<![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 Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:07:31 -0400 Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:07:31 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Skrillex Fans Hospitalized]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 23:13:49 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/190*120/tlmd_nombres_reales_famosos_03.jpg

Amid reports of rampant drug use and an unusually high number of concertgoers seeking medical treatment from a Skrillex concert at Navy Pier Saturday night, a pier spokesman confirmed Wednesday that more than a dozen people were transported to area hospitals.

An EMS source said the majority of those transports were for drug overdoses. Navy Pier spokesman Nick Shields would not comment on that, but confirmed that 16 people were transported during the event, which ran from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.

More than 10,000 people were in attendance.

Skrillex, the former Sonny John Moore, is an electronic dance music producer, DJ, and singer from Los Angeles.

Andrew Bazos, a physician and President of CrowdRX, which oversees medical safety for SFX, the promoter of the Skrillex show, said his firm always has an emergency medical doctor in the venue. And he noted that every city has different rules about who gets transported versus those who are treated on site.

"The policy in Chicago has been to take anyone who presents to the hospital," Bazos said. "We’re there for people who haven’t been smart, and safety is number one."

He agreed that there are suggestions that the wildly popular electronic music genre may need to consider a higher age limit.

"It has brought a young, crazier demo," he said, "but also immature."

"If their parents were there, they would have gone home with their parents," he said. "It’s not fair to make the promoter take care of kids who don’t know how to behave. ... They’re young, and they’re often irresponsible."

Bazos said those transported from the Skrillex concert were taken to four downtown hospitals: Northwestern, St. Joseph, Lurie Children’s Hospital, and Mercy.

SFX, the promoter of the shows, he said, takes extra precautions to guarantee safety. Not only are private ambulances put on retainer, but he said, "peer" representatives circulate in the crowds to try and spot anyone who might be needing medical assistance.

"We’re very strict at the doors so that people don’t bring bad things in," he said. "I personally think that the more that word gets out there, the better."

Bazos estimated a third of those in attendance at the show were minors, and a considerable percentage of those transported were for alcohol.

The genre has been the focus of criticism in other cities after some high-profile tragedies. A 15-year-old girl died from a suspected Ecstasy overdose at the "Electric Daisy Carnival" in Los Angeles in 2010. A year later, a 19-year-old died at a companion event in Dallas.

In an interview earlier this year with the Toronto Sun, Skrillex admitted "problems within the subculture" of his music resulting from drug use which seems to be endemic to the crowds.

"The tragedies that get reported are within a minority of shows," he said. "And although those are tragic and shouldn’t be overlooked, you can’t blame an idea for how a culture has taken it and run with it."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Airline Reveals "Hobbit" Flight Safety Video]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:46:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2014-10-23+at+1.40.11+PM.png

Air New Zealand has released a "Hobbit"-themed in-flight safety video that is anything but boring.

Entitled “The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made," the four-minute clip begins with two “Hobbit” trilogy fans on a flight who are shocked when they discover Elijah Wood, a.k.a. Frodo Baggins, is across the aisle. Then, an elfin stewardess begins giving flight safety instructions.

The video combines “Hobbit” themes with safe air travel practices, including an orc in an oxygen mask and a man wearing a life jacket who pulls out a golden ring.

The trilogy's director, Peter Jackson, and special effects artist Richard Taylor also make appearances in the video.

Air New Zealand calls itself the "official airline of Middle-earth" and this isn't the first time it has paid homage to the country's "Hobbit" legacy. On Oct. 31, 2012, the airline released the in-flight safety video "An Unexpected Briefing," which featured an appearance by Peter Jackson. On Nov. 19, 2013, the airline released an ad that featured "Hobbit" actor Dean O'Gorman.

The third and final film in the "Hobbit" trilogy, “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies,” opens December 17.

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<![CDATA[Late at Night on NBC]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 09:39:14 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP24762024125.jpg

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Bill Murray's Christmas Special on "Ellen"]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:24:30 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ellen-bill-murray-christmas.jpg Legendary comedian Bill Murray makes his first appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." He reveals that he may be doing a Christmas Special with Sofia Coppola. And Ellen gifts Bill with a one-of-a-kind pair of Golf Pants that Bill tries on right on stage!

Photo Credit: The Ellen Degeneres Show]]>
<![CDATA[Sarah Jessica Parker Shoot Riles NYC Neighbors]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:54:50 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/455619946.jpg

Sarah Jessica Parker may have gotten “Carried” away when she put shoes outside of the New York townhouse that was the home of her “Sex and the City” character Carrie Bradshaw.

The actress agitated residents at 66 Perry St. in the West Village after staging a photo shoot for her SJP Collection shoe line on the stoop of the residence, Page Six reported. Images of the actress placing the shoes on the steps were posted to the Instagram account belonging to the shoe brand on October 7.

Tourists have been photographing and hanging around the stoop of the home, prompting its owners to put up a fence that reads: “Do NOT go on staircase please.”

However, the actress posted photos on Oct. 7 of herself leaning over the sign and placing the shoes beyond the fence.

"I heard about the shoot. They didn't get the permission from the owner. The situation with 'SATC' visitors is still very intense," Gerald Banu, president of the Perry Street Association, said to Page Six. "People who live here get upset that the sidewalks are constantly jammed."

Banu added that if a third “Sex and the City” ends up being released, "The only thing I could suggest to SJP is that when they write the next script, please have Carrie move to a new address." 



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Psychic Medium Matt Fraser Holds Local Events]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:00:19 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Psychic_Medium_Matt_Fraser_Holds_Local_Events_1200x675_346353219875.jpg Matt Fraser, a psychic medium, is on tour and has some live events at Manchester Community College, in Derby and at Foxwoods. ]]> <![CDATA[Meredith Gives Jesse Tyler Ferguson "Sex For Dummies" ]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:02:11 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/meredith-vieira-jesse-modern-family.jpg Meredith Vieira gifts "Modern Family" star Jesse Tyler Ferguson a "Sex For Dummies" book after defeating him in a sex-themed spelling bee.

Photo Credit: The Meredith Vieira Show]]>
<![CDATA["Constantine" Fires Up TV's Comic Obsession]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:00:51 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NUP_163335_2768.JPG

In "Constantine," which debuts Friday on NBC, Matt Ryan plays the title character, an occult detective who wields hellfire to battle supernatural forces in a seemingly doomed effort to save his soul – and maybe even humankind.

But you don't have to be a detective, occult or otherwise, to see that the tormented, wisecracking character is part of a larger mission to change, if not outright save television. "Constantine" arrives to add fuel to what's become TV's blaze-of-glory season for comic book heroes.

The show, based on the Hellblazer comics, joins Fox's "Gotham" and CW's "The Flash" as the fall's new superhero-themed entries, adding to the ranks of ABC's "Agents of SHIELD" and CW's "Arrow." Meanwhile, Netflix is planning multiple shows based on second-tier Marvel characters, beginning with Daredevil, and TNT reportedly has ordered a pilot based on Titans, DC’s chronicle of young superheroes-in-waiting.

The box office success of superhero movies – four of the year’s top 10 flicks were based on comic book stars – explains much of the TV boom. But the proliferation of shows also speaks to the transforming tube, from efforts to grab younger audiences amid Internet competition to more adventurous storytelling in dramas like “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men.” TV superheroes have flown from the 1950s squeaky clean fun of “Adventures of Superman” to the 1960s Pop Art camp of “Batman” to the latter-day revisionist takes of “Lois and Clark” and “Smallville” to the current mix of action and darkness, reflecting times and tastes.

Television might not offer the special effects of the movies, but it provides the opportunity for stories to unfold more slowly – even for The Flash. There’s a potential to mine quality from ambitious character-driven tales like the Batman backstory drama, “Gotham,” which, like “Constantine,” largely lurks in shadows.

The shows share some comic book lineage: Hellblazer co-creator Alan Moore helped reinvent Batman as the darkest of knights. He’s also the writing force behind the epic graphic novel “Watchmen,” whose great movie version went underappreciated. Some fans might say the same for “Constantine,” the 2005 flick starring Keanu Reeves.

“Constantine” the TV show arrives without the instant name recognition of Spider-man or Superman, even if DC/Vertigo’s Hellblazer enjoys a devoted following. Still, lack of name recognition didn’t hurt the year’s biggest movie so far, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” a very different kind of tale, based on a relatively obscure Marvel series.

In the end, the strength of the story will save the day, if not John Constantine's soul. 

 

Jere Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multimedia 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: Quantrell Colbert/NBC
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<![CDATA[Zellweger: "Glad Folks Think I Look Different"]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:08:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP308970728575.jpg

Actress Renée Zellweger responded to speculation that she may have had plastic surgery, telling People magazine she looks different because she is healthier and happier than ever.

"I'm glad folks think I look different! I'm living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows," Zellweger, 45, told the magazine in a statement.

The Oscar-winner attended Elle Magazine’s annual Women in Hollywood party in Los Angeles on Monday, where her new facial features sparked Internet rumors that she went under the knife.

Zellweger did not tell People whether she had any work done, but attributed her fresh look to a lifestyle change. She called the conversation about her appearance "silly."

"My friends say that I look peaceful. I am healthy," she said. "For a long time I wasn't doing such a good job with that. I took on a schedule that is not realistically sustainable and didn't allow for taking care of myself. Rather than stopping to recalibrate, I kept running until I was depleted and made bad choices about how to conceal the exhaustion. I was aware of the chaos and finally chose different things."

The “Bridger Jones’ Diary” star, who’s dating musician Doyle Bramhall, said she’s leading a much quieter life, that allows for “being still, making a home, loving someone, learning new things, growing as a creative person and finally growing into myself.”

She recently finished shooting “The Whole Truth,” a drama thriller in which she co-stars with Keanu Reeves and James Belushi.

"People don't know me [as] healthy for a while," Zellweger told People. "Perhaps I look different. Who doesn't as they get older?! Ha. But I am different. I'm happy."



Photo Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
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<![CDATA[Unbroken: Share Your Story of Strength]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:45:02 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/195*120/zamperini+louis+torch.jpg

Louis Zamperini was an Olympic runner, WWII veteran and POW survivor whose perseverance and courage in the face of inhumane conditions is remarkable. His life story makes us re-think what we should expect of ourselves.

To celebrate the upcoming release of the film "Unbroken", which tells Zamperini's story, we are looking for other people like him. People who have showed resilience and overcome adversity amid conditions where many would have given up. If you have a story to tell, let us know.

Submit your story here. It could be shared on the "Today" show during its upcoming #IamUnbroken week.

"Unbroken," directed by Angelina Jolie, is produced by Universal and will be in theaters starting Dec. 25.


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<![CDATA["Django" Actress, Boyfriend Charged With Lewd Conduct]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 05:55:02 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/actress+daniele+watts+detained+lapd.jpg

"Django Unchained" actress Daniele Watts and her boyfriend Brian James Lucas have each been charged with one count of lewd conduct for allegedly having sex in public moments before they were involved in an altercation with LAPD officers.

Each faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted on the misdemeanor charges, according to the Los Angeles City Attorney's office.

Watts, 28, and Lucas made headlines when they claimed Watts' brief detention outside the CBS Studio Center in Studio City last month was the result of racial profiling. Watts is black and Lucas is white.

Sgt. Jim Parker, the LAPD officer who responded to the scene in the 11900 block of Ventura Boulevard after nearby workers and residents reported a couple engaging in lewd behavior, later released an audio recording of his version of the incident.

The recorded version differed substantially from Watts' account.

Photos showing the couple in compromising positions in the passenger seat of a silver Mercedes were also released by witnesses. They were posted to the website TMZ.

Activists who initially called on the department to apologize to the couple later backtracked and called on Watts and Lucas to retract their statements, after the audiotape and photographs surfaced.

They are both slated to be arraigned Nov. 13.

Watts and Lucas will be notified by mail to appear in court in Van Nuys in three weeks. Because it is not a felony, just a misdemanor, she need not appear in person, but can have an attorney handle it for her. Her publicist told NBC4 she and Lucas were planning to get legal advice Tuesday afternoon, and will make no comment until they've done that.

Watts declined a request to speak with NBC4.

Watts and Lucas released a statement Tuesday night saying, "We are, quite frankly, appalled and disturbed that the LA prosecutors office has chosen to file these charges against us. The LAPD has previously issued a statement saying that there was no crime committed. If a passionate public embrace while displaying no nudity is grounds for having charges filed against you, then we'd expect that everyone who engages in an extended public display of affection with their loved one will be targeted as well. Sergeant Parker is still under investigation for his conduct and filing misdemeanor charges against us does not change his behavior.”

Her statement makes reference to LAPD investigating Parker. The key area that Chief Charlie Beck raised as a concern is not Parker's handling of the encounter, though that is being investigated, but the appropriateness of his releasing the audio recording.

The audio recorders that some officers carry are not department issue - officers buy their own. Policy is not clear whether officers are free to make their recordings public. Commander Andrew Smith said that issue is still under investigation. Parker's job could lose his job because he made the recording public without permission.

Parker also released a statement: "The support from all of the officers in the past six weeks who have contacted me and expressed their support for what I am doing and for what I am bringing to the public's attention only confirms that I am doing the right thing. All of the support from the community and the letters lets me know what I knew all along and that is that I did the right thing. All of the support only validates that I did the right thing and I would do it again if I had to do. Thank you."

Robert Kovacik contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrities React to Oscar de la Renta's Death]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:08:40 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/78148902.jpg

Oscar de la Renta was one of the most celebrated and famed fashion designers and couturiers in the world.

As news spread of his death Monday night, celebrities and fans alike mourned the loss of the acclaimed fashion designer.

Vogue's Anna Wintour honored the designer Tuesday in an essay posted on the fashion magazine’s website.

“There is much being said that his passing yesterday marks the end of an era,” Wintour began. “This strength must have been with him in the hospital last week when he made the decision to turn off treatment; it was not the quality of life he wanted.”

Wintour wrote that his final words to her were “I love you, and I said I love you back.”

She also reflected on the relationship between de la Renta and his wife, Annette, of 25 years.

"Theirs was the greatest, most life-enhancing love affair," Wintour said. "Last week in the hospital he said that she never wears the beautiful jewelry he gave her, and she said simply, 'I have you.'"

Sarah Jessica Parker said in a statement to E!: "Knowing that sadly none of us will have more time with the beloved and resplendent Oscar de la Renta only enhances my exuberant appreciation of the time he gave, the talent he shared and the friendship he allowed."

Celebrities and members of the fashion industry took to social media to offer their condolences.

 

The Gentleman of Fashion you will always be !!! R I P @oscarprgirl @OscarPRGirl #Oscar de la Renta ��

A photo posted by Naomi Campbell (@iamnaomicampbell) on

De la Renta has dressed practically every woman in public life. His clothes were classic, elegant, feminine and flattering —which explains why so many first ladies have chosen him to dress them for those historic moments.

On Tuesday morning, “Today” contributing correspondent Jenna Bush Hager talked about the late designer and how she felt wearing a custom wedding gown from him.

Most recently, Amal Clooney chose a gown created by de la Renta for her wedding to George Clooney, evidence of his prominence.



Photo Credit: WireImage
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<![CDATA[Here's to Oscar de la Renta]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 08:50:06 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/oscar-AP22989790063.jpg

"Here's to the ladies who lunch," sang Elaine Stritch in the Stephen Sondheim musical "Company."

It's a fitting refrain for designer Oscar de la Renta, who dressed women atop the social hierarchy from New York to Paris in his singular vision of opulent and luxurious glamour for more than five decades.

A legend of American fashion, de la Renta died Monday of complications from cancer. He was 82.

Attending a showing by de la Renta during New York Fashion Week came with a sense of occasion. From the simple invitation printed on heavy stock to the unadorned venues, the clothing was always the focus: be it a decadently ruched or draped evening gown in fuchsia, or chic suit for day in wool bouclé. His front rows were occupied by those who did indeed lunch at Le Cirque, the Colony Club and La Côte Basque, but also by today's corporate titans, movie stars and pop icons.

Free of the histrionics that accompany much of what comprises modern fashion, de la Renta was a style constant in an industry obsessed with the next big thing. Not that he was ever stagnant, as a designer or as a business entrepreneur. But like those fabled ladies, his clothes carried a sense of old-world manners, of feminine allure, of a time when dressing meant more than throwing on any old, or new, thing. For de la Renta, being appropriately attired was key.

"I am not interested in shock tactics. I just want to make beautiful clothes," he once told reporters, though he was never foolish enough to believe that the garment was ne plus ultra. "A runway is spectacle," de la Renta said per The New York Times. "It’s only fashion when a woman puts it on."

It was the women, his customers, for whom he worked so hard: Whether a jet-set dowager slipping on his narrow-shouldered jackets and buttoning up his silk taffeta gowns, or a corporate-ladder-climbing New York denizen splurging on a wedding-perfect cocktail dress from his diffusion line for Saks or Bergdorfs.

With one gracefully shod foot planted in the past—born in the Dominican Republic, he worked for Paris couture houses including Balenciaga and Lanvin in the 1950s and '60s before launching his namesake collection in New York in 1965—de la Renta continually stepped forward to embrace modernity in all its forms, be it the latest in fabric innovation or the hot social media platform

He dressed four American first ladies: Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and, for the first time only a month before his passing, Michelle Obama. His most recent sartorial coup was to outfit human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin for her September wedding to Hollywood actor George Clooney in Venice.

De la Renta was a favorite of fashion icon and former Vogue and Harper's Bazaar editor Diana Vreeland, as he was with Anna Wintour, the current editor-in-chief of American Vogue. Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Executive Director Fern Mallis called him "the sultan of suave."

To most Americans he was, and will remain, a one name brand. Like Calvin (Klein), Ralph (Lauren), Halston, (Geoffrey) Beene, Isaac (Mizrahi) or (Bill) Blass, in fashion parlance there is only one Oscar.

To paraphrase Sondheim and those elegantly attired ladies: Here's to Mr. de la Renta. Everybody rise.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Oscar de la Renta: Dressing the Stars]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:33:27 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/4884165351.jpg Oscar de la Renta made a name for himself beyond the runway, dressing countless celebrities, first ladies, and fashion icons.

Photo Credit: FilmMagic]]>
<![CDATA[Oscar de la Renta: A Legendary Catwalk Career]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 08:37:19 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/172*120/AP972515234086.jpg Oscar de la Renta was the doyen of American fashion. Spanning five decades, his career on the catwalks was a showcase of restrained glamour and luxurious elegance.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Hamden Native Heads to Knockout Round on "The Voice"]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:51:04 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/blessing+offor+knockouts.jpg

Blessing Offor, the soulful Hamden High graduate crooning his way through NBC's "The Voice," got a second lease on life in Monday's episode when coach Adam Levine saved him from elimination.

Offor went head-to-head with 15-year-old teammate Katriz Trinidad to sing "Do I Do" by Stevie Wonder.

Both singers rose to the occasion, forcing coach Pharrell Williams to make a difficult decision.

"I sent them both back with notes and I feel like they both rose to the occasion," Pharrell said before making his selection.

In the end, he chose Trinidad as the winner of the challenge, putting Offor up on the auction block and available for a steal.

Levine hit his button immediately, urging Offor to join his team.

“My wife’s name – she’s from Namibia, and her name is Behati, which in Swahili means ‘blessing’ – so it makes me love you a lot more," Levine joked. "so I don’t know how I can’t have you on my team now.”

But Levine wasn't the only one interested in taking Offor under his wing. Fellow coach Gwen Stefani pressed her button too.

"I love your voice, and just being around someone as talented as you is going to be inspiring for me in my life," Stefani explained, "so I just want to get to know you and see what you've got."

Then it was Offor's turn to make the tough choice.

"Thank you for saving me, because I truly love being here," he told the coaches before announcing his decision.

Ultimately, Offor went with Levine, who stood up to hug the Connecticut native as he left the stage.

"Blessing just has this natural ability to sing the lights out. I love his voice," Adam said.

Offor, a 2007 graduate of Hamden High School who sings from his soul, said he's on a mission to succeed.

"I'm so excited to go to the knockouts," Offor beamed in his post-performance interview. "I'm just beyond thrilled. I want this so bad."

According to Offor's Web site, the singer has performed three times at the Kennedy Center in New York City and has produced a single, "Loving Each Other," which was released last week.

Tune in to NBC Connecticut Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. to see Offor and perform on "The Voice."



Photo Credit: NBC Universal, Inc./The Voice
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<![CDATA[New Haven to Host Wine Tasting, Shopping Event]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:20:17 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/wine-glass-generic.jpg

The city of New Haven will host “Flights of Fancy” on Thursday, a special wine tasting and shopping event at The Shops at Yale.

For $20, attendees will receive an exclusive event wine glass and will help support local businesses offering free in-store wine tastings courtesy of The Wine Thief, live music and special discounts and giveaways.

Free validated parking will be available at The York Street Garage at 150 York Street.

At the end of the event, guests will head to The Study at Yale Hotel for complimentary dessert provided by Insomnia Cookies and Willoughby’s coffee.

Multiple retailers, including Barnes & Noble – The Yale Bookstore, Shen, Campus Customs, Wave Gallery, Raggs and Oaxaca Kitchen will participate.

Those interested can register online until 11 p.m. Oct 22, or in person from 4-7 p.m. the day of the event at The Study at Yale Hotel on Chapel Street. The event is limited to the first 700 participants.

More information is available online.

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<![CDATA[From "Annie" to "Star Wars": 10 Hollywood Makeovers]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 10:09:05 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/DF-03522.jpg

When it comes to Hollywood, everything old can be remade anew.

That's certainly the case with recent news of "Rainbow Brite" and "Jem and the Holograms" being revamped for modern audiences, "Labyrinth" getting a sequel (sadly only a rumor) and the first glimpse of a re-imagined "Thunderbirds" (no longer with strings attached).

For those quick to shout, "No! How dare they ruin what was already great!" It's hard to ignore the success already this year of rebooted versions of "Rosemary's Baby" (transported to Paris and transferred to the small screen), "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (Michelangelo and Donatello got the CGI treatment and became one of Halloween's most popular costumes) and yet another sequel to an already reworked Spider-Man franchise.

And who would lament a further installment of "Star Wars" starring the original leads, or a return visit to "Jurassic Park" featuring Chris Pratt and the latest in computer generated imagery?

Here are 10 upcoming reboots, refreshes, remakes or reimaginings (call them what you will) to get excited about:

"Rainbow Brite"

The iconic 1980s cartoon returns to Feeln for a limited series run on November 6, with Emily Osment voicing the titular character who is on a quest to save Rainbowland from dark powers. Molly Ringwald provides the voice of the evil Dark Princess. Starlite and the Color Kids are also along for the ride. The original version ran from 1984 to 1986.

"Jurassic World"

Steven Spielberg helmed the first "Jurassic Park" back in 1993 and it spawned two sequels. There's been rumors of a fourth installment since "Jurassic Park 3" roared into cinemas in 2001. Colin Trevorrow ("Safety Not Guaranteed") is directing the latest chapter which is set 22 years after the first movie and according to the official synopsis, "Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond," where staff conduct "behavioral research on the Velociraptors. After many years, Jurassic World’s attendance rates begin to decline and a new attraction, created to re-spark visitor interest, gravely backfires." Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are the leads and the film is set to bite into the box office on June 12, 2015.

"Thunderbirds Are Go"

The iconic British series from the 1960s featured marionettes and complex miniature sets and rescue crafts. The show follows the adventures of International Rescue, a group set up by ex- astronaut Jeff Tracy, his five sons, who pilot the Thunderbird craft, and London Agent Lady Penelope (to be voiced by "Gone Girl's" Rosamund Pike in the revamp). 26 half-hour episodes of "Thunderbirds Are Go!" have been made, this time featuring a mix of computer generated imagery and miniatures in an effort to retain the style of the original. One episode was screened in October at the MIP Junior Television Industry Conference in Cannes to tease the return, which is set for a spring 2015 premiere on British television. No U.S. release date has been announced.

"Jem and the Holograms"

Universal Studio's live action adaptation of the beloved 1980s cartoon will hit theaters on October 23, 2015, and like the source material will focus on Jerrica Benton and her musical alter ego Jem who transitions from small-town girl to international superstar. "Nashville" actor Aubrey Peeples is Benton/Jem, with a supporting cast featuring Stefanie Scott, Aurora Perrineau, and Hayley Kiyoko as the Holograms, along with Ryan Guzman. Molly Ringwald and Juliette Lewis also appear.

"Annie"

Quvenzhané Wallis ("Beasts of the Southern Wild") tackles the role of the singing orphan who melts the heart of a hard-nosed billionaire in this big screen update of the classic stage musical and 1982 movie adaptation. Left by her parents as a baby at a New York City orphanage with the promise that they’d be back for her someday, Annie must outwit horrible foster mom Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz stepping in for the earlier movie's Carol Burnett), and charm New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) who makes a thinly-veiled campaign move by taking Annie in. Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale also star in this modern-day retelling of a hard knock life turned sunny that hits theaters just in time for Christmas on December 19.

"Ghostbusters"

Along with "Terminator" (see below), "Ghostbusters" celebrated its 30th anniversary this year and as a gift to fans Sony Pictures is bring the franchise out of retirement for a reboot. If that's not enough to get loyalists shouting "Who You Gonna Call?", director Paul Feig took to Twitter on October 8 to announce his involvement with the project and this time around, the movie will star "hilarious women." Cue the rumors and let the lobbying begin with Hollywood stars including Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig already on audience's wish lists of who should step into the paranormal-hunting shoes of Venkman, Stantz and Spengler. Shooting is tentatively scheduled to begin in early 2015.

"Star Wars: Episode VII"

By the time the latest outing of the "Star Wars" franchise hits cinemas on December 18, 2015, more than a decade will have passed since episode four ("Revenge of the Sith") came out of hyperspace starring Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Hayden Chistensen as young Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. In between, fans have had two animated TV series ("The Clone Wars" and 2014's "Star Wars: Rebels"), but nothing to match the excitement generated by the latest big screen addition helmed by J.J. Abrams ("Lost," the 2009 "Star Trek" reboot) that picks up 30 years after the end of the first trilogy (episode six: "Return of the Jedi") and features Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill reprising their iconic roles alongside new castmembers Gwendoline Christie, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong'o and Domhnall Gleeson. Little is known regarding plot or storyline, but fans have been treated to sneak peeks of the Millennium Falcon (with a Batman twist) and new creatures via social media-savvy Abrams. "Episode VII" lands December 18, 2015.

"Independence Day 2"

The 1996 original starred Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Randy Quaid, Mary McDonnell, Brent Spiner, James Duval and Vivica A. Fox. Due to hit screens in 2016, director Roland Emmerich is returning to helm the sequel and confirmed some of the original film's characters will be back, but not lead Smith. In an odd move Fox moved the release date for the film from the obviously perfect July 4 Holiday weekend to June 24, 2016. No reason was given.

"Terminator: Genisys"

Though James Cameron has no direct involvement in the latest reboot of the franchise he created 30 years ago with "Terminator," the director told Deadline he wanted to put in a good word for returning star Arnold Schwarzenegger and offered up some advice to the producer of the new film on how to deal with the actor's now advanced age (67). "I pointed out that the outer covering (of the Terminator) was actually not synthetic, that it was organic and therefore could age," Cameron said. "You could theoretically have a Terminator that was sent back in time, missed his target, and ended up just kind of living on in society. Because he is a learning computer and has a brain as a central processor he could actually become more human as he went along without getting discovered." "Terminator" and Schwarzenegger will be back July 1, 2015.

"Tarzan"

Warner Bros is bringing the famed swinger back to the big screen in a big-budget, live-action remake which stars "True Blood's" Alexander Skarsgård as Tarzan/the Earl of Greystoke who, having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment according to IMDB. Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz, Djimon Honsou and John Hurt also star in the film, which is set to be released on July 1, 2016.


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<![CDATA[Johnny Damon Coming to Hartford]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:04:27 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Phillies-Should-Consider-Johnny-Damon.jpg

Johnny Damon is part of a small group to win World Series with both the Red Sox and Yankees, and he is coming to Hartford this week for a YMCA fundraising event.

Damon, who established a charitable foundation and serves as a spokesman for the Wounded Warrior Project, will be the honored guest and speaker at the YMCA celebrates champions event on Thursday night at the Connecticut Convention Center.

This is the signature fundraising event for the YMCA of Greater Hartford, which supports the annual campaign and “Read to Success.”

Tickets are $200 a piece or $2,000 for a table of 10.

The VIP reception is at 6:30 p.m., while the general reception gets underway at 6:45 p.m. and the program starts at 7 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA["Egg Russian Roulette" With Bradley Cooper]]> Sat, 18 Oct 2014 16:16:09 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Bradley_Cooper_Tonight.jpg Jimmy Fallon and Bradley Cooper took turns smashing eggs on their heads without knowing which are cooked and which are raw on "The Tonight Show."

Photo Credit: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank]]>
<![CDATA[Halloween Goes Hollywood]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 07:23:23 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/halloween-costumes.jpg

Streets and sidewalks across the country will soon be filled with Elsas, Daeneryses and Leonardos.

That's if this year's early trends in Hollywood-inspired Halloween costumes hold strong through the arrival of the Oct. 31 holiday, and can stave off the growing interest in Ebola-inspired attire.

The popularity of Disney hit "Frozen," HBO series "Game of Thrones" and a big screen revival of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" are driving costume sales for Trick-or-Treaters across age spectra, retailers say.

The National Retail Federation estimated that 2.6 million children will dress up as a "Frozen" character, such as Snow Queen Elsa or Olaf the snowman, while about 1.8 million will choose crime-fighting reptiles Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello or Raphael. Seventy-five million adults are expected to pick a traditional get-up, such as a Batman, a pirate or a witch, retailers say they're seeing more requests for costumes inspired by some of the season's hottest TV shows and films.

"Without question, outfits inspired by movies and TV are the ones that have been flying out the door versus any pop culture sensation like Miley Cyrus," said Holly Botsford, public relations manager for BuyCostumes.com.

Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, Jennifer Lawrence as "Hunger Games" heroine Katniss Everdeen or "X-Men's" Mystique, Black Widow from "Captain America" (Scarlett Johansson) and Zoe Saldana as Gamora from "Guardians of the Galaxy" lead Fandango's list of top-rated movie-inspired female Halloween costumes.

The movie ticket site surveyed more than a 1,000 film fans in the first week of October to discover Groot (Vin Diesel's character in "Guardians of the Galaxy"), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Ninja Turtles, Star-Lord ("Galaxy's" Chris Pratt) and Dracula were the most nominated male characters.

Spirit Halloween has named "Game of Thrones" and "The Walking Dead" characters as their top trends of 2014. The chain, which bills itself as North America's largest seasonal Halloween retailer, partnered with HBO to license outfits inspired by both shows.

“Those two series are very popular and are also very good for costumes,” said Lisa Barr, Spirit’s senior director of marketing & creative.

“People are posting online about entertainment, making a higher level of engagement in movies and television,” said Courtland Hickey, manager of Chicago Costume. “Everyone wants to wear a costume that everyone knows and now that social media has made these series well-known, people can wear outfits that everyone will recognize as one of those characters discussed online.”

The Hollywood trend has been seen in popular couples costumes like Khaleesi and Khal Drogo from “Game of Thrones," and the fictional character Rick Grimes and a zombie outfit from “The Walking Dead."

Want to dress your baby? Retailers say the character Olaf from "Frozen" and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle looks are popular costumes for infants. Pets? Cats and dogs can also join in on the fun with a "Despicable Me" minion costume or outfits inspired by "Ghostbusters." Fandango's top-rated kid's costumes for 2014 in descending order are Olaf, a minion, the Ninja Turtles, "Frozen's" Elsa and Spider-Man.

A trending, though arguably insensitive, costume idea has even received its own Hollywood spin. Ricky's, a beauty shop chain in New York City that offers a wide range of costumes, has received Ebola costume requests on a daily basis, President Richard Parrot said. Although they have decided not to offer one, customers have been using hazmat "Breaking Bad" suits as a substitute. 

Too soon? Not at web retailer BrandsOnSale. They offer an Ebola Containment Suit costume for $79.99. "You are sure to be prepared if any outbreak happens at your Halloween party. This will literally be the most 'viral' costume of the year," reads the outfit's description.

"We don't stray away from anything that's current or controversial or anything like that," BrandsOnSale chief executive Johnathon Weeks told The Associated Press. Though Weeks admits the costume has been received with outrage by some members of the public, he says it is now the item on his site most shared on social media.

Overall, consumers are expected to shell out a lot of cash on Halloween, with The National Retail Federation projecting that people will spend $7.4 billion in 2014. The organization's president and CEO Matthew Shay said in a news release that "there will be a record number of consumers taking to the streets, visiting haunted houses and throwing unforgettable celebrations."



Photo Credit: Walt Disney/Marvel/HBO
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<![CDATA[Fallon: Jason Schwartzman Impersonated Anthony Kiedis]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 11:36:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/212*120/JasonSchwartzman.jpg Jimmy talks with Jason Schwartzman about his movie "Listen Up Philip" and the time he pretended to be Red Hot Chili Peppers' frontman for a confused fan.]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Fred Armisen Conducted a Seance]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 07:06:46 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/457274852.jpg Fred Armisen bought a Oujia board and contacted the comedian W.C. Fields. Watch the video and find out what they “talked” about. ]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Rachel Maddow on the Problem With Democrats]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:57:26 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/211*120/RachelmaddowDems.jpg Rachel Maddow explains what the Democratic party is doing wrong and what she does to get through election night coverage. ]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Rachel Maddow on Midterm Antics]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:52:17 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/209*120/Rachelmaddowelec.jpg Rachel Maddow talks to Seth Meyers talks about this year’s craziest midterm election antics, including “fan gate.” ]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Matt Ryan Talks On-Stage Pranks]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:48:36 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/212*120/MattRyan2.jpg Matt Ryan talks to Seth Meyers about working with The Royal Shakespeare Company, and the real reason why he had to change his name.]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Ryan Talks "Constantine"]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 07:38:11 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/211*120/MattRyan1.jpg Matt Ryan chats with Seth Meyers about playing John Constantine in "Constantine" and the $500 lesson he learned in an Atlanta Hotel during production.]]>