Brittany Murphy Passes; Tiger Sets Sail

cityfile · 12/21/09 07:51AM

• It's still unclear what caused Brittany Murphy's death in Los Angeles yesterday morning. While the coroner has indicated the 32-year-old actress appears to have died from "natural causes," it's been reported that lots of prescription drug bottles were uncovered by cops at the scene, and some friends say they'd grown increasingly concerned that she was abusing painkillers. An autopsy is planned for today or tomorrow, but an official cause of death may take a couple of weeks, pending the results of toxicology tests. [NYP, TMZ, People, Sun]
• Murphy's death has put the spotlight on her husband, sketchy 39-year-old screenwriter Simon Monjack, who married Murphy in 2007. [NYDN]
• Tiger Woods set sail on his 155-foot yacht Privacy on Saturday accompanied by a bunch of friends. Where he's going is anybody's guess, although considering the boat has a range of 4,000 miles, it could be anywhere. As for his estranged wife, Elin Nordegren, now that she's retained a divorce lawyer, she's reportedly gearing up to ask for full custody of their two kids and half of his fortune, which has been estimated at $600 million. [NYP, People]


cityfile · 09/11/09 09:32AM

Gwen Stefani getting out of an SUV in the meatpacking district ... John Mayer walking in SoHo ... Adam Levine and girlfriend Angela Bellotte going through security at JFK ... Steven Spielberg walking with wife Kate Capshaw in SoHo ... Lindsay Lohan leaving the Bowery Hotel, and later changing her shirt on the street in SoHo ... Ed Burns hanging out in SoHo ... Ashton Kutcher arriving at his hotel ... Venus Williams walking with her mom in front of Bloomingdale's ... Colin Powell leaving his hotel ... Smokey Robinson walking by himself ... Rachel Zoe getting out of a car in front of her hotel ... Shia LaBeouf standing with Frank Langella and Oliver Stone on the set of Wall Street 2 in Central Park ... and Rihanna sitting in an SUV in front of Soho House.

Grazer/Howard Lament Lackluster First Reviews Of 'Frost/Nixon'

STV · 10/15/08 03:57PM

In our ongoing effort to bring you the very latest critical distaste for every prestige film this fall, we follow up last week's collection of lukewarm W. reviews with hot-off-the-presses ambivalence toward Frost/Nixon. Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's adaptation of the Tony Award-winning play reunites Frank Langella and Michael Sheen as, respectively, the 37th president and his pesky TV inquisitor; the early word confirms that the film offers gravitas to spare, but you'll want to bring your own pillow:· "It’s difficult to think of a director less-suited to take on the intricate, minutiae-obsessed writing of Peter Morgan than Howard — a director who, even in his finest films, has always been interested in the big picture first, with characters serving history rather than the other way round. [...] Leading with his impressive, booming approximation of the Nixon voice, Langella is allowed to actively chew scenery and the performance becomes increasingly detached from the overall work." — Guy Lodge, InContention [via Patrick Goldstein] · "Sheen's impersonation of Frost starts with the classic tics: the head waggle, the nasal droning, the tiny soupçon of Brucie - but he soon sounds like ... well ... Tony Blair. [...] Nixon is a juicy part and Langella extracts every tasty drop.But the performance has no room to grow. Frost and Nixon have no 'real-world' encounters: it is like a boxing movie about two combatants who never meet outside the ring." — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian · "Although it all pays off in a potent and revelatory final act rife with insights into the psychology and calculations of power players, the initial stretch is rather dry and prosaic. Perhaps needlessly adopting a cinematic equivalent of the play's direct-to-audience address, Howard 'interviews' several of the characters, witness-style, about the events, which only serves to make the film feel somewhat choppy, half like a documentary at first. [...] It might even be that the film could have done without the talking heads altogether." — Todd McCarthy, Variety All right, all right — fine. Let Grazer write this one off to Gigi and let's just move on to '09, already.