Function Magazine

Art, Fashion and Entertainment

Controversial Pussy Riot to appear on House of Cards

Posted by elegant On February - 25 - 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions are upsetting many inside the country as well as outside. His annexation Crimea, a part of Ukraine rattled the whole world and his continued support for Eastern Ukraine separatists are bringing in additional sanctions on the country. It is no wonder why Pussy Riot is still making music criticizing President Putin.

Pussy Riot, the Russian punk rock protest group is based in Moscow and well known for staging unauthorized and provocative acts. Group was formed in 2011 and consists of several women and men ages 20 to 33. They are known for promoting LGBT rights, feminism, and opposition to President Putin for his dictatorial actions and connection to the Russian Orthodox Church. The Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot were arrested in 2012 and sent to prison for nearly two years for protesting President Putin’s actions of gay rights. Their surprise performance at a church brought in additional legal actions on three main female performers of the group.

Pussy Riot will appear in episode 2 of Season 3, House of Cards. They are engaged in speaking parts and the episode will air some footage from a Pussy Riot concert. They include the group’s writing against a fictional character that is trying to militarize their country.

Cosby show finale into the most watched history book

Posted by elegant On February - 18 - 2015

Bill Cosby is making headlines these days not for his brilliant and most watched show but for other reasons. Do you know that Cosby Show falls into one of the most watch TV finales? It had 44.4 million viewers on the day of the finale on April 30, 1992. That equals to 28 percent of American households.

The American television sitcom with Bill Cosby as Dr. Cliff Huxtable, the patriarch character of the show first aired on NBC on September 20, 1984 and continued each week during each season until April 30, 1992. The show was the biggest hit on television during 1980s. The show focused on an upper middle-class African-American Huxtable family that lived in 10 Stigwood Avenue, Brooklyn Heights, New York City, New York. Cliff’s wife, an attorney, Clair Huxtable nee Hanks and their five children lived at home. Four daughters, Sondra, Denise, Vanessa and Rudy and one son, Theodore or Theo for short were played by an excellent cast. Besides comedic portrayals of daily life in a upper middle-class African-American home, the show carried serious discussions on dyslexia, teenage pregnancy and many others. They represented some of the issues faced by the members of the entire cast.

Golden Raspberry Award anyone?

Posted by elegant On February - 10 - 2015

Imagine an award that rewards a bad movie of the year. That is exactly what the Golden Raspberry Awards or commonly called Razzies is all about. It recognizes worst movies of the year. Founded in 1980, the annual Razzies are held in Los Angeles usually a day before the Academy Awards. The award which is about the size of a raspberry that sits on a super 8mm film and spray painted with gold color. The first award ceremony was held on March 31, 1981 in the living room of the founder John J. B. Wilson and will hold its 35th ceremony on February 21, 2015.

The 2015 Golden Raspberry Award nominees include Transformers: Age of Extinction, Saving Christmas by Kirk Cameron, and The Legend of Hercules. In addition to the Worst Picture, the Razzies are also awarded for the Worst Actor, Worst Actress, Worst Supporting Actor, Worst Supporting Actress, Worst Screen Combo, Worst Screenplay, Worst Director and Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel. From time to time other awards such as Worst Career Award were also given. Some of the criticism of the award includes that members of the selection committee are not required to watch any of the nominations and anyone can join the Golden Raspberry Foundation.

The Grand Budapest Hotel garners nine Academy Award nominations

Posted by elegant On February - 6 - 2015

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a comedy film that is an American, German and British collaboration directed by veteran movie director Wes Anderson. He does not direct movies like many others. Set in a luxury spa where the concierge who believes in etiquette helps to define the civilization at a time that the world is engulfed in war. The movie recounts the adventures of Gustav H played by Ralph Fiennes as the concierge who teams up an employee played by Tony Revolori to prove that he is not the murderer as suspected by many. The drama and comedy is rated R due to some sexual content and violence. The one hour 39 minutes long movie came out on DVD on June 17, 2014.

In February 2014, the movie opened the 64th Berlin International Film Festival and released on a limited basis on March 7, 2014. It won Jury Grand Prix Silver Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival. The movie has been nominated for nine Academy Awards including the Best Picture, Best Director, Best Production Design, Best Original Score and Best Costume Design. Its worldwide gross exceeded more than $174 million on a less than $27 million total budget.

A sequel to the “Alien” movie in the works

Posted by elegant On January - 20 - 2015

Apparently 20th Century Fox has completed a deal to develop a new Alien movie with the South African born director Neill Blomkamp. This is not connected to the current sci-fi movie directed by Ridley Scott and his company Scott Free will be directing the new movie too. Other off-shoots of the sci-fi thriller includes “Prometheus 2” which still under filming. At this time it is unclear whether Sigourney Weaver will be coming back or not. The new film is expected to be a sequel to Prometheus.

Alien franchise started with its science fiction horror series in 1979 with its Alien directed by Ridley Scott and still going strong. The first movie starred by Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright and many others. Who could forget the highly aggressive extraterrestrial character that killed the spaceship crew? Movie was honored with an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and many others. The first movie was a commercial success making more than $80 million in the US and over $203 million worldwide. This financial success allowed 20th Century Fox to finance three sequels during the next 18 years. Sigourney Weaver remained as the main actress for these three sequels as well as another off-shoot. All these created a separate media franchise.

The Television Academy change criteria after Emmys

Posted by elegant On January - 14 - 2015

Comedy and drama landscape is changing. For 2014 Emmy considerations Netflix submitted its hit series Orange is the New Black as a comedy while HBO submitted its successful True Detective as a drama. These and other considerations are now forcing Emmys to revise its criteria. The Television Academy is now proposing to change 60-minute series to be drama and 30-minute series to be comedies. This reflects the changing climate of the industry where more and more content are distributed through Netflix and HBO.

If an episode of a series is 30 minutes or less, it will be defined as comedies. Similarly those episodes in series that exceed 30 minutes will be a drama. However, if a producer has concerns over the criteria, he or she can petition the nine-member Academy panel. This panel consists of five members from the industry leaders appointed by the Chairman of the Television Academy and four members appointed by the Board of Governors. A two-thirds majority is required for approval of a petition and to be put into an alternative category. Changes also been made to the Guest Actor category requiring less than 50 percent appearance. Also the miniseries category has been renamed as “Limited Series.”

Mommy, coming to a theater in late January

Posted by elegant On January - 9 - 2015

One of the most talked about new movie at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival is Mommy competing for the covenant Palme d’Or, the main competition section and won the Jury Prize. It premiered at the festival on May 22, 2014 and received a 13-minute standing ovation. The drama was also submitted as the Canada’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category for the upcoming 87th Academy Awards. It is coming to US theaters in late January 2015. Directed and written by 25-year old French-Canadian Xavier Dolan, the film is considered to be “an audacious, stylish, impressive family drama.”

The plot revolves around a widowed mother played by Anne Doral as “Die” Despres, struggling to raise her difficult and sometimes violent son, Steve Despres played by Antoine Olivier. Single mother begin to get help from her mysterious neighbor, Kyla played by Suzanne Clement. There is sex and drama.

Reviewers gave four-stars for the movie according to The Guardian newspaper. Rotten Tomatoes, an online review site gives it an 89 percent “fresh” rating based on 82 reviews it received. The movie was selected by professionals and movie makers and listed as “Canada’s Top Ten” feature films of 2014.

What to watch on TV now

Posted by elegant On January - 2 - 2015

The TV lineup for January 2015 and beyond is very exciting. Marvel’s Agent Carter is on ABC at 8 p.m. Veteran movie star Hayley Atwell who started on two Captain America movies and the short film, Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter is paying the main character on the TV show. She will play the undercover character Peggy. It is expected to air seven episodes.

Starting January 7, 2015, Empire will air on Fox at 9 p.m. It is about a music business and Terrance Howard plays the head of the company. Taraji P. Henson plays the role of his ex-wife, Cookie and the character makes a mess in the company after she gets out of jail where she spent few years. Their three sons are put against one another to compete to succeed the leader at the top of the company.

Starting on January 22, 2015 you can watch Backstrom on Fox at 9 p.m. If you liked “House!” definitely you are going to love this show. Rainn Wilson plays the brilliant puzzle-solver, cranky, and can’t get alone with anyone police detective character. Show is created by the famous Bones creator, Hart Hanson. But be aware of sensitive racist jokes.

The entertainment industry is under attack by hackers

Posted by elegant On December - 17 - 2014

The Sony Picture Entertainment hack attack in late November 2014 shocked the entire entertainment industry. Early indications reveal that the North Korean government believed to be behind the attack and the hackers are attempting to stop the planned Christmas Day release of the movie, “The Interview.” Unfortunately sensitive and personal emails between key employees are also being released by the hackers embarrassing many of them and offering apologies to President Obama, actress Angelina Jolie and many others. Employees of Sony Pictures Entertainment are also impacted due to salary and other personal information that has been released by hackers. Artists who are involved with Sony and hold many contracts are on edge due to fear of release of their contract information. Hackers also released some of future films from Sony Picture Entertainment online.

Due to safety concerns Movie theaters are afraid of screening The Interview and Sony Pictures may cancel the planned release. However, the government is urging the Sony Pictures not to give into threats. The attack will have crippling effect on the movie as well as other parts of the entertainment industry. If movie goers react negatively to the threat it may have lasting impact on the industry.

Buzz about a new format for Season 14 American Idol

Posted by elegant On November - 28 - 2014

It is that time of the year that infamous American Idol making news again. Season 14 of the talented singing contest is due to start on January 7, 2015 on Fox. Auditions for the show took place in five cities across the United States starting in June 18, 2014. In addition, an audition bus tour visited several other cities. Three judges, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. and the host of the show, Ryan Seacrest from Season 13 will be turning. But there are some talks about some changes to how the show is broadcast. It is anticipated that starting from Top 10 the show will be aired only one night a week giving the results of the contest on the same night.

During the Season 13 broadcast, results show was limited to 30 minutes on the second night. Many thinks that in competition with other similar shows such as Dancing With The Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, American Idol at some point of the season will limit itself to one night a week. Competition shows were recently changed to one night a week. People can’t wait for the start of the show.