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11 items from 2002


Rosie's New Baby

3 December 2002 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Retired American talk show host Rosie O'Donnell is celebrating the birth of her first natural child. The beloved TV star's lesbian lover Kelli Carpenter gave birth to baby Vivienne Rose in New York on Friday. The couple have three adopted children. The couple named the baby Vivienne Rose after the heroine of bestselling book Divine Secrets Of The Ya Ya Sisterhood, played in this summer's film adaptation by Ellen Burstyn and Ashley Judd. »

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Boxoffice preview: Scare pair creeps up on champs

18 October 2002 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

With Halloween approaching, a couple of new contenders will attempt to throw a scare into the boxoffice. And that could mean the time is finally ripe for a challenger to upset the one-two punch of Universal's Red Dragon and Buena Vista's Sweet Home Alabama that has dominated the listings for the past two weekends. The new arrivals can take heart in the fact that last weekend's six-film pileup failed to establish an entrenched player. But at the same time, this weekend's freshmen entries aren't automatic front-runners. DreamWorks has certainly paved the way with a spookily stylish campaign for its PG-13-rated horror film The Ring. The younger male demographic usually provides a base on which to open horror films, and DreamWorks also has worked to jump-start word-of-mouth by offering public sneaks last weekend. Paramount Pictures, joining forces with Spyglass Entertainment, is countering with Abandon, one of that studio's trademark woman-in-peril programmers. This time around, instead of relying on a stalwart like Ashley Judd, the studio is going for more of a junior-miss cast, headed by Dawson's Creek heroine Katie Holmes. The femme-skewing thriller will offer moviegoers an alternative to Ring, with Paramount claiming the edge in screen count. Abandon is heading out in 2,431 theaters, while Ring is digging into 1,981. Meanwhile, the more hard-core action crowd could gravitate to Formula 51, an R-rated exercise from Sony's Screen Gems unit that stars Samuel L. Jackson. »

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Filardi's 'Seal' on assignment for Disney film

8 October 2002 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

The Walt Disney Co. has plunked down an undisclosed sum to pick up Jason Filardi's pitch Navy Seal, with Arnold Kopelson and Anne Kopelson's Kopelson Entertainment and Intertainment AG on board to produce. The project -- described only as a military comedy -- was developed from an original idea by Kopelson senior vp production Sherryl Clark and then brought to Filardi to write. At the studio, the project is being shepherded by executive vp Jason Reed. The deal reteams Filardi with Disney, the studio for which he penned the Steve Martin and Queen Latifah starrer Bringing Down the House. That project recently wrapped production with Adam Shankman at the helm. The Kopelsons, who won a best picture Oscar for Platoon, are currently producing Blackout, starring Ashley Judd, Samuel L. Jackson and Andy Garcia and directed by Philip Kaufman for Paramount Pictures and Intertainment. Filardi is repped by ICM and manager Brian Lutz. He is scripting the comedy Ghetto Buck for Columbia Pictures, with Dennis Dugan on board to direct and Martin Lawrence set to topline. »

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Tamahori signs to 'Guide' Berry for Par, Gordon

4 October 2002 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Lee Tamahori has come aboard to direct Halle Berry in Paramount Pictures' action-thriller The Guide for producer Mark Gordon. An early-2003 start date is being eyed. The project reteams the director and star, both of whom recently worked together on MGM's latest installment of the James Bond series, Die Another Day, due out Nov. 22. Guide also reunites Tamahori with Paramount Pictures as they collaborated on the 2001 feature Along Came a Spider, starring Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman. Tamahori's deal to direct Guide comes only two months after Berry signed on to star in the project, playing Jane Whitfield, a Seneca Indian who has the expert gift of helping desperate people escape their negative situations by erasing their pasts and providing them with brand-new identities (HR 8/9). »

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Tamahori signs to 'Guide' Berry for Par, Gordon

4 October 2002 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Lee Tamahori has come aboard to direct Halle Berry in Paramount Pictures' action-thriller The Guide for producer Mark Gordon. An early-2003 start date is being eyed. The project reteams the director and star, both of whom recently worked together on MGM's latest installment of the James Bond series, Die Another Day, due out Nov. 22. Guide also reunites Tamahori with Paramount Pictures as they collaborated on the 2001 feature Along Came a Spider, starring Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman. Tamahori's deal to direct Guide comes only two months after Berry signed on to star in the project, playing Jane Whitfield, a Seneca Indian who has the expert gift of helping desperate people escape their negative situations by erasing their pasts and providing them with brand-new identities (HR 8/9). »

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Frida

30 August 2002 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

The lives of great artists are notorious for their resistance to the biopic treatment. The iconic Mexican painter Frida Kahlo proves no exception.

While this film dutifully chronicles her suffering, obsessions and battles with her own body, it stands in pale contrast to Kahlo's real biography, which is her amazing paintings.

In development for nearly a decade, battling rival projects and studio skittishness, "Frida" emerges as a fairly convention biopic rather than the artistic statement one might anticipate given director Julie Taymor's theatrical background and actress-producer Salma Hayek's passion for the role.

The film hues closely to the facts of Kahlo's life and her tempestuous relationship with world-famous muralist Diego Rivera, her mentor and husband. Taymor puts Frida's vivid and often disturbing art to sagacious use, slipping the famous images into scenes to reflect or comment on dramatic developments. But the film somehow misses the mark, having made rather tidy a messy and brutally painful life.

As more than 100 published books concern Kahlo and Rivera, one should never underestimate the public appetite for this story. With a stellar cast -- Alfred Molina as Rivera, Geoffrey Rush as Leon Trotsky, Edward Norton as Nelson Rockefeller, Antonio Banderas as muralist David Siqueiros and Ashley Judd as photographer Tina Modotti -- along with a careful rollout and Miramax's marketing muscle, "Frida" does have potential as an art house hit. The outlook overseas and in ancillary markets is even more positive.

The movie begins on the day of Frida's one and only exhibit in Mexico, in the spring of 1953. Her health has deteriorated so greatly, the doctor forbids her to leave her bed. So she has her bed carted to the gallery. On the ride over, the movie goes into a flashback. Frida, a high-school tomboy, loves to get into mischief with a gang of boys. She sneaks into a school auditorium where the great Rivera is painting.

The movie quickly moves to the trauma that shapes her life: A trolley accident in 1925 leaves her impaled on a metal rod. So devastated is her body that it's a miracle she even lives, much less that she walks again. Lying in bed for months, bored and in pain, she takes up painting. Her parents (Roger Rees and Patricia Reyes Spindola) give her a special easel and canopied bed with a mirror above her so she can be her own model. A life of self-portraiture, of painting the inner and outer Frida Kahlo, thus begins.

The story of her event-filled life understandably moves swiftly. Yet the consequence is that the movie gives short shrift to Frida's recovery and the enormous will power she developed to tolerate pain and fatigue. Clearly, the drinking, smoking and drug use that come later help her to dull that pain.

The bond between Diego and Frida is handled with empathy. Molina captures Diego's bearish personality, his huge body, his embrace of sensual pleasures and his fierce commitment to leftist political principles. In one of the film's welcome flights of surreal fancy, Rivera is fittingly depicted, in cutout images, as King Kong atop the Empire State Building, batting at airplanes as he would his critics. Molina gets the essential goodness of the man, his firm belief in loyalty and a set of principles that sometimes gets overshadowed by his many adulterous affairs, the worst being with Frida's own sister (Mia Maestro).

Hayek learned how to paint and how to effect the outer Frida -- including her wearing of traditional Mexican clothing. Other than Frida's trademark thick, connecting eyebrows, though, she has not allowed the makeup artist to de-glamorize her. More problematic is the fact Hayek doesn't inhabit her character as Molina does his. She is playing a role while Molina is Diego.

The film neither makes too much nor too little of its protagonists' wild side -- their open marriage, where they even shared lovers, or Frida's bisexuality and her affair with Trotsky, which may have cost him his life. The only sugar-coating comes near the end: It's quite possible Frida took her own life but the film never hints of this.

Rodrigo Preito's colorful and appealing cinematography, designer Felipe Fernandez's period re-creations and Elliot Goldenthal's guitar-flavored music, picking up Mexican themes, make a tight budget go a long way.

FRIDA

Miramax Films

Miramax presents in association with Margaret Rose Perenchio

A Ventanarosa Production in association with Lions Gate Films

Credits:

Director: Julie Taymor

Writers: Clancy Sigel, Diane Lake, Gregory Nava, Anna Thomas

Based on the book by: Hayden Herrera

Producers: Sarah Green, Salma Hayek, Jay Polstein, Nancy Hardin, Lindsay Flickinger, Roberto Sneiders

Executive producer: Mark Amin, Brian Gibson, Mark Gill, Jill Sobel Messick, Amy Slotnick

Director of photography: Rodrigo Prieto

Production designer: Felipe Fernandez

Music: Elliot Goldenthal

Costume designer: Julie Weiss

Editor: Francoise Bonnot

Cast:

Frida Kahlo: Salma Hayek

Diego Rivera: Alfred Molina

Leon Trotsky: Geoffrey Rush

Nelson Rockefeller: Edward Norton

David Siqueiros: Antonio Banderas

Cristina Kahlo: Mia Maestro

Tina Modotti: Ashley Judd

Guillermo Kahlo: Roger Rees

Lupe Marin: Valeria Golino

Matilde Kahlo: Patricia Reyes Spindola

Alejandro: Diego Luna

Running time -- 119 minutes

MPAA rating: R

»

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Kournikova Turns 21 With Sexiest Woman Title

10 June 2002 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Tennis babe Anna Kournikova had an extra special present on her 21st birthday last Friday--she was named Sexiest Woman in the World, on both sides of the Atlantic. Just two weeks after British readers of FHM magazine named the Russian their number one girl, she has been named sexiest woman by the US edition, too. The sexy sports star wasn't even in the top 10 last year when Jennifer Lopez claimed the number one spot in the coveted annual list of pin-ups and she's thrilled with the honor. Kournikova says, "It's extremely flattering, especially because it's voted for by readers. I'm very excited about it." It was also a good poll for Britney Spears, who moved up from number three to number two on the list, and Halle Berry, who rose from seven to three. Meanwhile, Tom Cruise must have been a little upset. His ex, Nicole Kidman, shot up the Top 100 list from 61 to 28, while his current girlfriend, Spanish actress Penelope Cruz, could only manage to stumble from 70 on last year's survey to 68. The top 20 girls on the U.S. FHM list are: 1. Anna Kournikova

2. Britney Spears

3. Halle Berry

4. Alyssa Milano

5. Jennifer Lopez

6. Jessica Alba

7. Jennifer Love Hewitt

8. Angelina Jolie

9. Sarah Michelle Gellar

10. Carmen Electra

11. Pamela Anderson

12. Nikki Cox

13. Jennifer Aniston

14. Denise Richards

15. Tiffani Thiessen

16. Charlize Theron

17. Christina Aguilera

18. Jessica Simpson

19. Lucy Liu

20. Ashley Judd »

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Caviezel Refused To Get Naked With Ashley Judd

10 April 2002 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Staunchly Catholic Hollywood actor Jim Caviezel refused to strip off for a sex scene with beautiful actress Ashley Judd. The 33-year-old star threatened to walk out unless director Carl Franklin shot the scene for thriller High Crimes with both parties wearing clothes. He says, "I told Carl, 'It's no problem, I don't have to do this movie. Go ahead and find someone else.' I see our culture as not respecting people too much, treating people like objects. There are times where sex is appropriate, but I've yet to see butts and breasts act themselves out of a scene!" It's not the first time Caviezel has refused to get naked for scenes with beautiful co-stars. He refused to film a love scene with sexy Jennifer Lopez in Angel Eyes because she was topless and asked rising star Dagmara Domincyzk to cover her nipples while shooting The Count Of Monte Cristo. The married star says, "My acting stems from inside, from God. And that's the only way I can act. If I violate that, then I don't think I'd be around this business much longer." »

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Ashley Judd's Private Life

5 April 2002 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Ashley Judd has discovered a simple way to keep her marriage to race car ace Dario Franchitti private - she's refusing to talk about it. While promoting her new thriller, High Crimes, the 33-year-old actress - who wed the speed demon last December in a hush-hush ceremony - is giving the media precious few details about life in the Franchitti-Judd household. She says, "I enjoy being married. We feel very blessed and we're having a great time. My husband and I have very public spheres in which we participate and we feel like we give a lot of ourselves in those areas - he obviously on the race track and me in the movies. And there are things outside of that should be for us. We very much appreciate that people have helped respect our privacy. People have been really good to us." However, Judd admits that there have been a few isolated incidents involving overzealous fans, adding, "People coming up and knocking on the bus door on race weekend is not my favorite thing. That's where we live three days a week, 22 races a year. It's our home. It's not appropriate." »

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Cameron Diaz - The Sexiest Star In Hollywood

8 March 2002 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actress Cameron Diaz has been voted the sexiest actress in Hollywood by an American movie magazine. The blonde star - who peeled off for her role in Tom Cruise flick Vanilla Sky - topped Movieline magazine's 'Hot and Bothered' poll of Tinseltown beauties. Diaz beat of strong competition from Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd and Jennifer Lopez to pick up the title, with the magazine summing up her appeal saying, "Cameron has got everything - she's smart, funny, and very, very sexy." The male survey was won by Brad Pitt, who narrowly beat Benicio Del Toro and George Clooney into second an third places. »

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Pfeiffer Keeps Her Claws From Catwoman Judd

28 January 2002 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Michelle Pfeiffer has kept her claws drawn when discussing Ashley Judd's succession to the role of Catwoman in the new Batman spin-off movie. The sexy actress played the latex-suited bad-girl in 1992's Batman Returns, but - despite making herself available to reprise the role in the upcoming film based on the feline villain - Judd secured the lead instead. However, the 42-year-old claims her interest in the film ended when she found out Batman director Tim Burton would not be joining the project. She says, "Studios like change and there's always a new person playing Batman. Tim Burton isn't involved in the new Catwoman film and I wanted to do it with him. For me, it was really his vision that made it so special." But Pfeiffer graciously adds that Judd will do justice to the part - for which the 42-year-old famously donned a skin-tight catsuit - and even offers her some friendly advice to her fellow star. I think Ashley Judd will be great as Catwoman. But she should make sure the mask fits because it was squishing my face through half of the movie. I hope her outfit is a lot more comfortable than mine. All that latex is sort of itchy." »

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11 items from 2002


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