Friday, November 30, 2007

So Good...It’s Probably Not True

Rumor has it Sarah Michelle Gellar, the former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star, is looking to return to television

The actress has had hits (Cruel Intentions, Scooby Doo, The Grudge) and misses (The Return) on the big screen. She has a handful of movies in the can, but their release dates keep changing.

I’ll take my SMG any way I can – but I have to admit having her back on the small screen would be especially great, for she’d be on constantly.

And I’m all up for that.


Uh – Come Again?

The Writers Guild of America reportedly has dismissed the “New Economic Partnership” proposed yesterday by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

Said the WGA, “For the first three days of this week, the companies presented in essence their [pre-strike] package with not an iota of movement on any of the issues that matter to writers. Thursday morning, the first new proposal was finally presented to us. It dealt only with streaming and made-for-Internet jurisdiction, and it amounts to a massive rollback.”

Well, that’s just silly, AMPTP.

Negotiation talks are scheduled to resume on Tuesday.

And so, writers, like 30 Rock’s Tina Fey (pictured at right), continue to strike – and viewers run out of things to watch on TV.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Oh, Keri

Adam Sandler has gotten himself a new leading lady, and she’s none other than Keri Russell.

And so I say it again: Oh, Keri.

The August Rush star, who was just robbed – robbed, I tell ya! – of a Spirit Award nomination for Waitress, will play the female lead in Sandler’s Bedtime Stories, a comedy about a real estate developer who freaks out when he realizes that the elaborate bedtime stories he tells his niece and nephew become real.

Director Adam Shankman (Hairspray) is at the helm of the project, which is scheduled to start shooting in February for a holiday season 2008 release.

Now, I’m all about Russell taking over the world – I’m just not sure co-starring in a romp with same-ol’-shtick Sandler is the way to go about it because she’s just too classy for that kind of thing. But I’ll still be watching.

Oh, Keri, indeed.

Spice Style

Because the world was asking for it – Oh, you know it’s true! – the Spice Girls have given us a sneak peek at some of the looks they’ll be rocking on tour, courtesy of Italian designer Roberto Cavalli.

Gone are the platform boots, but still there are the sartorial personalities of each of the Girls.

There’s Ginger’s Union Jack mini, Scary’s beloved leopard print, Posh’s basic black, Baby’s sweet pink, and Sporty’s fun utility.

Admit it – this tour, which kicks off on Dec. 2 in Vancouver, is just going to be may-juh.


Update: Take a look-see at their rehearsal. May-juh, I tell ya. Just may-juh.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Just Because, Pt. 9

I have been thinking about one of my favorite on-screen kisses, which can be found in the underrated Great Expectations, starring Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Hawke’s character, Finn, is all grown up and living in New York. He’s wearing a paint-stained, grey T-shirt and jeans and has stopped at a water fountain in a park to have a drink.

The camera closes in on his open mouth, and as he drinks, Paltrow’s Estella waltzes in, wearing a fantastic green ensemble – Donna Karan, if my memory serves well; I used to read In Style – and plants one on him.

I think it’s the sexiest thing, and you can watch it here (the kiss comes in at the 2:53 mark).


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

In the Spirit of Independence

Lisa Kudrow – Oh, Valerie Cherish, how I miss you! – and Zach Braff announced today the nominations for the 23rd annual Film Independent Spirit Awards, officially kicking off the 2007 movie awards season.

Among the nominees are:

  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, I’m Not There, Juno, A Mighty Heart, and Paranoid Park for Best Feature Film;

  • Pedro Castanda (August Evening), Don Cheadle (Talk to Me), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Savages), Frank Langella (Starting Out in the Evening), and Tony Leung (Lust, Caution) for Best Male Lead; and

  • Angelina Jolie (A Mighty Heart), Sienna Miller (Interview), Ellen Page (Juno), Parker Posey (Broken English), and Tang Wei (Lust, Caution) for Best Female Lead.

What the frak? Where’s Waitress – out on DVD today, by the way – and its star, Keri Russell? (Alright, the film did receive a nomination for Best Screenplay – a posthumous nod to the late Adrienne Shelly.)

Oh, well. Hollywood Foreign Press, you had better not forget my dear Felicity.

The 2008 Film Independent Spirit Awards will be given out on Feb. 23, the day before the Academy Awards. For the complete list of nominees, click here.

Photo: Focus Features (Talk to Me).

What a Time to Be Guy

It has been a long time coming, but Guy Ritchie’s Revolver finally will hit theaters on Dec. 7.

The gangster movie, which has been reworked for its delayed American release, stars Jason Statham as a master thief and gambler who enters into a game with potentially deadly consequences.

It co-stars Ray Liotta, André “André 3000” Benjamin, and Vincent Pastore (HBO’s The Sopranos).

Revolver will premiere in New York City on Dec. 2, at a VIP screening hosted by Ritchie with wife Madonna.

Oh, man. I wish I could go. But I’ll be busy. At a dance club.

Ritchie has been on a steady roll lately. He’s wrapped production on shooting RocknRolla, starring Gerard Butler, Ludacris, Thandie Newton, and Tom Wilkinson, and soon will begin work on the adaptation of his Virgin Comics miniseries, The Gamekeeper.

Photo: Samuel Goldwyn Films.

Monday, November 26, 2007

What Is Cloverfield?

The trailer for Cloverfield, the Matt Reeves-directed, J.J. Abrams-produced buzz sensation opening in January, is now out for everyone to watch.

The two-minute clip amps up anticipation by heightening the mystery surrounding “Case Designate ‘Cloverfield,’” and making reference to the “Area Formerly Known As ‘Central Park’” in New York City.

I cannot begin to guess what’s going on – and I cannot wait to find out.

Photo: Paramount Pictures.
Saving the Season

Can this TV season be saved?

That is the question everyone in Hollywood and fans are hoping will find an affirmative, happy answer, as the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the Writers Guild of America return to the negotiation table today in an effort to put an end to the writers strike that started on Nov. 5.

How bleak is the situation at this point?

Click here to find out.

It might be time to start making a list of the shows you want to catch up on on DVD, after all. It’s not looking good – the strike already may have cost us Joshua Jackson’s guest starring stint on Grey’s Anatomy, not to mention shortened seasons on many of our favorite shows.



Update: Hold the phone. Could a strike-ending deal bealready done”? I say stay tuned.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Nostalgia, Pt. 15

I was just listening to Fleetwood Mac’s “Silver Springs,” and realized it’s been one year.

“Time casts a spell on you, but you won't forget me /
I know I could have loved you, but you would not let me.”

Are those not the richest lyrics you’ve read today?

They are to me. But that’s all they are – the richest lyrics of a really good song. After all, it’s not just a new day. It’s a new world. And it is just a song. The richest song.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thank You, Linds!

Although a deal has yet to be struck, Lindsay Lohan reportedly is “totally looking forward” to guest starring on TV’s Ugly Betty as rumored – once the writers strike is over, natch.

I know it’s a pretty silly thing for which to be thankful, but this L2 fan really appreciates it.

And that’s what today is all about – enjoying everything...big, small, and silly.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Music of the Heart

August Rush, as described by co-star Keri Russell, “is a really beautiful, romantic, perfect like, fall movie.”

I’m inclined to agree with Russell, whom I believe can do no wrong, except I feel like the movie is trying much too hard to be all of these things – beautiful, romantic…perfect.

It really shouldn’t have tried so hard because, even though it all works, I can see how some people might find the effort a bit excessive.

The fantasy that enlivens August Rush just is too convenient for its own good. Is that cynical a thing to say? How’s this: One person’s schmaltz is another’s…well, whatever’s the opposite – and that’s just swell. And I mean that.

Young Freddie Highmore plays the title role, an a.k.a. his musical prodigy 12-year-old character goes by in his search for his long-lost parents, cellist Lyla Novacek (Russell) and Irish singer-songwriter Louis Connelly (Jonathan Rhys Meyers).

Lyla and Louis met on a moonlit rooftop above Washington Square, where they fell in love. But her strict father interfered with the relationship and the two never saw each other again.

Disheartened, Louis found it impossible to continue singing and playing his guitar and eventually abandoned his music, while Lyla, her own hopes for love lost, was led to believe months later that she had lost their unborn baby in a car accident.

But the baby lived, and grew up to become an unusually gifted boy who believes in music the way some people believe in fairy tales.

He reckons his parents are out there, looking for him, so he sets out to search for them. Determined to find them, he makes his way to New York City, where he’s taken in by the enigmatic Wizard (Robin Williams).

Unbeknownst to August, circumstances beyond their control have put Lyla and Louis on his path, and they, too, are searching for the family they lost many years ago.

The three listen to the music that surrounds them, and to the music within, to meet again and be together as one.

And yes – it is all really beautiful, romantic, and really quite perfect.

My Rating ***

Photo: Warner Bros.
G.I. Sienna

Variety reports that It Girl Sienna Miller has been cast as the female lead in the upcoming movie G.I. Joe movie.

Miller will play what is being described as a raven-haired baroness and sexy femme fatale skilled in espionage.

The story is about an international force of operatives who use high-tech equipment to battle Cobra, an evil group headed by a Scottish arms dealer.

Mummy director Stephen Sommers will helm the live-action adaptation of the Hasbro soldier action figure, comic book, and TV series.

Production on G.I. Joe is scheduled to begin in February for an August 2009 release.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Men Can’t Help It

The Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy, is perhaps one of the best films I’ve seen this year – a deserved statement that, mind you, I just loathe making this time of year, but one about which I feel quite confident.

For one, it’s a western. That alone, if you read this blog, should clue you in as to why I was so surprised to have enjoyed it as much as I did.

Set in West Texas, No Country for Old Men follows a man (Josh Brolin) on the run with a suitcase full of $2 million. Although he’s being pursued by a number of individuals, including a band of Mexican drug runners, and a psychopathic assassin (Javier Bardem), he will stop at nothing to keep his found fortune.

I’ll keep this simple: The film is a thrilling piece – and you must, must, must see it.

The writing is so precise it doesn’t matter that not much is said but that so much is conveyed and implied; it’s just that grabbing.

Brolin is terrific as our anti-hero, Llewelyn Moss, but Bardem, who spends a great deal of the film carrying a tank of compressed air, killing people with a cattle stun gun, proves to be the formidable foe that this No Country for Old Men deserved to be so great.

Each knows and does what he wants, and although there’s a hint of pause to their actions, both leave them be (for different reasons) because they understand trying to change them is futile.

It’s mesmerizing to witness men with such self-understanding. You’ve got to meet them.

My Rating ****

Photo: Miramax Films.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Mind is Strong Above All Things

In Nov. 30’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, 2007 Cannes Film Festival Best Director Julian Schnabel depicts the “truly remarkable true story” of Jean-Dominique “Jean-Do” Bauby (Mathieu Almaric), the high-flying editor of French Elle and father of two, a man renowned for his sense of humor and style and his joie de vivre and amorous energy – a man who, in the blink of an eye, saw his life change forever.

If the evocative trailer is any indication, this will be a very, very good film.

Parts Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, parts The Sea Inside, I cannot wait to see it.

Photo: Miramax Films.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Divas Forever

Proving that Girl Power is alive and well, the reunited Spice Girls performed together last night, for the first time in a decade, at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.

Taped in Hollywood's Kodak Theater, the annual lingerie extravaganza will air on CBS on Dec. 4.

The Girls performed two songs – a military-themed rendition of “Stop,” and their new single, “Headlines (Friendship Never Ends).”

Although Scary, Baby, Ginger, Posh, and Sporty lip-synched their way though both numbers, the star-studded audience didn’t seem to mind. And you know what? Why would anybody.

Back in the day no one said the quintet was the best live act around. I certainly didn’t expect the Spice Girls to go at it but good without some backing help when I see them in New York on Feb. 11.

Yes! I got my tickets. And you know what that means? “La La La La La La La La La.”


Update: The next day after their Victoria's Secret Fashion Show performance, the Girls headed to London to appear in the BBC's Children in Need broadcast where they performed “Stop” again. They're back – and I love it. Watch them in action here, already.

A Love That Will Never Grow Old or Fun

Adapted from the 1985 novel by Gabriel García Márquez, Love In the Time of Cholera, directed by Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral), is a turn-of-the-century tale set in Cartagena, Colombia, about a man’s lifelong love for a woman.

You’d think that this, an epic romance, would be riveting, but you’d be wrong.

Mind you, I’m all about epic romance – much more so than anyone would think – but I found Love In the Time of Cholera to be quite boring, actually.

Javier Bardem stars as Florentino Ariza, a fool for love who falls in real, ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each other love with the beautiful and sheltered Fermina Daza (Giovanna Mezzogiorno).

Their love affair is interrupted early on when her father resolves to keep them apart to ensure that Fermina will marry a suitable man rather than poor, telegraph clerk Florentino.

As the years go by, Fermina marries the esteemed Dr. Juvenal Urbino (Benjamin Bratt), and all but forgets her first love. But, more than 600 women later, Florentino has not forgotten her.

Now a wealthy ship-owner, he waits patiently for the chance to be with her again – and you will wait…and wait…and wait for this movie to end.

This isn’t a terrible movie; it’s just too long. And the central conflict of the story is so uninteresting that less than halfway through you probably won’t care if Florentino and Fermina end up together.

Bardem is terrific – perhaps a little too terrific in basically the role of a sap; it’s unnerving. And Mezzogiorno doesn’t appear confident on screen.

The movie would have benefited from being made in Spanish, by a team of Latin American filmmakers instead of British ones. A better understanding and use of the material would have made Love In the Time of Cholera truly epic.

My Rating **

Photo: New Line Cinema.
That’s Two More Minutes Than Nicole Richie, Thank You Very Much

Lindsay Lohan has served her time in jail.

Yesterday, L2 reported to the same jail where Paris Hilton spent a few days shy of one month, to begin serving her minimum 24-hour sentence as part of her plea deal in her two DUI cases.

She was “let go” 84 minutes later, though. The jail reportedly has a policy of releasing non-violent offenders early due to overcrowding. It really sucks to be you, Paris. I mean, really: Nicole Richie, who was sentenced to four days in jail, served 82 minutes.

Lohan, by the way, began her court-ordered community service at an American Red Cross blood services facility in an L.A. on Monday – and seems serious about her recovery.

I’m glad this is behind her, and I trust she never will forget it.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Here Comes the Bride

I haven’t seen The Princess Bride. Is that bad of me?

The 1987 classic is being re-released on a special anniversary DVD, so I’m figuring it’s time I see it.

Is the fairy tale about a beautiful girl who is to be married to a nasty prince but is in love with another really that great?

I suppose I’ll find out soon enough.

Photo: MGM.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Zig-a-Zig Ah-ing Yet?

Yesterday, the Spice Girls’ Greatest Hits album went on sale exclusively at Victoria’s Secret.

Did you get your three copies yet? (One for yourself, one to give away, and on to collect, natch.)

You probably think you’re too cool for school, but you have to admit that this vintage collection’s going to be major fun.

The Sexiest Thing

People magazine has named Matt Damon its Sexiest Man Alive for 2007.

This is Damon’s first time as the title holder – which probably means BFF and two-time honorees Brad Pitt and George Clooney, who have campaigned on his behalf since 2001, are going to have a sexy, fun time welcoming him into the club.

“You’ve given an aging suburban dad the ego-boost of a lifetime,” Damon told People.

Also making the magazine’s list are David Beckham, Patrick Dempsey, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, and Will Smith.

I haven’t seen the issue yet, and I don’t mean to be prematurely fastidious, but did Daniel Craig make the cut? How about Eric Dane? Or Adam Levine?


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Bloody Good Choice

Maxim magazine has named Sarah Michelle Gellar its Woman of the Year for 2008 in its December issue (on stands on Nov. 20).

Now, I’ve never been accused of reading Maxim, but you know what – I’m so going to buy my first issue next week.

Gellar’s the perfect choice, if you ask – and you didn’t, so deal with it. She currently is in theaters in Southland Tales, and soon will be seen in The Air I Breathe, Possession, and Suburban Girl.

Now, if that’s not more than enough for her to qualify for this honor then I don’t know what is, really – or what you’re thinking.

An Early Christmas Present

It doesn’t matter if we’ve been naughty or nice because whatever our answer may be we’re up for a treat.

Beginning next month we will see a lot more of David Beckham – and that’s a good thing.

The soccer star will become the new global face for Emporio Armani Underwear, which will be available in the United States for the first time starting in February.

And in the words of Posh, that’s just “Beck-Mmmmm.”


On the Mend

I cannot believe I didn’t know Robin Thicke was going to go on tour – “was” being the operative word there.

I only found out that was the plan over the weekend when I read that, “All tour dates must be rescheduled due to doctor-ordered vocal rest until the end of the year.”

Here’s to hoping it isn’t too serious, and that the Thickester will be back on the road ASAP.

In the meantime, I trust we’ll be seeing him pick up the American Music Award for Favorite Breakthrough Artist for which he’s nominated on Sunday, Nov. 18. (The show airs at 8 p.m. on ABC.)


Friday, November 09, 2007

The Talented Mr. Peña

If you won’t take my opinion on Lions for Lambs, you definitely should pay attention to what co-star Michael Peña (pictured at right with director Robert Redford) has to say, for he plays
 college student-turned-soldier Ernest in the film and this is an actor who certainly knows how to pick his projects.

He recently arrived in Miami to meet with press on behalf of the film and was kind of enough to give me a call.

Given the fact that Lions for Lambs boasts some serious pedigree – Redford! Streep! Cruise! – you’d think I would’ve asked him about his older co-stars, whom he humbly calls “pretty good actors.” Instead, I wanted to know what it was like to work almost exclusively with Derek Luke.

“Derek’s a really good actor and just an all-around good guy, you know,” Peña said. “Before each scene he would want to say a prayer, and I’m not [very religious] like that, but that’s what we did. He felt enough confidence and chemistry between us that he could ask for that, and it helped develop our relationship as best friends on screen.”

Of working with Redford, Peña says he never felt like he was preaching to him or Luke – and notes that he’s been fortunate to work with some “great directors.” (Peña has co-starred in Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center and Paul Haggis’ Crash.) He says he was attracted to Lions for Lambs because of the story.

“It’s kind of a nail-biter,” he said. “You don’t really know what’s going to happen, and the dialogue is kind of intriguing at the same time. And that’s why I like it; it makes you think.”

He says the most rewarding aspect of making the film has been meeting young people while doing promotional meet-and-greets at college campuses.

“It’s inspiring to meet students who have taken this to heart and want to make changes in the world.”

Who says life can’t imitate art sometimes? Peña sure isn’t.

Photo: United Artists.
Boldly Going

Winona Ryder has been cast as the Vulcan mother of a young Spock (to be played by Heroes’ Zachary Quinto) in J.J. Abrams’ new Star Trek movie, set to be released on Christmas Day 2008.

Little is known about the story other than it’s supposed to chronicle the Starship Enterprise crew’s early days at the Starfleet Academy.

Chris Pine (Just My Luck) will play Capt. Kirk, Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead) will play Scotty, Karl Urban (The Bourne Supremacy) is Dr. McCoy, and Eric Bana will play the villain, Nero.

Ryder, who’s on the comeback trail, recently finished production on The Informers and The Last Word. She appeared in The Ten last summer, has Sex and Death 101 in the can, and is in pre-production on Rebecca Miller’s The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.

Photo: Vogue.
Where Do We Go From Here

Much like in the lot of this fall’s political thrillers, connection among characters seems to be the key element in Robert Redford’s Lions for Lambs, a film that follows, over a tense hour, the loosely intertwined lives of a disengaged college student, a liberal political science professor, a journalist, a Republican senator, and two soldiers on a mission in Afghanistan.

I say “seems” because, really, the key of the film lies in the urgency of time as a plot device, and in the duel-like dialogue screenwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan has written for an A-List cast headlined by Redford, Meryl Streep, and Tom Cruise.

Every idea shared in Lions for Lambs is worth follow-up discussion once the credits roll.

The film takes to task everyone, from the administration to the media to you and me – and it does so smartly by showing us the many sides of a very complex problem.

In a Southern California college campus, Redford’s idealistic Dr. Stephen Malley is trying to wake one of his students up by telling him about “the last two kids I had who gave me hope” (Michael Peña and Derek Luke), who decided it was time they redefined their lives and enlisted to go to war when they could have easily not done so. Across the country, in Washington, D.C., Streep’s Janine Roth is meeting with Cruise’s Sen. Jasper Irving, whom she once called the future of his party, for an exclusive interview he calls her opportunity “to write an honest to God story again.” And in Afghanistan, Dr. Malley’s former students-turned soldiers, Ernest and Arian, are fighting for survival after their chopper is shut down in the middle of an operation that’s part of a new plan of attack.

While in Italy for the debut of Lions for Lambs earlier this season, Redford spoke out about the United States’ current involvement in overseas affairs, saying, “For me, the film is about the effect and the consequences of the last several years in my country, and how that plays out in the area of the media, education, and politics.”

In the film, Sen. Irving tells Janine Roth the media “have already sold the war. Now I’m asking you to help me sell the solution.” Dr. Malley tells his student (Andrew Garfield) that “[politicians] bank on your apathy, they plan strategies around it.” And throughout the length of it, Ernest and Arian tell everyone, including the audience, that we all have the power to make a difference.

The film is a clear and present challenge, best exemplified by Sen. Irving’s posit to Janine Roth: “Do you want to win the war on terror? Yes or no? Yes or no.”

That is, indeed, the quintessential yes-or-no question our time.

So much time is wasted debating the reasons the country went to war and surprisingly, not mourning or taking care of our soldiers, when it is, in fact, about time we all got behind it the best we can – with ideas, with support, with action – so we can get out of it at long last. “Never have I seen such lions led by such lambs,” Dr. Malley’s quotes to his student.

We’ve all been put at risk – and we’re doing little to nothing to make it better. We are all connected, so where do we go from here?

My Rating ****

Photo: United Artists.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Is It Going to Get Ugly for Lindsay Lohan?

For once, the headline sounds worse than reality.

Lindsay Lohan is rumored to be is in talks to guest star on three episodes of Ugly Betty, playing a former high school classmate of Betty’s.

If the rumors become truth it could be a savvy move for the troubled young actress.

L2 needs to re-ingratiate herself to audiences. Thinking small (screen) and appearing on a beloved TV show might be just what she needs.

As Samantha Jones once said, “First come the gays, then come the girls (both of whom love Ugly Betty), then comes the industry.”

I say do it, Linds.

And you – you get ready ‘cause here she comes.


And So It Is…

The writers strike is in full swing – hey, that almost sounds like it’s a good thing! – and just like the proverbial they said it would be, viewers are going to pay the piper:

  • Jack Bauer seventh longest day will not start on Jan. 13 but at a later date TBD. “The seventh season premiere of 24 is being postponed,” explains Fox, “to ensure that ‘Day Seven’ can air uninterrupted, in its entirety”;

  • The doctors over on Grey’s Anatomy are out;

  • Lost’s fourth season, scheduled to premiere in February, just might be that, lost, until 2009; and

  • The Office has closed for business.

And those are just four of my favorite shows.

It’s going to be a cold, long winter without my stories. But if there’s one good thing about this strike, that is I’ll have time to catch with those shows I haven’t been watching due to scheduling conflicts.

And perhaps I’ll read a book.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Simply Irresistible, Pt. 23

Adam Levine is sooo fine, he totally can come at me without a warning anytime he wants.

It’s around the time People magazine chooses its Sexiest Man Alive.

The Maroon 5 singer should be a shoo-in for this year’s list, don’t you think.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Once More with Feeling

Sarah Michelle Gellar, one of my absolute favorites forever and ever, sings in her new film, Southland Tales.

SMG doesn’t sing just any song; she sings the…uh…forward-thinking “Teen Horniness Is Not a Crime,” and urges us to open our hearts and our minds.

The erstwhile Buffy does play porn star Krysta Now in Richard Kelly’s long-delayed film, after all, so the song fits. And as any self-respecting Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan knows, she has sung before (in the show’s musical episode), so this is quite the treat – especially today.

This totally puts a smile on my face.

Come to think of it, the last time SMG got all musical on us (me) was exactly six years ago today.

It kind of makes me love her even more.

Photo: Samuel Goldwyn Films.

Monday, November 05, 2007


The Spice Girls have released the video for their new single, “Headlines (Friendship Never Ends), so check it out.

The song is kind of eh, but the Girls have gone glam and look all kinds of H-O-T – especially Ginger, whose rock hard make me want to hand-wash some clothes.
Baby and Scary have that new mommy glow going, and Sporty looks and sounds like a million British pounds. And Posh…well, Posh is Posh, so there’s a lot going on with her, per usual…and it’s major.

Still, funner – I know…that’s not a word, so what – is the Girls’ other new song, “Voodoo.”

It ain’t no “Wannabe,” but I likey anyway. Give it a listen; “You know you want it bad.”


Boy to Man

There are a couple of scenes in Lars and the Real Girl that are just perfect.

In one, Lars (Academy Award nominee Ryan Gosling), loveable, lonely, delusional Lars, knocks on the door of his brother’s house and asks to see him and his wife. He proudly announces that he has a visitor – a woman he has met on the Internet, in fact – and asks if she could stay with them on account that it wouldn’t appropriate for her to stay with him in the garage.

Gus and Karin (Paul Schneider and Emily Mortimer) are surprised and thrilled. They cannot believe Lars finally has met someone, and would be happy to host his friend.

Cut to them, realizing this woman, Bianca, actually is a life-size sex doll Lars has bought, not met, on the Internet.

It would be understated to say the stunned look on their faces is something to be seen, for he believes and treats her as if she were quite real.

The beautiful and quirky Lars and the Real Girl tells the story of a boy so tortured by his past he’s unable to be all the man that he can be in his present. His delusion doesn’t prevent him from functioning, but it is here to stay – and everybody had better accept and embrace it if they want to help him get better. This is particularly hard to do for Gus, but with Karin’s encouragement and a tight community that supports Lars, it gets easier, and Bianca becomes less of a disturbance and more a member of his family and circle of friends.

As Lars dictates the fate of Bianca – and thus his own – the people who love him begin to understand what really is going on with him; they get to know him better. In the process, he begins to discover himself, and more importantly, ease the pain he’s been carrying. Little by little, he becomes less dependent on his coping mechanism, until one day he’s ready to let go.

Gosling delivers a tremendous performance, in a careful and sincere study of angst and pain. To see him take Lars on this journey of self-discovery and put him on the road to self-realization is nothing short of amazing.

A warning for anyone expecting Lars and the Real Girl to be a screwball comedy about a man who is in love with a sex doll, though: This film has deep layers, and is much more realized and inspired than you might expect.

My Rating ****

Photo: MGM.
Mightier Than Any Swordsmen

The much talked about writers strike started today, and as I tell you this, writers are picketing Hollywood studios and letting them know what they want: More Money!

The Writers Guild of America called for the strike after failing to get a bigger slice of the revenue the networks are expected to earn from digital downloads and DVD sales of TV shows.

Now that the writers have capped their pens and shut down their computers, the effects of the strike will not seen on your TV, though – literally.

All the networks say they have enough scripts in the can to keep producing shows through January. But if a new agreement isn’t reached soon, the fade to black that will follow will be more dramatic than that from the Sopranos finale.


Friday, November 02, 2007

For Them I’ll Wait

Coldplay currently are working on a follow-up to their quite good, yet strangely ill-received this album, 2005’s X&Y, and buzz is building.

That’s a good thing because they rock.

The band reportedly “has indicated that they're interested in switching up their familiar sound,” and promises to be “real and honest.”

Sounds good to me – per usual.

So for now, a little something to hold us over.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Joss Whedon’s Building a Dollhouse, Buffy Fans

Buffy the Vampire Slayer mastermind Joss Whedon is finally returning to TV.

Whedon has just signed a deal with Fox to create a drama series called Dollhouse, starring none other than Eliza Dushku (pictured at right), a.k.a. rogue slayer Faith.

The show has received a seven-episode commitment for 2008. It will chronicle the exploits of a group of individuals who are “imprinted with personality packages,” which means they can assume a variety of identities (complete with language skills, physical talents, memories, etc.) to be used for all types of tasks. When these missions are over, the individuals have their memories erased and reside in a guarded laboratory known as the Dollhouse. Dushku’s Echo, however, is slowly coming of consciousness.

Whedon likens the concept to the Frankenstein myth. He says, “It’s, ‘Who made me, who am I, and why am I?’”

The Fall 2008 TV season just got a lot better.