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Open House at the Bates Motel

Open House at the Bates Motel

When you get an invite from Vera Farmiga to an Open House at the Bates Motel, the response is not a simple “yes please,” but a “HELL YESSSSS! And what should I wear and can I bring my lovely and talented husband to snap a photo or two?”

This time of year, with Critics Choice TV Awards and Emmy consideration going into full swing, these types of invites are not all that uncommon, making the time I spend working on the Executive Committee of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association that much more enjoyable. But let me tell you, with this particular event, A&E and Universal were particularly clever, gracious and resourceful in promoting their well-recieved hit Bates Motel.

The Winklevoss Twins Rent Their Posh Bachelor Pad

Winklevoss Twins rent

Chilling, genetically perfect Ken dolls incarnate or super savvy, All-American investors? Stop! You’re both right! The Winklevoss twins, who stormed the zeitgeist when Armie Hammer portrayed them both so well in David Fincher’s The Social Network, have just barged into the celebrity rental scene, offering their stunning, architecturally significant home in the famed Bird Streets for a staggering $110,000 per month. Compare that to Jessica Alba’s humble $12,000 per month rental.

Super Cool Rock Hudson Home for Sale

Rock Hudson Home for Sale

Truly, it doesn’t get any hipper than this in the Hollywood Hills–or more reasonably priced. Rock Hudson’s former home, built circular in shape to accommodate a helipad, is now on the market for just shy of $2 million.  $1.999,000 to be exact.

Rock Hudson Home for SaleThat’s a pittance in these parts, for a home that’s been so recently renovated and totals 3,287 square feet, including four bedrooms and four bathrooms. Plus, most of the home’s original, coveted and chic Midcentury Modern details remain. It was built in 1959 by by commercial architect Lorand West, who, unfortunately, was never able to get the necessary permits for helicopter usage on the roof. Maybe the new owners will have better luck with that.

UNFRIENDED Review

Unfriended ReviewBy Staci Layne Wilson
@StaciWilson

If legendary cinematic showman William Castle were alive today, he’d probably be making movies just like this. You see, Unfriended is a gimmick flick. The action unfolds entirely on the screen of an internet user’s laptop – she checks her email, Googles stuff, goes to Facebook and Skypes with her friends and we see it all in real time.

It’s hardly escapism or relief for we poor eye-strained souls who watch a movie to get away from our everyday lives chained to a computer; as such, the look and feel of Unfriended is anything but cinematic. However, that’s where its strength lies. It feels so real, that when the horror elements kick in it’s like we’re watching a homemade YouTube video, and it’s impossible to look away.

Zooey Deschanel Buys a Manhattan Beach House

Zoey Deschanel Buys

Although she may personify the “Quirky Girl” meme on camera, The New Girl‘s Zooey Deschanel has just purchased a decidedly traditional Cape Cod-ish home in the seaside South Bay community of Manhattan Beach. Could it be that pending motherhood could be pushing her toward the practical? In any case, she and her fiancee, producer Jacob Pechenik, recently bought the brand new, 5,166 square foot home for $4,569,000, via a trust.

WOMAN IN GOLD Review

WOMAN IN GOLD ReviewAt last, I have a decent answer when someone asks, “Have you seen any good movies lately?” Woman in Gold is the cinematic work of fine art I’ve been waiting for all year. While I was thrilled by Furious 7, debuting in theaters the same weekend, I’m not going to run out and take my mother to see it. Woman in Gold, however, is excellent for viewers both male and female, from nine to ninety.

The Bryan Cranston Beach House is Breaking Good and Green

Bryan Cranston Beach House

All the while Bryan Cranston was breaking bad on TV, he was breaking good on the Ventura County coast, building a glorious and green sustainable beach house. Cranston, his wife Robin Dearden and a team of remarkable architects, designers, engineers and suppliers teamed up to create “3 Palms,” a house that ranks among the most remarkable green homes ever built in California.

“My goal with this home is to show that living responsibly and living comfortably are not mutually exclusive,” said Cranston. “My wife, Robin and I want to combine both form and function, and show the world that sustainable living doesn’t mean that there’s no indoor plumbing or that it will impinge on a modern lifestyle.”

THE LONGEST RIDE Review

The Longest Ride ReviewI know all you Nicholas Sparks fans are going to run right out and see this film no matter what I say, so I’m going to address those of you who haven’t seen any of his film adaptations since The Notebook, and might think it’s time to stick a toe back into the romance author’s puddle of tears. The Longest Ride feels like one long Bachelor date–all that’s missing is a Rose Ceremony. See gorgeous but vacuous people respond to painfully contrived situations while taking advantage of every opportunity to strip down to their skivvies.

Jessica Alba’s Rental is a Bargain at $12,000 per Month

Jessica Alba's RentalHmmm… Rent Leonardo DiCaprio’s Palm Springs pad for $45,000 per night, or lease Jessica Alba’s fully furnished Beverly Hills home for $12,000 per month? I think I’ll take the latter, Jessica Alba’s rental, but only because Leo’s place has a two-night minimum stay caveat, so it would cost me at least $90,000 for the weekend.

All kidding aside, at $12,000 per month, Jessica Alba’s 2,286 square foot home with three bedrooms and four bathrooms is quite the deal by Beverly Hills/Hollywood standards. Just ask Alba’s dad, real estate broker Mark Alba, who is taking care of all the rental details.

Jessica Alba's Rental

FURIOUS 7 Review

Furious 7 ReviewBy Staci Layne Wilson
@StaciWilson Furious 7 Review

The Fast and the Furious was one of the first films I reviewed and covered as a new entertainment reporter back in 2001. I thought it was cheesy, but I loved all the street-peeling hotrods. It was all about the vroooming vehicles! As the franchise went on, it became less about the motors and more about souped up plots and half-baked action sequences. Finally, with Furious 7, the series has come full circle and encompasses a little something for every fan of the franchise – awesome automobiles, stellar stunts, and babes, baddies and bromance.