January 09, 2020 

Associated Press 

 

Leslie Jones is joining the ranks of television game-show hosts.

 

The former “Saturday Night Live” star will host a new version of “Supermarket Sweep,” which originally aired on ABC from 1965-67.

 

The show follows three teams of two as they compete using their grocery shopping skills and knowledge of merchandise to win cash prizes.

 

Revivals aired on other networks in the 1990s and 2000s. The show was adapted for overseas markets and recently relaunched in the United Kingdom.

 

ABC said Wednesday that production on 10 episodes will begin in the spring. An air date will be announced later.

 

Jones will be an executive producer. She says she tried out unsuccessfully for the show years ago, and bringing it back to life “is my ultimate redemption story.”

 

Jones has a Netflix stand-up special “Leslie Jones: Time Machine” airing later this month and has a voice role in the upcoming “Angry Birds 2.”

Category: Arts & Culture

January 09, 2020 

By City News Service 

 

For the second year in a row, next month's Oscar ceremony will be held without a host, the president of ABC Entertainment said today.

 

“Together with the Academy, we've decided that there will be no traditional host again this year, repeating what worked for us last year -- huge entertainment value, big musical numbers, big comedy and star power,” Karey Burke told reporters at the Television Critics Association meeting in Pasadena.

 

Nominations for the Feb. 9 Oscars will be announced Monday.

 

ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are looking to capitalize on a formula that led to an uptick in ratings last year, when the show went host-less following comedian Kevin Hart's decision to drop out of the gig. Hart quit just two days after being named host when some previous homophobic Twitter posts and comments resurfaced.

 

Instead, last year's show opened with a performance by classic rock band Queen -- thanks to last year's biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which won a best-actor prize for Rami Malek for his role as the band's late frontman, Freddie Mercury.

 

Following the performance, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph took the stage for a short comedy bit. Overall, the often-long-running ceremony was held to about three hours, and ratings increased by about 12% over the previous year.

 

Looking ahead to this year's show, Burke said “a lot of incredible elements have already come together that have convinced us that we're going to have an incredibly entertaining show again.”

 

“Our goal is to present the most entertaining show possible,” she said. “And the producers have already put together a plan for what is proving to be a really entertaining telecast.” 

Category: Arts & Culture

January 09, 2020

Aries 

MAR 21 - APR 19 

Venus remains in your 11th House of Friends and Groups this week, allowing you to see the possibilities in your love life through the eyes of your social circle. Asking a pal for advice concerning your romantic situation will be most helpful; you won't feel sore about anything they might have to say that doesn't fall in line with your idealistic view about what your love life should be. In fact, you'll be grateful for this perspective because it will help to enhance your self-worth and remind you that if you're not being loved for your eccentricities as well as your practical qualities, you may have to question the validity of the love altogether.

  

Taurus 

APR 20 - MAY 20 

A thrust for freedom and the expression of your individuality might lead to some chaos in your love life this week. Uranus turns direct in your sign on Friday after having been retrograde for several months. The respite from massive life changes that you might have gotten comfortable with is about to end. It might feel like you're caffeinated now, and you absolutely must break free from a perceived prisonlike situation in your love life. This can be a sudden breakup, but it can also be a sudden realization that you are ready to embrace a romantic scenario that is unusual but completely fits your needs at this time in your life.

  

Gemini 

MAY 21 - JUN 20 

A thrust for freedom and the expression of your individuality might lead to some chaos in your love life this week. Uranus turns direct in your sign on Friday after having been retrograde for several months. The respite from massive life changes that you might have gotten comfortable with is about to end. It might feel like you're caffeinated now, and you absolutely must break free from a perceived prisonlike situation in your love life. This can be a sudden breakup, but it can also be a sudden realization that you are ready to embrace a romantic scenario that is unusual but completely fits your needs at this time in your life.

  

Cancer 

JUN 21 - JUL 22 

A defining Lunar Eclipse in your sign on Friday is sharply opposite Mercury, Saturn, and Pluto, now in your partnership sector. You may want to call the "time of death" for a partnership that has outlived its place in your life. The love between you might be gone, but it may also be that you've experienced so much turmoil together that it has become difficult to keep the union intact. If you're starting the New Year with a breakup, then it has been a long time coming. If you're still together, then you will absolutely demand that your emotional needs are being met -- it's not an option.

  

Leo 

JUL 23 - AUG 22 

Uranus, the ruler of your partnership sector, turns direct this Friday. This will serve as a wakeup call in relationship matters. If your partner is not helping to elevate your status in some way or showing you the support you need in professional endeavors, then it's possible you will start to feel an itch to move on from the connection. This might also have more to do with a business-related partnership. Fortunately, Venus is still in your partnership sector for the rest of this week which can bring motivation to smooth out any differences.

  

Virgo 

AUG 23 - SEP 22 

Your love life might resemble a ticking time bomb and, if that's the case, this week it'll certainly explode. A massive, rare, and potent combination of Saturn aligning to Pluto in your romance sector on Sunday will leave you with no other choice than to sit with whatever wreckage there might be. This doesn't have to be heartbreak though -- it might be the most eye-opening reality check you've ever had about what hard work a relationship truly is. There might not be anything heart-stopping about the responsibility of love, but you will certainly know that if you have love, it's the real deal.

 

Libra 

SEP 23 - OCT 22 

Your rebellious streak is likely to come out in the romance department this week. If you're in a relationship, it's possible that an opportunity to stray might suddenly present itself. Even if this is out of character for you, you may find yourself at least entertaining the possibility of an open relationship or an affair. Another potential scenario is that you and your lover are finally ready to break free from the stale routine of your relationship. You might both come alive again as you embrace new and exciting ways to spice things up in the bedroom.

 

Scorpio 

OCT 23 - NOV 21 

It's possible that you and your spouse or partner have recently moved or have discussed an itch you both have to relocate. That move might have already happened or it may be in the works, but you can count on it beginning to affect your relationship. There might be too much chaos happening at home and because of this, you or your mate simply feels like running away from it all. Another possibility is that you have decided to call it quits and one of you is moving out this week. Ironically, it needs to happen to restore harmony.

  

Sagittarius 

NOV 22 - DEC 21 

You might feel emotionally drained about a financial situation that affects you and your mate. This could be some shared debt that you have to address and, if that's the case, you must remember: the only way out is through. Alternatively, if you're completely single and paying all the bills on your own, you might have a week where you're lamenting more about this reality. You may yearn for someone not only to share life and love with but to also share the reality of adulting and all of its responsibilities with. Trust that this will happen when it's meant to. In the meantime, get your money straight.

  

Capricorn 

DEC 22 - JAN 19 

A Lunar Eclipse in your partnership sector on Friday signals an emotional turning point for you and your mate. This could be a deepening of your feelings for each other and a strengthened commitment to one another, but it may also be the exact opposite. Lunar Eclipses are known for bringing endings but also bringing fulfillment and illumination, so much depends on the current status of your connection. Either way, with the powerful Saturn-Pluto conjunction happening in your sign on Sunday, you have the resilience to power through anything.

  

Aquarius 

JAN 20 - FEB 18 

Venus is still in your sign for another week, which allows you to make the most of an incredibly alluring force. You really are a magnet for love because you're ruled by the planet Uranus -- the planet that is connected to electricity. As a result, you may find a sudden romance developing this week between you and someone a relative introduces you to. Another possibility is that you are already in a relationship and you and your sweetheart make a snap decision to move in together. Go with it!

  

Pisces 

FEB 19 - MAR 20

Venus is still in your sign for another week, which allows you to make the most of an incredibly alluring force. You really are a magnet for love because you're ruled by the planet Uranus -- the planet that is connected to electricity. As a result, you may find a sudden romance developing this week between you and someone a relative introduces you to. Another possibility is that you are already in a relationship and you and your sweetheart make a snap decision to move in together. Go with it!

Category: Arts & Culture

January 09, 2020 

By Lapacazo Sandoval 

Contributing Writer 

 

No doubt, by now, you’ve weighed in on the Golden Globe wins and losses, with a lot of criticism on the consistent lack of diversity and inclusion that is Hollywood.

 

A hashtag isn’t moving the needle far or keeping it pointed in the right direction, or so it seems, and entertainment insiders are weighing in on the Oscar predictions, which will be announced on January 13th.

 

Those in the know feel strongly that Martin Scorsese’s three-hour opus, “The Irishman” (on Netflix) will receive an Oscar nomination as well director Sam Mendes (and win) for the one-continuous shot of his war epic “1917” with  Noah Baumbach and his critically-acclaimed “Marriage Story” (on Netflix) are all strong contenders. My prediction is on “1917.”

 

After the standing ovation that Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”) received at the 2020 Golden Globes (sans Beyonce), it’s predicted that Phoenix will be nominated and win an Oscar for his role in “Joker.” He will most likely share the nomination with Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”) and Antonio Banderas (“Pain & Glory”).

 

Awkwafina’s historic win is the first performer of Asian descent to win a Golden Globe Award in a lead actress film category. She's only the sixth woman of Asian descent to be nominated in the lead actress in a musical or comedy category. The others were Yvonne Elliman (1973's "Jesus Christ Superstar”), Machiko Kyo (1956's "The Teahouse of the August Moon"), Miyoshi Umeki (1961's "Flower Drum Song"), and Constance Wu (2018). Hailee Steinfeld, whose mother is of Filipino descent, was also nominated for her work in "Edge of Seventeen.”

 

The win might have Awkwafina as a serious contender for an Oscar against Renée Zellweger (“Judy”) and Saoirse Ronan (“Little Women”).

 

Now, allow me to turn my attention to films created by or about the African and African-American experience and their chances to earn a 2020 Oscar nomination. The Academy has raised the number of eligible films from five to between five and 10 in 2009. A great opportunity for sure. 

 

Best Picture

 

History: “Green Book”’s win was not well received by a lot of African-Americans despite winning last year’s Best Picture. 

 

There have been four films that might have a chance of a nomination which include “Harriet,” “Just Mercy,” “Clemency,” and “Queen & Slim” but most insiders only see “Harriet” as a serious contender under the Best Picture category.

 

But there is a group of staunch voters that think Netflix’s inspirational Rudy Ray Moore biopic “Dolemite Is My Name” (starring Eddie Murphy) might surprise the voters with a Best Screenplay nomination. 

  

Best Director

 

Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón won the Oscar last year for “Roma” marking Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”) and he the only two directors of color that were nominated. It’s a pretty sure bet that  Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” could land his first-ever Oscar nomination.

  

Best Actress

 

It’s a hard pill to swallow but you can’t change facts. This category has historically been one of the least diverse with just five actresses of color nominated in the last decade: Ruth Negga, Quvenzhané Wallis, Viola Davis, Yalitza Aparicio, and Gabourey Sidibe.

 

In this category is lean, the last time an actress of color won this category was Halle Berry for “Monster’s Ball” (2020).

 

But this year insiders predict that this year’s list of nominees has the potential to be one of most diverse ever for the category, with as many as three actresses of color in the mix: Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”), Awkwafina (“The Farewell”), and Lupita Nyong’o (“Us”).

 

Historically the Oscars tend to mimic the SAG Awards. and both Nyong’o and Erivo are SAG nominees this year, so one or both of them could end up picking up Oscar nominations as well.

 

The public relations team might wonder why I’ve not included Alfre Woodard for her role in “Clemency,” but the momentum seems to have started to slow down after not receiving a Globe or SAG nomination. The film opened wide on December 27, and Woodard did receive an Independent Spirit Award nomination.

  

Best Actor

 

In 2019 Rami Malek was the only nominee of color for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and he won the Oscar. Before Malek, Forest Whitaker won“The Last King of Scotland” in 2006.

 

In this category, it’s only Eddie Murphy (“Dolemite Is My Name”) that is considered a possible nominee. 

 

Best Supporting Actress

 

Here is where performers of color have historically stood out. Actresses of color have won the Oscar five of the last 10 years: Mo’Nique, Octavia Spencer, Lupita Nyong’o, Viola Davis, and Regina King, who won the award last year as one of two nominees of color. Mexico’s Marina de Tavira was the other for “Roma.”

 

Las Vegas bet makers have high hopes that Jennifer Lopez will be nominated for her role in “Hustlers.” She’s also up for SAG and was nominated for a Globe recognition in the same category.

 

Best Supporting Actor

 

It was a double-whammy for Mahershala Ali who won this category twice in the last three years (“Moonlight” and “Green Book”). He was the only nominee of color last year. Before Ali, the last time an actor of color won the Oscar was Morgan Freeman took it home for “Million Dollar Baby” in 2005.

 

This year the Best Actor category will bring some of the heavyweights. including Al Pacino (“The Irishman”), Tom Hanks (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”), Brad Pitt (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”), Joe Pesci (“The Irishman”), Willem Dafoe (“The Lighthouse”) and Anthony Hopkins (“The Two Popes”).

 

One might ask, where is Oscar winner Jamie Foxx (“Just Mercy”) in this conversation? He still might have a shot since he did earn a SAG nomination.

  

Best Adapted Screenplay

 

This category has traditionally been the least diverse. In fact, in the last decade only five writers of color have been nominated (just five times), and won four of the five: “Precious” (Geoffrey Fletcher), “12 Years a Slave” (John Ridley), “Moonlight” (Barry Jenkins), and “BlacKkKlansman” (Kevin Willmott and Spike Lee, co-written with Charlie Wachtel and David Rabinowitz).

 

Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk” and Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” were the only two nominees of color last year.

  

Best Original Screenplay

 

In 2019 only one writer of color was nominated, Mexico’s Alfonso Cuarón for “Roma.” Although “Green Book” won the Oscar none of its writers were of color. Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, and Peter Farrelly wrote the screenplay which received criticism for its depictions of race and historical inaccuracies.

 

In 2018 “Get Out” writer-director Jordan Peele became the first African American to win the category.

 

This is important to understand that in the last decade, writers of color have won just twice: the aforementioned Peele’s “Get Out” and “Birdman,” which was co-written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Armando Bo, Alexander Dinelaris Jr., and Nicolás Giacobone.

 

Here Hollywood insiders predict “Parasite” (co-written by Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won) is a real contender.Bong Joon Ho's “Parasite”, about a South Korean poverty-stricken family who hustles a wealthy couple with unintended consequences, won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign-language film on Sunday.

 

The 92nd annual Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, February 9, 2020. Nominations will be announced on Monday, January 13, 2020.

Category: Arts & Culture

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