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Celebrities in Rehab

It is easy to get swept up in the trappings of Hollywood glamour. We see celebrities and think, ‘if only I could be them.’ The reality is that being famous isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and the Hollywood life can be much harder to navigate then people think. As far back as Hollywood has been around so hasn’t celebrities who have addiction problems. Often these addictions are attempts to self-medicate and escape from a complex world mixed with excess and privilege, along with isolation and extreme pressures.

Matthew Perry

Matthew Perry recently went to rehab in an attempt to be proactive in his struggle with addiction to alcohol and prescription medication. It was noted that Perry relapsed after having been to rehab twice before. The first time was while he was a regular cast member on the show Friends in 1997.

Gerard Butler

The 300 star, Gerard Butler checked himself in the Betty Ford clinic and told US magazine in an interview that he “has a pretty addictive personality” and was becoming addicted to prescription drugs. He had the medication because of injuries he sustained from 3 of his films. But when he realized it was getting out of control he went to get help and become “a mental warrior”.

Kirsten Dunst

In an interview with British Elle Kirsten Dunst talks about her time in rehab at the Cirque Lodge. She said her time there was to deal with depression issues she had been struggling with. Ironically Dunst was able to use these personal experiences for a role in Melancholia which made her “the center of attention at the Cannes Film Festival”.

How Celebrities Stay Sober

Actor Martin Sheen told AARP Magazine that he works the AA program and credits his faith in Catholicism to staying sober for so many years. At one time Robert Downy Jr. could have been the poster child for celebrity addiction but it seems he has finally kicked the habit and he credits plenty of yoga, Kung Fu, and the support of his wife for keeping him straight. The types of methods that celebrities will encounter in these treatment facilities include the 12 step programs, care from medical professionals, private counseling and behavior modification, and other treatment that targets the brain imbalance of the addict.

Information about Addiction

According to Intercept Interventions although the US is only about 5% of the world’s population, two-thirds of illegal drugs are consumed here. Between 1995-2005 treatment admissions for addictions to pain killers went up more than 300%. Within the US, 1 in 4 children under 18 are exposed addiction in the family. If you or someone you know is struggling at all with addiction, you can go on sites like DrugRehab.org to find the right place to seek treatment.

With the US alone citing more than 100,000 deaths a year due to drug or alcohol dependence, it is clear that addiction is not something to mess with. Fortunately today there isn’t the stigma that used to be associated with rehabilitation. Now you can take the time to get the help you need with more support and understanding.

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Box Office Preview: Blasphemy, Pre-apocalyptic Comedy, and Pixar

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

I hate to use the same reference twice, but the situation calls for it. So, it has come to this. As if “The Raven” wasn’t enough, a film about Abraham Lincoln hunting vampires is fully produced and coming to a theater near you. Before you ask, yes, it’s that Abraham Lincoln. Unfortunately, it’s not a coincidence that the titular character has the same name as the sixteenth president of these United States. This may lend credence to the popular theory that Douglas Adams is not actually dead, but has gone into seclusion with a magic typewriter which allows him to write the script of reality. Mr. Adams, if you’re out there, “Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?”

Those of you who remember the brilliant but short-lived Showtime comedy “Party Down” might think the idea for “Vampire Hunter” arose from a joke in the episode “Taylor Stiltskin Sweet Sixteen.” Breckin Meyer wants to get Adam Scott back into acting by landing him the role of young Lincoln in a film in which Meyer’s character plays Edgar Allan Poe. The two steal an amulet from the Smithsonian, and, of course, fight vampires. As far as evidence, some Google searching shows claims that at one point, the Wikipedia page for the book on which the film is based said Seth Grahame-Smith did in fact get the idea from “Party Down.” It’s no longer there, and it’s Wikipedia, so who knows? Another question, “are we having fun yet?” No. No we are not.

I beg of you, do not see this movie, lest you lead us to such films as “George Washington: Werewolf,” “Anne Boelyn: Intergalactic Pilot,” and indeed, the end of the world. As if my pleas weren’t enough (I know how much you all love me), “AL: VH” currently sits at a 30 percent on the Tomatometer, and it’s gone down every time I’ve refreshed whilst writing this post.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Speaking of the end of the world, Steve Carrell and Keira Knightley star in a genre bending comedy about just that. What we have here is not just a pre-apocalypse film (don’t see too many of those), but a comedy(ish) to boot. The official synopsis tells us this: “Set in a too-near future, the movie explores what people will do when humanity’s last days are at hand. As the respective journeys of Dodge and Penny converge, the two spark to each other and their outlooks – if not the world’s – brighten.” Before the end of their lives, Penny wants to see her family one last time and Dodge wants to find the one that got away. Is anyone taking bets that he ends up with Penny instead?

So far reviews are mixed. “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” has earned a rating of 58 on the Tomatometer. Based on the trailer, (perhaps too) much of the film’s humor derives from the idea that certain people, like cops and T.G.I. Fridays employees, would not change their lives in any way if they knew the end of days was at hand. But with it’s star-studded (sort of) cast, which includes Adam Brody, Gillian Jacobs, Rob Corddry, Patton Oswalt, and Martin Sheen alongside stars Carell and Knightley, perhaps that number will spike and “End of the World” will surprise us all. I doubt it, but all this apocalypse talk and the mere existence of “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” has me in a foul mood.

Brave

Pixar has set some lofty standards for itself, so although “Brave” currently sits at a 79 on the Tomatometer, I don’t entertain any fantasies about it being the studio’s best work. In fact, it might not even be the studio’s best work in a fantasy setting with a redheaded female lead. I’m talking about Shrek people. Well the first two Shreks. Anyway, let’s turn to the synopsis:

Merida is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (Robbie Coltrane). Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Witch (Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late.

What I can surmise from the trailer is that the age old custom is marriage to the eldest son of one of those “uproarious lords,” and the ill-fated wish, ironically enough, is to “change her fate.” Come on now, Merida. Everyone knows you don’t say something that vague to a witch. That’s how we end up with things like “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” OK, OK, I’m done.

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It’s your extremely abbreviated end of the week movie news dump

I’ve got just a little less than an hour to write this up tonight, but let’s see how much we can get through.

* RIP Jill Clayburgh. I’ll have more in remembrance of this very fine actress tomorrow. She passed on from chronic lymphocytic leukemia, an illness she’d been dealing with for more than 20 years.

* This makes me feel a bit old since I remember him before he was President of the United States in “The West Wing” and even before he was a very bad possible future U.S. President in “The Dead Zone,” Martin Sheen will be Peter Parker’s oh-so-doomed old Uncle Ben in the Marc Webb “Spiderman” reboot. Making me feel even a bit older, Sally Field is looking like a likelihood as Aunt May, who was always drawn by artists like Steve Ditko and John Romita as if she were about 99 years old. Of course, these days we mainly see her selling hawking Boniva for bone health, so I guess should just adjust to the new reality that Sister Bertrille (aka “The Flying Nun”)/Sybil/Norma Rae isn’t a baby anymore. And I really do like her. I really do.

* The very interesting, talented, and occasionally irritating (when he writes op-eds about with premises about the impact of movie violence I disagree with) Mike White has been offered the gauntlet of “Pride and Prejudice with Zombies” recently dropped by the equally interesting but more experienced David O. Russell. White is best known as a writer and actor. His most fiscally successful screenplay — in which he also acted — was the terrific “School of Rock.” In quirkier times, he starred in and wrote 2000′s “Chuck and Buck” as well as “The Good Girl.” This will be his second directorial outing, the first being…I don’t remember the name and you don’t either. It’s a bold and interesting choice, I will say that.

* A lot of people thought his “Hot Tub Time Machine” was kind of toxic (others thought it funny; I thought it not seen by me…I’ll get to it someday), so I guess it makes sense that Steve Pink’s next project will apparently be a remake of “The Toxic Avenger.” Gross-out franchise, here he comes.

toxicavenger7

* Boy, that Lars von Trier is so f*cking suave.

* AFM, the American Film Market, has been going all week. It’s an event where lots of smaller films find distribution and foreign deals are made. Deadline has some interesting deals today. “The Giant Mechanical Man” might sound like one quirky rom-com too many, but any film with Jenna Fischer and Topher Grace in the lead has my attention. Starting up also is the AFI Film Festival, which I’ll be checking out some over the weekend and there may be some quickie off-the-cuff impressions of the movies there coming from there.

* And finally, I’ve been guilty of ignoring the MGM bankruptcy this week, and I’m writing this directly across the street from the Sony lot, the home of Leo the Lion in his prime and for many years past that. Anyhow, the Wall Street Journal summarizes the situation numerically. Reminding us that, adjusted for inflation, “Gone With the Wind has made $1.6 billion. On the other hand, the studio only had one movie in the top 50 this year. What was it? The aforementioned “Hot Tub Time Machine.”

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SAG Members Vote “Yes” on New Contract, 78% to 22%

As reported by Variety and Nikki Finke, the acrimonious battle between factions of the Screen Actor’s Guild ended in a huge victory for the more status quo forces backed by Adam Arkin, Tom Hanks, George Clooney, and Sally Field, as opposed to what I guess I have to call the more radical, or perhaps, activist wing of the guild as embodied by Martin Sheen, Ed Harris, Melissa Leo and, in certain interviews, a very acrimonious Ed Asner.

Alan RosenbergIn what has to be a huge defeat for embattled guild president Alan Rosenberg, 78% of the 30% percent who voted sided against him and for the plan. He nevertheless says he will run again and I’m sure he’s not wrong when he cites the economy as a major factor in the vote. (You can see videos from both sides of the dispute from a past PH post here.)

Especially now that the outspoken Nikki Finke herself is aware of our existence, I’m terrified of saying something stupid about a topic I barely understand. (A little sad to have even less of a head for nuts-and-bolts business matters than actors, but there you go. Also, I’m jumping on this particular news train very late in the story.)

I will say, however, that as a resident of Southern California, residing in Anaheim South Hollywood, I am a little relieved. I’m sure there was a case to be made by the “No” side, but, for the rest of us, a major strike is not what we need out here, at least in the short term. At the very least, we’ve also been spared a catastrophic run on Two Buck Chuck in the wine section at Trader Joe’s.

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Gekko’s Pals, Pooh, and Cozzalio, Too

* Nikki Finke has some big casting news, and perhaps bit of minor spoilage, on Oliver Stone’s real-world news inspired sequel to his long ago hit, “Wall Street.” It seems that Shia LaBeouf and Javier Bardem will be helping Michael Douglas — as an ex-con Gordan Gekko — illustrate the updated fiscal morality play. No mention if Charlie and Martin Sheen are going to scream at each other in an elevator again. (The great Sheen family act-off of ’87, I calls it.) As usual with Finke’s posts, avoid the comments if you don’t feeling like saying “meow” under your breath every two seconds.

* Good news for fans of 2-D animation, and parents and kids, over at Disney. Per the Hollywood Reporter, a traditional style animated edition to the “Winnie the Pooh” franchise is in the works. Aside from the fact that a CGI Pooh would be an atrocity, this is good news because 2-D animation is simply more appropriate for some projects than others – especially considering that only Pixar seems to have the knack for computer animating humans at this point.

* Around the cinephile blogs…Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule’s Dennis Cozzalio, who likes his horror at least as much as he likes his spaghetti western baseball, talks about “Drag Me to Hell” at length — and not only about his swell drive-in movie soiree last week — including some intriguing thoughts about that PG-13 rating (and an ensuing colloquy in comments, featuring…me).

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