Acclaimed designer Diane Von Furstenberg is set to star in her own reality TV series in the hope of finding a new Global Brand Ambassador.
The fashion mogul is coming to the small screen in a programme titled The DVF Project on America's E! Network, and the show will follow young hopefuls as they vie for the coveted position at the designer's company.
They will undergo challenges including working on high-profile events and multi-million dollar campaigns. The DVF Project, which is set to premiere later this year (14), isn't von Furstenberg's first foray into reality TV - she has previously served as a guest judge on popular fashion competition series Project Runway and America's Next Top Model.
ABC's Friday night reality TV mainstay, Shark Tank, returns tonight for its 5th season on a wave of critical acclaim and ratings success. We talked to media mogul and Shark Tank judge Mark Cuban about his side gig on the show and more. To read our Q&A with Mark Cuban, check it out at Studio System News.
Ben Stiller was on the rise after breaking mainstream ground in There's Something About Mary. Robert De Niro was at the peak of his shift from Scorsese dramas to screwball comedies. The script was approachable and amicable, but not without its edge. Meet the Parents was prime crowd-pleasing comedy. Since the film's release in 2000, we've seen a number of other attempts at the in-law-centric comedy of errors, ones destined from conception to live in the shadow of Jay Roach's modern classic. The latest is the Tyler Perry production Peeples, a film that borrows more than just the basic "guy meeting his fiancée-to-be's family" formula from the Stiller/De Niro comedy. In fact, upon leaving a screening of the film on Tuesday night, I heard a fellow viewer remark that Peeples was "Meet The Fockers, but with music." Understandable, but not entirely fair.
Peeples sees the likable Wade Walker (Craig Robinson), an aspiring child psychologist who writes and performs songs to teach kids about expressing themselves verbally, struggling to impress his uptight girlfriend Grace's (Kerry Washington) rigid and tyrannical father, Judge Virgil Peeples (David Alan Grier) upon meeting him and the family for the first time during a weekend getaway to their summer home in Sag Harbor, Long Island. Yes, at times, the new movie seems like it cited the script of Parents with a checklist in hand: both films take place in prosperous Long Island, pit a sensitive working class dreamer against the hard-nosed professional patriarch, and involve the gradual surfacing of family secrets. For a while, there, it seems as though the movie is setting up for a rip-off of the too-well-known-to-be-reproduced Meet the Parents. But a few leagues into Wade's increasingly ill-fated vacation with the Peeples clan, the movie actually begins to one-up its predecessor.
With performers like Stiller and, to a greater degree, De Niro, Parents felt comfortable using its supporting cast as set dressing. There wasn't much for anyone else to do in the film: Teri Polo, Stiller's romantic interest, was flat and unsubstantial. Blythe Danner had some words of reason, but hardly anything to contribute to the comedy. Even De Niro's stoner son (Jon Abrahams) didn't have anything in the vein of a story. Stiller didn't meet the parents, much less the family. He met the dad. But here, Peeples is champion. Chism invests a little something in each member of her cinematic family: father Virgil is an overbearing, hypermasculine A-type (an identity that clearly stems from his relationship with his own father, whom we meet briefly). Grace has, as a result of her rearing, and her dad's well-documented favoritism, become a somewhat self-destructive, victory-affixed obsessive-compulsive, opting desperately to hide her imperfections from everyone in her life.
And Grace isn't the only Peeple to get an industrial treatment: her sister is, in the same vein, trying to hide her homosexuality from her abrasive father. Her brother is a kleptomaniac, and a contentious scientific genius with low self-esteem. Her mother is a recovering addict and a former music artist whose career and glory were overshadowed by her husband. The characters in Peeples are given full plates. And as Wade gets to know them through the film, he finds himself connecting with each of their individual stories.
Unfortunately, Peeples throws the lot of this out the window in the third act. In a 90-minute romantic comedy, there's only so much room for a full-fledged supporting cast, at least as far as the film is concerned. Each of these characters' conflicts, all far more engaging than that of Wade and Grace, are discarded when it comes time for the big, sweet ending. Even Grace's proclivity for dishonesty and judgment, not to mention her subtle Elektra Complex, are ignored in the end: the movie doesn't give its superior material a fair chance to shine, opting instead for your typical genre conclusion.
Throughout the movie, the gags are standard and predictable, with the performances of Robinson and Malcolm Barrett (playing Wade's goofy brother Chris) offering a few laughs here and there. The real meat of the movie is its devotion to the characters. Unfortunately, that devotion fades away instantly when the time comes from a sweeping romantic ending and dynamic musical number. But really, in a genre where these are the norm, couldn't we have spent a little more time solving the Peeples' problems?
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter
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The last ten seconds of the season finale of The Good Wife were some of the best of the season. Actually, the whole series. (And, yes, I'm going to talk about what happened at the end of the episode, so if it's collecting dust in your DVR, stop what you are doing right now and go watch it or, you know, keep reading and spoil it. You're an adult. You can make your own decision). Just when you think that Alicia is finally going to get it on with Will and they are going live happily ever after in complicated romance, another man came a-courting. It was Cary. And Alicia joined his start up firm and is taking her clients with her. Say what?!?
The first thought that ran through everyone's mind was, "What are they going to do about next season?" Yes, Alicia is going to be at Florrick, Agos, and Associates and Lockhard/Gardiner is going to be, what? Who knows! Well, I have a radical idea. Fire them. Fire all the actors. After all, this show is called The Good Wife, not All the People A Good Wife Works With.
Bear with me on this, but hasn't everyone out there left a job to take a new one? What happened? You might be working with an old coworker or two and you might take an underling along with you, but everything at your old job just sort of, well, it goes away. You run into those people now and again, but you aren't involved with them like you used to be because your'e so focused on making your new gig work. Why not do that to this show? Everyone who isn't at the new firm should get a big demotion.
Why should they all be full-time cast members? We'll have Alicia and Cary starting their new firm with a bunch of old clients and, most likely, facing all the same lawyers and being ruled on by all the same judges so we'll get to see all of our favorite guest stars. Peter will be in the governor's seat with Eli by his side and Alicia will still be raising his kids, so they'll all be around. And hopefully we'll get to know some new characters, some of the other lawyers and the new clients and associates at the firm. Think of all the fun stories! Think of all the personality clashes! It's going to be exciting just like, well, starting a new job.
As far as the people at the old firm go, I hate to say it, but The Good Wife will be losing so much dead weight. Will and Alicia's will they or won't they seems to have been decided once and for all (they won't). Bye Will! Diane is going to be a Supreme Court Judge. Bye Diane! David Lee is just an annoying pain in the neck and will be much better as Alicia's opponent than her ally. Bye David Lee. See you in court! We know all of Kalinda's secrets, so what is left there? Bye Kalinda! Oh, who are we kidding. She'll come running to Alicia's side in no time.
What would be really awful is if the show pulled a Glee and starts following both the new firm and the old one just like everyone's least favorite singing show follows some characters in New York and some in Ohio. Even worse would be if they set out on this new firm and end up back at Lockhart/Gardiner before the midway break in the season. We need this decision to have consequences. If not, everything Alicia does from here on out will just be easily corrected by the writers whims. With that final decision she seems to be wanting a different direction for her life, wouldn't it be great for the show to have a different direction as well? I couldn't be more excited.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
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Dwayne Johnson, who has become the action movie go-to guy, joined Mark Wahlberg and Anthony Mackie in this weekend's R-rated, Michael Bay directed testosterone fest Pain & Gain and led the weekend with a $20 million debut. The film had a nearly even split between male and female audiences with a 51% male and a surprising 49% female audience.
Universal's Oblivion starring Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman landed in second with $17.443 million in its second weekend after a number one debut last week. The PG-13 sci-fi adventure has now earned $64.7 to date and had a 53% drop thus giving the advantage to Wahlberg and Johnson as the newcomer to the marketplace.
Sliding into third place in its third weekend is Warner Bros.' excellent Jackie Robinson sports biopic 42 which dropped a mere 39%, good enough for $10.725 million this weekend and nearly $70 million to date.
Fourth place went to The Big Wedding from Lionsgate which wound up with $7.5 million in its debut. The R-rated comedy stars Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Katherine Heigl and an all-star ensemble cast that tried to draw older audiences seeking something brand new that is aimed squarely at them and not young males.
RELATED: 'Pain & Gain' to Take on 'Oblivion' at the Box OfficeFox's ever-popular The Croods took another $6.6 million in its sixth weekend as it continues to take full advantage of the lack of family film competition in the marketplace. Dropping just 29% the animated blockbuster has raised its N. American total to $163 million.
This is the final weekend before the official kickoff of the 2013 Summer Movie Season when Disney's Iron Man 3 opens Friday, May 3 opens in N. America; if the record international total of $195.3 million in 42 territories is any indication, it should have a massive debut!
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Did Hollywood have anything to do with the emergence of the Occupy Wall Street movement? The whole thing seems a little bit convenient. Last month saw the behind-the-meltdown docudrama Margin Call and the sci-fi metaphor In Time. Now we have Tower Heist a comedy that pits the blue collar staff of the Trump Tower against a thieving Bernie Madoff-esque tenant. The movie's an Ocean's 11 for the 99% with a sense of timeliness that makes the simple plotting and wisecracking that much more effective.
Ben Stiller stars as Josh Kovacs overseer of all the goings-on at the Tower. He wakes up before dawn and heads home after sunset spending his day catering to the occupants of the ritzy apartment complex and managing his eclectic crew—including former Burger King cook Enrique (Michael Peña) Jamaican maid Odessa (Gabourey Sidibe) and his slacker brother-in-law Charlie (Casey Affleck). The crew's greatest concern is multi-billionaire Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) the penthouse resident Tower board member and thanks to attention paid trusted friend of Josh.
Trusted...until the FBI busts Shaw for stealing millions including the Tower employees' pensions.
Like all good tower heists Josh's titular harebrained scheme is prompted by a drunken night out with lead investigator Claire (Téa Leoni) who tips the irked manager off to Shaw's hidden stash: a possible eight-figure sum hidden somewhere in his apartment. In pursuing the American dream of revenge Josh recruits his slighted co-workers along with distraught former-millionaire Fitzhugh (Matthew Broderick) and Josh's childhood friend-turned-thief Slide (Eddie Murphy). Together the motley crew concocts a plan to retrieve what's rightfully theirs—all while sinking Shaw in the process.
Tower Heist isn't as slick or intricate as the Ocean movies but its straightforward take on the crime genre is strengthened by Stiller Murphy and the rest of the cast's ability to inject ridiculous humor into sympathetic characters. When Josh realizes his decade spent commanding the operations of the Tower were for naught he wigs out marching up to the top floor to beat the crap out of Shaw's priceless convertible (it was owned by Steve McQueen in case you were wondering why anyone would keep an antique car on the top floor of a building). Not entirely realistic but relatable which sums up every over-the-top satisfying scenario these characters find themselves throughout the film.
Most importantly Tower Heist delivers on the funny. Playing the straight man is an art and Stiller's one of the masters (although you'd never know it from his Night at the Museum shtick or wackier roles like Zoolander) riffing off his co-stars while giving them ample time to be complete weirdos. The movie is being touted as a comeback for Murphy but he wisely steps into a supporting role delivering on his character's manic charm while never trying to steal the spotlight. The one who really steals the show is Broderick whose clueless neurotic Fitzhugh can't help relapsing mid-heist into memories of luxurious trips to Greece.
Credit goes to director Brett Ratner who cranked out three Rush Hour movies and an X-Men threequel while never really nailing down what it takes to make a group dynamic work. Here he pulls it off finding the right beats to make Tower Heist funny and thrilling. There are moments during the actual heist scene set during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade that cause quite a stir—a rarity in today's run-of-the-mill thrill rides.
Tower Heist is the definition of a cinematic softball avoiding risky choices and utilizing each actor to their previously known (and successful) traits without feeling lazy. As the holidays roll in and families look for something they all can enjoy Tower Heist delivers a little something for everyone. Except maybe Bernie Madoff.
Terry Thompson uncaged almost 50 creatures from his farm near Zanesville before killing himself on Tuesday (18Oct11).
After hearing the animals, which included lions, bears, tigers and monkeys, had been let loose, officials from the Muskingum County sheriff's department shot most of the wild beasts to protect the public.
But the move has met with criticism by many stars, who are taking to Twitter.com to mourn the losses.
Dushku writes, "The man who went postal & released the animal farm in Ohio... 49 deceased exotic animals.. so absolutely sad", and Mark Ronson's sister Samantha adds, "Did they really have to kill them?"
Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba writes, "So upset about what happened in OHIO!!! I think they could have tried a little harder to save the animals. It wasn't their fault."
But TV wildlife expert Jack Hanna has defended the sheriff's department for their decision, telling ABC News' Diane Sawyer, "I'm sorry to say, but what the sheriff did had to be done. Otherwise, we would have had carnage out here in Zanesville, Ohio."
Imogen, the flavor of the air swells with bewitching honey every time I get to report on your comic splendor. Natasha Lyonne is in the game now! Natasha Lyonne, you'll recall, played Jessica, Tara Reid's confidante in the first two American Pie movies, as well as the lead, a confused young lesbian sent to "straight camp" by intolerant parents, in But I'm a Cheerleader. But more important than any of that—than pretty much anything at all, as a matter of fact, is Imogen. Lyonne will be joining the holy grounds of Kristen Wiig's passion project about a writer's feigned suicide attempt concocted to win the heart of a young man, which leads to her being placed under the care of her overbearing mother.
Natasha Lyonne will enjoy her own love story beside Wiig's in the film. Lyonne will play a Jersey Shore boardwalk employee, sought by a character to be played by Christopher Fitzgerald (Boiler Room). In addition to Lyonne and Fitzgerald, June Diane Raphael (Going the Distance) is joining the film as a yet undisclosed character. The vigor is palpable.
In addition to this brainsplosively glorious news, Lyonne will be rejoining her old classmates in American Reunion, which, and don't you dare judge me, I will see. In theaters. As soon as it opens.
Whitney Houston's representative confirmed to People magazine that Houston has entered into an out-patient rehab program to treat her alcohol and drug related issues. "Whitney Houston is currently in an out-patient rehab program for drug and alcohol treatment. Whitney voluntarily entered the program to support her long-standing recovery process." In 2000, she was charged with a misdemeanor drug offense when airport police at Kona International Airport found half an ounce of marijuana in her handbag. Charges were dropped in 2001 after she passed a substance abuse assessment. Houston entered rehab for the first time in March of 2004 and after she checked out five days later, she told Diane Sawyer about the condition that lead her to seek help: "I partied a lot. Trust me: I partied my tail off. You get to a point where you know the party's over." She returned in 2005 after her mother, Cissy Houston, petitioned a court and asked that the judge order her back into treatment.
Sources: People, MTV, People
The programme bosses have snagged the publication's editor, Franca Sozzani, as a judge for its upcoming season - and the winning wannabe will be featured in a spread in the magazine early next year (11).
As a result of the Italian Vogue link, Top Model has also landed top fashion photographers Patrick Demarchelier and Matthew Rolston among its special guests, turning the reality show into a must watch for style trendsetters.
Thrilled Banks, who is host and executive producer of the show, says, "All of a sudden it's not America's Next Top Model. It's America's Next Top Modelle, dahling (sic). It's totally elevating it with the fashion industry."
Designers Diane von Furstenberg, Zac Posen and Roberto Cavalli will serve as judges this season, and top agency IMG will represent the winner of the contest.