Former Giants star turned Today show commentator Tiki Barber and his twin brother Ronde turn 34 today. Russell Crowe is 45. Nightlife impresario Jason Strauss is turning 35. Francis Ford Coppola is 70. John Oates of Hall & Oates is 60. Michael Dorf, the founder of the Knitting Factory and City Winery, is 47. Islanders head coach Ted Nolan is 51. Renowned French chef Joel Robuchon is 64. British journalist Sir David Frost is turning 70. Bill Bellamy is turning 44. And Jackie Chan celebrates his 55th birthday today.
The Motion Picture Association of America is carting two pirate-DVD-sniffing dogs around the continent in honor of "World Intellectual Property Day." They stopped by an L.A. elementary school to give the demonstration shown here: "Lucky" and "Flo" sniff a bunch of boxes of DVDs to find the pirated ones. When I think that the training of these dogs could have been wasted on detecting bombs, I feel so warm inside. But that's not all the MPAA is doing to remind people that it will hunt us down for stealing Harold and Kumar 2!
With piracy at epidemic levels and the Beijing Olympics right around the corner, the Chinese government is following its sterling records of human rights and environmental protection with its latest quasi-altruistic crusade on behalf of intellectual property rights. And we know they're serious this time, what with the city's new "Chaoyang Model Anti-Copyright Infringement and Piracy-Free Zone" and a gigantic poster of Jackie Chan earnestly warning 20 million Chinese per day: "Protect the movies, say NO to piracy!"
Even though we never did finish that MBA and some crucial data are missing from the chart (it's like The Tuxedo and The Medallion never existed!), we think we understand what Var's trying to say about Jackie Chan's American movie career: Without the support of a certain visionary filmmaker and a high-pitched, fast-talking sidekick, he's just one more Jennifer Love Hewitt vehicle away from domestic obscurity.
In praising the versatility and talent that allows accomplished dramatic directors like Ang Lee and Zhang Yimou to direct epic action pictures like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero, Rush Hour 3's Jackie Chan suddenly found himself in the uncomfortable position of needing to quickly come up with a similarly positive appraisal of the skills of the guy who's nominally in control of the set of his current project:
What happened to the Jackie Chan we've come to love through the fine Rush Hour films, who so patiently and sweetly flashed that uncomprehending smile as Chris Tucker erupted in one of his high-pitched tirades expressing his frustration over their cultural and language barriers? That Chan would never get shitfaced and storm the stage at a concert. We feel so very betrayed. Hollywood eventually ruins them all.