Friday, October 29, 2010

A Very Cute Patient

Scott Foley in on a guest-starring bender.

The erstwhile Noel from TV’s Felicity is following turns on Law & Order: SVU and Cougar Town with a role with recurring potential on Grey’s Anatomy.

Foley is checking into Seattle Grace as a patient set to “stir things up” with Kim Raver’s Dr. Teddy Altman.

Someone’s gonna get some fun and sexy time....

Cappie’s Lookin’ Good

Shut it down – I’m in New York for the weekend, and I’m dying thinking my Entertainment Weekly is going to go unread until I get home.

The new issue of the magazine has an exclusive first look at next year’s Captain America: The First Avenger, starring Chris Evans in the title role.

Click here for more pics featuring a shirtless Evans, Hayley Atwell, who plays Major Peggy Carter, and Hugo Weaving as the villainous Johann Schmidt, a.k.a. The Red Skull.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Simple and to the Point

Director Christopher Nolan
revealed yesterday that the follow-up to his successful Batman Begins sequel, The Dark Knight, will be titled…The Dark Knight Rises.

Well, it beats The Batman Saga: Battier Than Evah.

Honestly, it doesn’t sound too inventive – after all, at the end of The Dark Knight, the Caped Crusader became a wanted-for-murder fugitive. I don’t think anyone thought the guy wouldn’t rise and clear his name.

In any case, Nolan also let the cat out of the bag on the who-will-be-the-villain front, or actually, who it won’t be: the Riddler.

Catwoman, though, remains in contention, what with the Rachel Weisz rumors still very much alive and a
report that the helmer is interviewing young actresses for a part.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kylie’s American Encore

This is why I heart my Twitter feed.

About five hours ago, Aussie pop princess Kylie Minogue teased she is coming back to America for another tour that, I should trust, will include Miami this time around.

Unlike the last time.

Not that I’m still upset the snub from two years ago or anything....

Details are a-comin’.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Well, This Is Aspirational

Madonna gets a lot of s--- for her beyond-ripped body and for the way she flaunts it (mostly on stage, mind you).

So – and this is a move that the haters will love but won’t admit they do – M has decided she’s launching a chain of global gyms called Hard Candy Fitness in partnership with the same folks behind 24 Hour Fitness.

How do you like them guns?

The facilities reportedly will combine fashion (Material Girl?), fitness, and entertainment for a very special Madonna-approved experience.

The first Hard Candy Fitness will open up in Mexico City next month, and there are plans to open 10 more locations throughout the world...but there’s no ETA on an American outpost, though.


Update: Cute logo, Madonna!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Where There’s a Will

Eric McCormack’s post-Will & Grace career moves have been a mixed bag.

He did a couple of guesting on TV’s Law & Order: SVU and The New Adventures of Old Christine, a TV movie (for Lifetime, I believe), was in a little-seen Renée Zellweger movie (My One and Only), and headlined a one-season show for TNT.

Well, the actor and the cabler are going at it again.

The Emmy winner is talking to the home of The Closer to star its upcoming series Perception, about an eccentric neurosurgeon who helps federal investigators solve complex cases.

Brainy E.M., huh. I could get into that.


Update: He’s doing it. Eric McCormarck will be playing Dr. Geoffrey Pierce.
The Sound of Mark

Rumor had it for a little bit there that Mark Salling, a.k.a. Puck on Glee, wanted out of the show that made him a star because he went MIA for an episode earlier this month and won’t be in this week’s Rocky Horror-themed one.

Not to fret, though: Salling ain’t going anywhere. He just needed a little time launch his debut album, Pipe Dreams, the proper way, and that includes promoting the video for his new single, “Illusions.”

Striking while iron’s hot....

Smart, huh.


Friday, October 22, 2010


A cynic like, say, myself would dare put it out there that the oh-so-good-in-Conviction Hilary Swank probably thought she had another Oscar – her third – in the bag...and that it’s really just too bad that Annette Bening saw The Kids Are All Right come out just a few of months ago (since Bening has lost out to Swank come the big night twice before).

The thing about cynicism, though, is it’s often misguided. If I was a betting man I’d be a losing man. So rest easy, A.B.

Look, Conviction is a fine movie, but Swank ain’t getting invited to the party, as a nominee, next winter. At least I don’t think so. Not anymore (bye, buzz!).

Directed by Tony Goldwin, this courtroom drama is an adequate piece of based-on-an-incredible-true-story...uhh...story about a woman who stops at nothing to prove her brother’s innocence.

The problem is it’s also a bit too Lifetime-y for my taste, which is why the actress’ tenacious, sure, but nevertheless affected-by-a-borderline-melodramatic-script performance ultimately doesn’t transcend the movie’s by-the-number-ness.

Swank plays Betty Anne Waters, a high school dropout from the wrong side of a Massachusetts town whose brother, Kenny (Sam Rockwell), is convicted of murder and sentenced to life in 1983.

Betty Anne and Kenny are like two peas in a pod. The two are thisclose; they’ve always had to rely on each other through thick and thin since their mom was, well...trash who didn’t mind them like, at all. Theirs is a bond that is like no other: unbreakable, unshakable, and unconditional.

When Kenny is sent away, for a crime he says and his sister knows he didn’t commit, Betty Anne puts her own life on the back burner to champion his tarnished name. She embarks on a lifelong quest to prove Kenny was wrongfully pinched for the did by a tough-as-nail cop (Frozen River’s Melissa Leo), and even puts herself through college and law school, sacrificing her marriage and her role as a mother in the process. It’s what she has to do...and by golly if she’ll do it, even if takes her years.

That it does – 18 years, to be exact.

It’s a tall task she’s taken on, and while no one understands it, while everyone tells her she should accept the facts (those everyones are promptly shunned), Betty Anne remains steadfast.

With the help of a supportive friend (Minnie Driver) she allows herself to pick up along the way, she pores over piles of suspicious evidence and retraces the steps that led to Kenny’s arrest in the hope of finally winning her brother’s freedom.

Eventually, her quest gains enough traction that she picks up another ally, a lawyer (Peter Gallagher) who specializes in this type of case, and Betty Anne’s dream to free her brother begins to become a reality.

What Conviction fails to capture, though, is just how daunting this mission must’ve been. I felt like the movie spent a lot of time walking us through the case, which was resolved rather quickly – I say acknowledging that I live in a post-procedural-TV zeitgeist...and that things weren’t quite so easy – and not enough showing us Betty Anne getting her fighter on. I guess not all heroines in this type of movie are Erin Brockovich-esque, but still, I wish Swank had been given something showier to shine with, you know.

Perhaps that Oscar buzz would still be around, but since the actress also produced the movie I will say, sans cynicism, that she really wanted to tell this story, and for that she can reap the biggest benefit, just like her subject matter: satisfaction in self.

My Rating **1/2

Photo: Lionsgate Films.


Shut. The Front. Door.

No, seriously – shut it. Ghostface is coming back in Scream 4, and I frakkin’ cannot wait to see him (her? them?) next April.

A lot has changed since Wes Craven kinda sorta re-invented the horror-movie genre, and the Scream powers that be’s proposed new trilogy-extension of the franchise promises to explore the new rules of the game with a bunch of new faces thrown into the mix…as well as three very familiar ones (hi, Neve, Courteney, and David!):

Scream 4 is due out in theaters on April 15.
The List, Pt. 26

So Five Minutes Ago: Teenybopper twangin’.

O-V-E-R: Pretending like you don’t know what the CMAs are...or that you’re not watching them next month to see Gwyneth Paltrow make her live-singing debut.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vrooming Back in Town

teaser for Cars 2 dropped yesterday, and it looks like Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) is getting his spy on.

I’m kinda sad that Paul Newman won’t be lending his voice to this one, since he passed away and all. At least I don’t think he did.

Pixar’s latest is due out in theaters next summer.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

On the Loop

Ben Affleck is going paranormal.

The actor-turned-director (have you seen The Town yet?) is circling an adaptation of Replay, a Ken Grimwood novel (which I have read!) that’s been in slow development since...the late ’80s.

To be fair, although I thought it would make quite a movie (I even envisioned Daniel Craig in the starring role), I knew it would be a tough nut to crack, so I can see how Hollywood hasn’t yet.

Replay revolves around a 45-year-old man who has a fatal heart attack while trying to prevent the murder of a jogger in Central Park. Instead of moving on, however, he is stuck in a “replay” of his life beginning at age 18 in Brooklyn.

With his knowledge of the future, he changes his life and builds a financial empire, only to die again at age 45. The loop continues for several gos, but, eventually, he and the jogger meet and fall for each other and struggle to break the cycle of their repeating lives.

Dancing His Way to Cable for a Bit

Brothers & Sisters’ Gilles Marini is feeling the Royal Pains.

The actor
will appear on the second-season finale of the USA Network hit playing a dance instructor.

The second half of cabler’s sophomore season kicks off on Jan. 20, btw, so Marini’s episode should air…later in the winter.

Joining the Gang

Gabourey Sidibe is ready to take her scene-stealing ways to the next level.

The Precious Academy Award nominee and Showtime Big C co-star
has signed on to join Tower Heist, an ac-com (figure it out) surrounding high-rise employees who band together to steal their money back from a Bernie Madoff-type under house arrest.

The Brett Ratner-directed movie already has Ben Stiller, Alan Alda, and Eddie Murphy all lined up for other roles.

You go, girl!


Update 1: Joining the star-studded cast is Téa Leoni, who will play an FBI agent who falls for Stiller’ heist-mastermind character.

Update 2: Matthew Broderick is also on board.

Update 3: Ditto Casey Affleck and Judd Hirsch.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Revolutionary Words

Alright, I give – James Franco is an artiste.

The guy can combine a massive comic-book franchise (Spider-Man) with buzzy turns in awards-friendly fare (Milk), find the time to attend school and nourish his many interests, and puzzle his industry with an arc on a soap (General Hospital).

It all makes for quite the eclectic résumé.

With his latest, the indie HOWL, in which he plays plays Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, Franco helps tell the story of how the writer’s work (namely his epic poem “Howl”) pushed the social boundaries of his time through an infamous public obscenity trial and went on to become a seminal piece of Americana.

The...very interesting, very experimental movie (which also features Ginsberg’s relationships toward and with other men, like Jack Kerouac and Peter Orlovsky, respectively) opens in Miami on Oct. 22.


Friday, October 15, 2010

The Great Pine

Cheyenne Jackson isn’t the only up-and-comer who’s getting the cover-boy treatment these days.

Star Trek star Chris Pine is smoldering on the cover of Details, and I think we can all agree we should send the magazine a basket of muffins for putting this muffin front and center, no?

Up next for the red-hot actor is the runaway-train thriller Unstoppable opening next month.

Old Habits Die Hard

They lead quiet lives now, living in the suburbs, minding their own business, falling in love.... They shoot the breeze, keep to themselves, garden and bake. They are...RED, though Retired and Extremely Dangerous.

Who would have thought that a movie about retired spies (i.e., old people, albeit badass old people) would be so much fun, but that’s precisely what RED is.

And I likey.

An adaptation of a popular graphic novel, the movie follows the back-in-the-saddle city-hopping, say, exploits of a group of former black-ops CIA agents who band together to take the company down after it tries to 86 them.

The group is led by Bruce Willis’ Frank, a quiet fellow who spends his doldrums post-CIA time engaging in some regular innocent-yet-serious phone flirtation with Sarah, a government-agency clerk played by Mary-Louise Parker (she sends him his pension checks, he rips them up so he can call and ask for them; it’s all oh-so-cute).

When an armed-to-the-teeth comes a-knockin’ at Frank’s door, though, excitement re-enters his life. And then it knocks down his house. Literally.

Determined to find out who’s after him and why, he hits the road, picking up Sarah along the way since her life he has now unwittingly put in danger.

The banter that Willis and Parker engage in on their unusual first date is fantastic, especially because the actress is the perfect choice to deliver the perfect deadpan mix of dread and I-will-follow-him-wherever-he-may-go-ness.

On by one Frank seeks out a handful of former associates, including Joe (Morgan Freeman), a terminally ill coot living in a retirement community; Marvin (the riotous John Malkovich), a paranoid recluse; a Russian frenemy named Ivan (Brian Cox), and the oh-so-Martha Stewart-esque Brit Victoria (Helen Mirren).

Using their collective experience, cunning, and ability with guns (and mixing humor with action winningly – good job, RED), Frank and the group must figure out what’s going on double-fast to stay ahead of the task force that’s after them and convince the agent leading the hunt (Star Trek’s Karl Urban) that they are the good guys.

Look, RED isn’t a great movie. It’s got a mild case of cliché, but honestly, it’s really quite entertaining.

And you know what, to see this Academy-approved cast shoot ’em up, well...that’s just swell.

My Rating ***

Photo: Summit Entertainment.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Makes Me W.E. with the Happy

Well, you can’t say Madonna doesn’t have balls.

The Queen of Pop is hard at work on W.E., her second feature film, a Julie & Julia-esque two-tiered romantic drama focusing on the affair between King Edward VIII (James D’Arcy) and American divorcée Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough) and a contemporary romance between a married woman (Abbie Cornish) and a Russian security guard.

M released a poster for the movie, and whaddya know: she is planning to release it (to the wolves) next summer.

June 2011 is going to be an interesting month for my No. 1 girl....

The Worthiest Cover Boy

I knew it was only a matter of time until Cheyenne Jackson started getting the attention he so richly deserves...the kind that will keep him away from my interviewing reach.

Ooh, sad, deep moment there....

Moment over – like Madonna once sang, sooner or later I always get my man. Chey, you have been warned.

Anyway, the Broadway MVP-turned-“budding TV and film star” is gracing the cover of the latest issue of Out, and can I just say: H-O-T much?

It’s fall, people. Things are supposed to be cooling down. But Jackson...he’s keeping it scorchin’ (those eyes alone could light up a city).

And that’s just swell.

Already Want to Love You, RiRi

OK, before I tell you about Rihanna’s new video – oops! – I gotta tell you I think her Rated R (her last, darker, post-Chris Brown album) was woefully underrated.

Now, with that out of my system, let’s move on to what people are calling a return to form of sorts, her new single “Only Girl (In the World),” a track that’s fun and radiant and, yes, oh-so-Rihanna.

The video “looks so unreal,” she said. “It looks fake, like something out of a postcard…. [It] just shows this big landscape and the only person there is me.”

And a world of only RiRi all the time would be a fine world by me.

Rihanna’s new album, Loud, will be released on Nov. 12.

Mr. Clooney Went to Washington

George Clooney is a national, heck, an international treasure, and not just because he looks so good on screen and off.

The actor takes his well-recognized philanthropy seriously.

If there is a cause he believes in he sticks with it and takes it as far as he can.

This week, Clooney went to the White House to meet with the president to discuss diplomacy in Sudan. As that nation spirals toward civil war, he hopes diplomacy will help avoid another potential genocide in the region.

Although he
acknowledges his involvement in this issue is pretty much moot because it “doesn’t matter what I believe, because obviously I’m an actor,” Clooney has set up has set up, to drum up intervention.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

G.P. Has a Video!

Gwyneth Paltrow, video star?

The Oscar-winning actress has shot a
video for “Country Strong,” the title track off the soundtrack of the upcoming movie I swear could get her nominated for an Academy Award.

Doesn’t she look just major in the warehouse-set part of the clip?

Director NPH

Neil Patrick Harris wants to be in control.

The Emmy winner is said to be set to make his big-screen directorial debut with the indie rom-com Aaron and Sarah.

Emma Roberts and The Kids Are All Right’s Josh Hutcherson are attached to star in the project, which follows the friendship of two teens through their four years of high school.

Up next for Harris, though, is parenthood: He and his partner are expecting the arrival of their twins this fall.


Update: Speaking of the bundles of joy arrived, NPH tweeted on Oct. 15 that the babies – named Gideon Scott and Harper Grace – were born on Oct. 12.

“All of us are happy, healthy, tired, and a little pukey.”


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Matt Damon: In Something, Not In Something Else

The war between film and TV rages on.

OK, so there’s no actual war of the sort going on, but let’s go with it because it helps illustrate the current tug for the talents of one Mr. Matt Damon.

The Hereafter star
reportedly will not be featured in The Bourne Legacy – ’cause longtime-series-screenwriter-director-for-this-one Tony Gilroy is “building a legend and an environment and a wider conspiracy…the world we’re making enhances and advances and invites Jason Bourne’s return [down the road]” – but he may pop on your TV live this week.

Nope, not on SNL, but on Thursday’s live episode of 30 Rock, which will feature
Jon Hamm and Cheyenne Jackson.

Score for the TV side.


Monday, October 11, 2010

The Thorn at New Spidey’s Side

Rhys Ifans, the British scene-stealer from Notting Hill, is set
to antagonize Andrew Garfield in Marc Webb’s Spider-Man reboot.

Up next for the actor is November’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Roland Emmerich’s new Anonymous, which is coming out next September. It was the latter, a Shakespearean thriller, that convinced the powers that be that Ifans was the right guy for the baddie role.

“After seeing his performance in Anonymous, we’re in awe of his talent and think he’s the perfect choice to take on this role,” a high-up source at the Spidey studio said, without revealing exactly what character the actor will be playing.

Production on Spider-Man, which will co-star reigning It Girl
Emma Stone, is set to begin in December for a July 2012 release.

Munster Duty

So NBC and the man behind the gone-too-soon Pushing Daisies, Bryan Fuller, are developing a reboot of The Munsters, right.

Guess who they would adore to play Marilyn.

Done guessing?

None other than Kristen Bell.

I. Die.

“Are you kidding me?” Fuller said. “Kristen would be perfect.” He also explains that the Munster clan’s “plain” cousin will be much more pivotal than she was in the original 1960s TV show in this Modern Family-meets-True Blood take. “She is our eyes into the world in the sense that we all can relate to our families exhibiting some level of monstrous behavior.

“This version [of the show] has teeth and isn’t afraid to use them,” he said. “For example, the story begins when young Eddie unexpectedly manifests as a werewolf on a scout camping trip and inadvertently eats two of his fellow scouts.”

Bell would be a fantastic choice for this, IMHO, and would make this must-watch TV for sure.

Taking on the Sex Symbol

Two Marilyn Monroe movies are a-comin’, and production on the first one (the one with Michelle Williams) is already underway.

Naomi Watts will play the iconic Hollywood figure in another.

Pictured here is Williams, who’s starring in My Week with Marilyn opposite a very British cast that includes Tony winner Eddie Redmayne (The Other Boleyn Girl), Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Dominic Cooper, Harry Potter’s Emma Watson, and Julia Ormond.

This movie follows Monroe during the week she left Tinseltown behind to spend time with Colin Clark (Redmayne), a lowly assistant on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl, who escorted her around Britain after her new husband, playwright Arthur Miller, left the country.


Friday, October 08, 2010

No Casting Couch for G.P. Thankyouverymuch

Gwyneth Paltrow
has revealed she was…propositioned, I guess you could say, back when she was just getting going in Hollywood.

“Yup,” she told Elle magazine’s latest issue. “When I was just starting out, someone suggested that we finish a meeting in the bedroom.”

Well, Paltrow did go on to skyrocket and eventually win an Oscar, but – save the side of snark – it’s not because she was up for it.

“I left. I was pretty shocked,” she added. “I could see how someone who didn’t know better might worry, ‘My career will be ruined if I don’t give this guy a blow job!’”

Good for you, G.P.!

Now go and get yourself another nom for Country Strong, already.

Save the Children, Save the Future

In 1989, after my parents split up, my mother decided to move my sisters and me to Miami, leaving behind my home in Lima, Peru, my friends, and my school.

I was in first grade, or about to start it.

All I could think about watching Davis (An Inconvenient Truth) Guggeheim’s Watiting for “Superman” was how incredibly different my life could have turned out had we stayed here and I had gone to school in the United States.

I like to think that I knew the answer in my bones back then: Not...quite as good.

I mean, aside from the myriad personal reasons I had for wanting to go back, I knew and felt that I should continue going to school back (in my former) hometown.

My private French school.

I liked my school, which I know is what every kid facing a new environment says, but I’d already been there a couple of years doing pre-K or whatever. Here, I didn’t speak the language at the time, and everything was foreign and confusing. I ended up doing a good part of the first grade over there, shuttling back here during breaks before moving back for good.

Having the benefit of hindsight now I honestly can say that I believed that, that I’d be better off continuing with my learning where I started it, and for good reason. I got a terrific, well-rounded education, one that I didn’t always take full advantage of, which I also now recognize as well. I was a good student and a good learner (most of the time) because I had good teachers (always)...but I could’ve been better since I had the opportunity to be.

Watiting for “Superman” follows five children, most underprivileged, who are attempting to get an education in the American system. A system that is...perhaps not broken, but definitely on the brink; full of promises (“No Child Left Behind,” anyone?), but short on deliverables. American test scores in key disciplines are way low compared to other developed nations – but American kids rank No. 1 in confidence (yay!?).

For a nation that talks a big talk, the United States is not walking the walk on behalf of the children politicians love to trot out and make promises for come election time and whatnot.

And that’s just disheartening because kids...they are the future, and we’re investing so little in them.

What Watiting for “Superman” does is it calls us all out on this because we all can make a difference, regardless of whether we have children, because we all have a voice. We have a right and a duty to effect change by picking the right people to do the job that isn’t getting done: that is, to educate the leaders of tomorrow. Otherwise the world is going to pass America by...and neither Superman nor any other superhero is coming to rescue us or these treated-as-statistics young’uns any time soon.

My Rating ****

Photo: Paramount Pictures.

The Unlikeliest Pair

Greg Berlanti knows how to deliver or sneak emotion into his work (one need only take a look at his TV résumé, which includes Dawson’s Creek, Everwood, Brothers & Sisters, Eli Stone, and the new No Ordinary Family, to know that), and his second big-screen effort, Life as We Know It, sure proves it.

Starring Katherine Heigl – getting her mojo back after the poor showing of her summer entry Killers – and Josh Duhamel – emerging as a likeable leading man in training at last – this is a dramedy about two people who don’t fall in love but rather in family with each other and the cutest baby girl this side of Michelle Tannerville.

Heigl plays Holly, an up-and-coming, sunny coffee shop caterer in Atlanta, while Duhamel is Messer (he goes by his last name ’cause he’s cool like that), a let-it-rip-type and a rising star in the world of network sports directing.

The two don’t like each other.

What? A movie that will be pigeonholed in the rom-com box with two characters who hate each other? Where could this be headed?

It’s true, though: Holly and Messer attempted to go on a blind date set up by their respective BFF a couple of years ago, but he showed up an hour late – and then took a booty call right in front of her – and she, of course, gave him (and her gal pal who played matchmaker) a piece of her mind about it.

Over the course of the next, what, couple of years, they stayed in each other’s lives. It happens when you’re named your friend’s maid of honor or best man, or the godparent to their child, just FYI. So Holly and Messer learned to tolerate and get some enjoyment out of needling each other.

After their besties die in a car accident, they have to rearrange their lives because they become the legal guardians to Sophie, that adorable baby girl I mentioned earlier (played by triplets who should get baby awards for cooing on cue). Their lives turned upside down, they have to set aside their differences and get it together. A lot of it is played for laughs, natch, but there are moments of real poignancy in this movie, which elevate it out of Generictown.

And yes, Holly and Messer get closer as Life as We Know It progresses. They become friendlier toward each other, and supportive of each other and their separate interests (in her case that includes a doctor fellow she met at her coffee shop, a dashing man played by Josh Lucas; in his, a bunch one night stands). They make themselves a bit of a home, of a family, just like they’re meant to.

The two of them just sort of...happen. Then a romance blossoms. But life throws them another curveball, because that’s what it does, right.

Life as We Know It works because it keeps things grounded in reality.

Yeah, sometimes it idealizes things a little, but that’s what movies like this one are supposed to do, after all, but it should keep you guessing.

I think that that’s what makes it a bit different, and why it works. Heigl is warmer in this one than in her previous offerings (and than she seems in real life), and Duhamel makes for a enjoyable partner for her – and us – to want to have as a support system. But do they end up together? That you’ll have to see for yourself.

My Rating ***1/2

Photo: Warner Bros.

Thursday, October 07, 2010


What…a feather in Peru’s cap: Author Mario Vargas Llosa
has won the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Many were surprised by the choice of Vargas Llosa for the win, but leave it to a Peruvian to come in from behind and make everyone’s jaws drop.

The author of The Time of the Hero, The Green House, and Conversation in the Cathedral – and The Bad Girl, which is sitting next to my bed waiting to be read – “was chosen for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt, and defeat.”

is the first South American to win the Nobel since Gabriel García Márquez took the award home in 1982 (Mexico’s Octavio Paz won it in 1990).

Vargas Llosa’s books Captain Pantoja and the Special Service and Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter have been adapted for the big screen.



Drea de Matteo is following her lackluster turn on Desperate Housewives last season with a guest-starring one on TV’s Running Wilde, the freshman comedy starring Will Arnett and Keri Russell that’s still struggling to find its creative footing.

And get this: De Matteo has been tapped to play the potentially recurring role of Didi, Arnett’s...uh...excitable stepmother.

The character enters the picture on behalf of Steve Wilde’s never-before-seen and disapproving father to help rein in his expenditures – on the same day Steve decides to fund Emmy’s (Russell) nonprofit organization.

De Matteo is slated to make her Wilde debut next month.


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Sandy Does Space?

Sandra Bullock may be going to infinity and beyond in her next, much-anticipated movie.

No, the actress is not doing Toy Story 4, but she is thisclose to landing the lead role in Alfonso Cuarón’s sci-fi thriller Gravity now that Natalie Portman has dropped out of the running because of a scheduling conflict.

Bullock would star opposite Robert Downey Jr. as an astronaut on a remote space station who survives a disaster and must fight to return home to her daughter.

The role, which would require her to be the only actor on screen for long periods of time (shades of Cast Away), would mark a return to the sci-fi genre, which she hasn’t revisited in the almost 20 years since Demolition Man.

Interesting move, huh.

La Productora

Modern Family standout – sorry, that’s Emmy-nominated standout to y’all – Sofia Vergara is diversifying.

The actress is
partnering with former NBC exec Ben Silverman to produce an American take on the single-camera Spanish comedy Aquí No Hay Quien Viva (a.k.a. I Hate This Place).

The sitcom, which could land at ABC, is set in an apartment building managed by an old-school father and his more-modern son.


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Funny Silver Fox

TV’s 30 Rock is getting another shot of AMC’s Mad Men.

Jon Hamm already has made a handful of appearances on the Emmy-winning comedy – he’s even going to be on the live episode on Oct. 14 – and now his co-star John Slattery is joining Tina Fey & Co. as a guest on an upcoming ep.

The actor will play a (very sexy) candidate running for congress in the seventh episode.


Monday, October 04, 2010

Superstar Mother and Daughther

Are Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep going to star in a movie together and finally blow our minds?

It looks pretty likely.

The fan-favorite Academy Award winners are in negotiations to star in an adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play August: Osage County. Producer John Wells (TV’s ER, TNT’s Southland) would direct the project next summer from a screenplay written by Letts herself.

The play focuses on the buried pains and present conflicts of a family after its patriarch dies. Streep would take the role of the drug-addicted matriarch, while Roberts would play the eldest daughter, whose estranged husband has had an affair with one of his students. much?

The Chased Child’s Mother

One of my faves, the beautiful Brit Emily Blunt, is gonna get her time traveling on opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a movie called Looper.

The movie’s plot revolves around a killer (Gordon-Levitt) who works for the mob – the mob of the future.

His job is to dispose of people that are sent from there, but one day he recognizes his mark as his future self (Willis), so he hesitates and lets him go. Still, to save himself he has to kill his future self, while his future self is looking for a young boy who is the key to his survival.

What…an easy pitch that must’ve been….

would play the child’s mother. And kick some butt, I presume.


Sunday, October 03, 2010

Trail Man

The world needs to crush on Ryan Gosling more than it already does.

George Clooney knows that, which is why he is considering Gosling to play a campaign operative in the political drama Farragut North that he co-wrote and is getting ready to direct.

The plot revolves around a young, idealistic communications director who works for an inspiring, though unorthodox, presidential candidate, and sees his career done in by more seasoned politicos who thrive on poisonous partisan politics, dirty tricks, and back-stabbing.

Sounds Up in the Air-ish....

Up next for Gosling is this December’s Blue Valentine, which may earn him his second Oscar nom.


Saturday, October 02, 2010

New Mary Jane

Emma Stone is on a roll.

The Easy A star is the frontrunner to play Mary Jane Watson in the new Spider-Man franchise opposite Social Network break-out Andrew Garfield.

Could this reboot get any more It?

An offer was said to be on its way to the actress yesterday, and by now she probably already got it and, her fans will trust, accepted it.

Up next for Stone, though, is the big-screen adaptation of The Help.


Update: Well, as expected, Emma Stone has been cast in the Spider-Man reboot (500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb is helming.

“The chemistry between Andrew and Emma was stunning and made Emma the clear choice,” said Webb.

Here’s the kicker, though: The actress won’t be playing Mary Jane Watson but Gwen Stacy. Bryce Dallas Howard originated the fair-haired part in Sam Raimi’s franchise, so Stone is expected to go back to her natural blond roots.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Hot Doc

the scene this Grey’s Anatomy fan has been waiting for since it was teased, the one with the semi-naked Dr. Jackson Avery, played by Jesse Williams.

And now we have a date: The scene will be part of the show’s Oct. 14 episode.

Williams will strip off his scrubs during a tense confrontation – so that’s what you’re supposed to do! – with his supervisor, Dr. Teddy Altman (Kim Raver).

“He and Teddy butt heads throughout the episode and it leads to a face-off,” Williams
said. “[Jackson] learns what benefits him and what doesn’t in terms of flirting and sexuality.”

Glad the lesson plays on for the audience to see….

Williams reportedly “put down the cake and ran a few more laps” in preparation for the scene – and all I can say is it seems to have paid off.

And that’s what you’re supposed to do to get ripped?

Wishing the Linds Well

Tina Fey tried, she really tried.

Remember how a few years ago, between Lindsay Lohan’s first and second hosting-SNL gig she spoke, to Vanity Fair if my memory serves well, about how Fey and Lorne Michaels had pulled her aside once to ask how she was doing….

Those were the tamer days.

These days, Fey, who pretty much gave L2 her big break in Mean Girls, says she hasn’t seen the embattled actress “in a long time” and that she’s hoping her
fifth stint in rehab does the trick.

“Lindsay is in rehab now? Right? We think?” the 30 Rock star
told Andy Cohen during an appearance on his Bravo show, Watch What Happens Live, last night. “I think that’s good [that she’s in rehab]. Yeah. I hope she gets well.”

You and me both, Tin-Tins.

The Aliens Are Coming

Much has been done about this book I Am Number Four, which Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg are bringing to the big screen next winter.

The teaser for the movie was released this week, and I gotta say it looks pretty good:

I Am Number Four stars the studly newcomer Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant (in for The A-Team’s Sharlto Copley, who had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with the promotion of that not the blockbuster it should have been), Dianna Agron (TV’s Glee), and Kevin Durand (TV’s Lost).

The movie is due out on Feb. 18.
The Most Popular Guy in the World

It was an intriguing idea from the get-go, to make a movie about Facebook. What could it be, if not an amusing one, an, Aww-we’re-all-connected-look-us-fall-in-love rom-com? What, a fictional dramatization? A documentary?

The answer is The Social Network.

Written by the modern-day poet that is Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, TV’s The West Wing), David Fincher’s agile, first-rate film is a propulsive character-driven bio-drama – and an incisive one, at that – starring an outstanding young cast led by Jesse Eisenberg (The Squid and the Whale, Zombieland), Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, and Armie Hammer.

The film is one of the year’s best not only because of its considerable production values, which are many, not to mention its pedigree, but because of its ability to tap into the zeitgeist in an effective, adult way.

This is a piercing look at the rise to billionaire riches of Facebook co-founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, played by Eisenberg with a knowing and winning combination of unabashed ambitious a--holeness and a well-hidden insecure sort of humanity. Eisenberg’s Zuckerberg is a smug, cocky S.O.B. Is this were a straightforward work of fiction, he’d be the villain. No question about it.

Except The Social Network isn’t fiction. It’s based on actual people, on actual events, on an actual, oh-so-relevant piece of pop culture enjoyed by more than 500 million people around the planet. It’s also based on Ben Mezrich’s The Accidental Billionaires. And on accounts and, even, on anecdotal stories that Sorkin collected from various sources, including a quite famous one.

At its very core, though, this is a revenge-of-a-nerd story.

Facebook, or TheFacebook as it first went by, was born one boozy night in the fall of 2003 after Zuckerberg, cut to size by his girlfriend (Rooney Mara), goes back to his dorm, in the movie, to blog-bash her all night long. He works out his brokenhearted – more like ego-bruised issues by hacking into the directories of all of Harvard and creating a site that pits two girls against each other so that people (i.e., boys) can rate them based on their hotness. A real classy move, one that gets him in a lot of trouble the next day (nothing that sticks, though).

Ah, but whaddya know, it also gets him noticed by a beyond-elite final club, which is just the kind of attention the Zucks (no one calls him that in the film; I just made that up) has been craving. He wants to in, even though he seems to have nothing but contempt for...anyone that isn’t him, really. It’s the exquisite contradiction of being a visionary, I guess. Or some sort of villain.

Pretty soon, hes approached by the all-American golden-boys Winklevoss twins (played with almost-superhero-like largesse, and little movie magic, by Hammer, who some may remember from a stint on TV’s Gossip Girl). It is the Winklevi, together with their friend Divya Narendra (Max Minghella), the movie suggests to us, who actually thought of the idea that would evolve into TheFacebook. Having seen what he did scorned, they figure they need Zuckerberg to get the site programmed and functioning. They need himToo bad, the he figures, he no longer needs or wants to work with them. He takes their idea, to build an exclusive social network, processes it to his liking, and runs with it. He runs with it all the way to Eduardo Saverin (Garfield), actually, his earnest BFF, and the guy who gives him the algorithm he needs to make his original site go wild...and the guy who ultimately would become his CFO, and soon, his ex-BFF and his ex-CFO.

The rest is e-world-domination history, but as The Social Network unfolds, it does so against the dramatic setting of two real-life-like-pretty-much-everything-else-in-the-film lawsuits: the one the wonder twins and their associate hit Zuckerberg with for stealing their idea, and the one Saverin filed for getting unceremoniously edged out of the company.

Is all of this the cost of greatness, or is it simply Zuckerberg being Zuckerberg, going with the flow of things so as not to deal with the rejection he felt when his girlfriend dumped him...rejection he never wants to feel again?

This is a guy, Sorkin’s spitfire script spins, who would rather drop you like a hot potato before you even think to do that to him.

That is what I took away, for instance, from his relationship with the siren-y Sean Parker (Timberlake), the high-rollin wunderkind of Napstertimes. Zuckerberg is happy to go along with everything Parker says, even dropping Saverin, but as soon as Parker screws up (which we’re told he would sooner or later), the Zucks just shuts him out, albeit reluctantly. Eisenberg played all that internal conflict brilliantly, matter-of-factly during the scene in which he gets a not-so-great phone call from Parker, like he was...hurt, even betrayed, indeed, as a matter of fact). There is so much scrap in his characterization.

The guy’s the smartest barnacle in the sea.

Wanna see and Like a good film this weekend? Then log out and get. You’ll be happy you did.

My Rating ****

Photo: Columbia Pictures.