Tuesday, December 18, 2007

There's Snow Place Like Home

Baby, it's cold outside ... like, for reals, y'all. Sarah and I left sunny and pleasant LA yesterday afternoon (where the temps were in the 60s) and arrived home in Detroit just after midnight Eastern Time to piles of snow and temps in the teens. OY! Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home ... despite the freeziness of the weather outside, it's great to be back in The D. Let's get to it.

My girl, Michelle Trachtenberg, has reported for duty in Santa Monica, CA on the set of the new Zac Efron movie Seventeen ... which means that the movie's stock has gone up considerably and it now stands a pretty good chance of getting seen by me. Here are a couple pics of Michelle and Zac on set:

Photo credit: JFXonline

I am very glad that Michelle has signed on for this role. The world pretty much knows and loves her as Dawn on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (well, actually ... Buffy fans tend to loathe the Dawn character ... but it is a loathing spawned from intense lurve, I can assure you) and she has appeared in a few indie movies here and there but I have high hopes that this movie will thrust her into the spotlight that she deserves. Zac's starring role will ensure that folks will venture out to see the film ... which means that they'll also get to see my girl in action. Woot!! [Source]

My other girl, Kirstin Cavallari, might also have a new project in the works that will bring her back into the public consciousness once again. You may recall that Kristin rose to fame on the hit MTV show Laguna Beach: The Real OC a few years ago but grew tired of living with reality TV cameras and opted out of appearing on any further MTV reality-type shows in lieu of a film career. Well, apparently, the film career didn't really take off like she hoped and, according to E! online, those offers from MTV might actually sound appealing once again ... better yet, she might score a role on a more substantial TV sitcom as well. Here are pics of Kirstin and friends doing some shopping at The Grove in LA yesterday afternoon:

Photo credit: Splash News

Sources tell me that Kristin Cavallari—you know, the OG Laguna Beach girl—might be coming back to the small screen again. (She had a guest spot on CBS' Cane a couple of months ago, as I'm sure you know.) Miss Cavallari was spotted entering the NBC Universal building today for a casting meeting for Lipstick Jungle (the new dramedy starring Lindsay Price, Brooke Shields and Kim Raver). But wait, it gets better. According to inside sources close to The Hills, the show's producers are looking into the possibility of bringing Kristin onto their series to reunite with Lauren ... Not surprisingly, according to the same insiders, Lauren is less than thrilled with the idea of Kristin coming onto her show, possibly due to their previous love triangle with Stephen Colletti. But as we've seen from Heidi and Lauren this season, that sort of tension can also make for very good TV. (Sad, but true.) As for whether Kristin would agree to hit The Hills, we shouldn't forget that when Laguna Beach ended, she said she was leaving reality TV behind in order to focus on her acting career. But with The Hills' newfound über-audience and über-presence in the media, I'm thinking this show may be well worth her time. Generally, this is great news. I have long believed that poor KC's talents have been wasted over the past few years as she languished out of sight and out of mind of the pop culture consciousness (even despite this reported appearance on Cane that no one under 50 prolly watches). Obvs, I would love for her to score a part in Lipstick Jungle ... but I dunno how I feel about a return to MTV on The Hills. Clearly, she'd be set up as another foil to LC since I find it very hard to believe that they'd be chums. I'd hate for Kristin to get cast as a Heidi 2.0 ... but the adversarial nature of Kristin and LC's relationship is a fun one. Personally, I'd just love to see Kristin on TV again ... in any capacity. She is so fun ... I'm keepin' my fingers crossed. [Source]

Ashlee Simpson has become the focal point of another story involving Fall Out Boy and a rumored riff growing betwixt bassist Pete Wentz (Ashlee's paramour) and the rest of the band. This time, a report in the New York Daily News (referring to a report in OK! magazine) from last week asserts that the Fall Out Boys blame Ashlee (and the public's dislike of her) for the fact that they recieved no Grammy nominations this year. In retaliation, FOB guitarist Joe Trohman has posted a message on the band's official blog to discount the anti-Ashlee report and to voice his personal, general disgust ... which is pretty telling since Joe is prolly the most quiet member of the group. Here are a couple pics of Ashl33n out for a stroll in snowy NYC last night, seemingly unphased by all the gossy drama:

Photo credit: Splash News

Read THIS. I usually don't respond to this, but this just irked me slightly. Know that first off, this is what we like to call complete tabloid bullshit. We don't have any "pals" that gossip to the tabloids over our business. Those kind of folk are called douchebags, and we don't fraternize with douchebags. We also don't blame a certain someone for our lack of a Grammy nod. That's absolutely fucking absurd. We might be irrational, chemically imbalanced babies, but our discontent is only directed at those who we feel slighted us to a degree. And at the same time, we're just over it. We don't need to be validated by a piece of metal. Don't believe the gossip columns out there. This "poisonous" person that was mentioned is nothing short of awesome, and we fully back her. Everything in Camp FOB is all good. It seems clear that FOB are squarely on Team Ashlee. It's nice to know that we, as a people, seem to have evolved past the time when girlfriends become the cause of the break-ups of bands. [Source, Source]

In other disputed reports news, a spokesperson for Jennifer Love Hewitt has released a statement categorically denying the recent rumors that J. Love is pregs with her first child by her fiancé Ross McCall (which, the rumors allege, is the reason the couple got engaged in the first place). Here are a couple pics of the happily engaged, unpregnant couple out and about in LA after returning home from their tropical, romantic trip last week:

Following her recent bikini scandal, Jennifer Love Hewitt is making headlines again in the blogosphere. Sites were buzzing today that Hewitt, 28, and her fiancé, Scottish actor Ross McCall, 32, are expecting their first child in June. But her rep tells Usmagazine.com: "Jennifer is not pregnant." ... [The couple] were all smiles as they headed to a holiday party at Morton's Steak House in Burbank, California, on Sunday. Well, I guess that clears everything up. Props to Jennifer Love Hewitt for not backing down from any scrutiny thrown her way. She doesn't strike me as the kind of person who takes any bullshizz from anyone :) [Source]

Jessica Alba (at least, I think it's Jessica Alba in this next photo ... it's hard to tell, what, with her hiding behind that magazine and all) was spotted lending some loving support to her baby daddy Cash Warren over the weekend as he played hoops with a few of his boys. Here is a pic of Jess unsuccessfully trying to hide her baby bump behind an issue of Metropolitan Home magazine:

Photo credit: JFXonline

Yeah, I'm pretty sure we can look forward to nine months of these sorts of pictures ... with Jessica Alba trying to hide behind issues of Better Homes and Gardens, Architectural Digest, Martha Stewart Living and the like. She might want to start moving the magazine down to her stomach region once she starts to show (if she ever starts to show) ... after all, I don't think the photogs are after face shots anymore. [Source]

FINALLY! Lindsay Lohan is showing that she is capable of making good decisions and not merely bad ones ...

Photo credit: JFXonline

... choosing paper over plastic is proof positive that she knows right from wrong. Now, if someone could just break her of that JR Rotem problem she's been suffering from lately ... [Source]

Brad Pitt is getting into the holiday spirit these days (especially since he decided against running for political office -- LOL) and I think all the Xmas decorations he's been running into around NYC have something to do with it. In fact, Brad and the fam have decided that they are gonna do Xmas right this year ... spending it in their new home of New Orleans:

Photo credit: Splash News

The jet-setting Brangelina clan are spending the holidays in ... New Orleans! Angelina Jolie spoke to Usmagazine.com at [the] Hot Pink Party in New Orlean's Lower Ninth Ward, where Brad Pitt launched his new "Make It Right" foundation. Son Maddox, 6, was also on-hand. "I'm working on a film [The Changeling in L.A.], but we'll be back for Christmastime," Jolie, 32, said. "We'll be here through Christmas." I can't even begin to imagine what Xmas with Brangelina might be like ... with all those kiddies, I imagine their celebration might be on par with a mega amsusement park or something. Since the fam purchased a $3.5 million mansion in the French Quarter earlier this year, they're sure to have the space to do Xmas right. [Source]

Here's a pretty hilarious story ... a couple of inmates at the Union City Jail in Elizabeth, NJ took a page from the Stephen King short story and movie of the same name Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption and staged a real life prison break of their very own using the same successful method that was used in the book/movie. Talk about life imitating art, check it out:

Two jail inmates used photos of bikini-clad women to hide holes they used to escape and left behind a thank-you note, signed with a smiley face, for a guard they claimed helped them, officials said Monday. Jose Espinosa, 20, and Otis Blunt, 32, squeezed through the openings sometime before dawn Saturday in a high-security unit of the Union County jail, jumped onto a rooftop below, and made it over a 25-foot-high fence topped with razor wire, authorities said. Authorities withheld the name of the officer the inmates said was involved. The note, found in Espinosa's cell, read, "Thank you Officer ... for the tools needed. You're a real pal. Happy holidays." Authorities are investigating the claims. The guard named in the note has not yet turned in a report, and disciplinary action has not been taken against any guard, said county prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow said, whose office is overseeing the escape investigation. Police were still searching Monday for the two men. Espinosa was awaiting sentencing for manslaughter in a drive-by shooting, and Blunt is facing robbery and other charges in the shooting of convenience store manager. Meanwhile, authorities are reviewing security measures. They barred inmates from pinning up pictures from magazines on their cell walls. The jailbreak is reminiscent of one in the movie "The Shawshank Redemption" in which the main character, an inmate, uses posters of women, including of a bikini-clad Raquel Welch, to conceal an escape tunnel he had been digging. Espinosa and Blunt used at least two improvised tools — a thick metal wire like those used to bind chain link fences to poles, and a 10-pound steel water shut-off wheel — to remove cinderblocks from the wall, Romankow said. The thick wire was used to scrape away mortar around a cinderblock in the wall between their cells, and then around a cinderblock in an exterior wall in Espinosa's cell that faced busy rail tracks, Romankow said. The shut-off wheel was used to crush the cinderblocks so they could be hidden in the cells, Romankow said. They also laid out pillows and sheets to make it look like men were sleeping under blankets, authorities said. Once they landed on the railroad easement outside the fence, they ran in opposite directions, Romankow said. No blood was found. The escape preparations appear to have been done relatively quickly. Each man was in his cell for only a few weeks, Romankow said. Investigators were trying to determine when the cells were last searched. It was the first escape since the jail opened in 1986. LOLOLOLOLOL! The stories aren't entirely the same ... in the fictional account the prisoner who escaped, Andy Dufresne, was an innocent man unjustly imprisoned but the escape is essentially the same. Effing brills ... I'm shocked that this hasn't happened before, in all honesty. Believe me, I'm not condoning the escape nor do I approve of these accused men's crimes but you gotta admit ... they're pretty clever for having pulled off this sort of escape. I won't be surprised if they are apprehended again very soon ... but I'm sure they are enjoying their freedom while they still can. [Source]

Oh No! I was very happy to learn that Buffyverse album Julie Benz (who played Darla on both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel) scored an awesome role on the amazing Showtime drama Dexter ... so you can imagine my dismay that she has also agreed to appear in the new Rambo sequel John Rambo. OY! Here are a couple of stills from the surefire blockbuster flick:

I sincerely hope that Julie got herself a fat paycheck cuz I can't imagine that her Rambo role will do much for her career overall. Her role as Rita on Dexter, on the other hand, is expertly played and should be her focus right now. This season of Dexter, which ended this past Sunday night, was superb and I'm very much looking forward to more Julie Benz in future seasons. I just hope her brush with Sly Stallone doesn't sour her appeal in any way ... I'd hate to see her get the ax from a show that I love almost as much as Buffy itself. [Source]

Rihanna is featured on the cover and in the pages of the new issue of Allure magazine. In the interview, she finally puts to rest, once and for all, the rumors surrounding her reported romantic relationship with Josh Hartnett ... in addition to another, allegedly less-friendly relationship with fellow songstress Beyonce. Here is her coverphoto:

Rihanna is hoping to put to rest once and for all the rumors that she and Josh Hartnett had a fling this fall. "This is what really happened," she tells Allure in its January issue, according to the Associated Press. "He and my management, they have each other's contact information. I went to [the New York club] Pink Elephant, and he came by. All of a sudden, the next day, I'm seeing that we were kissing and hugging up each other." The 19-year-old singer's denial comes after Hartnett, 29, earlier dodged the question on a morning talk show. "You can't even go out with a friend who's a celebrity and have a good time without people making [bleep] up," Rihanna tells Allure. "Well, at least he's good-looking, right?" ... [Rihanna] also addresses speculation that there is tension between her and Beyoncé, now that Rihanna is Jay-Z's new protégé. "When we see each other we say hi," Rihanna says. "We're not enemies, but we're not 'friends' friends." I must admit, I never really believed the Josh Hartnett rumors (the Shia LeBeouf rumors seemed more plausible to me) but I have a hard time believeing that Rihanna and Beyonce are any kind of 'friends' friends at all. I love that her answer to the question of tension with Beyonce was, "we're not enemies" ... that is the surest way to know that they really aren't cool with one another. Hahahahaha! [Source]

Here is the first among many (I'm sure) posters for the new live-action movie version of Speed Racer:

It's pretty good as far as teaser posters go. I like the fact that Speed is going to be rockin' the white leather on the big screen. [Source]

Yesterday, in the span of a few hours, Pamela Anderson went from wanting a divorce from her most recent husband, Rick Solomon ... to being cool with friendly shopping with her soon-to-be estranged hubby, Rick Solomon ... to posting a message on her official website stating that she and Rick Solomon are "working things out":

Photo credit: Mavrix

Pamela Anderson filed for divorce from Rick Salomon after two months of marriage last week, but a reconciliation may already be in the works. Anderson, 40, filed for divorce Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, citing irreconcilable differences. The actress says she and Salomon separated the day before, on Thursday. She is seeking to have Salomon pay spousal support and attorney's fees. But two days later, she was spotted shopping with Salomon, and on Monday she posted this brief note on her Web site: "P.S. We're working things out." The former Baywatch star married Salomon, 39, at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas on Oct. 6 – during an hour-and-a-half break between two magic shows Anderson was performing. Her rep had no comment on the filing, and Anderson doesn't mention it in detail on her site. Her postscript message followed a posting Monday saying she had turned down a lucrative offer to appear in another Las Vegas show so she could spend more time with her children in Malibu ... The marriage was the third for both. Anderson was previously married to Tommy Lee and Kid Rock. Salomon's ex-wives are Elizabeth Daily and Shannen Doherty. I dunno how this sort of thing comes as any surprise to anyone remotely familiar with Pamela Anderson's dating/marrying/divorcing record. This woman married her last husband, Kid Rock, 4 times in the span of 2 months and then divorced him 2 months after that ... only to get remarried about 2 months after that. Reconciliation or not ... I'd be shocked if this marriage survives the end of the month. [Source]

And finally, it's that time of the year when Year End Wrap-Up Lists start to flood the InterWeb ... but before I compile and post my Best Of/Year End lists, here is a look a few of AOL's picks for the Hot Products of 2007:

These items made AOL's list of Hot Products and I feel I must concur with these choices. Clearly, this was the year of the iPhone but I have to give props to the BlackBerry as well. As cool and revolutionary as the iPhone is, anyone with a heavy reliance on mobile email knows that the BlackBerry is the best device around. Additionally, Google Maps (in fact, all Google mobile products) has to be the best thing I found and really took advantage of this year that I didn't have to pay for. The latest version of mobile Google Maps can tell you where you are in the world by way of cell phone tower triangulation -- in real time. The Wii by Nintendo has to be the coolest video game system on the market ... the other systems may have better "killer" games but I doubt they're as fun as the Wii games are. The Slingbox is a gadget I've yet to procure but it is deffo on my Xmas list:

... if I don't get it from Santa then I'm gonna pick up one as soon as I can. The prospect of being able to watch programs recorded on my DVR on my computer or mobile phone while I am away from home by way of the Slingbox SOLO sounds too good to be true. I am really hoping the thing works the way they say it does. I am not a fan of diet sodas but Coke Zero is pretty damn good. Who knew that Coke would try and introduce a new Coke after their debacle in the 1980s with New Coke ... and then be successful. Yeah, I doubt that anyone will be hoping to find a case of Coke Zero underneath their Xmas trees this year but the other products on AOL's list are sure to be in high demand come December 25th. Happy Shopping!! [Source]

Les News:
OY ... it's so snowy here in Detroit ... I don't even know what to do with myself. I am ashamed to admit that I've become really used to all the greenery back in SoCal thruout the year ... the bracing cold is gonna take me a minute to get used to.

I have a lot of things to take care of now that I'm home ... I have to start my Detroit Xmas shopping and I have a few peeps to spend time with. Cold weather or not, it's great being home again. I hope it's warm wherever you are in the world today ... and if not, I hope you are at least in the company of family and friends.

I am out.