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The Rap Sheet  2001
   
The Rap Sheet  2002 - Go Back to 2003


FINAL FAREWELL
  (12/30/01)

    With the close of each year comes the things I regret doing most.  Saying goodbye to all the talented men and women who left us.  This year is no different, and there are some greats whose talents will be greatly missed.  Here are just a few.
    Jack Lemmon, Jason Robards, Anthony Quinn, Kathleen Freeman, Troy Donahue, Stanley Kramer, Carroll O'Connor, Dale Evans, Ray Walston, Imogene Coca, Hank Ketcham, William Hanna, John Lee Hooker, John Phillips, Ted Mann, Sam Arkoff and George Harrison.  We'll always carry you with us in our hearts.




  
THE LORD OF THE BOX OFFICE
  (12/26/01)

    Was it the Hobbits or was it a touch of Gandalf's magic?  Either way, The Lord of the Rings... was the lord of the box office over Christmas weekend.
    Since it's December 19th opening, LOTR has brought in more than $73 million dollars in domestic box offices.  Way to go Frodo!


GOLDEN GLOBE NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED
  (12/20/01)

    The Hollywood Foreign Press has released it's list of nominations for the year ending December 2001.  The award ceremony will be held in January.

   BEST MOTION PICTURE - DRAMA
    A Beautiful Mind, In The Bedroom, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Man Who Wasn't There, Mulholland Drive.
   BEST ACTRESS - DRAMA
    Halle Berry - Monster's Ball, Judi Dench - Iris, Nicole Kidman - The Others, Sissy Spacek - In The Bedroom, Tilda Swinton - The Deep End.
   BEST ACTOR - DRAMA
    Russell Crowe - A Beautiful Mind, Will Smith - Ali, Kevin Spacey - The Shipping News, Billy Bob Thornton - The Man Who Wasn't There, Denzel Washington - Training Day.
   BEST MOTION PICTURE - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
    Bridget Jones's Diary, Gosford Park, Legally Blonde, Moulin Rouge, Shrek
   BEST ACTRESS - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
    Thora Birch - Ghost World, Cate Blanchett - Bandits, Nicole Kidman - Moulin Rouge, Reese Witherspoon - Legally Blonde, Renee Zellweger - Bridget Jones's Diary.
   BEST ACTOR - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
    Gene Hackman - The Royal Tenenbaums, Hugh Jackman - Kate & Leopold, Ewan McGregor - Moulin Rouge, John Cameron Mitchell - Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Billy Bob Thornton - Bandits.
   BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
    Jennifer Connelly - A Beautiful Mind, Cameron Diaz - Vanilla Sky, Helen Mirren - Gosford Park, Maggie Smith - Gosford Park, Marisa Tomei - In The Bedroom, Kate Winslet - Iris.
   BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
    Jim Broadbent - Iris, Steve Buscemi - Ghost World, Hayden Christensen - Life as a House, Ben Kingsley - Sexy Beast, Jude Law - A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Jon Voight - Ali.
   BEST DIRECTOR
    Robert Altman - Gosford Park, Ron Howard - A Beautiful Mind, Peter Jackson - The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Baz Luhrmann - Moulin Rouge, David Lynch - Mulholland Drive, Steven Spielberg - A.I. Artificial Intelligence.
   BEST SCREENPLAY
    Joel Coen & Ethan Coen - The Man Who Wasn't There, Julian Fellowes - Gosford Park, Akiva Goldsman - A Beautiful Mind, David Lynch - Mulholland Drive, Christopher Nolan - Memento.
   BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
    Craig Armstrong - Moulin Rouge, Angelo Badalamenti - Mulholland Drive, Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke - Ali, James Horner - A Beautiful Mind, Howard Shore - The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, John Williams - A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Christopher Young - The Shipping News, Hans Zimmer - Pearl Harbor.
   BEST ORIGINAL SONG
    COME WHAT MAY - Moulin Rouge (David Baerwald), MAY IT BE - The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Enya), THERE YOU'LL BE - Pearl Harbor (Diane Warren), UNTIL... - Kate & Leopold (Sting), VANILLA SKY - Vanilla Sky (Paul McCartney).
   BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
    Amelie - France, Behind the Sun - Brazil, Monsoon Wedding - India, No Man's Land - Bosnia, Y Tu Mama Tambien (And Your Mother Too) - Mexico.
    


HEIST FLICK NABS THE TOP SPOT
  (12/10/01)

    We knew it would happen eventually, the king of the box office, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was dethroned over the weekend.
    The new box office champ was Ocean's Eleven bringing in $39.3 million dollars to Potter's $14.8.  Now that's just cool.     


    
HOW DID GEORGE GET HIS GIRL?
    (12/06/01)
    
    In Ocean's 11, the remake of the Las Vegas heist movie which opens nationwide this weekend, how exactly did George Clooney convince superstar Julia Roberts to play the female lead?
    That's easy.
    He sent her a copy of the script with a $20.00 bill and a note that read:  "I heard you now get 20 per picture".



    
A TOUCH OF MAGIC HITS HOLLYWOOD
    (11/26/01)

    For the second week in a row, the number one movie was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  It has broken all sorts of box office records along the way.  It's first week out, it beat out Lost World: Jurassic Park 2 as the #1 moneymaker for a single 3 day weekend.  And after it's second weekend, it has become the fastest movie EVER to reach $200 million dollars domestically.  What it's bringing in at box offices outside the U.S. is another story altogether.



HOLLYWOOD SHOWS ITS HEART
    (09/21/01)

    Hollywood rallied together and proved how big a heart the entertainment community has with the airing of a live two hour telethon to raise money for the families and survivors of the attack on America, September 11th.
    The telethon was broadcast on 30+ television and cable stations simultaneously.  The stars performed for free.  Hollywood heavyweights (Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Goldie Hawn, Whoopi Goldberg, etc.) manned the phone banks.
    It is estimated that over $110 million dollars was pledged.



    
CROWDS RUSH TO SEE RUSH HOUR 2
    (08/06/01)

    The sequel to the popular buddy comedy drew record crowds.  Earning a reported 66.8 million dollars at the box office it's opening weekend.  That was the largest opening for a comedy movie ever.
    The reteaming of the Fastest hands in the East with the fastest Mouth in the South almost didn't happen.  Chris Tucker, who hasn't made a film since the original Rush Hour, originally turned the offer down.  That is until he was offered $20 million dollars to do it (he made $3 million for the first movie).    



    
JP3 OPENS TO MONSTEROUS CROWDS
    (07/29/01)

    Jurassic Park 3, took enormous strides at the box office it's opening weekend, walking away with 50.3 million dollars in ticket sales.  
    With Planet of the Apes riding it's dino tail, will it be able to hold the number one spot with audiences?



WHAT IS THE AIR-SPEED VELOCITY OF AN UNLADEN SWALLOW?
    (06/17/01)

    Exciting news for Python lovers or film lovers of any kind.  The greatest Monty Python movie ever made, Monty Python and the Holy Grail  is due for a limited re-release this summer in a select number of cities across America.
    It will feature a re-mastered stereo soundtrack and missing footage.  Either way, it's definitely worth standing in line for.
    From June 15th till July 6th, ...Grail  will be shown in onlyseven cities (Berkeley, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle).  So if you live in the above cities, enjoy.  If not, you'd better and pack up the VW bus and hurry on to get in line.     



MONKEY PLANET REVISITED
    (06/03/01)    
    
    There's been alot of speculation as to why anyone would want to remake a movie like Planet of the Apes.  We all remember what happened when Guy Van Sant remade Psycho.
    Well, this is a different situation.  Tim Burton who is directing P of A is not making a "remake" of the sci-fi favorite.  Instead, he's taking the general ideas in Pierre Boulle's novel - Monkey Planet - and "revisiting" the story from a different direction.
    Starring in the newest screen adaptation is Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Michael Clarke Duncan, Helena Bonham Carter and Kris Kristofferson.  Burton even found a role for his beloved Lisa Marie as well as Charlton Heston, this time as an ape.
    Watch for Planet of the Apes when it hits theatres July 27th.



PEARL HARBOR EXPLODES ON THE SCREEN
      (05/29/01)    
      
    The WWII epic, Pearl Harbor, though not a critical darling was a winner at the box office bringing in over $75.2 million dollars over Memorial Day weekend.  That was the largest four day opening for a non-sequel ever.  The largest opening on record for Memorial Day weekend was The Lost World: Jurassic Park which brought in over $90.2 in 1997.



# 1 OGRE AT THE BOX OFFICE
    (05/24/01)
    
    Shrek, the animated family movie released by Dreamworks, was number one at the box office, bringing in more than $42.1 million dollars.  That's the second highest opening for an animated film ever, coming in second to Toy Story 2.



    
THE MUMMY RETURNS TO THE TOP OF THE BOX OFFICE
    (05/07/01)

    THE MUMMY RETURNS, Universal Picture's sequel to THE MUMMY, was number one at the box office this past weekend bringing in an impressive 70.1 million dollars.
    That is the highest gross for a non-holiday weekend ever in history.
    


BY GEORGE!
    (05/07/01)

    George Clooney is a lucky son of a gun.  Not only is he producing and starring in the remake of the Rat Pack heist film OCEAN'S ELEVEN (due out in theatres later this year), but he should also have come into some extra spending money recently.
    If you'll remember, way back in 1996, two bets were made.  One by Nicole Kidman (Clooney's costar in THE PEACEMAKER) and the other by Michelle Pfeiffer (his costar in ONE FINE DAY).
    Clooney, ever the bachelor, has reportedly said on numerous occassions that he will never remarry again and has no intentions of having children (due to his ever hectic schedule).
    Both Kidman and Pfeiffer bet George $10,000.00 apiece that he would have children by the time he turned 40.  Well, George hit the golden mark on May 6th and by all accounts has not become a father yet, so hey gals...pay up.  If the SAG strike plays out he may need the cash.
    


         
WILL HE NEVER LEARN?
    (4/28/01)
    
    Robert Downey Jr. is in trouble yet again.  He was arrested just after midnight April 24th in an alley on Washington Blvd (L.A.) for being under the influence of a controlled substance.
    And if that weren't bad enough, by the next morning, he'd also been fired from his part on David E Kelley's ALLY McBEAL.
    Downey Jr. won a Golden Globe award earlier this year for his role on ALLY McBEAL and is an Oscar nominated actor.  



DWAYNE JOHNSON IN STARRING ROLE
    (4/28/01)

    Dwayne Johnson has landed a starring role in a major motion picture to be released just next week.  Who is Dwayne Johnson you ask?  None other than professional wrestling superstar "The Rock".  He will play The Scorpion King in the upcoming Universal Pictures release THE MUMMY RETURNS due in theatres May 4th.



STRANGER THAN FICTION?
    (4/23/01)

    They say that opposites attract and that may just be the case.  There is a new movie in the works that will be about the new blue Scandinavian drink "Niagara" which is a little like those little blue pills with a similar name, but intended primarily for the ladies.
    So far, two camps are interested in this project - Adam Sandler and Julia Roberts.  Excuse me?



MY SYMPATHY GOES OUT TO KEANU
    (4/5/01)

    It was reported today, that Jennifer Syme (ex?girlfriend of Keanu Reeves) was killed in an automobile accident in Los Angeles monday.
    Earlier last year, Syme was expecting the couple's first child.  Sadly, the baby girl was stillborn.
    Keanu (and Jennifer's family), my thoughts and best wishes go out to you now in this time of loss and always.     



GOT MILK?
    (4/5/01)

    Ever wonder what substance filmmakers use to stand in for things like powdered cocaine in movies?   Well, in the case of the upcoming film BLOW, with Johnny Depp, they used powdered milk.  That's right, powdered milk.  Depp said it made for a most uncomfortable experience and by the time filming was finished, he was most certainly "lactose intolerant"...



    
LITTLE GOLDEN MEN SEEN IN THE COMPANY OF CELEBRITIES
    (03/26/01)

    Even though GLADIATOR entered the grand arena of the 73rd Annual Academy Awards with a mighty 12 nominations, the film had a definite fight on it's hands as it was a very close and heated race between 3 very different films.
    With 10 nominations, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, the first Asian film to win the statuette for Best Foreign Language Film and also the first to be nominated for Best Picture, has also become the largest grossing foreign film in history.   Bringing in over $100 million dollars at the box office to date.  Throughout the night, CTHD accumulated a total of 4 awards - Best Art Direction, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography and Best Foreign Language Film.
    TRAFFIC, entered the Shrine Auditorium with 5 nominations and left with 4 - Best Film Editing, Best Screenplay - Adaptation, Best Supporting Actor - Benicio Del Toro and Best Director - Stephen Soderberg.
    But GLADIATOR pulled through to win 5 awards - Best Visual Effects, Best Sound, Best Costumes, Best Actor - Russell Crowe and the prestigious Best Picture.

    In the other acting categories, America's sweetheart Julia Roberts won her first award after 3 nominations for her role in ERIN BROCKOVICH (also directed by Stephen Soderberg).  The actress shone as she accepted her award in a vintage black and white Valentino gown.  
    But the night's biggest upset came in the category of Best Supporting Actress when the critically favored Kate Hudson was shut out and Marcia Gay Harden was awarded the statuette for her role in POLLOCK, directed by Best Actor nominee Ed Harris.



DEATH THREATS, CROUCHING TIGERS AND KIDNAPPING PLOTS, OH MY
    (03/26/01)

    The 73rd Annual Academy Awards went off without a hitch pretty much and that was possibly due to the fact that the security precautions at the Shrine Auditorium was heavier than ever before.
    Not only were security guards and FBI agents in attendance for Russell Crowe, but they were also keeping a close eye on Antonio Banderas as well after he had received threats against his life.
    There had even been mention that threats had been made toward the producers and director of CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.
    Many celebrities were heard complaining about the extra tight precautions along the red carpet and one nominee who had forgotten his ticket, Jeff Bridges, almost wasn't admitted into the event.



I PREDICT THE OSCAR GOES TO...
    (3/22/01)

    Well, here I go again, putting myself on the line to try and predict who will be taking home one of those little golden guys...

PICTURE:  Gladiator
DIRECTOR: Ridley Scott (Gladiator)
ACTOR:  Russell Crowe (Gladiator)
do you see a trend so far?
ACTRESS:  Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich)
SUPPORTING ACTOR:  Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator)
SUPPORTING ACTRESS:  Kate Hudson (Almost Famous)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:  Wonder Boys
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:  Almost Famous
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
MAKEUP:  The Cell
MUSIC SCORE:  Gladiator
SONG:  The Emperor's New Groove

ART DIRECTION:  Gladiator
CINEMATOGRAPHY:  Gladiator
COSTUME DESIGN:  Gladiator
SOUND:  Gladiator
SOUND EDITING:  Gladiator
VISUAL EFFECTS:  Gladiator
FILM EDITING:  Gladiator

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:  Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport
DOCUMENTARY SHORT:  The Man on Lincoln's Nose
ANIMATED SHORT:  The Peri-wig Maker    
LIVE ACTION SHORT:  A Soccer Story (Una Historia De Futebol)        



THE PRESENTERS LIST GROWS
    (03/14/01)

    And the list keeps growing.  Thank goodness.
The producers of the 73rd Annual Academy Awards are compiling quite a list of presenters for award night.  So far, the list includes:  Hilary Swank, Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Ben Stiller, Chow Yun Fat, Julia Roberts, Julia Stiles, Russell Crowe, Samuel L Jackson, Juliette Binoche, Mike Myers, Halle Berry, Michelle Yeoh and Michael Douglas.



ACTORS AWARD ACTORS
    (03/11/01)

    
       Benecio Del Toro in TRAFFIC

    Members of the Screen Actors Guild gathered in Hollywood at the Shrine Auditorium, Sunday night to honor their fellow actors at the 7th annual SAG Awards.
    Whoopi Goldberg presented a Lifetime Acheivement Award to the husband and wife team of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.
    The stars of ERIN BROCKOVICH (directed by Stephen Soderberg), Albert Finney and Julia Roberts received the awards for Male Actor in a Supporting Role and  Female Actor in a Leading Role.
    Dame Judi Dench, who was away on location, received the Female Actor in a Supporting Role award for her role in CHOCOLAT.
    The big winner of the night was Stephen Soderberg's TRAFFIC which not only snagged an award to Benecio Del Toro for Male Actor in a Leading Role, but also the award for Ensemble Cast (the equivalent of Best Picture).  



FELONS FOILED BY FBI
    (03/08/01)
       (Crowe in front of the colisseum in Rome)
    The FBI discovered and defeated a plot to kidnap Oscar nominated actor Russell Crowe recently.  The 36 year old actor had been alerted to the scheme earlier this year, and his security had been beefed up for many of his appearances.
    At the Golden Globe Awards January 21st, FBI agents went the extra mile to guard the New Zealand born hunk by donning tuxedos and accompanying the actor along the red carpet.
    While at the British premiere of his film PROOF OF LIFE, agents from Scotland Yard joined Crowe's own security team to ensure his safety.  Ironically, in the film Crowe plays a K & R (kidnap and ransom) negotiator.
    Aside from his nomination for Best Actor, Russell Crowe has also agreed to be an award presenter at this year's Academy Awards telecast to air March 25th.       



THIS SHOULD MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOUR TAXES
  (02/28/01)

    It was recently reported that Harrison Ford has inked the deal to end all deals.  For his next film, the actor will be earning a whopping $25 million dollars.  Not much more than his usual salary of $20 mil you say?  Well let me just add this bit of info - he'll only be working for 20 days.
    Makes what you pay in taxes look pretty good doesn't it?



IT'S IN THE MAIL
  (02/28/01)

    Wednesday morning the 73rd Annual Academy Award final ballots were mailed to voting members.  Ballots need to be returned by March 16th to be counted.  The Oscar telecast will air Sunday, March 26th.



GOOD NEWS COMES EARLY IN HOLLYWOOD!!!
  (02/14/01)

    Hollywood eagerly awaited the call Tuesday morning as the nominations were announced for the 73rd Annual Academy Awards.  The nominations were read live at 5:30am (PST) by Richard Rehme and Kathy Bates.
    Few of the nominees came as a big surprise, though when all was said and done there were a few names left unsaid.  Most notably was the omission of Michael Douglas in the Best Actor category.  Many had felt that his place was pretty much secured for his role in WONDER BOYS.
    The most nominated film was GLADIATOR with it's 12 nominations.  Next was CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON which earned 10 nods including a nomination in both Best Foreign Language Film and the coveted Best Picture categories.  Following behind were TRAFFIC, CHOCOLAT and ERIN BROCKOVICH with 5 nominations apiece.
    The Best Actor  category will be closely watched by many to see how Academy members will vote.  Will Tom Hanks win his third for CAST AWAY?  Or will the Academy honor Russell Crowe for GLADIATOR?  Some feel that Crowe was overlooked for his portrayal of Jeffrey Weygand in 1999's THE INSIDER (the award went deservedly to Kevin Spacey for AMERICAN BEAUTY).  The Academy does have a history of trying to make up for past errors by bestowing awards a year or so later.  We'll have to wait and see.

Here are the nominees in the top categories...

BEST PICTURE
   CHOCOLAT
   CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON
   ERIN BROCKOVICH
   GLADIATOR
   TRAFFIC

BEST DIRECTOR
   Steven Daldry (BILLY ELLIOTT)
   Ang Lee  (CROUCHING TIGER...)
   Stephen Soderberg  (ERIN BROCKOVICH)
   Ridley Scott  (GLADIATOR)
   Stephen Soderberg  (TRAFFIC)

BEST ACTOR
   Javier Bardem  (BEFORE NIGHT FALLS)
   Russell Crowe  (GLADIATOR)
   Tom Hanks  (CAST AWAY)
   Ed Harris  (POLLOCK)
   Geoffrey Rush  (QUILLS)

BEST ACTRESS
   Joan Allen  (THE CONTENDER)
   Juliette Binoche  (CHOCOLAT)
   Ellen Burstyn  (REQUIEM FOR A DREAM)
   Laura Linney  (YOU CAN COUNT ON ME)
   Julia Roberts  (ERIN BROCKOVICH)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
   Jeff Bridges  (THE CONTENDER)
   Willem Defoe  (SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE)
   Benecio Del Toro  (TRAFFIC)
   Albert Finney  (ERIN BROCKOVICH)
   Joaquin Phoenix  (GLADIATOR)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
   Judi Dench  (CHOCOLAT)
   Marcia Gay Harden  (POLLOCK)
   Kate Hudson  (ALMOST FAMOUS)
   Frances McDormand  (ALMOST FAMOUS)
   Julie Walters  (BILLY ELLIOTT)



LIFE IMITATING ART?
 (2/01/01)


    It was recently reported that William Shatner, former pitchman for Priceline.com, had signed on to be the host of the 2001 Miss USA Pageant.
    Some may remember Shatner's recent film portrayal in the Sandra Bullock movie MISS CONGENIALITY, where he played of all things, a Miss USA Pageant host.  
    The telecast will air March 2nd, on CBS.





Russell Crowe in GLADIATOR

GOLDEN GLOBES POINT TO OSCAR GOLD?     
 (01/22/01)

    The Hollywood Foreign Press has done it again...
    Insiders often look to the Golden Globe awards to get a handle on which film is headed to dominate the upcoming Academy Awards.  Well, after this year's telecast, it's just too close to call.  There is no sure thing.                                                                                                                                                                            
     The two films that earned the most Globe nominations, TRAFFIC and GLADIATOR with five apiece, each came away with only two wins.  TRAFFIC won the award for Best Supporting Actor (Benecio Del Toro) and for Best Screenplay.  GLADIATOR was bestowed with the awards for Best Original Score and the prestigious Best Film - Drama.
    ALMOST FAMOUS also garnered two awards for Best Supporting Actress (newcomer Kate Hudson) and Best Film - Comedy/Musical, as did CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON which took home the awards for Best Director (Ang Lee) and Best Foreign Language Film.
    As for the acting categories, the Foreign Press took a slightly different route.  For Best Actress-Musical/Comedy the award was given to Renee Zellweger (NURSE BETTY).  For Best Actor-Musical/Comedy, the award went home with George Clooney (O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU?).  In the Dramatic categories, Julia Roberts seized the Best Actress award for her portrayal of the brash and brassy ERIN BROCKOVICH, and the incomparable Tom Hanks received his prize for his amazing transformation in CAST AWAY.
    So where does that leave us for Oscar?  It's really anybody's guess.  As for me, my money's still riding on GLADIATOR.



"WHOSE" SIGHTED IN "THIRTEEN DAYS"
  (01/14/01)

    Fans of TV's "Whose Line Is It Anyway" should keep an eye out for the role of A.F. Major Rudolph Anderson.  He's briefly played by one Charles Esten (known to WLiiA fans as "Chip").
    This is the second time Chip has appeared in a Kevin Costner movie - remember THE POSTMAN (or was I the only one that saw that)?.
    Chip's characters, yet noble and heroic, keep meeting the same kind of fate.  They  don't survive to the closing credits.
          


BY ROYAL DECREE
    (01/11/01)

    It was recently announced that legendary director Steven Spielberg will be knighted.  England's Queen Elizabeth II will bestow Spielberg with the title of "Knight Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire" (whew).   Her majesty's ambassador to the U.S., Sir Christopher Meyer, will proceed over the ceremony to be held in Washington D.C. on January 29th.    



HAVE YOU HEARD???
    (01/11/01)

    John Travolta is seriously considering a sequel to BATTLEFIELD EARTH?  You know, the movie named by most film critics in this hemisphere (probably in the entire galaxy) as being the absolutely WORST MOVIE OF 2000.   Yo, John, if you're that anxious to throw large amounts of your money away, I'm over here....



CAST AWAY SURVIVOR SOLD AT AUCTION!
    (01/07/01)

    One of the three surviving "Wilson" volleyballs used in the movie CAST AWAY was recently sold online at Yahoo! Auctions.  The ball, with bamboo "hair" and painted face was put up for bid by Fox, the distributor of the Tom Hanks film.  Bidding began December 26th, 2000 at $100.00 and closed January 2nd, 2001 at $18,400.00.
    I love movie memorabilia as much as the next guy, but come on now.  It's only a volleyball!        



    The end of the year 2000 has come and gone and the Top 10 list was unveiled.  Here's the condensed list if you're still interested.  

  THE TOP 10 LIST OF 2000
    (12/30/00)

10) WONDER BOYS (R)
    Michael Douglas, Tobey Maguire, Frances McDormand
    Wonderful writing.  Complex characters.  Funny, fascinating and morose.  Besides, what other movie has a dead dog in the trunk of the car.

9) SAVING GRACE (R)
    Brenda Blethyn, Craig Ferguson
    Small, intimate and quirky British film about dabbling in illicit activities.  Uproariously funny with delightfully eccentric characters.

8) THE CONTENDER (R)
    Joan Allen, Gary Oldman, Jeff Bridges
    Interesting look into Washington politics (how timely), in particular their character investigations or should I say assassinations.  Very powerful performances.  Not predictable.  Lots of story twists to keep you on your toes.

7) PAY IT FORWARD (PG-13)
    Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, Haley Joel Osment
    Some critics may not agree, but this is a wonderful movie.  Not formulaic.  Not Capraesque.  Young Osment is amazing - he has more talent is his 12 year old body than alot of adult actors have after an entire career.  Exceptional cast.  Gut wrenching performances.

6) THE PERFECT STORM (PG-13)
    George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane
    Based on the true story of the 'Andrea Gail'.  Very emotional, gripping and enthralling story.  Storm effects are incredible, chilling, awe-inspiring and frightening all at the same time.

5) ERIN BROCKOVICH (R)
    Julia Roberts, Albert Finney
    Based on a true story.  Julia Roberts delivers a stellar performance playing a brash and brassy broad with loud provocative clothes and a mouth to match.  Good character chemistry between Roberts and Finney.

4) CAST AWAY (PG-13)
    Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt
    Well written, superbly acted.  Inspirational story.  Tom Hanks, with or without dialogue, is absolutely incredible.

3) REMEMBER THE TITANS (PG)
    Denzel Washington, Will Patton
    Based on a true story.  Wonderfully written, touching and inspiring story with alot of humor.  Football is the backdrop to this story of race relations.  Could have come across as preachy or heavy handed, but it's not.

2) ALMOST FAMOUS (R)
    Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, Frances McDormand, Phillip Seymour-Hoffman
    Lovingly and excellently written story.  Semi-autobiographical accounts of Cameron Crowe's (writer/director) experiences as a music journalist in the early 70's.  Vivid characters.  Great cast packed with talented up and comers and a terrific soundtrack!

AND FINALLY.....

1) GLADIATOR (R)
    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed
    What a movie!  Biggest, grandest epic I've seen in ages - so big it makes BRAVEHEART look like a high school production.  The battle scenes are brutal and bloody, but the dialogue is poetic and eloquent.  Lavish costumes, Russell Crowe, enormous sets, Russell Crowe, beautiful exotic locations, Russell Crowe, powerful performances, Russell Crowe, impecable casting, edge of your seat action, have I mentioned Russell Crowe?

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