General News

BUZZ/SAW: Rex Reed, Celebrity

Aug 16, 2001 | 9:13am EDT

In yet another chapter of "How Infamy Feeds Fame," accused shoplifter and critic/writer/celebrityhound/bon vivant Rex Reed is seeing his own star rise as a result of being busted for allegedly lifting CDs from a New York Tower Records. Since his humiliating arrest in February, Reed has been featured in a full-page story in Fan, a freebie paper in Los Angeles. The article, "Who is Rex Reed Anyway?" was a kind bio of the seasoned writer. The Fan writer, not stopping with his rose-tinted portrait, went so far as to speculate that Reed, as he himself maintained, might have stuffed the unpaid-for CDs into his clothing in an absent-minded fog.

(The "fan"/journalist no doubt missed a New York Post report that one of the CDs was packed into the waistband of Reed's pants.)

Reed has also just popped up in ads for New York's critically acclaimed Off Broadway hit "Fully Committed," a comedy about foodies who fight to get tables at an ultra-trendy Big Apple restaurant. Like other celebs who have participated in the ad campaign, the photo of re-minted celeb Reed is meant to suggest an exasperated wannabe patron denied a reservation at the restaurant.

And finally (for now), Reed, who admitted to bad judgment but not guilt in the Tower Records caper, has been selected as a judge for the upcoming Seattle International Film Festival, taking place May 18-June 11.

Perhaps, Reed believes that scooting off to the far Northwest will remove him from Industry scrutiny. However, Tower Records is working with the prosecutor's office to seal its case against the writer.

The Rex Reed Defense Fund, proposed here weeks ago, was only a joke. The Rex Reed Fan Club appears to be a reality.

'SKULL' AND MOANS: "Numb-Skulls" is what some of the many detractors might be calling the just-opened "The Skulls," but the Joshua Jackson/Paul Walker thriller hit the No. 3 slot in its debut this weekend with a not bad, estimated $11.4 million.

These naysayers say that the film's potentially provocative and important subject -- ultra-secret and elitist campus societies epitomized by Yale's "Skull and Bones" -- doesn't deserve the kind of Hardy Boys/"Raiders of the Lost Ark" broad strokes that the filmmakers delivered.

Notwithstanding the critical drubbing, the bottom-liners are shouting "boola-boola" for a film that works as entertainment because that's what brings in audiences.

BUZZ/CUTS: A few years ago, this writer/director came out of nowhere to stun the world with his way-low budget, critically acclaimed indie debut feature. Cut to present where his latest film has been chosen for the upcoming Cannes Film Festival as a big-deal main competition entry ...

... Monday's Daily Variety had a report on The New York Times and the curious state of the paper's film critics. Although Stephen Holden, A.O. Scott and Elvis Mitchell are said to be the key three scribes, ultra-serious cine-man Dave Kehr has joined two other Times scribes in delivering reviews, too. But while publicists might scratch their heads over who's got the power, Times editors and readers might be puzzling over the paper's rave reviews for films such as "Reindeer Games" and "Hanging Up."

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