Browse Month: December 2016

Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Jauregui busted with weed at airport

This will not interfere with any future scheduled performances or activities.”
Jauregui was said to have been about to fly to Brazil, where Fifth Harmony was set to perform this week. Jauregui, 20, was then said to be charged with possession of marijuana, but her lawyer claims she was never arrested. As the news of her trouble was reported on, the hashtag #FreeLauren began trending on Twitter in the US. “Lauren Jauregui was not arrested and detained as reported, but simply given a citation for possession of marijuana and released on her own recognisance,” lawyer Dina LaPolt said. Pop group Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Jauregui was arrested at a US airport for allegedly carrying marijuana, according to reports. “She will address the matter appropriately through the legal system. The X Factor girl group star was stopped by security staff at Dulles Airport in Virginia on Tuesday night (local time) who found what appeared to be a bag of cannabis, a TSA member told media.

Harry Styles makes acting debut in Dunkirk trailer

Styles features a handful of times in the trailer, with the two-minute preview hinting his acting debut may end with his character drowning. Dunkirk is set in the midst of World War II and is based on the event known as Operation Dynamo, which was the mass-evacuation of Allied soldiers from France – a moment described as a “miracle of deliverance” by Winston Churchill. The trailer suggests the film will be beautifully shot and deeply moving, with Nolan clearly hoping to bolster his directing credits after garnering huge critical acclaim for Interstellar, The Dark Night trilogy and Inception. The film calls upon the soundtrack-composing expertise of Hans Zimmer, and is expected to deliver on its multimillion-dollar budget that saw a $5 million vintage plane bought and then destroyed on-screen. The film boasts an all-star cast including the likes of Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy and One Direction crooner Harry Styles, who features in a breakout role. The first full-length trailer for Christopher Nolan’s wartime flick Dunkirk has been released – and it looks every bit the epic that it was cracked up to be during production.

NZ-made video games for the blind getting global attention

Mr Beksa knows they are onto a good thing. 
“You might say that we found a niche and it’s not explored completely.” In a tiny room, in the basement of the Auckland University of Technology, a group of students is creating video games for a very specific audience – and they are rating up a storm worldwide. Team leader Jarek Beksa says he first had the idea from a friend. The Audio Game Hub team are making games for the visually impaired. “One of our friends, he’s blind, he says nobody makes games for us. Instead of fancy graphics, they have to rely on different sounds to paint a picture in players’ minds. The games rate 4.8 out of 5 on Google Play, and can be found on in the app store on your phones or downloaded off the website. “We started thinking about it and thought, yeah, there are not many games for the blind so we started thinking maybe we should develop one.”
The guys at Audio Game Hub have come up with a game that four people can play at once – something they say is unique.

Christmas songs you may not know

But there are some yuletide classics out there, and many interesting, lesser-known numbers you might enjoy, so But if you’ve already done your Christmas shopping, no doubt you’ll have been bombarded with the standard seasonal muzak. For this reason Christmas is a divisive thing. We’re often subjected to the worst songs. After what has been not such a great year for many people, now ’tis the time to be jolly.

Te Papa given Warhol, Dali, Pollock artworks

“The Te Papa Foundation will enable Te Papa to preserve more of New Zealand’s history, culture and art, to take its education programmes to more students, and to share more of our stories.”
Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy attended the foundation’s launch alongside notable art collectors Dr Euan and Ann Sinclair and Aloysius and Eileen Teh. Te Papa has an annual operating budget of $60 million with around half coming from the Crown, while the museum raises the remainder through commercial activity, partnerships and donations. The Sinclairs donated seven works, including the pieces by Dali and Warhol and a painting and drawing by Pollock worth more than $1 million. Te Papa museum has taken possession of valuable Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock artworks gifted by a Kiwi philanthropist couple. Dr Sinclair is a US-based financial trader whose passion for modern and surrealist art was sparked by a visit to the Dunedin Public Art Gallery as a boy. This would provide a significant boost to Te Papa’s current annual acquisition budget of $3 million. “As a national museum and as the holder of the national art collection, Te Papa’s mandate is broad but its acquisition budget is slight,” Mr Carruthers said. The charitable trust’s chairman Alastair Carruthers hopes to raise more than $50 million over the next 10 years to fund acquisitions, education and public programmes. Works gifted by Dr Euan Sinclair and Ann Sinclair:

Gino Severini, Title unknown [Abstract Study], gouache on paper, circa 1950-55
Andre Lhote, Title unknown [Cubist figure study], gouache on paper
Andy Warhol, ‘Shoe’, offset lithograph with watercolour on paper, circa 1955-1956
Salvador Dali, print from Les Chants de Maldoror (number and title to be confirmed), 1934
Salvador Dali, print from Les Chants de Maldoror (number and title to be confirmed), 1934
Joan Miro, ‘Juan Miro Y Cataluna’, 1968, lithograph and pastel
Nicholas Tarkhoff, Title unknown, gouache on paper laid on canvas 1915

Works bequeathed by Dr Euan Sinclair and Ann Sinclair

Jackson Pollock, ‘Untitled (Psychoanalytic Drawing)’, pencil and coloured crayon on paper, 1939-40
Jackson Pollock, ‘Black and white sketch’, oil on canvas, circa 1950

Works gifted by Aloysius and Eileen The

Darryn George, ‘Arawhata’, oil on canvas, title inscribed, 2009
Shane Cotton, ‘II Whakapapa (Chronicles)’, acrylic on canvas, 2009

NZN The pieces were among more than $1.45 million worth of artworks and cash donated to New Zealand’s national museum during Wednesday’s launch of its Te Papa Foundation.

Growing Pains star Alan Thicke dies aged 69

Actor, songwriter and former talk-show host Alan Thicke has died at the age of 69. Thicke, father of singer Robin Thicke, was best known for his starring role as psychiatrist Jason Seaver on popular ABC sitcom Growing Pains, from 1985 to 1992. He was transported to a Los Angeles hospital on Tuesday afternoon before being pronounced dead. He is outlived by his three sons and wife Tanya. He also had a successful career as a songwriter and composer, working on the theme songs for shows such as Hello, Larry and The Facts of Life. Most recently, Thicke had appeared on the popular Netflix sitcom Fuller House. According to Thicke’s publicist, he died of a heart attack while playing hockey with one of his sons.

Bill English ends year with Taylor Swift attack on opposition

I’ve seen a rug recently which suggests it’s been a particularly big year for me”. Mr English quoted Swift’s hit ‘Blank Space’ to take a dig at the opposition, saying the line “oh my God you look like my next mistake” was about Labour’s partnership with the Greens. He also added that National would maintain its strength after the resignation of John Key, saying “the All Blacks thrived after Richie McCaw, and isn’t there a lesson there!”
Mr Little said it’s been “a big year for New Zealand, and a big year for me in fact. In the final session of Parliament for 2016, Prime Minister Bill English quoted Taylor Swift and Labour Leader Andrew Little slipped in some questionable innuendo. And another quote from Ms Swift was for Greens Co-Leader James Shaw: “I’m a nightmare dressed up as a day dream”.

Singer Bunny Walters dies

Iconic Maori singer Bunny Walters has died at the age of 63 after battling a short illness. 
Walters arrived on the New Zealand music scene with his single ‘Reach’ in 1969. But it was two years later when Walters really shot to fame, with his popular single ‘Brandy’. Walters’ body will be taken to Rereatukahia marae in Katikati, where he will lay until Saturday. He died on Wednesday morning in Waikato Hospital, with friends and family around him.

Lorde’s beautiful surprise performance in support of LGBTQ community

Comedians, including Antonoff’s girlfriend Lena Dunham, also performed. One audience member was so impressed by the rendition that he attributed skin-clearing, problem-solving and life-saving qualities to the performance. Antonoff put on The Ally Coalition Talent Show at Webster Hall, with performances from Carly Rae Jepsen, CHVRCHES’ Lauren Mayberry and Charli XCX. The Kiwi singer has been working in the studio alongside Antonoff on her upcoming album. According to Antonoff, the song is one they “played in the studio so many times”. Lorde has “come out of hiding” with a spine-tingling performance in support of homeless LGBTQ youth in New York City. She performed a cover of Swedish pop singer Robyn’s ballad, ‘Hang With Me’, accompanied on the piano by musician Jack Antonoff on Monday night (local time). The event raised US$100,000 for The Ally Coalition, which aims to “create a coalition of allies […] to use their voices and influence to end discrimination against LGBTQ people”. 2. The performance was as unexpected as it was moving – Lorde was not mentioned on the event’s official bill. Robyn’s ‘Hang With Me’ was the lead single on her 2010 album, Body Talk Pt.

Margot Robbie to star in Harley Quinn spinoff Gotham City Sirens

Robbie has a busy schedule planned with roles in the noir thriller Terminal, a biopic of the author AA Milne, a live-action Peter Rabbit movie and a drama based on the life of the skater Tonya Harding. Ayer will direct and produce the project and Robbie is also executive producing. Geneva Robertson-Doret, who has written scripts for the Tomb Raider remake and Warners’ Sherlock Holmes 3, is set to write the screenplay. Australian actress Margot Robbie and Suicide Squad director David Ayer are teaming up again for a female DC villains movie, Gotham City Sirens. Reuters Robbie, who starred in Suicide Squad as Harley Quinn, will reprise her role as the crazy supervillain in the upcoming film. Sirens was a recent comic series from DC that included Harley Quinn, Catwoman and Poison Ivy.

Hilary Duff defends kissing son on lips

“For anyone commenting that a kiss on the lips with my four-year-old is ‘inappropriate’, go ahead and click a quick unfollow with your warped minds and judgment,” she said. Among the thousands of comments under the original photo, the vast majority now support Duff kissing her son. The Lizzie McGuire star fired back at those comments with another Instagram post, telling them to unfollow her if they had such “warped minds”. Actress Hilary Duff sparked a heated debate after posting a photo on Instagram of her and son Luca kissing on the lips at Disneyland. Although the pic has 257,000 likes currently, some comments claimed the peck was “inappropriate” and “not healthy”.

Kanye West delaying presidential bid until 2024?

Troubled pop star Kanye West has taken to Twitter to explain his meeting with Donald Trump and seemingly announce the postponement of his upcoming presidential run. The ‘Monster’ singer, who recently suffered a mental breakdown,

Apple’s $269 wireless headphones on sale after months of delay

AirPods are now available through its website, with delivery expected in New Zealand next week. They will also be available from Apple authorised resellers and some carriers from next week. The NZ$269 AirPods, which contain a special communications chip, are a crucial selling point for Apple’s flagship device, the iPhone 7, which lacks a 3.5 millimetre headphone jack. Apple’s wireless headphones have finally gone on sale, just in time for Christmas.

Reviews for Rogue One mixed, but mostly positive

“[Director Gareth Edwards]’s stint at the 2014 Godzilla reboot’s helm makes him no stranger to earth-ripping set-pieces, and Rogue One’s have been conceived and executed with serious dazzle and grace,” says The Telegraph’s Robbie Collin. Those praising Rogue One say it draws deep on Star Wars mythology while breaking new narrative and aesthetic ground, and suggesting a bright blockbuster future for the franchise. The most positive mainstream reviews yet were published by Total Film and the New York Daily News, while the most negative come from the Wall Street Journal and the New Yorker. “But in its best moments, there’s a yarn-spinning intimacy to it too – an old war story told around a spectacular campfire.”
“Rogue One doesn’t really go rogue at any stage, and it isn’t a pop culture event like The Force Awakens, in whose slipstream this appears; part of its charm resides in the eerie, almost dreamlike effect of continually producing familiar elements, reshuffled and reconfigured, a reaching back to the past and hinting at a preordained future,” says The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw. Negative comments by reviewers say it panders to fans, isn’t engaging enough, is tonally-confused and getting to its good stuff is a slog. Currently, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has a Metacritic rating of 67 and a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 82, while Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens sits on 81 and 92, respectively. The embargo has lifted on reviews of the new Star Wars film and so far they’re mostly positive, but not quite as good as last year’s. Kiwis don’t have long to wait to make up their own minds on how well the new Star Wars delivers – it opens here in at 12:01am on Thursday morning. Then there’s a great deal of measured reviews in between. And yes, there are some haters.

Paul Henry thanks Kiwis for ‘touching’ messages after mother’s death

Paul Henry took a moment to thank the Kiwis who sent condolences following the death of his mother, Olive Mary Christine Hopes, on Monday. “I just very quickly wanted to thank you very very much, all of the people who have so kindly sent in their kind thoughts and their condolences at the loss of my mother,” he said having returned to the show for the first time since her death. He called Olive his “best friend” in a 2013 article in NZ Women’s Weekly and would often feature her on his shows. Of course, her son documented it on television,” says Sarah Bristow, executive producer of Paul Henry’s morning show. “Thank you so much for that, it was really touching.”
Henry returned to his show on Wednesday, after two days bereavement. “New Zealanders really fell in love with Olive when she decided to leap off the Sky Tower to mark her 79th birthday. “As Paul said, she took 79 years to show her daredevil side – and the audience was just in awe of her adventurous spirit.”
Olive will be dearly missed by Paul and his three daughters – Lucy, Sophie and Bella, who were exceptionally close to their Nan.