Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old comedian from South Africa who has contributed to “The Daily Show” a handful of times during the past year, will become Jon Stewart’s replacement as host, Comedy Central announced Monday.
Noah was chosen a little more than a month after Stewart unexpectedly announced he was leaving “The Daily Show” following 16 years as the show’s principal voice.
The New Jersey-born Stewart is being replaced by the son of a black South African mother and white European father. Noah has an international presence, and hosted a late-night talk show in South Africa, “Tonight with Trevor Noah.”
As amazing as Half-Life 2 was when it was first released in 2004, time has not been kind to the original release’s graphics, which can look a bit flat and dated compared to modern PC games. Enter Romanian modder Filip Victor, who’s ready to release the final version of a massive, Source engine-powered graphical update for the game on Steam for free tomorrow.
As shown in a slick comparison trailer and detailed in a PDF brochure, Half-Life 2: Update offers graphical improvements like high dynamic range lighting, improved fog and particle effects, world reflections, more detailed water rendering, improved background models, and other effects that just weren’t feasible back in 2004. The update also fixes a number of animation and cut-scene-activation bugs that have persisted in the original release and adds optional fan commentary from a number of high-profile YouTube personalities.
Despite all the graphical changes, the update leaves the original gameplay, level design, character models, textures, and animations intact. “The goal of Half-Life 2: Update is to fix up, polish, and visually enhance Half-Life 2, without ever changing the 2004 original’s core gameplay, or time-tested style,” Victor wrote in the update’s brochure. “I wanted to ensure that the update was something that would be enduring, and worth the time it takes to play it. I hope that both newcomers and veterans of the Half-Life series will enjoy seeing the work that went into its creation.”
When the two show-runners of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” confirmed over the weekend that they expect the forthcoming fifth season to catch up to the book series on which it is based, fans of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” were confronted with a dilemma. If they preferred to experience the author’s version of the story first, should they abstain from watching the TV series entirely? Would that even work? After all, you probably know how “The Sopranos” ended even if you never watched an episode. Between the Internet, print media and old-fashioned water-cooler conversation, it’s awfully difficult to avoid being spoiled today.
Fans have long been aware that show-runners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff know how Martin plans to end his epic fantasy series, even though the publication date of the penultimate volume, “The Winds of Winter,” has yet to be announced. Given the amount of time it takes Martin to produce each of the series’ hefty, complex installments, the release date of the seventh and final book, “A Dream of Spring,” is even more uncertain. Martin has a stormy history with fans who feel he takes too long to write each book and who loudly protest every moment he spends on any other activity, from unrelated writing and editing projects to socializing.
…In an interview with POLITICO, the South Carolina senator made clear that he plans to talk in sober detail about the need to overhaul the social safety net and reform the immigration system to allow foreign workers into the United States. He’s intending to look Republican primary voters in the eye and tell them the GOP needs to — yes — cut deals with Democrats if it wants to survive as a party.
“I’m not going to tell people things that they emotionally want to hear that I don’t think are going to happen,” Graham said in the Capitol on Tuesday.
…Graham says he will address his skeptics head-on, aggressively explaining his arguments that a president deserves to have well-qualified nominees; that both sides need to give a little to put the country on a sound fiscal path; and that a major immigration bill is the way to deal with the range of problems to fix a broken visa system and lax security at the borders. Overall, the message he plans to espouse: It’s better to have a president who is pragmatic than an ideological hard-liner.
== Civilization (automatically) has to suck! ==
Let’s make this even more general. Most Hollywood films (and nearly all dramatic novels) share one central tenet: society doesn’t work.
It seems an almost-biblical injunction.
“Thou shalt never show democratic-western civilization functioning well. Especially, its institutions must never be of any help solving the protagonist’s problems.”
In The Idiot Plot: Why Film and Fiction Routinely Depict Society and its Citizens as Fools, I describe a core reason for this relentlessly consistent rule. But here’s the short of it: Your job as a storyteller, above all, is to get the audience rooting for your heroes by keeping them in pulse-pounding jeopardy for 90 minutes of film — or 500 pages of a novel — and that central chore is easiest to achieve if you make sure they never get any useful help from boring professionals.
Suppose our movie’s protagonist, the poor schlemiel who stumbles upon a terrible danger-scenario in scene one, were to dial 9-1-1 for help… and help came! Skilled pros rushing in, taking charge, doing their jobs well and honestly, saying “we’ll take it from here, sir.”
Since she was a little girl, it’s been drilled into Amy’s head by her rascal of a dad that monogamy isn’t realistic. Now a magazine writer, Amy lives by that credo - enjoying what she feels is an uninhibited life free from stifling, boring romantic commitment - but in actuality, she’s kind of in a rut. When she finds herself starting to fall for the subject of the new article she’s writing, a charming and successful sports doctor named Aaron Conners, Amy starts to wonder if other grown-ups, including this guy who really seems to like her, might be on to something.
trainwreck “trainwreck movie” “trainwreck trailer” comedy “Judd Apatow” “Amy Schumer” “Bill Hader” “Brie Larson” “Tilda Swinton” “Randall Park” “John Cena” “LeBron James” vchan
What happens when a young woman with Borderline Personality Disorder wins the lottery? In the case of Alice Klieg (Kristen Wiig), she quits her psychiatric meds and buys her own talk show. Inspired by the immortal Oprah, she broadcasts her dirty laundry as both a form of exhibitionism and a platform to share her peculiar views on everything from nutrition to relationships to neutering pets. Also starring Wes Bentley, James Marsden, Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Linda Cardellini.
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Remember last summer, when a bunch of sexist trolls freaked out after Marvel announced that the superhero Thor would be a woman in the rebooted comic book series? Remember the downward spiral of raging, misogynist Internet commentary about how stupid it would be to replace a made-up male character with a made-up female character?
Yes, well, those trolls have absolutely not been vindicated, according to sales data on the first four new “Thor” books that began selling last November. Fusion broke down sales figures compiled by ComiChron, and it turns out that feminist Thor is selling significantly better than old school dude Thor:
This short article comes from TV Guide. They have confirmed that season 6 is the last season of Downton Abbey. I will admit I love the show and that I will miss it when it goes off the air. tvguide.com
Firefly is never going to be revived, but fans hoping to see stars Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk reunited onscreen will get their wish. The pair’s proposed online comedy series, Con Man, a comedic look at life as a science fiction actor on the convention circuit, has broken multiple funding records on crowdfunding site Indiegogo, and will now see at least 11 episodes produced.
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Con Man will center around Tudyk’s Wray Nerely, the former lead in a quickly-cancelled science fiction series set aboard a starship, whose career has since stalled. While he now makes a living primarily through convention appearances, his friend and former costar Jack Moore (Fillion) has gone on to become a major celebrity. That’s superficially similar to what happened in real life after Firefly’s 2002 cancellation - Fillion currently stars in ABC’s Castle, currently in its 7th season, while Tudyk has had a less visible career as a prolific voice actor with less frequent on-camera appearances in film and television.