Friday, October 31, 2014

The Mother In the Middle

Naomi Watts is going for another great character study for her next project.

The St. Vincent scene-stealer will be part of Three Generations with Susan Sarandon and Maleficent’s Elle Fanning.

Watts will portray the mother of a Big Apple teen (Fanning) coming to terms with her daughter’s female-to-male transition and not only grappling with her lesbian-mother’s (Sarandon) inability to fully understand her granddaughter’s decision but her own (meaning Watts’ character’s) inability to move out of the house that she grew up in as well.

Got all that, yeah?


Ready to Woz That Way

Christian Bale better make some room for Seth Rogen in his written-by-Aaron Sorkin untitled Steve Jobs project.

’Cause the Interview might be joining the walking-and-talking fun.

Rogen is said to be up for the part of Steve Wozniak in the project, which will be directed by Danny Boyle.

Ashton Kutcher and Josh Gad previously portrayed the Apple geniuses, in the lukewarmly received Jobs.


On Wife Duty

So...looks controversy aside, Renée Zellweger is back.

The actress – soon to be seen in the courtroom drama The Whole Truth – is currently shooting a new movie opposite Greg Kinnear, Jon Voight, and Djimon Hounsou.

Titled Same Kind of Different As Me, the project will tell the story of an art dealer (Kinnear) who befriends a homeless man (Hounsou) in order to save his marriage to his wife (the Cold Mountain Oscar winner).

How one thing relates to the other beats me, but, least this kinda sorta helps change Zellweger’s narrative as or late, right?


The Magic City Will Rise Again

It’s like, the old adage, right?

If at first you only get two seasons on a premium cable network, go and turn yourself into a big-screen property.

Which is exactly what’s going on with Starz’s Magic City.

Indeed, series creator Mitch Glazer is planning on transforming his Miami casino-centered period piece into a movie starring original cast members Jeffrey Dean Morgan (pictured here), Danny Huston, Olga Kurylenko (Oblivion), and his real-life wife Kelly Lynch.

They will be joined by Bill Murray and Bruce Willis in the production.

Fingers crossed – for the actual Magic City – this one will be shot on location.


The Laugher

She’s already going for laughs on TV’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but Emmy winner Kyra Sedgwick really wants to go for broke if she’s gonna do her comedy thing.

So she’s taking her act to HBO.

The erstwhile Closer has signed on to produce and star in a Sister Act-ish new comedy for the cabler that will be co-produced by Kari Lizer (TV’s The New Adventures of Old Christine).

The half-hour, single-cam-com will center on a nun gone rogue – a.k.a. coming of age – after a lifetime of service to the church and a failed marriage.

Consider me intrigued (I enjoy the actress very much...).


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Playing for Keeps

The best film I have seen all year is finally opening today (in my dear ol’ Miami).

I’m talking about Whiplash.

Starring Miles Teller (DivergentThe Spectacular Now) – in a career-defining turn – as Andrew, a drummer attending the elite Shaffer Conservatory of Music in New York City (a fictional stand-in for the oh-so-real Juilliard), the Sundance- and Deauville-approved film chronicles the fall-to-summer story of the like, S&M-esque relationship that develops between Tellers young upstart and Terence Fletcher, the merciless prof, played by a deservedly buzz-worthy J.K. Simmons, who pushes him (and then some) to the brink of greatness.

Written and energetically directed by Damien Chazelle, who adapted the screenplay from his showed-at-Sundance-in-2013 short, this is – drumroll, please – definitely a must-see.

Teller, like I said before, gives the performance of his budding career. His Andrew is a soulful fella who wants nothing more than to become the next Buddy Rich. He is the roughest of diamonds at Shaffer, a school that, he feels, is full of all these peers that don’t get him and that he admittedly doesn’t necessarily get, either. He’s got this cockiness to him, but at the same time he’s still just so green.

One day, he catches the eye, well...the ear of Simmons’ Fletcher, a sunovabitch with a penchant for all-black outfits (he prefers tight muscle Ts), a good pork pie hat, and a well-versed repertoire of insults at the ready to bestow upon students. Immediately, it becomes clear that Fletcher sees something in Andrew – and that he ain’t about to coddle his talent to the fore.

So he cuts him to pieces.

Whiplash is all that all the time. And it is intensely watchable.

Fletcher challenges Andrew in ways he probably never was. Nay, in ways he knows he never was.

After Andrew makes the mistake of sharing too much about his background – his dad, played by Paul Reiser, teaches...high school, not college; his mother walked out on ’em when Andrew was a kid – Fletcher uses that info as a weapon. He turns this revelation of a most deeply personal nature into this offensive tool that he wholeheartedly believes helps him squeeze brilliance outta his students.

It is cruel. It is the opposite of pedagogical. And, in the capable hands of Simmons, it is what fuels the plot the film with a force that is to be reckoned with, alright.

Chazelle pits Teller against Simmons in a jazzy conflict of the first order, a battle of the wills that rises to a crescendo and boils over in a most spectacular fashion. There is a reason why the film was described as Full Metal Jacket-meets-Juilliard when it was just getting off the ground, and that’s the Andrew-Fletcher dynamic.

In the end, they are both broken. They break each other. Their ultimate redemption, in each other’s eyes, is as surprising as it is well-earned, not to mention, quite probably, the most brutal, and therefore honest, of 2014.

Run, dont walk to see Whiplash. It is a blast.

My Rating ****

Photo: Sony Pictures Classics.

Watch What Happens...When Andy Cohen Pulls a Jon Hamm

Hey there, Andy Cohen. Hey.

Look at the Bravo man, pulling a bit of a Scott Disick Liev Schreiber Daniel Craig Henry Cavill Justin Theroux Jon Hamm like he just don’t care while walking his dog in New York City yesterday.

So, again I say.... Hey, Andy. Hey....


Marco Polo’s Ready to Be Streamed

Well that was fast.

Netflixs next buzzy bingeable offering, the Weinstein Company-produced Marco Polo starring It Italian newcomer Lorenzo Richelmy, is almost ready to debut. is pretty much cooked, but you are gonna have to wait to see all of its 10 episodes until Dec. 12, which is when the show will be made available for streaming all at once, as usual.

Check out the teaser for the show now:

Clearly, the powers that be are going for an epic feel, huh.

Hate All You Want, T. Swift Still Hearts NY

One of Taylor Swifts songs featured in her just-released sure-to-be-a-hit 1989 album is titled Welcome to New York,” right.

Needless to say – and as it would, since it is an ode to quite possibly the most mythical city on the planet – the ditty has been met with some, ahem, resistance.

Som’in’ about the song being just too Swift-esque...too pop-y. Too not New York.

No matter, “Welcome to New York” is the second-most popular track off 1989 on iTunes as of this writing – so it is gonna sell, sell, sell, no matter how much the haters hate, hate, hate on it or the singer-songwriter behind it.

And Swift knows this, which is by the newly appointed Global Welcome Ambassador for the Big Apple announced this week on TVs The View that she will donate all proceeds from sales of the song to public schools in the City that Never Sleeps.

Turn that into a negative, haters.


Update: Btw. A tour on support of 1989? Totally happening.

iIs Gay

Today was the day: Apple CEO Tim Cook released a bit of information that no one just about everyone saw coming.

In an essay for Businessweek, Cook came out as gay, writing – in an style quite reminiscing of Anderson Coopers coming out, message-wise, y’ know – that, “While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now.

“So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.

Good for him!

Now. Does this mean that all of ’em conservative anti-gay folks will be making the switch to Android now?


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Give It Up for Ms. Florence

Meryl Streep has lined up her next bit of awards bait.

La Streep is set to share the screen with Hugh Grant in Florence, the Stephen Frears-directed biopic of New York heiress Florence Foster Jenkins.

FFJ is noteworthy because she had dreams of becoming a famous opera singer. Alas, that did not happen, on account that she was woefully untalented.

How will Meryl play that?!

Grant will take on the role of St. Clair Bayfield, Jenkins’ English actor-live-in partner/manager.


When Gwen Met Calvin (Harris)

This ones a tough one.

Question: Is it alright to like Gwen Stefani’s collaboration with Calvin HarrisTogether” (which is the first single off his upcoming Motion album) a heckuva lot more than Gwen Stefani’s collaboration with her solo self, Baby Don’t Lie”?


Photos: (Calvin Harris); PrettyDesigns (Gwen Stefani).

As Chet

Ethan Hawke is gonna feel that jazz.

The Boyhood star has signed on to play Chet Baker in the forthcoming biopic Born to Be Blue.

The project will zero in on the jazz trumpeter’s amazing comeback during the ’70s and ’80s, after a notorious drug habit, as well as on the up-and-down love affair that changed the way he played music and led him to redemption.

Born to Be Blue is currently in production.


Into the Forest

Looks like Natalie Dormer is poised to become a huge movie star, especially if she keeps working it the way she has up until now.

The Game of Thrones player already shared the screen with Chris Evans in Captain America: The First Avenger, Chris Hemsworth in Rush and with Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz in the OK, not-so-good The Counselor, and she has The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 coming up next month (and its follow-up next year), and, now, she is headed into The Forest.

In the supernatural thriller, Dormer will play an American girl who travels to the base of Mount Fuji to look for her twin.

As it would happen, though, she wanders into parts she probably will have been warned she should try and avoid, where she will be met by a bunch of undead types.

Look for The Forest to spook its way into theaters in January 2016.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Black Panther Is Coming

Ah, you know what? I I still think it shoulda been Lupita Nyong’o.

Marvel announced today its next roll-out of movies – o.k.a. Phase 3, which will unspool after we all get properly mesmerized by next summers The Avengers: Age of Ultron – and, just like that, the studio essentially told the world that the DC Comicsverse can get its Marvelfication on all it wants, for Marvel knows that it is still leader when it comes to superhero movies.

See, the studio first confirmed that it will pit Captain America (Chris Evans) against Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) in the threequel Captain America: Civil War (not Captain America: Serpent Society).

And then, it welcomed Chadwick Boseman (Get On Up42) into the fray as the star of 2017’s Black Panther (thus anointing Boseman – pictured here – the first black Marvel lead, although he is expected to play a supporting role in Cappie’s third outing, which is scheduled for 2016).

On a related note, the third Avengers blockbuster will be split into two parts, with the first one arriving in theaters in May 2018 and the second one following suit a year later. The movies will be subtitled Infinity War. No word on whether Joss Whedon will be directing. Yet.

Also on deck for 2018? Marvel’s first female-led production.

No, it won’t be a Black Widow stand-alone joint. The studio is planning on launching a Captain Marvel franchise (to be precise, the Carol Danvers incarnation).

Now, when I say that Nyong’o shoulda been tapped for Black Panther, I only mean that she coulda been – 2-4-1/Missed Opportunity Alert! – the first black female Marvel lead. Like, #NODISRESPECTTOCHADWICKBOSEMAN.

The powers that be also confirmed that Doctor Strange is very much in the works, for a November 2016 release, but did not confirm Benedict Cumberbatch as its star. Yet. Also, the Guardians of the Galaxy will get down with their bad selves again in May 2017, while Thor’s third adventure (subtitled Ragnarok) will be unveiled a couple of months after that, with Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as Loki!

Not to be left outta the fun, the Inhumas are coming in the fall of 2018 (perhaps, with Vin Diesel?)


NPH the Variety TV Show Host Is Coming

Everything is coming up roses for Neil Patrick Harris these days.

Hot on the heels of being announced as the host of next year’s Academy Awards and publishing a riot of an autobiography, NPH has officially scored a TV variety show.

Just as expected.

Harris will soon host a series – a minimum 10 shows films in front of a live audience – based on Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, a British variety show, for NBC.

The Peacock’s version will feature the host with the most in comedy sketches, musical numbers, mini-game shows, hidden camera pranks on celebs, and, of course, many an appearance by A-Listers willing to have some fun.

Can’t wait!


Monday, October 27, 2014

Sean Takes a Husband

Congratulations go out to Sean Hayes, on the occasion of his engagement.

The Will & Grace Emmy winner – now of TV’s The Millers – plans to marry his music producer/composer-longtime better half, Scott Icenogle.

The actor all but confirmed the happy news earlier today while appearing on the tube chatfest The Talk...while – how’s this for accidentally letting the cat outta the bag! – wearing a gold band (that is just an engagement ring)

Photo: E! Online.

Beyoncé Has Designs

She already set up the House of Deréon, but Beyoncé won’t settle for just one foray into the fashion world.

Of course she will not, thankyouverymuch.

Which is why Queen B has forged a partnership with one of her favorite fashion powerhouses, Topshop of London, to collaborate on a brand of fitness and streetwear.

Ah, but, lest you think it, this is more than a simple celeb collab: “This is about building a brand and building a separate, proper business,” according to the brass at Topshop.

The endeavor is being planned for a fall 2015 launch.


True Kitsch

So Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn are confirmed.

For the second season of HBO’s True Detective, that is.

And, now, so is Taylor Kitsch.

That is, according to Taylor Kitsch.

See, the premium cabler has not confirmed that Kitsch will be a part of the next outing of the anthology series, but – rejoice, Kitsch Kravers! – the actor has, saying he, “can’t f---ing wait to hit camera. I’m really excited.

Right on, yo.


The Cumber-stud Will Get Strange!

Seems like Benedict Cumberbatch is thisclose to being all that Joaquin Phoenix, Jared Leto, and Patrick Dempsey couldn’t.

Yes! The Internet is saying, quite loudly, that the Cumber-stud will be Doctor Strange.


Indeed, it seems that while every other stud in the Hollywood stable (even, kinda-maybe, Vin Diesel) was kicking around town for a chance at the part, fan fave Cumberbatch was rising to the top for Marvel, as the two parties are in serious talks about the Imitation Game Oscar hopeful to play the selfish and superficial neurosurgeon Stephen Strange, who recovers from a near-fatal car crash to become the Sorcerer Supreme, a.k.a. the planet’s mystical defender (and the latest blockbuster star for the studio).

Approved! Hells yes, approved!


Look Who’s Shaking Off the Old Year

Taylor Swift may be celebrating the year of her birth today, but in just a couple of months, gf’s gonna be toasting 2014 out and 2015 in live from Times Square.

Yep, Ms. “Shake It Off will be headlining Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.

Well that’s gonna be fun.

No, seriously. I totally think that the singer’s gonna put on a great show. She’ll probably bake everyone in the audience some cookies or som’in.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Zeroville Gal

So is this why they were hanging out earlier this week?

Megan Fox has signed on to co-star opposite James Franco, in his next directorial effort, Zeroville, an adaptation of the Steve Erickson novel.

Y’ know....

Whatever. The film will center on a film-obsessed man – hey, I know a thing or two about that... – who arrives on the Hollywood scene in ’69, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, hoping to break into the industry just as it is at a major turning point.

Just his luck.

Fox will take on the role of a starlet with an uneasy past who becomes romantically entangled with Franco’s lead character.

Good for her.