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Will The Great Gatsby Finally Score Leonardo DiCaprio His First Oscar?

With the film receiving it’s US release this weekend the race is on for the 2014 season

Great Gatsby fever is sweeping the US after the film’s release this weekend. With Baz Luhrmann’s movie set to open in UK cinemas next week could all the hype translate to awards glory for the big screen adaptation and Leonardo DiCaprio’s first Oscar win?

Early box office estimates for the US Gatsby opening have shown the movie to be on course for a $40 million first weekend. Mixed reviews from critics seemingly haven’t put off the punters with the likes of Kim Kardashian tweeting their 140 character reviews today.

But will all they hype lead to Oscar glory? The critical reaction to Luhrmann’s fifth feature film has been far from great with The Warp declaring “Baz Luhrmann sucks the life out of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s immortal novel and replaces it with empty filigree and overbearing style.” Ouch.

Will Jay Gatsby score Leonardo DiCaprio his first Oscar? (WENN)

Whilst the overall film has divided the critics, most have been universal in their praise of Leo’s lead performance with Newsday summing up the early awards buzz surrounding the actor:

“As for Leonardo DiCaprio, he is now the Gatsby to beat. Despite a borderline comedic entrance — haloed by fireworks and accompanied by Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” — DiCaprio nails this maddeningly enigmatic character.” They added “DiCaprio helps save the movie from its excesses and misstep.”

Baz’s film has been in the Oscars frame since last year, with the film originally scheduled for a December 2012 release date and therefore a shot at the 2013 Academy Awards. The movie’s spring release may hinder it’s prospects for 2014, with most major studios keeping their gong seekers back until the winter before the January/February awards season.

With so much hype surrounding the film though, surely Leo is in with a chance of Oscar glory after three failed nominations? Despite a number of critically acclaimed roles in recent years Leo has missed out on the coveted gong, with his nods for Blood Diamond, The Aviator and his 1994 break out What’s Eating Gilbert Grape going unrewarded.

And what about all the roles he’s even failed to score a nomination for such as his heavily praised performance in Quentin Tarantino’s 2013 blood fest Django Unchained?

Like Tarantino the Academy has traditionally snubbed Baz’s crowd-pleasing movies but perhaps with Quentin setting the precedent in 2013, 2014 could finally be Luhrmann AND Leo’s year?

The Great Gatsby hits cinemas on May 16th (Photos: Warner Bros/PR)

The Great Gatsby hits cinemas on May 16th (Photos: Warner Bros/PR)

The Great Gatsby hits cinemas on May 16th (Photos: Warner Bros/PR)

The Great Gatsby hits cinemas on May 16th (Photos: Warner Bros/PR)

The Great Gatsby hits cinemas on May 16th (Photos: Warner Bros/PR)


by: Jessica Sager

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus seems to be enjoying her time on the small screen. The former ‘Hannah Montana’ starlet recently wrapped filming a guest arc on ‘Two and a Half Men,’ and now she’s in talks to play a bank robber in ‘Bonnie and Clyde!’

Cyrus is currently meeting with directors to discuss taking on the role of Bonnie Parker in the upcoming Lifetime/History Channel dual project, per The Hollywood Reporter. The miniseries will be the first to air on both the History Channel and Lifetime (both of which are AETN networks) and will be helmed by ‘Smash‘ directors Neil Meron and Craig Zadan — does that mean it’s a musical?! (We sorta hope so!)

‘Bonnie and Clyde’ will be the next in a series of miniseries and cable movies featuring marquee names. Kevin Costner won an Emmy for his work in the History Channel miniseries ‘Hatfields & McCoys,’ while tabloid queen Lindsay Lohan got her first starring role in what seems like forever as Elizabeth Taylor in ‘Liz & Dick.’

It appears that television is a kinder medium to Cyrus than movies have been lately. Her last feature film, ‘LOL,’bombed following a limited release. We’re glad to see more of Cyrus — and we don’t mean that in terms of her leaked nude photos, either!

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Looxcie HD brings 1080p and WiFi streaming to a helmet near you


Looxcie HD brings 1080p and WiFi video to an earlobe near you

Looxcie isn’t just a luxurious sounding word (and terrible pun), it’s also a maker of life-sharing head-mounted cameras. Up until now, it would only let you capture your life in a rather pedestrian 480p, but the new Looxcie HD does away with that, letting you grab that bike ride in full glorious high-definition. Other additions include WiFi (previous iterations relied on Bluetooth) to hook up to your Android or iOS device with, a larger 1,200 mAh battery and improved low light performance. Owners of previous models might spot that with new features comes a new, larger form. The price of evolution it seems. The price for the device, on the other hand, is $279, or $329 if you opt for the “Explore” bundle, which incidentally you can pre-order now. Peep at the source for more.

The Looxcie HD will be available for pre-order on September 21 from or from The MSRP will range from $279.99 to $349.99, depending upon configuration.

Additional Product Features & Specs:
– Full HD recording up to 1080p
– Direct-to-Facebook live streaming
– 480p mobile streaming for sharing a live feed anytime, anywhere
– Simultaneous streaming & recording
– Sleek, hands-free design with a wide range of mounting options
– New mobile app for viewfinder and controls
– Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity
– Weather-resistant enclosure for use in virtually any climate
– Low-light sensor for use in dim lighting
– Unique Instant Clip button for creating “instant replays” of what just happened
– Protective lens filter
– Rechargeable and replaceable battery
– Expandable microSD video storage
– Weighs approximately 3 ounces
– Battery life of up to 2 hours (when recording HD)

Looxcie HD brings 1080p and WiFi streaming to a helmet near you

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‘Prometheus,’ ‘Family Guy’ Coming to YouTube


Family GuyModern FamilyNew GirlX-MenIce AgeBlack Swan and more than 600 other Twentieth Century Fox TV shows and films will soon be making their way to YouTube and Google’s Play store, Google and Fox parent company News Corp. announced Tuesday.

The deal means that all six major film studios, along with 10 independent studios, have now agreed to rent films through YouTube and Google Play, bringing the total rental catalog to around 10,000. The penultimate holdout, Paramount Pictures, signed a licensing agreement with Google in April. All six studios (Disney, Sony, Warner Bros. and Comcast Universal are the other four) sell films through Apple’s iTunes service as well.

Fox and Google haven’t yet detailed pricing, but 48-hour movie rentals typically cost between $2.99 and $3.99 for standard-definition versions, and a dollar more for HD (720p) editions. You have 30 days from the time of purchase to begin watching a movie, and 48 hours from the time you begin to finish watching it. Many films can also be purchased, usually for somewhere between $9.99 and $14.99.

Fox’s content will first be released in the U.S. and brought to additional countries soon, Jonathan Zepp, manager of TV and film content partnerships at Google, said in a blog post.

Around the announcement is a big push for Fox’s new release Prometheus, which is being made available through Google three weeks ahead of its release on Blu-ray, DVD, video-on-demand and other digital distribution portals. The price for the film has also been discounted from $19.99 to $14.99 through the Google Play store. However, you can watch it for $2 less if you wait until Oct. 11 to purchase it through Amazon Instant Video.

‘Prometheus,’ ‘Family Guy’ Coming to YouTube

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Emma Watson ‘most dangerous’ celebrity to search for online

Emma Watson has been named as the favourite bait for cyber criminals attempting to lure internet users to malicious sites

Emma Watson is the most dangerous celebrity in cyberspace according to new research

Emma Watson is the most dangerous celebrity in cyberspace according to new research

The American internet security firm McAfee said that the Harry Potter actress is the ‘most dangerous’ celebrity to search for online.

Many sites use Watson to trick users into downloading malicious software or to steal personal information.

When searching for the 22 year-old Watson there is a one-in-eight chance of landing on a malicious site.

Cyber criminals often use the names of popular celebrities to lure users to sites that are actually laden with malicious software.

They follow the latest trends to lead users to sites which are designed to steal passwords and personal information.

According to McAfee this year, searching for a celebrity name with ‘free downloads’ and ‘nude pictures’ as part of the search term resulted in the highest result of risky sites.

The research reveals the riskiest Hollywood actors, athletes, musicians, politicians, designers, and comedians on the web.

This is the sixth time the Intel-owned security technology company has conducted the study, which was last year topped by Heidi Klum.

Female celebrities are far more likely to be utilised by cyber criminals. Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel was the only male in the top 20.

Paula Greve, director of web security research at McAfee said: “In today’s celebrity culture, consumers expect to be able to go online to catch up with the latest photos, videos, tweets, and stories about their favourite celebrities.

Due to the richness of the data and the high interaction, often times consumers forget the risks that they are taking by clicking on the links.”

She added: “As the sophistication and expectations of consumers with respect to their online experience has increased, so has the level and ability to deliver malware either by malvertising, exploiting the user’s browser without their awareness, or masking malicious URLs behind shortened URLs.”

Others among the riskiest celebrities to search online are Jessica Biel, Eva Mendes, Selena Gomez and Halle Berry.

Emma Watson ‘most dangerous’ celebrity to search for online

‘Reincarnated’ Traces Snoop Lion’s Rastafarian Awakening

Documentary screens at Toronto International Film Festival

Snoop Lion filming “Reincarnated” in Jamaica.


The marijuana smoke-filled opening of Reincarnated, the documentary chronicling the personal and spiritual evolution of rapper and one-time gangbanger Snoop Dogg to reggae artist and Rasta Snoop Lion quickly cuts to shots of a bonfire and singing.

The context isn’t revealed until near the end of the film, which screened Friday at the Toronto International Film Festival.

As Snoop’s journey to find out the source, struggle and meaning behind the peaceable Rastafari ideological movement unfolds, the fire scene reappears as part of a holy groundation ceremony at the Nyabinghi Centre in Jamaica.  It’s a significant moment: Snoop, who is given the name “Berhane” (which means light) during the baptism, has been embraced by true Rastas. “I feel love right now,” says Snoop, beaming.

In the film, Snoop’s daughter Cori B says her father comes home happier, smiling and singing Jamaican music. His forthcoming album, Reincarnated, made in Jamaica with executive producer Diplo and various producers and co-writers, is expletive-and-negativity free, something he could perform at an invitation to the White House. That wasn’t always, or ever, the case before.

The making of the reggae recording in Jamaica is the main reason Snoopadelic Films teamed with Vice Films for this documentary, directed by Andy Capper, but the context that led them to this surprising place in Snoop’s 41-year-old life is provided throughout the film. They hammer home the fact that Snoop grew up in Long Beach, CA, surrounded by violence, and the idea that this peace and love vibe was not in the cards, at least not musically.

“That was my first calling, out of the gangbanging and into the rap,” Snoop says of that early stage of his life, which was reflected in his violent and misogynist lyrics.

Reincarnated reminds its audience of everything Snoop – born Calvin Broadus, Jr., and known earlier in his career as Snoop Doggy Dogg – has been through: acquitted of a murder charge; a record deal with Suge Knight’s Death Row; losing his friend 2Pac to an unsolved murder; the recent death of his best mate, rapper Nate Dogg, who died of a stroke last March.

“That’s what forced me to find a new path,” Snoop says in the film, referring to Nate’s passing. A significant portion of Reincarnated is dedicated to the funeral service and procession.

But as he heads to LAX, bound for for Jamaica, Snoop plans to leave America for a month and “come back a whole new man.” And he does.

The new path is shown gradually as Snoop and his entourage – as well as his family, wife Shante Broadus, and Cori B – head out on little adventures and fact-finding missions about the Rastafari movement and culture. From picking fresh herb deep in the Blue Mountain Range and visiting Trenchtown, the birthplace of the late Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer – who now, at 65, shares his wisdom with the rapper and and calls him “Snoop Lion” – to partaking in many “reasoning” ceremonies, where Rastas hang out and smoke cannabis, Snoop’s reincarnation unfolds. And in the end, he finally realizes a mission Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan gave him 11 years ago: “To be an advocate for peace,” Snoop Lion says.

‘Reincarnated’ Traces Snoop Lion’s Rastafarian Awakening

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Bikini-Clad Jennifer Lopez Flaunts Tight Abs, Swims With Casper Smart


Jennifer Lopez at the pool with her family in Miami Beach FL.

Jennifer Lopez at the pool with her family in Miami Beach FL.

Muy caliente!

Hours before she performed at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida, September 1, Jennifer Lopez, 43, sneaked in some pool time at a local hotel with her twins, Max and Emme, 4, and her boyfriend of nearly a year, backup dancer Casper Smart, 25.

VIDEO: Half-naked Jennifer Lopez shows off her boxing skills

Wearing a black bikini that featured an asymmetrical strap around her right shoulder, Lopez showed off her enviable abs and world famous booty. The “Dance Again” singer also sported retro-inspired sunglasses, gold hoop earrings and a Hermes cuff.

Jennifer Lopez and her boyfriend Casper Smart go for a swim at their hotel in
Jennifer Lopez and her boyfriend Casper Smart go for a swim at their hotel in Miami.

After taking a dip with her twins, Lopez spent some quality time frolicking in the pool with Smart. At one point, the former American Idol judge wrapped her legs around the choreographer as he waded in the water and soaked up the sun.

PHOTOS: Jennifer Lopez’s style evolution

Lopez recently turned to celebrity fitness guru Tracy Anderson to keep her in shape while touring with Enrique Iglesias. When the entertainer is pressed for time, “We skip dance cardio, since she’s always rehearsing, and do legs and arms,” Anderson told Us Weekly earlier this year.

PHOTOS: Jennifer Lopez’s life with her adorable twins

During her trainer’s rigorous workouts, Lopez depends on high-energy tunes to keep her motivated. “She’s dedicated!” Anderson raved.

Bikini-Clad Jennifer Lopez Flaunts Tight Abs, Swims With Casper Smart  


Oprah Winfrey tops Forbes highest-paid list for 4th year

But magazine says she’ll be knocked off in coming years

Oprah Winfrey is shown in March. She tops the Forbes highest paid celebrities list for the fourth year.

Oprah Winfrey is shown in March. She tops the Forbes highest paid celebrities list for the fourth year. 

Oprah Winfrey earned an estimated $165 million US in 2011-12, putting her atop the list of the world’s highest-paid celebrities for the fourth year in a row.

She may have given up her day-time talk show and be struggling to gain an audience with her new television network, but Winfrey still has a bevy of Harpo productions raking in the cash. Among them are syndicated TV shows such as Dr. PhilRachael Ray and The Dr. Oz Show as well as her still-popular O magazine.

Winfrey is taking to the airwaves again with shows like Oprah’s Lifeclass andOprah’s Next Chapter in an effort to boost ratings at OWN, Forbes notes, but the magazine estimates she will not remain the highest-paid celebrity in coming years. That’s because it plans to revise its method of ranking to exclude earnings from syndication.

Movie director Michael Bay earned only $5 million less than Winfrey, largely on the back of box-office smash Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which also led to toy sales and other spinoffs. Forbes estimates Bay earned $160 million between May 2011 and May 2012.

There are an impressive array of movie and TV producers in the Forbes top 10, among them Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Jerry Bruckheimer and Simon Cowell. Music producer Dr. Dre was a surprise addition to this year’s list, coming in at No. 5 with income of $110 million because of the sale of part of his Beats by Dr. Dre headphones business to handset maker HTC.

Spielberg is estimated to have brought in $130 million with films War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin, Dreamworks TV series Smash and his cut of Universal theme parks.

Bruckheimer had a box office hit with the latest Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, while Lucas contines to get residuals from the Star Wars franchise, as well as from his Industrial Light and Magic, which provides effects for movies like Battleship and The Avengers.

Forbes estimates celebrity earnings from upfront pay, profit participation and residuals and interviews with agents and industry insiders.

Forbes highest-paid celebrities

  1. Oprah Winfrey, $165 million.
  2. Michael Bay, $160 million.
  3. Steven Spielberg, $130 million.
  4. Jerry Bruckheimer, $115 million.
  5. Dr. Dre, $110 million.
  6. Tyler Perry, $105 million.
  7. Howard Stern, $95 million.
  8. James Patterson, $94 million.
  9. George Lucas, $90 million.
  10. Simon Cowell, $90 million.

Oprah Winfrey tops Forbes highest-paid list for 4th year

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In-app ads: How to get 20% engagement and 2000% higher click-through

In-app ads: How to get 20% engagement and 2000% higher click-through

by John Koetsier

This just may be a blinding flash of the obvious, but apparently we like ads that don’t suck. And fit into our current context. And give us something we want.

Whoda thunk?

MediaBrix, the app ad company, ran a survey to discover what people like and don’t like about advertising in apps: Facebook apps as well as mobile apps. I spoke with chief executive Ari Brandt yesterday to get the details.

The first result? We like ads

Well, I’ll qualify that.

We like ads more than paying for apps. On smartphones, 61 percent of us want free apps with ads, while 39 percent would pay to avoid the ads. For the cheapskates on Facebook, those numbers skew to 83 percent free, 13 percent paid.

That’s a consumer trend MediaBrix has embraced. But the company, which started out building marketing campaigns with standard Facebook ads, was looking for something better than a banner ad or a sponsored story.

Instead of interrupting apps, Brandt says, he wanted to integrate into them.

“In-app advertising needs to acknowledge, embrace and respect the user experience,” says Brandt. “Standard pre-rolls and traditional ad banners don’t really work in this space.”

So the company, which works with major game developers such as EA and King, and brands like Proctor & Gamble and Coca-Cola, started looking for alternatives.

The second result? We like the right ads, at the right time

Perhaps iAds had it right, partially. As many as 72 percent of Facebook app users prefer immersive, interactive ads to standard banner ads. The numbers for smartphone users: 60 percent versus 40 percent.

That might sound crazy, since an immersive and interactive ad demands more of your attention. A banner ad, after all, can be ignored.

But the key factor is the right offer at the right time. Here’s how Brandt explained it to me:

“Imagine you’re playing a game, and you need a power-up. So a message pops up and says: ‘John, your power is low. Interact with this Coca-Cola ad and receive five free power-ups.’”

The user is in charge: she can decide to accept the power-up or not. If she doesn’t, she continues playing the game as before. But if she does, the ad unit is engaging, built specifically for the game, and immediately rewarding. And that, apparently, is the key.

“We’ve seen amazing performance,” Brandt says, “including engagement rates as high as 20 percent.” MediaBrix’ click-through rates are high, he told me, as much as 2000 percent higher than Facebook promoted posts … which can have click-through rates of a fraction of a percentage point.

The third result? We hate pre-roll videos

Unsurprisingly, 63 percent of Facebook users don’t like pre-roll ads. And for once smartphone users are almost completely in agreement: 62 percent would prefer to have a choice to play the video or have it shown during a natural break in the app that they’re playing or using.

So MediaBrix created an interstitial-type product for session-based games.  One example is the popular app Fruit Ninja, says Brandt:

“When you complete a level, you get a message: ‘Congratulations, you just slashed 100 pieces of fruit. The next level is loading — please watch this message from our sponsor.”

The message, the art, and the entire ad is customized — integrated into the game experience.

The point for you?

If you’re an app developer, design custom ad experiences into your apps that are innovative and integrated into your user experience. And if you’re a marketer, don’t settle for interruption marketing or annoyance marketing.

Give something to get something.

In-app ads: How to get 20% engagement and 2000% higher click-through

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Spike Lee’s ‘Red Hook Summer’ Reviewed by Ricardo Hazell

I will say that it is a film worth seeing and it’s all too disgustingly real, with characters that seemed very familiar to me.


by Ricardo A. Hazell

*Spike Lee has been the preeminent director of films geared toward African American audiences for almost 30 years and we’ve come to expect a certain level of Lee’s signature craftsmanship ever since his very first big screen release, “She’s Gotta Have It.” His “40 Acres and a Mule” production company has rolled out over 35 films since 1983.

Recently I was invited down to the Directors Guild of America theater in Manhattan on 57th st to a screening of Lee’s most recent offering, “Red Hook Summer.”

It may be one of his most highly anticipated films in recent memory as it continues on his catalog of films that are based in Brooklyn. It tells the tale of a young man named Flik Royale, played by Jules Brown, whose mother sends him to spend the summer with his grandfather the good Bishop Enoch Rouse, played by Clarke Peters, in the Red Hook area of Brooklyn. Flik is 13 years old and is meeting his grandfather for the very first time. The two immediately begin falling out, as was to be expected, over Bishop Enoch’s insistence upon making Flik a devout Christian. Bishop Enoch, not unlike many old school grandfathers, doesn’t believe that Flik should be allowed to simply run free of his own accord. He puts Flik to work down at the Lil’ Peace of Heaven Church to help prepare for the upcoming Seniors’ Day.

It is there he meets Deacon Zee, played magnificently by Thomas Jefferson Byrd, a tragic yet comical drunk who is also Bishop Enoch’s right hand man. He also meets his antagonist/childhood sweetheart in the form of Chazz Morningstarr, played by Toni Lysaith. She and Flik are together through out the film and, had one not been paying attention, you would almost think “Red Hook Summer” was going to be a relatively light-hearted coming of age story. The common themes are all there for one to make that assumption: a stubborn yet brilliant child, a stern yet loving disciplinarian, a free spirited female companion and a dangerous potential adversary in the gang leader Box, played by Nate Parker.

But as the film progresses we begin to realize that, while there may indeed be elements of a coming of age story in the film, it’s really a story of deception, abuse of power, secrets and revelations. The audience is given hints throughout the film but it all comes to a climatic and masterfully acted crescendo in the pulpit. That’s when all of those hints come together in the mind’s eye. We now know why Bishop Enoch’s daughter Colleen Royale, played by De’Adre Aziza, showed great concern when initially dropping her only child of at her father’s door step, and why it took her 13 years to do so.

I will say that it is a film worth seeing and it’s all too disgustingly real, with characters that seemed very familiar to me. Bishop Enoch’s initial rigidity with dealing with young Flik seemed like the right thing to do in my eyes because it struck a familiar cord with in me. I initially found myself sympathizing with Bishop Enoch and wishing the headstrong Flik would get his act together. But little did I know that the individual that needed to come clean was the “good” Bishop? Can’t forget to give a shout out to Johnathan Batiste for his performance of Da Organist TK. Funny, funny, funnier with every church scene as he played the organ and ad-libbed in true church organist fashion. The kids, Jules Brown and Toni Lysaith did Ok but their chemistry and timing seemed to be a bit off. But I still think they performed well considering this was their first feature film. I’ll give them a C+.

The film’s zenith came in true Spike fashion. After all, I thought shortly after digesting “Red Hook Summer”, when has Spike Lee ever let us off easy when it comes to holding a mirror up to black culture?

The dialogue reflects a sign of the times approach which Spike Lee often employs. One in which the characters speak of times and circumstances that reflect the black mindset of some films Spike has his hand in. It is a particular touch of craftsmanship that I enjoyed before, and I enjoy it still. The Motion Picture Association gave the film an R rating because of “a disturbing situation”. But what is actually disturbing is that anyone living today might deem this film unnecessary. Those that do are in extreme denial. Is this a blockbuster? No, but it is a film worth making and it cuts straight to the heart of a very current matter. I would say this film is a success on artistic merit and subject matter alone.

“Red Hook Summer” opened on August 10 in select theaters in the New York area and will premiere nationwide on August 24. I cannot honestly sit here and tell you that this film is for everyone. You have to be ready to deal with a scene that is somewhat unsettling, but it was needed to hammer down the film’s reality. Overall I would give “Red Hook Summer” a B- on subject matter, dialogue, plot twist and the script.

Spike Lee’s ‘Red Hook Summer’ Reviewed by Ricardo Hazell

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