Teresa Palmer Heads Online For A “Zen” Experience

WARM BODIES (Summit Entertainment, Jonathan Wenk) She may be a holding a gun in the following picture, but Warm Bodies actress Teresa Palmer is trying her best to live a zen lifestyle.

“I started a website called Your Zen Life, which is an online scrapbook for everything on health, wellness, spirituality and philanthropy,” says Palmer.  “We have contributors and experts from all over the world come and write for us.”  The site also features posts from celebrities but also from “anyone who wants to have a voice.”  The main quote on the site features Ghandi’s most well known quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Click on the media bar below to hear Teresa Palmer talk about a profound trip she took to Kenya, and some of that experience will be documented in a several minute clip.  She also talks about why she decided to make a video on Kenya:

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Warm Bodies, co-starring Nicholas Hoult as the zombie who falls in love with the girlfriend (Palmer) of a dude (Dave Franco) he just ate, opens February 1st.

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Posted by @GregSrisavasdi

‘American Idol’ Makeover Promising Thanks To Nicki Minaj

Ameircan Idol (FOX, Michael Becker)Although last night’s American Idol premiere was down 19% in the 18-49 category, as well as 19% in the total audience figures, the combustible chemistry between Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey made it near must-see TV.  Keith Urban’s laid back charm served as a social chaser for the near toxic exchanges between the two singers, and  Randy Jackson is gradually settling into the experienced, slightly mean judge role which Simon Cowell perfected.

Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler’s continued massaging of the contestants and refusals to dole out any harsh criticism was downright frustrating, so Minaj’s brutally frank advice to the wannabe singers is refreshing.  “I’ve been told ‘no’ a thousand times,” says Minaj.  “I think that some of the best critique that I’ve gotten was from a good place.  It might not have been ‘Yes, you’re great’ but it was from a good place.  When you tell someone something and they feel that it’s from a good place, they receive it more.  They may not like it, but one day they will think ‘You know, she was right.'”

Click on the media bar to hear Minaj explain how she started her prodigious rap career, a venture that came out from her early frustrations as a fledgling actress:

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So what was your performance last night on American Idol?  Tell us what you think!!  Mine, by a mile, was New Jersey girl (and blueberry farm worker) Sarah Restuccio, a country singer who performed the Carrie Underwood track “Mama’s Song” and impressed Minaj with her rendition of “Super Bass.”  It was a stunning performance from Restuccio, and as Keith Urban remarked, “It’s like an iPod shuffle, you never know what’s happening.”

Another American Idol installment airs tonight on FOX (8 pm et/pt).

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Posted by @GregSrisavasdi

Arnold Schwarzenegger Makes His ‘Last Stand’ In The Cornfield

The Last Stand (LionsGate/Merrick Morton)

Is Arnold Schwarzenegger still a huge box office draw, or does he need a whole team of The Expendables to back him up?  That’s one of my questions heading into this weekend with The Last Stand, and although he gets supporting work from Jackass star Johnny Knoxville, it’s basically Schwarzenegger’s show.  The actor plays a sheriff whose plans of settling down in a somewhat sleepy border town is ruined after he finds himself fighting a drug kingpin (Eduardo Noriega).

Schwarzenegger’s favorite sequence in the film is a thrilling car chase through the cornfield.  Click on the media bar and listen to the actor talk about shooting the scene.

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The Last Stand, directed by South Korean filmmaker Kim Jee-Woon, opens Friday.

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Posted by @GregSrisavasdi

Brian De Palma & Al Pacino Team Up To Tackle Joe Paterno Biopic

Brian De Palma

Al Pacino was originally slated to star in Snake Eyes (that role went to Gary Sinise), and it would have served as a reunion with Brian De Palma, the director behind two of Pacino’s most popular films (Scarface and Carlito’s Way).  Their electric pairing will hopefully come to fruition once again with Happy Valley, a biopic of late Penn State coach Joe Paterno.  Dave McKenna, the writer behind American History X, is close to a deal to pen a screen adaptation of Joe Posnanski’s book Paterno.

De Palma, who directed Noomi Rapace and Rachel McAdams in the yet to be released thriller Passion, is an uncompromising director known for his baroque yet highly arresting visual flair.  Unfortunately lumped for years as an Alfred Hitchcock copycat, Mr. De Palma has carried a lifelong fascination with the beguiling and complex nature of identity.  Whether it’s exploring the psychological and dreamlike terrain mined in Sisters, Raising Cain, and Femme Fatale, or delving into one’s moral compass (Casualties of War, The Untouchables, Snake Eyes), the filmmaker should be able to turn Happy Valley into more than just a bland, studio driven biopic.

I’m also looking forward to the stylized vision De Palma will bring to Happy Valley, and I recently pulled an old interview I did with him for Femme Fatale to reminisce on the rather frank (and abrupt) chat he had with journalists. During the interview, he talked about why he’s always prepared when he arrives on set.

“Absolutely I know what I’m going to do before I get there,” said De Palma.  “I haunt those locations, I photograph them.  I make digital  and architectural models and (use) computer programs.  I’m obsessed with locations and staging things at them and I’m greatly bored with most of the movies I see because it looks like nobody’s even thought about it for two seconds.”

Also from the Femme Fatale interview, De Palma talks about why answering all the questions posed in a screenplay isn’t the right way to go if one puts any importance on visual design:

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Posted by @GregSrisavasdi

Kristen Kish & Sheldon Simeon Battle On Top Chef’s Restaurant Wars

kish11

Restaurant Wars concludes on tonight’s Top Chef, as Kristen Kish goes head to head with Sheldon Simeon as they try to wow the judges with their very own pop-up concept.

Kish’s culinary skills has garnered her $45,000 this season in Seattle, and she’s easily one of the favorites to win it all.  Unfortunately, Kish has Josie Smith-Malave on her team, and Malave’s horrific time management skills has not endeared her to the judges (her irascible nature has also led to tension among the chefs, most notably eliminated chef Micah Fields).

Will Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio and the rest of the Top Chef crew unpredictably send Kish after Malave screws up the whole operation, or will Malave, after weeks of inconsistent cuisine, pack her knives and go?  Although I’m pulling for Kish to win it all, I wouldn’t be surprised if Malave ends up being her Achilles heel.

A new episode of Top Chef airs tonight on Bravo (10 pm et/pt).

The video below was taken during our interview with Padma Lakshmi.  In the clip, she explains how her modeling years had a huge influence in shaping her culinary palette:


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Posted by @GregSrisavasdi