Oscar's Jewish Fallout
Here’s the new annual Purim cover spoof by the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. It sends up this town’s Jew/Oscars/Hollywood ties, especially Jewish discomfort with the moral equivalence in Steven Spielberg’s Munich. “Spielberg to Jews Post-Munich: “I wish I could quit you.” And “Spielberg to Direct “Balanced” Jaws Sequel: Amity Beach”, showing Bruce the Shark about to lay a big wet kiss on Steven. (You know why the shark is called Bruce, of course: after… Read
Larry King Live?
Note to Jon Klein, honcho at CNN: You might want to get a succession plan together sooner than later. Around Beverly Hills, they’re noticing that 72-year-old resident Larry King seems increasingly frail physically. (I could go into detail, but I consider it unseemly.) Also, back around Thanksgiving, guest Jerry Seinfeld appeared less than amused at having to repeat stuff to King again and again because it wasn’t registering with the talk show host. Plugging the sitcom’s… Read
NBC's Wright: Cheeky & Thinskinned
Two Bob Wright takes…….
It’s a textbook case of chutzpah, though in Bob Wright’s world, it’s known as cheekiness. Doesn’t matter, because it was still really, really bad behavior. Harken back to that stunning announcement in late January: two flailing networks (WB and UPN) will now become one flailing network (the poorly named CW). So who picks up the phone right away, and calls WB chief Garth Ancier, and acts as if there’s no water under the bridge between them? And… Read
Also on the subject of animation, DreamWorks Animation (SKG’s IPO company) told Wall Street analysts today it won’t see significant earnings in the first half of 2006. That’s because its newly crowned Oscar-winner Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit under-performed. You see, DreamWorks can’t score any revenue from the film until its distribution costs are paid. As usual, those feeble-minded financial analysts state the obvious: “the films they make cost too… Read
Pixar's Rusty Cars?
A few minutes ago, I saw the “world premiere” of the trailer for Disney/Pixar’s Cars (June 9). Owen Wilson sounded over the top. Paul Newman was appropriately world weary, but then he elevates any material. Talking cars taking Route 66 may be the end-all-and-be-all for little and big boys, and NASCAR junkies. But the trailer seems too retro. I don’t think this is gonna be Pixar-Disney’s most praised or most profitable.
Roger Ebert Gets the Last Word
Here is Roger Ebert’s reply to my response to his dissing my Oscar night scribble What Did I Tell You. At issue is my citing anecdotal evidence pouring in to me in January about hetero Academy members unwilling to screen Brokeback Mountain and why I predicted Crash would win Best Picture because of it. (See my full February 1st LA Weekly column Read
Lawyering Up Pellicano's Victims
I’ve learned that two high profile Westside Los Angeles litigators, Neville Johnson (of the firm Johnson and Rishwain) and Brian Panish (of Panish Shea & Boyle) are meeting with many victims of the Pellicano wiretapping scandal to jointly represent them. Remember last month’s LA Times story speculating how costly these cases could be if deep pocketed cities like Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, or fancy-shmancy law firms, or super-rich Pellicano clients were found liable… Read
Roger Ebert: Naif?
This week, Roger Ebert slammed my Oscar night scribble What Did I Tell You about why, eons ago, I predicted Crash would win Best Picture despite the hype for Brokeback Mountain. I cited the anecdotal evidence pouring in to me about hetero Academy members unwilling to screen Brokeback. (See my February 1st LA Weekly column How Gay Will Oscar Go.)… Read
Oscar Hangover: Finke/LA Weekly Column
Oscar’s got a hangover, says my latest LA Weekly column, and only a self-help step program's gonna fix that. My advice to improve ratings includes: No more uncomfortable opening monologue, show us your tits instead! Create a mosh pit. Get rid of all the non-talent awards and sell that show to the Discovery Channel. Something rude about Angelina… Read
Shorties: Waxman, Ovitz
Did you score? The newly released paperback version of New York Times Hollywood correspondent Sharon Waxman’s book Rebels on the Backlot was included in every Independent Spirit Awards goodie bag from Oscar weekend. That’s 1,900 copies looking at six maverick (my better word: overrated) directors and how they conquered (my better word: fooled) the Hollywood studio system: Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, David Fincher, Paul Thomas Anderson, David O. Russell, Spike… Read
That Agency Urge to Merge (Updated)
When each agency urge-to-merge rumor surfaces, it’s the baby agents/ambitious assistants who worry. And why not? After all, they realize that, if it becomes a reality, it’ll take longer for them to rise in the new agency’s food chain. And these windup-toy-types aren’t a patient bunch. So the young’uns are fretting over the latest United Talent-Endeavor rumblings. I’m told Endeavor partner Richard Weitz is actually admitting to them, when they ask about it, that, “yes… Read
My Sopranos Moment: Kissed by “Jr” Gotti
Given the return to HBO this Sunday of Tony, Carmela, the kids, and everyone not already murdered, here’s my own Sopranos moment: the time in 1994 when I was on assignment for Vanity Fair to write a profile of the son also rises: John A. “Junior” Gotti, who's now on trial for racketeering in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. I found myself with a cup of coffee, a kiss and a few clues from the new reputed head of the Gambino family. (This is an unpublished excerpt.)
I can… Read