Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Cate Blanchett, Reese Witherspoon. Woody Allen wants you!


ReeseMost actors dream about working for Woody Allen, but there are two about whom the Allen1director fantasizes when considering film roles: Cate Blanchett and Reese Witherspoon.

Allen is at the Cannes film festival this weekend premiering his new movie, “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.” He spoke to reporters after Saturday morning press screenings, and when asked if he wrote screenplays with actors in mind, Allen was quick to say, no. He said  that for the most part, he writes his screenplay then comes up with actors who may be Blanchettgood for the roles.

But Allen did say that he had always wanted to work with Blanchett and Witherspoon. “I think they are very talented,” he said, in a rather simple explanation. 

So, Cate and Reese, if you are reading this, have your people call his.

Trading on Twitter with Shia LaBeouf


There is something slightly surreal about talking with an up-and-comingShia Hollywood star about the intricacies of trading on Wall Street. In an interview with Shia LaBeouf for his role in Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”, that’s exactly what happened.

The 23-year-old, most famous for the successful “Transformers” franchise, plays Jake Moore, an idealistic and successful financial trader who comes up against Michael Douglas’s ruthless Gordon Gekko and an equally formidable Bretton James (played by Josh Brolin) in Stone’s update of his 1987 hit “Wall Street”.

‘Law & Order’ faces early death sentence


If “Law & Order” were a killer, it would have received the lethal injection years ago.

A report circulated Thursday that the NBC crime procedural famed for its “ripped-from-the-headlines” plots might finally be canceled at the end of its current 20th season, just one year short of replacing “Gunsmoke” as the longest-running drama in American primetime history.epatha

“American Idol” asks fans for a fix


As “American Idol”  plods its way to the 2010 finale  after a lackluster season and slipping ratings,  the TV show’s dwindling band of  fans are getting an unusual opportunity to weigh in on what’s wrong with the show, and how to fix it.

idol judges blog Official website has posted a detailed survey which asks fans why they are watching less often — and less enthusiastically — this year, and invites them to rate all the judges individually, as well as the entertainment value of “Idol” mentors and the show’s  celebrity guest judges.

Yo man! “Twilight” hunk Robert Pattinson … as a rapper???


Thought you knew all there was to know about the “Twilight” movies and their stars?pattinson

Think again.

Heart-throb Robert Pattinson has revealed a surprising ambition before he turned to acting. Seems one of his first career aspirations was to be a rapper.

Want to get running? Try “Eye of the Tiger”


JAPAN/Rocky Balboa might pack a punch with boxers but Sylvester Stallone’s character has also proved to be an inspiration for another sporting group - marathon runners.  Ahead of last month’s London marathon, a group of marathon runners were asked by which songs kept them motivated as they trained for the 26.2 mile event and songs from the  soundtrack of the classic Rocky films came out tops.

“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor again topped the poll which is now in its fourth year but this year also saw “Gonna Fly Now” by Bill Conti shooting into the top 10.

Can Cannes live with low U.S. turnout?


Cannes2010-1So, Cannes 2010 is about to get underway and the usual bout of soul-searching, navel-gazing and nail-biting is occupying minds in the Mediterranean resort.

No one knows whether it will be a strong year or not until the end, of course, so the main focus for a lot of critics and journalists in the runup to Wednesday’s opening (with Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood”) has been the lack of U.S. titles in the main competition lineup and also in sidebar events. Doug Liman’s political “Fair Game”, based on the true story of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame, is the country’s sole representative out of 19 competition movies. That said, Oliver Stone and Woody Allen are both in town with films, and they don’t come much bigger or more respected.

The kids are all right as Beatles’ White Album gets a fresh coat


The good thing about cuts to music education in schools is that wannabe rock stars flock to savvy entrepreneurs like Paul Green — the Philadelphia musician who inspired the Jack Black movie “School of Rock.” 

stan2Green — himself the subject of the 2005 documentary “Rock School” — has set up a nationwide School of Rock chain that helps kids unleash their inner Ozzys, Jimis and Janises. It’s certainly more fun than learning “Home on the Range” and “Kumbaya” in a public-school setting. 

Pearl Jam wary of Roskilde tragedy as storm threatens Indiana show


Exercising an abundance of caution that wasn’t reciprocated by all its fans, Pearl Jam delayed the start of its concert near Indianapolis on Friday because a thunderstorm unnerved band members still haunted by a fatal show at the Roskilde festival in Denmark 10 years ago.

eddieA few hours before showtime, fans who had not already entered the Verizon Music Center in Noblesville were turned back by security guards. They were told to listen to their car radios for updates on a local radio station. But many hardy Hoosiers just stood about drinking in the parking lot, oblivious to the lightning and intermittent torrents. 

Families urge boycott of suicide bomber comedy


jihadFamilies of some of the 52 victims of the July, 2005 suicide attacks in London have called for a boycott of a controversial new comedy “Four Lions”, which follows a group of hapless would-be jihadis who target the London marathon. The BBC has quoted two relatives – Grahame Russell and Graham Foulkes — as criticising the movie and calling for cinemas not to show it when it is released on Friday. For Foulkes, although humour has its place in exploring serious issues, the events of five years ago are “still too raw”.

Watching the film is certainly an uncomfortable experience. It is full of funny one-liners and farcical gags, including an ill-fated trip to a training camp in Pakistan which ends in ignominy and a failed attempt to use crows to fly bombs through windows. You find yourself laughing and then wonder whether it’s appropriate, and presumably that is one of the objectives of film maker and satirist Chris Morris.