Grammy winners Julio Iglesias and Olga Tanon are among the artists who will join the new Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame at its inaugural induction ceremony this month (Apr13). Jose Feliciano, Manuel Alejandro, Jose Angel Espinoza, Armando Manzanero and Concha Valdez Miranda will also be feted for their career achievements at the black-tie gala in Miami, Florida, on 23 April (13).
Singer-songwriter Desmond Child helped set up the new Hall of Fame with bosses at music magazine Billboard to recognise "the world's greatest Latin songwriters and their music in every genre".
Jon Secada, Lucie Arnaz, Michael Bolton, Natalie Cole and Placido Domingo are among the other honourees and performers set to appear at the launch, to be hosted by Latin actors Carlos Ponce and Eglantina Zingg.
It's getting to the point where you'd be surprised to hear about a bizarre, offbeat project that doesn't have James Franco involved. The actor/living performance art piece that is Franco has signed on to join Nick at Nite's original soap opera, Hollywood Heights (formerly titled Reach for the Stars).
The new program is based on the Mexican telenovela Alcanzar Una Estrella, which had a 100 episode run in 1990. Hollywood Heights will star Franco in a multi-episode arc in a story about a young, shy songwriter who rises to fame after winning a competition, and teams up with a rock star she idolizes to live out her dreams.
Even when Franco accepted, and then revived, (and then backed out of, and then backed back into) his eponymous role on the long running General Hospital, few assumed that he'd be making a habit out of soap acting. But clearly he's got a taste for the genre. It's not the strangest thing he's signed on to do lately. Hollywood Heights will reunite Franco with General Hospital producer Jill Farren Phelps.
Franco joins stars Brittany Underwood (herself a soap vet from One Life to Live) and Carlos Ponce (of the moderately soapy 7th Heaven) on the series. Others mentioned as cast members include Melissa Ordway and Cody Longo.
Hollywood Heights will air five nights a week beginning this June. Source: Zap2it
Seeing Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn reunite on the big screen is an enticing proposition. As anyone who has watched them in The Break-Up or Made can attest the two Swingers alums seem to step up their improv game whenever they share the frame and their verbal sparring rarely yields anything short of comedy gold.
The above certainly holds true in Couples Retreat the new relationship comedy directed by child actor-turned-filmmaker Peter Billingsley. Sadly the demands of the film’s bloated ensemble cast and the constraints of its PG-13 rating allow precious few opportunities for Favreau and Vaughn to work their magic. And since the rest of Couples Retreat’s main castmembers refuse to pick up the slack when they’re on screen the end result is uneven disappointment.
The plot of Couples Retreat centers on four couples who travel to Bora Bora for a new-age “tune-up” for their flagging relationships. Each pair has its own unique set of problems: Jason (Jason Bateman) and Cynthia (Kristen Bell) are type-A achievers whose perfect union is threatened by their inability to conceive; Joey (Favreau) and Lucy (Kristin Davis) have essentially lived a sham marriage since an unplanned pregnancy led to their shotgun wedding 18 years ago; Dave (Vaughn) and Ronnie (Malin Akerman) are so tied up in the day-to-day routine of their busy lives that the passion has vanished from their relationship; and recently dumped Shane (Faizon Love) is dealing with the pain of his break-up by shacking up with Trudy (Kali Hawk) a shrieking sexpot half his age.
It’s a solid lineup of actors to be sure. Problem is everyone has to have their own jokes their own story arc and their own tidy resolution at the end. But save for a few amusing moments nobody besides Favreau and Vaughn is particularly funny or interesting. If anything it’s the supporting actors -- including Frenchman Jean Reno as the blissed-out seminar guru Peter Serafinowicz as the satin-voiced group guide and Carlos Ponce as the groping yoga instructor -- who provide the bulk of the laughs.
The whole experience of Couples Retreat ultimately feels like it was phoned-in by everyone involved as if it were a scheme concocted to get a free all-expenses-paid vacation in Bora Bora. Most disappointing of the bunch is Bateman who is coming dangerously close to typecasting himself as the uptight deadpan good guy. Dude needs to make a movie in which he kills someone -- or at least beats them very badly. Who’s going to want to see an Arrested Development movie if Bateman essentially plays Michael Bluth in every movie he makes?