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What's Hollywood Up To?
August 30, 2004

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

Celebrities are planning to use their star power on the streets of New York this week.

While the rent-a-mobsters will be waving pink slips along Broadway, protesters of various stripes will hit the streets, squares, parks and wherever else a TV camera might be. They'll be joined by the likes of Lauren Bacall, Robert Altman, Margaret Cho, Spike Lee, John Sayles, Marisa Tomei and Slick Rick.

Meanwhile, back on the Left Coast, Quentin Tarantino of "Kill Bill" fame is working with some new talent - the Muppets. And the Wayans Brothers of "Scary Movie" fame are planning on doing a remake of "The Munsters" for release as a motion picture.

In Tarantino's case, he's set to make an appearance in a new Muppets TV movie. Do you suppose he's going to bring along a sufficient supply of Muppet blood to splash across the screen? And what will become of Kermit when Miss Piggy learns how to brandish a sword, Uma-style?

As for Marlon, Shawn and Keenen Ivory Wayans, there's no truth to the rumor that a certain presidential candidate has been asked to play the lead in their upcoming "Munsters" movie.

Speaking of remakes, producer Jerry Weintraub has a plan that's bound to seriously irritate a lot of people. He's going to redo the 1977 comedy "Oh God." His idea of casting God in the film as a woman will tick off loads of folks. But to add to the controversy, Weintraub plans on using an unconventional woman in the Divine role - Ellen DeGeneres.

Controversy seems to be the new paradigm of Hollywood PR ever since Mel Gibson was inadvertently embroiled in it and it mystically ended up benefiting ticket sales.

Evidently, Michael Moore sought to replicate the attention-grabbing technique and had some manufactured success with it.

So now, apparently, 20th Century Fox figures what could be better for creating controversy than, in the midst of a war on terror, a film on the Crusades? The company is purportedly planning a release next year of a movie on the subject called "Kingdom of Heaven."

One can only imagine what Tinseltown will do with 12th century images of Christians clashing with Muslims.

Guess it all goes to show that, in wrongheaded hands, movie cameras can be dangerous instrumentalities.

Do you suppose we could institute a mandatory background check before a liberal's allowed to buy one?

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Copyright © 2004
James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

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