Movie reviews in 140 characters or less.
Showest is always about showing the evolution of the movie theater experience. Whereas two years ago, the worry was that home theaters would take away the element of going to movies, the advent of 3D in the past two years has completely turned that angle on its ear. Last year’s argument involved the greater thought of how to afford to fit the current theaters to have 3D capabilities but the realization with “Avatar” is that there is always possibility. This motivated a new level of capital involvement because the films opening now do not have enough screens with audiences screaming for their inclusion. The paradox is quite humorous in its overall irony. This jolt of energy reflects in the intent of the studios and the inclement of star involvement which in recent years had been waning. The business is cyclical as ever.
Toy Story 3, Big 10 Award & Disney Opening Day Luncheon For the opening of Showest proper, Disney brought, through the voice of John Lasseter, the next installment in the Toy Story saga. While not directed by him, but rather by his longtime editor, his thought was that he wouldn’t give the films he made to anyone. After accepting the award from NATO for having 10 successful films at Pixar in a row, Lasseter introduced a new 3D short, “Night & Day”, shown for the first time outside the studio which he is says is the most creative piece he believes they have done to date. After this short, which uses Master Image 3D as an alternative to Real D, the producer and director of Toy Story 3 came out. Reflecting an earlier sentiment from John Lasseter that this screening would be in 2D and not 3D because post still had 5 or 6 weeks to go, illicited some questions. They also spoke that there was still temp score and that some shots near the end were not fully completed. Afterwards Disney held a luncheon in the main ballroom lining up the posters for all the Pixar Films side by side while Nathan’s served hotdogs and an 80s band worked the crowd. Buzz and Woody were present for pictures before the day moved on.
Letters from Juliet & Summit Dinner After a one/two punch last fall with “New Moon” and with a newly minted Best Picture Oscar in the form of “Hurt Locker” only a week ago, Summit is occupying the slot once beheld by Dreamworks. The key now is the types of films they present which is always in a general sense across the industry a crap shoot. This year they brought “Letters To Juliet” starring Amanda Seyfried set in Verona Italy which releases in the next couple months. The dinner following highlighted the Italian essence while the intermittance of Budweiser motivated conversation with theater owners on the pros and cons of restaurant integrated theaters and the hope of their return to major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles.
Lionsgate Reception, Kick Ass & Dinner The essence of Lionsgate this year rests in their progression of “Kick-Ass”, their take on the superhero genre. Lionsgate and the distribution team presented the screening to packed house along with a test consumer audience which allowed for a more organic interaction. It was proceeded by a new trailer of “The Expendables”, the new action movie directed by Sylvester Stallone and starring nearly every action star on the planet. The day before at the Bellagio at a private reception, Stallone interacted with the theater owners which is always important in terms of extending goodwill on the basis of the film. Crown shots and Patron Screwdrivers swirled with fondue as guests could take pictures in a green cape where their heads are photoshopped on top of one of the “Kick Ass” characters. The dinner proceeding the screening featured a great performance by all-female string quartet Phat Strad who played everything from “Moon River” to “Live & Let Die” as the character banners of “Kick Ass” flowed behind. With other films coming this year whose titles flew by on the party screen including “Killers” starring Ashton Kutcher and “Buried” (acquired at Sundance) starring Ryan Reynolds, Lionsgate as evidenced by the speech of one of its executives at the screening, is moving to evolve to the next level but realizes that the motion picture division is still what motivates the entire ancillary market whether it be digital home distribution, on demand or home video.
Back-Up Plan & CBS Films Luncheon CBS’ first foray into feature films plays into the aspect of its strengths but also in highlighting from possibilities in its TV archive. The first film “Extraordinary Measures” showcased Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser but in a structure more suitable to a TV movie. “The Back-Up Plan”, the second outing in more in structuring with a formative genre outlay. This romantic comedy stars Jennifer Lopez in a role both truthful for her but also formative as her comeback vehicle after taking some years off to be with her twins with husband Marc Anthony. Joining her in the film is Alex O’Loughlin who starred in the Joel Silver vampire series “Moonlight” and then the short lived “Three Rivers” both on CBS. It speaks to cross medium interaction which will be key to the introduction of new talent. With Lopez guesting on “How I Met Your Mother” in advance of the film opening, this kind of symbiotic element is in congruence of a new way of reaching audiences.
Post screening at the luncheon, Lopez took the podium, poised and business-like as she has always been, knowing the product that she is selling but also the importance of the business. She indicated her love of the genre and that it was the correct film to return in as she moves back into her movie career after her maternity break. Amy Baer, the head of the film division, seems to understand the aspect of demographic but also the necessary breakdown of different ideas at play.
“Beastly”, CBS’ next film, keys into the teen demographic but understanding that the young population is more adept to needing more stylistic substance as “Twilight” has shown. Stars Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer approached on stage but not to be undone by Neil Patrick Harris, who after hosting the Tonys and the Emmys, knows how to control a room. His humor spoke to the fact that Vanessa was hot but that Alex cannot be denied. In seriousness after showing a clip, Harris says that the key is giving this young person’s story the slickness of an ultra Hollywood production. He enjoyed watching it beyond being in it which speaks to his taste.
Aside from announcing the film adaptation of “Gunsmoke” which has not yet set its cast or director, Baer and her crew brought forth Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Billy Bob Thornton straight from the set of “Faster” which is only two weeks into production. They showed a quick clip reel of what has been already shot which looks like a return to hard action form. Johnson spoke that after doing the family films, it was time to return to the genre he loves. He understands the balance needed. Thornton, a little thinner with dark hair, plays to the fact that these types of films are cool but that having the right studio behind you is necessary.
New Visions & Corner Spots Outside the ballrooms and screening theaters in the corridors of the Paris Convention area, the halls are covered with posters and standups providing trailer looks at new material to entice the theater owners. “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” [Fox] tells of the return of Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) as he seemingly draws in the young Shia Laboeuf who is involved with the former magnate’s estranged daughter. The poster is seemingly reminiscent of “Devil’s Advocate”. “Knight & Day” [Fox] by comparison in its trailer has paradoxes that can be effective and interesting depending on how it plays out. There are some feelings of a “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” though Cruise’s performance seems to play a bit broader with his comedy. It is actually refreshing to see him in this form. At one point he places on sunglasses and you see that glint of Maverick. Cameron Diaz is playing more to a bumbling form of physical play but you don’t get to see as much of the character persona in this short look but the action seems less CG motivated and more practical based. “The Other Guys” [Sony] involves a cool teaser where both Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell are vaulting through the sky in slow motion but ends with them in the rigging that they use in the actual production so it is uncertain in terms of what the plot will revolve around. “Takers” [Screen Gems] plays to the dealer incentive and boasts an interesting street cred cast including Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Idris Elba, Michael Ealy, Hayden Christensen and recording star TI but gives no true indication of the narrative flow.
When in Las Vegas, it is always nice to get away to essential regulars and a new transition. Hidden on the other side of the 15 on Charleston, Frankie’s Tiki Room shelters itself from the knowledge that it loves what it is. The drinks have a verve of possibility from the Mutiny to the Bender Ender. Off Strip spots cater to the locals and understand the vibe. From the ultra grooved decor to the chilled bartender and specifically the sound appropriate set up, the cool spot to be was here. Not to say, that evenings don’t evolve. Always a place of infinite fun, especially when talking back to the girls behind the bar, Hogs & Heifers is a mainstay in downtown. Michelle Dell’s transplanted roughhouse from New York is the original inspiration for Coyote Ugly. Tequila shots go down every which way and balance especially on top of the bar received applause. With Fremont Street reaching South ever so succinctly, The Griffin Bar shows it dark coolness late into the evening. The Irish purmutation of the night requires Irish Car Bombs post Jameson with the pouring reaching generously into the night even as the signal light remained dim.
Warner’s Big Picture 2010 Warner has always been known for pulling out the stops at Showest. In a return to form, many studios understand the power of bringing talent out to meet the exhibitor since it shows an essence of enthusiasm on the part of stars themselves. This of course is buoyed by some script writing of course but the reality is that you can see when Alan Horn, head of Warner, believes in something. He gave the go ahead to “Harry Potter” when he became the top dog at the studio and the franchise has performed with flying colors.
Dan Fellman begins the presentation by bringing his distribution staff on stage. Warner has always been about making sure the right angle hits the screen. It is a very specific process which has become more and more refined over the years. When Horn comes onstage, he speaks of the record breaking year Warner has had and speaks to the success of “The Hangover” as a good example of cooperation between the studios and the exhibs as the longer it played, the more money it made everyone. He also hails the extreme success of 3D and that most of their films will be upgraded to the format to meet demand. This intrinsically painted the structure for “Clash Of The Titans”.
Director Louis Letterier who spoke of being an inherent fan of the original at the age of 8 also made reference of the man who they would all ask their 3D questions to in the form of Sam Worthington, the star of 2009’s monster hit “Avatar”. The 3D footage of “Clash” shown represents a cross section of what was completed in advance of the film’s anticipated release date. Christopher Nolan then came to the stage, professional, cut in a suit that has become his trademark. He explained that he wanted to give a little more of a glimpse into “Inception” without giving too much away so the exhibitors could have some sense of what they would be playing. He summarized the gist with Leonardo DiCaprio being a type of investigator who is able to enter other people’s dreams. The extended footage speaks to the more noir specifics of this perception.
John Patrick King next unveiled a more worldly approach with “Sex & The City 2” speaking of the essence of Morocco and the absence of Kim Catrall as his lovely ladies approached the stage with finesse in the form of Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon and exec producer Sarah Jessica Parker. Catrall he speaks was starring in a production in the West End of London and could not be there. Zack Snyder, deep in post on his new “Sucker Punch” movie, presented his “Guardians” animated family picture. He admits that his kids wanted to know why they never saw his films which motivated him into this space at the motivation of Animal Logic whom he had worked with on “300”. This angle for him seems like a natural extension though the edginess needs to be maintained.
“Life As We Know It” brought director Greg Berlanti to stage in a romantic comedy format starring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel in advance of his next directing duties on “Green Lantern”. Heigl spoke of her love of the genre and doesn’t intend to slow down though Duhamel seemed a little uncomfortable on stage rather letting the material speak for itself. Todd Phillips, who brought “The Hangover” to Showest the year prior, precluded the volleying daredevil antics of Zach Galifinakis and Robert Downey Jr.as they perpetrated their new comedy “Due Date” which keeps the “Road Trip” mentality clear. Zach and Downey’s seemingly easy prankish carefree idealization in no small way helped by the smoked-out coolness of Phillips himself who knows how to keep the ball rolling.
The closer of “Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows” involved some unfinished sequences and shots that showed some of the darkness coming forth buoyed by the fact of Alan Horn’s announcement of the continuation of the 3D proliferation within their biggest franchise. Warner keeps the pace going understanding that the necessary is a nice cross section filled with energy and star power.
Prince Of Persia & Showest Awards Dinner Jerry Bruckheimer, in town to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, introduced his next big screen outing in the form of “Prince Of Persia”, being released this summer starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Post screening, the press interaction before the awards brought through three of the ensuing recepients. Jerry Bruckheimer spoke of “Pirates 4” which is set to start shooting in June but unsure if the film would be done for 3D. The market, he says, is saturated but what allows him to keep going at this level is his executives. In terms of “Persia”, he describes it as a romantic adventure, albeit one set in the 6th Century and says that is the kind of fun “Pirates” was but clarifying that it is much more plot driven. He also spoke of a new project entitled “Horsehunters” set in Afghanistan which was based on a NY Times article.
Comedy Director Of The Decade Jay Roach, best known for “Austin Powers” and whose “Dinner For Schmucks” comes out later this year, says no one knows what is funny. You tend to find it in the uncertainty. Steve Carrell, for example, he says, has a way of playing off-center delusional characters. In the end it all becomes about casting. Next, Katherine Heigl, recently a mother, came out with a new black hairdo which was seen earlier at the Warner function. She says she didn’t understand before what Showest really was about but now realizes that the theaters are trying to keep it current. She says that the hairdo is in anticipation for a role she is hoping to get off the ground which is Stephanie Plum, the heroine of Janet Evanovich’s “One For The Money” which is part of a franchise of books. She doesn’t she doesn’t feel like her native German/Irish with this hair. She also laughingly talks that she is beating comedies to death but that she loves them. She said also her next film which is in the can (“Life As We Know It” spotlighted at the Warner presentation) allowed her to “learn on the go” for her new role as mother.
With Billy Bush of “Access Hollywood” hosting, the dinner sped by with chicken, salad and asparagus leading the way. Jerry Bruckheimer accepted first speaking of the point that the Lifetime Achievement Award is usually given when somebody is approaching the end of the career. He says though that his mother lived to be 104 so by that standard he has over 48% of his career still ahead of him. He also referenced his roots as a Detroit boy. Jay Roach balanced his perception as Comedy Director Of The Decade saying that “comedy is about exagerration so this is a very funny award”. The young in play were highlighted in the stars of tomorrow in Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer, both of CBS Films’ upcoming “Beastly”. Hudgens says that in this business she already feels old while Pettyfer gave his props to CBS Films Head Amy Baer who picked him from obscurity though he did have the lead in Weinstein Company’s “Stormbreakers”.
Amanda Seyfried, who received the Breakthrough Star Of The Year Award for her roles in “Dear John”, “Chloe” and the upcoming “Letters From Juliet” which also screened at Showest, maintained a humble structure calling the award “encouraging”. Katherine Heigl, picking up Female Star Of The Year, seemingly set her dress aflutter as one strap came undone as she was walking up to the stage. Billy Bush then became the designated holder as he tried to keep from breaking into a laugh on-camera. Heigl’s first comment revolved around “Thunder Down Under”, the male revue show in Vegas describing that the advertising couldn’t be any more obvious. Drumroll.
Sam Worthington, honored with Male Star Of The Year, said the honor was “embarassing” but also “gives you a shitload of confidence” adding that he has “the best job in the world” despite starting off as a bread maker in Perth Austrailia. Zach Galifinakis, with a newly forming beard collecting his Comedy Star Of The Year Award, seemingly went off script without even knowing the venue he was in which made his act all the more surreal and applause worthy. His “Hangover” director Todd Phillips, who nabbed Director Of The Year, accepted in perpetuity admitting “I am a moron” while simultaneously telling stories of loving movies in youth particularly encouraging movie theater attendees to buy “Ice Pirates” and see “Star 80”.
The darkness of the desert speaks to the evening even as the wine flows beyond the tables. The last year of Showest at Bally’s showed an increasing return to form after years retained of less stars returning to the confab in the desert. The companies realize that especially with the new advent of 3D, the exhibitors are essential to the formula especially with the riveting performance of “Avatar” in 3D. With its translation into Cinecon at Caesars Palace next year, the new decade will begin in earnest, hopefully with many new surprises and advances ahead.
The essence of a prevailing network is a great balance between all things. With CBS, this is their time since they have a great balance of all from comedy with “The Big Bang Theory” to drama with “CSI”. And late night is getting more cool with them riding the ever increasing wave of Craig Ferguson. With the announcement of the new “Let’s Make A Deal” hosted by Wayne Brady and the controversy surrounding the next Emmys, CBS is at the center of discussion which is always a good place to be.
Late Night With Craig Ferguson Last winter, Craig stopped by to talk about the new happenings in late night since Jimmy Fallon was coming on the scene and Conan was moving out to LA. A couple months later when both of them are still trying to find their footing, Craig is knocking down the pins on his own terms. His informal small room talk shows that his comedy filters well in the early morning as well.
The first thought hit was on the upcoming transition of Jay Leno to 10pm which is on everybody’s minds. Craig doesn’t think people are ready for cussing puppets at 10pm. The move mystifies him because its seems like backtracking after NBC pretty much fired Leno. As far as the puppets, Ferguson is debating getting rid of them because he is starting to get bored with them and that is something that can’t happen. As to why he doesn’t Twitter, he says it is because he has “an hour every fucking night”. His monologue he sees as retro but also as contemporary because it is unrestricted thought. He brings up the fact that he forgot the name of David Letterman’s show a couple nights ago which he got a little flack for. But he says that watching himself fail at times is what keeps him challenged.
He mentions his autobiography that comes out in September and says that he is looking forward to it. He jokes that he “couldn’t remember [some of] it so I made it up”. As far as why he got into show business in terms of his memoir, he says it was because Hollywood “was tolerant of drunkeness” and that “you get to meet girls”. He compares his show to “Pee Wee’s Playhouse” and he says that is an aspiration because that was a great show. That is why he won’t do retakes because that for would kill the show.
In terms of his patrioticism which is always at the forefront of his idealism on the show, Ferguson says America for him is a “philosphical and emotional decision”. American comedians that have influenced him include Robin Williams in his stand-up back in the 70s and even now (which is interesting since I talked to Robin about that relevancy just two days ago). He also cites Steve Martin back in the early 80s as well. He says that it is very hard to find humor because it is all very subjective.
His future ambitions come into question. He says that he doesn’t want to get so rich that all he worries about is keeping his job. His ambition is to spend less than he earns. He doesn’t want to be scared just to have the ambition of a different time slot. In his words, does he want to be rich? “Fuck Yeah” is his follow-up. But has he met and interview a bunch of “rich deuschbags”? Yes, in his words, to that too.
Talk then turns to Jimmy Fallon who was coming onto the scene just a couple months ago. Craig watched it a little bit the first week but the reality is that he has a TIVO and a child. He watches “Mythbusters” and “Duck Dodgers”. His competition is sleep. He finally got his pilot’s license on Friday. The way he looks at it is that “show business…bullshit…bullshit…bullshit”. With flying, it is “Bullshit…you die!”
In terms of a changing audience because of his increasing popularity, he says that sometimes there is a bachelor party or, like the other night, there was a gaggle of women in sundresses. He brought them up onstage because he said people just had to see them.
In closing in terms of his place in late night, he simply says that for him, David Letterman is the King. Period. Dave is the successor to Johnny Carson. Craig’s words: “I sit at the feet of David Letterman. I am his beeotch. Whatever you prefer”. Simply put and humble. Craig is the man.
Let’s Make A Deal CBS made the decision to bring this game show back after the final cancellation of “Guiding Light” after nearly 57 years. After the success of Drew Carey on “The Price Is Right”, they approached another “Whose Line Is It Anyway” alum in the form of Wayne Brady to take over the new emcee duties. Monty Hall, who was the original voice behind “Let’s Make A Deal” says that it was the right time to bring the show back. The games that are played are one where they, as the creators, know the secrets. The surprise is how the people react. The script evolves from the reaction of the contestants and what they bring to the party.
Back when they made the pilot in 1963, Monty remembers that people came in ordinary dresses and suits. He said he remembers that he was picking contestants one day early on and this woman came in with the sign saying “Roses are red. Violets are blue. And I want to make a deal with you.” The best moments he says were obviously when things went wrong.
For Wayne Brady, it seemed the right fit as well. He said that he had spoken to Drew Carey after his friend had gotten “The Price Is Right” and heard that he was having a great time. Wayne is 37 and he grew up watching the show and thought it would be great being a part of that. For him, he says “Who doesn’t like free money?” On the show, he also mentions, there is no “traffic”. He is the guy and he likes that. That is what snagged him in. He is able to do that in his Vegas show as well.
He agrees that, for him, being on “The Chappelle Show” changed people’s perception of him. On the talk show, people always said he was a nice guy but he said he didnt have to change himself. The key with “Deal” is just to be funny without going over the line.
Mike Richards, the exec producer, says that the format has moved to an hour and they have added a mid-game element. They felt to cut it down would affect the excitement and nostalgia of the game. Wayne likes this aspect because you can come in with nothing and leave with a car…or a couple tons of rocks.
Accidentally On Purpose This new sitcom casts Jenna Elfman as a movie critic who becomes pregnant accidentally (or on purpose depending how you look at it). The concept is based upon a book and obviously this slightly MILF version of “Sex & The City” circles the possibilities especially with Ashley Jensen (fresh off “Ugly Betty” and “Extras” and actually really pregnant) pitching some clean up.
Jenna finally found this role after a couple years of trying to develop concepts on her own. A little frustrated, she put herself out there and within weeks found this script. Claudia Lonow, best known from her acting stint back in the day on “Knots Landing”, is the show runner with a bit of edge to her. She is a big fan of “How I Met Your Mother” in how it appeals to both a male and female audience. The key for her is balancing the aspect of no underhanded actions by the lead character in the unfolding of the narative, which will definitely be a challenge.
Lonow uses a nice reference to “Knots Landing” as “a make-up show” since every time the director would get ready to yell action, he would say “Mirrors Down!”. The comparison rests in this as a very female driven show which instead brims with intentional comedy elements. Ashley Jensen adds that doing the show in front of a studio audience, unlike her last two projects, really adds to the immediacy of it. If you are doing it wrong, you will know from the get go.
Medium When last season ended, show runner Glen Gordon Caron wasn’t sure where the train was headed for the show. In moving from NBC to CBS after 5 seasons, the question became one of control. When we left Patricia Arquette’s character last season, she was in a coma with a brain tumor. Caron wrote this specifically to force a hand which works, he says, depending how you look at it. The series was made by CBS from the beginning but shown on NBC so for it to come back home per se seemed almost like “divine province”. He agrees that TV is being consumed in very different way in comparison to back when he did “Moonlighting”.
Caron also admits that these are tough financial times but the reality in terms of promotion is that CBS has run more promos before the season even has started for “Medium” than NBC ran in their entire run. Caron says that he tries to keep the writing fresh but there is also just so many ways someone can wake up. You have to keep it from being didactic and not get bored.
Patricia Arquette for her part thought they would always end up at CBS. She said she heard unofficially that they were cancelled last season and she was about to buy a house. She seemed to think they were led to believe that they would be picked up at NBC. The fan sites she said never thought they were in jeopardy and overall the ratings were pretty good, she thought.
Caron says that they attracted more viewers than “Chuck” but it was more about the ever present “buzz”. Caron also speaks to the fact that they are going to try new elements this season. The Halloween episode has Arquette’s character being consumed into the actual film of “Night Of The Living Dead”. Arquette likes this and makes the point that her first film role was in “Nightmare On Elm Street 3”, a monster movie, and that now, by all points in fact, she is the monster. She however has not felt any danger in any of the elements of her performance.
In terms of now reflecting on her move to television after so many years in film, she says that back a couple years ago she always thought of television as the “bastard child of entertainment”. However the more she has thought about it, it is something that is free that anyone can see, even if you are stuck somewhere and can’t go to a theater. It is very freeing for her knowing that it has the breathe of being seen everywhere.
The Emmy Awards The telecast has gotten a lot of flack in recent days because of its decision, as it were, to “time shift” the program and, by essence, cut some of the awards segments (specifically those relating to writing and directing). Don Mischer, who is overseeing the program, and has done the big Super Bowl halftime shows over the past couple years as well, was quick to defend the changes but also explain the reasoning as to also alleviate some animosity which had been building up in the creative community. Even the show runner on “Medium”, David Caron, had signed the said petition against the Emmy program for this dereliction.
Mischer makes the point that they are trying to reshape the Emmys. They are being crunched like the other awards shows. and it is all about connecting with the audience, he says. Compared to the Oscars, the Emmys have to fit into 2 hours and 9 minutes. He says that there is also a lot of misinformation floating around. The decision to change parts of the show were based on research of what the viewer wanted to see (and outside the industry, truthfully, very few people could recognize those contenders by name in the “shifted” categories).
He also admits that the Emmys might be a niche event in the long run but right now the focus is to be broad. They are just going to do their best because the writing is on the wall. Mischer kept saying repeatedly that the show is going to be about the entertainment but, in doing so, seemed to overemphasize his point which is what makes the contention up for debate.
Neil Patrick Harris, the much lauded host of the Tonys and the now anticipated host of the Emmys, spoke via satellite from Vancouver where he is shooting a movie. He says the controversy is simply to streamline the process, by editing down the “hugging”, as he puts it. The writers sometimes give the best speeches but, according to him, you want to prepare and keep it fast. This show, for him, is not about the host. He is there, in his vision, to represent the show. The changes are not about lack of respect or cables vs. network. Personally, and joking, he wants to open the show with Gallagher and the Sledge-O-Matic. Problem is that most young people don’t know who Gallagher is. He just wants to do it Dean Martin style and sip the martini.
The Stars Party @ The Huntington Library CBS brought out the heavy hitters to this sprawling estate a couple miles from The Langham. Sporting a great green sense and a museum-like architecture, the red carpet swilled through more like oatmeal. Passing Peter Gallagher entering the back terrace, a shot was needed and shared among friends.
Settling into a couch blanketed in sunset, the Goose simmered nicely. As the exploring began, we first came upon Edie Falco, now starring in Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie”. One of our girls, looking party ready, was a former cop from NY who recently moved out to LA. Edie liked that hometown girl connection. She just loves being able to be close to home when shooting the show (it is shot in Long Island City, just outside Manhattan). She still looks at feature scripts still but for her this show makes sense for her right now.
Settling down with a mojito as the place gets more packed, a very pregnant Ashley Jensen, formerly of “Ugly Betty” and now co-starring in “Accidentally On Purpose”, took a load off, Last time I met her was a set visit on “Betty” before its premiere. Times changed but she was commuting to NY to work on “Betty” so she said that this made more sense as well.
Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon on “Big Bang Theory” was standing looking out towards the bar. Wearing his name tag in a very Sheldon way, you see the uber geek exterior but he is much more relaxed in real life though he says that Comic Con was a bit more overwhelming this year than last. His performance as well as the others on that show make it a joy to watch.
By comparison,Kunai Nayyar (also on the show), who plays Rajesh, was wandering around the party in a slick suit and stubble so you could hardly tell it was him as the people watching element on his side worked well. But it was Simon Helberg who plays Howard Walowitz that cracked us up towards the end of the night as we chilled with vodka tonics. He had the pants to boot but was looking for a cigarette which despite his best intentions, he could not procure.
Earlier in the night, the entire cast of “Medium” sat next to us with Patricia Arquette looking particularly fetching in fishnet stockings. On the dim sum line, we ran into Tracy Ullman who is working on her next season of “State Of The Union” and talked a little bit of shop although my female companion loved her kimono-like dress which was all her.
After traversing the museum inside with a play-by-play on the inherent disturbances the subjects were going through when they were painted, the trip down towards the mashed potato bar, replete with scallops, chicken and beef, was needed but not before holding court with LL Cool J, the new old school star on “NCIS: LA”. Relating the aspects of coolness to the sets and interaction with Kensi in the war room at the set visit the day before, LL knows that he is bridging the new aspects of balance for him in this kind of character. He also says that he has brought down the bling a little bit but that this guy still has style. He has a hit on his hands which I said straight out.
As the mashed potato bar with scallops rang around us, Drew Carey with his newly coiffed hair chilled in earnest. Braving the valet line outside as the red carpet faded away…and the lights of Hollywood were only steps away.