Today's News: Our Take


ODD COUPLE

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Cedric the Entertainer are in talks to star in the big-screen comedy Joe's Last Chance. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the plot revolves around an unlikely friendship that develops between a dedicated hit man (Schwarzenegger) and his latest target (Cedric). read more

MORE MOVIE AWARDS

The American Film Institute has released its list of 2002's 10 best movies, and, in alphabetical order, they are: About a Boy, About Schmidt, Adaptation, Antwone Fisher, Chicago, Frida, Gangs of New York, The Hours, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Quiet American. The AFI also singled out the Top 10 programs on television, and the list included Boomtown, Everybody Loves Raymond, Gilmore Girls, The Simpsons, read more

A LITTLE BIT OF MONICA

Monica Lewinsky has been dealt another blow. The former White House intern's scheduled pit-stop on a popular Italian variety show was scrapped over the weekend because broadcasters decided that her appearance would be inappropriate for the program's family audience. Ironically, the show regularly features scantily clad young women prancing across a stage during musical numbers. Oh, those wacky Italians! read more

FIREFLY CLIPPED

Fox has canceled Joss Whedon's sci-fi dramedy Firefly due to low ratings. But before the show flies off for good, the network will air the original unseen two-hour pilot on Friday. Whedon, meanwhile, is trying to find a new home for the series. read more

FAR OUT

The Julianne Moore melodrama Far From Heaven is the best film of 2002, according to the New York Film Critics Circle. The group — which announced their choices today — named Diane Lane best actress for her riveting performance as an adulterous wife in Unfaithful. Daniel Day-Lewis was chosen best actor for Gangs of New York. On Saturday, the Los Angeles Film Critics weighed in with their picks, selecting Jack Nicholson's dark comedy About Schmidt as the year's best flick. Nicholso read more

Meet Drumline's Loose Cannon


Band geeks everywhere, vindication day has arrived! After years of enduring torment and ridicule at the multiplex (read: the American Pie franchise), halftime junkies are about to get a major respect fix courtesy of Drumline, a rat-a-tat dramedy that centers on the world of college show-style marching bands (opening today).

"I definitely believe that this film will do [great things] for bands," says 22-year-old actor Nick Cannon, who plays Drumline's ace percussionist. "Because, the stereotype is that marching band isn't really the coolest thing in the world. When I was in high school, we used to throw stuff at the band. Now, this is the coolest thing ever.

"Once people see the movie, they're going to be like, 'Yo, that's a show,'" continues Cannon, best known as the star of Nickelodeo read more

Cameron Diaz: Klepto in the Making?


In Martin Scorsese's hotly anticipated epic film Gangs of New York (opening Dec. 20), Cameron Diaz plays a feisty pickpocket who steals Leonardo DiCaprio's heart. It's a profession the actress admits she grew quite fond of over the course of the movie's shoot. "I can see how it would be fun, because every pocket and every victim is a challenge," she tells TV Guide Online. "I don't see how it could [ever get] redundant, unless you're picking the same pocket over and over again."

Diaz mastered the art of thievery by shadowing a world-class filcher known simply as The Magician. "He was a pickpocket for 30 some-odd years," she explains of her mysterious mentor. read more

Drumline's Great White Hope


Filmmaker Charles Stone III was forced to do an about-face when casting the role of Jayson in his new marching-band dramedy Drumline (opening Friday). Described in the original script as "racially ambiguous," the part ended up going to white actor GQ at the request of 20th Century Fox. Money-conscious execs apparently thought that adding a dash of color to the all-black ensemble would make the flick more palatable to mainstream audiences — thereby boosting the film's bottom line.

"They felt like, 'Well, if we're going to give you [X-amount of] money to make the film, then we need some sort of assurance that we're going to get some of it back,'" Stone tells TV Guide Online. "So, one suggestion was to make one of the characters white."

Reluctantly, the read more

Daniel Day-Lewis: Disappearing Actor


Throughout most of the '90s, you could hardly go a date night without Daniel Day-Lewis horning in on your action at the multiplex. However, after taking home an Oscar for My Left Foot and raking in big bucks at the box office with The Last of the Mohicans, the thinking woman's heartthrob virtually disappeared. In fact, until director Martin Scorsese coaxed him out of retirement to play Leonardo DiCaprio's archenemy Bill the Butcher in Gangs of New York (opening Dec. 20), the master thespian seemed determined to become his own "Whatever Happened to.. read more

Rings Star: I'm No Jar-Jar!


While Lord of the Rings has bestowed instant fame on most of its stars, poor Andy Serkis (Topsy-Turvy, 24-Hour Party People) — the man behind computer-animated Gollum — probably won't be recognized for his digitized performance. As moviegoers will see in The Two Towers (opening Dec. 18), this creepy-crawly schizoid is certainly no shallow goofball like Jar-Jar Binks. Physically and emotionally speaking, Serkis says it's the hardest role he ever played.

"It wasn't just people acting to tennis balls on a stick," he explains. "We shot every single scene conventionally. I was in a skintight suit; I crawled around, physically moved as Gollum, doing the voice. That's read more

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