Winners & Losers Of 2010 (Part Two)

Winner:  The Hurt Locker

One of the best reviewed films of 2009 went into the 82nd Academy Awards hoping to make history.  Only one picture stood in its way:  Avatar. 

The James Cameron blockbuster never stood a chance (even though I incorrectly predicted it would).  The Hurt Locker was named Best Picture, making it the lowest grossing Oscar winner ever.  (It made about 50 million worldwide.  Avatar earned nearly 3 billion.)  The ageless goddess Kathyrn Bigelow became the first female to snag Best Director while journalist Mark Boal won for Best Original Screenplay.  The film also took home the Best Film Editing gong and was voted tops in both Sound categories, bringing its total Oscar tally to 6.

How did Avatar do?  It had to settle for three technical trophies.  In the battle of former spouses, the ex-wife easily came out on top.

Loser:  Charlie Sheen 

All his recent troubles began last Christmas.  That morning, the second generation actor and his third wife, Brooke Mueller, got into a heated argument.  They had been drinking.  It was alleged that he grabbed her by the throat and uttered a death threat while brandishing a knife.  Police were called and Sheen was taken into custody despite his desperate assertion that he was defending himself.  Unpersuaded, they ultimately charged him with second-degree assault, menacing and criminal mischief. 

Hanes, the underwear company, dropped him as an advertising spokesman.  Despite looking at a possible one-year sentence for the incident, Sheen, no stranger to the court system, would inevitably be spared incarceration.  Instead, he would plead guilty to misdemeanour assault and not serve a day in lock-up.  (All the other charges were dismissed.)  In August, the judge sentenced him to 30 days of probation, 36 hours of anger management classes and another 30-day stint in rehab.

Even though his hardworking publicist insisted at the time of his initial arrest that the dysfunctional couple would try to work things out privately, Sheen filed for divorce in November.  Mueller eventually sought treatment for her alcoholism.  (As of this writing, she’s moved into a Sober Living facility.)

About a week before he decided to end another failed marriage, Sheen got into more trouble.  According to TMZ, the actor was staying at The Plaza Hotel when he met porn star Capri Anderson at the in-house bar.  She was hired to tag along with him and seven other people to a local eatery where they would dine in a private room.  Sheen’s second ex-wife Denise Richards attended the get-together (she was visiting with their two kids from out of town and had her own room at The Plaza) but “left before eating her appetizer”, according to TMZ.  Apparently, it was an “awkward” situation.  (Anderson later told ABC News that Sheen was “very loud” and “had no hesitations when it came to using derogatory language or cuss words” including racial epithets.)

It got even more uncomfortable in one of the restaurant bathrooms.  According to RadarOnline, Sheen had convinced Anderson to go in one of the stalls with him.  After doing some coke, he started to disrobe demanding sex.  According to the story, she wouldn’t do anything unless she received $12,000, her escort fee (although this report says she was promised $3500 as an “appearance fee” which she nonetheless claims went unpaid).  An unidentified source told Radar, “He didn’t have the money on him so she left him in the bathroom.”  Sheen’s underpaid assistant found him naked, his face covered in coke.

Amazingly, after all of that commotion, Anderson went back to Sheen’s hotel room with him where the atmosphere turned heavy.  The actor couldn’t find his wallet nor his cellphone and proceeded to fly into a truly scary rage.  Furniture was thrown as well as a chandelier.  Anderson alleges that he also tried to strangle her and even threw a lamp at her.  One of her text messages to him revealed that he also tore off the straps of her Prada purse.  (After all was said and done, Sheen caused roughly 7000 dollars in damage.)  A terrified Anderson locked herself in a nearby bathroom.  TMZ reported that she called hotel security who, in turn, called law enforcement.

By the time the cops arrived, Sheen had not yet calmed down.  He even admitted he was high.  (His embattled spokesperson claimed with a straight face that he had an allergic reaction to some medication he was taking.  That deserves a raise.)  They reportedly gave him a choice:  jail or a hospital.  Richards accompanied him to New York Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in the early hours of October 27th so he could undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

The timing of the whole bizarre incident was particularly awful for Richards who was booked to do Howard Stern’s Sirius XM radio show just a few hours later to promote a new TV project.  Refusing to talk particulars, the most she said about it was “It’s been a very eventful trip.”.

As a result of all of this madness, Sheen’s supporters are understandably worried about him falling off the wagon again.  (He reportedly resumed drinking at The Playboy Mansion back in August.)  Furthermore, Anderson announced she was filing a civil suit against him but later, changed her mind. However, Anderson has filed a criminal complaint while Sheen and his attorneys have countered with a claim that she stole his $165,000 watch in their own million dollar lawsuit.  (Anderson claimed that Sheen texted her an offer of $20,000 which his attorney has denied.  The text messages later surfaced on RadarOnline.)

I don’t know what’s more sickening.  The horrible way he has consistently treated women in his life or the fact that he’s attracted all these women in the first place.  Two words of advice, Charlie:  Turn gay.

Winner:  Charlie Sheen

In spite of all the wall-to-wall media coverage regarding these two highly embarrassing situations, the actor still managed to sign a lucrative 2-year contract extension with CBS which will please the many fans of his long running, highly successful sitcom, Two And A Half Men.  He’ll earn nearly 2 million an episode plus his share of syndication royalties.  Because of this last-minute deal, Charlie Sheen is currently the highest paid actor on Television.

Like that neurotic Assistant To The Travelling Secretary, no matter how bad his behaviour gets, Sheen still can’t get fired.  No wonder I’m an atheist.

Loser:  WWE Wrestlers At The Movies

They can’t all be Dwayne Johnson.  But that doesn’t stop them from trying.

Once again, contracted wrestlers from Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment organization tried their luck on the big screen.  The results were dismal. 

In May, Chris Jericho, Mark Henry, Kane, MVP, The Great Khali and The Big Show all appeared in the MacGyver spoof, MacGruber, the umpteenth full-length theatrical version of an original Saturday Night Live skit.  Unfortunately, the Will Forte vehicle was foolishly booked to open on the same day as Shrek Forever After.  The fourth and supposedly final chapter in that lucrative animation franchise made over 700 million worldwide. 

What was MacGruber’s overall take?  A little over 9 million.  It was dropped from North American cinemas after only three weeks, despite a big push from the WWE.  Critically, reviews were mixed.  (Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 48% rotten rating.)  Guess Forte and fellow SNL castmate Kristen Wiig (who plays MacGruber’s love interest) won’t be invited back to guest host Raw anytime soon.

Then, in September, John Cena made his latest attempt at movie stardom by playing a distant older brother who teaches his younger sibling how to conquer his opponents in the world of high school amateur wrestling in Legendary.  It lasted a fortnight and made roughly $200,000.  Critics piledrived it into the ground.  (It earned a 17% rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes.)  Wal-Mart started selling the DVD less than three weeks after its limited theatrical run.  It will be more widely available December 28th.  That’s right, after Christmas.

Finally, there’s Knucklehead, another film featuring The Big Show, this time in the lead.  Released briefly in October, the few critics who got to screen it hated it.  (It’s managed only a meagre 10% rotten rating on RT.  Only one critic liked it.)  It’s not certain how much money it took in.  (I couldn’t find any box office reports.)  And yes, it’s already out on DVD.

Did we not learn anything from No Holds Barred?

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Monday, December 13, 2010
11:47 p.m.

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Published in: on December 13, 2010 at 11:47 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] this space in 2010 I noted the WWE’s pitiful attempts that year to expand its reach by putting its talent in mov…, two of which were dumped on DVD literally weeks after their theatrical run.  While it’s […]


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