The Avengers vs. The Dark Knight Rises, Ashton Kutcher's Racist Dating Video, This Week in Pop Culture

This week was a blur: Osama's 1 year anniversary, Obama's secret trip to Afghanistan, a lot of conversations that included the line, "I can't believe it's already May." In case you spent your week otherwise engaged, here's a line-up of the week's top 5 arts and entertainment stories. You can use this new knowledge as your Friday night bar chat fodder ... 

1. Superheroes are back 

Sparknotes: The Avengers comes out in theaters today, and the preview for The Dark Knight Rises hit the web this week. 

Why should I care? Because superhero movies mean that summer is almost here!

Your talking point on the topic: "$150 million predicted for The Avengers opening weekend? No way!" 

2. Tony Award nominations came out

Theater posters

Sparknotes: Let's think of the Tonys as the Oscars of theater: Nominations came out on Tuesday and the ceremony is in June. The big nominee this year was 'Once,' based off of the cult movie classic. 


Why should I care? Because theater isn't dead and if you ever come to New York now you know what to see. If that isn't reason enough, then maybe this year's movie star nominees will get you interested: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Cynthia Nixon, James Earl Jones, John Lithgow, and Andrew Garfield. 

Your talking point on the topic: "They spent $75 million on that 'Spider Man' show and it only got two nominations?" 

3. 'The Scream' sold for $120 million

(not the one that was sold FYI ... but it looks a lot like it) 

Sparknotes: Edvarch Munch's famous painting was auctioned off to an anonymous buyer at Sotheby's on Wednesday. 

Why should I care? Because this is, like, one of the most famous paintings ever. Also, the price of this sale sets a new world record. Previously the most expensive piece of art ever sold was Picasso's, "Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust" for $106.5 million two years ago. 

Your talking point on the topic: "I wouldn't have paid a dime over $83 million." 

 

4. Obama's early romance revealed 

This guy....


Became this guy: 


Sparknotes: A new book called, Barack Obama: The Story is coming out next month. The book includes excerpts from the diary of Genevieve Cook: Obama's girlfriend back in his pre-president days. 

Why should I care? Because Cook talks about his "sexual warmth," and that one time Obama responded to her "I love you" with a "thank you." 

Your talking point on the topic: "How bizarre is it that Obama hasn't changed in 30 years?"  


5. Ashton Kutcher’s brownface ad

Sparknotes: Ashton Kutcher appeared in a super bizarre Popchips ad wearing brown-face and pretending to be a Bollywood star on a dating show ... it was even weirder than it sounds. Popchips took down the ad after accusations that it was racist.  

Why should I care? Because this story is insane. And coming on the heels of our whole "hipster racism" debacle, this is just one more piece of evidence that we still have no clue how to talk about race. 

Your talking point on the topic: "What would Demi Moore say?"