Country stars Carrie Underwood and Kix Brooks have offered well wishes to Lady Antebellum star Hillary Scott, who became a first-time mum on Monday (22Jul13). Just hours before news of the royal baby's birth made headlines around the world, the Need You Now singer welcomed little Eisele Kaye Tyrrell to the world in Nashville, Tennessee.
And several stars have taken to Twitter.com to congratulate Scott and her husband, Lady Antebellum drummer Chris Tyrrell.
Her bandmates Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood posted a message on the group's Twitter.com account, writing, "Congratulations to @HillaryScottLA and Chris, parents of the beautiful Eisele Kaye! Happy birthday and we love you!!"
And pal Underwood added, "@HillaryScottLA Congratulations, sweet Hillary! So many blessings to your family and its new gift from God! May she be just like you!"
Former Brooks & Dunn star Kix Brooks was also thrilled by the 'other baby news', tweeting, "Congrats to @HillaryScottLA of @ladyantebellum - sweet lil thing finally showed up! This is where the party starts!"
Scott took to her own Twitter page on Tuesday (23Jul13) to declare, "Thanks to EVERYONE for the congratulations, prayers, support, and love for our precious Eisele Kaye! She has completely stolen our hearts!"
In This Means War – a stylish action/rom-com hybrid from director McG – Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) and Chris Pine (Star Trek) star as CIA operatives whose close friendship is strained by the fires of romantic rivalry. Best pals FDR (Pine) and Tuck (Hardy) are equally accomplished at the spy game but their fortunes diverge dramatically in the dating realm: FDR (so nicknamed for his obvious resemblance to our 32nd president) is a smooth-talking player with an endless string of conquests while Tuck is a straight-laced introvert whose love life has stalled since his divorce. Enter Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) a pretty plucky consumer-products evaluator who piques both their interests in separate unrelated encounters. Tuck meets her via an online-dating site FDR at a video-rental store. (That Lauren is tech-savvy enough to date online but still rents movies in video stores is either a testament to her fascinating mix of contradictions or more likely an example of lazy screenwriting.)
When Tuck and FDR realize they’re pursuing the same girl it sparks their respective competitive natures and they decide to make a friendly game of it. But what begins as a good-natured rivalry swiftly devolves into romantic bloodsport with both men using the vast array of espionage tools at their disposal – from digital surveillance to poison darts – to gain an edge in the battle for Lauren’s affections. If her constitutional rights happen to be violated repeatedly in the process then so be it.
Lauren for her part remains oblivious to the clandestine machinations of her dueling suitors and happily basks in the sudden attention from two gorgeous men. Herein we find the Reese Witherspoon Dilemma: While certainly desirable Lauren is far from the irresistible Helen of Troy type that would inspire the likes of Tuck and FDR to risk their friendship their careers and potential incarceration for. At several points in This Means War I found myself wondering if there were no other peppy blondes in Los Angeles (where the film is primarily set) for these men to pursue. Then again this is a film that wishes us to believe that Tom Hardy would have trouble finding a date so perhaps plausibility is not its strong point.
When Lauren needs advice she looks to her boozy foul-mouthed best friend Trish (Chelsea Handler). Essentially an extension of Handler’s talk-show persona – an acquired taste if there ever was one – Trish’s dialogue consists almost exclusively of filthy one-liners delivered in rapid-fire succession. Handler does have some choice lines – indeed they’re practically the centerpiece of This Means War’s ad campaign – but the film derives the bulk of its humor from the outrageous lengths Tuck and FDR go to sabotage each others’ efforts a raucous game of spy-versus-spy that carries the film long after Handler’s shtick has grown stale.
Business occasionally intrudes upon matters in the guise of Heinrich (Til Schweiger) a Teutonic arms dealer bent on revenge for the death of his brother. The subplot is largely an afterthought existing primarily as a means to provide third-act fireworks – and to allow McGenius an outlet for his ADD-inspired aesthetic proclivities. The film’s action scenes are edited in such a manic quick-cut fashion that they become almost laughably incoherent. In fairness to McG he does stage a rather marvelous sequence in the middle of the film in which Tuck and FDR surreptitiously skulk about Lauren's apartment unaware of each other's presence carefully avoiding detection by Lauren who grooves absentmindedly to Montel Jordan's "This Is How We Do It." The whole scene unfolds in one continuous take – or is at least craftily constructed to appear as such – captured by one very agile steadicam operator.
Whatever his flaws as a director McG is at least smart enough to know how much a witty script and appealing leads can compensate for a film’s structural and logical deficiencies. He proved as much with Charlie’s Angels a film that enjoys a permanent spot on many a critic’s Guilty Pleasures list and does so again with This Means War. The film coasts on the chemistry of its three co-stars and only runs into trouble when the time comes to resolve its romantic competition which by the end has driven its male protagonists to engage in all manner of underhanded and duplicitous activities. This Means War being a commercial film – and likely an expensive one at that – Witherspoon's heroine is mandated to make a choice and McG all but sidesteps the whole thorny matter of Tuck and FDR’s unwavering dishonesty not to mention their craven disregard for her privacy. (They regularly eavesdrop on her activities.) For all their obvious charms the truth is that neither deserves Lauren – or anything other than a lengthy jail sentence for that matter.
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Last year director Garry Marshall hit upon a devilishly canny approach to the romantic comedy. A more polished refinement of Hal Needham’s experimental Cannonball Run method it called for assembling a gaggle of famous faces from across the demographic spectrum and pairing them with a shallow day-in-the-life narrative packed with gobs of gooey sentiment. A cynical strategy to be sure but one that paid handsome dividends: Valentine’s Day earned over $56 million in its opening weekend surpassing even the rosiest of forecasts. Buoyed by the success Marshall and his screenwriter Katherine Fugate hastily retreated to the bowels of Hades to apply their lucrative formula to another holiday historically steeped in romantic significance and New Year’s Eve was born.
Set in Manhattan on the last day of the year New Year’s Eve crams together a dozen or so canned scenarios into one bloated barely coherent mass of cliches. As before Marshall’s recruited an impressive ensemble of minions to do his unholy bidding including Oscar winners Hilary Swank Halle Berry and Robert De Niro the latter luxuriating in a role that didn’t require him to get out of bed. High School Musical’s Zac Efron is paired up with ‘80s icon Michelle Pfeiffer – giving teenage girls and their fathers something to bond over – while Glee’s Lea Michele meets cute with a pajama-clad Ashton Kutcher. There’s Katherine Heigl in a familiar jilted-fiance role Sarah Jessica Parker as a fretful single mom and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges as the most laid-back cop in New York. Sofia Vergara and Hector Elizondo mine for cheap laughs with thick accents – his fake and hers real – and Jessica Biel and Josh Duhamel deftly mix beauty with blandness. Fans of awful music will delight in the sounds of Jon Bon Jovi straining against type to play a relevant pop musician.
The task of interweaving the various storylines is too great for Marshall and New Year’s Eve bears the distinct scent and stain of an editing-room bloodbath with plot holes so gaping that not even the brightest of celebrity smiles can obscure them. But that’s not the point – it never was. You should know better than to expect logic from a film that portrays 24-year-old Efron and 46-year-old Parker as brother-and-sister without bothering to explain how such an apparent scientific miracle might have come to pass. Marshall wagers that by the time the ball drops and the film’s last melodramatic sequence has ended prior transgressions will be absolved and moviegoers will be content to bask in New Year's Eve's artificial glow. The gambit worked for Valentine's Day; this time he may not be so fortunate.
The God of Legion secular Hollywood’s latest Biblically-inspired action flick is old-school an angry spiteful Almighty with a penchant for Old Testament theatrics. Fed up with humanity’s decadent warmongering ways He’s decided to pull the plug on the whole crazy experiment and start over from scratch.
Fortunately for us the God of Legion is also a rather lazy fellow. Instead of doing the apocalyptic work himself and wiping us out with a giant flood which worked perfectly well last time He opts to delegate the task to His army of angels — a questionable strategy that starts to fall apart when the archangel charged with leading the planned extermination Michael (Paul Bettany) refuses to comply.
Michael who unlike his boss still harbors affection for our sorry species abandons his post and descends to earth where inside the swollen belly of Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) an unwed mother-to-be working as a waitress in an out-of-the-way diner sits humanity’s lone hope for survival. Why is this particular baby so important? Is it the one destined to lead us to victory over Skynet? Heaven knows — Legion reveals little details its script devoid of actual scripture. What is clear is that God’s celestial hitmen want the kid whacked before it’s born.
But Michael won’t let humanity fall without a fight. Armed with a Waco-sized arsenal of assault weapons he hunkers down with the diner’s patrons a largely superfluous collection of thinly-sketched caricatures from various demographic groups led by Dennis Quaid as the diner’s grizzled owner Tyrese Gibson as a hip-hop hustler and Lucas Black as a simple-minded country boy.
Together they mount a heroic final stand against hordes of angels who’ve taken possession of “weak-willed” humans turning kindly old grandmas and mild-mannered ice cream vendors into snarling ravenous foul-mouthed beasts. They descend upon the ramshackle diner in a series of full-frontal assaults commanded by the archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand) the George Pickett of End of Days generals.
Beneath its superficial religious facade Legion is really just a run-of-the-mill zombie flick a Biblical I Am Legend. Bettany an actor accustomed to smaller dramatic roles in films like A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code looks perfectly at ease in his first major action role wielding machine guns and bowie knives with equal aplomb. Conversely first-time director Scott Stewart a former visual effects artist does little to prove himself worthy of such a promotion serving up some impressive CGI work but not much else worthy of note.
It means that what little plot there is will be formulaic and predictable. It means a dashing hero will spout pithy one-liners while his sidekicks will try to be funny and fail. But there will also be a cool helicopter crash and a lot of firepower and maybe even some blood and guts. Cool! On that basis S.W.A.T. does not disappoint. It doesn't much matter that the villain of the story a drug trafficker/murderer/arms dealer called Alex Montel (Olivier Martinez) only really comes on the scene in the last 45 minutes or so or that until then the villain is any criminal anywhere in the city that comes in contact with the newly formed yet much-maligned five-person S.W.A.T. team that's the center of the story. Led by Sgt. "Hondo" Harrelson (Samuel L. Jackson) the team is composed mostly of the force's unreliable renegades and unwanted rejects: Jim Street (Colin Farrell) T.J. McCabe (Josh Charles) Chris Sanchez (Michelle Rodriguez) Michael Boxer (Brian Van Holt) and Deke Kaye (LL Cool J). After an intense training period and a few impressive successes the underdog team is called in to save the day when Montel makes a televised offer of $100 million to anyone who can break him out of jail--and L.A.'s criminal element comes out in force to do so.
The lack of a plot during the first hour and a half of this movie is probably why the studio is euphemistically billing it as "character-driven." It's kind of like saying that tiny efficiency apartment you're renting is "cozy." Don't let them get one over on you though; these characters are every bit as shallow as you expect gun-toting action heroes to be. If you want to know what drives somebody to tackle a profession that requires them to shoot people in cold blood on an almost daily basis you won't find out watching S.W.A.T.. Farrell at least seems to want to get at the underbelly of the S.W.A.T. psychology but his stereotypically heroic character lacks the complexity that would allow him to do it. So Farrell rolls those limpid brown eyes wildly in their sockets as if he's trying to let out his inner serial killer and mumbles his way through the lines. Jackson on the other hand doesn't even try to give us more. He simply phones this one in ("$20 million? Summer blockbuster? Sure I'll do it. What's it about again?"). Fortunately Rodriguez is more bearable as the tough Sanchez--she lights up the screen and has great timing--and Martinez makes a very sexy bad guy.
The amount of gun violence in S.W.A.T. is particularly startling even for a big blockbuster because the aforementioned shallow characters never really reflect on what they do. The film justifies its violence in one line of dialogue--"S.W.A.T. is a life saving organization not a life taking one"--yet we only meet one person whose life was saved and even she took a bullet in the process. But we do see an awful lot of nameless faceless criminals get blown to bits. Don't get me wrong; I'm no Joe Lieberman. I loved Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers and I think Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs are among the best movies ever made. It's not that there's even anything wrong with a good ol' fashioned shoot-'em-up movie--although how S.W.A.T. ever got a PG-13 rating is beyond me. Just don't patronize the audience with some false justification for blowing away half the cast and most of the extras. We're really much smarter than that.
The 30th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards nominations were announced Wednesday, with the ABC soap All My Children leading the pack with 17 nominations--more than any other show on daytime TV. CBS' Guiding Light was close behind with 14 nods while PBS' Sesame Street earned 13.
ABC was also the winner in the network race, collecting 59 nominations. CBS was followed with 52 nods and PBS with 47.
The major categories were announced live on the ABC morning talk show The View, which snagged nominations in the categories of talk show and talk show host (for Barbara Walters, Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Joy Behar and the now-departed Lisa Ling). The show, which debuted in 1996, has never won an Emmy.
As the World Turns, The Bold and the Beautiful, Port Charles and The Young and the Restless all received nominations for best drama, while last year's winner, One Life To Live, was shut out.
For lead actor in a drama series, the nominees were Anthony Geary (General Hospital), Maurice Benard (General Hospital), Grant Aleksander (Guiding Light), Ricky Paull Goldin (Guiding Light), Thorsten Kaye (Port Charles) and Doug Davidson (The Young and the Restless).
For lead actress in a drama series, the nominees were Susan Flannery (The Bold and the Beautiful), Nancy Lee Grahn (General Hospital), Kim Zimmer (Guiding Light), Eileen Davidson (The Young and the Restless) and Michelle Stafford (The Young and the Restless).
Conspicuously missing from the nominations was All My Children star Susan Lucci. Carolyn Hinsey, Soap Opera Weekly Executive Editor, told The Associated Press that Lucci wasn't among those on the list because her character, Erika Cane, had relatively little exposure on the soap last year.
Oprah Winfrey protégé Dr. Phil McGraw received a nomination in the talk show host category for his syndicated self-help program, Dr. Phil. Comedian Wayne Brady also received a talk show nod for The Wayne Brady Show.
Hollywood Squares, Jeopardy!, The Price is Right, Wheel of Fortune and Win Ben Stein's Money were nominated in the game or audience participation category.
Art Linkletter, former host of Kids Say the Darndest Things, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award this year when the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences hands out The 30th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards on May 16 at Radio City Music Hall. ABC will broadcast the ceremony live.