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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    The men of Lonely Island are doing the creep towards the big screen.

    The comedy trio of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone are developing an untitled movie with Universal Pictures, The Wrap reported. Schaffer and Taccone will co-direct the film, while Judd Apatow has signed on as a producer

    The Lonely Island became a household name on Saturday Night Live, with Samberg on the cast and Schaffer and Taccone as writers, and during their run, they made a number of iconic music videos for “Lazy Sunday,” “Dick in a Box,” and “I Just Had Sex.”

    More recently, they even commented on EDM culture with another SNL short where everyone waited for the DJ to drop the bass.

    The trio worked previously worked on Hot Rod, with Schaffer directing and Samberg and Taccone starring.

    There’s not much information about the plot of the comedy so far except that it’s “set in the music world” and followed an earlier deal that The Lonely Island would create digital content for Fox.

    H/T The Wrap | Screengrab via thelonelyisland/YouTube


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    BY SAM GUTELLE

    The ‘Action Movie Kid‘ is growing up. Three-year-old James Hashimoto, who stars in his dad Daniel’s effects-laden videos, will star in an Toys R Us campaign directed by his father.

    Since starring in his first video back in February, the Action Movie Kid has become one of YouTube’s most popular new personalities. Daniel, a DreamWorks animator, uses Adobe After Effects to place his son in all sort of reality-warping situations. A recent scenario was so inventive that it inspired Forbes to write an entire piece on the Action Movie Kid’s potential real-world implications.

    In six months, the Action Movie Kid channel has drawn 187,000 subscribers and 38 million views, so you can understand why Toys R Us is interested in a collaboration. The retail chain will make use of the Hashimoto duo for a campaign called ‘C’mon Let’s Play‘, which has much in common with the Action Movie Kid videos. For instance, a recent installment posted to the Toys R Us YouTube channel shows a kid and a store employee playing with a toy train before an actual train zooms across the screen.

    “Experts say that play is a child’s work, and we think this campaign really gets to the heart of that,” said Lee Walker, VP of Creative Services for Toys R Us. “We have really found our place in the world of play.”

    Hashimoto’s videos will be promoted on Twitter through the #LetsPlay hashtag. I have a feeling that label will struggle to stand out, but we’ll be sure to keep our eyes peeled for Hashimoto’s branded creations.

    Screengrab via Action Movie Kid/YouTube 


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    It’s been pretty quiet on the Patrice Wilson front since the release of Alison Gold’s questionable video for “Shush Up.” Many people thought Wilson, known for producing purposely over-the-top videos that scream for hate-clicks, went too far with Gold’s video.

    Perhaps Wilson knew this, because his latest pet project is Gina Naomi Baez’s “Cupcakes,” which costars Tinkerbelle the dog, and is all about cupcakes and summer and, well, it’s always hard to tell with a Patrice Wilson video. The chorus is basically, “Gimme one of those cupcakes,” and the video does nothing to address the epidemic of childhood obesity, though Baez does take a personal stand on body image.

    As per usual, Wilson makes a cameo so he can rap a verse about cupcakes, explaining, “When I want to cry, I eat more cupcakes.” This video got real dark real quick.

    H/T Uproxx | Screengrab via patomuzic/YouTube


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    Nineties nostalgia freaks, your time has come. Lifetime, the network that brought you Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor and countless dramatic kidnapping tales, is turning its lens on the most iconic of '90s teen television: Saved by the Bell.

    In 2009, Dustin Diamond, who played Screech on the show, released Behind the Bell, a tell-all that revealed the state of affairs on the set of the NBC series, which turned a group of virtual unknowns into megastars. Diamond revealed threesomes, bickering, and drug addiction, and for the film, Lifetime conducted its own set of interviews to bring The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story to air Sept. 1. If you're expecting Shakespeare, look elsewhere. This is Lifetime. 

    The two-minute clip telegraphs the amazingness to come. Tiffani Thiessen and Lark Voorhies are fighting over a coffee-swilling (we assume that's coffee) Mark-Paul Gosselaar, and Mario Lopez can't help but break into pushups at any moment. Even better, the six actors were selected by the original Saved by the Bell casting director, Robin Lippin.

    Also, you can't help but love a promo clip that's unabashedly scored by Bell Biv DeVoe's "Poison." The '90s were a magical time.

    H/T Vulture | Screengrab via Lifetime/YouTube


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    Seventeen percent of women serve on boards of Fortune 500 corporations. The same percentage appear in crowd scenes in films and television shows. Actress Geena Davis doesn’t think that’s a coincidence, and she’s taking strides to do something about it.

    “Could it be that seeing that ratio for decades has become so ingrained in us that it looks normal,” Davis queried at her Aug. 6 See Jane Salon panel, hosted by YouTube Space Los Angeles. “So when you get to 17 percent of your board being women, you feel done. The one place where things can change overnight is on screen. On any kind of screen.”

    On screen, gender inequality has been repeatedly pointed out as a problem. One organization has been trying to make strides toward parity since 2007. Davis, who rose to prominence in such women-fronted films as A League of Their Own and Thelma and Louise, founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media in 2007, as a research-based organization aimed at increasing the presence of diverse women in media. At the event, Davis targeted digital media as a place ripe for growth and change.

    “In the digital landscape, things are happening really fast,” said Davis. “This is a great place for us to change the perception of women, show more women's stories, show more women doing interesting things and different things.”

    The world of YouTube and women is a fraught one, with much attention paid to the issues around sexism and hatred directed at female personalities in the vlog space. Little is different for female characters in the space, but Davis’s panel brought together several companies working against that. WIGS is one example. The digital network aims to bring “adult drama” online, and their formula often pairs strong women with equally strong scripts to make a splash.

    “What we hope we’re doing is telling interesting stories about interesting characters who happen to be women,” WIGS' executive producer and COO Jake Avnet explained. “What we find is our audience for a show like Blue is only half women, which is not surprising.”

    For the younger set, AwesomenessTV has been at the forefront of creating teen and tween programming, and producer Brin Lukens spoke on the panel about bringing female-led shows to the forefront.

    “Our audience is largely female, and they’re underrepresented in TV and film,” Lukens said. “They want to see these characters who look like them and act like them. For us, it’s been how do we tell these stories and how are we authentic about it.”

    Real women, at least of the celebrity variety, also have a chance at equality in digital video, as addressed by Betsy Koch and Eliza Skinner of Funny or Die. They explained that having women behind the scenes helped female celebs develop more interesting skits for their site. However, they stressed that they weren’t targeting women, only good content. Likewise, charity and video platform founder Brian Dameris spoke of giving women’s causes more time on digital outlets like Chideo.

    “Our most successful projects to date are by Keke Palmer and Debbie Ryan,” said Dameris. “Both young stars. They are role models for women that age.”

    Davis pointed out that reaching parity between men and women in society is a slow process. For institutions like Congress, if we add women to the mix at the same rate we’ve been so far, it will take 500 years.

    “We want to cut that in half,” she joked, before turning serious to look to entertainment media as an interesting solution. “That’s the incredible opportunity we have in the digital world, where things happen so fast and change overnight. Something can become a sensation the next day. In the time it takes to create a YouTube show or a movie or a television series, you can change what the future looks like. You can make the board half women because why not? Who cares! You can do whatever you want. You can make the bosses women. You can change what the future looks like. And then the future will reflect art.

    "You don’t have to wait for society to turn around so then we can represent things fairly," Davis said. "There’s fewer female characters doing real things than there are in real life. When women and girls see it, they realize they can be it. When men see it they go, ‘Oh, that looks normal to me.’”

    Photos courtesy of YouTube Space LA 


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    The Weather Channel has been moving far beyond its roots, into the digital documentary business. The Real Death Valley is an example of how the channel is showing the effects of climate on the human condition. 

    The documentary, which debuts Aug. 11, is the latest in a series of digital films that “peel back the curtain on the raw forces of nature." This 22-minute installment, reported by John Carlos Frey, is a thought-provoking, often gut-wrenching firsthand POV narrative that traces the journey migrant Central Americans take from the U.S. border around various checkpoints. The hot, humid conditions in Brooks County, Texasthe treacherous gateway between the border and the checkpoint at Falfurrias, Texashave claimed the lives of scores of those in search of a better life in the U.S.

    Frey, a veteran investigative reporter on this joint projectco-produced by the Weather Channel and Telemundo in collaboration with the nonprofit Investigative Fundis not new to issues related to immigrants and the U.S. border. His work has been featured on a 60 Minutes episode, "The All-American Canal," and the 2009 film The 800 Mile Wall.

    Even with years of reporting on the politically, emotionally charged issues of the border, each project has its own central theme. Approached by Efran Films for this project, Frey knew there was only one way he could accurately capture the harrowing journey of those who travel the 50 miles to potential freedom by foot. (Note: The Real Death Valley contains disturbing images and many not be suitable for all audiences.)

    “The only way I could tell the story was to take the walk myself,” Frey told the Daily Dot. He explains how the very agency tracking down illegal immigrants often became the search and rescue team that comes to their aid when those in desperation call 911, or use an emergency beacon placed along the trail in Brooks County.

    The real-life drama unfolds via the account of Sigfredo, who left El Salvador with his younger brother, a street artist with a strong following in his home country. When the brother refused to design tattoos for a powerful gang, he and members of his family were marked for death. The journey took them through Mexico and a border crossing of the Rio Grande on a raft with all their worldly goods. As Frey points out, the most difficult part of the path to freedom begins when migrants enter the U.S. and have to circumnavigate checkpoints, which are within about 50 miles of the border. It is during that trek that the elements unleash havoc, resulting in death by dehydration, starvation, and snake bites.

    In just 22 minutes, there is a lot to absorb. In addition to Sigfredo’s saga, we are taken behind the scenes and offered candid interviews with representatives from the undermanned U.S. Border Patrol, as well as a horrific glimpse at the work being done by a forensic team from Baylor University, who are digging through mass graves where unidentified migrants were dumped. The goal is to transport the remains to a lab for identification, in the hopes of returning what is left of the bodies back to their native land for a proper burial.

    The film is perhaps intentionally light on the political battle being waged by those wanting to seal the border. Understandably, too much focus on arguments for and against tougher immigration laws would deflate some of the impact of the tragedy depicted in The Real Death Valley, but a basic primer on the issues might add to the overall perspective. 

    As with other short documentary films geared for TV viewing in the past, the message includes factual pieces that give the audience room to interpret as they see fit, draw their own conclusions, and start their own conversations. Frey reveals that in crafting the message, it was “difficult not to walk through this maze and not be affected. I was seeing humanity at its worst.”

    Frey is honest that his approach is not geared to ask for sympathy, but to “lay out the truth and let the pieces fall where they may.”

    Screengrab via the Weather Channel


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    Lately, there’s been much discussion about female representation in superhero movies, the need for diversity, and how a female-led superhero movie is way overdue. Angelfire knows all about it.

    Angelfire, the superhero alter ego of Alison Vingiano, who recently co-wrote and starred in a Herspoof, is trying to get her own movie deal, and faces the usual Hollywood obstacles. Male studio executives diminish her ability to play the lead, suggesting she needs a “co-lead” or love interest to make the movie marketable. They also offer hilariously sexist taglines for the would-be film, like “justice is a bitch.”

    “I've been thinking about and wanting to see a female superhero — who is strong and smart and a person, not a love interest, sidekick, or archetype — get her own movie for a long time,” Vingiano told the Daily Dot. “My friend Jordan came to me with the idea for Angelfire in the spring. He went to Sundance and worked on a story with Mynette Louie, who runs a production company just for women filmmakers, so he had been thinking about these ideas a lot.

    “Meanwhile, I had just seen Godzilla and was angry about the non-roles for women in that film. I thought Jordan's idea was a clever, funny, feminist parody of Hollywood, so I worked with him on the script and producing the video. We filmed it before Sony announced their woman-led Spider-Man spinoff, but I imagine if Spiderwoman was a real person, this is what many of her pitch meetings would be like.”

    All the more reason it's time for a female-led movie. 

    Screengrab via The Adventures of Angelfire/YouTube 


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    Kim Kardashian has turned the selfie into art, and now she's turning her own personal art into a book. The reality star will release a book of her own selfies next year, after inking a deal with Rizzolio to publish Selfish, a 352-page tome. That's almost a selfie for every day of the year.

    The 33-year-old mogul is no stranger to creating consumer products out of her celebrity, from clothing lines to her new iPhone game that is expected to make her millions this year alone. Her selfies, though, require a lot less moving parts, and she's already immensely proficient, as her Instagram shows.

    You can pre-order your copy here, although it's going to take unti Aprill 2015 to reach readers.  

    H/T The Fader | Photo via Instagram 


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    Boyhood may have captured the world's attention by spanning 12 years of a boy's life on film, but one teenager is well on his way to documenting his life even more intricately through daily selfies.

    Hugo Cornellier has taken a selfie a day since age 12, and now seven years later he's connected them all together in a mindblowing video.

    Cornellier got the idea for his selfie project after Noah Kalina posted his six years of selfies video in 2006. Corneiller began documenting himself at age 12, and the montage shows a much more dramatic change over the seven years than Kalina pulled off with his installment. It's also interesting to see the progression from different settingschildhood kitchen, bedroom, and eventually college dorm room. Cornellier also progresses to more shirtless or half-dressed photos as he progresses into adolescence.  

    After uploading his first four years of pictures in 2011, Cornellier wrote on Reddit, "I plan on keeping this up forever. Either until the day where I am physically incapable of continuing, or the day that I die.”

    He definitely shows no sign of stopping.

    Screengrab via Hugo Cornellier/YouTube | Remix by Rae Votta


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    While Lifetime is betting on the lure of '90s nostalgia with their upcoming Saved by the Bell original movie, the Fine Bros put it to the current-day teen test with another edition of their Teens React series. They even got Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams to weigh in on the show, which will soon celebrate its 25th anniversary

    Many of the teens have never seen Saved by the Bell, although they have heard of it. One teen lumps it in with other classics like Gilligan's Island, which is 25 years years its senior. The video queries the teens on the relatability of the show, and poses the important questions it raised: When given the choice of Zack versus Slater, the group overwhelmingly makes the correct choice (Zack). 

    Perhaps the best part of the video is that Williams and many of the other teens are wearing outfits that would not be out of place in the world of Saved by the Bell.

    Of course, we also learn that Jessie's infamous "I'm so excited, I'm so excited, I'm so, so scared" scene still grabs kids' attention years later.

    H/T Uproxx | Screengrab via Fine Bros /YouTube


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    YouTube stars continue to extend their influence in mainstream media with their innagural appearance at the Teen Choice Awards Sunday night. Online stars were given their own digital awards section, with multiple nominated categories, from catchall Choice Web Star categories to specific awards for Comedy, Beauty and Gaming, as well as an award for a top Vine star.

    “This is the first ever award show to nominate all these digital stars,” said Hunter March of AwesomenessTV on the red carpet livestream that he partially hosted. “This is all something they never expected. For them and for myself I want to thank Teen Choice Awards, this is amazing.”

    YouTube stars turned out in droves for the event, from nominees to invited guests, and in typical digital star fashion, they documented their night extensively.

    Despite Variety’srecent report that YouTube stars are eclipsing traditional media stars in recognition for teen viewers, reactions were mixed in the digital viewing audience who spent their afternoon watching the “blue carpet” pre-show. Some were excited to see their favorite YouTubers grace the carpet and were anxious for their idols to make interview appearances, while others bemoaned the lack of “real celebrities” on the stream.

    The night’s big web winners included fashion icon Bethany Mota, vlogging supergroup Our Second Life and Tyler Oakley, who is the only web star to snag two awards, one for a collaboration with Troye Sivan and another as Choice Web Star: Male. He snagged the latter over Viner Cameron Dallas, inciting some infighting among fan groups. Dallas himself tweeted about how the event was a set up and winners knew in advance, throwing shade on Oakley. He quickly deleted, but not before enterprising fans screenshotted the incident. His “smh” Tweet in response to Oakley’s win remains. Oakley had previously tweeted about meeting Dallas in the bathroom at the event. “Just met @camerondallas in the bathroom at the #TCAs. Normal. Casual,” he tweeted. The tension between the two might stem from Oakley calling out homophobic Vines by Dallas' friend Nash Grier earlier this year.

    If YouTubers are getting play on major national award shows, it’s only a matter of time before their feuds start making the pages of US Weekly. With the mainstream invasion of digital stars comes the good and the bad of widespread fame. A full list of web winners is below:

    WINNERS

    Choice Web Star: Female - Bethany Mota

    Choice Web Star: Male - Tyler Oakley

    Choice Web Star: Comedy - Our2ndLife

    Choice Web Star: Music - Shawn Mendes

    Choice Web Star: Fashion/Beauty - Zoe Sugg (“Zoella”)

    Choice Web Star: Gaming - PewDiePie

    Choice Web Collaboration - Troye Sivan & Tyler Oakley - The “Boyfriend” Tag

    Choice Viner - Cameron Dallas

    Screenshots via Teen Choice Awards | Illustration by Jason Reed


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    In an ongoing effort to inform the masses, John Oliver tackled yet another issue taking over tha nation that most of us are likely unaware of: the deep, dark world of predatory lending.

    At first glance, this type of lending, commonly known as payday loans, seem like a quick solution to an unexpected problem. You get the money, your initial problem is fixed, and then you pay back the lenders by payday. Thing is, they come with astronomical interest rates—some has high as 1,900 percent—and added fees if you don’t pay off the loan on time. It can turn into an endless circle of even more debt. (Literally, it’s a circle; Oliver had the flowchart to prove it.)

    It’s an industry full of awful sob stories, and it’s become enough of a financial epidemic that some states have tried to take legislative action against major payday loan companies. However, the companies have celebrity endorsements (think Montel Williams) to sell payday loans to the public.

    To counter it, Oliver has a celebrity endorsement of his own, as he tries to convince you to consider all of your options (and they are endless, if you get creative) before taking out a payday loan.

    Photo via Last Week Tonight with John Oliver/YouTube


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    Do you want to know about the hash bars? Just ask Brain about the hash bars.

    Maurice LaMarche and Rob Paulsen have shown that they were willing to take Pinky and the Brain into incredible uncharted territory, and if this clip from last year’s SF Sketchfest that’s just starting to go around is any indicator, they’ll even dive into the world of Quentin Tarantino.

    Cole Stratton hosted the “An Afternoon with Pinky and the Brain” panel with LaMarche and Paulsen, and at one point, he presented them with a scene from Pulp Fiction. But because there are kids in the audience, they said they'd try to censor themselves as they read the parts of Jules and Vincent.

    It’s a task in which they ultimately fail, but damn if it’s still not amusing to watch Pinky ask about hash and Quarter Pounders with Cheese as Brain explains it without his usual condescending tone. And it’s more productive than trying to take over the world.

    H/T Uproxx | Photo via JD Hancock/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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    Once again, Amazon is putting its video fate in its audience’s hands. As it has done twice before, on Aug. 28, Amazon Studios will release five pilots whose fate will be determined by the votes of Internet viewers.

    The five pilots are:

    The Cosmopolitans

    Whit Stillman tells the story of young Americans in search of life and love in Paris. The show stars Chloë Sevigny (Big Love, The Mindy Project).

    Hand of God

    Marc Foster's TV premiere is a drama about a sociopathic judge (Ron Perlman) in search of revenge for a crime that tore his family apart.

    Hysteria

    This Austin-based show is an apocalyptic look at the untold effects of social media on the mind and body that stars Mena Suvari of American Beauty and was written by Shaun Cassidy—yes, the guy from The Hardy Boys.

    Really

    Arrested Development’s Jay Chandrasekhar wrote and stars in this sitcom about a Type A Chicago couple trying to hold onto their fleeting youth. 

    Red Oaks

    Helmed by David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, Joe), Red Oaks is a familiar themed dramedy about a conflicted tennis pro seeking direction and answers to life’s great mysteries. Jennifer Gray, of Dirty Dancing fame, co-stars.

    •••

    Previous Amazon Studios pilot season trials have netted Alpha Houseand Betas (from the first batch of pre-releases) and Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle,Bosch,The After, and kids' series Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street and Wishenpoof!in the most recent pilot pre-release.

    Amazon continues to go head-to-head with competitors Netflix and Hulu—not to mention such TV stalwarts as CBS—in the webseries production business. Having its own set-top box—Amazon Fire TV—could put the company in a position only matched by Google and Apple, neither of which has made substantial inroads in the original content space.

    The pilots will be made available via the Amazon Instant Video app and online at Amazon.com/AIV for customers to watch online.

    H/T Business Wire| Photo via NYTVF/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)


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    Somehow, Keeping Up with the Kardashians is still on the air, and people still want to live vicariously through the famous-for-being-famous family. Now, in the tradition of Sad Full House, someone has removed the Kardashians from the show, and reduced it to just clips of Bruce Jenner talking to himself.

    Reality TV is all about the editing, and this hyperedited clip is transformed into a beautiful pit of existential despair. Jenner complains that he doesn’t have enough closet space. He wanders around the Kardashian complex and complains about Kim and Kanye's new baby. He complains about the construction of a putting green. He is utterly alone. Can no one hear his cries? 

    I have to agree with my colleague Greg Seals: This needs to be turned into a feature film and submitted to Cannes. Sadly, Jenner yelling at his wife, Kris, for eating weed gummy bears was not included.

    Photo via Nakeva Corothers/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)


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    A new combination sport is certain to capture the hearts of dudebros everywhere: wakeboarding basketball, or "BasketBoard."

    Sponsored by (who else?) Red Bull, the sport features a few elements that aim to make the sport of basketball less boring. These improvements include a mini trampoline (for greatly improved dunking) and wakeboarding, which Red Bull world wakeboarding champion Szebasztian Szoloth helped to show off. Some of the highlights were captured in a YouTube video.

    With luck, BasketBoard will take over the rest of the civilized world, flooding basketball arenas everywhere.

    Screengrab via Lords of Gravity/YouTube


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    Saul Goodman’s back in business.

    It’s hardly enough to fill even the smallest of holes left by the end of Breaking Bad, but our first look at Better Call Saul, the Breaking Bad prequel, is finally online. And we’ve got a release date.

    AMC hasn’t officially released any trailers, but this 10-second clip shows Bob Odenkirk addressing a new client. He may have more hair (and is going by a different name) this time around, but he’s still got the same attitude that we remember.

    So far, news of the show has been scarce. AMC has released only a handful of photos and a list of series regulars so far, and a billboard ad for James M. McGill, the name Saul used back in 2002, recently appeared in Albuquerque. And, yes, something happens when you call the number on the billboard.

    Better Call Saul is set to premiere in February 2015 (and has already been renewed for a 13-episode second season), so you know what plenty of us will be doing around Valentine’s Day.

    H/T The Guardian | Photo via @BreakingBad_AMC/Twitter


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    Perhaps you recall a time in elementary school when your classmates were crazy about yo-yos. A few managed simple tricks—walking the dog, rocking the baby—but soon enough moved on to other fads and fixations. (For my cohort, it was Tamagotchis.) 

    Gentry Stein of Chico, Calif., meanwhile, continued to fine-tune his technique, and took top honors at this year’s World Yo-Yo Contest in Prague. Below, watch him wow the crowd with gravity-defying moves that would tie your average hobbyist in knots.

    If your head isn’t spinning yet, you can also check out a Stein performance at the 2013 U.S. Championship, which he won as well.

    Is there some other childhood pastime I could hope to master like this? Unless we turn “forcing specific Ouija results” into a competitive sport, I rather doubt it.

    Photo via C3yoyodesign/YouTube


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    Miley Cyrus has taken yet another page out of the Honey Boo Booplaybook. This time it’s not peeing in the woods, but rather the adoption of a pint-sized piglet.

    During the pop star’s recent animal-adoption spree, a mini pig somehow entered into the mix and has now found a home cuddled against the breast of the Bangerz auteur. Cyrus posted a picture late Sunday night to Instagram, introducing the animal as the “newest member to the fam.”

    The short stack of bacon, affectionately named Bubba Sue, began trending soon after the proud new mother began blowing up Instagram with pictures of the pig cozied up to her on a private jet with cloven hoofs painted red. 

    As a crescendo to her adorable Instagramming spree, Cyrus posted a photo herself, Bubba Sue, and the other latest addition to Cyrus' tiny animal famliy, a mini Sheltie named Emu. 

    Art historians everywhere have almost assuredly begun clamoring over the photo, declaring the image of Cyrus and her animal family a modern Madonna.

    In the words of Bubba Sue's cartoon pork predecessor, Porky Pig, "That's all, folks!" 

    H/T Jezebel | Photo via karinasaskia/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)


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    YouTuber Anna Akana is taking a year to be single and focus on herself, so of course that's the moment when she literally runs into Daniel Radcliffe, who's there to spew valuable life advice.

    The video purports to chronicle an accidental meeting with Radcliffe, who then dispenses important life advice about the idea of being open to love, but Akana turns the video on its head with metacommentary on the idea of Akana the YouTuber getting thrown an opportunity to meet the star and dealing with her vow to be single in the face of a Radcliffe-shaped opportunity. There are outtakes embedded, fantasy layered on reality that is also just branded video fantasy. The video twirls down a rabbit hole where discerning real Radcliffe from imaginary Radcliffe ceases to be important and we, and Akana, can all just bask in his glory.

    The clip is part of a promotional effort for Radcliffe's new film, What If, but it's also a testament to how branded content can truly shine on YouTube. The video doesn't shy away from admitting that it's promotional, but Akana makes you not care because it's just so charming to watch her live out our collective crush on DanRad right in front of him.

    This is branded video at its best. 

    Screengrab via Anna Akana/YouTube


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