Terror takes hold in Tinsel Town
By John Breneman
Eager to cash in on America's fascination with terrorism,
Hollywood is releasing a barrage of summer blockbusters like
"Sleeping With the Yemeni" and "Al Qaeda on
the Western Front."
Though critics have assailed trendy terror-themed films like
"The Anthrax Chainsaw Massacre," studio executives
are defending their right to turn the public's plutonium nightmares
into silver-screen gold.
"If we allow them to scare us into not making tasteless
movies jammed with explosions and gratuitous killing, then
the terrorists truly will have won," said producer Adam
Baum, plugging his controversial new release "Last Tango
Some critics are dismissing the new genre as formulaic and
derivative. Most of the films are nothing more than old favorites
crudely refitted with flimsy story-lines, their titles riddled
with racial stereotypes and horrifying puns like "Man
in the Iron Mosque" and "Allah Doesn't Live Here
See TINSEL TOWN, next page
"To eat them on a train, or not to eat
them on a train: that is the question."
Kenneth Branagh's "Green Eggs and Hamlet," widely
hailed as a rhyme-drenched fusion of Shakespearean tragedy
and Seussian whimsy, is the most ambitious film to date in
the new cinematic genre inspired by the late Theodor Geisel.
Enraged by the murder of his father the king, the youthful
Prince Sam-I-Am (Branagh) seeks to exact his vengeance by
tricking the killer into eating a poison plate of breakfast.
Confusion and high intrigue ensue as his simplistic poetic
badgering is consistently rebuffed.
Now that the box-office bonanza unleashed by "The Cat
and the Hat" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"
has trumpeted Dr. Seuss's posthumous emergence as a bankable
Hollywood force, industry insiders are buzzing about a slew
of new projects.
"It's like 'Citizen Kane' meets 'The 500 Hats of Bartholomew
Cubbins'," Leonardo DiCaprio said to a sexy blond while
nibbling sneetch foie gras at Spago.
See CELLULOID SEUSS, next page
plastic surgery escape scheme
By John Breneman
Authorities in California say they suspect accused
child molester Michael Jackson may be planning to elude prosecution
by altering his appearance through cosmetic surgery.
Jackson, whose original face was long ago replaced
by a pale space-age polymer that looks and feels almost like
human skin, reportedly has hired a team of plastic surgeons
to provide him with a new mug every few days.
King of Pop's fantastic escape plan involves a rotating palette
of faces ranging from a nondescript "John Doe" to
one blending the features of Elizabeth Taylor, Macauley Culkin
and Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich.
Currently free on $3 million bail, Jackson dismissed
the child molestation charges as a "big fib" and
professed his love for all children. Last November, the reclusive
entertainer demonstrated his love for his youngest child,
who goes by the psychologically damaging name "Blanket,"
by putting a sack on his head and dangling him off a hotel
balcony in Berlin.
Jackson's love for his eldest children, who
often accompany him on elephant-bone shopping sprees, is also
readily on display. He protects their young faces by making
them wear hyperbarically correct Spider-Man masks 24 hours
a day and affectionately calls them "Artoo Detoo"
and "SpongeBob SquarePants."
A source close to the Jackson camp, his trusted
chimpanzee Mr. Pre-Pubescent Willie, said Jackson has absolutely
no plans to elude authorities by transforming himself into
an albino Donny Osmond and blasting off in a magical spaceship
stashed in a secret room at his Neverland ranch.
Tinky Winky talks
in exclusive interview
Had a long talk with my pal
Tinky Winky the other day. Poor little fellow is really depressed,
which is unusual for him. His disposition is generally quite
things are going well. His children's show, "Teletubbies,"
has become a smash hit among the influential bib-and-strained-peas
demographic, and he's been holding up well under the pressures
But then along comes the
Rev. Jerry Falwell, who -- as you probably have heard -- is
accusing Tinky Winky of being a homosexual and contributing
to the moral delinquency of impressionable toddlers.
Tinky Winky is extremely
media shy and has refused nearly all requests for interviews.
He is also very sensitive about his image. I know because
he and I worked together on several failed TV pilots a couple
We first became acquainted
when I worked as a writer for the pastoral police drama "Tinky
& Hutch." But we really bonded on the set of the
ill-fated sitcom "Plush Little Prince of Bel Air."
TINKY WINKY, next page
Fossil yields clues
about Stones' age
By John Breneman
LONDON -- Archaeologists today unearthed fossilized evidence
that the Rolling Stones, originally thought to have formed
in the mid-20th century, actually were created by geologic
forces during the waning days of the Neolithic Era.
The discovery of the Stone Age fossil, which bears the impression
of a giant set of human lips with a tongue sticking out, comes
just as the aging rockers have embarked on yet another world
The dig also turned up several crude guitar picks and - scrawled
on a piece of woolly mammoth skin - lyrics to the classic
Stones hit "Monkey Man," now being interpreted as
a biting musical commentary on mankind's evolution from Neanderthal
Rock historians are ecstatic over the findings, which also
mean that legendary Stones front man Mick Jagger, until recently
thought to be 58 years old, is actually closer to 5,800.
The Stones (also known as "Their Arthritic Majesties")
have updated many of their best-loved songs to reflect their
advanced age. The following is a partial list of old favorites
the band is expected to play.
"Jumpin' Jack Kevorkian"
"19th Digestive Breakdown"
"Grandmother's Little Helper"
"Bypass Surgery for the Devil"
"Gimme Assisted Living Shelter"
"You Can't Always Get the Prescription Drugs You Want"
"When the Hip Goes Down"
"Start My Pacemaker Up"
"Time is NOT on My Side"