Friday, February 3, 2012
Execs at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences may have to melt down a few of their dusty old Oscars in storage to rustle up some much-needed cash to secure a new home for their annual celebrations!
Kodak - in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings - has cried "poor house" and is slated to give the "heave-ho" to what was once a prestigious asset in the heart of Hollywood!
In an odd sort-of-way, I also have a show-biz connection to the property located at the corner of Hollywood and Highland.
Years ago, when I was a literary agent, my office at Wallack & Associates was situated in a fairly non-descript office tower that once stood on the corner before it was demolished to make way for the Tinseltown's Kodak showplace next door to Mann's Chinese Theatre.
First, there was no Eddie Murphy to host the celebrations.
Now, there may not even be a theatre for the power-players to schmooze in.
News at 11!
When it was announced yesterday that an injured football stud might bow out of the much-anticipated Superbowl match this weekend to allow his wounds to heal, one aggressive roving reporter was inclined to get up-close-and-personal to rustle up Madonna's take on things.
"If it were you, Madonna, would you go out onto the grid-iron?"
Though the question took the material girl off-guard for a nano-second or two, her response was forthcoming, nonetheless.
"People will think I am a masochist; but, yes, I would. I'd wrap the limb with some tape, down an anti-inflammatory, then trot out to play ball," the Pop Diva responded, without batting so much as a pretty sultry eyelash.
Ride that axe, you old trooper.
Between you and moi?
The mere thought of being tackled by any one (or all) of those studly athletes (at the height of their manly prime at the top of their game) would surely trigger a super - um - size orgasm (that's for sure, Madge!).
Go get 'em, girl!
Meanwhile, folks are tittering over tantalizing backstage news that hit the fan, today.
Allegedly, Madonna's wardrobe malfunctioned in rehearsals just a few scant hours ago.
Or, was that juicy bit of titillating gossip just a "plant" orchestrated by Madonna's handlers to get non-sports fans to tune in at half-time?
News at 11!
Knock-out ads expected to drum of big bucks for the Superbowl coffers!
Posted by Julian Ayrs at 12:50 PM
Thursday, February 2, 2012
On the heels of the Florida primaries, probing paparazzi quizzed Newt Gingrich about the possibility of a screen bio in the works.
If that thought wasn't twisted enough, here's another bone(r) or two to chew on, folks!
Newt Gingrich was obviously suffering from the delusions of a "pretty boy" (or downed too much viagara at press time) when he offered up his candidate for the heady task.
I tell 'ya, the man has gone bonkers for at least two good reasons.
Does he honestly think any legitimate producer would actually hanker up to the idea of producing a project on Gingrich's wacky (wild and offbeat) life?
I don't expect that Pitt is currently pulling any strings behind the scenes either to land the plum (duh) role!
Do you suppose Quentin Tarantino may be inclined to direct if Brad hops on board?
News at 11!
Handlers at Barack Obama's re-election campaign headquarters (oh, so he is seeking a second term!) have announced that the President is slated to jet in to the San Francisco Bay Area on February 16th to raise funds.
Zany Frisco - as Newt Gingrich would have it - is truly a cash cow when it comes to the Commander-in-Chief!
The Regency Center will play host to the tony event - guaranteed to lure social climbers and deep pocket political hacks alike - out of the proverbial woodwork.
Locals are also expected to groan about snarling traffic jams, pushy over-the-top security details, and pricey photo ops.
For $10,000.00 a pop, gushing DEMS - lookie loo's, too - will be invited to sidle up to the PREZ and have a publicity still snapped for posterity.
No posterior shots, though.
Die-hard fans have three options to choose from when "sitting" with President Obama; for example, one set-up features a smiling Obama in a smartly-tailored suit (looking very Presidential), another focuses the searing lens on Barack sans jacket with sleeves rolled up (the blue-collar worker look), and - last, but not least - zeroes in on Michelle's other-half crooning an Al Green tune on a karaoke stage.
A muscle shot requires special handling, folks!
See 'ya there, eh?
I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy (not that I have any, dears!).
Of course, I am referring to the nasty stomach flu that is currently plaguing the West Coast in the picturesque San Francisco Bay Area.
I know from whence I speak, because I came down with the debilitating bug a couple of weeks ago, and ended up in the hospital for a few days.
This week, the stomach flu hit one of the local colleges - St. Ignatius College - hard.
At least thirty teachers were struck down with it suddenly and without warning.
"You'd walk into the bathroom and there would be three people vomiting in there," one student lamented.
Some got dizzy first, then later - on the way home - came down with a serious case of the flu which was apparently triggered by a norovirus.
"The virus can spread through the air or by touch and is pretty contagious", a spokeswoman at the San Francisco Department of Health was quick to note for the record.
Victims - like myself - suffered stomach cramps, nasty uncontrollable outbreaks of diarrhea, headaches, and dizziness (for starters).
A heavy-duty health regimen - and lethal dose of antibiotics - was required to alleviate the infection.
Locals and tourists alike are urged to avoid fast-food take-outs where handlers may pass the virus on unwittingly while on duty, steer clear of public workers and cleaning crews who may be carriers, and be ever-mindful to wash hands after relieving one's self when trotting (!) off to the restroom (which may be frequent!).
Stay posted for updates!
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
An individual is guilty of a class crime in America if one of two factors are involved:
A man is either safely ensconced in the ranks of the 1% of the richest strata of society - or, on the down side - is unfortunate enough to be forced to grovel at the other end of the spectrum (an impoverished resident unable to cover his rent or cough up the money each month to pay his bills or afford the necessities of life).
And, never the twain shall meet!
One of the things I miss most about my youth are the simply daily pleasures in life!
In the old days (in Canada), when shoppers queued up at the cash register to pay for their yummy purchases, they usually engaged in a bit of idle chit-chat with strangers (whether it be about something as innocuous as the weather, a sports match on the horizon, or what-have-you).
The conversations were rarely earth-shattering - or thought-provoking - but, nonetheless - often proved to be delightful when at their spontaneous best.
Today, when customers make a casual observation in line to lighten up the mood - or utter up a joke while they're staring at their feet in a packed elevator to pass away the time - they are often ignored by the other passengers.
It's a sad commentary on the times!
Folks are either "living in fear" (afraid to interact with strangers) or - just maybe - they're are caught in a great cultural divide.
Maybe they don't speak the language?
Needless to say, I don't intend to "cave in" and become a "Zombie" like the rest of them, no sir!
So, when you're standing in line at Safeway - and you overhear some dude cracking a joke behind you - just betcha it will be moi!
After all, you can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country (or civility) out of the boy!
Oh, the sh** hit the fan last night on David Letterman.
Yeah, the bitch fight between Brad Pitt and the late night talk-show host revved up once again.
Tattler readers may recall that I reported yesterday about the on-going saga - high drama! - unfolding over the pretty boy actor's reluctance to trot out and plunk himself down in the "hot seat" to be interviewed by Dave.
Dave took the spat one level higher and fumed that it just wasn't right.
"After all, we had that Jonah kid (Brad's co-star) on the show, and we've been promoting the heck out of his movie Moneyball. If it wins an Oscar, it may be because of us. The least he could do is stop by," Dave griped in so many words.
According to Dave, he'll get his just desserts, though.
There was a silver lining, after all, chuckled Dave.
"Actors are superstitious. Now, if Pitt loses the Oscar, he'll always have to wonder in the back of his mind if it's because he didn't appear on this show."
The tricky task of booking the sexy thespian on the Late Show has been like pulling teeth for Dave, apparently.
Worse than having a root canal!
"Every day, for the past thirty years, we've called up his handlers and invited Brad on. Some guy picks up the phone, and he turns to Pitt, and he says - "it's that (Dave cups his hand over his mouth as he audibly whispers a**hole) Letterman guy asking if you'll come on the show" - he kidded to his cohort, Paul Shaffer, as the audience giggled below the footlights.
At this juncture, Dave noted he unleashed his expert research staff that very day, to get to the bottom of it.
Sure enough, apparently a few years ago - in 2005, to be precise - the Daily News reported that Dave made jokes about teaching his son how to interview Brad's sultry better-half "Angelina Jolie".
It was one of those eureka moments!
So, that was it! He's insulted Brad's wife unwittingly.
"I apologize, Brad," Dave cried into the camera, with as much sincerity as he could muster up under the circumstances.
To show what a gentleman he was, Dave reached for his fat (um) wallet, pulled out a handful of crisp bills, then, proceeded to plunk 'em down on the desk for all to see.
"This is for you, Brad," he chortled with glee.
Letterman then proceeded to invite Brad to stop by the studio the next day (with his better half) so that he could apologize in person.
The audience roared!
Throughout the rest of the night, Dave continued to run with the gag, understandably.
In fact, at one juncture, he slipped the money into a manila envelope and scribbled the hunky actor's name on its face.
"Paul, is that one "T" or two "T's"?"
"Two," Shaffer hollered back, with a chuckle.
The task completed, Letterman proceeded to tape the envelope on the front of his desk.
"Here it is Brad!"
Brad, I hate to see a grown man cry.
Kiss and make up, eh?
News at 11!
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Some days life is chock full of surprises.
Like today, for instance.
Shortly after I alighted from the subway train and dashed up the escalators to the street level, the sound of angelic voices fell upon my ears and echoed throughout the Bart Station at Montgomery Street in downtown San Francisco.
At this juncture, I suddenly spied a chorus of spirited female singers - who were belting out tunes - and entertaining all the bustling commuters happening by.
A handwritten sign said it all:
"Occupella for Peace"
Just as I caught sight of another sign that urged San Franciscans to "Sing for Peace", the spirited songbirds began to strike up a rendition of "Imagine", written by slain Beatle John Lennon.
"Join in with us," they urged, as they beamed from ear-to-ear.
I cheered them on, as a pang of nostalgia unexpectedly swept up from the inner recesses of my mind.
At this juncture, I fondly recalled the memorable 60's - and activists like Joan Baez and Bob Dylan - who cautioned about the atrocities of War through the inspiring touching medium of song.
I couldn't help but wonder what had gone so terribly wrong in Oakland in recent days where violence and vandalism have now overshadowed a movement that once held so much promise for the Nation a scant few weeks ago.
The ladies got it right.
Give Peace a Chance, too, eh?
Europe's elite couture houses have turned their fashion sensibilities back to the eclectic - at times whimsical - musings of a fanciful bygone era to rustle up a slew of eye-popping cocktail dresses sure to pump breathy life (think Marilyn, dahlinks!) into the fast-paced nightclub circuit come spring.
For starters,daring designers have been tossing a shimmering spotlight on the notorious femme fatale, and fathomed up an exuberant take on "flappers" and scintillating art-deco flourishes that still have the potent power to dazzle and flatter (provided the sultry babes have the silhouettes to pull the sultry look off, that is).
The vamp is in vogue - and fashionistas with a keen eye for bellweather trends - are jumping all over the threads with gay abandon.
The stand-outs are expected to - not only smolder on the runways - but exalt glamour and style ad they make their merry way through the heady climbs of the International jet-set terrain.
Collections are beyond the pale, and not for the shrinking violets of the world, I'll say.
Confident feminine women - sassy ones, too - will be tripping-the-light-fantastic in chic outfits that boast metallic eye-catching flourishes, echo subtlety etched geometric patterns from the roaring 20's, and a bevy of beauteous beads, feathers, and lace to boot.
Romance is in style once again!
Feisty seasoned pro - Shirley MacLaine - is joining the cast of the award-winning PBS mini-series - "Downton Abbey" - according to industry sources over the weekend.
Tattler readers may recall that I raved about the upstairs-downstairs-style period potboiler which has captured the imagination of discriminating audiences both here and across the big pond for two scintillating seasons now.
Ms. MacLaine - a talent extraordinaire - is slated to run interference with Maggie Smith's frosty "Dowager Countess" in the upcoming third season (which is guaranteed to cause pulses to race and tongues to twitter, just betcha!).
MacLaine will portray Lady Grantham's mother (Elizabeth McGovern).
Stay posted for updates!
At the top of the Late Show last night, it was pretty obvious to Paul Shaffer, that his boss was down in the proverbial dumper.
"It's that Brad Pitt," Dave grumbled, as avid fans in the stands below the footlights edged closer in their seats.
The popular comic was allegedly in a deep funk over the fact the high-profile Oscar-nominated hunk had consistently nixed his invites to trot down to the studio at the Ed Sullivan Theater to chat up insightful inquisitive (probing?) Dave at old CBS.
Ah, maybe that was it in a nutshell.
"He probably thinks I'll be cooler than he is," Letterman cackled with glee, as the audience roared their approval from the great beyond.
"It's probably his wife, Angelina Jolie, who is to blame," he conjectured, almost as an afterthought.
"I probably said something that insulted her last time she appeared on the show," Dave mused.
Dave's written Pitt off as a potential guest in the future.
"He hates me," Letterman lamented ruefully.
Apparently, Pitt put in a much-ballyhooed appearance on the quirky John Daly show (which tapes on a sound stage on the same lot just a hop-and-a-skip away).
"He could have killed two birds with one stone," Dave quipped.
"Once he finished up over there, he could have stopped by here," he griped.
"Would you want him after," Paul snapped back pointedly.
If it were moi, no way, Jose.
"Maybe he belongs on a cable show," Dave concluded with a smug look of satisfaction on his face.
"I mean, what has he done? He's not a really big star, is he?"
I expect that an obvious dig like that will push the heartthrob away!
Heh, I'm available, Dave (hint hint).
If Pitt has a sense of humor - in addition to truckloads of sex appeal - just maybe he'll play along.
Then again, maybe not!
After all, you can lead a stud to water, but you can't make him drink.
Stay posted for tweets - er - updates, eh?
I was channel-surfing last night when I stumbled on a cable bio on Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (?) and caught wind of a "users" quote of the day.
When Facebook fans were quizzed about the number of friends they've "nurtured" along on the highly-trafficked web site , one happy-go-lucky member was quick on the uptake and beamed from ear-to-ear.
"I have more friends on Facebook than I do in the real world," he quipped.
Which underscores what critics have been speculating all along.
Friendships struck up on a social hub - sight unseen - hover somewhere between the heady realms of reality, the surreal, wistful thinking, even fantasy!
Personally, when it comes to revving up a relationship with a total stranger, I prefer to rely on the spontaneous chemistry that normally draws two people together naturally in the daily course of events.
Monday, January 30, 2012
In San Francisco the locals are gearing up for the big parade on the horizon to celebrate Chinese New Year and the triumphant entrance of the mighty Dragon!
Right now is an opportune occasion to take a trek down to Grant Street (the main strip in Chinatown) to marvel at all the preparations underway for what is bound to be one of the social and cultural (political, too, now that Mayor Lee is in power?) highlights of 2012.
Personally, I have always been intrigued by all the ancient traditions - the passing out of embossed red envelopes, the annual dances and rituals to ward off evil spirits, tea sampling, the exotic display of far eastern treasures in quaint storefront windows, merry-makers in delightful costumes, you name it!
Tattler readers may recall that I posted an in-depth feature on the rich historical past of San Francisco's fascinating Chinatown in recent years.
Each year, I trot down to catch the festive parade, then saunter on over to Grant Street to peruse all the spritely-colored tents vendors have erected wherein they flog their eclectic wares.
See 'ya there on February 11th, eh?
Though I've never been one to follow politics too closely (my primary focus has been on the arts over the years) - and I am quite unfamiliar with the specifics of Margaret Thatcher's stint as England's Prime Minister - there is much I can rave about without hesitation in respect to the just-released screen bio on her life.
For starters, Meryl Streep's performance in "The Iron Lady" is a knock-out bang-on portrayal - a crowning achievement - in a remarkable acting career that has spanned several decades without interruption.
In contrast to her "hammy" caricature of "Julia Child" just a scant few years ago, here, Ms. Streep has managed to breathe life - and flesh out with subtle nuance -aspects of Thatcher's complex multi-faceted persona seamlessly - and seemingly - at whim.
Hers is a performance that is a joy to behold.
Critics are often quick to label an actor's characterization as a "revelation" in a bold-faced effort to single out outstanding play-acting now-and-then on both the stage and silver screen - but, in this instant case - the plaudit rings truer somehow.
At times, it appeared as if the very spirit of Mrs. Thatcher was imbuing the silver screen with her awesome other-worldly presence.
When it comes to filmgoers - with a discerning discriminating eye (keen on delicious detail) - "The Iron Lady" is also a triumph for Weinstein & Company as well.
The cinematography - well - it's stunning.
And, the editing, distinctive and superb!
It's doubtful that the director (Phyllida Lloyd) could ever be capable of turning in a pedestrian approach to set-ups - even with regard to key establishing scenes - so natural and instinctive is her unique spellbinding cinematic style.
"The Iron Lady" is an inspiring peak into the political accomplishments of Britain's first female Prime Minister.
But, beyond the realm of politics, it also hits the mark in respect to a timely medical issue as well.
As moviegoers trot out the theater doors entertained, they are - no doubt - troubled by the prospect of being afflicted with Alzheimer's in their advancing years.
Which begs the question.
Is enough being done in the medical community to find treatments for the debilitating insiduous disease?