Monday, May 31, 2010

Desert Master

It was a battle for the ages: Whose movie would I see over the Memorial Day weekend, the Sex-y ladies’ or
SILF Jake Gyllenhaal’s?

Well, I saw Sex and the City 2 (again) on Friday – not ’cause I thought I’d like it more the second time around…I just needed to be mildly amused for three hours – and Gyllen-yum’s
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time today. I didn’t care for it all that much. Its star’s biceps is another story.

Set in the legendary lands of Persia, this adaptation of a videogame strives for Pirates of the Caribbean-like fun, but comes up short. Like Johnny Depp’s franchise, this one, too, is a Jerry Bruckheimer joint, so it’s plenty action-packed and effects-driven, but there’s only so much you can do in the desert, y’ know.

So the focus has to be on the story, which is not all that rich.

Gyllenhaal plays the free-spirited, non-noble-blooded Prince Dastan, a buff and tan hunk with long hair. He was spotted at a market as a child by the king, who adopted him because of his extraordinary exhibit of bravery and generosity – and knack for Parkour – saving a fellow street rat.

All grown up (I’ll say), Dastan and his older brothers get along famously and do battle together. It is on a journey to overtake the holy city of Alamut that his final destiny begins to manifest itself. The princes attack the city, on the recommendation of the king’s brother Nazim (Ben Kingsley), and take it, alright, but not without there being fateful consequences. Worse, they don’t know they’re doing their uncle’s evil bidding.


Dastan, being the adopted son, is scapegoated when the king is murdered, so he partners with the Alamutian princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton, in a role that, if you close your eyes for a second, sounds exactly like the one she played in Clash of the Titans) and escapes prosecution and certain death.

Together, they race against dark forces to clear Dastan’s name, prevent Nazim’s power grab, and safeguard an ancient dagger capable of releasing the fabled Sands of Time, a gift from the gods that can reverse time and allow its possessor to rule the world.

It all sounds so much more exciting than it is, though.

Honestly, the only thing that kept my attention was Gyllenhaals’ physique, not only because it’s ridikolously aspirational but because it entertained. They guy’s leaping from roof to roof, doing battle with swords, riding horses – the heroic works. Except for choice bon mots here or there, all of which were featured in the movie’s trailer, it is up to Jakey’s broad, defined shoulders to bare the weight of a big blockbuster built...on sand.

My Rating **

Photo: Walt Disney Pictures.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Break for Iron Man

The Avengers movie
Joss Whedon is helming – yay! – definitely will call upon Iron Man, but don’t expect to see Robert Downey Jr. suit up in his shiny armor until the movie comes out in 2012.

Iron Man director Jon Favreau
has confirmed neither Tony Stark nor his alter ego will appear in next summer’s Thor or Captain America: The First Avenger.

He also said he’s keen on seeing just how the 2012-due blockbuster will bring together all these superheroes, as well as, potentially, the Hulk.

“I’m not sure where The Avengers goes,” Favreau said. “There is no shooting draft written yet. It’s gonna be a big undertaking for Marvel…. All that has to inform one unified vision in [the movie]. It’s a very exciting prospect.”

Up next for Favreau is Cowboys & Aliens starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. Afterward, he will take on a third Iron Man. (The sequel is in theaters now.)

Photo: Paramount Pictures.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

R.I.P. Easy Rider

Dennis Hopper has lost his battle with prostate cancer.

The Easy Rider writer-director-star died today in Los Angeles. He was 74.

I will always remember him as the villain in Speed and 24’s first season.


Friday, May 28, 2010

R.I.P. Arnold

Gary Coleman, the erstwhile Arnold Jackson from Diff’rent Strokes, died today in a Utah hospital. He was 42.

The actor suffered an intracranial hemorrhage after falling at home on Wednesday, and slipped into a coma yesterday.

No one ever said “Whatchoo talkin’ about, Willis?” the way he did, and no one ever will. Let’s remember him today for that, and not for his run-ins with tabloid infamy, OK.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

From the Runway to the Screen

Now that Megan Fox is off the third Transformers movie, someone’s got to replace, and all eyes are on Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

The British stunner reportedly “has read for the part and is a frontrunner for the role” as Shia LaBeouf’s new girlfriend.

Just what the world, and Michael Bay, needs: another model-cum-actress.


Wanted star James McAvoy is enrolling in X-Men: First Class.

The Scottish actor will star as Charles Xavier in the movie, which will be directed by Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, Kick-Ass) and chronicles the younger years of Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr before they became archenemies Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen).

The studio will announce who will play Lehnsherr soon.

X-Men: First Class will open on June 3, 2011.

The Next Gen

Scream 4 is about to start shooting, but casting is underway and taking shape.

Hayden Panettiere and Ashley Greene are said to be in the running for roles in the next round of movies, and now comes news that Emma Roberts has joined Never Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette in the fourthquel.

Roberts reportedly
will play primary heroine Jill in Scream 4, which will revisit Sid’s good ol’ Woodsboro hometown.

“I’m so excited to be part of this groundbreaking franchise,” the young actress said. “It’s the perfect opportunity for me to do something completely different than I’ve ever done before.”

Director-producer said the up-and-comer was chosen for her “talent, beauty, and range, [which] will add immensely to the sophistication, intensity, and fun of the Scream franchise as it returns to the screen once more.”

Hey – maybe they can get aunt Julia Roberts to cameo or som’in’.

The Blogger

Diane Keaton, soon to be seen in Morning Glory, is going to blog for HBO.

The Oscar winner has (finally) signed on to headline Tilda, a half-hour comedy pilot about a powerful and much-feared Hollywood blogger who may be loosely based on Nikki Finke.

Ellen Page will co-star as a morally conflicted creative assistant caught between following the corporate culture of the studio she works for and following Tilda, who has taken her under her wing.

Production is set to begin next month in L.A.

Girl Wants to be a Producer

I will watch pretty much anything with Rachel McAdams in it – I think the lady is a star.

While her upcoming comedy Morning Glory, which was written by the scribe of The Devil Wears Prada, looks and sounds sharper than most’s still a rom-com.

McAdams plays a young struggling morning talk show who must contend with hate-each-other anchors played by Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford, all the while trying to make her relationship work with Patrick Wilson.

Tune in to Morning Glory this fall.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Biggest Sex of All…Again

I am a fan of Sex and the City. I was a fan of SATC during its six years on HBO, and, quite possibly, one of the few who hearted
the first movie. But now, I am a disappointed fan.

As Sex and the City 2, the highly anticipated sequel to the 2008 smash hit, opens in theaters around the world, I cannot help but wonder (holy Manolo Blahnik!): Was it needed?

Not that I don’t welcome the sequel. I enjoy the company of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda. Those four ladies are my girls, as they are yours, and that of countless women, gay men, and
closeted straight men.

The problem with SATC 2 is it’s more of the same, and not in a good way.

Sarah Jessica Parker promised us during production that this would be a romp, which, in some ways, it is thanks to a plotline that takes Carrie & Co. on a beyond-lavish trip to Abu Dhabi. However, and for lack of a better way to put it, the shtick is getting old – the fantasy is losing its gloss and shine, and not even the sight of crystal-encrusted Christian Louboutins could restore it. The girls still have It, but where the story is going is, sadly, anything but.

Just as troubling, writer-director Michael Patrick King surpasses the first movie’s 2 1/2-hours running time for some crazy reason. I recognized SATC 1’s ambition, and while SATC 2 has it, too (I mean, that’s some social commentary right there to have four liberated gals doing their thing in a place where girl power is frowned upon), it also has one heckuva lot of a sloppy streak...and a lot of time to show it off.

The puns feel forced, the script mirrors its predecessor’s in key instances, and worst, by giving us yet another happily ever after it negates the hard-fought, satisfying one we got a couple of years ago.

Sex and the City 2 opens with a truly over-the-top wedding, one to rival the one Carrie (Parker) and John James Preston, a.k.a. Mr. Big (Chris Noth) almost had. It’s a gay wedding – but not just a gay wedding but that of last gays standing Stanford (Willie Garson, in “like-a-virgin” white) and Anthony (Mario Cantone). This gwedding has swans, Carrie in a tux and fashionable hat as the best man, a
token straight stud for Samantha (Kim Cattrall) to bed, lots of bubbly, and Liza. Of course La Minnelli would be there to marry the happy couple and perform Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” (Put a Ring on It)” – the homosexual pull is strong.

Updates on the women’s stylish lives are peppered in the scene, which includes their husbands, children, and pets – it’s nice to see them all in one place – and they continue the morning after over breakfast and in subsequent scenes that could’ve used a more decisive hand in the editing room.

Carrie is about to publish another book, about her first year of marriage to Big, and contemplates what happens after you say “I do” and you fall into a routine that lacks “sparkle.”

Samantha is fighting off menopause tooth and nail, taking lots and lots of pills that should help her slow down the passing of time (cue in the “swallow” joke from the trailer), while Charlotte (Kristin Davis) is struggling to be the mommy she wants to be and to trust that her
hot nanny won’t be a tempt her husband away.

For her part, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is as overworked as usual, but finally in a place in her life where she wants to put her family first.

It’s good to see where our four fab friends are in life, that their economic woes, while markedly different than are ours, are woes nonetheless (Carrie can’t sell her old’-hoo). When it’s finally time to head to the Middle East, SATC 2 perks up, but so much happens over the first couple of days it’s hard to process the feelings we’re supposed to be processing.

Not helping matters is Aidan Shaw (John Corbett), looking better than ever, who Carrie sees while shopping at a souk. I won’t spoil anything at all by saying he serves as a reminder for our heroine of things past, present, and future.

I can see how bringing back Aidan was a means to an end, but I feel like King used the man and his memory for an uncool goal.

I’m on Team Aidan – don’t ever do that to him again!

As you probably know from the previews, “something happen[s]” in Abu Dhabi. Will Carrie and Big survive it?

And how does randy-panties Samantha fare on vacation in a conservative land? Will Charlotte (underused throughout and again forced to bare the brunt of a joke after falling off a camel) regain her motherly mojo? And will Miranda ever cease to be such an unfailing friend?

Never. This ladies are soul mates, and four better or for worse they are ours, too. I just wish Sex and the City 2 hadn’t made me not wanna hang with ’em for a bit.

My Rating **1/2

Photo: New Line Cinema.
Sort of a Sandy Comeback

Sandra Bullock will shine again.

The Oscar winner and new mom will step into the spotlight on June 6 when she
accepts her MTV Generation Award “for her riveting and diverse contributions to the film industry,” at the MTV Movie Awards.

Welcome back, Sandy!

Fight Wife

Nina Dobrev, one the TV season’s breakout stars thanks to The Vampire Diaries, is making a play at movie superstardom.

The girl we know as a Elena Gilbert is getting herself hitched (on screen, at least) to one of Hollywood’s hunkiest, Kellan Lutz, in Deathgames, the actioner co-starring Samuel L. Jackson about modern day gladiators.

The cast also includes Lost’s Daniel Dae Kim, James Remar (a.k.a. Sex and the City’s Richard Wright), and Derek Mears.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Christina Cancels

I feel bad for Leona Lewis – girlfriend can’t catch a break in the United States.

The British chanteuse was supposed to open Christina Aguilera’s summer tour beginning in July, but now that the latter’s
cancelled the whole thing, that won’t be the case.

Aguilera cited promotion for her feature film debut, Burlesque (which opens in November), and, oddly enough, promotion for her new record, Bionic (out on June 8), as reasons for the postponement. She also announced she plans to hit the road next year, after all.

“The singer felt she needed more time to rehearse the show,” a statement said. “With less than a month between the album release and [the] tour, this wasn’t possible.”

Of course, everyone knows her first single, “Not Myself Tonight,” and its
video have underwhelmed.

In any case, Lewis is kinda getting the rawer deal – she could’ve used the promotion, y’ know, since her latest stuff hasn’t hit stateside…and the
duet she and Jennifer Hudson sing on the Sex and the City 2 soundtrack is kind of eh.


Monday, May 24, 2010

The Girl That Could Be Prey

Now that Scream 4 is happening, as are Scream 5 and 6, Ghostface needs a crop of young new up-and-comers to knife.

The powers that be reportedly have their eyes on Heroes star Hayden Panettiere for a role in the upcoming fourthquel, playing Neve Campbell’s cousin’s “nerdy film geek” BFF.

Twilight’s Ashley Greene is in talks to play Sid’s cousin.

We know the actess can regenerate (Heroes reference!), but can she scream? Like, really scream?

A Shot of Testosterone

I’ll admit it: I gave up on TV’s Private Practice some time during its first season because it kinda got off to a too-soapy start…and because
Chris Lowell failed to live up to the shirtlessness we were promised in the pilot.

Over the years, I’ve kept up with what’s going on with the show, and I understand that Lowell has been underused.

Knowing him from his days on Veronica Mars, I know the guy has plenty to bring to the table, so I was happy to hear he’s
being eyed to join the female-heavy cast of The Help.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Expiration Dating

Going the Distance is the movie during which Drew Barrymore and Justing Long fell in love with each other all over again.

I think.

They’d been dating for a while, and then they split up, but then they signed up to do this rom-com by documentarian-turned-feature film director Nanette Burstein (American Teen), right, and, well…you can’t deny chemistry or pheromones, so they got back together….

And so here’s the trailer for their movie, the tale of a beyond-adorable pair of star-crossed lovers who have to work real hard at maintaining their connection when life gets in the way:

Going the Distance opens on Aug. 27.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Case of the Ex

Robyn’s new single, “Dancing on My Own” off her upcoming Body Talk Pt. 1, is such a happy, yet heartbreaking song.

I love it.

It’s like, the dance answer to Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable” – a phenomenally sad, although complete upbeat yeah-look-at-me-I’m-oh-so-fine-without-you.

The song and its
video are all about Robyn running in her ex-bf (with whom she just broke up) at a club.

Awkwardness and empowerment ensue.

Yay, Colin!

Phew – I was worried about Colin Egglesfield for a lil’ bit there….

ousted Melrose Place cast member (that worked out, alright, didn’t it, now that the CW has 86d its started-strong-but-got-all-eh reboot) has bounced back quite nicely, scoring a role on a major rom-com.

The abstastic actor spent some time on a beach up in the Hamptons this week shooting scenes for Something Borrowed with Kate Hudson.

So glad the next time I see Egglesfield he’ll be all big as a building and whatnot.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Handsome Summer

Glee star Mark Salling is gracing the pages of June’s GQ, wearing resurgent surfwear labels both old and new.

We should thank the magazine, shouldn’t we....

Couples Therapy

I can’t wait until New Year’s Eve to see the Sundance hit Blue Valentine – but I guess I’m gonna have to.

The film, starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams (who are not dating, btw) as a married couple going through their high ups and low downs, is getting incredible early buzz already.

It just played at the Cannes Film Festival – Entertainment Weekly’s Dave Karger tweeted it was “utterly devastating” (and I think he speaks gospel).

Take a look at these clips, and tell me it doesn’t look like powerful stuff.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Simply Irresistible, Pt. 66

Is it me, or is Will Forte a hottie?

The SNL star – who looked adorable in his ads for the Gap a couple of holiday seasons ago – joined
Kristen Wiig for the New York premiere of their MacGruber last night, looking every bit the leading man, I will add.

The comedy, based on Forte’s SNL sketch character, opens tomorrow.

Some More Drama

Lindsay Lohan, girl – where’s your head at?

L2 just had to fly out to the south of France for the Cannes Film Festival – she had to! – earlier this week, to promote her maybe-happening-maybe-not Linda Lovelace movie (and party!), risking what we all knew she would: her freedom.

Lohan had a court date in L.A. today, which – whaddya know – she so missed because her passport had been, she says, “stolen.” Now that the actress failed to appear at a probation hearing related to her 2007 DUI case, an
arrest warrant has been issued.

The judge also set bail at $100,000 and ordered L2 to undergo random drug and alcohol tests once a week and be fitted with an alcohol-monitoring bracelet upon her return.

Oy with the drama already, Linds.


Update 1: How is this young lady so lucky after all that she has put herself through?

La Lohan is reportedly no longer a wanted woman now that her camp has posted 10 percent of her bail, necessary to secure a bond and get the warrant for her arrest revoked.

The actress is now due in court next first next Monday morning. Or else?

I bet that, to her, this means staying in Cannes and partying up like she still has any sort of career.

Update 2: Urgh, honestly, Lindsay.
A True Tease

I think it’s pretty much agreed Ryan Kwanten is a hottie and a half.

The Aussie recently
teased to my pal Ted Casablanca – who told the actor his nakedness on True Blood was a welcome change of pace on – that the upcoming third season of the HBO hit will please fans quite a bit.

“You’re going to be very happy this season,” Kwanten said. “There’s going to be a lot more [nudity] from the other characters.

“I actually keep my clothes on a bit more...[but] I’ve paved the way for them.”

Yeah, I’ll say. And thank you for that, Ry.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Out Fox


Transformers 3 has lost – or let go, depending on who people ask – its female lead, Megan Fox.

Reportedly, the actress’ option was not renewed, but Fox’s camp claims, “It was her decision not to return” to the franchise.

Supposedly, the powers that be are moving the story in a different direction: Shia LaBeouf’s character is getting a new love interest. Although people are already saying this is Michael Bay getting even (the two had somewhat public war of words for a while there).

Maybe the universe is course-correcting: I have always thought Fox lucked out getting her career-making role once Lindsay Lohan lost her way in Hollywood.

We’ll see how Fox fares post-Transformers as soon as next month. Up next is Jonah Hex opening on June 18. Although we all know how she’s been doing: last fall’s Jennifer’s Body was a flop.


Update: Here come the vultures.

Heidi Montag is publicly campaigning for a role in the threequel, tweeting, “Michael Bay, I love your work! I know what a[n] artistic brilliant genius you are! Cast me in the next Transformers.”

Ew, Heidi.
Making It Big

Ellen Page is helping to turn something short into something big.

Alright – so what she’s doing is not anywhere as dirty as what I just (clumsily) alluded to….

The actress is set to star in the feature adaptation of the Oscar-winning short doc Freeheld.

The erstwhile Juno
will play “New Jersey car mechanic Stacie Andree, along with her police detective-gf, Laurel Hester [actually her domestic partner], battled to secure Hester’s pension benefits after she was diagnosed with a terminal illness.”

What a timely, dialogue-inviting role.

Getting the Monsters Excitado

Steven Klein is directing the next Lady GaGa video – for “Alejandro” – and the
teases are starting to hit the Internets.

And today, little Monsters around the world got there a little bit.

Because of La GaGa...and because the video promises lots of male visual goodness.


The Big Brother

Zac Efron may be getting ready to stretch his acting muscle – he’s set to star as a money launderer in the American version of a Swedish thriller – but up first, he’s showing his audience his vulnerable side.

This summer, the actor will be seen in Charlie St. Cloud, a romantic coming-of-age drama based on Ben Sherwood’s 2004 novel about a guilt-ridden young man (Efron, looking good in the titular role, natch) attempting to move on after his little brother’s death.

Looks like a three-hanky one.

Charlie St. Cloud opens on July 30.

Photo: Universal Pictures.
Wild About This One. W-I-L-D!

I am officially in love with this fall’s Fox comedy Running Wilde, starring Will Arnett as a kinda-dense millionaire trying to woo back and old, do-gooding girlfriend played by the ray of light that is Keri Russell.

The show comes from the people who gave us Arrested Development, so it’s an instant classic as far as I’m concerned:

Between this one and the Becki-Newton-starring Love Bites, fall can’t get here soon enough.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Vanessa Getting Desperate

Now that Ugly Betty has ended its four-year run, Vanessa Williams will leave Manhattan for Fairview.

The bitchin’ actress will join the Desperate Housewives cast as a regular when the show comes back in the fall, playing a bit of a troublemaker.


Her character reportedly will have ties to Mark Moses’ returning Paul Young.

OK...I’m Thirsty

Does Jennifer Aniston look mighty hot in her new ads for SmartWater or what.

Wearing workout gear and clutching a bottle of water, the actress looks beyond-fit and sexy...and shaming.

Nice abs, Jen.

Which reminds me I should head out to the gym.

Glee Will Get Its M On Again

Ryan Murphy, the man behind Glee, has confirmed what every M fan wanted to know for goody goody gum drops sure.

“We are, we’re doing a sequel to the Madonna episode,” he
said at last night’s Peabody Awards.

Will this happen next season?

“Probably. Yeah.”

Greatness. But will the Queen of Pop appear on the hit show?

“I can’t say. But [Madonna]’s sort of the muse of our show, I think now. She loves the show and has supported it. She gets the show is about arts education and so she’s very supportive about that.”


Monday, May 17, 2010

The Guy’s Gotta a Plan

Patrick Dempsey is playing the whole taking movie screens by storm in one heckuva smart way.

First, he signed on for a “significant” role in the third Transformers movie, and now the Grey’s Anatomy MVP will star in Flypaper, an action comedy indie from the guys who wrote The Hangover.

The movie reportedly “tells the tale of a bank that is robbed by two different groups of crooks at the same time. However, they both come under attack by a secret enemy (Dempsey), to save the bank teller whom he loves.”


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sam’s the Man

Blockbuster magnet Sam Worthington can’t be stopped…shan’t be stopped.

The hot Aussie will next embody H. Rider Haggard’s literary hero, the Victorian adventurer Allan Quartermain in Quartermain, a sci-fi movie he’s also producing.

Quartermain is best known as the hero of the novel King Solomon’s Mines, and
Worthington’s take will venture into outer space.

The Most Popular Girl in School

I think I’m getting a crush on
Emma Stone.

I don’t know if it’s the red hair, the throaty voice, or the fact that she gives up this vibe like she suffers no fools gladly, but I likey.

So I was more than delighted when I saw the
trailer for Easy A, an upcoming teen comedy in which she plays a high school sock – you know, the kind of kid to whom no one pays attention – who leverages a lie into instant popularity.

The lie? Pretending to do it with her gay BFF (Cougar Town’s Dan Byrd, pictured at right with Stone) so he won’t be bullied anymore, and then doing the same for other boys in exchange of social and economic ladder ascension.

She’s not hooking – she’s just trading up on a rumor. I know it sounds sketchy, but it looks like it works for laughs.

Plus, the movie co-stars Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes (love!), Cam Gigandet, Patricia Clarkson, and Lisa Kudrow.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Ewan McG…in Lima…Without Me!

Ewan McGregor
spent a few days in Peru this week – and no one seemed to notice him, which is just weird.

That’s probably because the actor was in Lima working on behalf of UNICEF as an ambassador, not getting his party on or som’in’ scandalous.

McGregor spent some time in the impoverished Ventanilla district where he visited local
wawa wasis and taped a PSA.

Doesn’t philanthropy make him look like, hotter?

A Love That Would Be Denied

Come Sept. 17, we will see Matt Damon and Emily Blunt fight…for their right…to love each other in the sci-fi thriller The Adjustment Bureau.

The movie,
based on a Philip K. Dick story, follows Damon’s young politico and Blunt’s ballerina as they start to fall for each other before normally-unseen-by-humans suited creeps (who control fate) try to draw them asunder.

Their relationship is not part of the plan, y’ see.

I can’t wait to see if they make it.

The List, Pt. 24

In: Anticipating Alcide.

So Five Minutes Ago: Lusting over Jason.

O-V-E-R: Bill vs. Eric.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Kids Are (Still) Having Fun

Two years ago today, they released their comeback single, “Summertime,” and last night, the reunited New Kids on the Block kicked off their 2010 touring season with a pre-cruise show in Miami Beach.

A lot of people I know mocked me for planning and looking forward to attend – but they so should wish they’d checked out the concert, too. It was a blast from the past and a blast and a half!

Donnie, Jordan, Joey, Jonathan, and Danny aren’t kids anymore, alright, but rather fully grown, naughtier-than-I-remember men, and when they kicked off things with a 15-minute section featuring three songs I couldn’t name to save my life (but enjoyed!) before finishing with “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” – complete with that iconic-ish little jig of theirs – I was transported back in time.

That’s because you know what: the Kids still have the right stuff. (Btw, I sooo get the Joey thing now.)

Yeah, they’re older, and because of that it’s been hard for a lot of people who left them behind years ago to embrace them in this latest chapter of their career. I mean, can you name the songs from their comeback album? Actually, can you name their comeback album?

I can’t. And I was a fan. Although, I have to say, it seems not a really good one.

I knew and remember the hits, the “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)”s and “Step by Step”s. But I can’t sing ’em anymore.

Post-concert I can honestly say I want to rediscover the Kids – and I’m so picking up The Block about underappreciated. Last night was a fun step in that direction, one that almost included a fan-niption when all five of them walked passed me and my friends as they sang “Tonight.” Touching distance, I tell ya.

This much I now know for sure: They can hang tough no matter what, and I enjoy their updated sound and older image. They may be artists of the last – gasp! – feakin’ century, but there’s something genuinely unique about them, and about their show, that makes them special and worthwhile still after all this time.

Once upon a time they were criticized for being a pre-fab quintet, but compared to the so-called acts of today, it’s easy to recognize their charm...their legacy. NKOTB were a seminal phenomenon. Last night, they put me in a trance with their funky song and made me believe in them again, they made have fun with them, and they made want to get down with them and like them.

And that’s what music is all about, alright.

She Is

The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul Mary J. Blige is ready for her close-up.

MJB will play legendary soul and jazz singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone in Nina, a movie that will focus on Simone’s relationship with her assistant Clifton Henderson (David Oyelowo).

That’s what I call a role fit for a queen, indeed, and a tremendously ambitious one at that.

Hittin’ It, Too

Kirsten Dunst has joined
Kristen Stewart and Garrett Hedlund in Walter Salles’ big-screen adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.

I’m glad we’re going to get our dose of Kiki again soon – things had quieted down for the actress after Spider-Man 3 (I mean, did you see Be Kind Rewind?).

Actually, Dunst has
a string of indies in the can or in production, including All Good Things, co-starring Ryan Gosling (and already delayed), and Upside Down, which is currently filming and co-stars Jim Sturgess (21).

Later this summer, she’ll headline Lars von Trier’s sci-fi thriller Melancholia, featuring Alexander Skarsgård, Stellan Skarsgård, Kiefer Sutherland, and Charlotte Rampling.

Still in Time

Katherine Heigl, next to be seen in next month’s Killers with Ashton Kutcher, is
set to star in The Age of Adaline.

The “epic love story” centers on a woman who ceases to grow older. Imagine all the drama that ensues….

Well, at least now Heigl will be called a drama queen…for her work on screen (Grey’s Anatomy fans know what that means).

Ooh, I keed, I keed.

Alicia’s Musical Commentary

The video for the new Alicia Keys single, “Un-thinkable (I’m Ready),” is not what I was expecting.

But I likey, anyway.

And I’m happy Keys has released something – I know she’s been touring, but c’mon...girlfriend was keeping us waiting.

The video is a doozy: It jumps around freely from the 1950s to the present day and everything in between, and features Keys’ character falling for Chad Michael Murray’s (pictured here with the singer), only to face the scorn of relatives and neighbors.

This reportedly was a way to “capture…the torment and turmoil of a forbidden love that crosses racial and family ties” and “question…whether or not true love really conquers all.”

Again – I likey.

Jen’s Pick of the Litter

People are still…skeptical about Jennifer Aniston’s silver screen leading lady viability, bankability, and ability (to choose good projects).

I, for one, think her choices have been surprisingly inspired (The Good Girl, Friends with Money), ballsy (Derailed), amazingly underrated (The Break-Up, Marley & Me), and smart (He’s Just Not That Into You).

Yes, there have been misfires along the way (Love Happens, anyone?), but you gotta give it to her: Jen’s got moxie.

Now, Aniston’s
debating her next, next move.

One option is Horrible Bosses, a workplace murder comedy also likely to star Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Colin Farrell, in which she’d sexy it up playing a sexually aggressive dentist.

The other is a reunion with her Object of My Affection co-star, Paul Rudd – a comedy called WanderLust produced by Judd Apatow about a couple that moves to a commune after going broke.

I think she should do both, of course, because I’m on Team Aniston all the way, beginning with the latter (her chemistry with Rudd was undeniable in the 1998 dramedy, and I’d love to see them together again soon).


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

And So I Smile

Sooo exciting: Keri Russell will be back on a TV near me next season!

Fox has picked up Running Wilde (f.k.a. Wilde Kingdom), the comedy pilot starring the erstwhile Felicity and Arrested Development star Will Arnett.

Can I Season Pass this, already?

A Hurting Reunion

Now that the finale of Lost is less than two weeks away, Evangeline Lilly is also looking at the future.

The actress is set to
reunite with her Hurt Locker co-star Anthony Mackie in the Hugh Jackman starrer Real Steel (which, by the by, will also feature Lost baddie Kevin Durand and the artist a.k.a. Jin, Daniel Dae Kim).

The movie tells the story of a former boxer (Jackman) who teams up with his long-lost son to train a robot for a championship fight.

Lilly will play a friend of Jackman’s…and maybe his love interest? Who knows anything other than she’s a lucky broad.

Matt’s Out, Dave’s In

Due to a pesky scheduling conflict with his USA Network hit White Collar, handsome Matt Bomer – that’s what I’m calling him from now on – has had to pull out of What’s Your Number?, a comedy starring Anna Faris.

Brothers & Sisters star Dave Annable, he of the sexy stubble,
will replace him as Faris’ dream man.

The movie, about a woman who upon sleeping with her 20th guy realizes that her number’s too high and she must have missed her Mr. Right along the way, is set to co-star Chris Evans, Zachary Quinto, and Joel McHale.

Check the Super 8

What is Super 8?

Well, it’s J.J. Abrams’ new, super-secret project, one produced by none other than Steven Speilberg, the teaser for which (featuring a derailing train car in the thick of the night...and a mysterious and powerful something dying to get out) debuted last week ahead of Iron Man 2.

The already-hot-among-fans project – an homage to the sci-fi films Abrams loved as a teen fanboy himself – will be released next summer.

Abrams will direct Super 8 before moving on to Star Trek 2, which is set for summer 2012. No word on who is starring yet.

Are we in like Flynn or what!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

This Is How Robin Likes It

And the sexy keeps on coming thanks to Robin Thicke.

The video for the singer-songwriter’s latest, a duet with Snoop Dogg called “It’s In the Mornin,” hit the Web yesterday – and it’s smokin’ hot. Where “Rollacoasta” was pure unadulterated fun, this one’s a peek at foreplay, Thickester-style.

It’s a song about “two people who are in love,” Thicke
said. “It’s a song about love and intimacy with some little sex thrown in.”

And the video’s all about that:

Colin and Tony Fang It Out

Friday Night remake star Anton Yelchin is trading work with a famous pair for another: Colin Farrell and Toni Collette.

The actor has signed on to play the bloodsucker-next-door originally portrayed by Chris Sarandon in the 1985 original.

Collette, currently seen in Showtime’s United States of Tara, will portray Yelchin’s single mom.


Monday, May 10, 2010

La Lauper Called...

She loves Jennifer Hudson and Leona Lewis’ “Love Is Your Color” and its obvious homage to her “True Colors.”

I keed – kinda.

You gotta admit the duet, featured in Sex and the City 2 and its soundtrack, sounds an awful lot like the Cyndi Lauper hit.

Trading the 0 for Ben Temps

90210’s Michael Steger, a.k.a. Navid, will appear on the upcoming third season of HBO’s True Blood.

The young actor will play Tony, a gay prostitute who gets picked up by King of Mississippi (Denis O’Hare) because of his resemblance to his current steady, Talbot (Theo Alexander).

Steger will pop up in one single episode during Season 3, but may recur during Season 4.

Meanwhile, British actress Lara Pulver has been tapped for the recurring role of Sookie’s (Anna Paquin) fairy godmother, Claudine.

Good GaGa

Lady GaGa caused her South Florida fans to go all “WTF?!” when she announced her summer “Monster Ball Tour” with nary a mention of the are in the hot-ticket schedule.

Well, all is…better in the world now that the pop princess
has announced she will be coming to town – next year.

Lady GaGa will perform at both the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise on April 12, and the American Airlines Arena on April 13, 2011, with Semi Precious Weapons opening the shows.

Tickets go on sale on May 17.