Britney Spears

BRITNEY SPEARS – Has Britney Spears reached her tipping point? Her new song “Hold It Against Me” is a terrifically written and produced piece of crafty pop music; certainly timely, full of hooks … but, eerily similar to the other works of producer/writer Max Martin, from Sweden, who has become the Svengali of pop music these days; producing and writing songs for the likes of Katy Perry, Backstreet Boys, Pink, Kelly Clarkson, and is currently working with Carrie Underwood and Adam Lambert. Let’s face it, when Spears first appeared on the music scene, she didn't have all that much competition, now, her most clear and present competition may well come from Lady Gaga who was still honing her craft when Spears first broke through in 1999 with her debut album Baby … One More Time. Spears who was born on December 2, 1981, has been credited and rightfully so, with bringing the focus of the masses back again to younger artists; but, what was new then, isn't necessarily new now. The accompanying video for her new song is a monster of a production with a dome literally drenched with pieces of electronic equipment. Truth be told, it reminds me of the dome that for so decorated the legendary Saint night club on 105 Second Avenue in NYC, back in the day. Filled with various product placements, it’s daring and jarring … but, is it new? Interestingly enough, three-quarters of the way through the video she engages with her Doppelganger, in some rather feisty fighting moves, ultimately leaving both wasted on the floor. Confusing? Definitely. With two kids, and an ex-husband or two are laying about, she’s now approaching adulthood. Sure, this new song is terrific, but in some ways, she’s yesterday’s news.


James Franco

OSCARS – Believe it or not, the Oscars are this Sunday evening, with hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco. Ever since they upped the ante to 10 Best Picture Nominees …it’s been a better than average horse race. To me, I liked True Grit the best this year. I thought in almost every way … it was a perfect movie. That last scene of Jeff Bridges riding on his horse, shot against a star-lit sky, was beautiful. Poetic in every way. Colin Firth was my choice last year for his riveting performance in A Single Man … and, although I haven't yet seen The King’s Speech (sorry Harvey!), I hear as an ensemble piece, it’s uniquely outstanding. I just read where none other than Elton John said Michele William’s performance in My Blue Valentine was the performance of the year; so, this weekend I will see that. With two relatively newer hosts it should be quite the show; I loved Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin last year, so am ready for this year’s shot with two fresh faces. Other faces I'd like to see take home an award, are: Christopher Nolan the director and writer from Inception. I'm still not so sure exactly what the movie was about; but, it was so artfully done and the effects just jaw-dropping, that I hope he’s rewarded accordingly. For the record, I think Nolan is the new Tim Burton. Jeremy Renner who was just so brilliant in Ben Affleck’s The Town (which itself was vastly overlooked). To me, this was the sleeper movie of the year. His direction was sensational and the performances he got were so good. Major disappointment with this one; but, one of the best pictures of the year for sure. The late Pete Postlethwaite was terrific in this one too. I haven't yet seen Black Swan as the commercials scared the bejesus out of me; I love Natalie Portman, so I will … and, she appears to be the odds on favorite. The Social Network to me read on the screen more like a biography. Great story … but, like reading a book. The script, from Aaron Sorkin was brilliant; but, then so is all his stuff! We'll re-cap on Monday.


Whitney Houston

MY BODYGUARD – Warner Brothers is moving ahead with plans to remake their 1993 hit The Bodyguard, which starred Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston. The original flick grossed over $411 million worldwide; impressive … right? The original version was a fairly straight forward narrative of a Secret Service agent brought into protect a burgeoning superstar whose life has been threatened by a stalker. According to Deadline Hollywood’s Nikki Finke, the new version will have the bodyguard as a former Iraq war veteran who gets the job, protecting the star as his first gig after leaving the Army. He discovers that the world of Twitter, Google Maps, and TMZ has made access to celebrities easier than ever. The studio plans to cast an unknown as the star. Who knows, maybe they could protect Lindsay Lohan or Miley Cyrus or, even Lady Gaga … sounds fun!

JOLENE MATTHEWS – We're sitting with her next week for proper interview; but, she’s just let us know that she has started to train Bravo's The Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Teresa Giudice. Can't wait for the details!

END QUOTE: Eric Lefcowitz, author of Monkee Business: The Revolutionary Made- For-TV Band (Retrofuture Products): “The Monkees take on different meanings at different times. Back in the 1960's, they were the first signs that rock ‘n’ roll was going show up in people’s living rooms. Long hair, rock music—that was considered edgy stuff for the time. Then in the 1980's, when MTV came to prominence, they were seen as the original video band and had a major comeback tour. In the 2000's, you could begin to see the Monkees a new way, as the original reality TV stars. In the future they will probably assume new meanings. They really are avatars, and I'm not talking about those blue people in James Cameron’s movie!”

Photos By: RD/Orchon/Sara De Boer/Kirkland/Retna