Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Worldwide Video Game Spending Hits Record $10.5B in April (2020)

Digital video game spending hit a record high in April as players continue leisure activities at home amid national stay-at-home orders to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Game spending topped $10.5 billion last month, higher than March figures ($10 billion) and up 17 percent from the same month in 2019 according to the latest report from Nielsen’s SuperData. 

Nintendo’s social simulation game Animal Crossing: New Horizons led the charge, selling the most digital units — $3.6 million — of any game during the month. After only two months on the market, the game is now the top Switch title in lifetime digital sales and lifetime digital revenue. 

Meanwhile, the Final Fantasy 7 Remake from Square Enix sold $2.2 million digital units, surpassing Marvel’s Spider-Man which previously held the launch digital sales record for an exclusive title on Playstation 4.

Another game that performed well was Capcom’s survival-horror Resident Evil 3, the remake of the 1999 title. The game sold $1.3 million digital units in April, a similar figure to its predecessor, Resident Evil 2, which sold $1.4 million digital units at launch in January 2019.

The report also showed a continued interest in single-player Call of Duty experiences, as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered — the single-player portion of the 2019 first-person shooter game — sold $3.4 million units in April. 

Online games are powering through at a rapid pace, with Grand Theft Auto V seeing its highest monthly spending in-game content during the month. As a result of Epic Games offering the title free through its digital storefront, the game is expected to see strong numbers in May.

Since rapper Travis Scott appeared for a virtual performance in Epic Games’ free-to-play battle royale hit Fortnite, the game has seen player numbers grow month-over-month across all platforms and monthly earnings are at their highest since May, 2019. Fortnite appears to be continuing to bridge the gap between blockbuster films and video games, having shown Christopher Nolan’s Tenet trailer in the game this month.

Overall in digital spending, year-over-year earnings are up 14 percent on mobile and 12 percent on PC. Consoles show more significant growth, up 42 percent year-over-year with the interest attributed to high performances from existing titles.



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Money Management Tips from Showbiz Superstars

We’re taking a look at some celebrities who make ‘money management living‘ part of their everyday lives.

Major stars, with their frequently eccentric taste, don’t always play the real estate game to their best advantage. A clear exception is the current queen of daytime TV. Ellen DeGeneres has become one of the most well-known house-flippers in Hollywood, even if she doesn’t look at the pursuit quite that way. “I’ve never bought to sell. I always say: ‘This is it. I’m never moving.’ People laugh at me now.” She’s owned and sold 12 properties since becoming famous, of diverse sizes and styles, and made a good chunk of change in the process. She flipped one $40 million mansion for a $15 million profit. And that’s when she’s not one of the busiest people on TV.

Jay-Z will be the first to tell you he’s not a businessman—he’s a “business, man.” Shawn Carter’s career as a mogul has been fruitful, propelling him to a net worth of more than $800 million. That’s thanks to diversified investments in everything from his streaming service Tidal, which is valued at more than 10 times what he paid for it, to his Armand de Brignac champagne and Roc Nation talent agency. The latter recently negotiated Kevin Durant’s $51 million deal with the Golden State Warriors. Not bad for a rapper who grew up surrounded by drugs in Brooklyn’s Marcy Projects.

A mother of two young daughters, Jessica Alba started the Honest Company in 2012 as a way to sell organic products like baby wipes, laundry detergent, and body lotion to ethically minded consumers. It has run into legal and PR snafus, but it’s also grown to hundreds of millions in annual sales, proving she was on to something big.

50 Cent’s tenure as a radio-dominating artist may be over, but his vast business portfolio isn’t going anywhere. Among deals spanning everything from clothes to video games, he signed on to promote Vitamin Water in exchange for a stake in parent company Energy Brands. When Coca-Cola bought Energy in 2007, the deal netted 50 Cent a cool $100 million.



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Legends of Runeterra (Game): Tipstor® Pick

Summary: Face off in dynamic, alternating combat full of opportunities to adapt and outplay. Make your move, but be ready to react, because your opponent has a plan of their own. It all comes down to this—can you outwit them and win?

Game: Legends of Runeterra

Developer: Riot Games

Genre(s): Strategy, Turn-Based, Card Battle

Rating: T

REVIEW

With new and fun mechanics, and a generous economic system, Riot Games proves that things can still be different in the card collectible games, and once said that, also better. The experience of 10 years of League of Legends must be useful to build a bright future for Legends of Runeterra.

PREVIEW


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Netflix (June 2020): Every New Movie & Show

Check out the full list:

June 1

Act of Valor
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Bad News Bears
The Boy
Cape Fear
The Car 
Casper
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clow Card
Cardcaptor Sakura: Sakura Card
Clueless
Cocomelon
, Season 1
The Disaster Artist
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
The Healer 
The Help
Inside Man
The Lake House
Lust, Caution
Observe and Report
Priest
The Queen
The Silence of the Lambs
Starship Troopers
Twister
V for Vendetta
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
West Side Story
You Don’t Mess with the Zohan
Zodiac

June 2

Alone, Season 6
Fuller House, The Farewell Season (Netflix original)
True: Rainbow Rescue (Netflix original)

June 3

Killing Gunther
Lady Bird
Spelling the Dream
 (Netflix documentary)

June 4

Baki: The Great Raitai Tournament Saga (Netflix anime)
Can You Hear Me / M’entends-tu? (Netflix original)

June 5

13 Reasons Why, Season 4 (Netflix original)
Choked: Paisa Bolta Hai (Netflix film)
Hannibal, Seasons 1-3
The Last Days of American Crime (Netflix film)
Queer Eye, Season 5 (Netfilx original)

June 6

Queen of the South, Season 4

June 7

Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, Volume 6 (Netflix original)

June 8

Before I Fall

June 10

Curon (Netflix original)
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Season 5
Lenox Hill (Netflix documentary)
Middle Men
My Mister
, Season 1
Reality Z (Netflix original)

June 11

Pose, Season 2

June 12

Da 5 Bloods (Netflix film)
Dating Around, Season 2 (Netflix original)
F is for Family, Season 4 (Netflix original)
Jo Koy: In His Elements (Netflix comedy special)
Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, Season 2 (Netflix original)
ONE PIECE: Alabasta
ONE PIECE: East Blue
ONE PIECE: Enter Chopper at the Winter Island
ONE PIECE: Entering into the Grand Line

Pokémon Journeys: The Series (Netflix original)
The Search (Netflix original)
The Woods (Netflix original)

June 13

Alexa & Katie, Part 4 (Netflix original)
How to Get Away With Murder, Season 6
Milea

June 14

Marcella, Season 3 (Netflix original)

June 15

Underdogs

June 16

Baby Mama
Charlie St. Cloud
The Darkness
Frost/Nixon

June 17

An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn
Mr. Iglesias
, Part 2 (Netflix original)

June 18

A Whisker Away (Netflix anime)
The Order, Season 2 (Netflix original)

June 19

Babies, Part 2 (Netflix documentary)
Father Soldier Son (Netflix documentary)
Feel the Beat (Netflix film)
Floor Is Lava (Netflix original)
Lost Bullet (Netflix film)
Girls from Ipanema, Season 2 (Netflix original)
One-Way To Tomorrow (Netflix film)
The Politician, Season 2 (Netflix original)
Rhyme Time Town (Netflix original)
Wasp Network (Netflix film)

June 21

Goldie

June 22

Dark Skies

June 23

Eric Andre: Legalize Everything (Netflix comedy special)

June 24

Athlete A (Netflix documentary)
Crazy Delicious (Netflix original)
Nobody Knows I’m Here / Nadie sabe que estoy aquí (Netflix film)

June 26

Amar y vivir (Netflix original)
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (Netflix film)
Home Game (Netflix documentary)
Straight Up

June 29

Bratz: The Movie

June 30

Adú (Netflix film)
BNA (Netflix anime)
George Lopez: We’ll Do It For Half (Netflix comedy special)



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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Top 5 Less Obvious Family Movies to Stream

So here’s a few family movie options — all available to stream, rent or are free — that your kids might not have seen.

1. Fly Away Home

The outlines of this 1996 film, with Anna Paquin and Jeff Daniels, suggest a familiar and schmaltzy kind of family movie, but it’s handled with such grace that it rises above the ordinary. Also, the geese are really great. A 13-year-old (Paquin) moves in with her estranged father (Daniels) in rural Canada after the death of her mother. She adopts an abandoned nest of goose eggs, raises them and teaches them to fly South for the winter. Available to stream on the Criterion Channel. The director, Carol Ballard, and the cinematographer, Caleb Deschanel, also crafted a movie of pastoral beauty and sweet child-animal camaraderie in 1979’s “Black Stallion,” which is streaming on Amazon Prime.

2. The Three Caballeros

There are forgotten Disney treasures, too, including this trippy 1944 gem streaming on Disney Plus. On his birthday, Donald Duck receives package from his friends in Central and South America. Inside are film reels that bring a handful of individual tales and travelogues that Donald leaps into, too. It’s a loving if overly exotic celebration of South America with some fabulous and surreal moments that blend animation and live action. The movie was produced as part of the wartime “Good Neighbor” policy to bring the Americas together and ward off any appeals from Axis powers. All of which is to say: “The Three Caballeros” isn’t your average Disney movie.

3. Apollo 11

This hit 2019 documentary, on Hulu, simply follows the moon mission from launch to rescue, without talking heads and with large amounts of previously unseen IMAX footage. It’s a propulsive time-capsule, one that the intervening 50 years has made only more stupendous. “Apollo 11,” like the archival “For All Mankind,” captures the all-ages thrill and glory of the moon landing.

4. Pirates! Band of Misfits

Aardman Animations has been reliably churning out delights, from “Wallace and Gromit” to “Shaun the Sheep,” for decades. “Pirates! Band of Misfits” (2012) came and went somewhat quietly and didn’t spawn a franchise. But the Aardman charm is there on the high seas, too. Streaming on Hulu.

5. Boy

Taika Watiti does kids better than any working filmmaker today. Well before his Oscar-nominated “Jo Jo Rabbit,” Waititi was making comic and big-hearted films about childhood, including his Oscar-nominated short, “Two Cars, One Night,” and this semi-autobiographical sophomore feature, inspired by that short. James Rolleston stars as an 11-year-old Maori boy and Michael Jackson fan whose dimwitted ex-convict father (a mulleted Waititi) returns home. Available on the free, public library streaming service Kanopy.



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Broad City (TV Show): Tipstor® Pick

Adapted from YouTube into a Hulu TV Series.

Summary: The critically acclaimed Web series Broad City moves to Comedy Central as a half-hour scripted series. It’s created by and stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer as 20-something best friends who are trying to navigate life in New York, despite that their adventures always seem to lead down unexpected and bizarre paths. They have very little money, but they are survivors who aren’t afraid to throw themselves into sticky situations, no matter how messy the end results may be.

Starring: Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, Stephen Schneider

Show: Broad City

Creators: Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer

Genre(s): Comedy

REVIEW

Broad City is brilliantly written. The funniest and most relatable show we’ve ever seen on youtube for those bumbling their way through adulthood in modern day. It is unapologetically funny! These fresh comedic actors can be held in the same light as Seinfeld, Friends, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Veep, etc. In our opinion. The love portrayed by these two unlikely best friends in this series, is envious by all.

PREVIEW


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Monday, May 25, 2020

“Trolls” Success Not a Greenlight to ‘Redesign’ Release Model in Europe

The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC) has said the lucrative PVOD release of “Trolls World Tour” should not be used a reference point to “redesign” the business model around releasing.

The Brussels-based organization, which represents European cinema operators, spoke out in response to growing tensions between exhibitors and Universal over the straight-to-VOD release of “Trolls World Tour.”

On Tuesday, the studio said the film took in $100 million in premium VOD rentals in its first three weeks of play in North America, a result that will push the film towards profitability.

NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell later told the Wall Street Journal that when theaters reopen, the studio will continue “to release movies on both formats,” effectively bypassing the 90-day window typically observed before releasing films digitally. The comments prompted AMC Theatres to announce it will immediately cut ties with the studio and boycott Universal films in its cinemas across the U.S., Europe and Middle East.

In a statement, UNIC said: “The performance of ‘Trolls Word Tour’ should be viewed — and only viewed — in the context of the exceptional circumstances surrounding its release and the unprecedented times we are living through.”

The organization said that given the extent of national lockdowns around the world, “It’s hardly surprising that many have turned to VOD and similar other services.”

“This combination of unusual circumstances should not be used as a reference to re-design a longstanding and proven release business model, which remains crucial in ensuring the ongoing availability of films to the benefit of audiences,” said UNIC.

“Those who will depend on the success of the film industry should refrain from hastily altering key practices for short-term gains and should instead commit to create the best conditions for the whole sector to recover as soon as possible.”

The org went on to say that audience demand for “Trolls World Tour” should not be viewed “as a sign of changing preferences from an audience standpoint,” highlighting that 2019 was a record year for the global box office.

“We remain confident that when audiences are able safely to return to their local cinema, they will soon rediscover the unforgettable, immersive experience that only the big screen can deliver and that cinemas will continue to play the role they always have as the most popular and affordable form of entertainment available outside the home,” said UNIC.



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2001: A Space Odyssey (Soundtrack): Tipstor® Pick

Summary: 2001: A Space Odyssey is a soundtrack album to the film of the same name, released in 1968. The soundtrack is known for its use of many classical and orchestral pieces, and credited for giving many classical pieces resurgences in popularity, such as Johann Strauss II’s 1866 Blue Danube Waltz, Richard Strauss’ symphonic poem Also sprach Zarathustra (inspired by the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche), and György Ligeti’s Atmosphères. The soundtrack has been re-issued multiple times, including a 1996 version and a digitally remastered version in 2010.

Album: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Artist: Various Artists

Label: MGM Records

REVIEW

The Richard Strauss “Zarathustra” overture gives a superhumanly heroic tone, which is thoroughly undercut by the eerie, tragic “Atmospheres,” “Requiem,” “Lux Aeterna,” and “Adventures.Stanley Kubrick created an extraordinary work of timeless genius in both the film and the music. This compilation can stand on its own; but when associated with the imagery of “2001: A Space Odyssey” is an all-time great work of art.

PREVIEW


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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Top 5 Hollywood Dating Tips For Women

1. Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth and everything else will come.

2. You’re seeing someone but haven’t defined what you’re doing. You’re just enjoying each other’s company and having a very good time and laughing together and supporting each other.

3. You have a best friend who understands you and helps you through all the tough experiences, and vice versa. It just feels like this is it for you. You used to think, “well, can you really have it all?” — the truth, the excitement and the passion? You can.

4. It’s healthy for everyone to go a few years without dating, just because you need to get to know who you are. And you’ve done more thinking and examining and figuring out how to cope with things on your own than you would have if you had been focusing on someone else’s emotions and someone else’s schedule.

5. When you’re busy, you should agree to mutually ignore each other. Not completely, but neither of you should get mad when the other doesn’t text back or call. Life’s super-busy. Obviously you know what they’re doing, and you trust them.



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Hollywood Health & Fitness Tips You’ll Actually Want to Follow

Ever wondered how stars like getting into and stay in shape? Wonder no more.

Mindful snacking at specific times of day can not only curb hunger pangs but can help as an afternoon pick-me-up. As most busy, on-the- go celebrities will know, there is an optimal time for snacking. The best time to grab an afternoon protein snack is between 3 and 4 p.m. Eating protein at this time of day will boost your metabolism and lower your blood sugar at the same time. The former Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger snacks on healthy fruit in the afternoon.

Talk show host Wendy Williams took three years to lose 50 pounds and she’s learned a few lessons along the way. The most important – don’t skip breakfast. “I have a variety of breakfasts. Like this morning, I had a…’sausage,’ ‘egg’ and ‘cheese’—everything from the vegan spot—English muffin,” Williams told E! News. “I like it with a little bit of maple syrup and some hot sauce, so you get the savory-sweet. That’s what I had this morning. But sometimes I’ll have a bunch of fruit…there’s always a green juice in the morning.”

The legendary Adele has dropped weight, but nobody knows exactly how much and speculation is that she’s on the Sirtfood Diet, which has become popular in the United Kingdom. The Sirtfood Diet focuses on certain foods that activate sirtuin, a type of protein that may help with anti-aging. Adele hasn’t admitted to this, although she has admitted to kicking some bad habits, including smoking and drinking a bottle of wine a day. “I was trying to get some stamina for my tour,” she told Vogue. “So I lost a bit of weight.”

When asked how he dropped almost 30 pounds, Teen Mom’s Tyler Baltierra told a fan on Twitter that he took control of his eating and learned how to cook. “The cool thing is, I’m actually learning how to cook pretty decent now! Almost been 8 weeks since I made the decision to eat healthier & I’m down about 30lbs & I FEEL GREAT!” he wrote.

When Melissa McCarthy was training for Spy, she dropped some of the extra weight she was carrying without even thinking about it. The comedian found out that it was a great way to approach the rest of her weight loss. “I think there’s something to kinda loosening up and not being so nervous and rigid about it that, bizarrely, has worked,” she told Life & Style.

If you’re not sure where to start, try what country music artist Miranda Lambert did when she dropped her 45 pounds. Hire a trainer. “I lost my weight the healthy and good old-fashioned way: Watching what I eat and working out with my trainer,” Lambert told First for Women.

We loved Melissa Joan Hart as Sabrina the Teenage Witch, but she didn’t love her extra weight that piled up over the years. So she partnered with Nutrisystem to take some control over her weight and dropped 40 pounds. She gives props to her husband, Mark Wilkerson, for making exercise fun and something that she didn’t want to stop. The couple spends about one hour, three days a week on weight training and Hart also does cardio and spinning classes. “The best part is that when we work out together, we just want to keep going so sometimes we end up working out for hours at a time,” Hart told E! News.

Christina Aguilera lost weight when she finally took some time off from all of her engagements and decided to focus on her. Keep stress at a distance so you can take care of you. If you don’t cook healthy, then have someone else do it for you. There are plenty of healthy food delivery services to keep you on track. Christina Aguilera once used a food delivery service that brought her low-carb meals right to her doorstep. Find one that works for you.

Depending on the role he played, actor Russell Crowe has packed on the pounds and then taken them off, so he was no stranger to having to do it again. How did he drop the 52 pounds he put on for his movie Nice Guys with Ryan Gosling? He hopped on his bike and started riding.

Young girls have looked up to actress America Ferrara for years, so when she decided to take control of her weight, she did it the right way. When asked about it, she gave her admirers some worthy advice. “How much time have I wasted on diets and what I look like? Take your time and your talent and figure out what you have to contribute to this world,” she told Cosmopolitan for Latinas, “and get over what the hell your butt looks like in those jeans!”

Meghan Trainor might be ‘All About the Bass,’ but when it came time to getting herself into a healthier place, she assured her fans she did it the right way. The busy recording artist told Redbook magazine that she depended on Shaun T’s DVD Insanity and his program T25 which only takes 25 minutes to do and focuses on a different exercise every day. It was perfect for Trainor’s crazy schedule.

Ciara is the mother of two, who had her own post-baby weight to shed after her last pregnancy. So she set a goal to get it done. “It was just my own personal goal that I set for myself. It’s a whole different animal when you have two kids, and it felt really good,” she told People magazine.

Actress Blake Lively packed on the pounds when she was pregnant with her second child admitting on Instagram that the scale had gone up by 61 pounds. To lose it, Lively hired a personal trainer, Don Saladino, who make sure that she worked out regularly. “We kept the training very consistent,” Saladino told E! News about his workout plan for Lively. “We made sure that she was in the gym 4-5 days a week. Certain days, we worked for an hour, and other days they only had 20-30 minutes because she’s on a tough schedule with her kids.”

There aren’t any magic potions to lose weight, but the magic formula has been around for quite some time. Eat right, exercise and work hard. SNL’s Jay Pharaoh dropped 40 pounds for a role a few years ago and has kept it off. He posted a selfie on Instagram and said, “Dropped 40 pounds over the last year no supplements just training n hard work YOU CAN DO IT 2!”

Jonah Hill was looking to slim down after his role in the film War Dogs. He sought out the help of his 21 Jump Street co-star, Channing Tatum, who gave him the number of a nutritionist he could work with. “He gave me the number of these guys and I went to this nutritionist,” Hill explained during an appearance on The Tonight Show, “And the doctor was like, do me a favor; write down what you eat every day and email it to me at the end of the day.” Besides the slip-up of accidentally emailing his food diary to musician Drake, it looks like his commitment paid off! Hill lost 40 pounds.

Lady Gaga swore by yoga, especially when trying to drop extra weight. “I’ve got to work out every day, and I work out hungover if I am hungover,” she told SiriusXM Radio. “It’s about the cross-training and keeping yourself inspired. I do a ton of yoga.”

The sultry singer Jennifer Hudson dropped an amazing 80 pounds and has kept it off for eight years. Her secret is portion control. “If you’re on a strict diet that says you shouldn’t have any carbs or this or that, your body won’t function the way it should,” the Dreamgirls discussed on talk show Lorraine. “I know now that I can eat anything I want and still lose or maintain my weight. It’s about portions and balance.”

Soleil Moon Frye gave birth to her fourth child and just couldn’t shake the baby weight. The former child star, now 40, signed up with NutriSystem because it allowed her to eat what she wanted and still lose weight. “I’m not someone that’s going to be able to live on lemon water. That’s just not my thing,” she told People magazine. She dropped 26 pounds.



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A Chance To Join A Virtual Smallville Reunion

Actors Kristin Kreuk, Michael Rosenbaum and Tom Welling, stars of the hit television show “Smallville”, are partnering with Trueheart, a full-service creative agency that specializes in producing global social impact campaigns, and Omaze, the leading online fundraising platform for charity, to host a campaign benefitting Ronald McDonald House Los Angeles.

For 40 years, the charity has provided free housing, meals and support to families with seriously ill children.

Kreuk, Rosenbaum and Welling have launched an exclusive sweepstakes to give one lucky fan the priceless opportunity to enjoy a virtual hangout to chat about “Smallville” with the cast. The beloved series starred Welling as Clark Kent, Rosenbaum as his arch-nemesis Lex Luthor, and Kreuk as his star-crossed love interest and super-heroine Lana Lang. The winner will get to enjoy the ultimate digital “Smallville” reunion. The sweepstakes runs now until May 27th, 2020 – To learn more and donate for a chance to win, enter at omaze.com/Reunion .

Funds raised from the campaign will be used to help Ronald McDonald House Los Angeles continue to provide quality care and the comforts of home while their children receive treatment. Many of the children at Ronald McDonald House Los Angeles have compromised immune systems from fighting cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses, and keeping families together during treatment has proven to successfully improve children’s ability to heal.



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Saturday, May 23, 2020

Beauty Hacks To Steal From Hollywood

From DIY techniques that belong in your routine to “don’t try this at home”, here are the super-sneaky beauty secrets of Hollywood.

Collagen is undoubtedly one of the best supplements for the skin as it really helps it restore and renew. Bags under the eyes are one of the most pervasive skin problems we can face, though, as it’s quite obvious to us. Fortunately, there are some really great eye masks out there. This ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Hydro-Gel Eye Mask is recommended by celebrity makeup artist, Romy Soleimani, who worked with Cara Delevingne on the long, early morning starts during the filming of Suicide Squad, and she totally swears by it.

Swapping out your morning wash for a morning tone could make a huge difference. While it’s really good for the skin to wash up at night after a day of exposure, our skin doesn’t need much in the morning – rather, it simply needs a refresh. Ildi Peaker – esthetician to models like Lindsay Ellingson and Irina Shayk – explains, “Most importantly, it will balance your skin’s pH so it is not too oily and not dry.” If your skin tends to lean one way or the other, it might just need a break. I always recommend witch hazel with aloe vera and rose petal.

Apparently, Miranda Kerr’s secret weapon is rosehip oil, but it doesn’t end there. While we can get behind this antioxidant-rich oil with fatty acids in the mix for a fresh-faced routine for acne scars, natural moisture, and more, Kerr goes above and beyond with leech facials. Basically, you place leeches on the face and as they move around, they redistribute blood. If you’re up for the challenge, just make sure not to use the same leeches twice. You can keep them at home as pets if you have a pond.

If you’ve ever gotten a tattoo, you’re probably familiar with Aquaphor. Considering how a tattoo damages the skin initially, it makes sense that this stuff is fantastic for keeping the skin healed, restorative, moist, and scab-free. A little Aquaphor goes a long way, so it’s a fantastic, budget-friendly option that Emily Ratajkowski recommends for troublesome dry spots. She loves it – especially for travel – explaining, “I use it on my lips, or a little bit everywhere just to make sure my skin doesn’t dry at all because aeroplanes are terrible for that.” This is a great travel essential for keeping your skin fresh on the go.

A good retinol-based product is a must-have for anti-aging and smooth skin in general. This provides some restimulation for elastin to keep on keeping on, despite the fact that our bodies stop producing it after puberty. We like Paula’s Choice retinol serum with vitamin C for fighting wrinkles and uneven skin tone. Andreja Pejic says, “I use their Resist Anti-Aging Retinol Serum — but not every day because retinol is strong.” A consistent and sporadic retinol treatment can go a long way.

Sweating it out is a simple way to get the skin working as a means for detox. Infrared saunas have loads of benefits, and clearer skin is just one of them. While you can buy one for your home, you can often find a spa or gym with a sauna for occasional use over time. Cindy Crawford does daily hot tubs and weekly sauna visits to keep her complexion glowing. A little heat therapy can do the body and the mind some good. Treat yourself – you deserve a spa day!

This common first aid item is used to treat burns, scars, and other wounds, but it’s also great for keeping wrinkles at bay when applied topically. Olivia Munn has a few skincare secrets, and one is eating lots of Japanese potatoes which are, apparently, a good source of the stuff. She’s not the only celeb trying to get in her daily dose of hyaluronic acid; Jada Pinkett Smith swears by the stuff along with tap water. Sometimes, it’s best to just keep it simple. Try this pure hyaluronic acid moisturizing serum if you’re ready to hop on the bandwagon.

We believe the one supplement you need for good skin (plus hair, nails, digestion, and more) is collagen. We’re also curious about this celebrity recommendation for the skin from Christy Turlington whose complexion says it all. She’s a believer in our inside-out philosophy, explaining, “I start my day by taking two Imedeen time perfection tablets. Caring for my skin from the inside out is what I am most interested in. Imedeen is all about delivering deep down nourishment where it matters most.”

A few celebs swear by this, and make it a rule to always, always wash their face before bed. This is especially important if you wear makeup daily. A gentle makeup remover can help the skin looking fresh and dewy. Gal Gadot says, “Before I go to bed, I take off all my make-up with La Mer Cleansing Oil and moisturise my face.” On the other hand, Lady Gaga will tell you she sleeps in makeup seven nights a week. Some people just have good genes! We think letting the skin breathe is essential. If you’re on a budget, a smear of coconut oil on a cloth or tissue works well – just make sure to wash up afterwards, and be careful around the eyes!

While not all of us have the budget of a celebrity, we had to throw in a product recommendation for this facial mask. The price is steep, but it might just be worth it. Priyana Chopra told People Style, “It’s the first thing that goes on my face before any make-up, and it makes anything I put on after look flawless.” If you’re after that flawless look, you can test the product for yourself. It’s rich with antioxidants and good for keeping the skin youthful

Penelope Cruz swears by gazpacho, a Spanish vegetable dish made with raw vegetables, water, and olive oil. This means it’s packed with nutrients that are healthy for the skin, water to hydrate, and fatty acids which help you absorb those vitamins and feed the skin further. You’ll get a good dose of tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, and onion in one simple dish.

Who hasn’t used this stuff? It’s a common drugstore staple, and it’s been around for a long time. If you ask around, a ton of people swear by it. Jennifer Lawrence just so happens to be one of those people. She explains, “I exfoliate regularly and have found it to be an integral part of my skincare routine. I probably exfoliate twice a week. For my face, I use St. Ives Apricot Scrub, which I think many can agree is a go-to scrub.” If you needed a celebrity endorsement, you’ve got one! Bonus: this product is SUPER affordable!

Gwyneth Paltrow provides a lot of holistic, natural living advice. Some of it is questionable, and some of it, we can really get behind. When it comes to skin, we believe in the power of a good brush system that you can use at home. She recommends the Clarisonic Mia2. This gentle cleansing brush goes above and beyond hands or a towel to remove dirt, makeup, and anything else from deeper within the pores, leaving you with an unbeatable clean every time. It contains two different speeds – one for daily cleansing, and one for occasional use to really get the job done and help exfoliate.

Eva said of the secret to maintaining her enviable mane, “I like to condition my hair overnight. Put it all over your hair before you go to sleep and leave it in a shower cap until morning. Then rinse and voilà.”



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Top 5 Hollywood Tech & Gear Advancements

Technology refuses to stand still as it shapes the world around us. Artificial intelligence, 4K and 3D printing gear are shaping up to be Hollywood’s next big stars.

1. 3D Printing Your Own Gear

There will come a day when shipping gear across the world will be as archaic as dial-up internet, but until 3D printing reaches the next level of speed, quality, and affordability, we can only dream. That being said, for small and simple items like follow focuses, lens rings, tripod plates, and even clapboards (pictured above), 3D printing is fast-becoming a viable option.

2. Algorithm Editing

Perhaps the scariest technological innovation on the horizon, algorithmic editing technologies, like the software MIT researchers are developing, may very well replace human film and video editing jobs all together. Or, depending on how you look at it, the technology may just make editing much less tedious. Either way, the breakthroughs in facial recognition, automatic labeling, and idiom appliance are all frighteningly innovative parts of the futuristic “Computational Video Editing.”

3. Drone Goggles

Drone goggles are, at the very least, one of the most futuristic-looking technological innovations — and they are, indeed, a thing of the imminent future. DJI actually unveiled their current offering at NAB, which is on the market today. However, as we can see with some of the limitations of the current products (as well as look into what could be available), POV drone operation is just beginning to take off.

4. Smartphone Filmmaking Gear

To some, the idea that there will come a day when entire feature films will be shot on iPhones seems like a dystopian concept. Yet, it’s already happened. Multiple times in fact. This raises a question: will the market and industry shift to accommodate those up-and-coming iPhone and smartphone filmmakers with new, cool and innovative gear and technologies? The answer, again, is it already has — just look at this round up of iPhone gimbals unveiled at NAB.

5. 4k+ 3D

Virtual reality (or VR as we like to say in the biz) may be the brightest star in the future-tech galaxy. One shining example would be Lucid VR’s LucidCam, which is touted as the “first and only 4K 3D VR live production camera”. Not to be outdone is Google-supported Yi Technology’s Yi Halo 16-point 4k 3D action camera. 



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Friday, May 22, 2020

Latest AI Technology to Predict Hollywood Blockbusters

Warner Bros, one of cinema’s biggest industry leaders, is going to start using Artificial Intelligence in order to gauge the success of their films. Thanks to LA startup Cinelytic, and their AI-driven platform, Warner Bros will now have the resources to be able to test how successful a film will be based on a variety of different predictive tools. With this new equipment, it is thought that they will be able to calculate the optimum conditions for the film’s profitability, down to the casting of actors and the picture’s release date. 

So how does it work? Cinelytic’s software lets clients play out various scenarios with their films including tweaking specific variables (including genre, budget, release date) in order to see how profitable the film will be. With this advanced technology, the startup is even able to determine which actors will bring in the most money for the film, meaning that the film’s production team would be able to preempt sales and profitability of the film even before casting, something which is totally groundbreaking for the Hollywood scene. Using the example of DC’s latest Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot, Cinelytic claims that by using its unique economic scoring system “TalentScores”, it can rank actors by their economic impact across the film industry, including specific sub-categories such as film genre and media type. Knowledge is certainly power, but Warner Bros. claim that the software would only be used to help with marketing and distribution decisions. 

Whilst unable to make any creative decisions, Artificial Intelligence is certainly able to trump human decision-making when it comes to one thing: speed. The system is said to be able to calculate in seconds what used to take days to assess by a human when it comes to general film package evaluation or a star’s worth. Whilst it doesn’t claim to be able to predict the next $1 billion blockbuster, it does promise to substantially reduce time, especially in the festival setting. It aims to reduce the expensive bidding wars in which studios risk million dollar sums based on poorly-thought-out assessments. However, that “gut feeling” in casting decisions still holds value and is something, at least at this stage, is inimitable by AI. 

This is a big step for Hollywood whose skepticism about these types of technologies have made them comparatively slow to embrace the arrival of Artificial Intelligence. This partnership is thought to be the start of a wider-scale use of AI technology in the film industry with a whole host of new startups hoping to utilize AI technology to forecast film performance, potentially changing all future decision-making for the film industry.



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Facebook Stops Advertisers From Targeting ‘Pseudoscience’ Groups

Facebook will no longer allow advertisers to target their ads at people interested in “pseudoscience.” The move follows a report that said Facebook was allowing such ads even amid companywide efforts to crack down on misinformation about the COVID-19 outbreak circulating on its platforms.

Facebook had reportedly classified as many as 78 million users as having a potential interest in pseudoscience: beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as scientific. Facebook on Thursday confirmed that the targeting option had been removed to prevent potential abuse.

“This interest category of advertising should have been removed in a previous review and we’ve removed it,” said Rob Leathern, Facebook’s director of product management, in a statement. 

A spokesperson for Facebook added that the company reviews ad targeting options on an ongoing basis. 



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Bloodshot (Movie): Tipstor® Pick

Summary: Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) is a soldier recently killed in action and brought back to life as the superhero Bloodshot by the RST corporation. With an army of nanotechnology in his veins, he’s an unstoppable force -stronger than ever and able to heal instantly. But in controlling his body, the company has sway over his mind and memories, too. Now, Ray doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not – but he’s on a mission to find out. 

Starring: Alex Anlos, Alex Hernandez, Eiza González, Guy Pearce, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Lamorne Morris, Sam Heughan, Siddharth Dhananjay, Talulah Riley, Toby Kebbell, Tyrel Meyer, Vin Diesel

Movie: Bloodshot

Director: Dave Wilson

Genre(s): Action, Sci-Fi, Drama, Fantasy

Rating: R

Tipstor® Pick

REVIEW

Bloodshot is a decent attempt that scores on its ambitious sci-fi imagination and a superhero, who is always ready for the action. The action, save for some moderately cool slow-motion shots and a protracted fight sequence that takes place in a glassed-in elevator shaft, is for the most part high-octane but a times a bit chaotic. This is a very fun popcorn movie with many transhumanist elements and a badass character.

PREVIEW


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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Hollywood Negotiation Tips

10 tips to get the salary of your dreams, according to some of the world’s most successful women.

According to “Grey’s Anatomy” star Ellen Pompeo, women need to demand more of a stake in their work. “I think, like the music business, we need to get to a place where actors have more ownership over what they do. That should be part of this conversation we’re having now.”  In addition to starring in the hit medical series, Pompeo is also a producer of the show and directs some episodes. To Pompeo, “an actor is the least powerful person on set,” so they should be more involved in the business aspect of the industry. Pompeo negotiated a deal that boosted her salary to more than $20 million a year, making her the highest-paid actress on a primetime drama. 

Actress Octavia Spencer revealed in early 2018 that Jessica Chastain had helped her negotiate higher pay for an upcoming film they were both in. “I told Jessica my story, and we talked numbers, and she was quiet, and she said she had no idea that that’s what it was like for women of color,” Spencer said at the Women Breaking Barriers Panel at Sundance Film Festival.

Amy Schumer initially signed an $11 million deal with Netflix in 2017 for her comedy special, “The Leather Special,” according to Variety. But when she learned that comedians Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle were each paid $20 million for their respective specials, she decided to ask for more money. “I believe women deserve equal pay,” Schumer wrote in an Instagram post. “However I don’t believe I deserve equal pay to Chris and Dave. They are legends and two of the greatest comics of all time. I would like to say that I have been selling out arenas these last couple years. Something a female comic has never done. That’s a big deal to me, especially because I know I do my best every night on stage for the audience and they have a good time.”

Less than a year after the release of 2013 film “American Hustle,” leaked emails from Sony Pictures revealed that Jennifer Lawrence was paid less for the movie than her male co-stars, Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, and Jeremy Renner. This came after Lawrence became one of the youngest-ever Oscar winners for her role in “Silver Linings Playbook.” “When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn’t get mad at Sony,” the actress wrote in Lenny Letter. “I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. “I didn’t want to seem ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled,'” she wrote.

Meryl Streep snagged an Oscar nomination for playing an intimidating, powerful fashion magazine editor based on Vogue’s Anna Wintour in “The Devil Wears Prada.” But she almost walked away from the role entirely because she wasn’t happy with what they initially wanted to pay her. “The offer was to my mind slightly, if not insulting, not perhaps reflective of my actual value to the project,” Streep told Variety. “There was my ‘goodbye moment,’ and then they doubled the offer. I was 55, and I had just learned, at a very late date, how to deal on my own behalf.”

Although Bryce Dallas Howard knows that she lives a “privileged” life, some of her male co-stars were shocked to learn that she doesn’t have “a million dollars in the bank.” The “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” star blames her relatively low savings on the vast pay inequity in Hollywood — and, in the same vein, feeling intimidated during pay negotiations. “I’ve been [wimpy] about it in the past. I didn’t want people to think I wasn’t grateful for opportunities,” she recently told Glamour. “I also get scared off by every threat during a negotiation. They’ll say, ‘We’ll just have to find someone else,’ and I back off. You can’t do that.”

Issa Rae, creator and star of HBO show “Insecure,” said she has attempted to negotiate her salary throughout her career. “As a freelance videographer and editor, I constantly had to set my price points, which was hard in the beginning because I honestly didn’t know my worth,” she told The Root. Rae said that she was so eager for work that she would work for pretty much any price point. “As I grew more confident in my work, I began to set my prices higher,” she said. “Sometimes I’d get resistance and sometimes I wouldn’t get the job at all. I’d often have to convince them that I was worth the money.”

 



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Cancellations and Delays: Tech Industry

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website. Several prominent industry events were canceled or revamped because of concerns over the coronavirus. They include:



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Fullmetal Alchemist, Brotherhood (Anime, Review): Tipstor® Pick

Summary: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a retelling of the story based off the manga, and is not directly related to the first Fullmetal Alchemist series.

Edward and Alphonse Elric are two brothers living in a world where the practice of alchemy flourishes. After their mother passes away, the brothers work together to try and bring her back using alchemy, but without success. Their failure results in Edward losing his left leg and right arm, while Alphonse loses his entire body and has his soul attached to a suit of armor. Years later, they join the military for the opportunity to locate the Philosopher’s Stone; the one thing that is capable of restoring their bodies.

Show: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Creator:  Hiromu Arakawa, Bones

Genre: Anime / Animation

Tipstor® Pick

REVIEW

This second adaption from the popular original series is a fantastic follow-up. With Brotherhood following closer to the manga ending, it gives us an even greater story to follow with plentiful twists and turns, memorable characters and unforgettable moments that will have you watching till the very end. It is undoubtedly the greatest anime of all time.

PREVIEW



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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

LiveXLive to Acquire PodcastOne in $18 Million Stock Deal

Music livestreamer LiveXLive is diversifying its business with the acquisition of PodcastOne, a podcast network that hosts shows by Adam Carolla, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Shaquille O’Neal and others, in an all-stock deal valued at about $18 million.

Under the deal, LiveXLive — which to date has been a money-losing venture and last month received relief funding under the U.S.’s CARES Act — is acquiring Courtside Group, owner and operator of PodcastOne, in stock worth $18.1 million based on LiveXLive’s closing share price on May 7. The proposed acquisition is expected to close by June 2020, subject to certain closing conditions.

PodcastOne produces more than 350 ad-supported podcast episodes per week and generates over 2 billion downloads on an annual basis. Shows in its lineup include those from Adam Carolla, Shaquille O’Neal, A&E’s “Cold Case Files,” Steve Austin, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Heather and Terry Dubrow, Chael Sonnen, Kaitlyn Bristowe, LadyGang, Mike Tyson, Rich Eisen, Spencer and Heidi Pratt, Autumn Calabrese, Demi Burnett, and Gals on the Go.

According to the companies, PodcastOne recorded gross revenue of $27.5 million in 2019. The two L.A.-based companies will consolidate their teams to bring total combined headcount to over 120 full-time employees.

LiveXLive plans to integrate PodcastOne into its music platform. According to Ellin, LiveXLive and PodcastOne together will have a “significant opportunity” to cross-sell and cross-promote across their respective audiences and advertisers, as well as “provide our collective artists and on-air talent with an expanded platform to increase their social media and online presence.”

LiveXLive, for its fiscal year ended March 31, said it expected revenue between $38 million-$40 million, adjusted operating loss between $12 million-$14 million. The company plans to report FY20 results in June. For the nine months ended Dec. 31, 2019, LiveXLive posted revenue of $28.8 million and a net loss of $30.4 million, per its unaudited statement. It ended the year with about $14 million in cash on hand.

In early April, the company’s senior management, including Ellin, agreed to a 50% salary cut and to forego any cash bonuses they have been eligible to receive. In addition, other LiveXLive employees will receive 10%-25% reductions in their monthly base salaries. The company “continues to evaluate its business and operations as they evolve in light of the Covid-19 uncertain environment,” LiveXLive said in an April 13 filing with the SEC.

Separately, on April 13, 2020, LiveXLive received a $2 million loan from MidFirst Bank, under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) of the federal government’s emergency CARES Act.

For its 2020 fiscal year, LiveXLive said it delivered livestreams for about 40 live festivals and concerts, including Rock in Rio, EDC Las Vegas, and the Montreux Jazz Festival. LiveXLive has already streamed performances by more than 775 artists to date in 2020 as compared with 300 artists in total for 2019.



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Top 5 Funniest TV Series of 2020 (So Far)

If you’re looking for something new, we have you covered, with the Top 5 funniest TV series of 2020 — so far.

1. Sex Education

The best show on Netflix, it’s somehow both light, funny and heartfelt but also very responsible, mature and genuine. Sex Education is so much more than its title suggests, there are raunchy scenes throughout but this show focuses more on how sex affects teenagers socially and psychologically. Its never judgemental about anyone’s sexuality or desires. The writers deal with some heavy topics (abortions, sexual assault, leaked nudes, chlamydia outbreak etc) but handle it tastefully and maturely while also being incredibly funny.

2. Tiger King

Tiger King swept popular culture at a time when the world really needed a distraction, and if one story has the power to draw attention, it’s the strange tale of Joseph Maldonado-Passage (better known as Joe Exotic). The seven-episode docuseries looks into the bizarre world of big cat owners Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin, and Doc Antle. Not sold? By the time you’ve finished the series, there’s an assassination plot, additional murder allegations, a three-way marriage, an alligator explosion, and a suicide.

3. Dave

The sweeping overview of Dave reads like a perfectly bizarre mad-lib situation: a comedic, Jewish rapper leads the series, while he’s supported by his bipolar hype man, his Wall Street-focused roommate, and his kindergarten teacher girlfriend. He goes by the name “Lil Dicky,” and yes, that’s a penis pun. The overview sounds painfully juvenile, but the execution—the execution—is some of the most thoughtful television on the air. The FX-Hulu series offers thoughtful, sincere looks into friendship, mental illness, and following your dreams… no matter how incredibly daunting they may be.

4. The Good Place

With its final four episodes, The Good Place managed to produce a series finale that was both satisfying and believable, nailing a concept that has been attempted by a whole slew of prestige dramas, to no avail. The Good Place bowed out earlier this year after four seasons, and while it was steeped in lessons about philosophy and ethics, the series settled on a message that transcends time or academic teachings—people matter most. Michael Schur’s sitcom-that-could took nods from The Leftovers and Lost and managed to create a comedy as smart as it was touching. With so many series moving to premium cable and streaming platforms, The Good Place is proof that network can still serve an incredible series.

5. Schitt’s Creek

Throughout Schitt’s Creek’s six seasons, Dan Levy’s comedy series managed to consistently outdo itself when it comes to storytelling. Now, with only a few episodes of story left, Levy and his father have been tasked with wrapping up their series this year. Sure, Schitt’s Creek could have gone in the way of fan-service, but instead, it has spent 2020 crafting thoughtful, realistic finales for each of its characters. Even the best comedies have a way of tapping into something emotional, and the series is bowing out on a note that is equal parts hilarious and poignant. Yes, it was always expected that Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy would ground the sitcom, but the talents of Annie Murphy, Emily Hampshire, and Noah Reid have only driven the show’s level of talent through the roof.



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Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy (Game, Review): Tipstor® Pick

Summary: Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection brings together six classic titles in one game: Mega Man Zero 1, 2, 3, and 4, as well as Mega Man ZX and ZX Advent. In addition to the original games, this package includes an artwork gallery, music player, special filters, and much more. Casual Scenario Mode and a Save-Assist feature are available for those who would like to enjoy the story at their own pace. Players can also try their hand at the new leaderboard-based Z Chaser Mode, an exclusive new mode created just for this set of games. 

Game: Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection

Developer: Capcom

Genre(s): Miscellaneous, Compilation

Rating: T

Tipstor® Pick

REVIEW

Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection is everything that you could’ve hoped it to be. This is ultimately six great Mega Man games presented to you with a slew of customizable features, extra content, and quality of life updates. If you’re a fan of either Mega Man or sidescrolling action games in general, you owe it to yourself to give this release a go and see what all the fuss is about. These are hard and occasionally frustrating games, but they offer up some rewarding, action-heavy gameplay that even today stands among the best of its class. Don’t pass this one up.

PREVIEW



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