Apparently, all publicity is not good publicity if you're one of the fine and Moral corporate types at Anheuser-Busch. It seems as though their trademark product, the mediocre but perfectly acceptable Budweiser, is prominently featured in the new film Flight, which is about a functional alcoholic named Denzel Washington who flies planes for a living, or something along those lines. One of Washington's self-destructive beverages of choice is Budweiser, a fact which has the company all in a tizzy because, you see, despite spending hundreds of millions a year to push Bud on anyone who watches any sort of sporting event, Anheuser-Busch is all about responsible boozing.
A junky argues with her landlord while the Red Hot Chili Peppers' heroin ballad "Under the Bridge" plays in the background. Then, when she shoots up, we hear a cover of the Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane." An alcoholic druggie purges his stash and looks longingly at wedding pictures for a marriage that eventually failed to the strains of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine." A drug dealer is brought in to deliver some hangover-busting cocaine and the refreshed drunk rides the elevator down from his hotel room to a muzak version of "With a Little Help from My Friends."
Robert Zemeckis hasn't made a single live-action film since 2000's acclaimed survival drama Cast Away.
Friday is the most exciting day, because it means drinking, yes, but also movies! What should you see? Well, there are twee indies, a commercial-sweet romantic comedy, and a thriller about an unstoppable train that will probably prove stoppable.
• Conan O'Brien's final Tonight Show airs tonight. Then he'll head off to count the enormous pile of cash that NBC just gave him while he waits until September 1, which is when he'll first be permitted to host another talk show as part of the deal he signed with the network. As for NBC, it will air reruns of The Tonight Show until the Olympics start, with Jay Leno officially returning to his (very tarnished) throne on March 1. [TMZ, THR, WSJ]
• It looks like things are going from bad to worse for Mischa Barton. Her landlord has filed a lawsuit against her for failing to pay three months of rent on her $7,000-a-month Tribeca apartment before moving out of the place late last year. [NYDN, P6]
• Lady Gaga looked pretty banged up when she appeared outside her "Monster Ball" show last night to sign autographs. She she had bizarre cuts and bruises all over her arms and legs. And those mustard-colored extensions she's been wearing as of late aren't helping matters. [The Sun, 3am]
New York Times chairman and publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. doing a little shopping at the Duane Reade on West 72nd Street on Saturday afternoon ... Rachel Weisz walking to a yoga class in SoHo ... Scarlett Johansson leaving her apartment ... Agyness Deyn talking on her cell phone ... Whitney Port arriving at JFK with a friend ... Taylor Momsen shooting scenes for Gossip Girl with Connor Paolo on the Upper East Side ... Denzel Washington arriving at the Late Show with David Letterman ... Mischa Barton on the set of Law & Order: SVU ... Catherine Zeta-Jones leaving her apartment to go shopping ... Ashlee Simpson leaving her apartment ... and Pete Wentz carrying coffee in the East Village.
Sienna Miller turns 28 today. Denzel Washington is turning 55. John Legend is 31. Gayle King turns 55. Saturday Night Live's Seth Meyers is turning 36. Judge Alvin Hellerstein is 76. Media tycoon Phil Anschutz is 70. Former AOL exec turned new media investor Bob Pittman is turning 56. Artist Robert Storr is 60. South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson is turning 63. And American Idol runner-up David Archuleta is 19 today.
Most people who show up at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade have to press up against thousands of other people to catch a glimpse of the spectacle; some have been known to turn up before sunrise to snag a choice spot. But some lucky folks got really lucky this year. Who, you ask? People like Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and hedge fund mogul Dan Loeb, that's who.
Larry King eating lunch at Michael's ... Heidi Klum returning to her hotel in Soho with an armful of kids' clothes and toys ... Michelle Williams and Spike Jonze going to breakfast with Matilda in Brooklyn ... Denzel Washington sitting in an SUV outside his hotel in Midtown ... Chace Crawford carrying a cup of coffee in the West Village ... Katy Perry leaving her hotel in Midtown ... Iman shopping in Soho ... Whitney Houston arriving at LaGuardia ... Matthew Broderick leaving his West Village townhouse ... Rachel Zoe walking by herself ... Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr leaving dinner at One Lucky Duck on East 19th Street ... and Martin Scorsese standing on the sidewalk with wife Helen and daughters Domenica and Francesca following Easter dinner in Midtown.
With the tighter confines of a New York City subway car to contain him, Travolta has downgraded his Parisian bazooka for a more conveniently terrorizing handgun. And as the heavily tattooed hijacker to Denzel Washington's transit worker-turned-crisis negotiator, he's surrendered the adorable leather-daddy exterior we had hoped he'd maintain for at least a few more roles. Alas, the savagery is complete. As for the rest, we're still not convinced the 1974 original required a visit from the End of Ideas fairy, but who can say really say no to Tony Scott? Oh. Well, give it a look anyway.
Author/humorist David Sedaris turns 52 today. Jared Leto is 37. CNN's Candy Crowley is 60. AOL chief Randy Falco is 55. Senator Evan Bayh is 53. America's Most Wanted's John Walsh is 63. Chris Daughtry is 29. And record producer (and possible murderer) Phil Spector celebrates his 68th today. Weekend birthdays after the jump.