Tag Archives: julia roberts

Javier Bardem Will LOVE Julia Roberts

Javier Bardem_lI’m trying not to drool as I write this. Variety reports that Javier Bardem has been cast in the movie version of Elizabeth Gilbert’s monster bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love as “Felipe” (his real name is Jose), the irresistible man she meets in Bali. Julia Roberts had already been cast as Gilbert, with Richard Jenkins playing her friend Richard from Texas (who answered a few questions for me about that here).

Though Bardem is not old enough (he’s younger than Roberts when Felipe is, according to the book, significantly older than Gilbert), he would be a compelling reason for Gilbert to break her self-imposed celibacy. Viewers would nod their heads and say, “It’s okay, you tried but we understand.”

Any other EPL fans out there? What do you think of this casting? (UPDATE: Click here for my review of Gilbert’s follow-up, Committed.)

Richard Jenkins to EAT, PRAY, LOVE with Julia Roberts

eat-pray-love1I’m one of the gazillion people who loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love so I’ve been keeping tabs on the movie adaptation to see if it’s getting the proper care as it makes its trek through development hell. So far, despite the little turnaround problem with Paramount, it looks good to me.

You’ve probably heard about Julia Roberts playing Gilbert. Though Roberts is a little older than Gilbert was during the events in the book (41 to the author’s early 30s), she still looks great and her smart-girl charm seems in line with the witty intelligence Gilbert exudes in her TV talk show appearances.

richard-jenkins-0109-450pwThis week, the trades report that Richard Jenkins has been cast as Richard from Texas, someone Gilbert befriended in India who ended up enlightening her with his insight and simple truths. I was able to reach the real Richard to get a quick reaction to Jenkins’s casting.

PCN: How do you feel about Richard Jenkins playing you?

Richard from Texas: I’m not familiar with this Jenkins fellow. Thought Dennis Quaid would be a good fit for the part but who knows what their vision for the movie is.

PCN: Jenkins is a fine actor who was Oscar-nominated this year for The Visitor, which I recommend since it’s a charming little film. He doesn’t look much like you but you’ll be in good hands talent-wise. What do you think about your movie self hanging out with Julia Roberts?

Richard from Texas: Julia Roberts seems like a nice person; I could hang with her and hubby and kids. Twins are so much fun, got a pair of 11-year-old identical twins in my life, wonderful to spend time with them, they are so sweet. As far as my movie self goes—it should be interesting.

PCN: Are there any obvious similarities between Roberts and the Elizabeth Gilbert you know?

Richard from Texas with Gilbert (from his website)

Richard from Texas with Gilbert (from his website)

Richard from Texas: I don’t know Julia Roberts and Liz Gilbert is my dear friend as well as a private person. You’ll have to ask her that question.

Since Gilbert is working to finish her next book, Matrimonium, for a 2010 release, it’s not likely I’ll be able to reach her. But I’ll keep tabs on the movie and keep you updated on any news. (UPDATE: Read my review of her follow-up, now titled Commited, here.)

DUPLICITY Duo Does Wrong Right


Julia Roberts and Clive Owen radiate enough chemistry to blow up a lab in Tony Gilroy’s follow-up to Michael Clayton. Whereas that George Clooney-starrer left me a little cold, Roberts’s presence warms up Duplicity and the relationship between her and Owen makes it more playful. They’re certainly having fun lying to—and lying down with—each other and the energy is infectious.

j-in-trenchThe story revolves around C.I.A. agent Claire Stenwick (Roberts) and MI-6 operative Ray Koval (Owen) who hatch their own scheme of corporate espionage so they can get rich, get out and spend the rest of their lives having hot sex on fat piles of money (well, they didn’t say that exactly but that’s the gist). Their plan is to steal a valuable trade secret from one company and sell it to a competitor. Neither spy trusts the other but that’s what keeps them on their toes and at the top of their game. There are double and triple crosses and things are rarely as they seem. Don’t worry if you get confused, though, because the plot doesn’t really matter. It’s just an excuse for the two stars to bicker and flirt and for us to have a good time watching them.

Roberts is luminous as the wily Claire (is her last name a subtle homage to the great femme Barbara Stanwyck?) and her return to leading lady status is welcome. Hollywood keeps looking for the next Julia Roberts but this one is still as fetching as ever and she ain’t going anywhere. She saunters through the streets of Rome and New York City with a confident swagger powered by almost 20 years of superstardom. Motherhood has also added gravitas and sophistication to the once colt-like girl, making her even more compelling to watch. 

cliveOwen matches her in skill and sex appeal every step of the way, finally starring in a movie that takes full advantage of his smoldering charisma (Exhibit One: A scene with him walking around in only a towel). I saw this man in person once and the star power he exuded was enough to knock you back a few feet. But for whatever reason, he’s never had a huge hit to launch him into the same stratosphere as the Brad Pitts and Hugh Jackmans. Hopefully, Duplicity will do the trick so we can see Owen’s full, um, potential.

Director/writer Gilroy has given us an entertaining movie that proves a big studio product can still be smart. The formulas he uses, here and in the Jason Bourne movies, should be stolen and copied by other studios. They could make more money, audiences would be happier, and everybody wins.

Nerd Verdict: Smart, stylish, and sexy spy caper

Sneak Peeks at 2009’s Most Anticipated Movies

Happy New Year! Hope you all enjoyed the holidays and had a chance to see some movies. Now that the new year has begun, there’s a whole new slew of films to look forward to. There’s something for everyone (if it’s underlined, click on it to see the trailer):


WatchmenWatchmen (March 6, tentatively)—It has a great cast, looks good, I did voice work on it so it’d better make lots of dough. Make sure you see it several times with large groups of friends!

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (May 1)—It’s all about Hugh Jackman. ‘Nuff said.

Star Trek (May 8)—I’m not a Trek fan but it’s directed by J.J. Abrams so we’ll see. If it’s as good as the best episodes of Alias, I’m there.

terminator4-poster1Terminator: Salvation (May 21)—The last installment was not great but Christian Bale is taking over as John Connor so this could be awesome. I’m ready for a full-time kick-ass Connor, as opposed to the whiny, teenager version we’ve had to tolerate for almost two decades.

Avatar (Dec. 18)—No one knows what the funk it’s about but it supposedly has newfangled, groundbreaking FX and James Cameron’s last movie, Titanic, is still the undefeated box office champ so this one won’t be hurting for an audience.


Duplicity (March 20)—Tony Gilroy follows up Michael Clayton by directing Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti (Gilroy must have a clause in his contract that reads “I only direct huge movie stars”) in a spy movie partly filmed in Rome. The trailer looks slick, sexy and funny. I can’t decide which is prettier, Rome or Owen, and it’ll be nice to Roberts in a starring role again. (Read my review here.)

State of Play (April 17)—Based on a BBC series about reporters working with a police detective to solve the murder of a congressman’s mistress. The presence of Helen Mirren makes the trailer look Prime Suspect-ish. The cast also includes Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright Penn, Viola Davis and Jeff Daniels. (Click here for my review and comparison with the BBC version.)

p-enemiesPublic Enemies (July 1)—Michael Mann directing Johnny Depp as John Dillinger and Christian Bale as Melvin Purvis, plus Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard and Billy Crudup in supporting roles. This is an embarrassment of talents. Plus, how cool is Depp in this photo?!

Shutter Island (Oct. 2)—Martin Scorsese directing Christian Bale…er, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Michelle Williams, Patricia Clarkson in an adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s thriller (read my review of the book here). I loved the book and this cast is top-notch so if the movie sucks, it would be quite a feat.

robert-downey-jr-sherlock-holmes-06Sherlock Holmes (Dec. 25)Guy Ritchie directing Robert Downey, Jr. as the infamous detective and Jude Law as Dr. Watson (had no idea Dr. Watson was blond and hot). Rachel McAdams (this year’s female Christian Bale) is also along for the ride. I devoured everything Holmesian as a kid and think RDJ is a foolproof actor when it comes to riveting performances (if not necessarily good films) so this had better be good.

The Lovely Bones (Dec. 11)Peter Jackson steering Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci and Saoirse Ronan (as Susie Salmon) in the adaption of Alice Sebold’s bestseller. Must admit I didn’t love the book but this is a great cast and I love Peter Jackson (I even liked The Frighteners) so I’d have to check this out.

this-side-of-the-truthThe Invention of Lying (formerly known as This Side of the Truth, Sept. 25)—This movie, co-written and co-directed by Ricky Gervais, stars Gervais, Christopher Guest, Jennifer Garner, Tina Fey, Patrick Stewart, Jason Bateman, Rob Lowe and Jeffrey Tambor. Do you need any more info than this? I’m just gonna show up and expect to laugh ’til I crack.


Bride Wars (this Friday, Jan. 9)—Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway turn into Bridezillas when they both want the same wedding date at the Plaza in New York. Hudson and Hathaway are talented, charismatic actresses but the trailer is shrieky and Kristen Johnston seems to have all the best lines. Think I’ll pass.

New in Town (Jan. 30)—Renee Zellweger as a businesswoman transplanted from Miami to Minnesota who falls in love with Harry Connick, Jr. The leads are very charming performers but this looks like a big-screen version of Men in Trees and the trailer didn’t offer one laugh. Yikes.

Confessions of a Shopaholic (Feb. 13)—Isla Fisher stars as Becky Bloomwood, the heroine in the series of popular books by Sophie Kinsella. It’s odd that Fisher has to speak in a Yank accent when Becky is British and Fisher is Australian, but she’s funny enough to embody Becky and Hugh Dancy is a great choice as Luke. The leads are supported by the likes of Joan Cusack, John Lithgow, Lynn Redgrave and John Goodman so this could be a smart comedy. (Read my review here.)

The Ugly Truth (July 24)—I can’t stand Katherine Heigl and from the trailer, the movie looks cliched and predictable. It’s rude when studio execs make bad films for women and then say they don’t make money so they don’t have to make more. It’s sad to see the magnetic Gerard Butler wasted in dreck like this. (Read my review here.)

2009_julie_and_julia_001Julie and Julia (Aug. 7)—Meryl Streep stars as Julia Child and Amy Adams is a woman who tries to use all the recipes from one of Child’s cookbooks. Streep is on fire and Adams hasn’t made a false move yet so this could be entertaining. (UPDATE: See my review of this movie here.)


Monsters vs. Aliens (Mar. 27)—From Dreamworks Animation, this is about a woman who gets hit by a meteor and turned into a giant. She then joins other mutants to fight aliens when they attack Earth. I’m hoping the great voice cast—Reese Witherspoon, Hugh Laurie, Paul Rudd, Kiefer Sutherland and Stephen Colbert as President of the United States—will make it more enjoyable than the so-so trailer.

Hannah Montana: The Movie (Apr. 10)—I’ll just say there are worse things impressionable young girls could be obsessed about.

Up (May 29)—Pixar’s latest entry about a curmudgeon who flies off in his house by attaching it to a bunch of balloons. Doesn’t really matter what it’s about; Pixar’s never made a bad film so I’ll line up for this.

2009_where_the_wild_things_are_0031Where the Wild Things Are (Oct. 16)—Spike Jonze is adapting Maurice Sendak’s classic so it’s gotta be trippy. It’s taken a while to come out but the movie stills look more textured and sophisticated than usual kiddie fare so I think it’ll be worth the wait.


He’s Just Not That Into You (Feb. 6)—This has been much delayed plus the entire movie stemmed from one line in a Sex and the City episode so I dunno. The line was funny when originally uttered by Ron Livingston to Cynthia Nixon but now it’s so dated. But the cast is chock full of huge names like Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, and Scarlett Johansson so there must be some merit in the script, right? Right?

The Soloist (April 24)—My man RDJ and Jamie Foxx in a film based on a true story about an L.A. Times writer who befriends a Julliard-trained but schizophrenic musician living on the streets. It was directed by Joe Wright who’s two for two in my book with Pride and Prejudice and Atonement so I’d watch him go for three.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (July 15)—This has the big death so it promises to be the series’ first tearjerker. David Yates is back as director so I’m excited. Prisoner of Azkaban and Order of the Phoenix are the best so far and since we can’t have Alfonso Cuaron back, I’m happy with Yates.

2008_the_road_003The Road (October 16)—Looks depressing as hell but Mortensen always does compelling work and Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall and Guy Pearce also star so it should be interesting.

What are you looking forward most to seeing? Which sounds like a rental or definite pass altogether? Something not on the list that you’re madly anticipating? Leave a comment and discuss!

(UPDATE: Check out my fall 2009 movie guide here.)

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Celebrities Say DON’T Vote in PSA (video)

Have you seen this video? It’s a PSA with Harrison Ford, Julia Roberts, Will Smith, Justin Timberlake, Tom Cruise, Scarlett Johansson and a bunch of others trying to use reverse psychology to get people to vote, not one way or another, just vote. I thought it was hilarious because they’re having a hard time saying, “DON’T vote.” Plus, Borat is in it.

What do you think–is it funny, effective, stupid?