George A. Romero has fully laid claim to the dominion of all things Dead — whether that’s Night of the Living, Dawn of the, Day of the, Land of the, Diary of the, or Survival of the. The elder statesman of horror cinema has no intention of resting on his laurels, however. Perhaps riding the wave of renewed interest in Night of the Living Dead that accompanied its gorgeous restoration last year, Romero has announced plans for a new addition to the ever-expanding of the Dead universe. And it looks like his new breed of zombies have a need for speed.
Beaming families, teary smiles, mortarboards in the air — it’s graduation season, which means that more importantly, it’s celebrity commencement address season. While some high-profile speakers have received a chillier reception than others, the A-lister speech has long been a reliably amusing diversion in between long-winded orations from dusty academic types. Maya Rudolph took plenty of artistic license with “The Star-Spangled Banner” at my graduation ceremony from Tulane a few years ago, an unforgettable experience that I was too drunk to currently remember. But today brings video of another movie star taking the stage before a mass of fresh-faced students blissfully unaware of how hard getting a job is. Ladies, gentlemen, Will Ferrell is in the house.
The latest addition to the pantheon of mega-flops has been christened. Just as street hooligan Arthur instantly ascended to royalty when he pulled Excalibur from its stone, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword has descended to ignominy by pulling a turd out of the box-office. Perhaps not my best lede work, but it’s Monday. Cut a guy some slack.
In one of the Trump administration’s more agreeable defilings of decades-long tradition, the White House’s ritzy move theater will now be available to those visitors touring the building’s East Wing. Say what you will about the new Commander-in-Chief — that he’s a pudenda-grabbing, fact-resistant demagogue, for instance — but at least he’s going to allow the general public a glimpse of how the most powerful man in the nation took in Finding Dory.
Serious question: does any single entertainer have such complete dominion over their chosen field as Weird Al Yankovic wields over the song parody? Skeptics may scoff that musical spoofery is a stupid thing to become really, really, virtuosically good at, but the point stands that Yankovic has completely and totally mastered his preferred art form. So when the producers behind the upcoming film adaptation of the Captain Underpants chapter book series needed to find a talent for their theme music, of course their choice was obvious. In no insignificant way, Weird Al Yankovic was born to write a peppy pop tune about tightened-whiteys.
See a few of his movies, and you’ll start to recognize the Martin Scorsese style: quick zooms and jump cuts cribbed from the French New Wave, exhilarating tracking shots, the occasional expertly-deployed pop hit, brief breaks from reality straight out of Powell & Pressburger’s playbook. He’s forged an entire career out of synthesizing influences and making their techniques his own, but even as he’s established himself as one of the most distinctive auteurs currently working, he’s never gotten mired in his own aesthetic. He constantly challenges himself to try more (if you need proof, just look at Silence), and in a new interview, he confirms that he’s going for something different with his next picture.
We owe a lot to scientists — they cured polio, got us on the moon, and they‘re doing their darnedest to stop us from methodically killing the planet. But man, what a bunch of nerds. It seems like every time biologists discover a new species of animal and need to give it a name, they take the opportunity to bust out a reference to their favorite bit of geek-approved pop culture. Lest we forget the velvet worm named after My Neighbor Totoro, and we’d be remiss to overlook the euglossa bazinga, a rare bee with a Big Bang Theory catchphrase as its namesake. And it appears that now the nerds are at it again.
On the long-running Comedy Central slacker sitcom Workaholics, bros-for-life Anders Holm, Blake Anderson, and Adam DeVine made no bones about their affinity for recreational marijuana use. But for those fans who had their healthy sense of skepticism, suspecting that it may all be an act for the sake of creating an onscreen persona, the Workaholics boys are back to re-affirm that they really and sincerely do love getting high. Just to prove it to you, all three actors light up in the teaser for their latest on-screen outing, and what’s more, they’re releasing it on April 20 of next year. As in, 4/20. Which is a weed thing.
We‘ve only just entered May, but in the first few months of 2017, the year has yielded a surprisingly eclectic array of blockbusters. Survey the biggest earners to date, and you’ll see a socially critical horror flick from a first-time director, a spin-off based on a cross-property licensing deal within a corporate brand expansion, and a tough-as-nails superhero side project with post-apocalyptic Western overtones. The latest Fast and Furious installment looks most at home in the top five so far, but more unexpected still is that it’s been handily defeated by the year’s top earner, Disney’s handsomely mounted revival of Beauty and the Beast. And now, the unlikely box-office behemoth has claimed another record.
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