The Last Word: Beyonce’s Banned, America’s Woman Of the Year, R. Kelly’s Touring, and Vin Diesel’s Fast and Furious…again

What it look like, everyone? Once again it’s that time to shake off the drama from the week and commence with the fun and rest of the weekend. From North Korea vowing to dismantle its nuclear weapons by the end of the year to Marion Jones finally admitting to using steroids two years before the 2000 Olympic games to Britney Spears losing her kids to K-Fed, things were talkative.Shout out to Oprah Winfrey for topping the Forbes list of the 20 richest celebrities on television and America’s Next Top Model winner Jaslene Gonzalez, who became the new spokeswoman for Liz Claiborne’s “Love is Not Abuse” campaign. And oh yeah, the sounding boards for the much-appreciated feedback.And now…the Last Word for the week ending Oct. 5, 2007 1. Jackie Chan Not Impressed By Rush Hour Films The Rush Hour films may provide a bunch of laughs for moviegoers, but they don’t do much for one half of the film’s successful pair.  According to the Associated Press, Jackie Chan had less than high hopes for the first Rush Hour, which he made in 1988 to test the U.S. market. “When we finished filming, I felt very disappointed because it was a movie I didn’t appreciate, and I did not like the action scenes involved,” the action star revealed in a blog entry on his Web site seen Sunday (Sept. 30). “I felt the style of action was too Americanized and I didn’t understand the American humor.” As for Rush Hour 2, Chan said he made the sequel because he was offered an “irresistible” amount of money to do it. Rush Hour 3, according to the actor, was done to appease fans of the first two movies. I guess Jackie can afford to criticize the Rush Hour films AFTER he’s made so much money from them. Must be nice to not have to worry about a lack of funds once you bite the hand that feeds you. So I guess that Rush Hour 4 won’t be coming after all.  2. Malaysian Muslims Shut Down Beyonce Concert Aside from being a multi-platinum vocalist and sporting a blond mane, Beyonce may not share much in common with Gwen Stefani. However, the former Destiny’s Child singer is sharing the same response Stefani got months ago, as protests from Muslim groups have resulted in a cancelled  Beyonce concert in Kuala Lumpar.  Billboard.com reports that industry sources cite Beyonce’s refusal to follow the country’s strict dress code for performers as the reason behind the cancellation. A statement issued by the concert’s promoter, Pineapple Concerts, announced the cancellation without giving a reason.  According to the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage’s rules, performers must not hug or kiss audience members or fellow artists, jump or shout, throw objects onstage or at the audience and no foul language. In addition, clothes cannot have obscene or drug-related images or messages, and female performers must show no skin from the tops of their chests to their knees.  The Kuala Lumpar show, which was scheduled for Nov. 1, would have been Beyonce’s debut Malaysian performance. The uproar mirrors similar opposition experienced by Stefani, who bowed to pressure from the National Union of Malaysian Muslim Students and ended up performing while wearing jackets over her tops and leotards underneath her skirts and dresses. I’m all for following the law, but just this once I’d have to bend the rules. Can you imagine going to a Beyonce show and seeing her fully covered up and not being able to bring her sexy live and direct? So if you’re in Malaysia and you’re reading this, please start a movement to get them to reconsider. You just can’t get the full Beyonce experience without taking in the sexiness.  3. Jamie Foxx: “President Bush Lacks Charisma” Whether he’s expressing his opinions about Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick or reminiscing over his late grandmother’s influence, Jamie Foxx lets you know what’s on his mind.  And he continued that trend, as he weighed in on the U.S. involvement in Iraq while promoting his latest film The Kingdom. In an interview with MSNBC, Foxx revealed that he doesn’t see a quick end for the Iraq war.  “It’s not the way America has handled the war, it’s the way George Bush has handled it,” said the Oscar winner, who noted that President Bush’s big problem is that he lacks charisma. “I think George Bush and the guys that are there just don’t have the charisma to pull off the things that they’re trying to do. I can understand if you want to go to war, but how do you go to war? They go to war in a high-risk, high-return or high-risk, no-return situation. You’ll be in Iraq for another 30 years. You can’t get out.”  Charisma is one thing, knowing when to say when is another. Put them together and W. could slightly improve his image among people. Still it would be a long way to go. A very long way.  4. Shakira Makes $45 Million Charity Donation Life is more than truthful hips and a successful music career for Shakira. TMZ.com reports that the Colombian songbird recently announced that she was donating $45 million to charity.  $40 million will go to Nicaragua and Peru to address recent natural disasters there, while an additional $5 million will go to educational projects benefitting children across Latin America. The donation is the latest act of goodwill for Shakira, who also serves as the co-founder of the Latin America for Solidarity Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping impoverished children across Latin America. Underneath her clothes…there’s a woman with a good heart. 5. Vin Diesel Returns to the Fast Lane Years after making a name for himself in 2001’s The Fast and the Furious, Vin Diesel is gearing up to take another ride.  The Hollywood Reporter is stating that the actor is reuniting with his original co-star Paul Walker in the newest chapter of the Universal Pictures film series. As it stands now, the plot for the feature is being kept top secret.  Diesel’s return should come as welcomed news for Fast and Furious fans, who helped the first film gross more than $144 million. Since then, two Fast and Furious films have been released. Although he has refused to do any sequels to the series, Diesel did make a cameo at the end of the third film, 2005’s Tokyo Drift.  So begs the question – after three films, has The Fast and the Furious run out of gas or will Diesel give it a much needed refueling? 6. R. Kelly Hits the Road Instead of the Courthouse As he waits for a date to come down to officially start his child pornography trial, R. Kelly has decided to make good use of his time by, what else, going out on tour.  MTV.com reports that the singer is hitting the road with Keyshia Cole, J. Holiday, and Ne-Yo for a 37-date national tour. The outing, which kicks off Nov. 17 in Columbus, GA, will make stops in numerous cities before wrapping up Jan. 12 in Hampton, VA. According to Kelly’s representative, the singer had to make other plans after it was determined that the trial would not happen “anytime soon.” The only thing standing in Kelly’s way is the court, which he has to notify concerning his plans to tour. As of Wednesday (Oct. 3), the crooner has not yet sought permission to go on tour from November through January, the Illinois attorney’s office told MTV News.  Despite this, Kelly’s representative said that if permission had not yet been sought, it soon will be: “He knows what the rules are.”  I’m glad Kells knows what the rules are. Now can the court follow the rules and put this man on trial? Otherwise we might as well contribute to his defense fund while getting our bump and grind on and stepping in the name of “love.”  7. America Ferrera is the Hispanic Woman of the Year Ugly Betty is definitely doing beautiful things for America Ferrera, who follows her Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild wins with honors from the Hollywood Reporter and BillboardThe Associated Press reports that the publications announced Thursday (Oct. 4) that the 23-year-old actress was named Hispanic Woman of the Year and will be recognized with the 25 most powerful Hispanic women in film, television and music at their inaugural Hispanic Women in Entertainment breakfast at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Tuesday (Oct. 9). In a statement issued by publisher John Kilcullen, Ferrera is labeled as “a leader for all women, but especially those in the Hispanic community,” who is “dedicated to advancing the position of Hispanics in television and film.” 8. Quincy Jones Becomes NEA Jazz Master Congratulations are in order for music icon Quincy Jones, who was one of six musicians named as National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters for 2008.  Jones was officially recognized Tuesday (Oct. 2) as the 2008 Jazz Masters were announced during a ceremony hosted by NEA Chairman Dana Gioia at the Jazz at Lincoln Center. The organization described Jones as being “a renaissance man of music,” as it honored him in the bandleader category. Although he was unable to attend the ceremony, Gioia told the Associated Press that Jones will accept his plaque at a special awards concert during the annual International Association for Jazz Education conference in January in Toronto. 9. Tyrese in the Running for Green Lantern Role As Warner Bros. searches for a worthy group of actors for its highly-anticipated Justice League of America film, there are rumblings that the studio may be considering Tyrese Gibson for the role of Green Lantern.  Mania Movies reports that the singer/actor/rapper is in the running to play the hero, who also goes by the name of John Stewart. For the non-fanboys, Green Lantern is a superhero who possesses a “power ring” that gives the user great control over the physical world as long as the wielder has sufficient willpower and strength to wield it. The Green Lantern consideration isn’t the first time Gibson’s name has been mentioned in reference to playing a comic book character on the big screen. His name has been attached to play the lead in John Singleton’s film version of Marvel Comic’s Luke Cage character.  As it stands now, Warner Bros. is not confirming any individual casting choices. Instead, the studio is waiting until a full cast has signed on the dotted line before saying anything. One person who won’t be involved in the film is Jessica Biel, who recently turned down the chance to play Wonder Woman. The other big name reported for the film is Ryan Reynolds, who is considered a favorite to play the Flash.  And with that in mind, who do you think will make a good Green Lantern? Although I think Tyrese would be a good fit, I think Jamie Foxx and Derek Luke from Antoine Fisher could also bring it as well. Feel free to offer any suggestions.

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