'Kill Bill' | Dan Aykroyd | R.E.M.
'Kill Bill' Won't Kill Miramax/Disney
Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" is pretty violent, but it's not violent enough to sever ties between Miramax and Disney.
There were some reports yesterday that Disney was upset because the movie is bloody. I rather doubt anyone at Disney cared one way or another.
After all, previous Miramax movies have been violent and distasteful, offended everyone and went on to win Oscars. That's why Disney's in business with Miramax in the first place.
How violent is "Kill Bill"? There are decapitations, chopped-off limbs and blood pouring from every bodily orifice. There is blood that spouts, fountain-like. It flows, too. But as Conway Twitty once sang, it's only make-believe. And everyone knows it.
I take as my barometer the very smart and sensitive Cari Modine, wife of actor Matthew. Cari hesitated on Tuesday night from entering the New York premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre.
She was not up for a mindless gore-fest. I assured her that it was all clownish violence and nothing to worry about. Nevertheless, I kept an eye out for her during the screening, thinking I might see a woman run up the center aisle and out the door when the samurai chop-chop began.
Quite the opposite was Cari Modine's reaction, in fact. "Ooh," she cooed when the show was over, "that was something. I loved it!" The Modines' 17-year-old son Bowman also approved. He's more of an expert on the kinds of movies Tarantino was parodying. He gave "Kill Bill" two thumbs up.
Not caught by paparazzi sneaking into the screening: Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, soon-to-be ex-wife of Andrew, with a man who was neither her imminent ex nor her ex-boyfriend Bruce Colley.
Across town, her brother Bobby Kennedy Jr. boogied up a storm to Sam Moore's show at the Waldorf (see below). Neither seemed glued to a TV or radio to find out the fate of cousin-in-law Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Anyhoo: I do not think that "Kill Bill" will kill the Disney/Miramax arrangement. There's no indication on a Miramax release that somehow Tinker Bell or Jiminy Cricket is endorsing their films.
Miramax is literally Disney's representative in the world of quality adult film-making. The smaller studio has given the Mouse House a zillion Oscar nominations and a raft of actual awards.
Is there tension between the two companies? Definitely there is some. But of course! An unstrained relationship in Hollywood is one not worth having — and certainly one not worth trusting!
Dan Aykroyd Honors His Wife
It was Donna Dixon Aykroyd's night Tuesday night. The actress and wife of Dan Aykroyd was honored in the Waldorf Ballroom by the Rita Hayworth-Alzheimer's Foundation for all her hard work.
The whole event was a little like one of the "I Love Lucy" shows where Ricky Ricardo is forced to perform for one of Lucille Ball's charities. Only Dan wasn't forced — he wanted to perform, so he brought in his Blues Brothers band featuring Steve Cropper and Eddie Floyd. Paul Shaffer came and played keyboards.
The night's big attraction was "Soul Man" Sam Moore, who wowed the tony black-tie audience with "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby" and, of course, "Soul Man." The Waldorf is still rocking right now.
The only "Saturday Night Live" alum who came to support Aykroyd, though, was Chevy Chase. Who knows where Lorne Michaels, et al., were, although Marci Klein, daughter of Calvin and Michaels' No. 2 when it comes to running the show, was on the guest list.
Donna Dixon and Dan Aykroyd have logged more than twenty years of marriage — and they said it wouldn't last! Donna first became famous on the sitcom "Bosom Buddies" with Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari circa 1980.
She is semi-retired from acting, but oddly has not aged a day in all this time. (No surgery either!) Gorgeous and generous. Dan did all right.
Other Waldorf diners included Dixon's best pal from Hollywood, the vivacious Colleen Camp; Regis and Joy Philbin; actress Scarlett Johansson, star of "Lost in Translation"; writer-editor Jill Brooke of Avenue Magazine; comedienne Fran Drescher; and "The Sopranos"' Lorraine Bracco.
The latter did just as well to miss the premiere of "Kill Bill." Producer Lawrence Bender publicly dedicated the evening to Bracco's ex-husband Harvey Keitel and his latest wife, Daphna Kastner. It was their anniversary.
R.E.M.'s Opus, and More
More from Saturday night's R.E.M. show: Al Franken put in an appearance.
Evidently he's a fan of the group and has gotten friendly with them. Seems also that R.E.M. spent the better part of the last year recording a new album out in Vancouver while holing up at the posh Opus Hotel. ...
Michael Flatley kicked his way into New York last night for a celebration before heading to Las Vegas. His "Lord of the Dance" is celebrating its fifth anniversary at the Venetian Hotel there. ...
The American Museum of the Moving Image in Queens honored GE/NBC honcho Bob Wright last night. The AMMI is a vital archive for the film and TV businesses. They also need donations to keep the place afloat and productive. It's a worthy, worthy cause. ...
Finally, John Lennon would have turned 63 today, believe it or not. Give peace a chance.