July 1, 2011 |
MOSCOW - On a hot summer night last week in a historic Moscow square, a delegation of Hollywood celebrities headed by director Michael Bay and actor Shia LaBeouf marched past the 33-foot tall Alexander Pushkin monument and up the green carpeted stairs to the movie theater, a drab Soviet-era cube of concrete and glass. In a poorly air-conditioned auditorium filled well beyond its 2,000-seat capacity, the Hollywood contingent went on stage to introduce the opening film of the 33rd Moscow International Film Festival: Paramount Pictures' "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," the latest in the series of critically pummeled but wildly popular extravaganzas featuring giant battling robots, fiery explosions and scantily clad young actresses.
June 15, 2011
DEAR ABBY: I come from a Third World country and live as a legal alien in San Francisco. I grew up reading great American authors, watching American TV and Hollywood movies, so I thought I had a good understanding about your Western societal structure. I have made many friends in this wonderful city, but the women here drive me crazy. I am a romantic at heart, but not desperate. However, my gestures are often misunderstood. One time I gave a feminist/radical girl a book about the feminist movement and she freaked out. She said she wasn't looking for anything serious and didn't want me to expect anything from her. Abby, it was just a book, not a diamond ring.
June 6, 2011 |
LOS ANGELES - A barbarian has needs - a sword, a shield and about 56 chicken breasts a week. That's what Jason Momoa ate while filming "Conan the Barbarian," this summer's big-screen reboot of the series that launched Arnold Schwarzenegger's action-movie career in 1982. Over a few months in 2010, Momoa, a 6-foot-4-inch Hawaiian actor and model, added about 30 pounds of muscle to his 205-pound frame to play two high-profile, bare-chested plunderers - Conan and Khal Drogo, the 7-foot-tall warrior-king marauding on HBO's "Game of Thrones.
May 19, 2011 |
LOS ANGELES - Hollywood knows pirates and robots travel well overseas. This summer, movie studios will learn if the same holds true for hungover Americans, alien-battling cowboys and animated cars that detour from Route 66. And if these movies get hung up at the border, you can't say the filmmakers didn't put in the effort. With international moviegoers now accounting for up to two-thirds of a blockbuster's total receipts, movies are more than ever being crafted with overseas audiences in mind - from story to casting to setting.
May 13, 2011
ABOUT a minute into my interview with Jodie Foster, it became apparent there were few questions, even sneaky ones, that would get the best of her big Yale brain. Foster was taking calls for her new movie, "The Beaver," speaking candidly and bravely about notorious co-star/friend Mel Gibson, the guy with the unique movie baggage - he's won an Oscar, and also pleaded no contest to misdemeanor spousal abuse. She'd been talking Gibson all day, so I thought I'd throw a curve by asking about her next project, one she's making with an equally notorious fellow, Roman Polanski.
April 21, 2011
Michael Sarrazin, 70, the Canadian actor who rose to fame playing opposite screen stars including Paul Newman, Jane Fonda, and George C. Scott, died Sunday in Montreal after a battle with cancer. Born Jacques Michel Andre Sarrazin in Quebec City, he appeared in Sometimes a Great Notion , They Shoot Horses, Don't They? and The Flim-Flam Man , among other films. He also starred in the popular 1973 TV miniseries Frankenstein: The True Story . Mr. Sarrazin was remembered by his brother Pierre for his "wicked sense of wit," but fans might recall his "soulful eyes.
April 5, 2011 |
WHEN JOHN Carpenter made the sci-fi hit "Starman" in 1984, the pinnacle of his Hollywood success, he may have been telling a little of his own story. One that began in western Kentucky, where his family moved from New York state when he was 5. This was the early 1950s, a conservative time, and Kentucky was to Carpenter a conservative place. "We were a Yankee family in the South, strangers in a strange land. To me, this was a crazy, Bible Belt place. They didn't understand me, and I didn't understand them," said Carpenter, who'll be honored Monday by the Philadelphia Cinefest with its Phantasmagoria award.
March 23, 2011 |
LOS ANGELES - Of all the stars Mia Wasikowska saw at Vanity Fair's exclusive Oscar party last month, Justin Bieber was the one she found most fascinating. There he was, in all his pint-size teen-idol glory, scurrying around the Sunset Tower with Disney star Selena Gomez in tow. "They were just, like, snickering and running away somewhere," the actress, 21, recounted. But unlike Bieber's legion of screaming tween fans, Wasikowska wasn't interested in the romantic status of the pair.
February 21, 2011
BRYANT McKINNIE, the Minnesota Vikings' Pro Bowl offensive lineman, has been putting emphasis on "offensive" lately. The Woodbury, N.J., native was chosen for last year's Pro Bowl in Miami but failed to show up for the last two practices and was kicked off the NFC squad. This weekend, news comes out of Hollywood, by way of TMZ.com, that McKinnie was attending a celebrity party around LA with the NBA All-Star Game in town and dropped $100,000 on a bar bill. Unlike Pacman Jones in 2007 at NBA All-Star weekend in Las Vegas, three people weren't shot and McKinnie didn't make it rain.
February 16, 2011
WHILE IT'S NO laughing matter, two funny guys will be on hand when Kobe Bryant becomes the first athlete to put his hands and feet in concrete outside Hollywood's Grauman's Chinese Theater on Saturday. Organizers told the Associated Press that talk-show hosts Jimmy Kimmel and George Lopez, both longtime Lakers fans, will be part of the program. Kimmel will be the master of ceremonies and Lopez will be the keynote speaker. Bryant, 32, who starred at Lower Merion High, has averaged 25.3 points over 15 seasons and has helped lead the Lakers to five NBA championships.