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 —
Caroline 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…
Posted in Celebrities, Entertainment, Friends, Humor, Life, Movies, Television, TV, Writing
Tagged 30 years in the making, Brad Pitt, celebrities, college, dating, dorm, dorm room, Dynasty tv show, entertainment, evidence, George Clooney, Humor, John James, life, Movies, musical theatre, pageant, phone call, photograph, pranks, production credits, Television, writing
I rushed to the theatre to see the movie Gravity for two reasons:
- the terrifying space collision that we get a tantalizing glimpse of in the movie trailer; and
- 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.
George 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.
Posted in Celebrities, Commentary, Entertainment, Humor, Life, Movies
Tagged 3D, actress, All is Lost movie, Castaway movie, celebrities, commentary, entertainment, films, George Clooney, Gravity movie, Humor, life, movie plot, movie theatre, movie trailer, Movies, Oscar, reviews, Robert Redford, Sandra Bullock, sci-fi, space, Tom Hanks
What’s that below, you ask?
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.
Posted in Photography, Travel, Vacation
Tagged Como, flip flops, George Clooney, high note, hiking, historical points of interest, Humor, Italy, Lake Como, lighthouse, museums, photography, steep incline, tram, Travel, vacation
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.
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!
Posted in Academy Awards, Animals, Celebrities, Comedy, Commentary, Entertainment, Humor, Life, Movies, Oscars
Tagged BAFTA Awards, Botox, celebrities, comedy, commentary, entertainment, fillers, George Clooney, Humor, interviewer, life, London, Miss Piggy, moi, Movies, Muppets, Muppets rule, Oscars, oui, red carpet, red carpet host, Stacey Keibler, television host
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?
Posted in Academy Awards, Celebrities, Commentary, Entertainment, Humor, Movies, Oscars
Tagged Academy Awards, Academy Awards nominations, Academy Awards snubs, Art Direction, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Original Screenplay, Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Brad Pitt, Bridesmaids movie, celebrities, commentary, entertainment, George Clooney, Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Humor, Makeup, Michael Fassbender, Moneyball movie, Movies, Oscars, Ryan Gosling, Shame movie, The Ides of March movie, The Tree of Life movie, Visual Effects
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.
Posted in Academy Awards, Celebrities, Children, Entertainment, Fashion, Humor, Life, Movies, Oscars, Television, TV
Tagged Academy Awards, awards show, BAFTA, celebrities, celebrity interviews, entertainment, Fashion, fashion dos and donts, George Clooney, Golden Globes, Independent Spirit Awards, Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, movie premiere, Movies, Oscars, read a book, red carpet, SAG Awards, Television, TV, Tyler Sercombe
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.
Posted in Academy Awards, Celebrities, Comedy, Commentary, Entertainment, Humor, Life, Movies
Tagged Academy Awards, Best Picture Oscar, celebrities, celebrity vehicle, Charlize Theron, comedy, commentary, Diablo Cody, entertainment, George Clooney, golden girl, Humor, Jason Reitman, Juno movie, life, movie director, Movies, one-horse town, Oscar nomination, Oscars, Patton Oswalt, standup comedian, teen speak, Thank You for Not Smoking movie, Up in the Air movie, Young Adult movie, youth lit
Have you seen this promotional pic of the new movie The Descendants? Did you wonder what George Clooney was hiding from?
Turns out his co-stars.
I saw the movie this afternoon with my friend Caroline who is visiting from Kentucky — George Clooney’s hometown, in fact. (She knows the man.) So we were excited to see if the movie and George himself deserved all the Oscar buzz.
Not so much.
Apparently director Alexander Payne spent all his money on the big man himself and surrounded George with a TV movie-of-the-week cast. I mean, Shaggy from Scooby-Doo as his co-star? Get real.
While there were excellent turns by Shailene Woodley as George’s oldest daughter Alexandra and Beau Bridges as his cousin Hugh, no one else really measured up to George or the script.
Hey Alexander — when you center a film around a sick room, you might want to make sure your cast is healthy first.
Posted in Advertising, Celebrities, Commentary, Entertainment, Humor, Life, Movies
Tagged advertising, Alexander Payne, Beau Bridges, celebrities, commentary, entertainment, George Clooney, Hawaii, Health, Humor, Kentucky, life, movie cast, Movies, Oscar buzz, Oscars, promotional picture, Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Shailene Woodley, sickroom, The Descendants
I went to see X-Men: First Class Thursday at the matinee.
Not only did I discover I like X-Men films — it was my first and is seriously fun — but I realize the movie gods have officially created a new ‘hot guy duo.’
In my moviegoing lifetime, Robert Redford and Paul Newman were the original dynamic duo. Just look at the two of ’em in this still from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid…
Sorry. Lost my train of thought.
George Clooney and Brad Pitt were the next duo worthy of official status. Seen here in a scene from Oceans 11, they both have the same classic good looks…and the good sense not to take those looks or their celebrity too seriously.
Oops. Drifted off again.
James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender in X-Men are the newest breed of hot guy duo, and possibly the best actors to achieve this honor to date. They may not as be as classically handsome as their predecessors, but the camera loves them.
I do, too.
If you’re not typically a fan of the X-Men franchise or even this movie genre, I encourage you to give this one a look-see.
You’ll be carrying a torch for these two long before the final frame of film has unfurled.
Posted in Academy Awards, Celebrities, Entertainment, Humor, Life, Love, Movies, Summer
Tagged Academy Awards, beauty, Brad Pitt, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid movie, celebrities, commentary, entertainment, George Clooney, Humor, James McAvoy, life, love, Michael Fassbender, movie duos, movie matinee, Movies, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, X-Men: First Class
“Starring George Clooney…”
That’s pretty much all a movie trailer has to say to get my butt in the theater. (I know what I like.)
And while this promo for “The American,” George Clooney’s latest film, definitely trumpets his starring role, it manages to make this thriller seem…well…boring.
Wow. George drives a car…and works out. He also cleans and assembles his gun. That’s really intense stuff. Of course, the priest has a foreign accent, which should add some intrigue…but based on the voiceover, he is one boring old dude. Thank goodness George chases someone with a gun at the end, or I’d think this was a talkie.
Look, there are probably a lot of people like me who will give George the benefit of the doubt here and see it anyway. He has set a high standard with his work. But I think the editors of the trailer should take note — George Clooney’s personality sells, and you didn’t use it here.
“I don’t think God’s very interested in me, Father,” George says at the end of the clip.
If that’s true, George, it’s the trailer’s fault.
Posted in Advertising, Celebrities, Entertainment, Humor, Movies, Television
Tagged advertising, celebrities, entertainment, George Clooney, Humor, movie clip, movie theater, movie thriller, movie trailer, Movies, Television, The American movie