Wednesday, August 31, 2016

He Is Kin

I’ve not written about Jack Reynor nearly as much as I once thought I would, when I first learned that he would be starring in 2014’s Transformers: Age of Extinction.

Yes, I thought, maybe, this guy would be a flash in the pan – but I’ve also done a poor job of reviewing or watching the films in which he has since appeared, like last year’s Macbeth or this past spring’s Sing Street. bad.

All this to say that I will make a concerted effort to catch Kin, the feature adaptation of Bag Man, a short film by Jonathan and Josh Baker.

A sci-fi thriller, Kin also will feature James Franco, Zoë Kravitz, and Dennis Quaid, and spin the yarn of a recently released ex-con (Reynor) and his adopted younger brother, who are forced on the run as they’re chased by a criminal (Franco) looking for revenge, the feds, and a battalion of otherworldly soldiers.

Good thing the brothers are carrying a mysterious and ancient weapon, huh.

That should come in quite handy.


Fast Hot Hathaway

New mom Anne Hathaway is getting back into the groove of things at work.

The Oscar-winning actress already is all set for Ocean’s Eight and, now it seems, she also is attached to produce and star in an adaptation of Live Fast Die Hot, the novel by Jenny Mollen (o.k.a. Jason Biggs’ wife).

The movie, much like the tome that’s inspiring it, will mirror-chronicle many of Mollen’s own irreverent self-discoveries on the road from social-media personality to wife to first-time mother.


Jumanji Gal

And a star keeps on rising.

That Jumanji reboot continuation that is to be headlined by The Rock and Kevin Hart and that’s been teased som’in’ fierce all summer long is totally happening – so I guess we best resign ourselves. Bring on the casting news!

Guardians of the Galaxy’s Karen Gillan has been tapped to play Martha, the essential female lead opposite the artist a.k.a. Dwayne Johnson, Hart, Jack Black, and Nick Jonas, in the Jake (Bad Teacher) Kasdan-directed project.

Cool beans, no?

The new Jumanji is set to arrive in theaters end of next July.


Monday, August 29, 2016

R.I.P. Mr. Wilder

Gene Wilder has died.

The two-time Academy Award nominee passed away yesterday in Connecticut, from complications from Alzheimer’ disease, which the actor reportedly had been keeping private in order to allow fans to keep their image of him undisturbed. He was 83.

Wilder, of course, will be best remembered for his performances in the OG 1967 adaptation of The Producers and for Young Frankenstein and for Blazing Saddles, and for being the male half of a comedy power couple with his third wife, Gilda Radner, whom he lost to cancer in 1989, and, perhaps yet, for his Emmy-winning guesting turns on TV’s Will & Grace back in the early aughts.

Needless to say, however, the man will always bring smiles to faces as the star of 1971’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. So with that, a final remembrance:

Did you make a wish?

Sunday, August 28, 2016

R.I.P. Juan Gabriel

Que pena – pero que vida!

Juan Gabriel, the legendary Mexican divo, has passed away.

The Billboard Latin Music Hall of Famer was 66, and reportedly suffered a massive heart attack in Santa Monica, Calif., while in between stops of the American leg of his “MeXXico Es Todos Tour.

I grew up listening to and knowing about Juan Gabriel a little bit here and there, so I feel this one. Since, evidently, the singer believed that as long as there are people singing his songs, he will live, I share with you...Juan Gabriel (the highlight of this clip is at the 5:00 mark):

Chesil Beach Stud

Did you hear about British actor Billy Howle yet?


Well get ready to more and more from now on.

The newcomer – who most recently served as a quite-handsome face of Prada (wouldn’t you agree?) – has landed the male lead in the forthcoming Saoirse Ronan-starring adaptation of Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach, which the novelist wrote himself (the script, that is...try to keep up).

Howle will take on the role of Edward, while Ronan will play his betrothed, Florence, in 1960s England, a very prim time. The conflict of the story comes from the couple seeing their relationship explode like fireworks – and not necessarily the good kind – on their wedding night.

And, I am guessing, not because one of them disliked the cake.


Farewell, Charles Osgood...and Thank You!

The best show on TV, the Daytime Emmy-winning CBS News Sunday Morning, is losing its best host.

Kinda sorta.

The wonderful Charles Osgood, 83, announced this morning that, after 22 years as the broadcast’s anchor, he will be retiring next month. His last show – a special editor of Sunday Morning featuring lots of professional stock taking, interviews, and special guests – has been set for Sept. 25.

Fret not, though. The Peabody Award-winning National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Famer will continue to make the occasional appearance on our Sunday mornings, and he definitely will continue to see us on the radio. Osgood plans to remain as anchor of “The Osgood File,” the daily news commentaries CBS Radio Network show he has hosted since 1971.

I will miss you, Charlie! Thank you for helping me kick off my Sunday mornings nice the past 15 years.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Dem Sweet La La Sounds

Damien Chazelle’s upcoming jazzy set-in-a-Los Angeles-of-goldener-years – ish – love story La La Land is sooo gonna be the film of the fall for certain people.

Chiefly the younger ones.

I mean, the film looks dreamy. Plus, hello! It stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone; she as an actress, he as the pianist for whom she falls.

Swoon, right?

Anyway, we keep getting these teasers, which are only making me want to have Dec. 2 be tomorrow because that would mean the film would be opening tomorrow. And then I would be a :).

Check out the latest preview, which features the singing stylings of the actress:


Now Count me among the foolish.

Perfectly Protected

So her acting careers heating up – but what is taking so long for us to get some new music by one Lady GaGa?

Mother Monster announced 10 days ago that her new Mark Ronson-produced single, Perfect Illusion,” is set to drop next month – to buzz up the release of her upcoming album, the tentatively titled LG5 – but that was 10 days ago. How have we read or heard nothing else since then? I mean, in this day and age, how hasn’t something leaked?

Not that I’m saying someone should get in on that, but...weird, no?

Are people really not that into hearing new stuff from Lady GaGa as they were, say, other people?



Heard v. Depp: The Aftermath

Oh jeez.

The Amber Heard-Johnny Depp divorce saga is not over quite just yet. And there you were, thinking those two crazy kids were out of the woods.

Remember how the erstwhile lovebirds announced last week that they had reached an out-of-court settlement? And that Heard would be getting $7 million? And that she would be donating the money to charity?

Well, that part of the proceedings has hit a snag.

Evidently, Depp is now dragging his feet on his settlement obligation. Like, he wants to make payments to the charities, including the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, directly and in chunks – which is not flying with Heard’s camp.

The actor sure isn’t keen on putting this one to bed double-pronto, huh, or on not hurting his Q rating.


Eva Directs

Eva Longoria is having a really good year, the unfortunate demise of TV’s Telenovela notwithstanding.

Girlfriend got married.

She got more projects off the ground.

And, now, she’s getting her directin on.

Indeed, the actress – who also just launched a fall collection for The Limited – is helming the third episode of the upcoming third season of The CW’s Jane the Virgin.

Yes! Latino power!


Paulson for All!

It was a good week to be The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story Emmy nominee Sarah Paulson.

First it was announced that the actress has been cast on FX’s Feud, the new Ryan Murphy joint – so no big shocker there, right? Paulson will portray Academy Award winner Geraldine Page on the project, which will chronicle the legendary old-Hollywood rivalry between Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) and Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon).

And then, the powers that be let it be known that they have her in mind for a part in the female driven spin-off Ocean’s Eight, which will feature Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, and Mindy Kaling, among others.

Someone’s on fiya!


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Rockin’ It, Too!

Fret not, Scarlett JohanssonDemi Moore is gonna help you Move Rock That Body.

That Demi.... Always so helpful.


All kidding aside, Moore has signed on to co-star in the 2015 Black List comedy by that title, the story of five friends who rent a house down in Miami for a crazy bachelorette weekend that ends with them accidentally killing the strippin’ entertainment.

Hey, it happens.

Ghostbuster Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer (Comedy Central’s Broad City), and Zoë Kravitz are all already on board the project, which is currently in production for a June 2017 release.

Broad Citys Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs co-wrote the movie, which the former is directing and in which the latter will be featured.


Truth or Dare...and Madonna

Because a good Queen (of Pop) takes good care of her subjects.

Madonna surprised a theater full of fans last night, when she turned up at a special 25th anniversary screening of her seminal documentary, Madonna: Truth or Dare, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

M reportedly showed up unannounced to support the director of the project, and her longtime pal, filmmaker Alek Keshishian.

Surely, though, she must have known she would be the belle of the ball.

Sooo cute, right?


Kids of the OneRepublic

So I finally got to listening to a little bit of Kids,” the new OneRepublic single, and I think I am liking this one.

I am actually enjoying it a lot.

OneRepublic are, to me, like this super-under-the-radar blatantly popular sort of band, one that’s unafraid of taking controlled (?) risks, which often results in anthemic, beyond-radio-friendly stuff – hello, Make that money, watch it burn.

Not to be outdone by anything the’ve done so far, “Kids” sounds propulsively rock-y and just a tad electronic in vibe. Reminds me of what Mumford & Sons did with Believe.

That’s it. I’m buying this s--- on the iTunes.

This and “Wherever I Go,” the single frontman Ryan Tedder & Co. put forth earlier this summer, to drum up interest in their upcoming, still-untitled fourth album, which is due this fall.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Just for Today...on Sunday

Not thrilled about this one.

Willie Geist has announced he is leaving his daily third-hour-of-the-Today-show Monday through Friday post. As expected, Billy Bush – the notorious Ryan Lochte apologist, who seems to believe that telling a lie while young and white and male is simply embellishing) – will taker over the spot.

Geist is not walking away from NBC, though. For a while now, he has been anchoring Today’s Sunday effort, and he will now be free to focus exclusively on that task, as well as on his duties on Morning Joe over on MSNBC.

Imma gonna have to check him out from time to time...even though I’m a CBS News Sunday Morning kind of a dude.


Nashville 2017!

Well alright and eye-haw.

CMT has gone and scheduled TV’s back-from-the-dead Nashville for a two-hour fifth-season premiere next Jan. 5, y’all!

Stars Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere will be back as Rayna Jaymes and Juliette Barnes, natch – but rumor has it the former will appear on only 10 of the show’s proposed 22 Season 5 episodes.

Because Nashville loves itself some drama?

I mean, why. Why must you put us through this, Connie? We want you to stay.

Don’t leave us and take away Rayna Jaymes.


Cruel Commander

The Handmaid’s Tale will be told with a little help from Risen’s Joseph Fiennes.

hulu has called upon the Shakespeare in Love stud to take part on its adaptation of the novel by Margaret Atwood, which also will feature Elisabeth Moss (AMC’s Mad Men), Samira Wiley (Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black), Ann Dowd (HBO’s The Leftovers), and Max Minghella.

Fiennes will portray Cmdr. Fred Waterford in the straight-to-series 10-eps-at-first project, which will center on life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian republic settled in what was formerly part of the United States that treats women as state property.

Especially fertile women.

Moss will play Offred, a handmaid at his household, who desperately puts up with forced sexual servitude, other abusive commanders (and their cruel wives), and the potential duplicity of her fellow maids, all with the hope of making it another day to look for the daughter that was taken from her.

You can expect The Handmaid’s Tale to become available for streaming on hulu sometime next year.


Sending a Vamp to School

Out bisexual Bella Thorne is taking charge.

The Blended actress is set to executive produce Drink, Slay, Love, a made-for-TV Lifetime-movie adaptation of the eponymous debut novel by Sarah Beth Durst.

The project will star Cierra Ramirez (Freeform’s The Fosters) as Pearl, a typical 16-year-old vampire girl, who becomes able to withstand daylight after a mysterious attack. As soon as her family catches wise of her new ability, they sign her up for high school so she basically can grocery shopping for blood.

Which is all good and dandy, except for the fact that girlfriend begins to like her prey. As friends, not food.

Internal conflicts arise.

Drink, Slay, Love is expected to premiere early next year.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Tale of Black Love

Hot Buzz Alert!

You guys have got to keep an eye out for Moonlight, this new indie written and helmed by up-and-coming director Barry Jenkins (Medicine for Melancholy) that’s picking up some serious heat as its initial Oct. 21 roll-out grows near.

An adaptation of Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, a play by Tarell Alvin McCraney, the film is already being talked up as a sort of black Brokeback Mountain.

Starring virtual newcomers Trevante Rhodes and André Holland (Cinemax’s The Knick), Moonlight is a three-part narrative that spans the childhood, teens, and adulthood of an African-American man who makes it out of the drug-plagued Miami inner city to find love in unexpected places on his way to becoming who he truly is. SPECTRE’s Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali (Netflix’s House of Cards), and singer-turned-actress Janelle Monáe (the upcoming Hidden Figures) round out the cast.

Check out the trailer for Moonlight now.

Photo: A24.

Taraji Gives Good Face

A hit TV show (that beyond-showcases her twice-Emmy-nominated-for-it talent). A sure-to-resonate winter 2017 movie offering. A book.

Taraji P. Henson is slayin’ it. And that’s all I’m sayin’.

Indeed, the Empire actress is clearly building her own, and, now, she is poised to leave her mark at the MAC counter.

See, Henson has partnered with the make-up giant, to launch a six-piece collection dubbed #MACTaraji that will reflect her “powerhouse confidence and charismatic spark” – a good thing, since the stuff will be all about gettin’ dat glow.

Cookie Lyon would be so proud.

#MACTaraji will be in stores on Sept. 6.


Cho the Con


Sure, coming right up.

Star Trek Beyond’s John Cho has been tapped to headline Connoisseur, a potential new USA Network property about a con artist (another one, USA?).

Cho will play Clay Park, a habitual duper of the wealthiest, most powerful people in the country, who gets them to pay seven figures for – whaddya know – fake wine, of all things.

Oh I hope this goes. It would be great for the TV landscape for Cho to return to the tube and actually sticking around for a few successful seasons.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Dayum, Idris Elba!

There is only question I wanna have answered today.

And that is....

Were you trying to give the Internet a syncope, Idris Elba?

I mean, why else would the Star Trek Beyond baddie share the post-work-out pic at right, which presumably was taken right after a sweaty training session related to his work on the forthcoming Thor: Ragnarok, right?