Posts Tagged ‘steven spielberg’

A Star for Cate Blanchett…

Saturday, December 6th, 2008


Blanchett gets star on Walk of Fame



December 6, 2008


Cate Blanchett has become the owner of a valuable piece of Hollywood real estate, while Nicole Kidman ended a rocky week with more bad career news.


Blanchett was awarded a star on Hollywood’s famed Walk of Fame on Friday.


“Oh my goodness,” Blanchett, on her knees, shrieked when the star was revealed during a ceremony attended by two directors from her stellar career, Steven Spielberg and David Fincher.


Blanchett became the 2,376th star to be honoured along Hollywood Boulevard, joining Kidman and the greats of the film and TV industry to literally cement their place in history.


The 39-year-old Sydneysider was quite impressed by the location of her star outside one of the boulevard’s iconic structures, The Egyptian Theatre.


“Location, location, location,” Blanchett joked.


“I thought I’d be outside the men’s urinals like five miles from here, but I’m outside the Egyptian which is also incredible to me.”


Blanchett is in Los Angeles to promote what could lead to her fifth Oscar nomination in nine years, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, directed by Fincher and co-starring Brad Pitt.


“This is utterly incredible to me,” Blanchett told the large crowd of media, fans and tourists who crowded around the sidewalk ceremony.


“The iconography of this is not only famous in this country, but around the world.”


The news was not so good for fellow Aussie Kidman, who has lost her crown as Hollywood’s highest paid actress, according to the Hollywood Reporter‘s annual list.


Last year Kidman topped the list with the $US17 million she earned for the maligned sci-fi film, The Invasion, beating Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz, but the redhead did not get a mention this year, falling completely out of contention.


Jolie is the new queen, thanks to the $US15 million she earned for the action film, Wanted, and is likely to earn $US18 million for a Wanted sequel.


Roberts was second with $US15 million for her film, Duplicity, while third was Reese Witherspoon after her $US14 million pay cheque for the new romantic comedy, Four Holidays.


Diaz was also on the skids, dropping from $US15 million a film to $US10 million, then Jennifer Aniston ($US8 million), Katherine Heigl ($US6 million a film and $US225,000 per episode for Grey’s Anatomy), Kate Hudson ($US7 million) and Anne Hathaway ($US5 million).


Actors still earn higher wages than actresses, with Pitt, Will Smith and Johnny Depp all pulling in pay days of $US20 million-plus per movie.



Please follow and like us:

Celebs Support ‘NO on Prop 8’…

Friday, October 17th, 2008

California gay marriage fundraiser reaches for stars


Thu Oct 16, 2008
By Alex Dobuzinskis


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Battling to save the right to same-sex marriage in what is expected to be a close state vote next month, California gay rights backers are turning to Hollywood celebrities for help at a major fundraiser.


Actress and singer Barbra Streisand is expected at the event on Tuesday and singers Melissa Etheridge and Mary J. Blige will perform, organizers said on Thursday.


Supermarket billionaire Ron Burkle will host the event at his Beverly Hills home (Green Acres), with a private $25,000-a-plate dinner. Among other entertainment figures planning to attend are actor/director Rob Reiner.


In recent weeks, director Steven Spielberg and actor Brad Pitt each donated $100,000 in support of the campaign to preserve the right to gay marriage.


The fundraiser comes as backers of same-sex marriage fight to stem a tide of support for Proposition 8, a November 4 ballot measure that seeks to define marriage under the California Constitution as only between a man and a woman.


A poll released last week by Survey USA showed 47 percent of Californians supported the measure, while 42 percent opposed it.


“We’re feeling very good about the surge in the campaign,” said Sonja Eddings Brown, a spokeswoman for Protect Marriage, the group advocating for a “Yes” vote on Proposition 8.


The “Yes” campaign has raised $25.4 million, compared with $15.8 million for those who wish to maintain the right to gay marriage.


In recent weeks, advocates of same-sex marriage have chided the Hollywood community for failing to contribute cash to the campaign to defeat Proposition 8.


But Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, said the fundraiser would show Hollywood’s support for same-sex marriage rights.


“Having support from Hollywood leaders who are visible, who reach a wide audience, is critical to our success,” Kors said.


“It’s always really scary when you’re being outspent 2 to 1 in an election, and when your rights are at stake and someone’s trying to take your rights away,” he added.


In recent days, opponents of same-sex marriage have stepped up their television advertising and warned voters that if Proposition 8 is defeated, children will be taught about gay marriage in elementary schools.


Gay-marriage supporters call that argument misleading.


In California, an estimated 11,000 same-sex couples have married since the state’s highest court in May overturned a state ban on same-sex marriage.


Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and actress Portia de Rossi wed in August in one the most high-profile same-sex unions. Etheridge has said she plans to marry girlfriend Tammy Lynn Michaels before November 4.


DeGeneres released an online video message this week urging California voters to strike down Proposition 8.


Gay and lesbian marriage was legalized last week in Connecticut, bringing to three the number of U.S. states that allow it. (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Jill Serjeant and Peter Cooney)



Please follow and like us:

Hollywood Challenge…

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

A challenge to Hollywood



By Tina Daunt
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 30, 2008


Ohio entrepreneur and political activist Jonathan Lewis on Tuesday challenged the entertainment industry to donate money to fight California’s Proposition 8, which would bar same-sex marriages.


“With election day six weeks away, we are concerned that the entertainment industry hasn’t stepped up to the plate to fight this unnecessary initiative,” Lewis said in a statement. “We are pleased to see the leadership of Brad Pitt and Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg. Now it’s time for the entertainment industry as a whole to take the lead.”


He added: “My family and I are issuing a $500,000 challenge to the entertainment industry. We will match the next half-million dollars that entertainment industry leaders contribute. This is an urgent time in the campaign, and we have to act now.”


So far, few in Hollywood have gotten involved in the anti-Proposition 8 campaign (Pitt and the Spielbergs have each donated $100,000).


Lewis said the match also applies to Florida’s Proposition 2, an initiative similar to California’s Proposition 8.



Please follow and like us:

Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Indiana Jones

and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)


Shia LaBeouf and Harrison Ford in the latest Indiana Jones epic


Direction: Steven Spielberg. Screenplay: David Koepp; story by George Lucas and Jeff Nathanson. Cast: Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Shia LaBeouf, Karen Allen, Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent, Igor Jijikine, Alan Dale



by Allan R. Ellenberger


After reading the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull reviews coming out of Cannes, my expectations for Steven Spielberg’s latest effort were considerably lowered. But I shouldn’t have worried. Overall, the fourth installment in the Indiana Jones saga delivers the goods.


The film’s late-1950s time period is identified in the opening sequence as a teenage hot-rod drag race takes place on screen while Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” plays over the soundtrack. From then on, true to the original, the action is nonstop.



At first, our hero is kidnapped by communists headed by Cate Blanchett donning a black pageboy and doing what sounds like a bizarre “Natasha” impersonation. In the following twenty minutes, Spielberg and screenwriter David Koepp (George Lucas and Jeff Nathanson received “story” credit) put Indy through shoot-outs, car crashes, and an atom bomb in the Nevada desert. And that’s only for starters.


Harrison Ford, of course, is Indiana Jones. What else can be said? Age was never an issue while watching him on the screen, though references — mostly by Shia LaBeouf — are made about it. A Spielberg favorite of late, LaBeouf plays well the role of a knife-wielding, motorcycle-riding Marlon Brando clone.


As a plus, it was good to see the return of Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood, the role she originated in Raiders of the Lost Ark back in 1981. (Marion has a secret for Indy that you can see coming from a mile away.) John Hurt, as a loony archeologist; Ray Winstone, as a spy who you are never sure on whose side he is; and Jim Broadbent, in what amounts to a cameo, round out the cast.


Kingdom of the Crystal Skull also offers brief homages to characters played in previous installments by Denholm Elliott and by Sean Connery — who reportedly turned down appearing in this sequel.


Indiana Jones billboard on Times Square 


Much has been written about the film’s special effects, which indeed are outstanding despite a swordfight during a jungle chase that failed to impress. Nearly everything else, however, is top-notch, including water falls, giant fire ants, attacking monkeys, and aliens in Peru, just to name a few. That said, in regard to the Crystal Skull of the title, one patron was overheard complaining in the lobby that said object looked like a “piece of plastic filled with Saran Wrap.”


Notwithstanding its shortcomings, this latest episode is loyal to the spirit of the franchise and will likely please most fans. And be sure not to miss the reference to the series’ first film. Like everything else in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it goes by very quickly.


NOTE: My review for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull originally appeared on the Alternative Film Guide site on Monday, May 19. See it HERE.



Please follow and like us: