It's a fact that journalists are only as good (or as accurate) as their sources, but what excuse could they possibly have for believing tabloid magazines?
Several reputable publications swallowed tabloid Star Magazine's speculative reports about a new, even longer "director's cut" of "Titanic" - one that would be released to theaters this Christmas - hook, line and sinker. The magazine also claimed that the re-release would delay "Titanic's" release to video.Despite those published reports, Paramount Home Video has announced it will release a two-tape version of the film for purchase in early September. And in a related press statement, director James Cameron said there will be no "director's cut" as had been rumored.
(Of course, one of the criticisms leveled at the Oscar-winning blockbuster film is that its three-hour-plus running time is excessive. So the thought that Cameron had some unused footage seems kind of ludicrous.)
Also, as astute readers will remember, I reported the rumor in a column earlier this year, though I seem to recall saying something about it being just that - a rumor.
Lastly, for those who can't get enough about sunken ships, Fox Interactive is planning to release a documentary CD-ROM that will contain making-of footage, as well as some from Cameron's fact-finding undersea explorations.
- GODZILLA-SIZE CRYBABIES? No one expected "Godzilla's" filmmakers Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin or Columbia/TriStar Pictures to be happy about their movie's "underwhelming" box-office performance, but no one really expected them to be such publicly poor sports about it, either.
Co-producer/co-writer Devlin, in particular, lost his cool when dozens of online "critics" took both Emmerich and him to task for the movie's lack of plot. It seems Devlin responded sarcastically to many of these "flames" on the Godzilla Web site, even posting a response to one online writer, saying, "to hell with you!"
The resulting name-calling led the studio to remove the "chat-board" from the site, at least for the forseeable future.
And speaking of Web sites with "Godzilla" criticisms, Co-lum-bia/TriStar attorneys contacted Lucas Films Ltd. about its "Plot Does Matter" ad parody on the official Star Wars movie site. The offending Web page, which lampooned Columbia's "Size Matters" billboards and display ads, was removed from the site earlier this week.
By the way, even though "God-zilla" has grossed "only" $115 million-plus to date (it cost approximately $170 million, including the pricey advertising campaign), it will certainly recoup its costs through the overseas theatrical release and subsequent home video release. So it can't really be called a "failure."
(Let's hope the relatively disappointing box-office grosses scuttle any plans for those planned sequels, however.)
- THE RIP VAN WINKLE ROMANCE SYNDROME: A lot of columnists seem to be surprised at (as well as appalled by) the number of films featuring romances between younger women and much, much-older guys.
Prime examples of this trend include "Bulworth," "The Horse Whisperer," "As Good As It Gets" and "Six Days, Seven Nights."
But one obvious explanation for this miscasting, which has been grossly overlooked, is that there are no really good leading men to match up with these actresses.
Let's look at what Hollywood has to work with:
- Leonardo DiCaprio. Looks like he's 12, even with facial hair.
- Brad Pitt. Couldn't pull off an Austrian accent in "Seven Years in Tibet" or an Irish brogue in "The Devil's Own," so romance seems way beyond his skills.
- David Duchovny. Perhaps his "X-Files" character could investigate why his dramatic performances are so irritatingly one-note.
- Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer. Anyone remember "Fools Rush In?" How about "Pallbearer?" I didn't think so.
- Keanu Reeves. Duh!
The one exception to the rule would seem to be Matt Damon. But he's purposely seeking out projects that aren't like "Good Will Hunting" (such as the dark comedy/thriller "The Talented Mr. Ripley").
Actually, the real solution to the problem would be pairing the older actors with women closer to their real ages (whatever happened to Meryl Streep, Jessica Lange and Diane Keaton, anyway?).
Unfortunately, that might put all those twentysomething and thirtysomething actresses out of work.
- DISCO QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "I think it's valid to despise disco, but there's a really fun, extroverted, enjoyable aspect to it that big devotees of traditional rock cut themselves off from." - Whit Stillman, writer/director of the film "The Last Days of Disco."