★ Rhode Island filmed “Body of Proof” earns high ratings in its first run.
★ Burlington, MA’s Amy Poehler to speak at this year’s Harvard graduation.
★ Bridget Moynihan talks about her past relationship with New England Patriot Tom Brady.
★ Boston-born Mario Cantone joins cast of new NBC show.
★ Kate Middleton is a distant cousin of Ellen DeGeneres, as uncovered by the New England Historical Genealogical Society.
Remember life without Facebook? Me either. But there was a time, not too long ago actually, that The Facebook was just an idea turning in the cogs of Mark Zuckerberg’s brilliant mind. In 2004, the Harvard student turned his pet project into the largest social network in the world thanks to two other students and a little financial help from his friend Eduardo Saverin. It quickly spread through the dorms of Harvard, extending its cyber fingertips to Stanford and other elite schools, until anyone in the world could join in updating statuses, upload pictures, and checking in on old friends of yesteryear.
The Social Network stars Jessie Eisenberg (Zombieland, The Education of Charlie Parker), who looks perfectly the part of Ivy league braniac Mark Zuckerberg, and Justin Timberlake smooth talks his way to the top as Sean Parker. Parker, who co-founded Napster in 1999, went on to become President of Facebook. Disney’s Brenda Song (“The Suite Life of Zack and Cody”) also co-stars.
So, a movie about a website? That sounds a little risky, but The Social Network takes us through the dark biography from the beginnings of TheFacebook.com to its global explosion with plenty of lies, betrayals and a love story or two along the way that could satiate anyone’s newsfeed hunger. Based on Ben Mezrich’s 2009 best-seller The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal, most of the movie was filmed in Cambridge. Although there were no scenes shot on Harvard’s Campus, Wheelock College, John’s Hopkins University, and Phillips Academy in Andover, MA doubled as Harvard yard.
The film looks like it will offer plenty of drama, and even though it is far from a documentary about the founding of the world’s most popular website, it should be interesting to see how a student’s part-time hobby turned into an integral part of almost every students’ lives. That, and the sepulchral version of Radiohead’s “Creep” during the trailer makes it look way to juicy to pass up. Catch it in theaters this fall.
A slew of Massachusetts-filmed movies began hitting theaters in February and continue to roll out this summer. Furry Vengeance hit theaters last Friday coming in at number five in the box office. The kid flick chronicles a standoff between titan real estate developer Brendan Frasier and some cute and not-so-cuddly woodland critters fighting to keep their habitats preserved. Furry Vengeance also stars Brooke Shields. The Lightkeepers, starring Richard Dreyfuss, opened in March. Set in early 20th century Cape Cod, Dreyfuss plays a reclusive lighthouse keeper who has sworn off women.
Summer blockbusters Grown Ups and Knight and Day are both due out June 25th, but that’s not the only thing they have in common. Both were filmed in Massachusetts, but that’s about where the similarities end. Grown Ups features a star-studded cast headed by Adam Sandler, Salma Hayek, Steve Buscemi, Chris Rock, Kevin James, Rob Schneider, David Spade, Maya Rudolph, and Tim Meadows (whew!). The group reunites as adults after their high school basketball coach dies and inevitably hilarity ensues. Knight and Day pairs up Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz on an action-adventure with a tinge of comedy. The two play a globetrotting fugitive couple on the run who realize nothing is what it appears to be, even each other.
The Social Network (Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake) and the The Town (Ben Affleck and Blake Lively) are due out this fall. Every college kid will identify with The Social Network with its history and evolution of ex-Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg’s creation of Facebook (which has its roots in Cambridge). In The Town, Ben Affleck is a bank robber who’s feelings for a bank manager get in the way of his next heist.
Set to come out in 2010 with no official release dates are The Company Men and The Fighter. Ben Affleck is having a busy year, also starring in The Company Men along side Kevin Costner and Tommy Lee Jones which premiered earlier this year. The Fighter (Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg, and Amy Adams) takes a look at boxer “Irish” Mickey Ward’s early career in the 1980s. Local actress Erica McDermott also makes an appearance.
It seems like no matter where you look this year, there’s a good chance you’ll see Massachusetts in many shots on the big screen!
★ Celebrity connections, HEC exclusive: Spotted on Saturday, February 13, Harvard Alum Natalie Portman presented a reading on love as a guest at the wedding of two Harvard Med School grads. The ceremony was held at the Memorial Chapel at Harvard Yard, and the actress wore a red and black designer dress.
★ Who could be meaner than Simon? Boston U grad, Howard Stern in talks to guest judge on “American Idol”.
★ Batman in Beantown: Val Kilmer speaks at the Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston.
★ 5 people injured at the North Attleborough mall during a visit by the Disney Channel’s Selena Gomez.
For someone who first made his name as the leader of a ‘boy band’, singer/actor Justin Timberlake can finally call himself a man, with receipt of this year’s Hasty Pudding Man of the Year Award on February 5th. Friday’s celebrations through the Harvard Square area included the traditional roast, but not before the Hasty Pudding Parade, including men in drag. Timberlake, who is no stranger to donning women’s clothing himself (the 2-time Emmy winner for his work on “Saturday Night Live” has appeared on the show in a Beyonce-type leotard, and also presented at the 2008 ESPY Awards in a blonde wig) appeared in a blonde curly wig to receive his pudding pot. Watch a portion of the roast here:
The crowd that assembled to see the talented music-maker also included his on-again-off-again girlfriend, actress Jessica Biel. Timberlake, who recently starred in the partially locally shot movie, The Social Network, took his jabs in stride, including more than a few references to his infamous past love, Britney Spears. Though he filmed most of his scenes in LA or Vancouver, much of the movie was shot in and around Cambridge and Boston, tracing the story of the founders of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and Sean Parker, who are Harvard alums.
Just last week, the 60th Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year (WOY), actress Anne Hathaway, cruised down the streets of Cambridge with Harvard’s most gorgeous drag queens in the annual WOY Parade. The procession inched down Massachusetts Avenue and turned onto Holyoke Street, stopping at the New College Theatre where Hathaway was roasted by the Pudding cast. Watch our video coverage of the diva’s celebratory drive here:
Justin Timberlake–the 2010 Hasty Pudding Man of the Year–will visit Cambridge tomorrow to receive his pudding pot and celebrate with the Pudding cast. Stay tuned for our video coverage of Justin!
The regular run of the Hasty Pudding Show–Commie Dearest–will start this Saturday, February 6 at 4pm. Be sure to catch the performance before the show hits the road on March 6.
★ Matt Damon appears on the “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon.
★ Anne Hathaway is honored as Woman of the Year in Harvard’s annual Hasty Pudding celebration.
★ Celebrity chef Todd English appears in court regarding assault charges brought against his ex-fiance.
★ The Globe talks to Golden Globe winning creator of “Glee” and Newton native, John Falchuk.
★ Former “American Idol” contestant Ayla Brown sings at her father, Scott Brown’s acceptance speech. Meanwhile, “The Daily Show” and “30 Rock” provide glaring commentary on the Massachusetts special election.
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