Thursday, February 12, 2009

Michelle Obama Makes Vogue Cover - BBC NEWS


It is only the second time an American First Lady has taken the place of a model on a Vogue cover - the other was Hillary Clinton in 1998.

BBC NEWS | Americas | Michelle Obama makes Vogue cover: "'We want entertaining in the White House to feel like America, that we are reminded of all the many facets of our culture. The Latino community, the Asian-American community, the African-American community... hip-hop, spoken word - we want to bring the youth in, for them to hear their voices in this,' she said."

Losing Jett -

Losing Jett - Death, Personal Tragedy, Individual Class, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, :

A moving article by People Magazine.
"Jett looked at John as if he was the sun and the moon," says McDermott. "And John reciprocated." [...]

"When Ella would go shopping she would always say, 'Let's get this for Jett—he loves kites,'" recalls Ossi. [...] Now his grieving parents are struggling to make sense of losing the son they loved so fiercely. "Ella is trying to keep her mom and dad up," says Ossi. "She is giving them lots of hugs and kisses and being there for them as a friend and as a daughter."
The magazine had now time to do proper researches, and depicts quite adequately Scientology's position in the matter:
"Sources close to the Travolta family say Jett received top-notch medical care and that any suggestion to the contrary—including the notion that the couple's Scientology beliefs would prevent them from pursuing conventional medical treatment for Jett—is false." [...]

"... Tommy Davis, a spokesman for the Church of Scientology International (above, the church's Celebrity Centre in Hollywood). "Autism is a medical condition. We've never said the church doesn't recognize it." Nor does Scientology prohibit the treatment of seizures. "
It was already obvious that Jett suffered some form of neurological disorder, and actress Anne Archer (actually the mother of the above-named Tommy Davis) confirms this:
"I observed that he was significantly mentally handicapped"
The article also confirms that apparently nobody ever heard Jett speak:
"the young man who often smiled but was never heard speaking; " [...]

"Jett, who never spoke or interacted with the other kids" [....]

"John was the one who put the shoes on his feet and would ask him, 'How do these feel, buddy?'" recalls an employee. "Jett was smiling really big."
This, of course, makes suspicions that he suffered from autism stronger. However, as a reminder, even if this was the case (and such a diagnostic cannot be made easily), it would have changed nothing, since there is no cure for it, and the main danger, that of seizures, was fully taken into account - even though, tragically, they had the better on Jett eventually.

Hollywood's Most Valuable Actors -

Hollywood's Most Valuable Actors -

Forbes ventures in a new field, with a ranking they have never done before - that of the most bankable actor. The ranks were determined by statistics and also through interviews with members of the entertainment industry.

The top 10:

1 Will Smith 10.00
2 Johnny Depp 9.89
2 Leonardo DiCaprio 9.89
2 Angelina Jolie 9.89
2 Brad Pitt 9.89
6 Tom Hanks 9.87
7 George Clooney 9.81
8 Denzel Washington 9.76
9 Matt Damon 9.69
10 Jack Nicholson 9.68

Through a compound of different criteria, Esquire still found Cruise to be the most bankable star in Jun. 2008, , though he is not in the top ten of the Forbes ranking.

Tom Cruise, however, is still on the number 13 spot (out of 1,400 actors) of Forbes, with a score of 9.60 - which shows the fragility of such a ranking, where the the distances between ranks are really tight.

Take into account that the survey was conducted from Sep. 3, 2008 through Nov. 16, 2008 - in other words, before the release of Valkyrie.

I am quite confident that in a survey conducted now, Cruise would easily overtake people like Clooney, Denzel Washintong, and Matt Damon, if not raise considerably higher.

Valkyrie made $82 million (and counting) on the domestic market, whereas the latest film of Will Smith, Seven Pounds, only made $69 million. And what about Adam Sandler? That stunning guy is only nr 12, whereas his latest film (released after the survey too), Bedtime Stories, made $108 million!

One also has to take into account that, in spite of the difficult position Cruise found himself, he still tackled with a controversial movie, taking considerable risks, which is all to his credit. If Forbes had added an integrity factor in the mix, there is no doubt Cruise would have come up as number one again.

You can search the name of other actors here.

Follows my personal comments - you can skip this part if you want :-)
  • Scientology rumors, and him using Scientology tech in his schools, has not prevented Smith from gaining a perfect 10/10 score
  • Many of the top 20 actors participated in Ocean's Eleven and benefited from the high scores the film made. This is cheating a bit as they just surf on the wave of Bratt Pitt and Julia Roberts. I did not see Ocean's Eleven but I saw Ocean's Twelve, which, for me, was frankly superficial and bad. I hated it, and skipped Ocean's 13 altogether on that basis.
  • Johnny Depp has indeed created a stunning character in Pirates of the Caribbeans, but apart from that nothing outstanding really comes to mind. He was average in the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, frankly boring in Finding Neverland, but good in Once Upon a Time in Mexico, though the show on this one has been stolen by an outstanding performance of Antonio Banderas (now only 127th on Forbes, with a score of 6.66!)
  • Yes, Leonardo DiCaprio had a super hit with the Titanic, but, frankly, he's not looking as sexy anymore, IMO. I saw him in Blood Diamonds - still a great actor but nothing worth a second place, still IMHO
  • Angelina Jolie - of course fabulous in Tomb Raider, but overall I have to question her choice of scripts. I can't name another film I really liked from her, apart maybe Original Sin. She was just good in Wanted and frankly boring in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Nevertheless, she's a truly stunning woman - both for her look and her personality, and fully deserves to be at the top. Besides, she is the only woman in the top ten! Is this normal or what? Where is Julie Andrews now? Number 729 with a score of 3.02!
  • Bratt Pitt - same remark as for Angelina. Troy was good, Ocean's Twelve and Mr. & Mrs. Smith terrible.
  • Tom Hanks - I need to see more movie from this guy. I only saw Lady Killers and the Da Vinci Code. The later was good. I never got around to watch Forest Gump (a shame). And, BTW, where is Travolta now? Number 31, with a score of 8.47. Still passes...