Feb. 20, 2002

Future Oscar Contenders

By Roy Rivenburg
‘The Man Who Wasn’t Cher’: Hollywood is powerless to resist sequels. Here’s the latest batch of recycled movies, coming soon to a theater nowhere near you:

-- ‘‘A Beautiful Mime’’: Russell Crowe plays a mathematical genius whose penchant for wearing whiteface makeup and pretending to be trapped in an invisible box drives everyone ELSE insane.
-- ‘‘The Count of Monty Python’’: A British pet store owner who is falsely imprisoned for selling ‘‘dead’’ parrots (they’re actually just resting), escapes jail and exacts revenge with a killer rabbit.
-- ‘‘Jack Lord of the Rings’’: Steve McGarrett of ‘‘Hawaii Five-0’’ breaks up a gang of Middle-Earth jewel thieves who are trying to fence a stolen ancient ring. Book ’em, Frodo.
-- ‘‘Hudson Hawk Down’’: An elite force of Hollywood publicists and agents tries to rescue the career of Bruce Willis after he stars in one of the worst films of the 1990s. Based on a true story.
-- ‘‘Ocean’s 7-Eleven’’: In yet another elaborate heist, George Clooney and friends hold up three convenience stores simultaneously. Don’t miss the Slurpee fight sequence!
-- ‘‘I Am Summer of Sam’’: A high-priced lawyer (Michelle Pfeiffer) helps David ‘‘Son of Sam’’ Berkowitz win the right to raise a child. Because serial killers are people too.
-- ‘‘American Pi’’: PBS tries to enter the lucrative teen comedy market with a film about four high school buddies who make a pact to calculate pi to the 100,000th decimal place before senior prom.
-- ‘‘Snow Dog Day Afternoon’’: Accompanied by a team of talking sled dogs, Al Pacino tries to rob a New York bank in order to pay for his male lover’s sex-change operation.
-- ‘‘Gosford Jurassic Park’’: One of the lamest movies of the year is mercifully cut short when a herd of wild dinosaurs rampages through a 1930s English estate, killing everyone.

Weird Polls Bureau: Fewer than 4 percent of Americans nickname their sweethearts ‘‘Muffin’’ or ‘‘Boo Boo,’’ according to a survey by Ocean Spray. We hope the remaining 96 percent will soon come to their senses.

Mark Your Calendars: National Clean Off Your Desk Day was Jan. 14. We would have notified you sooner, but, well, you figure it out.

Alarming Trends Bureau: A public television station in Hawaii is looking for Elvis impersonators to man the phones during its March 14 pledge drive. Applicants must supply their own rhinestone jumpsuits, fake sideburns and transportation.

Supermarket Tabloid Headline of the Week: ‘‘Britney is a Space Alien!’’ (Weekly World News)

Need proof? WWN cites several signs:

-- Ms. Spears exerts hypnotic control over Bob Dole. ‘‘Just look at his face in those Pepsi commercials,’’ the tabloid says, adding that Dole is a steppingstone to taking control of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.
-- She’s been photographed with Michael Jackson and Keith Richards, both ‘‘well-known aliens.’’
-- Her songs apparently contain hidden messages. For instance, ‘‘Oops, I Did It Again’’ was released a mere six days after a Peruvian village was accidentally destroyed by a UFO.
-- She has no soul. ‘‘Listen to her version of the Rolling Stones’ classic ‘Satisfaction’ for proof,’’ says WWN.
-- The alleged implants in her chest might be ‘‘part of a sophisticated mind-control system that was developed by her planet’s scientists.’’

Unpaid Informants: Internetwire.com, Wireless Flash News Service.

Copyright 2002 by Roy Rivenburg
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