There's nothing more annoying than watching a film and realizing you've already seen the best scenes in the trailer. Daryl Chase (Jones) is a stand-up banking professional who enjoys his fine Italian suits and his Perrier. But his world gets turned upside down when he's mistaken for a murderer and is forced to make a run for the border to hide from Mafia goons and government agents -- not to mention Freddy Tiffany (Eddie Griffin) a fast-talking hoodlum who's either trying to help him or turn him in. Makes little sense? Thought so.
No doubt Griffin's antics which are rehashed from his character on TV's "Malcolm & Eddie " are supposed to provide this dud's comedy relief -- à la Eddie Murphy -- to break up the shoot-'em-up action scenes. But his best lines are used in the trailers and by the time you hear Griffin reciting them up on the big screen all you can muster is a forced chuckle. Especially painful to watch is the scene where street-smart Freddy tries to teach uptown snob Daryl how to act "black."
There's only so much a director can do with a film that's troubled from the very beginning. Director George Gallo ("Trapped in Paradise") put together a film with an utterly confusing main story and subplots that lead to dead ends. It's hard to stay focused when characters flip-flop from being good guys to bad guys. Most of the confusion is cleared up at the very end of the film but by that time who cares?
To some, it is the most significant auction in the world of cartoon art, bar none.
To others, it's just an unfortunate day in the life of a museum.
On Saturday, Guernsey's auction house will conduct an extensive auction of cartoon art, with most of the 700 works up for sale coming from the International Museum of Cartoon Art in Boca Raton, Fla. The museum, founded by Beetle Bailey creator Mort Walker, is home to more than 200,000 drawings.
The museum is selling one of it's most prized possessions - what may be the original drawings of Mickey Mouse - among its almost 600 items for sale. The museum is attempting to wipe out the almost $2 million it owes on its mortgage, as well as create an endowment for future operating expenses. Typical of the plight of many nonprofits, the museum has experienced funding problems that necessitate the sale.
The 36-panel storyboard is from 1928's Plane Crazy, and is believed to be the first drawing ever made of Walt Disney's seminal creation, Mickey Mouse. Inspired by Charles Lindbergh's transatlantic flight, Mickey Mouse was supposed to have debuted in this silent film, but Plane Crazy ended up being released after Steamboat Willie.
"The piece was originally donated for fund-raising purposes, and that's why it was placed as collateral against the mortgage," said museum operations director Jeanne Greever. "Certainly having to auction it off is sad, but as it's not officially part of the permanent collection, it's won't hurt the integrity of the collection on display."
The Plane Crazy storyboard, called the Holy Grail of the cartoon art world, is worth an estimated $3.2 million to $3.7 million, and will likely receive an opening bid in the mid-six figure range.
"This storyboard is as valuable in the cartoon world as any painting you might name in the traditional art world," said Herbert Barker, founder and curator of Barker Character, Comic, and Cartoon Museum in Cheshire, Conn. "There is no more important work in that regard."
Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey's, agrees.
"[There is] no more significant work in the cartoon world," he said. "This is the seminal piece of the most recognizable character of the 20th century. Everyone, whether you live in North America or North Africa, has been touched by Mickey Mouse."
David Horsey, the president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists and a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, also echoes that sentiment.
"This is huge," Horsey said. "That storyboard was the beginning of a revolution ... The Disney empire was built from that piece."
Greever hopes that the storyboard will remain at the museum.
"We know it's a long shot, but it is our fervent hope that someone would purchase the storyboard and then keep it on display at our museum.," she said.
SunTrust bank, which holds the note on the museum, originally demanded the storyboard last year as payment from the museum. But in December, the museum got a time extension from the bank. A lack of substantial public endowments in the intervening months has led the museum to take works to auction.
SunTrust officials refused to comment.
It is not rare for a museum to auction off a major piece, Ettinger said.
"This is hardly the first time," Ettinger said. "We've worked with many museums in selling off... pieces. Hopefully this auction can set the museum on the proper fiscal path. People need to realize this is just a minute part of their collection."
Among other works of note from the museum at auction include:
Animation cells from Disney's 1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, including one of Doc and Dopey worth an estimated $24,000;
A Frank Sinatra portrait by Al Hirschfeld, valued at $20,000 to $25,000;
More than 30 original Dick Tracy drawings by cartoonist Chester Gould, each worth $300 to $1,000; and
Multiple originals of the Prince Valiant Sunday cartoon by Hal Foster, each worth $2,000 to $5,000.
The museum's total lot, minus the Mickey Mouse storyboard, is expected to fetch anywhere between $250,000 and $750,000, estimated Melissa Weintraub, spokesperson for Guernsey's.
Barker and Horsey said that they didn't think the storyboard or the auction in general would raise as much money as the auction house estimates. They don't think that the market could bear some of the estimates.
The International Museum of Cartoon Art was founded 26 years ago by Mort Walker, the cartoonist behind Beetle Bailey, and was housed in buildings in Connecticut and New York. In 1996, a permanent home was built for the museum in Boca Raton, Fla., where today approximately 50,000 visitors each year are able to enjoy the collection.
The auction will be held at the prominent New York Historical Society in New York City, while absentee bidders can bid online through leftbid.com. Guernsey's claims to have sold more cartoon art than any other auction house in the world, and in 1994 held a three-day event where more than 1,000 lots of cartoon art were successfully auctioned off.
The crime spree is over. "The Sopranos" will have to kiss someone else's ring -- namely, the big boss man's, the president of the United States of TV America.
"The West Wing" was named Best Drama Series at the 52nd Annual Emmy Awards, capping a night wherein the political drama dominated, save for one major setback when James Gandolfini of "The Sopranos" bested Martin Sheen in the competition for Best Actor in a Drama Series.
"I think the Academy has an affinity for slightly overweight bald men," Gandolfini quipped onstage.
Gandolfini's win was the lone bright spot for "The Sopranos," which otherwise got whacked -- like when Sela Ward of ABC’s "Once and Again" beat both Edie Falco and Lorraine Bracco for the Best Actress in a Drama Series Emmy. "The Sopranos" came into the night with 18 nominations.
Hollywood.com's Sandy Kenyon asked Gandolfini: "It's been a long kind of overnight success for you. What was going through your mind and is this a form of sweet justice for you?"
"I didn't feel any miscarriage of justice last year or anything like that, I'm just pleased to be in the show, doing the work we do,” Gandolfini said. “I didn't feel anything went wrong last year, so this year is just icing on the cake for me personally."
Meanwhile, Sheen was doing a lot of congratulatory on-camera hugging, as his comrades made their way to the stage to accept their trophies. Among the other honors for "The West Wing" were Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Allison Janney) and Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Richard Schiff); Best Writing in a Drama Series (Aaron Sorkin and Rick Cleveland); and Best Direction in a Drama Series (Thomas Schlamme).
"I've got a 'West Wing' feeling," host Gary Shandling mused halfway through the telecast.
NBC’s “Will & Grace” came away with some big wins, including Best Comedy Series and Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Megan Mullally and Best Supporting Actor in A Comedy Series for Sean Hayes.
The lead actor and actress in “Will & Grace,” Eric McCormack and Debra Messing, respectively, lost out to Michael J. Fox for ABC’s “Spin City” and Patricia Heaton of CBS’ “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
HURRY IT UP: The Emmys aren't known for brevity. In recent years, the broadcast has dragged on well past the allotted running time, but this year's festivities wrapped up within its three-hour slot. Just barely.
During the final hour, that tinkly "get off the stage, already" piano music was heard often as awardees dragged on too long with acceptance speeches. Host Shandling was cut off in mid-sentence as he introduced presenter Bruce Willis, who walked onstage before his cue and explained, "We're running really late" under his breath.
The producers tried (mostly in vain) using TelePrompTers to quicken the pace -- a fact that Jack Lemmon inadvertently revealed, when he unconsciously read the "please wrap up" cue out loud.
In his opening monologue, Shandling said, "You know what slows this show down? It's the awards," and jokingly suggested that the names of winners be taped to the bottom of their seats to save time.
Not a bad idea.
Here's a brief blow by blow of the highlights of the 2000 Emmy telecast:
THERE'S NOTHING LIKE A GOOD POTTY JOKE: This being an awards telecast, there were of course lots of pre-taped and live time killers in between the awards and commercials.
The best of these was a "Big Brother" parody, wherein Shandling was caught on camera in the men's room. The valet offering him a hot towel was David Duchovny, who informed Shandling that a vote was taken and his bathroom privileges had been revoked. Guess you had to be there.
The whole show began, of course, with a "Survivor" parody that featured a mock vote of the Tribal Council (with celebrity members including Andy Richter of "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" fame). The winner of which would be named host of the Emmy telecast and also get an SUV. Shandling tried to cop out, asking if he could just take the car instead. Guess you had to be there for that one, too.
There were other funny gags. Conan O'Brien did a self-effacing bit about paying lip service to women's issues so he could get a date to next year's Emmys; and Shandling did a tribute to his idea of "risk taking" TV: like the Home Shopping Network, "Jerry Springer," monster trucks, "Teletubbies," "Xena" and The Weather Channel.
PRESSING THE FLESH: Hubba, hubba. Was it just the fact that we're watching the Emmy telecast on crystal-clear satellite TV, or did everyone see Geena Davis' um, er, um, ahem ... nipples? Is Renny Harlin nuts? She's the most beautiful over-40 woman in the universe -- see-through, skin-tight outfit or no.
I SEE DEAD PEOPLE: The annual montage of dearly departed TV celebs featured Loretta Young, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Madeline Kahn, John Gielgud, George C. Scott, Larry Linville, Meredith MacRae, Gene Rayburn, Durward Kirby, Shirley Hemphill, Hoyt Axton, Nancy Marchand, Leonard Goldenson, Clayton Moore, Doug Henning, Craig Stevens, Mary Jane Croft, Mabel King, Charles M. Schulz, Alec Guinness and Walter Matthau.
WHO'S THAT, ER, GIRL? Cher's got blonde hair now. She looks just like Christina Aguilera, sort of. Just thought you'd like to know.
WE LIKE MIKE: The evening's biggest no-brainer was probably Michael J. Fox's win for Best Actor in a Comedy Series. The actor received the second standing O of the night (the first went to Jack Lemmon) as he took his first "Spin City" Emmy in four tries and fourth trophy overall (he got three for "Family Ties").
NBC won bragging rights for the night, taking 23 Emmys. HBO won 20, ABC 15, Fox 11 and CBS 7.
The 28-year-old stepbrother of "Titanic" superstar Leonardo DiCaprio is in a Los Angeles area jail today on $1 million bail. The allegation: Suspicion of attempted murder.
Adam Farrar, himself an actor, who appeared in the controversial kiddie-bank-robber indie flick "Pups," was arrested about noon Wednesday at a home in Marina Del Rey, Calif., after an alleged attack on his girlfriend, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says.
Leonardo DiCaprio Upon being taken into custody, Farrar told deputies he was Leo's stepbrother. While the familial factoid is true (Leo's camp confirmed as much today), authorities say they're not sure why Farrar offered that by way of ID info.
In addition to the attempted-murder booking, Farrar was also accused of making "terrorist threats" against his (unidentified) girlfriend.
Farrar (listed in the credits of "Pups" as "Ferrar") and DiCaprio are not related by blood. They became family when Farrar's bodybuilder mother married DiCaprio's underground-comic-guru father. Farrar was the first star of the family, doing commercials as a kid. He later left acting for other pursuits, including a stint in the Army.
In 1999, he was named one of Hollywood's "30 Under Thirty" to watch by TNT's Rough Cut movie Web site (www.roughcut.com). "I would love to work with [DiCaprio]," Farrar told the site. "I'm leaving all my options open at this point."
It wasn't known if DiCaprio, 25, was aware of Farrar's current straits. "He has no comment," DiCaprio's publicist, Ken Sunshine, said today of the actor.
TRAGEDY: Mia Farrow is mourning the loss of her 19-year-old child, who died last weekend of a cardiac arrest, it has been revealed. Tam Farrow -- born in Vietnam and adopted by Farrow in 1992 -- had a history of medical problems. She was blind and had been hospitalized as recently as last week in Connecticut. Mia Farrow, 55, is almost as famous for raising a seemingly unmanageable brood of children as for her films ("The Purple Rose of Cairo," "Death on the Nile") or for her tabloid-friendly breakup with longtime love Woody Allen in 1992. Tam Farrow was one of the actress' 14 children -- 10 of whom are adopted. Farrow is also a grandmother by estranged daughter Soon-Yi. Allen, 64, and Soon-Yi adopted a child of their own in 1998.
OSCAR WATCH: Mel Gibson has enlisted to present, and supermodel Tyra Banks and MTV News' Chris Connelly have enlisted to co-host, ABC's red-carpet arrivals parade (now dubbed "Countdown to Oscars 2000") with "The View" gabber Meredith Vieira. Most disturbingly, Ray Charles, Isaac Hayes, Whitney Houston, Queen Latifah and baseball player Garth Brooks have enlisted to perform a "special song medley" on the main telecast. For this they ditched the dance numbers?
GOOD COUNTRY PEOPLE: Singer Faith Hill ("Breathe") lassoed eight nominations, including one for best entertainer, as the field for the TNN Music Awards was announced today. Hubby Tim McGraw scored five. Winners will be announced June 15 in Nashville.
THE SIMILARITIES ARE STARTLING? A Pennsylvania woman has filed a federal lawsuit against the author of the mega-selling-soon-to-be-a-major-motion-picture "Harry Potter" series, claiming that J.K. Rowling ripped off her non-mega-selling-not-soon-to-be-a-major-motion-picture 1984 novel, "The Legend of Rah and Muggles."
PEOPLE WHO GET PERMITS ARE THE LUCKIEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD: Barbra Streisand and hubby James Brolin have gotten the go-ahead from the Malibu City Council to rip down one of their houses and build a new one in its place. That's what rich people call spring cleaning.
The last to know Steven Spielberg had signed on to produce and direct the film version of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" was apparently the director himself.
A spokesman from Spielberg's office says the filmmaker hasn't officially climbed aboard and is still considering the project.
"Potter" is just one of the projects Spielberg is considering along with Stanley Kubrick conceived "A.I." (for artificial intelligence) and a bio about Charles Lindbergh. He's also set to make the Tom Cruise starrer "Minority Report" and a movie version of the acclaimed book "Memoirs of a Geisha."
SUPER-ACTION TEAMUP: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone hope to use their combined muscle at the box office to star in one massive project, The Hollywood Reporter says.
They're currently searching for a feature, which would mark the first time the two action icons have appeared onscreen together. Besides their combined weight, the film would be heavy in expenditures -- Stallone reportedly earned $20 million for the upcoming "Into Thin Air," while Schwarzenegger cashed in $25 million for last fall's "End of Days."
HE'S BAAACK: The next "Friday the 13th" will take place in the year 2455. And, yes, ol' hockey-mask-face himself will still be around.
"Jason X" (as its title indicates, it'll be the 10th installment in the series) is being set up at New Line Cinema, with up-and-comer James Isaac at the helm. The movie is scheduled to begin shooting in March in Toronto, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The story, scripted by Todd Farmer, involves a field trip in the future to visit the long-abandoned planet Earth. A teacher and his students discover a cryogenically frozen young lady and a hockey-masked thug. Before anyone can say "space kebob," the thawed out psychopath has returned to his killer ways, wreaking havoc on the citizens of outer space.
PARTY OF TWO: Teen idol Jennifer Love Hewitt will receive motherly advice from veteran actress Sigourney Weaver in MGM's upcoming comic noir "Breakers."
Daily Variety reports that the two have closed their deals and that Kevin Kline has been offered the role of Weaver's love interest.
The shoot is scheduled to begin in Florida and Los Angeles in April, with "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" director David Mirkin helming a script by Paul Guay and Stephen Mazur. The story's about a mother daughter con team and their male victims.
SIGNED AND SEALED: After surveying all the major talent agents in town, Harrison Ford has signed up with United Talent Agency. Longtime agent Patricia McQueeney will act as the actor's point person with the agency, which beat out estimable competitors including Creative Artists Agency and William Morris.
It's 1828 and an 82-year-old Goya (Francisco Rabal) lives out his remaining days in Bordeaux France. Nursed by his strong-willed young daughter (Dafne Fernández) he relates tales of his many adventures in art politics and love - especially those concerning his stormy romance with the danger-loving Duchess of Alba (Maribel Verdú). And that's as much of a plot as this image-driven film cares to offer while meandering along with the logic of a melancholy dream.
Spanish screen veteran Rabal ("Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!") lends his titanic presence to a role that basically boils down to parading around in a nightshirt with a haunted look on his face. Jose Coronado ("La Mirada del Otro") has slightly more to work with as a younger Goya caught up in vague bits of court intrigue while he follows in Velázquez's footsteps as Spain's most famous artist of the period. He and the offbeatly foxy Verdú ("Belle Epoque") briefly threaten to jump-start the narrative with a torrid affair then Verd£'s Duchess character is unsatisfyingly written out of the picture.
Writer-director Carlos Saura's 30th film displays his usual flair for striking imagery but the innovative style he develops in his fourth outing with acclaimed cinematographer Vittorio Storaro could have used a bit more dramatic meat to hang on. In the film's intentionally nonrealistic world actors march in front of painted backdrops to form moving tableaux vivants. Semi-transparent fabric screens reveal people walking on the other side of walls and elements of Goya's artworks suddenly come to life - all of which is more interesting than what is happening to the characters.