Movie stars Harrison Ford and Kevin Costner and director Steven Spielberg have been named in Forbes magazine's top 10 most costly divorce settlements in Hollywood.
Spielberg, who divorced first wife Amy Irving in 1989 at a cost of $100 million, was only beaten to the top of the poll by basketball legend Michael Jordan and singer Neil Diamond, at numbers one and two respectively.
Forbes speculates Jordan's pending divorce from his wife of 18 years, Juanita Vanoy, will set the former NBA star back by more than $150 million--the cost of Diamond's failed 1969 marriage to Marcia Murphey.
Ford ranks at number four after having paid an estimated $85 million to first wife Melissa Mathison, while Costner's 1994 settlement with wife of 16 years Cindy Silva earned him fifth place.
Other stars whose love splits have made it into the top 10 include former Beatles singer Paul McCartney and his impending divorce from Heather Mills; rocker Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall; and Michael Douglas and first wife Diandra.
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As the real-life 1950's pin-up girl Bettie Page actress Gretchen Mol shakes her moneymaker in this true-American-story drama. Page a Tennessee-raised religious cutie moves to New York in 1949 for a new life when college dreams don't materialize. She's a trusting soul who loves to pose for strangers' cameras and naturally falls into modeling. In no time she's wearing suggestive lingerie and trading spankings with other models. To Bettie the bondage get-ups are silly not prurient. But despite efforts to expand herself and learn acting she remains a pin-up girl. In Bettie's most famous picture she's posing nude in a Santa hat in a 1955 Playboy magazine. After testifying at Congress amid the sexual Puritanism of the '50s Bettie realizes her "notorious" reputation. She quits the biz for her religious beliefs and disappears from the public eye for good. Mol's performance is described in press materials as "incandescent." It is brave to say the least. The actress’ movie career has needed a jolt since she was labeled the next “It” girl in the late ‘90s after starring with Matt Damon in the 1998 Rounders. Her last film was Neil LaBute’s 2003 The Shape of Things. But Mol finds her niche in Notorious. She plays Bettie as she was--a simple-minded and free-spirited character which can be a dangerous combination. The actress doesn't add impresario nuances to the pliable young woman beyond the Southern accents but it is an incandescent performance nonetheless. Lili Taylor (I Shot Andy Warhol) brings her rough features to Paula Klaw Bettie's tough-minded manager transitioning from the Emmy-nominated success of HBO’s Six Feet Under. Mol and Taylor play off each other very well. Recent Oscar-nominee David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck) also sneaks in there as a Southern senator calling for pornography investigations. In the hands of director/writer Mary Harron and writer Guinevere Turner Notorious snaps along like an old crime noir quick like a paperback on the beach. It is ironic and biting smoldering with sexuality but the melodramatic intentions are obvious. The dialogue lapses into clunky spots occasionally but they seem deliberate. The script's potency should not be understated. It's a statement about government's role in bedroom matters and the side effects of an American society prudish about its sexuality. Harron seems a sharp-edged journalist a chronicler of 20th century America and recruited Oscar-nominated researcher Sam Green (The Weather Undergound) to strengthen the movie's veracity such as recreating '50s-era Times Square. Bygone technical methods such as Super 8 cameras are used to match the classy black-and-white photography. Notorious is a little rough but fairly successful in its mission.
Elderly Ptolemy (Anthony Hopkins) who once served under the great Alexander (Colin Farrell) narrates the life story of the man the myth the legend--the son of the ambitious King Philip (Val Kilmer) who surpassed his father at every level and charged into the farthest reaches of the world. From early childhood in Macedonia we see where Alexander gets his drive--mostly from his vengeful snake-lovin' mother Olympias (Angelina Jolie) who urges her son to take charge as well from his tutor Aristotle (Christopher Plummer). Even in the taming of his unbreakable horse Bucephalas at 10 years old Alexander's destiny is evident. The heart of the film lies in Persia which Alexander conquers in one of the most studied military battles of all time. Alexander spends a great deal of time there--taking in the culture claiming its riches and marrying a Bactrian princess Roxane (Rosario Dawson)--much to the chagrin of his Macedonian generals who are stuck in this foreign land with their king. Despite this success Alexander grows restless and turns his attention to the rest of the world including the unexplored regions of India. With his army stretched thin and his Macedonian troops longing for home Alexander presses them one campaign too far. Succumbing to a mysterious illness at age 33 Alexander dies never quite finding what he so desperately searched for.
Although some may scoff at casting the Irish actor in the lead Farrell does an admirable job playing the tortured hero blond wig and all. He exudes plenty of wide-eyed fury and intensity as Alexander the warrior balanced by the controlled calculation of a hyper-effective military commander although he isn't nearly as effective as the idealistic pre-world-conqueror Alexander as he is spiraling down into the haunted angst-ridden Alexander at the end of his obsessive crusade. Casting Jolie as Olympias is a stroke of genius. Sure Jolie can play a smart and beautiful woman in her sleep but her beauty is surpassed only by the power she imbues as Alexander's bitter yet loving mother; she's as hypnotic as the snakes she carries around. Kilmer relishes his role as Alexander's father Philip in all of his grotesque wine-soaked glory. Powerful driven and battle-scarred Kilmer's Philip knows precisely what he wants and matches Jolie's quiet intensity with the raw aggressive masculinity of a warrior king who is far more comfortable in his armor than a toga. In the supporting roles Hopkins is great as always this time in the thankless role of the narrator while Dawson plays Roxane with a ferocity that is as mesmerizing as it is terrifying. Standout Jared Leto also turns in a concentrated performance as Hephaestion Alexander's long-time companion boyhood friend and the person who loves Alexander the best. (And we do mean love.)
Alexander is Oliver Stone at his best. An Alexander nut for most of his life the director gives us a film that--even in its loooong three-hour form--continuously holds your attention especially its intense and bloody battle scenes. I mean honestly once you've fought against an elephant in armor the plain old sword-and-shield skirmishes pale in comparison. Alexander also possesses a great breadth of visuals: Alexandria's peace Pella's tension Babylon's opulence and India's richness. Yet as wonderful as the landscapes are it's personal interactions and internal politics that drive the story--and of course Stone's penchant for conspiracy theories as he more than insinuates Alexander was poisoned by his enemies rather than dying of an "unknown" illness. But a problem still remains: Alexander's life was so huge and he did so much that it's almost impossible to encapsulate it effectively into one film. Stone instead has to focus on what he thinks is the most important namely Alexander's renowned conquests while allowing the pressure cooker in which the young conqueror grew up--the triangle of mother father and son--come through in the decisions he makes later in life. For those few of us who have studied Alexander Stone has made this film especially for us. If you haven't spent any time reading Arrian and the other histories this excellent film might just inspire you to do so.
Along Came Polly has a place in a tiny niche of the romantic comedy genre that one might call "Poopy Love." You know these movies; they feature a nerdy guy usually played by Ben Stiller whose love interest witnesses him in the throes of some scatological or penile trauma yet falls in love with him anyway. The comedy throughout must be gross and whenever possible breast pee-pee or sphincter-related. The girl is usually a childhood friend (à la There's Something About Mary) who's grown up to be a beautiful if quirky creature--she'd have to be to fall in love with a guy who gets his wiener caught in his zipper on prom night discusses milking the cat at her parents' dinner table (à la Meet the Parents) or as in the case of Along Came Polly contracts a massive case of the squirts on their first date after eating spicy food with his fingers. But it's all in the spirit of fun as the love interest teaches the uptight guy to embrace life and there's much hilarity on the road to romance--as well as a fairly irrelevant subplot whose sole purpose is to show us what a great guy the hero is.
As Polly's leading man uptight newly wedded insurance risk assessor Reuben Feffer Stiller proves he's still the undisputed king of Poopy Love films by hamming it up to the hilt whether he's showing off his newly acquired salsa skills or making his misery and anger palpable--and physical--when his bride Lisa (played very straight by Debra Messing) has a fling on the first day of their honeymoon in St. Barts with French scuba instructor Claude (a very naked very toned very funny Hank Azaria). Crestfallen and bitter Reuben returns to the Big Apple alone and while at an art show with his best friend former child actor Sandy Lyle (Philip Seymour Hoffman) bumps into an old school chum the free-spirited Polly Prince (Jennifer Aniston). The uproar begins in earnest with Hoffman on the scene--his egomaniacal former child star is a funny tub of pomposity and insecurity--and he and Stiller have nice comic chemistry together. That's more than can be said of Aniston who doesn't seem to want to get her hands dirty even though the script offers her the opportunity. She never really participates physically in the comedy the way Cameron Diaz did in Mary--she simply reacts to Stiller's antics. Her character's pet ferret gets more laughs.
Like Stiller Along Came Polly's director and screenwriter John Hamburg is no stranger to Poopy Love having written the outrageous script for Meet the Parents and the less clever though highly original Zoolander. The jokes in Polly seem limited in comparison with a high reliance on pooping farting "sharting" (when you fart and a little poo comes out) and of course the old took-a-dump-in-your-girlfriend's-bathroom-and-the-toilet-won't-flush gag. That doesn't mean the movie's not funny--it is. There's just not much here we haven't seen before.
Comedian Robin Williams is going back to his roots--and HBO has got him. He will be taking the stage for the first time in 15 years with a live comedy special, Robin Williams: Live on Broadway. It will air July 14 at 9 p.m.
Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton will soon be able to bring home their adoptive Cambodian son. The Immigration and Naturalization Service has cleared 18 Cambodian children for American families, including the star couple's 9-month-old son, Maddox.
Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is all grown up--and sexier than ever, according to Vanity Fair. In its June issue, the magazine calls Clinton the "new J.F.K. Jr.," Reuters reports, as she continues her studies at England's Oxford University and flaunts a new boyfriend, Ian Klaus, a fellow U.S. student at Oxford.
Bruce Willis is such a nice dad. He decided to buy 12,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies on the advice of his youngest daughter, Tallulah, 8, and sent them to the U.S. troops in Afghanistan, his publicist told Reuters. He paid the full price of $36,000. That's a lot of Thin Mints.
Lucy Lawless, the former Xena: Warrior Princess, had a real-life adventure of her own Tuesday. She gave birth to a son, Judah Miro Tapert, in her home in New Zealand. The baby weighed in at 8 pounds, 8 ounces, The Associated Press reported. She and husband Robert G. Tapert, executive producer of the now defunct Xena, also have a 2-year-old son, and Lawless has a 13-year-old daughter from a previous marriage.
Handsome rocker Jon Bon Jovi is a dad again, as well. His wife, Dorothea, gave birth to a son, Jacob, Tuesday in New Jersey, bringing the count in the Bon Jovi household to five. The couple also has a daughter, 9, and a son, 7.
Ethan Hawke's second novel, Ash Wednesday, will be released in September. The book revolves around a soldier who bolts from the Army to be with his pregnant lover. Hawke's first novel, The Hottest State, was released in 1997.
In the Biz
Wanna see Leatherface again? Sure you do. Well, you'll get to because New Line Cinema and music video director Marcus Nispel have decided to reconceptualize the Tobe Hooper classic horror flick The Texas Chainsaw Massacre for a brand-new feature film release. Shooting starts in July.
Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment have bought the rights to make movies based on the archival material published in Playboy over the last 48 years. Since the magazine's first issue in 1953, it has printed short stories from such authors as Ray Bradbury, John Irving and Larry McMurtry. Sure, that's why guys buy the magazine--for the articles.
Jamie Foxx will be portraying Ray Charles in the feature film Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Story, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film will follow the musician's life from growing up in Georgia to his rise in the music industry.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Sylvester Stallone has created and produced a TV series about a hip Catholic priest, Father Lefty, which is currently being considered by CBS for its fall lineup. With the current rash of sexual misconduct allegations against Catholic priests, Stallone's timing is perfect.
Boy George is back--and better than ever! He made his stage debut in the musical Taboo, a tale about George's own group, Culture Club, and its short reign during the '80s. George plays performance artist Leigh Bowery in the musical.
The New York Drama Critics' Circle named Edward Albee's provocative play The Goat the best of the year. The group also gave Elaine Stritch a special award for her autobiographical one-woman show, Elaine Stritch at Liberty.
Makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin, who worked on such famous faces as Cindy Crawford, Britney Spears and Julia Roberts, died Tuesday from complications of a metabolic disorder. He was 40.