Britney Spears' custody case has just suffered another blow--her lawyer is on the verge of quitting.
The singer is currently embroiled in a bitter battle with her ex-husband Kevin Federline over the care of their two sons Sean Preston, 2, and 1-year-old Jayden James.
According to TMZ.com, Spears' lawyer Laura Wasser will submit legal papers formally withdrawing as her attorney on Monday.
Reports suggest Spears was a "problem client" who failed to listen to Wasser's advice.
The Web site reports Spears' new lawyer will be high-profile attorney Marci Levine.
The singer and her ex were expected to appear at a Los Angeles court on Monday to hear Federline's case for removing the children from Spears' care.
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Meet Chuck Levine (Sandler) and Larry Valentine (Kevin James) two devoted--and completely heterosexual--New York firefighters who’ve had a long career watching each other’s backs. So naturally when salt-of-the-earth widower Larry has a hard time trying to get the proper life insurance benefits for his two young kids he asks his best friend a huge favor: to be his domestic partner on paper to get the benefits. No big deal right? Riiight. Needless to say the “arrangement” comes under fire when a snippy spot-checking bureaucrat (Steve Buscemi) becomes suspicious that they are committing fraud. Suddenly Chuck and Larry are all over the news much to the chagrin of their firefighting colleagues. They hire a hotshot lawyer (Jessica Biel) who lights Chuck’s fire to look into the case. But Chuck and Larry have to pretend to be love-struck newlyweds in the meantime fumbling through a charade of domestic bliss under one roof--and along the way find the meaning of happiness love family and all the rest as well. Adam Sandler is up to his old tricks and he’s dragging Kevin James into it this time. Sandler’s usual juvenile smart-alecky leading man has in turns been endearing (50 First Dates) and hilarious (Happy Gilmore). But in Chuck and Larry he just grates--creating his own personal la-la land where he gets to play a womanizer who can bed four totally hot women at the same time--and then feel up a scantily clad Jessica Biel. Please. I covet the days Sandler starred in movies like Punch-Drunk Love. James comes off much better than Sandler as the sweet Larry a guy having a tough time since his wife died. The actor/comedian has perfected the teddy-bear persona who's still a little rough around the edges. In fact if James were the one to hook up with the unbelievably fetching Ms. Biel you’d totally believe it. For her part Biel is cute and fun just like she’s supposed to be. Of course all of Sandler’s cronies make appearances including Rob Schneider as an Asian wedding chapel owner. At least he doesn’t say “You can do it!” Standing out is Ving Rhames as a badass firefighter who comes out of the closet because of Chuck and Larry’s love and shakes his bare tail-feather in more ways than one. With Chuck and Larry director Dennis Dugan a longtime Adam Sandler collaborator (Happy Gilmore; Big Daddy) knows how to create those comedic Sandler set pieces. Take for example the scene in which Chuck and Larry have to save a grossly obese man from a burning building only to watch him tumble down a flight of stairs with the firefighters entangled landing on top of Chuck and then passing gas. Ah the farting fat man...I guess if it floats your boat. There are other more genuinely funny moments in Chuck and Larry but what a Sandler comedy prides itself most on is that at its core there is a beating heart. Chuck and Larry certainly has one making very valid points about homophobia gay rights and the meaning of true friendship but somehow when everyone is going through their own self-realizations in Chuck and Larry’s climactic big scene it feels forced. Oh well. Chuck and Larry is still a formula that has worked well for Sandler time and time again bringing him untold millions. Why should he worry if it isn't his best effort?
A billionaire TV producer (Robert Mammone) has a great idea for a reality show that he wants to put on the Internet and his goal is to beat the 40 million Super Bowl audience. He has compiled a crack team of young hip and immoral tech geeks directed by Goldman (Rick Hoffman) and puts cameras throughout a remote island where former prisoners are going to kill each other while audiences watch after shelling out the pay-per-view fee. The location is done on a remote secret island and the death row prisoners are bought from prisons around the world with the promise that the survivor gets to walk free. Among the contestants are a rogue Aussie named McStarley (Vinnie Jones) a martial arts expert (Masa Yamaguchi) a husband-and-wife team (Manu Bennett and Dasi Ruz) a monstrous killer who doesn't do much more than grunt (Nathan Jones) and others known only as The Italian The German and other monikers quickly forgotten. Enter the sole American Jack Conrad (Steve Austin) who's in a South American prison for some obscure reason and is recognized on TV by his wife (Madeleine West) who tries to save him. However it looks like Conrad is pretty good at helping himself. Don't expect the acting to be much more evolved than what could be seen among the World Wrestling Entertainment superstars especially since many of them were plucked from the ring to star in this morality tale. But Austin (who had in a strong cameo in Adam Sandler's Longest Yard) proves he has a sense of humor as well as strength. Vinnie Jones is ridiculously over-the-top as the Aussie who's the hand-picked winner of this game shown setting up alliances Survivor style only to turn on them later. The supporting cast are refreshingly entertaining but one-note caricatures both in the contest and running the contest. It's obvious that they aren't going to be around long but the actors do milk their tiny roles for every bit of attention they can get. Rick Hoffman as the brilliant camera mastermind of the project is both whiny sniveling and mean-spirited so when he joins some of the rest of the crew and suddenly develops a backbone and a conscience he ends up stealing the movie with his acerbic humor. But it's the understated American hero Conrad who holds a mirror up to the people who like to watch this stuff. Director Scott Wiper who co-wrote this story has also acted in similar movies like this (A Better Way to Die). It’s obvious he knows what he’s doing with The Condemned and develops a sense of voyeuristic angst like those of us who can't keep our eyes off a train wreck. Like the darkly subversive Belgian film Man Bites Dog the camera crew remains safely distant and remote until the reality directly involves them. Then the crew wonders "What the hell are we doing?" while the audience might be thinking "What the hell are we watching?" Much like Series 7: The Contenders Rollerball and other movies which show a dark and bloody near future this kind of reality doesn't seem too far away and maybe proves that movies which provide this type of gladiator spectacle target a certain segment of the human population who need to blow off steam.
The 59th Venice Film Festival will kick off its venue with the long-awaited Frida, a biopic about the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, starring Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas. Other films in competition include Steven Soderbergh's newest, Full Frontal, and Sam Mendes' Road to Perdition, starring Tom Hanks, as well as Between Strangers, the directorial debut of Edoardo Ponti, the 29-year-old son of Sophia Loren, who also stars in the film. Those celebrities scheduled to attend include Hayek, Loren, Hanks and Julianne Moore with her film The Hours. The festival runs Aug. 29 to Sept 8.
Not to be outdone by another pop diva, Celine Dion is jumping on the fragrance-line bandwagon. (J.Lo, watch out.) Dion will be creating a perfume with Coty Inc., which also produces Jovan and Stetson fragrances, and the scent should be in stores in early 2003. Jennifer Lopez's fragrance, Glow, is ready to hit the market soon.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell may have to wait until October before learning if she has beaten an appeal by the British tabloid Daily Mirror, which was ordered in March to pay her damages of $5,493 for breach of confidence and invasion of privacy. Why the wait? The Court of Appeal in London is going on a summer break and won't be back until October. Campbell's lawsuit stems from the newspaper reporting that she was attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' 25th annual Kennedy Center Honors will go to an eclectic group that includes Elizabeth Taylor, James Earl Jones, Chita Rivera and musicians Paul McCartney and James Levine. The honorees will be received at the White House Dec. 8 before attending the Honors Gala event at the Kennedy Center. CBS will air the two-hour special later in December.
Director Jon Amiel (Entrapment) is in negotiations to remake the 1966 thriller Seconds, which was directed by the late John Frankenheimer and starred the late Rock Hudson. Variety reports the film centers on a man who trades his life for a new identity and gets more than he bargained for. Sounds thoroughly Twilight Zone-ish.
HBO will be releasing its first feature film in October with Real Women Have Curves, the winner of this year's audience award at the Sundance Film Festival. Based on Josefina Lopez's autobiographical play, the film takes a look at a first-generation Mexican-American woman who lives in East Los Angeles and tries to balance her ambitions and her cultural heritage.
NBC is bringing back the old in a brand-new way. The Rerun Show, which airs this Thursday at 9:30 p.m., has an ensemble cast re-enacting storylines from such sitcoms as Diff'rent Strokes, The Partridge Family, One Day at a Time and Bewitched. The episodes run shortened, yet word-for-word, as the actors impersonate the original sitcom stars--and the absurdity of it all isn't lost. Executive Producer David Salzman told The Associated Press, "If you can do it with Shakespeare, why can't we have fun with these shows?" Why, indeed.