1990s teen pop sensation Hanson — or, as I lovingly call them, Two Girls and a Horse — want to get you drunk. The three brothers, Isaac (32), Taylor (30), and Zac (27), attended the Hangover Part III premiere party earlier this week, where they debuted their new (awesomely titled) beer, MmmHops.
Taylor shows off his new product in an Instagram photo with Hangover star Ed Helms at the party.
Word of the Hanson brothers' brewing proclivities began percolating in 2011. At the time, Zac confirmed rumors to People by saying, "A branded HANSON IPA beer concept is in the works under the moniker 'MmmHops.'"
While we're still having a hard time wrapping our heads around the fact that Hanson is old enough to drink — they will forever be on the cusp of adolescence in our 6th grade memories — we want to get our hands on some MmmHops pronto. Yeah, yeah.
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Pop group Hanson debuted their new beer at The Hangover Part Iii post-premiere party in Los Angeles on Monday night (20May13). The MMMBop hitmakers handed out bottles of MmmHops, which the stars helped create with brew masters at a craft brewery in their native Oklahoma, and they found a fan in funnyman Ed Helms.
Singer Taylor Hanson posted a photo of himself and the actor holding bottles of the beer on the group's Twitter.com account.
MmmHops bottles come with the tagline 'from the guys that invented MmmBop'.
The first two adaptations of James Patterson's famed character Dr. Alex Cross Kiss the Girls and Along Came the Spider were basically souped up Law & Order episodes with grislier details and the gravitas of Morgan Freeman. The latest incarnation bluntly titled Alex Cross follows the same format with the added bonus of being absurdly nonsensical to a near-parody level. Director Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious XXX) finds a solid leading man in the Hollywood titan Tyler Perry but it all goes to waste in a hyper-stylized laughter-inducing translation of Patterson's mystery novels.
Alex Cross picks up in the early days of the psychologist-turned-detective's life as Cross (Perry) traverses the crime-ridden landscape of Detroit with his snappy sidekicks Tommy Kane (Ed Burns) and Monica Ashe (Rachel Nichols). For a homicide detective things are picture perfect — Cross has a family two kids (and a third on the way) and his mystery-busting team is always wearing smiles. Everything comes crashing down for Cross when "Picasso" (Matthew Fox) comes to town an assassin who enjoys toying with his targets and law enforcing pursuers as much as getting the job done. After discovering the meticulous murder of a businessman and his daughter Cross sifts through clues to pick apart the mind of his violent madman but when he gets too close Picasso makes things personal. That doesn't make Cross too happy.
The major problem with Alex Cross is that Cohen handles the material like one of his previous action movies. But Cross isn't an action character — he's a thinker. Rarely does the detective manage to dig up evidence from a crime scene or better yet visit a crime scene. The search for Picasso comprised of lots of poetic waxing ("Maybe he hates his mother. Maybe he hates his father. Maybe… he's a sociopath") random shoot outs (are there other police Detroit other then Alex & Co.?) and plenty of growling threats between Cross and Fox's muscled corpse of an assassin. Occasionally Ed Burns steps in with a pop culture quip ripped straight from a Google search of what "the kids are into these days." Name-dropping Gandalf and "muggles" in one zinger sheesh.
Attempting to survive the lackluster script Perry gives a decent performance thanks to his towering build and the general warmth he's nurtured in his own personal projects. His action side leaves a bit to be desired — intimidation requires more than doing someone's best Jack Bauer impression. Cohen doesn't help him shooting Alex Cross like one extended whip pan. There is shakycam and then there is Alex Cross' insistence on turning set pieces into photographic spin art. Fox who transformed himself for the role works as the crazy-eyed psycho. If there was a moment to understand his motivations or how he's able to plan his elaborate plans (in one sequence he swims up a water pipe into the bathroom of an office building).
Alex Cross is fun but for all the wrong reasons. Every element is so incredibly mishandled the lunacy circles back from "bad bad" to "good bad." Even an entrance by French actor Jean Reno elicits laughs just because it's hard to believe everything on screen is really happening. Intended or not Alex Cross is one of the stranger movies of the year a rebooted franchise that decided to go off the rails from minute one. Maybe for the better.
A comedy featuring Steve Martin Jack Black and Owen Wilson creates certain expectations not the least of which is well laughter. But David Frankel’s (Marley & Me The Devil Wears Prada) anodyne feather-light film The Big Year in which the three actors star is less concerned with eliciting big laughs than offering earnest insights on the meaning of success and the value of friendship.
Delving into the subculture of hard-core birders (don’t call them bird-watchers) the film follows three men semi-retired industrialist Stu (Martin) schlubby corporate drone Brad (Black) and suburban contractor Kenny (Wilson) as they vie in a year-long competition known as the Big Year. The goal of the competition is simple: to spot as many different bird species in North America as possible. As current Big Year record-holder Kenny is something of a rock star in the birding world. His cocky carefree manner masks a stark determination to defend his hard-won celebrity – and his fragile ego – against the likes of upstarts Stu and Brad both of whom are Big Year rookies. None of the three leads stray far from type but they do offer slight tweaks to their usual screen personas: Wilson is sly and Machiavellian; Black tones down the buffoonery limiting himself to two (by my rough count) pratfalls; Martin’s sardonicism is tempered with humility.
There’s no prize for winning a Big Year; the sole reward is the adulation of fellow members of the birding community. Competition is surprisingly fierce. The three men frantically criss-cross the continent darting from one remote location to another in search of the next rare find. At first wary of each other Stu and Brad eventually unite over a mutual desire to defeat Kenny whose crafty gamesmanship has frustrated them both. Their strategic pact gradually evolves into a genuine friendship leading both men to discover that there are more important things in life than winning an amateur birding competition.
Shot on location in British Columbia the Canadian Yukon Upstate New York Joshua Tree and the Florida Everglades The Big Year is a visually striking film showcasing one breathtaking panorama after another. At times director Frankel appears more interested in the scenery than his characters who despite the script's copious exposition aren't particularly well-developed. The story at times seem aimless and unfocused and its relaxed pace may prove vexing for some. Indeed it did for me at first. But once I adjusted to its easygoing rhythm the film’s modest charms began to reveal themselves.
In the romantic comedy What’s Your Number? Anna Faris plays Ally Darling a fun-loving 30-something who learns via a magazine article that a woman’s chances of marrying become infinitesimal if she’s slept with more than 20 men – a number which just so happens to be Ally’s exact tally. Apparently the highly suggestible sort she accepts the magazine’s somewhat dubious findings at face value. Loath to embrace a spinster future she gives up sex and concocts a scheme to revisit each of her past lovers to see if any of them might actually be The One enlisting the aid of Colin (Chris Evans) a crass but amiable ladies’ man from across the hall who dabbles in detective work to track them down.
The immutable laws of rom-com dynamics dictate what happens next. One by one Ally pursues each of her exes to see if any of her old flames might be worth reigniting even as it becomes increasingly obvious that she and Colin are meant for each other. Ally’s quixotic endeavor lands her in one awkward and humiliating situation after another. True love eludes her; laughter eludes us. Faris is one of the most skilled comedic actresses in Hollywood today but even her formidable talents can’t do much with the hackneyed scenarios proffered by Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden’s middling script.
Faris and Evans make a pleasing pair and their chemistry is one of the few aspects of What’s Your Number? that doesn’t feel forced. It’s what keeps it afloat in between each unfunny gag. Sure Ally and Colin’s eventual union is telegraphed from the opening frames but that isn’t necessarily a problem. What is a problem is the story’s slavish adherence to formula which renders not just the outcome but also the preceding plot points achingly predictable.
What’s Your Number?’s R rating and saucy subject matter portend raunch but in truth the film’s humor is actually quite tame save for a handful of filthy lines. For all its flaws the script is not without wit. There just isn’t nearly enough of it.
Actress Molly Sims and socialite Ann Dexter-Jones were among the 500 guests who attended the Free Arts NYC Annual Art Auction Benefit at the Chelsea Art Museum.
The lots up for grabs included a black and white photo of scantily-clad singer Carla Bruni smoking, which was taken by photographer Pamela Hanson, an acrylic sculpture of a puzzle piece by Yoko Ono, and snaps of Patti Smith, James Brown and Debbie Harry.
Proceeds raised will benefit arts programs for underprivileged children.
As the real-life 1950's pin-up girl Bettie Page actress Gretchen Mol shakes her moneymaker in this true-American-story drama. Page a Tennessee-raised religious cutie moves to New York in 1949 for a new life when college dreams don't materialize. She's a trusting soul who loves to pose for strangers' cameras and naturally falls into modeling. In no time she's wearing suggestive lingerie and trading spankings with other models. To Bettie the bondage get-ups are silly not prurient. But despite efforts to expand herself and learn acting she remains a pin-up girl. In Bettie's most famous picture she's posing nude in a Santa hat in a 1955 Playboy magazine. After testifying at Congress amid the sexual Puritanism of the '50s Bettie realizes her "notorious" reputation. She quits the biz for her religious beliefs and disappears from the public eye for good. Mol's performance is described in press materials as "incandescent." It is brave to say the least. The actress’ movie career has needed a jolt since she was labeled the next “It” girl in the late ‘90s after starring with Matt Damon in the 1998 Rounders. Her last film was Neil LaBute’s 2003 The Shape of Things. But Mol finds her niche in Notorious. She plays Bettie as she was--a simple-minded and free-spirited character which can be a dangerous combination. The actress doesn't add impresario nuances to the pliable young woman beyond the Southern accents but it is an incandescent performance nonetheless. Lili Taylor (I Shot Andy Warhol) brings her rough features to Paula Klaw Bettie's tough-minded manager transitioning from the Emmy-nominated success of HBO’s Six Feet Under. Mol and Taylor play off each other very well. Recent Oscar-nominee David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck) also sneaks in there as a Southern senator calling for pornography investigations. In the hands of director/writer Mary Harron and writer Guinevere Turner Notorious snaps along like an old crime noir quick like a paperback on the beach. It is ironic and biting smoldering with sexuality but the melodramatic intentions are obvious. The dialogue lapses into clunky spots occasionally but they seem deliberate. The script's potency should not be understated. It's a statement about government's role in bedroom matters and the side effects of an American society prudish about its sexuality. Harron seems a sharp-edged journalist a chronicler of 20th century America and recruited Oscar-nominated researcher Sam Green (The Weather Undergound) to strengthen the movie's veracity such as recreating '50s-era Times Square. Bygone technical methods such as Super 8 cameras are used to match the classy black-and-white photography. Notorious is a little rough but fairly successful in its mission.
In adapting a rather flimsy children’s book into a full-fledged feature film one has to take some liberties. We first meet the lovable little monkey in the wild where his curious habits wreck havoc. Meanwhile in the big city Ted (voiced by Will Ferrell)--aka The Man with the Yellow Hat--is a highly enthusiastic guide at the soon-to-be-closed Bloomsberry Museum. In order to save the museum (here’s where they pad it) he is sent on a mission to Africa to retrieve a lost shrine. But when he gets there the only thing he finds is a miniature version of it--and George of course. The lonely monkey decides to follow Ted all the way back to the city where his mischievous tendencies get him into even more trouble. George nearly ruins everything for Ted but somehow the little feller eventually grows on him. How could he not? If I can borrow a line from Madagascar little George is so cute I just like to dunk him in my coffee. When you’re reading Curious George out loud to your kids you don’t get the impression The Man with the Yellow Hat is a good-natured but geeky fellow gangly clumsy and clueless about women. Thank goodness the film has Will Ferrell to clear it up for us! You basically know what you’re in for once you recognize his voice and his natural comic timing shines through lending for some funnier moments (“OK I’m looking directly into the sun. Staring right at it. I’ve got to be honest with you it stings…”). The other voices in the film also do a fine job including Drew Barrymore as a schoolteacher who has a crush on Ted; Eugene Levy as the mad museum scientist; Dick Van Dyke as the museum’s old-time curator; and David Cross as his weasly greedy son. Based on the books and illustrations by Margret and H.A. Rey Curious George embraces the essence of the timeless stories created 65 years ago. The film apparently took awhile to find its voice. Producer Ron Howard originally conceived it as live-action film but quickly realized they could never get a real monkey as cute and fuzzy as George. Then CGI was considered but ultimately the filmmakers kept returning to the source: the late H.A. Rey’s original painstakingly beautiful illustrations. Thankfully they stuck with that idea. Curious George is lush and vibrant with all of Rey’s best efforts fully realized in Technicolor. And much like what the Piglet’s Big Movie did with Carly Simon and The Wild Thornberrys with Paul Simon Curious George is also sprinkled with original songs by hot pop singer Jack Johnson to give it a modern feel. So what if the story gets a little overblown in parts it will still introduce one of literature’s most enduring icons to the young-un’s--while allowing the adults to reminisce.