Drug charges against Ja Rule Dropped
Rapper Ja Rule, who was arrested early Thursday morning in New York on charges of fifth-degree marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license, has had the drug charge dropped, The Associated Press reports. According to police, Ja Rule, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, was pulled over at 2:19 a.m. in his 2001 Mercedes-Benz on Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village for changing lanes without signaling. The officers found a small amount of marijuana in his possession and discovered that his license had been suspended. He pleaded guilty to driving with a suspended license in Manhattan Criminal Court yesterday and paid $550 in fines and court fees. The misdemeanor possession charge apparently was dropped. Ja Rule, 28, of Saddle River, N.J., has starred in several movies, including The Fast and the Furious and Half Past Dead.
DMX hit with additional charges
Rapper-actor DMX, who was arrested June 24 on charges he and another man tried to steal a car in a parking lot of New York's Kennedy Airport, will also charged with criminal mischief, impersonation, menacing, DUI, and endangering the welfare of a child, the AP reports. According to police reports, DMX crashed his SUV, which was equipped with lights and a siren, through an airport parking lot exit gate and told the attendant to let him leave because he was a federal agent. The rapper then allegedly identified himself as a federal agent and ordered a driver in a nearby parking lot to get out of his vehicle. When the driver refused, DMX attempted to pull him out of the car, while the driver's 13-year-old daughter sat in the backseat. According to court documents, the rapper said the unidentified driver had cut him off. If convicted, both men, who were released on $15,000 bail, could face up to seven years in prison.
Apprentice star in parking lot scuffle
A former star of Donald Trump's hit reality show The Apprentice is accusing workers at a tow truck company in North Miami Beach, Fla., of attacking her and her fiancé, the AP reports. Katrina Campins and her fiancé, Ben Moss, say they had parked their Acura at a shopping mall in Sunny Isles Beach Sunday afternoon and went across the street to the Trump International Sonesta Beach Resort, where they plan to marry next month. But when they returned, saw the car was missing. The couple says they approached Donnie Seay, whose family owns Seay Towing, in the parking lot and got into an argument that turned physical. The two took a cab to Parkway Regional Medical Center, where Campins was treated for a broken nose, swollen eye and leg scrapes, while Moss needed stitches for a split lip. Seay Towing says they are lying.
Bill Cosby talks to black community again
Bill Cosby, who made headlines in May when he blasted poor blacks for their grammar and accused them of squandering opportunities the civil rights movement gave them, is at it again. The AP reports the veteran comedian told an audience at the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition & Citizenship Education Fund's annual conference that black children are running around not knowing how to read or write. "I can't even talk the way these people talk, 'Why you ain't,' 'Where you is' ... and I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk," Cosby said. "And then I heard the father talk ... Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth." Cosby added he wasn't concerned that some whites took his comments and turned them against blacks. "Let them talk," he said.
NBC regrets not using Saddam footage
NBC's Today show admits they made a "mistake" when it aired host Katie Couric batting a badminton shuttlecock Thursday rather than showing the first footage of Saddam Hussein's court appearance, AP reports. The footage of the fallen Iraqi leader since his capture by the U.S. seven months ago came into newsrooms shortly after 8:30 a.m. EDT. ABC's Good Morning America, CBS' The Early Show and the cable news networks all showed the images immediately, while NBC stuck with feature stories on a Robert Redford movie and badminton, showing Saddam at the 9 a.m. newscast that opens the third hour of Today. "We made a mistake," executive producer Tom Touchet told AP. "In retrospect, I'd do it completely differently."
The Donald's new venture--a magazine
Is there nothing this man won't try? Along with being a real estate tycoon, best selling author and, of course, reality TV star, Donald Trump is now adding a magazine editor to his list of accomplishments, Reuters reports. The Donald is planning to launch an upscale magazine, Trump World, which will "bring to life Donald's passions, business accomplishments, pursuits and the lifestyle surrounding luxury goods," editor Michael Jacobson told Reuters. The magazine is due to hit stands in September.
Judge seals more info in Jackson case
The judge in Michael Jackson's molestation case sealed more information from the public and the press Thursday, saying the media's dissection of the evidence would make it difficult to find an unbiased jury pool, the AP reports. While Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville released dozens of search warrant request forms involving banks, department stores, cellular telephone services and an Internet service, they did not identify whose accounts were being searched, what was being sought or what was found. Melville also indicated that all evidence would be kept secret until he rules on what is admissible at trial. Jackson, 45, pleaded not guilty in February to committing a lewd act upon a child, administering alcohol, and conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.
Estefan readies for farewell tour
Gloria Estefan will begin her last concert tour Live and Re-Wrapped July 30 in Texas, AP reports. "Although I will continue writing and recording and doing everything else that comes with this incredible way of life, this next tour will be my last," the 46-year-old singer says in a posting on her Web site. The tour will conclude Sept. 25 in Miami, where Estefan lives with her husband-producer, Emilio and two children.
Kit Bowen contributed to this report.
Based on the bestseller by Nicolas Sparks the film begins with Duke (James Garner) and Allie (Gena Rowlands) an inseparable couple living in a nursing home. While Duke remembers their life together Allie who suffers from progressive dementia does not. Their only bond is a faded notebook from which Duke reads to Allie every day telling her the same story over and over. It's a sweeping tale of two South Carolina teens country boy Noah (Ryan Gosling) and city gal Allie (Rachel McAdams) who spend one glorious summer in the early 1940s falling madly in love. Unfortunately the couple is soon separated first by her disapproving parents and then by World War II but after seven years apart after taking different paths they are passionately reunited. There's a catch though; Allie is now faced to choose between the man she once loved and the successful businessman (James Marsden) she is engaged to. It's really no surprise who the young Allie chooses in the end--but for Duke the only thing that keeps him going is the fact that every day somehow through the power of this story the mentally impaired Allie miraculously remembers their love if only for a very brief moment before slipping back into oblivion. Tears being jerked from your eyes yet?
The talented cast certainly elevates The Notebook's romantic drudgery. McAdams takes a departure from all the Mean Girls she's played lately (including The Hot Chick) and easily wins you over as the spirited young Allie while the usually intense Gosling also tackles something lighter so to speak than his previous darker roles such as his Jewish-turned-American Nazi leader in The Believer. While infusing a certain sense of brooding and melancholy into Noah especially in the years he spends pining for Allie Gosling manages to exude Noah's genuine warmth and sensitivity as well. And between the two of them real sparks fly as the actors paint a fresh and inviting picture of young love that stands the test of time. Marsden is completely wasted however as Allie's fiancé Lon a upstanding Southern gentleman Allie's parents expect her to marry who offers little as to why Allie should stay with him. As the older contingency veterans Garner and Rowlands who take the sappiest material and turn it into something meaningful inspire some truly heart-ripping moments as the aging couple holding onto their love as tight as they can. In the supporting cast Joan Allen has some shining moments as Allie's uptight mother with a secret of her own.
In bringing the popular novel about enduring love to life director Nick Cassavetes (Unhook the Stars) may have used his own experiences having seen his parents--the late John Cassavetes and his lady love and muse Gena Rowlands--play out their own real-life love affair. Cassavettes gets to the heart of the material right away and permeates the screen with the beautiful surroundings of South Carolina where The Notebook was filmed. We glide through lush moss-filled swamps and sleepy Southern towns marvel at languid shots of the South Carolina coastline. It's very clear Cassavetes has a way with actors much like his father did gently coaxing realistic performances from his young somewhat untested leads while allowing old guards like Garner and Rowlands to simply work their magic (imagine telling your Oscar-nominated mother how to act. Right). The problem is the story itself which not only offers nothing new to the romance genre but also isn't very compelling. There are no great tragedies (save perhaps for the whole dementia thing) no real villainous presence to keep the lovers apart no peril at all. It's boy-meets-girl boy-loses-girl boy-wins-girl-back--ho-hum. Where's the sudsy soap opera when you need it?