Taylor Mead at Last Night’s Bingo, Addressing the Adam Hock-Prince Pierre Casiraghi Brawl

The Academy Awards were delicious. I enjoyed the show, the choice of movies, the actors featured, and most of Billy Crystal’s schtick. I especially enjoyed watching it at home with delicious popcorn and other treats and my delicious Amanda. Foregoing the bull-chit banter and bad hors d’oeuvres at some Oscar party is the way to go. Although I was aware of The Artist for eons before it came out and wanted to go day 1… life got in the way and so I vowed to go last night and nothing was going to stop me.

Monday is of course BINGO night at Bowery Poetry Club. If you want to whack me or serve me with papers or get my autograph, you can find me there. I sit up front and personal so I can catch every delicious word from co-hosts Murray Hill and Linda Simpson. This Monday night happening needs no plug from me as it sells out virtually every night and has for years. I arrive very early to wind down from my day jobs and  to catch 87-year-old Taylor Mead. Taylor is best known as an Andy Warhol luminary, but he is so much more. It wasn’t Andy that made Taylor fabulous…he was fabulous so Andy wanted to have him around. Google him…find out more…or come around 6pm on any Monday to catch him reading from his life’s work.
 
One of the highlights of Taylor’s schtick is the reminiscing about his life less ordinary. Last night, he told of a play he was in in Boston back in the ’70s. He found himself late-night in Chinatown at a table with actor John Cazale (Fredo in The Godfather, Deer Hunter, Dog Day Afternoon) and Meryl Streep. Meryl was dating Mr. Cazale, who died young, of cancer. She was unknown and quiet then and Taylor thought she was sort of dull, "like a statue." He lamented not quite breaking it to the big time because "I never sold out… Elizabeth Taylor, Meryl Streep all sold out. I never sold out…I tried to… I spent three months with her, everyday." It continues like this for around 45 minutes as the BINGO crowd comes in and are blown away by this frail man and his sharp mind. A satchel containing loose notes sits beside him while a small boombox plays Mingus, to underscore his dirty poems. He randomly pulls art and poetry and notes from the satchel, reads them, and goes off on delicious tangents. He says that Harvard is taking his papers this summer. They currently occupy garbage bags in his cramped apartment. He says he is hesitating, as a friend has told him Harvard will just bury the work. Talk raced from the 30th anniversary of the Faukland Islands war between Argentina and Great Britain and chance sexual encounters of days of yore. Taylor has been particularly brilliant recently as the full room seems to have inspired him. Let me know if you’re coming and I’ll save you a seat.
 
Murray Hill will be around for a bit but will soon scoot off to tour with Dita Von Teese on the West Coast. BINGO on Mondays at Bowery Poetry Club is the best game in town. After BINGO, I scooted off to see The Artist and, of course, was blown away. The big movies at this years Oscars were not box office bonanzas. The Artist has taken in under $40 million, The Descendents with Clooney star power under $80 million, and films like Iron Lady and The Tree of Life appealing to smaller audiences than the big films of years ago, like Titanic, Avatar, Star Wars and all that romantic comedy stuff that make bank. For instance, Bridesmaids is up around $288 million. Hollywood gold went to more artistic fare, less commercial offerings. The art of making big money on your art is a very Warholian concept.  I’m going to buy Taylor a drink next Monday and discuss.
 
I have been asked to write something clever about the brawl between clubber Adam Hock and Prince Pierre Casiraghi of Monaco at The Double Seven last week. I started my research by calling The Double Seven’s Mark Baker to get the inside scoop. Baker was speechless – not a common occurrence for him. He referred me to Jeffrey Jah who reportedly was there when the shit hit the fan-tastic Prince and his entourage or vice versa, depending on whose PR has the ear of what publication. I have been told there was blood but not a lot of real guts displayed by anyone involved. A big guy hit a famous, fabulous, and rich guy and others meekly or weakly got involved. My old pal Sal Strazzullo is the attorney that will try to help Adam Hock stay out of jail and not have to hock everything he owns to settle a possible lawsuit. Sal said in the Daily News that the Prince and his pals "think New York is their honeycomb. They think they can come here and do whatever they want".
 
I’ve never been a fan of Adam Hock but don’t have anything against him either, but the spin Strazullo puts on it makes Adam seem like a hero in the eyes of the hoi polloi. He is our champion. It was almost his sacred duty punching out those rich famous young people making all that noise. Sal continued: "They wanted some recognition [from the women] and it happened because of that. My client acted in self -defense, it was an unprovoked attack. I don’t know why Mr Casiraghi got jealous about my client – he is from a humble background." He added: "My client is not Bruce Lee… These four guys are trust-fund babies who think the world is owed to them. They are like spoiled brats."
 
I decided not to look for the truth. My time would be better served by ignoring this raging bull-chit and seeing another movie nominated for the Oscars, like Iron Lady. I think Margaret and probably Meryl could kick all their asses. If I got it right, according to the attorney, it seems that Adam Hock did what we all secretly yearn to do: what needed to be done and about time at that. He did it for us all. Those royals and their buddies and their beautiful women better behave…or else. There might be some truth in that, but on the other hand Adam might have actually behaved badly. I won’t seek the truth because I suspect that old Oscar buddy Jack Nicholson got it right… I can’t handle the truth. Now that’s entertainment.

When Did John Goodman Become Best Picture Material?

Look, I love John Goodman. We all love John Goodman. John Goodman is great! But all of a sudden he’s the biggest ticket to getting an Oscar for Best Picture. He was in three of the nominated films this year—Flight, ParaNorman, and Argo—and its the second year in a row that John Goodman has appeared in a Best Picture-winning film. Last year, of course, he had a small, silent role in The Artist. But don’t forget! He was also in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, a movie so terrible that everyone was stunned to see it get a Best Picture nomination. The secret? John Goodman. I’m telling you, put John Goodman in your movie. You’re not going to regret it. 

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter.

My Editor Is Wrong About ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

As a writer for this august publication of record, it is my sad and solemn duty to report upon all of my editor’s gravest errors. In this case, it is his willful dismissal and obstreperous refusal to see the relative merit and entertainment value in Silver Linings Playbook (2012), which is so totally good enough to kill a few hours with, so watch your mouth, Tyler.

My esteemed editor registered his disgust on his personal Tumblr before bragging about his remarkable state of domestic bliss at present:

Ten minutes into this movie, I thought, “What the hell is this shit?” Five minutes later, Andrew turned to me and said, “I hate this.” We left about an hour later. 

True love is sharing a hatred for overrated Oscar-bait movies, you guys.

First of all, “Oscar-bait”? The last thirty-odd Best Picture winners have been overwrought melodramas, not screwball romantic comedies. [Ed. note: "screwball?" More like blue balls. Also, please review Shakespeare in Love, Chicago, and last year’s winner, The Artist.] Secondly: you left an hour after you both agreed you hated it? Seats must have been pretty comfortable, dude. [Ed. note: We were in the front row. Perhaps that added to my discomfort? That and the choppy, extreme close-ups that David O. Russell employed foolishly.] Feels like you might as well have stuck it out to the end, where it becomes the exact kind of movie you like! [Ed. note: So, like, Wet Hot American Summer? Coal Miner’s Daughter? DO EITHER JANEANE GAROFALO OR SISSY SPACEK SHOW UP?] (Am I kidding? You’ll have to watch to find out.)

In conclusion, I’m not entirely sure what this man expected from the director of Flirting With Disaster, Three Kings, and ♥ Huckabees. [Ed. note: Solid point. None of those are particularly good, either.] I thought Silver Linings Playbook was slighter than these but slotted neatly into the oeuvre itself, delivering the philosophical laughs and credible absurdities I’ve come to associate with David O. Russell’s work, and I certainly can’t see what in it would so offend as to drive one from the theater. [Ed. note: Well, there was the whole thing where Jennifer Lawrence was playing a role that could have gone to Miley Cyrus or, hell, Juliette Lewis if it came out fifteen years ago. Both would be similarly competent at delivering lines in which they explain their feelings rather than bothering to subtely show them.] But perhaps it’s not for me to say how my editor has strayed from the path—only to note that he has.

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter. [Ed. note: I wouldn’t recommend it.]

John Goodman On Being a Cinematic Loudmouth

For nine years, John Goodman appeared to millions of Americans as Dan Conner, Roseanne Barr’s beleaguered husband on the sitcom Roseanne. It is a testament to the breadth and believability of his post-Roseanne roles that nearly a decade of constant exposure hasn’t pinned the actor to that one character specimen. Goodman has brought his heft and range to iconic roles, such as the overbearing Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski, the Polyphemus stand-in “Big Dan” Teague in O Brother, Where Are Thou?, and the curmudgeonly studio head with a heart of fool’s gold in The Artist. In Robert Zemickis’ Flight, one of the three movies Goodman stars in this season, the actor plays Harling Mays, a man whose personality, like that of many of Goodman’s characters, is expansive to the point of offensive and, although perhaps not good, always loveable. We asked Mr. Goodman to describe the process of becoming Mr. Mays.

My character is an oaf. He has no sense of his surroundings. He’s pretty much wrapped up in his own head, so he just stumbles around. I picture him banging off the walls of the corridor wherever he is. He’s like a medicated bear on both stimulants and tranquilizers. In that shot you’ve got there, he’s listening to the Rolling Stones. “Sympathy for the Devil,” I think. He’s a contemporary guy really hung up on the early ’70s, still living in that era, like a character out of Key West who likes to fancy himself a good ol’ Southern boy. Maybe he read too much Hunter S. Thompson. Or maybe he listens to too much Jimmy Buffet. He’s just a Parrothead–type of guy. In fact, he’s a pretty bad guy. He thinks he’s helping but he’s not. He’s what they call an enabler. He provides Denzel’s character with drugs, and he’ll be your friend until the money runs out.

Whether he is likeable, I don’t care. That’s not up to me to judge. That’s up to the audience. I just try to do what’s on the page and flesh it out with some details. I’m not trying to be mysterious, I just don’t understand a lot of what I do. I do, however, think it is a mistake to say that I bring a lot of my own quirks to the character. The hair, the outfit, the mannerisms—most of it is in the script. I just take whatever details the script provides and then try to go about it with my own observations of why. It’s also a mistake to say that I’m drawn to these types of characters. It just depends on the script. Now, it’s true: I’ve been cast as this type of character often. I did some quiet stuff on Roseanne, but recently I guess I’m just a loudmouth all the time.

Uggie-Mania Reaches Apex at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre

It’s been a few months since the height of buzz over Uggie, the now-retired Jack Russell Terrier who won the hearts and minds of the masses with his riveting performance in The Artist, during which the pup got a memoir deal and attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. But today, Uggie returned to the limelight, frolicking along the red carpet at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on his hind legs, to place his pawprints in the cement on the Walk of Fame. 

What’s so surprising about this honor is not that Uggie got his due, considering all the buzz surrounding his performance and even a call for him to win a human trophy, but how, in nearly a century of cinema, is Uggie the first dog to get the cement-pawprint treatment? There’s the original Rin-Tin-Tin, who passed away in 1932 (several years after Grauman’s opened) and who was recently the subject of a rather fascinating book from Susan Orlean. Or Terry, the Cairn Terrier who played Toto in The Wizard of Oz (although Terry was honored with an autobiography called I, Toto and, just this past year, a permanent memorial at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery). Several famous equine superstars have left hoof-prints in the past, however, including Roy Rogers’ Trigger and Gene Autry’s Champion. 

Anyway, here’s a clip from the Telegraph of Uggie getting his pawprints immortalized. Goodnight, everybody! 

Morning Links: Uggie Goes To The White House, ‘American Idol’ Contestant Sent Home For Crimes

● Uggie, the award winning dog from The Artist, has been invited to attend the White House Correspondents dinner, where he has even arranged to have "a shake" with President Obama himself. [Huff Post]

● Bear Grylls has been let go from Man vs. Wild "due to a continuing contractual dispute," but he’s pretty sure he’ll survive. "Bear has loved the Man vs. Wild journey and looks forward to producing further cutting edge content again soon for his loyal audience," says his rep. [People]

● Baby Blue Ivy Carter’s shoe game is already on point with these adorable Marc Jacobs booties. [ONTD]

● Kris Humphries got Kim’s famous $2 million dollar engagement ring on steep discount. “Kris could have never afforded such an extravagant engagement ring for Kim,” Radar reports. "He paid $750,000 for the engagement ring. [Designer] Elaine Schwartz gave Kris the ring basically at wholesale cost." [Radar]

● Oops! Lindsay Lohan hit someone wtih her brand-new Porsche while driving away from the club. Luckily, everyone was fine and nobody seems to be pressing charges. [TMZ]

American Idol contestant Jermaine Jones has been sent home prematurely after it was discovered that he concealed "multiple crimes," one involving violence. The Hollywood Reporter suspects his "dramatic departure" will go down on tonight’s episode. [THR]

● More important than having the "it bag" is having the "it dog," and in style this season are the "maltipoo" and "morkie," designer mixes that can go for anywhere from $3,800 to $65,000 and up. [Page Six]

Uggie is Nintendo’s Newest Spokesdog

After he was diagnosed with a mysterious illness we were told that Uggie, the breakout star of Best Picture winner The Artist, would likely never act again. But here he is in a commercial for Nintendo’s Nintendogs franchise looking as dapper as ever, though his shaking ailment is plain as day. Thankfully enough, it doesn’t seem to have hurt his penchant for being the cutest lil’ guy around. Watch it after the click via Vulture, by way of Kotaku.

It’s all pretty normal until that giant Mario comes in at the end and just stares at the capable canine. The silent interaction is kind of an homage to The Artist, no? Uggie even winks at the end! Too real.

Netflix’s Starz Partnership Expiring on March 1, Titles Like ‘Party Down’ Lost Forever

You have been on a Netflix binge before, but not like this: With the service’s Starz partnership set to expire in less than two days, you’ll need all the hours you can cramming in episodes of Party Down and crying at Toy Story 3 for the last time. If you remember, Netflix’s price increase in 2011 coincided with a failure to lock up a new Starz deal, which is why more than 840 titles will disappear on Thursday. TV and Movies NOW has a handy list of everything you’ll be missing, as well as if it’s available on Amazon Prime (but come on, who has that). 

The ‘flix has a handful of Weinstein Company titles like The Artist and Coriolanus eventually coming its way, which should dull the loss by a smidgen. Still, it’s a terrific bummer that so many quality titles will no longer be available to our entitled asses, like the immortal Billy Madison and Astro Boy. Howl’s Moving Castle, Scarface, Young Fankenstein, Double Indemnity, Patton, Vertigo, Apocalypto, Lethal Weapon 2 — I could go on and on and on and on. Call your friends for a Netflix party, or just pull your hoodie over your head and get to business by yourself. Remember, nothing that happens on Leap Day counts in the real world

Morning Links: ‘The Artist’ Takes Five, Baby Blue Ivy Goes Out For Lunch

● J-Lo showed some nipple and a very skinny Angelina some leg; Sacha Baron Cohen rained Kim Jong-Il’s ashes down on Ryan Seacrest; Chris Rock told the evening’s only funny joke; and The Artist took five awards. Ladies and gentleman, the 2012 Academy Awards! [NYT]

● The newly single Russell Simmons made sure to get Katy Perry’s number before leaving last night’s post-awards festivities. [NYDN]

● Jay-Z and Beyoncé took baby Blue Ivy out for her first lunch on the town at Sant Ambroeus in the West Village. [Rap-Up]

● Dipset capo Jim Jones was arrested and mased after getting into a fight at Diddy’s big Foxwoods Resort and Casino bash. "This is gettin blown way out of proportion," he said on Twitter after posting the $40,000 bail. [TMZ]

● Rihanna has been shortlisted, along with Vivica Fox and Jordin Sparks, to star in an upcoming Whitney Houston bioepic. [DailyMail]

● Ever so lovely, Taylor Swift invited a teen cancer patient to be her date to the Academy of Country Music Awards with a post on his Facebook wall. ‘Like’! [TMZ]