Celebrities are fans like us, except they can do things that we can't: like have a better chance at interacting with our favorite players.
1. Danny DeVito/Nick Punto
The diminutive DeVito went to a Dodgers game in 2013 while wearing a Punto jersey. He then saw Punto hit a home run and was able to talk with Punto during the game.
2. Spike Lee/Reggie Miller
During those heated New York Knicks/Indiana Pacers playoff games in the '90s, Spike Lee and Miller, the superstar gunner for the Pacers, had some hilarious back-and forths during the games. Such moments included Miller's infamous choke sign at the Knicks' bench and Lee.
3. Jack Nicholson/Almost Everyone in the NBA
From Jack, the Lakers' #1 fan, laughing hysterically at a player's mohawk to giving a rival play the evil eye, few celebs rule courtside like him.
4. Kobe Bryant/Chris Rock
This moment was great for not what happened, but what didn't happen: Chris Rock was trying to shoot the breeze with Kobe during a timeout and Bryant was so locked in on the game, he ignored the comedian. Maybe he gave Rock fodder for his next act.
5. Cameron Diaz/Alex Rodriguez
This wasn't exactly like the others, but the moment caught on film with Cameron Diaz feeding her then boyfriend popcorn during the Packers/Steelers Super Bowl was so...corny.
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Recent years have seen classic fairy tales spawn a variety of cinematic adaptations. In some cases we see family friendly updates like Mirror Mirror. In others we see dark reimaginings like Snow White and the Huntsman. In each of these cases regardless of how successful they might have been in achieving their artistic visions it was clear what type of movie was being made. With Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters such is hardly the case.
The film opens with a playful macabre tone hearkening back to the family-friendly (but nonetheless scary) Halloween movies of the '80s and '90s and prompting hope for this attitude to carry forth throughout the movie. The brimming imagery silly dialogue and overacting of the introductory scene makes it feels like the kind of thing you'd have loved as a child — the sort of film you'd make a tradition of watching every October... until you reached 9th grade and were forever robbed of your innocent love of simple pleasures.
But following the intro — which sends young Hansel and Gretel off into the pitch black woods after their mother and father are forced to hide them from an undisclosed threat and subsequently throws them into the clutches of a decrepit old witch in a candy house — we're treated to a movie with a stark identity crisis.
The subject matter pacing aesthetic style and sophistication of the material all suggest a film for children. But for some reason this movie seems bent on proving itself "mature." Kind of like when you reached 9th grade and were forever robbed of your innocent love of simple pleasures and felt the need to prove just how grown up you were Hansel and Gretel "rebels" against its childlike nature by throwing in very jagged flashes of grotesque gore and misplaced expletives.
The two youngsters manage to escape the wrath of a witch and then devote their lives to taking the witch race down hired as bounty hunters by a small town mayor to recover the kidnapped children of a handful of villagers.
Now this could successfully translate in two different ways: it could take form as a fun-for-all-ages adventure wrapped in black magic and kooky characters or as a dark adult deconstruction of the classic tale. What we get instead is a grab for both and an achievement of neither with the confusion of the mixed message landing Hansel and Gretel in a nebulous middle ground.
The story we're faced with seems best suited for young ones. Simplicity is the name of the game for titular heroes Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arteron who don't have much in the way of character beyond "We kill witches!"
Renner is the puggish kill-first-question-later gun-toter stricken with diabetes (the strangest element of this movie) after his run-in with the candy house witch; Arteron is vicious with a crossbow and a headbutt but more even-keeled and demanding of evidence of witchcraft before imparting her wrath.
The duo are teamed with the likes of Mina (Pihla Viitala) an enigmatic woman saved from torch-wielding villagers by Hansel and Gretel Ben (Thomas Mann) an overly eager young fan of the pair who looks and acts like he's straight out of Growing Pains and eventually Edward (Derek Mears) a closed-mouthed troll who takes a liking to Gretel for mysterious reasons. The uncomplicated characters fast-flying broomstick chases and incredibly accessible overarching plot would and should land us with a PG-13 gunner.
But the prevalence of the aforementioned gore nonstop violence and harsh language stamps the picture with an R-rating.
And for the adults to whom this brand of movie is limited something like Hansel and Gretel would come off as brainless. Not dull — the pacing ensures that you won't be bored. Not overwhelmingly bad in any way really. Just lacking in substance and charm. In a word dumb.
While preteens and young teens might eat this kind of thing up (whether or not they should is an entirely different question) adults will find it unfulfilling.
Empty characters paper-thin plots effortless (this is not a compliment) acting by the whole cast — even generally talented players like head witch Famke Janssen and villainous sheriff Peter Stormare — will give a sophisticated viewer nothing to hold onto.
But for some reason the movie insists on its head smashings and awkward exclamations of "F**k!" Throwing these to the wayside might have actually granted the movie a more successful mission statement.
Hansel and Gretel doesn't have anything at its disposal capable of making it a great movie or even a good one.
But a decision as to whom it wishes to please would at least have bumped it up a notch or two. No it's not a painful watch nor an offensive one. As suggested above it simply offers nothing discernible. And to whom? That's the big question.
Antiwar celebs are making their political views known via--what else? the small screen. Martin Sheen, who plays fictional U.S. President Josiah Bartlet on NBC's The West Wing, headlines a TV ad that debuts in Los Angeles and Washington today. Sheen and other stars including Janeane Garofalo and Mike Farrell are part of a group called Artists United to Win Without War that is urging Americans to join a Feb. 26 "virtual march" on Washington to oppose war with Iraq. Groups advocating a peaceful solution to the Iraq crisis have had a difficult time buying national air time for antiwar spots because CNN and other networks are reluctant to air any advocacy ads, regardless of the issue, Variety reports. The ad will air on CNN and Fox News Channel in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., through next week.
A superior court judge ruled Wednesday that Michael Jackson's response to a lawsuit brought by his former business manager will be included in the pop singer's upcoming trial, The Associated Press reports. Myung Ho Lee, head of Union Finance and Investment Corp., sued Jackson last April, claiming the singer owes him $13 million in back pay. Jackson, however, alleges Lee breached contracts and did not act in good faith while giving him business advice. If the matter isn't settled in mediation scheduled for April 17, it will go to trial on June 18.
R. Kelly claims a 24-year-old woman's allegations that he sexually abused her at a recording studio on Chicago's North Side are an attempt to damage his career, the AP reports. The statement by R. Kelly's camp said the allegation came on the same day R. Kelly released his latest album and is "nothing more than an outrageous and blatant attempt at character assassination." Police say all they are dealing with at this point are allegations against the singer.
Adam Rich, who played Nicholas on the 1970s TV show Eight is Enough, was charged Tuesday with a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence, the AP reports. Rich was arrested Dec. 18 after California Highway Patrol officers said he drove onto a closed section of Interstate 10 and nearly struck a patrol car. Rich failed a field sobriety test and officers said they smelled the odor of marijuana in his car, but didn't find the drug. Prosecutors said they didn't immediately file charges because they had to wait for results of an additional chemical analysis.
Country singer Johnny Paycheck, best known for his blue-collar anthem "Take This Job and Shove It," died Tuesday in a Georgia nursing home after a long battle with emphysema and related respiratory ailments, Reuters reports. Paycheck had nearly three dozen hits, beginning with the hard-driving 1965 song "A-11." He earned two Grammy nominations during his career, the first in 1971 for the single "She's All I Got" and the second in 1978 for "Take This Job and Shove It." In 1997, he was entered into the Grand Ole Opry.
Alfred Molina, who recently starred as Diego Rivera in the Frido Kahlo biopic Frida, has been cast in the role of the evil Doc Ock in Columbia Pictures' Spider-Man sequel for director Sam Raimi, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "Alfred Molina has a remarkable facility for everything from classic drama to mainstream comedy, and he is the ideal choice for Doc Ock," Columbia Pictures chairman Amy Pascal told the trade. Principal photography begins in April for a 2004 release. Stars Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and James Franco are back for the sequel, as are producers Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad.
The romantic comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding set a DVD sales record last week for its genre, selling more than 4 million units during its first five days in release, reports The Hollywood Reporter. According to Video Store magazine data, the HBO home video was also a hit in the rental charts, earning an estimated rental revenue gross of $19.56 million after five days on rental shelves. That equals the first week estimated rental gross earned by Warner Home Video's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone released last year. Although HBO executives were mum on exact sales figures, Nielsen VideoScan data showed that Greek Wedding topped both the DVD and VHS sell-through charts by a wide margin for the week ending Feb. 16. Hey, as Gus Portokalos would say, "There are two kinds of people--Greeks, and everyone else who wish they was Greek."
Trista Rehn picked poetic firefighter Ryan Sutter over looker Charlie Maher in ABC's two-hour finale of The Bachelorette Wednesday night. Sutter immediately dropped to his knees and asked Trista--the woman he's known for six weeks--to marry him. The former Miami Heat cheerleader said yes. "This day is a day I dreamed about my entire life," Rehn said. "I see smiles and laughter, I see babies and grandbabies, I see comfort and safety. I see me in a white dress and I see it with you." The show, which faded in appeal compared to Fox's Joe Millionaire, was ABC's most popular show last week.
Jud Taylor, who has directed more than 40 telefilms, will be presented with a special achievement honor at this year's Directors Guild of America awards on March 1, City News Service reports. Taylor, who was DGA president from 1981 to 1983, will receive the Robert B.
Aldrich Achievement Award for his "extraordinary service to the guild and its membership." Taylor won a DGA award in 1987 for Foxfire and received an Emmy nomination in 1977 for Tail Gunner Joe. He has also directed episodes of series such as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Fugitive and Star Trek.
Hip-hop star Nelly, whose 2002 Nellyville was the second best-selling album, has postponed his planned tour of Britain until the fall, citing "an unforeseeable personal matter," his promoter Clear Channel said in a statement. Nelly was to perform with fellow rapper Eve next month in cities in England, Wales and Ireland. The statement did
HOLLYWOOD, Aug. 15, 2000 - First "Ocean's," then the "sea." Variety reports today that Brad Pitt has signed on to star in Joel and Ethan Coen’s "To the White Sea." The actor will reportedly make the film in Japan, after he’s finished with the rat pack remake, "Ocean’s 11," next year.
Based on a novel authored by James Dickey, the story follows a World War II tail gunner who’s stranded in Japan after the bombing of Tokyo.
LOPEZ DOES KAHLO: Variety columnist Michael Fleming informs us that singer-actress Jennifer Lopez is eyeing to portray Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in a biopic developed by United Artists.
'HOTEL' SOLD: Trade papers said today that Lions Gate has bought the U.S. rights to German art house director Wim Wender’s futuristic thriller "The Million Dollar Hotel."
Based on a story written by U2 frontman Bono, the flick - starring a ensemble cast that includes Mel Gibson and Milla Jovovich -follows the events in a run-down hotel after the son of a media tycoon dies on the premises.
SEEING 'GHOST': Daily Variety says that "Blade" director Stephen Norrington is likely to direct and develop the film adaptation of "Ghost Rider" - a Marvel Comic character who’s a motorcycle stuntman by day and a crime-fighting superhero by night.