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'Cloud Atlas' stumbles; Anna Wintour checks in
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy CIty Times..
2012-11-07

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The new movie Cloud Atlas—which features transgender individual Lana Wachowski as one of its three directors—stumbled out of the box-office gate, Huffington Post reported. Despite its $100-million budget, Cloud Atlas (which stars Tom Hanks and Halle Berry) made only $9.4 million its opening weekend across 2,008 theaters, bringing it to the number-three spot. The Ben Affleck movie Argo and Hotel Transylvania (the latter in its fifth week) earned more than Cloud Atlas.

Fashionistas Anna Wintour and Marc Jacobs were among those who checked into the Manhattan hotel The Mark after Hurricane Sandy plunged much of New York City into darkness, according to the Daily Mail. Other big names spotted at the venue—where suites go for up to almost $4,500 a night—include model Helena Christensen, Russell Crowe, Jonah Hill and Emma Stone. By contrast, Katie Holmes reportedly decided to stay put at her apartment with daughter Suri.

Trans-rights advocate Chaz Bono is on a mission to lose at least 50 pounds, according to People.com . Bono, 43, is making a public attempt to lose the weight by sitting down with Dr. Travis Stork, The Doctors co-host and an ER physician. Now weighing 250 pounds (at a height of 5' 5 1/2"), Bono—who told Stork "there was a lot of pressure to be underweight growing up"—wants the physician's help in losing 50-80 pounds.

Such Good People, an upcoming screwball comedy about greed and jealousy, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds, according to a press release. In addition to Michael Urie (Ugly Betty and Partners) and Randy Harrison (Queer as Folk), the cast is a who's who of gay icons, including comedian Alec Mapa, Lance Bass (*NSYNC) and legendary character actress Sandra Bernhard. More information can be found on the "Such Good People" Kickstarter page at www.kickstarter.com/projects/1873187344/such-good-people.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has announced a $100,000 gift from actor Brad Pitt to support the organization's marriage efforts, according to an HRC press release. Pitt agreed to match contributions from HRC members and supporters up to $100,000 in order to direct resources to the marriage campaigns entering their final week in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington state. See www.hrc.org/Brad.

In the wake of rumors about the sexuality of Joe Simpson (the father of Ashlee and Jessica Simpson) come allegations that he's dating Bryce Chandler Hill—a 21-year-old male model and former Britney Spears backup dancer, according to the New York Daily News. Hill has reportedly been bragging about his alleged affair with Joe Simpson, 54, for about a year; however, one of Hill's friends said that he not only is using Joe to advance his career, but makes fun of the Simpson patriarch when he's not around. Joe, who has denied gay rumors, and Tina Simpson have filed for divorce.

Rihanna and Maroon 5 will perform on upcoming episodes of Saturday Night Live, with Anne Hathaway and Jeremy Renner serving as hosts, according to Rolling Stone. Hathaway and Rihanna will anchor the show Nov. 10, while Renner and Maroon 5 will take over Nov. 17. Hathaway, who stars in the upcoming film Les Miserables, will host for the third time; this will be Renner's first turn.

Gay rapper Ripparachie (real name: DeMarquis Oden) has made a viral video that slams Mitt Romney, according to the Huffington Post. In a statement to the Post, Ripparachie said, "Put simply, Romney will ruin the lives of gay people if elected. Our community is very upset that he does not support us and our constitutional right to pursue happiness via same-sex marriage."

Rihanna's newest CD, Unapologetic, will be out Nov. 19—but true fans can show their devotion by purchasing the limited-edition Diamonds Executive Platinum Box edition of the album, out Dec. 11. According to MTV.com, that edition will cost $250 and will include goodies such as a unisex shirt with a Michael Muller photo of Rihanna taken during her Unapologetic album shoots, phone and laptop stickers, vinyl remixes, a 2GB credit card-style USB flash drive and other items. A $79 edition (out Nov. 19) will have some of those previously mentioned items and a "conflict-free diamond bracelet."

Speaking of Rihanna, she actually has a reality-TV show—in England. However, despite rumors, the show (entitled Styled to Rock) has not yet been cancelled despite low ratings, according to Vogue UK. The singer produces the fashion-based show, which features guest appearances from musicians such as Cheryl Cole and Katy Perry.

Amy Winehouse's wedding dress was stolen from the late singer's former home in North London, according to a Rolling Stone item. Winehouse, who died in 2011, wore the dress when married ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil in 2007. The dress was among items slated to be sold at a fundraiser in New York next year.

Actress Evan Rachel Wood (The Wrestler; TV's True Blood) married Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell after seven years of on-and-off dating, MTV.com reported. Wood later tweeted, "Words cannot describe the happiness I am feeling. Overwhelming." Wood, who says she's bisexual, recently was criticized after joking on Twitter that Miley Cyrus could be "gay" because of her new hairstyle.

Carly Rae Jepsen (of the song "Call Me Maybe") and the group Owl City are the defendants in a lawsuit that Alabama-based singer Allyson Nichole Burnett filed, MTV.com reported. Burnett said that "Good Time"—a hit featuring Jepsen and Owl City—features her 2010 tune, "Ah, It's a Love Song."

Fox has put the action-drama movie Olympus in development, according to Deadline.com . The film, described as "Bourne by way of 300," is about a soldier-turned-spy who finds out he actually is descended from the Greek Gods and may be humanity's last hope. This is Fox's second drama with Greek-mythology themes; the first is Athena, about a 23-year-old woman who discovers she's the Greek goddess of wisdom and warfare.

Death Cab for Cutie lead singer Ben Gibbard has expressed his support for same-sex marriage. According to the Huffington Post, Gibbard and The Postal Service wrote a blog for The Daily Beast in which he discussed growing up with his younger sister, who is lesbian, while stressing his support for Referendum 74, Washington state's pro-marriage-equality initiative.

A judge has ruled that photojournalist Guy Hobbs—who claimed Elton John's song "Nikita" is a rip-off of a ballad he wrote for a Ukrainian waitress—cannot sue, according to Courthouse News Service. Hobbs sued John and his collaborator, Bernard Taupin, in April, claiming that John swiped the lyrics for the hit song "Nikita" from a song he wrote almost three decades ago. U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve noted that the two songs share a similar title and theme; however, she added "these themes are not protected under the Copyright Act because they are rudimentary, commonplace and standard."

Also in Sandy's wake, Bette Midler threw her yearly Halloween bash, "Hulaween," at the Waldorf Astoria, one of the few venues with electricity, the Daily Mail reported. The bash is held in honor of Midler's New York Restoration Project, which tries to create more green space in New York. Among the guests were actress Debra Messing, fashion designer/Project Runway judge Michael Kors and singer Debbie Harry.

Britney Spears scored a court victory in the case brought against her and her parents by former manager Sam Lufti, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Responding to a motion for dismissal, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bruguera said there wasn't enough evidence to continue with the trial. Lufti had sued Spears as well as parents Jamie and Lynne Spears for breach of contract, libel and defamation in connection with Lynne's memoir, Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World.

To celebrate Yoox.com's recent launch in China, the retailer has tapped Naomi Campbell and five major designers—3.1 Phillip Lim, Dolce & Gabbana, Masha Ma, Moschino and Qiu Hao—to create an exclusive line of graphic, unisex T-shirts, according to Fashionologie.com . Proceeds from the sale of each $35 shirt (available at Yoox.com ) will go to Fashion For Relief, Campbell's not-for-profit organization that supports humanitarian causes.

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch (who earned an Emmy nomination for his BBC role as Sherlock Holmes) will portray Brian Epstein—the gay "fifth Beatle"—in a biopic, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Epstein, who died in 1967, managed the Beatles—but was also a closeted gay man, and suffered from drug and gambling addictions. Cumberbatch will appear in a number of upcoming movies, ranging from Star Trek Into Darkness to the adaptation of August: Osage County, where he will play Meryl Streep's nephew.

Jodie Foster will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award for "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment" at the upcoming Golden Globes that will air Jan. 13, SheWired.com reported. Among other achievements, Foster has won two Best Actress Oscars (for The Accused and The Silence of the Lambs), and has directed films such as Home for the Holidays and Little Man Tate. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are co-hosting the Golden Globes.

Rosie O'Donnell tweeted photos of the damage Hurricane Sandy caused to her property, the Huffington Post reported. O'Donnell posted several pictures of a dock and flooded craft house torn to pieces by the Hudson river. However, she remained upbeat, posting, "All is well here by us—damage to the dock and flooded craft house—all fixable."

Roseanne Barr posted a series of tweets about transgender women that some viewed as discriminatory, according to MetroWeekly.com . When one Twitter user stated that Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein favors "letting men into spaces where young girls get changed," Barr (who says she's also running for president) replied, "If she has a penis, she is not allowed in" and, later, "transgender folks should have their own safe bathrooms-they should not be FORCED into bathrooms with young girls who hate them there." Barr later apologized for some of her "angry and offensive" reactions, but then added that the amount of "sexist words" directed at her by "quite a few transwomen" shocked her.

The Trevor Project will honor pop singer Katy Perry with the "Hero Award" at its gala Dec. 2 in Hollywood, according to SouthFloridaGayNews.com . According to a press release, the "Firework" singer will receive the award "for empowering youth and increasing visibility and understanding of the LGBTQ community." Perry reponded, "I'm honored that The Trevor Project has selected me to receive the Trevor Hero Award. Their work has inspired me since 2010, and I know they help save lives."

Hunky actor Sam Worthington was arrested in Atlanta after getting into a bar fight with a doorman, and had to be subdued with pepper spray, People.com reported. The star of Terminator Salvation, Clash of the Titans and Avatar was charged with disorderly conduct, but the charge was later dismissed in court. Worthington is filming Arnold Schwarzenegger's new film, Ten, in Atlanta.

Actress Heather Matarazzo has split with fiancee Caroline Murphy, US Weekly reported. In July 2011, the Welcome to the Dollhouse star and Murphy revealed they'd been engaged for three years. They had originally planned to wed two years earlier in California, but the passing of Prop 8 changed their plans.

Hurricane Sandy has pushed the opening of the Broadway revival of David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross from Nov. 11 to Dec. 8, according to Playbill.com . The producers also announced that the limited run will be extended through Jan. 20, 2013. Oscar winner Al Pacino heads the cast, with Bobby Cannavale and John C. McGinley among the other actors in the production.

Five-time Tony winner Angela Lansbury, 87, plans to return to the New York stage in fall 2013 in a revival of Enid Bagnold's The Chalk Garden, according to a Playbill.com item. Nominated for the 1956 Tony Award as Best Play, The Chalk Garden centers on wealthy and eccentric Mrs. St. Maugham, who is raising her spoiled teenaged granddaughter with the help of an ex-convict butler. Miss Madrigal, a mysterious new governess, shakes things up as she coaxes flowers in a barren garden to grow—and urges the granddaughter to bloom as well.

Lady Gaga recently talked to a British publication about her changing figure, according to the New York Daily News. The "You and I" singer, who was criticized for gaining weight, said, "Everybody was telling me about it, and I didn't really care. I thought, 'Well, I don't really care if they think I'm fat, because, quite honestly, I did gain about 30 pounds.'" She also mentioned singer Adele, saying, "Adele is bigger than me - how come nobody says anything about it? She's so wonderful and I think her confidence is something I have to match. She has set the bar very high for a lot of women."

Derek Hough may not perform on Dancing with the Stars' all-stars season again after aggravating a pre-existing neck injury Oct. 30, US Weekly noted. "I have a bulging disc on my vertebrae," he said as he iced his neck post-show. "I've had it for a couple years. I need surgery on it." A source said that Hough's injury "is really serious" and that fellow pro dancer Mark Ballas will likely "finish out the season for him."

Tyra Banks hosted her "Flawsome Ball" recently. Among the attendees were Clay Aiken, Gayle King, Rosario Dawson and Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix, while rapper Drake performed. Banks told reporters on the red carpet that the event is about embracing imperfections: "I got fake hair on, lashes, got my Spanx on, but I still have a big forehead and that's just going to be, so I celebrate that." She also recently announced that America's Next Top Model will allow men to also compete.

Sharon Osbourne revealed to Hello! magazine that she's had a double mastectomy as a precaution against breast cancer, according to a Newser.com item. Osbourne, 60, had the surgery after learning she had a gene that increased her chances of getting the disease. "I didn't want to live the rest of my life with that shadow hanging over me," said Osbourne, who survived colon cancer a decade ago. "The odds are not in my favor."

Starz has announced that the premiere date of Spartacus: War of the Damned will be Friday, Jan. 25 (at 9 p.m. ET), according to the Huffington Post. The final season of Spartacus—which stars Liam McIntyre as the title character—centers on the Roman empire after commander Gaius Claudius Glaber has been taken down, with Spartacus now the biggest threat to Rome.


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