Another Friday night news dump

I’ve been distracted wrapping up another project, but a few things of note did transpire to cap off this doozy of a week while I was otherwise absorbed.

* Both Variety and Nikki Finke are reporting that Miramax, the once groundbreaking “mini-major” founded and eventually sold by Harvey and Bob Weinstein that was named after their parents, Mira and Max, is being downsized/restructured by Disney. Meanwhile, grinning Disney Channel head Rich Ross is apparently a near-certainty to step into the void left by the departed Mousehouse chair, Dick Cook. I’m not sure why, but I have a funny feeling about this.

* Finke also has word that The Hollywood Reporter (aka THR) may well become a weekly as well as going behind a ‘net “wall.” If so, that’s going to leave a heckuva void for someone to fill online. If Finke has any visions of empire, this could be her moment — but she can’t do that alone. Personally, I’ll miss the video versions of the box office prognostications of the man I call “jolly Carl DiOrio.” He just seems so happy when he talks how well movies are going to do each week.

* THR has details on the 1993 settlement between Roman Polanski and his now adult victim. The odd part is that the records here don’t show whether or not Polanski ever paid it. If he didn’t, the woman is one extra-forgiving lady. I suspect he did.

* I’m not quite a diehard member of his cult, but I’ve always had a soft-spot for director John Carpenter (“The Thing,” “They Live,” “Escape from New York”) since seeing the original “Assault on Precinct 13” — a clever combination of Howard Hawks “Rio Bravo” and George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” with gang members replacing frontier desperadoes and zombies. His latest project, reportedly called “Riot” deals with another relic of my childhood, Arnold Shapiro’s “Scared Straight.” I’ll never  forget how shocked I was to hear F-words coming from my TV set. Who knew that one day cable TV would make that a near daily occurrence.

Now, I was the kind of kid who freaked out if a teacher even looked at me in a cross fashion. Nevertheless, it definitely worked on me as I’m here to tell you that I’m pretty sure I’ve never committed a felony, even by accident, though it’s always possible I’ve forgotten something. On the other hand, my parking ticket past is thoroughly checkered.

Anyhow, the latest news on the project via Krystal Clark at ScreenCrave is that Nicolas Cage, who was at one point attached, has likely left the project and the same may also go for Carpenter. Could’ve been fun, I guess.

And now a moment of vintage Carpenter.

  

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Entourage 6.11 – Scared Straight

With the season drawing to a close, tonight’s episode put the finishing touches on all four major storylines, delivering one of the most well-rounded half-hours of “Entourage” in the process. Though Turtle’s story has been showing signs of wear lately (I blame Ms. I Only Wear Thongs), it looks like the writers plan to shake things up, because they’ve just placed his relationship with Jamie-Lynn on the backburner. Their last day together certainly started out sweet, with Turtle unveiling the ultimate lunch made up of Jamie’s favorite dishes, but it soon turned into a bout of jealously when she discovered that Turtle’s new admirer had friended him on Facebook. Though it’s a bit silly to think that Jamie-Lynn could even be jealous of Turtle, his decision to delete her from his friends list was the right thing to do. Unfortunately, that was merely the calm before the storm, as Jamie eventually tells Turtle that he can see other people while she’s gone. Of course, she didn’t actually break up with him, which makes me think that she’s really just testing him to see if he can stay loyal. And by the look of next week’s season finale, that may be harder said than done.

Eric, meanwhile, was given his first comedic storyline since the infamous Spooning the Guest Star incident a few years back, and I have to say that I really enjoyed the break from his more dramatic side. Usually, it would be Drama running around town worried about having contracted an STD from some random hook-up, but Kevin Connelly did a great job with the material – especially during the scene in the doctor’s office where he was forced to suffer through the long-winded background history interview. The fact that the girl hooked up with Drama only four months prior didn’t help his feelings on the matter, but what the hell was he thinking by not wearing a condom? Luckily, he escapes the situation disease-free, and as expected, swears off one-night stands and turns his attention back to wooing Sloan.

entourage_6-11

Of course, even though Drama wasn’t the subject of the STD scare, he still had his own share of weekly shenanigans to deal with – this time revolving around his “Melrose Place” audition. While chatting with David Faustino in the waiting area, he discovers that the director in charge of the pilot episode (“Entourage” creator Doug Ellin) is the same guy he flipped out in front of during his original audition for “Five Towns.” Though he’s ensured there’s no bad blood between them and that it’s his job to lose, Drama has a panic attack when he learns that Dean “Superman” Cain is also testing for the role. One trip to the hospital later, Lloyd calls to inform him that they’ve offered him another chance to audition, but Drama turns it down. That’s bad news for Lloyd, because Drama was his only real client.

The even worse news, however, is that Lloyd might be seeing Ari back in his life sooner than he would have liked. Already on his sixth replacement assistant (the last two of whom were fired over a cranberry muffin and a “Saved by the Bell” reference), Ari’s patience is wearing thin when he gets a surprise visit by Terrence offering him a deal to buy out his agency for $100 million. Suspicious of why Terrence would be coming to him first, but still not willing to pay the overinflated price, Ari does a little investigative work and discovers that he’s trying to dump the business before his wife files divorce. Using Terrence’s desperation to his advantage, Ari not only talks down the price, but in doing so, also becomes Lloyd’s boss once again. It’s great news for Ari and Babs, because the merger will transform them into the largest agency in town, but what will become of poor Lloyd?

  

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