SUPER BOWL, HALFTIME SHOW UNDERWHELMS BY MOST ACCOUNTS
ATLANTA (AP) — This year’s Super Bowl halftime show was not unlike the game itself: a lot of hype, noise and running around — but little action. And, sad to say, kind of boring and predictable. Maroon 5 was the headliner, with cameos from Travis Scott and Big Boi. Adam Levine and his crew marched through snippets of their big hits like “This Love” and “Moves Like Jagger.” Scott made a spectacular entrance, rocketing down to the stage, appearing to be a visitor from outer space before performing. The song “Sicko Mode” was muted often for profanities before Scott leaned on his back into the audience and was crowd-surfed away. Big Boi showed up onstage in a fur coat and riding in on a convertible that rolled up near the stage. This year’s halftime show lacked the star power of recent years. Some big-name stars reportedly boycotted the event to support former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who’d been kneeling during the national anthem before NFL games to protest police brutality and racial disparities. No team picked him as a free agent, despite a lack of quarterbacking strength for many teams.
050955-r-307:20-(Maroon 5, performing “Moves Like Jagger”)-”(music fades)”-Maroon 5 perform Super Bowl halftime show (4 Feb 2019)
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050957-r-288:00-(Travis Scott, performing “Sicko Mode”)-”(music fades)”-Maroon 5 perform Super Bowl halftime show (4 Feb 2019)
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GLADYS KNIGHT PERFORMS ANTHEM, DESPITE CRITICISM
ATLANTA (AP) — She probably drew more heat than anyone for performing at this year’s Super Bowl. But in the end, Gladys Knight turned in the best performance of them all. She hit all the right notes — both during her rendition of the national anthem and in defending herself against criticism for agreeing to do “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Before the weekend, Knight said she’s been a civil rights activist most of her life while also being a citizen who is always proud to perform the anthem.
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CELEBRITIES AND ATHLETES TEAM UP WITH PRAISE FOR HALFTIME SHOW
ATLANTA (AP) — Curtis Martin was pumped up by the Maroon 5 performance this year’s Super Bowl halftime show. The former player with the New York Jets and New England Patriots says Adam Levine “rocked it.” Martin also had praise for Big Boi and Travis Scott, saying Big Boy was “amazing” and brought some “ATL flava” to the game, played in Atlanta. Director Peter Berg was impressed with Levine especially after the Maroon 5 star peeled off his jacket, then his shirt. Berg says when Levine went bare-chested, he was like, “Damn, looking good!”
SUPER BOWL ADS
NEW YORK (AP) — Sprinkled into a game that provided little scoring, the most-remembered ads at this year’s Super Bowl focused on humor. Amazon led the way with ads featuring celebrities trying out rejected products featuring Alexa, its voice-activated aide. Harrison Ford was victimized by his dog’s collar, which his pooch used to order a truckload of pet products over his wishes. Forest Whitaker was flummoxed by his Alexa-enabled electric toothbrush. Bud Light did the commercial equivalent of a flea-flicker — starting an ad as a jousting tournament and morphing it into a promo for the next season of “Game of Thrones.” Among the most touching ads were those for Google Translate and Microsoft. Google’s ad pointed out that while words can hurt and divide, the ones that are the most translated in the world are “How are you,” ″Thank You” and “I love you.” The Microsoft ad tugged on heartstrings by featuring kids using an Xbox controller designed for players who have mobility issues.
JUSSIE SMOLLETT PERFORMS SO. CAL CONCERT
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Jussie Smollett (smol-LET’) says his friends and family urged him to cancel his concert in West Hollywood over the weekend. But he says he couldn’t because his attackers might think they’d won. The “Empire” actor and singer performed at the Troubadour on Saturday night, five days after being beaten in Chicago by two masked men who uttered racist and anti-gay comments. Smollett, who’s black and openly gay, told his audience the most important thing he could say was “thank you so much” and that he’s OK. Smollett says while he isn’t “fully healed yet” — he vows he is “going to be.” Meanwhile, police in continue their investigation into the beating. Chicago police say Smollett has cooperated with authorities — shooting down online chatter that he has been less-than-forthcoming.
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Super Bowl was one of the most low-scoring ones we’ve had in a while. And as if to follow suit, the box office race during Super Bowl weekend was equally lackluster. For the third straight week, “Glass” is number one while “The Upside” holds second. Moviegoers for the most part stayed away from the multiplexes. It’s expected when the final numbers come in, this will be the slowest Super Bowl weekend at the movies in nearly two decades.
050920-w-421:44-(Ben Thomas, AP correspondent, with sound from movie trailers)-“I’m Ben Thomas”-‘Glass’ stays at No. 1, while ‘Miss Bala’ opens in third (3 Feb 2019)
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SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL WINNERS
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — A fictional movie about a prison warden on death row has won the top drama prize at the Sundance Film Festival. “Clemency” is directed by Chinonye Chukwu and stars Alfre Woodard. It won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for Drama. Meanwhile a film about generations affected by China’s one-child policy has won best documentary. Joining “One Child Nation” and “Clemency” in the winner’s circle is Joanna Hogg’s “The Souvenir,” which won the world cinema jury prize. The event in Park City, Utah ended yesterday.
050929-w-382:08-(Julie Walker, AP correspondent, with Chinonye Chukwu, writer and director, “Clemency”)-“I’m Julie Walker”-‘Clemency,’ ‘One Child Nation’ take top Sundance jury prizes (4 Feb 2019)
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DGA HONORS HELD
LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Roma” director Alfonso Cuaron has won the top honor from the Directors Guild of America. In doing so, he made a stronger case for being the front-runner when the Oscars roll around later this month. Cuaron beat Spike Lee for “BlacKkKlansman,” Bradley Cooper for “A Star Is Born,” Peter Farrelly for “Green Book” and Adam McKay for “Vice” at the 71st DGA Awards Saturday night in Los Angeles. The Directors Guild Awards are seen as a fairly accurate barometer for what will happen on Oscar night. Since 1948, there has been only seven times that the DGA winner did not take the Oscar for directing.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2