It was the trickle of pee heard around the world. Cannes attendees were aghast and/or amused an infamous scene from The Paperboy that shows Nicole Kidman urinating on Zac Efron; this is apparently a great salve for jellyfish burns which were covering our Ken Doll-like protagonist. (In fact the term protagonist should be used very loosely for Efron's character Jack who is mostly acted upon than active throughout.)
Lurid! Sexy! Perverse! Trashy! Whether or not it's actually effective is overshadowed by all the hubbub that's attached itself to the movie for better or worse. In fact the movie is all of these things — but that's actually not a compliment. What could have become somethingmemorable is jaw-droppingly bad (when it's not hilarious). Director Lee Daniels uses a few different visual styles throughout from a stark black and white palette for a crime scene recreation at the beginning to a '70s porno aesthetic that oscillates between psychedelic and straight-up sweaty with an emphasis on Efron's tighty-whiteys. This only enhances the sloppiness of the script which uses lines like narrator/housekeeper/nanny Anita's (Macy Gray) "You ain't tired enough to be retired " to conjure up the down-home wisdom of the South. Despite Gray's musical talents she is not a good choice for a narrator or an actor for that matter. In a way — insofar as they're perhaps the only female characters given a chunk of screen time — her foil is Charlotte Bless Nicole Kidman's character. Anita is the mother figure who wears as we see in an early scene control-top pantyhose whereas Charlotte is all clam diggers and Barbie doll make-up. Or as Anita puts it "an oversexed Barbie doll."
The slapdash plot is that Jack's older brother Ward (Matthew McConaughey) comes back to town with his colleague Yardley (David Oyelowo) to investigate the case of a death row criminal named Hillary Van Wetter. Yardley is black and British which seems to confuse many of the people he meets in this backwoods town. Hillary (John Cusack) hidden under a mop of greasy black hair) is a slack-jawed yokel who could care less if he's going to be killed for a crime he might or might not have committed. He is way more interested in his bride-to-be Charlotte who has fallen in love with him through letters — this is her thing apparently writing letters and falling in love with inmates — and has rushed to help Ward and Yardley free her man. In the meantime we're subjected to at least one simulated sex scene that will haunt your dreams forever. Besides Hillary's shortcomings as a character that could rustle up any sort of empathy the case itself is so boring it begs the question why a respected journalist would be interested enough to pursue it.
The rest of the movie is filled with longing an attempt to place any the story in some sort of social context via class and race even more Zac Efron's underwear sexual violence alligator innards swamp people in comically ramshackle homes and a glimpse of one glistening McConaughey 'tock. Harmony Korine called and he wants his Gummo back.
It's probably tantalizing for this cast to take on "serious" "edgy" work by an Oscar-nominated director. Cusack ditched his boombox blasting "In Your Eyes" long ago and Efron's been trying to shed his squeaky clean image for so long that he finally dropped a condom on the red carpet for The Lorax so we'd know he's not smooth like a Ken doll despite how he was filmed by Daniels. On the other hand Nicole Kidman has been making interesting and varied career choices for years so it's confounding why she'd be interested in a one-dimensional character like Charlotte. McConaughey's on a roll and like the rest of the cast he's got plenty of interesting projects worth watching so this probably won't slow him down. Even Daniels is already shooting a new film The Butler as we can see from Oprah's dazzling Instagram feed. It's as if they all want to put The Paperboy behind them as soon as possible. It's hard to blame them.
Theatrics slapstick and cheer are cinematic qualities you rarely find outside the realm of animation. Disney perfected it with their pantheon of cartoon classics mixing music humor spectacle and light-hearted drama that swept up children while still capturing the imaginations and hearts of their parents. But these days even reinterpretations of fairy tales get the gritty make-over leaving little room for silliness and unfiltered glee. Emerging through that dark cloud is Mirror Mirror a film that achieves every bit of imagination crafted by its two-dimensional predecessors and then some. Under the eye of master visualist Tarsem Singh (The Fall Immortals) Mirror Mirror's heightened realism imbues it with the power to pull off anything — and the movie never skimps on the anything.
Like its animated counterparts Mirror Mirror stays faithful to its source material but twists it just enough to feel unique. When Snow White (Lily Collins) was a little girl her father the King ventured into a nearby dark forest to do battle with an evil creature and was never seen or heard from again. The kingdom was inherited by The Queen (Julia Roberts) Snow's evil stepmother and the fair-skinned beauty lived locked up in the castle until her 18th birthday. Grown up and tired of her wicked parental substitute White sneaks out of the castle to the village for the first time. There she witnesses the economic horrors The Queen has imposed upon the people of her land all to fuel her expensive beautification. Along the way Snow also meets Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) who is suffering from his own money troubles — mainly being robbed by a band of stilt-wearing dwarves. When the Queen catches wind of the secret excursion she casts Snow out of the castle to be murdered by her assistant Brighton (Nathan Lane).
Fairy tales take flack for rejecting the idea of women being capable but even with its flighty presentation and dedication to the old school Disney method Mirror Mirror empowers its Snow White in a genuine way thanks to Collins' snappy charming performance. After being set free by Brighton Snow crosses paths with the thieving dwarves and quickly takes a role on their pilfering team (which she helps turn in to a Robin Hooding business). Tarsem wisely mines a spectrum of personalities out of the seven dwarves instead of simply playing them for one note comedy. Sure there's plenty of slapstick and pun humor (purposefully and wonderfully corny) but each member of the septet stands out as a warm compassionate companion to Snow even in the fantasy world.
Mirror Mirror is richly designed and executed in true Tarsem-fashion with breathtaking costumes (everything from ball gowns to the dwarf expando-stilts to ridiculous pirate ship hats with working canons) whimsical sets and a pitch-perfect score by Disney-mainstay Alan Menken. The world is a storybook and even its monsters look like illustrations rather than photo-real creations. But what makes it all click is the actors. Collins holds her own against the legendary Julia Roberts who relishes in the fun she's having playing someone despicable. She delivers every word with playful bite and her rapport with Lane is off-the-wall fun. Armie Hammer riffs on his own Prince Charming physique as Alcott. The only real misgiving of the film is the undercooked relationship between him and Snow. We know they'll get together but the journey's half the fun and Mirror Mirror serves that portion undercooked.
Children will swoon for Mirror Mirror but there's plenty here for adults — dialogue peppered with sharp wisecracks and a visual style ripped from an elegant tapestry. The movie wears its heart on its sleeve and rarely do we get a picture where both the heart and the sleeve feel truly magical.
Sylvester Stallone's Rambo franchise is set to be resurrected - production
companies Nu Image and Millennium Films have given Rambo IV a go-ahead date for 2006.
The film, which will see Stallone return as the no-nonsense Green Beret, will
shoot in Bulgaria, with filming locations in India and America to follow,
according to top movie news website MovieHole.net.
In the new movie, Stallone's part Navajo Indian character has to take on
white supremacists in America when his family comes under attack from them.
Nu Image/Millennium Films chairman Avi Lerner insists if Rambo IV is a
success, and he's convinced it will be, there will be more Rambo films.
He says, "Stallone is one of the smartest guys I know. It's a franchise. If
number four works, then you have a number five."
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
Top Story: Wanna Buy Don Johnson's Ranch?
Actor Don Johnson is selling his 17-acre ranch for $21 million in a bid to stave off creditors after the Los Angeles-based City National Bank sued the Miami Vice star in March over a $930,000 debt. Johnson's company, Timber Doodle Glade Equity Venture LLC, which holds title to the ranch, filed for Chapter 11 on April 14. According to The Associated Press, the ranch, located in the Woody Creek area of Aspen, Colo., includes a house, guesthouse, office studio, outbuildings and 1,250-square-foot swimming pool. It was once home to writer Hunter S. Thompson. Johnson, who also starred in TV's Nash Bridges and appeared in the comedy Tin Cup, bought the ranch 16 years ago. Johnson's publicist, Elliot Mintz, told AP the actor is refinancing the ranch and the bankruptcy filing will stave off creditors until so he can get the financing he needs
Jimmy Fallon Bids Adieu to SNL
Jimmy Fallon announced he was leaving Saturday Night Live at the end of his "Weekend Update" segment with Tina Fey on May 15--the show's last original episode of the season. "I'm Jimmy Fallon," he said during taping. "I might as well say thanks; this is my last show. Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow." Jeff Zucker, president of the NBC Universal Television Group, told the AP Monday the move came as no surprise since Fallon had made it clear that he wanted to move on. The 29-year-old comedian joined the comedy show in 1998. One of his one of his signature characters was a nasally voiced and obnoxious radio DJ.
Geena Davis Has Twin Boys
Geena Davis gave birth to twin boys in Los Angeles May 6. The boys, named Kian William and Kaiis Steven, are "doing beautifully," a spokesman for the actress told Reuters Monday. Davis, 48, and her husband, Dr. Reza Jarrahy, were married in 2001. They have a 2-year-old daughter, Alizeh Keshvar.
Fox Unveils Trailer T-Shirts
In the never-ending quest to win the attention of media-savvy consumers, 20th Century Fox has unveiled T-shirts embedded with video screens that play I, Robot trailers at the E3 gaming expo in Los Angeles last week. The T-shirts are embedded with 11-inch monitors and four stereo speakers and are able to play any type of media. Fox said that while the video T-shirts would work for any film trailers, they were a particularly good fit for I, Robot, which is set in the year 2035. Reuters reports Fox plans to use the video T-shirts, which are only for promo purposes, to market other films.
June Taylor Dies at 86
June Taylor, the Emmy-winning choreographer for Jackie Gleason's television variety show and later the Miami Dolphins cheerleading squad, died Monday at the Miami Heart Institute. She was 86. A cause of death was not immediately announced, AP reports. Taylor had no children. Her husband of 42 years, Sol Lerner, a prominent theatrical lawyer, died in 1986. Taylor's sister, Marilyn, was Gleason's third and final wife. Officials at the Lithgow Funeral Home said services are scheduled for Wednesday in North Miami Beach, Fla.
Eminem Takes Bite Out of Apple
Rapper Eminem's copyright infringement lawsuit over use of his song "Lose Yourself" in a commercial for Apple Computer Inc. got the go ahead by a federal judge, AP reports. U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor ruled Monday that the suit brought by Eminem's publishing company can proceed against several companies, including MTV parent company Viacom and advertising agency TBWA/Chiat/Day. Apple featured a 10-year-old boy singing the Oscar-winning theme song to the rapper's movie 8 Mile in an ad on MTV for the computer company's iPod music player and iTunes music service.
Black Sabbath Heads Back to Ozzfest
The metal band Black Sabbath, fronted by Ozzy Osbourne, will reunite for the first time since 2001 at Ozzfest, which begins July 10 in Hartford, Conn., Reuters reports. Along with three-quarters of the original Black Sabbath, Ozzfest will also feature four-fifths of the original Judas Priest, and other acts such as Slayer, Dimmu Borgir, Superjoint Ritual (fronted by former Pantera singer Phil Anselmo) and onetime Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society.
Role Call: Disney Boards Jungle Cruise, Costner Tackles Mr. Robinson
Disney is bringing yet another theme park ride to the big screen--this time it's the Jungle Cruise, in which riders travel the rivers of the jungle guided by a riverboat skipper, encountering wild animals along the way ... Kevin Costner is in negotiations to play a male equivalent to Mrs. Robinson in Warner Bros.' update of the '60s classic The Graduate. The story revolves around a young woman who discovers The Graduate was probably based on her family. Jennifer Aniston is already set to play the young woman seduced by Costner's character, while Shirley MacLaine will play her grandmother, the woman who inspired the character immortalized by Anne Bancroft.
Kit Bowen contributed to this report.
Top Story: Madonna's Label Sues Warner Music
Madonna's Maverick Recording Co., who handles such artists as Michelle Branch and Alanis Morissette, has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Warner Music Thursday, seeking $200 million in damages, Reuters reports. The suit, which alleges fraud and false accounting, stems from a year-long dispute between Maverick and Warner and predates the recent sale of Warner Music to a group of investors led by Edgar Bronfman Jr. In the joint venture between the two companies, Warner has the option of buying out the 60 percent of Maverick it doesn't own when the partnership deal expires at the end of the year, but sources say negotiations broke down when Madonna's price was too steep for Warner, Reuters reports. Madonna's lawsuit also comes one day after Warner Music filed a claim in a Delaware court asking a judge to rule it had met its commitments in its deal with Maverick and that any claims to the contrary were without merit, Reuters reports. Calling the Delaware lawsuit a "sneak attack," Maverick's attorney Bert Fields told Reuters he was doubtful the issues would be resolved out of court. "We've been trying to get these people to settle for a year now and we don't think we'll have any success in the future," said Fields.
Spears Tops Aussie Mag's Sexy Women List
Britney Spears was named the No. 1 sexiest woman by the Australian and New Zealand magazine FHM, The Associated Press reports. The pop princess was followed by Australian singer/actress Delta Goodrem, while Aussie singer/actress Kylie Minogue came in fifth.
Swank-y Calvin Klein Ads
Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank has signed on to be the exclusive celebrity model for the Calvin Klein Sensual Support intimate apparel collection, AP reports. "Hilary is the perfect choice for this campaign. She looks absolutely beautiful and easily conveys the sensuality that we want," Kim Vernon, senior vice president of global advertising and communications for Calvin Klein Inc., said in a statement Wednesday. The new collection will be available in July.
Tribeca Film Fest Announces Slate
The Tribeca Film Festival unveiled its lineup for its third annual New York event, including six international premieres and 10 U.S. bows. The festival opens May 1 with Garry Marshall's Raising Helen, starring Kate Hudson and runs through May 9. Other films featured include Dear Frankie, starring Emily Mortimer and Gerard Butler; Whore starring Daryl Hannah and Denise Richards; and Poster Boy, starring Karen Allen and Michael Lerner.
Alias' Garner Gets a Sister
Mia Maestro (Frida) is set to join ABC's Alias, playing star Jennifer Garner's sister. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Maestro will appear in the last three episodes of the show this season and is expected to return as a regular next season. In other pilot casting news, William Devane has joined an untitled ABC family comedy about a man (Tom Everett Scott) and his estranged father (Devane) who become dads at the same time.
Former Wiseguy To Host Wiseguy Show
Actor Vincent Pastore, best known for playing the ill-fated Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero on HBO's The Sopranos, will host The Wiseguy Show, a weekly celebration of Italian-American culture for Sirius Satellite Radio, AP reports. Pastore will interview guests from the Italian-American community, discuss world events, review movies, perform skits, give sex advice and interact with listeners as well as play music from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Al Martino, Jerry Vale and other classic crooners. The show premieres Saturday.
Costello Writes the Books
Taking his popular song "Everyday I Write the Book" to heart, singer-songwriter Elvis Costello cinched a deal with publisher Simon & Schuster to write two books, Reuters reports. The first, due in the fall of 2005, promises to be a work of "intimate narrative chapters taking their cue from the styles, themes and characters" found in Costello's lyrics, the publisher said. The second book, titled How to Play the Guitar, Sing Loudly and Impress Girls ... or Boys, is described as a "work of comic philosophy," Reuters reports.
Role Call: Beckham Bends Panther; Bridges Becoming Mogul
Soccer star David Beckham is in negotiations to make his feature film debut in the upcoming comedy remake The Pink Panther. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the story follows bumbling French detective Inspector Clouseau (Steve Martin) as he investigates the murder of a famous soccer coach and the theft of the Pink Panther diamond and also stars Kevin Kline, Beyonce Knowles and Jean Reno. Beckham would play a cameo role as a soccer player, natch…Jeff Bridges is set to star in the indie The Moguls, a comedy about a small town that bands together to make a porno film. Writer Michael Traeger (Dead Man on Campus) will make his directorial debut.