The Chinese proverb that all emotions are intertwined and so are people is depicted in The Air I Breathe using four very diverse characters from very diverse worlds known only by the emotions they represent. The story starts off with Happiness (Forest Whitaker) a lonely banker who realizes he has let life pass him by until he decides to take chances much like his mysterious client Pleasure (Brendan Fraser). What Happiness doesn't know is that Pleasure is the lead henchman to a gangster named Fingers (Andy Garcia). Happiness overhears co-workers talk about a sure bet at a horse race and decides to bet more than he has and so ends up owing Fingers. Meanwhile Fingers wins a contract to represent popular pop singer Sorrow (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and she turns suicidal when she finds out he is her new manager. Then she takes an interest in Pleasure. And in another story Love (Kevin Bacon) is frantically searching for a rare blood type to save his old girlfriend (Julie Delpy) from a snake bite. It just so happens Sorrow has the type Love is looking for. Finally Fingers' self-absorbed nephew Tony (Emile Hirsch) is flying into town and he just wants to have fun; Fingers assigns a reluctant Pleasure to the task. Sure you could say that Gellar is just playing herself as she deals with rude journalists and overzealous fans but she plays a range of emotion and pathos she hasn't tapped into since the end of her popular TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Fraser is equally surprising. He's not played someone so stiff and unpleasant since he made a splash with indie film Gods and Monsters. Fraser also shows a strong range as Pleasure who ends up becoming surprisingly sympathetic. Bacon and Whitaker are in rather low-key roles that don't seem to push their talents and Hirsch is simply irritating in his one-note role. Garcia is famous for playing gangsters (Godfather Part III anyone?) and Fingers is just as brutal and deadly named for his preference to cut off people’s fingers. His presence is chilling every time he walks into a room. He embodies fear the emotion which seems to linger over or tamp down the emotions of the others. First-time director/co-writer Jieho Lee makes a superb debut with an A-list cast and a compelling story. Even though it has the feel of an ancient Chinese proverb The Air I Breathe is set in a Western city (in actuality it was shot in Mexico City) and is reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz: Sorrow as Dorothy blithely seeking her career; Love as the Scarecrow; Pleasure as the heartless Tin Man; and Happiness as the Cowardly Lion. Fingers' role is not only both the good and bad witches he is also the Great and Powerful Oz as well who manipulates their lives but ultimately has no power at all. Lee tosses in subtle filmic references to his movie influences but the over-the-top third act takes away from the fine subtleties he sets up early in the film.
Bill Joel weds 23-year-old cooking student
Billy Joel married his fiancée, 23-year-old Kate Lee, in an afternoon ceremony Saturday at his Long Island home. According to Newsday.com, guards dressed in black patrolled the sprawling estate on Oyster Bay Harbor while Nassau County police patrolled the surrounding waters and a police helicopter flew overhead. Lee, a native of Huntington, W.Va., recently graduated from Ohio's Miami University and works as a restaurant correspondent for the PBS show George Hirsch: Living It Up! She and Joel began dating about a year ago. For the ceremony, Lee wore an Oscar de la Renta gown and a pair of custom-made Jimmy Choo shoes, Joel's publicist said. This is the singer-songwriter's third wedding. He was previously married to supermodel Christie Brinkley, the mother of Joel's 18-year-old daughter Alexa Ray. Brinkley, who graced the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine's famed swimsuit issue from 1979 through 1981, arrived at the ceremony in a silver van and offered kind words to the couple. "Congratulations to Billy and Katie," she told throngs reporters and curious onlookers clogging the road in front of the house. "We wish you every happiness." Joel, a member of the Rock and Roll hall of fame, received a star on Hollywood Boulevard last month in front of the Pantages Theatre, where Movin' Out, the Tony Award-winning musical based on his songs, is playing through Oct. 31.
Spears buys home in Malibu
Britney Spears, who "married" dancer Kevin Federline in Studio City, Calif., last month, bought a house in Malibu for just under $6.9 million. According to the Los Angeles Times, the traditional-style 9,000-square-foot home features eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a tennis court, pool, spa, gym and an outdoor kitchen. The validity of the 22-year-old singer's impromptu marriage to Federline, 26, was questioned a day after the Sept. 18 ceremony when it was widely reported the couple had not yet filed a marriage license--as they are required to do within 90 days under California law. At the time, Spears told People magazine they would file for the license the following week. A draft of the couple's prenuptial agreement obtained by Us Magazine estimates Spear's worth to be about $32 million.
SNL unveils all-female "Weekend Update"
Saturday Night Live unveiled the newest face of Weekend Update on its 30th season premiere Saturday when cast member Amy Poehler joined Tina Fey for the first all-female team in the show's history. Poehler, a regular cast member since Jan. 2001, replaces Jimmy Fallon, who exited the NBC comedy show in May after six years of reading the fake news with Fey. Past Weekend Update anchors have included Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Dennis Miller, Kevin Nealon and Norm Macdonald. SNL's debut, hosted by Ben Affleck, scored the highest season-premiere ratings in the show's past three years--up 15 percent over last year's debut with Jack Black. The telecast featured surprise guest appearances by Alec Baldwin and James Gandolfini, who editorialized on gay New Jersey governor James McGreevey during the Weekend Update segment.
Gibson obtains restraining order against stalker
Mel Gibson obtained a temporary restraining order against a man who allegedly showed up at his Malibu estate and the chapel he attends, demanding they pray together. The AP reports Zack Sinclair, 34, was arrested Sept. 20 for investigation of disorderly conduct and loitering and remained jailed last Friday on $5,000 bail pending an Oct. 6 court hearing. The restraining order, which was issued a day after his arrest, bars him from coming within 150 yards of Gibson, his wife or their seven children. According to court documents, Sinclair went to Gibson's estate twice in September and interrupted his worship Sept. 19 at a chapel and "demanded that I pray with him." The man also allegedly sent letters to Gibson and his family, which recounted his prayers for the actor, cited biblical verse and praised his film The Passion of the Christ.
Sharpton turns 50
Rev. Al Sharpton celebrated his 50th birthday in style. At Harlem's Apollo Theater Sunday, artists including James Brown, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and rappers Doug E. Fresh and Foxy Brown paid tribute to the preacher and former presidential candidate, including a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday," AP reports. "He says what he feels, he means what he says, and he acts on it," Foxy Brown said. "He has marched, has been jailed, and many times maligned in his fight for recognition of the downtrodden." Sharpton used the occasion to ask for donations for the civil rights organization he founded, the National Action Network, whose headquarters were damaged by an electrical fire last year.
Legendary photographer Avedon dies
Fashion photographer Richard Avedon, who turned fashion and portrait photography into art forms and found new faces of women later dubbed supermodels, died Friday, a spokeswoman for the New Yorker magazine told Reuters. He was 81. Avedon, who captured unforgettable images of some of the world's most famous figures, died in San Antonio, Texas, almost a week after he suffered a brain hemorrhage while working on a photo essay on democracy for the magazine, spokeswoman Perri Dorset said.
Get Carter tops best British films
The 1971 cult hit Get Carter starring Michael Caine as a London gangster investigating the mysterious death of his brother topped Total Film magazine's list of the 50 best British films, AP reports. Carter bested other classics such as Monty Python's Life of Brian and Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. Notable absences from the list include Oscar-winners Chariots of Fire and Gandhi.
Reported by Kit Bowen.
Yahoo!, the online portal, has signed a deal with Boca Raton-based MovieTickets.com that will allow visitors to Yahoo! Movies to purchase tickets online -- and in some cases print them out at home.
In a statement, Doug Hirsch, senior director of Yahoo! Entertainment, said: "People who use Yahoo! Movies have come to expect fun content and innovative services from a variety of independent sources and MovieTickets.com fits the bill."
MovieTickets.com was formed in February of last year as a 50-50 partnership between the AMC theater chain and the website Hollywood.com but now includes among its partners National Amusements, Famous Players, Marcus Theatres, Muvico Theaters, Hoyts Cinemas and Viacom.