Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Just Because, Pt. 41

Ryan Kwanten’s just one of the reasons why I must get my hands on the first-season DVDs of HBO’s True Blood double-pronto.

Boy’s adorable.

Kwanten was spotted a couple of days ago at a restaurant in downtown L.A. for a photo shoot.


Photo: UsMagazine.com.
Hey Broadway

Jude Law is headed back to the Great White Way this fall.

The actor will star in Hamlet, opening on Oct. 6, for a 12-week engagement. Previews begin on Sept. 12.

The critically acclaimed production comes from London’s Donmar Warehouse. It will be Law’s first Broadway appearance since 1995, when he appeared in Indiscretions with Kathleen Turner, Cynthia Nixon, and Eileen Atkins.

Autumn in the city just got a tad lovelier.

Photo: Fashion-Overload.com.
More M in LV

Madonna is dressing up in Louis Vuitton once again for a brand new round of ads for the fashion house.

One of the ads shows the Queen of Pop in the same getup she wore to the Costume Institute Gala at the Met last month.

Oh, and all of them make her look like a cartoon. Somebody needs to go to Photoshoppers Anonymous.

Photo: DrownedMadonna.com.

Update: OK, OK – so the new campaign was not based on like, a Barbie doll.

Louis Vuitton designer Marc Jacobs was so happy about the first campaign featuring Madonna that he was eager to do an encore, but quickly indicated, “I want something completely different,” said an LV spokesperson.

With this shooting orders in mind, the look photographer Steven Meisel went for actually includes a dash of Tamara de Lempicka and a soupçon of Man Ray for color-drenched images by with a surreal edge, thanks to the beyond-generous use of solarization, a technique of overexposure first perfected by Ray.

And I felt like I’d gotten schooled when I read that.

Marion Loretta Elwell and Tabitha Hodge Broderick.

Much like they did when their eldest son, 6-year-old James Wilkie, was born, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick have taken the initiative to give media and fans what they want: a look at their new baby twin girls (with James Wilkie, the couple posed outside the hospital shortly after he was born, ensuring that they wouldn’t be hounded in the days after at home).

This is the first official portrait of the twins. It was taken in New York City just seven days after their birth.

Parker is holding Marion Loretta Elwell, while Broderick holds Tabitha Hodge as their big brother looks on.

Aren’t they just fabulous!

Photo: EW.com.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Spice of Italian

Drea de Matteo is moving to Wisteria Lane.

The former Sopranos star will join Desperate Housewives this fall as the hot-to-trot matriarch of an Italian family.

Casting is underway for her sure-to-be-hot-to-trot-too landscape designer husband and their uptight son.

Photo: Newsday.com.
Simply Irresistible, Pt. 51

I don’t know how they do it Down Under, but they keep producing and exporting hotties like it’s nobody’s business.

One of the best and most beautiful things in the $200 million-grossing massive summer blockbuster Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is Isabel Lucas (she plays a college girl pal of Shia LaBeouf’s character who’s a lot more than meets the eye).

The girl’s not only all kinds of crazy lithe and quite pretty to look at, she’s also kinda badass (Lucas has an open warrant for her arrest in Japan, for her participation in an anti-whaling protest last summer, if memory serves).

Plus, she tells Details she’s “quirky.” But then again, all hot people say that….

Up next for her is the HBO WWII miniseries The Pacific, the latest collaboration between Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks airing next spring.

Photo: MeissnerManagement.com.au.
Staying Put

After months of tense negotiations, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’s Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay have signed on the dotted line of new, generous deals that will keep both of them on the job for two more years.

You should know this is especially interesting since SVU has been picked up for only one more season.

Meloni and Hargitay were said to be playing hardball a couple of months ago when they attempted to go after the show’s back-end profits. Just last month, and NBC higher-up said the show would go with or without its two leads, adding that “there’s an offer on the table.”

No one’s saying who gave in, but word is Meloni and Hargitay worked out a very happy compromise that sweetens their $385K-per-episode salary.

That’s a lot of cake! And these two deserve to take it.

Photo: EW.com.

Update: In more SVU news, Christine Lahti will be playing the show’s latest ADA next season. Lahti will appear in the first four episodes, after which Stephanie March will step up once again.
Another Day, Another Model Turns Actor

All the pretty people flock to Beverly Hills, so it’s not too surprising that 90210 has tapped Abercrombie & Fitch model-turned-soap star Trevor Donovan to fill the void left by Dustin Milligan, a.k.a. good-knowin’-ya Ethan, at the end of the reboot’s freshman season.

Hunky Donovan, who previously appeared on Days of Our Lives, will play Teddy, West Beverly High’s own version of JFK Jr.

Gorgeous, smart, athletic, charming, and naturally confident, Teddy can make any girl feel like she’s the most beautiful person in the room.

Urgh – I hate that guy.

Donovan’s Teddy will debut early on in the show’s upcoming sophomore season as a heavily recurring character.

Let’s hope the guy can walk and talk at the same time.

Photo: Televionista.blogspot.com.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Talk About a Sizable Stimulus Package

HBO’s pushing the boundaries once again with Hung, its new show starring Thomas Jane.

The dark comedy follows the hard labor of Ray Drecker, a onetime high school sports legend-turned-desperate dad, who’s forced to capitalize on his best asset (refer to the show’s name now) and become a prostitute to make ends meet.

“It’s been a rough couple years,” he says in the pilot. “Really. Rough.”

Now, don’t you go thinking you’re gonna see Ray’s moneymaker anytime soon – after all, it’s HBO, not porn.

But you’re definitely going to get your rocks off watching Ray make the trek to Hookerville under the guidance of his unlikely pimp (played by Jane Adams).

Hung premieres tonight on HBO.

Photo: Examiner.com.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Coolest Chick

Dear Cameron Diaz,

I’m so gonna see My Sister’s Keeper tomorrow!

I heart that Diaz is always game for something cool. She really should bottle her energy, and sell it to all the up-and-comers....

Friday, June 26, 2009

Such a Charmer!

I have to say I went to see Whatever Works thinking Woody Allen’s latest was going to be a disappointment.

The word of mouth hadn’t been great, you know, and since he hit it out of the park with his fifth Europe-set film in a row, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, last year, I’ll admit I was expecting Whatever Works not to…work. For me.

The thing is it totally did. I thought it was really quite funny and rather…smart.

Starring Larry David (HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Boris Yellnikoff, a – what else? – a world-class grouch and “almost” Nobel Prize winner, Allen’s movie’s peppered with quotable material (Boris thinks today’s youth are “submental cretins” and that non-intellectuals are “mindless zombies” – and tells them so to their face!). It’s also a rather accomplished commentary on pretension, I think, and it features Henry Cavill, which means it’s also a handsome movie.

Mmm…I just realized Boris probably would call that comment “subnormal.” Anyway….

After the failure of his career in quantum mechanics, his marriage, and his (first) suicide attempt, which has left him with a limp, self-described “not likeable guy” Boris traded his uptown life for the stimuli of downtown Manhattan, where he spends his days insulting the children unfortunate enough to study chess with him, and irritating his still-loyal friends with his never-ending tirades about the worthlessness of absolutely everything.

Oh, he also likes to break the fourth wall and address us, the movie’s audience, to bitch and moan about this and that while his friends look on amused but thinking he’s lost his mind. That’s because he fancies himself the only one who can see the big picture.

His life begins to change a little when he meets Melody St. Ann Celestine (a beguiling Evan Rachel Wood), a runaway Southern Belle just off the bus. Melody opens Boris up to possibilities he’s been too stubborn to consider anymore, and soon charms him into marriage.

Whatever Works is at its finest when it gives us scenes with the enchanting Patricia Clarkson, who plays Melody’s God-fearing mom. She’s a hoot and a half to watch, especially as we witness her transformation into a Big Apple artiste.

If Boris teaches Melody anything, is he teaches us anything, it’s this: In this life, you gotta find whatever works and go for it because it’s usually what tends to surprise us the most and bring us the most joy.

Going to the movies is it for me – it works, and it brings me lots of joy. Especially when someone like Cavill appears out of nowhere (and nope, I’m not telling you about his role).

My Rating ***

Photo: Sony Pictures Classics.

They are the champions (of the good looks).

The United States soccer team pulled a 2-0 upset over favored Spain at the Confederations Cup on Wednesday, but people, and People, are more into the studs behind the victory.

From shirtless defender Oguchi Onyewu to princely blond Jonathan Spector, People.com has the scoop on four of hot men heading to Sunday’s final in Johannesburg against either South Africa or five-time World Cup winner Brazil, including midfielder Benny Feilhaber, a native of Brazil (pictured at right with Onyewu and Spector) and defender and team captain Carlos Bocanegra.

David Beck-who?

Photo: People.com.

Update: The United States ended up playing against Brazil in the finals, and lost 3-2 – but still looked good doing so.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Travelin’ Thru

I hate myself a little for saying so, but when I heard that director Sam Mendes had cast John Krasinski (TV’s The Office) and former SNL MVP Maya Rudolph as the stars of Away We Go, I was…skeptical.

Krasinski, whom I heart and find adorable, charming, and irresistible, isn’t quite a movie star (his License to Wed and Leatherheads were received lukewarmly, and that’s putting it nicely). And Rudolph, who has been featured in A Prairie Home Companion, 50 First Dates, and Anchorman, isn’t exactly at the top of any leading lady lists.

But boy, did the two do a phenomenal job in this dear road trip search for the perfect home. Away We Go is their breakthrough.

As insurance salesman Burt and illustrator Verona, two free spirits in their 30s, Krasinski and Rudolph – who is just stunning in this movie (I really do declare she’s in position for the Best Actress race) – embody a generational malaise and a directionless happy-go-lucky attitude that will speak to its audience, trust.

The two are pregnant, and the prospect of being parents is confronting to them. “Are we f---ups?” Verona ask Burt. “No,” he responds (over and over, as if trying to convince himself as much as her).

But they kinda are, although they’re not losers.

After all, they have something going for them: love.

That’s why they decide to up and travel the country in search of the perfect place to put down roots and raise their family.

Now that his kooky parents have announced they’re moving to Belgium, a month before the baby’s due, there’s nothing holding them back. So they leave for Arizona, where they meet an old co-worker of hers (Allison Janney) who’s one of over-the-top crazy shrill moms, and her pessimist husband (Jim Gaffigan).

Moving near them is a no, so off Burt and Verona go to Wisconsin to meet his childhood friend Ellen (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a.k.a. LN, a strict New Age feminist who’s just the worst kind of…cartoon.

Living close to her and her “bulls---“ is not an option, either, so Burona go north to Canada to visit with college friends (Chris Messina and Melanie Lynskey), whose happy façade soon reveals heartbreaking longings of their own.

Next in the itinerary is Miami, an unplanned detour to see Burt’s brother (TV’s Parks and Recreation’s Paul Schneider), whose wife has abandoned her family.

Unable to find a single not f---ed up example of parenting along the way, the expectant couple will have to find what they’re looking for on their own terms for the first time.

Away We Go, written by David Eggers and Vendela Vida, does, too, and it’s a joy to watch. The movie’s funny and serious and hopeful, and best of all, it gives us Rudolph, and for that, I wouldn’t change a single frame of it.

My Rating ****

Photo: Focus Features.
R.I.P. King of Pop

Michael Jackson died today at age 50.

The King of Pop reportedly was rushed to the hospital this afternoon after he went into cardiac arrest at home and stopped breathing.

Jackson had been planning a series of summer comeback concerts in London, and had been rehearsing in the Los Angeles area for the past two months. He was said to be in good health, which makes the news of his dead all the more stunning.

The ’80s icon’s passing is undoubtedly something to mourn. He leaves a void that certainly cannot be replaced, although a part of me already had said good-bye to MJ a long time ago.

I’m more surprised by the fury with which people text-messaged or went on Facebook and Twitter to spread the news.

But like I said, he was the King of Pop. A chapter of modern music has officially come to an end.

Photo: PhotoBucket.com.

Update 1: Click here to read condolence messages from the likes of Miley Cyrus, Demi Moore, Ludacris, John Mayer, MC Hammer, and Lindsay Lohan, among others.

Update 2: Director Steven Spielberg said that, “Just as there will never be another Fred Astaire or Chuck Berry or Elvis Presley, there will never be anyone comparable to Michael Jackson. His talent, his wonderment and his mystery make him legend.”

Update 3: The Queen of Pop, Madonna, “can’t stop crying over the sad news. I have always admired Michael Jackson. The world has lost one of the greats, but his music will live on forever! My heart goes out to his three children and other members of his family. God bless.”

Lisa Marie Presley, Brooke Shields, Cher, Quincy Jones, Whitney Houston, Jane Fonda, Britney Spears, Usher, and heir apparent Justin Timberlake have echoed the sentiment.

Update 4: Beyoncé, Chace Crawford, and Paul McCartney also have expressed their sorrow.

Ditto Mariah Carey, Dick Clark, Soul Train host Don Cornelius, Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan, Wyclef, John Landis (the director of Michael Jackson’s iconic “Thriller” and “Black or White” videos), the Rev. Al Sharpton, and Russell Simmons. And Diana Ross and Tina Turner.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Taylor, one of Jackson’s closest and longstanding friends, was “too devastated” to issue a statement, her rep said.

Update 5: President Barack Obama has sent his condolences to the Jackson family.

Update 6: Elizabeth Taylor has released a statement saying, “My heart…my mind...are broken. I loved Michael with all my soul and I can’t imagine life without him.”
The Oscar 10

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced it plans to name 10 Best Picture nominees next year instead of the usual five.

Which means Up has an good chance at making it into the list and not just contend in the Best Animated Feature Film race.

“After more than six decades,” said AMPAS president Sid Ganis, “the Academy is returning to some of its earlier roots, when a wider field [used to compete] for the top award of the year.”

In the 1930s and ’40s, the Academy recognized eight-12 Best Picture nominees each year.

“The final outcome, of course, will be the same – one Best Picture winner – but the race to the finish line will feature 10, not just five, great movies from 2009,” Ganis added.

Like I said, with Up Disney and Pixar will stand a better chance at taking home the night’s biggest Oscar next year, something a lot of us thought they should’ve last year with WALL-E. Not to mention, the ruling opens up a field of opportunity to deserving comedies, genre movies, and indies that otherwise would be overlooked.

Photo: Oscars.org.
This Is How You Do It

Jeez, no wonder Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is poised to make money by the truckloads: star Shia LaBeouf know how to work it.

LaBeouf’s star quality was put the test on this morning’s Today when Meredith Vieira informed him there was a young woman outside the studio who “wants you to go out.”

His response, after having watched Matt Lauer chat with the fan: “I like her a lot. She seems like a real special person. I would love to meet her – is she here?”

And that was her cue to come in and share a cute live-on-the-air moment with her idol:

R.I.P. Farrah

Heaven must be greeting an Angel.

Farrah Fawcett died today after a long battle with cancer. She was 62.

The erstwhile Jill Munroe passed away this morning in California surrounded by her longtime partner Ryan O’Neal, and friend Alana Stewart.

“She’s gone. She now belongs to the ages,” O’Neal said. “She’s now with her mother and sister and her God. She’s in a better place now.”

I’ll never forget the time I met Fawcett in 2005, during the MTV VMAs weekend in Miami.

I saw the actress coming down the red carpet at the premiere of The Cookout at the Delano Hotel.

A friend of mine lives for her, so I called him, waited until she got to my position, and handed her my orange phone. She said hello and something or another, and he quite possibly did a back flip at home. She was so gracious about it, which made me appreciate her in a whole new different way.

She was no longer just a pin-up in a red swimsuit – she was the star who held my orange phone.

I snapped a photo, natch – check it out at right. Today I treasure it and that day more than

In lieu of flowers, Fawcett’s family asks that donations to support cancer research be made to the Farrah Fawcett Foundation.

Update 1: Click here to read reactions to the news from Stewart, Robert Duvall, and Fawcett’s Charlie’s Angels co-stars, Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson, among others.

Update 2: Kate Jackson has, in fact, spoken about F2 a little more, even though she “didn’t plan to do any interviews,” sharing memories of the first time she met Fawcett, their time on Charlie’s Angels together, and seeing her old co-star bravely battle cancer the last three years.
Such Great Heights

An old man, a little boy, and a house on colorful balloons float down to Venezuela….

Nope, that’s not a joke – that’s the plot of Up, Disney and Pixar’s latest triumph.

I figured I already told you about a crappy movie this week, so I better tell you about the really good one I saw a few weeks ago. You know, to take the edge off.

Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Ed Asner) is in the twilight of his life.

Carl and his wife, his lifelong sweetheart, Ellie, spent their decades together making plans to explore the globe, particularly dreaming of one day visiting Paradise Falls, the legendary site of many of their airship-steering childhood hero Charles Muntz’s (Christopher Plummer) well-chronicled adventures.

Nothing brought young Carl and Ellie more joy growing up than to hear about Muntz’s latest daring-do, but when his discoveries got tarnished with accusations of having been faked, he left for South America in a fit, vowing never to return until he had undeniable proof that his feats were true.

Their hero having faded into obscurity, Carl and Ellie grew up, and in the movie’s most powerful sequence, a silent collection of scenes set to the beautiful score of composer Michael Giacchino, they had a courtship, married, bought a fix-me-up they turned into a lovely home, faced devastating heartbreak, yet managed to live and grow old happily and always very much in love.

I wish I hadn’t known about this scene before going to see Up. I am sure it would’ve made me cry.

Reminders of their plans were everywhere in their house, but Carl and Ellie lived their life together with no regrets. But at age 78, his wife has passed away, and Carl is beginning to think that life has passed him by, until a twist of fate (and a persistent 8-year old Junior Wilderness Explorer named Russell) gives him a new lease on life.

Together, Carl and Russell embark on an adventure of a lifetime, one that reminds the old man that life is what happens while you’re making plans, and that he’s lived one heckuva life, in love, and that, indeed, he’s got nothing to regret.

Up is an uplifting that it’s not the destination the matter but the journey, and, unsurprisingly, one of the year’s best movies. Disney and Pixar have done it again.

My Rating ****

Photo: Disney/Pixar.
Make Me Scream

His James Bond tux hanging in the closet for a bit – that is, of course, at least until the 23rd 007 movie goes into production – the lickalicious Daniel Craig is finding work elsewhere.

Craig is in early discussions to star in the psychological thriller Dream House, which is set to be directed by Jim Sheridan.

He would play a man who moves his family to an idyllic small town, only to find his house haunted by its former inhabitants, who were murdered there.

I’d watch that, if only to fulfill my dream of having Daniel Craig make me scream.

Photo: 007Magazine.co.uk.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Something Pfeiffer This Way Comes

I think it’s really been one of the most travestiest of Hollywood travesties that Michelle Pfeiffer hasn’t headlined a movie since 2002’s White Oleander.

Yes, she appeared in Hairspray and Stardust a couple of years ago – those didn’t ride on her, though – but she also had two movies go straight to DVD.

Michelle frakkin’ Pfeiffer went straight to DVD, while the likes of Speidi (ew!) got bona fide careers out of nothing.

Enter Stephen Frears.

The British director has revitalized Pfeiffer’s career with the buzzy Chéri (opening in limited release on June 26), in which the actress plays an aging courtesan opposite up-and-comer Rupert Friend.

I trust this is a new beginning for Pfeiffer, and that Hollywood will start to make up for lost time.

Photo: Miramax Films.
Just Because, Pt. 40

I usually favor male stars that are a bit more…seasoned, but Chace Crawford cannot be denied.

The future Footlooser was spotted in a pinstriped Emporio Armani suit while attending the designer’s menswear show at Milan Fashion Week yesterday.

He looks kinda debunking, huh.

Photo: People.com.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Look! They’re Moving…They’re Alive! The Sequel

Judging by the jam-packed screening of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen I attended on Monday, this movie is going to be massive – but, I do declare, taking the same sneak peek as a sample, there’s no account for taste, and summer blockbusters will be summer blockbusters thanks to Michael Bay.

Longer (at a whopping, fidget-in-your-seat-after-Hour 1 144 minutes), louder, and – can you believe? – more obnoxious than the 2007 original, this sequel is all boom boom, not that much pow.

Not that I’m shocked by that: Bay wouldn’t have it any other way, except, natch, for the last part of my statement.

Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox reprise their roles as Sam and Mikaela, who again join with the Autobots against their sworn enemies, the Decepticons, in another battle for Earth’s fate.

LaBeouf makes Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen so much more watchable than it deserves to be it’s not even funny. That’s some star quality he has. Meanwhile, Fox makes it…pretty. Look, she’s gone on the record and said that “[Transformers] is not about an acting experience,” so she makes her role about wearing lots of lip gloss, super-short, super-tight clothes, and looking good.

So that’s that.

OK, now, if you remember what happened during the first movie, good for you, geek.

I know it had something to do with the AllSpark, the life source of Cybertronians. The Autobots wanted it to rebuild Cybertron (their home planet), while on the other hand, the Decepticons wanted it to raise and army of badass robots and get their mean on.

With Sam’s reluctant help, the Autobots prevailed, the Decepticons got schooled and fled to their derelict planet, the AllSpark was destroyed (or was it?), and as we learn early in the sequel, the former stayed on the planet to work with the military and safeguard it from the robo-evildoers that stayed behind.

During one of these missions, though, the Autobots’ leader, Optimus Prime, learns that – gasp! – “the Fallen shall rise again,” which he knows isn’t good. Soon, his Decepticon counterpart Megatron’s presumed-dead body is stolen from the military, and all hell breaks loose.

The Fallen, btw, is a Lucifer-like figure: It turns out, our world and the robo-world have met before, and the Fallen was there, and he’s pissed and wants the sun. Literally.

Not that I’m spoiling anything, but you probably didn’t need to know that. Because this movie is going to be massive, no matter what I or anyone else has to say about it, I gave it away, anyway.

No matter how much I tell you that, say, unlike two years ago, people didn’t cheer as much during Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (I think that Bay has managed to desensitize his audience at last with all his noise), you’re still gonna check it out.

So enjoy it, I guess. Like I said before, you’re going into it to be entertained, so enjoy it. It’s a recession, and I think you should save your money, but enjoy it.

It’s a summer blockbuster, after all.

My Rating **1/2

Photo: DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures.
Two More Fabulous Girls to Take on Manhattan

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick have confirmed they’ve welcomed their twin girls, via a surrogate.

“[SJP] and Matthew Broderick are delighted to announce the healthy arrival of their two daughters [yesterday] in Ohio,” their rep said in a statement, adding, “Marion Loretta Elwell weighed 5 lbs., 11 oz., and Tabitha Hodge weighed 6 lbs. Both Hodge and Elwell are family names on Parker’s side.

“The babies are doing beautifully and the entire family is over the moon.”

I wonder if Uncle Manolo Blahnik has prepared anything special for the girls.

Photo: UsMagazine.com.

Monday, June 22, 2009

In It to Win It

I wouldn’t call The Proposal a romantic comedy or a chick flick if I was you. That’d be too easy.

I’d call the Sandra Bullock-Ryan Reynolds vehicle an accurate (ish) description of the desperate and often hilarious measures an immigrant might take to stay put in the United States.

High jinks emerge from the most mundane of situations, even from one as glossy as the one in which Bullock’s high-powered and imperious New York City-based book editor finds herself.

Bullock’s crisply dressed and tightly pony-tailed Margaret Tate is a woman with many problems, none of which we get to see at first because she’s not only highly efficient but also mightily assisted by the man in her shadow, her younger executive assistant Andrew (Reynolds).

The one problem we’re let in on is Margaret has an expired visa (she’s Canadian, which is just a little ironic because they’re supposed to be so nice and she’s not), and she’s facing the big D: deportation.

A quick thinker, Margaret solves her predicament by forcing Andrew to marry her in a green-card wedding.

But Andrew, who’s put up with her for three years with a smile on his face, is happy to turn around the situation and make it work to his advantage, too, and gets a promotion out of it.

And, natch, they both get more than they bargained for after they’re forced to visit his family…in Alaska…after USCIS (f.k.a. INS) gets word of their intentions. The best part of this conceit is that we get to learn more about these two characters, see what makes them tick, and realize that these problems that they have (Andrew, for instance, doesn’t like to go back home all that much because of familial differences) could problems that you and I could have.

Of course, this happens with a healthy dose of humor, courtesy of Betty White, who as Reynolds’ blunt-spoken, 90th birthday-celebrating grandma, gives Margaret and Andrew the perfect opportunity to sell their “relationship.”

And that’s the jig up The Proposal – which obviously and unsurprisingly, eventually will be up. The fun, however, is in seeing it unfold. There may not be guffaws galore in this movie, but there’s a lot of…realism, relevance, and really tasteful-and-nice-to-look-at nudity (yep, both stars go there).

In a summer of blockbusters, The Proposal is a breath of fresh air.

Who’s playing who is not as important (or entertaining) as seeing these two get it: they are loath to admit that they love each other – but that’s the kinda thing they just can’t help.

But, attention filmmakers (I’m looking at you, Anne Fletcher): I never want to see any more scenes in which – Spoiler Alert! (ish) – a Betty White character is put in such a dire situation. It’s a good thing Bullock and Reynolds have a chemical rapport that should be bottled. It made not want to go get a refund after such a too-painful-to-consider sight.

My Rating ***

Photo: Walt Disney Pictures.

The Next Cosby?

Scrubs is a special TV show, so much so in fact, that it survived many timeslots at former home NBC, a network jump from NBC to ABC last year, and, most impressively, apparent cancellation (the show was supposed to end last season, you know).

So when Scrubs returns for its somewhat unexpected ninth season this fall, again on ABC, it will trade its familiar hospital setting for a medical school, with Dr. Christopher Turk (played by Donald Faison) and Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley) leading the way.

“It’s going to be a different show,” creator Bill Lawrence recently said. “It’ll still be life-and-death stakes, but if the show is just Scrubs again in the hospital with a different person’s voiceover [Zach Braff is coming back for only six episodes], it would be a disaster, and people would be mad.”

Lawrence promises that every now and then, students will visit Sacred Heart, where they might run into such original cast members as Braff, Sarah Chalke, Judy Reyes, and Ken Jenkins, who will all return for guest shots.

More importantly, though, this means that Faison (pictured at right) will be the star of the show – which means this is the first time in a while and a half that an African-American will lead a sitcom on one of the big four networks.

Nine years in, this could be Faison’s biggest moment yet. He could succeed where Damon Wayans almost did, and become the next Bill Cosby.

Scrubs has a buzzy, loyal fan base. It’s got amazing staying power, clearly. So this re-invention can only…well, let’s not add to the pressure.

Photo: DentroTele.com.
Putting on the Wonder

The first photos from director Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland made their way through the WWW today, and they could not have gotten people more excited.

I bet the first trailer can’t be too far away.

But let’s not go the rabbit hole quite just yet, and just admire the portraits of Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, and Helena Bonham-Carter as the Red Queen.

Mia Wasikowska stars as Alice. Her portrait must be a-comin’.

I understand USA Today has panoramic concept art from the Disney film, which will combine live-action and stop-motion and CG animation, and eventually be transferred to 3-D. So get!

Alice in Wonderland is set to premiere next March 5.

Photo: EW.com.
And Now Let’s Hear It for the Girl

Dancing with the Stars star Julianne Hough is said to be set to star opposite hot bachelor Chace Crawford in the remake of Footloose.

I think it is a mighty fine idea that they went with a newcomer.

Plus, girlfriend can dance.

Photo: Celeb9.com.

Update: People are liking this casting.
See Jane Too

Laura Leighton and Thomas Calabro are not the only ones heading back to The CW’s Melrose Place reboot.

Josie Bissett, a.k.a. Jane Andrews Mancini, also will reprise her original-flavor role, and visit her old apartment building this fall.

Bissett is slated to appear in at least one episode so far.

Photo: QueFueDe.LaCoctelera.net.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Mustification of Josh

You best believe that Ryan Reynolds isn’t the only Entertainment Weekly Must: Josh Holloway also deserves to be singled out.

I know – hard but true.

The Lost actor has had a very good year. He’s in the mix of potential candidates for a Best Supporting Actor Emmy for his stellar work on the show’s fifth season, which saw his Sawyer blossom into a romantic hero. He’s a new dad. And, well…he’s Josh frakkin’ Holloway, he of the long hair and gorgeous smile.

It’s obvious why he, like a good 45 SPF, is a must this summer.

Photo: EW.com.
Don’t Forget About Them

Today is World Refugee Day, and Angelina Jolie would like it if you didn’t turn away from their plight:

“Refugees are the most vulnerable people on earth,” Jolie says in a 30-second PSA. “Every day, they are fighting to survive. They deserve our respect. Remember them on this day.”

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Midsummer Treat

X-Men Origins: Wolverine’s Ryan Reynolds, in movie theaters this weekend with The Proposal, and his fine, fine, fine abs grace the cover of Entertainment Weekly’s Must List Issue, which is out and stunning-looking today.

Click here to see what makes him so Must.

But, honestly, if you have to go anywhere to see why got the cover, then you must be blind.

Photo: EW.com.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

In the Beginning…

I sooo wanted to like Year One.

Starring Jack Black and Michael Cera as two biblical-times wanderers, the comedy directed by Harold Raimis (Caddyshack, the Analyze movies) sounded like it had all the ingredients in place for a funny mix – but it didn’t.

Black is just almost too aggroying as Zed, a bumbling bad hunter, while Cera does the most of his facetious bad gatherer Oh.

But the movie relies way too much the 3 P words (piss, poop, and…oops, the last is an F word, for farts) that you know that as an audience member, you’re in for a lowering of your IQ.

And that’s just not fun.

My Rating **

Photo: Columbia Pictures.
Harry & Co. Keep On Coming Back for More

As the July 15 release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince approaches, new posters have leaked to whet your appetite, and from the looks of them, drama’s the name of the game.

See Harry and Ginny share a serious and smitten moment (pictured at right). See Hermione get her jealous on when she catches Ron with Lavender getting cozy. See Draco and Luna Lovegood get their own posters, too.

Now go see yourself and how excited you are.

Photo: EW.com.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Doctor Is Out

T.R. Knight, a.k.a. Dr. George O’Malley, is leaving Grey’s Anatomy’s Seattle Grace.

It was widely reported earlier this year that the actor had asked to be released from his contract – a full three years before it was up – because of, really, myriad reasons, chief among them Isaiahgate (Google it – I don’t care to perpetuate it), as well as rumors of clashes with show mastermind Shonda Rhimes.

Knight’s character subsequently was backburnered.

Well, who says wishes can’t come true? Knight is checking out of the show, and Jessica Capshaw, who joined Grey’s Anatomy midway through last season as recurring character Dr. Arizona Robbins, has been promoted to series regular.

The only question remaining is: What’s going to happen to Katherine Heigl’s Izzie? Last we saw her, her life (and George’s) was hanging in the balance.

And Heigl was said to be wanting off, too.

Those Grey’s Anatomy folks – they know drama.

Photo: EW.com.

Update: A day after the news of his departure broke, T.R. Knight said that, “Leaving Grey’s Anatomy was not an easy decision for me to make,” while Shonda Rhimes, in a separate statement, expressed her best wishes and admiration for the actor.

And then it dawned on me how much I am going to miss George next season.

Meanwhile, Katherine Heigl’s Dr. Izobel “Izzie” Stevens will stay on duty at Seattle Grace. Heigl’s contract option on the hit medical drama has been picked up, meaning she will be needed back this fall.
When You Least Expect It

So I’ve been having a thing for Jennifer Aniston since last fall – just look at my archives.

While I may not have seen her spring entry Management (I was out of town, and, more importantly, the movie played for like, five minutes at my local theater), I am so definitely going to see Sept. 18’s Love Happens:

I mean, Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart? It’s just terrific.

A Love That Will Never Grow Old

With the midsummer weepie The Time Traveler’s Wife, opening on Aug. 14, Rachel McAdams aims to reclaim as Hollywood’s It Girl for All Seasons – not that she did or would claim the title.

McAdams, most recently seen in the underwatched State of Play, plays the beloved of a librarian (Star Trek’s Eric Bana) whose unusual genetic makeup causes him to travel back and forth through time.

Click here for the trailer, and tell me you won’t be seeing this. C’mon – I dare ya. This looks too romantic and tragic and sweet.

Photo: New Line Cinema.
The Bachelor

Chace Crawford is single and ready to mingle, boys and girls – People says so, so it must be true (and won’t you let it will be?).

The star of TV’s Gossip Girl and the upcoming remake of Footloose told the mag he’s “not not looking for a girlfriend – but I’m not particularly looking for [one], either. I’m not knocking having a relationship; at the end of the day, you want to share with someone.

“I just look at it as, I have the rest of my life to do that. I’m not in any rush.”

OK then. So there’s hope.

Other sexy and single men of ’09 who made the list include one of my new faves, Star Trek’s Chris Pine, Adam Lambert (sorry, I don’t get that), Common, Taylor Kitsch, and – what a shocker! – Twilight’s Robert Pattinson.

Photo: People.com.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Being Miley Is Not Sucky At All!

While you and I were stuck in an office yesterday, Miley Cyrus hit the high seas for one steamy smooch with her costar, Australian actor Liam Hemsworth, while filming the upcoming The Last Song, in Savannah, Ga.

Liam, btw, is the brother of Star Trek’s Chris Hemsworth, who will next star in Kenneth Branagh’s Thor.

Clearly, Papa and Mama Hemsworth did something good. Twice. And I thank them.

Photo: People.com.
The Expectation Has It

In her July 19 dumped-to-ABC Family movie Labor Pains – that’s what being Hollywood’s reigning hellcat gets ya – Lindsay Lohan plays a secretary who falls for her boss’ brother (Luke Kirby, pictured at right with L2) while faking a pregnancy to keep from getting fired.

Who says rom-coms aren’t fresh anymore!

Lohan, it must be said, had no qualms about swapping her usual designer duds for mommy gear.

So Method….

“She’s so unself-conscious,” said director Lara Shapiro. “We wanted to accentuate her stomach, and Lindsay was very game for that. [We had] a no-muumuu policy.”

I’d be shocked if this doesn’t get her Linds an award – or at the very least (fingers crossed) a new lease on her career.

Photo: EW.com.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Introducing the Male Star of Tomorrow

Taylor Kitsch (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) has been tapped to play the coveted lead role in Disney’s John Carter of Mars, which will be the first live-action effort from Andrew Stanton, the Oscar-winning director of WALL-E and Finding Nemo.

Kitsch could not have asked for a better guy to lead him into Moviestardomville.

The movie, a big-budget adaptation of the series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, tells the story of a civil war veteran (Kitsch) who is transported to Mars to fight in an epic war between the planet’s opposing races.

Disney is aiming for an early 2010 start date, so I’m going to guess you’ll see your first Taylor Kitsch summer tentpole the following summer. And you will love it (and him).

Photo: Blindie.com.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Jennifer Aniston Makes a Funny

Don’t say she’s a victim anymore: At Friday night’s Women in Film Awards, Jennifer Aniston volleyed back Chelsea Handler’s comments like only she could when the talk show host presented the actress with the Crystal Award for Excellence in Film.

“You have increased the visibility of women in film, and we thank you for that,” Handler said. “You’ve recently decreased the visibility of John Mayer, so we thank you for that.”

Anyone else would’ve had a cow, but Aniston kept the joke going when she accepted her award.

“I have a strange parallel with movies I was doing and my life off screen. First, it was The Good Girl...which evolved into Rumor Has It, followed by Derailed. Then there was The Break-Up, followed by the lighter side, Friends with Money. If anyone has a movie called Everlasting Love with an Adult Stable Man, that would be great! I’m at table 6, and my agents are at table 12.”

You see: funny. And that is exactly why I heart her.

Photo: UsMagazine.com.
Just Because, Pt. 39

Halle Berry showed them hot it’s done in soft pink Marchesa on the red carpet of China’s Shanghai International Film Festival on Saturday.

She really is a can’t-do-any-wrong-kinda-lady, isn’t she?

Photo: UsMagazine.com.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Dare to Visit

Leonardo DiCaprio and his go-to director, Martin Scorsese, are at it again.

The two have teamed up again for the cinematic adaptation of Shutter Island, written by novelist Dennis Lehane (Mystic River).

In the film, which co-stars a Who’s Who of Oscar nominees including Michelle Williams, Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children), and the lumnous Patricia Clarkson, Leo plays a federal marshal conducting an investigation at a mental institution on a lonely, isolated island that turns into a twisted and surreal affair:

And, indeed, I just called DiCaprio Leo. Deal with it.

Shutter Island opens on Oct 22.
Madonna Gets Mercy

Madonna has won the right to adopt a daughter from Malawi – something she was denied in April.

Preparations are underway – meaning the Queen of Pop’s peeps are bee-say! – to bring 3-year-old Chifundo “Mercy” James from the African country to America so she can join Lourdes, Rocco, and fellow Malawian David at the M house.

“I am extremely grateful for the Supreme Court’s ruling on my application to adopt Mercy. I am ecstatic,” said Madonna (pictured at right during one of her trips to Malawi). “My family and I look forward to sharing our lives with her.”

You see – sooner or later Madonna gets her way. And that child will be better off because of it.

Photo: Telegraph.co.uk.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Looong Wait Until the End

Matthew Fox is promising Lost’s sixth and final season next years is going to be “amazing,” “incredibly satisfying,” “very surprising,” and “fairly confusing.”

Thinking radio silence, schmadio silence, the actor recently gave the crowd at the 49th Monte-Carlo Television Festival a glimpse at the final 17 episodes, which won’t premiere until – jeez! – next winter.

The season will begin with the aftermath of Juliet (the sure-to-be-missed Elizabeth Mitchell) seemingly detonating the Jughead bomb’s explosive core, in a development Fox said will be “very surprising – and probably fairly confusing, initially, to the audience.”

About a third of the way into the final season, Fox teased, Lost’s two timelines – in 1977 and 2007 – “are going to be solidified into one, and we will be operating in a more linear time, to the end of the series.”

Once the show moves to one timeline, he said, flashbacks will cease, and Lost will resolve its story on the island.

For more about the big finish, click here.

Photo: ABC.com.
Does This Mean I Have to Start Watching?

One door closes, Robert Buckley wins.

Now that Brian Austin Green has pulled out of a residency on TV’s One Tree Hill, Buckley has signed on to play a Jerry Maguire-esque sports agent.

Evidently, Green’s people got cold feet on the idea…. I guess they got word that the blogosphere was not hot on the casting and backed out. Why are people hating on the erstwhile David Silver, anyway? I think he’s swell, that Megan Fox is the one who’s actually keeping him back, and that yes, he should totally play the Green Lantern (get on the Google for background on all of that).

But I digress.

I think Buckley will do super on One Tree Hill, even though I’ve never watched the show. He’s a star – cute smile, hot bod, can walk and talk at the same time. I so approve.

Photo: GregInHollywood.com.
Gwyneth Paltrow Is a Genius

In her latest GOOP newsletter, media mogul-in-the-making (like it or not) Gwyneth Paltrow has shared her favorite cookie recipes.

I’m sorry but it’s too good. It’s just too good. I mean, dark chocolate chunk and dried cherry cookies? That’s sounds (and looks) amazing.

And I don’t know who or what or where Tate is (Gwyn forgot to clarify that), but Tate’s cookies got me beggin’.

This sweet-tooth approves – and cannot wait to get in the kitchen.

Photo: DayLife.com.
More of Becks in Less

Emporio Armani Underwear’s MVP David Beckham is stripping down again.

The company unveiled the soccer star’s newest underwear ad in London today. Needless to say – but here I go, anyway – thousands gathered to meet Beckham and check out his nearly-nude photo, which graces the entire façade of the Selfridges department store.

Summer just got hotter, but next time, make it a color photo à la Mark Foster.

Photo: WXYZ.com.

Update: What a lucky rope! Click here for more Becks.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Peas Time

The Black Eyed Peas released their new album, The E.N.D., yesterday, and to mark the occasion, the band stopped by the Late Show with David Letterman.

The E.N.D., btw, doesn’t stand for anything other than The Energy Never Dies, so don’t be thinking that will.i.am, Fergie, Taboo, and apl.de.ap are splitting up.

Actually, the Black Eyed Peas would be foolish do such a thing. Their first single off The E.N.D., “Boom Boom Pow,” was a massive hit, and as you can see from their performance on Letterman, they’ll have another hit in “I Gotta Feeling.”

I love their new more unabashed club-y sound.

Photo: EW.com.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Paris, Qui T’aime?

I want Paris Hilton to really know what love is.

Fast-forward to the 0:48 mark and then pay special attention to David Letterman’s comment at the 1:18 mark.

And laugh out loud at the 3:06 mark – it’s classic Dave:

Update: Just hours after this post, it was announced that La Hilton had split with her boyfriend du jour, Doug Reinhardt.

Every time this happens, an angel loses his wings, doesn’t she know?
Nostalgia, Pt. 31

Called it!

Mark-Paul Gosselaar was on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night, to promote the second season of Raising the Bar, and he did the interview in character as Saved by the Bell’s Zack Morris (a full-cast reunion, he said, is not out of the question):

How cool is Gosselaar! He even brought in props, namely Zack’s signature grey brick cell phone.
About Adam

Adam Lambert is gay, and no one is surprised.

The eyeliner-happy American Idol runner-up’s big coming out in Rolling Stone, spoiled in the blogosphere last month, is finally official.

And, yeah – no one is surprised.

“I don’t think it should be a surprise for anyone to hear that I’m gay,” he said.

Uh duh.

No one is surprised. We’re not blind, we’re not deaf, and we’re not dumb. But good for him for speaking up about his sexuality at last. To his credit, though, Lambert says he’s “trying to be a singer, not a civil rights leader.”

So now that that’s done….

Photo: UsMagazine.com.