Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Rrrrr Don’t Think So!

You can find a short synopsis of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
here, so I’m not even going to bother trying to tell you about this sequel’s plot.

Not that I could, mind you, since I totally went sleepy bye bye halfway through the darn thing. I mean, how many double-crossings can you pack in one movie before they become exhausting for the audience? Too many, it would seem.

Don’t get me wrong – I can recognize that fun of this extravagant saga. But much like happened with The Matrix trilogy, which only devalued the original, it has been a case of too much of a good thing. If I had to pick between the Pirate Way and the highway, well...you know.

In what possibly could be my shortest – and admittedly, laziest – review yet, all I can say this is a summer blockbuster that likely will be thoroughly enjoyed by most everyone…just not by those who appreciate a little substance their style.

My Rating **

Photo: Walt Disney Pictures.
Simply Irresistible, Pt. 16

Scottish band Travis released their new album earlier this month, but it wasn’t until yesterday that I found out about it. Thank you, Ellen DeGeneres, for booking them on your show.

I’ve read very mixed reviews of their new album, The Boy with No Name, but after hearing them perform “Selfish Jean,” I think Travis may have shot to the top of my Summer Want List.

They are, after all, the grandfathers, if you will, of bands such as Coldplay and Keane. I have a couple of their singles, but never got around purchasing a full CD. It just might be time to finally do so, for they are, indeed, rather enjoyable.

Photo: BN.com.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

It's Like, No, You’re Not Fine

Dear L2,

You know I love you long time, but your DUI arrest over the weekend bummed me out.

Seriously – get it together. Or at least hire yourself a driver. Really, though, the fastlane can be fun, but you’re like, throwing your career down the toilet. And you have your hand on the flush handle.

You need to slow it down. I mean, you’re closing in on Madonna when it comes to movie bombs. You have to get yourself a real manager and you have to focus on your career.

And clubs are like snow flakes; they’re all pretty much the same. Do you really have to go to one every night? Remember…less is more.

Don’t disappoint me.

XOXO

Photo: AP.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Belly Laughs for Everyone

What with Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Third, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End all arriving in theaters in May, June 1’s Knocked Up promises to deliver a good time as a timely antidote to this case of threequelitis.

Judd Apatow’s latest stars Katherine Heigl (TV’s Grey’s Anatomy) as Allison Scott, an up-and-coming entertainment journalist on the fast track.

Things get off track, however, when a drunken one night stand with slacker Ben Stone (
Seth Rogen) results in an unwanted pregnancy.

Hilarity ensues when faced with the prospect of going it alone or getting to know the baby's father, Allison decides to give the lovable doof a chance.

I think this one’s going to be really funny, and better yet, surprisingly touching. I’ll get the tickets if you get the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

Photo: Universal Pictures.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Riveting Television

I raced home last night not only to watch Lost’s “
dizzying” season finale – what is going on over there? and do we really have to wait until next February to find out what happens next? – but also to watch yesterday’s episode of The View, which featured an epic – I know, big word – fight between Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

Oh. My. Gosh. It was sooo good; you can read a summary of the whole thing here, but I’ll say this much: O’Donnell had it coming. And she didn't like it one bit when it was her on the receiving end of a forceful argument.

She’s pushed her co-host for quite some time now, and like puppy beaten with a stick, Hasselbeck bit back. Hard.

O’Donnell totally picked the fight. Hasselbeck, whose point I very seldom half-see, was talking apples with Joy Behar when O’Donnell decided to talk oranges.

The fight escalated so that the producers decided not to cut to commercial, in spite of Behar and guest co-host Sherri Shepherd’s efforts to diffuse the tension, and split the screen between the political adversaries.

And you know what? I loved every second of it. I loved that Hasselbeck told off O’Donnell, I loved that O’Donnell totally didn’t see that coming, and I loved that the cameras kept rolling. Because Hasselbeck was – gasp! – in the right; she defended herself and told O’Donnell not to hang up her “
rhetorical question” on her. She totally did. And the whole thing has earned her a little bit of my respect.

Photo: NationalLedger.com.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Check Your Doors and Windows

On July 13, three masked strangers will terrorize a young couple (Scott Speedman and Liv Tyler) in a remote house after they return from a wedding.

''I tend to think the worst of people,'' rookie director Bryan Bertino told Entertainment Weekly of the instinct that inspired this summer’s The Strangers.

I’m looking forward to this movie because any movie that puts Speedman on screen is a must for this Felicity fan.

Speaking of which, have you seen Waitress, starring Keri Russell, yet?

Photo: EW.com.

Update: Shortly after posting "Check Your Doors and Windows," I received word that The Strangers will not open on July 13. The movie’s new release date is TBD.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Coming Back to America?

A source tells me Madonna will be moving back to the U.S., permanently, in June.

The singer was reported to have gone house-hunting in New York City in March, although I hear she won’t be moving into a new place but rather the one she already owns in the Big Apple.

I also hear she might – might, alright – make her happiest fans happier by possibly – possibly, alright – surprising them at a big happy party this summer. I understand a request for extra security already has been made to city officials.

Photo: USAToday.com.
Return to Sender

Following shows in Southern California and Las Vegas, Britney Spears brought…something back to Florida, where she performed a fifth and sixth show, under the moniker the M+M’s, in
Orlando and Miami, respectively.

Last night’s, at South Beach’s Mansion, was everything I thought it would be: sad and unfulfilling, yet totally intriguing.

Billed for 8 p.m., the erstwhile pop princess hit the stage at 10:35 p.m. surrounded by toned dancers that picked up where she left off. And did she ever leave off.

Wearing many a trashy outfit – honey, this DIY attitude has got to go; get a stylist! – Spears ran off stage during her second song, “I’m a Slave 4 U,” after her beaded bra came undone and entangled in her mic pack. She tried to sexily strip it off, which didn’t work, and looked genuinely embarrassed by the snafu, but didn’t go on, running back mid-song. Tsk, tsk.

Spears appeared happy to be in Miami, though. She kicked things off with an effusive “What’s up, Miami!” and proceeded to…not sing her little country heart out.

Her mic kept riding off up and down her face, pulled in all directions by her wig, but she soldiered on and kept miming the words. She didn’t chew any during her performance; I wondered if she’d run out.

She looked fine, I guess. I never saw her at her peak (fitness- or performance-wise). She has a little bit of a spare tire going on, but it’s a taut spare tire, and she’s trying, so she gets brownie points for effort.

For her finale, 15 minutes later, she performed "
Toxic," (the linked video is not from the Florida shows), and capped the night off with a nice shout-out.

“Miami, you guys rock. I love you so much!” she shouted before running off stage. If only she’d added a nice little “y’all” at the end of that sentence, that would’ve been quite something. Unfortunately, she isn’t anymore.

Photo: ucfk.org.
What a Man, What a Man, What a Man, What a Mighty Good Man

Ricky Martin performed in Miami on Saturday – and by golly if I didn’t want to go see him, which luckily I did.

He put on a terrific show, in English and in Spanish, and it was greatly appreciated by the sold-out crowd since rumor had it he might reschedule due to a back injury.

My only very minor criticisms of his “Black and White Tour” are 1) I thought it looked artistically directed by Madonna, and 2) he didn’t sing a couple of crowd-pleasers.

Martin’s a stage man all the way, but it was surprising to see how informed his show appeared to be by Madonna’s “Re-Invention” and “Confessions” tours. There were giant backdrop screens, catwalks spilling out on the floor, and conveyor belts – all fairly usual accoutrements of an arena show like his. But the vibe…the vibe was sooo Madonna. I heard a few fans around me say so, too.

Which brings me to his performance: Where the Queen of Pop did yoga poses, the Latin heartrob did sun salutations; where she briefly spoke about helping children with AIDS in Africa, he did the same, extensively, on behalf of amputee, refugee, and/or orphaned children. It was all very inspired and inspiring – and by no means am I taking anything away from Martin and his show. I loved it.

But he didn’t sing “Shake Your Bon Bon.” Or “She Bangs.” And the rock-ified “Livin’ La Vida Loca” didn’t make me want to take my clothes off and go dancing in the rain. But his “Vuelve” and his “Tal Vez” gave me goose bumps.

At the end of it, though, Martin’s Miami show was a beautiful and fun-filled sexy night. I cannot wait to see him again.

Photo: NewMusicFriday.com.

Friday, May 18, 2007

A New Season’s A-comin’

Veronica Mars is frakkin’
dead.

That sound you hear is the sound of my heart breaking. It’s a sound all-too familiar to a couple of cute schipperkes and me – and it sucks.


Yesterday was a “very, very, very sad day,” indeed.

Anyway, the TV upfronts took place in New York City this week. The upfronts are an annual gathering where the networks present their new fall schedules to advertisers…and buzz is created.

Among the new shows that I will be checking out on
NBC are Journeyman, a drama starring Rome’s Kevin McKidd; Life, another drama starring Damian Lewis; and Lipstick Jungle, an adaptation of the female-centric novel from Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell, starring Brooke Shields and 24’s Kim Raver.

On
ABC, Pushing Daisies, Private Practice (a.k.a. the Grey’s Anatomy spin-off), Eli Stone, Dirty Sexy Money, Cashmere Mafia, and Big Shots all sound worthy of repeated look-sees.

CBS’ musical drama Viva Laughlin, which Hugh Jackman is executive producing, probably will make my list of shows to check out because it sounds different. And because its lead, Lloyd Owen, is rather handsome.

Proving to be a total wet blanket was
The CW’s lineup, which was announced free of Veronica Mars. That’s pretty much all I have to say. (Alright, the network does have a promising new show in Gossip Girl.)

Finally
Fox only has one show that definitely interests me at this time, and that is Amy Sherman-Palladino’s The Return of Jezebel James. Although perhaps I will get into The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

And now, a moment for dear underappreciated Veronica Mars. Put your lighters up.


Photo: zap2it.com (Viva Laughlin).

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Just Because, Pt. 4

It’s time to
let go.

But, for all time sakes, for the cheap seats in the back, and why the heck not (don’t judge me)…

“This is the way you left me, /

I'm not pretending. /
No hope, no love, no glory, /
This is the way that we love, /
Like it's forever. /
Then live the rest of our life, /
But not together. /

Wake up in the morning, stumble on my life. /
Can't get no love without sacrifice. /
If anything should happen, I guess I wish you well. /
Mmm a little bit of heaven, but a little bit of hell.”

Photo: Spin.com.
Of Casts and Men

Thought I’d share some casting news today…mostly because I just was waiting for any excuse to use this picture of Daniel Craig (at right) I found what feels like an eternity ago.

Craig will star in the World War II drama Defiance, which Edward Zwick (Blood Diamond) will write, direct, and produce.


The film follows the story of four Jewish brothers living in Nazi-occupied Poland who escape into the forest, where they join Russian resistance fighters in battling the Nazis and trying to save the lives of other Jews. Production is scheduled to begin in September.

The actor will then move onto the next Bond movie, Bond 22, which is set to begin production next winter for a November 2008 release.


He next will be seen opposite Nicole Kidman in both The Invasion on Aug. 17, and His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass on Dec. 7.

In other news, which I’m throwing out there because if I didn’t I would’ve had to title this post “Of Casts and Man,” Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz are in talks to star in What Happens in Vegas..., a romantic comedy about two strangers who wake up after a night of debauchery in Las Vegas to discover that they are married. When one of them wins a jackpot with the other's quarter, the two try to undermine each other in order stake claim as the rightful owner of the prize money…falling in love along the way.

Now, about the picture…is it not the hottest thing you’ve seen all day long?

Photo: Galleries.Lycos.co.uk.
And You Can Go Green…For Inspiration

Madonna has written a new song titled "Hey You," which is available exclusively on MSN, free of charge, for seven days.

Go get it.

Inspired by Live Earth, "Hey You" was co-produced by Pharrell. Madonna will perform the song as one of the headliners for Live Earth U.K., joining the Beastie Boys, Genesis, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and other performers at Wembley Stadium in London on July 7, as part of the 24-hour, seven-continent Live Earth concert series.

As the exclusive online destination for Live Earth, MSN will donate $0.25 of each of the first 1 million downloads to the Alliance for Climate Protection, in support of Live Earth.

Love. It.

Photo: Madonna.cz.com.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Power of Good-Bye

I am not one to cry during TV shows.

Alright, I kind of have been known, from time to time, to tear up, a little bit, privately, like during the last 15 minutes of
part 2 of the three-hour Meredith-can’t-die-can-she? February sweeps saga Shonda Rhimes wrote for Grey’s Anatomy.

Fine – I completely gave in to the waterworks when Buffy killed Angel at the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s second season finale…and when Andy died on Charmed…and when Ross said Rachel’s name and not Emily’s on Friends…and when Sex and the City ended.

Jeez. I suppose I am a big cry baby…when it comes to my stories.

Anyway, guess what I did last night as I watched the – here I go – series finale of Gilmore Girls.

Yep, I cried. A lot. And how could I not? Rory (Alexis Bledel) left Stars Hollow, which came out in full force to send her off, to go on the campaign trail with Barack Obama, and Luke (Scott Patterson) – dreamy, kind-hearted Luke – and Lorelai finally kissed (again).

It’s not a new day for the girls; it’s a new world.

Melancholy definitely was in the air, and the Gilmore Girls finale was as befitting of the show as it could be. Now, Emmy voters better be planning to pay Lauren Graham, who played Lorelai with phenomenal aplomb for seven years, the respect she deserves and give her the award, already.

Photo: GilmoreGirlsNews.com.
Artistic Integrity

A lot is being said about Kelly Clarkson’s upcoming album My December.

The blogosphere’s aflutter with talk that the original American Idol and her record label, RCA, are at odds over the songs she wants to release, most of which she co-wrote without the help of hit-makers like Max Martin. (Martin is the man behind her smash hit “Since U Been Gone,” the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way,” and Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time.”)

People.com
reported earlier this week that Clarkson told MTV News she was “offended” by her label’s suggestion she use a “Lindsay Lohan track from her last album [for] me to record it for my new album."

The “
Never Again” singer – a song that, by the way, totally is growing on me – is said to have called the material RCA was sending her “almost insulting.”

“I'm like, 'You can't even find new songs?'” she said. “'You don't want me to write my album, but you're sending me hand-me-downs?'"

I think it shows a lot of courage that Clarkson is speaking up about this process, and that she’s defending the songs she wants to put out there and ultimately sell.

I’ve enjoyed her stuff for a long time, but I’ve never bought any of her albums (because radio has been known to over-play her, which can make any artist sound tiresome after a while).

But I’m thinking I will be purchasing My December when it comes out on June 26…just to help her stick it to the Man. After all, she did say to me, “Dude, you’re awesome!” this one time. Alright, maybe it was, “Dude, it’s awesome!” (after I asked her if she felt lucky gal backstage at the 2005 MTV VMAs. But you know what I mean.

Photo: TatteredCoat.com.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Simply Irresistible, Pt. 15

An all-star cast headlines Evening (due out June 29), a drama exploring the romantic past and emotional present of Ann Grant (Vanessa Redgrave) and her daughters, Constance (Natasha Richardson) and Nina (Toni Collette).

As Ann lies in bed dying, she conveys to her daughters the defining moments in her life 50 years before, when she was a young woman.

Redgrave, Richardson, and Collette are but three of the many fantastic actresses who are sure to be resplendent in Evening, but I’d like to talk about the two men who will join them and Meryl Streep,
Mamie Gummer, Claire Danes, Glenn Close, and Eileen Atkins on screen.

I’m taking about Patrick Wilson (Little Children) – oh, Patrick Wilson, how I love you! – and
Hugh Dancy (HBO’s Elizabeth I).

I saw the
trailer for the film last week when I saw Georgia Rule, and I immediately was enthralled.

I’m quite fond of big ensemble cast films, but when those films co-star two men, who could not be dreamier and more talented, well…let’s just say they make me all the more curious. Chick flick, schmick flick – I am sooo watching and enjoying Evening.

Photo: Focus Features.

Monday, May 14, 2007

And I Call Myself a Fan

OMG – I cannot believe I just remembered this.

As you know, I am a big fan of Mr. Damien Rice. But I completely dropped the ball on spreading the word about his new video for the amazingly brooding “
Rootless Tree,” which I should’ve done…back in January.

Could I be any more of a hack? (That’s a rhetorical question, so save it.)

To make up for such a flagrant error in judgment, how about I point you in the direction of several Damien Rice
videos? You can thank me later.

There – all’s better now.

Photo: EskimoFriends.com.
Fun, Fearless Female

Year of the Dog’s Molly Shannon made her triumphant return to Saturday Night Live on May 12 – as a host, following a six-year absence – and I’m still laughing.

Shannon played three of her most iconic characters – including fan favorites underarm-sniffing Catholic school girl Mary Katherine Gallagher, and 50-year-old limber-limbed Sally O'Malley – during the consistently show. The Sally O’Malley-tries-for-a-spot-at-the-Bada Bing!-of-The Sopranos was particularly hilarious, as Shannon went all the way there: a deep, hard camel toe.

In the words of another of her famous characters, licensed joyologist Helen Madden: I loved it, I loved it, I loved it!

Photo: Kinoweb.de (Superstar).

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Sweetest Thing

Before I tell you anything about Waitress, I simply must say I adored this film.

I adored Keri Russell in it.

I adored the feeling behind it.

And I adored the writing in it.

Waitress is a small film, yet its heart is very big. It is a bittersweet film in more ways than one. Its most poignant quality lies in the fact that writer-director and co-star Adrienne Shelly is no longer among us to bask in the spotlight of success this darling film is sure to burn bright. (Shelly was murdered in New York City last fall just days before finding out the film would premiere at Sundance, where it would become a hit.)

Its plot is less shocking, yet just as moving.

When Jenna (Russell, in a star-making turn), a waitress in a cheery Southern diner, discovers that she's pregnant with her abusive, annoying, and needy husband Earl's (Jeremy Sisto) baby, she doesn't exactly jump for joy.

Suddenly hopeless, her dreams for a better life are in ruins, until a good-looking doctor (Serenity’s Nathan Fillion) arrives in town.

Jenna finds her only solace in her friends (Shelly and Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Cheryl Hines), and in the pies she bakes and names after the tumultuous events and emotions of her daily life (i.e., "I Don't Want Earl's Baby" pie).

The pregnancy eventually changes Jenna’s life, giving her an unexpected and newfound confidence via the letters she writes to her unborn baby.

Like I said, Russell is…I would say a revelation, but I already was keenly aware of her talents; she starred on one of my all-time favorite TV shows, Felicity. So I’ll say she’s tremendous and leave it at that.

The feeling behind this film is, for lack of a better word, palpable. It is a testament to Shelly’s writing, to her talent, really, with which I wasn’t familiar, that these carefully drawn characters and this beautiful story could be so moving, so sad, and so real at the same time that they never felt phony. Waitress is a triumph.

My Rating ****

Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures.
A Little More Personal

Georgia Rule probably should have the disclaimer that appears in the preface of books or at the end of most films written over Lindsay Lohan’s face in its poster – Any resemblance to real-life people or events is purely coincidental – for all eyes are on Lohan and her character in this Garry Marshall-directed movie.

The young actress plays Rachel, a rebellious, out-of-control San Francisco hellcat who is sent by her mother, Lilly (Felicity Huffman), to live with her grandmother – the titular Georgia (Jane Fonda) – in quiet little Hull, Idaho.

Grandma, the teen knows, had a contentious relationship with Lilly. Upon arrival – and after strutting her sunny Californian self around town and quickly establishing her status as trouble in the process – Rachel dares her to try and “jerk me around.” It’s a dare Georgia meets with a surprising, “Go f--- yourself.”

That’s the kind of matriarch Georgia is; she lives by a number of unbreakable rules, demanding anyone who comes to her home respect them. She suffers no fools, so perhaps she will be the influence Linds…I mean, Rachel needs.

You see what just happened there: I confused actress with character. And let me tell you, it isn’t so much a distraction that the line is blurred, what with Lohan’s shenanigans infamously chronicled in the tabloids. It’s because of the parallels that are drawn, seemingly, between the two. It’s because this movie is a little more personal, in a way. It hits the teen queen’s home somewhat close.

Georgia, saddled with looking after her granddaughter, will require each patient breath she takes to understand Rachel's fury. When the truth finally rears its ugly head, you’ll want the young woman to be saved from her demons…and from herself. This applies to Lohan, too, IMHO as a fan.

Rachel has good reason to be troubled, and you will be hard-pressed not to feel for her. But what’s Lohan’s damage? Will you feel empathy for Rachel, since the distinction between actress and character has been weakened so much?

I mentioned the performances a moment ago. They are strong as can be, and quite layered. But expectations are so high – or low, depending on your point of view – that I cannot help but want to save Georgia Rule from itself as well. Would it be too much to ask you to give it chance?

I have inevitably and predictably mentioned what happened and continues to happen with Lohan’s life off screen. How could I not, given the nature of her character. But cut me some slack – everyone’s doing it. I at least kept it 50-50.

My Rating ***

Photo: Universal Pictures.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Plot Thickens

Last night’s “The Man Behind the Curtain,” a Ben- (Michael Emerson, pictured at right) centric episode of Lost, offered revelations and an unexpected, jaw-drop-inducing bang.

If you’re a fan, then click
here – do it! – to read a spoilertacular recap on EW.com.

Photo: EW.com.
Just Because, Pt. 3

Evidently, I like Rascal Flatts, or at least some of their stuff.

You know, because…

What hurts the most /


Was being so close /

And having so much to say /

And watching you walk away.”

Who knew, right? I didn’t. I mean, I do, but I didn’t know that I would find the song so…so gosh darn…you know. I guess it’s true what they say about country music.

Photo: BN.com.

I’ll Take a Glimmer with a Side of Possibility Please

I’ve been holding on to the news that The CW recently gave a fourth season of the criminally under-watched Veronica Marsa glimmer of hope,” for, honestly, I couldn’t bear to get my hopes up only to be disappointed on this one.

But I just decided it’s time to throw caution to the wind, and hope for the best.

And the best would be more Veronica Mars. You have to get the DVDs of the seasons that already are out if you don’t believe. I dare ya – I double-dare ya – to tell me you didn’t enjoy this smartly written, layered fun, beautifully acted show.

Photo: TheCW.com.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Yeah, I Got a Crush on Mandy

Mandy Moore’s new video for her latest single, “Extraordinary,” is now out there – and there’s plenty of the erstwhile “Candy” singer to go around and love.

The song, by the way, plays over the end credits of this Friday’s Georgia Rule.

And no, it wasn’t the best part of the Jane Fonda-Felicity Huffman-Lindsay Lohan movie, so don’t be hatin’, alright.

Photo: TheBosh.com.

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Simple Life (Not)

By now, we all know that Paris Hilton’s going to jail on June 5 for 45 days. Her cell mate’s going to get rich.

It was Breaking News on CNN on Friday.

Seriously.

CNN and all the outlets really ought to put a moratorium on “Breaking News”; in fact, the expression only should be used when the troops come home.

Now, is it “cruel” that the heir-head has had to find out that stars may be blind but justice isn’t – the hard way? Perhaps, but it’s wickedly enjoyable to see that she’s being held accountable for what she does or, in this case, I guess, doesn’t do.

At the end of the day it’s like, big whoop. But the debate will rage on…I already can see the headlines.

Is pop culture finally sending Paris Hilton away by actually sending her away (to the clink)? Or will this new “street cred,” if you will, make her a bigger phenomenon than ever before? We’ll find out this summer. You gotta give it to her, though: she'll go everywhere.

On a sort of unrelated note, say it isn’t so, Lindsay!

Photo: Blogging.la.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Web Master of His Domain

The long-awaited Spider-Man 3 swings into movie theaters today – and some people are so excited, they just can’t hide it.

I was one of those people who took in a midnight screening last night, which is kind of a really crazy thing to do on a school night. It was a long movie, after all, but it was fun; a 7 out of a possible 10. (I’d give the original movie an 8, and the first sequel a 9.)

Ah, yes – Spider-Man 3 doesn’t quite hold up the way Spider-Man 2 did, mostly because there’s a lot packed into 140 minutes of summer blockbuster fun, especially in the first third.

There’s the ominous introduction of a black alien symbiote, that of not one but two villains, and that of
a potential new love interest. Not to mention, Peter Parker’s girlfriend Mary Jane Watson also is back – and she’s going through something – as is Peter’s estranged best friend Harry Osborn.

You’d think by now Peter (Tobey Maguire) would've managed to strike a balance between his devotion to M.J. (Kirsten Dunst) and his duties as a superhero. Instead he’s let fame spin a web around his head, blurring his vision of what really is important.

When he comes into contact with the symbiote, Peter and consequently Spider-Man change. They both become cocky and thoughtless. Dark.

As his superhero powers become more enhanced, Peter’s humanity is weakened. After getting some news about the real culprit behind his Uncle Ben’s murder, he begins to crave revenge, and our hero further loses control.

Forced to choose between the seductive powers his
new suit affords him and the compassionate hero and person he used to be, Peter must overcome his personal demons as the Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) and Venom (Topher Grace) threaten him and everyone he loves. And, thus, he also must make peace with Harry, a.k.a. the New Goblin (James Franco).

So – is Spider-Man 3 worth your while? Well, yes, of course it is; it’s a thrill. But will it disappoint you? I guess it depends on your definition of disappointment. Technically, the movie’s incredible, yet the story, which has been building for two movies now, comes to a somewhat anticlimactic conclusion.

Still, I’d happily see Spider-Man 4, should it ever come to be. But in my mind, the amazing Spider-Man saga has come to what could be a most satisfying, leave-them-wanting-more sort of end.

My Rating ***

Photo: Columbia Pictures.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

So Long My Girls

Word from Stars Hollow, make that Hollywood, actually, is that this season of one of the most beloved TV shows on schedule,
Gilmore Girls, will be its last.

As a late arrival to the fast-talking, super amusing, zeitgeist-conscious party that is…was…the show, I cannot help but feel a bit blue.

But oy with the blues already – I’m going to enjoy the final episodes as much as I can, as I wait for Luke and Lorelai (
Lauren Graham) to reunite, and for Rory (Alexis Bledel) to move on to the new chapter of her life.

At least I still have Veronica Mars to get me through Tuesday nights. I better do.

Photo: CW56.com (Gilmore Girls).
Reunite, Already!

The Spice Girls are such teases.

Last month, Baby (Emma Bunton), Posh (Victoria Beckham), and Sporty (Melanie Chisholm) attended the christening of Geri Halliwell’s, a.k.a. Ginger, baby girl, Bluebell Madonna.

Now comes word – and photographic evidence – that the girls, sans Mel C but with Scary (Melanie Brown), got together again last night in London to celebrate America bound David Beckham’s 32nd birthday.

The Girls sure are acting chummy these days, which is great because, you will remember, they were said to have parted ways on bad terms a few years ago. I really hope this means a reunion is imminent.

Just “Say You’ll Be There,” won’t you, Girls.

Photo: Board.VeryCD.com.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Diddy’s Doing It

Never thought I’d say this – gasp! – but damn if I’m not liking Diddy’s music these days.

Here I was thinking his “Tell Me,” featuring Christina Aguilera, from his Press Play, was just a fluke, when, whoop, there it is, the artist formerly known as P. Diddy, formerly known as Jennifer Lopez’s ex, formerly known as Puff Daddy, comes out with another hit single (“Last Night,” featuring Keyshia Cole).

What do you say: Does Diddy finally have It…as a performer?

Photo: BN.com.
J’adore!

In the upcoming Paris, Je T'aime, Alfonso Cuarón, Wes Craven, and Alexander Payne, among others, direct a splendid international cast that includes Steve Buscemi, Ben Gazzara, Marianne Faithful, Catalina Sandino Moreno,
Natalie Portman, Gena Rowlands, Leonor Watling, and Li Xin, through a series of 20 short love stories based in each of the arrondissements in the French capital.

It sounds like a très charmant little concept, doesn’t it.

You can see the trailer for Paris, Je T’aime
here.

Photo: LinternAute.com.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Oh, MTV – Didn’t Awards Season Just End?

300 and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest lead the nominations for the 2007 MTV Movie Awards with five and four nods apiece.

Yep, it’s time to have some mindless summer awards fun.

Both films have been nominated for the Best Movie award, alongside Blades of Glory, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, and Little Miss Sunshine.

The rest of the nominations include:

Best Performance: Gerard Butler (300), Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest), Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest), Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls), Beyoncé Knowles (Dreamgirls), and Will Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness).

Breakthrough Performance: Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada), Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine), Lena Headey (300), Columbus Short (Stomp the Yard), Jaden Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness), and Justin Timberlake (Alpha Dog).

Best Comedic Performance: Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada), Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan), Will Ferrell (Blades of Glory), Adam Sandler (Click), and Ben Stiller (Night at the Museum).

Best Kiss: Cameron Diaz and Jude Law (The Holiday), Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen (Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby), Columbus Short and Meagan Good (Stomp the Yard), Mark Wahlberg and Elizabeth Banks (Invincible), and Marlon Wayans and Brittany Daniel (Little Man).

For a complete list of nominees, and to vote, click here.

Photo: 20th Century Fox (Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan).