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"Transcendence," "A Haunted House 2" and "Bears" Open Friday


Marie Ishikawa/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Earlier this week, the religious drama Heaven Is For Real made its debut (read a review here). It will be joined at the box office by three more new films on Friday. Here's a closer look:

-- Transcendence: Johnny Depp is a controversial researcher in the field of artificial intelligence, who tries to create a sentient machine that contains human intelligence and emotions. He eventually transitions into a digitized, power-hungry version of himself. Morgan Freeman, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara and Cillian Murphy also star. Rated PG-13. [Click here to read a review]

-- A Haunted House 2:
In the sequel to the 2013 comedy, Marlon Wayans' Malcolm is haunted again after moving into a new home with his girlfriend and her kids. Jaime Pressly, Gabriel Iglesias and Cedric The Entertainer star. Rated R.

-- Bears: The latest film in the Disneynature series follows a bear family in Alaska over the course of a year. It is narrated by John C. Reilly. Rated G.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Is There Drama on the Set of "Glee?"


VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Is there trouble on the set of Glee?

Sources told TMZ that Lea Michele, who plays Rachel Berry on the Fox musical series, is acting like a "diva," causing many of her co-stars to be upset.

Reportedly, co-star Naya Rivera, who plays Santana Lopez, eventually became fed up and brought the issue to producers, telling them many people were upset with Michele.

According to sources close to Rivera, when Michele returned to the set she discovered Rivera complained to producers. That's when Michele stormed off of the set.

Still, sources close to Michele have a different take on events. They say Michele and Rivera weren't even filming scenes together, and Michele didn't even know people were upset with her. The sources, according to TMZ, added that it was actually Rivera who got kicked off the set.

Glee airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on Fox.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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"Law & Order" Creator Developing Series for A&E


VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Law & Order creator Dick Wolf is developing a non-fiction series for A&E.

The tentatively-titled D.O.A. will follow detectives who re-examine old murder cases.

Production on eight hour-long episodes will begin this spring.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Lindsay Lohan: "Conquest List" Story Was "Humiliating"


ABC News(NEW YORK) -- In the series finale of Lindsay Lohan's OWN reality series this Sunday night, the actress becomes emotional as she discusses the fallout from a magazine publishing her alleged "conquest list."

Last month, In Touch Weekly published what it claimed was a list of stars with whom Lohan allegedly was once involved. In a preview clip for Sunday's episode of Lindsay posted by E! Online, she says, "The fact that that happened was not only humiliating, but just mean."

Lohan then says, "For those two weeks that I took off, no one knows this..." The rest of the sentence is left out of the preview.

In the clip, Lohan also touches upon her struggles with alcohol, saying, "It's a really f**ked-up disease and it's really scary."

The Mean Girls star acknowledges how much her career has suffered in recent years, saying, "I've seen all of these other actresses do all these other things and then just realizing, 'Oh s**t, I don't have that anymore.'"

The two-part series finale of Lindsay airs this Sunday on OWN at 9 p.m. Eastern time.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Bryan Singer's Accuser Addresses Sex Abuse Claims


FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The man who has sued Bryan Singer, claiming he was sexually abused as a teen by the X-Men director, addressed his allegations Thursday at a Los Angeles press conference.

Michael Egan stated that he was abused over the course of a few years by Singer, beginning at the age of 15.

Egan, who's now 31, claimed the abuse began when he was lured to parties at an Encino, Calif., mansion. He said he was treated "like a piece of meat."

Egan, who was an aspiring actor at the time of the alleged incidents, further stated that he was threatened by men at the parties who told him, "If you don't keep the members of this group happy, we control Hollywood, we can eliminate you."

Egan said he and his mother later informed authorities about his allegations, but it "basically fell on deaf ears."

Egan's lawyer, Jeff Herman, claimed at the press conference that such abuse is a widespread problem and is a poorly-kept secret in Hollywood. He said he plans to file similar complaints against other Hollywood figures -- he didn't name names -- who allegedly abused teens.

Egan's lawsuit was filed in Hawaii, where he claims he was also abused by Singer and provided drugs and alcohol by the director. He seeks more than $75,000.

Following the press conference, Singer's attorney, Marty Singer, who is not related to the filmmaker, released a statement saying the claims are "completely fabricated." He added, "We look forward to our bringing a claim for malicious prosecution against Mr. Egan and his attorney after we prevail."

Marty Singer claimed that Egan was simply seeking "his 15 minutes of fame."

20th Century Fox, the studio behind Bryan Singer's next film, X-Men: Days of Future Past, says in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, "These are serious allegations, and they will be resolved in the appropriate forum. This is a personal matter, which Bryan Singer and his representatives are addressing separately."

X-Men: Days of Future Past opens on May 23.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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"Scandal" Recap: The Season Finale


ABC/Craig Sjodin(NEW YORK) -- On the season finale of ABC's Scandal, the bomb inside the church blew up but Vice President Sally Langston made it out alive. And although Sally was headed back to the White House, her campaign manager urged her to go back to the bomb site to help victims and make a speech.

Meanwhile, President Fitzgerald Grant tried to address the nation after the tragedy, but all of the news organizations instead picked up Sally's address -- Olivia Pope was upset, especially since this happened days away from the election. She told the president that he was going to lose.

Across town, Olivia went to visit her father, Eli, in the hospital after he was stabbed by her mother, Maya. There, Liv ran into her mother and Maya finally told her why she wanted to kill Fitz. "That man used you....I just wanted to give you a chance to be free," Maya said.

Meanwhile, Quinn's boyfriend discovered she was having sex with Huck. Thankfully for her, he didn't get upset and kill her. He just gave her an envelope that detailed where Huck's wife and child lived. Quinn eventually told Huck where his family lived, even at the risk of their budding relationship. And after thinking about it, Huck knocked on his wife's door. She was shocked to find out he wasn't dead.

Back at the White House, Fitz and Olivia were talking when Liv dropped a bomb on him: "Big Jerry raped" Mellie. Initially, Fitz didn't want to believe her, but after talking to Mellie, he did. That's when Mellie told the president she took a paternity test and that little Jerry is indeed his child.

Later, when Fitz was giving his final campaign speech, his son, Jerry III, all of a sudden started coughing up blood. He suffered a seizure and was rushed to the hospital where he died from bacterial meningitis.  The Secret Service told the president that a vial of meningitis went missing. "My son was murdered?" Fitz asked.

That's when Eli, who was still recovering in the hospital, ran into the president. The president told Eli he knew who killed his son: "It was Maya Pope. She missed me at the church so she went after Jerry." The president asked Eli to help him kill Maya, and Eli agreed to "put her head on a platter."

Liv headed back to Olivia Pope & Associates to tell them that she wanted to quit, especially now that the president was going to win because his son died. Abby was upset. "Go, run to Daddy," she said tearfully.

Still, Olivia went home and that's where Jake met her. Apparently, Huck had called to tell him the news. Jake tried to convince her to stay, but she told him, "I'm the common denominator...I'm the eye of the storm."

"This is me fixing it," Olivia continued. "...I'm the thing that needs to be fixed. I'm the thing that needs to be handled. I'm the scandal." So Jake told her that he was coming with her.

Across town, Eli ran into Harrison to tell him that Maya killed his lover Adnan. Because Harrison knew where Maya and Adnan were supposed to be meeting up to exchange a briefcase of money, Eli was able to capture Maya. Back at B613, Eli told Harrison to leave. "We're fine...the president saw to it to reinstate me," Eli said.

"This all worked out great for you," Harrison said, insinuating that it was in fact Eli who killed the president's son and not his estranged wife.

Eli then admitted he killed little Jerry. "He took my child so I took his," he said.

At the end of the episode, Eli is seen walking confidently around B613. He even put Maya back in solitary confinement. Meanwhile, Olivia is boarding a plane with Jake. And although the White House called -- Fitz needed help preparing his re-election speech -- Liv ignored the call.

"Are you sure?" Jake asked. She told him, "Yes."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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James Franco Attacks Critic over Review of His Broadway Show


Jemal Countess/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Criticize James Franco at your own peril. The actor did not take kindly to The New York Times' lukewarm review of his new Broadway play, Of Mice and Men, and he let the world know about it on Instagram.

The Times' Ben Brantley had called the production "respectable, respectful and generally inert," while also detailing his misgivings about Franco's performance.

Brantley wrote, "Though he sports a Yosemite Sam accent, Mr. Franco is often understated to the point of near invisibility. It’s a tight, internal performance begging for a camera’s close-up."

Franco countered with a harsh message on Instagram that has since been deleted. According to TheWrap.com, which has posted a screenshot of Franco's message, the actor wrote, “SADLY BEN BRANTLEY AND THE NYT HAVE EMBARASSED [sic] THEMSELVES. BRANTLEY IS SUCH A LITTLE B**** HE SHOULD BE WORKING FOR GAWKER.COM INSTEAD OF THE PAPER OF RECORD. THE THEATRE COMMUNITY HATES HIM, and for good reason, HE's an idiot.”

Of Mice and Men, also starring Bridesmaids actor Chris O'Dowd, opened Wednesday.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Kerry Washington Opens Up About Hiding Pregnancy on "Scandal"


ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- Kerry Washington has always welcomed the challenge of playing Washington, D.C., fixer Olivia Pope on Scandal.

However, now that the actress is pregnant, portraying such a physical character has become even more intense.

"I work very physically as an actor. The biggest thing for me has been the challenge of how to be this person [Olivia Pope] with the personal transformation that's going on for me physically and how to stay true to this character. That hasn't been easy," she told The Hollywood Reporter.

"It's been an awesome challenge for me as an actor because so much of how I access character is through my body. It's definitely been complicated to say the least. I've learned a lot about other ways to access Olivia and be her," she added.

Washington, 37, and her husband, former NFL player Nnamdi Asomugha, 32, are expecting their first child this year. However, her Scandal character is not pregnant, which means that Washington had to conceal her baby bump throughout this past season, which ended Thursday night.

"I'm just grateful for how hard everybody has worked to maintain the authenticity of this character in this world," she said. "I'm grateful to [costume designer] Lyn Paolo and all our producers....I feel very grateful that we have such an amazing team that was able to protect the character within the context of what the actress was going through."

However, the decision to separate Washington's real life from Pope's was not her own, Washington said. Series creator Shonda Rhimes made the final call.

"I trust Shonda with all things," she said.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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"Mrs. Doubtfire" Star Wants Nothing to Do with Sequel


Ron Galella, Ltd./Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A Mrs. Doubtfire sequel is in the works -- but not everyone is excited.

The original film's lead star, Robin Williams, and director, Chris Columbus, are attached to the project, according to reports.

Mrs. Doubtfire starred Williams as a divorced dad of three who, in order to get closer to his children, develops the persona of a Scottish nanny.

Well, one of the kids from the movie has no interest at all in coming back. Mara Wilson, who played Natalie Hillard, the adorable little girl in the film, tweeted Thursday that she's not involved with the follow-up.

"For the record, no, I do not have anything to do with the Mrs. Doubtfire sequel, nor will I," she wrote.

She added, "I've been in some mediocre movies, but I've never been in a sequel. And I have no interest in being in one now."

She explained, "Sequels generally suck unless they were planned as part of a trilogy or series. I think Doubtfire ended where it needed to end."

Wilson said she has yet to be contacted about appearing in the sequel.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Movie Review: "Heaven Is for Real"


TriStar(NEW YORK) -- Based on the best-selling non-fiction book of the same name, Heaven Is for Real stars Greg Kinnear as Pastor Todd Burpo. In addition to being his church’s pastor, he coaches the local high school wrestling team and is also a volunteer fireman. He’s passionate about his faith but most passionate about his family. And there will be no greater test of his faith than when his 4-year-old son, Colton, needs emergency surgery and almost dies.

Following the surgery, something is a little different about Colton. First, he asks his dad if they can return to a butterfly preserve where the young man passed up an opportunity to hold a tarantula: Colton wants to go back because he’s no longer afraid. When Todd asks if the hospital scared him, his son responds, “No, that’s where the angels sang to me.” Colton goes on to reveal that the angels sang to him during surgery, while his mother was in one room making calls on her mobile phone and Todd was in another room yelling at God. 

Todd, reasonably, is a bit freaked out, since that’s exactly what took place during Colton’s surgery. It doesn’t end there: Colton also reveals that he visited Heaven, met his great-grandfather, his unborn sister, and Jesus. 

Thanks to Kinnear’s earnest performance, you can’t help but feel for him, though it’s difficult to understand Todd’s lack of faith in Heaven before Colton’s surgery, given that he’s a pastor. Connor Corum as Colton is also an excellent find, as this young actor is asked to do a lot. He does it well, but the performances aren’t enough to elevate the vanilla narrative from a faith-based film that will only preach to the choir, to a quality piece of filmmaking that will appeal to moviegoers beyond that audience. 

But nobody here is trying to win an Oscar. They’re trying to win the hearts and minds of the faith-based audience that will undoubtedly show up in great numbers to find out if Heaven Is for Real. I suspect they will succeed.

Two-and-a-half out of five stars.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Movie Review: “Transcendence”


Warner Bros.(NEW YORK) -- Johnny Depp’s Dr. Will Caster and his wife, Evelyn (Rebecca Hall), want to change the world through artificial intelligence. But Caster is an intellectual hermit: instead of going out into the world and raising money for his research, he’d rather spend his life at home with his beautiful wife, taking care of their garden while creating complex algorithms.  That type of lifestyle just isn’t possible for him because, as indicated by his face on the cover of popular tech magazine WIRED, Will is a tech community rock star.
 
The culmination of Will’s research is PINN (Physically Independent Neural Network), an artificially intelligent computer whose only major flaw is that it’s not self-aware -- a plot point seemingly created only to create conflict later in the movie.
 
Shortly after Will reluctantly delivers a speech about his research and the convergence of artificial intelligence and human intelligence -- which he calls “transcendence” -- an anti-technology zealot attempts to assassinate him.  It’s all part of a coordinated attack on computer labs around the country that support Caster’s research, fearing it will lead to the downfall of society as we know it.
 
Will survives the attack, but not for long.  The bullet he took was laced with a radioactive isotope, leaving him with only weeks to live.
 
Evelyn thinks she can save Will, or at least his mind, by employing PINN tech to essentially upload Will’s brain into cyberspace, where he can live forever.  She’s going to need help, and that’s where their good friend and business partner, Max (Paul Bettany), comes in.  Max helped Will develop the PINN software, and also apparently has some surgical skills -- a convenient plot point which, like so many other aspects of Transcendence, is never explained.
 
The gamble works, but Max soon realizes that the A.I. version of Will may not be Will at all.  It grows more powerful and intelligent by the second, becoming -- ironically -- the very thing the terrorists who tried to kill Will feared, and alarming the government as well.
 
Transcendence feels less like a film title and more like a mission statement, with the filmmakers hoping the movie would transcend its faults and become a fully realized story with fleshed-out characters (Kate Mara from House of Cards is particularly underutilized as the terrorist leader) and intellectually stimulating conversations.  In fairness, there are a few tense moments, but there are also plenty of other moments where you wish the projectionist would stop the movie and throw on Spike Jonze’s Her, a much more subtle and entertaining meditation on a somewhat similar theme.  Transcendence aspires to be a philosophical rumination about the future of artificial intelligence, but it’s really just an exercise in superficial intelligence.
 
Two-and-a-half out of five stars.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Donnie Wahlberg Helped Design Jenny McCarthy's 10-Carat Engagement Ring


ABC (NEW YORK) -- When Donnie Wahlberg was ready to propose to Jenny McCarthy, he wanted the ring to be special.

So, he worked with Daniel Arik of Happy Jewelers and Newport Jewelers to create a one-of-a-kind piece.

"He did have an idea of what he wanted," Arik told ABC News. "We showed him a few different pieces and custom-made his ring."

McCarthy, 41, revealed the couple's happy news on Wednesday's The View. After tearing up while explaining the details of the proposal, she flashed her ring, which Arik called "one-of-a-kind."

The Blue Bloods star said that McCarthy preferred a colored stone to a diamond. In the end, he chose a 10-carat yellow sapphire surrounded by nearly two carats of diamonds, set in white gold.

"Yellow sapphire is really expensive, especially in that size," Arik said. "You don't find many people buying a 10-carat yellow sapphire!"

When Wahlberg laid eyes on the finished product, "he went crazy," the jeweler recalled.

"It was really nice. When he saw it, he was stunned," he said. "The experience was amazing. Out of all the people I deal with, he was one of the easiest, most pleasant people. It was really fun."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Netflix Releases “Orange Is the New Black” Trailer


Lions Gate Entertainment(NEW YORK) -- In a few weeks, season two of Orange Is the New Black will hit the web.

Now, we have a glimpse of what to expect.

A trailer for the Netflix series was released Thursday -- and many of last season's characters are back in full force, along with a few new faces.

The minute-and-a-half long video begins with Piper, played by Taylor Schilling, making a pointed statement. "I am prepared to behave like a model inmate and I feel I no longer pose a threat," she said, possibly referring to the violent crime she committed at the end of last season.

Meanwhile, Red, played by Kate Mulgrew, may have a new nemesis, who takes a liking to Crazy Eyes, played by Uzo Aduba.

For more, check out the video below. Orange Is the New Black premieres on Netflix on June 6.

 

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Report: "Mrs. Doubtfire" Sequel in the Works


20th Century-Fox/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Mrs. Doubtfire is reportedly coming back for more gender-bending hilarity. A sequel to the 1993 hit Mrs. Doubtfire is in the works, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Elf writer David Berenbaum is writing the script, while Robin Williams and director Chris Columbus are also attached to the project, THR reports.

The original film starred Williams as a recently divorced father of three who, in order to get closer to his children, develops the persona of a Scottish nanny.

The movie grossed $441 million worldwide, and Williams and the movie earned Golden Globes.

According to THR, the sequel has been in the works since 2001.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Taylor Swift Surprises Fan at Bridal Shower


(NEW YORK) -- When Gena Gabrielle sent Taylor Swift an invite to her bridal shower in Columbus, Ohio, she didn’t exactly expect the pop icon to show up.

But she did and now the "Red" singer, 24, has posted a video of the surprise.

"There's this girl named Gena, who has been coming to my shows for years," Swift says in the beginning of the video. "I was at the management office the other day and we were going through fan mail and invitations and stuff. I got this wedding invitation."

"I've never been to a bridal shower, so we are going to fly to Ohio today," she said in the video, uploaded Wednesday.

She even brought gifts.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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