Category Archives: In The News & Around The Web

Oily Rio Olympic Flag-Bearer Pita Taufatofua Qualifies for Pyeongchang Winter Olympics

Pita-Taufatofua

By now, we’ve all seen Pita Taufatofua, the beautiful hunk of man who became a viral internet sensation after his oily, bare-chested flag-waving strut during the 2016 Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Pita recently shared a video on his Facebook, chronicling his success at qualifying for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in cross-country skiing. Qualifying for the Olympics is impressive enough; it’s even more so when you consider the fact that snow isn’t exactly a regular occurrence in Tonga!

He spoke with the Olympic Channel about the challenges that he’s faced in his quest to qualify, including the financial sacrifices that he’s had to make and the completely new situation in which he found himself, having to learn an entirely new sport in weather conditions to which he isn’t accustomed.

It’s a great Cinderella story, and Pita will no doubt find himself a huge fan base wanting to root for the underdog. Beyond that, it’s a marvelous reminder of what someone can achieve if they’ve got the desire, drive and dedication to achieve it.

Here’s hoping that we will see that level of dedication every time we see Pita at the Winter Olympics, especially considering that we won’t be seeing him oiled-up and shirtless there.

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Nominations for the 38th Razzie Awards are Here

Razzies Noms

Nominations for this year’s Golden Raspberry Awards (commonly known as the Razzies) have been released and while there are some majorly obvious and well-deserved (?) ones, a couple of them have surprised me.

Taking the lead this year, perhaps to no one’s surprise, is Transformers: The Last Knight. Now, admittedly, I haven’t watched Transformers since the second instalment because, well, I don’t hate myself. However, I’m not in the least bit shocked that it’s on this list. I mean, at this point, is there even really a proper story behind the explosions and CGI? The Razzie committee clearly doesn’t think so.

Another not-so-surprising nomination went to Johnny Depp for his reprisal of Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.  The thing is, it isn’t that that Johnny Depp was particularly bad in the movie. It’s just such a tired and played-out role by now that very little enjoyment can be gained from it by the audience.

For me, the biggest surprise (and insult) was Jennifer Lawrence’s nomination for Worst Actress in mother! I know the movie sort of tanked with a lot of viewers but, personally, I feel that that was because it either went over their head, or touched a nerve with overly sensitive “Christians”. There were awful pacing problems throughout the film, but I don’t think Jennifer Lawrence was bad by any means. Javier Bardem, however… well, let’s just say I’m not contesting his nomination.

Sofia Boutella’s role in The Mummy also seems a bit unfair. I wouldn’t rush to give her an Academy Award nomination, but I don’t think she deserves a Razzie either. Same goes for Katherine Heigl in Unforgettable. Now, the movie itself was an abortion of a film, but she was no worse than anyone else in it. In fact, I personally think she was the only redeeming thing about my entire cinematic experience watching it.

Stray observation: how crappy must it feel to be nominated as worst actor in two separate movies in the same year? Looking at Mark Wahlberg and Javier Bardem.

Take a look at the nomination video below, and delight in the deliciously shady way in which Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Transformers: The Last Knight, which are both only the fifth movies in the franchises, are referred to as Pirates of the Caribbean XIII: Dead Careers Tell No Tales and Transformers XVII: The Last Knight.

Also, as wholeheartedly against Jennifer Lawrence’s nomination as I am, wouldn’t it be freaking amazing if she showed up a la Halle Berry or Sandra Bullock?!

show me the nominations, dammit!

Feel Good With Brooke Simpson’s ‘Stone Cold’ Voice Audition

With the constant barrage of shit we’re faced with on a daily, constantly reminded how much people suck, it’s always great when we get a little content that just makes us feel good. This video, more of a surprise to me than I can say, happens to be one of those. From beginning to end, everything about this video made me smile.

Contestant, Brooke Simpson, took to the stage of The Voice to belt out Demi Lovato’s power ballad, ‘Stone Cold.’ Now, anyone who has seen Demi rock that performance knows that it’s no easy feat, and you need serious chops to do it justice. However, Brooke proved that she was up to the task and she did an amazing job.

So, not only were the song choice and performance incredible, so was the reaction and subsequent banter of the judges. Now, despite American Idol’s quality decline in more recent years, and The Voice’s steady ratings hold, here’s something that most people seem not to want to admit: The Voice has not produced a fraction of the stars that American Idol has… if any at all. It’s great when a previously unknown contestant goes on to win the finale, but how many have actually gone on to achieve solid success after their win? I’ll wait…

Nevertheless, where The Voice has American Idol beat is the charisma, banter and connection of the celebrity judges and this is as evident as ever in this video. It’s so great to see this household-name judges put their hearts into singing the praises of these unknown contestants because they genuinely see their talent.

Seriously, watch this video and smile!

ps, from now on, I’m gonna start walking around with a little notepad just so that I can toss it at someone in incredulity.

Jennifer-Hudson-Notepad

Take a walk down memory lane with Daniel Radcliffe

This has been pretty much everywhere the past few days, so most of you should have seen it. For those of you who may not have, I am beyond pleased to be the one to bring it to your attention. It has been almost 15 years since Harry Potter & the Sorceror’s Stone first came out, and yet it remains the gift that keeps on giving!

A video of a young, pre sex-inducing Daniel Radcliffe doing a screen test as Harry has been making the rounds, and it is all kinds of adorable and nostalgic. While, from The Prisoner of Azkaban onwards, Daniel did a kickass job of making that role his bitch, I’d always thought he was just barely tolerable in the first two movies, in part due to his age. Surprisingly, though, he kills it in that screen test, even doing an incredible reading from The Prisoner of Azkaban, which didn’t come out until three years after.

Radcliffe, we all know, has done an amazing job of nurturing an impressive acting career, even when considering films which don’t do fantastically at the box office (including Victor Frankenstein, which I haven’t seen yet, but am dying to), but seeing him prepare for the role which made it all possible is – please forgive the corniness – absolutely magical!

Dirty Paws is the Werewolf Story I Never Knew I Needed

I totally credit The Gaily Grind for introducing me to this. Karina Farek who, amazingly does a lot of gay-themed artwork, wrote, directed and animated Dirty Paws, and it is the most adorable thing! Dirty Paws follows a couple – half of whom is a werewolf – on the night of a full moon, and, obviously, the trials that this presents. I know that it’s only an animated short, but I can’t believe just how endearing it is. It’s hard to describe just what about it is so incredible, and it might be different things to different people but, for me, I love that it follows less the werewolf (as so many of these stories tend to) and more the human partner. I think this stands out so much to me because, despite the supernatural and fantastical nature of the story, the fact that we see it mostly from the perspective of the human makes it a bit more relatable to us… unless you happen to be a werewolf yourself, in which case I sincerely apologise and… holla at me! I also love the relative normalcy of the situation, and the underlying, unspoken message that love really can weather anything if you let it. Seriously, someone needs to work on this becoming an actual HBO series, and I’ve got tons of casting suggestions. Ok, enough of my yapping! Enjoy the video!

#BeyonceAlwaysOnBeat is the Reason The Internet Was Created

Sure, sure, the dissemination of crucial information, education, and advancement of human existence are sorta reasons also, but I can assure you that the creator of the internet had known, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we would one day need to the phenomenon #beyoncealwaysonbeat.

Social media has a way of turning the most obscure ideas into global obsessions. If the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the Blue/Gold Dress Debate or #CharlieCharlie have taught us anything, it’s that at any moment, we, the public, can turn anything into a worldwide frenzy through our use of social media. Beyoncé, who is already pretty much the queen of everything, if the number of GIFs on Tumblr is any indication, recently took Twitter, Instagram and Vine by storm with the hashtag #beyoncealwaysonbeat. If you aren’t aware of it – and I’d be seriously shocked to learn that you were – this latest craze involves taking a short clip of any one of Beyoncé’s incredible, on-point choreography, and blending it with any random song (though it works best with songs containing strong bass beats). The result is the incredible realization that Beyoncé’s moves seem to go in sync with anything thrown at her… though, really, we didn’t need a hashtag to tell us that.

The entire thing is silly yet genius, inane but hilarious, and I cannot tell you how much time I’ve spent going through far too many of these videos. For those of you who may not be aware of it, I’ve included some of my favorite after the jump.

Show me the #beyoncealwaysonbeat videos, dammit!

Paralyzed Ex-Football Player Chris Norton’s Walk Across His Graduation Stage Will Make You Feel Things

Seriously, get ready for the feeliest feels possible! Chris Norton, who became paralyzed after a sports injury in his freshman year, was afraid that he’d never again regain movement beneath his neck. Still, he set a monumental goal for himself: to walk across his graduation stage to receive his degree. Chris dedicated up to six hours a day training for that moment and, watching him accomplish it is an absolutely remarkable experience.

With help from his fianceé, Emily – to whom he’d gotten engaged just the day prior – every tiny and difficult step that Chris took kicked “the impossible” right in its face. The cheers and encouragement that he received from the audience is pretty much the audible version of what you feel inside, watching him realise his goal. You’ve got to watch the video to truly appreciate the awesomeness of it all. Just keep reminding yourself, “don’t shed a tear, don’t shed a tear.”

Actually, you know what? To hell with that! Shed as many tears as you want!