Nice guy Jerry (Matthew Lillard) is the same numbingly trite character we've seen in hundreds of other movies. He faces 30 with uncertainty. He doesn't know if he should propose to his beautiful girlfriend Denise (Bonnie Somerville). He just can't commit darn it! Oh life is so confusing! Meeting up with his best buds Tom "the rebel" (Dax Shepard) and Dan "the runt" (Seth Green) at the funeral of their dead friend Billy they reunite in the-what else?--tree house of their youth. There they discover a map of Billy's longtime obsession: The disappearance of hijacker D.B. Cooper with $200 000 cash. (Never mind that the real Cooper's flight took off in 1971 well before any of these characters would be born.) So these three friends set out on an expedition from the heart and learn a few valuable life lessons along the way. They embark on a canoe trip in the Pacific Northwest in search of Cooper's lost treasure with a very large bear and two even larger hillbillies in hot pursuit. Which is of course just a big excuse for some crazy hijinks in the woods the obligatory stoner sequence gorgeous but unshaven tree-huggers living atop a redwood a crazed mountain man the usual.
Lillard has an off-kilter charm that works in his supporting roles but not so much as the lead. One imagines the producers offering the role first to Adam Sandler and then to Vince Vaughn or Luke Wilson before finally settling on Lillard after they all refuse. His overbearing earnestness in the role recalls his work in SLC Punk straining for normalcy when something completely off-the-wall would work so much better. Shepard (from MTV's Punk'd) fares better he is amusingly annoying but at least he takes a side. Green is usually funnier than this but he doesn't usually have to lug an inhaler around with him as a prop or constantly stoop for laughs as the token scaredy cat. The three of them do have an easygoing chemistry that makes them good company. Burt Reynolds turns up with a foot-long beard as the mountain man who might know something about the treasure. It is certainly the most vanity free performance of Reynolds' career and while it doesn't amount to much it's a step in the right direction for a guy who could still be a great character actor if he could finally get over the fact that he is no longer Stroker Ace.
Steven Brill is best known as the director of the first Adam Sandler movie that didn't reach nine figures at the box office Little Nicky and he hasn't exactly advanced the art of screen comedy here. Nevertheless the pacing is brisk the timing is crisp and the repartee (credited to five writers) is snappy. Even the action comedy sequences mostly running away from the bear and the hillbillies are convincingly done. But make no mistake this is clearly the work of a man hell-bent on paying homage to The Goonies and for that miniscule target audience that not only saw The Goonies in the theater it can also differentiate the Coreys. Of course '80s music has been back in vogue for several years so it's inevitable that the '80s comedy embodied in this movie The Girl Next Door
Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and others would return. But somebody had better make a good one soon or it will disappear faster than you can say Kajagoogoo.
Top Story: Fuqua Accused of Threatening Former Girlfriend
Director Antoine Fuqua has been accused in a lawsuit of threatening the life of an ex-girlfriend and making false charges to authorities to hide their affair from his wife, actress Lela Rochon, the Los Angeles Times reports. According to the suit, Tanya Evans ended the affair in March 2002 as Fuqua began shooting Tears of the Sun in Hawaii. Two months later, Fuqua had Evans arrested for stalking, but most of the charges against her were dropped for lack of evidence. In November, Evans stood trial on one count of making harassing phone calls, but was acquitted.
Nolte on the Wagon
Looking trim and tan, actor Nick Nolte, who was arrested in September for driving under the influence, says he has been careful about remaining sober. "There's no hiding there. I've always said I had a substance problem ever since. It's something you deal with, and you take care of it, and you can keep it under control," Nolte told The Associated Press. Nolte made the remarks during interviews to promote his upcoming drama The Good Thief, about a heroin-addicted gambler trying to organize a heist.
Cher's Wig Safe and Sound
Police in Richmond, Va., have recovered Cher's stolen black-and-teal wig. According to the AP, a woman walked into one of the city police precincts and turned in the hairpiece that was reported stolen from Cher's concert tour. The surrender came Tuesday night after a city police employee overheard a man bragging in nearby that he had the wig. The man later told a detective that he had given it to an unknown woman outside the Richmond Coliseum after the Feb. 25 concert. Police are holding the wig--valued at between $8,000 and $10,000--as evidence.
"Two Towers" Sweeps Saturn Award Noms
The 28th annual Saturn Awards nominations were announced Friday by Cinescape magazine and the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Scorpion King, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Reign of Fire, The Santa Clause 2 and Spider-Man are competing in the fantasy category while Minority Report squares off against Attack of the Clones, Men in Black II, Signs, Solaris and Star Trek: Nemesis in the sci-fi category. The nominees for best horror film include Blade II, Eight Legged Freaks, Frailty, Queen of the Damned, Resident Evil and The Ring.
Blair Talks with MTV Audience
Prime Minister Tony Blair took the debate on Iraq Thursday to a studio audience for MTV Europe. In the 60-minute forum, titled "Is War the Answer," Blair was grilled by young adults from around the world, including Iraq, the United States and England. The encounter won praise from some members of the audience, but most were not impressed. The discussion is due to air in Britain on Friday before it is broadcast in Europe, Australia, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and eventually the United States on Monday.
Role Call, Part I: John Cusack Cast in "Stepford Wives"
The Hollywood Reporter reports: John Cusack is in negotiations to star opposite Nicole Kidman in Paramount Pictures' The Stepford Wives for director Frank Oz. Cusack's sister Joan also stars in the project, a remake of the 1975 thriller about a woman who moves into a neighborhood where husbands have transformed their wives into robots. The project will begin shooting in June.
Role Call, Part II: Eddie Griffin Joins "Scary Movie 3," Zach Braff's "Large's Ark"
Variety reports: Eddie Griffin is the latest star to join Dimension's spoof sequel Scary Movie 3, with Charlie Sheen, Denise Richards, Jeremy Piven, Simon Rex, Anthony Anderson and Regina Hall. The film is scheduled to shoot later this month in Vancouver...Scrubs star Zach Braff will start shooting his feature directorial debut Large's Ark on April 23. Braff wrote the script and will star alongside Natalie Portman and Ian Holm. The film revolves around a young man who returns home for his mom's funeral after being estranged from his family for a decade.
Television and movie producer/director Bruce Paltrow, best known for producing and directing the TV medical drama St. Elsewhere, died from complications of pneumonia and a recurrence of throat cancer in Italy. He was 58.
Paltrow, who was the head of a show business family including Oscar-winning daughter Gwyneth Paltrow, actress wife Blythe Danner and son Jake, a television director, had been traveling with his daughter in Italy in celebration of her 30th birthday when he became ill, Gwyneth's publicist Steven Huvane told The Associated Press.
AP reports American officials in Italy were notified of Paltrow's death on Thursday but on condition of anonymity, could not give the exact date of his death. They said he died in Rome.
Paltrow also directed his daughter in 2000's Duets, in which Gwyneth Paltrow got to show off her talented singing ability as a Las Vegas showgirl who hits the road in search of karoke contests with her long-lost father, played by Huey Lewis.
On being directed by her father, Gwyneth said: "I think he's the smartest person I've ever known in my life. And also he's my dad. I thought, maybe I'll work and get spoiled at the same time."
Paltrow married Tony-winning actress Danner in 1970. Danner, who recently starred in the comedy Meet the Parents, was working on her new TV series Presidio Med in Los Angeles and was not with her husband when he died.
Huvane told AP Paltrow's body would be flown back to the U.S. but funeral arrangements had not been made.
Gone too soon, too fast.
The fact that the R&B singer Aaliyah has died is still hard to accept not only by her family and friends, but also by her fans.
As funeral services are being planned for Aaliyah on Friday in Manhattan, fans are rushing to stores to purchase copies of her album for memory's sake. According to SoundScan, sales from her third self-titled album have increased by 41 percent since the day of her death.
Aaliyah's boyfriend, Roc-a-Fella records co-CEO Damon Dash, who reportedly hasn't gotten out of bed since he heard of the fatal accident, told Sonicnet.com on Thursday that the loss was "heartbreaking."
"She was the best person I ever knew. I never met a person like her in my life," Dash said as his voice broke with emotion. The pair had planned to marry "as soon as she had time," he said.
But what will the music industry do to keep the singer's memory alive?
According to video director Hype Williams, the ideal move would be to release the video for her song "Rock the Boat" as a tribute to the star. Williams directed Aaliyah in the video filmed at the Bahamas days prior to her death.
"I know there's a lot of pain involved, but that's all the more reason people would appreciate what we've done as a group," Williams said on Thursday.
According to Williams, clips from the footage showed Aaliyah on the beach with her back towards the ocean, dressed in a red top and wearing dangling hoop earrings, as she sang slightly suggestive lyrics to the song.
A spokesperson for Blackground Records said it was too soon to say what would become of the footage.
Metallica loves a lawsuit
...Or at least that's what it seems, after the hard-rock band finds they getting involved in lawsuit after lawsuit.
Their latest case occurred last week, when the band found that MHT Luxury Alloys in Torrance, Calif.., introduced a wheel called Metallica. The band has asked the automobile company to recall all Metallica products from its customers and to either make a settlement or face a lawsuit, MTV.com reported.
"My boss is 48 years old and doesn't know much about the music industry," MHT sales manager Steve Anderson told MTV.com. "The wheels were metal, so he called them 'Metallica,' that's all there is to it."
Anderson added that his company is likely to comply with Metallica's demands.
According to Metallica's lawyer, Jill Pietrini, the band gets involved in more than 10 copyright infringement cases per year. But rest easy, Metallica usually resolves them without going to court.
This is not the first time the rock band has taken action against companies that use their name without permission.
In January 1999, the group sued Victoria Secret for producing Metallica lip pencils; West Mill, a tuxedo-manufacturing license of Pierre Cardin that used their name in advertisements; and Cosmar, a nail file manufacturer that embossed file sleeves with their name printed on them.
In December 2000, the band also sued French perfume maker Guerlain and department stores Neiman-Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman for selling a Metallica perfume.
"I'm not sure why [companies] think they can get away with it," Pietrini told MTV.com. "Anyone who does a trademark search would come up with the Metallica name and see how much we protect the trademark."
I don't know about you, but when I put on my Metallica lipstick every morning, the song "Enter Sandman" is not the first thing that comes to mind.
McLean stays sober...and counting
"I'm celebrating 51 days sober today," Backstreet Boy A.J. McLean said to the 14,000 fans that came to see the Backstreet Boys perform at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee on Aug. 24. This would be the first time the boy band would resume their Black and Blue tour after McLean left a Los Angeles rehab center where he was treated for alcoholism, depression and anxiety.
"I just wanted to say I wish I could go out and hug each and every one of you," McLean said, choking up. "Thank you for letting me go through what I needed to go through to get myself better."
With McLean back, the Backstreet Boys are also preparing to release a compilation of their greatest hits due Oct. 23 entitled Chapter One, BSB member Kevin Richarson told Sonicnet.com on Wednesday.
"We're gonna put out something that means the end of a chapter in our lives and the beginning of another," Richardson said.
The group's heartthrob, Nick Carter, wants to make clear that this is not a greatest hits album because "once you put out the greatest hits, everybody's like, 'That's it, they're gone," he said.
Eminem stops performance for injured fans
While many Americans pass judgement on Eminem's controversial, yet intriguing work, Scottish fans can't get enough of him.
Around 45 people were injured on Saturday after the rapper took the stage at the Gig on the Green concert in Glasgow, Scotland. Eminem was 15 minutes into his set when he was asked to stop performing and was forced to take a 30-minute break, pleading with the crowd to stop surging, MTV reported.
In a statement, a police spokesman told CNN, "A number of people were removed from the crowd and after it was deemed safe Eminem came back on stage. No one was seriously injured; thankfully, they are all walking wounded."
Eleven people were treated at local hospitals and released, while others were treated at tents around the outdoor concert. "Eminem and his band did all they could to help the situation and we are grateful for his support," the spokesman said.
In related news, Eminem's animated cartoon series, The Slim Shady Show, which have been airing online at SlimShadyWorld.com, will be released on DVD and VHS on Nov. 6, Sonicnet.com reported.
Around 70 minutes of previously webcasted episodes, showcases behind the scene footage, disses "Pristina Gaguilera," and includes an interview with Eminem.
'N Sync goes 5x platinum
'N Sync's album Celebrity was certified five times platinum by the Recording Association of America (RIIA) on Aug. 22, exactly 30 days after its release, Billboard reported.
The album sold 1.88 million units in its debut week, followed by their previous No Strings Attached, which sold 2.4 million units last March.
However, Celebrity didn't stay at the top of the charts for very long, as it was bumped down when the seventh volume in the hit compilation series NOW! 7 hit the stores climbed to No.1 on The Billboard 200 charts for the last three weeks.
The NOW! 7 album series stands strong at No. 1, followed by the fourth and sixth volumes in the series, which have also rocketed to the top of the charts in previous years.
Kiss fans can now take their love for Kiss to the grave.
The blood-spitting rock mogul of Kiss, Gene Simmons, has added yet another product to the glam rock band's ever-growing merchandising universe: the "Kiss Kasket." The coffin features the faces of the four founding members of the band, the Kiss logo and the words "Kiss Forever."
"If you want to take that final trip with Kiss, you can," Simmons said when he unveiled the coffin last week at the Licensing Trade Show, the New York Times reported.
If the idea of death was too morbid, fans could use the casket as a cooler, Simmons added.
"We figured, why not use it while you're alive?" he told Reuters. "For a guy that's home watching the game in the living room, he could just reach over and grab a cold one."
A Kiss coffin might not be best used as a cooler, said Ken Steling, president of The Casket Store in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Most caskets are made of steel or wood for durability.
"The one concept about a casket is that you are supposed to keep it dry," he said. "[Caskets] have a lined interior, and the water will decay it and make it rot."
As a farewell gesture to affluent fans, Kiss and Signatures Network entered into an agreement with White Light, which will manufacture the caskets.
"Kiss represents the rebelliousness, outrageousness, authenticity and non-stop partying which are synonymous with 'Rock and Roll,'" Signatures Network president and CEO Dell Furano said in a press release.
Only 2,500 caskets are available, which fans can purchase for $5,000 apiece on the band's Web site, www.kissonline.com, and at selected funeral homes across the country.
"This is the ultimate Kiss collectible," Simmons said in a kissonline press release. "I love living, but this makes the alternative look pretty damn good."
Even though it seems like an original idea, Kiss fans have expressed mixed reactions to the new collectible item.
"I love it. I'm buying one. I figure I got to spend 5K anyway for one so I might as well get it as soon as I can and enjoy it while I'm alive. I wanted to be buried in a KISS T-shirt anyway. This is even better," Frank White said on the band's official message board.
Some fans, however, have expressed some indignation as to the Kiss merchandising empire, which it claims is now valued at north of $500 million. According to kissonline.com, Simmons pitched the product last week on Howard Stern's radio show saying, "Most caskets go for $3,000 but ours will sell for $4,500." This prompted Stern to chastise Simmons for not giving fans the read deal even in death.
"What next? Pre-burial arrangements? A KISS-funeral package, and decide if you want to be buried with Gene, Paul, Ace or Peter makeup?" fan Leslie wrote on the message board.
Steling said he believes that most of the fans who would buy this would be on their teens or early 30s and their odds in dying are "relatively slim."
"Most of the public wants the same thing that their parents and grandparents were buried in," Steling said. "The service does not rely on the person that is going to go in [the casket], but for the family that's left. It's a process of closure."
The caskets sold by Steling vary from $1,500 to $2,000. He has made customized caskets, but they did not cost as much to make as what the Kiss coffin will require a fan to pay.
Sterling said that his job is to give families whatever items they require to help them cope with the loss of a loved one, and if there were ever a need to acquire a Kiss casket, he would provide the family with one.
But if one is going to fetch $5000 on a Kiss casket, bear this in mind: "For $5,000 you can get a solid bronze casket, which will last much longer," Sterling said. "I will even apply a Kiss photo on the lid."
Episode 1. Bowling/Wedding Funeral
(AIR DATE 12/02/2013)
In the premiere of a reality series about a Dallas funeral home specializing in elaborate ceremonies called "home-goings" that are tailored to the lives of the deceased, a woman who was a bowler is honored with a down-the-lane send-off; and a wedding-funeral combination is planned for a couple who passed away less than a year apart.
Episode 2. Breakfast/Olympics Funeral
(AIR DATE 12/02/2013)
A man who loved breakfast so much he ate it three times a day is honored by his family; a track-and-field-theme funeral is held for a former Olympic athlete
Episode 3. Candy; Hollywood Funeral
(AIR DATE 12/09/2013)
A Hollywood-theme funeral is planned by a woman's children; a casket is dipped in chocolate to honor a man who loved candy
Episode 4. Horror; Game Show Homegoing
(AIR DATE 12/09/2013)
The crew turn into zombies to celebrate the life of a horror fan; a game-show-theme funeral is no easy task for planners.
John Beckwith Jr. and the staff of Dallas-based Golden Gate Funeral Home organize the most unique funerals in the country, called home-going celebrations. Starting with the deceased's occupation or passion in life, the Golden Gate staff work with the families to create a central theme for a memorial and then elevate it to an unforgettable party. The end goal is to create a celebration as unique as the recently departed loved one.