It’s officially one long, stuff yourself silly and watch movies weekend. Here are the films we’ll be watching, talking about, nominating, and inevitably, in some cases – regretting – this season.
LINCOLN (opened November 16th)
This one has already been up nearly a week, and is struggling to get the attention being thrown upon Twilight and James Bond – but is one that we’ll definitely hear about come Oscar time. The movie tells the story of our 16th President Abraham Lincoln. As the Civil War continues to rage, America’s president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield and as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.
Why we’ll be talking: Daniel Day Lewis is a dead ringer for the guy. This kind of role is custom made for Oscar Buzz. Directed by Steven Spielberg, it also stars Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln and Tommy Lee Jones as Thadeus Stevens.
THE TWILIGHT SAGA BREAKING DAWN PART 2 (opened November 16th)
If you’re a teenage girl, (okay, a fair share of adults love it too) this is the highly anticipated next chapter of the Twilight Saga. The married bliss of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) couldn’t last forever – so why be surprised to learn that the honeymoon is cut short be a series of unfortunate betrayals and all around bad things threaten to destroy their world. Bella gets preggers and why wouldn’t that provide some problems during delivery, given that the dad is a vampire and all. but their new daughter causes more problems than she may be worth with Volturi, the fearsome council of vampire leaders, setting the stage for an all-out battle.
Why we’ll be talking: Well, you know how it is – when Twilight movies come out – we seem to talk about them! They make far too much money to be ignored!
Synopsis: Pat Peoples (Bradley Cooper) is a man always trying to look on the bright side of life –but finds himself in a mental hospital after losing his wife to another man, Then the former teacher moves back in with his parents while trying to reconcile with his now ex-wife. But things get more complicated when he meets Tiffany, (Jennifer Lawrence of “The Hunger Games”) a mysterious girl with problems of her own.
Why we’ll be talking – Cooper and Lawrence are both red hot right now- and this ‘anti-blockbuster’ has an innocence and emotional journey that is already getting good buzz.
THE RISE OF THE GUARDIANS (November 21st)
Childhood icons like the Easter Bunny, Santa, Jack Frost and the Sandman join forces to protect children from something or other. It’s CGI and kid friendly, plus a clever concept, so it should do well with families.
Synopsis: Set during the period in which Alfred Hitchcock was making the movie ‘Psycho,’ this is the story of a love triangle of sorts: That between Alfred Hitchcock and his wife Alma Reville – and the ‘other woman’ in his life – filmmaking itself.
Why we’ll be talking: This is starting in limited released – but the remarkable peformance from star Anthony Hopkins will likely lead to an Oscar nomination. Helen Mirren plays his wife with equal aplomb.
Synopsis: This prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy follows Bilbo Baggins, an upstanding member of the “little people” Hobbits, on a dangerous journey to the Lonely Mountain with Gandalf the Grey. They aim to take back a treasure stolen from them by a dragon.
Expect lots of foes: dragons, giant spiders, hostile elves, ravenous wolves, and even more we can’t explain. You just have to see it.
Trivia: Daniel Radcliffe, Shia LaBeouf, James McAvoy, and Tobey Maguire were among those considered for the role of Bilbo Baggins. The role ultimately went to Martin Freeman – an English actor relatively unknown in the U.S.
Why we’ll be talking: this will be a blockbuster, much like the first installments of the series. End of story!
Synopsis: Ex-military homicide investigator Jack Reacher (Cruise) seeks the truth behind what seems an open-and-shut murder case after a trained military sniper is arrested for shooting five random victims. Not surprisingly, things aren’t what they seem to be. Based on a book in Lee Child’s crime series.
Why we’ll be talking: Tom Cruise is a good actor who makes great movies – but while his box office returns are still respectable, he is no longer the sure thing he used to be. Given that he has come under more scrutiny about Scientology and his split from Katie Holmes, people will be watching to see if the career of this one-time golden boy will survive another PR hit.
An adaptation of the successful stage musical based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel set in 19th-century France, in which a paroled prisoner named Jean Valjean seeks redemption. It was a hit on Broadway for years. Hugh Jackman plays ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Russell Crowe) after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s (played by Anne Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever. (Helena Bonham Carter and Amanda Seyfried also star.)
Why we’ll be talking: It’s truly an epic film – and the director used a remarkable new technique to get the actors to bring even more passion to their performances. They sang live on set, with earpieces and minimal orchestration – not in a studio. The lush ochestral flourishes were added in later.
Have fun, and save me some popcorn!
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You’ve seen pop culture expert, Brian Balthazar, appear on The Wendy Williams Show quite a bit over the last few years. He even co-hosted the show on three separate occasions. It wasn’t until his last visit where he and Jason Biggs chowed down on a KFC Cheetos Chicken Sandwich that it hit me: Being on the daytime talk show makes Brian Balthazar hungry!
The proof is in the pudding…pun definitely intended. Carla Hall made sure to bring some snacks for Brian when they cohosted together.
Sure, Wendy is known for telling us to “grab a snack and come on back”…
But you’d have to be absolutely famished to want to eat fish sliders at 10am.
He’s gotten so hungry he resorted to eating GRASSHOPPER TACOS on the show!
Could it be that Brian isn’t actually hungry though? Could he just be a brave soul willing to be the taste tester so we don’t have to? Could my theory be flawed?!
I suddenly feel like maybe we owe Brian a big thanks…
Either way, it’s fun to watch! Click below to take a look at a compilation of all the fun stuff Brian Balthazar has eaten on The Wendy Williams Show!
Get The Look! A Buyer’s Guide To Brian Balthazar’s Philadelphia Home Redesign
As the world was forced to spend more time at home, Brian Balthazar found himself in a position where he had sold a house before the lockdown and had to find a new one.
“We sold our home with all the furniture in it, so not only did we find ourselves struggling to find a new place, once we found one we didn’t have any furniture to put in it.”
And so, Brian and partner Dennis got resourceful, turning to refurbishing and buying store floor models. They were inspired to make bold, fun choices in color and style when they started shopping around for wallpaper.
Below is the segment as it appeared on the Today Show, and further down, a rundown of where you can find the pieces or ones with a similar look!
THE DINING ROOM
Let’s start with the Dining Room!
Move the slider dividing the image to see all of the before or all of the after!
Brian says: The dining room was the first space we wanted to do. I haven’t had a true dining room since I was a kid, and I’ve always wanted a big table for dinner parties! There were no tables within the price range we wanted, so we found a floor model at one of our favorite go-to stores, Arhaus. We easily saved 75 percent on this table by getting the one that they weren’t going to carry anymore. The chairs are from Wayfair. On each side of the fireplace (not seen in the photo, but visible in the Today Show video) are two black tall lanterns flanking the fireplace. I got them at Target. I can’t currently find them on their app, but similar versions pop up every year. Get thee to Homegoods! Homegoods and Homesense (same parent company) are my go-to spots for home accessories for virtually every room in the house. You never know what you’re going to find, which is part of the fun.
But let’s focus on the real WOW element to this room – the wallpaper! This pattern is called Bellewood, by RebelWalls. As you will soon see, I’m sort of obsessed with their patterns. To me, this room is magical with the added whimsy of this forest pattern. (They also have a more muted version with grays and even one with blues.) I also love that by hanging the paper from the chair rail up, you almost get the feeling that you’re standing on a balcony overlooking the forest. I surrounded the whole room with this paper, which I love, but you could easily add the same magical feeling by just doing one feature wall. Their website shows how it can translate to a bedroom or office. You might be intimidated by hanging wallpaper but don’t be! This pattern has so much going on that it really looks perfect when it goes up!
ON TO THE GUEST BEDROOM!
Brian says: The guest bedroom is on the top floor of the house, so it’s got roof lines on two sides that make it a tricky space to navigate if you’re not careful. The planning of this space alone resulted in a few bonked heads. On the upside, the wall where the bed goes is tall, so it was an obvious place to create some visual pop. Again, the wallpaper takes the spotlight. Called “Nude Roses,” also by RebelWalls, I love this design. Floral wallpaper was ‘big’ in popularity back in the 1920s when this house was built, but the patterns at that time were smaller, repeated more often, and were often really bold in color. This interpretation is so fun to me! Gone are the small roses in favor of oversized blooms, and the bold colors are more subdued pink and gray hues, with touches of dark green and creamy whites.
While roses can inherently feel feminine, the plaid bedding (30 dollars for a queen set from Target) are a surprising complement that keeps everything from feeling a little stereotypical. The side tables are mismatched – partly because we didn’t want to go too “matchy=matchy” – but also to save some money – the one on the left side (hard to catch here) was from West Elm. Normally $199, we got it for half off as the floor model. The one on the right we found in the trash. It was perfectly fine, clearly someone had just gotten tired of it! Nothing some disinfectant can’t fix. That gave us some extra money to spend – To reduce the softeness we went with industrial lamps and edison bulbs. The lamps are called “Ginyard,” from Wayfair. The headboard was on sale at Arhaus. The dark gray takes balances out the pink hues well. The pillows are from Target and Homegoods.
For the 360 degree view of this room, watch the Instagram reel below! You’ll see the dresser, on sale for $599 from Arhaus, a lamp from Homegoods, and mobiles from Amazon which we fashioned into a ‘piece of art’ that keeps you from hitting your head on the angled wall opposite the bed. Watch the video to check it out!
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THE GAME ROOM
Brian says: The idea for the basement game room was to create a space that feels like a lounge you might find if you went out with friends. When you go into this basement it definitely feels like you’ve gone someplace unique! Believe it or not, I found out the Today Show had invited me to to record my house tour just a few days in advance, and so we turned around this spot in just THREE days! There was literally no pool table at the time, (although it had already been scheduled to come on Friday, the wallpaper came on Saturday, (as well as the floor tiles!) and by Sunday we were covered in paint and glue and drinking wine to celebrate it’s completion! I recorded the final video that Monday.
Some people might not think to take a bright basement and make it dark, but that was our first instinct. Clubs are dark and moody, and we wanted this to feel like that. We painted the walls Wrought Iron by Benjamin Moore, which is a very dark gray that seems to take on different hues based on where you paint it and the light that shines on it. We painted the ceiling black. This was Thursday night! Then Friday the pool table came. The floor tiles (“Tweed Indeed” in black by Flor) hadn’t arrived until the next day, so when they did arrive I meticulously trimmed four tiles to fit around the pool table legs so it looks like they were there the whole time. I had ordered the pool table online weeks before from PoolTables.com and by sheer coincidence it was scheduled to arrive in time for me to shoot the redesign. This was the second time I have ordered a pool table from them (which was initially scary because you’re not even seeing it beforehand!) but it always arrives in perfect condition to your specific selections. I love that the felt jet black and keeps things dark and moody. In the time that has passed since this photo was taken, I’ve added more of the carpet tiles to make the carpeted floor area darker and bigger.
But once again, the wall mural steals the show in a marvelous way! This mural is called “A Priori” from Rebelwalls, and is inspired by The Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini Power, a famous fresco by Italian artist Pietro da Cortona. Fitting, because this house is Italian in style on the outside. You can’t see it from this photo but the wallpaper runs up part of the ceiling as well. It truly gives the room a wow factor when you enter it. The lamps are from Homegoods, (we’ve since added some industrial floor lamps for extra mood lighting) and the piano was something we brought with us. The bar tables are from Amazon ($72 each) and the stools we brought with us – they were discards from someone who didn’t like their original bright colors and thought they were dated! We covered them ourselves with gray plaid fabric and they’re better than they were new!
So there you have it! Hope you enjoyed the rooms and find something you like!
The Pentagon Has Released Official UFO Videos Because 2020 Is The Absolute Worst
Aren’t swarms of locusts supposed to be the next installment of this plague?!
Can we finally declare 2020 as the worst year ever? In January there were fears of a third World War. In February the coronavirus began its rapid spread. In March the world essentially shut down due to social distancing and quarantining. And now in April…with only two days left in the month…we have official government footage of unidentified flying objects. I’m sorry but Milton Bradley’s game of “Life” never prepared me for any of this!
The Pentagon has confirmed the authenticity of three videos that have been circulating the web but didn’t really answer what is visible in them. In the videos, now declassified by the Department of Defense, navy pilots capture “unidentified aerial phenomena” aka unidentified flying objects aka UFOs! Pentagon officials were sure to state that the videos do not show “any sensitive capabilities or systems,” meaning we probably won’t be seeing any little green men any time soon.
“Look at that thing!”
— ABC News (@ABC) April 27, 2020
The first video dates back to November 2004 and the other two from January 2015. Of the Pentagon’s confirmation of authenticity, Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough said the videos were released “in order to clear up any misconceptions by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulating was real, or whether or not there is more to the videos.”
So great. We now know that these strange videos are real but what exactly are we looking at? Well, the Department of Defense says it has no concrete answer as to what might be floating around the skies and has classified the phenomena as “unidentified.” And…just like that I suddenly feel less defended.
Social media is having a field day with this revelation of course. The #AliensAreReal has been trending high on Twitter since the news broke. One user referenced Independence Day and said the aliens are “getting ready for July 4th.” Of the bad timing, another wrote “Et tu aliens?” And finally one user couldn’t help avoid sarcasm and wrote”Where’s the space force when you need it?”
Well 2020, you have worked your awful black magic once again. What’s next, cat videos get banned from the internet?! You’ve taken everything else from us!
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