Ariana Grande joins the cast of ‘Final Fantasy Brave Exvius’

January 5, 2017

Pop singer/actress Ariana Grande has joined the cast of the role-playing game “Final Fantasy Brave Exvius.” As part of this collaboration, her hit song “Touch It” will be arranged as a “Final Fantasy Brave Exvius”–style remix.

“Final Fantasy Brave Exvius” is available as a free-to-play app (with in-app purchases) through the App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon App store.  This title is developed as a collaboration between Square Enix and Gumi Inc.  According to Square Enix, “Final Fantasy Brave Exvius” has surpassed 9 million downloads worldwide, excluding Japan. To celebrate this milestone, for a limited time, players will receive a significant boost in daily log-in bonuses.

(Screen shots courtesy of Square Enix)

2017 Governors Ball Music Festival: Tool, Chance the Rapper, Phoenix and more

January 5, 2017
Governors Ball

Tool, Chance the Rapper, Phoenix are headlining the seventh annual Governors Ball Music Festival, which will take place June 2 to June 4, 2017, at New York City’s Randall’s Island Park. The event, which is produced by Founders Entertainment, will feature more than 65 artists, including Childish Gambino, Lorde, Flume, Wu-Tang Clan, Logic, Wiz Khalifa, Air, the Avalanches, the Head and the Heart, Tove Lo and Beach House.

Here is the announced lineup:
Tool
Chance The Rapper
Phoenix
Childish Gambino
Lorde
Flume
Wu-Tang Clan
Wiz Khalifa
Logic
Cage The Elephant
Marshmello
Mark Ronson vs Kevin Parker
Beach House
Schoolboy Q
Air
The Avalanches
Rae Sremmurd
The Head and the Heart
Tove Lo
Phantogram
Franz Ferdinand
Banks
A$AP Ferg
Local Natives
Majid Jordan
Mac Demarco
Rüfüs Du Sol
YG
Parquet Courts
Charli XCX
Bleachers
Royal Blood
Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires
Danny Brown
Kehlani
Michael Kiwanuka
Warpaint
Car Seat Headrest
Skepta
Saint Motel
The Strumbellas
Francis And The Lights
Stormzy
Gryffin
The Range
Dua Lipa
EDEN
Zane Lowe
The Orwells
Judah & The Lion
MUNA
Arizona
SAINt JHN
Michael Blume
Jessie Reyez
Lo Moon
Kaiydo
Roosevelt
Barns Courtney
Blossoms
Ron Gallo
Welles
Mondo Cozmo
Tkay Maidza
Jenaux
VANT

2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards: Drake is leading contender with 12 nominations

January 4, 2017
2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards

Hip-hop star Drake is the leading nominee for the fourth annual iHeartRadio Music Awards, which will take place March 5, 2017, at the Forum in Los Angeles. The event will be televised live in the U.S. on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and simulcast on iHeartMedia stations nationwide, as well as on the digital music/live streaming radio service iHeartRadio.

The Chainsmokers are also a top contender, with 11 nominations.  All nominations are listed below. For a full list of categories visit iHeartRadio.com/awards.

The award show has several new categories in 2017. This year’s Best New Artist awards are grouped by music format, with the winners of each genre announced in February. Those winners will then become finalists for the top title of Best New Artist presented by the all-new 2017 Subaru Impreza, which will be revealed during the March 5 telecast.  iHeartRadio and Den of Thieves are producing the show.

Category finalists (by alphabetical order) are:

Song of the Year
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” – Justin Timberlake
“Cheap Thrills” – Sia featuring Sean Paul
“Closer” – The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
“One Dance” – Drake featuring Wizkid and Kyla
“Stressed Out” – Twenty One Pilots

Female Artist of the Year
Adele
Ariana Grande
Rihanna
Selena Gomez
Sia

Male Artist of the Year
Drake
Justin Bieber
Luke Bryan
Shawn Mendes
The Weeknd

Best Duo/Group of the Year
Coldplay
DNCE
Florida Georgia Line
The Chainsmokers
Twenty One Pilots

Alternative Rock Song of the Year
“Bored to Death” – Blink-182
“Dark Necessities” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Heathens” – Twenty One Pilots
“Ride” – Twenty One Pilots
“Trouble” – Cage the Elephant

Alternative Rock Artist of the Year
Blink-182
Cage the Elephant
Coldplay
The Strumbellas
Twenty One Pilots

Rock Song of the Year
“Bang Bang” – Green Day
“Dark Necessities” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Take Me Down” – The Pretty Reckless
“The Devil’s Bleeding Crown” – Volbeat
“The Sound Of Silence” – Disturbed

Rock Artist of the Year
Disturbed
Five Finger Death Punch
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Shinedown
Volbeat

Country Song of the Year
“Church Bells” – Carrie Underwood
“Snapback” – Old Dominion
“Somewhere on a Beach” – Dierks Bentley
“T-Shirt” – Thomas Rhett
“You Should Be Here” – Cole Swindell

Country Artist of the Year
Carrie Underwood
Jason Aldean
Keith Urban
Luke Bryan
Thomas Rhett

Dance Song of the Year
“Closer” – The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
“Cold Water” – Major Lazer featuring Justin Bieber and MØ
“Don’t Let Me Down” – The Chainsmokers featuring Daya
“I Took a Pill in Ibiza” – Mike Posner
“Let Me Love You” – DJ Snake featuring Justin Bieber

Dance Artist of the Year
Calvin Harris
DJ Snake
Flume
Major Lazer
The Chainsmokers

Hip-Hop Song of the Year
“All The Way Up” – Fat Joe and Remy Ma featuring French Montana and Infared
“Controlla” – Drake
“For Free” – DJ Khaled featuring Drake
“One Dance” – Drake featuring Wizkid and Kyla
“Panda” – Desiigner

Hip-Hop Artist of the Year
Desiigner
DJ Khaled
Drake
Future
J. Cole

R&B Song of the Year
“Exchange” – Bryson Tiller
“Needed Me” – Rihanna
“No Limit” – Usher featuring Young Thug
“Sorry” – Beyoncé
“Work” – Rihanna featuring Drake

R&B Artist of the Year
Beyoncé
Bryson Tiller
Rihanna
The Weeknd
Usher

Latin Song of the Year
“Ay Mi Dios” – IAmChino featuring Pitbull, Yandel and El Chacal
“De Pies A Cabeza” – Mana featuring Nicky Jam
“Duele El Corazon” – Enrique Iglesias featuring Wisin
“La Carretera” – Prince Royce
“Ya Me Enteré” – Reik featuring Nicky Jam

Latin Artist of the Year
Enrique Iglesias
J Balvin
Nicky Jam
Prince Royce
Yandel

Regional Mexican Song of the Year
“Amor Del Bueno” – Calibre 50
“Cicatrices” – Regulo Caro
“Me Está Gustando” – Banda Los Recoditos
“¿Por Qué Terminamos?” – Gerardo Ortiz
“Solo Con Verte” – Banda Sinaloense MS de Sergio Lizárraga

Regional Mexican Artist of the Year
Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizárraga
Banda Los Recoditos
Calibre 50
Gerardo Ortiz
Remmy Valenzuela

Best New Rock/Alternative Rock Artist (New Category)
Foals
Kaleo
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Red Sun Rising
The Strumbellas

Best New Country Artist (New Category)
Chris Lane
Chris Stapleton
Granger Smith
Kelsea Ballerini
Maren Morris

Best New Hip-Hop Artist (New Category)
Chance The Rapper
Desiigner
D.R.A.M.
Kent Jones
Kevin Gates

Best New Latin Artist (New Category)
Carlos Rivera
Christian Daniel
CNCO
IAmChino
Sofia Reyes

Best New R&B Artist (New Category)
Belly
Bryson Tiller
Dreezy
Kayla Brianna
Ro James

Best New Regional Mexican Artist (New Category)
Adriel Favela
Banda Los Sebastianes
Cheyo Carrillo
Joss Favela
La Séptima Banda

Best New Pop Artist (New Category)
Alessia Cara
Daya
Lukas Graham
The Chainsmokers
ZAYN

Producer of the Year (New Category)
Benny Blanco
Greg Kurstin
Max Martin
Mike Elizondo
The Chainsmokers

Best Lyrics (Socially Voted Category)
“7 Years” – Lukas Graham
“Came Here to Forget” – Blake Shelton
“Cheap Thrills” – Sia featuring Sean Paul
“Closer” – The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
“Heathens” – Twenty One Pilots
“Love Yourself” – Justin Bieber
“Scars to Your Beautiful” – Alessia Cara
“Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” – Adele
“Too Good” – Drake featuring Rihanna
“You Should Be Here” – Cole Swindell

Best Collaboration (Socially Voted Category)
“Cheap Thrills” – Sia featuring Sean Paul
“Closer” – The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
“Don’t Let Me Down” – The Chainsmokers featuring Daya
“This Is What You Came For” – Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna
“Work” – Rihanna featuring Drake

Best Cover Song (Socially Voted Category)
“All I Ask” – Bruno Mars
“Ex’s and Oh’s” – Fifth Harmony
“Fast Car” – Justin Bieber
“Hands to Myself” – DNCE
“Here” – Shawn Mendes
“How Will I Know” – Ariana Grande
“Love on the Brain” – Kelly Clarkson
“Purple Rain” – Jennifer Hudson and the cast of “The Color Purple”
“Sound of Silence” – Disturbed
“Too Good” – Zara Larsson

Best Song from a Movie (Socially Voted Category)
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” – Justin Timberlake (from “Trolls”)
“Falling for You” – Ellie Goulding (from “Bridget Jones’s Baby”)
“Girls Talk Boys” – 5 Seconds of Summer (from “Ghostbusters”)
“Heathens” – Twenty One Pilots (from “Suicide Squad”)
“Just Like Fire” – Pink (from “Alice Through the Looking Glass”)

Best Music Video (New Socially Voted Category)
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” – Justin Timberlake
“Don’t Let Me Down” – The Chainsmokers featuring Daya
“Formation” – Beyoncé
“Hasta El Amanecer” – Nicky Jam
“Heathens” – Twenty One Pilots
“Hymn for the Weekend” – Coldplay
“I Took A Pill In Ibiza” – Mike Posner
“Pillowtalk” – Zayn
“Side to Side” – Ariana Grande featuring Nicki Minaj
“This Is What You Came For” – Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna
“Work” – Rihanna featuring Drake
“Work From Home” – Fifth Harmony featuring Ty Dolla Sign

Best Underground Alternative Band: (New Socially Voted Category)
Hey Violet
Pierce the Veil
PVRIS
Sleeping With Sirens
Tonight Alive

Social Star Award (New Socially Voted Category)
Alex Aiono from YouTube
Baby Ariel from Musical.ly
Emma McGann from YouNow
Hailey Knox from YouNow
Jack and Jack from Snapchat
Jacob Sartorius from Musical.ly
Marcus Perez from Facebook
Steph Clavin from Instagram
Todrick Hall from YouTube
xYego from Smule

Best Fan Army presented by Taco Bell (Socially Voted Category)
5 Seconds of Summer – 5SOSFam
Ariana Grande – Arianators
Beyoncé – Beyhive
Britney Spears – Britney Army
Demi Lovato – Lovatics
Fifth Harmony – Harmonizers
Justin Bieber – Beliebers
Katy Perry – KatyCats
Lady Gaga – Little Monsters
Rihanna – Rihanna Navy
Selena Gomez – Selenators
Shawn Mendes – Mendes Army
twenty one pilots – #twentyonepilots

Additional categories include Best Tour, Most Thumbed Up Artist and Most Thumbed Up Song. For a full list of categories visit iHeartRadio.com/awards.

Movies on Demand: January 2017

MOVIES ON DEMAND

JANUARY 2017

PREMIERE SCHEDULE

All information listed is for movies available on demand on cable and satellite TV systems in the United States. Check with your service provider for channels that offer video on demand and any costs.

January 3, 2017: “Blair Witch” (Same day as DVD release), Rated R.

A group of college students venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to uncover the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of James’ sister who many believe is connected to the legend of the Blair Witch. At first the group is hopeful, especially when a pair of locals offer to act as guides through the dark and winding woods, but as the endless night wears on, the group is visited by a menacing presence. Slowly, they begin to realize the legend is all too real and more sinister than they could have imagined. Starring James Allen McCune and Callie Hernandez.

 

January 3, 2017: “Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life” (Same day as DVD release), Rated PG.

Rafe has an epic imagination and a slight problem with authority. Both collide when he transfers to an oppressive, rule-crazy middle school. Drowning in do’s and don’ts, Rafe and his scheming best friend Leo hatch a plan to break every rule in the school’s Code of Conduct. It’s “Ferris Bueller” meets “Home Alone” as their battle with Principal Dwight explodes into chaos both real and imagined. But Dwight displays his own fiendish creativity, striking back at the rule breakers. Meanwhile, Rafe struggles to hide his misbehavior from Jeanne, the straight-A, overachieving girl of his dreams, and at home, his mother’s boyfriend (a moochy, jack-of-no-trades named Bear) threatens to become his stepfather. Starring Griffin Gluck and Lauren Graham.

January 3, 2017: “Denial” (Same day as DVD release), Rated R.

“Denial” (based on the acclaimed book “History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier”) recounts the legal battle of Deborah E. Lipstadt (played by Oscar winner Rachel Weisz) against David Irving (played  by Timothy Spall), who accused her of libel when she declared him a Holocaust denier. In the English legal system, the burden of proof is on the accused, therefore it was up to Lipstadt and her legal team to prove the essential truth that the Holocaust occurred.

January 3, 2017: “Newtown” (Same day as DVD release), Rated TV-14.

In the aftermath of the worst school shooting in history, the traumatized community of Newtown, Connecticut, finds a new sense of purpose in this intimate story of resilience as told by those whose lives were changed forever.

January 3, 2017: “Operation Avalanche” (Same day as DVD release), Rated R.

In 1967, during the height of the Cold War, two young CIA agents (played by Matt Johnson and Owen Williams) go undercover at NASA to investigate a possible Russian mole. In disguise as documentary filmmakers, they tap phones and break into offices while purporting to learn more about the Apollo project. But when they end up uncovering a shocking NASA secret—and a major government cover-up—they decide to embark on a new mission that may put their own lives at risk.

January 6, 2017: “Nerdland” (Weeks before DVD release), Rated TV-MA.

The animated film “Nerdland” is the story of two best friends, aspiring screenwriter Elliot (voiced by Patton Oswalt) and aspiring actor John (voiced by Paul Rudd), whose dreams of super-stardom have fizzled. With their 30th birthdays looming and their desperation growing, John and Elliot decide that in this 24/7, celebrity-obsessed world of over-shared navel-gazing, there are more ways to become famous—or infamous—then ever before. So why not become famous today? “Nerdland” is that day. Making up for what they lack in brains and talent with abundant, witless enthusiasm, John and Elliot troll Los Angeles on a fame-grab journey, encountering and abusing friends both new and old. Navigating their hyper-stimulating landscape of consumerism gone wild, our two consumers want desperately to be consumed—and they will have their fame, no matter what the cost.

January 6, 2017: “Pitchfork” (Weeks before DVD release), Rated TV-MA.

Every generation has its monster. A group of friends return home with a friend to help him share a secret only to learn that sometimes older secrets are even more deadly. Starring Daniel Wilkinson, Lindsey Nicole, Brian Raetz and Ryan Moore.

January 6, 2017: “The Bronx Bull” (Same day as theatrical release), Rated R.

Based on the tumultuous real-life experiences of legendary boxing champion Jake LaMotta, “The Bronx Bull” chronicles his rise as a world-class boxer and his struggles with life outside of the ring, offering an unflinchingly honest look into the heart of a champion. Starring William Forsythe, Paul Sorvino, Penelope Ann Miller, Tom Sizemore, Cloris Leachman, Mike Starr, Robert Davi, Harry Hamlin, James Russo, Joe Mantegna and Natasha Henstridge.

January 10, 2017: “The Accountant” (Same day as DVD release), Rated R.

Oscar winner Ben Affleck stars in the title role of “The Accountant,” from director Gavin O’Connor (“Miracle,” “Pride and Glory,” “Warrior”).  Christian Wolff (played by Affleck) is a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people.  Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations.  With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (played by J.K. Simmons), starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk (played by Anna Kendrick) has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars.  But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, it is the body count that starts to rise.

January 10, 2017: “Deepwater Horizon” (Same day as DVD release), Rated PG.

On April 20th, 2010, one of the world’s largest man-made disasters occurred on the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico. Directed by Peter Berg (“Lone Survivor”), this story honors the brave men and women whose heroism would save many on board, and change everyone’s lives forever. “Deepwater Horizon” stars Mark Wahlberg,  Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O’Brien and Kate Hudson.

January 10, 2017: “Kevin Hart: What Now?” (Same day as DVD release), Rated R.

In “Kevin Hart: What Now?,” comedic rock-star Kevin Hart follows up his 2013 hit stand-up concert movie “Let Me Explain,” which grossed $32 million domestically and became the third-highest live stand-up comedy movie of all time. Hart takes center stage in this groundbreaking, record-setting, sold-out performance of “What Now?”—filmed outdoors in front of 50,000 people at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field—marking the first time a comedian has ever performed to an at-capacity football stadium.

January 10, 2017: “The Birth of a Nation” (Same day as DVD release), Rated R.

Set against the antebellum South, “The Birth of a Nation” follows Nat Turner (played by Nate Parker), a literate slave and preacher, whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner (played by Armie Hammer), accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves. As he witnesses countless atrocities against himself and his fellow slaves, Nat orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom.

January 10, 2017: “Max Steel” (Same day as DVD release), Rated PG-13.

Sixteen-year old Max McGrath has just moved to a new town – and is desperately trying to fit in, when he discovers his body can generate the universe’s most powerful energy. Unbeknown to Max, a slightly rebellious and hilarious techno-organic extraterrestrial named Steel has been keeping an eye on him, hungry for his super-human energy.  When they finally meet, they discover that together they form Max Steel, a superhero possessing powerful strength beyond anything in our world.  These two unlikely friends soon find themselves hunted by sinister forces who want to control Max’s powers, as well as an unstoppable enemy from another galaxy. Starring Ben Winchell and Maria Bello.

January 10, 2017: “Sold” (Same day as DVD release), Rated TV-14.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buNwGR_5_Rk

“Sold” is a narrative, feature film adaptation of the globally acclaimed novel by Patricia McCormick. Based on true stories, “Sold” is the story of Lakshmi who journeys from a pastoral, rural village in Nepal to a gritty brothel/prison called Happiness House in Kolkata, India. Through one extraordinary girl’s story, “Sold” illustrates the brutality of child trafficking, which affects millions of children around the globe every year. Globally the average age of a trafficked girl is 13, the same age as the girl in the film. “Sold” is a call to action, and a testament to the power and resilience of the human spirit. Starring Gillian Anderson and David Arquette.

January 13, 2017: “Claire in Motion” (Same day as theatrical release), Rated TV-MA.

Three weeks after Claire’s husband has mysteriously disappeared, the police have ended their investigation and her son is beginning to grieve. The only person who hasn’t given up is Claire. Soon she discovers his troubling secrets, including an alluring yet manipulative graduate student with whom he had formed a close bond. As she digs deeper, Claire begins to lose her grip on how well she truly knew her husband and questions her own identity in the process. “Claire in Motion” twists the missing-person thriller into an emotional take on uncertainty and loss. Starring Betsy Brandt and Anna Margaret Hollyman.

January 13, 2017: “100 Streets” (Same day as theatrical release), Rated TV-MA.

“100 Streets,” a powerful ensemble drama, follows three contrasting and interwoven stories as they play out in one square mile of modern day London. A former rugby player, Max (played by Idris Elba), struggles to find a life off the field while fighting to save his marriage to former actress Emily (played by Gemma Arterton). Kingsley (played by Franz Drameh) is a small time drug dealer desperately seeking a way off the street. While completing his community service for a misdemeanor, Kinsley meets Terence (played by Ken Stott), a local thespian, who gives him the push he needs out of his dead end life.

January 13, 2017: “The Crash” (Same day as theatrical release), Rated TV-MA.

This political thriller, directed by Aram Rapport, stars Dianna Agron, Minnie Driver, Frank Grillo, John Leguizamo, Maggie Q, AnnaSophia Robb, Mary McCormack, Ed Westwick, Andrew James Allen and Christopher McDonald  Set in the future when the U.S .economy is on the brink of yet another massive financial crisis, “The Crash” tells the story of Guy Clifton, a federally indicted stock trader, who is secretly enlisted by the federal government to help thwart a cyber-attack aimed at the US stock markets: an attack that could permanently cripple the economy.  Our “richer than God” protagonist is charged with assembling a team capable of running the government’s top secret “shadow stock exchange” in an attempt to keep the markets from mass panic in the event the cyber-hijack is successful. Having only ever been fueled by his love of money, Guy fully intends to use his insider knowledge of this world catastrophe for personal gain until he unearths the organization behind the attack and discovers its motives. For the first time in his life, Guy is challenged to make decisions not only for himself, but also for the good of his country—decisions that are rooted in morality rather than dollar signs.

January 13, 2017: “Bad Kids of Crestview Academy” (Same day as theatrical release), Rated TV-MA.

Based on the best-selling graphic novel series, a group of spoiled “bad kids” have been placed in Saturday detention at the prestigious Crestview Academy. After one of the kids locks away their teacher, they find themselves trapped in school with no way out, wondering who (or what) set them up. Their ranks quickly dwindle as each falls victim to a gruesome “accident” while trying to escape. Starring Sean Astin and Gina Gershon.

January 13, 2017: “The Book of Love” (Same day as theatrical release), Rated PG-13.

Henry (played by Jason Sudeikis) is an introverted architect. After the death of his wife (played by Jessica Biel) in a car accident, he sets out to help Millie (played by Maisie Williams), a homeless teen, to build a raft to sail across the Atlantic.  Also starring Orlando Jones, Paul Reiser, Mary Steenburgen and Richard Robichaux. “The Book of Love” was formerly titled “The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.”

January 13, 2017: “Alone in Berlin” (Same day as theatrical release), Rated R.

How did an ordinary, middle-aged couple become a symbol of defiance against Nazi brutality? This true-life tale of courage unfolds against the tumultuous backdrop of Berlin in 1940. Otto and Anna Quangel (played by Brendan Gleeson and Emma Thompson) are a working class husband and wife doing their best to ride out the war. When their son is killed fighting on the frontlines, however, everything changes. They begin pouring their rage and grief into postcards emblazoned with anti-Nazi slogans, risking everything to disseminate their messages of protest across the city. But this seemingly small act of subversion rattles the regime, including a police inspector (played by Daniel Brühl) who will not rest until the culprits have been caught. Based on the bestselling novel “Every Man Dies Alone” by Hans Fallada, Alone in Berlin is both a gripping thriller and a stirring ode to resistance.

January 17, 2017: “The Girl on the Train” (Same day as DVD release), Rated R.

Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Edgar Ramirez, Lisa Kudrow and Laura Prepon star in “The Girl on the Train,” from director Tate Taylor and producer Marc Platt.  In the thriller, Rachel (played by Blunt), who is devastated by her recent divorce, spends her daily commute fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple who live in a house that her train passes every day, until one morning she sees something shocking happen there and becomes entangled in the mystery that unfolds.

January 17, 2017: “Keeping Up With the Joneses” (Same day as DVD release), Rated PG-13.

An ordinary suburban couple (played by Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher) finds it’s not easy keeping up with the Joneses (played by Jon Hamm played by Gal Gadot), their impossibly gorgeous and ultra-sophisticated new neighbors – especially when they discover that Mr. and Mrs. “Jones” are covert operatives.

January 17, 2017: “Ouija: Origin of Evil” (Same day as DVD release), Rated PG-13.

It was never just a game. Inviting audiences again into the lore of the spirit board, “Ouija: Origin of Evil” tells a terrifying new tale as the follow-up to 2014’s sleeper hit. In 1965 Los Angeles, a widowed mother and her two daughters add a new stunt to bolster their séance scam business and unwittingly invite authentic evil into their home. When the youngest daughter is overtaken by the merciless spirit, this small family confronts unthinkable fears to save her and send her possessor back to the other side.

January 17, 2017: “Eadweard” (Same day as DVD release), Rated TV-MA.

This is a psychological drama centered around world-famous turn-of-the-century photographer, Eadweard Muybridge who photographed nude and deformed subjects, became the godfather of cinema, murdered his wife’s lover, and was the last American to receive the justifiable homicide verdict.

January 17, 2017: “Trespass Against Us” (Same day as theatrical release), Rated R.

“Trespass Against Us” is set across three generations of the Cutler family who live as outlaws in their own anarchic corner of Britain’s richest countryside. Chad Cutler (played by Michael Fassbender) is heir apparent to his bruising criminal father, Colby (played by Brendan Gleeson) and has been groomed to spend his life hunting, thieving and tormenting the police. But with his own son, Tyson (played by Georgie Smith) coming of age, Chad soon finds himself locked in a battle with his father for the future of his young family. When Colby learns of Chad’s dreams for another life he sets out to tie his son and grandson into the archaic order that has bound the Cutler family for generations. He engineers a spectacular piece of criminal business involving a heist, a high-speed car chase and a manhunt, which leaves Chad bruised and bloodied and with his very freedom at stake.

January 17, 2017: “Christine” (Weeks before DVD release), Rated R.

Rebecca Hall stars in director Antonio Campos’ third feature film, “Christine,” the story of a woman who finds herself caught in the crosshairs of a spiraling personal life and career crisis. Christine, always the smartest person in the room at her local Sarasota, Florida, news station, feels like she is destined for bigger things and is relentless in her pursuit of an on-air position in a larger market. As an aspiring newswoman with an eye for nuance and an interest in social justice, she finds herself constantly butting heads with her boss (played by Tracy Letts ), who pushes for juicier stories that will drive up ratings. Plagued by self-doubt and a tumultuous home life, Christine’s diminishing hope begins to rise when an on-air co-worker (played by Michael C. Hall) initiates a friendship which ultimately becomes yet another unrequited love. Disillusioned as her world continues to close in on her, Christine takes a dark and surprising turn. Based on true events, Campos’ intimate and sensitive portrait of a woman on the brink is grounded by Hall’s impeccable and transformative performance as Christine.

January 24, 2017: “The Light Between Oceans” (Same day as DVD release), Rated PG-13.

Based on the bestselling novel by M. L. Stedman, “The Light Between Oceans”tells the powerful story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Australia who discover a baby adrift in a rowboat. When they decide to raise the child as their own, the consequences of their choice will change their lives forever.  Directed by acclaimed director Derek Cianfrance and starring Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz.

January 24, 2017: “Inferno” (Same day as DVD release), Rated PG-13.

Academy Award winner Ron Howard returns to direct the latest bestseller in Dan Brown’s (“Da Vinci Code”) billion-dollar Robert Langdon series, “Inferno,” which finds the famous symbologist (again played by Tom Hanks) on a trail of clues tied to the great Dante himself. When Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks (played by Felicity Jones), a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories. Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to stop a madman from unleashing a global virus that would wipe out half of the world’s population.

January 24, 2017: “I’m Not Ashamed” (Same day as DVD release), Rated PG-13.

Based on the inspiring and powerful true story and journal entries of Rachel Joy Scott, the first student killed in the Columbine High School shooting in 1999.  Starring Masey McLain, Sadie Robertson, Ben Davies, Cameron Mckendry, Victoria Staley, Taylor Kalupa, Elle Roberts, Terri Minton, Justin Cone, Cory Chapman, David Erigo Jr., Mark Daugherty, Ben VanderMey, Jaci Velasquez, Bella Robertson, Korie Robertson and Matthew Schuler.

January 27, 2017: “I Am Michael” (Same day as DVD release), Rated TV-MA.

“I Am Michael” is the incredible true-life story of Michael Glatze (played by James Franco), a high profile queer youth activist who created a national controversy when he claimed to no longer be gay and became a straight Christian pastor. The film follows Michael from his life in San Francisco with his boyfriend Bennett (played Zachary Quinto), where he pursues political activism, a journalist career at XY Magazine, social awareness, and sexual exploration, to his days of personal self-discovery. After a traumatic scare, Michael is plagued by doubt and paranoia, and begins a religious reawakening. Michael renounces his gay lifestyle, rejects his friends, and endeavors to find his “true self.” He explores Buddhism and Mormonism, yet ultimately lands at a Christian Bible school in rural Wyoming where he meets his girlfriend, Rebekah (played by Emma Roberts), and becomes the pastor of his own church. This powerful new film captures one man’s haunting journey through modern concepts of love, denial and redemption.

January 27, 2017: “The Sunshine Makers” (One week after theatrical release)

A real-life “Breaking Bad” for the psychedelic set, “The Sunshine Makers” documentary reveals the fascinating, untold story of Nicholas Sand and Tim Scully, the unlikely duo at the heart of 1960s American drug counter-culture. United in a utopian mission to save the planet through the consciousness-raising power of LSD, these underground chemists manufactured a massive amount of acid, including the gold standard for quality LSD, Orange Sunshine, all while staying one step ahead of the Feds.

January 31, 2017: “Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween” (Same day as DVD release), Rated PG-13.

In “Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween,” Madea (played by Tyler Perry) winds up in the middle of mayhem when she spends a hilarious, haunted Halloween fending off killers, paranormal poltergeists, ghosts, ghouls and zombies while keeping a watchful eye on a group of misbehaving teens.

January 31, 2017: “Tyler Perry’s Madea on the Run (The Play)” (Same day as DVD release)

On the run from the law, Madea (played by Tyler Perry) hides out at Bam’s house, thinking she will lie low. Unfortunately, Bam’s house is packed with rambunctious family and friends, and Madea finds herself needing to lay down her own law and drop the hammer.

January 31, 2017: “Queen of Katwe” (Same day as DVD release), Rated PG.

“Queen of Katwe,” directed by Mira Nair, is the colorful true story of a young girl selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess, and, as a result of the support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion. For 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi (played by Madina Nalwanga) and her family, life in the impoverished slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle. Her mother, Harriet (played by Lupita Nyong’o), is fiercely determined to take care of her family and works tirelessly selling vegetables in the market to make sure her children are fed and have a roof over their heads. When Phiona meets Robert Katende (played by David Oyelowo), a soccer player turned missionary who teaches local children chess, she is captivated. Recognizing Phiona’s natural aptitude for chess and the fighting spirit she’s inherited from her mother, Katende begins to mentor her, but Harriet is reluctant to provide any encouragement, not wanting to see her daughter disappointed.  Her mother eventually realizes that Phiona has a chance to excel and teams up with Katende to help her fulfill her extraordinary potential, escape a life of poverty and save her family.

January 31, 2017: “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” (Same day as DVD release), Rated PG-13.

Jack Reacher (played by Tom Cruise) returns with his particular brand of justice in the highly anticipated sequel “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.” When Army Major Susan Turner (played by Cobie Smulders), who heads Reacher’s old investigative unit, is arrested for Treason, Reacher will stop at nothing to prove her innocence and to uncover the truth behind a major government conspiracy involving soldiers who are being killed. Based upon “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back,” author Lee Child’s 18th novel in the best-selling “Jack Reacher” series, that has sold 100 million books worldwide.

SMAAASH opens first U.S. location at Mall of America

December 22, 2016SMAAASH

 SMAAASH, a gaming and entertainment center founded in India in 2012, opened its first U.S. location at the Mall of America (Level 4 East) in Bloomington, Minnesota, on December 20, 2016.

At the grand opening, the first 100 customers standing in line were each rewarded with a $100 Gift Card. During the day, two lucky customers scored five consecutive goals on the “What the Puck” hockey game, and each won a Harley Davidson Motorcycle for their skills. Harrison Smith of the Minnesota Vikings presented ceremonial keys to the winners, who are from St. Louis Park and Elk River, Minnesota.

SMAAASH, America’s Adrenaline Arena, has 40,000 square feet of gaming, racing, dining and virtual-reality (VR) experiences, including a VR rollercoaster ride where the rider is able to create his or her own track before hopping aboard. Elsewhere, guests will be able to walk a thin, rickety plank that seems to have them between two skyscrapers hundreds of feet in the air.

2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees: Pearl Jam, Journey, Tupac Shakur, Yes, ELO, Joan Baez, Nile Rodgers

December 20, 2016

by Carla Hay

Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur, Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), Journey, Joan Baez, Yes and Nile Rodgers have been announced as the inductees in the 32nd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by Klipsch Audio, which will take place on April 7, 2017, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Rodgers, a Grammy-winning producer and founder of Chic, will be given the Award for Musical Excellence. The rest of the artists will be inducted in the Performers category.

Ticket on-sale dates will be announced in January 2017. HBO will once again televise highlights from the ceremony on a premiere date to be announced. The show’s radio broadcast will be on SiriusXM.

A limited number of pre-sale tickets will be available for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members in advance of the public sale date. To be eligible for the member pre-sale, you must be an active Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member by December 31, 2016. Additional public ticket details and presale offers will be announced in the future.

The special exhibition on the 2017 Inductees will open at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on March 31, 2017.

Artists are eligible for inclusion in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first recording.  The 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Performer Inductees were chosen by more than 900 voters of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, as well as the aggregate results of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s online fan vote. The top five artists from the fan vote comprised the fans’ ballot that was tallied along with the other ballots to determine the 2017 Inductees. Four of the groups from fans’ ballot (Electric Light Orchestra, Journey, Pearl Jam and Yes) will be inducted.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is known for its on-stage reunions, memorable tributes and all-star jam sessions. It has not yet been announced which of the living inductees will attend, who will induct them, and who will be performing. It’s a tradition for the inductees who attend to also perform at the show. In rare cases, some inductees attend but do not perform either because of their health or for other reasons. Bands that have had feuds or several lineup changes are often at the center of speculation about who will show up for the acceptance speech and performance.

Pearl Jam

Led by singer/songwriter Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam’s only major lineup changes have been with the band’s drummers. Between 1991 and 1998, the band parted ways with four different drummers. Since 1998, the band’s current lineup has remained the same: Vedder, lead guitarist Mike McCready, rhythm guitarist Stone Gossard, bassist Mike Ament and drummer Matt Cameron.

Journey

Journey has had several lead singers since the band released its first album in 1975. Steve Perry is Journey’s most famous lead singer, since he was in the band during its heyday in the late 1970s to 1980s, when Journey had its biggest hits. Perry, who is now a solo artist, has battled health problems with his vocal cords and hip, and it is unknown at this point if he will perform at the induction ceremony. Gregg Rolie, Journey’s original lead singer, has most recently been recording and touring with Santana, his other mega-successful band from the San Francisco Bay Area.  Steve Augeri was Journey’s singer from 1998 to 2007. Journey’s current lead singer, Arnel Pineda, was famously discovered on YouTube, and has been in the band since 2007. Journey lead guitarist Neal Schon, keyboardist Jonathan Caine and bassist Ross Valory are longtime members of the band who have stayed in the group throughout its changing lineup of lead singers.

Joan Baez

American folk icon Baez, whose first album was released in 1960, has been steadily performing throughout her entire career. It’s safe to assume that she will attend and perform at the ceremony.

Tupac Shakur

Hip-hop star Shakur, who was shot to death in 1996 (in a murder that remains unsolved), will likely be represented by his mother, Afeni Shakur, and possibly other members of his family or business associates.

ELO

British pop/rock band ELO has had numerous lineup changes, breakups, and revivals since the group’s first album was released in 1971. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Jeff Lynne has been the band’s chief architect, since he wrote and produced the band’s biggest hits. ELO co-founder Roy Wood performed only on ELO’s first album, but he is still eligible to be inducted with ELO in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Meanwhile, other original members of the band—such as keyboardist Richard Tandy and drummer Bev Bevan—were part of the group during ELO’s heyday in the 1970s through mid-1980s. Bevan later recorded and toured as part of the spinoff group ELO Part II, while Tandy is part of Jeff Lynne’s ELO, a group that has toured with Lynne since 2015.

Yes

Yes is another British rock band that has undergone many incarnations and revivals.  Since 2015, the band’s lineup has consisted of guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, keyboardist Geoff Downes, bassist Billy Sherwood and singer Jon Davison. Bass player Chris Squire, one of the original members of Yes, died in 2015. Jon Anderson, who was in Yes off and on from 1968 to 2008, is the band’s most famous lead singer, since he sang on the group’s biggest hits. Other well-known former members of Yes are keyboardist Rick Wakeman, drummer Bill Bruford, singer/bassist Trevor Horn, and keyboardist Tony Kaye.

Nile Rodgers

He first rose to fame in the late 1970s as a member of the dance/R&B group Chic. Since then, Rodgers has worked with  a wide variety of artists, including Daft Punk, Duran Duran, Diana Ross and Madonna.

 

Stevie Nicks headlines opening of Park Theater at Monte Carlo in Las Vegas

December 18, 2016

Stevie Nicks performs at the grand opening of Park Theater at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on December 17, 2016.
Stevie Nicks performs at the grand opening of Park Theater at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on December 17, 2016. (Photo by Al Powers for Park Theater)

On December 17, 2016, Stevie Nicks was the first headlining performer at the grand opening of the Park Theater at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The sold-out show at the 5,200-seat venue also featured a performance from the Pretenders.

According to a Monte Carlo press release, Nicks  was presented with an honorary key to the theater. She also autographed a backstage wall, to start a tradition for all Park Theater performers to come.  At the concert, Nicks performed songs from her career with Fleetwood Mac, as well as some of her solo hits, including “Edge of Seventeen” and “Wild Heart.” She and Pretenders lead singer Chrisse Hynde also sang the  duet “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,”  a song originally recorded by Nicks and Tom  Petty. Nicks concluded the concert with Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide,” which she dedicated to MGM Resorts International executives Bill Hornbuckle and Richard Sturm for inviting Nicks to be a “part of history” as the first headliner to perform at Park Theater.

In 2017, other artists who will headline shows at the theater include Cher, Ricky Martin and Bruno Mars.

The premiere of Park Theater is the first in a series of plans to reinvent the Monte Carlo, which is owned by MGM Resorts International. According to a press release, the Monte Carlo’s transformation, which will take place over the next two years, “will include two distinct hotel experiences: a Las Vegas version of Sydell Group’s famed NoMad Hotel and the launch of a luxury hotel named Park MGM.”

Each will have redesigned guest rooms and new food/beverage offerings, including the Italian food marketplace Eataly.

The Park Theater is one of two big U.S. venue openings for MGM Resorts International this month. MGM National Harbor, a $1.4 billion resort and casino, opened in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on December 8, 2016.