Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"Aloha" soundtrack, Rachel McAdams & Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)

Ladies and gentlemen, there’s a new Cameron Crowe movie coming out next month. That may sound crazy because buzz around the film has been almost non-existant, but it’s true. The director of Almost Famous, Jerry Maguire and Say Anything is about to release Aloha, a Hawaiian-set military romance starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, John Krasinski, Bill Murray, Danny McBride and Alec Baldwin. It’s an insane cast in a film with a weird plot that involves satellites and space.

Aloha seems difficult to peg. But what better way to preview a Cameron Crowe movie than with its soundtrack? - via The Uncool:

Hanohano Hanalei – Alfred K. Alohikea
Tropical Swing – Bobby Ingano
Alika – Genoa Keawe
I’ll Weave A Lei of Stars For You – The Royal Hawaiian Serenaders
Slack Key Lullaby (Live at Maki’s Studio) – Ledward Kaapana
Ipo Lei Manu – Cyril Pahinui
Kids and Dogs – David Crosby
I Know I’m Not Wrong – Fleetwood Mac
I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) –Daryl Hall & John Oates
Take My Advice – Kurt Vile
A Field of Birds (Live at KEXP) – The Tallest Man on Earth
Midnight Mix – Jónsi & Alex
Vapour – Vancouver Sleep Clinic
You and Jake – Evening Hymns
Come and Find Me – Josh Ritter
Always Gold – Radical Face
Let’s Go Out Tonight – The Blue Nile
Heart Is a Drum – Beck
Shooting Stars – Jónsi & Alex

Rachel McAdams will forever be, first and foremost, Mean Girls' Regina George, the Plastics’ queen. And you probably also know that McAdams originally wanted to play Lindsay Lohan’s character, Cady Heron, which would have been a mistake of monumental proportions. No one can be as backhandedly mean as McAdams’ Regina George, and no one can drive a convertible the way she can. We might wonder what may have been when it comes to a world where McAdams played Cady, but this isn’t the only role the actress almost took on.

McAdams took a break from acting after her major roles in The Notebook and Wedding Crashers, and told The Times that she “never really wanted to be a movie star.” This meant she turned down a lot of roles that ended up being huge ones.

The Silver Linings Playbook: David O. Russell revealed that Jennifer Lawrence’s Oscar-winning role as Tiffany opposite Bradley Cooper in was a coveted one, and a bunch of eligible actors auditioned for it, including Rachel McAdams (believable), Zooey Deschanel (apparently the role was meant for her), Anne Hathaway, and also, Angelina Jolie. Source:

Friday, April 17, 2015

Bradley Cooper: cinematic chameleon, broken characters (Mad Men)

Time magazine released its 100 Most Influential People in the World list for 2015, which features everyone from politicians to comedians to pop culture icons. Among this year's influencers are Kanye West, Bradley Cooper, Taylor Swift, Laverne Cox, Reese Witherspoon, Kevin Hart, and Kim Kardashian. The five Time covers have gone to Kanye and Bradley, as well as ballet dancer Misty Copeland, Mexican-American journalist Jorge Ramos, and US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The list, which is in its 12th year, requires a prominent public figure to write an essay for each honoree, and this year's pairings include Kim Kardashian by Martha Stewart, Reese Witherspoon by Mindy Kaling, and Chris Pratt by Amy Poehler. Keep reading to check out this year's cover stars. Source:

"It’s hard to make people, especially your friends, forget who you are onscreen. But Bradley’s that good. And I think we’ve seen only a hint of what’s to come." -Oliver Platt calls Bradley Cooper 'The cinematic chameleon' in Time magazine.

Bradley expressed his honour at being included on the list, saying in a statement: 'It's a real big thing to be included in anything that has to do with TIME magazine let alone the 100 list!' The American Sniper star added: "It's a huge privilege for me and if it does anything at all it helps spread awareness for veterans' issues." Actress and author Julianne Moore, meanwhile, has been fronting campaigns for Women Of Worth, which aids domestic violence victims in their quest for independence. Among the other names leaked early are Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt and film-maker Lee Daniels. Source:

Amy Pascal wrote: Bradley is genius... Exactly the movie belongs to Bradley more than I realized in the process. Cameron Crowe wrote: Smart. Feel a little bit like we did on “Say Anything” — the movie tilted toward Cusack, the script tilted toward Ione Skye. But our acting is better here all around, so we can hopefully get everything. Frankly Bradley is such an odd bird getting him right is tricky but he's fine now so lets just let him cook where he is and take care of our girl... Frankly, we have great options on all the performances except Bill Murray… who pretty much is what you saw.

Cameron wrote regarding Emma Stone: "I have the shot on Emma... It's a movie star intro shot... Maybe time to put it back in... It is very powerful and overshadowed everything around it... But might feel different now... Big lesson from today... You don't slip Emma in... Let's give her fanfare again... Movie has now earned it." Amy replied, "She isn't bigger than the movie. Trust that. Now she needs to ignite it to get it to the next level and it's gonna be a cross between an idea she has about herself and an actual self that he makes her pay attention to (much to her shock)." Source:

Bradley Cooper has had quite an interesting career, but had to pay his dues for many years to lead up to the critical acclaim he has earned today. With roles such as the distant war hero Chris Kyle in the controversial American Sniper to a struggling bipolar man just released from a psychiatric hospital in Silver Linings Playbook, Cooper has shown a range of acting skills in the last few years that arguably had not been expected in the past. His days of being the beau to some famous actress are over, and now he is front and center.

Bradley Cooper told The Guardian that his role in the box office hit The Hangover had been actually his most difficult yet. He said: "That guy is so different from me. I'm always amazed by it, actually. When I look at that character on screen, I don't see me at all." Bradley Cooper graduated with honors from Georgetown with an English degree. He told GQ he wrote his thesis on Nabokov's Lolita and he didn’t participate in much drama in high school or at Georgetown, but was more of an athlete up until he went for his MFA. Cooper somewhat randomly applied for his master’s at the Actors Studio Drama School in New York almost as a joke. Even during his acting career he has contemplated going back to school to get his Ph.D. in English and teaching literature. When he moved New York to study acting at the New School, Bradley Cooper worked nights at the Morgans Hotel in Manhattan. Source:

In 2013, the Associated Press added an entry on mental illness to its Style Book to help journalists write about mental illness fairly and accurately. And in recent years, Hinshaw notes, screenwriters have made an effort to portray more humanized characterizations of individuals with mental illness -- for example, Carrie Mathison on Showtime's "Homeland," who has bipolar disorder; Bradley Cooper's character in "Silver Linings Playbook;" and John Nash, the Nobel Prize-winning economist with schizophrenia in "A Beautiful Mind." Still needed, Hinshaw says, are more realistic portrayals of the everyday struggles associated with mental illness. Source:

-Parade magazine: As Mad Men evolved, what surprised you most?

-Stephanie Newman, Ph.D. clinical psychoanalyst, (author of Mad Men on the Couch: Analyzing the Minds of the Men and Women of the Hit TV Show): "I became more and more fascinated by how [show runner] Matthew Weiner did not sugar coat anything. Infidelity, addiction, divorce, mental illness; he put it all out there and it was not pretty–just like in real life." Source:

Emmy-nominated actress Elizabeth Reaser also reveals that she viewed Diana as the female counterpoint Don Draper had been subconsciously searching for over the course of seven seasons and countless shags. “I just felt like they were very similar in the way that they communicate, and people say, you know, ‘Diana is mysterious,’ and I think she’s very direct. . . . And she’s been through so much that she has nothing left to lose. . .  She basically doesn’t give a fuck.”

In fact, it is this tragedy-incited disconnect with the world that might make the pair’s communications seem dream-like. “So that sort of takes her outside of time and space, and it just means she’s almost, like, untouchable, when you’re that hurt, when you’re that broken by the world,” Reaser theorizes. Source:

Friday, April 10, 2015

Sexiest Men's dark side: Jon Hamm's hidden shame, Bradley Cooper's alcohol epiphany

Jon Hamm attends a ceremony where objects from the iconic TV series 'Mad Men' are presented to the National Museum of American History on March 27, 2015 in Washington DC.

"Mad Men" star Jon Hamm took part in a violent college hazing in 1990 at the University of Texas that led to criminal charges and to the fraternity chapter permanently disbanding, according to court and school records obtained Thursday. The Emmy-nominated actor had not previously been publicly linked to a lawsuit filed by a Sigma Nu pledge who said he was severely beaten, dragged by a hammer and had his pants lit on fire. In the 1991 lawsuit, the pledge said Hamm participated "till the very end." In March, Hamm completed a stint in rehab for what his representatives said was treatment for alcohol addiction. Source:

The combination of pleasure and pain is only appropriate where Mad Men is concerned. Don Draper’s relentless hedonism, drinking and womanising his way through the 60s, making it to the top of Madison Avenue’s advertising industry from nowhere, as literally no one, has always come with a heavy price – not just for those around him but Don himself. After ten years of debauched adventures in New York and Los Angeles, Don may have ‘found himself’ but ‘Severance’ offers little evidence that he likes himself any more than he did when Mad Men began, when we discovered his entire identity was a sham predicated on self-loathing and shame. Source:

“When you think about a mechanism like supportive social networks, or the psychological benefit of helping others, well, they have nothing to do with faith, or God — they have to do with the reality of what goes on in AA, with people meeting others in the same boat as they are in, and with helping other people.” So it can be the case both that AA rests on overly judgmental moral language, takes the unlikely view that God himself (or “a higher power”) is what cures people’s alcoholism, and has various other flaws — and that it still works for a lot of people, simply by connecting them to others going through the same struggles." Source:

Jon Hamm was chosen Sexiest Man Alive in 2007 by Salon Magazine - "I try to be a good person. I'm loyal and I'm trustworthy. I'm kind," says the Mad Men star, "and I'm a really good driver." Watching AMC’s “Mad Men” is a sensual feast. Matthew Weiner’s devotion to getting 1960 right means we feel Joan’s girdle and Peggy’s scratchy dresses, taste the rye and the steak and the oysters, glory in the pastels of Betty’s peignoirs; our eyes water at the end of every episode from all that cigarette smoke. The sexual politics are remarkable; the sex is even more interesting, and the hot center of it all is Jon Hamm, who plays Sterling Cooper creative director Don Draper, haunted, predatory, at the top of his game, miserable. I think it’s possible that some of Hamm/Draper’s hotness is how little we know about both the actor and the character. Source:

Sandra Bullock and Jon Hamm at the 14th annual AFI Awards Luncheon (2014) in Beverly Hills

Bradley Cooper and Sandra Bullock at the premiere of "All About Steve" (2009) in Los Angeles

Bradley Cooper was declared "Sexiest Man Alive" by People Magazine in 2011. What earned him that honor? - A combination of box office appeal (who hasn't seen The Hangover?), undeniable good looks and the lengths he'll go to for romance. Asked the sexiest thing he's done to woo a woman, Cooper tells PEOPLE, "Getting on a plane to go get them." Source:

“I think it’s really cool that a guy who doesn’t look like a model can have this,” the “Hangover” star told People. “I think I’m a decent-looking guy. Sometimes I can look great, and other times I look horrifying.” “If you’re a single man and you happen to be in this business… you’re deemed a player. But I don’t see myself as a ladies’ man,” he said. And Cooper said his first thought at being crowned top hunk was “my mother is going to be so happy.” Source:

Howard Stern asked Bradley Cooper about kicking drinking. Bradley said that he doesn't drink and he won't even try it. Howard asked what his Epiphany was that got him to stop. Bradley said that he realized he only has one life and he had to make the most of it or he'd never reach his potential. Howard asked if Bradley would do a TV show. Bradley said he would. He said it's all about the content. He said that it depends on what it is. Source:

Howard Stern said they were talking about Bradley and how he was named the sexiest man in the world. Howard said he was in a furniture store trying to buy a chair and this gorgeous girl was in the store. Howard said she came running up to him and said she would give him her number. Howard said it felt so powerful. He said Bradley must feel that all the time. Bradley said it doesn't happen. He said he swears to god it does not happen. Howard said he's shocked. Bradley said he had a glass lamp fall on his face when he was 15. He said he had blood all over and it could have made a mess. Bradley said he was very lucky and the lamp smashed his face to the left. He said that he grew up in Philly and the house was over 100 years old.

Howard asked Bradley about working with Jennifer Lawrence and the chemistry they had in SLP. Bradley said that she puts you at ease. Howard said he must have thought about her. Bradley said that he's not Jimmy Carter. Howard said if he worked with Jennifer Lawrence and he wasn't with Beth he would fuck her. Howard said he would never screw things up with Beth though. Howard said he feels like such a man around her. Bradley said that he doesn't have a problem with his girl when it comes to working with someone like Jennifer. Howard asked if he dated in high school. Bradley said he had a cool girlfriend and wasn't into sports back then. He said the girl is still a great friend of his. He said that they're still in touch and she's married to a great guy. He said she's still beautiful too. Source:

Jon Hamm, Jennifer Westfeldt and Bradley Cooper attending the opening night of "The Elephant Man" on Broadway, on 12/7/2014

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Wedded Bliss: Bradley Cooper with Jennifer Lawrence and other screen wives

"Serena" would barely be worth an obit except for its leading actors, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. They made ideal wounded sparring partners (and ballroom dancers) in Silver Linings Playbook. They flirted with malicious intent in American Hustle. They’re big stars, frequent Oscar nominees and, from available evidence, decent people for whom one wishes the best.

Serena (Lawrence) says that nothing in the past matters; but that’s just the cooing lie of a femme fatale — the type that Barbara Stanwyck brought to seductive life and death in Hollywood’s Golden and Noir ages.

Iconographically, Lawrence looks just right for the period. Platinum blonde, she instantly evokes such early-talkies actresses as Mae West. Toby Wing and Jean Harlow. Too bad she gets no help from Bier, who won a Foreign Film Oscar in 2011 for the Danish In a Better World after a calamitous foray into Hollywood drama with the 2006 Things We Lost in the Fire. It’s like some fateful old Broadway tryout that should have closed in New Haven. In fact, Serena opened last October at the London Film Festival. Lawrence graciously showed up, beckoning the audience to embrace the movie. “And if you don’t,” she added, “just don’t tweet about it.” Source:

Cooper plays George Pemberton, a logging tycoon who quickly falls for Lawrence’s titular character while away on business. Serena is tenacious and sexy, but troubled. Very troubled. Town rumor says that a 12-year-old Serena abandoned her family in a blazing house fire, leaving them all to perish. The audience knows she’s batshit before we’re given this titillating backstory (she’s got some weird obsession with taming eagles and could give “Orange is the New Black”’s Crazy Eyes a run for her money), and Pemberton’s friends aren’t exactly supportive of their union. But alas, the two stunners marry and head back to the small town that Pemberton calls home. Wedded bliss doesn’t last for long, as Pemberton is expecting a child with a woman he met pre-Serena. Source:

Reasons Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper Should Just Get Married - Dear Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper: The universe is trying to tell you something, and with all due respect, we think you've got some earplugs in. You have made three movies together (with a fourth on the way); you've played a couple twice now; and oh yeah, something magical happens when you get together. Case in point: your cute moments at the Serena screening and afterparty. Jen, would you just look at the way you smiled at Bradley over the weekend? Bradley, would you just recognize that Jen made you laugh harder than we've ever seen? That's really just the beginning of the reasons you need to give this a shot. Jen, we haven't seen you with Chris Martin lately, and Bradley, well, we heard things didn't work out with Suki Waterhouse. If you're not convinced yet, keep reading for all the reasons it's time to make this union happen. Love, The World Source:

Bradley Cooper was already married, if briefly, to Italian-American actress Jennifer Esposito (21 December 2006 - 10 November 2007). Although he's Jennifer Lawrence's "work-husband", Bradley has had other screen wives. We suspect some of the best marriages are film marriages, because they often save us from enduring the most fatiguing aspects a settled relationship may entail. Let's take a look at Bradley Cooper and his film wives & fiancées:

Bradley Cooper and Emma Caulfield as Todd Doherty and Charlie Norton in "I Want to Marry Ryan Banks" (2004)

Rachel McAdams and Bradley Cooper as Claire Cleary and Sack Lodge in "Wedding Crashers" (2005)

Bradley Cooper and Sasha Alexander as Peter and Lucy Burns in "Yes Man" (2008)

Jennifer Connelly and Bradley Cooper as Janine and Ben in "He's Just Not That Into You" (2009)

Bradley Cooper and Abbie Cornish as Eddie Morra and Lindy in "Limitless" (2011)

Zoe Saldana and Bradley Cooper as Dora and Rory Jansen in "The Words" (2012)

Bradley Cooper and Rose Byrne as Avery and Jennifer in "The Place Beyond the Pines" (2012)

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper as Tiffany Maxwell and Pat Solitano in "Silver Linings Playbok" (2012)

Sienna Miller and Bradley Cooper as Taya and Chris Kyle in "American Sniper" (2014)

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Sexually broken people: Silver Linings Playbook, Marilyn Monroe (Don't Bother to Knock)

Silver Linings Playbook (SLP) is a story about human sexuality, and more specifically, how we come to understand our sexuality through experience. Amazingly, this idea of experience at the heart of SLP is also at the heart of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body (TOB). Primarily, this story is about two sexually broken people. For Pat, this comes in the form of infidelity, a broken marriage and perversion. In Tiffany’s case, lack of sexual desire and her husband’s death while trying to spark something meaningful contributes to a frustration which manifests itself sexually.

In both cases, what the characters think is love is radically transformed by the end of the film. Pat drives one of Tiffany’s flings off of her porch. In disgust, Pat tells the guy that girls like Tiffany need to be protected, cared for, and respected. This episode is a turning point. First, Pat is acknowledging Tiffany’s personhood and her need for respect. Second, Pat shows a deeper understanding of Tiffany’s needs, as well as taking on the role of a protecting figure. It also displays an embracing of his masculinity in light of Tiffany’s femininity, pointing to the fact that “it is only through the duality of the ‘masculine’ and the ‘feminine’ that the ‘human’ finds full realization”. Third, Pat shows that his views on human sexuality and its utility have changed.

Eventually, Pat professes his love for Tiffany. The next scene is at Tiffany’s house where the camera pans onto Tiffany’s lone pair of shoes. This scene, which you may well have missed if you blinked, is Pat and Tiffany’s experience fully realized. Like other films, one would expect Tiffany’s shoes to be accompanied by Pat’s, signifying that they slept together. But no; they realize that their sexual brokenness cannot be fixed by sexual promiscuity, but can only be properly understood and healed by giving themselves first in friendship as their commitment to each other grows. In pursuing a chaste relationship based on self-gift, both Pat and Tiffany learn how to love authentically. Source:

With her cute pixie cut and her chic girl about town outfit, Jennifer Lawrence sure knows how to rock Hollywood glamour. As she stepped out of the Greenwich Hotel in New York on March 21, the actress wore her short blonde locks in loose Marilyn-Monroe like waves. Jennifer appeared poised in a black and white sweater, sophisticated black A-line mini skirt, and simple black pumps. Source:

Marilyn Monroe built an impressive library of works on psychology and physiology, keeping copies of Mabel Elsworth Todd’s The Thinking Body, as well as an edition of Freud’s letters on her bedside table. When she remained focused, she created an extraordinary range of performances: from the introvert in Bus Stop to the extrovert in The Prince and the Showgirl. Watch just those two films, and you will see why she is a great actress. Each performance is a de novo creation built through a vocabulary of gesture and movement that is inimitable. In her major roles, Marilyn Monroe did not repeat herself.

Zanuck had insisted Monroe take a screen test for Don’t Bother To Knock to confirm her suitability for the role of Nell Forbes, a young woman recently released from a mental institution. Traumatized by her fiancé’s wartime death in a plane crash, Nell has a grasp on reality that is tenuous at best, as she shifts deliriously between past and present, confusing an airline pilot she meets in a hotel room with her dead lover. Monroe found preparing for the test an ordeal, although her work with Lytess secured Zanuck’s approval. Barbara Leaming reports that Zanuck thought Monroe’s own instability heightened her performance of a mentally disturbed character. She had told stories about how she had thrown herself on Johnny Hyde’s coffin in a hysterical scene that suggested she could not come to terms with his death. Other rumors alleged that she had exhausted Hyde with her needs and was “sexually dangerous and not a little mad.” It seems improbable that a shrewd businessman like Zanuck would put a production at risk because his leading actress shared some of her character’s mental defects.

But Don’t Bother to Knock emerged out of a postwar period during which certain psychiatrists promulgated the idea that women deprived of the conventional support of husbands and families were prone to deviant behavior. Without a “healthy, happy home,” the postwar family was in crisis, argued William Menninger in Psychiatry in a Troubled World: Yesterday’s War and Today’s Challenge (1948). In Modern Women: The Lost Sex (1947), Ferdinand Lundberg, a sociologist, and Marynia Farnham, a psychoanalyst, characterized women without strong male protectors as “neurotic and maladjusted.” -"Marilyn Monroe: A Life of the Actress" (Revised and Updated, 2014) by Carl Rollyson