Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is throwing his financial support behind developers of an eco-friendly apartment complex in New York by becoming an investor. The Great Gatsby star has been searching for a home in the city for several months and recently purchased a multi-million dollar apartment in the Delos Living complex.
Dicaprio tells the New York Post, "Delos creates innovative building designs that both enhance human health and improve the environment."
The environmental activist will also join health guru Deepak Chopra on the board of advisers and Paul and Peter Delos have committed to building 40 homes in Haiti through former U.S. President Bill Clinton's foundation for every unit they sell.
Actor Jesse Eisenberg shunned his luxury lifestyle for several months to work on an organic farm and live in a yurt to prepare for his role in new environmental drama Night Moves. The Social Network star reveals he went back to basics to get into the mindset of his cold-blooded eco-activist character, who plots with co-stars Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard to blow up an Oregon dam as part of a protest against the deterioration of the land.
Speaking at the Venice Film Festival in Italy, he told reporters, "It just gives you a different sense of living. When you are planting the food that you eat, you feel a direct sense with interacting with the world for practical reasons, and alternatively you are feeling disgusted by a lot of modernity just by being separate from it. That is what my character believes in.
"My character thinks of himself as a soldier in a war fighting what he views as modern society that's been co-opted by business and technology.
"I suppose there is a kind of irony if he is fighting to create a more beautiful, peaceful and sustainable environment, but doing it through kind of dangerous means. He views his acts as right and just, and he views the damage as collateral damage."
Smart and the Pretty Woman star, along with her husband Danny Moder, were feted by fellow eco activists, including actors Peter Fonda and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, at Heal the Bay's annual Bring Back the Beach gala on Friday (18May12).
Together the crowd raised funds to help promote awareness about protecting the marine animals of Santa Monica Bay home, and The Butterfly Effect beauty Smart was thrilled to be recognised for her years of hard work.
She tells local publication Los Angeles Confidential, "I'm extremely grateful and honoured. I highly respect and love Heal the Bay; their work is so effective, far-reaching, and impactful on the ocean. Growing up in Topanga Canyon (in California), being in the mountains and surrounded by nature inspired me.
"My parents always loved nature, and that inspired my brother and me. Growing up I was always aware of the environment (through) beach clean-ups, hikes, and bike rides in the canyon. Right out of high school I wanted to get involved and saw Heal the Bay posters around. That was my first venture into environmental work when I was 18."
Improving on his last two duds The Village and the dreadful aquatic nymph tale Lady In The Water writer/producer/director M. Night Shyamalan gets back to the kind of eerie paranoid thriller he so successfully mined in early efforts like The Sixth Sense and Signs. The results this time are mixed in this story of a mysterious environmental “happening” on the East Coast that is causing large groups of people to commit suicide. As he does in his most effective films Shyamalan focuses on a core group of people who must find a way to survive these strange events. Elliot (Mark Wahlberg) is a Philadelphia science teacher already dealing with marital problems with his attractive but rather unstable wife Alma (Zooey Deschanel) now thrust into full crisis mode as he his wife a fellow math teacher Julian (John Leguizamo) and Julian’s daughter Jess (Ashlyn Sanchez) hit the road by train then car to escape the unusual plague first thought to be a terrorist attack. The group soon realizes it is more than that perhaps a forceful message from Mother Nature cued by the growing winds and rustling of tree leaves. Joined eventually by two older boys Jared (Robert Bailey Jr.) and Josh (Spencer Breslin) Elliot tries to be the voice of reason as each person begins to meet their own fates on a journey into a heartland of unexplainable terror. Unlike most contemporary horror films in which actors must battle butt-ugly creatures most of the genuine frights in this flick are left to our imagination. Here Shyamalan wants us to experience what the characters are going through the abject fear on their faces. Wahlberg is particularly good at expressing a growing feeling that events are slipping out of his control. He’s amusing in a direct encounter with a house plant he fears may now have the upper hand and in the film’s best sequence where he must convince a batty paranoid old woman (an intense Betty Buckley) to let the group stay in her remote farmhouse. Forced to utter lines like “just when you thought there couldn’t be any more evil invented ” the quirky Deschanel has her work cut out for her but is likeable enough in the end. As a math teacher Leguizamo spends much of his screen time calculating everyone’s odds for survival until his own becomes questionable. As his daughter Sanchez is appealing and handles herself well. Shyamalan is the heir apparent to Alfred Hitchcock--in his own mind at least. Hitch’s The Birds seems to be the template but that 1963 classic is light years ahead in every way. Unfortunately Shyamalan is becoming something of a one-trick pony as The Happening is basically a retread of things we’ve seen him do before. There is no question he has superior skills. He clearly gets the horror genre; he just doesn’t seem to know how to make it fresh anymore and the answer isn’t by ratcheting up the body count. Reportedly 20th Century Fox asked him deliberately to make an R rated film (his first) and its those gore-filled elements which seem superfluous here. Do we really need to see a guy commit suicide by willingly letting some zoo lions rip off his arms? It’s glaring and out of place with the subtler aspects of the director’s style. Plus the use of overbearing and obvious music cues (score is by James Newton Howard) shamelessly telegraphs whatever scares the movie and only serves to emphasize the shortcomings of M. Night’s sketchy screenplay. Still as a summertime time-waster The Happening fills the bill but as an eco-thriller with dire warnings for humankind it drowns in its own promising potential.