January 31, 2009

Valkyrie: A Review

I just saw Valkyrie, the suspense thriller based on Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg's assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler in 1944, and I thought it was really good! Really interesting too, historically speaking.

It was very suspenseful. And, at times, I was so caught up in the film that I thought Stauffenberg might actually do it: kill Hitler. But then I came back to my senses and realized that was not going to happen.

Cheers To 28 Years!

Bust out the champagne, raise your glass and make a toast! Today, Justin Timberlake turns 28 years old!

I hope he has a wonderful day with Jessica, his family, his friends, and his dogs. And, I hope he can squeeze in a round of golf.

I love you J!

Update: This is one birthday Justin Timberlake won't soon forget.

Jessica Biel, 26, threw her singer beau a Super Bowl-themed surprise birthday party in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel's ultra-exclusive penthouse on Sunday afternoon, PEOPLE has learned.

"Justin was totally blown away when he walked in. He had no idea," says a source.

On hand were close to 100 friends and family of the couple, including both of their parents, Biel's brothers, Timberlake's cousins and his best friend Trace Ayala, who joined the happy pair to toast Timberlake turning 28.

The penthouse was transformed with flat-screen televisions brought in especially for the festivities, and the party feasted on gourmet buffalo wings, pizza, mini sliders and red velvet cupcakes.

Biel planned the party down to every last detail, and visited the hotel to make sure everything would be just perfect, says the source.

And she was the perfect hostess. Wearing a little black cotton dress and flats, Biel worked the room while taking breaks to sit with Timberlake.

Source: PEOPLE

The Path of Illumination

To celebrate the release of Angels & Demons, MSN is sponsoring "The Path of Illumination Contest;" prizes include a trip to Rome, tickets to the Angels & Demons world premiere, a tour of the path of illumination, and a Sony Electronics package.

How amazing is that?!

I did The Da Vinci Code challenge and it was so much fun!

Click HERE to get started.

January 30, 2009

Sienna Strikes A Pose

Check out Sienna Miller's new "The Baroness" character poster for the upcoming G.I. Joe movie:

The Roundabout Theatre Company reported earlier this week that Sienna will make her Broadway debut this fall in its production of "After Miss Julie," by playwright Patrick Marber.

You better believe I'll be saving up to go see that!

January 29, 2009

Barack Likes Single Ladies

This video was "The Shot" on AC360 last night, and I loved it! Check out President Obama telling Beyonce he likes her video for "Single Ladies," and while he can do some of the choreography, he's not as good as Justin Timberlake:

Kelly Takes Her Record Back

Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You" vaults from #97 to #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 this week. That sets a new record for the biggest leap into the top spot in the chart's 50-year history. Kelly previously held the record for "A Moment Like This," but was beaten by Britney Spears' "Womanizer," which shot from #96 to #1 in October.

Source: Chart Watch

January 28, 2009

Getting America Back On Track

Today, Al Gore is testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about repowering America and the need for us to resume global leadership on the climate crisis.

Continuing with the status quo will not revitalize the U.S. economy, which is why Congress must approve an economic recovery package that includes support for putting Americans back to work building a clean energy economy.

It's a critical time in our country and we all have a role to play, so take a moment to watch this short video message:

Viv & Knox Fly High

Finally, there are new photographs and footage of the breathtakingly beautiful Brangelina babies, Vivienne and Knox!

Check out the stunning family arriving at the Narita International Airport on Tuesday in Japan:

The twins look so much like their big sister Shiloh!

January 27, 2009

Barack Walks The Walk For Global Warming

President Obama will reverse the policy of the Bush administration and allow states to limit the level of greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles, and will direct the EPA to approve a request by California to impose its own strict limits. The new administration will also ask the EPA to move forward on new fuel-efficiency guidelines for 2011 model-year cars.

While global warming is a top priority for the new administration, a disturbing new poll suggests the general public is cooling on the climate change issue. Declining interest may not be shocking as focus shifts to the immediate troubled economy, but without vigilant attention to stopping global warming our long-term economic and security health is at serious risk.

For a perspective on how much we are underestimating the global warming problem, read the essay "Think Again: Climate Change" by author, environmentalist and Virtual Marcher Bill McKibben.

Source: StopGlobalWarming.org

January 26, 2009

My Final Answer

I've just seen Slumdog Millionaire, and I absolutely must sing its praises. Its a masterpiece! A tribute to the beauty of film-making and storytelling. I simply cannot say enough good things about it.

I was so impressed by this film; by the concept, the characters, the cinematography, and the music. Its suspenseful, riveting, exciting, and full of passion. I fully recommend it!

Slumdog Millionaire is truly "a movie to celebrate!"

January 25, 2009

What The Actors Think

The 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were held last night, and, for the most part, they were pretty predictable (with a few welcomed surprises).

As the night began, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie made a grand enterance, posed for pictures, signed autographs, then headed inside.

Nobody really wowed in the fashion department, but I liked Kate Winslet's blue Narciso Rodriquez gown, Anne Hathaway's white Azzaro gown, and Katie Holmes Jil Sander dress.

As for the winners, here's the complete list:


Cast: Slumdog Millionaire

Actor in a leading role: Sean Penn (Milk)

Actress in a leading role: Meryl Streep (Doubt)

Supporting actor: Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)

Supporting actress: Kate Winslet (The Reader)

Stunt ensemble: The Dark Knight


Drama series cast: Mad Men

Actor in a drama series: Hugh Laurie (House)

Actress in a drama series: Sally Field (Brothers & Sisters)

Comedy series cast: 30 Rock

Actor in a comedy series: Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)

Actress in a comedy series: Tina Fey (30 Rock)

Actor in a movie or miniseries: Paul Giamatti (John Adams)

Actress in a movie or miniseries: Laura Linney (John Adams)

Stunt ensemble: Heroes

January 24, 2009

Support For Shriners

Best In The West

Behind more than 2.8 million votes, Bryant will join Tim Duncan, Amar’e Stoudemire, Yao Ming and Chris Paul as a Western Conference starter in his personal 11th-straight start. The MVP of the All-Star game in 2002 and 2007 was also the youngest All-Star in NBA history in 1998.

Leading the Eastern Conference will be leading vote getter Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Dwyane Wade and Allen Iverson.

Source: BasketBlog

January 22, 2009

Going For The Oscar Gold

The Oscars are coming! The Oscars are coming!

This morning, Sid Ganis and Forest Whitaker announced the nominations for the 81st Academy Awards.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button leads the nominations with 13, among them one for Best Picture and one for Best Actor (Brad Pitt). Other front-runners include Slumdog Millionaire (10 nominations), Milk (8 nominations), The Reader (5 nominations), and Frost/Nixon (5 nominations).

Joining Brad in the Best Actor category is Richard Jenkins, Frank Langella, Sean Penn, and Mickey Rourke. Angelina Jolie, Kate Winslet, Anne Hathaway, Melissa Leo, and Meryl Streep are the Best Actress nominees.

I'm going to be in-and-out of my local theater for the next month because I have not yet seen all the films and I have no authority to make predictions. But, I will say: What about Leonardo DiCaprio? Why the snub? Kate Winslet couldn't have given a Golden Globe-winning, Oscar worthy performance in Revolutionary Road without him!

... I'm still bitter that Leo didn't get nominated in 1997 for Titanic (and Kate did).

The Oscars will air on February 22nd.

January 21, 2009

History In Pictures

It's hard for me to describe what I was feeling during Tuesday's inaugural celebrations (though words like "joyful," "hopeful," and "thankful" come to mind), so I'd like to share a few of my favorite photos instead. And, remember: A picture is worth a thousand words (or, in this case, a couple million).

January 20, 2009

A Day To Remember

Today may have been the single most historic day any living American will ever experience. And, although I feel blessed to have seen it (and to have been a part of making it possible), I wish I could have been in Washington D.C. to see it first hand and to share the experience with the new first family and millions of others.

Oh well. I sure did make the best of my time at home, sitting in front of the TV watching CNN with every spare minute I had, and drinking wine with my mom.

What a thrilling day!

History In The Making

The inauguration of Barack Obama starts in just a few hours, but the crowd already stretches for miles... something Washington D.C. has never seen.

It's a beautiful day!

Update: Barack Obama is now the 44th President of the United States!

January 19, 2009

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Today, I had the rare opportunity to watch Dr. King's "I have a dream" speech in its entirety, thanks to the King family and CNN's excellent "From MLK to Today" coverage. Tomorrow, his dream will come true...

January 18, 2009

Oprah Goes To Washington

On Monday, The Oprah Show will kick off a star-studded two-day event to celebrate the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama! Justin Timberlake, Mary J. Blige, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Will.i.am, David Foster, Faith Hill, Seal, Forest Whittaker, Usher, Scarlett Johansson, Anderson Cooper, and many more will be there! Plus, there will be a world premiere musical performance you won't see anywhere else.

The Time Has Come

In just 2 days, Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States, and the 1st African-American president in history! And the excitement is building...

On Saturday, the president-elect and his family traveled from Philadelphia to DC by train, picking up the vice president-elect Joe Biden and his family along the way. The journey began a little after 10AM and ended around 7PM (It was a long, but exciting day).

Today, the inauguration festivities kicked off with a star-studded 'We Are One' concert in front of the Lincoln memorial, broadcast to all HBO subscribers. Stevie Wonder, U2, and Bruce Springsteen were among the performers, and the president-elect gave a speech.

On Monday, the Obama and Biden families will be participating in service events in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King. And a kids inaugural concert, featuring the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus, will be held later that evening in honor of military families.

Then, on Tuesday, Barack Obama will be sworn into office (at noon) using Lincoln's bible, followed by the inaugural parade and countless inaugural balls.

And All Shall Fade

After an amazing, Tony Award-winning run on Broadway, Spring Awakening will give its final performance tonight at 7PM.

The producers released a statement saying, "When this incredible journey began, who would have imagined, we'd play close to 900 Broadway performances, win eight Tony Awards, and recoup the shows investment in just 8 months? Spring Awakening was a glorious challenge from the very start, a challenge that a remarkable creative team took on and transformed into a life-changing experience. And while our Broadway run will come to an end this January, Spring Awakening will continue to touch audiences across the country, through our national tour, and around the world, with productions soon to open in London, Vienna, Toronto, Helsinki, and Seoul."

Sadly, I never got to see Spring Awakening on Broadway. Don't think I didn't try, because I did. But I've lived with the music for nearly 2 years, and it has touched my heart.

I'm planning on seeing it on tour in May, but don't think I wont be sad the next time I walk by the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on 49th Street in NYC and it's not there.

January 17, 2009

Obama Artist Gets Smithsonian Space

Artist Shepard Fairey became a pop/political culture phenomenon when his artwork titled, 'Barack Obama,' became the central portrait image for the Obama campaign. And now, the mixed media stenciled collage has a new gig; hanging in the Smithsonian.

Today, the portrait was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington.

It was previously distributed as a limited-edition print and as a free download.

Source: Yahoo!

I have a limited-edition print hanging in my room!

Joaquin Goes From Oscar's To Grammy's?

After announcing his retirement from acting in October, Joaquin Phoenix made his first public foray into the music world Friday, saying he was ready to put his real self out there and not hide behind movie characters.

"This is me saying this is who I am. This is my story," the actor-turned-aspiring rapper told PEOPLE before taking the stage at Las Vegas club LAVO.

For the skeptics, Phoenix says he's serious about his new line of work. Music, he told PEOPLE, is his real love.

"After all the years of reading scripts and reading lines, this is my chance to do something straight from the heart and put it out there," he said. And why hip-hop? "When I was young I liked punk rock music but then I discovered rap. I love the storytelling aspect of hip-hop."

With brother-in-law Casey Affleck (who's married to Phoenix's sister Summer) capturing the action for a documentary about his journey into the music world, Phoenix took to the stage and performed three songs from his upcoming yet-to-be-titled album.

Fluttering around the club's catwalk, Phoenix, 34, rapped to the sounds of a drum beat and encouraged the crowd to dance. Though dancing was at a minimum, the crowd watched intently as a scraggly Phoenix – who donned a scraggly beard, long, unkempt hair and a ripped gray hat – hopped up and down and pumped his fist in the air during certain lyrics.

"You hold a very special place in my heart," the Oscar-nominated actor told the crowd near the end of the performance.

While the crowd cheered for the songs, Phoenix said he was prepared for mixed feedback before taking the stage. "Are there people out there who think I'm a joke? I'm sure there will be," he told PEOPLE. "Are there people who think it's going to suck? Probably, but I can’t worry about that."

Following the performance, a happy-looking Phoenix spent the rest of the night hugging friends and taking pictures with fans before leaving the club around 1:30 a.m.

Source: PEOPLE

Why rapping, Joaquin? Why? Why? Why? And why doesn't Casey Affleck talk him out of this instead of filming a documentary about it?

After all that I've been through as a Britney Spears fan, I now have to go through this shit all over again as a Joaquin Phoenix fan!? Oh God.

I hope that he's truly found something that makes him happy, but it looks like he's falling apart.

I'm just going to stick with this motto: He's a genius (as an actor), and throughout history all genius's have been a little bit crazy.

January 16, 2009

Time For An Initiative

Check out Daniel Radcliffe, who is still starring in EQUUS, announce the "Broadway Annoying Audience Member Relocation Program" on Monday's Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

I second that!

A Little Western Drama

I just finished watching The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and I loved it!

The film was released in 2007, but I didn't see it in the theaters and my local Hollywood Video never got the DVD (and I don't have Netflix anymore). So, I had to wait for it to air on HBO to see it.

Anyways, Brad Pitt looked great. The score, by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, was simply stunning (I'm buying the Soundtrack). The cinematography and the art direction was gorgeous. And Casey Affleck, in the role of Robert Ford, was wonderful. I love him now!

January 15, 2009

Goodbye, Hello

Tonight we say goodbye to one of TV's landmark characters, CSI's Gil Grissom. His final episode, "One to Go," airs on CBS at 9PM.

Las Vegas crime scenes will never be the same.

But, where one character exits, another one enters.

Patrick Swayze's new A&E show, The Beast, about an unorthodox but effective FBI veteran who takes on a rookie partner, premiere's tonight at 10PM.

Oscar's Big Surprise!

The folks behind the 81st Academy Awards have hatched a new stunt ostensibly to lure millions of viewers to their television sets on Hollywood's Biggest Night—keep the A-list presenters a surprise.

A spokeswoman for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has confirmed that newbie producers Laurence Mark and Bill Condon have decided not to unveil the names until they walk onstage during the Feb. 22 ceremony at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre.

The move breaks from past tradition when the Academy issued press release after press release trumpeting the names of presenters in the weeks prior to the show. Organizers are hoping the mystery becomes a parlor game to gin up more excitement with its global audience.

Source: E! Online

Good idea! I think this is going to be a great way to add suspense to a potentially predictable night. I'm already stirring with anticipation. Who will show up (and what will they wear)?

Britney's New Crib

Britney Spears began moving into her new $9 million house, Chateau Suenos ("House of Dreams"), in Calabasas Calif. on Tuesday. And here are photographs of the incredible estate:

Chateau Suenos sits on one acre of land. It has 7 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, and includes a gourmet kitchen and breakfast room, a two story library, formal dining rooms, an elevator, an advanced home theatre, iron staircases, a private basement/wine cellar, a guest suite for company, a craft room, a master suite with accompanying master bath and sitting room, a pool highlighted by glass mosaic tiles, an infinity jacuzzi, guest house, 6 car garage, and maid's quarters.

Source: BreatheHeavy.com