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Ang Lee Runaway Favorite for "Best Director" Oscar for Brokeback Mountain


This I saw result at an LA Times poll. Lee scored 61 percent over his competitors, including Steven Speilberg for "Munich." Lee -- who takes chances with daring work like "The Hulk" and the current "Brokeback Mountain" -- is certainly deserving of the Oscar.

Heath Ledger's "Silly" SAG Speech Blown Out of Proportion - But Could Cost Him Best Actor

The flap's a small one, but remember that Russell Crow's front-runner status in the 2002 race for Best Actor took a nose-dive after it was revealed he beat up the band director at the BAFTA awards that year. The eventual winner was Denzel Washington for "Training Day." So, from that perspective, the following may have sealed Heath's fate.

http://www.oscarwatch.com/

Much Ado About...Heath at the SAG

Apparently, there was some sort of commentary buzzing about Heath and Jake's awkward, giggly intro for Brokeback at the SAGs. People were left shaking their heads - Heath called in to the LA Times to explain why. But for some reason, the whole thing might been better off left alone. Nonetheless, OH NO THEY DIDN'T is running, so there you go.

Heath Ledger is in Oscar damage control after his bizarre giggling behaviour at the recent Screen Actors Guild Awards.

The Australian Oscar nominee raised eyebrows when he appeared on stage during the January 29 ceremony at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium with Jake Gyllenhaal to introduce their nominated film, Brokeback Mountain.

The job was simple.

Ledger and Gyllenhaal had to read a blurb from an autocue about Brokeback Mountain, just as actors from the four other nominees for the Outstanding Performance by a Cast SAG category - Crash, Capote, Hustle & Flow and Good Night, and Good Luck - were called on to do.

Ledger's behaviour, with Hollywood's A-List crowd sitting before him and a worldwide audience watching on TV, was odd.

Some wondered if, as the Los Angeles Times described it, he was performing "some kind of gay spoof".

Ledger was giggling, his body was slumped and his left hand was on his hip in a "teacup" position.

It is not the kind of behaviour that would impress the 5,798 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who will decide on March 5 if Ledger should be honoured with the best actor Oscar, ahead of the distinguished Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

Ledger was apparently so horrified about the reaction to his SAG performance he called the LA Times to set the record straight.

"I am so sorry and I apologise for my nervousness," Ledger told the newspaper.

"I would be absolutely horrified if my stage fright was misinterpreted as a lack of respect for the film, the topic and for the amazing filmmakers."

Ledger blamed his behaviour on a mix-up.

He said he was sitting with his Brokeback Mountain castmates at the ceremony when he asked Gyllenhaal who would be introducing their film.

"I leaned over and asked Jake and he said, 'We are. Didn't you get the script?' I said, 'What?' I thought it was a script for the Directors Guild Awards a few nights earlier," Ledger said.

There was no time to rehearse as they were soon called on stage.

"I am not a public speaker and never will be ... I'm just not one of those naturally funny, relaxed actors who enjoy the spotlight and are so good at it," Ledger said.

"And this was really weird because we were basically introducing ourselves, like here's this brilliant cast and guess what, it's us."

That's why he acted like a giggly kid.

"How can you say all that stuff - 'two brave cowboys' - with a straight face", he said.

"It was just so surreal."

Ledger also explained what he described as his "teacup hand" position.

"I've stood like that since I was a kid," Ledger said.

"You can ask me mum. It's nerves I guess."

Ledger's apology came at a crucial time in his Oscar campaign.

Last Wednesday the Academy mailed the final ballots to the Oscar voters. Ledger's apology appeared in Friday's LA Times, the day most voters would have received their ballots.

It is a well known rule in Hollywood that Oscar nominees need to be on their best behaviour in the lead-up to the Academy Awards.

Russell Crowe's infamous confrontation with the TV producer of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) telecast in 2002 is part of Hollywood folklore.

Crowe was the favourite for the best actor Oscar for A Beautiful Mind, but after he blasted the producer for cutting short a poem he wanted to recite in his BAFTA acceptance speech, the New Zealand-born actor was snubbed by Oscar voters.

Crowe's blow-up that year also came at the worst time - when the Oscar voters received their final ballots.

Paramount's Pres Gail Berman The Target of Hollywood's Backstabbers -- And She Just Got There. Is Hollywood Too Sexist?


Paramount Pictures new President Gail Berman is described as tough, directive, well-spoken, and assertive -- and Hollywood apparently can't stand women like that. The person who brought many of our most-watched shows is being skewered for nothing having to do with the bottom line. It's a sign of how far we still have to go in America, but it's also a tale of a successful woman in a place that seems to elevate good business women, as much as it despises them.

Here's part of the story. For the rest, click on the title of this post.


Rough transition to film for TV veteran Berman

By Anne Thompson
In Hollywood, a rumor is like a hurricane: It starts from a small nugget of truth and can build into a disruptive force. Even when the person at the eye of the storm knows it's all bollocks, it's no fun.

Ever since Paramount Pictures president Gail Berman, the former Fox Broadcasting entertainment president, arrived on the Melrose Avenue studio lot, gossips have been predicting an end to her tenure even though it has barely begun.

That's because there is always an awkward period for a studio in transition, when the town still hasn't figured out the new rules of engagement. Which producers and directors are in or out? What kinds of movies does this new production chief like? A career TV executive like Berman -- while she brought TV watchers everything from "Arrested Development" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" to "American Idol" -- is coming into the movie business with neither a track record of produced movies nor established relationships with filmmakers and stars. Hollywood is notoriously tough on outsiders. And women. Berman is both.

Another Way to Fill Movie Theaters - Concerts

This is a novel trend, and one that should see the maintenance of -- and perhaps the expansion of -- single-screen theaters in the future.

Rock Fans, Sit Back, Relax, Enjoy the Show

Article Tools Sponsored By
By MARC WEINGARTEN - NY Times
Published: January 24, 2006

In this digital age of expanding leisure options, some old-school ideas still have staying power. Take the very 1970's concept of music fans' attending movie theaters to watch their favorite rock stars on the big screen. It's mounting something of a comeback, as illustrated by a one-night-only event in 115 theaters across the country: a showing tonight of "Coachella," a documentary highlighting six years of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif.

Of course, there was a time when rock 'n' roll movies were a big deal. The three-hour film of the 1969 Woodstock music festival won the Academy Award for best documentary, and everyone from Pink Floyd (the 1972 "Live at Pompeii") to the Grateful Dead (the 1977 "Grateful Dead Movie") produced concert films for theatrical delectation in the pre-MTV 70's. For the price of a movie ticket, music fans could experience their favorite rock stars at the local multiplex much as they experienced Luke Skywalker. But the concert films in theaters more or less died with the advent of cable television in the late 70's, as well as the explosion of the video rental business.

Apparently you can't keep a good idea down for long. The exhibitor behind "Coachella" and other recent concert films, Big Screen Concerts, is seeking an elegant solution to a nagging problem: how to fill those thousands of theater seats that tend to collect dust during the dormant preweekend lull, especially with overall ticket sales down by more than 10 percent last year.

"The idea came from trying to figure out what types of content, other than movies, might bring people into the theater from Monday to Thursday," said Kurt Hall, chief executive of National CineMedia, a joint venture of the theater behemoths Regal Entertainment Group, AMC Entertainment and Cinemark USA that includes Big Screen Concerts among its divisions. "There is a 75 percent drop-off in movie attendance during the week, yet it seems that there's always an urge among people to get out of the house."

Especially grown-up music fans, Mr. Hall said, who are well past the age of jostling for position at the foot of the stage with other fans who tenuously cling to sloshing Styrofoam cups of beer. "Older folks don't want to deal with the hassle of rock concerts," Mr. Hall said. "Also, movie theaters provide a safe environment for parents to experience rock shows with their kids."

With access to more than 13,000 screens, Big Screen Concerts offers an enticing chance for music labels to reach tens of thousands of engaged fans with one big, surround-sound bang. The company uses a closed digital network to distribute via satellite its concert events, which thus far have either been live concerts or pretaped promotional events for upcoming DVD releases. Among the more notable over the last year were a DVD screening of a Bruce Springsteen concert from 1975 to coincide with the release of Mr. Springsteen's "Born to Run" 30th-anniversary box set; a live Bon Jovi concert in September transmitted from the Nokia Theater in Manhattan, which helped the New Jersey band sell more units of its album "Have a Nice Day" in its first week of release than any other album in the band's 23-year history. Big Screen Concerts also distributed the jam band Phish's final two shows at the Coventry festival in Vermont in April, beamed via live simulcast to 40,000 fans in theaters in 54 cities.

Fans pay $10 and up for the privilege of viewing the digital events, depending on the economics of the event. (Phish, at $20, has been the top-tier ticket thus far.)

For participating artists, the appeal of Big Screen Concerts isn't too hard to fathom. For one thing, a touring band can extend its reach beyond the cities that might be on its itinerary, or perhaps not even tour at all. But what's more important from a marketing standpoint is the lead-up to the event. "The key to the whole thing is not so much the viewing experience, but the promotion Big Screen Concerts can do on their 13,000 movie screens," said Doc McGhee, manager for Kiss, which put on the first Big Screen Concert event in 2003; he has entered into a business partnership with Big Screen Concerts for future events. "When your band is being shown along with the trailers for 20 minutes on all of those screens, you get that nice marketing kick."

Kiss fans responded to their two-dimensional idols much as they would at a live concert, with all of the attendant applause and lusty vocal support. For Mr. McGhee, that makes Big Screen Concert events a more attractive alternative to concerts beamed on the Web. "It's hard to get excited about a band when you're looking at them on your laptop," Mr. McGhee said. "You don't get that 5.1 surround sound, or the crowd participation."

In addition to music events, Big Screen Concerts is trying to figure out other novel ways to use empty theaters during their off-hours, leasing them out for big corporate confabs (or cine-meetings, as the company likes to call them) and possibly beaming sporting events too. Meanwhile, the lure of the venerable concert film remains strong. "We screened the old 'Grateful Dead Movie' last year," Mr. Hall said, "and it was one of our most popular events."

"King Kong" Director Peter Jackson Snubbed by Directors Guild of America (DGA)'s Awards -- Jackson Battled to Have Collegues Recognized

The DGA -- Director's Guild of America's -- awards nominations were annouced. They are:

George Clooney (Good Night and Good Luck), Paul Haggis (Crash), Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain), Bennett Miller (Capote) and Steven Spielberg (Munich).

I did some research and learned that King Kong Director Peter Jackon had requested two of his co-workers to be honored as "Assistant Directors" along with him, something the DGA has never done. He did this back in November of 2005. So, it seems his film's being "locked out" of the lower awards for reasons having nothing to do with how good it is.

Since King Kong is picked as an Oscar "Best Picture" candidate, Jackson should be nominated for Best Director as well. It's not as if Jackson was acting out of hubris, but the pure recognition that the movie's production was not "all about him." That's rare and should be rewarded.

Go to www.oscar.com and tell them how you feel about that, before this political game is allowed to continue.

The Rolling Stones Set To Perform A Free Show In Brazil!

From: http://www.rollingstones.com

ROLLING STONES - "A BIGGER BANG"
Copacabana Beach - February 18, 2006

Tuesday, December 13 -- The Rolling Stones announced today that they will bring the "A Bigger Bang" World Tour to Brazil on February 18th.

Brazilian fans will now have the opportunity to experience the excitement felt by sold-out crowds throughout the tour when the Stones play at the Copacabana Beach. This will mark the third time that the Stones have performed in Brazil, but it will be the first time they hold a free concert.

After their stop in Brazil, The Rolling Stones, and their "A Bigger Bang" World Tour, will continue to thrill audiences throughout Mexico and South America with electrifying performances that include their classic hits and songs from their critically acclaimed new release, "A Bigger Bang."

The band is working closely with their design team to create a unique show for their international fans that combines the intimacy of a small venue with the spectacle of their outdoor stadium shows

To organize the show at the Copacabana Beach, the Stones will gather a crew of nearly 1,500. The show's main stage, to be located in front of the Copacabana Palace Hotel, will be 22 meters high and 57 meters wide. In addition to the main stage, the Rio concert will also feature the Rolling Stones' famous "B" stage, which can extend 55 meters into the audience. Sixteen sound and image towers (with high definition big screens) will also be constructed and spread along the seashore as far back as the Meridien Hotel.

Rolling Stones, U2 Drive Concert Revenues


By ALEX VEIGA
AP Business Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Powerhouse tours by the Rolling Stones, U2 and Paul McCartney helped drive concert ticket revenues in North America to a record $3.1 billion in 2005, even as the number of tickets sold declined for the third year in row.

Fans purchased 36.1 million tickets to the top 100 concert tours, compared with 37.6 million in 2004 and 38.7 million in 2003, according to Pollstar, the industry trade magazine.

"You have to figure that's not a healthy sign for the industry overall," said Gary Bongiovanni, Pollstar's editor-in-chief.

Despite a slow first-half of the year and the decline in tickets sold, concert tours in 2005 amounted to a 10.7 percent increase in gross receipts over last year's total of $2.8 billion.

The record revenue was due largely to the rare confluence of superstar artists touring.

"You don't normally see three huge acts like that out touring in the same year," Bongiovanni said. "McCartney and The Stones alone really helped drive up ticket prices."

The average ticket price for the top 100 tours rose to a record $57, compared with $52.39 in 2004, Pollstar said.

The average ticket price has gone up nearly $7 since 2003.

Still, concertgoers proved this year that they remained willing to pay more to see their favorite acts, and the roster of legends that filled touring arenas had little trouble packing them in.

Until this year, the biggest tour of all time had been The Rolling Stones' 1994 outing, which drew $121.2 million in gross receipts, Bongiovanni said.

"Both U2 and The Stones went way beyond that this year," he said.

The Rolling Stones' "A Bigger Bang" tour led all other concert tours in 2005 with $162 million in gross receipts, according to the magazine.

The average Stones ticket was $133.98. The tour sold around 1.2 million tickets.

U2 generated the second most gross receipts, $138.9 million, with an average ticket price of $96.92. The Irish rockers' "Vertigo 2005" tour sold the most tickets, around 1.4 million.

McCartney's tour earned $77.3 million in gross receipts, with the average ticket selling for $135.46. The tour sold around 570,000 tickets.

Other veteran acts who ended the year among the top 20 in sales receipts included the Eagles, Elton John, Neil Diamond, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Motley Crue and Jimmy Buffett.

Green Day, Rascal Flatts, Dave Matthews Band, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Coldplay, Gwen Stefani and the Anger Management Tour were among the contemporary acts to break into the top 20 biggest earners.

Celine Dion and Barry Manilow, who performed mostly in Las Vegas, also were top draws in 2005. The Canadian diva's shows pulled in $81.3 million in total gross receipts, the third highest. Manilow's shows drew $22.7 million in gross receipts.

"The baby boomers really continue to support and fuel the concert business," Bongiovanni said.

2005: The 10 biggest stories in international pop



By Andre Mayer
www.cbc.ca
December 22, 2005

Best intentions
If 2004 was the year pop got political, in 2005, pop stars showed their giving spirit. The hastily assembled Live 8 concerts were proof of Bob Geldof's indomitable will and the music industry's ability to mobilize for a good cause. Ten concerts, an estimated three billion viewers. Live 8 was a success in terms of raising awareness of African poverty and putting the issue on the table at the subsequent G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland. Whether all the singing and finger--wagging will make a significant difference in the lives of destitute Africans now lies with the politicians.

Bono vista
Was 2005 good to Bono? Hmmm, let's see: His band, U2, tallies the 2005's top-grossing stadium tour ($260 million). The rocker-slash-activist earns partial credit for his work in organizing Live 8, shares Time's Persons of the Year award (with Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda), scores Q magazine's Man of the Year and is the subject of a fulsome cover story in the New York Times Magazine. Yes, he's everywhere: yes, those sunglasses look ridiculous. But can you name another private citizen who has donated as much of his energy to eliminating human suffering?

Kanye flips the script
The Hurricane Katrina relief effort was likely the second biggest cause of musical solidarity in 2005. But amid the feelings of sadness and good will, rapper Kanye West could not hide his anger at the disparities between blacks and whites in New Orleans. During the NBC telethon on Sept. 2, Kanye deviated from the scripted platitudes to express his outrage with the coverage of the disaster and the government's lackadaisical response. "I hate the way they portray us in the media. You see a black family, it says, 'They're looting.' You see a white family, it says, 'They're looking for food.'" Unprepared for this harangue, NBC was unable to censor Kanye's crowning blow: "George Bush doesn't care about black people!"

Shopping has dropped
In what is becoming an annual ritual, the music industry reported another plunge in album sales; according to Nielsen SoundScan, sales were down more than seven per cent from 2004. Industry watchers don't agree on the reason. Is it downloading (legal or otherwise), the rise of CD burning or mounting competition from DVDs and videogames for consumer dollars? Or is it that there aren't as many massive releases? My prediction: the industry will still be wrestling with the question this time next year.

A star is reborn
Admit it: before 2005, you wrote Mariah Carey off as a past-her-prime pop diva. Short of expunging her film Glitter from our collective memory, you figured there was no way she could ever be relevant again. Well, Mariah made proved us wrong. The Emancipation of Mimi, her 10th album, sold seven million copies worldwide, her single We Belong Together reigned supreme on the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 weeks and she scored a throng of Grammy nominations. In related news, "Rebirth," J-Lo's attempt at career rejuvenation, flopped magnificently.

Hate him or love him
If Kanye flirted with news headlines in 2005, fellow rapper 50 Cent practically dictated them. In March, Fiddy released his sophomore album, The Massacre. In April, he became the first artist since the Beatles to have four songs in the U.S. Top 10. In early November, he starred in Get Rich or Die Tryin' -- a thinly disguised autobio directed by Jim Sheridan. Later that month, a Toronto MP attempted to have the contentious rapper barred from entering Canada, saying 50 Cent's music fetishized the sort of gun violence that has plagued Toronto in 2005. And that sound in the background? Cash registers ringing up The Massacre.

Payola does not pay
In the 1950s and 1960s record companies often bribed radio stations to play their songs. The practice, known as payola, wasn't legal, but it also wasn't unusual. Most people had forgotten this primitive practice until an investigation by New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer determined that payola was still "pervasive." Among his findings was this e-mail by someone at Sony BMG's Epic label, addressed to an employee at radio station WKSS:"WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO GET AUDIOSLAVE ON WKSS THIS WEEK?!!? Whatever you can dream up, I can make it happen." The findings were so embarrassing that Sony BMG Music Entertainment agreed to pay a $10-million US settlement and promised to stop bribing radio stations. Spitzer mooted that other major record companies could be next. (In related news, forgotten Canadian band the Payola$ saw no discernible spike in their popularity.)

Diamond mine
In 2001, Neil Diamond was such a kitsch icon that he lampooned himself in the frat comedy Saving Silverman. Who could have predicted he would have enough mojo left to release another album -- much less one of the best-reviewed discs of 2005? Ruminative, heartfelt and 100 per cent kitsch-free, 12 Songs is utterly compelling. Much of the credit goes to producer Rick Rubin. As he did with Johnny Cash's waning career in the 1990s, Rubin saw through the layers of parody to pinpoint the honest songcraft that made the man great in the first place. If you’re looking for another Cracklin' Rosie or Kentucky Woman, you won't find it; what you will find is a great American songwriter, his skills undiminished.

R.I.P.
Another year, another spate of passings. Deaths in 2005 included: guitar god Link Wray; R&B smoothie Luther Vandross ; Ibrahim Ferrer, revered Cuban singer and the wizened face of the Buena Vista Social Club; legendary singer and piano maven Shirley Horn; guitarist Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, a Texas original whose distinctive sound was a searing blend of bluegrass, jazz, Cajun, country and calypso; and jazz great Jimmy Smith, arguably the most famous emissary of the Hammond organ.

Please, please, no more Peas
If a band can over saturate the market, the Black Eyed Peas have done it. In 2005, the California quartet --once a hip-hop outfit, now the worst kind of mongrel pop act -- was everywhere, demonstrating a willingness to appear anywhere, with anyone, for any cause, any time. While that included a fair bit of altruism (e.g. Live 8, an Amnesty International charity album), the Peas were far too voracious to let it end there: award shows, free concerts sponsored by Honda, the Super Bowl, the Grey Cup -- plus the threat of opening the 2006 World Cup of soccer in Germany. To ensure we would be talking about them through the holidays, in November, the BEP's released My Humps, a strong contender for Most Nauseating Single Ever.

Rolling Stones 2006 Concert Opening Acts Confirmed


According to IORR, the list of opening acts for the Stones shows in USA & Canada 2006 have been confirmed by the Stones, including acts such as Brooks and Dunn, Merle Haggard, Anik Jean, Sloan, Metric, Antigone Rising, Soulive, Queens of the Stone Age & The Meters.

You can get tickets at Stones Tickets Exchange for shows.

Coldplay disappointed at three albums


The band want to be like The Beatles
(From NME.com)
Coldplay have revealed they are disappointed with only releasing three albums.

The band have said that compared with The Beatles' work rate, they are a lot slower and are starting to panic.

"We just love being creative," bassist Guy Berryman said. "When we're out on the road, it's amazing to play live but we're really missing what we do best, which is creating. We've been together for almost ten years now and we've only made three albums."

Speaking to BBC 6 Music, he added: "When you look at people like The Beatles who knocked out a couple a year, it sort of makes us start to panic a little bit. So we're just desperate to get back into the studio."

Coldplay tickets link is the title of this entry

"King Kong" Upsets Oscar Best Picture Race - Brokeback Prediction Premature - Golden Globes Screws Up


Before King Kong's release, many were picking "Brokeback Mountain" as the possible winner of the Oscar "Best Picture" race as we approach the March 5th Academy Awards.

But now, there's a view that Brokeback may go the way of "Sideways" -- much talked about, but not the winner.

If Peter Jackson's everyone's selection for Best Director, then Academy history backs the selection of King Kong as best picture. If that happens, it will be the first film in 30 years not to receive a Golden Globe nod, yet win Best Picture.

The website The Envelope.com has a pole reporting that King Kong was the most neglected film in the Globes.

Chris Rock not hosting 2006 Academy Awards - apparently pissed off Jude Law


Chris Rock not hosting Oscars

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Chris Rock won't be back cracking wise as the host of next year's Oscars telecast.

"He is not hosting the Academy Awards," the comedian's publicist, Matt Labov, said Friday in a brief statement e-mailed to The Associated Press. He did not elaborate.

Labov told The New York Times that Rock didn't want to do the show "in perpetuity" but would "like to do it again down the road."

The 2005 telecast was Rock's first as host. He drew younger viewers, but his barbs skewering stars like Jude Law, Tobey Maguire and others alienated some members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In one bit, Rock suggested filmmakers should wait for better talent instead of rushing bad movies into theaters.

"You want Tom Cruise and all you can get is Jude Law. Wait," Rock joked. "You want Russell Crowe and all you can get is Colin Farrell? Wait. 'Alexander' is not 'Gladiator.' "

He also poked fun at himself.

"You want Denzel (Washington) and all you can get is me? Wait," he joked.

Rock's comments prompted Sean Penn, when he took the stage later, to defend Law as "one of our finest actors."

Rock is currently producing and narrating "Everybody Hates Chris," a sitcom on UPN based on his life.

A spokesman for the Academy declined to comment about the hosting duties. Longtime Academy Awards producer Gil Cates is expected to announce his selection in the next few weeks.

Frequently mentioned candidates include four-time host Whoopi Goldberg, two-time host Steve Martin and late-night hosts Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien.

The 78th annual Academy Awards will air March 5 on ABC from Hollywood.

Some of Rock's quotes:

"It's a great night tonight. We have four black nominees. tonight. It's kinda like Def Oscar Jam tonight."

"Black movies don't have real names, they have names like Barbershop. That's not a name, that's just a location."

"Our next presenter is the first woman to ever breast-feed an Apple - Gwyneth Paltrow."

"The only acting you ever see at the Oscars is when people act like they're not mad they lost. Nicole Kidman was smiling so wide (the year Halle Berry beat her to best actress), she should have won an Emmy at the Oscars for her great performance. I was like, 'If you'd done that in the movie, you'd have won an Oscar, girl!'"

"You want Denzel and all you can get is me...wait. Denzel's a fine actor. He woulda never made Pootie Tang. Clint Eastwood's a star, OK? Tobey Maguire's just a boy in tights. You want Tom Cruise and all you can get is Jude Law? Wait! You want Russell Crowe and all you can get is Colin Farrell, wait! Alexander is not Gladiator."