Friday, April 30, 2010

The Bat Will Fly Again

Batman 3 has a release date.

The still-untitled movie will be released on July 20, 2012, with Christopher Nolan at the helm and Christian Bale set to reprise his role as the Caped Crusader.

There’s no word on plot details, or who Batman will be fighting this time out, so neither Rachel Weisz not Cher should give up hope they might be getting a call to play Catwoman.

Too M, Too Lady GaGa, Christina

I think Christina Aguilera can do no wrong – well, OK…the hair in the “Lady Marmalade” video was a bit much.

But seriously, whomever directed the oh-so-derivative video for the singer’s “Not Myself Tonight” needs to be sacked. The thing’s too Madonna’s “Human Nature”-meets-Lady GaGa’s “Bad Romance” and the result couldn’t be less Christina Aguilera, which is a shame because she’s such a singular artist.

What happened? Who dropped the ball? Am I missing something?
Just Because, Pt. 59

And here it is, a Sex and the City 2 poster featuring all four ladies.

Love Don’t Let Him Down

Shia LaBeouf, whom I maintain is the future of Hollywood (seriously), has chosen his next project.

The actor, who will next be seen in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,
will star in The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, a romantic actioner.

LaBeouf will play the titular character, a regular Joe who falls for the one girl that will likely get him killed. Her name is Gabi – the role is yet to be cast – and she already has been claimed by Nigel, a violent crime boss.

What will Charlie do? Die another day – and get the girl, I bet.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

In Dreams

I have no shame in admitting that I went to see the new Michael Bay-produced Nightmare on Elm Street because I was hoping to see a flash of Kellan Lutz’s beyond-hot abs.

Imagine my disappointment when I realized the boy was in the unnecessary flick only to pull a Drew Barrymore and offer no skin shot of the sort.


To add insult to visual injury, there is absolutely nothing new – expect, of course, for Oscar nominee Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children, Watchmen) wearing the Freddy Krueger striped sweater and knived glove instead of Robert Englund – in this remake of the 1984 classic, so I’m going to keep it brief.

A group of suburban teenagers – including Veronica Mars alumnus Kyle Gallner,
Rooney Mara, and Melrose Place Queen Bitch Katie Cassidy – are being stalked in dreams by the horribly disfigured Krueger (you know how he got that way, the subtext of yore be darned, so let’s keep moving).

One by one, Krueger is taking them out, blood-spatting-style, in their sleep.

They don’t know why (at first), blah, blah, blah, how will they stop him, blah, blah, yawn.

This movie’s sooo…dumb, I guess would be the right word. Not because, yeah, we’ve seen it all before, but because it’s unnervingly lazy. Little to no effort was put into refreshing the plot (doing away with the unsaid of before does not apply), or infusing it with a surprise or two for those who saw the original way back when (or bits and pieces of it on TV like yours truly).

Haley is a adequately creepy and effective replacement for Englund, but he’s majorly stunted by a script that lacks any genuine chills?

Seriously, though: What was the point of bothering with this one? If you’re late with your spring cleaning, I suggest you skip this veritable nightmare and get.

My Rating *1/2

Photo: Warner Bros.
Jackie Is Still It

It’s the year of the Jackie.

The late first lady will be portrayed on the big screen by Rachel Weisz and in the small one by…Katie Holmes.

You read that right: The lady half of TomKat
will play the Jacqueline Kennedy to Greg Kinnear’s John F. Kennedy in the History Channel eight-hour miniseries The Kennedys that Joel Surnow (24) will produce for 2011.

Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan) will step into Robert Kennedy’s shoes, while Tom Wilkinson will play family patriarch Joseph.

Wes Says – And I Love

“New Decade. New Rules.”

So teases the new Scream 4 poster – and so I’ve officially begun counting down to next April 15.

Tax Day 2011 just got one heckuva lot scarier.

To complement the poster, director Wes Craven
has shared yummy scoop bits about the plot, including the fact that, “The story of Sidney (Neve Campbell), Gale (Courteney Cox), and Dewey (David Arquette) is very much a part of Scream 4.”

Craven also reveled it has been 10 years “of no Ghostface” and lots and lots of Stab sequels, that Sidney “has been off by herself and living her own life, and [has] even written a book that has gotten a lot of critical acclaim,” and that he is “signed on for the duration” of producing Scream 4, 5, and 6.

The best part of it all: The movie will begin shooting this June, so we can expect a summer full of sightings and excitement.


Miss Mean

I’m kinda fixated on casting news for the film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s 1960s-set The Help – and I haven’t even read the book (yet).

I think it’s the girl-power-y vibe of the project.

Anyway, Bryce Dallas Howard is the latest actress
attached to an ensemble that already includes Emma Stone and Academy Award nominee Viola Davis.

Howard, who will next be seen in
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, is in talks to play Hilly Holbrook, the Queen Bee of a group of upper-class Mississippi women who treat their black maids poorly and wind up the subjects of a scathing book depicting their deplorable behavior.

Production on The Help is set to begin in July.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Different Kind of Hero

I’m quite fond of director Matthew Vaughn – it is because of him that I am aware of Daniel Craig, whom I first saw in Vaughn’s Layer Cake a few years ago. I also rather enjoyed his Stardust, and love that he produced Guy Ritchie’s early work. Although I feel like his latest,
Kick-Ass, sneaked up on me and it took me a bit to go see it, I was looking forward to it…to enjoying it.

For the most part, though, Kick-Ass was a bit of a letdown.

The movie’s based on a popular comic and follows a regular-guy high schooler (British newcomer Aaron Johnson, doing a terrific American accent). His name is Dave Lizewski; he’s a glasses-wearing, mop-haired comic-book fanboy who decides to take his obsession as inspiration to become a real-life superhero.

Dave’s tired of standing on the sidelines, of being an observer – he doesn’t get why or how people can just look on when bad things happen to good people. So he purchases a funny-looking green wetsuit online, and, natch, re-invents himself as Kick-Ass.

Mind you, though, the kid has no skills….but vigilantism beckons. And so we see him get his handed to him the first time he confronts a couple of crooks. It’s a brutal scene, like many in the oh-so-subversive movie.

Eventually, the hero wannabe bounces back, and – whaddya know – his injuries have left him better equipped to fight crime: Dave’s been put back together with lots of metal plates, and something about his nerve endings being messed up means he can feel no pain. Hooray, huh.

His Kick-Ass alter ego has changed Dave’s life, and created a Web sensation after a second go at it is caught on video by one of those passive passersby the kid was complainin’ about when we first met him.

Kick-Ass becomes a sensation and inspires a subculture of copycats, but, at the same time, is hunted by assorted violent and unpleasant characters led by a mobster played by Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes), and meets up with a pair of crazed vigilantes, including an 11-year-old foul-mouthed dynamo named Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) and her father, Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage).

Kick-Ass, though, isn’t nearly as rousing.

Yeah, I enjoyed how counter it was, and got a kick out of seeing Moretz play such a badass. That young lady, who also stole scenes in last year’s (500) Days of Summer, is going places, and had, say, Joss Whedon directed this, she would’ve been the star.

But, the movie moves at too slow a pace to be truly enjoyable...and it only comes alive when Moretz is on screen. Yeah, her character is more than controversial (she uses the C word! she handles guns and knives with gusto! she dispatches goons without flinching!), but unlike Johnson’s Dave/Kick-Ass, she’s got all the right moves. And that is fun to watch.

My Rating **1/2

Photo: Lionsgate Films.
Pretty Woman Forever

It’s time for People’s annual Most Beautiful issue, and who better to top the list for a fourth time than Hollywood’s prettiest woman,
Julia Roberts.

Seriously, at 42, the actress remains America’s Sweetheart for many reasons, none more obvious than her gorgeous smile and contagious laugh.

Those who surround her – like BFF George Clooney – know this well.

“It has nothing to do with the way she looks,” he said of the
Eat Pray Love star. “It has everything to do with who she is.”

I bet.

Also included in this year’s Beautiful list: Channing Tatum, Avatar’s
Zoë Saldana, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jennifer Aniston, Sofia Vergara, Julianna Margulies, and Jessica Szohr (TV’s Gossip Girl).

Sandy’s Greatest Role Yet

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….

And then, it was time to be a mom.

Everyone has been imagining that Sandra Bullock has been moping around in some corner after her husband Jesse James’ very public
fall from grace, but nothing could’ve been further from the truth.

The Oscar winner has been keeping it real as a new mother to a 3½-month-old boy named Louis.

That’s the “Sandy” (I refuse to call her so without the quotes) we know and love – she’s always surprising us.

Bullock and James brought home the New Orleans boy in January (they initiated the adoption process together four years ago, and now that she’s
filed for divorce she’ll be finalizing it as a single parent). They’d been enjoying him and planning to announce the news after the Academy Awards, but then that other thing happened.

“He’s just perfect, I can’t even describe him any other way,” Bullock
said. “It’s like he’s always been a part of our lives.”

Good for her – this sooo definitely tops my advice and live-by-always mantra (have a cookie, buck up, and keep going). She deserves the joy a baby brings. And kudos for adopting American.

Oh, and good for you for
recognizing you blew it, Jesse James.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What a Tasty Drop

In order to hype up the June 13 return of True Blood – like the hit HBO show needs any help! – its mastermind Alan Ball decided to pen six delicious minisodes to tie us over.

The first one, featuring Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) and Pam (
Kristin Bauer) holding hysterically brutal auditions at Fangtasia, was released today – and all I can say is I’m officially hyped up:

Special thanks go to the wardrobe department for having Skarsgård in flip-flops.
Marilyn…In Her Own

Even in death, they’re keeping the woman ever so busy.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux plan
to release Fragments, a collection of Marilyn Monroe’s own writings, this fall.

The book will include poems, correspondence, rare photos, as well as reproductions of documents handwritten by the blond bombshell herself.

I bet a
starlet on whose camp I used to be but about whom I won’t blog anymore – because my faith in her has given way to disappointment – is beside herself with the news.

The French Stays in the Picture

Handsome news, Brothers & Sisters fans:
Gilles Marini is not going anywhere.

The actor, who plays Sarah’s (Rachel Griffiths) French beau Luc,
will be back on the show next season as a full-time series regular. (Boyfriend did win the immigration lottery last Sunday, after all.)

The show is gaining a stud (I met him last fall – trust me, the guy is all that and a bag of potato chips)…but losing a couple of others.

As we all know, Rob Lowe is leaving the Walker clan at the end of this season (to join Parks and Recreation next fall), and now Luke Grimes, a.k.a. Ryan, the little-seen-this-year Walker half-brother, will follow suit.


Monday, April 26, 2010

The Southland Rises Again

Let’s give it up for TNT.

The cabler, which heroically rescued the critically acclaimed Southland last year after NBC canned its second season before it even aired,
has announced that it has picked up a third season of the police drama starring Ben McKenzie – who now has an APB for an interview with yours truly – as well as Tom Everett Scott, Kevin Alejandro, and Regina King (pictured here).

A 10-episode Season 3 will begin airing next January.

Southland is a challenging, visceral show that engages viewers with its immersive style, provocative storylines, and complex characters,” said TNT’s executive vice president and head of programming.

“These qualities have made it a favorite among critics and appointment viewing for an extremely loyal audience.”

I’ll say!

A Morsel of Wisdom

Uh, when did Alexander Skarsgård get his advice columnist on?

Whatevs – I’ll take anything the stud says to heart…maybe that way one day when I meet him I’ll know the right thing to say and do.

The actor says he likes to keep his approach to dating simple.

“I try not to plan it out,” he said at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Metropia, which stars…him, natch. “It has a tendency to get a little stiff and contrived if you work on it too hard. So, I try to be spontaneous.

“It’s not about what you do, but who you do it with. If you are with someone who is awesome and having a good time, you can sit at a bus station and still have fun.”

Hear, hear.

Now, take your shirt off.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Vying for Red

Shiloh Fernandez is going to have some stiff competition in the race for Little Red Riding Hood’s affection in Catherine Hardwicke’s gothic Girl with the Red Riding Hood.

Max Irons – Jeremy’s son – has been cast in the movie as Henry, the refined son of the wealthy blacksmithing family who is engaged to marry Valerie (Amanda Seyfried), who is also known, I presume, as Red.

Hardwicke cautions, though, that “Max’s character [i]s not what you think he is. He’s one of the surprises in the movie.”

In the director’s wish list to complete the cast are Julie Christie, for the role of Valerie’s grandmother, and Gary Oldman as the wolf hunter.


Friday, April 23, 2010

And Then They Fight

Vampires and werewolves unite in the upcoming Twilight Saga entry Eclipse.

Damn you, Kellan Lutz – it’s your fault I’m a little bit more into it. I still remember meeting you last December and hearing you when you said this third movie in the franchise would be more action-packed, which it looks like it will be (buy, boy, where are you in this preview?):

Eclipse opens on June 30.
Oh Baby

Jennifer Lopez is back.

Well, at least she’s trying to come back, with The Back-up Plan, yet another rom-com for her already rich-in-the-genre résumé that doesn’t really bring anything new to the table.

Except, of course, for
Alex O’Loughlin’s abs. Thank you for doing us that solid, Lopez & Co. – much appreciated.

Anyway, La Lopez plays Zoe, a New Yorker so obviously modeled on one Carrie Bradshaw the actress just had to channel Sarah Jessica Parker so much I often couldn’t help but wonder if SJP had been approached to star in the movie instead. From the things that she said, to the tics that they gave her, you know what I mean....

But I digress.

Zoe seems to be quite happy and content, like she has it all: Great Louboutins, pretty hair, a nice wardrobe (the movie goes to great lengths to make it clear that Lopez’s post-twins bod is bangin’), a cute little pup made even more adorable by the fact that he handicapable, a thriving pet store, funny friends, and a grandma that loves her. She hasn’t found The One, though, and thus she hasn’t had a baby.

Being the go-getter that she is, Zoe is embarking on life’s greatest adventure – parenthood – all on her own when we first meet her. Literally...she’s getting inseminated as the movie begins. This is, of course, her back-up plan.

No sooner has she left the doctor’s office, though, Zoe meets Stan (O’Loughlin).


The guy is perfect. He’s ruggedly handsome, has a good head on his shoulders...and he likes her immediately.

Although Zoe is reluctant at first, she ultimately accepts an invitation to go out on a date – it’s gotta be meant to be something since they keep running into each other, after all. Things get more complicated, as they would, once they decide they want to give it a shot...and she reveals that she’s preggers.

The Back-up Plan starts out fairly strongly, but after a while, as Zoe gets more and more pregnant and her issues with Stan get more and more real (will he leave? is she still “in there” or is she totally consummed by the baby? will two of them get interesting again?), the movie stalls.

Watching it, I thought it would be a neat twist if the powers that be went for a Break-Up-type resolution, but this one ultimately proves to be way more generic that you should give it credit for, I’m afraid.

As a comeback vehicle, Lopez could do worse. But then again, she certainly could’ve done better. I just hope that that other Jennifer (Aniston) with the similarly themed movie (The Switch) coming out later this summer fares better than this.

My Rating **1/2

Photo: CBS Films.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Island Mystery

It’s not all that often that we get to see
James Van Der Beek on the big screen, so today’s arrival in movie theaters of Formosa Betrayed is such a treat an a half for us old Dawson’s Creek fans.

The first part of the movie’s title, btw, is Portuguese for “beautiful,” as in “beautiful island,” which is how the Portuguese once described Taiwan, where some of the action takes place.

The last part of the title should be a clue as to what is the nature of the movie. Why yeah, it’s a thriller, but less of a whodunit and more of a whydonit.

Set in Chicago and Taiwan in the ’80s, Formosa Betrayed follows the investigation into the murder of Henry Wen (Joseph Foronda), a well-liked Taiwanese college professor in Chicago.

The Beek, in another of bad-boyish role he has taken since playing Mr. Leery (see TV’s Mercy for a recent example), plays the lead FBI agent on the case, Jake Kelly. Through his investigation, he unearths an alarming conspiracy that has been thriving within college campuses across America for decades.

Agent Kelly’s inquiries take him to Taiwan, where he realizes he’s not going to solving the crime so easily, or find Wen’s killers, who have fled to China.

With the help of the professor’s widow (Tonray Ho) and that of Ming, a Taiwanese activist (Will Tiao), he learns that the professor's murder was not a random act at all, but rather a desperate move by a government intent on keeping its shady activities under wraps.

Shady, indeed.

Formosa Betrayed co-stars the delicious Wendy Crewson as Sandy Keane, an American-in-Taiwan diplomat who’s a bit of a cipher (what does she know? how? is she going to share that with Kelly?). Questions arise along the way that make the movie’s blood pump – if you can get past the clumsy beginning and grab hold of the narrative, you should enjoy it.

My Rating ***

Photo: Screen Media Films.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Revving Up the M Engine Again

Last night’s “Power of Madonna” episode of Glee was a hit with critics and fans, so – what a non-shocker! – the powers that be are already thinking

The show’s mastermind Ryan Murphy has confirmed he has approached the Queen of Pop about a second “Madge-ical” installment for early next season.

“Madonna and her people are into it and want it to happen,” he said.

The follow-up episode would feature six more M songs, which, like the ones featured last night, will be a total hit (the soundtrack from the ep is currently No. 1 on iTunes).

As I said when I first read the news: “Shut up!”

Red’s Boy

Up-and-comer Shiloh Fernandez is going to play the male romantic lead, opposite Amanda Seyfried, in Girl with the Red Riding Hood.

Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke is set to direct the gothic horror reimagining of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale. He will play Peter, an orphaned woodcutter for whom Seyfried falls, much to her family’s chagrin.

Fernandez has been on the fast track toward Superstardomville for a bit now. He could have been Edward Cullen at one point, or starred in Speed Racer.

Sounds like he may be finally catching his big break.

The Family That Travels Through Time Together…

Kyle Chandler, the undercelebrated male lead of TV’s Friday Night Lights,
reportedly has received a “very lucrative offer” he won’t be able to refuse.

The actor may headline Terra Nova, a big-budget pilot from producer Steven Spielberg for Fox about a futuristic family that travels back to a time when dinosaurs roamed free.

The show is pretty much a no-brainer, and a 13-episode order is a safe bet.

Chandler is currently shooting Friday Night Lights’ fifth and (likely) final season. The fourth is about to premiere on NBC, on May 7, and, I should trust, will bring him and Connie Britton some Emmy love at long last.


Update: Speaking of Friday Night Lights cast members, show alumnus Scott Porter will reprise his role as former QB1 Jason Street for one episode of Season 5.

The actor, who in February appeared with Alexis Bledel in the blink-and-you-miss-it movie The Good Guy, is also working on a pilot for The CW called Nomads.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Divas Both Old and New Like Their Sex

Alicia, Jennifer, Leona, and Liza – as in Keys, Hudson, Lewis, and with a Z – are ready for some hot action…that is, of course, some
Sex and the City 2 soundtrack action.

Keys will help open the sequel with a cover Blondie’s 1980 hit “Rapture,” which will be mashed up, ever-on-trend, with the
original SATC theme song.

Hudson – who is not reprising her role as Carrie’s assistant in the movie opening on May 28 – will duet (beautifully, I’m sure) with Lewis on the original ballad, “Love Is Your Color.”

For her part, Liza, as expected, will perform her very-Liza version on Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” which is featured during the movie’s gwedding, as well as Cole Porter’s “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye.”

Not to be outdone, the real ladies of Sex and the City – Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon – will be included on the album, out on May 25, btw, with their rendition of “I Am Woman.”

Photo: E! Online.
MTV Goes for AA

Parks and Recreation scene-stealer
Aziz Ansari has been tapped to host this year’s MTV Movie Awards.

So expect the show to be funny…but also kinda ’noxious.

“Aziz is the perfect host,” MTV
said, “as he will bring his innovative comedy and distinctive style to the movie industry's most rebellious night on television.”

For his part, Ansari said, “I’m so happy Ronnie from Jersey Shore was unavailable and this exciting opportunity was able to come my way.”

Nominees will be announced soon. The show will air live on June 6 from California.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Do Something, Daniel Craig!

Crushing news, James Bond fans: the tentatively titled Bond 23, the next sequel in the series, is on
indefinite hold due to MGM’s financial troubles.

“We do not know when development will resume and do not have a date for the release of [the movie],” producers said.

The project reportedly didn’t have a director set for the job yet (so much for that,
Sam Mendes), but three writers had been working on a script. And the franchise’s current star, Daniel Craig, was totally expecting to get back to work later this year.

Mmm…maybe now he can call up his Layer Cake director Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) and ask him if there’s any truth to the rumor I heard recently, the one about Vaughn wanting to set a potential sequel to the 2004 hit…in Miami.

Photo: MGM/Columbia Pictures.
G.P. Does Broadway?

Gwyneth Paltrow, who reportedly has dropped out of The Danish Girl (in which she was to co-star with Nicole Kidman), may have her sights on what I’m fairly certain would be her Broadway debut.

Yes: The actress is being lined up to take over from Catherine Zeta-Jones in A Little Night Music.

It’s a bit of a far-fetched proposition, but a welcome one at that.

Oh, and Paltrow would make this Great White Way outing a family affair: Her mother, Blythe Danner, would step into Angela Lansbury’s shoes after she and Zeta-Jones leave the show in June.

I saw Danner in a revival of Follies my first time out in New York City almost 10 years ago, and the lady is a delight on stage.

I hope this happens because I’m so there.

And the GLAAD Goes to...

Drew Barrymore was among the recipients of GLAAD Media Awards last night, for her portrayal of Robert DeNiro’s lesbian daughter in Everybody’s Fine.

A Single Man was named Oustanding Film, while TV’s Glee and Brothers & Sisters were reconigzed as Outstanding Comedy and Outstanding Drama, respectively.

Click here for a complete list of winners.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Replacement

Liam Hemsworth is the next Taylor Lautner.


The Last Song star has been offered Lautner’s role in Northern Lights, a movie about about four extreme-flying pilots that was supposed to start shooting earlier this month.

“The offer is true, but who knows if he’ll do it,” a source close to Hemsworth said.

The actor is signed on to star in the 2011 3-D action tentpole Arabian Nights. So the guy is a-comin’.

He Better Fight...For Our Right...To See Him Shirtless

Ask and ye shall receive.

I was looking for a good excuse to use one of Kellan Lutz’s photos from his Interview spread, and link to the
article, of course, so here it is. Yay!

The beyond-ripped actor
may be starring with badass Samuel L. Jackson in the indie action flick Deathgames.

The movie would revolve around Lutz and, whaddya know, his stoopidly hot bod – his character is kidnapped and forced into “the savage world of a modern gladiator arena.” And by that you should understand contemporary, voracious online masses paying to see someone, like, say, Lutz, bite the dust, courtesy of Mr. Jackson.

Sounds kinda snuffy. And like it will require Lutz to be shirtless and sweaty a lot.


Update: Lost star Daniel Dae Kim also has signed on to try and outplay Samuel L. Jackson’s sadistic Deathgames.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Secrets of Men

There are actors out there who hardly ever get to play the lead, like Jamey Sheridan from TV’s Trauma (no, he didn’t play the main character on that now-defunct show, either).

These are character players, and in Handsome Harry, the spotlight finally shines on Sheridan.

He plays Harry Sweeney, a former Marine harboring a deep-seated secret. Kinda sorta – it’s a bit difficult to do so when you don’t think about it all that much. That’s because he’s a disconnected man, from what was, from his son, from who he is....

The movie explores homosexual denial and reconciling one’s shameful past with one’s quietly tortured present.

Steve Buscemi plays a dying man, the catalyst that sends Harry on a reluctant quest for redemption. He’s one of those character players who pop in as members of the supporting cast, like Aidan Quinn, Campbell Scott (FX’s Damages), and Titus Welliver (TV’s Lost, The Good Wife).

Unevenly written (Bring on the Melodrama! seems to have been the mandate here), yet nicely scored to a jazzy soundtrack, this one’s audience is so limited and in for such a letdown, it makes you wonder if there are, in fact, rocks that are better left unturned.

My Rating **

Not Into This, Jen

Oh, jeez – not her, too.

rumor was true: Jennifer Aniston is launching her first ever fragrance, Lolavie.

“It’s been a year-and-a-half journey,” Aniston
said. “I’d been asked to do things before, and it never felt organic. But [then] I thought, ‘This could be a creative expression.’”

Aniston describes Lolavie, whose fragrance notes are not yet available, as “a non-perfume perfume…I want people to go, ‘What is that? You smell great!’ But most of all I wanted it to smell natural.”

The scent will first be available in the U.K. beginning in June, while an American release is TBA.

I don’t know, Jen. This is a little too something you wouldn’t do. What gives? I mean, you’re already getting bagged on for the
campaign. Oy.

Holy Chris!

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: Chris O’Donnell’s only getting better with age.

The 39-yeard-old star of NCIS: Los Angeles recently was on the cover of Men’s Fitness, and darn much!

Boyfriend’s been working out and he looks oh-so-good, but, he
admits, “I’m not [doing it] to be Mr. Olympia.

“I’m your average guy trying to keep my body in good condition so I can still do the things that I love.”

Well, keep it up!

Ready for a Help-ing

Viola Davis, one of my faves, is in talks to star in The Help.

The Oscar-nominated actress (Doubt) would play Aibileen, the weary and tough Mississippi maid at the heart of Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel.

Starring in the adaptation of the story about the long-ignored community of African-American maids in pre-Civil Rights era Jackson, Miss., and the young white writer who pushes them to tell their story, would be Davis’ highest profile role yet (she will next be seen in Eat Pray Love, though).

Emma Stone is also in talks to play earnest local journalist Miss “Skeeter.”


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lightening Things Up a Bit

First he tackled drama – and on-stage nudity! (on the West End and then on the Great White Way) – in
Equus, and now Daniel Radcliffe getting ready to make his Broadway musical debut.

The artist a.k.a. Harry Potter
will star as J. Pierrepont Finch in a revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying set for next spring.

The actor will have some pretty big shoes to fill: The role of a young window-cleaner who undergoes a meteoric rise from the mailroom to VP of advertising at the World-Wide Wicket Company was originated by Robert Morse in 1961 and resurrected by Matthew Broderick in 1995.

Break a leg, Daniel!

The Petite Mermaid

Taking a page from Marvel, who just
cast a Euro-appealing actress for its oh-so-American project, Captain America, Disney has tapped French It Girl Astrid Berges-Frisbey for a key role in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

The actress
will play Syrena, a “beautiful and alluring mermaid” who will play opposite Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow.

Berges-Frisbey joins a cast that includes franchise vet Geoffrey Rush,
Penélope Cruz, and Ian McShane as Blackbeard.

Although Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom aren’t expected to reprise their roles as Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner, I fully anticipate a cameo, btw.

Rob Marshall is set to direct the fourthquel, which is set to begin filming in June in Hawaii, Great Britain, L.A. for
a May 20, 2011, release.

Living the Life

Zac Efron is spicing things up.

The actor, whose post-High School Musical career is in serious need of a boost (
17 Again did OK, but Me and Orson Welles was strictly an art house offering, not a blockbuster), is producing and starring in a remake of Snabba Cash.

The original movie was a Swedish thriller based on a novel about three friends involved in the drug trade and organized crime. Efron, of course, will play the lead role of a money launderer trying to strike it rich by running coke for a dealer.

That’s the way it goes in Hollywood – when you need to be perceived as edgy, you turn to drugs (albeit, one would hope, figuratively, not literally)

The Guardian

Sharlto Copley, the star of District 9, is
in talks to play an alien passing as human in I Am Number Four, an upcoming Michael Bay-Steven Spielberg production about a group of aliens who escape their doomed planet and hide out as teens on Earth.

How…Roswell, huh.

The actor would play the kids’ guardian in the movie based on an upcoming book co-authored by James Frey. D.J. Caruso (Eagle Eye) is set to direct.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Lady Who Will Be First Lady

Oscar winner Rachel Weisz is going
to play Jackie Kennedy for her husband, director Darren Aronofsky.

Jackie will follow the four days between JFK’s assassination and his burial, showing his beloved widow at both her most vulnerable and her most graceful.

Good luck to Weisz – being a Brit taking on a thoroughly American icon will prove a thankless job (and a bit of a trend, right Hayley Atwell?) – and to her and Aronofsky (I hope they don’t fall prey to the curse of Hollywood husband-and-wife teams working together and then splitting).

A Brit’s America-n Dream

Marvel must really want to court the European market with The First Avenger: Captain America starring Chris Evans.

British actress Hayley Atwell (The Duchess) will play Cappie’s love interest Peggy Carter in the upcoming blockbuster, taking a role Emily Blunt reportedly refused.

In the original comics, Carter fell in love with Captain America when they fought together in the war. Marvel says the character will be updated for director Joe Johnston’s big-screen take.

Production is set to get underway in London this summer for a July 2011 release.

Here’s to hoping Atwell’s American accent is flawless.

Today’s Music

The Today show announced this morning its lineup of acts for the 15th annual summer concert series that will bring lots and lots of people to Rockefeller Plaza.

Sting will get the party started – kinda sorta – on May 14, with a 30-minute set from his upcoming tour with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

Tween idol Justin Beiber will heat up June (as much as he can) followed by, among others, Christina Aguilera and Maxwell. July brings to the stage Maroon 5 (Adam Levine Alert!), as well as Lady GaGa, Enrique Iglesias, John Mayer, and Carrie Underwood.

Ke$ha is slated for a date in August, while Katy Perry will close the season on Aug. 27.

here for a complete schedule.

Make Your Own Kind of Story

Paper Man has got to be released in Miami – if anything because it looks like it will provide us with a chance to see Ryan Reynolds in spandex.

Unlike Green Lantern (shame), which
reportedly is opting for a CGI suit for Reynolds to “wear.”

Jeff Daniels stars in the
buzzed-about indie, as a struggling novelist who never really grew up.

Just as his wife (Lisa Kudrow) is becoming increasingly frustrated by his antics, he meets a local teenager (Emma Stone) who’s been forced into early adulthood.

Together, the man and the young woman form an unlikely bond that eases both of their growing pains, and helps him regain his motivation to write. Reynolds plays Captain Excellent, the writer’s imaginary superhero friend who wants to prove he is still essential to his life and process:

A peroxide-happy Reynolds. In a tight ensemble. Playing the fool? I’m in!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Want It? Take It...Have It!

This news is just too good.

Cult god Joss Whedon, the amazing writer-director-producer, reportedly is thisclose to signing on to direct the upcoming Avengers movie, the mega-sequel-spin-off that will bring together Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and more Marvel superheroes.

Marvel has yet to comment on the news, but they have to make it happen. They just have to. If there’s anyone who can balance action with gravitas and wit and deliver a quality product, then that’s the Master of the Whedonverse (see Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and Serenity, and Dollhouse, for mighty fine examples).

The Nerdgasm Alert in my house just went through the roof!

Let’s Heart It for the Boy…. Not!

Chace Crawford won’t be getting Footloose anymore.

The actor
is seating out the remake of the 1980s classic because of a scheduling conflict with his day job as Nate Archibald on The CW’s Gossip Girl, which will resume production (on its fourth season) in July, right around the time the movie is set to start principal photography.

A lucky unknown yet to be cast will now take Crawford’s place.

Julianne Hough is still in place to play the female lead.

The Emancipation of the Fruit Fly

From my director buddy Casper Andreas and my screenwriter pal
Jesse Archer comes Violet Tendencies, a new rom-com about…a fag hag’s quest for love.

The movie, btw,
will have its work-in-progress premiere during the upcoming Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival on April 24.

Oh, and Cult Star Alert! It stars Mindy Cohn as a woman desperately trying to distance herself from her gay BFF in an effort to land a straight boyfriend.

Hilarity ensues:

Monday, April 12, 2010

And the Coco Goes to…

Conan O’Brien will return to the boob tube next fall on…TBS.

The cabler surprised, well…everyone when it
announced today that it has scored O’Brien, who will headline an 11 p.m. show, to be followed by George Lopez’s Lopez Tonight, beginning in November.

TBS said O’Brien only began talking to execs there last week, and that Lopez even called O’Brien himself to welcome him on board.

“I can’t think of anything better than doing my show with Conan as a lead-in,” the Latino comedian said in a statement. Added O’Brien, “In three months I’ve gone from network TV to
Twitter to performing live in theaters and now I’m headed to basic cable.

“My plan is working perfectly.”

Yay, Conan! Clearly, you can’t keep a good bitch down.


Update: TBS has full confidence in Coco, so much so that the powers that be are saying, “He can do whatever he wants to do here.”

New Kid on the Field

Friday Night Lights will premiere its fourth season on NBC early next month, but the powers that be are already looking ahead at the show’s fifth season.

Producers have recruited newcomer Grey Damon to play Hastings Ruckle, a sexy, laidback basketball player who ends up joining the East Dillon Lions (Coach Taylor’s new team) as a wide receiver.

The character possesses a “dark, hippie, party-guy vibe, and kids, especially girls, gravitate to him because he seems not to care too much.”

Production on the underwatched and undercelebrate show’s fifth (and likely final) season is now underway in Austin, Texas.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Witch Is Found

A little while ago I
tweeted, “Where is Holly Marie Combs?”

Well, I’ve gotten my answer.

The Charmed actress
has joined the cast of Pretty Little Liars, and upcoming ABC Family drama, Pretty Little Liars, as the mother of Lucy Hale’s Aria.

Yep – the erstwhile Piper is playing some teen’s mom. (MILF Alert!)

Anyway, the show is based on the popular series of young-adult novels, and follows four girls – Aria, Emily (Shay Mitchell), Hanna (Ashley Benson), and Spencer (Troian Bellisario) – who have been hiding a deep, dark secret since the sixth grade.

Chad Lowe recently signed on to play Aria’s father.

Ditto Melrose Place star Laura Leighton and Bianca Lawson (TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Vampire Diaries).

WTF, Hollywood?!

Behold the trailer for the Jim Carrey-Ewan McGregor vehicle (from the writers of Bad Santa!), I Love You Phillip Morris:

Now watch it again, all over again, and yet again since the movie didn’t come out as planned last month, won’t come out as re-planned later this month, and
probably won’t come out for a while.

Why you gotta hate on this one, Hollywood?

I mean, you’re pooh-poohing this original, funny project, but moving right along with a third
Big Momma’s House?

Sometimes I don’t get you.

Update: I Love You Phillip Morris will now be released on July 30.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Working on the Sparkle

Steve Carell and Tina Fey make a super-cute couple.

Of course, the NBC stars (he of The Office, she of 30 Rock) are married to other people in real life, but that didn’t preclude them from coupling up on the big screen for the slightly unevent but totally cute and amiable comedy Date Night.

The funny two play Phil and Claire Foster, a sensible, loving couple from suburban New Jersey. They are Mr. and Mrs. Everyman, and they seem to have it all: good jobs with their struggles (check!), nice house (double-check!), two rambunctious kids (got those, too) – the American Dream works.

But they don’t have romance. Not that much, anyway.

The Fosters try to maintain a sort of routine-breaking weekly date night, though, a by-the-numbers exercise in keeping the fire alive involving the same weekly night out at the same local restaurant.

It’s hardly exciting, but they make it work, y’ know.

The couple is exhausted, though, so one day, after Claire decides to dress up in a beautiful blue dress (that Fey wears exquisitely, btw), Phil surprises her (only after remembering it’s grown-ups night out) and together they venture into Manhattan to dine in the city’s hottest new restaurant (without a reservation, the silly rabbits).

Hoping to be seated sometime before the clock strikes midnight and they turn into responsible adults again, they take a no-show couple’s reservations...and then their evening really gets goin’. The Fosters become the Tripplehorns, and they soon discover that their alter egos aren’t necessarily upstanding citizens – they’re a couple of petty thieves who are being hunted down by a pair of corrupt cops for having stolen property from some very dangerous people.

Before they can go all “Uh oh,” Phil and Claire are forced on the run, realizing along the way that their out-of-the-ordinary date night just got extra-extraordinary as they embark on a wild and dangerous series of crazy adventures to save their lives.

Well, they got what they wanted: fun.

And you know what, so will you if you watch this one.

Yeah, it’s not an LOL-type of movie – and you may not laugh at every joke or funny stich. But it’s quite entertaining (spotting the cameos along should keep you busy, not to mention staring at Mark Wahlberg’s chest, which should’ve gotten a credit of its own).

Carell and Fey, especially, are terrific: they combine harriedness (their morning ritual, their unspicy sex life, for instance) with hilarity (the Fosters put on the most awkward pole dance ever at one point) to great effect...and they remain committed to making us laugh, like when they share the longest kiss I’ve seen on screen.

My Rating ***

Photo: 20th Century Fox.
Mandy Checks In

How did I miss this?

Mandy Moore is going to guest on the two-hour season finale of Grey’s Anatomy next month, playing a patient of Dr. Bailey’s (Chandra Wilson) named Mary as part of an explosive cliffhanger.

Veronica Mars alumnus Ryan Devlin has signed on to play her hubby.

Grey’s Anatomy just got more must-y all of the sudden. And that’s coming from a fan who still likes the show.