5 Food TV Specials to Watch This Holiday Season

Now that another Thanksgiving has come and gone, it’s time for the yuletide television specials to start rolling across the airwaves. This year, a few of food TV’s biggest stars are hosting one-off specials, and two cooking competition shows are returning for entire holiday-themed seasons. Here’s a guide to five of the big winter-themed cooking shows to watch out for between now and the end of December

Watch it on: NBC
When: Wednesday, November 28 at 10 p.m.
The gist: Hollywood’s favorite couple, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, will host an hour-long yuletide extravaganza featuring a cavalcade of special guests, including Stevie Wonder, Kim Kardashian, Zach Galifianakis, Raphael Saadiq, and Kenan Thompson. The trailer indicates that the special will have plenty of singing as well as some cooking, and at least one scene involving Crazy Rich Asians star Awkwafina and a giant lollipop. Antoni Porowski and the rest of the Queer Eye gang will also make a cameo on the hour-long special, and expect a few plugs for John’s new Christmas album and Chrissy’s new Cravings book.

Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith during Season 6 of the Great British Baking Show
Netflix/The Great British Baking Show

Watch it on: Netflix
When: Friday, November 30
The gist: Just three weeks after the US premiere of the Baking Show’s sixth season, Netflix is gifting viewers with a one-off holiday special hosted by judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith. The pastry experts will be welcoming “some favorite bakers back to the tent for a holiday confection competition.” A trailer for all of Netflix’s holiday shows includes shots of a half dozen or so bakers making holiday specialties, and a full band and children’s choir performing Christmas tunes outside the tent.


Oscars 2019 Predictions, Straight From the Experts

Oscar 2019 Predictions
Warner Brothers

While most people are prepping for the holidays this time of year, chillier temps and the close of 2018 also indicate another approaching event: awards season, particularly the Oscars.

The Oscars, otherwise known as the Academy Awards, are a group of 24 awards given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for artistic and technical accomplishment across acting, cinematography, and costume design (among others). The first Academy Awards was held on May 16, 1929 at the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and 2019 will mark the 91st year of one of Hollywood’s biggest nights.

Which means one thing: Everyone is starting to work on their Oscars 2019 predictions, including who will come home with a win in 2019 in each of the more well-known categories, such as Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Actress.

Curious about which box-office contenders are in the running to win? Here are the expert predictions, as well as a bit of information about who might be on the other end when they announce, “And the winner is …”

Oscar 2019 Predictions
Warner Brothers

Best Picture

The general consensus seems to be that you will definitely see Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, A Star Is Born, in this category. Not only has the movie and its actors — Lady Gaga and Cooper amongst them — received high praise, but Entertainment Weekly points out that it also offers something that the industry loves: a story about, well, the industry.

You can also count on seeing Damien Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong biopic, First Man, in the mix. In fact, Forbes put it at the top of its list, saying: “The picture is about as can’t-miss as a Hollywood studio has come up with recently.”

Other contenders include Spike Lee’s BlackkKlansman, Beautiful Boy from Brad Pitt’s Plan B studio, Adam McKay’s Vice, and The Front Runner, from director Jason Reitman. You might also see nominations for Black Panther, Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk, Roma, and Green Book.


THIS Hollywood actor was the first choice to play the antagonist in 2.0

THIS Hollywood actor was the first choice to play the antagonist in 2.0
Akshay Kumar and Rajinikanth’s 2.0 hits the theatres on 29th November and there is a lot of buzz around it as two Superstars are coming together for the project. Directed by Shankar, the film is the most expensive to be ever made in India with a budget of almost Rs 600 crores. Though the film has already earned Rs 450 crores through satellite rights and advance bookings, the makers are looking forward to the audience reaction once the film finally hits the theatres. But, the latest news about the film is that Akshay Kumar was not the first choice to play the antagonist in the film, it was none other than Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger.


Talking about it, the director of the film said, “We had thought of casting Arnold. We had talked and allotted dates also. But somehow things did not work out as the contracts of Hollywood and India are contradictory. So we thought of looking at a good cast from the Indian film industry,” Shankar said at a press conference here. Lyca (producers of 2.0) and Akshay were in talks for a remake of a film called ‘Kathi’ in Hindi. Everyone told me to consider Akshay and I also thought it would be nice. I narrated the story to him and he said yes.”


Snoop Dogg Thanks Himself While Receiving his Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Snoop Dogg received his star on the prestigious Hollywood Walk of Fame this week and he knew exactly whom to thank for it: himself.

The 47-year-old rapper, who has reached the top of the food chain in the entertainment industry, joined the likes of hip-hop artistes such as Queen Latifah, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Pharrell and LL Cool J.

On his big day, the 16-time Grammy-nominated rapper wasn’t alone. Along with his family and friends, biggies from the industry such as Dr. Dre, Pharrell Williams, Quincy Jones, and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, among others were there to celebrate.

snoop dogg

(Image: Reuters)

“Getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is one of the highest honors an entertainer can receive, and if there’s anyone who deserves Hollywood’s highest honor, it’s Snoop Doggy Dogg. Congratulations, Snoop,” Kimmel said.

During his acceptance speech, Dogg thanked his friends and colleagues before praising himself for his hard work and the never give up attitude.

“I want to thank me for doing all this hard work, I want to thank me for having no days off, I want to thank me for never quitting, I want to thank me for always being a giver and trying to give more than I receive.

“I want to thank me for trying to do more rights than wrong, I want to thank me for just being me at all times. Snoop Dogg, you a bad motherf****r.”

His speech was met with a roaring applause from every present at the ceremony.


Hollywood’s crown prince Timothee Chalamet earns more Oscar buzz

Timothee Chalamet and Steve Carrell shared a close bond both on screen and off.
Timothee Chalamet and Steve Carrell shared a close bond both on screen and off.

It’s been a big 12 months for actor Timothee Chalamet. A year ago, he was on the cusp of stardom, with major award season buzz surrounding the young actor following his breakout turns in Call Me By Your Name and Lady Bird.

Both went on to be critical and commercial hits, with the one-two punch helping to cement Chalamet as one of the most exciting young talents to emerge in recent years.

The internet fell in love with his hair, tabloid coverage of his romantic life ran rampant, and he garnered a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his sensitive performance in Call Me By Your Name. Oscar night served as his unofficial coronation as the newest prince of Hollywood.

But Chalamet says his day-to-day life wasn’t overly impacted by his newfound fame, which he coped with by throwing himself into working on his new film, the non-fiction addiction story Beautiful Boy.

“The truth is, it’s been amazing and yet, it’s not topsy-turvy,” Chalamet tells TimeOut. “I’m very grateful that I grew up in New York, my mom was an actress, my grandfather’s a screenwriter. If I want to go out unbothered, go out on the street and get a bagel or something, it’s not that thing sometimes you hear in interviews with other actors where it’s really topsy-turvy. It was good to work on this project right away.”


Oscar buzz for ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ after first Hollywood screening

Image result for Oscar buzz for 'Mary Poppins Returns' after first Hollywood screening

Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and the animal stars of Mary Poppins Returns (Disney)

Mary Poppins Returns is shaping up to be an awards contender if the early reactions coming out of Hollywood are to be believed, with Emily Blunt tipped to receive her first ever Oscar nomination.

The musical sequel, starring Blunt in the title role, held screenings for tastemakers and academy voters over the last week where it was met with rapturous responses and standing ovations.

The long-awaited sequel to 1964’s Mary Poppins hits cinemas this Christmas, and Disney is hoping to repeat the awards success of the original which earned 13 Academy Award nominations and won 5.

Industry paper Variety hailed Returns as “a bona fide best picture Oscar player this year” citing a “applause throughout a Producers Guild screening on Wednesday” and a “lengthy standing ovation” for the cast and crew at an “all-guild” screening on Saturday.

The film has been praised for giving Oscar voters some much-needed respite from the hard-hitting issues tackled by other big contenders like A Star Is Born and Vice.

“Mary Poppins Returns will be a massive hit,” sums up Variety’s Kristopher Taply, “which will drive the point home all the more: Audiences want a movie like this right now. Critics, even the most cynical of them (whether they admit it or not), want a movie like this right now.”


Please Stop With Robin Hood Movies, Hollywood

Image result for Please Stop With Robin Hood Movies, Hollywood

The movie theater offerings, for the most part, did not disappoint this past holiday weekend. Thanks to high-performing movies like Ralph Breaks the Internetand Creed II, this was one of the highest grossing Thanksgiving weekends in recent memory. However, amid all the positive buzz, you may have completely missed that fact that the new Robin Hood opened this weekend as well. The movie was dead on arrival, barely sending out a pulse to audiences. So, Hollywood, can we please finally admit that it’s time to stop with the Robin Hood movies?

The latest version of the classic Robin Hood tale, creatively called Robin Hood, is a reimagined take for modern audiences. The film follows Robin (Taron Egerton), a wealthy nobleman who returns to England from fighting in the Crusades only to learn that the people live under the oppression (and taxes) of the king and his enforcer, the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn). With the help of Little John (Jamie Foxx), Robin forms a group of merry men to steal from the rich, give to the poor, and win the heart of Maid Marian (Eve Hewson).

Sound familiar? It should because that’s the same plot that almost every Robin Hood movie ever made has followed. Any moviegoer or person on the street can probably lay out the basics of Robin Hood without thinking too much about it. Is it any surprise that people felt like they could afford to sit out another Robin Hood movie?

Robin Hood had a rough Thanksgiving, grossing $23.2 million worldwide on a budget of $100 million. It’s still early in the game, but that’s a steep climb just for the blockbuster to break even. This seems to indicate that people just weren’t interested in a new version of Robin Hood, a story that has hit some real diminishing returns ever since its days in Golden Age Hollywood.

Robin Hood has a long history in Hollywood and foreign studios. The character has been adapted into no less than 50 films over the last century, and that’s not even including the dozens of TV appearances of Robin Hood. It’s the well that just keeps giving, and whole generations of families have grown up surrounded by various Robin Hood stories.

The first Robin Hood movie dates all the way back to 1908. Dubbed Robin Hood and His Merry Men, it was a silent film, and the first appearance of Robin Hood onscreen. Since then the character has appeared in some form or fashion at least 10 times a decade. The history of Robin Hood in film is actually quite fascinating, but whatever made those early projects catch on has long since dwindled.

For one thing, the myth of Robin Hood doesn’t spark the imagination quite like it must have done in the early days of film. The story of Robin Hood is good, swashbuckling fun which appealed to an audience that was still new to movies on the big screen. However, you can only eat a giant cookie for so long before it starts to make you sick.

I will say, though, that the benefit of having all these different adaptations is that it forces filmmakers to get creative with the source material. There are Robin Hood films set in space, the future, and modern times. Some feature Marian as the lead or Robin Hood’s daughter taking up the mantle. These movies cover a wide swath of genres like drama, fantasy, adventure, action, and comedy. Even the latest Robin Hood was packaged as an action-oriented blockbuster with a superhero slant.

But even the most significant deviations doesn’t change the fact that this is still the same basic formula and people can guess what happens at the end of most Robin Hood films. When you can predict the basic plot points of any given movie before even seeing any footage, that’s not a great sign.

That familiarity is a big reason there are so many Robin Hood movies in the first place. Robin Hood is public domain so that anyone can make a movie or TV series about him. So, that’s free intellectual property that most everyone is familiar with, meaning there’s less legwork for a studio to explain the character or plot. That’s also why there are so many King Arthur, Peter Pan, and Dracula movies.

The new Robin Hood gets some brownie points for trying to be different. The Sheriff of Nottingham is revealed to be at the center of a convoluted conspiracy involving the Crusades, and a new sheriff takes over by the end. However, that still wasn’t quite enough of a difference to make this attractive.

Despite a decades-long run in Hollywood, it doesn’t bode well that only about six or seven of these films are memorable. Errol Flynn’s The Adventures of Robin Hood from the thirties is said to be the best Robin Hood movie, but what does that say that no other movie about the same thing has been better in 100 years? (Costner fans, insert gripes here.)

Other memorable Robin Hood movies include Robin and Marian, a revisionist take starring Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn as older versions of the title characters; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner, which had bright spots but was ultimately the beginning of the descent for modern Robin Hood movies; Disney’s animated Robin Hood with the fox that the internet has a crush on; and, of course, Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

It doesn’t seem like Hollywood is quite ready to learn a lesson from the underperformance of the new Robin Hood. A few different projects are rumored to be in development. The Wachowski siblings are reportedly writing and directing a modern adaptation called Hood, while Disney is working on Nottingham and Hood, which is supposedly intended to be a new adventure film franchise in the vein of Pirates of the Caribbean.

There was also at one point discussions from Sony about a Robin Hood cinematic universe, with characters getting their own spin-off films. That is such a colossally bad idea that it tells you how badly the studio was trying to get into the shared universe trend. People are really going to flock to the theaters to see Friar Tuck: Not So Merry, Man.

Ultimately, there’s a reason that this story keeps being retold, and there will be more movies. I’m just saying, give people a break. The previous Robin Hood movie (also called Robin Hood) was in 2010, and even an eight-year gap wasn’t enough space to get people to care. Can we go a full decade without a Robin Hood movie? THEN let’s see how we feel about that Friar Tuck movie.