Liza Minnelli and new husband David Gest are looking to adopt a baby girl by early January. The couple told NYPost.com that the little girl, whose name will be Serena, is "a little more than 3. Adoptions often take years, but ours was only a four-month process. The situation was somebody who couldn't provide for her." Even with their VH-1 musical comedy/reality series airing Nov. 3, David and Liza said they plan on focusing most of their attention on the newest addition to the family. Serena will not be appearing on the show.
Sean "P. Diddy" Combs told New Yorker magazine that, even though he is wealthy, he is still exposed to too much violence in his life. "Nearly every black man faces an unacceptable level of violence in this society," he said. "I'm not different." Combs was acquitted of weapons and bribery charges stemming from a New York nightclub shooting in 1999 in which three people were injured.
Harrison Ford wants to do a movie with his girlfriend, Calista Flockhart. Isn't that sweet? Ananova.com reports Ford told the press at the premiere of his film K-19: The Widowmaker in Cologne, France, he could see the two of them working together, "but there are no set plans as yet."
British director J. Lee Thompson, who directed over 50 films including the original Cape Fear, The Guns of Navarone and Planet of the Apes sequels, died Friday of congestive heart failure in British Columbia. He was 88.
The Montreal World Film Festival had a definite international flavor when it handed out its top honors Monday. Italian director Cristina Comencini's Il piu bel giorno della mia vita (The Best Day of My Life) won the Grand Prix of the Americas, the festival's main prize, while Turkish director Tayfun Pirselimoglu's Hicbir yerde (In Nowhere Land) nabbed the Special Grand Prix of the Jury.
Columbia Pictures has picked up the comedy script Prizonaz of War from writers Robert LoCash and Nick Creature. The story centers on four clueless criminals who escape from a chain gang by hopping into an Army truck and wind up in Afghanistan. Good times.
The Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon, the annual drive to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, reached an all-time record Monday, receiving $58.3 million in pledges. "I asked for their talent and energy, and they brought it all out on that stage for me and my kids," Lewis said of his various co-hosts. "This was the most successful show we've ever done, and I couldn't have done any of this without them."
The London Evening Standard reports the eccentric Icelandic singer Bjork, pregnant with her second child, was robbed in her London flat Monday while she and her American boyfriend, Matthew Barney, were sleeping. The thieves took off with valuable recording equipment, the paper reported.
Bobby Garfield (David Morse) returns to his small hometown to attend the funeral of his childhood friend and remembers the fateful summer in 1960 when his whole world changed. The story flashes back to when 11-year-old Bobby (Anton Yelchin) and his best friends Carol (Mika Boorem) and Sully-John (Will Rothhaar) capture the pure joy of youthfulness. When a mysterious stranger named Ted Brautigan (Anthony Hopkins) moves upstairs and starts to pay attention to Bobby the boy suddenly realizes what's truly missing from his life--the love of a parent. Bobby's mother Liz (Hope Davis) is embittered by the death of Bobby's father and shows little compassion for her son's growing needs. Ted fills a void with the boy opening his eyes to the world around him and helps Bobby come to terms with his real feelings for Carol--and his mother. But Ted also has some deep dark secrets of his own and Bobby tries hard to stop danger from reaching the old man.
The performances make the film especially in the genuine camaraderie of the kids. Yelchin Boorem and Rothhaar never deliver a false move with an easiness that makes us believe we are simply watching three 11-year-old children grow up together. Yelchin in particular is able to get right to the heart of this young boy who misses his father and clings to the only adult who will listen. And his scenes with Boorem simply break your heart. (Davis) does an admirable job playing a part none too sympathetic. She manages to show a woman whose been beaten down but who does truly love her son in her own way. Morse too is one of those character actors you can plug in any movie and get a performance worth noting. In Hearts you want to see more of him. Of course the film shines brightest when Hopkins is on the screen. It may not be an Oscar-caliber performance but the actor is unparalleled in bringing a character to life--showing the subtleties of an old man looking for some peace in his life.
If you are expecting the Stephen King novel you may be disappointed. Screenwriter William Goldman and director Scott Hicks (Shine) deftly extracted the King formula of telling a story through a child's eye and explaining how the relationships formed as a child shaped the adult later. Hicks did an amazing job with his young actors especially Yelchin and Boorem. But where the novel continued into a supernatural theme explaining Brautigan's fear of being captured by "low men in yellow coats" (a reference to King's The Dark Tower series) the movie downplayed the mystical elements instead giving real explanations for Brautigan's man-on-the-run. That was the one problem with Hearts--we needed more danger. Introducing men from another dimension may not have been the way to go but had there been more tension the film would have resonated more especially when Bobby risked his own safety to save Ted.
Whether the Olympics or network television, it's a cutthroat world out there. This from ABC's "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" files: NBC and CBS are reportedly asking their network stars to not appear on special celebrity episodes of the Regis Philbin phenom, Daily Variety reports.
But viewers will be treated to 10 former U.S. Olympic athletes.
Last spring, funnyman Ray Romano from CBS' "Everybody Loves Raymond," "X-Files" G-man David Duchovny of Fox, and Vivica A. Fox from the CBS series "City of Angels" appeared on "Millionaire" alongside such notables as Lance Bass of 'N Sync and Queen Latifah to high ratings.
Variety reports that Martin Sheen of NBC's "The West Wing" and Conan O'Brien tentatively agreed to appear this time around but backed out after NBC officials suggested otherwise.
The scheduled TV celebrities so far are all from ABC, of course: "Spin City's" Charlie Sheen, "The Drew Carey Show's" Drew Carey and Joy Behar of the daytime talker "The View." They'll appear alongside Alec Baldwin and Sean "Puffy" Combs.
But if waiting around for the celebrity episodes proves too much, ABC has something else up its sleeves: See 10 former U.S. Olympians with Regis!
Each jock, some of whom will probably be seen by more viewers on the gameshow than during their Olympics events on NBC, will receive a guaranteed $16,000 for their appearances, ABC said.
The scheduled Olympians are: swimmers Lenny Krayzelburg, Jenny Thompson, Gary Hall Jr. and Dana Torres; runner Maurice Green; basketball player Lisa Leslie; soccer player Julie Foudy; pole vaulter Stacy Dragila; diver Laura Wilkinson; and wrestler Rulon Gardner.
The two special Olympic editions will air Oct. 22 and 24. Half of the winnings will go to charity, the other wherever the athletes desire.
And the Olympic spirit lives on.
Closing arguments ended yesterday in the trial of rapper/producer Sean "Puffy" Combs, and today a seven-man, five-woman jury began deliberations today to decide his fate.
Prosecutor Matthew Bogdanos summed up his daylong closing yesterday with a simple fact: "It's about three people who were shot in a club a little over a year ago. Three defendants stand before you. Three guns, and that's a fact," Reuters reports.
Prosecutors asked a jury to look beyond the hip-hop star's fame and apply the law regardless of the celebrities in the high-profile case.
"What do you do when a celebrity commits a crime? You do your job regardless of who broke the law," prosecutor said. "It's not the breaker," he said. "It's the law broken."
Bogdanos played dramatic recordings of emergency telephone calls following the shootings on Dec. 27, 1999. One of the wounded, Natanya Reubens, 30, has seven lead fragments lodged in her head; an eighth was surgically removed. A bullet hit Robert Thompson, 39, in the right shoulder, and Julius Jones, 27, was shot in the right shoulder as well.
All three are seeking damages in separate lawsuits against Combs stemming from the incident. The damages sought total more than $1 billion.
Combs, rapper Jamal "Shyne" Barrow and bodyguard Anthony "Wolf" Jones each carried a 9mm weapon while at Club New York in Times Square on the night of the incident. Combs faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted and also faces bribery charges, as does Jones.
Defense arguments on Monday claimed that the entertainer was the real victim-of people who wanted to profit from his fame.