Sarah Ball

Morning Mix: Ron Silver Passes Away at 62; Lohan Back to Courtroom Drama

Ron Silver Dies at 62. The man who won a Tony for being Ari Gold-esque in David Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow" before there was Ari Gold (and before mercury poisoning had truncating anyone's Broadway run) lost his long battle with esophageal cancer this Sunday morning.  Silver also played the role of strategist to President Jed Bartlet on "The West Wing," a role that earned him an Emmy nomination, and was personally renowned for his post-9/11 switch to the Republican Party.  [Wall Street...

Morning Mix: Winners and Losers Edition

Lucky Fives for the King of Pop. Michael Jackson is 50 years old, he's giving a 50-gig farewell concert series in London this summer -- and five hours after the tickets for those dates went on sale, they were gone.  It's been 12 years since he was last on stage. [Reuters]Fallon Isn't Falling in Late-Night Ratings.

Dude Von Dudenstein, Meet This Year's Catchy Catchphrases

So a couple of weeks ago I screened "I Love You, Man" -- thumbs up! -- and the first thing I did when I got back was stick the following in my gChat status: "i predict that it will take 24 hrs after 'i love you man' comes out before 'totes magotes' becomes the catchphrase of '09." I remember this so distinctly, because I was having this major geekfest of an internal debate about how to spell "magotes." A-a-anyway, apparently DreamWorks is either reading my mind, or wanting to clear up...

Morning Mix: We Knew We Should Have Bought That Ticket to Austin...

Coolio Cooks Up A Really Hair-Brained Idea.  Looks like Coolio won't be cookin' with us for a while -- the rap star and Grammy winner was charged with possession of crack cocaine and battery late yesterday after an incident over the weekend at LAX.  Apparently he put his luggage through for baggage handlers to inspect, then grabbed the arm of the inspector when he remembered he had the drug and a pipe stashed inside.  Oops.  [Reuters]Manager Crossing the Line?

Morning Mix: Fewer Films to Make Tribeca Showing Next Month

Slashed Showings in TriBeCa This Year.  The Tribeca Film Festival has announced its lineup of films -- and its a dramatically smaller number than last year, down nearly a third to only 86 shows.  The festival made headlines earlier when at least two major sponsors -- Target and Cadillac -- yanked their funding.  Woody Allen will kick off the fest with his directorial return to New York, called "Whatever Works," on April 22nd. [Variety]More Twilight News That Will Amp Up Teen Girls.  Dakota...

Morning Mix: Blanchett to star in "Robin Hood"

Jerry Returns to Referee on NBC.  Jerry Seinfeld to come back to NBC -- but not for a "Seinfeld" redux.  Or a "Bees" commercial.  This time, it's for a reality show that he will produce and guest appear on.  Called "The Marriage Ref," the show is Seinfeld's brainchild: people whine about their marriage problems on air, and then celebrities tell them what they think.  Isn't that called "Dr.

Morning Mix: Not What We Were Expecting -- But Okay!

'Green Hornet' Gets a Helmer. So now that Seth Rogen has lost approximately a bajillion pounds for his upcoming foray into superhero movies, "The Green Hornet," Columbia has decided to hitch a director to the project.  And it's an interesting choice -- Michel Gondry, of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "Be Kind, Rewind," will be jumping for the first time into the blatantly commercial end of the pool.  Rogen and childhood pal Evan Goldberg, the pair of brains behind "Superbad," are...

Are You Dying to be FAMOUS?! Team Barack Wants You

Get kicked off the PCD reality show?  Just looking for your big break? Yours for three easy payments of absolutely nothing: a chance to appear on "The District!"  We're looking for some young, fun, up-and-coming bands to provide us with soundtrack for our hit satire of "The City" -- the angstier and more melodramatically melodic, the better.  Pop, rock and hip-hop artists of all stripes welcome to submit; just send music files to TheDistrictNW@gmail.com for consideration and a chance to be...

Morning Mix: Oscars Ratings Are Up

Freida Pinto Replaces Scarlett Johansson.  The gorgeous female star of "Slumdog Millionaire" will star as the young, impressionable ingenue in Woody Allen's latest film -- Scarlett, you have been auf'd.  She has signed onto the untitled project after Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins and Naomi Watts.  [Variety]All Jackman-ed Up?  After last year's ratings were the worst in Oscar history, the telecast improved to 36.3 million viewers over the first three hours in 2009.  Both ABC and Nielsen...

Morning Mix: 'Fired Up' and Ready to (Not) Go

Photo of Rihanna Leaked.  It is the policy of the LAPD to keep alleged victims of domestic violence anonymous -- so when celebrity site TMZ posted a photograph of a visibly battered Rihanna -- with contusions on her head and swollen markings -- the department immediately launched an internal investigation.  See the photo here.  [TMZ] Conan De-Pledges the Big Apple.  Bye, Conan -- we'll miss you in NYC.  But an interesting story in the Daily News about whether O'Brien's frenetic, "fratty"...

Morning Mix: Change is in the Air

Facebook Founding Fathers Pen... Bill of Rights?  An interesting essay today from Washington Post tech columnist Rob Pegoraro about Facebook's ongoing terms-of-service debacle -- he suggests Wikipedia-style group editing to come to a legalese-free set of terms.  The column, here.

Keep Losing Your Oscar Pool? The Fool-Proof Way to Win

It has not been fully appreciated how deliciously ironic—and yet how appropriate—two of this year's Oscar nominations are. The first is, of course, Kate Winslet's sixth nomination, for her role in Nazi drama "The Reader," which comes after her send-up of the Academy's Holocaust obsession on BBC show "Extras." And the second is Robert Downey Jr.'s supporting nomination for his "Tropic Thunder" turn, a role that was intended to lampoon the robotic way Oscar gets doled out.But if the Academy...

Morning Mix: Valentine's Day Fallout?

Hayek Says 'Oui' in Paris.  Salma Hayek got married in a secret ceremony -- but that's not a plot twist in her "30 Rock" cameo.  The 42-year-old actress married her longtime beau and French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault on Valentine's Day at a small, intimate ceremony in Paris.  The pair have a child together and have been dating on-and-off for three years.  We hope the honeymoon won't disrupt her filming -- she's brilliant on the show. [People]Rihanna Torn Over Brown Testimony? ...

Morning Mix: Is Chris Brown Finito?

Is Chris Brown Done?  You Decide. Further silence from singer Chris Brown's camp after he was charged with making criminal threats (allegedly against his girlfriend Rihanna) has tabloids and industry press assuming the worst about the star's future career.  An unnamed industry source told People that since "a lot of his fans are female," that the impact on his soaring popularity could be devastating.  Wrigley has already temporarily canned his spokesmanship for Doublemint, and Brown has...

Morning Mix: Stump is a Nursing Home Hero!

Say 'Sussex Spaniel' Three Times Fast.  We were pulling for the Puli Pulik -- tee hee! -- but the sprightly spaniel from Sussex took the top prize at last night's Westminster Kennel Club Best in Show.  Of course, the most adorable thing about winner Stump isn't his name or his milk-chocolate tresses.  It's his age.  Stump is 70 in dog years, which makes him an old gray mare in the dog show world.  The AP compared it to " coming back to make one more jumper, or returning to toss a final TD...

Where's That Giant Hook? Panned Oscar Hosts -- and Monologues -- in Recent Memory

We're kind of excited to see how Hugh Jackman performs as Oscar emcee on Feb. 22 -- but Wolverine is following a lot of big names. To ease his nerves, here are a few hosting gigs that got panned by audiences and critics alike (including some we at Pop Vox HQ secretly admired):Oprah!  Uma!  Oprah!  Uma!  Poor David Letterman -- this 1995 joke is still incomprehensible, and earned the comedian the lowest marks in Oscar host history.  Only the Keanu Reeves potshot was funny.

Morning Mix: Christian Bale Finds a Friend!

Upon Further Review, the Earlier Ruling is Overturned. The Super Bowl gathered 98.7 million viewers, not 95.4 million, Nielsen reported this morning -- a fact it took them overtime to nail down and a new record for most-watched.  If you were one of the 200 million who didn't catch it -- or happened to be watching the other, extremely close sporting event of the evening (ESPN's replay of the Australian Open final, Nadal v.

Gold Digger: Betting on the Loser?

Maybe you haven't seen the five Best Picture contenders, and maybe you don't want to.  Maybe you're also at ease in cufflinks, and know what a collateralized loan obligation is.  If any of those things are true, and you still feel like gambling on the events of Feb. 22, chances are you'll enjoy the Wall-Streetification of Oscar betting over at Intrade. (They'll probably yelp at our use of betting,  so to use their terms, it's "trading in the prediction market.") The thing that makes it...

Elite (Eight) Mission -- Narrow Our Spy Bracket to the Top Contenders!

In honor of our Q&A-ing perennial film spy Clive Owen--who outlines his spotted dick preferences for your perusal, here--we present a (mostly) informed, (kind of) strenuously assembled bracket of the top 16 spies ever on film. (Newsweek critics Marc Peyser, Devin Gordon, Jennie Yabroff, Mark Coatney, Ramin Setoodeh and Patrick Enright--hats off). Now, the power to advance winners to an Elite Eight round is up to YOU--as well as the criteria by which you do so.

Morning Mix: Shakespearean Tragedies Edition

More Miley Cyrus Photos Offending More People.  Michael Phelps, you had your day in the sun -- let's welcome back regular guest Miley Cyrus to the Embarrassing Internet Photos Hall of Fame.  This time, old Hannah Montana is using her fingers to slant her eyes while standing next to a young Asian guy, causing (justifiable) outrage from an Asian activist group as the photo makes the rounds online.  Ugh.  This is what happens when you raise a child in front of rolling film. [MTV]Al Pacino Gets...

Morning Mix: The (Wintery) Morning After

So, Six More Weeks Of Winter.  Surprise.  Not swayed by the local team's Super Bowl victory, the greater-Pittsburgh-area groundhog saw his shadow this morning -- meaning we're in store for more long winter weeks.  If you can't remember the last time he didn't see his shadow, you're not alone -- since 1887, he's predicted more winter on 97 occasions. [Associated Press] Nailbiter Game and Cheesy-Sweet Commercials Make for Super Sunday.  Super Bowl ads garner good reviews -- except for the...

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