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Olivia Newton-John Dies at 73



Dame Olivia Newton-John, Grease icon and “Physical” singer, passed away at the age of 73 at her home in Southern California on August 8, 2022.

Olivia Newton-John, iconic ’70s singer and star of beloved movies like Grease, passes away at the age of 73. Newton-John was born in Cambridge, England on September 26, 1948 before moving to Melbourne at the age of 5. She began her professional career in the arts at a young age, singing on Australian TV in her teens. Newton-John’s star first shone on the pop culture map with her cover of Bob Dylan and George Harrison’s song “If Not For You”. The singer’s 1973 album Let Me Be There, which served as her US debut, put the spotlight on her talents, earning Newton-John her first Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.


Five years later, with many more accomplishments under her belt, Newton-John catapulted to stardom by leading the film adaptation of Grease. Audiences and critics alike fell in love with her as Sandy opposite John Travolta’s Danny in the 1950s-set high school musical. The film would go on to be one of her greatest legacies, alongside milestones like her 1981 mega-hit song “Physical”. Aside from her glitzy endeavors, Newton-John spoke very openly about her journey with breast cancer, founding the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund to aid research efforts.

Related: How Old Was Olivia Newton-John In Grease?

On Monday, Newton-John’s husband John Easterling took to her official Facebook page to share the sad news that the star has passed away. Although the cause of death was not specified, the businessman let her fans around the world know that she died peacefully at home after a long battle with breast cancer. Take a look at Easterling’s lovely tribute, which is accompanied by a beautiful headshot of Newton-John, below:

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Newton-John married Easterling in June of 2009. It was the star’s second marriage after she wed actor Matt Lattanzi, her Xandau co-star, in December of 1984. The couple welcomed a daughter named Chloe Rose together before divorcing in 1995. She is survived by both Chloe Rose, who followed in her mother’s footsteps by becoming an actress and singer, and Easterling.

Tributes have been pouring in for the international icon, including those from her daughter and Travolta, who posted a fitting message for his Grease co-star while signing off as her Danny. Countless virtual tributes from colleagues and devotees are sure to keep rolling in for the highly-regarded talent. Newton-John’s star shone brightly, and she was admired for so many things. Whether it be GreaseXanadu, or her music, she was a talent who won’t be forgotten any time soon. From her soulful voice to her earnest demeanor, Newton-John will remain an icon for years to come.

Source: Olivia Newton-John/Facebook

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Need A Bathroom Break During Avatar 2’s 3-Hour Runtime? Cameron Says When To Go



James Cameron has a humorous response when asked about the best time to take a bathroom break during Avatar: The Way of Water’s three-hour runtime.

James Cameron reveals the best time to take a bathroom break during Avatar: The Way of Water. The long-awaited sequel to 2009’s highest-grossing film of all time, The Way of Water is once again written and directed by Cameron. The film’s final runtime clocks in at three hours and twelve minutes, a full half-hour longer than the original Avatar. Cameron has defended this long runtime from criticism, pointing out how people have no problem binge-watching television for that amount of time. While TV can be paused for a bathroom break, that obviously isn’t the case in a crowded theater, meaning that audiences, if they are unable to hold it, will have to make a calculated decision about when to go.


During a recent interview with THR, Cameron was asked about the most opportune time to take a bathroom break during The Way of Water‘s lengthy runtime. The Avatar director had a humorous response, saying that audiences can take a trip to the lavatory “any time they want” since they can catch the scene they missed when they see the film in theaters for a second time.

Any time they want. They can see the scene they missed when they come see it again.

Related: How Far Away Is Avatar’s Pandora (& How Long Is The Journey?)

Why Avatar 2 Is So Long

Sam Worthington as Jake in Avatar: The Way of Water.

Avatar: The Way of Water‘s long runtime has been the subject of debate ever since it was revealed to be over three hours, with the final runtime clocking in at 192 minutes. This is one of the longest blockbusters in recent memory, besting the likes of The Batman‘s two-hour and 56-minute runtime and Avengers: Endgame‘s three hours and two minutes. However, the Avatar sequel comes in at just under Cameron’s own Titanic, which is three hours and 14 minutes long.

With a runtime of over three hours, The Way of Water has a chance to correct the original Avatar film’s biggest flaw. The first Avatar has been showered endlessly with praise for its groundbreaking visual effects but criticized for its storytelling and characters. Cameron himself has recognized his own shortcomings and by way of the sequel’s longer runtime, set out to tell a story that is much more nuanced and emotionally complex by focusing on Jake and Neytiri’s close-knit Na’vi family, while still maintaining its spectacle.

Avatar 2’s Box Office Is Counting On Repeat Viewings

Avatar and Avatar 2 Box Office

As is the case with most modern blockbusters, Avatar: The Way of Water‘s success at the box office will count on repeat viewings, and Cameron clearly knows that. The sequel’s budget was revealed to be one of the biggest in Hollywood history at $350 million-$400 million, meaning it will have to be the third or fourth highest-grossing film of all time just to break even, by Cameron’s own estimation. Avatar: The Way of Water is projected to open at $135 million, nearly double the original, but it will have to post several consecutive strong weekends in order to be successful or by a long shot, break the original Avatar‘s box office, which will largely be attributable to repeat viewings.

Source: THR

Key Release Dates

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Muppet Christmas Carol Cast Reveal Their Favorite Songs On 30th Anniversary



The Muppet Christmas Carol Muppets reveal their favorite song from the holiday film. Released in 1992, Muppet Christmas Carol has become one of the most popular reiterations of the classic Charles Dickens tale. Starring Sir Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge, The Muppet Christmas Carol produced a soundtrack that remains a staple with fans during the holiday season. Directed by Brian Henson, the charming musical stars Kermit as Bob Cratchit, Gonzo as Charles Dickens, Robin as Tiny Tim, and Miss Piggy as Mrs. Cratchit.


Now, the Muppet Christmas Carol cast opens up about making the feature-length Muppets film. In a delightful interview for Entertainment Weekly, Ted Lasso star Brett Goldstein sits down with the Muppet Christmas Carol cast on the film’s 30th anniversary. Reflecting on the Muppet Christmas Carol’s legacy, the Muppets share their experience working with Caine, filming in London, and performing their stunts. Speaking on the film’s soundtrack, Kermit, Miss Piggy, Robin, and Gonzo share their picks for their favorite. Check out the Muppets’ answers to their favorite Muppet Christmas Carol songs below:

GOLDSTEIN: What’s your favorite song in the film? Do you have a favorite?

KERMIT: Yeah, they’re all great, in my opinion. It all comes down to our good friend Paul Williams. It was the first time that we’d worked with him since The Muppet Movie. Paul, he’s always been able to take a special feeling and turn it into beautiful music. If you ask me, Paul and [composer] Miles Goodman made every one of those songs a new classic.

MISS PIGGY: Oh, I agree with Kermit, but if I had to pick one song, then I choose, “It Feels Like Christmas.” I’ve always believed that every day should feel like Christmas: joy, glad tidings, and especially —

KERMIT: Lots of presents.

MISS PIGGY: That’s right, Kermit. How did you know?

KERMIT: Well, I’ve known you a long time.

GOLDSTEIN: What about you, Gonzo? What’s your favorite song?

GONZO Well, I’m with Kermit. They’re all great songs. I’m a little bit disappointed, though, that my big solo number, “I’m Charles Dickens and You’re Not,” got cut from the final film.

Related: The Muppets Christmas Carol: Why “When Love Is Gone” Is Missing In Some Cuts

Why The Muppet Christmas Carol Soundtrack Was So Successful

Michael Caine with Muppets

Indeed, the Muppet Christmas Carol cast had a great selection of songs to choose from. Written by Paul Williams, the memorable soundtrack includes “One More Sleep ’til Christmas,” “Thankful Heart,” and “It Feels Like Christmas.” Crafted by Williams and Miles Goodman, the collection of songs remains relevant during the holiday season. Last year, the fully remastered soundtrack of The Muppet Christmas Carol was released on vinyl, much to the delight of fans.

Of course, the Muppet Christmas Carol song catalog can’t be discussed without mentioning the lost song “When Love Is Gone.” Sung in Christmas pasts by Scrooge’s fiancé Belle (Meredith Braun), the song is a pivotal turning point for Ebenezer Scrooge. Omitted from the theatrical cut and DVD versions, the ballad will finally be restored for The Muppet Christmas Carol extended cut for Disney+. When asked about “When Love Is Gone” by Goldstein, Gonzo cleverly answered, “Well, if I had any idea it was cannon, I would have made them keep it in the movie.”

For now, Muppet Christmas Carol fans can enjoy the titular cast sharing their hysterical, thoughtful, and insightful input on the making of the iconic film three decades later. Each year, streaming services continue to dole out new holidays film, but longtime classics, such as Home Alone, A Christmas Story, and The Muppet Christmas Carol have stood the test of time and remain staples during the festive season. The Muppet Christmas Carol and its clever storytelling can be enjoyed this holiday season on Disney+.

Source: EW

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How Violent Night Changes Santa’s Origin (& Explains Why He’s SO Brutal)



Spoiler Warning: This article contains spoilers for Violent Night.

Violent Night makes a pivotal change to Santa Claus’ origins to explain his penchant for brutal violence. The film is directed by Norwegian filmmaker Tommy Wirkola, best known for the 2009 Nazi zombie horror-comedy Dead Snow and its 2014 sequel, as well as 2013’s Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. Violent Night inserts Santa Claus (David Harbour) into a Die Hard-like situation against a gang of mercenaries, which unveils a violent new twist on the seemingly jolly old elf’s backstory.


In one of the quieter scenes of Violent Night, where David Harbour’s Santa is nursing wounds and speaking to trapped child Trudy (Leah Brady) on a walkie-talkie, Santa reveals that he was once a fearsome Viking named Nikamund the Red. Santa experiences great regret for this brutal and ruthless period of his life, which likely explains how this version of Santa is a borderline alcoholic, more interested in having brandy with cookies than milk. However, Trudy suggests to Santa that he can use this dark side of himself to do good, setting the stage for the violent chaos of the rest of the film.

Related: How David Harbour Lost So Much Weight For Stranger Things Season 4

Violent Night’s Santa Was Once At The Top Of The Naughty List

violent night david harbour
David Harbour in Violent Night

Accompanied by flashbacks of Nikamund the Red in his Viking garb, Santa speaks with pride and regret about how he would smash into the heads of his enemies with his mighty hammer, adding that he would have been at the very top of Santa Claus’ own naughty list. This is a time in Santa’s life that he would rather forget, with him fully embracing the Viking stereotype of pillaging, plundering, and killing, feeding his violent side. However, thanks to Trudy and her family held hostage by Mr. Scrooge (John Leguizamo), Santa taps into his dark past for a good reason.

How Violent Night’s Santa Returns To His Viking Roots

David Harbour as Santa Clause, holding a mallet in Violent Night.

The turning point of Violent Night comes after the arrival of a heavily-armed extraction team, who reveal themselves to be in cahoots with the mercenaries. Distraught over the many added names to his naughty list, Santa takes shelter in a shed, only to come face-to-face with a sledgehammer. This awakens the violent Viking within and Santa Claus’ true nature in Violent Night, and with Bryan Adams’ 1985 holiday hit “Christmas Time” ironically playing in the background, the movie begins to live up to its title with a gory action scene consisting of smashed heads, candy cane stabbings, ice skate beheadings, and a mercenary going through a snowblower.

It would have been easy for Violent Night to simply be a homage to Die Hard with Santa in the John McClaine role and be done with it. However, giving Santa Claus a Viking backstory adds extra layers to his character, especially as he is willing to delve into his dark past and resurrect that forgotten part of himself to save Trudy and her family. This unleashing of Santa’s Viking roots helps to make Violent Night a bloody good time.

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