Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Team Work

You know, since the Beckhams moved into town I've been pretty much amped on all things Posh and Becks (it's damn near Beckham is the new Blog around here) ... which I'm sure will eventually slow down at some point but prolly not for some time yet. David Beckham has begun his training sessions with his new team, the LA Galaxy, and a whole slew of photos have come out of Becks in all sorts of various poses and positions. Now, we have seen pictures of Becks in different compromising positions while training with his former soccer teams before but there is something extra special about the thought that he is engaging in these activities much closer to home. With only 4 days left until his debut game with the LA Galaxy, Becks doesn't have much time to get acquainted with his new team mates so it's a good idea he's getting down to work ... not that he's letting his soccer career get in the way of his acclimation of LA culture, that is:

Photo credit: Splash News

Becks made another quick coffee stop on his way to his training session yesterday afternoon and then afterwards he picked up Victoria on their way to an event at CAA. They rounded out the day with a late dinner at Little Door. [Source]

And while all of that is well and good, I am really more interested in the pics of Becks doing his thing on the practice soccer field:

Photo credit: Splash News

Fancy ball-handling and lounging around notwithstanding, Becks sort of eased his way into his first training day without trying to overexert himself. Yep, he's turning into a bona fide Los Angelino pretty successfully I would say. [Source]

But I must confess ... I do love the stretching:

Photo credit: Splash News

If the LA Galaxy is looking for a stretcher, they can give me a call. I'm sure I could be persuaded to lend a helping hand. So now that all this initial training stuff is out of the way I guess the team can get down to work and really prepare for their game this Saturday. REMEMBER, if you would like a chance to win a ticket to attend this Saturday's LA Galaxy game (David Beckham's first with the team) with me then you only have until tomorrow to submit your entry. Click HERE for the deets. [Source]

BOO! There are reports that all of this "light training" is due to Becks's aggravated ankle injury that may bench him in Saturday's game :(

One last bit of Beckhamness, NBC aired the much talked-about Victoria Beckham 1-hour special (which was initially supposed to be a 6-episode series) entitled Coming to America last night and I made sure I tuned in to check it out. I've gotta admit ... I was pretty impressed by what I saw from Ms. Victoria Beckham. I was very surprised to see so much personality come out of her little body ... I almost forgot that she was a robot altogether. But, while I enjoyed the 1-hour special there are many very vocal US critics who didn't really take to Victoria's way of introducing herself and her family to the good ol' U S of A:

Victoria Beckham has tried to win over America with her charm, wit and fashion sense, and she's not ashamed to use her most powerful commodity – her marriage. Following up their sexually charged photoshoot for W magazine and detailed account of their relationship, she allowed cameras from her fly-on-the-wall documentary, to again capture intimate moments with her husband David ... Still, the strategy has faltered, if the response from critics is any indication. Victoria Beckham: Coming to America was universally panned - with reviewers comparing the blow-by-blow account of her life to watching mould growing on cheese. One of the worst savagings came from the respected New York Post, which described the show as "an orgy of self-indulgence." Linda Stasi wrote: "NBC should get down on its knees and give a giant thanks that soccer star David Beckham was called back to Europe before it could finish filming his relentlessly self-promoting wife's reality series. "If this were not a one-shot deal and people were exposed to her vapid, condescending behaviour on a weekly basis....she would be run out on a rail. It is an orgy of self-indulgence so out of whack with reality that you will sit there slack-jawed at the gall of these people who think we are that stupid." Other US commentators have described Mrs Beckham as "affecting the sullen grimace of a cartoon rodent" while American websites have been inundated with comments complaining "enough already - we are sick of them." The backlash against Brand Beckham will come as a blow to Posh Spice, who has spoken with enthusiasm of embracing American culture and bringing up her three children there. With her husband David Beckham hailed the "soccer saviour" with his £128 million move to LA Galaxy and the reformed Spice Girls set to tour worldwide, Mrs Beckham was hoping to cash in by launching her own TV career. A proposed six-part TV series with NBC was chopped to a one-off documentary called Victoria Beckham: Coming to America. But if reviews of the show are anything to go by, her TV career will be short-lived despite her move to Hollywood last week. The influential New York Times compared the programme to a website called cheddarvision.tv, where a webcam is focused on a truckle of West Country cheddar round-the-clock so cheese fans can watch the mould grow. Reviewer Alessandra Stanley said: "Watching Victoria Beckham: Coming to America is a little like that site - although the cheddar probably has an ounce or two on Mrs Beckham, who is also famous for being thin but with very large breasts. The Beckhams market their marriage as the core of their brand yet Mrs Beckham is oddly unsensual on television. She somehow takes the sin out of synergy. These kinds of reality shows rely on a fish-out-of-water conceit but in Beverly Hills she is a fish-in-Evian, one rich, blonde, spray tanned wife-of among many. If she can retain viewers past the first commercial break...there is no such thing as celebrity ditz-fatigue." Gail Pennington, of the St Louis Post-Dispatch, wrote: "To the Brits they are Posh and Becks. To most Americans they are - who?" OUCH! I suppose I can understand the position that the New York Times, the LA Times and the St Louis Post-Dispatch must take when reviewing a show like this but I'm actually surprised the New York Post was so scathing. I'm sure the Beckhams will become a regular feature in their Page Six column. But, for me, none of that is really important. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Victoria Beckham has so much personality -- complete with a catch phrase! I love how everything is Major! (or Maja! as Victoria says it). When I think back to her Posh Spice early days she was never the one to take center stage ... now that she's married to the hotness that is David Beckham, she seems to have come out of her shell a bit ... something I wasn't aware of before she came to America. She really is funny in a ridiculous sort of way. You can tell that she was obviously trying to take the piss out of her fame by going over-the-top with everything ... tho, I suppose it's possible that she really is that vapid and overindulgent -- which of course makes her a perfect fit for LA. After all, she does have the required shoe collection and comes complete with a main gay and everything. Altho her very prominent breast plate still frightens me a bit, I have to admit that I was very charmed by her on the show. It's wise that NBC decided not to stretch out the show any longer than one episode ... I can see how it could've turned into GROSS overkill very quickly. Now that she's all American, I think it's time to stop referring to her as Posh or Victoria ... I think Vicki B. is much more appropriate. [Source, Source]

Alright ... enough of those two for now ... let's move on. Hairspray had its final premiere in NYC last night, fittingly bringing the party back to Broadway where Hairspray: The Musical got its start (tho Pink reader Michelle informs me that the real final premiere will be held in Baltimore, MD tomorrow -- where the film is set). Here are a few pics from the red carpet last night:

Photo credit: Splash News

Everyone was sufficiently primped, powdered and botoxed for the big to-do. The movie opens on Friday and I'm actually anxious to see it again. Mike and I got to see it in June and since then I have been listening to the soundtrack on my iPod. He loved it much more than I did the first time around so I think I'm gonna have to check it out again now that I'm more familiar with the songs from the show. [Source]

A Suri-less Katie Holmes was the surprise guest at the NYC premiere of Hairspray last night (and now we know why she left Tom Cruise back in Germany) and showed up lookin' not so bad in her cute little black dress ... a dress that was so tight around her midsection that it has sparked a few questions:

Photo credit: INFdaily

I really hope that the tiny little stomach protrusion is the result of a last minute jelly donut and not the beginnings of another Tom Cruise baby sham. Honestly, I think Katie looks great in these pictures ... I hated her new haircut before but it really looks nice with this outfit. Good for her for taking some time away from playing wife to Tom and mommy to Suri so that she can actually go out in public alone. [Source, Source]

Getting back to Hairspray star Zac Efron for one quick minute, Pink reader Meagan and her friends ran into Zac and other members of the Hairspray cast when they made an appearance at Kitson here in LA earlier this week. Meagan was actually there when Zac bought his new (fug) hat and shares her pics and personal account of her encounter:

Meagan writes: We were too late to get autographs but we did manage to catch snaps of Zac coming out the front of the store. And about 30 minutes later we saw a crowd in front of Kitson Men. So we wander over to see what’s going on. Turns out Zac is shopping in the store -- with that hat that you loved so much. As he was leaving his assistant comes out, guns blazing, yelling at everyone to back up. Some girl lied about it being her birthday so they could get a picture with him. I just snapped as fast as I could ... He wears a lot of make up...foundation, powder and all. Otherwise, just as pretty in person as in pictures! Hahahaha! Love it. Okay ... now honestly, who here is surprised to hear that Zac Efron cakes on the make-up and foundation? See, a man who bronzes is a man who knows foundation. [thanks Meagan]

Lindsay Lohan hasn't just been spending her newly acquired free time partying at nightclubs since her rehab treatment completion ... no sir ... she has actually been spending time working towards remaining clean and sober by staying true to her AA regiment. Here are pics of Lindsay proudly showing off her AA bracelet and sobriety chip as she made her way into an AA meeting earlier this week:

I am confident that Lindsay is really working hard at staying clean and healthy. I have to believe that her recent 45-day stint in rehab has at least taught her a few lessons about battling her addictions. As always, I'm pulling for her to keep it up. You will also note that in these pictures Lindsay is no longer carrying around her new iPhone and has gone back to using her BlackBerry. Honestly, I can identify ... the iPhone is cool as hell but simply cannot replace my trusty BlackBerry. [Source]

Checkin' in with Kiefer Sutherland for a quick second, here are pictures of Kiefer enjoying (?) a quiet lunch all by his lonesome in the West Village of NYC yesterday afternoon:

Photo credit: INFdaily

Yeah, the pics aren't all that sexy but Kiefer is so there you have it. [Source]

Also enjoying a meal by himself (this time here in LA) was Val Kilmer who was snapped at Rainbow on Sunset Blvd earlier this week:

Photo credit: Celebrity Babylon

Unfortch there ain't nothing sexy about any of this ... at all ... period. [Source]

Speaking of the unsexy, Radar managed to score the first in-prison interview with former boy band svengali Lou Pearlman. Honestly, I bet poor Lou would jump at the chance to give an interview to anyone who could be bothered to make the trip to the prison to talk with him:

Jail is just a bump in the road, says a locked up Lou "Big Poppa" Pearlman, creator of the Backstreet Boys, N Sync, and—if allegations against him are true -- a massive Ponzi scheme that defrauded banks and investors out of a half a billion dollars. "This is just one of those hurdles in life that you have to get past," Pearlman told Radar during a visit at the Orange County Jail in Orlando, Florida, his first interview since he fled the country in late January. Clad in a blue jumpsuit and speaking via video conference alongside accused drug dealers, wife beaters, and thieves, he added, "I'm planning on this chapter ending relatively soon." Pearlman was initially skittish, declining to speak specifically about anything having to do with the federal bank fraud charges and scores of lawsuits that could leave him broke or jailed for the rest of his life. But, true to form for the proud pop of bubblegum boy bands, he put on a rosy grin and tried to accentuate the positive ... he has used his time in jail to prepare his court case (no date is set) and slim down, he says. "I've definitely been dieting—I'm on a low fat diet, low sugar," he said, adding that he does 100 to 200 sit-ups a day. "It's only been a few weeks. In another couple of weeks I might be able to weigh myself, figure out where I am. But I feel a lot healthier. My pants feel looser." Yeah, I'm sure the other prison inmates really appreciate that his pants are getting looser by the day. And suddenly, I'm sorry to have that image in my head. Ugh. Lou Pearlman has always come across as a very smarmy person and I am not surprised in the least that he is finally being locked up in prison. I would suggest that he take every interview that comes his way ... while he still can. He is mere moments from fading away into obscurity forever. [Source]

Here is the latest from the Chicago, IL set of The Dark Knight. Video footage managed to catch a great shot of Heath Ledger all dolled up in his Joker costume:

Outside of that close-up photo of the Joker that showed up on the viral website ibelieveinharveydenttoo.com a couple of months ago, this is the clearest look of the Joker that we've seen. Remember, there is a high probability that the first teaser trailer for The Dark Knight will accompany showings of The Simpsons movie when it opens next weekend so plan accordingly. [Source]

Here are a few kinda sorta scary pictures from Hilary Duff's onstage performance at PopStarz at The Factory last Friday night here in LA:

I don't know what the hell she is wearing but at least she is trying to work it. You know, I've always wondered what sort of event was appropriate for wearing latex pants and I guess now I know. The fashion homage to the 80's was a nice try but I don't think that Hilary really needs to try so hard. [Source]

I never thought I'd see the day but Hilary Duff is on the cover and in the pages of the new issue of Maxim magazine ... and even more surprising, the magazine let her look very classy and yet still very sexy:

Maxim magazine isn't usually known for its restraint but they have really done a great job with these pics of Hilary. She looks amazing ... and not one bit of latex is involved. [Source]

And finally, the promo machine for The Simpsons movie may have taken things a bit too far with its latest stunt. While the real life 7-Elevens turned Kwik-E-Marts was a stroke of genius, I don't know that mocking a pagan fertility symbol in the fields of Great Britain will go very far to inspire folks to come out and see the movie when it opens next week:

PAGANS have pledged to perform "rain magic" to wash away cartoon character Homer Simpson who was painted next to their famous fertility symbol - the Cerne Abbas giant. The 17th century chalk outline of the naked, sexually aroused, club-wielding giant is believed by many to be a symbol of ancient spirituality. Many couples also believe the 180ft giant, which is carved in the hillside above Cerne Abbas, Dorset, is an aid to fertility. A giant 180ft Homer Simpson brandishing a doughnut was painted next to the well-endowed figure today in a publicity stunt to promote The Simpsons Movie released later this month. It has been painted with water-based biodegradable paint which will wash away as soon as it rains. Ann Bryn-Evans, joint Wessex district manager for The Pagan Federation, said: "It's very disrespectful and not at all aesthetically pleasing. We were hoping for some dry weather but I think I have changed my mind. Well be doing some rain magic to bring the rain and wash it away." She added: "I'm amazed they got permission to do something so ridiculous. It's an area of scientific interest." She also expressed fears that the painting of Homer, from the animated television series The Simpsons, would cause a mess as it washed away. You know, on second thought, I don't really know what the big deal is. Pagans are among the most accepting people around and I can't believe that very many of them find the Homer sketch disrespectful at all. Now, If they had drawn Homer throwing that donut on the erect phallas then I could see how that could be interpreted as disrespectful -- but even then, it's all in good fun. I think it's great that Homer is actually bringing this ancient pagan symbol some attention -- I had no idea it existed before now. I really think this isn't a bad thing at all ... it's fun. Let's leave the stuffiness to other more organized religions. [Source, thanks Polina]

Les News:
Not much to report on the home front. I spent all of yesterday here at home taking care of a few housekeeping things. I did book my plane ticket home to Detroit for Zakiya's 2nd birthday party in a couple of weeks. It'll be amazing to be home with my folks and friends. Life, as y'all know, has been a bit crazy these past couple of weeks ... it'll be great to get grounded back home in Detroit.

So yeah ... I guess that is all for now. I'm out.