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SUMMER MOVIE BONANZA!

The Summer Blockbuster Season is in full swing! Check out the previews of new movies still to come this summer!

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There’s no shortage of films worth checking out this summer… the week of July 4th kicks off a bonanza of potential hits!Here are the ones we’re talking about right now… which ones we’ll see, which ones escape us, and the trailers to help you decide for yourself!

BLOCKBUSTERS
Are you a blockbuster movie kind of person? (I tend to think that more people are crying out for something a little less hyped than Hollywood would like you to believe, but perhaps I’m wrong, because these movies always seem to make huge money.) In any case, there are plenty of choices:

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN – July 3
Gone are Tobey McGuire and Kirsten Dunst and in are Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone as the web crawler and love interest.

The film pretends the earlier incarnations never happened.. it’s literally starting the story over again. (A somewhat surprising approach since we’ve seen ‘new’ Spiderman films as recently as five years ago.)

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES – July 20
The epic conclusion from to Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy.
Batman is no longer loved by Gotham, framed for the crimes of another villain. But when a new terrorist leader assails the city, Batman returns to the public eye to make things right. (Don’t forget Anne Hathaway as Catwoman!)



SAY WHAT? (My category for ‘how else do I categorize these!)
MAGIC MIKE – June 29(Yeah, this just premiered but is in full force right now!) Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Joe Mangianello and Matt Bomer star in this film about male strippers. Probably not a big date movie. Will this just be for the ladies and gay men? (Come to think of it, gay men don’t need to go to the movies to see in-shape guys…)

TED- June 29, (another one that has opened but is red hot right now!)  starring Mark Wahlberg and a Teddy bear voiced by Seth MacFarlane. Despite the seemingly innocent plot line – a young man (who lives with an outspoken, talking teddy bear) is urged to end the roommate situation by his girlfriend (Mila Kunis) – don’t be fooled! This is an off beat, off color story that will have fans of Family Guy and American Dad rolling in the aisles from the irreverent, foul mouthed humor. But it won’t be for everyone! So be forewarned.


SEQUELS AND REMAKES:
TOTAL RECALL – (loose remake, out August 3) Colin Farrell back on the screen in the role originally played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1990.
The film is largely true to the original in many aspects, (although the settings change) – about a man who goes to a company that provides a unique service – turning your dreams and fantasies into real life memories and experiences in your brain. But during the procedure something goes wrong, and suddenly he’s on the run from police.

GREAT FOR KIDS
ParaNorman – August 17
a CGI film about an adorable young kid who has the ability to speak to the dead. He’s judged as an outcast – until zombies take over the town!
Funny and irreverent, adorable family fun.

JUST FOR LAUGHS – They might not be the biggest hits of the summer – but they’ll make you laugh!!
The Campaign – August 10th Rated R
This one isn’t getting nearly enough attention (Yet!) – Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis star in what may be just what the doctor ordered – a comedy about two North Carolina men with Presidential aspirations running against one another for Congress. It’s a satirical (but not so far fetched) look at what politicians will say and do to gain the favor of voters.
Ferrell’s character is seen telling every one he speaks to that they are the backbone of this country… from Factory workers, to farmers, to women, to tilt a whirl operators. He’s a riot – and well paired with Galifianakis!


HOPE SPRINGS – AUGUST 10
Okay, this isn’t going to be huge, compared to the big hits of the summer, but it will be a nice breath of fresh air from car crashes to see a movie with heart.
Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones play a long married couple who seek counseling from a therapist played by Steve Carell. It’s hard to imagine with this cast this won’t be anything but funny and sweet.
For more movie news and entertainment updates, follow @BrianBalthazar on twitter!

Entertainment

Hold Onto Your Bucket, You Can Visit Colonel Sanders on KFC Island In ‘Animal Crossing’

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Kentucky. Fried. Crossing.

If I told you to live in a tent for a few days, pull a bunch of weeds from the lawn and chop down a few trees for lumber that you will then have to turn into tools with your own two hands all while trying to pay off a ridiculous debt that you unwittingly acquired you might think I’m into corporal punishment. Yet, it’s all those things that make Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch so damn addictive.

The life simulation video game has grown unbelievably popular over these last few months and it’s probably because the game provides a great creative outlet that can keep players entertained for hours while remaining home during quarantine. Even some celebrities have jumped on the virtual bandwagon with Elijah Wood, T-Pain, Chrissy Tiegen and more all sharing their obsession on social media. Well scoot over movie stars, big time singers and supermodels because the biggest household name just changed the game (not literally as I’m sure the game has some sort of coding that prevents actual changes to be made but metaphorically the pun works). That’s right, Colonel Sanders has an avatar and an island and is ready to serve up some chicken.

Credit: KFC Philippines Twitter

Earlier this week, the KFC Philippines Twitter account revealed the news that “KFC Island” would be opening for lucky visitors. To get to the island you have to message their Facebook account with the #KFCVirtualStore for a chance at getting a Dodo Code. Because I am one of the many who have fallen in love with this game I know that a Dodo Code is a unique code which can be shared with select visitors to grant them access to your island. I feel like such a gamer. On the Kentucky fried island there is a restaurant that is replicated to look like the real thing! There’s booths, a kitchen and even promotional posters. Oh and as if this wasn’t exciting enough, if you find the Colonel hiding somewhere on the island you could win an 8-piece chicken bucket from KFC…in real life! (The promotion is only valid for players in the Philippines.)

Credit: KFC Philippines Twitter

Visits to the island are only available until June 20th, so be sure to hop on this finger lickin’ experience while you can!

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Stan Lee Said The Only Way To Combat A Racist Is To ‘Expose Them’ In A Periodical From Over Fifty Years Ago

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A man truly ahead of his time.

The concept of finding strength within a community has never been more pressing than it is right now. Our country is divided in so many ways but amongst the fractures you can see groups joining together in an effort to show that unity is always stronger than division. If anyone can attest to that belief it was the ingenius comic book writer, editor, publisher, and producer Stan Lee.

The man responsible for the Marvel universe we know and love today was behind a number of comic books which featured outcasts who looked beyond their differences in order to unify and protect the greater good. A concept our world might need reminding of. In the back of the comics Lee wrote for was a section entitled “Stan’s Soapbox,” where the wordsmith would write short articles expressing some things that were on his mind. One soapbox article from 1968 has resurfaced and gone viral because of how eerily fitting it is for today.

In the article Lee calls bigotry and racism “the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today.” But unlike a super villain from one of his comics, racism and bigotry cannot be defeated by a “punch in the snoot, or a zap from a ray gun,” he says, rather “the only way to destroy them is to expose them – reveal them for the insidious evils they really are.” The comic book creator suggests the only way for our world to continue peacefully is to “judge each other on our merits” and to “fill our hearts with tolerance.”

Along with the soapbox article, a clip from an interview with Larry King has gone viral with Lee once again wishing to see more tolerance in the world. When asked what the one thing he would change about the world Lee responded “I’d make people not hate each other because of their religion, because of their nationality, because of any stupid reason. If we can abolish hatred, we live on this gorgeous planet.”

Why couldn’t he be the celebrity that ran for president!? Hopefully the villains Lee warned us about over fifty years ago will soon seem like a thing in the past and that beautiful, tolerant world he dreamed of will become a reality.

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Lizzo’s Performance Of ‘Pomp And Circumstance’ Will Make Any Graduate Feel Good As Hell

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She really is a hoot with a flute.

Ah graduation, that special moment that every student dreams about where they get dressed up in an unbreathable gown and an unflattering cap and sit outside for hours somewhere on a great lawn in the middle of a heat wave just to receive that special piece of paper that says they have completed a super long chapter in their lives. While the ceremonies are not always the most exciting time ever, to be denied the chance to walk across a stage and turn the tassel on your cap due to the pandemic guidelines does seem like a real bummer. To help remedy the graduation blues of 2020, YouTube Originals live-streamed an event called Dear Class Of 2020 which featured some huge stars offering their support. One of those stars happened to be Lizzo who put her own spin on the classic graduation march “Pomp and Circumstance.”

In her performance, Lizzo played the iconic two-minute section of the song that is most widely associated with graduations. After about 40-seconds, the “Juice” singer shares her congratulations to the graduating class and then lets them know it’s time to “turn it up.” With that, Lizzo is virtually accompanied by the New York Phil Harmonic as they jam out (is it still called jamming out when it’s classical music?) to create a truly memorable performance. The performance is visually stunning showcasing some cool digital effects but what truly stands out in the video are the images of black graduates wearing their caps and gowns as they participate in Black Lives Matter protests that are happening throughout the nation. The entire video suddenly becomes much more hopeful as it becomes clear that the future of our nation rests in the hands of these courageous, intelligent and strong young people.

The video ends with a photo of Deveonte Joseph taken by photographer Nathan Aguirre, which went viral when first posted. In the photo, Joseph is wearing his graduation cap and gown on a street in St. Paul, Minnesota, with the lights of a police set up glowing behind him.

Check out the entire inspirational video below!

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