Authors Danforth Prince and Darwin Potter have spent years tracking down the scandalous details of the actress' romances and affairs and they have laid her love life bare in new tome Elizabeth Taylor: There is Nothing Like a Dame.
In the unauthorised biography, which promises "all the gossip unfit to print from the glory days of Hollywood", Prince and Porter claim Reagan was 36 when he invited a teenage Taylor to dine with him at his home in the Hollywood Hills - and she seduced him.
According to the book, she told a close pal, "Reagan was treating me like a grown woman, and that thrilled me. We sat on his sofa and I could tell he wanted to get it on but he seemed reluctant to make the first move. I became the aggressor.
"After a heavy make-out session on the sofa, we went into the bedroom."
The book's revelations about Taylor's fling with Kennedy will shock many readers - Prince and Porter claim a nude dip in the politician's pool turned into a threeway with Taylor and Stack.
The authors claim the actress went on to have sexual encounters with stars including Peter Lawford, Errol Flynn, Tony Curtis, Paul Newman and Frank Sinatra.
Her romance with Ol' Blue Eyes fell flat after she became too serious and allegedly told Sinatra she was expecting his child in a bid to blackmail him into marrying her.
The Austrian actor died in Vienna on 30 September (12).
Bey's good looks won him exotic supporting roles in movies starring Errol Flynn, Katharine Hepburn, John Wayne and Peter Lorre and earned him the Hollywood nickname Turkish Delight.
Born Gilbert Selahettin Schultavey, the actor changed his name upon his arrival in Hollywood, where he was snapped up by talent scouts at Warner Bros. after fleeing Austria to escape the Nazis in the 1930s with his Jewish mother.
He returned to Austria after the movie roles dried up and became an acclaimed photographer.
Bey also tasted TV success in America late in life, when he was cast as Turval in the Babylon 5 sci-fi series in the 1990s.
Pierce Brosnan has signed up for the upcoming thriller The Coup, alongside Owen Wilson. That's right — Owen Wilson is starring in a thriller!
The Coup tells the story of an American family who relocate to Southeast Asia, only to find themselves caught in the middle of, you guessed it, a coup. In a dangerous environment in which foreigners are being executed, they're forced to quickly find refuge.
John Erick Dowdle, who directed the 2010 M. Night Shyamalan-produced horror movie Devil, will helm Coup from his own co-written script. The movie is due out next year.
Former 007 Brosnan's most notable upcoming project is 2013's A Long Way Down, based on the Nick Hornby novel of the same name. Wilson, meanwhile, has, among other high-profile movies in the works, Freezing People Is Easy, just the second non-documentary from The Fog of War filmmaker Errol Morris.
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Director Alexander Payne's (Election Sideways) new film opens over sprawling landscape shots of Hawaii's scenic suburbia accompanied by George Clooney's character Matt King summing up his current predicament: "Paradise can go fuck itself." The reaction unfortunately is reasonable.
We pick up with King an ancestor of Hawaiian royalty in the middle of deliberations over a plot of land handed down through his family over generations. With every uncle aunt and cosign whispering opinions into his ear King is suddenly presented with an even greater problem: taking care of his two daughters. A boating accident leaves his wife in a coma forcing Matt to take a true parenting role with his young socially-troubled daughter Scottie (Amara Miller) and his rebellious teen Alexandra (Shailene Woodley) who was previously shipped off to boarding school. Matt awkwardly hunts for the emotional glue necessary for the mismatched bunch to become "a family " but matters are made even more complicated when Alex reveals that her mother was cheating on him before the accident. Murphy's Law is in full effect.
With The Descendants Payne continues to explore and discover the inherent humor in life's melancholic situations unfolding Matt's quest for understanding like a road movie across Hawaii's many islands. Simultaneously preparing for the end of his wife's death and searching for the identity of her lover Matt crosses paths with a number of perfectly cast side characters who act as mirrors to his best and worst qualities: his father-in-law Scott (Robert Foster) who belittles Matt for never taking care of his daughter; Hugh (Beau Bridges) an opportunistic cousin who pressures Matt to sell the land; Alexandra's dunce of a boyfriend Sid (Nick Krause) who always has the wrong thing to say; and Julie (Judy Greer) the wife of the adulterer in question. Colorful yet real Matt experiences a definitive moment with each of them yet the picture never feels sporadic or episodic.
Clooney and Woodley help gel these sequences together as they observe experience and butt heads as equals. Clooney's own magnetism stands in the way of making Matt a fully dimensional character but he shines when playing off his quick-witted daughter. His reactions are heartbreaking—but it's the moments when he has to put himself out there that never quite ring true. But the script by Nat Faxon Jim Rash and Payne gives Clooney plenty of opportunities to work his magic visualizing his struggle as opposed to vomiting it out like so many of today's talky dramas.
The Descendants is a tender cinematic experience an introspective and heartwarming film unafraid to convey its story with pleasing simplicity. Clooney stands out with a solid performance but like many of Payne's films it's the eclectic ensemble and muted backdrop that give the movie its real texture. The paradise of Descendants isn't all its cracked up to be but for movie-goers it's bliss.
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
Today marked a sunny day for The Dark Knight.
Also for a guy who grows younger as he gets older and a kid who beats all odds to win Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
The Producers Guild of America has announced its nominations for best movies, documentaries and TV shows. Nods in this movie category often foreshadow what’s to come by way of Oscar later on.
The 20th Annual PGA Awards will take place Jan. 24 at the Hollywood Paladium.
The complete list of nominees is as follows. First, for theatrical movies:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Kathleen Kennedy & Frank Marshall
The Dark Knight
And for documenaries:
Man on Wire
Standard Operating Procedure
Julie Bilson Ahlberg
Trouble the Water
And for animation:
Kung Fu Panda
And for episodic TV/comedy:
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Lori Jo Nemhauser
And for episodic TV/drama:
David E. Kelley
Mark A. Baker
Todd A. Kessler
Robert Lloyd Lewis
Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
And for "nonfiction" TV:
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List
Lisa M. Tucker
This American Life
And for "live and competition" TV:
Bertram van Munster
Hayma “Screech” Washington
The Colbert Report
Stephen T. Colbert, DFA
Real Time with Bill Maher
And for "long-form" TV"
Bernard and Doris
A Raisin in the Sun
Finally, honorary awards and recipients:
Brian Grazer and Ron Howard
David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures
Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television
MySpace founders Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson
The Stanley Kramer Award
Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen
MORE NEWS: It's Dolly and Charlie Romijn-O'Connell!
The biggest millennium party is definitely not going to take place at your local cineplex this week. Taking into account the pre-millennial craze suffered by shifty audiences coast to coast, Hollywood is taking a low-key, market-testing approach to the week's more recognizable releases.
The Denzel Washington vehicle "The Hurricane" will make its limited-release debut Wednesday. A favorite of critics, the well-reviewed film based on the true story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter features an award buzz turn by Denzel Washington as the titular boxer who is wrongly accused of the murders of three white men in 1966.
Also hitting the theater mid-week is Sony Pictures Classics' "The Third Miracle." Starring Ed Harris and Anne Heche, it is a story of lost faith and renewed hope set in present-day Chicago.
For those wanting to journey to the sardonic dark side of America before the turn of the millennium, there're two indie favorites from Lions Gate: the adaptation of Denis Johnson's "Jesus' Son," with Billy Crudup staking the lead as the nihilistic, angst-ridden junkie traveling through the post-war drugscape of 1970s America; and renowned Errol Morris' ("The Thin Blue Line," "Fast, Cheap and Out of Control") latest offering "Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.," a psychological profile of Fred A. Leuchter Jr., the man best known, and most hated, for his involvement with the Holocaust denial movement.
On a lighter (and a glaringly Technicolor) note, Disney will usher in the new millennium with "Fantasia 2000," a newly restored version of its 1940 animated classic that blends the creative innovation of the original with the technical capability of today's technology. "Fantasia" purists will not only be able to view the timeless musical in a visually and aurally enhanced setting via IMAX technology, they will also be treated to six new computer-generated musical segments specially created for the occasion.
Below is a list of all the films opening this week.
Opening Wednesday, Dec. 29, 1999
"The Hurricane" (Universal) -- Based on a true story, Denzel Washington stars as Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, the middleweight boxer who was wrongly convicted for the murders of three white men in 1966. Spanning over 20 years, the film follows the innocent boxer's fight for justice that leads to his eventual exoneration. Deborah Kara Unger, John Hannah and Liev Schreiber co-star as the activists who champion his cause.
"Jesus' Son" (Lions Gate) -- Billy Crudup plays an itinerant junkie stumbling across 1970s America, searching for meaning in everything from drug and sex to chance encounters with anonymous strangers. From rural Iowa to arid Arizona, his nihilistic journey weaves together interconnected stories of loss, angst and isolation into a jarring collage of an American subculture. Samantha Morton, Holly Hunter, Denis Leary and Dennis Hopper co-star. Based on a collection of short stories by Denis Johnson.
"Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr." (Lions Gate) -- From groundbreaking documentary filmmaker Errol Morris comes another distinctive portrait of human extremes. The subject of this fascinating portrait is the infamous Fred A. Leuchter Jr., the erstwhile engineer of death row technology who disclaimed the occurrence of the Holocaust in 1988. Rather than being the crowning achievement of his career, his alignment with the Holocaust denial movement instead ruined his life.
"The Third Miracle" (SPC) -- Ed Harris plays a disillusioned Catholic priest sent to Chicago to investigate the life of a deceased woman who's under consideration for sainthood after a religious miracle. His religious conviction and faith further erode as the skeptical priest finds himself increasingly attracted to the woman's daughter, played by Anne Heche.
Opening Saturday, Jan. 1, 2000
"Fantasia 2000" (Disney) -- The 1940 Disney animated classic returns with an added touch of technological magic this time around. Combining traditional cell-animation with computer-generated animation, the musical gala features six new segments -- each created by different directors and creative teams. The renovated Mouse House favorite is also the first animated feature to be specially formatted for IMAX theaters.