Friday, June 27, 2008

Seasame Street blows my mind with "Twin Beaks"...

I always knew Frank Oz was's a great example...

I love crazy investigation tactics...

Enjoy the weekend...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

"I Love Money" has already won my heart!

Let’s be honest here, I am a reality TV whore. If Vh1, Bravo or any other pop culture network can play it in marathon form for weekends upon weekends in a row and there are multiple cast members crying into a confessional video camera or creating an alliance, I will be there will bells on each week.

This could ultimately be the reason I leave the house a little less than a few years back or why my brain is slowly starting to forget important history facts, but can remember slight details from Cycle 3 of America’s Next Top Model, but I don’t care. Please, if the country has self-destructed after two terms of George Bush, I think we are okay with New York having another reality program. But I am veering off topic, so let’s get to the show I am almost as excited for as the second season of “Flipping Out”, “I Love Money”. See Vh1 knew they had a gold mine with all the has beens and wannabes from multiple seasons of their “I want to date (insert lame 80’s famous star here)”, which helped fuel the embarrassing celebreality genre, but at least with this game show/reality program, the dudes and chicks are honest about why the brought their littlest tops and most aggressive fighting styles to a some poorly decorated home in Encino – MONEY! This show is the promise that people will do anything for money. What is looking like a perfect combination of the all too early in the genre “Fear Factor, where contestants ate bugs, climbed ladders and rode horses, to name a few, for the privilege of $25,000 and notoriety and the “Real World/Road Rules challenges programming, which took people who at one point were thrown into a house, made to live with strangers, ah you get it and made them battle it out, again for money. See what MTV did for reality program, making it okay to be bi-sexual, confused, money hungry and antagonistic, Vh1 made it doubly okay. They have celebrated season after season of stripper look-alikes making out with Brett Michaels, Flavor Flav and New York, a reality creation of magical proportions. This challenge show, where winners and losers from their dating shows will partake in spitting relays with Pumpkin and cow herding with Rodeo are so meta, that this should be the final inclination of any reality programming for Vh1. And from the below premiere trailer, I can not wait until these idiots battle it out to see who reins supreme in the reality whore competition of a lifetime. Sometimes MTV Networks, I don’t know if I should love you for placating me and giving in to my addiction or hating you for it. On July 6th, when I am treating my holiday sun burn with aloe and nursing my third straight day of Fourth of July hangover, I will be loving you Vh1 and my DVR. Enjoy….

More details at Vh1

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Daily Rounds..

My head is pounding from staring at this gosh darn computer all day and I have been super busy with actual work, but we all know the news don’t stop for nothing. So let’s get to it…

  • * Mattel knows what momma likes. The toy company is producing a “The Birds” theme Barbie doll to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. The amazing psychological thriller based on a short story, followed Melanie Daniels and her multiple run-ins with vicious birds in Bodega Bay. Mattel created the doll, with full on green suit, blonde up do and of course multiple attacking crows, based on one of the iconic moments in the movie. This is also what I looked like last Halloween, since this was my costume to a T. So if any of you were wondering what to get m for my birthday or Christmas or just as a thank you for dispensing entertainment knowledge to you on a daily basis, this would be it!

  • * This just in! is still an ass! You would think someone who lost their job for racist joke would keep his mouth shut.

  • * I just love the bitchy Kelly Cutrone from People’s Revolution and ”The Hills” fame. She mixes an amazing amount of schlumpy sweaters with cut throat PR attitude. And she yells at LC!

  • * * Heather Locklear is seeking out psychological help in Arizona. It must be tough to be so hot and still get dumped by Richie Sambora. I do have to question anyone’s psychological profile who has dated Scott Baio and Tommy Lee. We hope she feels better!

  • * Another sign of the apocalypse. Heidi, Spencer and Perez Hilton go to church together. It must be awesome to crave fame so much.

  • * Set your DVRs on NBC for this Saturday Night. NBC will be replaying the the premiered episode of Saturday Night Live” that George Carlin hosted in 1975 as a memorial and tribute to recently passed comedian.

  • * Surprise, Al Sharpton is an asshole! Sharpton was a guest on Anderson Cooper 360 and said that even though he is a Democrat, his conservative ideals have him believing that Cooper himself will “burn in Hell” for his behavior. Towelroad has the video.

  • * Is Colin Farrell the father of Minnie Driver’s unborn baby?

  • * And finally, The Addams Family is coming to Broadway and Bebe Neuwirth is signed up to play Morticia.


  • Hope gives me hope - Cute Puppy Alert

    These few minutes made me very happy. This is why I love science - it gives Hope the tools to be a silly little puppy. I know this is all over the interwebs already, but Spielster really needed to support lil' Hope.

    Tuesday, June 24, 2008

    Sadness...its a Corey!

    Season 2 of “The Two Coreys” on A&E kicked off this past Sunday and can we so far the first two episodes make last season look like a visit with grandma. The fractured duo, who used to be Hollywood’s golden pair and my future husbands, begin this season with fights in diners and meetings with therapists. Did a memo circulate from VH1 to A&E letting them know that you can not have a reality program with an 80’s/child star without having them visit a therapist on camera?

    Anyways, the two are brought together once again since both have relocated to Los Angeles, home to many dead dreams, and will be working on scenes together for the Lost Boys 2 movie. The two are found to be fighting over the suspicions of Haim selling stories of their broken friendship and secrets to the National Enquirer and the harsh stuff that I am assuming Haim used to drugs to suppress for the past 20 years. Both Corey Feldman and Corey Haim begin opening up to each other in what seems like a real way, despite the cameras being everywhere. Haim discusses being sexually molested as a teen and blames Feldman, repeatedly saying it was a very close male friend to Feldman. Feldman also states that he was molested repeatedly at the same time, but by a different close friend. I am thinking the offenders could be many people, and quite possibly Michael Jackson, but Feldman dismisses that claim in an interview with both Coreys for the July issue of GQ Magazine. Feldman went on record and said "People can say whatever they want, but it wasn't Michael. He and I have our own issues, but that wasn't one of them. The guy that did this to me was my assistant. I was still a virgin at the time. I hadn't even had sex with a girl. So for me it was just kind of bewildering."

    Who knows if we'll ever find out who the perpetrators were? I think what is crazy is if this is all true, it seems that not only drug addiction is a pattern for child stars, but addiction following molestation is. Where the fuck are these kids' managers, parents, family, etc? What the hell is going on in that Tinseltown? Video of the sad confrontation is below, courtesy of Daily Motion.

    The show depresses me, like it depresses other reviewers because it is incredibly difficult to watch two human beings crave celebrity so badly, when all it did was ruin their lives. As a child of the 1980’s, I remember the power and hold the Coreys had on me, my friends, the media and VHS. Twenty years later, the two are attempting to be taken seriously as actors and as power players in an industry that has already chewed them up and spit them out. While I personally always thought Haim had the bigger acting range and Feldman had the better personality, as grating as it is, I don’t see either being taken seriously, especially after this reality debacle. If there is one thing to learn from the celeb reality madness that has seemed to taken over basic cable the past few years is that it might be an easy way to bring home a paycheck, but it does not mean there will be further paychecks in your future. Like car crashes, we all like to watch a big mess go down – but most of us don’t stick around to watch the car being fixed. If you want to watch “The Coreys” in all their splendor, rent Lost Boys or License to Drive.

    Monday, June 23, 2008

    George Carlin - Simply put RIP.....

    As you all may know, George Carlin, genius comedian and social commenter, passed away this weekend at 71 from heart failure. To say that Carlin was an original, pioneer and bright shining light in a world of sheeps, would be an understatement. The man who became famous for his ”Seven Dirty Words” act act will be remembered for his tenacity to holler at those who were not smart enough to find truth for themselves. His rants on free speech, feminism, anti-religion sentiments and the government were not only witty, but were intelligently researched and performed, making him a hero to many. Carlin was also the kind of comedian and pop culture icon that could give a crap about his image and would never worry about being the butt of the joke. A job was a job and a joke was a joke to George. He would not want us going on and on about how sad it is to lose him, but he would prefer for us to laugh it off and grill some freaky Catholic. Without Carlin and his routines, Bill Maher, Dennis Miller and Lewis Black, among others, would not have been able to so easily move into the arena of political comedians. And without him, Bill and Ted would have not been such a great flick.

    Here is George Carlin going off on religion. RIP……

    Monday's Movie Box Office Recap - Who won the battle of the funny?

    Well this weekend’s battle of the box office draws confirmed a new comedians pull and could possibly mark the beginning of the end for another.

    As expected, “Get Smart” snagged the number one spot at the box office this weekend, with draw of $39 million, which is quite substantial for a flimsy comedy remake of a television show most people who were born after 1975 never saw an episode of. But the big news really is that “The Love Guru”, Mike Myers’ return to the big screen after about 5 years time off, fell far below its expected second place rank, raking in only $14 million, making it the fourth highest grossing film this weekend. The movie, which Myers vigilantly worked on the past few years, was universally panned last week by the nation’s critics, but it was expected to come in at least second. In actuality, it was beaten, not only by rival comedian’s Steve Carell’s “Smart”, but also a cartoon that has been open for two weeks, ”Kung Fu Panda” and the lackluster Marvel action flick “The Incredible Hulk. And with this showing the first weekend out, things can only go down hill from here for Myers and his meditation master Pitka. The movie might win a second place just yet though, as the second biggest blockbuster flop, after the sad performance of “Speed Racer, the big flop of the summer. It seems that any possible future for “Love Guru” sequels has been squashed with this weekend’s totals. Congratulations should be given to “Iron Man” and “Sex and the City” for sticking it out in the top ten.

    Also surprising is the $220 thousand dollars Kit Kittredge: An American Girl pulled in this past weekend with a limited release of 5 theaters. The highly reviewed first installment of the main screen adaptations of the lives of the American Girl brand is set to have a larger release in July, but if this is any indication of its pull, New Line Cinemas’ might have really hit pay dirt , possibly their last pay dirt with two films this summer, whose target audience is women. You hear that Warner Brothers and the rest of Hollywood?

    Here is the rest of the Box Office Top ten, courtesy of Box Office Mojo.
    1. Get Smart - $39 million
    2. Kung Fu Panda - $22 million
    3. The Incredible Hulk - $21.5 million
    4. The Love Guru - $14 million
    5. The Happening - $10 million
    6. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - $8.4 million
    7. You Don’t Mess with the Zohan - $7.2 million
    8. Sex and the City: The Movie - $6.5 million
    9. Iron Man - $4 million
    10. The Strangers - $2 million

    Friday, June 20, 2008

    This Weekend's Box Office Battle - Will "Get Smart" beat out "The Love Guru" and other comedic revelations....

    And it begins…
    This summer is turning out to be a battle of the lukewarm openers. This weekend will mark the opening of “The Love Guru starring Mike Myers and “Get Smart starring Steve Carell. Myers, the one time king of the comedy box office will be pitted against one of the funny men to attempt and possibly succeed in removing the crown. Meyers has not had a “box office success” in the past six years and the last time he grabbed a top spot was with the third installment of the hilarious “Austin Powers” franchise. The reviews are in for both films and it seems that the critics are all choosing “Get Smart” to win the weekend with its fresh take on the classic sitcom from the 1960’s, starring Don Adams. Critics are panning “Guru” and Meyers for the potty mouthed humor and overplayed jokes that are weaved throughout the meditation master spoof. While Myers’ continued commitment to his characters remains strong, viewers aren’t sure there is enough material to really be true to. In an interesting twist, the always lovable Carell took a huge leap, once again, stepping in a role that is almost synonymous with the original creator. Don Adams not only embodied the role of Max Smart, but one might even say that he battled this characterization for the remainder of his years. This is familiar territory for Carell since he became a household name after stepping into the shoes of another funny man, Ricky Gervais, in the American version of “The Office”. “Get Smart” is seemingly winning the battle with the critics, but neither film is being universally touted as a true rip roaring comedy for the summer. In fact that job might have to be taken care of later in the summer with upcoming comedies like ”Step-Brothers” starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, ”Tropic Thunder” starring Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr. and Jack Black and ”Pineapple Express” starring Seth Rogen and James Franco.

    This change in the scope of comedy is a long way coming and it seems that whatever Mike Myers had tried this time around, it might have failed. The comedian, who was recently profiled in not the greatest light by Entertainment Weekly, has been battling the rumors of his being difficult and insane dedication to his roles in Hollywood for years now. But isn’t the true battle him and his comedy stylings are having with the viewers themselves? This weekend’s battle could signal more than just one person being funny over another, but could really be the nail in the coffin to 1990’s style comedies. With the success of Judd Apatow and Co. and their more truthful comedies, it seems that the comedy genre audience itself is developing different tastes, making it more difficult for the old standard to continue to succeed. Ferrell recently hit a wall block with his 8,000 version of the same story with the dismal ”Semi-Pro”, which was too painfully bad to even finish. Ferrell hopefully took the clue and will continue to produce funny comedies that utilize different plot synopsis than “kooky, over weight, out of the limelight big name gets his glory again”, well you get the picture right? We live in a world of entertainment where “Saturday Night Live” is no longer the producer for successful box office demons it once was and actually the only ones coming out of the sketch comedian paradise with the goods are the female comediennes, which is a whole other topic to discuss at a later date. The new comedy camp seems reside in the behind the scenes magic of “Apatown”, with its ever presence of funny men and woman churning out heartfelt comedies. I for one hope that comedians can see the writing on the wall and more importantly, Hollywood execs can once again produce rip roaring comedies all the time. I have not had the opportunity to see either of the big comedies opening up this weekend and will present my personal reviews of them next week. I can say though that I have been beyond psyched for “Get Smart” and not only just for the always funny Carell, but to finally see Duane Johnson, previously known as The Rock, to become a genuine all around movie star, a development way too long in the making.

    Whether the box office results show “Guru” or “Smart” at number one, the battle has already been won by the next generation.

    Thursday, June 19, 2008

    Twin Peaks Blogging

    For those of you who know me well, you are more than aware of my deep love for all things involving David Lynch. The director, writer and artist could be one of my favorite people in Hollywood ever, mainly for his disturbing looks at small town USA, without the rose colored glasses. Lynch’s worked grabbed me at a young age, but the project that remains my favorite is the serial “Twin Peaks”, which is now available for viewing on Whitney over at PopCandy posted about Fancast the other day and how they brought on Lara Flynn Boyle to discuss her work on Twin Peaks this week. Boyle is blogging everyday and discussing with readers and commenters in promotion of the genre expanding television program. Lara said that her time on the show was where she “learned” how to be an actress and that working with Lynch on such an inspired project was remarkable. She also said that as opposed to other hit shows of the 1990’s, all the lead female characters got along extremely well.

    Boyle also chronicled her time on “The Practice”, which is now available as well on Funcast. The collector’s edition of the “Twin Peaks” was just released finally on DVD, with some great features and interviews, as well as a set of postcards I will using to stylize my “T.P” tattoo. In other “Twin Peaks” news, Madchen Amick, Shelly Johnson on “Peaks”, has signed on to join the cast of “Gossip Girl” as a cougar type who shows a strong interest in Nate, played by Chase Crawford. And David Lynch is curerntly working with another fascinating director Werner Jerzog on a murder/drama movie.

    Wednesday, June 18, 2008

    Technical Difficulties...

    Unfortunately, The Spielster has found itself battling a few techinical difficulties and I do apologize dear readers. We will attempt to be back up, providing new content such as:

  • * The Love Guru vs. Get Smart battle at this weekend's box office - Which funny man will come out on top?
  • * The Daily Rounds
  • * A look at the AFI's 10 Top 10
  • * Twin Peaks' goodies
  • * Katherine Heigl: Working her way to the top or to the jobless line?
  • * And later this week, we will be taking a look at the soon to become household names in show business.

    Apologies again and Enjoy!

  • Tuesday, June 17, 2008

    Daily Rounds....

    Let's get to the news - Short and Sweet from now on....

  • *Words of Wisdom from Oprah about finding your true path in life. I have always agreed with O on this and said we all have our distinct inner calling.

  • *More gay and lesbian couples, including George Takei and his partner, have found their way to the altar since California is now legally able to acknowledge their nuptials. Since I am not incredibly well versed, here is some coverage from MSNBC and USA Today.

  • * Did Coldplay borrow melodies from a local band to write their latest album Viva La Vida? From what I have heard, I love the album, so I definitely hope not.

  • * Ugh can’t Scarlett Johansson shut her face. First the bitch lands Ryan Reynolds and now she is bragging about being email buddies with Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama. For the benefit of my party and our country, please ScarJo keep stuff like this on the DL. The last thing he needs is a scandal, kthxbai!!!

  • * The 2008 Summer Box Office season is already ahead of last year’s totals by a small margin and with the upcoming releases they think it might end up about 15% better than last year’s returns.

  • * PETA is not too happy with Jessica Simpson’s T-shirt.

  • * Stan Winston, a special effects icon in Hollywood, passed away from cancer at age 62. He was surrounded by his family in his Malibu home at the time of his death this past Sunday. Winston is best known for his contribution to huge films like Jurassic Park, Aliens and more.

  • * The Film Institute, or AFI with the help of online voting and CBS will present their new Top Ten Films from The Top Ten Categories tonight. The site currently shows all 500 film nominees and tonight, with the help of some celebrities, we will find out who won the honors for top Drama, Romantic Comedy, Sci-Fi or Gangster film. Check here tomorrow for the full list.

  • * And finally, one of my favorite television shows EVER is returning to the small screen tonight for its second season premiere. Flipping Out, starring OCD/Real Esate flipper Jeff Lewis, returns to Bravo tonight and this season looks a thousand times better than last, if that’s possible. I can not wait to see what Jeff makes his fearless staff do this time around, but if this picture of his maid with a portrait of herself is any indication, I can’t wait!!!!


  • Who Will Take Over for Tim Russert?

    Since this is an election year, the internet and news industry are all hard at work trying to figure out whom, if anyone, can fill Tim’s shoes on “Meet The Press”. Tom Brokaw, who took over the duty this past Sunday is a natural choice for this election cycle until a permanent replacement can be chosen. Other MSNBC/NBC News regulars whose names have been floated around are David Gregory, Chuck Todd and possibly my political girlcrush Rachel Maddow. I think all three are wonderful choices because they have the earnest interest in politics and what surrounds it like Russert, but they also do not wear their political agendas on their sleeves like other NBC anchors/ correspondents do. Gregory would be the smartest choice, with his political pedigree and his ability to disarm others in a debate. I believe Todd and Maddow would be wonderful sideline players and hope these two take bigger stakes in the network as the election cycle gets more intense.

    I meant to post this yesterday, but here is Luke Russert, son of Tim Russert, describing his relationship between him and his dad on the Today show. Honestly, I wish more families were like this and this video makes me appreciate Mr. Russert even more. While I expected Luke to be more broken down since losing his father the Friday before Father’s Days, he an incredibly positive attitude towards the sudden death of his father. Luke said to Matt Lauer that “there was not one day of my life that I did not feel loved by my father”. And this allowed him to properly mourn his father, who he felt would not want everyone to stop living their lives because of his passing.

    Weeds - The Fourth Season is Quite "Kind"

    Last night was the Season 4 premiere for one of my favorite television shows, Weeds. The program that follows the blustering mother/drug dealer Nancy Botwin, played effortlessly by Mary Louise Parker, and her interaction with her business partners and wacky family after the sudden death of her husband. The Fourth Season begins with the Botwin family running from the fires that engulfed their picturesque town of Agrestic/Majestic and to a change in scenery. They are now holing up with Nancy’s father in law, played by Albert Brooks this season in a seaside town in Baja, and she is looking to work with Guillermo, the man most likely behind the fires of Agrestic, and trafficking over the border. We also got a sneak peek of the arrest of Celia for being the alleged ring leader for the marijuana crops found in last season’s finale. And of course the love lost between Celia, Elizabeth Perkins and her ex-husband will not help the situations. Here is a great interview TV Guide did with Parker and Perkins in preparation for this season. As to not spoil anymore of the show for those who have yet to see it, Variety is offering a free screening of the episode in full on their website.

    In preparation for yesterday’s premiere, I began watching the previous seasons again. I have really appreciated this program from the get go. Mainly because I really find Parker to be a stellar actress and I am glad that she has finally been given a role she can sink her teeth into and something that more a million people are watching. The Nancy Botwin character is a complete departure from many things Parker has done in the past, but more so, she is a change to the typical mother role we have so often seen on television. Usually when we see a female character that lives a life of conflict, i.e. being a drug dealer and a suburban housewife, she is usually found to be apologetic for her chosen path. In the beginning, when Nancy was dealing with the loss of her husband, the resentment from her children and being forced to face the reality of going out there and maintaining the lifestyle the family had grown accustomed to, she did battle with her chosen trade, the drug business. Her children first frowned upon it, then used it as a weapon and then seemed to rally behind it. Her close friends and even family members began participating in the business at all levels and it seemed to not only normalize the “trade”, but actually legitimize it. What I found so appealing about Nancy and the gusto that Parker brings to the role is there are no longer any apologies for herself, she is who she is and she has her reasons. She is calculated to protect herself and in turn, her family. This honesty has felt so real and true to a viewer like myself since Tony Soprano took to the screen, playing the gangster who loved his family.
    So I would like to say Bravo to Showtime for not only continuing to create interesting parts for women, but making sure they do not fall in live with the archetype female character. And I can not wait to see what happens, wrong or right, in Nancy Botwin’s life during the Fourth Season.

    Monday, June 16, 2008

    Daily Rounds....

    Short and sweet from now on....

  • *Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, a lesbain couple have waited 55 years until today to be legally able to wed. The couple who have been together for what seems like a lifetime will be one of the first to take advantage of the California law, that goes into effect today, allowing gay couples to legally marry in the state. BRAVO!!! I can't explain how touching this story truly is.
  • * "The Incredible Hulk" won here, but The Happening took number one place oversees.
  • * USA Today remembers Tim Russert and discusses the memorial "Meet The Press" episode.
  • * Hot male actors cry too. Here are the pictures to prove it.
  • * A first look at the upcoming film "Year One" from Harold Ramis.
  • * Is M.I.A. retiring?
  • * Vanity Fair provides the blogsphere index.
  • * Like I needed help. Start Procrastinating!
  • * TV Crunch discusses the 25 Worst TV Shows ever and sadly a few are truly my favorites. I am excited they remembered Double Trouble, starring the Segal sisters.
  • *And finally, even though Angelina Jolie had only nice things to say about her ex Billy Bob Thornton in her recent Entertainment Weekly article, I can not say the same for him. Thorntoncalled out Jolie as going "through a phase" right now, saying she just wanted to "date the high school football player". He just jealous!

  • Tom Cruise and his peeps are battling another one....

    So the drama around Tom Cruise just seems to never end. Once he is done with someone, another fight begins. This time around the drama is surrounding remarks made by celebrity therapist Dr. Drew Pinsky, from VH1’s Celebrity Rehab and Loveline fame. Dr. Drew was interviewed for Playboy in regards to celebrities and their kooky ways and the doc brought up Mr. Cruise for some reason. Even though Dr. Drew has never treated Tom he did go on record saying that Cruise’s erratic behavior and participation in a “cultish kind of environment ….that’s a function of a very deep emptiness and suggests serious neglect in childhood, maybe some abuse”, and I kind of have to agree. His behavior over the past few years has sent many of his fans away and the rest of us searching for the thing that set him off.

    Of course Cruise’s lawyer needed to step in for his client in regards to this nearly slept on quote and released a statement saying “"He seems to be spewing the absurdity that all Scientologists are mentally ill.”, in regards to Dr. Drew. The therapist asked his representative to release a statement regarding the lawyers comments that said basically that Dr. Drew was sorry (i.e. AFRAID OF THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOOGY) and while Mr. Cruise’s reps were intending to “slander and discredit Dr. Drew, under no circumstances is Dr. Drew making a blanket diagnosis about Scientology nor Mr. Cruise, whom he does not know.” Wah wah wah.

    And to prove that Mr. Cruise isn’t suffering from any delusions of grandeur. Life & Style is reporting for this week’s issue that Tom will not travel anywhere withour his bomb and bullet proofed transportation. While I can agree that Tom should have security detail, with his bank account and importance to the Hollywood community, I am not positive that he is first on anyone’s bombing list – but who knows. This seems to be another tactic though that can provide Katie Holmes with an even greater sense of being watched and “protected” by her husband. Can’t wait to hear the rumors flying when they are “living” here during her time on Broadway.

    Monday Movie Box Office Recap....

    So this weekend was a bit bizarre for me. Friday night, I found myself at a party, rubbing elbows with the likes of Mark Ronson, Q-Tip, Mike Meyers, Zack Posen, Heather Graham, Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco and Justin Theroux, to name a few. It was a birthday party for a friend on this amazing roof deck in Chelsea, where the views were not the best, but the weather + deck, added a very nice ending to a beyond stressful week. I wish I could tell you something crazy happened, but I believe the craziest thing that did happen is a friend and I breaking into an apartment to use the potty. The celebs were actually the more behaved members of the group, since a good amount of the crowd were the professional party hoppers. I tell this story not to name drop, but to just embrace how different it is to live in New York City and see things most people do not have the chance to. It's also nice to know that celebs can just go out with us commoners and enjoy themselves just as much, in fact sometimes even more. Other than that, I spent the weekend watching some screeners of movies, none that were good enough to mention, and falling in love with Annie Hall once again. Let’s find out what the rest of the country was doing and check out the box office totals.

    This weekend pinned Universal’s remake of “The Incredible Hulk” and M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Happening”, against each other. This would be the first time this summer that two sci-fi/ action based blockbusters were fighting for the number one spot. My predictions came true and ”The Hulk” came in first place, while The Happening only managed to win a bronze medal in this week’s battle of the box office stars, with Kung Fu Panda maintaining its grip on the box office coming in second place. In regards to the “Hulk” vs. “Happening”, not sure which one proved a better movie or just better advertising? “Hulk” first had to fight off that “didn’t this movie come out like 5 years ago?” talk about the Eric Bana version.. We were bombarded last week with “Hulk” trailers, which featured the successful Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr., himself. We were also “informed” that Marvel’s other super heroes, like Captain America, might be found in the “Hulk”, since Universal and Marvel wants to make sure that all their super hero movies now link together so the franchises can continue and continue. Each movie has at least one anticipated sequel, but the gossip mill is saying that star of “Hulk”Edward Norton was not happy with the movieand has yet to sign on for the sequels, unlike the director and the rest of the cast. Shyamalan’s “The Happening” fared well considering the large amounts of bad press the movie received and the even larger amounts of poor reviews. The movie received so much negative attention that the director himself came out before it was released and said heintentionally made it in proper “B movie fashion”, which seems like a little of a cover up to me. Anyways, “Zohan” came in fourth place and “Indiana Jones” came in fifth, to round out the top five. “Sex and the City” and “What Happens in Vegas” are still proving strong competitors and “Iron Man” is still bringing in millions each weekend, even though it’s already been in theaters for over a month.

    Here is the rest of the Box Office Top ten, courtesy of Box Office Mojo.
    1. The Incredible Hulk - $54.5 million
    2. Kung Fu Panda - $34 million
    3. The Happening - $30.5 million
    4. You Don’t Mess with the Zohan - $16.4 million
    5. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - $13.5 million
    6. Sex and the City: The Movie - $10 million
    7. Iron Man - $5 million
    8. The Strangers - $4 million
    9. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - $3 million
    10. What Happens in Vegas - $1.7 million

    Next week’s box office battle is going to be incredibly interesting and will pit two of the highest grossing comedians, Mike Meyers and Steve Carrell against each other for the first time. I am going to break down the battle on Wednesday of this week!


    Friday, June 13, 2008

    This Sunday will be strange _ Tim Russert, host of "Meet the Press", dead at age 58

    Tim Russert, NBC News' Washington bureau chief and host of the channels "Meet the Press" died earlier this afternoon after a sudden heart attack. Russert was at work at the time and had just returned from a family vacation in Italy. The journalist and integral moderator of this election cycle was 58 years old.

    Russert’s sudden passing is definitely a blow to the NBC News family, the sentiment echoed by both Tom Brokaw and Brian Williams this afternoon when the breaking story hit airwaves. Tim was a great moderator and presented a somewhat fair and balanced look at politics in this extremely divided climate. A Buffalo, NY native, Russert worked on various Democratic campaigns, including that of Mario Cuomo’s gubernatorial race before joining the news division over at NBC. He was a powerhouse and important figure in Washington, DC and in the coverage of American politics. Just this year, TIME named him one of the 100 Most Influential People and his write was provided by one time boss, Mario Cuomo himself. He was the host of "Meet the Press", a news program that hit its 60th year in production in 2007. Russert would meet with figure heads, pundits, candidates and others highly involved in the election cycle and process on this weekly program, that began to welcome my Sunday mornings a few years back.

    Tim Russert passing had an odd effect on me mainly because he signifies a very important part of my life. See Russert was the commencement speaker at my graduation in 2003 from Purchase College in Purchase, NY. And what I can remember, it was a very nice speech, with a lot of emphasis on the future, keeping your eyes open, to not be afraid of doing the unexpected and testing limits. He referenced his own life and where he started from and where he was then. He requested us, the graduates, to get out there and investigate things around us and to not just take things, people, news, etc. at face value. 2003 was a big year for me in more ways than just graduating. I moved to New York City, became highly involve in politics and philanthropy and was able to participate in things I never dreamed of. Don’t get me wrong, Russert’s speech was not the guiding force behind the change, but I do remember his words and their power. And not to get too cheesy, but it is an incredible shame that someone with as much passion and interest in his daily work is no longer able to assist us in seeking out truth and never taking things at face value. There are many things in this world that act as signs for us and I do hope that a few people can take away from this sad story that it is never too late to do what you want to do.

    My deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends. It is never easy losing someone you love, but it is even harder to lose them in the prime of their life, without notice. This Sunday will definitely be a bit strange.

    It's finally coming together: The Office Spin-Off!

    Ever since NBC confirmed that they are creating a spin-off of the ultra successful and criminally funny The Office, there has been much speculation on who would be part of the cast. While early rumors said that Rainn Wilson would actually be leaving the Scranton office to be the main cast member of the spin-off, there has been no confirmation on that as of yet and with his upstart film career, I am not sure if right now is the time to attempt to create a following for another TV show. While we are not sure if anyone from the original cast will be gracing the spin off with their presence, Variety has confirmed that Aziz Ansari, from MTV’s Human Giant has signed on to star in the program and a one year contract with Universal Media Studios, the company producing the program. The show is slated to premiere in the 2008-2009 Television season, in the prime spot of Thursday at 9:30 PM, right after “The Office”.

    Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, executive producers of the program, are not exactly set on the full concept of the spin off, but they are excited about the ensemble they are putting together for the program. Schur will also not confirm if the series will be a straight spin-off of the original, but he has said that they are “focusing on making the best show we can make as a companion to "The Office”. So far the writing team is adding up nicely, with vets from “Everybody Loves Raymond”, “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “South Park”.

    And since ex “Office” star Rashida Jones has signed a new talent deal with Universal Media Studios there have been plenty of rumors that the spin-off will be about her life at the Utica branch or possible elsewhere in the country. This has yet to be confirmed, but Jones (Karen Filippelli) was very well received character on the program and it would be interesting to watch a female lead a TV program situated in an office setting. As time will tell and production begins, I have to say I am excited about the prospect of another hilarious comedy on the Thursday night line up. There have been some great additions to the original “Office” as well, with “Freaks and Geeks” creator Paul Feig securing a writing gig on the program, as well as Aaron Shure and Charlie Grandy. Even though Summer just started, I am very psyched for the fall lineup.

    Thursday, June 12, 2008

    SPOILER ALERT!!! - And the winner of Top Chef is...

    Stephanie became the first female chef who took top honors on the "Top Chef" program. Stephanie Izard, who brought her A game to most challenges throughout the competition and had a total of four wins on the program before being part of the final three, cemented her climb to the top with a meal the judges wanted to eat once again.

    Stephanie also happened to win this top prize when it was based in Chicago, Izard's hometown. Izard won not only $100,000, but a feature in Food & Wine magazine, a showcase at the magazine's food expo in Aspen and an all inclusive vacation in the French Alps. In the final challenge, the top three, Stephanie, Richard, a chef with a good heart and an even more open mind when it came to his product and Lisa, a New York native whose temper ruffled more than a few feathers, were able to pick a sous chef from some incredible company. Stephanie was able to chose first and her pick was Eric Ripert, notorious chef of Le Bernardin, as well as a huge presence on the "Top Chef" show. Izard has said it was beyond odd to ask Ripert to slice up proteins for her winning dishes, but it was just part of the show.

    This season, I believe, had the most well rounded and capable contestants the program ever had and the final three could have easily gone to Stephanie or Richard and I would have been fine with it. But what Stephanie had and what made me pick her as the front runner after the second episode was that she seemed to truly love what she was doing, always breath fresh air into the dishes she prepared and working well with others. As a whole, I believe she was the strongest, with the best dishes, attitude and truly the overwhelming love of making food. Congratulations Stephanie. You deserve the win!!! Now we get to see what she can do with money and hopefully she open up another restaurant.

    Here are some fun other reviews of this season of Top Chef and the finale:
    * E! Online's coverage
    * Entertainment Weekly's coverage
    * Television Without Pity's coverage
    * Gawker's very snarky coverage

    Wednesday, June 11, 2008

    Is Paul Newman battling cancer?

    There have been rumors swirling around awhile now that Paul Newman, beloved actor and philanthropist, is battling the incredibly tough disease lung cancer. The National Ennquirer ran with the very "classy" cover story, predicting the actor's death within the next six weeks and most entertainment and pop culture blogs have run with the story. According to The Dish Rag at LA Times, both Newman's agent and spokesperson that the actor is not "dying", nor is he currently battling lung cancer.

    And while it seems strange that the people surrounding Newman are extremely quick to discount any reports, if it happens to be true, many friends of the actor are are confirming the story to various news outlets, including the Associated Press. Newman has battled prostate cancer in the past and it is common with people in his age bracket, who have suffered from cacner before to find it rearing its ugly head once again in another area of the body. With the internet and rumors swirling, its very hard to hide anything about famous movie stars nowadays and this report shows the thirst from the media to be the first to report the story and the nervousness of the fans in losing a legend and icon like Paul Newman. The 83 year old actor was not only a beyond capable actor, but he became synonomous with megawatt movie star with acting chops. He fell into roles incredibly well and did not allow his matinee idol good looks take away from difficult parts. His marriage to fellow successful actress Joanne Woodward also has become a winning example of how too movie leads can share a life together. Newman, when not winning awards for breakthrough performances, was creating Newman's Own an all natural food with foundation ties that provided qulaity and organic treats with all proceeds going to the foundation. Newman led the pack of actors putting together and supporting philanthropic organizations which set him apart from the other narcissists he sometimes shared the screen with. Newman and Woodward have set themselves apart from others in their industry with making it a point to give back to the community, fully support liberal ideals and continually provide beautiful art on the big screen. While at this time we can not be 100% sure of the health issues affecting the 83 year old actor and activist, but I do know that his stamp and effect on Hollywood will last the test of time. Without him, who knows who would have led the charges for actors, the privilaged, to lend their names, support and publicity to deserving organizations everywhere. It is obvious that Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, George Cloooney and others did not have to look too far from Newman to find acting icon they could fully want to emmulate. If Paul Newman is sick, we wish him all the best and a speedy recovery. If he is not, we we wish him all the best and look forward to what else is on the path for one of Hollywood's greatest specimen of what a movie star should be!

    Monday, June 9, 2008

    Daily Rounds.....

    So this weekend was a full on assault from Mother Nature and today is even worse with 97 degree temps and 95 % humidity. My dog was ready to jump out my second story window yesterday it was so bad. Sex and the City lost its number one spot in Box Office totals to a cartoon panda and Hillary Clinton gave an incredibly eloquent concession speech to a room of supporters on Saturday, so lets just say it was not a good weekend for women over 40. Well except for the lovely ladies of the Golden Girls who were recognized at the annual TV Land Awards, which also saluted Roseanne this past weekend. The program airs this upcoming Sunday and I can't wait to hear what the ladies have to say at the program. Sadly though, Estelle Getty stayed home since she is suffering from dementia and has left show business a few years back.

    Overall, we have oodles of pop culture goodies, mainly casting news, to discuss, so let’s get to it.

  • * Jessica Alba had her first baby this weekend. She and her fiancĂ© Cash Warren named the baby Honor Marie. I’m thinking the relevance of Ms. Alba in Hollywood is diminishing as each second passes.

  • * Will Smith has apparently donated $1 million to a private school that will use many variations of Scientology teachings to educate children. This story, among others, does not fare well in the whole “I’m not a Scientologist” argument Smith has been delivering to the media for the past 8 years. Speaking of Scientology, John Travolta made an appearance at Nick Loren’s album release party and he had a very interesting look going on. Loren is an and stunt double for Mr. Travolta so don’t get anything twisted here folks. John is just a straight buddy, supporting his friend, very similar to why Tom Cruise and Will Smith can’t go anywhere without each other. Friendship.

  • * Cameron Crowe, the director responsible for John Cusack’s always lovable character Lloyd Dobbler, is bringing another romantic comedy to life with a few nobodies. Kidding, Crowe will direct Reese Witherspoon and Ben Stiller in an upcoming romantic comedy produced by Columbia Pictures.

  • * Patrick Swayze has been given the go ahead from doctors to begin production on his upcoming A&E series The Beast, which has Swayze playing an crazy FBI agent who is under secret investigation by Internal Affairs. We all know that the most important role Swayze has already been caught on film.

  • * Showtime has picked up Diablo Cody’s The United States of Tara, starring one of my favorites Toni Collette. In the half-hour program, Collette will play a wife and mother who is battling dissociative identity disorder, with the help of her husband played by John Corbett, from Sex and the City fame. Steven Speilberg will executive produce the program under the Dreamworks name. The program is expected to begin production later in the summer and find its way onto the network sometime next year.

  • * AV Club through The Onion interviews one of my favorite humans on the planet right now, Joel McHale the host of E!'s The Soup. He discusses what still scares him after skewers the realtiy nonsense and morons like Tyra Banks on a weekly basis.

  • * VH1 and Lionsgate will partner up to find the next Scream Queen", a reality show that will help ten unknowns through coaching and auditions for one to become the newest Scream Queen. My reality loving ass will definitely find myself tied to the couch and watching this on my DVR. Ugh.

  • * And finally the battle continues between Clint Eastwood and Spike Lee. The beyond famous directors are battling over the real truth behind Eastwood's WWII drama "Flags of Our Brothers". Lee was interviewed a while back and discussed the fact that Eastwood did not cast any black actors to take part in the famous act of the flag raising at Iwo Jima. Eastwood fired back at Lee and called him out on not knowing his history. He also told the junior director to shut his mouth. Lee fired back and quoted stories from soldiers of color who were participants on the flag raising and also said that "neither of the directors were on a plantation". While I can appreciate that Lee believes he knows his history and is upset about the lack of representation of African-Americans in period pieces, I am fairly certain that Eastwood himself is not a racist and to bring it to a level that is uncomfortable and completely beyond the appropriate realm of arguments.

  • Monday Movie ReCap

    So martial arts took the number one spots at this weekend’s box office with Kung Fu Panda coming in at the top. The cartoon, which features the vocal stylings of Jack Black and Angelina Jolie pulled in a sizable amount beating out Don’t Mess with the Zohan by around $20 million. Zohan is Adam Sandler’s return to the big screen with a slapstick comedy in a few years with a turn as an ex-Israeli soldier, so I am not sure how the second place finish will play out in his future endeavors. Indiana Jones came in third, Sex and the City dropped to fourth place (even with the accelerated advertising I saw) and The Strangers rounds out the top five. What is crazy about this list to me is the continued presence of Baby Mama and What Happens in Vegas on the top ten list.

    Here is the rest of the Box Office Top ten, courtesy of Box Office Mojo.

    1. Kung Fu Panda - $60 million
    2. You Don’t Mess with the Zohan - $40 million
    3. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - $23 million
    4. Sex and the City: The Movie - $21.3 million
    5. The Strangers - $9.2 million
    6. Iron Man - $7.5 million
    7. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - $5.5 million
    8. What Happens in Vegas - $3.4 million
    9. Baby Mama - $779,000
    10. Made of Honor - $775,000

    Later today, we will be catching you up with
    all the gossip that went down this weekend, a few movie reviews and more pop culture chatter! Enjoy!

    Friday, June 6, 2008

    Choke - Putting Anal Beads to Good Use....

    So I have been extremely excited for the big screen version of one my favorite novels ever “Choke” by author Chuck Palahniuk. Sam Rockwell is starring in the adaptation written and directed by Clark Gregg and produced by Fox Searchlight Pictures. The film is about Victor Mancini (Rockwell), a sex addict who works at a Colonial Williamsburg reenactment theme park after he had dropped out of medical school. Victor finds himself, after a freak encounter, fake choking at restaurants to allow people to “save him”, which indirectly lets them bond with him and triggers something in their lives. He gets off on it because of the assistance provided by his wealthy “saviors”. Anjelica Huston also stars as Victor’s mentally ailing mother who lives in a psychiatric facility and Kelly MacDonald, from No Country for Old Men and Trainspotting, rounds out the case as Huston’s attending physician. The movie follows Mancini’s relationship with his mother, his various sexual exploits, which usually occur in the bathroom during a Sex Addicts anonymous bathroom and his trip to find out who his true father is. Rockwell knocked this character out of the park and after viewing the trailer, I am even more excited for its release.

    The movie did well with critics and audiences at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and will be released in theaters statewide after its opening at the New York Film Festival on September 26th later this year. Here is the link to the trailer over at MTV. And don't worry publicists in Hollywood, those cheeky and apparently cheap anal beads you just got in the mail doesn't mean the world thinks you are kinky. Its simply the publicity ploy Fox Sarchlight is using to spread the word and the cheeks apparently, for its upcoming release. Man I could have gone so many wrong places with that one. Something tells me that Fox Searchlight is really trying hard to keeps its indie cred.

    Thursday, June 5, 2008

    Lohan makes good on Promises....

    Lindsay Lohan is very much excited about her upcoming role in "Labor Pains", a comedy in which she plays a young woman who fakes a pregnancy to avoid losing her job. The comedy is set to begin production next week in Burbank, CA. Cheryl Hines from "Curb Your Enthusiasm", as well as Chris Parnell. Lohan is apparently excited for the non-mainstream comedy and hopes this can show the audience her increased range. Sources are saying that she is so far being present and seems to really want to be a part of this movie

    Producer Rick Schwartz said, "I didn't know Lindsay before this, but we looked each other in the eye three months ago, and she has done everything I could have asked."
    This might have something to do with her "very close friendship" with Samantha Ronson, which is now prompting friends of the two to dish that, like with the case of Nylon celeb Cory Kennedy who told People that "their relationship is based on trust and is the most positive thing in Lindsay's life in a long time". I think the two are adorable and if they are truly dating, more power to them. Here are the cuties buying groceries in LA.

    A new voice for morning radio???

    Rosie O'Donell and Howard Stern have apparently ended their very long running feud and to celebrate Rosie stopped by Stern's studio earlier this week and dished the dirt. She blasted the producers and fellow hosts of "The View", night time hosts like Jay Leno and slew of others. Stern also offered Rosie to audition to the do the last hour of his radio programming and she said she would be into it. Someone very nicely put the convo on Youtube in five parts and here is the first. Check it out before it gets removed.

    The Green Hornet is off...or well on..

    Seth Rogen has finally been green lit as the star and title character in the upcoming feature film bringing life to the comic book story of The Green Hornet. Rogen has discussed his interest in the project for quite some time now and it is said that he had to push incredibly hard to grab the role due to his goofy persona and schlubby exterior. He is currently writing the script for the project with partner in crime Evan Goldberg, who co-wrote Superbad with Rogen. The Green Hornet is expected hit theaters in the summer of 2010. This movie is just another in a long line of atypical leading men taking the reins of "hero" characters in blockbusters. And some say that if it wasn't for Robert Downey Jr.'s portrayal of Iron Man in this summer's most successful blockbuster so far, studios wouldn't be so keen on taking a risk on a non-action type leading an action film. I heart Rogen and am very excited about seeing him take a departure from the normal Apatown fare.

    Monday, June 2, 2008

    Box Office Results and other Movie News....

    So we knew it was going to happen and with all the Sex and the City: The Movie madness for the past few weeks the ladies took the reigns from Indiana Jones and nabbed the top spot for the box office totals this past weekend. The movie could be one of the only movies, whose stars are 40 + year old women, to grab the top spot. I promised my dissertation (joking, it should be much shorter than that) on the SATC madness, backlash and the actual movie, but my ass was caught up in family drama, and by that I mean a sick puppy, so I can not see it until tonight. I will be attempting to publish my review and coverage on the SATC backlash later tonight, but no promises. Odds are, first thing tomorrow.

    Anyways, here is the full list of the top 10 movies from this weekend’s box office totals.
    1. Sex and The City: The Movie - $55.7 million
    2. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull- $46 million
    3. The Strangers - $20.7 million
    4. Iron Man - $14 million
    5. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - $13 million
    6. What Happens in Vegas - $6.9 million
    7. Baby Mama - $2.2 million
    8. Speed Racer - $2.1 million
    9. Made of Honor - $2 million
    10. Forgetting Sarah Marshall - $1 million

    In other movie news, MTV televised their “live” Movie Awards last night which has truly just become a two hour block of free advertising for movie studios pushing Summer releases. I couldn’t tell you who won anything other than Johnny Depp who walked away with two awads, since he truly took the audiences and my breath away. It’s a rare find nowadays to see a movie star of his caliber and to be around it is quite something else. Other stars who showed up to peddle some new flick or remind the kids they were still alive were Lindsay Lohan, Ellen Page, Steve Carrell, Duane Johnson, Anne Hathaway, Will Ferrell and Puff Daddy. Mike Meyers hosted the hot mess, promoting his Love Guru movie any second he could and reunited with one time partner in crime, Dana Carvey for a Waynes World sketch.
    It was a bit bizarre, mainly because half of the studio audience had probably never known the original. Tom Cruise did his best "cool dad" performance and gave some kind of achievement award to Adam Sandler and he accepted it graciously and quite funny. But the funniest part of the show was not the ill fated award presentation involving “fake marijuana” with Seth Rogen and James Franco, who were promoting the much anticipateted , but it was the “viral video clip” for the upcoming Tropical Thunder movie starring Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black, Ben Stiller and written by Justin Theroux, a favorite here at The Spielster. You can check out the rest of the show and clips from it at

    And in other happenings at the Universal Studios lot this weekend, a fire spread across the New York City sets there damaging multiple popular backdrops, such as the clock tower from Back to the Future and part of the King Kong attraction. Poor water pressure is being blamed for the fire being able to spread to almost two blocks long of the sets lot. According to reports this morning, the fire was calmed down, but the local fire department is watching over the lot to make sure it remains contained.