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Entertainment News

Vince Neil says no more country music for Motley Crue 20 September 2014, 19.54 Entertainment
Vince Neil says no more country music for Motley Crue
There is bad news for fans of the Motley Crue country tribute album. Lead vocalist, Vince Neil, told FoxNews.com there aren’t plans for any more albums of its type in the country
Read More 1 Hit 0 Ratings
Ryan Seacrest talks new season of 'American Idol' 20 September 2014, 19.54 Entertainment
Ryan Seacrest talks new season of 'American Idol'
Nearly everything Ryan Seacrest touches turns to gold -- including the iHeart Radio Music Festival which he’s hosting this weekend for the 4th year in a row. “Well I’d like to take credit for this but there are a lot
Read More 1 Hit 0 Ratings
'Maze Runner' tops the box office this weekend 20 September 2014, 19.54 Entertainment
'Maze Runner' tops the box office this weekend
Dylan O'Brien appears in a scene from the film, "The Maze Runner." (The Associated Press) “The Maze Runner” showed that sometimes the weekend box office is a marathon, not a sprint reports Variety. Twentieth Century
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Honey Boo Boo -- Single Dad Day 20 September 2014, 19.54 Entertainment
Honey Boo Boo -- Single Dad Day
Honey Boo Boo is handling her parents break up by gripping a paintball gun and spending the day with newly single dad Sugar Bear.HBB and her pops hit up a local paintball park with Pumpkin and Chubbs Saturday. Mama June was
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Rihanna -- Nude Pictures Leak ... Celeb Hackers Up the Ante 20 September 2014, 19.54 Entertainment
Rihanna -- Nude Pictures Leak ... Celeb Hackers Up the Ante
The celebrity hackers are back ... with a vengeance.  The latest victim appears to be Rihanna -- despite the fact that a simple Google search reveals her boobs line the online landscape.Early Sunday AM two nude pictures that
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Ray Rice -- Will Reportedly Claim TMZ Edited Tape ... Dumbest Defense Ever
Ray Rice will reportedly argue that TMZ Sports edited the "inside the elevator" video ... thereby altering what really happened that night.He's right. We did edit the video ... and we made that point crystal clear in our
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Entertainment Geekly: ‘Super Smash Bros.’ was the best and worst thing to happen to Nintendo
Destiny is probably the most important videogame I am never going to play. Bungie’s new massively multiplayer space shooting adventure game resulted in the most successful franchise launch of all time, although every
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Hear three tracks from the all-star ‘Here Lies Love’ remix album
The Public Theater’s thrilling production of the David Byrne/Fatboy Slim disco musical Here Lies Love—and its remarkable concept album featuring everyone from Florence Welch to Steve Earle to Cyndi Lauper—didn’t seem
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Scotland’s independence vote decided a superhero’s fate, for some reason
On Thursday, Sept. 18, Scottish citizens partook in an historic and pivotal vote that would determine the future of the United Kingdom. This they knew, and so did the rest of the world. However, unbeknownst to most of them,
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‘Friday Night Lights’ director says his son won’t be playing football
Peter Berg, the writer/director/actor/producer behind both the film and television versions of Friday Night Lights, has pulled his own son away from the game that he helped so many fall in love with. And the reason why
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Billy Crystal and Jimmy Fallon reminisce about Robin Williams 20 September 2014, 19.54 Entertainment
Billy Crystal and Jimmy Fallon reminisce about Robin Williams
During his appearance on The Tonight Show last night, Billy Crystal emotionally told Fallon about eulogizing his friend Robin Williams at the Emmys. That prompted a sad—but, naturally, hilarious—remembrance of Williams
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‘Playable Teaser’ trailer reveals the brilliance behind the horror game
Coming out of last month’s Gamescom, a small horror game called P.T., or The Playable Teaser, stole the spotlight. Downloadable for free on the PlayStation 4, the game came with virtually no warning or explanation.
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'Jersey Boys' lyricist Bob Crewe dead at 83 15 September 2014, 21.21 Entertainment
'Jersey Boys' lyricist Bob Crewe dead at 83
 (Rhino) Bob Crewe, co-writer of "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You," ''Big Girls Don't Cry" and many other pop hits, died last week. He was 83. Crewe's brother, Dan Crewe, said Monday in an email that the producer, songwriter
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Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane sentenced in assault for hitting fan with vodka bottle at nightclub
Rapper Gucci Mane after his arrest on aggravated assault charges for allegedly hitting a fan on the head with a champagne bottle. (Fulton County Jail/AP) ATLANTA –  Prosecutors say rapper Gucci Mane has pleaded guilty to
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Cheryl Burke: This is 'probably' my last season on 'Dancing With the Stars'
Dancer Cheryl Burke poses as she arrives at the 2014 People's Choice Awards in Los Angeles, California January 8, 2014. (Reuters) Could "Dancing With the Stars" be losing one of their best pros? After ten years of jives,
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Nicki Minaj -- Bamboobles Ass Critics 15 September 2014, 21.20 Entertainment
Nicki Minaj -- Bamboobles Ass Critics
Nicki Minaj knows the game ... you want people to stop talking about a bizarre photo of your booty -- you gotta give 'em a perfect pic of something else. Hmm, half-exposed yabbos oughta do it.Anacondas like those too This
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August Alsina -- Suffers Scary Collapse on Stage in NYC (VIDEO)
Singer August Alsina fell unconscious right in the middle of his performance tonight in NYC ... and paramedics are on scene.BET's best new artist of the year appeared to faint during his gig at Irving Plaza in downtown
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Adrian Peterson -- ANOTHER Child Abuse Investigation ... AP Cleared
Exclusive Details 5:05 PM PT -- Sources close to the investigation tell TMZ the reason the case went nowhere is because Adrian did NOT strike the boy in the forehead -- but instead the child accidentally hit his head on a
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Ray Rice Scandal -- Ex-FBI Honcho to Probe NFL's Actions 10 September 2014, 18.53 Entertainment
Ray Rice Scandal -- Ex-FBI Honcho to Probe NFL's Actions
breaking news The NFL has appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to run an investigation into how the league handled evidence in the Ray Rice domestic violence case.NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Mueller's probe
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Kanye West -- Hospitalized in Australia ... Horrible Migraine 10 September 2014, 18.53 Entertainment
Kanye West -- Hospitalized in Australia ... Horrible Migraine
Exclusive Details Kanye West was rushed to the hospital with a throbbing headache while on tour down under ... but made a quick turnaround and was able to perform the same night.Yeezus and his entourage rushed to the emergency
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Richard Kiel Dies -- 'Jaws' From James Bond Movies Dead At 74 10 September 2014, 18.53 Entertainment
Richard Kiel Dies -- 'Jaws' From James Bond Movies Dead At 74
Richard Kiel, who became famous for portraying the James Bond villain, Jaws ... died Wednesday afternoon at the age of 74 ... TMZ has learned.Kiel starred in dozens of movies over the span of 50 years ... though his Jaws
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Richard Kiel dead: Jaws from James Bond movies was 74 10 September 2014, 18.53 Entertainment
Richard Kiel dead: Jaws from James Bond movies was 74
Oct. 11, 2007: Actor Roger Moore, right, who played the part of James Bond in seven films, poses with actor Richard Kiel, who played the role of Jaws in "The Spy Who Loved Me," during a ceremony honoring Moore with a star on
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‘Nurse Jackie’ to air final and seventh season 10 September 2014, 18.53 Entertainment
‘Nurse Jackie’ to air final and seventh season
Actress Edie Falco from the television series "Nurse Jackie" arrives at the 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California January 18, 2014.Reuters “Nurse Jackie’s” upcoming seventh season will be
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Former WWE star Sean O'Haire dead at 43 10 September 2014, 18.53 Entertainment
Former WWE star Sean O'Haire dead at 43
Sean O'Haire Sean O'Haire was found dead at his South Carolina home on September 9, 2014. He was 43. The cause of death is still under investigation. (WWE) Former WWE star Sean O'Haire was found dead in his South Carolina
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'Guardians of the Galaxy' wins box office again 06 September 2014, 20.30 Entertainment
'Guardians of the Galaxy' wins box office again
Chris Pratt in "Guardians of the Galaxy."The Associated Press “Guardians of the Galaxy” is the Atlas of the movie world, holding the box office up on its sturdy shoulders during this post-Labor Day slump reports
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Crowds gather for private Joan Rivers funeral 06 September 2014, 20.30 Entertainment
Crowds gather for private Joan Rivers funeral
July 26, 2009. Joan Rivers greets the audience at the "Comedy Central Roast of Joan Rivers" in Los Angeles.The Associated Press Howard Stern, Billy Bush and Steve Forbes were among the early arrivals to Joan Rivers' funeral
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Kathy Griffin and Howard Stern among the mourners at Joan Rivers funeral
  NEW YORK –  Howard Stern delivered the eulogy, Broadway singer-actress Audra McDonald sang "Smile" and bagpipers played "New York, New York" at Joan Rivers' funeral Sunday, a star-studded send-off that -- like late
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Celeb Nude Leaks -- Reddit Bans the Fappening ... We're Trying to Stop This!
breaking news Reddit is stepping up its game to stop hackers from leaking stolen nude celebrity photos -- by shut down the area of the site where the pics were posted.Reddit vaguely says the pics violate its policies.  It
Read More 26 Hits 0 Ratings
Atlanta Hawks Owner Bruce Levenson -- I Pulled a Donald Sterling ... Outs Himself for Super Racist Email
breaking news Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson abruptly announced he's selling the team because he's guilty of sending an email so racist ... it would make Donald Sterling cringe.Levenson admits he sent the email to team
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Garth Brooks -- Stop, Drop and Roll 06 September 2014, 20.28 Entertainment
Garth Brooks -- Stop, Drop and Roll
Garth Brooks performed a fire drill during his concert Friday in Chicago ... only problem ... he was nowhere near any flames.Brooks came out of a retirement as a touring headliner this weekend ... and the 52-year-old singer
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Seth Green wouldn’t recommend seeing ‘Purple Rain’ with your mom
Seth Green wants you to know that his new movie, The Identical, isn’t about Elvis Presley. It just uses the fact that Elvis had a stillborn twin brother as inspiration for a nature vs. nurture story revolving around
Read More 16 Hits 0 Ratings
Joan Rivers’ final interview: Warm, gracious, and funny ’til the end
Joan Rivers was a kind woman—as gracious, wise, and generous as she was funny. That might sound strange to hear about a woman who could eviscerate any actress who made a misstep on the red carpet, and who famously described
Read More 14 Hits 0 Ratings
Entertainment Geekly: ‘Boardwalk Empire’ as TV history 06 September 2014, 20.27 Entertainment
Entertainment Geekly: ‘Boardwalk Empire’ as TV history
Boardwalk Empire begins in 1920. Its lead character, Nucky Thompson, is on top of the world. History is bending in his direction. He has established an elaborate criminal conspiracy that will funnel an addictive drug
Read More 15 Hits 0 Ratings
Watch Joan Rivers zing Anna Wintour in her last interview 06 September 2014, 20.27 Entertainment
Watch Joan Rivers zing Anna Wintour in her last interview
On Aug. 27, the day before Joan Rivers went into her final surgery, she participated in a book talk with People Magazine and EW editorial director, Jess Cagle. Rivers was there to promote Diary of a Mad Diva, but also took the
Read More 16 Hits 0 Ratings
You have to see this tribute to Robin Williams in ‘World of Warcraft’
In addition to his many, many, many other admirable traits, the late Robin Williams was a devoted World of Warcraft player. In the wake of his passing, a petition circulated requesting that Warcraft designer Blizzard
Read More 16 Hits 0 Ratings
Kimmel, Letterman, and Fallon remember Joan Rivers 06 September 2014, 20.27 Entertainment
Kimmel, Letterman, and Fallon remember Joan Rivers
On Thursday night, as news of Joan Rivers passing broke, a number of late-night hosts took some time to out of their shows to remember the legendary comedian. Jimmy Kimmel opened up his monologue by calling her ‘a pioneer
Read More 16 Hits 0 Ratings
Nick Cannon -- I'm The One Who Left the Relationship 22 August 2014, 19.32 Entertainment
Nick Cannon -- I'm The One Who Left the Relationship
Nick Cannon is the one who decided to bail on his marriage -- not Mariah -- sources connected with the couple tell TMZ.Nick has made it clear to all involved ... he's deeply concerned about Mariah's emotional state and is
Read More 34 Hits 0 Ratings
Iggy Azalea -- I'm So Fancy ... I Crashed HARD Off the Stage [VIDEO]
Exclusive Video Iggy Azalea took a massive tumble off the stage she was performing on Friday night ... and the video is intense.Azalea was rapping her hit song "Fancy" during a pre-VMA party at the Avalon when she lost sight of
Read More 59 Hits 0 Ratings
Wiz Khalifa -- Man Shot and Killed at Concert 22 August 2014, 19.32 Entertainment
Wiz Khalifa -- Man Shot and Killed at Concert
Wiz Khalifa's concert near San Jose, CA Friday night turned deadly ... when a man was shot to death ... TMZ has learned.The concert was at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA.  We're told just after 11 last night
Read More 39 Hits 0 Ratings
Oculix: What happens when Netflix programmers incorporate Oculus Rift
Every once in a while tech companies like Netflix hold what are colloquially known as a Hack Day, or Hackathon. This is when the tech company decides to put most of its day-to-day work on hold in order to set its employees
Read More 33 Hits 0 Ratings

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Vince Neil says no more country music for Motley Crue PDF Print E-mail

There is bad news for fans of the Motley Crue country tribute album.

Lead vocalist, Vince Neil, told FoxNews.com there aren’t plans for any more albums of its type in the country genre.

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‘No, no that was it,” Neil said. “It turned out great, though. I mean we just kind of let those artists do what they wanted to do. Some of them followed the songs, a lot of them went out and did their own thing. They made it really cool.”

"Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute to Motley Crue” was recently released. The 15-song album featured a mix of country artists who covered the 80’s metal bands’ biggest hits.

Motley Crue was in the middle of their final tour when the album came together. The band had no say on how the songs were performed.

The wide roster included Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line and Brantley Gilbert.

Matt Finn is part of the Junior Reporter program at Fox News. Get more information on the program here and follow them on Twitter: @FNCJrReporters

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Ryan Seacrest talks new season of 'American Idol' PDF Print E-mail

Nearly everything Ryan Seacrest touches turns to gold -- including the iHeart Radio Music Festival which he’s hosting this weekend for the 4th year in a row.

“Well I’d like to take credit for this but there are a lot of people,” Seacrest said.

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FoxNews.com caught up with Seacrest backstage at this weekends’ star-studded iHeart festival, where acts like Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, Coldplay and Ariana Grande are performing.

“What I love is that every year this goes by it gets bigger and the artists are even more and more enthusiastic about it,” Seacrest said. “Now they can’t wait to get here and figure out what kind of signature move they’re going to leave.”

The iHeart show is only four years old but is already Vegas’ biggest music festival.

Dozens of the hottest names in radio and entertainment descend upon Sin City for the highly anticipated weekend. Forbes reported the average cost for a ticket this year is about $700.

“It’s all-star,” Seacrest said. “I mean when you watch the screen, every single person is a main headlining act.”

Of course you can’t talk to Seacrest without chatting about "American Idol." He said so far he’s seen the best talent come from this year’s auditions in the Big Apple.

“We’ve seen all walks of artistry but in New York believe it or not we’ve had one of the strongest turn-outs,” Seacrest said. “We’ve been there often and sometimes it’s hit-or-miss but we saw some really great talent in New York last week so I’m excited to see what they do.”

Seacrest also talked about "American Idol" alum Adam Lambert -- who made history this week as the first former-contestant to fill in on the judges’ panel during auditions in New York.

“He was brilliant. He sat in there. He had some great insight for the contestants. He was one so he had that perspective,” Seacrest said.

Matt Finn is part of the Junior Reporter program at Fox News. Get more information on the program here and follow them on Twitter: @FNCJrReporters

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'Maze Runner' tops the box office this weekend PDF Print E-mail

maze runner ap.jpg

Dylan O'Brien appears in a scene from the film, "The Maze Runner." (The Associated Press)

“The Maze Runner” showed that sometimes the weekend box office is a marathon, not a sprint reports Variety.

Twentieth Century Fox’s adaptation of James Dashner post-apocalyptic novel took a while to build up a head of steam, but found its core audience by the weekend’s midpoint. It debuted to $32.5 million from 3,604 locations, in line with projections. That’s good news for the studio, which hopes to turn the story of a group of teenagers battling nasty creatures in a nasty labyrinth into a franchise.

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It also allowed the film to jet ahead of Universal’s “A Walk Among the Tombstones” and Warner Bros.’ “This Is Where I Leave You,” which racked up $13.1 million on 2,712 screens and $11.9 million on 2,868 screens, respectively.

“Tombstones'” numbers are disappointing given that the thriller had been expected to bring in $18 million this weekend. Despite boasting Liam Neeson’s name above the title, the story of an ex-cop searching for a drug dealer’s kidnapped wife may have been hurt by its darker subject matter and hard-R rating. Neeson’s action hits such as “Non-Stop” and “Taken” have earned PG-13 ratings. Cross Creek put up the high $20 million budget.

“This Is Where I Leave” sees comedy director Shawn Levy (“Night at the Museum”) in a more personal, understated vein. The shiva dramedy arrived with some impressive star wattage in the form of Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Adam Driver, Jane Fonda and others and performed on the low end of projections which had it debuting in the $12 million to $14 million range. The film cost an economical $19 million to make.

Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. domestic distribution head, said the film played well in major cities such as New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia, where ticket sales climbed on Saturday, but didn’t receive as warm a reception in Southern and more rural parts of the country.

“It’s going to have great legs in the cities and that’s where I need it to generate the revenue,” said Fellman. “It’s playing like gangbusters in some parts of country, and it’s playing a little soft in others.”

“The Maze Runner” saw fans of the book series turn out in force on Saturday, sending grosses for the night up 19% to $13.4 million. Based on Friday mid-day grosses it briefly looked as though the film might debut in the mid-$20 million range.

“The Maze Runner’s” strong opening must have inspired sequel hopes, but Dashner’s book is unique in many respects. It sold well, but not at the level of “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent” books — something its opening bore out. The film of “The Hunger Games” debuted to $152.5 million, while “Divergent” kicked off with $54.6 million. Filmed for a mere $34 million, it was produced for a fraction of what those movies cost.

It also avoided the trap of many young adult franchises that weren’t such as “Beautiful Creatures,” “Ender’s Game” and “I Am Number Four.” Part of that reason may be that its action-heavy plot helped the film bring in teenage boys, a demographic that often is difficult to ensnare.

In its second week of release, last week’s champ “No Good Deed” fell 58% to $10.2 million, securing fourth place on the charts and pushing its take to $40.1 million. Another holdover, “Dolphin Tale 2″ dropped a modest 43% in its sophomore frame to $9 million bringing its total to $27 million.

On the art house front, “Tracks” pulled in $21,554 from four locations. The Weinstein Company is backing the story of a woman (Mia Wasikowska) who goes on walkabout across the Australian desert.

Another limited release, “Hector and the Search for Happiness” debuted to $46,000 in four theaters. The film follows a psychiatrist (Simon Pegg) who jets around the globe to find the secret to contentment. Relativity Media acquired domestic distribution rights for $1 million.

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Honey Boo Boo -- Single Dad Day PDF Print E-mail

0921-honey-boo-boo-paintball-PCN-01Honey Boo Boo is handling her parents break up by gripping a paintball gun and spending the day with newly single dad Sugar Bear.

HBB and her pops hit up a local paintball park with Pumpkin and Chubbs Saturday. Mama June was noticeably absent following the split.

Probably better June doesn't have a weapon around Suge. As we previously reported ... June reportedly caught him trolling dating sites -- and now plans on moving the kids out of their home once they're done filming this season.

Not surprisingly, the reality show's cameras were rolling at the paintball park.

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Rihanna -- Nude Pictures Leak ... Celeb Hackers Up the Ante PDF Print E-mail

0921-rihanna-tmz-01The celebrity hackers are back ... with a vengeance.  The latest victim appears to be Rihanna -- despite the fact that a simple Google search reveals her boobs line the online landscape.

Early Sunday AM two nude pictures that appear to be RiRi were leaked onto 4chan/Reddit ... one with a censored version of her breasts ... the other pic showing bare ass and slight nipple.

They look like they were taken during some sort of fitting.

As we previously reported ... a second wave of leaks has been going down all weekend -- nude pics of what appears to be Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, Kate Bosworth and Hope Solo have all surfaced.

Gabrielle Union is also a victim -- topless pictures of her surfaced -- and she told us her legal team will contact the FBI.

We reached out to Rihanna's rep -- so far, no word back.

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Ray Rice -- Will Reportedly Claim TMZ Edited Tape ... Dumbest Defense Ever PDF Print E-mail

090714_ray_rice_uncut_launch_v3Ray Rice will reportedly argue that TMZ Sports edited the "inside the elevator" video ... thereby altering what really happened that night.

He's right. We did edit the video ... and we made that point crystal clear in our original post -- the same post where we also INCLUDED the raw unedited version showing Rice KOing Janay Palmer.

As we initially reported, the original raw video was jerky -- in that it would move forward  and then in reverse every couple of frames ... so we removed the reverse frames. 

Again, TMZ Sports included the raw video in our original post.

Maybe Rice's team should've scrolled down.

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!

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Entertainment Geekly: ‘Super Smash Bros.’ was the best and worst thing to happen to Nintendo PDF Print E-mail

Destiny is probably the most important videogame I am never going to play. Bungie’s new massively multiplayer space shooting adventure game resulted in the most successful franchise launch of all time, although every official number released by the videogame industry in the last few years has a “juke the stats” uncertainty. My colleagues wrote everything you need to know about Destiny; suffice it to say thatif you always hoped they would remake Halo with more decorative robo-ninja capes, then Destiny is the game for you, weirdo.

A few years ago, it felt like we were in the game industry’s Decadent Era, Ancient Rome grown fat and sassy off bottomless wacky cash. It’s clear now that we’ve moved into something like a breakdown period. Sony trumpets its devotion to smallscale independent gaming while hustling another Uncharted into stores; Microsoft starts pretending that it wanted the Xbox One to just be a videogame system.

Destiny spent a couple years as a much-hyped Next Generation of Gaming talking point, which explains the sense of curious disappointment–oh, this thing isn’t the greatest thing ever! And Destiny completes the 2014 Disappointment Trilogy that started with Titanfall—a hotly-anticipated game which proved decisively that adding giant exoskeletons into Call of Duty does indeed create Call of Duty But Now There Are Giant Exoskeletons—and then Watch Dogs, a Ubisoft tropefest that promised a whole new kind of videogame but turned into a boring GTA clone surrounding a halfway decent Assassin’s Creed spiritual spinoff. (Part of the reason why Ubisoft is so important now is that everything feels a little bit like Assassin’s Creed.)

And then there’s Nintendo, on the other side of the world in more ways than one. While Destiny opened huge here in the States this week, Nintendo released a new Super Smash Brothers for the 3DS in its native Japan. It sold a million copies—not quite Grand Theft Auto money, but also nothing to sniff at for a company whose precise place in the current videogame socio-economic-cultural landscape is frustratingly hazy.

Super Smash Bros. fascinates me. When the first game arrived on the Nintendo 64 in April 1999, the pitch was simple: A monster-mash of the great franchises of Nintendo’s golden era, Super Mario Bros. fighting Legend of ZeldaStarfox fighting Metroid. Legend has it that the game had a tiny budget, that it was barely promoted. You could argue that Smash Brothers wasn’t even a proper Nintendo product: It was produced by developer HAL Laboratory, the people who also created the Kirby games–which probably explains why, in Smash Brothers, Kirby is so overpowered. (HAL also created EarthBound, and added that game’s star Ness as a secret character; in the process, they transformed Ness from the star of a forgotten cult classic into the annoyingly effective character your stoned roommate loved to play as.)

Smash Brothers came out around the chrono-midpoint of the Nintendo 64’s. You don’t often hear gamers trumpet the 64 as a revolutionary device–it’s more common to look at the late 90s as the period of radical ascendance for Sony, as the moment when the Playstation transformed gamer culture from “kids’ stuff” into “slightly older kids’ stuff.” And whereas the first Playstation era is filled with fascinating curios and tantalizing oddities, any list of the “greatest” Nintendo 64 games probably defaults to “pretty good” before too long.

But the great games were transcendent: Super Mario 64 and Star Fox 64 and Rare’s Goldeneye and Ocarina of Time led into Smash Brothers, and in its wake came Majora’s Mask (which looks in hindsight like the Dark Souls version of Legend of Zelda) and Rare’s Conker’s Bad Fur Day (which looks in hindsight like the Edgar Wright version of a Nintendo game.)

Super Smash Bros. was not any of those games. It put a few fun twists on the idea of a fighting game–four players onscreen at the same time, a “health bar” that was actually “percentage” that decided how far big hits would knock you. But I can’t imagine any serious or highbrow treatise on the history of videogames would even notice Smash Brothers It was a game where Mario could punch Link; it was a game where Jigglypuff could put Samus to sleep. (Jigglypuff is so powerful, you guys.) At some point in my career as a person who thinks too much about videogames, I have probably made the argument that Smash Brothers betrayed the whole creative history of Nintendo, wedging representatives of some of the great pioneering videogame franchises into a button-mashing neon-marshmallow ritalin orgy.

And yet I think Super Smash Bros. helped to define something about Nintendo–and lately, I find myself thinking it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. At a time when Sony was aiming bigger and grander with their games, Smash Brothers was a crossbreeding of two different flavors of retro. While the Nintendo 64 iterations of Zelda and Mario were gloriously 3D, Smash Brothers sent Mario and Link back into a 2D world. While Microsoft was working to figure out how many buttons it could fit onto a single chubby controllerSmash Brothers felt like a descendant-in-spirit of the great early ’90s fighting games. (One way of looking at Smash Brothers is that it’s Street Fighter II: Championship Editiong where everyone’s M. Bison.)

Smash Brothers was explicitly a fond look backwards at Nintendo history, with levels lovingly designed in the spirit of various settings from games past. The fact that the game was so cheap-looking actually enhanced the effect. 1999 was the moment when games began to look impeccable and polished. That was the year that Square released Final Fantasy VIII, a game that explicitly left behind the super-deformed manga style in favor of something more photorealistic. That sentence probably makes no sense to most people, so what I mean is that the lead character of Final Fantasy VII looks endearingly retro and the lead character in Final Fantasy VIII looks like the moodiest singer in a boy band.

So Smash Brothers was backwards, nostalgic even: This from a company that had usually been the pioneer in its field. In the new decade, Nintendo would become encased in nostalgia. There are several reasons for this, not all of them fair and not all of them Nintendo’s fault. By the time the GameCube arrived in stores, there were a few generations of Nintendo-loving gamers who could say with some expertise that the new Mario/Zelda/Starfox/Metroid was not as good as the Mario/Zelda/Donkey Kong/Etcetera that came out when they were kids. The GameCube was nobody’s idea of a success. And then the Wii was a huge success, but the intrinsic focus on casual gaming felt like a rebuke to anyone who defended Nintendo through the GameCube days. Now there’s a sense that the Wii U has stumbled—and so Nintendo spent E3 2014 promising Starfox and Zelda on the horizon.

You could argue that the first Smash Brothers was the moment that Nintendo stopped creating anything new–or anyhow, you could point out that the most famous Nintendo characters in the first Smash Brothers are still the most famous Nintendo characters fifteen years on. (Aside: Nintendo godfather Shigeru Miyamoto spent a considerable portion of the 2000s trying to make Pikmin happen; all the Pikmin games are great, and yet I’m guessing most people who know Pikmin know it from Smash Bros. End of aside.)

But you could flip the argument, and note that Smash Bros. was the moment when Nintendo inadvertently dodged a bullet. Nintendo games could look weirdly out of place in the 2000s, in the period when games trended bigger and huger and more gigantic. That’s Destiny: Even though it’s coming out in 2014, the pitch on Destiny feels like a product of the overstuffed un-casual era. (One way of looking at Destiny is that it’s World of Warcraft plus Mass Effect with better guns.) Even when Nintendo had its strong late-2000s comeback, it still felt strange to try to compare Nintendo’s signal product (Mario Galaxy and Wii Fit and Nintendogs) to the overstuffed mega-games on Playstation and Xbox—to say nothing of the rising tide of fascinating indie games like Braid or Limbo.

My come-to-Jesus moment happened with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, a game that I hated for about an hour and then loved so much I wrote 11,000 words about it. Skyward Sword is unmistakably a product of Nintendo’s post-Smash Bros. era. It doesn’t just refer back to the aesthetic and tropes of previous Zelda games–it actually invents the entire ensuing history of Zelda games. Spiritually, it’s not so different from Nintendo’s 3DS Mario games, which imitate the veneer of NES-era Mario and then pumps the gameplay full of caffeine.

None of these games ever experience the next-best-thing ever hype cycle of Destiny or Watch Dogs or Halo A Billion or whatever mega-game Sony and Microsoft are releasing next. Nintendo is still making an attempt with the Wii U, but it feels like the company is shifting its focus to the far more successful 3DS—and the 3DS never be a “pioneering” system, in the way that the NES or the Nintendo 64 or any of the Microsoft/Sony devices could claim.

But to me, the central appeal of the 3DS feels more in tune with the times than the Xbox One or the Playstation 4. The problem with consoles is simple: Why would anyone buy an expensive brick of circuitry that can only be played in front of a TV set, when there are much cheaper games that you can download straight to the device you carry with you in your pocket? Believe me, I’m not anti-console–and I do sometimes think there’s a world where the iPhone and the Wii were never invented, and in that world’s 2014 every videogame is a big-budgeted artistically-daring masterwork and everyone in the world loves Shadow of the Colossus. But I got bored of Watch Dogs after five hours, and I’m still playing Super Mario 3D Land.

And I think you can look at the 3DS as the Smash Bros. console: Not so much an evolution as a reconfiguration. Whenever a new Smash Bros. arrives, it feels like an attempt by Nintendo to transform the first decade-plus of its existence into an appeal to new gamers. Whenever Nintendo adds in a little known character from the early days–Mr. Game & Watch, or Little Mac–it feels a little bit like a legacy rock band fishing one of their deep cuts out for a reunion tour.

Describing Nintendo as “a legacy rock band” might feel like a backhanded compliment. I don’t mean it that way. 2014 feels like the year when the whole idea of a “retro game” starts to become hazy. Is Shovel Knight “retro” just because its sharp gameplay and snazzy style was implicitly made in the spirit of old games? (In that sense, Titanfall was equally retro, because James Cameron was doing Giant Exoskeletons back in 1986.) Is the South Park game “retro” just because it was influenced by EarthBound–and if that counts as “retro,” then how do you define something like the upcoming Fantasia game, which was produced for the Kinect, a device that was “futuristic” a couple years ago and now has already joined the Virtual Boy in the detritus pile of videogame history? (EarthBound is still a great game, and the Kinect already feels old-fashioned.)

Smash Bros. is arriving on the 3DS here in America in a couple weeks; there’s a version coming to the Wii U sometime around Christmas. I’m not sure the new Smash Bros. can save the Wii U–and I’m not necessarily sure the Wii U can be considered a completely successful device if it needs decades-old franchises to rescue it. But consider that, in the last fifteen years, some of the great series in videogame history have risen–and many of them have fallen. BioShockMass EffectMax PayneGears and/or God of War–these were all names nobody had heard of in 1999, names that helped define a great era for console videogames, names that all have fuzzy futures after entries that disappointed critically or commercially. Throw in Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil; hell, Call of Duty: Ghosts sold less than Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

And Smash Bros. is still here, welcoming fading franchises with open arms. Sonic the Hedgehog and Metal Gear‘s Snake already joined the party; the new game adds in Pac-Man and Mega Man. Isn’t that possible that someday everything will be Smash Bros.? And is it possible that that’s not a bad thing–or anyhow, that it’s not as bad as everything being Destiny?

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

EPILOGUE: The original Smash Bros. lineup, ranked Best to Worst:

1. Starfox (those kicks!)
2. Captain Falcon
3. Luigi (I’m a younger brother, sue me)
4. Link
5. Pikachu
6. Ness
7. Samus (cheap but fun)
8. Donkey Kong
9. Mario (boring)
10. Jigglypuff
11. Yoshi (NO ONE LIKES YOU YOSHI GO HOME)
12. Kirby (see: Yoshi)

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Got any geeky thoughts or questions, or just want to argue? Email me at darren_franich@ew.com, and I’ll respond in a future edition of my Entertainment Geekly column.

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Hear three tracks from the all-star ‘Here Lies Love’ remix album PDF Print E-mail

The Public Theater’s thrilling production of the David Byrne/Fatboy Slim disco musical Here Lies Love—and its remarkable concept album featuring everyone from Florence Welch to Steve Earle to Cyndi Lauperdidn’t seem like they could get any more boogie-down. But the immersive disco musical about the rise and fall of Philippines power couple Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos (which earned an ‘A’ grade in its initial review by senior writer Kyle Anderson last year) is now issuing a remix album featuring these artists and more —including Tori Amos, Sia, and St. Vincent.

All proceeds from the album—which also includes the original cast recording—go directly to Gawad Kalinga, an organization dedicated to typhoon relief and ending poverty in the Philippines for 5 million families by 2024.

Co-creator Byrne had this to say about the album: “These songs were made to be remixed. The show versions of the Here Lies Love songs touch on various dance club genres, but are necessarily truncated—to keep the narrative and energy moving along non-stop. [Remixers] Matt Stine and Justin Levine deconstructed the recorded music and scrambled it all kinds of ways to make an immersive audio world that merges seamlessly with the music of the show. This mixtape is what you hear when you enter the club environment where the show takes place. There’s humor and exuberance, and to my ears it all works perfectly. The best workout tape ever.”

Going strong since its 2013 debut Off Broadway at the Public Theater, Here Lies Love will open this month in London for a West End run.

Hear three exclusive tracks below to try to recreate the ever-moving, panoramic club experience for yourself (and nobody will be there to step on your toes, either). For more information on ordering the album (out Sept. 30), visit the show’s official site.

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Scotland’s independence vote decided a superhero’s fate, for some reason PDF Print E-mail

On Thursday, Sept. 18, Scottish citizens partook in an historic and pivotal vote that would determine the future of the United Kingdom. This they knew, and so did the rest of the world. However, unbeknownst to most of them, they were also deciding the future of a comic book superhero.

As reported by Comic Book Resources, on Wednesday U.K. comics publisher Eco Comics  unveiled an “All-new, all-Scottish” superhero named Scotsman. (Not making this up.) Unlike Captain America—who actually wears something closer to the Puerto Rican flag as his costume—Scotsman’s sartorial choices proudly reflect the iconography of the Scottish flag. They also less proudly reflect the country’s most widely known contribution to the global wardrobe, the kilt. Scotsman doesn’t really have a kilt—it’s more of a patterned shirttail. Instead, he has pants, which is kind of a shame.

But what makes Scotsman truly notable is Eco’s plans for stories involving him—how some of them will play out hinged on the decision reached by the vote for Scottish independence. See, the publisher has another character, named Englishman (still not making this up) and the vote’s outcome would determine Scotsman’s relationship with his English counterpart.

Now that the Scottish people have decided to remain a part of the United Kingdom, it seems that the two will be staunch friends. Which is a shame, because Scotsman v. Englishman: Dawn of the Ayes is a movie I’d see.

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