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90-Second Pop, Culture Watch

Aired July 14, 2003 - 07:52   ET


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: It is time once again for our feature, "90-Second Pop," which is a look at the world of pop culture with high-speed precision.
Our quick-witted panel this morning is Thelma Adams. She's from "US Weekly." She's a film critic there. Toure is a contributing editor for "Rolling Stone" magazine. And Belinda Luscombe is the arts and media editor for "TIME" magazine.

Welcome to all of you. Thanks for joining us.


O'BRIEN: Thelma, let's begin with you. Who would have thought a movie based on a ride at Disneyland would become the superstar of the weekend? I'm shocked.

THELMA ADAMS, "US WEEKLY": Anyone who has seen it, anyone who saw "Pirates of the Caribbean" would have loved it.

O'BRIEN: We loved it.

ADAMS: Johnny Depp, the happiest person on the earth today is his agent, because he is the movie. And it's so terrific, and it did, you know, 44 million over the weekend; more over the five-day spread. It is the surprise hit of the summer. People were saying it was going to be a bomb. No, no, no, no. People are loving this movie, and I did, too.

O'BRIEN: But is it a pirate thing? Because it seems like Sinbad -- whatever the long end of the title is...

ADAMS: Oh, it's "Sinbag," we call it. No.

O'BRIEN: Oh, wow!

BELINDA LUSCOMBE, "TIME" MAGAZINE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the "bad" in Sinbad on that movie. The good thing about this movie is it's so cleverly done. It doesn't insult your intelligence. It is what it is, and it's just fun. It's totally fun. I mean, Johnny Depp has a classic braided beard. Who knew? The beard that keeps changing. But who know?

And the thing is he says he's a combination of Keith Richards and Peppy la Pew (ph), and he really is. He's charming and stinky at the same time. O'BRIEN: I heard him say, I want to be in the sequel if there is one. And it's really rare to hear, you know, the star of the movie grovel...

LUSCOMBE: Exactly.

O'BRIEN: ... for the next one on the opening weekend.

ADAMS: I know. And the great thing is it doesn't say at the end, to be continued. If there is a sequel, I'm happy to see it, but it is an entire movie.


O'BRIEN: Can we talk just a moment about Sean Connery in the "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?" Have you seen that? Do you...


LUSCOMBE: I would almost see Sean Connery in anything.

O'BRIEN: See? I'm with you.

LUSCOMBE: In anything.

O'BRIEN: I'm with you.


O'BRIEN: This one is really going to push me.


TOURE: I mean, the title is so creepy (UNINTELLIGIBLE).


O'BRIEN: Obviously Toure not loving it. Let's move on and talk about another shocker for me, and I'm being sarcastic here, "Cupid," Simon Cowell's new reality programming.

LUSCOMBE: I think the "American Idol" franchise extends only so far. I really have...

TOURE: To the singers.

LUSCOMBE: Yes, just the singers.

TOURE: Just the singers that is.

LUSCOMBE: And if they go into movies, let's not pay any money to see them.


ADAMS: I think that the fact that those movies did not do well shows the limit. And I want to say one thing: "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" It's like that was really, really hot, and then it's over.

TOURE: Right.

ADAMS: And the same thing is going to happen here.

O'BRIEN: So then we should take this as the beginning of the end for reality TV programming?


TOURE: Well, no, no, no, no, not yet.


TOURE: I mean, "American Idol" is going to have whole another season. It's going to create new stars. I mean, I'm watching "Making the Band" on MTV.

O'BRIEN: You always talk about...

TOURE: I can't get enough. I love that show.


O'BRIEN: "Top Model."


TOURE: That was your favorite show.

O'BRIEN: I admit it.

LUSCOMBE: Now, that was a big chick show. That was a big chick reality show. I think reality shows depend on the concept, and what they're doing with so many of them is just changing (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

O'BRIEN: So, too much of a rip off? No one is going to buy it.


O'BRIEN: Let's talk about Katharine Hepburn, the new book about -- I guess it's her authorized autography. She worked with Scott Berg (ph), who is her biographer on it. Any big scoops in this book, Belinda?

LUSCOMBE: Not that we saw. "TIME" magazine actually excerpted that book. And it's more, I think, because he's such a friend of Katharine Hepburn.

O'BRIEN: And she's so private. I mean, this is a woman who really said not a lot over the years.

LUSCOMBE: This is not going to be the hard-hitting biography that we're sort of used to from Scott Berg (ph) I don't think. It's not -- it's really more or less the reminiscences of a friend. And, you know, I think it's a very sweet book. The excerpt we have is lovely. He clearly knew her very well. But I don't think we're going to get, you know, inside the whole Spencer Tracy thing.

ADAMS: It's not the Kennedy book. You know, it's not John-John and Carolyn and drugs.

LUSCOMBE: Well, by the way, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) may not have had that kind of thing in her life.


ADAMS: And there were a lot of stories that we still don't know.

O'BRIEN: And she certainly had strange issues with her dad and her brother committed -- I mean, there are a lot of unanswered questions. Does she tackle any of that at all?

LUSCOMBE: No. I think it pretty much is I think -- I haven't read the whole book. We excerpted it a little bit. They always were good friends.

O'BRIEN: And it sounds like he's protecting that friendship.

LUSCOMBE: I don't think you can be a good biographer and be a good friend, those two things I think don't work.

TOURE: Yes, that's right.

O'BRIEN: Toure and Belinda and Thelma, thanks so much, you guys.

ADAMS: Sure.

TOURE: Thank you.

O'BRIEN: Appreciate it.


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