Monday, April 30, 2007

Why Conan O’Brien Rocks

Generally, I think Tyra Banks is alright…but that’s it.

But now, thanks to the sexiest man on television – because he’s just so funny – Conan O’Brien, I think Banks just might be a little more than alright.

Granted, she was the one who had a pretty cool anecdote to tell her host on an episode of Late Night with Conan O’Brien last week – and she was the one who didn’t shy away from a little show and tell involving what can only be described as several...booty thrusts.

But I saw this on O’Brien’s show, therefore he rocks, OK. You can always count on him to make anyone seem all the more likeable.

Well, done, Mr. O'Brien. You didn't make Tyra Banks the booty of the joke; you let her have the last laugh.

When Did Fergie Become Such a Joke?

First Alanis Morissette paid homage to the Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps.”

Now two Miami girls – I think they’re from Miami – have gone and come up with a fraktastically hilarious take on “Fergalicious.”

I’ll be the first to admit that I often have thought that Fergie’s like, the poor man’s Gwen Stefani. Kind of like how Nicollette Sheridan’s the poor man’s Kim Cattrall, who’s like, the poor man’s Sharon Stone.

But the girl is as sweet as pie – and, really, she’s doing her own thing, and doing it quite well.

Perhaps it’s not the most original thing, but who’s original anymore, anyway? At least she has her own style, which is more than a lot of starletbots and pop tarts ever could say.

Not for nothing, but every time she comes around, my London, London bridge, wanna go down. And I likey.


Friday, April 27, 2007

Nostalgia, Pt. 10

So I’m working here, working 9 to 5, what a way to make livin', huh, and a friend hands me her iPod thingy, and what do I find?

Sinéad frakkin’ O’Connor, that’s what.

Talk about going back a looong time, or – coincidence? – almost exactly, “seven hours and fifteen days / since you took your love away.”

I tell you, sometimes, life just has a good ol’ laugh at my expense. Keeps me on my toes, at least.

Dress You Up

How It is this T-shirt at right? It is It, It, It, I tell ya, so get one in every style and every color. Now. Between the shirts I’m about tell you all about,
the new Robin Thicke CD, and a bunch of concerts and movies on schedule, I have my summer essentials all lined up.

Miami Beach designer Paul Jacober has reinvented the T-shirt. Yeah, you probably didn’t know this was possible, but then again you’re reading this and not designing anything, so what do you know.

I’m feeling very Nicole Richie on The Simple Life – I just had two chocolate brownies; not that she would – so go with it.

Seriously, though, the T-shirt, one of the world’s most iconic fashion statements, has gotten the Miami treatment courtesy of Jacober. He recently launched his own label of graphic tees – simply named
paul jacober; do you love it? – initially turning to Miami Beach for inspiration.

“It just bothered me that there were no cool shirts that represented the great hotels in town…the beach – they’re all horrible,” he said. “So I set out to immortalize some of the architecture here in an effortlessly cool manner, placing the imagery off-center in an abstract sort of way.”

Jacober combined these landmarks in his first Florida Series of T-shirts with oversized flower and trompe l’oeil ocean imagery, creating colorful slices of Miami living on soft cotton crew- and V-neck tees.

His second collection – a darker and grittier Davie line inspired by a Bruce Weber portfolio – combined horses and jockeys, oranges, skulls, 18-wheelers, and fast cars and motorcycles. His most recent collection – The Never Mind Roses Series – will be available soon, and is a salute to many things British (think Union Jacks on Victorian toile; it’s that sexy).

“You can wear my shirts during the day at the beach or out and about, or underneath a blazer to dinner at night,” he said. “They’re cool and they’re fun.”

Fun, they are. Yeah, I like when people design T-shirts; I think it’s kind of cool. And I love it.

Here, Doggy, Doggy, Doggy

Mike – screenwriter of The Good Girl and School of Rock – White’s Year of the Dog is what I would call a journey film. A sweet, quirk-filled journey film. A sweet, quirk-filled, how-did-it-get-here? journey film. It is Homeward Bound, except it is a person who is finding her way in this one.

The film begins by quickly introducing us to Peggy (Molly Shannon), an – and I say this quite reluctantly – unremarkable woman who is truly, madly, deeply in love with her beagle Pencil.

She loves this cute-as-a-button dog with every fiber of her being, and he loves her back. It’s pretty obvious that Pencil gives Peggy’s life meaning – her brother lives a Stepford Life with his sunny, yet detached wife (Laura Dern), and she doesn’t have that many friends other than her full-of-life co-worker Layla (Regina King) – so it’s a blow of epic proportions when little bugger dies.

The devastating tragedy sends a grief-stricken Peggy on a downward spiral. Her support system isn’t the strongest, so Peggy soon finds solace in…fanatical animal activism.

High jinks and a great deal emotion are at the core of Year of the Dog, which is why it triumphs. And Shannon, peeling off a layer of her persona, anchors the film with a charismatic and sympathetic performance that is just fantastic.

I did feel the film meandered a little, though, as it journeyed to find its and Peggy’s way back home…to a fitting resolution. But like a good, good boy, it did, which is what matters most.

My Rating ***

Photo: Paramount Vantage.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hell Hath No Fury

There is nothing I like more than pop stars who sing about getting even – mostly because I never.

Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to really go ahead and slash a hole “in all 4 tires” as Carrie Underwood sings her alter ego did in “Before He Cheats”? I think it would be so liberating, so badass.

Then again – aw, shucks – it also would be kind of wrong, but just thinking about it makes me…well, it makes me “Smile.”

After all, although I don't want to think about it, don't want to talk about it because I'm just so sick about it, “What Goes Around Comes Around,” do you know what I mean.

And really, holding on to the deliciously wicked high of just thinking about it can be great. If anything, at least you can sing to it. And that is more useful than a roll of nickels – even if sometimes you wish you still had a roll of nickels.

Who cares if this makes any sense. I’ve noticed pop stars are telling people off left and right, and that is a good thing. It’s called living vicariously. It’s healthy, and it’s fun. So, heck, I will (think about it) if I want to.

It can even be playful. I mean, hey hey, you you, “Girlfriend” is like, my new anthem.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Summer’s Heating Up

Rosie O'Donnell will be leaving The View this June, so I know of at least one person whose summer schedule has freed up considerably, which is a good thing – considering the slew of movies coming our way.

Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Third, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End will headline what is sure to be a blockbuster summer for Hollywood.

Among the other films waiting to lure audiences out to theaters will be another set of part 3s (Ocean's Thirteen, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Rush Hour 3), as well as a part 5 (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), a part 4 (Live Free or Die Hard), and two part 2s (Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and Evan Almighty).

Also worthy of attention will be Georgia Rule, Waitress (which I cannot wait to recommend), Year of the Dog, Ratatouille, The Simpsons Movie, Transformers, and Michael Moore's Sicko.

Photo: Universal Pictures (Evan Almighty).

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Nostalgia, Pt. 9

Tapestry and dinner.

25 – and We Love It

It’s almost hard to believe – yet oh-so-easy, after all – but it was 25 years ago on April 24, 1982, that Sire Records honcho Seymour Stein released a single called “Everybody” on Warner Bros. Records by an unknown singer from Rochester, Mich., by the name of Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone.

“To say the world would never be the same is an understatement,” said Madonna’s publicist, Liz Rosenberg, in a press release today.

The song went on to become a huge dance floor hit, and was heard all over the radio in the summer of ’82.

Madonna would go on to become one of the most famous entertainers and cultural icons in history – the undisputed Queen of Pop, no less – selling close to 200 million records, and remaining a star of enormous magnitude and influence for the next 25 years.

And she's just getting started – and for that I say, dance and sing, get up, and do your thing for 25 more years.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Snuff Hotel

Things go from bad to worse in Vacancy, a brutal game of cat and mouse starring Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale as on-the-outs married couple David and Amy Fox.

When the Foxes’ car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, they are forced to spend the night at the only motel in the vast creepiness of They’re-really-going-to-wish-they-weren’t-hereville.

With only the TV to entertain them, and a few beyond disturbing videotapes of snuff films the couple soon discovers offer an ominous look at what lies ahead for them – because said films were all filmed in the very room in which…they...are – David and Amy must struggle to get out of there alive before whomever is watching them can finish their latest masterpiece.

What follows is nearly 90 minutes of edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting…stress.

As much a suspenseful thriller Vacancy is, it also is rather stressful. It really hits a nerve, and it’ll make you think twice about your accommodations from now on. But the movie works, in spite of its claustrophobic vibe, as a great don’t-you-f----with-us-fellas exercise in survivorship.

Wilson remains a grounding presence, while Beckinsale (in for her leading man’s Family Stone co-star Sarah Jessica Parker, who bowed out before production started) provides the necessary combination of beauty and girl power that’ll make you root for the Foxes until the very end.

All and all, Vacancy is worth checking out…if you enjoy this type of fare.

My Rating ***

Photo: Screen Gems.

Friday, April 20, 2007

If He’s Giving It, Then I’m Taking It

An ultimatum, that is. A Bourne ultimatum.

Matt Damon is back this summer in not one, but two part 3s. The first is June 8’s Ocean’s Thirteen; the second, and the one I look forward to the most, is The Bourne Ultimatum, due out Aug. 3.

All Jason Bourne wanted was to disappear. Instead, he now is hunted by the people who made him what he is.

Having lost his memory and the one person he loved, Bourne is undeterred by a barrage of bullets and a new generation of highly-trained killers. He has only one objective: To go back to the beginning and find out whom he was.

Now, in the new chapter of this espionage series, he will hunt down his past in order to find a future. He will travel from Africa to all over Europe and, finally, to New York City as he continues his quest to find the real Jason Bourne.

Want to preview what’s in store for this final chapter of the Bourne saga? Then frakkin' click here, already.

Photo: Universal Pictures.
Viva La Fey

I’m giddy – giddy, I tell you – with excitement now that former “bubble” TV show 30 Rock has been renewed for a second season this fall, for I love me some Tina Fey, and, more than everything, I love me some Tina Fey-esque writing.

Take last night’s beyond quotable episode for instance.

Fey’s Liz Lemon and Jane Krakowski’s Jenna have taken guest star Emily Mortimer’s character Phoebe to lunch, to better get to know her now that she’s engaged to Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy.

The three ladies are sitting at the table, and then Jenna – good ol’ reliably, outrageously funny Jenna – says:

“How Sex and the City are we right now? I’m Samantha, [pointing to Phoebe] you’re Charlotte, [pointing to Liz] and you’re the lady at home who watches it.”

How brilliant is that?

I just hope the show can find its rightful audience this summer, be it through reruns, online streaming, or a prompt DVD release. And, of course, that it won’t be negatively impacted by Baldwin’s latest no-no.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Simply Irresistible, Pt. 14

Oh, Macy Gray: “Here is my confession.”

I heart you so, but I don’t know why exactly.

Is it your incomparably raspy voice? Your kooky style? The way you sing of the things I sometimes feel deep inside, as you do in your latest, “Finally Made Me Happy,” a track from your latest CD, BIG?

Whatever it is, it is working. So don’t go away again. “Though I try to hide it it's clear / My world crumbles when you are not near.”

Simply Irresistible, Pt. 13

I’ve already mentioned how very much I’m into Robin Thicke, but when I found this clip of him performing “Shooter” last December I knew it was too good an opportunity to pass up.

And so I’m telling you, this guy is the real thing.

So give it a listen, put your hands up, your hands up, and enjoy.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Touch of Pink

Madonna may have an army, but Pink is the one who currently is calling the shots, in my humble opinion.

Humble – tee hee.

Just to clarify, though, I know this soon will change, for you should never, ever count the Queen of Pop out: Confessions on a Dance Floor still is in constant rotation in my CD player, and sections of the tour mounted to support it are a daily DVD must watch. Plus, she's working on new album, so it's only a matter of time until she reinvents herself once more. And I love it.

But I want to tell you about Pink today, whom I’m glad to see is very much Not Dead.

Really, who would’ve guessed that the badass singer would enjoy, of all things, radio play more than year after the release of her last album?

Stupid Girls” was a fun, cheeky single, but it went away fairly quickly. Her impassionate “Dear Mr. President” received great buzz, but I have yet to hear it, and her “Who Knew” only registered when I saw the previews for the new ABC show October Road.

So I think it is beyond swell that her catty and fun – and, yes, empowered – “U + Ur Hand” is burning radio up these days. Here’s a song that gays and girls and can support fully; sorry guys.

Pink’s so not here for our entertainment…yet I’m still having a lot of fun with her.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Grind It Good

Alright – clearly there’s plenty wrong in the world.

There’s a senseless war going on, there’s tragedy and nastiness everywhere.

Some people might not want to spend more than three hours in a movie theater watching T&A and violent scenes…not even if directors Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino had a hand at creating not one but two full-length movies in a new horror double feature called Grindhouse for their entertainment.

But then again, whatever it was that turned audiences away and made Grindhouse a disappointment at the box office…whatever it was, it is everywhere. So what gives?

Why would you, person who has yet to see Grindhouse, eschew this original and out there and entertaining offering in favor of…in favor of the real world. Why wouldn’t you want to escape into an absurd world of zombies, one-legged strippers, and speed-crazed mass murderers?

At least you’d know they aren’t real.

But hey, I get it. This film is a tough sell: Its cast isn’t that much of a draw; its length is a challenge; its subject matter not much of a turn-on – all of which is precisely the point and the beauty of it. But a tough sell is a tough sell, and unfortunately some of you aren’t buyin’.

In Rodriguez's Planet Terror, two doctors (Josh Brolin and Marley Shelton) find their graveyard shift inundated with townspeople ravaged by sores. Among the wounded is Cherry (Rose McGowan), a dancer whose leg was ripped from her body. As the invalids quickly become enraged aggressors (zombies!), Cherry and her ex-boyfriend Wray (Freddy Rodriguez) lead a team of accidental warriors into the night.

In Tarantino's Death Proof, Austin's hottest DJ, Jungle Julia (Sydney Poitier), sets out to unwind with her two friends, Shanna (Jordan Ladd) and Arlene (Vanessa Ferlito). Covertly tracking their moves is Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell, in full ominous mode), a scarred rebel leering from behind the wheel of his muscle car, revving just feet away.

Planet Terror is the most effectively grindhouse-y of the two movies: It tries to be bad, and it has this camp quality to it that makes it completely amusing. You’ll be hard-pressed to think this truly was a loser, though.

Death Proof, meanwhile, is the talkiest of the two – and that’s a good thing. Where Planet Terror was a constant assault of the senses, Death Proof was a little more conventional…a little less gorror (that’s gore and horror, by the way)...a little more cerebral. And I cannot – and will not – say anything about the final car chase, mostly because you have to see it to believe and enjoy it.

So there you have it. Don’t wait for Grindhouse to come to a video store next you. Don’t buy the largest soda in the theater, sit back, and try to have a good time. It’ll be well worth it.

Go….get it, too.

My Rating ****

Photo: Dimension Films.
Guess Who’s Scrubbing In

Alright – I’m jealous.

Not that’s Michael Ausiello and I are on the same level, but come on: Must one guy get all the cool people to talk to him?

Ausiello recently had the chance to
interview my favorite fickle pickle, Keri Russell, on the occasion of her upcoming two-episode stint on TV’s Scrubs, which starts April 26.

Russell dished about her arc on the show, marriage,
the bun in her oven, co-starring alongside Tom Cruise in last year’s Mission: Impossible III, a possible return to television, and her forthcoming films, Waitress and August Rush.

Phew. Sounds like a whole lot of goodness to me.

Photo: Paramount Pictures (Mission: Impossible III).

Monday, April 16, 2007

Is Lindsay Lohan…Getting It? reported last week that the erstwhile Mean Girl “can't wait to delve into the drug-addled world director Chris Sivertson is creating for his next movie, which is currently titled Hippy.”

Lohan and Sivertson first worked together on the upcoming I Know Who Killed Me. Hippy also would co-star Marc Senter…who co-stars in the recently completed thriller as well.

When asked if this Lohan/Sivertson/Senter connection could be a new Scorsese-like Hollywood clique in the making, the actress is reported to have said, “I'm all for it. Not that I wouldn't love to work with Scorsese also.'”

Sounds like someone finally has gotten a hold on herself.


Curiosity Thrills

Behold the power of Shia LaBeouf: The former Disney child star and new F.O.S. – that’s Friend of Spielberg – carried Disturbia to the
top of the box office over the weekend.

Not bad for a star whose ability to open a movie was rather unproven (Holes and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle don’t count). Not bad at all.

I have to say, though, I was surprised to see Disturbia hit the way it did. I would’ve told you about it last week, but to be honest I was kind of otherwise occupied. So, I’ll keep this short and sweet: This take on Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window for the teen set is perfectly fine for a lazy, rainy afternoon.

It is a bit longer than it should be – the buildup seems to take forever – but the suspense, once it sets in, is quite thrilling.

LaBeouf plays Kale, a good boy gone kind of bad following a freak traffic accident that claimed the life of his father. (By the way, when I say “freak traffic accident” I mean it – you’ll want to close your eyes.) A year later, sullen and troubled, Kale finds himself under a court-ordered sentence of house arrest.

When the walls of his house begin to close in on him, he becomes a voyeur, his interests turning outside the windows of his suburban home toward those of his neighbors, one of whom Kale suspects is a dangerous serial killer.

Are his concerns merely the product of cabin fever, or is good ol’ next-door neighbor a cold-blooded murderer?

Visit Disturbia and find out. And then take a look-see at this SNL
intimate moment with John Mayer and Jessica Simpson to take the edge off – it’s a good laugh.

My Rating ***

Photo: DreamWorks Pictures.
Oh, Mandy!

Mandy Moore recently told Elle magazine that she considers herself a “mediocre” singer and actress.

Darling, I can’t take a week off – did anyone…notice? – without you going fishing for compliments. You could never be mediocre. Not even if you tried.

Now, when does your new album, Wild Hope, drop: May 8, as previously announced, or June?

I’m confused. And I want it.


Monday, April 09, 2007

Much Like at the End of Closer

“Cold, cold water surrounds me now.”

Photo: Columbia Pictures.
Open Grindhouse; Few Come

Bad-boy directors Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s ambitious double feature Grindhouse didn’t pack audiences in during its first weekend of release.

The three-and-a-quarter hour film – a package of two movies (Rodriguez's zombie thriller Planet Terror, which features Rose McGowan as a
machine gun-legged badass, and Tarantino's slasher picture Death Proof) honoring the low-budget horror movies of the 1970s – opened at No. 4 with three-day ticket sales of just $11.6 million.

It was expected it to hit the $20 million level.

"Are we disappointed about the gross?" Dimension Films co-chairman Harvey Weinstein told Reuters. "I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't. I am disappointed."

Critics raved, but moviegoers evidently were not interested in checking out Grindhouse, opting to give the Will Ferrell ice-skating comedy Blades of Glory a second weekend at the top with sales of $23 million.

The funny thing about that is I haven’t seen either movie, and if I had gone to the movie theater I probably would’ve seen Blades of Glory (I am just dying to see Amy Poehler in it) – although I definitely will check out Grindhouse before they pull it out of rotation.

But first…first I need to make things better.

Photo: Dimension Films.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Time to Think

here if you don’t believe.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Feuding No More

Putting an end to years of rumors, probably because at least one of them was tired of rumors starting, it seems Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan are – gasp! – Hollywood’s newest BFF.

Cool, huh?

It seems like, so yesterday that these two couldn’t even be in the same room together.

Case in point is the Vanity Fair cover they graced a few years back, in which Duff (fifth from left) and Lohan (first from right) appeared...with a safe Who’s Who of up-and-comers acting as a nicely polished buffer.

Catfight Alert

On tonight’s episode of Lost, titled “Left Behind,” Kate (
Evangeline Lilly) is left to fend for herself in the jungle with Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell).

A catfight ensues.

Oh, and Sawyer (Josh Holloway) baby-sits for Claire (Emilie de Ravin)

Is it 10 o'clock yet?

Just Because, Pt. 2

“Tell your mother, your brother, your sister, and your friends. /

And the others, your lovers, better not be present tense. /

‘Cause I want everyone to know that you are mine and no one else's! /

Ain't no other man, can stand up next to you /

Ain't no other man on the planet does what you do (what you do).”


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Simply Irresistible, Pt. 12

Matthew Goode’s so the cat’s pajamas he’s the dog’s tuxedo.

The British import may have been in only a few high profile movies (including Chasing Liberty opposite Mandy Moore, or Woody Allen’s underappreciated Match Point), but he’s certainly noteworthy, not to mention easy on the eyes.

He currently co-stars in The Lookout, playing a dangerous charmer. Check it out.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Alanis Got “Humps”

Is this a riot or what?

My, but it’s Alanis Morissette…doing a version of the Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps.”

That’s hot.

I didn’t know that’s what you’re supposed to do when you break up with a stud.

Beautiful Rat

After a weekend that at times had me on the verge of a Julianne Moore-in-Magnolia-style meltdown (c’était rien que la douleur exquise), I was happy to see things turn around – alright, they already had turned around – after I watched the trailer for the upcoming Ratatouille.

It’s the little things, you know.

The new Pixar film follows Remy, a young rat living within the walls of a famous Paris bistro, who wishes to become a chef, but is hindered by his family's skepticism and the bistro’s rat-despising staff and patrons.

Ratatouille sneaks into theaters on June 29. Check out the trailer here.

Photo: Disney/Pixar.