Thursday, November 02, 2006


Wow, that really was devastating . . .

Remember a few months ago, when Paramount Pictures dumped Tom Cruise and his production company like a hot potato? Remember how the entertainment press went out of their way to find ways to work Mr. Cruise's movie titles into articles dissing the huge movie star?

Remember? His firing was a "Day of Thunder," he was no longer Hollywood's "Top Gun," hiring him was "Risky Business," and you'd have to have your "Eyes Wide Shut" to not think he was "Far and Away" from being the big star he'd once been.

I could go on, but honestly, the fewer MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE references anywhere, the better. See? I'm mad at myself for that one.

Well, apparently people highly exaggerated those reports of Mr. Cruise's stardom demise. Because today, he and his production partner Paula Wagner took control of United Artists, a film studio owned by MGM and originally started by the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks.

Yup. Mr. Cruise will appear in UA's pics, but he can also be in those produced by other studios. Ms. Wagner will be CEO of UA. The two of them will control the production slate, which will be four movies a year. They also have a financial stake in the company, which means they'll continue to make a lot of money. Look, Suri and Katie have got to eat.

This action today gives us all - and upcoming movie stars in particular - one major lesson. One thing to grow on. One major, major takeaway.

This is it:

Movie stars, when you're interviewed by Matt Lauer, pick on him. Just do it. It can't help but hit again.

By the way, Our Man in LA has done some serious research, and I present to you here a list of the next several years' worth of United Artists features. These are just film titles, you understand, but how can't you help but get excited about these titles? They're so . . . clear. Chaplin would be proud.

Here they are:

Mission Earth: Black Genesis
The Enemy Within
To the Stars
The Invaders Plan
The Kingslayer: Seven Steps to the Arbiter
Typewriter in the Sky
Buckskin Brigades

Want to know more about any of these titles? Well, they're all based on books that you can purchase on

OK, yeah, I'm joking. They're all books by L. Ron Hubbard.

So maybe I'm actually right. Would you bet against Cruise taking aim at Hubbard novel? You know, after the success of Battlefield Earth?

Have a great weekend, everyone.

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