Alec Baldwin, who stars in “30 Rock,” the NBC sitcom that has revived his career and done nothing to lift his spirits, has the unbending, straight-armed gait of someone trying to prevent clothes from rubbing against sunburned skin. He is fifty years old, divorced, and lives alone in an old white farmhouse in the Hamptons and an apartment on Central Park West–feeling thwarted, if not quite persecuted. In conversation, he lets out an occasional yelping laugh, but he is often wistful, in a way that is linked to professional and romantic regrets, and to a period of tabloid notoriety last year, when an angry voice mail that he left for his daughter, who was then eleven, became public. He is very conscious of what is lacking in his life–a spouse, for example, and a film career something like Jack Nicholson’s, and the governorship of New York–and his rhetoric can sometimes bring to mind a scene from “30 Rock” in which Baldwin, in his role as Jack Donaghy, a shameless but astute TV executive, stares at an equestrian painting by Stubbs and, in a growled whisper of longing, says, “I wish I were a horse–strong, free, my chestnut haunches glistening in the sun.” According to Lorne Michaels, the executive producer of “Saturday Night Live” and an executive producer of “30 Rock,” Baldwin “guards against enjoyment.” (Michaels is a friend of Baldwin’s and was a model for the Donaghy character.) “I’ll say, ‘Alec, you have one of the best writers in television’ “–Tina Fey–” ‘writing this part for you. It’s shot in New York, where you chose to live. You work three days a week, you get paid a lot of money, you’re getting awards. It’s a great time in your life. It’s an all-good thing. And, if you were capable of enjoying it, it would be even better.’ ” Or, as William Baldwin, one of Alec’s three younger brothers, said recently, “There’s always something for him to fucking whine about.”
The price of being a narcissist is that happiness is an impossibility. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.
Nothing to disagree with here, especially the “special mentions.”
Pierce Brosnan doesn’t mind leaving the James Bond-watching to his sons these days.
“I never go near them,” the actor tells Zap2it about his four rounds as Agent 007 that began with “GoldenEye” (1995) and ended with “Die Another Day” (2002). “I’m badly criticized by my boys that I will not sit and watch them with them, but I just don’t have any desire to see them. I find no nourishment in them.”
At the same time, Brosnan maintains he’s “deeply proud” of the work he did as the Bond predecessor to Daniel Craig, who will mark the movie franchise’s 50th anniversary in “Skyfall” next year. “I just don’t find any comfort in watching them. I’ll cast my eye over them, but I have to move away and say, ‘Go ahead, boys. It’s all yours.'”
Brosnan was a very good Bond. Sometimes the films let him down, but I was sorry when he left the franchise, and after “Quantum of Bourne-ShakyCam,” I was real sorry.
In related news….
Blame the writers strike:
[Craig] had some interesting things to say about the muddle that was Quantum Of Solace.
When asked if the script sometimes was “an after-thought on huge productions”, Craig related that back to Quantum Of Solace.
“On Quantum, we were fucked”, he said. ” We had the bare bones of a script and then there was a writers’ strike and there was nothing we could do. We couldn’t employ a writer to finish it. I say to myself, ‘Never again’, but who knows? There was me trying to rewrite scenes – and a writer I am not.”
When pushed further on the fact that he was having to write scenes himself, Craig contined:
“Me and the director [Marc Forster] were the ones allowed to do it. The rules were that you couldn’t employ anyone as a writer, but the actor and director could work on scenes together. We were stuffed. We got away with it, but only just. It was never meant to be as much of a sequel as it was, but it ended up being a sequel, starting where the last one finished.”
I’d feel a whole lot better if Craig had blamed the shaky-cam. You don’t how much better.
Video at the link:
About reuniting with director Tony Scott and producer Jerry Bruckheimer for the possible sequel, Cruise said that “Tony and I and Jerry, we never thought that we would do it again. Then they started to come to us with these ideas of where it is now. I thought, ‘Wow, that would be … what we could do now.'”
Cruise added: “If we can find a story that we all want to do, we all want to make a film that is in the same kind of tone as the other one and shoot it in the same way as we shot ‘Top Gun.'”
I’ve read more than once that Cruise caught no small amount of hell for doing the original “Top Gun” from Hollywood liberals like Paul Newman, who saw the iconic film as right-wing, pro-military propaganda (as though that’s a bad thing). I’ve even read that Cruise doing Oliver Stone’s “Born On the Fourth of July” was a sort of penance to put the actor back in the good graces of the liberal plantation.
If they do another “Top Gun,” it should be interesting to see how this might affect the outcome.
I still remember sitting in the theatre, knowing this would be the last outing with the original crew, and hoping it would never end. Once those goodbye signatures started flying up on the screen, a piece of my childhood died.
“Undiscovered Country” was a terrific adventure, though — a worthy send off.
Shatner and Nimoy were only 60 at the time and, looking back, I’m guessing Paramount wishes they had held on to the original cast for a few more features. The “Next Generation” movies are fine, but nothing and no one will ever replace the goodwill and warm chemistry of Kirk and company.
In this house, they’re family.
When the Super Bowl half-time show keeps reaching for senior citizens, the music industry has a problem:
Warner Music Group continues to sing a sad tune when it comes to its financial performance. It reported today that it had a net loss of $103M in the quarter that ended in September, 124% bigger than its loss in the same period last year, on revenues of $707M, down 6%. The financial report is mostly for bondholders; Russian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries bought the company in July for $3.3B. Still, it’s a dreary filing for the company whose roster of hitmakers includes Bruno Mars, Cee Lo Green, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Jill Scott. Warner says that its recorded music revenues fell 8% to $571M. Although sales from digital distribution were up 6% to $194M, that was “more than offset by contracting demand” for CDs.
When I was a teen, music was all about freedom and sin: Sex, drugs, and rock -n- roll. What I hear today is mostly about anger (rap), social responsibility and kissing the ass of the state. Bono’s kind of a downer, no?
Any day of the week, I’ll take music that says “fuck you” to the establishment and the planet and The Man and the government and the sanctimony of crybaby do-gooders over music that places a virtue on surrendering to the establishment.
At heart, though, I’m a Sinatra guy — but don’t forget, he was the original gangster.
Every time I come across this program I watch and wait for the concept to kick in. Then the credits roll and I realize it did.
Don’t get it.
Here we go:
The BBC plans to air a movie based on Tippi Hedren’s account of her relationship with Alfred Hitchcock when she was “discovered” by him to portray the lead character in the 1962 movie The Birds. Among other things, she has claimed that she had to rebuff Hitchcock’s sexual advances during the making of that film and the follow-up, Marnie. She reportedly was interviewed extensively by screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes for the project, and Donald Spoto, who wrote a largely unflattering biography of Hitchcock in 1999 (The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock), will reportedly act as a consultant on the movie. British actress Sienna Miller has been signed to play Hedren; Toby Jones, to play Hitchcock; and Imelda Staunton, to play Hitchcock’s wife Alma.
Hitchcock’s wife Alma was involved in everything her husband did. She was very much his right arm and especially crucial to the screenwriting and pre-production process, so it should be interesting to see how that plays out.
I met Hedren at an autograph show last year and let me tell you, at 80 years old, she’s still stunning. The photo she signed for me is very similar to this one. Same dress, but there’s a crow perched on her finger and the background is orange. It’s one of my favorites.
As far as the psycho-sexual backstory that always seems to come with everything involving Hitchcock, it was boring decades ago. Okay, we get it; he had a thing for hot, young, icy, unobtainable blondes. Please don’t ever stop giving us that insight, because we didn’t hear it the first 400 times.
People are people. Hollywood didn’t devolve into degeneracy over the last few decades. Tinseltown was always Sodom and Gomorrah. It’s just that once upon a time, Hollywood didn’t attempt to normalize their deviant behavior and spoon feed it to our kids.
Once upon a time, Hollywood had class.
The Mighty Gary Oldman:
“Yeah, yeah. For us I think [‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is] the end. Whether they will make more, my guess is probably. I mean, they don’t have [the Harry Potter franchise] anymore. So, there could be a Batman 4 & 5. It may be Chris [Nolan] overseeing it in a producorial position, but for us and for Chris I think that’s it. It’s a great way to go out though. It’s a great story. Epic, epic thing it is.”
Works for me.
It’s a good thing Christian Toto did yesterday’s Big Hollywood write up for this. My first impression was that it was awful, but after a few more viewings, it’s kind of growing on me.
LAST NIGHT’S SCREENING
More episodes of “The Closer.” If you haven’t seen the show, you should. We’re in the middle of season four and it just keeps getting better. What’s not to like about a protagonist who wants murderous kids tried as adults, is in favor of the death penalty, and loathes the “L.A. Times”? Other than a couple of stupid, out-of-nowhere, obligatory (if you’re going to survive in Hollywood) shots at “torture,” when it comes to crime and punishment, this is as good as it gets for conservatives — like the first four years of the original “Law and Order.”
SCOTTDS’ EPIC LINKTACULAR
CLASSIC PICK FOR FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9
4:00 PM EST: Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (1958) — A dying plantation owner tries to help his alcoholic son solve his problems. Dir: Richard Brooks Cast: Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives. C-108 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format.
Superbly realized and acted adaptation of the Tennessee Williams’ play. Though it was hidden deep in the subtext of the film, in the original play, the Paul Newman character was openly dealing with his homosexual urges.
As a kid, seeing Elizabeth Taylor in that white slip, I was dealing with the just the opposite.