Actress Patricia Heaton was left cringing with embarrassment on Wednesday (21May14) after putting reality TV stars on blast while sitting next to The Osbournes' Sharon Osbourne on her own talk show. The former Everybody Loves Raymond star was a guest on America's The Talk when she was quizzed about the kind of TV shows she likes to tune into.
Without thinking, Heaton responded, "I'm not a big fan (of) reality shows where you're just filming your life. Gee, which family does that? It's so bizarre. I like the reality shows where you have to actually have accomplished a skill, like Project Runway, where you have to know how to sew and design, or like Top Chef, you have to know how to cook.
"But (when) you take your life and you sort of gee it up (exaggerate it) a little, and you do fake things that are supposed to be how you live, it's just bizarre..."
Heaton had been referring to the Kardashians, who had been discussed earlier on in the show, but her comments prompted Osbourne's co-host Julie Chen to ensure that she wasn't aiming her rant at the rock matriarch, who starred in her own family reality show on MTV in the early 2000s.
Chen said, "We just want to clarify, you were talking about the Kardashians?". After Heaton nodded, she continued, "You were not talking about the Osbournes because this lady (Sharon), she blazed the trail (for family reality shows)!"
The clarification caused Heaton to put her head in her hands as she laughed at her mistake, and she began banging her fists on the table as she apologised to a smiling Osbourne, before hugging her.
But Ozzy Osbourne's manager wife took no offence and cried in defence, "We had jobs! We had jobs to do every day!"
David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas consists of six stories set in various periods between 1850 and a time far into Earth's post-apocalyptic future. Each segment lives on its own the previous first person account picked up and read by a character in its successor creating connective tissue between each moment in time. The various stories remain intact for Tom Tykwer's (Run Lola Run) Lana Wachowski's and Andy Wachowski's (The Matrix) film adaptation which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. The massive change comes from the interweaving of the book's parts into one three-hour saga — a move that elevates the material and transforms Cloud Atlas in to a work of epic proportions.
Don't be turned off by the runtime — Cloud Atlas moves at lightning pace as it cuts back and forth between its various threads: an American notary sailing the Pacific; a budding musician tasked with transcribing the hummings of an accomplished 1930's composer; a '70s-era investigatory journalist who uncovers a nefarious plot tied to the local nuclear power plant; a book publisher in 2012 who goes on the run from gangsters only to be incarcerated in a nursing home; Sonmi~451 a clone in Neo Seoul who takes on the oppressive government that enslaves her; and a primitive human from the future who teams with one of the few remaining technologically-advanced Earthlings in order to survive. Dense but so was the unfamiliar world of The Matrix. Cloud Atlas has more moving parts than the Wachowskis' seminal sci-fi flick but with additional ambition to boot. Every second is a sight to behold.
The members of the directing trio are known for their visual prowess but Cloud Atlas is a movie about juxtaposition. The art of editing is normally a seamless one — unless someone is really into the craft the cutting of a film is rarely a post-viewing talking point — but Cloud Atlas turns the editor into one of the cast members an obvious player who ties the film together with brilliant cross-cutting and overlapping dialogue. Timothy Cavendish the elderly publisher could be musing on his need to escape and the film will wander to the events of Sonmi~451 or the tortured music apprentice Robert Frobisher also feeling the impulse to run. The details of each world seep into one another but the real joy comes from watching each carefully selected scene fall into place. You never feel lost in Cloud Atlas even when Tykwer and the Wachowskis have infused three action sequences — a gritty car chase in the '70s a kinetic chase through Neo Seoul and a foot race through the forests of future millennia — into one extended set piece. This is a unified film with distinct parts echoing the themes of human interconnectivity.
The biggest treat is watching Cloud Atlas' ensemble tackle the diverse array of characters sprinkled into the stories. No film in recent memory has afforded a cast this type of opportunity yet another form of juxtaposition that wows. Within a few seconds Tom Hanks will go from near-neanderthal to British gangster to wily 19th century doctor. Halle Berry Hugh Grant Jim Sturgess Jim Broadbent Ben Whishaw Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon play the same game taking on roles of different sexes races and the like. (Weaving as an evil nurse returning to his Priscilla Queen of the Desert cross-dressing roots is mind-blowing.) The cast's dedication to inhabiting their roles on every level helps us quickly understand the worlds. We know it's Halle Berry behind the fair skinned wife of the lunatic composer but she's never playing Halle Berry. Even when the actors are playing variations on themselves they're glowing with the film's overall epic feel. Jim Broadbent's wickedly funny modern segment a Tykwer creation that packs a particularly German sense of humor is on a smaller scale than the rest of the film but the actor never dials it down. Every story character and scene in Cloud Atlas commits to a style. That diversity keeps the swirling maelstrom of a movie in check.
Cloud Atlas poses big questions without losing track of its human element the characters at the heart of each story. A slower moment or two may have helped the Wachowskis' and Tykwer's film to hit a powerful emotional chord but the finished product still proves mainstream movies can ask questions while laying over explosive action scenes. This year there won't be a bigger movie in terms of scope in terms of ideas and in terms of heart than Cloud Atlas.
Troubled by unfortunate event after unfortunate event The Watch sidesteps faux pas to come out on top as a consistently funny sci-fi comedy that doesn't let its high concept tangle up a bevy of one-liners. The script penned by Jared Stern Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg assumes you've seen a few movies before entering the theater (mainly any sci-fi movie made in the 1980s). "Summer movie logic" is the foundation for The Watch's ridiculous plot which finds four adult nincompoops teaming up to form a Neighborhood Watch trying to solve the murder of a local Costco employee and eventually pursuing a killer extraterrestrial. Instead of making sense of it all The Watch wisely focuses on its four leads: Ben Stiller Vince Vaughn Jonah Hill and The IT Crowd's Richard Ayoade — a quartet whose bro banter goes a long way in spicing up the dust-covered material. There's nothing revelatory to be found in The Watch but the cast's knack for improv a poetry of the profane makes the adventure worth…viewing.
Director Akiva Schaffer (Hot Rod) establishes his two-dimensional characters quickly and bluntly smashing together broad personality types like a Hadron Collider of cinematic comedy. Stiller's Evan is a micromanaging do-gooder who can't find time for his wife; Hill's Franklin is a mildly disturbed weapons enthusiast yearning to join the police; Ayoade is the quaint weirdo who joins the Watch to fill the void left by his divorce; Vince Vaughn is Vince Vaughn: a loud crass gent looking for a bit of male bonding. The ragtag team assembles to fight crime but they spend most of their time drinking beers in a minivan — an affair they dub "stakeouts." A perfect opportunity for banter.
For a movie about enforcing the law and alien invasions there's a surprising lack of action in The Watch. Long stretches of the film see the central players yapping back and forth about everything: Russian nesting dolls peeing in cans or the similar viscosities of alien goo and human excrement. Charisma goes a long way and Vaughn does much of the heavy lifting making up for lost time out of the spotlight (he's been virtually nonexistent since 2005's Wedding Crashers). The man spits out jokes like no other — the rest of the cast barely keeps up. Ayoade balances out Vaughn's bombardment with a tempered timed delivery that's uniquely British and rarely found on the American big screen. Even when nothing's happening in The Watch it's rarely boring.
The Watch is at its best when it goes a step further mixing the group in with outsiders and throwing them off their rhythm. Billy Crudup cuts loose as a creepy neighbor and its delightfully weird while the always-impressive Rosemarie DeWitt as Evan's wife Abby brings unexpected warmth to the couple's relationship. Sadly The Watch mishandles its greatest asset: the aliens. The film never finds a pitch perfect blend of comedy and science fiction (Ghostbusters or Galaxy Quest this is not); a few scenes where the two come together hint at the best possible scenario but more often than not The Watch avoids its sci-fi roots. A moment in which the guys haul a dead alien back to their man cave plays like an E.T.-inspired version of The Hangover credits. It's lewd and ridiculous but the rest of the film struggles to maintain that energy.
Stiller Vaughn Hill and Ayoade have all proved themselves able funnymen capable of taking weak and tired material up a notch which they're forced to do in every moment of The Watch. Schaffer can handle his talent but his direction isn't adding anything to the mix. By the third slow-motion-set-to-gangster-rap scene The Lonely Island member's obsession with non-cool-coolness is officially just an attempt at being cool (which is not all that funny). The Watch has a greater opportunity than most comedy blockbusters to go absolutely bonkers: it's rated R. But instead of taking its twist and running with it the movie plays it safe. In this case safe is non-stop jokes about the many facets of human reproduction.
Completely stripping Catwoman of her "Batman" connections the geniuses behind this comic-book movie--at least as bad as Spider-Man 2 is good--also stripped it of any pleasure. Neither campy a la Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt of the old TV series nor sexy vamp like Michelle Pfeiffer of Batman Returns Halle Berry's Catwoman is well one lost little kitty in the big city. Actually she's Patience Philips--an annoyingly mousy graphics designer for a top cosmetics firm who despite her job has no fashion sensibility no self-confidence and no boyfriend. (Yeah riiiight!) She is befriended by a mystical Egyptian Mau cat which--courtesy of lousy digital effects--often looks disturbingly like Toonces and sounds like Linda Blair in The Exorcist when it meows; moreover its way of befriending Patience is to lure her into a suicide attempt--one of many plot points lacking a rationale. When Patience discovers that the cosmetics firm's villainous owner (Lambert Wilson) and aging supermodel wife (Sharon Stone) are marketing a toxic disfiguring facial cream she is killed--flushed through a drainage system into the ocean. But here comes that darn cat again to revive her as she's lying in sludge and mud. Next thing she knows she's sleeping on her apartment's bookshelf eating tuna by the caseload looking longingly at Jaguar hood ornaments as if they're long-lost relatives and jumping about walls basketball courts and whatnot faster than a speeding bullet. She also takes to wearing a pointy-eared black-leather dominatrix outfit along with too much makeup but at least no whiskers. She also starts sniffing around that foul cosmetics firm which leads to a martial-arts showdown with Stone. What the Oscar-winning Berry doesn't do regrettably is get a CAT scan to see what kind of ailment convinced her to make this lamebrain movie.
I've seen better acting on 7-Eleven surveillance videos than in Catwoman. Berry is cloying in the film's early stages when she's playing insecure lonely Patience and she's more pathetically childlike than anything else. Once she's Catwoman though she's really terrible tilting her head for endless close-ups and giving lots of wide-eyed stares meant to conjure feline curiosity but that more recall George W. Bush's "deer-in-the-headlights" gaze. The screenplay makes a few lame attempts to observe the duality of women in the way Patience changes to Catwoman but it's not there in the performance. Yet Berry's turn is a career-peak gem compared to Stone who can't decide whether to play the power-mad Laurel Hedare as a broad cartoonish send-up or as someone connected to reality. Looking like a vampiric Susan Powter and barking sarcastic lines without a hint of emotional connection to her character Stone is just awful. On the plot's fringes Benjamin Bratt does his best as a police officer (gee what else) who is both infatuated with Berry and suspects her of murder.
The one-named French director Pitof (short for "pitoful"?) supposedly is a digital-imaging expert who has worked with City of Lost Children's Jean-Pierre Jeunet but you'd never know it here. Either he doesn't know much about directing actors or maybe he only gives directions in French. The effects--especially action scenes involving a digitalized version of Berry--move at such a chaotic breakneck pace that she looks completely phony. Plus there's absolutely no sequential logic whatsoever to where Catwoman moves and when--apparently invisibility is one of her superpowers. These awkward clumsy scenes are usually accompanied by distractingly loud music. Pitof's only other directing credit is some obscure French flick starring Gerard Depardieu…one hopes Catwoman will be his last.
London real-estate agents, beware: There's a new seller - and buyer - in the market. Madonna ("Evita"), who bought a $6.55 million mansion there a few weeks ago, is putting it back on the market in the wake of ex-Beatle George Harrison's stabbing Dec. 30 at his London mansion. According to the London Times, the Material Girl's security advisers told her that the four-story home she bought in the city's trendy Chelsea district was "perfectly visible from the road" and thereby unsuitable for a celebrity. But Big Ben shouldn't feel shafted; the singer/actress reportedly is back in London today searching for a new home with better security.
WOMEN ACCORDING TO WOOD: In the More Than We Needed to Know department, we find James Woods ("Any Given Sunday"), who likes talking about manhood - his manhood.
In an interview with Movieline, the 52-year-old Woods provides detail - whether you want to hear it or not - on his frisky Viagra tryout with a galpal. "We had sex for six hours, 37 minutes," he blabs. "I'm surprised I didn't die of a heart attack." (Well, we're glad you're OK, James.)
Since he's feelin' so good, Woods also decided to enlighten us with his perspectives on other women in Hollywood:
· Sharon Stone: "She has a bigger [unspecified bleep] than I do."
· Jennifer Lopez: "She always has to play the strong woman, like an FBI agent. If I want to [do a love scene] with an FBI agent, I'll turn gay."
· Gwyneth Paltrow: Would have put the moves on her, but "I acted with her mother [Blythe Danner] and I'd feel like I was robbing the cradle."
· Ex-girlfriend Heather Graham: The twentysomething "It" star supposedly told Woods she didn't want to marry or start a family until she was 40. "[I asked her,] 'How do you know you'll get the same attention from men when you're that age?'"
· Susan Sarandon: "Susan Sarandon ruined the world when she had a kid when she was, like [bleeping] 96 years old. Now every actress wants to have a kid at 90."
· Ex-girlfriend Sean Young, she of some notorious run-ins with Woods: "Most of the …whining and moaning chicks do, I don't really pay much attention to."
· Brooke Shields: "Would you rather go out to dinner with the person you love, or sit and listen to her [bleep] about what happened on the set of 'Suddenly, Susan'?"
Just to show, he thinks about guys, too, Woods had this to say about "Any Given Sunday" director Oliver Stone: "[He] eats Viagra like candy corn."
Again, more than we needed to know, James.
STALKED OUT: Today in Los Angeles, prosecutors declined to file stalking charges against a photographer arrested last weekend for allegedly trailing Barbra Streisand and hubby James Brolin.
According to authorities, Streisand and Brolin were cruising - actually, since it's Los Angeles, the term should be inching --- down Highway 101 on Saturday when they noticed someone following them in a van. Deciding it wasn't the traffic that was keeping the van on their tail, the couple pulled their vehicle into a nearby sheriff's station.
Later, as Streisand and Brolin drove on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, they noticed the same man - and the same van, reports said. Overall, the couple said they were trailed for more than 50 miles through five cities. The driver, photographer Wendell Wall, 28, was held for investigation of stalking on $1 million bail.
NO "GREEN CARD": French-born actor Gérard Depardieu ("The Man in the Iron Mask") has a bone to pick with Americans. (Gee, how unusual for the French.)
"Sometimes they get on my nerves, their way of controlling everything," the actor today told a Warsaw press conference. "Cinema nowadays has become an industry ruled by money and of course the Americans."
In protest of the big, ol' bad United States, the actor has refused an offer of citizenship, something he pursued in the 1990 comedy "Green Card."
"I prefer to remain a citizen of the world," he said.
But strangely, Depardieu's protest hasn't prevented him from cashing in on American cultural domination; Depardieu is set to appear in Disney's "102 Dalmatians."