Friday, May 31, 2013

Cleveland hero to become paid speaker

Cleveland hero Charles Ramsey to become a paid speaker

By | The Lookout – 14 hrs ago
Charles Ramsey (The Plain Dealer, Scott Shaw, File/AP)
The Cleveland man who become an overnight celebrity after he freed three young women believed to have been held captive for a decade will now get a chance to cash in on his fame.
Ramsey has signed with Bruce Merrin's Celebrity Speakers and Entertainment Bureau, it was announced on Thursday. According to NBC News, Ramsey will be available for "speeches, question-and-answers and personal appearances."
Ramsey, whose quick action on May 6 rescued Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight, became a Web hit.
His news interviews resulted in a Web meme, and the neighborhood McDonald's, where Ramsey happened to be eating at the time he sprang into action, has offered him free food for a year.
“Charles' story touched my heart. When he heard Amanda Berry screaming and crying out for help, he immediately jumped into action. He forcibly kicked the front door open and assisted Amanda and her baby to freedom. They both called 911. Charles Ramsey is a true hero to me. I admire and respect him,” Merrin said in a statement.
Merrin told the Cleveland Plain Dealer the speaking fee for Ramsey would be around $10,000 a pop.
Ramsey became a Web sensation for his description of the rescue, both humble and unintentionally hilarious. The Web quickly filled up with autotuned versions of him saying lines like, “I barbecue with this dude. We eat ribs and whatnot and listen to salsa music.”

Oklahoma tornadoes wreck havoc

2 dead when tornado hits Oklahoma City area

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Tornadoes rolled in from the prairie and slammed Oklahoma City and its suburbs Friday, trapping people in their vehicles as a storm swept down an interstate highway while commuters tried to beat it home.
A mother and her baby were killed, but meteorologists who had warned about particularly nasty weather said the storm's fury didn't match that of a deadly twister that struck suburban Moore last week. Violent weather also moved through the St. Louis area, ripping part of the roof off a suburban casino.
Friday's broad storm hit during the evening rush hour and stuck around, causing havoc on Interstate 40, a major artery connecting suburbs east and west of the city, and dropping so much rain on the area that streets were flooded to a depth of 4 feet.
To the south, a severe storm with winds approaching 80 mph rolled into Moore, where a top-of-the-scale EF5 tornado killed 24 on May 20.
Rick Smith, the warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service at Norman, said in a text message relayed by the Storm Prediction Center that Friday's storm was "not even close" to causing the type of destruction like the one that hit Moore.
The U.S. averages more than 1,200 tornadoes a year and most are relatively small. Of the 60 EF5 tornadoes to hit since 1950, Oklahoma and Alabama have been hit the most — seven times each.
Heavy rain and hail hampered rescue efforts in Oklahoma City. Frequent lightning roiled the skies well after the main threat had moved east. Highways and streets were clogged late into the night as motorists worked their way around flooded portions of the city.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Betsy Randolph said troopers found the bodies of a woman and an infant near their vehicle. Randolph said it's not known if the woman was driving into the storm when it hit around 7 p.m. Friday.
Emergency officials reported that numerous injuries occurred in the area along I-40, and Randolph said there were toppled and wrecked cars littering the area. Troopers requested a number of ambulances at I-40 near Yukon, west of Oklahoma City.
"We're scrambling around," said Lara O'Leary, a spokeswoman for the local ambulance agency. "There is very low visibility with the heavy rain ... so we're having trouble getting around.
Standing water was several feet deep, and in some places it looked more like a hurricane had passed through than a tornado.
In Missouri, the combination of high water and fallen power lines closed dozen of roads, snarling traffic on highways and side streets in the St. Louis area. At the Hollywood Casino in suburban of Maryland Heights, gamblers rushed from the floor as a storm blew out windows and tore off part of the roof.
Rich Gordon, of Jefferson City, said he was on the casino floor when he heard a loud "boom."
"I didn't know if it was lightning or what, but it was loud," Gordon said.
In Oklahoma, storm chasers with cameras in their cars transmitted video showing a number of funnels dropping from the supercell thunderstorm as it passed south of El Reno and into Oklahoma City just south of downtown. Police urged motorists to leave I-40 and seek a safe place.
"I'm in a car running from the tornado," said Amy Sharp, who last week pulled her fourth-grade daughter from the Plaza Towers Elementary School as a storm approached with 210 mph winds. "I'm in Norman and it just hit Yukon where I was staying" since last week's storm.
"I'm with my children who wanted their mother out of that town," Sharp said, her voice quivering with emotion.
At Will Rogers World Airport southwest of Oklahoma City, passengers were directed into underground tunnels and flights were canceled. However, people near the area said they weren't aware of any damage.
Television cameras showed debris falling from the sky west of Oklahoma City and power transformers being knocked out by high winds across a wider area.
As the storm bore down on suburban Oklahoma City, Adrian Lillard, 28, of The Village, went to the basement of her mother's office building with a friend, her nieces, nephews and two dogs.
"My brother's house was in Moore, so it makes you take more immediate action," Lillard said while her young nieces played on a blanket on the floor of the parking garage. "We brought toys and snacks to try our best to keep them comfortable."
Well before Oklahoma's first thunderstorms fired up at late afternoon, the Storm Prediction Center in Norman was already forecasting a violent evening. From the Texas border to near Joplin, Mo., residents were told to keep an eye to the sky and an ear out for sirens.
Friday evening's weather came after flash flooding and tornadoes killed three people in Arkansas late Thursday and early Friday. Three others were missing in floods that followed 6 inches of rain in the rugged Ouachita Mountains near Y City, 125 miles west of Little Rock.
This spring's tornado season got a late start, with unusually cool weather keeping funnel clouds at bay until mid-May. The season usually starts in March and then ramps up for the next couple of months.
Associated Press writers Ken Miller and Tim Talley in Oklahoma City, Justin Juozapavicius in Tulsa; Jeannie Nuss in Texarkana, Texas; and Jim Salter in Maryland Heights, Mo., and freelance photographer Nick Oxfrod in Oklahoma City contributed to this report.

After earth's plummet

At Least Justin Bieber Likes 'After Earth'

By | Movie Talk – Thu, May 30, 2013 3:31 PM EDT
Jaden Smith in 'After Earth' and Justin BieberCan the Biebs give a boost to Jaden's movie? (Photo: Columbia/ Getty)As a pal of star Jaden Smith, the Biebs is being supportive about the release of the already much-reviled film "After Earth" and is encouraging everyone to see it via Twitter:
It's nice of him. Especially since no one else is being anywhere near as nice about the M. Night Shyamalan-directed sci-fi flick that reunites father-son duo Will Smith and Jaden Smith, the co-stars of "The Pursuit of Happyness."
"You know you're in trouble when you find yourself feeling sorry for one of the world's wealthiest teenagers," wrote Alfonso Duralde at The Wrap. "And you're definitely in trouble when you wish the mess of a movie he stars in could be as entertainingly rotten as 'Battlefield Earth.'"
[Oof, a "Battlefield Earth" reference ... never a good sign.]
Lou Lumenick of the New York Post kept up his publication's reputation for pun-happy headlines with "The Son Don't Shine on Smith's 'After Earth,'" going on to say that the film is "Smith and his real-life son, Jaden (both affecting ridiculous mid-Atlantic accents) talking the audience to death for something like 90 minutes before the closing credits." Lumenick also says he gave the film a rating of one star out of four simply because "Smith's longtime enablers at Sony apparently encouraged him to whittle this humorless sci-fi epic down from a much longer movie."
Director M. Night Shyamalan, whose name is conspicuously missing from all of the film's marketing materials, gets blasted by Lou, too. "Eleven years and several progressively more dreadful movies after 'Signs,' director M. Night Shyamalan would be lucky to get a gig directing traffic," he wrote. Meanwhile, Dustin Putnam says the film "bears the mark of a work-for-hire who has all but given up."
Really, several critics are having a field day with this one, taking off the gloves for what looks to be the summer movie season's first official disaster.
"The level to which 'After Earth' is a catastrophe is amazing," wrote Laremy Lagel of, saying that the film is "terrible right from the outset, and woe be upon the person who holds out hope that it will get better after the initial wobbly start."
Jaden Smith and Justin BieberJaden and Justin, friends indeed (Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty)Colin Covert of the Minneapolis StarTribune digs even deeper by mentioning the film in the same sentence as the man whom many consider to be the Worst Director of All Time. "'After Earth'" is a work of hubris magnified by multiple miscalculations, the kind of film that would cause Ed Wood to excuse himself and skulk to the exit."
The on-screen pairing up of father and son also seems to add an uncomfortable and distracting layer to the proceedings for some critics.
"As Will Smith coldly instructs [Jaden Smith] to feel, to root in this moment now, to master his own creation, I felt the purest horror I ever have at a Shyamalan film: What if this is what Jaden Smith's life is actually like?," wrote Alan Scherstuhl of the Village Voice, quite the companion piece observation to Duralde at The Wrap pointing out that "'After Earth' tells the story of an inexperienced boy trying desperately to please his father while making one mistake after another, and as such, it becomes an uncomfortable metaphor for itself."
The most creative slam currently goes to Peter Sobczynski of, who manages to conjure a comparison to the wretched "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" video game created for the Atari 2600 over 30 years ago. "Watching 'After Earth' is not only akin to watching someone playing the old 'E.T.' game that Atari put out back in the day but it is one of the few entertainment experiences that compares unfavorably to that legendary betrayal of audience goodwill," Sobczynski writes.
Jaden Smith in Columbia Pictures' "After Earth" - 2013
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| Photo By Columbia Pictures
Thu, Apr 18, 2013 4:00 PM EDT
"After Earth" has some supporters, though. Jordan Hoffman of ScreenCrush admits that it's "dumb" and "asinine" but also "thrilling and adventuresome" and, ultimately, "good fun." Michael Phillips of Chicago Tribune actually praises Shyamalan's work as director and says the film is "attractive." And Michelle Alexandria of Eclipse Magazine says the movie "spent a lot of time teetering on the verge of failure but both Smiths do enough to pull it back and make it fairly enjoyable."
And then there's Justin Bieber, who like the elder Smith is quite the formidable and influential celebrity, encouraging us all to go see it. But will a handful of "it's not so bad" reviews and Biebs' blessing be enough to salvage this cinematic crash-landing? Maybe the Smith Men will rise to the occasion after all.
Watch 'After Earth' Theatrical Trailer:

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Original hangover baby returns for part 3

Original ‘Hangover’ Baby Back for Part 3

By | Movie Talk – 1 hour 22 minutes ago
Grant Holmquist then and now. Photos courtesy of Warner Bros./Getty
For the third and final chapter of the record-breaking R-rated comedy franchise “The Hangover," the original gang has been assembled for one last raucous romp. Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Ken Jeong, Heather Graham and even baby Tyler (or Carlos, so named by Galifianakis’s character Alan).
People magazine reports that Tyler, who in 2009 was played mostly by baby brother-sister twins Grant and Avery Holmquist, is all grown up now and a fun part of the story in the third film. This time around, Tyler is played only by Grant, who at age 4 at the time of filming, won the role despite an initial casting call for 6-year-old actors.
When asked about the choice, director Todd Phillips told HitFix that he "had to” use the original kiddo in the part because everyone loved the bond between Alan and Tyler/Carlos in the first “Hangover” movie. In writing that scene Phillips said he knew the reunion would play well for the audience.
The twins’ mom, Carrie, told People that Grant is an especially big fan of his scene partner Galifianakis.
"Zach did an amazing job loosening Grant up," she said. "He's the type of kid who's very analytical and intelligent. So he kind of walks into a room and takes it all in first so it was really nice to have those personalities warm up to him."
Carrie also revealed that Grant has a special nickname for his friend. "When he sees him in the trailer or in the paper, he'll go, 'Oh, there's Zachy!' He's taken to calling him Zachy," she said. "Grant loves him."
Be sure to watch out for Tyler's/Carlos’s return when “The Hangover Part III” hits theaters on May 23.
Heather Graham has obviously found the fountain of youth, as she proved again last night at the "Hangover Part III" premiere. The 43 year old actress was a goddess in a green, low cut, figure ... more 
Heather Graham has obviously found the fountain of youth, as she proved again last night at the "Hangover Part III" premiere. The 43 year old actress was a goddess in a green, low cut, figure flaunting Herve L Leroux gown (left) appearing almost identical to how she looked at 1997's "Boogie Nights" premiere (right). Whatever your secret is Heather, share the wealth! less 
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| Photo By Getty Images / WireImage
Tue, May 21, 2013 11:00 AM EDT
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Lone Ranger trailer packs a whollop

The Lone Ranger’: New Trailer Delivers Wild Action in the Wild West

By | Movie Talk – 2 hours 13 minutes ago
Armie Hammer & Johnny Depp in Walt Disney Pictures' 'The Lone Ranger'
"The Lone Ranger": the summer's biggest thrill, or its biggest headache?
The charming character nuances of previous trailers for Disney's Wild West extravaganza are tossed into the ravine in favor of all action, all the time in the latest look at the big-screen extravaganza "from the team that brought you the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' logo."
Really, Johnny Depp isn't allowed to spew one single wise n' witty quip as Tonto and the Lone Ranger (Armie Hammer) ride (and sometimes seemingly fly) their horses through a maelstrom of chases, explosions, fisticuffs, gunfights, and the occasional cutaway to some random bit of dialogue ("He's coming for you" says someone, referring to someone, God only knows who). Really, John Reid is dead and resurrected within the first handful of seconds, and from there it's the wildest vision of the West that $250 million can buy.
The action is heavy on the chaos, which brings back not-so-fond memories of the exhausting set pieces of the third "Pirates" movie that succeeded in sucking away all of the fun and charm that made its two predecessors such delights. This new trailer serves as quite the visual aid to "The Lone Ranger" Q&A at CinemaCon last month, where director Gore Verbinski described the production as a near-insurmountable endeavor that was more woe than "Heigh Ho" and perhaps an undertaking that was just too big for its own good... even for Disney, the Great Gatsby of cinematic party-throwers.
It's interesting and a little bewildering that Disney is pushing the action set pieces so aggressively in this new trailer when a few new funny lines from Depp would pre-sell just as many tickets (probably more, actually). Here's hoping the film itself finds the balance between senses-pummeling razzle-dazzle and an at least sort-of coherent plot with memorable character moments.
"The Lone Ranger" opens July 3.
See "The Lone Ranger" theatrical trailer 4...

Revealed!!! Wolverine's baddies

Wolverine’s World of Hurt: Baddies Silver Samurai, Viper, Yukio Bring the Pain in New Trailer

By | Movie Talk – 4 hours ago
Hugh Jackman as Logan in 20th Century Fox's 'The Wolverine'
The official trailer for "The Wolverine" has been unleashed in all its berzerker rage.
With the new trailer comes enticing looks at some characters that many Marvel fans know and love, including the deadly Viper (who sports a snake-like tongue in this incarnation), the even deadlier Yukio (who makes short work of a few bar patrons and at least one patron's drink) and, of course, the deadliest of them all: the heavily armored (and rather tall) Silver Samurai.
The trailer wastes no time in commencing with the fan service, as we're immediately treated to a familiar face: Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), who tries (at first) to comfort a troubled Logan (Hugh Jackman), who swears to his would-be ladylove that he'll "never hurt her or anyone else ever again." Of course, sleeping next to Jean Grey is only the stuff of dreams, and soon Logan wakes up to cold reality as he's alone outside somewhere, with the smoke machines working overtime.
From there, we get what looks like a more or less faithful adaptation of the storyline created by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller that was collected in "Wolverine" Nos. #1-4 (1982), with a few new elements such as a possible "cure" for Wolverine's mutation (and immortality), making "The Wolverine" something of a thematic companion piece to "X-Men: The Last Stand" (2006).
It's exciting to see Logan in Japan, getting into fights in the snow and on top of trains as he struggles with the possibility of truly becoming "human" and it's even more exciting to see that his adventures include encounters with some favorite Marvel characters.
Svetlana Khodchenkova as the Viper in 20th Century Fox's 'The Wolverine'
ViperRussian actress Svetlana Khodchenkova (which could be the name of a Marvel character in and of itself) takes on the role of Viper, one of the classic enemies of both the X-Men and the Avengers. Originally a high-ranking operative of HYDRA (the evil organization in "Captain America: The First Avenger") and known as Madame Hydra, she later assassinated a supervillain codenamed Viper and took the handle for herself. She traditionally doesn't have any superhuman powers but she has the strength and stamina of an Olympic athlete and is known to use experimental weaponry that feature snake motifs, such as venomous darts or artificial fangs filled with poison. In "The Wolverine," she appears to be in some sort of "mad scientist" mode as she participates in Logan's "cure" and seems to have taken a step into mutant territory herself with her snake-like tongue. Hot!
Rila Fukushima as Yukio in 20th Century Fox's 'The Wolverine'
Rila Fukushima plays the purple-haired Yukio, the ronin assigned to track down Wolverine and take him to Yashida (Hal Yamanouchi), a man whose life Logan saved decades earlier. A wild sword-for-hire, Yukio's traditional weapon of choice is the shuriken (commonly known as a "throwing star"), though in the trailer she mostly wields a sword as she slices and dices her way through a tavern of thugs without breaking a sweat.
Will Yun Lee as the Silver Samurai in 20th Century Fox's 'The Wolverine'
Kenuichio Harada / Silver Samurai
Silver Samurai may be "The Wolverine" ensemble member whose got fans buzzing the most, as earlier teasers gave us a tantalizing glimpse of this mighty (and rather large) mega-warrior. Kenuichio Harada (played by Will Yun Lee) first appeared in "Daredevil" #111 (July 1974) as the illegitimate son of Yashida with the mutant power to charge almost anything -- most notably his katana -- with energy (known as a "tachyon field"). This allows his weapon to slice through pretty much every substance -- except, of course, adamantium, the material that Wolverine's skeleton and claws are made of. Harada's imposing samurai armor earned him the name of Silver Samurai, and in the trailer he attacks a snoozing Logan (hopefully our hero will realize at some point that going to sleep just does him no good).
Anyway, we're more than ready for not just a pretty-good "X-Men" movie but a great one. It looks like "The Wolverine" just might deliver, bub.
"The Wolverine" opens July 26.
See Logan, Viper, Yukio, & Silver Samurai in the new trailer for 'The Wolverine'...