Saturday, May 31, 2008

No One’s Gonna Stop Her Now

Madonna’s video for “Give It 2 Me” is out…and now we know where the photos that appeared in American and British Elle came from, don’t we.

I heart how she multitasks.

And how she can go on and on and on….

Photo: Madonna-Connexion.com.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Guys…Where Is It?

Parts 2 and 3 of Lost’s fourth season finale, “There’s No Place Like Home,” aired last night, and an although a lot happened, I couldn’t help but think it was rather anticlimactic.

Yes, there were plenty of meaningful moments – my heart all but sunk, deep, when Sawyer --m-ed --- the chopper; I rejoiced when Desmond and Penny were ---n----; and when Ben passed the torch to Locke before moving the Island, well…I felt for the leader of the Others, a man who describes himself as “one of the good guys.”

There was no fan-panic-inducing cliffhanger, though – no Big Tease to see us through the eight long months that will transpire before the fifth season premiere. A more fitting parting shot would have been seeing the mysterious Island vanish in front of our eyes. Where? When? How?

Huh?

Instead, we found out who was in the coffin at the funeral home Jack visited at the end of the third season.

At least the pieces are in place for next year, and perhaps this is a good thing.

But I don’t feel lost for the first time in the history of the show. And that’s sad because it means the end – in 2010 – is near, and, presumably, all of Lost’s answers will be found.

And so an outstanding fourth season of the most intriguing show on TV ends. The Emmys had better reward the work of the entire cast and crew this year.

Photo: ABC.com.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Biggest Sex of All

Last we saw the women of the hit HBO series Sex and the City – back on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2004 (yeah, I remember) – they’d all gotten the love.

Carrie Bradshaw’s lifelong quest for “real, ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each other love” had come to an end when, after six long years of on-off romance, Mr. Big finally told her she was the one.

Samantha Jones had beaten breast cancer and admitted that her boyfriend Smith Jerrod had meant more to her than any man she’d ever known.

Charlotte York-Goldenblatt’s life with husband Harry had gotten more blessed when their adoption of a Chinese baby girl went through, and Miranda Hobbes had settled nicely into her new life in Brooklyn with husband Steve and son Brady.

Four years later, Carrie & Co. are back, and I just couldn’t be more thrilled.

Sex and the City was a groundbreaking phenomenon in its premium-cable run, one that grew exponentially when it was adapted to air on basic cable.

Today marks another landmark in the Sex machine’s history: A much-anticipated film adaptation is opening – a remarkable feat considering that A) an earlier shot at transitioning to the silver screen soon after the series finale didn’t pan out, and B) Hollywood quite rarely banks on movies starring women over 40.

As Sex and the City opens at a theater near you, you must celebrate more than the return of four friends. You also must celebrate a Manolo Blahnik-high-heeled step in the right direction for an entire industry.

Cosmos for everyone!

But onto the business du jour.....

The movie acknowledges that time has passed and that these women are still living and thriving, as luminous as ever, older, and, yes, wiser.

Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) still is with John James Preston (Chris Noth), a.k.a. Mr. Big. She no longer writes her newspaper column, but still writes for Vogue and has in fact published two more books and is working on a fourth.

Samantha (Kim Cattrall) is in remission and now lives on the West Coast where she runs a talent management agency – her biggest client is Smith (Jason Lewis), with whom she lives in L.A. She’s even more successful than before, yet she feels disconnected from herself.

Meanwhile, Charlotte (Kristin Davis) is beyond happy – happy to the point where she feels guilty about it – and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is grappling with an unfathomable betrayal.

Clocking at almost 2 ½ hours, Sex and the City is an ambitious movie.

I’m tickled to say veteran series writer-director Michael Patrick King really packed into it everything you ever could want it to have and more (even Carrie’s tutu makes a cameo) – fun, laughs, tears; joy, sadness, anger; shoes, bags, belts....

Oh yeah, you can’t talk Sex and the City without talking about the fashion. Costume designer Patricia Field has outdone herself, but the biggest, best trend the movie will spawn is love.

By the way – there’s a fundamental reason why Carrie always looks her best: she knows she can’t risk looking like a hamper had just thrown up on her should she run into an ex, which is what happened to me on my way to the movie. Really.

But I digress. And I haven’t even mentioned Jennifer Hudson’s pivotal turn as Louise, Carrie’s assistant. Ha – I guess I just did.

As the trailer, and countless Internet reports already revealed, including mine, Carrie and Mr. Big get engaged in the movie. She poses for Vogue as a beaming bride, which leads to a gorgeous and dramatic and voluminous Vivienne Westwood dress…and to the wedding getting bigger than Big.

Will our protagonist get her happy ending? That is the movie’s biggest crux, and, naturally, you’re going to have to watch it for the answer. Fans of the series definitely will not be disappointed, and they will feel like Carrie & Co. have come full circle. For that, this is the most satisfying Sex of all.

My Rating ****

Photo: New Line Cinema.
Words You Never Want to Hear

He’s Just Not That Into You.

When Greg Behrendt and Liz Tucillo, a former executive story editor and writer on HBO’s Sex and the City, respectively, got their 2004 best-selling 2004 book by that name, it created a sensation.

In 2008, He’s Just Not That Into You will hit the big screen with an ensemble cast supplying laughs and perhaps a few answers to the bewildering questions of love and relationships.

The rom-com’s trailer looks extremely promising, and how could it not, what with – big breath now – Jennifer Connelly, Kevin Connolly (HBO’s Entourage), Bradley Cooper, Ginnifer Goodwin (HBO’s Big Love), Scarlett Johansson, Justin Long, Jennifer Aniston and Ben Affleck (pictured on set at right), and Drew Barrymore, among the principals.

Photo: People.com.
If the Pajamas Fit...

Robert Downey Jr. is a wanted man.


Brett Ratner is courting the Iron Man star to slip on Hugh Hefner’s silk pajamas in his planned Hefner biopic, the tentatively titled Playboy.

“Robert Downey Jr. agreed to do it based on the script,” Ratner told EW.com. “We’re gonna hand him the script very shortly. He loves the character and the role and we’ve been meeting with him on it. So, if he wants to do it, we’re excited to have him.”

Downey’s on a roll. He’ll follow the massive success of Iron Man with a supporting turn in the buzz-worthy Tropic Thunder in August, and he’ll appear in The Soloist in the fall.

A turn in Playboy could be high-profile and meaty enough – no pun intended (seriously).

Photo: Men.Style.com.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Previewing the Inevitable

TV’s Lost has had a banner fourth season, one that sadly will conclude with a two-hour finale tomorrow night.

“Dark. Violent. Casualties.”

Those three words are said too much in our world, but those are the three words Michael Emerson, a.k.a. Ben (pictured at right with co-stars Jorge Garcia and Terry O’Quinn), chose to describe the finale in a two-part interview with TVGuide.com.

It’s going to be a long many months before Lost’s fifth season premieres in 2009. What will I do?

Photo: SpoilerScoop.com.

Update: TVGuide.com has posted the second part of their interview with Michael Emerson. It’s a quite the read.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Viva Coldplay

As the June 17 due date of Coldplay’s “brilliantViva La Vida nears, Entertainment Weekly recently previewed the band’s fourth album, and praised “the fresh addition of soaring riffs, Eastern rhythms, and ethereal group vocals.”

Click here to read what the mag had to say about Coldplay’s “nod to U2’s ‘42’ and the Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘1979,’” as well as their song about love in Japan.

Photo: EW.com.
R.I.P. Syd

One of Hollywood most prolific multi-hyphenates, Sydney Pollack, died of cancer at age 73 yesterday.

An Academy Award-winning producer-director (Out of Africa), and a multi-faceted actor (TV’s Will & Grace, Michael Clayton), Pollack was famous for his decades-spawning generosity, which definitely translated on screen.

“Sydney made the world a little better, movies a little better, and even dinner a little better,” said his Michael Clayton co-star George Clooney. “A tip of the hat to a class act. He’ll be missed terribly.”

Photo: WashingtonPost.com.

Update: Tom Cruise is also remembering Pollack, saying, “Throughout the years, unpretentious and never condescending, he shared with me what he loved about family, storytelling, food, flying and a great bottle of vino. He was a Renaissance man and a great friend. I will miss him dearly.”

Monday, May 26, 2008

Nostalgia, Pt. 21

Robin Thicke, “I’m so glad I found you.”

Why wasn’t The Evolution of Robin Thicke a bigger hit I’ll never understand, I’m telling you that.

Photo: SocialiteLife.CeleBuzz.com.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Chosen One

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull co-star Shia LaBeouf’s 2008 is going to top his 2007.

Last year, he broke through with Disturbia and shone his star with the success of Transformers.

He is currently at a theater near you trading jabs with Harrison Ford, and come September, he’ll carry the non-franchise thriller Eagle Eye, which I gotta tell you, looks quite promising. (Michelle Monaghan co-stars.)

Check out the trailer here.

It sure pays off to be an F.O.S., huh.

Photo: DreamWorks Pictures.

Let’s Not Forget About the Sex-y Fashion

The Sex and the City movie is seven days away.

Are you just so excited?


Good…I’m going in four days. And I only get a plus one, so you can’t come.

“I’m sorry. I can’t. Don’t hate me.”

To tidy us up, though, there’s a featurette on the incredible fashions costume designer Patricia Field chose for the production making its way around the Internet.

Click here to check it out and die of sartorial envy.

Photo: New Line Cinema.

She’s Got the Groove, Baby

I talked to Estelle yesterday, for a story in Miami Living magazine’s August issue, and the British Hip-Hop singer could not have been cooler.

We talked about her childhood, her records, her music – you know, the works.

I made it a point to spend a moment talking about “No Substitute Love,” though, a track off Shine, her sophomore effort.

I really took the song immediately because of its sample of George Michael’s “Faith.”

But once I read the lyrics – “I know it would have been nice if I could have had your body / Knowing that everybody ain’t been with you / but you told me lies you made me give my heart away / but now I know the games you play / And I’m thru with you” – I knew for sure Estelle had the groove, baby.

And there’s nothing better than that.

Photo: ByWayOf.net.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mr. Jones and His One Last, Adventurous Hoorah

“Was it good for you?

That, I imagine, will be the question fans both old and new will ask one another after the Indiana Jones and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull credits have rolled.

It’s been 19 years since Harrison Ford donned his famously earthy fedora and cracked his whip in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, so obviously, anticipation was high for this movie.


Set in the Cold War late-1950s, the fourth entry in the beloved produced-by-George Lucas-and-directed-by-Steven Spielberg-saga sees an older Indy thrust back into action, venturing deep into the Amazonian rainforest of Peru in a race against Soviet agents to find the mythical titular artifact.

This being an adventure movie that needs to appeal equally to the generation that grew up with it and to the Thumb Generation, Shia LaBeouf co-stars as a smart-mouthed James Dean wannabe named Mutt who tags along on the quest, because he, too, is looking for something…or someone.

Oh, heck – Spoiler Alert! – Mutt is looking for Indiana Jones’ feisty former flame Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen). Connect the dots, already.

Playing the movie’s power-mad Soviet agent standing in the way, Irina Spalko, is a sleek-looking Cate Blanchett, chewing scenery with much gusto and sporting the trendsetting hairdo Katie Holmes debuted earlier this year.

So…was it good for me?

I’d say, overall, yes it was.

I don’t remember the specific plot points of the original trilogy – yes, even though I watched it with my grandfather on many a Sunday afternoon – but I do remember it had an overarching style and tone that was all its own.

Indy was and is an icon of my childhood; it’s always nice to see him. Kudos to Ford for stepping back into those shoes so gracefully.

But Indiana Jones and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull stands apart from the first three movies, and it very well should, because the times, they have a-changed. We have Jason Bourne and superheroes to ignite the silver screen now. As great as Indy is, he, too, is quite specific to an era in film.

Watch this movie with a nostalgic eye, and you definitely will enjoy it. It’ll be real good that way.

My Rating ***

Photo: Paramount Pictures.
Madonna Cannes-Cannes

Shocker: Madonna owned the red carpet at the 61st Cannes Film Festival premiere of I Am Because We Are.

M posed for photographers in the arms of both Guy Ritchie and Sharon Stone, and from the looks of it, the latter was happier to bask in the Queen of Pop’s spotlight.


Stone was like a kid in a “Candy Shop” – like, all over Madonna.

Mr. Ritchie, on the other hand, can be such a sourpuss sometimes. Cute, but a total sourpuss.

Photo: DrownedMadonna.com.

Remember Your First…

Alicia Keys’ latest, “Teenage Love Affair,” makes me think of “my first / My last, my ending and beginning,” alright.

And that’s just swell.

Photo: YahDigg.com.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sex-ing in a Week

Exactly a week from this moment today, I will be one of the first ever to watch the Sex and the City movie.

What I would give for a cosmopolitan and a flash-forward right about now….

Photo: New Line Cinema.
Live from Miami?

As I teased last week, I’ve heard there is, indeed, talk of Madonna broadcasting her Nov. 26 “Sticky & Sweet Tour” concert live from Miami.

Loving that idea.

Do it, and see my booty get down, right.

Photo: StyleFrizz.com.

To the Great White Way and Beyond

Once a promising actress, Katie Holmes stole scenes on TV’s Dawson’s Creek and showed she could hold her own in films such as The Ice Storm, The Gift, and Pieces of April.

Then she became a Stepford Wife. (Hey, everyone says so.)

To prove that she can still play other parts, Holmes soon will head to Broadway to star in Arthur Miller’s All My Sons.

The play depicts the tragedy of a man who knowingly sold defective plane parts to the government during World War II, and has to face the truth when his son wants to propose to his business partner’s daughter.

John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest, and Patrick Wilson will co-star.

And so, a star is re-born. Break a leg. (Hey, that’s just a saying.)

Photo: OrlandoSentinel.com.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Rise of the Land Down Under

Seven years after delivering the most original musical in decades – yeah…decades – Moulin Rouge! director Baz Luhrmann will take us to Australia on Nov. 14.

Starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, the film tells an epic story set in pre-World War II Northern Down Under.

Kidman plays Lady Sarah Ashley, an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch and reluctantly pacts with a stock-man simply known as The Drover (Jackman), in order to protect her property from a takeover plot.

As the two drive 2,000 head of cattle over an unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces firsthand, and inevitably fall in love.

Photo: SlashFilm.com.

Friday, May 16, 2008

All Good Things Must Come to an End

I haven’t been posting a whole lot on the best drama on TV, Lost, since it began airing the back end of its fourth-season episodes because…well, because I wanted to enjoy the experience in more traditional way, you know.

But last night’s first hour of a three-hour season finale, “There’s No Place Like Home,” was fan-frakkin’-tastic.

Like, I watched the episode twice to make sure I didn’t miss a thing.

We still don’t know how or why they were chosen, but we saw the “Oceanic Six” get off the Island, we learned how and when Jack found out Claire was his sister, and finally, we saw Ben, Locke, and Hurley arrive at the pivotal Orchid, yet another Dharma station.

The final two hours of the season won’t air for two weeks, and although I cannot wait, I know Lost will not disappoint.

Photo: ABC.com.
What a Gay Time!

Now that California’s Supreme Court has struck down a law banning gay marriage, Hollywood’s celebrating.

Ellen DeGeneres has announced plans to wed her longtime girlfriend Portia de Rossi (TV’s Arrested Development).

The sure-to be-controversial California Supreme Court ruling says that people have a fundamental “right to marry” the partner of their choosing – therefore a previous ban on gay marriage was ruled unconstitutional.

This is, of course, a major victory for the GLBT community – and I do dare say for the entire human race – but there’s still plenty to do.

So keep it up.

And best wishes to the DeGeneres-de Rossi couple...and congratulations and best wishes to the many more who are now allowed to marry in California.

Photo: TimeInc.net.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Out of Sight

Dubbed “a serious spectacle” at the ongoing 61st Cannes Film Festival, Fernando Meirelles’ Blindness doesn’t open stateside until Sept. 19, but it’s already near the top of my list.

Starring Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Gael Garcia Bernal, Don McKellar, and Danny Glover, the film follows what happens after sudden blindness plagues more than 90 percent of the population, and a small group of the afflicted decides to band to overcome the horrific conditions of their imposed quarantine.

Sounds like smart thriller to me.

Photo: Miramax Films.
I’m Going to Tell You a Sex-y Secret

Sarah Jessica Parker has told Entertainment Weekly that starring in a female-driven summer blockbuster feels “wonderful.”

Do you want to know what else Parker and the rest of the cast and crew shared with the magazine about the Sex and the City movie, which is now 15 days away?

Well, then click here for an extended tease of what’s to come.

Photo: EW.com.
A Thanksgiving to Remember

The days leading up to this year’s Thanksgiving sure are getting busy.

Firstly, I learned that Madonna will be in Miami on Nov. 26, for what might be a later-in-the-evening-than-announced concert (due to reasons I can’t reveal now).

Secondly, I was told M might perform in Miami the night before – Nov. 25 – as well.

And today I learned that Fox has set a Nov. 23 air date for the two-hour 24 TV movie that will fill the gap between the sixth and seventh seasons.

“Filmed partially on location in South Africa, the ‘prequel’ finds Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) battling an international crisis while the United States prepares to inaugurate a new president,” says TVGuide.com.

The seventh season of 24 will premiere in January.

Photo: DailyMail.co.uk.

Update: 24 star Kiefer Sutherland promises “Season 7 is going to be the best season yet.”

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Rock Goes the Popcorn

I still say they’re taking liberties for not coming to Miami on tour, but one place Coldplay are going this summer is L.A., for June 1’s MTV Movie Awards.

The band will perform “Violet Hill,” the first single from their new album, Viva La Vida (due out on June 17) during the show. The Pussycat Dolls also will take to the stage.

Leading nominee Superbad is up for buckets of Golden Popcorn in a handful of categories including Best Movie.

But back to Coldplay: They have to announce a Miami date. They just have to, don’t you know, don’t you know.

Photo: ShinyMedia.com.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Magic Word

Am I the only one who thinks the “Please” Rihanna utters in her new single, “Take a Bow,” packs quite the wallop?

No, right?

I looove it.

Photo: People.com.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Plan for Fall

Eli Stone – my writers-strike-induced TV addiction – has been renewed for a second season.

Well, color me happy…and stay within the edges please.

You simply must catch up on this gem of a show online or get the DVDs ASAP.

Photo: NJ.com.

Update 1: Click here to find out what will be coming back and what will be new at Eli Stone’s home, ABC, come fall.

Update 2: Do you want to know what CBS is expected to have on its schedule for the new TV season?

Update: 3: It might be time to catch up on Reaper, after all. The CW has renewed it and Gossip Girl – yay! – for a sophomore run.

Update 4: Fox has announced its schedule for fall…and it’s making mentally re-arrange my own.

London, London, London, We Goin’ Down Like

Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon are doing it: They’re unveiling the Sex and the City movie around the world.

With 18 days to go until the fab four’s much-anticipated summer blockbuster opens stateside, they were just in London premiering it to the delight of fans across the pond.

And what does one wear to the premiere of a movie featuring no less than 81 costume changes for its star?

If you’re SJP, you wear something over the top…like a green full-skirted Alexander McQueen confection, Fred Leighton diamonds, and, natch, a dramatic Phillip Treacy hat complete with green roses and yellow butterflies.

Carrie Bradshaw so would approve.

Photo: People.com.
No Reservations

Iron Man’s Gwyneth Paltrow and chef Mario Batali will co-star in this fall’s 13-part PBS documentary series Spain…On the Road Again, in which they travel through Iberia, eating, cooking, and taking in the sights, along with food writer Mark Bittman and Spanish star Claudia Bassols.

“Gwyneth’s doing this first and foremost because she loves Mario and she loves Spain,” executive producer Charlie Pinsky told People.

Click here to watch a preview. And then write on a Post-It a note that reads: “TiVo Spain…On the Road Again this fall.”

Photo: ChinaDaily.com.

Friday, May 09, 2008

A Cold(play) Summer

Coldplay are going on tour to support their upcoming album Viva La Vida.

Hold the phone – the band is not coming to Miami, or anywhere else in Florida? (I took a road trip to Orlando to see them perform when they were promoting X&Y. Couldn’t they come to me now?)

That’s got to be a mistake, right?

Photo: PerezHilton.com.
It’s Going to Be a Bumpy One

From the visionary directors of The Matrix, the Wachowski brothers, comes the in-development-since-the-early-1990s live action film adaptation of the 1960s Japanese anime series Speed Racer, starring Almost It Boy Emile Hirsch.

I say Hirsch is an Almost It Boy because the Wachowskis have done him – and their audience, really – a disservice by favoring style over substance in their first, overindulgent delivery since 2003’s The Matrix Revolutions.

Hirsch, who is following his much-praised turn in Into the Wild with this would-be summer blockbuster, simply deserved better.

He could’ve been this year’s Shia LaBeouf.

Instead, Shia LaBoeuf will be this year’s Shia LaBeouf when Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull opens later this summer.

But – what do you know – I digress. The truth is Speed Racer is not without its merits. The racing scenes are quite exciting…like, grab-onto-you-armrest exciting.

When the best thing anyone can say about a movie is that its visuals are the good kind of crazy, though (the Wachowskis filmed it in pioneering high-def video, using a layering method to put both the foreground and the background of scenes in focus to have a real-life anime appearance), well…that’s just not worth the price of admission, is it?

For that you can wait for the DVD and watch at home in your big-screen TV.

Tell you what: Take a look-see at the first seven minutes of Speed Racer and then decide whether you want to see the entire thing.

Of the plot I’ll say Hirsch plays the titular character, an aggressive, instinctive and, most of all, fearless driver who decides to take on a big corporation after he discovers it’s fixing races and wants to drive the Racer family out of business.

Matthew Fox (TV’s Lost) and Christina Ricci co-star as Speed’s mysterious ally Racer X, who may or may not be his presumed-dead older brother, and his girlfriend Trixie.

They, too, deserved better.

My Rating **

Photo: Warner Bros.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Dear Mr. President

Entertainment Weekly has in its new issue an exclusive package on this fall’s W, Oliver Stone’s biopic on the life and presidency of George W. Bush.

Included are interviews with stars Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Banks and director/co-screenwriter Stone, as well as discussion on “the inevitable questions about W’s accuracy and fairness, the reluctance of almost everyone in Hollywood (right or left) to get involved in the project, the ongoing search for an actor to play Dick Cheney, and the film’s possible impact on the 2008 presidential election (producers want Stone to rush the film into theaters by October – unlikely but not impossible).”

Look – these days I’m sure most want to write the name “George W. Bush” followed by the question “What are you going to do about these gas prices?”


How does he sleep well while the rest of us cry?

I have to say, though, that my W has my curiosity.

What do you think?

Photo: EW.com.
She’ll Be Your One Stop

Madonna’s hitting the road once again.

The one and only will kick off her much-anticipated “Sticky & Sweet Tour” in Cardiff, Wales, on Aug. 23, hitting along the way France, Germany, and the U.K., among others.

M’s first stateside stop will be Rutherford, N.J., on Oct. 3, and she’ll play Miami – at Dolphin Stadium, no less – on Nov. 26.

Magic City tickets go on sale on May 31. Additional dates and venues – the Queen of Pop is going all over the world, y’all – will be announced soon.

Her sugar is raw – and I can’t wait to have a taste.

By the way, I hear the rock “Hung Up” Madonna tried at the Roseland Ballroom performance in New York City last month – it’s not happening on tour. I’m told it’s “too complicated for everyone.”

Photo: PerezHilton.com.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Got Milk

EW.com has an exclusive first look at a scene from Gus Van Sant’s upcoming Milk, a biopic starring Sean Penn as Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man ever to be elected to office in a major U.S. city.

The film follows Milk as he rises in 1977 from community activist to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

“[Sean] is playing a guy who’s not at all like him, way beyond the sexuality of the character,” says producer Dan Jinks. “Harvey was this guy who wanted everybody to love him, and he loved everybody. Sean just completely became that guy. It’s a real transformation.”

Milk, co-starring Emile Hirsch (Speed Racer), James Franco, Josh Brolin, and Diego Luna, is due out in the fall.

Photo: EW.com.
Will the Actors Strike Back?

It seems Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, and George Clooney were onto something….

After three weeks of “insufficient progress” negotiating with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers announced today that it is turning its attention to the other actors union, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).

The goal will be to hammer out a new primetime contract for AFTRA-covered shows like HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm – and, ultimately, to avoid another debilitating Hollywood walkout like the 100-day-long writers strike that ended in February.

I like the sound of that, but I’m not sure the news is all that good. Is it?

The contracts for both SAG and AFTRA expire June 30.

Stay tuned.

Photo: HeroesTheSeries.com.
MTV Feels Superbad

Talk about doing good: Superbad has the most nominations going into this year’s 17th Annual MTV Movie Awards.

Last year’s late-summer sleeper hit is up for buckets of Golden Popcorn in a handful of categories including Best Movie, Best Male Performance (for Michael Cera and Jonah Hill, pictured at right), and Best Breakthrough Performance (for Christopher Mintz-Plasse, a.k.a. “McLovin”).

Juno follows close behind with four nominations, including Best Female Performance (for Ellen Page).

Also vying for awards are American Gangster’s Denzel Washington (Best Villain), Enchanted’s Amy Adams (Best Comedic Performance), and Transformers’ Megan Fox (Breakthrough Performance), among others.

This year’s ceremony will be hosted by Mike Myers, and will air on June 1.

Click here to help choose the winners.

Photo: Columbia Pictures (Superbad).

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Gasp!

On last night’s totally “OMFG” episode of Gossip Girl, Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) finally revealed to BFF Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) her deepest, darkest secret: She “--ll--- someone”!

Alright, so the beans recently were sort of spilled in the blogosphere, but still, hearing it, seeing it, it made me sit up at the edge of my bed and go all O-M-F-G, indeed.

You have got to start watching this show – you know you’ll love it – or at least, catch up on it this summer. It’s campy, it’s glossy, it’s soapy, it’s smart, and it’s witty. Oh, and the clothes are to die for.

A few other secrets became public knowledge – Serena’s brother Eric’s came out, Little J’s popped – but the episode belonged to Serena’s long-awaited explosion for which we have been waiting since the reformed bad girl came back to Manhattan.

I don’t anticipate the smoke will clear anytime soon, and I trust the show’s writers will deal with the fallout – a tricky task for the remainder of this first season and surely next season – in a way that will make me “XOXO” Gossip Girl even more.

Photo: CWTV.com.

Update: Everyone has something to say about last night’s shocking reveal. That Gossip Girl sure knows how to make people talk.

Monday, May 05, 2008

They’ve Got It Going On

The reunited New Kids on the Block will release their new single “Summertime” on May 13, but if you can’t wait, you can give the song a short first listen on People.com.

“Sweet and bright, the song finds the guys getting nostalgic, singing, ‘I think of you in the summertime / and all the good times we had, baby,’” the magazine says.

Awww.

The quintet will perform “Summertime” on the Today show on May 16 before hitting the road for a summer tour.

Photo: People.com.
Penn State

Chace Crawford may be Gossip Girl’s “designated hot guy,” but Penn Badgley’s untroubled, unassuming, unabashed charisma is what makes him the show’s thinking-girl’s (and -boy’s) object of affection.

A tabloid fixture in the making (because of his rumored off-screen romance with on-screen girlfriend Blake Lively), Badgley’s Dan truly is the moral compass of the show, and thus, the embodiment of the perfect guy for many a fan.

But the preview for tonight’s episode, in which Lively’s Serena van der Woodsen’s frenemy Georgina Sparks spins her web around him, has me thinking Dan’s Lonely Boy persona might be in for a spicing up.

What – you don’t get any of that? Then start watching the show, already.

If Gossip Girl has taught us anything at all it is that, “You’re nobody until you’re talked about.” The show’s something alright – you’re just not talking about it.

So that makes you….

Take a look at right. If anything, do it for Badgley.

Photo: AgeApt.com.
Sex Is Good

Super-duper-early reviews by the New York Daily News and FoxNews.com of the Sex and the City movie are out, and both say the movie’s good.

Both praise Patricia Field’s costume design, natch (“every scene [will] keep any fashionista salivating,” says the Daily News), and tease that Jennifer Hudson’s role as Carrie Bradshaw’s assistant is bigger than expected.

The Daily News goes on to say that, “The four stars – not to mention Chris Noth as Mr. Big, David Eigenberg as Steve, and Evan Handler as Harry – are the most appealing ensemble of the year.”

I cannot wait to have some blockbuster Sex in just 25 days. Can you?

Photo: New Line Cinema.

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Man in the Iron Everything

Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man are going to be pissed….

A new comic book hero – a very little known at that – is making the transition to the silver screen, and he’s doing it successfully. Robert Downey Jr. kicks off 2008’s sizzling summer season in Jon Favreau’s Iron Man, the first production from Marvel Studios, which, you should know, has become and fully funded, autonomous company.

In a fun, defining role of a lifetime, former-Bad Boy-of-Hollywood Downey plays Tony Stark, a billionaire industrialist-and-genius inventor-turned-heroic Iron Man.

The star has battled excesses in the past, but, much like his munitions mogul alter ego, he managed to turn it around. Who knows how it happened in real life, but in the movie, someone tells Stark, after recognizing his talent, “Don’t waste your life.” Cue the 180.

Iron Man puts us in the thick of action right away – a smart move from Favreau, an actor-turned-director who has helmed such crowd-pleasers as Elf.

After Stark is kidnapped in Afghanistan and forced to build one of his own weapons for the bad guys, he decides to put his smarts to good use and build a high-tech iron suit to escape captivity.

But when he uncovers an evil plot with global implications, of which his company has become an unwitting participant, Stark decides to perfect his invention and don the armor to protect those he has put in harm’s way.

And thus, a hero – and blockbuster franchise – is born.

Iron Man is a sexy, loud, entertaining movie. It’s funny, too.

Downey is quite perfect as flawed Stark, and he definitely ups the game of his already-effective co-stars, Terrence Howard and Gwyneth Paltrow. Jeff Bridges co-stars as Stark’s bitter associate Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger.

Especially noteworthy is the chemistry between Downey and Paltrow, who plays his spunky assistant, Virginia “Pepper” Potts. It’s rather remarkable, and one of the movie’s strongest suits. (Thank goodness for sexual tension.)

If this movie is to serve as an indicator for what is to come this season, then we’re in for good one. Better yet, this movie sets everything for a sequel beyond nicely – and the truth is I wouldn’t mind one bit seeing Stark back.

My Rating ***1/2

Photo: Paramount Pictures.

Update 1: Marvel Studios has announced, on the heels of a $101 million opening weekend for Iron Man (better than anyone expected), that it will release part deux on April 30, 2010.

And wouldn’t you?

Here’s to hoping the sequel features a kiss between Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow, though.

The company also announced plans to bring to silver screens a few other superheroes, namely Thor and Captain America, as well as a movie that would bring together these three plus the Incredible Hulk.

Awesome!

Update 2: Iron Man’s official weekend tally was $98.6 million.
Ugly It Up, Already

Multiple Ugly Betty sources have confirmed to TVGuide.com that Lindsay Lohan is in “advanced discussions” to guest star on the hit show’s season finale.

Well, that took long enough.

Word on street is producers also would like L2 back on the show next season for an eight-episode arc.

Here’s to hoping that it happens. A regular gig can do a girl good – you know you read the gossip – especially if she knocks it out of the park.

Come on, Linds. Show us you still got it.

Photo: ChinaSSPP.com.

Update: ABC has confirmed that Lohan will indeed appear on Ugly Betty’s season finale. “She did a good job,” the network’s rep said.
Gunning for Song of Summer

I heard singer-songwriter Natasha Bedingfield’s catchy “Pocketful of Sunshine” for the first time last December and it made me beam immediately.

A lot has happened since, and funny enough, I really hadn’t heard the song until this week.

It’s been everywhere, starting with TV’s American Idol, which yes, I am following – because of Syesha Mercado – and now radio’s playing quite a bit.

So I wonder: Is “Pocketful of Sunshine” gunning for the title of Song of Summer?

Photo: BN.com.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Doctor Is In

Doctor, doctor – give me the news.


As the tube heats up once again following a 100-day writers strike, the star of TV’s Grey’s Anatomy, Ellen Pompeo, sat down to chat with EW.com about the anticipated May 22 reconciliation between her character, Dr. Meredith Grey, and a Mr. McDreamy.

Pompeo share her insights on the direction of the hit show, her thoughts on whether people like Meredith, and the “little tip” she stole from Madonna.

Read on now – doctor’s orders.

Photo: Medias.Ados.fr.
Grabbed a Boy, Grabbed a Girl

Madonna performed a 32-minute set comprising a handful of old and new songs from Hardy Candy at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City last night.

Word from a super-fan who was there but was not quoted in this New York Times article, is the show was “amazing.”

The music was “too loud,” but “Candy Shop” was a “great opener.”

Oh really.

“’Miles Away’ didn’t translate as well on stage, but ‘4 Minutes’ [performed with Justin Timberlake] and ‘Music’ were amazing. I could’ve done without the rock ‘Hung Up,’ though.”

I’m still stumped over that “Miles Away” comment, but do tell more.

“‘Give It 2 Me’ was the showstopper.”

Super-fan also spotted Fran Drescher and designer Zac Posen in the audience. S’ppose they thought the music was too loud?

Photo: NYTimes.com.

Update: The set at Roseland Ballroom actually was 38 minutes long. And I hear details for M’s new tour definitely will be announced the week of May 5-9.