The beloved writer/filmmaker passed away on 26 June (12) due to complications from acute myeloid leukaemia, and her death prompted many of her fans and collaborators to take to Twitter.com to share their grief.
On Monday dozens of Hollywood's biggest names arrived at the Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center to pay their last respects, and among the crowd of famous faces were the leading ladies of her most famous films Julie & Julia and Sleepless in Seattle - Streep and Ryan.
Also in attendance were Martin, Steven Spielberg, Sally Field, Larry David, Kristin Chenoweth, Jon Hamm and girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt, Matthew Broderick, designer Diane Von Furstenberg, homemaker Martha Stewart, and journalists Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer.
Longtime pals Tom Hanks and director Mike Nichols delivered touching tributes during the ceremony, while guests were handed printed programmes, which included food lover and cook Ephron's recipe for Esther Fein's Brisket.
It was a bittersweet day for Oscar winner Hanks, who turned 56 on Monday.
The 71 year old passed away from complications with acute myeloid leukaemia on 26 June (12), six years after she was diagnosed with the bone marrow disease.
Her death rocked the movie community, with dozens of stars including Tom Hanks, Billy Crystal and Meryl Streep expressing their deep sadness in losing one of the industry's greats as her family members gathered to organise her funeral.
Over 800 relatives, friends and celebrities are expected to pay their last respects to Ephron in New York City at Alice Tully Hall on Monday (09Jul12) and while Pileggi admits the entire process has been difficult, setting up her memorial ceremony was a no-brainer - she had a saved computer document at the ready with proper directions.
The American Gangster producer tells New York Post columnist Cindy Adams, "Nora planned the service to last only 47 minutes. She wanted it under an hour. It was in her computer headlined Exit. She had six years to orchestrate this."
S1E15: As with all of the better Person of Interest episodes, this week’s splits its focus between the Reese of present day and that of the past—circa 2008, during his days working as a covert agent (well, his first string of days as a covert agent). Even back then, Reese was troubled. We come to understand a bit more via this week’s episode “Blue Code” that Reese was already damaged when employed by the CIA. He was darkened by all the things he had seen and done. He was completely overtaken by his love for his ex, the woman with whom we’re moderately familiar at this point. And apparently, Reese’s darkness might have brought him to some things of which we weren’t exactly privy…
"The more dangerous they are, the closer I want to be to them." - Reese In the present day, Reese goes undercover to keep watch on the Number of the Week: a man involved in a smuggling ring. The catch—this man himself turns out to be an undercover cop. And a pretty dedicated one at that. The man is named Daniel Tully, but goes by Cahill while undercover. He is working to take down Vargas, a menacing manager of the smuggling ring, and a figure who may himself have a dirty cop in his pocket. But more important to Tully than Vargas is the man onn top of the whole operation: a mysterious figure called L.O.S.—who is revealed in the end to be a CIA agent involved in the drug smuggling business as a part of the agency’s effort to, according to Reese, “fund the war on terror.”
Many problems arise when you’re an undercover cop whose primary objective turns out to be an active CIA agent. For one, when you finally arrest him, he gets out pretty quickly. Agent Snow sees to it that L.O.S., otherwise known as Mark, is out of jail within hours. But the consequences continue, as we shall see. L.O.S. decides at the end of the episode that Tully, safe at home with his wife and son for the time being, and Carter, who was also present upon the arrest, must be “taken out.”
"No one followed me. I just needed to feel normal." - Tully The show is really accumulating major bad guys. Elias (who is mentioned in passing this week, leading one to believe that he’ll be making a comeback), Root, and now L.O.S.. One might also include Will Ingram as an antagonist, though a different sort of one. The CIA man’s vendetta against Carter and Tully will inevitably fuel something deadly—perhaps not for Carter, who we can predict will escape the agency’s wrath, but almost definitely for Tully. Speaking of wrath-escaping, this week ups the ante on our sympathies for Fusco even more. We’re really starting to come around to this guy as a relatively noble, if not misunderstood, figure. While investigating the case, Fusco is apprehended by the abovementioned crooked cop, who takes him out into the woods to kill on the spot. Naturally, Reese swings in just in time to dispose of the man, but not before Fusco gets to deliver a chilling, steady speech about death. Fusco seems to want out of the dirty game, but Reese is keeping him in cahoots with the baddies, as he is more useful in this bullpen. But Reese is definitely coming around, as we are, to Fusco’s inner good.
"In the army, they taught us the fastest way to get shot was to fail to clean your weapon." - Reese "In the marines, they taught us the fastest way to clean your weapon was to shoot a couple of people with it." - Reese's partner The flashback sequence is brief, but interesting. We see a cagey Reese grab a drink back in ’08 with a stranger—scratch that. A man to whom Reese is a stranger. But a man who Reese knows quite well. See, this man has married Reese’s ex…and what Reese plans to do about that, we never find out, because his partner—the woman who named him Reese in the first place—ropes him in from the game, keeping him from further interaction with the man. We also see the pre-enmity relationship between Reese and Snow…which doesn’t seem to ever really have been free of hostility, despite Snow’s claim that they were once best friends. Although we’re meant to view the CIA as the bad guys, the show does make us wonder how much of Snow’s words are genuine—regarding specifically Reese’s madness and dangerousness. After all, he is pretty mad and dangerous. It’ll be interesting to see the show play out in a way that enlightens us to Snow being a far more sympathetic and heroic figure than he is painted to be. What did you think of this week’s episode? How will L.O.S.’s plan to take out Carter manifest? Whose back stories do you enjoy more—Reese’s or Finch’s? Let us know in the comments section, or on Twitter (@MichaelArbeiter).
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.
Brady appeared to be unharmed and in good spirits as he worked out with the Patriots at their training camp.
The quarterback was driving through the city on Thursday morning, when he collided with a passenger van and a traffic signal post.
He reportedly suffered whiplash and was treated at the scene but did not require hospital treatment, while the driver of the other vehicle was cut free from the wreckage by firefighters.
But the star didn't allow the accident to shake him - he travelled straight to Gillette Stadium, where a team doctor cleared him to participate in the 'walkthrough', wearing a helmet and pads, reports the Boston Globe.
His teammate Tully Banta-Cain tells the newspaper, "I saw him, I asked him if he was OK. He said, 'I'm fine.'"
The Oscar winner, 65, will be the guest of honour at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's 37th annual Chaplin Award Gala, where Hanks was feted in 2009.
The award, named after its first recipient Charlie Chaplin, will be presented to the star on 24 May (10), when Douglas' friends and colleagues will gather at New York's Alice Tully Hall to pay tribute to his acting career, which has spanned more than four decades.
Film Society board co-chair Liz Swig says, "It will be an honour to add Michael Douglas to our list of past honorees, I am really looking forward to creating another fabulous evening as we celebrate Michael's career achievements among friends and fans."
Other former recipients include: Alfred Hitchcock, Laurence Olivier, Elizabeth Taylor, Martin Scorsese, Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
Claire is an attractive CIA operative and Ray is an M16 agent who simultaneously leave their Governmental spy activities in the dust to try and profit from a battle between two rival multi-national corporations both trying to launch a new product that will transform the world and make billions. Their goal is to secure the top-secret formula and get a patent before they are outsmarted. While their respective egomaniacal CEOs engage in an unending battle of wills and one-upmanship Claire and Ray start out conning and playing one another in a clever game of industrial espionage that is even more complicated due to their own long-term romantic relationship.
WHO’S IN IT?
Reuniting Closer co-stars Julia Roberts (as Claire) and Clive Owen (as Ray) turns out to be an inspired idea. They turn out to be the perfect pair oozing movie-star charm and electricity in this elaborate con-game that might have been the kind of thing Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant might have made in the '60s (in fact they did in Charade). Roberts with that infamous hairstyle back the way we like it and Owen looking great in sunglasses prove they have what it takes to navigate us through this ultra-complex plot in which no one is sure who they can trust at any given moment. They play it all in high style and the wit just flows as the story skirts back and forth during the period of five years. The supporting cast is well-chosen with juicy roles for Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti (out of their John Adams duds) as the two CEOs going for each other’s throats. Giamatti who sometimes has a tendency to overdo it is especially slimy here and great fun to watch.
Big-star studio movies today rarely take risks and often talk down to the audience but in Duplicity writer/director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton) has crafted a complicated con-comedy that requires complete attention at all times just to keep up with the dense plot’s twists and turns. It’s the cinematic equivalent of a New York Times crossword puzzle and Gilroy and his top-drawer production team deliver a glossy beautiful-looking film that’s easy on the eyes hitting locations from Dubai to Rome to New York City.
Like any good puzzle it sometimes can be frustrating putting it all together and Gilroy’s habit of taking us back in time and then inching forward gets a little confusing even with the on-screen chyron pointing out where we are at any given moment. Stick with it though and you will be well-rewarded.
A scene near the end where the formula must be found scanned and faxed in a matter of minutes is sweat-inducing edge-of-your-seat moviemaking and it provides the ultimate opportunity for Roberts and Owen to take the “con” to the next level. Another where Roberts uses a thong to try and trick Owen into admitting an affair he never had is also priceless and gets right to the heart of the game-playing.
GO OUT AND GET POPCORN WHEN ...
Never. Stock up during the coming attractions. If you miss a moment of this entertaining romp you might never figure it all out.
Oprah Winfrey and actor James Earl Jones will lead a prayer service on Sunday at New York's Yankee Stadium to honor the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The two-hour service, called "A Prayer for America," will start at 3 p.m. According to Reuters, singer/actress Bette Midler will sing "Wind Beneath My Wings," while country singer Lee Greenwood will perform "God Bless America." Tenor Placido Domingo, the Harlem Boys and Girls Choir and the Amor Artis Choir and Orchestra will also perform at the service.
Master violinist Isaac Stern died Saturday of heart failure in a New York hospital, The Associated Press reports. Known as one of the greatest string players of his generation, Stern, 81, was president of Carnegie Hall for more than forty years, and worked to improve productions and programs.
Paul McCartney is planning a concert to benefit New York City firefighters following the attacks on the World Trade Center. The former Beatle is now scouting venues for the concert, Reuters reports. McCartney said in a statement, "I also have a connection there, because my father was a fireman in Liverpool during World War II."
Millions of dollars worth of art by Alexander Calder, Louise Nevelson, Joan Miro and Roy Lichtenstein was damaged or destroyed by the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, AP reports. It is not yet known whether the works, reportedly worth about $10 million, are salvageable. Glimpses of Lichtenstein's 30-foot sculpture "Modern Head" have been seen on TV news clips covered with dust and debris.
The 39th edition of the Film Society of Lincoln Center's revered New York Film Festival kicks off Friday. The festival opens with Jacques Rivette's Va Savoir! and closes on Oct. 14 with Jean-Luc Godard's In Praise of Love. The festival will also feature work form Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang, Japanese director Shohei Imamura and Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira. According to filmlinc.com, most films will screen in the Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, the Walter Reade Theater and the Avery Fisher Hall.
Miss Oregon Katie Harman was crowned Miss America 2002 Saturday in Atlantic City, AP reports. Harman, 21, was the first Oregon participant ever to win the pageant. A speech communications major at Portland State University, Harman promised to do what she can to help the nation recover from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The event was hosted by Tony Danza, who appealed to viewers for donations to the September 11th Fund, a charity set up in wake of the attack.
Yasmine Bleeth, who was arrested last Wednesday after police found syringes and cocaine inside the rental car she crashed into a highway median in Romulus, Mich., was reportedly on a 36-hour cocaine binge, according to PageSix.com. Bleeth was with boyfriend Paul Cerrito at the time, whom she met in the Malibu rehabilitation center, Promises. Vicki Cerrito, Paul's mother, runs a strip club in Warren, Mich., called Jon-Jon's.