Sony/ColumbiaCameron Crowe is a great writer. Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Say Anything, Singles, Jerry Maguire and the Oscar-winning Almost Famous are some of the most quotable movies from the past 30 years. Though his efforts since 2000’s Almost Famous have been uneven, my love for Crowe has not diminished, and I remain hopeful he’ll recapture that former magic. In his new movie, Aloha, the best of his trademark idiosyncratic banter and character interactions occasionally bubble to the surface.
Bradley Cooper is Brian, an innovative military contractor with a keen interest in space who used to live in Hawaii. He returns there expecting to complete a deal for a billionaire for whom he’s been working, named Carson Welch (Bill Murray). He didn’t necessarily expect to see his ex-girlfriend, Tracy (Rachel McAdams), who’s married to and has two kids with military pilot Woody (John Krasinski). Enter Emma Stone’s Allison Ng, a pilot assigned to be Brian’s watchdog. She’s very by-the-book, and very interested in Brian in more ways than just professionally.
Then there’s Hawaii. Crowe’s efforts to make Hawaiian culture part of this story are a bit convoluted and feel forced. So does the Brian-Allison sub-plot. On the flip side, Tracy feels like an amalgam of Diane and Corey from Say Anything, with a bit Penny Lane from Almost Famous sprinkled in -- three of Crowe’s best and most beautifully written characters, so I can’t complain about that. Also, Cooper’s chemistry with McAdams is considerably better than his chemistry with Stone.
There are plenty of likeable nuggets in Aloha, particularly Danny McBride’s quirky Colonel “Fingers” Lacy character; the two young actors who play McAdams’ children, Danielle Rose Russell and Jaeden Lieberher (the latter of whom was also outstanding opposite Murray in last year’s St. Vincent); and the scenes between Cooper and Krasinski. Unfortunately, it all just isn’t enough to make Aloha a truly good movie.
Warner Bros.(NEW YORK) -- Is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson an impressive action star? Yes and no. Lately, he’s had moments when it seems he’s on the verge of becoming an above-average actor. Then he backslides.
I found Johnson backsliding a bit in San Andreas, though I by no means think he’s bad. He’s charming and has excellent comedic timing, but some of his more emotional scenes aren’t quite as believable as they need to be. Then again, they work for an audience that just wants to watch perfectly rendered earthquake destruction and doesn’t mind an unbelievable, ham-fisted story that has more plot holes than the moon has craters.
Quick synopsis: Johnson plays Ray, a helicopter pilot for the Los Angeles Fire Department whose personal life is in turmoil. His wife, Emma (Carla Gugino), is divorcing him and dating a rich guy she’s about to move in with, along with Ray’s daughter, Blake (Alexandra Daddario). Ray was scheduled to take Blake to her volleyball tournament, but that was before a massive earthquake in Nevada requires all first responders on deck, even in Los Angeles. But no worries -- Emma’s rich boyfriend will fly Blake to her tournament on his private plane. What’s a handsome, mountain-of-a-man with a thousand-watt smile supposed to do? Sulk a bit, return to his heroic job and then call Emma from his chopper to apologize. Conveniently, Emma’s having lunch on the roof of a downtown skyscraper when the first devastating earthquake hits Los Angeles. And off we go.
The plot, the beats, the character arcs? They all seem like they come from a Hollywood build-your-own-disaster movie kit. Yet as dumb as the story gets, Gugino and Paul Giamatti, who plays a Caltech seismologist, turn in terrific performances. Solid as her career’s been to date, Gugino’s best days as an actress may be ahead of her. It was almost a disservice to Johnson to put him in emotional scenes with someone whose game is so good. Daddario, yet another actress in her late 20s who’s asked to play somebody roughly 10 years younger, is also a gem.
But San Andreas isn’t about the acting. It’s disaster porn on another level. I’m not talking about the cheap disaster porn you can download for free. I’m talking about premium disaster porn you need a subscription for, and don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. The destruction is a work of art -- we’re talking other-level CGI. It’s jaw-dropping, and if you love that sort of thing, you’ll eat it up. If you also love intelligent movies? Not so much.
ABC/Rick Rowell(NEW YORK) -- The Tony Awards have gathered Hollywood's best to present at this year's ceremony.
The film stars who will grace the stage later this month include Bradley Cooper, Neil Patrick Harris,Rose Byrne, Joe Manganiello and Taye Diggs. Small screen actors also will be present, such as Bryan Cranston, Taylor Schilling, Bobby Cannavale, Jim Parsons and Larry David, whose play, Fish in the Dark, is on Broadway now.
Rocker Sting, ballet dancer Misty Copeland along with country music singer Jennifer Nettles also will take the stage, among others.
The 69th Annual Tony Awards will be held June 7 at New York's Radio City Music Hall, and air live at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS. The evening will be hosted by Tony Award nominee Kristin Chenoweth and recent Cabaret star Alan Cumming.
Anthony Behar/Bravo(NEW YORK) -- Jake Gyllenhaal trained extremely hard to play boxer Billy "The Great" Hope in Southpaw. Not only did he hit the gym twice a day, but he immersed himself in the boxing world for the movie that is already getting Oscar buzz.
"I knew very little about the science, the techniques of boxing before we started," the Oscar-nominated actor told reporters at the amfAR gala in France, according to Peoplemagazine. "My thought was, if I trained twice a day, I can make five months, 10 months [of training]. That's what we did. I spent all my time surrounded by Antoine [Fuqua, the director], my trainer and [the fighters] I was boxing with."
Gyllenhaal worked with Terry Claybon who said, according to People, "We trained Jake just like a boxer and his body developed that way. ...He gained 15 pounds of muscle."
He added that he had the actor do 1,000 sit-ups a day; 100 pull-ups; 100 dips and two sets of 100 squats, in addition to jumping rope, running eight miles a day and sparring rounds.
This isn't the first time Gyllenhaal has transformed for a role. Last year, he admitted that he lost 30 pounds for his role in Nightcrawler.
HBO(NEW YORK) -- It's safe to say that if you write something on the Internet about Emilia Clarke she won't read it. That's because the Game of Thrones actress refuses to search stories about herself on the web after the hit HBO series premiered in 2011 and she stripped down.
"I remember when everything first kicked off, I Googled myself. You just do; it's instinct," she said in Marie Claire U.K.'s July issue. "But never again. It just takes that one person who says, 'She's a fat b***h,' and you're like, 'I'm a fat b***h!'"
Clarke, who was often seen naked on the series' first season, said she's now cautious about being nude on screen. It's that very reason why she turned down the role of Anastasia Grey in the film adaption of Fifty Shades of Grey.
"I really wanted to work with [director] Sam Taylor-Johnson because she's f***ing amazing. But there is a huge amount of nudity in the film. I'll never say 'I'm never doing nudity,' because I've already done it, but I thought I might get stuck in a pigeonhole that I would have struggled to get out of," she explained.
One film in which Clarke doesn't strip down is Terminator Genisys, which hits theaters July 1. She's set to portray Sarah Connor opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke and Jai Courtney. Clarke said she tried her hardest to keep up with the guys in the film.
"Those f***ing guns are super heavy. You're running with them a lot of the time, and I needed to keep up with, be better than the boys," she said. "I needed to know what to do to have Arnold go, 'Very nice.' That was my goal."
When Clarke isn't filming on the big or small screen, she doesn't have much time for a personal life. She doesn't even date, she said.
"I kept thinking that for clarity of mind, I had to be in one place. And then I just realized that's not how this life is going to work. It makes [dating] absolutely impossible," she explained. "I'm soppy and I do like to believe that when the right person comes along, it will work, because you want to make it work. Everyone else seems to manage it."
Charles Sykes/Bravo(NEW YORK) -- Laverne Cox took our breath away while starring as Sophia on Orange Is the New Black, and she’s proved once is just not enough. While taking some much needed time off, the transgender actress took to Instagram to display one of the rarest of celebrity looks -- a makeup-free face.
"Finally a few days to relax. I feel so privileged to be able to do work that I love and very privileged to be able to take time off occasionally. I take none of it lightly. Always good to have days with no makeup to let my skin breath. #washfacenobase #TransIsBeautiful," the LGBT advocate captioned the photo.
The actress also showed off some of her sexy assets in a black sheer one-piece bathing suit to compliment her clean, vibrant skin.
Cox joins the likes of Rhianna, Heidi Klum and Kim Kardashian, who have all gone without makeup for their social media followers.
Cox will be reprising her role, orange jumpsuit and all, when Orange Is the New Black returns June 12 on Netflix.
ABC/Ida Mae Astute(LOS ANGELES) -- It's a sad day for Bachelor fans.Chris Soules and Whitney Bischoff have ended their engagement, ABC News has confirmed.
"Whitney Bischoff and Chris Soules have mutually and amicably decided to end their engagement," his rep said in a statement. "They part with nothing but respect and admiration for one another and will continue to be supportive friends. They wish to thank everyone who has supported them through this journey."
The news was first confirmed by Bachelorette Executive Producer Mike Fleiss, who tweeted, "Sad news to report: @souleschris and @whitbisch are no longer engaged..."
The franchise's host Chris Harrison told E! News, "I'm truly sorry to learn that Chris and Whitney have ended their engagement. I consider them both friends and will do anything I can to support them during a tough time."
Soules, who starred in the last season of the ABC reality show, proposed to the Chicago-based fertility nurse in the March finale. She was a mainstay in L.A. during his stint on Dancing with the Stars, and more recently joined him in Iowa, where his family owns a farm.
However, as of last week, she was back in Chicago, according to her tweets, while he remained in Arlington.
Comedy Central(NEW YORK) -- Comedy Central has picked the day Trevor Noah will take over The Daily Show -- September 28.
The announcement comes in a brief video released Thursday, in which Noah apparently sneaks onto the Daily Show set and behind the desk.
"Welcome to the Daily Show!" he repeats, practicing his opening, as well as some different poses, including a few karate moves and a sexy pose with his rear facing the camera.
At one point, Noah describes his show as "new and sexy." That's about the time outgoing host Jon Stewart appears behind him, standing silently until Noah turns around and sees him. "Oh sh**!" Noah exclaims, and hustles away.
Stewart will say goodbye to The Daily Show August 6.
South African-born Noah, 31, first appeared on The Daily Show last December in a segment titled "Spot the Africa," during which he highlighted African stereotypes by comparing America to African nations, including Noah’s home country. Largely unknown in America outside of his Comedy Central appearances, Noah is a popular stand-up comic in Europe.
Lacey Terrell/HBO(LOS ANGELES) -- True Detective's writers and actors have been very secretive about the plot for season two. AndVince Vaughn, who will portray career criminal Frank Semyon in the gritty TV drama, isn't helping any.
When asked about his character on Thursday's The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Vaughn quipped, "I am Elsa," he said, referencing the Disney film Frozen. "I'm supposed to keep it under wraps, but I'm so excited, I can't contain myself. I'm freezing and kissing and freezing and kissing."
Still, Vaughn did reveal a bit about the show: "It's a crime story that takes place in Los Angeles and it's a whole new story. The writer and creator of [season one] is just tremendous, Nick Pizzolato, and he's the writer of this one as well, and it's been a lot of fun. The characters are very interesting, very complicated."
Although he's best known as a comedic actor, Vaughn said he took the True Detective role because it allowed him to explore another side of his acting. "I just thought it was tremendous, and for me, I haven't done drama in a while. So to get a chance to go into something so well put together, I felt very excited," he said.
Unlike the original series, which starred Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, the new season will revolve around three police officers -- Rachel McAdams, Colin Farrell and Taylor Kitsch -- and a longtime criminal, Vaughn, in the aftermath of a murder. It premieres June 21.
Charles Sykes/Bravo(NEW YORK) -- Aunt Becky -- the wife ofJohn Stamos' Uncle Jesse on Full House -- will be back for Fuller House, the Netflix spinoff of the '90s sitcom.
"I’m very excited," Lori Loughlin, the actress who played Rebecca Katsopolis, said Thursday on Good Morning America. "Officially I am going to be a part of the reboot, or spin off, Fuller House."
Loughlin previously told Access Hollywood she'd appear on the planned show only if "the powers that be are fair to all of us."
Three of Loughlin's Full House co-stars -- Candace Cameron-Bure, Jodie Sweetin and Andrea Barber -- are already signed on to the show, scheduled to premiere in 2016. Bure's character will reportedly be a widowed mother of three, who has her sister Stephanie and friend Kimmy, played by Sweetin and Barber, respectively, move in to help.
As far as how Loughlin fits into the series, the actress said, "We're gonna help Candace and Jodie and Andrea spin-off the new show Fuller House. So we'll come back, and we'll do the first episode and then maybe throughout the season we'll pop up here and there."
The show will also feature guest appearances by original stars Dave Coulier and Loughlin's on-screen husband, John Stamos, but two of the show’s biggest stars, twins Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, have declined to participate.
"We would have loved it, it would have been great but I understand," Loughlin said of the Olsen sisters' reluctance to reprise their role of Michelle, Aunt Becky’s niece.
Universal(NEW YORK) -- Chris Pratt is proving that he's all-American. The actor posted a video to Facebook Wednesday, teaching his son the Pledge of Allegiance.
The video, which has been viewed over 880,000 times, was paired with this caption: "Meant to post this on #MemorialDay but I was in China and my phone wasn't working. I'm proud to be American. I'm blessed to get to travel the world! #IPledgeAllegiance."
In the 34-second video, his son Jackrepeats everything he says.
Pratt is gearing up to star in Jurassic World, which opens nationwide June 12.
Meant to post this on #MemorialDay but I was in China and my phone wasn't working. I'm proud to be American. I'm blessed to get to travel the world! #IPledgeAllegiance
Vivian Zink/NBC(NEW YORK) -- David Duchovny will return to The X-Files universe in early 2016, but in the meantime he's starring in a new drama for NBC.
Aquarius, premiering Thursday night at 9 p.m. Eastern time, is set in 1967 Los Angeles, and features Duchovny as a homicide detective investigating the disappearance of a 16-year-old girl who, it turns out, has become one of Charles Manson's followers.
Duchovny believes that people's memories of the 1960s have been tainted because of Manson, who's played by Game of Thrones actor Gethin Anthony on the miniseries.
He told reporters, "The hippies got blamed for anarchy and murder through Charles Manson, he became a symbol."
Duchovny is generally not a fan of cop dramas, but he argued that Aquarius takes a different approach to problem-solving.
He said, "I think the technology makes for really bad storytelling, 'cause you have these CSI things and it's like just f***in' dust it. Now we got our killer."
"I'm like a Sherlock Holmes fan, deductive reasoning is a much more interesting way to solve. I actually like the Aquarius frame of mind better, which is, how do I outsmart this guy, how do I trap this guy. Not, he sneezed, we got him," he continued.
Following the series premiere of Aquarius, NBC will release all 13 episodes on its website and mobile app.
You'll be able to catch Duchovny in Fox's X-Files revival beginning January 24, 2016.
Claudette Barius/Warner Bros.(NEW YORK) -- The boys are back in Hollywood. In the film adaptation of the hit HBO series Entourage, Adrian Grenier's Vincent Chase wants to step behind the camera to write and direct his first big-budget film. Grenier told ABC Radio what else fans can expect from the film.
"It's everything that you always want from Entourage. It's the American dream," he said at the New York City premiere inside the Paris Theater Wednesday night. "It's the lifestyle that's the most exciting and indulgent with no consequences. But fundamentally it's about doing it with your friends, your family and living a ride with the people you love."
Kevin Dillon, who portrays his older brother Johnny "Drama" Chase, agreed.
"It's just a little more Entourage. We haven't strayed away from it too much. It's going to be almost more like season two [or] season three when the guys are together more, but yet it's bigger and it's longer. We have moments where we can actually take a beat. On the show, we couldn't even really take a dramatic pause or a comedic beat here and there. So, from an actor's point of view it's better because you can do that kind of stuff."
What can we expect from fan-favorite Vinny? Grenier said of his character, "He's got such a big heart and he's so selfless. Even though he could and has earned the right to be selfish and indulge everything he always wanted, he still remains like a selfless guy."
In the film, moviegoers can expect tons of cameos, including from Liam Neeson, Ed O'Neill, Kelsey Grammer and Andrew Dice Clay.
For Grenier, one musician who made a cameo was his favorite. "I'm a huge fan of Pharrell's and love his environmental work as well as his music so it was an honor to work with him."
Entourage, also starring Jerry Ferrara as Turtle and Jeremy Piven as agent Ari Gold, hits theaters June 3.
David Welker/TLC(NEW YORK) -- While TLC has pulled 19 Kids and Counting after a report revealed sexual misconduct allegations against Josh Duggar, there's speculation that a spin-off of the reality series could happen at the cable network.
People magazine, citing a source close to the Duggars, says a show centered on a couple of newlyweds in the family, Jill and Derick Dillard and Jessa and Ben Seewald, is a possibility.
The source says of 19 Kids and Counting, "The show had begun to focus more and more on the next generation of Duggars, anyway -- mainly Jill and Jessa and their marriages and babies."
"That's when the show got its highest ratings," the source adds.
Last week, In Touch magazine reported that Josh Duggar was investigated in 2006 for alleged misconduct starting when he was 14 years old.
He responded to the report in a statement provided to People magazine and later posted to Facebook, admitting, "Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. ...I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged."
On Friday, TLC announced it was pulling all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting from the air. Since then, a number of the show's sponsors have dropped out. The latest sponsors to cut ties, according to reports, include CVS, H&R Block and Keurig.
Adam Rose/FOX(LOS ANGELES) -- Some positive news for Lindsay Lohan -- she's completed the community service obligations required of her in connection with a 2012 reckless driving case.
Santa Monica City Attorney Terry White told E! News Wednesday that the Mean Girls star has fulfilled her obligations ahead of Thursday's deadline, which coincides with a court hearing in the matter.
In February, a Los Angeles judge ordered Lohan, 28, to perform an additional 125 hours of community service after a prosecutor questioned community service credit the actress received while in London working on her play, Speed-the-Plow.
Lohan was ordered to perform community service as part of her sentence related to her crash with a truck on the Pacific Coast Highway.