Top Story: Rodney Dangerfield Undergoes Brain Surgery
Comedian Rodney Dangerfield, best known for his hit 1980 golf comedy Caddyshack, underwent brain surgery in Los Angeles Tuesday, Reuters reports. Dangerfield was admitted to UCLA Medical Center for a rare surgical procedure known as an extracranial-intercranial brain bypass, a prelude to heart bypass surgery the comedian is scheduled to have in a few weeks, his publicist said. Dangerfield, 81, is expected to make a full recovery from both procedures. "I checked into the hospital because I have a thing for a nurse," Dangerfield said Tuesday. "It's a little thing, but it's a thing." The surgery happened on the same day that Dangerfield's latest film, the romantic comedy The Fourth Tenor, was released by Warner Home Video.
Chow Yun-Fat Homebound in Hong Kong
Chow Yun-Fat, the star of MGM's martial arts pic Bulletproof Monk, will not attend the film's Wednesday night premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Los Angeles because of Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Chow lives in Hong Kong, the epicenter of SARS. His spokesman told The Hollywood Reporter Chow has decided to heed travel warnings issued by the World Health Organization and stay home "in deference to his wife." The film opens nationwide April 11.
LAPD Officer Sold Data to Tabloids
According to a lawsuit recently settled by the city of Los Angeles, LAPD officer Kelly Chrisman used department computers to access confidential law enforcement records of celebrities, including Jennifer Aniston and Pamela Anderson, and sold the information to tabloids. Chrisman also accessed computer files on celebs such as Sharon Stone, Sean Penn, Meg Ryan, Drew Barrymore and Halle Berry between 1994 and 2000, The Associated Press reports. Chrisman said he looked up the names after he was ordered to compile a locator map of VIP residences. He was placed on home duty while the allegations are investigated.
Jason Mewes' "Rock Bottom"
Actor Jason Mewes, best known for playing a pot-smoking slacker in Clerks and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, will be the subject of an HBO documentary about heroin addiction, the AP reports. Mewes' personal manager, who is producing Rock Bottom, says he convinced the actor to do the show so people could have a better understanding of his life and drug addiction. Mewes turned himself in this week in Freehold, N.J., and plead guilty to six counts of violating his probation for a 1999 heroin conviction.
Madonna To Perform New Songs
Madonna will perform songs from her new album, American Life, in an MTV special in which she is also expected to discuss the antiwar video she created for the title song, the AP reports. The hour-long special Madonna on Stage and on the Record will be taped in front of a studio audience April 22 to coincide with the release of her new album and is set to air that day 10 p.m. EDT. Carson Daly will be the host of the show.
Fuse To Challenge MTV
Move over MTV--there's a new kid on the block. The MuchMusic USA television network announced Tuesday it will rename itself Fuse in an effort to distinguish itself from a market dominated by MTV, the AP reports. The network has also built a $12 million studio across from Madison Square Garden--about a dozen blocks from MTV's Times Square studios. Fuse president Marc Juris said the network will focus on interactivity and take cues from viewers on what music to play. Fuse--a reference to the plugged-in world that the network's target audience of 12- to 34-year-old viewers inhabits--will debut May 19 in about 30 million homes.
Role Call: Nicolas Cage Joins Superhero Elite, Electra Joins "Starsky" Remake
Director Mark Steven Johnson, who recently helmed Daredevil, is set to rewrite and shoot another Marvel Comics property, Ghost Rider, for Columbia Pictures. The project will star Nicolas Cage as a former motorcycle stuntman who agrees to let his body become host to a vengeful spirit in exchange for the safety of his true love ... Carmen Electra, meanwhile, is in negotiations to join the cast of Warner Bros.' big-screen adaptation of the classic 1970s police action series Starsky and Hutch for director Todd Phillips. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson star as the cop team and Snoop Dogg plays their flamboyant street informant.
On Wednesday, New York's Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Web sites can no longer legally offer downloads of a piece of new software, DeCSS (Decoding Content Scramble System), which allows users to easily copy DVDs. According to the court's ruling, DeCSS "is like a skeleton key that can open a locked door, a combination that can open a safe, or a device that can neutralize the security device attached to a store's products.''
At next year's Santa Barbara International Film Festival--running from Feb. 27 through March 3--actor Sean Penn will receive the Modern Master Award, Variety reports. The award honors artists who have greatly enriched the art of cinema
Arnold Schwarzenegger may not receive many acting awards, but the Sun Valley Resort in Idaho honored the celeb on Wednesday by renaming their acclaimed "Flying Maid" ski slope "Arnold's Run," giving thanks to Schwarzenegger--a nearby resident--for his many charitable works in the community, according to People.
Comedian Rodney Dangerfield, 80, was released on Wednesday, from L.A.'s Cedars Sinai Medial Center after spending six days there following a mild heart attack on Nov. 22.
Charlie Daniels, 65, the country crooner best known for his classic hit "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," is expected to recover fully from prostate-cancer surgery that was performed on Nov. 20, his surgeon, Dr. Joseph Smith of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said on Wednesday.
Though the hype surrounding the November TV ratings sweeps has centered upon CBS, the non-subscriber cable results for the month are also in: surprisingly, TBS won, with an average of 1.7 million households, beating out Lifetime and ESPN, which were heavy favorites.
Garth Brooks' new album Scarecrow, which was released on Nov. 13, is not only No. 1 on the Billboard charts; sales of 466,000 copies makes it the highest grossing country-music debut since 1998, when Brooks' "Double Live" album sold over 1 million in its first week in release.
According to Reuters, the next James Bond film, as of yet untitled, will go ahead with filming in Dec., despite the threatened actors' strike which was expected to shut down film production in the UK. The movie will star Pierce Brosnan as 007 and Halle Berry as the story's villain.
After 12 years as host of the Univision talk show El Show de Cristina, latina media sensation Cristina Saralegui will be leaving the show, effective Dec. 14, due to her increased acting and journalistic endeavors.
Rising country star Trace Adkins pleaded guilty on Monday to DUI charges stemming from a July arrest, USA Today reports. He'll spend two days in jail and have his driver's license revoked for one year.
Bobby Garfield (David Morse) returns to his small hometown to attend the funeral of his childhood friend and remembers the fateful summer in 1960 when his whole world changed. The story flashes back to when 11-year-old Bobby (Anton Yelchin) and his best friends Carol (Mika Boorem) and Sully-John (Will Rothhaar) capture the pure joy of youthfulness. When a mysterious stranger named Ted Brautigan (Anthony Hopkins) moves upstairs and starts to pay attention to Bobby the boy suddenly realizes what's truly missing from his life--the love of a parent. Bobby's mother Liz (Hope Davis) is embittered by the death of Bobby's father and shows little compassion for her son's growing needs. Ted fills a void with the boy opening his eyes to the world around him and helps Bobby come to terms with his real feelings for Carol--and his mother. But Ted also has some deep dark secrets of his own and Bobby tries hard to stop danger from reaching the old man.
The performances make the film especially in the genuine camaraderie of the kids. Yelchin Boorem and Rothhaar never deliver a false move with an easiness that makes us believe we are simply watching three 11-year-old children grow up together. Yelchin in particular is able to get right to the heart of this young boy who misses his father and clings to the only adult who will listen. And his scenes with Boorem simply break your heart. (Davis) does an admirable job playing a part none too sympathetic. She manages to show a woman whose been beaten down but who does truly love her son in her own way. Morse too is one of those character actors you can plug in any movie and get a performance worth noting. In Hearts you want to see more of him. Of course the film shines brightest when Hopkins is on the screen. It may not be an Oscar-caliber performance but the actor is unparalleled in bringing a character to life--showing the subtleties of an old man looking for some peace in his life.
If you are expecting the Stephen King novel you may be disappointed. Screenwriter William Goldman and director Scott Hicks (Shine) deftly extracted the King formula of telling a story through a child's eye and explaining how the relationships formed as a child shaped the adult later. Hicks did an amazing job with his young actors especially Yelchin and Boorem. But where the novel continued into a supernatural theme explaining Brautigan's fear of being captured by "low men in yellow coats" (a reference to King's The Dark Tower series) the movie downplayed the mystical elements instead giving real explanations for Brautigan's man-on-the-run. That was the one problem with Hearts--we needed more danger. Introducing men from another dimension may not have been the way to go but had there been more tension the film would have resonated more especially when Bobby risked his own safety to save Ted.