On Emmy night the only place filled with more glittery winged statuettes than the trophy room at the ceremony was HBO’s annual after party, thanks to a series of sweeping victories – 26 in all – by the pay cable network’s programming, including the miniseies John Adams, the telepic Recount, the drama In Treatment and the comedy Entourage.
West Hollywood’s Pacific Design Center served as the epicenter for HBO’s bash, converted into a swanky, sprawling blue-green Brazillian-themed party palace as a sea of stretch limos deposited an increasingly starry contingent of Emmy-toting actors, writers, directors and producers, as well a dozens of famous faces from film and television.
Appropriately for a glitzy blowout filled with free-flowing champagne and low-cut gowns, the gang from Entourage led the party pack: Adrian Grenier greeted In Treatment star Gabriel Byrne at the door and congratulated him on his Emmy victory effusively, along with Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen; Kevin Dillon and Jerry Ferrara huddled up with the show’s upcoming guest star Jamie-Lynn Sigler, the only member of The Sopranos family on hand; Kevin Connelly belied up to the bar alongside Stacy Keibler; and dapper Jeremy Piven worked the room with a stogie in one hand and an Emmy in the other before DJ RAVIDRUMS invited him to the platform high above the dance floor to play the drums for an appreciative crowd of stars that included the show’s sexiest guests, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Malin Akerman and Carla Gugino who swayed to the Piv’s beat.
The octogenarian “Mr. Warmth” himself, Don Rickles, held court at a table by the door alongside his shiny Emmy, circled by a crowd filled with HBO’s comedy superstars Larry David, Bill Maher, Cynthia Nixon, Jeff Garlin and Flight of the Conchords' Jemaine Clement and Brett McKenzie. Baby mama Amy Poehler parked her pregnant frame in a nook near the outdoor patio overlooking a specially created candlelit “pond” while hubby Will Arnett fetched food for her.
John Adams executive producer Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson cruised in with the latest addition to his already impressive trophy mantle, and Hanks told Hollywood.com that even with his abundance of awards each honor had special significance to him. Looking at each honor, “you go back and remember all of the people that were working on it with you,” Hanks said.
The Hanks fam slipped out early, just missing the miniseries’ Emmy-winning stars Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney, and as the night wore on the celebrity wattage only increased, with appearances by Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Michael C Hall, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, Tina Fey, Denis Leary, Mary-Louise Parker, John Krasinski, Hayden Panettiere, Sally Field and Lost-ies Daniel Dae Kim, Harold Perrineau, Jr. and Michael Emerson.
The party raged on into the wee hours – even Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaragosa took a turn on the drums! – and even after spending hours squeezed into her Christian Laboutin shoes all day, Kate Walsh danced the night away as long as she could. “I’ve gotta work tomorrow,” she lamented, “but not too early.”
The original Superman films were the first superhero franchise to take its lead character’s emotional story as seriously as his amazing adventures--a tack the best of the comic book films have followed. Superman Returns wisely builds its two-tiered story around the hero a) journeying back to Metropolis after a five-year absence to try to find his place in a world that may have moved beyond the need for a super-powered savior and b) hoping to find a place in the heart of his former paramour Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) who now has entanglements--namely a child and a fiancé--that even his mighty abilities may not be able to overcome. It’s a potent set-up. Of course lurking around the corner as always is his ever-nefhavarious and even nastier nemesis Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) who plots to use a little piece of Superman’s birthplace Krypton to wreak havoc here on Earth. The film falters in this aspect and there are almost too many references to the original Superman. Still like its title character the film’s powerful combo of spectacle and heart win the day in the end. Sure Brandon Routh won’t make you forget Christopher Reeve. Indeed the casting of the look-a-like newcomer is clearly intended to evoke the iconic actor. His Superman is not as majestic and commanding as Reeve’s nor is his Clark Kent as absurdly awkward--but these are good things. Both of Kal-El’s personas move closer to the center and the end result makes for a more human and vulnerable hero. Bosworth is more effective as the conflicted Lois than expected but her extreme youth and slight frame still make it difficult to buy her as a seasoned Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. Nevertheless she and Routh share a palpable if not combustible chemistry. As anticipated Spacey unleashes unctuous charm and chilling menace in equal parts--but that’s not always a good thing. The threadbare Luthor plot consumes far more screen time than it merits and too often Spacey resorts valiantly to filling up the screen with his personal pyrotechnics in the absence of strong scenes. Frank Langella provides punchy panache as Perry White and Eva Marie Saint is a soulful Ma Kent. Props in particular go out to James Marsden in the thankless role of Lois’ new love for providing a believably acceptable romantic alternative to the Man of Steel. But the usual sparkplug Parker Posey disappoints going through the uninspired motions as Luthor’s moll Kitty while Sam Huntington’s Jimmy Olsen grates rather than acts as supposed comic relief. Nearly two decades after star Christopher Reeve and director Richard Donner made audience believe a man could fly director Bryan Singer as he did with the first two X-Men films brings an elegant emotion-tinged touch to the super-heroic proceedings. Things get off to a rocky start in the first half hour which feels bloated choppy and a touch directionless as Singer and the screenwriters reveal surprisingly tin ears when it comes to what (barely) passes as comedy in the film. But then with Superman in action and Lois wrestling with her feelings for him there is strong stuff indeed with the third act full of ripe intriguing emotional beats that fortunately overpower the director’s distracting over-reliant reverence for the Reeve-Donner films. While many of the nods to the original films work marvelously--the use of Marlon Brando footage the Kryptonian production design and the original John Williams score among them--others feel like rote even slavish attempts to recapture the original magic. The whole is less of a fully formed film but Superman Returns is a great kick start to a potentially knockout new franchise which ultimately leaves the audience like the people of Metropolis when its greatest hero returns to the skies brimming with hope.
With a diverse range extending from bubblegum early rock 'n' roll hits like "Splish Splash" to American pop standards like "Mack the Knife" to Vegas show-stoppers like "Hello Young Lovers" to self-penned war-protesting folk tunes like "Simple Song of Freedom " Darin certainly has a compelling story arc chasing fame and fortune from a young age because of a serious heart condition that makes an early demise inevitable. Darin manages to defy the fatal odds against him and emerges as a top-selling singing sensation and even an Oscar-nominated actor while his hard-driving never-say-die odyssey through celebrity includes romance with the gorgeous young matinee idol Sandra Dee (Kate Bosworth) and surprising revelations about his past. Yet like the title of one of his hits "More " nothing ever seems to be enough for the singer who must learn how to truly live in the midst of his seemingly packed life until he finally succumbs to his heart disease at the age of 37.
We know what you're thinking: didn't Bobby Darin hit it big in his early 20s? How the heck in his mid-forties is even Mr. Two-Time-Oscar-Winner going to pull that off? Well Spacey does and he doesn't. Sure he's too old to be literally believed as the early Darin but the film's clever framing sequence and fourth-wall-breaking techniques tell the story as though Darin is looking back at his life and "plugging in" the more mature version of Spacey-as-Darin throughout--and it helps that Darin is not as recognizable an icon to today's audiences as say Elvis or Sinatra. With that nifty feat accomplished Spacey is more than up to the task of capturing the singer's "I want it all yesterday" temperament as well as his distinctive vocals. Darin purists may have preferred that the film used the singer's actual tracks but given that Spacey insisted on singing the songs himself his vocal mimicry is as convincing as can be imagined. Bosworth (Win a Date With Tad
Hamilton) is as poodle-skirt-cute as Sandra Dee should be and adds a nice touch of Hollywood actress insecurity as well. However the vast age difference between Bosworth and Spacey is a tad creepy and their chemistry as both lovers and fighters doesn't really combust on screen. Supporting players Caroline Aaron and Bob Hoskins come close to stealing scenes even from the likes of Spacey--and that's as high a compliment as can be bestowed.
Even if you are a fan of Spacey or not his cinematic execution while not entirely razzle-dazzle in the non-musical sequences is quite competent making the most of the era's settings--especially old Hollywood and the lush lounge environs Darin prowled. Nods also go to the film conventions of the time. His deft direction combined with his always-engrossing performance manages to overcome and liven up the screenplay's often considerably lame dialogue. And those musical sequences! Whenever the story starts to meander Spacey cleverly slides in a 50s-style song-and-dance number or swinging lounge lizard set to goose up the proceedings.
Actor Jason Biggs, best known on-screen for his erotic relationship with an apple pie, will be heading home to his native New Jersey to join the cast of director Kevin Smith's film Jersey Girl, which also stars Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez and Liv Tyler, according to The Hollywood Reporter. And you, too, could join the cast.
Biggs, who is currently starring in the Broadway production of The Graduate with Kathleen Turner and Alicia Silverstone, is juggling his schedule to reunite with Smith, who previously directed him in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. The actor will shoot the Miramax film in New Jersey and Philadelphia by day and shuttle back to the Great White Way to perform on stage at night through mid-November. He will then return to Los Angeles and begin production on American Pie 3, for which he is said to be receiving an eight-figure salary.
Jersey Girl, written and directed by Smith for his View Askew Productions, is about a publicist (Affleck) and the effects his new wife (Lopez) and 6-year-old daughter have on his already full life, while at the same time he unwillingly finds himself drawn to a video store clerk (Tyler). George Carlin appears as Affleck's father, and Biggs will play Affleck's co-worker and protégé.
And yours could be the next name added to the cast. The Associated Press reports that Smith is recruiting extras for the cast via his View Askew Web site (http://www.viewaskew.com/jgextras/).
"Now, mind you, this isn't for speaking parts; all of those are already taken," reads the casting notice. "But that doesn't mean you still can't be a part of the Movie Magic (actual Movie Magic not guaranteed) as an Extra!" Aspiring extras must submit a photo, contact information and statistics (age, gender, height and weight) by Friday.
Although she showed up in court ready to testify, Jennifer Aniston didn't have to bare her soul--or anything else, for that matter--on the witness stand in the lawsuit she filed against a men's magazine publisher that ran photos of her sunbathing topless in her backyard.
Instead, the sexy sitcom star relied on her Friends with law degrees, who suddenly settled the matter just as it was about to be heard by a federal judge. Husband Brad Pitt also showed up to provide moral support and a victory hug.
Dressed in a shiny, striped white blouse, khaki pants and wedge-heeled sandals with her hair pulled back in a ponytail, a tense-looking Aniston arrived sans Pitt in a media-jammed fifth-floor courtroom in Downtown Los Angeles' federal court building shortly after 9 a.m., flanked by an assemblage of attorneys, bailiffs and private security guards.
As her security guards took positions at opposite ends of the courtroom, the 33-year-old actress sat quietly for about 15 minutes with her attorneys until they and the defense legal team were suddenly summoned into a private conference in the judge's chambers, a meeting that lasted over two and a half hours.
Meanwhile, the media waited in the courtroom, occasionally getting a glimpse of the defense's potential exhibits. Several large poster boards featuring glamorous images of Aniston published in popular magazines such as US Weekly were assembled, along with dozens of black three-ring binders appearing to bear similar photographs.
In August 2000, Aniston sued Man's World Publications and Crescent Publishing Group, claiming the publishers had no right to publish a photo of her, according to court documents, "reclining topless in her back yard, wearing only her panties." The photo was allegedly taken by a "stalkerazzi" who climbed a neighbor's wall to snap the shots with a telephoto lens on Feb. 28, 1999.
Aniston's suit says the actress first saw the topless shot published in the September 1999 issue of Celebrity Skin and later in the December 1999 issue of High Society. She sued after the publishers (who teased the photos with headlines reading "Friends Stars X-Posed" and "Rachel Gets Raunchy--Her Shocking XXX-Rated Vacation") allegedly ignored a "cease and desist" letter sent by her legal team.
The photo--in which, despite being shot through backyard foliage, Aniston is clearly recognizable sunbathing nude from the waist up--first appeared in the April 1999 issues of the Italian magazine Eva Tremila and the English newspaper Daily Sport, as well as the May 31-June 6 issue of French magazine Voici and the December 1999 issue of Celebrity Sleuth.
Aniston has already settled with Eva Tremila and Celebrity Sleuth, was awarded $1,000 in a judgment in her lawsuit against Voici, and has suits still pending against the Daily Sport and the photographer, Francois Navarre.
Because of the prior publication of the photo, Judge Ronald S.W. Lew threw out Aniston's claim on publication of private information, but agreed to hear her lawyers' arguments on counts of common law misappropriation of the right of publicity, constructive trust and punitive damages.
Although he allowed the case to go forward, Lew denied Aniston's bid to have the case heard before a jury, telling her to produce any and all images in which she has appeared "partially nude" to see how revealing they actually are. She was also ordered to produce TV and movie contracts to determine if she'd ever employed a "no nudity" clause.
Despite the possibility that a barrage of scantily clad images of herself could be entered into evidence by the defense to dispute the invasion of privacy claim, the actress--through her attorney Jay Lavely, who represented Pitt in his 1997 nude photo lawsuit against Playgirl--publicly announced her intention to testify in the case a week prior to her court appearance.
During the hastily assembled legal conference, Lew made a brief appearance in the courtroom. "Why are you here?" he asked the press jokingly. "I don't understand all the pandemonium."
The judge, best known for presiding over the highly publicized "Mexican Mafia" case in 1997, had previously ruled on another case involving a naked "celebrity." In 2001 he decreed that artist Tom Forsythe was within his constitutional rights to photograph Barbie (yes, the doll), in the altogether for his offbeat parodies on consumer culture after toymaker Mattel filed a million-dollar copyright infringement suit against him.
Around noon, Aniston re-entered the courtroom accompanied by her attorney and Pitt, wearing a sleek, gray designer suit and an open-collared white short and sporting the long, shaggy beard he's grown over the last several months for an upcoming film. Lew took the stand and announced that both sides had "perfected a settlement that is confidential on the record...The matter will be dismissed and is dismissed at this time."
A beaming Aniston and clearly pleased Pitt thanked their legal team and were escorted to a private chamber off the courtroom. Minutes later, flanked by security guards, Pitt wrapped an arm over his wife's shoulders as the couple, who celebrate their second wedding anniversary on July 29, was allowed to leave the federal building.
Outside the courthouse, Lavely met the media but insisted he was unable to provide any specifics of the settlement, as per the confidentiality order. "It's best for both sides, and it's an amicable settlement," he said. He did confirm that both Aniston and Pitt personally took part in the settlement proceedings.
When asked if Aniston planned to continue sunbathing topless in her Beverly Hills backyard, Lavely's co-counsel Kevin James laughed and said, "You'll have to ask her."