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‘Halftime’ Review: JLo’s Netflix Documentary Captures Her Most Vulnerable Moments

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Jennifer Lopez’s new documentary, Halftime—which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on Wednesday night, and will release on Netflix on June 14—ostensibly captures JLo at her mid-way point: Turning 50, booked for the Super Bowl, and on the campaign trail for an Oscar. But what’s striking about this snapshot of the superstar is how much of it features Lopez almost, but not quite, getting what she wants. She doesn’t win the Oscar for Hustlers—doesn’t even get nominated, thanks to an Academy snub. The halftime show is a hit, but comes with the frustrating caveat of Lopez being forced to split her stage time with Shakira. Even at JLo’s level of success, she’s still fighting tooth and nail for an extra minute on stage. In that way, Halftime feels refreshingly honest—or, at least, as honest as pop star documentaries tend to get—even if it can’t quite find its way to an overall satisfying narrative.

Directed by Amanda Micheli, whose 2017 documentary Vegas Baby premiered at Tribeca in 2016, Halftime opens on Lopez’s 50th birthday. After blowing out candles in her trailer, she tells the camera she feels like her life is only just beginning. She’s right. Soon after turning 50, Lopez has her biggest year in decades. First, there are the rave reviews and early Oscar buzz for her performance in Lorene Scafaria’s stripper crime drama, Hustlers. Then she’s tapped to headline the 2020 Super Bowl LIV halftime show in Miami—well, co-headline, with Shakira. After breezing through a crash course on JLo’s early years, those two storylines unfold: Will she win the Oscar? And will she pull off the halftime show of her dreams?

Of course, in the time since the documentary was filmed, Lopez has been in the spotlight for another reason—her renewed relationship with her now-fiancé Ben Affleck. If you’re looking for gossip on that front, prepare to be disappointed. Affleck is featured in the film exactly once, in a 30-second talking-head clip that you can watch in the trailer. It’s clear both Lopez and Micheli aren’t interested in a behind-the-scenes look at the superstar’s home life. This isn’t a celebrity tabloid. This is a movie about an artist who wants, more than anything, to be taken seriously.

On the Oscar front, Micheli demonstrates exactly how the media machine got the idea of an Academy Award firmly lodged in Lopez’s mind. Lopez listens intently on FaceTime as her publicist reads her reviews from the Hustlers premiere. The praise for Lopez’s performance is lavish, and the Oscar buzz is already brewing. Lopez also reads the reviews herself, on her phone in a hotel bed, tearing up when she reads a line in a review round-up piece in Glamour that says “it’s thrilling to see a criminally underrated performer get her due from prestige film outlets.” Following her Golden Globe nomination, she tries on dress after dress for the ceremony, finally landing on one with a giant golden bow—the kind of dress, she wryly observes, that you don’t want to lose in. She wants this, badly, and doesn’t bother pretending otherwise. And when the Globe loss (going instead to Laura Dern for Marriage Story) and Academy snub happen, she is clearly crushed. “I just feel like I let everyone down,” she says.

MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 02: Shakira and Jennifer Lopez performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami,
Photo: Getty Images

Then there’s the Super Bowl. It’s the biggest stage in entertainment, every performer’s dream, and yet it is, as Lopez tells one of her team members, “a nightmare from the beginning.” Here is where you’ll see most of Lopez’s so-called diva moments, from declaring the runway not good enough to pleading on the phone for an extra minute of stage time: “I’m trying to give you something with substance, not just us out there shaking our fucking asses and doing fucking belly dances.” You understand her frustration. Because she’s splitting her time with Shakira, she gets about six minutes to cram in all of her hits; whereas most previous Super Bowl performers got 12 to 14 minutes. Her longtime manager Benny Medina frankly calls it “an insult. You need two Latina women to do what has always been done by one performer?” Lopez is not quite as openly angry, but she does say, in a low moment, that having two people perform was “the worst idea ever.”

An underdeveloped political narrative also weaves its way into the Super Bowl portion of the doc. Lopez, struck by the image of children in cages under former President Trump’s expansion of immigration detention camps, wants to feature her own daughter singing “Let’s Get Loud” from a cage, as well as other children in cages around the field, to make a powerful statement for the finale. But the night before the big game, the order comes down from “the highest authority in the NFL,” according to Medina, to cut the cages completely. Lopez pushes back, telling her manager to do whatever it takes to keep her message—which she feels is about humanity, not politics—in the show. He does, and the cages stay, though they perhaps take less prominence than was originally planned.

It’s the most interesting part of the documentary, and it feels like a thread there that Micheli could have tugged on. But Halftime isn’t the story of a political awakening, the way 2020’s Miss Americana was for Taylor Swift. Nor is it an intimate behind-the-curtain view of a superstar, the way Five Foot Two was for Lady Gaga. But it is an honest portrait of an incredibly successful performer in her fifties who still struggles every day for recognition. By documenting her Ls, Micheli captures Lopez’s raw vulnerability with compassion. What more could you want from a pop star movie?

Halftime will begin streaming on Netflix on June 14.

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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