6 Summer Blockbusters That Didn’t Deserve to Flop

Some summer blockbusters are bad, thereby deserving to fail at the global box office. Conversely, some summer movies are good, but for a variety of reasons, fail to find an audience in cinemas. The following six great flicks really shouldn’t have bombed.

Big Trouble in Little China (1986)


Big Trouble in Little China.

Halloween aside, John Carpenter movies were largely ignored on their initial release, with the likes of The Thing, Starman, Prince of Darkness and In the Mouth of Madness critical and commercial failures that only found a following years later. Big Trouble in Little China was no different. A twisted action-adventure about a dumb trucker battling a bunch of demons in Chinatown, it’s a fantastic b-movie that’s filled with big laughs and insane special effects. It also features one of Kurt Russell’s very best performances. But the film was maybe too scary for families, and seemingly too weird for mainstream audiences. This put Big Trouble in big trouble at the box office, grossing a paltry $ 11m in U.S. cinemas.

The Rocketeer (1991)


The Rocketeer.

The Rocketeer was a movie out of time. Not because it was made in 1991 but set in 1938. Rather because it was a superhero movie made at a time when superhero movies were far from a sure thing. For every Batman, there was a Darkman, a Shadow, a Tank Girl or a Meteor Man. So Disney was taking a chance making a movie about a stunt pilot who finds a rocket pack that turns him into the heroic title character. Sadly that gamble didn’t pay off, the film opening behind Robin Hood and City Slickers, and even Julia Roberts’ snooze-fest Dying Young at the U.S. box office. Which is a shame as the film is a blast, with Bill Campbell a likeable hero, and Timothy Dalton a memorable moustache-twirling villain.

Scott Pilgrim vs the World (2010)


Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

Based on a surreal graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O’Malley, and directed by visual wizard Edgar Wright, Scott Pilgrim vs the World should have been a monster smash. The film looks amazing, is a blast from start-to-finish, and features a cast of young up-and-comers that are now bona fide stars, including Michael Cera, Anna Kendrick, Chris Evans, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aubrey Plaza and Brie Larson. But the episodic nature of the movie’s strange plot may have put people off, with the film revolving around slacker Scott Pilgrim having to fight a collection of evil exes to win the girl of his dreams. That high-concept failed to connect with audiences at large, so in spite of largely positive reviews, Scott Pilgrim Bob-Ombed badly at the box office.

John Carter (2012)


John Carter.

The pedigree was there on this one, with John Carter based on the books of Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs, directed by Pixar legend Andrew Stanton, and brought to life via one of the biggest budgets in movie history. Pitched as ‘Indiana Jones on Mars’ the resulting film was very much a swashbuckler, with Taylor Kitsch playing the title character, a Civil War soldier transported to the alien planet of Barsoon, where he encounters all manner of alien creatures, meets a beautiful princess, and becomes embroiled in an epic conflict. But the early trailers were fun-free, the reviews mixed, and while the movie made money, that exorbitant budget — combined with the huge marketing campaign needed to establish both the characters and the world — resulted in Disney losing a fortune on the project. And shelving plans for a trilogy.

Tomorrowland (2015)

Tomorrowland was original, ambitious, exciting filmmaking that was never quite the sum of its parts; hampered by an overcomplicated plot that made it something of a tough sell. Directed by another Pixar alumni — Brad Bird — from a script that he co-authored with Lost mastermind Damon Lindelof, the film was inspired by the futuristic Disney land of the title. But while the resulting feature is filled with ideas, innovations, and all-round optimism, it lacks a coherent and compelling storyline. So while lots of spectacular things happen throughout, it’s oftentimes hard to fathom why they are happening. Which is a shame, as there’s a fantastic film somewhere in there.

The Nice Guys (2016)

Shane Black’s The Nice Guys is very possibly the best film on this list. And the one most deserving of a sequel. However, in spite of the fact that the action-comedy-thriller made a modest amount of money in cinemas, that number wasn’t enough to warrant a number two. Which is a shame as it very effectively follows the playbook of Black’s own Lethal Weapon. In that the central characters — here played by Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling — commence proceedings disliking each other, find themselves forced together to achieve a common goal, and end the film firm friends whom you want to spend more time with. That worked out for Lethal Weapon in the shape of three well-received sequels. But The Nice Guys didn’t do nice enough business, meaning it’s probably the last we’ll see of the film’s dynamic detecting duo onscreen.

7 of the Bleakest Summer Blockbusters

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5 Anime Side Characters Who Deserve to Take the Lead

Viewers can usually spot the main character in an anime. Often, they visually stand out from the other characters or their backstory or introduction gives it away. Unsurprisingly, these characters’ stories take center stage. After all, they’re the stars.

But it’s the supporting cast members who help them achieve their goals by providing guidance, friendship, or comic relief. When done well, these characters’ personalities and backstories can actually steal the spotlight from the lead, leaving fans begging for more. So, here are a five anime side characters who deserve to take the lead.

Kakashi Hatake — Naruto


anime side characters who deserve to take the lead Kakashi Hatake from Naruto

Despite the series literally being named after the main character, Naruto Uzumaki, the show still has many secondary characters that could take the lead, such as Kakashi Hatake, a shinobi from the Konohagakure’s Hatake clan. Hatake has an interesting backstory full of pain, anguish, and growth that’s worth further exploration. He loses his mother as a child, and subsequently his father, Sakumo Hatake, a ninja renowned for saving the Hidden Leaf Village on more than one occasion.

His father’s death, in particular, adversely affects the young ninja, as he watched his father fall from grace within the village after choosing to save his comrades over completing a mission. The disgraced ninja fell into a depression, which led to his untimely death and Kakashi’s obsession with completing missions — even at the cost of his comrades. Yet, despite his troubled past, Kakashi doesn’t become evil like so many other Naruto characters. In time, he even comes to understand his father’s decision when faced with a similar choice.

Consequently, Hatake’s becomes more confident and self-reliant, which helps him to acquire the skills necessary to become a mentor to the village’s young ninjas. Despite his reputation and solid ninja skills, Hatake has shown no signs of arrogance. His modesty, tragic backstory, and ninja abilities make him the perfect choice to take the lead. It also doesn’t hurt that Naruto creator, Masashi Kishimoto, agrees. Kishimoto said in an interview that if he were to create a Naruto series with a different lead, Hatake would be his first pick.

Levi Ackerman — Attack on Titan


anime side characters who deserve to take the lead Levi Ackerman from Attack on Titan

Levi Ackerman (or Captain Levi to his comrades in arms) is the squad captain of the Special Operations Squad within the Scout Regiment. As such, many refer to him as humanity’s strongest soldier. But the decorated soldier’s past is filled with pain and loss. Not only did he lose his mother and friends, he also lost his entire squad. Despite this, he has never drifted away from his duties or lost his composure. His emotions stay hidden until he completes his mission. It’s a commendable quality that few characters in Attack on Titan possess, including the series’ main character, Eren Jaeger.

His skills on the battlefield, eccentric behavior (don’t stop by when he’s on a cleaning rampage), and cold charm draws viewers in. (Besides that, the squad captain has distinguishing features, such as the red cravat, that distinguishes him from the rest of the cast.) Despite his unapproachable and cold demeanor, Levi’s dexterity and suave personality make him more likable and deserving of the spotlight than Eren Jaeger, who spends most of his time on screen yelling and putting his comrades in unnecessary danger.

Roy Mustang — Fullmetal Alchemist


anime side characters who deserve to take the lead Roy Mustang from Fullmetal Alchemist

Roy Mustang, also known as the Flame Alchemist, is one of the leads of the Fullmetal Alchemist (FMA)series. Even so, he can carry the show all by himself. Earning many accolades during his time in the Ishval Civil War and as a state alchemist, Mustang is a remarkable and capable commander capable of becoming the next Führer of Amestris and the main protagonist.

Although on the surface Mustang seems selfish and narcissistic, his heart is in the right place. It’s thanks to his self-absorbed façade that he can push his subordinates further than they expected. But besides his power and intelligence, he has a sensitive side that comes to light when he learns of his dear friend’s, Maes Hughes, death. A loss that affects him greatly and speeds up his plans of becoming Führer.

Not to mention, Roy Mustang is an attractive, sophisticated, powerful man in the prime of his life. With his dark, piercing eyes and baby face, the Flame Alchemist deserves to take the lead of the FMA franchise. His time during the war as a “hero of a massacre” and idealistic plans for Amestris make for a compelling story.

Shoto Todoroki — My Hero Academia


anime side characters who deserve to take the lead Shoto Todoroki from My Hero Academia

Even with a cast full of bizarre superheroes, Shoto Todoroki is still one of the most unique characters on My Hero Academia. Despite not having many scenes in the first couple of episodes, his rivalry with Izuku Midoriya and unfriendly personality make him one of the most popular characters in the series, according to Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump. He even beat out the main leads, Izuku Midoriya and Katsuki Bakugo.

Todoroki is the son of the second strongest hero, Endeavor. His father’s obsession with All Might has led Endeavor to create offspring to surpass the world’s number one hero. His fixation with All Might took priority over his family, causing Todoroki to develop an aloof personality. Even so, Todoroki is still able to grow from it. He develops his own fighting style and ethics on heroism that put his father to shame.

Todoroki’s ability to overcome his issues makes him an incredibly sympathetic and likable character. Midoriya even mentions that Todoroki has all of the makings of a protagonist — unlike himself. Maybe there’s a spinoff series in the young hero’s future.

Kiyomasa Senji — Deadman Wonderland


anime-side-characters-deserve-take-lead_kiyomasa_senji_deadman_wonderland

Also known as Crow, Kiyomasa Senji was a police officer before landing in Deadman Wonderland. It’s thanks to Senji that the main character Ganta Igarashi lasted as long as he did in the amusement park prison. With Senji’s training and support, Ganta was able to use his Branch of Sin, making it possible for him to win and survive until the end.

Besides that, the battle-hardened veteran’s thirst for violence and cool catchphrase, “Dead Center” make him a suitable candidate to take the series’ lead role. Back during his police officer days, Senji used his ability to catch criminals, often crossing the line to capture his target. This made him a target to gangs, and, in the end, Senji lost colleagues, friends, and even his mentor, Domon. But Senji grows from these horrible experiences, becoming stronger and more determined.

But Senji isn’t just a serious badass character. When faced with danger, he shows how charismatic he is by making jokes. He also takes the time to help those weaker than himself, which is commendable. These laudable qualities, which Ganta lacks, make him the ideal choice for a lead role. (Plus, his toned body, messy hair, and eye-patch just scream main character.) Making Senji the lead would likely bring the  Deadman Wonderland anime back to life.

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10 Reasons Deadpool Is the Hero Moviegoers Deserve

Alright, nerds. Deadpool 2 is coming into your theater soon, and unless you’ve been living under an Infinity Stone for the past few years, you know how exciting that is. Deadpool combines the relentless charm of Ryan Reynolds, the looks of an overcooked pizza, and the gratuitous body count of Man of Steel.

But if you somehow don’t know the difference between Deadpool and Van Wilder, which we understand because they are super similar, here are some things you need to know about Wade Wilson and why he’s the biggest bleepin’ badass out there.

1. He has an accelerated healing factor. Yes, it’s like Wolverine’s. They’re also both Canadian. But Wade is taller, and fewer people like him. He also only has one indestructible “bone.”

2. In the comics, he got his powers from the Weapon X program. OK, look. He and Wolverine have a lot in common. It’s like comic book writers only have so many ideas.

3. Deadpool hosted the Venom symbiote just after Spider-Man did. You won’t see that in a movie, though, because those rights would be impossible to sort out.

4. Wade doesn’t always play well with others, but he has teamed up with X-Force and had his own squad, Mercs for Money. But he still won’t take the X-Men’s calls. That’s definitely it. It’s not that they don’t actually want him around. What did they tell you?

5. Deadpool has the handwriting of an angel.

6. His biggest fear is cows. That’s not ridiculous. Have you ever really looked at a cow? That baleful stare is so haunting.

7. Deadpool gets all his weapons from his buddy Weasel, whose real name is Jack Hammer. But he doesn’t use that name in the movies because it’s way cooler than “Wade Wilson.” It pays to be the star.

8. In addition to his quick healing, Wade has super-fast reflexes, speed, and agility. But they don’t always work. A lot of guys have that problem sometimes, alright?

9. Wade can speak Japanese, German, Spanish, and Esperanto, which lets him play himself in international printings of the comics.

10. His most formidable superpower is the ability to annoy anyone. If Domino can count “luck,” he’s taking this.

Now that you’re totally oversold, go see Deadpool 2. Yeah, this was an ad. Why else do you think people make these things?

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6 Asian Superheroes Who Deserve Their Own Film

Asian superheroes aren’t as plentiful as they should be in comic book cinema. With a few exceptions like Wong and Katana, Asian superheroes haven’t been given the kind of proper representation that they deserve. Especially since there are plenty of great choices to pick from.

We’ve pulled together six Asian superheroes that we think could headline their own movies.

Amadeus Cho (Hulk)


hulk amadeus cho asian superheroes

When Mark Ruffalo does eventually hang up his purple trousers, there is no question that Amadeus Cho should step in as the next Hulk. Cho is a very different character compared to Bruce Banner when it comes to their powers. Where Banner sees the Hulk as a curse, Cho embraces his alter ego and brings a sense of revelry to the Hulk. Plus, Cho is considered to be one of the smartest minds in the entire Marvel universe. It’d be great to see him headline the new wave of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Jubilee


jubilee x-men asian superheroes

Jubilation Lee is one of the most beloved mutants in the X-Men canon. Seriously, just search “Jubilee cosplay” and you’ll see countless fans dressed up as the spunky teenage mutant. Though she’s been sidelined in a few of the X-Men films, she’d be the perfect protagonist character for the audience to fall in love with. Heck, they already did that in the ’90s cartoon series and it worked like a charm! If they ever fully reboot the X-Men universe, give Jubilee the lead role and let’s see her finally get the spotlight she deserves.

Cassandra Cain (Batgirl)


cassandra cain batgirl asian superheroes

DC wants to make a Batgirl movie and that’s awesome. But, everyone assumes that it will be the Barbara Gordon version of the character. Why not switch it up and introduce wide audiences to Cassandra Cain? She’s the daughter of two world-class assassins and was actually the first Batgirl to headline her own solo comic. Barbara is a great character but Cassandra’s status as a former assassin gives her character a bunch of darker depth to explore. Let’s give a new generation of fans a brand new Batgirl to look up to.

Silk


silk spider-man asian superheroes

Sony is going to be exploring every character they can in their Spider-Man universe, and it would be awesome to get an all-female team-up including Spider-Woman and Spider-Gwen. But, if you’re gonna give someone the lead role in this hypothetical flick, you’ve gotta go with Silk a.k.a. Cindy Moon. She’s bitten by the same radioactive spider that gave Peter Parker his powers but she has a much more difficult time learning to control them. With Sony introducing the idea of the Spider-Verse in an upcoming animated film, it’d be awesome to see Silk make her big screen debut as well.

Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel)


ms marvel kamala khan asian superheroes

No other character has been as celebrated as Kamala Khan. After she became the new Ms. Marvel once Carol Danvers became Captain Marvel, fans found themselves falling in love with her. She’s spunky, fun-spirited, and fully committed to fighting for the America she believes in. With Captain Marvel on the way, it seems like a no-brainer to introduce Kamala into the Marvel Cinematic Universe much like Peter Parker was introduced in Captain America: Civil War. We need more young heroes in the MCU and Kamala should be the first one who gets a shot.

Xombi


xombie asian superheroes

The DC Extended Universe has started to play with the supernatural but also feel the need to combat these forces with modern technology. There is no better character to symbolize this struggle than Xombi a.k.a. David Kim. After an accident with some nanites — microscopic robots that repair genetic tissue — he is rendered practically immortal and incapable of contracting any disease. However, his newfound ability puts him in the crosshairs of many other immortal beings. Xombi is a weird but wonderful character that could bridge the gap between science and the supernatural in the DC Extended Universe.

You know who else deserves their own movies? Villains! Here are some Marvel villains that we think could headline their own feature film.

6 Marvel Villains That Deserve Their Own Movie

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6 Marvel Villains That Deserve Their Own Movie

Marvel villains are a diverse and eclectic bunch. From the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the X-Men films to the myriad versions in the comics, Marvel villains make up some of the most compelling characters in the Marvel universe. With Venom getting his own headlining feature, we decided to pull together six Marvel villains that we think should also get a chance at top billing.

Doctor Doom


doctor doom marvel villains feature

The Latverian dictator Victor von Doom is a fascinating figure but he’s been relegated to typical big bad status during his few cinematic appearances. A film that focused on his status as veritable king of a foreign land could be a very different take on the protagonist formula. In fact, Legion and Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley is currently working on a potential Doctor Doom film. Whether it will see the light of day is debatable, but we’re hoping he finds a way to approach such a rich and multifaceted villain. If they can’t seem to nail down a good Fantastic Four movie, at least they could give such a legendary bad guy his due.

The Hood


the hood marvel villains

We’ve seen the origin story of so many young superheroes in film. Why haven’t we explored how a young supervillain gets their start? That’s the idea behind the Hood a.k.a. Parker Collins. He’s a young punk who dreams of being a super-powered crook. After a tip, he discovers a magical hood and boots that give him various magical powers. The idea of taking the idealistic kid who gets the ability to be a superhero and inverting it to explore what kind of character wants to be a supervillain is a great twist. Plus, the Hood is a character that is unfamiliar to general audiences, so a filmmaker could play with his story enough to where they could make the definitive version of the character.

Vulcan


vulcan marvel villains

Vulcan is the kind of cosmic villain that’s interesting enough to helm his own story. He’s actually the brother of Cyclops, but Professor X removed any memories of Vulcan after he was thought to be killed on a dangerous mission. Vulcan seeks revenge but eventually decides to head for the stars to claim what he believes to be his birthright: the Shi’ar empire. It’s a grand space opera story but with a vengeful mutant at the center instead of a wide-eyed hero. Following the story of a conqueror mutant could tap into some Game of Thrones type fantasy and we all know how popular that kind of storytelling is!

Emma Frost


emma frost marvel villains 2

Though Emma Frost has made a few appearances in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men: First Class, she’s the kind of complex villain (and sometimes hero/ally) that is ripe for examination as a lead character. She began as one of the members of the Hellfire Club, a secret society that uses their wealth and influence to shape world events. Although she eventually became a friend to the X-Men, her allegiance has always been to herself. Seeing a strong female character as the lead of a comic book film is always great, but putting someone as enigmatic and morally grey as Emma Frost in the lead would welcome some complicated character dissection.

Bullseye


bullseye marvel villains

The vicious assassin Bullseye has been portrayed as an enemy of both Daredevil and the Punisher. But, he’s a truly dark and despicable character that warrants further examination. Imagine a movie like Deadpool where the lead character is a gun-for-hire, but if the comedy was played much darker and even crossed the line in truly shocking ways. That’s what a Bullseye movie could be. His ability to turn anything into a throwing weapon is also inherently cinematic, even if the 2003 film didn’t quite know the best way to capture that. For fans who want a truly dark Marvel film, Bullseye would be a perfect candidate to helm such a movie.

J. Jonah Jameson


j jonah jameson marvel villains

Before the world was inundated with loudmouth pundits and cries of fake news, there was J. Jonah Jameson. The editor of the Daily Bugle has been one of Spider-Man‘s longest-running foes. So, why not give him the spotlight? You could make a delirious comedy about Jameson going out and trying to land the big story that will finally sink that wall-crawling menace once and for all.

Along the way, he just happens to fall into some bigger superhero shenanigans. Or maybe a more traditional Spider-Man movie is happening on the edges of this story about a blowhard who manipulates facts and misconstrues everything going on around him. It’d be a goofy idea to take a minor character and see a major story play out from their perspective. Something akin to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead but through the lens of the Marvel universe.

‘Black Panther’s Killmonger Solves Marvel’s Villain Problem in a Big Way

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Oprah Interviews Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rhimes, Others About Time’s Up: ‘We Deserve the Same Respect’

Oprah Winfrey gathered a group of prominent Hollywood women to discuss the “Time’s Up” movement for an upcoming segment of “CBS Sunday Morning.” “There’s moments that you have to evaluate whether silence is going to be your only option,” says Reese Witherspoon in the segment, which will be broadcast Sunday at 9 a.m. “And certain […]

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Uma Thurman Lashes Out at Harvey Weinstein: ‘You Don’t Deserve a Bullet’

Uma Thurman has broken her silence on the recent wave of sexual misconduct allegations in Hollywood. The Kill Bill actress shared her own #MeToo message with a Thanksgiving Instagram post and took aim at producer Harvey Weinstein.

“H A P P Y T H A N K S G I V I N G,” Thurman, 47, wrote on Thursday, November 23. “I am grateful today, to be alive, for all those I love, and for all those who have the courage to stand up for others.”

“I said I was angry recently, and I have a few reasons, #metoo, in case you couldn’t tell by the look on my face,” she revealed in the caption. “I feel it’s important to take your time, be fair, be exact, so… Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! (Except you Harvey, and all your wicked conspirators – I’m glad it’s going slowly – you don’t deserve a bullet) -stay tuned Uma Thurman.”

During a red carpet interview with Access Hollywood on October 18, Thurman was asked about the number of women speaking out against sexual harassment in Hollywood. The actress chose to withhold her comments, saying that she would speak when she felt ready.

“I think it’s commendable,” she said of the women going public. “I don’t have a tidy soundbite for you because I am not a child, and I’ve learned that when I’ve spoken in anger I usually regret the way I express myself. So I’ve been waiting to feel less angry and when I’m ready, I’ll say what I have to say.”

The actress previously worked with Weinstein on a number of projects, including the Quentin Tarantino films Pulp Fiction and the Kill Bill franchise. The disgraced former studio head made headlines in early October after The New York Times published a report detailing allegations of sexual harassment and assault against him.

More than 80 women have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Weinstein, including actresses Rose McGowan, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Daryl Hannah. He was subsequently fired by his own company and is under police investigation in New York City, Los Angeles. and London.

Weinstein’s wife of almost a decade, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, announced that she was leaving him in the wake of the allegations, and he subsequently sought treatment in Arizona.

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Uma Thurman Denounces Harvey Weinstein: ‘You Don’t Deserve a Bullet’

Like many celebrities on Thursday, Uma Thurman wished her fans a happy Thanksgiving on social media. But the Kill Bill star also used the post to send a strong message to Harvey Weinstein and his “wicked conspirators.”

The Oscar-nominated actress, who starred in the Weinstein-produced films Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill, had previously said she needed to wait to “feel less angry” before commenting on the ever-growing list of sexual misconduct accusations leveled at the disgraced mogul. And now, she has sent a very Bride-like message his way.

“I am grateful today, to be alive, for all those I love, and for all those who have the courage to stand up for others,” she wrote Thursday on Instagram alongside a picture of herself in Kill Bill. “I said I was angry recently, and I have a few reasons, #metoo, in case you couldn’t tell by the look on my face. I feel it’s important to take your time, be fair, be exact, so… Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! (Except you Harvey, and all your wicked conspirators – I’m glad it’s going slowly – You don’t deserve a bullet) -stay tuned Uma Thurman.”

In an October interview with Access Hollywood that would later go viral, Thurman said of the allegations, “I don’t have a tidy soundbite for you because I’ve learned I am not a child and I have learned that when I’ve spoken in anger, I usually regret the way I express myself. So I’ve been waiting to feel less angry and when I’m ready, I’ll say what I have to say.”

Thurman’s Kill Bill costar Daryl Hannah is one of the women to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct. On one occasion, Hannah said she had been forced to barricade herself in her hotel room to keep him out. She also shared that among the people she made aware of Weinstein’s actions was Quentin Tarantino, who directed Kill Bill, as well as Thurman in Pulp Fiction. Tarantino has since admitted that he “knew enough to do more than I did.”

Weinstein is under investigation by police in New York, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and the U.K. for sexual assault accusations made against him. He has denied claims of non-consensual sex.

This article originally appeared on Ew.com


Entertainment – TIME

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Donald Trump and LaVar Ball Really Do Deserve Each Other

At the start of this year, if you would have told me I’d be interviewing a China scholar about a deal in which President of the United States asks his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, for help to free three UCLA basketball players who’ve been held in a Chinese hotel for allegedly stealing sunglasses, I would have scoffed. If you said that one of those UCLA players was LiAngelo Ball, son of LaVar Ball — proprietor of $ 495 shoes, controversial and outspoken father of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball — I would have laughed even harder.

Bet the under on that one, since I had to call up UCLA’s Shirley Wang Endowed Chair in US-China Relations & Communications, Min Zhou, to talk about LaVar Ball.

In hindsight, however, that LaVar Ball and Donald Trump would cross paths in the frenetic, utterly unpredictable 2017 news cycle was all but inevitable. Before returning home from a 12-day trip through Asia, President Trump on Tuesday confirmed that he asked President Xi, during Trump’s state visit to Beijing, to intervene on behalf of UCLA freshman basketball players Ball, Jalen Hill, and Cody Riley, who were arrested on shoplifting charges while in Hangzhou for UCLA’s opening game against Georgia Tech on Nov. 10. “They’re working on it right now,” Trump said. The players boarded a flight back to Los Angeles today.

“What they did was unfortunate,” Trump told reporters before leaving Manila and returning to Washington. Shoplifting penalties can vary greatly in China, but the players could have conceivably faced multiple years in jail.

Yes, Trump’s rescue of the Ball family is shrouded in symbolism. The President and LaVar Ball are classic carnival barkers who relish the media limelight. (Among LaVar Ball’s most outrageous statements: that Lonzo, the Lakers rookie, is the best player on the planet. He’s averaging 9.5 points per game, on an unseemly 31.3% shooting, for the 6-8 Lakers) They both appeared in WWE matches. They’re creations of our reality show world — while Trump had The Apprentice, Ball offers Ball In The Family on Facebook. They provoke strong reactions, positive and negative. Many people on social media have imagined Trump and Ball holding a joint press conference in the wake of the shoplifting charges. That would be quite a show.

This story, however, is more than an amusing sidelight. It does raise questions about selective justice. While the UCLA players go free, what about the human rights activists still imprisoned in China? “It’s easier for China to release American students than political dissidents,” says Zhou, the expert in China-U.S. relations, in a phone interview. “That’s a much more sensitive issue.”

The high-profile status of the UCLA players likely helped expedite their release. The Wall Street Journal noted that Detroit-native Wendell Brown, who was coaching a local American football team in China, is still in a Chinese jail after a September 2016 bar fight (he was charged with intentional assault).

China’s release of the basketball players carries diplomatic consequences as the world’s two largest economies haggle over trade and the North Korea nuclear threat. “It’s very important,” Zhou, a member of UCLA’s sociology department. “It’s a positive sign that the countries can work together.” The timing of the arrests helped the freshmen. Trump was also in China, on a state visit, when goodwill between countries generally ratchets up a level. Zhou’s happy China didn’t overtly use the detained students bargaining chips with the U.S. But don’t be surprised, she says, if China expects something in return down the road. “There’s still some sort of bargaining involved,” she says. “I’m doing you favor.”

Zhou’s thrilled that the students are returning home. “Kids make mistakes, and they should be given second chances,” she says.

Where does everyone go from here? UCLA coach Steve Alford will likely hand down some sort of suspension for his players. But at this rate, go ahead and expect LiAngelo Ball to hit the shot that sends UCLA to the Final Four, while his dad waves his Big Baller Brand kicks in the crowd. It’s November 2017. Anything goes.

 


Sports – TIME

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Jake Tapper: ‘Reckless’ Trump Doesn’t Deserve ‘Benefit of the Doubt’ on Fallen Soldiers

There is little in this world that sets Jake Tapper on edge more than those who disrespect the military. And that is especially true when the man doing to disrespecting is President Donald Trump.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Watch Exclusive ‘Mark Felt’ Clip: They Don’t Deserve You

Watch Exclusive 'Mark Felt' Clip: They Don't Deserve You

For more than 30 years, the true identity of "Deep Throat," the pseudonym given to a source of valuable information in the Watergate investigation by journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, was a carefully guarded secret. Now Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House brings the true story to the big screen.

Liam Neeson stars as longtime FBI agent Mark Felt; Diane Lane portrays his supportive wife, Audrey Felt. In our exclusive clip, set in their home late at night,…

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4 Foolproof Tips To Asking For & Getting The Raise You Deserve

blackwoman-whitewoman-office

Asking for a raise is not always an easy task for most women on the job. More times than not, many women in the workplace would prefer to not rock the boat by seeking more than what is already being provided to them in terms of salary. Maybe it is the fear of rejection, or the fear of retaliation by an employer for seeking additional income that keep many from inquiring.

Whatever the case may be, as an employee, the conversation with your supervisors or human resource department needs to take place at some point during your tenure with your company as it has been proven that the success rate for a raise request is not as low as some employees may think it is.

According to Accenture’s Career Capital 2014 Global Research Results, more than three-fourths (77%) of employees who have asked for or negotiated a pay raise have received one. The survey conducted by Accenture sought such information from 4,100 professionals in 32 countries. More than two-thirds (68%) of professionals who have asked for a promotion have received one.

Well, what does this mean?

All working women should take this study’s findings as a cue to put away fears that may hinder the procurement of more finances. Develop and execute a plan that may yield optimal results in your requests, which may include the following:

1) Ask at the right time.

Personalities, time of the day, and mode of correspondence all may yield either a positive or negative result, depending on a slew of variables. If your boss is not a morning person, or hates to communicate via email, then sending them an email when they first walk in the door may get your request shut down or not acknowledged at all.

2) Be knowledgeable.

You should prepare to ask for a raise based upon comparable salaries of those working in the same industry and for the amount of years you have worked as well. Websites such as Monster.com and Salary.com are great sites to commence the search for such information.

3) Highlight your accomplishments.

Be certain and prepare to bring up and discuss all of the positive contributions you have made to the company. Quantifying results may aid the powers to be in their consideration of your request.

4) Decide what’s next.

Do you know how you will react if your request is denied? Are you prepared to seek new employment or are you prepared to work harder for a more favorable result?

Overall, make a plan and see it through if you believe you have adequately positioned yourself for a raise. Do not be afraid to ask, as it has been proven that positive responses have come to those who actually asked.

Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates (www.jmaplesandassociates.com. She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.

 

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You Deserve To Get Dumped If You Send One Of These Trump Valentines

Have yuuuge desire to sleep on the couch this Valentine’s Day? We’ve got you covered. 

Imgur user TKFN4212817 recently uploaded a bigly batch of Donald Trump-themed Valentine’s Day cards onto the site. They’re about as unromantic as valentines get:

This one definitely won’t make Valentine’s Day great again: 

The Imgur user who made the cards is a professional graphic designer who chose to remain anonymous.

“I just made them for shits and giggles, to be honest,” he told The Huffington Post. “I wanted to create some really dumb, cheesy and very poorly written Trump Valentine’s Day cards to make myself laugh and let it loose on the Internet.”

And hey, maybe even end a few relationships in the process. 

H/T Bored Panda

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— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Mobile Playboy today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

Burn-Master Michael Jordan Once Told a Teammate He Didn’t Deserve to Wear Jordans

“My sneaker’s for All-Stars.”

Style – Esquire

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WATCH: Doubting You Deserve Better

It’s very difficult for us to manifest into our lives more than we believe we deserve. What do you unconsciously believe you deserve? Look around at what you’ve got at present. If you’d like things to get better, allow yourself to know the truth – you deserve better. I hope this will help.

If you are new to tapping, it will be beneficial to also watch the first episode in the “Tap Out Your Fears” series — which explains the basics of EFT — click here.

As with any of my tapping videos, this is an abbreviated process for releasing uncomfortable feelings and enhancing good ones. Some folks may find their fear dissolve after just one tapping session, but for others, it will take some repetition, bringing the discomfort down little by little each time. (Still others may uncover specific issues that are best addressed directly with a wellness practitioner.) In any event, this brief video should help at least take the edge off the discomfort, freeing you up to enjoy life much more. Let us know how it helped you!

For a picture of the tapping points — and more info on EFT — click here.

Tapping can sometimes bring up long-buried emotions, which is why I state that, before tapping along, folks must take full responsibility for their own well-being. For more information about that, please read this disclaimer.

Until next time, feel free to tap along with any of the many videos I have on YouTube or the many recordings I have at www.TapWithBrad.com.

For EFT with kids, please visit: www.TheWizardsWish.com.

For more by Brad Yates, click here.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News