The Avengers defeat the box office

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Nope; it’s the 700 million dollar heap of money The Avengers raked in worldwide in its first ten days at the box office. The film, combining the superpowers of Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, Captain America and more, opened in the U.S. this Friday. It set a new record for highest grossing film in its opening weekend, passing the previous record holder Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part II.

I saw the movie two days ago in 3-D and can’t get it out of my mind. So much awesomeness in just two hours! It includes all the action we would expect from a superhero film; full of action, explosions, creepy aliens and of course hot men in tight clothes (Thor – swoon!).  All of these heroes band together under S.H.I.E.L.D. using their respective super-skills to defeat Thor’s evil adopted brother, Loki, who in tradition of evil villains plans to rule the world and free humans from freedom. Crazy, right? Mix in a little humor from Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man) to break up the tension, and you’ve got yourself box office gold!

Samuel L. Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Scarlett Johansson are back from their Iron Man roles portraying Agent Nick Fury, Pepper Potts, and Black Widow, respectively. I must say, Scarlett Johansson kicks some ass! It’s nice to see a woman doing the saving rather than the usual ‘damsel in distress’ role for once – there is even talk she will get her own spinoff. Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), and Mark Ruffalo (Hulk) also join their super friends.

The best part of this movie, to me, was the combination these characters from their own individual films that I loved and seeing them interact in a humorous yet dynamic way. And, um, did I forget to mention they save the world, one shot alien and destroyed building at a time?

Oh God, now I have to turn on The Notebook to restore my femininity.

Dead, but never gone

The Coachella music festival was a week and a half ago, and all I’ve heard about other than the horrible fashion is the Tupac hologram performance. The rapper, who has been dead for over 15 years, appeared onstage with fellow rapper Snoop Dogg in this never-before-seen form, ending in a burst of sparks as he disappeared once again.

This whole thing was planned by yet another rap artist, Dr. Dre.  Following the event many assumed this meant the hologram would be going on tour, but Dre has come out saying that this was strictly for the Coachella festival, and no tour will be happening.

Whether or not this is true, this new technology could change the way we see music live in the future. Can you imagine, being able to see Elvis, The Beatles and Bob Marley in concert once again? Talent such as Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston could come to life once again even after their lives were ended tragically early. Not to mention, artists may eventually not have to bother showing up to their own shows anymore. We could pay a hundred bucks to see our favorite performers and not even realize it’s not really them!

And then there’s that other question . . . would these musicians want this? Their absence would be taken advantage of by the music industry to make more money (you know, since they don’t have enough).  As amazing as it would be for us fans, we have to keep this potential disrespect in mind.

So how do we go about handling this issue? I can guarantee this hologram question will not be going away now that we know its possibilities. I have already read news about the Jackson brothers going on tour this summer with the possibility of a Michael hologram.

As new technology comes around, media industries need to think outside the bag of cash and think about what they may be doing to the reputation of those who are no longer around to make decisions for themselves.

What do YOU think? Would you pay to see holograms of your favorite artists that you thought you would never be able to see? Or do you think it’s just another scheme of the industry to rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars?

You’re going to be famous…so better drink and smoke up!

It is no question that celebrities tend to get themselves into some trouble.  Drugs, drinking and partying seem to be just another part of the job. In the past five years we have heard of the all-too-familiar drug overdoses and DUIs that seem to be somewhat of a fad in the celebrity community.  More recently and less serious, we saw a video of teen sensation and former Disney princess Miley “it’s only salvia” Cyrus taking a hit from a bong, and proceeding to laugh hysterically.

Now, I am just a simpleton, so I cannot even begin to fathom the complex processes that go on in celebrities’ brains. But I can assure you that years of watching fellow stars commit crimes and get away with it may lead another to feel invincible. Take Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Nichole Richie, who spend hours or less in jail for their multiple DUIs, and then we never heard about it again.

And since we’re on that topic, do celebrities really not have the money to pay for a cab? A limo? Even a measly bus ticket? I’m fairly certain I would cram up the entire world wide web if I even tried to list all the famous people we have seen get DUIs in the past few years. They can hit a few parked cars, a light post, hell, even a person – because they have the money to make it go away.

What they couldn’t make go away is dying of a drug overdose. But no one seems to learn from the hundreds of talented people, some even legends, whose lives were ended early due to extreme drug use. This has been happening for decades, and if the rich and privileged haven’t learned by now, they probably never will.

The fact is, maybe if these people were punished once in a while when they got caught, they would learn their lesson and turn their lives around. As glamorous as having enough cash to pay off all your problems may seem, it clearly doesn’t make those problems go away for good.

What’s in a famous baby name?

I recently read that Jason Bateman (Juno) and his wife welcomed a new baby girl, and named her Maple Sylvie (not to be confused with maple syrup). This got me thinking, why do famous people feel the need to name their kids the weirdest things?  After further research, I found these gems, with some not-so-satisfying explanations.

Pilot Inspektor, son of Jason Lee (My Name is Earl): Apparently Jason thought of the name after hearing a song by the band Grandaddy, with the lyrics, “He’s simple. He’s dumb. He’s the grandaddy.” Seems like a reasonable thing to name your kid after.

Ocean, son of Forest Whitaker: He explained that he wanted his children’s names to be their destiny, so his son can become expansive. What does that even mean??

Apple, daughter of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin (Coldplay): Gwyneth told Oprah back when their daughter was born that the name was Chris’ idea and she immediately liked it because apples are so wholesome and sweet. So are cinnamon rolls, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good name for a human being.

Blue Ivy, daughter of Beyonce and Jay-Z: According to People magazine,  the name came from Jay-Z’s three Blueprint albums, and it is also his favorite color. Ivy, comes from the roman numeral ‘IV’ which is 4, a number that carries through the couple’s entire relationship (her birthday is Sept. 4, his is Dec. 4, they married on April 4). Seems like way too much work to come up with a name that sounds like that of a stripper.

I guess that since these kids are born to wealthy, rich parents, that cancels out the fact that their names will cause them a lot of grief and ridicule in the future. I personally wonder how many of them will change their names when they are old enough to realize how stupid they are.

A list of more ridiculous famous kid names can be found on the Cracked website here. What do you think of them? Are there any you actually like?

Madonna gets mixed responses

As the whole world now knows, Madonna performed the halftime show last night at the 46th Superbowl.  She was joined by fellow musicians Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., and The Voice judge Cee Lo Green. Before, during and after the nearly 13 minute performance social media sites Facebook and Twitter were buzzing with an array of opinions, from what Madonna was wearing, to the song choice, to her dance moves.

One thing was certain; she lip synched the entire medley of songs from her almost-30-year career. And although she danced throughout the performance, the other performers (such as men dressed in Spartan outfits, break-dancers and tightrope walkers) seemed to attract more attention.

When the flashing lights stopped and Madonna disappeared into smoke, celebrities like Perez Hilton, the Kardashians, Rosie O’Donnell and Adam Levine tweeted all about the flashing lights, nostalgic classics and the overall “amazing” performance.

On the other hand, “regular people,” also known as my friends, were disappointed by the over-the-top aspect of the show, Madonna trying to keep up with the fast-paced dance moves and the fact that none of the performers was actually singing.

What do you think about Madonna’s comeback halftime show? If you need a refresher, you can watch the video on Perez Hilton’s blog here.

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