Welcome back to planet Earth, Ashley Judd! It's been far too long since you played some kind of federal agent looking for a kidnapped teen. In fact, it's been too long since you've done anything that we've noticed. That should change now that you've been cast as the lead in a new drama pilot for ABC called Missing. We may actually pay attention to this one (though I'm sure we won't like it)!
I'll stop pretending that I'm having a conversation with the Golden Globe nominated actress and just address the facts now. Judd, who last appeared in the Dwayne Johnson vehicle Tooth Fairy (ugh) will star in this new series from The Alphabet, which centers on Becca Winstone (Judd), a devoted single mom who, after her 18-year-old son disappears in Italy where he'd been working as an architecture intern, takes it upon herself to travel to Europe and track him down. The catch? Winstone is a former CIA operative who has all the necessary skills to find her boy and bring him home alive. Naturally.
Greg Poirer (National Treasure: Book Of Secrets, Rosewood) penned the pilot and will executive produce with Grant Scharbo, Gina Matthews and Steve Shill, who will direct the opener as well as various other episodes. Production is scheduled to begin next month in Rome, Prague and Vienna for the show's September bow.
I never had much of a problem with Judd. She's not great but not terrible either. But I'm sick and tired of shows focused on CIA agents, FBI agents or other falsely depicted action heroes. You know what I'd rather see? A show about IRS agents. No one ever goes there. And those guys have more enemies than Gaddafi.
Seven years earlier after a friend's wedding a group of guy pals vow to stay single for life. To sweeten the deal they put some money into a stock portfolio with the last remaining bachelor taking home the accumulated jackpot which has since grown to a whopping half a million dollars (the 90s market remember?) The competition comes down to two remaining tomcats Michael (Jerry O'Connell) and Kyle (Jake Busey) but the stakes are raised when Michael a struggling cartoonist becomes indebted to a casino owner for $51 000. Facing a certain and painful death if he fails to repay the debt within 30 days Michael plots to get Kyle to the alter with Natalie (Shannon Elizabeth) a former one-night stand who will do the deed for half of the prize money. Problem is Kyle is a sexist jerk and the future bride is a smart and beautiful cop who has her eyes on Michael.
While this film doesn't have too many redeeming qualities Jerry O'Connell is one of them. His character Michael Delaney is one of the few characters in the movie with a conscience. Working from a script that consists mostly of one boner joke after another O'Connell fares quite well considering the lines he has to deliver. He even becomes the underdog you end up rooting for. Jake Busey is a different story altogether: his character Kyle does not evoke the slightest shred of sympathy even as he lies on a hospital bed battling testicular cancer. Kyle is crass vulgar and chauvinistic. He treats women like dirt spewing lines like "I don't want a feminist bitch who'll keep her own name when you marry her." Natalie Parker who plays O'Connell's love interest gives a fair but slightly lackluster performance as an unrealistically bright sharp-shooting cop with a bone to pick. In one scene she casually discusses her love life with her partner during a shoot out in a crack house. Bill Maher (best known for hosting the late-night talk show "Politically Incorrect") makes a cameo appearance as the casino owner. The rest of the cast consists of a lot of blondes who all resemble one another.
Gregory Poirier (See Spot Run) who wrote and directed Tomcats knows his audience and gets right to the point. The film does not try to be clever and it may actually alienate anyone who is not a hormone-laden frat boy. The story is lame and predictable and most of the characters are obnoxious and detestable. There is no outstanding cinematography to speak of and there are no special effects. But let's face it Tomcats' target audience is not going for great visuals. They want their jokes Porky's style and Tomcats definitely delivers those. In a film that features librarian-by-day-dominatrix-by-night story lines lesbian fantasies and Viagra jokes Poirier is too busy catering to teenage boys to worry about being offensive to everyone else.
With an Oscar nomination and a couple of Golden Globes, what more could Angelina Jolie possibly want for her career?
Answer: To personify grrrl power in the form of cyber-femme fatale Lara Croft.
Tomb Raider Today's Daily Variety says the actress is in final negotiations to play the virtual vixen in Paramount's feature adaptation of the interactive game "Tomb Raider."
A little "Tomb Raider" background for readers outside of the, say, 15-to-24-year-old boy bracket: Lara Croft is a publishing magnate-turned-female action-adventurer whose repertoire includes anthropological discovery and traveling to exotic locales in a tight leotard, shorts and a sports bra. As make-believe people go, Croft is fairly powerful, with an international fan base as massive and dedicated as any for a real-life celeb like, well, Angelina Jolie. (Actually, Croft's club is probably bigger.)
But before you start to merge the two entities -- Croft and Jolie -- you might want to know that there have been some contradictory reports about casting for the big-screen flick. In the new Entertainment Weekly, "Tomb Raider" director Simon West ("Con Air") says he sees Lara being played by an anonymous nobody rather than by a Hollywood starlet. As West told EW: "We don't want to ram a Hollywood star into this thing, because Lara is visually [known]."
No reaction from West on the news about the Hollywood starlet (i.e., Jolie) circling his project. Also not much reaction yet on the Web from dedicated "Tomb Raider" fans.
Angelina Jolie To be sure, the casting of Croft has been a topic of online debate for months. Just take a look at the fan site "The Lara Croft Page" (http://network.ctimes.net/cb/lara/index.html). Along with a list of criteria that the actress who plays Lara Croft should meet (No. 1: "She must be a beauty, of course."), the site's movie section also promotes a series of suitable candidates who have been rumored to be up for the role. Among the mentions: Diane Lane, Demi Moore, Elizabeth Hurley, Catherine Zeta-Jones and even Jennifer Lopez.
Where's Angelina Jolie? Nowhere.
But not that it matters. A little Oscar buzz has apparently taken care of that.
HIT OR "MISS"? Director Donald Petrie ("My Favorite Martian") is in talks to helm "Miss Congeniality," the latest project for suddenly hit-challenged star Sandra Bullock, according to Variety.
In "Miss," Bullock will play an FBI agent who goes undercover as a beauty pageant contestant in order to stop a terrorist bombing. Not based on a true story.
MEOW: Teen movie vets Shannon Elizabeth ("American Pie") and Jerry O'Connell ("Scream 2") are slated to co-star in -- hey! -- another teen movie. The new one's a comedy called "Tomcats," Variety says. To be directed by Gregory Poirier, the film revolves around a group of friends who wager on who'll get married last. Not to be confused with any other teen movie involving a bunch of friends and/or a wager.