THE DISHMASTER

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS WITH A SIDE OF DISH

Friday

27

May 2016

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COMMENTS

X-Men: Apocalypse — A Full Review

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Written by Guest Contributor: C. Dillon

The latest X-Men film, “X-Men: Apocalypse,” isn’t the best X-men movie, but neither is it the worst. It does many things right, but somehow the whole seems less than the sum of its parts, and leaves the viewer feeling as though they’ve been entertained, but not fully satisfied.

X-Men_Apocalypse_International_PosterDirector Bryan Singer introduced the world to the cinematic versions of Marvel’s mutant heroes back in 2000, with the critically and financially successful “X-Men.” He returned to direct the sequel “X2” in 2003, and again for “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” As these films are widely regarded as the best in the franchise, it was with great anticipation that fans awaited the appearance of the titular villain in Singer’s directorial hands. Unfortunately, the film – while visually striking and immense in scope – doesn’t fully deliver.

It doesn’t help that this is the third comic based movie this year to feature “good guys” fighting against one another – we’ve seen it in “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Captain America: Civil War” (will we ever see a comic movie without a colon in it again?), and we see it again here. In this case, characters who have been X-men in the comics (and even in earlier movies) fight against characters who are or will be X-men, in an “all X-men X-travaganza.” While this isn’t necessarily bad, it is become a tired trope already.

Which leads us to another problem – the film spends a great deal of time showing us how En Sabah Nur recruits his Horsemen (Storm, Angel, Psylocke, and Magneto), but then gives them all (save Magneto) very little to do. Aside from bit parts in the final fight, the three non-Magneto Horsemen do nothing besides stand behind Apocalypse and try to look menacing. It is a waste of time in the film, and a waste of opportunity in having these characters actively contribute to the plot.

This can be understood, to some extent, however, because there are simply so many characters. With the X-men franchise seeming to change timelines with each new outing, new characters are introduced, old characters are reintroduced, new versions of old characters are re-reintroduced, and so on. It is confusing for someone who grew up with the comics and has seen all the films – I can only imagine what a casual viewer must be thinking. While the impulse to include every fans favorite character is understandable, it reaches a point where it detracts from the film as a whole. Olivia Munn’s Psylocke in particular is criminally underused, considering how big a part she has played in the marketing of the film to date.

This is not to say that “X-men: Apocalypse” is a bad film. It isn’t. The effects are well done, the characters are generally well cast, the acting is as good as can be expected in a comic book blockbuster. There are some stand-out moments as well – Quicksilver’s main scene, Kodi Smit-McPhee’s portrayal of young Nightcrawler, and many of the inside jokes and Marvel references are all very well done.

Apocalypse himself checks all the right boxes as the “big bad” of the movie – vague plans for destroying humanity, undefined but seemingly overwhelming power, crazy costume and blue skin – but he seemed a bit generic for such a major player in the comics. I do not agree with the common complaint that he was “too easy” to defeat (to describe why would be too much of a spoiler), but I would have liked to have seen more character development than the “humans are bad, and I’m going to kill them all so I can rule the world” routine that we have seen from so many uber-villains before. It is a major pitfall of these types of franchises that each instalment must raise the stakes over the previous one, and it sometimes (as here) fails to make the appropriate impact. Marvel has proven that “smaller” superhero movies can succeed (see: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” for a prime example), and it would be interesting to see the X-Men go in a similar direction, rather than seeing them face global annihilation over and over again.

In the end, I left the theater feeling that I had seen a good superhero movie, complete with massive action sequences, cool costumes, some good one-liners, and a few interesting characters that I would like to see again. I hope that Mr. Singer and the rest of the crew running the X-Men franchise stop and step back for a moment, reduce the amount of characters, and focus on telling a great story rather than a great spectacle.

Thursday

26

May 2016

0

COMMENTS

TLC Follows Jamie Lynn Spears in New Documentary

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With the Britney Spears machine easily within reach, it always baffled me that Jamie Lynn Spears did not have a bigger career. I assumed she turned down Hollywood in favor of a more peaceful life when she got pregnant at sixteen. Her new documentary on TLC will likely answer those questions, and perhaps give her the country career she’s now ready to pursue. Watch a preview below.

Thursday

26

May 2016

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COMMENTS

Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard: Mudslinging Starts

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Depp Heard
As a general rule for celebrities everywhere, do not publicly declare your love for your new wife when you have children with another person. That’s especially true when the mother of your children was a longtime love, thus deserving extra respect. That goes for Johnny Depp, who trotted Amber Heard around the red carpet very shortly after his relationship ended with Vanessa Paradis, and though I have no idea if he was unfaithful, I certainly smell a rat in their timeline. As a second rule, if someone was good enough to marry, then perhaps refrain from leaking information to the press about how your family hated your wife. That says more about your personal judgment than it does about your partner. If you can’t properly pick em’, that’s on you, Johnny.

Thursday

26

May 2016

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COMMENTS

Did Blake Shelton Kill Gwen Stefani’s Style?

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Gwen Blake

While watching back performances from the Billboard Music Awards I could not help but wonder if Gavin Rossdale was the secret style muse of Gwen Stefani. Because of all the women in this industry to wear the “naked dress,” I never thought Gwen Stefani would be one of them. I’m all for happy couples, but this duo simply seems odd. Her incessant staring and elegant hairstyle also left me wondering if she turned into a trite country star. Someone has to say the obvious. They have zero chemistry, on stage or off. But I like them both separately, and wish them luck.

Thursday

26

May 2016

0

COMMENTS

Interview With Camila of MTV’s The Challenge: Rivals III

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CamilaMTV’s long-running television show, ‘The Challenge,’ is known for its colorful cast of characters, and when they unite for a very challenging competition abroad (sans any outside communication), drama is bound to bubble to the surface. Camila Nakagawa is certainly no stranger to those unruly events. She is perhaps best known for a heated fight with resident douchebag Johnny Bananas (my words, not hers). Their brief fling turned into an all-out verbal brawl, in which Bananas somehow looked sane while Camila threw a chair. It also earned her the very funny title, “Camilanator.” The events seemed suspiciously unprovoked, which led me to think there might have been some tricky editing at work. But her fiery temperament was also put to a more productive use on a previous season, which featured Camila’s vigorous defense of her sister, after she was insulted by Camila’s current partner on this season of the show. Needless to say, she’s a force to be reckoned with, and she sure had a lot of details to divulge during our interview. Enjoy the read below, and tune into this season of ‘The Challenge: Rivals III’ every Wednesday at 10 PM on MTV.

 

Tell me how you got started on this show
I actually went to the University of Nebraska to play soccer and I went away for spring break during my first semester. MTV was there for a mini spring break challenge, and they asked me to join the show about a month later. I never watched MTV before, so it was all very new. But once they said, “You get to travel and you get paid, I thought, “Count me in!”
 
Would you say that you’re a natural athlete?
I played sports my entire life. I moved to America at age 12 and I didn’t speak English. I never felt like I belonged. Sports was a very big part of my life growing up because it was the only outlet that I had to fit in.
 
I have so many questions about the inner workings of the challenge.
I’m here to answer as much as I can.
 
Are you ever concerned that the producers have set up an unsafe competition, and do you let them know?
All the time. You know me, I speak my mind a lot. For the most part, it’s a risk, and I decide not to care, but other times I feel that the timing might be unfairly set up. At the end of the day, the producers have control, and you have to trust them.
 
When you talk about the “timing,” do you mean the order in which people participate?
Yeah. They might say, “we’re drawing it from a cup” or whatever, but you just never know.
 
When the host, T.J. Lavin, is tough on the contestants for quitting or giving up too easily, is that a real reaction? He seems genuinely invested in everyone’s performance.
I do think that he cares, because he was an athlete. He’s definitely not one to give up. I find myself getting angry when people quit early. I am very competitive.
 
How much contact does T.J. have with the contestants?
He’s completely separated. The only time T.J. comes in the house is when there’s some sort of problem, and he needs to kick someone out or there’s some twist or something.
 
There are a few Challenge staples that we no longer see. It seems as if Johnny Bananas is the only long-time veteran left. What happened to Evan Starkman, Kenny Santucci, Big Easy, Derrick Kosinski, and so on? It feels like Johnny doesn’t have anyone in his playing field anymore, and it gives him an elitist attitude.
Good question. I’m not sure exactly. A lot of them had kids or got married. There was also an issue with something that happened with Kenny and Evan, and the others just didn’t come back. It really does suck, though. Wes [Bergmann] is on this season, but the new kids don’t really know him. They only know Johnny Bananas. It’s annoying because they think he’s the only leader, and he can pretty much do whatever the heck he wants.
 
Didn’t you and Johnny Bananas have some kind of romantic fling?
Yeah, but that was a long time ago
 
But that was what led to your infamous fiery fight where you threw a chair?
Yes. It was just a very crazy night. We all have those in the challenge house, and it usually happens the nights that we go out.
 
Did you think you got a bad edit? I feel as if they didn’t show what provoked you.
Yeah, 100%. They did not show everything. They don’t usually show what he does. In the end, the thing we all know now is he’s a total instigator. That’s part of who he is. He knows how to push everyone’s buttons. I don’t want to say everyone, but most people. He does it in a very smart way, so for a while I allowed it until I realized I think he does it on purpose.
 
He’s also super disloyal, right? But people still align with him despite his previous betrayals. It blows my mind.
He’s a very big manipulator, and he knows how to do it right. He knows how to manipulate people and there’s no way to explain why and how he does it. He just does it. But, on the other hand, he is really good at these [competitions]. He’s turned himself into a really great challenger. Even if you hate him you have to play the game because there’s a big chance that he’s going to do well. So far Bananas has been very smart about who he picks his fights with.
 
I have to get your scoop on these inner romances. Do you think that Nany [Gonzalez] was really in love with Bananas?
I think that she definitely fell for him, but like I said, he’s a manipulator. The reason Bananas and I went from getting along to pretty much hating each other, is because I called him out on it. I didn’t think twice about it. He is used to not only women, but pretty much everyone just bowing down to him. The girls fall for him because he’s so good at manipulating.
 
Cara Maria Sorbello and Abram Boise had a lot of cheating drama in the previous season [when she openly cheated on him with another contestant] What was your take on that?
I truly like Cara Maria. The entire show is like one messed up family, and I disagree with the way Cara Maria went about things, and I have told her that myself. But I know their relationship was rocky for some time, and I don’t know what it’s like to be in her shoes. She didn’t expect Abram to [join the show as a competitor]. Usually you have some time when you get home to tell the person about what they will see on the air.
 
Are you able to communicate with loved ones at all while filming?
We get 10 minutes per week to talk to our family, and they’re listening to the entire conversation.
 
It seems like there’s no reprieve at all while filming. Everyone’s either partying or arguing.
Exactly. I feel like if I had outlets, I would never have my public outbursts, you know? Never in my real life would I walk around with no internet, no phone, no way to reach my family, and nothing to read. I can’t even read a magazine. On top of that, it’s a competition. I don’t feel like I start any drama. It usually happens during a night out when someone says something to piss me off. I’m already so frustrated, and I usually just blow up. Like I said, I never applied for this. Most people on these shows wanted to be famous at some point in their life. You would be surprised how many arguments start, not because I was fighting with someone, but because I was defending someone.
 
Are you able to sustain romantic relationships when you appear on ‘The Challenge?’
I’ve been in a relationship for four or five of these Challenges, which is why I never had any sort of romantic relationship on the show. But I’ve seen people completely forget that they have girlfriends. It’s such an unrealistic place, especially when you’re there for a long time.
 
Speaking of romance, I have to tell you that I think Chris Tamburello (“CT”) is one of the best looking men I’ve ever seen in my life. Why aren’t more women hitting on him?
I think because of Diem [Brown]. She was one of my best friends, and no one wanted to get in the middle of their long history. Plus, some of the things that come out of that guy’s mouth are crazy. CT is crazy.
 
Tell me a little about your careers outside of this show. You own a spa, right?
It is so exciting. It’s like my baby, I love it. It’s a total body cleansing spa in Miami, and we do everything cleansing from yoga to colonics. Our main service is colonics, and we have an herb shop. Everything is holistic. We do all kinds of treatment, from weight loss to cleansing. It’s really amazing. We are approaching our fourth anniversary in July. It’s called Clean Start Miami. We also opened one in Atlanta now.
 
Do you have anything else on the horizon you would like to talk about?
I am doing a docu-series in Brazil for the Olympics 2016 that will be taking place in Rio. I’m partnering with some non-profits like Street Child United, and we will be launching a funding page in the next couple of weeks.
 
What’s the content of the docu-series?
It all about bringing awareness to the non-profit charities who use sports as an outlet to get kids off of the street.
 
What can we expect from the season that you can tell me?
This is my first show in a while single, so there might be something there. Get ready for a lot of twists and surprises.

Tuesday

24

May 2016

0

COMMENTS

Kelly Osbourne Tweets The Number of Ozzy’s Mistress

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KellyOsbourneAimee Osbourne once said that her mother’s fame was at the expense of her father’s legacy, which is ever-the-more accurate given the revelations surrounding Ozzy’s recent affair. Aimee’s disinterest in the Osbourne’s now legendary reality show forced her to move out of her family’s home during a key time in her development, but her family carried forth with the plan regardless. In short? She seems normal, and the rest of the family does not. That includes Kelly Osbourne, who recently tweeted the phone number of her father’s alleged mistress. I need not explain why this is a bad idea, or why it’s odd to publicize one’s private business in this way. I don’t even think the Kardashians would stoop to this level (Well . . . maybe Rob).

 

Monday

23

May 2016

0

COMMENTS

Britney Spears Slays The Billboard Music Awards

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Britney_Spears_BBMAS_2016

With a medley of her most-loved hits, Britney Spears took the stage of the Billboard Music Awards to remind the world that she’s still got it, and those other b-tches can bow down. Though she entered the stage slightly stiff, she quickly loosened up for some eye-catching choreography amidst seasoned dancers while performing “Work Bitch,” “Womanizer,” “I Love Rock N’ Roll,” “Breathe On Me,” “I’m a Slave 4 U,” “Touch of My Hand,” and “Toxic.” And let’s not forget those fantastic hair flips. It’s easy to root for Britney Spears, whose sweet disposition has always made her a fan favorite and her tragedy to triumph story certainly helps. Career comebacks are rare, but if anyone can do, it’s Britney. Plus, she has an astounding amount of hits, and the performance below will remind you of it.

Monday

23

May 2016

0

COMMENTS

Tabloid Gossip: All The News You Missed

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Another cast member is leaving ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’ People

Eva Longoria got married in Mexico. Wonderwall

This billionaire threw a tantrum when he was denied entry to Broadway’s ‘Hamilton.’ Jezebel

Behati Prinsloo bared her baby bump. E! Online

Chloe Sevigny has been hit on by sleezy directors. Contact Music

Robert Shapiro revealed what OJ Simpson whispered in his ear. Sheeple

‘Gilmore Girls” Alexis Bledel had a baby. Mtv

Bachelor Nation just welcomed another baby into the world. Hollywood Life

Dax Shepard got snipped, and Kristen Bell wasn’t happy about it. Babble

Lea Michele posted a heartbreaking Glee throwback. Teen Vogue

Kaley Cuoco is in love. Just Jared

Mel B. is renewing her vows. The Sun

‘Playboy’s’ Bridget Marquardt has her own take Kendra and Holly. Us Weekly

Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom are Instagram official.  Refinery29

Saturday

21

May 2016

0

COMMENTS

Market Street Productions and Mar Vista Present ‘Seduced’

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Market Street Productions Logo

I always knew Stacy Ekstein was a force to be reckoned with, so when she told me about Market Street Productions’ (“MSP”) latest venture with Mar Vista Entertainment to produce ‘Seduced’ for Lifetime Movie Network I was not surprised. Stacy and AFI alum Chris Ekstein co-founded MSP in 2005, and if that’s not enough for their action-packed schedule, Stacy started a film division this year with the dream of producing quality content from Hollywood’s top female talent.  With many talented female players on the bill, ‘Seduced’ does just that.

The movie is the directorial feature debut of American Film Institute graduate Jessica Janos, and it stars Elisabeth Röhm (Joy, American Hustle). The film follows Caroline, whose “Missed Connections” response on Craigslist leads to a whirlwind romance with a man leading a secret life. As a single mother, Röhm identified with the storyline, explaining that she understands forgetting about one’s own personal needs to care for family, and she was “compelled by that truthful exploration of what it would be like to become awake again.” Röhm also agrees with the importance of featuring female talent, saying, “the movement still hasn’t changed enough for women in this industry.”

As two leading women on production, director Jessica Janos and producer Stacy Ekstein had a great respect for one another. “Stacy is the best producer I have ever worked with,” says Janos. She has a great creative instinct and is not afraid to put herself out there.” Ekstein equally admires Janos’ bold approach, saying she has an “effortless ability to overcome obstacles” which is “what makes talented directors succeed.” For Ekstein and her husband, Market Street Productions has always been about adding more diverse female talent to the Hollywood landscape. “Talent should always win out,” says Ekstein, but “we have to make sure all doors are open.”

Tune in to Lifetime May 22 at 2 AM to see ‘Seduced.’

Elisabeth Rohm and Stacy Ekstein

Elisabeth Rohm and Stacy Ekstein

Behind-the-Scenes, Venice Beach

Behind-the-Scenes, Venice Beach

SeducedBTSVeniceBoardwalkJon&Elisabeth

Behind-the-Scenes Shoot in Venice

Elisabeth Röhm and Director Jessica Janos

Thursday

19

May 2016

0

COMMENTS

Kanye West Visits Ellen for Another Ridiculous Rant

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Kanye West Fashion

Kanye West is an extremely talented musician, but I simply cannot make sense of his insatiable need to conquer all creative mediums. It would be too obvious to talk about the narcissism surrounding his appeal to change the world with more resources. He’s already rich, and if he can’t make a business out of his existing income absent investors, then maybe his dreams are far too big, or his execution is far too weak. Perhaps he can use his capital for charity to “make a difference” rather than a weak fashion line with boring bodycon, tonal spandex. In a new interview with Ellen, he was provoked into another ridiculous rant which only received a clap when he discussed removing bullying, which is in no way part of any actual plan. What’s next? Standing on a mountain top to promote world peace? Also, if you’re going to discuss your inspirational geniuses, think of something more original than Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, and Picasso.

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