John C. McGinley is returning to sitcoms after a brief layover in drama-land, and I for one can't be happier. Even better: He's teaming up with Bill Lawrence, aka the creator behind Scrubs, where McGinley made his mark as the curmudgeonly Dr. Perry Cox. They say lightning can't strike twice, but I'm betting on it happening with this combination.
When it came to Scrubs, McGinley's Cox was the one that I paid attention to the most. He was grumpy, sarcastic and also quite demeaning to Zach Braff's John Dorian. That said, he could also be surprisingly tender and helpless under that gruff exterior. This part of him came into the most focus when his brother-in-law Ben died (Note, if you're spoiled on this by now, it's been nearly 10 years. It's streaming on Netflix. Season 3: "My Screw-up". Watch it. Great TV), where he just climbed into his shell and didn't get out for a long time.
After Braff, who was the show's main star, left after the eighth season, McGinley and Donald Faison both tried to save the show, but there was nothing left in the tank. Scrubs alumni have been popping around all over the place, with Sarah Chalke having her own show for a while and Faison finding new life on The Exes on TVLand. McGinley made a brief detour into drama land, playing the traitorous Tom Card on Burn Notice. Card wound up with a bullet hole in his head and after a stint on Broadway in Glengarry Glen Ross, comedy beckoned again for the veteran actor.
There's not a whole lot of information that I can see about Ground Floor, his new show, but he is playing the character of Mr. Mansfield, who is apparently an alpha male like Cox was, which is right up McGinley's wheelhouse.. If you think there's a chance that he won't rock on this show, I leave you with this immortal quote from Dr. Cox:
Jennifer Garner has given full credit to fellow celebrity mum Halle Berry for successfully campaigning for new paparazzi harassment laws, confessing she and husband Ben Affleck never thought such legislation would be passed in California. The pregnant Monster's Ball star grew tired of the snappers who followed her everywhere and took shots of her young daughter Nahla as she left school - and she decided to do something about the problem.
She recruited Garner, a mother of three, to testify in August (13) in support of Senate Bill 606, which imposes tougher penalties on cameramen who constantly tail public figures and their kids, and also makes it easier for parents to sue for damages over harassment.
The two mums had cause for celebration last week (24Sep13) when the law was officially passed.
Garner admits she and actor/director Affleck had seriously considered moving out of California in an effort to escape the paparazzi before Berry waged war on the snappers and stepped up her political lobbying.
In an interview with U.S. breakfast show Today, Garner says, "This is all about Halle. I have to say, my husband and I, as much as we have wished for this, we truly were resigned to thinking that this was never gonna happen.
"We had looked at all different things: moving out of California, you know, all manners of things. I think that there's an idea, that because our pictures are everywhere, that we're complicit in it, when really what happens is they're waiting outside our door every single day. I can't go to the mailbox without getting my picture taken.
"What we're hoping is our kids' day-to-day experience will not be of really aggressive men yelling and screaming five feet from their faces. My kids take karate, for example, and we have our classes at the same time every week, so the guys know when we have karate and so 20 of them wait there for us, every single class. So that's a lot of energy coming at little, little kids."
Legendary Motown group the Four Tops are facing a $109,000 (£72,660) lawsuit over an outstanding legal bill. Bosses at Sullivan, Ward, Asher & Patton, a law firm in Michigan, claim they provided legal services to the band but the group has "failed, refused or neglected" to pay the outstanding balance, according to The Detroit News.
A representative for the band declined to comment on Wednesday (26Sep13).
Halle Berry is celebrating after a bill banning paparazzi harassment was signed into law in California on Tuesday (24Sep13). The Monster's Ball star and Jennifer Garner both testified last month (Aug13) in support of Senate Bill 606, which imposes tougher penalties on photographers who constantly tail public figures and their kids, and also makes it easier for parents to sue for damages over harassment.
Pregnant actress Berry, who is also mother to daughter Nahla, five, has expressed her thanks to Governor Jerry Brown for signing the law, which comes into effect on 1 January (14).
In a statement, she says, "I started this fight with a great deal of hope and a bit of uncertainty so I cannot express my immense gratitude that Governor Brown has recognised, and acted to remedy, the plight of children who are tormented because of the identity or prominence of their parents. On behalf of my children, it is my hope that this is the beginning of the end for those overly aggressive paparazzi whose outrageous conduct has caused so much trauma and emotional distress."
Berry also thanked fellow Hollywood mum Garner and British soul singer Adele for joining her in the fight to protect their kids: "I am forever in awe of the support I got within my community from the enormously talented musician Adele to fellow actor Jennifer Garner who travelled with me to Sacramento to share her children's stories, experience and her desire to give them a better life.
"I'm grateful to Nia Vardalos and the numerous parents who work as actors, musicians, as well as professionals in medicine, mental health, lawyers, judges and cops who have experienced their children being harassed, tormented or otherwise put in dangerous situations due to their parent's profession and therefore lent their support. It is for all of us that I rejoice today and hope that this fight will continue and that the proper enforcement of this law will truly make a positive impact on the daily lives of all children."
After Dark Films
It seems a bit odd to take on a movie review of Courtney Solomon's Getaway, as only in the loosest terms is Getaway actually a movie. We begin without questions — other than a vague and frustrating "What the hell is going on?" — and end without answers, watching Ethan Hawke drive his car into things (and people) for the hour and a half in between. We learn very little along the way, probed to engage in the mystery of the journey. But we don't, because there's no reason to.
There's not a single reason to wonder about any of the things that happen to Hawke's former racecar driver/reformed criminal — forced to carry out a series of felonious commands by a mysterious stranger who is holding his wife hostage — because there doesn't seem to be a single ounce of thought poured into him beyond what he see. We learn, via exposition delivered by him to gun-toting computer whiz Selena Gomez, that he "did some bad things" before meeting the love of his life and deciding to put that all behind him. Then, we stop learning. We stop thinking. We start crashing into police cars and Christmas trees and power plants.
Why is Selena Gomez along for the ride? Well, the beginnings of her involvement are defensible: Hawke is carrying out his slew of vehicular crimes in a stolen car. It's her car. And she's on a rampage to get it back. But unaware of what she's getting herself into, Gomez confronts an idling Hawke with a gun, is yanked into the automobile, and forced to sit shotgun while the rest of the driver's "assignments" are carried out. But her willingness to stick by Hawke after hearing his story is ludicrous. Their immediate bickering falls closer to catty sexual tension than it does to genuine derision and fear (you know, the sort of feelings you'd have for someone who held you up or forced you into accessorizing a buffet of life-threatening crimes).
After Dark Films
The "gradual" reversal of their relationship is treated like something we should root for. But with so little meat packed into either character, the interwoven scenes of Hawke and Gomez warming up to each other and becoming a team in the quest to save the former's wife serve more than anything else as a breather from all the grotesque, impatient, deliberately unappealing scenes of city wreckage.
And as far as consolidating the mystery, the film isn't interested in that either, as evidenced by its final moments. Instead of pressing focus on the answers to whatever questions we may have, the movie's ultimate reveal is so weak, unsubstantial, and entirely disconnected to the story entirely, that it seems almost offensive to whatever semblance of a film might exist here to go out on this note. Offensive to the idea of film and story in general, as a matter of fact. But Getaway isn't concerned with these notions. Not with story, character, logic, or humanity. It just wants to show us a bunch of car crashes and explosions. So you'd think it might have at least made those look a little better.
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Actor Jason Patric struggled to keep his composure while testifying before California's Assembly Judiciary Committee on Tuesday (13Aug13) in a bid to gain custody of his son. The Speed 2 star has been locked in a battle with his ex-girlfriend Danielle Schreiber over access to their three-year-old son Gus, after donating sperm to have a baby with her in 2009.
In 2012, Patric filed for joint custody after the couple's break-up, even though U.S. law only recognises him as a sperm donor who has no paternity rights.
Earlier this year (13), after losing the court battle, Patric filed an appeal and now the dispute has turned into a high-profile case as lawmakers in California consider a new bill to give donor dads more rights.
He told the hearing, "I have to be Gus' voice - my son - a voice that I have not heard in 25 weeks, a voice that is not allowed to mention my name in his mother's home, a voice that has sent me here to speak to you all."
Patric also expressed that he was speaking out on behalf of other men in his situation.
He continued, "We raised these children, we loved these children, but when these relationships fell apart we were shockingly hit with briefs that deemed us 'sperm donors': a word that was never, ever mentioned in my house, a word I can guarantee you Gus doesn't know how to pronounce.
"We all tried to become parents. We went to great lengths to become parents. I had a surgery to become a parent... (but) I was unfairly deemed a donor with no recourse.
"(The bill) doesn't give me my son back ... (but) it gives standing for men to constitutionally get their rights and go into court and say, 'I'm the dad,' and let a judge decide if he's not."
Schreiber maintains the couple had an agreement when she got pregnant that she would raise Gus and that Patric wanted his involvement in the pregnancy kept secret. She claims he only asked for custody after they broke up.
Actress Jennifer Garner fought back tears on Tuesday (13Aug13) as she called on California lawmakers to pass a bill banning paparazzi harassment, after describing how a dangerous stalker had once hidden among a crowd of snappers to follow her every move. The Juno star joined forces with fellow Hollywood mum, Halle Berry, to testify before the Assembly Judiciary Committee at the California State Capitol in support of a new law which would impose tougher penalties on photographers who constantly tail celebrities and their kids.
Garner, who has three young children with husband Ben Affleck, grew particularly emotional as she discussed her stalking nightmare.
She told the committee members, "Being stalked has been hard for me, but it is beyond what a child should have to endure. I am an actress but I am a mum first. My children aren't actors or celebrities. They're just kids like your kids or anyone else's and, just like you want to protect your children, I want to protect mine... They're beautiful and sweet and innocent, and I don't want a gang of shouting, arguing, lawbreaking photographers who camp out everywhere we are all day every day to continue traumatising my kids."
Pregnant Berry, who has been a staunch supporter of the SB606 proposal, also testified on Tuesday and revealed that one snapper had even had the nerve to suggest her daughter Nahla, with her ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry, may never be reunited with her dad as they fought over custody of the five year old in court.
The actress recalled, "(The photographer) said, 'How do you feel, Nahla? You may not see your father again. How do you feel about that?'
"They say curse words and call me names, all trying to provoke some sort of response to sell a photograph."
Berry insisted the paparazzi regularly behave badly around her and her little girl and she constantly has to explain their unwanted presence to young Nahla: "(She asked), 'Why did they say that to me, mummy? What does that mean? Who are these men and why are they following us?'
"We aren't just whiny celebrities... We're mums who are just trying to protect our children."
The bill, which would ban the photographing of a child without the permission of a legal guardian, was passed after a lengthy discussion and it will now go to the Appropriations Committee for review.
Despite boasting a couple of headliners who, at one point, might have sported enough gravitas as to pull the masses in to see any feature film, 2 Guns doesn't have a whole lot of draw. The well-worn buddy cop trope gets an interesting makeover with both parties playing undercover agents for independent organizations (Denzel Washington works for the DEA, while Mark Wahlberg is a Naval officer) unaware of the other's affiliation. Throughout, both parties manage performances that invite laughter, with Wahlberg's hybrid of badass and nebbish earning particular favor. But for some reason, the film just can't seem to muster up a full dish of appeal.
Maybe it's because 2 Guns seems to be, and proves to be, a film that sets the bulk of its attention on forwarding the criminal plotline. In this area, 2 Guns offers little in the new. Yes, the dramatic irony that both Washington and Wahlberg are officers of the law, and each under the impression that the other is a bona fide crook, is a twist with some flavor. But too heavily stocked with your standard cop movie tropes — inhabited by drug cartel baddie Edward James Olmos and sociopathic CIA man Bill Paxton — the film crumbles under its decision to take its story too seriously.
When it has fun, though, it has a good deal of it.
The high points of the film are not when Washington and Wahlberg are facing off with their laundry list of enemies — criminals, fellow lawmen, former allies, you name it... nobody likes these guys — but when the mismatched pair tustle verbally with one another.
Washington's Bobby Trench is a smooth, serious, acerbic would-be loner; Wahlberg's blathering Michael Stigman operates at peak energy and volume, wearing his lust for attention and friendship on his sleeve as he works tirelessly to win over his target/partner. Their chemistry, while nothing unprecedented in the buddy cop genre, is endearing, helping to pass the hour-and-a-half occupied by 2 Guns with just enough chuckles.
So if you're already there, having wandered accidentally into the wrong theater or affixed against your will to a diehard Denzel fan's idea of a perfect night out, buck up — the comedic scenes will get you through it. But if you're on the fence, they're not quite worth heading out to the theater for.
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Actor Jason Patric's ex-girlfriend is refusing to honour the actor's request for joint custody of their three-year-old son because he legally gave up his parental rights before the child was born. The Speed 2 star donated sperm so his former girlfriend, Danielle Schreiber, could have a baby in 2009, and last year (12) he launched legal action to gain joint custody of little Gus after the couple split, even though U.S. law only recognises him as a sperm donor, who has no paternity rights.
Patric lost the court battle in early 2013, but he recently filed an appeal and now the dispute has turned into a high-profile case as lawmakers in California consider a new bill, which would give donor dads more rights.
However Schreiber, who alleges Patric initially asked her to keep his identity a secret after he turned down the chance to claim parenthood prior to conception, is standing her ground - during an appearance on U.S. breakfast show Today on Monday (15Jul13), she said, "It's not about him having a relationship or contact with Gus. This is just about rights. Me preserving my right to be a sole legal parent, not having to share that with someone who has never intended to and never raised Gus, even when we were dating - Jason never did anything to raise Gus. He never changed a single diaper."
Patric also appeared on TV on Monday - he hit newswoman Katie Couric's chat show and said, "This is a case where I've had my son stolen from me and I have to do anything I can to try and get him back."
The Lost Boys star, who hasn't seen his three-and-a-half-year-old son for 20 weeks, told Couric he thought he had done enough when he signed forms before he donated sperm to his former partner.
He explained, "I went into the fertility clinic with her and I signed 20 pages of forms that say 'intended parent Jason Patric'."
But he agreed to leave his name off baby Gus' birth certificate - because he didn't want his kid to be targetted by his critics.
The actor added, "I wanted to protect him from the public eye that I have felt hasn't been kind to me. Any private documents - the consent forms, school forms, paediatrician's all have me as the father, but I didn't want the paparazzi taking pictures of my child coming out of Cedars-Sinai (Medical Center)."
Patric revealed he was dealt a blow by his ex two days after they celebrated his 46th birthday with their baby last year (12), when she told him of her plans to become a single parent: "She became very removed and within one week... she told me she would not speak to me unless it was through a lawyer... and she's not spoken to me since, in over a year.
"When I talked to your producers about coming on this show, the first thing I said is, 'Please invite Danielle Schreiber on the show. Please have her sit right here and explain... why you've done this.'"
Schreiber turned down the opportunity to appear alongside her ex on the Katie show.
Actress Tilda Swinton has shown her support for Russia's gay rights community by waving a rainbow flag in Moscow. The Oscar winner headed to the Moscow Kremlin, home of President Vladimir Putin, and defiantly held up the colourful flag, widely used as a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride.
A photograph of her bold move, posted online on America's Independence Day (04Jul13), depicts Swinton posing proudly in front of both the Kremlin and a police car.
Her agent Christian Hodell, who shared the image via Twitter.com, also released a message from the star stating, "In solidarity. From Russia with love."
Government officials in the traditional country passed a bill last month (Jun13) banning "gay propaganda", and dozens of gay rights activists were arrested for violating the law at a rally in St. Petersburg on 29 June (13).