Child star-turned-train wreck — I'm sorry, "aspiring fashion designer" — Amanda Bynes has faced a steady decline over the past few years, one that has transformed her from a bubbly sitcom star to the mangled subject of a tabloid headline. As such, Us Weekly's "25 Things You Don't Know About Me" column presented Bynes with an opportunity to generate some good PR for herself. A chance, if you will, to start anew.
But what is a chance, really, but an opportunity for failure? And in the "positive publicity" department, Bynes unfortunately failed. But in the comedy department, we'd call this a win. Bynes' list is full of irreverent, ridiculous, and only occasionally disturbing factoids. Though the helter-skelter organization of Bynes' list does add to its appeal, we've sorted it — for your reading and trend-seeking pleasure — by category.
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4. My favorite store is American Apparel.
10. My favorite perfume is Stella by Stella McCartney.
14. My favorite dark lipstick is Diva by Mac.
18. Diet Coke is my favorite soda.
20. Macaroons are my favorite cookie.
22. Paper Boy [sic] and Ms. Pac Man are my favorite childhood video games.
What this tells us about Amanda: She's the kind of person who calls facial tissue "Kleenex" and plastic sandwich bags "Ziplocs."
(Not to be confused with…)
Things She Loves
2. I've always loved drawing and my dream is to start a fashion line.
12.I would love to start recording an album.
17. I bought a Rolex. It's my most prized possession. (The "love" is implied in this one.)
23. I always fall asleep during massages. I love them.
24. I love eggplant Parmesan [sic].
25. I love going to the Bahamas.
What this tells us about Amanda: The common denominator here seems to be Amanda's separation from reality. While Bynes paints herself as a wealthy, artistic eggplantophile, she is in fact an unemployed 26-year-old who most recently made headlines for replacing all the white light bulbs in her apartment with red ones. I guess if that was our reality we'd stick with Italian cuisine, too.
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Brand Names Dropped with No Context
3. I went on Accutane and it really helped my skin clear up.
5. Rag and Bone makes the best jeans.
21. Alexander Wang makes the best T-shirts.
What this tells us about Amanda: Accutane, Rag and Bone, and Alexander Wang (and probably American Apparel, Stella McCartney, Mac, Rolex, Nestle Buncha Crunch, and Coke — with a capital "C") paid her to reveal these fun facts. On second thought, it take it back about Alexander Wang and Stella McCartney — she just wants them to send her free s**t.
1. My first concert was the Spice Girls. I always wanted to be Posh.
8. I know how to play the piano and the violin.
9. My grandma and grandpa are from Toronto.
13. I started acting when I was 7. My first commercial was Nestle Buncha Crunch.
16. I survived Hurricane Sandy.
19. I'm Polish, Irish and Lithuanian on my dad's side; Romanian, Polish and Russian on my mom's side.
What this tells us about Amanda: A child of the '90s, Bynes was a prodigy who discovered her talents at a young age. But despite achieving Hatchet-level survival skills as an adult, she never actually learned to use a map. If her grandparents are from Toronto, why isn't she part Canadian?
RELATED: Amanda Bynes Has Been Dropped by Her Publicist — Report
6. I'm addicted to online shopping.
What this tells us about Amanda: This may be the first step on her journey to recovery. Once you cop to the online shopping addiction, admission of your drug and alcohol problems can't be far behind. Right? Right??
Signs of an Eating Disorder
11. I gain weight quickly so I need to work out constantly.
15. I moved to New York City and I love it! I lost 4 lbs. since I moved. I'm 121 lbs -- my goal is 100 lbs.
What this tells us about Amanda: She either has some body image problems or thinks she is 4'10" tall — which, I guess, would be another kind of body image issue. A healthy weight range for someone 5'8" (like Amanda) is 120-165 pounds. The fact that Us Weekly would even post Amanda's No. 15 without a second look is deplorable. What are the editors over at Us Weekly doing all day, watching cat videos? Oh wait, no, that's us.
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When Elizabeth (Norah Jones) finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her she doesn't know what to do. Angry and anguished fed up and self-doubting she finds a sympathetic ear in amiable café manager Jeremy (Jude Law) who soothes her ruffled spirits with empathy and fresh-baked blueberry pie. It's a romance waiting to happen but Elizabeth isn't ready. First she must find out who she really is--Elizabeth? Lizzie? Beth?--by hitting the road and experiencing life beyond New York City. Along the way she meets people who help her realize how much possibility her life really has--people like defeated drunk Arnie (David Strathairn); his blowsy estranged wife Sue Lynne (Rachel Weisz); and irrepressible gambler Leslie (Natalie Portman). By the time she completes her journey Elizabeth finds both self knowledge and a peace that transcends even hot pie and cold ice cream. My Blueberry Nights has gotten a lot of attention as Jones' acting debut--the good news is that the popular singer doesn't make a fool of herself. She may not win any awards for her performance but she does a fine job playing a wounded girlfriend; she reacts like a champ in the scenes that pit her against established talents Strathairn Weisz and Portman. The movie's episodic nature allows each of these co-stars to shine; Weisz has some particularly poignant moments as Sue Lynne a woman whose identity is so wrapped up in the husband she has come to despise that she doesn't know who she is without him. Portman's Leslie has a similarly complex push-pull relationship with her unseen father; both women's experiences inform Elizabeth's journey and help her decide how to approach her tentative relationship with Jeremy--who as played by Law is both earthy and impossibly perfect. Even ignoring the movie's central logic flaw--what straight woman in her right mind would risk losing a man who looks like Jude Law and feeds her pie every night?--there's something about My Blueberry Nights that keeps it from really touching the heart. Perhaps it's the fact that Elizabeth maintains a distance between her true self and everyone she meets. Or more likely it's the consequence of Wai's dreamy filming style which manifests itself in slowed-down footage mismatched audio and video and unexpected shots of ice cream melting on fresh-baked pastry. The people that Elizabeth meets are more fully realized than she is; in the end she doesn't seem to have changed so much as just gotten in a better mood. It may be true that the course of true love never did run smooth but it also rarely runs quite as quirkily or languorously as it seems to here.
For a few years in the '60s and '70s producer Gerry Anderson made "supermarionation" all the rage in the world of British children's television. His stop-motion puppets starred in a number of sci-fi adventure series most memorably Thunderbirds which followed the exploits of International Rescue -- a team comprised of ex-astronaut Jeff Tracy and his sons. Based out of their secret fortress on Treasure Island the Tracys (aided by lovely secret agent Lady Penelope) used their amazing rocket-powered vehicles to prevent disasters and save lives around the world. Now 40 years after Thunderbirds' TV debut Star Trek vet Jonathan Frakes has brought Anderson's characters to life on the big screen. Front and center is youngest son Alan Tracy (Brady Corbet) who dreams of the day he too can pilot one of his family's fab ships and lead missions. But first he has to prove himself to his father Jeff (Bill Paxton). That opportunity comes sooner than either expects when mysterious villain The Hood (Ben Kingsley) strands Jeff and the older Tracy boys in space and attacks Treasure Island. With only his friends Tintin (Vanessa Anne Hudgens) and Fermat (Soren Fulton) to help him Alan has to grow up quickly if he wants to save his family ... and the world!
It would be easy to mock several of the performances in Thunderbirds-- to chide Paxton for his earnest seriousness as Tracy patriarch Jeff to dismiss Corbet's angst-tinged eagerness as Alan to roll your eyes at Kingsley's over-the-top mystical fierceness as The Hood and to wince at Fulton and Anthony Edwards' nerdy stuttering as science whizzes Fermat and his dad Brains. But actors are only as good as their script and the one Frakes has given his cast (courtesy of screenwriters William Osborne and Michael McCullers) is weak and clichéd at best filled with after-school-special-worthy lessons for Alan to learn. "You can't save everyone " Jeff tells his son somberly and even Tintin has a moral for her crush when he's feeling selfish and indulging in self-pity: "This is hard on all of us Alan." Talk about insight! What makes it even more frustrating is knowing that the actors are capable of much more even the kids: Both Corbet and Hudgens did well with supporting roles in Thirteen. Thunderbirds' only real bright spot is Sophia Myles as Lady Penelope. A cross between Reese Witherspoon's Elle in Legally Blonde and Jennifer Garner's Sydney on Alias Myles' Lady P doesn't let her pink couture wardrobe prevent her from coolly kicking ass when the situation demands it. Attended by her droll driver/man-of-all-trades Parker (Ron Cook) Lady Penelope is a fresh feisty heroine with all of the film's best lines -- and the coolest car to boot.
Frakes cut his directorial teeth on episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and his first feature film was Star Trek: First Contact so he would seem like a natural choice to bring a cult sci-fi TV show to the big screen. Unfortunately while he does an admirable job re-creating (and improving on) the original Thunderbirds' mod sets cool ships and special effects (which are fine if a bit more TV-sized than summer blockbustery) Frakes can't seem to decide who his audience is. If he was aiming at grown-ups who remember the show fondly from their own childhood he should have embraced the source material's campiness (à la Starsky and Hutch) rather than restricting it to the Tracys' plastic Barbie-like furniture and Lady P's bouffant hairdo. If on the other hand Frakes was hoping to entertain today's kids he should have really reinvented the show for a 21st-century world (à la Stephen Hopkins'1998 Lost in Space) rather than clinging to the '60s references As it is he's stuck somewhere in the middle leaving adults bored during the kids-on-an-adventure bits and children mystified by the handful of jokes aimed at their parents.
February 08, 2002 2:07pm EST
Jonathan Cross (Chris Klein) is down and out in California when he runs into his old friend Marcus Ridley (LL Cool J) driving a pricey sports car and dripping in gold jewelry. As it turns out Ridley is making it big in an international Rollerball league and convinces Cross to do the same. Fast-forward four months into the future and Jonathan has become one of the biggest and most sought-after Rollerball stars. He's rich drives a nice car and is having a steamy relationship with his teammate Aurora (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos). From the looks of it Rollerball is a serious moneymaking operation: We are constantly shown million of dollars worth of currency going through money counters at record speed. And by the instant ratings numbers that appear on the organizer's monitors it's obvious that Rollerball fever has taken over the world. When conniving Rollerball creator Petrovich (Jean Reno) discovers that the ratings go through the roof when blood gets spilled things start to go very wrong. Cross and his teammates suddenly find themselves playing for their lives.
Chris Klein (American Pie 2) is Jonathan Cross the all-American Rollerball player but he underplays the role. You would expect a character in his position to have a certain amount of charisma and charm but Klein's delivery is a bit deadpan and lacking in attitude. His best pal Marcus Ridley is played by LL Cool J (Kingdom Come) who manages to add a bit of dimension to his otherwise underdeveloped character. In fact he may have been better suited for the lead. The only good part about model-turned-actress Rebecca Romijn-Stamos' (X-Men) role is that it didn't incorporate too many lines. Sounding like Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle you have to wonder what she was thinking with that accent which (contrary to the actress' recent statement on MTV that a bad accent is not necessarily bad acting) certainly is part of the acting and certainly is bad. Jean Reno (Just Visiting) was probably the most interesting character. He was all bad without a single redeeming quality which he at least pulled off with flair whether it was in his delivery or his elaborate fur coats.
Rollerball is director John McTiernan's (The Thomas Crown Affair) take on the 1975 classic directed by Norman Jewison. There is definitely enough action in Rollerball to keep viewers interested but the major problems lies within the characters' development-there isn't any. So while the action may keep your eyeballs glued to the screen momentarily you will find yourself indifferent to the characters their plight and what happens to them. Cross and Aurora's relationship for example is implied through one hastily done sex scene in the gym. Consequently when the evil Petrovich threatens to hurt her if Cross tries to leave the game we could care less because we don't really know her or how important she is to Cross. Being such an internationally renowned sport the accents which play a big part in the film are done too shoddily. The French accents go from Canadian to European within a sentence and that's only from the ones I could pick up. Who knows what other languages were massacred in the process?