Entertainment – International

Bollywood seeks boost with ‘Forrest Gump’ remake

by Glenda Kwek with Udita Jhunjhunwala Agence France-Presse MUMBAI, India (AFP) — One of India’s biggest stars is banking on a remake of Hollywood feelgood hit “Forrest Gump” to revive the fortunes of Hindi-language Bollywood, after a string of weak box-office showings. Aamir Khan’s “Laal Singh Chaddha”, an adaptation of the 1994 US classic starring Tom Hanks, hits cinemas on Thursday ahead of India’s 75th independence celebrations. Disappointing takings for other Bollywood A-listers have cast […]

Grease’ star Olivia Newton-John dies aged 73

  LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Singer Olivia Newton-John, who gained worldwide fame as high school sweetheart Sandy in the hit musical movie “Grease,” died on Monday after a 30-year battle with cancer. She was 73. Newton-John “passed away peacefully at her ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” said a statement from her husband John Easterling posted on her official social media accounts. The multiple Grammy-winning entertainer, whose career […]

Directors ‘shocked’ by axing of $90m ‘Batgirl’ film

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — The directors of “Batgirl” said Wednesday they were “shocked” that the $90 million dollar superhero film had been axed by the studio and will now not be released in any format. Warner Bros. Discovery announced they were shelving the movie adaptation of the DC Comics character, which was to star Leslie Grace in the title role, alongside Michael Keaton as Batman, preventing it from being seen in either theaters […]

Comanche warriors take spotlight in ‘Predator’ prequel ‘Prey’

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) – Having battled mighty heroes across time and space, the invisible extraterrestrial hunters of the “Predator” films have a new — or rather, old — foe in an 18th-century female Comanche warrior. Prequel film “Prey,” out Friday on Hulu in the United States, is perhaps the most unlikely direction yet for the “Predator” franchise, which first hit screens with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1987 action classic. Since then, the bloodthirsty trophy-hunting creatures […]

Oscars group elects Janet Yang as new president

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences elected film producer Janet Yang as its new president, the group behind the Oscars announced Tuesday. Yang, best known for hits including “The Joy Luck Club” and “The People vs. Larry Flynt,” becomes the fourth woman elected to run Hollywood’s most elite group of filmmakers, and the first of Asian origin. Academy members vote for the winners of the Oscars each […]

BTS’ J-Hope makes history on Lollapalooza festival stage

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — K-pop superstar J-Hope of BTS made history on Sunday as the closer at Chicago’s annual Lollapalooza weekend, becoming the first South Korean act to headline a major US music festival. The star appeared to dramatically pop out of a box as he took the stage in Chicago’s Grant Park, and was greeted by a sea of screaming fans. The crowd rapped and sang along to songs from J-Hope’s new […]

Netflix subscriber numbers drop two quarters in a row

  SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Netflix reported losing subscribers for the second quarter in a row Tuesday as the streaming giant battles fierce competition and viewer belt tightening, but the company assured investors of better days ahead. The loss of 970,000 paying customers in the most recent quarter was not as big as expected, and left Netflix with just shy of 221 million subscribers. “Tough in some ways, losing a million and calling […]

‘Thrones’ and ‘Rings’ fans ready for battle as Comic-Con returns

by Andrew Marszal Agence France-Presse SAN DIEGO, United States (AFP) — Comic-Con finally returns to San Diego this week, where new “Lord of the Rings” and “Game of Thrones” TV series will compete before tens of thousands of cosplaying geeks and nerds at the world’s most famous pop culture gathering. Disney and its Marvel superheroes will also preview their upcoming films and shows to adoring fans at the sprawling convention, which has not taken place […]

Kevin Spacey pleads not guilty to sexual assault in UK

  by James PHEBY / Joe JACKSON Agence France Presse Hollywood star Kevin Spacey on Thursday pleaded not guilty at London’s Old Bailey court to four charges of sexual assault against three men. The 62-year-old star was wearing a blue suit and blue tie as he stood in the dock at the UK’s top criminal court. He spoke to confirm his name and age before pleading not guilty to four charges of sexual assault and […]

Netflix partners with Microsoft to offer cheaper streaming plan

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Netflix will work with Microsoft to launch a cheaper subscription plan that includes advertisements, the firms said Wednesday, as the streaming giant fights to attract customers. Netflix opted to develop the lower-cost offering after a disappointing first quarter in which it lost subscribers for the first time in a decade, and after years of resistance against the very idea of running ads. The ad-supported subscription will be in addition […]

Global talent, Korean-trained: K-pop’s new recipe for world domination

by Cat Barton Agence France-Presse SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — From Indian K-pop idols to Swedish songwriters, South Korea’s music industry is now a hotbed of global talent — a smart strategy as it aims for world domination, experts say. K-pop bands have long included non-Koreans: Blackpink’s Lisa is Thai, while Japan and China are both well represented, and Korean-American singers have topped the local charts. But after megastars like Psy and BTS brought K-pop […]

Three disputed Michael Jackson songs pulled from streaming sites

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Three Michael Jackson songs have been removed from streaming sites following longstanding claims that they are sung by someone else, Sony and the late singer’s estate said Wednesday. “Breaking News,” “Monster” and “Keep Your Head Up” appear on the 2010 compilation album “Michael,” released a year after Jackson’s death from a drug-induced cardiac arrest. Some fans have long argued that the vocals on the tracks actually belong to an […]