>> The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
>> Identity Thief
>> Gangster Squad
>> Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away
>> Zero Dark Thirty
>> The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
>> Hyde Park on Hudson
>> Safety Not Guaranteed
>> The Great Gatsby (PG-13) [trailer]
>> Peeples (PG-13) [trailer]
>> Aftershock (Limited) (R) [trailer]
>> And Now a Word From Our Sponsor (Limited) (NR) [trailer]
>> Erased (Limited) (R) [trailer]
>> Sightseers (Limited) (NR) [trailer]
>> Venus and Serena (Limited) (PG-13) [trailer]
Las Vegas: Satan Vacations Here
by Victoria Alexander
November 7, 2005
“Avenue Q,” Rocky VI & Rambo IV: Stallone desperate for attention?, Remote Viewing Intensive, Colin Farrell’s Beer Boobs, Type O Civilization, George Carlin on Scarfing, UNLV’s One-Act Play Festival, This Week’s Yes-No Movies: Jarhead (No), Zathura (Yes), The Squid and the Whale (Yes), Capote (No), and more...
Steve Wynn Grumbling About “Avenue Q”? Is “Avenue Q” too hip for The Strip? First the Wynn Resort nightclub Le Reve had to be revamped because of poor marketing and now comes word that Steve Wynn is unhappy with the Tony Award-winning show’s performance at Wynn Las Vegas. Wynn paid $5 million for the exclusive North American rights to “Avenue Q.” Insiders say the orchestra section in a 1,200-seat theater is half empty at most performances and a balcony section hasn’t even been opened yet. “Q” is said to be losing money and Wynn thinks bringing the show to Las Vegas was a mistake. One veteran Broadway producer said “Avenue Q" “may be too sophisticated for Vegas audiences, whose tastes generally run to animal acts, Celine Dion and slot machines.” Yup, puppets are intimidating!
Rambo lV. Sylvester Stallone is making a fourth Rambo movie, seventeen years after the last film was made. The news comes now that a sixth Rocky film, due in 2006, is filming. Rambo lV will see former Vietnam veteran John J. Rambo retired into a quiet life until he gets involved in the case of a missing child. The movie will be shot between Mexico and the United States and filming is scheduled to start in the spring. When John and I lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, our large circle of friends included scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory where John worked, artists, and writers. Rambo’s creator, David Morrell, and his wife Donna are good friends. David and Donna are passionate about movies and we would often go to a movie and then dinner.
Why would wealthy Stallone subject himself to the cruel mocking that already began with just the announcement of Rocky VI? And now Rambo IV. Sly has to be listening to the wrong people with other agendas who have played to his neglected ego.
David and Donna stayed with us in Las Vegas when David was doing a day-long writing seminar at the West Charleston Library. I took voluminous notes. It was an educational day spent with a writer who understands and can explain the dynamics and process of writing. David does not do many book signings, but if he comes to your city, go see him! David’s latest book “Creepers” is a New York Times best seller. David’s website is davidmorrell.net.
I spoke with David last Tuesday night. He hadn’t heard about the Rambo-Looks-For-A-Missing-Child storyline. He said a company called Nu Image had acquired the Rambo rights from Miramax. I asked David if he would be involved since Rambo was his creation. He told me a spokesman for Nu Image emphasized that they didn't need a thing from him, not even his good will. The spokesman also said they weren't going to tell him a thing about the project. They made wonderful motion pictures, he was assured, while novelists made bologna sandwiches. (Photo of David and Donna Morrell. Las Vegas. April, 2004)
What’s next? Warren Beatty in “Shampoo 2”? Sean Connery returns as 007 sporting an oxygen mask? At least Mel Gibson said that the rumored “Mad Max 4” would have to be called “Fat Max.”
Remote Viewing. Another dear, dear friend is scholar, author, and Remote Viewer Stephan A. Schwartz. Stephan, editor of the international web publication, Schwartzreport, is a research associate of the Cognitive Sciences Laboratory of the Laboratories for Fundamental Research and was for twenty years research director of the Mobius Society. I recently got another copy of Stephan’s “The Secret Vaults of Time: Psychic Archeology and the Quest for Man’s Beginnings.” Hampton Roads just re-issued a new edition of this hallmark work.
Stephan, one of the foremost remote viewers in the world and an electrifying speaker, conducted an intensive seminar at A.R.E. (Association for Research and Enlightenment) on November 4-6 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The Fourth Annual Schwartzreport Conference on Issues in Consciousness featured “Accessing Nonlocal Mind Through Remote Viewing: The “How To” Intensive Seminar.” Stephan has just finished a new book, “Limitless Self: The Art & Science of Remote Viewing.” I spoke with Stephan by phone on Monday night. My husband John was attending the US Army’s Mad Scientist Conference in Hampton, Virginia and met Stephan for dinner. Both John and Stephan are on the Board of Directors of IRVA (The International Remote Viewers Association). See IRVA.org for news about the next IRVA Conference to be held in Las Vegas.
Confirmation: We’re Still a Type O Civilization. “Astronomer Nikolai Kardashev of the former Soviet Union categorized future civilizations in the following way. A Type I Civilization can control the weather, prevent earthquakes, mine deep in the earth’s crust, and harvest the oceans. This civilization has already completed the exploration of its solar system. A Type ll Civilization is one that controls the power of the sun itself. A Type lll Civilization is one that controls the power of an entire galaxy. Our civilization is a Type O Civilization. As a Type O Civilization we can not even predict the weather, let alone control it.” (Pages 277-278 from “Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension” by Michio Kaku.
When Did God Stop Talking to People? Last week Court TV covered the trial of Deanna Laney, a 39-year old East Texas woman who stoned to death two of her sons, Joshua, 8, and Luke, 6. The assault on a third son, 14 month old Aaron, left him nearly blind. “Deeply religious” Deanna Laney admitted to the killings on instructions from The Lord. Her doctors said the voices, which she heard for four years, were auditory hallucinations. The Voice of God was so powerful Laney told psychiatrists, that she felt the voice vibrating inside her body. She said God told her to kill her sons. Then she called 9ll.
“He said to him, “Abraham.” He answered, “Here I am.” God said, “Take your only son Isaac whom you love and go into the district of Moria, and there offer him as a holocaust on the hill which I shall point out to you.” (Genesis 22:1-3) Didn’t anyone consider Abraham was, as Court TV commentators labeled Laney, “psychotic” and “homicidal”?
Have we all forgotten the time God (appearing as a Burning Bush) talked to Moses? That meeting changed the course of human history. I’d like to recommend a fascinating book, “The Miracles of Exodus: A Scientist’s Discovery of the Extraordinary Natural Causes of the Biblical Stories” by Colin J. Humphreys. God chose Moses, a man born to slaves, but raised as a royal, as His spokesman. When first called by God he was a shepherd tending to his flock. Moses acknowledged he was an unworthy prophet: He was “slow of speech and tongue” and needed his brother Aaron as his mouthpiece.*
“But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharao and lead the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11)
"I believed with all my heart it was the Lord telling me that, but I couldn't figure out why," Laney said. "I don't understand. Why? What purpose?"
Laney was found NOT GUILTY on all counts by reason of insanity.
Miami Vice’s Sunny Crockett Cannot Have Beer Boobs! “Page Six” of the New York Post had some nasty items about Michael Mann’s "Miami Vice" starring Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell. The movie was "greenlit at $120 million, but the budget has been blown and it is now costing upwards of $180 million. And they aren't even done yet. It will likely be a $200 million tab by the end of shooting." According to the Page Six source, the script is "not good," according to several people who have read it. "This will bomb," said one. Stars Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell have become slightly bloated, with Farrell sporting "beer boobs" due to their constant partying in Miami. Farrell, in particular, has been carousing at almost every hotel bar and club in town, at times drinking VOX vodka straight from the bottle.
Farrell is said to not be getting along with director Mann who is a perfectionist. In addition, there have been reports of fights between Farrell and Foxx. Foxx was said to be upset that Farrell was being paid more than he was, so he demanded his paycheck be boosted from $7.5 million to $10 million to match his bloated co-star.
Why would Farrell embarrass himself (I don’t mean that notorious sex tape with Playmate Nicole Narain that his lawyers are fighting to keep you from buying) by having man boobs in “Miami Vice?” For all his fame as a “I love One Night Stands” sex athlete, there has got to be some serious self-loathing. (No one, not even Sly Stallone, seems immune from Celebrity Self-Loathing.)
Madonna Is 89 Years Old? Madonna performed at the MTV Europe Music Awards Thursday night. Madonna's muscle-bound figure, in a purple vintage leotard, prompted show host Borat, aka comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, to come out and say: "Welcome to the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest. The singer before me - who was he? It was very courageous of MTV to start the show with a genuine transvestite." Then Borat talked about Madonna’s manly hands. Borat was brutal. Poor Madonna! (Another rock star praised her performance and said Madonna “looked good for 89 years old”). Madonna, why voluntarily subject yourself this kind of international ridicule?
Her song “Hung Up” was awful and the entire dance number reminded me of a bad imitation of Kyle Minogue. And where did EMTV co-host Brittany Murphy - born in Atlanta, Georgia and raised in Edison, New Jersey – pick up that silly English accent?
George Carlin’s Life is Worth Losing. Carlin’s fifth HBO special aired Saturday night. Carlin memorized 75 minutes of new material! In the Sept 19 TDH column I mentioned George Carlin had insulted Las Vegas tourists. Now, fresh from rehab and planning a return to Las Vegas, George Carlin unveiled his new act, “Life Is Worth Losing,” Saturday night on HBO.
Carlin memorized all 75 minutes of new material! The first 40 minutes did not elicit any laughter from me or the Beacon Theater audience. Then Carlin became viciously brilliant. He suggested an All-Suicide Channel. He revealed a fascinating pyramid plan: On the bottom level he throws in all homeless people. However, he forgot to put Celebrity Suicide at the top of the pyramid. He says the All Suicide Channel will give money prizes for the most imaginative suicides. Carlin also did a shocking piece about pre-teenage “scarfing.” (See my August 15th TDH column on autoerotic asphyxiation.) And finally, Carlin admitted that he enjoys seeing nature destroy things. The more destruction, the happier he is.
If this is the act Carlin is bringing to Las Vegas, he better consider not talking about his hatred of fat people.
UNLV’s One-Act Play Festival Falls Flat. The UNLV Fall One Act Play Festival, held at the Paul Harris Theatre, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, on the Las Vegas campus, featured three plays written by playwrights in the master's degree program: Stan Waring's "Criminal Conversation," Carissa Boak's "The Anointment" and Nakia Oglesby's "Will You Call Me Superman?" The three plays have been entered in The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Tickets were $5.
Director/Choreographer Lynne Morris is a tough critic. Lynne kindly sent TDH her comments: “The plays were limited by budget constraints, with only $150 to stage all three. Though sets, lighting and costumes were minimal, they were as creative as possible given the circumstances. However, the absence of funds available to stage the plays has little to do with writing talent, which, unfortunately, was far more lacking than money.
“The actors did their best with the material and direction given--and should receive a commendation from the theatre department for courage beyond the call of duty--but each of the one-acts presented similar challenges insurmountable for both cast and audience: all ran overlong, reached too far beyond its initial idea, and each needed serious tightening to achieve a cohesive flow. The narrative threads of all three were muddled and difficult to discern, both confusing and frustrating the audience. Rather than help to reveal the writer's vision, the direction of each play seemed either absent or silly, only adding to the apparent lack of cohesiveness in these works.
“To learn their craft, the graduate program students need to have their work presented. And, understandably, it is difficult for a writer to have an objective view of a play's flow and timing until it is seen and heard on stage in a workshop setting. Yet, despite some fine work by the actors, the sole insight gained by theatergoers during the course of this evening is that the writers and their faculty still have extensive work to hone these plays into pieces suitable for an audience beyond the participating students’ friends and family.”
*ABC's upcoming miniseries "The Ten Commandments" promises to push quite a few buttons, reports "Lost" regular Naveen Andrews, who stars in the epic project with Dougray Scott, Omar Sharif, Linus Roache, Mia Maestro and Paul Rhys. Andrews predicts it will stir up a hornet's nest. "What was unusual about the way we did this version of 'The Ten Commandments' was we treated Moses like he was a lunatic. If somebody came and told you today, 'I've just been talking to a burning bush,' you would try and have him put into a hospital, wouldn't you?"
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