Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Want to See Daniel Craig Groove to This

Today is “Another Way to Die” Day.

That, movie fans, is the title of Jack White and Alicia Keys’ contribution to the Quantum of Solace soundtrack.

“I like to call it rock ’n’ soul,” said Keys, adding that the theme song for the next James Bond movie (and the first duet in Bond theme song history) “is kind of like a roller coaster because it gets really big and loud, then it gets pulled in and soft.”

Quantum of Solace, starring Daniel Craig, opens on Nov. 14. Check out the “Another Way to Die” video and anticipate:


Jenny McCarthy’s One Cool Chick

Last Saturday, I met the beautiful, hilarious, ever quotable Jenny McCarthy – and now I’d venture to say, some of my high school friends are jealous….

McCarthy arrived in Miami to make an appearance at Dadeland Mall to help celebrate the grand opening of FAO Schwarz toy stores in Macy's stores nationwide.

Of course, you know me, I couldn’t keep my trap shut about it, and I told a friend a little bit about what she and I talked about that afternoon.

I’ll give you a hint: It was about her boyfriend, Jim Carrey, and what she’s looking to see from him this holiday season.

Photo: AccidentalSexiness.wordpress.com.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Operation: Revive Tom Cruise’s Career

The trailer for the much-rescheduled Valkyrie, starring Tom Cruise, made its debut last weekend.

I gotta say, all that negative buzz on the Internet, it just seems like some people out there had it in for the star from the get go of this project. It looks…intriguing – and I say that so as not to pass early judgment.

The Bryan Singer-directed movie, about a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler during the height of WWII, was supposed to come out last summer, if memory serves, then this fall. It will now open on Dec. 26, just in time for awards season.

Photo: United Artists.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Spying a New Intern in Seattle

Melissa George, a co-star on TV’s Alias – and a real-life doll (we met in 2006 at a film festival in Miami) – is in final negotiations to join the cast of Grey’s Anatomy as a new Seattle Grace intern with “an open mind toward sexuality.”

George’s role is being written as a potential love interest for one of the show’s burgeoning bisexual characters played by Sara Ramirez and Brooke Smith.

Sounds sexy.

Photo: RDFManagement.com.

Update:
It’s confirmed: Melissa George will be joining Grey’s Anatomy this season and may even become a series regular.

The actress will first appear on the show in an episode next month that will also feature Battlestar Galactica’s Mary McDonnell.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Espionage for Beginners

The Coen brothers have followed up their celebrated No County for Old Men with Burn After Reading, a decidedly lighter, if darkly humored (and inferior) movie.

Starring an A-List cast that deserved better, Burn After Reading is an adequate D.C.-set spoof of spook movies populated by thinly drawn characters giving life to an absurd story.

There’s John Malkovich as Osborne Cox, a hard-drinking ousted CIA official also on the outs with his icy adulterous wife, Dr. Katie Cox (Tilda Swinton).

There’s Brad Pitt’s bleached-skunk-coiffed Chad Feldheimer and his tragic BFF Linda Litzke, played by Frances McDormand, two dim-witted gym employees who decide to blackmail the spy after finding a CD containing what they assume is confidential intelligence but is, in fact, nothing but Osborne Cox’s memoir.

And then there’s George Clooney’s Harry Pfarrer, a federal marshal as deceitful as he is clueless.

The Coen brothers would have another all-around winner if they hadn’t treated these characters’ stories as comic strips in a political paper.

We understand nothing of their motivations because they are explained in a way that we cannot fully grasp because the directors shy away from much depth and because look – there’s another spy notion to debunk.

The only character that truly works in this satire is J.K. Simmons’, a CIA honcho who orders a subordinate to report back to him only when “it all makes sense.”

Burn After Reading doesn’t make much sense, and its laughs, I’m afraid, are few and far in between. If only we the audience had had as much fun as the actors in the movie did, we’d be square.

My Rating **


Photo: Focus Features.
R.I.P. Mr. Newman

After months of unnecessary, insensitive, and, quite honestly, disrespectful blogosphere speculation, Paul Newman died of cancer yesterday at his home in Westport, Conn. He was 83.

Easily one of Hollywood’s most talented, handsome, and generous guys, Newman was a man who did it all in his own terms.

He acted terrifically.

The actor shot to stardom in the 1950s and never lost his movie-star aura, appearing in classics such as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (one of my favorites) opposite Elizabeth Taylor, Exodus, The Hustler, Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting with Robert Redford, and The Verdict. He won an Oscar in 1986 – on his eighth try – for The Color of Money, a sequel to The Hustler. And he most recently appeared in 1994’s Nobody’s Fool and 2002’s Road to Perdition, and voiced a character in 2006’s Cars.

He raced cars. He suffered no fools. And most admirably, he was half of one of the most successful showbiz marriages – to actress Joanne Woodward, whom he married in 1958.

And as co-founder of Newman’s Own food products, he gave to charity.

He was Paul Newman, and I will miss him.

Photo: TheSartorialist.blogspot.com.

Update:
Click here to watch David Letterman’s tribute to Paul Newman.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Holy Confrontation, Movie Fans!

Mark Dec. 12 in your movie-watching calendar, movie fans, for that is the day in which Oscar winners Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman will face off in Doubt.

In the 1964-set film, Streep plays a nun who confronts a priest (Hoffman) after suspecting him of abusing a black student.

The film, based on the Pulitzer and Tony-winning play, also features Amy Adams and Viola Davis, in what I’ve already read and heard is an award-worthy turn.

Photo: Variety.com.
HBO to Get SMG

This is the best news ever (this week): Sarah Michelle Gellar may be plotting her return to TV, to HBO, actually.

SMG is expected to shoot the half-hour pilot The Wonderful Maladys, written by screenwriter Charles Randolph (The Interpreter, The Life of David Gale), in 2009.

Set in Gotham, The Wonderful Maladys revolves around the dysfunctional lives of three adult siblings who lost their parents at a young age. Randolph described the actress’ character as having “a kind of zealous immaturity – like a drug addict with a to-do list.”

In other words, this might be the kind of role and high-profile project the actress needs to prove to everyone that she is, indeed, very much a star, and that everyone who cast her aside following the finale of TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer (in spite of the success of The Grudge) was wrong to do so, and that she’s SMG, darn it, and she ain’t going nowhere.

Yeah – this is the best news ever (this week).

Photo: BellaSugar.com.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

You Can Run But You Can’t Hide

Shia LaBeouf’s Eagle Eye – I never thought we’d live in a world in which I’d have to utter that phrase and have to keep a straight face (I mean that he’s young, that’s all) – is parts The Game, parts Live Free or Die Hard, parts Terminator.

Too bad is all parts derivative.

In this Steven Spielberg production, F.O.S. LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan play Jerry Shaw and Rachel Holloman, two strangers brought together by a mysterious phone call from a woman neither has ever met.

Framing him as a terrorist and threatening her family, the voice pushes the two into a series of increasingly dangerous situations, using everyday life technology to track and control their every move.

As the situations in which the two find themselves escalate, Jerry and Rachel become the country's most wanted fugitives, and together, they must put on their thinking hats to figure out what’s happening, and more importantly, why.

Helping the audience string the details – honestly, Eagle Eye had me thinking one thing when in fact, something else was true – are Billy Bob Thornton and Rosario Dawson as an FBI and an Air Force agent, respectively, trying to get their man and woman and keep something terrible from happening.

About that twist…. It plays as a blatant pull-the-rug-from-under-the-crowd trick designed to make us look inward rather than outward, which is good. But consider the three references I made at the top of the review, and ultimately, it doesn’t seem quite so fresh an idea, and worse, it cheapens the already-easy thrill that is Eagle Eye.

My Rating **1/2

Photo: DreamWorks Pictures.
Thicke Is Better

Robin Thicke’s latest, Something Else, doesn’t drop until Sept. 30, but OMG, you can preview the entire thing now on the singer’s MySpace page.

I. Already. Love. It. With a passion.

The album sounds so…I don’t know. Bluesy. Sexy and smoky and sweet. Retro, yet timeless. “Dreamworld” is totally my new favorite Robin Thicke song.


Going to see him and Mary J. Blige, in Fort Lauderdale next month, is now an imperative.

Photo: Dyfuse.com.
Sarah Silverman Wants Jews to…

“Florida can make or break an election,” says Sarah Silverman in a new FunnyOrDie.com video.

The comedian would like all Jewish people to schlep over to the Sunshine State and convince their grandparents to Barack the Vote in November.

Jewish grandparents needn’t fear Barack Obama, S2 reasons like only she can. “He’s circum-super-sized”:

See more Sarah Silverman videos at Funny or Die
Consider the News Spread

Tonight marks the return of Ugly Betty (and Grey’s Anatomy) to television.

One of the most significant changes you’ll notice in the ABC comedy starring America Ferrera is the show, set in and around Manhattan, is now actually shot in Manhattan.

Betty’s a part of it now, New York, New York.

Oh, and following her blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in last season’s finale, Lindsay Lohan will be back for a five-episode guest-starring stint as a frenemy of Betty’s.

I can’t wait to see that, and hope that it’ll make people think of L2 as a talented actress once again.

Photo: People.com.

Update:
Becki Newton, Michael Urie, you guys rock!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Take a Bite!

Is anyone out there watching HBO’s True Blood?

I think I need to start because evidently, Aussie actor Ryan Kwanten is delivering “a breakout performance.”

And he’s pretty, too.

(Does Kwanten play a vampire? Because I’d let him take a bite.)

Photo: PhotoBucket.com.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Don’t Pretend You’re Not Hungry…

Madonna was in Paris last weekend, and this is how she opened her show (because her sugar is raw):

Dinner with Friends

Gwyneth Paltrow recently celebrated her 13-part PBS documentary series Spain…On the Road Again with her celebrity chef co-star Mario Batali and Bono in New York City.

Paltrow says she gained 8 lbs. during production. Hey, she’ll gain more than that if a follow-up possibly set in Italy is green-lit.

“In Spain they eat so late, so I would eat a huge dinner and drink way too much wine and then go to sleep,” the actress told People.

My TiVo is recording Spain…On the Road Again this afternoon, but check your local listings to find out when the series will air in your neck of the woods.

Photo: People.com.
They Should Give Gold Medals for This, Really

Thirty-eight-year-old British swimmer Mark Forster – the breakthrough star of the 29th Olympiad, IMHO (who cares if he was in and out of the pool) – has paid tribute to fellow Brit David Beckham by re-creating the footballer’s iconic pose as an Emporio Armani Underwear model.

Explaining his decision to strip down, Foster said: “I’m so used to swimming in a pair of trunks and being in next to nothing anyway, stripping to a pair of underpants isn’t a major issue for me. But I don’t see myself as a heartthrob [I do!] – I’m just me.”

Makes me wanna put on some award-winning Ballet Russe sheer lipstick and fly across the pond.

Foster is currently appearing in Strictly Come Dancing, the U.K.’s version of Dancing with the Stars.

Hello, YouTube.

Photo: Towleroad.com.

Update: Hey, Mark Foster, this was lovely, but I can’t wait to see you move.
Let’s Have Sex Again

The Sex and the City movie is out on DVD today.

Among the deleted scenes featured is the extended version of the montage in which Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) tries on all her fashion coups and fashion faux pas before moving out of her apartment.


As purrty Cynthia Nixon’s Miranda shows at right, we see her and fellow Carrie BFFs Samantha (Kim Cattrall), and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) hamming it up to play silly dress-up.

“There really was no direction except to come out of the bathroom door and come dancing down that hall,” said SATC writer-director Michael Patrick King of the deleted sequence.

Photo: EW.com.

Update 1: Speaking of fashion, check out the ladies’ looks as they celebrated the SATC DVD release in New York City last week.

Update 2: According to Perez Hilton, a sequel to the movie “is happening.”
We Want Jack

Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) hasn’t been seen on TV since the intense 24 had its sixth season finale back in May 2007.

It’s a good thing then that the adrenaline-pumping Fox drama will return for another very long day in January.

I know – more waiting.

Thank goodness for 24: Redemption, the prequel to the show’s seventh season airing two months from today because it will appease – and tease – and fans.

In the two-hour television event, Jack is in South Africa when, whaddya know, an international crisis erupts.

In our hero’s favorite word, “Damn!”

And in my own, “I. Cannot. Wait!”

Photo: EW.com.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Enduring Love

Last night, I saw the buzzed-about French-language film Tell No One.

An adaptation of an international best-seller (and winner of four César Awards), this 2006 title that is just making its way stateside – uh, what took it this long?! – is perhaps the most engrossing 125 minutes of film I’ve seen in recent months.


At its core, it’s a quiet thriller about love one that really pushes the envelope when it comes to its twists and turns. It’s a must.

“Better late than never,” people say, and that holds truth of the accomplished film French actor-director Guillaume Canet has delivered.

In Tell No One, Dr. Alexandre Beck’s (François Cluzet) wife, childhood sweetheart Margot (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’s Marie-Josée Croze), was murdered on their anniversary eight years ago.

Flash-forward to never-remarried Beck’s put-back-together life in Paris. Suspicion shadows him once again after two bodies are found near the scene of the crime.

To complicate matters, he has received an e-mail that suggests his wife is alive.

“Tell no one,” it warns.

With the police hot on his trail, Beck sets out to discover the truth and to reclaim his and his wife’s life and their love.

How he does it would be telling, but do everyone a big favor: Watch Tell No One, and then tell everybody about it – it’s just that good.

My Rating ****

Photo: Music Box Films.
Simply the Best – and Those Legs!

Tina Turner has got it going on, and to prove – not that she has to prove it – she going on tour this fall.

Tina: Live in Concert” will hit Miami on Oct. 30. For a behind-the-scenes look at Ms. Tuner’s tour, click here.

I really I hope I’ll get to see her “Rolling…rolling…rolling….”

Photo: HotConcertsFYI.blogspot.com.

Update:
Tina Turner plans to look beyond on stage this fall, having enlisted Bob Mackie to design outfits for her tour.

The Mackies are sexy and reflect Ms. Turner’s “leaning a bit more towards a rock-influenced look.”

Bad Bank

In Feb. 13’s The International, Clive Owen will go head to corporate toe against an evil bank set out to destroy the world.

No, don’t be silly. The actor does not battle an actual bank….

Owen stars in the dramatic thriller as an Interpol agent who, along with Naomi Watts’ New York ADA character, will bring to justice one of the world’s most powerful – and corrupt – banks.

Looks exciting.

Photo: Collider.com.
Rock-ing Emmy

Hollywood said good-bye to summer last night with the season’s hottest party, the 60th Annual Emmy Awards Emmy Awards.

Leading nominees 30 Rock (NBC), Mad Men (AMC), HBO’s John Adams (HBO) showed everyone why they were so when they picked up, among other awards, the best comedy, best drama, and best miniseries trophies.

30 Rock stars Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin walked away with Emmys for their work on the hit, yet little-watched show, while Bryan Cranston (AMC’s Breaking Bad) and Glenn Close (FX’s Damages) were named best actor and actress in a drama.

In the supporting categories, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences recognized Jeremy Piven (HBO’s Entourage) and Jean Smart (ABC’s Samantha Who?) won for their comedic work, as well as Damages’ Zeljko Ivanek and Dianne Wiest’s (HBO’s In Treatment) drama chops.

Jeff Probst (CBS’ Survivor) was named the winner of the first ever Best Reality Host Emmy. For a complete list of winners, click here.

For a look at the best and worst moments of the Emmy Awards, click here. And can I just say to the show’s producers, don’t ever have five hosts – just have Ricky Gervais do everything, anything he wants, really.

Finally, for what really matters: the fashion.

Lipstick Jungle’s Brooke Shields did color like nobody’s business in fuchsia Badgley Mischka, Ugly Betty’s Vanessa Williams looked all sorts of beautiful in an asymmetric black-and-white Kevan Hall, Lost’s Evangeline Lilly scored a huge red carpet victory for the show in champagne Elie Saab, The New Adventures of Old Christine’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus had it so she showed it in Narciso Rodriguez, and 30 Rock’s Jane Krakowski gave good back in navy Versace.

Photo: JournalNow.com.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Boy Toy

Madonna is but one of the celebrities recently immortalized by Lego to celebrate the toy-maker’s 30th anniversary.

Brangelina and their brood also got the Lego treatment.

Alas, the stars will not be available for purchase as they’ve been created purely to celebrate the landmark anniversary.

Photo: Madonnalicious.com.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Just Because, Pt. 21

Can I just say, in the words of The Ting Tings, to my very looong week, “Shut Up and Let Me Go”?

I guess I just did, huh.

Photo: MadTV.me.uk.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Witty Repartee with Dead People

Watch out, America, there’s a new comedic genius in town, and his name is Ricky Gervais. He’s gonna make you laugh….

The bone-dry funny man, the star of the BBC’s The Office and HBO’s Extras, makes his stateside debut as a silver screen leading man in Ghost Town, a supernatural comedy that’s part Ghost, party The Sixth Sense, part SNL sketch (minus the L, natch).

Gervais plays Dr. Bertram Pincus, orthodontist by day, ghost whisperer by night, misanthrope all the time.

Yeah, I called him a ghost whisperer, alright, which is something he becomes after a routine colonoscopy (for which he demands to be anesthetized) kills him.

“Uh, you died,” his doctor, hilariously played by SNL’s Kristen Wiig, informs him.

“I died?”

“A little bit.”

“For how long?”

“Seven minutes....”

“I died for seven minutes?!”

“Everybody dies….”

The side effect of his temporary death leaves the good doctor able to see and able to talk to ghosts – ghosts who all want something from him, particularly Frank Herlihy (Greg Kinnear), who pesters him into breaking up his widow Gwen’s (Téa Leoni) impending marriage.

That puts Pincus, who already rather dislikes the living, squarely in the middle of a triangle, with spirited and unexpected results.

Ghost Town’s an uneven movie made thoroughly enjoyable by Gervais’ charm. Keep that in mind and you definitely will enjoy it.

My Rating **1/2

Photo: ReelzChannel.com.
C’mon, Luke Perry, Don’t Be Like That

Now that the cat’s out of the who’s-Kelly Taylor’s-baby-daddy bag on 90210, all I have to say to Luke Perry is: C’mon, don’t be like that, boo.

Photo: Europe.Real.com.
Brad Pitt’s My Hero

Not happy to have pledged, with partner Angelina Jolie, $2 million to help fight tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia, Brad Pitt has given $100,000 to stop a California ballot initiative that would ban same-sex marriage.

Pitt’s donation reportedly is the largest donation to the cause so far from a Hollywood type.

“Because no one has the right to deny another their life even though they disagree with it, because everyone has the right to live the life they so desire if it doesn’t harm another, and because discrimination has no place in America, my vote will be for equality and against Proposition 8,” the actor, who gave to the group Californians Against Eliminating Basic Rights, said in a statement.

Brad Pitt is a friend of friends – and I heart him for it.

Both California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, and Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama oppose Proposition 8. Republican nominee John McCain is – shocker! – in favor of it.

Photo: BroadcastEngineering.com.
Even the Greats Fall Sometimes

Madonna fell on her taut tush on stage in Portugal the other day.


Jealous?

Hey, at least she kicked her heel up in the air for a pretty rock ’n’ roll save – because at 50, she can kick…stretch…and kick again! Check it out:

Simply Irresistible, Pt. 36

I’ve long believed that a man in boxers is one of the best sights in the world, but Hugh Dancy, ooh la la….

Claire Danes is a lucky gal.

Where can I find Vogue Hommes International?

Photo: Towleroad.com.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

NYPD Blues

Thirteen years ago, the great Al Pacino and Robert De Niro worked together for the first time in Heat. Although the two shared few scenes together, I know there’s not a movie fan on the face of the planet who cannot remember their final, crackling confrontation.

Last Friday, De Niro and Pacino teamed up again, this time in the not-so-thrilling serious buddy cop movie Righteous Kill.

The movie, which I caught in New York City at a theater that was not showing Burn After Reading or The Women, came out with little to no fanfare, and there’s a good reason for that: it ain’t no Heat.

It isn’t fair or polite to compare, but Righteous Kill was a bore, a subpar suspense in which the actors play New York detectives well in the twilight of their careers who are hot on the trail of a serial killer.

Oh, here’s Dexter-like kicker: De Niro’s character may or may not be that killer. (Too bad this clunker’s nowhere near as clever as the Showtime show.)

I’ll make you a deal: If you don’t make me tell you about an unnecessary subplot involving a coke-loving lawyer-turned-informant, a thuggish dealer played by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, or the surprise twist ending (ha!) I’ll tell you what Righteous Kill’s best asset was.

Deal?

It was co-star Carla Cugino, as De Niro’s likes-it-rough booty call/fellow officer. She’s a sight for sore eyes.

My Rating *1/2

Photo: Overture Films.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

She Says “Get Stupid” You Do It

Madonna’s “Get Stupid” video interlude, which thousands already have seen at her ongoing “Sticky & Sweet Tour,” has hit the Web for the mill…uh…billions of us who don’t have tickets (yet) to see.

This is the politically charged video in which the Queen of Pop sides with Sen. Barack Obama – showing him in the company of the Dalai Lama, Ghandi, Al Gore, and JFK – and groups John McCain with unsavory characters such as Adolf Hitler, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, and Chinese premier Wen Jiabao.

In other words, it’s classic M button-pushing. Check it out:

Monday, September 15, 2008

Just Because, Pt. 20

While some of us spent our time gallivanting in New York City, Matt Damon put us to shame by spreading goodwill last weekend during a humanitarian mission to deliver food to hurricane victims in Haiti.

Damon flew to the island with Wyclef Jean on behalf of Jean’s Yéle Haiti charity.

Hey – got a party coming up? In lieu of gifts for yourself, ask that guests bring non-perishables to donate to this cause as well as to the good people in Texas, OK.

Photo: People.com.
In Tents and Elsewhere

New York, New York – a city so good they named it twice.

I spent some time in Manhattan last week, doing a little work, having a little fun. As soon as I arrived I had something to do, starting with drinks with a friend at Double Crown, a new restaurant in the East Village. It was lots of fun. I certainly didn’t expect that…or spending such a loverly time Down Under, in the Big Apple.

Thursday was my work day.

In the morning I headed to SoHo to interview Custo Dalmau, head designer for Custo Barcelona, in the afternoon I visited the Victoria’s Secret lounge (find out why in the November issue of Miami Living), and in the evening, I hit Bryant Park to see the label’s spring/summer 2009 collection.

Sitting in front of me were Ugly Betty’s Mark Indelicato and Heroes’ Dania Ramirez, while across the runway sat Tinsley Mortimer.

Outside, on 6th Avenue, as I considered where to go from there, a gorgeous Claire Danes offered a polite “Excuse me” as she sneaked into the tents for the Zac Posen show.

She wore a form-fitting peach and white shimmering cocktail dress, and get this: she moved the guard rail herself to make her way by the side of the crowd. Chutzpah in couture – I love it! Also making her way was a clad-in-black stylist Rachel Zoe with that guy from her Bravo show.

Who else, who else…. Oh yeah, at the VS lounge I ran into Prison Break’s Camille Guaty, who was all kinds of friendly and chatty with me. Click here for all the good goss.

Friday was my off day, and in true form I caught Righteous Kill on 42nd Street. I’ll tell you more about that in bit, but…I almost forgot: I very nearly threw my soda at John McCain’s car that day. I stopped myself because I had Goldfrapp at Radio City Music Hall tickets for that night, but getting tackled by those Secret Service agents would’ve been a fun time and a half.

Finally, at LaGuardia yesterday, I spotted CBS News Sunday Morning contributor Mo Rocca as he made his way toward his gate.

Hey – not all star sightings can be winners.

Photo: INFDaily.CeleBuzz.com.

Update:
I forgot to mention I got some Project Runway scoop while I was in the city.

I was told the process of shooting the finale last Friday would take about six hours. By now you know Jennifer Lopez was supposed to be the guest judge but bailed, and that Tim Gunn filled in for her, as well he should’ve because he rules.

Well, it turns out they shot the finale in about three hours because it was evident who the winner should be. I know the gender of the winner – but I won’t spoil it. (I couldn’t give you a name, anyway. Once my source started yapping about it I covered my ears.)

I’ll just say the eventual winner presented a very strong collection...and you’re just going to have to watch what happens.
Funny Ladies Rule

Two of my favorite potty-mouthed comedians, Kathy Griffin and Sarah Silverman, bagged some cool hardware at Saturday’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards, or “the Schmemmys,” as the latter calls them.

“Here we go again, f---ers,” the star of Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List said as she picked up her second straight award, referencing her controversial 2007 win.

Meanwhile, Silverman’s “I’m F---ing Matt Damon!” took home the award for best original music and lyrics.

“Let’s be honest, Matt Damon had very little to do with this being popular,” Silverman said in her accepting speech. “Thanks to the person for whom this whole video was made: Jimmy Kimmel, who broke my heart – ohh, who’ll always have a place in my heart.” (The couple broke up in July.)

For more on who won Schmemmys over the weekend, click here.

Photo: BuddyTV.com.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Simply Irresistible, Pt. 35

I was on my way to MoMA with a couple of friends this afternoon for a last-minute art check before flying back home when we stumbled onto the biggest tourist trap of my weekend in New York, 2008 Broadway on Broadway event.

Getting around the stage from the west side of Times Square to the east side was a feat.

Seeing Xanadu’s Cheyenne Jackson perform “Don’t Walk Away” was a treat, though.

Check out this clip, from this year’s Tony Awards, and tell me otherwise.

Yeah – that’s a dare.

Photo: CheyenneJackson.com.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fighting for Gold

The Toronto air has been filled with early Oscar buzz for…Mickey Rourke?

Rourke stars in Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler, as retired professional wrestler Randy “The Ram” Robinson, who makes his way through the independent circuit, trying to get back in the game for one final showdown with his former rival.

The film co-stars Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood. It is due out…soon.

Photo: TIFF08.ca.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dust Off Your Manolos

I’m in New York City today, so it’s only fitting I have some New York-related news.

Attention, Sex and the City fans: A sequel to the successful
movie adaptation that came out earlier this year is in…“the negotiation stage.”

“When I finished [the first one], I didn’t have a thought in my head about a sequel,” said writer-director Michael Patrick King (pictured at right with Sarah Jessica Parker).

But, EW.com reports, King says that all changed once the film, which earned $153 million domestically, screened worldwide.

“It doesn’t feel done to me at all. It feels like it generated a whole new burst of enthusiasm for these characters. I thought if I could come up with a really fun, worthy story it would certainly be a great chance to do it again.”

While he won’t divulge any scenarios for the film, the SATC mastermind hints at a milieu: “It’s always nice to see the girls in the summer.”

Photo: New Line Cinema.
I Like It When Jennifer Aniston Walks on the Dark Side

In the upcoming Management, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on Sunday, Jennifer Aniston plays an art saleswoman who’s trying to shake off a flaky motel manager who falls for her and won’t leave her alone.

Steve Zahn (Rescue Dawn) plays the unlikely pursuer of Aniston’s affection.

Management looks like a dark rom-com. I mean, Aniston’s character does tell Zahn’s character he can touch her butt. “Touch it and go,” she says in one scene.

Well tickle me curious.

Photo: Cinematical.com.

Update:
Some critics are finding Management to be a “very sincere [and] quirky” and moving.

I’ve always enjoyed Aniston’s work in movies such as The Good Girl and Friends with Money (she does quite well in these moody indies), but Zahn is the one who’s really getting hyped up with this one.

I can’t wait to see it.
Quantum of Solace is Going to Rock

A new trailer for the upcoming new James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, starring Daniel Craig, has been released.

The new (awesome) footage reveals more about Mathieu Amalric’s villainous character, as well as Olga Kurylenko’s (that’s her at right with our hero).

But it’s all about Craig, of course. It’s all about him, alright.

Photo: MGM/Columbia Pictures.
Funny Bunny

Alright, I’ve been slacking with my movie reviews….

What – I’ve been busy. Not at a club, either.

The last movie I saw, over Labor Day weekend (I know, I know…bad me…) was The House Bunny, in which the delightful Anna Faris plays Shelley Darlington, a Playboy Bunny of nine years who is unceremoniously asked to leave the Playboy Mansion on her 27th birthday because, she’s told, 27’s like, 59 in Bunny years.

Homeless and without essential skills, Shelley wanders L.A., broken-spirited-yet-greatly-coiffed, until she finds a job – her first – as the housemother at ZAZ, a.k.a. the most unpopular sorority on a college’s Greek block.

There, Shelley meets a team of ugly ducklings led by Superbad’s Emma Stone that includes up-and-comers Rumer Willis, American Idol’s Katharine McPhee, and Kat Dennings. Of course, she gives them all makeover and teaches them what boys like to make them more popular, all the while ensuring they remain true to themselves.

While The House Bunny is far from a perfect comedy – its most memorable gag has Shelley repeating the name of everyone she meets…in a super-hilarious Linda Blair-in-The-Exorcist voice – it’s a good-enough-but-could’ve-been-better showcase for Faris and a mindless-fun time at the movie theater.

Still, some people, like Juno screenwriter/Entertainment Weekly columnist Diablo Cody are “stoked” about The House Bunny, and with good reason. The movie, which was written by the same ladies who wrote Legally Blonde, has pluck and heart.

Sometimes, that’s all you need.

My Rating **1/2

Photo: Sony Pictures.
Rihanna Vogues

Last night, Rihanna did what every girl – and boy – wants to do: She performed Madonna’s “Vogue” as the opening number of the fifth annual Fashion Rocks special on CBS.

And you know what, she wasn’t bad. She wasn’t bad at all.

And she looked good.

Photo: People.com.
It’s Michael Rodrick’s Time

Although 24 will soon shut down production for two weeks, to reconsider key points of the show’s upcoming seventh season, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get pumped up over its latest addition, one Michael Rodrick.

The actor, who starred in Nowhere Man back in 2004 (yeah, I didn’t watch it, either) has been cast for a multi-episode arc as “deadly military operative” Stokes.

Isn’t he smoldering?

Photo: MichaelRodrick.com.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Things Are Coming Up Pink

Boy, how things change.

Up until last year I never used to miss the MTV Video Music Awards. The VMAs were must-see TV, even as I noticed they were losing relevance.

I think – and this not because I’m a Madonna nut-nut – 2003 was the last year the awards truly were something I could believe in, you know. The Moonmen were given to deserving artists, not just popular artists.

The last time I watched the entire show was 2005, the second time they were held in Miami, and that’s because I was backstage in the press room (there was nothing else to do but watch the show and/or figure out which parties to hit afterward).

Last year’s Britney Spears mess was the only memorable thing about the VMAs, for which MTV made up this year by embracing and celebrating the pop tart.

I had great hopes for this year’s VMAs. Katy Perry would perform “Like a Virgin” – what a bust that was – and Christina Aguilera would take the stage, too.

Sidebar: Uh, Christina, Lady GaGa called, she would like her look back please. And what was up with the lip-synching?

The highlight of the night was Pink, who performed (live) on the Paramount Studios back lot, slid down a fabric strip from a balcony, pushed a stuntman down a flight of stairs, smashed a window, and tossed off a long jacket to show her legs and, reportedly, a little nip.

Her fiery rendition of “So What” was energetic and re-invigorating.

In other words, exactly what I and MTV, both 25, needed. The difference is MTV still is, quite sadly, rather tired.

But carry on, Pink. You’ve got your rock moves, alright.

Photo: MTV.com.
Back on the Bike

According to a report in VeloNews, Lance Armstrong will come out of retirement next year and will compete in the Tour de France.

Do you think the cyclist still has it going on?

Hey, Matthew McConaughey, let your friend borrow some tanning lotion, why don’t you.

Photo: Whoa.org.
The M Can’t Help It

Madonna performed in Rome over the weekend, and as she has done on the “Sticky & Sweet” road, she did a bit of an old song.

This time around, though, she dedicated…“Like a Virgin”…to the pope. (“Because…I know he loves me. Yeah! Because… I…am a child of…God,” she told the crowd.)

It’s like she’s like, “Oh, what a pretty button. I’m going to push it.”

And I love it.

Photo: Madonnalicious.com.
Britney? Check. Up Next: Whitney!

Now this is what I call a comeback.

Britney Spears made her triumphant return to MTV’s Video Music Awards yesterday, winning three Moonmen, including the big one, Video of the Year (for “Piece of Me”).

Look…at…her…rock that Versace mini.

This is, indeed, a new chapter in Spears’ life.

Here’s to hoping she doesn’t burn both ends of the book again.

Photo: People.com.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Ain’t No Other Christina

She rubbed it the right way and now Christina Aguilera is releasing her first greatest hits collection.

The album features re-recorded versions of her classics, such as “Genie in a Bottle” and “Beautiful,” as well as two new tracks, one of which, “Keeps Gettin’ Better” made its radio debut yesterday New York’s Z100.com.

Aguilera’s greatest hits will be available exclusively at Target on Nov. 11. The singer’s set to perform at tomorrow’s MTV VMAs.

Photo: E! Online.
The Lion King of the Silver Screen

You’ve seen the YouTube video of Christian the Lion reuniting in Africa – to the tune of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” – with the two men who bought him from a high-end London department store in 1969, right?

Well, Sony Pictures is looking to bring the story of Christian and the two men, John Rendall and Anthony “Ace” Bourke, to the silver screen.

The studio is in the process of securing the life-story rights of Rendall and Bourke and their 1972 book, A Lion Called Christian.

Now that’s the kind of news over which we could all give one another a big ol’ lion hug…just like Christian:

Friday, September 05, 2008

Now Get Up Out of Your Seat

It’ll be 8 o’clock on Friday, Sept. 5, soon.

It’ll be time you Stand Up to Cancer.

It’ll be time we all come together as one – at least for one hour to watch the live star-studded special airing tonight on ABC, CBS, NBC, and E!...and give – and pledge our time and effort to put an end to cancer.

If Katie Couric, Charles Gibson, and Brian Williams can put aside their so-called news rivalry – each has lost loved ones to cancer – and come together, then we certainly can stand up and do our part.

It’s time.

Photo: WashingtonPost.com.
Gossip Girl’s Taking Over the World

Alright – Gossip Girl may only be taking over TV.

On the designer high heels news that stars of the CW show, Blake Lively and Leighton Meester, will guest star on an episode of NBC’s 30 Rock in November comes a cover story in this week’s Entertainment Weekly.

The story addresses four of the most persistent rumors surrounding the show (including the one about a possible spin-off for co-star Taylor Momsen, a.k.a. Jenny), and tells us – Spoiler Alert! – why Season 2 of Gossip Girl should be subtitled Teen Sex and the City.

Haven’t you heard? Gossip Girl’s the crazy hot show around here. Watch it.

Photo: EW.com.
Acting of the Fittest

Real-life couple Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly will play Charles and Emma Darwin in Jon Amiel’s Creation.

The couple is reported to have found John Collee’s script “irresistible” according to producer Jeremy Thomas.

Creation will co-star Jeremy Northam and Toby Jones. Production is set to begin in England at the end of the month.

Photo: People.com.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A-List at Last

Giving hope to underdogs everywhere, Kathy Griffin has been tapped to present a lucky winner with some hardware at this month’s Emmy Awards, which will air on ABC on Sept. 21.

Joining the Queen D as presenters will be fellow comedian Don Rickles, two-time Emmy host Conan O’Brien, Christian Slater (the star of NBC’s upcoming My Own Worst Enemy), Kate Walsh (ABC’s Private Practice), and Emmy nominees Neil Patrick Harris and Kristin Chenoweth.

But back to Griffin…. I hope she tells everyone they can “suck it.” It’s her style, after all.

Photo: TVGuide.com.
BTHOOMT! (By the Hammer of Oh My Thor!)

I can already see Gossip Girl’s headline: “Spotted: The Queen Bee and the It Girl, Getting Catty at 30 Rock….”

Leighton Meester and Blake Lively, frenemies on The CW’s Gossip Girl, will appear in a November sweeps episode of NBC’s 30 Rock.

The increasingly stunt-happy, Emmy-nominated sitcom has cast the two young actresses as “former high school classmates of Liz Lemon’s in a flashback sequence that reveals a shocking and deeply ironic truth about Tina Fey’s morally superior alter ego: She was a Mean Girl!”

Meester and Lively join a roster of third-season-of-30 Rock guest stars that includes Jennifer Aniston, Will Arnett, and according to the blogosphere, even Oprah Winfey.

Photo: EW.com.
Meet Anna Torv

Television power player-turned movie power player – his Star Trek reboot launches next summer – J.J. Abrams did it for Keri Russell (Felicity), Jennifer Garner (Alias), and Evangeline Lilly (Lost): he turned them into stars.

Call it the J.J. touch. He likes an actress, we like an actress.

Next week, as Fringe premieres on Fox, we will learn if Abrams has done it again when we meet Aussie newcomer Anna Torv.

If she does as well on the job as she did on her first late-night talk show appearance, opposite the unpredictable David Letterman, no less, I say Torv soon will be a fan favorite.

Photo: Seat42F.com.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Warming It Up

Milk, Gus Van Sant’s Sean Penn-starring biopic on Harvey Milk, the slain San Francisco politician, is coming out this fall, but the trailer has come out today.

Pour it, drink it, love it. And click here to watch it.

The film co-stars James Franco as Milk’s lover, as well as Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, and Diego Luna.

Photo: EW.com.
A Sucker for Punishment or the Ultimate Comeback?

Last year’s super-hot mess is this year’s super-hot opening act at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 7, People has confirmed.

“MTV has long played an important role in my career. How can I not be there to kick off their 25th VMAs?” Spears told the magazine. “I’m excited to open the entire show, to say hi to my fans, and to be nominated.”

The pop tart – who has been nominated 16 times and never won a Moon Man – is up for Best Female Video, Best Pop Video, and the coveted Video of the Year for “Piece of Me.”

Now that the cat’s out of the bag one question remains: How will Spears open the VMAs?

A source said that the opening segment will not feature a musical performance.

I say that’s a good idea. For now. Baby steps, Brit. Baby steps. Not need for a snake just yet.

Photo: RollingStone.com.