We're not sure what's happening here, but we like what we see: a pointy-eared Channing Tatum kicking ass, Mila Kunis floating above a future metropolis, and the Wachowski siblings promising another trippy ride for next summer. Boys and girls, Jupiter Ascending:
We are now less than 4 weeks away from Christmas, and we know some of y'all will be scrambling at the last minute to find the perfect gift for your friends and family. That's why we at HIH would like to offer some assistance before you drive yourself crazy searching for that parking space at the mall and getting into a fist fight with a housewife over the last copy of that Adam Levine calendar.
We think you'll like what we've got this year...
FOR THE JETSETTER:Venque's Flatsquare backpack - From the Toronto-based bag designer comes this sleek and functional carry-on for anyone looking to travel in style. We particularly like the V-shape backbone foam that gives you enough comfort to finish your busy day. ($85 USD)
FOR THE THEATER GEEK:Tickets to The Broad Stage in Santa Monica - Whether it's the National Theatre of Scotland's production of The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart or An Iliad starring American Horror Story's Denis O'Hare, the Broad has a variety of performances scheduled on its roster.
FOR THE MUSIC LOVER:iHome's Bluetooth Wireless Rechargeable Boombox with FM Radio - This audio player packs a punch (and comes in an array of hot colors). It'll come in handy when you need a yuletide soundtrack to play at your next holiday cocktail party (we know what we're using at our annual soiree). Besides the HQ sound, its sleek and simple design is what stands out. You won't have to worry about it looking like an eyesore on your bookshelf or desk. It blends right in. ($99 USD)
FOR THE FACTOID FREAK: The 2014 World Almanac and Book of Facts- This thick volumes houses every random fact you'll ever need. Published annually since 1868, this compendium of information is the authoritative source for all your entertainment, reference, and learning needs. It's been praised as a “treasure trove of political, economic, scientific and educational statistics and information” by The Wall Street Journal, so you know this thing's legit! ($13.99 USD)
FOR THE POP CULTURE HISTORIAN:The Killer Detail: Defining Moments in Fashion - This 264-paged tome has found a comfy home on our coffee table and has wooed every curious reader who's ever wanted to take a trip back in time. Film critic Elisabeth Quin covers dozens of iconic celebrities who have made an impact both on and off the red carpet with their killer sense of fashion. ($40 USD)
FOR THE COOKIE MONSTER:A box of Milk Jar Cookies - And you thought we'd end this list on an empty stomach...We've only recently discovered this quaint boutique shop on Wilshire in the Miracle Mile district, and we regret not jumping on the bandwagon sooner. Each cookie may cost you $3 a pop, but it's worth it: eating one is like eating three. You can't go wrong with the classic Chocolate Chip; it's like a small mountain of baked goodness, a little crispy on the outside and pleasantly soft and gooey on the inside. If you're ambitious, try eating/conquering another (particularly the Banana Split or the Chocolate Pecan Caramel). And while you're at it, grab one of their old-fashioned milk jars to bring home.
Pentatonix, the co-ed a cappella group that's about to embark on a European tour, unleashed their Daft Punk tribute/megamix only a month ago...and they're already over 21 millions views into dominating the blogosphere with their EDM-esque vocal abilities.
So take a break from your Thankgiving leftovers (and Black Friday shopping) and enjoy.
PS - after the video, you can see what the group normally looks like without the scary contact lenses and makeup.
Before we unveil our own annual holiday gift guide (and trust us, there's a lot of goodies on our 2013 list), we thought we'd tell you about this amazing piece of cybershopping heaven that exists on the Internet.
The Harry Potter Holiday Gift Guide is everything a fan could ask and hope for. In fact, it's the closest you'll get to recreating your favorite scene from Deathly Hallows...or decorating your house to resemble a certain school for young witches and wizards.
Our faves: the Gryffindor House tie, the Deathly Hallows Rotating Bezel Watch, and the Hogwarts Crest House Throw.
The tie -- Because it can go with any shirt or blazer and make you feel like a naughty prep school student with a few secrets to hide.
The watch -- Because it's a great wristpiece to impress and remind people why a smartphone shouldn't be the only accessory that tells time.
The throw -- Because it's perfect to curl up under while sitting by a fire with a cup of butterbeer and revisiting all of those TriWizard Tournament challenges on Blu-ray.
We can all agree that the comment section on YouTube is an abysmal display of humanity at its worst. So why not take two British actors and have them recite a vicious feud between a Belieber and a One Direction fan so that we can all end our week on a giant hysterical note?
“It’s like the acting Olympics,” Julia Roberts told Entertainment Weekly earlier this year when she had described her experience shooting August: Osage County, the star-studded adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play.
I couldn't have said it better myself.
Written for the screen by the play’s very own scribe, Tracy Letts, August is one giant smorgasbord of performances, heightened by a script loaded with meaty morsels any actor would kill for. For the uninitiated, it's about the coming together of a broken family at an Oklahoma farmhouse after the brood’s poetry-loving patriarch (Sam Shepard) disappears. From there, long-simmering tensions erupt as family secrets are exposed and grudges explode across the dinner table.
Directed by John Wells, and produced by George Clooney and partner Grant Heslov, the film is an Academy Award campaign manager’s wet dream. Meryl Streep heads the dysfunctional Weston clan as Violet, a pill-popping cancer patient whose vicious rhetoric cuts through each scene like a switchblade. Streep marinates herself in the role, and she lays out a banquet of a performance, skillfully balancing nuance with over-the-top moments. Which begs to ask: Can the woman really do no wrong?
As for the rest of the cast...Ewan McGregor quietly sits on the sidelines as the penitent father of a pot-smoking teen (Abigail Breslin) and the husband of Roberts’s Barb, a middle-ager who is fed up with her family’s self-destructive ways. Juliette Lewis brilliantly struts in as Karen, the sister from Florida with a Ferrari-driving fiancé (a slick Dermot Mulroney). Then there’s Julianne Nicholson as wallflowery Ivy, the secretive younger sister who won’t spill the beans on her new beau. Rounding out an already impressive ensemble is Margo Martindale as Violet’s equally secretive sister Mattie and Chris Cooper as Charles, whose emotionally stunted son, “Little” Charles, happens to be played by Benedict Cumberbatch.
But back to that dinner table scene, which is the anticipated crux of the film, the meticulously detailed stage from which the money shot is taken (just look at that telling poster). All is gloriously let out in one cathartic brawl in which Barb snaps and lashes out at the rampaging Violet. The lenghty scene unfolds like a mini disaster flick; you know where it's headed, and for those who haven't seen the critically-acclaimed play, nothing can brace you for what's really coming. Roberts reveals a side of her we've never seen before in this mother-versus-daughter battle that is raw, honest, and necessarily uncomfortable.
Also? It's just a hoot seeing America's Sweetheart viciously spit out the line, "Eat the fish, bitch."
But the film isn't entirely the Meryl and Julia Show. Each player gets his or her moment to command the screen and contribute to this character-driven tapestry, especially the aforementioned Lewis and Martindale, who at one point, comes off as brutal and vulnerable within the span of a few minutes.
Halfway through the film, in a moment of crisis, Barb utters another line, one that should resonate with anyone with a family:
“Thank God we can’t tell the future. We’d never get out of bed.”
Familial ennui has never been so beautifully harsh, funny, and true.
August: Osage County opens in theaters on Christmas (just in time for your equally screwed up family get-togethers).
We know you've been missing Hot Nutshell (all three of you), and we're sorry for the delay. But here's what's got us buzzing this week...
Katy Perry debuted her video for "Unconditionally" earlier today. Apparently, the video finds the Prism princess declaring her undying love on a discarded set from Downton Abbey, setting beds on fire, and making it snow.
Reese Witherspoon takes on a period drama (set in 1993!) about the tragic deaths of three young boys in Memphis. And Colin Firth shows up with a southern accent to investigate. It's safe to say there's nothing feel-good about this crime drama:
Elsewhere, Alanis Morissette's seminal album, Jagged Little Pill, is being adapted into a Broadway musical along the lines of Green Day's American Idiot. Shortly after we spontaneously combusted over this news, we dug out our CDs from high school and rejoiced: 1995 is making a comeback y'all.
And then there's this:
Our favorite new show of the fall season, NBC's The Blacklist, is awesome and all (with its breathtaking plots and James Spader's...Spaderisms), but it is co-star Ryan Eggold (90210) who's piquing our interest as the bespectacled husband of FBI agent Liz Keen. What's up with him? What secrets is he hiding? Producers, please don't kill off this hottie. We'd like to see more of him. A lot more.
The revolution that is SoulCycle scooped up Hollywood hottie Nick Pratley and planted him in New York City two years ago. We were sad to see our friend go, but now HIH is happy to have him back in Los Angeles where he is leading the pack at the latest and greatest SoulCycle studio (in Beverly Hills). It's number 20 for the ever-expanding and popular SoulCycle franchise -- and the fourth in L.A.
With up to 60 studios set to open by 2016, this fitness giant is changing the face of indoor cycling, and with Nick Pratley (pictured, right) as one of its top instructors, it's sure to maintain its position as a leading brand for years to come.
With over a decade of experience in the health and wellness arena, Pratley continues to inspire and motivate, and he has a gift when it comes to showing people their "inner rockstar or warrior." We took Nick's class pre-SoulCycle and post-SoulCycle and found that he kept the essence of who he is, added some soulful dance and sexy moves, and has taken things to a whole new level.
Pratley says, "I think people want to dance, want to have fun. It's the dance that allows people to feel free on the bike. You get a whole studio of people feeling freedom and joy in their workout. The energy blows the roof off."
We can attest to that!
"How we show up on the bike isnt just how we show up in life. It IS our life. We dance for freedom, we breathe for power, we ride for soul. Every part of the ride represents something in life. You can see life change, and you refine your ride. I see people lives changing everyday. I have the best job in the world."
We are glad to have you back, Nick.
Get yourself to SoulCycle and take a trip to Planet Pratley!
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