Michelle Pfeiffer and Zac Efron go out on a date on New Year’s Eve. Do they kiss? You’ll just have to check out the movie to find out! The only reason I’m seeing it is to watch these two in action.
Michelle, whom I’ve known for almost sixteen years, has been absent from cinema for the last couple of years.
She spent this past year shooting three films back to back: “New Year’s Eve” a romantic comedy, “Welcome to People” a drama, and Tim Burton’s horror thriller, “Dark Shadows”. The first of the three will be out this month. New Year’s Eve.
She was last seen in “Cheri” where she played a prostitute carrying on an erotic affair with actor Rupert Friend, 24 years younger than her. Just before that she had another love affair with Ashton Kutcher in “Personal Effects” whose character was also significantly younger than her by 20 years.
Now she can be seen hitting the town in New York City on New Year’s Eve with Zac Efron who is…oh I can’t do the math.
She’s ironically followed in my footsteps or I with hers, where the older I’ve got I’ve found my suitors keep getting younger. I don’t know why, that’s who approaches me. She personally doesn’t seem to mind that her co-stars keep getting younger the older she gets, while simultaneously breaking down those ageism barriers. Hey if you’ve got it flaunt it right.
New Year’s Eve is a romantic comedy directed by Garry Marshall who brought a similar film to light, “Valentine’s Day”. He directed Michelle back in the 90’s in one of my favorite films, “Frankie & Johnny.” “New Year’s Eve” is an ensemble cast that includes, Robert DeNiro, Halle Berry, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ashton Kutcher and many other names.
Michelle gets down and dirty sporting a brown wig and frumpy outfits attempting to disguise how beautiful she usually is and coming off almost unrecognizable leaving some to say, “What happened to her?” Nothing. She’s in character. She has fun diving right into the role of a lonely pathetic secretary who is denied the new year’s holiday off by her boss. Knocked into trash on the streets of New York the only one who comes to her rescue is a bike messenger played by Zac Efron. The two end up spending the day together and he shows her a good time. It’s a feel good movie so don’t expect Shakespeare. Some of us just want to escape.
Zac originally turned the role down, but when they came back to him and said that they cast Michelle he changed his mind and jumped at the opportunity to work with her again. The two worked on “Hairspray” together in 2007. This time he was slightly less nervous and intimidated than he was the first time they danced. Michelle and Zac are both gifted actors known for being able to cry on cue and in just one “take”. They have a warm and sweet side so expect some poignant moments between them.
Oh boy. Need I say more?
Unless you’ve been living in a cave or under a rock these last few years then you better catch up with what’s been going on in my world of current events. Because the entire universe has been aware of my infatuation with him this entire time and I’ve made no qualms to hide it. I normally wouldn’t bother rushing to the theater to see another Mission Impossible, but because my neighbor – this crazy guy I keep running…no I mean literally jogging into is in it: Jeremy Renner. Anything he’s in I’m lined up for and he’s hitting the big screen with Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. This is the 3rd…no 4th of the series.
Everybody is already talking about Tom doing his own stunts dangling outside the worlds tallest building in Dubai. Jeremy hanging outside the window with a strap holding him in through his belt loop. Although he was feeling faintish ready to vomit, Tom was the one swinging like a maniac.
So few actors these days can fill a screen with the kind of ferocious intensity that Jeremy can. The last two films he was in he was nominated for an Academy Award, “The Hurt Locker” (2009) and “The Town” (2010). Although I’ve been a fan of him since he played Jeffery Dahmer ten years ago, he’s more recently become my actor crush. This just goes to show you or me that some of us simply age like fine wine. He’s 40 and never looked better.
My run-ins with him have been near run-ins all throughout his career as we near criss-crossed on studio lots and sound stages.
This time next year he’ll be on top of the world because like Michelle, he’ll be in several other films he’s been shooting this past year. The gothic “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters”, Marvel’s Comic Hero adventure, “The Avengers”, and the lead in “The Bourne Legacy”. The Bourne film will be the one that will put him at the top of the A-list or destroy him. He even offered his sexy, gritty voice to the new animated “Ice Age: Continental Drift”. He’s been busy, busy, busy.
He promises that that will be it for the action films for awhile after next year. The boy is known for dark character roles and that’s what we want to see him in. He’s opened his own boutique production company to be able to focus on nurturing creative talent in all fields. Not that I’m opposed to seeing him big, bad and muscular holding a gun, sword or bow and arrow, but I like the other Jeremy as well. The one that gave me a varied display of eclectic characters in “Neo Ned”, “12 & Holding”, “A Litttle Trip to Heaven” and of course, “Dahmer”.
Okay not only is the woman one of the most beautiful creatures in the world, but she’s also best friends with my man Jeremy Renner. I love how everyone and everything is connected. There are no strangers. She’s given him some advice on the public’s sudden interest in him, “Take it moment by moment. Don’t fucking freak out, just have fun.”
She’s one of the biggest actor fighters for gay rights. She’s loudly vocal with support for same sex marriage. She rallies straight people to march with her in uptight towns like Fresno, California. She refuses to get married herself until everyone else can. She vents for ten minutes at a time on her anger with the issue on national news programs. There’s no stopping her and she seems to love it more than I do and that’s saying a lot.
She’s an incredible actress who doesn’t act, but becomes the character emerging into a colorful array of work such as “Monster”, “Celebrity”, “Hancock” and “North Country”. She doesn’t perform, she embodies and empathizes with her characters no matter how dislikable they might be. She finds their truth and manages to have that stealing scene in each of her films where you’re suddenly watching the greatest performance in cinema history. Like Pfeiffer she has also been absent from the screen in the last couple of years. In fact, all of these actors I’m listing are some of the greats and have been missing in action. Nothing has interested me enough to run out and see for awhile until now.
She’s back this month in “Young Adult” and there is already Oscar buzz surrounding her performance and the movie itself. Being a writer for young adults myself, I’m also not going to miss this one as Charlize plays an author of young adult books who goes back to her hometown to reconnect with her high school boyfriend. I’ve never had any interest in going back home to reconnect with anything let alone a high school sweetheart, but I could have some serious fun shaking things up.
She recently stated about the character, “I don’t like sympathy on screen. I don’t like it for myself, either. When you ask for sympathy in life, it’s like you’re victimizing yourself. I’d rather be someone and play someone who just says, ‘This is my own shit and I have to deal with it.’” She’ll be seen next Summer as the Wicked Queen in Snow White and the Huntsman. Another one not to be missed!
ROBERT DOWNEY JR.
He is one of the most diverse and talented actors out there, one who is big on improvisation. He’s got the body of a lithe athlete, the skills of a gymnast and the activism of a world champion.
What you get is also a resume full of eclectic characters in such films as “Less Than Zero”, “Chaplin”, “Natural Born Killers” and “Home For the Holidays”.
Like other artists he’s battled with substance abuse issues, but cleaned up and come back stronger and better than ever in films like “Ironman”, “Tropic Thunder” and of course “Sherlock Holmes”. His career has never been this high (no pun intended).
I loved the first Sherlock Holmes so much that when the credits rolled I mumbled, “I hope they make another one.” They have and its coming to a theater near you this month, “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”.
In my next book, which will be out soon, I compare Holmes and Watson to a King and a Prince. See the movie, watch how they relate to one another and you’ll understand how the dynamic is applied to men in relationships.
Jodie Foster is back! This woman has been one of my top favorite actors of all time. I wrestled with a big decision when I turned twenty-three years old. It was between accepting the job offer to work with my favorites Jodie Foster and Quentin Tarantino. Everyone knows at this point that I ended up going with Michelle Pfeiffer simply due to our chemistry feeling more on par. I grew up with Jodie watching films like “Taxi Driver”, “Freaky Friday” and “Hotel New Hampshire”. Then I watched her graduate to becoming the most indelible actors of this century. Through her career she has given such high-powered performances that she stands alone. There is no one to touch her. So few actors can really dive into the kinds of characters that the ones I’ve listed here can. Every film Jodie has made has been watchable from “The Silence of the Lambs”, “Maverick”, “Nell”, “Contact” and “Anna and the King”.
She’s also one of the most skilled performers who can convey fright, intensity, strength and vulnerability all without batting an eyelash. She’s untrained and has never taken an acting class in her life. That says something to all the wannabe’s out there who are so overly trained it shows on screen.
In fact, it’s been well documented that these unknown’s who are privileged enough to work on a Jodie Foster film watch her method on set and attempt to mimic it hoping to catch some of that magic she so easily brings to a movie.
Her biggest films of all time came when she entered her 40’s. She became the new action star in films like “Panic Room”, “Flightplan” and “The Brave One”, all becoming her biggest theatrical grossing films of her career.
I won’t forget her little directorial films like “Little Man Tate”, “Home for the Holidays” and the latest, “The Beaver”. The latter had its own drama within a drama as it stars Mel Gibson in one of his greatest performances. Unfortunately the studio wouldn’t green light the film so Jodie said she’ll star in too as collateral. They gave her the green light.
Now she’s back in a starring role alongside a great cast that includes the great Kate Winslet.
Roman Polanski’s “Carnage”
Carnage, which also stars Christopher Waltz and John C. Reilly as the women’s husbands, tells the story of two sets of parents who decide to have a cordial meeting after their sons are involved in a schoolyard brawl.
We are drawn, step by step, into the hell of other people’s lives. The four people in Carnage come face to face with the hell of their own lives, slowly tearing one another, and themselves, to shreds.
From the opening scene, Foster’s rigid, razor-like smile, the staring eyes, the twists and contortions of her upper body, her heroic attempts to convey politically correct, civilized behavior, betray, instead, the symptoms of volcanic rage and despair.
At one point she says, in a quiet, introspective moment, ‘Why is everything so exhausting?’ I think I know how she feels.
As the film story unfolds, she is confronted by the power of her own darkness. She gradually, inexorably comes apart at the seams, releasing colossal fountains of pent-up hatred. All is left for her is the desolation of lost hopes and aspirations.
Is she or isn’t she? I think we can all put that answer to rest. Like Jeremy Renner these are intelligent powerful artists of the craft and simply want to do the work without you worrying about whose in their bedroom. I agree. Incidentally Jodie donated the largest donation on record to the Trevor Project which is a gay suicidal hotline for teens.