TIME movies

Here’s How Ben Affleck Reacted When He Got Cast as Batman

He was more than a little surprised

Batman is a sacred role. I mean, this isn’t kid’s stuff. It’s not like just anyone can put on a mask with pointy ears, act with their chin, and growl things like “Where’s Joker?” and “I’m the goddamn Batman.”

When it was announced that Ben Affleck would be the fifth actor ever to play the character on the big screen — sixth if you count Adam West in the 1966 movie based on the TV series — there was somewhat more than the expected speculative grumbling on the part of the Comic-Con chattering classes. Some wondered whether the filmmakers had made the right choice, and Affleck was one of them. “My first reaction was, ‘Are you sure?’ ” Affleck says. “At the time I was 40, 41, and had just finished Argo, and I felt like ‘This seems like a strange way to get to Batman.’ But Zack convinced me.”

Read more at Entertainment Weekly

TIME Music

Thousands Truckin’ to Chicago for Final Grateful Dead Shows

Deadheads are shelling out for one more ride

(CHICAGO) — The Grateful Dead is closing the lid on its storied half-century of concerts this weekend in Chicago, where a museum has captured the band’s prankster heart by displaying its artifacts, skeletons-and-roses iconography included, in the shadow of a world-famous dinosaur.

Soldier Field, which was the last place legendary guitarist Jerry Garcia played with the band before his death in 1995, is hosting the final three shows of the short “Fare Thee Well” tour in what the remaining core members — rhythm guitarist Bob Weir, bassist Phil Lesh and percussionists Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann — say will be the last.

The lakefront stadium, just south of the Field Museum and the bones of Sue the Tyrannosaurus rex, will be a sea of tie-dyed shirts, and the sounds of bootleg concert tapes will fill the air in the parking lots. Certainly, there’ll be young people who never saw Garcia play among the tens of thousands of fans, but they’ll likely be outnumbered Deadheads who display more than a touch of grey.

Many of those who followed the band around decades ago — and can recite the exact number of shows they’ve seen as easily as they can their Social Security numbers — have become lawyers, accountants and, in at least one case, a member of the U.S. Senate.

“Yes, my wife and I are coming for the Saturday and Sunday shows,” said former comedian and avowed Deadhead Al Franken, who now represents Minnesota in Washington. “To me they represent a big part of my life, they are a touchstone for a long time and they still are.”

The Democrat began seeing the Dead about the time he was getting out of college in the early 1970s, and later became friends with Garcia and other members of the band when they appeared on “Saturday Night Live,” on which Franken was a cast member.

“I still listen to them pretty much every chance I get,” he said.

That so many older fans are coming in may help explain why the city heard few complaints after it nixed the idea of overnight camping sites near Soldier Field.

“I would not even have a car back in my San Francisco State days (and) I would find people to hitch rides with and find homes to sleep on the couch or on the floor,” said Rick Wolfish, a 59-year-old partner in a large accounting firm in Burlington, Vermont. “This trip I’m flying to a concert and staying at a Hilton hotel five blocks from Soldier Field.”

Deadheads are shelling out for one more Saturday night — from $100 Dead-themed dinosaur posters at the Field Museum created and signed by longtime Dead artist Stanley Mouse to pricey hotels. Hotel bookings are up more than 120 percent from last year’s July Fourth weekend, and the rates are 77 percent higher on average, according to travel booking website Orbitz.

The centerpiece of the Field Museum’s exhibit is Garcia’s favorite guitar, “Tiger.” On Tuesday, fans wore the same look of wonder on their faces as one sees in the people looking at the skull of Sue.

“This is history,” said Rebecca Ostrega, a 49-year-old Deadhead who brought her 10-year-old son. They both wore tie-dyed Dead shirts she bought at the museum and she had purchased several of the Mouse posters.

Tickets for the main attraction — where Trey Anastasio of Phish will tackle Garcia’s guitar parts alongside keyboardists Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti — were no higher than $199 at face value, both through the old-style mail order system or Ticketmaster. For those seeking to get into the sold-out shows, tickets on the secondary market StubHub ranged from $295 to $5,000 for one night, with an average price of about $600. Wolfish paid $200 total for three nights behind the stage — a “miracle,” he said.

No matter the price, fans say it’s worth the chance to reconnect with both an important band and the family-like community.

“More than anything this is going to be a celebration of the whole Grateful Dead thing, the camaraderie, the outlook of life,” said Bill Stanley, who is a director of the Gantz Family Collections Center at the Field Museum.

He’s attended more than 100 shows, including Garcia’s last one. He not only recalls those “magical” experiences, but the loneliness he felt when he was in the mountains of Tanzania in August 1995 and received an airgram from his girlfriend that read, “I hope you are sitting down. We lost Jerry.”

“Everybody here was able to call the person who turned them onto the Dead (but) I had no one to reach out to,” he said.

This weekend, though, he expects all those old feelings a Dead concert used to elicit to return: “People are going to be walking past, thinking, ‘Look at those old hippies. I’ll be grateful when they’re dead.'”

TIME Music

Meghan Trainor Postpones Tour Dates Because of Vocal Cord Hemorrhage

Meghan Trainor Performs At Le Trianon
David Wolff - Patrick—Redferns/Getty Images Meghan Trainor performs at Le Trianon on May 28, 2015 in Paris, France.

The singer will reschedule concerts in New Jersey and Connecticut

Ticketholders to Meghan Trainor’s concerts in New Jersey and Connecticut this Fourth of July weekend will have to find new plans: the “Dear Future Husband” singer has postponed the two tour dates after a vocal cord hemorrhage caused her doctors to put her on complete vocal rest.

The singer announced the news on Instagram, writing, “I have never missed a tour date before so this is killing me. I love you all very much and want to get healed quickly so I can show you this amazing tour we’ve been working on.”

Though the Friday and Saturday concerts are canceled, Trainor plans to reschedule them. Her website lists her next live performance on Tuesday in Lansing, Mich.

Trainor later posted a video to Instagram with more apologies to her fans:

TIME celebrities

Arnold Schwarzenegger Writes Sweet Letter to a Fan’s Sick Dad Who Loved Terminator Genisys

"I am honored that my silly smile in Terminator made you smile"

For one Arnold Schwarzenegger fan, the new Terminator Genisys provided exactly the kind of movie magic he needed to get his sick father to smile again.

Reddit user bizzyjay posted about how he got his dad to watch a movie despite recent serious mental health issues that made the 72-year-old irritable, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The two had a tradition of watching Terminator movies together, and when they saw the latest installment, he said his father smiled for the first time in months.

Schwarzenegger, who is known for being active on Reddit, responded to the post himself, saying, “This is so touching. Thank you for sharing. I’d like to say ‘this is why I do this’ but you should know it was you who made your father smile.”

He then posted a handwritten note to the father, writing, “I am honored that my silly smile in Terminator made you smile, but I hope you find real joy and strength in what a wonderful child you have brought into this world and raised.”

He signed the note “Arnold” with a heart.

[The Hollywood Reporter]

TIME movies

Watch Katherine Heigl and Alexis Bledel as a Couple in the Trailer for Jenny’s Wedding

The movie shows a family unwilling to accept their daughter's sexuality

Katherine Heigl is starring in another wedding movie, but this time the premise is quite different from 27 Dresses. In Jenny’s Wedding, Heigl plays a lesbian whose family has been in the dark about her sexual orientation, and when they find out she plans to marry her partner, played by Alexis Bledel, they’re blown away that two have been more than roommates all these years—and not very quick to accept the news.

Tom Wilkinson, Linda Emond and Grace Gummer round out the cast of the film, which opens in theaters July 31.

TIME Television

Conan Does His Best Stripper Dance for Magic Mike XXL

And it's not great

When Conan O’Brien’s female colleagues heard their boss would be joining them for a midnight viewing of Magic Mike XXL, they may not have expected him to bust some moves to match the stripping action up on the screen. But being Conan, of course that’s exactly what he did.

The late-night host may not totally get the appeal of a movie about male strippers, but he does know how to do that tearaway track pants trick… to reveal jeans underneath.

TIME movies

Cartel Land Documents Vigilantes North and South of the Border

A new documentary shows that the fight between good and evil isn't always so clear-cut

When director Matthew Heineman set out to make Cartel Land, he thought he was telling a classic Western tale: a “simple hero/villain story of guys in white shirts fighting against guys in black hats,” he says. But very quickly, he saw that the folks combatting powerful drug cartels on both sides of the Mexican border were not the clear-cut good guys they seemed.

Cartel Land, in theaters Friday, documents two groups: the Autodefensas, a Mexican force to combat violence by the Knights Templar cartel, and a group of unofficial border patrollers in Arizona who try to keep cartel operatives from crossing into the States. While both work to fill roles they felt their respective governments had neglected, their efforts aren’t immune to their own corruption.

Heineman landed himself in some hairy situations tagging along with his subjects, including witnessing (and filming) shoot-outs. “It was scary being in those situations,” he says, “but I actually found that focusing on the craft of filmmaking—focusing, exposing—sort of calmed me down in those really intense moments.”

Witnessing these life and death situations made him ask himself what he would do if violence came to his own doorstep. “What would I do if my sister was raped or my brother was left hanging from a bridge? Would I take up arms? Would I fight violence with violence? Is that just?”

Ultimately, the film doesn’t paint vigilantism as a viable answer to the war on drugs; even despite “noble intentions” among the leaders of the groups he followed, Heineman says, “on both sides of the border we see people within the ranks who might have ulterior motives.” That flaw, he says, “is one of the things that inherently makes vigilantism unsustainable.”

TIME movies

Read TIME’s Prescient Review of Back to the Future

Michael J Fox In 'Back To The Future'
Universal Pictures/Getty Images Michael J Fox walking across the street in a scene from the film 'Back To The Future', 1985.

The movie was released on July 3, 1985

Turning the big 3-0 is always a big deal, but for Back to the Future it’s particularly so. After all, 30 years is the time span that sets the whole movie in motion: Marty McFly travels three decades back in time from 1985 to 1955. Now, on July 3, 2015, he’ll have made it just that many years into the future. (Or, rather, the movie will have made it: the 2015 date to which Marty zooms in the movie’s sequel won’t roll around until October.)

Looking back at TIME’s original review of the movie classic (a two-fer that paired BttF with Goonies) it’s clear that the charm of the story was immediately clear—and that critic Richard Corliss had his finger on the pulse, or at least his foot on the gas of the film-criticism DeLorean. When looking at the plot structure, he ventured a guess at what might happen to the movie by 2015:

The choice of year is canny, for 1955 is close to the historical moment when television, rock ‘n’ roll and kids mounted their takeover of American culture. By now, the revolution is complete. So the child of 1985 must teach his parents (the children of 1955) how to be cool, successful and loved. When they learn it — when the Earth Angel meets Johnny Do-Gooder — the picture packs a wonderful wallop. But Back to the Future goes further: this white ’80s teenager must teach black ’50s musicians the finer points of rock ‘n’ roll. Out-rageous! After a thunderous heavy-metal riff, Marty stares at his dumbfounded audience and shrugs, ”I guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it.” You bet, Marty. You and your whole movie. Now and for 30 years to come.

At this point, we don’t need a flux capacitor to guess that, another 30 years from now, that prediction will still hold true.

Read the full review, here in the TIME Vault: This Way to the Children’s Crusade

TIME Music

A Video Featuring Snoop Dogg Has Caused Uproar Among a Religious Group in India

In the video, Snoop smokes what appears to be weed on a throne beneath the group's sacred symbol

Members of the Parsi Zoroastrian community in Calcutta have filed a petition in a local high court against the music video for the song “King” by Amitis featuring Snoop Dogg, calling it blasphemous and disrespectful toward their faith, the Times of India reports.

Zoroastrianism is a millennia-old faith with roots in ancient Persia and a flourishing community in India; its scripture emphasizes the sanctity of nature and the duality of existence. Amitis is an Iranian-born singer who now lives in Atlanta; “King” appears to be her entrance into the realm of Western pop. Snoop Dogg is Snoop Dogg — in this case, the eponymous king in question, who in the music video smokes what appears to be weed on a throne beneath the Faravahar, a sacred Zoroastrian symbol. Some strippers dance in front of it, too.

Unsurprisingly, the Zoroastrians in Calcutta have taken offense and have chosen to file a public-interest litigation — a form of civil complaint. In this case, the Zoroastrians who filed the petition are going after two companies involved in the production and distribution of the video, as well as the governments of West Bengal and India, requesting that the video be banned, the Times says.

No one involved with the video has commented on the petition. To Snoop’s credit, though, he has been making some (admittedly misguided) efforts to immerse himself in the cultures of foreign lands. For the 2008 Indian action film Singh Is Kinng (sic), he and actor Akshay Kumar released a hip-hop track of the same title whose lyrics made these cursory references to Indian culture: “Whatup to all the ladies hanging out in Mumbai/ cheese makes dollars, east-west masala.”

TIME celebrities

Royal in Seat 4B! Prince William Flies Budget Airline to Scotland

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JUNE 15:  Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attends the Order of the Garter Service at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on June 15, 2015 in Windsor, England. The Order of the Garter is the most senior and the oldest British Order of Chivalry and was founded by Edward III in 1348.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Chris Jackson—Getty Images Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attends the Order of the Garter Service at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on June 15, 2015 in Windsor, England

The heir to the British throne flew a Ryanair flight to Glasgow for work

Even wearing his normally-unseen eyeglasses, Prince William was easy to spot among passengers on a flight to Scotland last week.

This wasn’t a private flight: Rather, the future king, 33, took his seat on Ryanair, a budget airline headquartered in Dublin that promotes “cheap flights” on its web site.

Traveling with a bodyguard on June 22, William was heading to Glasgow for work with the company that now employs him, Bond Air Services. It supplies helicopter pilots for the East Anglian Air Ambulance charity, and William starts his first full week of shifts, flying this brand new helicopter, the week of July 13.

In flying budget, he follows in the narrow aisles of fellow VIPs Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who paid a visit to Kensington Palace last weekend. The Hollywood couple were spotted with their extended clan taking coach seats for a flight from Paris down to Nice earlier this summer.

A royal insider notes that William, wife Kate and brother Prince Harry frequently use low-cost airlines.

This article originally appeared on People.com

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