Watts Up? Naomi and Liev expecting

28 02 2007

Naomi Watts and her boyfriend, Liev Schreiber, are expecting.
News of the Australian actress’ pregnancy was released Sunday by fashion-design firm Escada, which created the yellow gown Watts wore to the Academy Awards.
The dress “set off her most precious new asset, the baby she is expecting with long time boyfriend Liev Schreiber,” the company’s press release read.
Schreiber confirmed the news on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” Monday, saying, “Yes, I’m going to be a dad.”
Watts, 38, and Schreiber, 39, co-starred in last year’s “The Painted Veil” He’s currently in rehearsals for a Broadway production of “Talk Radio,” slated to open March 11th.
From: The Associate Press


Schreiber confirms Watts’ pregnancy
Liev Schreiber has confirmed he and girlfriend Naomi Watts are expecting their first child together. Watts sparked rumors she was pregnant after appearing on the red carpet at the Oscar ceremony on Sunday with a noticeably fuller figure. Schreiber appeared on talk show Late Night With Conan O’Brien on Monday where he confirmed the happy news saying, “I’m going to be a dad. Very exciting! It’s a strange thing about women. You can take a complete wall-flower, a quiet girl and get them pregnant and then they want to go out all the time! So I gave her grief about going to the Oscars and she said, ‘No, no, it’s a very auspicious thing’ that our ’embryo’ I guess, was going to be going to the Oscars.” When asked whether the couple had thought about any names he replied, “I’m trying to stay out of it all. I’m trying not to make any decisions. I find everything I try to do in service of her or the coming baby is wrong. I really don’t even go to my house much anymore.” When O’Brien asked if they would consider passing the unique name Liev on to their offspring he added, “No, it’s a terrible name. It’s probably the most mis-pronounced name in all of show business. It’s bad enough that I have gone through that for 15 years. There won’t be any Liev juniors. It’s not like George, you can call five kids George. You can’t really call anyone Liev, you shouldn’t call one child that, I don’ t think!”
From: Imdb.com
This is the most depressing news in a while. It just lower my chances of ever getting together with Ms. Watts, damn it.


Team behind Babel is ‘No More’

28 02 2007

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The chasm grows even wider between the filmmaking duo who gained worldwide success with movies about the connections among disparate locations and characters – and people are taking sides.
Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga have accused each other of trying to steal the spotlight amid the success of their latest film, “Babel.” Now Inarritu and other “Babel” collaborators, including actors Gael Garcia Bernal and Adriana Barraza and composer Gustavo Santaolalla, have signed a letter criticizing Arriaga for “claiming media attention.”
“It’s a shame that in your unjustified obsession to claim sole responsibility for the film, you seem not to recognize that movies are an art of deep collaboration,” said the letter, published in the latest edition of Mexico’s Chilanga magazine, released Monday.
In a radio interview, Arriaga shot back that Inarritu was stealing credit for “Babel” by listing himself in the credits as the movie’s creator.
Both Inarritu and Arriaga were nominated for Academy Awards for their work on “Babel,” which was also up for best picture. Santaolalla was the only winner Sunday night among the film’s seven Oscar nominations, taking home his second straight statuette for best original score.
Inarritu and Arriaga had been a team for nine years, gaining acclaim with their films “Amores Perros” and “21 Grams.”
The end of their working relationship dates back at least to last May’s Cannes Film Festival.
In the letter, Inarritu wishes Arriaga “luck in your future movies.”

For Your Consideration a dazzling mockumentary

28 02 2007

Perfect for fans of motion pictures, with an amazing cast of improv comedians at its disposable the film never becomes dull or uneventful. For Your Consideration also boasts more than a few noticeable cameos keeping audiences guessing as to whom else will make an appearance. Director/writer/actor Christopher Guest continues to work his magic with For Your Consideration easily being able to hold its own among his best projects. This is a film that is sure to tickle anyone’s funny bone all the while not having to resort to using fart jokes and overt sexuality.
For Your Consideration follows a cast of has-beens in a small independent movie, “Home For Purim” when rumor spark about the possibility of an Academy Award. At first, the cast led by Catherine O’Hara try to shrug it off, but eventually the hype consumes the actors. The attention comes to the surprise of everyone involved as no one expected an intimate Jewish family drama to do much. The film masterfully shows what Oscar buzz can do to actors and the people behind the lens.
As the film rolls on, studio executives suddenly become involved with the production asking that the “Jewishness” be toned down to make the project universal. By award time, “Home for Purim” has been transformed into “Home for Thanksgiving” a potential Oscar racehorse. The movie is unique in that it gives audiences a revealing if not exaggerate look into the inner workings of tinsel town. All the aspect are covered here with talk show appearances, entourages, inflated egos, backstabbing and all the other good fonder, we have come to love from Hollywood.
As Marilyn Hack, O’Hara gives a truly spellbinding performance that starts shy and nimble then explodes in disappointment. Marilyn is an actress who has yet to land that career defining role and is completely overtaken by the chance her performance could earn her an Academy Award. The news gradually changes her and as the film ends, we are left with a “new” Marilyn.
The rest of the cast is top lined by Eugene Levy (absent-minded agent), Fred Willard (slightly- off Entertainment Insider), Jennifer Coolidge (the ditzy producer), Ed Begley Jr. (the gay makeup artist), Paker Posey (aspiring actress), Sandra Oh (movie poster designer) and Jane Lynch (Willard’s more stable co-host) who all deliver standout performance. It is an old cliché that “you are only as strong as your weakest link,” and here there is no chink in this chain.
The Office‘s past and present are also a part of For Your Consideration with Ricky Gervais playing the slimy, bottom-line obsessed studio executive and John Krasinki has a cameo in a competiting movie trailer.
It would have been great if For Your Consideration garnered an Oscar nomination being that it is what the entire picture revolves around. Honestly, with a more aggressive push and a bit more awareness the film’s star, O’Hara could have very well earned a place alongside the other nominees.
Guest has proven again why he is the master of this genre of comedy with this film and his previous accomplishments including Spinal Tap, Best in Show and Waiting for Guffman. Audiences can wait and see which topic Guest and company will lampoon next.

Documentary skims surface of Lennon conspiracy

28 02 2007

Don’t let the overhyped paranoia of the documentary title The U.S. vs. John Lennon ruin your enjoyment of a winning biographical portrait.
The U.S. vs. John Lennon makes wonderful viewing not because it reinforces our already-abysmal assessment of Nixonian power abuse. And it succeeds despite gratuitous, ill-advised attempts to connect 1973 warmongering with the 2006 debate over Iraq.
The movie instead works by reminding us of Lennon’s best qualities: His impish, imperturbable sense of humor, his quick intelligence, his successful bantering with a hostile crush of world press mercenaries. The persecution of Lennon by U.S. immigration authorities, at the encouragement of Nixon’s vituperative White House enemies operation, is almost the least interesting thing about the film.
A good part of critiquing an ambitious documentary can involve telling what it leaves out: Along with proving not-so-Earth-shattering on the paranoia front, The U.S. vs. John Lennon ignores sordid details of the ex-Beatle’s personal life during the period.
The attractive love idyll represented as the marriage of John and Yoko, for example, might appear less seemly if directors David Leaf and John Scheinfeld had described the “lost weekend” that interrupted Lennon’s immigration battle for 18 months. Lennon left Yoko and New York for an affair with the couple’s secretary, May Pang, partying with West Coast musical celebrities. He rejoined Yoko at his Central Park address just before the triumphant 1975 green-card celebration that is the documentary’s climax.
Most of The U.S. vs. John Lennon is a light recap of the celebrity-driven portion of the anti-Vietnam War movement; we don’t get to the White House tricks and the immigration battle until 66 minutes in. We get plenty of G. Gordon Liddy, slandering Lennon to this day (accusing him of being “manipulated” by devious protesters like Jerry Rubin, as if Liddy himself wasn’t full time into the manipulation business).
But delightfully, we get plenty of Lennon. Thoughtful and self-deprecating, Lennon knew full well his popular anti-war slogans and songs were simplistic. Give peace a chance. War is over, if you want it. He follows up with an irrefutable argument: The catchphrases worked, and besides, what’s wrong with good marketing on behalf of peace, for a change?
“We’re selling it like soap,” Lennon said. “You’ve got to sell it and sell it, until the housewife says, ‘Oh, there’s two products: War, or peace.”‘
A shrill-voiced Time reporter has the audacity to tell him, “You’ve made yourself ridiculous.” When Lennon smiles and says, “I don’t care” in that unmistakable Liverpudlian accent, you wish he were still here to thank.
It was Sen. Strom Thurmond, the racist South Carolina paragon of virtue (who in his youth fathered a daughter out of wedlock with his family’s African-American maid) who wrote letters encouraging a U.S. deportation of Lennon. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, another false paragon of virtue, worked with Nixon chief of staff H.R. Haldeman to boot the Beatle.
Lennon tweaked those who wanted him out, standing under the Statue of Liberty and remarking, “I even brought my own cash.” When he finally wins his case, he is asked by a reporter if he holds any grudges.
Lennon, on the courthouse steps, smiles slyly at the cameras: There’s an old saying, he notes: “I believe time wounds all heels.”

Box Office Wrap Up (Feb.23-25)

27 02 2007


Ghost Rider won over the American audiences for another week as the film grossed slightly more than $20 million to claim the throne. Despite a decline of nearly 56 percent, the comic flick was able to fend off all of this weekend’s new releases. Jim Carrey had to settle for second with The Number 23, which brought in $14.6 million over the three day period. While the results were not inline with his previous entries the film did fare better than its contenders. Reno 911!: Miami managed a decent $10.2 million, The Astronaut Farmer opened with $4.4 million, Amazing Grace brought in $4.05 million and The Abandon scrapped up a disappointing $782,000. Ghost Rider might have to enjoy this while it last because with the release of David Fincher’s Zodiac, Wild Hogs and Black Snake Moan next weekend, time could be up for the rider from hell.
Here is this weekend’s top ten films.
1. Ghost Rider                             $20,067,443
2. The Number 23                     $14,602,867
3. Bridge to Terabithia               $14,157,645
4. Reno 911!: Miami                  $10,273,477
5. Norbit                                       $9,825,021
6. Music & Lyrics                        $7,652,433
7. Breach                                       $5,994,950
8. Daddy’s Little Girls                $4,815,337
9. The Astronaut Farmer         $4,454,319
10. Amazing Grace                     $4,054,542

Radcliffe offends more with smoking than nudity

27 02 2007

He appears to blind a horse on stage, he is naked and he has to simulate losing his virginity. But what really ruffled feathers yesterday was that Daniel Radcliffe, the 17-year-old star of the Harry Potter films, will smoke on stage in his West End debut.

Daniel Radcliffe and the offending cigarette
Daniel Radcliffe and the offending cigarette

Photographs show the actor, with stubble and looking more Harry Enfield than Harry Potter, half-way through a cigarette in a scene from Equus, the celebrated Peter Shaffer play in which Radcliffe opens at the Gielgud Theatre on Tuesday.

The image brought immediate condemnation.

Amanda Sandford, a spokesman for Ash, the anti-smoking organisation, said: “It is regrettable that he is smoking, whatever the circumstances. He is a role model for young people and if he decided to take up smoking in real life that would be of great concern.

“Even though it is an act, nicotine is highly addictive and he could find himself hooked.”

David Pugh, the producer of the revival, said: “If they are worried about smoking and not about the fact that he’s simulating sex with a young girl on stage, it makes me think that they’ve got their priorities wrong.

“Daniel smokes in the play. He doesn’t smoke in life. It’s in the script and it always has been. It is not gratuitous. In fact, it’s a very beautiful scene where Alan Strang (played by Radcliffe) is with his psychiatrist. The psychiatrist offers him a cigarette and it’s really the first time the man and boy bond as they talk and smoke.”

The revival is one of the most-talked about West End openings for months. Equus is the spine-chilling story of a psychiatrist treating a young man with a pathological fascination with horses.

It was a huge hit when it opened at the National Theatre in 1973 but the playwright hasn’t let it be revived since, partly because he felt that Peter Firth, the original Alan Strang, might never be equalled.

It took Pugh eight years – and Radcliffe’s performance at a workshop of the play last year – to get Shaffer, now 80, to change his mind.

The Harry Potter effect has been staggering. Each night at previews, some 300 fans of Radcliffe have besieged the stage door. And the play opens with a £2 million advance, meaning that seven of the initial run of 16 weeks, are sold out.

From: UK’s The Telegraph 

R rating urged for smoking in films

27 02 2007

The masses are moving to have smoking on the silver screen restricted to more mature movies so that it doesn’t influence the impressionable youths. Personally, I think this is a stupid move and continues Americans refusal to accept responsibility for their actions. The point of this article is not to defend smoking because it is a very unhealthy habit, one that has many severe consequences.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, every year more than 400,000 kids start smoking because they saw it on the big screen at their local multiplex. This is a large number of “new” smokers each year but is it really all to blame on the movies.


I have two arguments against the staggering high number of smokers being attributed to movies. One, where are the parents of these children and why aren’t they instilling knowledge into their offspring. No matter how it boils down, this is an issue of horrible parenting in America where the TV or a video is a kid’s main teacher. On the more extreme side: in 1999 when two kids shot up their school (Columbine High) fingers were pointed at video games, media and Marilyn Manson, but the truth is the blame lies solely with the parents. Instead of allowing their children to spend hours in a basement without any sort of interaction was neglect. They breed this behavior from their children and others had to suffer for their mistake. The same is true for smoking. Nowadays, parents don’t take an active role in their children’s lives instead forcing schools to teach their kids about sex, drugs and cigarettes. But, school is just not cool and they need to be a strong role model in their lives. I believe if parents did their part the number of smokers would only be a fraction of what it is now.

thank_you_for_smoking.jpgIn defense of the movie industry: they have put anti-smoking ads in front of a majority of DVD releases and even offered last spring’s poignant, Thank You for Smoking. I do believe they have been doing their part in the fight against youths smoking. To mandate that all films that contain smoking be slapped with an R rating is a form of censorship and I don’t agree with that. Parents don’t seem to complain about the bloody, gut-soaked news that is broadcast into their living room every night and somehow a person smoking is disgusting.

I mentioned earlier that there was a second point to the rather alarming number of smokers and here it is: children lie. Isn’t it conceivable that a good portion of these children are just blaming the movies for their decisions? It is completely possible and the situation also played as background story to an episode of South Park, where the children lie and blame the tobacco company for making them smoke. I really wish people would get this in their head; No one can make you smoke. It is a decision you make and one that you should more than willing to accept the consequences of. While children lie as to what possessed them to smoke their parents are busy blaming McDonald’s for making them fat. Have we become a society where we just search for someone else to blame? Whatever happened to the concept of self-responsibility?

Instead of urging for an R rating for films, we should work together in bettering ourselves. And if we can’t do that then what is next. In the coming years movies will have to issue R ratings for movies containing caffeine, drinking an alcoholic beverage and for eating a greasy, Big Mac. You might snicker now but this is where we are heading if stupid people are allowed to make decisions for all of us.

Final Thought: Shut up, leave the movies alone and spend the time crusading for an R rating and talk to your children. That’s it, just talk to them and there is a good chance you will reach them better than any piece of celluloid.