Scientology

Tom Cruise Rock of Ages

Tom Cruise is in the entertainment news again, but not for the widely acclaimed and well received action flick Jack Reacher. No, the Hollywood powerhouse is once again being talked about because of his very close association with Scientology. Never a group to pass up a chance to take free shots at someone, headlines from semi-journalists everywhere announce “Tom Cruise to Save Fellow Scientology Members from Aliens Within.”  When I first heard that, I was intrigued of course. I thought maybe Cruise had gone off the deep end, publicly, but no, that’s not the case. What’s happening, in reality, is that Pulitzer-Prize winning author Lawrence Wright is releasing a book entitled “Going Clear: Scientology.” In it, the book will supposedly talk about Cruise’s billion-year contract with Scientology and the process of auditing — essentially stuff South Park has already covered. Cruise has been the butt of many jokes for many years, and it’s gotten old. It’s time to give him a break.

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Joaquin Phoenix in The Master

Though everything we’ve heard about Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming project, The Master, paints it as being a Philip Seymour Hoffman-starring story about the head of a new religion, its new teaser trailer doesn’t give us any indication that this is the case. There’s no mention of religion, no scenes of cult-like indoctrination, and not even a glimpse of Philip Seymour Hoffman. What it does give us is a conversation between military personnel and Joaquin Phoenix, who’s playing a 50s-era serviceman who seems to be having some mental problems. Phoenix has a glint in his eye, a glow to his smile, and a hole in his memory – and it all adds up to a scene that manages to build a ton of tension and mounds of menace without ever actually showing us anything dangerous or getting spooky with the music. It’s a good example of how thoroughly a great filmmaker and a talented actor can manipulate your emotions, even while being completely subtle.

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The last time I heard some news about Paul Thomas Anderson, he had two possible projects that he was working on, and heiress Megan Ellison was going to help him finance them. There’s big news on that front as The Weinstein Company has won the rights to distribute the religious drama Anderson has written that was once titled The Master. Whether or not that will remain the film’s title is unknown, as it has reportedly undergone some serious rewrites, but it is now confirmed as Anderson’s next film. The project already has Philip Seymour Hoffman set to star as the creator of a new religion in post WWII America. The movie seems to explore the beginnings of a cult movement, and is said to have a parallel or two to the life of L. Ron Hubbard and his founding of Scientology. Perhaps further exploring the theme of lost souls, Anderson has also cast Joaquin Phoenix, who has recently returned to acting after a very public and very fake meltdown. Other than that, not too many details are known, but what else do we need? All you have to tell me is that PT Anderson is making another movie and I’m on board. Get Hoffman in a starring role and I’m positively salivating. A release date for this one can’t come soon enough, no matter what it ends up being called. [Deadline Tilden]

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Megan Ellison is the 25-year-old daughter of Oracle boss Larry Ellison. It wasn’t too long ago that she was gaining attention all around the Internet for being a rich girl out of control. Reports of her bisexuality and hard partying ways were pouring in from all sorts of highly reputable news sources conducting investigative reports into her MySpace profile. It was very clear from just a brief glance at these pieces that we were about to have another Paris Hilton on her hands, another Lindsay Lohan. Not content to just release a line of handbags and designer perfume like all of the other billionaire heiresses, Ellison has recently taken up the hobby of film producing. Oh great, that’s all we need, some dim bulb in her twenties throwing around money and influencing what gets made in Hollywood. What has she done so far? Well, she co-financed the Coen brothers’ remake of True Grit, which has gone on to make over 150 million dollars to date. And her next move was to invest in Jonathan Hillcoat’s awesomely cast Wettest County in the World. Wait… who is this girl?

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With J.D. Shapiro apologizing for writing the early drafts of Battlefield Earth, what would it look like if all filmmakers and writers apologized for bringing the world bombs?

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ff-LoveExposure

Watching a 4-hour long movie may seem daunting, but it’s an incredible reward when the flick involves love, religion, cults, bloodbaths, lesbianism, perversion and, of course, upskirt pictures.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

It’s the Big, Fat Thanksgiving Special! Kevin and Neil beam into the Magical Virtual Studio in the Sky two days early to get ready for their Thanksgiving feast which will keep them napping through the weekend.

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