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Posts Tagged ‘George Clooney’

Rolling Stone Restaurant Makes Reviewer Queasy

Under the perversely brilliant headline mention of “Beer and Loathing,” LA Weekly writer Drew Tewksbury today puts another nail in the PR coffin of the Hollywood and Highland Center. At least from the perspective of locals, who prefer to stay a Grove-mile away.

While he acknowledges that the restaurant serves “the best mall food” he’s ever had, he mourns the bigger-picture meaning of a Rolling Stone eateries chain (a second location is planned in New York). For a magazine caught in the cross hairs of both a music industry and print media downturn, spinning off themed restaurant grub is in keeping with putting George Clooney on the latest cover. Tewksbury concludes:

How far can a brand be stretched before it breaks? Maybe Rolling Stone is already broken. When does a brand lose its meaning, as its logo no longer represents the spirit that spawned it.

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Johnny Depp Hangs with Studio City Moms

Every once in a while, Studio City Patch editor Mike Szymanski dons the byline mantle of “Mr. Studio City” to run down the latest local celebrity sightings.

The headline is always done in the form of a rhyme, and for his latest dispatch, he was able to sync up Jessica Alba getting her wrist hurt with a celebrity-crashed school concert:

Another star who loves jazz—Johnny Depp–popped in at the jazz concert at Walter Reed Middle School and shocked everyone. He was coming to watch the daughter of a friend who was performing.

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Madison Avenue vs. Oscar’s Median Age

As might be expected, the Ratner-Murphy-Grazer-Crystal game of Oscar musical chairs is echoing across Madison Avenue. According to Claire Atkinson of the New York Post, brand new AMPAS marketing chief Christina Kounelias (pictured) and her colleagues are scrambling to adjust an ad sales pitch that until recent events at the Arclight and on Howard Stern airwaves, was predicated entirely on Axel Foley.

One of the problems the Oscar marketing gang faces is that the selection of a 63-year-old, traditional format replacement host leaves them challenged to explain how they will fix what happened last year. Despite the presence of a tweeting James Franco and giggling Anne Hathaway, the 2010 Oscars broadcast was a disaster:

Horizon Media researcher Brad Adgate noted that the Oscars broadcast actually aged upwards last year with the median age hitting 50.6 years — the oldest it’s ever been.

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The NBA Lockout: Where ‘Straordinario’ Might Still Happen

With each passing day, local media coverage of Kobe Bryant‘s possible Italian sojourn during the current NBA lockout gets more hilarious. It’s one of the few bits of comic relief in an otherwise very serious situation.

Via LakersNation.com, we learn from Virtus Bologna communications manager Vicenzo Di Schiavia that “negotiations with Mr. Kobe Bryant have been very difficult. We will not make any comment for now.”

Over at ESPN.com, columnist Chris Broussard opines that if the Black Mamba can get the Italian team with the very tuneful homepage to fork over in the neighborhood of $2 million for a single game, “more power to him.” No kidding; transposed to a full NBA regular season schedule, that’s the equivalent of a $164 million annual salary.

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A Live “10 Questions” with George Clooney

(Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Yesterday at the Luce Room in the Time Life Building, Time magazine’s Richard Stengel interviewed George Clooney in a live version of the magazine’s “10 Questions” feature, and FishbowlNY was there. Stengel used the opportunity to probe Clooney on a variety of subjects, from his efforts in Darfur to why he cast Ryan Gosling in The Ides of March (“I just figured we’d go cheap”).

A couple things we noticed: Clooney is a funny guy, but even when he made a bad joke, everyone — yes, including us — laughed. This is what you do when standing near a super celebrity. You hope your mindless laughter confuses him so much that he asks to be your best friend. Also, Stengel was completely at ease with Clooney. There were no stale or awkward moments, which is a credit to his interviewing style.

Check out some of the highlights from the interview below.

On the state of journalism:
“Part of the responsibility of news is to put things in context. When I was growing up you had three networks, and you basically got the same version of the news from each. Then from there, depending on your political and social views, you would make decisions. Now people go to whatever best represents their beliefs; so I believe people are starting from a different fact base, which I believe polarizes us farther and farther apart.”

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Michael Moore Recalls Two Monumental LA Moments

Last night at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills, Michael Moore kicked off the 16th year of long-running non-profit literary conversation series Writers Bloc Presents with a couple of great LA stories. He was there, along with journalist-moderator Anne Thompson and a pair of bodyguards, to promote and sign copies of his new book Here Comes Trouble.

Moore explained how, on the weekend of his Oscar win for 2002′s Bowling for Columbine, a casual invite from Tim Robbins turned into a hotel room full of Hollywood stars, each sharing their suggestions for his possible Best Documentary acceptance speech. Sean Penn pitched the idea of 45 seconds of stone-faced silence, while Robbins—with others like George Clooney and Eddie Veder looking on–thought perhaps that Moore could announce he was giving up the Academy Award statuette in honor of Lent.

But the real LA humdinger occurred the following year, 2004, when TIME magazine arranged for Moore and Mel Gibson to travel to LA for a photo shoot and sit-down interview in support of a shared “Person of the Year” cover:

“The night before, Mel went to his church in Malibu and had a revelation,” Moore explained. “Jesus, God, the Holy Ghost, who knows… Or as the lady in the front row here just said, St. Jack Daniels. But a voice told him, ‘You are NOT to appear on the cover of TIME magazine with the Devil.’”

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George Clooney for the ‘Fall Sneaks’ Win

Veteran LA Times entertainment reporter John Horn has three pieces in this Sunday’s “Fall Sneaks” print edition Calendar section, covering Contagion, Tower Heist and the latest directorial effort from George Clooney, The Ides of March. On his way to Telluride for the picturesque Colorado film festival, Horn was kind enough to take time out to answer a few FishbowlLA questions via email.

Telluride has been very good to the reporter. The last two years, he was able to catch the first screening of that year’s eventual Best Picture winner, Slumdog Millionaire and The King’s Speech. This weekend, Horn has his eye on another film starring Clooney, The Descendants (Alexander Payne‘s first film since 2004′s Sideways), and says it’s always a pleasure to deal with the crown prince of Hollywood.

“He’s not full of himself. And he can speak in complete sentences,” notes Horn. “That’s actually saying a lot. Listen, you have to have some ego and even narcissism to be an actor. And any number of actors succeed more on good looks and dumb luck than talent.”

“But some of Hollywood’s most accomplished actors–I’m thinking of Sean Penn here–are not always articulate,” he adds. “Talking about acting is never easy, and it’s invariably a bit silly. Clooney does it better than many others. I think also because he didn’t become famous fast, he has some perspective–and appreciates the life and career he has.”

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Handicapping This Year’s Oscar Publicists

Months before media outlets begin providing those printable Oscar ballots to help keep track of office pool tallies, the Hollywood Reporter has shared an equally intriguing scoresheet.

In a sidebar to this week’s print magazine article by Gregg Kilday and Kevin Gray about a high-level split at PR firm 42 West, there is a listing of leading Oscar publicists and the projects they likely will be tubthumping post-Telluride-Toronto-Venice.

Although not quite on the level of the main-article alleged friction between Leslee Dart and departing 42 West partner Cynthia Schwartz, FishbowlLA was struck by the specter of Michele Robertson vs. Dawn Taubin. Robertson could well be handling Warner Bros. titles J. Edgar, from perennial shoe-in Clint Eastwood, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, while that studio’s former head of marketing, Taubin, will be pushing early season favorite The Help.

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Cosby Show, Family Ties and Regis Philbin Among Honorees at TV Land Awards in New York

For the first time in its nine-year history, the TV Land Awards pulled up stakes in Los Angeles and headed for New York, bringing a Big Apple feel to the Javits Center last night.

The Cosby Show, set in Brooklyn and taped in New York, was honored with the Impact Award. The cast, including co-creator Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad, reunited.

“It means that not only are we still relevent today…We made some sort of a difference, and some sort of an impact 25 years ago,” Sabrina LeBeauf (above) , who played Sondra on the hit sitcom, tells FishbowlNY.

The Cosby Show, which helped resurrect NBC from 1984 to 1992, had another “impact” on television viewing.

“I don’t see any show on now that impacts people in that way… [that] family show [did],” Geoffrey Owens (who played Elvin) says. “I think it’s fair to say that, unfortunately, that’s a little bit … of the past right now.”

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Tina Brown Tweaks Newsweek

Newsweek editor-in-chief Tina Brown has been busy showing off her revamped magazine to potential advertisers and the media buyers are all in agreement about one thing: she has certainly made her mark with a brand new design.  The Newsweek mock-up had heavier stock and features George Clooney on the cover.  The issue includes a story on the Clooney’s political preferences, a move that signals a return to the celebrity-heavy coverage that characterized Brown’s editorial approach at Vanity FairNewsweek is also considering a change in their distribution schedule with a move from Monday to Friday delivery, however a company spokesperson said the delivery date to newsstands will remain the same.  An unnamed media executive was pleased with Brown’s spin on Newsweek and did not pull punches when discussing how it has improved under new leadership.

The bar was set pretty low by Jon Meacham and Tom Ascheim.  I think this is a big step in the right direction.  I think the Newsweek name has authority and credibility with readers still.

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