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‘Compton’ Star Aldis Hodge’s Guide to Six-Figure Watches

The actor — who studied horology in college and is developing his own watch — names his top seven mechanical marvels of 2015.

Aldis Hodge, wearing his Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde watch, was photographed Oct. 24 in New Orleans.


Aldis Hodge would like to have gone to watchmaking school; he just hasn’t had time. The actor — who portrayed MC Ren in 2015’s Straight Outta Compton and starred for five seasons on TNT’s Leverage — studied horology as an undergrad at Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design, basically creating his own major. “They didn’t have a watchmaking course. I consider myself a self-taught horologist,” says Hodge, 29.


Additional schooling would have gotten in the way of his on-fire acting career, which includes starring in the upcoming Jack Reacher sequel with Tom Cruise. So Hodge indulges his passion for watches between takes.


“The watches I love are haute aspirational,” says Hodge, a fan of such whizbang features as minute-repeater functions (which beautifully chime the hour) and mechanisms that find new ways to control force within a watch. “I’d like people to become more familiar with high-end engineering.”

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First ‘Underground’ Teaser Trailer Underscores Desperate and Dangerous Times

WGN America, home of Manhattan and Salem, is debuting a new series in the new year focusing on the story of the Underground Railroad. The series comes from Misha Green (Sons of Anarchy), Joe Pokaski (Daredevil), and is also executive produced by John Legend (who will handle the score, soundtrack and all music elements of the series); it will revolve around a group of slaves on a plantation who band together to fight for their freedom. As WGN puts it,

“Underground” tells the story of revolutionaries who use their ingenuity, power and perseverance to attempt the greatest escape in history despite the dire consequences that awaited them on the other side.

Or as the trailer puts it, armed with a Bible and a gun: “When we run, ain’t no white man going to be able to stop us.” Check out the first teaser trailer below (which, like Manhattan, is stylishly shot and full of restive energy).


The series will debut on WGN America in early 2016. You can check out all of the character descriptions and posters here, as well as the new character posters below.


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Straight Outta Compton: Unrated Director’s Cut Blu-ray Adds 20 Minutes of New Footage


Straight Outta Compton from director and producer G. Gary Gray tore up the August box office this past summer and is getting a little extra oomph for its home video debut this winter in the form of 20 extra minutes to comprise a new unrated director’s cut of the biopic film.


Universal Studios Home Entertainment will deliver the new unrated director’s cut and theatrical cut of Straight Outta Compton in a packed Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD combo pack on January 19, 2016. The Digital HD version will be available to purchase separately a few weeks earlier on January 5.


O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Ice Cube), Corey Hawkins (Dr. Dre), Jason Mitchell (the late Eazy-E), Neil Brown, Jr. (DJ Yella) and Aldis Hodge (MC Ren) brought the infamous rap group N.W.A. to life in Straight Outta Compton with Paul Giamatti serving as the group’s manager. The biopic went on to score the biggest R-rated August opening ever with $60 million and has grossed just over $200 million worldwide to date.

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Gallery Update: VH1 Big In 2015 Entertainment Weekly Awards


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Today fans of Tom Cruise got some good news. Paramount Pictures has announced that principal photography has begun for the sequel to the 2012 action film, Jack Reacher. Check out all the details here.


Actor/Producer/Stunt Extraordinaire Tom Cruise is back at it again. Paramount Pictures, Skydance Media, and Tom Cruise have elected to go the franchise route with Jack Reacher, the 2012 action film based on the Lee Child’s book called “One Shot, which itself is part of a series of Jack Reacher novels. The new film will be titled Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and will be based on the 18th book in Childs’ Jack Reacher series titled “Never Go Back”. The new film is set to release on October 21, 2016, and will be directed by Edward Zwick. The film will be produced by Tom Cruise himself in addition to Don Granger, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Christopher McQuerrie. It will also feature Cobie Smulders, Danika Yarosh, Austin Hebert, and Aldis Hodge, among others.


For fans of action films, there is a lot to like here. First, the original film Jack Reacher pretty much gave fans what they were looking for and it’s always great to see Tom Cruise kicking ass. The film was profitable and earned mostly positive reviews. More importantly, it gave us the working relationship between Cruise and McQuerrie, which yielded the excellent Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. With this sequel, they’re back working together again, although McQuerrie, who directed the first Jack Reacher film, is only producing this time. Still, Edward Zwick has proven himself as a capable action-film director (Blood Diamond) to take over for McQuerrie, and has also worked with Cruise before to great success (The Last Samurai). It also helps that Zwick is helping to write the script as well. Typically directors do the best job when they are filming their own material.

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