Thursday, November 29, 2007
Hewitt, star of the television series Party of Five as well as the horror flick, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and its sequel I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, has been dating McCall for two years. The two met when McCall guest-starred in Hewitt's current regular television vehicle, Ghost Whisperer. Apart from news of Hewitt and McCall's engagement, Us also mentioned that the pair is currently on vacation in Hawaii.
It turns out the pregnancy was a bit of a surprise for her and husband Jordan Bratman:
"We were planning on starting to try after the tour. And so, I had gone off the Pill to prepare my body, because I didn't know how much time it would take. You've heard it takes some time -- except with Power Egg and Super Sperm here... I'm like, Oh, my God, can you believe it just happened?" [said Aguilera.]
Aguilera figures she got pregnant when Bratman was visiting her in Georgetown, during the U.S. leg of her 'Back to Basics' tour... Only problem was she still had a month left on an eight-month world tour where she changes costumes at least 10 times during the show, hangs from a circus pinwheel, rides a carousel horse, plays a dominatrix, and wears major heels throughout:
"I was paranoid. There are so many things that could go wrong -- somebody could slip, somebody could fall, I could fall. There was no way in hell I was going to jeopardize my baby for my show." So she wore a well-concealed heart monitor. She didn't want to broadcast the news. "I didn't want to make the audience uncomfortable, like, 'Pregnant lady onstage! Is she going to be OK?' But I had to announce it to my band and my dancers, because I wanted to make sure they had my back."
Aguilera talks about her simple decision not to announce her pregnancy. Somehow it figures that the criminally uncircumspect Paris Hilton would be the one to spill the beans, at an MTV Video Music Awards party. [When asked] if Hilton's faux pas angered her, she shrugs it off. "Because I hadn't said anything, people thought I was trying to keep it this big, bad secret, and that's not the case at all. I just wasn't commenting. I'm not being like, 'Hey, everybody, I'm pregnant!' I'm not that girl."
Aguilera says she likes the idea of a big family, although she doesn't have a set number of kids in mind... But the domestication of Christina Aguilera is likely to be complicated. What will it mean for someone who has treated her confrontational sexuality as both a rallying cry and a right?
"We're so labeled. If you're too sexual, you're slutty. If you're not sexual enough, you're a prude. I like to put it out there as a topic of conversation. Why does it bother you? What's your problem with it? Am I really hurting you? Let's get to the root of it. I have more than one side of me that likes to get out on a stage and sing. Sometimes I want to be aggressive, sometimes I want to feel empowered in my sexuality and my vulnerability. I want to put all that out there."
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Cast: Paul Giamatti as Cleveland Heep
Bryce Dallas Howard as Story
Bob Balaban as Harry Farber
Jeffrey Wright as Mr. Dury
M. Night Shyamalan as Vick Ran
Sarita Choudhury as Anna Ran
Freddy Rodríguez as Reggie
Bill Irwin as Mr. Leeds
Jared Harris as Goatee Smoker
Mary Beth Hurt as Mrs. Bell
Cindy Cheung as Young-Soon Choi
June Kyoko Lu as Mrs. Choi
Noah Gray-Cabey as Joey Drury
Tovah Feldshuh as Mrs. Bubchik
Tom Mardirosian as Mr. Bubchik
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
M.Night Shyamalan's movies have defied convention (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable) and challenged our beliefs (SIGNS, The Village). Now he has opened the door to a world like nothing we have ever seen before in this latest mythical adventure "Lady in the Water".
This fairytale begins when Cleveland Heep, the superintendent of The Cove apartment complex, who discovers that a mysterious young woman has been living beneath their swimming pool. He soon finds outs this woman is a "Narf" named Story that was sent there from the blue world on a mission. She is to find a writer who will having a lasting impact on a future leader as well as a few other extraordinary humans that are to assist in the completion of her quest. All must be done as planned to ensure that when the Great Eatlon, an eagle-liked creature appears, Story may be taken back to the sea where she will become the "Madam Narf" (translation Madam Narf=Queen). Cleveland soon finds himself fearing for Story's safety and with the assistance of The Cove tenants, he starts to piece this intricate puzzle together, trying to get as many questions answered as possible without making Story compromise the integrity of her mission.
Evil has also found its way into the human world in the form of a werewolf-like creature called The Scrunt. His only mission is to prevent Story from succeeding in her quest. Hidden well from the human eye, The Scrunt's fur is made to blend in with the grass making its attack more lethal and leaving its victim virtually unaware of his presence unless it's too late. Now Story isn't alone fighting this evil force, the blue world has sent guardians to help protect her. The Tartutic are 3 creatures that The Scrunt fears and if they appear, Story is safe and The Scrunt doesn't stand a chance.
Lady in the Water is very delicate and simple story and it's no wonder that Bryce Dallas Howard was cast as "Story". We last saw Bryce making her film debut as Ivy Walker in "The Village", this time we get to see an even softer side of Bryce's talent through the eyes of a "Narf". She brings purity and innocence to this alluring character through words and expression, leaving us feeling compelled for her to succeed. Paul Giamatti (Sideways, Cinderella Man) plays Cleveland Heep, the building's superintendent. From beginning to end there is no doubt in your mind, Paul Giamatti was perfect for this role. This fragile man has left the world he knew because of tragic events in his life only to become silent and overlooked at The Cove apartment complex. His voice, his expression all play a part in making this sad, empty human exist. Through Cleveland, Paul also shows us that even when the world seems dark and endless, humor is still much needed to pull us back into hope, thus confirming without a doubt his title as a leading man.
This is definitely M.Night's funniest work to date. While this is not a comedy, there is a lot of comic relief, which is needed to give us time to digest the instant scares you experienced throughout the movie. Cindy Cheung and June Kyoto play a korean mother and daughter team who prove to be very helpful in the explanation of Story's existence. Through wild styles and broken english (and sometimes no english at all) this combo gives us some of the movie's funniest moments. Bob Balaban plays Mr.Farber, a movie critic that is more sure about what's what than God. His interaction with the rest of the tenants is minimal for many reasons and he sheds some much needed light into the mind of a critic.
Sarita Choudhury plays Anna Ran, sister to M.Night's character Vick Ran. Anna is very free spirited and is around to help Story give messages and clues as to how Anna may need to help her. This all needs to happen without Story saying one word leaving a lot of room to play with non verbal communication. Vick Ran is a writer who's work has been put on hold until a mysterious young woman tells him what he needs to hear. This is M.Night's biggest role yet and he definitely wrote his role perfectly. The interaction between the many people in this story flows with undeniable ease making for a simple and desirable ending.
This movie is something very different than what we have come to expect from M.Night. Above and beyond the exceptional cast and all the beautiful imagery (created by cinematographer Christopher Doyle) there is a message to be heard, "We all have a purpose". This message comes from someone who is not from our world but appeared to make sure we listen and accept this truth. We are all part of something much bigger then we realize, but once we do there is nothing we can't face.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
By Ernest Hardy
Excerpted from The Advocate December 4, 2007
Mary J. Blige has a fantastic body, fit and surprisingly curvy. Today it’s poured into a pair of formfitting jeans, a chic orange turtleneck, and dark leather boots. Huge, dark sunglasses set off her trademark blond bob wig. She’s curled up in a chair in a small room at the Beverly Hills Hotel after our lunch downstairs, her legs dangling over the arm. She stares out the window as her husband-manager Kendu Isaacs puts a CD-R of songs from her new album, Growing Pains, in the room’s outdated CD player. As the beat-driven music starts to play, Mary drops her head slightly forward and nods hard to the beat. Her entire upper torso jooks in classic B-girl style. She sings along to the words, going into her own zone. This is career-high music for Mary -- some of her best singing, strongest songwriting, and most inspired production ever. But it’s likely to further alienate many of the fans that vibe to Miserable Mary, Addicted Mary, Depressed and Suicidal Mary. The new material is a continuation of the process begun on her Grammy award–winning 2005 album, The Breakthrough -- Mary’s chronicling of her new and hard-won states of mind and being. She’s happy. When told that the album, which was then a month and a half from being released, would likely inspire grumblings of dissatisfaction among some of her old fans, Mary swings her legs around, sits up straight, and says in that globally famous no-bullshit voice, “Thank you. That’s honest, what you just gave back. I like that.”
Actually, throughout our conversation, honesty is what Mary J. Blige gives me. It’s well-known that celebrities come to this magazine to send a little love to their big gay following, but often enough, that’s just business. This is different. This is deeper. “The majority of my fans are gay,” Mary says matter-of-factly. “The majority of them are, and I have to really make sure that they know I’m paying attention to the fact that they support me, and I support them.”
Asked at what point she realized that the children had made her their own, she immediately replies, “I realized that years ago. Like, probably during...was it Share My World or Mary? It was probably during the Mary album that I realized I had so many gay fans, because one of my managers at the time was gay and him and all his friends were die-hard Mary fans. And then there’s a lot of gay women that love Mary J. Blige -- a slew of gay women. And that’s never been something to bother me. Never. Because we’re all people at the end of the day.” She pauses for a second, then continues.
“When I was growing up,” she says thoughtfully, “my neighborhood was full of everyone -- black, white, Latino, gay, straight. A lot of people that I knew were gay, but they were great people. They were good people. It’s not like they were alien. They were just people. That [acceptance] was just something that was always in me. I’ve never been a judgmental person because I have been through so much hell myself…”
And you yourself have been judged, I say to her.
“Exactly. I’ve been judged so much that I’d be a fool, or I’d be dead wrong to myself, to have something negative to say about anyone that’s doing anything that’s their choice, you know what I mean?”
In the fight against AIDS, Blige has done more than support from the sidelines. She has jumped in on our side. Longtime fans know of her involvement with AIDS organizations and awareness programs like Minority AIDS Project and her being a spokeswoman for MAC cosmetics’ Viva Glam III and IV campaigns. The death of her friend and songwriter Kenny Greene (who was responsible for many of MJB’s early hits, most notably “Love No Limit” and “My Love”) was her personal impetus for involvement in the cause. But it was noticing the silence around the disease that finally prompted Blige to take action.
“I was motivated,” she says, “by the fact that it came and was so huge, and then all of a sudden it disappeared, and it was the thing that everybody swept under the rug. It was the elephant in the room that nobody’s looking at. It made me be like, Oh, this is right at our front door. This can touch us. So why wouldn’t I want to get involved with something that can help save all our lives, save everybody’s lives? That’s why I wanted to get involved, because I knew that…” She pauses. “I had friends that… One of my gay friends that was a songwriter with me, Kenny Greene, was one of my really good friends and he died from AIDS. I was like…” She sighs deeply and falls silent before resuming the conversation. “And then everybody was just dropping off, dropping off, dropping off, but no one was saying anything.”
Of course, part of that silence is rooted in homophobia, either inflicted or absorbed. Or both. And while much mainstream conventional wisdom (catch the layered oxymoron there) has it that the African-American and hip-hop communities are more homophobic than whites, Mary doesn’t see it that way.
“The real hip-hop,” she stresses, “the real people don’t even care about that. They’ll love you and accept you no matter what because they know who they are. There are a lot of people trying to figure out who they are and what they’re gonna be. There’s a lot of confusion in that. Confusion causes a lack of identity.
“I’ve heard a couple of guys say foul things, and those guys are not around me anymore because when they say things like that, I’m looking at them like, What makes you so scared? You don’t know who you are? I guess it all boils down to them not being sure about themselves and what they wanna do, whoever that is. I won’t say any names. And I don’t dislike them or anything -- it just makes me wonder about them period. ’Cause if you’re not sure about that, then you ain’t sure about a lotta things!” she laughs.
Monday, November 26, 2007
About the usage of the red flowers Daniel explains: "The beauty of the neutral skin of the male body is related - or in opposition - with the red skin of the flower. The delicacy of the flower becomes the delicacy of the skin of these beautiful body, masculine and touching. Shivering!" And when we asked if this also goes for the underwear, Daniel simply said: "The red of the underwear brings out the best of the beauty of the body... Surprise!"