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International Press & Outfits

Burlesque: How're We Doing?

This Burlesque shit is off the charts.

First, a year of fun pre-premiering with lots of kewl appearances, interviews and products…then all the scandals and intrigue.

The Murder:

Although one person of interest just committed suicide, the Ronnie Chasen murder still not solved to anyone’s satisfaction:

Her killing baffled investigators, who indicated it may have been targeted but could find no apparent motive. Her purse had not been stolen, adding weight to suspicions that she was not a random victim.

Last week Harold Smith, an unemployed 43-year-old with a string of past convictions, shot himself as he was approached by officers investigating a tip-off given to a Crimewatch-style television programme.

An anonymous caller gave the name of Smith, who was about to be evicted from his flat, and said he had bragged to neighbours that he was paid $10,000 to kill Miss Chasen.

But officers said Smith was merely "of interest" to them and was not a suspect. They said initially the gun and bullets he used to kill himself did not appear to match those used on Miss Chasen.
Further doubts that Smith was capable of the apparently sophisticated roadside murder were raised when it emerged that his only form of transport had been a bicycle.

However, at a news conference late on Wednesday, Dave Snowden, the chief of Beverly Hills police, said that it now seemed almost certain that Smith had indeed carried out the killing.
He said tests had found Smith's gun and bullets did match those used on Miss Chasen after all. "We believe that Mr Smith acted alone," Mr Snowden said.

"We don't believe it was a professional hit." Det Sgt Michael Publicker added that Smith "was at a desperate point and was reaching out and doing desperate measures". He added: "Most likely it was a robbery gone bad".

Smith had several convictions, including robbery and drugs offences, and was released from his second spell in prison in 2007.

The Box Office:

After spending its first week at #4, Burlesque moved up to #3 behind Tangled and Harry Potter for its second week, then went down to #7 for the third week, (the theater count went down as well) and this week has fallen to #11 in box office. I saw it again with my husband on Sunday (yes, he went twice!! And still insists he enjoyed it) and the tiny theater it had been relegated to was stuffed with 30 people for a Sunday 2pm showing. They all seemed into it. The average age of the audience was elderly. I enjoyed listening to the gay guy next to us comment throughout the movie. He was there with his mom. We all three, husband, me and gay guy (unbeknownst to us), all tried to see how much money Tess turns over to her ex-husband with that check dramatic check close-up…none of us could locate a dollar amount. We all vowed to freeze frame the DVD someday. 

To date the movie has earned $35,537,765. To make up its cost, it has to beat $55 million which internationally it should do.

The Golden Globe Nominations:

Cher’s song "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" has moved up to #14 on he dance chart and has been nominated for a Golden Globe award, as has Christina's "Bound to You."

Other competition: Gwyneth Paltrow's "Coming Home" (from Country Strong), Mandy Moore & Zachery Levi's "I See The Light" (from Tangled) and Carried Underwood's "There's a Place for Us" (from Chronicles of Narnia). Christina said of the nomination:"I want to thank the HFPA for recognizing our song 'Bound to You'. It is a ballad Sia and I wrote from the heart and one that I am extremely proud of."

Me love me some Sia.

And...The 68th Annual Golden Globe nominations also includes the movie Burlesque in the category of Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical and it was quite the controversial pick.


When the poorly-reviewed film 'Burlesque' earned a Best Picture (Musical or Comedy) Golden Globe nomination last week, many observers and everyday movie fans were left with stunned looks on their faces. A fun musical romp? Sure. But one of the best of the year? C'mon! Well, thanks to Patrick Goldstein of the the Los Angeles Times, we may now have an idea at just how Sony was able to swing such an honor from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Goldstein opened a can of worms when he wrote last week that HFPA members "took a Sony-sponsored trip to Las Vegas to see Cher in concert, then gave her film a stunning best picture nod."

This shocking little nugget leaves us to wonder: Did the makers of 'Burlesque,' which currently sports a 39 percent rating from film critics over at Rotten Tomatoes, grease the palms of the 81-member foreign press voting bloc in order to secure a nomination? Well, it's been done before, as The Independent notes:

"In 1981, the unknown Pia Zadora won a Best Newcomer award for her role in 'Butterfly,' a film which had been universally derided. It later emerged that the movie's producer, who was also her husband, had flown the entire HFPA to Las Vegas for a weekend holiday immediately before they voted."

All this scandal has angered one of the stars of 'Burlesque,' Cher, who I'm told had no idea Sony was flying the voters to Vegas to see her perform.

"Cher is furious that this happened," an insider tells me. "She meets hundreds of people backstage every week and never asks what they do for a living. She just assumed this group was another group of fans for her to meet and greet."

My source tells me that if it's somehow confirmed that voters gave the film the nomination because they got a free trip to Vegas, "Cher would rather they keep the darn thing."

That doesn’t sound like a real Cher quote, honestly. I can't see her using the phrase "darn thing." The phrase "insider tells me" also makes me wonder about that bit of news.


For years the Golden Globes were regarded as a signpost to the Oscars; If it won a Globe it was sure to get a gold man as well. Today, few in Hollywood respect them, and since Cher and Christina Aguilera got picked for ‘Burlesque’ this disdain has grown.

Released on November 24, Burlesque’s $55-million budget and withering reception rightly made it one of the most expensive Thanksgiving turkeys in history. So when it received a nomination for ‘Best Picture’ at last week’s Globes preview, even those whose medication prompts them to consider the awards vaguely relevant were confused.

But the cause of this error may have been found – Just before they cast their votes, the obscure collection of 81 foreign journalists who are the Globes’ voting panel received a lavish, free trip to Las Vegas to see Cher in concert.

I thought this was all very outrageous and scandalous and told my husband so shortly after he got home from work. He seemed to think it was non-news and said people are naïve if they think buying nominations isn’t how the dirty business works. I said this potentially taints Cher and the Globes. He said bolderdash and then I called him a Cherpologist, mostly because I just wanted to try out that word (yell it the way my niece Sarah once accused him very loudly at a family dinner of being a FISH AND TURKEY STEALER!) but also because I am finding it hard to get a Cher criticism out of him lately. 

He said he hoped my blog headline would read "Man Who Sets Cher Traps Becomes a Cherpologist"



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