As part of my job to keep readers up to date on the latest from Hollywood, there are times when the news comes so Fast and Furious (I just wanted to see if they'd link that) it's hard to keep up, so let's get right to it, shall we?


This week's top story continues to be Mel Gibson and his movie about Him. With all the attendant conversation surrounding this film, I feel like I'm the one being unmercifully flayed. But there's no doubt about it, Mel's got a hit of Biblical proportion on his hands. He has, to coin a phrase, nailed it. And despite initial resistance, movie studios are finally jumping on the bandwagon. This week, one misguided Sony executive even attempted to buy the rights to the Bible (and at one point had the bidding up to $10 million) before learning the holy book is in the public domain. And though not familiar with either the Bible or the stories therein, savvy development execs have already made attempts to apply their usual copycat skills to the task of coming up with the next holy high concept hit including:

Adam & Adamer

Meet The Parents Who Begat Me

Miss Deuteronomy

Take This, Job, And Shove It!


Another topic that has the whole town aflutter is the FCC's ruling on obscenity. It's official! -- it is no longer legal to say the 'f-word' on TV. I have never had a problem with swearing as much as I did with people who say things like 'the f-word.' But the confusion about this has sent many into fits of self-examination. Carmen Electra, Courtney Love and Andy Dick, all thought obscene at one time or other, are reeling. I got a phone machine message from Courtney Love, in fact, threatening to 'f-word' me in the 'a-word' if I say any 's-word' about her 'p-word.' I am still trying to figure out what the 'p-word' is. (Does she have a poodle?) The FCC decision is particularly bad news for comedian George Carlin who, it was learned last week, had been planning to open a chain of family restaurants called Motherfucker's.


And speaking of p-words, Ben Affleck has a new movie coming out called Jersey Girl from Kevin Smith. It's hard to tell which of these elements means the least to me. I have never been a fan of Kevin Smith. He is, as they say, a whistle I do not hear. And New Jersey is a destination second only to Karachi, Pakistan of places I'd least like to visit. Affleck who has the screen wattage of a light bulb in an E-Z Bake Oven is looking for this to be a comeback of sorts. And if his last comeback is any indication Karachi, Pakistan may be next on his list of places to check out.


I note a couple of big script sales in the news from Hollywood this week. Lost in Translation star Scarlett Johansson sold a pitch to Lions Gate, a period piece about a British girl who falls in love with Napoleon Bonaparte to be titled Napoleon and Betsy. Tired of being typecast as 'the busty teen' in movies like Ghost World, Johansson will play Napoleon. Another spec called Red Eye sold to Dreamworks and is described as 'Phone Booth on an airplane.' Not to be outdone, Warner Brothers announced the purchase of a script called Hard Split that is said to be 'Phone Booth in a bowling alley.' And Fox is working on its version'Phone Booth in an office building' which they're calling Die Hard.


The most interesting marketing news this week is the billboard campaign for the Angelina Jolie thriller Taking Lives. It is an up close view of Angelina's collagened lips. The scary part is that when I first saw these lips, from ten blocks away, I said 'Oh! Angelina Jolie has a new movie!' If this marketing breakthrough is successful, look for future billboard campaigns featuring tight shots of Nicole Kidman's forehead, Julia Roberts' overbite, and Tom Cruise's heels.

This past weekend also aroused some sneak preview buzz for The Girl Next Door, a teen comedy about a porn star who moves in next door to a teenage boy. You know, it's funny, but that kind of thing happened to me all the time when I was a teenager. The makers of The Girl Next Door have toned down the professional attributes of the title character, however, for the sake of its PG-13 rating, cutting out such typical porn star traits as crippling psychological problems, drug addiction, and the tendency to use the word 'anal' as a verb.


In a related story, actor and TV star Pee-Wee Herman has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from possession of child pornography. Everyone in the courtroom appeared shocked by this admission, having assumed Herman (n≥e Paul Ruebens) had died several years ago. The big lesson for all of us to learn from this is: never wear a tight fitting suit, white shoes and lipstick (if you're a man). It can only lead to a bad end, as is clearly the case here. Mr. Herman, star of long running kiddie show Pee-Wee's Playhouse, joins a list of oddly inappropriate celebrities who've associated themselves with children including Madonna who wrote a children's book, Shining star Shelley Duvall who is a children's TV producer, and actor Kevin Costner who is planning on marrying a child.


In more upbeat news, here are some fun couples you may be hearing a lot more about in weeks to come:

Brittany Spears and John Kerry

J. Lo and John Kerry

Angelina Jolie and John Kerry

This is due to a surplus of funds in the Bush campaign and the renewal of Karl Rove's subscription to Us Magazine.


And finally this week marks an anniversary for one happy couple who have been together for 62 years: Michael Eisner. Happy Anniversary you two!