Sandra Bullock's Advice to Tiger Woods' Wife

Tuesday, 30 Mar 2010 08:14 PM

By James Hirsen

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The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at Hollywood

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Sandra Bullock's Advice to Tiger Woods' Wife
2. Zorro Fights M&Ms in Court
3. Screenwriter Apologizes for ‘Battlefield Earth’
4. ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ Grabs No. 1
5. R-rated Movie Trailers Marketed to Minors
 

1. Sandra Bullock's Advice to Tiger Woods' Wife

Sandra Bullock once gave some advice to Tiger Woods' wife, Elin Nordegren, which now seems ironic.

A couple of months ago when Bullock apparently saw her marriage to Jesse James as solid, she commented on Woods' extramarital activities while on the red carpet outside the People's Choice Awards, according to the New York Post.

A reporter from the entertainment television show, “The Insider,” brought up to Bullock the story of Woods’ Thanksgiving Eve SUV collision with a fire hydrant, and how Nordegren had reportedly taken out a car window with a golf club in an effort to rescue her husband.

“If I were Elin, man,” Bullock said, “I would have hit a lot more than she did.”

"I would have kept hitting," the Oscar-winning actress added.

Bullock went on to suggest that she would have gone even further, saying, “Yeah, she stopped, she was respectable. I'd get the baseball bat, I'd get everything out.”

Maybe Elin has some advice for Sandra on which iron would work best on a chopper.


2. Zorro Fights M&Ms in Court

The M&M cartoon characters have been putting smiles on faces and selling tons of the bite-sized candies for a long time now.

Hollywood, of course, has taken note over the years and at various times partnered with the Mars candy company in the production of some specialized multicolored treats.

M&Ms have been magically transformed into animated toon versions of characters from the “Star Wars,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Transformers” movies.

However, the company also did a promotion of a masked M&M character that resembled a familiar swashbuckler who was known for making the sign of the “Z.” A lawsuit ultimately resulted over the sugar coated sword wielder.

Zorro Productions has filed suit in a California federal court against Mars and its advertising agency, BBDO Worldwide.

Zorro Productions alleges that when the Mars company created the promotional M&M item, which was timed for Halloween and decked out in Zorro-type attire, it infringed both the trademark and trade dress.

Because the masked man has been the focus of movies, TV programs, novels, and comic books, the image is highly recognizable and well established in the minds of the public.

Zorro Productions is asking the court for a minimum of $500,000.

Unnamed toon sources indicate that the production company is refusing to accept an equivalent settlement of green M&Ms.


3. Screenwriter Apologizes for ‘Battlefield Earth’

After his film “Battlefield Earth” won a Razzie Award for the “Worst Picture of the Decade,” writer J.D. Shapiro apparently couldn't handle the guilt any longer.

The screenwriter penned an apology in the New York Post. He included an excuse for what he called in the title of his piece, the “Suckiest Movie Ever.”

Shapiro blames his male libido for the cinematic stinker.

“It was 1994,” he wrote, “and I had read an article in Premiere magazine saying that the Celebrity Centre, the Scientology epicenter in Los Angeles, was a great place to meet women.”

The writer evidently went to the Scientology center to mingle, found himself writing a script for John Travolta and ended up making his mark in movie history, albeit a mark of the unwanted kind.

First, Shapiro met the president of the Celebrity Centre, Karen Hollander, who was a fan of “Robin Hood: Men in Tights,” another Shapiro script. One thing led to another and Shapiro found himself having dinner with Travolta and Kelly Preston.

There is a part of Shapiro's apology that Travolta may take issue with. The writer reveals that the actor believed they were making “the ‘Schindler’s List’ of sci-fi.”


4. ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ Grabs No. 1

DreamWorks’ computer animated 3-D flick, “How to Train Your Dragon,” was the No. 1 movie for the weekend, with a box-office gross of        $43.3 million.

It would have brought in even more revenue but had to share screens with the still running high-profile release, “Alice in Wonderland.”

The Viking-era action adventure features a classic teen outcast theme.

Hiccup, the geeky son of a Viking warrior (voiced by Jay Baruchel), is urged by Stoick, his gargantuan father (voiced by Gerard Butler), to become a dragon slayer in the family tradition.

Hiccup encounters the fiercest of all dragons, but he soon discovers that the breed can be tamed in spite of what everyone has come to believe.

He finds a way to teach the dragon to become a kind of flying horse but must keep his discovery from his dad, friends and Viking community.

Through it all, he has to deal with Astrid (voiced by America Ferrera), a girl warrior who stumbles across his secret and must be won over.

There are some typical Hollywood peacenik themes in the movie particularly in the discussions between the Viking dad and son about whether dragons are really enemies or just misunderstood creatures. Some critics are hailing the film for instilling in children the concept of understanding our enemies and not demonizing them.

But the truth is in watching the flick, kids are so enamored with the 3-D imagery, the politically correct subtext isn’t even noticeable. The focus is more on the teen reject who triumphs, the character’s relationship with his father and the never-gets-old tale of a boy and his pet.

The real message of the film is not to judge by appearances, which is a good axiom for story lovers of all ages to live by.

“Dragon” is one of those movies that families can enjoy together. It combines humor, action, and heart-warming scenes that charm young and old.

A tiny note of caution: The movie does contain some darker scenes, which may be disturbing to the more sensitive or very young child, especially in 3-D.


5. R-rated Movie Trailers Marketed to Minors

Movies have been marketed using the crudest kind of R-rated footage, referred to in the industry as “red band” trailers.

The R-rated footage is intended for audiences 17 years of age and older and is not normally shown on the screens of the majority of movie theaters.

These trailers contain content that is highly inappropriate for children and may include extreme violence, profanity and sexually explicit material.

However, the video footage is routinely posted on the Internet with minimal age-verification, which means that the material can easily be accessed by under-aged viewers.

The Federal Trade Commission issued a report in December 2009, slamming the Hollywood studios for what it termed “explicit and pervasive targeting of young children” with advertising, and it singled out the red band trailers.

According to the report, the touted age verification on Web sites only requires a mere click for viewers to establish a 17-year-old plus status.

Parents need to be aware that the red band as a label means crude and controversial content is contained within the clip and is just a tempting click away from the young ones.

One more reason for the computer to be visibly and centrally located in homes that have kids and teens present.

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