Friday, July 31, 2009

Simply Irresistible, Pt. 53

Yes, Leslie Mann’s beautiful and funny and smart, and she rocks!

That’s all I’ve been saying….

Her Funny People opens today.

Aaron Eckhart’s Going to Save the World

How could I’ve never seen it?

Aaron Eckhart as an action hero….


The actor will headline Battle: Los Angeles, a sci-fi thriller in which he and a ragtag band of U.S. Marines that includes Michael Peña (Observe and Report), Bridget Moynahan, and Michelle Rodriguez (TV’s Lost) are forced to fight off extraterrestrial invaders who overtake the city.

I’m so going to help make this a blockbuster for Eckhart. I hope he notices and thanks me in a special way.

Mika – In His Underwear

It’s tantalizing attack of the Mika!

The British pop sensation has released a Jonas Åkerlund-directed video for his new single, “We Are Golden,” and lemme tell ya, it’s such a colorful tease.

He’s shirtless – and quite ripped! – and jumping around and looking oh-so-cute:

Golden, indeed.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Yes, I Want to Come Over; Yes, It Makes Me Feel Good

Madonna’s “Celebration” has dropped. In full. And I love it.

I want to join the party and get it started and party with her more than I want a chocolate cookie right now. And that means I want it bad.


M’s the Queen of Pop, so bow, subjects.


Update: Here’s a link that’s still good. Go join the party!

The Foxx and the Queen Do Valentines’ Day

Jamie Foxx and Queen Latifah have added their names to the call sheet of the new star-studded Garry Marshall movie Valentine’s Day.

I say good – that movie was looking a little…uh…mmm…white, you know.

The cast already includes Julia Roberts, Jennifer Garner, Anne Hathaway, Shirley MacLaine, Hollywood’s new It Boy Bradley Cooper, Ashton Kutcher, Topher Grace, and Jessica Alba.

Diversity is the spice of life, after all.

Jennifer Aniston’s No Cougar, She’s a Puma

She’s bringing sexy back!

Jennifer Aniston is going to star in a – gasp! – sex comedy called Pumas.

The actress will play one of two women (I see Cameron Diaz as the other…) whose perpetual prowling for younger men is thrown for a romantic loop during an overseas ski trip.

The movie will be directed by Wayne McClammy, the man the comedy shorts “I’m F---ing Matt Damon!” and “I’m F---ing Ben Affleck!


Update: Evidently, Aniston has been pursuing Pumas for a while.

She talked about in a Vogue interview late last year, describing it as a “female Wedding Crashers,” and in GQ in January.

“[Pumas] is so a comment on the sexual double standard, and what’s been ironic is how hard it’s been to get this movie made,” she told the men’s magazine. “Studios want it, but they are afraid of Middle America. They’d want to change it; they’re saying, ‘Oh, you can’t do that, people just can’t imagine you...”.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

If You Can’t Take the Heat

This fall, New York is going to burn with star wattage.

At least the cinematic Big Apple will when New York, I Love You finally opens in movie theaters.

Cute poster, huh.

Don’t Hate Her for Being “Busy”

Tiffany Thiessen has “a s--- ton of stuff going on” right now, so she can’t do the Saved by the Bell cast reunion, OK:

So thank you for asking, Jimmy Fallon, but like she said, check back in a couple of months.

Perhaps by then Thiessen won’t be as busy with her work with NASA, or her Indigo Girls tribute band, her side gig cultivating marijuana, or her busy schedule of sitting by her pool looking hot.

Update: I guess the gang already has reunited – on the cover of People!

The Wolf Man Takes His Time

The Benicio Del Toro vehicle The Wolf Man is late. It’s very late. It’s so late, in fact, it needs a new word for late.

The would-be blockbuster was supposed to come out in April, right, and, I guess, at one point it was moved to November. Now comes word that the movie’s not arriving in theaters until Feb. 12, although a trailer is due next month – it’ll debut before screenings of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds.

A Wolf Man producer said the date change is not a sign of a troubled production, but rather a decision meant to take advantage of a three-day holiday weekend.

Whatever it is this movie better howl but good, and without further delay.

I’m dying to see the delicious Emily Blunt on the big screen again – especially since The Young Victoria has yet to open stateside…and I stoopidly missed Sunshine Cleaning.

Wolf Man co-stars Anthony Hopkins as well, btw.


Update: It seems the movie’s now known as The Wolfman.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Simply Irresistible, Pt. 52

Something tells me the It book of next month, if not the rest of the year, is going to be Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and we can all thank Julie & Julia for that.

Rips Happen

Ricky Berens, a nation thanks you.

The U.S. swimmer and Beijing relay gold medalist tore the back of his swimsuit in a qualifying heat of the 4x100m relay freestyle yesterday during the World Swimming Championships in Rome.

Hey, it happens – but why wasn’t he disqualified?

Life’s Better with a Little Glee

Now this is how you build your buzz.

A new performance scene from the upcoming Fox show Glee has made its grand debut online. Watch as Mercedes (played by the in-charge Amber Riley) does Jazmine Sullivan’s “Bust Your Windows” justice:

Glee will premiere on Sept. 9.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Holy Frak!

I hate to admit it yet again, but I have never watched a single episode of Battlestar Galactica.

Yeah, I’m part of that problem.

But, I’m familiar with the show’s talent, especially with one Jamie Bamber.

Jamie Bamber, how I love you….

But I digress.

Bamber has been tapped to guest on Dollhouse. The actor will play someone who is heavily (and with any hope, shirtlessly) involved in an engagement with Echo (Eliza Dushku) and her new handler, Ballard (Tahmoh Penikett, Bamber’s old Battlestar Galactica co-star).

As if this show could get more must-see, right?


Update: I know it’s hard, but wipe the drool off your face and click here for more Dollhouse dish.
Playing by the Rules

Three posters for The Cabin in the Woods, a comedy-horror movie written by Joss Whedon opening next winter, were presented at the 2009 Comic-Con, offering terrible advice for anybody who finds themselves in a situ straight out of a slasher flick.

Like, “If an old man warns you not to go there…. Make fun of him,” or “If something is chasing you…. Split up.”

In other words, common-sense stuff. Ha!

Whedon worked the funny quite well on TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so it isn’t a big surprise he should bring it to his next cinematic project.

The Cabin in the Woods, starring Chris Hemsworth, opens on Feb. 5.

I already likey.


Oldman’s Word

While at Comic-Con promoting the Denzel Washington vehicle The Book of Eli, Gary Oldman revealed that the next Batman film will start shooting in next year, for a release in 2011.

“You didn’t hear that from me,” said the actor who plays Commissioner Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s series.

Warner Bros. told wouldn’t comment on it, but Oldman would know, right, so I’ll believe it and star to get excited now.

The Toys Will Be Alright

Pixar held a panel at Comic-Con during which they shared news about the upcoming Toy Story 3.

For one, Michael Keaton will voice a Ken doll in the film, which is due next June and will expand the role of Barbie from the previous installments,

And for two, and more importantly, a detail about the plot: The story will center on the day Andy goes off to college, leaving his toys behind.


Boone Boone Pow

If Ian Somerhalder thought his trip to last week’s Comic-Con was going to be all about The CW’s upcoming drama The Vampire Diaries, he thought wrong because mostly, fans wanted to talk about Lost.

In particular, Con-ners wanted to know if the actor will be heading back to the show’s Hawaiian set next season.

“I think it’s safe to say…we sort of discussed that…it’s truly incredible that…I am going to be coming back,” he said.

I guess he’s not done with the Island, or it with Somerhalder, either.


Update: Click here for a few teases about the sixth and final season of Lost.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Once a Doll, Always a Doll

The 2009 Comic-Con was like the gift that kept on giving with the good news.

Dollhouse boss Joss Whedon confirmed that first-recurring cast member Amy Acker, a Whedonverse vet who left her mark with two very different characters on Angel, will be back on the show’s second season.

Acker will be back in the Dollhouse for three episodes. She will juggle her duties on the Fox show with her full-time gig on ABC’s new drama Happy Town.


Update: While at the Con, Whedon also revealed that Acker’s fellow Angel co-star, Alexis Denisof, will appear on the second season of Dollhouse.

Ditto Firefly and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles alumna Summer Glau.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Bell of the Con

One of my faves, Kristen Bell, was at Comic-Con this week, talking up Astro Boy, the computer-animated 3-D flick based on the Japanese phenomenon in which she voices the role of Cora. (Charlie and Chocolate Factory star Freddie Highmore lends his pipes to title role.)

Of course, Bell was asked about the Con (she’s a veteran, you see), Veronica Mars, the possibility of a movie, and her voiceover work on TV’s Gossip Girl.

And boy, did she answer. She even said she would be up for appearing on the CW show.

I like that she gives fans what they want.

She’s Not Done with the Island

Elizabeth Mitchell, the dazzling actress who plays Juliet on TV’s Lost, revealed at Comic-Con that she will be back on the show next season (its last).

Last we saw Juliet, her story was off to an explosive wrap-up.

“I don’t have closure,” she said. “I love closure and will be happy for it when it comes. [Juliet’s story] hasn’t really reached its end yet. There are other things happening in the next season.”

That’s the best news out of the Con I’ve read so far. And the annual geek bonanza just got started….

Mitchell also will appear on ABC’s V next season, btw, which I already want to Season Pass.


Update: V, btw, is generating some good word of mouth, which makes me happy. Hey, it’s the small things....
What Did the Scary Song Go Like?

Bombastic director Michael Bay will still be counting the millions he made with this summer’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen when it opens, but a remake of Nightmare on Elm Street, from his horror remake shingle, is a-comin’, and something tells me we’re all going to be packing movie theaters to watch it.

At right is a look-see at Jackie Earle Haley’s take on Freddy Kruger. The Watchmen star and Academy Award nominee (for Little Children) is perfect to put on Robert Englund’s iconic sweater and blades and scare the popcorn off our lap when the movie opens next spring.

Eerie, huh, how they smartly kept his face from peeking through. After all, oftentimes it’s what you can’t see that’s the scariest.

Crazy Little Bitch

Sometimes in the movieverse, kids do the craziest things.

In the new suspense horro-thriller Orphan opening today, relative newcomer Isabel Fuhrman plays Esther, a most wicked little 9-year-old girl, with the gusto of a seasoned pro.

Esther comes into the life of Kate and John, a wealthy Connecticut couple afflicted by the stillbirth of their third child. The tragic loss has taken quite a toll on their already-fragile married (she used to drink, and he’s a bit of a chump, really), but they remain committed to each other and their family, to which they do want to add.

When they visit the local orphanage, both Kate (the quite-amazing Vera Farmiga, an actress who’s a bit of an indie darling and whose supporting turn in last year’s Nothing But the Truth blew me away when I rented the movie on DVD), and John are immediately drawn to little Russian-born orphan Esther.

They’re taken with her I’m-my-own-person ways, delighted by her paintings. “She’s very mature for her age,” they’re told.

Little do they know….

So Kohn take her home to meet their bratty eldest son and their deaf daughter (Aryana Engineer, who does remarkably considering the ugliness of this story, which I enjoyed – don’t get me wrong). But – of course – almost as soon as Esther’s walked through the door, an alarming series of events begins to unfold, leading Kate to believe that there’s something wrong with Esther.

And there so is.

Concerned for the safety of her family, Kate tries to get her husband and others to see past the girl’s sweet façade, but no one will listen to her – Esther’s got everyone wrapped around her small little finger.

The trailer for Orphan teased I’d never guess Esther’s secret, but whaddya know, I did.

I called it about less than halfway through, although I actually had guessed something a bit wilder. But I was on the money nevertheless, and I have to say that didn’t keep me from enjoying the movie for one moment.

Now, notice I’ve only purposely mentioned the actresses in Orphan. That’s because the movie truly belongs to them. (Peter Sarsgaard, I’m impressed by your ability to play spineless. Good job!)

Farmiga, to borrow a stale cliché, is a fierce, if wounded lioness, determined to safekeeping her cubs, while Engineer is the portrait of courage in the face of incredible danger. This young girl was asked to face some pretty intense stuff in this movie for our enjoyment, and she delivered impressively and limitlessly.

But Fuhrman’s the one that keeps us guessing (well, not me, but you know…). She had me calling her the C word once the lights came on. Her Esther is a mean mofo, lemme tell ya – not as mean as, say, circus folk that beat elephants, but pretty darn close.

When the movie finally pulls the wrong from under the audience, Fuhrman manages to morph into something even more chilling.

My Rating ***

Photo: Warner Bros.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Opposites Attract

Katherine Heigl is intent on happening, and with her latest, The Ugly Truth (directed by Legally Blonde, Monster-in-Law, and 21 helmer Robert Luketic), she just may be a step closer to succeeding in her quest.

America, your new Sweetheart wants you. Whaddya say?

OK, I’ll admit it: I thought this movie was going to, well…suck.

It didn’t.

Point 1 for star and executive producer Heigl.

Its trailer made this late-summer rom-com look so…cutesy and by-the-book, which it is in many levels. But it’s also surprisingly, say, risqué, more so than I thought it would be. (Heigl says “f---,” and “c---.” Gasp!)

It’s uptight-girl-meets-fun-loving-boy, see them resist each other only to, natch, eventually fall in love with each other. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before.

Except, The Ugly Truth is packin’ a few surprises of its own, enough to elevate the standard-issue quality of its oft-amusing 95 minutes, but not enough to push the envelope and really make them memorable.

Heigl, who has been making confident trips to the big screen in recent years with 2007’s Knocked Up and last year’s 27 Dresses – leaving behind the comfort and numerous off-cam controversies of TV’s Grey’s Anatomy – is easy to watch as Abby Richter, a highly efficient Sacramento morning-show producer.

Abby’s a proactive gal: she knows exactly what she wants in every area of life, including men (and she has the checklist to prove it). Her problem is this square in which she leaves is limiting – she’s romantically challenged.

Actually, her real problem, or what she perceives it to be, is the arrival at work of public-access TV personality Mike Chadway (300’s Gerard Butler), a hardcore dude’s dude who’s unabashed in his preaching the ugly truth on what makes men and women tick.

Both are archetypes of the most extreme kind. She’s a prude, he’s a crude. Obviously, it’s a match made in heaven, and you can guess what happens, so you really don’t need to watch what happens, unless you really want to see Heigl have on orgasm on screen.

At a restaurant table.

Courtesy of a pair of vibrating black lace panties given to her by Butler, which is part of a subplot involving Abby trying to be a different version of herself, naturally per Mike’s instruction, to bag her hot doctor neighbor (if she gets him, then he quits the show – and if you know your rom-coms, then you know this is a classic, if cliché contraption, and you should be shuddering at the thought of it).

Point 2 for chutzpah. And for pulling it off.

The movie does come alive when Butler’s on screen. He has a knack for putting the “man” in commanding when he dispenses borderline questionable advice. But he somehow makes it work, so a point for him, too. He and Heigl sizzle when they’re together, but in a so-so hamburger kinda way, not like a juicy steak. That’s an automatic half-a-point deduction right there.

And so I say that when a movie makes me hungry more than it leaves me with a bellyful of entertainment, you know it’s just OK.

And I know both stars can do better.

Adding up all the points I give The Ugly Truth

My Rating **1/2

Photo: Sony Pictures.
Somewhere Over It Is Cheyenne

Broadway MVP and overall hottie Cheyenne Jackson – ask anyone – will star in the Great White Way revival of Finian’s Rainbow, starting previews on Oct. 8 for an Oct. 29 opening.

The show is about Irish fortune hunters in the mythical Southern U.S. state of Missitucky.

Jackson’s previous Broadway credits include Xanadu, All Shook Up, Aida, and Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Sounds like fall in New York just got a bit handsomer, what with Jude Law, and Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman also headed for the stage in the city.

Now, this is how you stimulate tourism.

Gwyneth Can and Does Cook!

I love that Gwyneth Paltrow made a video for her latest GOOP newsletter that clearly shows she can cook a chicken.

If Paltrow really thought she is better than the rest of us, people who like to give the actress grief over her newsletter, she so would’ve sat and pointed directions at a helper:

I’m so trying my hand at her roast chicken and potatoes (although I trust I won’t lose a tater)….
In Every Nation

Madonna’s Celebration is coming.

That’s the title of the Queen of Pop’s upcoming third greatest hits compilation, a double-CD set featuring many of her most successful single and new tracks produced by DJ Paul Oakenfold, such as “Celebration,” f.k.a. “Celebrate,” the remix of which I’ve heard and quite like.

The songs on Celebration have all been remastered and selected by Madonna and her fans. They cover the expanse of the Material Girl’s extraordinary career of hits including “Everybody,” “Express Yourself,” “Vogue,” and “4 Minutes.”

A DVD of M’s best videos, including a few never-before-available-on-DVD ones, will be released simultaneously.

“Celebration” will be released on Aug. 3. A video for the single, featuring M fans, was just shot in Milan and Barcelona. It was directed by longtime M collaborator Jonas Åkerlund (“Ray of Light”), and will be included on the DVD.

Celebration’s pretty-cool cover was created by street pop artist Mr. Brainwash, best known on the scene for “throwing modern cultural icons into a blender and turning it up to eleven.”

The Why

T.R. Knight, a.k.a. Grey’s Anatomy’s Dr. George O’Malley, left the hit TV show because he had a “need to be fulfilled in my work.”

That’s what it all comes down to in a new Entertainment Weekly cover story out this week.

And you know what, I can respect that.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

And He Expects You to Be Able to Tell the Date?

Gilles Marini, Samantha’s studly neighbor in the Sex and the City movie, sure knows how to tease.

The actor is putting out...a 2010 calendar, and photographer Fred Goudon, ever the giver (ever the savvy project promoter), has shared a few of the outtakes.

Grab a hanky and drool. Rinse and repeat.

Photo: E! Online.
Down the Rabbit Hole We Go

Alice in Wonderland is officially the 2010 movie I’m anticipating the mostest – sorry, SJP & Co., let’s see what you got in the Sex and the City sequel this fall.

I mean, look at what Tim Burton has created:

This is going to be amazing. Good for you, Mia Wasikowska!
Project Drama

The long-awaited sixth season of Project Runway – remember, now on Lifetime – is but a month away, but before the Aug. 20 premiere, the show will bring back eight superstar designers from years past, including Ulli Herzner, Santino Rice, Jeffrey Sebelia, Sweet P, and cutie patootie Daniel Vosovic (pictured at right) for a special two-hour all-star challenge.

The Project Runway alumni surely will bring on the drama as they match wits competing for a $100,000 cash prize.

Loves it.

Sam’s the Man

As the season begins to wind down, I have to say it: It so was the summer of Sam (Worthington).

And the Aussie who totally stole Terminator Salvation from Christian Bale is not slowing down anytime soon. He’s got three movies nicely spaced out to open in the next year or so, and he’s just signed on to star in a remake of The Candidate, a recent Danish thriller.

The movie revolves around an attorney who goes after a group of blackmailers after he is accused of murdering a one-night stand.

In a nothing-is-what-it-seems fantasia reminiscent of David Fincher’s The Game, the mystery ends up tying back into the suspect death of his father.

Worthington running around (presumably) in a suit? Count me in!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

An Offer She Couldn’t Refuse

Jamie-Lynn Sigler, a.k.a. The Sopranos’ Meadow, has been cast as Ugly Betty’s replacement.

No, America Ferrera isn’t leaving the show that made her a household name. Evidently, Betty – Spoiler Alert! – was promoted to features editor in May’s finale, which I’d know if I caught up with the second half of Ugly Betty’s last season, already. So Daniel (Eric Mabius’ character) is going to need a new assistant….

Cue in Sigler.

The actress will recur as Natalie, Daniel's sexy, spiritual, funny new assistant.

No word on whether she’ll be trouble, though.

Divas: The Next Generation

After a few years, VH-1 is bringing back its Divas show this fall, and has enlisted bright young things Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Leona Lewis, and – oy! – Miley Cyrus to headline the 2009 show, which will air live on VH-1 on Sept. 17 from the Brooklyn Academy of Music Howard Gilman Opera House.

Mmm…I really thought Alicia Keys would’ve made the cut.

Additional presenters and performers like, say, one of the veteran divas (clear your schedules, Celine, Gloria, and Mariah) will be announced soon.

“Adele, Kelly, Leona, and Miley have all captured the world’s attention with their talent and have earned their designation as VH-1 Divas this year,” said a network suit. “Don’t let some of their young age’s fool you – these women are among the best entertainers in the world and will continue to thrill music fans for a long time to come.”

As in previous years, VH-1’s Divas special will raise funds for the VH-1 Save the Music Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education in American public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child’s complete education.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy Shiny Guy

Mika’s back on the scene, and he’s a Mika as ever.

The Brit’s new single, “We Are Golden,” is out there on the blogosphere for everyone to enjoy, and it’s classic Mika.

It’s cheery and happy, and I want some and more.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Tragedy in Marseille

Two people have died after a stage being erected for an upcoming Madonna concert collapsed at the Velodrome in Marseilles, France.

Charles Prow, a British worker, died today from injuries sustained in the accident. Frenchman Charles Criscenzo passed away yesterday. Eight other injuries have been reported.

Madonna has cancelled the July 19 stop of her “Sticky & Sweet Tour” in Marseilles. No reason for the accident has yet been reported.

“My prayers go out to those who were injured and their families along with my deepest sympathy to all those affected by this heartbreaking news,” she said in a statement. Further, in Udine, Italy, last night, the Queen of Pop addressed the accident, and struggled to make it through the show.
“Before I continue the show I want to take a moment to acknowledge and pay tribute to two people who lost their lives today. I don’t know if you’ve heard. Two men building my show in Marseille where we’re going next…the crane fell, and we don’t know why,” she said. “I hate to be associated with suffering. I want to pay tribute to their families. Let’s take a moment to appreciate our family, loved ones, friends around us.” She then asked the audience to give it up for them.
So sad, indeed.
Update: Madonna visited with the family of the two Charlies over the weekend, on the day of the concert for which the stage was being erected. The reason for the accident remains unclear.

Because you can never have too much Jake Gyllenhaal in your day, here’s a first look at the actor as Prince Dastan in next summer’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

Can I get my tickets already?

The Fallen and the Left Standing

In the December drama Brothers directed by Jim Sheridan, Tobey Maguire plays a soldier sent to fight in Afghanistan.

Presumed dead, his black-sheep brother (Jake Gyllenhaal) becomes caretaker to his wife (Natalie Portman) and children.

And just when Gyllenhaal and Portman’s characters begin to grow closer, Maguire’s re-enters the picture, and that’s when things begin to really unravel.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

If Britney, Lindsay, Mel & Co. Have Taught Us Anything…

It is that everyone likes a hot mess.

And if Cobra Starship have anything to say about it, everybody’s gonna love Hot Mess, their upcoming album out on Aug. 11, the eponymous single off of which you can listen to, again and again, over and over, here.

I’ve fallen for the group – hard – especially after listening and watching the video for “Good Girls Go Bad,” featuring Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester:

Spotted: Me, buying this CD ASAP.
Iron (Man) Is Good for Ya

Entertainment Weekly is celebrating Comic-Con this week with an issue featuring Iron Man 2 on the cover.

The second installment in the superhero franchise won’t hit the big screen until next May, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a first look-see at what new villain Mickey Rourke will look like, or check out Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow.

Click here for more, more, more.

And the Emmy Nominations Go to…

First of all, I love that Chandra Wilson announced the Emmy Awards nominations this morning.

Love it, love her. And love that she’s a double-nominee (for her supporting work on Grey’s Anatomy and for her leading work in a miniseries) this year.

Now, on to the business at hand.

The nominations aren’t online just yet, but off the top of my head:

  • Wow, there’s a lot more nominees this year, which makes room for Best Actress in a Comedy nominee Sarah frakkin’ Silverman.

  • 24 was shut out of Best Drama, but not Lost. Yay. But where are the Island dwellers in the acting categories?

  • Totally so heart that Gabriel Byrne (pictured at right) was nominated for Best Actor in a Drama for HBO’s In Treatment, my new TV addiction.

  • No Ugly Betty in the major categories. Also, there is something worth nominating on The CW, and her name is Leighton Meester.

  • Co-announcer Jim Parsons, from The Big Bang Theory, is kinda cute.
The awards show, which will be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will air on Sept. 20.


Update: Click here for a complete list of nominees, which includes Jennifer Aniston (for her guest turn on 30 Rock); Justin Timberlake (for his SNL guest-hosting and for co-writting the digital short “Motherlover”); and 30 Rock’s supporting boys and girl, Tracy Morgan and Jack McBrayer and Jane Krakowski.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


The trailer for Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut, Whip It, has hit the WWW.

In the Oct. 9 movie, Ellen Page (Juno) plays Bliss Cavendar, a Bodeen, Texas, indie-rock-loving misfit who finds a way of dealing with her small-town misery after she discovers a roller derby league in nearby Austin.

Barrymore, Kristen Wiig (TV’s SNL), Juliette Lewis, and Eve co-star in the ultimate-chick-flick-of-the-year-by-an-ultimate-chick movie.

Would You Buy Avon from This Guy?

After he’s done with Broadway this fall, Hugh Jackman will go door-to-door in the Full Monty-ish Avon Man.

The I-already-like-it-a-lot comedy follows men who are laid off from their jobs at a car dealership, and one – probably Jackman – becomes an Avon salesman. While the venture is initially emasculating, the character eventually becomes a top seller due to his charm and good looks – uh duh! – and manages to coerce his buddies to join him in the endeavor to win a regional sales contest.

They so should shoot this in Miami – and use my house as a location.

Potter vs. Voldemort: The Stage is Set

As a non-reader of J.K. Rowling’s oeuvre who so enjoys the Harry Potter movies, I have to say I cannot wait for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – a.k.a. the final movie in the blockbuster series…which will be split in two! – to come out: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince does that a great job at setting the stage for what’s to come.

Director David Yates, who took over the franchise with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, is ushering the Potter Gang into young adulthood and the upcoming battle against He Who Must Not Be Named, with an expert hand.

In this sixth chapter in the saga – a darker entry, indeed – lines have been drawn and sides have been seemingly chosen. Lord Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds, and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was.

Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), whom we’re reminded often is the Chosen One, suspects that dangers may lurk within the school, and that one of the students has turned to the dark side, but Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) worries more about preparing him for the final battle that he knows is coming than with looking for a traitor. The former task is more important.

Together, the two work to find the key to unlocking Voldemort’s defenses (cue in the nifty liquid memories for his origin story), and to this end, Dumbledore recruits his old friend and colleague, the well-connected Professor Horace Slughorn (Moulin Rouge!’s Jim Broadbent), whom he believes knows more about the young wizard Tom Riddle, who grew up to become you know who, than he says.

As if this weren’t bad enough, the student body at Hogwarts is still facing an even trickier adversary: adolescence.

For one, Harry finds himself more and more drawn to the increasingly essential Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright), and for two, Quidditch MVP Ron (Rupert Grint) must contend with the advances of Lavender Brown, an eager fan, while Hermione (Emma Watson) must contend with her feelings and jealousy over Ron.

But hey, how about the Half-Blood Prince: Who is he? That you’ll have to watch, and watch you will, to find out.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a bridge movie leading to the end of a most-absorbing story. It’s also, quite possibly, the saddest movie in the franchise, so bring a hanky.

My Rating ***1/2

Photo: Warner Bros.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bridget’s Back!

Renée Zellweger has signed on to play her signature role of Bridget Jones again in an upcoming this installment of the British heroine’s misadventures.

I knew she was just looking for an excuse to let herself go and eat….

The untitled project isn’t expected to go into production until late 2010, and is likely to focus on Bridget’s attempt to have a baby in her 40s.

Get Ready to Scream

It’s not a rumor anymore: Courteney Cox Arquette and David Arquette will reprise their roles as Gale Weathers and Deputy Dwight “Dewey” Riley in an another Scream movie.

“We are doing Scream 4,” the actor confirmed today in New York City, where he’s hanging out in plastic box over Madison Square Garden on behalf of Feeding America. “Kevin Williamson is writing the script at this moment, and hopefully Wes Craven is going to direct.”

Williamson has said, however, that Neve Campbell has turned down the chance to play Sidney Prescott again, but Arquette said he hopes “Neve does it. I really hope so.”

One thing he was mum about, though, was the movie’s plot.

“Kevin has sort of put out the broad strokes,” he said, “but I don’t think I’m at liberty to share any of that.”

I’m excited.

Mo’ Jo

The Melrose Place reboot coming to The CW this fall is already succeeding where 90210 couldn’t: in attracting former residents back to their stomping grounds.

Not only are Laura Leighton and Thomas Calabro, and Josie Bissett, coming back, so is Daphne Zuniga, a.k.a. photographer Jo Reynolds.

Zuniga will guest star in at least two episodes when her character returns to town after enjoying success in her career as a professional shutterbug.

Just Because, Pt. 43

Who does Channing Tatum think he is, getting all six-packy on me in the new GQ?

I don’t need that s---.

The recently married Tatum, who stars in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra opening next month, revealed to the magazine everything I didn’t want to know about his get-buff-for blockbuster diet – “just chicken and broccoli and brown rice. Four times a day. And egg whites.”

Which sounds like hell to me, but I will consider trying it. For a week.

Let’s see if these Hollywood ninnies know what they’re talking about, after all.

They’re in Miami, Bitch

Miami looks awesome in Bravo’s latest reality guilty pleasure Miami Social.

As it is its wont, the Magic City has been lovingly photographed so as to look like a tourist guide come to life. It’s colorful, it’s hot, and it’s vibrant. It’s sexy. It’s It.

She is the Snow White to the rest of the country’s Queen in a way.

But you should have read or heard the response the show elicited in the weeks leading up to tonight’s premiere of Miami Social, bon mots so full of transference of vanity and wickedness for a city inhabited by the Miami Social Seven – mortgage banker George; his ex, Sorah, a realtor/property manager/remodeler; entertainment journalist Michael; fashion producer Ariel; photographer Maria; and reality-TV alumni Hardy, a nightlife impresario, and real estate agent Katrina, both of whom appeared in previous seasons of Big Brother and The Apprentice, respectively – I couldn’t help but wonder why folks were so worked up over it.

All the pretty people are here, Miami Social tells its rest-of-America audience. So are the gorgeous weather and the hot spots. Come on down to South Beach, and live like the “close circle of friends that make Miami spin.” They are the people you’ll want to be, after all.

Except these…seven dwarfs aren’t the best ambassadors Miami could ask for, and I guess that’s why folks weren’t so keen on the show. Those watching it are like the Prince, in love with the city, hoping they were the ones who get to kiss the life into the Magic City, perhaps. They were and are rather unimpressed with the Miami Social Seven, to the point of character assassination, and that’s not just because they’re shallow, as everyone I’ve talked to likes to say, or big fish in a small pond.

No – I thinks it’s because the Miami Social Seven are extremely ordinary. And they’re on TV?!

But in the show’s biggest ta-dah, each and every single one of the characters these people has become to fulfill their reality-TV destiny is – get ready to let out a gasp – totally human. Like, “Everybody wants this. Everybody wants to be us” by Miranda Priestly is the mantra by which they live, and they’re serious about their pursuit. Too serious in some cases. But they dare have real issues, and watching them deal is appalling at times, and aggroying, and just urgh.

OK, the rule of reality TV is that the bitchier characters are the most interesting, so let’s be done with less bitchy ones first, OK.

There’s George (a.k.a. Mopey), a dude so milquetoast I often found myself rooting for his crazy-chick girlfriend Lina. I mean, really, what she does to him by the end of the first episode is so rude and unbelievable (she disappears on him by going on a mysterious “work” trip), of course producers had to end the hour with Lina calling George asking for a ride home from the airport.

Sorah, George’s ex, I can only call Shrinky because she spends the first two eps listening to George bitch and moan about Lina, that is when she’s not analyzing her budding relationship with Gonzalo, a younger stud who lives in her building (where George also lives, for added Melrose Place-esque drama).

Then there’s Michael (a.k.a. Happy…as in Gay), whom I know offline (in the spirit of full disclosure). He’s looking for love in all the wrong places, the poor thing. Seriously, Rule No. 1, dude: Don’t hit or get worked up over your trainer. Stop trying to make that happen. It’s a good thing he’s quite sassy, and always good for a laugh because on the other hand is…

Ariel, or Really Happy…as in Bitchy Queen. He was prominently featured in the show’s promos because he’s shown barking “Get the fat girl out of my table!” atop “the Gans” (fab short for the Gansevoort South), the group’s hangout. Clearly the most polarizing villainous of them all, we’ll be watching what happens with Ari, who btw, quit modeling because he doesn’t like to be told what to do, and not because he got tubby and sweats too much and should shave his neck every once in a while.

Maria I call Kooky. She’s the Switzerland of the seven, and gets along with all. Switzerland, incidentally, is to where he ships her daughter for boarding school, which gives us one of the scenes Andy Cohen probably will revisit in the reunion: Maria pulling a Lorelai Gilmore (by way of Carrie Bradshaw), telling her tween, “No kissing with cold sores!” Hip, huh.

Finally, there’s Hardy, who’s a bit of cipher, made interesting (but then again no) not by his man-about-South Beachness but by his trophy girlfriend, who’s got baby fever (I trust she’s just a recurring character).

With a name like Hardy, you’ll agree he doesn’t need a dwarf name.

And then there’s Katrina (a.k.a. Strutty). A self-described workaholic who’s always lunching with Michael or gossiping with the other girls instead, she gallops into every scene dressed up to the nines in a confidence that cleverly disguises (and accessorizes) the unraveling of her marriage of the studly Ben (who should be upped from recurring character status but pronto).

If these are the people that make Miami spin, odds are you’ll get a bit dizzy. You may accuse Miami Social of being all style and no substance, but it’s reality TV that’s airing in summer, not a cerebral serial. Lost-ish they are, but Lost this ain’t.

Enjoy the show for what it is. And give these dwarfs a chance.

They’re in Miami, bitch, and they have feelings, too.

Photo: Bravo.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Woman for Thor

Now this is inspired casting: Natalie Portman will star opposite up-and-comer Chris Hemsworth in Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Thor.

The Academy-Award nominee actress will play Jane Foster, our superhero’s first love.

Production on the summer 2011 summer tentpole is set to begin early next year.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Visitors

In next month’s Peter Jackson-approved District 9, extraterrestrial refugees are assigned to a restricted area of South Africa.

Bad things happen afterward.

They came to Earth almost 30 years ago, looking for shelter. Instead, humans rounded them up, and soon left them to be managed by a private company eager to capitalize on their advanced weaponry, which the aliens refuse to give up.

With tensions rising, the impasse comes to a head when a company operative contracts a mysterious virus that begins changing his DNA. He quickly becomes the most hunted man in the world, not to mention the most valuable since he is key to unlocking the secrets of the alien technology.

The only place left for him to go? Yep, District 9.

I think District 9 sooo has the potential to be a huge hit, a successful sleeper à la 28 Days Later.

Photo: Sony Pictures.
Ryan Reynolds Goes Green

Sorry, Brian Austin Green and Bradley Cooper – Ryan Reynolds is the one who will be playing the Green Lantern in an upcoming movie about the superhero.

(Justin Timberlake was also said to be in the running for the role, but that rumor has been denied.)

This is a big deal for Reynolds, who’s definitely having a moment, heck…a good summer, this year.

He appeared in the Wolverine prequel, from which he scored his own spin-off thanks to his winning turn as Deadpool, and the surprise hit The Proposal. He looked super-smoking on the cover of Entertainment Weekly’s Must Issue. And now this.

Let me hear you make some noise for Reynolds!

Btw, Green Lantern is part of an intergalactic police force with which he fights baddies using a magic ring that can conjure almost anything its wearer can imagine. Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) will direct the movie, which is reportedly slated to begin shooting in January. Expect the movie to hit theaters in summer 2011.

So Outrageous

Watching Sacha Baron Cohen’s follow-up to Borat, the very funny Brüno I was always amazed and amused, often laughing out loud, but rarely shocked.

And I’m sure Cohen wouldn’t have it any other way.

Look, it’s Saturday, and I don’t feel like writing about a movie that you really need to see to get.

Just know that Brüno, a gay fashionista, is the host of the top-rated late-night fashion TV show in any German-speaking country…but not, you know, Germany.

His mission? To become the biggest Austrian celebrity since Hitler.

His strategy? To crisscross the globe in the hopes of finding fame and love.

Brüno is a constant chuckle. It’s not quite fair to compare, but everybody will, so I won’t say it’s better or worse than Borat. What worked in Borat’s advantage was a sense of discovery that the audience has lost, which is probably why Brüno is more graphic (people seem to lose control in front of a dancing penis).

This summer season needed a little hilarious button-pushing, which Cohen provides in fashionable spades with this movie. Hello!

My Rating ***1/2

Photo: Universal Pictures.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Tale of Two Js

In a summer of loud and obnoxious sequel blockbusters (not that they’re all forgettable and unnecessary – I’m really looking forward to the new Harry Potter), the movies that stand out are the quieter, unpressured ones, like The Hangover, or The Proposal, or Away We Go.

Then we have the triumphs that combine the best of commercial appeal and storytelling, like Up.

And then August comes around, and people get antsy. The weather gets agrroyingly unbearable. And it seems Hollywood releases nothing but dog for those, well…dog days.

One of the movies that I’ve been looking forward to the most this season, though, opens on Aug. 7: Julie & Julia, starring Doubt’s Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.

Adams plays Julie, a frustrated temp secretary who embarks on an ambitious year-long culinary quest to cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Her story, which takes place in 2002 Queens, is complemented by a narrative set in 1950s Paris, in which we see Child’s (Streep) rise to gastronomic greatness.

Sounds – and looks – delightful!

Photo: Columbia Pictures.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

I Should Book My Flight Now

Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman will star in A Steady Rain on Broadway this fall. The play will open on Sept. 29.

Previews are set to begin Sept. 10 for a sure-to-be-hot-ticket 12-week engagement.

Keith Huff’s A Steady Rain follows a pair of Chicago policemen, but OMFG, with these two actors in it, it very well might be a play about two guys standing on a theater stage looking out into the audience.

I’m telling you: If it’s the last thing I do….

When Brüno Met Matt Lauer

Boy, do I wish I’d seen this live on Today
this morning because, you know, I would’ve laughed a lot earlier (Matt Lauer’s a good sport, and I can’t wait to see Brüno):

Time to…


That’s the name of Madonna’s new single, the lead-off of her upcoming third greatest hits album.

“Celebrate” drops on July 28.

Let me hear you make some noise!


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Do It, Cameron!

Cameron Diaz is in talks to co-star opposite Seth Rogen in Green Hornet.

Michel Gondry is set to direct the summer 2010 movie based on a script by Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg.

And yes, I have clearly fallen all over again for Diaz. I cannot get enough of her this season.