Pilot Season: Welcome home, Felicity Huffman. The former Desperate Housewife has signed on to play another homemaker in the brand-new Fox drama pilot Boomerang — but this time, the character is anything but desperate. Huffman's Margie Hamilton spends her afternoons as a professional assassin before heading home to her family at night. ... Krysten Ritter is officially moving on from her recently cancelled ABC sitcom Don't Trust the B in Apt. 23 — the former B will headline NBC's new comedy Assistants as workaholic assistant Nora who's struggling with balancing her personal and professional lives. ... Former iCarly star Miranda Cosgrove has found her newest role — she'll play Christina Ricci's daughter in the NBC sitcom Girlfriend in a Coma, about a woman who wakes up 17 years after a car crash to discover she has a 17-year-old daughter. In real life, the actresses are only 14 years apart. [TVLine, Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter]
Kenneth Heads to The Middle: Jack McBrayer, better known as 30 Rock's Kenneth the Page, has booked his first role following the finale of his NBC sitcom. McBrayer will appear on at least one upcoming episode of ABC's The Middle as dentist Ted Goodwin, who hires Frankie as his new hygenist. [TVLine]
Too Spicy: Lifetime has decided not to move forward with Cinnamon Girl, its Renee Zellweger-produced drama. Set in the '60s, the show focused on four women in the Los Angeles music scene and was loosely based on Zellweger's own move to the City of Angels. [THR]
Besties Move to USA: Lovers of the short-lived but incredibly delightful NBC sitcom BFF, come here — this is a safe space. Comedians Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham are developing a new series for USA along the same lines of their fan favorite comedy, which was also based on their real-life friendship. This time, Lennon will play a single mom who enlists the help of her single, career-focused BFF to help raise her new baby. [Deadline]
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Top Story: Naomi Campbell Sued
AP reports that Naomi Campbell is being sued by a former assistant who alleges that the British model attacked her two years ago in a Beverly Hills hotel. According to the lawsuit, Simone Craig, 29, claims Campbell grabbed her by the arms, threw her down onto a couch, and kept her prisoner in a room at the L'Hermitage Hotel, yelling, "You're going to stay here and do your job!" Campbell's lawyers have stated that the model completely denies the accusations. In February of 2000, Campbell pleaded guilty to an assault charge for beating an assistant in Canada while working on a film in 1998. After this incident however, she was released without punishment.
PETA Makes Fun of Clay Aiken
According to the Associated Press, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has delayed an ad campaign whose slogan is "Get Neutered, It Didn't Hurt Clay Aiken," stemming from an interview Aiken gave in the June issue of Rolling Stone, in which he made some negative comments about cats. The ad features Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, a recurring puppet character from Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Angry letters from the pop singer's fans, as well as those applauding the ad slogan, have been flooding the animal rights organization. Matthews said that his organization sent a letter to Aiken after the Rolling Stone interview, but never received a response. If the issue goes unresolved, PETA will run their original ads next week. "If Clay Aiken intends on staying famous, he has to learn to take a joke," remarked Dan Matthews, vice president of PETA.
Robert Conrad Charged With DUI
On Tuesday, a judge ordered actor Robert Conrad to stand trial for driving under the influence of alcohol, AP reports. Back on March 31, Conrad crashed head on into another vehicle near his home in Calaveras County in northern California. According to police, his blood alcohol level at the time was nearly three times the legal limit, 0.22 percent. The television actor pleaded innocent to two felony counts of DUI. When Conrad failed to turn up on time for the preliminary hearing, a judge ordered that his lawyer find the former TV tough guy. Conrad later attributed his absence to physical therapy he has had to undergo. Kevin Burnett, the other driver in the accident, suffered a broken wrist and leg. He has filed a lawsuit against Conrad and his production company, Black Sheep Productions, seeking damages and compensation. The actor will be arraigned on Dec. 8.
Britney Fans Camp Out for CD; Critics Unimpressed
With the release of pop sensation Britney Spears' new album In the Zone, on Tuesday, hundreds of eager fans camped outside the Virgin Megastore in Times Square for the chance to have their copy of the CD signed by the young diva herself, Reuters reports. Though fans traveled across the country in some cases to meet Spears, many critics maintain that her fourth album is far from her best work. The New York Times described the CD as being "almost perversely devoid of personality." Other critics have pointed out that the pop star's vocals sound more like sex sounds than singing. The New York Times said that the 21-year-old singer "works hard to prove that she's hot blooded, although she sounds colder than ever."
Berry Feeling Better
Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry, 37, reports that she has recovered from the broken arm she suffered while filming Gothika, and is feeling better about her recent separation from husband Eric Benet, according to AP. The actress has a positive outlook about her romantic future. "I've made some bad choices in that area…I used to say that if there was a loser in town, I'd find him. But I don't say that anymore…I'm going to find the right man." Berry broke her arm in May while filming a scene for Gothika in which she struggles with a man who tries to sedate her. Because of the accident, filming for the new movie was delayed six weeks.
Eminem's Ex-Wife Finally in Court
On Tuesday, Kim Mathers, who was married to rap star Eminem until 2001, appeared in two Macomb County, Mich. courtrooms after missing two earlier scheduled hearings for drug charges. According to AP, a Macomb County Circuit judge ordered that Mathers be placed on an electronic tether that will alert authorities if she leaves her home, and that she undergo drug and alcohol testing, as well as attend Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Mathers was originally scheduled to attent a Nov. 4 hearing for violating the bond conditions of a St. Clair Shores, Mich. drug case. On Dec. 18, she is scheduled to attend a hearing regarding cocaine possession charges. Also on Tuesday, Mathers appeared before a Warren district court judge in connection with a separate drug charge.
AFI To Name 100 Greatest Movie Songs
The American Film Institute announced Tuesday that it will honor Hollywood's greatest movie songs in a June CBS special entitled, "AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Songs: America's Greatest Music in the Movies," Reuters reports. AFI will enlist the help of some 1,500 directors, screenwriters, actors, editors, cinematographers, critics, and historians in making the final selections from a list of 400 nominated songs. Said AFI director and CEO Jean Picker Firstenberg, "Great songs are a personal and unforgettable part of the storytelling experience, so combining music and film this year will undoubtedly provoke impassioned, heated debate and discord among even the closest friends." Nominees range from The Wizard of Oz's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to 8 Mile's "Lose Yourself."
Role Call: Anthony Anderson May Find "King's Ransom"
Reuters reports that actor Anthony Anderson of Scary Movie 3 has entered talks to star in the upcoming New Line Cinema comedy King's Ransom. The project focuses on the exploits of a wealthy and cocky businessman who could lose half his money to the obnoxious wife he is trying to divorce, so he arranges his own kidnapping, unaware of a separate plot to nab and ransom him for real. If he takes the role, Anderson will be one busy guy--he is to appear in the upcoming films My Baby's Daddy
Based on a true court
case first tried in 1953 Evelyn recounts the story of a man on a mission. Rumpled pub-crawler Desmond Doyle (Pierce Brosnan) has a streak
of bad luck when he loses his wife to another man the day after
Christmas and then loses his three
children Evelyn (Sophie Vavasseur) Maurice (Hugh McDonagh) and Dermot (Niall Beagan) to the Catholic
church and Irish courts. That he's without a wife and a regular job prompts the courts to place the tots in an
orphanage which he unsucessfully tries to steal them from. This of course was not a good move. He
gets caught and the courts see this as a strike
against him. Doyle does not give up--instead he gets his life together. But it
turns out that an obscure law that has never
been tried in the courts before requires that Doyle's estranged spouse give him
custody of the kids so he enlists several lawyers (Alan Bates
Aidan Quinn and Stephen Rea) to help him get
In the end the story ends happy ever
after but not without its up and downs. Doyle must
face the hardship of living without his children and
his children must suffer through living in a miserable
Although this story line is based in predictibility-land the actors
still come out on top. Brosnan's character with his native Irish accent anti-Bond dishevelment and
pitful story is charming. Each time he leaves the
screen he leaves you wanting more. It seems
as though this role was made for him. We are used to seeing
him in the coolly unrealistic role of James Bond and this is a refreshing change. He shows the
true acting skills that he really has as a father in
agony. Julianna Margulies
also surprises with her protrayal of Bernadette
Doyle's love interest. She is charming and feisty as
a bartender who enlists her solicitor brother's help to put the devastated father's family back together again.
He may be a double Oscar nominee but Bruce Beresford's directing here is mediocre. The director whose only decent film in recent years was 1999's Double Jeopardy makes a script that is already too obvious painfully so. Pacing is a little slow some of it is corny (ie: rays of sunshine representing faith) and some of it seems unnecessary (a love-triangle plot). The great acting and chemistry between Doyle and his kids especially daughter Evelyn is the best part about this movie.
One thing The Country Bears has in its favor is that the film keeps the plot simple. A convoluted storyline in which bears and humans interact would only make this even more painful to watch. Set in a music-video-type format where the bears and the humans sing and dance and have a grand old time the movie focuses on 11-year-old Beary Barrington (voiced by Haley Joel Osment) a young lad growing up with a very loving--and very human--family. Yet something doesn't feel right to Beary. Maybe it's because his jealous older brother Dex (Eli Marienthal) keeps telling him he has been adopted. Or maybe it's because he is a bear. Whatever the reason Beary feels connected only when he is playing his guitar and worshipping a hugely successful '60s rock band called The Country Bears--a quartet of big hairy fellows with names like Tennessee O'Neal Ted and Fred Bedderhead and Zeb Zoober who broke up over "creative differences" many moons ago. Beary decides to head out into the wild beyond to look for his true heroes--and find his place in the world. What he discovers is that the old Country Bear Hall where those wily bears used to perform is going to be torn down by the evil Reed Thimple (Christopher Walken. Yes we just said Christopher Walken.) Beary can't let this happen so he comes up with the plan to find the ex-Bears get them back together for a benefit concert and save the venue. Yee-haw.
Everyone associated with this film (from the actors to the long string of cameos by real-life musicians) surely believed they were making a fun-filled romp for the kiddies. You know "something to take the whole family to see " but they may not have realized how incredibly inane it would turn out to be. Or maybe Disney called in a lot of favors. Walken could have just lost a bet. The point is this--the human cast simply serves a purpose as the framework for the bears. Megan Fay and Stephen Tobolowsky are Beary's sugary-sweet mom and dad. Diedrich Bader and Daryl Mitchell play bumbling police officers looking for the hairy little fellow. Only Marienthal's Dex recognizes the absurdity of the situation--Beary is a bear and Marienthal gets to say probably all three of the best lines in the film. Cameos by artists such as Bonnie Raitt Don Henley and Elton John are fun but don't add much to the fray. Meanwhile the vocal talents are notable only when real-life singers like Raitt and Henley (who "sing" a duet as Tennessee and lady bear Trixie) and country singer John Hiatt (also as Tennessee) get to perform. Haley Joel Osment as the voice of Beary is more animated than the young actor has ever had the chance to be onscreen but there may be a reason for that--Osment is annoying as a chipper guy.
Most of us know about Disney theme parks and their most popular attractions--the Haunted House the Pirates of the Caribbean and of course the Country Bear Jamboree. Now Disney has gotten the bright idea to turn these attractions into movies--cashing in on the familiarity--and those singing dancing bears are the first guinea pigs. In other words Disney is grasping at straws. Granted the film is intended for children but let's not insult their intelligence as well. Besides a bad script so-so puppetry and sappy original songs the most bothersome thing about The Country Bears is that the bears walk and talk like their human counterparts have jobs eat in restaurants and play in rock-and-roll bands but there are only about six of them altogether. There aren't any other bears around. Or any other animals for that reason. At least in a Muppet movie the Muppets are everywhere and so it's understood they simply co-exist with humans. If you were to meet one of these Country Bears on the street you'd be very afraid.
February 08, 2002 2:07pm EST
Jonathan Cross (Chris Klein) is down and out in California when he runs into his old friend Marcus Ridley (LL Cool J) driving a pricey sports car and dripping in gold jewelry. As it turns out Ridley is making it big in an international Rollerball league and convinces Cross to do the same. Fast-forward four months into the future and Jonathan has become one of the biggest and most sought-after Rollerball stars. He's rich drives a nice car and is having a steamy relationship with his teammate Aurora (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos). From the looks of it Rollerball is a serious moneymaking operation: We are constantly shown million of dollars worth of currency going through money counters at record speed. And by the instant ratings numbers that appear on the organizer's monitors it's obvious that Rollerball fever has taken over the world. When conniving Rollerball creator Petrovich (Jean Reno) discovers that the ratings go through the roof when blood gets spilled things start to go very wrong. Cross and his teammates suddenly find themselves playing for their lives.
Chris Klein (American Pie 2) is Jonathan Cross the all-American Rollerball player but he underplays the role. You would expect a character in his position to have a certain amount of charisma and charm but Klein's delivery is a bit deadpan and lacking in attitude. His best pal Marcus Ridley is played by LL Cool J (Kingdom Come) who manages to add a bit of dimension to his otherwise underdeveloped character. In fact he may have been better suited for the lead. The only good part about model-turned-actress Rebecca Romijn-Stamos' (X-Men) role is that it didn't incorporate too many lines. Sounding like Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle you have to wonder what she was thinking with that accent which (contrary to the actress' recent statement on MTV that a bad accent is not necessarily bad acting) certainly is part of the acting and certainly is bad. Jean Reno (Just Visiting) was probably the most interesting character. He was all bad without a single redeeming quality which he at least pulled off with flair whether it was in his delivery or his elaborate fur coats.
Rollerball is director John McTiernan's (The Thomas Crown Affair) take on the 1975 classic directed by Norman Jewison. There is definitely enough action in Rollerball to keep viewers interested but the major problems lies within the characters' development-there isn't any. So while the action may keep your eyeballs glued to the screen momentarily you will find yourself indifferent to the characters their plight and what happens to them. Cross and Aurora's relationship for example is implied through one hastily done sex scene in the gym. Consequently when the evil Petrovich threatens to hurt her if Cross tries to leave the game we could care less because we don't really know her or how important she is to Cross. Being such an internationally renowned sport the accents which play a big part in the film are done too shoddily. The French accents go from Canadian to European within a sentence and that's only from the ones I could pick up. Who knows what other languages were massacred in the process?