Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Earth To Mickey

Alright, I have to confess that when I first heard that actor Mickey Rourke was going to be one of the featured honorees at the upcoming Santa Barbara Film Festival the first thought that crossed my mind was, "What? Gary Busey wasn't available?"

Best known to some of us as the star of hard R and soft X genre movies such as 9½ Weeks and Wild Orchid the notoriously temperamental Rourke certainly wasn't on my radar as likely to show up on the red carpet at the Arlington in the last week of January or the first few days of February.

But Film Fest executive director Roger Durling absolutely raves about Rourke's performance in the upcoming movie The Wrestler, which Durling describes as "instantly legendary." "Whatever your misgivings about Rourke," Durling goes on to say on his blog, "they will be gone after fifteen minutes into the movie."

That's saying a lot. After all, there have been a few Rourke movies where most likely the only thing gone after fifteen minutes was the audience.

But Roger's judgment on movies and performances has been impeccable in the past. So if he says that Rourke is on his way back to the penthouse after having dwelled in the cellar, I'm not going to bet against it.

A far less controversial selection was that of Kristin Scott Thomas to be honored at the Film Fest this year with the Cinema Vanguard Award. Her performance in I've Loved You So Long is said to of be Oscar caliber. One person who saw the movie when it was recently screened by the Cinema Society here in Santa Barbara described the film and her performance as both being terrific.

It's easy to forget that Thomas, who was nominated for an Oscar for The English Patient, made her U.S. film debut in Under the Cherry Moon. Yep, the movie that starred Prince.

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Less than a week after News-Press co-publisher Arthur von Wiesenberger, defended a decision to kill the story about Travis Armstrong's sentencing on a charge of drunk driving by telling interviewer Ernie Salomon, that the paper didn't report on drunk driving, the News-Press ran an article on actress Heather Locklear being charged with, drunk driving.

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The decision by Senate Democrats, not to strip Joe Lieberman, of his committee chairmanship, reportedly at the insistence of President-Elect Barack Obama, reminds me of the following quote attributed to Lyndon Johnson:

"Better to have your enemies inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in."