June 14, 2013 6:54pm EST
Sofia Coppola's latest film, The Bling Ring, brings the true story of a gang of young, celebrity-obsessed thieves, as chronicled in Nancy Jo Sales' 2010 Vanity Fair article "The Suspects Wore Louboutins," to the big screen. In the movie, we watch as Rebecca (Katie Chang) leads a group of friends in a series of celebrity home invasions, burglarizing the likes of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Rachel Bilson, and Orlando Bloom (among others).
The group's forays are motivated by a misplaced feeling of entitlement and a profound hunger for fame, making the entire story — and now Coppola's not-quite-fictionalized portrayal of events — somewhat prophetic. Before the final credits roll, both real and imagined Bling Rings achieve the very fame they so coveted.
While visions of Emma Watson (who plays teenaged thief Nicki), with her perfectly painted face and shiny brunette extensions, may dominate trailer time and promotional materials, it is in fact a boy — Marc, played by Israel Broussard — at the center of all the Bling Ring's drama. We see the formation of the crew and its exploits through the soft, doe-brown eyes of Marc, a self-conscious outsider who believes Rebecca to be, as he says (and the real Bling Ring "rat" Nick Prugo states in Sales' article), "the first person I felt was, like, my best friend." Portrayed by relative newcomer Broussard, Marc is a sympathetic — if misguided — lens to the inner-workings of the Bling Ring.
From Marc's vantage point, we watch Rebecca, Nicki, Sam (Taissa Farmiga), and Chloe (Claire Julien), "go shopping" in celebrity home after celebrity home. We watch as they try on Hervé Leger dresses and too-big Jimmy Choos. As they brandish about Brian Austin Green's pistol. As they snort cocaine off of compact mirrors while they blast Rick Ross from their car speakers. As they go clubbing… and clubbing again… and again. As they drink iced lattes. For Marc and the ladies, this is the life. But from an outsider's point of view, it's monotonous. And as a film, it's an aimless spiral of designers and drugs that borders on boring in its redundancy.
But The Bling Ring is not without its high points. It is speckled with scene-stealing performances, among them Broussard, Watson, and Leslie Mann as Nicki's Juicy sweatsuit-wearing, The Secret-loving mother; Julien is charming and hilarious as the degenerate Chloe. In the film's third act, however, Watson decides to up the ante and hijack the entire movie.
Marc is left in the shadows while Nicki, with her inadvertently hilarious prosthelytizing, steals the spotlight. While I have to believe that this happens in large part because Nicki's real life model, Alexis Neiers, captured the public's attention in 2010 with her reality show Pretty Wild (and that notorious "disappointed" phone call to Sales), it's jarring to suddenly leave Marc's narrative behind and follow Nicki through to the film's end.
But with Marc suddenly gone from the picture, the viewers have lost their anchor and the film suffers for it. He was the little substance we had to cling to in this nauseating roller-coaster ride of entitlement and excess. Without him, we can't help but feel a bit abandoned. Marc's disappearance personifies another major fault with the film, which is that Coppola fails to see things through — not on a plot-level, but thematically. She introduces her viewers to the world of celebrity obsession, but we are never really entranced by it. Repulsed rather than compelled by the characters, the audience is unable to relate to the Bling Ring members and therefore fails to see its own celebrity infatuation reflected in the characters' deeds. While this film had the opportunity to enlighten viewers to our own grotesque obsession with fame, we are instead left only denegrating the film's antiheros for theirs.
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February 22, 2013 12:47pm EST
Once, as a kindergartener, I managed to convince a group of boys playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the playground that I should be April. It was such a joyous life achievement, that it's about the only thing I can remember from when I was five years old besides the terror of my mom cranking Amy Grant's "Baby, Baby" to drown out the sirens of a tornado warning.
How could I not have been excited? April O'Neil, TMNT's yellow-shrouded reporter (who just so happened to occupy my future profession), was a strong heroine on the boys' club that was the Saturday morning cartoon. She proved to our young male cohorts that not only could a girl play with the boys, she could also kick ass while doing so. For many women who grew up in the 1990s, April was our first feminist hero. She was strong, vocal, and boasted a conviction as bold as her color choices.
Fast-forward two decades later: Megan Fox has become famous for being strong, vocal, and as bold as her half-naked photo shoots. So why am I so nervous that she's been chosen to play TMNT's feminist figure in Michael Bay's live-action reboot?
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Because the actress is one of the most complicated feminists in Hollywood history. Regardless of how you feel about Fox, there's no denying the actress has had a fascinating career. Splashing onto the scene with a pair of low-cut jeans in Transformers, Fox was unapologetic about her role as Hollywood's drool-worthy sexpot. Gracing the cover of men's and women's magazines alike, she boasted the type of confidence that feminists applaud. And, fleetingly, a taste to match — her involvement in Diablo Cody's underappreciated gem, Jennifer's Body, primed Fox for a spot as more than a footnote in female studies.
Still, Fox's admirable outspoken nature ended up halting admiration for the actress. In a 2008 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Fox said, "[Women dislike me] for the same reason they didn't like me in high school. I came across as confident and they assume that means that I think I'm hot s**t. And that makes them feel bad about themselves and so they hate me."
Then, in 2009, Fox told The New York Times, "Girls think I'm a slut, and I've been in the same relationship wince I was 18. The problem is, if they think you're attractive, you're either stupid or a whore or a dumb whore. The instict among girls is to attack the jugular."
Fox's fixation on jealousy and generalizing the female population all but guaranteed her a spot on women's s**t list, but not for the reasons she deduced. Instead, Fox disappointed fans by alienating them — it became difficult to applaud Fox for her tenacity when she was trashing the entire female race instead of the small segment of people who decided a bangin' figure was enough reason to hate her.
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But, like every good feminist figure, she continued to play with the boys. Starring in two Transformers films (before falling out with Bay after comparing his work ethic to that of a Nazi), the Josh Brolin-led Jonah Hex, and Judd Apatow's This Is 40, Fox managed to stand out amongst men, even if most of her projects failed to attract more than a few at the box office. And, now, she's shifted the conversation off of her looks in order to reverse the image-focused reputation she projected when she first appeared on the scene — now, her interviews focus more on her appreciation for archaeology and leprechauns than her disappreciation for women. (Strange, yes, but still a refreshing change of pace.)
Still, she can't completely bury her women-bashing past: In 2012, Fox was quoted in France's Jalouse magazine (translation: Jealous), saying, "I live well with my image. I cannot complain. I would not trade my place with an unattractive girl." Following the publication of the interview, Fox told fans on Facebook that her words were misinterpreted and that she "never made vapid self-serving comments and in contradiction [is] uncontrollably self-deprecating."
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If her short-lived presence on Twitter is any indication, she, in fact, is quite self-deprecating. And her newly embraced bizarre-but-cool personality primes her to perfect the role of April. We've become far more likely to embrace Fox in the part since the beginning of 2013 than when she was bashing women back in '09. Still, it's impossible to forget Fox's past — especially when she's digging it up by working with Michael "explosion and boobs" Bay. We'd have more faith in Fox's ability to play the confident April if Bay's film history didn't suggest he'll be more focused on April's skin-tight clothing than her status as a feminist heroine. (Was it too much to hope that Mae Whitman, who voices the role on the TV series, would have made the big-screen jump?)
Still, for the first time since 2009's Jennifer's Body, Fox has the chance to send feminist blogs atwitter — for the right reasons. She has the opportunity to help us forget her previous comments by channeling her own strong personality into playing April. (Hell, who's to say April wasn't the 26-year-old's first feminist icon as well?) But, for the love of Saturday morning cartoons, we can't cope with April as the sexpot Fox has played in the likes of This is 40, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, and Transformers — especially if she's accompanied with interviews about the size of April's chest instead of her brain.
So, please, Fox, tread carefully when playing our childhood hero, and truly become the feminist you've always been primed to be. When Bay's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hits movie screens, we want to be proud that our kindergarteners are running on the playground, pretending to be Megan Fox.
[Image Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic]
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February 04, 2013 4:00am EST
The Jennifer's Body star opened up about her issues in 2010, and admitted she was so terrified of germs that she couldn't bear to eat out at restaurants.
But after the arrival of her firstborn Noah, the star reveals her anxieties about bacteria have eased up.
She tells Britain's Marie Claire magazine, "I think (husband) Brian (Austin Green) was waiting to see what I would do (during the birth), because, you know, when they come out they are covered in all kinds of stuff. I took him right on my chest and, from that moment, nothing he does freaks me out. I don't want to give him a complex. (The anxiety) has been significantly better since he was born. I would say, like, 80 per cent better. Which is nice."
January 23, 2013 4:00am EST
TBS bosses have axed The Wedding Band, which also features Lost star Harold Perrineau, after the show failed to wow viewers.
The programme followed the fortunes of four guys who perform in a wedding band and the show also featured Green's wife Megan Fox.
January 22, 2013 4:27pm EST
Get Ready to Be Bored (Again): It's a miracle! After HBO put the kibosh on the Jason Schwartzman comedy Bored to Death in 2011, HBO Films has resurrected it in a new body: they've put in development a Bored To Death movie, written by the series creator/executive producer/author Jonathan Ames. If successful, BtD would join Sex and the City and Entourage as the third HBO series to get a big-screen feature. [Deadline]
Spoilers, Sweetie — Doctor Who Actress Joins Arrow: Now this is a song we'd like to sing. Alex Kingston, who plays River Song on Doctor Who, will recur on The CW's breakout hit Arrow as Laurel Lance's (Katie Cassidy) mother. Her character, Dinah, will return to Starling City to make amends with her family, after abandoning them years ago when she lost her daughter in the show's infamous yachting accident. [EW]
Breaking News From The Newsroom: Atlantis Cable News, meet your new litigator: Marcia Gay Harden will officially replace Rosemarie DeWitt in a recurring role on the HBO series, after DeWitt excited the show due to scheduling issues after filming a couple of episodes. Her character, Rebecca Halliday, will defend the show within a show in a wrongful termination suit. [EW]
Sorry, David Silver: Do you want the good news or the bad news first, Brian Austin Green? The bad news, you say? Okay, here goes. Look, we hate to break this to you, but your TBS show Wedding Band got cancelled after just one season. The comedy about — well you know, a wedding band — averaged 850,000 total viewers in the 18-49 demo. Okay, you want the good news now? You're still married to Megan Fox! Hooray! [Hollywood Reporter]
Seth MacFarlane's Next Order of Business: MacFarlane and his Ted co-creators (Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild) have gotten a 2013 - 2014 season series order for their multi-camera, live-action comedy. The untitled project is said to be about two successful thirtysomething guys who's dads move in with them and turn their world upsidedown! Sounds like a real calamity! But will the dads or the sons be the ones making all the non-sequitur jokes? [Deadline]
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January 16, 2013 11:51am EST
Everyone knows the hardest role to play in Hollywood is that of the buxom bombshell. At least that’s what the latest profile of sex symbol Megan Fox seems to purport. But while there’s definitely room to examine the value the celebrity world places on certain traits for certain people — bombshells are people too, after all — Fox’s write-up in Esquire falls victim to the actress’ evidently unavoidable allure. The problem is, her siren song is the surefire signal of an impending shipwreck. No matter how many times his words try to tell us about the thoughts going through her pretty little head, the author gets lost in her lips. Or her eyes. Or the “sublime” nature of her flawless face. This, my friends, is textbook fawning.
The profile opens by comparing Fox to a modern day Aztec sacrifice, only instead of taking her life, this celebrity-obsessed society wants to hold her still-beating heart while it still rests in her chest. But Fox is not exactly an Aztec, “She's a screen saver on a teenage boy's laptop, a middle-aged lawyer's shower fantasy, a sexual prop used to sell movies and jeans,” writes author Stephen Marche. He later justifies her marriage to “the actor whose career climaxed twenty years ago,” Brian Austin Green as a marriage of convenience, painting Green not as her white knight, but as a troll under the bridge, ready and willing to whip out his “grotesque anger” to keep photogs from capturing Fox’s “glowing beauty.” Marche's description is more tinged with jealousy of Green’s good fortune than a factual glance at the couple’s marriage.
So far, is it a bit much? Definitely. But it’s the profile’s muddled argument, overshadowed by its complete dismissal of Fox’s own words, that provides the real issue.
Marche argues that the American bombshell is dying and that it’s something worth saving, lingering on Fox’s “unfettered sexual beauty” as an impediment, while “perfectly plain” stars like Adele, Lady Gaga, Amy Adams, and Lena Dunham are at the tops of their fields. With the exception of Dunham, who’s been plagued with ruthless criticism of her body and face, none of these women have ever occupied a space anywhere near “plain.” Unless, of course, the person doling out descriptions was blinded by the divine sight of Megan Fox.
What’s more is that the author, who spends precious graphs early in the story describing Fox’s inescapably arresting beauty, acts as if none of us could possibly understand the beauty he was witnessing in that moment:The symmetry of her face, up close, is genuinely shocking. The lip on the left curves exactly the same way as the lip on the right. The eyes match exactly. The brow is in perfect balance, like a problem of logic, like a visual labyrinth. It's not really even that beautiful. It's closer to the sublime, a force of nature, the patterns of waves crisscrossing a lake, snow avalanching down the side of a mountain, an elaborately camouflaged butterfly. What she is is flawless. There is absolutely nothing wrong with her.That’s great, but what does Fox, who’s tried and failed, to escape the overwhelming expectation for her to play the bombshell in every instance, who’s needed comedy heavyweights like Judd Apatow go to bat for her (She’s funny you guys! I promise!) have to say about this? Simply that she’s tired of being bullied as a celebrity. And what is she usually bullied for? For being a bombshell.
But one could argue it’s important to paint an accurate picture of one’s subject. Still, the piece continues to put Fox on a dainty pedestal, literally interrupting her musing on modeling her career after Ava Gardner instead of her former role model, the doomed Marilyn Monroe. It’s a moment that should speak for itself, it should say in Fox’s self-professed revelation that this is a woman who gets it. A woman who understands the need to grow and change, and mature, and to deliver beyond the gorgeous facade. Instead, the realization is stinted by Marche’s distraction mid-speech. “Ava Gardner did have control, over herself and others. But even as Fox says the name, a self-aware smile plays over those ultrasymmetrical lips. Self-awareness is her most attractive feature,” he writes. Suddenly, this isn’t so much an exploration of Fox’s graces, but one of Marche’s self control. And he’s failing.
Now, the profile is running in men’s magazine (though men's magazines aren't code for "without responsibility") and Marche isn’t the first journalist to be unbound by his subject’s arresting features. Just last year, actor Michael Fassbender was the subject of hyperbolic adoration in every profile written about him, the most memorable being the description in Vogue: “He sucks all the air out of the room, mesmerizing even the preschoolers in strollers … His voice is as deep and gravelly as Harrison Ford’s, his carriage as upright and intense as Daniel Day-Lewis’s, the blue/green/gray eyes as attention-grabbing as Paul Newman’s,” writes Vicki Woods. As distracting as it is, that outpouring of obsession isn't uncommon.
So what’s the harm? If it afflicts both men and women, why worry about one over-indulgent, fawning profile here or there? It simply accomplishes the opposite of a profile’s goal. Where an interview seeks to give life to a pretty face and a body scantily clad on glossy magazine covers, or in Fox’s case, stuck playing the role of Resident Hot Bimbo Babe, it seeks to provide depth below the glittery water’s surface. However, Fox’s Esquire profiler is so enrapt by her physical gifts that any words directly from the babe’s mouth fall flat. In adulating her visual virtues, he actually completes the cycle he fears so greatly: the extinction of the American bombshell.
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[Photo Credit: George Pimentel/WireImage]
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January 16, 2013 4:00am EST
Delbert Shaw has filed a $25,000 (£15,625) lawsuit against the stars, claiming they hurled threats at him while he photographed them during a vacation in Hawaii in December 2010.
He also alleges the former Beverly Hills, 90210 star tussled with him before throwing his iPhone in the sea.
In court on Tuesday (15Jan13), Shaw's lawyer Sark Ohanian objected to the $620 (£388) financial penalty, but the judge sided with Fox and Green.
According to E! News, Ohanian argued, "They are trying to paint my client as a reckless paparazzo and none of the discovery is focused on the incident. We haven't been trying to hide the ball on anything."
The case is still being fought but the couple has asked the judge to dismiss Shaw's lawsuit, which they maintain is "without merit and... premised on a tissue of misrepresentations and half-truths".
The paparazzo is suing for alleged assault and battery, infliction of emotional distress, conversion, false imprisonment, conspiracy and negligence.
January 14, 2013 12:00pm EST
The Transformers star admits she is so "in love" with baby Noah that her husband Brian Austin Green is a little jealous - and now she wants another kid.
She tells U.S. news show Extra, "I'm just happy I got the opportunity to do it (be a mum). I was very overwhelmed with the intensity of the emotions I felt when I had him... and Brian is jealous because I love him so much.
"I want more kids. I'm so tired (and) I don't know if my body could do it right now, but if it happens, it happens. He (husband) wants a little girl."
January 04, 2013 8:28am EST
Welcome to the 21st century, Megan Fox! The 26-year-old This is 40 star, new mom, and practically perfect person, has decided to join the hundreds of millions of normal folk on Twitter. Fox, who describes herself as a "Lover. Healer. Mother." on the social media site, already has over 54,000 followers(and counting) — and her account has only been active for 18 hours.
Fox's first official tweet acknowledged her Twitter tardiness, saying, "I'm incredibly late to the party but I'm here nonetheless, so what now?" but failed to give us any clues as to what Fox will be like as a tweeter.
Her second tweet, however, was more revealing. "Hello twitter. How is everyones day going? 7:30am and we've watched 'A Bugs Life' twice...so mine has been action packed as per usual."
Hello twitter. How is everyones day going? 7:30am and we've watched 'A Bugs Life' twice...so mine has been action packed as per usual.— Megan Fox (@meganfox) January 4, 2013While the response to Fox's tweets have so far been overwhelmingly positive — her second tweet has 485 retweets, 411 favorites (and growing), and responses from followers such as, "Love youuuuuuu so much :)" and "please follow me you are my queen" — we're a little nervous. After only two tweets she's posting about her child-rearing and sleeping habits. Before things get too far gone, we've got some Twitter guidelines to help the new tweeter.
Do: Tweet photos. We all know the real reason why 59,000 (Jesus Christ the number keeps going up as I write this article) people are following Fox: They can't wait to see casual (dare we hope for bikini?) photos of the sexy starlet.
Don't: Post excessive photos of your baby. Fox's tweet about multiple watches of A Bug's Life have us concerned that her offspring will dominate her tweets. Please, Megan, keep your baby tweets to a minimum.
Do: Be self-deprecating. Fox's third tweet asks, "Is it cool or embarrassing to own a life size R2D2? It's cool right?...Right?!" along with a photo of said offending robot. We love that Fox can show a down-to-earth, even nerdy side of herself.
Don't: Be falsely modest. There's nothing worse than having gorgeous celebs tweet photos of "fat days" when they look skinnier than we'll ever be. Fishing for compliments is a major no-no.
Do: Tweet at your famous friends. There's nothing we love more than watching our favorite celebrities interact on Twitter. Fox starred in a movie with Paul Rudd; that means they're best friends now, right? Tweet it!
Don't: Stoop to Twitter feuds. Ugh. These are the worst. I don't think we have to explain why you should vow not to engage.
Do: Share details about your life. Girl, you famous. You do interesting things — like, go to awards shows, attend movie premieres, do photo shoots. We don't get to do those things, let us live vicariously through you.
Don't: Overshare your eating, sleeping, or exercise habits. This is boring, don't do it. And frankly, my dear, we don't give a damn how many carrot sticks you eat.
Do: Did we mention bikini photos? Kidding! Do show off your sense of humor. Fox proved to the world she was more than just a pretty face by showing her humorous side in Judd Apatow's This is 40. Keep it up, kid.
Don't: Retweet a zillion funny quotes. Remember this, Megan: Fans are following you because they want to hear from you. Don't go overboard with the retweets —especially ones of funny and inspirational quotes.
Follow Abbey Stone on Twitter @abbeystone
[Photo Credit: Fayes Vision/WENN]
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December 18, 2012 9:15am EST
Actor Brian Austin Green banned his wife Megan Fox from driving in the weeks before giving birth to their baby son because her raging hormones clouded her judgement.
The couple welcomed little Noah on 27 September (12) and the Transformers star admits she was eager to get back on the road once the side-effects of pregnancy subsided.
She tells U.S. TV host Jay Leno, "Pregnancy brain is a very, very real thing. I had it so bad that Brian wouldn't let me drive anymore. I would do things with my cell phone, like I would go get the juice out of the refrigerator and I would leave my phone in the refrigerator... Or I would be walking around yelling, 'Where is my phone?', but it would be in my hand...
"Then finally I was driving once and I was talking to one of my friends and we were at a yield sign and I was so engrossed in what she was talking about, that I just stopped driving - and we were in the middle of Los Angeles traffic. Brian was like, 'That's not gonna happen again, I'm gonna drive you everywhere from now on.' It was bad. It's dangerous!"
Fox isn't the only new mum to suffer from the condition - actress Reese Witherspoon, who coincidentally gave birth to a baby boy named Tennessee on the same day (27Sep12), also struggled with a foggy memory.
She recently told People.com, "I'm slowly crawling back. I couldn't remember the other day, what do you call that thing that keeps the food cold? It was the refrigerator. I couldn't remember the name of it!"
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