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9 items from 2004


Jackson Attacks "Racist" Eminem at Rally

15 November 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Michael Jackson has hinted that his new chart rival, Eminem, is a racist by calling American newsman Geraldo Rivera during a protest about the rapper's new video. Jackson is upset with Eminem because the irreverent rapper pokes fun at the pop superstar in his "Just Lose It" video - dancing on a bed with young boys, losing his fake nose on a dance floor and setting his hair alight. And during a live Fox News broadcast on Thursday night from a demonstration by Jackson's fans outside MTV's headquarters in New York, the King of Pop called Rivera direct to comment on the video further and blast MTV bosses for continuing to air it. He raged, "I think that it's demeaning and disrespectful but I also want to make it clear it's not just about Michael Jackson but a pattern of disrespect that he (Eminem) has shown to our community. He needs to stop it and he needs to stop it now." Rivera later stated he agreed with Jackson and blasted MTV bosses, claiming, "It's an attack on people who allow lazy racism to get on the air." Meanwhile, Eminem shows no sign of apologizing for the video and even plans to turn up at the MTV European Music Awards dressed as Jackson. Promoting his new album Encore on Friday, he said, "I've struck some kind of chord with him and I'm not sure exactly what it was that I struck in him that I didn't strike in Madonna or MC Hammer or Pee Wee Herman or myself, all of which I made fun of and spoofed (in the video). I like Michael Jackson, I like him a lot. I'm just happy that Michael Jackson has heard of me." »

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Eminem Throws Up on Jackson And Sets Fire to Madonna's Bra

10 October 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Eminem's hilarious new video features the rapper poking fun at Madonna, Michael Jackson, Pee Wee Herman and MC Hammer. The fun-loving rapper's new video "Just Lose It" features Paris Hilton, Eminem's 8 Mile co-star Mekhi Phifer, Erik Estrada and Bad Santa star Tony Cox. In one hilarious scene, Eminem, as Jackson, dashes into the toilet featured in the opening scenes of 8 Mile in an attempt to douse the fire in his hair - after an onstage pyrotechnics accident with Madonna. When the Jackson character comes face to face with the real Eminem, the rapper vomits all over him. Poking more fun at Jackson, Eminem, playing the pop superstar, accidentally knocks off his own nose during a disco scene and has to scramble around on the floor looking for it. Eminem also calls in a double, Ryan Shepard, to play a streaking Eminem, chased by Pee Wee Herman and TV star Estrada as a motorcycle cop, who eventually arrests him. Dr Dre, who also appears in the video, admits he doesn't understand why his pal is always naked in promos. He says, "I have no idea what's wrong with him, man, he always shows his a**." »

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Disney's Teacher's Pet

9 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Opens

January 16

"Disney's Teacher's Pet", which grew out of Disney's Daytime Emmy-winning animated television series of the same name, represents mischievous fun for youngsters: Family pets converse, a row of houses bursts into song and so many gags fill the screen that only multiple viewings will reveal them all. The animal and human kingdoms get mixed up in ways that should delight young viewers, while older ones can chuckle at the vocal antics of such actors as Nathan Lane as the dog Spot, Kelsey Grammer as wacko Dr. Krank and Jerry Stiller as a big-mouthed canary with zippy one-liners.

The film will do well with the matinee crowd, but probably much better when it reaches homes in DVD and video release, where youngsters will no doubt subject those fleeting gags to multiple viewings.

Produced by the Disney Television Animation division, the feature owes its flamboyant caricatures and painterly backgrounds to illustrator Gary Baseman, who helped create the series and acts as art director here. The lead character is a dog that looks like a blue penguin with huge teeth, while a cat resembles a yellow fish with tiny legs.

Spot is a dog that doesn't know his place. He more or less lives a boy's life, getting dressed each morning for school with his master Leonard (Shaun Fleming) and being treated like a human by Leonard's classmates and teacher. Only Leonard wishes that Spot would chase balls and sticks like normal dogs.

When Leonard and his mom, fourth-grade teacher Mrs. Helperman Debra Jo Rupp), take off for Florida, where she is a finalist in a national teachers contest, Spot is eager to join them. Not only does he miss his family, but while watching an insult TV talk show he learns that in Florida resides a Dr. Krank (Grammer), who claims to be able to turn animals into humans.

Spot stows away on the "Wentawaygo", but when they all arrive in Florida he discovers that Dr. Krank's experiments have resulted in a mutant alligator boy (Paul Reubens) and mosquito girl (Megan Mullally). However, with a more "advanced" species, Dr. Krank is able to turn Spot into Scott. Only no one had reckoned on how many dog years Spot has already lived: Scott turns out to be a grumpy adult with hairy knuckles.

To turn Scott back into Spot requires the involvement of the family cat Jolly David Ogden Stiers), bossy canary Pretty Boy (Stiller) and Dr. Krank's computer-hacking nephew Ian (Rob Paulsen). Several zippy songs intrude, from "A Boy Needs a Dog", a lament over tampering with nature, to the tango-esque "I, Ivan Krank", performed by Grammer.

There is little "down time" here as outside of the musical numbers, director Timothy Bjorklund and his animation team move story and objects at a frantic pace. The colors are big, saturated and vibrant, while backgrounds are simple though comical, making the movie seem less like a traditional animated feature than a comic strip come to life. But for all the work that went into the whimsical creatures and painterly palette, the voice actors more or less steal the show.

DISNEY'S TEACHER'S PET

Buena Vista Pictures

Walt Disney Pictures

Credits:

Director: Timothy Bjorklund

Writers: Bill Steinkillner, Cheri Steinkillner

Producer: Stephen Swofford

Creators/executive producers: Gary Baseman, Bill Steinkillner, Cheri Steinkillner

Art director: Gary Baseman

Dialogue director: Jamie Thomason

Music: Stephen James Taylor

Songs by: Randy Petersen, Kevin Quinn, Cheri Steinkellner, Brian Woodbury, Peter Lurye

Supervising editor: Nancy Frazen

Voices:

Spot/Scott: Nathan Lane

Dr. Krank: Kelsey Grammer

Leonard: Shaun Fleming

Mrs. Helperman: Debra Jo Rupp

Jolly: David Ogden Stiers

Pretty Boy: Jerry Stiller

Principal Strickler: Wallace Shawn

Barry Anger: Jay Thomas

Running time -- 73 minutes

MPAA rating: PG r

Nia: Joanna Bacalso

XiXi: Bai Ling

Brandy: Marsha Thomason

Annabelle: Amy Sedaris

Running time -- 87 minutes

MPAA rating: PG-13 etic

Screenwriter: Victor Levin

Producers: Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher

Executive producers: William S. Beasley, Gail Lyon

Director of photography: Peter Collister

Production designer: Missy Stewart

Music: Edward Shearmur

Costume designer: Catherine Adair

Editor: Scott Hill

Cast:

Rosalee Futch: Kate Bosworth

Pete: Topher Grace

Tad Hamilton: Josh Duhamel

Richard Levy the Driven: Nathan Lane

Richard Levy the Shameless: Sean Hayes

Henry: Gary Cole

Cathy Feely: Ginnifer Goodwin

Angelica: Kathryn Hahn

Running time -- 96 minutes

MPAA rating: PG-13 »

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South of Heaven, West of Hell

8 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Having impressively proved himself a capable actor, country singer-songwriter Dwight Yoakam adds director-screenwriter-producer-composer to his resume, and the resulting "South of Heaven, West of Hell" would suggest a case of wearing at least one Stetson too many.

A subversive Gothic western starring Yoakam and a bunch of his Hollywood buddies, the picture, which actually is much closer to hell than its directions would imply, is an interminable, annoying mess of fractured cowboy-movie cliches.

Although Yoakam and co-screenwriter Stan Bertheaud must have had a hoot cramming in all the frat boy perversity -- castration, rape, incest and pedophilia rank high on its top 10 list -- it all comes across as the kind of indulgence that gives vanity projects a bad name.

Yoakam has cast himself as Valentine Casey, a marshal with an uncertain past who finds himself biding time in some kind of existential purgatory resembling a desolate New Mexico town called Los Tragos.

Part of that past resurfaces when the murderous, inbred Henry Gang, presided over by Bible-thumping Leland (Luke Askew), rides into town. Apparently way back when, after Val's own family died during an influenza outbreak, Leland raised Val as his own. Now Leland and his boys, including Vince Vaughn and Paul Reubens, have returned with larceny on their minds. Though Val sticks to his guns, the Henry Gang proceeds to slaughter everything around him that tries to block their path to the bank vault.

Cut to nine months later, where we find Val in the Arizona desert breaking wild horses and meeting up with Adalyne Dunfries (Bridget Fonda), the daughter of the local hotel and saloon owner who has returned to town accompanied by the odd Brigadier Smalls Billy Bob Thornton with long golden hair).

Just when it looks like Val and Adalyne are about to have a thing going, who else but the Henry Gang comes in and gums up the works, precipitating a protracted fight to the finish.

While Yoakam underplays his part to the point of catatonia, the rest of his cast, also including Bud Cort, Peter Fonda and Michael Jeter, go in the opposite direction in some kind of contest to determine who can be the most irritating. Jeter's the clear winner as the screeching Uncle Jude.

To his credit, director of photography James Glennon ("El Norte", "Election") mines plenty of atmospheric value for the low-budget buck, but there ain't enough purdy sunsets in the world to compensate for this long-winded, one-trick pony of a home movie.

SOUTH OF HEAVEN, WEST OF HELL

Trimark

Director: Dwight Yoakam

Producers: Gray Frederickson, Darris Hatch

Screenwriters: Dwight Yoakam, Stan Bertheaud

Story: Dwight Yoakam, Dennis Hackin, Otto Felix

Director of photography: James Glennon

Production designer: Siobhan Roome

Editor: Robert Ferretti

Costume designer: Le Dawson

Music: Dwight Yoakam

Color/stereo

Cast:

Valentine Casey: Dwight Yoakam

Taylor: Vince Vaughn

Brigadier Smalls: Billy Bob Thornton

Adalyne Dunfries: Bridget Fonda

Shoshonee Bill: Peter Fonda

Arvid: Paul Reubens

Agent Otts: Bud Cort

Doc Angus Dunfries: Bo Hopkins

Leland: Luke Askew

Uncle Jude: Michael Jeter

Running time -- 131 minutes

MPAA rating: R

»

Permalink | Report a problem


South of Heaven, West of Hell

8 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Having impressively proved himself a capable actor, country singer-songwriter Dwight Yoakam adds director-screenwriter-producer-composer to his resume, and the resulting "South of Heaven, West of Hell" would suggest a case of wearing at least one Stetson too many.

A subversive Gothic western starring Yoakam and a bunch of his Hollywood buddies, the picture, which actually is much closer to hell than its directions would imply, is an interminable, annoying mess of fractured cowboy-movie cliches.

Although Yoakam and co-screenwriter Stan Bertheaud must have had a hoot cramming in all the frat boy perversity -- castration, rape, incest and pedophilia rank high on its top 10 list -- it all comes across as the kind of indulgence that gives vanity projects a bad name.

Yoakam has cast himself as Valentine Casey, a marshal with an uncertain past who finds himself biding time in some kind of existential purgatory resembling a desolate New Mexico town called Los Tragos.

Part of that past resurfaces when the murderous, inbred Henry Gang, presided over by Bible-thumping Leland (Luke Askew), rides into town. Apparently way back when, after Val's own family died during an influenza outbreak, Leland raised Val as his own. Now Leland and his boys, including Vince Vaughn and Paul Reubens, have returned with larceny on their minds. Though Val sticks to his guns, the Henry Gang proceeds to slaughter everything around him that tries to block their path to the bank vault.

Cut to nine months later, where we find Val in the Arizona desert breaking wild horses and meeting up with Adalyne Dunfries (Bridget Fonda), the daughter of the local hotel and saloon owner who has returned to town accompanied by the odd Brigadier Smalls Billy Bob Thornton with long golden hair).

Just when it looks like Val and Adalyne are about to have a thing going, who else but the Henry Gang comes in and gums up the works, precipitating a protracted fight to the finish.

While Yoakam underplays his part to the point of catatonia, the rest of his cast, also including Bud Cort, Peter Fonda and Michael Jeter, go in the opposite direction in some kind of contest to determine who can be the most irritating. Jeter's the clear winner as the screeching Uncle Jude.

To his credit, director of photography James Glennon ("El Norte", "Election") mines plenty of atmospheric value for the low-budget buck, but there ain't enough purdy sunsets in the world to compensate for this long-winded, one-trick pony of a home movie.

SOUTH OF HEAVEN, WEST OF HELL

Trimark

Director: Dwight Yoakam

Producers: Gray Frederickson, Darris Hatch

Screenwriters: Dwight Yoakam, Stan Bertheaud

Story: Dwight Yoakam, Dennis Hackin, Otto Felix

Director of photography: James Glennon

Production designer: Siobhan Roome

Editor: Robert Ferretti

Costume designer: Le Dawson

Music: Dwight Yoakam

Color/stereo

Cast:

Valentine Casey: Dwight Yoakam

Taylor: Vince Vaughn

Brigadier Smalls: Billy Bob Thornton

Adalyne Dunfries: Bridget Fonda

Shoshonee Bill: Peter Fonda

Arvid: Paul Reubens

Agent Otts: Bud Cort

Doc Angus Dunfries: Bo Hopkins

Leland: Luke Askew

Uncle Jude: Michael Jeter

Running time -- 131 minutes

MPAA rating: R

»

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Reubens Explains Plea Agreement

6 April 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Troubled actor Paul Reubens settled for a plea agreement in his child pornography case - because he feared a Martha Stewart-style court scandal. The Pee-Wee Herman star was arrested in 2002 after police discovered child porn items during a raid on his Hollywood home, but the charges against him have since been dropped. Instead of having to go to trial, Reubens opted to take a plea agreement which means he'll be a registered sex offender for the next three years. Reubens explains, "It could be argued that it's worse to have a trial. We just got to watch Martha Stewart and the country's glee at her downfall. I've been in a scandal before and I don't want to give the public that opportunity again - to kick me while I'm down." »

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Reubens Accepts Sex Offender Tag in Plea Agreement

23 March 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actor Paul Reubens has agreed to register as a sex offender for three years as part of a plea bargain to remove charges of child pornography from his record. California judge Carol H Rehm has dismissed the child porn charges against Pee-Wee Herman's alter-ego after the actor confessed to a separate misdemeanor obscenity charge. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Reubens also agreed to pay a $100 fine and to enter a counseling program for a year. The Blow star was arrested early last year following a raid on his home. Investigators claimed they had seized a number of erotic images, including those of minors engaged in sexual conduct in the raid. Reubens has always maintained the pictures are part of his vintage art collection, and not related to anything improper. »

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Pee-Wee's Child Porn Charges Dropped

22 March 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

A California judge has dismissed child pornography charges against Pee-Wee Herman's alter-ego Paul Reubens after the actor confessed to a separate misdemeanor obscenity charge. The Blow star was charged in 2002 following a raid on his home the previous year. Investigators claimed they had seized a number of erotic images, including those of minors engaged in sexual conduct. Reubens has always maintained the pictures are part of his vintage art collection, and not related to anything improper. »

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Disney's Teacher's Pet

14 January 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Opens

January 16

"Disney's Teacher's Pet", which grew out of Disney's Daytime Emmy-winning animated television series of the same name, represents mischievous fun for youngsters: Family pets converse, a row of houses bursts into song and so many gags fill the screen that only multiple viewings will reveal them all. The animal and human kingdoms get mixed up in ways that should delight young viewers, while older ones can chuckle at the vocal antics of such actors as Nathan Lane as the dog Spot, Kelsey Grammer as wacko Dr. Krank and Jerry Stiller as a big-mouthed canary with zippy one-liners.

The film will do well with the matinee crowd, but probably much better when it reaches homes in DVD and video release, where youngsters will no doubt subject those fleeting gags to multiple viewings.

Produced by the Disney Television Animation division, the feature owes its flamboyant caricatures and painterly backgrounds to illustrator Gary Baseman, who helped create the series and acts as art director here. The lead character is a dog that looks like a blue penguin with huge teeth, while a cat resembles a yellow fish with tiny legs.

Spot is a dog that doesn't know his place. He more or less lives a boy's life, getting dressed each morning for school with his master Leonard (Shaun Fleming) and being treated like a human by Leonard's classmates and teacher. Only Leonard wishes that Spot would chase balls and sticks like normal dogs.

When Leonard and his mom, fourth-grade teacher Mrs. Helperman Debra Jo Rupp), take off for Florida, where she is a finalist in a national teachers contest, Spot is eager to join them. Not only does he miss his family, but while watching an insult TV talk show he learns that in Florida resides a Dr. Krank (Grammer), who claims to be able to turn animals into humans.

Spot stows away on the "Wentawaygo", but when they all arrive in Florida he discovers that Dr. Krank's experiments have resulted in a mutant alligator boy (Paul Reubens) and mosquito girl (Megan Mullally). However, with a more "advanced" species, Dr. Krank is able to turn Spot into Scott. Only no one had reckoned on how many dog years Spot has already lived: Scott turns out to be a grumpy adult with hairy knuckles.

To turn Scott back into Spot requires the involvement of the family cat Jolly David Ogden Stiers), bossy canary Pretty Boy (Stiller) and Dr. Krank's computer-hacking nephew Ian (Rob Paulsen). Several zippy songs intrude, from "A Boy Needs a Dog", a lament over tampering with nature, to the tango-esque "I, Ivan Krank", performed by Grammer.

There is little "down time" here as outside of the musical numbers, director Timothy Bjorklund and his animation team move story and objects at a frantic pace. The colors are big, saturated and vibrant, while backgrounds are simple though comical, making the movie seem less like a traditional animated feature than a comic strip come to life. But for all the work that went into the whimsical creatures and painterly palette, the voice actors more or less steal the show.

DISNEY'S TEACHER'S PET

Buena Vista Pictures

Walt Disney Pictures

Credits:

Director: Timothy Bjorklund

Writers: Bill Steinkillner, Cheri Steinkillner

Producer: Stephen Swofford

Creators/executive producers: Gary Baseman, Bill Steinkillner, Cheri Steinkillner

Art director: Gary Baseman

Dialogue director: Jamie Thomason

Music: Stephen James Taylor

Songs by: Randy Petersen, Kevin Quinn, Cheri Steinkellner, Brian Woodbury, Peter Lurye

Supervising editor: Nancy Frazen

Voices:

Spot/Scott: Nathan Lane

Dr. Krank: Kelsey Grammer

Leonard: Shaun Fleming

Mrs. Helperman: Debra Jo Rupp

Jolly: David Ogden Stiers

Pretty Boy: Jerry Stiller

Principal Strickler: Wallace Shawn

Barry Anger: Jay Thomas

Running time -- 73 minutes

MPAA rating: PG r

Nia: Joanna Bacalso

XiXi: Bai Ling

Brandy: Marsha Thomason

Annabelle: Amy Sedaris

Running time -- 87 minutes

MPAA rating: PG-13 etic

Screenwriter: Victor Levin

Producers: Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher

Executive producers: William S. Beasley, Gail Lyon

Director of photography: Peter Collister

Production designer: Missy Stewart

Music: Edward Shearmur

Costume designer: Catherine Adair

Editor: Scott Hill

Cast:

Rosalee Futch: Kate Bosworth

Pete: Topher Grace

Tad Hamilton: Josh Duhamel

Richard Levy the Driven: Nathan Lane

Richard Levy the Shameless: Sean Hayes

Henry: Gary Cole

Cathy Feely: Ginnifer Goodwin

Angelica: Kathryn Hahn

Running time -- 96 minutes

MPAA rating: PG-13 »

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9 items from 2004


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