The cast of The Greatest Showman was dressed to the nines at the NYC movie premiere on Friday night. Hugh Jackman, Zendaya, and Zac Efron walked the red carpet event ahead of the release of the musical drama, which hits theaters on Christmas day. While Zendaya almost stole the show with her gorgeous black and red gown, it was Hugh and Zac’s adorable bromance that was enough to make our hearts melt. Keep reading to see all of the fun photos from the epic premiere ahead.
Back when Adam Sandler was kind of an up-and-comer, one of his first claims to fame was the holiday song «The Chanukah Song,» giving a festive jam to the Jewish holiday. Sandler has never turned his back on the song, updating it periodically, and we’re revisiting the 2015 version. This time, stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Adam Levine, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt all made the list, along with some fictional characters like Harry Potter and Olaf. Guess what? Still fun to hear Sandler belt the names out after all these years.
Jason Momoa is buffer than ever on the December cover of Men’s Health. The Justice League star, who officially tied the knot with longtime love Lisa Bonet in October, shows off his skills in rock climbing, guitar playing, and stick fighting in the spread, which times perfectly with the release of his superhero film on Nov. 17. In the interview, Jason opens up about parenting — he and Lisa share daughter Lola and son Nakoa-Wolf — saying, «Sometimes you don’t learn it from your parents. You learn it from your best friends. Instead of just, ‘This is what a man’s supposed to be’ . . . you can make something really positive,» adding, «The truth is we’re all searching. We’re all looking for guidance, for mentors, and I’m by no means someone to follow.»
Jason went on to reveal what he hopes to be remembered by: «I want to be remembered as, I hope, an amazing husband and a great father,» he said. «My kids are the greatest piece of art. If I can pump them full of amazing stuff and surround them with beautiful art and music, then I’m going to live out my life watching them.» He went on, «They’re already way smarter and just way better than me. God, I love it. It’s beautiful. I want it to be the greatest thing I ever do: make good humans.»
Our first official look at Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron‘s circus-musical biopic, The Greatest Showman, is here! The trailer offers a glimpse into the film’s magical take on P.T. Barnum’s origin story, from his days as a pencil-pushing businessman to how he got the idea for the Barnum Museum and beyond. Jackman stars as Barnum (and will make you swoon, so prepare yourself) and is joined by Michelle Williams as his wife, as well as Zac Efron and Zendaya as circus performers. The soundtrack, done by La La Land‘s Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, already sounds incredible, but we’ll have to wait until the film hits theaters on Christmas to hear more.
Bruno Mars sings about liking you just the way you are, so you shouldn’t feel weird about also liking (er, loving) him just the way he is too. Whether you’ve been a fan of the Hawaii native (and former baby Elvis impersonator) since he first started his career or only recently came to appreciate his smooth-as-hell dance moves, loving Bruno is something you should shout from the rooftops.
Because shopping can be hard sometimes, we’ve done all the work for you and found the best gifts for anyone in your life who loves Bruno — even if that someone is you and you just want to treat yourself. In honor of the «Grenade» singer being so funky, fresh, and fabulous, check out all of the great gifts that all Bruno-lovers will appreciate this holiday season. We’d also highly recommend blasting «24K Magic» while you do some online shopping . . . it really will make your day!
We’ve only gotten a few sneak peeks of The Greatest Showman, but it’s already shaping up to be a huge showstopper. Not only does the musical biopic have a stellar cast — including Zendaya, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, and Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum — but it also has a remarkable score. The songs are being written by award-winning music duo Pasek and Paul (Benj Pasek and Justin Paul), who are best known for their work on La La Land and the Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen. Plus, who doesn’t want to hear Jackman bust out some high notes? Listen to the first two songs from the soundtrack here before the film hits theaters on Christmas Day.
There is no shortage of Game of Thrones theories, both far-fetched (Ned lives!) and totally plausible (Jon Snow is Azor Ahai!), but the latest theory to come out of the world of Reddit manages to be both at once. Reddit user turm0il26 proposes that Bran Stark is the Night King, and their reasoning is so sound that we’re having a hard time not imagining the bittersweet showdown between Bran and Jon if this time-twisting theory turns out to be right.
Bran isn’t the show’s flashiest character, but he’s been set up as the catalyst for nearly every major event that has transpired since season one. Think about it; if Jaime never pushes the peeping Stark out of a tower window at Winterfell, Catelyn never goes on a mission to find and kidnap Tyrion, which in turn causes the tension between the Lannisters and Starks to escalate in King’s Landing, and so on. It’s also unlikely Bran would ever have unlocked his abilities to warg and use his Greensight to travel through time if he hadn’t lost the use of his legs. Without those abilities, Hodor (as we know him, anyway) wouldn’t exist, and if you subscribe to the Bran drives the Mad King crazy with his whispering theory, then Robert’s Rebellion may have gone down a little differently as well.
Bran isn’t the show’s flashiest character, but he’s been set up as the catalyst for nearly every major event that has transpired since season one.
Game of Thrones seems to subscribe to the time travel theory that whatever happens, happens. In other words, Bran is always going to travel back in time, causing Wylis to become Hodor. If we accept that the Three-Eyed Raven is right when he says «the past is already written,» then we must also accept that anything Bran does during his travels through time are not only always going to happen, but that they will have a direct effect in shaping the future. Now, we know that’s how this time travel thing works, but Bran hasn’t fully grasped the extent of his powers or the lesson that the «ink is dry.» It’s that naivety that could ultimately cause him to become the Night King, as he tries to stop the show’s greatest villain from ever being created in the first place.
Still confused? Let’s break it down.
Turm0il26 proposes that after Bran realizes his powers caused Wylis to become Hodor and one day save his and Meera’s lives, he will wrongly believe he can stop the White Walkers from ever existing in the first place. It makes sense that Bran will be interested in further exploring his powers in season seven. This will be especially true if the Night King and his minions bring down the Wall. It’s possible that Bran will believe only he can stop the oncoming war by going far enough back in time to prevent the creation of the Night King by trying to reason with the Children of the Forest, who are responsible for plunging the dragonglass into the heart of one of the First Men.
Remember, Bran witnesses the creation of the Night King, and he experiences the touch of the ancient ice zombie while warging in season six. These two events suggest a strong connection already exists between these two characters. According to Turm0il26, the reason the Night King and Bran seem to be drawn to each other is because they are essentially the same person at different points of the same timeline. The Reddit theory reads:
«Bran goes back all the way to where the Night king was created, to warg into the human that later is going to become the Night king. He wargs into him to instead stop the ‘dragonglass into the heart’-event from happening. Only he doesn’t think of that the children of the forest won’t recognize him from the future, and that they at that point are in war with the first men (he is gagged because of all the weird future-talk). When he realized he failed again, he tries to go back in the current timeline, but can’t because he’s too deep into the past and stayed too long (‘it is beautiful beneath the sea, stay too long and you drown’). From here Bran gets stuck in the past (exactly as Brynden and Jojen warned him not to) and becomes the Night King.»
Turm0il26 further suggests that the magic the Children of the Forest possess combined with Bran’s powers would ultimately lead to corruption and madness. If all of his attempts to stop the White Walkers from existing in the first place leads to Bran being trapped thousands of years in the past, slowly losing his sense of self, he could become the villain of the piece. It’s classic origin story logic: a character tries to do the right thing but ultimately ends up losing their humanity in the process.
Rewatch the scene where Bran witnesses the Night King’s creation and take special note of Bran’s reaction. Not only does his hand clench as he’s watching the event unfold (which could be interpreted as a physical response to the pain), but when the scene returns to the present day in the cave, Bran’s position against the rock directly mirrors that of the Night King’s against the tree. Add in the leader of the White Walkers being able to touch Bran while he wargs — something no one else has been able to do, so far — and this theory becomes all the more plausible.
The Heartbreaking End
If this time-hopping theory is even close to the truth, then it’s a devastating twist to Bran’s story. Not only would it make him responsible for thousands of deaths, it would also mean he’s fated to live out countless years of misery. Add in the part where Bran’s brother, Jon, seems to be the only person capable of stopping the Night King’s reign, and tears are sure to start flowing if a version of these events plays out on screen.
While the Night King does have an identity in the books — he’s the 13th Commander of the Night’s Watch — this is one Game of Thrones theory that’s well thought out, whether it comes to pass or not. It’s hard to imagine the final two seasons having enough time to fully tell such a complex time travel arc, but stranger things have certainly happened in Westeros. We’ll just have to stay tuned to see if the sweet Summer child that is Bran Stark becomes the king of Winter.
I stumbled upon a video the other day that made me incredibly happy.
Some context: A normal, every day guitar has six strings. There are also seven string guitars, and then eight string guitars (and more as a matter of fact). The purpose of the extra strings is to expand the frequency range that can be played. Seven and eight string guitars are often popular with extreme metal players, who use the added lower strings to hit the low, dark, ominous notes that would otherwise be impossible.
With that in mind, here’s this kid:
Now, I immediately loved everything about that video when I happened across it. I love the angle, I love the guitar, I love the faces he makes. I love the fact that I called the dude a ‘kid’, but really he could be anything from like 15 to 35 years old. I love his video editing.
As soon as that clip finished I clicked through to his channel and was astonished to see that he only had four videos. The one above has over two and a half million views. I thought to myself: Shit, this kid/man must be a prolific YouTube star.
He’s got that eight string Green Day number, then an original composition of his:
Which, you know, is actually pretty tasty.
And then he has this very tight and quite hilarious cover of one of the all-time greatest metal tunes, ‘Raining Blood’ by Slayer:
BUT THEN the big guns, ladies and gentlemen.
The final video on this ambiguously aged human’s YouTube channel is one of my favourite videos of all time. It’s him doing a cover of The Beatles’ ‘Blackbird’ but with a little twist. Check it out:
Isn’t that just divine?
It’s perfect. His meticulous finger picking, that angelic voice and those fluttering, impossible eyelashes, and then those incredibly interspersed, hilarious death metal interludes. Try as I might, I cannot get enough of it. When he does the, ‘Take these sunken eyes and learn to see!’ line and stares directly into your soul I lose it. Every. Damn. Time.
Four videos. Over 5 millions views. That’s some serious punching power.
Give us more,
kid! Man! Kid!
It’s go time in Williamsport — LLWS gets rolling today on ESPN or ESPN2. You’ll get three or so games on throughout the day. Or there’s the Wyndham Championship on Golf Channel at 2 EST. I’m sure there’s also a bunch of regional baseball. There are also three NFL preseason games tonight. Bucs-Jags is on ESPN for you to fake care about.
Best First Pitch In the History of the World Video of a Lifetime
— Busted Coverage (@bustedcoverage) August 17, 2017
Burger of the Day
We Should Stop F**king About and Just Admit It: Samuel L. Jackson is the Greatest American Actor of His Generation, Maybe of All Time
Acting’s a funny thing. Some people are good at it, some are not. And while practically everyone can agree on what Bad Acting is, what does and what does not constitute Good Acting invites far more, often fiery, debate.
There are flavours to both ends of the spectrum, of course. Bad Acting offers up a bountiful buffet that stretches from the off-the-wall gonzo madness of Tommy Wiseau to whatever bland, concrete pillar-style ’emoting’ Scott Eastwood is attempting at the moment. Good Acting, too, comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. You’ve got your old-school intense method kings (Brando, De Niro, Day-Lewis); your complete, inside-out inhabitation of character (Streep, Blanchett, Davis); your livewire energetics (Nicholson, Bassett, Cage) — the list goes on. But while Bad is quite uniformly seen as and agreed to be Bad—ain’t nobody praising Mr. Wiseau’s craft for example—Good is often far more open to argument. One glance towards a certain Mr. DiCaprio is enough to prove that. I’ve lost count of the amount of heated back-and-forths I’ve had with folks about Leo’s onscreen performances. I won’t repeat myself here as I think my stance is relatively well known, but suffice it to say that some people are genuinely and sincerely baffled when I put this opinion across. They simply do not see what I see. Quality in the arts is subjective. Twas ever thus.
All that being said, I think it’s time to get down to brass tacks:
Quality may well subjective, but Samuel L. Jackson is not, and it is time to acknowledge that he may well be the finest American actor of his generation, perhaps of all time.
Now I know what you’re thinking: This needs to be reaffirmed? Like, who in seven Welsh hells doesn’t like Sam Jackson? I’m sure there’re members of the goddamn KKK who get a kick out of watching Sam Jackson do his thing fer chrissakes.
Aye. But there’s a difference between being liked, and being respected. And I’m not just talking, ‘Hey, Sam Jackson is pretty damn good eh?’ respect. I mean The Best.
Samuel L. Jackson doesn’t need me to get in his corner—he’s Samuel L. fucking Jackson—but I’m gonna do it anyway.
The movie industry works much like most others do in our white supremacist, patriarchal world order—via a conformist funnel system. In other words: If you are to be accorded a certain amount of respect or prestige, and you happen to find yourself to be of a human form that does not conform to the One True White Male One, then you had better toe the line. Whether it is in the world of movies, music, sports, literature, politics, or a multitude of others, the amount of leeway given to straight, able-bodied, cis-gendered white men is several factors higher than that given to anyone else. Put simply: If you find yourself outside of this prestigious demographic, you are forever teetering on the precipice of disavowal.
In the movie industry, when it comes to respect—to being seen as a Great Artist—if you are one of the hallowed, then Greatness is allowed to come in all shapes and sizes: The Wacky Eccentric (Brando), the Serious Scholar (Day-Lewis), the Mercurial Rogue (Jack Nicholson). The list goes on. But cast your eyes towards any other demographic, and you’ll find those that have been venerated and held up more often than not conform to one mould: The Serious Artist. Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, Morgan Freeman. There are exceptions, of course, but by and large if you wish to be elevated to a certain level in this world and its current power structures, you have to play the game. You should be Serious, Austere, and Respectful—and maybe then, if you’re lucky, the system will reward you and tell you that you’re great.
Now here’s where Samuel L. Jackson comes in.
Sam Jackson does not, and has never, given a fuck.
He has worked hard, he has honed his art, and he has always done it on his own terms. But, over time, the world has come to give a fuck about him. The injustice, however, is in how it does so. Because to many people, Samuel L. Jackson is still just the wild-eyed, fire-breathing ‘Volume Up’ button you press if you want to make your movie more…motherfucker-y. To unimaginative casting agents or directors he is still a token, recognisable black face that they may cast in order to dilute the Whiteness of their movie—a relic of an older, not-fading-quickly-enough world. As Jackson himself said in 1993:
Casting black actors is still strange for Hollywood. Denzel gets the offer first. Then it’s Danny Glover, Forest Whitaker and Wesley Snipes. Right now, I’m the next one on the list.
He may have leapfrogged up that list in the decades since, but the underlying system remains largely the same.
Well fuck all of that. Fuck the racist system that needs its black actors to be Serious before it calls them Great and fuck any critics or members of the public who still consider him to be just a walking catchphrase. Samuel L. Jackson is a Great Artist. A master craftsman. A consummate entertainer who creates works of high cultural value and who makes deep, resonant statements about humanity, and who does so with a twinkle in his eye and a mischievous, knowing grin on his face, without a hint of pretension. We are blessed to be alive at the same time as he and we should be showering him with awards.
There is a golden, luminescent line that runs through Jackson’s life and career that is key to understanding him. A heritage of defiance that defines him as well as his work. He was one of the ushers at Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral, and, involving himself with the Black Power movement, he was once quoted after the tragedy as as saying:
I was angry about the assassination, but I wasn’t shocked by it. I knew that change was going to take something different — not sit-ins, not peaceful coexistence.
The year after the assassination, Jackson and a few fellow activists held members of their Atlanta college board of trustees hostage, demanding reforms in governance and curriculum. His involvement with the movement gradually increasing, his mother feared for his safety after a warning from the FBI and so sent him to Los Angeles, where he channeled his energies into acting, starting on the stage and making his way to bit parts on the small and then big screen.
Sam Jackson has appeared in over one hundred movies, and he is the highest grossing actor of all time (no, Stan Lee doesn’t count). We take him for granted now. We take his presence as a given. He’s Nick Fury for God’s sake. But in such a world, it is easy to forget the depth of the man’s skill.
Jackson’s Fury is a, along with his twin star Tony Stark, the centre of gravity around which the behemoth that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe rotates. That kind of responsibility requires a force of presence and a charisma that is as rare as unicorn tears. Jackson has it in spades. By minutes of screen time he is one of the minimal players on this giant chessboard, and yet his monocular command casts a shadow over everything, even in the vast stretches that he is off screen. It might seem like an easy task, a natural consequence of the screenplay perhaps and nothing else, but turn back time, cast anyone else in that role, and watch the house of cards tumble. In superhero movies, there needs to be a natural, delicate blend of camp and sincerity; of pop and menace. Jackson perfected this cocktail on his first go around.
Part of the reason why Jackson’s Fury works so perfectly is that the actor infuses just enough of himself into the role so as to bolster an already badass character with some of his own natural, oceanic reserves of power—but not enough that it overwhelms the role and he simply plays himself. This, perhaps more than anything else, speaks to the levels of craft that Jackson commands at this stage in his career.
He has honed and perfected it now, but Jackson has always been able to walk this fine line. There are those actors who, no matter how hard they try, can never leave themselves at the door, and can never quite let the character be the louder voice. Not so Sam Jackson. Even in the relatively nascent stages of his career he could—somehow, despite already being one of the most distinctive personalities in the business—take a backseat to the role he was playing. Think of Zeus Carver in 1995’s Die Hard With A Vengeance. I really, really love that movie. Jackson’s Carver, inspired by his readings on Malcolm X, is one of the main reasons why I feel that way. In the history of big blockbusters that rely on the chemistry between its leads, there have been precious few roles that gave as much to their movie as Zeus Carver. Jackson plays the hyper-conscious Carver with wonderful layers of righteous rage, wry humor, and believable evolution. He gives us a fully-formed human being who feels like he exists even when we’re not looking. That’s not Samuel L. Jackson up there, that’s Zeus fuckin’ Carver. This is pretty much the case with almost every role that the actor takes on, large or small. An icon that burns as brightly as the sun, and yet manages to disappear into and serve whatever movie he’s in. All the while, crucially, always being an absolute joy to watch. Fire an arrow into a board of Jackson’s filmography and it’ll apply. Do the Right Thing, The Negotiator, 1408, Black Snake Moan, Jungle Fever, Unbreakable…fucking Jumper! All made better thanks to Samuel L. Jackson’s involvement, and many of which would deserve entire essays all on their own. He does not make it his business to sit around, waiting for the call for a prestige Oscar-bait picture, tailoring his performances for awards season. The man just acts. It’s what he does.
Naturally, Jackson’s career in Hollywood cannot rightfully be talked about without mentioning Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino was, of course, the director who gave Jackson the role that exploded him like a firework into the world’s imagination. Pulp Fiction’s Jules Winnfield is, like many of Tarantino’s creations, part-cartoon. He may have matured over the years, but the writer-director started out creating characters that could be accused of existing as delivery devices for his (nevertheless wonderfully written) scripts first, and actual characters second. Jules is one of these. Instantly iconic in a loud, menacing, quotable way, there are intimations of humanity and progression in him that Jackson took, amplified, and finessed. Without him, Jules Winnfield would be half the creation that we know. Thanks to him, the character echoes in eternity.
Winnfield aside, evoking the Tarantino/Jackson partnership leads one through an embarrassment of riches. Jackie Brown is one of Tarantino’s absolute best for example, and Jackson’s Ordell Robbie is a charismatic, terrifying presence. But it’s in two of the director’s latter works that the genius of the actor becomes truly apparent. To anyone who was paying attention, the one-two punch of Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight should have been the final nails in the coffin of any misconceptions around Jackson’s skill. What’s fantastic to see is that it did it in two wildly different ways. In Django Jackson plays Stephen, the plantation owner’s favored slave, in what must surely count as one of the actor’s most challenging roles to date. Stephen is the archetypal Uncle Tom. He sees the brutality of an unpardonable system laid out clearly before him, but instead of seeking to overthrow it he yearns to elevate himself slightly above his worse-suffering peers. Jackson absolutely disappears into the role, communicating with sharp, angry movements and baleful, suspicious looks, burying resentment and a tainted conscience deep inside himself. It’s a role that is tucked into the folds of the movie, but which dominates it in many ways nevertheless.
The Hateful Eight, by contrast, put Jackson front, left, and 70mm centre. It is a movie that is built around him. I remain convinced that it is a work that will grow in acclaim as the years go by, and Jackson’s Major Marquis Warren will be one of the main reasons for this. In a film filled with engrossing deceits, reveals, and rug-pulls, the most resonant element by far is its central protagonist. Great actors crowd the frame, and all are reduced to the status of children play-acting before nap time in the face of Sam Jackson’s tour de force performance. In the nearly three hours in between opening and closing credits the nearly seventy-year-old actor radiates charm, crackles with menace, and wrestles with suspicion and explodes with anger. Watching it I remember thinking, ‘Holy shit. The depth and range of this performance. Of the man’s whole career. The sheer bloody breadth. The commitment, the craft, the entertainment. Is there anything this man cannot do?’
If you still think the answer is, ‘Yes’, then I am afraid that you really have not been paying attention.