Nippies® - an online magazine
Issue #23 - March 2005

  • Leonardo DiCaprio Trivia Question
  • The Purpose-Driven® Life - What On Earth Am I Here For?
    Rick Warren's book saved a life...
  • Christoher Walken & Cult Following
  • Mel Gibson - Academy Award® Snub ?
  • Actress Glenne Headly Turns 50
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    Leonardo DiCaprio Trivia Question
    Every so often we get a question from a NIPPIES reader. Sometimes we don't know the answer, and so we at NIPPIES recruit your help, dear readers.

    Today, Bev and Diane want to know on which celebrity gossip/news magazine cover did Leonardo DiCaprio recently appear? If you know the answer, please write to us at here. And we will pass on the answer to Bev and Diane.

    There is nothing so annoying as an unanswered question of small significance!

    UPDATE: Leonardo DiCaprio appeared on the cover of the December 2004 issue of Vanity Fair, and we have informed Bev and Diane. Thank you for all the replys.

    The Purpose Driven ® Life - What On Earth Am I Here For?
    Author: Rick Warren

    This book was published by Zondervan on October 1, 2002. We at NIPPIES had never heard of it. Now, it's making CNN's headlines.

    Chapter 33 of the book, entitled "How Real Servants Act", was read by a hostage, Ashley Smith, the mother of a 5-year-old, to her captor. The man, Brian Nichols, had escaped from prison and is suspected of four killings the day before he took Ashley. (You've most likely heard about that story...where he took a deputy's gun as he was being escorted into his rape trial, then turned the gun on the deputy, judge, and others), but, after hearing what the young mother read to him from the book, he began to ask her questions and, eventually, he decided to set her free- and turn himself in. This is a fascinating story. So, we decided to do a little research. (In case you want to order it, it's listed at $34.99 but available for $24.49. We found it at:eCampus.com - and, no. We aren't making a dime by placing this information here. Nor will we if you buy the book or compact disc!)

    We are continuing this story after having watched the CNN NewsNight special edition with Paula Zahn. And were we shocked to learn that, although we'd never heard of the book, The Purpose-Driven ® Life is the best-selling non-fiction book of ALL time. And here we'd thought it was an obscure book that shot to the headlines because of Ashley Smith's ordeal.

    The Paula Zahn special featured an interview with Ashley Smith, who wiped away a tear here and then as she talked about how she read Chapter 33 of the book to her captor. Here is an excerpt from the chapter:

    "We serve God by serving others. The world defines greatness in terms of power, possessions, prestige, and position. If you can demand service from others, youíve arrived. In our self-serving culture with its me-first mentality, acting like a servant is not a popular concept. Jesus, however, measured greatness in terms of service, not status. ... To be like Jesus is to be a servant. Thatís what he called himself."

    Not only was Brian Nichols touched by the reading, but he also was astonished that Ashley, when given the opportunity to escape by driving off in a car she was driving while following him in his truck, chose not to escape. Instead, when they returned to her apartment, she made him breakfast.

    You can read more in an article written by Mark Kelly and published on the www.PurposeDriven.com web site.


    March 13, 2005
    Happy Birthday! Glenne Headly Turns 50 Today

    The name Glenne Headly may not sound familiar to you, but you most likely know the face. Today is Glenne's 50th birthday. She was born on March 13, 1955. Happy Birthday, Glenne! Turning 50 can be traumatic for anyone, but for an actress it might have a greater impact. Afterall, we all know how age-obsessed Hollywood is- especially with women.

    We at NIPPIES don't follow Glenne Headly's personal life or her career with degree of dedication, although we think she's a great character actress. Remember her in 1988's "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" PHOTO OF BIRTHDAY CAKE REMOVED with Steve Martin and Michael Caine? Glenne played the innocent victim-con woman who outsmarted confidence men Martin and Caine in a terrific remake of the 1964 original ("Bedtime Story"), which starred Marlon Brando and David Niven. The role of the innocent "Janet" in Bedtime Story was played by Shirley Jones.

    But tonight we just happened to be watching "Around the Bend", a funny-sad movie about life, death and family bonds. This 2004 movie re-teamed Glenne Headly, as a horror-movie-loving Scandanavian nurse, with Michael Caine. Both had less screen time that normally, but both were very good in their roles.

    The film also stars Christopher Walken and Josh Lucas as long-separated father and son.

    So, happy birthday to Glenne!


    March 7, 2005
    Christopher Walken's Cult Following

    We at NIPPIES were in Blockbuster® tonight(one of the few large businesses we patronize) looking for a good movie. While browsing through the aisles, we heard one of the young clerks talking to another young employee. They were both agreeing about how much they enjoyed the sixty-something actor's movies. "He's so funny", they said.

    Funny. Christopher Walken. Who would have guessed that this pasty-faced, stiff haired guy would ever be referred to as "funny", meaning, comical?

    Because we'd heard our own 20-year-old say something similar about Christopher Walken just a few months ago, we decided to ask the Blockbuster® employee to tell us more.

    "Well, I dunno. He's just weird. I like him," he explained.

    "The only reason I asked," I said, "is because my twenty year old son said the same thing. How old are you?"

    He was twenty, too. College aged, just like my son. We then talked more about the actor who was on the Splendor with much-loved Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner the night she drowned. (That was Walken's original "claim to fame.) The boy-man explained that he couldn't explain it, but that he liked him because he's just "sorta spooky". I knew what he meant.

    "Oh, spooky. OK. You mean spooky in a "safe" sort of way?"

    "Right!", he agreed. In other words, Christopher is odd looking, even spooky looking (we don't think so) with his pale face and stiff, Frankenstein hair. But he's not threatening. He's safe. He's normal. Not Hollywood perfect, not cosmetically-enhanced. Maybe he even looks like yourself or someone you know.

    So we at NIPPIES returned home and did some research. And Walken is very, very busy these days. In the past three years, Christopher Walken has been in nearly 20 films. Some are now in post-production. He is also nearly 62 years old- an age when most actors are playing character parts or retiring.

    This is cool. We at NIPPIES are always happy when the unusual happens. And to see an actor's career actually pick up speed after sixty - and to develop a cult following among the young to boot - is just great.

    You can find out about the Christopher Walken's considerable filmography at IMDB.com

    By the way, he has been married for nearly 36 years to casting director Georgianne Walken. His trademark? He always tried to work a jig into his film roles, according to imdb.com


    February 28, 2005 - Special Oscar® Edition
    Mel Gibson - Snubbed by "The Academy" ?

    As we type this morning-after-the-Academy Awards ceremony (called "The Oscars" by we lay people), we are listening to Live With Regis and Kelly. Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin are both lamenting about how Martin Scorcese was snubbed by The Academy for his film The Aviator, which is a movie based on the life of Howard Hughes. Leonardo DiCaprio portrayed Howard Hughes, and Cate Blanchett portrayed Katherine Hepburn. The popular morning show "couple" tossed around a few theories - some serious, some not-so-serious - about why director Scorsese was overlooked for the awards (but not for the nominations): he is a New York based director (as opposed to being a California-based director); maybe he had a traffic accident which involved an Academy member, etc.

    Hey, at least The Aviator was nominated in some serious categories for an Oscar® - and won some of them! Sadly, we cannot say the same about last year's highest grossing and most provacative - and controversial - motion picture, Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. We don't need to tell you what the movie was about. But we will say that to accuse director Mel Gibson of being anti-Sematic (spelling corrected to "anti-Semitism" at a later date) or of making a film which promotes anti-Sematism (spelling corrected to "anti_Semitism" at a later date) is nothing short of ridiculous. Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew. The film is based on the last 12 hours of his life and is based on the New Testament of the Bible. That's all folks. No anti-Semitism intended.

    Sorry, Mel, you were snubbed again. By Regis and Kelly. We didn't hear them complaining about the lack of major nominations for your film, "The Passion of the Christ", which you co-wrote with Benedict Fitzgerald. And which you bankrolled totally on your own. (PHOTO REMOVED) Your film was nominated for the less than stellar categories of cinematography, original score and make-up. And it won none of them. Not even James Caviezel was recognized for his fine protrayal of Jesus.

    Perhaps Regis and Kelly commented on Mel Gibson's snubbing during an earlier show. We don't know. But then, would we really expect they of the politically correct to be upset about the snubbing of a film which attempts to accurately portray the Passion and death of Jesus Christ? Christianity and its teachings is not something that the Hollywood community, as a whole, seems to be enamored with of late.

    Even more shocking is that "The Passion" was, according to many reports, including a report by UPI Religious Affairs Editor, Uwe Siemon-Netto, which was published on November 26, 2004 ( The Washington Times On-Line), actually booed at a Hollywood screening of films during an pre-Oscar event: (excerpt)
    "Sneered at by many, and booed at a recent Hollywood viewing of films that might be candidates for Academy Awards, this movie contributed to a spectacular development unique in the half-millennium since the Reformation."

    We at NIPPIES saw The Passion of the Christ. Surely it was worthy of several Academy Award nominations. Mel Gibson definitely, in our opinion, should have been nominated for Best Director. The movie should have been nominated for Best Picture. In an age where reality rules, Mel Gibson got punished, criticized, and general disrespected for bringing a reality-based, unsanitized version of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ to the silver screen. And the general public around the world applauded him by showing up in record numbers.

    We searched the web for buzz about the Mel Gibson snub. And we found a great summation on www.freerepublic.com in a post by a man named Joel C. Rosenberg. The post was a reprint of an earlier article which appeared in www.TheConservativeRepublican.com.
    Joel C. Rosenberg wrote, in part:
    "It seems the Oscar this year goes to....religious bigotry.
    Hollywood is so repulsed by people of faith it can't even bring itself to consider -- forget reward, just consider -- a powerful, provocative film about the most influential person in the history of mankind."

    You can read Mr. Rosenberg's entire post, and the responses it received, by clicking this link:
    www.FreeRepublic.com - Mel Gibson Snubbed by "The Academy"

    Some of the responses were pure nonsense, referring to the film's lack of relevance to non-religious people and/or the violence depicted in the film. (How could scourging and crucifixion be shown without violence and blood??) One person defended the snubbing of The Passion by stating:
    "Was it that good? Really, isn't it like 2 hours of violence?
    I'm sure it meant allot to believing Christians, but to me, I would have probably been sickened by the violence."

    How's that for irony?

    Readers of this post might want to click on the two above links to see how differently posters on "The Conservative Republican" and "Free Republic" reacted to Mr. Rosenberg's opinion.

    Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby, which took most of the major awards (Best Actress - Hillary Swank, Best Picture, Best Director - Clint Eastwood, Best Supporting Actor - Morgan Freeman), may or may not have been worthy of the Oscar® sweep it enjoyed. The film has been described as a multi-layered film about relationships and overcoming painful pasts. It was the number one box office draw for a few weeks, and many enjoyed the film. But it is also a 137 minute film about the ??non-violent?? sport of boxing, female boxing is this case, and about right-to-die issue. Hillary Swank's character is injured during a boxing match and chooses to die in Million Dollar Baby, just in case you thought the movie just a feel-good, female version of ROCKY. Million Dollar Baby has a MPAA PG-13 rating based on violence, some disturbing images, thematic material and language. The film has grossed only $64 million dollar so far, but that figure will surely climb after this week.

    In comparison, The Passion of the Christ is the #9 all-time box office draw. It took in over $300,000,000.00 in ticket sales during its initial run in movie theatres. (Source of box office information: The Numbers.) Thus far, it has earned over $610,000,000.00 in worldwide distribution- plus an additional $245 million in DVD and video rentals and sales, according to Joel C. Rosenberg's article in The Conservative Republican which we previously mentioned. That is nearly a $1 billion dollar take- so far.

    But the issue here is not money. The issue here is not whether of NOT Clint Eastwood's film deserved to win over The Passion of the Christ. It is about why The Passion of the Christ was not even in the running for the major Academy Awards.



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