8 February 2005
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Schneider Blasts "Pompous" Movie Critic
American comic Rob Schneider
has furiously labeled movie critic Patrick Goldstein
"unfunny" and "pompous" for his attack on his contribution to cinema. The former Saturday Night Live
star has taken out a full-page advertisement in the Hollywood Reporter
attacking Goldstein's article on January 26, in which he blasted movie studios for making lackluster sequels like Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo
. His verbal assault mirrors Owen Wilson
's recent defense of Starsky & Hutch
co-star Ben Stiller
, who was criticized for his "tiresome" screen presence by New Yorker magazine's David Denby
. Schneider writes of Goldstein, "Most of the world (has) no idea of your existence. Maybe you didn't win a Pulitzer Prize because they haven't invented a category for 'Best Third-Rate, Unfunny Pompous Reporter'. I can honestly say that if I sat with your colleagues at a luncheon, afterwards they'd say, 'You know, that Rob Schneider
is a pretty intelligent guy' ... whereas, if you sat with my colleagues, after lunch, you would just be beaten beyond recognition." On gossip website Pagesix.Com, Goldstein responds, "I haven't received so many congratulatory phone calls since Billy Crystal
wrote a letter to the editor comparing me to Roy Cohn
'The Aviator' Producer's Oscar Snub
A producer of The Aviator
credited with persuading Leonardo DiCaprio
to play Howard Hughes
has been ditched from the Oscar nominations because of over-crowding. Charles Evans Jr.
, who claims the biopic of the eccentric maverick was his brainchild, has been dumped as a producer for the Best Picture award at this year's Academy Awards because of a limit imposed on the number of nominees. Only two of The Aviator's four producers - Michael Mann
and Graham King
- are now in the running to receive a statuette. Up to three producers can be nominated per film, but The Aviator and Million Dollar Baby
failed to trim their credits so the Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts And Sciences (Ampas) has had to be ruthless, and decided to axe both Evans Jr. and Mann's former deputy Sandy Climan
. Evans Jr. sued Mann in 2001 claiming he was excluded from the project after coming up with the original idea and convincing DiCaprio to take the lead role. The case was settled out of court and Evans was named as a producer.
Jackson Jury Selection Delayed a Week Following Death
Jury selection in Michael Jackson
's child molestation trial has been postponed for a week, following the death of the star's attorney's sister. Monday's scheduled questioning of prospective jurors had been postponed last week because Thomas Mesereau Jr's sister was gravely ill. Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville says jury selection will resume on February 14. In another development, Melville also agreed to a request from various news organizations to see the questionnaires filled out last week by prospective jurors. A pool of about 250 prospective jurors was formed after the first round of questioning by the judge to determine which people would be able to serve on the expected six-month trial in Santa Maria, California. The next round of questioning will involve defense attorneys and prosecutors. The questionnaires will be released this week. Jackson, 46, is charged with molesting a 13-year-old former cancer patient. He is also charged with giving the boy alcohol and conspiring to hold him and his family at Jackson's Neverland ranch. The Bad
singer has said he expects to be acquitted.
'Vera Drake' Steals British Film Award Ceremony
Hannah Sued by Public Relations Firm
is locked in a money war with a group of Hollywood bigwigs, who claim the actress owes them cash after they helped revive her career. Statuesque beauty Hannah 1980s glory with such hits as Wall Street
, but her career cooled off until she re-emerged in Quentin Tarantino
's 2003 film Kill Bill: Vol 1
. And now researchers at American TV show Celebrity Justice
have uncovered a lawsuit filed by the Rogers & Cowan public relations firm against Hannah. The suit claims the PR firm entered into an agreement with Hannah to help promote her several months before Kill Bill: Vol 1
came out. The suit says the fee was $3,000 a month, plus expenses - which the company claims hasn't been paid. The lawsuit says Hannah got a bill for $64,000 but paid only about $7,000. Hannah's manager says the actress did not want to spend the $36,000 a year for publicity - the rate which Rogers & Cowan had quoted her - instead agreeing to pay only for the months where she used their services. Her manager says she did use the company occasionally to promote the two Kill Bill
movies and that she always paid the expenses for those events.
Altman Sued by Neighbor
director Robert Altman
has been slapped with a lawsuit by an irate neighbor who claims the film-maker's wall has caused a wealth of damage. Altman, his wife Kathryn and their son Matthew have been sued by the owner of the house next door to a home owned by the Altmans in Los Angeles. The dispute over a "defectively constructed" wall on Altman's property, which has led to a "substantial flow" of "mud, dirt, water and debris" onto the neighbor's property, allegedly causing more than $50,000 in damage. Altman's legal team tells American TV show Celebrity Justice
that the wall is currently being repaired.
Bollywood Actress Deported
Bollywood actress Nigar Khan
has been deported from India to Norway after officials claimed she was working illegally on her visa. The Iranian-born beauty, who has a Norwegian passport, told India's media earlier today she was being brought straight to the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai (Bombay) after a "routine" appointment at the city's immigration office. Khan claims she married an Indian citizen six months ago and possesses the correct documentation. Mumbai's deputy police chief Bipin Bihari says, "She was on a visitor's visa but she has engaged in several commercial ventures. We issued notices last year, in view of which she had gone back to Norway, but she has returned again this year to work."
Lee Honored in Sri Lanka
American film-maker Spike Lee
will be hailed for his contribution to black cinema as part of Black History Month in Sri Lanka later this week. Organizers will screen a number of the maverick New York director's movies - including Do The Right Thing
and Malcolm X
- in capital Colombo between February 10 and 14. A statement from the city's American Embassy explains, "In honor of Black History Month, famous director Spike Lee
's works will be screened as Lee is considered one of the most provocative and adept filmmakers in contemporary cinema. It provides an opportunity to educate communities about notable black figures and the history of African-Americans in the United States. The embassy believes the films will find a strong audience in Sri Lanka given the contents of the movies to be screened."
Eastwood in Good Shape
Movie veteran Clint Eastwood
may be approaching his 75th birthday this year, but he still works out at the gym on a regular basis. The Unforgiven
star, who is up for Best Actor at this month's Academy Awards, is adamant he will remain in good shape, unlike other men his age who take a laid-back approach to exercising. Eastwood enthuses, "I work out daily and I like it. In Million Dollar Baby
it was great because we had a gym. Everyone would see who could do the most dips on the dip bar and I did the most. At 74, I could still do 30."
'Designing Women' Star's Missing Son Found
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star Annie Potts
is celebrating after her lost son was found in mountains near Los Angeles. The actress' son Clay Senechal
, 23, was reported missing after he failed to return from a hike in snowy conditions at Mount Baldy, about 40 miles north east of Los Angeles. Rescue crews discovered Senechal's vehicle at the bottom of a hiking trail on Saturday and had been searching the mountain since.