TIME movies

Texas Theater to Show Team America After Sony Pulls The Interview

Team America: World Police
Team America: World Police Paramount

Movie makes light of previous North Korean leader

If you can’t make fun of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, might as well have some fun at the expense of his late father Kim Jong Il. That’s the approach being taken by a Texas movie theater, which will screen Team America: World Police after Sony cancelled the Christmas Day release of The Interview amid threats of attacks, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

A representative of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s Dallas/Fort Worth location said the theater is “trying to make the best of an unfortunate situation.” Sony cancelled the release of The Interview after hackers, potentially linked to North Korea, threatened 9/11-style attacks on theaters that showed the movie, which depicts a fictional assassination plot against Kim Jong Un. North Korea has denied being behind the hack against Sony.

The 2004 movie Team America, in which all the characters are marionette puppets, depicts Kim Jong Il as a terrorist mastermind taken down by American counterterrorism fighters.

[THR]

TIME celebrities

15 People Who Were Almost Famous in 2014

The heroes, villains and phenomena that rose, briefly, to the top

  • Alex From Target

    The Internet is constantly improving efficiency. In the past, tween girls had to discover their burgeoning sexuality by having a crush on some nonthreatening, mop-headed, baby-faced singer or actor even though they didn’t care about singing or acting. Now they have Alex Lee, a nonthreatening, mop-headed, baby-faced checkout kid in Texas that some girl took a photo of and posted on Twitter. A day later, he had 300,000 followers, a spot on CNN and a bunch of old people confused.

  • “Human” Hello Kitty

    15 Minutes
    Toru Hanai—Reuters

    The name Hello Kitty may sound absurd, but it definitely implies cat. At least it did until the Internet uncovered the Japanese icon’s official bio, which says her real identity is Kitty White, a “little girl” who lives in London, loves apple pie and has her own pet cat, Charmmy Kitty. That revelation caused a virtual pussy riot, forcing maker Sanrio to issue a statement clarifying that Hello Kitty is anthropomorphized–like Mickey Mouse, or a girl dressed up like a cat. Which makes sense in Japan.

  • Bob Costas’ Eyes

    15 Minutes
    Getty Images

    For decades, viewers of the Olympics have looked into Costas’ eyes and seen warmth, excitement and the spirit of the Games. But in Sochi, they saw the pus-crusted, cerise-rotted soul of Mephistopheles. To Costas’ credit, he tried to hide his pinkeye infection with glasses. But that didn’t stop his gaze from forcing us to confront the demise of our corporeal shells. He was replaced by Matt Lauer, whose hairline did the same thing.

  • Hot Mug-Shot Guy

    15 Minutes
    AP

    At some point, young ladies mature from fantasizing about nonthreatening checkout boys to parolees who were arrested for gun possession. The mug shot of Jeremy Meeks, whose piercing blue eyes, high cheekbones and teardrop tattoo–which means he’s gosh-awfully sorry–made women swoon and guys in the friend zone even more pissed off.

  • Jesse Helt

    15 Minutes
    Getty Images

    After winning MTV’s Video of the Year, Miley Cyrus brilliantly decided not to make a speech about the artistry of licking mallets and gyrating naked on a wrecking ball. Instead, she sent to the stage her superhandsome date: Helt, a homeless teen who asked people to donate to a Hollywood shelter. Then Oregon police saw him, realized he was violating probation and gave him six months in prison. During which, ironically, he will spend his entire time telling fellow inmates what Miley Cyrus looks like.

  • V. Stiviano

    15 Minutes
    Jonathan Alcorn—Reuters

    L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s part-Latino, part-black model mistress secretly audiotaped his racist rants, forcing him to sell the Clippers to Steve Ballmer and forcing her to wear visors so big, it made one wonder if Sterling had a Jennifer Beals fetish.

  • California Chrome

    15 Minutes
    Al Bello—Getty Images

    After winning the Kentucky Derby by a lot and then winning another race that wasn’t in Kentucky by a lot, California Chrome was expected to win yet another race that wasn’t in Kentucky, something no horse had done since Twitter was invented. He lost.

  • Smarf

    At 4 a.m. on Oct. 28, Adult Swim aired a surrealistic nightmare. The 11-minute short Too Many Cooks–which immediately went viral–is an elongated, cheesy 1980s sitcom opener that morphs into a slasher flick whose breakout star is a puppet that looks like an Alf knockoff that someone bought at a Tijuana flea market and then left in a Tijuana dryer too long. Smarf celebrates, Smarf kills, Smarf dies. And Smarf definitely entered a lot of stoners’ algebra-class doodles.

  • Peter Nyong’o

    When Academy Awards host Ellen DeGeneres took the most tweeted group selfie in the long history of tweeted group selfies, she arranged a tableau of Meryl Streep, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Lupita Nyong’o–and Nyong’o’s 20-year-old brother Peter, who hopped in at the last minute to photo-bomb everyone. He blocked most of Angelina’s face, which only proves that he is wider than a pencil.

  • Luis Suárez

    15 Minutes
    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno—Getty Images

    Prior to the World Cup, Uruguay, which fielded one of the top teams, hoped its star player would do two things: score goals and not bite people. Alas, Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini, with his smooth shoulder skin the color of just-laid brown eggs, proved too irresistible for the Mike Tyson of soccer.

  • Flappy Bird

    15 Minutes
    AP

    Feeling that Angry Birds was way too complicated, Vietnamese video-game developer Nguyen Ha Dong created an alternative version, in which players tap to fly up as they avoid pipes. But once the game hit 50 million downloads and started earning more than $50,000 a day, Dong–who possibly read Infinite Jest or just saw The Ring–decided he did not want people developing a screen addiction and removed it from major app stores. This fixed everything in the world.

  • The Singing Nun

    During 26-year-old Sister Cristina Scuccia’s audition for Italy’s version of The Voice, the judges were shocked to see a millennial with a habit other than constantly Instagramming herself. Scuccia quickly converted her skeptics, though, and went on to win the whole season, belting out hits like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “Livin’ on a Prayer.” Her first single was a cover of “Like a Virgin.” This new Pope really does allow anything.

  • Thomas Piketty

    15 Minutes
    Metin Pala—Anadolu Agency—Getty Images

    The English translation of the liberal French economist’s 685-page proof of the Kuznets curve (when r > g, there’s trouble, dude) became No. 1 on the New York Times’ nonfiction best-seller list and caused rich liberals to be even more boring at dinner parties.

  • “Apparently” Kid

    Armed with the looks of the kid a family sitcom desperately hires in its fifth season after all the original child actors have lost their cuteness through puberty, 5-year-old Noah Ritter used a local TV-news interview at a county fair to abuse both the word apparently and America’s heart. Predictably, Ellen DeGeneres made him a part-time reporter.

  • Charlo Greene

    15 Minutes
    AP

    After her report on a medical-marijuana club in Anchorage, the local TV reporter revealed that she was actually the owner, ending her report with “F-ck it, I quit.” There is a fair chance that Noah Ritter will eventually end his Ellen gig the same way.

TIME Music

Madonna Calls New Album Leak ‘A Form of Terrorism’

56th GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals
Singer Madonna arrives at the 56th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on January 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Axelle/Bauer—FilmMagic

The pop star took to social media to blast hackers

Madonna did not respond well to the news that eleven songs from her upcoming album had been leaked. The album, which was still without an official title or release date, was leaked earlier this week, prompting the pop star to vent on social media.

“This is artistic rape!! These are early leaked demos, half of which won’t even make it on my album,” Madonna wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post on Wednesday. “The other half have changed and evolved.” She continued: “This is a form of terrorism. Wtf!!!! Why do people want to destroy artistic process??? Why steal? Why not give me the opportunity to finish and give you my very best?”

She also posted a less angry message to Instagram, thanking fans for their “loyalty”:

[Billboard]

TIME Music

Taylor Swift Says Other Artists Thanked Her For Pulling Her Music From Spotify

49th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards - Arrivals
Singer/songwriter Taylor Swift attends the 49th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 6, 2014 in Las Vegas. Jason Merritt—Getty Images

The 25-year-old pop star says she made the right decision

Taylor Swift may have caused waves when she pulled her catalogue of music — including this year’s album 1989 — from the streaming service Spotify, but there was one group who applauded the decision: other musicians.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Swift explains that she was surprised by the media-storm over her decision, though she ultimately realized she’d made the right choice. “I didn’t think that it would be shocking to anyone,” Swift told THR. “With as many ways as artists are personalizing their musical distribution, it didn’t occur to me that this would be anything that anyone would talk about. But I could never have expected so many text messages, emails and phone calls from other artists, writers and producers saying thank you.”

She doesn’t elaborate if one of those artists was Kendrick Lamar — whom Swift wishes she “was best friends with” — though their mutual admiration for one another is well-documented.

[THR]

TIME Television

Offline Viewing Is ‘Never Going to Happen’ Netflix Executive Says

Netflix Illustrations Ahead Of Earnings
The Netflix website and logo are displayed on laptop computers arranged for a photograph in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 21, 2014 Bloomberg/Getty Images

#SorryNotSorry

You won’t be able to watch Netflix without an Internet connection. Ever.

“It’s never going to happen,” said Cliff Edwards, the video-streaming site’s director of corporate communications and technology, speaking to TechRadar about the possibility of offline viewing.

A few other streaming services do offer the ability to download shows and then view them without Internet access, but Edwards said Netflix is of the view that downloadable content is “a short-term fix for a bigger problem” of wi-fi access and quality.

The Netflix top brass fully expects both those things to improve significantly in the near future, and Edwards opined that the concept of offline viewing may be a thing of the past as early as five years from now.

[TechRadar]

TIME White House

Obama Tells America to ‘Go to the Movies’

After Sony pulled The Interview amid threads

In an interview with ABC News that aired Wednesday, President Barack Obama addressed the recent cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment. He recognized the severity of the situation, but suggested people still go to the movies.

“Well, the cyber attack is very serious,” Obama said. “We’re investigating it. We’re taking it seriously. You know, we’ll be vigilant. If we see something that we think is serious and credible, then we’ll alert the public. But for now, my recommendation would be that people go to the movies.” Moviegoers, however, won’t be able to see the film believed to be at the center of it all: The Interview.

Unknown hackers recently broke into Sony’s computer system and released sensitive information: emails, Social Security numbers, salary figures, projects in development, etc. It was thought to be a move against Sony’s Kim Jong-un-assassination comedy, The Interview. On Tuesday, that thought was confirmed. The hackers threatened a 9/11-style attack against those going to see the film, prompting Sony tocancel its release. Shortly after, it was revealed that the North Korean government was “centrally involved” in the attack.

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME movies

This is President Obama’s Favorite Movie of 2014

President Obama Speaks At White House Hanukkah Reception
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during the White House Hanukkak Party, December 17, 2014 in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

The film has already won lots of awards, but perhaps none so fine as the leader the free world's approval

Like everyone else, the President of the United States of America likes to relax with a movie sometimes. And he has a favorite for 2014: Boyhood.

Boyhood was a great movie,” he told People, in a joint interview with Michelle Obama. “That, I think, was my favorite movie this year.”

The movie has been nominated for five Golden Globes, including best picture, and has so far routed this season’s film awards circuit, picking up all kinds of accolades.

The president also talks to People about his current favorite book, the videos his daughters show him online, and “the most astonishing Vine” he saw this year. It involves, naturally, Michelle — plus, a turnip.

Read more at People

TIME celebrities

Rapper Bobby Shmurda Has Been Arrested in New York City

Bobby Shmurda is seen at Jimmy Kimmel Live on Dec. 8, 2014, in Los Angeles RB—Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images

He was picked up while outside a recording studio on Seventh Avenue

Brooklyn rapper Bobby Shmurda was arrested in New York City on Wednesday, in connection with an investigation into street violence and drug trafficking in the city’s outer borough.

Shmurda, whose real name is Ackquille Pollard, was taken into custody by investigators as he sat in his car outside Quad Recording Studios on Seventh Avenue, the New York Times reported.

The 20-year-old rapper has increasingly had run-ins with law enforcement this year, having been arrested for possession of an illegal firearm in June followed by an October arrest for possession of marijuana. Both arrests took place in Brooklyn, where the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for New York City is conducting an investigation along with the New York Police Department’s newly formed Brooklyn South Violence Reduction Task Force.

More than 12 others have been arrested as part of the investigation, and authorities said further details and charges would be unsealed in court on Thursday.

[NYT]

Read next: The 10 Most Surprising Breakout Hits of 2014

TIME movies

See Which 25 Movies Will Be Added to the National Film Registry in 2014

Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi
This handout photo provided by Universal Studios and the Library of Congress shows Jeff Bridges as “The Dude,” left, hanging out at the bowling alley with his buddies Walter (John Goodman) and Donny (Steve Buscemi) in "The Big Lebowski." Associated Press

This year's selection brings the total number of films in the registry to 650

Twenty-five films will be added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress this year.

Titles include Steven Speiberg’s Saving Private Ryan, Ethan Cohen’s The Big Lebowski and the original 1971 version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Film Registry chooses movies that are at least 10 years old and which are considered “cultural, historical or aesthetic cinematic treasures.”

“By preserving these films, we protect a crucial element of American creativity, culture and history,” said James H. Billington, the librarian of Congress.

For a full list of the films read more at LA Times.

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