Top Story: Studio Delays From Kelly to Justin DVD
Twentieth Century Fox is delaying the home video release of the upcoming musical From Justin to Kelly starring American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson and runner-up Justin Guarini after theater owners complained about its release date. The studio had scheduled the film's home video release just six weeks after its June 13 nationwide theatrical release. Exhibitors such as Regal Entertainment Group, Loews Entertainment and National Amusements had reportedly threatened not to play the film if the timings between the release windows remained so close. Sources told Reuters that Fox has moved the date back to early September but the studio says the date has not been set. Some industryites suggest Fox probably wanted to shorten the window on From Justin to Kelly in order to capitalize on American Idol's momentum.
Steve-O Released From Swedish Jail
Jackass star Steve-O, whose real name is Stephen Glover, has been released from jail in Stockholm, Sweden, The Associated Press reports. Glover was arrested Thursday after he told a Swedish newspaper he swallowed a condom filled with marijuana. He admitted possessing 5 grams of marijuana and a tablet of ecstasy and agreed to pay a fine of $5,800. The Stockholm district court had ordered Glover held in jail until June 6 while a prosecutor prepared possible charges of drug smuggling and drug possession.
McCartney and Mills Expecting First Child
Paul McCartney and wife Heather Mills announced Wednesday they are expecting a baby later this year, Reuters reports. McCartney, 60, has three children from his 29-year marriage to Linda McCartney, who died of breast cancer in 1998. The former Beatle also adopted Linda's child from an earlier marriage. McCartney and Mills, a former model, met at a charity event three years ago and were married in June 2002. "We are delighted with this happy news," the couple said in a statement.
Students Create Saks, Lies and Videotapes
A group of students from Point Loma High School in San Diego has created a musical based on Winona Ryder's shoplifting trial titled Sticky Fingers: Saks, Lies and Videotapes, the AP reports. The musical follows a missile-factory employee and tango dancer who has a fateful encounter with Ryder at the Saks store on Rodeo Drive. The Girl, Interrupted star was invited to see the show, directed by teacher Larry Zeiger, but the school hasn't received a response.
Kenneth Branagh Weds in Private Ceremony
British actor Kenneth Branagh married girlfriend Lindsay Brunnock in a private ceremony over the weekend and are now on honeymoon at an undisclosed location, his publicist told Reuters Wednesday. Branagh, 42, met Brunnock, an art director, on the set of the TV drama Shackleton in 2001. It's the second marriage for Branagh, whose marriage to actress Emma Thompson ended in 1996. He was later linked to his Frankenstein co-star Helena Bonham Carter. Branagh recently starred as Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets but is best known for his Shakespearean roles in Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet.
Bellucci's Stolen "Cleopatra" Gown Recovered
A $180,000 gown worn by Italian actress Monica Bellucci in the 2002 French film Asterix and Obelix: Meet Cleopatra was stolen from a hotel in the French Riviera resort of Cannes by a waiter who wanted to impress girls, Reuters reports. According to police, the thief had just started work at the hotel as a waiter and rapidly confessed that he had wanted the dress as a gift for two girls he had just met. The three have been released but will be charged with theft.
Bob Hope Turns 100
Bob Hope, who turns 100 on Thursday, will celebrate with a low-key family party. His daughter, Linda Hope, said in an AP interview the centerpiece of her dad's birthday will be a huge cake--large enough to hold all the candles. Linda Hope added that her father still has a sense of humor. "He doesn't really tell jokes anymore. But he loves to hear a good joke," she said. "Friends come and tell him latest jokes. His face lights up. He still has that. Somebody will say something and then he'll say something that makes it into a joke. It's very much a part of him."
Shots Fired at Tha Row Records
Seven bullets were fired into the front door, windows, and wall of Suge Knight's Tha Row offices in West Los Angeles Tuesday, the AP reports. Knight, who was released on parole in August 2001, after serving five years in prison for assault and federal weapons charges, issued a statement suggesting the shooter may have been motivated by jealousy. "We've got a lot of artists like Crooked I, Eastwood, and Kurupt that are currently working on new albums. And, because of the hype and media attention associated with these two projects, there have been a lot of girls flocking to see them at the studio and at the clubs. The crime was probably committed by a jealous boyfriend or a jealous husband," Knight said.
Academy Calls for Sci-Tech Achievements for 76th Oscars
The 2003 Oscar race is underway! The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has mailed out more than 850 applications, both in the United States and abroad, for the 2003 Scientific and Technical Awards. To be considered, achievements must show "exceptional merit and evidence of having provided significant advances in the production of motion pictures." All entry applications must be submitted to the Academy by August 1. The Scientific and Technical Awards will be presented on Feb. 14, 2004.
Role Call: Sk8er Boi: The Movie
Paramount Pictures has optioned Avril Lavigne's hit single "Sk8er Boi" for the big screen. The pic, to be produced by studio-based MTV Films and Alphaville, will focus on a teenage girl who rejects a skater boy because her friends do not approve of him--even though she secretly likes him. The studio has hired ER writer/producer David Zabel to adapt the lyrics words into a feature film.
Maid in Manhattan is yet another take on the Cinderella story. There are very few surprises but the film is still somewhat enjoyable despite its predictable setup. Cinderella aka Marisa Ventura (Jennifer Lopez) is a hardworking no-nonsense single mom who loves her son Ty (Tyler Posey) and dreams of breaking out of her job as a maid at a five-star hotel in Manhattan. Her Fairy Godmother aka co-worker Stephanie (Marissa Matrone) unwittingly gives her that chance when she convinces Marisa to try on some expensive clothes left in a suite by the Evil Stepsister aka spoiled socialite Caroline Lane (Natasha Richardson) while they're cleaning. In walks Prince Charming aka Christopher Marshall (Ralph Fiennes) an incredibly handsome U.S. senator candidate and the city's most eligible bachelor and Boom! sparks fly. Chris thinks Marisa is the expensive suite's occupant--and she's too overwhelmed by the domino effect that happens to tell him different. Ah what a tangled web love at first sight can weave. Marisa spends the rest of the movie trying to cover up her error in judgment while also becoming increasingly drawn to her prince. Will he find out who she really is? Of course. Will it matter in the end? Of course not.
This may have been created as another vehicle to help further propel the career of actress/singer/designer/fiancee to Ben Affleck J. Lo but unexpectedly someone else comes out of the film looking better--Fiennes. It's little hard even for Jenny on the Block to outshine an Oscar-nominated actor. He elevates the formulaic subject matter and portrays a pretty down-to-earth Prince Charming without us ever seeing a forced move. I'm curious as to why such a high-caliber actor would choose such a run-of-the-mill project like this but whatever the reason he makes it work--at least for his part. Lopez doesn't do anything out of the ordinary. In fact it looks like she may have simply cloned the same expressions she put on in her other successful romantic comedy The Wedding Planner. And unfortunately Lopez and Fiennes don't share the same kind of heat she shared in that film with Matthew McConaughey or even George Clooney in Out of Sight (still her best performance to date). Yet they manage to convey a fair amount of good feelings to make the movie palatable. Richardson has a blast playing the rich bitch Caroline while Matrone making her film debut just comes off as annoying and pushy even if she thinks she's doing the right thing. Thank goodness she is because if things had turned out badly it would be in Marisa's best interest to go out and shoot her. Stanley Tucci as Christopher's watchdog campaign manager and Bob Hoskins as a senior-level butler at the hotel both do the best they can with silly parts.
Maid in Manhattan relies so heavily on the been-there-done-that Cinderella formula it becomes one of those romantic comedies you'll end up waiting to watch on cable one Saturday night rather than paying to see in a movie theater. It's really a shame because director Wayne Wang (The Joy Luck Club) had some interesting elements to play with and lots of acting talent to back it up. Perhaps Lopez could have played Marisa more wacky than so serious maybe try to show some comic ability. It would be a nice change of pace to think out of the box for once--what if the lovestruck pair didn't get together in the end? (I know the film would have fallen flat on its face.) But instead Maid wallows in predictability and implausibility. Christopher falls a little too hard and a little too fast for reality. Also it's hard to believe a maid would have access to all the hotel's amenities as Marisa does--borrowing a Harry Winston diamond necklace from the hotel jewelry store for the gala event? Unlikely to say the least. The only aspect of the film that stands out is the sneak peek you get into the inner workings of a top-notch hotel. It's definitely a world you don't get to see very often.
Ryan (Freddie Prinze Jr.) and Jennifer (Claire Forlani) first met on a plane when they were 12. He’s terrified of planes she promptly tells him about her first period so it’s granted that they don’t exactly click. Fast-forward to high school where they bump into each other again. Now he’s the school mascot she’s the homecoming queen. No sparks. Fast forward to college where he’s the geeky engineering major (yes you read correctly) and she’s the free-spirited rocker-dating Latin student. Finally here they become friends help each other with their love issues and despite their opposing viewpoints … well take a guess.
Prinze the BMOC in "She’s All That " is supposed to be an anal-retentive doofus. And while the pageboy cut (split down the middle) and glasses do little to mask his good looks he plays against type surprisingly well doing his best to rise above the cliché-filled script. Forlani who was calm and luminous in the sluggish "Meet Joe Black " still has "proper British upbringing" written all over her so she’s not really believable as an outrageous one-night-stander (she also looks too old for Prinze). Heather Donahue (showing a promising comedy career post-"Blair Witch") and Amanda Detmer make a great supporting cast but the show is stolen by an underused Jason Biggs. As Ryan’s woman-chasing roommate Biggs also gets the single funniest scene in the film which you’ll miss if you walk about before the credits roll.
"She’s All That" director Robert Iscove is back and using the same traits again. First we have the you-are-there flashback narration ("So I was watching him play with his band " a character might reflect in her dorm room and suddenly she’s sitting at the concert still in her pajamas). Then there’s the choreographed dance number. Disguised as a scene to show Ryan trying to loosen up at a "foam club" (like a car wash soapy water douses the dancers) it’s really an excuse to show off Iscove’s choreography background by having all patrons wiggle simultaneously to Apollo Four Forty’s "Stop the Rock." It’s cute and all but the biggest faux pas Iscove makes is having Ryan and Jennifer take a "walk" from Berkeley … and miraculously wind up at the Golden Gate bridge.