March 23rd, 2012

'Hunger Games' Fans 'Blown Away' At Midnight Showing

‘Hunger Games’ Fans ‘Blown Away’ At Midnight Showing

Posted on 23 Mar 2012 at 3:59pm

Early reports predict midnight box-office totals of more than $18 million.
By Kevin P. Sullivan, with reporting by Stacey Sommer






Josh Hutcherson in “The Hunger Games”


Photo: Lionsgate

With midnight showings of “The Hunger Games” sold out for weeks in advance, expectations for the highly anticipated film were even higher for those brave enough to journey to theaters in the middle of the night. Thankfully, Katniss Everdeen and the rest of the tributes did not disappoint.

Early reports for the midnight box-office totals predict returns north of $18 million, according to Variety. Those figures put “The Hunger Games” in contention with “The Dark Knight” and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” which earned $18.5 million and $22.2 million at midnight, respectively. Early predictions for the weekend total estimate “The Hunger Games” earning $125 million.

MTV News caught some rabid fans on their way out of the first showings of “The Hunger Games” in New York City, and most of them couldn’t have been more pleased.

Joanna Cruz said she was left “speechless” and was “on the edge of my seat the whole time.” Some took their praise ever further. Judith Cruz called it the “the best movie ever.” “I can’t wait to see it again,” she said. “It was awesome. I cried at certain parts.”

Though most of the people we interviewed expressed their love of the movie as a whole, a few couldn’t help but point out that they missed some scenes that ended up on the cutting-room floor. “I loved it. I thought it was awesome,” Elena Lerner said. “It wasn’t completely true to the book — they left out a few scenes — but overall, we were both freaking out in our seats. It was so good.”

Josh Solomon felt similarly. “I thought the film was very good, well done,” he said. “It missed a couple scenes from the book. It missed spots, but I thought it was done pretty well.”

But for one fan in particular, the movie could never live up to the book. “I don’t know how I feel about it. When I read a book, I get very in-depth, and I felt like they missed a lot of what was in the book,” Samantha Cohen said.

On the other hand, Esther Portyansky said that the movie was a reminder of why she liked the book so much in the first place. “It was incredible. I was absolutely blown away by it,” she said. “I read the books last summer, and I think I’d almost forgotten how amazing they were, frankly. The movie more than did it justice.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “The Hunger Games.”

For young Hollywood news, fashion and “Twilight” updates around the clock, visit HollywoodCrush.MTV.com.

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Game Says Going Independent May Be A 'Really, Really Good Move'

Game Says Going Independent May Be A ‘Really, Really Good Move’

Posted on 23 Mar 2012 at 12:15pm

Rapper’s fifth LP, F.I.V.E., could be his last album with Interscope.
By Rob Markman, with reporting by Felicia ‘The Poetess’ Morris






Game


Photo: MTV News

Game only has one LP left on his Interscope contract, and after he drops the follow-up to 2011′s The R.E.D. Album, the platinum-selling Compton rapper will contemplate his musical independence.

“Independent. That seems like a really, really good move where I can capitalize off of all the finances being made off of my music for once. But, I don’t know, I kinda like having a lot of help, a lot of assistance from a big label,” Game told MTV News on Thursday. “I don’t know, maybe we’ll have a meeting about a lot of money or I’ll be talking to my conscience.”

Earlier this month, Game announced his new album title, F.I.V.E., to XXLMag.com, but it may be some time before it hits shelves. “I haven’t even started working on it yet. I first came up with the album title, which is F.I.V.E., and then came up with its acronym, which is Fear Is Victory’s Evolution,” he explained to MTV News. “It’s got a good concept, and once the budget is open on that I’ll get to rolling.”

Game, who was the subject of Thursday night’s “Behind the Music” on VH1, is reluctant to offer up anything resembling a release date due to the multiple push-backs that he’s experienced with The R.E.D. Album. “You what I learned from this last album is to never give anybody a date to anything; I’ll let the label do that when it’s time,” he said.

On Wednesday, Game released his “The City” video with Kendrick Lamar. But it looks like that will be the last single he drops off of The R.E.D. Album. “Personally I’d like to just move on and get the budget open for my fifth album, which is something I don’t think Interscope is too much in a rush to do, being that it’s my last contractual, obligated album on the label,” he said. “I would love to just keep it rolling.”

Should Game go independent or stick with Interscope? Leave your comment below!

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Mac Miller Gets Trippy With Lil Wayne And Cam'ron On Macadelic

Mac Miller Gets Trippy With Lil Wayne And Cam’ron On Macadelic

Posted on 23 Mar 2012 at 11:56am

‘It’s the story of someone growing up, trying to figure out who he is,’ MC tells Mixtape Daily of his new mixtape.
By Rob Markman






Photo: MTV News

Main Pick

Headliner: Mac Miller

Representing: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Mixtape: Macadelic

Real Spit: How do you follow up a #1 independent album and a sold-out tour? If you’re Mac Miller, you treat your fans to a free mixtape.

On Friday (March 23) the Pittsburgh spitter dropped Macadelic, a trippy ride through the psyche of a fun-loving MC who is adept at expressing his innermost feelings.

“It’s like the story of someone who is growing up, trying to figure out who he is and trying to figure out what he’s supposed to do in the world and how he’s gonna change it,” Mac told Mixtape Daily. “I think it’s a great piece because it’s a great part of my career, it’s a great time right now and I feel like I been making mixtapes for five years, so this one is very special to me.”

Over the thudding, bass-rattling sound bed of “Amnesia,” Mac cautiously drowns his crumbling love life in a cloudy codeine cup. “This is real girl, don’t be scared, it’s only fair/ I warn you love’s a drug that can kill you,” he hazily raps.

The love-as-a-drug theme continues on “Vitamins.” Over a dreamy Big Jerm beat, Mac poetically recalls an addictive lovemaking session that leaves him all out of sorts in the aftermath. Then with foggy vocals, Miller seeks comfort for his growing pains on “Clarity.”

“It’s a lot different from anything I’ve ever done,” Mac told MTV News backstage at the mtvU Woodies earlier this month. “In my past projects, I always thought about them a lot, like, ‘Where are the party jams? Where are the jams that are fun?’ ”

Apparently Mac’s days aren’t always soundtracked by “Donald Trump” and “Party on Fifth Ave.” Throughout the tape the Blue Slide Park rapper continually contemplates his life’s purpose in the face of his growing fame. “Sometimes I wonder who the f— I am,” Mac rhymes at the start of “The Question.”

The self-reflecting tune gets quite the boost from Young Money boss Lil Wayne, who makes a surprise appearance at the end of the track. Weezy spits a free-associative verse in which he affectionately shouts out his new machine gun, which he strangely compares to a newborn baby.

Macadelic isn’t completely pensive, though; there is the Cam’ron-assisted “Ignorant,” which has Miller rapping about his gold Rolex and weed habits alongside the Dipset captain. “Lucky Ass Bitch”
is another winner, thanks to producer Lex Luger’s kinetic bounce and Juicy J’s classic vocal contribution. On “Desperado,” Mac flexes his MC muscle, with the 20-year-old rhyme-slinger spitting some of his best rhymes over ID Labs’ Wild West-inspired production. In short, Macadelic has something for everyone.

“I was trying to make a complete project, but on this project, all I wanted to do is just say what was on my mind,” he said. “I just worried about saying what I wanted to say, and I felt like there were a lot of things that I wanted to get off my chest, and this mixtape was the way to do it.”

Joints to Check For:

“Vitamins”: “The concept is that this drug is actually love. It’s a drug that I’m taking, so all the emotions and the feelings that are coming from this said drug are actually coming from love.”

“Ignorant”: “I was in Harlem because I’m a huge Big L fan. And Cam hit me, he saw me Instagramming pictures, he said, ‘What are you doin’ in Harlem?’ I said, ‘Chillin’.’ And he said ‘Alright, I’m about to have someone come get you.’ So I went over to his crib, we got in the studio.”

For other artists featured in Mixtape Daily, check out Mixtape Daily Headlines.

Kim Kardashian Hardly First Celeb To Be Flour-Bombed

Kim Kardashian Hardly First Celeb To Be Flour-Bombed

Posted on 23 Mar 2012 at 11:41am

Ryan Seacrest, Lindsay Lohan are among other public figures who have been punk’d in public.
By Kara Warner






Kim Kardashian


Photo: Tommaso Boddi/ WireImage

Not surprisingly, there has been much ado over the flour-bombing of Kim Kardashian Thursday night at the West Hollywood launch of her new fragrance line, True Reflection. Kardashian is, after all, a generator of countless news headlines — sometimes one of the reality star’s generic comments on Twitter is enough to warrant a news item — and the fact that she was attacked with a flour bomb during a red-carpet appearance is certainly newsworthy.

Kardashian is not the first celeb to fall victim to a flour bomb, however. The recent incident brings to mind several others that have involved a few of our favorite public figures taking some flour and other seemingly harmless household items to the face.

Ryan Seacrest
The most recent “bombing” incident involved funnyman Sacha Baron Cohen and Ryan Seacrest, Kardashian’s E! colleague. Cohen made headlines with his heavily publicized appearance at the Oscars in character as Admiral General Aladeen of his upcoming movie “The Dictator”; he then made waves around the world when he greeted Seacrest for an interview by tossing “ashes” (which turned out to be Bisquick) all over the host.

Bob Dylan
Although the beloved rock icon took home Album of the Year for his Time Out of Mind at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards in 1998, the moment that everybody remembers from that night came during Dylan’s performance of “Love Sick,” when a shirtless man named Michael Portnoy stormed the stage and began . The rocker definitely took notice of the stranger with the words “Soy Bomb” written across his chest, but he barely batted an eye before security came out to remove him.

Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan was the unfortunate victim of a “bombing” by animal-rights activists in 2008. She and then-girlfriend Samantha Ronson were outside a Paris nightclub when three activists used flour to express their distaste for Lohan’s fur stole. Lohan has a history with PETA, having been named to their Worst Dressed List in the past.

Tom Cruise
During one of his many red-carpet appearances in 2005 for “War of the Worlds,” Cruise was surprised by a jokester posing as a journalist who attempted to prank Cruise with a trick microphone that squirted water in the action star’s face. Cruise took the man to task for the incident. “Do you like thinking less of people, is that it?” Cruise asked, preventing the man from fleeing the scene by reaching across the metal barrier and holding his arm. “Don’t run away,” he said. “That’s incredibly rude. I’m here giving you an interview and you do that … it’s incredibly rude.”

Various Politicians
There are almost too many victims to name at this point, but more than a few politicians have been victims of glitter bombs, acts of protest by activists meant to bring awareness to gay rights. The list of victims includes Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann.
Glitter-bombers beware, though: The act carries possible jail time and a hefty fine for those who get caught.

'Hunger Games' Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need To Know!

‘Hunger Games’ Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need To Know!

Posted on 23 Mar 2012 at 10:53am

It’s been a long road to Panem; MTV News takes a trip down memory lane as the adaptation hits the big screen!
By Kara Warner






Jennifer Lawrence in “The Hunger Games”


Photo: Lionsgate

Happy “Hunger Games” release day! What a long, bleak and dystopian road it has been so far.

We’ve been waiting for this day so long and with so much hope and hype that it feels like we’ve been through the Reaping ourselves. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we have compiled a cheat sheet of everything you need to know about the big-screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ beloved best-selling novel.

The Prologue
Back in spring 2009, just several months after the book’s well-received publication, Lionsgate won a bidding war for the rights to translate the gripping tale from page to screen. The next big question was, of course, who would be chosen to portray the impoverished “girl on fire” fighting for survival in a seemingly unjustly ruled society?

The Reaping
The highly publicized search for the perfect Katniss Everdeen featured a healthy list of young A-list actresses vying for the role, including Chloe Grace Moretz, Abigail Breslin and Hailee Steinfeld, all of whom were admitted fans . Finally, in May of last year, the suspense ended with the announcement that “Winter’s Bone” star and Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence had won the role.

The rest of the “Games” puzzle pieces fell quickly in place, with “Pleasantville” helmer Gary Ross in the director’s chair, who reportedly beat out David Slade (“Eclipse”) and Sam Mendes (“Revolutionary Road”), and rising stars Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson claiming the roles of Katniss’ best friend Gale Hawthorne and the dependable “boy with the bread” Peeta Mallark. Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz and Wes Bentley would all later join the cast in the film’s key supporting roles of escort Effie Trinket, mentor Haymitch Abernathy, District 12 stylist Cinna and Seneca Crane, respectively.

The Production Games
Once the film’s March 23, 2012 release date was announced, production shifted into high gear in the forests of North Carolina. In spring 2011, we got our official first look at Lawrence in character, followed thereafter by glimpses of Hutcherson and Hemsworth. And although the matter of making the film was serious business, we later discovered that the castmembers had lots of fun on set, particularly Hutcherson, who told us the humorous tale of his successful, but sneaky, practical joke he played on Lawrence. After that, we were very happy to treat fans to MTV’s exclusive first look at footage of Katniss in action during the VMAs.

The Fan Fervor and Whirlwind Promotional Tour
Once production wrapped, we did our best to track down the stars for their thoughts about their roles and the filmmaking process. Lawrence told us all about her training regimen and admitted that all her hours spent with an archery coach were “really fun.” Hutcherson shared his perspective on the intense audition process and how he felt he is“so right” for the role.

These little teases and costume reveals were enough to tide us over until we scored multiple sit-down interviews with the castmembers and the mall tours began, all leading up to the star-studded Hollywood premiere, for which we provided in-depth coverage via our live stream.

With early ticket sales breaking records andbox-office predictions very high, all that’s left to do is wait and watch as the engrossing story of Katniss and company continues to catch fire.

Check out everything we’ve got on “The Hunger Games.”

For young Hollywood news, fashion and “Twilight” updates around the clock, visit HollywoodCrush.MTV.com.

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L'Arc En Ciel's Madison Square Garden Show Is A 'Turning Point'

L’Arc En Ciel’s Madison Square Garden Show Is A ‘Turning Point’

Posted on 23 Mar 2012 at 10:35am

Rock band will become first Japanese act to headline MSG on Sunday, which frontman Hyde calls ‘highlight’ of a 20-year career.
By James Montgomery






Hyde of L’arc en Ciel


Photo: MTV News

On Sunday, Japanese art-rock act L’Arc en Ciel — French for “the rainbow,” naturally — will make history when they become the first band from their homeland to headline a show at New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden.

The show, part of the band’s 20th anniversary world tour, was originally scheduled for the much smaller Theater at MSG, but due to overwhelming demand from their long-suffering Stateside fans — L’Arc have played just one North American show in their two decades of existence, a 2004 gig at an Otaku convention in Baltimore — organizers moved it to the venerable Garden arena. And for a band that has had approximately zero promotion here in the U.S., it is understandably a very big deal, as frontman Hyde told MTV News (via translator) on Friday (March 23).

“This is huge for our band to perform at the world-famous Madison Square Garden, so I want to make sure we give you the very best show for the American audience. … I want to take the very best of everything we’ve done in Japan and put it in this show,” Hyde said. “It’s so hard for a Japanese act to be successful in America, but we were given this opportunity, so that means there is a possibility for us to break in the American market. I definitely feel lucky to be here after 20 years as a band.”

And for Hyde, who grew up listening to “L.A. metal … Guns N’ Roses and M

Will 'Hunger Games' Land Jennifer Lawrence On A-List?

Will ‘Hunger Games’ Land Jennifer Lawrence On A-List?

Posted on 23 Mar 2012 at 10:13am

‘She is going to be on top of the celebrity charts for a few years now,’ one expert tells MTV News.
By Kevin P. Sullivan






Jennifer Lawrence


Photo: Getty Images

Earning $19.8 million at midnight screenings and predictions of a $125 million weekend for “The Hunger Games” have essentially secured a future for the franchise, so now one of the more interesting questions coming out of the opening is: What does this mean for Jennifer Lawrence?

As the star of “The Hunger Games,” Lawrence will inevitably be one of the people given credit for its huge success and, from there, move into the realm of “bankable” actresses. While headlining a huge blockbuster certainly helps bolster an actress’ career prospects and offers for future projects, it will be Lawrence’s incredible performance as Katniss Everdeen that secures her new status as a Hollywood A-lister and bona fide star.

With the now-guaranteed success of “The Hunger Games” under her belt, Lawrence’s next project choices are going to be the ones that decide what kind of star she is, according to David Poland of Movie City News.

“She is going to be on top of the celebrity charts for a few years now, but it’s easy to piss that away with a few bad choices,” he said. “My sense is that she wants to be stimulated and not just take the money and run. So she could end up getting dozens of low-budget, high-quality films made or do ‘one for them, one for me’ or try to be the first Bond villainess. Doors are open. But she’s young, and her identity is still forming.”

Beginning that identity formation with “The Hunger Games” is a pretty solid start. Who didn’t get goose bumps during the trailer when Lawrence broke away from the crowd at the Reaping to volunteer herself for the Games? “I volunteer! I volunteer as tribute.” It’s an incredibly memorable moment, and its resonance stems directly from how emotionally believable Lawrence is. For as contentious as her casting was, Lawrence silenced critics with two sentences.

At its core, “The Hunger Games” is a crowd-pleaser. It follows a strong female character, is full of action and arguably ends with the best possible outcome. There’s a reason so many people of different demographics love it. As the hero of the story, Lawrence automatically becomes the person people associate the quality of the film with, and there’s a good reason for that.

It’s important to remember that when we’re talking about Jennifer Lawrence, we’re talking about “Academy Award nominee Jennifer Lawrence,” an honor she earned for a brutal role in “Winter’s Bone.”

There was never a question that Lawrence could act, and in the actual film of “The Hunger Games,” she grounds a fantastical premise with a relatable and deeply realistic performance that goes beyond the usual requirements of a tentpole movie. Even though we’re barely three months into 2012, based solely on the quality of her performance, Oscar consideration for Lawrence isn’t entirely out of the question: She’s that good.

With “The Hunger Games,” Jennifer Lawrence has left behind the realm of “indie cred” and has entered rarified air: a highly bankable, capital A actor.

Check out everything we’ve got on “The Hunger Games.”

For young Hollywood news, fashion and “Twilight” updates around the clock, visit HollywoodCrush.MTV.com.

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'American Idol' Castoff Erika Van Pelt 'Confused' By Judges' Advice

‘American Idol’ Castoff Erika Van Pelt ‘Confused’ By Judges’ Advice

Posted on 23 Mar 2012 at 10:00am

‘I’ll be honest, I felt there was a lot of contradiction,’ Van Pelt tells MTV News after her elimination.
By James Montgomery, with reporting by Kelly Marino






Erika Van Pelt


Photo: MTV News

To just about anyone who tuned in to this week’s “American Idol,” Erika Van Pelt’s exit was a shocker, to say the very least, especially since her performance of “New York State of Mind” was one of the highlights. But also because, you know, Heejun Han is still on the show.

Rather than using her three minutes to goof off, Van Pelt genuinely seemed determine to put her best foot forward on Wednesday night, whether it was listening to “Idol” judges’ previous advice to minimize her onstage movements or taking designer Tommy Hilfiger’s hairstyling tips to heart. Oh, and then she delivered a sultry, soulful version of the Joel classic, all of which seemed to guarantee she’d be safe … for at least another week.

But, as it turns out, that wasn’t the case, and on Thursday night’s results show, it was Van Pelt who was sent packing. And immediately after her ouster, let’s just say Van Pelt was still trying to figure out what went wrong — though she’s got a pretty good idea of where to start.

“I felt confused every week, I’ll be honest,” she told MTV News. “I felt there was a lot of contradiction, and as an artist and someone who takes their singing very seriously, it’s hard for me to take critique of my work, period, and then when you feel like you sorta have people telling you one thing and then telling you something completely different the week after, it’s hard.

“Because constructive criticism to me is something I can go home, work on, fix and come back and say, ‘Here, I fixed it.’ I feel what happened to me in this competition was I would take all the advice, I’d work on things, I’d bring something different to the table, and they’d tell me the complete opposite. It’s been really hard for me, I can admit that.”

And to that end, when asked which judge or mentor actually provided her with the best guidance, Van Pelt took a diplomatic pause and then answered rather truthfully: none of them.

“This might sound really weird, but I feel like my fellow contestants taught me the most,” she said. “We have this inner-working where we all help each other, we all offer up our advice … it’s all about throwing these ideas out and never telling someone what they should do; it’s about giving them suggestions.”

Of course, she did add that, ultimately, her “Idol” exit was of her own doing. “I will never blame anyone for misleading me in any way, shape or form; I’m a grown woman,” she said. And she’s grateful for all the opportunities the show has provided for her, chief among them being that, for a while at least, she doesn’t have to go back to her day job as a wedding DJ.

“I don’t think I’ll be doing any DJ’ing for a while,” she laughed. “To be totally honest, I need to sleep!”

Get your “Idol” fix on MTV News’ “American Idol” page, where you’ll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.

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