L.A. Stories/The Roving Eye
Never one to pass up an opportunity to score a political point especially GOP challengers nipping at his heels Gov. Gray Davis took aim at Hollywood this week, specifically the new movie “John Q.”
In the film, which opened to scathing reviews, Denzel Washington portrays a distraught father who arms himself and takes over a hospital when his health plan refuses to cover a heart transplant for his son.
In response, Daniel Zingale, director of the state Department of Managed Health Care, held a press conference to declare that the movie should be rated “NCA” not in California. Touting the state’s Department of Managed Health Care, which operates a toll free help line, Zingale suggested that in California Denzel could have picked up the phone, rather than a gun.
But the Administration’s machinations weren’t entirely convincing to patients’ rights advocates. “I am happy they are out there touting that there is a system that protects patients’ rights, but there are still far too many cracks to fall between for a patient in California,” said Jamie Court, of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.
As athletes gather up their gear and head home from the Salt Lake City Olympic Games this week, Bob Chambers, managing director and president of Montrose-based It’s Alive Co., will be heading to the top of a 6,000 foot mountain overlooking the city to bring down his latest installation.
It’s Alive was responsible for what Chambers claims was the largest lighted sign ever created, a 123,000 square foot depiction of the Olympic rings that shone down on the athletes and spectators in Salt Lake City. The sign was made up of three 160-foot rings, including 1,850 steel poles crowned with 250-watt bulbs. It cost nearly $1 million to build and generated as much light as 5,500 car headlights.
“You can see it from 20 miles away,” Chambers said. “It’s the world’s largest special effect.”
Chambers said his company has spent the better part of a year working on the sign, but he’s not too sad to see it go.
“I’m looking forward to our next big, one-of-a-kind project,” he said.
First, Canadian skaters Jamie Sale and David Pelletier were awarded silver medals. Later, they got gold. Finally, they ended up with platinum.
West Hollywood jewelry designer Philip Press was moved by the controversy surrounding the duo’s victory at the Winter Olympics and decided to create platinum medallions commemorating the event. The medals worth about $7,000 each feature a pair of skaters on one side and the inscription “A Platinum Performance, 2-11-2002” on the other.
“I like making things that are very different and very unusual in platinum and I thought this was the ultimate different and unusual thing to make,” he said. It took Press and his eight employees at Philip Press Master Platinumsmiths five days to make the medals, which were set to be presented to the skaters on Friday.
Warner Bros. took out ads in the Hollywood trade publications and otherwise made a big noise last week when the studio’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” surpassed “Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace” as the No. 2 box office champ of all time.
“This is a remarkable achievement,” crowed Alan Horn, president and chief operating officer of Warner Bros.
While “Harry” has been roundly ignored for any major award recognition, the film had earned $926.1 million in domestic and international box office, versus $922.8 million for “Phantom Menace.” And while “Harry” probably will become only the second film to earn more than $1 billion in ticket sales, Warner Bros. is not likely to be entertaining aspirations for No. 1. That position belongs securely to “Titanic,” which earned an astounding $1.8 billion in worldwide box office.
The Roving Eye
After ad pages in GQ magazine fell 13.2 percent last year, the men’s lifestyle magazine chose the Sunset Room in Hollywood to bring its pages to life.
The magazine hired New York-based Avi Adler Designs Inc. to redecorate the supper club into the GQ Lounge, using products and logos from 21 advertisers who agreed to match or increase the number of ad pages they buy in the magazine.
It’s part of a trend in which marketers mix their products with real-life experiences in order to promote them. Lot 47, the film distributor for the movie “Scotland, Pa.,” recently turned a Manhattan restaurant into a hamburger joint that’s central to the movie’s plot.
As part of the GQ promotion, which ends March 16, patrons shelling out a $10 to $20 cover charge see a chandelier made from 200 bottles of Bombay Sapphire gin and eight Plexiglas cubes forming a diamond in which Reebok’s new line of “Diamond” sneakers are on display.
Mirrors are framed with Paul Mitchell hair products, which also are on the bathroom counters as giveaways. A cabana area has Calvin Klein-designed beds and lounges; backdrops use the clothing giant’s graffiti-type logo.
“Our advertisers look to us to transcend the newsstand by bringing the magazine to life with events and programs that leverage the GQ brand,” said Mistrella Egan, a magazine spokeswoman.
GQ will host a variety of events throughout the month, ranging from Karaoke Night hosted by actors Alexis Arquette and Donovan Leitch, dance parties with L.A. DJs and comedy nights. Invitation-only after-show parties for the NAACP Awards and the Grammy Awards are also scheduled.