Friday, August 31, 2007

The Roll of Nickels and the Cherry Pie

I’ve been wondering how Amadeus ends – I never finished it.

I’ve been wondering what cherry pie tastes like – I never tried it.

And I wonder is if we can be us. Just for one day.

Photo: Yahoo! Movies (Amadeus).
The Princess or the Queen

So – which do you like best: the new Britney Spears song “Gimme More,” or the new Madonna song “The Beat Goes On.”

I know – apples and skanky oranges.

Neither’s rocking my world just yet…but I think, obvs, the Queen of Pop has the edge.

After all, on and on the beat goes.

Remembering Di

Ten years ago today, one of the good ones died.

It was an unimaginable end. I still remember hearing the gasp my mother let out when she found out quite late in the night what had happened in Paris. I didn’t understand right away why she should feel so sad for a woman she never knew, and it wasn’t until the next day that I realized what an icon we had lost, what potential would go untapped. The world was less graceful.

Princess Diana’s candle burned out long before, indeed, but her legend never will.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

But How Did You Spend Your Summer?

The Office is less than a month away from returning from summer hiatus on Sept. 27, so here’s a funny, funny, funny promo clip to update you on how your favorite paper pushers spent their summer.

Modern-day Classics

Devil Wears Prada scene-stealer Emily Blunt will be back on the big screen this fall in The Jane Austen Book Club, a drama set in modern-day California in which six women see their lives and romances reflected in the six novels of English author Jane Austen.

The movie co-stars Kathy Baker, Maria Bello (A History of Violence), Amy Brenneman (soon to be seen on TV’s Private Practice, the Grey’s Anatomy spin-off), Maggie Grace (TV’s Lost), Marc Blucas (TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and Jimmy Smits.

The Jane Austen Book Club opens in limited release on Sept. 21.

Photo: Sony Pictures Classics.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Shut ’Em Up

Michael and Dina Lohan: two peas in a pot.

It’s like they don’t want Lindsay Lohan, a.k.a. their daughter, to get well.

Shut the frakkin’ frak up, already.

And In Things That Make Me Go, What the Frak

How – why! – Emmy would not nominate Lauren Graham for an award is beyond me.

I mean, take a look at this. I just don’t get how voters could’ve snubbed her...again.

Has karaoke ever been as emotional an experience for anyone as it was for Graham’s Lorelai Gilmore on the final season of TV’s Gilmore Girls? (I saw the episode in which she does karaoke last night, ergo the post. And I will.)

The Emmy Awards will be presented in a live ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 16, on Fox.

Nostalgia, Pt. 13

Once upon a time – uh, the late 1990s, early 2000s – pop acts ruled the airwaves and MTV’s TRL.

But for every Backstreet Boys or N’Syncs, there also were your…BBMaks.

Right…. Your whos?

BBMak were an English group sold nearly three million albums and spawned six Top 10 and Top 40 singles worldwide between 1999, when the group was formed, and 2003, when it disbanded.

Their most famous single was “Back Here,” which I’ve heard – I kid you not – three times so far this week. I really like it. Here’s a choice lyric sample:

“Baby set me free, from this misery /
I can't take it no more /
Since you ran away, nothing's been the same /
Don't know what I'm living for /
Here I am so alone /
And there's nothing in this world I can do /

Until you're back here baby /
Miss you want you need you so /
Until you're back here baby, yeah /
There's a feeling inside I want you to know /
You are the one and I can't let you go.”

Sweet, huh.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Keeping the Faith, Buffy Fans

This is so five by five: Rogue slayer Faith will be back in the sixth issue of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 comic book, on sale Sept. 5.

The character will be in the hands of writer Brian K. Vaughan, whom series creator Joss Whedon asked a few years ago to write a direct-to-DVD movie featuring Buffy's onetime nemesis, played by Eliza Dushku.

After that fell through, Whedon asked Vaughan, now a co-producer on TV’s Lost, to bring his idea back to life for a four-issue arc of the Dark Horse Comics series.

“I’ve always felt that Buffy would translate really well to the comic-book medium,” Vaughan told His story imagines “that some of the girls around the world who now have slayer powers [following the events of the series finale] aren’t necessarily good. So when it comes to who will slay a slayer, Giles turns to Faith. She’s the person to go for, as she says, ‘dirty deeds, done cheap.’”

Vaughan's arc also will advance the storyline of Twilight, the evil force amassing against Buffy.

To find a comic shop in your area, call 1-888-COMIC BOOK.


Monday, August 27, 2007

A Confederacy of Dunces

As a really scandalous summer winds down, many, including Entertainment Weekly in its current cover story, are wondering how it ever came to this…and this…and this.

Details magazine wondered not too long ago whatever happened to the “Hollywood Badass.”

And so I echo: How – and, really, why – were a group of marginally talented, underfed young women able to grab their booze (allegedly), blow (allegedly), and our zeitgeist the way they did?

There are more pressing matters going on, right?

What makes me even more hellaciously upset is these young women are wasting away their talent. Alright, so this only applies to Lindsay Lohan, but you have to admit Nicole Richie’s pretty funny.

I mean, L2’s a bigger mess than Britney Spears, who has managed, so far, to be pulled over but let go. The pop tart is looking like the most capable one of the bunch. As if.

So I offer the following suggestion: Purge the phrases DUI, rehab, and wee hours off your vocabulary, and replace them with home, reading, and working.

A change will do you good.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Just Because, Pt. 6

It’s one of those days….

“You've been alone /
You've been afraid /
I've been a fool /
In so many ways /
But I would change my life /
If you thought you might try love me /

So please give me another chance /
To write you another song /
Take back those things I've done /
Cause I'll give you my heart /
If you would let me start all over again.”

Finally Taking the First Step

Admitting and understanding that you have a problem is the hardest thing to do – and the first step toward recovery.

Not long after her lawyer negotiated a plea deal that will keep her jail stay relatively short, Lindsay Lohan issued the following statement yesterday:

“It is clear to me that my life has become completely unmanageable because I am addicted to alcohol and drugs.

“Recently, I relapsed and did things for which I am ashamed. I broke the law, and today I took responsibility by pleading guilty to the charges in my case. No matter what I said when I was under the influence on the day I was arrested, I am not blaming anyone else for my conduct other than myself. I thank God I did not injure others. I easily could have.

“I very much want to be healthy and gain control of my life and career and have asked for medical help in doing so. I am taking these steps to improve my life. Luckily, I am not alone in my daily struggle and I know that people like me have succeeded. Maybe with time it will become easier. I hope so.”

Reading her words I am confident that Lohan’s getting it together – and so I hope she will able to keep it together.

Riding Into the Sunset

As the Web site for People magazine – which evidently is Brangelina’s magazine of choice – put it, “the trailer for Brad Pitt’ new western, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, has just ridden into town.”

The movie, which stars Pitt as the outlaw James and Casey Affleck as Ford (who was also an outlaw), will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival (Aug. 29-Sept. 8), and then play the Toronto Film Festival later in September.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford opens stateside on Sept. 21.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Introducing the President and CEO of the Lucky Club

Lindsay Lohan will not be charged with any felonies, after all, but she has been formally charged with seven misdemeanor counts in two separate DUI cases, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced today.

I hate to say it, but I’m kind of disappointed to find out that by avoiding felony charges, La Lohan faces a maximum penalty of days – rather than years – behind bars.

If convicted of the two DUIs, she faces a mandatory sentence of at least four days in jail. However, her attorney could successfully argue for more rehab in lieu of time. (She currently is in another rehab program – her third – in Utah.)

Now, it’s not like I want her to go to jail – you know I love the girl to bits.

But I think that going through the experience would be a formative experience in her case. I know it’s a far-out thing to say, but hey, look at the things she’s doing. Tough love, baby….

I want Lohan to become a better version of herself. Letting her get off easy isn’t doing her – or anyone – a favor. I truly hope, thought, that she has learned something from this, and that she will stay healthy.

When Mika Met Betty

It was only a matter of time before someone – cough, cough, ABC, cough – brought Mika and Ugly Betty together.

I mean – hola! Has a song ever lent itself so greatly for a TV promo as “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)” has this fall?

This reminds me: I have got to catch up with the show on DVD before it returns for its sophomore season on Sept. 27.

The Truthiness of It All

“Not confirmed yet.”

That’s what my rocks-my-world inside source tells me about whether Madonna will perform at all at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards.

So I guess that means Justin Timberlake wasn’t lying, really, when he told Access Hollywood this week that the possibility of an M & J.T. performance is “just a rumor.”

Madonna hasn’t appeared or performed at the show since 2003, when she opened the show with that kisstastic “Like a Virgin/Hollywood Medley,” featuring Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Missy Elliot.

Far From Heavenly

The Ten features 10 blasphemous comedic stories inspired by the Biblical Commandments.

Each tale unfolds in a different style, but with characters and themes that overlap, as told by a narrator (Paul Rudd) who, in turn, has his own moral dilemma (to choose between his beautiful wife played by Famke Janssen and his also beautiful but somewhat younger mistress played Jessica Alba).

Unfortunately, each is less successful than the previous one in holding up any interest.

Not even the troupe of cool character actors – including Gretchen Mol, Liev Schreiber, and Justin Theroux – can deliver The Ten from falling flat more often than writers David Wain (who also directed) and Ken Marino would have wanted.

The highlight of the movie arrives early on, as Mol’s buttoned-up character experiences a sexual awakening thanks to Theroux’s Jesus on a trip to Mexico. That story’s name? “Thou Shalt not Take the Lord's Name in Vain.”

It was amusing to see Winona Ryder play a woman who falls in love with a ventriloquist's puppet in “Thou Shalt Not Steal,” a nudge to the actress' own legal travails, obviously.

The material is ripe for the funny, and the movie’s idea was great (vignettes can work; see Paris, Je T’aime). But The Ten lacked…edge.

My Rating **

Photo: THINKFilm.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What Is Going On Over There?

This is a shockingly horrific story.

You know there’s something terribly wrong with this world when a 5-year-old boy is grabbed outside his central Baghdad home, doused with gas, and set ablaze.

We better pick our hand baskets.

Oh yeah – this is a collective thing, kids.

An Admission

I, too, can be such a doof.

Once is film I failed miserably in catching in a movie theater this summer, and for that I’m sorry. So sorry. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.

Starring Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, this is a modern-day musical set on the streets of Dublin. It tells the story of a street performers and an immigrant during an eventful week as they write, rehearse, and record songs that reveal their love story.

The film won the World Cinema Audience Award for Dramatic Film at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, and I finally discovered what a little gem it is yesterday as I sat for a rare, rapid breakfast in front of the TV before leaving for work.

I was watching VH-1 when the video for “Falling Slowly,” one of the songs featured in the film. I loved it immediately.

So now I must urge you to seek out Once if you can, or put it at the top of your Netflix queue.

I promise it will be worth it.

Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

This One’s Gonna Change My World

Not since Moulin Rouge! I have anticipated a movie musical sooo much, but if anyone could make me feel excited about one, that anyone would be director Julie Taymor (Broadway’s The Lion King, Frida).

Across the Universe is a romantic musical told mainly through numerous Beatles songs performed by the characters.

In the film, Jude (newcomer Jim Sturgess), a young lad from Liverpool, comes to America during the Vietnam War to find his father. He winds up in Greenwich Village, where he falls in love with Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood), an American girl who has grown up sheltered in the suburbs.

Together, Lucy and Jude experience the sweeping changes of America in the late 60s, in a film that promises to be an inspired spectacle.

Across the Universe opens on Sept. 28.

Photo: Sony Pictures.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Have I Ever Told You That She's My Hero

This is super.

Like, S to the U to the P to the E to the R super.

Veronica Mars star Kristen Bell has been cast in a “key multi-episode arc” for the second season of Heroes.

Bell will debut on the show in October as Elle, “a sexy, mysterious young lady who has ties to at least three characters, including Hayden Panettiere’s Claire and Milo Ventimiglia’s Peter.

Landing the in-demand actress “was not easy to pull off,” Heroes creator Tim Kring told Variety.

See, sometimes in Hollywood, talent does prevail over antics.

Until quite recently, Bell had been offered the opportunity to get Lost – which obvs, she opted against.

I’m just so glad that come this fall, she will be on my TV screen....


Friday, August 17, 2007

Good Ol’ Teenage Fun

Never has the title of a film been so hip it’s just misleading – Superbad is anything but.

Written by Knocked Up’s Seth Rogen and high school buddy Evan Goldberg, and produced by Judd Apatow, Superbad is a buddy coming-of-age comedy that’s just hysterical.

It follows the quest for booze and chicks of BFF Seth and Evan (Jonah Hill and Arrested Development’s Michael Cera, who are chemistry embodied), a pair of codependent high school guys who want nothing more than to “get with” girls before they graduate and go off to different colleges.

On the day that by chance they come close to succeeding in their goal, they travel the distance to join the objects of their lustfection at party, enlisting along the way the help of fake ID-possessing Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), a.k.a. “McLovin,” a beyond awkward pal.

But, after a calamitous series of events, Seth and Evan’s friendship is tested, in hilarious situation after hilarious situation, and overcoming their separation anxiety becomes a greater challenge than getting to party.

Surprisingly nuanced, Superbad depicts what it’s like to cope with change when you’re in your teens – the changes of your body, you mind, and your surroundings. It also is all about fun, laughs, and lots and lots of raunch, natch.

And I love it.

A subplot involving “McLovin,” a convenience store robbery, and two wacky police officers (Rogen and SNL’s Bill Hader) is too crazy to be believable, but it will have you laughing boisterously.

On a related note: Is “superbad” now going to be the new “cool”…the “fetch” that never was?

My Rating ****

Photo: Columbia Pictures.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

All Shook Up

Yesterday evening, an 8.0-magnitude earthquake shook southern Peru, killing at least 400 people, and injuring 1,500, residents.

If there is anything you can do, please do it.

I’d greatly appreciate it you’d extend my homeland a helping hand in this time of need.


Update: (Aug. 20) The death toll now stands at more than 500 and help is still needed. The International Save the Children Alliance is moving to help alleviate the crisis, and you can make a difference.

Still Causing a Commotion

Today is Madonna’s 49th birthday, so get your worship on.

And while you’re at it, mull over this: The Queen of Pop, who was rumored to be moving back stateside this summer, is said to be planning a big party for her 50th next summer – one that could take place in New York City’s Central Park.

Could that be the reason her people, I was told a few months ago, have made a request for extra security to city officials?

Who knows; all I know for sure is she’s got the moves, baby, and she’s got the motion….

Star Bright

I hate to say it, but American movie audience members can be such doofs.

How is it that a fantastic film like Stardust can make only $9.1 million its first weekend out, when threequels – unoriginal threequels, people! – make 10 times as much.

So Ocean’s Thirteen’s got Brad Pitt. That don’t impress me much.

Details of the film, directed by Layer Cake’s Matthew Vaughn, can be found here – I’m not even going to try and sell you the film; your loss if you haven’t seen it yet – but know that Stardust has it all: romance, magic, adventure, and even flying pirates.

Next time you feel like Hollywood isn’t offering you something worthy of your buck, remember that perhaps you’re part of the problem.

Stardust shines. Too bad you may be too blind to see it.

My Rating ****

Photo: Paramount Pictures.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Johnny Does It

Per The Hollywood Reporter, actor-turned-director John Turturro will self-distribute his $11 million musical Romance & Cigarettes, which stars James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Bobby Cannavale, Eddie Izzard, Mandy Moore, Mary-Louise Parker, Amy Sedaris, Aida Turturro, Elaine Stritch, Steve Buscemi, and Christopher Walken.

The story is about a Queens construction worker (Gandolfini) who gets in trouble when his wife (Sarandon) discovers he has a lusty mistress (Winslet).

The characters break into songs ranging from James Brown to Engelbert Humperdinck to Bruce Springsteen. The movie was filmed in 2004 and premiered in 2005 at the Venice Film Festival, but was shelved when Sony merged with MGM that year.

It has received mixed reviews, being described as ''almost impossible not to adore'' by some, and ''downright unwatchable'' by others.

Romance & Cigarettes will be given an open-ended theatrical release on Sept. 7 at New York's Film Forum.

Photo: Yahoo! Movies.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Just Because, Pt. 5

“I can’t promise forever /
But I’m working on it /
If I can’t hold you /
Can I give you a kiss /
Can I have a kiss.”

Do You Want Some Moore?

Set your TiVos, people.

Tonight at 10:30, Oxygen will air I Am Mandy Moore, an hour-long documentary and concert special that gives us a look at the life of the singer.

What can I say – she’s like sugar to my heart.

Now click here to see her perform a loves it-or-loves it version of Rihanna’s summer anthem, “Umbrella.”


Monday, August 13, 2007

Music Makes These People Come Together

In Oct. 19’s August Rush, Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland) plays an orphaned prodigy seeking to find his parents (Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers) through their shared musical gifts.

I’m going to be bold and say that if you have two smarts about yourself then you already know why I so want to see this film: Keri Russell.

And if you saw Waitress – or simply have a pair of eyes on your face – then she’s one of the reasons you will want to see it, too.

The Best Is Yet to Come

Leave it to Hollywood – actually, to People magazine in its current issue – to call next year’s Iron Man Gwyneth Paltrow’s “comeback” vehicle.

I guess I imagined her last year’s Running with Scissors and Infamous, and won’t be seeing her in Sept. 5’s The Good Night, which, by the way, her brother Jake Paltrow directed.

Oh, well, they can call it whatever they want. All I know is she’s got me hooked, it just ain’t fair – and I cannot wait to see her again.

Photo: (The Good Night).

Friday, August 10, 2007

Say Hello to…

Teddy Thompson.

What’s that? You haven’t heard of him?

Well, actually, you might have: He sang “I Don’t Want to Say Goodbye” on the Brokeback Mountain soundtrack – a song that’s just gorge.

And this week you might have seen him on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, where he was promoting his latest, Upfront & Down Low, an album of covers of the likes of George Jones, Ernest Tubb, and Dolly Parton.

I had the chance to hang out for an afternoon with the English singer-songwriter one New Year’s Day not too long ago – alright, it was the year that Rufus Wainwright performed at the Delano Hotel on New Year’s Eve; Google that if you want – and the chap was too cool.

He certainly made an impression on someone I know who is close to me, and ever since then, I’ve kept up with what T2’s been doing.

This guy should be a bigger star than he already is, so have a good listen.

A Baby for Baby

How cute is this?

Emma Bunton, a.k.a. Baby Spice, gave birth to a boy named Beau, in London today.

Beau will no doubt join Posh’s three sons, Scary’s two daughters, and Ginger’s daughter for play dates while their mums hit the road for the upcoming Spice Girls reunion.

It’s Cop-out Time

“Chris [Tucker] was in jail and to get him out was hard, but we finally got him out. No – I was out doing X-Men, Jackie [Chan] was in China making other movies, and you know, it just takes time trying to figure out what to do with the movie and when to do it and how to top the last two.”

That’s what director Brett Ratner told me a couple of days ago when we met to talk all things Rush Hour 3.

I didn’t have the heart to tell the Miami-born-and-raised Ratner, who could not have been nicer, I thought perhaps he should have left Tucker “in jail” and Chan “in China.”

This threequel sees Tucker’s LAPD Detective Carter and Chan’s Chief Inspector Lee travel to Paris to bring down the Chinese Triad, the most powerful and notorious crime syndicate in the world.

The movie is entertaining – in a completely derivative way that doesn’t live up to the spirit of the previous Rush Hours.

Gone is the spark from the stars’ faces, the twinkle from their eyes; Tucker and Chan seem to be phoning it in. And the action and fight scenes are long, yet not much fun. The two have their shining moments, but their energy is running low, and the weak, mostly humorless script doesn’t help matters.

Ratner said shooting the movie “was like we hadn’t left one another. The first day was like the day after the last day of shooting the last one. It was crazy…like working with your brothers.” The three have undeniable chemistry together, but unfortunately it just doesn’t work this time.

As for the possibility of Rush Hour 4 all the director would say is, “Ah, you never know. It’s been thrown out there.”

I just hope it doesn’t stick.

My Rating **

Photo: New Line Cinema.
The Beat Goes On…And On…And On

I saw Hairspray last night, and I don’t know if it’s because I was tired or if it’s because the movie’s not that good, really, but I was bored out of my skull.

This surprised me quite a bit because I love musicals – mostly. I mean, the production was grand, and the movie is filled with color and this and that, but line after line I just couldn’t care less.

Song after song, though, well…that’s a different story.

I have to admit I’m not familiar with the Broadway show upon which this movie’s based – because it is based on the Tony Award-winning production, right? Or is it based on the 1988 John Waters cult classic about star-struck teenagers on a local Baltimore dance show?

Urgh, I don’t know – and worse, I don’t care to find out to be clear.

To be fair, the movie did make me smile, and it amused me at times. But it didn’t excite me until the final musical number, “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” and that’s because I knew Hairspray was almost over.

Everything’s not lost: I adored newcomer Nikki Blonsky, whom I thought was just tremendous as Tracy Turnblad, the big girl with the big hair, the big voice, and the even bigger heart. Blonsky looked so happy to be in the movie, I couldn’t help but to feel happy for her.

I also loved Amanda Bynes’ coquettish turn as Penny Pingleton. For about two thirds of the movie I thought director Adam Shankman was just going to have her there sucking on a lollipop, but he finally allowed her to shine in the home stretch, and she didn’t disappoint.

I was equally impressed by Elijah Kelley, who as Seaweed, outperformed and outcharmed Hollywood’s latest It Boy, Zac Efron, who is no Shia LaBeouf – don’t let the current cover of Rolling Stone fool ya. Kelley, I declare, is the next Will Smith.

I couldn’t talk Hairspray without mentioning John Travolta or Michelle Pfeiffer.

Travolta does a job thing with the dancing and with the singing – to a certain extent – but he just looked too prosthetic. Pfeiffer, meanwhile, can do no wrong. I’m so glad she’s back on the silver screen, and you bet I’ll catch Stardust this weekend, and you better catch her upcoming I Could Never Be Your Woman.

My Rating **

Photo: New Line Cinema.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

It’s Getting Big

Rush & Molloy reported today that Chris Noth will reprise his role as Mr. Big in the upcoming Sex and the City movie.

HBO has yet to make an official announcement about the production, but I know it's happening.

And I likey.

SATC executive producer Michael Patrick King will write and direct the movie, which is scheduled to start production in September.

Next up: Ensuring the return of costume designer Patricia Field.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Radar's September cover story, an insider account of the life of England's 22-year-old Prince Harry, reveals the details of the hot piece of Brit’s party boy lifestyle and his military career.

Yeah – and it imagines what he must look like in nothing but an open shirt and his shorts.

And it’s sexy.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Usual Suspects…and the Next Big Things

Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake may lead the pack of nominees for this year's MTV Video Music Awards with seven nominations each, including Video of the Year, but there’s only one nominee who matters to me, and that’s Robin Thicke.

Too bad I don’t get to vote, huh.

Thicke will give Mr. JT a run for his money in the Male Artist of the Year race, while Beyoncé will face some tough competition in the form of Amy Winehouse and Rihanna for Female Artist of the Year honors.

The 24th Annual VMAs will be held at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas on Sept. 9. The show will feature performances by Timberlake and Rihanna, natch, as well Lily Allen, Fall Out Boy, the Foo Fighters, Timbaland, and Kanye West.

Unfortunately, Madonna probably won’t be there. What a party that would be.


Monday, August 06, 2007

B-B-B-Bad Bad to the Bone

Alright, so…I Know Who Killed Me.

Also known as the stripper movie Lindsay Lohan made while completing Rehab 1.0, this is a terrible, laughable thriller that sees the peace and quiet of a small town disturbed when a sadistic serial killer abducts his latest victim, Aubrey Fleming (L2), a bright and promising student.

But...after the young woman manages to escape, she comes to in the hospital and insists she isn’t whom everyone thinks she is…that she is Dakota Moss, a stripper from the wrong side of the tracks…and that the real Aubrey Fleming’s still in mortal danger.

Going by that description, I Know Who Killed Me sounds half-decent, right?

Well, it’s far from it; the movie’s bad to the sawed off bone – preposterously so.

I can’t imagine what attracted Lohan to this project. Was it the gratuitous gore? Or maybe it was the opportunity to play a more “grown-up” character? Or perhaps it was the phenomenally you’ve-got-to-be-frakkin’-joking explanation? Whatever it was, you owe me $9.75, Linds.

Hey, I’ll chalk this one up to your being, say, not all there when you signed on the dotted line if you promise me a few things: Get and stay healthy and out of trouble; get yourself a real manager and a better publicist; get work that is worthy of your talent.

And if director Chris Sivertson calls you for another go, hang up the phone.

My Rating *

Photo: TriStar Pictures.
Jodie Gets Her Gun

I saw I Know Who Killed Me yesterday (I know, I know…but hang on a bit for my take on it), and one of the trailers that played before it started was the one for Jodie Foster’s latest, The Brave One.

In the Sept. 14 thriller, directed by Neil Jordan, the actress plays a the survivor of a brutal attack that left her fiancé dead, who, unable to move on, begins prowling the streets of New York administering her own brand of justice.

I don’t know where the movie’s going to take us, other than a grey area, really, but I definitely am looking forward to finding out.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Friday, August 03, 2007

There He Goes Again

If I’ve learned anything this year, it’s that you can’t light a fire without a spark.

Since that has been the case with a lot of this summer’s movies, you should know that The Bourne Ultimatum – the final chapter in the Jason Bourne trilogy director Doug Liman began in 2002 with The Bourne Identity – is on fire.

Better late than never, I guess. For the season, that is.

I have been waiting for Jason Bourne to come home for quite some time, and now that he’s finally back, I couldn’t be more excited or more disappointed – for good reasons, though…for nothing but the best reasons.

Director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy, United 93) has delivered a thrilling action film that brings the saga following Matt Damon’s signature character to a more than satisfying end.

I’ll skip the details because nothing I say can do this film justice other that I am amazed at the scope of the production, especially during the final car chase.

This new chapter sees Bourne hunt down his past in order to find a future, as he travels from Moscow, to London, to Madrid, to Tangier, and finally, to New York City, looking to find himself – all the while trying to stay one step ahead of anyone who doesn’t want him to do this.

In a summer of Spirates of the Shrekibbean and Transformers, a simple man who perhaps shouldn’t be so likable in a film featuring as little CGI as possible per the director’s insistence, definitely has been the biggest draw.

Now, that’s not saying something…that’s saying a lot.

Mind you, though, for as much as I live for Jason Bourne, and for as much as I wanted to see and enjoyed Ultimatum, I have to say I’m happy the series has come to be complete, whole.

I wouldn’t mind seeing more of the anti-hero I’ve come to worship, but I don’t want to come to feel, however fleetingly, that he has become predictable.

Joan Allen’s no-nonsense Pamela Landy knows what she’s talking about when she says Bourne is “really good at staying alive.”

Although the film finishes on an “ambiguous” note, as David Letterman put it this week, it’s best that Bourne be allowed to go out in style.

And with Ultimatum he does.

My Rating ****

Photo: Universal Pictures.
America’s First Family

Yahoo! Movies summarizes the plot of The Simpsons Movie by saying, “Homer Simpson must save the world from a catastrophe he himself created.”

Yep – that sounds about right…and it’s enough for anyone to say, really.

The Simpsons have been a part of our culture for almost 20 years, so you know what to expect of their
long-awaited transition from small screen to big screen.

And that’s all he wrote. It’s the Simpsons, after all.

OK – I will say this: The movie is pretty funny; short, but funny. And I mean it.

Anything less than a “Woo-hoo!” would be selling it short, but I’ll say it anyway…. Woo-hoo!

My Rating ***

Photo: 20th Century Fox.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Rat Star

I have been so agog over a project for fall that I simply forgot to tell you how much I loved Ratatouille.

Disney and Pixar can’t help but make excellent films together, and Ratatouille, with all of its emotion and excitement, has served up more of what audiences love to see on the big screen.

Since opening in June, we’ve been offered the story of a rodent who wants to be a chef – and a lesson for life.

The film, which boasts a fantastic original score by Michael Giacchino, mesmerized me when the action was set in and around the Parisian kitchen that Remy (voiced by Patton Oswalt) comes to call his own thanks to his partnership with garbage boy-turned-chef Linguini (Lou Romano) – and it moved me when its Big Theme (“Anyone can cook” is the mantra that informs Remy’s passion; i.e., anyone can do anything) was so elegantly executed.

Ratatouille may feature summer’s unlikeliest hero yet, and although he is small, he has the biggest heart. And that is something that’s really special.

My Rating ****

Photo: Disney/Pixar.