02-19-2017  8:47 am      •     
McMenamins
Television star says show is for 'cool kids and fly teens' of the new millenium

Born in Los Angeles on May 29, 1989, Brandon Mychal Smith is a charismatic young actor best known for playing ladies man Nico Harris on the Disney Channel sitcom "Sonny with a Chance," which was renamed "So Random" earlier this year. A versatile performer, Brandon recently competed on the ABC celebrity reality show "Skating with the Stars," and in 2010 starred in the Disney Channel Original Movie "Starstruck." Here, Brandon talks about his work on "So Random."


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Tyler Perry's latest is Madea's Big Happy Family

Madea's Big Happy Family: Film Review by Kam Williams


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Isaiah Mustafa found himself famous overnight after one commercial

NFL player-turned-actor Isaiah Mustafa became famous almost overnight in 2010 as the result of starring in a series of Emmy-winning Old Spice TV commercials. Serving as pitchman for the phenomenally-successful "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" campaign also transformed Isaiah into an internet sensation.
Soon thereafter, he was named one of People Magazine's "Most Beautiful People of 2010," and Tyler Perry announced on Oprah that Isaiah would be playing a lead role in "Madea's Big Happy Family." Additionally, he will be seen in July in "Horrible Bosses" opposite Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman and Kevin Spacey.
He currently resides in Los Angeles and when not acting enjoys sports, fitness, gaming, comic books and his two Rhodesian Ridgebacks. Here, Isaiah reflects upon his meteoric rise and his performance as Calvin in the latest Tyler Perry morality play


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Released in 1982, the original TRON was a futuristic thriller starring Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn, a programming genius/video arcade owner who somehow ends up physically deconstructed and teleported to a digital world after hacking into a software company's mainframe computer. Then, while lost in cyberspace, he's forced to survive by participating in a series of life and death gladiatorial games.


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Bon vivant Arthur Bach (Russell Brand) stands to inherit a billion dollars as the sole heir of a fortune controlled by his widowed mother, Vivienne (Geraldine James). But because the eligible bachelor's been nothing but a constant source of embarrassment, the imperious, family matriarch is considering cutting him out of her will entirely. So unfolds Arthur, an ill-advised remake of the 1981 classic co-starring Dudley Moore and Liza Minelli, and for which Sir John Gielgud won an Academy Award playing Hobson


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Jake Gyllenhaal joins Jeffrey Wright in mind-bending, sci-fi, action thriller

Air ForceCaptain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) has been comatose ever since his helicopter was shot down during a rescue mission over Afghanistan. The incapacitated pilot had no way of knowing that while languishing in a vegetative state he was being recruited for the "Source Code," a top secret program aimed at enabling him to inhabit another person's brain, telepathically.
And exactly how, pray tell, might the highly-decorated veteran accomplish such a superhuman feat?


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'Health disparities for people of color are getting worse, and more and more people are going without health insurance'

One of the most prominent and effective African American members of Congress, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), has long been a fighter against the spread of HIV/AIDS in the African American community


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Comedian, dramatic actor Anderson talks with The Skanner News

From his comedic roles in "Barbershop," "Bernie Mac Show" and the "Scary Movie" franchise to more serious roles in Hustle and Flow, The Shield and Law and Order, Actor Anthony Anderson has one diverse resume.
Anderson is appearing as Deputy Perkins in "Scream 4," the latest in the Wes Craven horror franchise due out on April 15.

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Longtime star reveals his first childhood memory

Here, Nicolas Cage talks about his latest film, Drive Angry 3-D, a supernatural thriller where he plays a fugitive from Hell intent on rescuing his granddaughter from the gang of goons who also murdered his daughter.


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Academy Award-winner talks about 'The Grace Card' and his new book

Last year, Lou published his aptly entitled autobiography, "An Actor and a Gentleman." Here, he talks about his new movie, "The Grace Card," a faith-based tale of reconciliation and redemption

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Recently Published by The Skanner News

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  • WASHINGTON (AP) — One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. The disarray outside the president's front door, though not his fault, serves as a metaphor for the tumult still unfolding inside. Four weeks in, the man who says he inherited "a mess" at home and abroad is presiding over a White House that is widely described as itself being a mess. At a stunning pace, Trump has riled world leaders and frustrated allies. He was dealt a bruising legal blow on one of his signature policies. He lost his national security adviser and his pick for labor secretary to scandal. He's seen forces within his government push back against his policies and leak confidential information. All of this has played out amid a steady drip of revelations about an FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Trump says his administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine." He points to the rising stock market and the devotion of his still-loyal supporters as evidence that all is well, although his job approval rating is much lower than that for prior presidents in their first weeks in office. Stung by the unrelenting criticism coming his way, Trump dismisses much of it as "fake news" delivered by "the enemy of the people" — aka the press. Daily denunciations of the media are just one of the new White House fixtures Americans are adjusting to. Most days start (and end) with presidential tweets riffing off of whatever's on TV talk shows or teasing coming events or hurling insults at the media. At some point in the day, count on Trump to cast back to the marvels of his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election and quite possibly overstate his margins of support. Expect more denunciations of the "dishonest" press and its "fake news." From there, things can veer in unexpected directions as Trump offers up policy pronouncements or offhand remarks that leave even White House aides struggling to interpret them. The long-standing U.S. policy of seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Trump this past week offered this cryptic pronouncement: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." His U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next day insisted, "We absolutely support a two-state solution." Trump's days are busy. Outside groups troop in for "listening sessions." Foreign leaders call or come to visit. (Or, in the case of Mexico's president, cancel out in pique over Trump's talk about the planned border wall.) After the president signed two dozen executive actions, the White House was awaiting a rush order of more of the gold-plated Cross pens that Trump prefers to the chrome-plated ones used by his predecessor. Trump hands them out as souvenirs at the signing ceremonies that he points to as evidence of his ambitious pace. "This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country," Trump said at a Thursday news conference. "Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time." That's all music to the ears of his followers, who sent him to Washington to upend the established order and play the role of disrupter. "I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do," says an approving Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin. "That never happens." Disrupt Trump has. But there may be more sound and fury than substance to many of his early actions. Trump did select Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a nomination that has drawn strong reviews from conservatives. But the president is regrouping on immigration after federal judges blocked his order to suspend the United States' refugee program and ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, which had caused chaos for travelers around the globe. Some other orders on issues such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall and former President Barack Obama's health care law are of limited effect. Trump says his early actions show he means to deliver on the promises he made during the campaign. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall,'" the president told a group of police chiefs recently. "I wasn't kidding. I don't kid." But the Republican-led Congress is still waiting to see specifics on how Trump wants to proceed legislatively on top initiatives such as replacing the health care law, enacting tax cuts and revising trade deals. The messy rollout of the travel ban and tumult over the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn for misrepresenting his contacts with Russia are part of a broader state of disarray as different figures in Trump's White House jockey for power and leaks reveal internal discord in the machinations of the presidency. "I thought by now you'd at least hear the outlines of domestic legislation like tax cuts," says Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. "But a lot of that has slowed. Trump shouldn't mistake the fact that some of his supporters like his style with the fact that a lot of Republicans just want the policies he promised them. He has to deliver that." Put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the camp of those more interested in substance than style. "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets," McConnell said Friday, referring to the "extra discussion" that Trump likes to engage in. But McConnell was quick to add: "What I am a fan of is what he's been actually doing." He credits Trump with assembling a conservative Cabinet and taking steps to reduce government regulation, and promised: "We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can." The challenge may be to tease out exactly what Trump wants in the way of a health care plan, tax changes and trade policy. At his long and defiant news conference on Thursday, Trump tried to dispel the impression of a White House in crisis, squarely blaming the press for keeping him from moving forward more decisively on his agenda. Pointing to his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Trump said, "You take a look at Reince, he's working so hard just putting out fires that are fake fires. I mean, they're fake. They're not true. And isn't that a shame because he'd rather be working on health care, he'd rather be working on tax reform." For all the frustrations of his early days as president, Trump still seems tickled by the trappings of his office. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited the White House last week to discuss the national opioid epidemic over lunch, the governor said Trump informed him: "Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.'" Trump added: "I'm telling you, the meatloaf is fabulous." ___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac
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  • FDR executive order sent 120,000 Japanese immigrants and citizens into camps
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  • Pruitt's nomination was strongly opposed by environmental groups and hundreds of former EPA employees
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