Last night on Andy Cohen's Big Bravo Dog and Pony Show (otherwise known as Watch What Happens Live) we finally got to lay eyes on the three women who will be joining "Countess" LuAnn de Lesseps, Sonja Morgan, and Ramona Singer for cattiness in the Big Apple as full-fledged Real Housewives of New York? Last summer Bravo slashed the cast of the stagnating Real Housewives of New York firing Jill Zarin, Alex McCord, Kelly Bensimon, and Cindy Barshop (who I still think is some sort of bedazzling zombie unleashed on New York City as a sign of the apocalypse) and now we get a look at their replacements.
From the clip we saw last night (check it out below) it looks like they're not going to mix well with the veterans. Just who are these women and what do we know about them? Here's all the info we could dig up for now.
Occupation: She's a real actual housewife.
Family: Divorced from real estate mogul Harry Dubin, who fathered her son Harrison. Currently married to fancy pants banker Reid Drescher, who fathered her children Hudson, and Sienna. She is helping to raise Veronica, her husband's daughter from a previous marriage. The Nanny star Fran Drescher is her cousin and thinks Aviva shouldn't be doing the show.
Fun Facts: Aviva, a native New Yorker, has a masters degree in French Literature and a law degree. She had a childhood accident on a conveyor belt at a diary farm which resulted in her losing part of one leg. Housewife She's Most Likely to Feud With: Fellow former banking wife Sonja Morgan.
Occupation: Journalist and author.
Family: Carole's husband Anthony Radziwill died of cancer in 1999. His mother is Lee Radziwill, who is Jackie Kennedy Onassis' sister. She was close friends with Carolyn Bessette, who married her husband's cousin John F. Kennedy Jr. She has no children.
Fun Facts: Carole has won three Emmys and a Peabody award for her work with ABC news covering topics like the Gulf War and landmines in Cambodia. She wrote a New York Times bestseller What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love about the death of her husband, his cousin, and her best friend. She's been on Oprah and her net worth is estimated on the internet (the most trusty resource in the world) as $50 million.
Housewife She's Most Likely to Feud With: Fellow married-into-royalty Countess LuAnn de Lesseps.
Age: A lady never reveals
Occupation: Fashion designer and founder of Spanx rip-off Yummie Tummie
Family: Hmmm. We can't find any. Can she be single?
Fun Facts: Heather helped Sean Puffy Doody Combs start his Sean Jean fashion line and has also designed for Beyoncé and other celebrities who lend their names to clothes. Her shapewear was one of Oprah's Favorite Things but she was not actually on the show like Carole Radziwill. But she was on Nate Berkus. She is not the comedian.
Housewife She's Most Likely to Feud With: Fellow wannabe fashion tycoon Ramona Singer.
More:Bravo Considers Replacing Entire 'Real Housewives of New York' Cast'Real Housewives of New York' Recap: Pinot Grigio and PianosJill Zarin Might Be Out of 'Real Housewifes of New York'
On the surface Stay seems to be a straightforward psychological drama about a psychiatrist Sam Foster (Ewan McGregor) who is trying to keep a mysterious patient Henry (Ryan Gosling) from killing himself. But the deeper we get into it the decidedly weirder it gets. And not necessarily in a good way. Sam and Henry seemed to be inexplicably connected. While his girlfriend and former patient Lila (Naomi Watts) looks haplessly on Sam’s lightly held grip on the rational world begins to melt away. He can no longer figure out what is true and what is happening only in his head--all climaxing in a titular confrontation between life and death. Twilight Zone’s Rod Serling would have loved this one. Although he was surprisingly good as the romantic lead in The Notebook the usually somber Gosling is best known for playing quiet psychotics in such films as The United States of Leland and Murder By Numbers. In Stay he’s back to his old tricks as the suicidal Henry. Pale with mournful eyes and a perpetual cigarette in his mouth Henry is certainly a tortured soul looking for some relief. On the flip side Watts brightens the otherwise dismal surroundings as Lila but there’s also a tinge of sadness about her. The only weak link is McGregor. He can’t quite pull off playing the dedicated psychiatrist slowly losing his mind--but the Scottish actor sure has mastered the American accent (ditto for the Australian Watts). Director Marc Forster (Monsters Ball Finding Neverland) seems a bit out of his league with this jumbled-up hard-to-understand psychological fare. Granted the visuals are arresting. Forster strives to create a world which at first seems real but then little by little turns into a wildly shifting dreamscape in which scenes blend into one another seamlessly. The real problem here is the script by David Benioff (25th Hour). It tries to say “Look how clever!” by throwing you for loop after loop--except the loops don’t make much sense. You eventually stop saying “What the hell?” and start to get a pretty good idea how Stay is going to end up. And when the final twist is handed down it’s surprisingly not all that disappointing.
When retired U.S. Special Forces Soldier Chris Vaughn (Johnson) returns to Kipsat County Wash. it's only to find his hometown overrun with crime drugs and violence. The old mill where Chris's father (John Beasley) worked for most of his life is closed and the town's only thriving industry is the Wild Cherry casino. Even Chris' high school sweetie Deni (Ashley Scott) couldn't resist the Wild Cherry's lure; she's become a peepshow dancer to "pay the bills." But Chris really loses it when he discovers the casino's dealers are using loaded dice--and he starts a brawl that ends with the security team carving up his chest and abdomen with a rusty Exacto knife. Chris also learns that that his old high school rival the casino's owner Jay Hamilton (Neal McDonough) has transformed the mill into a crystal meth lab and is using the casino's menacing security staff to sell the drugs to innocent kids. Chris strikes back by running for sheriff firing the entire police department on his first day and with the help of a cedar two-by-four and his deputy and buddy Ray Templeton (Johnny Knoxville) restores peace to the Pacific Northwest.
Johnson looking buffer than ever is well cast in the role of Chris: He's a fearless and determined soldier with beyond-human fighting skills. But while the film takes advantage of Johnson's brawn it fails to take advantage of his brain. In last year's comedy The Rundown Johnson proved he was more than a muscle-bound action star; he oozed charm and was surprisingly witty. With Walking Tall he never gets a chance to flex his acting muscles; if anything they atrophy. The only skills Johnson gets to show off are his ability to swing a plank at someone's shins and his unique way of bashing skulls against slot machines. Johnson's sidekick Ray played by Knoxville of MTV's Jackass fame is an ex-junkie who after spending a couple of years in the slammer is content with living in a camper and doing odd jobs around town. With his scraggly appearance and klutzy demeanor Knoxville supplies the film with brief interludes of humor amid the slam fest including a scene in which he stabs a bad guy with a potato peeler. Johnson and Knoxville would have made a first-rate action team had they had more screen time together.
A WWE production with Vince McMahon serving as executive producer Walking Tall has none of the subtlety of director Kevin Bray's last film All About the Benjamins and all the elements of a wrestling match. As with wrestling the film begins by melodramatically establishing the story (Chris and his family's lives are devastated by the mill's closure) and just like rival pugilists who publicly taunt the favored wrestler Chris challenges Jay--not for the world title but at least for control of Kipsat County--in a never-ending battle between good and evil that mimics wrestling to a T. But what's entertaining in the ring doesn't translate to film especially when the good guy running the town is a maniacal meathead. Chris is supposed to be the protagonist who single-handedly saves the town but who's responding to the citizens' domestic violence calls for example when the sheriff fires the entire precinct and spends 24 hours a day casing the casino? Never mind the fact that he has sex with his girlfriend in his office while he's on the clock.
Looney Tunes: Back in Action revisits an age-old Tunes question: Why does the affable Bugs reap all the fame and glory while the egocentric Daffy gets shafted again and again? Our duck friend quite frankly has had it up to his skinny neck playing second fiddle to the carrot muncher. All Daffy wants is a little recognition from the studio but the brothers Warner (actual twin brothers as we come to find out) decide instead to let Daffy out of his contract on the advice of their no-nonsense VP of comedy Kate Houghton (Jenna Elfman). Bugs however knows they're making a mistake. Even though Daff bears the brunt of the abuse Looney Tunes would fail without him and Bugs convinces the powers that be they need the nutty mallard. If the plot had only followed this thread--perhaps showing Daffy on the skids--then maybe the film wouldn't have spiraled into Looneyville. Unfortunately Daffy ends up hooking up with the hunky D.J. Drake (Brendan Fraser) a studio security guard who finds out that his famous movie star father Damian Drake (Timothy Dalton) is really a secret agent hunting for a mysterious diamond known as the Blue Monkey a supernatural gem that can turn the planet's population into monkeys. The evil head of the Acme Corporation Mr. Chairman (Steve Martin) wants the diamond for his own diabolical plans and he's kidnapped D.J.'s dad in an effort to get it. Now the gang has to get the diamond save D.J.'s dad and of course save the world.
It might be a little hard to act subtly around cartoon characters but these aren't your ordinary cutesy Mickey Mouse types. Bugs Daffy Porky Yosemite Sam and Foghorn Leghorn are pros at comic timing able to spar with the best of them throw out zingers without a second thought and slay you with a droll glance at the camera. It isn't really necessary for the human actors to match their madcap-ness; just reacting would have sufficed. Fraser comes off the best of the human bunch; since he's had practice (Monkeybone) he easily interacts with his animated co-stars and deftly handles the doubletakes and jabs at pop culture. Elfman on the other hand sputters and goes bug-eyed every time she encounters silliness. She looks uncomfortable doing the green screen thing especially when she's trying to look natural when peeling a distraught duck from around her waist. Martin's highly anticipated turn as Mr. Chairman turns out to be the biggest disappointment. The over-the-top character is reminiscent of Martin's hysterically funny Rupert the Monkeyboy in 1988's Dirty Rotten Scoundrels but Martin turns Mr. Chairman--an angry schoolboy with knee socks and matted-down hair who never grew up--into a caricature of ridiculous proportions and unlike Rupert who came in small hilarious doses Mr. Chairman gets very tiresome very quickly.
Back in Action's animation is well done more engaging and ambitious than its 1996 predecessor Space Jam in which the action mostly took place in Looney Tunes land; here animated characters go the Who Framed Roger Rabbit? route and Bugs Daffy and the rest coexist harmoniously with humans in the real world. But despite its aspirations Back in Action leaves out vital elements that made Space Jam appealing. While the earlier film stuck to a simple plot Back in Action guided by director Joe Dante (Small Soldiers The 'Burbs) tries too hard to keep things wild and wacky while incorporating elements of '60s heist pics and action-adventure scenes and in the process loses sight of the most important ingredient in any kids movie: the story. Tykes may have limited attention spans but if the story's good they will watch. Granted some individual bits are laugh-out-loud funny particularly the scene in the Warner Bros. commissary where a stuttering Porky Pig complains about being politically incorrect with Speedy Gonzales while an animated Shaggy and Scooby-Doo berate actor Matthew Lillard for playing Shaggy as such a bonehead in the live-action Scooby-Doo. These scenes prove that if any cartoon characters could pass themselves off as real celebrities in the entertainment industry the gang from Looney Tunes could but moments like these simply can't overcome a contrived plot and juvenile antics.
Forget about 'N Sync boy Lance Bass going into space--let's send supermodel Cindy Crawford! She confessed Thursday at a jewelry show in Moscow that she'd be interested in taking a space trip on a Russian spaceship, The Associated Press reports. But she'd have to be back in a week to take care of her two young children.
U.N. goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie joined Secretary of State Colin Powell at a celebration of World Refugee Day on Thursday in Washington, D.C. AP reports Powell quipped, "Ms. Jolie is the only ambassador I deal with who has her own fan club." The event paid tribute to the women and children who make up most of the world's 22 million refugees. Jolie has been tirelessly visiting refugee camps in Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Cambodia, Pakistan and Ecuador.
Newlyweds Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards exchanged more than just rings. In People's latest cover story, Richards, 31, told the magazine that Sheen, 36, had her name tattooed on his left wrist. "I love that!" said Richards, who now plans to tattoo his name on her ankle. "I've never had anyone tattoo anything for me!"
The hardest-working performer in the business is at it again. Jackie Chan will star in a remake of the Jules Verne classic Around the World in 80 Days. The original 1956 movie starring David Niven followed the adventures of inventor Phileas Fogg and his hapless companion Passepartout around the globe on a bet they could do it in 80 days. In the remake, the focus will be on Passepartout (Chan) who guides and defends Fogg on the journey (emphasis on defends, we're sure).
Oscar-winning Halle Berry is in negotiations to star in Need, a psychological thriller in which she would play a psychiatrist who victimizes a suicidal female patient after she discovers the young woman is having an affair with her husband. Berry as a bad girl--interesting.
At last! TBS is producing a biopic on John F. Kennedy Jr., the handsome and famous son of the late president whose own fairy-tale life ended in tragedy. America's Prince: The JFK Jr. Story will focus on the women in his life--his mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (played by Jacqueline Bisset), and his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy (played by Ally McBeal's Portia de Rossi). No one has yet been cast to play John-John. TBS plans to air the movie in late December 2002-early January 2003.
Sean "P.Diddy" Combs' Bad Boy Records and parent company Arista Records have ended their decade-long joint venture. AP reports Combs announced Wednesday that he now owns 100 percent of Bad Boy, including its catalogs and all its current artists, including R&B singers Faith Evans and Carl Thomas, group 112 and teen pop quartet Dream. The split was described as amicable.
Hip-hop artist R. Kelly is already singing a song about his recent criminal charges of child pornography. The song "Heaven, I Need a Hug" debuted this week on a Chicago radio station. In the song, Kelly says he hopes to regain his fans' support.