10 Actors Who’d Be Perfect for Future Disney Live-Action Remakes

Everyone’s buzzing about the live-action “Beauty and the Beast” remake. But, while critics debate whether it measures up to the original or not, many have already begun speculating which Disney classic will get the live-action treatment next. Future producers and executives, here are some names for your consideration:

Octavia Spencer as Merryweather from “Sleeping Beauty”

Merryweather’s both strong-willed and adorable, much like Spencer herself!

Jacob Tremblay as Christopher Robin from “Winnie the Pooh”

Tremblay’s got the boyish charm necessary to make Christopher Robin more nuanced than ever before.

Emma Stone as Jessie from “Toy Story 2”

From her innate sense of humor, to her expressive eyes, Stone could bring the crazy cowgirl to life without flaw.

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Find out who else made the cut here!

Banking on Elizabeth Banks to Boost “Power Rangers” Appeal

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Instagram: @powerrangersmovie

“Power Rangers” became an instant classic in the early ’90s. Despite its somewhat comical nature, the show earned its place in the hearts and memories of young children everywhere. Now, after numerous incarnations, it’s “morphin time” once again.

On March 24, the Power Rangers will return to Angel Grove, Calif. in an epic reboot of computer-generated proportions. With its “Man of Steel” atmosphere and “Transformers”-style battles, the film itself promises to be the sum of its predecessors. Though that in itself isn’t an automatic death sentence, the upcoming installment doesn’t quite have the nostalgic vibe hardcore fans might prefer.

Of course, it’s no surprise that the filmmakers found it imperative to update the tone of the series. Its leads face an entirely different world than their “Mighty Morphin” counterparts, after all. Yet, while the actors who portray the Power Rangers weren’t yet born when the original episodes aired—an aspect we “old folks” would rather sweep under the rug—it’s Elizabeth Banks’ turn as Rita Repulsa that promises to attract viewers of all varieties.

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Read the rest of my article on Storia!

We All Know Why They Announced the New “Bachelorette” Early

Fans of ABC’s “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” are accustomed to the formula by now. Producers allow the current season to play out. Then, shortly after the finale—sometimes during the ‘After the Final Rose’ broadcast itself—they announce that one of the show’s most recent rejects will headline the next season.

Of course, while current “Bachelor” Nick Viall wasn’t rejected by “Bachelorette” Jojo Fletcher, his two prior appearances on the show, plus his “Bachelor in Paradise” stint, made him the prime candidate. (Or ABC knew he’d never leave them alone unless they financed his own “journey” to find love—one or the other.)

Yet, despite causing much drama during both Andi Dorfman and Kaitlyn Bristowe’s seasons, Viall’s own adventures have been rather bland by comparison. ABC was probably banking on ratings gold, but even Chris Harrison can’t claim it’s the “most dramatic season ever” at this point.

That’s probably why ABC announced Rachel Lindsay will be the next “Bachelorette” an entire month before the finale—and long before her own “Bachelor” elimination, oddly enough.

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Read the rest of my article on Storia!

Why the Success of ‘Hidden Figures’ Matters for Hollywood and Society

Guest Contributor: Nick Caruso, The Littlest Winslow

When Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures was initially released, it immediately hit number one at the box office, banking a sizable $22.8 million, and surpassing Rouge One: A Star Wars Story by nearly a million dollars. Even more remarkable was that Figures, a story about the black female mathematicians and physicists who worked for NASA in the 1960s, was playing on nearly 2,000 fewer screens than the Star Wars behemoth. Not only was this impressive for a quieter then-Oscar hopeful, but it was a movie fronted by females…and better yet…black females. Its success is a coup for film-making and a bold statement about what audiences want to see and what they’ll spend their dollars on.

The biographical film stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe, who play women directly involved in astronaut John Glenn’s history-making orbit around Earth. All three actresses crush their respective roles, adding humor and heart to the Civil Rights-era film. All three, Henson’s Katherine Johnson, Spencer’s Dorothy Vaughn and Monáe’s Mary Jackson, were real-life women who aided in the ground-breaking mission, yet never received proper credit likely due to the color of their skin. Their stories remained largely untold until Margot Lee Shetterly’s non-fiction book of the same name was released in early 2016.

Not only is it important that these women’s stories finally be told, but the movie serves as a stark reminder of how life was for African Americans in the days of segregation. Henson’s Katherine Johnson can be seen running miles in heels just to get to a bathroom that “colored” women can use. We witness how their superiors and co-workers look down on them, not only because they are women, but also because of their race. The glass ceilings are shown to be almost impenetrable, as if Katherine, Dorothy and Mary should feel lucky to have a job at all. Watching their struggles, and later, their triumphs is quite emotional, as the movie shows what it’s like living in a world that’s constantly pushing them down. The story finishes as a feel-good tale, but the fact that we’re only just now spotlighting their accomplishments in the mainstream shows that we still have a long way to go.

Figures‘ box office tally is now almost $159 million, domestically, with a worldwide earning of nearly $195 million. How many times have we heard rhetoric spouted by (male) studio executives that no one will show up for a female-fronted movie, or that women simply don’t go to the movies. These numbers clearly shut down such misogynist Hollywood claims. In fact, according to Variety, female moviegoers comprised of 64 percent of the film’s opening weekend take. Hidden Figures has proven time and time again that (black) women can lead films and be profitable (its budget was a modest $25 million), and this is crucially important for producers and studios to realize. Success stories like this could help break down barriers in Hollywood and dictate the direction of future content that hits the big screen. The people (and critics) have spoken.

Bottom line: You should support Hidden Figures in any way possible because these ladies’ stories deserve telling. They’re inspirational. Race and gender should no longer dictate what and who we see on the big screen. While the entertainment industry is a microcosm of our society, flaws and all, we need to move away from using race and gender as indicators of what stories will get a green light for production. But alas, no system is perfect, Hollywood or otherwise. We can only strive to do better and be better given these peculiar political and societal times.

With last year’s #OscarsSoWhite movement behind us and with Moonlight’s recent win for Best Picture, hopefully Hollywood, and more importantly, our society, are on the right path. No matter what horror stories we read on the internet every day, we can only aim to maintain a path of acceptance and equality in our art and in our daily lives. Among all this kerfuffle, one thing that has made itself abundantly clear: Representation matters.

Nick Caruso is a Buffy-obsessed TV geek and music junkie who digs tacos and (regrettably) cats. He can be found writing about all things pop culture—from cult films to Oscar bait, and more—on his site, The Littlest Winslow.

The Bill Paxton Effect

Despite our presumed differences, it’s safe to say that we’re all looking for that elusive “something” that makes us feel complete. Our specific pursuits are irrelevant when we stop to consider that, deep down, we’re all desperate to find meaning in a world that seems devoid of logic, especially now.

Film and television are notorious for bringing such feelings to light, for it’s in the eyes of the actors that we can see ourselves. Bill Paxton’s body of work—his characters, in particular—personifies our innate desire to seek what’s just out of reach. But if there’s one thing we can learn from what the beloved actor and director left behind, it’s that what we want and what we need don’t always align.

Source: CraveOnline

Source: CraveOnline

Paxton’s roles often looked to the outside world for direction. His unhinged persona in Frailty believed he was destined to rid the world of demons, for instance, while his adventurous alter ego in Twister unearthed renewed purpose when chasing tornadoes. But it was his turn as Brock Lovett in 1997’s Titanic that demonstrated how tunnel vision might distract us from the critical lessons of life.

“Three years, I’ve thought of nothing except Titanic, but I never got it. I never let it in.”

Spoken by Paxton’s Lovett at the end of the film, these words emphasize the character’s epiphany. While he’d spent years searching for the Heart of the Ocean, a rare diamond once worn by the now aging Rose Calvert, he neglected to explore the rich history buried deep within the ship’s wreckage. Lovett longed to find artifacts, forgetting that each item pulled from the ocean floor carried the stories of those lost and found. As he said, he never let the immensity of the disaster sink in, so to speak.

Source: CinemaBlend

Source: CinemaBlend

But isn’t that how most of us go about our daily lives? We are selfish. We rarely stop to observe what’s all around. We are oblivious to both the beauty and the injustice right before our eyes.

Though we live in an increasingly enlightened time—an era filled with activists who wish to fix the faults of our ailing society—many people opt to look the other way. Face forward and eyes down, they trudge through life with little regard for those who are suffering. If they stop to acknowledge these issues, they run the risk of derailing their own efforts. One step off the beaten path could mark the beginning of the end for their personal success.

Nowadays, we call that privilege. Historically, we call that ignorance.

But now, more than ever, we need to open our eyes and our ears. We must extend our hand and heart to our neighbor, both near and far. Local communities may be close-knit, but we’re all global citizens now. We owe to our people and our planet to seek solutions to the problems that affect everyone worldwide. We must spread the stories and amplify the voices of those in need to educate the selfish and encourage the selfless.

Source: YouTube

Source: YouTube

During an interview with “Film School Rejects” in 2014, Paxton expressed his boundless fascination with human-interest stories. “My father always read obituaries to me out loud, not because he was maudlin or morbid, but because they were mini biographies. ‘Listen to what this guy did! Look what he said. Look how he started out.’”

Human-interest stories, those that truly touch our hearts and inspire change, are born from an interest in humans from all walks of life. But to learn the lessons our friends and strangers have to teach, we must commit to walking with them, hand-in-hand, even if only for a short while.

Fans will surely quote Paxton for generations: “Game over, man!” For those blessed with life, however, the game has only just begun.

But we’ve got to be in it to win it.

Let’s allow Paxton, the director, to call the next shot. Let’s show more interest in our fellow humans, for it’s in every human’s best interest to cultivate an overarching culture of curiosity and compassion. From this core value, we can achieve anything as long as we do so together.

Source: SunStar

Source: SunStar

We Must Spread Love, Now More Than Ever

Conversation hearts cannot inspire dialogue—at least not the sort we need right now. “Text Me” and “U R Cute” will merely leave a chalky taste on your tongue. But, as Valentine’s Day continues to evolve, it’s obvious that one day dedicated to cardboard cupids and heart-shaped chocolates will not spread enough love to sustain our increasingly difficult fight against hate.

In today’s volatile political climate, it’s easy to drown underneath waves of anger. Leaders on one end of the spectrum regularly infuriate those on the opposing side, sparking outrage that results in an epic game of emotional Ping-Pong. Those wishing to instill fear go to extremes to cultivate animosity, while those working to alleviate worries aim to promote unity.

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Source: Getty Images

But on this, the greeting card holiday dedicated to love, we must look beyond romantic pursuits in order to show our affection for those who face undue persecution. Border walls and religious bans pollute the air where all the love’s supposed to be. We must treat this day as an opportunity to realign our own thought processes so we may continue to fight the good fight under the veil of justice, not disgust. If these destructive measures remain unchecked, our resistance also runs the risk of becoming disconnected from its primary purpose.

Going forward, we must pause frequently to reflect. We must collect our thoughts and reestablish our goals so we never lose sight of the love and togetherness on which this movement was built. We must commit to small actions and gestures every day so we never abandon the vital message behind our efforts.

Defend those who face unmerited hatred because their skin tone doesn’t match the winter snow. Black, Mexican, or Muslim—show these marginalized groups that their contributions to society cannot be overshadowed by the misdeeds of an extreme few. Pop that bubble you’ve been living in your entire life and engage those who don’t look or think like you. Despite popular belief, love isn’t blind. Instead, love grows from the willingness to open our hearts and minds to new people and possibilities.

But, above all else, we must not forget to love ourselves. Much of the anxiety plaguing our nation resides in the hearts of those who are unhappy with themselves. Insecure individuals project their internal doubts onto those who seem weak, punishing the innocent merely so they may reinforce their false confidence. They assert their supposed power by oppressing those who have very little power themselves.

We have the capacity to inspire revolutionary love—love that bonds people of all races, genders, and religions—but we’ve been complacent for far too long. Now’s the time to stand up for what we believe. Now’s the time to lend our voice to the voiceless. Now’s the time to spread love, not hate. Cupid doesn’t have enough arrows to take up arms against the foolish leaders of America. But if we, the people, march forth hand-in-hand, there’s nothing we can’t achieve together.

Source: Dreamy Addictions

Source: Dreamy Addictions

The 12 Pains of Business

Businesspeople forget that business sense doesn’t always translate into common sense. From the commute to the conference room, every component of the workday can spark intense frustration.

But what are the worst elements within the professional realm? Which social sins endlessly plague the working world? Count with me, if you will…

Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

  1. Reading Comprehension

Bloggers constantly provide tips on how to hit ‘Inbox Zero’ before lunchtime. But I think I may have the solution. It may not wipe the slate clean, but it’ll certainly tidy things up. Ready?

Read your messages carefully the first time!

For instance, when making an appointment, one person may respond with specific date and time restrictions. Acknowledge that you’ve read the message by suggesting blocks that respect those parameters. Not only will you eliminate headaches, but you’ll also look like you mastered those reading comprehension skills they teach in second grade.

  1. Laziness

Nearly everyone you need to talk to during the workday sits within a 20-foot radius, give or take. Instead of emailing or calling, walk over to them. Because there’s nothing more irritating than hearing both ends of someone’s conversation when you know the parties involved haven’t moved an inch.

You could probably use the exercise, anyway. Maybe your FitBit will reward you with a badge applauding the fact that you’re still alive.

  1. Transportation Delays

Commuters often rely on public transportation (i.e. the bus) to travel from Point A to Point B and back again. Yet, while I understand that there may be the occasional hold-up, stopping to chat with acquaintances that wave from the sidewalk shouldn’t interfere. Bus drivers already have to deal with rude passengers on their route, and obvious disregard for people’s time will only make matters worse.

Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

  1. High Heels

For some reason, women still feel pressured to wear high heels. Many do so because they like the way they look, of course, but society continues to demonstrate that motivations aren’t always just personal—sometimes it’s business. Women feel compelled to maintain a certain appearance, but it’s their health that’s at stake.

Plus, in many situations, women simply can’t walk in the high heels they’ve chosen, opening up an entirely different world of dangers. Why adhere to some archaic standard when it’s our bodies that’ll pay the ultimate price?

  1. Inferior Technology

Most companies insist on providing employees with subpar computers that reduce efficiency and productivity. But cutting corners isn’t always cost-effective, especially when the entire office must wait 10 minutes or more for their machines to warm up.

Invest in quality products that promise the longevity necessary to propel your business into the future. Providing the best technology demonstrates that you care about your employees, too, as it signals that you understand their struggle and wish to see them succeed.

  1. Mistakes

Industry standards evolve at breakneck speed now, so mistakes are inevitable. It doesn’t indicate that you’re uneducated. It simply means you’re human and can’t possibly know everything about everything.

However, how you respond to these mistakes can reveal plenty about your character. Many don’t know how to accept blame or admit errors. Instead, they point the finger at someone else. Own up to what you’ve done, no matter the severity, and learn from the consequences.

Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

  1. Disrespect

Respect results from the summation of many factors. But those that fail to respect people’s time have yet to master any form of the concept. Such disregard often comes from those in charge, for they neglect to acknowledge the time and effort that goes into the various tasks at hand.

Instead of pushing employees to the brink of madness—and losing some of your best talent in the process—allow them to speak freely and listen to their frustrations when they do. Using such feedback to inform changes will further validate how much you care for your employees, boosting satisfaction and retention.

  1. Snap Judgment

Many people dress to impress. Others dress to express. Regardless, it’s impossible to judge someone by what they’re wearing, yet we do so regularly. But it only takes one train ride to learn that those in suits often act rude and entitled, while those in plain clothes are usually the most friendly. You don’t always have to dress the best to be the best, so don’t let their stares get you down.

  1. Assumptions

Preconceived notions hinder progress. Millennials can attest to this fact. No matter how hard this demographic works to prove naysayers wrong, Baby Boomers dismiss these efforts by sticking to their assumptions. Not only does this sort of thinking stifle the next generation, but it also impedes growth within the business realm. Don’t assess employees based on what you think you know. Base your evaluation on their performance alone.

  1. Jargon

Many talk in circles, using terms that nobody understands. Leaders pack sentences with buzzword after buzzword in an attempt to sound like they’re in step with what’s happening in their industry. Ultimately, however, it’s not how you convey your message; it’s what you share that’ll prove your expertise.

  1. Social Media

    Source: istockphoto

    Source: Getty Images

Quit obsessing over social media metrics! When you stop to consider how many companies are vying for the same audience’s attention, it’s easy to see that loyalty must be rooted in an effort to promote quality and consistency. If you constantly offer followers content that’s trustworthy and informative, they’ll return time and time again.

  1. Social Gatherings

Many companies try to force coworkers to bond by planning social gatherings that are supposed to promote togetherness. However, most fail to recognize that, for some, such situations have the opposite effect. For many, it’s downright uncomfortable. But, if you skip one too many of these get-togethers, people chastise you for your “anti-social” behavior.

Once again, people need to pause and look at the situation from the other person’s perspective. Perhaps if we did so more often, we’d improve our collective willingness to listen to and understand those who aren’t exactly like us.

Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

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