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Wildfires burn through Colorado causing thousands to evacuate, and protests in Turkey are in 13th day. Tune in at 7am ET.
June 4th, 2013
09:58 AM ET

Will Smith not as fresh after his movie 'After Earth' had a weak $27 million debut – Pamela Brown has a closer look

Instead of being a spectacular hit, "After Earth" is an unexpected box office bomb. In fact, it was Will Smith's worst summer debut in 20 years.

Some people say it is because of Smith's ego— he reportedly rejected a role in "Django Unchained" because it was not the lead. Jamie Foxx eventually landed the job.

Others blame "After Earth" director M. Night Shyamalan, saying he's box office poison.

Can the former "Fresh Prince" regain his standing as Hollywood royalty?

– Pamela Brown is here with a closer look.

Filed under: Movies
May 24th, 2013
10:50 AM ET

Summer movie preview – Nischelle Turner has the details

It's a wrap. Nischelle Turner has the details on this summer's blockbusters.

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Filed under: Blockbuster • Box Office • Movies
March 22nd, 2013
12:27 PM ET

Finding humor in college 'Admission': Actors Wallace Shawn and Gloria Reuben talk about their new comedy film

Wallace Shawn and Gloria Reuben can both be seen in the new film “Admission." They sit down with John Berman on "Starting Point" to talk about their new movie, starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd.

The premise of "Admission" revolves around the competitive college admissions process. Fey plays a college counselor competing with another admissions officer, played by Reuben, for a job as dean of admissions at Princeton. Shawn plays their prospective bosses.

Shawn says the humor lies in the competition for the role of head of admissions. Fey was “great, obviously highly intelligent and so easy to work with. It was a great, fun experience all the way around,” he says.

Reuben has had some pretty serious past roles on the hit TV show “ER” and Steven Spielberg’s Oscar nominated film “Lincoln”. She is very “proud of the work on both”, but says that acting in a comedy “was a relief.”

Shawn, who many know from his role as the iconic villain in “The Princess Bride,” says he's glad people have an emotional connection to the classic. "It's nice that people have had a nice moment out of” the “Princess Bride,” but he admits the response to the movie has been “odd” for him.

“Admission” opens in theaters nationwide today.

Filed under: A little fun • College • Entertainment • Movies
March 15th, 2013
10:13 AM ET

Fans pledge $3 million for 'Veronica Mars' movie in 2 days – Series creator Rob Thomas on the latest with the Kickstarter campaign

The beloved television show "Veronica Mars" has new life here on Earth. The short-lived but much-loved cult TV series aired for three seasons from 2004 to 2007 before it was canceled. After years of being pestered about a return series creator Rob Thomas took to this week to raise money for a film. He figured it would take a month to raise the $2 million dollars needed but the fans raised the necessary money in just 12 hours. This morning Thomas joins “Stating Point” to discuss the overnight movie miracle.

Since posting the project, over 49,500 people have pledged around $3,200,000. Thomas says the experience has “been mind-blowing [and] beyond my wildest dreams.” He adds, “I was hoping that we would past the $2 million mark but... I never could have imagined we could do it in half a day.”

Thomas says he went to Warner Bros. years ago to pitch a Veronica Mars but “Warner Bros. is generally in the business of making $30 million movies and they weren’t sure that Veronica Mars warranted that kind of investment.” After hearing about where various entities like bands have raised thousands of dollars for albums Thomas thought the website might serve as an alternative to fund the movie and was eventually able to get permission from Warner Bros.

Fans who have donated are “buying rewards,” says Thomas. “For a $35 donation our backers get a download of the movie, a Veronica Mars movie t-shirt and a copy of the script,” says Thomas. The screenwriter says the movie offer is “good value for the dollar. [Fans] are just buying it before it’s made.”

The pledge will stay posted for 28 more days and the movie will officially be funded on Friday, April 12.

Fans who would like to donate money can visit:

Filed under: Movies
February 25th, 2013
10:53 AM ET

Oscar winner ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ used voices of 9/11 victims without consent – Brother of victim Betty Ann Ong weighs in

On September 11, 2001, San Francisco Native Betty Ann Ong was a flight attendant aboard the first plane to hit the World Trade Center in New York. Ong risked her life by alerting American Airlines that a hijacking was under way and ultimately died a hero. That message was recorded and heard in the Oscar nominated film "Zero Dark Thirty". Her family says that it was improperly used and they wanted an apology for it. This morning Ong’s brother, Harry Ong joins “Starting Point” to share his thoughts after not receiving an apology during the Academy Awards for improper use of his sister’s voice.

Ong who has never seen the film first became aware that his sister’s voice had been used after a family friend attended a prescreening of the movie back in Boston area and sent the Ong family an e-mail. He says, “right away during the first 90 seconds of that movie in a very darkened background scene, 10 or 11 voices came out. Real voices; they were not makeover voices, in which she immediately recognized Betty's voice.” After the movie Ong says the family friend went up to the film’s producers and asked whether the families of those whose voices were used were notified to which the producers responded no.

Ultimately Ong says whether or not the film’s producers want to apologize is “really up to them.” He adds however that he was hoping that the film’s multiple nominations would “give them a platform to … give an apology and …to mention the names of the victims that they had used in the film to give credit basically.” Ong says “there are credits to be given, and none of the victims really were given credit at all. And as far as I know, my family and Mr. and Mrs. Frank and Mary Thatchet of the voices of September 11th, they were also not asked for permission as well, and we both have the same feelings and concerns about this issue.”

Filed under: 9/11 • Entertainment • Movies
February 18th, 2013
10:57 AM ET

Quvenzhane Wallis captures Oscar's heart as youngest nominee in history for 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'

She's making Oscar history. Quvenzhane Wallis, at just nine years old, is the youngest person ever nominated for an Academy Award for best actress. Her role of "Hushpuppy" in the movie "Beasts of the Southern Wild" tells the story of a little girl and her ailing father trying to survive in the Louisiana Bayou.

Quvenzhane Wallis talks with Soledad on "Starting Point" this morning, and asks her what it's like to be part of the Oscar buzz.

Wallis says she was very excited when she heard about the nomination.

"I was half asleep" when the nominations were released, she says. "So nothing reacted on the outside, but in the inside, I was doing cartwheels, back flips, and these are some things I can't even do."

When it comes to winning Oscar gold, Wallis shows a striking maturity.

"It's just not about winning. It's about being there and being nominated. It's not about trying to win the award. It's having the pride enough to be nominated and being in the history book and being nominated or just being nominated. Everything is great, what you have. Whatever you win, that's great too," she says.

As for her future projects, she says she just completed three other films. She also tells Soledad that when she grows up, she hopes to be an actor and a dentist.

See more from the interview in the clip above.

Have you seen "Beasts of the Southern Wild"? What did you think of Wallis's performance?

Filed under: A little fun • Movies • Oscars
January 10th, 2013
10:50 AM ET

Vanity Fair Senior West Coast Editor Krista Smith on Oscar nomination snubs and shockers

On Thursday, Steven Spielberg's film "Lincoln," reigned supreme over nominations for the 85th Academy Awards, receiving 12 nods, including best picture. While Spielberg picked up a best director nomination, members of his cast such as Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones earned picks for best actor, best supporting actress and best supporting actor respectively. Ang Lee's adaptation “Life of Pi" came in second with 11 nominations, including best picture, best director and best adapted screenplay. Even soon-to-be host Seth MacFarlane scored a Best Song nod for his theme to the film "Ted." This morning Vanity Fair Senior West Coast Editor Krista Smith weighs in on the nomination snubs and shockers on a special edition of “Starting Point” co-hosted with HLN's Showbiz Tonight host AJ Hammer.

Hammer says "Argo’s" Ben Affleck and "Zero Dark Thirty’s" Kathryn Bigelow not being nominated for best director are likely to be viewed as a snub for the two directors whose films ranked top three among Oscar predictions. Smith agrees. She adds, “It’s a total shock,” that neither were chosen for the director nod and, “I just really don’t know how that happened.”

On the topics of Oscar shockers, Smith says she is amazed to see “a little Sundance movie that [she] saw in January a year ago go all the way.” She adds that she is surprised it received the nod for best director and that she is thrilled for nine-year-old actress Quvenzhané Wallis who has been nominated for an Academy Award making her the youngest ever nominee for a Best Actress Oscar. In an interesting twist 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva was also nominated for best actress for her role in "Amour," making her the oldest nominee for best actress in a leading role. Riva’s celebration does not stop there since she will be turning 86 on Oscar night.

Smith says another “big, big surprise” is “Silver Linings Playbook.” She adds, “I love this movie so I am happy to see it do so well. But it is fantastic that it got all nominations across the board.” Smith says this movie is a “game changer in terms of… reassessing who’s going to win and who are the favorites.”

The Oscars is scheduled to air on February 24 from the Dolby Theatre - formerly known as the Kodak Theatre - in Los Angeles.

Filed under: A little fun • Movies • Oscars
January 10th, 2013
09:54 AM ET

From "Family Guy" to Oscar host; Seth MacFarlane talks about his blockbuster gig

It’s official. The nominations are out for the 85th Annual Academy Awards. And the man of the hour and the host of this year's ceremony is one of the nominees.

Seth MacFarlane may be best known as the force behind TV’s "Family Guy" and last summer's smash hit comedy "Ted", but today he is the voice heard round Hollywood. MacFarlane just made the Oscar nominations announcements with help from actress Emma Stone in Beverly Hills, California, and tells us about his big gig in the ceremony live on “Starting Point” this morning.

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Filed under: Awards • Entertainment • Film • Movies • Trending
January 10th, 2013
09:15 AM ET

The world according to Hollywood; Zoraida Sambolin looks at the Oscars' past with awarding history


Hollywood and all its fans wait with bated breath until Seth MacFarlane and Emma Stone announce this year’s Academy Award nominees this morning. Big contenders include “Lincoln”, “Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty”, critically acclaimed films with historical or political importance. But these are hardly the only movies in the race that have drawn scenes from the past. Zoraida Sambolin looks at Hollywood’s fascination with history in the Oscars and tells us more.




“Since 1927, nearly half of pictures nominated for the Academy Awards are about something historical,” Sambolin says. “Why does history and politics make for so much of Oscars attention?” She offers some answers.




“Sometimes it’s as simple as good presidents, patriots and politics,” she says. “And at a time when the economy is roughed and two wars are winding down, movies can provide an escape. Then there is the controversy that usually surrounds a political film.” These factors can be related to any of the three films. “But it’s not just the action and the controversy, directors also like the personal layers in historical films—taking a character who is often larger than life, and making them human.”


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Filed under: American History • Entertainment • Film • History • Movies • Trending
January 10th, 2013
05:19 AM ET

Who do you think will be nominated for an Oscar today?

Vote now and find out this morning on "Starting Point"!

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Filed under: Movies
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