Mar 12, 2007

Pulitzer finalists leaked? Salma Hayek pregnant and engaged? Plus: The word on this week's movies.

Another Brady baby? A few weeks ago, NFL star Tom Brady got a surprise from ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan when she went public with the news that she's pregnant and the baby is his. Now he might be a daddy two times over: A Brazilian gossip site is reporting that Gisele Bündchen may also be carrying Brady's baby, now more than two months along. Brady started seeing Bündchen not long after splitting with Moynahan, whom he'd been with for almost three years. (Deadspin, Hollywood.com, Glamurama.com.br, Boston.com)

Leaked Pulitzer finalists: This year's Pulitzer juries spent three days at Columbia University this week making their votes for finalists, but as Editor & Publisher reports, their selections were leaked almost as soon as the voting ended. The true finalists won't be announced until April, but E&P has compiled its list of best guesses based on the leaks here. (Editor & Publisher)

White noise ... After rumors surfaced this week that this year's Van Halen concert tour was called off because of guitarist Eddie Van Halen's alcohol problems, the musician entered rehab on Thursday, telling fans, "At the moment I do not feel that I can give you my best. That's why I have decided to enter a rehabilitation facility to work on myself." (People) ... Salma HayekSalma Hayek (right) is reportedly pregnant and engaged -- the father and future husband is French businessman François-Henri Pinault. (Perez Hilton) ... "Prison Break" actor Lane Garrison was charged Thursday with felony vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence in Los Angeles for a crash in December that killed a 17-year-old who was riding with him. (E Online) ... Suge Knight, head of rap label Death Row Records -- once home to Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre -- has announced that he's planning to shut down the company, saying, "We shouldn't be constantly feeding negative energy to these kids. You can get rich with the devil's money, but you can only be happy with God's money." (Page Six) ... Kate Winslet has accepted a "substantial" settlement in her libel case against the British magazine Grazia for a story that alleged she was seeing a doctor for weight-loss treatment. (BBC News)

Talker

Is your blogger on the take? According to the Los Angeles Times, "Thousands of bloggers are writing sponsored posts touting such diverse topics as diamonds, digital cameras and drug clinics. The bloggers are spurred by new marketing middlemen such as PayPerPost Inc. that connect advertisers with mom-and-pop webmasters." Our favorite example in the story is one Derek Cisler, 32, a "corporate trainer" in Missouri, who "often weighs in on NASCAR and his beloved Green Bay Packers at" his blog, Original FB42's Ramblings. He's not paid for that. But when he "copped to an old 'Days of Our Lives' habit, confessing that he 'got sucked in during the Marlena-possessed-by-the-Devil days,'" the Times reports, "a soap opera website paid him for that mention." The ethics of blogging for dollars is a pretty contentious one, with blog entrepreneur Jason McCabe Calacanis (co-founder of Weblogs Inc.) saying, "PayPerPost versus authentic blogging is like comparing prostitution with making love to someone you care for deeply. No one with any level of ethics would get involved with these clowns." The Federal Trade Commission has cautioned that bloggers also must disclose these connections. But Tim Draper, a PayPerPost stakeholder, defends the practice, comparing it with product placement in movies. "You put an ad inside the text and it's more of a subtle way of advertising," Draper says. "It doesn't take away from the blogger." (Los Angeles Times)

Buzz Index

Judgment

The host with the most: It's been a long while since there was this much excitement over a monster movie. South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho's "The Host" arrives today already drenched in praise. As we noted earlier this week, the New Yorker's Anthony Lane hailed the film as "a thing of beauty, yet that is what it is: a perfect mixture of the silly and the grave." Salon critic Andrew O'Hehir says it's "the most satisfying monster movie in many years," and calls it "a vivid, anarchic picture that's high on old-fashioned thrills." Manohla Dargis at the New York Times likens it, in a strange way, to "another recent horror film, the one in which a newly thawed alien with a giant brain delivers apocalyptic warnings to humanity about its imminent future. I'm talking of course about the documentary 'An Inconvenient Truth' ... 'The Host' is a cautionary environmental tale about the domination of nature and the costs of human folly, and it may send chills up your spine."

Many against "300": This weekend's other big opening, "300," is likely to rack up sizable numbers at the box office, but don't count on it to have staying power. As Salon's Stephanie Zacharek writes, the movie, "even with its impressive vistas of computer-generated soldiers, is just a throwaway epic." Times critic A.O. Scott spares the bloody blockbuster even less: "'300' is about as violent as 'Apocalypto' and twice as stupid." And Dana Stevens at Slate condemns the movie outright: "If '300' ... had been made in Germany in the mid-1930s, it would be studied today alongside 'The Eternal Jew' as a textbook example of how race-baiting fantasy and nationalist myth can serve as an incitement to total war."[source]


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