Monday, December 15, 2008

Naomi Watts & Liev Schreiber Have a Baby Boy

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber welcomed their second child, PEOPLE has learned.
"I can confirm Naomi and Liev had a baby boy yesterday," said the actress's rep.
A couple since 2005, Watts, 40, and Schreiber, 41, already have a baby boy, Alexander Pete Schreiber, born July 26, 2007.
Earlier this year, Watts boasted of her first-born, "He's turning pages in the book. He's crawling and standing up. He can wave. I read Goodnight Moon to him every night."

Dark Knight makes best film list

Others include political biopic Milk, animated fantasy Wall-E and Brad Pitt's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino and comic book blockbuster Iron Man also feature alongside the independent dramas Frozen River and Wendy and Lucy.
Frost/Nixon and The Wrestler complete the list, compiled by a panel of filmmakers, reviewers and academics.
Unlike other awards bodies, the institute does not rank films or pick one as the year's best.
The filmmakers behind the AFI's Top 10 choices will be honoured at a luncheon on 9 January.
Meanwhile, The Dark Knight has also been named as one of the 15 semi-finalists for the best visual effects Oscar.
Others include the second Chronicles of Narnia film, Prince Caspian, and the latest James Bond adventure, Quantum of Solace.
Cloverfield, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and the fourth Indiana Jones film also feature on the longlist, to be whittled down to seven in early January.
Three will then be nominated for the Visual Effects prize, to be handed out at the Oscar ceremony on 22 February.
Last week, the late Heath Ledger was nominated for a posthumous Golden Globe for his role as the Joker in The Dark Knight.

Taylor Swift's Birthday Splurge? S'mores!

Who needs hot Hollywood clubs? Taylor Swift's birthday bash Saturday was a low-key, homemade affair.
The star celebrated her 19th surrounded by family and friends – including all the members of her band – at her home in Hendersonville, Tenn., the singer's rep tells PEOPLE exclusively.
Swift, who lives with her parents and younger brother, planned the buffet dinner, which included sushi, mini beef Wellingtons and bacon-wrapped scallops. Two ice cream cakes (one chocolate peppermint, one cookie dough) came from Cold Stone Creamery.
The singer entertained the crowd with a homemade video she made featuring many of her pals. Later, the 40 partygoers battled it out in a ping-pong tournament, won by Swift's manager. (The "Love Story" singer made the semi-finals.)
The night's grand finale? S'mores (one of Swift's faves) cooked up over an outdoor fire pit.

Why Cameron Diaz Won't Sing in Public

Don't expect Cameron Diaz to break into song in front of the footlights anytime soon.
The actress, who will reprise her role as Princess Fiona in the fourth animated Shrek film in 2010, has ruled out joining the musical version of the cult tale on Broadway.
"What they do up there ... is, to me, impossible," Diaz told the Associated Press at Sunday night's opening of Shrek The Musical at the Broadway Theatre – where the crowd included America Ferrera, Rosie Perez, Ben Stiller, Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb, Phylicia Rashad and Joan Rivers.
And though she isn't compelled to hop on stage and join the cast, Diaz, 36, says she's a fan of the live show, which received generally warm reviews.
"It's hilarious," she said. "There's so many laughs. It's great to see all the actors playing it together, because when we do it for the animated [movies], we never see each other. We don't work together."

The Day the Earth Stood Still

The epic science fiction blockbuster is slowly but surely becoming a dying form of cinematic entertainment. Not since the days of cold war paranoia and the initial splurge of CGI technology back in the nineties has the genre seen much love either from its core enthusiasts or those looking for something big but different. Yet there are numerous obvious reasons for its decline in demand, most of which are unavoidably apparent in this, the latest and arguably first of its kind for over a year now, The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Based upon a movie from the genre's heyday, director Scott Derrickson's version lacks the same sense of awe, conviction and relevancy to our current social climate. Bombarded with underdeveloped themes, an incoherent plot and extremely rough characterisation, the movie suffers not just from a lack of significance in its arrival, but also in its implementation. Most disappointing of all however is that in spite of the many technical flaws present, the biggest let down is that the movie simply doesn't convince; the effects are impressive and the story can be gripping through its thick layer of foreboding atmosphere from time to time, but an overall lack of substance hurts the film's ability to truly draw you in and take off. It's a routinely enjoyable experience sure enough, but an over reliance on this safe-play structure stops the feature from excelling beyond mere light entertainment.
Telling a first contact story that involves rather heavy handed themes of a doomsday like prophecy, like most good science fiction movies big to small, The Day the Earth Stood Still retains a sense of wonder and mystique to its tale, particularly early on. During these initial moments of exposition which come to an eventual climax of contact with an alien presence visiting Earth for unknown reasons, the movie achieves its only real piece of coherent and engaging drama; the way in which it unfolds is magnificent and capitalises on the movie's big effects budget in ways that feel impressive and yet substantially eerie at the same time- there are moments when this big shot sci-fi movie actually feels like a genuine product of imagination and heart.
Disappointingly however, this does not last very long. From here on in the feature slowly but surely declines in both mystique and interest, culminating in a third act which is about as convincing as it is exciting; which believe it or not, isn't much at all. It's around this point that things take a drastic turn from intelligent and insightful science-fiction to big dumb blockbuster action movie; the themes that are brought up during the movie's initial stages are belittled to a deux ex machina that never quite seems justified, and the climax –if you can call it that- feels stunted and perfunctory for the sake of giving a clean feeling of catharsis. It's perhaps the biggest reason why most major productions based on sci-fi scripts never seem to work; the balancing act between catering to the mass public and those wanting intelligent drama is a hard one to pull off, and nobody here seems quite sure how to do such a thing.
If there is one thing that I can praise the movie for, outside of its opening act that is, it would simply be within its excellent aesthetic design. From the dynamic score penned by Tyler Bates to the often endlessly interesting photography of David Tattersall, The Day the Earth Stood Still gets most of its outer shell right, even if everything that lies underneath is a less than inspiring mess. One also has to draw attention to lead star Keanu Reeves who plays Klaatu, the alien/human hybrid visitor and mediator who is welcomed to Earth with a less than hospitable, but terribly human introduction. Reeves is an actor known for his alien-like, wooden style- which is why he is so often found in these kinds of films- and it suits his character adequately enough here. Co-star Jennifer Connelly holds her own too, and while she isn't given much to work with throughout, she does a fine job in playing as Keanu's contrived human sociology lesson.
When the credits roll however, despite the movie's impressive effects, imaginative premise and somewhat entertaining moments, The Day the Earth Stood Still simply feels like an empty experience. As science fiction, the movie conjures up some intelligent questions and yet David Scarpa never seems quite up to the task of taking them any further; and as popcorn fodder, the movie simply doesn't do enough rule-breaking to come off as anything but standard fare. This awkward need to balance both crowds irrevocably results in a feature that indeed avoids polarising, but only to the point where mostly everyone will leave feeling under-stimulated. It has its fair share of compelling and visionary moments, but a distinct lack of development, coherency and substance stops The Day the Earth Stood Still from being one worth remembering. Light sci-fi with a dash of social intrigue that mildly entertains, but never reaches its potential.

‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ takes the top spot at the box office

0th Century Fox’s sci-fi remake of “The Day the Earth Stood Still” took the top spot at the weekend box office with an estimated $31 million.
Variety reports the film, which stars Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly, took in an estimated $39 million internationally for an estimated worldwide total of $70 million. The film cost a reported $80 million to bring to the screen.
The remake was directed by Scott Derrickson, and also stars Jaden Smith, Kathy Bates, John Cleese and Jon Hamm. The plot moves away from some of the Cold War elements of Robert Wise’s 1951 black-and-white classic and revolves around global warming.
The film also did well with its 123 Imax showings – which made up 12.3% of the film’s opening gross.
In Variety, Imax’s Greg Foster stated: “It shows that despite the economic downturn, moviegoers are willing to spend a few extra dollars to see a movie in Imax.”
Fox senior VP of distribution Chris Aronson stated: “Audiences were moved to see the Earth stand still. We’re in orbit over this opening. To gross $70 million worldwide on a film that cost $80 million is fantastic.”
The Warner Bros./New Line holiday comedy “Four Christmases” dropped 21% in its third weekend. The film earned an estimated $13.3 million and claimed the No. 2 spot at the weekend box office. It has earned $88 million since it was released.
Summit Entertainment’s teen vampire flick “Twilight” held onto the No. 3 spot at the weekend box office with an estimated $8 million. The film dropped 39%, but has earned an estimated $150.1 million since it was released.
Disney’s 3-D animated film “Bolt” took the No. 4 spot with an estimated $7.5 million. The film dropped 23% and has earned an estimated $89 million since it was released.
Baz Luhrmann’s epic “Australia,” which stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, took the No. 5 spot with an estimated $4.3 million, but is still struggling to attract an audience.
The film failed to get the attention from the Golden Globes the studio was hoping for, and will need to do very well overseas for the studio to make back the money it took to bring the film to the screen.
Overture Films’ “Nothing Like the Holidays” landed at the No. 7 spot for its opening weekend with an estimated $3.5 million. The holiday film is on track to make the studio’s investment thanks to a low production cost of under $10 million.

Tom Cruise Gets Restraining Order Against War Veteran

An Iraq war veteran who waved a gun and an American flag on a Highway 101 overpass and stopped traffic for hours in Santa Barbara last month has been ordered by a judge to stay away from Tom Cruise.
Edward Van Tassel, 28, with help from his sister, has appeared at Cruise's Beverly Hills home three times with hopes of delivering a letter, authorities said.
The order came at a Wednesday hearing where prosecutors were trying to have Van Tassel's bail revoked for leaving a veterans facility where Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge George Eskin believed he would be locked in.
A private investigator who works for Cruise told Eskin that Van Tassel was in a different veterans facility than the judge had expected, one where he could leave freely. The judge did not immediately rule on revoking bail, but said he was leaning toward having Van Tassel returned to jail.
"I certainly did not envision a situation that would enable him to come and go as he pleased," the judge said. "The V.A. let him down, the family let him down and we let him down," Eskin said. "Well, I did."
Van Tassel's attorney Robert Landheer told the judge the visits to the Cruise home were harmless.
"He is not there to stalk Mr. Cruise as some sort of fan-obsessed person," Landheer said. "He wants to enlist him in his mission to get appropriate remedies for soldiers of the Iraq War."
Van Tassel is charged with several weapons violations stemming from the Nov. 3 freeway episode, when he could be seen on live television wearing a mask and holding a gun. He froze traffic on the highway for more than three hours.
He has pleaded not guilty to conspiring to exhibit a firearm in the presence of an officer, resisting arrest and other charges.

Madonna and Guy Ritchie Settle for $75 Million

According to a report from the U.K's Daily Mail, the $75 million payout includes the couple's country estate Ashcombe House in Wiltshire, as well as a cash lump sum thought to be at much as $53 million.
Rosenberg adds that while the financial component of the settlement has been worked out, custodial arrangements for the couple's children — Rocco, 8, and David, 3 — have yet to be finalized.
Madonna's daughter from a previous marriage Lourdes, will stay with her mother.
A representative for Ritchie, 40, declined to comment.
The couple, who were married for eight years, finalized their divorce last month. The two publicly announced their split in October amid rumors linking Madonna to New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez.
Rodriguez has publicly denied any romantic link to the star, classifying their relationship as nothing more than a mere friendship.
Madonna, 50, boasts an estimated worth of over $450 million. Ritchie, a successful film director whose credits include "Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch," is worth about one-tenth of that.
Several British papers reported a similar divorce deal nearly two months ago, but Rosenberg declined to comment at the time.

Tom Cruise and Matt Lauer Clear the Air

"Three and a half years after the interview heard 'round the world, Tom Cruise is back in the studio, today," Matt Lauer said at the very top of Monday's Today show.
Lauer wasn't kidding. Hovering over Lauer and co-anchor Meredith Vieira as they were trying to open the morning program at 7 a.m. was Cruise, standing over their desk, even though the interview segment to promote his Christmas release Valkyrie wasn't slated until the 7:30 half-hour.
"Let's set the record straight," Lauer said before Monday's sit-down with his one-time on-air sparring partner. "This is not Rocky II."
But the two did finally clear the air – and discussed at length – their June 2004 confrontation, in which Cruise angrily accused Lauer of being glib during a discussion of Brooke Shields's use of anti-depressants to treat her post-partum depression.
Cruise also said that while he may not be discussing Scientology in current interviews – "I think there's a time and place for it," he said – he is still a follower. He also demurred when Lauer asked if Cruise and wife Katie Holmes were considering a sibling for 2-year-old daughter Suri.
"I think that's the question for the women," Cruise told him.
And while Lauer noted that Cruise is no longer "jumping on couches" – a reference to the star's performance on the Oprah Winfrey Show right after meeting Holmes – the Today host wanted to know if Cruise still felt giddy over Katie.
"She's an amazing woman," he said.
I Came Across as Arrogant'
But in terms of their previous Today appearance together, Lauer told Cruise that he received about 10,000 e-mails immediately after the interview, and wondered about the reaction on the star's end.
"Probably pretty much the same," said Cruise. "I went back, and looked at [the interview], and it was interesting."
Cruise said, "I thought about it a lot," and chalked up his passion at the time to the fact that the discussion concerned "a subject matter that's important. It's something that's been debated in the public, and that's what it should be."
Yet, he also said, he came across "not as I had intended. In looking at myself, I came across as arrogant. … I didn't communicate it in the way I wanted to communicate it. Also, that's not the way I am. That's not the person I am."
Cruise blamed part of his behavior on the timing, at "the end of a p.r. tour" for War of the Worlds. "A lot of stuff was going on," he said. "I learned a really good lesson."