November 30, 2005

Independent Spirit Awards

The Squid and the Whale, writer-director Noah Baumbach's tale about a crumbling marriage, led the nominees Tuesday for the Independent Spirit Awards, the beachside party honoring the best indie films of the year.

Squid will face off against a relatively new directing talent – George Clooney, whose Edward R. Murrow drama Good Night, and Good Luck, scored four nominations, including best feature and director.

Other four-time nominees include Capote, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, the "gay cowboy movie" Brokeback Mountain, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and best lead actor nominee Heath Ledger, and Tommy Lee Jones's The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.

Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney, who play a couple whose marriage is failing in Squid, received acting nominations, as did Jesse Eisenberg, who plays the couple's son. Dawn Hudson, executive director of event organizer Film Independent, said of the emotional film, which is set in Brooklyn in the 1980s, "We don't see an honest film about divorce from a kid's point of view."

Also nominated this year was Crash, the critically acclaimed drama about race in America, which was nominated for best first feature (for director Paul Haggis). Matt Dillon scored a supporting actor nod for his role as a corrupt cop in the film.

Dillon's Crash costar, Terrence Howard, picked up a lead acting nomination – but for a different film: Hustle & Flow. And Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman is up for lead actress in Transamerica, about a transgender man who becomes a woman.

Last year, the wine country comedy Sideways swept the Spirit Awards, winning all six categories in which it was nominated. (The next day, it won just one of the five Oscars for which it was nominated – for adapted screenplay.) The Spirit Awards, which are traditionally held the day before the Oscars in Santa Monica, will air live on the IFC channel March 4.

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Mullet Evny

Actor Patrick Swayze is desperate to meet U2 frontman Bono, after discovering their joint love of the mullet hairstyle.

The Dirty Dancing star has long been a distant admirer of the Irish rocker, and asked a friend to arrange a meeting between the pair. And he was thrilled to discover Bono also thought they shared a connection - their passion for 1980s styling.

He says, "Bono said, 'I have issues with that guy, real serious issues.' My friend was like, 'Oh no!' and was about to skulk out of there when Bono told him, 'I read somewhere that people think Patrick Swayze invented the mullet. Someone needs to tell him I invented the mullet.' "When I heard that I went, 'Oh my God, I'm going to love him.'"

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Donald Trump is launching a vodka line, even though he hates the taste of alcohol and steers clear of people who drink.

The tycoon is allowing a company called Drinks America to market Trump Super Premium Vodka. "By the summer of '06, I fully expect the most called-for cocktail in America to be the 'T&T' or the 'Trump and Tonic,' " Trump was quoted in a press release yesterday. "We are very excited that Drinks America will be leading this initiative and look for great success."

But back in January 2004, Trump told Page Six: "Never had a drink. Never had a cigarette. Number one, I don't like the taste [of alcohol]. Number two, my brother [Fred Trump] died of alcoholism. I saw what alcohol did to him . . . Most people that drink, I've found have a problem with it. I had a friend who I respected, but who would get totally bombed, and I'd be carrying him out by his arms and legs. He'd make a total jerk of himself . . . Subconsciously, I think I'm not into people who drink." A spokes woman for Trump said, "He hasn't tasted it, but he decided that for those who have a distinguished taste for vodka and who drink moderately, this is it."

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Mother of All Bat Mitzvahs

50 Cent, Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks and members of Aerosmith and The Eagles joined forces to create one of the year's greatest live line-ups at the weekend, when they played a private Bat Mitzvah celebration gig.

Multi-millionaire David H. Brooks paid a reported $10 million to hire the artists to perform at his daughter Elizabeth's party at New York City venue The Rainbow Room. Brooks is said to have chartered his company jet to pick up Aerosmith rockers Steven Tyler and Joe Perry from their Saturday concert in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

He reportedly paid the stars $2 million to play a 45-minute set, while 50 Cent is thought to have received $500,000. Petty wowed the gathering with an acoustic performance, while The Eagles stars Joe Walsh and Don Henley played alongside Fleetwood Mac singer Nicks.

Other acts to perform at the extravagant event included Ciara, Nicole Richie's fiance DJ AM and saxophonist Kenny G. However, Brooks has denied the reported cost of the event. He told the New York Daily News, "All dollar figures vastly exaggerated. This was a private event and we do not wish to comment on details of the party."

--Whoa. This kid has no chance of having any knowledge of reality. I have to say though...WHY KENNY G?

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LaSimpson's Nasty Divorce

The divorce of Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey will get nasty.

They were so sure they'd be together forever when they wed in 2002 that they didn't sign a prenuptial agreement. Considering Simpson made the bulk of the couple's assets while they were together, dragging in a cool $35 million last year, she could be paying through the nose.

Simpson has hired bulldog divorce lawyer Laura Wasser, who handled Angelina Jolie's divorce from Billy Bob Thornton. According to Us Weekly, Lachey found out Simpson was going to tell the media about their split via her publicist, Rob Shuter.

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Peck's Star Stolen

Gregory Peck's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was stolen by someone who cut it out of the sidewalk where it had honored the actor for more than four decades, officials said Tuesday.

"They just left a big hole out there," said Johnny Grant, 82, who serves as Hollywood's honorary mayor and oversees ceremonies honoring star recipients. "Somebody went out there with a cement saw and carved it out of the black terrazzo."

Peck's star is the fourth star to be stolen since the Walk of Fame was begun in 1960. Some 2,200 stars are now part of the walkway.

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Keep On Truckin', Vince

Vince Vaughn shows off a slightly trimmer form while walking in Santa Monica last week. The actor – who's admitted he put on a few pounds after quitting smoking earlier this year – has been staying in the beachside city, near the home of gal pal Jennifer Aniston.

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Material Recordbreaker

Madonna is on her way to besting the King for the most top-10 hits of any artist in the rock era.

The Material Girl scored her 36th top-10 hit (the same number as Elvis Presley as her latest single, "Hung Up," climbed up the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart to #7 last week.

The pop superstar already holds the record for the most top-40 hits — 45 and counting — by a solo female artist.

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Children's author Stan Berenstain, who with his wife wrote more than 200 books about a family of bears, has died at age 82.

He passed away on Saturday in Pennsylvania, Audra Boltion, a spokeswoman for HarperCollins Children's Books, tells the Associated Press.

The Berenstain Bears books, written by Stan and his wife Jan Berenstain, helped children cope with trips to the dentist, eating junk food and cleaning their messy rooms. The first of their bear books, The Great Honey Hunt, was published in 1962.

--I loved these books when I was a kid.

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Gisele Joins Devil Cast

Giselle Bundchen has joined the cast of Meryl Streep's new movie The Devil Wears Prada.

The Brazilian model made her big screen debut in last year's Taxi as one of four beautiful female bank robbers who hit New Yorks' banks.

David Frankel has written and will direct the big screen version of Lauren Wisberger's best-selling novel The Devil Wears Prada, the story of a boss from hell.

The movie deals with how a small-town girl lands a job as assistant to a high-powered editor.

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Ozzy Says...

Ozzy Osbourne says Christmas shopping with his wife Sharon would drive him back to drink and drugs.

According to Heat magazine he said: "I hate shopping. Especially with my wife! If anything was to drive me back to drink and drugs it would be going to Harrods with Sharon for the day."

Ozzy, who plans to spend Christmas in the US, revealed he is not a fan of the festivities. He added: "I am not a Christmas kind of guy. If you drink, it's great. But if you don't, it's a drag because everyone is pi**ed. I'll sit and watch a Christmas film but I won't play games. I'm crap at games."

Ozzy says one of his greatest presents this year has been son Jack's recovery from his addiction to drink and pills. He says the 20-year-old has turned his life around after doing rehab and then battling an addiction to food. "One day he turned round to me and said 'You know what? I'm going to lose weight. I'm going to Thai box and get a TV show'. And he did. He looks great. He's my hero. I learn more from him than he could ever learn from me.

"I'm so proud of him. Last year he was an angry man, the year before he was a stoner and this year he took on the ex-Thai boxing champion and knocked him out. He ran with a bull and climbed 4,000 feet up a cliff."

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20 Cars, 7 Minutes

Saks Fifth Avenue recently saw all 20 of the special-edition 2007 Mercedes-Benz S600s offered through its holiday catalog fly off the shelves.

The $145,000 king of luxury sedans sold on Nov. 22 in less than seven minutes, with more than 700 waitlisted hopefuls eventually turned away. And for the lucky 20, wow. Not only will they be the first on their blocks to sport the 12-cylinder, bi-turbo sedans (the cars don't reach showrooms until next spring), but each is specially equipped with a transparent glass roof, DVD auto changer, and Sirius satellite radio.

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November 29, 2005

TomKat Fetus

Rumor has it that the freak TomKat fetus is a boy:

Katie Holmes has revealed the sex of her child after being spotted buying up big on blue baby clothes in LA recently.

Onlookers say the actress was shopping up a storm for her unborn son at the trendy Beverly Hills store Petit Bateau. Friends have reportedly confirmed the news, adding that Tom and Katie have already decided to call their baby boy William Oscar. It’s unknown why the pair have chosen these names, although insiders note that Tom has an actor cousin named William Mapother.

Friends say the pair had also picked out the name Ella Elizabeth until it was confirmed they were expecting a boy.

--Story from Oh No They Didn't.
--Pic from Dlisted.

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Nick Is Sad For 2 Seconds

NIck Lachey is wasting no time looking for female companionship now that he and wife Jessica Simpson have announced their separation.

The former 98 Degrees singer and his buddy, telecommunications billionaire Peter Loftin, were spotted swilling champagne and vodka with a bevy of babes at Mynt nightclub in Miami the other night.

Rumor has it that Lachey cozied up to a buxom lady who looked "dazed and drunk as she hung all over him." A spy sniffed, "She had big boobs but was clearly not as pretty as Jessica."

Speaking of newly single guys, former Paris Hilton fiancé Paris Latsis has been hitting the town with the high-stepping Hiltie's good friend, reality TV train wreck Tara Reid.

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Laguna Gossip

Laguna Beach gossip:

As of two weeks ago, Kristin and Alex H. were sharing an apartment, but Alex H. left to move into another posh L.A. building with Alex M. It's a building that happens to be one of Kristin's dad's developments. Show insiders say that their relationship soured because Kristin insisted that everything be about her, expecting Alex to be on call. The last straw went down at a San Diego event for Dieter's charity, when Alex refused to drive Kristin back to L.A. early for an audition.

Stephen is sharing a downtown L.A. apartment with Dieter and Jason. They aren't in school right now, but while Stephen has acting classes, and Dieter has his charity, rumor has it that Jason's concentrating on cleaning up his act, though it doesn't seem to be happening. Says a source who works with the Laguna Beach crew, "Promoters are constantly calling them and sending them to different L.A. clubs every night of the week. Jason is always getting kicked out of clubs for getting into fights...He's wrecked a lot of cars, too. That's why you always see him driving different ones on the show." Same goes for Stephen. Word has it that last week he crashed a brand-new car the very same day he bought it!

Lauren, meanwhile, has cut ties with every other castmember except Jason, whom she's still dating. According to insiders, she and Kristin did make up months ago, but they're back to being enemies, maybe, because they both hooked up with Stephen again over the summer.

Lauren's spinoff is supposedly similar to MTV's PoweR Girls, except that it follows her and friend Heidi (who is hated by all of Lauren's other friends) around Los Angeles. The spinoff is being called The Hills--as in the Hollywood Hills--and MTV plans to show the exterior of some random Hollywood Hills home as if it's really hers. The truth? She's living in an apartment by L.A. shopping complex the Grove!

As for Laguna's next installment, one well-connected spy says, "It isn't centered around a boy or a love triangle, like the last two seasons have been. It'll revolve around a couple of girls who can't stand another girl. One of the girls, who's in the 'we don't like you' group, is the chick Jason took to prom this year. Also, there are twins who actually moved to Laguna from Texas just to be on the show!"

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Butt Buddies

Matt Damon has revealed George Clooney can't get enough of his butt.

The actor says his 'Syriana' co-star pinches his behind at least once a day. The blonde star quipped Clooney's sexual advances are the reason why the pair have starred in so many films together.

He said: "George grabs my ass every day. At least once a day. That's why I've done three movies with him"

But during the making of the movie, Clooney became so depressed after piling on the pounds for his role, Damon found he was no longer the center of his attention. He said to Cinema Confidential : "George is normally so fun and vibrant--like grabbing my ass - but during the shoot he really wasn't He was very serious."

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Geisha Controversy

"Memoirs of a Geisha" might not play well in Japan because the movie's three lead roles are played by Chinese women — Ziyi Zhang, Gong Li and Michelle Yeoh, an ethnic Chinese Malaysian.

And don't expect it to be a hit in China, either. Reuters reports that the Chinese, still bitter over the Japanese occupation from 1931 to 1945, bristle at the idea of Chinese women playing geishas. A blogger in China said of Zhang: "She's sold her soul and betrayed her country. Hacking her to death would not be good enough."

--I'd highly recommend this book if you haven't read it yet.

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Elisha Cuthbert's fiance Trace Ayala insists the couple are still engaged, despite reports their romance is in trouble.

The Girl Next Door actress, 23, and 25-year-old Ayala - best pal and business partner of Justin Timberlake - became engaged last year.

In recent weeks, Cuthbert has been spotted without her engagement ring or Ayala, who was recently photographed leaving a cinema with newly-single singer Jessica Simpson. However, Ayala tells People magazine, "Neither one of us is in a hurry to get married." "We've both got so much going on right now. I love her to death, so whatever happens, happens."

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The Sound of Diaz?

Julie Andrews says Cameron Diaz would be the perfect choice to play Maria if "The Sound of Music" is ever remade. Andrews starred in the best-picture Academy Award winner about a nun who leaves the convent behind to wed an Austrian widower (Christopher Plummer) and spread the "Do-Re-Mi" spirit to his seven kids.

At a question-and-answer session celebrating the 40th anniversary of the popular film, Andrews recalled the scene in which Maria runs through the mountains singing "The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Music."

It wasn't as serene as it looked, the 70-year-old actress said Monday. "I will never forget it, there was a large helicopter coming towards me through the mountains with a brave cameraman hanging out the side," she said. "We shot the scene many times, and at the end of each take, the helicopter would circle round. The downdraft nailed me flat onto the grass, and a couple of times I bit the dust. At first it was funny, but after several times I began to get very angry."

Andrews, who has given up musical roles because of throat problems, said: "I miss singing very, very much, but the best thing is I have never been busier."

She will voice Queen Lillian in the upcoming "Shrek 3" movie. Diaz will voice Princess Fiona.

--I often find myself wondering, "How do you solve a problem like Cameron?"

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R 'n R Hall of Fame

After eight tries, legendary heavy metal act Black Sabbath will finally be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year, whether Ozzy Osbourne likes it or not.

They will be joined by punk pioneers the Sex Pistols, new wave icons Blondie, jazz godhead Miles Davis and southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd . The 21st annual ceremony will take place on March 13 in New York at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

--Free bird!

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