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  • I didn’t get to watch Dick Clark’s “Rockin’ New Year’s Eve” in its entirety the other night, but I did see a heavily made-up Clark trying in earnest to get his thoughts across. Ryan Seacrest and Jenny McCarthy did yeoman duty counting the minutes down to the big moment.

    This was the 40th anniversary show, and Clark has either hosted or made appearances on every one. Since his 2004 stroke, the impresario has delegated most duties to Seacrest, but still makes an address and counts down the final seconds to midnight.

    Jenny was everywhere in the crowd asking some of the craziest questions I’ve ever heard and seemingly enjoying getting groped by almost anyone. There were also some terrific aerial shots courtesy of those ABC hi-def cameras, marred only by sponsor Blackberry, which seemed to have product placement signs virtually everywhere.

    I’m a Blackberry-man and I well remember the chaos caused by their virtual worldwide outrage over the summer; this virtual show-stopping commercial was disturbing nonetheless. The next day, I watched the moments I missed, including a blistering performance by a tuxedo-clad Pitbull.

    I had seen him before and liked him, but watching him virtually mesmerizing the crowd was rather awesome. Watching his performance a few more times, his music seemed to evoke vintage Ricky Martin.

    With his band dressed in penguin-suits as well, they, at times, resembled a new-day rap Rat Pack. I know he’s performed with some of the more well-known names out there, but tonight was his. Very impressive for sure!

    I also was rather amused by Justin Bieber’s performance of “Let It Be,” with Carlos Santana delivering his usual high-octane guitar solo. With Celo Green doing “Imagine” on another show on another network, it was positively a very-Beatles night.

    I also must give props to Seacrest. What he’s accomplished and what he did this night is hard work indeed. And, he makes it looks easy. I’ve known him for years and he can do the heavy lifting! Good guy.

    Congrats to producers Larry “Tall Pony” Klein and Barry Glazer. Happy New Year!

    Two Movies, Two Takes

    I had the chance this weekend to watch two movies that had thus far eluded me this year. George Clooney’s “Ides of March,” and “Cowboys and Aliens,” starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford.

    Clooney wrote, produced and starred in Ides, a fascinatingly compelling look into the political intrigue involving a governor running for president.

    Based on the Broadway play Farragut North, starring Chris Noth, the pic develops into something of a whodunit, with Ryan Gosling as the main provocateur. The cast, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, Paul Giammati and a very strong Evan Rachel Wood, were all just stunning.

    It’s another case, in my mind, of watching just terrific actors… acting. Clooney shot this movie very-much like an indie flick and I think that worked wonders. When the movie first came out, it did very well, then sort of simmered. Don’t miss it; one of my favorites of the year.

    “Cowboys and Aliens,” is based on a graphic novel released some years back. The film boasted so many writers and producers I had my doubts even before it began. Sure, the concept is great, but there were a few odd turns.

    Watching a very stoic Craig, and Ford as a baddie was pretty compelling. The thing that kept resonating in my head, was that with this movie, as well as “Super 8” is the first time I recall bad aliens in a Steven Spielberg film.

    A stunning Olivia Wilde and funny Sam Rockwell was also treats too. If you like any of these actors, I’d give this one a whirl. It was definitely silly fun.

    Names in the News

    Micky Dolenz, Chris Gilman, Alex Hasbany, Bruce Bozzi, Jr., Bryan Lourd, Jeremy Piven, Ari Emanuel, Judd Bernard, Kari Clark, Eva Mueller, Adrian Niles, Peter Abraham, Steve Walter, Sophia Aslanis, James Edstrom, Mark Alpert, Alan Rothstein, William Schill, Jane Hanson, Chip.