"I COULDN'T sacrifice my heart for a publicity stunt," said Kim Kardashian. (Some who loathe the Kardashians might paraphrase Bette Davis in "All About Eve" -- "Nice speech, Kim. You can always put that publicity stunt where your heart ought to be.")
Fair or not, the recent Lamar Odom business with Kardashian sis, Khloe, has pumped up the hate for the family. The feeling seems to be: If he's a crack addict, it's only because of his involvement with the K's. Absurd, of course, but the price that comes with selling your life and soul to reality TV.
AND SPEAKING of stunts -- Wow, Miley Cyrus really got what she wanted out of that rump-bumping performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. Worldwide attention and now, banned from the cover of Vogue, reportedly by order of editrix Anna Wintour. Ms. Wintour couldn't get down with the twerking. The way things have turned out, is it possible Miley was musing: "I hope this will get me booted from Vogue's cover."
OH, ALREADY the word is out about the "great chemistry" between Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson, the co-stars of the film version of "50 Shades of Grey." We are obliged to read between the lines and conclude that the pair is genuinely, hotly attracted to each other. Hunnam's girlfriend, jewelry designer Morgana McNelis, is going to have to put up with a lot of this over the coming months.
And dollars to donuts before it's all over we'll get the old Julie Christie/Donald Sutherland rumors that Charlie and Dakota "really did it!" At least in one of their onscreen sexual encounters. The material of "50 Shades" almost demands such steamy gossip.
The Christie/Sutherland tale was hot stuff back in 1973. Many people went to their genuinely scary thriller, "Don't Look Now" to do exactly the opposite -- look to see if they could see "all." These days it's still something to be curious about, but with the proliferation of porn, not all that curious.
GLAD AS I was to see "Lee Daniels' The Butler" dominate the top of the box office for three weeks, I can't say I'm disappointed that Vin Diesel's "Riddick" finally unseated it. I like Mr. Diesel in the same way I like Dwayne Johnson (aka "The Rock"). Great big guys who can play action and also have a kind of cuddly quality.
Still going strong is "We're the Millers," which has now taken in about $130 million domestically. Jennifer Aniston's rom-coms might not be up there with the classic works of Claudette Colbert, Carole Lombard, Jean Arthur, etc., but apparently they are quite satisfying for 21st-century audiences and more importantly, the studios who pay Jen big bucks. And that's always been the bottom line in show biz.
AS SHOWTIME's "Ray Donovan" winds down its first season -- Showtime picked it up for a second season as soon as the initial reviews were in -- we have a few presumptuous suggestions. Please feel free to disagree.
The strong, strange "Southie" Boston accent employed by that very good actress Paula Malcomson, who plays Ray's wife, has got to go. Whether it was the director or the choice of the actress, it is beyond distracting.
Also, dialogue between Liev Schreiber and Malcomson must be improved. The way the pair speak and interact, one might get the impression they were newlyweds, just finding out about each other. (We have to assume Ray has been a tough customer for years, providing well for his family, while sometimes brutally "fixing" various Hollywood scandals. I know Malcomson is supposed to be a self-deluding, materialistic Carmela Soprano knock-off, but even Carmela didn't frantically ask Tony every single week, "What's going on?")
Otherwise, though the show breaks no new ground, it is entertaining and intense, with Jon Voight, as Liev's father, giving the performance of his career, period.
Rosanna Arquette appeared in a few episodes, but her poignant/amusing little arc ended tragically. Too bad, her brief stint was a reminder of what a good and unique actress she is.
"Breaking Bad" continues to pump super doses of adrenaline to its audience. It's going to be a looooonnng week waiting to see who survived the desert shootout last Sunday. (Odd that these machine-gun type weapons seem to so often miss their targets. At least in TV and movies!)
Between "Breaking Bad" and the U.S. Open's women's final, I almost had to call for an oxygen tank.
(E-mail Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com.)Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun