My Legitimized Career Has A First Name--It's O-S-C-A-R

Tonight is the Super Bowl of Filmdom, The Academy Awards. A night when America is spot-welded to the telivision as stars galore cram a size-10 ego into a size-6 evening gown all in the hopes of receiving a gold statuette that is as anotomically devoid as any Ken Doll.

We here at the theater are staging an Oscar party with the proceedings on the huge screen. I'll be relegated to the front of the house but will hopefully supply my own caustic reflections on the FilmThreat message boards with the rest of our wit-infused writers. Click here to hop over and read what a collection of culture-addled musers have to say about the movers of Burbank. We can do this because we have indie cred!

Indie Jones

I had to miss the Indie Spirit Awards proceedings last night as I was working past midnight, but I'll get the replay recorded today--cool that the show played on both Bravo and IFC.

If you missed it "Lost in Translation" swept most of the statues. I was pulling for "Virgin" to win something. I met with the director while it played here at our theater and it truly has its indie cred. She shot it for about $60k, and as of yet she has no distribution. I'm trying to see if she can hook up with a local distrib here in town to at least get it shown in some theaters.

And about that trophy. It appears as some vague form of a flying eagle, of sorts, but I like the original that they gave out in the early days of the awards. It was a crystal pyramid that had shoe laces hanging inside, emblematic of the budgets the features had been shot with. It is a far cry from today when many of the recognized films were bankrolled in the millions. Still, the spirit lives on, I guesss.


Spirits in the Material World

Tonight is my favorite backlapper/star-humping event, The Independent Spirit Awards. For obvious reasons I love the showcase of the independent realm, but I also dig on the atmosphere. Unlike the rest of these events this one has less ego, less ass-kissing, less sparkle, and more drinking in the crowd. The feeling of the event just fits better.

I like to regard the stroke fests this awrds season with functions the common man is more likely to attend. I assimilate them thus:

THE OSCARS--I look at this as a holiday gala at the country club. you the same seperation of those who have to decide which tux they will select from their formal wear closet, and those who dropped $50 on a rented monkey suit.

THE S.A.G. AWARDS--This is just like prom. Everyone is dresed up and sitting at tables, pretending they are not dribbling pate' on their taffeta as they get to watch who was voted most popular.

THE GOLDEN GLOBES--This always feels like going to the 50th anniversary party of the relative you hardly know. You get dressed up, but you really don't want to be there.

DIRECTORS GUILD AWARDS--It always strikes me as a business convention your dad goes to. Bunch of older men wearing old suits and talking about work.

The Spirit Awards feel like a wedding reception for a close friend. The mood is lighter and you hit the sauce a little harder because you don't have to be at work the next day. I like the fact that we'll get to see some of the faces we only encounter on the film festival circuit. I'll be pulling for "The Station Agent" and "American Splendor," which I loved maybe a little too much, but it was the kind of movie you love to see recognized because it was so unique. And I have a new #1 on my wanted list.

Sending It Out to the Lab

Big birthday here at the home--our sentinel, and my partner-in-crime, Dutch the yellow Labrador Retriever turns 2 years old today. Or fourteen...it has been a day long debate. This morning I had to be at the theater for an early delivery and since it was just me he came with. Snack bar hotdogs for breakfast was a hit. The girls went out of their way to spoil him, but no, we didn't go overboard. Just some new toys and a few treats. Tommorrow he and I will go to the lake so he can fly into the water for an hour or two.

Tonight however all I had to do was pour myself a beer and he is by my side. (Now before you PETA-the-ass protesters rail against me let me say, he weighs 90lbs. and never gets more than a few ounces in a night.) My smarter-than-the-average dog had even developed a trick on his own--when he's by my side he waits for the moment that I take a draw on the suds and he nudges the bottle with his snout, spilling plenty all over me, which he would then mop up with energy. I finally had to teach him to sit politely and ask permission.

Tonight he and I split a beer and watched "Far from Home" together. People continually tell me that dogs can't watch television, but I have definitive proof. Every time the star dog would appear on screen Dutch's head would shoot up in rapt attention. We also watch hunting shows and he sits placidly until the dogs appear on screen, then he sits up rigid and motionless. When the birds are on camera his hind legs begin to twich and he's ready to bolt. It is for this reason that I made sure not to rent one particular movie which we will never mention by name out loud.


In Through the Out Door of the Closet

I pulled this great quote off of WordSpy concerning the term Retrosexual, a new designation in the era of Metro-, Hetero-, and all the other sexuals-du-jour:
A retrosexual is simply someone who doesn't know the difference between teal and aqua, and frankly couldn't give a damn.
—Margaret Wente, "I married a retrosexual," The Globe and Mail

Now, I have always fashioned myself as the quitessential retrosexual, if not an outright flaming Hetero. Except, I do know the difference between Aqua and Teal. Aqua incorporates more greenish hues while Teal is more of a richer shade of sky blue, so named after the patch of color found on the wings of the teal duck.

I have to wonder, does this mean that I have bled over to the side of the metrosexual? Am I perilously close to joining the throngs becoming wed on Castro in San Fran? Is any of this mitigated by the fact that I have this emperical wisdom of the colors because of sports? (The Dolphins have Aqua in their uniforms while the Marlins employ Teal for their insignia.)

I'm just too confused. I'll drop in a Kevin Kline movie to make me feel better.

Large, Bossy, Loud, and Bitchy--I thought She Already Was Married

Why it is news is a mystery, but Rosie O'Donnell has overpowered the news as she has joined the crowds in San Fran and has married her longtime partner. For reasons only she will know the duo was slated to wed in April but were moved ahead of the numerous others waiting to become betrothed. And here's the surprise--Rosie held the bouquet. All this time I had always figured she would be the groom. Go Figure.

Though I rarely understand Ms. O'Donnell, I have a good feeling what she might be wearing on the honeymoon. (Not safe for work, or those who just ate.)


Reid's Like a Jackie Collins Novel

Tara Reid, that thespianic powerhouse, has apparently been on the prowl around the South Beach area. The flaxen haired Tara has made a name of herself as something of an enthusiastic reveler, and the New York Post reported yet another entry on her hedonistic resume'. I like how they describe her being carried out like a sack of potato vodka: she "had to be escorted by bouncers.

This reminds me of the hilarity I enjoyed in reading two separate interviews involving her and Carson Daly They were each prodded to discuss the breakup of their engagement and their answers are revealing when they were asked when they knew things wouldn't workout for them--

CARSON--The moment I realized she could drink more than me.
TARA--On our first date when he drank more than I did.

Funny, they sound perfect together. I would tend to side with Carson on this one, based on nothing more than Ms. Reid's repeated public inebriation. Just look at this description of her at the Miami nightclub-- "She was at a table, drinking straight vodka out of a water glass."
That is simply an abuse of alcohol. Get some stemware sweetie! Oh, and maybe some professional help.


Supposed to be Seen Not Heard

Everyone from centerfolds to disc jockeys always have dreams of crossing over into movies, and rap is no exception. Everyone from LL Cool J, Ice-T, Snoop Dog, Mos Def, and even The Fat Boys, have spent their time before the cameras. Because of this deluge of thespianic talent it is unique when someone endeavors to move their talent in the opposite direction.

The announcement has been made that multiple-Blockbuster Entertainment Award winner Gyneth Paltrow is about to step in front of the microphone to record a rap song. I'm sure this will fill some need for the music-loving public, not unlike years back when America demanded a movie featuring America's best white-rapper in America.


Guilded Trophies

Last night saw the continuation of Awards season with the best actors lauded by their own at the 10th annual SAG awards. Few surprises, much star stroking, and Sean Astin giving an impassioned speech about the need to bring more movie productions, and movie jobs, back to the United States. This while accepting a trophy for a movie trilogy he spent four years filming in New Zealand.

My favorite ceremony of the year took place last week however when they presented the Oscars for Scientific and Technical Awards. Granted my preference had to do with the host.


No Jolson, This is Serious

The sordid history of whites performing in blackface is long and storied, reaching back nearly 200 years, a practice that was involved in some of the first internal touring entertainment acts from this country. However the most famous image we have in memory would be that of Al Jolson who achieved his apex of fame while adorned in blackface. Unfortunately his modernly insensitive portrayal will forever be prominent because of the fact that he appeared as such in the first ever film with a full audio-track.

The offense of the blackface performer to African Americans is not only still palpable today but maybe even more offensive, to the extent that some shepherds my soon be tempted to adjust the nomenclature of their industry. Even one college student recently understood the gravity of this practice. When reports of someone in blackface were called in to police upon being apprehended he stated he was not in blackface but camouflage, because he was about to rob a house. Wisely he copped to being a felon instead of being charged with a hate-crime. If only some of our entertainers could wield such wisdom.


Absorbing the Market

I just got back from the grocery store and was surprised to see a new product--Spongebob Squarepants cereal. My surprise was not that this animated character would whore himself out to a cereal company but rather that this had not happened already. Look around the aisles and you will see this geometric pot scrubber on crackers, macaroni, ice cream, fruit snacks--even obvious products. And this onslaught will only get worse come the holiday season with the release of The Spongebob Movie.

Of course all this consumerism doesn't sit well with others. Despite the fact that kids have eaten macaroni for decades the Center for Science in the Public Interest seems to think cartoon characters are behind the food's popularity. This is akin to putting Morrissey or Richard Linklater characters on the wrapper of Ramen Noodles and saying that is why so many destitute collegians eat the product. I wonder what the group behind "food porn" has to say about the other dangerous practices this mutant invertebrate promotes.


What About the Olive?

Coming out of Britain is news that a new drinking fad may be on the horizon--snorting alcohol. Refered to as AWOL (alcohol without liquid) patrons basically place a small mouthpiece over their nose and/or mouth and breathe in the spirits, with absorption taking place in the lungs or nasal passages. As to be expected customers enjoy it while authorities complain about people finding a new way to have fun, I guess.

Personally I don't see it lasting. Part of the allure of drinking martinis is the esthetic quality of the practice. I think of what it might be like to give a toast and ask the people seated around you to "Raise your intake hoses." The basic structure of the glass lends itself to elegance and this has made the martini a great prop for entertainers. Try to imagine "Swingers" without the stemware. John Favreau steps off the dance floor with Heather Graham and they have a touching scene together as she is reefing on a mouthpiece. Bender would not be nearly as funny tossing back see-throughs through industrial grade tubing. And that cinematic bastion of the martini James Bond would lose much of his impact when he hones his gaze on a lady and commands the bartender to make his martini "Aspirated, not squirted."

Rather than a social token this new method, which bypasses the stomach and liver to get the juice into bloodstream, smacks of providing a more efficient delivery system for the buzz. That being the case I can think of only one movie where this would appear as a natural fit.


Cloning--It Totally Xerox!!

Dolly the cloned sheep dominated headlines forever, it seemed, and yet that dose of reality was pushed aside when George Lucas unleashed a war of dopplegangers on the big screen. However, all was not perfect with the Lucas carbons. And worse yet, Lucas has now pronounced his biggest offense since Jar-Jar binks--The Force will be sporting mullets!

But just as the Star Wars excitement was starting to ebb news broke recently that had the world agog anew. Nearly one year since we said "goodbye Dolly" came the announcement that human dupes may have become a reality. I don't even want to explore the numerous ramifications this entails, but I now see that I am not the only one who has concerns with the new technology. A Kentucky killer was apprehended and he had less than cogent reasons for his carnage, stating he was "staging a coup" against cloning and promising officials that, "You're about to see armageddon." I mean really, hasn't he inflicted enough pain ? After this I just have to worry for Michael Keaton's safety.


Evans the Score

While watching the Namesake of this spot I began to pine away for an episode of "Kid Notorious", the quasi-autobiographical cartoon about, and featuring, vaunted Hollywood icon, Robert Evans. It occured to me that I haven't caught an episode in some time and now I cannot find it on Comedy Central's schedule. This does not bode well.

Two caveats against its demise. Originally C.C. only commissioned 9 episodes, so it may be between seasons. Also, there has been ample critical raves, and just recently the show has been nominated for a Golden Satellite Award. What, you ask, is a Golden Satellite Award? It is given away by a group calling themselves the International Press Academy, and they serve as kind of a post-Golden Globe, pre-Academy Awards award show. I don't think it can hold too much clout though when it serves as a lesser version of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. My hope is that they at least have enough pull to keep The Kid on the air.

Just in case, there are plenty of clips on the C.C. site to enjoy for the now--including the one where Evans himself mentions this very blog. Listen to the words of the song he is composing, it is pure magic.


Be Careful What You Dish For

The digital revolution continues and the opportunity for top-flight viewing broadens. Nowadays we can scroll hundreds of channels from the satellite and watch the digital signal on a High-Definition plasma screen television. But like Oppenheimer and his boys we maybe should question whether or not all this technology is for the better. Phillip Swann writes in Television Week that while HD may be an excellent forum for sports it becomes a different story when watching dramatic features. The problem? The picture quality is so good that it manages to reveal the details behind the makeup jobs of the stars.

While he points to Cameron Diaz as an example I cannot help but wonder what some fading Starlets may look like after being doctored for the lens. (Here's the whole list to look over before going to Best Buy.) I have a sneaking suspicion that was an old picture of Streisand and that she actually appears much different today. Of course there is a flip side to this techological irony. Those with a suffering image now may have an explanation. "That's not the real me--that's a high-definition distortion."


Walking Around With A Heart On

This being Valentines day I'm betting that, like most men, you hear the song "2 of a kind, workin' on a full house" and you think of poker, and this means you need to boost your romanticism. The key? This is the lone day of the year that it is permissable to watch a Nora Ephron movie with your beloved. Gird yourself, because you will be hit with numerous implausabilities, unrestrained treacle, and a torrent of Harry Connick Jr.

My suggestion--try to lobby for Serendipity. It is every bit as syrupy as anything by Ms. Ephron, which would give you points, but it stretches logic and conventions enough that your date may end up laughing along with you.

On another note authorities in Florida just made it more difficult for us men to do right by our women. At least it brings to mind another possible title for today. Then again, maybe not.


One Big Screen Battle Foiled by Nature

This past summer we saw the first sign of Hollywood's move towards turning out a series of steel cage movies for the drooling masses. Fox will next ramp up the carnage with a supernal grudge match that we have all been waiting to see.

I had some grand schemes to join in on this money maker. My idea was to pair up some of the regulars from the Direct-to-Disc(D2D) Universe and make battle royale bucks. My first plan was to gather the crawlers we have come to loathe and pair them up with the scaled up and agitated belly sliders. Turn 'em loose and the film would write itself.

You can imagine how pissed-off I was to discover that nature has decided to settle the debate without my inspirational film. Guess I won't be giving my two weeks notice after all.


Really a Mickey Mouse Operation

The 2004 year is shaping up as one in need of pixie dust for The House of Mouse. It is only Feburary and already Disney would like to see 2005 as soon as possible. First the namesake of the founder bolted from the board this past November, exposing the turmoil in a fight with CEO Michael Eisner. Next was the acrimonious divorce with animation geniuses Pixar Studios. Now, after news that the board may be shopping for a replacement to Eisner, news comes out that after rebuffing the advances of Comcast the cable monolith may simply move ahead with a takeover. Even their hockey team has gone from the Stanley Cup finals to the basement in the standings.

It is beginning to make sense why many employed by the conglomerate refer to their place of employment as "Moushwitz". One thing to be sure is that their fortunes won't turn around with the release of a half-assed direct-to-video release. Or maybe that's full-assed. The story of this prequel involves a plotline concentrating on warthog Pumbaa's flatulence that is significant enough that Disney is sending out samples of Gas-X with its promotional materials. You know, it is not too late for Comcast to rethink this whole plan.


Those Were the Dees

Longtime Los Angeles DJ and host of the syndicated "Weekly Top 40", Rick Dees has announced that he is retiring from his microphone as LA's leading morning drive personality. Dees' popularity has inflicted the nation with a few curses, notably the "Morning Zoo" radio phenomenon that invaded most urban centers. You can debate whether Dees created this format but he certainly helped make it the pollutant that it has become.

Surprisingly being the #1 radio jock in Dream Town netted very few film roles for Dees. His most notable was years ago in the Lou-Diamond Phillips high water mark"La Bamba", and some sporadic voice work in cartoons. He is probably best known for unleashing his hit single Disco Duck, which stands as the second worst duck-based affliction we had to endure, second only to the supposed film "Howard The Duck". You kids today, complaining about Jar-Jar Binks--you don't know how lucky you are. We had to endure this manifestation from George Lucas. We would have been thrilled with Jar-Jar, by comparison. Think Binks was misguided? George dropped $2 million on the duck suit alone! This film was so bad that it seemed to be an offense against what was a rather disturbed source. And when things were already bad enough we got treated to love scenes between the duck and Lea Thompson, with lingering shots of the reedy Thompson in her lingere'. Now tell me how bad you have it with Jar-Jar...


A Wing and a Pear

I just got through talking with someone about air travel, having just flown "The Apathetic Skies", and we were both bemoaning the same two complaints: No in-flight movie, and a "meal" that I wouldn't send with a kid to summer camp. This of course bypasses many other gripes, (chairs designed for interrogations and aisles so narrow that the drink cart slammed into my arm often enough that I now require Tommy John surgery). It makes me yearn for an era I never experienced--or maybe even never existed.

What a comfort it was to find a web page dedicated to combining both meals and movies, although I'm sure with a little work they could have come up with more than four titles. Particularly absent was "Airplane!", and its famous subplot concerning "the chicken or the fish", but that could be understandable. This site seems a tad obsessive about the subject matter and I doubt the host embraced that film's indictment of the bill of fare.

Jesus Built My Hot Rod

The Daytona 500 is right around the corner, and so is the big release of Mel Gibson's Biblical epic, "The Passion of Christ". If only we could somehow bring these two events together. Oh wait, we can! Bobby Labonte's Interstate Battery chariot will sport the film's logo for the big race on Feb. 15. No word yet if Tony Stewart will change his hood logo to "Manger Depot".

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Grey Bar Motel

Let me be the first to forward an unfounded yet deeply important conspiracy. I have come to believe that the 1978 Sidney Lumet movie The Wiz has a curse hanging over it. While we have become intimate over the past few years with the legal troubles of one cast member we now learn that a second star from the show will do jail time. That just leaves third road crew member and poetic game show panelist Nipsey Russell to run afoul of the law. While many may feel this unlikely, I point to the lyrics of a Tin Man song, titled "Slide Some Oil On Me", warbled by Russell himself:

Slide some oil to me
Let it trickle down my spine
If you don't have S.T.P.
Crisco will do just fine

Slide some to my elbows
And to my fingers if you would
Slide some oil to me, girl
Whoo! Don't that feel good!

In this day of the internet I say it will just be a matter of time before poor judgment catches up with him. Just ask this this newscaster.


This Blog Brought to You by Bombay Sapphire

Hard to say why this story amuses me so, probably because corporate avarice is on full display. The short of it is that in Chicago radio monolith Clear Channel Radio has found a new angle on product placement, deciding to make a slight alteration to their traffic reports on their radio stations in town. For years one of the sectors of the windy city to be monitored by their choppers was a stretch of highway from downtown leading to O'Hare Airport. But now Clear Channel has begun what they term a "traffic destination rights program". From now on travel times will be given from downtown to the Allstate Arena instead, under a new marketing agreement with the venue. (And you would be a liar and a communist to suggest that it is anything more than coincidence that Clear Channel books all the concerts at the A.A.)

Of course product placement is nothing new to films. It's just that when the product appears in the title of the movie we may be at the saturation point. In a response Modern Drunkard Magazine is hosting a drinking party on Feb. 19. You throw back a shot every time you see a product in the movie Josie and the Pussycats. This could be dangerous as the film supposedly spoofed product placement in movies. To give the crowd an idea of what's in store for them here's a sample of the products featured:
America Online, American Express, Bebe, Billboard Magazine, Bugles, Campbell's Soup, Coke, Entertainment Weekly Magazine, Evian, Ford, Gatorade, Kodak, Krispy Kreme, McDonald's, Milky Way, Motorola, Pepperidge Farm Cookies, Pizza Hut, Pringles, Puma, Ray-Ban, Sega, Starbucks, Steve Madden, Target, and T.J. Maxx.

Now if you think that's not so bad consider something--that's just what appears in the 2.5 minute trailer. You know, when you engage in the very activity you are supposedly spoofing you end up sounding like a hooker who talks about her slutty friend.

I just hope that the organizers intended the irony that they are holding the event in the saloon that was also named in a movie.


Technically, There is no Food During a Fast

Easily one of the most talked-about films out at Sundance was a documentary, Morgan Spurlock's "Super Size Me", for which he won a directing award. His team also had the best street marketing, with their posters and "unhappy meal" swag giveaways, and you could not go a day without seeing somebody in a "Super Size Me" ski cap. However, while these made perfect sense at the festival, walking around your hometown with that phrase on your forehead may provoke stares and whispers.

While Spurlock managed to get himself a distribution deal I'm certain there will be a share of legal hoops to jump through. For now at least here is an unattributed statement from Spurlock's Golden Arch enemy.

Morgan's movie better hit the theaters soon, or else more instances like this will keep happening. On the flip side of the bun, Spurlock's minions may be secretly carrying out a guerilla campaign as we speak into the clown's mouth.


And We Know the Villian

Who knew that they see James Bond movies in Havana. They shouldn't be doing this...the Cuban government took away their driver's license.

Are You Implying Movie Stars Behave Differently?

Set your faces on "stun". There is a new book on the horizon that details that many people in Hollywood misbehave and act like sociopathic gibbons wired on crank and other stimulants. The book, "Hollywood Interrupted", is primed to be the "Hollywood Babylon" for the new millenium. Or it will be just another scandal tome forgotten in three months. You can decide with this sneak from Page6. Either way, it will have to be pretty good to eclipse the venerated Joe Eszterhas classic, the 736 page "Hollywood Animal".

"Interrupted" will have a high bar to clear, as the flesh merchant Eszterhas had some gems in his tract. There was the entry where he claimed to have bedded Sharon Stone and he proclaimed, "her body was doughy, too much peanut butter and Wonder Bread maybe." My favorite though was his reporting that after writing the scripts with uplifting female roles like "Basic Instinct", "Jade", "Sliver", and "Showgirls" he was going to collaborate with none other than Gloria Steinem. This may have done as much damage to female empowerment as Gloria's support of Bill Clinton, after he preyed on numerous lasses. Maybe they cooked up a sequel where Ms. Berkley burned her bra before loudly fornicating in a pool with the producer.

"Whine-Stein 2: Return of the Mountain Man"

For the second time this week Miramax poobah Harvey Weinstein has spoken out about the harsh treatment his firm's film Cold Mountain has received from The Acadamy. 3 days ago I gave you his take that the earlier Oscar schedule hurt his film's chances. Now, at Berlin Film Festival, Hahvee has gone completely Oliver Stone on us.

Harv's latest idear is that there has been some serious backlash to the news that the film was shot in Romania:

Weinstein stopped short of calling it a boycott by voters but said negative press may have resulted in "a move to deny the movie awards."
Director Anthony Minghella said:
"There has been a reaction in America and a real campaign to stop movies leaving America to shoot."

I can't tell you how many times people at work stopped me to comment on their opinion of "Cold Mountain" being filmed in Europe. It's as if Sunday night never happened


Make 'em Watch a Movie About Curing Cancer

It seems to have happened yet again, an impressionable teen has watched a movie and it made...an impression. A Jersey guy was arrested for breaking into his high school and had in his possession, along with a lock-picking device, a ticket stub to the film The Perfect Score. The film details the exploits of a group of teens who pull a heist to get the answers to the SAT.

The connection between movies and idiotic antics(read tidbits) will surface once again. My initial reaction to these reports has been that Hollywood should make more inspirational pictures, hoping it might provoke positive reactions. However, not only has it been proven not to work I came to a realization: those who imitate what's on screen always watch crap.

As a result I feel that those who emulate life threatening stunts should be free to do so. It leads to what Darwin might refer to as culling the herd, the self-elimination of the weaker members for the betterment of the species. And if you are the slack-jawed type who is prone to act out what you witness at the cineplex, there is a name for you--in fact there is a movie.

I Say Give Her a Helmet and Pads

For reasons no one can explain, a 33-year old mother in Kansas has been posing as a 13-year old boy, for no apparent motivation other than to attend church and mooch off the congregation. She has been recognized for doing thus numerous times across the country. Normally when a woman does this it is for a good cause. Hey, maybe that Kansas woman will get to meet William Zabka!


Maybe His Picture is Hanging in the Camaro Museum

He conquered our beaches, but that was not enough. David Hasselhoff has expressed dismay that he is not featured in a museum with other artifacts concerning the Berlin wall. The way Dave sees it he was instrumental in bringing down the barrier. Well, maybe not intrument-al--he sang some songs--but still, where's the love? Turns out he gave a concert back in 1989 at the Brandenburg gate in formerly bi-sected Berlin, and his song "Looking for Freedom" brought down the house, if not the wall. In Dave's opinion it was this concert, listened to by East Germans who didn't speak English, and not Reagan's declaration that Gorby hit the bricks, that united Germany.

We can take solace that he appears to be able to shrug off this blatant snub, for Dave is working on a film version of "Knight Rider"! I can only dream of a double-bill with the George Cloony film in the works. In the article Dave also addresses the fact of American audiences making light of his German popularity.

"Many Americans joke about my popularity in Germany. But they have no idea how beautiful Europe is and how rich it is in culture and fun and warmth and children."

Yea, it's a real shame we in America can only dream what it might be like to experience fun, and children. As for that famed German warmth... But to help Dave out here, let me clarify. We were not ridiculing the Germans, were were ridiculing you. In light of the revelation that you united Germany however, I propose renaming the former communist border crossing. "Checkpoint Dave" has a ring to it.


"Whine"stein in an Oscar Snit

Independant Film mogul and hardcover-expose target Harvey Weinstein has come out railing/wailing about the misfortunes of his film "Cold Mountain", specifically the failure of the film to get nominated for best picture. It stands as the first year in 13 that Miramax is not in contention for Best Film, which has the Big Man brisltling. In a Reuers story he explains that his studio was screwed by scheduling.

"With the early (Oscar voting) this year, we fell short, quoth the maven. "We just plain ran out of people who had seen this movie."

See, releasing the film in December--a common move by studios to position their sparkly pictures for Nominations--hurt him because the Oscar ceremony is a month earlier this year and the deadline for voting was moved up, ergo less time for Harv's suits to lobby voters. Lest you get weepy for HW's fortunes let me lay out some statistics that might clear things up--for you and for Harvey.

* Miramax still leads all studios with 15 nominations
* "Return of the King", nominated for best picture, was released the week before Christmas.
* That movie that Harvey is talking about--the one that nobody saw?
It managed to get 7 nominations, including two in acting catagories.

I'm waiting next to hear Weinstein explain that "The Batlle of Shaker Heights" failed to catch on with audiences because Matt and Ben's program appears on cable.

So What is Her Name if SHE is Nasty?

Everyone is talking about the Joe Eszterhas scripted Super Bowl halftime show. You can imagine how shocked Janet Jackson's family must be at her willingness to bare it all for the masses. I mean, what must Latoya think of this? Meanwhile the nation is in shock at this blatant sexuality being shown during the wholesome Super Bowl. It is a shame that this display has to detract from the Puritanical displays of cheerleader cleavages and erectile dysfunction commercials. I harken back to last year's game when we had the old-fashioned Miller-Lite lesbian cat-fight--and we were happy.

The Justin-Janet flap can be viewed one of two ways--or maybe both. Considering Janet is stretching deep into her thirties her hormonal connection to the younger lad-band member was recently addressed on screen. However the appearance of a white male tearing away the clothing of a nubian female does remind me of another Hollywood classic.


Subterranean Rodent Frenzy

Given the import of the day I am surprised that only Cinemax will be giving a 4:30 (ES) showing of the only film worth watching today. (Fine, I'll allow an Alec Baldwin movie could be appropriate as well.)
Frankly, since his star turn I find Phil to be something of a sell-out. If you are the sort who lacks that special something the rest of us call a life, here's a running tally board of the regional prognostications.


"That's Not the Kind of Help I Expected, Honey"

An Iowa man, standing trial for repeatedly flashing his neighbors and female postal workers, had his wife take the stand in his defence, although I think he probably yelled, "Objection!" before his lawyer had a chance. I'll leave it to you to decide, was her testimony the worst part of his defence, or the fact that his kids were in court to hear both the charges and his betrothed's ample description of his un-ample stature. One thing I'm sure of, our man Dirk certainly would have been convicted that day.