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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Flies On Shit

Been out all day… just back in time to be disgusted by the ongoing pile-on of Traditional and Online Media over the decidedly minor Tom Cruise story.
We have crossed over into tabloid hell.
At least Mel Gibson actually drove drunk, he was actually arrested, and he actually said anti-semetic things.
Yes, I was a monkey in the monkey tree yesterday. But this story has overstayed its welcome. And like Gibson, will be a non-story in all of two weeks.
And really, shouldn’t we all be embarrassed to be trying to capture attention by leveraging Tom Cruise’s business relationship?

28 Responses to “Flies On Shit”

  1. T.H.Ung says:

    Yeah, a bad fashion choice and a bright flash in you face is not tantamount to cleverage. From the urbandictionary.com: A tool used by women to get what they want from life. Cleverage is often used to distract men during negotiations. Combination of clevage and leverage.

  2. eug says:

    first off, Happy Birthday to The Hot Button! Kudos Dave!
    And, c’mon… what do you expect, its late August and with so many bloggers now covering the minute-by-minute ups-and-downs of the Hollywood movie business, there is a lot of space to fill…
    but, we’ll all be in Toronto soon enough talking and writing about awards season and Cruise, Gibson (and whatever else) will long be forgotten. that will keep everyone occupied until early March…

  3. Nicol D says:

    “And like Gibson, will be a non-story in all of two weeks.”
    Do you really believe that the Cruise and Gibson stories are ‘no biggies’ and nobody in Hollywood is talking about them?
    I find it hard to believe that you really believe that.

  4. Wrecktum says:

    No one is talking about Gibson anymore in Hollywood, and that’s a fact.

  5. Nicol D says:

    Well, I do not live there and cannot say for certain…it just seems hard to believe that once Apocalypto comes out or Tom Cruise makes his next deal, all will be forgotten and back to business as usual as though it were still the days of Lethal Weapon 2 and The Firm.
    I find that very hard to believe.

  6. David Poland says:

    It wasn’t the days of Lethal Weapon and The Firm a year ago either, Nicol.
    The Gibson story will have more institutional memory, but no, it is no longer being discussed in print or otherwise. (Don’t be blaimg this shit on bloggers, Eugene… the NY and LA Times are drooling and overassigning all over this one.)
    And the Cruise story means very little in reality. He is in his 40s. He will fade like every other young star. But Paramount has been overspending on movies/scripts they won’t ever make like sailors on leave for a couple of years and just recently realized it was time to slow it down. Well, la dee fucking da. Blaming Tom Cruise is like honey to the media flies. But it is not reality. And as a result, will not last much longer.

  7. Nicol D says:

    DP,
    Fair enough, but I think in both cases it was the institutional memory I was referring to. People might not be writing about either story in a month, but as long as they have a memory of them and will let them influence their decisions, I do not think they are dead (for better or for worse).
    Oh well, time will tell.

  8. David Poland says:

    But what is there to remember about this Cruise story, Nicol?
    Sumner was mean… mean enough for people to start questioning his sanity.
    Cruise is expensive… expensive enough to be risky at 20% of gross.
    Nothing new.

  9. T.H.Ung says:

    Was it unbearably hot outside today or something, it was quite pleasant here inside.

  10. jeffmcm says:

    Who is the ‘we’ who are trying to capture attention?

  11. James Leer says:

    Wow, I actually agree with Nicol for once. These stories may cease to be printed about in a month’s time, but they will be remembered for the taint they leave on both stars. DP may claim this news is nothing new and not interesting (despite the multiple blog entries), but to people who aren’t Hollywood insiders, these ARE new developments, and they’re significant.

  12. Cadavra says:

    It’s been the history of this country for some time now to build people up just so they can be torn down again. It’s not that I necessarily want to defend Cruise, but really, what has he done that’s so terrible? Let’s analyze this:
    1) He jumped on a couch. Big fucking deal. We all do stupid shit when we’re in love, and that was one of the more benign things one can do.
    2) He proselytizes Scientology. It may be loony, but if he wants to believe we’re all descended from the great space alien Xenu or whatever, so what? If we condemn him for his religion while piling on Mel Gibson for being anti-semitic, aren’t we being just a tad hypocritical?
    2a) It should also be noted that other Scientologists (e.g., Kirstie Alley, Jenna Elfman) do the same thing and get a pass from the public on this.
    3) He attacked Brooke Shields. Obnoxious? Of course. But they’re just words. Russell Crowe has a history of physically assaulting people, but he has yet to be ostracized by either the industry or the movie-going public.
    4) His Svengali-like relationship with Katie: how is this different from what John Derek did 25 years ago to Bo and her career? People didn’t obsess over that, and she was much hotter (in the B.O. sense) after “10” than Holmes could ever be.
    Bottom line: Cruise is a wacko, but he hasn’t committed any crimes or done anything genuinely repellent. If his stardom were on the level of, say, Jeff Bridges or Kevin Kline, would anyone even care? Really?

  13. jeffmcm says:

    Cadavra, are you suggesting that anti-Semitism is part of Mel’s Catholicism? Not sure I agree. There’s a difference between having crazy beliefs and having crazy, harmful, racist beliefs.

  14. T.H.Ung says:

    Jeffmcm, one or more of those testaments IS anti-semitic. A long time ago, an old pope decreed something or other to make it not so, but Mel doesn’t buy it, so he belongs to a conservative or ultra orthodox branch and reverts to Latin mass. And for extra security and purity and paranoia, he built his own chuch, make that church compound in Agora Hills, kind of remote. And the guy doesn’t want some version of obscurity at some point, sooner or later, perhaps complete with retreats and visitors?

  15. jeffmcm says:

    There are only two testaments, and I don’t think it’s the Old one that would be anti-Semitic.

  16. David Poland says:

    THUng is refering to the question of responsibility for Christ’s death. The Pope essentially absolved the jews (not that long ago). Mel doesn’t buy it… or for that matter, saying mass in English.
    And yes, Christ doesn’t appear in the Old Testament. He’s pure Godfather III.
    (I am kidding! Calm down! If you believe in Christ as deity, God bless you.)

  17. T.H.Ung says:

    My Catholic Scholar says there’s a lot more to it — not the kind of stuff Diane Sawyer would, could or did test her metal with.
    And Cadavra, I hear ya, I live in Hollywood (practically in the Hills, ok slightly below the foot of the hills), and I don’t know if you ever visited the area, but the Church of Scientology is rampant. They own a shitload of beautiful, prime, old real estate from their large Galaxy Press offices near La Brea Avenue, to their Church of Scientology and Self Realization Fellowship in the Los Feliz area and their Celebrity Center in the Bronson Canyon area with testing centers and more real estate in between, particularly on heavy foot traffic Hollywood Blvd, where they solicit potential recruits on the street with offers of free personality tests to

  18. jeffmcm says:

    it’s ‘mettle’, not ‘metal’

  19. T.H.Ung says:

    Petal to the metal.

  20. Cadavra says:

    Oh, I pass by their Hollywood Blvd. place all the time on my way to/from the American Cinematheque. And like all religious fanatics, the one thing they can’t process is humor. So whenever one of them tries to exhort me into signing up, I simply reply, “I’m sorry, I could never join any religion that compels me to watch John Travolta movies,” or something similar. Stops them dead in their tracks.

  21. jeffmcm says:

    I have a running joke with my friends about their IQ tests. I can guarantee that when anybody takes one of them, the tester comes back with their results with a surprised look on their face and says something along the lines of “your results are _very_ interesting”.

  22. James Leer says:

    John Derek wasn’t a supserstar actor, and Russell Crowe didn’t attack a famous woman that many people know and feel protective of.

  23. Cadavra says:

    Derek’s stardom doesn’t matter; the circumstances are alike, even if the degrees aren’t. And Russell Crowe broke the law; Cruise didn’t, unless there’s a law against being an asshole.

  24. jeffmcm says:

    But Crowe apologized for his boorishness (in relation to the phone incident, anyway). Cruise hasn’t and probably never will.

  25. Cadavra says:

    Crowe’s apology was about as sincere as Mel Gibson’s. And it wasn’t a one-time incident; it’s a pattern of violent behavior. As for Cruise, I believe he did eventually apologize to Shields (can anyone verify?), though it too was likely less than heartfelt. Bottom line: he’s a bit of a creep, but everyone’s overreacting to it.

  26. jeffmcm says:

    I understand, Cadavra, let me put it this way: I’d rather hang out with someone who’s going to get rowdy and violent from time to time, like Russell Crowe, than somebody who’s going to be insane all the time, like Cruise.

  27. Cadavra says:

    Wow, Jeff, that’s an intriguing way of looking at it, and your point is very valid–a sort of variation on the old W.C. Fields line: “I’ll be sober tomorrow but you’ll be crazy the rest of your life”–assuming Cruise is always insane, or at least visibly/audibly so. (I find it hard to believe he could’ve gotten this far in the biz without be able to turn it on and off.) I don’t travel in either fellow’s circles, so fortunately I’ll never hafta make that choice! :-)

  28. jeffmcm says:

    I had a friend who was working in post on MI3, and he had a certain amount of interaction with Mr. Cruise and Ms. Wagner. According to him, while Cruise was polite and professional and charming, it could not be said that he was in touch with reality.

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