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Gangs Of New York co-stars Daniel Day-Lewis and Leonardo DiCaprio took their fictional fighting scenes a bit too far - resulting in a broken nose for the British actor. The duo were filming a particularly violent scene in Martin Scorsese's epic when the brawl became all too real. Fellow cast mate Eva Henger was left reeling during the scene in which DiCaprio punched Day-Lewis and broke his nose. She says, "Daniel just continued with the scene despite the pain and the blood. I would have cried, but he was happy because the scene came out well." »
Striptease beauty Demi Moore has snagged a new youthful beau - Spider- Man hunk Tobey Maguire. The lovestruck pair were introduced to each other by Titanic hunk Leonardo DiCaprio, who himself has dated the former wife of Bruce Willis sporadically over the past five years. And reports in British newspaper The Daily Star suggest that the 40-year-old Moore and the 27-year-old Maguire are head-over-heels in love. The romance began last month after an encounter at the Standard Hotel on Los Angeles' Sunset Boulevard. A source reveals, "They arrived separately but wasted no time getting together. They cozied up in an out-of-the-way booth, and spent the next two hours talking and dancing. In the early hours, Demi told him that she wanted to be alone with him. He was beaming." A fortnight later the pair rendez-voused at a Prince concert. A source remembers, "They were hugging and kissing. Tobey was standing behind her, resting his hands on her hips and kissing her neck as they listened to music." »
Gangs Of New York co-stars Cameron Diaz and Leonardo DiCaprio have been spotted in a intimate clinch - sparking rumors their on- screen romance may have become real. The sexy stars were at a New York nightspot last week after attending the premiere of Baz Luhrmann's Broadway production La Boheme. And the pair appeared to be getting very close indeed, according to gossip website Peoplenews.Com. An onlooker says, "Cameron seemed mesmerized by Leo, She was stroking his baseball cap, stroking the hair on the back of his neck. She had her hands all over his head. They were bumping and grinding. She was giving him that sensual, playful, coy look . . . I would think there was something going on between them." The news will come as a shock to Diaz's long-term boyfriend Fight Club star Jared Leto, who has dated the gorgeous actress for the last two years. DiCaprio recently split from his long-term love supermodel Gisele Bundchen. »
Catch Me If You Can represents a distinct change of pace for director Steven Spielberg. This is a lighter movie than he has made in a long while, and you sense his relief that nothing much is at stake. "Catch Me" harkens back to movies made in the late '50s and early '60s. It's the age of innocence, before the counterculture, Watergate, all those other "gates" and international terrorism, a time when a kid could pull off con after con, fooling adults who should know better, because no one can imagine such deceit, and anyone can fake an ID and bluff his way around an airport.
The film pitches itself as a holiday movie with scenes of Christmas celebrations over the course of several years. Opening Christmas Day, the DreamWorks release should get off to a jolly start at the boxoffice. And the dream teaming of Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks gives the movie an added boost.
Jeff Nathanson's script is inspired by the story of Frank Abagnale, who as a runaway teen 40 years ago passed himself off as a teacher, airline pilot, doctor and lawyer over a five-year stretch, all the while cashing millions of dollars in fraudulent checks. The guy now works with the FBI, having become one of the world's foremost experts in fraud, forgery and embezzlement.
"Catch Me" sets the story up as a cat-and-mouse game between Frank and FBI agent Carl Hanratty, a composite of several agents who worked the case. DiCaprio, looking ever so boyish as Frank, stumbles into his life of crime in reaction to the trauma of his parents' divorce. He is fast-thinking and pleasure-addicted during the five-year joy ride that features the best of clothes and all the women he can handle. On the other hand, Hanks' Hanratty is a dour, humorless divorcee who gets his clothes cleaned at the Laundromat, has no family or social life and takes himself way too seriously. Adding to his surly nature, every time he closes in on Frank, his prey gives him the slip, turning him into the live-action equivalent of Wile E. Coyote.
Initially, Frank dons the uniform of a Pan Am pilot simply to cash checks. As his skills in check fraud increase, Frank realizes he can travel free on other airlines as a "deadhead" passenger. Soon he is jetting around the country.
When Hanratty picks up the scent, Frank switches professions twice, acquiring a thrilled fiancee in Amy Adams' Brenda and a job as assistant DA from an equally thrilled future father-in-law, Martin Sheen's New Orleans district attorney. Frank fakes these professions, or so the movie would have you believe, by glancing at TV shows about lawyers and doctors and being a quick study in jargon and professional demeanor.
Spielberg and his production team outfit these comic adventures with the slightly stylized look of late-'50s movies. A nifty cartoon opening-credit sequence with a jazzy, Mancini-influenced score by John Williams leads to cinematographer Janusz Kaminski's bright, hazy colors and Mary Zophres' suave wardrobes.
The only notes of drabness come when Frank's father, wonderfully played by Christopher Walken, occupies the screen. A man who achieves success only to see it disintegrate when the IRS comes after him, Frank Sr. is a broken man whose fate goads Frank Jr. to action. His French-born wife, played by Nathalie Baye, flees that drabness into the arms of a more successful businessman (James Brolin), creating a further provocation to her son's criminal career. These episodes are as close as the movie cares to get to psychological insight.
While the film is briskly paced, it nevertheless runs long. Inspired by a true-life tale, the filmmakers evidently hated to leave out any juicy bits. It's an understandable failing given the supremely unlikely early life of Frank Abagnale.
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
A Kemp Co. and Splendid Pictures production
A Parkes/MacDonald production
Director: Steven Spielberg
Screenwriter: Jeff Nathanson
Based on the book by: Frank W. Abagnale Jr. with Stan Redding
Producers: Steven Spielberg, Water F. Parkes
Executive producers: Barry Kemp, Laurie MacDonald, Michel Shane, Tony Romano
Co-executive producer: Daniel Lupi
Director of photography: Janusz Kaminski
Production designer: Jeannine Oppewall
Music: John Williams
Co-producer: Devorah Moos-Hankin
Costume designer: Mary Zophres
Editor: Michael Kahn
Frank Abagnale: Leonard DiCaprio
Carl Hanratty: Tom Hanks
Frank Abagnale Sr.: Christopher Walken
Roger Strong: Martin Sheen
Paula Abagnale: Nathalie Baye
Brenda Strong: Amy Adams
Cheryl Ann: Jennifer Garner
Running time -- 140 minutes
MPAA rating: PG-13
Martin Scorsese's careerlong exploration of the role of violence in American society culminates in "Gangs of New York". The view here is that brutality and corruption played midwives to the American nation, that the American dream of liberty from European despotism, monarchy and aristocratic privilege ran afoul of the New World vices of bigotry and anarchy almost immediately. This is a relentless, pitch-black portrait of New York in 1863 that, while thoroughly rooted in historical fact, is nonetheless painted from limited pigments.
Astonishing and audacious, the film certainly creates a kind of perverse beauty and excitement out of its horrors. Scorsese seems to want the viewer to get a voyeuristic rush from gut-spilling fights featuring knives, cleavers and bats. And just as certainly, "Gangs" poses a major challenge to Miramax's marketing department.
Here is a movie from arguably America's most brilliant filmmaker, yet one so dark and disturbing you might label it a "feel-bad" movie. It's a gangster film, one of cinema's more durable genres, yet mired in arcane history and forgotten political movements. Scorsese's reputation ensures a solid opening here and perhaps even better in Europe. But Miramax will have a hard time recouping the enormous cost of re-creating 19th century New York at Rome's Cinecitta Studios.
Inspired by Herbert Asbury's 1928 classic study, the script by Jay Cocks, Steven Zaillian and Kenneth Lonergan embroils the viewer in a now-forgotten district of Lower Manhattan known as Five Points. Here everyone prays to one God or another, but in reality, God does not venture into this satanic terrain.
Ruled by an underworld barbarian known as Bill the Butcher (Daniel Day-Lewis, in his first movie since 1997's "The Boxer"), the area's only business is crime: theft, racketeering, prostitution, gambling, drugs and murder. Bill has made a devil's alliance with Boss Tweed (Jim Broadbent), supplying muscle to the political boss who would rule the city. It is into this cauldron that immigrants, mostly Catholics despised by Nativists, surge on a daily basis.
Unlike Scorsese's previous gangster movies, such as "GoodFellas" or "Casino", there is little complexity to this 1863 underworld. There is a bad guy in Bill the Butcher, who carves up people and pigs with equal enthusiasm. And there is a young hero in an American-born Irish orphan named Amsterdam (Leonardo DiCaprio), determined to avenge Bill's murder of his father, Priest Vallon (Liam Neeson), an Irish immigrant leader, 16 years earlier.
Amsterdam somewhat implausibly worms his way into Bill's Nativist gang and then into his confidence, becoming a son to the chief. The lad gets involved romantically with a beauteous, headstrong pickpocket, Jenny (Cameron Diaz), who has links to Bill as well. Other characters fill out the rogue's gallery: Monk (Brendan Gleeson), a strong-arm enforcer settled into shopkeeping; Happy Jack John C. Reilly), a former gang member-turned-corrupt copper; and Johnny (Henry Thomas), an Amsterdam loyalist with strong instincts for self-preservation.
Against the backdrop of the Civil War -- of President Lincoln's unpopular conscription and coffins arriving daily in the city -- come the political maneuverings of Boss Tweed and a betrayal that alerts Bill to Amsterdam's true intentions. This lead to a climax amid the worst riot in American history, the Draft Riots, where much of Manhattan was destroyed first by immigrant mobs, then by soldiers and Navy guns.
DiCaprio makes the protagonist's thirst for revenge and reclamation of family honor palpable. But he doesn't look the part of a street tough. Nor is the script helpful by insisting that despite 16 long years in a religious "house of refuge," he has lost none of his street smarts.
The film's great performance belongs to Day-Lewis, a sociopath given free reign to spill blood in copious amounts. Here anger -- at politicians, foreign "invaders," high society -- mingles with humor and a sense of detachment. He's illiterate yet understands how power works and how to hold it through terror.
Cinematographer Michael Ballhaus, designer Dante Ferretti and costumer Sandy Powell conspire to bring to life paintings and engravings of Old New York -- its interiors almost monochromatic, the streets filled with smoky colors and nights made sinister by gaslight and flickering fires that dot the landscape.
Yet this 168-minute movie, reportedly cut down from a 195-minute version, never gets you inside the story so you understand how the characters feel about their deeds. Whether or not a longer version would have given the film more texture and dimension, this one presents a blinkered vision of American history, relegated to a few streets and alleys of Lower Manhattan and a few thugs who left no mark except perhaps on the collective unconscious.
GANGS OF NEW YORK
An Alberto Grimaldi production
Director: Martin Scorsese
Story by: Jay Cocks
Producers: Alberto Grimaldi, Harvey Weinstein
Director of photography: Michael Ballhaus
Production designer: Dante Ferretti
Music: Howard Shore
Costume designer: Sandy Powell
Editor: Thelma Schoonmaker
Amsterdam Vallon: Leonardo DiCaprio
Bill the Butcher: Daniel Day-Lewis
Jenny Everdeane: Cameron Diaz
Boss Tweed: Jim Broadbent
Happy Jack: John C. Reilly
Johnny Sirocco: Henry Thomas
Monk: Brendan Gleeson
Priest Vallon: Liam Neeson
Running time -- 168 minutes
MPAA rating: R
Super-serious movie star Daniel Day-Lewis is fuming at reports that his refusal to come out of character during filming of Martin Scorsese's Gangs Of New York caused problems on the set - and he's demanding to know who made the comment. The actor, famous for the lengths he goes to in order to perfectly perform on the big screen, remained in character as murderer and fixer Bill The Butcher throughout the filming of the movie. The Irishman feels his method is what makes his characters so believable, and he's furious about press reports that his castmates found him difficult to work with. He says, "They never have the balls to actually give it to you face-to-face. Some person apparently commented how he thought, maybe, I'd been uncooperative. That I made it hard for Leo (DiCaprio) because of the way I worked. Obviously Leo is the only person who can say that, or Cameron (Diaz), or any of my other colleagues. I don't know how the f**k this guy thinks he knows what took place on that set. Was he implying there was some degree of rigidity? Is what I do any crazier than lying on a daybed, smoking dope and making calls to your business manager? Only the end result matters when it comes to creating a character." »
Director Oliver Stone has reportedly lost out in his bid to beat Moulin Rouge filmmaker Baz Luhrmann to shooting a biopic of Alexander The Great. Luhrmann has apparently secured a budget for his project so big Stone will be forced to shelve his rival plans for a similar film. The Australian is backed by big names such as Universal Pictures and 20Th Century Fox - and has signed up major star Leonardo DiCaprio as well as having a $150 million budget. And now Intermedia, the producer of Oliver Stone's picture are reluctant to commit in light of the competition. The German-owned company has recently financed two massive flops - K-19: The Widowmaker, starring Harrison Ford and Captain Corelli's Mandolin. An industry expert opines, "They might not want to take another gamble." »
Hollywood hunk Leonardo DiCaprio opted to throw himself a birthday party to remember when he turned 28 this month. The Titanic star saw in his birthday on November 11 and then headed to Las Vegas the following weekend to celebrate the occasion at the trendy Palms Casino Resort. After a steak dinner with 20 of his closest friends, including Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst, the actor and his pals hit the nightclub Ghostbar, where DiCaprio hit the dance floor and shot pool with current Real World castmember Arissa Hill, 23. The partying posse then retired to a private bash, which reportedly included showgirls from the Aladdin Hotel. Pal Henry Penzi, who organized the bash, says, "He invited a lot of girls. Leo said it was by far his best birthday." »
Veteran broadcaster Barbara Walters' latest celebrity TV interview got messy when she attacked Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks after they criticized her for firing personal questions at Leonardo DiCaprio. The trio sat down to talk about their new movie Catch Me If You Can as part of an upcoming 20/20 news special, but Walters refused to ask non- confrontational questions merely to help them promote the film. And when Spielberg stepped in to chastise Walters for questions about DiCaprio's private life, she fired back, "You're not directing my interview, sonny." Hanks also tried to intervene, asking Walters, "What is the fascination with this?" to which he was told, "Be realistic, Tom." The interview will air in its entirety on Friday night. »
Hollywood hunk Leonardo DiCaprio was spotted locking lips with a species far less attractive than his usual leading ladies - a gorilla. The Titanic star's inter-species kiss was part of his promotion for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, an organization attempting to protect the species, for which he serves as a patron. The Gangs Of New York star says, "I'm truly honored to be a patron of this organization. They do so much good for a vanishing species that we have truly taken for granted." »
A judge has ruled that a date should be set in Roger Wilson's $45 million case against Leonardo DiCaprio. Wilson alleges DiCaprio instructed friends to attack him outside a New York bar in 1998 after his girlfriend, Showgirls star Elizabeth Berkley, rebuffed the star's advances. The actor is suing the Titanic star because he claims DiCaprio told his pals to "go kick his ass" after the pair came face to face at a nightspot, and Wilson suffered a serious throat injury after the subsequent assault. It is alleged DiCaprio bombarded Berkley with messages after spotting her at the promotional party to his film The Man In The Iron Mask and having his initial advances ignored. Wilson claims that he had to warn one of DiCaprio's friends off via the telephone after the meeting. Now a Supreme Court judge has decreed that a date should now be set for the much delayed case. »
Scottish superstar Ewan McGregor has signaled he is willing to reprise his role in Trainspotting - if the script is good. The Moulin Rouge star, who fell out director Danny Boyle after their film collaboration ended after Leonardo DiCaprio was cast in The Beach, has read Irvine Welsh's sequel novel Porno, and is very interested in returning to the character, Mark Renton, that shot him to fame in 1996. The move comes just a few weeks after McGregor and Boyle ended their feud and spent time together discussing the project, when the filmmaker gave McGregor a copy of the book to read to try and prompt his interest. McGregor says, "After reading Porno, I thought, 'Do I really want to do Renton again?' I was skeptical that we could pull it off a second time, so I said no. But it was so nice to find out what they were all up to - Sick Boy, wee Spud and Begbie - I thought it was a real treat to read it." However, despite his enthusiasm for the book, McGregor is anxious to see the script treatment of the book before he signs on. Attending the British Independent Film Awards this week he gave more hints that he is ready to return. He says, "I'd have to read the script, but I am no longer negative." The rest of the cast including Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremner are all reportedly keen to get on board again. »
Star Wars hunk Ewan McGregor has patched up his differences with director Danny Boyle - as Boyle seeks to reunite the stars of cult movie Trainspotting for a sequel. Author Irvine Welsh published Porno this year, a novel set 10 years after the original drama which features many of the same characters. Boyle, who directed the first flick, is a big fan of the book and wants to produce a script. In fact, he's already started meeting the stars of the 1996 movie, including McGregor, with whom he fell out a couple of years ago when he failed to cast him as the lead in The Beach, preferring instead Leonardo DiCaprio. He says, "I saw Ewan for the first time in five years a few days ago. I hadn't seen him in such a long time. It was great fun. There is an opportunity to do Porno, but it would be difficult because he's got such a varied career - would he go back and play a character he's already played? But he's halfway through the book and was laughing because (his character) Renton doesn't appear until halfway through. He's going to finish the novel first and take it from there. I finished it and think it's amazing." However, Boyle believes original stars McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller and Ewen Bremner will team up for the film if he can produce a great script. He reasons, "Everyone says it's about getting the actors back again, but I think more importantly, it's about whether we can do justice to the characters. They have become mythical figures since Trainspotting came out." »
The world premiere of a documentary about Marlon Brando has been canceled - because the movie legend is threatening to sue the director. American History X filmmaker Tony Kaye spent hundreds of hours filming the Oscar-winner as he taught acting classes to stars such as Sean Penn, Leonardo DiCaprio, Nick Nolte, Jon Voight, Robin Williams and Michael Jackson for fly-on-the-wall film Conversations With Brando. During the course, reports surfaced The Godfather star conducted some lessons in drag or wearing a priest's outfit. Brando initially was happy for the flick to be released at the Raindance Film Festival in London this month and was planning to sell the video over the internet. However an insider tells entertainment site MSNBC.com, "As of now, it's definitely off. It's hard to figure out exactly what's going on because Brando has become quite, shall we say, eccentric by this point, and Kaye is a bit of a puzzle, himself." Neither Kaye or Brando's representatives made any comment on the reports. »
NEW YORK -- Gangs of New York is set to rumble with the holiday competition Dec. 20. After bowing out of a possible Christmas day showdown with another Leonardo DiCaprio starrer, DreamWorks' Catch Me If You Can, Miramax Films said Thursday that it has picked Dec. 20 to domestically bow Martin Scorsese's period drama. The new date moves the film's U.S. release ahead of its international bow because Initial Entertainment Group, Gangs' overseas handler, previously had said it would open the film Dec. 21 in Japan. »
Hollywood hotshots Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz have been forced to re-shoot love scenes for the long-delayed flick Gangs Of New York. Sources on set claim Leo and Cameron failed to set the screen on fire as characters Amsterdam Vallon and Jenny Everdeane, forcing director Martin Scorsese to call them back to re-film. An insider explains, "Marty thought that some of the scenes between Leo and Cameron just didn't work. But some people who are behind the film think that it has a romantic, Titanic kind of potential, and could be a blockbuster with those Leo fans. Harvey Weinstein is among those who feel that the romance is key to the film's success, so he had Marty beef up that aspect of the film." A Miramax spokesperson says, "This was a collaborative process between Harvey, Marty and the actors to enhance the relationship from the perspective of Cameron's character." »
Leonardo DiCaprio is well known for dating some of the world's most beautiful women - so it may come as a bit of a surprise that he's set for screen trysts with a man and a eunuch in his latest film role. The The Beach star is stepping into the shoes of precocious uber-tyrant Alexander The Great, the Greek conqueror who had most of the world at his feet while he was still barely out of his teens, for director Baz Lurhmann's tale. Script writer Ted Tally says, "Our script has Leo playing a bisexual Alexander the Great, but he believes in spreading his love around. He has three male lovers and even has sex with a eunuch and an Amazon. Alexander was a total freak in the best sense of the word. Leo is the right age and he has the charisma." »
Hollywood actress Demi Moore has a new man who has captured her romantic interests - screen hunk Leonardo DiCaprio. The stars have been spotted around Tinseltown on numerous occasions locked in public displays of affection. A pal of the Titanic star says, "Demi and Leo are in love. Leo told me Demi is the sexiest woman alive. And when they say goodbye, they always end the conversation with: 'I love you.'" Sources say Demi, 39, and 27-year-old Leo - who share the same November 11 birthday - first became attracted to each other in 1997 while she was still married to Die Hard hero Bruce Willis. Now that they're both single - Demi divorced Bruce in 2000 and Leo recently called off his engagement to supermodel Gisele Bundchen - pals say they've been making the most of their time. The pair have been spotted out together at numerous Los Angeles nightspots, including Joseph's, Leo's Standard Hotel and the Lounge - but have insisted on arriving separately with their own group of pals each time, sources tell American tabloid the Star. But Leo is desperate for the pace of the relationship to step up, while Striptease star Demi is taking things slowly. A friend explains, "Leo would love to spend more time with her, but Demi keeps putting on the brakes. Demi has three daughters whom she adores and she takes her motherhood responsibilities very seriously." »
Hollywood hunk Leonardo DiCaprio has cancelled an appearance at the World Development Summit - despite calling on American President George W. Bush to attend. The Beach star, Susan Sarandon, Patrick Stewart and Bob Geldof were all expected in Johannesburg, South Africa for the summit, which started earlier this week. Earth loving Leo was to support a project to save great apes, but pulled out at the last minute because of "contractual obligations" in his native America. At a rally earlier this month, DiCaprio pleaded with Bush to "please go prepared to join the vast majority of nations in constructing a concrete plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions." Organizers of the summit are disappointed at the turnout. They hoped the presence of international celebrities could raise the media profile of the event. »
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio played the brat at a Las Vegas party - until bosses refused to humor him. The Titanic star joined pals Mark Wahlberg and Tobey Maguire at the Hard Rock Cafe for a Bruce Springsteen after-concert bash. And stroppy Leo demanded that the club's music was changed to his hip-hop favorites, threatening to leave the party if he didn't get what he wanted. Club bosses called his bluff and refused to change the tunes - and the moody actor ended up partying till the early hours anyway. »
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