<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/entertainment/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com en-us Sun, 20 Apr 2014 17:06:40 -0400 Sun, 20 Apr 2014 17:06:40 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Photos: Royal Vacation]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 12:34:19 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP501109020810.jpg Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, welcomed home a baby boy on July 22. Click through for photos of the young family on their three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Coachella Returns]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 06:17:30 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/181*120/cdd16.jpg 80,000 people are back in the desert -- taking in Weekend II of Coachella 2014 and seeing such artists as Bastille, Aloe Blacc and others.

Photo Credit: Ryan Cowen]]>
<![CDATA[Late at Night on NBC]]> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 11:16:52 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP24762024125.jpg

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Latest Celeb Pics: Billie Joe Armstrong, Kevin Spacey]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 04:50:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/215*120/485570423.jpg Check out the latest photos of your favorite celebrities.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Coachella]]>
<![CDATA[Stars at Coachella: Katy Perry, Paris Hilton & More]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 20:14:37 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/coachella-katy-perry-credit-Frazer-Harrison.jpg Music fans weren't the only ones in attendance over the weekend at Coachella -- big-name celebrities joined in the action too.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Coachella]]>
<![CDATA["The Voice"]]> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 11:59:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NUP_162906_1105.JPG

Photo Credit: Trae Patton/NBC]]>
<![CDATA["Thrones" Post Taken as Threat]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 16:09:30 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/game-of-thrones-shirt-professor.jpg

A New Jersey college professor was placed on unpaid leave after posting online a photo of his 6-year-old daughter wearing a shirt with a quote from "Game of Thrones" that administrators took as a threat.

The shirt says "I will take what is mine with fire & blood," and the photo was posted on Google+ by the Bergen Community College professor, Francis Schmidt, in January, around the time HBO released a trailer for the new season of the show.

After a college dean saw the post, and perceived it as a "threatening email," Schmidt was ordered to meet with administrators and was then placed on unpaid leave. The dispute in January came to light this week after Inside Higher Ed referred to it in an online post.

Schmidt on Friday shared an email with NBC 4 New York that he said was from a human resources employee at the college at the time of the dispute.

"You are not to be on campus for any reason," the email says. "The safety of all of the members of the community is taken very seriously."

Schmidt was allowed to return to teaching later that month after he was cleared by a psychiatrist. He says he missed crucial time with students he was advising.

He says he can't imagine why anyone would think he's capable of violence.

"They claimed to have never heard of 'Game of Thrones,' and so I tried to explain it to them," he said Friday.

College spokesman Larry Hlavenka Jr. said in a statement that the matter was a private personnel issue, but added that the college takes seriously any perceived threats of violence.

"Since Jan. 1, 2014, 34 incidents of school shootings have occurred in the United States," Hlavenka said. "In following its safety and security procedures, the college investigates all situations where a member of its community – students, faculty, staff or local residents – expresses a safety or security concern."

Schmidt believes he was targeted because he filed a grievance against the school when he was not granted a sabbatical.

The faculty union has also been embroiled in contract negotiations with the college; last week the union cast a no-confidence vote in the school's president. 

--Jen Maxfield contributed to this story



Photo Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images]]>
<![CDATA[10 Great Easter Movies to Watch This Weekend]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:48:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/The+Bible+Mark+Burnett.jpg

Most people can easily list their favorite Christmas, Thanksgiving and other major holiday movies. But how many of us have a list of films we enjoy every Easter?

The holiest holiday of the Christian calendar has spawned numerous adaptions of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. From the early days of Hollywood (1953's "The Robe") to the recent spate of Christianity-based fare on offer at the cineplex (2014's "Son of God"), there's an Easter-themed movie sure to appeal.

Even those looking for lighter Easter-themed fare need only look to Fred Astaire and Judy Garland ("Easter Parade") and the Peanuts gang ("It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown") for something to view this weekend.

Here, in no particular order, a list of 10 of the best Easter movies:

"The Robe" (1953)

Richard Burton plays military tribune Marcellus Gallio who commands the Roman unit that crucifies Jesus. In a dice game, Gallio wins the robe Jesus wore and is told it will serve as a reminder of his first crucifixion. Haunted by nightmares of the act he has participated in, Gallio slowly begins to believe the robe is having an effect on his life. Over time he comes to understand what Jesus was trying to achieve, and eventually converts to Christianity - much to the disgust of his peers and his father, an important Roman Senator. "The Robe" was also the first film ever to be released featuring the wide screen process known as CinemaScope.

"Son of God" (2014)

Produced by reality television competition guru Mark Burnett ("Survivor," "The Voice") and his wife, actress Roma Downey, "Son of God" was adapted from the ten-hour miniseries "The Bible" which aired in 2013 on the History channel. As a feature film it both expands upon and abridges the Jesus-driven portions of the miniseries, from birth to resurrection. While making the movie Burnett says he couldn’t help but notice certain similarities to popular contemporary entertainment. "The feeling of the movie and the pace, it’s like 'House of Cards,' that political intrigue, the political drama," he said. "It’s a political thriller wrapped in an epic – and it’s pretty epic, the scale: hundreds and hundreds of extras and special effects with miracles."

"Jesus Christ Superstar" (1973)

Based on the Broadway musical of the same name created by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, this rock opera follows the final weeks of Jesus' life and features no spoken dialogue. Ted Neeley stars as Jesus, Carl Anderson as Judas, and Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene. The film centers on the conflict between Judas and Jesus leading up to the crucifixion and features the hit song, "I Don't Know How to Love Him."

"Easter Parade" (1948)

Starring Judy Garland and Fred Astaire and featuring music by Irving Berlin, "Easter Parade" definitely falls on the lighter end of the Easter movie spectrum. Astair stars as a dancer suddenly bereft of a partner when his former colleague (Ann Miller) departs the duo for a solo career. Astair's character finds a replacement in a chorus dancer who can not only move, but has a great singing voice (Garland). The movie features beloved numbers such as "It Only Happens When I Dance With You," "A Couple of Swells" and of course, "Easter Parade."

"Jesus of Nazareth" (1977)

Italian director Franco Zeffirelli's dramatic take on the life of Christ is a television mini-series produced in Britain. Robert Powell portrays Jesus alongside an all-star cast that includes Christopher Plummer, Anne Bancroft, Laurence Olivier, Claudia Cardinale, Ian McShane, Olivia Hussey, James Mason, Ian Holm and Anthony Quinn.

"Ben-Hur" (1959)

Charlton Heston is Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish merchant of noble blood in this sword-and-sandals historical epic that begins with the birth of Jesus and ends with the titular character witnessing the Crucifixion. Thanks to an act he did not commit, Ben-Hur ends up a slave who must fight his way back to the land and the woman he loves. One key scene involves Ben-Hur being denied water when his slave gang arrives at Nazareth. He collapses and a local carpenter (who is revealed to be Jesus) comes to his aid against the orders of the Roman guards. The nine-minute chariot battle featured in the movie became a hallmark of great cinematic moments and the film went on to win eleven Academy Awards including Best Picture.

"The Greatest Story Ever Told" (1965)

Max Von Sydow portrays Jesus in this three-plus hour movie that also features Charlton Heston as John the Baptist and follows the life of Christ from Nativity to Resurrection. Other notable stars in the movie include Angela Lansbury, Jose Ferrer, Telly Savalas and Dorothy McGuire, and it marks the final film of Claude Rains.

"It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown" (1974)

In this, the 12th prime-time television outing to feature the Peanuts gang, Linus tries to convince everyone the Easter Beagle will make the holiday a success when he arrives on Easter morning. After Linus' previous belief in the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and co. don't buy in to his ideas. Even Sally has trouble keeping the faith in her "sweet baboo" following her previous disillusionment at Halloween. Of course, by the time Easter morning arrives so does the Easter Beagle (Snoopy), just in time to distribute eggs.

"The Last Temptation of Christ" (1988)

Directed by Martin Scorsese, it's one of the more controversial retellings of Jesus' life, with Willem Dafoe as Jesus, Harvey Keitel as Judas Iscariot, Barbara Hershey as Mary Magdalene, David Bowie as Pontius Pilate, and Harry Dean Stanton as Paul. Throughout the film Jesus is tempted by the various sins he must overcome, including fear, doubt, depression, reluctance and lust.

"The Passion of the Christ" (2004)

Directed by Mel Gibson and starring Jim Caviezel as Jesus, the film covers the final 12 hours of Jesus' life and was controversial for its use of language and depiction of violence. The entire dialogue is performed in the ancient languages of Aramaic, Latin and Hebrew, with Jesus' arrest, trial, torture, crucifixion and resurrection shown in graphic detail. "The Passion of the Chris" is still the most successful non-English language film ever at the box office, grossing more than $600 million worldwide.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[NoRA Cupcakes Make List of Best in the U.S. ]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 10:37:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NoRa+50+Shades+of+Chocolate.jpg

Cupcakes from NoRA in Middletown are heavenly. If you’ve ever had one, we’re pretty sure you’ll agree. The Daily Meal certainly does.

They have ranked the local cupcakery’s sweets among the 101 best cupcakes in America.

NoRA came in 63 and is the only Connecticut cupcake shop to make the list. 

“NoRA Cupcake Company proudly boasts over 100 cupcake flavors on their full menu, and promises their sweets will blow you away,” Daily Meal says.

NoRA is not what you might think of when you think of a “typical” cupcake shop. The company was actually born in a bar, Eli Cannon’s, which is located across the street, and the influence is clear in the selection of cocktail cupcakes, as well as some of the rockstar cupcakes.

The boozy-inspired creations include the Bourbon Blackberry Fizz, Jack Daniels cake bakes with blueberries; the cosmopolitan; the Oreo mudslide and more. Um? Yum!

“We are most intrigued by their cocktail-inspired line of cupcakes that harken to flavors found behind the bar. The “bourbon apple crumble cupcake” features a butterscotch chip cake, Jack Daniels simmered apples, vanilla buttercream, butterscotch drizzle and crumb topping that is fabulous for a more developed palette,” Daily Meal pointed out.

There are also Butterfinger cupcakes; the Funky Monkey, with banana chocolate chip cake, peanut butter frosting and chopped peanuts; the Fat Elvis, with banana, marshmallow, peanut butter frosting and candied bacon; and many, many more. (Don’t be afraid of the candied bacon. We’ve tried it. Trust us, your mouth with thank you.)

NoRA Cupcake is located at 700 Main Street in Middletown. 



Photo Credit: NoRa Cupcake Company]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrity Baby Bumps]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 10:53:00 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/olivia-wilde-485382807.jpg Celebrities can be nine months pregnant and still look amazing. Check out these stars and their baby bumps from all stages.

Photo Credit: WireImage]]>
<![CDATA[Whoopi Goldberg Pens Column for the Cannabist]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:10:30 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP223328357635.jpg

Whoopi Goldberg loves her vape pen and wants everyone to know it.

A new column by "The View" co-host debuted Thursday on the Cannabist, the Denver Post's cannabis-focused news website covering legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado.

"My vape pen and I maintain a mostly private relationship. Sure, I’ll sometimes show my pen to a friend or share her with a close confidant," Goldberg, 58, writes in her premiere column. "But mostly it’s just she and I working through my pain. And her ability to help me live comfortably with glaucoma makes her one of the more important figures in my day to day."

Goldberg’s debut column focuses on using marijuana to find relief from glaucoma-induced headaches that she says "come on like freight trains."

"What kind of kush is in my vape pen at the moment?" she continues. "The indica-dominant Platinum OG, of course."

"The high is different, too. It feels like a gentle, warm breeze at the beach. It’s like someone undoing a vice grip, very slowly. It’s not overpowering — and I’m certainly not looking for that high high. I’m looking for relief."

Goldberg will write a column about every two months, Post owner Digital First Media announced in a press release. The idea for the article was developed after Ricardo Baca, Editor of the Cannabist, appeared on "The View." 

Baca says he and Goldberg "instantly connected" when he appeared on the daytime chat fest. "Whoopi's column provides a direct and personal perspective on marijuana use in this modern era," Baca said. "We're grateful that she is willing to add her voice to this conversation." 



Photo Credit: Carlo Allegri/Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Star Spotting at the Tribeca Film Festival ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:27:25 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/tribeca-film-485175965.jpg Indie and Hollywood celebrities alike are congregating in New York to attend the Tribeca Film Festival. See photos from the star-studded film premieres.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for the 2014 Tribec]]>
<![CDATA[Salsa Singer Cheo Feliciano Killed in Crash]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:02:13 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP070907056835.jpg

Puerto Rican salsa and bolero singer Cheo Feliciano died in a car crash early Thursday morning, Telemundo Puerto Rico has confirmed. He was 78.

Jose Luis Feliciano Vega, better known as Cheo Feliciano,  was killed just after 4 a.m. when the Jaguar he was driving hit an electrical post in the Cupey area of San Juan, according to Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Dia.

Feliciano, the sole passenger in the vehicle, died on impact following the 4:13 a.m. crash on a road near the Universidad Metropolitana. A police inspector told the newspaper he was not wearing a seat belt. He is survived by his wife, Puerto Rican dancer Coco Prieto Leon Feliciano, and four sons.

Feliciano, one of the most recognized musicians of his genre, was credited as influencing other salsa stars, including Ruben Blades and Gilberto Santarosa. He produced a list of hits that includes "One in a Million," ''My Promise," and "I Learned with You," according to The Associated Press.

The musician, who was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, started his career as a percussionist in New York before joining the Joe Cuba Sextet as a singer. He recorded 17 albums with the band performing with top Latin artists of the era, before joining Fania Records' All-Stars ensemble and starting a successful solo career, according to a biography on Billboard.com.  He was honored with the Latin Grammy Awards' Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. He was a vocal participant in anti-drug campaigns following his own battle with addiction, El Nueva Dia reported.

Feliciano had been diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer last year, but continued to make public appearances. According to El Nueva Dia, he was supposed to fly to Acapulco for a show with other salsa singers later this week.



Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS]]>
<![CDATA[Season Finale a "Community" Service]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:09:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NUP_159232_0330.JPG

At the start of the most recent episode of "Community," all seems strangely quiet and happy for once at the crisis-ridden, surreal bin for the dysfunctional that is Greendale Community College. This freaks out Abed, the pop culture savant who serves as the show's meta narrator, like a twisted TV version of the Stage Manager from "Our Town."

"There's always a story!" Abed cries as he falls to his knees in the school's oddly quiet hallway, the past site of a massive blanket fort, paintball wars and a zombie attack. "Everything is a story!"

For Abed, his very being is predicated on frequent misadventures he can process in TV or movie terms. For fans of "Community," Abed's existential crisis marks a sign that we could be nearing the end of the story.

"Community" caps its fifth season on NBC Thursday as the characters wage a fight to save Greendale – and, perhaps, the show. It's a familiar position for a program a devoted, but modest fan base tunes into knowing every season finale could be the series finale.

"Community" debuted in 2009 with a mission to turn – or bounce, as in the episode featuring a hidden trampoline with a Prozac-like effect – TV storytelling upside down, constantly buffeting sitcom conventions.

The show survived lackluster ratings, cast departures (Chevy Chase and Donald Glover) and hiatuses to close in on the creative team's goal of "six seasons and a movie" – a message seen on a white board during the Season 4 finale.

The current season has proved even more self-referential, beginning with a debut episode called, “Repilot,” a nod to the characters’ post-graduation return to Greendale to rescue the school. It also might have been a nod to “Community” creator Dan Harmon’s return, after being ousted for a season, to save the show following an unfairly maligned fourth season.

Season 5 has yielded some vintage bizarrely entertaining episodes, including an epic Dungeons & Dragons game that revived the program's recurring theme of fathers clashing with sons. Harmon showed up in a recent installment animated in the style of the old “G.I. Joe” cartoon, featuring Abed as a character called “Fourth Wall.”

There’s nothing subtle about the name – or the plot that takes us to what could be the series’ final episode Thursday. Greendale, finally in good shape, gets taken over by the Subway sandwich chain, and is rechristened “Subway University” – offering product placement (and a cameo by Subway pitchman Jared Fogle) while mocking product placement.

Even worse, it looks like Greendale/Subway might be sold to developers. But there’s hope: Dean Pelton found a treasure map behind a portrait in his office that could save the day.

So Abed has a new story to dive into – but it might be his last. As we await what could be the final timeline for “Community,” check out a preview below:

Jere Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.



Photo Credit: Justin Lubin/NBC]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Schumer's "Foodroom" Parodies "Newsroom"]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:38:22 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/inside+amy+schumer+the+foodroom.jpg

Fans of Aaron Sorkin's rapid-fire dialogue, self-reverential monologues and broadly drawn female protagonists will get every quip, demand, aside and traveling camera shot in comedian Amy Schumer's "Newsroom" parody clip, "The Foodroom."

The skit debuted Tuesday night on Comedy Central's "Inside Amy Schumer" and features all the hallmarks of a Sorkin show ("The West Wing," "Sport's Night," "The Newsroom") and even one alum: actor Josh Charles ("The Good Wife") starred as Dan Rydell in "Sports Night."

In “The Foodroom,” Charles plays J.J. MacAhoy, manager of a fast food establishment called McDalmond’s and Schumer plays his assistant/former lover. For the uninitiated, in "The Newsroom" Jeff Daniels plays cable news anchor Will McAvoy and Emily Mortimer plays his show producer who also happens to be an ex-girlfriend.

Like its inspiration, "The Foodroom" features walk and talks (from the back office to the front counter via the kitchen), lengthy speeches (at MacDalmond's it concerns fries vs. apple slices) and giving the people what you think they need, not necessarily what they want.

"No, today, I'm gonna give you 3,800 calories of the greatest Goddamn country in the world," Charles as MacAhoy tells a drive-thru customer whose order he disagrees with. Cue reverential nodding from Schumer.

Schumer, whose show is now in its second season on Comedy Central, regularly confronts gender politics in her sketches and "The Foodroom" doesn't disappoint. When quizzed about her return to the United States following a stint as a Sbarro employee in Tel Aviv, Schumer's character explains her reason thusly: "Then one day I'm stuffing couscous into a calzone and I realized, a woman’s life is worth nothing unless she’s making a great man greater."

Schumer rose to fame when she placed fourth on the fifth season of NBC's "Last Comic Standing" ahead of earning second place on Comedy Central's "Reality Bites Back." Before launching her own Comedy Central series in 2013, Schumer could be seen in a recurring role on the Adult Swim series "Delocated."

No word yet on whether Schumer's "Foodroom" parody has Sorkin smiling or smarting.

Watch the full clip of "The Foodroom" above.



Photo Credit: Comedy Central]]>
<![CDATA["The Voice" Gets Its Top 12 Contestants]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:20:01 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NUP_163514_1611.jpg

"The Voice" has gotten its top 12 contestants who will do vocal battle in the live rounds, as Usher wrapped up the playoffs Tuesday when he picked his soulful finals-bound team of three: Bria Kelly, T.J. Wilkins and Josh Kaufman.

Their success came at the expense of metalhead-turned-bluesman Stevie Jo and jazz-inflected pop singer Melissa Jimenez, who were eliminated from the team Tuesday.

T.J. earned his slot on the leaner, meaner Team Usher with his take on Chaka Khan and Rufus' "Tell Me Something Good," while Bria secured hers with a cover of the Rolling Stones' shambling, country-tinged ballad "Wild Horses" that showed, perhaps for the first time, a more vulnerable, nuanced side.

Josh, though, who as a recent Team Adam steal was perhaps the least secure on Team Usher, was the night's biggest hit. He dispelled his coach's concerns in rehearsals about the tall task he'd taken on with singing Bruno Mars' "It Will Rain" with a desperate-sounding, gospel-infused rendition that showed the ordinarily low-key soul singer's range.

The selection of those three singers to represent Team Usher heading into the live rounds on "The Voice" capped a tough few nights of playoffs.

On Monday night, Adam Levine and Shakira had had to make their own grueling decisions on whom to send on to the live rounds. For Adam, that meant sticking with Delvin Choice, Christina Grimmie and Kat Perkins. For Shakira, that meant Tess Boyer, Kristen Merlen and Dani Moz.

Last week, Blake Shelton whittled down his own team, and unsurprisingly, he left it heavy on the country. Joining veteran powerhouse Sisaundra Lewis are throwback country belter Audra McLaughlin and honkytonk-ready Texan 17-year-old Jake Worthington.

"The Voice" airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c.



Photo Credit: Trae Patton/NBC]]>
<![CDATA["Magic Mike" Sequel Gets Release Date ]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:11:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP110913187487.jpg

Channing Tatum will be gyrating back onto the big screen next year, adding a few more fireworks to Fourth of July celebrations.

Warner Bros. announced Tuesday that the yet-to-be-titled follow up to “Magic Mike” will hit theaters July 3, 2015. Some websites are reporting that the film will be named "Magic Mike XXL," but that title has not been confirmed.

The original film starred Tatum as the titular male stripper and was directed by Steven Soderbergh. Also starring Matthew McConaughey, Olivia Munn and Matt Bomer, the movie was a sleeper hit of 2012, eventually grossing more than $167 million at the box office worldwide.

So popular was the film, it even spawned a Broadway musical version.

In February, Tatum tweeted a picture of himself with the accompanying caption saying that he had begun the early stages of writing the sequel.

But "Mike 2" will have to work for its audience tips when it bows. The sequel faces stiff box office competition from the next "Terminator" installment which explodes into in theaters on July 1, 2015.

Tatum will next be seen onscreen in another sequel: "22 Jump Street," the follow-up to 2012's "21 Jump Street" which was a movie reboot of the hit television series that originally aired in the late 1980s.

 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dina Lohan Pleads Guilty to DWI, Avoids Jail]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:46:00 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/dina+lohan+court.jpg

Dina Lohan pleaded guilty in Long Island court Tuesday to aggravated driving while intoxicated and speeding in connection with a 2013 traffic stop in exchange for no jail time.

The mother of the oft-troubled actress will lose her license for a year and, after that, her car will be outfitted with an ignition interlock so she can't drive it if she's had alcohol.

As part of the plea deal, she was also ordered to pay $2,600 in fines, complete 100 hours of community service and attend a drunk driving program.

Lohan was arrested in Sept. 2013 on the Northern State Parkway with a blood alcohol level of .20, more than twice the legal limit.

 



Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[The Big Spring Movie Preview: "Maleficent," "Divergent" & More]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 11:31:05 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/maleficent-photos-2.jpg

No longer do audiences have to wait until after Memorial Day to get their blockbuster fix at the cinema. In early May of 2012, "The Avengers" arrived to save the planet. That same month in 2013 ushered the return of Iron Man for a third installment. 

Those looking to get a similar dose of superhero fun in 2014 can rest easy in the knowledge that spring welcomes the return of Captain America in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 4) , Peter Parker in "The Spider-Man 2" (May 2) and everyone's favorite mutants in "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (May 23).

Too comic book heavy for your taste? Fear not. Jason Bateman ups the comedy ante with "Bad Words" (Mar. 21), Russell Crowe has a close encounter of the liquid kind in "Noah" (Mar. 28), artificial intelligence arrives in Johnny Depp's "Transcendence" ( Apr. 17), Seth Rogan and Zac Efron fight for laughs in "Neighbors" (May 9) and Angelina Jolie reinterprets classic fairy tale evil in "Maleficent" (May 30).

MARCH 21

"Divergent" - Based on the popular young adult series of books by Veronica Roth, "Divergent" is set in a dystopian Chicago where people are divided into groups based on their personalities and virtues. Tris (Shailene Woodley) discovers she's Divergent, doesn't fit in and must fight to survive. Kate Winslet, Theo James and Ashley Judd also star.

"Muppets Most Wanted" - Felt superstars Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and Fozzie the Bear return in this follow-up to 2012's "The Muppets." This time around the gang must solve a dastardly crime pulled off by a frog who looks suspiciously like Kermit. Along for the ride are real-life actors Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and "Modern Family's" Ty Burrell.

"Bad Words" - Directed by and starring "Arrested Development's" Jason Bateman, "Bad Words" follows Guy Trilby, a 40-year-old a high school drop-out who enters a child's spelling bee through a loophole in the rules. To win, he must battle outraged parents, uptight officials and zealous 8th graders.

MARCH 28

"Noah" - Russell Crowe revisits the Biblical tale of Noah, a simple man who is given a divine mission to save creation from the coming flood triggered by human sin. Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson and Anthony Hopkins are also onboard.

"Sabotage" - Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as the leader of an elite DEA task force. Schwarzenegger's team executes a major drug bust only to abscond with the contraband themselves. The team believes they are safe until one by one they are methodically assassinated by an unknown entity who wants the loot.

APRIL 4

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" - Set two years after the events of "The Avengers," Marvel reunites actor Chris Evan with his red, white and blue uniform when a S.H.I.E.L.D. operative comes under attack. Along with Scarlett Johansson's return as Black Widow, "Winter Soldier" introduces a new character from the Marvel Universe, the Falcon. Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Robert Redford and Dominic Cooper co-star.

APRIL 11

"Draft Day" - "Ghostbusters" director Ivan Reitman helms this football movie starring Kevin Costner as the general manager of Browns and his efforts to secure the NFL's number one draft pick. Jennifer Garner also stars.

"Rio 2" - Dazzling birds Blu, Jewel and their 3 kids return for some jungle adventures in "Rio 2." In this animated sequel the family must try to fit in when they are unceremoniously transported from the titular South American city to the wilds of the Amazon. Voice artists include Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg and Jamie Foxx.

"St. Vincent de Van Nuys" - After his parents divorce, a young boy finds a mentor in his eccentric war veteran neighbor (Bill Murray).The comedy also star Melissa McCarthy, Chris O'Dowd, Naomi Watts and Terrence Howard.

APRIL 17

"Transcendence" - Johnny Depp stars as a terminally ill research scientist who attempts to create true artificial intelligence. After downloading his mind his power grows exponentially. But will he use his new found form for good or evil? Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara and Cillian Murphy co-star in this sci-fi drama produced by Christopher Nolan ("The Dark Knight").

APRIL 18

"Bears" - Disney's latest nature documentary chronicles a year in the life of a family of bears living along the coastal mountains of Alaska.

"A Haunted House 2" - Marlon Wayans returns with yet another parody movie in which he moves into the haunted house of a single mom (Jaime Pressly). Cedric the Entertainer cameos.

APRIL 25

"Brick Mansions" - One of Paul Walker's final films, "Brick Mansions" follows an undercover cop in Detroit who must bring down a crime lord that has gained access to a neutron bomb.

"The Other Woman" - After finding out her boyfriend is married, Cameron Diaz inadvertently befriends his wife (Leslie Mann). The pair meet Kate Upton, also a victim of the serial cheater, and the trio then set out to enact revenge. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Taylor Kinney also star.

"Walk of Shame" - In this fish-out-water comedy, Elizabeth Banks finds herself stranded in downtown Los Angeles after a one-night stand with no phone, wallet or ID. Worse, in eight hours she has an interview for her dream job.

MAY 2

"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" - Andrew Garfield returns as everyone's favorite web-slinger. In this follow-up to 2012's "The Amazing Spider-Man," Peter Parker faces a triple threat of villains: Electro (Jamie Foxx), The Rhino (Paul Giamatti) and the Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan).

MAY 9

"Chef"- With a failed restaurant behind him in Los Angeles, a chef returns to his hometown of Miami with plans to start operating a food truck. Written, directed and starring John Favreau ("Iron Man"), this comedy also stars Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Vergara and Dustin Hoffman.

"Legend of Oz: Dorothy's Return" - Lea Michele ("Glee") is the voice of Dorothy in this animated family movie based on some of the later "Oz" books. Dorothy returns to the magical land only to find that Oz once again is under threat from malevolent forces. Also starring Dan Akroyd, Kelsey Grammer and John Belushi as the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, respectively.

"Neighbors" - Rose Byrne and Seth Rogan play parents of a newborn baby whose idyllic existence is shattered when a fraternity house is established in the neighboring house. Zac Efron plays the alpha frat boy who the couple must battle to regain their suburban peace.

MAY 16

"Godzilla" - The lizard with a very bad attitude is given the reboot treatment once again. Along for the bumpy ride are Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe and Juliette Binoche.

"Million Dollar Arm" - John Hamm plays a sports agent who, in his search for the next big baseball star, travels to India and Australia to recruit cricket players in this drama based on a true story.

MAY 23

"Blended" - Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore reunite to bring their romantic chemistry once again to the big screen. This time around they play play parents who go on a bad blind date ahead of finding themselves and their children sharing a family resort vacation together.

"X-Men: Days of Future Past" - This mega-gathering of mutants unites the entire "X-Men" universe (both past and present) when Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) must travel between time periods in order to bring order once again to the world. Along for the action are Halle Berry, Jennifer Lawrence, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Michael Fassbender, Ellen Page and James McAvoy.

MAY 30

"A Million Ways to Die in the West" - As cowardly farmer begins to fall for a mysterious woman who arrives in town. Unfortunately for the farmer, her gun-slinging husband isn't far behind her. Seth MacFarlane wrote, directed and stars in this old west-set farce featuring Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, Sarah Silverman and Neil Patrick Harris.

"Maleficent" - Angelina Jolie stars as the evil witch in this reinterpretation of the classic tale of "Sleeping Beauty." This time, the story is told from the point of view of the titular character and her attempts to rid the world of Princess Aurora's (Elle Fanning) human beauty.

 



Photo Credit: Disney]]>
<![CDATA["The Voice": Adam, Shakira Pick Finals-Bound Teams]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 03:09:29 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NUP_163515_1953.jpg

Monday night was the chance for Adam Levine and Shakira to watch their teams of five sing for the right to remain on teams of three -- and to make the grueling decision on whom to send on to the live rounds. For Adam, that meant sticking with Delvin Choice, Christina Grimmie and Kat Perkins. For Shakira, that meant Tess Boyer, Kristen Merlen and Dani Moz.

That meant that Deja Hall and Patrick Thomson were departing Team Shakira, while Jake Barker and Morgan Wallen were leaving Team Adam.

It was Shakira's task to pick her finals-bound team first, and it was her resident country singer Kristen's task to prove that she belonged on it first. The confident bleached-blonde belter knocked the Carrie Underwood hit "Two Black Cadillacs" out of the park, to the delight of all the coaches -- most of all her own, who stood up grinning to applaud before she'd finished. Blake -- unnerved by the presence of so strong a country competitor -- declared her performance "as flawless as a live performance can be, by anybody," while Usher declared her "one of the strongest voices in the entire competition."

Tess Boyer earned her spot on the leaner Team Shakira with her soaring take on Christina Perri's "Human," which she began with moody, low-register murmurs before she growled her way to the crescendo. The undeniably strong performance had the coaches quibbling over their apparent error in letting Tess -- who had been dropped by Team Usher only to be stolen by and then dropped from Team Blake -- slip away. Adam, the only coach who hadn't worked with her, called Tess' one of the season's best performances. "Forget about it, I'll see you at the end of the show," he said.

Finally Dani secured her spot on the all-women Team Shakira with a stripped-down, piano-heavy take on the Lady Gaga hit "Edge of Glory." Dani delivered a plaintive, drama-filled take on the familiar song that sounded more like a Kurt Weill number than a dancefloor anthem -- though her over-the-top dramatic flourishes sometimes struck a sour note, after Shakira's advice that she let her guard down a bit. Usher said the performance brought him "close to tears," while Shakira admitted, "I never thought that this Gaga song was this emotional."

But while those three were heading on to the finals, two other members of Team Shakira -- Deja and Patrick -- were heading home. The coaches gave young Deja credit for tackling Jordin Sparks' "Battlefield" with a newfound confidence, though, and Usher told Patrick that his version of Ray LaMontagne's "Trouble" had finally given him a sense of what the gravelly-voiced singer was about. But it wasn't enough to redeem either.

Team Adam was heading to the chopping block next, and powerful soul singer Delvin was the first to survive it. The former Starbucks barista (and season five reject) was tackling Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," and despite the choice of an overexposed song (rule of thumb: Does YouTube video exist of the president singing it?), he imbued it with his signature rich tone and impressive vocal runs on the "Voice" stage. "There's nothing he can't do with his voice," Usher remarked, while even his own coach Adam termed his talent and growth "terrifying."

Kat Perkins, the team's resident rocker, survived it next, thanks to her reliably powerhouse take on Journey's "Open Arms," which was so strong it precluded much in the way of helpful commentary from the coaches. Usher proclaimed it "flawless" and stopped there, while Shakira praised how "emotional" and "committed" it was.

But pint-size Adam protegee Christina Grimmie, she of the pre-"Voice" YouTube fame, earned their coach's pick for the best performance of the night with her full-steam delivery of Jason Mraz's "I Won't Give Up." It earned her plaudits ranging from "the best singer on your team, right there" (courtesy of Blake) to "like baby Celine Dion or something" (courtesy of Usher, who must not listen to much Celine Dion to make that comparison). Christina's voice was huge, her performance committed and her energy electric.

Those three Team Adam members' successes came at the expense, though, of Jake, whose flourish-laden take on his own coach's song (Maroon 5's "She Will Be Loved") didn't quite live up, and of Morgan, whose solid if low-key rendition of Florida Georgia Line's "Stay" led Usher to kick himself for not having tasked Morgan (once his own team member) with country earlier in the competition. 

Usher will get his chance to pare down his team Tuesday as playoffs continue on "The Voice."

"The Voice" airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c.



Photo Credit: Tyler Golden/NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Coachella 2014: Day 3]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 22:57:41 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/170*120/Coachella+2014+Day+3+Nighttime+%2875%29.jpg Coachella's first weekend ended on a high note, as big name acts and guest performers packed the festival. ]]>