April 2, 1999 |
Three months before its planned release, a graphic, startling cut of director Spike Lee's new film for Walt Disney Co.'s Touchstone Pictures, "Summer of Sam," has been deemed too racy to be released under an R rating, causing Lee to go back to the editing room to tone it down. Lee's original cut of the film, which chronicles how the 1977 killing spree of David Berkowitz (a.k.a. Son of Sam) affected one Italian American section of the Bronx, was shown to the Motion Picture Assn.
October 13, 1998 |
Some say it was the religious-themed title that turned off audiences, others point to a weak trailer and tough competition from other films. Whatever the cause, "Holy Man" just about died coming out of the starting gate over the weekend with Disney's chances of reviving the Eddie Murphy comedy virtually nil. The film debuted at only $5.1 million, finishing a distant No. 5 behind the week's box-office leader, "Antz," the computer-animated bug cartoon from DreamWorks that took in $14.7 million.
July 1, 1998 |
Miniature plastic planets had been placed on Lucite pedestals in the middle of each table where the guests would dine. The acoustics in the temporary state-of-the-art theater had been checked and rechecked, and the stage where Aerosmith would perform had been strewn with jagged Styrofoam chunks to look like the surface of an asteroid. Here, at Monday night's world premiere of Touchstone Pictures' "Armageddon," the folks at Disney seemed to have thought of everything. Party crashers?
June 27, 1998 |
The United States Congress created NASA in 1958 to send men to the moon. Forty years later, the folks at Disney want NASA to help send Americans to the movies--specifically, to "Armageddon," the $100-million asteroid-threatens-Earth saga that is the studio's most expensive film ever. And NASA seems eager to comply.
May 29, 1998 |
Donald DeLine, president of Walt Disney Co.'s Touchstone Pictures, will be leaving his post after 13 years at the studio, sources confirmed Thursday. The well-respected production executive has no other job lined up. But he is said to have been considering a career change for some time and finally in the last few weeks asked his boss, Disney Studios Chairman Joe Roth, for early release from his contract, which has 1 1/2 years left.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 14, 1997 |
Four years ago, some government officials told me about a federally run airline that was used to transport prisoners back and forth across the United States. They called it "Con Air." Thinking it might make a story, I pitched the idea to an editor. A month later, I was winging my way to Oklahoma City with a planeload of convicts. My story--a factual account of the grim but uneventful flight--ran within a few weeks.