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How Movies Receive Their Ratings

Many Americans use the MPAA’s formalized rating system as a guide for which films to see. The Onion provides a step-by-step view into how these ratings are chosen:

‘Winnie-The-Pooh’ Turns 90

Winnie-The-Pooh, the A.A. Milne series featuring a stuffed bear and his toy animal friends, debuted 90 years ago this week. Here are some milestones from the franchise’s nearly century-long run:

50 Years Of ‘Star Trek’

Star Trek, the science-fiction show about the crew of the starship Enterprise, premiered 50 years ago today on NBC, spawning a cult following and decades of spin-offs. Here are some milestones from the franchise’s 50-year history

How Big-Budget Movies Flop

Despite the recent box-office failures of Exodus, Ben-Hur, and Gods Of Egypt, studios continue to fund big-budget movies they hope will achieve blockbuster success. The Onion provides a step-by-step breakdown of how one of these movies becomes a flop:

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 30, 2016

ARIES: Sometimes in life, you just need to stop whatever it is you’re doing and take a step back. Actually, maybe it’s two steps back. Yeah, that’s good. Keep going. The stars will let you know when you’re far enough.

‘Rugrats’ Turns 25

This August marks the 25th anniversary of the premiere of Rugrats, the beloved Nickelodeon cartoon about intrepid baby Tommy Pickles and his group of toddler friends. Here are some milestones from the show’s nine-season run

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 9, 2016

ARIES: Your life’s story will soon play out in front of movie theater audiences across the country, though it’ll only last about 30 seconds and advertise free soft drink refills in the main lobby.

Director Has Clear Vision Of How Studio Will Destroy Movie

LOS ANGELES—Saying he can already picture exactly what the finished cut will look like on the big screen, Hollywood film director Paul Stanton told reporters Wednesday he has a clear vision of how studio executives will totally destroy his upcoming movie.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 14, 2016

ARIES: Once the laughter dies down, the party favors are put away, and the monkeys led back inside their cages, you’ll finally be given a chance to explain your side of the story.

Lost Jack London Manuscript, ‘The Doggy,’ Found

RYE, NY—Workers inventorying the estate of a recently deceased Westchester County art dealer earlier this month reportedly stumbled upon a draft of a previously unknown Jack London novel titled The Doggy, and the work is already being hailed by many within the literary world as a masterpiece.

Guide To The Characters Of ‘The Force Awakens’

The highly anticipated seventh episode in the ‘Star Wars’ series, ‘The Force Awakens,’ which will be released December 18, will feature several returning characters as well as a host of new ones. Here is a guide to the characters of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’

Robert De Niro Stunned To Learn Of Man Who Can Quote ‘Goodfellas’

‘Bring Him To Me,’ Actor Demands

NEW YORK—Immediately halting production on his latest project after hearing of the incredible talent, legendary actor Robert De Niro was reportedly stunned to learn Wednesday that Bayonne, NJ resident Eric Sullivan, 33, can quote the critically acclaimed 1990 Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas at length.

Timeline Of The James Bond Series

This week marks the release of the 24th film in the James Bond franchise, Spectre, featuring Daniel Craig in his fourth appearance as the British secret agent. Here are some notable moments from the film series’s 53-year history
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Entertainment

Armchair Publicist Would Totally Rein In Tom Cruise

OMAHA, NE—Responding to the negative press coverage Tom Cruise has received in recent weeks, University of Nebraska financial-aid clerk Ben Matherson, 28, announced Monday that things would be different if he were the megastar's publicist.

Tom Cruise's armchair publicist, Ben Matherson.

"Tom is a force of nature, no question," Matherson announced from his one-room efficiency apartment in the Cornhusker State. "You can't control him, but you have to at least steer him in the right direction. That's how you handle a star of his caliber."

According to Matherson, Cruise's "PR nightmare" began with an article in the German publication Der Spiegel, which reported that Cruise arranged to have a tent for the Church of Scientology set up on the set of War Of The Worlds.

"I have no idea what he was thinking, promoting Scientology when he's supposed to be shooting a film," said Matherson, who was on a movie set only once, when he took the Universal Studios tour in 1988.

Matherson added: "I would have redirected the questioning the moment the reporter started asking Tom about religion, or maybe just said, 'Okay, let's wrap this up.'"

Although not a regular reader of Der Spiegel, Matherson said he gleaned information about the publication from the celebrity-news program Insider, which he typically watches alone in his room while eating cold cereal.

Matherson cited Cruise's May 23 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show as the first sign the popular actor was in need of some guidance.

"Even with a guy like Tom Cruise, who makes $20 million a movie, you've got to lay down the law," said Matherson, who is not in a supervisory position in the financial-aid office. "I would have told him, 'Lay off the poetry. Stick with the smile. The smile is working for you.'"

Matherson said he has some ideas for keeping Cruise "on message."

An example of the sort of erratic behavior that has Matherson worried.

"I would want to work out a hand-signal system with Tom, so I could motion to him from backstage when he was getting out of control," Matherson said.

Matherson's friends and coworkers report that the file clerk often makes comments drawing on his knowledge of the celebrity world, which he monitors from this ensconced position in the center of America's cattle-producing heartland.

"Back when Britney Spears wed and divorced her childhood friend all within a 24-hour period, Ben used to lean over the countertop at the office and shake his head," said Shelly Johansen, who has worked as a file clerk in the financial-aid office since 1992. "He thought it was a really bad move for her."

Cruise is currently in Italy shooting Mission Impossible 3 and out of the public eye, which Matherson believes is "for the best."

"I don't know if Tom realizes what a headache he can be for a PR man," Matherson said, repeating comments he made earlier in the day to coworker Gary Siebold. "A good image buffing isn't gonna do the trick at this point. We need to talk damage control."

The lifelong Nebraska resident's recommendations for Cruise include pulling him off the interview circuit for "dehydration and exhaustion," then spending a day or two "giving him some talking points."

Jessica Furstrom, a receptionist from nearby Lincoln and a longtime armchair publicist for Courtney Love, said Matherson "has a long row to hoe" with Cruise.

"I went through a lot of this same type of thing with Courtney," Furstrom said. "These problems don't just go away by themselves. The hard work of repairing a star's image has to get done. And thank God there are publicists to do it."

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