the trades

One thing I like about living in LA is reading the trades. Variety and Hollywood Reporter. Shallow, self-referencing, press release-driven, yes. Does anything between its pages mean anything in the real world? No. Does it have anything to do with Art? No. When I leave town do I miss them? Yes.

Ha. But you can read them online. Not the whole thing, of course, they have the whole stupid subscription thing, but highlights. Chosen by whom? I don’t know.

I look at a Yahoo site culled from both trades and the wire services. Let’s see what Yahoo says is going on in the entertainment world today:

*Stephen King is back in intensive care. Very sad. I’m sure he’ll be fine. I just hope the dog who supposedly distracted the driver of the van that hit King is OK. I hope no one is angry at him. Just give him a bone and pat him on the head. Dogs can’t comprehend that you’re driving and need to concentrate. They just like the wind in their faces. Maybe Stephen King was taunting the dog. Ever think of that…

*A few casting notices: Annette O’Toole joined a Leelee Sobieski film. Lesley Ann Warren’s in a bunch of shit coming up. Someone named Lin Shaye is going to be in some movie.

*Kubrick’s friend gives a first review of Eyes Wide Shut. Big surprise: "It’s brilliant!"

*Jack Lemon is being honored somewhere. They misspell his name.

*A music video director is going to direct a feature. Thank god, not nearly enough music video directors get a shot at directing a feature, and god knows, if you can direct a video, you must be a great storyteller.

*OK, this bugs me: John Singleton, during a fight with "the mother of his baby" (this is the new hip title – wife or girlfriend is so passe "who dat is?" "that’s my baby’s dad!") punched her in the face. So now the judge has ordered him to make a short film about domestic violence. While I think this is a funny and reasonable sentence, I’m deeply upset that he would hit his wife. I don’t understand why so many men hit their women. Especially famous men. Rich men. Successful men. If you’re rich and mad, just go swimming in your pool or go to your screening room or go hang out with Skeet Ulrich at SkyBar and pick up a hooker for crissakes, just don’t hit your woman. So stupid. Shame on you John. Shame. And by the way, most of your movies suck ass. This is all we need to solve the problem: a sucky short film about domestic abuse. And speaking of preachy directors who turn out to be out of control, Oliver Stone was arrested for drunk driving recently, and he had drugs and a gun and all sorts of shit in his car. Here’s what I have to say to both: go fuck yourselves.

*A talking Austin Powers doll angers Georgia mother. OK, first of all, Georgia. Second, she’s mad because it says, "Do I make you horny, baby!". Who is "horny" going to corrupt? I bet her kid has been having sex with the family dog for years already. Third: Georgia.

*The Royal Wedding gave MSNBC good ratings. Um…what royal wedding? Sorry, but I’ve just never seen the fascination with the Royals. (Kansas City Royal, sure. The George Brett days.) I mean, we fought like bloody hell to get away from them, I think we should view them with healthy contempt, not fascination.

*Fergi close to signing "Today" deal. Ditto.

*Daniel Stern countersues Columbia-Tri Star. OK, so apparently Stern was in a C-TS pilot and then turned around and bad-mouthed it to Les Moonves of CBS, who passed on the show. Here’s my first question: how did Daniel Stern ever get close enough to Moonves to talk to him? What, he did the voice-over for The Wonder Years and Dilbert. Home Alone? City Slickers? See, this is what I don’t get. People like him or Emilio Estevez in Mighty Ducks, happen to be in a movie that happens to be a hit, and their cache goes up – when it is perfectly obvious that the success of said project had absolutely NOTHING to do with them. In some cases, the project does well in spite of the person. Listen, I’m an actor and I suppose I should be on Stern’s side, especially given the allegations that Columbia is trying to use Stern to set an example, but since I don’t respect the guy, I’m gonna stay neutral on this. Ditto with…

*Gary Shandling’s claims get new life. This involves the highly complicated suit between Shandling and former manager Brad Grey. This involves the volatile and ever-expanding role of managers in the entertainment industry. This involves two very self-centered men. This involves a friendship gone horribly awry. This involves millions of dollars. I can’t be too sympathetic with either side. Sort of like Eisner/Katzenberg or Microsoft/Netscape. It’s Goliath vs. Goliath. Next.

*Robert Downey Jr. back in rehab. Um…what took so long?

and finally…

*Anthony Hopkins to narrate Siegfried and Roy IMAX film. It’s called Siegfried and Roy: The Magic Box. ‘Nuff said.

Hooray for Hollywood!!!

This is where I let Larry King take over my body for a few minutes.

Larry King is in rehab today.