We've pored over the headlines and highlights of the last 12 months and come up with a quiz that'll test the old grey matter.
So, put down the eggnog and turn down the TV...
1. She played a Salt-y spy, he voiced Metroman. Name the celebrity couple.
a. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
b. Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise
c. Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith
2. ... and can you name their three biological children?
a. Pax, Maddox and Shiloh
b. Shiloh, Vivienne and Knox
c. Isabella, Conner and Suri
3. Name Scarlett Johansson's super villainess character in Iron Man 2.
a. Black Widow
c. The Bride
4. Hollywood icon Tony Curtis died in September after suffering a cardiac arrest. Name his daughter.
a. Jennifer Jason Leigh
b. Jamie Lee Curtis
c. Carrie Fisher
5. Which fugitive actor spent the latter part of the year seeking asylum in Canada after confessing he feared for his life if he returned to the U.S.?
a. Dennis Quaid
b. Chevy Chase
c. Randy Quaid
6. Which Harry Potter star appeared in a Halloween episode of The Simpsons as a mysterious character called Edmund?
a. Daniel Radcliffe
b. Rupert Grint
c. Alan Rickman
7. Name Mel Gibson's Russian ex.
a. Anna Kournikova
b. Olga Chernikova
c. Oksana Grigorieva
8. This Hollywood actor returned to Wall Street and battled throat cancer. Name him.
a. Michael Douglas
b. Charlie Sheen
c. Josh Brolin
9. What do Toy Story 3, Clash of the Titans and The Last Airbender all have in common?
a. They were all remakes
b. They all starred Tom Hanks
c. They were all 3D films
10. Which Bond star landed himself a role in the Hollywood remake of smash-hit Swedish film The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo?
a. Sean Connery
b. Daniel Craig
c. Roger Moore
11. Which movie won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2010?
a. The Hurt Locker
c. Up in the Air
12. His 'Crazy Heart' won him gold at the Oscars in 2010 and his 'True Grit' looks put him in contention in 2011. Name the movie veteran.
a. Brad Pitt
b. Jeff Bridges
c. Robert Duvall
13. Which Walt Disney movie became the highest grossing animated film of all time in 2010?
a. Toy Story 3
14. Which actress was jailed in July after violating probation stemming from a 2007 DUI arrest?
a. Paris Hilton
b. Lindsay Lohan
c. Nicole Richie
15. Which Pirates of the Caribbean star married his model girlfriend Miranda Kerr in July?
a. Johnny Depp
b. Geoffrey Rush
c. Orlando Bloom
16. Which Oscar winning actress surprised the world by announcing she had adopted a baby boy, just weeks after winning her first Oscar - and then leaving her cheating husband?
a. Sandra Bullock
b. Halle Berry
c. Kate Winslet
17. Hollywood legend Dennis Hopper lost his battle with prostate cancer at age 74. Name his character in cult biker movie Easy Rider.
18. Who hosted the 2010 Oscars?
a. Billy Crystal and Steve Martin
b. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin
c. Alec Baldwin and Billy Crystal
19. Which royal couple is Madonna currently making a movie about?
a. Prince Charles and Princess Diana
b. Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn
c. Edward VII and Wallis Simpson
20. Seth Rogen and Ryan Reynolds both became green superheroes in 2010. Name their characters in the upcoming movies.
a. The Green Goblin and Green Lantern
b. Green Hornet and Green Lantern
c. The Riddler and Green Hornet
21. And while we're going green, which actor was named the new Hulk?
a. Mark Ruffalo
b. Brad Pitt
c. George Clooney
22. Who co-starred with Bruce Willis in the film Red?
a. Kate Winslet and Morgan Freeman
b. Helen Mirren and George Clooney
c. Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman
23. Liam Neeson portrayed John 'Hannibal' Smith in the film version of which 80's TV show?
a. The A-Team
b. Dukes of Hazzard
c. The Six Million Dollar Man
24. Which Twilight Saga star was crowned Homecoming Queen for the 2nd straight year at her school?
a. Kristen Stewart
b. Dakota Fanning
c. Ashley Green
25. Name Leonardo DiCaprio's mindbending 2010 film
a. The Last Airbender
26. Which movie star dumped a Canadian model for a French hunk?
a. Halle Berry
b. Sandra Bullock
c. Kate Winslet
27. He campaigned for Sudan, played 'The American' and fell for an Italian TV personality. Name the international movie star.
a. Matt Damon
b. Brad Pitt
c. George Clooney
28. Name John Travolta's baby son.
29. Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz teamed up for which 2010 summer blockbuster?
a. Knight and Day
b. Day and Knight
c. Mission: Impossible 4
30. She teamed up with Gerard Butler in The Bounty Hunter. Name the actress.
a. Drew Barrymore
b. Katherine Heigl
c. Jennifer Aniston
S5:E5 After indulging in last week’s off-mark live episode, 30 Rock returns with Jack’s quest for a no-hitter, Tracy’s continual insanity, the dark(er) side of Jenna Maroney, and most importantly, a much needed debunking of Liz Lemon’s awkward sexual hang-ups.
The episode begins as Jack is midway through his no-hitter – he’s not made a single mistake since the day before when he coined the term “inoventually,” and if he makes it a full 24 hours he’ll have accomplished “Reaganing.” He welcomes Lemon into his office because fixing her problems successfully would be his crowning glory – she’s the Albert Pujols of having problems and afterall, “When you’re pitching the perfect game you don’t walk Albert Pujols.” Liz spills her big problem – she needs a ride to Newark airport so she can meet Carol. Jack says no problem, he’s got to drop by MSNBC to have a talk with Rachel Maddow about their matching haircuts. And they’re back in the game.
Jack and Liz hop in Jack’s limo, but it’s not long before they’re stuck in traffic and Liz is forced to confess her reasons her rush to see Carol. She’s planning on breaking it off – wait, doesn’t she know that Carol looks like Matt Damon. Clearly, she’s gone crazy. Jack is equally surprised, but immediately knows the issue: sex. It’s the only thing that Liz has never been comfortable talking about – yet she’ll talk about her vomit and toe-knuckle hairs. She gives in and confesses that she’s having “performance issues” with Carol, but the blame doesn’t fall on Lemon’s pilot boyfriend. I don’t know how to put this lightly, so I’ll just quote Lemon herself: “It’s like Fort Knox down there.”
In order to keep his Reaganing streak going by besting the ultimate challenge, he’s determined to get to the bottom of Liz’s issue. While I want to say this is way too much information, I have to admit I’ve always wondered what was with her irrational disgust for any mention of sex or intimacy. Dig away, Donaghy. Jack accuses Liz of being a prude, and that’s just the push she needs to dive into her past. She yells at him to stop, “Stop asking about the Roller Skates!”
Liz finally concedes and tells Jack why she hates sex so much. (This of course happens right after Jack does a creepy Reagan impression that I’m pretty sure could be a brand new source of sexual issues.) “Will you tell the Gipper your sexual story…Mommy?” We’re treated to a creepy 9 year old version of Liz (Tina Fey with Pete Rose haircut), skating through her childhood home as we learn about the fateful day that she learned to hate sex. The story’s not really that important, but it ends with little Liz in roller skates, with her underwear around her ankles (for completely nonsexual reasons), draped in a Tom Jones poster that had fallen on top of her. The story goes that her mother took all her posters away (you know, Han Solo, Kermit – the usual) after finding her squirming under the Tom Jones picture and thus “Sex makes the people go away.” Um. Okay, we’ll roll with it. (Get it? Because of the roller skates? Okay, moving on…)
Meanwhile Tracy has turned down a hosting gig at the MTV International Video Music Awards to film a commercial for the Boys and Girls Club with yet another director that he’s managed to piss off. The commercial shoot is blocking off the street (which is why Lemon and Jack are stuck in traffic) because it’s only supposed to need a few takes, but of course Tracy hasn’t learned his lines. The commercial goes through the entire one-shot sequence of kids performing tricks and athletic feats only for Tracy to screw it up at the end of each take – at one point he even ends up shirtless by the end of the shot. (Something tells me this plotline might be inspired by Tracy Morgan’s actual filming process.) Jack gets out of the limo to see what the problem is and since he’s on his Gipper kick, he decides he can fix Tracy so the commercial can wrap and he can get Liz to the airport. Inspired by Reagan’s love of jelly beans (and a conveniently placed jar full of them on set) Jack feeds Tracy jelly beans and does a Mr. Ed style dub of Tracy’s lines. And thus, he’s maintained his no-hitter…but there’s still the issue of Lemon.
While Jack’s solving everyone’s problems, Jenna is corrupting Kenneth. After she made Kenneth return an ice cream cake that she purchased with her “Free Ice Cream For Life Card” and the cashier gives him cash instead of credit, Jenna hatches a plan to continue to ice cream con long term. Kenneth’s family is hit hard by the economy (they’ve even had to sell of their childr- I mean pigs), so he’s happy to earn a little extra cash (and apparently too dumb to realize how dishonest they’re being). Eventually the ice cream store revokes Jenna’s card and the jig is up. Hungry for more cash, Kenneth insists they find another way. Of course they figure out a way to do one last big con (just like every crime movie, ever) and they enlist Kelsey Grammer who also possesses a Free Ice Cream For Life card. While it was nice to Frasier gracing the television waves once more, the whole ordeal was just annoying. Just how awful is Jenna? Jenna, Kelsey, and Kenneth do the last big job conning both Pete and the ice cream store and earning double the profit (800 bucks – where’s that Frasier money, Grammer?) but end up getting the clerk at the store fired. Kenneth feels awful and squashes any notions of further cons, Jenna understands. (She just hopes he dies in a car accident so she can have his “good heart.” Geez, Jenna, you’ve gone from egotistical and funny to creepy. Whoa.) Even so, she and Kelsey have got to beat him out of the con gang – sorry, The Best Friends Gang. Kenneth picked that name, didn’t he?
Finally, Jack and Lemon reach the airport and Jack’s convinced that he threw the perfect game because he still hasn’t managed to fix Lemon. When she gets to Newark she’s determined to set Carol free from her sexual issues, but Jack won’t let her. He tells her she’s “great” (yeah, it really happened! Aw, those two!) and that she and Carol deserve to be happy together. (No really, he said those things!) Finally it hits him: Tom Jones! The performance issue happened in Vegas, where Tom Jones plays shows every night, and their room was overlooking a Tom Jones marquis. Tom Jones is the trigger! She’s fixed, she goes running into the airport chanting “USA” as Jack looks on like a proud papa. Oh how I love their incredibly dysfunctional friendship and while I’m a little irked by her sexual back story, I’m glad we finally figured it out. Now she can go back to praising Meat Cat and cheesy blasters instead squirming at the word “climax.”
As the fifth year at Hogwarts begins most of the wizardry world is having a hard time believing Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) has returned further propagated by the Ministry of Magic who refuses to recognize anything evil is brewing and blames all the hullabaloo on Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Dumbledore (Michael Gambon). The Ministry even interferes with Hogwarts business by making Ministry employee Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor whose outwardly sweet demeanor hides a sadistic streak a mile wide. She thinks the children should only learn about the Dark Arts “theoretically” and tortures all those who disagree. But the Voldemort threat is a reality and Dumbledore has re-formed the Order of the Phoenix a group of witches and wizards that prepares to battle the Dark Lord. Harry is unfortunately being kept in the dark for his protection of course even as his connection to Voldemort grows stronger and he’s royally peeved at being ignored. Urged on by Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) he forms his own order of Hogwarts students called Dumbledore’s Army to teach them what defenses against the Dark Arts he has already learned. Oh yeah Harry also shares his first kiss but make no bones about it—love is the furthest thing on Harry’s mind when the crap hits the fan. War is imminent. Everyone steps up their game in Order of the Phoenix. Radcliffe Watson and Grint have shed their adolescent whininess and aw-shucks goofiness to give their characters the greatest depth so far. They are forced to grow up pretty quickly in Order with little time for any playfulness and the three actors handle the seriousness with aplomb. Of course both Radcliffe and Grint have already ventured out of the Potter world—Radcliffe shed more than just adolescence on stage in a production of Equus while Grint lost his virginity in the indie Driving Lessons--and their extra experience shows in Order. Also good are Matthew Lewis as the usually clumsy Neville Longbottom who shows his mettle in more ways than one and newcomer Evanna Lynch as the slightly off-kilter Luna Lovegood who proves to be a loyal member of Dumbledore’s Army. But the kids have to keep up with the talented adult cast especially Oscar-nominated Staunton (Vera Drake) as Umbridge. The veteran actress’ interpretation of one of J.K. Rowling’s nastiest characters so far in the Potter lore is spot-on down to the pink wool suits and irritating twitter “ahem” she uses when she wants your undivided attention. Helena Bonham Carter also makes an impression however over the top it is as the evil Voldemort follower Bellatrix Lestrange. Does she ever want to look pretty onscreen? Then there’s the laundry list of Brits whose time onscreen may be short but is nonetheless memorable including Alan Rickman as the sneering Prof. Snape; Gambon as the wise but flawed Dumbledore; Gary Oldman as the kindly Sirius Black Harry’s only real family; and of course Fiennes as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. His late-in-the-game appearance once again throws you for a loop. It stands to reason that at five movies in moviegoers would have a favorite Harry Potter flick by now. Those who love those Triwizard Tournament special effects might feel The Goblet of Fire was the best; or Prisoner of Azkaban for its time-bending action. Yet The Order of the Phoenix may be the one movie that speaks directly to the fans of the books. Without as much wide-eyed wonderment or wizardry flash the story is still chockfull of compelling details that are absolutely pivotal to the continuing Harry Potter saga. Screenwriter Michael Goldenberg (Peter Pan) and director David Yates (HBO’s The Girl in the Café) manage to wade through this volume of information and cut successfully to the chase with great effect. Yates who has signed on to do the sixth movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince even shows an affinity for action in the final dramatic confrontation between good witches and wizards and bad ones. But overall Order of the Phoenix may leave audiences not as well-versed in the novels a little itchy for some good old-fashioned wand-waving and Disney special effects. Thing is it’s just going to keep getting darker and darker for Harry and his crew. The days of happy fun playtime are over.