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Lego Movie 2’s Will Arnett Threw Shade At Ben Affleck In Justice League

The Lego Movie was a major hit when it arrived in 2014, beginning a massive franchise in the process. Audiences really responded to the self-aware humor, which was both family-friendly and had plenty of jokes for the adults in the audience. Will Arnett’s Lego Batman was the clear standout character, with the mini figure Dark Night even given his own spinoff with The Lego Batman Movie.

Given his tenure as an over the top Batman, Will Arnett considers himself a bit of an expert on the character. And on a recent late night appearance, Arnett took the time to throw a little shade at Justice League, choosing to ignore it from Ben Affleck’s tenure as the character. As he said,

Shots fired. From one Bruce Wayne to another, it appears that Will Arnett wasn’t particularly enthused with Justice League. This echoes the fan reaction, and is sure to tickle DC fans who are thirsting for a feud.

Will Arnett’s quip comes from his recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! While promoting his role as Lego Batman in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Arnett spoke with host Jimmy Kimmel about the myriad other versions of the iconic character. And when addressing Ben Affleck’s hulking version of Bruce Wayne, the was sure to quickly jab Justice League. The guy’s a comedian, after all.

Justice League has been the butt of quite a few jokes since it arrived in theaters in 2017. When Zack Snyder dropped out of the project during filming due to a family emergency, The Avengers and Buffy‘s Joss Whedon was brought on to complete the film. The two directors’ visions ultimately clashed, and the film was a disappointment. And given the sky high expectations associated with the blockbuster, the jokes quickly started flying.

While Will Arnett threw a little shade at Justice League, he wasn’t ignoring Ben Affleck’s contribution to the character. He does mention the actor’s other credits, in reference to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and his small role in Suicide Squad. Affleck’s Batman was largely considered the best part about BvS, as he offered a jaded, experienced, and emotionally scarred version of the popular DC hero. These feelings fueled his violence, showing a Caped Crusader that had abandoned his typical moral code.

Considering his role in the Lego Movie franchise, Will Arnett does seem like the right guy to poke fun at Batman. The movies constantly do just that, as Arnett takes on a gravely voice spoofing Christian Bale’s tenure. And The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part‘s trailers already showed the movie’s penchant for taking jabs at Justice League, as one clip laments that Green Lantern was left out of Snyder’s movie.

You can see for yourself when The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part arrives in theaters on February 8th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Are Those Avatar Sequel Titles Real? Here’s What James Cameron Says

James Cameron is in the middle of a massive undertaking as he continues work on two of what are planned to be four more Avatar movies. We know little about them overall, but we were given a possbile hint recently when titles were leaked that purported to be the planned titles of all four of the upcoming sequels. At the time, we had no idea as to authenticity of those titles, but James Cameron has now spoken out about them, and it turns out that they are real titles, however they are only real potential titles. According to Cameron…

According to the initial report, the four Avatar films were set to be called Avatar: The Way of Water, Avatar: The Seed Bearer, Avatar: The Tulkun Rider, and Avatar: The Quest for Eywa. The titles certainly could have been legitimate, but when they dropped a few months back there was no confirmation, and thus we couldn’t be sure.

It seems now that the original source was accurate, but at the same time is does not mean that the coming films will have these titles. James Cameron confirms to ET that the titles are options, but with even the next movie almost two years away, no titles have been decided on yet.

Three of the four titles come across as mostly gibberish at this point, we don’t know what they refer to and so they could have been real or not and it was nearly impossible to tell. The one exception was the proposed title for Avatar 2. Since we do know that film will take place mostly in and around the oceans of the alien world Pandora, a movie called The Way of Water certainly fell in line.

Now that we know these titles are being considered, we can look at them for whatever details they provide, though, again, at this point that isn’t much. Even if Avatar 3 isn’t called The Seed Bearer, we can be sure the film will include a “seed bearer.” Perhaps it’s a title bestowed on one of the characters or a new character who will appear in that film.

While Avatar 4 and 5, have yet to be officially green lit, and such things won’t be happening while the final details of the Disney Fox merger are still happening, nothing short of a catastrophic failure of Avatar 2 and 3 is likely to stop them. This means that we’ll learn what a Tulkin Rider is and why anybody needs to go on a quest for something (or someone?) called Eywa, even if the movies aren’t called that.

Avatar 2 and 3 are currently in production with release dates in 2020 and 2021. Assuming nothing changes with the plans for Avatar 4 and 5, which is a pretty big assumption considering how long it took these sequels to get off the ground, we should see them in 2024 and 2025.

9 Powerful Stories of Representation at Fashion Week

Technically, Fashion Week exists to serve those working in the fashion industry—buyers looking for new merchandise for their stores, magazine editors reporting on the trends, stylists pulling for their clients’ next big red carpet, and so on. But with every passing year, its audience grows wider. Through live stream videos and Instagram Stories and other social sharing, there are more eyes on the shows than ever. And that has brought about an increased scrutiny about what we see on the runway.

In its seasonal Diversity Report, The Fashion Spot found that the Spring 2019 shows (which happened last September), were the most diverse ever in terms of ethnicity, size, gender identity, and age of models on the runway. The news earned congratulatory headlines—it was a welcome improvement after declining numbers in past years. Still, if you look closer, you start to notice that the same few players come up over and over again as leaders on this front: the Chromats, the Christian Sirianos, the young designers building their brands on inclusivity. And while they are sparking change, industry insiders say it’s only the tip of the iceberg for what representation should really look like in fashion.

“It’s only really been in the last few years that I’ve seen any meaningful diversity and inclusion [on the runway] that actually made me feel it reflects me and my friends, beyond just tokenism,” says designer and blogger Nicolette Mason, who’s been attending Fashion Week for over a decade. She hopes for the day where these moments of inclusivity on the runway won’t spark headlines—they’ll just be the norm: “Runways, just like our media, should reflect our world.”

Leomie Anderson, a model who has walked for brands like Savage x Fenty, Jeremy Scott, and Christian Cowan, agrees: “You can’t just let these moments be stand-alone—we have to keep building on them. We should keep celebrating diverse representation as it happens and keep fighting for it, as well.”

From the first plus-size supermodel to some of the most vocal advocates for inclusivity in the fashion industry, nine individuals explain what it means to have the runway reflect real life. Even though their names are established and respected, their accounts go to show how memorable authentic moments of representation can be for those who don’t fit the narrow definition of beauty that dominated this space for so long.

Gina Marinelli is a writer and editor based in New York. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @ginaalilbit.

The Halloween Sequel Just Took A Major Step Forward

The horror genre has been in a renaissance for the past few years, as filmmakers bring quality films to theaters, making a ton of money at the box office in the process. Many of the most recent hits come from Blumhouse, including Oscar winning Get Out, as well as Happy Death Day and Don’t Breathe. The studio recently turned it’s focus on the classics, with David Gordon Green’s Halloween debuting in October, and becoming one of the franchise’s most successful installments.

Given the critical and box office juggernaut Halloween ended up being, fans immediately began wondering if another sequel could be on its way. After all, the three Strode women survived their ordeal with Michael, and the villain’s breathing can be heard during the film’s credits. Now it seems the Halloween sequel has taken a major step forward, as Narcos producer Scott Teems will reportedly write the project.

This news comes to us from Collider, and hasn’t been confirmed by Blumhouse or Scott Teems himself. Still, it’s an exciting development that horror fans will be over the moon about. Jason Blum himself has repeatedly expressed interest in bringing another Halloween flick to theaters, so it stands to reason that development would get kickstarted sooner rather than later.

Then again, Scott Teems’ involvement in the Halloween sequel has other implications, mainly that the trio of original writers may no longer be handling the narrative. Blumhouse’s Halloween was written by superfans Jeff Fradley, Danny McBride, David Gordon Green (who also directed). That group had serious love and reverence for John Carpenter’s 1978 original, and crafted a narrative that defied the canon and had a surprisingly emotional core.

It will be interesting to see whether or not David Gordon Green ends up helming the Halloween sequel, which is still very early in the development process. Green did great work with his movie, which was a critical success and made a whopping $253.7 million in theaters on an indie budget of around $15 million. If he doesn’t end up returning for another installment, Blumhouse may have a hard time nailing down the same cast.

When previously asked if she’d play Laurie Strode in another Halloween flick, franchise star Jamie Lee Curtis expressed interest, on one condition. She wanted David Gordon Green back in the director’s chair, to once again service the character of Laurie, as well as Karen and Allyson. Collider’s report regarding Scott Teems’ involvement indicated the trio Curtis, Judy Greer, and Andi Matichak are poised to return for the movie, so it’ll be fascinating to see where the cards ultimately lie.

Narratively, there are a ton of threads for Scott Teems to potentially pull from. Laurie’s trauma was a fascinating focus in the last film, and now Karen and Allyson have their own to grapple with– in addition to Michael’s inevitable return for blood.

CinemaBlend will keep you updated on all things Halloween as details become public. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Gucci Has Apologized For Selling a Sweater Resembling Blackface

An $890 sweater is the latest luxury item to be pulled from stores—and to prompt an apology from its maker—for its resemblance to racist imagery.

Gucci issued a statement yesterday on social media addressing a black wool balaclava sweater stitched with red lips on the collar (to be worn over the mouth.) It was released to the brand’s physical stores as well as online, and quickly got attention on social media. Styled on a white model on its website, the Gucci turtleneck raised eyebrows on social media.

A version of this balaclava sweater appeared on Gucci’s Fall 2018 runway last February, during Milan Fashion Week.

A few hours after the screenshots of the brand’s e-commerce began circulating online, Gucci released an official statement on its Twitter account apologizing for the sweater.

“Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper,” the brand said. “We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make. We are committed to increasing diversity throughout our organization and turning this incident into a powerful learning moment for the Gucci team and beyond.”

This isn’t exactly an isolated incident in the luxury fashion space: Just last year, Prada pulled a monkey keychain from its stores that was likened to blackface imagery. Outside of the industry, the past week has been dominated by headlines about Virginia’s highest-ranked elected officials and their past blackface costumes.

Gucci does have a record of working to right bad behavior. In 2017, after it was accused of plagiarizing the work of legendary Harlem tailor Dapper Dan, the brand issued a formal apology and worked on building a relationship with the designer. A year later, Gucci released an official collaboration with Dapper Dan and opened a joint atelier in New York. Hopefully, this gaff will prompt a thorough and thoughtful internal response to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

A Period Emoji Is Coming and It’s About Damn Time

For all the time we spend talking about periods, it’s appalling (appalling!) that not a single emoji can adequately represent that time of the month. A syringe, a germ, and poo have all made the cut but there’s no emoji that can adequately speak to our monthly menstruation? Seriously?! Finally, that’s about to change. A period emoji is being released this moth.

The period emoji, a rather cute little droplet of blood, comes after a campaign by Plan International UK, a charity fighting for girls’ rights around the globe, to help put an end to period stigma. Literally everyone on the planet either has a period or knows someone who does but still, period stigma remains a very real thing. A 2017 survey by Plan International UK found nearly half of girls in the UK between 14 and 21 were embarrassed by their period. But it’s not just about embarrassment over Aunt Flo that matters—around the globe, period stigma keeps women and girls from work and school. In some cultures, period stigma even threatens women’s lives.

The shame needs to stop. “With emoji becoming one of the fastest growing global languages, we realized having a period emoji could help change things,” Plan International UK said. Think about it: if the poop emoji has made it easier to talk about that bodily function, a period emoji can help normalize menstruation. At least it’s a start.

The droplet of blood is admittedly kind of generic (Plan International UK’s first choice period emoji, a pair of period panties, was rejected by the global governing body of emojis) so, may we suggest a combination of the period emoji followed by 🍷, 🍫 and 😖 to make sure your point gets across.

So when can you start getting your menstruation emoji on? The period emoji will be added to your keyboard sometime this year, according to Emojipedia. It’s not the only stigma-reducing emoji on the way—new emojis for 2019 also include people in wheelchairs and people with disabilities.

Here’s to ending stigmas one emoji at a time.

First Shaft Trailer Includes A Badass And Funny Samuel L. Jackson

The original Shaft was a 1970s blaxsploitation action movie. Over the course of 30 years, Richard Rountree’s character became an icon of the genre, resulting in a sequel/reboot in 2000 that starred Samuel L. Jackson in the title role. Now, almost 20 years after that movie, Samuel L. Jackson is back and he’s bringing the same action he brought last time, along with some humor and a new generation. Check out the first trailer below.

The Isaac Hayes theme song is there, which means it’s impossible to not recognize the new movie from the first moments of the new trailer. Though the first member of the Shaft family that we see isn’t Samuel L. Jackson’s version of the character, but rather Jessie Usher as John Shaft Jr., known as JJ, It seems that he’s looking to enlist his father’s help in investigating something, but he himself isn’t necessarily cut out for the Shaft way of doing things.

The father and son don’t seem to know each other very well, so we’ll go along for the ride as they bond and JJ gets a bit of an education in Shaft style street justice. At the same time, it looks like Samuel L. Jackson’s Shaft may get something of an education himself, as times have certainly changed, and Shaft’s style might not not necessarily mix well in a modern setting.

While the previous Shaft films weren’t without their humor, the new Shaft is set to be much more of an action-comedy than previous installments, something the creator of the character is not happy about. The clash of cultures looks to be the focus more than the standard “kickass and ask questions never” action.

Having said that, the trailer makes it clear that the newest Shaft will be “joining the family business” so to speak, so there’s going to be no lack of action.

And of course, the trailer also shows us that [Richard Roundtree](, the original Shaft will be in the film as well as the eldest generation, making every Shaft movie, including, I guess, Shaft in Africa, part of a single, continuous, franchise. It is great to see Roundtree coming back to the character after 50 years. Regina Hall will also star as the mother of the youngest Shaft.

It will be interesting to see how a new Shaft movie plays in a modern setting. A lot has changed in our culture even since the Samuel L. Jackson movie from 2000 and many of the character’s rougher edges might not seem as entertaining as they once did. Will the movie ultimately change Shaft in order to make the character more palatable, or will he stand as a testament to the character’s roots in a different era?

We’ll find out just how much of a bad mother the new Shaft is when it hits theaters in June.

For Asian-American Artists, K-pop Is A Homecoming

By T.K. Park and Youngdae Kim

The Kim Sisters were the first Korean pop music group who found success in the U.S. In the aftermath of the Korean War, the “sisters” — Sue, Aija, and Mia, who were actually two sisters and a cousin — played for the U.S. troops stationed in Seoul. Each played a dozen different instruments, driven into show business by their mother and manager, Yi Nan-yeong.

The work was arduous at first. In a city reduced to ruins, Yi often had to accept payments for her daughters’ shows in the form of several bottles of whiskey, which she then exchanged in the black market for food. But in 1959, the Kim Sisters were recruited to play at a Las Vegas show called “China Doll Revue.” (One of their first singles was called “Ching Chang.”) Then, Ed Sullivan called.

The Kim Sisters went on to become the first commercially successful Asian artists in the United States, as they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show 22 times (more frequently than the Beatles), landed the cover of Life magazine, and booked a Las Vegas residency that earned them $15,000 a week.

The Kim Sisters on The Hollywood Palace in the 1960s

Following the Korean War, more than a million Koreans came to the United States along with the Kim Sisters. For decades, the direction of migration only flowed one way. As with the Kim Sisters, Koreans left Korea in pursuit of the American Dream. But today, Korean Americans with pop-star aspirations are making the journey in the opposite direction, chasing their Korean Dream in the form of K-pop stardom.

The First Korean Americans in K-pop

The foundations for today’s K-pop as an international pop culture phenomenon were laid in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and Korean Americans and other diaspora Koreans were there from the start. In the ’80s, one-off curiosities like Korean-Bolivian singer Im Byeong-su (Hernan Im), who sang translated Latin music, enjoyed a decent amount of popularity. But among Korean Americans, Kang Susie and Lee Hyeon-woo were the first in Korean pop music to attract meaningful acclaim. Debuting in the early ’90s (Kang in 1990, Lee in 1991), both leveraged their image as trendy Americans to appeal to the Korean public. They also introduced new musical elements. “Lee’s Dream [꿈],” composed by Korean-American musician Danny Kim, is an early example of rap dance, the prevalent form of hip-hop in Korea in the 1990s.

Solid, the three-man R&B group debuting in 1993, were the first K-pop artists to give a full presentation of their Korean Americanness in their music, choreography, lyrics, fashion, and visual aesthetic. All three members of Solid — Kim Johan, Lee Jun, and Jeong Jae-yun — were either born in the U.S. or emigrated as young children. True to form, they met and learned to sing together at a Korean-American church in the Los Angeles area. Musically, Solid leaned into R&B and hip-hop, the sound that was not yet common in Korea in the early ’90s. They liberally mixed in English into their lyrics, and also spoke Korean with a distinct Korean-American accent. They dressed like the American R&B stars of the time, a Korean variant of Boyz II Men.

Solid’s “Holding onto the End of This Night [이 밤의 끝을 잡고]”

With the success of their R&B and hip-hop-inflected numbers like “Holding onto the End of This Night [이 밤의 끝을 잡고]” and “Friend Only to Me [나만의 친구],” Solid played a major role in popularizing Black music in Korea in the early to mid-90s. This flow of Black music allowed more aspiring Korean-American musicians to find success in Korea. The foremost female R&B divas in K-pop, Park Jeong-hyeon (Lena Park) and Ailee, are also Korean Americans influenced by the vocal styles of American R&B divas such as Mariah Carey and Beyoncé.

Even more so than was the case with R&B, the development of Korean hip-hop is inextricably intertwined with the presence of Korean Americans. The success of Solid prompted the K-pop producers recruit more heavily in the U.S., searching for talents who could project authenticity in a genre where it matters arguably more than in any other style of music. The result was a large influx of Korean Americans presenting hip-hop music in Korea. The success of Jinusean, a Korean-American duo, was the starting point of YG Entertainment, which to this day maintains a strong hip-hop bent. (To get a sense of what Jinusean wrought, watch the music video of “A-Yo” from their 2001 album The Reign. At the 3:23 mark, 12-year-old Taeyang, wearing a Tennessee Titans jersey, hops into YG’s Mercedez.) Hip-hop was also the medium that created a semblance of racial diversity in Korea’s largely monoethnic pop culture. For example, Uptown, a popular hip-hop group, featured Yoon Mirae and Carlos — half African-American and half Mexican-American, respectively. Mixed ethnicity Koreans could find success in Korea as hip-hop artists tapping into parts of their heritage.

The apotheosis of Korean Americans leading Korea’s hip-hop culture was Tiger JK, leader of the group Drunken Tiger. His family emigrated to Los Angeles in the 1980s, and the relations between Korean Americans and African Americans in the L.A. area at the time left an indelible mark on young Tiger JK. “Black Korea,” Ice Cube’s 1991 cut from Death Certificate — written in response to the killing of Latasha Harlins — in which he rapped, “Oriental one penny countin’ motherfuckers… So pay respect to the black fist / Or we’ll burn your store right down to a crisp,” is but one indication of the strained relationship between two communities that were brought together by housing segregation. Following the 1992 L.A. riots, 16-year-old Tiger JK began his musical career by composing “Call Me Tiger” in response to “Black Korea.”

Tiger JK tried the Korean pop music market for the first time 1995, only to be met with bewildered confusion by the local gatekeepers. Rap dance, of the kind that Seo Taiji and Boys and Deux pioneered, was the only kind of hip-hop in the Korean pop music market — and Tiger JK was anything but a dancer. And he could barely speak Korean, much less rap in it. It was only after years of languishing while shuttling back from Seoul and Los Angeles that Tiger JK broke through with his group Drunken Tiger, formed with a fellow Korean American DJ Shine. Their 1999 debut album Year of the Tiger — with a provocative track “You Think You Know Hip Hop [너희가 힙합을 아느냐]” — was one of the most significant moments in the history of Korean hip-hop, as it pushed Korea’s hip-hop beyond the rap dance sub-genre and toward a raw and message-driven gangster rap in the mold of U.S. underground hip-hop of the 1990s.

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Tiger JK performs on-stage in South Korea in 2011

Tiger JK did more than leading Drunken Tiger to commercial success; he led a group that collectively planted the hip-hop subculture firmly in the mainstream pop music in Korea. While the native-born Korean rappers such as MC Meta and Verbal Jint were exploring the possibilities of creating Korean language rhymes, the Korean-American rappers imported the whole milieu of American-style hip-hop culture, not only in music but also in the overall aesthetics including fashion, style, and attitudes. Tiger JK also formed the Movement Crew, the first modern-style hip-hop crew in Korean pop music that ultimately gave rise to such influential groups like Dynamic Duo, Leessang, and Epik High. This led to a steady stream of Korean-American and diaspora Korean rappers — including SanE, Junoflow, Jessi, Mad Clown, Nafla, Flowsik, and many more — returning to Korea to try their hand at stardom in the K-pop scene.

Korean Americans in K-pop Today

Historically, Korea Americans have entered K-pop with a distinct profile: a measured dose of exoticism and a familiar-looking face that delivers the trendiest music from America, the place where pop music comes from. Today, the same dynamics can be found in K-pop, particularly in the audition programs like K-pop Star or Superstar K. Korean Americans like John Park, NakJoon, and Sam Kim were able place high in these programs and find stardom thanks to such characteristics.

In the contemporary K-pop scene, however, Korean Americans and other diaspora Koreans play an additional role: a specialized part of a carefully curated idol group, serving as a cultural intermediary for international marketing. Since the dawn of K-pop’s international era in the mid-2000s, it was the standard operating procedure to include an English-speaking diaspora Korean in a K-pop idol group who can more naturally sing English lyrics and interface more smoothly with non-Korean fans, as a way to help with international marketing. (Also, male Korean American idols would not have to interrupt their careers because of Korea’s mandatory military draft.) For example, when Girls’ Generation first ventured into the U.S. market in 2012, the group’s Korean Americans Tiffany and Jessica did most of the talking during interviews.

Jun Sato/WireImage

The members of Girls’ Generation, one of the most successful K-pop girl groups of all time

Today, most popular K-pop idol groups usually include a diaspora Korean, including Krystal (Korean-American) in f(x), Johnny (Korean-American) in NCT, Mark in GOT7 (Taiwanese-American), and Rosé (Korean-New Zealander) in Blackpink. This role as an intermediary eventually enabled Korean Americans and diaspora Koreans to venture beyond the Korean market and stand on their own as a pan-Asian pop star, drawing broad appeal from all corners of the world. K-hip-hop mogul Jay Park became the first Asian-American artist signed to Jay-Z’s label Roc Nation in 2017.

But the dual identity that enables Korean Americans to find stardom in Korea also comes with explosive potential. Unaccustomed to the local sensibilities and the unspoken codes of conduct built around them, Korean-American K-pop stars can sometimes find themselves in unintended situations. In a society that holds a strong undercurrent of suspicion against outsiders, even a minor faux pas by Korean Americans can be magnified into a major controversy. Tiffany Young caused a stir during SMTown’s 2016 Japan tour, when her Instagram displayed a picture of the “Rising Sun” emoji — the symbol of Imperial Japan that colonized Korea. (That the picture happened to appear around August 15, Korea’s Liberation Day, did not help.) This small oversight, made in an unguarded moment, made network news in Korea, and Tiffany had to publicly issue two separate letters of apology. In 2009, Jay Park was ousted from the group 2PM when it was revealed that three years before he debuted, he wrote “I hate Koreans… I wanna come back” on his MySpace page, while lamenting the difficulty of being an idol trainee.

Hip-hop artist Yoo Seung-joon indisputably experienced the worst version of this. At his peak, which spanned from around 1997 to 2001, Yoo was arguably the most successful Korean-American artist in the K-pop scene thanks to hits like 1998’s “Na Na Na.” His style of Asian masculinity — unmistakably influenced by American hip-hop culture — would serve as a template for successive male K-pop stars like Rain, Se7en, and EXO.

Yet all this success did not protect Yoo Seung-joon, who was born in Korea and raised in California, from the cardinal sin of Korean males: draft-dodging. In 2002, Yoo formally became a U.S. citizen and was exempt from the mandatory military service all Korean men must complete. The Korean internet howled with rage, while the Ministry of Justice declared Yoo a draft-dodging criminal who was not eligible for a visa to stay in Korea. Yoo was pushed out of the country, and has been allowed back only once since then — for his father-in-law’s funeral.

The New Land of Opportunity

Despite the occasional breakthrough by the likes of Far East Movement and rising house music star Yaeji, Korean Americans face a high hurdle in making it in the U.S. pop culture market. Better that they return to their homeland and try their luck in the K-pop industry, which at least carved out a place for them — however restricted that place may be. Indeed, this applies not only to Korean Americans, but to Asian Americans generally. The K-pop idol scene has become a beacon of pan-Asian globality, in which diaspora Asians can come and find international stardom through the global reach of K-pop. Thai-and-Chinese American Nichkhun and Taiwanese-American Amber Liu became household names through their groups 2PM and f(x), respectively. The fame built through f(x) allowed Amber to debut as a solo artist who can primarily perform in the U.S., her home.

Amber Liu’s latest English single, “Countdown”

But the question remains, particularly when considering the difficult path that lies before the Korean Americans who aspire to be K-pop stars. Why would they come back Korea, a country that often other-izes them as “black-haired foreigners” (a common phrase in Korea for Koreans with non-Korean citizenship), to join an industry notorious for years of arduous work, often-abusive treatment, and contracts reminiscent of indentured servitude, just to have a shot at the slim chance of success?

For the same reasons that Kim Sisters left for the United States to play a song called “Ching Chang” on a show called China Doll Revue. Just as much as their parents and grandparents saw the U.S. as the land of opportunity, Korean Americans now see Korea as the land of opportunity. So, despite the saying that you can never go home again, starry-eyed diaspora Koreans continue to make their homecoming.

Creepy Pet Sematary Trailer Has A Shot Stephen King Fans Are Going To Love

Any year with multiple adaptations of Stephen King books heading to theaters is a great year. OK, unless it’s more Dark Tower movies. Damn, that movie didn’t work at all. But we have higher hopes for this new take on the author’s Pet Sematary, which exists to remind grieving parents that sometimes, dead is better. The new trailer just dropped, so press play:

There’s a shot in that trailer that will make the hairs on the back of the necks of Stephen King fans stand at attention. It’s the shot of John Lithgow’s foot. Because we know what’s coming next. A razor-sharp surgical scalpel is about to sever a tendon, in one of the most memorable King moments in any of his books.

Pet Sematary is a mean story. It plays on people’s basic emotions, of love and loss, and the need to wipe away tragedy, by any means necessary. It asks the simple question, “If you could bring a deceased loved one back somehow, would you?” We know that the answer should be no. So when we get to the line, “I know what you’re thinking of doing. But they don’t come back the same.” It’s positively bone-chilling.

A Bottle of This Hyaluronic Acid Serum Is Sold Every Minute

Reviews count for a lot when we’re shopping, real or fake—after all, why drop your hard-earned cash on something everyone hates? So seeing that the newest hyaluronic acid serum from L’Oréal Paris, which only just launched in January, already has thousands of rave reviews to back it up caught my attention. But what led to my subsequent double-take was the news that one bottle is sold every minute in the U.S.

Do you know what that means? In the past hour, during which I’ve made tea, rewritten this paragraph several times, repeatedly checked my phone, and meditated on all the snack foods in my fridge, 60 people bought this stuff. I had to try it, even if I didn’t quite get the hype at first. I mean, it’s a hyaluronic acid serum. And there are a lot of H.A. serums out there.

You’re probably familiar by now with hyaluronic acid. If not, you—and your skin—are in for a real treat, since hyaluronic acid is a skincare MVP if we ever saw one. The molecule, which occurs naturally in the human body, is a regular in serums, moisturizers, eye creams, lip balms, and beyond for a reason. Not only is it a humectant, meaning it pulls water from the environment into skin, but it can also hold up to 1000 times its weight in water.

That makes it a moisturizing powerhouse as well as a must-have in the winter, when the chilly air is dry and your full-blast heater is only making matters worse. Unless you can book a season-long vacation in the Bahamas, skin inevitably starts to feel and look dry, dull, or even flaky. That’s why hyaluronic acid is especially valuable this time of year. With it, skin texture suddenly becomes smoother, lines soften, and skin feels firmer and plumper. It’s a no-brainer that most moisturizing serums contain at least some hyaluronic acid for that reason.

So…why has this one won a popularity contest?

First, the bottle feels super-luxe for something you can pick up while stocking up on tampons, and the texture is even better. It’s slippery without feeling oily or heavy, and absorbs in seconds. And it left my skin feeling super-smooth, so much so that I swear my foundation looked better as a result. And while my cheeks tend to get dry in the winter and everything else seems to chap within minutes of being outside, that wasn’t the case with this—even though I first tried it on a day with a sub-zero windchill. My skin stayed freakishly smooth all day, after which I went home and promptly applied more.

Another bonus is that this combines different types of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid has six different molecular weights, meaning it’s available in six sizes. This formula gives you two: H.A. with a low molecular weight, which is smaller and therefore can better penetrate deeper into your skin, where it basically stockpiles moisture, and an H.A. with a high molecular weight, which remains closer to the surface and delivers more visible benefits (e.g. softness, bounce, that sort of thing). So you’re reaping short-term and long-term perks.

So far, it’s kept my skin smooth and soft, and maybe I’m imagining things, but it seems to have also calmed the inflammation around a few rogue blemishes. My sole complaint is that I wish the bottle were bigger, because while I’ve been using it as the most moisturizing primer out there, I kind of want to slather it on everywhere. It’s a perfect serum for winter—and, if I were to guess, for spring, summer, and fall.