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7 items from 2005


Gabrielle Union and Husband Split

2 November 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Bad Boys II star Gabrielle Union has announced that she and her husband Chris Howard have split, after four-and-a-half years of marriage. Union, 33, exchanged nuptials with former American football running back Howard in May 2001. The screen beauty's publicist Lisa Kussell says in a statement, "The couple remains close and asks that you respect their privacy at this difficult time." The couple have no children together. »

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Union in Nightclub Racism Row

26 October 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Gabrielle Union's publicist is calling for celebrities to boycott Los Angeles nightclub Mood, after the venue's owner allegedly cancelled the actress' birthday party when he discovered she was African-American. The Bad Boys II beauty was set to celebrate her 33rd birthday with a starstudded bash at the top club this weekend, until Mood owner David Judaken allegedly realised he had mistaken Union for white beach volleyball player Gabrielle Reece. On Friday , Union's publicist Holly Shankoor of BWR Public Relations sent an email around the publicity industry, urging a boycott of Mood. Shakoor's email wrote, "You should all be aware of an incident that occurred with my client Gabrielle Union and the owner of Mood. "Mood was going to host her birthday party. Once the owner found out she was African-American, he not only cancelled her party, but he proceeded to say that he 'didn't realise Gabrielle Union was black'. "You can discourage your celeb clients from going (to Mood) and also doing any events (there)." Shakoor quoted Judaken as saying, "I don't want (Union's) kind of people in my club." In a statement to E! Online website, Judaken says, "All the statements written in her email are untrue. To say that this event was cancelled over race or creed is hurtful and slanderous." Jadaken is now considering legal action against Shakoor, declaring her email "has an immediate negative impact on my business". Shakoor's bosses at BWR says their employee's email "by no means reflects our official position on this matter". »

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King transitions to Management 360

24 August 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Nicole King is making the move from publicist to manager. The former BWR Public Relations senior account director has joined Management 360, the company said Tuesday. King brings client Jennifer Garner with her. At BWR, King repped Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jessica Biel, Brittany Murphy, Britney Spears, Nick Lachey, Gabrielle Union and Laura Prepon. "We are very excited to welcome Nicole to the Management 360 team," the Management 360 partners said in a statement. "She has worked impressively with a wide range of talent over the years, and we look forward to having her bring her talents and incredible work ethic to the company." »

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The Honeymooners

7 July 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Borrowing the name but little else from a famous comedy brand, The Honeymooners starring Cedric the Entertainer is a lackluster affair, devoid of laughs and just about anything else one might construe as entertainment. Boxoffice prospects for the John Schultz-directed comedy, even among its African-American target audience, are poor.

This Honeymooners bears scant resemblance to Jackie Gleason's CBS series, which all but invented the situation-comedy format on television in the mid-'50s. Cedric the Entertainer's Ralph Kramden is still a guy with an explosive temper and a fatal attraction to get-rich-quick schemes, and Mike Epps' Ed Norton is still his hapless stooge, who can take three minutes to execute a 20-second task. Otherwise, the Kramden and Norton households wallow in a generic blandness unrelated to the old series.

What passes for plot in a screenplay, credited to Danny Jacobson, David Sheffield & Barry W. Blaustein and Don Rhymer, revolves around the desire of Ralph's wife Alice (Gabrielle Union) to buy a duplex with Ed and his wife, Trixie (Regina Hall), and Ralph's harebrained schemes that continually drain all the money from the couple's meager savings account.

Initially, the movie has a hard time settling on which harebrained scheme will drive Alice To divorce court. First, Ralph purchases Mets memorabilia in anticipation of a big World Series win, but the cartons turn out to contain children's gear of negligible value. Then Ralph buys a vintage train car in hopes of turning this into a tourist bus. Finally, the movie decides the story should be about a greyhound Ralph and Ed rescue from a Dumpster, which for no discernible reason Ralph believes will make them a fortune as a race dog.

The movie lurches from one lame comedy skit to another without the personality of its main character ever taking hold. Gleason's blustery Everyman disguised as a Brooklyn bus driver was actually an endearing figure, a man whose schemes and frustrations found common ground with all viewers. Cedric the Entertainer's Ralph is an annoying man with whom no sensible person would want to find anything in common.

Epps' character seems almost masochistic in his relationship to his bellicose upstairs neighbor. Union's Alice is too hot and too smart to be with such an oaf, while Hall's Trixie barely registers.

The two best performances -- "best" being a relative term here -- come from John Leguizamo, as a transparent fifth-rate con artist who claims to be a dog trainer, and Carol Woods as Alice's mom, the one individual who sees Ralph for what he is. Eric Stoltz dutifully plays the nominal villain, a developer with his eyes on the coveted duplex.

Schultz never finds any traction with the scattershot screenplay. The movie simply spins its wheels. With exteriors shot in New York and interiors at Ardmore Studios in Ireland, Schultz and his crew blend these elements together smoothly enough, but the film lacks visual style.

The closest The Honeymooners comes to a comic idea worth exploring comes when Ed confesses to Ralph he once saw Alice naked and can't get the image out of his mind. Nothing like this ever transpired on the original Honeymooners, but one wishes the movie hadn't rushed past such an intriguing development.

THE HONEYMOONERS

Paramount Pictures

A Deep River production

Credits:

Director: John Schultz

Screenwriters: Danny Jacobson, David Sheffield & Barry W. Blaustein, Don Rhymer

Based on characters from the CBS-TV series

Producers: David T. Friendly, Marc Turtletaub, Eric Rhone, Julie Dark

Executive producers: Hal Ross, Cedric the Entertainer, Mike Epps

Director of photography: Shawn Maurer

Production designer: Charles Wood

Music: Richard Gibbs

Co-producers: Paul Myler, Niles Kirchner

Costumes: Joan Bergin

Editor: John Pace

Cast:

Ralph Kramden: Cedric the Entertainer

Ed Norton: Mike Epps

Alice Kramden: Gabrielle Union

Trixie Norton: Regina Hall

William: Eric Stoltz

Kirby: Jon Polito

Dodge: John Leguizamo

Alice's Mom: Carol Woods

Vivek: Ajay Naidu

MPAA rating PG-13

Running time -- 90 minutes »

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Comedy pilots call Channing, Louis-Dreyfus

4 March 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Stockard Channing is taking a comedic turn with a starring role in CBS' untitled Christopher Lloyd/Joe Keenan pilot. Meanwhile, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is set to star in CBS' comedy pilot Old Christine and Stuart Townsend is ABC's new Kolchak in the drama pilot Night Stalker. Don Johnson is returning to series television with a starring role in the WB Network's untitled Jonathan Shapiro drama pilot. Joining Townsend in Night Stalker is Gabrielle Union. Meanwhile, Jane Curtin, William Devane and Fred Savage have been cast in ABC's comedy pilot Crumbs, and Tyler Labine has joined ABC's drama pilot Invasion. Old Christine, from Warner Bros. TV, centers on a thirtysomething divorced mom (Louis-Dreyfus) who tries to keep pace with everyone around her. The casting of Louis-Dreyfus lifts the contingency off the project, written and exec produced by Kari Lizer. »

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Comedy pilots call Channing, Louis-Dreyfus

4 March 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Stockard Channing is taking a comedic turn with a starring role in CBS' untitled Christopher Lloyd/Joe Keenan pilot. Meanwhile, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is set to star in CBS' comedy pilot Old Christine and Stuart Townsend is ABC's new Kolchak in the drama pilot Night Stalker. Don Johnson is returning to series television with a starring role in the WB Network's untitled Jonathan Shapiro drama pilot. Joining Townsend in Night Stalker is Gabrielle Union. Meanwhile, Jane Curtin, William Devane and Fred Savage have been cast in ABC's comedy pilot Crumbs, and Tyler Labine has joined ABC's drama pilot Invasion. Old Christine, from Warner Bros. TV, centers on a thirtysomething divorced mom (Louis-Dreyfus) who tries to keep pace with everyone around her. The casting of Louis-Dreyfus lifts the contingency off the project, written and exec produced by Kari Lizer. »

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LaBelle-Kitt pic the 'One' for Pan African fest

22 January 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

On the One, starring Patti LaBelle and Eartha Kitt, will close the 13th annual Pan African Film and Arts Festival, and Constellation, directed by Jordan Walker-Pearlman and starring Billy Dee Williams, Gabrielle Union and Hill Harper, will have its world premiere as the festival's centerpiece. Lackawanna Blues will open the fest, to be held Feb. 10-21. Other highlights include a special screening of MGM's Beauty Shop, starring Queen Latifah; Wolfe Video's Brother to Brother; and Lions Gate's Diary of a Mad Black Woman. The 12-day event, which will screen 150 films, will be at the Magic Johnson Theatres, 4020 Marlton Ave., Los Angeles; and the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. »

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7 items from 2005


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