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July 25, 2008

Russell Brand spices VMAs


Most likely to do something outrageous, and therefore watchable, on the MTV Video Music Awards: just announced host Russell Brand.

Least likely: the first and only announced performers at this point, the squeaky clean moppets known as the Jonas Brothers.

We had to point out this massive disconnect. Not that the VMAs or any other MTV awards show has ever had a shred of consistency. But this strikes us as an especially mismatched lineup, early though it is in the whole "reveal" process.

Brand, who's parlaying "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" into a real U.S. career driver, did a stint not long ago with the legendary Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones on the Jonesy's Jukebox radio show here in L.A. (Indie 103.1). And a delightfully bawdy time was had by all. If we didn't love him already, we truly did after that.

Brand's continuing to try to conquer the Americas with another Nick Stoller/Judd Apatow movie, "Get Him to the Greek," where his out-of-control "Sarah Marshall" rock star gets top billing and another assist from Jonah Hill.

Just imagine, if he were really let loose on the VMAs, the damage the saucy Brit could do to the Jonas trio's skinny jeans and purity rings. But alas, that's not bloody likely.

Anyway, what happened to Brit Brit? Not another word about a comeback after the "comeback" after the multiple breakdowns and aborted rehab. MTV honchos teased the idea of her appearing, and then left us to guess whether it's true or just wishful thinking. Maybe they're saving that announcement to last? We'll be listening.

The VMAs will air live on Sept. 9.



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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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