A 5-year-old leukemia patient named Miles got to play Batman Jr. on Friday, courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and 10,000 amazing volunteers in San Francisco. There was a packed itinerary — Batmobile driving, rescuing a woman the Riddler tied to the cable car tracks, receiving the key to the city — and a breathless live news stream. Photos galore over here.
Monuments Men is about American national monuments like George Clooney and Bill Murray and Matt Damon. But it's also about those gents playing intellectuals sent to WWII Europe to rescue priceless art from ze Nazis. The release was recently pushed from November 15 to early 2014, which was already a shame since the film sounds and looks great, or at least fun. But now the delay is a damned travesty, because roughly "1,500 modernist masterpieces — thought to have been looted by the Nazis — have been confiscated from the flat of an 80-year-old man from Munich, in what is being described as the biggest artistic find of the postwar era." Our sincerest condolences, George. We'll see the movie anyway, even after the art-find fervor subsides.
Halloween episodes are an underappreciated art and, when done well, they're uniquely satisfying. You get to see all your favorite TV buddies in delightfully character-appropriate costumes, and inevitably something weird or scary that would not happen any other week goes down. Here are our favorite spooktacular moments from the small screen — happy early Halloween!
Marcia Wallace, the venerable character actor who voiced weary teacher Edna Krabappel on The Simpsons and played Carol Kester on The Bob Newhart Show, died Friday night of complications from unspecified illnesses. She was 70.
Wallace moved from Iowa to New York as a young actor and worked odd jobs to make ends meet, including substitute teaching English in the Bronx. In late '60s New York, she was in The Music Man, did avant-garde theater, and formed an improv comedy group called "The Fourth Wall." By the early '70s she was being cast as saleswomen and busybodies on shows like The Brady Brunch, Columbo, and Love, American Style. She became a regular on The Merv Griffin Show, and when the show relocated to Los Angeles, so did Wallace. The role of Carol Kester, Bob Newhart's smart-mouthed secretary, was written specifically for Wallace, and she became nationally famous for it.
Gravity arrives in theaters this weekend, and we here at Grantland are all hyped up on space, despite what appears to be director Alfonso Cuarón's best efforts to make it look like a losing proposition. Here are our favorite moments from every corner of the Milky Way … and beyond.
Over the weekend, Simpsons executive producer Al Jean told The Hollywood Reporter that a recurring character would be killed off during the show's upcoming 25th or 26th seasons, adding that he was aiming for "Breaking Bad–type numbers" for murdering one of his creations. The only detail he offered was that the doomed cartoon's voice actor had won an Emmy for his or her performance, a clue worth very little when you consider that the show has netted 25 voice-over Emmy wins during its lifetime. Hank Azaria and Dan Castellaneta have each won Emmys for "various characters," which just makes things more difficult. This is not the first time one of the show's major character will take a taxi to heaven: Maude Flanders was accidentally killed in a rain of balled-up T-shirts fired out of cannons 14 years ago (posthumously, she reported that the afterlife was "an empty meaningless void"). Comparatively minor characters who have passed on include Dr. Nick, who also ghosted on Springfield after becoming a Trappuccino fatality, Bleeding Gums Murphy (Lisa's jazz mentor), Homer's mother Mona (voiced by Glenn Close), and Homer's coworker and nemesis Frank "Grimey" Grimes.
If the hit list only includes regular characters who have won Emmys, that eliminates Anne Hathaway's Princess Penelope from the running, despite her trophy (she starred in only one episode, though she was mentioned in two more). It's also unlikely that a member of the immediate Simpsons family will succumb, because that's just too depressing. So who does that leave, then? Let's get to work, Nancy Drew.
Don't act surprised that a five-minute YouTube clip of someone playing a video game has passed 678,000 views in just a few days. Did Grand Theft Auto V even still count as a video game after it earned $800 million on its release day? That's when a thing morphs into a culture-dominating disk-based piece of art that we have to call art no matter what we think, right? So yeah, check out this wildly popular video of a shiny car going wild all over one of GTA V's mountains. The car's driver throws a grenade into a helicopter at one point; John McClane would blush.
Football season starts this week, and we here at Hollywood Prospectus are very excited about it! To help spread the word about this cool sport, we decided to highlight some of its biggest stars' most shining moments off the field and under the bright lights of showbiz. Because whether it's a charmingly self-aware sitcom cameo or a sincere dramatic performance, nothing steals a scene like a giant human trained to run into other humans for a living.
Today on the Girls in Hoodies podcast, Molly, Emily, and I talk about the greatness of Orange Is the New Black, which leads us, inevitably, to a discussion about opening credits. OITNB’s intro was not made with Netflix marathons in mind: fast-forwarding through it can seem like too much of a hassle (especially if you have Apple TV), so it’s best to leave the room for a snack during Episode 3 as you are urged to remember all their faces and remember all their voices yet again. The lyrics are applied literally, directly to the forehead like a smack; the sequence feels lengthy and on-the-nose, which is the opposite of what Orange Is the New Black can boast to be.
It's been a big week for babies, and while the royal family and People magazine would have you believe that the most important one in the world was born 48 hours ago, we all know that pop culture is positively bouncing with unforgettable babies — tiny people that nonetheless have the ability to change the course of life as we know it, or our favorite TV shows, or just our worst nightmares, forever. Here are the Grantland staff's picks for most notable newborns in pop culture.
Oh, I see you've paused your Sopranos marathon and have stopped crying into your gabagool. What a great time to watch Stephen Colbert's moving tribute to his recently deceased mother, Lorna: She had 11 children, taught her kids to stage fall, and said ... oh no ... she wouldn't miss ... Colbert's ... show ... for ... the ... world. COUGH COUGH I'M FINE I'M JUST COUGHING DON'T LOOK AT ME I SAID I'M FINE.
Astrology in fiction has a colorful history: Queen Elizabeth’s relationship with astronomer, occultist, and crystal-ball guy John Dee led to repeated hot debates among Shakespeare’s characters (Prospero; Romeo and Juliet; King Lear) about self-determination versus the fate dictated by natal charts; Sailor Moon hits the horoscope tip on the double, covering both Eastern and Western astrological calendars; Marvel Comics has its own Zodiac cartel; and there’s a sizable amount of bandwidth devoted to considering the sun signs of the wizards and friends of Harry Potter. Guessing character’s signs is a sort of Internet parlor game, a way of squeezing more juice out of a fake person than the author provides. When a character’s birth date is mentioned explicitly, it seems like a good opportunity to get all Room 237 on that tip and add an extra dimension of character traits to imaginary biographies. But even when birthday parties are featured on a show that appears to take place in the present, the armchair astrologists eagerly hop onto the topic to riddle out the Virgos from the Scorpios (though South Park’s Eric Cartman is believed, for some reason, to have been born on July 1, his birthday episode aired on February 4 but took place on a Saturday, which would have been February 7).
On this coming Sunday's episode of The Simpsons, the couch gag will pay homage to the "Crystal Blue Persuasion" montage from September's midseason finale of Breaking Bad. Wait. September? Really? It's been that long since we've had any new Breaking Bad? This has to be a mistake. Only network monsters would cut a final season in half and make us wait … sweet Heisenberg wandering in the desert, three more months! to get some resolution to a journey that began five years ago.
The original montage is below, for those who want to be crushed by unexpected nostalgia and/or fact-check the accuracy of the animated interpretation and/or grind their teeth down to dust with anticipation of the series' last eight episodes ever: