Longrunning U.S. soap The Bold And The Beautiful, comedienne Ellen Degeneres and movie mogul George Lucas were among the big winners at the 2013 Daytime Emmy Awards on Sunday (16Jun13), each taking home top honours. The Bold and the Beautiful's Heather Tom was named Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for the second consecutive year, while her co-star Scott Clifton was jointly awarded Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series alongside The Young and the Restless' Billy Miller.
The creative talent behind The Bold and the Beautiful scored both the writing and directing accolades in the Outstanding Drama Series team categories, but the coveted Outstanding Drama Series award went to Days of Our Lives.
Lucas celebrated his first Emmy win for Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which was named Outstanding Special Class Animated Program, and accepted the award from Princess Leia, actress Carrie Fisher.
There were no surprises in the Outstanding Talk Show/Entertainment category - that accolade went to The Ellen DeGeneres Show for the seventh time, beating Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters' The View and rival panel show The Talk, which features Sharon Osbourne, Aisha Tyler and Sara Gilbert.
The Young and the Restless icon Jeanne Cooper, who died last month (May13), was gone but not forgotten at the 40th annual ceremony - she was remembered during the In Memoriam segment, which was introduced by her son, actor Corbin Bernsen.
The Los Angeles event, which celebrates the best in daytime programming as voted for by members of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, was not the smoothest of ceremonies - Aisha Tyler was given the wrong envelope as she presented the best informative talk show award and had to stall as the correct one was located, while a pre-taped tribute reel for Lifetime Achievement honouree Monty Hall had to be cut off after the beloved game show veteran was called to the stage early.
The main list of winners at the 2013 Daytime Emmy Awards is as follows:
Outstanding Drama Series:
Days of Our Lives
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series:
Heather Tom (The Bold and the Beautiful)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series:
Doug Davidson (The Young and the Restless)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series:
Julie Marie Berman (General Hospital)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series:
Scott Clifton (The Bold and the Beautiful) & Billy Miller (The Young and the Restless)
Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series:
Kristen Alderson (General Hospital)
Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series:
Chandler Massey (Days of Our Lives)
Outstanding Morning Program:
CBS Sunday Morning
Outstanding Culinary Program:
Best Thing I Ever Made & Trisha's Southern Kitchen
Outstanding Game Show:
The Price Is Right
Outstanding Game Show Host:
Ben Bailey - Cash Cab
Outstanding Talk Show/Entertainment:
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Outstanding Talk Show/Informative:
The Dr. Oz Show
Outstanding Talk Show Host:
Ricki Lake, The Ricki Lake Show
Outstanding Original Song:
Good Afternoon by Little Big Town, from Good Afternoon America
Monty Hall & Bob Stewart.
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.
“My dick is going to get so wet tonight ” declares Costa the foul-mouthed ringleader of a trio of sex-starved teens in the opening moments of Project X the new “found-footage” comedy from director Nima Nourizadeh and producer Todd Phillips (The Hangover). Believe it or not this qualifies as one of his more charming moments in the film. All of 17 but blessed with an obnoxiousness lesser men would take decades to cultivate Costa (Oliver Cooper) is the perfect mascot for a film that makes no bones of its mostly prurient intentions proffering what is essentially a succession of debaucherous montages intermingled with uneven attempts at comedy and held together by the slimmest pretense of a plot.
Caustic as he is Costa at least exhibits something of a recognizable personality; the same cannot be said of his two cohorts the tubby dweeb J.B. (Jonathan Daniel Brown) and the earnest blank Thomas (Thomas Mann). None of them seem to enjoy much in the way of popularity at their high school located in the fictional suburb of North Pasadena but Costa has a plan to fix that. On the occasion of his 17th birthday Thomas whose parents have conveniently departed for the weekend reluctantly agrees to host a party that Costa promises will be a “game-changer” for their lowly social status.
Hardly a game-changer is Project X’s script co-written by Matt Drake and Michael Bacall which mostly treads a predictable teen-comedy path. At its outset the party appears to be a bust. Soon however hordes of eager revelers descend upon Thomas’ house and the event swiftly devolves into a festival of wanton hedonism that would impress Charlie Sheen. The orgy of booze drugs and sex is captured by Nourizadeh in one impressively slick sequence after another set to a vibrant soundtrack.
To maintain the guise of an actual movie – and to occupy us between shots of topless beauties downing tequila and frolicking in the pool – Project X tosses in a few familiar tropes to push its story along: an unstable drug-dealer bent on revenge a buzzkilling neighbor seeking to end the night’s festivities prematurely a budding but hesitant attraction between Thomas and his childhood friend Kirby (Kirby Bliss Blanton). But the scenes are so hollow and contrived that you get the sense even the filmmakers don’t buy them and only added them to the film in a transparent ploy to forestall allegations of complete and utter vapidity. The efforts serve only to add a dash of the banal to the proceedings.
Project X’s natural forebears – R-rated teen comedies Superbad and American Pie – tempered their crudity and outrageousness with a surprising degree of depth and sincerity. Moreover they were actually funny. Project X is a shallow affair to be sure but a dearth of laughs is what ultimately dooms it. A belligerent little person who goes on a crotch-kicking spree after being tossed in an oven amounts to the film’s most sophisticated attempt at humor. More often it relies on recycled gags from previous films (including Phillips’ own library from Road Trip to The Hangover Part II) and Jackass-inspired mishaps.
The found-footage approach has proven to be a potent (if overused) tool in horror films but its utility in the service of comedy at least in the hands of Nourizadeh is limited. It mostly comes across as a needless gimmick good for marketing purposes but little else. Perhaps acknowledging as much Project X’s backup plan calls for an incessant raising of the stakes. As the once-innocuous gathering metastasizes into a fully-fledged riot one so dangerous that even the police dare not intervene the specter of parental disapproval gives way to the threat of incarceration and finally to the potential incineration of the entire neighborhood. The scale of the destruction is impressive – especially for such a (presumably) low-budget film – but like much of what precedes it almost entirely pointless.
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When crafting a follow-up to the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time it’s understandable that one might be reticent to mess with a winning formula. But director Todd Phillips and writers Craig Mazin and Scot Armstrong seem to have confused revisiting with recycling: The Hangover Part II so closely mirrors its blockbuster predecessor in every vital aspect that it can scarcely claim the right to call itself a sequel.
The only significant new wrinkle introduced in Part II is its setting: Bangkok Thailand a location that at least theoretically augurs well for a second helping of inspired lunacy. The story structure of the first film has been copied wholesale a game of Mad Libs played with its script. The action is again set around a bachelor party this time in honor of buttoned-down dentist Stu (Ed Helms). Again the boys (Stu Bradley Cooper’s boorish frat boy Phil and Zach Galifianakis’ moronic man-child Alan) awaken the next day in a hideously debauched hotel room with little memory of the previous night’s revelry. And again there is a missing companion: Teddy (Mason Lee son of Ang) the brother-in-law to be. (Poor Justin Bartha is once again relegated to the sidelines popping up now and then to push the plot forward via cell phone.)
The amnesiac/investigative angle of the first Hangover made for a refreshing twist on the contemporary men-behaving-badly comedy. Repeated here its effect is arguably the opposite: Too often the action feels rote and formulaic. Gone is any hint of surprise an aspect so crucial to good comedy and a huge part of the first film’s appeal. Key comic set pieces – a tussle with monks at a Buddhist temple a visit to a transsexual brothel a car chase involving a drug-dealing monkey – reveal themselves to be merely variations of memorable bits from the first film.
Tonally Part II is darker cruder and a bit nastier than its predecessor. Female characters never a priority in the first film are further marginalized in the sequel. (The only woman with significant dialogue a Bangkok prostitute also happens to have a penis. I’ll let you ponder the implications of that one.) The three leads Helms Cooper and Galifianakis still work well together and despite the inferior material enough of their chemistry remains to make the proceedings bearable – and occasionally funny. But their characters feel somehow degraded reduced to coarse caricatures of their former selves. Speaking of caricature Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) the fey faux-gangsta villain of the first film returns in an expanded capacity in the sequel his garbled hip-hop slang more gratuitous – and more grating – than before.
I can’t help but wonder what might have been if a planned cameo by Mel Gibson playing a tattoo artist hadn’t been scrapped reportedly due to objections by Galifianakis. Liam Neeson Gibson’s replacement apparently proved ineffectual in his first go-round and when he wasn't available for re-shoots his scene was eventually shot with Nick Cassavetes in the role. In its existing incarnation the scene is purely functional a chunk of forgettable exposition. The presence of Gibson an actor of not inconsiderable comic talent would have at least added an air of unpredictability something the scene – and indeed the movie – sorely lacks.
Daytime Emmys voters apparently feel they've paid their debt to Susan Lucci. The soap opera diva, who broke America's most infamous losing streak last year when she finally claimed the best drama actress trophy, got zippo today as nominations were announced in New York for the 2000 edition of the Daytime Emmys.
Moving into the unlucky Lucci spotlight this year is none other than Regis Philbin. Up for two Emmys, including a curious daytime nod as host of a nighttime game show (for -- what else? -- "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire"), Philbin has never, ever won. Not even a combat-pay trophy for doing time with Kathie Lee Gifford all these years.
For the record, Kathie Lee Gifford has never won a Daytime Emmy for "Live! With Regis & Kathie Lee," either, but no one really seems to get choked up over Kathie Lee, so let's move on.
"Live!" is up again for best talk show. They'll compete against "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" (syndicated), "The View" (ABC), "Donny & Marie" (syndicated) and the soon-to-be-late "Martin Short Show" (syndicated). (Note: Oprah removed herself from the competition last year, figuring there were only so many shiny paperweights her mantle could hold.) Regis and Kathie Lee, meanwhile, are also jointly nominated for best talk-show host.
The Daytime Emmys -- as opposed to the Primetime Emmys -- honors shows (cartoons, talk shows, soap operas, etc.) that traditionally air during, yes, the day. Don't ask us about the "Millionaire" thing. Regis doesn't understand it, either. Said so himself: "I don't know why a primetime game show ends up on the Daytime Emmys," Philbin told The Associated Press today.
In the battle of the soap opera drama queens, Finola Hughes ("All My Children, ABC), Susan Flannery ("The Bold and the Beautiful," CBS), Hillary B. Smith ("One Life to Live," ABC), Jeanne Cooper ("The Young and the Restless," CBS) and Jess Walton ("The Young and the Restless," CBS) will compete where Lucci won't. (Translation: They're all up for best lead drama actress.)
Nominated for best lead drama actor: David Canary ("All My Children," ABC), Anthony Geary ("General Hospital," ABC), Robert Woods ("One Life to Live, ABC), Peter Bergman ("The Young and the Restless," CBS) and Eric Braeden ("The Young and the Restless," CBS).