<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - ]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcchicago.com/entertainment/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.com en-us Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:08:37 -0500 Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:08:37 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA["Django Unchained" Actress, Boyfriend Charged With Lewd Conduct]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:05:10 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/actress+daniele+watts+detained+lapd.jpg

"Django Unchained" actress Daniele Watts and her boyfriend Brian James Lucas have each been charged with one count of lewd conduct for allegedly having sex in public moments before they were involved in an altercation with LAPD officers.

Each faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted on the misdemeanor charges, according to the Los Angeles City Attorney's office.

Watts, 28, and Lucas made headlines when they claimed Watts' brief detention outside the CBS Studio Center in Studio City last month was the result of racial profiling. Watts is black and Lucas is white.

Sgt. Jim Parker, the LAPD officer who responded to the scene in the 11900 block of Ventura Boulevard after nearby workers and residents reported a couple engaging in lewd behavior, later released an audio recording of his version of the incident.

The recorded version differed substantially from Watts' account.

Photos showing the couple in compromising positions in the passenger seat of a silver Mercedes were also released by witnesses. They were posted to website TMZ.

Activists who initially called on the department to apologize to the couple later backtracked and called on Watts and Lucas to retract their statements, after the audiotape and photographs surfaced.

They are both slated to be arraigned Nov. 13.



Photo Credit: Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrities React to Oscar de la Renta's Death]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:01:47 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/78148902.jpg

Oscar de la Renta was one of the most celebrated and famed fashion designers and couturiers in the world.

As news spread of his death Monday night, celebrities and fans alike mourned the loss of the acclaimed fashion designer.

Vogue's Anna Wintour honored the designer Tuesday in an essay posted on the fashion magazine’s website.

“There is much being said that his passing yesterday marks the end of an era,” Wintour began. “This strength must have been with him in the hospital last week when he made the decision to turn off treatment; it was not the quality of life he wanted.”

Wintour wrote that his final words to her were “I love you, and I said I love you back.”

She also reflected on the relationship between de la Renta and his wife, Annette, of 25 years.

"Theirs was the greatest, most life-enhancing love affair," Wintour said. "Last week in the hospital he said that she never wears the beautiful jewelry he gave her, and she said simply, 'I have you.'"

Other members of the fashion industry and celebrities took to social media to offer their condolences.

 

The Gentleman of Fashion you will always be !!! R I P @oscarprgirl @OscarPRGirl #Oscar de la Renta ��

A photo posted by Naomi Campbell (@iamnaomicampbell) on

De la Renta has dressed practically every woman in public life. His clothes were classic, elegant, feminine and flattering —which explains why so many first ladies have chosen him to dress them for those historic moments.

On Tuesday morning, “Today” contributing correspondent Jenna Bush Hager talked about the late designer and how she felt wearing a custom wedding gown from him.

Most recently, Amal Clooney chose a gown created by de la Renta for her wedding to George Clooney, evidence of his prominence.



Photo Credit: WireImage
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<![CDATA[Here's to Oscar de la Renta]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 07:50:06 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/oscar-AP22989790063.jpg

"Here's to the ladies who lunch," sang Elaine Stritch in the Stephen Sondheim musical "Company."

It's a fitting refrain for designer Oscar de la Renta, who dressed women atop the social hierarchy from New York to Paris in his singular vision of opulent and luxurious glamour for more than five decades.

A legend of American fashion, de la Renta died Monday of complications from cancer. He was 82.

Attending a showing by de la Renta during New York fashion week came with a sense of occasion. From the simple invitation printed on heavy stock to the unadorned venues, the clothing was always the focus: be it a decadently ruched or draped evening gown in fuchsia, or chic suit for day in wool bouclé. His front rows were occupied by those who did indeed lunch at Le Cirque, the Colony Club and La Côte Basque, but also by today's corporate titans, movie stars and pop icons.

Free of the histrionics that accompany much of what comprises modern fashion, de la Renta was a style constant in an industry obsessed with the next big thing. Not that he was ever stagnant, as a designer or as a business entrepreneur. But like those fabled ladies, his clothes carried a sense of old-world manners, of feminine allure, of a time when dressing meant more than throwing on any old, or new, thing. For de la Renta, being appropriately attired was key.

"I am not interested in shock tactics. I just want to make beautiful clothes," he once told reporters, though he was never foolish enough to believe that the garment was ne plus ultra. "A runway is spectacle," de la Renta said per the New York Times. "It’s only fashion when a woman puts it on."

It was the women, his customers, for whom he worked so hard: Whether a jet-set dowager slipping on his narrow-shouldered jackets and buttoning up his silk taffeta gowns, or a corporate-ladder-climbing New York denizen splurging on a wedding-perfect cocktail dress from his diffusion line for Saks or Bergdorfs.

With one gracefully shod foot planted in the past—born in the Dominican Republic, he worked for Paris couture houses including Balenciaga and Lanvin in the 1950s and '60s before launching his namesake collection in New York in 1965—de la Renta continually stepped forward to embrace modernity in all its forms, be it the latest in fabric innovation or the hot social media platform

He dressed four American first ladies: Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and, for the first time only a month before his passing, Michelle Obama. His most recent sartorial coup was to outfit human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin for her September wedding to Hollywood actor George Clooney in Venice.

De la Renta was a favorite of fashion icon and former Vogue and Harper's Bazaar editor Diana Vreeland, as he was with Anna Wintour, the current editor in chief of American Vogue. Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Executive Director Fern Mallis called him "the sultan of suave."

To most Americans he was, and will remain, a one name brand. Like Calvin (Klein), Ralph (Lauren), Halston, (Geoffrey) Beene, Isaac (Mizrahi) or (Bill) Blass, in fashion parlance there is only one Oscar.

To paraphrase Sondheim and those elegantly attired ladies: Here's to Mr. de la Renta. Everybody rise.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Late at Night on NBC]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 08:39:14 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP24762024125.jpg

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Oscar de la Renta: Dressing the Stars]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:28:53 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/4884165351.jpg Oscar de la Renta made a name for himself beyond the runway, dressing countless celebrities, first ladies, and fashion icons.

Photo Credit: FilmMagic]]>
<![CDATA[Oscar de la Renta: A Legendary Catwalk Career]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 07:37:19 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/172*120/AP972515234086.jpg Oscar de la Renta was the doyen of American fashion. Spanning five decades, his career on the catwalks was a showcase of restrained glamour and luxurious elegance.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Foo Fighters Announce Wrigley Field Show]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:21:43 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Foo+Fighters.jpg

If you didn’t get to catch the Foo Fighters at the Cubby Bear Friday, you’ll have another chance to see them on a much larger stage in Chicago.

As hinted during their performance last week, the band is set to perform at Wrigley Field next summer—following in the footsteps of Billy Joel, Pearl Jam, and Paul McCartney.

The announcement, made Monday, says the group will perform on Aug. 29, 2015 with “special guests” as part of their Sonic Highways World Tour.

Tickets are set to go on sale Oct. 27 at 10 a.m.

There will be a four-ticket limit for General Admission purchases and a six-ticket limit for reserved seats.

Tickets for last Friday’s performance sold out quickly.

The band announced in May it would film the making of its new album, also called "Sonic Highways," in the eight-part cable series. The first episode prominently features The Cubby Bear, where Jam Productions says Dave Grohl saw his first punk rock show.

The series, directed by Grohl, features a different "American musical landmark" in eight cities, including Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles and New York.

The Foo Fighters were spotted in Chicago in January, and pictures on social media showed the former Nirvana drummer riding the Brown Line by himself and visiting Piece Pizzeria & Brewery.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Pop Culture in the Remaking]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:05:45 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/DF-03522.jpg

When it comes to Hollywood, everything old can be remade anew.

That's certainly the case with recent news of "Rainbow Brite" and "Jem and the Holograms" being revamped for modern audiences, "Labyrinth" getting a sequel (sadly only a rumor) and the first glimpse of a reimagined "Thunderbirds" (no longer with strings attached).

For those quick to shout, "No! How dare they ruin what was already great!" It's hard to ignore the success already this year of rebooted versions of "Rosemary's Baby" (transported to Paris and transferred to the small screen), "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (Michelangelo and Donatello got the CGI treatment and became one of Halloween's most popular costumes) and yet another sequel to an already reworked Spider-Man franchise.

And who would lament a further installment of "Star Wars" starring the original leads, or a return visit to "Jurassic Park" featuring Chris Pratt and the latest in computer generated imagery?

Here are 10 upcoming reboots, refreshes, remakes or reimaginings (call them what you will) to get excited about:

"Rainbow Brite"

The iconic 1980s cartoon returns to Feeln for a limited series run on November 6, with Emily Osment voicing the titular character who is on a quest to save Rainbowland from dark powers. Molly Ringwald provides the voice of the evil Dark Princess. Starlite and the Color Kids are also along for the ride. The original version ran from 1984 to 1986.

"Jurassic World"

Steven Spielberg helmed the first "Jurassic Park" back in 1993 and it spawned two sequels. There's been rumors of a fourth installment since "Jurassic Park 3" roared into cinemas in 2001. Colin Trevorrow ("Safety Not Guaranteed") is directing the latest chapter which is set 22 years after the first movie and according to the official synopsis, "Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond," where staff conduct "behavioral research on the Velociraptors. After many years, Jurassic World’s attendance rates begin to decline and a new attraction, created to re-spark visitor interest, gravely backfires." Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are the leads and the film is set to bite into the box office on June 12, 2015.

"Thunderbirds Are Go"

The iconic British series from the 1960s featured marionettes and complex miniature sets and rescue crafts. The show follows the adventures of International Rescue, a group set up by ex- astronaut Jeff Tracy, his five sons, who pilot the Thunderbird craft, and London Agent Lady Penelope (to be voiced by "Gone Girl's" Rosamund Pike in the revamp). 26 half-hour episodes of "Thunderbirds Are Go!" have been made, this time featuring a mix of computer generated imagery and miniatures in an effort to retain the style of the original. One episode was screened in October at the MIP Junior Television Industry Conference in Cannes to tease the return, which is set for a spring 2015 premiere on British television. No U.S. release date has been announced.

"Jem and the Holograms"

Universal Studio's live action adaptation of the beloved 1980s cartoon will hit theaters on October 23, 2015, and like the source material will focus on Jerrica Benton and her musical alter ego Jem who transitions from small-town girl to international superstar. "Nashville" actor Aubrey Peeples is Benton/Jem, with a supporting cast featuring Stefanie Scott, Aurora Perrineau, and Hayley Kiyoko as the Holograms, along with Ryan Guzman. Molly Ringwald and Juliette Lewis also appear.

"Annie"

Quvenzhané Wallis ("Beasts of the Southern Wild") tackles the role of the singing orphan who melts the heart of a hard-nosed billionaire in this big screen update of the classic stage musical and 1982 movie adaptation. Left by her parents as a baby at a New York City orphanage with the promise that they’d be back for her someday, Annie must outwit horrible foster mom Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz stepping in for the earlier movie's Carol Burnett), and charm New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) who makes a thinly-veiled campaign move by taking Annie in. Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale also star in this modern-day retelling of a hard knock life turned sunny that hits theaters just in time for Christmas on December 19.

"Ghostbusters"

Along with "Terminator" (see below), "Ghostbusters" celebrated its 30th anniversary this year and as a gift to fans Sony Pictures is bring the franchise out of retirement for a reboot. If that's not enough to get loyalists shouting "Who You Gonna Call?", director Paul Feig took to Twitter on October 8 to announce his involvement with the project and this time around, the movie will star "hilarious women." Cue the rumors and let the lobbying begin with Hollywood stars including Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig already on audience's wishlists of who should step into the paranormal-hunting shoes of Venkman, Stantz and Spengler. Shooting is tentatively scheduled to begin in early 2015.

"Star Wars: Episode VII"

By the time the latest outing of the "Star Wars" franchise hits cinemas on December 18, 2015, more than a decade will have passed since episode four ("Revenge of the Sith") came out of hyperspace starring Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Hayden Chistensen as young Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. In between, fans have had two animated TV series ("The Clone Wars" and 2014's "Star Wars: Rebels"), but nothing to match the excitement generated by the latest big screen addition helmed by J.J. Abrams ("Lost," the 2009 "Star Trek" reboot) that picks up 30 years after the end of the first trilogy (episode six: "Return of the Jedi") and features Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill reprising their iconic roles alongside new castmembers Gwendoline Christie, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong'o and Domhnall Gleeson. Little is known regarding plot or storyline, but fans have been treated to sneak peeks of the Millennium Falcon (with a Batman twist) and new creatures via social media-savvy Abrams. "Episode VII" lands December 18, 2015.

"Independence Day 2"

The 1996 original starred Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Randy Quaid, Mary McDonnell, Brent Spiner, James Duval and Vivica A. Fox. Due to hit screens in 2016, director Roland Emmerich is returning to helm the sequel and confirmed some of the original film's characters will be back, but not lead Smith. In an odd move Fox moved the release date for the film from the obviously perfect July 4 Holiday weekend to June 24, 2016. No reason was given.

"Terminator: Genisys"

Though James Cameron has no direct involvement in the latest reboot of the franchise he created 30 years ago with "Terminator," the director told Deadline he wanted to put in a good word for returning star Arnold Scwarzenegger and offered up some advice to the producer of the new film on how to deal with the actor's now advanced age (67). "I pointed out that the outer covering (of the Terminator) was actually not synthetic, that it was organic and therefore could age," Cameron said. "You could theoretically have a Terminator that was sent back in time, missed his target, and ended up just kind of living on in society. Because he is a learning computer and has a brain as a central processor he could actually become more human as he went along without getting discovered." "Terminator" and Schwarzenegger will be back July 1, 2015.

"Tarzan"

Warner Bros is bringing the famed swinger back to the big screen in a big-budget, live-action remake which stars "True Blood's" Alexander Skarsgård as Tarzan/the Earl of Greystoke who, having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment according to IMDB. Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz, Djimon Honsou and John Hurt also star in the film, which is set to be released on July 1, 2016.


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<![CDATA["Egg Russian Roulette" With Bradley Cooper]]> Sat, 18 Oct 2014 15:16:09 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Bradley_Cooper_Tonight.jpg Jimmy Fallon and Bradley Cooper took turns smashing eggs on their heads without knowing which are cooked and which are raw on "The Tonight Show."

Photo Credit: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank]]>
<![CDATA[Halloween Goes Hollywood]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 06:23:23 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/halloween-costumes.jpg

Streets and sidewalks across the country will soon be filled with Elsas, Daeneryses and Leonardos.

That's if this year's early trends in Hollywood-inspired Halloween costumes hold strong through the arrival of the Oct. 31 holiday, and can stave off the growing interest in Ebola-inspired attire.

The popularity of Disney hit "Frozen," HBO series "Game of Thrones" and a big screen revival of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" are driving costume sales for Trick-or-Treaters across age spectra, retailers say.

The National Retail Federation estimated that 2.6 million children will dress up as a "Frozen" character, such as Snow Queen Elsa or Olaf the snowman, while about 1.8 million will choose crime-fighting reptiles Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello or Raphael. Seventy-five million adults are expected to pick a traditional get-up, such as a Batman, a pirate or a witch, retailers say they're seeing more requests for costumes inspired by some of the season's hottest TV shows and films.

"Without question, outfits inspired by movies and TV are the ones that have been flying out the door versus any pop culture sensation like Miley Cyrus," said Holly Botsford, public relations manager for BuyCostumes.com.

Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, Jennifer Lawrence as "Hunger Games" heroine Katniss Everdeen or "X-Men's" Mystique, Black Widow from "Captain America" (Scarlett Johansson) and Zoe Saldana as Gamora from "Guardians of the Galaxy" lead Fandango's list of top-rated movie-inspired female Halloween costumes.

The movie ticket site surveyed more than a 1,000 film fans in the first week of October to discover Groot (Vin Diesel's character in "Guardians of the Galaxy"), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Ninja Turtles, Star-Lord ("Galaxy's" Chris Pratt) and Dracula were the most nominated male characters.

Spirit Halloween has named "Game of Thrones" and "The Walking Dead" characters as their top trends of 2014. The chain, which bills itself as North America's largest seasonal Halloween retailer, partnered with HBO to license outfits inspired by both shows.

“Those two series are very popular and are also very good for costumes,” said Lisa Barr, Spirit’s senior director of marketing & creative.

“People are posting online about entertainment, making a higher level of engagement in movies and television,” said Courtland Hickey, manager of Chicago Costume. “Everyone wants to wear a costume that everyone knows and now that social media has made these series well-known, people can wear outfits that everyone will recognize as one of those characters discussed online.”

The Hollywood trend has been seen in popular couples costumes like Khaleesi and Khal Drogo from “Game of Thrones," and the fictional character Rick Grimes and a zombie outfit from “The Walking Dead."

Want to dress your baby? Retailers say the character Olaf from "Frozen" and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle looks are popular costumes for infants. Pets? Cats and dogs can also join in on the fun with a "Despicable Me" minion costume or outfits inspired by "Ghostbusters." Fandango's top-rated kid's costumes for 2014 in descending order are Olaf, a minion, the Ninja Turtles, "Frozen's" Elsa and Spider-Man.

A trending, though arguably insensitive, costume idea has even received its own Hollywood spin. Ricky's, a beauty shop chain in New York City that offers a wide range of costumes, has received Ebola costume requests on a daily basis, President Richard Parrot said. Although they have decided not to offer one, customers have been using hazmat "Breaking Bad" suits as a substitute. 

Too soon? Not at web retailer BrandsOnSale. They offer an Ebola Containment Suit costume for $79.99. "You are sure to be prepared if any outbreak happens at your Halloween party. This will literally be the most 'viral' costume of the year," reads the outfit's description.

"We don't stray away from anything that's current or controversial or anything like that," BrandsOnSale chief executive Johnathon Weeks told The Associated Press. Though Weeks admits the costume has been received with outrage by some members of the public, he says it is now the item on his site most shared on social media.

Overall, consumers are expected to shell out a lot of cash on Halloween, with The National Retail Federation projecting that people will spend $7.4 billion in 2014. The organization's president and CEO Matthew Shay said in a news release that "there will be a record number of consumers taking to the streets, visiting haunted houses and throwing unforgettable celebrations."



Photo Credit: Walt Disney/Marvel/HBO
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<![CDATA[Fallon: Jason Schwartzman Impersonated Anthony Kiedis]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 10:36:59 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/212*120/JasonSchwartzman.jpg Jimmy talks with Jason Schwartzman about his movie "Listen Up Philip" and the time he pretended to be Red Hot Chili Peppers' frontman for a confused fan.]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Fred Armisen Conducted a Seance]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:06:46 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/457274852.jpg Fred Armisen bought a Oujia board and contacted the comedian W.C. Fields. Watch the video and find out what they “talked” about. ]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Rachel Maddow on the Problem With Democrats]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 05:57:26 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/211*120/RachelmaddowDems.jpg Rachel Maddow explains what the Democratic party is doing wrong and what she does to get through election night coverage. ]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Rachel Maddow on Midterm Antics]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 05:52:17 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/209*120/Rachelmaddowelec.jpg Rachel Maddow talks to Seth Meyers talks about this year’s craziest midterm election antics, including “fan gate.” ]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Matt Ryan Talks On-Stage Pranks]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 05:48:36 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/212*120/MattRyan2.jpg Matt Ryan talks to Seth Meyers about working with The Royal Shakespeare Company, and the real reason why he had to change his name.]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Ryan Talks "Constantine"]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 06:38:11 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/211*120/MattRyan1.jpg Matt Ryan chats with Seth Meyers about playing John Constantine in "Constantine" and the $500 lesson he learned in an Atlanta Hotel during production.]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Fred Talks "Big Game Hunting"]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 06:43:11 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/212*120/457274824.jpg Fred Armisen reveals his favorite weekend pass time "Big Game Hunting." If anyone finds any board games tied together with corn husks, please return to Fred. ]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Seth's Rant Against Math]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 07:06:06 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/sethmeyers+2.png Seth Meyers hates math so much that he kind of lost it on "Late Night."]]> <![CDATA[Fallon: Pumpkin Time Bomb with Shailene Woodley]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 06:02:31 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/212*120/Shailene+Woodley.jpg On "The Tonight Show" Wednesday, Jimmy Fallon and Shailene Woodley chat about Halloween while placing rubber bands around a pumpkin until it explodes without warning.

Photo Credit: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank]]>
<![CDATA[Michael Keaton's "Birdman" Flight]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 07:40:12 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Micahel+Keaton+Birdman.jpg

Michael Keaton hasn't won an Oscar – he’s never even been nominated – and his days as a big box office draw are two decades in the Gotham City wind. But he stands undefeated as a pivotal figure in modern movie history.  

His classic turn as Batman a quarter-century ago kicked off the cinematic superhero craze that's taken over movie theaters and is threatening to subsume TV, whose latest offerings include Fox’s Caped Crusader backstory drama “Gotham.” Even more gripping than Keaton’s gravelly voiced, butt-kicking Batman was his take on Bruce Wayne, the soft-spoken, but tormented rich guy behind the mask. The film, under Tim Burton’s direction, helped create a thirst for character-driven antihero-superhero fare rendered in lines far grayer than splashy comic book colors.

Keaton makes a semi-return to the genre this week – not as the Dark Knight, but as the living dark side of actors who get typecast as superheroes. "Birdman," which opens Friday, features Keaton as a Hollywood has-been who embarks on a challenging Broadway show as he's haunted by his seemingly inescapable past success as a big screen avian hero.

The film – whose full title is "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" – is generating buzz, sending hopes soaring that Keaton might capture overdue recognition for an acting career that deserves to be defined by more than a bat suit.

Embracing the meta premise of "Birdman" marks a bold move for the 63-year-old performer, who has long shown a gutsy streak akin to Batman’s. From the start, Keaton tackled a range of roles, scoring early success in disparate flicks like the amiable domestic comedy “Mr. Mom,” the emotional drama “Clean and Sober” and the horror-comedy “Beetlejuice.” The first Batman movie marked his biggest departure, and his casting initially infuriated fan boys who bemoaned Keaton’s perceived inability to infuse the character with the necessary brooding macho. His performance proved naysayers wrong.

His only braver move than taking the part was giving it up after 1992’s “Batman Returns,” turning down a reported $15 million to star in a third installment.

Keaton never disappeared, but his box office pull waned as he tackled a new range of roles, running from the compelling small film “Game 6” to the Disney family comedy “Herbie: Fully Loaded.” He’s morphed into a strong character actor unafraid to look less than his best, as he proved most recently by playing a moronic, disheveled yokel in Larry David's 2013 HBO comedy movie “Clear History.”

Judging from the stunning (and NSFW) "Birdman" trailer, any remnants of movie star ego disappear with Keaton's less-than-buff Riggan Thomson character running through Times Square in his underwear to the cheers of Birdman fans.

Part of us – and part of him – want to see him back in the costume, whether we’re talking about Keaton or his new alter ego, Thomson. Keaton, who may be forever associated with Batman’s cowl, clearly isn’t afraid to expose himself. “Birdman” won't be his next “Batman,” but hopefully rather a Phoenix that carries him up to where he belongs. 

Jere Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multimedia NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.



Photo Credit: Atsushi Nishijima/Fox
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<![CDATA[Michelle Obama’s "Turn Down For What" Viral Vine]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 07:45:07 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/obama-turnip.jpg

First lady Michelle Obama didn't turn down the chance to promote a healthy diet and exercise Tuesday when she recorded a Vine video set to DJ Snake and Lil Jon’s popular tune “Turn Down for What” that quickly went viral.

The White House posted Obama's 6-second video in response to a question from Iman Crosson, an actor known for impersonating President Barack Obama. Crosson asked, “How many calories do you burn every time you ‘turn up’?!”

The FLOTUS playfully replied, “Turnip for what?” while holding a turnip and jamming to the popular song.

Obama was taking part in a White House Q&A on Vine using the hashtag #AskTheFirstLady, answering questions about her favorite vegetables and offering advice on ways to encourage kids to exercise.

This isn’t the first time Obama has used pop culture references to promote a healthier diet. In February, she starred alongside Jimmy Fallon and Will Ferrell in the skit called “Ew!” on “The Tonight Show.”

And last year, the Let’s Move! founder showed some of her moves in a skit called “The Evolution of Mom Dancing” on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon."



Photo Credit: The White House/Vine
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<![CDATA[Fallon's "Breakdance Conversation" with Brad Pitt]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 08:05:24 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2014-10-16+at+5.23.56+AM.png Jimmy Fallon and Brad Pitt don’t need to talk in order to communicate. Check out their "breakdance conversation" from the basement of 30 Rock in New York City. ]]> <![CDATA[This Painting in Chicago Saved Bill Murray's Creative Life]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 13:21:48 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/edt-bill-murray.jpg

The thing that lifted up Bill Murray at a career low years ago can still be found in Chicago.

The Illinois-born actor and star of the forthcoming “St. Vincent” told the Chicago Sun-Times his first experience on stage "was so bad" that he walked out following the performance and started wandering Chicago's streets.

En route to Lake Michigan, Murray found himself at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Inside he discovered the painting that arguably turned around his creative life: 19th-century French painter Jules Breton's “Song of a Lark."

The painting of a young woman looking skyward while working in a field with a sunrise behind her reassured Murray, he said, and signaled to him that he would get another chance at his art.

“I saw it that night and said, ‘Look, there’s a girl without a whole lot of prospects, but the sun’s coming up and she’s got another chance at it,’" he said.

The painting can be found in the museum's Medieval to Modern European Painting and Sculpture gallery.

Image credit: The Art Institute of Chicago, Henry Field Memorial Collection
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Nasim Pedrad Has an Embarrassing Family]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 09:10:11 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/NasimFamily.jpg Nasim Pedrad talks to Seth about her new show "Mulaney," and the many ways her parents have embarrassed her over the years.]]>