The Internet is a den of speculation, that's all it is. Whenever a film website, no matter how prestigious it may be, mentions that "Hollywood insiders" have informed them that so and so has been cast as the new lead in such and such, I take it as little more than wishful fan casting. Except the only difference between a post on a film site and a post on a message board is that the film site's tipster is probably real, they're also probably the actor in question's agent's assistant out to test the waters or drum up support. So when ShowBizSpy.com reported last week that "Hollywood insiders" had told them Kim Kardashian would be replacing Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft in a new Tomb Raider film, I took it with a meteor-sized grain of salt. But even though I don't actually believe that casting for a second, I'm still going to fall for their trap and talk about it.
A few things come to mind. The first is the ludicrous idea that Kardashian is "replacing" Jolie, as if there is a chance in hell Jolie would actually return to the video-game-turned-film franchise that flailed around meekly seven years ago. So even if this casting is true, Kardashian isn't "replacing" anyone, she's filling a vacated pair of khaki booty shorts with dual gun holsters. That technicality aside, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I actually like this casting choice.
Not because I am actually a big fan of the socialite/sex tape star/reality star/occasional actress and think she's perfect for the role, but because I appreciate the idea of casting outside of the box. I think in typical Hollywood land, were a new Tomb Raider film an impending reality, Rhona Mitra would be cast right away. She's a great looking gal, she's got the Lara Croft figure and British accent already, and with films like Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and Doomsday under her belt, she's already proven that she can believably kick ass in tight-fitting outfits. But you know what? That's boring.
If we're to revisit Tomb Raider on the big screen, it needs to be fun; it needs to be silly and supremely matinée. The first two films, though far from realistic, weren't all that absurd. Neither are worthless films, but they're fairly generic actioners that happen to have a gorgeous lead actress; that's it. Movies like that are a dime a dozen. If the film's producers go back to the video game's roots, however, we might actually be in for something special.
Let's not forget this is a game franchise that started off with its heroine fighting dinosaurs. Lara Croft was Indiana Jones with a great rack who flew around the world so she could jump from rock to rock while avoiding being eaten by dinosaurs. The game took it all quite seriously, but that's also why the games are all kind of boring once the puberty-stricken teen in you stops trying to position the camera so Ms. Croft is perfectly framed. A new movie, on the other hand, is an opportunity to indulge in just how ridiculous those games could be.
Tomb Raider on the big screen needs to be more than just a watered-down Mummy with a femme fatale instead of Brendan Fraiser. It needs to go in guns blazing with an actress who is going to be perfectly willing to embrace how baseline it all is. You can't just cast an actress, like the hypothetical Rhona Mitra, that could have been cast in the first two films without altering the outcome of said films one iota. You've got to do something bold and different; You've got to be comic and over the top. And really, is there anything more comic and over the top than someone like Kim Kardashian making her way to the big screen as a 3D action star?
Or maybe I'm just barking up the wrong fanboy tree here. Maybe I'm the only one who wants to see Kim Kardashian in a skimpy outfit nearly eaten alive by velociprators. Maybe other people don't want to see Tomb Raider become sillier. If that's the case, then fine; you can keep your generic Lara Croft and your bland Tomb Raider. I'm starting a new campaign. Hold on, I just got a new email... A Hollywood Insider tells me that Kim Kardashian is in negotiations to play the lead lass in an adaptation of the Playstation game Dino Crisis...
Bosses at Red Curb Investments claim the National Treasure star borrowed $5 million (£3.13 million) in July 2007 to fund a real estate venture.
The deal stipulated Cage make monthly repayments of $29,166.67 (£18,229.17), which included 10 per cent interest - but he reportedly failed to keep up with the finance plan.
Company executives accuse Cage of fraud because he neglected to alert Red Curb Investments to the $6.26 million (£4.2 million) he owes to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - and they believe the star used the cash to cover his tax shortfall, reports TMZ.com.
Red Curb are suing Cage and Samuel Levin - the former business manager the actor has accused of mismanaging his finances - for $15 million (£9.4 million) in addition to the loan amount and other costs, which rack up to more than $36.7 million (£23 million).
However, Cage's legal representative Marty Singer has blasted the allegations.
He tells TMZ.com, "Any claim that our client engaged in any fraudulent conduct is ridiculous."
Cage was slapped with the big tax lien in October (09) after reportedly failing to pay income tax on earnings dating back to 2007. He is also facing other claims of unpaid tax relating to earnings from 2002 to 2004.
The actor fired Levin and began legal proceedings against him in October (09), blaming him for leading Cage "down a path of financial ruin".
The 60-year-old actress issued a public plea to Branson in 2008, begging the British entrepreneur to let her be the next celebrity to venture into space.
She said, "I'd love to go (to space). Sure, if I had the opportunity. I read somewhere that I was going... I apparently was on the passenger list. I was apparently on the invitation (from Branson)."
The invitation eventually turned up on her doorstep, but Weaver admits she chose to decline the offer because the sci-fi icon, who famously battled extraterrestrials in space as Lieutenant Ellen Ripley in the horror franchise, didn't want to scare other passengers on the Virgin Galactic 'spaceliner'.
She says, "Richard Branson was kind enough to invite me but I thought the last thing people who pay that kind of money want to see is me, coming out, looking in the overhead rack looking for God knows what. There might be an alien aboard! 'What's she doing here? What does it mean?!'"
A trip on the first privately developed carrier is estimated to cost $200,000 (£125,000).
Bosses at Branson's Virgin Galactic will begin testing the craft early next year (10), with the first flights due to launch in 2011.
The acclaimed comedienne accepts she's not every filmmaker's first choice when it comes to landing dramatic roles and was thrilled when director Werner Herzog took a risk on her - because she hopes the part will lead to other serious parts.
She says, "My odds were just not good in getting the role... I mean, I've been in American Pie, Legally Blonde and the Christopher Guest films, so it's impossible for someone like me to get in on anything dramatic, ever. I can't get in the door.
"I do think that living in New Orleans, where the film was shot, and having a house down there somehow helped - because a lot of people auditioned in L.A."
Coolidge admits she is getting tired of playing wacky housewives and oddball characters in comedies: "I am grateful but bored because I do get offered the same roles over and over again. If I go to a wardrobe fitting the costume designer will always roll in with maybe 12 leopard dresses on the rack no matter what role I do. I'm not just the lady in the leopard dress.
"I do hope this role helps me to do other things. It was so nice to do something where I didn't have whoopie cushions in my shoes."
And now she's looking for a 'killer' role: "I would love to play a serial killer; something like that would be nice. In my next film, The Exterminator, we have a pesticide company that ends up killing boyfriends that did their woman wrong."
The Monty Python legend is hitting the road with his production How To Finance Your Divorce Tour to earn more cash after he was ordered to hand over a huge lump of his fortune to his third wife in their divorce settlement.
Opening the tour to a sell-out audience on Friday (02Oct09), Cleese had fans in hysterics as he joked about his ex in a bitter tirade.
He told the crowd at the Konserthus venue, "I'm here, my friends, because frankly I need the money. I've fallen on hard times. I'm having to pay $20 million to a woman who I believe is the special lovechild of Bernie Madoff and Heather Mills.
"I'm being forced to hit the road again to rack up a few grand here and a few hundred there. To comfort me my lawyer told me to imagine how much I would have had to pay if Alyce had contributed anything to the relationship - such as children, or a conversation."
Cleese, whose marriage to Eichelberger lasted from 1992 to 2008, will perform the show for a week in Oslo, before heading to the U.S.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Set sometime in the near future Surrogates imagines a world in which 99% of its inhabitants live their lives vicariously through “surrogates ” robotic avatars who brave the hazards of the physical world while their schlubby owners sit safely at home in computerized cocoons experiencing it all via neural sensors affixed to their heads. Think of it as a flesh-and-blood version of World of Warcraft. Or Facebook. Or The Sims. Potential present-day analogies are practically infinite.
As a consequence of mankind’s virtualized existence violent crime has dropped to an all-time low since any harm inflicted on a surrogate results in no such injury to its host. Folks are free to go about their increasingly decadent business without fear of the inevitable drawbacks that come with high-risk lifestyles. If their robotic counterpart happens to incur damage or cease functioning altogether owners can simply order a replacement from VSI the suitably dubious mega-corporation in Surrogates that manufactures and markets the robots.
Not everyone is eager to embrace this new world order of course and a determined group of quasi-religious luddites led by a dreadlocked guru aptly named “The Prophet” (Ving Rhames) has assembled in major cities around the world. Eschewing most modern technology they toil like the Amish in shabby communes as their Prophet regales them with apocalyptic diatribes.
Back in the civilized world cracks in the utopian edifice form when a pair of surrogate murders result in the deaths of their respective hosts something heretofore considered impossible. Called in to investigate the first homicides in years FBI agents Greer (Bruce Willis) and Peters (Radha Mitchell) discover that one of the victims is the son of Canter (James Cromwell) the very man who first invented robotic surrogates. Greer and Peters naturally assume the Prophet and his acolytes to be at the core of the conspiracy but a nagging question remains: How could they gain access to the advanced technology necessary to create a weapon capable of killing both a surrogate and its host?
Clocking in at a breezy 88 minutes Surrogates spares its audience the troubling metaphysical questions that so often characterize more ambitious sci-fi projects. Much like the robots at the heart of its story director Jonathan Mostow’s (Terminator 3) film may be shallow and synthetic but it sure is pretty to look at. Expect to spend more time contemplating Willis’ absurd blonde wig or Mitchell’s remarkable robotic rack than the implications of society’s increasing disconnect from itself.
With its all-too-thin storyline and derivative characters Surrogates makes for a forgettable if occasionally entertaining experience. A subplot involving the increasingly strained relationship between agent Greer and his wife (played by Rosamund Pike) presumably meant to add depth to Willis’ character feels tedious and unnecessary. A monotonous score telegraphs every decisive moment in the film ensuring that even the most oblivious viewer is aware that something important is about to happen. And despite director Mostow’s obvious proficiency with visual effects — both practical and digital — some set pieces look cheaply rendered.
There are dozens — dozens — of car crashes in Surrogates yet not a single airbag deploys. The future it seems has no place for proper automobile safety.
What goes through the mind of a newly-minted Emmy winner? We've got the answers! Read ahead to find out what the stars had to say backstage at the 60th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.
Tina Fey: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing For a Comedy Series and Outstanding Comedy Series
30 Rock's Liz Lemon
Tina Fey walked away a triple winner tonight with Emmys for Outstanding Actress, Writing and Comedy Series, but ultimately couldn’t compare them. “They look identical,” she joked backstage, adding, “The show – that one really belongs to everyone so I don’t like it as much.”
The actress, who once compared her scenes with Alec Baldwin to Fred Astaire dancing with a coat rack, won’t be apologizing anymore either. Baldwin told her after her latest win “to stop apologizing for being an actor and being on the show.”
Of course it’s those same acting chops that had fans buzzing about her recent guest spot on Saturday Night Live posing as Vice Presidential hopeful Sarah Palin.
While Fey was in denial about the uncanny resemblance between the two, it was her daughter who saw Palin on TV and said “that’s mommy.” But Fey hopes her impersonation will be short-lived telling the press, “I want to be done playing this lady Nov. 5, so if anyone can help me be done playing this lady Nov. 5, that would be great with me.”
Click here to find out what Jeremy Piven, Glenn Close and others had to say about their big wins!
SUNDAY 8:00 a.m. (Pacific): Pouring through the numbers and working the phones this morning has led me to revise the numbers I released Saturday night. In addition to playing huge with family audiences on Saturday, there was a huge boost in teen business on Saturday night, as Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Paramount) surged 19 percent. That improves Crystal Skull's Saturday take to an estimated $38.69.
Studio sources tell me that, although teens did not come out in the hoped-for numbers on Steven Spielberg's latest blockbuster on Thursday, that audience was still looking for a movie to see this weekend. After all, how many times can the Under 25's see Paramount's other May tentpole movie Iron Man.
With a $35.52M Sunday, the new Indy will finish with an excellent $103.3M for traditional three-day weekend. With a 19 percent drop on Monday, Crystal Skull could reach $132.29M for the official four-day Memorial Day weekend, leaving it about $7M shy of the record for the frame set by Pirates of the Caribbean 3 last May. When the $25M Thursday is added, Crystal Skull will have registered $157.33M by Tuesday morning, probably the all-time fourth-best 5-Day performance in movie history.
Please note that when Paramount reports numbers on Sunday, they may very well come in a bit lower than my numbers. They will likely be a bit more conservative and are probably planning to come in with higher actuals.
Saturday night also proved stronger for Prince Caspian (Disney) and Iron Man. Prince Caspian appears to have fallen just shy of $9M, and it will likely finish with a $23.26M three-day and a much-improved four-day of $30M. That should give the Walden Media sequel a new cume of $98.15M. Meanwhile, the Marvel-produced Iron Man seized another $7.72M and a revised three-day projection of $20M. Tony Stark and his alter ego will probably top $26M for four-days, pushing to a new cume of $258.21M.
On an interesting side note, Paramount is enjoying a spectacular weekend. With two of the top three movies, the studio is set to rack up about $160.7M of the $221.75M or so earned by the top 12 grossing films. That means that Paramount generated an astounding 72 percent of the total Memorial Day weekend box office. The Melrose gang has now generated an estimated $530 billion, and, with Kung Fu Panda and Mike Myers’ Love Guru both due in June, the distributor will top $1 billion in domestic sales for the year well before the Fourth of July.
ALL-TIME TOP 10 FIVE-DAY PERFORMANCES
1. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith - $172.8M opening
2. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest - $169.5M opening
3. Spider-Man 3 - $169.4M opening
4. Spider-Man 2 - $152.4M opening
5. Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - $148.24M opening (estimate)
6. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - $147.5M opening
7. Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix - $139.7M opening
8. The Matrix Reloaded - $139.3M opening
9. Shrek the Third - $137.7M opening
10. Spider-Man - $135.8M opening
In the shadow of Crystal Skull, Prince Caspian and Iron Man, Fox’s What Happens in Vegas continues to perform well. The comedy scored another $3.08M on its third Friday, and it will probably top $15.5M for the four-day frame. The comedy will have quietly racked up almost $61M domestic by the end of the long weekend.
The Wachowski’s Speed Racer (Warner Bros) will likely spend its final weekend in the top five. The expensive CGI spectacle managed $1.3M or so Friday, and its four-day will probably be about $5.25M for a disastrous new cume of just $37.45M.
The best per theater average (PTA) of the long weekend will, of course, be posted by Crystal Skull with something in the neighborhood of $29,000. 2007 Cannes Film Festival Best Screenplay winner Edge of Heaven (Strand) enjoyed a strong $4,000 opening day at The Film Forum in New York, its only location, and it could be headed for an impressive $20,000+ by Monday night. First Look’s War, Inc., starring John Cusack, and The Children of Huang Shi (Sony Classics) are both off to solid starts on the specialty circuit.
The schlock master Uwe Boll has unleashed another ridiculous bomb, although his movies seem to be starting on fewer and fewer screens. The German ‘auteur’ who gave the world Bloodrayne, only secured 13 screens for his new movie Postal (Event Films), and its four-day PTA will likely be less than $500.
Socialite Nicole Richie reportedly fainted during a shopping trip on Saturday.
The Simple Life reality TV star, 24, was browsing through the clothes at Los Angeles boutique Kitson when she fell to the floor, according to Life & Style magazine.
An onlooker says, "She was looking through a rack of clothes when she suddenly fainted and hit the floor.
"The staff helped her to a chair and offered her something to eat. She shot back, 'No!' and mumbled something about it being 'so hot'."
Earlier this year, Richie was forced to deny reports she has an eating disorder, but admitted, "I know I'm too thin right now, so I wouldn't want any young girl looking at me and saying, 'That's what I want to look like.' I'm not happy with the way I look right now."
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