Archives for the month of: July, 2014

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has been suspended for 211 games for using performance-enhancing drugs.

Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has suspended New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez through the end of the 2014 season for using performance-enhancing drugs, lying to the MLB about said drug use and for hampering the league’s investigation into the Biogenesis steroid scandal. The suspension begins Thursday and baseball’s top earning player will not be allowed to play for a total of 211 games.

This is the official statement from the MLB’s public relations:

Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced today that third baseman Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees has been suspended without pay for the remainder of the 2013 Championship Season and Postseason and the entire 2014 Championship Season for violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and the Basic Agreement.

Rodriguez’s discipline under the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program is based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including Testosterone and human Growth Hormone, over the course of multiple years. Rodriguez’s discipline under the Basic Agreement is for attempting to cover-up his violations of the Program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner’s investigation. The suspension, which will become effective on Thursday, August 8th, will cover 211 Championship Season games and any 2013 Postseason games in which Rodriguez otherwise would have been eligible to play.

Under the terms of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, Rodriguez’s suspension will be stayed until the completion of his appeal if Rodriguez files a grievance challenging his discipline.

Per said grievance, Rodriguez has said he plans to challenge the suspension, meaning he will be allowed to play, is is expected to do so Monday against the Chicago White Sox, until the case is decided by an arbiter. That could be a very long process.

Rodriguez initially tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in 2003 while he was with the Texas Rangers. However, the results of the random testing that caught Rodriguez were supposed to remain anonymous and the New York Yankees offered to buy the Rangers out of their contract with the all-star to bring the highest paid man in baseball and the most successful franchise in baseball together. It was supposed to be an unbeatable combination. All he had to do was stay clean and out of trouble.

However, the results of the 2003 testing were published by Sports Illustrated in 2009 and in an attempt to save his good name, Rodriguez allegedly offered to buy evidence linking him to Biogenesis, the Miami clinic that distributed PEDs to many professional baseball players, from a clinic employee. That man, Anthony Bosch, went on to cooperate with the league’s investigation. It was that move that led to his unprecedented 211-game suspension.

Rodriguez was not the only player punished Monday for their involvement with Biogenesis. Each of the other players, however, only received 50 game suspensions, they include:

  • Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers
  • Everth Cabrera of the San Diego Padres
  • Fautino De Los Santos of the San Diego Padres
  • Jhonny Peralta of the Detroit Tigers
  • Francisco Cervelli of the New York Yankees
  • Fernando Martinez of the New York Yankees
  • Jordany Valdespin of the New York Mets
  • Cesar Puello of the New York Mets
  • Antonio Bastardo of the Philadelphia Phillies
  • Sergio Escalona of the Houston Astros
  • Jesus Montero of the Seattle Mariners
  • Jordan Norberto, currently a free agent

In a tweet earlier today, Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, who is not involved in the scandal called it a “day of infamy for [the] MLB.”

Ultimately, although today will be a day of infamy for MLB, it is a tremendous step in the right direction for the game we love.

– Evan Longoria (@Evan3Longoria) August 5, 2013

Though she may have split from co-star and longtime boyfriend Ian Somerhalder earlier this year, Nina Dobrev isn’t look for a rebound.

The Vampire Diaries star graces the cover of Cosmopolitan‘s September 2013 issue, telling the publication that she’s “I’m progressive in some ways, old-fashioned in others.”

“You either have chemistry or you don’t, but a lot of what attracts me is a guy’s mind and humor and talent,” the actress, who parted ways with Somerhalder after three years of dating, says.

“I need to get to know all those things before I fall for someone,” she adds. “I’m not a one-night-stand kind of girl.”

According to the 24-year-old, she likes men who “hold the door open and are sweet and thoughtful.”

“The guys on our show are really good at that,” she continues. “A man in a suit looking put together and dapper is very attractive, but I also kind of like the I-just-rolled-out-of-bed, a-little-bit-of-scruff, effortless, not-trying-hard-but-still-sexy guy. If a guy spends more time looking in the mirror than I do, that’s problem!”

And it certainly looks like single life is treating her well. Despite the breakup, Dobrev and Somerhalder are still on good terms and recently made an appearance together at the CW Upfronts and Vampire Diaries‘ Comic-Con panel.

Living out every professional’s worst nightmare, affable TODAY show weatherman Al Roker on Tuesday admitted he overslept and missed Wake Up With Al, his equally affable-sounding morning program on The Weather Channel.

“After 39 years, it happened,” the 58-year-old Tweeted at about 5:41AM.

Roker luckily woke up with enough time to make it to his main gig, where he was bullied by the likes of Matt Lauer, who called him “Rip van Roker” on Twitter.

To be fair, that’s probably the nicest thing anyone has said to a fellow-TODAY staffer in months. But that’s another story.

Lindsay Lohan

The year was 2005. Lindsay Lohan had just stormed out of the Herbie Fully Loaded premiere, reportedly because a song she recorded for the movie was not used the way she wanted. Previously that year she’d been hospitalized for exhaustion; several months later, she’d be accused of drunkenly driving her car into a van on Robertson Boulevard (though a police report later confirmed that she was sober and not at fault). It was the year she turned 19.

For Lohan, 2005 was the beginning of a slippery slope that would see her transformed from working actress into tabloid fodder. Eight years (and seven stints in rehab) later, Lindsay Lohan is poised to change all that. One week ago today, Lindsay Lohan left treatment at Cliffside Malibu after a nearly 90-day stint. It was, compared to her previous rehab stays, relatively uneventful. Sure, Lohan switched facilities mid-treatment, but there were no late night escapes in search of a Diet Coke this time. By all means, America likes a comeback and Lohan is positioned to be the ultimate comeback kid.

It’s been clear since day one that Lohan was something special. At the age of 17, she’d headlined three movies that grossed more than $65 million (The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday and Mean Girls). Certainly child stardom doesn’t always translate into a successful acting career, just ask Macaulay Culkin, but Lohan showed off a more adult side in A Prairie Home Companion and while her latest, The Canyons, isn’t exactly getting rave reviews, Variety‘s Scott Foundas called her a “fascinating presence,” praising her performance as “one of those performances, like Marlon Brando‘s in Last Tango in Paris, that comes across as some uncanny conflagration of drama and autobiography.”

Internet writers, myself included, have, for years, mocked Lohan’s every move. And it was deserved. The girl who’s saying she doesn’t “need” rehab, calling it “a joke” while she can’t seem to avoid breaking the law is clearly not taking herself seriously, and doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously.

But, this time, so far, Lohan is taking the right steps. She’s been laying low since leaving rehab, save for a light-hearted and self-deprecating appearance on Chelsea Lately. An informal poll of friends and colleagues tells me that most people would be thrilled to see Lohan fulfill the promise of her early-2000 s self. For Lohan, the formula is simple: keep your head down, work hard and impress us. Remind us why we loved you in the first place. We’re eager to recall that feeling.

The votes have been tallied and Cody Simpson has been chosen – by you, our trusted fans and followers – as your Ultimate Music Crush winner for July!

Cody faced some stiff competition this month, thanks to fellow talents Hayley Reinhart and For the Foxes, who both received tons of votes. But the young lad from Queensland, Australia ruled the late summer and came away the winner.

Simpson is a true YouTube success story – the video for his hit “Pretty Brown Eyes” has over 8 million views and counting.

In the video above, check out Cody’s interview with Buzzmaker Keltie Colleen and check back often for your chance to vote on more emerging artists – and let the world know about your Ultimate Music Crush.

Here is the first trailer for Nicole Holofcener‘s Enough Said, a movie that will, unfortunately, always be known as James Gandolfini‘s final starring role. The film also stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Catherine Keener and Toni Collette, who’s finally allowed to use her actual accent.

The movie is about Louis-Dreyfus and Gandolfini, the two begin dating but things get complicated when Louis-Dreyfus’ character learns that her new boyfriend is the ex-husband of a new friend. Though Holofcener has said that Gandolfini “didn’t believe he could play a romantic lead,” he looks charming and sweet in this movie. Holofcener called his performance “subtle and moving and very, very lovely.” Louis-Dreyfus also called his performance “incredible,” saying: “He plays a really earnest, mild mannered, dear person. Frankly, very close to what he is [and] he was. I think he was a little bit insecure about it, but he did the most amazing job.”

Enough Said will make its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

Rebel Wilson may be winning hearts with movies like Bridesmaids and Bachelorette, but she sure isn’t getting in the good books with Hollywood’s bouncers.

In her latest interview with Cosmopolitan, the Australian actress – who’se currently promoting her new show Super Fun Night – recalls the time she was snubbed by a doorman at Pitch Perfect co-star Anna Kendrick‘s birthday bash. She tells the magazine:

In the pilot, my character gets invited to drinks, but she can’t get into the club-that happened to me recently at Skybar. Anna Kendrick was having her birthday party there, and it was a fancy place. So I get there with Hana Mae Lee from Pitch Perfect, and I’ve got a birthday gift so I’m clearly going to the party, and this big huge bouncer wouldn’t even look us in the face. We were like, “Hi”…and then two models came and he let them in.

“I didn’t pull the Reese Witherspoon,” Wilson continues, referring to the actress’ infamous “Do you know my name?” disorderly conduct arrest.

“He had a list, and I said, ‘Excuse me, we’re on the list. We’re here for Anna Kendrick’s birthday party.’ And then, eventually, he’s like ‘Okay, what’s your name?'”

Yeah, because you really don’t want to mess with someone who wears a b*tch necklace to an interview.

On top of being scary as hell, Insidious: Chapter 2 features two of the hottest looking actors in horror movie history.

Today’s gallery gives us all a chance to ogle Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne of Insidious: Chapter 2 before they enter harm’s way and battle the supernatural when the film opens on September, Friday the 13th.

Riddick 3

Science fiction is one of those genres where the potential is only limited by scale and focus. It’s easy to get lost in a sci-fi world full of detail when following a story or character arc (multiple ones, for that matter). But it’s also easy to embroil people in a world or universe that has been around for quite some time, preferably the Riddick franchise.

In February of 2000, Pitch Black was released and was met with positive responses, with some even calling it one of the most wildly entertaining and inventive science fiction films of the generation. The scale was simple on film, but massive in possibilities, and the focus was set squarely on the setting, the character’s struggles, and the enigmatic badass himself, Riddick. Four years later saw the release of The Chronicles of Riddick, which increased the scale but took away some of the focus, becoming a lesser favorite than that of Pitch Black. And ever since the bitter responses, fans have been waiting for nearly ten years for a sequel that brought back the epicness and surreal universe that is the Riddick franchise.

The year of 2013 has seen some wildly entertaining films during the summer quarter, some sequels, others origin stories, and some that were standalone releases that raised the heat to an already hot year for action films. The fourth quarter of 2013 saw the release of the aptly named Riddick, the third entry in the Riddick franchise that fans have been milling over for the past decade. Met with positive responses that haven’t been high for the franchise since Pitch Black, Riddick has been selling the fans exactly what they asked for: the return of one of science fiction’s most hard-nosed badasses.

As a fan of the series (and even a supporter of Chronicles), I was impressed with what David Twohy and Vin Diesel brought to the screen. Riddick was a return of not just Riddick himself, but of the style and attitude of both films prior. It carried over the survival aspect of Pitch Black and the tenacity of Chronicles. In all ways, it was a return to form for the series.

I walked out praising the film for a lot of reasons, and I was pleased with what I saw as a fan. There were things that caught my eye that had me going “Wow, now THAT’s nice”, and “Very clever reference.” For devoted fans, it’s an easter egg hunt for nearly the entire running time, but at the same time something new and fresh to digest.

But, in the end, there was something that also caught my attention that drug the experience down a few notches. It’s forgivable, but still needs to be pointed out in the grand scheme of things.

In this article I will be stating 5 reasons why Riddick lived up to the expectations the fans and I had going for it. Each reason really gave the film its legs and strength, and each one made the overall experience one of the most of thrilling films of 2013 so far, even at the fourth quarter. But I will also be pointing out the 1 problem that stuck itself out like a sore thumb; let it be known that it doesn’t ruin the film, but it does add a blemish that is in desperate need of explanation.

There is a SPOILER warning from this point forward, which gives away some important plot points that will shatter your enjoyment of the film, so skip forward with some discretion. Now, starting off with the 5 reasons why Riddick is great…..

The post Riddick: 5 Elements They Nailed And 1 That Failed appeared first on WhatCulture!.

Tom Hooper Les Mis

Whether we like it or not, the sequel to Man of Steel has been rushed into production with added Batman. For this writer, the first 40-odd minutes of Man of Steel- at least up to the point that our boy learns to fly- were on a level with Richard’s Donner definitive original. But after so much promise, this intriguing reinvention turned into a generic, humourless, boring mess. Still, Henry Cavill was perfectly decent and the recent casting of Ben Affleck as the new Batman was a masterstroke- an opinion not shared by most of the internet.

Of course I’ll give whatever-the-hell-this-Batman/Superman-film-is-called the benefit of the doubt, because let’s face it, what fanboy isn’t excited to finally see The Dark Knight and The Man of Steel on screen together for the first time, Snyder or no Snyder? But this is obviously the first step towards a Justice League movie. The rumours are flying that Affleck may direct that once it comes to fruition, but I don’t think this will be the case. The obvious choice would be Zack Snyder, and I hope this isn’t the case. Man of Steel was certainly his best film, but that isn’t saying much.

DC’s answer to The Avengers will inevitably be huge and make quite a profit whoever directs it. But one of the reasons that Marvel’s huge gamble paid off, apart from the fanboy hype and 3D ticket prices, was the critical acclaim and word-of-mouth that encourages repeat viewings. This was down to a visionary like Joss Whedon and his witty script that clearly understood the potential of this unlikely team and took the whole concept seriously.

If Warner Brothers want their Justice League movie to actually be good as well as successful, they should take a risk- because let’s face it, they can afford to with as sure-fire a hit as Justice League- and hire someone different, someone left-field. And ladies and gentlemen, I propose Tom Hooper, director of Les Miserables and The King’s Speech, is that man. He’s not the kind of director you’d expect to take on a comic-book property, especially one of this scale- but then, everyone said the same when it came to Kenneth Branagh, Bryan Singer, Christopher Nolan, Shane Black and Joss Whedon, and look how their films turned out!

Unfortunately, this seems one-hundred percent unlikely to happen, but one can dream. It seems inevitable it will be Snyder or Affleck directing off of a David Goyer script, but there’s always a chance! So, read on for my explanation as to why Hooper is the perfect choice to helm what will likely be one of the biggest superhero team-ups of all time…

The post 6 Reasons Why Tom Hooper Should Direct The Justice League Movie appeared first on WhatCulture!.

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