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Jason Momoa surprises The Rock’s daughter on her birthday



Jason Momoa surprises The Rock's daughter on her birthday

Here come the waterworks. 

“Aquaman” star Jason Momoa made a big splash for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s daughter, Tiana Gia, on her third birthday. 

And her tickled reaction was enough to make even a more than 6-foot-tall musclebound superhero cry. 

“Yay!” a giddy Tiana cheered after watching a special video message from Momoa, 41, on her birthday Saturday. 

Johnson, 48, shared an Instagram clip of his youngest daughter jumping up and down as the hulking water-warrior promised to take her and big sister Jasmine, 5, swimming and surfing at the beach in celebration of her turning 3. 

“I’m sorry I couldn’t be there, but I love you and tell your papa that I love him too,” said Momoa — who starred as the half-waterborne and half-human avenger in the 2018 DC Extended Universe film. 

Noting that Tiana is “OBSESSED” with the Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Award-winner as “Aquaman,” Johnson called in the favor to Momoa on her birthday because that’s “what [daddies] do.”

The gregarious Momoa himself commented on Johnson’s video of Tiana’s reaction to his sweet birthday salutations. 

“What an honor. We do it for our babies. For the next generation,” he said. “Happy birthday baby tia. See u [in] Hawaii” — which is where he and Johnson both have roots.

In his own birthday tribute to the toddler, Johnson — who voiced seafaring demigod “Maui” in 2016 Disney classic “Moana”— joked that the waves of his resume were completely washed out by Tiana’s much more important inquiry — “Daddy do you know AquaMan?” — on her big day. 

Early on in the coronavirus pandemic, the former WWE wrestling champ-turned-beefy-blockbuster-frontman repeatedly tried convincing Tiana that he was the man behind “Maui” by singing the animated character’s biographical song “You’re Welcome.” 

But the kid wasn’t buying it. 

“Tia, is Daddy Maui?” Johnson asked after singing to his daughter in April 2020. 

“No,” the then-two-year-old immediately shot back. 

The quick-witted tike swiftly humbled her dad again Sunday when he asked: “Who’s cooler? Daddy or—” and she interrupted by yelling “Aquaman” before Johnson could finish his question. 

Despite being slighted by his own flesh and blood — a tragic theme of most superhero tales — Johnson said his daughter’s Aquaman love makes his “soul laugh and heart smile.”

However, he did scoff after Tiana forced him to draw a picture of Aquaman to be framed and displayed on a wall in her bedroom. 

Johnson is set to make his DC Extended Universe debut as the DC anti-hero “Black Adam” in July 2022. Meanwhile, Momoa will once again take up the Trident of Neptune in “Aquaman 2,” which is slated to premiere in December 2022.

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Cult flick ‘Faces of Death’ to get modern reimagining



Cult flick ‘Faces of Death’ to get modern reimagining

This VHS-age favorite is being remade for the streaming era. 

Production company Legendary Entertainment has acquired the rights to “Faces of Death” and has plans to reboot the beloved 1978 faux-documentary as a modern horror franchise, according to the Hollywood Reporter. 

Legendary — which has previously produced blockbusters including “Godzilla vs. Kong,” “John Wick” and “The Dark Knight” — will be working with Isa Mazzei and Daniel Goldhaber of 2018’s psychological memoir-based thriller “Cam” for the flick.

When “Faces of Death” was released over 40 years ago, it was promoted as a documentary — similar to 1999’s “The Blair Witch Project” — successfully inciting outrage at its gruesome content. While the footage was staged, audiences initially believed it to be real.

The premise of the flick — which subsequently was both banned (although not by 52 countries, as promotional materials stated) and became a box office hit — was a pathologist’s look into the most horrific ways in the world to die, the Hollywood Reporter recounted. The true cult status of “Faces of Death” arrived in the 1980s, when it became a VHS-market phenomenon, with copies of it reproduced and shared widely. 

The original film is still in circulation thanks to one Illinois-based company. 

Angry Films’ Susan Montford and Don Murphy are set to produce and Rick Benattar of BT Productions will executive produce, THR wrote. 

The producer of the original film, John Burrud, will also be part of the team reimagining the movie. 

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Nickelback fans are now getting catfished



Nickelback fans are now getting catfished

Nickelback fans have had it rough. 

First, they’ve had to defend their favorite band from jokesters on the internet who’ve mercilessly mocked the group for years. 

Now, they’re getting catfished. 

Devotees of the Canadian rock group are being contacted by profiles pretending to be band members Chad Kroeger, Ryan Peake, Mike Kroeger and Daniel Adair. Some are looking for love; others money in the form of Bitcoin or iTunes gift cards. None of them are real, but committed supporters respond anyway, on the off chance their celebrity crush is on the other side of the screen.

It’s gotten so bad that in July, the band tweeted out a message to remind followers to keep their guard up. “Friendly reminder that the only official Nickelback Twitter account is right here, along with Mr. @TheDanielAdair,” they wrote. “Look for the blue checkmark to know it’s the real deal on all social networks. Report any accounts that are claiming otherwise.” 

Queens resident Nicole Godja has been contacted by several profiles pretending to be frontman Chad Kroeger since last year, on Instagram, Facebook and Google Hangouts. She follows the band on their verified Instagram account, and was part of a Facebook fan group, where several other members have been contacted by fake accounts. 

“Thank you for following my page and for the love and support you’ve all showered on me and the whole of nickelback team I hope you never stop supporting us and listening to our songs,” a profile with the handle @chad__robert_kroeger_ messaged her in October. (While that account no longer exists, at least a dozen phonies have popped up in its place.)

The translator, 48, was immediately suspicious. “There were red flags,” she told The Post. The account wasn’t verified, it had no profile picture and only 70 followers. Still, she kept up the conversation, curious about the person who had contacted her, whoever it may be. “I had doubts that it would be him, so I asked him basic things about him,” she said. “It didn’t add up.” 

One of the many Nickelback memes circulating on the internet.

The account was “flirting with me from the beginning,” and even said that he loved her, said Godja, who is single. “This guy can have any woman in the world,” she said of Avril Lavigne’s ex-husband. “Why would he go online and look for weirdos?” 

Kroeger and Nickelback did not respond to requests for comment by press time. 

Though Godja said that she never believed she was talking to the real Kroeger, she was in contact with the account almost daily until New Year’s, when she decided to break off communication. The fake Chad wouldn’t send pictures of himself, get on the phone or do a video call with Godja, claiming it was against his manager’s rules to talk to fans.  

He’d also tried to solicit money from her: Both the Facebook and Instagram accounts claimed that he needed her to pay nearly $13,000 in Bitcoin so he could ship a trunk he needed to her house, and the Chad on Hangouts wanted iTunes gift cards from her, saying his managers forbade him from “making money on the side,” said Godja. Knowing she was being scammed, she declined. 

“I feel like a good rule of thumb is that if somebody is employing a manager, they don’t need your money,” Gabrielle Bluestone, author of “Hype: How Scammers, Grifters, and Con Artists Are Taking Over the Internet—and Why We’re Following,” told The Post. “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

Though it’s unclear why Nickelback fans in particular are being targeted, Bluestone said age may play a role. After launching in 1995, the band’s popularity peaked in the late aughts. “People who haven’t grown up on the internet are a bit more susceptible to scams. Older people in general make better targets for scammers,” she said. 

Their devotion to the group is also a key factor: Online fan clubs give scammers “a pool of potential victims that respect the band and want to help them out,” she said.

And despite clear warning signs, die-hard fans often unconsciously want to ignore them. “Everyone wants to be the exception to the rule; people can talk themselves into anything, especially when it’s something they care deeply about,” said Bluestone. 

While verified celebrities like Ben Affleck and Matthew Perry are contacting fans on dating app Raya, the scam expert says you should always be on your toes: “There is the technology to make a fake Ben Affleck video,” she said. “Unless you’re seeing it face-to-face with your own eyes, there should always be a dose of suspicion there.” 

The accounts have since reached back out to Godja, and she continues to speak to them every day, hoping they’ll reveal their true identity to her. She’s reported the Facebook and Hangouts account, and some have been taken down, though the catfish keeps creating more.

“I feel bad that they give a bad name to the band,” said Godja, of the scammers.

“I’m really sad. I will never know [Nickelback] personally, but I don’t think these people deserve that.” 

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Michelin guide announces 2021 stars for NYC restaurants



Michelin guide announces 2021 stars for NYC restaurants

Star light, star bright. Date nights in New York City are about to get a whole lot tastier! Famed French restaurant guide Michelin announced their top area eateries for 2021. Michelin awarded 76 restaurants their stars in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Westchester.

However, this year there are only 68.

Since the pandemic hit the city, restaurants that have shuttered number at least 1,000. Alas, 15 previously Michelin-ranked restaurants didn’t make the cut this year — while seven new places were added to the list.

Upscale Manhattan staples such as Le Bernardin, Per Se, Masa, Eleven Madison Park and Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare all kept their status as three-star places. These five have not moved from the list since 2018. Another 14 hot spots have two-star ratings. Michelin has also stated that places that were temporarily closed during the pandemic would be able to keep their stars.  

As of now, 49 restaurants carry one star. The new additions to that list are Rezdôra, Don Angie, Tsukimi, Jua, Kochi, Vestry and Francie.

The chief inspector of Michelin’s North America team, who spoke to Bloomberg under the condition of anonymity, said ranking visits took place both before the pandemic and as the restaurants re-opened, following pandemic protocols. They stressed that inspectors were sensitive to the social-distancing restrictions and communicated with chefs and owners on openings and closures. 

Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin guides, said that the way restaurants handled themselves during tough times was commendable. “Despite the context, restaurants took this year as an opportunity to make progress,” he told the New York Times. “The world can look to how the US is handling the recovery.”

A new award was introduced for restaurants that focus on sustainable cooking. The green star was given to Blue Hill at Stone Barns. The spot currently has two stars.

Several top eateries that exited the list due to their untimely permanent closures include Aldea, Gotham Bar & Grill, and Del Posto. Babbo, a Washington Square Park fave, also fell off the the guide, even though it is still open.

Eleven Madison Park’s three-star rating comes hot on of the heels of news that it is adopting an all-vegan kitchen. The relaunched menu is described as “an eight- to 10-course menu in the main dining room consisting of entirely plant-based dishes,” according to their website. The place is set to reopen for service on June 10 after shutting down during the pandemic.

Chef-owner Daniel Humm recently told NPR that he began thinking more clearly about health and sustainability while the restaurant was closed in 2020. “The way we have sourced our food, the way we’re consuming our food, the way we eat meat — it is not sustainable,” he said.

“Guests have never come to us to just eat a piece of steak or lobster,” he said. “They’ve always come to us to be on a journey.”

New York City’s Michelin-starred restaurants of 2021:

One star

  • Ai Fiori (Midtown West)
  • Bâtard (TriBeCa)
  • Benno (Gramercy)
  • Blue Hill (Greenwich Village)
  • Carbone (Greenwich Village)
  • Casa Enrique (Queens)
  • Casa Mono (Gramercy)
  • Caviar Russe (Midtown East)
  • Claro (Sunset Park)
  • The Clocktower (Gramercy)
  • Contra (Lower East Side)
  • Cote (Gramercy)
  • Crown Shy (Financial District)
  • Don Angie (Greenwich Village)
  • Estela (SoHo & Nolita)
  • The Four Horsemen (Williamsburg)
  • Francie (Williamsburg)
  • Gramercy Tavern (Greenwich Village)
  • Hirohisa (SoHo)
  • Jeju Noodle Bar (Greenwich Village)
  • Rezdora (Gramercy)
  • The River Café (Downtown Brooklyn)
  • Sushi Amane (Midtown East)
  • Sushi Ginza Onodera (Midtown West)
  • Sushi Nakazawa (Greenwich Village)
  • Sushi Noz (Upper East Side)
  • Sushi Yasuda (Midtown East)
  • Tempura Matsui (Midtown East)
  • Tsukimi (East Village)
  • Tuome (East Village)
  • Vestry (SoHo)
  • Wallse (Greenwich Village)
  • ZZ’s Clam Bar (Greenwich Village)

Two stars

  • Aquavit (Midtown East)
  • Atera (Tribeca)
  • Atomix (Gramercy)
  • Aska (Williamsburg)
  • Blanca (Fort Greene)
  • Blue Hill at Stone Barns (Westchester)
  • Daniel (Upper East Side)
  • Gabriel Kreuther (Midtown West)
  • Ichimura at Uchū (Lower East Side)
  • Jean-Georges (Upper West Side)
  • Jungsik (Tribeca)
  • Ko (East Village)
  • L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon (Chelsea)
  • The Modern (Midtown West)

Three stars

  • Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare (Midtown West)
  • Eleven Madison Park (Gramercy)
  • Le Bernardin (Midtown West)
  • Masa (Midtown West)
  • Per Se (Midtown West)

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