Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thursday, 31st July 2008

July 31

Amid all the speculation about who did what to whom, here are some of the positive things that could come out of Rick Nicita’s unexpected departure from CAA.

--Morgan Creek, a self-funded company that has been dead in the water for over a year, could start making some good movies.
--Some talented filmmakers, who have been distressed by the cutbacks among the specialty film suppliers, may find a fresh buyer willing to take risks.

Nicita, who is very much a private person, has been contemplating a change of scene for some time.

Now 62, the repetitious pressures of the agency business have been getting to him.

Friends say he did not want to exchange those pressures for the traumas of corporate life.

Nicita will now be partnered with the combustible Jim Robinson in a company that can fund its own movies (perhaps as many as four a year) without dependence on foreign pre-sales.

Universal distributes its pictures on a first-look basis.

Did CAA push Nicita out?

No responsible player buys that.

On the other hand, agenting is a young man’s business and CAA has lots of hungry young men eager to step up.
Despite CAA’s vaunted “team” system of representation, Nicita’s departure leaves a power vacuum and a feeding frenzy will doubtless commence.

The Tom Cruise situation is especially intriguing.

Two of the three senior CAA agents representing Cruise have departed --

Tori Metzger and now Nicita.

This leaves Kevin Huvane as the last mainstay and Huvane is a man with myriad other responsibilities.

All this occurs at a taut time in Cruise’s career --

the release of “Valkyrie” is still months away.

Cruise’s producing partner, of course, is Nicita’s wife, Paula Wagner who, as president of United Artists, may now find herself competing for projects with her husband.

Nicita is a very thoughtful, cautious man whose idiosyncrasies are vastly dissimilar from those of the brash agents depicted on “Entourage.”

He may fit comfortably into the independent film world -- provided, of course, that he can work amicably with Robinson.

The extroverted Baltimorean scored handsomely with early movies like “Ace Ventura” and “Young Guns,” but has had a rough go recently with “The Good Shepherd” and “Georgia Rule.”

Nicita might turn Robinson’s fortunes around, if he lets him.

(Photo of Rick and Paula by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Which Woman Has The Perfect Body?

A survey in Fabulous magazine reveals some surprises about how we idealize the female form (NSFW).

Though there’s no way to tell if their survey was accurate, the magazine says men in the U.K. find a size 12 to be ideal,

whereas women think a size 8 is the right size to be (the average national body size there is 14).


Iran's president on Tuesday blamed the US and other "big powers" for nuclear proliferation, AIDS and other global ills and accused them of exploiting the UN and other organizations for their own gain

- and the developing world's loss.

But, he said, time was on the poor countries' side.

"The big powers are going down," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told foreign ministers of the Nonaligned Movement meeting in Teheran.
"They have come to the end of their power, and the world is on the verge of entering a new, promising era."

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday, 28th July 2008

New Whitney Houston Song Leaked on Internet


7:36 AM PDT

Whitney Houston says it all in a new track making the rounds online.

"I want you to love me like I never left," the legendary songbird trills in the aptly titled "Like I Never Left."

MIA from the music scene since her private life went on a roller-coaster ride full of substance-abuse problems and a trainwreck marriage to Bobby Brown,

Ms. Houston hasn't released a new tune in approximately forever—or at least since 2003's "One Wish (for Christmas)."

While "Like I Never Left" is technically a love song featuring Akon, the lyrics couldn't be more perfect for her return to recording.

In one verse from the three-minute, 39-second cut, Houston coos, "Yes, your girl is coming back."

Whit is expected to release her new—and much anticipated—album this coming fall.
Welcome back, Whitney! And please stay this time.


Endeavor - Ariel Z. Emanuel

Once upon a time in Hollywood, a band of rebels left a lumbering old talent agency to start a hot little company of their own -- and in a dozen years or so managed to reach the top of the heap.

Twice upon a time, actually.

Just as Michael S. Ovitz and his peers walked away from the William Morris Agency to found Creative Artists Agency more than 30 years ago,

Ariel Z. Emanuel and three associates left International Creative Management in 1995 to found Endeavor.

Creative Artists, under Mr. Ovitz and the people who succeeded him after he left in the mid-'90s, has long been the talent industry's leader, staking its claim as a voracious

(and, some detractors said during the Ovitz years, sometimes thuggish) conglomerate that changed the way talent is bought and sold here.

Along the way, Endeavor became Creative Artists' doppelganger.

With only a third as many agents and a much smaller client list, the junior agency is known for the sort of quick thinking, ferocity and barely bridled ambition that carried Creative Artists to the top.

But Endeavor now has to show that it has staying power, and how it accomplishes that task offers a window onto the shifting landscape of talent brokering in Hollywood.


Sometimes, I wish the founding fathers had included an instruction manual with the Declaration of Independence, like when it came to the pursuit of happiness.

Money is one way to go about it, of course.

And it has generally been true that the rich are happier than the poor.

But something else must be happening to Americans that is affecting their sense of well-being.

Despite the fact that income inequality -- the chasm between rich and poor -- has grown to levels rarely seen outside the third world, happiness inequality in the United States seems to have declined sharply over the past 35 years.

And that is not because everyone is just that much more cheerful.
According to new research by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the happiness gap between blacks and whites has fallen by two-thirds since the early 1970s.

The gender gap (women used to be happier than men) has disappeared.
Most significant, the disparity in happiness within demographic groups has also shrunk:

the unhappiest 25 percent of the population has gotten a lot happier.

The happiest quarter is less cheerful.

WHO READS THE LBN E-LERT? Veteran movie producer Mike Medavoy along with approximately 300,000 other "influencers".


What would happen if you cross-bred J. R. Ewing of "Dallas" and Carl Pope, the head of the Sierra Club?

You'd get T. Boone Pickens.

What would happen if you cross-bred Henry Ford and Yitzhak Rabin?
You'd get Shai Agassi.

And what would happen if you put together T. Boone Pickens, the green billionaire Texas oilman now obsessed with wind power, and Shai Agassi, the Jewish Henry Ford now obsessed with making Israel the world's leader in electric cars?

You'd have the start of an energy revolution.

The only good thing to come from soaring oil prices is that they have spurred innovator/investors, successful in other fields, to move into clean energy with a mad-as-hell, can-do ambition to replace oil with renewable power.

Two of the most interesting of these new clean electron wildcatters are Boone and Shai.

Agassi, age 40, is an Israeli software whiz kid who rose to the senior ranks of the German software giant SAP.

He gave it all up in 2007 to help make Israel a model of how an entire country can get off gasoline and onto electric cars.

He figured no country has a bigger interest in diminishing the value of Middle Eastern oil than Israel.

On a visit to Israel in May, I took a spin in a parking lot on the Tel Aviv beachfront in Agassi's prototype electric car, while his sister watched out for the cops because it is not yet licensed for Israeli roads.

Agassi's plan, backed by Israel's government, is to create a complete electric car "system" that will work much like a mobile-phone service "system," only customers sign up for so many monthly miles, instead of minutes.

Every subscriber will get a car, a battery and access to a national network of recharging outlets all across Israel -- as well as garages that will swap your dead battery for a fresh one whenever needed.

LBN-SEE IT.....Sleepy Meg Ryan.....


***The real reason Katie Couric is still anchoring "CBS Evening News"?

Insiders say network brass are overlooking her sagging, third-place ratings because the talented anchor has a "pay or play" contract.

"The contract is airtight," said one source.
"If [CBS head] Les Moonves wants to get rid of her, he's got to shell out around $40 million.
He's tried to get her to move on, and she was like, 'Fine. I'll leave - where's my money?'

The average American home has 27 power-sucking devices that are always on -- but how much they actually consume, most people don't know.

It could have been a French movie.

Passing acquaintances collide in a moment of transcendent passion.

They look at each other shyly and touch tenderly during their Paris cinq à sept, exchange some existential thoughts under exquisite chandeliers, and -- tant pis -- go their separate ways.

Sarko, back to Carla Bruni.

Obama, forward to Gordon Brown.

A Man and a Man.

All it needed was a lush score and Claude Lelouch.

Even for Sarkozy the American, who loves everything in our culture from Sylvester Stallone to Gloria Gaynor, it was a wild gush over a new Washington crush.

Sarko is right and Barack is left.

One had a Jewish grandfather, the other a Muslim one.

The French president is a frenetic bumper car;

the Illinois senator is, as he said of the king of Jordan's Mercedes 600, "a smooth ride."

But the son of a Hungarian, who picked a lock to break into the French ruling class, embraced a fellow outsider and child of an immigrant who had also busted into the political aristocracy with a foreign-sounding name.


***HBO has opted not to renew racy drama "Tell Me You Love Me" for a second season.

The decision was made almost a year after the sexually explicit series premiered on the pay cable channel.


***Whatever she was feeling, Paula Abdul was sure making a racket outside her gynecologist's office Wednesday.

Though her rep insists Abdul was "laughing and giggling" in a courtyard outside her doctor's office on Crescent Boulevard in LA after an exam, a witness said she was having some sort of meltdown.
Our spy saw Abdul "sobbing on the phone to her friends and clutching papers from her doctor" for two hours.

***Madonna stepped out of a Kabbalah Center in NYC.


Israel's daily newspaper Maariv exercised extremely poor judgment printing Senator Barack Obama's personal and, presumably, private prayer to God that he left in Jerusalem's Western Wall.

I even feel violated by this "betrayal" of confidentiality.

Is nothing sacred any longer?

But the real "sin" is on the head of the Orthodox seminary student who stole the note in the first place and then immorally passed it on.

Regardless of whether this Torah scholar received money for the purloined paper, he deserves to be exposed and expelled for his theft.

He lacks the character normally developed through such soul-searching religious study.


***"Responsibility 911" is an anthology of 56 authors who speak to the role responsibility plays in a free society.

The new book also introduces the principle as a critical component to maintaining freedom.

The book also introduces to what has been called "the most compelling monument project to freedom of the 21st Century"

- the building of the Statue of Responsibility - a 300 foot tall companion to the Statue of Liberty.

A sampling of featured authors includes:

ChrisTopher Reeve, George W. Bush, Arnold Schwarzenegger,

George S. McGovern, Rudy Giuliani, Bishop Desmond Tutu,

Stephen R. Covey, Pope John Paul, Michael Levine,

Tom Peters, Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey among others.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday, 22 July 2008


A federal appeals court on Monday threw out a $550,000 indecency fine against CBS Corp.

for the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show that ended with Janet Jackson's breast-baring "wardrobe malfunction."

The three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Federal Communications Commission "acted arbitrarily and capriciously" in issuing the fine for the fleeting image of nudity.

here is Billboard's take on the same subject :

A federal appeals court today (July 21) threw out a $550,000 indecency fine against CBS Corp.

for the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show that ended with Janet Jackson's breast-baring "wardrobe malfunction."

The three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Federal Communications Commission "acted arbitrarily and capriciously" in issuing the fine for the fleeting image of nudity.

The 90 million people watching the Super Bowl, many of them children, heard Justin Timberlake sing, "Gonna have you naked by the end of this song," as he reached for Jackson's bustier.

The court found that the FCC deviated from its nearly 30-year practice of fining indecent broadcast programming only when it was so "pervasive as to amount to 'shock treatment' for the audience."

"Like any agency, the FCC may change its policies without judicial second-guessing," the court said.

"But it cannot change a well-established course of action without supplying notice of and a reasoned explanation for its policy departure."


"Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies." -Aristotle.

What makes us different is the moral doctrine that Judaism brought to the world --

that every human being is created in the image of God, and that peace is our highest value

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday, 21 July 2008

Choire Got A Grace Park Interview!

Former Gawker editor and lucky bastard Choire Sicha got to interview Battlestar Galactica's Pretty Asian Cyclon Grace Park for today's LA Times.

Lucky bastard.

He opens up with a question about a certain leggy Maxim photo spread.

One second you're on a squeaky-clean Canadian soap, the next moment you're in high heels and panties in a Maxim shoot.

I wasn't like 18, where it was sending off sparks and it was taboo, you know how the American public likes to do that.

The show's publicist one day called and said, "Would you be interested in doing Maxim?"

And I said, "Do I get the cover?"

And she said no.

And I said, "Hell yeah!"

So she broke it down and I was really happy with it.

And that helped me get "Cleaner."

Not that I was dressing like that — but it put a different image in people's heads.

When we know you as someone in an armor bodysuit, it does change the perspective on you.

Just look at media, and how they like to do headlines.

You want to catch people's attention.

Eh, I dunno!

It happened to work.

Some people will go further than others.

Are there points where you've sat down with your professionals and said, "OK, what do I do?

How do I get to where I want to be?"

Not really!

At that point I only had one, if you want to say "people," I only had an agent.

I didn't have anyone in L.A. — I had an agent in Vancouver.

And meanwhile I know people in the States collect a dozen people.

Talking to my castmates, they say, "Oh, my financial manager, publicist, manager, agent" — there are so many. . . . I think I actually follow my gut a little bit more.

If there was a Jim Carrey movie?

For sure I'd want to be in it.

We have our lists. I just haven't hit too many of those [...]

You would think we were, on the coasts, a nation of hedonist atheists.

You know, all those godless gays and Jews in Hollywood.

There's a lot of Jewish people in L.A. and I didn't know that!

I was like, "Jewfro?

What's a Jewfro?"

And half the people were laughing.

I was like, "What are you guys in on?"

What's matzo ball soup?

What's actually in it?

Everybody just knows, right?

I was like, "Is it meat?

Is it flour?"

I just had my first a few months ago.

[Ah, Choire.

Always with the gay Jews.

Gillian Anderson Hands Annoying Interviewer His Ass
So, you're Gillian Anderson, and you're about to reprise your iconic role as Agent Dana Scully for the first time in ten years in The X-Files:

I Want to Believe, and your hi-larious interviewer from Newsweek opens up with these "questions":

"I've got to confess.

I don't know anything about 'The X-Files'

[...] Why is it such a big deal?"

What on earth can you say?

Well, there's this.


You're not going to do this to me, are you?

Tell me you're not going to do this.

Oh come on!

It's been such a long time.

Hire somebody that knows enough that we don't have to explain this again."

Here's the rest of Anderson's primer on how to handle a passive-agressive journo who's trying to act all cool.

I saw the last movie, but I didn't watch all nine seasons.

I mean, nobody did.

Did they?


There are some people that did.

But that's cool.

I love running into people who have no idea what it's about.

Was it hard getting back into character?

It was a little odd.

It was more disconcerting than I anticipated.

I expected it to be a breeze.

But I tried so hard since the series ended to do things as different as possible from the character.

When I was faced with making acting decisions on that character again, my brain started backfiring and internally combusting.

You're a mom now.

Do you travel with all your kids?

All my kids!?

You make it sound like I have a bushel.

You've got two and another one coming.

How far along are you?

About five and a half months.

As I recall.

What else have you been up to lately?

I travel a lot and have bought and sold a lot of houses.

I like doing up houses and getting into the architecture.

I've spent a lot of time doing that in various places in the world.

Like where?

London, California, Canada.

There's another country that I've just added that I'm not going to talk about because it's private.

So that's four continents.

California and Canada are on the same continent.

It doesn't sound so special, then.

Never mind.

Your voice is actually very similar to Ben Affleck's voice.

Has he ever told you that?


Are you sure?

Well, you probably wouldn't be able to tell.

But if you were standing next to Ben, people would say, "Are you brothers?"

Or maybe not standing next to, but talking next to and somebody else was behind a screen.

Can I use that as a pickup line?

You absolutely can.

You have my permission.

A journalist said interviewing you is like wrestling a crocodile.

What does that mean?

I have no idea.

Did you try to bite him?


July 20

Sure, this was a record weekend at the box office, but it was also a surreal one.

The numbers were amazing == a $155 million opening for Batman,

a $250 total for the full menu of movies.

But consider the options confronting filmgoers:

The bleakly portentous Dark Knight vs. the insistently cheery “Mamma Mia.”

What were those Batman fanboys thinking who couldn’t crowd into their superhero’s theaters and ended up at “Mamma Mia?”

“Dancing queens?

What the……?”

And how will these films hold up?

As Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal noted, “Dark Knight goes beyond darkness into Stygian bleakness…..

Will this prove to be more punishment than they signed up for?

’“Mamma Mia’s” $27.6 million opening is strong, especially considering that the movie’s already a hit in English-speaking countries overseas.

The audience is 75% female, most of them 30 and older and it’s amazing that they crowded into the plexes past the avid fanboys.

The big question:

Will that base expand?

Maybe it will, but not to the fanboy crowd.

I decided to see Batman this weekend at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science Theater, which was packed.

This is an older crowd, mostly male.

There was scattered applause at the end of the 2 hours 30 minutes, but some folks outside the theater felt so strongly about the movie they were taking informal polls.

They seemed to indicate strong ‘pros’ and vehement ‘cons’, with few in between.

This much is clear:

Heath Ledger already has become a mythic James Dean figure --

too bad none of the kids have any idea what he looks like.

Christian Bale should also be mythic:

Never has such a wooden actor lucked into such high-profile roles.
While we’re asking questions, could Batman have been vastly more effective if it had been twenty minutes shorter and stripped of its moralistic meanderings?

For that matter, would “Mamma Mia” reach a wider audience if was less feverishly cheerful?

But why ask questions?

Hollywood has been depressed lately and its denizens enjoy nothing more than box office records.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sat, 19 July 2008


— The women of Wisteria Lane may have only a few more years to resolve their assorted problems.

"Desperate Housewives" creator and executive producer Marc Cherry told a meeting of the Television Critics Association on Thursday that he plans to end the ABC series after seven seasons.

The domestic comedy-drama starring Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross and Eva Longoria begins its fifth season this fall.

"I love working with these gals, but the idea of letting anyone else take the show from me kind of makes me sad and sick to my stomach," Cherry said.
"We're going to get out while people still like us."

"Of course," he added, "this could be some clever ruse on my part to get tremendous amounts of money in season eight, but who knows."

Cherry, who took part in a "Desperate" panel discussion, also joined a Q&A session with other top ABC producers

Marc Cherry, from "Desperate Housewives" laughs during the ABC show runner panel at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills Calif. on Thursday, July 17, 2008. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

July 16th, 2008
Lauren Conrad At The Dark Knight Premiere

That's Just COLD!
Kim Kardashian

While Kim Kardashian's ass is prominently on display on the cover of the new Keeping Up With the Kardashians DVD, poor Chyna is the only family member not prominently featured.

They practically cut her off!

Don't they know Khloe is the real star of that show???

"Yeah….I went through my expiramental stage in my 20's where I was loving women up. I actually think it's a right of passage. But there's some great growth and healing for me in dating a man"

- Alanis Morissette, on her previous lesbian dalliances
[Image via Allure.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday, 18 July 2008

July 16

Consider the following:

At a time when the nation’s financial institutions are teetering on the brink of collapse, a major talent guild in Hollywood is threatening a strike.

Is this real or is this science fiction?

Facing a black hole in the economy, the moment has clearly arrived when management and the Screen Actors Guild must sign off on a new contract and the town must try to get back to normal.

Equally important, the mega-companies that own Hollywood along with the talent guilds must figure to how to conduct a productive dialogue so that the traumas of the past year will not be revisited in the future.

The downside is that the guilds will be further radicalized and that meaningful negotiation will be even more incendiary.

Just as the nation’s economy is in turmoil, so Hollywood’s economy, too, has gone through a disastrous period.

Despite the spin, the basic reality of the writers strike is that both sides lost.

Here was a perfect model of the wrong negotiation at the wrong time.

There was a period not that long ago, when labor and management identified key issues and started negotiations a year in advance amid a cone of silence.

There were real talks, not rhetoric.

This year the two sides have been posturing, not negotiating, and the net result is the present stalemate.

The studios are sitting down with SAG this afternoon in an off-the-record session that more reflects the practices of the past.

The obvious question is this:

Will the companies throw a bone to SAG to facilitate a compromise?

Or at the very least, by agreeing to submit the deal to SAG membership, the guild could realize the retroactivity clauses offered by management (that deadline is August 15).

At stake is a potential end to the present de facto strike.

Having faced earlier disruption, the TV business is regaining its momentum while the feature business still struggles.

Unemployment is rife and, given the dire state of the economy, Hollywood faces stressful times.

Hollywood’s success traditionally has depended on a unique partnership between the numbers guys and the talent guys.

That sense of collaboration must be restored.

For that to happen, both sides must “get real” at the bargaining table this week.

Judging by today's terse announcement, it is clear that this is not happening.

Gisele Bundchen - V Magazine (July/August 2008)

Katy Perry Starts Fourth Week Atop Hot 100

July 17, 2008 ,

10:35 AM ET

Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl" is further cementing itself as one of the biggest songs of the summer, entering a fourth week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The next closest challengers remain Rihanna's "Take a Bow" and Lil Wayne's "Lollipop," which hold at No. 2 and 3, respectively.Chris Brown's "Forever" jumps 6-4 and is the top digital gainer after selling 87,000 downloads.

Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love" is down 4-5,

while Natasha Bedingfield's "Pocketful of Sunshine" climbs 7-6 and

Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" slides 5-7.

Lil Wayne's "A Milli" rises 11-8, while Miley Cyrus' "7 Things" jumps 10-9, switching places with Plies' "Bust It Baby Pt. 2" featuring Ne-Yo.

Jesse McCartney's "Leavin'" is the top airplay gainer and enjoys a 13-11 shift;

the track also moves 2-1 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart, the artist's first chart-topper there.

The Hot 100's top debut is Toby Keith's "She Never Cried in Front of Me" at No. 72, thanks to early airplay and digital sales of 24,000 copies.

The song also jumps 34-26 on Hot Country Songs, where Blake Shelton's "Home" is No. 1 for a second week.
Keyshia Cole's "Heaven Sent" is No. 1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for a fifth week.

The chart's top new entry comes from T-Pain's "Can't Believe It" featuring Lil Wayne at No. 71.

Billboard's rock charts remain unchanged at the top for an eleventh week, with Weezer's "Pork and Beans" at No. 1 on Modern Rock and Disturbed's "Inside the Fire" leading Mainstream Rock.

On the latter tally, Hinder has the top debut at No. 36 with "Use Me."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday, 17th July 2008

Helen Mirren the bikini queen reigns supreme at 63

Last updated at 4:03 PM

on 16th July 2008

Most women only a few days away from their 63rd birthday would be steering well clear of the beach.

And if they did venture there, it would be in the most modest of concealing attire.

Dame Helen Mirren, however, is happy to flaunt her enviable curves and flat stomach in a bikini.

How does she do it?

Dame Helen Mirren looked sensational while holidaying in Puglia, Italy this week

It seems hard to believe that this is the same actress whose portrayal of the Queen won her an Oscar.

Yet this was no retouched studio shot, with the only work to transform her toned body having been carried out during gruelling hours in the gym.

Dame Helen is holidaying in Puglia, on the southern tip of Italy, with her film director husband Taylor Hackford, 63. Bikini queen: The actress flaunted her enviable curves

She bought a castle in the neighbourhood to celebrate her 2007 Academy Award for Best Actress.

She bought the 500-year-old building and grounds near Lecce for around £680,000 and immediately drew up big plans for the estate with refurbishment work starting last summer.

The property was uninhabitable, with tumbledown walls and a driveway that was little more than a dirt track.
When the couple first visited the nearby village of Tiggiano to greet locals and - once they heard - civic officials, the welcome was so warm that a baker even made her a cake decorated with a scene from The Queen.

Her new Italian home is surrounded by high fortified walls and has a mature vineyard within its grounds.

The Mediterranean can be seen half a mile away.

Dame Helen also owns an enormous home in California and a property by the Thames in Wapping, East London.

Known for her diverse acting ability, Mirren has adapted to many styles.

From her role as Queen Elizabeth II to a racy housewife in Calendar Girls and a hard-nosed detective in Prime Suspect

Sultry: Helen Mirren poses for a sexy look in 1974, aged 29, (right) and still looks just as good aged 41 in 1986 (left)

American singer Natalie Cole poses during a photocall at the 57th International Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, Saturday, May 22, 2004.

Cole has been diagnosed with hepatitis C, her publicist said in a statement Wednesday July 16, 2008.

The statement said the disease was revealed during a routine examination and was likely caused by her drug use years ago.

(AP Photo/Laurent Rebours, FILE)

Grammy-winning singer Natalie Cole has been diagnosed with hepatitis C, her publicist said in a statement Wednesday.

Hepatitis C is a liver disease spread through contact with infected blood.

The statement said the disease was revealed during a routine examination and was likely caused by her drug use years ago.

"I've been so fortunate to have learned so much from my past experiences," said Cole.

"I am embraced by the love and support of my family and friends;

I am committed to my belief in myself and in my abiding faith to meet this challenge with a heartfelt optimism and determination.

This is how I intend to deal with this current challenge in my life."

Her physician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Dr. Graham Woolf, said Cole has had a "terrific response to her medication and is now virus negative."

"This gives her an increased chance of cure," he said.

Woolf said Cole is recovering from side effects of the medicine she's taking, including fatigue, muscle aches and dehydration.

Cole, 58, the daughter of jazz legend Nat King Cole, has sold millions of records over her long career.

She is due to release "Still Unforgettable," the follow-up to 1991's Grammy-winning, multi-platinum CD "Unforgettable ... With Love," on which she remade some of her father's classics, in September.
July 15, 2008

Money makes the world go round and right now Hollywood is all about following the money.
Once upon a time the studios financed their own movies, and gradually as production and marketing costs kept rising, began looking for partners and financing to help them reduce risk.
While Paramount spun the news yesterday that they walked away from a 450-million Deutche Bank slate financing deal, which would have funded 25 % of each film's budget capped at $30 million per picture, the chill was felt around Hollywood.

What impact would this have on the elusive Ryan Kavanaugh of Relativity Media, who has also gotten funding from Deutsche Bank, which was withdrawing from the film business?
Kavanaugh co-finances big-budget movies all over town, and also has his own deal to produce movies for MGM release.

No one should be surprised that banks are starting to demand tougher terms on these deals, which tended to favor the studios.
Bigger forces are at work: money is drying up.
And debt is more expensive.
"At the end of the day, someone has to pay," said one company chief.

The credit crunch will only put more pressure on studios like Paramount to be more risk averse (like morphing Vantage into a more genre-oriented label).
"You'll see more big budget sequels and remakes," says one observer.

Meanwhile the Weinsteins are shuffling their deck chairs to stay ahead of the financial curve:
they just announced a showy Showtime pay-TV deal for which they must deliver 95 movies.
The question is, did they pay upfront to get that deal?
Yes, they put down some sort of guarantee that they would deliver all the pics, but nothing anywhere near the fantastic $100-million figure that has been reported.
I'm hearing it was way less than half that figure.
The Weinsteins needed the Showtime deal in order to seal the additional financing they need.
Locking in a pay deal was essential to going forward.
When they extricate themselves from MGM distribution at year's end, they might really be in business.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wed, 16 July 2008

Gisele Bundchen refuses to pose topless, but she went cheekless for a new spread in the fall issue of V Magazine, in a photospread shot by Mario Testino back in April.

In her interview, the Brazilian speaks about her decade-long modeling career, as well as her outlook on fashion, the paparazzi and the environment.

She doesn't talk about boyfriend Tom Brady.

On her skin-baring images: "Only Mario [Testino] could make me take these pictures....

People are going to say my butt is showing too much in these but this is V Magazine!
If you're going to do something like that, you do it for V."

On 15-year-old Miley Cyrus Vanity Fair wearing just a sheet and being on every news show:

Can you believe this is news?

It's ridiculous.

And the politicians aren't going to create any laws about this [kind of media saturation].

They're very happy with it.

They can go around doing what they want and no one cares because we're more concerned about some 15-year-old girl holding a sheet in a picture.

No one cares about what [the politicians are] screwing up, or how much money is being lost.

On what she's more compassionate about:

"The destruction of our planet."

On her role in the fashion world:

"I work in fashion but I'm not really a fashion person.

I don't follow trends.

I couldn't tell you which designer made that shoe or that bag.

I like jeans."
As a new generation of fans discover Abba thanks to the phenomenal success of the hit film Mamma Mia, one of the foursome has revealed he is suffering from memory loss.

Bjorn Ulvaeus, who was married to his blonde co-star Agnetha Faltskog at the height of their fame, cannot even remember the highlights of Abba's fame.

The Swedish group rocketed into the British pop charts in 1974 when they won the Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton with their song Waterloo - a triumph Ulvaeus says he can no longer recall.

Bjorn : 'It is like I was not even there,' the 58-year-old father of four said.

'People ask me if I am going to write my memoirs.
But even if I wanted to, I would not be able.

I have extremely few memories.'

Ulvaeus composed the music for the Mamma Mia! stage musical with Abba co-star Benny Andersson and makes a brief uncredited appearance as a Greek god in the film,

which stars Oscar winner Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth.

Written by Snarkerati
Eva Mendes Nude Photoshoot for Jack Magazine

Alyssa Milano At The “33 Club Party” In New York

New ‘Dark Knight’ Poster

Watermelons Shaped After Beyonce’s BoobsPublished by Carolina
on July 14th, 2008

Jay-Z and wife Beyonce were spotted at Club Indochine this weekend in Zurich, Switzerland following Jay’s performance.

Allegedly, he ordered watermelons up to his suite in Nigeria where he also performed this weekend.

A simply request, except he wanted them in the shape of Beyonce’s breasts:

It seems that Jay-Z can’t get over his ‘bootylicious’ wife Beyonce Knowles, as the rapper requested for a watermelon carved in shape of Beyonce’s bust.

The 38-year-old star, made the request while performing at the Africa Rising gig in Nigeria.

The fruit was displayed in his 2,500 pounds-a-night hotel suite.

“One giant watermelon was split in two and ornately carved into a mould of Beyonce’s boobs.

Two cherries were used as nipples,”

Mirror quoted a source as saying.

Meanwhile, the rapper recently threw a dinner party in Paris to treat the entourage that helped him make his Glastonbury gig last month so “historic”.

Sources have revealed that the singer spent more than 10,000 dollars for the dinner at posh eaterie L”Avenue near the Champs-Elysees.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Nicole Scherzinger
Singer Nicole Scherzinger backstage at Conde Nast Media Group presents Movies Rock at the Kodak Theater


She is not looking well!

These are the most recent pics of Shirley MacLaine, taken this past weekend in Los Angeles.

The photo agency that took this pic tells us that she was "twitching a lot."

So sad.

We hope it's nothing serious!

July 13
Shockwaves at the Box Office

With “The Dark Knight” looming on the horizon, this is the moment of summer when all the box office gurus check in with their frantic forecasts.

So far the prognosticators have had a rough time.

Many were bearish about the summer, given the absence of any Spidermen or Harry Potters and the fact that the pirates finally had fled the bloody Caribbean.

Well, they were wrong. Summer ’08 thus far has run parallel to the record $4.2 billion summer of ’07, though that may wobble because July will be Potterless (Dark Knight is the best hope to compensate).

Many of the other forecasts also have turned out to be skewed.

Some insiders thought Eddie Murphy’s “Meet Dave” might serve as effective counter-programming against “Hellboy II” or “Hancock

(Variety’s own critic wrongly predicted mid-range results) but Eddie bombed -- maybe he was right in stiffing his own premier last week.

(“Hellboy II” had a $35.9M weekend while “Hancock” held well at $33M.

Dave registered $5.3M)Going back a few weeks, forecasters saw big results for "Speed Racer" and were dubious about Robert Downey Jr. as an action star.

"Iron Man" has now reached $313.4 million and "Speed Racer" can’t budge past $45 million in the U.S.

Remember the presumed shootout bewteen "Get Smart" and "Love Guru"?

It fizzled: "Get Smart" is holding well at $111.5 million while "Love Guru" has just oozed past $30 million.

The big face-off arrives next weekend when the summer’s darkest movie, appropriately called "The Dark Knight", opens against the summer’s most dopily cheerful, "Mamma Mia".

If you believe the Warner Bros. publicity machine, every theater in the U.S. already is sold out for the Batman epic through the end of summer.

The fanboys are double-dosing their Ritalin in fervid anticipation, and the critics are assuring us that this isn’t just a superhero story, it’s a morality tale.

"Mamma Mia" has no such aspirations, but its box office prospects are hard to predict.

On the downside, says Pam McClintock, Variety’s box office guru, it should do "Hairspray" business -- a $27 million opening in the U.S. and perhaps $118 million ultimatelyBut "Mamma Mia" also has a few special things going for it.

It’s the ultimate chick flick. Further the stage show has had mythic success around the world, and the movie is already doing brisk business in a few foreign openings.

The big city critics will be orgasmic over the sight of Meryl Streep camping it up.
It’s hard to remember a moment when two such contrasting movies opened against one another.
I can visualize the two separate audiences pouring out of their respective plexes -- giddy chicks chatting it up in one stream, somber teens in the other, already text messaging their buddies about the meaning of life.

There are still several important openings later in the summer, so the surprises will doubtless continue.

That’s what keeps the box office gamesmanship so intriguing.
And, lets face it:
In this economy when all the charts keep going down, it’s a relief that at least the movie theaters are resisting foreclosure.

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

Blair returns as Hellboy’s hottie in ‘Hellboy II: The Golden Army’

By Brian Frederick

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today)

7/13/08 –

“The whole story of ‘Hellboy II’ really hinges on what was created in the underworld,” says Universal Pictures ‘Hellboy II: The Golden Army’ star Selma Blair.

“I think the most tenacious of the monsters are the littlest ones.”

“Tthe Tooth Fairies,” says Blair.

“They’re cute. They’re really, really cute.

Guillermo outdid himself on the cuteness scale with the tooth fairy, but they’re nasty little things.”

“After the first Hellboy, I loved the movie, but my life didn’t change that much with work,” says Blair.

“We all stayed the way we were as our characters, as this misfit group of underground actors.”

“It’s amazing to be back with Guillermo” says Blair.

“I think this movie outdoes the first one.

The scope of it is huge, to all be away together in Budapest for six months.

Guillermo has accomplished so much, especially with ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’, that it’s given him a little more leeway to use this awesome mind he has.”

‘Hellboy 2’ director Guillermo del Toro made changes to Blair’s character in the sequel.

“It was important to Guillermo that my character showed that she had matured,” says Blair.

“He didn’t want any of the Sad Sack of Liz to keep coming forward. Guillermo kept having to remind me,

‘Stop crying’, ‘She’s stronger’, ‘She doesn’t have to cry in this scene’, ‘Stop with your tears’, ‘She’s strong’.”

“I kept wanting to go back to the Liz that I knew because that was what was created so indelibly in my heart,” says Blair.

“I thought that I knew her and it would be a breeze.

Liz this time was much more of a straightforward character, a much more functioning woman despite the fact she has such a strange power.

I was pleased to see her a lot more engaged in life.”

Blair’s character has come to embrace the pyro-kinetic energy that threatens anyone who comes near her.

“Petty things are really amplified when you have superpowers,” says Blair.
“When Hellboy and Liz have a row, it’s not just, ‘Okay, I’m going for a walk, see you later.

It’s more like, ‘I’m going to blow up this damn kitchen and will see you later.’

I find it adorable.”

“I loved fairy tales when I was a child,” says Blair.

“I loved Aesop’s, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Matchstick Girl.

I love the ones that end badly. I still have such a fascination with that and with death.

I see the beauty in it.

I think decay can look quite gorgeous.”

In ‘Hellboy 2’, Ron Perlman, Selma Blair and fellow agent Doug Jones are sent to investigate an attack at an auction house by thousands of ravenous tooth fairies.

The duo of Hellboy and Liz are part of a team of agents belonging to the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Development (B.P.R.D.).

Founded to expose occults uncovered during operations in Nazi Germany, today the organization operates as a private association funded by government agencies for defense against paranormal events.

Guillermo del Toro has described Selma Blair as “one of today’s most versatile actors.”

Selma Blair attracted his attention for her performance in ‘Cruel Intentions.’

A Michigan native and graduate of the University of Michigan, Blair moved to New York City in the early 90s to be a photographer.

Acting lessons at Stella Adler’s Conservatory of Acting led to her breakthrough scene, a spit-swapping kiss with Sarah Michele Gellar in ‘Cruel Intentions’.

That kiss may go down as one of the hottest kisses in Hollywood film.

‘Hellboy II: The Golden Army’

Running Time: 1 hr. 50 min.

Release Date: July 11, 2008 (USA)

Rated P-G 13: for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and some action

Distributor: Universal Studios