The 2021 Grammys were about female empowerment with female Artists taking home top prizes this evening at the socially-distanced ceremony hosted by Trevor Noah, which clocked-in at almost four hours.
Beyoncé became the most awarded female Artist of all time at the Awards, honouring Music’s best, bringing her hardware tally to 28 Grammys tonight.
Meanwhile, Taylor Swift took home Album of the Year for folklore, her first of two Discs to be released in 2020. Swift became the first ever female Artist to take Album of the Year three times, previously winning with 1989 and Fearless.
H.E.R. took Song of the Year with I Can’t Breathe, a powerful track inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Megan Thee Stallion also was a big winner taking Best New Artist, also winning a Grammy for Best Rap Song with her collaboration with Beyoncé, the Savage Remix.
Record of the Year went to last year’s award-sweeping Billie Eilish for her track All I Ever Wanted. She also took Best Song Written For Visual Media with Bond theme No Time to Die.
It’s Civic Day weekend, meaning it’s time to stream something new! Here’s some of our best recommendations to help make this an even better long weekend!
THE KISSING BOOTH 2 (NETFLIX)
Joey King is back in this direct sequel to 2018’s The Kissing Booth, reprising her role as Elle, who is now in her senior year of high school. Returning also is her flame Noah (Jacob Elordi) who now is studying at Harvard. The love triangle game is strong in this Sequel with her visiting him in Boston, only to meet Chloe, who appears to be getting rather close to him. Bringing back The Kissing Booth for her school’s charity fair, she and BFF Lee (Joel Courtney) recruit heartthrob Marco (Taylor Perez) for a dance competition and before we know it, they start developing feelings for one another. Matters are complicated as Elle isn’t sure if she if Noah is cheating with Chloe and at the same time she feels a romance blooming between her and Marco. She finds herself resented also as Lee‘s girlfriend Rachel (Meganne Young) can’t get a moment together with him, without Elle always being in the picture. All the while, Elle‘s trying to figure out if she will choose Harvard to be with Noah or just go to Berkeley. Above this, she’s worried she won’t have enough money to go to the school of her dreams. While we clearly don’t remember our senior year of high school having this much drama, kudos to Elle who is played well again by King. This Sequel really doesn’t resolve much, leaving room for yet another installment of this Franchise and still capturing that sweet spot in her life where she still is free to do whatever she wants before college. Judging by interest in this, a third Film seems likely!
FEAR CITY: NEW YORK VS THE MAFIA (NETFLIX)
The Producers of Don’t F**k With Cats are back with this gripping three-part Docu-Series which takes us back to the ’70s when New York went from the “City of Fun” to the “City of Fear” as various five big mafia families had their hands in controlling every aspect of the City whether it be garbage collection to real estate. With a combination of interviews, photographs, actual surveillance tapes and re-enactments, we learn how under eventual Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the FBI and a team of undercover agents in gut-wrenching detail, walks us through how they infiltrated the Mafia’s cars, homes and frequented establishments. We see also the challenges the Prosecutors faced convincing a jury with collected surveillance footage, before a ruling defined an era of change for a crime-riddled New York. Once again, some great haunting storytelling here from both sides of law enforcement, which educates as well as it entertains.
THE REMIX: HIP HOP X FASHION (NETFLIX)
The ’90s were a pivotal period for Urban Music and Fashion with several of today’s looks and sounds having stemmed from that renaissance period. But did these artists all come armed with their own sense of style to go along with their groundbreaking music? THE REMIX: HIP HOP X FASHION is a concise 67-minute Documentary which premiered at Tribeca, taking a look at some of the unsung heroes of fashion who conceptualized some of the ’90s biggest acts like Mary J. Blige, Lil’ Kim and more. They came out of the underground and into the mainstream in much of the fashion we see today from major fashion houses like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Fendi. The Film looks at the likes of Dapper Dan who now is an official collaborator with the former, April Walker of Walker Wear and Stylist Misa Hylton who still is working with the likes of Beyoncé. We see their unsung legacies on style as we know today and how it has left an indelible mark on black and mainstream culture.
GOOD GIRLS – SEASON 1 (NETFLIX)
Acquiring NBC’s GOOD GIRLS has proven to be a winning move for Netflix. The Series now available on the streaming service shot straight to #1 on its Trending list in Canada. Starring Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks in the lead role of Beth, teams-up with best friend Beth (Retta) and her little sister Annie (Mae Whitman) deciding to rob a supermarket to make ends meet. Aiming for $30,000 but instead walking away with $500,000, they soon become the target of a band of criminals, led by Christopher (Manny Montana). Unable to re-pay their debt, they soon find themselves caught in a criminal underworld carrying-out jobs for Christopher, unable to escape. Matters get even more complicated as Christopher and Beth develop a complicated relationship, which at any moment feels like it’s ready to implode. Despite a story which takes some implausible turns, Hendricks carries the lead role superbly, making this a fun watch.
MUPPETS NOW (DISNEY+)
A huge emphatic stamp of approval for this six-episode improvisational Comedy Series which has our beloved Muppets back and funnier than ever as they are in an age of Instagram, Vlogs and Social Media. The episodes are part Talk Show and part Game Show, with a diverse variety of celebrity guests (including RuPaul, Seth Rogen, Linda Cardellini, Aubrey Plaza, Roy Choi and more!) who play it straight like they are on any other interview, but what truly makes this a joy is how the Muppets true to form, ham it up true to brand and they ultimately are the stars of the interview. Danny Trejo in a Taco Challenge in episode 2 against The Swedish Chef is outrageously-funny! While this looks like it’s for the kids, it’s definitely more for the big kids. We adore The Muppets and our only complaint is how quick the time passes. We want more!
BLACK IS KING (DISNEY+)
“You can’t wear a crown with your head down” is a quote heard in Beyoncé‘s Visual Album BLACK IS KING, available now on Disney+. And this line sums it all up entirely. Fans have been hungry for new music from the Icon and she rewards them with this gorgeously-shot 85 minute Musical Film immersed in a new Afrobeat-inspired sound, starring, writing, directing and producing. The Film, serving as a companion piece to often-forgotten album The Lion King: The Gift, centers on a young African king, exiled by his family and like Simba, he learns just how dangerous it is out there in the world. While her message is to empower the young to reclaim what is theirs, this might go over the heads of the young audience she is speaking to, but it sure talks to her fans of a generation who are responsible for leading and raising these children by example. BLACK IS KING is loaded with star power including appearances in the Album and Film by Pharell Williams, Kelly Rowland, Lupita Nyong’o, Naomi Campbell, Canada’s Jessie Reyez and of course Jay-Z and their children Rumi, Blue Ivy and Sir Carter.If I Were a Boy, Crazy in Love, Single Ladies and Say My Name were an era of the past for Beyoncé. She is here with a new vision and is in it to be heard.
THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY SEASON 2 (NETFLIX)
Picking-up from the end of Season 1, this quirky Toronto-made fan favourite returns with 10 new episodes. Five (Aidan Gallagher) uses his time travel ability and takes his siblings back in time to stop the Apocalypse from happening. Things go awry however and his siblings all revert back to different eras. Vanya (Ellen Page) has Amnesia and is living with a family; Diego (DavidCastañeda) finds himself in an asylum and eager to get out to prevent JFK from being assassinated; Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) is married to an Activist; charismatic Klaus (Robert Sheehan) is finding himself in trouble as usual, having started a cult; and Luther (Tom Hopper) is working in a club as a bodyguard. Season 2 takes us a journey as these siblings find one another again, navigating the scenarios they have landed in, but reuniting is only the tip of the iceberg in the many complex problems they have to tackle.
SUGAR RUSH: EXTRA SWEET (NETFLIX)
This is our first time checking-out this competition Baking Series which takes pairs of skilled bakers, pitting them against other duos in new themed baking challenges each episode. The first round involves cupcakes, the second a confection and the third a cake. This new six-episode set includes celebrity guests like Tyler Posey and the late Naya Rivera and we were entertained as more often than not we agree with the panel of judges’ assessments. Some really brilliant and inspired talent tasked with challenges that update as trends evolve. We were floored by some of these creations including a cake that lit-up under black lights and even levitating cakes!
A new Trailer has surfaced for BLACK IS KING, coming soon to Disney+. Check-out this new Trailer including models Aweng Ade-Chuol and Adut Akech, supermodel Naomi Campbell, Tina Knowles-Lawson, author and Academy Award®-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o, singer Kelly Rowland, Pharrell Williams and JAY-Z, among others.
The new film based on the music of “The Lion King: The Gift,” will premiere two weeks after the one-year anniversary of the theatrical release of Disney’s global phenomenon, “The Lion King.” The film reimagines the lessons from the 2019 blockbuster for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns.
See the Trailer:
BLACK IS KING arrives on Disney+Friday, July 31, 2020.
Check-out this Teaser Video for BLACK IS KING, a Visual Album written, directed and produced by Beyoncé, to be released on the one-year anniversary of the release of Disney’sTHE LION KING. The Album reimagines lessons from THE LION KING for today’s children and is based on Music from The Lion King: The Gift, and starring the album’s featured artists and some special guest appearances. “Black Is King” is a celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience.
The Red Carpet was rolled-out in Toronto tonight for this Summer’s most-awaited cinematic event, the arrival of Disney’s THE LION KING. An enthusiastic and diverse crowd celebrated the event at Scotiabank Theatre, one night before it’s release including the likes of Jaleel White, Meg Donnelly, Nia Holloway, Jared Dixon, Simu Liu, Scott McGillivray, Kardinal Offishall, Damon Allen and more!
This Remake of the 1994 Animated Classic is directed by Jon Favreau, and while it remains very faithful to the original, you will be wowed by the advancements visually this story is treated with. Its jaw-dropping realism is sure to please fans of the Film’s predecessor. The Film centers on Simba (Donald Glover) who is the chosen successor to the throne to his father Mufasa (James Earl Jones). He must contend however with the betrayal of his uncle Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor) which leads him to a life of guilt and exile. Will Simba claim back what rightfully is his?
Disney’s The Lion King also showcases some fantastic performances by the likes of Chiwetel Ejiofor (Scar), Billy Eichner (Timon) and Seth Rogen (Pumbaa) which won’t soon be forgotten. And how can we forget how adorable little Simba is!
See this latest Featurette on the Film here to whet your appetites:
Some Snaps from tonight’s lively Red Carpet Premiere which saw a performance by Powerhouse Fellowship Soul, face-painting and installations to keep Instagram followers in envy like Scar!
Jaleel White (Family Matters)
Meg Donnelly (American Housewife)
Nia Holloway + Jared Dixon (Nala and Simba in Disney’s The Lion King Musical)
Jenalyn Saraza-Pacheco + Luka Milacic Perusina (World of Dance)
Damon Allen (CFL)
Scott McGillivray (Income Property)
Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience)
Marci Ien (The Social)
Kardinal Offishall (Rapper)
See a Highlight Reel:
Check-out our chat with Billy Eichner who plays Timonhere.
Walt Disney Studios Canada release Disney’s THE LION KINGThursday, July 18, 2019.
The legacy of The Lion King is unparalleled. The 1994 Animated Musical not only went on to win universal acclaim, but also outstanding commercial success, grossing almost $1 billion internationally, spawning various stage productions of it. The torch is handed off to multi-talented Jon Favreau to tell this story theatrically to a new generation of fans. Expectations are high for this upcoming Remake, which utilizes cutting-edge realism and an all-star Cast which has just about everybody circling their calendars in preparation for its July release.
The Cain and Abel-like story centers on a lion named Simba (Donald Glover) who is destined for greatness as Crown Prince of the Pridelands, in line to succeed his father Mufasa (James Earl Jones). He is derailed into exhile by his father’s ambitious brother Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and it is up to Simba to reclaim what rightfully is his.
The starpower is staggering as the Supporting Cast is rounded-out by Alfre Woodard, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner and Beyoncé.
See the Trailer:
Daytime Emmy winner Billy Eichner, known widely for his energetic and spontaneous brand of humour on Game Show Billy on the Street, plays wisecracking meerkat Timon, paired with slow-thinking warthog Pumbaa (Seth Rogen). The Funnyman is in Toronto to promote the release of what many are calling the cinematic event of the Summer and we are delighted to speak to him.
Eichner describes himself to us as mix of Theatre and Comedy worlds and he admits he likes this space. He also feels he is in a unique position being of an old school Theatre background, but also speaking to the new school in this Social Media age. In this upcoming Remake, he sings beloved Hakuna Matata and even jokes that he’s on a Track with Beyoncé as Timon sings a snippet of the Film’s centerpiece number, Can You Feel the Love Tonight?
We ask Eichner to tell us about the casting process and his reaction to being cast as Timon.
Eichner: “It was pretty shocking. I literally got a cold call from my agent that Jon Favreau wanted me to be in The Lion King. I had no preparation for it. I didn’t audition for it. I don’t think he auditioned anyone for it actually, maybe the kids?” . He adds, “I knew Jon and I knew he was a big Billy on the Street fan, but I’ve never worked with him before and literally I was shocked.” .
At the time our conversation, we still had not seen this latest incarnation of The Lion King. Curious, we ask Eichner how different it is from its Predecessor.
Eichner: “It’s completely different. Because of this, our vocal performances have to match the photo-realism of the Movie. They’re using some state-of-the-art technology, Virtual Reality and things I don’t comprehend. They put a helmet on me at some point and I was like, ‘I don’t know what’s going on. I’m just here to try to be funny’.” .
“The Movie just looks incredible. It looks so real and it is really breathtaking.” . While he realizes he really doesn’t have to do much to sell The Lion King to us since it is so well-loved, he reveals, “It’s such a nice escape from the real world and the daily onslaught of everything.” .
Eichner is known for his energetic and fast-thinking on Billy on the Street, where often he brings a notable name onto the street, giving New Yorkers a real shock and delight. We ask how different it is for him working in a controlled framework and a Script.
Eichner: “I’ve done scripted things before like American Horror Story. I would improvise and they would be like ‘What are you doing?’. But in The Lion King, the way that Jon wanted to do it, he encouraged us to riff and improvise. And a lot of our Improv remained in the final cut of the Movie. And I was surprised, I thought maybe we were just doing it as an exercise. It really gives this version of Timon and Pumbaa a really unique feel. Me and Seth Rogen aren’t going to sound like the original characters (voiced respectively by Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella), so I’m guessing there was a lot of spontaneity and Improv involved and I’m guessing that’s what Jon Favreau really wanted since he cast me and he knew that’s my background.” .
Walt Disney Studios Canada release THE LION KINGThursday, July 18, 2019.
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong/Walt Disney Studios Canada)
Check-out this new Sneak Peek of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala in Disney‘s THE LION KING which just surfaced today!
Synopsis: Disney’s “The Lion King,” directed by Jon Favreau (“The Jungle Book”), journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.
Staying true to the classic story, director Jon Favreau utilizes pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring the iconic characters to the big screen in a whole new way. Featuring the voices of Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa and Billy Eichner as Timon, Disney’s “The Lion King” opens in U.S. theaters on July 19, 2019.
See the Sneak Peek:
(Photo/video credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada)
Just 100 more days till the biggest movie event of the Summer!
Synopsis: Disney’s “The Lion King, directed by Jon Favreau (“The Jungle Book”), journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.
Staying true to the classic story, director Jon Favreau utilizes pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring the iconic characters to the big screen in a whole new way. Featuring the voices of Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa and Billy Eichner as Timon.
A new Still:
See the Trailer:
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada release THE LION KING Friday, July 12, 2019.
(Photo/video credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada)
The biggest night in Music took place this evening with the 59th annual GRAMMY Awards being held at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Adele took home top honours garnering Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Pop Solo Performance (Hello), Record of the Year (Hello), Song of the Year (Hello) and Album of the Year with her 2015 third disc, 25.
Doing Canada proud is Toronto’s own Drake who took home multiple awards including Best Rap/ Sung Performance and Best Rap Song with Hotline Bling.
An expectant Beyoncé wins Best Music Video for Formation and Best Urban Contemporary Album with Lemonadewhich even the evening’s big winner Adele felt deserved to win Album of the Year, breaking her Grammy in half for 25 to share withBeyoncé.
Newcomer Chance the Rapper also took home Best New Artist, Rap Album of the Year for Coloring Book, along with a win for Best Rap Performance for his collaboration No Problem.
Post-humously, David Bowie was awarded with multiple wins for his final disc, Blackstar including Best Alternative Music Album, Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song (Blackstar).
While they are currently dominating Pop Music, Electronic duo The Chainsmokers failed to win Best New Artist although they took home Best Dance Recording for their Daya collaboration Don’t Let Me Down.
Some more highlights from the night:
Adele accepting Album of the Year
Lady Gaga x Metallica
Katy Perry x Skip Marley
Twenty One Pilots win Best Pop Duo/ Group Performance for Stressed Out pantless