Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and the Aftermath of the Revelation Heard ‘Round the World

Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and the Aftermath of the Revelation Heard ‘Round the World

To be honest, I can’t recall a time when Angelina Jolie hasn’t looked pretty flawless on the red carpet. She continued the tradition last night in London when she made her first public appearance since undergoing a double mastectomy in February.

In support of fiancé Brad Pitt’s new film “World War Z,” Jolie stood by her man for the premiere, but not without Pitt himself extolling Jolie’s strength throughout the difficult time. “I think the world of her, she is an amazing woman,” Pitt told People magazine, before going on to talk about the support from the public, saying “I’m very touched by the reaction, it makes me very emotional.”

Jolie also conveyed gratitude for the waves of support she has received since she went public in May about the preventative procedure. The actress lost her mother in 2007 to a long battle with ovarian cancer, and when she found out she had a gene, BRCA1, that predisposed her to cancer, she knew the operation would provide her with the best chance of never having to put her children through what she endured.

As she opined in her May 14th article for the New York Times, “My Medical Choice,” her breast cancer risk has now shrunk from 87 to 5 percent. The eloquently written article also provides emotional support to women going through similar situations, with Jolie writing, “For any woman reading this, I hope it helps you to know you have options. I want to encourage every woman, especially if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical experts who can help you through this aspect of your life, and to make your own informed choices.”

And it seems Jolie’s support and courage has been returned tenfold over the past few weeks, as Jolie remarked at the screening, “I’ve been very happy just to see the discussion about women’s health expanded and that means the world to me.”

While Jolie and her relationships have been tabloid fodder in the past, it’s so refreshing to see this outpouring of support in a challenging time for one of the world’s most recognized couples. Between their large brood of children, humanitarian work, and of course, acting, they seem to stay quite busy, but never lose sight of what is important. So many wishes of continued happiness and health to the Pitt-Jolie family!

Amanda Bynes – Brilliant Performance Artist, Or Mentally-Unhinged Cautionary Tale? Here’s The Latest On Hollywood’s Bigest Enigma

Amanda Bynes – Brilliant Performance Artist, Or Mentally-Unhinged Cautionary Tale? Here’s The Latest On Hollywood’s Bigest Enigma

As the case with former child star Amanda Bynes gets stranger by the minute, it would almost seem at home as the plot of a bizarrely inappropriate skit on the actress’s old “The Amanda Show.” Sadly, that is not the case and the reality seems to be that Bynes’ is yet another tragic tale to be added to the long list of child stars that crumble under the pressures of fame after hitting adulthood.

Between the DUIs, the odd tweets, the drastic makeover and incomprehensible actions, you would think the public wouldn’t be shocked by anything Bynes did at this point, but her behavior this week proved otherwise when the troubled actress was arrested by NYPD Thursday evening for allegedly throwing a bong out of her apartment window while trying to keep it from police.

It all went down when an employee at her building called the police regarding Bynes’ blatant marijuana smoking in the lobby, which led to the apartment showdown involving the now infamous bong throw into the street below. While she was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment, she was also forced to undergo a psychiatric evaluation at Roosevelt Hospital, an evaluation that apparently did little to address the actress’s mental state as she was released on her own recognizance mere hours later.

Since her run-in with the law, Bynes has taken to her favorite podium, Twitter, to denounce almost everyone involved in the snafu, and even some innocents that weren’t. From alleging the NYPD sexually harassed her (which the NYPD says is definitely untrue), to randomly attacking singer Rihanna with insults like “Chris Brown beat you because you’re not pretty enough,” it appears no one is safe from the wrath of Bynes.

It all boils down to yet another sad chapter in the downfall this past year of the once promising actress, who at the young age of 12 already had her own TV show. It’s unclear what led to the series of mishaps culminating in the latest scandal. Perhaps the roles weren’t floating her away as frequently as they had in the past, which is a problem many child actors face. Regardless, I think what is clear is the 27-year-old could use a good old intervention and get back on the right track. After all, once Courtney Love starts telling you to get it together, it’s probably a wise idea to follow suit…

Summer 2012 is Here at the Movies! But Which Flicks Will Soar, and Which Will Suck?

Summer 2012 is Here at the Movies! But Which Flicks Will Soar, and Which Will Suck?

Summer is upon us! And as usual, Hollywood is throwing its best and brightest blockbusters at the world, hoping to break box office records, or at the very least, break even. So what’s in store for those looking to beat the heat at theaters this year? Here’s a breakdown of five flicks we think will be bona fide hits, and five that might be misses…

The Hits

The Hangover Part III (May 24) – While the sequel, Part II, left many fans a bit miffed that it was a joke-by-joke retelling of the hilarious Part I, those looking for a different journey in the concluding chapter should be appeased. Apparently the final film gets a bit dark as the wolf pack try to bring Alan (Zach Galifianakis) to a mental institution, but as always with this group, things don’t go exactly as planned. With some familiar faces appearing in addition to a few new ones, people will most likely flock to this party one more time.

Man of Steel (June 14) – We’ve covered the trailer, and if you’re a superhero fan, there’s no way you can pass on DC Comics’ newest reboot. By attaching Batman guru Christopher Nolan on as guardian of the franchise and proceeding with what looks to be a grimmer, more introspective take on Superman, failure is not an option for this one.

This is the End (June 14) – Obviously going up against “Man of Steel” opening weekend is a pretty steep cliff to climb, but judging by the trailer, anyone seeking a good laugh will get it, if only to see Hermione herself kicking butt during the apocalypse with the likes of Seth Rogen, James Franco, and Jonah Hill.

Pacific Rim (July 12) – Aliens and giant robots fighting. Directed by anyone other than Guillermo del Toro and most people would probably be laughing in their popcorn, but del Toro has some serious street cred and a cult following from his “Hellboy” and “Pan’s Labyrinth” history. This one could surprise us all.

The Conjuring (July 19) – We’ve been chatting about this one as well and if it’s as scary as predicted, it should wind up being the runaway horror hit of the summer. With all the “Paranormal Activity” found-footage style out there, it’s good to know there are still some good, old-fashioned haunts to be had.

The Misses:

After Earth (May 31) – It’s not exactly a twisty surprise to say that M. Night Shyamalan has become a bit of a laughing stock in the years since his career skyrocketed with “The Sixth Sense.” Some say he peaked too soon, and that may be true, but Hollywood loves a good comeback. I hope he does have one, but this flick might not be it. Haven’t we already seen this tale of an abandoned planet Earth when it starred Tom Cruise and it was called “Oblivion”?

World War Z (June 21) – As a fan of the Max Brooks novel upon which it is based, I SO want this to be good. But I’m left with doubt considering the multitude of setbacks this film has faced (reshoots, rewrites, fighting on set) and the fact that the only thing it seems to have in common with the book is…well, zombies.

The Lone Ranger (July 5) – Johnny Depp struck gold with director Gore Verbinski before when they teamed up for “Pirates of the Caribbean” and forever emblazoned Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in our minds. That might be the problem though. Are audiences that eager to see Depp dress up as an entirely new, possible-franchise launching character? Time will tell.

Only God Forgives (July 19) – Another case of lightning having difficulty striking the same place twice, reviews from Cannes for this reteaming of Ryan Gosling and his “Drive” director Nicolas Winding Refn have been less than kind. When words like “preposterous” and “repulsive” are being used to describe a movie, it’s probably a good bet to wait for rental.

The Wolverine (July 26) – The odds that this will be better than the 2009 “Origins” movie are very high, and the fact that it is set in Japan is a nice change of pace. But perhaps we have to admit that as awesome as Hugh Jackman is, Wolverine may be best in small doses in an ensemble feature (Viva “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, summer ’14!)

Of course all or some of these predictions may end up being way off base, but to the movie-loving public, I say go forth and conquer and I’ll see you at the cineplex!

“Saturday Night Live” Says Goodbye to Some of Its Biggest Stars! So, What Does the Future Hold For Stefon?

“Saturday Night Live” Says Goodbye to Some of Its Biggest Stars! So, What Does the Future Hold For Stefon?

As is sadly so often the case, all good things must come to an end. If there was ever a TV show that knew this better than anyone, it’s “Saturday Night Live.” I suppose it comes with the territory of being a sketch comedy show that has been on the air for over thirty-five years; cast members will come and go and the only thing to do is adapt and move on. This past Saturday for its thirty-eighth season finale, “SNL” bid adieu to some of its treasured tropes of oddball characters with the departure of Bill Hader and Fred Armisen.

The two long-time performers, Hader having been there eight years and Armisen eleven years, were given an appropriate and bittersweet send-off, allowing viewers a last glimpse at some of their more iconic personas. Bill Hader’s all-knowing New York City “nightlife correspondent” Stefon almost tied the knot with Anderson Cooper before being whisked away by permanent crush and “Weekend Update” host Seth Meyers. As for Armisen, he graced the stage as his punk rock alter ego Ian Rubbish to perform one last time, joining forces with special guests from the Sex Pistols and Sonic Youth, as well as his “Portlandia” co-star Carrie Brownstein.

The traditional question one asks after a cast member leaves is where will they go from here? Well, it doesn’t seem they’ll be far from your TV screens for long. Bill Hader has about eleven projects in various stages of production on his IMDB profile, with feature films, TV show appearances, and voice work all on the agenda. As for Armisen, anyone who has seen his hilarious IFC sketch show should know that he excels at the more offbeat and eccentric comedy that “Portlandia” allows, and hopefully a season 4 run will let him do just that.

But what will become of the rest of the “SNL” cast and the show’s future? Jason Sudeikis has been rumored to be departing after this season as well, but the ten-year veteran hasn’t made an official announcement and the finale did little to say farewell to him. Could co-star Jay Pharaoh’s tweet yesterday discussing the departure of all 3 gentlemen be a confirmation?

And for those worried that the show has lost too many of its staples in recent years (I know we’re all still hurtin’ from Kristen Wiig leaving), I say: fret not. “Saturday Night Live” is a survivor and has endured many a cast exodus in its lengthy past. After every Adam Sandler or Will Ferrell leaves, the show is often slammed with a “how can it recover?” type media storm, but it always does. There will be rocky seasons as it tries to find its way, but new talent always seems to emerge. Already, the likes of Taran Killam, Vanessa Bayer, and Kate McKinnon have stepped up to the plate to ensure the hilarity will continue, and with so many spots opening up on the cast, it only leaves me eager to find out which new comedians Lorne Michaels will scoop up next season. Because as the saying goes, the show must go on!

The “X-Men” Are Back As Details Leak About the Blockbuster Prequel “Days of Future Past”!

The “X-Men” Are Back As Details Leak About the Blockbuster Prequel “Days of Future Past”!

To add to the list of never-ending teases that director Bryan Singer is raining down on the legions of “X-Men” fans, the filmmaker recently tweeted a picture of cast member Ellen Page all suited up as Kitty Pryde, adding to the growing allure of this newest anticipated chapter. For weeks, Singer has been reveling in fandom’s glee over his return to the Marvel adaptation he helped create (Singer directed the first two ventures, “X-Men” in 2000 and its sequel “X2” in 2003, before leaving the franchise to do 2006’s “Superman Returns” reboot).

Having already tweeted first looks at returning fan favorites like Hugh Jackman’s iconic Wolverine and Halle Berry as Storm, the momentum for the fourth round of X-Men adventure, titled “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” has been increasing at a staggering rate. The buzz surrounding it is pretty apt when you consider the epic cast that has been brought together for this installment. While I can’t say I ever followed the comic books, I do know that “Days of Future Past” is a HUGE storyline from the comics; a plot that brings together the casts of the original films and 2011’s “X-Men: First Class,” which was primarily an origin story for our heroes.

So yes, that means we’ll be seeing the likes of the magnificent Ian McKellan as Magneto and the fantastic Michael Fassbender as his younger incarnation in the same movie! Will they actually share screen time? Well, that remains to be seen (unless you DO read the comics and are much wiser than I am in “X-Men” lore). The same story goes for the young Professor X (James McAvoy) and his older counterpart Patrick Stewart, as well as a myriad of others returning like Jennifer Lawrence, Anna Paquin, and the aforementioned Ms. Berry and Mr. Jackman.

With so many actors coming together, it’s quite tempting to shout out “Assemble!” but as it may be sacrilege to reference another beloved faction in the Marvel universe when speaking about this one, I’ll just end with the obvious: This movie needs to be seen. Hopefully Singer continues with the tantalizing updates until “Days of Future Past” hits theaters next summer, July 18th!

Gwyneth Paltrow Named “World’s Most Beautiful Woman” – So, Why Do So Many People Hate Her?

Gwyneth Paltrow Named “World’s Most Beautiful Woman” – So, Why Do So Many People Hate Her?

I have always wondered what the judging parameters are for such titles as “Most Beautiful” or “Sexiest Man Alive.” Who makes the decision and what criteria are involved? Is there a majority factor at play or is it random? Do accomplishments come into play? Are they really chosen among everyone – or simply a celeb who has a new movie to promote and the willingness to sit still for a cover shoot in exchange for some free publicity? These are questions that may never be answered for me, but in People magazine’s tradition, they have awarded actress Gwyneth Paltrow the title of this year’s “World’s Most Beautiful Woman.”

While it would be impossible to get everyone in the country, nay the world, on board with one woman called “most beautiful” due to varying opinions on beauty, I think it would be safe to say at this point that Paltrow should probably win the award for “World’s Most Divisive Woman.” We just don’t know how to feel about her!

Hating on celebs is nothing new – Anne Hathaway, despite her epic career success this year, can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to the public’s opinion of her. But Paltrow has endured her own share of scorn for quite some time – just last week, in fact, she was dubbed the Most Hated Celebrity in Hollywood. When one is able to upset such contenders as Chris Brown and the Housewives, it seems imperative to examine where the hate is coming from, especially since it doesn’t seem so long ago that we were embracing the blond beauty as she overcame her disastrous beginnings as Brad Pitt’s arm candy and won an Oscar in 1998, blubbering through a weepy acceptance speech.

Could it be her sometimes controversial, often-mocked website “Goop”? The newsletter was started in 2008 as a forum for Gwyneth to give out lifestyle advice – and some argued, provide a window into just how out of touch with normal, everyday life the actress is. Whether you’re a “Goop” lover or hater, her comment once of: “I am who I am. I can’t pretend to be someone who makes $25,000 a year,” certainly didn’t win her any fans, especially those who, ya know, make $25,000 a year. There’s also the fact she has produced two cookbooks, her most recent containing rather dubious recipes, including one for a hard-boiled egg. Yup, a recipe for a hard-boiled egg…you can cue the face-palm here.

As if these reasons weren’t enough to lead people down the hater trail, there’s also the fact that her film career has been in a slump ever since she won her Oscar for “Shakespeare in Love.” There’s always talk of the curse that can strike Academy Award winners post-win, where their careers go downhill and never recover (paging Halle Berry, Chalize Theron, Mira Sorvino and others). But curse or no curse, Paltrow’s career has been pretty weak since she won over a decade ago. Yes, she has been in some of the most profitable movies of the last few years with her role as Tony Stark’s assistant/gal pal Pepper Potts in the “Iron Man”/ “Avengers” universe, but her role is still relatively minor, and apart from those blockbusters, most of her starring efforts of the past decade-and-a-half (“Running With Scissors,” “Proof,” “View From the Top,” “Bounce,” “Duets,” “Country Strong”…wow, this list would even embarrass Kate Hudson) have flopped badly.

Obviously, everyone is going to form their own opinion on Ms. Paltrow. Perhaps you still love her and always will and find “Goop” a healthy and nourishing accompaniment to your everyday life. Or perhaps you can’t stand the fact that Robert Downey Jr. has to cozy up to her, even if it’s on screen. Either way, I’ll leave you with this: She’s pretty much BFF’s with Beyonce and Jay-Z. That has to earn the girl some major cool points, right?

Reese Witherspoon Arrested! We Know Who She Is, But Is She No Longer a Good Girl?

Reese Witherspoon Arrested! We Know Who She Is, But Is She No Longer a Good Girl?

While she may have cemented herself as box office titan for romantic comedies in the likes of “Sweet Home Alabama,” I’m not sure America’s Sweetheart Reese Witherspoon is singing the praises of sweet ‘ol Atlanta at the moment. The actress, who is in the city filming her new movie “The Good Lie,” had a rough weekend that began in the wee hours Friday morning and ended with her arrest. According to reports, the actress’ agent husband Jim Toth was pulled over Friday after apparently weaving in and out of traffic. When the police officer administered a sobriety test, Toth’s blood alcohol level was at .139, and he was subsequently arrested. For her part, Reese pulled out the fame card, yelling: “Do you know my name?” and “You’re about to find out who I am.” When she refused to obey the officer’s instructions and stay in the vehicle, she was arrested as well. Eek.

The actress and her hubby were released on bond shortly after, around 3:30 a.m., but the event has already proved quite the scandal, particularly because people just don’t seem to expect this type of behavior from her. Reese released an apology that went on to discuss while she was obviously concerned for her husband, it in no way excused her actions. “I was disrespectful to the officer who was just doing his job. The words I used that night definitely do not reflect who I am,” she stated. “I have nothing but respect for the police and I’m very sorry for my behavior.”

So what will this mean for the formerly squeaky-clean actress? Does one cut her some slack since she’s not normally tabloid fodder? Or is the grievance inexcusable? Well, on the one hand, it’s true; Reese typically stays well out of the public eye if she can. She seems to be a devoted mom and wife, having welcomed a new baby just within the last year to her brood, which already includes 2 children from her previous marriage. Low-key, devoted mom or not, though, there’s really no excuse for driving drunk, which her husband apparently was.

And while Reese claims to have been intoxicated herself, it was in extremely poor taste to whip out the “I’m a celebrity” spiel in a case could have spiraled into dangerous territory had her husband not been pulled over. As Buzzfeed helpfully pointed out, it’s not the first time and certainly won’t be the last that a celeb has shouted over the rooftops, “Hey, look at me, I’m famous!” But while that may help get you into the hottest club, it shouldn’t have any effect on the law, and props to the police officer for not giving a damn he was arresting an Oscar winner.

As for the future, and whether this will have long-lasting effects on Ms. Witherspoon and her career, I’m going to say doubtful. The public is surprisingly tolerant when it comes to indiscretions (Charlie Sheen and Robert Downey Jr. have enough of ‘em to probably fill the Pacific Ocean, and their careers are still sky-rocketing). The apology was an important, and in my opinion, necessary response and she should be able to move past this and still retain the image of the sweet gal we all fell in love with on screen. Just one piece of advice if I may, next time it would be wise to call a cab.

Shifting Gears, “Twilight” Star Kristen Stewart Puts Her Comedy Career on Hold, Signs Up for “Snow White” Sequel

Shifting Gears, “Twilight” Star Kristen Stewart Puts Her Comedy Career on Hold, Signs Up for “Snow White” Sequel

As often happens in Hollywood, there appears to be some flip-flopping going on around the Warner Bros. project “Focus,” and as the saying goes “out with the old, in with the new,” while it seems to have lost one star, reports say it’s gained another. The con artist story from “Crazy, Stupid, Love” directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa had fallen victim to the age-old excuse of “scheduling conflicts” in the past when it lost leading man Ben Affleck a few months ago, but now it’s coping with the loss of its young muse, “Twilight” star Kristen Stewart.

According to Variety, the film recently signed on box-office heavy-hitter Will Smith to replace Affleck, and the 23-year-old actress dropped out, despite previous enthusiasm for the comedic role, due to issues over the age difference between their two characters (apparently romance ensues in the crime caper).

Even though it’s looking like Stewart won’t be dusting off her comedic chops just yet, she’ll be keeping busy as the news also broke that she has signed on for the “Snow White and the Huntsman” sequel. Whether the sequel would even get made, and if the original cast would return, has long been in question primarily due to the scandal that followed the film involving Stewart’s affair with her married “Huntsman” director, Rupert Sanders. So while the film was a reasonable hit, many wondered if it would be able to continue past the negative publicity it garnered. Well, worry no more, K. Stew fans, as Universal Pictures finally confirmed she’ll play Snow once more.

As for “Focus,” while the film has experienced some pitfalls along the way, the casting of Smith could be the golden ticket to getting this film fast-tracked. Smith has primarily been sticking with action ventures and franchises, like “Men in Black III,” so it’s refreshing to see him taking on a role decidedly different, a sentiment the actor also seemingly shared as Variety reports “he was looking for something new and original.” Plus, we all know the Fresh Prince is capable of comedy. We’ll be keeping an eye on this one as it develops!

The New Trailer for “The Hunger Games” Sequel Is Here – And It’s Awesome!

The New Trailer for “The Hunger Games” Sequel Is Here – And It’s Awesome!

Continuing our “Catching Fire” coverage of the past few months, it is with ecstatic glee that we can finally dissect the first teaser for “The Hunger Games” sequel! The trailer, which had its world premiere this Sunday night at the MTV Movie Awards, was presented to an eager audience by Gale himself (Liam Hemsworth), although it seemed many were more than a little disappointed that Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) was not there to join him …

Hey, J. Law’s a busy gal and one of the most in-demand actresses of our time so I think we can cut her a little slack. Now let’s dive in to that trailer! Spoilers may abound so if you do not know want to know details, stop reading!

As in the books, we know that our victors from District 12 are forced to go on a shameless victory tour through the losing districts, an act that instead of placating the masses, seems to spur them on with the beginning rumbles of revolution. While we are shown scenes of this, we’re also given shots of a conversation between the perilous dictator President Snow and new character, Plutarch Heavensbee, the new Gamemaker.

Plutarch (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) is shown in evil cahoots with the President, discussing the proposed downfall of our heroine. However, fans of the books know that Plutarch’s playing possum (say that five times fast). Oscar winner Hoffman and his considerable acting talent is a welcome addition to the franchise, one of many fan favorite characters that will be making their debut in “Fire.” While we unfortunately do not get a look at characters like Johanna, Finnick, or Beetee, we do get to see returning alums Effie Trinket, Haymitch, and Katniss’ sister Prim and how they seem to be doing after the events from the first movie (Effie’s still rocking the Capitol couture and fabulous for it.)

And since we also don’t actually see any of the Games or the arena, the trailer primarily centers on Katniss and the fact that while Panem sees her as a hero, she certainly doesn’t feel like one nor wants to be the symbol that’s become. Throw in some romantic turmoil (of course) courtesy of a kiss with Gale (remember, she’s supposed to be Peeta’s paramour), and a rather graphic public whipping, also courtesy of Gale, and you’ve got the makings of what appears to be a pretty phenomenal and gripping sequel. Now all we have to do is start counting the days until the movie’s November 22nd release date and our bow-slinging, reluctant champion is on the big screen once again!

Congratulations to Halle Berry, Pregnant at 46!

Congratulations to Halle Berry, Pregnant at 46!

It has long been known that Halle Berry has to be taking some kind of magic elixir because that woman just does not age. She is gorgeous and flawless, and at the age of 46 revealed to the press this week that she is expecting a new bundle of joy with fiancé Olivier Martinez.

Berry, who has a 5-year-old daughter from her previous relationship with model Gabriel Aubry and is starring in the new drama “The Call,” is reportedly around 3 months along and also trying to keep mum on the details. When questioned on whether she knew the gender, all she could reply was “I don’t know, I don’t know.” While it’s unfortunate we’re left guessing on that for the time being, the good news is Berry was more than happy to splurge on the wonderful surprise the pregnancy was. “I thought I was kind of past the point where this could be a reality for me,” the actress stated. “I feel fantastic.”

It’s a truly lovely development for the star, who has had a pretty rough year. Between custody battles over daughter Nahla with her ex Aubry and some battles with the paparazzi over privacy, there was also the infamous Thanksgiving Day fight between her current and past paramours. The violent brawl between Aubry and Martinez escalated a brewing drama but fortunately was able to be resolved in the courts without any more bloodshed.

With the frequent negative run-ins with the press though, one has to wonder if Halle will once more try to take her family to France. She had previously petitioned the courts to allow her and Nahla to move to Martinez’s native country as there are stricter laws against paparazzi and invasions of privacy for celebrities. The judge denied this appeal, ruling that while Berry could move, her daughter would have to stay put in California.

Regardless of where the Berry/Martinez clan ends up, here’s to extending our well wishes for a healthy and happy pregnancy to the Oscar winning actress and her adorable brood!