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5 items from 2004


Foxx Buys Cruise Pricey Watch

13 August 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Comedian Jamie Foxx enjoyed his experience of working with Tom Cruise on Collateral so much, he bought the actor a $20,000 diamond watch as a sign of gratitude. Foxx missed out on the opportunity to work with Cruise on 1996's Jerry Maguire, when he lost the role to Cuba Gooding Jr. But while working with Cruise on Collateral, the pair became close pals and Foxx decided to mark their newfound friendship with an 8.5 carat King A1 Avianne & Co watch. And the generous actor also purchased a 3.18 carat watch, costing $3,800, for co-star Jada Pinkett Smith. Foxx says, "Making Collateral with Tom and Jada was more than just work for me - they are true friends and I wanted to show my appreciation. This watch is Tom's official bling." »

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Home on the Range

9 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Opens

Friday, April 2

NEW YORK -- This amiable, Western-themed animated effort from the Walt Disney Co. is a clear attempt to return to the more lighthearted cartoon style that was so prevalent before its onslaught of stately musical epics. The tale of a group of animals determined to save their owner's dairy farm from the clutches of an evil outlaw, "Home on the Range" also boasts the return of composer Alan Menken ("Beauty and the Beast", "Aladdin") to the creative team.

While not destined to assume a place in the Disney animation pantheon, the film should reasonably entertain the Small Fry during the current holiday season, though it is not likely to attract the adult crossover audience that can make for a breakout animated hit. It may also suffer from the competition, judging by the plaintive cry "When is it going to be Scooby-Doo?" heard from one tyke during the screening.

Featuring the sort of disparate voice-over cast emblematic of Disney cartoons, the film stars, among others, Roseanne Barr and Judi Dench, representing the most unusual screen pairing since, well, Barr and Meryl Streep in "She Devil". They voice the characters of cows Maggie and Mrs. Caloway, who, along with fellow cow Grace (Jennifer Tilly), fight to rescue their kindly owner Pearl (Carole Cook) from having her farm taken over by the dastardly Alameda Slim (Randy Quaid). Joining forces with a variety of other animals from the farm -- including horse Buck (Cuba Gooding Jr.), ace can-kicking goat Jeb (Joe Flaherty) and a variety of pigs, chickens, etc. -- they set out to capture Slim in the hope of garnering the reward for his head. Besides the expected dangers, they also must contend with competition from bounty hunter Rico (Charles Dennis, doing a Clint Eastwood homage).

The screenplay by co-directors Will Finn and John Sanford is a genial, jokey affair, filled with the requisite juvenile humor (belching pigs, etc.) and sprinkled with enough adult-oriented asides, like bulls leering after dairy cows ("Let me guess, you're a Taurus", one of the former comments), to qualify the film for a PG rating. While there are indeed some funny moments -- "We don't eat meat

it's like a professional courtesy," Barr's cow explains -- the humor generally lacks the manic hilarity of the Pixar efforts. And some of the gags, like Rico quoting a line from "Little Caesar" or a brief switch to widescreen that may be an in-joke reference to the company's own "Horse Whisperer", are likely to go over the heads of even the adult audience members.

The film's conventional, old-fashioned animation style generally gets the job done, with the anthropomorphic animal qualities rendered with the proper cute appeal. The voice talents do well by their characters. Barr scores consistent laughs as the sassy Maggie. Dench uses her elegant tones to good effect as the refined Mrs. Caloway. Gooding, as the vain horse, and Tilly, as plucky cow Grace, also are very enjoyable, no doubt because they seem so much like cartoon characters even in real life. Also very funny is Steve Buscemi, whose sleazy human character amusingly bears more than a slight resemblance to him.

Menken, besides his score, also has contributed several pleasant new songs (lyrics by Glenn Slater), none destined to be standards. They're sung by such stars as k.d. lang, Bonnie Raitt and Tim McGraw.

Home on the Range

Buena Vista Pictures

Walt Disney Pictures

Credits:

Directors-screenwriters: Will Finn, John Sanford

Producer: Alice Dewey Goldstone

Original score: Alan Menken

Original songs: Alan Menken, Glenn Slater

Story: Will Finn, John Sanford, Michael LaBash, Sam Levine, Mark Kennedy, Robert Lence

Associate producer: David J. Steinberg

Editor: H. Lee Peterson

Art director: David Cutler

Voices:

Maggie: Roseanne Barr

Mrs. Caloway: Judi Dench

Grace: Jennifer Tilly

Buck: Cuba Gooding Jr.

Slim: Randy Quaid

Pearl: Carole Cook

Sheriff Brown: Richard Riehle

Rico: Charles Dennis

Rusty: G.W. Baily

Lucky Jack: Charles Haid

Audrey: Estelle Harris

Jeb: Joe Flaherty

Ollie: Charlie Dell

Wesley: Steve Buscemi

Patrick: Patrick Warburton

Annie: Ann Richards

Phil, Bill & Gil Willie: Sam Levine

Running time 74 minutes

MPAA rating: PG »

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Ferlito takes contract for 'Shadowboxer'

18 June 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

CSI: NY series regular Vanessa Ferlito has signed on for the Lee Daniels-directed Shadowboxer opposite Cuba Gooding Jr. and Helen Mirren. Shooting is under way. Daniels is making his directorial debut from a script by Monster's Ball co-scribe Will Rokos. Shadowboxer centers on the unusual relationship between a woman (Mirren) and her stepson (Gooding). The duo, who have a romantic relationship, work as contract killers. Ferlito will play Vickie, a mobster's pregnant wife who is supposed to be killed by Gooding's character. Daniels also is producing with Lisa Cortes, Brook Lenfest, Dave Robinson and Rokos. Ferlito is repped by Innovative Artists, 3 Arts Entertainment and attorney Carlos Goodman. He will next be seen on the big screen in Spider-Man 2 for Columbia Pictures and the comedy Cheer Up. »

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Home on the Range

2 April 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Opens

Friday, April 2

NEW YORK -- This amiable, Western-themed animated effort from the Walt Disney Co. is a clear attempt to return to the more lighthearted cartoon style that was so prevalent before its onslaught of stately musical epics. The tale of a group of animals determined to save their owner's dairy farm from the clutches of an evil outlaw, "Home on the Range" also boasts the return of composer Alan Menken ("Beauty and the Beast", "Aladdin") to the creative team.

While not destined to assume a place in the Disney animation pantheon, the film should reasonably entertain the Small Fry during the current holiday season, though it is not likely to attract the adult crossover audience that can make for a breakout animated hit. It may also suffer from the competition, judging by the plaintive cry "When is it going to be Scooby-Doo?" heard from one tyke during the screening.

Featuring the sort of disparate voice-over cast emblematic of Disney cartoons, the film stars, among others, Roseanne Barr and Judi Dench, representing the most unusual screen pairing since, well, Barr and Meryl Streep in "She Devil". They voice the characters of cows Maggie and Mrs. Caloway, who, along with fellow cow Grace (Jennifer Tilly), fight to rescue their kindly owner Pearl (Carole Cook) from having her farm taken over by the dastardly Alameda Slim (Randy Quaid). Joining forces with a variety of other animals from the farm -- including horse Buck (Cuba Gooding Jr.), ace can-kicking goat Jeb (Joe Flaherty) and a variety of pigs, chickens, etc. -- they set out to capture Slim in the hope of garnering the reward for his head. Besides the expected dangers, they also must contend with competition from bounty hunter Rico (Charles Dennis, doing a Clint Eastwood homage).

The screenplay by co-directors Will Finn and John Sanford is a genial, jokey affair, filled with the requisite juvenile humor (belching pigs, etc.) and sprinkled with enough adult-oriented asides, like bulls leering after dairy cows ("Let me guess, you're a Taurus", one of the former comments), to qualify the film for a PG rating. While there are indeed some funny moments -- "We don't eat meat

it's like a professional courtesy," Barr's cow explains -- the humor generally lacks the manic hilarity of the Pixar efforts. And some of the gags, like Rico quoting a line from "Little Caesar" or a brief switch to widescreen that may be an in-joke reference to the company's own "Horse Whisperer", are likely to go over the heads of even the adult audience members.

The film's conventional, old-fashioned animation style generally gets the job done, with the anthropomorphic animal qualities rendered with the proper cute appeal. The voice talents do well by their characters. Barr scores consistent laughs as the sassy Maggie. Dench uses her elegant tones to good effect as the refined Mrs. Caloway. Gooding, as the vain horse, and Tilly, as plucky cow Grace, also are very enjoyable, no doubt because they seem so much like cartoon characters even in real life. Also very funny is Steve Buscemi, whose sleazy human character amusingly bears more than a slight resemblance to him.

Menken, besides his score, also has contributed several pleasant new songs (lyrics by Glenn Slater), none destined to be standards. They're sung by such stars as k.d. lang, Bonnie Raitt and Tim McGraw.

Home on the Range

Buena Vista Pictures

Walt Disney Pictures

Credits:

Directors-screenwriters: Will Finn, John Sanford

Producer: Alice Dewey Goldstone

Original score: Alan Menken

Original songs: Alan Menken, Glenn Slater

Story: Will Finn, John Sanford, Michael LaBash, Sam Levine, Mark Kennedy, Robert Lence

Associate producer: David J. Steinberg

Editor: H. Lee Peterson

Art director: David Cutler

Voices:

Maggie: Roseanne Barr

Mrs. Caloway: Judi Dench

Grace: Jennifer Tilly

Buck: Cuba Gooding Jr.

Slim: Randy Quaid

Pearl: Carole Cook

Sheriff Brown: Richard Riehle

Rico: Charles Dennis

Rusty: G.W. Baily

Lucky Jack: Charles Haid

Audrey: Estelle Harris

Jeb: Joe Flaherty

Ollie: Charlie Dell

Wesley: Steve Buscemi

Patrick: Patrick Warburton

Annie: Ann Richards

Phil, Bill & Gil Willie: Sam Levine

Running time 74 minutes

MPAA rating: PG »

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Gooding Jr: Will Smith Gets All the Roles

6 January 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr. has slammed movie bosses who refuse to give black actors the same opportunities as their white colleagues. The actor also argues that when a good African-American role comes up in Hollywood, it is automatically given to Will Smith. Cuba, 34, says, "I'll never forget when Will Smith came off TV and did his first movie and nobody really paid attention to him. "Then he did Independence Day and it made all this money and boom - he was the go-to guy. And they didn't see it as, 'Let's set a black man up', they saw him as a way to bring the people to the audience. "To this day I speak to my agent about these great roles and he's like, 'They're all going to Will Smith.'" Gooding, after the success of early films like Boyz N The Hood and Jerry Maguire, has recently appeared in critical and commercial flops like 2002's Boat Trip, whilst Smith has starred in the hit Bad Boys and Men In Black franchises, as well as the acclaimed Ali. »

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5 items from 2004


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