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    'Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1' Family Review: 5 Things Every Parent Should Know

    Hunger Games Mockingjay Family Guide ReviewThe penultimate page-to-screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins's "Hunger Games" trilogy hits theaters today in what's expected to be one of the biggest releases of the entire year. Academy-Award winner and media darling Jennifer Lawrence returns once more as Katniss Everdeen, who managed to destroy the Hunger Games during the Quarter Quell, unleashing a revolutionary arrow that struck the Capitol right in its totalitarian heart. Now in the relative safety of District 13, Katniss must deal with her constant post-traumatic stress and grief at the fact she was rescued but Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) was left behind in the clutches of the Capitol's ruthless leader President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Now Katniss is being asked to once again touch viewing audiences... but for the sake of the rebellion against the Capitol, led by District 13 President Coin (Julianne Moore). Can Katniss rally to become the revolution's Mockingjay when all she wants is to save Peeta?

    "Mockingjay – Part 1" is rated PG-13 for its violent and frightening sequences. Even if you have a younger fan of the books at home, consider whether they're ready for the grim violence and pervasive sadness contained in the movie. For teens who've already read and seen the first two movies, this is the must-see movie of the holiday season.

    1. Read it then see it: "Mockingjay" is the final book in Suzanne Collins's "Hunger Games" trilogy, and like "Deathly Hallows" and "Breaking Dawn," the concluding novel has been treated to a two-part film. The penultimate of the movies will be easy to follow if you saw the first two movies, but it will make much more sense (particularly when it comes to some of the subtext between the characters. If you've read the first two books but aren't sure about the last one (it's a pretty divisive book), you could see it first and then read it without being completely spoiled, since the movie doesn't give away the climactic end of the book. Or, you could start it today and still finish it in time to see the movie opening weekend; it's a very different storyline than the first two (no more Games, much more strategy, war, and character development), but it's worth exploring if you want to know what happens to Katniss.

    2. How does your kid handle violence in movies?: If you've seen the first two movies, you already know this is a violent series. The difference between "Mockingjay" and its preceding titles is that the other movies focus on the violence of the Arena, and now there is no Arena, just the reality of war and rebellion. Katniss witnesses the utter destruction of her beloved District 12 (she literally stands on a pile of bones); she sees first-hand how the Capitol targets unarmed citizens in a makeshift hospital; and she joins the revolution, using fancy arrows Beetee made specifically for the Mockingjay. The body count is high, and some of the death scenes are disturbing, like the execution of bound and gagged "traitors," and Katniss is nearly killed. Kids who get queasy at the sight of bloodied or dead characters (mostly extras), may not be ready to see the film.

    3. Do you worry about sex/language? Despite the PG-13 rating and the realistic, upsetting violence, there's really no strong language in "Mockingjay – Part 1," and there's barely any kissing in this second-to-last sequel. Sorry Team Peeta, as you probably already know, Katniss kisses her best friend Gale again, but don't worry, it's more of a pity kiss than a kiss of passion. And as for Peeta, Katniss spends the majority of the movie pining for and crying over him, but the romance definitely not the driving theme of the story. If you only care about the love triangle, this movie definitely doesn't resolve anything but that Katniss is too emotionally fragile to think about love; she leaves that to Finnick, who is firmly in a serious relationship with Annie, who like Peeta, is a hostage in the Capitol.

    4. Who will enjoy the movie most?: Obviously teen readers of the books will be begging to see the movie (chances are they've already seen it, given the number of early Thursday night showtimes), but if you have a voracious reader who finished the trilogy at 8 or 9 (even though a media specialist told me it's not recommended for elementary-school libraries), consider whether she is mature enough to see the film adaptations. Research shows that seeing violence depicted on screen is different than reading and imagining it from the page. Ultimately, if your kids are 11 & up and are already fans of Suzanne Collins' trilogy, they're probably ready to handle "Mockingjay." When in doubt, just wait. You can always catch it in a few months when you can stream, rent or buy the movie.

    5. What are critics saying about "Mockingjay"? Reviews have been generally favorable for the third installment in the dystopian trilogy, although not as universally glowing as "Catching Fire." It has a 69 on Rotten Tomatoes and a 63 at Metacritic. Critic Cory Darling of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram sums up the consensus: "If it's more talky and less satisfying than its predecessor, the propulsive The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - largely because the conclusion won't come until next year with Part 2 - it's still a sporadically involving adventure." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone says: " OK, there's less action in Games this time, but what's there is prime. And the acting is aces." On the flip side, Kenneth Turan captures the slightly disappointed opinion of some critics, "Lawrence delivers on what dramatic beats half a novel affords him. You just wish there were more of them and that they provided a more complete, more satisfying story arc."

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    'Pirates of the Caribbean 5' Snags Brenton Thwaites, Possibly Javier Bardem

    Filed under: Movies
    GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2014 - Arrivals
    Just like Jack Sparrow's liver, the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise takes a licking and keeps on ticking. The cast is slowly coming together for the fifth movie in the series, and its latest addition seems to be Brenton Thwaites. The young Aussie actor ("The Giver," "Maleficent," the upcoming "Son of a Gun") is reportedly in talks to join the cast as a British soldier named Henry. If he signs on the dotted line, he'll be joining Johnny Depp as Sparrow - or is it Sparrow as Johnny Depp? It's hard to tell the difference any more, what with all the accessories and drunken hijinks.

    We're way more excited for the rumor Javier Bardem will join the gang as the villain of the movie, a vengeful ghost named Captain Brand. Bardem is no stranger to creepy characters; he won an Oscar for his performance as Anton Chigurh in "No Country for Old Men," and his character Silva in "Skyfall" was also a baddie to be reckoned with. Who's to say what kind of insane hairstyle he'll be saddled with for "Pirates 5"?!

    Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, who directed the Norwegian historical drama "Kon-Tiki," are helming this "Pirate" ship, which is slated for release in July 2017.

    [Via /Film, The Wrap]

    Meryl Streep Slays 'Stay With Me' in 'Into the Woods' (VIDEO)

    Meryl Streep stars as the Witch and MacKenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel in INTO THE WOODS, a modern twist on beloved fairy tales. Based on the Tony®-winning musical by James Lapine, who also penned the screenplay, and legendary composer Stephen Sondheim, who provides the music and lyrics, the film is in theaters Dec. 25, 2014. Photo by: Peter Mountain. © 2014 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
    Diehard musical theater fans have been skeptical about a lot of the choices that went into the film adaptation of "Into the Woods," but Meryl Streep as the Witch wasn't one of them. This featurette offers a sneak peek at Streep in action as she sings "Stay With Me" in a moving scene with Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy).

    Granted, it doesn't really make up for what we've seen of Johnny Depp as the Wolf so far - that whiskery mustache! - but it's smart to give the Sondheim heads a slice of Streep to assuage at least some of their worries. And if that's not enough to entice viewers, there's always the costumes; between Chris Pine's fancy velvet pants and Billy Magnussen's leather trousers, there's a little something for everyone in these woods.

    "Into the Woods" co-stars Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Tracey Ullman, Lilla Crawford, James Corden, Christine Baranski, and Lucy Punch. It opens on December 25.

    [Via Playbill]

    Get Into Pixar's 'Inside Out' With These Character Teasers

    Disney•Pixar's
    Pixar's newest heroine is Riley Anderson in "Inside Out," an animated film about a little girl with a lot of feelings. Riley's really going through a lot lately, what with her family's move from the Midwest to San Francisco, and "Inside Out" is a firsthand look at all the emotions she's struggling with inside her head.

    Disney and Pixar released some super short teasers to introduce each of Riley's anthropomorphized feelings, and frankly? They're freaking adorable.

    Here's Sadness, voiced by Phyllis Smith.



    Ugh! Meet Disgust, voiced by Mindy Kaling.



    Lewis Black is the voice of anger. Adults will get why this is funny.



    Fear is voiced by Bill Hader.



    And here's a teaser with all of them, which includes Amy Poehler as Joy. Yes, please!



    "Inside Out" was written and directed by Pete Docter, who masterfully manipulated our tear ducts in "Toy Story," "Toy Story 2," "Monsters, Inc.," "WALL*E," and, gulp, "Up."

    Hopefully "Inside Out" won't require a box of Kleenex when it hits theaters on June 19th, but we're stockpiling them just in case.

    [Via io9]

    What to Watch During Holiday Travel: Your Go-To Guide

    Filed under: Movies, TV, Worth Watching
    Winter is coming, which means in a mere matter of weeks you'll be forced to get on a plane and make your way home (or to a tropical island, if you're lucky) for the holidays. Obviously, the only way to make it through the flight is to distract yourself with some quality screen time, and we've rounded up a list of television and movie favorites that will make your flight go by in no time. Whether you're traveling cross country or hopping on a quick hour-long flight to a neighboring state, Moviefone has you covered with seriously stellar options -- and the links to download them!

    (We've limited our selections to titles available to download prior to travel, since not every flight has Wifi, and, let's face it, the Wifi is too slow for streaming.)

    Say you're traveling cross-country, and your flight is 4 HOURS:

    "Transparent"
    Amazon's original scripted series has gotten rave reviews from critics and viewers alike, and for good reason. The show is brilliant in every way, and Jeffrey Tambor's portrayal of Maura might just outshine his iconic stint as "Arrested Development's" George Bluth. One thing's for sure: "Transparent" will definitely make your plane ride fly by (sorry, we had to). Available for download on Amazon -- where else?!

    "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
    "Brooklyn Nine-Nine's" new sophomore season is totally do-able on a long flight, and it will make the fact that you're trapped in a middle seat between two snoring randoms that much more bearable. New episodes available for download on iTunes and Amazon.

    "Gilmore Girls"
    It's safe to assume that around 99% of the country is currently binge-streaming "Gilmore Girls" on Netflix, but how are you going to watch the early aught's best show if your flight doesn't have wifi? Fear not, you can simply pre download a couple episodes for cozy in-flight viewing, and then start streaming up a storm again when you land. Available on Amazon and iTunes.

    For a 3 HOUR FLIGHT DURATION:

    "Almost Royal"
    If you haven't checked out BBC's mockumentary about two British aristocrats traipsing around the US of A, please do yourself a favor and download all available episodes for your flight home. There's no way you (and the stranger peeping over your shoulder in the seat next to you) won't be laughing out loud. Available on iTunes.

    "Sherlock"
    "Sherlock's" third season is exactly three episodes, which makes it prime for cross-country viewing. The most recent installment has even more action and intrigue than previous seasons, plus Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal of socially-inept-yet-brilliant Sherlock Holmes is spot on. Available for download on Amazon and iTunes.

    "Home Alone"
    Look, the holidays are great thanks to pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and lots of other amazing pie situations, but spending a concentrated amount of time with your entire family can be stressful. However, there's no way your vacation will be as crazy as Kevin McCallister's, so go ahead and watch "Home Alone" and then feel thankful that you aren't spending the holidays with two crazed convicts. Available for download on iTunes and Amazon.

    "The Mindy Project"
    Haven't had time to start watching "The Mindy Project's" new season? Well now's your chance. There have only been a handful of episodes, so you can easily catch up on most of them as you travel across the good ol' USA (especially if you fire up the computer while you're waiting to board), and your guaranteed to be in a better mood when you reach your final destination. Of course, you might develop a sudden urge to wear platform sneakers.... Available for download on iTunes and Amazon.

    For a TWO HOUR FLIGHT DURATION:

    "The Office" Christmas Specials
    We all know and love The US "Office," but there's nothing like the original British version starring Ricky Gervais. While you probably don't need to check out the entire series if you're already well-versed in the world of Michael Scott, The UK "Office Christmas Specials" are a must-watch during the holidays. Awkward, funny, and poignant, you'll definitely be laughing, crying, and laugh-crying throughout the entire plane ride. Available for download on iTunes or Amazon.

    "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"
    You should probably re-watch "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" in anticipation of the franchise's soon-to-be-released next installment, and what better time than during your boring flight home? Yeah, you may have a few teenagers craning their necks to see your computer, but it's worth it risk. Available for download on iTunes and Amazon.

    "Love Actually"
    No movie gets us in the holiday spirit more than this somewhat-cheesy and super-romantic flick from the early aughts. Let's just say watching Colin Firth, Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant bust out their acting chops is pure joy, not to mention a guarantee that you'll head home full of yuletide spirit and holiday cheer. Available for download on iTunes and Amazon.

    For a ONE HOUR FLIGHT DURATION:

    "State of Affairs"

    The pilot episode of "State of Affairs" is available for free on iTunes, which means you don't have to pay a dime to watch it on your flight. The Katherine Heigl thriller is getting pretty mixed reviews, so you might as well watch it and form an opinion of your own before investing in the entire season!

    "MasterChef Junior"
    "MasterChef Junior" is just like regular "MasterChef," only instead of Gordon Ramsey yelling at people and making them cry, a bunch of adorable little kids cook five star meals while Gordon tears up with pride. It's basically like a warm and fuzzy "Hell's Kitchen," and will make you seriously question your skills as a cook. Plus, maybe you'll get some ideas for your holiday menu! Available for download on iTunes and Amazon.

    "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving"
    Spending the holidays with your parents? Might as well get transported back to your childhood with "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," a total classic that stands the test of time and then some. Of course, this movie is best enjoyed with a cup of hot cocoa, but some tepid airplane coffee will do the trick. Available for download on iTunes and Amazon.

    For a 1/2 HOUR FLIGHT DURATION:

    "The Simpsons" Christmas
    Only have a half hour of flying time? First of all, you're so lucky. Second of all, there's only one thing you should be watching: "Simpsons" Christmas specials. Every single episode of "The Simpsons" is newly available for streaming, but if your flight lacks wifi you can download just the specials on iTunes and then watch Santa's Little Helper frolic around your screen for 30 minutes of comedy gold.

    "Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 2"
    This collection of 12 short films (some of which are Academy Award winning) is sure to brighten up any quick flight, and includes hits like "Presto," "Day & Night" and "La Luna." Pick your favorite and enjoy! Available for download on iTunes and Amazon.

    George Lucas is Making 'Strange Magic' in This New Trailer (VIDEO)

    Dawn (voice of newcomer Meredith Anne Bull) is crazy for love, while her sister Marianne (voice of Evan Rachel Wood) takes a decidedly different stance in
    What happens when you take a "Star Wars" mastermind, a classic Shakespearean romcom, and a whole lot of pop songs? The result is apparently "Strange Magic," an animated film coming out on January 23, written by George Lucas and inspired by "A Midsummer Night's Dream." The voice actors include Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Kristin Chenoweth, Maya Rudolph, Alfred Molina, and Peter Stormare.

    The first trailer for "Strange Magic" has dropped, and it looks crazy colorful and cute. The non-stop musical medleys are cause for pause, but maybe the cool-looking goblins and fairies and cute fuzzy animals will override fairies singing "Wild Thing" and talking about booties shaking and stuff like that. Given the premise of "Midsummer Night's Dream" and this dangerous potion everyone is talking about, we're anticipating some kooky love connections and summer solstice shenanigans.

    Director Gary Rydstrom told Yahoo, "I remember when 'Labyrinth' came out and how exciting that was. There was a magic to that... This has the same vibe to me."

    Check out the trailer and let us know what you think. Does it remind you of the babe? The babe with the power? The power of voodoo? You know, that babe.



    [Via Yahoo!]

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    What in the World Is Going on at 'The Today Show'?

    Filed under: TV
    Counting Crowes Perform On NBC's
    The most striking thing about Thursday's episode of the "Today" show may have been what you didn't see: No empty chair where Natalie Morales usually sits (she was there, calmly reading the news, as usual), and no other sign of the backstage turmoil that has engulfed the venerable morning news show this week, which had threatened the jobs of correspondents Morales and Willie Geist and has already claimed the job of the new producer brought in just a few weeks ago to fix the troubled show.

    Despite the placid surface, it's clear that there is still trouble brewing at "Today," a creative and corporate struggle that is not likely to end soon. And the stakes are high, involving big money, big names, and big egos.

    After all, "Today" is easily the most lucrative program overseen by NBC News –- maybe even the most profitable show on the network, period. But "Today"'s revenues depend on ratings, and those ratings depend, at least in part, on "Today""s image as a fun place to hang out in the morning, where convivial news readers mingle easily with fans and each other on the sun-warmed cobblestones of Rockefeller Plaza. This week's news, driven largely by anonymous mud-slinging, threatened to tarnish that image, scuttle those ratings, and jeopardize those ad dollars.

    The news was so confusing that Us Weekly even reported on Wednesday that Morales and Geist had been fired and were already lining up other opportunities (Morales at ABC and Geist at CBS), with the magazine citing an unnamed source at NBC for the supposed scoop. Later that day, the magazine backtracked a little, insisting that Morales and Geist's futures with NBC were still uncertain, even though NBC News president Deborah Turness had issued a statement saying that the network was keeping "Today"'s on-air team intact. "This is the team we are committed to," her statement read, referring to all nine of "Today"'s correspondents.

    Geist, too, reassured his followers on Twitter that he and Morales weren't going anywhere. CBS denied that it was hiring Geist, while ABC declined comment on its supposed negotiations with Morales.

    The upheaval, which became public Monday with the firing of new producer Jamie Horowitz, really began 10 weeks ago when Horowitz came on board. Or maybe it began two years ago, when "Today" started losing the morning ratings battle to ABC's "Good Morning America" after 16 years of daybreak dominance, and when longtime "Today" news reader Ann Curry lost her job, in what became a public relations debacle for the show and for anchor Matt Lauer in particular.

    Ever since, "Today" has been trying to catch up to "GMA" and regain the upper hand To that end, NBC News hired Horowitz, who had a strong track record as a producer at ESPN. At the time of his hire, Turness said of Horowitz, "Jamie has the skills, the talent and the experience to lead the 'Today' brand into the future. He is first and foremost a great producer ... [and] he comes at things from unexpected angles and has a popular touch combined with real intellectual creativity."

    In fact, NBC jumped through hoops to hire Horowitz away from the Disney-owned sports channel. The network allowed ABC to hire away MSNBC producer Bill Wolff to oversee the relaunched "The View" in return for Disney getting ABC corporate sibling ESPN to let Horowitz out of his contract three months early.

    But the hard-charging style Horowitz was known for at ESPN apparently came off as too abrasive at "Today," where many staffers in front of and behind the camera have enjoyed several years of job security. (So reported Variety and several other outlets.) According to The Wrap, Horowitz cited reality competition show "Survivor" as a management inspiration, pitted "Today" employees against each other, and mused about which staffers would be "voted off the island." Us reported that his picks for elimination included Morales and Geist. Tamron Hall, too, was in danger of being sent back down to the minors at MSNBC, the magazine's source claimed.

    It didn't seem to matter that Morales is popular with viewers, or that Geist had been spoken of as a possible heir to Lauer's anchor chair, whenever that 56-year-old "Today" mainstay decides to vacate it. Horowitz had been given a mandate to shake things up, and he reportedly considered replacing Morales and Geist and perhaps even co-anchor Savannah Guthrie, with Hoda Kotb possibly replacing Gurthrie (earning a promotion from her post at the late-morning cocktail hour edition of "Today" alongside Kathie Lee Gifford) and Josh Elliott (a "GMA" alumnus, and reportedly a Horowitz pal) perhaps taking Morales' place as news reader and ultimately Lauer's as lead anchor.

    Perhaps mindful of the hit his reputation took after the Curry fiasco, when he was widely seen as the bad guy who pushed her out, Lauer stood by his fellow "Today" stars this time. The New York Post reports that Lauer told Turness on Monday that he wanted Morales and Geist to stay. But that alliance meant it was Horowitz, whom the network had gone to great lengths to hire, who would now be voted off the island. Not that he'll walk away empty-handed; he had a three-year, $3.3 million contract, which NBC now has to buy out.

    Horowitz's firing, along with Turness' publicly stated vote of confidence in her entire roster of "Today" on-air talent, should have put the whole matter to rest. But of course, it doesn't. "Today" still needs a producer. Morales and Geist may still be looking over their shoulders, wondering how deep and how durable the support of Lauer and the network will be; should they jump before they're pushed? Kotb and Elliott must also be wondering how committed NBC is to their own career advancement. Lauer must be wondering whether it's better to look like the guy who got an expensive new producer fired than to look like the guy who got a longtime on-air colleague fired. And Turness must be wondering if having "Today"'s dirty laundry aired in public for the second time in two years is going to endanger her job. (One senior executive at NBC called the decision to fire Horowitz "massively embarrassing," the New York Times reports. On the other hand, the Times continues, some at NBC are praising Turness for acting swiftly.)

    Finally, there's still the problem Horowitz was hired to solve: how the morning team that NBC used to bill as "America's First Family" can beat "Good Morning America." Firing popular stars is probably not the way to do it, but neither is making yourself look like America's First Dysfunctional Family.

    Eddie Redmayne Facts: 23 Things You (Probably) Don't Know About the 'Theory of Everything' Star

    Filed under: Movies, Trivia
    Eddie Redmayne Facts
    If you don't know his name yet, you will soon.

    Eddie Redmayne has slowly become a household name in the past decade, starring in roughly a dozen films and even breaking out on stage. In fact, the young actor won the Tony for Best Actor in a Play in 2010. While Redmayne has made his mark in theater, the budding star looks to add an Oscar to his collection this fall. Beginning Friday, Redmayne stars as Stephen Hawking in the acclaimed biopic "The Theory of Everything."

    From his romance with his publicist to his royal classmate, here are 23 things you probably don't know about Eddie Redmayne.

    1. Eddie Redmayne was born January 6, 1982 in London, England to Patricia Burke and Richard Redmayne.

    2. His mother runs a relocation business and his father is a London-based businessman.

    3. His great-grandfather was Sir Richard Redmayne, a noted British civil and mining engineer. He was also instrumental in the improvement of mine safety and even became the first Chief Inspector of Mines.

    4. Redmayne is one of five kids, but is the only member of his family to pursue an acting career.

    5. Nevertheless, his parents encouraged Redmayne to take drama lessons beginning at a young age.

    6. Before the young actor pursued the craft professionally, he attended the prestigious boarding school, Eton College.

    7. Prince William was one of his classmates.

    8. While at Eton, Redmayne made his screen debut in the TV series "Animal Ark" in 1998.

    9. His next TV gig wasn't until 2003, on an episode of the BBC series "Doctors."

    10. In 2003, he graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge with a degree in Art History. After finishing school, Redmayne's career took off almost immediately.

    11. One of his first roles was in the miniseries "Elizabeth I" (2005), where Redmayne had to ride a horse. The issue? Redmayne hadn't ridden a horse since he was four years old and lied in order to land the part. The young actor was ultimately ousted after blowing the big production scene. Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper reportedly grabbed his megaphone and shouted, "You're a f**king liar, Redmayne!"

    12. The actor earned Outstanding Newcomer and Best Newcomer honors in 2005 for his performance in Edward Albee's "The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?" A few years later, he upped the ante.

    13. In 2010, he won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his role in "Red." He was only 28 years old.

    14. The role also earned him the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor.

    15. Redmayne has also found success in Hollywood. "The Theory of Everything" is his thirteenth film credit to date.

    16. His big-screen debut was in 2006's "Like Minds."

    17. Redmayne's breakout role, however, was in 2012's "Les Misérables" as Marius.

    18. This fall, Redmayne shines in his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in "The Theory of Everything." Hawking said, "at times, I thought it was me." High praise for the young actor.

    19. Aside from theater and film, Redmayne has also modeled for Burberry. He modeled alongside Alex Pettyfer in 2008 and Cara Delevingne in 2012.

    20. As for his personal life, the actor is engaged to Hannah Bagshawe. They have been together since early 2012.

    21. Bagshawe is Redmayne's publicist!

    22. He even asked Bagshawe's father for permission to marry her. Now that's old school.

    23. Bonus Fact: Redmayne is color blind. His favorite color is IKB-International Klein Blue. Seriously.

    [Sources: IMDb, Wikipedia]

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    The 25 Best Christmas Movies Ever Made

    best christmas moviesAm I the only one who finds most Christmas movies hypocritical? They spend tens of millions on lavish productions, recreating Santa's workshop or some such, all to tell us that Christmas is not about material things but about simple pleasures. It's enough to make you long for the homespun, slightly threadbare charms of a classic Christmas movie, like "Meet Me in St. Louis," released 70 years ago this week (on November 22, 1944).

    People remember the film for its radiant Judy Garland performance and its classic songs, but it's also worth noting that the family portrayed here is not always prosperous and happy. Its signature scene is angry little Margaret O'Brien whacking the snowmen to pieces, and its signature musical number is the saddest and most wistful of all Christmas standards, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," a song that yearns for happier times, "if the fates allow." Sometimes, as the song observes, Christmas is just about families trying to "muddle through somehow."

    In that spirit, here's a list of the all-time best Christmas movies ever made, the ones that acknowledge the joy and exuberance of the holiday season and its anxiety and stress as well. These are films we turn to over and over each December because they remind us, at a time of year when expectations are lofty, of both who we are and of who we aspire to be.

    Best of Late Night TV: Celebrities Read Mean Tweets and One Direction's Adorable Selfie (VIDEO)

    celebrities read mean tweetsIf you're like us and value your sleep, you probably nodded off into your Ambien dreamland before the party started on post-prime time TV. Don't worry; we've got you covered. Here's the best of what happened last night on late night.

    It's our favorite time of year: the time in which Jimmy Kimmel has celebrities read mean tweets about themselves! The eighth installment of this classic bit is officially here for you to watch and re-watch, so please sit back and enjoy the likes of Lisa Kudrow reading "I hope you all have a great weekend. Except you, Lisa Kudrow."


    The boys of "One Direction" hit up "Kimmel," and Jimmy wasted no time asking them a series of rapid-fire questions, including: "which of you is most likely to disappear for a couple days? Also, shout out to Zayn's man bun.


    Jimmy also forced One Direction to take an adorable selfie –– with props including a unicorn and a baby! Also, someone please make a meme out of Harry Styles holding a stuffed dog and wearing a feather boa.

    JImmy Fallon debuted a brand new game on "The Tonight Show" called Musical Beers. The celebrity contestants? Mark Ruffalo and Stephen Merchant. The rules? Walk in a circle and chug your beer when the music stops. Pretty simple...or is it?


    Russell Brand hit up "Late Night" to talk about how voting in the USofA is completely pointless because the party with the most money wins. Hear him explain his unusual reasoning!

    Finally, Andy Cohen visited "Conan" and chatted about his dream threesome with Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg. In fact, he even attempted to hook up with them –– and they got together when he bailed. Good times!

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