Short Attention Span Theater

Short Attention Span Theater
Movies, mayhem and more: A blog from Cleolinda Jones, writer, grad student, space cadet, editor of (That's Miss Cleo if you're SAST-Y.)

Monday, March 31, 2003  

I don't know if this is posting correctly or not, but let's assume for a moment that Blogger is working, shall we? Anyway. This cracks my shit up:

IMDB: "Russell's Wedding Weekend"
Hollywood star Russell Crowe's upcoming nuptials look set to be a three-day extravaganza of "food, wine, music and literature," according to the official invitations.... Highlights include lavish banquets, poetry readings and a cricket match starring the Gladiator actor's cousins Martin and Jeff Crowe and shamed Australian cricketer Shane Warne. A source tells British tabloid The Sun, "What started off as a low-key affair has gradually evolved into a weekend-long celebration. Rumor has it that Russell has written his own love poem to Danielle."

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 7:02 PM

If you can read this, it means we don't have them anymore. I've posted about three things after the Troy item, and I can see them, but I can't get the SAST page that you see to update. Grrrr.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 2:52 PM

The first thing I want to make clear is that I am not egotistic enough to think that any of this has anything to do with me or the Digest personally. But I find it interesting that multiple sites--Jo Blo and Lights Out Entertainment, off the top of my head--have suddenly put out calls for more help in their news sections. For example, over at LOE: "We're looking for people to scan the internet, magazines, and anywhere else that's a feasible source for movie news to post news scoops on the site. This news hits the front page and is our main source for everything that's going in in the movie world. THIS POSITION REQUIRES HEAVY DEDICATION as we want to be on top of all of the latest stories." (Yeah, you better believe it requires "heavy dedication," I can tell you that much.) That, and both Jo Blo and Empire Movies have revamped (to varying degrees) with more emphasis on their news sections. I mean, I would definitely say that I'm a C-level site both in terms of popularity and design, but... I wonder if the emergence of newer, amateur sites like mine is causing the bigger dogs to raise the bar a little. If so: bring it on, baby.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 11:03 AM

Cleolinda: "Hello?"
AngelDust [connection fuzzy from inside the car]: "Okay, I have this question, this guy--"
Cleolinda: "Is everything all right?"
AngelDust: "Everything's fine, fine--this actor, his name is Jay, he was in Mafia!--this is driving me crazy, what's his name?"
Cleolinda: "Jay Mohr?"
AngelDust: "THANK YOU! That's it. Oh, one more thing, that guy in The Ring--"
Cleolinda: "Martin Henderson?"
AngelDust [shouting over her friend, who is driving]: "That guy, you know, the guy--"
Cleolinda: "Martin Henderson?"
AngelDust: "The guy, you know, the husband--"
Cleolinda: "Noah?"
AngelDust: "YEAH! What's his name?"
Cleolinda: "Noah?"
AngelDust: "The actor!"
Cleolinda [eyeroll]: "Martin Henderson!"
AngelDust: "The who?"
AngelDust: "Martin? That's gay. Okay, thanks."

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 10:44 AM

Over at, Darth Lucas is quoted as saying, "[Episode III is] a darker version of Star Wars.... It's not as dark as a Quentin Tarantino movie, but at the same time, for Star Wars it will be pretty dark."

Star Wars: Episode I--The Phantom Menace review, May, 2001
There’s a shot where Yoda’s sitting beside him in the Jedi Council and Jackson looks over at him and all of a sudden I flash back in that car in Pulp Fiction with Jheri-curled Jackson driving, only it’s Yoda in the passenger seat instead of John Travolta, soberly intoning, “A Royale with cheese, call it they do.”

I'm just sayin'.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 10:26 AM

You have got to be kidding me. Absolutely kidding me. Just when we thought Superman was out of his clutches, Brett Ratner wants to do the Philip Pullman His Dark Materials trilogy for New Line? (Let me clarify: It is happening, and it's happening at New Line. It's the director they don't have yet. It's not like Ratner just dreamed this project up entirely.)

Okay, look. I read His Dark Materials. I loved His Dark Materials. You better back up off it, chum. "It's kind of like Harry Potter [or] Lord of the Rings," Ratner says over at Sci-Fi Wire. See, no. It's "like" those two series in that it's fantasy. Otherwise, it's completely unlike either of them. I'm really disturbed that he pulls out the two recent big-money fantasy franchises for comparison. Lemme put it this way: The Golden Compass starts off with gypsies, alternate universes, and polar bear kings. The third book, The Amber Spyglass, ends up with a war against heaven and "a new Adam and Eve." Brett Ratner just--doesn't have--doesn't even--not the first clue--GAHHHH.

Who would I give it to? I have no idea. No idea at all. Neil Jordan? I don't know.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 9:30 AM

Sunday, March 30, 2003  

Oh, hey now, a link from Fametracker: Do we have a Helen? Sienna Guillory--"Emma in The Time Machine." Oh, no...

Update: Okay, the article linked above clearly states that it is the Wolfgang Petersen movie, but now the Fametracker folks are suggesting that this article is simply wrong, and she has been cast in a separate miniseries version. Which is just dumb.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 7:22 PM

Well, it looks like it's official--Peter Jackson's next (big) project will be King Kong in 2005 for Universal. (Coming Soon)

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 7:15 PM

And it's time once again for that rundown of Incredibly Bizarre And/Or Sick Searches That Brought People to the Digest. No kidding, I just found all of the following search terms/phrases in my site statistics:

homemade bong
mutant bear from movie prophecy
nicolas cage us citizenship
crepes eggscetera
graham leader bedroom
pictures of quinn culkin
elijah wood baby pictures
baby pictures of elijah wood
elijah woods baby pictures
mr deeds rear nudity
hooks for hands
pirates with hooks for hands
cold mountain movie gay witch
shocking picture 1024768 war
superhero fetish
who's stronger silver surfer of superman
dark horizons porn
richard gere has a tattoo
lotr porn
dedee pfeiffer playboy pictures
kurt cobain corpse pictures
irreversible screen caps
amanda winkelvoss
amanda winklevoss
pics of halle berry and billy bob thornton sex scene in monster's ball
jeff garlin julia roberts jerk
akiva goldsman confessions cameo
trailer park jokes
ian mckellen toilet
queen latifah's boobs
theme park boobs
alabama stereotypes
igby goes down catfight
long dong silver and other sex freaks
is ben kingsley a vegan
catfight natalie portman
renee zellweger sorority texas
fark ted nugent
oregon stripper news
+rutger +hauer +nordic
dominic monaghan as you've never seen him before
natalie portman's political party
the whole story about eminem and his wife kim getting divorce
who is gay on the cast of lord of the rings
we know we made a bad movie gods and generals
kill ratboy kill

Dude, what is wrong with you people?

(That said, there are some prime potential band names to be found in that list, like "Catfight Natalie.")

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 7:02 PM

You know, I'm surprised that someone linked to our epic, two-years-old Rings Things LOTR trivia page, but I'm shocked that they did so only four days ago. I keep wondering whether I should update it, but since the movies were filmed all together, it's not like there's much more to cover... is there?

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 6:09 PM

You know, that last post reminded me that I totally forgot to do Movies We Want to See for March. So I've gone and done it for April and May. It's a little sketchy right now, but I reserve the right to go back and add more if I hear more/different buzz about some of these movies.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 5:41 PM

My parents just came back from Basic. Which they liked. A lot. Rotten Tomatoes rating: 21%. Sigh.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 3:43 PM

I cannot believe I just saw a Swiffer commercial offering a DVD of Maid in Manhattan. During Imitation of Life. You know, like, picking up on that whole minority-maid thread... Gahhhhh.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 7:28 AM

Oh, rock on--Imitation of Life! I like the Claudette Colbert version a lot, but this one, the Lana Turner--this is what Todd Haynes was talking about with Far from Heaven, people. Although I'm not sure (can't say, since I haven't seen FFH yet) that he goes for the same lush Douglas Sirk hysteria. You have got to love a movie that ends with a girl throwing herself on a casket in horse-drawn carriage in the middle of a downtown funeral parade, shrieking, "I killed my mama! I killed my mama! Oh, mama, I loved you and you didn't know it!" Also, this movie always makes me hungry for pancakes. I'm just sayin'.

ETA: I just realized that the "pancake" comment makes more sense if you know that Claudette Colbert's character becomes a pancake mix mogul (yeah, I know, I know) in the original film, whereas Lana Turner gets rich as an actress in the remake.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 5:14 AM

Saturday, March 29, 2003  

Awww, hey now, we have some new DVDs up for sale or preorder:
Adaptation (warning: since this is a Superbit, it has jack-all in terms of features)
Chicago (six Oscars)
Far from Heaven (Best Actress nominee Julianne Moore)
The Hours (Best Actress Nicole Kidman; Supporting nominee Julianne Moore)
Spirited Away (Best Animated Feature Film)
Miyazaki 3-Pack: Spirited Away/Castle in the Sky/Kiki's Delivery Service
Talk to Her (Best Original Screenplay)
Unfaithful (Best Actress nominee Diane Lane)
Y Tu Mamá También: Unrated Version (Best Original Screenplay nominee)

Oh, and by the way--this does not seem to be The Pianist that you want.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 3:00 PM

Mr. Typo's sent me this link from MSNBC's The Scoop:

Julia Roberts threw a “tantrum” backstage at the Oscars, according to the London Mirror. “The actress told stunned organizers that she didn’t want to recite her presentation speech and would ‘rather just announce the nominees,’ ” according to the paper, which reports that Meryl Streep and Colin Farrell, who were sharing a cigarette nearby, “looked on in disbelief as the show’s organizers eventually calmed the star down and convinced her to accept minor changes to the script.”

A "cigarette." Rrrrright.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 11:14 AM

I really should be finishing Persuasion (which is great), but oh, well. I just got one of two books I ordered through Oscar Watch in the mail--Inside Oscar 2, ironically, with Inside Oscar to arrive soon, I would hope. Apparently the first book covers the beginning of time through the 1994 Oscars; the one I've got is 1995-2000, which is just as well, because it's a thorough read. Hilarious, too--I spent the 1995-1996 chapters thinking, "Wow, Damien Bona is showing a lot of non-partisan restraint in his writing here," and then we hit 1997 and all of that (delightfully) went out the window.

Each year/chapter follows the same pattern: 1) the movies and how they were received/reviewed at the time; 2) the campaign and competition to get nominations; 3) the nominations and reactions to them; 4) the Oscar show itself (you'll chuckle at the good moments, but you'll howl at the bad ones, so it's worthwhile all around); 5) the parties afterwards--something hoi polloi like us actually don't get to see, even though we might remember a lot of the goings-on in the rest of the chapter; 6) and the aftermath. My favorite part so far has perhaps been how James Cameron wasn't satisfied with pronouncing himself "King of the World!" on Oscar night, but also had spend the next couple of days calling for the tar-and-feathering of critic Kenneth Turan, whom Cameron perceived as the lone holdout in the adulation of His Majesty, which of course only made Cameron look worse. Bona quotes another critic as writing, "Earth to Jim: Dude, you won!"

However, the year I was really eager to read about was 1998--the year that Miramax ran off with Saving Private Ryan's Best Picture Oscar, to the shock of the known universe ("Here [Spielberg] was with an Oscar in front of him and he was looking as if he had just heard the Germans had won the War.... Said Spielberg, 'There should be two there'"). And don't get me started on the Elia Kazan affair--fascinating inside stuff. The really enlightening part, however, is Bona's running commentary on how Academy voters voted for Roberto Benigni's larger-than-life (and extremely annoying) persona rather than his acting ability--because that's exactly the bill of goods that Miramax and Benigni, who appeared on "60 Minutes" speaking calmly in "nearly flawless English," sold them; the madness culminates with Bona's observation that "a little [after Benigni won], Ian McKellen, Nick Nolte, and Edward Norton met up at the lobby bar and had a good laugh at the absurdity of losing Best Actor to Roberto Benigni."

(For his part, Spielberg wanted to walk out of Life Is Beautiful, but wife Kate Capshaw, conscious of how that would look, wouldn't let him.)

I can't speak for the first book, but Bona certainly takes the media "kudocast" circus surrounding the Oscars into account as well, liberally quoting Joan Rivers and other would-be fashionistas. In a sense, Bona is recapping the Oscars here much in the way that Television Without Pity recaps TV shows--you get all the fun of the event, and yet it is sanitized (snarkitized?) for your protection, because God--I know I've watched Rivers lo these many years, even as she's gone from refreshingly bitchy to downright unbearable, and Bona's recollections are the first time I've laughed at her in years. I've got about 150 pages left; here's hoping the first book comes in soon.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 10:38 AM

The Modesto Bee: "Actor Vince Vaughn suffers bloody nose in confrontation outside West Hollywood club"

Vince Vaughn received a bloody nose for his birthday Friday when he was punched by a man outside a hotel lounge where the actor had been celebrating turning 33. Vaughn's assailant ran off after hitting him and was not immediately arrested, said Sgt. Robert Lewis of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. A witness told authorities the attack took place about 2:15 a.m. when someone approached the 6-5 actor outside The Standard hotel and made an apparently racially derogatory remark. Vaughn made a flippant, non-racist reply in response. "The suspect took offense to him and hit him," Lewis said. Vaughn's nose was bloodied, said his publicist, Ina Teciokas. "Vince never threw a punch. ... He was just standing outside and got punched," Teciokas said.

While filming "Domestic Disturbance" in Wilmington, N.C., in 2001, Vaughn and screenwriter Scott Rosenberg were arrested after a barroom brawl in which the film's co-star, Steve Buscemi, was stabbed [in the head] several times.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 10:37 AM

Oh, man, I love this one--It Lives by Night ("Well IT shouldn't drink so much coffee!"), particularly the Julee Cruise wannabe singing over the credits ("Music for the Heavily Sedated") and--wait, did that credit just read "Makeup by Stanley Winston"? Heh. (I'll be damned--the movie also goes by The Bat People, and--yes, it is Stan Winston.)

"Come! Bring your thinness!"
"Mutual of Omaha's Mild Kingdom!"
"This cave [exhibit] is popular among those trying to avoid sex." (Wife: "I wanna do the humpty-hump! I wanna do it now!")

Also: Holy crap, I absolutely have to watch this new show "Scare Tactics." It looks tacky as hell, but I absolutely have to see it, since I've already had to report on that "I was traumatized by the supposed 'murder' of one of my traveling companions by an alien" suit.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 6:25 AM

Thursday, March 27, 2003  

This is the best wallpaper site ever. ; )

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 9:02 PM

From the Boston Globe:

There was no word whether Bush had requested the menu change [from "French toast" to "Freedom toast"] specifically. White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer declined the meal, and seemed unaware of the change. Asked whether the switch was official, Fleischer replied, ''I'm not a hobbit, so I didn't have a second breakfast. I had my breakfast before I came in."

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 7:35 PM

Okay, this is a pretty tortuous train of thought, so hang on: I found that another blog had really randomly linked to my Lord of the Rings: The Two Tickets humor piece, so I started trying to find when and where they did so (a little game of mine, I guess). While I was on that blog, I found a what-percentage-geek-are-you quiz, you know, the kind that gives you a little badge with your score to put on your own website. Well, I'm obviously procrastinating at this point, so I decided to take it, thinking I'd come out as, like, Grand High Geek. To my surprise, I'm only 38%--but listen to the description:

You are 38% geek

You are a geek liaison, which means you go both ways. You can hang out with normal people or you can hang out with geeks which means you often have geeks as friends and/or have a job where you have to mediate between geeks and normal people. This is an important role and one of which you should be proud. In fact, you can make a good deal of money as a translator.

Normal: Tell our geek we need him to work this weekend.

You [to Geek]: We need more than that, Scotty. You'll have to stay until you can squeeze more outta them engines!

Geek [to You]: I'm givin' her all she's got, Captain, but we need more dilithium crystals!

You [to Normal]: He wants to know if he gets overtime.

Take the Polygeek Quiz at

Oh, and I never did find out where PinkPigPie had linked to us.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 7:10 PM

Yay! A big welcome for our latest affiliate, the Catherine Zeta-Jones fansite Welsh Beauty.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 6:27 PM

Just updated our ROTK preview with another shot near the ending of the movie--Frodo finishing Bilbo's book.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 8:56 AM

I don't know. I need a vacation. Badly. Like, a five-dollar vacation. Maybe I need to house-sit or something--you know, just some place other than my own. I was so disappointed this week that the rest of Alabama apparently got off for spring break but UAB doesn't until next week. I was thoroughly prepared, mentally speaking, to be off this week and now I'm not. Whine whine whine.

Okay, I'll see what I can do about getting some news up tonight.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 8:37 AM

Much like "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" (from Moulin Rouge) before it, I can now confirm that "All that Jazz" is an excellent song to belt out when you are home alone.

ETA: You may find the lyrics helpful if you truly mean to add the song to your shower-song repertoire, however.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 8:32 AM

Wednesday, March 26, 2003  

Those of you who don't like old movies might want to read this Salon article--it's not telling you that you're wrong, it's just saying that younger viewers don't see what they're trying to do, don't recognize the conventions they're using. A good read.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 12:15 PM

I had a few people who looked over my Two Towers wallpaper ask where Gollum and the Ents were, because surely they would make good desktops, and I realized that I'd forgotten to add them once some good pictures had come out. So here you go.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 12:02 PM

Tuesday, March 25, 2003  

Sorry I've been a little incommunicado this morning--reading "Knight of the Burning Pestle" for class, which is actually a hilarious play, and I would love to see it staged. Anyway. I've just made a fresh batch of wallpaper--The Pianist was a little depressing, to be sure, but I'm getting demands from newly-minted Adrien Brody fans, so Pianist desktops are foremost in the stack. Also: Nicole Kidman in The Hours (let me know if you want the other two storylines), a couple of fun Adaptation desktops, and more this afternoon as I scan the winners' list (Frida will probably be added as well). We've already got a substantial section for Chicago as well. I won't be able to put them up until I come back from class, but it's a short one, so look for these later in the afternoon.

ETA: All right, here you go--Adaptation, The Pianist, and The Hours are done; I'm still working on Frida, Spirited Away, and possibly Talk to Her.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 10:47 AM

Monday, March 24, 2003  

Forgot to mention this in the previous post--I am just too tired to update actual movie news after six hours of writing and photo-hunting. I'm going out to dinner and getting a decent night's sleep, so enjoy the recap, and we'll be back tomorrow.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 3:07 PM

Well, it took me all damn day, but I've got a photo recap of the Oscars up. Wondering what the hell nearly fell on Steve Martin at the beginning of the show? What the hell was Sean Connery wearing? And what was Meryl Streep on, for chrissakes--and was it as good as the stuff that Jack Nicholson was on? Because wow, he was totally gone. Anyway, we have answers. Well, we found out what fell on Steve Martin, at any rate.

Oh, and a couple of factoids: Adrien Brody (29) is now the youngest Best Actor winner. A stagehand confronted Michael Moore backstage after his big "Shame on you!" speech. Our beloved Dave Barry was actually one of Steve Martin's writers. Also: the recap is, once again, brought to you by booze.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 1:12 PM

Sunday, March 23, 2003  

I--I'm still in shock, honestly. Spirited Away and Eminem and Chris Cooper and Bowling for Columbine actually won (although I think Michael Moore made a perfect ass of himself, honestly). AND THE SHOW ENDED ON TIME. And I still can't believe the showing The Pianist made--there was a moment towards the end where I really thought it might take Best Picture after all. I'm still too disturbed by the Smoking Gun deposition to be all that thrilled about the Polanski win--another shock, even though people kept telling me it could happen--and I wanted Daniel Day-Lewis to win Best Actor, but Adrien Brody was so adorable! Seriously, I cannot believe he kissed Halle Berry like that--that was a moment for the ages, right there. I'm very pleased about the CZJ win, too--but more on that after I cull the best Oscar photos off AP and write up the Morning After column.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 10:17 PM

I suggest you modify the game to your own needs--sip, chug, double, bottoms up!--because I will not be responsible for any alcohol poisoning tonight. However, I suggest you keep a lookout for:

>> Celebrities wearing Artists United to Win Without War pins
>> Celebrities wearing "peace doves"
>> Celebrities wearing duct tape
>> Political speeches inserted into acceptance speeches
>> Political speeches inserted into the presenter script (bonus drink!)
>> Any sort of boo from the crowd, mostly likely political, but you never know
>> A lesser celebrity/famewhore showing up in something unusually inappropriate (think Lara Flynn Boyle and her pink tutu)
>> Steve Martin referring to his three-weeks-at-#1 hit with nominee Queen Latifah, Bringing Down the House, in any way, shape, or form
>> Chicago winning an award
>> Chicago not winning an award it was nominated for (bonus drink!)
>> Catherine Zeta-Jones going into labor (super bonus drink!)

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 1:33 PM

It's not too late to join (and no, there is no actual money involved). Just go to, set up a picks list, and then join private group #2774, password bluesky8.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 1:03 PM

Oh, I ought to add--Friends of Digest Valerie and Brett are coming over to watch with me, and since the show is broadcast to most nations and some planets, I won't be doing a real-time recap (didn't I say this already? Either that, or I've got a wicked case of deja vu). But since people are coming over as well, I won't even be on the computer, so try not to be disappointed (har) when the blog shuts down later in the day.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 10:35 AM

Well, E! seems to have their all-day coverage in full swing--and you know, this part of the day probably isn't affected much for them, since it never had much to do with the red carpet anyway, but rather talking to "experts" and jewelers and designers and whatnot.

Anyway, here's a quote (poster Glitterbug) from a Fametracker thread that I was on earlier:

The rule is that presenters won't interrupt their presentations to make war remarks, but that winners can say anything they want in their speeches. Susan Sarandon gave an interview on this topic and said that while her infamous Oscar remarks about Haiti were emergently necessary at the time to "change the course of history", anti-war remarks at this point would not make such a vital difference to humanity and therefore she'd be keeping her mouth shut. I kid you not.

Anyway, for days they've been saying Joan Rivers was not going to get a spot on the red carpet, and instead would conduct her show from across the street and hope that celebs might choose to drop by. (Fat chance, although I suspect Debra Messing would make a special trip just to do that.) But then today I saw Joan being interviewed, and it sounded like she would be on the red carpet. She was saying that she was going to change her questioning from "What are you wearing?" to "What do you think about the war?...And what are you wearing?" Good job, Joan, on picking the two questions that celebs are so terrified of being asked that they got the red carpet shut down in the first place. She is such a dunce.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 10:33 AM

Saturday, March 22, 2003  

All right, kids, I'm gonna put out a reader request APB for a photo spread in the March 2003 Esquire (cover: Benicio Del Toro; the very latest one, April, has Naomi Watts). It seems to be a fashion section featuring Martin Henderson, Peter Sarsgaard (Saarsgard? Saaarsgaaard?), and Olivier Martinez, two pages per actor. If you can scan it, or you know where scans are, let me know; I'm going to try to find it at the store, but they may already have the April up.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 8:11 PM

Well, now we've got a nice Cold Mountain collage-style wallpaper. Again: I'll never win any prizes at photoshopping, but at least I don't abuse it.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 7:31 PM

I just finished the news, and boy, are my arms tired. (Ba-duh-duh!)

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 3:10 PM

Friday, March 21, 2003  

Uh, I just realized there's a ton of new pictures in the Hollywood VF that came out a couple of weeks ago. I couldn't find it in town for a week, and then I got busy with class, and I'm just now reading it, and... holy crow, that's "Neverland" right there, and "Cold Mountain" over there, and... crap. Looks like I'm gonna have to find someplace to plug in my scanner.

ETA: All right, I've brought our Gallery page back. Don't have "Bright Young Things" up, but "Cold Mountain," "Neverland," and "Le Divorce" pics are.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 1:23 PM

Thursday, March 20, 2003  

I haven't been watching the TV news because I remember how quickly I overloaded after September 11--I watched MSNBC around the clock for two weeks and then couldn't take it anymore; I proceeded to watch nothing more modern than Turner Classic Movies for a solid year. I am serious. So right now I'm relying on the internet for my news, because I can seek it out in small, controlled bursts, and not have the Anchors of Doom shrieking that we're all going to die, the horror, the humanity, etc.

So I'm telling my mother what I just read on Salon--that the first missiles Saddam used were the same ones he professed not to have--and she says, "You need to see what you can find on the Scrushy thing."

"Scrushy thing?"

"Oh Lord, have you not heard about that?"

Richard Scrushy [that's "scroo-shee"] is a big dog here in Birmingham; half the buildings in town, including some at my alma mater, are named for him. I seem to remember that he was friends with fellow jillionaire Martha Stewart or something.

"It turns out HealthSouth was keeping two sets of books," she said.

"Oh no..."

"And one of the top people is telling everything to get a reduced sentence. I mean, he is singing like a bird."

"So they went all Enron on us?"

"Oh, it's worse than that. One-point-four BILLION dollars."


A former company chief financial officer, Weston Smith, pleaded guilty Monday to three felonies related to the alleged fraud. He is cooperating with investigators after pleading guilty to the criminal charges. "What a train wreck of a situation. Scrushy will probably be brought up on charges too and forced to resign," said Tom Goetzinger, a health care analyst for financial adviser Morningstar Inc.

The SEC suit says Scrushy, a 49-year old Selma native, executed the scheme during meetings with company accountants, whom he told to "fix it" when they informed him that upcoming earnings wouldn't meet the estimates published by Wall Street analysts. Subordinates advised him to abandon the practice in 1997, the suit said. He replied, "Not until I sell my stock," the suit says. The CEO has sold 7.7 million shares of HealthSouth stock since 1999.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 4:43 PM

All right, kids: my predictions are up. Man, and I thought last year was tough.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 4:26 PM

Ooo, Harry's getting cute as he gets older: Jo Blo has a link to the new book covers, which were drawn with only a concept from J.K. Rowling, not the text, at hand. (Click "next" to see all of them.)

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 12:25 PM

Well, "Beregond in Return of the King" is certainly a big step up from "Iain in He Died with a Falafel in His Hand." (

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 12:10 PM

Wanna see where everyone's gonna sit? (Wow, Calista's lost a lot of weight.)

ETA: There's a reason you don't see any LOTR folks there. Peter Jackson's elected to stay in New Zealand to keep working on Return of the King (and judging by Two Towers, awards season really made the movie suffer last year, so more power to him); Cate Blanchett was supposed to present, but she may be pulling out as well, which Will Smith has already done, according to USAToday. The paper adds,

Elizabeth Taylor said she was planning to make this Oscars her last. "At the end of the broadcast, all the past winners are going to walk across the stage. So that will be my swan song."

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 12:03 PM

I just posted this, but I think the blog ate it--two days of news, late update, fell asleep, pool of drool, need new keyboard, update finally finished, Ratner's left Superman, more news tonight or maybe just Thursday/Friday super-update, not sure which yet. That was the gist of it.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 7:22 AM

Wednesday, March 19, 2003  

What's wrong with this picture?

Although Renée Zellweger has declined an invitation to sing “I Move On” — Kander and Ebb’s Oscar-nominated song — at this year’s Academy Awards broadcast, her two “Chicago” co-stars will perform the new ballad live.

The L.A. Times reports that Catherine Zeta-Jones, who plays Velma Kelly in the acclaimed film, and Queen Latifah, “Chicago”’s Matron “Mama” Morton, will sing the Oscar-nominated song on the March 23 broadcast. Latifah and the pregnant Zeta-Jones and will be backed by a dozen or so dancers in the sequence, which will feature choreography by the film’s director, Rob Marshall, and John DeLuca.

Okay, Renée, honey? We love you, but if the eleven-months-pregnant lady can get up and sing... you can get up and sing.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 9:30 PM

Okay, Brett Ratner seems blithely unaware of the fact that everyone on the movie news circuit is talking about how his option ran out last weekend and how WB is thisclose to booting him (which is actually possible, as word has it that he only found out about his previous possible booting from Ain't It Cool News), because he's gleefully telling MTV to whom he's offering supporting parts. Apparently he's now offering Jor-El, Superman's father, to Ralph Fiennes rather than Anthony Hopkins, to whom he's now offering the Lex Luthor role. (Both actors survived Ratner's last production, Red Dragon.) Oh, and he wants Christopher Walken to play Parry White. What I can't get over is that the Lex Luthor part, in turn, was originally (supposedly) offered to Charlie Sheen. Because you know, if you can't get Charlie Sheen, sometimes you just have to settle for Anthony Hopkins.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 7:04 PM

From MSNBC: Hijacked DC-3 from Cuba lands in Key West; hijackers seek political asylum. You know, this strikes me as being the worst possible day of the year to pull shit with an airplane. They're damn lucky they didn't get a Patriot missile between the eyes.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 6:35 PM

Having read up on a few articles (Salon, Yahoo, Oscar Watch), I can break down the Oscarcast developments for you thusly:

1. There will be no red carpet arrivals. Stars will go directly from the limousine to the front door. We weep for Crone and Malicious Rivers, truly we do. [ETA: I have since heard that Rivers will be there no matter what. Sigh.]

2. The Oscar gowns will be toned down, with "some actresses" (unnamed) even asking frantically for dark back-up pant suits. Okay, that we actually weep for, as the clothes are half the fun. Oh, wait, fun is bad...

3. The show, host (Steve Martin), and script will be more somber/less frivolous, whichever way you choose to look at it. This being the 75th Academy Awards, you know they wanted to go all out, so this is really bad timing. Supposedly producer Gil Cates wanted to open with a montage of the previous 74 Best Pictures, but I don't see why he can't do that still. It's not like it was going to be accompanied by a chorus line of scantily clad transvestite showgirls or anything.

4. Presenters--including the notoriously political Susan Sarandon--have promised to keep to their scripts, although winners are free to say anything in their 45 seconds that they want. (Stephen Daldry, director of The Hours, in fact, has promised to give a political acceptance speech if he wins, but he is powerless against the voter magnetism of Our Lord and Intergalactic Master Rob Marshall, so whatever.) Amusingly, Cates is less concerned about political speechification and more concerned about a real blight on the show, the 500 Name Thank You Speech:

"This is a chance to say something grand, something funny or something deeply moving," Cates told this year's nominees at a recent luncheon [citing Steven Soderbergh's speech two years ago thanking "anyone who spends part of their day creating"]. "What could you say that would have meaning to an auto mechanic living in Buenos Aires, a secretary in El Salvador or an 8-year-old in Detroit?"

Among the worst name-prattlers was producer Jon Landau, who breathlessly read at least 45 names after winning the best-picture prize for "Titanic" in 1998. He started by thanking "all the nominees this evening and all the people, again, that they've already thanked."

"I wanted to blow my brains out," said Cates, who also produced that show.

5. Barbara Walters' pre-show (interviews with Renee Zellweger, Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore) will be postponed entirely.

6. ABC is fully prepared to run news crawls at the bottom of the screen if there are further developments in the war, and possibly to cut away entirely to a news report.

7. The 500 bleacher creatures who got tickets to sit on the sidelines during the arrivals are shit out of luck, although Cates says that they will be given "an alternate location" from which to watch the awards, which we imagine involves 1) a large room and 2) a large television.

David Poland says: "No matter what your politics, no matter whether you think that Bush is a great man or a moron, no matter what you think about celebrities speaking out… there will be blood spilt on foreign soil by and at the hands of our nation. If Hollywood wants to retain its honor, it must, at the very least, be willing to give up its most glorious onanism, if only for a few weeks."

Sasha Stone says: "It doesn't seem like it's a solution to anything. All it does, really, is make a very minor statement to people in Europe and elsewhere who are angry at Americans. Indeed, what celebrity wants to stand out there and appear like a frivolous ego-maniac? However, as will be pointed out in this letter from John [letter (1) below], what better way to rally the public behind the troops than to have celebs popping up at microphones and saying 'I'm here for our troops! Let's support them in war time!' But you know why they won't? Because most of them are not in favor of the war and this is their way of not having to protest the war while our troops are in harm's way."

Oscar Watch letter (1): "Here is an opportunity while the entire world is watching to show that Americans will not be daunted. In fact, isn't it for the freedom to have such occasions that we are sending our men and women into harm's way? While the Oscars may be a popularity contest on some level and the movie industry patting itself on the back in a major way, doesn't this year's group of nominees also show that it is about reaching out across national boundaries to try to build bridges of peace and understanding? Where better than the arts to show others our individual heritages to promote tolerance and acceptance? Knock the glitz off the telecast if that makes people uneasy, but why let a tyrant dictate the scheduling of the most watched television event in the world? Especially when we can use that time to not only honor the excellent work of persons who are pretty much peaceful in nature, but also to provide air time to verbally give our support to the efforts of those men and women who are abroad and defending our honor and freedom."

Oscar Watch letter (2): "I would just like to say that, personally, I need it now more than ever. It is important to keep a sense of normalcy and to have outlets that one enjoys during these stressful times. Entertainment has always been an important escape during troubled times and the current world situation is no exception. The movie industry is one of America's greatest industries. To have this night go on as scheduled and to show the entire world that we can deal with complex political issues while continuing to celebrate who we are is a wondrous thing."

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 11:39 AM

From the

Italians will soon be able to play at being prostitutes in a Monopoly-style board game in which players must dodge police raids, turf wars and serial killers to earn a living.

In Puttanopoly (which roughly translates to Whoresville), eight players become immigrant prostitutes enslaved by the mafia. The game, created by the Committee for Prostitutes' Civil Rights, aims to raise awareness of the growing problem of sex slavery.

Each "prostitute" starts the game penniless with a "slavery contract" forcing them to pay up to 90% of their earnings to their pimps. Rather than buy property in Park Lane, the women jump from Albanian pimps and police stations and hospitals, while trying not to get killed. If the dice roll their way, they land a week's earnings - up to 5,000 euros - in one go, win a trip to work in Amsterdam or are rescued by an enamoured client.

I don't know, I sort of like "Honopoly" myself.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 11:17 AM

Reading some very interesting things about now, mostly for class--Persuasion and The Roaring Girl chief among them at the moment--but here's something extracurricular I just finished:

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: Absolutely fascinating account of Georgiana Spencer Cavendish, who lived in the last half of the 18th century, had more political influence than any other woman (and most men) in England, was tight with Marie Antoinette and the Prince of Wales, and was the ancestor of Diana Spencer... you know, Princess Diana? Yeah. Fortunately author Amanda Foreman mentions Diana only in the family tree and perhaps once more in the entire book, leaving Georgiana "the heroine of her own story." Foreman is also a really good writer, keeping the myriad names clear and the narrative moving. She also includes plenty of well-researched sex, scandal, and gossip--Georgiana's fertility problems (which actually in retrospect seem to be her husband's, considering that she managed to have two illegitimate children--well, no, so did he...), the ménage à trois they had with Lady Elizabeth Foster, Georgiana's enormous gambling debts, her drug problems, and the terrible (and trumped-up) attacks on her character that ensued when she took to the streets to campaign for Charles Fox. This is one of those biographies for people who don't like to read biographies; highly recommended.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 11:07 AM

Tuesday, March 18, 2003  

There's supposed to be a huge thunderstorm coming in, and there's no way I'll have time to update tonight before it hits (and anything you don't want fried needs to be unplugged), having had two classes and a paper today. However, the Oscars are, in fact, still on, so you can rest easy. Insofar as resting easy is possible these days.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 8:14 PM

LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING says they have a fan club magazine interview with Peter Jackson that reveals the end of the movie. (The assumption here is that Peter Jackson can change anything he wants; otherwise, since millions of people have read the books, that's a pretty dumb "spoiler.") Nonetheless, we have had this particular spoiler on our preview page for months now. I'm just sayin'.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 10:37 AM

You know, it occurs to me... Keira Knightley (Bend It Like Beckham, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Phantom Menace) is widely held to be Natalie Portman's doppelganger, but you know, I think she's a got a really strong dash of resemblance to Winona Ryder at certain angles, too.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 8:17 AM

Well, now it looks like Superman finalists Brendan Fraser and Matthew Bomer are out as well, but as I wrote (re: a third candidate supposedly popping up), all that's kinda moot if Brett Ratner's out. His option to direct expired Saturday, and "today is the day" that the studio will decide his fate, says Coming Soon.

Coming Soon also mentions a rumor that Tobey Maguire may not be returning for Spider-Man 2, due to some health problems--a bad back, caused by doing two "physically demanding films in a row" (Spider-Man and Seabiscuit)--and that he might be replaced by Jake Gyllenhaal, a truly tasty substitute. Sadly (well, for me, anyway, because I love Jake Gyllenhaal), Maguire's rep says he's still doing the movie, just trying to train and recover, and CAA, Gyllenhaal's people, say that he was never offered the part, so nyah. But a girl can dream.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 5:19 AM

Monday, March 17, 2003  

Well, this has been a fabulous day. Bush has all but declared war; my stepfather was supposed to retire from the Army Reserves this year but now they won’t let anyone out and today he was activated; sister/staffer AngelDust was in a fender bender this afternoon; in an unrelated development, she then discovered that she is no longer covered by our medical insurance because she’s not a full-time student anymore; our eldest dog has a mysterious lump (I don’t think she’s covered, either); and I’ve been in a rain-induced funk all day brooding over all of this like a total drip, listening to Roxy Music and cleaning out my email inbox rather than writing the paper that’s due tomorrow. Oh, and there’s a news update.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 10:43 PM

All right, people. I am not dumb. I'm not saying I don't get every word this guy is saying. For one semester I edited Sartre Studies International as part of a fellowship, so I know existentialist mumbo jumbo when I see it. To wit, over at Salon:

While Rachel and Ruth, Katie's mother, discuss the inconceivable circumstances of Katie's death, Ruth says, "I saw her face," and instantly we are subjected to the shot of the closet-bound corpse, in a state of truly hideous decrepitude. Just as Noah's naive "Call me" engenders a call, Ruth's phrase engenders a face. In both cases, the words exert a reality-collapsing force like that of the cursed video images; they literally shape what happens, or at least what we see.

Okay, I dig that.

For those who had the pleasure of studying linguistic deconstruction, it should be clear that here "The Ring" is tapping in to some ex-cutting-edge philosophy, particularly those French pooh-bahs who warn us to be suspicious of language, suggesting it's more our foe than our friend.

Yeah, I've wanted to pooh their bah on more than one occasion. Continue.

Suffice it to say that "The Ring" offers a postmodern paradox in its treatment of language. The best and perhaps most resonant illustration involves Samara's seven-day dispensation. When she hisses, "Seven days," into Rachel's phone, she makes possible this particular film, with its measure of false hope. The dictate is both creative and destructive in the same breath; like God, she calls a narrowly circumscribed universe into existence, but one in which everyone is doomed.

Right, right, right. Loud and clear.

But insofar as this film's dialogue carries the force of fate, we must consider the possibility (and I have to say this now, before a sequel renders the thought obsolete) that Katie never visited Shelter Mountain and never saw the tape until she says she did. Does the tape even exist before Rebecca proffers her hushed incantation of the urban legend?

"She didn't see the tape until she says she did"? What the flaming crap--?!

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 8:46 PM

Dude, even I think this review is a plant:

** DreamWorks added a freshness to animation by stepping up and delivering one of the greatest animated villains since Grand Jafar in ALADDIN. She is ruthless, sexy and funny. The way she is animated is just so amazing, you truly have to see it for yourself.

** Spike adds a lot of the humor that kids will enjoy where Sinbad and Eris add the humor that adults will enjoy!

** The monsters (Giant Squid, the Sirens, Giant Hawk, etc.) are so cool, the characters are great and the story is great and enjoyable for both kids and adults! I really think it has the legs to stand with all of the other big summer movies! On a scale of one to ten, I'd give it a nine and my little brother said he'd give it an eleven! This movie is so full of action and substance from scene one to the end credits, I just cannot wait to see it again when it's finished!

Buy it now on video or DVD! (Simmer down there, P.R. Superflack.)

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 9:21 AM

Eeeeee! Empire Online's gotten Hugh Jackman to talk about the movie!

'This is kind of the younger and more adventurous swashbuckling version of Van Helsing,' explains Jackman, 'who is, for want of a better word, a mercenary for the Catholic Church who is out there killing or dealing with possessed souls of all different shapes and sizes. Right at the beginning of the movie you meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which introduces my character. So he's out there dealing with these rogue demons that have taken over bodies. And as it turns out, Dracula, whose existence has been known to the Church in Transylvania, is kind of starting to get out of control, and so they send Van Helsing, on a big mission to find him. Anna, Kate Beckinsale's character, is the youngest and final member of the family whose job it is to try and track Dracula for 400 years.

'So that's how we meet up and Frankenstein becomes involved because… ooh, I don't know if I'm allowed to tell you that,' says Jackman, conscious of confidentiality agreements. 'This is the first time I've been asked about the plot. I'll get a lot slicker by the time I finish, I'll have a straight answer! Anyway, we all kind of meet up in this mish-mash of monsters and real people in Transylvania, and it's really amazing. Stephen has really done a great job. The way he's cast it is very interesting too...It's not like we're a star-studded cast, and I think that helps you get into the characters and get involved in the world. And it's cheaper,' he laughs. 'They couldn't afford Mel Gibson!'

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 9:16 AM

...But not Oscar-related, for a nice change of pace (she said, hoping silently that this movie doesn't end up at the Oscars next year, dragging this ruckus behind it). Dark Horizons says that The Times Argus Online is questioning the validity of the "true story" behind Viggo Mortensen's next big flick for Disney (it got moved to October? Shows how much I keep up) about horse racer Frank Hopkins and his horse Hidalgo, "who won both a 13-day race from Texas to Rutland, and a 3,000-mile cross-country race on the Arabian Peninsula."

The problem now is some people are claiming that Frank never rode in the former race, and quite possibly the later - "There is no evidence he has ever even been seen on a horse. We uncovered a whole slew of equestrian lies, we couldn’t believe what we read," said Long Riders Guild member CuChullaine O’Reilly who did some investigations to try and find out the veracity of Frank's claims when they first came to public attention in various magazine articles in the 60's. O'Reilly continues saying Frank has made some extravagant claims - "He told people his father was a Secret Service scout and the only survivor of Little Bighorn. He said he scouted with the remnants of the 7th Cavalry, taught Billy the Kid frontier lore and was a longtime friend of Buffalo Bill Cody. He said he had been shot seven times and bitten by rattlesnakes three times. In the 1930s, who’s going to question the guy?. Who’s going to call Arabia? We don’t have an axe to grind, but Touchstone [Pictures, a Disney subsidiary] got hoodwinked." Members of the Rutland Historical Society have yet to find any proof of the 31-day race or that Frank was in the city at that time, but the film's writer is already firing back - "It was only going to be a matter of time before the Arabian horse community realized a story that had been kept quiet for 130 years would come out. The story is a major thorn in the side of elitist groups like the guild. This is a revisionist effort to discredit this man who was one of the greatest horse riders of his time."

"Who's going to call Arabia?" Heeeeeeee.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 7:37 AM

Sunday, March 16, 2003  

Well, now it looks like Miramax is admitting that Robert Wise didn't even write the now-infamous article-cum-advertisement. Wise said as much initially--he said that a "friend" or "assistant," Michael Thomas, wrote it for him and he approved it. Well, now it turns out neither of them wrote it--Miramax flack Murray Weissman did. Maybe this will lead to a whole new era of Oscar campaigning, wherein less of it is corrupt and more of it is actually based on voters making their own decisions?

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 10:22 AM

It's worth mentioning that one of our readers sent me a picture of Aragorn and Sauron fighting, which I was really anxious to lay hands on, as you can imagine, but when I looked at it, something seemed really, really off. Like, it looked like Viggo Mortensen... kinda... from afar... but something was off. Like his clothes, for example. And hair. And why did Sauron look like Skeletor, for chrissakes? In fact, I had an honest moment of terror that this was what Peter Jackson had decided to reincarnate Sauron as at the end of ROTK: goddamn Skeletor. And then memory suddenly kicked in: That's not Sauron, that's what's-his-face with the skull helmet in Willow that Val Kilmer ended up slicing in half or something and--HEY, THAT'S VAL KILMER! So as much as I wish it had really been Aragorn and Sauron, I seem to have found the same picture at Willow fansite The Crossroads (bottom row, third pic), and what's more, there are a few more from the same scene on the next page from the same angle--one's even a lobby card with WILLOW emblazoned on it. So yeah. Not Return of the King. Sadly.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 6:07 AM

Saturday, March 15, 2003  

Well, finally it's up, although it feels like I spent all day on it. (Friday news'll do that to you.) In the news tonight: new release dates; Weta gets the Chronicles of Narnia FX contract; Billy Boyd has seen a rough cut of Return of the King; Quentin Tarantino has started editing Kill Bill; Joel Schumacher wants Katie Holmes for Phantom of the Opera, probably because he is out of his mind; Morgan Freeman keeps on keepin' on with Rendezvous with Rama; and I've posted a ton of graphics for those of you who feel irrationally compelled to link to the Digest (hell, you can have your own instant messenger icon if you want it).

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 6:34 PM

All right, while I'm updating and recovering from the family emergency, I've got one of the great, so-bad-it's-good movies on: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Man, I love this movie. Well, not so much the Kevin Costner parts (!), but Alan Rickman and even Morgan Freeman and his little "Moorish" accent crack me up. Also, I dig Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio's Maid Marian: nice clothes, bad attitude. Rock on. Whichever summer it was that it was on HBO 24-7 (I'm gonna guess 1992, the year after it was in theaters), I must have seen it dozens of times. However, it's been years since I've seen it, so I'm sure it'll be one of those bizarre "Uh, this is not quite the movie I remember it being back in the golden days of childhood" experiences. Well, I was thirteen or fourteen, but you get my point.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 10:17 AM

A family emergency has come up this morning, and if I am in any shape to update after I take care of it, I will do so.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 9:32 AM

Friday, March 14, 2003  

...however, I will be putting it up Saturday morning while I watch my beloved MST3K. Reason: Bad thunderstorm on its way, according to the crawl at the bottom of the TV screen, and I'm going to have to unplug all the major appliances. (We have actually lost not one but two televisions to lightning strikes, so I'm not kidding about this.) This is not conducive to updating a website, as you might imagine.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 7:22 PM

Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! There be pirates on that thar website! Included are your first looks at Keira Knightley and Geoffrey Rush, a new helping of Johnny Depp, but more importantly--and trust me as I say this, because I know my female readers--A GIGANTIC ORLANDO BLOOM POSTER.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 3:13 PM

Okay, there are actual movie-related Barbie dolls on this page--a Grease 25th anniversary doll with a pretty good facial likeness, a miniature Wizard of Oz set, a James Bond Barbie and Ken set, Fay Wray in King Kong Barbie--but this is undoubtedly the funniest Barbie doll set ever made.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 10:44 AM

And that's my honest opinion, and I was not paid or bribed to say that. (Check out the "Raging Cow" blog linked in the article. You won't find any mention of corporate Dr. Pepper unless you click on the tiny "© 2003" in the bottom lefthand corner. It's actually kinda creepy, the whole enterprise.)

ETA: Why is it creepy? Not so much because it's "insulting" to the precious bloggers, but because Dr. Pepper apparently thought no one was going to notice how fake the "spontaneous" endorsements would sound. I mean, to me, if I were Dr. Pepper, I would set up a blog, but plaster my logo very openly across the top, and rely on interesting content to get people to read it. You know? Post giveaways of free "Raging Cow" (shudder) drinks, set up sort of a Dave Barry/Fark feel, report on weird cow-related news, I don't know. I'm insulted not as a blogger but as a consumer that they honestly think this lazy shit would work.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 9:40 AM

Apparently Paul Walker has... well, walked... as well. (I love how people are dropping out of consideration not because the audition process cut them, but of their own free will--it's like they suddenly come to their senses or something.) Apparently this leaves Brendan Fraser and "Guiding Light" star Matthew Bomer in the running, now that Josh Hartnett and Ashton Kutcher have also nixed the role. And here's the thing: Fraser's a name draw, but Bomer is 1) younger and 2) cheaper. (Fraser is 34, Bomer is 24, and one producer opined that Superman should not look older than 30 by any means.) And he looks more like Superman. Not to mention the fact that the filmmakers have been nattering on about "unknowns" since day one. So don't be too surprised if a casting announcement comes out in Bomer's favor. God knows I would love to see him--or ANYONE, for that matter--officially cast in the role. (EW)

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 9:33 AM

Ashley Judd--not Ashley Judd. Halle Berry--not Halle Berry. Nicole Kidman--not Nicole Kidman. And now we're back to Halle Berry again. Will the casting stick this time? (EW)

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 9:24 AM

Man, Harvey Weinstein is such an asshat that I can't decide if he's secretly trying to sabotage Scorsese, or he's honestly just killing him with "kindness." To wit: "Some academy voters upset over 'Gangs of New York' ad" (Salon). The ad? Miramax asked legendary director Robert Wise to write a column [read it here] about how Wise thought Scorsese deserved to win--and then published it as an advertisement. Naturally, Wise is an Academy voter. OSCAR VOTERS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO REVEAL THEIR CHOICES. And by "not supposed to," I mean "bound by the rules of the Academy not to." The column was one thing; but publishing it as a full-page ad was just flagrant. Responses to the hoohah? (ETA: Additional quotations now from L.A. Times)

Academy president Frank Pierson: "It's an outright violation of academy rules. It's a corruption of the process... The reaction among our membership has been real dismay, anger and outrage is not too strong a word."

Director/voter Barry Levinson: "There is just something extremely vulgar about the idea of a blatant campaign advertisement like this. You look at an ad like that and say, 'My God.' Why don't we just give money to people and tell them how to vote?"

Lois Smith, Scorsese's publicist: "Marty was very touched by what Bob Wise said. But he never knew it was going to become an advertisement. He was not happy." [Apparently Wise was not aware of the column's ultimate purpose, either.]

Miramax COO Rick Sands: "We were completely unaware that this was something academy members found offensive, and since there is nothing that addresses this in the academy marketing guidelines, we certainly did not know this practice was a violation of academy rules."

Okay, as for Sands--dude, I knew that was a no-no, and I'm some grad student in the middle of nowhere, so shut up. But everyone else? Well, Salon reports:

Vigorous campaigning during awards season is nothing new for major studios, but some academy members were outraged and said an ethical line has been crossed. Pierson said an unspecified number of the 5,800 Oscar voters have asked that completed ballots [that were mailed in early] be returned so they can strike Scorese's name. Despite the backlash from some academy members, mailed ballots will not be sent back, Pierson said. [The deadline is 5 pm on Monday.]

Yeah... I'm thinkin' Rob Marshall has the Best Director statuette sewn up as of now.

ETA: Man, this has turned out to be even bigger than I at first thought. Sasha at Oscar Watch suggests that "the bigger picture here is that any chance Scorsese had for a win not just this year but perhaps in his lifetime has very likely been tarnished" (italics mine).

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 8:41 AM

Thursday, March 13, 2003  

Tonight on the news: Nicolas Cage draws the short straw in the superhero sweepstakes; Nicole Kidman has no hair! (actually, EW says it's a wig); romantic comedies go kamikaze against big summer blockbusters; someone needs to tie John Travolta up before he makes a musical, any musical; and two movies called "First Daughter" are two too many.

ETA: I'm not the most l33t photoshopper in the world by any means, but if you're like me, and I know I am, sometimes images come out that are just so pretty, you want to have them on your desktop. This is the rationale behind my Easy Bake wallpapers--not that I think that just resizing a picture makes me all artistic, because that would be sad, but because this is stuff I would like on my computer. Thus, we have two new X2 desktops, made from those UK quads from last night, and a desktop-sized version of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen poster.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 8:23 PM

...when you're watching a "48 Hours" special on Elizabeth Smart's rescue and all you can think is, "Dude, William H. Macy is so going to play her dad in the TV movie." (Seriously! Listen to his voice! It's total Macy!) Anyway, I can totally see this airing on CBS about six months from now. At least it would be more uplifting than your usual crime-of-the-week flick.

Oh, and Mika Boorem should play Elizabeth.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 6:09 PM

At last, my quest to find a Renee Zellweger fansite that has updated this century is over: everybody welcome Renee Web to the affiliate fold.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 2:07 PM

Eminem is going to skip the Oscars, where "Lose Yourself" is nominated for Best Song. Dammit, I was really looking forward to him performing at a stodgy joint like that. Ah, well. Maybe Robin Williams can sub for him.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 8:54 AM

Wednesday, March 12, 2003  

Well, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen poster came out while I was updating, and we have tons of X2 posters and pictures (and 2 new desktops) besides; now they're screwing with the Superman suit, although that may change if WB does, in fact, boot Brett Ratner out; Jennifer Lopez has apparently joined the Richard Gere "Shall We Dance?" remake, in a late-breaking news item from Coming Soon (seriously, you guys, this "I can update later than you can" game of chicken has got to stop); and Minnie Mouse crashes Ebert and Roeper's film-festival Disney cruise. All this and more on the Newstracker.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 10:02 PM

Holy shit, they've found Elizabeth Smart.

[ETA: 18th century novel class, 5:20 pm.]

SUSIE: So they just, like, had her for eight months? I mean, she didn't run away or anything?
CLEO: Apparently--I mean, they must have kept a really tight watch on her or something, brainwashed her? I don't know.
SUSIE: Maybe they kept her in a house somewhere the whole time? I mean, I heard she was never more than 15 miles away from home the whole time or something.
CLEO: Yeah... so... wait, they kept her in a house for eight months and then just one day took her out to a damn Burger King?
SUSIE: Well, you know--at Burger King they do it your way.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 2:40 PM

I don't know why I have it in for Brett Ratner, I really don't. I mean, I was mostly ticked that he got the Red Dragon gig instead of any number of more experienced directors, but hell, it's not like he massively screwed RD up or anything. So I don't know. Let's just chalk it up to one of those random fixations a movie fan can acquire, human nature, whatever. That said, let the schadenfreude begin!

I’m not going to commit and say Ratner will go but they’ve already tried to ditch him once and it wouldn’t be a shock if it happened again. Ratner only found out about his alleged departure in the first place when he visited Harry Knowles’ AICN! The suits are getting pretty annoyed at his inability to get someone cast for Superman and the fact that he won’t bow to their every word like they thought he would. Make of it what you will. By the way if Ratner goes it won’t be Bay who replaces him, I posted in an update a few weeks ago why he won’t do it, it’s still the case.

Hit Superman fansite The Last Son of Krypton for more of the dirt.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 2:34 PM

Sadly, Sci-Fi Wire reports that writer/director Lawrence Kasdan has changed one of the key critters in his adaptation of the Stephen King novel: "There's a description in the book of the shit weasels, but that's not the one we wound up with." One can only hope that someday, the shit weasel will faithfully be portrayed in all its proper majesty. Mostly because I have no idea what it is.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 12:31 PM

Awww! It's Oscar class of 2003!

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 11:17 AM

I want Tinkerbell's T-shirt so bad. (Go to images. Courtesy and Farker/star Wil Wheaton.)

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 11:11 AM

Seriously, I defy anyone to come up with a better-illustrated set report than Garth Franklin's latest for Exorcist: The Beginning. The really funny part isn't so much that director Paul Schrader's first page is biblically marked "Paul 1:1," but that star Stellan Skarsgard gets the same treatment ("Yea, verily, turn in your Bibles to Stellan 1:3"). I have obviously been in the wrong religion all these years.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 11:05 AM

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers squeaks past Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to become the #6 all-time moneymaker. The top five are still:

1. Titanic
2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
3. Star Wars: Episode I--The Phantom Menace
4. Jurassic Park
5. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

It's interesting to note that the very top film is an extremely sentimental romance-slash-disaster flick ("You got your romance in my disaster!" "You got YOUR disaster in MY romance!"), while the other four are all first installments in sci-fi/fantasy series (this is, of course, counting Phantom Menace as a first prequel). Jurassic Park, in fact, is the only one of those four that did not specifically promise further installments; they just came to pass after the money was made on the first film. I'm just saying--keep an eye out as these new fantasy/sci-fi/comic book franchises get kick-started; you might see the list change again.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 11:01 AM

You know, I went to the same high school as Ruben Studdard, the American Idol contestant who so proudly wears our zip code (205) on all of his shirts, and my whole family's rooting for him. (I'm sure I would be, too, because I was a Kelly fanatic last season after I saw her sing "Stuff Like That There," but I tragically have class both nights that AI is on and keep forgetting to watch the shows when I tape them. Sigh. So I'm sort of a Ruben supporter sight unseen.) The thing is, my mother says he was actually in the same graduating class as me, and I totally do not remember him at all.

Of course, I went to a school with a senior class of 225, and we were so cliquey--in a traditionally bad way, as in, the popular kids wouldn't have anything to do with us, but also in the sense that you were close to who you were close to and you didn't mix much with people you hadn't met already, for the most part--that I didn't know a lot of people. I've talked to other Homewood graduates--even people I wasn't very close to--and they all say it was the same, although of course people in the band/dance squad/cheerleaders/football team (we had a huge halftime show, so these groups are closely related) had a bigger group to mix in. My sister, a junior at Homewood now, was in the band and then in the theater department, has tons of friends, and she still doesn't know everyone in her class.

I guess what I'm saying is, it's strange to think that you could go to school with someone who ends up on TV--who is very proud of where he came from, for that matter, and you are too--and still not even known his name. I think a lot of people knew my name without knowing me personally at all, which is almost worse--they had a lot of preconceived notions about what a nerd/geek/teacher's pet I was just because I (generally, but not always) made honor roll and worked on the lit mag. I don't go by my real name on the Digest because I just think it's more fun to have a nom de net, but when readers email me I usually revert back to my real name, Lauren. And I wonder if there's someone who went to high school with me who reads the Digest and suddenly, over the course of time, comes to realize that not only is the editor from Alabama--not only is she from Birmingham, but Homewood--not only from Homewood, but used to sit four rows over or two seats behind or something from him in English class.

So I guess what I'm saying, Ruben, is that Elbow wishes you the best, even if we were in the same room and didn't know each other.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 10:43 AM

Yay! Another new affiliate has rolled in: A Tribute to Jennifer Connelly. New tags for all five of our new affiliates (see two posts down) are up on the Newstracker, the handy Yahoo Group affiliate bookmark list is updated, and all is right with the world. Well, things would be better with the world if the rest of my affiliate candidates write back, but you have to be content with what you have. ; )

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 10:17 AM

German authorities have alerted the U.S. to the fact that washed-up "Miami Vice" star Don Johnson tried to enter Germany from Switzerland with something like five to eight BILLION dollars (depending on which news account you read) in shares, bonds, checks, and credit notes. Allegedly Johnson told a customs officer, "I'm going to buy a car." The officer quipped, "With that money you could buy the factory." (Hee. Hee hee hee hee hee.) Officials suspect Johnson and his three companions of money laundering, having shrewdly seized upon the question: What is Don Johnson doing with money?

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 6:38 AM

Tuesday, March 11, 2003  

So... incredibly... tired. But the news is up, unless I hallucinated it. Also: We have four lovely new affiliates--Ashley Judd UK,, HeathBaby, and Martin Henderson Online--for which I will be making tags in the morning, because, as the great Gary Larson once wrote, "It was late, and I was tired."

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 11:33 PM

You know, before I read the documents over at The Smoking Gun, I was kinda torn over the Roman Polanski situation. I'm not torn anymore.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 1:58 PM

From Yahoo: "French Fries Get New Name in Congress"

WASHINGTON - Show the flag and pass the ketchup was the order of the day in House cafeterias Tuesday. Lawmakers struck a lunchtime blow against the French and put "freedom fries" on the menu. And for breakfast they'll now have "freedom toast." The name changes follow similar actions by restaurants around the country protesting French opposition to the administration's Iraq war plans. "Update. Now Serving in All House Office Buildings, 'Freedom Fries,'" read a sign that Republican Reps. Bob Ney of Ohio and Walter Jones of North Carolina placed at the register in the Longworth Office Building food court. Jones said he was inspired by Cubbie's restaurant in Beaufort, N.C., in his district, one of the first to put "freedom fries" on the menu instead of french fries. "This action today is a small but symbolic effort to show the strong displeasure of many on Capitol Hill with the actions of our so-called ally, France," said Ney, chairman of the House Administration Committee.

The French Embassy in Washington had no immediate comment, except to say that french fries actually come from Belgium.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 1:56 PM

From Entertainment Weekly: "Why all the top Oscar nominees are foreign films":

The Academy Awards celebrated their return to Hollywood proper last year with the opening of the Kodak Theatre, but the venue was the only thing about the Best Picture nominees that had anything to do with Hollywood. As the Los Angeles Times points out, for the past two years, not one of the Best Picture nominees was filmed within 2,000 miles [of] Hollywood. This year, four of the five movies up for the American film industry's top honor were shot outside of the U.S.

Neither ''Chicago'' nor ''Gangs of New York'' was filmed in its title city; ''Chicago'' was shot in Toronto, while ''Gangs'' was filmed in Rome. Holocaust drama ''The Pianist'' was filmed on location in Poland and Germany, while New Zealand stood in for Middle-earth in ''The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.'' Only the New York and California segments of ''The Hours'' were filmed on American soil, but the California scenes were shot in Florida.

The same was true of last year's nominees, which were filmed either overseas or far from California: ''A Beautiful Mind'' (shot on location in Princeton, N.J.), ''In the Bedroom'' (shot on location in Maine), ''The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring'' (New Zealand), ''Gosford Park'' (on location in England), and ''Moulin Rouge'' (Australia). You have to go back to 2000's ''Erin Brockovich'' to find a Best Picture nominee filmed primarily in the Los Angeles area.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold up now. "Either overseas or far from California" = "foreign film"? So, by this way of thinking, I, typing from the home office in Elbow, Alabama, am a FOREIGNER? What the crap? Maybe people shoot movies outside L.A. because there is more to the world than a single 400-square-mile patch of backdrops and bottle blondes?

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 10:19 AM

Just thought I'd mention that I'm doing some housekeeping before class and I've updated some of the preview pages--Big Fish, Eternal Sunshine, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Van Helsing. Really, if you read the Newstracker faithfully (now that I've, you know, been updating it faithfully...), none of the update material will be new to you, but, you know, sometimes it's fun to go immerse yourself once in a while and catch up on all the news for a movie you're interested in. Or something.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 10:08 AM

If you're like me, and I know I am, you like Reliable, fearless, and fun, they've finally got their own magazine. Now, it's just a test issue, so you'd better run order it if you want it to hang around. The price is good, and it comes with a free DVD of trailers, so hop to it!

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 6:54 AM

Monday, March 10, 2003  

If there is a theme to tonight's update, I would have to say it is facial hair, facial hair, facial hair. Also: Gollum rocks out, fan petitions go up to get Sean Biggerstaff back into Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Nicole Kidman is a busy bee as usual.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 8:30 PM

The top ten "greatest lines in cinema" as voted in a recent Orange poll in Britain:

1. "You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off" - The Italian Job
2. "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn" - Gone with the Wind
3. "We want the finest wines available to humanity, we want them here and we want them now" - Withnail and I
4. "You talkin' to me?" - Taxi Driver
5. "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" - Apocalypse Now
6. "I'll have what she's having ..." - When Harry Met Sally
7. "All my life I wanted to be a gangster" - Goodfellas
8. "I do wish we could chat longer. But I'm having an old friend for dinner" - Silence of the Lambs
9. "Infamy, Infamy, they've all got it in for me" - Carry on Cleo
10. "He's not the Messiah - he's a very naughty boy" - Life of Brian

Feel free to disagree on our message boards.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 2:27 PM

Well, we have an unconfirmable report on a new trailer over at TORN:

I was at a Halloween costume & party convention over the weekend in Chicago, and in one of the booths, selling lotr costumes and accessories, the guy running the booth had a copy of the ROTK trailer. I don't know where he got it -- I didn't ask and he didn't say, but let me tell you ... it was AWESOME!!! ... Narsil was reforged, Eomer wept with Theoden in his arms on the pelennor fields, pippin lunged and pulled faramir off the funeral pyre, sam went after something (shelob assuredly, but they showed nothing of her) with the phial of galadriel, grima drew a dagger and leapt at someone .... those were just the highlights ... i'll attempt to go through it shot for shot as best i can remember .... it opened with armies charging across plains, then cut to gandalf in theoden's hall at edoras telling aragorn, gimli, and legolas that they are running out of time ... oh hell, i don't remember the exact order now, but they do show the halls of the dead (a bunch of skulls lying on the floor in a dungeon looking set), they show aragorn riding at the head of an army with the white tree emblazened on his breast plate, they show eowyn and faramir in the garden in gondor embracing, sam crying out to frodo that "can't you see? He's betrayed us!", but the coolest thing of all is SAURON COMES BACK IN PHYSICAL FORM ... unless it was some weird flashback, which I doubt, in the final battle before the black gates, Sauron is back, decked out in the same armor he was wearing in the flashback sequence in FOTR, and he goes after Aragorn -- so it would seem ... Sauron is bashing his way through, they cut to Aragorn fighting off a bunch of orcs, they cut back to a shot of Sauron, and they cut to a shot of Legolas, shouting Aragorn's name, as if to say, "Hey Aragorn, look out, there's a huge %$^#$^&^ with a mace about to pound your skull in!"

One can only hope that the scooper's memory is better than his capitalization skills.

Correspondent Vladimir: this shit sounds totally bogus
Correspondent Vladimir: like, an industry show, maybe, but a friggin HALLOWEEN MASK SHOW?
Princess Cleolinda: do you remember when some guy turned in a total review of Episode II way, way too early and there was pandemonium for a couple of days on AICN until they finally proved that the guy was just an attention-hungry fanboy?
Correspondent Vladimir: there you go

ETA #2:
Back to TORN: Update - Xoanon here: Several other people from the same convention where Mr. Sieve apparently saw the trailer are reporting that there is NO video or tv setup showing ANYTHING of the kind. All just a fanboy pipedream? I'd bet on that...but you never know.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 2:16 PM

Heeeeeee... a new Galaxy of Fame is out:

Venus - Red-hot, white, and blue
"Hi, I'm Crazy Michael Jackson. America, have you noticed recently that the only people in the news lately are Madonna and me, Crazy Michael Jackson? What is this, 1988? Even Paula Abdul's back. And I know that as long as I keep providing ever more startling revelations about my aberrant behaviour, I'm guaranteed to be centre stage in the consciousness of America. Do you think it's easy to keep shocking you? See what I've resorted to now? Voodoo hexes! Oh, you didn't think I had that one up my sleeve. Oooga boooga! Voodoo! I allegedly paid a witch doctor $150,000 to put a hex on Evil Steven Spielberg, because Steven didn't cast me in Hook and also he is very, very devilish. And look what happened! Since that hex, he's won two Oscars for Best Director, received a lifetime achievement Oscar, and helped start the first successful Hollywood studio in decades. That's getting your money's worth! Thanks, witch doctor! Just wait until I put a hex on Bad Martin Bashir, who is also very, very devilish. When I'm done with him, he might wind up with his own late-night talk show, then be elected Pope."

Earth - Red, white and blue-in-the-lips
"Hi, I'm Steven Spielberg. Michael, look, I said I was sorry. It was a very hard choice between you and Robin Williams for the lead in Hook. But in the end, when casting Peter Pan, we decided to go in the 'fur-covered hyperactive ape-man' direction, rather than the 'hairless she-male of indeterminate race' direction. And really, I don't know what you're complaining about -- look how the movie fared! Damn you, witch doctor!"

Read the rest here.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 2:02 PM

Huh... instead of her usual column--which I always look forward to on Mondays--Sars has posted a short story up at Tomato Nation. Of course, you can barely swing a stick at a roomful of webmasters and not hit a struggling writer (yours truly included)...

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 1:44 PM

New stills are up at Dark Horizons, and--well, nothing good can come of this.

Also: What the crap is going on with Morgan Freeman's eyebrows?

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 1:38 PM

Okay, so I find this on : This guy they're calling the Choking Man is apparently choking himself, or faking choking, or something, to get women to administer the Heimlich. (No, calling 911 won't do--" 'He jerked the phone out of my hand.' The stranger backed into Castillo and wrapped her arms around his midsection. 'He had me push on his stomach twice, and dry bread flew out of his mouth,' Castillo said.") And then he thanks them profusely, hugs and kisses the women, gets their phone numbers (but doesn't call the women later), and generally makes a big ol' needy spectacle of himself. But here's the kicker:

Choking Man's motive remains obscure, but it may be related to "Choke," a novel by Chuck Palahniuk, author of "Fight Club." The main character of "Choke" stages choking incidents in restaurants hoping that the people who "save" him will feel responsible for him and support him. The incentives can be economic gain, as in Palahniuk's novel, avoiding legal responsibilities, getting health care or fulfilling an emotional need.

Addressing Choking Man, [Dr. Katina] Matthews-Ferrari said, "If you're reading this, get professional help."

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 7:39 AM

Coming Soon: Columnists Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith report that when Universal unveils the next installment in its "Mummy" franchise, it may well be without stars Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. The duo says that the latest concept being unwound for the third film would have ancient King Imhotep waking up "in contemporary times, with new stars" according to "The Mummy" himself, Arnold Vosloo. Vosloo notes that Brendan and Rachel were last seen with a kid in The Mummy Returns, and if they were to come back for more "Mummy" duty, questions about aging their characters would have to be addressed. On the other hand, "In a weird way, we've kind of done that period," observes Vosloo of the two films set in the 1920s. "Taking the story to a different time would open up all new possibilities. It could even be set in the 1950s or '60s -- whenever the Mummy wakes up."

Man, forget that. Weisz and Fraser were the reason the first movie worked so well in the first place. That, and the cool circa-Indiana-Jones feel. "We've done that period." Gahhhh.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 7:30 AM

From Empire Online:

Things are going from bad to worse behind the scenes on the new Superman movie. With Josh Hartnett, Jude Law and Ashton Kutcher all passing on the chance to don Superman's cape, so fractious has the atmosphere become that even the producer and director have been at each other's necks. The man put in charge of Superman's fifth outing, Red Dragon's Brett Ratner has reportedly been involved in a screaming match with the film's producer, Jon Peters after tempers flared at a meeting last Friday. An insider on the Warner Bros lot commented, "It was a closed-door meeting, but you could hear them screaming at each other inside the office." And it got worse. "At one point, Peters started belittling Ratner. He said, 'Oh, you think you've a big man now?' It got so bad that someone had to separate them."

Hee. Hee hee hee hee hee.

ETA: Oh, dear--Justin Timberlake as Jimmy Olsen? Are they still working from the "Gay Jimmy" draft? (No, seriously, I'm not being sarcastic. Are they?)

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 6:33 AM

Coming Soon has a link to a free download of the Oscar-nominated animated short "The ChubbChubbs!" (exclamation point theirs, not mine). So you Oscar poolers might want to catch that... unless, of course, you saw it in front of MIB2 over the summer...

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 6:18 AM

Sunday, March 09, 2003  

Look, I understand that people get confused and post to the Yahoo Group (which is essentially just a site-update mailing list) instead of the message boards, but I swear to Christ, if you spam my group ("MEET HOT SINGLES IN YOUR AREA!"), I will hunt you down and make you hurt. Capisce?

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 7:59 PM

Woohoo! A big thanks to Correspondent Inky for alerting me to the fact that Yahoo has put up the Oscar Pool again this year. Here's all you need to know to join the official Daily Digest Oscar Pool:

You have been invited to join dailydigest's Private Group in Yahoo! Movies Awards Challenge. In order to join the group, just go to, create a pick set and choose to Join a Private Group. Then, when prompted, enter the following information...

Group ID#: 2774
Password: bluesky8

We will send you a confirmation with further details once you have completed the registration process.

Any Digest/SAST reader is welcomed--nay, ENCOURAGED--to join the pool. What do you get if you win? Bragging rights, basically (the staffers play, but we'll look at the highest non-staffer scores). And if you feel a little out of the loop, never fear--everything I know comes from hanging around Sasha's excellent Oscar Watch site, and I post her headlines under top stories every weeknight, so you've got no excuse at this point. Come on out and play with us!

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 7:55 PM

Hey, it's Uma! Wait, what the hell is she wearing? Did she get attacked by a stack of fluorescent pink leis? Or just shat on by a flamingo? Wow. Anyway. Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture: I'm torn in theory, because I really think this should be about the best cast, not the best film, although it tends to become a substitute for "best film," and... yeah, that's pretty much what happened. The Actor goes to Chicago. Granted, everyone but Richard Gere is nominated for an Oscar, so I'm not sure why I'm all that surprised. Uh, why is Queen Latifah spanking the Actor statuette?

"I didn't know what it really meant to be an actor until I did this!" cries Richard Gere. Hope nobody else wanted to talk, because Gere has a death grip on the mic. Oh Lord, here we go again with the Rob Marshall love. "Never! Never! Have I seen a director so clearly hold the center of a production together!" Meanwhile, everyone says Martin Scorsese's a legend but he can't get the time of day at most awards shows. Peter Jackson's lording over seven different units, three films, and a cast of thousands simultaneously, but you know, screw him. Roman Polanski turns in one of the best films in his career but--oh, wait, he's not allowed back in the country. Never mind--screw him too. Anyway--this is in no way to deprecate Chicago as a film, you know. I loved the stage show and I've been scrambling every weekend to get to the movie, only to be smacked back down by some petty inconvenience (illness, schoolwork, you know the drill). I'm just having a hard time accepting that a first-time director straight off Broadway working from a Bill Condon script that had, as Gere himself said, "95%" of the cross-cutting between reality and fantasy before Marshall even laid a hand on it, is the Alpha and the Omega of the Craft of Film. Ah, well. I might as well jump on the bandwagon, or I'll be left out when Our Lord and Master takes over the planet. All Hail He Who Makes Life Worthwhile, Rob Marshall!

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 7:18 PM