All Sexed Up! "No Strings Attached" Movie Review! How Many Kisses Do Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher Deserve? 


Natalie Portman triumphed at the recently concluded Golden Globe Awards with her Best Actress win for “Black Swan.” I doubt that she will be nominated for her performance in the new romantic comedy “No Strings Attached.”

The film, co-starring Ashton Kutcher, is still commendable, but this is the kind of movie that Portman, in her impressive and illustrious career, has wisely declined. So why is she suddenly joining the romantic comedy bandwagon?

Not only is Portman starring in the film, she is also one of the executive producers. The one reason I can deduce from the star’s attraction to the project is the way the film bends our notions of gender in the romantic comedy genre.

“No Strings Attached” still follows the guy-meets-girl trope of the genre, only this time, it’s the guy that does most of the loving and the inevitable whining. And that’s probably why Portman not only starred in it, she also helped produce the movie.

Portman stars as Emma and Kutcher is Adam, lifelong friends who have evaded Cupid’s arrow for quite a while. She is an ambitious medical student while he is a writer for a “Glee” type of TV show.

Soon, the two are singing a different type of tune when they have sex one morning. Which one is more important to them – their friendship or their carnal desires?

Emma and Adam vow to keep their relationship strictly “no strings attached” in order to protect their friendship. No falling in love is their edict. Can they keep their platonic love alive without sex interfering? You probably can predict the answer to that question.

Nowadays, calling a romantic comedy predictable is well, predictable. But you can pretty much know what will happen to the characters in this yarn. I did like the way scriptwriter Elizabeth Meriweather invested more in developing her characters and for questioning our contemporary sexual mores.

I also enjoyed the supporting cast specifically Lake Bell who plays a super-talkative TV producer. Kevin Kline also makes an appearance as an aging womanizer.

Kline’s director in “Dave,” Ivan Reitman, helms “No Strings Attached” and helps improve the film’s comic tone. Reitman also has an excellent eye and makes the overused Los Angeles beautiful and inviting.

Besides the film’s predictability, I wished the filmmakers utilized the movie’s R rating and showed more confidence in exploring our sexual customs. Instead, we got a cute film and this material really needs bite.

But cute is what sells romantic comedies and I have no doubt that “No Strings Attached” will do good at the box-office. I just couldn’t help but imagine Portman in her black ballerina outfit while canoodling with Kutcher. I guess my love for the actress and her “Black Swan” performance should be kept no strings attached.

RATING: 2 ½ :25k KISSES

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"Black Swan," "Burlesque" Among Costume Designers Guild Award Nominees  


Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan" (picture courtesy of CourtesanMacabre) will try to outdance "Burlesque," "Inception," "The Social Network," and "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" in the Excellence in Contemporary Film category for the 13th annual Costume Designers Guild Awards.

In the Period Film category, "The Fighter" will duke it out with "The King's Speech" and "True Grit." And in the Fantasy Film category, "Alice in Wonderland" will try to outshine "The Tempest" and "Tron: Legacy."

The winners will be announced Feb. 22 with "Sex and the City's" Kristin Davis set to do hosting duties. Halle Berry will be given the Lacoste Spotlight Award, and director Joel Schumacher will receive the Distinguished Collaborator Award.

Here's the complete list of nominees for the 13th annual CDG Awards (Check our Awards Avenue for complete winners/nominees for all award-giving bodies):

EXCELLENCE IN CONTEMPORARY FILM
Black Swan – Amy Westcott
Burlesque – Michael Kaplan
Inception - Jeffrey Kurland
The Social Network – Jacqueline West
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – Ellen Mirojnick

EXCELLENCE IN PERIOD FILM
The Fighter – Mark Bridges
The King’s Speech – Jenny Beavan
True Grit – Mary Zophres

EXCELLENCE IN FANTASY FILM
Alice in Wonderland – Colleen Atwood
The Tempest – Sandy Powell
TRON: Legacy – Michael Wilkinson & Christine Bieselin Clark

OUTSTANDING CONTEMPORARY TELEVISION SERIES
Big Love – Chrisi Karvonides-Dushenko
Dancing with the Stars – Randall Christensen, Daniella Gschwendtner & Steven Norman Lee
Glee – Lou Eyrich
Modern Family – Alix Friedberg
Treme – Alonzo Wilson

OUTSTANDING PERIOD/FANTASY TELEVISION SERIES
Boardwalk Empire – John A. Dunn
Mad Men – Janie Bryant
The Tudors – Joan Bergin

OUTSTANDING MADE FOR TELEVISION MOVIE OR MINI SERIES
The Pacific – Penny Rose & Joe Hobbs
Temple Grandin – Cindy Evans
You Don’t Know Jack – Rita Ryack

EXCELLENCE IN COMMERCIAL COSTUME DESIGN
Chanel – Bleu de Chanel – Aude Bronson-Howard
Dior – Charlize Theron – J’Adore – Lisa Michelle Boyd
Dos Equis – The Most Interesting Man in the World – Julie Vogel
Netflix – Western – Lydia Paddon
Target – Preparing for Race/Black Friday – Costume Designer TBA*

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"The Kids Are All Right," "Glee" Among GLAAD Meda Awards Nominees 


The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has announced the nominees for its 22nd annual GLAAD Media Awards! In the Outstanding Film (Wide Release) category, Lisa Cholodenko's "The Kids Are All Right" will duke it out with "Burlesque," "The Girl Who Played With Fire," "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World," and "Easy A."

In the Outstanding Film (Limited Release) category, the nominees are "Howl," "I Love You Phillip Morris," "La Mission," "Patrik, Age 1.5," and "Undertow"

In the TV categories, "Glee," "True Blood," and "The Oprah Winfrey Show" are among those honored.

We will know the winners of the GLAAD Media Awards on March 19 in New York, April 16 in Los Angeles, and May 14 in San Francisco.

Here's the full list of nominees:

OUTSTANDING FILM - WIDE RELEASE

Burlesque (Screen Gems)
Easy A (Screen Gems)
The Girl Who Played with Fire (Music Box Films)
The Kids Are All Right (Focus Features)
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Universal Pictures)

OUTSTANDING FILM - LIMITED RELEASE

Howl (Oscilloscope Pictures)
I Love You Phillip Morris (Roadside Attractions)
La Mission (Screen Media Ventures)
Patrik, Age 1.5 (Regent Releasing)
Undertow (Wolfe Releasing)

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
Degrassi (TeenNick)
Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family)
True Blood (HBO)

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES

Glee (Fox)
Greek (ABC Family)
Modern Family (ABC)
Nurse Jackie (Showtime)
United States of Tara (Showtime)

OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL EPISODE
(in a series without a regular gay character)


"Escape the Castle," Bored to Death, (HBO)
"Innocence," Law & Order (NBC)
"Klaus & Greta," 30 Rock (NBC)
"Queen of Mean," Drop Dead Diva (Lifetime)
"Samaritan," Law & Order: UK (BBC America)

OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY

8: The Mormon Proposition (Red Flag Releasing)
Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement (Sundance Channel)
Prodigal Sons (First Run Features)
Sylvester, UnSung (TV One)
Out: The Glenn Burke Story (Comcast SportsNet Bay Area)

OUTSTANDING REALITY PROGRAM

The Fabulous Beekman Boys (Planet Green)
Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys (Sundance Channel)
Project Runway (Lifetime)
Top Chef: Just Desserts (Bravo)
Transform Me (VH1)

OUTSTANDING TALK SHOW EPISODE

"Constance McMillen," The Ellen DeGeneres Show (syndicated)
"Neil Patrick Harris," The Talk (CBS)
"Rebuilding Home After Tragedy: The Seth Walsh Story," The Nate Berkus Show (syndicated)
"Ricky Martin Coming Out as a Gay Man and a New Dad," The Oprah Winfrey Show (syndicated)
"Transgender Kids: Too Young to Decide?," The Dr. Oz Show (syndicated)

OUTSTANDING TV JOURNALISM - NEWSMAGAZINE

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell," The Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC)
"Gay Teen Suicides," Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN)
"Katie Miller: Don't Ask, Don't Tell," Outside the Lines (ESPN)
"Olson and Boies on Same-Sex Marriage," Bill Moyers Journal (PBS)
"Transitions," Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (HBO)

OUTSTANDING TV JOURNALISM SEGMENT

"Don't Ask...," CBS Sunday Morning (CBS)
"Fort Worth Speech," The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell (MSNBC)
"Gay Teens Talk Their Truth," CNN Newsroom (CNN)
"Images of Protest," ABC World News with Diane Sawyer (ABC)
"Mom, Dad... I'm Coming Out," Today (NBC)

OUTSTANDING NEWSPAPER ARTICLE

"Coming Out, Fitting In" by Rosemary Winters (The Salt Lake Tribune)
"D.C. Gay Couple Caps a Momentous First by Tying the Knot" by Monica Hesse (The Washington Post)
"Rutgers Student Tyler Clementi's Suicide Spurs Action Across U.S." by Judy Peet (The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J.
"A Tragic Love Story" by Steve Friess (L.A. Weekly)
"Worlds Apart" by Lauren Smiley (SF Weekly)

OUTSTANDING NEWSPAPER COLUMNIST

Peg Mcentee (The Salt Lake Tribune)
Leonard Pitts, Jr. (The Miami Herald)
Frank Rich (The New York Times)
Eugene Robinson (The Washington Post)
Rev. Byron Williams (The Oakland Tribune)

OUTSTANDING NEWSPAPER OVERALL COVERAGE

Atlanta Journal Constitution
Denver Post
Los Angeles Times
The New York Times
The Salt Lake Tribune

OUTSTANDING MAGAZINE ARTICLE

"All That's Left is God" by Michelle Theall (5280 Magazine)
"'I Was Scared to Sleep': LGBT Youth Face Violence Behind Bars" by Daniel Redman (The Nation)
"It's a Shocking Trend: Gay Teens Being Bullied to the Point of Suicide" by Kenneth Miller (Ladies' Home Journal)
"Just Another Girl (Who Used to be a Boy)" by Genevieve Field (Glamour)
"What Happens When You Find the One...And He's Nothing -- Nothing - Like You Expected?" by Allison Cooper (O, The Oprah Magazine)

OUTSTANDING MAGAZINE OVERALL COVERAGE

The Advocate/Out
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Entertainment Weekly
People
US Weekly

OUTSTANDING DIGITAL JOURNALISM ARTICLE

"The Camera in the Closet: Gay Service Members Speak Out to ABC News About Don't Ask, Don't Tell" by Mary Kathryn Burke (ABCNews.com)
"'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Hurts African-American Women the Most" by Lynette Holloway (TheRoot.com)
"Ice Cracks Beneath Weir's Critics" by LZ Granderson (ESPN.com)
"View From Washington" (series) by Kerry Eleveld (Advocate.com)
"Wrestler Hudson Taylor a Champion for Gay Rights" by Jim Buzinski (Outsports.com)

OUTSTANDING DIGITAL JOURNALISM - MULTIMEDIA

"Bridal Bliss: Aisha and Danielle" by Bobbi Misick (Essence.com)
"Censoring Wojnarowicz" (IntheLifetv.org)
"A Gay Family Album" (Newsweek.com)
"Kicked Out But Ready to Go Back" by Jon Groat (Newsweek.com)

OUTSTANDING BLOG

The Bilerico Project (.bilerico.com)
Blabbeando (blabbeando.blogspot.com)
Joe. My. God. (joemygod.blogspot.com)
Pam's House Blend (www.pamshouseblend.com)
Rod 2.0 (rodonline.typepad.com)

OUTSTANDING MUSIC ARTIST

Antony and the Johnsons, Swanlights (Secretly Canadian)
Big Freedia, Big Freedia Hitz Vol. 1 (Big Freedia Records)
Chely Wright, Lifted Off the Ground (Vanguard Records)
Kele Okereke, The Boxer (Glassnote Records)
Scissor Sisters, Night Work (Downtown Records)

OUTSTANDING COMIC BOOK

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, by Scott Allie, Brad Meltzer, Joss Whedon (Dark Horse Comics)
Fogtown, by Andersen Gabrych (Vertigo/DC Comics)
Veronica, by Dan Parent (Archie Comics)
X-Factor, by Peter David (Marvel Comics)
Young Avengers: Children's Crusade, by Allan Heinberg (Marvel)

OUTSTANDING LOS ANGELES THEATER

Dr. Cerberus, by Robert Aguirre-Sacasa
Haram Iran, by Jay Paul Deratany
Revolver, by Chris Phillips
Something Happened, by L. Trey Wilson
The Twentieth-Century Way, by Tom Jacobson

OUTSTANDING NEW YORK THEATER - BROADWAY & OFF-BROADWAY

In the Wake, by Lisa Kron
The Kid, book by Michael Zam, lyrics by Jack Lechner, music by Andy Monroe
Passion Play, by Sarah Ruhl
The Pride, by Alexi Kaye Campbell
Secrets of the Trade, by Jonathan Tolins

OUTSTANDING NEW YORK THEATER - OFF-OFF BROADWAY

Lay of the Land, by Tim Miller
Let Them Eat Cake, by Holly Hughes, Megan Carney and Moe Angelos
This One Girl's Story, book by Bil Wright, music and lyrics by Dionne McClain-Freeney
Vaginal Davis Is Speaking from the Diaphragm, by Vaginal Davis
When Last We Flew, by Harrison David Rivers

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Willow Smith to Whip Her Hair as "Annie?" 


Papa Will Smith continues to explore, or is it exploit (just kidding), his children's talents by dreaming up a new venture for his baby girl, Willow Smith of the "Whip Her Hair" fame.

First, Will safely and successfully rebooted "The Karate Kid" for his son Jaden, now, Variety is saying that the superstar wants Willow to be front and center for "Annie."

And you can bet your bottom dollar that this will work!

Why? With the inclusion of rapper Jay-Z to collaborate on the music, I have a feeling that this one will be a contemporary, dirtier, more urban take on the popular Broadway hit. And with a central story featuring orphans, the filmmakers will have a blast exploring its modern potential.

If they do it right.

The project is still in development stages but I can already imagine Willow singing "Tomorrow!"

It's a hard knock life indeed!

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Best of 2010 -- My Favorite Celebrity Interviews, Movie Reviews -- Fun! Fun! Fun! 


It’s that time of the year again, when I trot out the best of the best of my celebrity interviews and movie reviews. Looking back at 2010, man, was I heavy! LOL, but I had a great time last year, and looking forward to a bigger and brighter 2011!

Take a look, and I hope I bring a smile to your face. I call this one Manny the Movie Guy Version 4.0 since this is the fourth time I made a best of. If you want to see my evolution as Manny the Movie Guy, click here, fun times down memory lane. But here’s version 4.0:



Featured on this video (they're all clickable!):

“The Last Airbender” movie review
“Nanny McPhee Returns” movie review
“True Grit” movie review
“Despicable Me” movie review
“Modern Scary Movies”
“She’s Out of My League” interview
“Remember Me” interview with Pierce Brosnan
“The Kids Are All Right” interview with Julianne Moore
“Jonah Hex” interview with Josh Brolin
Academy Awards Oscars predictions
“Alice in Wonderland” movie review
“Clash of the Titans” movie review
“Kick-Ass” movie review
Summer Movie Preview
“Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” interview with Bette Midler
“Dinner for Schmucks” interview with Steve Carell and Paul Rudd
“How to Train Your Dragon” interview with Craig Ferguson
“Somewhere” interview with Sofia Coppola
“Remember Me” interview with director and writer
“Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” interview with Christina Applegate and James Marsden
“How to Train Your Dragon” interview with Jay Baruchel
“The Kids Are All Right” interview with Mark Ruffalo
“Iron Man 2” movie review
“Babies” movie review
“Robin Hood” movie review
“Shrek Forever After” movie review
“Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” movie review
“Toy Story 3” movie review
“Splice” movie review
“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” movie review
“The Morning Blend” live show from ABC Las Vegas
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” screening in Palm Springs
“Remember Me” interview with Robert Pattinson
“The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader” movie review
“Inception” movie review
“Step Up 3D” movie review
“Step Up 3D” interviews with Adam Sevani, tWitch, and Legacy
“Palm Springs – Playground of the Stars”
“Yogi Bear” interview with Anna Faris
“Furry Vengeance” interview with Brendan Fraser
“Jackass 3D” interview with cast
“Greenberg” interview with Ben Stiller
“Splice” interview with Adrien Brody
“Piranha 3D” interview with Elisabeth Shue
“127 Hours” interview with James Franco and director Danny Boyle
“Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” interview with Mr. Tinkles
“Yogi Bear” interview with Yogi Bear (Dan Aykroyd) and Boo Boo (Justin Timberlake)
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” movie review
“Shrek Forever After” interview with Walt Dohrn (Rumpelstiltskin)
“Tron: Legacy” movie review

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