Sunday, April 27, 2008

Water World

The Walt Disney Studios released a new photo from the Disney Dream Portraits Series (as part of their Year of a Million Dreams) of actress Julianne Moore as Ariel from The Little Mermaid and Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps as a merman which was shot by photographer Annie Liebovitz ... check it out:


Click above to see larger size image

For the latest image in the portrait series of celebrities living out their Disney dreams, photographer Annie Leibovitz followed a simple recipe: Just add water. Continuing the "Disney Dream Portrait Series" that has put stars in all kinds of Disney fantasies, Leibovitz trained her famous lens this time on the undersea world of Ariel, heroine of "The Little Mermaid." To get there, she dressed actress Julianne Moore and American swimming icon Michael Phelps in tails and scales. "Yes, Julianne has a big mermaid tail; it's interesting," Leibovitz recalled from the shoot. "Michael, too. His movements were so graceful and beautiful you just felt like you were watching a real merman." The latest Leibovitz photography is part of her acclaimed series as Disney Parks continue, through 2008, the "Year of a Million Dreams" celebration on both coasts. In the finished image captioned "Where another world is just a wish away," shafts of light pierce the blue depths as Ariel (Moore) sits in her undersea world amid wavy coral and darting sea life. In the foreground of the frame, Phelps slips past, flipping his fins. Leibovitz worked her mastery on soundstages on both coasts. Fitted in his silvery fishtail, Phelps was lowered into a backlot tank in Los Angeles used for underwater movie scenes. Leibovitz was on the outside, snapping away, communicating her instructions to Phelps via members of her crew. "One of the most complicated shots I have ever done," said Leibovitz. "I didn't know if it was going to work, what to expect. I have to tell you, he was beautiful. Michael put on that tail and ... he just became like a modern dancer. He just took to it and enjoyed himself and swam through this tank. I was blown away." For the four time "World Swimmer of the Year" (as designated by Swimming World Magazine), donning flippers was worlds away from the swimming competitions he's used to. "It was kind of weird to be able to put on a tail and swim around in a tank," Phelps admitted. "To work with Annie and try these crazy sorts of ideas is really an honor and something I won't forget." A host of swimming stars, past and present, joined Phelps in the water and final image: Janet Evans, Rowdy Gaines, Brendan Hansen and Cullen Jones. At a New York soundstage, Leibovitz perched the fishtailed Moore on a rock as the starry-eyed Ariel. "There's a moment in the shoot where Julianne is sitting on a rock in her mermaid tail and her young daughter comes in, and there is not a dry eye in the house," Leibovitz recalled. "She sat in her mother's lap. Her jaw just dropped. She could not believe her mother was Ariel." When Moore was asked to play Ariel, she recalls, "I leapt at the chance. Ariel is my daughter's favorite princess, so I was just really so excited to do it," Moore said. "All the images I've seen that Annie's shot so far – Cinderella and Alice and the prince one – are absolutely exquisite. They are so beautiful and so kind of wonderfully emotional. So I was really thrilled to be asked to work with her and do this."

I really do love these Disney Dream Portraits ... they are a very interesting way to reinterpret iconic Disney characters using celebs we know and love (my fave still has to be David Beckham as Prince Phillip). While Julianne may be a bit too old to accurately portray Ariel, I think she does look great as a mermaid. The final photo is really very cool ... I like how they even kept the "penis castle" in the background :) [Source]

The TV Guide: Club Wedd

Well, she's gone and done it ... Gillian Sheldon has finally become an honest woman. David and I were among the lucky guests who were invited to share in Gillian and Tim's big day yesterday and we had an absolute amazing time. Gillian really pulled out all the stops for her wedding and took painstaking care to ensure that her guests were treated very well. It was a stunning wedding ... very beautiful, very poignant ... it was really amazing. Gillian, in her beautiful white dress, looked every bit the princess that she is. Here are a few pics from Gillian and Tim's wedding yesterday along with the wedding announcement from this weekend's New York Times:


Gillian Stansfield Sheldon and Timothy Alan Heckendorf were married on Saturday in Los Angeles. The bride’s brother, Timothy Sheldon, who was appointed a deputy marriage commissioner for the occasion by San Diego County, officiated at Vibiana, an event space. The bride, 33, is the supervising producer at TMZ.com, a celebrity news Web site in Los Angeles. She graduated from the University of Washington. She is the daughter of Karin Sheldon of Lafayette, Colo., and Thomas Sheldon of Hoodsport, Wash. The bridegroom, also 33, works in Burbank, Calif., as a director of finance at Ascent Media Group, a company in Santa Monica, Calif., that provides postproduction services for the film and television industries. He graduated cum laude from Pepperdine University. He is the son of Linda Heckendorf and Robert Heckendorf of Riverside, Calif.

Not only did Gillian's brother officiate but her entire wedding party participated in the ceremony by reading poems and a portion of The Velveteen Rabbit. It was really a remarkable ceremony. I'm not sure if my fave part was the string quartet that played pop music (from Journey to Madonna to the Sex and the City theme song) or if it was roaming plates of delicious food and booze that seemed ever present thruout the night. After dinner and after a bit of dancing (with the fun ladies from Seattle who I was lucky enough to dance with last night), Gillian had an In and Out burger truck swing by to feed us even more amazing food. The wedding was really very, very cool. We had a great time. I wish nothing but the best, with all my love, for Gillian and Tim to live a long and very happy life together.

Les News: Alicia Sings Again, Amy Gets Off, Lindsay Chills Out

Hot Dude Of The Week: Josh

Wee!! It is that time of the week when we pause to admire the Hot Dude of the Week and his fine physical form. Let's all say hello to Josh:


Photo credit: All American Guys

See, now I don't know how hot it is where YOU are but it's really hot here in SoCal this weekend. Our temps are reaching into the high 90s, which has folks streaming to all the local area beaches. For those of us who cannot make it out to the beach, it's very appropriate to shed as much clothing as possible ... so I think it's quite normal for us to enjoy a nice photo of Mr. Josh wearing nothing but his white little undies. I know I would hate for Josh to suffer a heat stroke or anything like that so I think it's great that he's OK with shedding his shirt and pants. 'Tis the season for nekkidness ... enjoy!!! [Source]

And as a special Weekend Hotness bonus, here is a photo of the new Armani Exchange ad that debuted on Made In Brazil earlier this week:


Click above to see larger size image

I didn't think anyone would mind a little extra Brazilian hotness this week :) [Source]

Mariah Carey Gives It Another Go

Mariah Carey, dressed down in a simple white button-down shirt and jeans, made an appearance at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center at the Borough of Manhattan Community College for the premiere of her new indie film Tennessee, which debuted at the 7th Annual Tribeca Film Festival in NYC last night ... here are a few pics:


Photo credit: Splash News

It's rare that Mimi dresses down for a red carpet event but it's really very appropriate for this particular event. Tennessee is Mariah's return to the big screen after her disastrous 2001 movie Glitter ... but unlike the mess that Glitter turned out to be, Tennessee is a small indie film that might actually bring the hope that Mariah might actually win accolades (rather than jeers) this time around. Mimi plays a waitress in the film about two men on a journey to find their estranged father, in a bid to save their younger brother from leukemia. It remains to be seen what kind of performance Mariah has in store for us in this movie but ANYTHING has to be better than what we got back in 2001. The stars seem aligned for Mariah Carey these days ... I wouldn't be surprised if this tiny movie role ends up garnering much more success for Miss Mimi. [Source]

On A Roll, The LA Galaxy Pull Off Another Win

The LA Galaxy managed to pull off yet another win in their game against Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA last night. With a final score of 5-2, led by Landon Donovan (who scored 3 goals in last night's game), the LA Galaxy have racked up a nice string of wins which bodes well for the future of the soccer season:


Landon Donovan credits his goal-scoring spree this season in part to teammate David Beckham. "Clearly, having David healthy and fit has taken pressure away from me and also provided me with some good chances," Donovan said after scoring three goals in the Los Angeles Galaxy's 5-2 victory over Chivas USA Saturday night. "When David gets the ball and I'm running off the ball, it makes it very easy to know what to do." Donovan ran his MLS-leading total to eight goals in the Galaxy's five games. "He has scored some great goals," Beckham said. "He's a special player. He proved tonight that he's not just about scoring goals inside the box. He works hard. "When we have a player in the form that he's in, it gives the team some confidence." Los Angeles' Alan Gordon scored twice, his first goal snapping a 2-2 tie in the 76th minute. He added another goal, having only to tap the ball into the net, on a nifty Beckham-to-Donovan-to-Gordon passing sequence in the 84th minute. Beckham, who made several fine crosses in the first half without his teammates being able to finish the plays, got an assist along with Donovan on Gordon's second goal. The assist was Beckham's fourth of the season. After Gordon gave the Galaxy a 3-2 lead, Donovan provided a two-goal pad a minute later. The contest matched the co-tenants Galaxy (2-2-1) and Chivas USA (1-3-1), who share the Carson stadium. Donovan's other goals came in the 18th and 59th minutes. The three-goal game was the second of his MLS career and first for Los Angeles ... "I feel like I'm being more assertive and more aggressive," Donovan said. "I'm reaping the benefits. In the past, I'd get down on myself because I wouldn't be aggressive enough, or not assertive in taking shots. Lately in training, I felt good doing those things. "Individually, when you get a chance, are you going to go at someone and try and make something happen, or are you going to pass the buck?" ... "It was a weird game," Chivas coach Preki said. "We made mistakes all over the place. We made mistakes and we got punished."

Yay! I am so happy that the LA Galaxy have finally got themselves a winning streak going. I'm glad that all of the attention seems to be moving away from David Beckham and onto other Galaxy players. If all the pressure is heaped upon Becks and his playing style then there is no way the team is going to have a successful season ... the focus has to be on the team and not any individual player. That being said, Landon Donovan has really stepped up for the team and is really deserving of all the accolades for this win. [Source]

But since the subject of David Beckham has come up ... I find it interesting that Becks is trying out this new facial hair thing. Becks has been showing up around town lookin' scruffy and hairy but I just thought he was being lazy ... it would seem that he is actually trying to grow a beard. Here are pics of Becks from a practice session with the Galaxy on Friday and then a couple pics from last night's game ... it looks like the beard is in full effect:


I dunno if I like it or not. Coupled with the shaved head, the beard makes him look ... older ... and not at all like the sexy fox that he usually looks. I hope this new facial hair thing is just a phase ... or maybe it'll just grow on me. OY! Pardon the pun ... maybe he should just shave it off and be done with it.

House Party

After reportedly refusing to attend the White House Correspondents' Dinner for not being "A-listy" enough, Heidi Montag & Spencer Pratt decided to show up for the event anyways ... where they were met by folks like their Hills nemesis Lauren LC Conrad, the newly-engaged (reportedly [but I'm not buying it] pregs) Ashlee Simpson & Pete Wentz, Pamela Anderson and other likewise inappropriate guests. And while I'm not all that surprised that Speidi decided to attend the White House event anyways (those two would go to the opening of an envelope if there was at least one camera crew there ... A-listy or not), I am a bit surprised that Heidi Montag decided to wear the exact same Chloe outfit (both dress AND shoes) that she wore exactly one week ago at her Heidiwood for Anchor Blue launch event at Kitson in West Hollywood:


Uhhh ... no. She even wore the same watch! Granted, it's a very nice outfit but was it really necessary to wear the exact same thing two Saturdays in a row to two different high profile events? Okay, so the Kitson launch wasn't quite as high-profile as the White House thing but still ... it seems little tacky to me.

Anyways ... here are a few pics of some of the other folks who attended last night's White House Correspondent’s Dinner in Washington DC:


Photo credit: Splash News

It isn't every night that celebs like Ashlee Simpson, Lauren Conrad, Heidi Montag, Spencer Pratt, Pam Anderson and the Jonas Brothers descend on Washington, D.C. The stars – along with Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Rob Lowe, Marcia Cross and Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick – were guests of various news organizations for the White House Correspondents' Association dinner Saturday night. Simpson's baby bump was barely visible in her black dress. The 23-year-old attended the event with fiancée Pete Wentz. The celebs were a welcome diversion from the otherwise tepid annual event, in which President Bush and Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson poked fun at themselves and the presidential candidates in front of an audience of the Washington press corps. "Pamela Anderson and Mitt Romney in the same room?" Bush said. "Isn't that one of the signs of the apocalypse?" Bush also joked about his daughter Jenna's May 10 wedding to fiancé Henry Hager. "Senator [John] McCain's not here," the president told the audience. "He probably wanted to distance himself from me a little bit. You know, he's not alone. Jenna's moving out too." He added, "[Hillary] Clinton couldn't get in because of sniper fire and Sen. [Barack] Obama's at church." During Ferguson's speech, he joked to the president, "By the way, you were fantastic on Deal or No Deal."

Hahhahahaha ... seriously, what a strange mix of people culled together from various outlets to hang out with the president at the White House. If this isn't the surest sign that the White House needs to be totally cleaned out so that a new leader can move in and take control of the country then I don't know what is. [Source]

Mission: Accomplished

It's been a little over a week since we checked in with Dannii Minogue on her Great Walk to Beijing trek to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research ... and it would appear that she has completed her journey. Here are new photos of Dannii (lookin' really cute in this outfit) making her arrival in Sydney, Australia this weekend:


Photo credit: Splash News

Dannii has made her way back to OZ to prepare for her performance for MAC Cosmetics at Australian Fashion Week. You may recall that Dannii revealed to me that she was prepping music for this MAC Cosmetics performance and now that time is finally upon us. I'm not sure if I will be able to obtain any photos from Dannii's Fashion Week performance or not but I will deffo be on the look out. I also hope that Dannii will post at least one more report from her journey on the Great Walk to Beijing ... I'd really love to hear how the trek can to a close. [Source]

"He's A Demon On Wheels"

Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, Matthew Fox, Susan Sarandon and others were on hand for the Hollywood premiere of their new movie Speed Racer at the Nokia Theater in downtown LA yesterday afternoon ... here are a few pics:


Photo credit: Wireimage

Woot! I am really excited for his movie ... the more I see from previews and trailers the more anxious I get. I even started watching some of the old skool cartoons this past week to get in the mood. I forgot how violent the cartoon was ... there was a lot of aggression and many of the nameless characters died (well, at the very least, their cars careened off cliffs and disappeared in balls of explosions). I'm not sure the live-action version of the film will have quite the same feel but I'm very much looking forward to seeing how it all turns out. [Source]

Coachella: Day Two, All Hail Prince

Day Two of the Coachella Music Festival is in the can and, to be honest, from all the reports I've read and received first hand, it sounds like it was a killer day. Temperatures soared into the 90s here in the LA area so I can only imagine how hot it got in the desert of Indio, CA. Here are a few pics from some of my favorite acts who played Day Two at Coachella yesterday:


Photo credit: Wireimage

Mark Ronson, the super producer for Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen and Robbie Williams, pulled off a "Coachella moment" ... Ronson recruited friends Ricky Wilson of the Kaiser Chiefs, Jamie Reynolds of the Klaxtons and new protégé Sam Sparro to learn and perform songs from his new album Version. Day two had its share of other great moments, including the indie-electronica band, Hot Chip, and the pioneer electronica band, Kraftwerk, which put on a multi-media show that transported festival goers to inside the Matrix. Coachella is known for re-introducing bands to a new generation, and the festival accomplished this Saturday with a beautifully sculpted set by the English band Portishead. Their huge electronica sound is measured, never bombastic. Singer Beth Gibbons sounds like a tortured soul — which may be why she doesn't give interviews — but she has stretched her range without losing her experimental quality. Cold War Kids, Devotchka, MGMT and Bondo Do Role all put on good, wildly different shows. Unfortunately, they were all at about the same time. That's the good and the bad of Coachella. You have dozens of great bands all three days, plus other diversions on the polo field, such as beating your own rhythms on a percussion machine or watching a vaudeville circus called Lucent Dossier. And you just can't do it all.

This year's fesitval sounds amazing ... and Day Two had all of my faves ... Portishead, M.I.A., Mark Ronson ... but there can be no doubt who the main attraction was for this year's Coachella Music Festival ... [Source]

... his Purple Majesty, Prince:


Photo credit: Splash News

"Coachella, I am here." Prince hit the stage at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival with that announcement, heralding his arrival as the much-anticipated headliner of the summer festival. Shortly after 11 p.m. Saturday, Prince strutted onto the stage wearing white pants and a white shirt with glittery fringe. His performance, the centerpiece of the three-day festival, was announced only two weeks ago, immediately making an already very hip festival of 125-plus bands significantly more in-demand. And Prince knew it. "You are the coolest place on earth right now!" Prince declared to a sea of tens of thousands. Prince, who had been sought out to perform at Coachella since the festival was founded nine years ago, told the crowd that when he agreed to perform, he informed the organizers that he would not only play, but party too. True to his word, Prince then launched his band — complete with a horn section and background singers — into "Jungle Love." Morris Day came out to sing his song, while Prince strolled around the stage with his guitar. For the beginning of the show, Prince preferred to let his guitar do the talking. He also welcomed the singer and drummer Sheila E, who took the lead for a song and then joined Prince in an extended jam. Finally, Prince satisfied the crowd with a celebratory performance of "1999." His classic "Little Red Corvette" soon followed. One of the big surprises of Prince's concert was his cover of Radiohead's "Creep," which was sure to be one of Coachella's most talked-about performances. With some lyrics adjusted, a ripping guitar solo and extended falsetto crooning for a finale, Prince's "Creep" had the crowd slack-jawed. To close the set, he gave another unique take on a song not his own: the Beatles' "Come Together." He urged the audience — whom he called his "choir" — to sing "Come together, yeah" over and over. And just as trepidation was beginning to take hold in the crowd that Prince might actually leave without playing "Purple Rain," he returned to confirm that even in the desert, it could rain purple. Even after the encore, though, he came back for more. "They're telling me that we got to go, but I can't leave!" Prince shouted. He then flew through a torrid version of "Let's Go Crazy." Prince had widely been considered the one act most all concertgoers — a diverse 60,000 of indie rockers, electronica dancers and pop fans — were certain to see. And by the end of "Let's Go Crazy," Prince had seemed to put his stamp on Coachella lore. "From now on, this is Prince's house," he shouted before triumphantly strutting off stage and tossing his guitar 30 feet behind him.

Man ... it sounds like Prince rocked the muthaeffin house ... and I am *so* jealous to hear about it. He has to be the most exciting performer I've ever seen. He doesn't rely on stage sets or lights, it's all about his energy and, of course, his music. I love hearing him play all of the classics ... to have Morris Day and Sheila E come out and join him on stage sounds like an amazing treat. I have to say, I'm starting to feel pangs of regret for having missed this performance. I've yet to hear word of a new album but hopefully Prince's stint at Coachella has inspired the man to hit the road for a tour sometime this year. [Source]