Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

New Grammys rules include allowing samples in Song of the Year

56th GRAMMY Awards - Show

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Musicians Kirk Hammett of Metallica (L) and Lang Lang perform onstage during the 56th Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Jan. 26, 2014 in Los Angeles.

The Recording Academy announced a number of rules changes for future Grammy Awards on Thursday, including allowing samples to be used in songs included in songwriting categories like Song of the Year.

"This year's changes to our Awards process are thoughtful, inclusive, and reflective of the current musical landscape," said Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow in a statement.

The addition of sampling is a sign of the changing face of music, with samples included in a variety of genres — the Grammys had previously only allowed samples in the best rap song category. The Academy's Bill Freimuth tells KPCC that he thinks it will have an impact on some of the major Grammys categories.

"What I think the change is going to do, is eliminate a lot of the head-scratching as to why some very big, popular recordings, songs, were not showing up in the nominations," Freimuth said. "For something like Song of the Year or Best R&B, or Best Rock Song …  our ballot will feel a little bit more complete because all of these will now be included."


Harrison Ford in hospital after injuring ankle on 'Star Wars: Episode VII' shoot

Film Five Most

20th Century-Fox Film Corporation/AP

File: This file publicity image provided by 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation shows Harrison Ford, as Han Solo, Carrie Fisher, as Princess Leia Organa, and Mark Hamill, as Luke Skywalker. in a scene from the 1977 "Star Wars."

Harrison Ford injured his ankle while shooting "Star Wars: Episode VII," but shooting is scheduled to proceed as planned during his recovery, according to the Hollywood Reporter, citing a statement from Disney.

"Harrison Ford sustained an ankle injury during filming today on the set of Star Wars: Episode VII," the statement said. "He was taken to a local hospital and is receiving care. Shooting will continue as planned while he recuperates."

RELATED: 'Star Wars: Episode VII': JJ Abrams' Millennium Falcon tweet and the Mystery Box

Ford is reprising his iconic role as Han Solo in the new Star Wars film, though little is known about the plot of the new film. Other stars of the original films are back, including Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew and more.

The film's new cast includes Lupita Nyong'o, Andy Serkis, Adam Driver and Max von Sydow.


Marvel announces director Peyton Reed to direct 'Ant-Man,' Adam McKay to write following Edgar Wright exit


Ant-Man seen in an image tweeted by Marvel.

Marvel announced Saturday that Peyton Reed will direct "Ant-Man," following writer/director Edgar Wright's high-profile exit. This piece in the Marvel cinematic universe strategy is still scheduled to be released July 17 of next year.

Marvel Peyton Reed tweet

They've also announced new writer Adam McKay to make changes Marvel is seeking to the script written by Wright and Joe Cornish.

RELATED: Edgar Wright quits 'Ant-Man'; here's what it would have looked like

Reed previously directed movies including "Bring It On," "The Break-Up" and "Yes Man," as well as TV shows including "New Girl," "Mr. Show," "Upright Citizens Brigade" and more. He's also attached to direct the upcoming movie "The Fifth Beatle," based on the Dark Horse graphic novel.

McKay came to prominence as head writer of "Saturday Night Live" and as the writer/director of movies including "Anchorman," "Talladega Nights," "Step Brothers" and "The Other Guys."


Cruise's 'Tomorrow' may flop: Is the era of the movie star over?


Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Caption:US actor Tom Cruise arrives for the World Premiere of the film 'Edge of Tomorrow' at the BFI IMAX cinema in London on May 28, 2014.

Warner Bros Entertainment at Comic-Con International 2013 - Day 3

Handout/Getty Images

In this handout photo provided by WBTV, "Edge of Tomorrow" star Tom Cruise with his futuristic battle gear at the Warner Bros. booth during Comic-Con 2013 on July 20, 2013 in San Diego.



Tom Cruise arrives for the World Premiere of the film 'Edge of Tomorrow' at the BFI IMAX cinema in London on May 28, 2014.

Warner Bros. And Legendary Pictures Preview - Comic-Con International 2013

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Tom Cruise speaks onstage at the Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures preview of "Edge of Tomorrow" during Comic-Con International 2013 at San Diego Convention Center on July 20, 2013.



Caption:US actor Tom Cruise poses at the premiere of the film 'Edge of Tomorrow', in Paris on May 28, 2014.

"Edge Of Tomorrow" New York Premiere

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Actor Tom Cruise attends the "Edge Of Tomorrow" red carpet repeat fan premiere tour at AMC Loews Lincoln Square on May 28, 2014 in New York City.

The hook of Tom Cruise’s new movie, “Edge of Tomorrow,” is that the actor’s character is caught in an endless time loop, succumbing to the same fate again and again.

RELATED: The Last Real Movie Star?: Tom Cruise from 'Risky Business' to Oprah's couch and beyond

It’s also an unfortunate and apt metaphor for how the actor has fared at the box office, and “Edge of Tomorrow” is unlikely to reverse the 51-year-old’s plummeting popularity with moviegoers, especially those in the United States.

Edge of Tomorrow trailer

If “Edge of Tomorrow” fizzles, it is likely to advance the debate inside Hollywood over whether any actor can deliver a hit just through star power alone.

Hollywood’s audience tracking surveys, which poll potential ticket buyers before a movie opens, suggest that “Edge of Tomorrow” could gross as little as $25 million in its first three days of release this coming weekend.


Batman poster presents 75 highlights in 75 years of Bat-History

DC Comics

A Batman graphic chronicling Batman's 75 years of history.

DC Comics

A new take on the cover to Detective Comics #27.

DC Comics

A Batman cape.

As part of their celebration of the 75th anniversary of Batman, DC Comics has released a new poster showing highlights (and, depending on your perspective, lowlights) of the character's history.

(Click here to see the full-sized version of the graphic.)

Those notable moments include hero and villain debuts, Batman TV shows and films, and the iconic storylines that burrowed their way into fans' minds. Sure, the items get a little more clumped together in the modern era, both due to a change in storytelling style and pushing the new as any good PR machine does, but it offers a nice look at what has made Batman a modern legend.

Some fun facts related to this run through history:

  • Commissioner James Gordon, the main character in Fox's new "Gotham" mini-series, goes all the way back to the beginning — he debuted along with Batman in Detective Comics #27, predating Bat-sidekick Robin
  • Mr. Freeze, made infamous by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the critically slammed movie "Batman & Robin," originally debuted in 1959 as "Mr. Zero"; the infamous film is also featured in the timeline, right alongside an Arnold picture
  • The '60s Batman movie had a tight turnaround with the show, debuting the same year as the television series
  • The original Batgirl was short-lived — she debuted in 1961, only to be replaced in 1967
  • In one of the most infamous, darkest moments in Batman history, fans voted to kill off Robin the same year the Tim Burton "Batman" film debuted; of course, a new Robin was introduced the next year
  • Some of the storylines noted in the timeline yet to make a major impact in films, leaving some possibilities for future franchise installments: "Hush," "The Court of Owls" and "The Long Halloween"
  • Sorry, Lego fans — the Lego Batman video games and a direct to DVD film get mentioned, but no love for the classic voice work from Will Arnett as Batman in "The Lego Movie"