Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines beauty Kristanna Loken has been voted the hottest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) celebrity in a new poll. The bisexual blonde has beaten out reality star Amanda Leigh Dunn to land the title in a HotorNot.com survey in celebration of America's Pride month (Jun14).
Mean Girls actor Jonathan Bennett comes in third, followed by Glee's Chris Colfer and Magic Mike hunk Matt Bomer.
The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons, Australian actress Portia de Rossi and former Kyle XY actor Matt Dallas also feature in the top 10.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
As grand as the themes of good and evil, needs and deservings, power and responsibility and such forth are, superhero movies are generally pretty straightforward in premise: hero stops villain from wreaking havoc. As off-putting as this kind of simplicity might sound, it's usually the right way to go. If you pack enough substance into your characters and adhere your plot to these linear margins, you can actually wind up saying a healthy amount (and having a lot of fun). The Amazing Spider-Man 2 gets half of this formula down pat. Although Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker is still a moreover undistinguished identity, his emotional magnitude (re: his relationship with Gwen Stacy) is enough to keep him valid through the storm of lunacy that is his second feature. And it's not even that lunacy that holds him back. The problem isn't how wild his conquests are, how silly some of the action sequences feel, or how absolutely bonkers his villains turn out to be. It's all the other stuff (and yes, if you can believe it, there's a ton more going on in this movie than what I've already mentioned — that's the issue). All the plot twists, tertiary mysteries, ominous flashbacks, abject reveals, and weightlessly sinister pawns in this brooding game that, save for its fun with the baddies, takes itself way too seriously. All that stuff that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 thinks is necessary to make Peter Parker matter? It actually does just the opposite.
Peter is at his best when he's playing Tracy and Hepburn with the girlfriend he's perpetually disappointing (the eternally charming Emma Stone), or trying to win back the favor of the only remaining parental figure from whom he's rapidly slipping away (Sally Field, reminding us why she's a household name), or angling to connect with the mentally unstable engineer who just wants people to notice him (Jamie Foxx working his comic shtick with a frightening zest). We have the most fun with Peter when he's playing the simplest games, and we connect best with him on similar ground. But Peter and company, at the behest of The Amazing Spider-Man franchise's Sandman-sized aspirations, spend so much time exploring new avenues: the secrets surrounding the death and work of Richard Parker, the behind-the-curtains operations of OsCorp, the nefarious goings on in the waterside penitentiary Ravencroft.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
As a result of the grand stab at world building, there is just so much stuff that Peter has to wade through in this movie, dragging the likes of Gwen and his boyhood friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan, mastering angst, menace, and upper-class privilege all at once) into the dark crevasses of narrative waste. With so many diversions into the emotionally vacant, deliberately joyless explorations of Parker family origin stories, secret brief cases, and underground subways — The Amazing Spider-Man 2 rivals Captain America: The Winter Soldier in complexity, but forgets the necessary ingredient of fun — we barely have enough energy left when the good stuff hits.
And in truth, the good stuff isn't really good enough to sustain us through all the duller periods. Garfield and Stone do have laudable chemistry. Foxx is a hoot as Peter's maniacal new foe, especially when paired with the grimacing DeHaan. And the action, while often straying from any aesthetic authenticity, is nothing shy of neat-o. It's all passable, occasionally worthy of a hearty smile, but rarely anything you'll be definitively pleased you took the time to see.
But beyond coming up short in the micro, the film's regal downfall is its scope. With so much to do, both in accomplishing its own necessary plot points and setting up for those to come in future films, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 doesn't seem to take time to make sure it's having fun with its own premise. And if it isn't having fun, we won't be either.
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TriStar Pictures via Everett Collection
An hour and change into Pompeii, there's a volcano. You'd think there might have been a volcano throughout — you'd think that the folks inhabiting the ill-fated Italian village would have been dealing with the infamous volcano for the full 110 minutes. After all, volcano movies have worked before. Volcano, for instance. And the other one. But for some reason, Pompeii feels the need to stuff its first three quarters with coliseum battles, Ancient Rome politics, unlikely friendships, and a love story. But we don’t care. We can't care. None of it warrants our care. Where the hell is the volcano, already?
To answer that: it's off to the side — rumbling. Smoking. Occasionally spiking the neighboring community with geological fissures or architectural misgivings. Pretty much executing every trick picked up in Ominous Foreshadowing 101, but never joining the story. Not until Paul W.S. Anderson shouts, "Last call," hitting us with a final 20-odd minutes of unmitigated disaster (in a good way). If you've managed to maintain a waking pulse throughout the lecture in sawdust that is Pompeii's story, then you might actually have a good time with the closing sequence. It has everything you’d expect — everything you had been expecting! — and delivers it with gusto. Torpedoes of smoke running hordes of idiot villagers out of their homes and toward whatever safety the notion of forward has to offer. Long undeveloped characters rising to the occasion to rescue hapless princesses who thought it might be a good idea to set their vacation homes at the foot of a lava-spewing mountain. The whole ordeal is actually a lot of laughs. But it amounts to a dessert just barely worth the tasteless dinner we had to force down to get there.
TriStar Pictures via Everett Collection
To get through the bulk of Pompeii, we recommend focusing all your attentions away from the effectively bland slave/gladiator/hero Kit Harington — sorry, Jon Snow (he's actually called a bastard at one point) — and onto his partner in crime: a scowling Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje — sorry, Mr. Eko (he and Snow actually trade valedictions by saying "I'll see you at another time, brother" at one point) — who warms up to his fellow prize fighter during their shared time in the klink, and delivers his moronic material with a sprinkle of flair. Keeping the working man down is Kiefer Sutherland — sorry, Jack Bauer — as an ostentatious Roman senator, doling out vainglory in Basil Fawlty-sized portions. When he's not spitting scowls at peasants, ol' JB is undermining the efforts of an earnest local governor Jared Harris — sorry, Lane Pryce (he actually calls someone a mad man at one point) — and his wife Carrie-Anne Moss — sorry, Katherine O'Connell from Vegas (joking! Trinity) — and finagling the douchiest marriage proposal ever toward their daughter Emily Browning — sorry, but I have no idea what she's from.
But questionable television references and some enjoyably daft performances by Eko and Jack can't really make up for the heft of mindless dullness that Pompeii passes off as its narrative... until the big showstopper.
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In truth, the last sequence is a gem. It's fun, inviting, and energizing, and might even call into question the possibility that Pompeii is all about how futile life, love, friendship, politics, and pride are when even the most egregiously complicated of plots can be taken out in the end by a sudden volcanic eruption. But you have to wade through that egregious complication to get there, and you shouldn't expect to have too much of a good time doing so.
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It’s been said that lightning doesn’t strike twice. But how have the following actresses been able to star on more than two successful shows? With so many actresses cursed to star on failed TV shows, these actresses all seem to have the golden touch to make a series last. They have all been series regulars on television shows that have taken off and lasted insanely long ... in some cases unnecessarily long.
Thorne-Smith has bright blue eyes, a slightly raspy voice, and a general likable folksiness. She starred in Melrose Place from day one. Despite initial bumps in the road, the series went on to last seven seasons partly because of her on-again/off-again relationship with Andrew Shue (who was never heard from again). Ally McBeal became a huge must-see series with the insane antics of an off-beat law firm. It lasted five seasons and launched the careers of Calista Flockhart, Lucy Liu, Jane Krakowski, and Portia de Rossi. Then despite all sense of rhyme or reason, According to Jim managed to last eight seasons.
Garth managed to do the impossible. She was on both a series and its reboot and both did extremely well. She was on the wildly successful Beverly Hills 90210 and managed to star on the show for a startling ten seasons. When the series was rebooted, she was the anchor to tie the new series, 90210, to the original. She didn’t stay on the series, but it did go on to last a respectable five seasons. This is a great achievement considering the number of television channels grew exponentially since the original series hit the airwaves. She also played Amanda Bynes’ older sister for the five season run of What I Like About You.
Malick has the perfect blend of beauty, brains, and comedic genius that it’s no wonder she can help keep a series on the air. She has done a million guest spots but has helped more than a few series find their groove. She starred on HBO’s T&A comedy Dream On with Brian Benben. It lasted six seasons, which is a lot for a series on premium cable in the early '90s. She then starred in the eight seasons of NBC’s Just Shoot Me. Now, she’s currently lending her magic to Hot in Cleveland, already in its fifth season.
Holly Marie Combs
Did someone say magic? Combs is best be remembered for playing Piper, a witch that could freeze time on Charmed for eight seasons. The series held the record for the longest running series with an all-female cast until it was eclipsed by Desperate Housewives. Combs started her career playing Kimberly Brock on the David E. Kelly series Picket Fences, which lasted a respectable four seasons. She is currently starring on Pretty Little Liars. It has five seasons under its belt and shows no sign of ending anytime soon.
Cuoco is plucky, pretty, and a great addition to any television show. Cuoco starred on 8 Simple Rules which survived a notable name change and the loss of comedic genius John Ritter, and lasted a respectable three seasons. She also joined the cast for the final season of Charmed without causing a jump the shark situation. She has done voice-over work on shows like Brandy & Mr. Whiskers and 6Teen which have lasted more than one season. Most notably, she is starring on The Big Bang Theory. It’s in its seventh season and still going strong.
Sagal is the definitive actress with the magic touch. She has managed the impossible more than once. She starred in Married With Children which helped launch the Fox network. She starred on 8 Simple Rules with Cuoco, and helped the series survive. She lent her lovely voice to Futurama as the voice of one-eyed beauty Turanga Leela. The sci-fi animated series went on to last seven seasons, four movies, and multiple cancellations. She’s currently flexing her dramatic muscle in FX’s dark biker drama, Sons of Anarchy as matriarch Gemma Morrow. Not only is she great at playing a mother, she’s great at being a mother to a successful series.
David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas consists of six stories set in various periods between 1850 and a time far into Earth's post-apocalyptic future. Each segment lives on its own the previous first person account picked up and read by a character in its successor creating connective tissue between each moment in time. The various stories remain intact for Tom Tykwer's (Run Lola Run) Lana Wachowski's and Andy Wachowski's (The Matrix) film adaptation which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. The massive change comes from the interweaving of the book's parts into one three-hour saga — a move that elevates the material and transforms Cloud Atlas in to a work of epic proportions.
Don't be turned off by the runtime — Cloud Atlas moves at lightning pace as it cuts back and forth between its various threads: an American notary sailing the Pacific; a budding musician tasked with transcribing the hummings of an accomplished 1930's composer; a '70s-era investigatory journalist who uncovers a nefarious plot tied to the local nuclear power plant; a book publisher in 2012 who goes on the run from gangsters only to be incarcerated in a nursing home; Sonmi~451 a clone in Neo Seoul who takes on the oppressive government that enslaves her; and a primitive human from the future who teams with one of the few remaining technologically-advanced Earthlings in order to survive. Dense but so was the unfamiliar world of The Matrix. Cloud Atlas has more moving parts than the Wachowskis' seminal sci-fi flick but with additional ambition to boot. Every second is a sight to behold.
The members of the directing trio are known for their visual prowess but Cloud Atlas is a movie about juxtaposition. The art of editing is normally a seamless one — unless someone is really into the craft the cutting of a film is rarely a post-viewing talking point — but Cloud Atlas turns the editor into one of the cast members an obvious player who ties the film together with brilliant cross-cutting and overlapping dialogue. Timothy Cavendish the elderly publisher could be musing on his need to escape and the film will wander to the events of Sonmi~451 or the tortured music apprentice Robert Frobisher also feeling the impulse to run. The details of each world seep into one another but the real joy comes from watching each carefully selected scene fall into place. You never feel lost in Cloud Atlas even when Tykwer and the Wachowskis have infused three action sequences — a gritty car chase in the '70s a kinetic chase through Neo Seoul and a foot race through the forests of future millennia — into one extended set piece. This is a unified film with distinct parts echoing the themes of human interconnectivity.
The biggest treat is watching Cloud Atlas' ensemble tackle the diverse array of characters sprinkled into the stories. No film in recent memory has afforded a cast this type of opportunity yet another form of juxtaposition that wows. Within a few seconds Tom Hanks will go from near-neanderthal to British gangster to wily 19th century doctor. Halle Berry Hugh Grant Jim Sturgess Jim Broadbent Ben Whishaw Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon play the same game taking on roles of different sexes races and the like. (Weaving as an evil nurse returning to his Priscilla Queen of the Desert cross-dressing roots is mind-blowing.) The cast's dedication to inhabiting their roles on every level helps us quickly understand the worlds. We know it's Halle Berry behind the fair skinned wife of the lunatic composer but she's never playing Halle Berry. Even when the actors are playing variations on themselves they're glowing with the film's overall epic feel. Jim Broadbent's wickedly funny modern segment a Tykwer creation that packs a particularly German sense of humor is on a smaller scale than the rest of the film but the actor never dials it down. Every story character and scene in Cloud Atlas commits to a style. That diversity keeps the swirling maelstrom of a movie in check.
Cloud Atlas poses big questions without losing track of its human element the characters at the heart of each story. A slower moment or two may have helped the Wachowskis' and Tykwer's film to hit a powerful emotional chord but the finished product still proves mainstream movies can ask questions while laying over explosive action scenes. This year there won't be a bigger movie in terms of scope in terms of ideas and in terms of heart than Cloud Atlas.
The Aussie actress, who was born Amanda Lee Rogers, adopted the name Portia de Rossi when she first became a model - years before arriving in Hollywood.
A Los Angeles judge granted the actress official permission to change her name in court on Thursday (23Sep10).
She'll now be known as Portia Lee James DeGeneres.
The actress married comedienne-turned-TV personality Ellen DeGeneres in 2008.
The Australian actress, who was born Amanda Lee Rogers, has signed a deal to publish her memoirs which will detail her early years as she came to terms with her sexual orientation, and her public 'outing' while she was starring in hit sitcom Ally McBeal.
The 37 year old has previously admitted keeping her sexuality secret from her co-workers until pictures of the star with her ex-girlfriend, singer Francesca Gregorini, emerged in the press.
The book will also chronicle De Rossi's long battle with eating disorders.
She tells The Advocate magazine, "I'm writing a book. It'll be published in the fall, so... I have to be done with it before then. It will deal with all the secrets that nearly killed me. Nobody can really get inside the anorexic's mind like the anorexic."
And De Rossi admits DeGeneres, who she married in 2008, encouraged her to put pen to paper.
She adds, "My mother thought I would be a writer. When I started writing little notes to Ellen, she said, 'You should be a writer.' Which is very encouraging and very sweet."