In a world of social media, people now turn to Twitter to express their every thought. Film critic, Roger Ebert, is no exception. Shortly after Jackass star, Ryan Dunn's death, Twitter practically exploded with rage when Ebert tweeted, "Friends don't let Jackasses drink and drive." Fans of Dunn were outraged by such a statement, but Ebert has made it clear that he stands by what he said. "Perez Hilton's readers agree with me and not with Perez about my tweet on Ryan Dunn. He drank, he drove, 2 people died," he later tweeted yesterday. Now I'm all about voicing your opinion (it's kinda my job), but in matters of death, it wouldn't hurt to show a little tact. To go and tweet a witty joke about the guy's death hours after he died is below the belt.
The police report says that "speed" may be a factor in the crash, but DUI or drinking was not mentioned. Do I think this could just be a cover up as a way to present Dunn in a different light? It could very well be the case. All signs seem to point to another tragic case of drinking while driving, but that doesn't excuse writing one line zingers on Twitter about the guy. Bad form Ebert. Two thumbs down.
The 17 Again star plays a teenager who made a promise to his dead brother to play sport with him every day until he left for college in the upcoming film.
And Efron showed off the pitching skills he learned during the making of the movie to coach Roger McDowell at a visit to the Dan Perez Baseball Camp.
The Hollywood hunk signed autographs for fans and also played a quick match with sporting wannabes at the venue.
Monjack's mother-in-law, Sharon Murphy, found him unconscious at the Hollywood Hills home he once shared with his late wife earlier this month (23May10). Paramedics determined he had suffered a cardiac arrest and pronounced him dead at the scene. The Clueless star died at the same property in December (09).
Monjack's representative, Roger Neal, recently revealed the Brit had ignored medical advice urging him to undergo heart bypass surgery, and Murphy's one-time friend Eric Ziegenbein insists the screenwriter never recovered from his wife's sudden passing.
According to celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, Ziegenbein says, "People always say it's a tragedy when someone dies, but in this case it's more of a blessing. Simon wanted to die. He struggled with depression for much of his life, and he felt like Brittany was the only thing he had to live for... Sometimes death is a blessing for people who are suffering, and they were both suffering."
Earlier this month (May10) Murphy's half-brother also admitted he wasn't surprised to hear than Monjack had died, saying, "I wasn't shocked to be honest. The guy was insane."
On the slick Miami streets it should be easy for a top-notch bounty hunter like Bucum Jackson (Ice Cube) to make a buck. Yet with his unorthodox ways of catching criminals that make him unpopular with the local cops and his boss big money has so far eluded him. Enter con artist Reggie Wright (Mike Epps) a smooth-talking punk whom Jackson has put away before and is about to again. Reggie escapes from Bucum into the getaway van of two jewel thieves (Carmen Chaplin and Roger Guenveur Smith) after a big score but it seems the two have stolen fake diamonds. Not good especially when their boss (Tommy Flanagan) finds out. Wright escapes again and winds up at the apartment of his girlfriend Gina (Eva Mendes). They find out the lottery ticket Reggie bought for Gina earlier has won a $60 million jackpot. But the winning ticket happens to be in the wallet he accidentally dropped in the van which is now in the possession of the bad guys. Oops. Then Jackson shows up. (With me so far?) Reggie manages to convince the bounty hunter to hook up with him to try to get the lottery ticket back and split the winnings. Bucum sees the advantages right away. If they find the ticket they're in the money. If not Jackson will nab the criminals and get the fame and fortune he needs to set up his own private investigation firm. With so much cash at stake including the real $20 million stash of diamonds it's not a bad deal.
Despite the convoluted plot the acting remains pretty one-dimensional. Ice Cube has a certain charm which he's carried with him in his films. He has it in Benjamins but he plays Bucum almost too straight without much texture behind the character. The thing Ice Cube does well though is play off his co-stars as he did with Chris Tucker in Friday and with Epps in Next Friday. It's obvious Ice Cube (who also co-produced and co-wrote Benjamins) is trying to capitalize on his success with Epps. Unfortunately the chemistry between the two stars in Benjamins misses a step. Epps' Reggie comes off far more annoying than anything else and in some moments you wish Bucum would just shoot Reggie to put us out of our misery. Everyone else in the film plays their stereotypical roles as best they can. Mendes tries to be a little too much like Rosie Perez in White Men Can't Jump while the bad guys try to be a little too much like every other bad guy we've ever seen. Valarie Rae Miller who has turned heads as a tough lesbian on the hit TV series Dark Angel is completely wasted as a wannabe bounty hunter trying to partner up with Bucum.
Benjamins wants to be that buddy action flick where the banter is quick and the guns are blazin' with the Miami setting giving the film a Miami Vice feel of water boats and hot women in bikinis. Unfortunately it tries too hard. There are moments of hilarity--a few scenes with Epps and Mendes and especially a scene with Epps and two older women after they've scammed a local convenience store--but they are few and far between. The script has almost too much going on (hence the difficult time trying to keep this description of the plot to a page) while the characters fall too easily into cliches. Even though Ice Cube is certainly a player in Hollywood having successfully produced many of his own films he does a much better job putting himself in his own element where the surroundings are more familiar. He's going for a bang-up run-of-the-mill action movie here instead of giving us a slice of life like in his Friday movies. Sorry a slice of life is far far more interesting.
Forget Roger Ebert. This weekend, the American moviegoing public gets to play the Emperor, deciding the fate of one of this year's biggest and most anticipated blockbusters with thumbs-up or thumbs-down.
"Gladiator," the first huge-scale Roman epic to come out of Hollywood in who-knows-how-long, conquers our cinemas beginning Friday. Unless virtually every prognosticator is dead wrong, it should easily land at No. 1.
Also opening this weekend, in case anyone cares, is "I Dreamed of Africa," a story of rich white people living in Africa, starring Kim Basinger and Vincent Perez.
Here's a rundown of the new arrivals at the weekend box office:
GLADIATOR (See the trailer) The skinny: Russell Crowe finally gets to star in a movie without Kevin Spacey or Al Pacino to hold his hand, playing a slave whose skills in the gladiator ring propel him to stardom. It's the triumph of the spirit over oppression; it's "Spartacus" with special effects. The upside: The ring, the crowd, the spectacle, the lions and tigers. It's Western Civilization 101 meets WWF wrestling. The downside: Will Crowe look manly in his armor and cod piece, like Kirk Douglas? Or will he be more of a Peter Ustinov type? "I Dreamed of Africa"
I DREAMED OF AFRICA (See the trailer) The skinny: Kim Basinger and Vincent Perez play a rich, white, newlywed couple who move to Kenya to raise a family; drama ensues. The upside: It's got Perez, who's been anointed the next Antonio Banderas by gushing critics. The downside: It's got Basinger, who hasn't been anointed anything by anyone lately.
The main competition facing these new entries is posed by the submarine flick "U-571", which was the nation's No. 1 flick for the past two weekends).