Tag Archives: George Clooney

Billy Crystal Rocks The Oscar’s!!!


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about….more celebrating the movies! While I may by addicted to programs like Modern Family, American Idol and anything on HGTV or the Food Network, my all-time favorite show of the year is The Academy Awards.  Even though Eddie Murphy is awesome, I couldn’t be more excited with the triumphant return of the fantastically fabulous Billy Crystal as host, and he did not disappoint!

Billy always opens with a show stopping video montage; this year included a scene from The Artist, a kiss from George Clooney and a visit from the darling Justin Bieber. The best part, however, is Billy’s signature Best Picture Nominee’s Oscar tribute song; hilarious, clever, irreverent and poignant. We were off to a great start….

The stars were certainly shining tonight. Tom Hanks was dapper and adorable, J Lo and Cameron D were bootylicious and Sandra Bullock was lovely. But the first big award of the night was presented by the very handsome, yet super intense, Christian Bale (while he may be Batman, I lean more towards the delightful camp of a Batman by another name; George Clooney). While Melissa McCarthy was fantastic in Bridesmaids (not just because she is a Chicago girl) and Jessica Chastain was charming in The Help, the night belonged to Octavia Spencer, also from The Help. Her acceptance was emotional, beautiful and sincere.

With Amanda’s life in gymnastics, we are HUGE Cirque Du Soleil fans. Their salute to going to the movies was introduced by my childhood favorites Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, and it was incredible. To quote Billy Crystal, “I pulled a hamstring just watching that!”

The Fighter’s Melissa Leo presented the award for Best Supporting Actor. I must admit I only know Christopher Plummer from The Sound of Music (Edelweiss), so I was rooting for one of my all-time favorite’s Nick Nolte (love him in 48 Hours, North Dallas Forty and Down and Out in Beverly Hills), but Christopher Plummer won and, at 82, he was utterly charming. He and Betty White must be drinking the same Kool Aid!

On a side note, I just have to say that Angelina Jolie is a true, classic, Hollywood movie star. She is absolutely mesmerizing (Jennifer Aniston; eat your heart out!)! I’m just saying…..

Nick Charles, his wife Nora and their dog Asta

Michael (Greed is Good) Douglas is AMAZING! He presented the Best Director award to Michel Hazanavicius of The Artist (which was such a wonderful throwback picture, making me think constantly of Nick Charles (my Nick’s namesake) and his faithful companion, his darling dog Asta), though I was a little surprised that Martin Scorsese wasn’t recognized for Hugo.

The lovely Natalie Portman presented the award for Best Actor. While the competition was tough in George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Gary Oldman and Demián Bichir, Jean DuJardin was the big winner for The Artist. I was half expecting him to give a wacky acceptance speech like Roberto Benigni, but he was far too classy.

Colin Firth was wonderful last year in The Kings Speech. Tonight he presented the award for Best Actress. I adore Meryl Streep, but was really surprised that the statue didn’t go to Viola Davis, who was truly wonderful as Abilene in The Help.

Tom Cruise hasn’t aged a day since Risky Business. With nine Best Picture nominees he had the honor of announcing the winner. It was no surprise; the night belonged to The Artist, a truly delightful and entertaining film.

In just over three hours, Billy Crystal was fantastic as the host on the 84th Academy Awards!

More Billy Crystal, more Hollywood, more movie favorites, more Academy Awards…..

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Golden Globes….And the Winner Is…..


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more awards shows! I suppose it’s my obsession with pop-culture, but I am absolutely smitten with Hollywood. Emmy’s (Daytime or regular), Screen Actors Guild and of course the ULTIMATE: the Academy Awards. I’ve been sooooo looking forward to Sunday night, which is the kick-off to the awards season. While I may not watch The Office, I am a Ricky Gervais fan. I totally love a guy that bucks the system. How brave is the Hollywood Foreign Press for inviting him back to host the Golden Globes!?!

Normally I like to watch these shows alone, in complete silence (so I don’t miss a thing), but my mom (my Hollywood obsessed partner in crime) was available to zip on out to watch it with me. Yay! Someone who understands that there is no talking during the show, but knows that the commercial break is the time for gossiping and comparing notes.

Ricky Gervais did not disappoint, “The Golden Globes are just like the Oscar’s except for all of the esteem.” It’s the perfect combination of the familiarity and nostalgia of television and the fantasy of the movies.

It’s so much fun to see all of the beautiful people, but we were off to a poor start. Clearly the Hollywood Foreign Press did not include my vote. While Christopher Plummer has turned in fine performances dating back to that of Captain Von Trapp, why didn’t Albert Brooks win Best Supporting Actor in a Movie for Drive (and I didn’t even see Drive….but I am waiting, with baited breathe, for it to appear On Demand)? I hate Laura Dern as Best Actress in a TV series; what about Zooey Deschanel, Tina Fey or even Amy Poehler? Puh-leeze!

You’ve got Kate Winslet sitting in the rafters as Best Actress in a Mini-Series (and she’s won the crème de la crème: an Oscar), and one of my least favorite actors ever, Kelsey Grammar (and it’s not that I like Camille Grammar, of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fame: I don’t), in Boss. Seriously, what about Steve Buscemi? I only watch Boardwalk Empire a little bit and he’s awesome! How disappointing!

The best thing about the Golden Globes is the crisscross-applesauce of television, music and movie stars. How else do you get Jimmy Fallon, Adam Levine, Elton John and Madonna in the same breath? Or where else do you see Seth Rogen rubbing elbows with the lovely Kate Beckinsale, or Notebook heartthrob, Channing Tatum, handing off a Golden Globe to the Steven Spielberg? The inequities beg further questions, such as, “Why wasn’t Clive Owen cast as James Bond?” He’s charming, rugged and full of good humor, unlike the eternally boring Daniel Craig.

The conflicts of the night are staggering. How does, say, a Matt Le Blanc beat an Alec Baldwin of Words with Friends and 30 Rock fame?  Or Madonna beat out the music and lyrical duo Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin? I hate Bradley Cooper with a passion (because he was horrible to Vince Vaughn in The Wedding Crashers, and I really like Vince Vaughn), so I can’t help but wonder how he is even allowed to give an award to the amazing Octavia Spencer of The Help.

Because I am the queen of nostalgia, I love that the Cecil B. De Mille award was bestowed upon Morgan Freeman. While he has turned in solid performances in such films as Lean on Me, The Shawshank Redemption, Driving Miss Daisy, Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby and March of the Penguins, to me, Morgan Freeman will always be from The Electric Company!

It’s a rapid fire good time here to the end. The other-wordly Angelina Jolie bestows the Best Picture of a Comedy or Musical to Martin Scorsese. Hot and spicy Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas award Modern Family the very best show on television (…ever, including such greats as Cheers and M*A*S*H).

The final big awards of the night go to:

  • Michelle Williams as Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical, My Week with Marilyn
  • John Dujardin as Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical, The Artist
  • Meryl Streep as Best Actress in a Drama, The Iron Lady
  • The Best Comedy of Musical, The Artist
  • Gorgeous George Clooney in a Drama, The Descendants
  • Best Motion Picture Drama, The Descendants

 

All told, it makes me realize I need to see The Artist.

 

More Ricky Gervais, more Golden Globes, more kick-offs to the awards season……

 

 

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Movie Going Trifecta; The Descendants, My Week with Marilyn and New Year’s Eve!


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..more movie going experiences! What a week; in celebration of my birthday, I visited the Cineplex three times in five days. Talk about a Trifecta! There is nothing more decadent than heading to a matinee. It just feels sinful to be at the show in the middle of the day.

With birthdays within eight days of one another, my cousin, Nurse Terri, and I always celebrate together. We come from movie loving people, so it was only natural that as a birthday treat we head to the show with my mom. At the top of our list: The Descendants.  

 

Gorgeous George Clooney stars as Matt King, a Hawaiian land baron, whose life is turned upside down when his wife is involved in a boating accident. As a matinee idol, he’s consistently great; a charming and delightful rascal, who seems to be playing himself (Danny Ocean), kind of like Cary Grant. It was interesting to see George Clooney as more of an every man, a Docker’s wearing husband and father who is somewhat removed from the ordinary moments of family life. With his wife’s accident, he is forced to confront and reinvent his relationship with his two daughters, while he discovers that his marriage was not as it had seemed. As his journey unfolds, support and comfort comes from an unlikely ally in his troubled teenage daughter, played by Shailene Woodley. She was fantastic! In fact, all I could think about was how she might have been perfect as Katniss in the soon to be released The Hunger Games. For me, nostalgia is king, so it was a treat to see Beau Bridges as cousin Hugh. I really liked The Descendants. It was interesting, weird, thoughtful and entertaining.

Next up on my week-long tour of the Megaplex, was an outing with my girlfriend Julia as we celebrated our December birthdays. While Chuck is a remarkably good sport who would have endured My Week with Marilyn, I’m thrilled to have shared the experience with Julia.

As a movie addict, I have always been fascinated with the mesmerizing talent and tragic life of Marilyn Monroe. I’m always kind skeptical about these types of bio-pic’s because it’s nearly impossible to capture the essence of an icon, but Michelle Williams was absolutely amazing. Her portrayal was touching, thoughtful and sympathetic. The movie tells the behind the scenes story of the excruciating making of the movie The Prince and The Showgirl through the eyes of the young and delightful Colin Clark. His insightful observation that the great conflict on the set stemmed from serious, accomplished actor Sir Laurence Olivier’s quest to become a movie star, and mega movie star, Marilyn Monroe’s obsession with becoming a serious actor. I really enjoyed the experience of the movie, but for me, it was a little long on emoting. Lots of longing and lingering eyes and quivering lips, but I suppose that would sum up an exhausting week with Marilyn…….

I have known my wonderful friend, founder of MelkandCookies, since our boys were in Kindergarten. Now college freshman, the fellas still talk every day. I love that! We decided to kick off the weekend with a little lunch and a show. It was a toss-up; The Muppet Movie (I absolutely adore the Muppets. Wocka, Wocka, Wocka. In fact, growing up, one of my favorite books was Miss Piggy’s Guide to Life, along with my coveted Official Preppy Handbook.) or New Year’s Eve. The romantic comedy won the coin toss.

As much as I am enamored with the movies, I love classic television, and writer/director Gary Marshal is one of my favorites. How can you not have a soft spot for the man that brought us Arthur Fonzarelli & Richie Cunningham, Laverne DeFazio & Shirley Feeney and Mork & Mindy? While New Year’s Eve was exactly the same movie (with a largely identical cast) as his previous Valentine’s Day, it was still pretty sweet and entertaining. The story lines were predictable and the acting kind of cheesy, but there were touching and tender moments. Most importantly, I spent the afternoon with a treasured friend.

More trips to the Cineplex, more movies, more popcorn, more time with family and friends……

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More Robert Downey Jr……..Iron Man 2!


Last Thursday night I had a bee in my bonnet; I wanted to take my family to the midnight showing of Iron Man 2. It’s not that I am a huge super hero fan (I’m not, though I still adore George Clooney as Batman!), I just thought it would be one of those fun, silly, spur-of-the-moment, kind of things. Nick was in favor of this ridiculous plan for a school night immediately (once again….the apple….the tree), Chuck was reluctant, but agreeable, Amanda (the voice of reason) didn’t think it was such a grand plan, but was willing to go for the sake of everyone else. She was hesitant (I hope she shows this type of restraint when she goes away to college……), maintaining that she had gymnastics practice until 9pm Thursday night and a busy day on Friday; school, 8th grade Play Practice, and then gymnastics again. She thought maybe she should get a good night’s sleep. OMG! Let me tell you that when I was a teenager (or clearly as a grown up for that matter), I would have never turned down an offer to stay up all night and play. Hey, who’s the adult around here anyway? When Chuck questioned us further about the upcoming events on Friday, he did point out that the midnight movie might not be a great choice. Really now, what is wrong with these people? When it comes to responsibility versus fun, is there ever really a question? Apparently, there is.

So now it’s Saturday night at the 30 theater mega-plex; youngsters, teeny boppers, gals, guys, singles, couples, retirees, all swarming the place, looking for a little entertainment. Nick was, of course, out for the night, as he is a teenager. We won’t have Amanda for much longer, so we make sure to enjoy her company while she is still available (and by available I mean stuck at home with us). My mom and I had the honor of attending my cousin Terri’s graduation ceremony (she earned a BSN. Way to go Nurse Terri!), and made it just in time to meet Chuck and Amanda at the movies. I am like an old immigrant woman, and I bring my own snacks and beverages to the show (it’s criminal what it costs for a family to go to the movies on a Saturday night), but since I wasn’t coming from home, I instructed Amanda in the art of being a cheapskate. In a sling bag she stuffed five bottles of water and a few chocolate bars. That way, we only needed to visit the concession stand for popcorn…….which is expensive enough.

My favorite part of the whole movie going experience is the Coming Attractions. I love to have something to look forward to. Robin Hood looks pretty good, though I’m not normally a huge fan of Action Pictures. This one had a Braveheart kind of a feel to it, and Braveheart was awesome (love, love, love Mel Gibson! Lethal Weapon, The Man With Two Faces, What Women Want…… He’s great.). Adam Sandler’s latest offering, Grownups, with Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade and that Rob Schneider (who owes his entire career to Adam Sandler, and I’m not sure we should thank Mr. Sandler for that), looks charming too. However, I must question, in what universe does Adam Sandler ever end up with Salma Hayek?

Anyway, the movie gets underway with Iron Man dancing on stage at the Stark Expo, cheerleaders and an American flag in the background ala James Brown…..Living In America (I feel good)…..in Rocky IV. All very fine. What I like about Iron Man is the spectacle of it all. Tony Stark isn’t a billionaire recluse like Bruce Wayne, or a nerdy fella in love with Lois Lane like Clark Kent. Tony Stark is cocky and arrogant and full of bravado. He’s not hiding from anyone, far from it. He’s out there, just daring anyone to mess with Iron Man and America. He’s a bona fide, if not self aggrandizing, American Hero. Robert Downey, Jr. is suave and charming, as his alter ego Tony Stark (or Sherlock Holmes, take your pick; same character, different century. Either way, Robert Downey, Jr. plays them fantastically well.).

Iron Man 2 was great. The plot was your typical; good-guy hero wrestles personal demons, and despite his inner struggle, saves the world. I would have expected nothing less. I’m a sucker for exactly what Jon Favreau did; cast big time favorite actors in his movie just because he can;

• Mickey Rourke is a comeback success story (not at all unlike Robert Downey, Jr. and look at him now!) and was perfect as the angry Russian Physicist with a vengeful grievance, though I think the wardrobe department from The Wrestler would like their dirty, disgusting, t-shirt back.

• Sam Rockwell is one of my quirky all time fav’s. I loved him as Chuck Barris (of Gong Show fame) in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, directed by the great George Clooney. I also thought he was super cute in Charlie’s Angels.

• I like Scarlett Johansson well enough. To me she will always be Mrs. Ryan “Darling Smarty Pants” Reynolds, until the day that they probably get divorced (only because Hollywood marriages rarely last).

• Garry Shandling has been one of my very favorite comedians forever. We saw him once in concert years ago and he was a nervous wreck, which made me like him even more.

• Terrence Howard must have thought he had more important things to do than star in Iron Man 2. Really, why exactly does one bypass a part in a summer blockbuster? One man’s trash is another mans treasure, so I imagine we’ll see Don Cheadle in Iron Man 3.

• Gwyneth Paltrow was Pepper in the first movie, and she was equally lovely this go around.

• Every time I see Samuel L. Jackson I think, “He’s one bad ass, mother f***er!” I’m not exactly sure how important he was to the plot of this movie (though I’m sure Nick Fury and the Avenger Initiative was introduced to set the stage for Iron Man 3, or a vehicle of his very own), but he’s awesome just the same.

• I have loved Jon Favreau forever (and not just because he’s tight with Vince Vaughn). He’s clearly a great director…need I remind you of Elf? My favorite Jon Favreau moment is when he portrays Monica’s boyfriend on Friends (remember his character’s passion for fake wrestling? Maybe that’s why he was all over casting Mickey Rourke…). He was great fun as the devoted Happy!

As the More is More Mom® I would highly recommend Iron Man 2…….More action! More fun! More Robert Downey Jr.!

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