Saturday, February 27, 2010

Just Because, Pt. 57

Need some warming up, Hugh?

You should have been in Miami instead of New York City yesterday, boo.

So Long Bikinis, Hello Movies

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover girl
Brooklyn Decker will be making her silver screen debut in the Adam Sandler rom-com Just Go with It.

“That’s why Im in LA now & so excited to get started! The cast has been AMAZING & welcoming,” she
tweeted. “I can’t stop gushing about everyone involved!”

will play the young object of Sandler’s affection in the project f.k.a. Pretend Wife, which also stars Jennifer Aniston as his divorced wife.

Production is set to begin next month in Los Angeles.


Update: Evidently, Nicole Kidman will cameo in Just Go with It.

That Sandler...always surrounding himself with beautiful women in his movies.
Ripe for the Picking

Actress-singer Leighton Meester is keeping busy.

Gossip Girl’s MVP
will star opposite Hugh Laurie (TV’s House) in The Oranges, an independent dramedy to be directed by Julian Farino (HBO’s Entourage) about a middle-aged man who has an affair with his friend’s daughter.


Meester is dead-set on being like, the new Jennifer Lopez, I think.

She’s in a hit TV show, she’s got a simmering music career going on – her latest, “
Your Love’s a Drug” needs to be released on iTunes and a video pronto! – and her movie career is very much happening (she’s also working on a movie with Gwyneth Paltrow, and is set to fright audiences by going all Single White Female in The Roommate).

I’d say La Meester is going at it the right way.


Friday, February 26, 2010

A Boy, a Girl, and New York

Robert Pattinson is coming back to a screen near you in just a couple of weeks.

And that, my pals, is the sound of thousands of girls and sexually confused boys screaming in ecstasy.

The Twilight Saga star will next be seen in March 12’s Remember Me, playing a troubled young man who butts heads with his rich father (Pierce Brosnan) and falls for an equally troubled young woman (Lost’s Emilie de Ravin):

Surprisingly to me, I’m sooo there.
Good Cops, Silly Cops

Lest you were thinking director Kevin Smith was just
too fat to fly Southwest these days, today marks the arrival in theaters of Cop Out, a buddy cop movie that ought to remind you there’s more to him than what meets the eye.

You know like, yeah, he’s a self-described “sedentary processed-foods eater,” but darn it, he has a job, too.

What a shame he performs it so unevenly. Smith follows up his truly superior Zack and Miri Make a Porno, released two years ago, with this, an eh! movie that’s just bloated with idiocy.

You know what, though? That’s peachy if you’re in the mood for a few laughs. After all, Cop Out never pretends to be anything more than a big ol’ guffaw fest.

The movie stars Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan – who should be hint No. 1 for ya that Smith ain’t reaching for the most highbrow levels of hilarity. They play longtime NYPD partners (they’re celebrating their ninth anniversary, or, at least, Morgan’s Paul is) hot on the trail of a stolen, rare, mint-condition baseball card Willis’ Jimmy needs to sell to pay for his daughter’s (Michelle Trachtenberg) dream wedding.

The card, though, has fallen in the hands of a memorabilia-obsessed gangster (Guillermo Diaz, Trachtenberg’s co-star on TV’s Mercy, playing against that type to the point of turning his Poh Boy into a non-threatening cartoon), so together Jimmy and Paul – “partners-against-crime” per the latter – must work to tidy up an early-into-the-movie screw-up that I neither need to explain nor really want to, to get Jimmy’s baseball card back, and maybe solve the mystery of Paul’s wife’s alleged infidelity.

Along the way, they meet a dirty-minded thief played by Seann William Scott, who steals every he’s in, uncover a big and dangerous power play of Poh Boy’s, and make with the funny, alright (because it’s edgy in that crass, easy way), but not with the smart.

Cop Out is pretty run of the mill, and even though it has its moments, it’s so phoned in it’s just a crime.

My Rating **

Photo: Warner Bros.
The Sexier Side of the Winter Olympics

Yeah, a’ight – for the last two weeks the Vancouver Winter Olympics have been all about physical prowess and medaling, but OK! magazine feels differently.

Actually, the mag knows it’s all been about…sex (appeal).

To wit, OK!
photographed 13 of the hottest male Olympians – including recent gold medal recipients snowboarder Seth Wescott and figure skater Evan Lysacek (at right) – shirtless.

Who said the Summer Olympics had all the sexy, right?


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nostalgia, Pt. 34

Oh, Whitney Houston, why, why did you have to f--- it all up?

I mean, yeah, the following now-vintage performance of “I Will Always Love You” is not even your best, but girl, you can’t even touch it anymore.

So, so sad.

Crack is whack, indeed, and it messes you up for good, kids. One day you’re on top of the world, and the next you’re not even fit for an early-season episode of American Idol.
A Priestess to Follow

Slumdog Millionaire star Freida Pinto
will star in the Greek mythology flick War of the Gods.

And you were worried she’d be a fluke and that her other reason for being was fashion and beauty-product endorsements.

No, no…in fact, girlfriend has been hard at work and has completed turns in Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, alongside Josh Brolin and Naomi Watts, and Miral for director Julian Schnabel.

In the has-blockbuster-writter-all-over-it War of the Gods, Pinto will play Phaedra, an oracle priestess, who must join young warrior Theseus (Henry “H-O-T” Cavill) as he leads men into battle with the immortal Greek gods.

Production is set to begin in April.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

On Pause

Good thing she has a Back-up Plan: Jennifer Lopez and her record label, Sony’s Epic Records have parted ways.

The singer-actress had begun to stage her musical comeback late last year and was due to release her seventh studio album, LOVE?, in a couple of months.

Not anymore, obvs.

In fact, sources say the album, which spawned one mildly successful single (“Louboutins”) and another not-so-hot one (“Fresh Out the Oven”), was never finished. Too bad: I kinda liked the new song (“What Is Love?”) she premiered in Italy last weekend.

Not everything is lost, though. La Lopez’s rep says she is currently negotiating with another label.

I said it once, and I’ll say it again: There’s always TV, girl.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hot Uncle Trouble

The former Alias, Heroes, and 24 player – 24? I really gotta start watching what I’m recording! – has signed on for a multi-episode arc on the hit CW show The Vampire Diaries.

Anders will play Elena (Nina Dobrev) and Jeremy’s (Steven R. McQueen) uncle, Jonathan Gilbert, who comes to Mystic Falls to “cause some trouble.”

The actor will first appear on the show in April...and I cannot wait to see him.

And You Can Lea...For Inspiration

A non-profit theater company in New York reportedly is honoring Glee star (and Great White Way vet) Lea Michele by creating a show with the actress in mind.

Reed Prescott, executive director of the New York Theatre Barn, has confirmed that the brunette belter helped inspire their new musical Speargrove Presents, based on a real-life incident in which a town blocked a high school production of Rent.

He says that Michele is the best woman for the job “because she has Broadway chops.”

And girlfriend’s white hot right now, too. I’m sure that has something to do with it as well.

Of Pretty and Men

Photographer John Russo released a book about pretty men earlier this month, and I think it’s about time we thank him, don’t you?

Shot using only natural light and ultra-crisp black-and-white Polaroid 55 film, About Face features unretouched headshots of male models and celebs, such as Michael Ealy, Jason Lewis, and True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten (pictured here) in one of three poses – side, three-quarter, and front.

And I likey.


Monday, February 22, 2010

America’s Next TV Darling

Ugly Betty may have bit it, but my gal Becki Newton is rebounding quite nicely.

The actress has landed a starring role in Love Bites, and NBC hour-long romantic comedy pilot.

The potential series will follow three loosely connected stories of love, dating, and marriage each. Newton will play Annie, an infectiously bubbly hopeless romantic who also happens to be a virgin.

OMG: This…[signaling with all five fingers toward Peacock execs] has to happen!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Brits and the Writers Go for the Hurt

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards were handed out in London tonight, and The Hurt Locker came out as the big winner of the night.

The little-seen powerhouse picked up the most trophies – six, in all – including Best Film, Director for Kathryn Bigelow, and Original Screenplay. A Single Man’s Colin Firth and An Education’s Carey Mulligan won the lead-acting prizes.

Click here for a complete list of BAFTA winners.

Meanwhile, the Writers Guild of America also bestowed its Best Original Screenplay honor upon The Hurt Locker in Los Angeles last night. Up in the Air was recognized in the Adapted Screenplay category.

Photo: Summit Entertainment (The Hurt Locker).

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Brother

Things are about to get even more dramatic for Grey’s Anatomy’s Alex Karev (Justin Chambers).

Show mastermind Shonda Rhimes has tapped Jake McLaughlin (Starz’s Crash) to play Karev’s estranged younger brother Aaron.

He will check into Seattle Grace as a patient on an episode airing in April. The family reunion reportedly will be...momentous, what with Aaron shining a light on Alex’s little-discussed family life.

In Treatment

At long last, today we go to Shutter Island.

The awaited adaptation of the Dennis (Mystic River) Lehane novel was due out last fall, but for reasons I forget it got pushed back to this winter – a push that gave me pause, for winter…well, for winter doesn’t quite have the same cachet.

And this one has that in spades. So what’s with the move, right?

There’s Martin Scorsese directing. And Leonardo DiCaprio leading an A-List cast that includes Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Max von Sydow, Emily Mortimer, Jackie Earle Haley, and Patricia Clarkson. And a source material by a celebrated author.

What could go wrong? Not a lot, but just enough not to make this one a winner.

Set in 1954, Shutter Island follows the story of two U.S. marshals summoned to a remote and barren island off the coast of Massachusetts to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a murderess from the island’s fortress-like hospital for the criminally insane.

When we first meet Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Ruffalo), the former is diving head first into a toilet with seasickness, while the latter is out on a ferryboat’s deck waiting for him. Yes, DiCaprio is back on a boat, but he’s not having any fun.

They talk and wonder where they’re going, what is where they’re going, and consider the secrets lie ahead on that ominous-looking island. The vibe is kinda quite a Lost-ish, made the more so by the movie’s loud and haunting score, which is the most triumphant thing in the entire project.

Daniels and Aule’s unease is confirmed as soon as they touch down on the heavily guarded island: This is no ordinary place, and their task – investigating the vanishing of Rachel Soldano, a woman who drowned her three children – will prove challenging to say the least, and illuminating to say too much.

As the marshals question doctors and patients (there are 66 in all, or are there?), under the ambiguous gaze of the hospital’s progressive-sounding directors (Kingsley and von Sydow), it becomes distressingly evident to Daniels that there’s much more to this case than a missing killer – that nothing is as it seems.

Shutter Island has many flaws, but none sticks out more, like the rocks that surround the actual island our characters are exploring, than its too-revealing exposition at the very beginning. Attentive movie-watchers will be able to get what’s going on in no time, or have an inkling that’s just this side of too right on the money.

The movie has its merits, though: Visually, it’s a bit of a mesmerize, especially the scenes DiCaprio shares with his late wife (Williams) which are scarily vibrant. And, as I mentioned, the score is brilliant – it evokes Hitchcock and imbues every scene with urgency that is simultaneously intrepidly truth seeking and decidedly moody.

The best section comes in the middle, when the movie is at its most thrilling. DiCaprio is so close to finding out what’s up, and you’ll be so sold on your own theory, that you’re right there with him. Too bad you’ll be let down with the denouement that follows. Like his Daniels, you won’t want to be believe it, either.

My Rating **1/2

Photo: Paramount Pictures.
Who Knew the 3OH!3 Guys Were So Cute

So this what the guys who sing “Don’t Trust Me” look like….

Nathaniel Motte and Sean Foreman, a.k.a. 3OH!3, are currently working on their third full-length album, and they’re enjoying the process quite a bit.

“Sean and I went up to the mountains in Colorado for 10 days,” co-lead vocalist Motte (pictured, to the right)
said. “We wrote, like, 15 songs, super-quick.”

After that, the pair headed to an L.A. studio to work with a group of producers including Dr. Luke (Ke$ha), and Benny Blanco (“Don’t Trust Me). They now have about 25 potential tunes and counting – and a title for the album: Streets of Gold.

“It just felt right and big and epic and happy,” Motte said. “It’s hopefully timeless.”

Good title, I guess. Now tell Foreman to take his shirt off, Motte. Just for peeksies.

I Love You Ewan McGregor

It’s no secret I heart Ewan McGregor (who soon will be seen in I Love You Phillip Morris opposite Jim Carrey) – I’ve found him mesmerizing for years, and I was his after Moulin Rouge!

The guy can do it all: edgy, funny, dramatic, romantic, and soaring. He can rock a kilt like nobody’s business. And can pull of guyliner like the best of ’em.

He also isn’t shy about bearing his soul and his body on screen, something he told the
new issue of Out he finds liberating.

“I always try not to limit myself in all respects,” McGregor
said. “Sexuality is just one of them. I could understand saying ‘I would never do gratuitous nudity.’ Wait. No. I probably would. I’d probably be quite happy to.”

And that’s something I could get behind.

Wait – that sounded funny.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

From Basterds to Elephants

Inglourious Basterds Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee Christoph Waltz will next join Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson in Water for Elephants.

The actor will play Witherspoon’s evil husband in the love triangle drama set in a Depression-era traveling circus.

I do wish he weren’t playing another bad guy, but I’m glad to hear the guy will be back in a theater near everyone soon.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Modern Family

Madonna, Jesus, and (her) daughter.

How beyond-cute did M, her boy toy J. Luz, and 13-year-old Lola look at the Carnival parade in Rio on Sunday?

I’m just saying – whatever the Queen does, she makes it work.

Oh Baby

Buffy the Vampire Slayer alumnus Marc Blucas is returning to TV.

The actor f.k.a. Riley Finn has joined the cast of True Blue, an ABC drama pilot not about the M song but about six San Francisco homicide detectives who set out to solve the murder of one of their own.

Blucas will play JD, a divorced father of two who’s still hung up on his ex.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Daniel Craig Is the Next Daniel Craig

Nothing against ya,
Edward Hogg – you’re such a cutie patootie and a half. And I’m going to make it my personal mission to become familiar with your oeuvre, you foxy Brit. But you ain’t the next Daniel Craig.

Background: Hogg is being touted as the next Daniel Craig. In a way.

The actor was among 10 young up-and-comers
presented to the industry at the Berlin Film Festival last weekend as part of a program that brings attention to such talent in Europe.

It’s all part of the pan-European Shooting Stars initiative, which has cast the spotlight on several A-Listers, including Craig, Rachel Weisz, and Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan, y’ see.

While I appreciate the nod, and know that the comparison was said in good faith, I say you better not believe it, Hogg. You can be the one and only Edward Hogg, but you best step off Craig territory, you hear, boy?


Monday, February 15, 2010

Madonna Directs Again

The directing bug bit Madonna but good.

The Queen of Pop is set to helm her second feature, a biopic called W.E. about the scandalous affair that led King Edward VIII to step down from the throne. The project will tell the story of the king’s liaison with Wallis Sampson, whom he eventually left the crown behind to marry.

M reportedly has lined up Up in the Air’s Vera Farmiga to play Simpson, an American socialite who divorced her second husband when, in 1936, Edward proposed to her after a two-year affair.

Truth or Dare director Alex Keshishian is co-writing the script. W.E. will follow up her first effort behind the camera, 2008’s Filth and Wisdom.


Update: And in other Queen of Pop news....

Madonna is in talks to launch a from-your-head-down-to-your-toes women’s clothing line to be sold at Macy’s.

The actual clothing range would be called – what else? – Material Girl, while the lingerie line would go by the name Truth or Dare.

I smell an Mstastic return to New York Fashion Week....

Saturday, February 13, 2010

V Boy

Battlestar Galactica hunk Michael Trucco is joining the cast of TV’s V when the show returns in a few weeks.

Trucco will play John May, the mysterious and unseen leader of the Fifth Column, the underground movement of rebel Visitors that Ryan (Morris Chestnut) and Erica (Elizabeth Mitchell) have been attempting to resurrect.

He will make his debut in the April 13 episode.

One for the Girls, One for the Guys

Valentine’s Day star Bradley Cooper is determined to walk the line between appealing to women and appealing to men.

That’s how you become a movie star, after all.

The actor will reunite with his A-Team director, Joe Carnahan, for a thriller called The Grey, about plane crash survivors who are being hunted by wolves.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Yes! Now I Know What R2 Smells Like

Ryan Reynolds is doing like his wife Scarlett Johansson, and is jumping into the fragrance game as the newest face for Hugo Boss Fragrances.

“Boss is a brand that not only represents classic style and sophistication, but inspires men to work hard, embrace opportunities, and strive for success in all aspects of their lives,” R2 said.

Whatever, hot stuff.

“I’m honored Boss invited me to be the face of its new men’s fragrance,” he added.

Yeah, yeah – take your shirt off.

Love Is in the Air

Some like to think of Valentine’s Day as the loverliest of days, while others prefer to think of it as the most aggroying, but Hollywood...good ol’ Hollywood loooves to think of it as a another way to make big bank.

I’m actually quite surprised that it took this long for a movie called Valentine’s Day to come out (one titled so that we’ve heard of and acknowledged with this much fanfare). Y’ know, considering just how much the powers that be like to throw romantic fare at audiences around this time of year.

It figures, though, that when the time came and inspiration stuck they turned to Mr. Romantic Comedy himself, Garry Marshall, to oversee the project.

Marshall has directed a constellation of stars that includes American Sweetheart Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Ashton Kutcher, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Biel, Patrick Dempsey, Anne Hathaway, Topher Grace, Eric Dane, Jamie Foxx and Queen Latifah, Hector Elizondo, Shirley MacLaine, Emma Roberts, George Lopez, and Taylors Lautner and Swift, among others, and the results are – to paraphrase a couple of people also saw previews of the movie – a lot better than expected.

It is an irresistible cast, right. All Marshall had to do was mix but good, and serve. And for the most part, Valentine’s Day is a tasty confection. That is just like undercooked, flat, charmless cinematic dishes.

The movie follows a diverse group of Los Angelenos navigating their way through romance and heartbreak over the course of one Valentine’s Day. Couples and singles experience the pinnacles and pitfalls of finding, keeping, or ending relationships in a day in the life of love.

That’s the company line, and I’m sticking to it.

There are so many stories going on I won’t even attempt to describe the plot in detail. However, I will say that had there been fewer plotlines included in the production, that perhaps some of them, which could be fleshed out into rom-coms of their own (in theory), would’ve benefited a bit. Like the Hathaway-Grace section, which....

Oh, you’re going to see the movie, anyway – so I’m sooo not even going to bother telling what’s wrong with any of the sections because that’s about the only way you’ll be surprised at all by this gun-shy, OK offering.

The problem with Valentine’s Day is just that: it’s just OK. And it could’ve been so much better. I think all these A-Listers (and we!) deserved that much.

My Rating **1/2

Photo: Warner Bros.
The List, Pt. 19

So Five Minutes Ago: Interchangeable young’uns.

O-V-E-R: Ageism.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Kate as Mildred

HBO has finally confirmed the worst casting secret it has kept in a long time: Kate Winslet will star in a five-hour miniseries adaptation of James M. Cain’s Depression-era novel Mildred Pierce.

Well, if anyone should step into Joan Crawford’s shoes it ought to be Winslet.

Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven) will direct the project, which is set to begin production in New York in a couple of months.

R.I.P. Mr. McQueen

British designer Alexander McQueen
was found dead at his London home early this morning, in an apparent suicide (however, officials say the cause of death remains unknown).

He was 40 years old.

McQueen, a.k.a. “the hooligan of English fashion,” was known the world around for his bold and avant-garde designs. In 1996, he was the youngest designer ever to win British Designer of the Year, and he went on to win three more times.

A favorite of celebrities, among McQueen’s most famous and recent designs were the “
armadillo boots” that Lady GaGa sports in her “Bad Romance” video. His McQ line was scheduled to be shown at New York Fashion Week on today. That event was cancelled in the wake of the news.


Update 1: Click here to read about what the mood was like at McQueen’s boutique in New York hours after the sad news broke.

Update 2: Vogue’s Anna Wintour has called the designer’s influence astonishing, “from street style, to music culture and the world’s museums. His passing marks an insurmountable loss.”

Update 3: The fashion world, reeling from this all-too-soon death of an icon, has tweeted up a storm. Click here to read reactions from Tyra Banks, Betsey Johnson, Karolina Kurkova, and Dita Von Teese, among others.

Update 4: Madonna also has expressed her sorrow, saying, “McQueen was a truly unique visionary in the world of fashion. A creator of beauty. What a tragedy.” So has Sarah Jessica Parker.

Update 5: Alexander McQueen died of asphyxiation after hanging himself in his London apartment, a British coroner official announced on Feb. 17.
More Than She Bargained For

This summer, Katherine Heigl will meet and marry Ashton Kutcher, and he will turn out to be a heckuva lot more than she ever expected.

That’s the plot of Killers, their new comedic actioner that reminds me a little bit of Mr. & Mrs. Smith in a way.

Check out the trailer and tell me that you don’t see it.

Boy, does Kutcher look...killer, or what!

Killers’ secret will be on June 4.

Upping the Stakes

Gossip Girl lovers have reason to rejoice – the show is like, a month away from returning to us, and the new episodes, which begin on March 8,
promise to be full of drama and intrigue and sexy (thank to Vanessa’s lack of underwear):


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Penélope Gets Her Rrrrr On

It’s from a musical to the high seas for Penélope Cruz.

The Oscar winner is reportedly in talks to co-star with Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

The plot of the fourth pirate adventure is said to revolve around the fountain of youth.

Do we see it?

Sue’s Match

And just when I thought Glee couldn’t possibly get more watchable, in they bring Molly Shannon.

The SNL vet will be joining the cast when the show comes back this spring, playing a nemesis to Jane Lynch’s Sue Sylvester.

Shannon’s character, Brenda Castle,
is described as the busty 45-year-old new astronomy teacher and badminton coach at McKinley High School who is both an alcoholic and a pill-popper.

Because, in a comedy, you can’t, and you shouldn’t have one without the other.

Ready for His Mission...Again

Tom Cruise in on board for another Mission: Impossible.

The actor has signed on to star in and produce Mission Impossible IV, which is set to come out on Memorial Day 2011 (M:i:III director J.J. Abrams also will serve as a producer on the fourthquel).

A search for a new helmer is underway, while Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec (TV’s Alias) will take on screenwriting duties.


Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Just Because, Pt. 56

Thanks to his new
Calvin Klein Underwear ads, Kellan Lutz is having a moment, and I am more than happy to help perpetuate a fascination with his…work.

So as the folks at CK promised, check out this behind-the-scenes look-see at Lutz’s photo shoot:

Hot, huh.
What a Good-looking Place

Daniel Craig is making room for Naomi Watts and Rachel Weisz in director Jim Sheridan’s Dream House.

The Oscar-winning actress is the latest talent
to be added to the cast, which follows a publisher (Craig) who moves his wife (Weisz) and kids to New England, only to discover that their new house had been the scene of a brutal murder. Watts plays their neighbor.

Production on the project is set to begin this week.

Looking for Love in the Right Place

Pilot season is in full swing in Hollywood, and the departing alumni from the very-much-still-on-the-air underappreciated NBC gem Friday Night Lights are in high demand.

Zach Gilford already scored himself a starring role on an ABC potential, and now Minka Kelly has found a new home over at CBS.

The actress has landed a role in the prospective comedy True Love, playing a sweet, strong-willed Midwesterner.


Monday, February 08, 2010

Not Leaving the Island

Lost star
Daniel Dae Kim doesn’t want leave Hawaii.

The actor, who has called the state home for the past six years while playing Jin on the hit ABC show, has been cast in a lead role in the Hawaii Five-O remake that CBS is prepping for next season.

will play Det. Chin Ho Kelly alongside a yet-to-be-cast actor who will co-star as Det. Steve McGarrett.


Update: Alex O’Loughlin will co-headline the Hawaii Five-0 remake with Daniel Dae Kim.
Year of the Underdog

Every celebrity I encountered over Super Bowl XLIV weekend said they were rooting for the New Orleans Saints, and the team did not let them down.

The Saints got the victory – their first Super Bowl win ever! – everyone wanted and wished for the Crescent that no one was sure would be theirs when they beat the Indianapolis Colts, 31-17, during a highly rated game of good ol’ football at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

I guess Nancy O’Dell, the only celeb I heard say was supporting the Colts, must’ve been super-disappointed.

And speaking of celebrities, boy did they arrive in the Magic City in full force to go to the game...and to many a party.

Everyone was here, from Reggie Bush’s main squeeze, Kim Kardashian, to Rihanna, to the cast of MTV’s The Hills and Kellan Lutz and Trevor Donovan, to Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Cameron Diaz, and Brangelina – they all had one thing on their minds: the underdogs.

Just goes to show ya never to underestimate anyone who’s supposedly weaker than you. They usually end up celebrating.

The Boy Likes His Genre Movies...

Tom Felton, a.k.a. Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, will co-star in the supernatural-themed The Apparition.

He joins a cast that includes Gossip Girl’s Sebastian Stan and Twilight Saga star Ashley Greene.

The Lengths People Go for the Truth

We are going to see Amanda Seyfried, the star of the
Avatar box office-trumping Dear John, in a whole new light come next month.

The actress will play the title role in Atom Egoyan’s Chloe, a thrilled in which she plays a hooker hired by Julianne Moore to prove that her husband (Liam Neeson) is cheating.

The move, of course, creates complications that put Moore’s family in danger.

Chloe opens, in limited release, on March 26.
From the Football Field to the Courtroom

NBC’s Friday Night Lights may be losing its star QB Zach Gilford, but the actor’s bouncing back onto an ABC pilot.

Gilford has joined the cast of an hour-long drama pilot called Matadors, which follows two rival Chicago-based families, one in the DA’s office and another in a high-powered law firm.

The show will have a bit of a Romeo and Juliet component to it.


Saturday, February 06, 2010

Beyond the Twiverse

Taylor Lautner is making sure he’ll have a future after this whole Twilight Saga is all said and done.

The young’un, who already has lined up a trip to
Cancun and something else I can’t think of right now, has signed on for Stretch Armstrong, a big-screen adaptation of Hasbro’s popular ’80s toy.

The movie will be released in 2012.

Which means we will be seeing plenty of Lautner for quite a while. Hopefully, with his shirt off.

The Crow Hits the Town

Courteney Cox is being a good friend to Sheryl Crow.

The actress has more than likely invited the singer, one of her BFF, to join her on Cougar Town.

Crow will appear in multiple episodes later this season as Grayson’s (Josh Hopkins) new girlfriend.

I kinda like this idea a lot.


Friday, February 05, 2010

Rihanna Rocks Like Fashion

Last night’s insane in the membrane Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam on the beach at Ocean Drive and 8th Street was only made bearable – it was super-windy and kinda too cool – because of Rihanna.

I did not know the whole thing was being shown live on VH-1 – and that Rihanna would not be performing until then.

I wouldn’t have gotten there quite so early otherwise. And worn a sweatshirt.

Timbaland and something called a Justin Beiber performed as well.

Well, Timbaland, a fine producer whose work I enjoy quite a bit, should not be tapped to perform live ever again. He’s just not engaging. At all. And as far as Beiber is concerned…I’m not a tweenager, so he was totally lost on me.

But my goodness: Rihanna rocked.

Literally – her four-song set was heavily rock influenced, which lent itself nicely for songs like “Disturbia” and “Hard.”

Then she went away, and I thought it’d been too long a wait for too short a show. But she came back and put on a full like, 75-minute show that included all her of her biggest hits. Whenever I thought she was done, she kept going. Girlfriend wa’n’t gon’ stop until she saw police lights, you know.

And she’s just so strikingly gorgeous, which I confirmed tonight when I saw her at the Pepsi Refresh Project launch party at LIV. She is beau-ti-ful.

If at First She Doesn’t, Shonda Will Try You Again

Martin Henderson must have something going on.

Grey’s Anatomy mastermind Shonda Rhimes once again has tapped the Kiwi to star in a
new pilot for ABC called Off the Map.

The Ring actor previously took part in Rhimes’ didn’t-make-it-on-the-air show about news correspondents, Inside the Box.

The new project, which will co-star Without a Trace alumnus Enrique Murciano, follows a team of medical professionals who flee the United States to work at a clinic on a tropical island.

I predict shirtlessness will ensue, which ups its chances that we’ll see it next fall.


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Written to Be

Channing Tatum does a lot of crying in
Dear John, the latest adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel.

Like, a lot of crying – this is his moment to show us there’s more to him than brawn (as seen in Fighting, and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra), and that his celebrated turns in indies like A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints were no fluke.

Tatum stars in the Lasse Hallström-tearjerker as a soldier home on leave who falls in love – in two great sun-kissed weeks! – with a college student played by Amanda Seyfried (HBO’s Big Love, Mamma Mia!).

It’s kismet that his John and her Savannah find each other and give themselves to each other the way they do – it’s meant to be.

He’s a reformed bad boy – the Army has reshaped him, taught him discipline – and she’s a delightful, insightful young woman who shows an interest in his life, asking to meet his reclusive father (Richard Jenkins) after only their first date.

Before you can say John’s bad news, though, his leave is up, and he must go.
Oh, and did I mention that their meet cute takes place early in the summer of 2001?

Well, it did. For a while, the two lovebirds keep their budding relationship going, writing lovely letters to each other. He tells her as much as he possibly can about his missions, and she keeps him updated on how her summer’s going and how his father’s doing (Savannah’s also trying to help John realize that there’s a perfectly good reason for his father’s so seemingly detached).

Everything’s going well between the two – he has a year left in the Army, and then they will be together once his service is over.

But then it happens: Sept. 11, 2001, an event that changed the world, and refocus what the young couple has.

It’s something that eventually tears them asunder – instead of returning home back to her, John reenlists after the attacks, a decision that combined with insurmountable distance and the passing of time proves much too much.

Then again then, though, Dear John had us believing that love after two weeks is quite the real possibility, so maybe they can make it, after all.

The problem is the movie keeps John and Savannah apart for so long, it’s hard to come around considering a happy ending.

Perhaps they – gasp! – can’t make it?

That’s the option Dear John asks us to the point of boredom to consider, and that thanks to an ending that feels rushed (and that I heard differs from the book), I wished had come to be.

It’s an uneven movie, this one, but it’s redeemed by the magnetic quality that both Tatum and Seyfried posses. Seeing two of Hollywood’s fastest-rising stars together on screen is a treat. I just wish the movie had been one, too.

In other words, this is no Notebook. It’s not even A Walk to Remember. It’s a better-looking, weak-minded Bridges of Madison County. But will it bring back letter-writing back? That’s the one question I often caught myself asking, which is not, I bet, what the powers that be wanted.

My Rating **1/2

Photo: Sony Pictures.
The Bitch We Have Been Waiting for

I guess the True Blood powers that be weren’t too keen – like, at all! – on my Shannen Doherty-as-Debbie Pelt idea.


The role of the werewolf Alcide’s crazy ex
has gone to Brit Morgan, a newcomer who co-starred in the short-lived ABC Family drama The Middleman.

Now that all the pieces are in place for the third season of the HBO hit – Debbie Pelt was the last role in need of casting – can summer get here already?

Carrie On for the Movies

Country star
Carrie Underwood is making the transition onto the silver screen.

How Christina Aguilera of her, huh.

will play a church youth group leader in Soul Surfer, a drama based on the true story of teen surfing champion Bethany Hamilton, who lost an arm in a shark attack.

Race to Witch Mountain’s AnnaSophia Robb has been cast as Hamilton, while Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt will play Hamilton’s parents.


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Make Me Lose My Breath

It’s the role the world was waiting with bated breath to see him play: Kellan Lutz as a Calvin Klein Underwear model.

The Twilight Saga hunk is following in Mark Wahlberg’s buff footsteps and dropping ’em to help launch the new Calvin Klein X Underwear line, putting millions of men to shame with those insane abs, and making a bunch of us pant.

“I started out modeling so this is the pinnacle,” he
said of the Spring 2010 campaign. “What more can you do than be on a billboard for something that you grew up thinking was super-sexy and classy? It’s really prestigious, and I love it.”

No, no, Kell – we love it.

Joining him in the campaign, which rolls out next month, are True Blood stud Mehcad Brooks (and his crazy eight-pack!), Japanese footballer Hidetoshi Nakata, and Spanish tennis star Fernando Verdasco.

Oh, and
look out for behind-the-scenes videos, interviews with the four hotties, and even 3D-effect versions of the ads.

Cristiano Ronaldo ain’t got nothing on ya, boo.


Update 1: Click here for a very revealing look at another Kellan Lutz shot.

Like, you kinda can see his religion...or his parents’ preference in life-defining choices for their son.

Update 2: Now click here for even more.

Update 3: And here for more of Mehcad Brooks.