Last week, the headmaster's nephew Justin Bieber flew to Munich to put on a few performances as part of his world tour. He brought almost all the important things with him: his shoe, his passport, his baby capuchin monkey. Unfortunately, he didn't bring one very, very important thing: the necessary clearance forms so that he would be allowed to bring the monkey in and out of Germany. (Who knew you needed "animal clearance forms" for a friend? What a world.)
Hundreds of residents had to be evacuated from the center of Munich last night after German authorities were unable to defuse a 550lb. WWII-era bomb found buried a few feet underground.
With a lukewarm reception at the box office and snubs in virtually every awards race (it lost in both in its Golden Globe nominated categories best director and best screenplay to Brokeback Mountain) Steven Spielberg's Munich is left to wipe the snot from its once promising nose, wondering when and how it lost its way. Some are blaming its controversial point of view, which seemingly wants to have its Mossad revenge killing cake, and, in depicting Palestinian terrorists in a sympathetic light, eat it too. Screenwriter Tony Kushner took to defending the film in a recent LAT op-ed piece:
Between his daily, painstaking shit list revisings, Steven Spielberg finds time to make some of the most critically and commercially successful movies of our time. But does his latest effort, Munich, borrow too heavily from an 1986 HBO film based on the same source material called Sword of Gideon? The Wall Street Journal reports that Gideon's producers are suggesting exactly that:
· Color us shocked: Us Weekly has another celebrity engagement exclusive. This time it's Tori Spelling (who isn't even divorced from husband #1 yet) and her boyfriend of four months, Canadian actor Dean McDermott, who according to IMdB "loves to play golf," and "owns two Golden Retrievers." As if being Canadian wasn't boring enough!
· The LAT profiles mother of dreamy-eyed, gay-cowboy-illusionist Jake Gyllenhaal (and screenwriter in her own right) Naomi Foner.
· Turns out comedian Mitch Hedberg did die of an overdose.
· Blogger Thighs Wide Shut argues the case for Munich, and we heartily agree. We particularly enjoyed the paragraph covering how well the goyische cast (the Jewish Caesar, the Jewish Bond, the Jewish Sade and the Jewish Hulk) infuse their characters with Hebraic realness.
· SNL may have finally produced its first new breakout star since Will Ferrell, but it took the internet to do it.
· Munich opens on 532 screens, grossing a respectable $5.7 million in four days. Jews kicking ass: We saw it, we loved it. No kidding. [Variety]
· Further details emerge about the
yawn-inducing riveting Microsoft pullout of MSNBC: NBC Universal will own 82% and acquire full management control, MSNBC.com continues at a 50-50 split, and the public's interest level remains unchanged at a steady 0%. [Variety]
· CBS offers free video streaming of Two And A Half Men and How I Met Your Mother on Yahoo! this week. Finally, with the addition of Jon Cryer, the internet has become a vital and viable medium. [Variety]
· 25 films are added to the National Film Registry by the librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, including The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which leads us to believe the librarian of Congress could be hiding in those stacks, stoned and pulling on a pair of fishnets as we speak. [THR]
· The richest man in Australia, media mogul Kerry Packer (bet your heart skipped a Rupert Murdoch-length beat there for a second) has gone on to a better place. We'd make a sensitive joke, but we wouldn't want to see it splashed across tomorrow's Australian headlines as fact. [THR]
· What did Paramount get in the DreamWorks deal? Half of anything Steven Spielberg does (even if he fools around with other studios), distribution rights for DreamWorks Animation films, and in a less-reported concession, Brad Grey gets to pat Jeffrey Katzenberg on the head and call him Lil' Buddy any time he visits the lot. Get it? Because he's short and adorable! [Variety]
· Jude Law joins Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet and Jack Black in Something's Gotta Give writer Nancy Meyers' romantic comedy Holiday, a project whose reportedly torturously prolonged casting process finally yielded exactly the right lovable, nanny-zapping rogue for the role. [THR]
· The forthcoming book Striking Back will simultaneously try to capitalize on the interest in the events depicted in Munich while disputing the version of events reported in Vengeance, the movie's source material. [Variety]
· Lake Bell is in negotiations to play Colin Farrell's wife in New Line cop drama Pride and Glory, assuming the actor doesn't chew through his restraints in rehab and escape before the conclusion of his treatment. [THR]
· Sandy Grushow, who greenlit 24 while at Fox and worked on marketing Die Hard, will produce the real-time drama pilot Crisis for Fox through his Phase Two company. We'll give you three guesses about which two highly successful projects Crisis is compared to. [Variety]
· Our favorite review of the week, courtesy of the LAT's Carina Chocano: "Rent is commodified faux bohemia on a platter, eliciting the same kind of numbing soul-sadness as children's beauty pageants, tiny dogs in expensive boots, Mahatma Gandhi in Apple ads. It's about art, activism and counterculture in the same way that a poster of a kitten hanging from a tree branch ("Hang in There!") is about commitment and heroic perseverance."
· Borat answers the Kazakhstan government's charges: "I like to state, I have no connection with Mr Cohen and fully support my government's position to sue this Jew."
· The LA Weekly's Nikki Finke reports that Steven Spielberg will eschew the Oscar-campaign blitzkrieg typical of high-profile movies like his Munich, choosing to let the work stand on its own over sending out boxes full of "For Your Consideration" ski masks to Academy members.
· AD's George Michael laments Fox's lack of promotion for his show, tips us off that the Tobias hair-plug storyline is about to get really dark.
· Celeb MarriageWatch: Elton John and his partner plan a civil union in Britain, while Peter Brady and that ANTM chick selflessly protect the sanctity of traditional marriage by getting hitched on VH1.