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‘Nope’ puts Jordan Peele’s quirky spin on an alien-invasion thriller

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Although the marketing has teased an alien-invasion plot, Peele again seeks to turn some of our expectations on their heads, playfully toying with conventions of the genre. By setting much of the action on a remote horse ranch outside Los Angeles, the writer-director-producer mounts the terror on a smallish family scale, closer to M. Night Shyamalan’s “Signs” than the grandeur of Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” despite those bubbling clouds and foreboding skies.

Said family consists of siblings OJ (Daniel Kaluuya, reuniting with the director) and Emerald (Keke Palmer), who have inherited their father’s ranch and business wrangling horses for Hollywood. But with work having fallen on hard times, OJ begins selling stock to Ricky “Jupe” Park (Steven Yeun), a carnival-barker sort who runs a nearby tourist spot, strangely situated in the middle of nowhere.

The middle of nowhere, however, is where UFO-type sightings have historically taken place, and things gradually get very, very strange indeed. Emerald and OJ’s search for the truth brings in the local video guy (Brandon Perea, a highly amusing addition), who clearly watches too much programming on cable TV’s crowded aliens-among-us tier, although he’s useful if the goal, as OJ says, is to provide evidence worthy of “Oprah.”

Unlike his talkative sister, OJ is a man of few words (hence the title); fortunately, nobody conveys more with an intense stare than Kaluuya, and “Nope” deftly stokes that suspense, even with a somewhat prolonged stretch to explore family dynamics.

Yet Peele also takes off in a few odd directions, including a weird detour via flashbacks that displays his gift for mixing comedy and horror without necessarily advancing the larger plot.

Peele shrewdly draws from a variety of sources, including sci-fi movies of the 1950s at least in tone, relying on viewers to putty in gaps. Yet the response to this fantastical threat proves fairly mundane, building toward a climactic sequence that’s beautifully shot, terrifically scored (give credit to composer Michael Abels) but less than wholly satisfying. It’s fine not to spell out answers to every question, but Peele leaves the rules hazy and too many loose ends.

For all that, “Nope” is visually striking — particularly those scenes shot in broad daylight — and worthy of a big screen. With its near-interactive balance of horror and disarming laughs, Peele clearly intends to make movies for audiences to communally share.

Still, if “Get Out” refreshed the genre in part by weaving in themes that invited a thoughtful conversation about race and racism, “Nope” is more modest in its intentions in a way that makes it more enjoyable the less you dwell on the details, ultimately feeling quirky without fully paying off its more intriguing ideas.

Is “Nope” worth seeing? Yep. But to the extent “Get Out” offered the complete package in an Oprah-worthy way, this latest journey into the unknown is entertaining without rising to meet those over-the-moon expectations.

“Nope” premieres July 22 in US theaters. It’s rated R.

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Coolio, ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ rapper, dead at 59 | CNN

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CNN
 — 

Coolio, the ’90s rapper who lit up the music charts with hits like “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage,” has died, his friend and manager Jarez Posey, told CNN. He was 59.

Posey said Coolio died Wednesday afternoon.

Details on the circumstances were not immediately available.

When contacted by CNN, Capt. Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed that firefighters and paramedics responded to a call on the 2900 block of South Chesapeake Ave. at 4 p.m. local time for reports of a medical emergency. When they arrived, they found an unresponsive male and performed “resuscitation efforts for approximately 45 minutes.”

The patient “was determined dead just before 5:00 p.m.,” Scott said.

“We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and client, Coolio, who passed away this afternoon,” a statement provided to CNN from Coolio’s talent manager Sheila Finegan said.

“He touched the world with the gift of his talent and will be missed profoundly. Thank you to everyone worldwide who has listened to his music and to everyone who has been reaching out regarding his passing. Please have Coolio’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.”

Actor Lou Diamond Phillips also offered his condolences as he recounted some memories with the artist.

“I am absolutely stunned. Coolio was a friend and one of the warmest, funniest people I’ve ever met. We spent an amazing time together making Red Water in Capetown and we loved going head to head in the kitchen. He was one of a kind. Epic,Legendary and I’ll miss him,” Phillips said in a tweet.

Former NBA player Matt Bonner also recalled time spent with Coolio, saying in a Twitter post the rapper was a “huge hoops fan… we hosted him at a game a few years back… biggest crowd of all-time at a Spurs Overtime concert.”

Coolio grew up in Compton, California, according to a bio on his official website.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times in 1994, he recalled falling into the drug scene but getting himself out by pursuing a career as a firefighter.

“I wasn’t looking for a career, I was looking for a way to clean up – a way to escape the drug thing,” he told the publication. “It was going to kill me and I knew I had to stop. In firefighting training was discipline I needed. We ran every day. I wasn’t drinking or smoking or doing the stuff I usually did.”

His rap career began in the ’80s, and he gained fame in the underground scene.

“Fantastic Voyage” was the first song that really put him on the map.

Arguably his biggest song, “Gangsta’s Paradise,” from the soundtrack to the film “Dangerous Minds,” grew his star power to gigantic proportions. He won a Grammy in 1996 for the song.

In the age of streaming, it has continued to live on. In July 2022, the song reached a milestone one billion views on YouTube.

“It’s one of those kinds of songs that transcends generations,” he said in a recent interview. “I didn’t use any trendy words…I think it made it timeless.”

Over his career, Coolio sold more than 17 million records, according to his website.

Coolio also has a special place in the hearts of some Millennials for his work on the theme song for the popular Nickelodeon TV series “Kenan and Kel” and his contribution to the album “Dexter’s Laboratory: The Hip-Hop Experiment,” which featured songs by various hip-hop artists that were inspired by the Cartoon Network animated series.

In recent years, Coolio enjoyed the perks of being a nostalgic figure, making television appearances on shows like “Celebrity Cook Off” and “Celebrity Chopped.”

He also had a show on Oxygen, “Coolio’s Rules,” that aired 2008.



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Ice Cube, Stevie J & More Stars Mourn Coolio After Rapper’s Tragic Death At 59

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Coolio has sadly died, according to reports, and fellow rappers and other celebrities are taking to social media to mourn. The rapper reportedly passed away after collapsing at a friend’s house at the age of 59, and Ice Cube, Stevie J, and more didn’t hesitate to respond on both Twitter and Instagram. “This is sad news. I witness first hand this man’s grind to the top of the industry. Rest in Peace @Coolio,” Ice Cube wrote in a tweet that was attached to a video about his passing.

Ice Cube

Stevie J left praying hands in response to an article about the news on Instagram. Jersey Shore star Pauly D shared a tweet that read, “Damn RIP Coolio” along with praying hands, and Chad Johnson shared a photo of the late artist along with a tweet that read, “R.I.P Coolio.”

Quest Love also shared a black and white photo of Coolio on Instagram and captioned it with, “Peaceful Journey Brother. #Coolio, while Weird Al Yankovic, who once made headlines for allegedly having beef with Coolio, shared a photo of him hugging the “Gangsta’s Paradise” artist and added “RIP Coolio” to it. Bret Michaels tweeted a photo that showed him and Coolio posing with their arms up as they looked at the camera, which can be seen below. “My deepest condolences go out to the family, friends & fans on the loss of @Coolio. This photo from when we did @ABCNetwork #GreatestHits together. Awesome guy who will be missed,” he wrote.

The outpouring of love and support following Coolio’s death comes just four days after he shared his own last post on Instagram. It included a video of him performing to a cheering crowd, which can be seen below. It showed him from the back and although he didn’t caption it, his fans took to the comments section to share their own sadness about his passing.

One fan called him a “legend” and another shared, “You’re finally in Gangsters Paradise. Rest Easy King. You were a part of my childhood. You will be missed, condolences to your family and friends. 🕊️🕊️🕊️” Many others left crying and heartbroken emojis to signify their mourning for the memorable star.



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TIFF: Succession’s Brian Cox Blasts Method Acting as “American Sh**”

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TIFF: Succession’s Brian Cox Blasts Method Acting as “American Sh**”

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