Conrad was first linked to the professional dancer after they were spotted at a concert together last month (Sep11), and they appeared to confirm the speculation after hooking up at Los Angeles' Trousdale Lounge over the weekend (15-16Oct11).
Hunky Hough was said to have put his arm around Conrad's waist as they partied together and later shared a smooch on the dancefloor.
An onlooker tells People.com, "It was obvious there was a lot of chemistry between the two. She was very smitten. Neither seemed embarrassed about kissing in public."
Conrad recently split from her longtime boyfriend Kyle Howard, while Hough has previously been linked to British pop star Cheryl Cole and American Pie actress Shannon Elizabeth.
"I'm newly single, and I plan on being that way for some time. Having fun." TV star-turned-fashion icon and author Lauren Conrad dismisses reports she's dating dancer Derek Hough following her recent split from actor Kyle Howard.
The pair appeared to be an item as they embraced throughout Jason Scoppa's weekly residency at the Sayers Club, according to Eonline.com.
An onlooker says, "They were pretty cozy. Definitely playful and flirty... They were close to each other. He had his arm around her waist. They were dancing and also holding hands."
Conrad recently ended a long relationship with actor Kyle Howard, while Hough was linked to British pop star and TV personality Cheryl Cole and previously dated American Pie star Shannon Elizabeth.
At some point in the early years of the 21st century a bunch of Hollywood executives must have gotten together and decided that animated films should be made for all audiences. The goal was perhaps to make movies that are simultaneously accessible to the older and younger sets with colorful imagery that one expects from children’s films and two levels of humor: one that’s quite literal and harmless and another that’s somewhat subversive. The criteria has resulted in cross-generational hits like Wall-E and Madagascar and though it’s nice to be able to take my nephew to the movies and be as entertained by cartoon characters as he is I can’t help but wonder what happened to unabashedly innocent animated classics like A Goofy Movie and The Land Before Time?
Disney’s Winnie The Pooh is the answer to the Shrek’s and Hoodwinked!’s of the world: a short sweet simple and lighthearted tale of friendship that doesn’t need pop-culture references or snarky dialogue to put a smile on your face. Directors Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall found some fresh ways to deliver adorable animation while keeping the carefree spirit of A.A. Milne’s source material in tact. Their story isn’t the most original; the first part of the film finds Pooh Piglet Tigger and Owl searching for Eeyore’s tail (a common plot point in the books and past Pooh films) and hits all the predictable notes but the second half mixes things up a bit as the crew searches for a missing Christopher Robin whom they believe has been kidnapped by a forest creature known as the “Backson” (it’s really just the result of the illiterate Owl or is it?).
The beauty of hand-drawn animation all but forgotten until recently is what makes Winnie the Pooh so incredibly magnetic. There’s an inexplicable crispness to the colors and characters that CG just can’t duplicate. It’s a more personal practice for the filmmakers and should provide a refreshing experience for audiences who have become jaded with the pristine presentation of computerized imagery. The film is bookended by brief live-action shots from inside Robin’s room an interesting dynamic that plays up the simplicity of youth ties it to these beloved characters and brings you right back to memories of your own childhood.
With a just-over-an-hour run time Winnie the Pooh is short enough to hold the attention of children but won’t bore the parents who will love the film mainly for nostalgic musings. Still it’s the young’uns who will most enjoy this breezy bright and enchanting film that proves old-school characters can appeal to new moviegoers.
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.
Before a winner was crowned on Dancing with the Stars last night, Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough, Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer, and Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas all performed “instant cha cha chas” for the judges. But even before they did that, we watched taped segments in which Len Goodman made cases for why each one deserves the mirrorball.
The first to dance their cha chas was Kyle and Lacey, which was definitely not outstanding, or even very entertaining. Second in line were Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough, and even THAT wasn’t exciting. And finally, Bristol Palin was up, which was only watchable because she grinded up on Mark Ballas much more than usual and did every move four times, which means if you DVRed it, you can go back and learn the routine in time for New Year’s. Kyle and Lacey got a score of 28 points, Jennifer and Derek also got 28 points, and Bristol and Mark got 27 points.
SO WHO WON? Surprisingly and yet not surprisingly, Jennifer Grey was crowned the champion of this season, after earning 118 points. Kyle Massey placed 2nd with 110 points, and Bristol got third place with 104 points. Feel free to skip the gym on this new holiday.
After reports surfaced that Tea Partiers might be taking advantage of the very lax voting system (which explains why Bristol achieved the next to impossible and made it to the finals while doing little to no movement AND beat out the talented Brandy last week), and keeping in mind that a lot of people believe the winner should be the dancer who’s improved the most over the season and NOT the dancer who’s been a steady fantastic the whole way, I was thinking that Bristol was going to be crowned the winner. After all, if she’d made it that far, what would be the point of beating out all those talented (and arguably more deserving of the mirrorball) dancers if she wasn’t going to be crowned the champion? I suspect producers might have intervened at the last second and (not very judiciously) decided to just give Jennifer (the unequivocal best dancer, who was in first place on the leader board for seven out of the competition's ten weeks) the trophy to protect the show's integrity...because if Bristol had won, you can bet you'd be reading a lot less about the new Travolta baby and a lot more about political corruption seeping into the reality show universe.
The actress made her name in the 1987 classic Dirty Dancing, opposite Patrick Swayze, and she donned her dance shoes once again for the celebrity showdown after years away from the spotlight.
She saw off competition from actor Kyle Massey and politician Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol during the show's finale on Tuesday night (23Nov10).
Palin came third in the competition after gaining the least amount of votes, leaving Grey and her dance partner Derek Hough to battle it out with Massey for the title.
Grey scored a perfect 30 for her Viennese Waltz and a 28 for her Cha Cha - her final dances on Tuesday's show.
After winning, the star revealed she nearly pulled out of the finale after rupturing a disc in her spine on Monday night (22Nov10), prompting a brief hospital visit. Grey has been plagued with injuries throughout the competition after undergoing a string of spinal surgeries to repair torn ligaments in her neck.
With her actress pal Jamie Lee Curtis and Cabaret star dad Joel Grey looking on from the studio audience, she admitted, "I didn't think I was going to compete tonight and I'm really glad I did."
Other celebrities who took part in the 11th season of the show included David Hasselhoff, Michael Bolton, R&B singer Brandy, veteran actress Florence Henderson, Jersey Shore star Mike Sorrentino and Vanessa Williams' ex-husband Rick Fox, Audrina Patridge, comedienne Margaret Cho and retired football star Kurt Warner.
The season finale of Dancing with the Stars is tonight, so the three remaining pairs (Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough, Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer, and Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas) each performed two dances: a “redemption dance,” which gave them another shot at a routine they did poorly with earlier on in the season, and a “freestyle dance.” Let’s start with the “redemption dances.”
Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough gave the paso doble another shot. The first time she performed it, she looked lost and seemed to make a mockery of the dance itself. Carrie Ann Inaba rightfully called her “out of control” and “disjointed.” So when they were rehearsing for the redemption round, Carrie came in told Jennifer to stop dancing inside a box. When the time came for them to dance in front of all three judges, they really did give a superb performance. They were rewarded with a perfect score that won't matter because Tea Partiers have those big monster cell phones from American Psycho will crazy texting (and therefore, voting) abilities.
Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer were asked to do the foxtrot for their redemption dance, which the first time around, was a horrible something vomitous from the 70s that I really enjoyed. They decided this time around, they were going to class it up, and were visited by Len Goodman, who gave them the harshest score the first time around. Len told Kyle not to be slow when he’s supposed to be quick, and not to be quick when he’s supposed to be slow. When they did the real dance, it was good…but pretty boring to watch. They got 27 points.
Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas did the Jive for their redemption dance, as the last time they did it they wore monkey suits. To help her succeed, Bruno stopped by and coached her on how to avoid making the same mistakes she did last time, but she really only learned how to say in a nice way that she has a boring personality. Her performance was not anything to do anything over because she’d clearly rather stay in her hole than come out shimmy like her kid just became an Alaskan clam. They got 27 points.
In terms of the freestyle dance (which is always the last dance the audience watches before voting for the season’s champion begins), Jennifer said in rehearsal that she refused to do anything that lifted her off the ground because she was afraid of re-injuring her neck…even though the whole point of the freestyle dance is to stun viewers with tricks and spins. But of course they did some tricks, which got them another perfect score because of how fun it was to watch. They really deserve to win. It’s sad that they won’t.
Kyle’s freestyle dance was fantastic, and I’m going to do it at my wedding. They got 29 points.
And finally, Bristol Palin‘s freestyle was a recreation of the Cell Block Tango from Chicago, which Bristol had never seen nor heard of. She had a really hard time during rehearsals because she felt defeated and had no frame of reference to perform the dance, WHCH WAS EVIDENT BY HER NON-MOVEMENT. Bruno complimented them for aiming so high, which was a very nice way of telling them to stop applying to Harvard when they barely have the grades for Penn State. They got 25 points.
So who's going to win! Let us know in the comments!
We’re down to four remaining dancers, everyone! We’ve got Jennifer Grey, Bristol Palin, Kyle Massey and Brandy! On last night’s Dancing with the Stars, the theme was “cut open a vein night,” which meant that we were very luckily allowed to hear about some of the most difficult moments in each of the celebrities’ lives! Wasn't it exciting?! Let’s shed some tears now, shall we?
We heard how Jennifer Grey became such a competitive dancer in this competition, which she attributed to standing backstage while her father acted on Broadway, and being in a very serious car accident with Matthew Broderick that resulted in the death of a mother and daughter that were in the other car (well, that is actually quite sad). In order to compete on the show, she had a plate put in her neck to take away some of the lasting effects from the crash. And to convey the pain she’s had over the last few years, she and her partner Derek Hough danced the waltz. They got a perfect score.
Bristol Palin also danced the waltz, and recalled how difficult it was when she got pregnant at 17 while her mom was on the campaign trail, AND THEN how hard it was to go through a very public breakup with boyfriend Levi Johnston, noted pistachio spokesman. She wore all black and danced to something even more religious than The Da Vinci Code. Their dance was awarded 26 points.
Brandy danced the Argentine tango to convey the sadness she felt when her albums stopped doing well on the charts. She explained that failure after failure can be tremendously debilitating, and that’s why a Dancing with the Stars trophy means so much to her – because it would convey that she’s still successful at something. She also remembered when she was in a fatal car accident, and even though she was cleared of any wrongdoing, she was called a “murderer” and a “killer,” left her not feeling well enough to the house for three months. Somehow, she and Maksim needed a lamp post to recreate all the trauma. The judges gave them a perfect score.
And finally, Kyle Massey’s family told us how much of a risk it was for them to leave his home in Atlanta for Hollywood. After months and months of no luck in finding work, they debated forgetting the idea of working in the entertainment industry and hightailing it back to Atlanta. But just as they were driving to LAX to board their flight home, Kyle got a part on That’s So Raven!. He and his partner Lacey danced the Argentine tango to illustrate triumph after experiencing total helplessness to “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire…and it was VERY GOOD. They also got 29 points.
Last night were the quarterfinals on Dancing with the Stars, and it was mostly about whether or not Brandy is capable of knocking Jennifer Grey off her “MY FUCKING LEGS HURT BUT GIVE ME MY TROPHY!’ pedestal and taking home the disco ball trophy instead. Each of the couples performed two dances last night because the show continues to run two hours, and it was exactly like what happens when your friend reserves a table for their birthday party that seats more friends than they have or invited. But we were polite, and watched without saying anything.
But let’s talk about the dances.
Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough performed the quickstep and the samba. While rehearsing for the quickstep, Jennifer tore a ligament in her leg or something and an orthopedic surgeon told her she should consider quitting the competition. Why she keeps acting like she’s as fragile as a Chihuahua who only feasts on four leaf clovers is beyond me. But of course, she continued to rehearse and then performed the dance, which garnered her and Derek 27 out of 30 points.
Then they performed the rumba to a Journey song Jennifer Grey didn’t know. It was pretty amazing and they got a perfect score for it. But if keeps complaining about her legs, her I will order the beekeeper’s outfit she will wear as her punishment.
This week, we got a visit from Sarah Palin! When she learned that one of the dances Bristol was to perform was the Argentine tango and involved a chair, Sarah and Todd were concerned that the dance would be “lap-dance scandalous.” Can you watch this clip and see how her movements are more like a pool toy that the wind keeps blowing around? The judges gave them 25 points.
Then they performed the samba, and it was one of the worst times she’s ever danced. They got 23 points. Mark Ballas tried to cover for it and say it wasn’t Bristol’s fault that the dance was bad, because he was the one who actually lost his count, but that only makes sense if Bristol ever danced well at all.
Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer danced the Viennese waltz, and it was boring. They got 27 points for it.
They also did the jive, which they practiced by having Steve-O from Jackass dribble a basketball in circles around them and walking around the studio naked. And it all worked out pretty well for them in the end! Their jive was awarded with 29 points (which, I have to point out, probably says a lot about how distracting Steve-O’s junk was).
Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy performed the waltz after talking about how such perfect partners they are. It was pretty, but not jaw-dropping. I find myself much more impressed with Jennifer Grey and Kyle Massey as opposed to Brandy, who I don’t feel like is taking risks with her dances. But it was actually a nice dance, and they got 29 points for it.
They danced the cha cha cha for their instant dance. It wasn’t very impressive. I was unsure of which was worse: the slits in Brandy’s pantlegs or the “Teenage Dream” rendition they danced to. Carrie Ann Moss ripped into them a bit for not starting their dance right off the bat, and instead waiting a few measures before they started with the moves…and she was right! Why do some of these dances start off with the celebrities sitting on the stairs? But they still got 28 points.
And finally, Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya danced the waltz, which was nice and everything, but it just was as exciting as deciding to paint the doghouse fire engine red or sangria. I’d be very surprised if Kurt wasn’t eliminated from the competition tonight. But anyway, the pair got 24 points.
Then they showed us their cha cha cha. During rehearsals, Kurt got a visit from his five kids, who kept telling him to do karate chops and Indian kicks and such. When it came time to do the dance, it was pretty good…but he still looks like an athlete, as opposed to an athlete who has been dancing for 8 weeks. Every other contestant has more spunk than him, so that in conjunction with him wearing a shade of Rick Fox probably means he’s going home. Their cha cha cha got them another 24 points and last place on the scoreboard.