Even when I was a believer, God had virtually no place in my Christmas. Each December 25, I suffered through Catholic mass, feeling each second crawl by. I had things to do, presents to open, Christmas movies to rewatch, sisters to fight with, extended family to see, food to eat and eat and eat. I might have considered the Catholic implications of the holiday while in church, but only in the way that you consider the car in front of you that's moving too slowly.
After learning that shade-throwing, anti-gay bully Kirk Cameron would be attending the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association in New Jersey this weekend, an idealistic, formerly bullied gay 17-year-old invited Cameron to drop by the Garden State Equality's Youth Caucus. Corey Bernstein's letter reads, in part:
Bigot in pilgrim's clothing Kirk Cameron is flapping his gums about marriage again, this time for the hilariously named Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance, a branch of NOM, which is an organization devoted to defaming gay people and treating them like they are subhuman, impossible of experiencing love and basic civil rights.
At the end of last night's public showing of Kirk Cameron's documentary Monumental at New York's Regal Union Square Stadium 14, after a technical error had cut off Cameron's simulcast that concluded the event but before everyone left the still-dark theater, a voice rang out responding to what we had just watched:
Child star turned religious zealot Kirk Cameron pissed a lot of people off when he appeared on Piers Morgan Tonight and said gays were icky. (Technically he called homosexuality "unnatural," but now we're just splitting hairs.) His basic point was that gay marriage should never be legal, because God intended marriage as a one-man, one-woman deal.
Hugh Jackman turns 41 today. Architect Richard Meier is turning 75. Jeweler David Yurman is 67. Novelist Richard Price is turning 60. Fox News' Chris Wallace turns 62. Katherine Farley, the new chairwoman of Lincoln Center and the wife of real estate honcho Jerry Speyer, is 60. Model/actress Irina Pantaeva turns 37. Former track and field star Marion Jones turns 34. Agent/producer Bryan Bantry is 53. Marko Jarić, the basketball player better known as Adriana Lima's baby-daddy, is turning 31. And actor-turned-Christian evangelist Kirk Cameron celebrates his 39th birthday today.
We realize that it's not exactly Monday morning anymore, but we're hopeful that you'll find it in your hearts to forgive us for scrambling a bit at Defamer HQ today. Won't you play along as we recap the weekend in which America finally ditched the outdoors and regained its collective appetite for boxes of Junior Mints and huge tubs of buttered popcorn? 1. Eagle Eye - $29.2 million This opening —the biggest since The Dark Knight juggernaut took off in July— officially marks Shia LaBeouf's entrance into the elite (and diminishing) club of actors who can actually open a movie. Just goes to prove that if you pay your greenscreen dues by battling nefarious CGI robots and swinging on digital vines (not to mention befriending Steven Spielberg), you too can become a major motion picture star!2. Nights In Rodanthe - $13.6 million The latest, thoroughly formulaic film from the canon of literary lightweight Nicholas Sparks was a big hit with the older female quadrant. If house porn is your thing, you could do a lot worse. 4. Fireproof - $6.5 million Kirk Cameron is back, baby! We can only hope that his agents strike while the B.O. iron is hot and sign him up for a project that reunites him, Boner Stabone and Eddie Zeff in a Superbad meets The Big Chill type of caper, perhaps one in which they could track down the present whereabouts of hotties from ABC's late '80s lineup like Jamie Luner, Khrystyne Haje and Tracy Wells. 9. Miracle At St. Anna - $3.5 million Despite getting a push from Oprah Winfrey last week, it looks like Spike Lee's latest will have a struggle to top Letters From Iwo Jima's $13.7MM domestic gross. Score one for Clint. 14. Choke - $1.3 million Opening in limited release (just 435 theaters), the latest Chuck Pahlaniuk adaptation fared admirably with a $3,069 per screen average. That said, we have our doubts as to whether Middle America is ready to embrace a film whose climax involves the passing of lost anal beads.
Welcome back to Defamer Attractions, your indispensable guide to what's new, noteworthy and/or totally doomed this week at the movies. Today we welcome Shia LaBeouf and his million-dollar pinkie back to theaters alongside Spike Lee, Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Charlize Theron and Kirk Cameron (!), while facing a robust litter of potential arthouse underdogs and DVD release for the agoraphobes among us. As always, our opinions are our own, but if Josh Groban can steadfastly see it our way, shouldn't you as well?WHAT'S NEW: Shia LaBeouf reunites with his Disturbia director DJ Caruso for the thriller Eagle Eye, featuring our young hero as a man trapped (alongside Michelle Monaghan) in a mysterious mire of surveillance, espionage and murder also featuring Billy Bob Thornton and Rosario Dawson. Hitchcock comes up in more discussions of the film than he doesn't, with the rap being that Eagle Eye represents North by Northwest to Disturbia's too-influential-for-comfort Rear Window, but that's just adults being adults. The kids will toss rose petals and dump around $30.6 million out their wallets, further anchoring LaBeouf as his generation's most bankable star without a driver's license. Congrats, Shia! Meanwhile, that generation's parents can shuffle into the auditorium next door for the Gere/Lane reteaming Nights in Rodanthe, adapted from a
Hallmark card novel by Nicholas Sparks with enough inoffesnsively creaky cliche and Mom Jeans-wetting romance to attract around $13.1 million. Also opening in limited release: The Palahniuk adaptation Choke; the Charlize Theron-led propaganda ensemble Battle in Seattle; Tim Robbins' and Rachel McAdams' Iraq-themed The Lucky Ones; Wayne Wang's modest immigrant mish-mash A Thousand Years of Good Prayers; the misanthropic Easter bunny comedy Hank and Mike; the race-baiting terrorism saga Shoot on Sight (tagline: "Is it a crime to be a Muslim?"); the Filipina-tranny doc The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela; and the lyrical, Indie Spirit Award-winning drama August Evening. THE BIG LOSER: It's not like we actively root against films around Defamer HQ (all right, maybe that one time; it had it coming), and we really would like to see Spike Lee pull off Miracle at St. Anna, his epic WWII semi-mystery focusing long-overdue attention on the Army's 92nd Infantry Division — the only all-black unit to see combat in Europe. He may yet do it with Disney's micro-marketing prowess, but let's be honest: The reviews are brutal, it's 160 minutes long, it's rated R, it rotates between English, German and Italian, and at least a quarter of its intended audience is likelier to defer to one of two sturdy holdovers — Burn After Reading or The Famliy That Preys. If this breaks $5.5 million, we'll be shocked. Sorry, Spike; there's always Inside Man 2.
Actually, no he won’t. But the former Growing Pains star and born-again nutjob does have a movie coming out called Fireproof, and according to the LA Times it “has been No. 1 in advance sales on movie ticketing site Fandango.com with 31% of this week's business, albeit in a slow marketplace— even outpacing sales for the big-budget popcorn thriller Eagle Eye, starring heartthrob Shia LaBeouf.” How in the name of Boner Stabone is this possible?You guessed it: Fireproof is another of Cameron's religious-themed movies, and thanks to bulk purchases by church groups, it seems likely to rake in the big bucks this weekend and beyond. So what will these crowds be treated to? How about Kirk Cameron as a heroic fireman who’s having problems with his wife? But instead of taking the heathen’s way out and getting a divorce, he looks to God to teach him how to be a better husband. Sounds thrilling to be sure, but don’t go expecting another Passion of the Christ here; Jesus on the cross can outdraw Kirk on the ladder any day. But still, you godless A-listers better watch your back: Cameron is coming for you, and he’s got the Lord on his side. Amen. [Photo Credit: Getty Images]
There is no point fighting it anymore. Vh1 will continue to produce shows featuring has-been stars from our youth and, like moths to the TV screen, we'll watch them cry, urinate on themselves and make out in hot tubs until the end of time. Their newest idea will feature (shocker!) Vh1 reality vet Scott Baio mentoring eight “male teen idols” of the 80s in an effort to jump-start a comeback. Since the sad little group has yet to be revealed, we went ahead and picked two former crushworthy picks we’d most like to see week after week, and the two who might force us to cancel our cable package altogether:
If Kirk Cameron ever worried about being the child actor that time forgot, he needn't have: Thanks to those Internets the kids are raving about, Kirk will live in our hearts forever through parodies — here, The Bourne Again Ultimatum — that remind us forever what a nutjob he became. Oh, but if anyone finds his missing rapture ticket, please return it. That thing's non-refundable.
· Ah, that's better. Now Jodie Foster's people can enjoy their weekend, knowing their client is special enough to Warner Bros. to finally have her name spelled correctly.
· We recommend that you watch the first few minutes of this video from the set of Iron Man because it's painfully obvious how little Robert Downey, Jr, usually ready to launch into a stream-of-consciousness digression the moment someone produces a recording device in his presence, doesn't want to talk to the poor kid from MTV. Also of interest: Favs seems to have slimmed down quite a bit, and is in fine directing shape.
· We recommend that you watch this video only if you're willing to wash your eyes in bleach at its conclusion. [via LA Rag Mag]
· Judd Apatow isn't thrilled with this "Mayor of Comedy" business. Besides, he makes way more money than a mayor these days.
· You know what never ceases to be a little weird, even though it's old news? The whole born-again Kirk Cameron deal.