Friday, March 27, 2015

Kendall Does Calvin

So. Kendall Jenner is Calvin Klein’s newest denim face.

Imma just drop the mic on this one right there ’cause I kinda can stomach the girl, so why even pretend to have anything snarky to say about this or her, right?

The #mycalvins Denim Series that she and model Simon Nessman are striking a pose for will be sold at Opening Ceremony New York and L.A. stores only, for a month, beginning on April 15.



The Thick of the Ring

The light heavyweight champion of the world.

His loving family.

His short fuse.

It all proves to be a bad combo for Jake Gyllenhaal before he pulls it together in the upcoming Southpaw, a Kurt Sutter-written, Antoine Fuqua-helmed story of redemption that, yes, will feature the Gyllen-yum all ripped to shreds and s--- but that also will give us another reason to admire the Oscar-nominated actor for his chops. Just like he likes it best.

Check out the film’s intense first trailer now:

Southpaw – co-starring Forest Whitaker, Rachel McAdams, and Naomie Harris – is due out on July 31.

Relive Stonewall

That Jon Robin Baitz-written film about Stonewall that (out) director Roland Emmerich was mounting last year?

It’s ready to be seen and absolutely coming out this year.

Starring Jeremy Irvine (The Railway Man), the independently produced Stonewall – about a young mans political awakening in the wake of the events that unfolded as history was being made around him – will be in theaters this fall, just in time for awards season.

Looking forward to it!


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cookie Takes a Bite Outta Saturday Night

She gave us a new ’tude (and body) as Cookie Lyon this past winter, and now Taraji P. Henson’s gonna give us funny as a Saturday Night Live host next month.

Heck yeah!

The breakthrough of TV’s Empire will lord over Studio 8H on April 11, in her hosting debut, with musical guests Mumford & Sons.

It is the Age of Taraji – and I love it.


Spice 20

Yo. Can you believe next year will mark 20 years of zig-a-zig ahing?

Yes, it was two decades ago that the Spice Girls first made a huge splash with their music, taking over the zeitgeist and promoting Girl Power all around the world.

Good times.

Scary, Baby, Ginger, Posh, and Sporty – you know who they are! – reunited in 2007 and again three years ago to help close the London Olympiad. And, comes word that the quintet may get together again next year to celebrate their landmark 20th anniversary.

“I was with "Geri (Halliwell, a.k.a. Ginger Spice] and Mel B [Scary Spice] just recently, we love each other and we love performing together,” Baby Spice Emma Bunton has revealed. “[We were talking about it.] It’s just [a matter of] when the timing is right because we all have our own careers now and we have families, it’s just about getting five schedules together and that’s all it is.

Better get to it then!


Done Throwing Shades

Seems Fifty Shades of Grey proved a shade too many for director Sam Taylor-Johnson.

Last month’s half-billion-dollar worldwide blockbuster was not a Sunday picnic for the British helmer, most everyone knows is privy to that bit of gossip/info. She and E L James, the author of the books upon which the franchise is based, reportedly clashed quite a bit on set, about the direction that the movie should take and even about Dakota Johnson’s final line of dialogue should be (James got her way – GTS, if you wanna know more).

“Incredible yet “intense” – that is how the woman who called the shots (officially...from behind the camera) describes the entire experience. So, not surprisingly, Taylor-Johnson’s passing on directing any follow-ups, not without wishing “nothing but luck dealing with James success to whosever takes on the exciting challenges of films two and three.

’Cause she classy like that.


Harper Lee Has a New Book (Cover)!

Behold the cover of Harper Lee’s upcoming second book, Go Set a Watchman.

The tome is due on July 14.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

X-Files Re-opened

Patience has paid off.

That long-awaited X-Files reunion that y’all have been clamoring for is coming up next for and on Fox.

Indeed, the network announced this week that the oh-so-game David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson will be reprising their star-making roles as agents Mulder and Scully on a six-episode event series overseen by the show’s mastermind, Chris Carter. This 13 years after the show wrapped up its original nine-season run.

The reboot will shoot this summer for, I presume, a midseason berth.


Jubilee Time

Looks like the forthcoming X-Men: Apocalypse is gonna be chock-full of newcomers.

Director Bryan Singer has announced that newcomer Lana Condor will be featured in his blockbuster as...Jubilee!

Condor joins a cast led by James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence that will feature the return of Rose Byrne and already includes Oscar Isaac as the villain of the title, Tye Sheridan (Mud), Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Sophie Turner (HBO’s Game of Thrones).


One Direction Minus One

And then there were five.

The day the world had been dreading has finally come: Zayn Malik has left One Direction, after a few years of not-so-private ennui with life as a pop phenom.

#shadesofkevinrichardson and #shadesofgerihalliwell much?

The 22-year-old Brit already had put his participation on the band’s ongoing world tour on pause due to stress, but, in a statement released today, Malik said he feels now – after five years rocking the charts and helping to usher the new wave of the British musical invasion – is the time leave the quintet to focus on being a normal lad his age that can like, relax without a spotlight on him at all times.

FYI: The rest of One Direction – Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson – has expressed support for their mate, and will continue to tour without him well into this fall before dropping another album.


Hamm On the Mend

Golden Globe winner Jon Hamm is living proof that you can do private in Hollywood.

The Mad Man reportedly has received treatment for an alcohol addiction (with the support of his longtime gf, Jennifer Westfeldt).

Hamm’s publicist has confirmed that the actor checked himself into a Connecticut hospital at the end of last month, and, of course, has asked for privacy and sensitivity for the guy moving forward.

Good for him, huh.


A Different Kind o’ Emperor

Idris Elba is falling into The Trap.

The Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom star is going to headline Harmony Korine’s follow-up to Spring Breakers, a set-against-the-Miami-music-scene story about a gangster rapper who gets caught in the crosshairs of a former BFF (to be played by Benicio Del Toro) who took the fall for a robbery they committed many, many years ago.

Jamie Foxx was supposed to have the role that Elba is taking. Al Pacino is (still) on board), and James Franco and Robert Pattinson also have signed on for roles.

Does this mean they will be shooting in the Magic City? ’Cause I know they’ll love that over there.


Done Looking


HBO has decided not to renew Looking, a.k.a. the underwatched San Francisco-set show the LGBT community, nay...we all need right now, due to low ratings.

While the well-crafted show has been heralded for its real-world depiction of the gay community (by, say, featuring more than just pretty ripped young things and promoting a tap-into-the-zeitgeist conversation about PrEP), it has struggled to make em come, audience-wise, since premiering in 2013.

Alas, the cabler isn’t just canceling the show and washing its hands of it.

They powers that be have given the show’s creative team (creator Michael Lannan, executive producer Andrew Haigh) the go-ahead for a special that will wrap up the storylines of Patrick (Jonathan Groff) & Co. in a manner that will service the characters and please the small, yet passionate fans of Looking.

So at least we can be grateful for that.


Tom Ford Directs Again

It’s been more than five years since Tom Ford delivered his remarkable first film, A Single Man.

That is an eternity and then some for a designer to turn around a collection, but since we are talking about Ford as a filmmaker, that long wait is a good thing. It belies a desire to attach himself to a sophomore project that is well considered and well worth his time and effort.

And you know what? He just may have found such a prospect.

Ford has designs – ha (see what I there?)! – on the noir thriller Nocturnal Animals, an adaptation of an Austin Wright book o.k.a. Tony and Susan, the story of a woman who one day receives a book manuscript from her ex of 20 years that’s accompanied by a note asking for her critique. The project then tracks two narratives: that of the manuscript and that of Susan’s, who starts thinking about her first husband and confronting some dark truths about herself.

George Clooney is set to produce the film.

And maybe star in it?

Photo: E! Online.

Update: Nah. Looks like George shan’t be taking the lead on this one.

Jake, though – he might.

Yeah, Jake Gyllenhaal’s is one of the names bandied about as a possible star for Nocturnal Animals.

Heeere’s Lex!

We’ve already seen Aquaman. We’ve already seen Wonder Woman. And, now, we’re finally seeing Lex Luthor.

Yes, the time of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is nigh.

Which is why the powers that be behind the spring 2016 blockbuster are giving us a first-look image of Jesse Eisenberg as that most iconic of Superman’s foes, whom director Zach Snyder insists is, not any of the Lexes that you’ve seen, for sure.

Our Lex is disarming and he’s not fake. He says what he believes and he says what’s on his mind.

Sounds ominously dangerous, indeed.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hope She Gets a Good View

Just when I thought that FX’s upcoming American Horror Story: Hotel was gonna be a sausage fest, here comes Chloë Sevigny.

The American Horror Story: Coven alumna is returning to the franchise as a series regular on the fifth season, which is set for a fall premiere

Ryan Murphy made the news official earlier today, with a tweet that let everyone know how excited he is to have the actress back.

Love it.


A Director Wants to Be Born

So...looks like Bradley Cooper be flexin’.

Not content with owning his craft as an actor (last December’s American Sniper did net him his third consecutive Academy Award nomination, after all), Cooper is setting his sights on a director’s chair.

His first director’s chair. (Maybe his second, if his previously announced project, Honeymoon with Harry, gets going first.)

Indeed, the Serena man is fixin’ to pop his cherry as a director by helming the heating-up-again A Star Is Born remake, which he hopes will serve as a starring vehicle for himself and one Ms. Beyoncé, who has long been attached to the project (since 2011, at least, which is when Clint Eastwood was set to call the shots).


Twice the Proactive Woman

Angelina Jolie is making health news again.

The 39-year-old actress, who in 2013 underwent a preventive double mastectomy after genetic tests revealed that she was at a high risk of developing breast cancer, has revealed, in a new New York Times column, that she recently had surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes in an effort to prevent a cancer onset. Her doctors had discovered a small, if benign tumor on one of her ovaries, and indicated that she should consider having the preventive surgery at this, about a decade before the earliest known onset of cancer in her (late) female relatives.

Marcheline Bertrand, Jolie’s mother, battled ovarian cancer for almost a decade before dying at age 56 in 2007, for instance.

Jolie also revealed in her brave writing that she is going through menopause now, and that she opted not to remove her uterus because cancer in that location is not part of my family history.” She also acknowledged that while, “It is not possible to remove all risk, and the fact is I remain prone to cancer,” she knows that her family will never have to say that they lost her to ovarian cancer.

Finally, she stated that her impetus for speaking up is to shine a light on the options women have in deciding what course of action they can take when it comes to the care of their health because at the end of the day, “Knowledge is power.

Right on.


Gotta Have Faye

That American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson will be told with a little help from Connie Britton.

The Emmy-nominated star of TV’s Nashville is set to reunite with her American Horror Story boss, Ryan Murphy, for the new anthology series that he and his are launching on FX later this year. The first installment, as you can probably tell, will chronicle that 1990s gift that kept on givin’: the O.J. Simpson murder trial.

Britton will portray Faye Resnick, one of the key satellite figures of the trial of the (last) century (and a current, sorta-super-thirsty friend of Kris Jenner’s).

Britton joins a cast led by Cuba Gooding Jr. that also already includes Sarah Paulson, John Travolta, David Schwimmer, and Courtney B. Vance.

Now. On a note related to the actress, a bunch of her Nashville co-stars – Charles Esten, Clare Bowen, and Chris Carmack among them – are hitting the road again for a second, eight-city tour at the end of April that, yay, will include my new home, San Francisco.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Hang On to Your Plane, Ethan Hunt!

MI5? It is now officially titled Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.

The Christopher McQuarrie-directed blockbuster, which is coming this Christmas summer, co-stars Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin, Ving Rhames, and Jessica Chastain Rebecca Ferguson.

Oh. Check out the first teaser for the movie (in you case you missed earlier today).

Heck. Here. Take a look at the first trailer for the movie, which has IMF – and thus Cruises Ethan Hunt – under siege. Ready or not, here comes the real-threat Syndicate, yo!

The stuntlicious Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation opens on July 31.


R.I.P. Ms. Watson

Alberta Watson has died.

The you-know-that-you-know-her-from-somewhere character actress (TVs Nikita, 24) passed away at the age of 60, last Saturday in her native Toronto.

While no information about the cause of her death has been released, Watson’s rep did mention that her client had been in hospice care.

Here’s to hoping she didn’t have a tough time at the end there.


Simply Irresistible, Pt. 96

Kerry Washington was honored by GLAAD at its Media Awards over the weekend (with the Vanguard Award, and all I can say after watching the Scandal star deliver her speech is:



Washington spoke passionately about how we all deserve equal rights and how the media ought to strive to help make that a reality because there isn’t and shouldnt be a limited number of seats at the table for all us. Furthermore, she also....

Know what? Just watch her. Kerry Washington can do Kerry Washington better than I can:

Btw, The Imitation Game was named the Outstanding Film of 2014, while Amazon Prime’s Transparent won best-TV-comedy honors and How to Get Away with Murder was named the best drama.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Still More Than the Eye Meets

Tris Prior is in a bad way at the beginning of The Divergent Series: Insurgent, the sorry-it’s-just-OK sequel to last spring’s Divergent.

For one, she has a mean case of like, PTSD or som’in’; after all, both her parents bit it at the end of the first movie and she was forced to kill a close friend, in self-defense, if you’ll remember (his mind was under the control of Kate Winslet’s Jeanine, the tyrannical leader of Erudite).

Do not make me explain factions – that you should be/likely are familiar with already if you’re watching Shailene Woodley do her thing as Tris in the post-war Chicago of this future dystopia.

On the lam with her trainer-cum-lover-and-ally, Four (Theo James), her good-for-little older brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort), and a duplicitous fellow Dauntless (Miles Teller), Tris has found temporary refuge within Amity (Octavia Spencer plays their leader), chopped off her hair, and come to realize – thanks, guilt! – that those who get close to her end up getting hurt. More importantly, she has decided that she needs to put a stop to Jeanine by any means necessary.

See, Jeanine has become obsessed with this box that was in the possession of the late papa and mama Prior (Tony Goldwyn and Ashley Judd). The contents of said box are unknown, but what Jeanine does know for sure is that whatever it is, the Priors felt it was worth dying for – so it must be important. She also knows that the only way to open the mysterious thing is by having a Divergent do the honors.

And whaddya know, Tris will be the only one strong enough for the task.

What ensues is a tug and pull of wills between the two women. Tris surrenders to Jeanine after the latter launches an assault on Divergents that affects her friends and the new alliances she’s begun forging (including Evelyn, the leader of the Factionless and, btw, also Four’s long-lost mother, portrayed by Naomi Watts).

Ultimately, The Divergent Series: Insurgent fails at maintaining the excitement of its predecessor. Because Tris and Four are separated from their faction, and the thrill of her discoveries is gone, this one feels a bit tired, which is not what you want the second installment of the modern-day four-part trilogy to feel like, no, no. Taking over for Neil Burger, Robert Schwentke (RED) acquits himself nicely with the follow-up (the effects are on fleek, as is his still-game cast), but the writing...the story, it all ends up coming across lazily put together.

By the time a character’s hidden agenda comes to light (about 10 seconds before the movie is over), The Divergent Series: Insurgent feels dangerously close to irrelevant, which is not a good thing for next year’s The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Part 1.

My Rating **1/2