The Tuxedo looks pretty silly on the surface--and there are plenty of moments in the film where you try hard to suspend your disbelief. But in actuality the film's fast-paced action and tongue-in-cheek humor ends up pleasantly surprising you. It starts off a little contrived as we are introduced to mild-mannered Jimmy Tong (Jackie Chan) a speed-happy cab driver who takes a job as chauffeur to millionaire Clark Devlin (Jason Isaacs). Jimmy likes his devilishly smooth new employer and adheres to Devlin's only rule: don't mess with his prized tuxedo. But what Jimmy soon discovers is that Devlin is not who he seems to be. When the millionaire is suddenly taken out of commission by a car bomb he tells Jimmy to put on the tux and go save the world. This is where things start getting interesting. What is it about this suit that is obviously "not a rental" (and where can we get one)? To find out our friend puts it on and is immediately thrust into a dangerous world of espionage where the walking super computer disguised as a tuxedo is Jimmy's only ally. Pairing up with a rookie partner Del Blaine (Jennifer Love Hewitt) who thinks she knows everything Jimmy becomes an unwitting--if nicely dressed--secret agent trying to stop a madman (Ritchie Coster) from poisoning the world's water supply.
One of the hardest working men in Hollywood Chan just has a golden touch. Starting with 1998's Rush Hour his movies showing his affable personality and his particular martial arts magic have proven to be profitable at the box office again and again--and The Tuxedo should fall right into that pattern. Besides his amazing physical abilities the best thing about Chan is his knowing how to laugh at himself. And does the guy have a rapport with every American actor out there (i.e. Chris Tucker and Owen Wilson)? The stumbling block to this movie could have easily been his chemistry with co-star Hewitt but they haven't stumped the man yet. Clearly these two had a lot of fun making this movie together and we finally get to see Chan display some romantic tendencies. Hewitt has deftly moved from horror queen (I Know What You Did Last Summer) into comedy with this performance as well as with her comic turn in last year's sleeper Heartbreakers. She can play the tough vulnerable bitch along with the best of them. Coster as baddie Diedrich Banning has a menacingly British look to him (a la any of the British villains in Snatch) which against our lovable Asian works well.
Director Kevin Donovan basically just has to sit back and let Chan do all the choreography. Of course he throws in a few bells and whistles of his own especially in the opening sequence that follows the path of a mountain spring right into a water bottling plant as well as letting us in to see the inner workings of the infamous tux. But the film is pure Chan from fight sequence to fight sequence. For his amazing stunts he puts to use the simplest of things--rope a pair of pants a shot glass balanced atop Jennifer Love Hewitt's head all while fighting off 50 men at a time. Just as Fred Astaire could dance magnificently with just about anything in his surroundings so does Chan elevate butt kicking to an art form. His show stopping singing and dancing routine to James Brown's "Sex Machine" shows a new side to Chan. The Tuxedo definitely has a very secret agent feel to it from Banning's underground lair to his dastardly master plan but it's more like TV's Batman than anything else. In essence the film doesn't take itself seriously so even though the plot line is thin you can still enjoy the fun.
On Friday, a California judge dismissed drug charges against actor Robert Downey Jr. and ended his probation, The Associated Press reports. Downey pleaded no contest to cocaine possession and being under the influence last July and was sentenced to a year at a live-in rehabilitation center and three years' probation. But Downey has stayed clean and sober for 14 months now, prompting Riverside County Superior Court Judge Randall D. White to deny the district attorney office's request to extend the actor's probation for another six months. Downey's attorney said his client was "absolutely ecstatic and very optimistic he'll be able to stay sober and get movie parts again."
A new biography on Nicole Kidman claims the actress has had three great loves in her life: Hollywood heartthrob Tom Cruise, Australian actor Tom Burlinson and a third, who remains a highly guarded secret. According to Australia's The Sunday Telegraph, the book, titled Nicole Kidman, The Biography, speculates the mystery man could be one of two boyfriends from her teen years, including a surfer and carpenter named Doug.
Charlie Sheen has put his four-bedroom, 6,000-square-foot Malibu Lake, Calif., home on the market for $3.6 million--$1 million less than the listing price he sought a year ago--the Los Angeles Times reports. Dubbed "the ultimate bachelor pad," the property boasts a poker room, a cigar room, a fire pole that descends from the closet in the master suite to the front entrance and a guest house converted into an "aqua room" with walls of saltwater aquariums. Sheen reportedly spent 10 years redesigning the house but is now looking for a different kind of home with his new wife, Denise Richards.
Veteran actor Mickey Rourke and Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale have reportedly joined the cast of the British gangster flick Red Light Runners, Ananova.com reports. The all-star cast already includes Harvey Keitel and Dennis Hopper. Runners' writer and producer, Clark Westerman, also revealed plans to insert a dead celebrity into one scene using special effects, but he wouldn't say who. Rossdale will also contribute to the film's soundtrack.
Adam Sandler will executive produce Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, a comedy about a 30-something washed-up child actor who hires a foster family to re-create the childhood he never had. David Spade will star with Charmed actress Alyssa Milano playing his love interest. The project will be directed by What's the Worst That Could Happen?'s Sam Weisman.
Bernie Mac turned down Damon Wayans' plea for help in the Wednesday night sitcom face-off, the AP reports. "Wherever I am, I have to play. I have to put on a good show," Mac said. "That's not my fight." Wayans recently expressed concern over Fox's decision to move The Bernie Mac Show opposite Wayans' My Wife and Kids at 8 p.m. on ABC Wednesday nights. Mac believes there is room for both shows at the same time because they attract different audiences.
Conan O'Brien is close to signing a deal to serve as master of ceremonies for the 54th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards show this fall, Reuters reports. O'Brien is expected to be formally announced as host next Tuesday, with NBC set to broadcast the Emmys live on Sept. 22 from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
While O'Brien will be busy emceeing the Emmys, Saturday Night Live star Jimmy Fallon will be hosting the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 29, Variety reports. Fallon, who co-anchors SNL's Weekend Update newscast with Tina Fey, will host the show solo. Jamie Foxx hosted last year's VMAs.
The Jacqueline Susann biopic "Isn't She Great" comes to life this week with Bette Midler as the famed author.
Also opening wide this week is the Ewan McGregor-Ashley Judd psychological suspense thriller, "Eye of the Beholder."
Here's a list of all the films opening this week.
"Kestrel's Eye" (First Run) -- Directed by Swedish filmmaker Mikael Kristersson, this documentary chronicles the lives of a family of kestrels nesting in the tower of an old church. (Limited release)
"The Big Tease" (Warner Bros.) -- Scotsman Craig Ferguson plans to make his country proud when he is invited to the international hairdressing contest. He flies to Los Angeles only to discover that he is attending the event as an observer. (Limited release)
"The Cup" (Fine Line) -- The Bhutanese film follows two boys who are sent to a monastery in the foothills of the Himalayas. As they assimilate to the monastic life, one thing keeps intruding on their routine -- how can they get to watch the World Cup Finals? (Limited release)
"Eye of the Beholder" (Destination) -- Ewan McGregor stars as a British intelligence agent who is on a mission to shadow a murderous blackmailer played by Ashley Judd. (Wide release)
"Isn't She Great" (Universal) -- The real-life story depicting the vibrant, flamboyant and sometimes outrageous life of author Jacqueline Susann, who came to fame in the 1960s with the success of "The Valley of the Dolls." Bette Midler stakes the title role. (Wide release)
"Grizzly Falls" (Providence) -- When hunters capture her cubs, a grizzly bear retaliates by kidnapping the young son of a trapper portrayed by Bryan Brown. Rather than doing the boy any harm, the bear instead becomes his guide to the wilderness. Oliver Tobias, Daniel Clark and Richard Harris co-star. (Limited release)
"Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter Jr." (Lions Gate) -- The subject of this portrait is the infamous Fred A. Leuchter Jr. -- the erstwhile engineer of death-row technology who disclaimed in 1988 the occurrence of the Holocaust. (Expanded release)
"Rear Window" (USA) -- Jimmy Stewart plays the housebound magazine photographer whose voyeuristic pastime unwittingly unravels a murder in the apartment facing his rear window. (Expanded release)
"Restaurant" (Palisades) -- At the center of a group of aspiring artists who make up the staff of a trendy Hoboken, N.J., restaurant is a longtime bartender played by Adrien Brody, a debuting playwright who is coping with the end of a recent romance. (Limited release)
"Stella Does Tricks" (Strand) -- Stella, a 15-year-old Glaswegian girl working as a prostitute in London, heads back to Glasgow with her new boyfriend and attempts to start a new life. However, she soon discovers the difficulty to break free of the cycle of abuse she has become trapped in. (Limited release)
"Topsy-Turvy" (USA) -- Directed by Mike Leigh, the film chronicles the bumpy collaboration of the writer-composer team Gilbert and Sullivan. Jim Broadbent and Allan Corduner co-star. (Expanded release)
Previous rumors that Jermane and Randy Jackson had refused to attend the Jackson 5 reunion for the Michael Jackson: 30 Anniversary Celebration, The Solo Years can now be dismissed. All five brothers from the eponymous Jackson 5 music group have confirmed their attendance at the event.
After feuding for the last month with the show's producer, David Gest, over the ticket prices, the guest list and the lineups for the all-star events, Jermaine agreed on Friday to perform at the September 7 and 10 shows, to be held at New York's Madison Square Garden.
"Having been accused of not wanting to be a part of my brother's 30th anniversary concert for publicity reasons is not right," Jermaine Jackson said in a statement Friday. "My concern was that our loyal fans were not invited nor able to attend because of excessive prices," he told SonicNet.com.
A combined total of 40,000 tickets for the September 7 and 10 Michael Jackson celebration concerts--priced $45 to $2,500 per ticket--sold out just five hours after going on sale on July 31, Launch. com reported.
"I place my family above all else and I would like to perform with my brothers in spite of all that has gone on. I'm sorry that loyalty to my fans and family has been perceived as betrayal," Jermaine added.
The Jackson brothers convened in Los Angeles on Friday to begin rehearsing for the shows.
A complete list of confirmed special guests goes as follows:
Friday, September 7: Marc Anthony; Ray Charles; Deborah Cox; Destiny's Child; Gloria Estefan; Billy Gilman; Whitney Houston; James Ingram; Quincy Jones & the Legends of Jazz including Al Jarreau, Herbie Mann, Les McCann, David "Fathead" Newman, Jimmy Smith, Clark Terry & Cassandra Wilson; Liza Minnelli; Monica; Mya; *NSYNC; Jill Scott; Shaggy featuring Ricardo "Rikrok" Ducent & Rayvon; Britney Spears; Tamia; 3T; Usher.
Monday, September 10: Marc Anthony; Mary J. Blige; Deborah Cox; Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott; Gloria Gaynor; Al Jarreau; Gladys Knight; Lil' Romeo; Ricky Martin; Liza Minnelli; Monica; Mya; 98 Degrees; Jill Scott; Usher; Luther Vandross; Dionne Warwick.
In addition, stars from television, sports, movies, and the recording industry will honor Jackson during the concerts. Confirmed guests include: Marlon Brando; Elizabeth Taylor; Samuel L. Jackson; Willem Dafoe; William Shatner; Dr. Dre; Snoop Dogg; Yoko Ono; Sean Lennon; Jane Russell; Chris Tucker; Liam Neeson; Vanessa Redgrave; Franco Nero; Muhammad Ali; Kobe Bryant; Magic Johnson; Esther Williams; Gregory Peck; Jennifer Jones; Angie Dickinson; Master P; Robert Wagner; Jill St. John; Sir John Mills; Hayley Mills; Janet Leigh; Reggie Miller; Ann Miller; Jane Powell; Macaulay Culkin; Patricia Neal.
Hedy Lamarr, the "world's most beautiful woman" whose sexually provocative performances made her a glamour queen of Hollywood's Golden Age, has died at her home outside Orlando, Fla., police said. She was 86.
Born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler on Nov. 9, 1913, in Vienna, Austria, Lamarr was the only child of rich parents and grew up with a private tutor, high society parties and constant travel. The dark-haired actress first gained notoriety for her role in ``Ecstasy,'' a European film that featured a naked Lamarr swimming and running through the woods and suggestive close-ups of her face during lovemaking, both of which were sensational at the time.
Soon thereafter, Lamarr married Friedrich Mandl, a wealthy munitions dealer who tried unsuccessfully to buy up and burn all copies of the film.
She took her pseudonym (borrowing the surname of silent-screen star Barbara Lamarr) in 1937, when she went to Hollywood and signed with Louis B. Mayer's Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio. Mayer wanted to make her the greatest star of all time, but some of her early pictures such as "Lady of the Tropics'' (1939) and "I Take This Woman'' (1940) flopped.
In 1949, she made her biggest hit, Cecil B. De Mille's ``Samson and Delilah," in which she displayed a bold sexuality that was uncommon for actresses of her era. In all, she played in more than a dozen films alongside Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart and Judy Garland. And, with her dark hair parted in the center and her marble-white complexion, Lamarr is often remembered as the actress who broke through the mold of platinum-blond stereotypes.
Unknown to many, Lamarr also made a key contribution to the U.S. war effort against Nazi Germany. Amazingly, Lamarr worked with her friend, the composer George Antheil (who had experimented with mechanical music), to patent a "Secret Communications System" to help Allied submarines elude radio-jamming techniques employed by the Nazis -- techniques that Lamarr had become familiar with during her years with her ex-husband, the munitions man.
Lamarr's movie career has sometimes been overshadowed by her tumultuous love life (she was married six times) and various scandals, most notably a 1966 arrest in which it was alleged that she stole an $85 pair of slippers. She was cleared of the charges, but that same year, her autobiography "Ecstasy and Me," which was actually penned by a ghostwriter, was published and further tarnished her image. The book gave unsavory details about her love life, even suggesting she was a nymphomaniac.
Lamarr successfully sued the publisher for misrepresentation, then withdrew from the public eye, saying the book "ruined my career and life." She was arrested again in Florida for shoplifting, this time for stealing $21.48 worth of laxatives and eyedrops. The charges were again dropped, and her lawyer said that both cases were simply a question of ``absentmindedness.''
Lamarr reportedly spent her last years playing the stock market, spending time with grandchildren and watching television, refusing repeated requests from journalists for interviews. In recent years, she also filed two lawsuits, one against a software company and the other against a winery, over unauthorized use of her image.
Lamarr's lawyer, Michael McDonnell, said she had suffered no illness or hospital stays recently. "She had the burdens of old age, but she was sharp as a tack and always able to care for herself," McDonnell said.
"She was always, to me, the quintessential movie star. She walked with her head high, and she was very beautiful, even in her old age."