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Celebrities to Keep an Eye on

Every year is an exciting one within the Entertainment world. Figuring out who you should be watching and keeping track of can be difficult. Here are some of the most exciting celebrities to keep your eye on in 2013.

Jennifer Aniston

Even if you’re “Team Jolie” Anniston is someone to keep an eye on. There are few actresses who can pull of smart, edgy and be the charming girl next door type all at the same time. Anniston is one of them. Over the last few years she’s gone from supporting actress to lead actress and has since added the titles of Director and Producer to her resume. She was given a star on the Walk of Fame in 2012 and has a number of projects in the queue for 2013. Maybe this year she’ll find her “Blind Side.”

Ed Sheeran

He may only be 22, but Ed Sheeran is definitely making a name for himself in the music scene. He started out as an independent musician playing gigs almost every day until his indie album caught the attention Asylum/Atlantic Records. Now he’s signed with the label and was named The British Breakthrough Artist of the Year in 2012. He’s a great inspiration for people in the indie scene who have dreams of going mainstream.

Kim Kardashian

Yes, we know that she’s Kanye’s Baby Mama but we’re hoping that beyond watching her adjust to new motherhood 2013 will be the year we finally figure out why, exactly, she’s famous.

Louis CK

His sitcom has been wildly successful for several seasons; he’s won Emmys and has one of the most successful comedy specials of all time (thanks to his selling it independently). With his sitcom, Louie, on hiatus this season nobody is quite sure what he has up his sleeve for 2013 but we’re willing to bet that it is going to be phenomenal.

Katie Holmes

She’s finally free of Tom Cruise and hopefully that means she can start taking on film and television projects again. We’re hoping that her career really takes off now that the two have split. It happened for Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz and Mimi Rogers (all former or near-former Mrs. Cruises), there’s no reason to believe it won’t happen for the most memorable cast member of Dawson’s Creek. We can’t wait to see what projects she takes on this year!

Justin Timberlake

The mega pop-star took his turn in a Clint Eastwood vehicle in 2012 and has more in store for 2013. In addition to the traditional entertainment projects, Timberlake is also spearheading the MySpace revival effort. The site is due to reopen hopefully soon and if Timberlake can bring it back to life he’ll be able to add “Internet Mogul” to his resume which will make him a…quadruple threat? We’ve lost track of how many threats he is.

Justin Bieber

Isn’t every year a year to keep an eye on Justin Bieber?

2013 is certainly going to be an interesting year—not just for these celebrities but for those of us who are keeping track of them!

You can follow us on Twitter @moviebuffs and on Facebook as well.

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Hidden Netflix Gems – The Extra Man

Hidden Netflix Gems is a new feature designed to help readers answer that burning question, “What should I watch tonight?” It will be updated every Saturday before the sun goes down.

The Extra Man is a rather unconventional film about a pair of very unconventional characters. Louis Ives (Paul Dano) is a young aspiring playwright who moves to New York City after an embarrassing incident that forces him to quit his job. He meets and moves in with Henry Harrison (Kevin Kline), a former professor and playwright who now works as an “extra man,” which he stresses is not the same as a gigolo, or even a male escort; first of all, he doesn’t receive money for his services, and secondly, he doesn’t engage in anything sexual with the wealthy older women who hire him. Instead, he says, he brings a certain air of respectability and class to his engagements, in exchange for gifts and fine meals. In the meantime, he lives the sort of penniless existence that occasionally requires him to paint his ankles and calves with shoe polish in order to disguise the fact that he has forgotten to buy socks, which he says may have the added benefit of killing some of the fleas that inhabit him.

Louis is duly fascinated by Henry’s eccentric, acerbic ways, and Kline delivers one of the best performances of his career, mining big laughs from lines like, “I’m against the education of women. It dulls their senses and effects their performance in the boudoir.” He also rails against such practices as recycling and charity to the homeless, which makes an interesting contrast to Louis’ newfound job at an environmental magazine, where he develops a crush on his vegan, uber-green co-worker, Mary Powell (Katie Holmes). Louis is also fascinated by Henry’s mysterious, bearded neighbor, Gershon Gruen (John C. Reilly), who can be heard through the vents each morning singing beautifully as he showers. Louis is hiding his own eccentricity from his new friends, and without giving away too much about the course this particular character development takes, I will say it is perhaps the most sensitive, realistic exploration of heterosexual cross-dressing since Tim Burton’s Ed Wood.

Co-directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, adapting a novel by Bored to Death scribe Jonathan Ames, clearly share Louis’ attraction to cranky oddballs such as Henry, as evidenced in their excellent first feature, American Splendor. Henry has much in common with that film’s protagonist, Harvey Pekar (Paul Giamatti), though there is a misplaced sense of class superiority in Henry that Harvey would undoubtedly abhor. Still, as mean-spirited and narrow-minded as Henry often seems to be, it is difficult as an audience member not to share in this fascination; as Louis says at one point, “You have a strange power over people, Henry,” to which Henry replies, “It’s my constant disapproval. People think it fatherly.” He might not be someone most of us would actually want to live with, but Henry is a wonderful cinematic creation, and probably Kline’s funniest role since A Fish Called Wanda. Though The Extra Man has much else to recommend it, it is this central character that buoys the film, and brings added life to all around him.

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A chat with Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, directors of “The Extra Man”

Shari Springer Berman and Robert PulciniThe recent death of autobiographical comics writer Harvey Pekar at age 70 was a more bitter than sweet reminder of one of the first really great films of our young millennium. Released in 2003 and written and directed by the husband and wife team of Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, “American Splendor” dared to place actors Paul Giamatti, Hope Davis, and Judah Friedlander — portraying Pekar, wife Joyce Brabner, and their ultra-nerd friend, Toby Radloff — alongside the real Pekar, Brabner, and Radloff, seamlessly combining traditional fiction, documentary film, and some charmingly minimalist comic book-style animation to make easily the most inventive and rewarding comics-to-film translation so far. (Yes, I think it’s better than “The Dark Knight.”)

What made it even more impressive was that this was the first fiction film by its makers. Prior to “American Splendor,” Berman and Pulcini were the documentararians behind a pair of films focusing on film and show-business landmarks. They chronicled the death of a venerable, movie-star-beloved Beverly Hills restaurant in “Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen’s” and the rebirth of the ultimate movieland cemetery into the world’s hippest burial plot in “The Young and the Dead.” The pair also made a 2006 IFC documentary about road movies, “Wanderlust.”

Their return to fiction films, 2007′s “The Nanny Diaries,” was less well-received, but now Berman and Pulcini are back with an imperfect but enjoyable comedy. Co-written with author Jonathan Ames (HBO’s “Bored to Death”) from his semi-autobiographical novel, “The Extra Man” stars Paul Dano as Louis Ives, a courtly 20-something with a fixation on 1920s literature and a certain amount of sexual/gender confusion, who finds himself spending a lot of time with his new roommate — an aging, ultra-obscure, ultra-reactionary playwright named Henry Harrison (Oscar and Tony winning veteran stage and film star Kevin Kline).

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Berman and Pulcini are also preparing their next film. “Cinema Verite,” with James Gandolfini, Diane Lane, and Tim Robbins starring in a screenplay by veteran scenarist David Seltzer (“The Omen,” “Punchline”). It’s a tailor-made premise for the couple: the making of “An American Family,” the groundbreaking and highly controversial PBS documentary series which essentially created the modern reality television genre in 1975. The series was also the inspiration for the 1979 Albert Brooks comedy, “Real Life.”

When I was escorted to the room at L.A.’s Four Seasons where I was to meet with the writing-directing pair, I was surprised to see only one person and at first I wasn’t sure I had arrived at the right place. Robert Pulcini and I talked about our shared first name (he’s a “Bob” too), and he explained cordially that his wife would be returning in just a moment. Shari Springer Berman arrived and then somehow got into the topic of the unusual spelling of my last name. All very fascinating — to me — but I figured I’d better talk about Berman and Pulcini’s movies instead.

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