Sunday, August 30, 2015

R.I.P. Master Craven

Horror master Wes Craven has died.

The Scream and Nightmare on Elm Street director was 76. He had been battling brain cancer, and passed away in his L.A. surrounded by his loved ones.

Such a sad, sad bummer.

I met Craven once, in Miami, when he was in the Magic City doing press for Red Eye. Wow, that was 10 years ago.... Anyway, the filmmaker – he wrote! he helmed and edited! he produced! – was so kind. He took great care to answer all my questions even though we were in a roundtable situation, and he even entertained a query about Madonna and why she ended up not being in Music of the Heart and graciously signed the case of my Scream VHS. Oh, I absolutely geeked out on him.

A talented and generous man. I was not ready for him to leave us, and, in fact, had been thinking that he would be perfect to direct an Americanization of the Academy Award-nominated Argentinean film Wild Tales. I thought he had the perfect sensibility for the material, which would have allowed him to try his hand at a dark, dark comedy of sorts.

I will miss him.

Photo: Sacramento.CBSLocal.com.

Aping Around...Again

Toby Kebbell (Fantastic Four, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) is going to go play with the biggest ape of ’em all.

The actor has joined Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson in Kong: Skull Island.
The project will revolve around a team of explorers that ventures into the mysterious, creature-filled island that King Kong calls home.

No word on what sort of guy Kebbell will be playing.

Photo: KevinLynchStudios.com.

WDTSFTT?

How ever does she do it? I mean, where does Taylor Swift find the time?

Even though the oh-so-busy singer has been trotting about on her sold-out “1989 World Tour” since May, if memory serves, she has somehow managed to find the time to shoot a new video for her latest single, Wildest Dreams,” that features tall and handsome-as-hell actor Scott Eastwood.

Nice!

The clip will debut tonight on MTV – but not because MTV is playing videos again but because it’s MTV Video Music Awards night.

Duh.

Photo: BTSCelebs.com.

Update: Let’s watch the video!

Debbie’s Big Oscar Date

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this week that Do the Right Thing Academy Award nominee Spike Lee, Debbie Reynolds (The Unsinkable Molly Brown), and Gena Rowlands (Gloria, A Woman Under the Influence) will be honored at the seventh annual Governors Awards on Nov. 14.

Oh, yeah...#HonoraryOscars Alert!

Reynolds will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her work as a founding member and president for more than six decades of the Thalians, a charitable organization that promotes awareness and treatment of mental health issues.

Congrats to all!

Photo: E! Online.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

She Is Golden

Bryce Dallas Howard has found Gold.

The Jurassic World star is joining Matthew McConaughey and Édgar Ramírez in the Stephen Gaghan-directed based-on-a-true-story, ahem, story of the 1993 Bre-X Mineral Coporation mining scandal (GTS, kids).

Howard will play – what else? – the long-suffering gf of McConaughey’s character whose loyalty toward and faith in her man is tested as his hunt for gold pushes their relationship to the limit.

Good for her – but the part description, though....

Photo: TheNewPotato.com.

Platoon Man

Point Break’s Luke Bracey is kissing the ring of a fellow Aussie.

The up-and-comer from Down Under has been tapped for a lead role in Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge, a chronicle about Desmond Doos, the first American Conscientious Objector to win the Medal of Honor for bravery in World War II.

The project also counts Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn, and Sam Worthington as cast members.

Bracey will play the hard-nosed alpha dog of Doss’ (the erstwhile Spider-Man) platoon, with whom he initially clashes. A lot.

Photo: Zimbio.com.

Pryor Engagment

Hollywood is finally giving Richard Pryor the biopic treatment – and Oprah is involved (of course she is).

Indeed, the cast of Lee Daniels Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? came together this week, and it came together quite nicely.

Stand-up comedian/actor Mike Epps is confirmed to be playing the comedy legend in the Weinstein Company-produced film, while Eddie Murphy will portray his father, “Uncle” Buck, and Oprah his brothel-owning grandma.

Kate Hudson is set for the role of Pryor’s widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor, who is on board as a producer, btw.

Production on the biopic scripted by Bill Condon and Danny Strong (TV’s Empire, Lee Daniel’s The Butler) will get underway next spring.

Photo: USAToday.com.

The Hooded Fass

Friggin’ finally!

At long last, this week Yahoo! provided us with an exclusive first look at Michael Fassbender as Assassins Creed’s Callum Lynch.

Assassin’s Creed has been in the works for more than three years! The videogame adaptation centers on a seemingly regular dude who finds out that he comes from a long line of Assassins, a brotherhood known for the hooded cloaks they wear and their sworn battle against the nefarious Knights Templar. Callum Lynch is that dude, and he is a new character being introduced into the Creedverse.

The Fass will be reuniting with his Macbeth co-star, Marion Cotillard, and their director, Justin Kurzel, for the December 2016 blockbuster.

Photo: Yahoo! Movies.

School Love Mate

Sam Heughan is flirting with movie stardom.

The star of Starz’s Outlander is teaming with Supergirl Melissa Benoist to headline Oxford, the story of an American Rhodes Scholar who falls for an arrogant TA, who has a fairly good reason to be a jerk: he’s privately fighting terminal cancer.

Needless to say, she realizes what’s been happening and they decide to carpe diem the s--- outta the situation and travel the world together.

As you would.

Photo: TheStar.com.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Tommy’s Punto Español!

Now that the U.S. Open is upon us – it is high time we see some tennis players in their undies, yo.

Enter Rafael Nadal.

The guy has taken to modeling for Tommy Hilfiger, and it’s a cute thing.

Ace!

Photo: TooFab.com.

The Girl Who Will Change the World

Did you know that they made a film out of the life of 18-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai?

No? But you probably know what Kim wore yesterday, huh?

Shame.

So is the world, though. I get it. And that is why I offer, without judgement, the latest trailer for He Named Her Malala, an upcoming documentary that will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month before it opens in the United States on Oct. 2.

Yousafzai will talk up the doc on Ellen on Sept. 8.

Mmm.... Anybody else thinking that Malala should have been on the September cover of Vogue instead of Beyoncé.

Photo: EW.com.

Showering

Lest you think that Anne Hathaway’s move to TV was going to be a permanent thing, there she goes back to movies again.

The Oscar winner is going to star in The Shower, a new sci-fi comedy that her actor-husband Adam Shulman (Ricki and the Flash) is producing and that will feature, “funny, fully dimensional female characters” per the actress.

Right on, girl.

Photo: UsMagazine.com.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

(Hot) Mrs. Madoff

Michelle Pfeiffer cannot get enough of Robert De Niro.

La Pfeiffer is set to reunite with her The Family leading man on HBO’s Barry Levinson-directed Wizard of Lies, the premium cabler’s take on the Bernie Madoff saga. The actress will play the Ruth Madoff to De Niro’s Ponzi schemer.

Alessandro Nivola is also on board, as Mark Madoff.

I smell a future Emmy nomination....

Photo: VanityFair.com.

Doubt Is Alive and, Maybe, Well

We still may see Laverne Cox play a lawyer on TV yet.

Katherine Heigl (who can currently be seen in Jenny’s Wedding), who attempted a comeback via NBC last season – with the Homeland-ish State of Affairs – will be trying again next season, but with CBS.

La Heigl will lead Doubt, a new legal show (from two former executive producers of TV’s Grey’s Anatomy) will center on a smart and chic and successful boutique-firm lawyer who becomes romantically entangled with a client who may or may not be guilty of a brutal crime. That client was originally going to be portrayed by Teddy Sears, but the actor has moved on and will appear on The CW’s The Flash come the new season.

Photo: Celebzz.com.

Update: Steven Pasquale (TV’s The Good Wife) has been cast as the client Heigl crosses the line with over and over.

He will be playing a decent and altruistic doctor, who may be guilty of murdering a 15-yeard-old many, many years ago.

Titanic Dad

Sam Worthington is spacing out.

The Cake actor has signed on for the male lead in The Titan, an elevated sci-fi family adventure with a dash of love story revolving around a military family thats relocated and deployed into a groundbreaking experiment about man’s genetic evolution in space.

Phew. Got all that?

Golden Globe winner Ruth Wilson (Showtime’s The Affair) will portray his wife.

Photo: Net-Worths.net.

The Intern

This fall, Robert De Niro Betty White will be the intern of a certain age America will fall in love with – trust.

That’s because Hollywood’s reigning It Lady has landed a guesting role on TV’s long-running Bones.

Indeed, La White will play a new squintern (it’s a Bones thing...), a forensic anthropologist whose more than half a century of experience will come in handy in solving whatever case of the week beckons Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz).

Loves it. Long live Betty White!

Photo: ETOnline.com.

All Aboard!

For a movie titled The Girl on the Train there sure are a lot of women in it.

Haley Bennett (the upcoming Magnificent Seven remake) is rounding up the project’s female contingent, joining Emily Blunt and Rebecca Ferguson in the adaptation of the Paula Hawkins novel about a lonely and oh-so-unreliable narrator (Blunt) who becomes a tad too involved with the lives of a couple she spies from afar during her daily train ride.

The actress will play Megan, a young woman involved in what Rachel makes up to be a shocking mystery also involving Ferguson’s character and her husband. Or som’in’ like that.

Tate Taylor is directing, and now the search turns to casting all of these ladies’ male counterparts.

Photo: CelebMafia.com.

Marrying Each Other

Congratulations are in order...well, have been in order.

Dave Franco and Alison Brie are engaged. In fact, news of the Neighbors and Sleeping with Other People stars’ engagement broke earlier this week, so.... I mean, what’s next? Telling ya that Joy Behar is heading back to enjoy The View?

Whoopsies.

Anway, the couple has been together for more than three years.

Needless to say, Dave Franco’s brother, a James Franco, took the time to involve himself in yet another project: wishing his little brother and his sister-in-law-to-be his congratulations via Instagram.

Sweet!

Photo: PopCrunch.com.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Be Cool, Internet (Be Cool)

New BFF Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer are working on something together.

And I just...got there.

And that, I believe, is the sort of thing that warrants somebody dropping a mic.

Snap.

Anyway, so, yeah...the Oscar winner and the Trainwreck reportedly are writing a comedy screenplay that they are both planning on seeing through all the way to blockbuster status, yo. They story would have them playing sisters, so can you say hurry up and get this done!

I know I can.

Photo: EW.com.

Update: OMG, Amy Schumer and Jennifer Lawrence have joined...the Billy Joel squad?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hombre of Apes

The 2017 War of the Planet of the Apes will be fought...by a Latino-sounding fella.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Donald Trump.

Gabriel Chavarria (hulus East Los HighLow Riders) is set for one of the two human leads in the follow-up to last year’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Director Matt Reeves will call the shots once again on the production, which is scheduled to begin shooting this fall.

Photo: I4U.com.

Mademoiselle Bella Donna?

Ooh la la!

Looks like the powers that be are thinking French.

SPECTRE’s Léa Seydoux has become the frontrunner to play Bella Donna Boudreaux in Gambit opposite Channing Tatum.

Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation), as you probably read here earlier know, was also in the mix for the role, but she like, up and withdrew her name from consideration.

It has yet to be confirmed whether Seydoux has given the project a oui, but let’s get real: she probably totally will.

Photo: FabMansion.com.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Suave Lethal Weapons


Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer bicker in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., the latest from director Guy Ritchie. They bicker a heckuva lot.

In fact, they argue so much (in an early posh-shop scene that they – two stylish men in their own right – share with Alicia Vikander, they discuss her outfits-to-be, enthusiastically, knowingly weighing the pros and cons of a number of frocks) that you wouldn’t be far off in thinking the two are having a lovers’ spat. They’re that obstinate about their feelings about the dresses and, by proxy, about each other. And in a different moment beyond-ripe with plenty o double entendres, they mindlessly discuss who’ll take top and who’ll take bottom.

Lest you think the actors are playing a pair of old queens and that Vikander is their long-suffering fruit fly, I should say they are not, and she is not. This is a spy movie, not The (Male) Spy Who Shagged the Other (Male) Spy.

Cavill is Napoleon Solo, a disgraced soldier-turned-thief-turned suave CIA agent, while Hammer portrays Russian discipline and methodology as KGB agent Illya Kuryakin. Needless to say, these handsome, oh-so-well-tailored spies do not see eye to eye (that top-bottom discussion pertains to them cracking a doubly secured door).

Set in the early the Cold War-era against a fashion-forward Swinging Sixties backdrop, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., the long-gestating adaptation of the 1960s cult NBC show, sees Solo and Kuryakin put aside their differences to team up in order to stop an international criminal organization led by the slinky, smokey-eyed Victoria Vinciguerra (The Great Gatsby’s Elizabeth Debicki) from getting her well-manicured hands on some nuclear tech and weaponry that would upset the balance of power in the world. The key to stopping this plot is Vikander’s Gaby Teller, a mechanic from East Berlin (aah...that’s what they guys were doing – they were giving Gaby a makeover!), and her will to collaborate is seemingly hanging by a very thin thread.

Exquisitely produced (the movie’s art direction and its production design shall give ya major Tom Ford-meets-W magazine vibes, and Hammer and Cavill, especially, while surprisingly bland, at least, look the part of two super-spies with a penchant for the globetrotting life of an international man of mystery), The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was originally conceived as a vehicle for Tom Cruise, who pulled out to go chase a bad guy in a Rogue Nation, and it shows. More than thrice I found myself watching Cavill recite lines clearly meant for the Cruiseter and thinking about it and about how different this movie would have felt and been had Cruise not dropped out.

Those gay undertones would not have been there, that’s for sure.

Here’s the thing: The entire proposition also would have been entirely more enjoyable.

Cruise doesn’t really do boring, and while Cavill and Hammer are imposing presences, they also display the charisma of day-old toast. They may be impeccably confectioned in that they look like men, and like men who like, Esquire their lives, you know what I mean. But they are uninteresting, and without the gay they’d be nothing.

My Rating **

Photo: Warner Bros.