Tag Archives: George Clooney

Preppin’ a prank

Celebrities like George Clooney and Brad Pitt love to regale us with stories of the pranks they play on their fellow actors when they’re making movies.  Let me tell you —

They’ve got nuthin’ on me.

I played a prank on one of my best friends this past weekend that was 30 years in the making.

But let me back up a bit…

It all began when she pranked me only a couple of weeks after we met in college.  I was in her dorm room, waiting for her to get ready for dinner and noticed a framed photograph on her shelf —
john james youngCaroline with her arms draped around the neck of John James, one of the stars of the then hit drama Dynasty.

When I asked how the pic came to be, she confided that the two were dating, but she was keeping it quiet at his request.

Of course I didn’t believe her at first, but then she started producing a lot of convincing evidence:  her father’s pageant and production credits, connections through musical theatre friends and a well-timed phone call from John James.

I spoke to the man myself.

Begrudgingly I had to concede — the two were a couple.  He called on two other occasions when I was in her room and said hello.  But during our last conversation, ‘John’ confessed that he was really Caroline’s brother.

Why did she do it?  Especially to a friend that she barely knew?  Because she could?  Evil.

It is now a thing of legends, a story that we rehash often, laughing at her nerve and my naive acceptance.  But this past weekend, I turned the tables.  Now the story has a very different ending.

The satisfying conclusion, here — tomorrow…

Heavy

I rushed to the theatre to see the movie Gravity for two reasons:

  1. the terrifying space collision that we get a tantalizing glimpse of in the movie trailer; and
  2. Sandra Bullock’s performance, which has received rave reviews and early Oscar buzz.

The views of space are breathtaking, and the accident that drives the plot drains whatever air remains in your lungs.  I saw the movie in 3D, and its use is at once seamless and highly effective.

gravity posterGeorge Clooney is his usual playful self in his scenes with Bullock, but I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say she appears alone onscreen for a majority of the movie.

Tom Hanks goes solo on an island in Castaway, and Robert Redford on a crippled yacht in the upcoming All is Lost, so it’s about time an actress — especially one of Bullock’s caliber — gives it a try.

But while Bullock’s Dr. Stone is well-acted — and I was on the edge of my seat time and time again — I left the movie feeling very little emotional connection to her character.  I just expected…more.

Let me know what you think.

Day Seven, Como: a high note

What’s that below, you ask?

That’s Como.

On the final day of my trip to Italy, we took a tram to a point high overhead Lake Como…then hiked up a steep incline for another 30 minutes to a lighthouse overlook.

In retrospect, perhaps not the best day to wear flip flops.

Como is as picturesque as you might imagine.  It’s not lined with museums or historical points of interest like some of the cities that we visited this week. But if you want to enjoy the sun, the water, a round of golf or tennis — simply relax —

It is perfection.

And then there is the George Clooney factor.  Tragically, I was only in Como for a few hours, so I wasn’t lucky enough to see the city’s other major attraction.

Darn.  I’m gonna need to go back.

Who, moi?

Finally — a reason to watch an awards show red carpet!

The BAFTA Awards — the Brits’ Oscars, if you will — announced that Miss Piggy will be their official red carpet host for this Sunday’s awards ceremony.

Oui!

Now there’s a red carpet interviewer who’s bound to ask something more interesting than ‘Who are you wearing?’  Heck, I bet Miss Piggy will proposition a celebrity or two (George Clooney) and throw a punch if said celebrity’s leggy girlfriend (Stacey Keibler) gets in the way.

Plus, it’s nice to see a television host who hasn’t starved herself to death to get the job…or filled her face with Botox or other fillers to maintain a youthful appearance.

(I’m pretty sure she’ll just put on a new head for the broadcast.)

Muppets rule.  Congrats, Piggy!

Knee jerk

I was in a meeting this morning when the nominations for this year’s Academy Awards were announced.

It’s like having to work on Christmas Day.

Since I missed the entertainment editors’ reactions immediately following the event, I feel compelled to add my own.  As always, it’s a mixed bag of relief and regret.

(Feel free to add your own.)

I’M SO HAPPY TO SEE…

  • All the Oscar love for Moneyball (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing).  It’s one of the year’s best.  Understated.  Over-delivers.
  • Bridesmaids’ recognition come in the two categories where it is deserved — Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay.  It was a funny comedy, but I think we all got a bit overly excited about just how good it was.
  • The head-to-head competition between Brad Pitt and George Clooney, both in the Best Actor category and in other categories where their films are nominated together.  No two friends enjoy going at each other so much or do it as well.  Bodes well for the ceremony itself.

I’M SAD TO SEE…

  • Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was not given a Best Picture nod.  If you’re going to nominate 10 films, why not the most successful franchise in motion picture history — and its most critically acclaimed final installment?  Nods for Art Direction, Makeup and Visual Effects don’t seem near enough.
  • Michael Fassbender was robbed of the Best Actor nomination for Shame. I should also complain about Ryan Gosling’s omission from the list, but Fassbender alone is a crime.  A crime.
  • And, on the flip side, should a movie have to have a certain life in the theatre to earn a Best Picture nod?  The Tree of Life was barely there.  Try to see it now.  Try to remember it if you did.

Okay.  That’s all I have right now.

What do you think?

Star baby

Like many of you, I loved watching the Golden Globes last night, and look forward to the many award shows yet to come.

SAG Awards.  BAFTAs.  Independent Spirit Awards.  And of course, the almighty Oscars.

But a part of the process I don’t enjoy that much is the red carpet coverage.  Sure, it’s fun to see the array of fashion do’s and don’ts, but the inane interviews make even the most beautiful gowns painful to behold.

I read a book last night instead.  (You can see the dresses during the ceremony, right?)

Perhaps if I had a red carpet history like Tyler Sercombe, I’d feel differently.

At the ripe ol’ age of one, Tyler has already been photographed with more than 130 celebrities, including Meryl Streep, George Clooney, and Johnny Depp.

Her mom Donna started taking her to premieres when she was a month old. They have been to about 60 so far.

Yep.  I’d put my book down for that.

Director’s cut

I love Jason Reitman.

Or, more specifically, the movies he directs.

He first caught my attention in 2005 with Thank You for Not Smoking.  Then along came Juno, its oh-so-unique voice the brainchild of writer Diablo Cody.  And in 2009, Reitman brought us the brilliant George Clooney vehicle Up in the Air, my choice for Best Picture Oscar.

Sadly, the Academy was more impressed by tales of the war abroad than at home.  Whatever.

Reitman and Cody have teamed up once again to bring us Young Adult, starring Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt.

This film has none of Juno’s quirky teen speak; Theron’s character is way past that. This golden girl blew out of her one-horse town years ago and is living large in the big city, a successful writer of youth literature.

Or that’s what it looks like from back home.  Her reality — and the lives of the people she left behind —  are very different than they appear on the surface.

I love this film.  I love the performances that Reitman pulled out of his actors.  I love that he didn’t feel the need to ‘nicen up’ Theron’s character as she continues her path of destruction.

And I especially love the possibility that Oswalt — Patton Oswalt, the chubby standup comedian — might get an Oscar nomination.

Jason Reitman did that.