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by Jac Kern 02.24.2012
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 2/24-2/26

Radius, a local crowd-sourced short film shot at MidPoint Music Festival, Final Fridays and other area events, premieres Saturday at Memorial Hall. According to the press release, the movie follows "a man's investigation into a mysterious superhero and its effect on the community leads to a startling revelation." The red carpet event kicks off at 7:30 p.m., and guests are invited to stick around after the premiere for drinks, noshes, music by DJ Pillo and entertainment from Cincinnati BombShells, Young Professionals' Choral Collective and Pones Inc. Tickets are $25 at the door; go here for more information and a sneak peek.

20th Century Cincinnati is a vintage-modern (is that an oxymoron?) collector's dream. The 18th annual event brings 60 furniture and decor dealers to the Sharonville Convention Center with all kinds of goodies from the 1920s-1980s. Tickets are just $7 for the weekend, with the sale open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Find details here.

Born to Swap's February Swaptique Sunday is another fun shopping event this weekend. Clothing swaps are absolutely genius: just bring 5-20 fashion items in a bag and a potluck dish, and prepare to share both with a great group of women. You'll be able to get rid of shoes, clothes and accessories you no longer need, find a new-to-you ensemble and meet other eco-conscious, fabulous fashionistas like yourself. Tickets are $10 in advance ($15 if you don't have clothing to bring), $15 at the door ($20 without swapables) and leftover clothing will be donated to charity. Purchase tickets and find FAQs here.

Do you think there's ever been a February Final Friday as mild as this one? Surely not. Hop around the galleries, restaurants and bars in Over-the-Rhine and make the most of this odd weather!

For even more stuff to do, peep Mike Breen's weekend music forecast, Rick Pender's weekend theater suggestions and all of our recommended arts, performances and events for the week.

 
 
by Jac Kern 05.10.2013
Posted In: Eats, Events, Music, Northside, Performances, Fun, Holidays at 11:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 5/10-5/12

This weekend is all mothers, so grab your mom, grandma, baby-mama or other motherly-type and take her out for a good time! The next few days are packed with stuff to do, with moms or otherwise.

The 44th annual Appalachian Festival is already in full gear at Coney Island, with tons of live music, handmade artisan crafts, storytelling, food and an authentic pioneer village — for those who like to kick it super old-school. The fest runs until 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $1-$8. Get a full lineup of activities and performances here.

Cincinnati Rollergirls games are pretty much a guaranteed good time. Fun, fierce, badass chicks battle on the rink; $1 happy hour beers; hilarious roller derby nicknames; meet-and-greet with the girls after the game — need we go on? Roll out to the Cincinnati Gardens Saturday as the CRG face Toronto Roller Derby and The Dire Skates of Richmond, Ind., in a double-header. Saturday is Scout and Kids Night, so bring the chillun for a family-friendly event. Get tickets here and read our interview with Rollergirl Sydney “Big Ugly” Greathouse.

Whether you’re looking to welcome a furry friend to your family or you want to treat your pup to a day on the town, head downtown to the Duke Energy Convention Center for Petopolis Saturday-Sunday. This pet expo features animal adoption opportunities, pet fashion shows (hopefully straight out of Anchorman), trick competitions, demos, informational seminars, activities for the kids and tons of vendors. Plus, moms will get complimentary pet photos for Mother’s Day. Go here for more information.

Oktoberfest is months away, but local German enthusiasts can get their fill of beer, sausage and Gemütlichkeit at the Cincinnati Donauschwaben Society’s Schwabenfest Friday-Saturday. Have your fill of homemade sausages, German brews, pretzels and cream puffs, compete in the stein-holding competition and, if you’re coming from Petopolis, dogs are welcome in the biergarten.

Maybe you prefer more American-style fare. In that case, swing by Sawyer Point from 2-10 p.m. Saturday for the Cincinnati Wing Fest. This free food festival features chicken wings and side dishes ($2+) from Knocback Nat’s, Rooster’s, Montgomery Inn, Buffalo Wings and Rings and several other area restaurants.

Northside Second Saturdays is a great opportunity to buy some artwork, jewelry, baked goods, clothing or home goods for mom (or yourself — no judgment). Stop by local businesses along Hamilton, Chase and Spring Grove avenues from 6-10 p.m. Saturday for sales, extended hours, drinks and food specials. Check out a full list of participating shops, restaurants and bars here.

For more stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks, full calendar and Rick Pender’s Stage Door for weekend theater offerings.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.05.2012
Posted In: Drinking, Events, Music, Fun at 12:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Monday To Do List

Guinness, vinyl, free CAC admission and more

St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner and in preparation for this celebration of all things Irish/alcohol-related, Molly Malone's hosts a Guinness Perfect Pour Contest tonight. The competition at the Covington pub kicks off at 7 p.m. Bartenders have already signed up online, so go to cheer on the best pour-fessional. These bartenders will be judges on their "perfect" technical pint pour and a more creative pour (which can include personal flair, decorations in the beer's head, etc.) Prizes for winners include Guinness products, an iPad and iPods, and there will be more giveaways throughout the night. All proceeds from Guinness sold tonight with go to the Emerald Society Pipes & Drums. Downstairs, you'll find a different vibe with Bluegrass night. Enjoy the Monday night jam session with $2 Bulleit Bourbon. Check out Molly Malone's site for details.

Monday is Vinyl Night at Milton's Prospect Hill Tavern. Show support for local record stores and vinyl culture by bringing your collection to play. Variety is key, so go here to check the specs and see which genres could use a little more airtime. All are welcome to play records, or have one of the DJs spin it for you. The event runs from 10 p.m.-2:30 a.m.


Did you miss the jam-packed Contemporary Arts Center opening party Saturday, or perhaps you became entranced by Dan Deacon and forgot to check out the exhibits? Spectacle: The Music Video and Dasha Shishkin's I surrender, dear are both on display at the museum. Swing by after 5 p.m. for free admission. The CAC is open until 9 p.m. tonight. Find more info here.

Have you been to Bakersfield yet? The OTR taco-whiskey-tequlia joint has only been open for about a month, but is already a force to be reckoned with. If you've tried to walk in on a Saturday night, you know how difficult it can be to get a table, so visit on a weeknight like tonight for a more chill vibe. Look out for our review of Bakersfield in this week's upcoming issue. SPOILER ALERT: We loved it.

As always, check out our music blog and To Do recommendations for more ways to spend your evening.

 
 
by Jac Kern 05.02.2012
 
 
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Your Wednesday To Do List

Last night’s Reds opener against the Cubs was postponed due to that nasty storm, so Bronson Arroyo and Chicago's Jeff Samardzija will face off tonight at 7:10 p.m. A makeup game for last night has not been announced yet.

If you’re downtown for the game or just hanging out, stop by the Moerlein Lager House at The Banks for their first seasonal Keg tapping. Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld will tap the Christian Moerlein Dubél Double IPA, available only at the Lager House, at 6 p.m.

Even if you’re far from a modern dance buff, you’re probably familiar with contemporary dance company Pilobolus. Besides touring across more than 64 countries, Pilobus performed a tribute to the nominated movies at the 2007 Oscars, collaborated with OK GO for the group’s “All Is Not Lost” music video and were featured on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 2008.

Pretty cool, right? Pilobolus is in town tonight and Thursday, performing at the Aronoff Center as part of Contemporary Dance Theater’s Guest Artist Series. Go here for tickets.

Joseph-Beth hosts staff favorite author Veronica Roth and their Rookwood location tonight. The New York Times bestselling author will discuss and sign the second book in her popular Divergent series tonight from 7-8:30 p.m. Insurgent is “another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.”

May is Bike Month so be sure to check our our new issue, out today, for tips on traversing city streets, options for trail lovers and a lots of pedal-rific events all month long.

Check out our To Do page for more arts and theater happenings and follow our music blog for nightly club shows and concerts.

 
 
by Jac Kern 04.12.2012
Posted In: Animals, Concerts, Drinking, Eats, Events, Fun, Performances, Music at 11:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Thursday To Do List

Young Bucks, French music, comedy and puppies galore

Tonight our sister publication A-Line Magazine hosts The Pet Event at Red Dog Pet Resort and Spa. If you fell in love with A-Line's April Pet Issue and all the adorable critters inside, tonight's your chance to meet them! The winners of A-Line's cute pet contest will be around, along with Louise Labrie of Nationwide, who's offering pet insurance quotes. For every quote given, Nationwide will donate $10 to the Cincinnati SPCA. Bring your leashed dog and check out the amazing facility while enjoying cocktails and hors d'oeuvres from 5-8 p.m. Find directions and more info here.

Add a little français to your Thursday with Cincinnati Symphony's French Connection concert. Enjoy works of three French composers, performed by French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, led by French conductor Stéphane Denève. Tickets for tonight's 7:30 p.m. show at Music Hall start at just $10 — c'est bon marché! The show continues Saturday and Sunday. Go here for tickets and performance details.

Comedian Nick Griffin kicks off his four-night run at Go Bananas tonight at 8 p.m. The Kansas native has been doing stand up for more than two decades. You may have seen him on late-night shows like Letterman and Conan, or on Comedy Central. Check out his latest comedy album, Shot in the Face on iTunes. Tickets to tonight's set are $10, $4 with college or military ID.

Cincinnati Zoo's Tunes and Blooms series continues tonight with Magnolia Mountain and Comet Bluegrass All Stars. This free concert offers excellent local bands in the beautiful setting of the zoo's gardens. The concert runs 6-8:30 p.m.; admission to the zoo is free after 5 p.m. (parking is $8). Tunes and Blooms continues every Thursday this month.

Tonight downtown drinkery Shooter's hosts its weekly western-themed night, Young Buck Thursdays. Get down with dance music, a Flashbox photo booth and $2 pink pony shots all night long. Mosey on down to the watering hole starting at 10 p.m. Find details here.

Go here for tonight's live music lineup and check out our To Do page for more arts and theater events tonight.

 
 
by Jac Kern 01.15.2014
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Movies, Music at 09:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough...Golden Globes

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

The Golden Globe Awards are a true Hollywood party. Awards are given out for television and film categories, so you get the playfulness of the Emmys and the movie stars of the Oscars without as much seriousness. And it is a widely-known fact that everybody gets their drank on throughout the ceremony. Globes were awarded Sunday night; here are some highlights.

Hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey served as ringleaders for this celebrity circus, supplying audiences at home and at the show with tons of laughs. Having a fine eye for detail (HA!), I appreciated that they swapped gown colors from last year’s show.

The duo threw hilarious digs at the nominees, calling Matt Damon a “garbage person” in reference to the caliber of A-listers and introducing the Wolf of Wall Street himself with, "And now, like a supermodel's vagina, let's all give a warm welcome to Leonardo DiCaprio!" There were also super funny cutaway shots, like Julia Louis-Dreyfus acting like she was too good for this mess, puffing on an e-cig and refusing to take a selfie with Reese Witherspoon. Flawless!

Jennifer Lawrence accepted the first Golden Globe of the night — wearing what appeared to be a bed sheet secured with seat belts — for her role as a certified Real Housewife of New Jersey in American Hustle. She displayed her usual candor, expressing true befuddlement and, for lack of a better word, cute “awkwardness.” And America’s love affair with her continues.

Jacqueline Bisset was shocked — or intoxicated? —when she was announced as Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie for her role in Dancing on the Edge. Eventually she got her words together, speaking right over that "STFU" music and ended up defying the censor to get an s-word in that bitch. Go Jackie!

Behind the Candelabra nabbed Best TV Movie or Mini-Series, because the Hollywood Foreign Press Association doesn’t have a category for “Best Use of Bejeweled Thongs.”

Mad Men was SNUBBED! This year, but Peggy (aka Elizabeth Moss) got an award, at least, for Top of the Lake (Best Actress in a Mini-Series or TV Movie). And, seriously, she seems like a total sweetheart. 

Bryan Cranston won Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama for Breaking Bad’s final season. The series also received the award (which was presented by Paula Patton dressed in a blooming tampon-inspired number?) for Best TV Series, Drama. Aaron Paul said it best: “Yeah, bitch!”

Best Original Score - Motion Picture went to Alexander Ebert for All is Lost. When the camera cut to this fancy hobo, I realized that’s the lead singer of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros! Way to go, you crazy dude. Also: new hair icon.

One of the more surprising awards of the night was Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie — that’s a wide-spanning category packed with talent. The Globe went to Jon Voight for Ray Donovan, in which his character advised his grandson, who was sick with a stomach ache, “Maybe you need to faht!” in a heavy Boston accent (Read: This was one of the season’s highlights). But Rob Lowe was fucking robbed of that award. I’ll never forget that face (even if I could)!

 #californiadiet

Amy Adams(' side boob) received the award for Best Actress In A Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy for American Hustle. She and her girls accepted the award in a neckline ripped from the film. Adams is well on her way to becoming a mega-star, but I still keep confusing her with Isla Fischer!

The Globes have this weird tradition of selecting a Mr. and Ms. Golden Globe each year, which is basically a celebri-spawn that wears expensive clothes to help usher award winners out the correct stage exit. This year’s Miss was Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick’s daughter, Sosie Bacon. As for the Mister, Tina introduced her little-known adult son from a previous relationship.


Robin Wright, female perfection incarnate, was awarded for her role on Netflix series, House of Cards (Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama) The princess attended the show with new fiancé, Ben Foster. Get it girl!

Presenter Jim Carrey proved he’s still got it (despite several bouts of public cray over the past couple years)! I don’t know what made me laugh more: his Shia LaBoeuf sting or the face that he was announced as the star of Dumb and Dumber To.

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture went to Jared Leto, who portrayed a transgender AIDS patient in Dallas Buyers Club. He was really workin’ them ombré highlights (not in the movie, he actually has female envy-worthy hair for a guy). And despite making a period joke, I will always love him because he will always be Jordan Catalano to me.

Spike Jonze received Best Screenplay - Motion Picture for his human-OS love story, Her.

We all need to start watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine! Andy Samberg nabbed Best Actor in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy for his new comedy. Seemed genuinely shocked and pretty adorable. And ICYMI, he’s married to Joanna Newsom.

Another award presenter fashion faux pas: Zoe Saldana's dress looks like a prom rag from Charlotte Russe circa 1999. She'd look hawt in a burlap sack, so her style cred will recover, but damn. I think I have an old purse from Claire's that would match.

Next up was Michael Douglas (Best Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie) for his role as Liberace in Behind the Candelabra.

Host Amy Poehler received her first Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy as Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation. She was massaged by/made out with Bono upon the exciting announcement.

Leonardo DiCaprio won his third Globe (Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy) for The Wolf of Wall Street. The actor, often overlooked at awards events (always the bridesmaid, never the bride, that Leo), seemed extremely gracious.

Rounding out the night, American Hustle was named Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy; Cate Blanchett (which is pronounced Blanch-it as I recently learned on NPR) nabbed Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama for Blue Jasmine; Her male counterpart: Matthew McConaughey (Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama), for Dallas Buyers Club — a role for which he lost 45 pounds. Or, as Tina Fey put it, “what actresses call 'being in a movie.'" Matt wore a cool deep emerald velvet tux and gave his signature catchphrase: “Alright, alright, alright!”

The show closed with Best Motion Picture, Drama, which went to 12 Years a Slave. All in all, it was an entertaining night and the awards were pretty well-distributed. Next up is the Oscars with Ellen DeGeneres — only 46 days to go!

 
 
by Jac Kern 10.25.2013
Posted In: Events, Fashion, Music, Performances, Movies at 10:47 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 10/25-10/27

Brand consulting firm Landor Associates hosts coinciding events Friday at the iconic Shillito’s department store building downtown. Miketoberfest is a benefit for Mike Amann, owner of Covington design firm BLDG and linchpin in the Greater Cincinnati arts scene, who is battling stage 4 neuroendocrine cancer. The fundraiser features live music and DJs, grub from local food trucks and local art and handmade goods for sale from 5-11 p.m. Meanwhile, Landor will also be guiding Shillito’s Abandoned tours every 10 minutes during that time. Visitors will go underground to explore the former department store’s cafeteria, showrooms and Santaland for a spooky experience perfect for Halloween. Admission for Miketoberfest is $15; tours are $10. All proceeds from the night benefit the Amann family. Go here for more details.

The Cincinnati Art Museum is said to be the site of various hauntings, which sets the stage for Friday’s Art After Dark event. The museum will host ghost tours at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. and screen the 1922 classic Nosferatu with Folk Rockers The Ridges providing a live score to the film from 6-8 p.m. Appetizers and drinks (including Great Lakes Nosferatu ale) will be available for purchase; admission is free.

Cincinnati street style gets the spotlight at Rise of the Cool Kids, a production feature from local retailers, designers, bloggers and other area fashionistas. The event takes over Washington Park Friday with a happy hour 5-7 p.m. benefiting Artworks; a dance party and projected fashion show 7-11 p.m.; and after-parties at nearby 4EG bars. $10 tickets are available in advance online. Limited cash tickets will be available tonight at the park.

For a classy twist on the adult Halloween party, check out The Malice Ball: OTR Brewers' Masquerade Saturday. The Christian Moerlein Brewery serves as a chilling setting for a masquerade ball, complete with masks and makeup artists to elevate your mysterious look, a DJ, photo booth, local bites, drinks served by fave Japp’s and Bakersfield bartenders and a special dance performance by Pones Inc. The Malice Ball runs 8 p.m.-midnight. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door, and include a drink ticket and free shuttle to and from Washington Park and Mercer Garages. Register here.

Channel your inner Jules Verne at the Cincinnati Museum Center’s Gears & Beers event Saturday. It’s a steampunk soiree — Victorian aesthetic with a sci-fi edge — complete with a costume and gadget parade, live entertainment and plenty of microbrews and food pairings. The party kicks off at 8 p.m. Admission is $40; $30 for CMC and Enjoy the Arts members. Go here for event lineup and menu details.

For more art openings, parties and other stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks, full calendar and Rick Pender’s Stage Door for weekend theater offerings. Be sure to read ScaryBeat for more Halloween events and holiday inspiration.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.06.2012
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Northside, Music, Life, Fun, Events, Culture, Concerts at 12:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Tuesday To Do List

Happy Super Tuesday! The No. 1 item on today's To Do list is to get your tush to a voting station and participate in Ohio's primary. Those living in Hamilton County can go here to find your polling locations.

Occupy Cincinnati is hosting a primary watch party at C & D Northside from 8-11 p.m. Check out the night's results while enjoying a stiff drink — the group's Facebook invite suggests ordering a "Santorum" (though something tells me I might have to pass). Occupy has some tips for voting against corporate parties; check those out here.

And speaking of the man who turned "Santorum" into a dirty word, a bit further south down I-75 Dan Savage is speaking at the University of Kentucky. Savage is touring as a part of the It Gets Better lecture series, the movement created by Savage to give hope to LGBTQ kids who face bullying, and fight hatred and intolerance against them. Savage will give a presentation and sign books beginning at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall on the UK campus. If you can make the trip, it's a great opportunity to meet Savage and become involved in It Gets Better — tickets are free to all attendees (just have a local direct you to the Student Center Ticket Office to pick up passes).

MOTR Pub hosts its weekly Writer's Night for original artists of many mediums: poetry, music, comedy, spoken word, etc. Sign up early, starting at 8:30 p.m. and hang out to enjoy performances 'til 12:30 a.m. Participants are all entered for a prize drawing for up to $40. Tonight's showcase is hosted by Fists of Love's Donna J. Drink specials for the night include $3 24-ounce Hudy Amber. Check out the event on Facebook for more info.

Investigative reporter, film producer and Cleveland-native James Renner debuts his first novel tonight at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Commons. The Man From Primrose Lane is a "mind-bending and genre-twisting" story about the murder of an elderly man in Akron. Renner will read from and sign the novel at 7 p.m. The event is free (the book is $26).

Go here to find other arts and theater events happening tonight. Find tonight's live music schedule here.

 
 
by Jac Kern 07.21.2011
Posted In: Events, Fun, Music, Concerts, Animals at 04:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List

We're just two months away from the highly anticipated MidPoint Music Festival and the free MidPoint Indie Summer Series is still rockin' on. Stop by Fountain Square Friday for a taste of quality music you can expect at the September fest. This week's line up features a superb spread of local talent. Alternative Folk crew The Western kicks off the show at 7 p.m., followed by Garage Rockers The Prohibitionists at 8:15 p.m. July for Kings headlines the show at 9:30 p.m., bringing their quirky Rock & Roll sound. Check out a past interview with her crew here. For tickets, lineups and all the latest updates on MPMF, follow them on Facebook.

Read More

 
 
by Jac Kern 01.08.2014
Posted In: Movies, Music, Humor, TV/Celebrity at 01:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

The Internet is a scary place, and anyone who’s browsed 4chan can attest to that. But this creepy technological web can connect strangers and answer questions, often with unexpected results. The latest example: Jenna Jameson exchanged an unverified story and super sad, semi-nude pics for information about her former agent who Jameson said turned out to be a con man and is sabotaging her online presence. She was given the man’s phone number, address, social security number, credit score an more private information within the hour. Cool?

David Lynch fans will likely recall the last episode of Twin Peaks, where Laura Palmer tells Agent Cooper she’ll see him in 25 years. Peaks took place in 1989, which means she was referring to this year — 2014. Hence, Lynch is filming new episodes of the cult series, as evidenced by a Twin Peaks casting call.

It’s always exciting to see Cincinnati on the big screen — not just a mention, but actual shots of the city. It’s certainly not the most exotic locale, and many scenes of a Cincinnati-based movie could probably be replicated in a Hollywood studio. So movies that do make the trip Midwest tend to be very special to locals. Rain Man, Traffic and The Ides of March all brought a spotlight and stars to the Queen City. Next up: Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara make their way to Cincinnati this spring to film Carol. Based on the Patricia Highsmith book also known as The Price of Salt, the movie will be set in 1950s New York City, but shot exclusively in Cincinnati. Blanchett and Mara in vintage garb, traipsing around town? Celeb-stalking will be in full force, #ClooneyWatch style. Read more here.

In case you missed it, Shia LaBoeuf has lost his damn mind. Exhibit A. Exhibit B. Exhibit C. But, due to my undying love of Louis Stevens, I still anticipate seeing his wiener (again) in Nymphomaniac.

We’re a week into 2014 but, judging by the proliferation of “best of” articles and continued obligatory year-end reflection posts on Facebook, it appears most people are still in #RIP2013 mode — so we’re going to follow suit. Now that our marathon New Year’s hangover has passed (and since awards season doesn’t kick off until this week's People’s Choice Awards and Golden Globes), let’s look back at some of the highlights — and low points — of 2013.

The most photographed location on Instagram was a Bangkok mall; the most “popular” is this shot of Will Smith and the Biebs, with more than 1.5 million likes.

                                  A sacrifice to the Xenu gods? No such luck.

Moving on to Twitter, the most re-tweeted post was a somber one — Lea Michele of Glee’s photo of herself with boyfriend Cory Monteith, who died of a drug and alcohol overdose in July.

A close second was the announcement of actor Paul Walker’s death in November. :(:(:(

OK, enough with the sads! The most illegally downloaded artist of the year was Bruno Mars. Not sure whether that means he’s even more popular than his record sales show, or if people are just really ashamed to buy a Burno Mars album. Either way, the guy who penned, the exquisite phrase, “You and me baby making love like gorillas,” will be performing at halftime during next month’s Super Bowl. Good luck topping last year’s!

During awards shows and in end-of-the-year roundups, we often take a moment to remember people that have passed away. Since just looking at that Cory Monteith photo makes me want to sob and hide in a room full of Pug puppies and body pillows, actual real humans are out of the question. So, as a variation of this trend, let’s look back on some of the important TV characters we lost this year. SPOILERS.

In Memoriam

Game of Thrones

After the main protagonist of Game of Thrones, Ned Stark, was shockingly beheaded in the first season, audiences quickly learned any character on the series could find themself chopping block at any time. But who (besides, of course, those who’ve read A Storm of Swords) would expect Ned’s widow and oldest son to join him so quickly — and in such a terrifying fashion? The episode “The Rains of Castamere” brought the merciless death of Catelyn and Robb Stark plus Robb’s wife, Talisa, their unborn baby and direwolf Grey Wind, in addition to at least a dozen others at the "Red Wedding" alone. Earlier in the season, Ros — one of my favorite “working ladies” on television — fell victim to the insufferable Joffrey. While she played a much smaller role than the Starks, her death was heartbreaking and shocking. You’ll all be missed!

Boardwalk Empire

A Prohibition gangster drama is bound to rack up a serious body count. For some of the historically-based characters, like Al Capone, viewers have a pretty good idea about how long they will last. The fictional characters, however, can meet their maker at any point. While I’m still not over Jimmy and Angela’s demise, Boardwalk fully crushed my heart by having Richard Harrow go out in a completely un-badass style. Harrow was more than just a talented sniper with half a prosthetic face. He was a hero in the show. He killed — a lot — but usually only the true bad guys, and often to protect others. He was sensitive and strong, but slipped in his final scenes, accidentally killing Chalky’s daughter instead of his target, Narcisse. As soon as he missed the shot, I knew he was done for — Harrow, by definition, always hits his mark! Sure enough, after a dream sequence in which Harrow reunited with his family, we were jolted back to reality to find the wounded war vet dying peacefully under the boardwalk. The show will go on, but won’t have the same heart without him.

Dexter

Oh, Debra. I never much cared for Dexter’s little sis — the phony fowl mouth act just rubbed me the wrong way. But she definitely played an important role in the series, especially once she found out about her brother’s “dark passenger.” Dexter seriously declined after its fourth season, and this final one was a doozy. But it still didn’t prepare us for Deb’s death. After surviving a shot to the stomach, Deb appears to be recovering at a hospital. While Dexter was busy chasing down his sister’s shooter, Deb’s health turned for the worse, leaving her brain-dead. As a hurricane hits Miami, sending the hospital staff into a frenzy, Dex is able to pull the plug on his sister — sure she would not want to continue on in a vegetative state at a hospital for the rest of her days — and takes her body on his boat, to be whipped into the stormy sea. It seems like Deb and Dex died together in the water, until we meet up with a bearded, lumberjack Dexter in some mysterious woodsy locale, living in solitude. The fuh?

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead killed off a number of significant characters between the end of Season Three and first half of Season Four this year. Andrea, who once shared a bed with the Governor, ended up dead because of him. The Gov. hunted and captured Andrea after she attempted to run away to her group at the prison. Trapped in a torture chamber with the ticking time-zomb that was Milton, Andrea was unable to protect herself from a deadly bite. Michonne made it to her BFF Andrea’s side, only in time to put her down before she turned. And, after making an anticipated return to the show, Merle also fell victim to the Governor. His brother, Daryl, was tasked with killing zombie-Merle in a super-sad scene.

The Governor’s path of terror finally came to an end at the prison, but not before he was able to take out Hershel (the closest thing the group had to a doctor, not to mention Maggie and Beth’s father and the sweetest one-legged man to make it in the apocalypse). The villain was finally taken down in a big shoot-out between his group and Rick’s, which left all the survivors in disarray. Also, baby Judith is MIA, probably in a zombie’s belly. :(

Breaking Bad

I made up my mind early on that Walter White needed to die at the end of Breaking Bad in order for the story to retain its authenticity. Walt got into the meth business in order to pay for his medical costs and provide ample support for his family if and when he succumbed to cancer. We all know he stuck with the game for so long because, as he finally admitted in the finale, he liked it. He was good at it. “I did it for me,” he tells Skyler in their final scene. Most fans probably expected Walt to die, and he did so in a truly epic fashion, while protecting Jesse. His brother-in-law Hank also went out like a champ, after a brutal desert showdown. The saddest death of all was the end of the show itself, but Breaking Bad will surely stand the test of time as one of the greatest American dramas.

Homeland

Talk about a surprise ending! After breaking free from countless near-death experiences, Nicholas Brody was captured and killed. Viewers got a taste of a Brody-less Homeland this season, as the character was on the lam and not present in much of this season. But the show was so much better with Brody in it — somehow, he balanced Carrie’s cray, despite the fact that he was a damaged man who flipped every chance he got. This death gives the show an opportunity to take a completely new route. Hopefully we’ll still check in on his family (am I the only one who still cares about them?) but we’re definitely going to have a little bit of Brody in the form of his child with Carrie. How a fetus could survive the stress, cigs and booze she put it through proves that this is definitely a Marine baby.

 
 

 

 

 
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