Friday, January 30, 2009

Stepmommy Dearest

In The Uninvited, the prolific Elizabeth Banks plays daddy’s shady new girlfriend, much to the chagrin of Anna (Emily Browning), a young woman returning home after spending time in a treatment facility following the tragic death of her mother.

The suspense of this by-the-books, yet unscary scary movie comes from the fact that Banks’ Rachael is not entirely who she claims to be – and Anna is set on blowing her pearl necklace-wearing stepmommy-to-be’s cover with the help of a search engine and her sister Alex (The Grudge 2’s Arielle Kebbel).

Anna’s recovery is officially derailed, and her author father (David Strathairn) appears to be completely smitten with his wife’s former nurse. Now, i
s that a combination that spells trouble or what?

My, yes…it is.

Oh, and that’s right – Rachael used to take care of Anna and Alex’s terminally ill mom, who, whaddya know, died in a suspicious fire. And now she’s in her house, making all these entitled changes. That bitch.

But Anna’s onto something, and her getting off track toward mental health also has something to do with the fact that her mom’s ghost – and that of some peeps she doesn’t really know from Jack and Jane on the street – is visiting to tell her she better watch her back or she’ll be next.

Or will she?

What a homecoming.

The Uninvited is quite The Sixth Sense, obvs, but then again, it’s not. All the two have in common is Haley Joel Osment and Anna both see dead people. And Anna, much like Bruce Willis, comes to realize something in the end.

But I’m not telling you what, and it’s certainly not what you think.

Just know there’s only one good reason to watch this movie, and that’s Banks – and she’s not even in it all that much. True, though, I would cast her as walk-on in just about everything….

My Rating **1/2


Photo: DreamWorks Pictures.
That Is the Question

Indeed, what is a man, a celebrated athlete at that, to do when he’s got the gold, the fame, the man – but no big-time endorsements?

The Advocate cannot help but wonder, and hopefully the same will be said of you after you read its cover story on cutie patootie Aussie swimmer Matthew Mitcham out next week.

Who said there wasn’t a glass ceiling for (some) men?

Photo: Towleroad.com.
Since She’s Been Back

Life with Kelly Clarkson in it is so much better.

Sure, the Clarkson formula to single success should be patented (the lead single off her upcoming All I Ever Wanted, “My Life Would Suck Without You,” has it all: it starts slow, builds up, and erupts into a rock chorus) but the original American Idol’s back and she’s taking names – you know, those of the people who discounted her December – and showing them she’s still got It.

Here’s a preview of her video for “My Life Would Suck Without You.”

Watch it. Live it. Love it:

There Will Be Bluths

Fox Searchlight Pictures, you guys are my new BFF.

The studio is said to be making the deals with the cast and crew behind TV’s Arrested Development for a movie version of the much-missed Emmy-winning comedy series.

None of the deals are finished, and it could take some time given that they have to be negotiated with creator Mitch Hurwitz, producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, as well as the large cast.

On-the-rise show co-star Michael Cera (Superbad, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist) is said to be on the fence about a possible movie – It’s “more hypothetical than people think,” he said last week – but his on-screen Pop-Pop, Jeffrey Tambor, has promised Cera’s on board, and even has threatened some mild grandfatherly discipline.

“If I have to call him up and say, ‘Get on set right now, young man,’ he’ll be there,” Tambor said. “The movie is going to happen this year, and Michael Cera is on board. Trust me.”

Hurwitz, btw, has yet to finish and deliver a script, but as one source put it, “It’s more likely to happen now than it ever has been before.”

Annyong!

Photo: SideReel.com.
Back to Work

Jennifer Hudson is moving on from the tragic loss of her mother, brother, and little nephew – at least a enough to get back to work.

J. Hud, who is set to perform at the Grammys on Feb. 8 (she’s a nominee), will first take to the stage on Super Bowl Sunday to sign the national anthem, marking her first public performance since her family members were killed last fall.

The singer has been keeping busy recently, filming the music video for her new single, “If This Isn’t Love,” which is expected to debut in a couple of weeks.

Good to have you back, girl!

Photo: People.com.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Just Because, Pt. 33

Warning: The following video of Fantasia tearing through “Lady Marmalade” like nobody’s business contains hotness I have never ever seen before from the American Idol contestant – who needs an A-List team of songwriters like, now! – as well as a very Madonna-Britney Spears-type, albeit less obvious kiss, and some intriguing robot dancing by Ms. Patti LaBelle:



Somebody call the firemen.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mo Touring, Mo’ Money

And the rumor becomes official: Madonna will tour again this summer.

With a quite simple “The rumors are true! Madonna will tour Europe this summer. Stay tuned for details later this week,” the Queen of Pop announced today that she will hit the road again later this year, presumably with a continuation of her smashingly successful “Sticky & Sweet Tour.”

Since she so can, M-dolla must want to recoup some of the settlement money from her said-to-have-been-rather-expensive divorce.

Photo: 2.bp.blogspot.com.

Update: The dates are in, and hey, Madonna, you’re not itching to get “Sticky & Sweet” again because, say, Celine Dion is raking in the dough, are you?

“This is a first for me,” said the Queen of Pop. “I’ve never extended a tour before. I’m excited to be going back on the road, visiting places I’ve never been and returning to places I love.”

The tour’s second leg will take M to Werchter Belgium, Marseille France, Hamburg Germany, Oslo Norway, Helsinki Finland, Tallinn Estonia, Ljubljana Slovenia as well as stops in Romania, Hungary, Serbia and Bulgaria it was confirmed today by Live Nation. Additional appearances by Madonna will include return visits after more than 15 years to Madrid, Gothenburg and Munich.

Summer in Spain!
Simply Irresistible, Pt. 44

Did you know that Tim Burton is working on an obviously very Burtonian remake of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland?

Well, he is, and he cast Aussie newcomer Mia Wasikowska (pictured at right on the movie’s English set) in the titular role.

This film isn’t due until sometime in 2010, but it is off to a buzz-worthy start with a great cast that also includes Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Anne Hathaway as the Queen, and Alan Rickman as the Caterpillar.

Not bad way for Wasikowska (who earned lots and lots of praise for her work in HBO’s In Treatment, which reminds me I must rent the DVDs ASAP) to make a big splash, huh.

The young actress, one of The Daily Beast’s Breakout Stars of 2009, will be seen later this year in Amelia, the Amelia Earhart biopic starring Hilary Swank and Ewan McGregor.

Photo: FirstShowing.net.

Monday, January 26, 2009

So Not Mode

OK, so, ABC, you did us a solid by rescuing Scrubs, but now you’re gonna bench Ugly Betty starting on March 26?

Somebody needs to sic Wilhelmina Slater on the genius who thought of that one.

I don’t know what else to say, except that this…[signaling with all five fingers] doesn’t thrill me!

Photo: EW.com.

Update: So now I’m reading that the whole Ugly Betty getting benched situation is not as “dire” as first thought.

I hope not because Betty’s getting a new love interest!
The Unstoppable Love Letter to Mumbai

Slumdog Millionaire is sooo money, honey. I said it’ll be the one to beat.

The modestly budgeted indie hit scored the top award from the Producers Guild of America on Saturday, building more momentum for the rags-to-riches drama in the Oscar race for best picture.

Meanwhile, its ensemble won outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture at the Screen Actors Guild Awards yesterday. Another SAG winner was the late Heath Ledger for his work in The Dark Knight.

Gary Oldman accepted the SAG award for his co-star. “[Heath] was an extraordinary young man with an extra ordinary talent, and it is wonderful that you have acknowledged that and honored that talent tonight, he said.

Among the SAG winners was Meryl Streep, best leading actress in a movie for her role in Doubt, Kate Winslet, best supporting actress for The Reader, and Sean Penn, best leading actor in a movie for his work in Milk.

On the TV side, 30 Rock swept – yay! Hugh Laurie (House) and Sally Field (Brothers & Sisters) were crowned TV dramas’ king and queen. And Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney (the stars of HBO’s John Adams) added two more awards to their collection.

Oh, and Kyra Sedgwick (TNT’s The Closer) really showed them how it’s done in black-and-white vintage Chanel. Girlfriend looked smoking.

Photo: CNN.com.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Angels to Soar Again?

While promoting the upcoming He’s Just Not That Into You, Drew Barrymore answered the question I’ve been dying to ask her: Will there be a third Charlie’s Angels movie?

“I’m into it,” she said of the franchise she kicked off earlier this decade. “I’m so into it – Charlie’s Angels III!"

“It’s percolating up,” said Nancy Juvonen, Barrymore’s Flower Films producing partner. “It’s rising to the surface.”

Barrymore added, “They’re hard movies to make, but they’re fun.”

The franchise has grossed $544 million worldwide. I think it’s time they add to that tally.

Ideas are being kicked around, including the possible introduction of a fourth Angel. For the threequel, Barrymore and Juvonen are said to be looking to feature a bad boy. (The first movie had Sam Rockwell, the sequel had Demi Moore.)

If I may make a suggestion, how about having a bad couple, like, say, David Boreanaz and Sarah Michelle Gellar. As Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans know, they have crazy chemistry, and they could play off each other quite well.

As for a younger (although old-looking) fourth Angel, how about Lindsay Lohan? She could make her comeback with this one.

I’ve always thought if La Lohan hadn’t been so wrapped up in her own shenanigans she would’ve been perfect for Transformers. Megan Fox, whom people in the blogosphere have all but cast in the possible Charlie’s Angels III, is sooo...one note. She’s the poor man’s L2, and she only squeezed by because the Lohan train wrecked, I think.

Photo: TheFilmJournal.com (Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle).
You Can Still Hit It

In spite of everything that has been reported, Gisele Bündchen says she is not engaged to Tom Brady.

I say yet.

“I don’t know how people are so creative,” Bündchen recently told Brazilian magazine Caras Gi during São Paulo Fashion Week.

“First they said he proposed to me in a plane. Imagine, it was Dec. 24, Christmas, we were flying to Boston, then there was some champagne and we celebrated the date.

“Ready? Someone deduced I was getting engaged! I received more than 100 e-mails from friends commenting about the proposal. Now there’s a new rumor that he proposed to me on [Jan. 9, in Los Angeles]. I wasn’t even there, how can that be true?”

It truly beats me, but I guess this means they’re both available to flirt with, boys and girls.

The line starts right here.

Photo: UsMagazine.com.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Imagine

Project Runway was supposed to make it so hip, but legal issues have delayed the arrival of Heidi Klum & Co. to Lifetime.

Nevertheless, the network’s on fire, and I’m not just talking about DietTribe’s Jessie Pavelka.

First, they gave us the irresistible Heather Locklear-Robert Buckley vehicle Flirting with Forty, and tonight marks the premiere of Prayers for Bobby, which tells the emotional true story about a 1970s religious suburban mother (Sigourney Weaver, pictured at right) who struggles to accept her young son Bobby (Ryan Kelley) being gay.

What happens to Bobby is tragic and causes Mary to question her faith, and ultimately, she changes her views in ways that she never could have imagined, becoming a crusader for tolerance for all.

Prayers for Bobby premieres tonight at 9 p.m. You must watch it.

Photo: MyLifetime.com.
I Guess It’s Like Foreplay

Earlier this week, it was reported that the Sex and the City fabulous foursome, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Davis, had agreed to appear in a sequel to last summer’s blockbuster movie.

Yesterday, though, another report had Parker commenting on the supposed deal, saying, “that’s what I’ve heard, but I wouldn’t say that is the most official thing you’ll ever read.”

Mmm…perhaps Chris Noth, a.k.a. Mr. Big, a.k.a. John, was telling the truth?

Say it isn’t so, lover!

Photo: New Line Cinema.

Update: The sequel is getting “Ever closer, every day.”
Vogue, Vogue, Vogue

One of the American documentaries to have premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival is The September Issue, which chronicles filmmaker R.J. Cutler’s year spent with Anna Wintour, “the legendary editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine.”

The film’s title refers to the fashion bible’s largest issue of the year.

Check out the following stylish preview:

Friday, January 23, 2009

Just Because, Pt. 32

Hands up, Clive Owen – you’re guilty of looking hot on a Caribbean beach!

Photo: UsMagazine.com.
Get Back to Where You Once Belonged

Putting an end to months of speculation, George Clooney filmed his guest role on the series finale of TV’s ER – you know…the show that really put him on the map – earlier this week in Los Angeles.

Clooney’s co-star Julianna Margulies is set to reprise her role as his Dr. Ross’ paramour, Nurse Hathaway, as well.

Of Clooney’s and his own return to the long-running ER, Noah Wyle has said, “There were interesting conversations to try and figure out where everyone was and how they felt about coming back and doing the final few episodes. I think ultimately everyone is really excited and eager to have a sense of closure to what [have] been the most defining jobs of all of our lives.”

I haven’t watched ER in years, but I did catch the 2000 episode in which Margulies’ Nurse Hathaway left and reunited with Dr. Ross – and it was one of the times I cried like a baby watching one of my stories, so I’m definitely watching the finale this spring.

Don’t you judge me.

Photo: UsMagazine.com.

Update: What is this? Not everyone – Anthony Edwards – is tickled that George Clooney is scrubbing in and headed back to County General?
You Gotta Follow Your Magic

In the upcoming (and much-delayed) The Great Buck Howard, opening in limited release on March 20, Colin Hanks plays a young man who, much to the chagrin of his father (Tom Hanks), becomes the new assistant to an illusionist in decline, the titular Buck Howard played by John Malkovich.

The movie, which, if memory serves, premiered at Sundance last year, co-stars the lovely Emily Blunt, which is why I’m telling you about it.

I mean, I want to see it…but they better go ahead and release it on schedule in a couple of months because by the looks of the trailer, a little longer and this one truly will be da-ted.


And ain’t no magic tricks that can turn back time.

Photo: Cinematical.com.
Hang On to Your Analogs, Dears

The Senate is expected to pass a bill delaying the transition to digital television broadcasting to June 12.

Broadcasters originally were supposed to switch from analog to digital signals on Feb. 17, but legislators have expressed concern that too many Americans still rely on analog TV sets.

More than 6.5 million U.S. households are still not prepared for the digital transition, according to Nielsen, and would be left without TV – gasp! – if the switch happens next month. If the bill pushing the transition to June passes the Senate next week, it would then move onto the House, where a quick vote is expected to meet the looming Feb. 17 deadline.

Are you prepared? Or will I run into you at Circuit City in the few days, you know…to take advantage of the going-out-of-business sales?

Photo: IsMyTVDigital-CheckNow.com.
Wedded Unbliss

More than a decade ago, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet found each other, fell in love aboard a legendary cruise liner, hit an iceberg, and melted our hearts with a Titanic love story that will go and on.

Late last year, DiCaprio and Winslet reunited in Revolutionary Road (the movie opens wide today), and proceeded to stump on the memory of their great affair by hating on each other but good.

Suburbia will do that to ya, it seems – it’ll make you desperate, indeed.

The celebrated pair stars in Sam Mendes’ adaptation of Robert Yates’ novel as Frank and April Wheeler, a seemingly happy 1950s married couple. The two have always thought of themselves as special and different…as ready and willing to live their lives to the fullest. At least that’s who they once were when they met at a smoky party in their early twenties. Young hearts who ran free…and then learned the rules.

More than a handful of years later, this all has changed. It all started to unravel once the Wheelers moved into their lovely new house on Revolutionary Road in Connecticut.

Frank and April may have proudly declared their independence from the suburban inertia that surrounds them and remained determined never to be trapped by the social confines of their era, but that’s just what happens to them: they become trapped and consumed by it…by, say, seeing their dreams of traveling and living in Paris go poof. By the love they don’t feel for each other anymore. Perfect they’re not.

He has turned into a good man who has a good job in the city. But, and although he sleeps around while he’s on the clock, he has no nerve. She, once and still an aspiring actress, is now a less-than-thrilled homemaker starving for fulfillment and passion.

Driven to change their lives, April hatches a plan to escape everything, to leave the comforts of their prime-for-a-postcard, yet dreadful surroundings in favor of the excitement of the City of Lights. They’re going for their long-lost dream, but then reality sinks. Their neighbors express their reservations. So does the mentally challenged son (surprise Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon) of the Wheelers’ realtor (Kathy Bates, another Titanic alumni), who offers unsolicited and hilarious perspective.

This pushes Frank and April to extremes, and Revolutionary Road, already a tough pill to swallow from its fascinating, engrossing, aching opening sequence, turns bleaker than bleak.

Because Revolutionary Road is not another love story, the movie feels…strange. I felt intrusive and devastated and afraid of it. That’s not why I went to see it, and that’s why I didn’t love it. But it’s an intriguing story, and quite hard to resist.

Like any debilitating relationship, this one should be approached carefully.

My Rating **1/2

Photo: Paramount Vantage.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Never Back Down

I’ve never thought about Mickey Rourke much, never seen any of his movies, never particularly cared for him.

Until recently, I, too, thought the guy was a joke, having seen him at events on South Beach, looking disheveled and less than starry. Once, I even spotted him on Lincoln Road, sitting on a curb talking to one of his dogs. It was sad.

All that has changed now that I’ve come to realize Rourke is, indeed, an actor, thanks to Darren Aronosky’s The Wrestler.

Rourke channels himself to play Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a beloved 1980s-era pro wrestler who has become a burnt-out shell of his former self. With the best times of his life behind him, Randy’s still a fighter. He’s holding on to the glory days for dear life, going about his routine as if he still has It. And you know, in a way, he does – he’s older, not too much wiser, and he’s doing what he likes to do no matter what. He may be down, but he definitely is not out.

But after he has a heart attack, following one of the beyond-brutal small-time matches he now takes on, a doctor tells him he’s gotta quit, that he could die if he ever fights again.

In an effort to build a new life, Randy takes a job at a deli. He doesn’t hate it – he’s not built that way, he won’t allow himself to hate it – but he doesn’t love it. Rourke does a terrific job at expressing contemplativeness with few words. It’s all in his face – he wears this blow he’s been dealt in his skin, yet he carries on because that’s what you do.

Having slowed down the pace, Randy also tries to woo an aging stripper (a stellar Marisa Tomei) with whom he’s developed more than a stripper-customer relationship (even though she still makes him pay for his lap dances). He also tries to mend things with his estranged daughter (Evan Rachel Wood), with mixed results.

But old habits die hard, and the prospect of a rematch with an old nemesis proves too tempting to resist, even if it means risking his life. But like they say, you gotta go big or go home, right? After all, fighting is who he is. It’s all he has.

The Wrestler goes big alright. It shows us that if you love doing something then you should do it, that you should put yourself out there, even if you’re “an old broken down piece of meat” like Randy, and that you should take the sweet with the bitter.

More surprisingly, it shows us hat Mickey Rourke still is in the ring. And that’s worth the price of admission right there.

My Rating ****

Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures.
The Little Golden Fella Everyone Wants

I said there would be at least one upset, and there was…and then some – thanks, Oscar.

Nominations for the 81st Annual Academy Awards were announced this morning, and The Visitor’s Richard Jenkins and Frozen River’s Melissa Leo (both pictured at right) each received their first (surprise) well-earned nods for Best Actor and Best Actress from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Jenkins’ strong competition includes Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon), Sean Penn (Milk), Brad Pitt (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), and Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler), while Leo will face off against first-time nominee Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married), Angelina Jolie (Changeling), and Meryl Streep (Doubt).

Kate Winslet did not earn double nominations as expected, sneaking into the Best Actress category for her work in The Reader and not Revolutionary Road.

Other surprises included the calling of Revolutionary Road’s Michael Shannon for Best Supporting Actor, and The Dark Knight’s snubs in both the Best Picture and Best Director races.

For a complete list of nominees, click here.

The Oscars are scheduled for a month from today.

Photos: Overture Films (The Visitor); Sony Pictures Classics (Frozen River).

Update 1: Kate Winslet would like us to know she’s “extremely happy to have been nominated. And very fortunate. Playing Hanna Schmitz [in The Reader] will always remain one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever been blessed with.

“I’m genuinely thrilled not just for myself but for the wonderful [director] Stephen Daldry and [screenwriter] David Hare. These nominations are a testament to their unwavering commitment to this film.

“And I’m also very happy for all the people in Germany whose hard work on The Reader, has been rewarded by these nominations. Surely [the late producers] Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack are smiling down on us today!”

Update 2: Of her nomination, Angelina Jolie said, “Working with Clint Eastwood [on Changeling] was a reward in itself that will last me a lifetime. It has been an exceptional year for acting, and I am honored to be in the company of these talented actors whose performances all deserve this recognition.”

And of Best Animated Film Kung Fu Panda, for which she voiced a character, she added, “I am also happy that Kung Fu Panda was noticed by the Academy and proud to be a part of a film my entire family loves so much.”

Meanwhile, Jolie’s partner, Brad Pitt was “especially happy for [best director nominee] David Fincher, for without him there would be no Ben Button.”

Update 3: For her part, Anne Hathaway says, of her nomination for Rachel Getting Married, “It is such a thrill to be recognized in this category with these remarkably talented women. I was with my parents and my dog when I got the news and we were all overjoyed – although I’m not sure my dog knew what was going on. This is a great day to be an actress!”

Update 4: Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks, the producers of Milk, also have expressed their joy over the nominations their film received.

“Today’s eight nominations are a huge tribute to everyone involved in the making of Milk. The goal of all of us was to bring Harvey Milk’s wonderfully inspiring story to audiences everywhere. The nominations will go a long way towards making that happen.”

The film’s director, Gus Van Sant, also released a statement to thank the Academy for his and the film’s nominations.

“I am so thankful, so humbled, by the Academy for the nominations they have given our film – I’m so proud of our screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, Sean Penn, and Josh Brolin, and our incredible team, Danny Glicker, Danny Elfman, Elliot Graham, and our amazing producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen. These nominations ensure that Harvey Milk’s legacy will live on.”

Added Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, “I won’t lie, I was up at 4:30 a.m. PT. I couldn’t sleep. I took a shower, I started washing dishes, I did a load of laundry…. I was completely losing my mind waiting for that local ABC telecast.

“My heart jumped when Josh Brolin got nominated, but the tears started flowing when Gus got his. I couldn’t have asked for a better director for this project, a fiercer protector of this little spec script that meant so much to me. And that script would have been nothing without the dedicated talent of nominee Sean Penn, who truly inhabited Harvey’s soul, and Josh Brolin, James Franco, Emile Hirsch, Diego Luna, Alison Pill, Joseph Cross, and on and on. This film was a real team effort.

By the time the nominations got to Best Picture, I was a wreck. Tears – lots of tears. I couldn’t breathe. My big hope had been that the Academy would recognize our film enough that Harvey’s story could get a wider release, but I could never have predicted eight nominations including Best Picture. I’m still pinching myself.”

A Hamm for Tina Fey

That Tina Fey is one heck of a lucky lady.

Not only does she have enough awards gold at home to help out a few of Bernie Madoff’s victimized, she gets to make out with Jon Hamm (AMC’s Mad Men) in an upcoming three-episode arc on TV’s 30 Rock.

By the Hammer of Thor!

Hamm will play Fey’s Liz Lemon's neighbor-turned-suitor on the NBC sitcom, and the actress promises the two will be involved in some “shenanigans.”

Sounds like a fun, sexy time will be had.

Photo: EW.com.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Predicting the Oscars

Well, now that this whole Inauguration thing is behind us, let’s focus on the Academy Awards nominations, which will be announced bright and early tomorrow morning.

Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker will announce this year’s list, for 10 of the 24 award categories, along with Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Sid Ganis. The 81st Annual Academy Awards then will air live on ABC on Feb. 22 from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.

This I can predict:

Photo: Paramount Pictures (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button).

Update: A nice EW.com writer has a few thoughts when it comes to possible surprises, too.
“An Embarrassment of Riches”

Fashionistas and Madonnaphiles of the world, click here for a behind-the-scenes look-see at M’s Louis Vuitton photo shoot.

LV designer Marc Jacobs calls the Queen of Pop “an iconic woman” – Ha! Way to state the obvious, MJ! – while she takes a gander at a table of accessories, and says, “That’s what I want – I wanna have my cake and eat it, too.”

To see a couple more shots from the campaign, click here.

This is glamour well done, indeed. Yeah, it’s escapist and slightly inappropriate in this climate, but someone’s gotta do it.

Photo: NYDailyNews.com.
You Go, First Couple!

And they danced.

Barack and a beautiful, Jason Wu-clad Michelle Obama had their first dance as POTUS and first lady at last night’s Neighborhood Ball – thank you, Beyoncé – and they looked like a dream come true:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Truth Is Out There

I am so freakin’ excited about today – Fringe is back tonight!


Yeah, yeah, Happy Inaugural Day, y’all. It’s not just a new day, it’s a new world – but Fringe is back.

After a looong winter break, Fox will air a new episode of the cult hit at 9 p.m., and we’ll meet the sister of Anna Torv’s agent Olivia Dunham, and a “formal investigation of the Fringe Division” is promised.

And did I mention that Fringe is back, so watch it and love it.

To brush up on the show, click here.

Photo: SlashFilm.com.

Hot Couple Alert

Call them Cargregor.

The 2009 Sundance Film Festival is currently underway, and one of the movies to have had its premiere there over the weekend was I Love You Phillip Morris, starring Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor, and Rodrigo Santoro.

Less of a comedy than a hilarious tragedy, says Variety, I Love You Phillip Morris stars Carrey in his most complicated comedic role since The Cable Guy and as a character so criminal and gay it will leave people both laughing and stunned.

Loves it already.

The rawness of the script by directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (the writers of Bad Santa) and sexual bluntness of Carrey and McGregor’s on-screen rapport could limit the movie’s exposure, the magazine goes on to say, but curiosity about Carrey’s “conversion” will be a big draw.

I Love You Phillip Morris is due out later this year. Can you wait that long?

Photo: Festival.Sundance.org.
Hello!

Yes he did: Barack Obama has taken the oath of office and been sworn in as the United States’ 44th president:


A change will do us good.

Best of luck – and Barack it!
Good-bye!

Oh, George W. Bush…. Bye-bye, numbnuts.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What a Doll!

New York City, here I come.

Lauren Graham is a sparkling diamond in this promo shot for Broadway’s revival of Guys and Dolls this spring.


The actress has but one message for her fans, though: Forget the 2007 Gilmore Girls episode in which Lorelai serenaded Luke at a karaoke bar.

“Lorelai was drunk,” Graham said. “Don’t gauge my singing ability by Lorelai singing drunk in the seventh season.”

I never!

Photo: EW.com.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Things That Make Some of Us Giddy

Not too long ago, Lost boss Carlton Cuse said at a panel that, “Sawyer has a lot to do this year.”

Added Cuse’s fellow boss on the hit show, Damon Lindelof, “A lot of the focus was on the Oceanic Six last year.... This year we tried to make up for lost time [with Sawyer]. [The character’s portrayer] Josh [Holloway] has been doing amazing work.”

You can say that again. I understand he spends about half of the fifth season’s premiere airing next Wednesday shirtless.

Photo: TheFaust.wordpress.com.
Remembering Heath Ledger

In its latest cover story, Entertainment Weekly is remembering Heath Ledger, who passed away last Jan. 22.

Incidentally, the actor is expected to receive a posthumous Oscar nomination for his riveting turn as the Joker in The Dark Knight on the anniversary of his death.

To mark the occasion, the magazine talked to some of Ledger’s closest friends, like his Four Feathers co-star Wes Bentley, as well as Julia Stiles, who starred with the Aussie in 10 Things I Hate About You, and The Patriot’s Mel Gibson.

Photo: EW.com.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Something Old, Something New…. Something Bitch

In the so-called comedy Bride Wars, Kate Hudson and likely Oscar nominee Anne Hathaway (for Rachel Getting Married, not this disposable waste of money – can I get reimbursed?) play childhood friends-turned-bridezilla enemies.

That’s right…the two have dreamt of helping throw each other’s dream wedding for-frakkin’-ever, except something goes awry on the way to the altar.

For controlling Liv (Hudson) and docile Emma (Hathaway), nothing sounds more weddinglicious than a June ceremony at Manhattan’s ultimate bridal destination, the Plaza Hotel. But, as they’re about to get married and realize their dreams, their plans are about to hit a snag or two. When a clerical error (on the part of, natch, the city’s most famous wedding planner) causes a conflict – gasp! –in the BFF’s wedding dates, Liv and Emma’s bond is put to the ultimate test.

Liv, you see, is a successful lawyer who is used to getting what she wants, including the perfect job and the perfect man. She will not settle for anything less than what she’s been dreaming off since she was old enough to take her mom’s pumps out of her closet and play wedding (always as the bride) with Emma.

On the other hand, Emma, a schoolteacher who has always been good at looking after others…but not so much at putting herself first, discovers her inner, say, fighter, and comes out swinging when her own dream wedding is on the line.

As June approaches, the two best friends who’d do pretty much anything for each other (except, it seems, share), find themselves in a no-holds-barred, subterfuge-friendly struggle that threatens to erupt into all-out war.

It’s amusing, on paper, to consider a spray-tanning surprise or pulling off a good hair-highlighting hijink on someone, but to see play out on screen in Bride Wars, it just doesn’t work.

I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say I barely smiled once or two watching this movie. One of the lines in it says, “You don’t alter a Vera Wang, you alter yourself to fit in a Vera Wang.” Do not alter your sense of humor for Bride Wars – it’s a loosing proposition.

My Rating **

Photo: 20th Century Fox.
Boys, Girls, and the High Seas

Leave it to the Brits to make a movie and title it Donkey Punch.

I’m not sure if it’s about that, but we can start to find out on Jan. 23.

Photo: Fandango.com.
Simply Irresistible, Pt. 43

I have been sick the last few days, so I have been watching a lot of TV, including some Lifetime.

Whatevs – don’t judge.

The network has this new show called DietTribe, which I haven’t watched (I promise), but hello, Jessie Pavelka.

Do you have a permit for those guns? And when does DietTribe air?

Photo: MyLifetime.com.
The BAFTAs Fancy…

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Slumdog Millionaire each scored 11 British Academy of Film and Television Arts nominations today.

I’d elaborate, but I’m a sneezing monkey, so click here.

Photo: EW.com.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Good for You, Kate Winslet. And Good for You!

Is Kate Winslet a miner? Because she’s (finally) racking up the (awards) gold like it’s nobody’s business.

Last night I dreamt of San Pedro, and she snagged herself not one but two Golden Globe Awards for her leading and supporting work in Revolutionary Road and The Reader.

Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) grabbed a stronger hold on his comeback train by winning Best Actor in a Drama, while Colin Farrell (In Bruges) and Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky) won in the Best Comedy or Musical categories.

And since this was the Golden Globes, Sacha Baron Cohen bagged on Madonna – the video was on YouTube this morning…but not anymore! – and the too-funny Tracy Morgan brrrought it when he accepted the Best Television Comedy or Musical on behalf of 30 Rock (oh, the Cohen bit appears in the clip of Morgan’s speech).

Photo: UsMagazine.com.
Their Babies Are Going to Be Beyond

Well, it’s official: Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen are engaged. I guess hot people deserve to find each other and be happy, too.

Contrary to rumors, the footballer proposed to the Brazilian bombshell only last Friday. And she said yes, natch.

Congratulations and best wishes.

Urgh.

Photo: Frillr.com.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Writers’ Say

The Writers Guild of America has nominated Woody Allen for the 19th time for his thoroughly enjoyable Vicky Cristina Barcelona in its original screenplay category, joining fellow contenders the Coen brother (Burn After Reading), Milk’s Dustin Lance Black, Tom McCarthy (The Visitor), and The Wrestler’s Robert Siegel.

Up for the WGA’s top honor of 2008 for best adapted screenplay are The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Eric Roth), The Dark Knight (Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan), Doubt (John Patrick Shanley), Frost/Nixon (Peter Morgan), and Slumdog Millionaire (Simon Beaufoy), which just last night picked up a Best Screenplay award from the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

Photo: The Weinstein Company (Vicky Cristina Barcelona).
The Heartbreaker

“I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

And with those seven words, Mr. Big himself, Chris Noth (pictured at right with Sarah Jessica Parker), seems to have put the kibosh on the sequel to the Sex and the City movie.

But Kim Cattrall sounded so sure last fall!

Photo: E! Online.
Simply Irresistible, Pt. 42

My new favorite obsession, TheDailyBeast.com, has turned me on to Alice Smith.

Now, I’m not much for jazz (quite just yet), but frak – I likey!

Smith really “is the best jazz singer you’ve never heard of.”

Photo: TheDailyBeast.com.
Hopping Onto SVU Again

I love this piece of news, especially because I may get to meet her next month: Stephanie March is headed back to TV’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

March will reprise her role as prosecutor Alexandra Cabot for a six-episode arc starting on Feb. 17. The actress starred on the show for four seasons, until 2003, when Cabot went into a witness protection program. She has compared the show “an old flame.”

“Every time I run into it I think, ‘Hmmm, what if?’” she told the AP. “I look forward to spending some time working with a production that has always been so rewarding for me.”

So why come back to the courtroom now? Executive producer Neal Baer explained that the character needed time to get over her traumatic experience of seasons past before she could return to the fold. Current prosecutor Kim Greylek (Michaela McManus) will step away on assignment in Washington, D.C., during March’s return.

I heart Alexandra Cabot, so yippee! Here’s to hoping I get to toast March.

Photo: Flickr.com.
On Bullock Time

There’s a line in the trailer for March’s All About Steve, starring Sandra Bullock (pictured on set at right), that says, “From the producer of Miss Congeniality and Two Weeks Notice...”.

Uh, yeah – that’s you, Sandra Bullock!

Sneaky, sneaky. And, hey – you’re gonna have a busy year, aren’tcha, what with this and The Proposal opening in June. Good for you.

The comedy, about a TV news cameraman (Bradley Cooper) who is stalked across the country by a brilliant but eccentric crossword-puzzler (Bullock) after they go on one date, looks pretty standard, but it also co-stars the one and only Thomas Haden Church, so expect some dry humor.

Photo: WhosDatedWho.com.
A So-Called Return to Form

Kelly Clarkson, your original (and best) American Idol, is coming back soon.

Not that I think she ever went away – I happened to like My December.

Anyway, a preview of girlfriend’s new single, “My Life Would Suck Without You,” is available on Amazon.com, and it’s such a garnish.

The full single, btw, will debut a week from today, while Clarkson’s new album, All I Ever Wanted, will arrive in stores on March 17. Only one thing, though, Kel: Ease up with the Photoshop.

Photo: Amazon.com.

Update: Click here to listen to the full version of the song.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Directors’ Say

The Directors Guild of America has nominated Danny Boyle, David Fincher, Ron Howard (pictured on set at right, in the middle), Christopher Nolan, and Gus Van Sant as its five contenders for Best Director of the year that was.


The DGA’s list matches the Producers Guild of America’s nominations of Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Howard’s Frost/Nixon, Nolan’s The Dark Knight, and Van Sant’s Milk for Best Picture – which means this year’s Oscar race has turned…predictable.

But here’s a surprise (not!): I’ve got to watch Frost/Nixon. Still.

Photo: Universal Pictures (Frost/Nixon).
Checking In with L2 Because...

Lindsay Lohan will be featured in the February issue of Interview because…because…because she’s Lindsay Lohan, I guess.

Lauren Hutton did the honors, and she writes that, “It’s counterproductive to eat our young, and this one has been on time and camera-ready for most of her 22 years. By her late teens, she was already a pro, having emerged from total family immersion in Hollywood. Then she started to get the attention of old masters like Robert Altman, working with Meryl Streep and Jane Fonda, and then even the critics began to love her, because she’s really good and she’s got that twinkle magic of a star.

“By her 20th birthday, she had arrived. And then she stopped for a minute to be a kid – to act stupid, get drunk, and play the fool. (Don’t forget: She missed junior prom and cheerleading and basketball and slumber parties.)”

Ooh, Lauren Hutton (and Interview) – are you making excuses for Linds?

I hope not.

Anyway, to read part of the L2 interview click here. And check out this behind-the-scenes look at La Lohan’s photo shoot:

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Actor Job Security Not Guaranteed

Taylor Lautner, you may breathe easy now: It turns out you will continue to play Jacob Black in the Twilight franchise, after all.

There had been some speculation – or was it shrewd publicity drumming? – regarding this since the 16-year-old actor’s character in New Moon, the sequel due out on Nov. 20, is quite different: He’s a foot taller than he was in Twilight, and is supposed to look 25.

“I’m very happy to announce that Taylor Lautner will be playing Jacob Black in New Moon, and that he’s doing so with the enthusiastic support of [studio] Summit Entertainment, the producers, and Stephenie Meyer,” said Chris Weitz, the director who’s taking over Catherine Hardwicke.

Added Meyer, the author of the books upon which the movies are based, “I’m truly thrilled that Taylor was the one who proved to the director, to Summit, and to me that he is the best possible Jacob we could have. And I’m very much looking forward to seeing what he’s going to bring to Jacob’s character this year.”

Jeez – so much for job security, huh. But, hey – it happened to Terrence Howard (who was replaced with Don Cheadle in Iron Man 2).

Lautner even told MTV News he was trying to gain 19 lbs. so he wouldn’t be dropped from the franchise (he had 10 more pounds to go last month).

Breathe easy, boy. And keep pumping.

Photo: EW.com.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Loves the Shirt Off, But…

Although some may disagree, Chris Evans has come to realize that, “Greasing yourself up and stripping down may not be the best way to [promote yourself].”

Aw, boo.

Well, we may have to blame Evans’ new publicist for the star of Push’s upcoming lack of shirtlessness.

It seems there was a big hoolabaloo over one such photo spread the actor did for Flaunt magazine, which his new publicist thought was the wrong way to go about getting himself some publicity.

“To some degree,” Evans said, “she may have a point.”

As if.

Lest you think it, though, this has nothing to do with appearing, say, gay.

“I’m down with the gays,” he added.

“I have a gay brother. Mostly I’m hanging out with him and his buddies, who are f---ing hilarious. They’ve invited me out to gay bars before, and I said, ‘Look, guys, I’ve got to draw the line there.’ That’s where a photo will get taken, and before you know it, I’ll be living down the gay rumor for the rest of my life.”

Point taken. But I didn’t hear you right. Take your shirt off and repeat that for me?

Photo: Towleroad.com.
It’s Saturday Night, He’s Gay – It’s a Hella Good Time

It’s going to be a busy weekend for Neil Patrick Harris.

The undisputed breakout star of TV’s How I Met Your Mother will host the first Saturday Night Live of the year, featuring musical guest Taylor Swift.

Then the next day, Harris will jet back to L.A. to attend the Golden Globe Awards ceremony (he’s up for best supporting actor), and come Monday, he will cheer on the return of his sitcom from the holiday break.

Happy times, indeed.

Photo: EW.com.
Look-see There

This is your first look at Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are.

Looks pretty, huh.

Jonze is said to have made extensive use of Down Under locales for his long-awaited take on Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s tale.

“The look and feel is very naturalistic – when our creatures knock down trees, they really knock down trees,” he said. “When I was a boy, reading this story, I imagined myself really being there – not in front of a blue screen.”

Sounds good to me.

Where the Wild Things Are will be in theaters next fall.

Photo: EW.com.

Monday, January 05, 2009

To the Kitchen and Beyond

Meryl Streep has long been considered to be a tall order of an actress, but in Aug. 7’s Julie & Julia, that statement is quite literally almost true, for the actress “willed herself to grow eight inches to play 6’2” super-chef Julia Child.”

Well, sorta.

Anyway, Streep plays Child in director Nora Ephron’s movie, a mix of the chef’s memoirs and the true-life story of a bored secretary (Amy Adams) who spices up her life by tackling Child’s recipes.

I can’t wait to see the Doubt co-stars on screen again. They’re so not like oil and water….

Photo: EW.com.
The Producers’ Say

The Producers Guild of America has listed The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, Frost/Nixon, Milk, and Slumdog Millionaire as their five nominees for Best Picture.

The last five years, the PGA matched four of the five eventual Best Picture Academy Award nominees.

I’ve got to watch Frost/Nixon.

Photo: Focus Features (Milk).
Back and Badder Than Ever

Serena van der Woodsen, you’ve been warned: Georgina Sparks will be back.

The writers of The CW’s Gossip Girl must have found “a fantastic way to bring [her] back,” since Michelle Trachtenberg will reprise her role on the hit show later this season – just like the actress told me she wanted.

Best. News. Of. The Day.

Photo: LATimes.com.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Waiter...

Per a BFF, could this have been Madonna’s thought bubble while she posed for this Louis Vuitton ad: “Uh, waiter. Can I get my check? Pleeease? Oh, and this bag is stuck on my high heel.

Photo: Confidential Source.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Feeling Privileged

Robert Buckley (TV’s Lipstick Jungle) has been cast in The CW’s Privileged as the editor-in-chief of a magazine where two characters will hope to work in the final two eps of the show’s freshman season.

That
’s all.

Photo: iVillage.com.
I Could Die!

And for my first post of 2009....

I met British swimmer Mark Foster tonight, about two hours ago.

I ran into him at Lime on South Beach, and OMG: Our tables were right next to each other, so I just had to go over to him to ask for his salt shaker, you know. (What!
I like my quesadillas salty.)

I found out this may not be the only time I shall ran into him in town (yay!), and well...that
’s all (for now!).

Photo: DailyMail.co.uk.