Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gummi Bear Busts Out Of Rehab Show -- Almost

I'm Gummi Bear and I don't need  rehab!
Jason " Gummi Bear" Davis tried to escape from Celebrity Rehab 4, as I wrote about in a previous post. But his highly developed escape plot, which involved a strip club and was as complex and well planned as a game of tic-tac-dough, was thwarted when his getaway car mysteriously got away without him, leaving him standing there on the sidewalk in front of the Pasadena Recovery Center.

His roommate, Jason Wahler -- the so-called reality-TV train wreck best known for doing -- err, wooing the insanely beautiful Lauren Conrad on Laguna Beach and The Hills, as well as being thrown in the clink a few times --- was planning to leap over the fence and join Davis. We see him smoking in the "smoke garden" while waiting for the car to beep its horn, the predetermined signal for him to pull a Spidey, but then, as noted, the car split, and Wahler disappeared inside, as did Gummi, but only Gummi was "caught" by Will Smith, not the rapper/actor, but the big burly guy who is often referred to as the muscle of the unit.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gordon Ramsay: A New Yorker With a Brit Accent

UPDATE: This was a first! The latest episode of Ramsay's Best Restaurant features two Chinese restaurants. The chefs were screaming in Chinese in the kitchens of both restaurants while whipping their dishes up during the first part of the show. But Gordon doesn't speak Chinese, so he was left standing there looking like a lost puppy. He so much wanted to join in on all the yelling and screaming -- but couldn't get a word in! He was reduced to shouting: "Why is there so much yelling going on in this kitchen!" Eventually he found a theme to put his voice behind: a lack of seasoning on the dishes being served, a problem, ironically, in both restaurants, it turned out.

But it was so hilarious, seeing Gordon nearly impotent for a little while.

One amusing note: the names of the chefs of one of the two kitchen teams were You and Yu, and their signature dish was ... Wagyu. It was a simple near-alliteration (is there such a thing?)  that sounded charmingly funny coming out of Gordon's mouth.

And the third part of the show, when two chefs from each restaurant were cooking their heart's out in Gordon's Michelin-starred restaurant, threatened to turn into an episode of Hell's Kitchen, but the chefs pulled back on their joysticks and pulled out of their nosedives, soaring back up where they belong, to the place where mouthwatering food comes from. And speaking of Hell's Kitchen, read on to the original post....

Celebrity Rehab: Why Would They Do It?

From the website for Celebrity Rehab 4: "Addiction specialist Dr. Drew returns for a FOURTH season of Celebrity Rehab to once again face the intense task of helping a new group of celebrity patients in their quest for sobriety.

"As the patients check in, Dr. Drew first lands them at the Pasadena Recovery Center, then meets with them individually to examine the role that their addictions play in their lives. As the patients detox and the intense physical and emotional withdrawal begins, one of the patients suffers from a severe panic attack and even contemplates suicide."

Famous for being famous--and in rehab for it.
My chief question is, Why in the world would a celebrity, or anyone for that matter, put themselves through the embarrassment of starring on a TV program that will show them at their absolute worst, and I don't say that lightly: These celebrities -- and we are really pushing the term for many of these cast members, such as Jason Davis, who nobody but, and maybe Perez Hilton seem to care about. At the same time, we have some bona fide stars, true actors, such as the great Eric Roberts, on the show. Maybe Gummi Bear needs this kind of publicity, but does Eric Roberts, Pope of Greenwich Village Eric Roberts -- ok, maybe he did overact, do a little scenery chewing playing alongside the then-so-cool Mickey Rourke, before plastic surgery turned him into a humanoid -- does Roberts, who has matured as an actor, need this exposure?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Enough! Let Roman Polanski Come Home

His mother died in a Nazi concentration camp; his father was rounded up as well, but survived. The "he" in question, a mere wisp of a child at the time, almost wound up in a camp, too, but the vicissitudes of fate had a different plan for him: He (Roman Polanski if you haven't figured it out yet) ended up in America, where he continued his film-making career, begun in Poland. Polanski has made some landmark films -- to put it one way -- works of art that will be watched and studied long after we and he are food for worms. An auteur in every sense of the word, Polanski is a cinematic genius.

But the dark side of fate, which destroyed his childhood and family, was not finished with him. Winning acclaim for himself as the director of the great Rosemary's Baby, among other films, and getting ready to settle down and start a family of his own (which would be free of Nazi terror), Polanski's life was again destroyed by the gods of dark fate when his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, was slaughtered by minions of that piece of filth Charles Manson [the baby was not ripped from her womb, however.] Several other guests unfortunate enough to be spending time in the Polanski house that weekend also met the foulest of ends,as shown in the recent docudrama Manson, which aired recently on one of the History channels. An innocent, elderly couple, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, also found themselves murdered at the hands of these vicious, drug-induced members of the Manson family. They were tortured with blades and guns and the terror of knowing what was going to happen to them right before it happened. Sharon begged for her unborn child's life. Like the Nazis, they weren't listening.

Polanski was out of the country at the time and was probably, in general, quite pleased with how his life was turning out from such a nightmarish beginning. A successful film career, a beautiful loving wife with a warm pink baby growing in her belly -- all of it was his. He must have been a very content man indeed, up until the moment they told him what had happened.

So can't we forgive him folks for the hot tub incident with the minor? She forgave him, can't we forgive him, and by "we," I mean the U.S. legal system which has fixed it so Polanski's feet will never touch U.S. soil again.

According to, "On 11 March 1977, Polanski, then 43 years old, was arrested for the sexual assault of 13-year-old Samantha Geimer during a photo shoot for French Vogue magazine. Soon after he was indicted on six counts of criminal behavior, including rape.[42][44] At his arraignment Polanski pled not guilty to all charges.[45]

"Geimer's attorney next arranged a plea bargain, which Polanski accepted, where five of the six charges would be dismissed.[46] Polanski then pled guilty to the charge of "Unlawful Sexual Intercourse," with a minor,[47] a charge equivalent to statutory rape in California.[48] Polanski was then ordered to undergo 90-days of psychiatric evaluation at Chino State Prison.[49]

"On release from prison, Polanski expected that at final sentencing he would be put on probation. However, the judge had apparently changed his mind in the interim and now "suggested to Polanski's attorneys" that more jail time and possible deportation were in order.[48][50] Upon learning of the judge's plans Polanski fled to France on February 1, 1978, just hours before sentencing by the judge.[51] As a French citizen, he has been protected from extradition and has lived mostly in France since then.[52]

"On 26 September 2009, Polanski was arrested while in Switzerland at the request of U.S. authorities.[53] He was kept under house arrest at his home in Gstaad while awaiting decision of appeals fighting extradition to the U.S.[54] On July 12, 2010, however, the Swiss rejected the U.S. request and instead declared him a "free man" and released him from custody, although all six of the original charges still remain pending in the U.S.[12]

Ahhh, the 1960s...what a time it must have been,

for those who got to live through them.

As for Geimer, Wikipedia reports, she sued Polanski in 1988, alleging sexual assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress and seduction.[36] The case was settled out of court in 1993. After Polanski missed an October 1995 payment deadline, Geimer filed papers with the court, attempting to collect at least $500,000. The court held that Polanski still owed her over $600,000, but it is unclear if this has since been paid.[37]

In a documentary for A&E Television Networks entitled Roman Polanski (2000), Samantha Gailey Geimer stated "…he had sex with me. He wasn’t hurting me and he wasn’t forceful or mean or anything like that, and really I just tried to let him get it over with." She also claimed that the event had been blown "all out of proportion".

In a 2003 interview,[13] Samantha Geimer said, "Straight up, what he did to me was wrong. But I wish he would return to America so the whole ordeal can be put to rest for both of us." Furthermore, "I'm sure if he could go back, he wouldn't do it again. He made a terrible mistake but he's paid for it." In 2008, Geimer stated in an interview that she wishes Polanski would be forgiven, "I think he's sorry, I think he knows it was wrong. I don't think he's a danger to society. I don't think he needs to be locked up forever and no one has ever come out ever — besides me — and accused him of anything. It was 30 years ago now. It's an unpleasant memory ... (but) I can live with it."[38]

Who are we to contradict the woman to whom this happened?

Polanski trivia, courtesy of

Has not been back to the United States since 1978.

He was convicted of the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl and fled to Europe to escape incarceration.

After Polanski fled from the American justice, the judge on his case swore to have him behind the bars. Though the judge died in 1989, the director still can't enter the US; otherwise, he would be arrested.

In 1969, while he was on out-of-town business, his wife, actress Sharon Tate was brutally murdered by members of Charles Manson's cult family; though Manson only ordered the killing and was not present during the murders. She was eight-months pregnant with their first child at the time. He has said that his life's biggest regret was not being present at the house on Cielo Drive, Beverly Hills the night his wife Sharon Tate and four others were brutally murdered.

Two children with Emmanuelle Seigner: Morgane and Elvis.

Shortly before her murder, wife Sharon Tate gave Polanski a copy of Thomas Hardy's 1891 novel "Tess of the d'Urbervilles", and he planned to film it with her. When he finally made the movie Tess (1979), he dedicated it to her.

Roman and his father are Holocaust survivors. His father was Jewish, and his half-Jewish mother (who was murdered in Auschwitz) had been raised as a Roman Catholic.

Received his first best director Oscar for the movie The Pianist (2002) five months after the awards ceremony. His friend, Harrison Ford, flew to France to present Polanski the award, since the director would be immediately arrested and incarcerated due to outstanding warrants stemming from his fleeing the US after his 1978 statutory rape conviction to avoid imprisonment. [8 September 2003].

Won the Best Director Oscar in 2003 for The Pianist (2002) at the age of 69 years and 7 months, making him the oldest person ever to win that award to that point in time. Polanski eclipsed the record previously held by George Cukor, who was 65 when he won for directing My Fair Lady(1964). This record was beaten in 2005 when Clint Eastwood won at the age of 74 for Million Dollar Baby (2004).

Within the Hollywood industry in the late 60s and early 70s he was often mocked as the stereotypical short, tyrannical European director.

Was voted the 26th Greatest Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

Was one of the judges in the Miss Universe pageant in 1976.

When he fled from the U.S. in the late 70s, much was made about the director's inability to ever make films in the States again. However, Polanski only shot 2 films in the States prior to his arrest: Rosemary's Baby (1968) and Chinatown (1974) were shot in North America. All other English-language films before the arrest were shot in the UK, and all the ones since have been shot in Central Europe.

President of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1991

Is portrayed by Marek Probosz in Helter Skelter (2004) (TV).

Polanski was born Rajmund Roman Liebling in Paris, France, the son of Bula (née Katz-Przedborska) and Ryszard Liebling (aka Ryszard Polanski), who was a painter and plastics manufacturer. His father was a Polish Jew and his mother, a native of Russia, was brought up as a Catholic as she had a Jewish father and a Roman Catholic mother.

He was due to have directed "The Double," a modern-day, comedic adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel about a man whose life is taken over by his doppelganger. John Travolta, who was being paid $17m, was to have played the lead, alongside Isabelle Adjani, John Goodman, andJean Reno. Shooting was to have begun in May 1996 in Paris. Lili Fini Zanuck and Todd Black were producing, Jeremy Leven had written the screenplay and other personnel such as director of photography Robert Richardson and production designer Pierre Guffroy were in place. Just nine days before principal photography was scheduled to start, and with around $15m already spent, Travolta flew back to US following an argument with Polanski. Travolta claimed that the screenplay had been significantly altered compared with the one he had signed up for. Following Travolta's departure, Steve Martin was quickly hired to replace him, but Isabelle Adjani said she was only prepared to work with Travolta, and she, too, left the film. The project collapsed shortly afterwards.

According to his autobiography, producer Robert Evans initially wanted Roman Polanski to direct Sliver (1993). Since Polanski will not return to the United States, Evans planned on having a second unit director shoot some footage of New York, whilst Polanski would direct the film in Paris.

Was offered the chance to direct King Kong (1976) but turned it down.

In November 1989 he was approached by Warner Bros to adapt and direct Mikhail A. Bulgakov's novel The Master and Margarita. The project was subsequently dropped by Warners due to budgetary concerns and the studio's belief that the subject matter was no longer relevant due to the fall of the Berlin wall. Polanski has described his script as the best he has ever adapted.

Directed four actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Ruth Gordon, Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and Adrien Brody. Gordon and Brody won Oscars for their performance in one of his movies.

In February 2007 it was announced that Polanski would direct a $130m adaptation of Robert Harris' novel Pompeii. Orlando Bloom and Scarlett Johansson were rumoured to be starring, but in September 2007 he left the project due to concerns over the threatened Screen Actors Guild strike.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dick Morris: Stupid or Stupid?

Dick Morris. I saw him tonight on Bill O'Reilly's show, which I don't usually watch. He, Morris, put on a lot of weight. Not exactly a meaningful, astute piece of analysis, my writing that he's grown fat, is pudgier in the face then he looked during the days when he worked on Bill Clinton's campaign. Yes, this conservative warlord worked both sides of the aisle and based his politics on his paychecks until a scandal knocked him on his ass. He then had to go through the inevitable evolutionary process to rehabilitate himself and find another job, which seems to be posing on talk shows as yet another right winger who knocks the left for a living; he also has a subscription-only website, as well as a "free" blog, called, originally enough, But, as he has worked for Republicans and Democrats, it is hard to hear him criticize any political party without him seeming the hypocrite.

"...based on what he said, one can only conclude he is an empty headed moron."
I myself am a "centrist," and will support almost anything that is governed by common sense and that will do the greatest good for the largest amount of people, which I guess includes expanding unemployment aid and shrinking tax cuts for people who need them like a hole in the head. It's a simple credo, I admit, but it only seems so because I won't get into nuances here: I wish to write about Dick, his appearance on "the Factor" and how, based on what he said, one can only conclude he is an empty headed moron.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jesse Ventura's Conspiracy Show A Paranoid Fantasy

I have written before about former-Minnesota governer/former-wrestler/former-actor and all-around He-Man Jesse Ventura and his TruTV "actuality" show Conspiracy Theory;  I wrote a tongue-in-cheek (and boy I am getting tired of hyphens) piece about how my Verizon Fios, for the first time since I had it installed, failed to record the premiere episode of Jesse's show last year. As I wrote in that post:

"I was watching—or trying to watch—the new television show ... the program kept scrambling and freezing up, and the audio kept dropping out. This has never happened to me while viewing a television program recorded via my trusty DVR. ... I simply could not get the show to play, pressing fast forward, rewind, stop, play, manipulating the remote to try to get it going. I gave up after a half hour." 

I was implying that someone -- the someone all conspiracy nuts fantasize about, the elusive man in black, who has all the answers, including who really shot JFK -- was trying to stop people from watching the episode (I asked my readers if any else had had problems watching the show -- unsurprisingly, no one responded to my request.)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tom Selleck's 'Fitz Special' Brings Reality to Blue Bloods

Is it me or does Tom Selleck's character Frank Reagan (NYC's fictional Police Commissioner) in Blue Bloods
remind you of the character A.J. Cooper, which he played on the now-cancelled but former hit show Las Vegas? Those of you who watched both shows will notice that both character's are wearing the same gun, which I thought was a 1911, but now, after watching an episode of Blue Bloods where it is specifically mentioned, I understand it is called a Fitz Special. (And I have been reading that he may have even worn the same pistol in Magnum P.I.; Selleck is a gun collector, I bet it is his own piece.) The website, a weapons-enthusiast site, offers some interesting insight into Selleck's understanding of guns, and the Fitz Special in particular. I quote:
"Anyways, as you are all aware I am sure Tom is a real gun guy.  I was watching an episode and 'Grandpa' walked in and noted that Tom (Chief of Dpt) was wearing a Fitz Special, they talked about how it was a classic, built to last, and that the Chief liked wearing his dad's gun, and 'gramps' notes that HIS father passed it down to him first.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Comments, Comments, Comments

Just a brief word: I'd love comments from anyone reading my posts. I know I am getting a steady flow of traffic, so I know people are reading this. And if you really want to be a pal, please become a "follower" of my blog -- I'd love to know who you are. I think you can do it at the bottom of the page, via a couple of clicks. I'd gladly read your blogs, comment and "follow" you as well if you are interested. Thanks!