Blog Archive

Monkey In Motion (Again) . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, January 30, 2008 16 comments

I got an early birthday present this past weekend during my second meeting with the film producer (see old entry at bottom of this one for history).

We had a 30-minute conference call on Sunday to discuss his thoughts after reading the full script for "Monkey Business." I always imagined or rather hoped that such a conversation would take place at a hipper-than-thou Hollywood club, however, this one took place with me drinking coffee in my underwear inside my loft. Selah.

The first thing I learned was that this guy just signed on to direct his first comedy, which begins shooting in Florida next week. This was good news in the long term as our script is meant to be funny.

The second item was that he actually read the full script, and he still liked the overall plot and concept. He was also still interested in exploring things further, and his three main points for my brother and I to work on were:

A) Make the main characters more likable/empathetic early in the script
B) Develop the love story more
C) Have 1 - 2 more "outrageous" moments of comedy that people would be talking about

He cited the hair gel scene in "There's Something About Mary" as an example of the last point. Of course.

My gut reaction is to:

A) Have both main characters save a cat from a tree, thwart a mad-dog rapist and kidney punch a would-be church arsonist within the first 5 pages
B) Feature an envelope-pushing, sweaty sex scene or two
C) Ponder other bodily fluids to be used as hygiene products

But those are just my initial thoughts.

Anyway, while he's in Florida shooting the movie, my brother and I supposed to work up a detailed outline to address the points we discussed. Our contact will be back in Austin at the end of February, and at that time, we'll re-connect to discuss the changes. It will be time for a decision (at least in my mind) at that stage, so the next month will require a fair bit of work.

I only hope the final meeting will be held at a nightclub with loads of champagne and debauchery at hand. We'll see.



I got semi-good news this weekend as I spoke to the film producer who now has a comedy script - "Monkey Business" - written by my brother and I resting in his hands.

{Editor's Note: Unfortunately, there are no actual monkeys in the screenplay.}

As a quick recap, this started about a month ago with a random introduction to the producer followed by:

* The producer asking for a script treatment to read
* Me frantically writing a treatment which totaled about 12 pages
* A coffee shop meeting where we discussed his thoughts on the treatment.
* He liked the premise and the characters and asked for the full script
* We mailed the script and celebrated a very minor victory with a couple of pitchers

These past few weeks, we have wondered how our actual script has been holding up, and after calling the producer to find out, we discovered that so far the feedback is still positive.

On the phone, he said that he had already read the script once, then silence. This felt ominous so I said, "Well, I hoped you laughed a few times."

He said "Yes, I did." Then more silence.

"So, what are your impressions so far?" I asked.

This time he went into a bit of length, and stated that he still really liked the premise, the story structure and the comedy. The main changes he saw right now was adding more depth to the characters to juxtapose the comedic situations with something more firmly rooted in reality.

Fair enough. I can add depth any day of the week and twice on Sunday. I'll just splice in a few scenes with main characters pontificating slowly about life set against some background that's highly symbolic - like a rotted-out dumpster or more to the point, the broken-down dumpster of life.

Well, maybe something else, but it is a reasonable fix and far easier than blowing up the structure or adding characters.

The call ended with the producer telling me that he wanted to read the script a second time before we met again to discuss his thoughts in more depth. So, we now have plans to sit down the week after Thanksgiving or the first week of December, depending upon the projects that he's working on.

But regardless, it was certainly good news that our finished screenplay held up under his initial examination. It sounds like round of celebratory pints are in order to me as every little step is a small victory when you're coming out of nowhere.


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King of the Castle . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, January 29, 2008 20 comments

Today is my birthday.

I feel like the king of my castle. A person without boundaries or limits. Finally, I'm above the law.

{Editor's Note: I did not build this sandcastle.}

Actually, as I've said before, I think all birthdays following your 21st are hardly worth celebrating. Besides, what am I going to do on a Tuesday anyway?

It doesn't matter as I will find something to occupy my time. I have no choice. My company allows for a birthday vacation day - a nice perk which only falls slightly behind the nap room in my book - so I am out of the office and free to run amok.

The only firm item I have scheduled is a deep-tissue massage (not the seedier variety) where I will be kneaded like dough, and likely beaten within an inch of my life. This will actually feel fine as a little masochistic activity on your birthday is good for the soul.

We'll see if that notion holds up, however, any day off work is cause for celebration.


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Thoughts on "Cloverfield" . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, January 28, 2008 12 comments

Worth A Matinee or Full-Price Ticket: Matinee. This is a short, secrecy-shrouded, shaky-camera monster movie. That's it.

Will I Own It On DVD: No. I don't feel the need to ever watch "Cloverfield" again.

1) Anybody with a predisposition towards motion sickness should NOT see "Cloverfield." The film is shot from the viewpoint of a character in the film, which means that there is lots of shaking, sprinting and whirling throughout much of the running time. Two people in the audience left about 30 minutes into the film - I was not one of them as it didn't bother me from a sickness perspective.

2) That being said, the film only works if you believe that someone would continue to film himself and his friends as a giant monster is obliterating New York City. This is a difficult concept for me to swallow, however, we do live in the age of YouTube and the general recording of virtually everything, so it's somewhat possible (I suppose).

3) There are no "name" actors in the film, which benefits the story. The plot concerns a group of friends at a going-away celebration who must cope with a horrendous party interruption in the form of a seldom-seen, but terrifically brutal monster that suddenly descends on the city. The party itself serves only to introduce the main characters, and luckily the film doesn't linger for too long as the monster shows up just when things are turning melodramatic.

4) The film's money-shot is right after the party turns to chaos. Everyone is out in the street when buildings start shaking, and then the head from the Statue of Liberty comes crashing down. It's a fairly nifty trick.

5) The best part about the ending (and ignoring some hackneyed logic that brought the characters to the conclusion) is that it doesn't tie things up in a neat, little bow. It's grim, yet realistic and I give the filmmaker's kudos for keeping things dark.

All in all, "Cloverfield" suceeds in being a different take on the monster-movie genre. Whether you enjoy that new take, however, depends on your opinion of the first-person narrative strategy, and I mainly wish that the characters presented would have give me more reason to root for them.


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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, January 25, 2008 23 comments

"I'm sorry - I'm not sorry. Okay? I'm not gonna apologize, I'm a cocksman!" Vince Vaughn, "The Wedding Crashers"

It's been raining, cold and overcast in Austin this week. Ugly weather where you feel like doing very little except stay indoors to drink red wine or simply hibernate like a bear. Unfortunately, I had a lot of work to keep me busy and I imagine Hollywood did as well because it was a fairly slow week.

That being said, let's take a quick look at the tough stories such as:

Kiefer Sutherland has been released from jail after serving 48 days on a drunken driving charge, according to a police official.

"People" magazine quoted police Officer John Balian as saying, "(Kiefer) looked like he was glad to be out," and that Sutherland spent his sentence cleaning sheets, pillowcases and blankets on laundry duty.

The officer also said that Sutherland entertained his fellow prisoners by doing Emilio Estevez impersonations from "Young Guns."

Dallas Cowboys star Tony Romo has reportedly dumped Jessica Simpson, who was widely blamed for costing him a shot at the Super Bowl.

"Tony is now starting to blame her himself," a pal told OK! magazine. "Before dating Jessica, he was Texas' golden boy. Now he's become a joke."

Romo went ahead with the break-up despite Simpson's argument that "becoming a joke does get easier with time."

Actor Heath Ledger, 28, died this week after he was found dead on Tuesday afternoon in bed in his SoHo apartment. A bottle of prescription sleeping pills was nearby, although the New York City medical examiner's office said that the cause of death could take two weeks to determine.

There's nothing funny about this story as it's just strange and sad.

Dr. Phil McGraw said this week that he does not apologize for trying to help Britney Spears.

On his syndicated talk show, McGraw said he had planned to do a show on Spears' troubles before she was hospitalized January 3rd. Furthermore, he says Spears' mother, Lynne, had planned on participating.

McGraw also refused to apologize for populating the airwaves with generally worthless psychobabble.

Oliver Stone announced his intention to direct a film current US President George Bush, and has tapped Josh Brolin, currently receiving rave reviews in the Coen brothers' No Country For Old Men, as the lead.

Stone intends the film to be extremely dramatic, however, it sounds like a comedy to me.

British singer Amy Winehouse entered a rehabilitation clinic Thursday as part of her ongoing battle against drug addiction, her record label said.

Her decision followed the leak earlier this week of a home video that showed her smoking something in a glass pipe minutes after she is heard saying she had just taken six tablets of the anti-anxiety drug Valium to "bring myself down".

I suppose they tried to make her go to Rehab, she said "no, no, no" and then they strapped her to a chair and dropped her off, which is where she needs to stay for a long, long time.

Britney Spears failed on Wednesday in her latest bid to regain the right to see her two young sons after again ducking a court hearing on the issue, Los Angeles court officials said.

Spears, 26, who has either not turned up at numerous hearings or has turned back because of a media crush, was filmed by news media arriving at the Los Angeles court building on time. But she did not make it to the courtroom where her lawyers and her ex-husband, dancer Kevin Federline, went ahead with proceedings without her.

Spears later claimed that she confused the bathroom for the courtroom and gave her testimony to a woman in the adjoining stall.

Since the weather and general state of affairs seems dire, let's end with a pleasing image:

I overcame my fear of heights to snap this picture, and I am still proud of myself. So, tackle your fears today, take things to the next level and . . . Happy Friday!


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Up On The Mountain Vol. 14 . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, January 23, 2008 17 comments

{Editor's Note: This is a semi-regular series of high-water mark performances that spans movies, television, books, music and life its ownself.}

"The Karate Kid" was a fine product of the 80s as it featured an underdog overcoming long odds and using karate to settle scores with a bunch of teenage bullies at school.

This film, however, would not have endured if it weren't for the fine work of Pat Morita as "Mr. Miyagi," a role that the actor dominated by playing it straight and never succumbing to kitsch. He projected the character as stern yet caring, and he never lost his sense of humor while staying away from cheap parlor tricks.

In many ways, Mr. Miyagi was a Renaissance man. He was proficient in fixing things, a master of karate, an excellent Bonsai tree trimmer, a spiritual man and someone who could appreciate a good joke as he answered Ralph Macchio's questions about his karate belt color by extolling the virtues of his "$3.98 belt to hold his pants up."

Obviously he was a practical man as well.

But it didn't stop there as Morita also owned a great house surrounded by a fleet of antique cars, a domestic set-up that was consistently being improved by the steady stream of child labor in the form of Macchio. The man even had a koi pond out back!

Morita's acting ability even made it plausible that Mr. Miyagi had a potent healing power that could be summoned by simply rubbing his hands together and then touching them to an injury. Quite simply, the man was an unstoppable force of nature.

It's a credit to Morita that this played out so well, and the film loses steam whenever he's not on camera. The filmmakers were very wise to have chosen Morita because Macchio could never have carried this project on his own back - he needed a firm hand and classy guy like Morita to guide him into the promised land.

Morita easily steered the movie to its winning conclusion, and in doing so, turned in the most enduring work of his career.


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Lucky Bastard . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, January 22, 2008 17 comments

"I'm a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it," Thomas Jefferson.

I'm in tune with Jefferson's view of luck, a sentiment echoed by many other successful people who bristle at the notion that their fame, fortune and careers can be chalked up to the concept.

But some things are beyond the control of us all - despite skill and perseverance. This is where luck comes into play, and some people are definitely luckier than others.

I've long counted myself in this former category, an occurrence I rarely take for granted and something that I remembered yesterday as I drove home from work in the pouring rain. I was listening to 107.1 in Austin, and generally spacing out when the DJ announced that caller number seven would win concert tickets for "Grace Potter and the Nocturnals."

Despite having never heard of this band, I decided to try my luck. I called once. Busy. Then on the second dial, I passed right through and a voice told me I was the correct caller and I now had tickets for their concert this week at Stubbs. Lucky indeed.

A few months earlier, I was the correct caller and won a Van Morrison CD that I've yet to claim. These things happen.

Unfortunately, this is small-scale luck, and generally I'm no good at raffles. My one raffle win came back in high school, but it was stellar as my local movie memorabilia shop presented me with a "Pulp Fiction" movie poster autographed by John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis.

I still have that item framed and mounted as it has traveled with me for more than a decade.

My main fear in all of this is that I will exhaust or dilute my luck before I use this power for something grand. There is only so much luck in one lifetime, much as a man has only a certain number of erections in his genetic make-up, and I need to conserve my supply for the big score.

To help in this restoration program, I plan to call the radio station later today and release my concert tickets in hopes of returning this bit of luck into the pool. We'll see if that works.


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Thoughts on "There Will Be Blood" . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, January 21, 2008 13 comments

Worth A Matinee or Full-Price Ticket: Matinee. Unless the subject matter truly grabs you, then a matinee is better despite the fact that you get a long running time for your money (2 1/2 hours).

Will I Own It On DVD: No. I own "Boogie Nights" and "Magnolia" on DVD, however, I doubt 'Blood' will be added to P.T. Anderson's collection in my house.

1) This is not exactly climbing out on a limb, but almost certainly, "There Will Be Blood" will capture Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay when they are announced on Tuesday.

2) That being said, although I thought the film was extremely well-made, the subject matter of oil, small-town religion and one man's extreme competitive spirit to drive everyone away from him left me cold. It didn't grab me despite the superb performance by Daniel Day Lewis.

3) Lewis owns this film with a singular intensity, and carries the project on his back across the finish line. Without him, this movie would not have worked as his character, Daniel Planview, is compelling to watch even as he's being a misanthropic bastard for much of the running time.

4) Despite a strong lead actor, a flaw that limited my enjoyment of the film was a script which provided no character to identify with or root for to succeed. This makes for a difficult slog through a 2 1/2 hour film - at least it does for me.

5) You have to admire director P.T. Anderson's ambition with this project, which is on display from the beginning where only a handful of words are spoken for the first 15 minutes of the film. Anderson continues to show nice restraint in letting long silences punctuate the action, and his films are always interesting to watch even if you don't love the subject matter.

All in all, "There Will Be Blood" is worth seeing to discover if you agree with many critics who are hailing this as a "masterpiece." In my mind, it falls short of that lofty goal, but if you're patient and enjoy watching a great actor turning in a fine performance then you should catch it before the Oscar awards are handed out.


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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, January 18, 2008 16 comments

"Those aren't pillows," - Steve Martin, "Planes, Trains and Automobiles"

I wish I had a pillow so I could climb under my desk and sleep today, but as my grandmother used to say, "wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first." I know the answer to that riddle.

So, let's shake off any sluggishness, and deal with major stories of the week such as:

Entertainers including the singer Mary J. Blige and rapper 50 Cent are among thousands of people whose names are turning up in an investigation into obtaining steroids or human growth hormones, an Albany newspaper reported this week.

The Times Union reported that other possible recipients also included Wyclef Jean, Timbaland, and Tyler Perry among others.

Strangely enough, Carrot Top was not included on the list which makes the whole investigation suspect in my book.

Paris Hilton will be honored by Harvard University as "The Harvard Lampoon," the world's oldest continuously published humor magazine, has reportedly named the paparazzi darling "Woman of the Year," according to United Press International.

Paris is reportedly scheduled to accept the award in front of a large Harvard student body in the middle of Harvard Square on February 6.

There were no details provided on what Hilton would have to do to the "large, Harvard student body," but Hilton said she'd "do whatever it takes to make them happy." Indeed.

Matthew McConaughey announced this week that he is going to be a dad. The actor's publicist Alan Nierob told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the actor and his girlfriend, Brazilian model Camila Alves, are expecting a baby.

"Got some blessed news," the onetime Sexiest Man Alive posted in his online journal Tuesday. "My girlfriend Camila and I made a baby together. It's 3 months growin in her womb and all looks healthy and lively so far. We are stoked and wowed by this miracle of creation and this gift from God, and so excited for the adventure that will come in raising this child, being a mother and a father and shepherding him or her through this life."

He later added the experience has been "tubular" so far, and that he planned to "blow a fat one" and meditate shirtless about the experience.

Andrew Morton, author of "Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography," published Tuesday by St. Martin's Press, alleges that the 45-year-old actor ranks second in command in the Church of Scientology.

The church responded with a 15-page statement, calling the book "a bigoted, defamatory assault replete with lies" and saying Cruise "is a Scientology parishioner and holds no official or unofficial position in the Church hierarchy."

The statement later mentioned that they have their own official "bigoted assault book," a tomb also known as the Scientology doctrine which can be purchased for $39.95 at their online gift shop.

Diane Keaton dropped a F-bomb on "Good Morning America" to promote her new film "Mad Money" this week. Keaton told host Diane Sawyer that she admired her beauty, especially Sawyer's lips, saying that if she had lips like that she wouldn't have had to work on her "f---ing personality" and would be married by now.

Personally, I prefer to work on my fucking versus working on my fucking personality, but to each their own.

In what his publisher calls a record-breaking deal, British pop star George Michael is working on a memoir to come out in the fall of 2009.

"George has promised HarperCollins a no-holds barred biography, and it's certain to be just that," the singer's manager, Andy Stephens, said in a statement Wednesday. "People aren't stupid, they're beginning to notice that the truth is more interesting than the stories the press come up with!"

His publishers simply have Faith that Michael will get the Monkey off his Back, look to his editors as Father Figures and then finish the book so they will grant him his Freedom. Whew.

Comic actor Eddie Murphy and his new wife Tracey Edmonds have split up just two weeks after their wedding in French Polynesia, People magazine reported on Wednesday.

"After much consideration and discussion, we have jointly decided that we will forego having a legal ceremony as it is not necessary to define our relationship further," the statement said.

In other words, Murphy didn't want to get married legally in the United States so he wouldn't have to pay money in the inevitable divorce settlement. He also blamed "island fever" for the dissolving of their union.

Gwyneth Paltrow is back at home and "fine" after she was admitted to New York's Mount Sinai Hospital, according to US reports. No reason for her admittance to hospital was given.

I'm no doctor, however, I assume that Paltrow's pervasive air of superiority finally made her system as sick as it does mine.

Ignoring medical maladies (and all Britney Spears stories this week), let's end with a pleasing image:

Again, I have no medical degree, but I do think that milk is good for the body. It definitely helps you grow, so grab yourself a big glass today, remember to respect your body and . . . Happy Friday!


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Surviving Speeches & Sloths . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, January 16, 2008 18 comments

There's a certain sense of accomplishment once you're on the other side of two days worth of company meetings.

During the process, however, it's brutal to sit through 14 different sessions, 5 meals, and countless motivational tactics. I'm always amazed that these cheerleading antics aren't delivered with a slight sense of irony because they're so blatant in their messaging that I wonder who exactly gets charged up by listening.

In fact, if I were a Vice President, it would concern me greatly about the viability of my company if I had a team of workers who actually Needed these speeches to do their work properly.

One of my least favorite tactics is speakers using several words with one key letter to spell out a motivational concept. In the case of my meetings, that word was ATTITUDE. The biggest stretch was for the letter 'D' which was represented by 'Defy Mediocrity.' Of course.

My own word would look something like:

Nobody Cares

Enough is enough - at least for me.

My one small, subversive victory came during a 20-minute presentation I delivered on the last day. Overall, the presentation was concise and contained the appropriate messaging, but I did manage to slip in a nice analogy when I compared the speed of the financial services industry to "a tree sloth covered in molasses."

That got a small laugh, and several looks of puzzlement, a reaction that almost made it worth the time. But not really.


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Monday Morning Musical MeMe . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, January 14, 2008 10 comments

It's a little early on Monday morning for alliteration, but what the hell . . .

I took this MeMe tag as it was one of the best ones I'd seen in awhile. The randomness of your music player mixed with the questions had potential to yield some semi-funny answers, and a little laughter is always a good thing.

Also, I'm about to head into 2 days worth of company meetings, a kick-off event which concludes on Wednesday afternoon. I will be scare until then, however, if I don't return please call all Austin-area hospitals to see if anyone has been admitted from being beaten-down by clich├ęs. Scary.

But without further ado:

The rules:
1. Put your music player on Shuffle
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER WHAT. (This is in capital letters, so it is very serious.)

1. IF SOMEONE SAYS “IS THIS OKAY” YOU SAY? Shades of Gray - Robert Earl Keen
3. WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL? Bad Karma - Warren Zevon
4. HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY? Mississippi Flush - Ray Wylie Hubbard
5. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE? Waitin on the Blues - Reckless Kelly
6. WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO? Let Him Roll - Guy Clark
8. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS? Lobo Town - James McMurtry
9. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN? Champagne Don't Hurt Me Baby - Jerry Jeff Walker
10. WHAT IS 2+2? Time After Time - Willie Nelson
11. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND? Ramblin' Man - Waylon Jennings
12. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE? Jaws of Life - James McMurtry
13. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY? The Pilgrim Chapter 33 - Kris Kristofferson
14. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP? Trucker Anthem - Kid Rock
16. WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU? Things Get Cloudy - Jack Ingram
17. WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING? Can't Complain - Todd Snider
18. WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL? Not A Drop of Rain - Robert Earl Keen
19. WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST? Alright Guy - Todd Snider
20. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET? So it Goes - Tom Waits
22. WHAT SHOULD YOU POST THIS AS? Flower Parts - Bob Schneider

If you want it, feel free to take the tag as I enjoyed it.


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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, January 11, 2008 15 comments

"You play football like Ed Generro played football. A guy who gave his life for this football team. He was a 140-pound halfback, and he played like a goddamn wildman! No! Like a goddamn rampaging beast!

And that's the way you got to do it! You got out there! You tear their fucking heads off, and you shit down their necks! Let us pray," - Robert Loggia, "Necessary Roughness"

Now that's an inspirational speech in my book. I could use a little inspiration or motivation or something to deal with the work that's piled up on my desk, a growing stack that I've neglected for the past 3 weeks as the holidays and traveling took precedence. These things happen.

But before I dig back into the pile, let's take a look at the hard-hitting stories of the week:

Dr. Phil McGraw said Britney Spears was released from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center hospital last week, but still needs psychological help.

"My meeting with Britney and some family members this morning in her room at Cedars leaves me convinced more than ever that she is in dire need of both medical and psychological intervention," McGraw said.

McGraw had planned a show on Spears with her family, but later cancelled the program and received angry admonishments from the Spears clan.

It shows you just how far Spears has fallen when I side with Dr. Phil, a "doctor" who I generally consider to be about as qualified to give advice as mentally-deficient baboon on tranquilizers.

Supermodel Naomi Campbell interviewed Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for the British edition of GQ magazine. The issue was released this week, and Chavez told Campbell that he likes Prince Charles, thinks President Bush is crazy, and asked her to feel his muscles.

When GQ editors were asked what qualified Campbell to interview the President, they replied that "she was the only person we could find who was crazier than Chavez."

Pamela Anderson is pregnant with Paris Hilton sex tape star Rick Salomon's baby, but is still divorcing him, sources told this week.

Salomon has told friends he believes she is "acting crazy" because of the pregnancy and hopes she will settle back into the marriage.

If a sacred union between two amateur porn stars can't last these days then I fear for the entire institution of marriage.

On Monday, Nicole Kidman, 40, confirmed that she and Keith Urban, 40, are expecting their first child together.

"The couple are thrilled," her rep tells People, with his more enthusiastic mouthpiece echoing to Us, "They're thrilled!"

The duo later added that if anyone they meet isn't as "thrilled" as they are about the pregnancy that those same unenthusiastic people will be buried somewhere untraceable in the Australian Outback.

It was reported this week that Detroit rapper Eminem was admitted to the hospital over the holidays where he was treated for complications due to pneumonia.

Em's Interscope Records publicist Dennis Dennehy told The Detroit News today, "Over the holidays, Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, was under doctors' care at Detroit-area hospitals for complications due to pneumonia. He has since been released and is doing well recovering at home." reported that Eminem was also treated for a heart problem as Em's weight has "ballooned" to more than 200 pounds.

I guess Eminem should consider changing his name to Peanuts M & Ms - as he's obviously consuming them by pound. That was too easy (and lazy).

Spice Girl Victoria "Posh" Beckham topped style maven Mr. Blackwell's worst-dressed celebrity list of 2007 on Tuesday.

"In one skinny-mini monstrosity after another, pouty 'Posh' can really wreck-em," Blackwell said in his annual list of fashion fiascos among music, movie and television stars.

I don't happen to agree with Mr. Blackwell because I figure if you're going to starve yourself and buy some really round orb-like tits then I wouldn't cover them up with very much fabric either.

A woman who was in the car that Lindsay Lohan chased before being arrested last year said this week in her lawsuit that the incident caused emotional trauma and cost her thousands of dollars in doctors' bills and a well-paying job.

If the woman in question saw Lohan's recent film, "I Know Who Killed Me," she could have asked for even more money - at least $7.50 in refunds.

But let's not end with ugliness and lawsuits. Instead, we'll focus on the positive:

I know lots of women who always need another "little black dress," a concept I can sometimes get behind as this one places me firmly in the acquisition camp.

So, treat yourself to something nice, make sure it hangs in all the right places and . . . Happy Friday!


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