Archive for the ‘AWARDS’ Category

April 12, 2010 |  2:06 pm


The storm clouds parted just in time for Russell Crowe to receive his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday morning, when studio heads, actors and producers gathered to honor one of the industry’s most celebrated leading men.

Producer Brian Grazer, DreamWorks Animation head Jeffrey Katzenberg, and “Clash of the Titans” star Sam Worthington were some of the famous faces crowding the sidewalk in front of the Kodak Theatre, where throngs of fans held posters over barricades in hopes that Crowe might adorn them with his John Hancock.

After signing a few autographs himself, Jay Leno breezily took the stage to call Crowe an “all-around good guy” who “rides motorcycle” and is a “regular guy” who “just happens to be one of the greatest actors in the world.”

Then came Ron Howard, who worked with the actor on both “A Beautiful Mind” and “Cinderella Man.” He said the weather befitted the event.

“It’s even more appropriate that it’s clear, there’s a little wind, there’s a light cloud over here, dark clouds over there,” he said, “because Russell is the type of artist that is a kind of force of nature.”

We experienced that, er, force, first hand while interviewing Crowe after the ceremony. Things started out well enough, with a relaxed-seeming Crowe saying how happy he was to be receiving his star.

“Next to Sir Anthony Hopkins, that’s not a bad spot,” he smiled. “It’s a nice piece of real estate.”

But then we made our first mistake:

We called Crowe an Australian actor.

“New Zealand-born Australian actor, you mean,” he swiftly corrected us.

Perhaps the error bothered Crowe more than he let on, because things only got more awkward when we asked him about his upcoming summer film, a remake of “Robin Hood.”

“It ain’t your Granddaddy’s ‘Robin Hood,’ I’ll tell you that much for free,” he said.

So, we asked, no men in tights?

“Why don’t you see the movie, if that’s the pressing question on your mind,” he said before walking away.

Yikes. Sure, it wasn’t nearly as bad as the infamous phone-throwing incident back in 2005. And we’ll gladly see the film as soon as it’s out in theaters — but we certainly won’t be asking Crowe about tights again any time soon.

Check out Russell’s remarks as he received his star here:

— Amy Kaufman

Photo: Russell Crowe receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Credit: Jason Merritt / Getty Images

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Southern California — this just in

With Jack Nicholson looking on, a beaming Dennis Hopper joins the Hollywood Walk of Fame

March 26, 2010 | 12:15 pm


To the cheers of fans and family members, a smiling Dennis Hopper received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday.

Many of Hopper’s Hollywood friends were in attendance, including Jack Nicholson, director David Lynch and singer Johnny Mathis.

Hopper thanked them for giving him a thrilling career. “You gave me a life I would never have seen as a boy from Dodge City, Kansas,” he said.

Hopper, who is battling what his doctors have described as terminal cancer, was helped onto the stage. His hand and forehead were bandaged, the result, he said, of a fall on Thursday.

Hopper, who has starred in numerous movies including “Speed,” “Blue Velvet” and “Hoosiers,” also co-wrote and directed “Easy Rider.”

Hopper’s battle with cancer has become public because it’s coinciding with his divorce proceedings. According to court papers, the actor weighs about 100 pounds, but his doctors said he’s healthy enough to attend the ceremony.

Hopper, 73, and his wife, Victoria, have been locked in a bitter feud since the actor, director and artist filed to end the couple’s nearly 14-year marriage in January.

— Shelby Grad

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How can you not love this Woman. Her best feature is her personality and just being “real”. I mean she is just a girl who does not take what she has in life for granted and she appreciates all that she has. Not sure if this was her best performance but she won.

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Call me an eternal optimist. At this time of year, I always find myself hoping against hope for two things: that (1) somehow this will be the year that the Cubs win the World Series and (2) maybe this will be the year the producers of the Academy Awards successfully reinvent the world’s oldest awards show.

We’ll have to wait till October to see if I’m right about the Cubs, but as far as the Oscars go, it was another huge disappointment, a colossal missed opportunity. Right from the start, the producers seemed unable to re-imagine the show as something other than a glitzy, painfully earnest version of the same cobwebby variety show we’ve been watching for years. I mean, there’s far more inventiveness going on in ABC’s “Modern Family” than there was on the Oscar stage last night.

Where to start? Oh, yeah, the hosts. I love Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, but watching them trying to coax laughs out of the wheezy one-liners they were given was painful. It was a buddy comedy gone wrong, a lot like watching Tracy Morgan and  Bruce Willis flail around in “Cop Out,” hoping to make a scene work without any good material to draw on. Oscar hosts don’t do improv. They need a good script and Bruce Vilanch (and whomever else was crafting material this year) let them down. 

The direction of the show was especially awful. It felt like whenever there was a potentially dramatic moment happening on stage, Hamish Hamilton, the show’s director, managed to miss it, starting with seeing Jim Cameron’s reaction to Kathryn Bigelow winning best director. Hamilton did an especially inept job of shooting the John Hughes tribute, which felt surprisingly flat and unemotional, in large part because it was staged so awkwardly, with Hughes’ old actors (now actually starting to get old) lined up on stage like beauty contestants. And when Mo’Nique finished her full-throated supporting actress acceptance speech, Hamilton cuts away to — ouch! — Samuel L. Jackson, who had nothing to do with the movie and presumably was picked for a cutaway after someone in the booth yelled, “Find me a black person for a reaction shot!” 

As soon as Jackson was on camera, he started derisively rolling his eyes, as if to say that he thought Mo’Nique’s speech was totally over the top, forcing another awkward cutaway, since having a big-time actor being underwhelmed by an acceptance speech would clearly spoil the moment.

And when it came to spoiling the moment, nothing was worse than having Barbra Streisand present best director to Bigelow. First off, Streisand was clearly picked after the producers knew Bigelow had won as some sort of symbolic passing of the torch moment although, once again, the producers couldn’t manage to find any drama in the moment. Even worse, it was demeaning to women directors everywhere, since Streisand was clearly chosen for her star power, not her directing chops — I mean, this is the woman whose last two films were “The Mirror Has Two Faces” and “Prince of Tides,” which would put Streisand about No. 47 on the best women director’s list.

I won’t even touch the Neil Patrick Harris opening number, since others have weighed in with far better assessments, the best being from Emmy-winning TV writer-producer Ken Levine, who wrote in his blog post: “The Oscars were very elegant this year all the way up to the opening number. Then Neil Patrick Harris sang about sodomy, masturbation and prison and Hollywood’s classiest night was underway.” 

And how about that horror-movie tribute montage? First off, why horror movies? I mean, in a year when we had, for the first time ever, two sci-fi movies among the best picture candidates, why not do a sci-fi montage sequence, which would’ve far more timely? And why have two young pups introduce the horror segment (and yes, I get the “Twilight” young demo tie-in) when you could have had two great scream queens do it, like Jamie Lee Curtis and Kathy Bates, who could have offered a couple of funny anecdotes about the glories of low-budget horror filmmaking?

I could go on and on. The show had a few nice moments — Ben Stiller made me laugh, the hosts had a couple of good zingers and it was especially apt to have James Taylor play such a lovely version of John Lennon’s “In My Life” over the In Memoriam segment. And yes, Sandra Bullock’s acceptance speech was a pip, more than making up for Jeff Bridges’ interminable, Dude-like ramblings. 

I hear the early reports say the show’s ratings went up as much as 15%, but considering the presence of “Avatar,” the world’s biggest-grossing movie, that still has to be cause for some concern, since it was just a month ago that the Grammy show was up 35% over the previous year. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — what the Oscar telecast needs is real TV producers, since they actually know how to put on a TV show.

My first choice remains Tommy Schlamme and Aaron Sorkin, since they bring built-in writing and directing talent with them, but there is plenty of other savvy TV talent to choose from. It’s time the academy realized that a few patches here and some fresh paint there won’t do the trick. This is a show that needs a complete makeover.

Photo of Neil Patrick Harris (fourth from left) and Oscar dancers by Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

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Here is Sandra Bullock accepting her Award for Worst Actress in a film at  the Razzies 2010. It is funny and it shows whey we all love her. She really is down to earth and a cool chick. Jesse is one lucky dude.

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I don’t watch these kind of Award shows very often, so I was surprised at this. To do what she does WHILE singing is amazing. I would be scared to death at falling but she just keeps on going. Definately one of the most memorable performances I have ever seen!!!

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LAPD blocks off the area in front of the Kodak Theatre | Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist

Word quickly spread on Twitter this afternoon after a person committed suicide in front of the Kodak Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center. At 3:10 p.m., police were notified of someone attempting to commit suicide by jumping from the fourth floor outside Sun Taco. Tourists and locals all twittered about helicopters and police swarming the famous boulevard, effectively shutting it down for several minutes. According to various witnesses, it was an elderly black man.

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