Marvel Meets.. Mowgli? Six Things You Didn’t Know About Jon Favreau

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Favreau is in talks to direct Disney’s newest live-action reboot of The Jungle Book. In honor of this fact, lets look at why he’s well equipped to do so:

  1. He executive produces. All three Iron Man movies, The Avengers, Cowboys and Aliens, as well as the TV series Revolution
  2. He directs. Notably Elf and Zathura: A Space Adventure, plus the Iron Man and Iron Man 2. And an episode of The Office, because why not.
  3. He acts. Something’s Gotta Give, I Love You, Man, Couples Retreat, and his own movies as well. He’s also the first person to play two unrelated Marvel characters in Iron Man and Daredevil.
  4. He does voice acting for kids TV shows and movies. Rugrats, Rocket Power, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, G-Force, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
  5. He’s from Queens, and guest starred on King of Queens, Seinfeld, and Friends. Because that’s what you do when you’re from New York in the 1990s.
  6. His best friend is Vince Vaughan. Sorry, Owen.

Favreau’s next project is a movie called Chef, starring Scarlett Johansson, Sofía Vergara, Robert Downey Jr., Dustin Hoffman, and himself. It’s an indie film Favreau will write, direct, produce and star in, about a restaurant chef (Favreau) who loses his job and starts a food truck to put his life back together. Should be.. Interesting? It’s set to be released in May 2014.

– Meg S.

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Best Twitter Reactions from ‘N Sync’s 2002 Split**

**If Twitter had existed as a microphone for heartbroken Gen Y-ers in middle school

Last week’s Jonas Brothers break-up (can brothers break-up?) brought tears and dramatics to Twitter the way only teen heartthrobs can do. The New Jersey siblings are far from the first boy band, and, of course, are not the first to pull the breaks on their creative endeavors. But they are among the first musical acts whose screaming teenybopper fans have a digital outlet through which they can project their heartfelt sorrow and angst to the world.

If only Twitter had been around during the early 2000s, when the last round of boy bands called it quits, we could have enjoyed these gems:

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Liz

An Evening With David Sedaris

The first book I ever ready by David Sedaris was “Me Talk Pretty One Day.” I’d never heard of Sedaris before (terrible, I know), and I chose the book because I literally judged it by its cover, a cool title scribbled on a chalkboard with a childlike handwriting. By the time I got to the second essay, I was laughing out loud with Sedaris’s unique mix of wit, sarcasm, insight and emotion. And throughout the book, I remember thinking “I wish I could write like that someday!”

I’ve been a Sedaris fan ever since, so I was extremely excited when I saw that he’d be speaking in Chicago on the weekend I was going to be there. On Nov. 2, Sedaris spoke at the beautiful Auditorium Theater in Roosevelt University, right across the street from Grant Park. The author started the night with a piece he wrote for his BBC Radio show about wanting to create an English for Business Travelers course, where he would explain to foreigners all about the quirks of airport clerks, hotel concierges and flight attendants. Most importantly, he’d remind them how in the US, everything that’s good, all right or even barely OK, is “just awesome.” 

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Waiting for David.

 

He followed with “Guest Room Gambits,” his New Yorker piece about house guests (noting that one of the few joys of being middle aged is being able to have not one but two guest rooms), and then “The Happy Place,” from his most recent book, “Let’s Discuss Diabetes with Owls,” where he shared his father’s obsessive desire for him to have a colonoscopy. Finally, Sedaris read excerpts from his diaries, sharing weird experiences and very dirty jokes he’s accumulated during his times on the road. 

I expected Sedaris to be as brilliantly clever and funny in person as he is on paper, and he proved me right. Though I’d already read two of the pieces he featured last night, it was amazing to hear them from his own voice. I also loved learning that sometimes, after a live reading, he heads to his hotel room and rewrites parts of his pieces that he feels could be improved (don’t we all wish we could do that?). But my favorite part was seeing how warm he is and how lovingly he speaks of his family, which was particularly bittersweet, considering he just published an essay about his sister’s suicide in the New Yorker

At the end of the night, I intended to have one of my books signed by him, but the line was insane and it was pretty late. But the memory of having heard David Sedaris live was good enough for me. In fact, it was “just awesome.”

Text and photos by Cristina Alonso.

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Chuck Klosterman (Almost) Wears a Black Hat

In honor of last week’s visit from Chuck Klosterman, woo!

blackhat Chuck Klosterman has worn several hats throughout his career: music reviewer, sports writer, cultural know-it-all, and, as a columnist for The New York Times Magazine, devil’s advocate. Granted, all these caps have been a similar shade of pop-culture-commentator-grey. But even before donning the chapeau of the often-controversial ‘Ethicist,’ Klosterman was already the argumentative sort — in an affable kind of way. In the pages of Esquire, he suggested that a young and totally impenetrable Britney Spears was her generation’s savviest sex symbol. He called Coldplay “the shittiest fucking band ever,” a designation that seemed overly harsh then and now. As The Ethicist, he justified submitting the same term paper to two different professors on the grounds that “the very premise of stealing your own creative property is absurd,” for which the paper’s excitable public editor rapped his knuckles and advised readers not take his column too seriously.

So the stakes would seem especially high for his most recent book, I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined). Here, Klosterman is no longer simply serving up gentle snark about Billy Joel’s depression or Val Kilmer’s many Method eccentricities. He is toying with the notion of evil itself, from ancient history (Niccoló Machiavelli; Judas Iscariot) to today’s headlines (Jerry Sandusky; Walter White). There’s even a chapter on Hitler, natch.

But unlike in his past work, Klosterman can’t seem to offer much in the way of novel theories. O.J. Simpson almost definitely murdered his wife, Perez Hilton is an annoyingly prescient media monster, and Hitler is still the worst person who ever existed. For the first time, the seriousness of the material seems to get the best of Klosterman’s cheerful, devil-may-care contrarian. It’s a totally decent book for fans of Klosterman’s work, and it possesses the same conversational tone that has charmed readers since Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs. There are the wonderful snicker-on-the-subway turns of phrase (Texas governor Rick Perry “didn’t scare anyone; sure, he might sentence you to lethal injection, but he also might confuse the potassium chloride with Diet Dr Pepper”) and the disorienting but delightful digressions that never seem to circle back to the point (“I am of the opinion that D.B. Cooper fell from the sky and died on impact.”) But ultimately, I Wear the Black Hat is simply another chance for Chuck Klosterman to riff on what goes on inside the mind of Chuck Klosterman. It is disappointing to learn that the author, whose authority on the subjects of Britney Spears or Billy Joel seems bulletproof, isn’t comfortable wearing the black hat after all.

— Rebecca H.

Justin Bieber Photographed Allegedly Leaving a Brazilian Brothel

Justin Bieber leaving Brazilian brothel last night

Justin Bieber leaving Brazilian brothel last night

According to The New York Post, Justin Bieber was caught sneaking out of the popular Brazilian brothel, Centauros, last night. His security team escorted him out of the establishment while he covered himself in a totally inconspicuous beige sheet. Convincing.

Two ladies came out with the star, and allegedly followed him to his hotel, which he was reportedly kicked out of for “breaking the rules.” Oh Bieber. You have certainly reached a low point. What have not reached low points, however, are the comments on this story. People just don’t like this dude – can you blame them though? Remember – this is the same kind who peed in a mop bucket in the back of a kitchen. How can anyone defend this little douche lord? Below are five of the best comments from the article.

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By Angela Flynn

Regis is down with the WU by Adam Lehrer

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I have always been down with Regis, almost as much as I am down with the Wu. That is a gross overstatement, but seriously, Regis has always seemed pretty funny to me. He he reminds me of a mega-rich, upper west side, non-racist and spray-tanned version of my grandfather (on my mother’s side, my papa on the other hand as a Jew always sympathized with the plight of minorities in this country). I have always liked my grandfather, loved him even. He’s sweet, he’s my grandpa. But I have never respected him all that much. I feel similarly lukewarm towards Regis.

That is until I saw this photo that Questlove tweeted this week. Here, Regis is rocking a Wu Tang Clan “Protect ya’ Neck” tee with two of the best Wu bangas evah, Raekwon (left) (not Cappadonna as Noisey’s horribly edited web content wrongly reported earlier this week) and Ghostface Killah (right).

I have no idea what the circumstances leading to this photo being shot were, or if Regis has any ideas who the hell these two large, scary guys are that are next to him. Regis, retired and free of having to wake up at 5 am to suffer through the horrid fake kindness of Kelly Ripa, he’s ready to venture out and experience some multi-culturalism. The Wu always said that cash rules everything around them, Regis has lots and lots of cash. That is symbiosis right there. Cameo on the new record please!

 

Jack Nicholson In The Shining Is Still Terrifying, According to 10,000 Viewers’ Heart Rates

The Shining

The Guardian reports that viewers polled by WebsitePlay.com were particularly terrified by Jack Nicholson’s “Here’s Johnny!” scene in Stanley Kubrick’s classic remake of Stephen King’s The Shining when hooked up to heart monitors and exposed to different horror films made over the years. Head to head with The Exorcist and Nightmare on Elm Street among 10 other films, The Exorcist came out on top as the movie producing the most overall body shock, but Nicholson’s Jack Torrance, paired with Kubrick’s mastery of tension through audio and iconic shots, had viewers’ pulses shooting up by 28.2%.

I would’ve petitioned that Linda Blair’s silent crab-walking down the stairs in The Exorcist deserved a high rating, but perhaps it’s because I’ve seen The Shining so many times that Jack Torrance is kind of endearing to me at this point. This Halloween weeknight, I suggest staying in, popping some corn, and cuddling up on the couch to watch Jack Torrance hysterically chase his wife through an empty Colorado hotel. Make sure you catch the “Here’s Johnny” scene, though my favorite part is actually when Wendy attempts to hit her deranged husband with a bat with the most ineffectual swings, ever.

Suzie Hodges