By Michael Russnow
HollywoodNews.com: The Academy Awards was a lot better than last year’s offering and generally moved along pretty well. However, Billy Crystal’s performance was mixed. Sometimes he was spot on and in other instances resorted to forced humor that missed its mark.
After Morgan Freeman’s opening we saw Billy in an uninspiring repeat of what he’d done so well many times before, inserting himself into reproductions of well-known clips from the top films. Maybe it’s because he’s done it so many times. It’s true that he hasn’t been host since 2004, and we often enjoy an entertainer repeating his or her best work, but like an aging singer whose voice doesn’t hold up when the muscles sag, what was downright hysterical in past years, like when he came out as Hannibal Lecter in 1992, this go-around didn’t work too well for me in 2012.
The one exception was from The Descendants, when George Clooney recreated his visit to his comatose wife, played by Crystal lying in bed. Clooney’s kiss was so heartfelt it provided a big laugh. The Justin Bieber bit from Midnight in Paris wasn’t bad. Not so much the scene with Tom Cruise from Mission Impossible, nor was Crystal’s business spoofing The Help or Tintin particularly funny.
Oddly when he segued into his Oscar medley it worked better, with the lyrics sharp and engaging. After that, it was hit and miss. Sometimes very clever and other times flat. And when the latter happened he often responded defensively, at one point indicating the band in the pit liked the joke. He also was a bit insensitive regarding the age of some of the nominees as he mentioned octogenarians Christopher Plummer and Max von Sydow, followed by senility jokes at their expense. Considering that Crystal himself is pushing 64 and that ageism besetting Hollywood is rampant with many talented professionals unemployed, it’s just not funny anymore.
As the three hour ten minute show progressed, they whizzed through awards at a relatively rapid pace. Instead of starting with a celebrity award, such as supporting actor and actress, they began with Tom Hanks presenting Oscars for cinematography and art direction, both of which went on the scorecard for Hugo.
There was a montage of film clips that moved along all right, but, unless I missed one, it appeared that it was as if movie history began with 1969′s Midnight Cowboy, because none of the featured films [...]
Tag Archives: Iran
By Michael Russnow
HollywoodNews.com: Sean Penn will be recognized for his outstanding humanitarian achievements at the 14th Annual Hollywood Film Festival’s Hollywood Awards Gala Ceremony.
Penn will be bestowed with the “Hollywood Humanitarian Award” for his incredible selfless and dedicated humanitarian efforts in saving lives, as well as bringing relief to the human suffering in Haiti.
“It is an honor to recognize the inspiring humanitarian efforts that Sean Penn and his J/P Haitian Relief Organization have been providing to the great people of Haiti,” said Mr. de Abreu.
Prior recipients of this prestigious award include director of Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos, Father Rick Frechette, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and President of East Timor, Dr. Jose Ramos Horta, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Ms. Jody Williams.
The gala ceremony will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on October 25, 2010.
URGENT: HELP NEEDED IN HAITI – DONATE NOW PLEASE
ABOUT SEAN PENN
Two-time Academy Award® winner Sean Penn has become an American film icon in a career spanning nearly three decades. Penn has been nominated five times for the Academy Award® as Best Actor for “Dead Man Walking,” “Sweet and Lowdown,” “I Am Sam” and won his first Oscar® in 2003 for his searing performance in Clint Eastwood’s “Mystic River” and his second Oscar® as Best Actor in 2009 for Gus Van Sant’s “Milk.” The performance as gay rights icon Harvey Milk also garnered Penn “Best Actor” awards from The Screen Actors Guild, New York Film Critics Circle and Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
“This is an emergency that is just beginning. Flooding and outbreak of communicable diseases are certain if shelter and relocation are not achieved” – Sean Penn, Co-Founder, J/P HRO
Penn’s humanitarian work has found him in New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and more recently in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. In January 2010, Penn founded the J/P Haitian Relief Organization which focuses on medical aid, protection, and re-location. His organization is currently serving as UN IOM designated Camp Management for one of the largest IDP camps in Port-au-Prince and established the first emergency re-location in the country. They work with both government and non government agencies to deliver immediate results where the need is greatest. Their efforts include but are not limited to providing emergency medical and primary care services, delivering badly needed medical equipment and medicine, distributing food and water purification systems, improving communication systems, and rubble removal in the neighborhoods surrounding the Petionville [...]
Hollywoodnews.com: Sunday, crazy Sunday.
Word is being splashed around the net now that Brad Pitt wants to make a 2016 bid for the White House with Angelina Jolie at his side.
2016 is a ways off and there’s plenty of Best Actor Oscar films for him to make another bid on until then. So don’t hold your breath.
“There’s not much left for him to do in Hollywood,” a source close to Pitt says.
“Brad feels there’s a lot more for him to do in politics, especially considering the rough years the world has experienced recently,” the source continued to tell Showbiz Spy.
“Brad will run for Senate and if all goes well will mount a bid to become President in 2016.”
But what’s on the top of Pitt’s agenda? Abortion rights? Elimination of capital punishment? Bombing Iran? Nope. Legalizing marijuana, man.
“He’s obsessed with legalizin pot,” the source said. “He believes it would be the biggest moneymaker since the Internet.”
And Jolie has no problems with setting her sights on D.C. She is already quite involved in her humanitarian work as an U.N. ambassador.
“She is passionate about people’s rights, war and justice and thinks she can get more hands-on and make even more of a difference by getting into politics. She admires President Barack Obama and thinks she could make a big difference too if she were in his position.”
By Roger Friedman
Valerie Plame Wilson: you remember her. She was outed as an undercover CIA agent by now-deceased journalist Robert Novak. He’s in jail. Valerie was married (and still is) to diplomat Joseph Wilson, who was critical of Bush/Cheney. The reveal was said to be retribution against Wilson. This all happened in the beloved Cheney administration.
Now Plame has a lot going on. The Doug Liman directed film about her life, called “Fair Game,” will debut in Cannes next month. Expect a lot of heat.
[Thank you for visiting HollywoodNews.com. Scroll down to keep on reading. The Pulse of New Hollywood]
Plame and Liman were guests last night at a screening of a new documentary about nuclear disarmament called “Countdown to Zero.” It’s directed by Lucy Walker and produced by Lawrence Bender, who’s mounting a massive online and college campus campaign akin to his “Inconvenient Truth.” This gang is going all out to spread the word about the scary realities of nuclear war.
Plame was drafted into the cause because her specialty at the CIA was working on whether or not Iran had a nuclear weapon. Now hat’s ex-CIA, Plame can talk about the dangers of nuclear weapons, who has them, who’s trying to get them, and why it all has to stop now. She’s an effective speaker–it turns out she’s also a knockout–and communicates well on film and off.
To read more go to Showbiz411.com