Emmys a bigger joke than The Big Bang Theory


Power Rangers to film in New Zealand

The upcoming Power Rangers series, Power Rangers Dino Charge, will be returning to shoot in Auckland later this year – featuring a New Zealand actor among the superhero team.

Kiwi actor James Davies will join the group of ordinary tens who morph into superheroes and save the world from evil.

The new season will be eligible for the New Zealand Screen Production Grant, meeting criteria for bringing significant economic benefits to the country.

It is being executive produced by Haim Saban and Judd Lynn and produced by New Zealander Sally Campbell and Saban Brands’ Brian Casentini.

New Zealand Film Commission CE Dave Gibson says the show has historically been a platform for the country’s talent to launch overseas careers.

“Having up-and-coming New Zealand talent actively participating in the creative process is something we value highly and forms part of a long-term strategy to develop New Zealand expertise.”

Ad Feedback

– Stuff


Surprising encounters in gay bars

When we talk about the so-called Golden Age of Television that we are presently living through, the common elements of the conversation are well-established: anguished middle-aged white men, their put-upon and much-despised wives, issues of sexual assault and debates about ultra-violence. But as I have been watching through Friday Night Lights for the first time, it struck me that some of these shows have another element in common: surprising encounters in gay bars.

In Friday Night Lights, Julie Taylor (Aimee Teegarden) accompanies her friend Devin Boland (Stephanie Hunt) to the gay bar closest to their small town of Dillon, Texas, as a gesture of solidarity. As Devin tentatively exchanges glances with a few cute girls close to her age across the bar, Julie looks around, unsure of her role in the proceedings now that she has given Devin the courage to make the drive and walk in the door. And she finds herself locking eyes with someone unexpected: Stan Traub (Russell DeGrazier), the assistant coach who works with her father at the newly reopened East Dillon High School.

It is a moment that brings Stan’s character into sudden focus. We, and Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler), first met Stan at his day job at Sears, where he explains that he has been faxing Taylor his r


The Full House reboot may be on the horizon



Political songs backfiring


Matt Damon dumps toilet water on his head

One of the largest arguments against the


Emmys 2014: 10 things we learnt from the awards

Jimmy Fallon is the best presenter/host around. Period.

He was funny when he presented. He was funny when he hijacked Stephen Colbert’s acceptance speech. He is funny pretty much every night he’s on air as host of


Nigel Latta picks lock on NZ prison system

If you asked me which topic I was most looking forward to Nigel Latta covering in his new series, the corrections system would be my pick.

Given his previous professional experience in the corrections area, Latta’s approach in last night’s episode was refreshingly open and insightful.

Latta stated that New Zealand has around 8,500 inmates spread throughout 17 prisons. It costs the country $100,000 to keep an inmate in prison for a year.

A wide range of experts and convicted criminals alike were interviewed for their opinions, and each provided interesting food for thought.

Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar was of the belief that prison is the answer, and our current system is too soft.

Professor John Pratt, Director of the Institute of Criminology at Victoria University, and Kim Workman from Rethinking Crime and Punishment, shared the opinion that the media plays a role in inducing this mentality by leveraging the ratings it brings them and naturally focusing on the higher profile cases, with the trickle-down effect damaging the chances for other inmates to transition back into society.

Workman cited this as a factor in prospective governments trying to outdo one another with their policies on crime, which, he says, has contributed to a 300 per cent rise in our inmate population between 1990 and 2010, despite violent crime rates remaining stable.

Another issue discussed was the disproportionate representation of Maori in the country’s corrections system. Comparison was made to the US prison population, where the African-American population shares a similar ratio with New Zealand in both general and prison populations.

Latta sought opinion from several Maori inmates, both past and present, on this issue. They backed up the experts with their belief that the system is biased against them.

The aspect of the episode garnering the most promotion was Latta’s first-hand experience as an inmate. His journey began with sentencing, followed by a trip in a prison transport vehicle to Rimutaka Prison. There, he was processed, strip-searched, and shown to his cell where he spent the night. He was consistent in his narration of how daunting and unpleasant the experience was.

Despite his night in the cells, Latta was keen to devote the largest proportion of the hour to the parts of the corrections system that are actually working.

Ad Feedback

Latta approved of the facilities at Spring Hill prison, where emphasis is placed on preparing prisoners for entry back into society. The prison features the standard secure housing units, but also has flatting-style accommodation which lets inmates learn how to live together. Inmates also have the opportunity to learn a skill and gain qualifications.

Latta witnessed proceedings inside the New Beginnings court, which aims to keep people out of prison in favour of treatment and community-based programmes. Even though the cost of these programmes to the taxpayer is significantly less than a prison sentence, and the success rate is streaks ahead.

As part of his conclusion, Latta shared his belief from his experience as a psychologist that to reduce offending, the issues driving criminal behavior have to be resolved. He also emphasised the need for a solid support structure that is there for inmates upon their release, which, if not present, can leave them between a lock and a hard place.

As for whether getting tough on crime is the answer, Latta responded by stating his belief that 5 per cent of the prison population should never get out of prison, but the other 95 per cent “will get out, and should get out”. He believes the game-changer is throwing away the talk on being tough on crime, and instead focusing on being effective on crime.

I believe it should be up to the viewer to come to their own conclusions on this series, so


From Shorty to Auckland’s mean streets

Best known as the literal ”poster-boy” for Once Were Warriors (that’s him with the moko) and Dr Victor Kahu on Shortland St, Calvin Tuateo is back on New Zealand screens this week in the pivotal role of nightclub owner Joe in Auckland-set crime-drama The Last Saint. He talks to James Croot about the role and his career.

>Share this story on Facebook

How did you hear about the role and what attracted you to it


Miley Cyrus’ date wanted by Oregon police

The young homeless man who accompanied Miley Cyrus to the MTV Video Music Awards has a warrant out for his arrest in Oregon.

Jesse Helt, 22, was arrested on charges of criminal mischief, criminal trespass and burglary in 2010. According to court records, he broke into the apartment of a man who had been selling what Helt believed to be bad marijuana.

>Share this story on Facebook

Helt, who was 18 at the time, pleaded guilty to criminal mischief and criminal trespass, both misdemeanors, and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and probation. The arrest warrant was issued in November 2011 after he violated probation.

Helt moved to Los Angeles and lived on the streets while trying to find work as a model.

He gained worldwide attention on Monday when Cyrus let him accept her award for video of the year. Helt, who met Cyrus through the Hollywood homeless center My Friend’s Place, used the platform to call attention to the issue of youth homelessness.

“I am accepting this award on behalf of the 1.6 million runaways and homeless youth in the United States who are starving, lost, and scared for their lives right now,” Helt said. “I know this because I am one of these people.”

Polk County Director of Community Corrections Martin Silbernagel said Tuesday (local time) officials are trying to locate Helt and arrest him. He said Helt repeatedly failed to meet with his probation officer.

“He doesn’t make himself available to community supervision, and he takes off,” Silbernagel said.

Linda Helt, Jesse’s mother, told reporters Monday that Cyrus had given her son some money and he was flying home for a visit.

Sheriff’s detective John Williams went to the mother’s Salem home Tuesday, but did not find Helt. Williams said he spoke with the family and let them know he’s looking for Jesse.

The telephone at the family home was busy Tuesday morning. A sign posted outside asked people not to trespass: “Only family & friends & neighbours at this time.”

Court records show Helt was arrested by Salem police three times as a juvenile, for offences such as marijuana possession and being a minor in possession of tobacco products and liquor.

As Helt’s moment in the sun took a dark twist, Cyrus said via Twitter:

People who are homeless have lived very hard lives. Jesse included.

— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) August 26, 2014

Ad Feedback

I hope that this can be the start of a national conversation about youth homelessness and how to end it.

— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) August 26, 2014

Does looking down upon the homeless help people excuse their inaction

— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) August 26, 2014

– AP