Another Divorce Where the Kids Will Suffer

After a long bout of speculation early this year Pixar Animation decided to sever its relationship with Disney and either partner with a new studio or simply strike out on its own. This surprised few people as Pixar's magic has been the sole dose of quality in an otherwise unspectacular field of animation releases from Disney. From a negotiation standpoint this has left Pixar sitting pretty, but Disney may be trying to get a small dose of revenge.

Michael Eisner this past week confirmed that the House of Mouse is planing to release a series of sequels based on their past Pixar successes, sequels being something of a cash cow in recent years. With a new release looming on the horizon
Pixar CEO Steve Jobs was underwhelmed to hear of Disney's move.
"We feel sick about Disney doing sequels because if you look at the quality of their sequels ... it's been pretty embarrassing."
That may not be the only thing to cause the gritting of teeth. The arrangement stipulates that, despite having written the stories and created those characters, Pixar will only receive 8% of the royalties from any such title.


Indie Angst is a Guy Thing

Here is an object lesson from the indie world. Guy Pearce stunned a crowd during a press stop for his latest release "A Slipping Down Life" when he referred to one of the film's executive producers with an unclinical term for the female anatomy (the same word Larry David ended up printing in an obituary when he misspelled "aunt" on "Curb Your Enthusiasm".) The reason behind the less-than-dashing and more-than-vitriolic apellativewas the rather troubled history behind the film's eventual release after being recognized as a quality film festival selection.

"Slipping" was initially a featured selection in the 1999 Sundance Film Festival but after generating some distributer interest the executive producer--there were two, and everyone seems mum on indentifying who is the culprit--took controll of the picture and re-edited it for commercial value. The stars and director balked at backing the movie at that point and it grew mold awaiting a deal. Said producer eventually defaulted on payment and a bank took the reigns, eventually selling the rights, and the original cut, to Lion's Gate Films.

Now with the cast and crew back on board the movie is getting the proper push. It expands this week from 5 to 6 screens. So much for Sundance momentum.

Michael Jackson--VARIETY Headline Writer

We can only hope that someone at Variety lost their job over this
misstep. Of course if
Paul Newman elects to sue all damages will go to charity.

IDP in Beef With MTV Over Fast-Food Movie

This past week I've been talking with distributor IDP Distribution before getting shut-out of acquiring "Supersize Me" at our theater. IDP has been busy with a wrestling match with MTV over running commercials for the movie.

The film is expanding to nearly 150 theaters this week and is doing quite well on a per-screen average, grossing over $3 million so far, which is rather huge for an indie documentary. With the growth of screens IDP was vying for some national exposure on the music channel, but the reasons for the lack of spots running is hard to glean with both sides pointing fingers. IDP contends that MTV was worried the commercials would upset their cash cow of fast-food advertisers. They also say they were told that edits had to be made to the spots if they were going to run on the network.

MTV responded by saying that they "suggested" changes be made, but in the end agreed to run the commercials. Rather than running the ads, says the network, IDP elected to issue press releases. (Natch, this is what's referred to as free publicity.) IDP then states they were never informed of the approval and that MTV only made that announcement once the press release went out.

MTV answered with "No way!!", IDP issued a statement saying, "You totally did!", then MTV released an official comment of "Fine, what-ever". The IDP press office responded with "MTV is completely Durst.", and the network went on the record saying "You are SO not running your ads here!"

One of the reasons MTV purportedly wanted to edit the commercial was a shot of director Morgan Spurlock getting physically sick while eating burgers. Because MTV has such high standards against such content. Or else Steve-O has a contractual stipulation that only he can instigate reverse peristalsis on camera.


Something to Make Israelis Grateful Towards the Palastinians

And, because of a ban, they figured this out without seeing "Body of Evidence".

On the heels of Brittany's laughable "Onyx Hotel" tour her vulgarian idol Madonna is hitting the road with her own traveling circus, "The Who Asked For It?" tour. Or rather, she's calling it the "Re-Invention Tour", which may be her most honest appraisal of her career. She's also experiencing numerous snags, a-la Ms. Spears.

On her second stop in L.A. she had to cancel due to a stomach flu. Then word came that she was cancelling 3 stops in Israel after she received credible death threats from Palestinian terrorists. A source from the Madonna camp said, "She thought she was being targeted because of her Jewish Kabbalah religion."
You know, because when we think of Madonna we think of a deeply religious woman.

This same source tried to explain the Hamas hatred. But this group were threatening her (sic) because she represents many things they hate about the West. Tough to gripe about that reasoning. Her filmography--from "Shanghai Surprise" to her most recent wreckage, "Swept Away" is enough to have her dragged into the International Court in The Hague.


Now Your Cargo Shorts Will Need Another Pocket for the Remote

Right after the United Nations stepped in to bring an end to the hostilities of Battle Bots comes a movie to once again bring divisiveness to the arena of automatons. July 16 will see the release of the film "I, Robot", (Flash intensive) a story in which a mechanized serf is accused of murder, a violation of Isaac Asimov's 3 laws of robots. I never gave these laws much weight. When you have kids who can program a computer to mail them updates every time a photographer gets a picture of Brittany Spears falling out of her dress what is to keep someone from sending a robot out to dispose of that neighbor who runs his leaf blower at 7:00 in the morning on Saturday?)

Fox has come up with a unique marketing ploy to push the Will Smith film. They have people walking about with T-shirts implanted with an 11 inch television monitor and speakers. The idea, hatched by a San Francisco ad firm called Brand Marketers, involves having hired hands--referred to as "brand Ambassadors"--walk around clusters of people in malls and comic book conventions while the movie trailer plays on their shirts. I would guess that there are limitations to prospective hirees. After all if you have an "ambassador" who is, shall we say, particularly enhanced or endowed their physique would throw off the aspect ratio. Unless you want the anamorphic effect.


At Cannes That's a Rappes

I honestly had no intention of including yet another Michael Moore reference in this space but then the Jury of the Cannes Festival went ahead and granted the corpulent chronographer the coveted Palme d'Or, so I have to at least give him passing mention.

The amusing part in all of this is that in accepting the award Moore mentioned that he had no intention of having politics be his motivator and wanted to concentrate on film making. "If I wanted to make a political speech, I'd run for office. I'm a filmmaker, and I wanted to make a movie for people to go see it." Then he expressed his wishes for the film to get a quick release and the put out on DVD before the November election. Because it is not political, you see.

Quentin got his opinion heard on the jury as "Old Boy", the violent Asian film took second place, which in Cannes is the Grand Prize. Go figure.


Danny Ocean on the Other Side of the Pond

George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh teamed a few years for the hyper-slick heist remake of "Ocean's 11" and delivered a great picture. Sure it was a big puffy meringue of a movie, but it dodged being a stupid and bloated affair by sporting a decent script and packing the cast with varied professionals who had fun giving solid performances.

The success of the movie would certainly cause a studio to salivate at the promise of a sequel, but the difficulty of bringing the 12 principals back for a redux is eased by the fact that Clooney and Soderbergh's production company Section 8 are behind this, and the entire crew wants to work together again. This time the effort takes place in Europe with them hitting 3 major cities. A new poster has just come out, looking very close in style to their original, indicating a continuation of the same quality.

One piece of originality in marketing involves the European backdrop. The film is actually working with a team on the Formula-1 circuit, acting as primary sponsor for one of the Jaguar racers. Their debut is this weekend in Monaco.


A Hop,Skip, and a Jump-Cut Gets Vincent Gallo Distribution

Everyone pretty much agreed last year's Cannes Festival stank like a chunk of Brie left out in the sun on the Riviera. Evidence of this was that the biggest story to come out of the fiasco surrounded Vincent Gallo and his disastrous film, "The Brown Bunny",starring himself and Chloe Sevigny.

After, and often during viewings, audiences railed against the atrocity on film, and the usually unhinged Gallo was especially charged up as a result.

He raged that the film wasn't finished yet (begging the question "Why submit it then?"--or better yet, "Why accept it in the festival then?")The best result of the whole affair was a protracted feud that evolved between Gallo and Roger Ebert,(shown here doing his best Tom Wolfe impression on the Croisette.) Many people here in the States expressed regret that they would miss out on this event--people like myself who delight in viewing a cinematic train wreck. Then something happened.

Gallo brought his rotten-tailed film to the Toronto FF and the trimmed down version received--well, a different response. Phrases like "It provoked only mild backlash" and, "It received a far less incendiary reception and reaction" were regarded as raves. But those of us hoping to see it deflated slightly at the idea of a reworked and watchable version. Now word is out that independent distributor Wellspring will bring it into theaters this fall with a home release slated for next year. We can only hope they are brave enough to provide the original cut among the DVD extras. Vincent I'm sure will nix that idea, however.


From Alexandras to Z-Channel

I didn't want to be like every other blog on the planet and give a link to the photo of John Kerry's daughter in the gossamer evening gown. But I will anyway. The thing I have to question--apart from "What the hell does this have to do with John Kerry's campaign?"--is how can anyone position this as a mistake? Most reports detail how the bright lights accidently made Alexandra's assets shine through, but she is a film director--ergo, she should be well versed in the science of lighting and the effects it has on wardrobe. Of course it could also mean she isn't that sharp of a director.

For me however all of this attention is misdirected, so to speak, as the young Ms. Kerry is not the only film maker named Alexandra we should pay attention to in France. Alexandra Cassavetes--known as Xan--is the daughter of indie legend John and she doesn't make short films like the Senatorial progeny. She has entered a feature length documentary, "Z Channel:A Magnificent Obsession", and I might even add that she would be the preferrable choice to be seen in transluscent trappings. The Z Channel was a pay movie channel available in select portions of LosAngeles during the 70's and 80's. It enjoyed a cult following for years as the channel's film loving programmer played what one fan described as a daily film festival.

The documentary is receiving plenty of attention at Cannes and the hope is that it will play the American Festival circut, and I'll lobby our director--who is in Cannes--to bring it in to our festival this year. The only question is that it was financed by IFC Films and they may choose to play it as an original programming selection.


Quentin Crackles on Croisette

They had to know this was going to happen. Cannes has reached its halfway point and one item has dominated headlines thus far: Jury President Quentin Tarantino.

His opening Fest speech was subdued--for Quentin--as he mugged and behaved in his hyperkinetic fashion. But then he ramped up the amp during the Jury Press conference when he and fellow juror Tilda Swinton got into a verbal dust-up over Hollywood movies. She decryed the industrialization of cinema and he asked of her why so many Brits dart off for Beverly Hills the moment they make some serious coin in their career.

Tarantino's "Kill Bill Pt.2" was also released at Cannes to rave audiences, leading many to speculate that the ultra-violent Korean entry "Old Boy" could appeal enough to Quentin to win the Palme d'Or. If that is not enough activirt he has told the press about an upcoming biker picture he is set to make with Michael Madsen and , and he reiterated his wish to direct a James Bond flick. Finally he had the press all a flitter when they revealed he was sharing a suite with fellow auteur Sofia Coppola. (Their kid would surely be somebody who belongs behindthe camera.

No matter your opinion on the guy you have to give him credit for making Cannes something to pay attention to this year


Prediction from the Cinematic Seer Comes True!

It was days ago that The Mother Scratcher made this bold prediction:
Things you can count on the next 12 days--French critics and press doing backflips over Michael Moore's trashing of America

Well yesterday the vaticination bore out when Moore received a lengthy standing ovation following the screening of his anti-Bush polemic "Fahrenheit 9/11". Yes, this Pavlovian response was pretty much a guarantee, but this blog will still lay claim to the credit. After all, we were willing to go ahead and put it in writing.

Over the weekend was another occurrence we could have called--Moore taking to the streets alongside the striking French film workers. Mike gave a speech where he proclaimed,
A job is a human right, a living wage is a human right. This is a human right.
The distinction here is that Moore was not marching with mill workers and pipe-fitters who were hoping for a raise to afford better clothes for their kids. These are entertainment employees, many of them actors, who are upset that their "right" to work 3 months and get paid for the entire year was being limited. They were mad at the government though so Moore felt right at home. For a guy who always looks cranky while in the States he is grinning like a 6 year old while in Europe.

And this makes sense. It was reported that his film "Bowling for Columbine" made $120 million, but less than $22 mill of that was from American theaters.


John May be Forced to Water Down His Movie

The Sultan of Trash, John Waters, has a new experience to contend with. His upcoming picture, "A Dirty Shame" has just been given the "NC-17" tag from the MPAA. The movie is about a Baltimore woman, played by Tracy Ullman, who suffers a concussion and is transformed into a sex addict.

With all the controversey Waters has stirred up in the past--especially fave actor Divine gormandizing on offal--it seems amazing he has never garnered such a harsh rating, but the relatively new "NC-17" tag came about once Waters turned towards releasing more mainstream fare. After all, who would have thought a Waters film would have ever been brought to the stage?

Treatment Engine Pt.2

A semi-irregular assessment of proof that there are new ideas in Hollywood based on some of the scripts recently purchased in Dreantown, USA.

Robbin Hoodz-- With his movie career in stasis--and no new episodes of ABC's The Mole on the horizon--Stephen Baldwin is looking to move behind the camera--or more accurately, he thankfully won't be in front of the camera. Odd that he dreams up a tale of a Mexican-American "skating protege'" who has a scheme to save the skateboard park where he skates. Baldwin to direct. But first he is looking for a co-writer to craft a script.

Door to Door--Brittany Spears is pegged to produce and star in this follow up to "Crossroads", which was about a young girl who takes to the road to become a famous singer. This is about a young girl who takes to the road to become a famous actress, so it is completely different. The girl starts dating a movie star, but rather than getting her a role in his films he gets her a job as a door person at a nightclub. This ends up being her path to stardom. Like the predecessor this too will come via MTV Films.

The Man Who Kept Secrets--Here is one to get excited about. The script is based on a Vanity Fair article about Hollywood lawyer Sidney Korshak. Produced by Robert "the Kid" Evens and Brian Grazer, William Friedkin is set to direct, with venomous penman James Ellroy writing. Try to keep me away.

Brat Farrar--Toss this log into the Affleck chipper. Live Planet picked up this script about the antics of a wealthy family battling over the father's inheritence. Ben's bud Chris Moore is among the producers.

Mexican Rodeo-- Since I can't do better, here's the actual description: A talented Rodeo Clown is thrown off the Circuit after the President of the Rodeo gets tired of his arrogant antics. Alienated from all the luxuries and friends he once knew, his life falls apart. Facing jail time after making some bad decisions, he flees to Mexico, where he meets up with a kindred spirit, an old bull fighter, who helps the ex-rodeo clown to realize his true calling as a Matador. They left off the tag line, "Based on the play by William Shakespeare."

3 Day Test--Though listed as a comedy this sounds horrific. An acoountant loses his mind 3 days before Christmas and torments his family. Now the horror: It is written and to be produced by Corbin Bernsen, and is set to star 13 assorted soap opera stars. Be very afraid.

Runner Up--A contestant from a beauty pagant is sentenced to community service. Her solution is to stage a pagant inside a women's prison. Single Cell Productions bought this script which means Michael Stipe is producer. Yes,that Michael Stipe.


Scattershot Entries

Much to discuss and yet nothing warranted a post unto itself. Thus, a buffet of blogosphere bunkum.

Dunkin Donuts Is Next: The documentary "Super Size Me" gets its national release today, expanding to 113 screens, and you can follow along with director Morgan Spurlock as he plugs his film. As of now I hear there is no screening scheduled in Florida so we here at the theater are looking into bringing it in.

Proof There is a God--And He Punishes: The most uncalled for sequel...EVER! Word escaped that for reasons nobody can fathom a sequel is slated for "Deuce Bigalow: Male Giggalo". As if you needed evidence of this being a disaster a list of insurrections already promised is offered: Rob Schneider will both reprise and co-write the script, the director Mike Bigelow will make his debut after being a commercial lenser, and it will co-star box office poison Eddie Griffin. You know, in other countries this is considered a war crime.

Can't Miss the Single Entendre: There has been an upheaval about the Olsen Twins appearing in a new "Got Milk" ad, specifically what those moustaches could be interpreted as representing, now that they are nearly 18. My outrage is more esoteric. Who does Ashley think she is fooling wearing a shirt with the Velvet Underground's Warhol Album cover? Lou Reed has Honda Scooters that are older than the twins.

Still Too Classy an Event for Him:Tom Green, who has made a career out of killing his career, has seen himself marginalized as much as he can be in movies. He is hosting a show celebrating movie trailers.


Catch it if You Cannes

Today is the start of the world's most prestigious and nebulous film event, The Cannes Film Festival. Basically the streets in France will be lined with thousands of film lovers who have absolutely no chance of seeing a film. Things you can count on the next 12 days:

* French critics and press doing backflips over Michael Moore's trashing of America.

* Quentin Tarantino behaving like an audio-visual geek amped up on Red Bull.

* Members of the foreign press straining all lines of convention to justify a story that requires shooting footage at a topless beach.

There has been a great deal of hand wringing in France that the film employees of that country are going to stage a bit of a protest over their cut in government benefits. It seems for years France has supported the arts by literally supporting their artists. There has long been a program whereby workers in films and other performance arts could actually work a fraction of the year and collect unemployment for the duration.

Now that program is to be overhauled because of rampant abuse and the largesse is being trimmed severely, although severe is up for interpretation. Talk to a twenty-something thespian working three jobs in L.A. while hoping to land a speaking part in a Viagra commercial and see how much sympathy you get from him.

A Call for Films That Kick Butts

Touching on an issue that is significant to me.
There are hearings taking place in the hallowed halls of D.C. this week to look into a social scourge. In the wake of the indecency controversies in television and radio recently Washington is tackling another serious issue that plays out on screen:SMOKING.

Apparently responding to hordes of consumer advocacy groups--or some crank in his basement with a fax machine--Congressional hearing were held to look into the possibility of designating a film depicting smokers as "Rated R".
The quotes from "experts" tells the story.

Senator John Ensign from Nevada asked this of Jack Valenti: Why is it OK to modify it for nudity, for language, but it's not OK to modify it for tobacco? Apparenty Ensign equates cigarettes and guns in the same level.
Unfortunately, the current movie rating system does not protect children from seeing their favourite actors and actresses smoking in movies," Cheryl Healton, president of the anti-tobacco group American Legacy Foundation, said in a statement.
Note the not too subtle implication that it should "protect" the children from "seeing" pictures.

A few things. Can you not still see smokers on television programs? So something that belongs in an "R" rated movie is fine for prime time. Also, if my daughter is walking down the street and sees a violent act, or even two people engaged in sex, that is against the law. Her viewing a cigar smoker in a public locale is perfectly legal. So far.
There is another can of worms regarding classic movies. Imagine the idiocy of "Casablanca" becoming off limits to young-uns because Bogey sparked a nail. You also have to include music videos with role models who are consuming legal substances, (at least on screen). And what about those instances where cartoons have characters enjoying a fat roll?


Skirts Are The New Codpiece

Don't get me wrong, I like self confidence as much as any other testosterone choked trog. But Brad Pitt may be a little caught up in his assuredness with the upcoming epic "Troy". In discussing the historical film he declares that it will be the catalyst in a fashion movement--men wearing skirts.

Pitt declares that "Men will be wearing skirts by next summer." To paraphrase that great thinker Arthur Bach: They'd have to be real big men. Pitt's prognostication however won't stand up to introspection. Look at some recent examples of men waging fierce battle in knee-length fashions--Oscar winners both--and no subsequent haberdasher shift was trumpeted in Esquire. In fact, if seeing these movies inspired donning a tartan ensemble the public reaction would certainly mean you would want to also imitate defense strategies that were featured.

Going on a limb I'll state there are truly only two instances where pulling on such an outfit is permissible. One, you are of Scottish decent and are attending a wedding or wake concerning said clan. Second, you are at an outlandish bacchanal and said skirt is fashioned from grass. Otherwise you can end up looking a tad out of style.


The Spidey That Came in From The Cold

Outrage swirled around major league baseball last week. Was it steroid engorged players? Profligate pricing policies around the ballparks? Pitchers committing attempted assault with a slider? No, furor grew out of the sport's leaders giving in to advertising greed for the upcoming "Spiderman 2".

In a multi-million dollar agreement baseball stadiums will be adorned with numerous insignia from the movie, but what really tore it for baseball purists was the idea that an advertisement would appear on the bases as well. This I had much curiosity about, because essentially the target demographic were positional
players and those hitters with a decent batting average who would reach base. (Derek Jeter probably won't hear about this movie.)

I love the idea of people talking about how advertising will somehow sully the game of baseball. Players even shook their heads at the owner's greed, while wearing free cleats from Nike, for which they receive a check. Explain how a sticker on the hot corner at Quaalcom Park during a Nextel "Call to the bullpen" following a "This Bud's for You!" home run which is being replayed on the Coca-Cola Jumbotron.

Things could have been even worse actually. One of the ideas proposed by Sony, (the company releasing the film) was to change the safety netting behind home plate into a spider's web with the logo present. Now that might have been cool. Sammy Sosa fouls one straight back and the ball sticks right there on the web, with a local actor in the Spidey costume who has to climb up and retrieve it. Now I guess we'll have to watch the game.


Ducka You Head, Lollobrigida

With a war raging in the Gulf and the Stanley Cup Playoffs in full swing the Canadian Parliment was tackling the tough issues--how to pronounce the name of an Italian septugenarian actress. Not properly schooled on the intricacies of North-of-the-border politics I can only speculate what the hell parliment members were doing discussing Gina Lollobrigida.

Apparently one member "accused" a former minister of "rubbing shoulders with aging Italian sex kitten Gina Lollobreegeeda." One of the ministers called him an "idiot" because of the mispronunciation, and then the accuser apologized for offending "the aging sex kitten community," in the most sincere of tones. I'm going to go on a limb here and declare that once you cross the 3/4 century mark you may still be considered a beauty, but you should forfeit the right to be declared a sex-kitten. My take.

I look forward to the day my child can open a news paper and see an exchange like this in our own Congress:

Trent Lott III: I am dismayed to find I have seen reports that the former director of the Dept. of Transportation was seen on the town with that movie star minx DEM-y Moore while her husband Haley Joel Osmet was in California accepting his Oscar!

Tom Daschle Jr: Lott you imbecile! It's pronounced Dem-EE!

Lott III: I'm sorry if I offended the surgically augmented senescent stripper community."

Nah, it must be a Canadian thing.


A Day To Doff the Britches and Knickers

I still haven't recovered from Cinco de Mayo and now I am forced to drop trou?

Finally a holiday I can get behind. Today is National No Pants Day, a time of year where people can stage their own boxer rebellion, sporting events see more fan adulation than usual, and email boxes may be filled with web cam images of defrocked lovers from states away. I make a pledge that I might participate in this event when I begin to see appropriate participation from all ranges of the social fabric.

As we all know however these events normally mean we get treated to those we would rather see wearing more clothes, not less.


Big Deal, Today is 5 of May

For reasons only the gurus at Corona and Tostitos can explain millions of American xenophobes will take this day to embrace the culture of another country. More accurately, they will take the occasion of a barely understood holiday from South-of-the-Border to ingest copious amounts of tequila, further depleting the dwindling agave harvest. I'm not close to being Mexican and I still resent the eradication of national fauna in order to guild the vaults of Sammy Hagar.

It might not be a bad idea to avoid streets choked with collegians polluted with Dos Equis and secretaries made amorous by 3-for-1 margaritas. You can go two routes. There is the Orson Welles classic "Touch of Evil". Just don't giggle at Chuck Heston in the role of Ramon Miguel Vargas. If you want spicy you could go with "Y tu Mama Tambien" Stylish action more your speed, pick one of the Robert Rodriguez trilogy. Personally I say go with a great story of unrequited love, "Like Water for Chocolate". The book was infinitely better than "Bridges of Madison County", (but so are the Yellow Pages) and the film is beautifully shot while staying faithful to the story.


How Bond Gets The Women--Hint: It Ain't the Tux

Scandalous was the word years back when it was announced that ultra-spy and alpha-male role model James Bond was ditching his Aston Martins and was set to drive a BMW in the newer action epics. Sure they are great to sport around in, especially when outfitted with the Non-factory options courtesy of Q, but a new survey proves that the real reason behind the Bavarian selection is that it draws the women.

The laugher of this study is that at the bottom of the list was Porsche. Some may argue this to be due to the abscense of a backseat worthy of some rest stop action, but I offer that this supports the theory that drivers of these cars are engaged in a desperate act of compensation. You have to love that these lonely hearts would have been seeing more attention if they had saved money and bought a Volkswagen.

This information also may throw a new angle on the sweepstakes to replace Brosnan as Bond. The star of "Croupier", Clive Owen was among the first names to be mentioned as the new Bond, and as you may recall he played the the title role of "The Hire", the stylish collection of short films by...BMW Films. At least we know that if Clive does not get the role he will still get the lady.


Entreaty for Elephant's Emotional Easement

As if the end of "Sex and the City" wasn't hard enough on the girls, a pair of elephants from an LA zoo have been seperated and now a judge is stepping in to determine if this bond breaking isn't causing depression in an African elephant named Ruby at the Knoxville zoo. Ruby was brought in as part of a breeding program but she has not been as amorous as officials had hoped (That's Cattral with the esplendido). I could have told them that--when you come between your woman and her best friend she will resent you for it. Easily the best line is this quote from a Humane Society spokesperson:

"As far as I'm concerned, it's the first time in America that we've had a Superior Court judge bend over backwards to see if an elephant is happy." (What is the opposite of writer's block, when you have so much you can say that nothing can get out?)

As an attempt to alleviate the stress I posit that they smear some peanut butter on a remote and see if Ruby could be consoled with a feature that has a comedian in it, like Dennis Leary, or maybe Bill Murray.

If that fails I say get her liquored up. I doubt you could afford enough Cosmopolitans to lift the spirits of a 5 ton leviathon, but you could start with a 6-pachadyrm of beer. (Shut-up, like you could resist using that line.) I know just the brand they can use. You need to be careful of the amounts however, as bad things can happen when they get drunk.

The natural question of course is what does an inebriated elephant see when it hallucinates?