• Russell Crowe calls directing ‘Water Diviner’ the best job in the world

    Updated: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    Russell Crowe has filmed dozens of music videos and three documentaries while performing in 41 films over 25 years. But starring in and directing his first feature, “The Water Diviner,” gave the “Gladiator” Oscar winner his own breed of beginner’s luck. A breakout success, the mix of World War I history and postwar romance became Australia’s box office triumph of 2014, and co-winner of best film at the AACTA Awards, the Aussie Academy Awards (shared with the indie horror cult hit “The Babadook”). In a recent phone interview, Crowe talked about how directing now tops acting as his idea of the best job in the world. “Doing this has kind of opened up a new world for me,” he said.

  • Rangers not panicking over early defensive problems

    Updated: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    One of the tenets Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister expressed throughout spring training was having a team that was “extraordinary at the ordinary.” Through hitting slumps and pitching problems that arise at one time or another during a season, he expected his team to consistently do the little things on a nightly basis. In the long run, that steadiness translates into wins and can make up for struggles in other areas. So far in 2015, however, the Rangers have mostly been less than ordinary at the ordinary. They’ve committed 15 errors in their first 15 games, including five in a two-game split with the Diamondbacks in Arizona. Texas (6-9) opens a three-game series with the Angels (6-9) at 9:05 p.m. Friday

  • Comcast deal may be dead, but cable consolidation will go on

    Updated: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — Even though Comcast's $45.2 billion bid for Time Warner Cable is dead, consolidation among the companies that pipe in our TV, phone and Internet will carry on. Combining the No. 1 and No. 2 U.S. cable companies would have put nearly 30 percent of TV and about 55 percent of broadband subscribers under one roof, along with NBCUniversal. That appeared to be too much concentration for regulators. Comcast and Time Warner Cable said Friday morning that they would drop the deal in the face of opposition from regulators. But cable companies are likely to keep merging as online video options proliferate, the number of cable and satellite TV subscribers slips and costs rise for the shows, sports and movies piped

  • President Obama’s Correspondents’ Dinner monologue has a thousand fathers and mothers

    Updated: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    WASHINGTON — If there’s a comedy equivalent to the “nuclear football,” the suitcase with the launch codes, it’s a worn gray folder marked “Presidential Statement” that lives in the bowels of the White House, in the speechwriters’ suite, and was delivered to the President Barack Obama last night. Inside that folder is a well-guarded arsenal of jokes, roughly 1,100 words, that will come together as the president’s monologue for Saturday night’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Preventing the President from bombing at the dinner is a fully nationalized effort, involving aides past and present as well as a task force of comedic luminaries.

  • 5 bands you missed at NMF8 (Day 1)

    Nathan Poppe | Published: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    7 p.m. – Autumn Ray at Bluebonnet Bar Norman’s Autumn Ray, 22, kicked off my festival schedule at the Bluebonnet Bar with a breezy set of sensitive acoustic guitar-led ballads. Her songs were met with warm applause from the early crowd. The OU grad’s backing band has doubled in size since her first performance at […]

  • Blake Lively balances baby, Preserve lifestyle site and ‘Age of Adaline’

    Updated: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    “Hi,” Blake Lively says, extending her free hand. Her other one is occupied, cradling her swaddled newborn, who nurses at her chest. She sits down on a couch, props a pillow on her lap and continues breast-feeding. She acts as if it’s not a big deal — having her baby here, in this hotel room with us — but it kind of feels like seeing a unicorn. The actress and her husband, Ryan Reynolds, have been secretive with the press about their daughter — even before she came into the world four months ago. Lively hoped to conceal her pregnancy until she gave birth but shared the news at seven months because she found out that paparazzi had taken pictures of her (and her growing stomach) on vacation with Reynolds.

  • Worst to best: Every Marvel Studios movie ranked

    Richard Hall | Published: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    We're taking a look at the best and worst the Marvel Cinematic Universe has to offer.

  • Oprah's household items going to highest bidder

    Updated: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    CHICAGO (AP) — Oprah Winfrey is selling the furniture, artwork, household items and clothing that once filled her Chicago home. In the market for size 10 yellow patent leather designer shoes? How about a hand-painted porcelain soup tureen valued at $6,000 to $8,000? More than 500 items with price points from $50 to $120,000 are going on the auction block Saturday. The low estimate for everything in the sale is about $800,000. Colleen Gleason, director of estates and appraisals at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, says there's no upper limit on the bidding. Proceeds will benefit the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation. Winfrey announced last month that she's closing Harpo Studios in Chicago, where she mad

  • Shocking Twist on 'Grey's Anatomy'

    Published: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    Fans of "Grey's Anatomy" were dealt a shocking twist on Thursday's episode ...

  • Us Weekly: Bruce Jenner Is "Very Proud and Excited" to "Reintroduce Himself to Society"

    Published: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    The eyes of the world, says US Weekly, are on Bruce Jenner . As the patriarch of reality TV's most famous family, the former Olympian, 65, is used to living his life in the glare of the spotlight. But never has that spotlight been as bright as it is now, in the lead-up to his highly anticipated interview with ABC News veteran Diane Sawyer . As detailed in the new issue of Us Weekly , the Friday, April 24 two-hour special edition of 20/20 -- during which Jenner will discuss his transition from male to female -- is the kickoff of a larger plan for the father of 10 "to reintroduce himself to society as a woman," a source tells Us . It's a plan that's been in the works for some time now -- and Jenner is ready to set it in action. "Bruce is very proud and excited," the insider says.

  • ‘24 Days’ is gripping, anguished account of a kidnapping

    Updated: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    LOS ANGELES — Knowing the outcome behind the true-life tragedy “24 Days” doesn’t diffuse the horror, the tension or the sadness of watching one family’s drama unfold day after agonizing day when a son is kidnapped and hope dies. French director Alexandre Arcady, who wrote the screenplay with Emilie Freche and Antoine Lacomblez, brings a gritty, bare-bones approach to the story of Ilan Halimi, a 23-year-old Parisian taken and tortured in 2006 by a group that would come to be known as the Gang of Barbarians, mostly consisting of African immigrants. Freche co-wrote a book on the real-world events with Ilan’s mother, Ruth. The film opens in late January of that year on an ordinary Friday.

  • ‘Tangerines’ is somber parable about war, humanity

    Updated: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    LOS ANGELES — The selection of the Estonian film “Tangerines” as one of the five foreign language Oscar nominees for 2014 came as something of a surprise, but now that the movie is in theaters it’s easy to see why the academy judges responded so strongly. A somber parable about the destructive effects of war and what a shared humanity might be able to do to overcome them, “Tangerines” is an example of lean, unadorned old-school filmmaking where familiar style and technique combine to unexpectedly potent effect because of the great skill with which they’ve been employed. Written and directed by Zaza Urushadze, “Tangerines” makes its timeless points by focusing on a particular European conflict, barely noticed

  • ‘Black Souls’ a top-notch Italian gangster film

    Updated: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    LOS ANGELES — A bleak tragedy orchestrated in a Mafia key, “Black Souls” (“Anime Nere” in Italian) is broodingly effective as a crime drama because it’s driven by family dynamics as much as the mechanics of transgression. Directed and co-written by Francesco Munzi, “Black Souls” is set not in the Sicily of the “Godfather” saga or even the Camorra-run areas surrounding Naples featured in 2008’s excellent “Gomorrah.” Rather, as photographed with a cool, wide-screen beauty by Vladan Radovic, this Italian saga takes place in remote Calabria, in the tiny mountainous town of Africo, where yet another criminal syndicate, the ‘Ndrangheta, exerts powerful control.

  • Our new national motto: Shut up unless you’re skinny

    Updated: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    Another day, another celebrity fat-shaming. Even the phrase is becoming problematic, given the fact that the celebrities in question are rarely fat. (Or ashamed, thankfully.) Pink is the latest target. The 35-year-old pop singer attended a weekend honoring people who are fighting to eradicate cancer, and a bunch of non-fans jumped all over her about her weight. Before we go any further, take a minute to watch Pink go all Cirque du Soleil at the 2014 Grammy Awards. Fat has no place in a conversation about this powerhouse. But there it is, one of a handful of stupid accusations that get tossed at women who make waves: fat, ugly, fat, lonely, fat.

  • Downtown Oklahoma City Festival of Arts Friday schedule

    Brandy McDonnell | Published: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    The 49th Festival of the Arts continues from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. today through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at its longtime home at the Festival Plaza, on Hudson Avenue and at the Myriad Botanical Gardens. The event annually brings in about 200 visual artists from across Oklahoma and the country, […]

  • Interview, photos & video: Comedy juggler Dan Raspyni balances juggling and jokes at Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts

    Brandy McDonnell | Published: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    A version of this story appears in Friday’s The Oklahoman. Festival of the Arts street performer balances juggling and jokes Dan Raspyni, an acclaimed comedy juggler from California, is performing his crowd-pleasing show daily during the Festival of the Arts in downtown Oklahoma City. Along with flipping out the cactus and cigar boxes and keeping […]

  • Video & interview: Oklahoma City Johnny Cash tribute artist Philip Bauer to perform Tuesday on TV show 'World’s Greatest Tribute Bands'

    Brandy McDonnell | Published: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    A version of this column appears in Friday’s Weekend Life section of The Oklahoman. Johnny Cash impersonator from Oklahoma to appear on TV series ‘World’s Greatest Tribute Bands’ As a tribute artist, Philip Bauer walks the line between fantasy and reality, between taking his job seriously and not taking himself too seriously. The Oklahoma City […]

  • What to do in Oklahoma on April 24, 2015: Laugh with 'Fluffy' comedian Gabriel Iglesias at Cox Convention Center

    Brandy McDonnell | Published: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    Today’s featured event: Laugh with “Fluffy” comedian Gabriel Iglesias at 8 tonight at the Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens in downtown Oklahoma City. Born in Chula Vista, Calif., Iglesias is the youngest of six children, raised by a single mother. Growing up, the family lived in Section 8 housing in Long Beach, Calif. It was […]

  • Sawyer Sweeten of 'Everybody Loves Raymond' commits suicide at 19

    Published: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    Actor Sawyer Sweeten, best known as Geoffrey Barone on the popular sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond," committed suicide Thursday at his family's home in Texas, his rep confirmed to the Los Angeles Times. He was 19. "We are devastated to report that our beloved brother, son, and friend, Sawyer Sweeten, took his own life," said a statement from sister Madylin Sweeten. "At this sensitive time, our family requests privacy and we beg of you to reach out to the ones you love." Sawyer Sweeten was weeks away from his 20th birthday, his sister said.

  • Filmmaker says 'Nerd Prom' has grown to reflect poorly on DC

    Updated: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A former Politico journalist is poking a hole in the bubble that surrounds one of Washington's biggest, celebrity-obsessed weekends with his new documentary "Nerd Prom." The film by Patrick Gavin, released online this month, takes a critical look at the White House Correspondents Association dinner and the slew of parties and VIP receptions that now span several days around the main event. The official dinner draws the president to the stage to make some jokes, and many attendees spend the night posing for selfies with celebrity guests. This year's dinner is set for Saturday. Film producers plan to release "Nerd Prom" on iTunes, Amazon and Netflix in the coming months.