Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

R-rated Power Rangers fan film pulled from YouTube, but you can watch it here

A still from "POWER/RANGERS," a highly-produced Power Rangers fan film starring James Van Der Beek and Katee Sackhoff.

Update 2/28: The "POWER/RANGERS" film is back on YouTube and Vimeo. Watch the censored YouTube version with a new viewer discretion disclaimer here:

POWER/RANGERS

You can also watch the Vimeo version, featuring more adult content. The video's description emphasizes its lack of connection in any official way to the Power Rangers:

"Deboot of the Power Rangers. My take on the FAN FILM. Not a pilot, not a series, not for profit, strictly for exhibition. This is a bootleg experiment not affiliated or endorsed by Saban Entertainment or Lionsgate nor is it selling any product. I claim no rights to any of the characters (don't send me any money, not kickstarted, this film is free). This is the NSFW version. An alternate safe version is on youtube."

Director Joseph Kahn tells Deadline, "They put these disclaimers on so kids so don’t confuse our super-violent film with their Power Rangers brand. There are no hard feelings. We signed contracts. We can play it anywhere we want on all platforms. I think they realized that people just want to see it."

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Oscars 2015: Printable Oscar ballots and bingo cards

US-ENTERTAINMENT-OSCARS-GOVERNORS BALL PREVIEW

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Announcement cards and envelopes by designer Marc Friedland which are used by presenters at the Oscars to announce winners are on display at the food and decor preview Feb. 4, 2015 of this years Governors Ball, the post-Oscar celebration which follows the 87th Oscars ceremony on Feb. 22 in Hollywood.

Ready for your 2015 Oscars party? We've got printable Oscars ballots and the bingo cards you need to prove your superiority over your movie-loving friends during your Academy Awards viewing party. Here are the party printables you'll need to play along with Sunday's show, with TV coverage kicking off at 4 p.m. Pacific. (Get caught up on KPCC's 2015 Oscars coverage right here to have more fun and help make your picks!)

Printable official Oscars ballot

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Los Angeles comedian, 'Parks & Recreation' writer Harris Wittels, 30, dies in possible drug overdose

Comedy Central's Primetime Emmy Awards Party

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

File: (L-R) "The Sarah Silverman Program" writer Harris Wittels, comedian Sarah Silverman, executive producer/head writer Dan Sterling and actress Laura Silverman, arrive at Comedy Central's Emmy Awards party at the STK restaurant Sept. 21, 2008 in Los Angeles.

12th Annual AFI Awards - Presentation

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images For AFI

File: Editors Alan Yang and Harris Wittels pose with their Year of Excellence Award for "Parks and Recreation" during the 12th Annual AFI Awards held at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on Jan. 13, 2012.


Harris Wittels, a comedy writer who worked on "Parks & Recreation," has died at 30, the Los Angeles Police Department's Jane Kim tells KPCC.

Wittels was discovered by his assistant around 12 p.m., Kim said, and was already dead. Kim said that Wittels' death was a possible overdose, but that the Coroner's Office would determine the cause of death. Wittels had attended drug rehab twice.

Comedy Central, where Wittels worked on "The Sarah Silverman Program" and "Secret Girlfriend," confirmed Wittels' death, as did the comedy show he appeared at Wednesday night.

Comedy Central tweet

Meltdown Show tweet

Wittels was also well known for his @Humblebrag Twitter account and later book, helping to popularize the idea online of the false modesty of bragging while trying not to look like you're bragging.

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Jon Stewart is leaving 'The Daily Show'; who could take his place?

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart From St. Paul - Day 4

Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Comedy Central

Host Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" watches a video while taping "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Restoring Honor & Dignity to the White House" at the McNally Smith College of Music Sept. 5, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Host Jon Stewart announced at Tuesday's "The Daily Show" taping that he is leaving the show.

Comedy Central confirmed the news in a statement, saying that Stewart will be leaving later this year:

"For the better part of the last two decades, we have had the incredible honor and privilege of working with Jon Stewart. His comedic brilliance is second to none. Jon has been at the heart of Comedy Central, championing and nurturing the best talent in the industry, in front of and behind the camera. Through his unique voice and vision, ‘The Daily Show’ has become a cultural touchstone for millions of fans and an unparalleled platform for political comedy that will endure for years to come. Jon will remain at the helm of ‘The Daily Show’ until later this year. He is a comic genius, generous with his time and talent, and will always be a part of the Comedy Central family."

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Spider-Man returns to Marvel: A short history of the webslinger on film

Marvel

An image from a teaser for Marvel Comics' 2015 "Civil War," part of crossover "Secret Wars." Could Spidey appear in the new Captain America: Civil War film now that Marvel and Sony have worked out a deal?

Marvel

Spider-Man alongside other members of the Avengers.

Marvel

Spider-Man with the other core members of the Avengers: Captain America, Thor and Iron Man.


Spider-Man is coming home to join the rest of the Marvel movie family (um, except for the Fantastic Four and the X-Men) in upcoming films under a new deal struck between Sony, the home for Spider-Man movies, and Disney's Marvel Studios, home of Iron Man and the Avengers

It's been a bumpy road for Spidey for almost a decade, but now he's set to be part of the largely critically and financially successful Marvel Cinematic Universe films. He's already made history, and he could make more history soon. 

Here's a brief history of cinematic Spider-Man, looking ahead to his new adventures with Marvel's large and growing stable of movie superheroes.

Coming out of the superhero dark ages

Spider-Man was one of the catalysts for the current superhero movie boom. Superhero films were seen as potentially dead following the bomb of "Batman & Robin" with George Clooney, a critical failure and a mixed bag commercially.

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