Playing With Facts-American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace

acs-versace-mainAs one has to expect, the fictionalization of a true event is often quite more lurid, sexy and downright sensationalized than what happened. Even if that event is the shooting of Gianni Versace as revealed across the new FX mini-series American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace.

Silent long camera shots, and pans  across an ornate Italian villa located in Miami, unique wan-colored properties of southern Florida, and lots of skin of both men and women, are what were shown on the premier episode of the show. But also Wednesday night’s retelling made it seem that tourists got close enough to the crime scene of Versace’s house to take away some grisly souvenirs and that basically Ocean Blvd was a chaotic scene seen by many. And a flame licked coffin is sure to have been included for a certain visual flair.

Lest we forget, some of the team here is responsible for American Horror Story. Capturing chilling images are their stock and trade. But facts are facts, and lots of what we see across this premier episode were embellishments, to be sure..

What does work spot-on though are the performances. Penélope Cruz began what might turn out to be quite the star turn, portraying Donatella Versace at the end of the first episode. We see the reemergence of Ricky Martin to public viewing, as he plays Gianni Versace’s long-time partner Antonio D’Amico. And there are the absolute star turns of Darren Criss recreating the chilling serial killer Andrew Cunanan and on the other side of the equation, Édgar Ramírez, nailing Gianni Versace.

Will American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, ‘have legs’ as they say? Will it rate up there, or garner as many Emmy nominations as this production houses’ The People v. O.J. Simpson (or those American Horror Stories)? Who knows? The Versace killing was certainly a news-making event and the talent is here to bring the story off beautifully.

Even if the facts, are at times, pushed a little far.

Zoolander 2 Is Certainly Making Fun Of Fashion…and Fashion Seems To Love It

vogue_zoolander-s-ben-stiller-and-owen-wilson-with-anna-wintour-at-valentinoIt’s ok to be angry with the current political machine like Donald Trump seems to be (and is getting lots of mileage from), as much as it is fine to make fun of fashion. But take a parody, poking fun even further (and lots of people say The Donald has taken it too far) we get Ben Stiller as his super model alter ego Derek Zoolander on the cover of Vogue’s February issue.

We might all recall the first “Zoolander 2” shot across the bow when Stiller-as-Zoolander with his foil Hansel (played by Owen Wilson) closed the Valentino show at Paris Fashion Week in March (see this video of the pair backstage at the show). Now another direct hit to fashionistas, this new Vogue cover reveals once again that the mode world seems to indeed have a sense of humor. As the promotion over “Zoolander 2″ amps up, one wonders just where else in the fashion world Derek and Hansel might end up…and God, please let them show up again!

Stiller poses with Penelope Cruz (also in the movie) in an Annie Leibovitz-shot cover. Also included in the new film, Kristen Wig, Benedict Cumberbatch (as a hilarious non-gender specific model) and Justin Bieber as…Justin Bieber. Marc Jacobs also makes an appearance as himself.

It’s been a decade and half since we last saw the infamous Blue Steel, Le Tigre and Magnum poses, chuckled to the silliness of Stiller’s creation. Really, who knows how the second Zoolander will hit with an audience that hasn’t seen Stiller and Wilson in these roles in quite a while (and some who have never seen them in them) and in a world where the selfie and Instagram makes Zoolander’s myopic self-involvement seem quaint. But at the very least we have learned how ready and willing the movers and shakers in haute couture are willing to make fun of themselves.

And this is a good thing indeed. Zoolander 2 opens February 12th.