This Week in Entertainment: Kim & Kanye, ‘Fifth’ Flops and ‘Homeland’ Introduces the Concept of a ‘Twist’

World’s Favorite Couple Engaged

SAN FRANCISCO – America’s sweethearts and all-around teddy bears Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are engaged. The super-secret news somehow leaked out after the shy, soft-spoken West rented out the Giants’ AT&T Parkat a cost of $35,000 – to propose to the humble and demure Kardashian on her 33rd birthday Monday.

The rapper hates to draw attention to himself or make a big show – just one of the reasons we all love him so much – but he nevertheless planted a 15-carat diamond on his beloved, though only because he beat the rest of us to the charming, quiet maiden. Estimates on the ring range from $4 million to $7 million.

The couple’s daughter, North, was born four months ago.

It will be West’s first trip to the altar, though only because he has stayed so busy with his charity work and helping others. The camera-phobic and privacy-minded Kardashian has been married twice before; just last week she auctioned off a previous engagement ring she was given by Kris Humphries.

 

Benedict Cumberbatch, Julian Assange Not the Box Office Draws People Thought They Were

LOS ANGELES – Somehow, and cinema analysts are still trying to figure out exactly how, a Toronto Film Festival entry starring a British newcomer as a controversial international figure has failed in American movie theaters.

The WikiLeaks film “The Fifth Estate” crashed and burned at the box office this past weekend, bringing in only $1.7 million after costing DreamWorks a reported $26 million to produce. Gary Boreano, an entertainment reporter for MSNBC, said that means it had the worst debut for any movie this year that opened in at least 1,500 theaters.

“I can’t understand it,” Boreano said. “Every time I talk to moviegoers they say ‘We want more Benedict Cumberbatch. Not Pitt, not Clooney,’ they say, ‘Give us that ‘Sherlock’ guy!’ The only person who could possibly be sexier is Julian Assange, I’d say. The public is positively clamoring for Julian Assange movies – maybe they thought it was a different Julian Assange…?”

Dave Hollis, Disney’s distribution chief, said with Bill Condon, “the blockbuster director of ‘Gods and Monsters’ and ‘Tilda’ at the helm,” and with a “famous beyond all reason” costar like Daniel Brühl, “The Fifth Estate” should have been an easy slam-dunk.

“We’re certainly disappointed by the results,” Hollis told Variety, “and we’re still trying to figure out the ‘whys.’”

 

‘Homeland’ Engages in Narrative Experiment ‘Twist’ in Attempt to Surprise Audience, Confound Expectations

NEW YORK – Showtime viewers were shocked this week, and apparently that was the intention.

The Emmy-winning drama “Homeland” engaged in what cultural theorists are calling a “plot twist,” a rarely seen, esoteric narrative device in which viewers are set up to believe one thing only to find out later that, no, what they believed was incorrect and based on misleading or incomplete information.

“Whoa there! I did not see that coming,” said viewer Carolyn Meyers-Rowe, 23. “Based on characters’ actions and the way the story developed, I had built a pyramid of expectations in my mind, but it was pyramid with foundations of sand. What a mental folly on my part! Well struck, ‘Homeland.’”

Specifically, the temporal reversal on “Homeland” might most closely be compared to the social construct of “lying.”

The concept of the “twist” may be unfamiliar to those who have missed detective and espionage fiction, the works of Chuck Palahniuk or M. Night Shyamalan and the entirety of television dramas since 1965.