Moore shoots back at GOP
Michael Moore got in his own two cents Wednesday, responding to Republicans' charge that the filmmaker be prosecuted for offering underwear and food to college students in exchange for their promise to vote, The Associated Press reports. "It's ironic that Republicans have no problem with allowing assault weapons out on our streets, yet they don't want to put clean underwear in the hands of our slacker youth," Moore said. "The Republicans seem more interested in locking me up for trying to encourage people to participate in our democracy than locking up bin Laden for his attacks on our democracy." AP reports the Michigan GOP on Tuesday asked four county prosecutors to file charges against Moore, citing an election law provision that prohibits a person from contracting with another for something of value in exchange for agreeing to vote. Moore is currently touring the country and imploring "slackers" who usually don't vote to head to the polls this year, saying they could make the difference in the presidential race, and offering gag prizes to incite them.
Rape charges against Anthony Anderson dismissed
On Wednesday, a judge in Memphis, Tenn., dismissed rape charges filed in July against Kangaroo Jack star Anthony Anderson and another man, Reuters reports. Judge Anthony Johnson threw out the case brought by a film extra on the set of Hustle & Flow at a preliminary hearing after calling the woman's testimony suspicious and bizarre. Charges against Witherspoon also were dropped. The woman had accused Anderson and Wayne Witherspoon, an assistant director on the Hustle, of raping her in a trailer on that film's set. "He is, of course, both relieved and delighted by the judge's decision to throw out what was so obviously a trumped-up case," Anderson's spokesman Allan Mayer said.
Actress MacDowell bids adieu to marriage
Actress Andie MacDowell and her husband, former high school classmate Rhett Hartzog, have divorced after nearly three years of marriage, People magazine reports. People quoted a source close to the couple as saying, "It's a painful and very private time." No other details about the split were available. MacDowell, 46, and Hartzog, 45, married in November 2001 with a 450-guest ceremony in Asheville, N.C. It was the actress' second marriage.
Seized Limbaugh records ruled valid
A Florida appeals court ruled on Wednesday that prosecutors acted legally when they seized Rush Limbaugh's medical records during a 2003 investigation into whether the conservative radio host misused prescription painkillers, Reuters reports. The outspoken conservative commentator had claimed his constitutional right to privacy had been violated because the search warrants were issued without giving him prior notice or a chance to challenge the seizure. Florida's 4th District Court of Appeals said the search warrant authorizing the seizure outweighed Limbaugh's right to keep his medical records private. Limbaugh, who has not been charged with a crime, admitted an addiction to prescription painkillers last year and took time off from his popular syndicated radio show for drug rehabilitation.
Judge extends restraining order against Mel Gibson stalker
During a brief hearing yesterday, Superior Court Judge Linda Lefkowitz extended a temporary restraining order to three years against a homeless man who showed up at Mel Gibson's Malibu, Calif., estate demanding they pray together. Zack Sinclair, 34, has pleaded not guilty to six misdemeanor counts that include trespassing and disorderly conduct, district attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons told AP. He remained in jail Wednesday without bail pending an Oct. 12 hearing. The order bars him from coming within 100 yards of Gibson, his wife or their seven children, their home, Gibson's work, the children's school and the chapel.
PGA wants end to bogus producer credits
The Producers Guild of America is stepping up its bid to stop Hollywood studios from giving bogus credits to people as a bargaining chip. Speaking at a news press conference Wednesday, PGA President Kathleen Kennedy said the guild is asking studios to include language specifying the duties necessary to receive it into every would-be producer's contract. According to Kennedy, studios oftentimes give producer credits as a kind of low-cost compensation, which boosts an actor, agent or manager's show-business resume. If a credit is given unfairly, guild lawyers pledged to sue--not for money, but to force a studio to remove the credit.
Motley Crue guitarist gets hip replacement
Motley Crue guitarist Mick Mars is recovering from hip replacement surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his publicist Katie McNeil said Wednesday. Mars, whose real name is Bob Allen Deal, suffers from a degenerative, rheumatic disease called ankylosing spondylitis, which causes ligaments and tendons to attach to the bone. The affected area becomes inflamed and some of the bone may erode. McNeil told the AP doctors expect Mars, 53, to walk again soon with the help of a physical therapist and is looking forward to a possible Motley Crue comeback tour. "He would do it if the tour happens," she said.
Guylaine Cadorette contributed to this report.
In the same vein as the 1963 comedy romp It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World and the 1981 The Cannonball Run Rat Race centers around a group of people who go dashing around the country for a big prize. In this incarnation the action starts in Las Vegas where billionaire hotel owner Donald Sinclair (John Cleese) gathers up eight people in his casino and sets them off on a race for $2 million hidden in a locker in New Mexico. He then places bets on whose going to get there first. The eight consist of two scheming brothers (Seth Green and Vince Vieluf) a disgraced NFL referee (Cuba Gooding Jr.) a mother and the daughter she gave up for adoption (Whoopi Goldberg and Lanei Chapman) a beleaguered family man and his wife (Jon Lovitz and Kathy Najimy) an uptight lawyer (Breckin Meyer) who hooks up with a cute helicopter pilot (Amy Smart) and a goofy narcoleptic Italian (Rowan Atkinson).
Like its predecessors Race combines a group of really talented comedians. Somehow this technique harms a film rather than helps it. It stems mostly from the fact that having such a large cast only gives the actors a limited amount of screen time. It's hard for any of them to truly shine. Yet in Race there are a few that just have to stand out. Cleese and Atkinson are among the best of the veterans especially Atkinson whose comedic physicality comes almost solely from his elastic face. And as far as the best of the younger set Green and Vieluf do a fair job having to wade through the horrendous antics presented to them shining for a brief moment when Vieluf (who can't speak properly because of his tongue stud) tells a sob story about their mother. However Goldberg Lovitz and Najimy are completely wasted--and Gooding Jr. just comes off as ridiculous.
In a nutshell Race is just too darn silly much like Mad Mad World was. Outrageous comedies work better in small doses such as There's Something About Mary or even Caddyshack. But when eight different story lines vie to outdo each other in outrageousness it's disastrous. Things can't get much worse than a car chasing after a hot-air balloon somehow hooking a cow to the balloon and having the cow end up hitting the windshield of a bus full of Lucille Ball look-alikes. Or how about crashing Hitler's car into a meeting of World War II veterans and having an ink mark on your upper lip that looks suspiciously like a mustache? There are a few brief moments where you chuckle out loud like when Cleese and his band of cronies start betting on which hotel maid would drop first while hanging from a curtain rod. Other than that the film simply lapses into pure drivel.
Let's hear it for the old guy who in this movie comes off sexier than his buff young accomplice (Dermot Mulroney). OK the old guy happens to be the gracefully aging icon Paul Newman -- as a feisty heistmeister who dodges a long prison sentence and then teams up with his equally conniving rest-home nurse (Linda Fiorentino) on a bank job gone wrong. "Where the Money Is" is breezy suspenseful and as much a love story as anything else -- if you call mentoring a new life in crime a kind of love. The mission-improbable caper is no more or less entertaining than a "Rockford Files" rerun but the film's swerving joyride takes its real thrills from the great escape that Fiorentino's Bonnie Parker makes from a dead-end life in the married lane.
Newman still hasn't lost it and as Henry Manning he doesn't miss any nuances in the edgy balance between streetwise wariness and amiable rapport with his sultry new colleague. The steam-powered Fiorentino has forged her career by making danger look casual and this is her most alluring work since "The Last Seduction" added another zero to her salary. Her chemistry with Newman a flirty twist on the idea of honor among thieves is really what makes this movie worth seeing. Mulroney is serviceable as the dim but lovable hubby a supporting role that's more foil than fully etched character.
We can all thank director Marek Kanievska for deciding not to have the May-December duo end up in the sack and leaving them simply professional cohorts. The director's admirable sense of comic timing works all the better by not letting the laughs get in the way of his leads' exploration of their characters -- although there's no denying the limits of this frothy genre. Perhaps Kanievska's greatest feat here is allowing Newman to retain his dignity in close-up.