Adam Levine Has Learned a Lot From Fellow Judges on The Voice

NUP_162345_0697.JPGAdam Levine, now in his sixth season as a coach on the NBC hit music competition series, The Voice, has quickly become one of television’s most beloved judges. Levine had no prior experience mentoring talent, so he has had to learn on the job. Levine says he has learned a lot from working with his fellow coaches on the show.


The Voice airs Monday and Tuesday nights on NBC.

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The Cast of How I Met Your Mother Talk about the Evolution of Their Friendship

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Tonight, one of the best comedies of the last decade comes to an end when How I Met Your Mother airs its series finale at 8/7 central on CBS, after nine seasons.

The cast, which includes Neil Patrick Harris, Cobie Smulders, Alyson Hannigan, Josh Radnor, and Jason Segel, really didn’t know each other very well before they began working on the series together. But over the past nine years, they have all became close friends. During one of the last interviews the cast did together, they all spoke about the early days of the show and how their friendship progressed throughout the years.

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Kevin Costner Wanted Sequels, But Couldn’t Score a Good Script

MAN OF STEELThroughout Kevin Costner’s long film career, he has made some iconic sports films such as Field of Dreams, Bull Durham and Tin Cup. Those films were loved by audiences and critics alike. Throughout the years, rumors have persisted that sequels were possibly in the works for one or more of those films. We spoke to Kevin Costner, who was doing early promotion for his next sports movie, Draft Day, who confirmed that those rumors were true, and that while he would have liked to do sequels on those earlier films, the scripts he was presented with just weren’t up to par.

Draft Day opens in theaters on April 11, 2014.

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‘American Idol’ Recap: Majesty Rose Is..Your Next Commercial Model??

American Idol (FOX, Michael Becker)

It was definitely tough seeing Majesty Rose go last night on American Idol, but unfortunately her performance of Florence and the Machine’s “Shake It Out” received a lukewarm response. Rose was actually one of the show’s early frontrunners thanks to her vocal prowess, natural ease with the cameras, and talented musicianship (her audition performance of Coldplay’s “Violet Hill” is one of this season’s highlights).

Still, there are no free rides on American Idol and even the most talked about singers can go home the following week. “I think it’s really about each performance,” says judge Keith Urban ” ‘Cause I think, you know, she’s been in the top three a lot and for whatever reason the performance last night didn’t register with everybody as much as previous performances have, so who knows?  It’s a funny thing when we have to deliberate and make a decision.  Everyone’s booing us not saving her, but what we’re really doing is agreeing with the rest of America.”

As for Connick Jr., he understands that sometimes American Idol results may shock viewers. “I mean at this point, you know, really, what is the right choice,” said the singer. “Because you have nine artists and eight of them are going to go home.  So they’re all talented in their own right, so it’s just a matter of who America votes for.  And sometimes it’s so, so surprising, but you know, you have to respect the process.”

As for Rose, she managed to remain upbeat after her elimination, stating that she would love to also be a commercial model (along with being a pre-school teacher and a singer).

Click on the media bar below to hear Majesty Rose:

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‘The Raid 2: Berandal’ Review: Thrills Galore In A Sergio Leone Universe

The Raid: Berandal (Sony Pictures Classics)

Alfred Hitchcock, cinema’s premiere visualist, weaved his narratives in seductive, and oftentimes grand, cinematic fashion. These masterworks were accomplished by, in his own words, “a success of shots and bits of film in between.” Director Gareth Evans is a disciple of this methodology, and The Raid 2 is an unabashedly visceral and awe inspiring experience. If you’re a film buff who geeks out on visually arresting action sequences, this film has no peer (Evans’ The Raid 2: Redemption is its equal). But life is more than a punch to the gut or a hammer to one’s skull, and it’s these subtle moments of betrayal and anguish which shows Evans’ creative fluidity isn’t confined to the camera.

We continue with Rama’s (Iko Uwais) journey, and this time his task of going undercover as a prison convict may finally drive a wedge between himself and his loved ones. As part of his thankless job, Rama ingratiates himself into the lives of a crime family after saving the boss’ egotistical son Ucok (Arifin Putra). As Ucok descends further into a rabbit hole of self-delusion, his quick trigger decisions leads to an all out bloodbath between criminals, crooked cops, and a few good guys along the way.

Evans, though affable and self-deprecating in person, crafts Rama’s world with unfailing moxie and refreshing verve. There are very few restful moments in The Raid 2, and though the more subtle scenes show the filmmaker has true dramatic chops, they mainly function as the calm before the storm. One seemingly indestructible character named Prakoso (Yayan Ruhian) has been part of Ucok’s crime family for years, a walking instrument of destruction. Evans spends a few minutes delving into Prakoso’s prime motivations, giving viewers a more sympathetic look at a cold blooded (yet principled) killer.

The Raid 2 (Sony Pictures Classics)I trolled Gareth Evans’ twitter page (@ghuevans) and the filmmaker uploaded a poster of Sergio Leone’s classic epic Once Upon a Time in the West as his backdrop. Leone’s revered Western contains various notable achievements, including Ennio Morricone’s sweeping score, the ambitious opening showdown sequence with Charles Bronson, and Henry Fonda’s cast against type performance as an amoral gunslinger.

Like Leone, Evans creates set pieces and characters (i.e. The Raid 2’s Hammer Girl) which leave an indelible impression on moviegoers. Both have a much bigger picture in mind, as they are searching for a life that exists beyond the frame. Once Upon a Time in the West centered a harmonica playing man’s (Bronson) quest for vengeance. After his mission is completed, nothing profoundly substantial occurs, save for the satiation’s of his own blood lust. No matter who wins or dies, the West’s progress will continue to move on. The railroads will be built even at the expense of its denizens’ livelihood. Nothing, not even the bullets from a man’s gun, can stop the inevitable.

The Raid 2 forges a similar existential and truthful path. No matter which side Rama chooses, or even if he ensures his family’s safety, time waits for no one. Where there is money to be made, crime and corruption is always on the menu. Amidst all his cinematic virtuosity, Evans is aiming for a much more universal and evocative theme. Rama, just like the man with the harmonica, is an individual trapped in a world that will continue to leave heroes and villains in their wake.

Of course, The Raid 2 is a first rate and thrilling action flick, and that should be the main reason for checking out Evans’ latest offering. But if you’re in need of a much grander meal, look a bit closer. The view, even if you’re stuck the cheap seats, is a sight to behold.

*** Check out my article on Deepest Dream and listen to Gareth Evans discuss his expanded visual style and design for The Raid 2.

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi