced comedy about a very bad production of a terrible play.

 

 

 

 

 

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https://www.thewrap.com/10-worst-theater-2017-michael-moore-amelie/feed/ 0 TheWrap theater critic Robert Hofler looks at the dregs of the year on stage.

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TheWrap theater critic Robert Hofler looks at the dregs of the year on stage.

]]>
10. "The Whirligig," by Hamish Linklater (Off Broadway)  

 

Who's to blame for a young woman's impending death from drug addiction? Bigger question: Who talked such talented actors (Norbert Leo Butz, Zosia Mamet and Dolly Wells) into performing this script?

 

]]>
10. "The Whirligig," by Hamish Linklater (Off Broadway)  

 

Who's to blame for a young woman's impending death from drug addiction? Bigger question: Who talked such talented actors (Norbert Leo Butz, Zosia Mamet and Dolly Wells) into performing this script?

 

]]>
9. "Amelie," by Craig Lucas, Daniel Messe and Nathan Tysen (Broadway)  

 

The movie's whimsical heroine turns into an insufferable annoyance on stage.

 

]]>
9. "Amelie," by Craig Lucas, Daniel Messe and Nathan Tysen (Broadway)  

 

The movie's whimsical heroine turns into an insufferable annoyance on stage.

 

]]>
8. "Gently Down the Stream," by Martin Sherman (Off Broadway)  

 

An old gay man (Harvey Fierstein) not only talks and talks about every atrocity suffered by the LGBT community. He has somehow been witness to them all in this pity party of a play.

 

]]>
8. "Gently Down the Stream," by Martin Sherman (Off Broadway)  

 

An old gay man (Harvey Fierstein) not only talks and talks about every atrocity suffered by the LGBT community. He has somehow been witness to them all in this pity party of a play.

 

]]>
7. "Office Hour," by Julia Cho (Off Broadway)  

 

Playwrights' fixation on creating pathetic victims continues with this drama about a dreadful student who should have been flunked out of college long before he created so much trouble in the English department. You will side with Cho's villain.

 

]]>
7. "Office Hour," by Julia Cho (Off Broadway)  

 

Playwrights' fixation on creating pathetic victims continues with this drama about a dreadful student who should have been flunked out of college long before he created so much trouble in the English department. You will side with Cho's villain.

 

]]>
6. "The End of Longing," by Matthew Perry (Off Broadway)  

 

What begins as a sexy, trite sitcom turns into the kind of treacly Alcoholics Anonymous drama that populated the major networks before cable came to the rescue.

 

]]>
6. "The End of Longing," by Matthew Perry (Off Broadway)  

 

What begins as a sexy, trite sitcom turns into the kind of treacly Alcoholics Anonymous drama that populated the major networks before cable came to the rescue.

 

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5. "The Penitent," by David Mamet (Off Broadway)  

 

A shrink is accused of bigotry because he wrote about homosexuality being "an aberration." Once again, Mamet writes an argument, posing as a play, with a twist at the end.

 

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5. "The Penitent," by David Mamet (Off Broadway)  

 

A shrink is accused of bigotry because he wrote about homosexuality being "an aberration." Once again, Mamet writes an argument, posing as a play, with a twist at the end.

 

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4. "The Terms of My Surrender," by Michael Moore (Broadway)  

 

Just because someone's against Trump doesn't make him talented. Moore's politics have never looked so benign and juvenile. And he can't ad lib, which is lethal for a show that invites audience participation.

 

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4. "The Terms of My Surrender," by Michael Moore (Broadway)  

 

Just because someone's against Trump doesn't make him talented. Moore's politics have never looked so benign and juvenile. And he can't ad lib, which is lethal for a show that invites audience participation.

 

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3. "Anastasia," by Terrence McNally, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Broadway) 

 

Speaking of Trump, this is a musical perfectly suited to his family, who will find much to admire in this tribute to the excesses of the Romanoffs.

 

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3. "Anastasia," by Terrence McNally, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Broadway) 

 

Speaking of Trump, this is a musical perfectly suited to his family, who will find much to admire in this tribute to the excesses of the Romanoffs.

 

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2. "The Portuguese Kid," by John Patrick Shanley (Off Broadway)  

 

Two mismatched couples argue up a storm that's definitely all wet and rarely funny. Most awkward bit in the theater this year: Jason Alexander getting wood.

 

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2. "The Portuguese Kid," by John Patrick Shanley (Off Broadway)  

 

Two mismatched couples argue up a storm that's definitely all wet and rarely funny. Most awkward bit in the theater this year: Jason Alexander getting wood.

 

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1. "The Play That Goes Wrong," by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields (Broadway) 

 

Then again, nothing goes right in this forced comedy about a very bad production of a terrible play.

 

 

 

 

 

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1. "The Play That Goes Wrong," by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields (Broadway) 

 

Then again, nothing goes right in this forced comedy about a very bad production of a terrible play.

 

 

 

 

 

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Now that we've run down the dregs, see Robert Hofler's picks of the best theater productions of the year.

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Now that we've run down the dregs, see Robert Hofler's picks of the best theater productions of the year.

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‘Ready Player One': All the Easter Eggs From the New Trailer (Photos) https://www.thewrap.com/ready-player-one-all-the-easter-eggs-from-the-new-trailer-photos/ https://www.thewrap.com/ready-player-one-all-the-easter-eggs-from-the-new-trailer-photos/#respond Mon, 18 Dec 2017 01:30:32 +0000 Matt Hejl https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1754506 Ernest Cline’s sci-fi bestseller “Ready Player One” is less a novel and more a love letter to the 1980s wrapped around a plot. Easter eggs and pop culture references abound throughout the novel, and Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster adaptation appears to have ripped a couple of pages from the book.  Here are all the easter eggs we were able to spot in the new trailer.

Remember Madballs? No? You may not be alone, but these rubber bouncing balls were pretty popular in the 1980s and well into the next decade. As the audience is treated to a look at how crummy and bleak the world has become, we see that a graffiti artist has tagged the side of a trailer with one of these weird-looking objects.

There’s definitely a huge race coming up in the film, judging by the sheer number of cars, bikes, and other vehicles. Among the ones we’ve been able to spot include Mach 5 from “Speed Racer” and the original Batmobile from the “Batman” TV series, as well as Ryu from the “Street Fighter” video games. Some have even claimed to spot Mad Max’s Interceptor from “Fury Road.”

Protagonist Wade Watts, aka Parzival (Tye Sheridan), will participate in the aforementioned race by driving the DeLorean from “Back to the Future.” Fans were caught off guard with the brief glimpse of the iconic vehicle in the original trailer, and now it feels like it’s getting the attention it deserves.

During the race, King Kong looks to make an appearance, perched atop his own Empire State Building with biplanes circling overhead.

In the “we need to let the audience know what a big deal this is” section of the trailer, we see a newspaper that references “Oasis Coin,” a clear reference to Bitcoin.

As we get our first good look at Parzival’s competitor/love interest, Art3mis (Olivia Cooke), we’re treated to a cameo appearance by Commander Shepard from “Mass Effect” and Blanka from “Street Fighter” (nope, we’re not done with those yet).

Heck, there’s too much going on in this shot for just one slide: on the other side of the screen, a bartender wearing a Devo hat is seen to be taking an order from Lara Croft (we’re not done with her yet, either).

Fans were quick to notice Harley Quinn in the Comic-Con trailer, and now we’ve gotten a look at this rather dapper version of her beau, the Clown Prince of Crime.

One of the classic vintage relics of the era that “RP1” cherishes, the boombox also calls to mind a certain movie…

Here’s Parzival, pulling a full John Cusack from “Say Anything…” as DC supervillain Deadshot and Sagat from “Street Fighter” help lead the charge into the final battle between Oasis users and the sinister IOI corporation.

As part of the final battle, we can make out the early 1990s video game characters Battletoads, as well as a flying ostrich from the arcade game “Joust.”

This battle is going to be massive.  In this one shot, we can make out Tracer from “Overwatch,” Chun-Li from “Street Fighter,” FemShep from “Mass Effect” and Lara Croft.

No, you were not imagining things. You really did see 1980s horror villain Chucky pulling a full-on, CGI Yoda and kicking some serious butt in the process.

One of the most popular franchises in Japan, “Gundam” plays a pivotal role in Cline’s book, and we’re happy to see that Spielberg kept the giant hero robot.

Arguably the biggest shocker from the Comic-Con trailer was the inclusion of Iron Giant.  Nobody saw him coming. Spielberg was quick to point out that the robot was not just to make fans feel good, but he would be an important part of the story. Here he is now, diving headlong into the final battle.

Just when you think you’ve had all you can handle, Spielberg and company throw you one last treat: the instantly recognizable musical twinkle from “Back to the Future.”  March 30 can not come soon enough.

]]>
https://www.thewrap.com/ready-player-one-all-the-easter-eggs-from-the-new-trailer-photos/feed/ 0 Ernest Cline's sci-fi bestseller "Ready Player One" is a love letter to the 1980s wrapped around a plot. Easter eggs and pop culture references abound throughout the novel, and Steven Spielberg's blockbuster adaptation appears to have ripped a couple of pages from the book. Here are all the easter eggs we were able to spot in the new trailer.

]]>
Ernest Cline's sci-fi bestseller "Ready Player One" is a love letter to the 1980s wrapped around a plot. Easter eggs and pop culture references abound throughout the novel, and Steven Spielberg's blockbuster adaptation appears to have ripped a couple of pages from the book. Here are all the easter eggs we were able to spot in the new trailer.

]]>
Remember Madballs? If not, you aren't alone. The rubber bouncing balls were popular throughout the 1980s, continuing into the next decade. As the audience sees this bleak new world, we encounter a trailer with one of these objects as graffiti art.

]]>
Remember Madballs? If not, you aren't alone. The rubber bouncing balls were popular throughout the 1980s, continuing into the next decade. As the audience sees this bleak new world, we encounter a trailer with one of these objects as graffiti art.

]]>
There's definitely a huge race taking place, if the number of cars, bikes, and other vehicles are to be trusted. Among what we've been seen include Mach 5 from "Speed Racer," the original Batmobile from the "Batman" TV series, as well as Ryu from the "Street Fighter" video games. Some spotted Mad Max's Interceptor from "Fury Road," as well.

]]>
There's definitely a huge race taking place, if the number of cars, bikes, and other vehicles are to be trusted. Among what we've been seen include Mach 5 from "Speed Racer," the original Batmobile from the "Batman" TV series, as well as Ryu from the "Street Fighter" video games. Some spotted Mad Max's Interceptor from "Fury Road," as well.

]]>
Protagonist Wade Watts, aka Parzival (Tye Sheridan), will drive the DeLorean from "Back to the Future" in the race. Fans were caught off-guard with the brief glimpse of the iconic vehicle in the original trailer, and now it's getting the attention it deserves.

]]>
Protagonist Wade Watts, aka Parzival (Tye Sheridan), will drive the DeLorean from "Back to the Future" in the race. Fans were caught off-guard with the brief glimpse of the iconic vehicle in the original trailer, and now it's getting the attention it deserves.

]]>
There was some confusion over whether Parzival's competitor/love interest, Art3mis (Oliva Cooke), was driving a Light Cycle from "TRON" or Kaneda's futuristic bike from "Akira" in the first trailer. Now we can call it: that is definitely the "Akira" bike.

]]>
There was some confusion over whether Parzival's competitor/love interest, Art3mis (Oliva Cooke), was driving a Light Cycle from "TRON" or Kaneda's futuristic bike from "Akira" in the first trailer. Now we can call it: that is definitely the "Akira" bike.

]]>
During the race, King Kong appears perched above his own Empire State Building with biplanes circling overhead.

]]>
During the race, King Kong appears perched above his own Empire State Building with biplanes circling overhead.

]]>
We see a newspaper that references "Oasis Coin," a clear reference to Bitcoin, that shows the movie goes beyond the 1980s for its cultural knowledge.

]]>
We see a newspaper that references "Oasis Coin," a clear reference to Bitcoin, that shows the movie goes beyond the 1980s for its cultural knowledge.

]]>
During a party scene where we get our first good look at Art3mis, we're treated to a cameo appearance by Commander Shepard from "Mass Effect" and Blanka from "Street Fighter" (nope, we're not done with those yet).

]]>
During a party scene where we get our first good look at Art3mis, we're treated to a cameo appearance by Commander Shepard from "Mass Effect" and Blanka from "Street Fighter" (nope, we're not done with those yet).

]]>
There's too much going on in the aforementioned shot for just one slide. On the other side of the screen, a bartender wearing a Devo hat is seen to be taking an order from Lara Croft.

]]>
There's too much going on in the aforementioned shot for just one slide. On the other side of the screen, a bartender wearing a Devo hat is seen to be taking an order from Lara Croft.

]]>
Fans quickly noticed Harley Quinn in the Comic-Con trailer, and now we've gotten a look at this rather dapper version of her beau, the Clown Prince of Crime himself.

]]>
Fans quickly noticed Harley Quinn in the Comic-Con trailer, and now we've gotten a look at this rather dapper version of her beau, the Clown Prince of Crime himself.

]]>
One of the classic vintage relics of the era that "RP1" cherishes, this boombox also calls to mind a certain movie...

]]>
One of the classic vintage relics of the era that "RP1" cherishes, this boombox also calls to mind a certain movie...

]]>
Here's Parzival, pulling a full John Cusack from "Say Anything..." as DC supervillain Deadshot and Sagat from "Street Fighter" lead the charge into the final battle between Oasis users and the sinister IOI corporation.

]]>
Here's Parzival, pulling a full John Cusack from "Say Anything..." as DC supervillain Deadshot and Sagat from "Street Fighter" lead the charge into the final battle between Oasis users and the sinister IOI corporation.

]]>
As part of the final battle, we notice the early-1990s video game characters Battletoads as well as a flying ostrich from the arcade game "Joust."

]]>
As part of the final battle, we notice the early-1990s video game characters Battletoads as well as a flying ostrich from the arcade game "Joust."

]]>
The battle is going to be massive.  In this shot, we can see Tracer from "Overwatch," Chun-Li from "Street Fighter," FemShep from "Mass Effect" and Lara Croft (again).

]]>
The battle is going to be massive.  In this shot, we can see Tracer from "Overwatch," Chun-Li from "Street Fighter," FemShep from "Mass Effect" and Lara Croft (again).

]]>
Yes, you really saw iconic horror villain Chucky pulling a full-on, CGI Yoda and kicking some serious IOI butt in the process.

]]>
Yes, you really saw iconic horror villain Chucky pulling a full-on, CGI Yoda and kicking some serious IOI butt in the process.

]]>
One of the most popular franchises in Japan, "Gundam" plays a vital role in the book, and we're glad to see that Spielberg kept the giant hero robot.

]]>
One of the most popular franchises in Japan, "Gundam" plays a vital role in the book, and we're glad to see that Spielberg kept the giant hero robot.

]]>
Arguably the biggest surprise from the Comic-Con trailer was the inclusion of Iron Giant.  Spielberg was quick to note that the robot was not just to make fans feel good, but he would be an important part of the story. Here he is now, diving headlong into the final battle.

]]>
Arguably the biggest surprise from the Comic-Con trailer was the inclusion of Iron Giant.  Spielberg was quick to note that the robot was not just to make fans feel good, but he would be an important part of the story. Here he is now, diving headlong into the final battle.

]]>
Just when you think the trailer has offered plenty, there's one final treat: the instantly recognizable musical twinkle from "Back to the Future."  March 30 can not come soon enough.

]]>
Just when you think the trailer has offered plenty, there's one final treat: the instantly recognizable musical twinkle from "Back to the Future."  March 30 can not come soon enough.

]]>
Did You Catch This Fan Favorite ‘Star Wars’ Character’s Death in ‘The Last Jedi’? https://www.thewrap.com/star-wars-last-jedi-fan-favorite-death/ https://www.thewrap.com/star-wars-last-jedi-fan-favorite-death/#respond Mon, 18 Dec 2017 01:22:47 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1761225 (Note: This post contains some pretty major spoilers for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”)

Lucasfilm’s new “Star Wars” movies haven’t shied away from major character deaths. The passing of the torch to a new cast has created moments in which the old crew gave up some of the mantel in “The Force Awakens.” And although Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) factors highly in “The Last Jedi,” the movie definitely belongs to its new crop of heroes.

During one key moment in “The Last Jedi,” though, there’s a loss of a fan favorite character that’s easy to miss. It happens near the beginning of the film during the attack between the Resistance and the First Order, when Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) joins the battle and wreaks havoc on the opposing forces.

As Ren’s ship blasts away at the Resistance cruiser that’s commanded by General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), he hesitates before firing missiles at the vulnerable ship’s bridge. His wingmen ultimately take the shot, and the bridge of the cruiser is destroyed, along with most of the Resistance’s senior leadership.

While the scene is mostly about Leia, who survives the attack but only barely, other characters aren’t so lucky. One important player from the days of the Rebellion among the casualties is Admiral Ackbar.

Ackbar first popped up as one of the primary leaders of the Rebellion in “Return of the Jedi.” He commanded the Rebel fleet as it attacked the Death Star II, along with Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams). A member of the Mon Calamari race of amphibians, he’s best known for shouting “It’s a trap!” when it became apparent that the Empire was expecting the Rebel fleet and the vulnerable Death Star at Endor was a ruse to draw the rebels into a final battle.

In “The Force Awakens,” Ackbar returned as a commander in the Resistance alongside Leia. He has a chance to give a few orders and participate in the plans to destroy Starkiller Base, but he doesn’t have too much to do.

“The Last Jedi” sees Ackbar’s final moments. He pops up on screen once or twice, but he’s not much a part of the plot. But while Ackbar’s “Return of the Jedi” line has become a classic and a meme, he unfortunately didn’t get much of a send-off in “The Last Jedi,” dying off-screen.

Although Ackbar didn’t have another iconic line for his final moments, his loss does free up a chance for more characters to evolve. “Episode IX” looks like it’ll be all about Poe, Finn and Rey stepping into leadership roles and really taking the reins of the “Star Wars” story.

Related stories from TheWrap:

All 9 'Star Wars' Movies Ranked, From 'New Hope' to 'The Last Jedi'

Here's What Happened with Luke Skywalker at the End of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'

Does 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Feature an Homage to 'The Phantom Menace'?

Here's How 'Star Wars: Battlefront II' Sets Up 'The Last Jedi'

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi': What's the Deal With Those Gold Dice?

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Amber Tamblyn to Rose McGowan: It’s ‘Beneath’ You to Shame Women Who Try to ‘Create Change’ https://www.thewrap.com/amber-tamblyn-rose-mcgowan-criticize-golden-globes-black-dress-gesture/ https://www.thewrap.com/amber-tamblyn-rose-mcgowan-criticize-golden-globes-black-dress-gesture/#respond Mon, 18 Dec 2017 01:02:09 +0000 Jeremy Fuster https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1761218 Amber Tamblyn called out Rose McGowan about coming down hard on Meryl Streep and other women who plan to wear black dresses at the Golden Globes as an act of silent protest against sexual harassment.

“Rose McGowan is a friend and while I support her kind of movement, I do not support any woman (or man) shaming or taunting the movements of other women who are trying to create change,” Tamblyn tweeted Sunday.

McGowan criticized the act as an empty gesture, accusing them on Saturday of remaining silent while they “happily worked” for disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, whom she referred to as the “Pig Monster.”

“You’ll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real change,” she tweeted. “I despise your hypocrisy. Maybe you should all wear Marchesa.”

Tamblyn said that while she supports McGowan and her cause, she thought it was “beneath” her to attack Streep and said that these actresses should be considered allies in the fight against harassment.

Asia Argento, who compiled a list of 82 women who said they were sexually assaulted, raped or molested by Weinstein, responded to Tamblyn:

 

Related stories from TheWrap:

Radio Mogul Considers Resigning as University California Regent After Harassment Claim

MSNBC Host Chris Matthews' Employee Received Settlement After Harassment Accusation

Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Legislation to Reform Sexual Harassment Investigations in Congress

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Rupert Murdoch Is ‘Liar or Delusional’ About Sexual Harassment, Says Ex-Fox News Analyst https://www.thewrap.com/rupert-murdoch-liar-delusional-sexual-harassment-says-fox-news-tamara-holder/ https://www.thewrap.com/rupert-murdoch-liar-delusional-sexual-harassment-says-fox-news-tamara-holder/#respond Mon, 18 Dec 2017 00:07:49 +0000 Jeremy Fuster https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1761203 Political commentator Tamara Holder said News Corp owner Rupert Murdoch was either “a liar or delusional” for statements that were widely construed to dismiss concerns of a culture at Fox News that has allowed for rampant sexual harassment.

Holder, who is a former contributor and guest host on Fox News Channel, had received a settlement after speaking out about her own encounter with sexual assault at the network.

In an interview on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” on Sunday, she responded to Murdoch’s comments in which he brushed off the impact that multiple harassment claims have had on Fox News and dismissed it as “all nonsense.”

Holder said that although speaking on the show might otherwise violate her settlement agreement, she felt compelled to respond to Murdoch’s comments and insisted that Murdoch was doing his female employees a disservice by ignoring the cultural problem at Fox News.

“Fox allowed abusive predators to prey on women who just wanted to work,” she said. “That is not nonsense… Let me be clear, I had a man pull out his penis in his office and shove my head on it. That was not flirting; that was criminal. That was not sexual harassment, there were no gray areas or whatever Matt Damon recently said. This is criminal, and I’m not the only case. There are women that can’t speak out.”

Holder — whose charges led to the resignation of Francisco Cortes, Vice President of Fox News Latino — said investors need to recognize the financial and emotional impact that Murdoch has allowed to cultivate at the network.

“Either Mr. Murdoch is a liar or he’s delusional and old and needs to get out,” Holder said. “So if you’re an investor you need to decide if you want your money with a man who has continued to lie to you for the last 20 years. Your money, hundreds of millions of dollars of your money, has gone to settling cases with women over and over and over again. And we’ve been told we had to shut up, and that’s what we’ve done.

“I’m stuck here talking about this because there are people like Rupert Murdoch who continue to deny that we were abused, and our careers were destroyed and our lives were destroyed. This is not political, this is people’s lives.”

Holder also noted that women who were harassed at Fox News have since been unable to find new employment, which only adds to their struggle and can send a message to other victims that speaking out can lead to further negative consequences.

“I can’t even apply for a job because he allowed me to be abused in his workplace? And didn’t protect me?” she said. “I can’t work anywhere now, there’s something wrong with me? It’s just pain on top of pain on top of pain, and for him to say something like that is so dismissive. We just want to work.”

Watch Holder speak to CNN’s Brian Stelter in the clip below.

“Rupert never characterized the sexual harassment matters at Fox News as ‘nonsense,'” a 21st Century Fox spokesperson said in a statement issued Saturday. “Rather, he responded negatively to the suggestion that sexual harassment issues were an obstacle to the company’s bid for the rest of Sky.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Fox News Is Most-Watched Basic Cable Network in 2017

Fox News Host Rakes Roy Moore Spox Over Yearbook: 'We Have to Be Factual'

Fox News Contributor Blasts Lauer, Olbermann: 'F— Both of You Womanizing Perverts'

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‘Farinelli and the King’ Broadway Review: Handel Upstages Mark Rylance https://www.thewrap.com/farinelli-king-broadway-review-handel-upstages-mark-rylance/ https://www.thewrap.com/farinelli-king-broadway-review-handel-upstages-mark-rylance/#respond Mon, 18 Dec 2017 00:00:32 +0000 Robert Hofler https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1761061 Who thought that George Frideric Handel would ever get a jukebox musical on Broadway? Nine arias from seven of the composer’s early 18-century operas are featured in Claire van Kampen’s new play, “Farinelli and the King,” which opened Sunday at the Belasco Theatre after a run in London. The countertenor Iestyn Davies sings at evening performances; James Hall does the matinees.

The wonderful thing about “Farinelli” is the chance to hear a great countertenor in a theater of 900 seats, rather than the much larger Carnegie Hall or the truly gargantuan Metropolitan Opera. The Belasco is much closer in size to the theaters Handel wrote for than where opera is usually performed in New York City. Davies’s tone, range and coloratura can be heard to their full dazzling effect.

He sings the role of the real-life castrato Farinelli (1705-1782), while Sam Crane acts and speaks it. When the two are on stage together, they’re dressed alike (designs by Lorraine Ebdon-Price). Crane doesn’t lip sync while Davies sings. Rather, he stands around looking terribly glum at being so magnificently upstaged.

Later in the play, van Kampen gives a reason for why Crane needs to look so discomforted in these moments. After his brother had him castrated, Farinelli (born Carlo Maria Michelangelo Nicola Broschi) never heard his singing voice as his own. It belonged to another person, a freak, perhaps.

The word “freak” isn’t used in “Farinelli and the King,” but it sums up the identification the castrato star and King Philippe V of Spain (Mark Rylance) have for one another. The king is also mad, and the only way he can stop hearing foreign voices is to have Farinelli’s beautiful singing voice replace them. The queen (Melody Grove) arranges for Farinelli to sing for her husband on a regular basis. It’s such a relief not to be married to a mad man 24/7, and of course she can’t help but falling in love with Farinelli. Or is it simply his singing she loves?

This story is the stuff of grand opera! Van Kampen’s disjointed storytelling and John Dove’s pedestrian direction, however, turn it into something nearer soap opera — but without either the intrigue or the sex of that lesser genre. We do learn that the castrati could have sex, not that Farinelli and the queen ever do.

Fortunately, Rylance puts his full arsenal of mannerisms on display to prevent this king from being the royal bore of Madrid. Whenever van Kampen’s dialogue turns florid, he gives it a flat modern reading, and throws in an F-bomb. Elsewhere, he vocally stumbles and pauses, and lets dull phrases wither in his mouth for added comic effect.

Meanwhile, Grove’s queen suffers without giving much range to her desperation other than an occasional eyeball roll or nostril flare. And Crane’s castrato remains glum, especially when Davies is singing.

Dove delivers an appropriately spectacular entrance for the singing Farinelli at the end of Act 1, but for the most part his direction of the two Farinellis is a major waste of potentially golden opportunities. When Farinelli sings an aria especially for the queen, Grove ignores Davies, who’s doing all the work, to focus her attention on Crane, who’s merely standing there. Since Farinelli’s inferiority complex derives from a disassociation of talent and person, shouldn’t the queen at that moment be focused on the singing Farinelli and not the other guy?

Related stories from TheWrap:

Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Zendaya Join James Corden for Broadway Edition of 'Crosswalk Musical' (Video)

'The Children' Broadway Review: How to Cope After a Nuclear Meltdown

'SpongeBob SquarePants' Broadway Review: Bouncy Tunes Keep Soggy Book Afloat

'Once on This Island' Broadway Review: A Middling Musical Revival About a Long-Suffering Woman

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10 Plot Threads ‘The Force Awakens’ Set Up that ‘The Last Jedi’ Blew Off https://www.thewrap.com/10-plot-threads-force-awakens-set-last-jedi-blew-off/ https://www.thewrap.com/10-plot-threads-force-awakens-set-last-jedi-blew-off/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 22:05:07 +0000 Phil Owen and Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1759331 (Major spoilers ahead for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” so if you haven’t seen the movie and don’t want to be spoiled you should step away now.)

We’re only two movies deep into Disney’s extension of the main “Star Wars” saga, and somehow it’s already undergoing a reboot of sorts. “The Force Awakens,” being the start of a new era, laid a ton of groundwork for the future of the saga — groundwork that “The Last Jedi” largely took apart completely in order to lay its own mostly different groundwork.

So much happens that it can be hard to keep track of, but we’ve got you covered. Below you’ll find ten examples of plot threads set up in “The Force Awakens” that “The Last Jedi” either cut off at the knees or simply didn’t bother to pick up at all.

Hey. You. There are big spoilers below for the new “Star Wars” movie. We’re giving you another warning because we’re nice people. If you don’t want spoilers you should leave now. We cannot be held accountable if you keep scrolling but don’t want spoilers. Here’s a picture from “The Force Awakens” of Kylo Ren destroying a computer to act as a buffer:

Okay, it’s time for spoilers.

Snoke

After three years of speculation about the identity the mysterious Force user leading the First Order, “The Last Jedi” killed him off without providing any answers whatsoever. His death is not a moment that really serves as a payoff to anything — he died in a way that would indicate that his identity isn’t important, and neither is he as a character. Now Kylo Ren runs the First Order, so I guess the point of all this was to make the main villain of the trilogy be one of the actual main characters. Whatever the reason, it turns out fans wasted way too much time caring about who Snoke was.

The Resistance

There’s a bit that caught my eye at the very end of the opening crawl where it refers to the Resistance base as a “rebel base.” That’s not a correct use of the word “rebel.” The First Order is a force of invaders, not an established government, so you can’t “rebel” against them. You can, however, “resist” them. Which is why they’re called the Resistance.

Over the course of “The Last Jedi,” characters more and more refer to the Resistance as “rebels” even though that usage does not become any more correct over the course of the single day or so in which the movie takes place. Obviously, the point of this shift in term usage is just to adopt the familiar terminology of the original trilogy instead of continuing to use terminology that reflects the story as begun in “The Force Awakens.”

On top of that, there isn’t even a Resistance anymore by the end of the movie because almost everyone is dead now. Which is honestly pretty weird.

The New Republic

“The Force Awakens” didn’t exactly give much info on what’s going on with the New Republic these days, but we do know a few things: The New Republic is like the old one, which means it’s a galactic government; the Resistance is a separate entity from the New Republic; and the Republic’s capital planet got blown up by Starkiller base. “The Last Jedi” moves forward in a weird way from there, conflating the Resistance with the Republic and acting as though the destruction of the Republic capital means the entire Republic is no more. It presents the First Order as now being in control of the entire galaxy, even though this entire movie takes place immediately after “The Force Awakens” ends and features a story that lasts maybe a day or two — not nearly long enough to conquer a galaxy. It’s an odd attempt to morph to state of galactic affairs as established in “The Force Awakens” into something very different.

Knights of Ren

So in “The Force Awakens” Snoke refers to Kylo Ren as the leader of the Knights of Ren, which are implied in Rey’s vision to have been responsible for the destruction of Luke’s Jedi temple after Ren turned dark. But the Knights have yet to appear on screen outside of that vision, and no mention of them is made whatsoever in “The Last Jedi.” So I guess they’re just not a thing now.

Rey’s parents

Fans have been speculating about who Rey’s unseen parents were since “The Force Awakens” was released. The movie purposely obfuscated their identity, but Rey’s incredible power — and Kylo Ren’s true identity as Ben Solo — made everyone immediately think she had to have Skywalker blood. In any case, “The Last Jedi” does away with two years of questions about Rey’s true identity. It turns out, her parents are nobodies, and her seemingly special connection to the Force has nothing to do with the established universe. That’s a cool move, since one of the original elements of “Star Wars” was the feeling that anybody could become a powerful space wizard hero. But it does feel like a letdown after so much was made of Rey’s identity.

Luke’s reason for being on Ahch-To

In “The Force Awakens,” Han Solo speculated that after Ben turned to the Dark Side, Luke left to find the first Jedi temple ever constructed. That seemed to suggest that Luke was seeking something important there — maybe a greater understanding of the Force or the Jedi, or some important artifact. But while it turned out it was true that Luke was going to the first Jedi temple ever, there didn’t turn out to be an especially good reason for him to be there. Luke even asks in “The Last Jedi” if Rey thinks he would have come all the way to Ahch-To for no reason, but it turns out the only reason he gives is, “I came here to die.” Seems like if Luke was serious about dying, he could have done it anywhere, and he wouldn’t really need to go to all the trouble of creating a jigsaw puzzle map that he left behind inside R2-D2.

Force training for Rey and Luke 

“The Force Awakens” got some guff because it didn’t seem to be very much in line with what other “Star Wars” films had established about Jedi training. Rey in particular was able to tap into Force abilities that previous characters, like Luke Skywalker, had developed over a much longer span of time, and presumably through instruction.

But, hey, that movie ended with Rey meeting Luke, presumably before training under him in order to get a handle on her obviously immense power. Except no training actually occurs. She mostly continues to teach herself about combat and the Force, while Luke blows her off repeatedly. Kylo Ren meanwhile goes through something similar with Snoke, who declared at the end of “The Force Awakens” that it was time to complete Kylo Ren’s training — but then Kylo Ren ended up sitting around on Snoke’s ship for most of the movie not training. Maybe Snoke secretly setting up a Force connection with Rey was his final test? I don’t know, man. I don’t know.

Captain Phasma

With an awesome set of chrome armor, the exciting casting of “Game of Thrones” star Gwendoline Christie and a personal vendetta against Finn, it seemed like stormtrooper leader Captain Phasma was being positioned to become a major potential villain in the new “Star Wars” trilogy. But then “The Force Awakens” seemed to mostly cut her scenes. Phasma got a novel in between movies, but she gets just as short a shrift in “The Last Jedi.” Phasma shows up for roughly one sequence and gets in a pretty solid knock-down brawl with Finn, at the end of which she falls into a fiery pit and dies.

Ren’s obsession with Vader

“The Force Awakens” makes a big show of having Kylo Ren essentially pray to Darth Vader at one point as he struggles to remain evil. “I will finish, what you started,” he says ominously, demonstrating that a big part of his whole arc is his devotion whatever he thought Darth Vader represented. But that devotion is nowhere to be seen In “The Last Jedi,” with Darth Vader only being mentioned once, by Snoke. The big moment early one where Ren destroys the helmet he wore through most of “The Force Awakens” likely represents a decision on Ren’s part to make his own way rather than follow in his grandfather’s footsteps.

C-3PO’s red arm

When 3PO popped in “The Force Awakens” he had a new red arm and immediately pointed out that his red arm is different from his previous gold arm. He has that red arm still when R2 assembles the map to Luke at the end of the movie. And then, for some reason, he has his gold arm again in the very next scene, where you can see him in the crowd at the Resistance base as Rey flies away in the Falcon to find Luke.

At no point in “The Last Jedi” does 3PO explain why he got his gold arm back, nor does he even reference the fact that he had a red arm at all. I guess we’re just going to pretend like that didn’t happen, even though Lucasfilm actually commissioned a comic book to explain how he ended up with that red arm.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi': What's the Deal With Those Gold Dice?

8 'Star Wars' Plot Points to Remember Before You Watch 'The Last Jedi'

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Movie Review: The Thrills Are Strong with This One

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Radio Mogul Considers Resigning as University California Regent After Harassment Claim https://www.thewrap.com/norm-pattiz-considers-resigning-university-california-regent-sexual-harassment-claim/ https://www.thewrap.com/norm-pattiz-considers-resigning-university-california-regent-sexual-harassment-claim/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 21:21:26 +0000 Jeremy Fuster https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1761130 Broadcasting magnate and University of California Regent Norm Pattiz says he may consider resigning his post, but not out of pressure to do so because of sexual harassment allegations that surfaced last month.

Pattiz was caught on tape last month asking comedian Heather McDonald if he could “hold her breasts,” referring to his hands as “memory foam.” In addition, Ji-Min Park, a former employee at Pattiz’s PodcastOne, told the Los Angeles Times that she left the company because he told her she looked like a “schoolgirl” and that he had watched “too many videos” with schoolgirls in them. She says Pattiz also told her, “If I wasn’t married, I’d be chasing you down a hallway right now.”

The recording was given to McDonald by a former PodcastOne producer who has sued Pattiz for allegedly brandishing a gun on him and retaliating for giving the recording to the comedian. Pattiz, who has denied the charges, said about his retirement that he is still undecided but that the charges against him are making him consider not resigning.

“I haven’t made that determination,” Pattiz told the San Francisco Chronicle, in reference to his stepping down. “If I become a distraction, I don’t want that. I care too much about the university. Time will tell if I’m going to be a continuing distraction.”

“Had this (recording) not come up, I might have considered retirement more than I’m considering it now. I certainly don’t like the idea of retiring under a cloud.”

Pattiz, 75, has been on the UC Board of Regents since 2001, but as allegations mount, he has been pressured to resign not only from UC students, but from California Gov. Jerry Brown and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who are both also on the board. Newsom, along with state schools chief Tom Torlakson and student Regent Paul Monge, sent a letter to UC President Janet Napolitano last month asking what she has done to investigate Pattiz, while dozens of UC students protested against Pattiz at the latest Regents’ Meeting.

“This has been a matter of deep concern at many levels of the UC, especially in light of the systemwide work we have done to address sexual harassment and sexual violence,” the letter read.

The letter also condemned Pattiz for saying the UC Student Association should be “ashamed of themselves” for approving a resolution calling on the board to dismiss him. Pattiz told the Chronicle he said this because their resolution is “full of information that isn’t true.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

MSNBC Host Chris Matthews' Employee Received Settlement After Harassment Accusation

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Journalists Band Together to Stop Sexual Harassment and 'Create Respectful Newsroom Environments'

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Kiss’ Gene Simmons Defends Himself in Sexual Battery Lawsuit: ‘Evidence Will Prove My Innocence’ (Update) https://www.thewrap.com/gene-simmons-defends-himself-sexual-battery-lawsuit-kiss/ https://www.thewrap.com/gene-simmons-defends-himself-sexual-battery-lawsuit-kiss/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 20:32:57 +0000 Jennifer Maas and Rosemary Rossi https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1760998 UPDATE: KISS bassist Gene Simmons defends himself against accusations in a lawsuit that says he groped and made “unwanted, unwarranted sexual advances” on an unnamed radio and television broadcaster.

“Friends, I intend to defend myself against any alleged charges you may have been reading about in the media,” Simmons said in a statement given to US Weekly. “For the record, I did not assault the person making these accusations in the manner alleged in the complaint or harm her in any way. I am conferring with my lawyers with the aim of vigorously countering these allegations. And, I look forward to my day in court where the evidence will prove my innocence.”

PREVIOUSLY: Gene Simmons is being sued by a woman who says the KISS bassist groped her and made “unwanted, unwarranted sexual advances” during an interview she conducted last month, according to legal documents obtained by TheWrap.

The radio and television broadcaster (identified as “Jane Doe”) is suing for sexual battery, gender violence, battery and assault.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday, the woman was speaking with Simmons and his bandmate Paul Stanley at their Rock & Brews restaurant at San Manuel Casino in Highland, California on Nov. 1 when the incident occurred.

The plaintiff, identified in the documents as a “long-time on-air personality for a local rock station,” says Simmons grabbed her hand multiple times and “forcefully placed it on his knee and held it on his knee.” The accuser also says he “forcibly flicked/struck” her throat.

“Defendant Simmons turned standard interview questions into sexual innuendos, which made plaintiff Doe extremely uncomfortable,” the suit states.

Simmons provided an “incoherent explanation” for his behavior, according to the lawsuit.

The accuser also says Simmons “reached toward [her] buttocks and touched it” while they were posing for a promotional photo together after the interview.

“My client is embarrassed and humiliated by the incident with Mr. Simmons,” the anonymous woman’s attorney, Willie W. Williams, told The San Bernardino Sun during a phone interview. “She filed suit because she wanted to make a strong statement that this behavior is unacceptable and she wants to see an end to this type of behavior.”

Simmons’ reps didn’t immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this story.

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Gene Simmons Draws Twitter Wrath With His Thoughts on Working Mothers

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‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi': 8 A-List Cameos to Keep an Eye (and Ear) Out for (Photos) https://www.thewrap.com/star-wars-the-last-jedi-8-a-list-cameos-to-keep-an-eye-and-ear-out-for-photos/ https://www.thewrap.com/star-wars-the-last-jedi-8-a-list-cameos-to-keep-an-eye-and-ear-out-for-photos/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 20:18:20 +0000 Jeremy Fuster https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1758928 “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is finally here, and much like “The Force Awakens” and “Rogue One,” it is filled with celebrities who oh-so-badly wanted to be a part of a galaxy far, far away. From past “Star Wars” directors to the next King of England, these cameos come in blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shots or in the voices of bizarre alien creature on Canto Bight, the newest Star Wars planet that looks like Galactic Monaco. Here’s what to look out for.

When Gareth Edwards wrote “Rogue One,” he put Rian Johnson in front of the camera for a special cameo. Now, Rian is returning the favor in “The Last Jedi.” If you can remember to do so during the film’s heart-pounding climax on the salt planet of Crait, look for Edwards as a Resistance soldier fighting in the trenches.

As hardcore Warwick Davis, who famously played Wicket the Ewok in “Return of the Jedi,” has made cameos in “Star Wars” movies ever since. Here, he voices one of the rich, greedy creatures gambling their ill-gotten gains away on Canto Bight.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has a long history with Johnson, starring in his 2005 debut film “Brick” and his nail-biting sci-fi film “Looper.” He also has a voice cameo as one of the gamblers on Canto Bight.

Very mild spoiler here: As part of a mission, Finn and Rose are instructed to go to Canto Bight and search for someone wearing a floral pin. That pin is worn by a craps-throwing Canto Bight gambler played by Justin Theroux, star of HBO’s “The Leftovers” and writer for films like “Tropic Thunder” and “Iron Man 2.” Also look for model and actress Lily Cole next to him.

It might become a new tradition to have big stars play Stormtroopers in these new Star Wars movies. Daniel Craig played one in “The Force Awakens,” and here, Tom Hardy plays one in a scene where Finn and Rose disguise themselves as First Order officers to sneak onto Supreme Leader Snoke’s mothership. But he’s not the only famous Stormtrooper in that scene…

The future King of England, Prince William, and his brother, Prince Harry, also disguise themselves as Stormtroopers on Snoke’s ship. Like Hardy, you probably won’t be able to spot them, but they also got a “Star Wars” moment of their own this week, when BB-8 bowed to them as they arrived at the film’s London premiere.

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https://www.thewrap.com/star-wars-the-last-jedi-8-a-list-cameos-to-keep-an-eye-and-ear-out-for-photos/feed/ 0 "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" is finally here, and much like "The Force Awakens" and "Rogue One," it is filled with celebrities who oh-so-badly wanted to be a part of a galaxy far, far away. From past "Star Wars" directors to the next King of England, these cameos come in blink-and-you'll-miss-it shots or in the voices of bizarre alien creatures on Canto Bight, the newest Star Wars planet that looks like Galactic Monaco. Here is some to look out for when you watch the movie: 

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"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" is finally here, and much like "The Force Awakens" and "Rogue One," it is filled with celebrities who oh-so-badly wanted to be a part of a galaxy far, far away. From past "Star Wars" directors to the next King of England, these cameos come in blink-and-you'll-miss-it shots or in the voices of bizarre alien creatures on Canto Bight, the newest Star Wars planet that looks like Galactic Monaco. Here is some to look out for when you watch the movie: 

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When Gareth Edwards wrote "Rogue One," he put Rian Johnson in front of the camera for a special cameo. Now, Rian is returning the favor in "The Last Jedi." If you can remember to do so during the film's heart-pounding climax on the salt planet of Crait, look for Edwards as a Resistance soldier fighting in the trenches. 

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When Gareth Edwards wrote "Rogue One," he put Rian Johnson in front of the camera for a special cameo. Now, Rian is returning the favor in "The Last Jedi." If you can remember to do so during the film's heart-pounding climax on the salt planet of Crait, look for Edwards as a Resistance soldier fighting in the trenches. 

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As hardcore Warwick Davis, who famously played Wicket the Ewok in "Return of the Jedi," has made cameos in "Star Wars" movies ever since. Here, he voices one of the rich, greedy creatures gambling their ill-gotten gains away on Canto Bight. 

]]>
As hardcore Warwick Davis, who famously played Wicket the Ewok in "Return of the Jedi," has made cameos in "Star Wars" movies ever since. Here, he voices one of the rich, greedy creatures gambling their ill-gotten gains away on Canto Bight. 

]]>
Joseph Gordon-Levitt has a long history with Rian Johnson, starring in his 2005 debut film "Brick" and his nail-biting sci-fi film "Looper." He also has a voice cameo as one of the gamblers on Canto Bight. 

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt has a long history with Rian Johnson, starring in his 2005 debut film "Brick" and his nail-biting sci-fi film "Looper." He also has a voice cameo as one of the gamblers on Canto Bight. 

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Another star of "Brick," Noah Segan, also has a long-standing relationship with Rian Johnson. He appears in this film as an X-Wing pilot who fights in the opening battle against a Dreadnought Star Destroyer.

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Another star of "Brick," Noah Segan, also has a long-standing relationship with Rian Johnson. He appears in this film as an X-Wing pilot who fights in the opening battle against a Dreadnought Star Destroyer.

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Very mild spoiler here: As part of a mission, Finn and Rose are instructed to go to Canto Bight and search for someone wearing a floral pin. That pin is worn by a craps-throwing Canto Bight gambler played by Justin Theroux, star of HBO's "The Leftovers" and writer for films like "Tropic Thunder" and "Iron Man 2." 

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Very mild spoiler here: As part of a mission, Finn and Rose are instructed to go to Canto Bight and search for someone wearing a floral pin. That pin is worn by a craps-throwing Canto Bight gambler played by Justin Theroux, star of HBO's "The Leftovers" and writer for films like "Tropic Thunder" and "Iron Man 2." 

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It might become a new tradition to have big stars play Stormtroopers in these new Star Wars movies. Daniel Craig played one in "The Force Awakens," and here, Tom Hardy plays one in a scene where Finn and Rose disguise themselves as First Order officers to sneak onto Supreme Leader Snoke's mothership. But he's not the only famous Stormtrooper in that scene...

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It might become a new tradition to have big stars play Stormtroopers in these new Star Wars movies. Daniel Craig played one in "The Force Awakens," and here, Tom Hardy plays one in a scene where Finn and Rose disguise themselves as First Order officers to sneak onto Supreme Leader Snoke's mothership. But he's not the only famous Stormtrooper in that scene...

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The future King of England, Prince William, and his brother, Prince Harry, also play Stormtroopers on Snoke's ship. Like Hardy, you probably won't be able to spot them, but they also got a "Star Wars" moment of their own this week, when BB-8 bowed to them as they arrived at the film's London premiere. 

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The future King of England, Prince William, and his brother, Prince Harry, also play Stormtroopers on Snoke's ship. Like Hardy, you probably won't be able to spot them, but they also got a "Star Wars" moment of their own this week, when BB-8 bowed to them as they arrived at the film's London premiere. 

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‘I, Tonya,’ Other Awards Contenders Keep Indie Box Office Alive Against ‘Star Wars’ https://www.thewrap.com/i-tonya-indie-box-office-star-wars/ https://www.thewrap.com/i-tonya-indie-box-office-star-wars/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 20:17:24 +0000 Jeremy Fuster https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1761159 Obviously, this box office weekend belong to “Star Wars,” accounting for a whopping 80 percent of all revenue. But despite that, several Oscar contenders continued to put up solid numbers at the indie box office.

NEON/30WEST’s “I, Tonya” posted a strong second weekend on five screens, making $176,189 for a per screen average of $35,238 — second only to the $52,000 posted by “Star Wars” — bringing its total to $553,554. The film will expand in January after earning three Golden Globe nominations for Best Musical or Comedy, Best Actress for Margot Robbie, and Best Supporting Actress for Allison Janney.

Meanwhile, A24’s “The Disaster Artist” added $2.6 million in its third weekend from 1,010 screens to bring its total to $12.9 million. Fox Searchlight’s “The Shape of Water” will go wide next weekend, but this weekend it added a very solid $1.73 million from 158 locations to bring its total to $3.6 million after three weekends. It has received six Golden Globe nominations, including Best Drama, Best Directing and Screenplay for Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, and acting nominations for Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins and Octavia Spencer.

A24’s “Lady Bird,” which earned four Golden Globe noms, added $2.1 million in its seventh weekend to bring its total to $26 million. It was nominated for Best Comedy, Best Screenplay for Greta Gerwig, and acting nominations for its mom/daughter duo Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf. Sony Pictures Classics’ “Call Me by Your Name” continues to perform well after expanding to just 30 theaters, making $492,000 to bring its total to $2 million. It scored three Golden Globe nominations, including a Best Actor nod for Timothee Chalamet.

Finally, Focus Features’ “Darkest Hour,” which is contending for Best Actor for Gary Oldman, added $850,000 from 84 screens to bring its total to $2.3 million, while Bleecker Street’s Charles Dickens period piece “The Man Who Invented Christmas” made $263,000 from 319 screens to bring its total to $5 million.

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'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Movie Review: The Thrills Are Strong with This One

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Kevin Hart Says Moms Aren’t Fun in His ‘SNL’ Monologue and Twitter Isn’t Hearing It (Video) https://www.thewrap.com/twitter-kevin-hart-sexist-snl-monologue/ https://www.thewrap.com/twitter-kevin-hart-sexist-snl-monologue/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 20:02:04 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1761091

Kevin Hart’s third turn as host of “SNL” started out with some controversy, when his opening monologue about his family turned, as many Twitter users thought, sexist.

The monologue was primarily about Hart’s kids and how he wasn’t, at first, sold on the idea of having another child (he already has a 10 and a 12-year-old). But it was his take on the roles of men and women in child-rearing that kicked up a social media.

You can watch the monologue in the video above.

“I can admit to everyone that I wasn’t excited about having a baby,” Hart explained. “I didn’t want to deal with that 2-year-old age.”

But he then transitioned to talking about the roles of men and women in raising kids, which raised some viewers’ dander.

“You have to take your hat off when it comes to taking care of kids to the women,” Hart said. “Women, I give you so much credit. You guys do so much. You know why? Because when it comes to putting structure in the child’s life, when it comes to bathing, feeding, taking the child to school, from the school, you do it. You’re responsible for that. I applaud you for that.

“But one thing that you’re not, is fun,” Hart continued. “I know when you first hear it, you’re getting an attitude already. ‘What? I’m fun. That’s a lie. You’re a liar. I’m fun.’ No, you’re not. You’ve never heard a kid say, ‘I can’t wait to get home and play with my mom.’ You’ve never heard that. ‘I can’t wait for mommy and me time.’ That doesn’t exist.”

Hart said that the responsibility of providing fun falls on the father’s shoulders, a task that is tough to keep up with young kids.

“They don’t know how to shut fun off,” he said, going on to describe a scenario of fathers pulling up into his driveway, only to see their kids waiting to play with them — and then slowly backing out of the driveway again without going inside.

Viewers’ quickly logged their reactions to the monologue on Twitter.

Hart recently talked openly about cheating on his pregnant wife, Eniko Parrish, earlier this year. Given that context and the continuing flood of accusations about sexual assault and harassment perpetrated by powerful men in Hollywood, politics, and elsewhere, lots of viewers found the whole monologue hypocritical.

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'SNL': Baldwin's Trump Gets a Christmas Carol From Ghostly Flynn and Hillary Clinton (Video)

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Here’s What Happened with Luke Skywalker at the End of ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ https://www.thewrap.com/heres-happened-luke-skywalker-end-star-wars-last-jedi/ https://www.thewrap.com/heres-happened-luke-skywalker-end-star-wars-last-jedi/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 19:46:26 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1759236 (Note: This post contains major spoilers for the plot of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” and particularly its ending.)

Much of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is about Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) coming to terms with his own failures as a Jedi and as a teacher. After Ben Solo (Adam Driver) turned to the Dark Side to become Kylo Ren while Luke was training him, Luke exiled himself to the distant planet of Ahch-To, and obscured the information of where he’d gone from everyone, even Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher).

In “The Last Jedi,” Luke deals with Rey, who wants him to not only train her in the ways of the Force, but to return to the Resistance and help it fight off Kylo Ren and the First Order. At first, Luke is reluctant, worried he’ll do more harm than good as a teacher, like he did with Ren.

But in the final moments of “The Last Jedi,” Luke somehow miraculously shows up in the Resistance’s base in its darkest hour. He goes outside to face down the might of the First Order, and despite them firing everything they have at him, Luke survives. He then faces Kylo Ren alone, keeping him busy while the Resistance escapes the base from a hidden exit.

As Kylo Ren discovers, Luke was never actually on the planet with him — instead, Ren was fighting a projection of Luke, sent from a huge distance through the Force.

Once everyone escapes, Luke lets the projection fade away, but moments later, he dies, disappearing from his robes the way that Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) did in “A New Hope” and Yoda did in “Return of the Jedi.” But if you weren’t listening clearly, it might not be clear just what did Luke in.

The answer lies in an earlier discussion between Kylo Ren and Rey (Daisy Ridley). The pair of them spend a lot of “The Last Jedi” linked by the Force. They can see each other and talk to each other as if they’re in the same place together. The two don’t understand what’s happening between them, and neither of them is initiating the contact.

The key moment comes when Ren first sees Rey. He says to her, “Are you doing this?” when the connection first begins. Then he realizes that would be impossible because of the distance between them. “The effort would kill you,” he continues.

It seems for Luke, the effort did kill him. Even for a Jedi Master, and in a location like Ahch-To, which is powerful in the Force, creating such an elaborate deception over such a huge distance is apparently incredibly difficult. It means that Luke gave his all, and sacrificed himself, one last time to save his friends and family.

That doesn’t mean that Luke is gone for good, of course. As we’ve seen before, Jedi masters have a tendency to come back as ghosts when their students really need them. It’s likely that Luke will get at least one last appearance in “Episode IX,” just when things are at their darkest for Rey — or for Ben Solo.

Related stories from TheWrap:

15 Best Stories Ever Told in the 'Star Wars' Universe (Photos)

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Does 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Feature an Homage to 'The Phantom Menace'?

10 Plot Threads 'The Force Awakens' Set Up that 'The Last Jedi' Blew Off

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi': What's the Deal With Those Gold Dice?

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15 Best Stories Ever Told in the ‘Star Wars’ Universe (Photos) https://www.thewrap.com/top-15-best-stories-ever-told-in-the-star-wars-universe-photos/ https://www.thewrap.com/top-15-best-stories-ever-told-in-the-star-wars-universe-photos/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 19:13:59 +0000 Phil Owen https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1023034 Between the movies, TV shows, comics, video games, novels and reference books, you’d be hard-pressed to ever run out of stories to read about the “Star Wars” universe, past and present. It’s a big universe out there, and every story told in it is connected to all the others. Big stories are told as many different smaller ones, and small stories are told as chunks of a bigger picture.

These are the best chunks, big or small, in the history of the “Star Wars” universe.

15. The rise of Admiral Daala in the “Jedi Academy Trilogy”

After “Return of the Jedi” in the version of the “Star Wars” continuity before Disney bought Lucasfilm, the Empire fractured into a bunch of splinter governments led by self-proclaimed rulers who would make up new titles for themselves like “high admiral” or “warlord” while still maintaining the pretense of Imperial legitimacy. Daala (a woman!) decided to try to bring it back together, and eventually was able to do so — for a short time at least. Her brilliant machinations were a compelling as hell tale, and one of author Kevin J Anderson’s only good contributions to “Star Wars” lore.

14. The Black Fleet Crisis

Not referring to the “Black Fleet Crisis Trilogy” as a whole, since two of the three main narrative arcs in those books are unrelated to the event in “Star Wars” lore known as the Black Fleet Crisis.

The Crisis is great because it’s the sort of cool scifi story that checks a lot of boxes simultaneously. In particular: unknowable alien force you’ve never heard of, weird galactic political intrigue with lots of backstabs from said alien force, and a grand mystery regarding how those aliens came to power in the first place. It’s a really interesting scenario.

13. Darth Vader’s secret apprentice

The “Star Wars” universe is full of stories about good apprentices going bad and wreaking havoc on the good guys, but we’ve very rarely gotten the inverse. That made “The Force Unleashed” a really novel experience. You play as Darth Vader’s secret apprentice in the years between the original and prequel trilogies. You’re a dark side force user and soldier for the Empire who goes rogue in a really epic way.

13. Darth Vader’s secret apprentice

The “Star Wars” universe is full of stories about good apprentices going bad and wreaking havoc on the good guys, but we’ve very rarely gotten the inverse. That made “The Force Unleashed” a really novel experience. You play as Darth Vader’s secret apprentice in the years between the original and prequel trilogies. You’re a dark side force user and soldier for the Empire who goes rogue in a really epic way.

12. “X-Wing Alliance”

You’re Ace, and you work for your family shipping company. You fly a freighter doing pretty boring things, until your dad’s sympathies for the Rebel Alliance come back to bite the whole family in the ass.

You know how this goes: the Empire brings the hammer down, you join the Rebellion as a fighter pilot. But maybe the entire family isn’t on board with facing down the Empire. This is the only “Star Wars” space combat simulator that gives you a personal story, and it turned out to be a great idea.

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https://www.thewrap.com/top-15-best-stories-ever-told-in-the-star-wars-universe-photos/feed/ 0 With 40 years of movies, TV shows, comics, video games, novels and reference books, you'd be hard-pressed to ever run out of stories to read about the "Star Wars" universe, past and present. It's a big universe out there, and every story told in it is connected to all the others. Big stories are told as many different smaller ones, and small stories are told as chunks of a bigger picture. 

These are the best chunks, big or small, in the history of the "Star Wars" universe.

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With 40 years of movies, TV shows, comics, video games, novels and reference books, you'd be hard-pressed to ever run out of stories to read about the "Star Wars" universe, past and present. It's a big universe out there, and every story told in it is connected to all the others. Big stories are told as many different smaller ones, and small stories are told as chunks of a bigger picture. 

These are the best chunks, big or small, in the history of the "Star Wars" universe.

]]>
15. The Rise of Admiral Daala in the "Jedi Academy Trilogy"

After "Return of the Jedi" in the version of the "Star Wars" continuity before Disney bought Lucasfilm, the Empire fractured into a bunch of splinter governments led by self-proclaimed rulers who would make up new titles for themselves like "high admiral" or "warlord" while still maintaining the pretense of Imperial legitimacy. Daala (a woman!) decided to try to bring it back together, and eventually was able to do so -- for a short time at least. Her brilliant machinations were a compelling as hell tale, and one of author Kevin J Anderson's only good contributions to "Star Wars" lore.

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15. The Rise of Admiral Daala in the "Jedi Academy Trilogy"

After "Return of the Jedi" in the version of the "Star Wars" continuity before Disney bought Lucasfilm, the Empire fractured into a bunch of splinter governments led by self-proclaimed rulers who would make up new titles for themselves like "high admiral" or "warlord" while still maintaining the pretense of Imperial legitimacy. Daala (a woman!) decided to try to bring it back together, and eventually was able to do so -- for a short time at least. Her brilliant machinations were a compelling as hell tale, and one of author Kevin J Anderson's only good contributions to "Star Wars" lore.

]]>
14. The Black Fleet Crisis

This is not referring to the "Black Fleet Crisis Trilogy" as a whole, since two of the three main narrative arcs in those books are unrelated to the event in "Star Wars" lore known as the Black Fleet Crisis.

The Crisis is great because it's the sort of cool scifi story that checks a lot of boxes simultaneously. In particular: unknowable alien force you've never heard of, weird galactic political intrigue with lots of backstabs from said alien force, and a grand mystery regarding how those aliens came to power in the first place. It's a really interesting scenario.

]]>
14. The Black Fleet Crisis

This is not referring to the "Black Fleet Crisis Trilogy" as a whole, since two of the three main narrative arcs in those books are unrelated to the event in "Star Wars" lore known as the Black Fleet Crisis.

The Crisis is great because it's the sort of cool scifi story that checks a lot of boxes simultaneously. In particular: unknowable alien force you've never heard of, weird galactic political intrigue with lots of backstabs from said alien force, and a grand mystery regarding how those aliens came to power in the first place. It's a really interesting scenario.

]]>
13. Darth Vader's Secret Apprentice

The "Star Wars" universe is full of stories about good apprentices going bad and wreaking havoc on the good guys, but we've very rarely gotten the inverse. That made "The Force Unleashed" a really novel experience. You play as Darth Vader's secret apprentice in the years between the original and prequel trilogies. You're a dark side force user and soldier for the Empire who goes rogue in a really epic way.

]]>
13. Darth Vader's Secret Apprentice

The "Star Wars" universe is full of stories about good apprentices going bad and wreaking havoc on the good guys, but we've very rarely gotten the inverse. That made "The Force Unleashed" a really novel experience. You play as Darth Vader's secret apprentice in the years between the original and prequel trilogies. You're a dark side force user and soldier for the Empire who goes rogue in a really epic way.

]]>
12. "X-Wing Alliance"

You're Ace, and you work for your family shipping company. You fly a freighter doing pretty boring things, until your dad's sympathies for the Rebel Alliance come back to bite the whole family in the ass. 

You know how this goes: the Empire brings the hammer down, you join the Rebellion as a fighter pilot. But maybe the entire family isn't on board with facing down the Empire. This is the only "Star Wars" space combat simulator that gives you a personal story, and it turned out to be a great idea.

]]>
12. "X-Wing Alliance"

You're Ace, and you work for your family shipping company. You fly a freighter doing pretty boring things, until your dad's sympathies for the Rebel Alliance come back to bite the whole family in the ass. 

You know how this goes: the Empire brings the hammer down, you join the Rebellion as a fighter pilot. But maybe the entire family isn't on board with facing down the Empire. This is the only "Star Wars" space combat simulator that gives you a personal story, and it turned out to be a great idea.

]]>
11. Admiral Thrawn

Not specifically thinking of Timothy Zahn's Thrawn trilogy here, but the story of Thrawn's life as a whole and his lasting legacy in the Expanded Universe. This guy was such a genius that even a decade after his death the plans he'd laid out were threatening to tear apart the fledgling New Republic. His fingerprints are everywhere.

]]>
11. Admiral Thrawn

Not specifically thinking of Timothy Zahn's Thrawn trilogy here, but the story of Thrawn's life as a whole and his lasting legacy in the Expanded Universe. This guy was such a genius that even a decade after his death the plans he'd laid out were threatening to tear apart the fledgling New Republic. His fingerprints are everywhere.

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10. The Battle of Borleaias

Late in the "New Jedi Order," famed Rebel hero Wedge Antilles is charged with holding the planet Borleias from the Yuuzhan Vong, and it's one hell of a thing. Massively outgunned, Wedge pulls a whole lot of seat-of-your-pants gambits out of his ass -- and this pair of books, authored by the late fan favorite Aaron Allston, is full of great and witty dialogue of the sort you just never got from other "Star Wars" authors.

 

]]>
10. The Battle of Borleaias

Late in the "New Jedi Order," famed Rebel hero Wedge Antilles is charged with holding the planet Borleias from the Yuuzhan Vong, and it's one hell of a thing. Massively outgunned, Wedge pulls a whole lot of seat-of-your-pants gambits out of his ass -- and this pair of books, authored by the late fan favorite Aaron Allston, is full of great and witty dialogue of the sort you just never got from other "Star Wars" authors.

 

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9. Wedge and Friends Go to Adumar

As the war against the Empire winds down, Rebel hero Wedge Antilles and pals Tycho, Hobbie and Janso, are sent as diplomats to a newly discovered planet full of people who pretty don't give a shit about anyone who isn't a fighter pilot. If that sounds like a sitcom scenario, that's because it basically is. And it's great,  incessantly funny and very awkward -- a great little side story that's as witty as they get in this universe.

]]>
9. Wedge and Friends Go to Adumar

As the war against the Empire winds down, Rebel hero Wedge Antilles and pals Tycho, Hobbie and Janso, are sent as diplomats to a newly discovered planet full of people who pretty don't give a shit about anyone who isn't a fighter pilot. If that sounds like a sitcom scenario, that's because it basically is. And it's great,  incessantly funny and very awkward -- a great little side story that's as witty as they get in this universe.

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8. Wraith Squadron

The story of the Wraiths, told over three books, is unique among "Star Wars" stories in a lot of ways. It follows famed Rebel pilot Wedge Antilles as he assembles a hybrid starfighter/footsoldier squadron of emotionally unstable washouts -- the idea being that such a group, when given some operational leeway, might approach apparently normal war scenarios in really unpredictable ways, and that's exactly what happens. It's the most human of all the "Star Wars" stories, full of truth.

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8. Wraith Squadron

The story of the Wraiths, told over three books, is unique among "Star Wars" stories in a lot of ways. It follows famed Rebel pilot Wedge Antilles as he assembles a hybrid starfighter/footsoldier squadron of emotionally unstable washouts -- the idea being that such a group, when given some operational leeway, might approach apparently normal war scenarios in really unpredictable ways, and that's exactly what happens. It's the most human of all the "Star Wars" stories, full of truth.

]]>
7. The Tale of the Imperial Agent in "The Old Republic"

Many of the most interesting "Star Wars" stories are those that focus on characters who can't use the Force, and this is one of those. You play as a spy for the Sith Empire (thousands of years before the movies), doing awesome wartime spy stuff. And you get caught up in a galactic conspiracy to destroy both the Republic and Empire -- by a secret society tired of Force-using factions starting all these galaxy-spanning wars. It's a compelling-as-hell hook.

]]>
7. The Tale of the Imperial Agent in "The Old Republic"

Many of the most interesting "Star Wars" stories are those that focus on characters who can't use the Force, and this is one of those. You play as a spy for the Sith Empire (thousands of years before the movies), doing awesome wartime spy stuff. And you get caught up in a galactic conspiracy to destroy both the Republic and Empire -- by a secret society tired of Force-using factions starting all these galaxy-spanning wars. It's a compelling-as-hell hook.

]]>
6. The Rise and Fall and Rise of Revan

Thousands of years before the movies, Revan was a Jedi who led the Republic military against invading Mandalorians -- only to turn to the dark side and wage his own war on the Republic, before turning away from the dark and defeating his own armies. That's the very short, very incomplete version. The story of Revan is thoroughly fascinating and ends up lasting hundreds of years across two video games ("Knights of the Old Republic) and a pile of books and comics.

 

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6. The Rise and Fall and Rise of Revan

Thousands of years before the movies, Revan was a Jedi who led the Republic military against invading Mandalorians -- only to turn to the dark side and wage his own war on the Republic, before turning away from the dark and defeating his own armies. That's the very short, very incomplete version. The story of Revan is thoroughly fascinating and ends up lasting hundreds of years across two video games ("Knights of the Old Republic) and a pile of books and comics.

 

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5. The Jabba's Palace Heist in "Return of the Jedi"

It's become clear in the last few years that a lot of folks never really got what Luke, Leia, Lando and Chewie were doing during the first portion of "Return of the Jedi" -- and now we have all these thinkpieces about how it was reckless and haphazard. But no, that shit was an impeccable heist. They had a plan, and they pulled it off flawlessly and in style. 

]]>
5. The Jabba's Palace Heist in "Return of the Jedi"

It's become clear in the last few years that a lot of folks never really got what Luke, Leia, Lando and Chewie were doing during the first portion of "Return of the Jedi" -- and now we have all these thinkpieces about how it was reckless and haphazard. But no, that shit was an impeccable heist. They had a plan, and they pulled it off flawlessly and in style. 

]]>
4. The Dark Wars

This story was told in the video game "Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords" -- a former Jedi who was exiled from the Order returns to known space only to find the Jedi gone from civilization and a pair of mysterious Sith lords wreaking havoc all over. It's a rare "Star Wars" noir story, and it's quite a doozy.

]]>
4. The Dark Wars

This story was told in the video game "Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords" -- a former Jedi who was exiled from the Order returns to known space only to find the Jedi gone from civilization and a pair of mysterious Sith lords wreaking havoc all over. It's a rare "Star Wars" noir story, and it's quite a doozy.

]]>
3. "Traitor"

In the '90s the "Star Wars" Expanded Universe got really moralistic and stuffy, and "Traitor" was a total refutation of that approach. It's the darkest "Star Wars" story ever written, but it serves a positive agenda in the end: one that asserts that maybe the Force isn't black and white and the Jedi don't need to stand around wondering about the moral implications of every little thing they do. It was a really great change for storytelling in the EU, and it's nice that it appears "The Last Jedi" might take a similar patch.

]]>
3. "Traitor"

In the '90s the "Star Wars" Expanded Universe got really moralistic and stuffy, and "Traitor" was a total refutation of that approach. It's the darkest "Star Wars" story ever written, but it serves a positive agenda in the end: one that asserts that maybe the Force isn't black and white and the Jedi don't need to stand around wondering about the moral implications of every little thing they do. It was a really great change for storytelling in the EU, and it's nice that it appears "The Last Jedi" might take a similar patch.

]]>
2. "Star Wars"

The one that started it all is a silly, not-particularly-well-thought-out movie, but it's tight as hell and covers all the ground it needs to. It establishes a completely new universe so casually, making it feel from the very beginning that this is a real, lived-in place. Everything you need to know about what's going on is right there.

]]>
2. "Star Wars"

The one that started it all is a silly, not-particularly-well-thought-out movie, but it's tight as hell and covers all the ground it needs to. It establishes a completely new universe so casually, making it feel from the very beginning that this is a real, lived-in place. Everything you need to know about what's going on is right there.

]]>
1. "The Empire Strikes Back"

The lesson J.J. Abrams and friends should have learned from "The Empire Strikes Back" widely considered the best "Star Wars" movie, is that you don't make a"Star Wars" movie that stands the test of time by aping previous ones -- you have to go somewhere new. "Empire" functions as a total counter to the first movie, and that's why it's a perfect sequel.

]]>
1. "The Empire Strikes Back"

The lesson J.J. Abrams and friends should have learned from "The Empire Strikes Back" widely considered the best "Star Wars" movie, is that you don't make a"Star Wars" movie that stands the test of time by aping previous ones -- you have to go somewhere new. "Empire" functions as a total counter to the first movie, and that's why it's a perfect sequel.

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Minnie Driver Takes Down Matt Damon (Again) Over Mansplaining Sexual Abuse https://www.thewrap.com/minnie-driver-takes-down-matt-damon-over-mansplaining-sexual-abuse/ https://www.thewrap.com/minnie-driver-takes-down-matt-damon-over-mansplaining-sexual-abuse/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 19:01:02 +0000 Rosemary Rossi https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1761092 Minnie Driver stepped up her condemnation of men trying to mansplain sexual misconduct by judging them on a sliding scale of abhorrence, telling The Guardian, “If good men like Matt Damon are thinking like that then we’re in a lot of f—ing trouble.”

Driver was referring to an ABC News interview with Damon on Friday in which he seemed to downplay Louis C.K. “pleasuring himself” in front of women by saying, “I don’t imagine he’s going to do those things again. You know what I mean? I imagine the price that he’s paid at this point is so beyond anything.”

Driver, who dated Damon and starred with him in “Good Will Hunting” in 1997, initially responded on Twitter the same day, writing, “…you don’t get to tell women that because some guy only showed them their penis their pain isnt as great as a woman who was raped.”

On Saturday, she expanded her anger, telling the Guardian, “I’ve realized that most men, good men, the men that I love, there is a cut-off. They simply cannot understand what abuse is like on a daily level. I honestly think that until we get on the same page, you can’t tell a woman about their abuse. A man cannot do that. No one can. It is so individual and so personal, it’s galling when a powerful man steps up and starts dictating the terms, whether he intends it or not.”

Damon’s comments in defense of Louis C.K. hit a particular nerve with Driver. “I don’t understand why Matt would defend Louis CK,” she said. “It seems to me that he thinks that because he didn’t rape somebody — so far as we know — that what he did do wasn’t as bad.”

“That’s a problem,” she continued. “If good men like Matt Damon are thinking like that then we’re in a lot of f—ing trouble. We need good intelligent men to say this is all bad across the board, condemn it all and start again.”

Driver’s beef is that men shouldn’t be given the power to explain or decode the kind of abuse to which women are subjected.

“How about: it’s all f—ing wrong and it’s all bad, and until you start seeing it under one umbrella it’s not your job to compartmentalize or judge what is worse and what is not,” she said. “Let women do the speaking up right now. The time right now is for men just to listen and not have an opinion about it for once.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Did Minnie Driver Drag Matt Damon Over Sexual Misconduct Comments?

Matt Damon's Take on Sexual Misconduct Gets Twitter Riled Up: 'Extremely Disappointed'

Louis CK Accuser Says Comedian's Sexual Misconduct Was 'Common Knowledge' (Video)

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https://www.thewrap.com/minnie-driver-takes-down-matt-damon-over-mansplaining-sexual-abuse/feed/ 0
Netflix in January: What’s Coming and What to Watch Before It’s Gone (Photos) https://www.thewrap.com/netflix-in-january-whats-coming-and-what-to-watch/ https://www.thewrap.com/netflix-in-january-whats-coming-and-what-to-watch/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 17:42:00 +0000 Ashley Boucher https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1757538 Here are our highlights for January on Netflix, from original programming to freshly added film titles. Plus, what to re-watch before it leaves Netflix.

Available January 1: “Wedding Crashers”

This movie is the reason “crashing a wedding” is on everyone’s Tindr bucket list and why they crashed a wedding on The Bachelor that one time. It’s hilarious, and perfect for watching with your pals during your post-New Year’s Eve hangover.

Available January 1: “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”

Did the Oompa Loompas freak out anyone else as a child? Just me? Ok. Well, Netflix has your Golden Ticket to the magical (and creepy) candy-filled world of Willy Wonka on the first of the year.

Available January 16: “Dallas Buyers Club”

Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto both won Oscars for their performance in this 2014 film about AIDS and an unlikely friendship.

Available January 19: “Grace and Frankie” Season 4

Lisa Kudrow joins the cast as third wheel Sheree for the fourth season of the Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin comedy. How will the titular friendship weather challenges brought on by the new addition?

Available January 26: “One Day at a Time” Season 2

This rollicking reboot of the Norman Lear sit-com that originally aired from 1975-1984 is getting its second season on Netflix. The first season was met with critical praise for its take on Cuban-American identity and other hot topics.

Leaving January 1: “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial”

Your favorite little alien is phoning home for real this time. Cry to the cutest relationship between a, well, an extra-terrestrial and a kid one more time before Spielberg’s classic leaves the platform on the first of the month.

Leaving January 1: “Forrest Gump”

One of Tom Hanks’ most recognizable roles ever, but Netflix shouted “Run Forrest, run!” and he took it a little too seriously, running right out of our streaming sights.

Leaving January 1: “Mean Girls”

Netflix finally broke down and decided to stop trying to make “fetch” happen. You can add the streaming service to your Burn Book for the move.

Leaving January 1: “Grease”

Sandy and Danny rode off into the sunset in their flying car, and are continuing to fly right off the Netflix screen. We’re writing a song called “Netflix Drop-Out.”

Leaving January 4: “Lost” Season 1-6

Why, oh why, are the television gods taking “Lost” away from us? The show that paved the way for all your fan theory rabbit holes is leaving January 4, so binge as much as you can in the next few weeks.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Here's Everything Coming to and Leaving Netflix in January

Netflix Exec Out After Telling Danny Masterson Accuser 'We Don't Believe' Misconduct Claims

'She-Ra' Reboot, 'Boss Baby' Score Netflix Series Through DreamWorks Animation

'The Punisher' Renewed for Season 2 at Netflix

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https://www.thewrap.com/netflix-in-january-whats-coming-and-what-to-watch/feed/ 0 Here are our highlights for January on Netflix, from original programming to freshly added film titles. Plus, what to re-watch before it leaves Netflix. 

Available January 1: "Wedding Crashers"

This movie is the reason "crashing a wedding" is on everyone's Tindr bucket list and why some wedding crashing was featured on "The Bachelor" that one time. It's hilarious, and perfect for watching with your pals during your post-New Year's Eve hangover. 

]]>
Here are our highlights for January on Netflix, from original programming to freshly added film titles. Plus, what to re-watch before it leaves Netflix. 

Available January 1: "Wedding Crashers"

This movie is the reason "crashing a wedding" is on everyone's Tindr bucket list and why some wedding crashing was featured on "The Bachelor" that one time. It's hilarious, and perfect for watching with your pals during your post-New Year's Eve hangover. 

]]>
Available January 1: "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"

Did the Oompa Loompas freak you out as a child? Well, Netflix has your Golden Ticket to the magical (and creepy) candy-filled world of Willy Wonka on the first of the year. 

]]>
Available January 1: "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"

Did the Oompa Loompas freak you out as a child? Well, Netflix has your Golden Ticket to the magical (and creepy) candy-filled world of Willy Wonka on the first of the year. 

]]>
Available January 19: "Grace and Frankie" Season 4

Lisa Kudrow joins the cast as third wheel Sheree for the fourth season of the Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin comedy. How will their titular friendship weather challenges brought on by this new addition?

]]>
Available January 19: "Grace and Frankie" Season 4

Lisa Kudrow joins the cast as third wheel Sheree for the fourth season of the Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin comedy. How will their titular friendship weather challenges brought on by this new addition?

]]>
Available January 26: "One Day at a Time" Season 2

This rollicking reboot of the Norman Lear sitcom that originally aired from 1975-1984 is getting its second season on Netflix. The first season was met with critical praise for its take on Cuban-American identity and other hot topics.

]]>
Available January 26: "One Day at a Time" Season 2

This rollicking reboot of the Norman Lear sitcom that originally aired from 1975-1984 is getting its second season on Netflix. The first season was met with critical praise for its take on Cuban-American identity and other hot topics.

]]>
Available January 16: "Dallas Buyers Club"

Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto both won Oscars for their performance in this 2014 film about HIV-AIDS healthcare struggles and an unlikely friendship. 

]]>
Available January 16: "Dallas Buyers Club"

Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto both won Oscars for their performance in this 2014 film about HIV-AIDS healthcare struggles and an unlikely friendship. 

]]>
Leaving January 1: "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial"

Your favorite little alien is phoning home for real this time. Cry to the cutest relationship between an extra-terrestrial and a kid one more time before Spielberg's classic leaves the platform on the first of the month.

]]>
Leaving January 1: "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial"

Your favorite little alien is phoning home for real this time. Cry to the cutest relationship between an extra-terrestrial and a kid one more time before Spielberg's classic leaves the platform on the first of the month.

]]>
Leaving January 1: "Forrest Gump"

Despite the fact this film flaunts one of Tom Hanks' most recognizable roles ever, Netflix is shouting, "run Forrest, run!"

]]>
Leaving January 1: "Forrest Gump"

Despite the fact this film flaunts one of Tom Hanks' most recognizable roles ever, Netflix is shouting, "run Forrest, run!"

]]>
Leaving January 1: "Mean Girls"

Netflix finally broke down and decided to stop trying to make "fetch" happen. You can add the streaming service to your Burn Book at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve for this move.

]]>
Leaving January 1: "Mean Girls"

Netflix finally broke down and decided to stop trying to make "fetch" happen. You can add the streaming service to your Burn Book at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve for this move.

]]>
Leaving January 1: "Grease"

Sandy and Danny rode off into the sunset in their flying car, and are continuing to fly right off the Netflix screen. We're writing a song called "Netflix Drop-Out."

]]>
Leaving January 1: "Grease"

Sandy and Danny rode off into the sunset in their flying car, and are continuing to fly right off the Netflix screen. We're writing a song called "Netflix Drop-Out."

]]>
Leaving January 4: "Lost" Season 1-6

Why, oh why, are the television gods taking "Lost" away from us? The show that paved the way for fan-theory rabbit holes is leaving Jan. 4, so binge as much as you can in the next few weeks.

Here's the complete list of what's coming to and leaving Netflix in January.

]]>
Leaving January 4: "Lost" Season 1-6

Why, oh why, are the television gods taking "Lost" away from us? The show that paved the way for fan-theory rabbit holes is leaving Jan. 4, so binge as much as you can in the next few weeks.

Here's the complete list of what's coming to and leaving Netflix in January.

]]>
‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Posts Second-Largest Opening Ever With $220 Million https://www.thewrap.com/star-wars-last-jedi-second-largest-opening-ever-220-million/ https://www.thewrap.com/star-wars-last-jedi-second-largest-opening-ever-220-million/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 16:39:26 +0000 Jeremy Fuster https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1761072 As expected, “Star Wars” fever has taken the box office by storm as Lucasfilm’s latest installment, “The Last Jedi,” has posted an opening weekend of $220 million from 4,232 screens. That’s the second highest domestic opening of all-time behind the film’s 2015 predecessor, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and a 41 percent jump over the $155 million opening posted by last year’s “Star Wars” movie, “Rogue One.”

The film opened with $104.8 million on Friday (including $45 million from Thursday previews), making it only the second film to earn $100 million on opening day. This was followed by $63.7 million on Saturday and a projected $52 million on Sunday.

This total also pushes Disney past the $2 billion mark domestically for the third consecutive year and into the top spot among all studios for domestic revenue. In total, “The Last Jedi” has posted a global opening of $450 million excluding China – the second-highest opening sans The Red Dragon – and good for the fifth-highest global opening in box office history with $40.6 million coming from IMAX. The film opens in China on Jan. 5.

Hardcore “Star Wars” fans have been debating the film’s merits since screenings started on Thursday evening, but as a whole, critics and audiences have given the film a big thumbs up with an A on CinemaScore and a 93 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Star Wars”‘ big weekend comes after Lucasfilm’s parent company, Disney, turned Hollywood on its head by buying the original owner of “Star Wars,” 20th Century Fox, for $52.4 billion. As fate would have it, Fox has also released a movie this weekend, the Blue Sky animated film “Ferdinand.” Helmed by “Ice Age” director Carlos Saldanha, the film has grossed $13.3 million at 3,621 locations against projections of a $15 million opening. The film received an A on CinemaScore and a 74 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

In third place is Pixar’s “Coco,” which passed the $150 million domestic mark in its fourth weekend with $10 million from 3,155 locations. While “Star Wars” has yet to release in China, “Coco” is performing extremely well in that market, even outperforming its U.S. total with just under $154 million. It is expected to pass “Despicable Me 3” to become the second-highest grossing animated film in China, with “Zootopia” holding the record at $235 million. Globally, “Coco” sits at $448.2 million.

Next weekend, a flurry of new releases will try to fight against “Star Wars” and each other for the time and money of Christmas weekend moviegoers, starting with Sony’s comedy “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and Fox’s musical “The Greatest Showman” on Wednesday, Dec. 20. That will be followed by Universal’s “Pitch Perfect 3” on Friday, along with a bevy of prestige releases including Fox and Steven Spielberg’s “The Post,” Paramount’s “Downsizing” and Entertainment Studios’ “Hostiles.” Christmas Day releases include Sony and Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World,” STX and Aaron Sorkin’s “Molly’s Game” and Focus Features’ “Phantom Thread.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Star Wars: Battlefront II' Explains Some First Order Backstory Ahead of 'The Last Jedi'

Is Famed 'Star Wars' Line – 'I Have a Bad Feeling About This' – in 'The Last Jedi'? Fans Are Worried

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Rockets to 2nd Highest Thursday Preview of All Time With $45 Million

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‘SNL': Leslie Jones Makes Kevin Hart Tongue Kiss a Stuffed Bear at a Christmas Party (Video) https://www.thewrap.com/snl-leslie-jones-makes-kevin-hart-tongue-kiss-stuffed-bear-christmas-party-video/ https://www.thewrap.com/snl-leslie-jones-makes-kevin-hart-tongue-kiss-stuffed-bear-christmas-party-video/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 11:48:01 +0000 Phil Owen https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1761056

A middle class holiday party seemed to be going relatively normally for a while, until Kevin Hart’s Gene didn’t respond quickly enough to a request from his wife Crystal (Leslie Jones) for a kiss under the mistletoe.

It had seemed exactly like your run-of-the-mill gathering of friends up until that point, with a few warning signs. Specifically, the restrictions Crystal placed on Gene as soon as they walked in the door, not allowing him to drink alcohol and making him drink Dr. Pepper through a wacky child’s straw. But, hey, that’s the middle class life, right?

It seemed so until the incident under the mistletoe. Crystal demanded Gene, who was sitting on the couch, come over and kiss her as she stood under the mistletoe, but he was too slow getting up. She decided to punish him, by demanding he kiss the life-sized stuffed bear next to the Christmas tree instead. “A French kiss, and I wanna see a lot of tongue.” You can watch the full skit embedded above.

Gene, who Hart played with a comically desperate accent, reluctantly acquiesced, even as his friends (Aidy Bryant, Kenan Thompson, Beck Bennett and Cecily Strong) assured him that it would be totally okay if he didn’t do that in the middle of the party. But Gene soldiered on even so.

The situation escalated rather dramatically from there, with Gene undressing the giant teddy bear in preparation for, well — you can probably guess where this is going. Fortunately, the situation did not reach its natural conclusion, as Crystal decided that she and Gene and the teddy bear were going to go home together. And unfortunate situation still for those remaining at the party since the bear was actually supposed to be a gift. But that’s Christmas for you.

Kevin Hart, in his hosting duties, was all over “SNL” this week, with notable turns as Shaq on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” and as an office worker who would rather pee his pants during a meeting than admit he needed to leave the meeting to use the bathroom.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'SNL': Host Kevin Hart, Who Is Very Short, Delivers Dead-On Impersonation of Shaq (Video)

'SNL': Host Kevin Hart Pees His Pants During a Meeting (Video)

Every 'SNL' Alec Baldwin Donald Trump Sketch Ranked, From Least to Most Retweetable (Photos)

Baldwin's Trump Returns to 'SNL' to Celebrate the Year's Christmas Losers (Video)

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‘SNL': Host Kevin Hart, Who Is Very Short, Delivers Dead-On Impersonation of Shaq (Video) https://www.thewrap.com/snl-host-kevin-hart-short-delivers-dead-impersonation-shaq-video/ https://www.thewrap.com/snl-host-kevin-hart-short-delivers-dead-impersonation-shaq-video/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 10:52:34 +0000 Phil Owen https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1761051

Kevin Hart is shot, yes. This is a common joke he makes about himself, being a dude who stands at about 5’4”. That is below average. And it’s about 21 inches short of the Hall of Fame basketball player Shaquille O’Neal — who Hart played during an “SNL” sketch parodying TNT’s “Inside the NBA” postgame show.

Hart nailed Shaq’s notoriously rambling style and penchant for going off on tangents at every opportunity, not to mention his faux-feud with co-host Charles Barkley, here played by “SNL” cast member Kenan Thompson. The bit also included Alex Moffat as Ernie Johnson and Chris Redd as Kenny “The Jet” Smith.

“Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, very merry, and if you’re Jewish, happy harmonica,” Hart’s Shaq said as he was introduced, saying “harmonica” instead of “Hannukah.”

The sketch, like many real episodes of “Inside the NBA,” took a political bent very quickly, with Thompson’s Barkley discussing his support of Alabama Senator-elect Doug Jones who won this week’s special election against Republican Roy Moore. Hart’s Shq could help chiming in with a bizarre non-sequitur after Barkley made a jab at Moore riding his horse to his voting place on Tuesday.

“Shaq can’t ride no horse, feet don’t touch the ground,” Hart’s Shaq said. “But, you can’t beat a dead horse, because dead horses tell no tales. Because they’re horses, who lost their tails.”

At the end of the sketch, Shaq had enough of Barkley questioning his weird tangents, and challenged him to a game of one-on-one. At this point Hart stepped out from being the desk and revealed he was wearing extremely long pants over a pair of stilts to elevate the 5’4” Hart to a Shaq-like height. Unfortunately, the sketch ended before we got to see Hart try to play basketball with the stilts on. It was a huge bummer, but oh well.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'SNL': Host Kevin Hart Pees His Pants During a Meeting (Video)

Every 'SNL' Alec Baldwin Donald Trump Sketch Ranked, From Least to Most Retweetable (Photos)

Baldwin's Trump Returns to 'SNL' to Celebrate the Year's Christmas Losers (Video)

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‘SNL': Host Kevin Hart Pees His Pants During a Meeting (Video) https://www.thewrap.com/snl-host-kevin-hart-pees-pants-meeting-video/ https://www.thewrap.com/snl-host-kevin-hart-pees-pants-meeting-video/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 09:28:37 +0000 Phil Owen https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1761046

This week on “SNL.” we got to see host Kevin Hart struggle to control his bladder during a work meeting — because he was too proud to admit that the reason he needed to bail was because he needed to use the bathroom.

The gag in this sketch involved Hart pretending to take a phone call during a meeting in which he was alerted to an important family emergency — but it was all a pretense so he could just go to the bathroom because the meeting was taking place right after lunch. His co-workers were wise to the ruse, though, and after he took his fake phone call they let Hart know that it was okay if he needed to go to the bathroom instead of pretending something important was going on.

Unfortunately, Hart’s co-workers telling him they were in on the ruse just hardened his commitment to it — so despite his need to use the bathroom Hart stayed in the meeting, sweating profusely because he really, really needed to go to the bathroom.

The situation resolved itself when his co-workers, noting his obvious physical discomfort, pretended to receive phone calls from his grandmother a if she needed his help, encouraging him to just go to the bathroom, and maybe also go visit a J Crew store to get new underwear after he probably soiled his pants since he refused to go while everyone admitted their knowledge of the situation.

It was a true Christmas miracle. You can view the full sketch embedded above.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Every 'SNL' Alec Baldwin Donald Trump Sketch Ranked, From Least to Most Retweetable (Photos)

Baldwin's Trump Returns to 'SNL' to Celebrate the Year's Christmas Losers (Video)

'SNL' Host James Franco Loses It as Gift Wrapper Whose Papercut Turns Into Bloody Mess (Video)

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Every ‘SNL’ Alec Baldwin Donald Trump Sketch Ranked, From Least to Most Retweetable (Photos) https://www.thewrap.com/every-snl-alec-baldwin-donald-trump-cold-open-ranked-photos/ https://www.thewrap.com/every-snl-alec-baldwin-donald-trump-cold-open-ranked-photos/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 06:34:32 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1455400 We’re in for at least four years of Donald Trump as President of the United States. That means one particularly great thing: We’re in for a lot more Alec Baldwin impersonations of Trump on “SNL.”

From the often ridiculous phrases to the weird outbursts, “SNL” has captured all of it. In fact, the sketches often seem to struggle to surpass reality in terms of absurdity. But they get there.

Here’s a list of every Baldwin-as-Trump “SNL” sketch, ranked from least to most hilarious.

23. Trump’s Classroom Cold Open (Dec. 3): Trump retweets ridiculous people, like a 16-year-old and a white supremacist. This one’s sadder than it is funny, though, because most of it doesn’t even require jokes. You can watch that sketch here.

22. Donald Trump Prepares Cold Open (Nov. 19): Fresh off winning the election, Trump’s completely unprepared. We already know that Mike Pence will do everything, but good effort, “SNL.” You can watch that sketch here.

21. Trump’s Christmas Cold Open (Dec. 17): Vladimir Putin drops by Trump Tower for Christmas. This one definitely brings to mind the phrase, “No puppet, no puppet.” You can watch that sketch here.

20. The O’Reilly Factor with Donald Trump (April 8): Alec Baldwin played both a scandalized Bill O’Reilly and Trump, who appeared on O’Reilly’s show to defend him. A clueless Trump is a nice addition to this one but he’s ultimately just an addition to another gag. You can watch the sketch here.

19. Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton — Debate Three Cold Open (Oct. 22): Trump is winning “every single poll taken outside a Cracker Barrel,” but it’s Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton who steals this one — kind of like in real life. You can watch that sketch here.

18. Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton — Debate 1 Cold Open (Oct. 1): The first debate really found Baldwin hitting the Trump stride. It’s mostly just him shouting “Gina” in a very insistent tone. “Yuge Gina” gets a lot of mileage though. You can watch that sketch here.

17. Trump Takes the Appeals Court to ‘The People’s Court’ (Feb. 11)

“SNL” made good on Trump’s all-caps “SEE YOU IN COURT” tweet by taking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to “The People’s Court.” But Judge Milian hassling Trump about his travel ban was a bit too short to really take off. Watch the sketch here.

16. Sean Spicer Confronts Trump (May 13)

After a tough White House Press Briefing, Melissa McCarthy’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer rode his motorized podium to New York to confront Trump on lies. The pair wound up making out. Watch the sketch here.

15. Donald Trump Phoenix Rally Cold Open (Aug. 24)

Trump gives a goodbye to Steve Bannon and pledges to build the Wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and make the American tax payer pay for it. Watch the sketch here.

14. Trump’s People (April 8)

Trump checks in with rural white Americans after ordering an airstrike on Syria. Desperate to keep everyone happy, he promises everyone will have coal jobs for the rest of their lives and that he’ll slash minimum wage. The final joke about “finger chili” is a standout moment. Watch the sketch right here.

13. VP Debate Cold Open (Oct. 8)

Trump nabs the spotlight from the vice presidential debate and realizes he needs to be a lot more careful about talking about sexually assaulting people while wearing hot mics. Describing himself as a gross groping hurricane is hilariously cringe-worthy. You can watch that sketch here.

12. Trump might have ties to Zorblat-9 as aliens invade (March 11)

Trump spoke to American troops to rally them in a battle against super-powerful space aliens. Unfortunately, Trump’s old standbys like “we don’t win anymore” and “we’re going to bring coal back” were not all that helpful. Most of the rhetoric is stuff we’ve heard before, but Leslie Jones’ and Sasheer Zamata’s moments near the end elevate the sketch. Watch the sketch here.

11. White House Tree Trimming Cold Open

Joined by his family, Mike Pence, Jeff Sessions, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway, Trump decks his Christmas tree by remembering the losers in his first year as president. Watch the video here.

10. Trump call with Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz (Sept. 30)

Trump fields a call with Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and reminds her that if the U.S. territory should have invested in FEMA Prime if it wanted fast hurricane relief. Watch the sketch here.

9. Trump Administration sings “Hallelujah” (May 20)

The final cold open of the season references Kate McKinnon’s cold open as Hillary Clinton, making a perfect joke about Donald Trump’s week of news scandals. Scarlett Johansson even returned for a quick guest appearance to reprise her role as Ivanka Trump.

8. Hillary Clinton/Donald Trump Cold Open (Nov. 5)

CNN doesn’t care as Trump literally kisses the FBI, Putin and the KKK. Alec and Kate heartwarming run through Times Square is the real sweet spot of the sketch. You can watch that sketch here.

7. Donald Trump gives Bannon and Kushner the ‘Apprentice’ Treatment (April 15)

After a week of reports about infighting between Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, “SNL” pits the two advisers against each other in to see who will be eliminated. Spoiler alert: It’s Bannon. Watch the sketch here.

6. Donald Trump Trucker Rally Did Cold Open (Oct. 14)

Baldwin’s Trump continues to make Vice President Mike Pence (Beck Bennett) walk out of things in protest, including a basketball game, a Starbucks and a gay wedding. Watch the sketch here.

5. Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton Town Hall Debate Cold Open (Oct. 15)

Of all the debates, the second was the funniest. Trump lurking in the background and slipping past Hillary like he’s the shark in a “Jaws” movie completely captures the awkwardness of the real event. You can watch that sketch here.

4. Paul Manafort’s House Cold Open (Nov. 4)

After Robert Mueller indicts Paul Manafort, Trump offers a pardon plan: Pretend he’s a Thanksgiving turkey. Watch the video here.

3. Donald Trump Press Conference Cold Open (Dec. 14): It might be the lowest-brow of the sketches, but Trump accidentally talking about urine throughout his press conference is bested only by the line, “I’m not talking about the pee-pee, because it didn’t happen and it wasn’t as cool as it sounds.” You can watch that sketch here.

2. Donald Trump and Steve Bannon call world leaders (Feb. 4)
“SNL” channels two weeks of executive actions and other Trump news items to turn out a ton of jokes that channel absurdity while still finding new ways to be funny. Watch the sketch here.

1. Donald Trump interview with Lester Holt (May 13)
After firing former FBI Director James Comey, Trump realized he could say just about anything with no consequences. He tried it out in an interview with Lester Holt. Watch the sketch here.

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https://www.thewrap.com/every-snl-alec-baldwin-donald-trump-cold-open-ranked-photos/feed/ 0 We’re in for at least (probably) four years of Donald Trump as President of the United States. That means lots of bad things and one particularly great thing: We’re in for a lot more Alec Baldwin impersonations of Trump on “Saturday Night Live.” From the often ridiculous phrases to the weird outbursts, “SNL” has captured all of it. In fact, the sketches often seem to struggle to surpass reality in terms of absurdity. But they get there. Here’s a list of every Baldwin-as-Trump “SNL” sketch, ranked from least to most hilarious, with links to the sketches.

]]>
We’re in for at least (probably) four years of Donald Trump as President of the United States. That means lots of bad things and one particularly great thing: We’re in for a lot more Alec Baldwin impersonations of Trump on “Saturday Night Live.” From the often ridiculous phrases to the weird outbursts, “SNL” has captured all of it. In fact, the sketches often seem to struggle to surpass reality in terms of absurdity. But they get there. Here’s a list of every Baldwin-as-Trump “SNL” sketch, ranked from least to most hilarious, with links to the sketches.

]]>
24. Trump’s Classroom Cold Open (Dec. 3, 2016)

Trump retweets ridiculous people, like a 16-year-old and a white supremacist. This one’s sadder than it is funny, though, because most of it doesn’t even require jokes. You can watch that sketch here.

]]>
24. Trump’s Classroom Cold Open (Dec. 3, 2016)

Trump retweets ridiculous people, like a 16-year-old and a white supremacist. This one’s sadder than it is funny, though, because most of it doesn’t even require jokes. You can watch that sketch here.

]]>
23. Donald Trump Prepares Cold Open (Nov. 19, 2016)

Fresh off winning the election, Trump’s completely unprepared. We already know that Mike Pence will do everything, but good effort, “SNL.” You can watch that sketch here.

]]>
23. Donald Trump Prepares Cold Open (Nov. 19, 2016)

Fresh off winning the election, Trump’s completely unprepared. We already know that Mike Pence will do everything, but good effort, “SNL.” You can watch that sketch here.

]]>
22. Trump’s Christmas Cold Open (Dec. 17, 2016)

Vladimir Putin and Rex Tillerson drop by Trump Tower for Christmas. This one definitely brings to mind the phrase, “No puppet, no puppet.” It's also, perhaps, the most outright terrifying of all of these. You can watch that sketch here.

]]>
22. Trump’s Christmas Cold Open (Dec. 17, 2016)

Vladimir Putin and Rex Tillerson drop by Trump Tower for Christmas. This one definitely brings to mind the phrase, “No puppet, no puppet.” It's also, perhaps, the most outright terrifying of all of these. You can watch that sketch here.

]]>
21. The O'Reilly Factor with Donald Trump (April 8) 

Alec Baldwin played both a scandalized Bill O'Reilly and Trump, who appeared on O'Reilly's show to defend him. A clueless Trump is a nice addition to this one but he's ultimately just an addition to another gag. You can watch the sketch here.

]]>
21. The O'Reilly Factor with Donald Trump (April 8) 

Alec Baldwin played both a scandalized Bill O'Reilly and Trump, who appeared on O'Reilly's show to defend him. A clueless Trump is a nice addition to this one but he's ultimately just an addition to another gag. You can watch the sketch here.

]]>
20. Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton — Debate Three Cold Open (Oct. 22, 2016)

Trump is winning “every single poll taken outside a Cracker Barrel,” but it’s Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton who steals this one — kind of like in real life. You can watch that sketch here.

]]>
20. Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton — Debate Three Cold Open (Oct. 22, 2016)

Trump is winning “every single poll taken outside a Cracker Barrel,” but it’s Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton who steals this one — kind of like in real life. You can watch that sketch here.

]]>
19. Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton — Debate 1 Cold Open (Oct. 1, 2016)

The first debate really found Baldwin hitting the Trump stride. It’s mostly just him shouting “Gina” in a very insistent tone (his weird pronunciation of "China"). “Yuge Gina” gets a lot of mileage though. You can watch that sketch here.

]]>
19. Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton — Debate 1 Cold Open (Oct. 1, 2016)

The first debate really found Baldwin hitting the Trump stride. It’s mostly just him shouting “Gina” in a very insistent tone (his weird pronunciation of "China"). “Yuge Gina” gets a lot of mileage though. You can watch that sketch here.

]]>
18. Trump Takes the Appeals Court to 'The People's Court' (Feb. 11)

"SNL" made good on Trump's all-caps "SEE YOU IN COURT" tweet by taking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to "The People's Court." But Judge Milian hassling Trump about his travel ban was a bit too short to really take off. Watch the sketch here.

]]>
18. Trump Takes the Appeals Court to 'The People's Court' (Feb. 11)

"SNL" made good on Trump's all-caps "SEE YOU IN COURT" tweet by taking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to "The People's Court." But Judge Milian hassling Trump about his travel ban was a bit too short to really take off. Watch the sketch here.

]]>
17. White House Christmas Cold Open (Dec. 2)

Donald Trump is visited by "the ghost of witness flipped," Gen. Michael Flynn, but it's Kate McKinnon's Hillary Clinton who steals the sketch. Watch the video here

 

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17. White House Christmas Cold Open (Dec. 2)

Donald Trump is visited by "the ghost of witness flipped," Gen. Michael Flynn, but it's Kate McKinnon's Hillary Clinton who steals the sketch. Watch the video here

 

]]>
16. Sean Spicer Confronts Trump (May 13)

After a tough White House Press Briefing, Melissa McCarthy's Press Secretary Sean Spicer rode his motorized podium to New York to confront Trump on lies. The pair wound up making out. Watch the sketch here.

]]>
16. Sean Spicer Confronts Trump (May 13)

After a tough White House Press Briefing, Melissa McCarthy's Press Secretary Sean Spicer rode his motorized podium to New York to confront Trump on lies. The pair wound up making out. Watch the sketch here.

]]>
15. Donald Trump Phoenix Rally Cold Open (Aug. 24, 2016)

Trump gives a goodbye to Steve Bannon and pledges to build the Wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and make the American tax payer pay for it. Watch the sketch here.

]]>
15. Donald Trump Phoenix Rally Cold Open (Aug. 24, 2016)

Trump gives a goodbye to Steve Bannon and pledges to build the Wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and make the American tax payer pay for it. Watch the sketch here.

]]>
14. Trump's People (April 8)

Trump checks in with rural white Americans after ordering an airstrike on Syria. Desperate to keep everyone happy, he promises everyone will have coal jobs for the rest of their lives and that he'll slash minimum wage. The final joke about "finger chili" is a standout moment. Watch the sketch right here.

]]>
14. Trump's People (April 8)

Trump checks in with rural white Americans after ordering an airstrike on Syria. Desperate to keep everyone happy, he promises everyone will have coal jobs for the rest of their lives and that he'll slash minimum wage. The final joke about "finger chili" is a standout moment. Watch the sketch right here.

]]>
13. VP Debate Cold Open (Oct. 8, 2o16)

Trump nabs the spotlight from the vice presidential debate and realizes he needs to be a lot more careful about talking about sexually assaulting people while wearing hot mics. Describing himself as a gross groping hurricane is hilariously cringe-worthy. You can watch that sketch here.

]]>
13. VP Debate Cold Open (Oct. 8, 2o16)

Trump nabs the spotlight from the vice presidential debate and realizes he needs to be a lot more careful about talking about sexually assaulting people while wearing hot mics. Describing himself as a gross groping hurricane is hilariously cringe-worthy. You can watch that sketch here.

]]>
12. Trump might have ties to Zorblat-9 as aliens invade (March 11)

Trump spoke to American troops to rally them in a battle against super-powerful space aliens. Unfortunately, Trump's old standbys like "we don't win anymore" and "we're going to bring coal back" were not all that helpful. Most of the rhetoric is stuff we've heard before, but Leslie Jones' and Sasheer Zamata's moments near the end elevate the sketch. Watch the sketch here.

]]>
12. Trump might have ties to Zorblat-9 as aliens invade (March 11)

Trump spoke to American troops to rally them in a battle against super-powerful space aliens. Unfortunately, Trump's old standbys like "we don't win anymore" and "we're going to bring coal back" were not all that helpful. Most of the rhetoric is stuff we've heard before, but Leslie Jones' and Sasheer Zamata's moments near the end elevate the sketch. Watch the sketch here.

]]>
11. White House Tree Trimming Cold Open

Joined by his family, Mike Pence, Jeff Sessions, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway, Trump decks his Christmas tree by remembering the losers in his first year as president. Watch the video here.

]]>
11. White House Tree Trimming Cold Open

Joined by his family, Mike Pence, Jeff Sessions, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway, Trump decks his Christmas tree by remembering the losers in his first year as president. Watch the video here.

]]>
10. Trump call with Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz (Sept. 30, 2016)

Trump fields a call with Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and reminds her that if the U.S. territory should have invested in FEMA Prime if it wanted fast hurricane relief. Watch the sketch here.

]]>
10. Trump call with Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz (Sept. 30, 2016)

Trump fields a call with Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and reminds her that if the U.S. territory should have invested in FEMA Prime if it wanted fast hurricane relief. Watch the sketch here.

]]>
9. Trump Administration sings "Hallelujah" (May 20)

The final cold open of the season references Kate McKinnon's cold open as Hillary Clinton, making a perfect joke about Donald Trump's week of news scandals. Scarlett Johansson even returned for a quick guest appearance to reprise her role as Ivanka Trump. Watch it here.

]]>
9. Trump Administration sings "Hallelujah" (May 20)

The final cold open of the season references Kate McKinnon's cold open as Hillary Clinton, making a perfect joke about Donald Trump's week of news scandals. Scarlett Johansson even returned for a quick guest appearance to reprise her role as Ivanka Trump. Watch it here.

]]>
8. Hillary Clinton/Donald Trump Cold Open (Nov. 5, 2016)

CNN doesn’t care that Trump literally kisses the FBI, Putin and the KKK, instead pestering Hillary about emails. Alec and Kate heartwarming run through Times Square is the real sweet spot of the sketch. You can watch that sketch here.

]]>
8. Hillary Clinton/Donald Trump Cold Open (Nov. 5, 2016)

CNN doesn’t care that Trump literally kisses the FBI, Putin and the KKK, instead pestering Hillary about emails. Alec and Kate heartwarming run through Times Square is the real sweet spot of the sketch. You can watch that sketch here.

]]>
7. Donald Trump gives Bannon and Kushner the 'Apprentice' Treatment (April 15)

After a week of reports about infighting between Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, "SNL" pits the two advisers against each other in to see who will be eliminated. Spoiler alert: It's Bannon. Watch the sketch here.

]]>
7. Donald Trump gives Bannon and Kushner the 'Apprentice' Treatment (April 15)

After a week of reports about infighting between Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, "SNL" pits the two advisers against each other in to see who will be eliminated. Spoiler alert: It's Bannon. Watch the sketch here.

]]>
6. Donald Trump Trucker Rally Did Cold Open (Oct. 14)

Baldwin's Trump continues to make Vice President Mike Pence (Beck Bennett) walk out of things in protest, including a basketball game, a Starbucks and a gay wedding. Watch the sketch here.

]]>
6. Donald Trump Trucker Rally Did Cold Open (Oct. 14)

Baldwin's Trump continues to make Vice President Mike Pence (Beck Bennett) walk out of things in protest, including a basketball game, a Starbucks and a gay wedding. Watch the sketch here.

]]>
5. Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton Town Hall Debate Cold Open (Oct. 15, 2016)

Of all the debates, the second was the funniest. Trump lurking in the background and slipping past Hillary like he’s the shark in a “Jaws” movie completely captures the awkwardness of the real event. You can watch that sketch here.

]]>
5. Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton Town Hall Debate Cold Open (Oct. 15, 2016)

Of all the debates, the second was the funniest. Trump lurking in the background and slipping past Hillary like he’s the shark in a “Jaws” movie completely captures the awkwardness of the real event. You can watch that sketch here.

]]>
4. Paul Manafort's House Cold Open (Nov. 4)

After Robert Mueller indicts Paul Manafort, Trump offers a pardon plan: Pretend he's a Thanksgiving turkey. Watch the video here.

]]>
4. Paul Manafort's House Cold Open (Nov. 4)

After Robert Mueller indicts Paul Manafort, Trump offers a pardon plan: Pretend he's a Thanksgiving turkey. Watch the video here.

]]>
3. Donald Trump Press Conference Cold Open (Jan. 14)

It might be the lowest-brow of the sketches, but Trump accidentally talking about urine throughout his press conference is bested only by the line, “I’m not talking about the pee-pee, because it didn’t happen and it wasn’t as cool as it sounds.” You can watch that sketch here.

]]>
3. Donald Trump Press Conference Cold Open (Jan. 14)

It might be the lowest-brow of the sketches, but Trump accidentally talking about urine throughout his press conference is bested only by the line, “I’m not talking about the pee-pee, because it didn’t happen and it wasn’t as cool as it sounds.” You can watch that sketch here.

]]>
2. Donald Trump and Steve Bannon call world leaders (Feb. 4)

"SNL" channels two weeks of executive actions and other Trump news items to turn out a ton of jokes that channel absurdity while still finding new ways to be funny. Watch the sketch here.

]]>
2. Donald Trump and Steve Bannon call world leaders (Feb. 4)

"SNL" channels two weeks of executive actions and other Trump news items to turn out a ton of jokes that channel absurdity while still finding new ways to be funny. Watch the sketch here.

]]>
1. Donald Trump interview with Lester Holt (May 13)

After firing former FBI Director James Comey, Trump realized he could say just about anything with no consequences. He tried it out in an interview with Lester Holt. Watch the sketch here.

]]>
1. Donald Trump interview with Lester Holt (May 13)

After firing former FBI Director James Comey, Trump realized he could say just about anything with no consequences. He tried it out in an interview with Lester Holt. Watch the sketch here.

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Baldwin’s Trump Returns to ‘SNL’ to Celebrate the Year’s Christmas Losers (Video) https://www.thewrap.com/baldwins-trump-returns-snl-celebrate-years-christmas-losers/ https://www.thewrap.com/baldwins-trump-returns-snl-celebrate-years-christmas-losers/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 05:01:09 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1761026

Alec Baldwin returned to “SNL” as Donald Trump, just in time to issue a special Christmas message from the White House.

With Cecily Strong’s Melania Trump at his side, Baldwin’s Trump wished the country a merry Christmas.

“That’s right, you can finally say that again, because the War on Christmas is over,” Trump said. “It’ll soon by replaced by the war with North Korea.”

Mirroring the real-life Trump, Baldwin’s version talked about the big gift he claims he’s giving America: The Republican tax plan.

“We’re giving Americans the biggest, fattest tax cut ever,” Trump explained. “It might even make me a real billionaire. Now I can settle down and be presidential — until Don Lemon says something about me on twitter and I tweet the actual N-word.”

He also discussed his excitement for White Santa to come on Christmas Eve, taking presents from Muslims and Mexicans to give to white children.

As the celebration wore on, Trump called his White House staffers and family to bring ornaments to place on his Christmas Tree of Shame, each with a face of people who have left the administration or the government during Trump’s first year in office.

Kate McKinnon reprised her role as Kellyanne Conway first, bringing an ornament featuring the face of former FBI Director James Comey.

“I had to pull a little obstrution-ay of ustice-jay,” Trump said of firing Comey. “Kellyanne, what do you want for Christmas?”

“I want out,” Conway said as she left.

Next up was Aidy Bryant playing Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who brought a pair of ornaments.

“For my ornaments, I brought Sean Spicer and Anthony Scaramucci, whose mangled corpses I stepped over to get this job,” Sanders said.

Next, Trump introduced Mike Pence, played by Beck Bennett — first accidentally calling him “my fall guy.” Baldwin’s Trump asked Pence whether he was decking the halls.

“I don’t like that song because it mentions gay apparel,” Pence replied, “which I assume is a mesh tank top.”

In a surprise appearance, Scarlet Johansson returned to the show to play Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump.

“Ivanka, you made it, but where’s Jared?” Trump asked.

“He’s packing a go bag before the FBI arrives,” Ivanka told him.

Also joining Trump were his sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, played by Mikey Day and Alex Moffat, and Kate McKinnon’s Jeff Sessions, who appeared in the background as an Elf on the Shelf.

“Wait, you’re not secretly recording our conversations, are you Jeff?” Trump asked.

“Don’t worry, I won’t snitch, because I cannot recall who’s been naughty and who’s been nice,” Sessions said.

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'SNL': Kids Put Santa on the Spot by Asking About Al Franken and Roy Moore (Video)

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Every 'SNL' Alec Baldwin Donald Trump Sketch Ranked, From Least to Most Retweetable (Photos)

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MSNBC Host Chris Matthews’ Employee Received Settlement After Harassment Accusation https://www.thewrap.com/msnbc-host-chris-matthews-settlement-to-employee-who-accused-him-of-sexual-harassment/ https://www.thewrap.com/msnbc-host-chris-matthews-settlement-to-employee-who-accused-him-of-sexual-harassment/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 04:17:52 +0000 Rosemary Rossi https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1761015 A female assistant producer for Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s nightly show “Hardball,” received a monetary payment after she accused him of “inappropriate comments and jokes about her in front of others,” an MSNBC spokesperson confirmed on Saturday.

In 1999, the unnamed female employee complained to network executives about the incident, according to the network spokesperson, prompting a review that led to a formal reprimand of Matthews for what was deemed at the time juvenile comments not intended as sexual propositions.

The accuser received a separation-related payment of “far less” than $40,000 when she left MSNBC and went on to numerous other positions in the media, the network spokesperson said, emphasizing that the network does not consider the monetary payment a “settlement.”

Matthews is the latest NBC News star caught up in accusations of inappropriate behavior in the last several months.

The network cut ties with “Game Change” author and frequent “Morning Joe” contributor Mark Halperin after numerous women accused him of sexual harassment and groping, senior vice president Matt Zimmerman after he failed to report a relationship he had with a subordinate, and most notably, longtime “Today Show” host Matt Lauer following complaints of inappropriate behavior.

Matthews worked with the U.S. Capitol Police when he first moved to Washington, D.C., and made an unsuccessful run the U.S. House of Representatives for Pennsylvania’s 4th congressional district in 1974.

 

He later became a speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter and was the chief of staff to Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill for six years.

In 1997, “Hardball With Chris Matthews” debuted on America’s Talking but is currently seen weeknight on MSNBC.

At the same time, he was also hosting a syndicated NBC News-produced political discussion show called “The Chris Matthews Show” on weekends from 2002 to 2013, at which time he announced he would focus his efforts on “Hardball,” writing nonfiction books about history and politics as well as producing documentaries.

 

Related stories from TheWrap:

Matt Lauer Fired by NBC News After Sexual Misconduct Complaint (Video)

MSNBC Suspends Analyst Mark Halperin After Multiple Sexual Harassment Claims

What Did NBC Know About Matt Lauer, and When?

Charlie Rose Accused of Sexual Misconduct by Eight Women

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All 9 ‘Star Wars’ Movies Ranked, From ‘New Hope’ to ‘The Last Jedi’ https://www.thewrap.com/all-9-star-wars-movies-ranked-worst-best-new-hope-rogue-one-last-jedi/ https://www.thewrap.com/all-9-star-wars-movies-ranked-worst-best-new-hope-rogue-one-last-jedi/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 01:53:38 +0000 Alonso Duralde https://www.thewrap.com/?p=763498 Disney promised a new “Star Wars” movie every year after it acquired Lucasfilm, and the saga keeps on keeping on with “Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.” But while many would call themselves “Star Wars” fans, even they will admit that the movies in the saga are by no means created equal.

In reverse order, here is a rundown of the best and worst that these films (not counting the cartoons, the Ewok spin-off or the infamous Holiday Special) have to offer.

Fox

9. “Episode I: The Phantom Menace”
We waited 16 years for George Lucas to return to this universe, and what did we get? Trade routes and political intrigue, blood tests for the Force, and perhaps worst of all, Jar Jar Binks. “Menace” isn’t terrible because it’s a kid’s movie; it’s terrible because it’s a terrible kids movie.

Highlight: The light-saber battle between Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and Darth Maul (Ray Park) – they’re the two most interesting characters the movie has to offer, so naturally both get killed off before the closing credits roll.

Worst Part: Any utterance of the word “Yippee!” whether by Jar Jar or by pre-pubescent Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd).

Fox

8. “Episode II: Attack of the Clones”
A slight improvement over its predecessor, in the same way that a stubbed toe hurts less than a migraine. This installment introduces a hockey-haired Hayden Christensen as a petulant Anakin, smitten with Senator Amidala (Natalie Portman), despite her noting, “To me, you’ll always be that little boy on Tatooine” upon their reunion. Also, there are clones.

Highlight: The fight between Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison), which feels like a genuine clash of equals. Close second: Yoda’s lightsaber battle with Count Dooku (Christopher Lee).

Worst Part: Anakin woos his lady in a CG meadow that looks like the set of a toilet paper commercial. (No one can forget the immortal line, “I don’t like sand.”)

7. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”: Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and a rag-tag group of rebels set out to steal the plans for the Death Star to prove that Jyn’s father Galen (Mads Mikkselsen) did indeed booby-trap that thermal port so that one day Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) can blow up the whole mama-jama. This first non-“Episode” movie in the series is less a film than a series of Easter eggs for hardcore fans to find and enjoy; the rest of us wound up less entertained.

Highlight: The climactic battle sequence, spotlighting the extraordinary combat skills of [SPOILER REDACTED], whose proficiency with The Force makes up for [SPOILER REDACTED].

Worst Part: The fact that the film prioritizes plot details over character — especially since the existence of “Episode IV” assures that we already know how this one ends.

Fox

6. “Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”: Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is unfrozen from carbonite, Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) is briefly enslaved by Jabba the Hutt (and forced to wear the infamous metal bikini), and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) resists the temptations of the Dark Side and brings his dad, Darth Vader, around to defeat the sinister Emperor Palpatine. If only so much time weren’t spent with those cutesy Ewoks, whose annoying presence presages the juvenile tone of the prequels.

Highlight: The speeder chase through the forests of Endor, one of the most breathtakingly exciting sequences in the entire saga.

Worst Part: The Empire seems a little less threatening when they have such a hard time standing up to a bunch of teddy bears with ropes and pulleys.

5. “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”
Anakin completes his journey toward becoming Darth Vader as the Empire succeeds in its hostile takeover of the Republic. Christensen remains as pouty as ever, but there are moments in “Sith” that support the notion that if Lucas had made just this one prequel rather than three, we wouldn’t think so poorly of his return to this galaxy far, far away.

Highlight: Anakin faces off with Obi-Wan for a final confrontation that leaves that younger man beaten and dismembered. Also, the “unmasking” of Chancellor Palpatine as “The Phantom Menace” by a phalanx of Jedi who are made short work of (including Samuel L. Jackson‘s Mace Windu) by the evil Sith Lord.

Worst Part: A reconstructed Anakin bellows, “Nooooooooo!!!!!” when he awakens in his Darth Vader armor, in a ham-fisted homage to/ripoff of Boris Karloff in James Whale’s “Frankenstein.”

Disney

4. “Episode VII: The Force Awakens”
The first of the post-Lucas adventures sees director and co-writer J.J. Abrams connecting some familiar faces from the previous films to a new set of fascinating characters, both good and evil. The film bears more than a few structural resemblances to “A New Hope,” but it’s no less thrilling for its moments of familiarity. If George Lucas cribbed from serials, Errol Flynn and Akira Kurosawa, Abrams pulls ideas from George Lucas.

Highlight: Either when General (formerly Princess) Leia is reunited with Han Solo or when Rey (Daisy Ridley) realizes her destiny.

Worst Part: R2-D2 spends too much of the movie in sleep mode, becoming fully present only at a plot-convenient moment late in the story.

3. “Episode VIII: The Last Jedi”
After Ewoks, a disappointing prequel trilogy, and an entertaining rehash of the original movie, the eighth entry in the franchise brings energy and passion, mixing all the thrills and excitement of the best of these movies with genuine character depth and surprising sacrifices. It’s with “The Last Jedi” that the new-school movies start to come into their own.

Highlight: When [SPOILER] battles [SPOILER] and then [SPOILER] [SPOILER] [SPOILER].

Worst Part: Most of the scenes in which Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) is thrust into the middle of the action for seemingly no reason than to make us love a new character.

20th Century Fox

2. “Episode IV: A New Hope”
Or, to those of us old enough to have seen the film upon its original release in 1977, simply “Star Wars.” Lucas’ original space-spanning saga has become such an iconic American movie that it’s joined the ranks of “The Wizard of Oz” — nearly every moment, camera set-up or line of dialogue has been quoted, referenced or lampooned by another movie over the years.

Highlight: Who can choose? I’m a big fan of Luke and Han manning the turret gun in the Millennium Falcon as Chewbacca evades the Empire’s TIE fighters, but if you prefer the escape from the garbage disposal or Darth Vader’s hands-free strangulation of Admiral Motti (Richard LeParmentier), you’re not wrong either.

Worst Part: Princess Leia’s British accent and Luke’s nasal whining indicate that Lucas hadn’t quite yet pinned down the specifics of these characters.

Fox

1. “Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back”
Having created these worlds in the previous movie, Lucas (working with screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan and Leigh Brackett and director Irvin Kershner) could let these characters and their relationships grow richer and more interesting, while simultaneously ratcheting up the stakes and the excitement. Here’s a sequel that enhances its predecessor rather than attempting simply to re-create it.

Highlight: Again, so much to choose from, whether it’s the AT-AT walkers on Hoth, Han Solo’s evasion of the Imperial fleet via an asteroid field or Luke’s apprenticeship under Jedi Master Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz).

Worst Part: I was 13 years old in 1980, and that cliffhanger ending — with the knowledge that the next sequel was a full three years away — really stung. (Not to mention that guy carrying an ice cream maker during the evacuation of Bespin.)

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Does ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Feature an Homage to ‘The Phantom Menace’? https://www.thewrap.com/star-wars-the-last-jedi-homage-to-phantom-menace/ https://www.thewrap.com/star-wars-the-last-jedi-homage-to-phantom-menace/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 01:37:08 +0000 Phil Owen https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1760939 (There is a spoiler ahead for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” It’s not really a major spoiler, but you know better than I do what you consider something you don’t want to know before seeing the movie. Do whatever you want with that information.)

Whereas “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” operated as though it wanted you to forget the prequels exist by shoving in nods to the original trilogy at every opportunity, “The Last Jedi” doesn’t quite share its predecessor’s disdain for that other trilogy.

“The Last Jedi” pays tribute in two ways. The big one involves delivering essentially a coda to one of the major throughlines of the prequel trilogy, which I won’t go into detail about here just because that one really does involve a big spoiler.

The other is a simple visual reference to “The Phantom Menace” — curiously, it’s an homage to one of the more maligned parts of that movie.

I’m talking about when a 9-year-old Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) accidentally won the Battle of Naboo. There’s two components specifically that “The Last Jedi” references: when Anakin yells, “I’ll try spinning, that’s a good trick!” before spinning the ship in order to avoid fire from the Trade Federation fighters; and when Anakin loses control of his ship and flies into the hangar of the Federation capital ship, blowing it up from the inside.

The reference comes during the space battle above the Resistance base just before the second act’s slow chase kicks in. During the battle Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) flies a First Order interceptor against the Resistance forces and seemingly copies Anakin’s tactics. First, as he’s flying by the Resistance flagship, he spins his interceptor a bunch of times and then flies deep inside the flagship through a cavernous opening in the hull to the hangar bay, which he promptly blows up before flying back out.

Normally in such a situation I’d consult the movie’s novelization for some insight into Kylo Ren’s thoughts during that whole situation, but the novel for “The Last Jedi” won’t be out until March. So I’m left to speculate that Ren, who is obsessed with Darth Vader, probably did his research on Anakin’s exploits, taking a cue from the Battle of Naboo — thinking Anakin did that thing he did on purpose instead of as a fluky “will of the Force” accident.

It’s also conceivable that the similarities are purely a coincidence.

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'Star Wars: The Last Jedi': 8 A-List Cameos to Keep an Eye (and Ear) Out for (Photos)

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‘Star Wars: Battlefront II’ Explains Some First Order Backstory Ahead of ‘The Last Jedi’ https://www.thewrap.com/star-wars-battlefront-ii-first-orders-plans-last-jedi/ https://www.thewrap.com/star-wars-battlefront-ii-first-orders-plans-last-jedi/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 00:56:16 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1739933 (Note: This post contains spoilers for the story campaign of the video game “Star Wars: Battlefront II,” including its newly released chapter, “Resurrection.”)

The newly released “Star Wars: Battlefront II” adds a little something new to the ongoing “Star Wars” saga. The game tells a tale set after “Return of the Jedi,” doing a little bit to fill in some gaps between the original “Star Wars” film trilogy and “The Force Awakens” some 30 years later.

“Battlefront II” tells a story of an Imperial commando squad that’s dispatched around the galaxy to carry out Emperor Palpatine’s final orders, after he’s killed aboard the Death Star. Those orders are called Operation: Cinder, and they’re angled at preserving the Empire’s grip on the galaxy even in the aftermath of a Rebellion victory.

The team responsible for carrying out some of those orders, Inferno Squad, is led by Commander Iden Versio, a special forces commando whose father is an Imperial admiral. Part of Operation: Cinder sends Inferno Squad to the planet Vardos, Versio’s home world and the place where she was trained in a special Imperial officer school. The mission is to locate and transport Versio’s mentor, an alien called Protectorate Gleb, off the planet.

While much of “Star Wars: Battlefront II” and its story concern the war right after “Return of the Jedi,” the bit with Protectorate Gleb doesn’t come up again until the game’s epilogue. That part of the story is years in the future, closer to the time when “The Force Awakens” take place. In the Disney era trilogy, the Empire was defeated by the Rebels, but a new evil army called the First Order has risen to take its place, hoping to resurrect the Empire and its former glory. And Kylo Ren, its lightsaber-wielding, Force-using enforcer, worships Darth Vader.

“Battlefront II” shows how the First Order rose from the remnants of the Empire, apparently working off at least some instructions from Emperor Palpatine that he created before he died. In the epilogue, Kylo Ren travels to one of the planets from the war after “Return of the Jedi,” where he finds Protectorate Gleb and returns her to the First Order. He and Colonel Hask, a former member of Inferno Squad, also discuss the First Order’s plans — something they call “Operation: Resurrection.”

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It originally seemed like Operation: Resurrection might be teasing the First Order’s ultimate plans — and might have something to do with resurrecting Palpatine, a major plot point in the “Star Wars” Expanded Universe novels and comics from before Disney bought Lucasfilm. But we now know that Operation: Resurrection is part of how the First Order became so powerful.

A newly released downloadable chapter for the story of “Battlefront II,” also called “Resurrection,” details what the operation is actually all about. As it turns out “Resurrection” doesn’t refer literally to bringing back Palpatine, but more broadly to rebuilding the Empire’s military might.

As detailed in “Resurrection,” Protectorate Gleb’s job was to kidnap children from various planets, brainwash them, and train them to be First Order stormtroopers. Of course, we know from “The Force Awakens” that this is exactly what happens to Finn — he was stolen from his family and forced to fight. He has no idea where he actually belongs in the galaxy.

To execute the big child kidnapping plan, Gleb enlisted the help of a band of criminal mercenaries. Gleb gathered the First Order’s massive army and trained them into the powerful fighting force they’ve become, “resurrecting” a huge chunk of the former Empire’s militaristic capability.

Apparently the program worked very, very well, until Iden Versio stumbled on it during the “Resurrection” campaign and helped destroy it. By that point, though, the events of “The Force Awakens” were well on their way, and it was already too late.

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‘SNL’ Star Pete Davidson Shows Off His Hillary Clinton Tattoo and She Loves It (Photo) https://www.thewrap.com/snl-pete-davidson-hillary-clinton-tattoo-photo/ https://www.thewrap.com/snl-pete-davidson-hillary-clinton-tattoo-photo/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 00:50:24 +0000 Rosemary Rossi https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1760962 It looks like “Saturday Night Live” star Pete Davidson has made it clear which way he leans politically by revealing his new tattoo … of Hillary Clinton.

“Wanted to get @hillaryclinton a Christmas gift so I got a tattoo of my hero. Thanks for being such a badass and one of the strongest people in the universe,” Davidson posted on Instagram Friday, along with the objet d’art.

Clinton got wind of the permanent and painful tribute and responded in the post’s comments thread: “Thanks, @petedavidson. This makes it significantly less awkward that I’ve had a Pete Davidson tattoo for year. But seriously, I’m honored. Merry Christmas my friend.”

Although fans questions if the tat was the real deal, apparently it is.

“Yes, its real! Just did it last night at my shop No Idols Tattoo on Bowery and Grand! It’s a small one on his right leg,” tattoo artist Jon Mesa told US Weekly.

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Carrie Fisher’s Dog Gary Recognized His Late ‘Mom’ in ‘The Last Jedi’ https://www.thewrap.com/carrie-fisher-dog-gary-recognized-her-the-last-jedi/ https://www.thewrap.com/carrie-fisher-dog-gary-recognized-her-the-last-jedi/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 00:24:53 +0000 Jennifer Maas https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1760974 Carrie Fisher is gone, but not forgotten — especially by her beloved dog Gary.

Fisher’s longtime canine companion was taken to see a screening of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and recognized his late “mother” when he saw her on screen as General Leia Organa, according to a tweet from Veronica Miracle, an ABC reporter.

Gary reportedly watched the recently released “Star Wars” film on Fisher’s former assistant’s lap. Miracle wrote that every time Leia appeared on screen, the pup’s ears perked up.

Yeah, go ahead and pretend that didn’t just shake you more than the first time you heard Darth Vader say, “No, I am your father.”

Gary previously posted a picture of him checking out a teaser for the film with the caption, “Just watched the new trailer of ‘The Last Jedi’ and my mom looks more beautiful than ever. #garymisseshismom#garyloveshismom #garyloveshisfans.”

If you’ve been following along with “The Last Jedi” news (or have already rushed out to see the latest chapter in the saga) you know that Gary is also in the movie. An alien creature inspired by Fisher’s dog appears in the film as a tribute to the late actress, who died on Dec. 27, 2016.

Gary now lives with his “sister,” Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd.

Watch a video of Gary at the screening below.

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Ian McKellen Wants to Reprise Gandalf for Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV Series https://www.thewrap.com/ian-mckellen-wants-reprise-gandalf-amazon-lord-of-the-rings-tv-series/ https://www.thewrap.com/ian-mckellen-wants-reprise-gandalf-amazon-lord-of-the-rings-tv-series/#respond Sat, 16 Dec 2017 23:40:51 +0000 Jennifer Maas https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1760955 If Amazon is planning to cast Gandalf for their upcoming “Lord of the Rings” TV show, Sir Ian McKellen wants first dibs.

In November, the studio made a deal to adapt to series J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved novels, a franchise that many associate first and foremost with McKellen’s badass wizard. During an appearance on Graham Norton’s BBC Radio 2 show on Saturday, McKellen was asked if it will bother him if another actor puts on his wizard hat. He responded, “What do you mean, another Gandalf?”

“I haven’t said yes because I haven’t been asked,” McKellen added. “But are you suggesting that someone else is going to play it? Gandalf is over 7000 years old, so I’m not too old.”

Though the multi-season production commitment (which also includes the potential for spin-off series) is huge news for fans, the books have already been heavily reproduced in Peter Jackson’s equally-cherished series of films.

The original series will be produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Set in Middle Earth, the small-screen “LOTR” will explore new storylines preceding Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring,” per Amazon.

In case you forgot how awesome McKellen is as Gandalf, you can watch a clip of one extremely iconic “Lord of the Rings” scene below. You’re welcome.

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12 Worst Movies of 2017, From ‘The Emoji Movie’ to ‘Baywatch’ (Photos) https://www.thewrap.com/worst-movies-2017-baywatch-emoji-transformers-chips/ https://www.thewrap.com/worst-movies-2017-baywatch-emoji-transformers-chips/#respond Sat, 16 Dec 2017 22:12:02 +0000 Alonso Duralde https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1754826 How great was 2017 for movies? Adam Sandler starred in a movie that made it to my Best List. How lousy was 2017 for movies? I had to cram a dozen titles into a 10 Worst roster.

10. “War Machine”: This would-be satire presumably had something to say about the hot mess that is the War on Terror, but between Brad Pitt’s never-not-pulling-a-face performance and the screenplay’s heavy-handed and excessively-narrated attempts at political insight, the results were an unfunny mess that wasted a stellar cast.

9. “Home Again”: Reese Witherspoon was the queen of the small screen this year with “Big Little Lies,” but her cinematic outing in the directorial debut of Hallie Meyers-Shyer (whose only apparent qualification for the gig was being the offspring of two filmmakers) left her stranded in a cutesy (and deadly dull) tale of a newly-separated mom falling for a brash young would-be director.

8. “CHIPS” and “Baywatch”: The “Jump Street” movies made mining comedy out of a terrible old cop show look so easy that we got stuck with these two miserable failures that lacked laughs and a point of view. The funniest thing about “Baywatch” was when the producers tried to blame Rotten Tomatoes for the film’s embarrassing opening-weekend numbers.

7. “The Last Face”: The road to hell has rarely been paved with such good intentions; director Sean Penn cast Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem as super-photogenic doctors falling in love and saving lives in African war zones, but the dialogue was so vapid and over-ripe that audiences giggled uncomfortably when they weren’t averting their eyes from grotesque battle footage.

6. “Friend Request”: A teen witch torments a popular young college girl via social media in the kind of movie where we’re supposed to be struck by the tragedy of the heroine’s Facebook friend spiraling downward to zero. Your attention will go on a similar trajectory. It’s the kind of horror movie where the comic relief isn’t funny, but almost everything else is.

5. “Transformers: The Last Knight”: The makers of “King Arthur” should have sent a muffin basket to the “Last Knight” crew for making this latest giant-robot saga the year’s dumbest movie partially set at Camelot. Otherwise, the only reason for this film to exist is so that we can finally hear Sir Anthony Hopkins summon his decades of theatrical training to pronounce the word “Megatron.”

4. “The Space Between Us” and “The Only Living Boy in New York”: If only 2016’s dreadful “Collateral Beauty” had come out a few weeks later, screenwriter Allan Loeb could have scored a trifecta of mawkish dramas about sensitive boy-men who learn to love (and audiences who are shocked, shocked to learn in Act 3 that Character A and Character B have been secretly related all along).

3. “The Emoji Movie”: There’s nothing inherently wrong with the idea of taking those faces in your phone and building a movie around them, but you’d actually have to make them into characters and give them a plot that mattered if you didn’t want to wind up with this dreary and inane kiddie adventure that’s less interesting than 90 minutes of watching someone else play Candy Crush Saga.

2. “The Assignment”: Action legend Walter Hill turns gender-confirmation surgery into the stuff of leering exploitation in this seamy tale of a hitman given a woman’s body against his will. Even if the treatment of trans issues weren’t so repellent, this cheapie was poorly shot and clumsily edited, with actors like Michelle Rodriguez and Sigourney Weaver doing their very worst.

1. “The Book of Henry”: Believe the hype: Colin Trevorrow’s one-for-me follow-up to “Jurassic World” was the kind of embarrassment that made bad-movie lovers run to the theater. Henry dies midway through the movie — trust me, it’s not a spoiler, it’s a selling point — but still leaves really explicit instructions for his flighty mom to murder their abusive neighbor, the police commissioner. If James Franco wants to make a “Disaster Artist” sequel, he might start here.

 

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https://www.thewrap.com/worst-movies-2017-baywatch-emoji-transformers-chips/feed/ 0 How great was 2017 for movies? Adam Sandler starred in a movie that made it to my Best List. How lousy was 2017 for movies? I had to cram a dozen titles into a 10 Worst roster.

]]>
How great was 2017 for movies? Adam Sandler starred in a movie that made it to my Best List. How lousy was 2017 for movies? I had to cram a dozen titles into a 10 Worst roster.

]]>
10. "War Machine"  

This would-be satire presumably had something to say about the hot mess that is the War on Terror, but between Brad Pitt's never-not-pulling-a-face performance and the screenplay's heavy-handed and excessively narrated attempts at political insight, the results were an unfunny mess that wasted a stellar cast.

]]>
10. "War Machine"  

This would-be satire presumably had something to say about the hot mess that is the War on Terror, but between Brad Pitt's never-not-pulling-a-face performance and the screenplay's heavy-handed and excessively narrated attempts at political insight, the results were an unfunny mess that wasted a stellar cast.

]]>
9. "Home Again"

Reese Witherspoon was the queen of the small screen this year with "Big Little Lies," but her cinematic outing in the directorial debut of Hallie Meyers-Shyer (whose only apparent qualification for the gig was being the offspring of two filmmakers) left her stranded in a cutesy and deadly dull tale of a newly separated mom falling for a brash young would-be director.

]]>
9. "Home Again"

Reese Witherspoon was the queen of the small screen this year with "Big Little Lies," but her cinematic outing in the directorial debut of Hallie Meyers-Shyer (whose only apparent qualification for the gig was being the offspring of two filmmakers) left her stranded in a cutesy and deadly dull tale of a newly separated mom falling for a brash young would-be director.

]]>
8. "CHIPS" and "Baywatch"  

The "Jump Street" movies made mining comedy out of a terrible old cop show look so easy that we got stuck with these two miserable failures that lacked laughs and a point of view. The funniest thing about "Baywatch" was when the producers tried to blame Rotten Tomatoes for the film's embarrassing opening-weekend numbers.

]]>
8. "CHIPS" and "Baywatch"  

The "Jump Street" movies made mining comedy out of a terrible old cop show look so easy that we got stuck with these two miserable failures that lacked laughs and a point of view. The funniest thing about "Baywatch" was when the producers tried to blame Rotten Tomatoes for the film's embarrassing opening-weekend numbers.

]]>
7. "The Last Face"  

The road to hell has rarely been paved with such good intentions; director Sean Penn cast Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem as super-photogenic doctors falling in love and saving lives in African war zones, but the dialogue was so vapid and over-ripe that audiences giggled uncomfortably when they weren't averting their eyes from grotesque battle footage.

]]>
7. "The Last Face"  

The road to hell has rarely been paved with such good intentions; director Sean Penn cast Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem as super-photogenic doctors falling in love and saving lives in African war zones, but the dialogue was so vapid and over-ripe that audiences giggled uncomfortably when they weren't averting their eyes from grotesque battle footage.

]]>
6. "Friend Request" 

A teen witch torments a popular young college girl via social media in the kind of movie where we're supposed to be struck by the tragedy of the heroine's Facebook friend spiraling downward to zero. Your attention will go on a similar trajectory. It's the kind of horror movie where the comic relief isn't funny, but almost everything else is.

]]>
6. "Friend Request" 

A teen witch torments a popular young college girl via social media in the kind of movie where we're supposed to be struck by the tragedy of the heroine's Facebook friend spiraling downward to zero. Your attention will go on a similar trajectory. It's the kind of horror movie where the comic relief isn't funny, but almost everything else is.

]]>
5. "Transformers: The Last Knight"

The makers of "King Arthur" should have sent a muffin basket to the "Last Knight" crew for making this latest giant-robot saga the year's dumbest movie partially set at Camelot. Otherwise, the only reason for this film to exist is so that we can finally hear Sir Anthony Hopkins summon his decades of theatrical training to pronounce the word "Megatron."

]]>
5. "Transformers: The Last Knight"

The makers of "King Arthur" should have sent a muffin basket to the "Last Knight" crew for making this latest giant-robot saga the year's dumbest movie partially set at Camelot. Otherwise, the only reason for this film to exist is so that we can finally hear Sir Anthony Hopkins summon his decades of theatrical training to pronounce the word "Megatron."

]]>
4. "The Space Between Us" and "The Only Living Boy in New York"

If only 2016's dreadful "Collateral Beauty" had come out a few weeks later, screenwriter Allan Loeb could have scored a trifecta of mawkish dramas about sensitive boy-men who learn to love (and audiences who are shocked, shocked to learn in Act 3 that Character A and Character B have been secretly related all along).

]]>
4. "The Space Between Us" and "The Only Living Boy in New York"

If only 2016's dreadful "Collateral Beauty" had come out a few weeks later, screenwriter Allan Loeb could have scored a trifecta of mawkish dramas about sensitive boy-men who learn to love (and audiences who are shocked, shocked to learn in Act 3 that Character A and Character B have been secretly related all along).

]]>
3. "The Emoji Movie" 

There's nothing inherently wrong with the idea of taking those faces in your phone and building a movie around them, but you'd actually have to make them into characters and give them a plot that mattered if you didn't want to wind up with this dreary and inane kiddie adventure that's less interesting than 90 minutes of watching someone else play Candy Crush Saga.

]]>
3. "The Emoji Movie" 

There's nothing inherently wrong with the idea of taking those faces in your phone and building a movie around them, but you'd actually have to make them into characters and give them a plot that mattered if you didn't want to wind up with this dreary and inane kiddie adventure that's less interesting than 90 minutes of watching someone else play Candy Crush Saga.

]]>
2. "The Assignment" 

Action legend Walter Hill turns gender-confirmation surgery into the stuff of leering exploitation in this seamy tale of a hitman given a woman's body against his will. Even if the treatment of trans issues weren't so repellent, this cheapie was poorly shot and clumsily edited, with actors like Michelle Rodriguez and Sigourney Weaver doing their very worst.

]]>
2. "The Assignment" 

Action legend Walter Hill turns gender-confirmation surgery into the stuff of leering exploitation in this seamy tale of a hitman given a woman's body against his will. Even if the treatment of trans issues weren't so repellent, this cheapie was poorly shot and clumsily edited, with actors like Michelle Rodriguez and Sigourney Weaver doing their very worst.

]]>
1. "The Book of Henry" 

Believe the hype: Colin Trevorrow's one-for-me follow-up to "Jurassic World" was the kind of embarrassment that made bad-movie lovers run to the theater. Henry dies midway through the movie -- trust me, it's not a spoiler, it's a selling point -- but still leaves really explicit instructions for his flighty mom to murder their abusive neighbor, the police commissioner. If James Franco wants to make a "Disaster Artist" sequel, he might start here.

]]>
1. "The Book of Henry" 

Believe the hype: Colin Trevorrow's one-for-me follow-up to "Jurassic World" was the kind of embarrassment that made bad-movie lovers run to the theater. Henry dies midway through the movie -- trust me, it's not a spoiler, it's a selling point -- but still leaves really explicit instructions for his flighty mom to murder their abusive neighbor, the police commissioner. If James Franco wants to make a "Disaster Artist" sequel, he might start here.

]]>
Mario Batali Issues Sexual Misconduct Apology… Along With a Tasty Holiday Recipe https://www.thewrap.com/mario-batali-apologizes-sexual-misconduct-recipe/ https://www.thewrap.com/mario-batali-apologizes-sexual-misconduct-recipe/#respond Sat, 16 Dec 2017 22:10:06 +0000 Jennifer Maas https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1760928 Here, enjoy this apology for sexual assault with a side of sugary breakfast treats.

Mario Batali issued an apology for the sexual misconduct accusations recently posed against him via an online newsletter sent out on Friday, but it was accompanied by an odd attachment: a link to his recipe for Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls.

Following his termination from “The Chew,” the celebrity chef acknowledged his “many mistakes” and apologized for disappointing “my friends, my family, my fans and my team.”

“My behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility,” the message reads. “Sharing the joys of Italian food, tradition and hospitality with all of you, each week, is an honor and privilege. Without the support of all of you — my fans — I would never have a forum in which to expound on this.”

“I will work every day to regain your respect and trust,” Batali added, along with the recipe.

Batali regularly offer recipes in emails sent to those who register on his website, but the inclusion of this one (given the poor timing) sparked intense conversation on social media.

A representative for Batali did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

On Monday, Eater published a report that Batali had been accused by four women of sexual misconduct and groping over two decades. Three of the four women were Batali employees.

ABC cut Batali from “The Chew” on Thursday following a review into the accusations. Amid the fallout from the accusations, retail giant Target likewise chose to pull its Batali-branded products from its stores and website.

Batali’s statement (including the recipe) can be seen below.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Mario Batali Out at 'The Chew' After Review of Sexual Misconduct Accusations Against Him

Mario Batali Products Pulled From Target Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Mario Batali Accused of Sexual Misconduct by Four Women; Removed From ABC's 'The Chew'

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‘SNL': Is There a New Episode Airing This Week? https://www.thewrap.com/snl-new-episode-airing-week/ https://www.thewrap.com/snl-new-episode-airing-week/#respond Sat, 16 Dec 2017 21:22:33 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1568514 SNL” is back with a fresh December episode this week as it closes in on the Christmas holiday.

“Saturday Night Live” returned last week with a bit of a Christmas theme, with a cold open in which Kenan Thompson played Santa Claus trying to answer kids’ questions about current politics. But what it didn’t have was Alec Baldwin reprising his role as Donald Trump.

There’s the possibility that Baldwin will be back this week, though. The Dec. 16 episode is set to be hosted by Kevin Hart, with the Foo Fighters serving as musical guests.

James Franco served as host of last week’s episode, with musical guest SZA. Franco was joined by a few surprise guests along the way during the episode as well — his friends Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill, who both appeared with Franco in movies like “This is the End,” popped up during Franco’s opening monologue. And his brother and “The Disaster Artist” co-star Dave Franco made an appearance in a sketch later in the episode, as well.

Before that, Saoirse Ronan hosted the show with musical guest U2 on Dec 2, and Chance the Rapper took on the host role with musical guest Eminem on Nov. 18. The next host and musical guest for Season 43 hasn’t been announced yet.

Though there hasn’t been a Trump cold open in two episodes, “SNL” has had plenty of political news to tackle. Subjects have included the pile of allegations of sexual assault leveled at powerful men, including lawmakers and Hollywood producers, and Republicans’ attempts to quickly pass their tax overhaul bill. “Weekend Update” in particular hasn’t been pulling many punches.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Every 'SNL' Alec Baldwin Donald Trump Sketch Ranked, From Least to Most Retweetable (Photos)

'SNL Weekend Update' Says Harvey Weinstein Should Be in Prison

'SNL': Baldwin's Trump Commands Mike Pence to Leave Everything in Protest (Video)

'SNL': Ryan Gosling Just Can't Handle the 'Avatar' Logo Font (Video)

'SNL' Season 42 Was a Necessary Reminder That No, This Really Isn't Normal (Commentary)

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Jason Priestley Says He Punched Harvey Weinstein at a Golden Globes Party in the ’90s https://www.thewrap.com/jason-priestley-punched-harvey-weinstein-miramax-golden-globes-party-90s/ https://www.thewrap.com/jason-priestley-punched-harvey-weinstein-miramax-golden-globes-party-90s/#respond Sat, 16 Dec 2017 21:16:23 +0000 Jennifer Maas https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1760809 Jason Priestley says he has done what many in Hollywood probably wish they had: punched Harvey Weinstein in the face.

Following the accusations rolling in about Weinstein’s attempt to blacklist Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd – two actresses who have recently accused the disgraced movie mogul of sexual misconduct and threats to derail their careers if they spoke up — a friend of Priestley’s took to Twitter to recall a rather heated encounter between the disgraced mogul and the former star of “Beverly Hills 90210.”

“Heartbreaking….wouldn’t be surprised if this happened to my good friend @Jason_Priestley who punched Weinstein in the face at a club one night. Go Jay,” actress Tara Strong tweeted in response to Sorvino’s reaction to the blacklisting story.

When another user chimed in to ask if there was more to the story, Priestley responded with his own account.

“Of course there is more to the story…,” Priestley tweeted. “95 Golden Globes… at the Miramax Party… Harvey told me I had to leave… I was leaving when he grabbed me by the arm and said ‘what are you doing?’ I said ‘you told me leave, I’m leaving.'”

“‘I didn’t say you had to leave’ he replied,'” Priestley continued. “‘You just told me to leave… right over there’ I tell him once again. Getting heated now. He then grabs me tighter and says ‘why don’t we go outside and talk about this.’ That was all I needed to hear.”

“‘I’m not going anywhere with you’ I said as I pushed him back and punched him with a right hand to his face,” Priestley added. “Suddenly, there were security guards pulling us apart and I was escorted out of the party…”

Representatives for Priestley and Weinstein did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

“Bad Santa” director Terry Zwigoff has stepped forward Friday to say that Harvey and Bob Weinstein asked him not to even consider Sorvino for his 2003 dark comedy. Zwigoff’s statement follows one by Peter Jackson that the Weinstein brothers shot down Sorvino and Judd  for potential roles in his blockbuster “The Lord of the Rings.”

Judd and Sorvino both responded to Jackson’s original comments on the matter, made to New Zealand’s Stuff, in which he said Weinstein told him the actresses were a “nightmare” to work with.

See Priestley’s account of the events in the tweets below.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Bad Santa' Director: The Weinsteins Blacklisted Mira Sorvino From My Movie Too

Harvey Weinstein Fires Back at Peter Jackson Over Ashley Judd, Mira Sorvino Blacklisting (Update)

Mira Sorvino, Ashley Judd on Weinstein 'Smear Campaign': 'I Remember This Well'

68 Hollywood and Media Heavyweights Accused of Sexual Misconduct Since Harvey Weinstein

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‘Big Little Lies': 7 Reasons the Golden Globes Darling Is So Worth Watching (Photos) https://www.thewrap.com/big-little-lies-golden-globes-why-to-watch/ https://www.thewrap.com/big-little-lies-golden-globes-why-to-watch/#respond Sat, 16 Dec 2017 19:53:41 +0000 Jennifer Maas https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1755853 “Big Little Lies” became the darling of this year’s Golden Globes when it cleaned up during Monday’s nominations with six to its name. If you haven’t already binged this deliciously thrilling series we suggest you get to it before the award show airs on Jan. 7. After all, don’t you want to see your soon-to-be favorite show clean up? Here are seven reasons you need to down HBO series ASAP.

1. It’s already grabbed a Season 2

Okay, this “limited series” business was clearly more than a little lie after fans and critics alike ate the show up. You have even more of a reason to enjoy the show now that you know it was recently renewed for a second season.

2. The cast alone will knock your socks off

Before the show even aired we were ready for this series to be a smash-hit just based on the epic list of stars who signed on. When you have Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, Zoe Kravitz, Alexander Skarsgard and Adam Scott running the show, you know you’re gonna have a good ride.

3. Drama, drama, drama

Oh. My. God. If you thought “Game of Thrones” is the most intense thing on TV, wait till you get through the first episode of “BLL” and see if you have changed your mind. You will never regret the time you spend getting caught up in the lives of the women of Monterey. Well, you might. But only if you don’t wanna obsess over their secrets.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Big Little Lies' Loose Ends: 6 Questions Left Unanswered in the Finale (Photos)

'Big Little Lies' Main Characters Ranked by Friendship Potential (Photos)

Golden Globes: 'Big Little Lies,' 'The Shape of Water' Dominate 2018 Nominees

Golden Globes 2018 Television Predictions: 'Big Little Lies' and 'Will and Grace' Should Top Nominees

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https://www.thewrap.com/big-little-lies-golden-globes-why-to-watch/feed/ 0 "Big Little Lies" became the darling of this year's Golden Globes when it cleaned up during Monday's nominations with six to its name. If you haven't already binged this deliciously thrilling series we suggest you get to it before the award show airs on Jan. 7. After all, you're gonna want to be in the know when your soon-to-be favorite series sweeps every category. Here are seven reasons you need to view the HBO hit ASAP.

[contextual-link post_id="1581684" title="Also Read" link_title="‘Big Little Lies’ Loose Ends: 6 Questions Left Unanswered in the Finale (Photos)" target=""]

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"Big Little Lies" became the darling of this year's Golden Globes when it cleaned up during Monday's nominations with six to its name. If you haven't already binged this deliciously thrilling series we suggest you get to it before the award show airs on Jan. 7. After all, you're gonna want to be in the know when your soon-to-be favorite series sweeps every category. Here are seven reasons you need to view the HBO hit ASAP.

[contextual-link post_id="1581684" title="Also Read" link_title="‘Big Little Lies’ Loose Ends: 6 Questions Left Unanswered in the Finale (Photos)" target=""]

]]>
1. It has already grabbed a Season 2

Okay, this "limited series" business was clearly more than a little lie after fans and critics alike ate the drama up and demanded the story continue. You have even more of a reason to enjoy the show now that you know it was recently renewed for a second season.

]]>
1. It has already grabbed a Season 2

Okay, this "limited series" business was clearly more than a little lie after fans and critics alike ate the drama up and demanded the story continue. You have even more of a reason to enjoy the show now that you know it was recently renewed for a second season.

]]>
2. The cast alone will knock your socks off

Before the show even aired we were ready for this series to be a smash-hit just based on the epic list of stars who signed on. When you have Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, Zoe Kravitz, Alexander Skarsgard and Adam Scott front and center, you're surely in for a fun ride.

]]>
2. The cast alone will knock your socks off

Before the show even aired we were ready for this series to be a smash-hit just based on the epic list of stars who signed on. When you have Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, Zoe Kravitz, Alexander Skarsgard and Adam Scott front and center, you're surely in for a fun ride.

]]>
3. Drama, drama, drama

Oh. My. God. If you thought "Game of Thrones" was the most intense thing on TV, wait until you get through the first episode of "BLL." You will never regret the time you spent getting entangled in the lives of the women of Monterey, California. (Well, you might. But only if you don't want to obsess over their secrets forever.)

[contextual-link post_id="1575168" title="Also Read" link_title="‘Big Little Lies’ Main Characters Ranked by Friendship Potential (Photos)" target=""]

]]>
3. Drama, drama, drama

Oh. My. God. If you thought "Game of Thrones" was the most intense thing on TV, wait until you get through the first episode of "BLL." You will never regret the time you spent getting entangled in the lives of the women of Monterey, California. (Well, you might. But only if you don't want to obsess over their secrets forever.)

[contextual-link post_id="1575168" title="Also Read" link_title="‘Big Little Lies’ Main Characters Ranked by Friendship Potential (Photos)" target=""]

]]>
4. The friendships

By the end of the first season of "Big Little Lies" you will fully believe these women would die for each other. They may start out as "friends," but by the time the closing moments of the finale roll around, they seem more like sisters. We can't tell you what makes their bond that crazy tight, but believe us, it's worth the wait to find out on your own.

]]>
4. The friendships

By the end of the first season of "Big Little Lies" you will fully believe these women would die for each other. They may start out as "friends," but by the time the closing moments of the finale roll around, they seem more like sisters. We can't tell you what makes their bond that crazy tight, but believe us, it's worth the wait to find out on your own.

]]>
5. The kids

The moms may be the leads in this series, but their children are the catalysts for the conflict that drives the plot. Plus, they are pretty damn good actors themselves. And also totally adorable.

 

[contextual-link post_id="1753993" title="Also Read" link_title="Golden Globes: ‘Big Little Lies,’ ‘The Shape of Water’ Dominate 2018 Nominees" target=""]

]]>
5. The kids

The moms may be the leads in this series, but their children are the catalysts for the conflict that drives the plot. Plus, they are pretty damn good actors themselves. And also totally adorable.

 

[contextual-link post_id="1753993" title="Also Read" link_title="Golden Globes: ‘Big Little Lies,’ ‘The Shape of Water’ Dominate 2018 Nominees" target=""]

]]>
6. The writing

"Big Little Lies" is based on a 2014 novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty -- which we highly recommend as supplemental reading. Moriarty had a producing and writing credit on the show and fans of the book could definitely feel her touch on screen.

 

]]>
6. The writing

"Big Little Lies" is based on a 2014 novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty -- which we highly recommend as supplemental reading. Moriarty had a producing and writing credit on the show and fans of the book could definitely feel her touch on screen.

 

]]>
7. The twist

It's impossible to try and tell someone that they need to watch "Big Little Lies" without teasing the fact there is a HUGE, jaw-dropping twist. While we refuse to reveal what the big shocker is (though we're itching to talk about it with pretty much everyone in the world), it is one of the best selling-points for the series. Seriously, it may sound cliché, but you will be on the edge of your seat throughout all seven episodes waiting for all the shoes to drop.

]]>
7. The twist

It's impossible to try and tell someone that they need to watch "Big Little Lies" without teasing the fact there is a HUGE, jaw-dropping twist. While we refuse to reveal what the big shocker is (though we're itching to talk about it with pretty much everyone in the world), it is one of the best selling-points for the series. Seriously, it may sound cliché, but you will be on the edge of your seat throughout all seven episodes waiting for all the shoes to drop.

]]>
Here’s How ‘Star Wars: Battlefront II’ Sets Up ‘The Last Jedi’ https://www.thewrap.com/star-wars-battlefront-ii-links-return-of-the-jedi-force-awakens/ https://www.thewrap.com/star-wars-battlefront-ii-links-return-of-the-jedi-force-awakens/#respond Sat, 16 Dec 2017 19:49:22 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1740368 (Note: This post contains spoilers for the video game “Star Wars: Battlefront II” and the beginning scene of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”)

“Star Wars” fans have waited as patiently as possible for December to roll around, and with it, the release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

But for fans who want a little more, there’s another “Star Wars” story that’s not a novel or a comic book. “Star Wars: Battlefront II,” a video game in which players take part in some of the biggest battles in the “Star Wars” films as soldiers in the two opposing armies, also includes an original story that’s set between “Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens.” It gives something of a window into what happened in the aftermath of the destruction of the Death Star, and the final months of the war with the Empire.

“Battlefront II” follows Inferno Squad, a crack team of Imperial commandos, led by Iden Versio, the daughter of an Imperial admiral. The game more or less starts with the destruction of the Death Star. The remnants of the Imperial fleet flee the battle, and as they’re leaving, Admiral Versio calls Iden to his ship to receive new orders. A recording left by Emperor Palpatine tells the fleet what to do in case of his death — a series of objectives known as Operation: Cinder.

Iden and her squad don’t know what Operation: Cinder is, but they set out to execute parts of it. First, they help secure several special satellites at a shipyard, fighting off a Rebel attack in the process. Inferno Squad doesn’t know what the satellites are for, but they help keep the Rebels at bay long enough so the ship transporting the satellites, an Imperial Star Destroyer called the Dauntless, can get away.

Next, Iden dispatches Del Meeko, one of her Inferno Squad teammates, to a planet called Pillio, to destroy a classified observatory the Emperor had there. Inside are “artifacts” the Empire doesn’t want falling into Rebel hands. While he’s there, though, Del encounters Luke Skywalker. Rather than kill him, Luke saves Del’s life, and the two work together to get into the observatory. When Luke finds what drew him to the location through the Force — an artifact he calls a “compass” — he asks Del to let him have it. Del, already conflicted about the Empire at this point, lets Luke go and the compass go, and destroys the facility.

It seems that compass is likely what led Luke to Ahch-To, the home of the first Jedi temple, where Rey finds him at the end of “The Force Awakens.” The artifact is also an Easter egg in “The Last Jedi.”

Inferno Squad then gets dispatched to Vardos, Iden and her father’s home planet and an Imperial stronghold. As they arrive, Iden sees that the special satellites have been deployed in orbit over the planet, creating deadly storms all over it. Apparently, Operation: Cinder’s goal was to destroy a few planets, even Imperial ones, in order to strike fear into the galaxy and help the Empire reestablish control through terror.

Iden isn’t exactly thrilled that the Empire is attacking its own planet or killing civilians, though. On her mission to retrieve her mentor, an alien named Protectorate Gleb, from Vardos, Iden and Del defy orders by helping civilians escape the planet. The third member of Inferno Squad, Agent Hask, turns against the other two and their defiance of Imperial will. Iden and Del are branded traitors as they escape the planet aboard their ship, the Corvus, and Hask returns Gleb to Admiral Versio’s hands.

With nowhere else to go, Iden, Del and the crew of the Corvus defect to the Rebellion. They eventually enlist, helping to stop the Empire from using its Cinder satellites against Naboo, Emperor Palpatine’s home planet. The Rebels manage to destroy the Cinder satellites and repel the Imperial attack on the ground, saving the planet and everyone on it.

The war finally comes to a head over Jakku in a battle “Star Wars” fans have heard about before — it’s the reason why all that starship wreckage that Rey forages through in “The Force Awakens” ended up on the surface of the planet. Iden and the new Rebel Inferno Squad are a major part of the battle. The Imperial remnant is defeated, but despite her best efforts, Iden can’t convince Admiral Versio to abandon the Empire and save himself as his ship is destroyed. Iden manages to escape the ship, and there’s a suggestion that she and Del start a relationship together as the Battle of Jakku ends.

“Star Wars: Battlefront II” then skips ahead 30 years in an epilogue scene that takes place sometime closer to “The Force Awakens.” In it, the First Order and Kylo Ren have located Del Meeko. Using his Force powers, Kylo Ren delves into Del’s mind in search of information about Luke Skywalker from when Del encountered him years before — suggesting the compass has something to do with the map to Skywalker Kylo is searching for in “The Force Awakens.”

When he finally gets the information he needs, Kylo kills Del. Hask, the former member of Iden’s Inferno Squad and now a First Order officer, to bury the body but leave the ship — ostensibly to lure Iden out of hiding.

Kylo also takes Protectorate Gleb into First Order custody in the epilogue, and mentions something called “Operation: Resurrection.” As noted earlier in the game, Gleb trained Imperial officers and turned them into high-caliber leadership in the Empire before its fall. That cliffhanger is were the main game’s story ends.

But this week, developer DICE and publisher Electronic Arts released a new set of downloadable levels to cap off the story of “Battlefront II,” adding events that run concurrent to the story of “The Force Awakens.” And the new bit of story adds a bit of backstory and setup to “The Last Jedi,” leading right up to the beginning of the film.

The new addition to “Battlefront II” is called “Resurrection,” and picks back up with Iden. We find that she and Del have a daughter, Zay, and that they still hang out with Shriv, their Inferno Squad buddy from their Rebellion days. Shriv is still fighting, however, and has joined up with the Resistance.

When they realize Del is missing, Iden, Zay and Shriv go looking for him, just as Hask expected. They discover what Gleb has been up to all this time: “Operation: Resurrection,” a massive program to kidnap children from their families and brainwash them to be soldiers. That’s what happened to Finn, when he was separated from his family as a child, and it’s how the First Order managed to raise such a huge army.

As Iden, Zay and Shriv pursue Hask, they manage to infiltrate his First Order Star Destroyer. Aboard the ship, Iden searches for any intelligence that might be of use to the Resistance, and stumbles upon the schematics for a massive class of First Order ship: the Dreadnought.

After crippling the Star Destroyer and killing Hask, Iden is wounded and dies. Zay and Shriv manage to escape and get their intelligence to the Resistance, now on the run after the destruction of Starkiller Base. Those schematics are what give Poe Dameron and the rest of the Resistance fleet a chance to take down the Dreadnought at the start of “The Last Jedi.” They know where the ship is vulnerable and how to hit it, allowing the Resistance to destroy the ship before it has a chance to wipe them out.

The “Resurrection” chapter ends with General Leia Organa dispatching the new Inferno Squad, consisting of Shriv and Zay, on one last important mission: Contact the Resistance’s allies hiding in the Outer Rim planets of the galaxy, and implore them for assistance. The game ends with Inferno Squad departing for the Outer Rim. We know that trying to get word to these unnamed allies is a big part of the Resistance’s goals throughout “The Last Jedi,” so it seems both the “Battlefront” games and future movies will be adding to the story on that front.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Star Wars: Battlefront II' Gives Clues About How Luke Skywalker Got to That Planet He Was on in 'The Force Awakens'

'Star Wars: Battlefront II' Explains Some First Order Backstory Ahead of 'The Last Jedi'

A 'Star Wars' TV Show Should Take the 'Battlestar Galactica' Approach (Commentary)

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Has a Chance to Succeed Where 'Rogue One' Failed (Commentary)

The Best Bridge Between 'Star Wars' Trilogies Isn't 'Rogue One,' It's a Video Game (Commentary)

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