Thursday, May 22, 2008

The TV Guide: Crackin' Skulls, Indy Delivers

Apologies for the smaller number of posts today but I'm due to be at LAX Airport shortly, bound for NYC, and I'll be out of commission for the rest of the day. Jim and I met up for a late dinner last night and then went to a midnight screening of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull so I'm still a bit wiped from lack of sleep. Things will be back to normal around here tomorrow morn :)

But before I go, I figured I'd post my thoughts on the new Indiana Jones flick for those of you interested in hearing what I thought of it. I am deffo of the mind that folks should see movies that they are interested in regardless of what others tell them ... fortunately for Indy, I'm happy to report that this movie will most likely satisfy all the diehard Indiana Jones fans out there who are hoping the movie is worth their money:

Let me get the negatives out of the way first. I kinda had a hard time dealing with the plotline once it was made clear what the Crystal Skull is and where it came from. I love that all of the Indiana Jones films have a moniker of the supernatural in them but the big bad in this movie is a hard pill to swallow ... for me at least. Think, Indiana Jones meets the X-Files. Yes, Indy is embroiled in an archeological adventure that takes him into the jungles of South America in search of treasure but it turns out the treasure is one left behind by aliens or "interdimensional beings". Um, yeah. If you can deal with that knowledge, then you will prolly love the whole movie. Indiana Jones spends a lot of time getting out of impossible situations (the refrigerator bit was so outrageous that I had to laugh out loud -- it's totally impossible and yet, so Indiana Jones). The movie is really silly (a lot sillier than I remember the other films were) but it hits all the right points that you'd expect from an Indiana Jones movie. The fight scenes are fun and the characters are very well-played. Cate Blanchett is a goddess ... her villainy in the film is remarkable. I loved every second she was on screen. Shia LaBeouf impressed me, yet again. The kid can act and will have a long and successful career, I'm sure of it. I like him in every movie I've seen ... he's deffo a star on the rise. Even tho it was a nice touch, I really could've done without Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood ... it seemed like she was just shoved in there for nostalgic purposes. If she had given more from her character she would've been a welcome addition ... I felt her performance was totally phoned in. Harrison Ford still has the chops to be Indiana Jones ... he might be a bit clunkier, but when he exposes his chest as he cracks that whip -- well, it's easy to see how he managed to snag a youngster like Callista Flockhart.

The movie is fun, no matter how cheesy some parts are. I think the ending is way too over-the-top but, in the end, it's really the sort of finale that one might expect from a summer blockbuster. I doubt it'll break any records but I'm sure it'll bring joy to a great many fans out there.

And so ... I'm off. See y'all on the East Side :)

Les News: David Wins AI, Nick Learns His Lesson, Beyonce Is Bigger Than Jebus?

A New Britney Album For '08?

WOOT! WOOT! The great Britney Spears news continues to come from her camp as People magazine reports that Britters has begun the initial stages of work on a follow-up album to her 2007 disc Blackout ... at least, according to producer and former flame JR Rotem:

Photo credit: INFdaily

Britney Spears is back in the recording studio with J.R. Rotem and Sean Garrett, the producers confirm to PEOPLE. "She's great," Rotem told PEOPLE at the BMI Pop Awards in Beverly Hills on Tuesday. "She's like a master at what she does. She's a lot more experienced than most people. She just has the 'it' factor that not every artist has. So it's always nice to work with her." Although Rotem, who briefly dated Spears in 2007, would not reveal any details of the project, a Spears family source tells PEOPLE that the pop star is in the early stages of a follow-up to her last album Blackout, which was released last October. "Britney is in the experimental stages of a new album," says the source. "She's trying to find the sound and direction she wants to go in, but nothing is set in stone just yet. She has been playing the piano a lot and just singing. She says she misses 'just singing.'" Producer Sean Garrett was mum on specifics but says that he and Spears, 26, have "a few things in the works." ... A rep for Spears's record label had no comment.

This is amazing news ... but to be completely honest, I was hoping that Britters might be a little further along on her new album than just "early stages". I hope that the producers are just play coy about how much work has been done since we've seen that Britney has been hanging out in recording studios for months now. I am holding out hope that Britney will release a new album this Fall and will get back on the schedule of a releasing a new album each year. If you consider how great Blackout turned out considering the mental state she was in last year, then this new album has the potential to be an absolute killer -- and then a tour?! Wee! I can't wait!!! [Source]

A Broken Man

ARRRRRRGH! Clearly, Matthew McConaughey has been ruined for all time. Here are new photos of Matthew engaged in his usual work-out routine -- fully-clothed ... fully-covered from head to tow:

Photo credit: Splash News

I blame YOU Camilla Alves ... YOU are the one responsible for this travesty. I guess I never realized how good we had it when we were able to enjoy Matthew's half-nekkidness all last summer. Now that he's all "gonna be a dad" and shizz, he has to go and keep his clothes on now. Boo :( [Source]

Cheer Up, Becks

The Los Angeles Lakers made a stunning comeback from a 20 point deficit to eek out a win against the San Antonio Spurs last night with a final score of 89-85 in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals ... and David Beckham, with eldest son Brooklyn in tow, was front and center at the Staples Center to cheer his team on to victory ... here are a few pics:

Now, I'm sure that Becks is a big fan of the Lakers but he seems to be as much of a fan of the LA Lakers Girls as well (which would explain why Vicki B. doesn't attend many games with her hubby). Hee hee, I love seeing pics of Becks at Laker games because it's clear that a lot of the time he's not even watching the actual game ... he seems much more interested in the sideline entertainment :) [Source]

The Face Of A Homewrecker?

People magazine purports to have uncovered the identity of the woman who is partially responsible for the end of Shaina Twain's marriage to Mutt Lange. According to the magazine, Marie-Anne Thiébaud who was a long-time friend and employee of the once-happily married couple entered into a romantic relationship with Lange while he and Shania were still married and they ended up leaving their spouses for each other ... ouch!

As Shania Twain copes with her sudden split with the support of family and friends in her native Canada, sources close to the singer say she is reeling from a double betrayal – not only by her husband of 14 years, music producer Robert "Mutt" Lange, but by a woman she considered a close friend. Lange's relationship with Marie-Anne Thiébaud, 37, a longtime secretary and house manager at Twain and Lange's estate in Switzerland, was behind the breakup, say several sources familiar with the situation. "Mutt and Marie-Anne left their spouses for each other and are still in a relationship," says one source, adding that the Swiss employee was a fixture in the household Twain, 42, and Lange, 59, shared with their son, 6-year-old Eja D’Angelo. "Their two families would vacation and spend holidays together," says the source. "Shania considered Marie-Anne one of her best friends." After the separation was announced, Lange told PEOPLE exclusively that an affair was "absolutely not the reason [for the breakup]... It's literally just a growing apart, that's all." He also denied that he was in a relationship with Thiébaud, saying, "It's not true."

Poor Shania. If true, this has to be really very difficult for her to deal with. The betrayal of a spouse or partner is already gut-wrenching but if that betrayal includes a best or close friend ... well, that just adds insult to injury. It is extremely unfortunate that this had to happen to Shania Twain (to anyone, really) and I can only hope that she'll be able to soldier thru this adversity and will emerge from this break-up a stronger person. I also hope that she takes her dog of an ex-husband to the cleaners in divorce court. [Source]

Ellen DeGeneres Sticks Up For Her Right To Marry

Presidential hopeful John McCain paid a visit to The Ellen DeGeneres Show (widely considered a cushy place to joke around and have fun on national TV) this week in order to court her faithful audience lookin' for votes come November and managed to get "ambushed" by Ellen, who dared to press the Senator on actual issues dealing with the 2008 presidential campaign. McCain prolly showed up at Ellen's doorstep thinking he'd be getting some free publicity in a fluffy puff piece but Ellen decided to bring up the issue of same-sex marriage, forcing the presidential candidate to make clear his position on the matter:

Republican John McCain says same-sex couples should be allowed to enter into legal agreements for insurance and other purposes, but he opposes gay marriage and believes in "the unique status of marriage between and man and a woman." "And I know that we have a respectful disagreement on that issue," the likely Republican presidential nominee said in an interview to air Thursday on "The Ellen DeGeneres show." McCain, who also opposes an amendment to the Constitution to ban same-sex unions, said people should be encouraged to enter into legal agreements, particularly for insurance and other areas where decisions need to be made ... Last week, after the California Supreme Court cleared the way for gay marriage in that state, DeGeneres announced on her program her engagement to longtime girlfriend Portia de Rossi. "Mmm-hmm yeah, I mean, I that it is looked at — and some people are saying the same — that blacks and women did not have the right to vote. I mean, women just got the right to vote in 1920. Blacks didn't have the right to vote until 1870 and it just feels like there's this old way of thinking that we are not all the same. We are all the same people, all of us. You're no different than I am. Our love is the same ... To me, what it feels like, just you know I will speak for myself, it feels when someone says, 'You can have a contract, and you'll still have insurance, and you'll get all that,' it sounds to me like saying, 'Well, you can sit there, you just can't sit there.' ... It feels like we are not, you know, we aren't owed the same things and the same wording." DeGeneres said ... DeGeneres steered the conversation back toward the humor she's known for. "So, you'll walk me down the aisle? Is that what you're saying?" she asked. "Touche," McCain said.

Hell yes! I love that Ellen pressed McCain on this issue that she feels so strongly towards and used the power of her TV show to illustrate the difference in her position on same-sex marriage and the position of a likely presidential nominee. Ellen's show may be full of fun and fluff but she does take a stand every once-in-a-while to make a point when she believes strongly on an issue ... no matter the circumstance. To his credit, McCain was very diplomatic in voicing his opposition to same-sex marriage and really couldn't have given Ellen a positive answer on the subject without angering his party's entire political platform but still ... he and his party are absolutely wrong on this issue. Kudos to Ellen DeGeneres for so eloquently illustrating how the notion of "separate but equal" has already been deemed unconstitutional in this country and makes clear that it should be deemed unconstitutional in this country again on this issue of same-sex marriage. Click HERE to watch the short video exchange between McCain and Ellen on The Ellen DeGeneres Show which aired/airs today. [Source, Source]