Sunday, January 14, 2018


Fifty Shades Freed poster
 Fans of on-screen erotic had better make the most of the tawdry Fifty Shades Freed, featuring the exploits of S and M couple Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey when it is released because it could mark the end of studio-financed sex-fuelled films.

The #MeToo movement has led several studios and production companies to hurriedly ditch steamy projects in the works in favour of more family-friendly fare. 

  Some of the projects originally planned but won't be making it to the big screen any time soon are:
the Hugh Hefner biopic which was to be directed by the now-disgraced Brett Ratner; a James Franco-produced stripper/prostitute travelogue called Zola Tells All, complete with a 15-year-old Russian prostitute; Maestra, which features a heroine with a penchant for X-rated sex and Calendar Girl about woman who becomes a high-priced escort to pay off her father's gambling debts.

with Dakota Johnson
  And the remake of A Star Is Born, to be directed by Bradley Cooper, is being rewritten to be much more chaste than originally intended.

  Oh, if anyone's interested, without giving away any secrets, Fifty Shades Freed features a happy ending for the kinky couple, played by Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan.

Instagram: @beachscribe

Monday, January 8, 2018


Kirk Douglas on stage with daughter-in-law Catherine Zeta Jones
 Not everyone, is seems, thought this year's Golden Globes show was a triumph for diversity,  women's activism and an outspoken condemnation of sexual harassment.
 In fact a Maureen Callaghan, writing in the right-wing New York Post thought just the opposite and concluded the "award for ultimate hypocrisy goes to...the Hollywood class of 2018."
 She wrote: "We were promised a reckoning, the leveling of a male-dominated industry that institutionalized the rape, abuse and harassment of women for decades.
  "Like so much Hollywood product, advance buzz was greatly exaggerated. Not one actor or actress, on the red carpet or on stage, made direct reference to their industry’s greatest monster — the one they boast of slaying yet still want to appease.
"Host Seth Meyers, in his opening monologue, was the only person in the room to mention him by name".
 Myers said: "Harvey Weinstein can’t be here tonight because, well, I’ve heard rumors that he’s crazy and difficult to work with. But don’t worry — he’ll be back in 20 years when he becomes the first person ever booed during the ‘In Memoriam’ segment.”
 "And how did these brave, crusading, black-garbed, pin-wearing celebrities respond?" asked Ms Callaghan. "They booed."
  Yes they did but for a very different reason. I was in the room and they booed at the mention of Weinstein's name.
 "Same when Meyers made a crack about the disgraced Kevin Spacey fumbling a Southern accent," says Ms Callaghan. "Even a tame Woody Allen joke fell flat," she writes adding: "It seems there’s no sexual predator who still doesn’t get Hollywood’s sympathy."
  Hasn't she seen the condemnation poured upon Weinstein, Spacey, James Toback, Brett Ratner and dozens of others?
  And, she says, "In perhaps the night’s most twisted hosanna, 101-year-old Kirk Douglas was honored with a standing ovation and special award. It didn’t take long for Twitter to light up over Douglas’s long-rumored rape of Natalie Wood when she was just 16."
  It was a rumour, Maureen. Nothing more. If people gave credence to 80-year-old unsubstantiated rumours then the names of virtually every old Hollywood star would be blackened.  
  She is certainly entitled to her opinion and the Post is to be lauded for flying in the face of public opinion by printing it.
  But for heaven's sake Maureen, get your facts right!


Nicole Kidman accepting her Golden Globe

 The fine line was crossed, the elephant in the room disposed of and the  Golden Globes show managed to be a celebratory evening while at the same time dealing a series of blows to the toxic system that has existed in Hollywood for so many years.
  It was a show where the awards didn't matter as much as what was said; and racism, bullying, sexual harassment and, most of all, the empowerment of women, were the topics of the night.
   The ballroom at the Beverly Hilton had a somber look as nearly all the women were wearing black in response to the Time's Up's movement's call for solidarity for gender equality and against sexual harassment.
   Some of the attendees---Meryl Streep, Emma Samms, Oprah Winfrey and others--- left their companions at home and instead brought women activists to the show.   
   Many of the winners took the opportunity to use their acceptance speeches to make political points.
   Nicole Kidman, who won for playing an abused wife in the TV series Big Little Lies, spoke out against the abuse of women; Laura Dern, who won for playing the mother of a bullied child in the same series, called for children and parents to speak out against bullying;  Francis McDormand, the best actress for her role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, spoke of the "tectonic shift" in the industry's power structure; Elisabeth Moss, who won for her role in The Handmaid's Tale, thanked the author Margaret Attwood "and all the women who came before and after you who were brave enough to speak out against intolerance and injustice and to fight for equality and freedom in this world."
   The Hollywood Foreign Press president Meher Tatner, who opted to wear bright red instead of black, nevertheless spoke of the support for women standing together and added: "Time's Up.
   But the night belonged to Oprah Winfrey, who earned a standing ovation and wild applause for her impassioned and emotional speech while accepting the Cecil B De Mille award.
   "I want all the girls watching here, now , to know that a new days is on the horizon," she said. "And when that new day finally dawns it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say 'Me too,' again."
  She was so eloquent that there was speculation at the after-parties as to whether she might be considering a run for president in 2020.  
    Seth Myers had the difficult job of hosting the most high profile awards show since the barrage of sexual misconduct allegations brought down dozens of men.
    And he wasted no time in setting the tone by announcing: "Good evening ladies and remaining gentlemen," and adding: "This is 2018 when marijuana is allowed and sexual harassment isn't."   
  While the awards produced no real surprises, some of the guests did.
  Catherine Zeta Jones brought her father-in-law, 101-year-old Kirk Douglas to the stage in a wheelchair; James Franco, who won for his role as Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist, introduced Wiseau with him and surprise presenter Barbra Streisand said she was proud to be at an awards show filled with people who spoke out against gender inequality, sexual harassment “and the pettiness that has poisoned our politics.”  
   But Streisand said she had won the best director award for Yentl back in 1984 and added: "That was 34 years ago and there should be more nominations and wins for female directors. Folks! Time's up!"
   But the almost final word went to Gary Oldman, accepting the award for best dramatic actor in "The Darkest Hour."
   He said: "Words and actions can change the world. And boy oh boy, does it need some changing!"

Friday, January 5, 2018


Cate Blanchett on the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards Red Carpet

   Fashion stylists who usually make out big time by taking money under the table to dress their clients in certain brands are losing out at this year's Golden Globes.

   The usual dealmaking is being replaced by calls for charitable donations to the Time's Up sexual harassment initiative.

   Many women stars on the red carpet will be wearing Time's Up buttons and instead of the usual colourful gowns they will be dressed in black to protest gender equality and to acknowledge the flood of sexual abuse allegations that have rocked Hollywood in recent weeks. 

  “We are all fighting for the same black dresses,” stylist Law Roach, who is dressing nominees Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige , told the Hollywood Reporter.

 "For years we've sold these awards shows as women, with our gowns and colours and our beautiful faces and our glamour," Eva Longoria told the New York Times. "This time the industry can't expect us to go up and twirl around. That's not what this moment is about."


Saturday, December 23, 2017


  The critics have had their say and the result is overwhelming---the worst movie of the year is Bright, which one reviewer described as "an absolute wreck."

   Bright, which cost $90 million to make,  stars Will Smith as a tough guy cop who is forced to partner up with the first ever orc cop allowed in the LAPD, played by Joel Edgerton.

  The two very different cops must learn to work together in a world that doesn't think orcs and humans should co-exist but where elves,  humans, fairies, orcs and dragons all live together in a world closely resembling ours.

   The movie, says one critic "begs viewers to come in armed with tomatoes and rotten eggs."

   Karen Han, the Daily Beast reviewer, says much of the action takes place at night and in dingy rooms, and that, in combination with how the whole production is lit, means that most of the action is obscured and visually unintelligible. Secondly, she says, there’s nothing about the movie that’s an inherently good idea—or rather, very generously speaking, maybe the story could have made some valid points about the state of race relations in America with a little more thought.

  It seems the combination of fairy fantasy and hard-hitting cop drama just doesn't mesh.

Fairies in the world of Bright are hungry, menacing little creatures perceived as nuisances and one of the first scenes is Will Smith telling a story about how a fairy threw feces at his friend's eye.   

  In another scene Smith's all-American bravado cop has to remove a fairy hanging around his property so, broom in hand, he prepares to kill it, saying: "Fairy lives don't matter today."

  The good news is that the Netflix production probably won't be widely released in theaters.

   The bad news is that a sequel has already been commissioned.
Instagram: @Beachscribe

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


  With the 20th anniversary of Titanic, the strange mystery of who laced the cast and crew's seafood chowder with PCP remains unsolved.

“Some people were laughing, some people were crying, some people were throwing up,” Bill Paxton, one of the film's stars, recalled later.

 The chaotic scene at the Dartmouth General Hospital in Nova Scotia makes for one of history’s best drug stories, even if the affected crew members didn’t know it at the time. “Eventually we all got put in these cubicles with the curtains around us, but no one wanted to stay in their cubicles,” said set painter Marilyn McAvoy.

  “Everyone was out in the aisles and jumping into other people's cubicles. People had a lot of energy. Some were in wheelchairs, flying down the hallways. I mean, everyone was high!”
  Director James Cameron who says he was "bleeding and laughing" after being stabbed in the face with a pen by a crew member,  recalls the director of photography leading a highly vocal conga line along the corridors.

   "People are moaning and crying, wailing, collapsed on tables and gurneys. .. You can't make this stuff up.”

  Of all the legends that have grown around the production of Titanic, at the time the most expensive movie ever made, the case of the poisoned chowder is the most spectacular—all the more so because it remains an unsolved mystery. Twenty years after Titanic opened in theaters, no one knows for sure who laced the chowder with P.C.P., or why.

  It happened on August 8 1996, the last day of filming in Nova Scotia before the production moved to Mexico where a massive reproduction of the doomed ship was waiting on an outdoor soundstage in Baja.

  Filming at night in Shearwater, just across Halifax Bay, the crew broke for “lunch” around midnight according to Vanity Fair; a local catering company had provided, among other options, a seafood chowder.

 For the more than 60 people who did eat the chowder, it didn’t take long for the effects to take hold.

  The police were called later in the afternoon, and a toxicology report revealed that P.C.P. was to blame.

   But who laced the chowder? Officially, it’s unknown—the Halifax Police Department investigated the matter for two and a half years, executing a warrant for Department of Health records and getting a list of every person who had worked on the set. The case was closed due to lack of suspects on February 12, 1999—when the crew of Titanic had long since moved on, and the glow of a box-office hit and best picture winner had probably taken some of the sting out of the disaster.
  Theories, however, remain. “It was the Hollywood crowd bringing in the psychedelic s—” insisted the catering company’s C.E.O., Earle Scott at the time. “I don’t think it was purposefully done to hurt somebody. It was done like a party thing that got carried away.”

  Though Cameron has never named a suspect, he is pretty certain he knows who did it: “We had fired a crew member the day before because they were creating trouble with the caterers. So we believe the poisoning was this idiot's plan to get back at the caterers, whom of course we promptly fired the next day. So it worked.”

Thursday, November 30, 2017


 She may not be well known outside Mexico, where she is a major star, but Kate del Castillo has become internationally famous for a different reason.
After exchanging a number of flirty texts with him, the 45-year-old actress met fugitive drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman in his hideout in the Sinaloa mountains, taking Sean Penn with her in the hopes of making a Hollywood movie about it.
But shortly after the meeting---and her brief affair with Penn, who wrote a 10,000-word piece for Rolling Stone about it--Mexican authorities arrested Guzman and for a while Kate lived in fear that her life was in danger because she believed El Chapo's cartel would think she had betrayed him.
Now, she tells me when we meet in Beverly Hills, El Chapo's men know she did nothing that led to his capture and she is more afraid of the Mexican government than the drug cartels.
"I can never go back to Mexico," she says. "The government there is so corrupt."
Kate is funny, friendly and talks fluent English with an enticing Spanish accent.
She has produced a three-episode documentary series for Netflix, The Day I Met El Chapo and he granted her the rights to his story, leaving open the possibility of a major movie..
The daughter of famed actor Eric del Castillo, Kate has been acting since the age of nine and after achieving major success as a sexy drug kingpin in the series The Queen of the South, she set her eyes on the American market.and is carving out a crossover career for herself.
She carries dual citizenship and has a production company, Kate del Castillo Productions, up and running in California. She has appeared in the PBS series American Family about a Latino family in Los Angeles, had a role on the comedy series Jane the Virgin and recently finished a U.S. movie All About Nina.
"We'll see what happens but I'm still hoping to make a movie about El Chapo," she says.

Instagram: @beachscribe


Fifty Shades Freed poster  Fans of on-screen erotic had better make the most of the tawdry Fifty Shades Freed, featuring the exploits of...