AMERICAN HORROR STORY Lady Gaga is to Die For: Visit Her Hotel

American Horror Story Lady Gaga

On paper, the Hotel Cortez looks like a killer deal. The photos show a super-swank Art Deco lobby with custom carpets and furniture, outrageous elevator gates and leaded windows. The bar makes you want to sidle up in a pencil skirt and order a Manhattan. If the rooms and hallways are a bit threadbare and the beds appear to be decomposing, that’s OK. The place has great bones.

STEVE JOBS Review — The Launch of an Original Masterpiece

Steve Jobs reviewIt doesn’t happen every year, but this time, it came early and it hit hard.

Five minutes into director Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs, I was thinking, “This is the best film I’ve seen in a very long time. If it’s not the best film of the year, I don’t what is.” Yes, it’s that good.

For this film to have such a strong impact is quite the feat, considering neither the lead actor, Michael Fassbender, nor the director, Danny Boyle, were first choices. Both Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio passed, for various reasons, and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin was intent of having Tom Cruise utter the very clever and complicated lines he’d written. As for director, David Fincher dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Thank heavens Fassbender and Boyle were available instead.

Taylor Swift Buys Goldwyn Estate — Go Inside

Taylor Swift Buys the Goldwyn Estate

Not to be cliche, but I am among the billions who really like Taylor Swift. I like her bouncy music and I admire her chutzpah for standing up to music distributors and purveyors who have been cheating artists and gleefully pocketing the proceeds for decades. And now, I respect her taste in real estate, because instead of buying one of the glitzy new Hollywood Hills mansions that she could easily afford, she has purchased the historically significant Samuel Goldwyn estate. It looks as though Swift would rather be walking the same halls as Hollywood icons like Marlene Dietrich, Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, Bette Davis, Cole Porter and Frank Capra, than swilling alcohol from a two-story chute on a pulsing neon vodka bar.

And get this: the 25-year-old music mogul paid $25 million cash for this grand Beverly Hills estate.

THE WALK Review — A Thin Line Between Love and Hate

The Walk ReviewI have a serious love/hate relationship with The Walk. On the one hand, the last half hour is the most brilliant use of CGI and IMAX capabilities I’ve ever seen. On the other hand, the first hour-and-a-half is saccharine sweet and ridiculous, which does not do the subject even a modicum of justice.

But when all is said and done and watched, I have to say it’s worth enduring the first two thirds for the last. Just sit tight and know it gets better.

Artemesia: The Most Beautiful Home in Hollywood


As a former correspondent, a current Yahoo Real Estate writer and a fifth generation L.A. resident and journalist who covers entertainment, real estate and lifestyle, I’ve been inside many of the finest, most outrageous, and most prestigious homes ever built in Southern California. Yet I was absolutely overwhelmed when I drove through the gates of Artemesia, the largest Craftsman style residence in the entire U.S.A. Dare I say it’s also the most beautiful home in the Hollywood Hills?

THE MARTIAN Review — Out of This World

the martian reviewYay for science! If only my high school teachers could have made it this thrilling, this provocative, this crucial to my very existence, I might have been out curing cancer today, instead of writing this film review. Even though the special effects are fine, the acting is as good as you would expect, and Ridley Scott has come up with what is sure to be another blockbuster, science is the star of the film, and I think it deserves an Oscar.

Tom Cruise Finally Sells His Storied Beverly Hills Estate

Tom Cruise lists his storied Beverly Hills Estate

Editor’s Note: Looks like selling this place wasn’t a mission impossible after all. Tom Cruise finally got an offer he likes for his Hollywood Hills West compound, even though it’s about $1.5 million under asking price. He originally listed it in January for $12.995 million, and accepted an offer for $11.4 million in September. See more details in my post on Yahoo Real Estate.

THE INTERN Review — Having It All at Any Age

The Intern ReviewAs a once hip Baby Boomer who has had to reluctantly acknowledge that things ain’t the way they used to be, never will be again, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, I’m a big fan of media that helps people like me cope in the workplace. I’m talking about TV shows like Younger, books like The Knockoff and my own book on the subject; Career Comeback–Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want. (Please excuse the shameless plug). Now you can add The Intern to that list. It’s a New York story about love and loss and trying to have it all at any age.

TALES OF HALLOWEEN Review — Trick or Treat?

Tales of Halloween PosterBy Staci Layne Wilson

Just in time for trick or treat season comes Tales of Halloween, a 10-story horror-comedy anthology. Made by “The October Society” – a (mostly) California clique of film directors and genre actors – it’s one of the most cohesive anthologies I’ve seen in some time.

While other recent omnibus style flicks serve up a heaping helping of variety from all over the world (namely, The ABC’s of Death and Theater Bizarre), Tales of Halloween is made by straight white guys (with the exception of the sole female, producer Axelle Carolyn) who were all weaned on the movies of the 1980s. And it shows. In a way, that’s good because there’s no one story that feels jarringly different from the others. But personally, when there’s ample opportunity, I prefer to see more racial and gender diversity.