It’s Friday! Time to kick back, relax, and get caught up on all of the TV news you missed today while working. And by "working" we mean when you watched YouTube videos, and looked at the clock every five minutes in anticipation for the weekend. Hey no judgement, we totally get it. Tyra Banks is poking fun at her past, a Gossip Girl villain is back on set, and President Obama has a date on The Daily Show. All that and more in today’s tidbits! Fivehead: Being a world-famous supermodel is awesome. Being an awkward teenager? Not so much. Tyra Banks explains, “In high school, if you have glasses, you’re a ‘four eyes’, if you have braces, you’re a ‘metal mouth’ but if you had my forehead? You’re a fivehead,” Banks is looking to channel all that high school angst into a new scripted comedy for ABC called Fivehead. The “smize” enthusiast is co-creating/executive producing the single camera comedy with her childhood friend and co-creater of America’s next Top Model, Kenya Barris. Fivehead will center on Bank’s impressionable teenage years—both at home and in school—as she transitions from an awkward duckling into a fierce swan. [Deadline]
Gossip Girl: Spotted. Kate Cassidy back on the set of Gossip Girl. We last saw Juliet way back in 2010 when she went all psycho on Serena (Blake Lively) and tried to out her for having an affair with a teacher, aka Juliet’s brother. The Arrow starlet is returning to the Upper East Side for the series finale, and—brace yourself—she has a phone in her hand! Could Juliet be Gossip Girl? Discuss. [EW.com]
The Daily Show: President Obama is heading to Comedy Central’s fake news show once again! On October 18, the president will appear as a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, two days after his second Presidential debate at New York’s Hofstra University. This will be Obama’s sixth sit down with Stewart, the most recent interview being October 27, 2010. [Deadline]
Wonderland: NBC is hoping to add a bit more of that fairytale craze to their line-up next year. The network is finalizing a deal to purchase Wonderland, a drama set in the world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland that will be executive produced by CSI creator Anthony Zuiker. The series is set years after the book ended and will introduce viewers to a new character, Clara. In an attempt to get her life back on track, Clara enters wonderland and must rage war on the new queen—Alice! Intriguing, no? [Deadline]
F*ck! I’m in my Twenties: NBC is currently developing a half-hour comedy project based on the hilarious Tumblr blog F*ck I’m In My Twenties. Created by 24-year-old Emma Koeing, the blog features quirky doodles to express the perils of being a recent college grad in today’s world. Following in the same theme, the show will feature a twenty-something girl’s experience living in the big city and trying to adjust to living life outside of the classroom. [Deadline]
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Moneyball is a movie about baseball...but it's not a sports movie.
Grouping the latest film from star Brad Pitt with heartwarming Americana it-all-comes-down-to-the-big-game films doesn't quite make sense—no matter how much Pitt looks like Kevin Costner or Robert Redford. Moneyball is an underdog tale of a different kind one that questions the enchantment of the game rather than embraces it. While a film driven by sports statistics and business may sound drab Moneyball manages to discover its own unique sentimentality thanks to strong performances and a restrained style.
We pick up with Billy Beane (Pitt) GM for the Oakland A's after yet another disastrous season. Surrounded by aging scouts convinced of their ability to hone in on a player's intangible skills the keen manager grapples with the loss of his best players a recruiting budget dwarfed by his competitors and no solution in sight. After all baseball is a game of the coin—buy the talent buy the wins buy the championship. Wheeling and dealing across the country Beane realizes the A's need a new strategy or they'll be forever at the bottom. He finds that innovation in Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) a statistics wiz who introduces Beane to the baseball equivalent of counting cards: the theory of sabermetrics.
Thankfully watching and enjoying Moneyball doesn't require an extensive background in math as Beane allows the stuffy subdued Brand do the number-crunching. Much like writer Aaron Sorkin's Oscar-winning The Social Network the script (co-written with Schindler's List and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo writer Steve Zallian) pulls back the curtain on a complicated process but makes it easily digestible and more importantly emotional. Beane puts his job and reputation on the line for Brand's theory which boils down to the idea that all you need to win a baseball game is runs. Who needs star players when MLB rejects can make it to home base?
Pitt's depiction of the real life Beane isn't a showy star performance—but it's one of his best to date. The character is reserved and hushed; he explodes when the gravity of his situation hits a boiling point but quickly pulls himself back into professional mode. In order for Beane to enact Brand's plan he has to de-romanticize a game that means everything to him. Beane goes to great lengths to remind himself that baseball can't be fun—he doesn't watch the games he commands his team to hear the sorrow-filled silence of a loss and he emphasizes that no matter how many games he wins the only one that matters is the last. Beane keeps this light and cool with his co-workers but underneath—where Pitt shines—he struggles.
While Moneyball is Pitt's show his ensemble of co-stars deliver equally impressive work. Hill plays against type keeping his usual fast-talking humor in his back pocket and letting the larger-than-life Pitt properly wow him. Philip Seymour Hoffman appears briefly as the A's manager Art Howe who butts heads with Beane over the direction of the team. What could have been a surface-level villainous role is elevated by Hoffman who makes the old school way of thinking sound perfectly reasonable.
The film directed by the Oscar-nominated Bennett Miller (Capote) is slow and methodical paving the way for exhilarating moments between Pitt and Hill as they juggle phone calls fire off statistics educate their players and compile the misfit team. Miller intertwines flashbacks of Beane's early career and real life footage into the main narrative capitalizing on a variety of filmmaking techniques that organically stem from Beane's perspectives. This isn't squeaky clean Hollywood filmmaking but it's slick. Mychael Danna's score stands out as a thrilling companion to the visuals ethereal tunes that add a touch of humanity to a bookish drama.
Moneyball isn't this year's Field of Dreams or The Natural or Little Big League but it is great drama. Compelling and sweet the film takes a relatively unknown aspect of a well-known sport and turns it into something grand. Baseball's always made for a great life metaphor but Moneyball shows us one we've never seen before.
The best way to go into Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is to think of it as the first film in a brand new franchise; a franchise in which mermaids love men zombies won’t eat you and a Fountain of Youth exists but all laws of logic reasoning and competent storytelling don’t. Although screenwriters Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio were smart enough to sever the narrative ties to the first two sequels in their franchise’s fourth outing the latest swashbuckling adventure in the series shares most of the same faults its predecessors faced.
Director Rob Marshall (Chicago) steps in for Gore Verbinski in On Stranger Tides but you’ll be hard-pressed to find his contributions to the already-flashy film that finds our hero Capt. Jack Sparrow (the inimitable Johnny Depp) on the hunt for the fore mentioned fountain. Of course he’s not the only one looking for eternal life: also in tow are nameless stereotypical Spaniards the English crown headed by a reformed Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and Blackbeard a ruthless pirate who looks and sounds a lot like Ian McShane. Their paths cross on numerous occasions as the story scrambles across the map culminating in a splashy battle in a magical meadow where Ponce de Leon’s greatest discovery lies.
Less a cohesive story and more a collection of individual set pieces linked together by nonsensical dialogue and supernatural occurrences the film isn’t all that hard to follow if you don’t strain yourself doing so. The sequence of events collide so conveniently for the characters you can’t help but call the screenplay anything but the result of complacency while the film itself sails so swiftly from point to point it’s actually a waste of time to dwell on plot holes and motives. Disrupting its momentum (which is one of the few things the film has going for it) is an unwatchable romance between Sam Claflin’s missionary Philip and Syrena (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) one of a handful of murderous mermaids who do battle with Blackbeard’s crew. Their bland courtship will have you begging for Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley to return to the high seas and that’s saying something.
The all-female fish people are one of a few additions to the Pirates world but their effect on the film is negligible outside of being the impetus for the coolest action sequence in the picture and perhaps the most unnerving of the series. The others include Penelope Cruz as Blackbeard’s busty daughter Angelica and Stephen Graham as shipmate Scrum. The former feels out of place among the cartoony happenings but provides much needed sass while the latter fills in for Kevin McNally’s Gibbs for much of the film and is a pleasure to watch for some hammy comedic moments.
As always however this is Depp’s show and he continues to put a smile on my face with his charisma and theatrical presence. Even though he’s operating on autopilot throughout you can’t help but marvel at his energy and enthusiastic output as he literally fuels the fun in the film. The same can be said of Rush who’s given a meatier and more significant arc this time around. He trades quips with Depp as if they were a golden-age comedy duo and they remain the most appealing attraction in the franchise. Though he brings an undeniable sense of danger to the picture I was sadly underwhelmed by McShane’s Blackbeard a character with such a domineering reputation and imposing look he should’ve been stealing scenes left and right. Instead I felt he phoned his performance in though that could’ve been the result of Marshall’s indirection.
No better than the genre-bending original but a slight improvement over Dead Man’s Chest and At Worlds End On Stranger Tides suffers centrally from lack of a commanding captain. Marshall’s role is relegated to merely on-set facilitator or perhaps liaison between legions of talented craftspeople that make the movie look so good. Whatever vision he had for this venture if he had a unique take at all is chewed up and spit out by the engines of the Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster factory rendering the film as mechanical as the ride from which it is based.
If no one kills themselves while watching Little Fockers this weekend it will be a Christmas miracle. Sure there have been some bad films so far this year but none will make you long for the merciful touch of the Grim Reaper upon your shoulder like the latest entrant in the Meet the Parents saga. And this is coming from someone who actually enjoys the original film (and reluctantly tolerates the second).
Looking on the sunny side of things however at least Little Fockers is the best alien invasion film of 2010. I mean that is the narrative here right? Pod people have taken over the lives of the Fockers and the Byrnes replacing their once moderately charming attempts at bumbling-based comedy with some kind of extra-terrestrial anti-comedy designed to test the patience of normal human beings. That's the only rational defense of the film I can think of. Surely no one who actually lives on planet Earth thinks that you can fashion a complete motion picture — particularly one starring Robert De Niro Ben Stiller Teri Polo Blythe Danner Owen Wilson Harvey Keitel Laura Dern and yes even Jessica Alba — out of nothing but a chain that interlinks the most face-palming no-one-acts-like-that misunderstandings possible with repeated fart barf and penis humor.
Grandpa Jack (De Niro) is getting to be an old man so he tells son-in-law Gaylord Focker that he needs to take over as the Godfocker. This piece of information is the alien code word that turns the previously-normal Gaylord into Pod Person Gaylord. He instantly begins to act out of character deciding for no clear reason that his twin five-year olds who have a fast-approaching birthday must now attend a prestigious private school that is way out of the family's budget. Pod Gaylord then decides to give in to pharmaceutical representative Jessica Alba's flirting and become a spokesperson for an erectile dysfunction drug.
Meanwhile Owen Wilson has re-entered the lives of the Fockers as Pod Kevin a world-travelling philosophically-confused twit whom everyone worships for no apparent reason. Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman are back as well as Roz and Bernie Focker with the former now being the host of a talk show about sex toys and the latter suffering from a bout of "manopause" that finds him in Spain learning to be a World Class flamenco dancer. How does the re-integration of these three characters pay off exactly? Well Grandpa Jack wants to convince his daughter and happily married mother of his two grandchildren to divorce Pod Gaylord and marry Pod Kevin. Pod Roz's free-spirited theories about sex result in Pod Grandpa Jack getting an erection for five-and-a-half hours (and don't think for a second you'll be spared the image of an erect penis in Robert De Niro's pants). As for Bernie Focker ... well that one's tricky. As near as I can tell the only reason his character is conceived as being obsessed with the flamenco is so he can later inexplicably dance with a jiggly bra-clad Jessica Alba for approximately six seconds.
I'd apologize for that being a poor summary of the premise of Little Fockers but it's sadly an incredibly accurate one. There's no plot here. It's just a collection of scenes that ineptly fit together solely because they have the same people in them. And if this material is what passes for a feature film I cannot even fathom what the deleted scenes on the DVD will look like.
The crime here isn't even the bad (and often childish) jokes it's that all of the adults involved appear to have suddenly forgotten how to tell jokes at all. Words just tumble out of the actors' mouths never ever finding purchase with the audience. But that's okay because as soon as one gag arrives stillborn director Paul Weitz (who is taking over for previous series auteur Jay Roach) and screenwriters John Hamburg and Larry Stuckey will break their necks trying to turn their attention to the next bit of hilarity. And the most astounding thing — the clincher that will make you want to stick a gun in your mouth — is that despite running from scene-to-scene as fast as possible Little Fockers feels like it's never going to end. You may think that it'll be passable light entertainment at just 98 minutes but you dangerously forget that these are 98 minutes of alien anti-comedy which equate to over 9000 minutes of human failure.
2010 Teen Choice Awards Fashion Recap
Hollywood's awards shows always provide audiences with the latest on what's in fashion...well, according to them! Some outfits make me shout with glee, others...not so much! Here's a look at what the "Young Hollywood" celebrities are wearing at the 2010 Teen Choice Awards.
Click the Photo to See the Entire Gallery
JENNY DAYCO's BIO:
Passionate and outrageously beautiful, Jenny Dayco’s line of one-of-a-kind and limited edition pieces expose a clever mix of sultry femininity with her own witty sense of humor. From gold 10 commandments necklaces to giant button necklaces—each one of her pieces speaks with its own audacious voice.
Her enthusiasm radiates as she confesses that a majority of her designs contain a level of witty humor, intended to be almost something secret for just the wearer to know. "My hope is that with every piece of mine that is worn, the wearer is able to experience an enigmatic yet laugh-out-loud kind of joy," says Dayco. What attracts her are elements that have a story or are a symbol for something. She also finds herself fascinated and inspired by nature, "…animals such as a horse or jellyfish, whose forms are so unique and amazing."
There's no limit to her jewelry design in terms of simplifying or amplifying her pieces. Oftentimes, she enjoys taking one idea, and then cranking it up several more notches. Former graphic designer and former talent agent, Jenny is self-taught in the art of jewelry designing and works instinctively from the gut while her hands brilliantly produce each and every single piece. "I just love making things that are insane and fantastic, pushing my own understanding of beauty and adornment on the body," Dayco gushes. "I love creating pieces that make people feel confident and bring them joy."
Devoted fans include: Rihanna, Beyonce Knowles, Avril Lavigne, Paris Hilton, Kelly Clarkson, The Pussycat Dolls, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Keri Hilson, Ciara, Billy Bob Thornton, Eva Longoria, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz , Venus & Serena Williams, Ashley Tisdale, Erin Wasson, Katy Perry, Tyra Banks, and many more!
Editorial credits include: Elle, Lucky, Teen Vogue, Marie Claire, Flaunt, Women’s Wear Daily, People, People Style Watch, Nylon, Nylon Guys, Girl’s Life, Paper, Zink, Glamorous (Japan), Sweet (Japan), GISELe (Japan), and Scawaii (Japan)
Check out Jewelry by Jenny Dayco Here
Pop star Jessica Simpson has topped a new poll to find the best breasts in Hollywood.
The singer/actress' "perfect" breasts gave her top marks in a new In Touch magazine poll.
Her proud manager/dad Joe says, "She's got double-Ds! You can't cover those suckers up."
Simpson beat Tyra Banks and Scarlett Johansson to win the honor.
The top 10 is:
1. Jessica Simpson
2. Tyra Banks
3. Scarlett Johansson
4. Carmen Electra
5. Lindsay Lohan
6. Katherine Heigl
7. Audrina Patridge
8. Jennifer Aniston
9. Megan Fox
10. Beyonce Knowles
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