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10 memorable movie flops

from Entertainment News.com.au

[#4 on the list] * SWEPT AWAY, 2002
The stinker to beat all stinkers. So bad was Madonna's turn as a spoilt heiress, the film didn't even make it to the theatres.

Madonna Don't Preach

from The Globe

Excerpts:

Friends of superstar Madonna are worried that her involvemnt in the Kabblah has gone too far, saying hs has been "sucked in beyond a point of reason."

[Even though other famous people are into Kabbalah] ... insiders say that Madonna is out of control.

(Regarding the 2005 Versace advertisments)

By Susannah Frankel

January 13, 2005

News that Madonna’s role- playing has extended to embrace the sexy secretary should come as no surprise - we’ve all seen her effortlessly transform from virgin bride to siren, and from respectable wife to bespectacled mother.

This latest incarnation is, on paper, rather more demure - and even passive - than most, however. Still, good old Madge is stepping in to the breach - or did she do it for the money? - in an attempt to reverse the fortunes of her old muckerina Donatella Versace, who hasn’t had the easiest of times recently, both personally and professionally.

.... It is heart-warming to note, then, that help is at hand. The March issues of the international fashion glossies will see the aforementioned World’s Most Famous Woman starring in a Versace advertising campaign photographed by none other than Mario Testino, Madonna’s and Donatella’s old muckerino, neatly enough - the photographer shot Madonna for another Versace campaign 10 years ago now.

And it is a resounding return to high-camp, high-octane form. Here is the pop icon poised for dictation, pen and paper in hand. There she is chatting on the phone. The distinct impression is that there’s no need for her to file her nails while she does so. Methinks this particular nine-to-fiver would have someone else to do that for her.

Because, Madonna being Madonna, the impression is not of a secretary as you or I might know one. Only very few of that profession are likely to write notes lying back on a pristine white day- bed, or lick envelopes lasciviously, kneeling, legs apart, on the equally white carpeted floor.

That sort of behaviour is the preserve of a rather different profession, I think you’ll find. Equally, not many women have so many fabulous handbags - one for every day of the week - just for carrying to the office.

And then there are the clothes: a draped jersey dress split almost to the crotch and gathered at the waist with a gold Medusa buckle; a signature loud and proud Versace shirt worn with skin-tight blue jeans or cream tailored trousers and, of course, the highest metallic strappy sandals. These are not feet that have ever touched the ground. Public transport is anathema to them.

In the world according to Donatella Versace, however, Madonna is doubtless wholly convincing. This is not surprising given that the designer herself can sometimes be seen with her hairdresser in tow, brushing those trademark platinum tresses as she walks.

With this in mind, one can well imagine the two of them dreaming the whole thing up in a close woman-to-woman kind of a way, Madonna choking on the endless stream of Marlboro reds on which La Versace famously puffs away. The lady doesn’t do Lights.

Whichever way you choose to look at it, their view of reality is hardly in line with that of the rest of us.

In the spring of 1998, just months after her brother died, I interviewed Donatella Versace in Gianni Versace’s former home, a town house on the Upper Westside of Manhattan.

On arrival I was let in by the butler and left to ponder for a while the wall-to-wall black marble, wall-to-wall Picassos, and the fountain just beyond a first set of French windows, in which rose petals had been lovingly scattered, as they would continue to be until the lady of the house departed for Milan.

Ms Versace would be with me in just a moment, I was told. She was downstairs in the kitchen swapping recipes with a member of staff, as you do.

When she appeared - dressed in black jeans and T-shirt, and wearing diamond rings so huge that she couldn’t bend her fingers - she was insistent that the main difference between herself and Gianni Versace was that she was a woman and therefore had an empathetic, even sisterly approach to clothing. She was, she insisted, very much the pragmatist. "I would like all women to be able to wear my clothes," this woman of the people claimed. And to Donatella Versace, Madonna might indeed serve as some kind of Everywoman.

"She relates to women of all ages," Versace said last week of her latest leading lady. Whatever she may be, however, Madonna is no secretary.

"Take a letter, Miss Ciccone. And take off those PVC handcuffs."

[I notice that not too long after such articles appeared that Madonna's press people or whomever then began explaining that Madonna was not intended to be a "secretary" in the Versace ads, but rather, was a CEO (Chief Executive Officer). I'm sorry, but I don't buy Madonna as a CEO, either.]

Madonna Sues Mary J. Blige Over Barbershop Song

from Chart Attack

January 18, 2005

While you were groovin' along to the Mary J. Blige song "Not Today" on the soundtrack to Barbershop 2, were you struck with feelings of nostalgia? Apparently, so was Madonna. Much like the theme from "Ghostbusters" and Huey Lewis' "I Want A New Drug" sounded suspiciously similar back in the '80s, "Not Today" had a lot of people humming the tune of Madonna's 1983 hit "Holiday."

According to MuchMusic.com, Madge's people are suing Blige's people for copyright infringement over the song. Blige's collaborators, Eve and Dr. Dre are also named in the suit. If the judge hears the similarity between the two songs, Madonna's publishing company could take home a tidy $15 million settlement.

Not that Madge needs the cash, of course. Before 2004 was even over, Madonna's Re-Invention Tour was named the #1 grossing concert of the year, raking in somewhere in the neighbourhood of $125 million.

To earn some extra pocket change, earlier this month Madonna signed on to do a new ad campaign for Versace. Look out for the ads, which will feature Madge slumming it as a secretary, posing in various office scenes.

Madonna Discovers Mythical Musical Note in Concert (satire)

by Kevin Scrantz

January 20, 2005

Sagging pop singer Madonna created an international furor last weekend on the star-studded tsunami relief telethon when she hit the previously unheard musical key of Z while performing a cover of John Lennon's "Imagine."

The musical note, first postulated by masters Handel and Mozart, had for centuries been regarded as a myth by scholars and long been the subject of heated debate in music circles.

Although admittedly pleased by the accidental discovery - which she attributes to her fascination with Kaballah - the former Material Girl was quick to say it had little importance to her life now, as she begins the first leg of a relief trip to the devastated regions of the Indian Ocean.

"Forty years ago when I was still shallow and my music irrelevant, I would have been thrilled," the singer revealed to DeadBrain. "But the most important thing to me now, besides perfecting my British accent, is my humanitarianism.

"Music and water are the ultimate healers," she explained. "And to get this point across to the victims of this tsunami thing, I'll be selling my CDs, CD players, and bottles of Kaballah water in Thailand and Indonesia."

The Michigan native has been one of the leading exponents of the mystical belief system, which has its roots in ancient Jewish tradition. Ads airing on British television show her hawking bottled Kaballah water, believed to come from the backyard of a Winnipeg fertilizer salesman, with the catchphrase, "It's Kabba-licious."

Accompanying her will be her husband, British director Guy Ritchie, who has arranged benefit screenings of the couple's landmark film Swept Away.

Madonna tries to hide wrinkles

by Daniel Kilkelly

January 23 2005

Queen of Pop Madonna insisted on bringing her own lighting team with her while appearing on a BBC show, The Mirror claims.

Madonna appeared on a benefit show to raise money for victims of the Asian tsunami, but seemed to be more worried about her appearance.

"She insisted on her halo lights as they don't show as many wrinkles," a source told the Sunday Mirror. "Madonna dipped into her own pocket to pay for it."

Toronto fashion twins peak

by Sharda Prashad

January 30, 2005

Madonna didn't come up with the look for her jeans she wore in one of her world tours or music videos:

They wanted to design women's couture fashion, but twins Dean and Dan Caten realized that they were in a cash crunch — and women's couture was too risky. The safer bet was to design a men's ready-to-wear line.

.... In 1995, they launched their fashion house, DSquared.

The twins financed their second collection with a bank loan, and gradually started creating a stronger client base and hosting larger fashion shows.

"Madonna was our first big celebrity," Caten remembers. "Madonna loves to be the one to find people."

Her artistic director was sporting DSquared jeans, and Madonna decided that she wanted to wear the jeans in her Don't Tell Me video. Although the twins were not designing for women at the time, Madonna was the first exception. She wanted the Toronto natives to create clothing for her video, and for the western countries in her Drowned world tour.

"We knew we made it then," says Caten. "It was a really, really good feeling."

Caten says that despite their success, they were "bummed" because they weren't focusing on women's couture — a major reason they moved to Italy in the first place.

Bad Penmanship? Celebrities Are Making A Mark on Children’s Literature. But do we really want them speaking to our kids?

By John Ross, From Southwest Airlines' Spirit magazine

February 2005 issue; article begins on page 120

Excerpts:

…. [The author is scanning over book titles in the kid’s section of a book store and notices that a] ... much more famous name occupies space on three consecutive, descending shelves. It’s Madonna. The very same pop princess Madonna who sang “Like a Virgin” and “I’d Rather Be Your Lover.”

[Author then cites a long list of other recent children’s books that have been written by famous people, including Jay Leno, singer LeAnn Rimes, and chef Emeril Lagasse.]

What gives? Has the children’s book become to the Aughts what the celebrity album was to the ‘70s – a cheap and easy way for the rich and famous to make cash?

And what are these people teaching our kids, anyway? And, most worrisome, if we buy these celeb kid-lit books for our Courtneys and Dakotas and Jacks, does that say something bad about us as parents?

On the latter: Mmm, could be. A couple of the celebrity kids’ book authors have put out decent material – Jamie Lee Curtis, whose latest is I’m Gonna Like Me: Letting Off a Little Self Esteem, is tops on that short list.

But many of these books read as if they were slapped together in a couple of days, based on a faded memory from a famous person’s past. And those are the good ones.

…. The Material Girl, at least, tries to offer meatier fare. Mr. Peabody’s Apples, Madonna writes, is inspired by a 300-year-old- tale the singer heard from her Kabbalah teacher.

The story is about a man who is falsely accused of stealing. Even with their historical roots, critics have called Madonna’s books “wooden” and “didactic.” Sounds familiar. Rolling Stone once called the Erotica album “chilly,” “deliberate,” and “posturing.”

The thing is – as Madonna knows – it’s not easy to make music. Anyone who remembers the celebrity albums that were relentlessly released in the 1970s – horrifically capped by Leonard Nimoy’s Outer Space / Inner Mind – knows that, too.

What seems to escape notice is that kids’ books aren’t easy, either. “Celebrities write children’s books because they are like so many people who think writing for children is easy,” says Sandra J. Philipson, author of five kids’ books, including one that inspired the TV movie Miracle Dogs.

“Most of these celebrity-written books are not educationally sound or really written for children. Madonna, Billy Crystal, Jay Leno and James Carville really should stay with their day / night jobs and do what they do best.”

… celebrities are not going to stick to their day jobs so long as we keep buying whatever they’re selling.

And, man, are we buying. The first book in Madonna’s five-book series debuted at the top of The New York Times best seller list. That’s emboldened every celeb to use the same Big Media Marketing Machine that tricked us into watching Van Helsing to also get us to buy their cutesy kids’ books.

[Even though books sales have been in decline the past several years, children’s books] … reached a seven-year high. Kids’ book sales were up nearly 11 percent from 2002, an estimated $2.1 billion boost. Oddly, though, sales didn’t reflect more books sold.

The number of books sold fell by 11 million. But the added costs of today’s kids’ books, complete with once-rare hardcover releases and interactive features – CDs and the liks – drove revenues higher.

Credit Harry Potter, too. That series is the leader in the kids’ category, and, in many ways, it represents the best that kids’ books have to offer – something both for kids and adults.

… [Children such as] Courtney, though, presumably doesn’t care about Jay Leno or James Carville or LeAnn Rimes or any of the rest. She cares about a good story and many a few pretty pictures. Which is what parents should care about as well. Sorry, Madonna. And Emeril.

$
Dr. Seuss, Watch Your Back ... (Or Not)

by Gilbert Cruz, from Entertainment Weekly

February 4, 2005

click image to view larger version

Excerpts:

Seems every celeb is writing a kids' book these days, but who's buying them? According to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks sales at more than 7,000 outlets nationwide, as of Jan. 20 Billy O'Reilly's "The O'Reilly Factor for Kids" has moved 165,000 copies since its November release - outshining other stars' 2004 tomes, including Madonna's "The Adventues of Abdi".

Elton John Slams Reactions to His Madonna Comments

from Contact Music.com

February 7, 2005

Flamboyant superstar SIR ELTON JOHN fears he's been made to look like a Nazi sympathiser after accusing MADONNA of lip-syncing.

The CANDLE IN THE WIND singer hit the headlines in October (04) when he criticised his pal at the Q AWARDS in London, accusing her of not singing live during her performances.

But John admits he remains shocked at the strong reactions to his comments.

He says, "I was just having fun and it's like I said that HITLER was right, or something. Everybody knows Madonna lip-syncs. Everybody knows a lot of people lip-sync onstage. It was no big deal...

"When you're going to see a live band, it's one of the most exciting things that you can see. And I don't want to go and see someone who lip-syncs, thank you very much.

"I got a lot of flak for (saying) it. Somebody said, 'Well, she can't sing when she's in the crab position.' Well, there you go... especially if she had haemorrhoids as well."

Scissor Sisters Rules Out Madonna Song

February 8, 2005

SCISSOR SISTERS frontman JAKE SHEARS has ruled out a future collaboration with MADONNA, because his celebrity pal KYLIE MINOGUE would "kill him".

The flamboyant LAURA singer wrote and produced Minogue's latest hit I BELIEVE IN YOU last year (04), and claims he's too loyal to the diminutive Australian to work with her chart rival Madonna.

Shears says, "I think Kylie would have my head on a plate if I worked with Madonna. Really, I'm not interested in collaborating with her, I love Kylie too much. . . .

Totally Embarrassing! Madonna To Play Transvesitite Male

from the New York Metro

February 2005

NY Metro article
Above: New York Metro newsclipping; Click image to view larger version

Oh look, a role that won't require Madonna to do any "acting." She will just be herself, like she did when she played "Susan" in the 1980s film Despeately Seeking Susan.

Text in article reads:

Would her fellow Kabbalahists approve? In a bid to restore credibility to her long-stuffering acting career, Madonna has signed on to play transvestite Candy Darlking, a one-time muse to the late Andy Warhol, in an upcoming flick, reports the UK's Sun.

"Madonna has been desperate to make a film where she can earn respect for her acting abilities. She is still trying to shake off the bad publicity from the movie 'Swept Away.' ... She is said she would do anything for the part and has agreed to work for free," says a source to the newspaper.

Madge reportedly sealed the deal during a meeting with movie agent Bryan Lourd in Manhattan last month.

» See also:

» Madonna to play a prostitute! - Feb 19, 2005

» Madonna in a man's role for free

» Casting News: Madonna to play drag queen for free - Feb 22, 2005

» Madonna in a man's role for free - Feb 21, 2005

French Icon Francoise Hardy Blasts "Vulgar" Madonna

from Contact Music

February 28, 2005

Veteran French singer FRANCOISE HARDY has labelled MADONNA a "vulgar" woman with a detestable face.

The 1960s icon - now 61 - is so offended by the MATERIAL GIRL's physical appearance, she's lost all interest in listening to her music.

Hardy - legendary for her stunning looks in her heyday - blasts, "I don't like her face. It's not her fault but I don't like it!

"I'm not attracted to her. I don't like the way she moves. She is very - what's the word - vulgar. It doesn't appeal to me to get to know her work any better."

Boy George: 'Madonna is a hypocritical homophobe'

from Contact Music

February 28, 2005

Gay pop star BOY GEORGE has slammed MADONNA for embracing Kabbalah, the mystical offshoot of Judaism which preaches homosexuality is a disease.

The former CULTURE CLUB singer is horrified the MATERIAL GIRL flirted with lesbianism - most famously in her controversial kisses with BRITNEY SPEARS and CHRISTINA AGUILERA at 2003's MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS - yet supports a religion which believes homosexuals can be cured.

He fumes, "I have a problem with Madonna's devotion to Kabbalah, because I watched a documentary that said that Kabbalah believes that gay people are diseased and can be cured.

"She's such a hypocrite. This is the woman who has embraced homosexuality and used it to her advantage."