New York Film Festival kicks off

September 30, 2006

Another film festival kicks off this weekend, and some of the most anticipated films have already made their marks at earlier gatherings such as the San Sebastian, Cannes and Toronto Film Festivals. The New
York Festival opens on Friday with a showing of the drama “The Queen”, which won three awards at the Venice Film Festival including Best Screenplay and Best Actress for Helen Mirren in the title role. The heart-warming “Volver”, which won Best Actress for its entire female ensemble as well as best screenplay in Cannes, will screen in New York also. The film, which won
 the Best Picture prize at the San Sebastian festival will be Spain’s official entry in the Best Foreign Film Oscar race. The suburban drama “Little Children“, which won raves in Toronto, is showing on Saturday in New York.  The bizarre “Pan’s Labyrinth” is being shown in New York after wowing critics in both Cannes and Toronto. The hip costume drama “Marie Antoinette” was not very well received when it was shown earlier this year in Cannes– let’s see if it fares better at the New York Film Festival.

Wall Street oil play: Sell low and buy high

September 29, 2006

Everybody and anybody on Wall Street has an opinion about oil prices. Who’s right?

Wall Street is suprisingly calm on Sony

September 29, 2006

There may be an option play with Sony Corp. (SNE.N).

Given the company’s recent woes production delays that are stalling the release of PlayStation 3 (PS3), Toshiba’s recall of 340,000 Sony batteries amid a failure to properly charge, and those combustible laptop batteries – you’d think Wall Street would be feeling increasingly jittery. It doesn’t appear to be. The stock’s volatility is mired at the low end of its 12-month range.

Take Harpo public? Oprah says “No” – Interview

September 25, 2006

Media powerhouse Oprah Winfrey on Tuesday launched her latest effort — Oprah Winfrey“Oprah & Friends” — a 24-hour lifestyle channel on XM Satellite Radio. Winfrey, a self-made success whose brand has extended from her daily TV talk show to publishing, film and theater, will host a weekly show on the XM channel, which will fill out its programming with shows by personalities and experts well-known to her legion of fans.

Usher fills the seats

September 23, 2006

usher.jpgPop superstar Usher has extended his stay in the Broadway smash “Chicago”. While Usher garnered respectable reviews for his portrayal of Billy Flynn, his real influence has been at the box office, where his appearance in the long-running musical has ignited ticket sales. Young fans of the pop idol storm the Ambassador Theater nightly to check out his portrayal of sleazy lawyer Billy Flynn.

Chavez: Bookseller

September 23, 2006

chavez.jpgNoam Chomsky’s book “Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance” was languishing in obscurity until Venezuela President Hugo Chavez displayed a copy of the book during a speech at the UN on Wednesday and urged Americans to read it.

Damon Wayans talks about “The Underground”

September 15, 2006

Comedian Damon Wayans returns to weekly TV this week with The Underground, an ensemble sketch comedy show that harkens back to the 1990s hit show In Living Color. That ribald show, created by brother Keenen Ivory Wayans, launched careers for Wayans, several of his siblings, Jim Carrey, and David Alan Grier.

Toronto sets the stage

September 15, 2006

cruz.jpgGreat performances are being lauded at the Toronto Film Festival this week. Penelope Cruz (pictured left) is seeing some of the best reviews of her career for her portrayal of a housewife and mother in Pedro Almodovar’s “Volver.” Cruz’s performance is being compared to some given decades earlier by Oscar winners Anna Magnani and Sophia Loren. Forest Whitaker (pictured right), a reliabforest.jpgle character actor, could finally become a star once viewers get a look at his portrayal of Idi Amin in “The Last King of Scotland.” Critics went crazy for veteran Peter O’Toole’s portrayal of an actor in “Venus,” a role that could finally bring an Academy Award to the biggest loser in Oscar history. Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and some lesser-known co-stars have been lauded for their work in the hard-hitting drama about communication, “Babel.” Kate Winslet, Patrick Wilson, Jackie Earle Haley and Jennifer Connelly garnered strong reviews for their work in “Little Children,” a stark look at child abuse and adultery. Toby Jones, Daniel Craig, Sandra Bullock and Gwyneth Paltrow won plaudits from critics for their work in “Infamous,” a look at the life of Truman Capote. Look for many of these names to show up on ballots come awards season.

The Rock who?

September 14, 2006

Playing the good guy has obviously warped the mind of the beloved 6-foot-five, 250-pounds “Flex Kavana”, “Pidloaoan Rock” and “Rocky Maivia.”

Rosie’s debut, dismal showing for MTV awards…

September 11, 2006

rosie.jpgRosie O’Donnell drew some flack on her debut on the female yakfest “The View”. Some critics were surprised at how she dominated the show, leaving co-hosts Barbara Walters, Joy Behar and Elizabeth Hasselbeck trying to get a word in edgewise. Rosie, who hosted a popular Emmy-winning talk show just a few years ago, admitted it was going to be difficult to blend into “The View”‘s format, where each woman is supposed to get equal time for her views….  David Letterman has reportedly agreed to continue his late-night chat show omtv_black.jpgn CBS for four more years, through the 2009-10 season. The contract extension will have Letterman lasting longer in the late-night hours than rival Jay Leno…