The Golden Globes: Women, Men & Couples Hit The Red Carpet

Absolutely everyone looked FABULOUS at this year’s Golden Globe Awards held Sunday, January 15, 2012, at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA.  Some stars took to the Red Carpet solo, while some of Hollywood’s Power Couples posed together. It must be a lot of pressure to have to look so good knowing there is Paparazzi everywhere, but these Stars make it look like a walk in the Park.

The gowns worn by the women ranged in style and color with perhaps the most notable statement being made by Maria Menounos in a body-hugging bright yellow sequined gown. Lea Michele was another one to watch in a sophisticated and sexy shimmery grey number. The Men, well what can I say, they all wore the basic black suit & tie well (with a variation here and there – Gervais).

The Globes, hosted this year by Ricky Gervais (reason alone to tune in) treated fans and Celebs alike to a night of fun and humor.  The Golden Globe, awarded by The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which honors achievement in both Film and Television has a rich history and is well respected by those in Hollywood since its inception in 1943.

Notable stars present included a special appearance by Johnny Depp and music icon Madonna (who won Best Original Song in A Motion Picture). George Clooney won Best Performance by an Actor for his performance in “The Descendants”, Christopher Plummer won Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in “Beginners” and “The Descendants” took home Best Motion Picture.  This year’s winner for a Lifetime of Achievement (The Cecil B. DeMille Award) was presented to actor Morgan Freeman. For a complete list of all Nominees and Winners click here for The Official Golden Globe Website.

 

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Cruise Does It Again in “Mission Impossible IV – Ghost Protocol”

Tom Cruise is back as Agent Ethan Hunt in “Mission Impossible IV – Ghost Protocol”, which hit theaters in worldwide release on December 21, 2011.  In “MI:IV” Cruise is joined by Jeremy Renner (Hurt Locker, The Town), Simon Pegg (MI:III, Star Trek) and Paula Patton (Precious, Hitch) as the team attempts to clear the IMF as a suspect in the bombing of the Kremlin.

Known for his outrageous stunt work, Cruise holds nothing back in the franchise’s latest installment.  Scaling the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building, is just one of the trilling sequences Cruise treats us to in this action-packed triller.  Shot in IMAX and directed by Academy Award Winner, Brad Bird (RatatouilleThe Incredibles), “MI:IV” has struck box office gold, bringing in $324.9 million worldwide as of Jan 1, 2012.

As we have grown to expect, watching a Mission Impossible movie is like taking a virtual trip around the world.  Locations for “MI:IV” include Seattle, India (Vancouver), Russia (Prague) and Dubai.

Special Effects are another reason the Mission Impossible films never disappoint.  Industrial Light & Magic Director, John Knoll and a team of 20 special effect artists are responsible for making signature scenes like the “Sand Storm” a reality.

Like “MI:I”,”MI:II” and “MI:III” before it, “MI:IV” seems to have what it takes to entertain and please audiences of all ages.  Put it all together and “MI:IV” is a definite “Must See” for anyone, with a pulse!

For more trailers and other “MI:IV” details visit the Official Ghost Protocol Website:   www.missionimpossible.com 

Movie Preview – Twilight Breaking Dawn (Part 1)

Edward and Bella make it official in the latest Twilight movie “Breaking Dawn – Part 1”, which opens in theaters on November 18th. The Cullen-Swan nupuals spell change for both Team Edward and Team Jacob.  As Bella says “I do” to an eternity with Edward, she leaves behind the life she has know as a common mortal and enters the the world of the Volturi.  Is Bella really ready for the life she has chosen?  Marriage to Edward  means that life will never be the same for her or for anyone she loves.  Has Bella chosen wisely, or has love blinded her to the truth?Watch for yourself and decide.  What would you do with a new vampire husband and a half-breed baby?  And what about Jacob?  Will Bella’s transition to life as a vampire ruin their special friendship?  Join the discussion.  Tell us what you think.  After November 18th Bella’s world will never by the same – nor will ours.

Avoid the lines.  Click this link to puurchase your tickets in advance:

Jimmy Fallon “Thank You Notes” – Hot Off The Presses

Jimmy Fallon, Host of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Comedian, Actor, Musician and former Cast Member of SNL adds Author to his resume with his new book “Thank You Notes” now available on book stands everywhere.  Fallon, well known for his impersonations, has elevated gratitude to a whole new level with his clever and hilarious “Thank You” segments, complete with the musical accompaniment of his TV band The Roots.

Fallon, usually the first to laugh, shows his guests a good time with a variety of silly games and even offers home viewers a chance to participate by writing to him via Twitter when he sends out a hashtags alert.  Trust me, get the book, watch the show and follow Jimmy on Twitter at twitter.com/#!/@jimmyfallon.  Let me know what you think.  You’ll be glad you did.

We Love You Oprah!!!

Oprah Winfrey said “good-bye” to millions of viewers this week after 25 years on the air.

Oprah, started her meteoric rise to the top of Daytime TV in September 1985, when in less that a year she turned AM Chicago, a “faltering half-hour morning program on WLS-TV into the hottest show in town”.  The result, The Oprah Winfrey Show was born.  The rest is as they say “history”.

Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in Steven Spielberg’s film The Color Purple, creator of “Oprah’s Book Club” known for propelling authors to the top of the bestseller’s lists, co-founder of Oxygen Media, a company dedicated to producing programming for women, publisher of O: The Oprah Magazine, inventor of Oprah’s Angel Network, responsible for raising more than $51,000,000 for charitable programs including founder of The Leadership Academy for Girls and owner of Harpo Productions and The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), Ms. Winfrey according to Forbes Magazine is “the richest African American of the 20th Century and the world’s only Black billionaire for three years running.”  Additionally in 2005, Business Week named her “the greatest Black philanthropist in American history.”  (See Oprah’s Biography)

It is a fact that Oprah has touched us all with her warm encouragement to “Live Your Best LIfe,” and on May 17, 2011, approximately 13,000 people packed Chicago’s United Center to say “Thank you.”  “Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular”, a star-studded farewell party for the Queen of Daytime TV featured guests and performances by many of today’s biggest names.  Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise started off the festivities, followed by The Black Eyed Peas, The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Halle Berry, Madonna, Beyonce, Queen Latifah, Usher, Michael Jordan, Diane Sawyer, Maria Shriver, Josh Grobin, Stevie Wonder, Jaime Foxx, Racal Flatts, Simon Cowell, Rosie O’Donald and of course, BFF Gail King (just to name a few).

Since her humble beginnings, Oprah’s accomplishments have enabled her to join an elite group of Americans inducted into the Academy of Achievement.  She has also been the recipient of numerous other awards, including the NAACP Image Award, The Bob Hope Humanitarian Award and was a 2010 Kennedy Center Honors Recipient.

Tom Hanks welcomed Oprah to her surprise party by telling her “Today you are surrounded by nothing but love.”  Oprah responded “I feel the love.”  Once again, I think she spoke for us all.

Bieber’s Gift to Ellen

When Justin Bieber stopped by to see Ellen DeGeneres for her birthday last week, he had a special gift for her.  A lock of the famous Bieber’s hair in an autographed glass case!  Ellen wishing to raise money for one of her favorite charities “The Gentle Barn,” placed the hair on eBay to see what would happen.  In just a few days of bidding, the Bieb’s hair brought in over $40,000!  Wow, now that’s a GIFT!  Read the entire story at www.ellen.warnerbros.com.

Burlesque – The Movie

Like the poster says “It Takes A Legend To Make A Star”.  In the new movie Burlesque, legendary Diva Cher shows us how it’s done.  Cher stars opposite Christina Aguilera in the Sony blockbuster Burlesque, which opened worldwide on November 24, 2010.  The story is a simple one.  Small town girl comes to the big city and wants to become a singer.  What’s extraordinary about this film is the enormous talent of the two stars.  Cher, the ultimate Diva, has been belting out songs to adoring fans for years.  Beautiful, bold and stylish Cher set the standard for female stage performers and continues to entertain us with her ageless sex appeal.  Christina Aguilera has also proven herself to be a consummate performer, her songs rising to the top of the music charts for the last several years.

Reminiscent of Liza Minelli and Joel Grey in Cabaret, the music, choreography, dance numbers, costume changes and lingerie alone in the film Burlesque should be worth the price of admission.  This movie looks like there is something for everyone.  I for one can’t wait.

 

 

 

Movie Review: The Town

By:  Cheryl Maxie

Introduction: The Town stars Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Jeremy Renner and Blake Lively.  Released September 17, 2010, The Town (Warner Bros.) is still in the top ten after six weeks and has grossed over $84,653,000 to date.  Also co-written by Affleck, The Town is Affleck’s directorial debut.

Storyline: The movie opens as Affleck’s crew (Renner, Slaine, Burke and Welliver) rob a Boston bank and take bank manager, Claire Keesey, played by Rebecca Hall hostage.  The plot thickens when Affleck’s character (Doug MacRay) becomes romantically involved with bank manager, Keesey.  MacRay wants to break free from a life of crime, but is held hostage himself by his past associations and family ties.  F.B.I. agent, Adam Frawley (Hamm) brings the  “heat”, one step behind the crew, threatening to bring an end to both MacRay’s life as a free man and to his romantic plans for a future with Keesey.  A trigger happy/best friend (Renner), a druggy ex-girlfriend (Lively) and a neighborhood crime boss, “Fergie” (Pete Postlethwaite) all conspire to keep MacRay tied to “the life”.  Against his will, MacRay is forced to do one final heist.  Rob the biggest game in town, the Boston Red Socks.

What’s Good: Just about everything in this film is outstanding.  Edge of your seat excitement, interesting characters, love and even intimacy are present in this modern day good guy vs. bad guy drama.  Lots of action scenes without overdone special effects keep viewers engaged and wanting more.  Chase sequences are especially good, reminiscent of DeNiro and Pacino in the film classic “Heat”.

What’s Bad: Not much to say in this area.  The only bad part of the movie was it being over.

Summary: The film is a triumph for Actor/Director/Star Affleck.  Exciting and dramatic from beginning to end, the film is a MUST SEE for all moviegoers.   Expect to see a great movie.  It will exceed your expectations and proved that you can still take a simple idea to new heights with just the right talent.  If you can, see it one the big screen.  It’s well worth the ticket price.

Movie Review – Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

By: Cheryl Maxie

Introduction: Wall Street 2 (Money Never Sleeps) opened worldwide October 24, 2010 to anxiously awaiting fans. Starring Michael Douglas and Shia LaBoeuf the film directed by Oliver Stone has an all-star supporting cast that includes Carey Mulligan, Susan Sarandon and Josh Brolin.

Storyline: When Gordon Gekko (Douglas) is released from prison after serving 8 years for insider trading, he is approached by his would be son-in-law Jake Moore (Shia LaBoeuf) in an attempt to reconcile Gekko with his daughter Winnie, LaBoeuf’s love interest. LaBoeuf, a “wall streeter” himself is somewhat seduced by the charismatic Gekko and quickly learns a few new tricks from his future father-in-law. As luck would have it, LaBoeuf’s mentor (Frank Langella) is driven to suicide when his company is ruined and LaBoeuf is determined to avenge his death. In an attempt to bring down the corrupt leader of the financial company that ruined his company, Bretton James played by Brolin, (who also contributed to Gekko’s imprisonment) LaBoeuf goes to work for the competition. LaBoeuf struggles to do good, but has to learn how to swim with the big sharks, which ultimately threatens to both destroy his relationship and his financial future when the rug is pulled out from under him by guess who?

What’s Good: Michael Douglas is great as he recaptures Gekko’s character, a man down but never out of the game. LaBoeuf is believable as both a young, hotshot Wall Street trader and equally convincing as a caring partner to his love interest (Mulligan) showing a wide range of emotion with apparent ease. In Wall Street, LaBoeuf has taken the leap from the action paced “Transformer” franchise into a first rate “Leading Man” in a dramatic role. Josh Brolin who plays Bretton James the banker who is so driven, that he lacks a conscience, but even though you know he’s no good, you love to watch. Oliver Stone plays a cameo role in the movie that is always a treat for the moviegoer. Susan Sarandon is in her element as LaBoeuf’s needy mother (complete with thick New York accent) and it is always fun to see how the super rich live and how they spend all that money on those wonderful toys (and clothes).

What’s Bad: It would have been nice to see Mulligan have a meatier part, but overall her performance was what the script required.

Summary: As sequel’s go, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a must see if you enjoyed the first one. Oliver Stone’s film is, as always filled with interesting hypotheses of what could have cause our economic melt down. The film is well paced, beautifully shot and is fun to watch. There some great lines in Money Never Sleeps, a great New York Benefit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art sequence and even a little excitement for those with the need for speed.