Christina Aguilera

BOWL DELIGHTS – I watched the Super Bowl last night and was more than a bit under whelmed by their choice of musical entertainment; along with most of America it appears from today’s reports. The national anthem is one tough song to sing; years ago I watched from the stage as one of the then new-teen idols began to sing it. She did a terrific job … but, admitted to me as she walked off the stage … it was a stretch. Christina Aguilera attributed her lyric-mishap to one of nerves, but really, everyone noticed it. What with her debacle of the movie Burlesque; an album that was DOA on arrival; and, her recent divorce, it’s been a tough year for her. I wish her all the best. The Black Eyed Peas were a visual treat, but when they started to sing and Ferqie’s microphone wasn't functioning; it proved to be a bad sign of things to come. Not even a cameo appearance by Usher ("OMG") and Slash from Gun N' Roses-fame (performing "Sweet Child O' Mine") could help. Listen, it’s a tough spot: Do you go with a legacy act like last year with The Who, or do you buck up and go with a seemingly hot-group-from today? Tough spot either way; but, to me, this year’s performances fell totally flat.


Christian Bale

THE FIGHTER – Finally caught this movie this weekend and yes, Christian Bale will win for Best Supporting Actor. He becomes the character he’s playing; a uniquely awesome performance. Also just terrific in the movie is Amy Adams and Melissa Leo; both truly superlative. Also, keep an ear out for some terrific songs in the soundtrack, including one of my all-time favorites from Traffic; 1972’s “Rock And Roll Stew,” sung by Jim Capaldi, and written by Rich Grech and Jim Gordon. Classic rock and roll track!


Christopher Nolan

WRITERS ROCK – This weekend was the WGA Awards (Writing Guild) and the big winners were The Social Network; Inception; and, Mad Men. It’s interesting to note that these three choices have been somewhat overlooked during this year’s awards season; Aaron Sorkin, the writer for The Social Network, also did TV’s The West Wing and Sports Night, and is one brilliant and prolific writer. In watching his shows, it’s often a neck-and-neck race between the acting and the writing as to which is better. Christopher Nolan, as we noted in last week’s column is another huge new presence in the directing field (witness Batman Begins; Memento; The Dark Knight; and, the overlooked, but brilliant The Prestige), but, he also excels at writing. Re-working the myth of Batman was most artfully done; and, totally believable. And, what can you say about Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men … other than that no show since The Sopranos has had as much impact on TV; and, cable at that. It’s hard to believe that we're still eagerly waiting the next season. Sure, Weiner reportedly borders on being a megalomaniac; firing writers when they win awards and he doesn't; keeping contract negotiations on hold till the last minute so they may ultimately bend is way, but, whatever, the show is a massive, massive hit. Let’s face it; the show put cable-net AMC on the map. If it ain’t on the page … it’s ain’t on the stage!


Colin Quinn And Pat Cooper

SHORT TAKES: Comedian/writer Pat Cooper appeared last week at the 92Y where he was interviewed by Colin Quinn, in conjunction with his new book How Dare You Say How Dare Me (Square One Publishers). Quinn, so hot right now with his one-man show on Broadway (Long Short Story) was the perfect choice to host the event. Cooper who’s become one legendary comic, dished in his book on many of his behind-the-scenes stories and with a foreword by Jerry Lewis, of all people, is a very good and funny read. I especially liked the chapter wherein the author regales us with his hilarious appearance in March of 1981, when he appeared on NBC’s Coast to Coast show with Tom Snyder. Cooper basically outed many of the celebrities he had worked; and, their problems with comedians. It was unabashedly funny … and, spot on perfect! Also, his routine on noveau-cuisine Italian foods called Gourmet Sucks is killer stuff too. He guested on Howard Stern recently and he and the host carried on terrifically; Howard should have back immediately. A good read this one ... The gremlins must have been at work when photographer's Eva Mueller web-site went missing. Check her out here....


Singer James Blunt With Steve Walter

Above the cut- The Cutting Room’s Steve Walter out to L.A. this weekend for The Grammy's says that production on the new-room is proceeding ahead as planned and there should be news right after the music-show on CBS ...


Barbara Walters

PALM HANGS BARBARA WALTERS – After a recent query by Cindy Adams as to why there was no caricature of Barbara Walters on their hallowed walls … now, there is! According to Palm EVP Bruce Bozzi, Jr., “It’s up … and, it’s terrific. Actually one of the best ones we've ever done.” The family-run chain is currently celebrating their 85th anniversary remains a must-see attraction and eatery in NYC. Check out Palm West with GM Alex Hasbany. Congrats!

Photos By: Walter McBride/James Edstrom/RD/Orchon/Kirkland/Retna
Quinn-Cooper Photo By: Steve Garrin