Month: April 2012

DVD and Blu Ray Releases This Week: May 1

Exit Strategy: starring Jameel Saleem, Kimelia Weathers, Quincy Qdeezy, Big Boy and Michael Whitton. The romantic comedy centers on a man who is forced to move in with his girlfriend of three months after being evicted from his own apartment. He soon discovers she is everything he never wanted, so he hatches a plan to get her to dump him but still let him stay at her house. Not Rated

Haywire: starring Gina Carano, Channing Tatum, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas and Antonio Banderas. The action film follows a black ops soldier as she seeks revenge on the person who betrayed her and left her for dead on a previous mission. Rated R

Joyful Noise: starring Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer, Kris Kristofferson and Jeremy London. The musical comedy tells the story of how a small town choir must overcome disagreements between its two leading ladies to win a national competition. Rated PG 13

New Year’s Eve: starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Halle Berry, Robert De Niro, Jessica Biel and Seth Meyers. The romantic comedy centers on the intertwining lives of several New York singles and couples on the most exciting night of the year – New Year’s Eve. Rated PG 13

W.E.: starring Abbie Cornish, Andrea Riseborough, James D’Arcy, Oscar Isaac and Richard Coyle. The drama explores two romances – the historic relationship of King Edward VIII and American divorcee Wallis Simpson and the contemporary affair between a Russian Security Guard and an American trophy wife. Not Rated


Kevin Jonas And Wife To Star On Reality Show

Kevin Jonas is set to add “reality star” to his impressive resume! The Jonas Brothers musician and his wife of 2 years, Danielle Deleasa, have landed an E! reality show that will document their married life and Jonas’ reunion with brothers Nick and Joe to record their next album.

“After two years of newlywed bliss, Kevin and Dani are finally ready to settle down in their New Jersey home and establish a happy suburban life,” E! said Monday in a statement. “However, with the Jonas Brothers heading back to the studio to record new music, finding the right mix of ‘normal’ and superstardom isn’t easy.”

Married to Jonas will be produced by Ryan Seacrest. “I vividly recall believing from the very first time that I met them that the Jonas Brothers would, without a doubt, become a worldwide cultural sensation,” Seacrest told “When we learned that Dani married Kevin, our production team became curious about what life would be like for a young bride entering the excitement, and sometimes chaos, of a pop star’s life. Looking through the lens of young love, the show will examine the ups and downs of Dani and Kevin’s marriage, against the backdrop of their contrasting family cultures, traditions and individual careers.”

The series is scheduled to premiere on August 19 at 10 p.m. (EST). Jonas, 24, and Deleasa, 23, tied the knot in December 2009 after two years of dating.

Ryan O’Neal: Farrah Died in My Arms

Actor Ryan O’Neal says he cradled Farrah Fawcett for hours on her deathbed before she died of cancer.
The Charlie’s Angels star was struck down with anal cancer in 2006 and O’Neal was a constant presence at her side as her condition deteriorated.
The Love Story star, who is fighting stage two prostate cancer, detailed his heartbreak over Fawcett’s failing health in his diaries, which have been made into a new book, Both Of Us: My Life With Farrah, and serialized in Britain’s Mail on Sunday.
In the tome, O’Neal tells how he planned to marry Fawcett in St John’s Hospital, but the priest who arrived to oversee the ceremony ended up administering the last rites instead.
He writes, “After the priest leaves, I lie down next to her, wrap my body around her to keep her warm, and then take her hand. I can feel a steady pulse… I caress her hand for hours. Her heart refuses to quit.
“I’m left alone with my love. I take her hand. I can still feel her pulse, but now it is fluttering. She’s trying to let go. Her heartbeat slows, then disappears. On the morning of June 25th, Farrah slips into eternal sleep.”
O’Neal also shares his shame over the physical altercations he and Fawcett endured during their tumultuous relationship: “Neither of us possessed the emotional discipline to say: ‘Wait a minute, this isn’t normal, we need help.’
“You have to remember that I’m a trained boxer… If someone is coming at me with fists flailing, my instinct is to block the blows, which is what I did with Farrah… I didn’t see my behavior as aberrant. In reality, most of the time it wasn’t her I was lashing out at, it was my kids, the world, Hollywood, my agent, you name it. I’m a moody guy.”

Katy Perry Sells Apartment

Katy Perry has sold off the New York apartment she once shared with Russell Brand.

The British funnyman filed for divorce from the pop star in December 2011 and they are going through the legal process of making the split official.

Perry has now taken one step closer to putting married life behind her by selling the luxurious Manhattan penthouse which she bought just weeks before exchanging vows with Brand in India in October 2010.

The two-bedroom Tribeca duplex sold for close to its $2.75 million asking price, according to New York Post gossip column Page Six.

Entertainment and Celebrity News Weekend Highlights

Weekend Movie Pick: Jack Black In BERNIE!

By Anne M. Raso

Jack Black is in his finest hour since Shallow Hal and School Of Rock in Bernie, a film we here at consider the very best of 2012 (well, so far). You can call it a “gigolo comedy” but it’s really unclear if the lead character–real life convicted murderer Bernie Tiede who is played by Black–is a nice guy or gigolo. His whole hometown seemed to love him, even after he murdered gal-pal Marjorie Nugent and put her body in a freezer in his garage. The speculation over whether Bernie’s a good or bad guy is really what the film is about but what really makes it special is the fact that director Richard Linklater decided to use real townspeople of Carthage, Texas–where the crime occurred–to tell a lot of the story onscreen. It’s like a documentary within a big budget film and this “method” works wonders and gives the audience lots of laughs!

In the film, Shirley MacLaine plays Mrs. Nugent (Bernie’s love interest whose deceased husband Bernie overseas as assistant funeral director and then lives with), and Matthew McConaughey plays the town’s blustery real-life District Attorney, Danny Buck Davidson, who was determined to get to the bottom of the crime. 

We were lucky enough to catch up with the affable JB at the New York press day for Bernie and he clearly enjoyed playing the character. He met with Tiede in jail a couple of times to research the role and they have corresponded via phone calls a couple of times since then. Linklater tried to set up a Bernie screening in the Texas penitentiary Tiede is incarcerated in, but it got denied by the prison board. Too bad! It would have been a cool place for both a screening AND a premiere!

Black remarked to us about visiting Tiede in jail and that he turned out to be just as he imagined him to be: “I was thankful that it reinforced what we had thought–you know, that he was this sweet, soft-spoken guy who was the most popular guy in prison just as he was the most popular guy in the small town of Carthage. That’s just who he is. He has a thing, I think, that he likes to be liked, you know–and maybe too much. I have the same thing. I like to be liked. If I get the feeling that someone is mad at me or doesn’t like me for some reason, I’ll try to win them over.”

Black told us he was an honor to work with co-star MacLaine: “She’s had an incredible career, so it was intimidating at first but then she was very complimentary to me and made me feel like I was worthy to be in her presence and relaxed me by laughing at my stupid jokes. And we had fun.”

Check Bernie out ASAP–it will be one of the most memorable movies of your life. It hits home on a lot of different levels–including the fact that very good and caring people can be VERY bad sometimes!

(Movie still courtesy Millennium Entertainment; headshot of Jack Black after our roundtable interview at the Four Seasons in NYC by Anne Raso.)

Sir Elton John Responds To Nikita Lawsuit

Sir Elton John and his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin have been left “surprised” and “disappointed” by a “baseless” lawsuit accusing the pair of stealing the lyrics to their hit song Nikita.

Photojournalist/songwriter Guy Hobbs has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in Illinois, claiming Sir Elton’s 1985 chart hit, which features lyrics penned by longterm collaborator Taupin, bears striking similarities to his own track Natasha, which he wrote three years prior.

In his court papers, Hobbs claims he came up with the tune, about his love affair with a Russian cruise ship waitress, and had it copyrighted before sending it out to various publishing companies, including Big Pig – the firm which handles the Rocket Man star’s songs.

But representatives for both Sir Elton and Taupin have denied the allegations, dismissing the suit as “completely meritless”.

A statement issued to the New York Post’s Page Six column reads: “Sir Elton John and Mr. Bernie Taupin were surprised and disappointed to learn of the lawsuit for copyright infringement brought against them by Guy Hobbs concerning the lyrics of their 80s hit Nikita.

“Sir Elton and Mr. Taupin do not know the plaintiff, nor did they make use of any song lyrics he claims to have written when they wrote Nikita. In short, the suit is completely meritless. The fact that Hobbs has chosen to wait more than 26 years after the release of Nikita to bring this lawsuit calls his motives into question. Sir Elton John and Mr. Taupin fully expect to prevail against this baseless claim.”

Hobbs alleges it has taken him over two decades to take legal action because he moved to Africa in 1984.

Disney Confirms Sequel To ‘Muppets’

Disney has confirmed that they are, in fact, at work on a follow up to 2011’s “The Muppets.” In a pressconference at this year’s CinemaCon event in Las Vegas, the studio revealed that director James Bobin will return. They also confirmed rumors that Jason Segel will not.

Bobin is reportedly working on the screenplay for the sequel with James Stoller. Earlier this year Segel spoke with explaining his motivation to move away from the Oscar winning franchise:

“You know, my goal was to bring The Muppets back and I think I achieved that. It was half a decade of my life and I just want to take a minute to concentrate on more human related projects,” he said.

Thus far there is no specific release information for the “Muppets 2,” but Disney says it will likely be out in the summer of 2013.

Concert Pick Of The Weekend: The Left Banke At BB King’s Times Square, Sunday 4-29, 8PM!

The Left Banke is a group that legends are made of and we strongly suggest catching them at BB Kings, Times Square, this Sunday at 8PM (doors open at 6:30 PM, so be sure to arrive early to get a seat)!

What is particularly special about this show is that it is a rare glimpse at a New York band formed in the 60s with mostly original members–who recorded one of the most famous songs of the 60s! “Just Walk Away Renee” was not only a Top 10 hit for The Left Banke, but then the Four Tops also had a Top 10 hit with it…and then numerous other pop and R&B acts covered it. The group also saw the top 40 with “Pretty Ballerina” considered to also be a classic in rock critics/classic rock afficionado circles!

If you need to know why else this show is special. Opening up is Alan Merrill, whose best-known for penning “I Love Rock And Roll”–his band The Arrows recorded it in 1975 and it was a hit overseas but not here. The Arrows were the first signing to Atlantic Records Japan and why did Merrill go to Japan in the first place? Get this! After several auditions, he was hired to be in The Left Banke in 1968 to replace a previous guitar player, but as the story goes, when he went to record with the band–THE PREVIOUS GUITAR PLAYER TURNED UP AND APPARENTLY DECIDED TO STAY! The back and forth for months made the talented Merrill (a triple threat with excellent songwriting, guitar and vocal skills) move to Japan to regroup!

So get yourself down to BB King’s Sunday night and enjoy a piece of rock history. We think that Merrill might just wind up jamming with The Left Banke! Pardon the pun, but it’s a show that you can “banke” on for luscious harmonies and infectious pop hooks! Tickets available for $25  at

(Left Banke photo courtesy Anne Leighton Media and Alan Merrill photo courtesy Alan Merrill.)