Apparently Catherine Zeta-Jones has more important things to do than spend time with Kevin Costner.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that the actress has dropped out of Oliver Stone's epic love story "Beyond Borders," in which she was to co-star with Costner. Sources now have the lead role going to "Pretty Woman" Julia Roberts.
The shoot for Mandalay Pictures' "Beyond Borders" was to begin in May. No word from Zeta-Jones' camp on why she dropped out of the flick, although the actress is due to wed Michael Douglas -- reportedly on Sept. 25, the lovebirds' shared birthday.
HE WRITES THE SONGS: Steve Martin may be headed back to the Barry Manilow era in Miramax's upcoming "Long Lost."
Martin's attached to star and Griffin Dunne ("Addicted to Love") is set to direct, the Reporter says. "Pulp Fiction's" Lawrence Bender and Laura Bickford will produce.
The story's about a 1970s Manilow-esque pop icon whose days of having women throw their panties at him are long since past.
ANIMAL PLANET: Warner Bros. has a certain pet fetish after taking a gander at the box-office numbers for Sony's mousecapade, "Stuart Little." Daily Variety reports that the studio is a kibble and bit away from green lighting its own live action-animated pet movie, "Cats and Dogs."
Warners initially had hoped to fast track the project for a release Christmas Y2K but may take its time to have the pic set for a 2001 holiday release.
The fast-and-furry comedy tells the story of a continuing battle between the species, as dogs and cats go paw to paw over the creation of a vaccine against dog allergies. The dogs are barking for it. The cats want to scratch it from existence.
Director Larry Gutterman has already begun scouting locations, and creature models are being built in L.A. and the United Kingdom.
After catching her live-in boyfriend in a compromising position Amanda sets out to find a new place to live. She ends up rooming with four supermodels (Shalom Harlow Ivana Milicevic Sarah O'Hare and Tomiko Fraser) whose apartment has a great view -- especially of Jim the "perfect guy" across the way. When Amanda in a "Rear Window"- type scenario witnesses Jim committing what she thinks is a murder she sets out to prove that he did it. However to her surprise she ends up falling head over heels (literally a lot of the time) for him instead.
The chemistry between Prinze and Potter is near perfect. Potter does a great job of playing a klutzy girl who can't seem to stay on her feet long enough to have a conversation with Jim. But then again who could? Prinze exudes his usual charm and winning smile while at the same time showing great comic timing. The more pivotal moments with the four models who are "struggling " as they like to say are well done and surprisingly hysterical. Who needs a drama when you can have four models who are actually funny?
Director Mark S. Waters and Prinze Jr. are together again after their 1997 film "The House of Yes." "Head Over Heels" is a cross between "Fatal Attraction " "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "There's Something About Mary " which means it's a bit muddled in its direction. Waters tries a little too hard for the shock value while at the same time trying to convey romantic comedy elements almost overshadowing the performances of the actors. But hey then again we get to see supermodels covered in poop. Priceless. Still the fairly clever and darker script plus the winning chemistry between the lead actors makes it worthwhile.
Sultry culinary genius Isabella (Penélope Cruz) leads an idyllic life running a seaside restaurant in Brazil with her husband Toninho (Murilo Benício) - until she finds Toninho in bed with another woman that is. Heartbroken she heads off to San Francisco and immediately finds work as -- what else? -- the host of a TV cooking show. Screwball comedy complications ensue as a prayer to a Brazilian goddess goes awry Isabella's show becomes a hit and a penitent Toninho arrives to try and win his wife back.
Perma-pouting Spanish dish Cruz ("All About My Mother") is a solid actress with an excess of on-screen charisma but she isn't particularly well served by her first Hollywood starring vehicle. Hampered by their thick accents she and hunky Brazilian co-star Benício ("Orfeu") fight their way through hokey exchanges that have no business being in English anyway. (The whole film would have gone down more smoothly in Brazil's romantic tongue Portuguese.) Of the supporting players Harold Perrineau ("The Best Man") generates the most sparks putting a surprisingly fresh spin on one of the more tired modern screen clichés: the strapping black drag queen.
Venezuelan-born helmer Fina Torres ("Celestial Clockwork") adopts the candy-shop approach to commercial storytelling packing her film with enough sexy stars bright South American colors and tangy bossa nova tunes to distract viewers from the lame predictability of Vera Blasi's script. Pinching ingredients from the Mexican food-and-sex smash "Like Water For Chocolate " the filmmakers cobble together a passable romantic fantasy in the Latin American magical-realist tradition. Too bad most of the comedy falls flatter than a Brazilian crèpe.
Kind of like "The Hustler" for the bouncing-ball set "Duets" unevenly follows six characters: the small-town singer headed for Hollywood (Maria Bello); the young cabbie searching for integrity (Scott Speedman); the ex-con with the voice of an angel (Andre Braugher); the burned-out salesman with a new lease on life (Paul Giamatti); and the karaoke hustler (Huey Lewis) who learns he has a daughter (Gwyneth Paltrow). Working their way through the interstates and karaoke bars of middle America they each pair up and come together to compete for the $5000 grand prize in a karaoke contest.
Believe it or not each person in this film uses his/her own voice in the musical segments and it works. Paltrow whispers a credible "Bette Davis Eyes " but has little more to do in her supporting role than hang around Huey like a lost puppy. Lewis ("Short Cuts") who looks like he'll break out with "Hip to be Square" at any moment should stick to singing. Bello ("Coyote Ugly") projects confidence as the wannabe star with a golden deep throat but overshadows cabbie partner Speedman who blends into the scenery with the lightest role of the chorus. Braugher ("Homicide: Life on the Street") is a believable threat as the crooning con. He's paired with borderline psychopath Giamatti who pleasantly steals the entire show. Seizing the best role Giamatti delivers an infectious high-energy performance while singing with impressive grace and range.
Effectively immersing the audience into the world of karaoke Bruce Paltrow (father of Gwyneth producer/writer/director of "St. Elsewhere" and "The White Shadow") injects unexpected life into an otherwise very shaky story line. This is a film that could have gone horribly wrong -- and almost does -- but somehow mysteriously Paltrow pulls it off. His attention to quirky detail and love for these thinly drawn characters shines through the unevenness of the story and poorly calculated lapses into serious violent territory. Though the film runs a bit long the fun lively atmosphere and vocal enthusiasm of the actors -- specifically Giamatti -- keeps "Duets" from losing the contest.
For nine months prior to World War II in an extraordinary act of mercy the United Kingdom opened its doors to over 10 000 Jewish and other children escaping the clutches of the Third Reich. The organization and transportation of these children from Germany Austria and Czechoslovakia into foster homes and hostels was known as the Kindertransport (child transport). Stills newsreel footage re-creations and present-day interviews with children and parents who experienced this event form the narrative.
Single-camera interviews with Kindertransport survivors are the backbone of this stirring documentary. Interspersed with intensely researched films and salvaged photographs are simple straightforward accounts of practical emotional and often amusing experiences. Weaved sparingly throughout the film narrator Judi Dench gives "Into the Arms of Strangers" the proper authoritative voice bridging the many engrossing stories by tangible real people.
Equally balancing the tragedies of wartime with the precious celebration of life and family director Harris (writer/director of the Academy Award-winning "The Long Way Home " an account of post-war Holocaust survivors) manages to capture the heart and soul of these courageous and often unwitting children past and present. Additional credit must be paid to Gary Rydstrom's ("Toy Story 2 " "Titanic") phenomenal well-crafted sound design which allows the footage and photography to leap from the screen and raise this documentary into an involving three-dimensional tale. Together these two filmmakers make a formidable team.
Diamond (Haitian-American rapper Pras) hopes to launch a recording career with a self-financed CD but loyalty to his loose-cannon homie Gage (hip-hop star Ja Rule) and a lack of cash keep him uncomfortably linked to Gage's drug-trafficking boss ("Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" star Jason Statham). Diamond's pregnant girlfriend (Tamala Jones) and estranged father (Vondie Curtis-Hall) try to steer him on a more responsible path but the would-be superstar continues to find himself in more gunfights than in the average Wesley Snipes flick. Will the violence ever end?
Handsome ex-Fugee Pras' refusal to register any emotion whatsoever hampers what little credible drama there is to be found in the script. Just because the quiet angry thing works for Ice Cube doesn't mean it will work for every rapper-turned-actor. The fierce Ja Rule shows much more promise in his feature debut though his gat-packing crazyman character is too much of a cliché to go anywhere very interesting. The terrific Curtis-Hall ("Eve's Bayou") perks things up every time his dreadlocked wise man shows up on-screen but he's criminally underused.
Writer-director Robert Adetuyi tries to have things both ways in the classic Hollywood style -- selling a vague anti-violence message while glamorizing the film's glossy gunfights. Dramatically the piece seesaws between soap opera-ish personal exchanges and cheesy gangster movie confrontations. Mechanical problems with the plot mount as Diamond and Gage set up the inevitable Big Score and soon the only question in viewers' minds is how thematically dishonest the action finale will be.
Ask any of the homeless living in the tunnels and they’ll say that living underground isn’t so bad. They don’t have to pay rent they don’t have to pay for electricity and they can smoke their crack without anyone bothering them. The homeless featured here explain how they survive underground -- usually in graphic detail -- and it isn’t always pretty.
The subjects here are as real as they come: family men and women who reveal in detail how they ended up as drug addicts living in New York’s least prestigious borough.
Singer’s fascinating black-and-white exposé captures the pride these people have in their dilapidated homes and shows how they’ve adjusted to life underground. Firing off questions from behind the camera Singer manages to dig deep bringing one particular homeless woman to tears.
Kindly chemistry whiz Sherman (Eddie Murphy) has found the love of his life in cutie colleague Denise (Janet Jackson) who appreciates the heart of gold beneath his extra-large exterior. But the hero's happiness is threatened when his irrepressible alter-ego Buddy Love (Murphy) reappears with a scheme to wreak havoc with Sherman's newly discovered youth potion.
"The Klumps" displays Murphy's remarkable talent for submerging himself in diverse characters even more prominently than the original did. He impressively expands upon the four Klump family members he plays with the aid of Rick Baker's Oscar-winning prosthetic makeup effects -- especially his hilarious turn as sex-crazed Granny Klump. Larry Miller is amusingly caustic as the dean of Sherman's college while pop diva Jackson deserves credit simply for keeping a straight face opposite Murphy's various incarnations.
Peter Segal ("Tommy Boy") hands in a polished if not particularly inspired piece of broad comedy that achieves its primary purpose -- staying out of Murphy's way as he works his special magic. The filmmakers pay little attention to the brainless shamelessly mechanical plotline devoting nearly all their energy to fart and sex gags that if anything aim lower than the original film's. We're talking about a flick draws one of its biggest laughs from a character getting sodomized by a giant hamster. Baby that's nasty!