Los Angeles, Dec 5 (AP/UNB) — Kevin Hart has a new job — he will host the 2019 Academy Awards, a role the prolific actor-comedian says fulfills a longtime dream.
Hart announced his selection for the 91st Oscars in an Instagram statement Tuesday. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences followed up with a tweet that welcomed him "to the family."
The announcement came hours after trade publication The Hollywood Reporter posted a story calling the Oscars host position "the least wanted job in Hollywood."
Hart clearly doesn't feel that way, writing on Instagram that it has been on his list of dream jobs for years. The 2019 Oscars will be broadcast Feb. 24 on ABC.
"I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time...To be able to join the legendary list of host that have graced this stage is unbelievable," Hart wrote. "I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now.
"I will be sure to make sure this years Oscars are a special one," Hart wrote.
Hart takes over hosting duties from Jimmy Kimmel, who presided over the last two ceremonies, including 2016's flub that resulted in the wrong best picture winner being announced. Last year's ceremony was an all-time ratings low, and the film academy has announced a series of changes to the upcoming show .
Those include shortening the broadcast to three hours, and also presenting certain categories during commercial breaks and broadcasting excerpts of those winners' speeches later in the show.
The 39-year-old Hart has become a bankable star with films such as "Ride Along," ''Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" and "Night School."
Celebrities including Martin Lawrence and Chris Rock, who hosted the ceremony in 2005 and 2016, posted congratulatory messages about Hart's selection Tuesday night.
"Damn I've lost another job to Kevin Hart," Rock posted on Instagram, echoing a joke he told during his 2016 opening monologue . "They got the best person for the job."
Chicago, Dec 3 (AP/UNB) — Bono will speak in Chicago about his efforts to combat AIDS and extreme poverty in Africa.
The lead singer of the rock band U2 is scheduled to appear Thursday at an Economic Club of Chicago dinner meeting. He'll participate in a discussion with Ariel Investments President Mellody Hobson, who is also the club's chairwoman.
Bono is co-founder of ONE, an advocacy organization that lobbies governments around the world to address poverty. He also co-founded RED, which partners with well-known brands to raise public awareness of AIDS. It has raised more than $500 million for AIDS prevention and treatment in Africa.
The discussion will be livestreamed on the club's YouTube channel .
New York, Dec 2 (AP/UNB) — Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra posted photos of their wedding celebration Saturday amid reports that the couple had wed after a four-month courtship.
While the couple didn't say they were officially married — Indian weddings are typically dayslong affairs — they both posted festive pictures of themselves on social media and talked about the work they had put into planning the wedding.
Representatives for the entertainers didn't immediately return emails seeking comment.
The couple announced their engagement in August. It is the first marriage for the 36-year-old Chopra and the 26-year-old Jonas.
The couple had been posting social-media photos of themselves among family and friends in India for more than a week.
Dhaka, Nov 30 (UNB) -The founder of the MeToo movement has said that the campaign against sexual violence she began more than a decade ago has become "unrecognisable" to her.
Speaking at TEDWomen in Palm Springs, Tarana Burke said a media backlash had framed the movement as a witch hunt.
"Suddenly, a movement to centre survivors of sexual violence is being talked about as a vindictive plot against men," she said.
"Victims are heard and then vilified."
She was keen to get back to the original intention she had for MeToo when, in 2006, she wrote the words on a piece of paper as a way of starting an action plan to do something about the sexual violence she saw in her community.
The phrase became a globally used hashtag last year in the wake of allegations made against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein but Ms Burke says she feels the campaign is neglecting those it was set up to help.
"My vision for the Me Too movement is part of a collective vision to see a world free of sexual violence," she told delegates at the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference.
"This is a movement about the one in four girls and the one in six boys who are sexually abused every year, and who carry those wounds into adulthood," she says.
Ms Burke said in the wake of events like Brett Kavanaugh being elected to the Supreme Court despite facing allegations of sexual misconduct - which he denied - US politicians seemed to be "pivoting away from the issue".
"This movement has been called a watershed moment but some days I wake up feeling that all the evidence points to the contrary," she said.
She ended her talk with a plea that victims not be forced to relive their traumas by speaking about them and she called for the fight against "power and privilege" to continue.
"We have to re-educate ourselves and our children to understand that power and privilege doesn't always have to destroy and take - it can be used to serve and build," she said.
Dhaka, Nov 30 (UNB)- He is back. This time around, Chitti is reloaded and primed to confront a force that is out to eliminate mobile phones and cellular transmission towers from Tamil Nadu. The battle between good and evil, between nature and technology, plays out over two and a half hours in a zone where all the dividing lines are blurred in a way that creates the possibility of multiple interpretations. But because the storytelling is, well, robotic, the frenetic action sequences rarely touch the heights that the flying mobiles achieve, reports NDTV. The film talks at length about the sad reality of the sparrows vanishing from our metropolises - a theme culled from newspapers and social media platforms - but the pressing nature of the debate is buried deep under a flashy, impressive demo of animatronics, special effects and prosthetics.
Eight years is a long time in the life of a movie star. But for Rajnikanth, any hiatus can only be a flash.2.0, director and co-screenwriter Shankar's follow-up to 2010's Enthiran (Robot in Hindi), has materialised after the Tamil cinema supernova has used the long break to appear in four films (Kochadaiiyaan, Lingaa, Kabali and Kaala). It has been in the works longer than it took Dr Vaseegaran to conjure up Chitti the thinking robot. The film and its star show clear signs of wear and tear. For Rajnikanth fans, however, this shouldn't be more than a minor irritant.
A mysterious power - its genesis is established in the film's opening sequence in which a man hangs himself from a cell tower - is out to eliminate mobile telephony from the face of the earth. Towers are uprooted and crushed. Handsets fly off the hands of their owners and turn into a destructive wave. A city is in the grip of complete mayhem. The army is called out but the soldiers draw a blank. The good scientist is roped in to stop the impending calamity. He advises bringing Chitti back from the dead. That, he says, is the only effective option in the fight against the new menace. His plan is resisted by elements in the administration but as matters begin to go out of control, Vaseegaran secures a free hand.
"Maut se zinda lautne ka mazaa kuch aur hi hai (nothing can match the joy of returning alive from death)," says Chitti in the film's Hindi version (dialogue writer: Abbas Tyrewala) just before he declares: "I am the one, the super one." Who dare question him? Definitely not fellow humanoid Nila (Amy Jackson), another of Vaseegaran's creations. On the face of it, the lead actor plunges into the universe of the two pivotal characters - the invincible robot and his brilliant creator - with all his might. But look deeper and there is a visible dip in his enthusiasm for and belief in the project. Fans sold on Rajnikanth's unrelenting starry sangfroid might therefore have reason to feel somewhat shortchanged.
With Akshay Kumar, in his first-ever southern foray, exuding both star power and emotive energy in the second half of the film in the guise of an ageing ornithologist livid at the fast depleting bird numbers and then as a vengeance seeker for the avian deaths, 2.0 would have been regarded as an improved, stronger version of its predecessor had the plot been a tad more convincing. Bunkum is bunkum no matter how big the bucks behind it are.
Of course, director Shankar possesses a penchant for couching the fantastical and the unreal in felt human dilemmas. He brings this attribute into full play in addressing the damage that cellular radiation causes to the environment. But the frustration of the activist fighting to save the birds but failing in his mission isn't brought out to the extent that would justify the murderous crusade that Pakshirajan (Akshay Kumar) launches against mobile phone sellers and users. The comic-strip superficiality of his war manifests itself in the manner in which he kills a wholesaler, a transmission tower owner and a telecom minister: one blown to smithereens, the other squeezed to pulp, and another literally poisoned with a diamond-studded mobile phone.
Amy Jackson as the super-efficient robot who is at the beck and all of her master is aptly mechanical but does just enough not to be swamped out of this sci-fi action film designed primarily for Rajnikanth's larger-than-life, crowd-pleasing screen persona.
The supporting actors in a Rajnikanth vehicle serve a limited purpose. It is no different in 2.0 although the cast of the film includes Adil Hussain in the role of the home minister, a man charged with formulating a response to the attack of the mobile phones. But his agency is quickly taken away from him as Vaseegaran, Chitti and Nila take over as a powerful adversary threatens to overrun the city.
So, is the most expensive Indian film ever mounted worth all the money that has been sunk into it? It looks and sounds great for the most part. It whizzes by thanks to the breathless action and the dazzling VFX. 2.0, however, would have been a far greater film had the screenplay dared to go beyond the known tricks of the genre. There is a hint of a romantic entanglement between Chitti and Nila, both of whom are capable of feeling and expressing love. But this track remains an insignificant subplot in a film in which even the baddie is an A-list Bollywood star and needs to be made a part of a respectable chunk of the action, especially when he makes his entry only after the intermission.
The right-versus-wrong tropes that 2.0 employs are trite, but the battle at the heart of the film - it pits a warped model of development against the need for ecological conservation in a no-holds-barred fantasy - has moments that are thought-provoking and entertaining at once. But even for Rajnikanth, pulling this erratic, messy epic out of the fire is no cakewalk. He comes pretty close. Watch 2.0 for its scale and ambition, if not for the superstar who can do no wrong.