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A look at the Summer's Hottest Films

Aired May 21, 2005 - 18:00   ET


CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, I'm Carol Lin. HOT TICKET TO FUN starts in just a moment, but first, here's what's happening right now in the news.
Yet another photo of Saddam Hussein in prison. London's "The Sun" tabloid shows the dictator in a robe possibly praying. In yesterday's "Sun," Saddam was shown only in his underwear. The Pentagon is investigating how the tabloid got those pictures.

Investigators now say a deadly fire in Cleveland, Ohio probably started by accident. The overnight blaze killed two adults and seven children. Police say the children ranged in ages from 4 to 17.

And a single engine plane on a sightseeing tour crashed on the beach of New York's Coney Island this afternoon killing off four people on board. No one on the ground was hurt. Officials say the pilot was from New York and the three passengers were visitors from the south.

Mary Kay Letourneau has tied the knot with her former student Vili Fualaau. We are going to get the inside scoop from people who were there at last night's wedding on "CNN SATURDAY NIGHT" at 10 Eastern, 7 Pacific, but right now, HOT TICKET TO FUN.

SABILA VARGAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, everyone, I'm Sabila Vargas in the sun of Southern California with your HOT TICKET TO FUN.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what do you think?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does it come in black?

VARGAS (voice-over): Batman begins, "Star Wars" ends. Russell in the ring, Angelina in the black and white.

BRAD PITT, ACTOR: Come on sweetheart, come to daddy.

ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTRESS: Who's your daddy now?

VARGAS: We've got your ticket to summer's hottest films.

Britney and Kevin, Venus and Serena, smashing doubles serve up summer TV. J.K. Rowling waves her magic wand and Harry Potter reappears. And we put Steve Martin in a hair-raising situation. STEVE MARTIN, ACTOR: I don't want to look that way.

VARGAS: Plus, what goes up better come down on top of the tallest coaster in the world. So, all on board, get ready to ride, admission is paid with your HOT TICKET TO FUN.


VARGAS: Wind your way along historic Route 66 and eventually you'll reach this point, the world famous Santa Monica Pier. For nearly a century, people have been coming here in search of summer fun. Over the next hour, we'll show you what's hot in entertainment this summer from movies to TV, theme parks and more. A little later, Steve Martin is going to join to us talk about his summer comedy. And what would the season be without a barbecue. Grilling expert Steven Rachlen puts the sizzle in our special.

While he's setting up, let's go from this pier to my peers in New York, A.J. Hammer and Karyn Bryant of "SHOW BIZ TONIGHT."

Where are you guys hanging out?

A.J. HAMMER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Sabila, we're at the South Street Seaport. If you're in Manhattan, right on Pier 17. They are expecting four to five million visitors to come out this summer and check out the sights.

KARYN BRYANT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There are some pretty cool sights here too. Of course, we've got tall ships behind us. There are a lot of shops and restaurants. And right over there, the Brooklyn Bridge.

HAMMER: Now, this place is going to be hopping this summer but nothing is going to be busier than the box office. With dozens of films coming out, there's something for everyone. And we've got your ticket.


HAMMER (voice-over): It's a time of good versus evil, when books come to life and when potential blockbusters are born. It's summer time with films for every kind of moviegoer.

JOLIE: You still alive, baby?

DAVE KARGER, "ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY": "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" definitely has one of the best premises of the summer.

JOLIE: You have got to be kidding.

KARGER: A married couple, both who are assassins, who don't know that their spouse is an assassin until they get their next assignment which is to kill each other.

HAMMER: Action, adventure, and A-list. The three A's of summer are back with popcorn picks like comic book adaptations, "The Fantastic Four," the story of Bruce Wayne's early days in "Batman Begins" and Jamie Foxx's high velocity aviation flick, "Stealth". Oh, and then there's this...

KARGER: I think one of the most exciting sounding movies of the summer is "War of The Worlds."

TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: If lightning doesn't strike twice...

KARGER: While it has a very straight-forward concept, aliens invading the Earth, Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise, that's going to be one that's really cool.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't give me excuses! Give me the results!

KARGER: There definitely are a couple movies that will definitely play for everybody. I think the most promising of those is "Madagascar."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is he? A guinea pig?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's a squirrel.

HAMMER: Kids can also kick it with "The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you do this thing?

HAMMER: Plus, Lindsey Lohman's adventures at NASCAR in "Herbie Fully Loaded" and two family friendly remakes, baseball classic, "The Bad News Bears" and "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory."

KARGER: The fact that it's Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, it's going to look really great.

HAMMER: Did someone say remakes, rehashed, redone, recycled? You can say that again.

From old movies to even older TV shows. Want-to-be summer hits not only borrow from the past, they co-opt them. Nicole Kidman casts her spell in "Bewitched." Cedric The Entertainer stars in a new version of the "Honeymooners." Steve Martin becomes Inspector Clouseau and Jessica Simpson hangs with an all new gang in "The Dukes of Hazard."

JESSICA SIMPSON, ACTRESS: I think something bounced up into my undercarriage.

HAMMER: Now, don't worry sports fans, summer has your game. Football fans can go long, way long for Adam Sandler's "The Longest Yard." One original sporting flick is Russell Crowe's boxing drama, "Cinderella Man," which might just be fishing for an Oscar.

Got an appetite for fear because summer is here with a whole plate of scary. Rachel McAdams experiences terror in the sky in Wes Craven's "Red Eye" while Michael Bay's "The Island" reminds folks about the down side of human cloning. And Kate Hudson heads for the bayou in voodoo thriller, "Skeleton Key."

From popcorn picks to sports flicks to family fair, all in all this summer's movies can be summed up in one word...



HAMMER: Well, we want to know what movie you're most excited about this summer, so register your vote by going to and we will reveal the results on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT."

BRYANT: That's right. Now, A.J., as you, for me, it's all about "Star Wars."

HAMMER: I do know that.

BRYANT: Yes, it's all about that. But Sabila, we want to know what are you most looking forward to?

VARGAS: Well, Karyn, I think you may be a little jealous when I tell you not only did I get to see Episode 3, but I also got to see it at George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch. That's where I caught up with the director to talk about his legacy.


VARGAS (on camera): It's been a -- it's been a long odyssey for you, almost three decades.

GEORGE LUCAS, CREATOR, "STAR WARS": Yes. Well, it's been 20 years of solid work over a period of 30 years. And I stopped in the middle to raise my kids.

VARGAS: Do you feel that you've accomplished your mission?

LUCAS: I feel very satisfied that I've accomplished what I was set out to do with "Star Wars." And I was able to complete the entire saga and say this is what the whole story is about.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Remember, the force will be with you always!

VARGAS (voice-over): The result of Lucas' work is a ground- breaking feature franchise that touched millions of fans and made an indelible mark on film history. Now, the saga comes to an explosive end with "Episode 3: Revenge of The Sith."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were the chosen one!

VARGAS: And the pressing question, why did Anikan Skywalker turn to the dark side will finally be answered.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The dark side of the force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.

HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN, ACTOR: Is it possible to learn this power?

VARGAS (on camera): How will this last installment affect our view of the entire saga?

LUCAS: I'm hoping now that people will see it as one film rather than six little films. I think that this sort of explains that Darth Vader in the last three movies is more of a pathetic character than a horrible character. It's horrible but it's a sad thing of what happened to him. And you're sort of more rooting, hopefully, for him to be redeemed.

VARGAS (voice-over): Twenty-four-year-old Hayden Christensen reprises his role as Anakin, the man who becomes Darth Vader.

(on camera): Was it surreal to get that helmet on?

CHRISTENSEN: It's sort of indescribable, you know, exhilarating, empowering, and a little saddening as well. I was given the job of being the sort of connective tissue and to Darth Vader. And to sort of finally get to put on the costume meant that my job was done.

VARGAS (voice-over): And what about the ultimate Jedi master, George Lucas? He likens his 28-year odyssey to a marathon.

(on camera): When you were shooting that last scene, were you sad?

LUCAS: I was not sad. I was relieved because again, it's like an endurance race. So when you finish the -- when you cross the finish line, it's not a matter of being happy or sad. It's a matter of being relieved that you're finished.

VARGAS (voice-over): But it isn't end of the line for moviegoers. Lucas has plans to re-release all six episodes in 3D on the big screen. And for fans who need a small-screen fix, Lucas has that covered too.

LUCAS: There's a series called "The Clone Wars," which is an animated series. We're going to turn that into a half-hour series. We're going to do it in 3D animation. And we're also going to do a live action series based on very minor characters in the "Star Wars" saga but none of the principals are going to be in it.

VARGAS: So while the "Star Wars" saga has come to an end, the force will live on.


VARGAS: Lucas's TV projects won't hit the air for a while, but if you're looking for something new on TV, the summer schedule is packed. Here to tell us more on that is CNN's Brooke Anderson.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN ENTERTAINMENT NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Sabila. The networks used to go into hibernation over the summer but not anymore. The reality is there will be lots of new shows, mostly reality TV. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRITNEY SPEARS, SINGER: Can you handle more truth?

ANDERSON (voice-over): Britney, Venus and Serena, Paris Hilton's mom, Tommy Lee, this summer celebrities are inviting viewers into their private lives.

VENUS WILLIAMS, TENNIS PRO: I think people will find it interesting just to see, you know, we're just ordinary people more than anything else.

ANDERSON: From practicing yoga to taking golf cart joyrides, these tennis superstars are serving up their so-called ordinary lives in a new reality series on ABC Family.

V. WILLIAMS: Your view is disturbing me.

ANDERSON: Why do you feel more and more celebrities are getting into reality television?

V. WILLIAMS: The reason that Serena and I wanted to do a show was because we felt there were a lot of shows out there that didn't show reality and our show will show reality.

SPEARS: Hi, I want to introduce you guys to my friend, Kevin.

ANDERSON: She's married. She's pregnant and she's sharing her private home movies with fans. In her UPN show, Britney Spears takes us through her courtship with Kevin Federline, their engagement and wedding through never before seen home videos.

SPEARS: It's controversy. That's what they all want and that's what they want to see.

ANDERSON: If you want to see singer Bobby Brown attempt to get his personal life back in order and resurrect what was once a successful music career, Bravo's reality series takes you behind the scenes of his tumultuous life. Expect to see appearances by Brown's wife, Whitney Houston, and their daughter.

KATHY HILTON, "I WANT TO BE A HILTON": We've got a lot of hard work to do.

ANDERSON: Shoulders back, chin up, it's time to step out like a Hilton. Paris Hilton's mother, Kathy, is educating 14 men and women on the does and don'ts of the Manhattan elite in a new NBC series. The contestants will battle it out for...

HILTON: A trust fund, a fabulous address in New York City, my Rolodex, and you know, clothing, and jewelry, and special prizes.

ANDERSON: This summer's Motley Crue of reality stars includes Tommy Lee. This 42-year-old drummer is joining the undergrads at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln for his first semester of college. TOMMY LEE, MOTELY CRUE DRUMMER: People were tripping out. They're like, Dude, that's Tommy -- like, we basically bum-rushed the university.

ANDERSON: The cameras followed this fish out of water rocker as he auditions for the marching band and crams for finals.

The band INXS is looking for a new lead singer to replace Michael Hutchens who died in 1997. Reality guru Mark Burnett produces this rock star search.

No stars in the "Big Brother" house, but it's back on CBS with season No. 6. And back to big sister, Venus, and little sister, Serena. The emphasis here is family.

V. WILLIAMS: Definitely a message of togetherness and sisterhood, and having fun and getting through the tough times, all those kinds of things because it's for real.


ANDERSON: Venus and Serena not only have a TV show to think about, there's tennis, too. They're expected to compete later this summer in Wimbledon.

VARGAS: Thanks, Brooke. And I hope you're hungry because we're going to check back with Steven Rachlen who is hot on the grill.

Hey Steven.

STEVEN RACHLEN, GILL MASTER: Hi, Sabila. Well, today, we're going to make a classic on the American barbecue circuit, beer-can chicken and logically enough, it begins with a can of beer. So open the beer and you will want to pour half the beer out onto these hardwood chips I'm going to use for smoking the chicken. Now, moistening the chips will make them smolder instead of burn so you get a great flavor or wood smoke. The next step is to make two additional holes in the top of the beer can and this allows the beer to steam the chicken inside evenly.

Back to you, Sabila.

VARGAS: We'll check back with Steven in a minute, plus coming up, two dirty rotten scoundrels, one who starred in the movie, and another who's gone to Broadway.

HOT TICKET trivia -- which famous summer film of 1994 was shot partly on the Santa Monica Pier? The answer, coming up.


VARGAS: What famous film of the summer of 1994 was short partly on the Santa Monica Pier? The answer, "Forrest Gump"

Steven Rachlen is the authority on grilling. In fact, he's written half a dozen books on the subject and he's the host of "Barbecue University" on PBS. So we're doing beer-can chicken?

RACHLEN: Beer can chicken.

VARGAS: Take us to school. What's the next step?

RACHLEN: OK, you're going to do the next step.


RACHLEN: And that is to make a rub. All good barbecue begins with a rub. So I'll ask to you mix with your fingers. We'll start with equal parts, salt...


RACHLEN: ...pepper, paprika...


RACHLEN: ...and brown sugar. And the reason you mix -- go ahead -- the reason you mix with your fingers is to break up any lumps in the brown sugar. And then we'll brush the outside of the bird with a little vegetable oil. Now, this will help the rub stick to the bird and it'll also make the skin extra crisp.

VARGAS: Oh, I get it.

RACHLEN: All right?

VARGAS: All right.

RACHLEN: So what we do now is sprinkle the bird with some of the rub, and then you rub it into the meat. That's why it's called a rub and this will add the first layer of flavor.

VARGAS: OK, so after the rub, what's the next step?

RACHLEN: Now comes the fun part. Hold the chicken up by the wings. Take the beer can, and then you lower the chicken onto the can of beer and pull the legs forward so that the chicken sits on the can of beer. Now, this is fantastic for three reasons, one, the steaming beer keeps the bird moist, two, the upright position helps the fat melt out so you get really crisp skin and finally, the odd pop, jaw dropping, wow power of this is it's off the charts.

VARGAS: OK, and then it's ready for grilling.

RACHLEN: Ready for grilling.

VARGAS: All right. Well, let's go back to New York to see what's cooking on Broadway.

HAMMER: Thanks a lot, Sabila. I actually up some helpful hints there. I do consider myself somewhat of a grill master.

BRYANT: Well, I consider you one as well, A.J. HAMMER: Thank you.

BRYANT: Well, if you have a taste for theater this summer, there are touring productions of a lot of shows including "Moving Out." It is moving all around the country. There is also "Hair Spray" and "Little Shop of Horrors", "Mamma Mia" and "Wicked" just to name a few. You can check out for all the details.

HAMMER: You know Karyn, a lot of Hollywood stars; big-time Hollywood stars are spending their summer right here in New York.

BRYANT: That's right. And the spotlight is on them on Broadway this summer.


BRYANT (voice-over): The sweet, the rotten, little women, angry men, New York's theater district, three dozen shows crammed into 11 city blocks. Broadway, baby.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stepping out with my baby...

BRYANT: You like plays, you say? Let's start with some classics. Denzel's doing "Julius Caesar". Yes, Shakespeare's here, so is Tennessee Williams times two.

CHRISTIAN SLATER, "THE GLASS MENAGERIE": And the audience seems to be laughing. I think they're quite relieved to discover that this, you know, not like this heavy, heavy, heavy classic thing.

BRYANT: Christian Slater fronts "The Glass Menagerie with Jessica Lange. And "A Street Car Named Desire's" got Natasha Richardson this go-around.

NATASH RICHARDSON, "A STREET CAR NAMED DESIRE": It's an extraordinary play. One of the great plays ever written.

BRYANT: "Glengarry Glenn Ross" is back, so is "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf" with Kathleen Turner.


BRYANT: Need new drama in your life? Theater critic Adam Feldman has some picks.

ADAM FELDMAN, THEATER CRITIC: I would say two plays, "Doubt" and "The Pillowman," very different shows, both about child abuse but in a very different way.

BRYANT: Familiar stories which we began on Broadway are being reinvented. "On Golden Pond" is one.

FELDMAN: The twist is that it has an all-black cast.

BRYANT: "Steel Magnolias" is another. With eight live shows a week, Christine Ebersole is clocking a lot of time at the crossroads of the world.

We want to talk musicals now, big shows. The choices are overwhelming. We need guidance. Help Christine.

(on camera): There are some great long-running shows like "Chicago."


BRYANT: You can't go wrong with that.

EBERSOLE: You can't go wrong with that show.

BRYANT: "Wicked" has been running for a long time.

EBERSOLE: Yes, that's right, and "Le Cage."

BRYANT: "Le Cage" is...

EBERSOLE: "Le Cage" too.

BRYANT: Right.

EBERSOLE: And that's a fantastic show. And now, Robert Goulet is in it.

BRYANT: Bob Goulet?

EBERSOLE: Robert Goulet, younger than springtime.

FELDMAN: Yes, we had 11 new book musicals open on Broadway this year. That's more than we've had actually in almost 20 years.

BRYANT (voice-over): And a few of those, some spun from films, are already summer must-sees. There's "Sweet Charity" starring Christina Applegate or "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." Along with the hands down hottest show in town...

FELDMAN: Mighty Python's "Spamalot" is new this year. It's been a huge success and sold out. So if you can get tickets for it, good luck.

BRYANT (on camera): When you have a night off, what show do you want to see?

EBERSOLE: "Spamalot."

FELDMAN: From the newer crop of musicals, "Spamalot" or "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" are both old-fashioned good, Broadway musicals.


BRYANT: Well, that scoundrel you saw there is none other than Tony award winning actor John Lithgow.

HAMMER: Now, I know you got to spend some time with him in Central Park. He didn't like pick your pocket or anything, did he?

BRYANT: No, no. He plays a dishonest man on stage but with me, he told only the truth.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No strings and no connections. No ties to my affection. I'm fancy free and free for anything fancy.

JOHN LITHGOW, "DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRALS: The show is surprising. People think they know "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," and it's exhilarating. It's all brand new for them. We just love that.

BRYANT (on camera): So congratulations to you.

LITHGOW: Thank you.

BRYANT: Again, nominated for a Tony for best actor in a musical. Now you said you don't think you have a great singing voice. Do you not love the singing?

LITHGOW: I'm better than I used to be. I'm no fool. I'm up there with some fabulous singers.

BRYANT: You know you do a good job?

LITHGOW: I hold my own and I talk a lot of myself.

It's the sort of thing one sees in Appalachia.

BRYANT: Does it mean more to you to win over, you know, a theater snob or to win over somebody who doesn't generally like to go?

LITHGOW: You know that is a thrilling thing to -- when people say I fully expected to sleep through this and it was good.

You got the burn!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got the gun!

LITHGOW: You got the nerve!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got the nuts!

BRYANT: You know what I found kind of surprising is it's a little racy. I mean there are some things on...

LITHGOW: It's downright dirty.


BRYANT: Oh, they did not just say that!

LITHGOW: I've got friends that bring their kids and they're like holding their ears, you know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we still deserve a hand!

BRYANT: Now, I know you're also an author of children's books.


BRYANT: You have a new one coming out?

LITHGOW: I have a new one coming out September. Actually, there are three of them in the pipeline. They educate kids, mainly about the arts. They're silly stories for children. It's kind of tough -- you know these kids will grow up and buy tickets some day, I hope.

BRYANT: You know, I mean "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" is doing so well and how do you feel about the idea that people are planning summer trips, you know, just to come to see you in a show?

LITHGOW: Well, we're thrilled. This is what you wait for and hope for. You know it's off to a slightly bumpy start. We weren't a smash hit out of the gates. It's built. Word of mouth has been tremendous because everybody who sees it seems to love it.

BRYANT: You know it's a little bit of a risky endeavor in a way. People know the film.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make I take your triton, sir?

LITHGOW: It's very different. It is a musical. Everything is adapted from something. You just have to put it out of your mind. I loved the movie. Michael Cain and Steve Martin are both very good friends of mine. I (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

BRYANT: Really?

LITHGOW: I just have to forget I ever knew them.


BRYANT: Well, Steve Martin, one of my favorite actors, was an original dirty, rotten scoundrel in the 1988 film and he is back on screen this summer as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau.

HAMMER: And of course, he's hot on the trail of the pink panther. And coming up, his search takes him all the way to the Santa Monica Pier. Plus, would you ride this roller coaster? It's the newest, the tallest, and probably the scariest in the world.


SLATER: There are two great Tennessee Williams' plays on Broadway right now, "A Street Car Named Desire" and "The Glass Menagerie." And the trivia question is what was Tennessee Williams' real name?

All those glamorous people hobbling all -- gobbling the whole thing up. You know what happens? People go to the movies instead of moving. Hollywood characters are supposed to have all the... (END VIDEO CLIP)



SLATER: There are two great Tennessee Williams' plays on Broadway right now, "A Street Car Named Desire" and "The Glass Menagerie." And the trivia question is what was Tennessee Williams' real name? And the answer is Thomas.


VARGAS: Welcome back to HOT TICKET. Well, we've come full circle on the Santa Monica Pier riding the Ferris wheel at Pacific Park. This is a big summer at theme parks across the country.

The newest attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Orlando is "Fear Factor" based on the hit reality TV show. Free worm casseroles to the first 50 contestants, just kidding. You don't have to eat bugs, but the attraction does take audience participation to new levels. "Fear Factor" opens early June.

Over at Disneyland, they're celebrating their 50th anniversary all summer long and the renovated Space Mountain ride opens in July.

That's not all that's going on. Karyn and A.J., there's a new theme park attraction in your neck of the woods.

HAMMER: That's right, Sabila. Just about 90 minutes outside of New York City is Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey.

BRYANT: Now, they have a roller coaster there that could give thrill seekers the ride of their life. CNN's Toure got an early look.


TOURE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): I'm out here at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey where they've got this crazy new roller coaster ride called Kingdaka, which goes 128 miles an hour. I'm not getting on that thing! This looks way serial killer scary to me. Like, I'm -- what is that?

KRISTIN SIEBENEICHER, SIX FLAGS: This is Kingdaka. This is the tallest and fastest roller coaster on earth. We're going to strap you in. We're going to launch you...

TOURE: No, not me.

SIEBENEICHER: Not you? Not you?


SIEBENEICHER: We're going to launch you from zero to 128 miles an hour in 3.5 seconds using a hydraulic launch motor. This is the same type of technology that launches jets off of aircraft carriers. And then, we're going to catapult you 456 feet into the air, which is actually more than 100 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty. That's 45 stories and at a 90 degree angle. So you are looking straight into the sky. Then you're cresting the tower. For a brief moment, we put some brakes up there, so you can enjoy an extra moment at the top...

TOURE: Enjoy?

SIEBENEICHER: ...look around and then you're heading straight back down, 90 degrees, doing a 270-degree spiral. And it's almost over. We've got this great 13-story hill that's going to lift you out of your seat for a moment of weightlessness just before you glide back into the seat.

TOURE: And you've done this?

SIEBENEICHER: I haven't done it yet but I can't wait. I want to ride with you.

TOURE (voice-over): The ride was still being tested when we visited so we spoke with one of the first test riders to see what the ride was really like.

(on camera): So how was the ride?

(voice-over): Some lively would-be riders were more than ready for their opportunity to get on and ride.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would give my life for Kingdaka.

TOURE (on camera): You would give your life to ride on the roller coaster?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me on. I'll sign the papers.

TOURE (voice-over): Not me. This coaster is now open to the public but it's one place you won't see my face.


VARGAS: Well, if you just stepped off that roller coaster, probably the last thing you want to think about is food. But we're checking back in with the professor of barbecue, Steven Rachlen. Beer can chicken, what is the next step? It looks like it's ready for grilling.

RACHLEN: Ready for grilling, so take a look. I -- this is what the beer can chicken looks like when it's cooked. Simply, place the bird in the center of the grill. I have the outside burners on high. The inside burner is off. This is called indirect grilling. And when I add wood chips to the smoker box here, you planted them in a foil pouch, to wind up as you turn your grill into a sort of smoker. Now, close the lid. The total cooking time is about an hour and 15 minutes.

VARGAS: Well, I can't wait. It looks so good. Well, we'll be back with Steven in a little bit to see how the feast is progressing. And coming up, Steve Martin joins us on the Santa Monica Pier. As Inspector Clouseau, he solved a major mystery, how to make people laugh.


LIN: I'm Carol Lin. "HOT TICKET TO FUN" returns in just a moment, but here's what's happening right now.

Investigators in Idaho have wrapped up their crime scene investigation at the house where three people were beaten to death. Two youngsters from the home are still missing. Investigators say they have dozens and dozens of leads but few clues and no suspect.

Authorities in Florida have released video of a fight on a school bus. Tuesday's incident resulted in a misdemeanor battery charge against the driver and felony charges against the teens. They're the ones whose faces are blurred. The other youngsters were not involved in the fight.

A pilot and three passengers are dead in the crash of a small sightseeing plane on the beach of New York's Coney Island. Witnesses say the plane was circling when its engine stalled. No one on the ground was hurt.

Wearing white, Mary Kay Letourneau wed her former student, Vili Fualaau last night. You're going to get the inside scoop from people who were there at the wedding on "CNN SATURDAY NIGHT" at 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. Please join me then.

Right now back to "HOT TICKET TO FUN."

VARGAS: Hi, everybody, and welcome back to our summer entertainment special, your HOT TICKET TO FUN. If your idea of fun includes a summertime feast, keep Steven Rachlen in mind. He wrote the bible on how to grill.

RACHLEN: Well, at Barbecue University, even the shrimp cocktail gets grilled. Let me show you what I mean. Switching techniques now, we're using a technique called direct grilling, that is cooking the food directly over the fire. And at BBQU, we have three rules: keep it hot, you want to start with a hot grill, one Mississippi, two Mississippi, ouch, that's a hot grate, keep it clean by brushing the grill with a stiff-wire brush, and finally keep it lubricated. These are jumbo shrimp that have been seasoned with another barbecue rub and skewered on a bamboo skewer. The cooking time is really quick. It's about two minutes per side and this is what the shrimp look like when they're cooked. The way you tell, if you give them the old (UNINTELLIGIBLE) test. When they feel firm to the touch, the shrimp are ready.

VARGAS: That looks so good. Karyn and A.J., I wish you guys were here.

BRYANT: You know you got to love the grilling. Good stuff.

HAMMER: Well, fortunately, we won't go hungry because there are plenty of good eats here at South Street Seaport.

BRYANT: That's right. And this place is great for performances too. There's live music every Wednesday through Friday night throughout the summer hear at the seaport.

HAMMER: It is a great place to see a show. And if you love music, well, this summer is going to rock your world because some of the industry's biggest acts are heading out on the road.


HAMMER (voice-over): On stage this summer, there will be idols and there will be idols.

TOM MORELLO, AUDIOSLAVE: I'm most looking forward to seeing Bruce Springsteen this summer. It's my No. 1 concert pick.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bruce Springsteen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: U2. I want to see the U2 tour so bad that I will cancel one of my own shows if they're somewhere that I am. Sorry, fans.

HAMMER: From rap to rock, festivals and perennials, concert tours promise to hit the summer on a high note.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I think about Jesus...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are really acts this summer that will appeal to every taste, you know, every age bracket, every genre of music.

MICK JAGGER, ROLLING STONES: You start me up! Start up, I'll never stop.

HAMMER: Insert senior citizen joke here but there's nothing funny about the ca-ching (ph) of cash registers as the Rolling Stones kick off their year-long world tour.

JAGGER: It's going to be a wonderful summer rock 'n rolling and we're going to be right in there. So we're really looking forward to it.

HAMMER: Bruce Springsteen takes his acoustic solo act overseas and Bono and company continue their quest for global domination.

BONO, U2: The U2 crowd, there's an incredible roar. It really is deafening. It's like a 747 taking off somewhere.

HAMMER: Neil Diamond holds it down for the polyester crowd. But if your crowd is more into leather, there's the original line-up of Motley Crue.

SNOOP DOGG, MUSICIAN: It's coming to a hood near you. HAMMER: Snoop Dogg and The Game wrap up their double bill as Eminem and 50 Cent head out on their own joint anger management tour.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What concert presenters are trying to do is provide you more bang for your buck.

HAMMER: Meanwhile, dual headliners Kenny Chesney and Gretchen Wilson continue their trek across America. Only now, Chesney's new bride, Renee Zellwegger, has a bag aboard his bus.

ALICIA KEYS, SINGER: I keep on falling in and out of love with you.

HAMMER: Alicia, Atlantis, Green Day, and ColdPlay, all coming to a town near you.

CHRIS MARTIN, COLDPLAY: We think we're the greatest thing since sliced bread, even better, since before sliced bread. But it's not for us to make everybody else think that.

HAMMER: But if you just can't wait, here's a sneak peek at what the Dave Matthews Band will be adding to this summer's set list.

(on camera): What's your favorite part when you're on stage?

DAVE MATTHEWS, DAVE MATTHEWS BAND: Thank you very much, good night.



HAMMER: For the full schedule of your favorite artists, check out our Web site at attractions.


HAMMER (voice-over): Planning a road trip this summer? There's a festival at almost every mile marker. Telluride, Colorado hosts the annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival in June.

Charleston, South Carolina is where the Spoleto Festival unspools beginning late May.

Over in Atlanta, Lauryn Hill takes the stage at the first ever Vibe Musicfest.

In the Midwest, it's a festival of food at Taste of Chicago. More than 3 million people are expected.

In neighboring Indiana, the town of Marion remembers native son, James Dean, on the 50th anniversary of his death.

JAMES DEAN, ACTOR: You're tearing me apart!

HAMMER: The actor's films will screen outdoors at the annual James Dean Fest.

Seattle has a film festival running through June 12th.

And out on the Pacific, movies screen under the stars at the Maui Film Festival in June.

And Hollywood is home to the Playboy Jazz Festival in June. Joshua Redman is among the stars on hand. So pack your bags for a summer of festival fun.


HAMMER: Coming up, how do you solve a crime without a clue? Steve Martin tells us about playing the legendary Inspector Clouseau.

And you know the theme song? Thirty years after "Jaws," we head back into the water.

RACHLEN: Instead of a traditional cocktail sauce, we're going to make an avocado corn salsa. Stir these ingredients together and then place your salsa in these martini glasses. And to serve the shrimp cocktail, simply stand the shrimp kabobs up in the martini glasses. So how is that for a grilled shrimp cocktail?


VARGAS: Head down to the Santa Monica Pier and you never know you may catch sight of a star. Wow, there's Jack Nicholson, Leonardo, and Brad Pitt. And oh, my goodness, look, comedy legend Steve Martin is here.

Thank you very much for joining us.

S. MARTIN: My pleasure.

VARGAS: You're playing the pink panther.

S. MARTIN: That's right. Well, I'm playing Inspector Clouseau in a movie called "The Pink Panther."


S. MARTIN: Next, I'm going to America. I'm going there to learn to speak with a flawless American accent so I'm not to arouse suspicion.


VARGAS: Most of it was done with this incredible French accent. Did you have to take lessons for that?

S. MARTIN: I actually did. I had a great coach named Jessica Drake. And I was worried because I had never really do accents except ones I make up, so she really helped me and I really got into the swing of it. And it turned out good.


S. MARTIN: I said I would like to buy a hamburger.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would like to buy a hamburger.

S. MARTIN: I would like to buy the hamburger.


S. MARTIN: I would like to buy a hamburger.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe we should stop.


VARGAS: And what an incredible cast.

S. MARTIN: So much fun. We got to go to Paris, New York, work with great people, Kevin Klein, Beyonce. She was fabulous, very sweet, and very nice and guess what, talented.

VARGAS: Your character is -- he's gotten a little -- he's a little smitten with her.

S. MARTIN: He's a little -- a lot more over her.

VARGAS: And were you a fan of Peter Sellers?

S. MARTIN: Yes, very much, very much. He was great as Inspector Clouseau.

VARGAS: The reality show, "The Scholar..."

S. MARTIN: "The Scholar," yes.

VARGAS: When you think about reality shows, sometimes you don't think there's much of a redeeming quality about it. But this one has something really special.

S.MARTIN: Yes. It's -- the winner out of like 10 or 12 kids, I guess you call them, young adults, wins a full ride scholarship. It was really a pleasure to do it because the kids are so bright.

Boy, it's really nice out here, isn't it?

VARGAS: Yes, very windy. Thanks for acknowledging that.


VARGAS: You know we're freezing out here.

S. MARTIN: Yes. Not that it's that cold; it's not good for the hair. I mean if I took my hat off, it would be, you know, this. I don't want to look that way.

VARGAS: You look great. S. MARTIN: I know. I know.

VARGAS: You're Steve Martin. You don't have to worry about anything.

S. MARTIN: Oh, and I remind myself of that every morning.

VARGAS: But you know it's Disney's 50th anniversary...

S. MARTIN: Yes, correct.

VARGAS: ...and I hear that you started pretty young.

S. MARTIN: I worked at the Magic Shop when I was about 15 until I was about 17. It was a great experience in my life.

VARGAS: So you learned a lot of magic tricks?

S. MARTIN: Yes, I did learn a lot of magic.

VARGAS: Did it ever come in handy?

S. MARTIN: Oh, yes. I have done things in movies. I've -- you know, done a few card tricks at parties, done a couple of tricks for kids, you know.

VARGAS: Well, thank you so much.

S. MARTIN: Thank you very much.

VARGAS: You really have been so...

S.MARTIN: And you're really holding together well in this wind. It's fantastic.

VARGAS: Well, you know what, it's you.

S. MARTIN: Oh, that must be what it is.

VARGAS: I'm serious. As soon as you walked in, I was OK.

S. MARTIN: Oh, great. Great. Well, I'm just going to blow back to my car now.

VARGAS: All right. Thank you so much.

S. MARTIN: Great. Thanks a lot. Bye.

VARGAS: Steve Martin is not the only magician around. Harry Potter is back this summer but not at movie theaters. For more on that story, let's go back to New York.

HAMMER: Some big titles coming to book stores this summer just in time for beach reading, of course.

BRYANT: One of the biggest sure to be the one from J.K. Rowling. She is releasing the sixth book from in the Harry Potter series in July. And her fans can't wait.


HAMMER (voice-over): We've gone straight to the top to uncover the secrets of the next Harry Potter book. Here, at the publishing company's own book store, we tracked down the publisher of installment No. 6, "Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince." The magic trick we try to perform is to get even a hint of what's in the story.

(on camera): Have you read the book?

BARBARA A. MARCUS, SCHOLASTIC: I'm not at liberty to tell.

HAMMER: You're not at liberty to tell me if you've read the book?

MARCUS: No. No, I'm not at liberty to tell.

HAMMER: It's really pretty tight around here.

(voice-over): The editor wasn't much help either.

(on camera): Does anyone die in the next Harry Potter book?

ARTHUR LEVINE, EDITOR: I can't tell you that.

HAMMER: OK. I can see where this is going to go.


HAMMER: Do Ron and Hermione actually get together finally? There's been sort of this, you know, a little tension between them. Are they...

LEVINE: You know it's interesting that you should ask that because I can't tell you that.

HAMMER: OK. Well, here's one for sure you can tell me. Who's the new minister of magic?

LEVINE: I can't tell you that.

HAMMER (voice-over): There are some facts out there. The sixth book in the series releases July 16 worldwide and preorders for the book have already put it at the top of and's best sellers list. It has been two years since the fifth book, which sold more than 16 million copies in this country alone. And just like the last time, book stores are planning parties and events to handle the crowds.

MARCUS: Last time, book sellers sold 5 million books over the first weekend. We right now have 10.8 million copies that are going to be coming off the press and being sent to book stores because we know that there are millions and millions of families and children waiting to read the next Harry Potter.

HAMMER: But as for what's in that book...

LEVINE: Well, I can tell you that there is a new character named McLeggen.

HAMMER: We got a little something.

LEVINE: You got a little something, something.

HAMMER: And McLeggen is...

LEVINE: I'm not going to tell you that.

HAMMER (voice-over): In this case, fans of the story will just have to read all about it.


BRYANT: For more on "Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince," check out our Web site at

HAMMER: Well, let's go back to Sabila who's with an author of another kind.

VARGAS: Yes, A.J., cooking with author Steven Rachlen. He's written 26 of them in all, six alone on grilling.

Now you've been talking to me about my favorite subject, desserts.

RACHLEN: That is right because at BBQU and also at the Rachlen household, even...

VARGAS: Let me guess...

RACHLEN: ....dessert gets cooked on the grill.

VARGAS: All right.

RACHLEN: OK, fresh pineapple slices brushed with melted butter, dipped in cinnamon sugar, and then cooked on the grill. It's a quick cooking time. It's about two to four minutes per side.

VARGAS: That's it? Wow!

RACHLEN: And what you wind up with is something like this gorgeous grilled pineapple, which is served with vanilla ice cream.

VARGAS: So let me ask you a question? Have you ever grilled shark?

RACHLEN: Well, I have grilled just about everything. And here in Southern California, they love grilled shark tacos.

VARGAS: Do not say anything. Whatever you do, do not let Jaws know that because he may seek his revenge.

Coming up, we've got the most terrifying fish ever to swim the seas and he's on our show.


VARGAS: Millions of people will head to the beach this summer but not everyone will get in. Why not? Well, it might have something do with a film that came out 30 years ago this summer. The movie was "Jaws." The director, a young Steven Spielberg. The villain, one predatory beast.


VARGAS (voice-over): The music and the mayhem. For 30 years now, people have been jolted by Jaws.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That scared the bajeezes (ph) out of me.

VARGAS: Hard to believe then that before the movie opened in 1975, Universal Studios was worried.

TOM SHONE, AUTHOR, "BLOCKBUSTER": The producers were convinced that they've had the biggest turkey because the shoot of the movie had been so troubled and it had gone so over budget.

VARGAS: Over budget mainly because the mechanical shark playing the lead role kept breaking down.

CARL GOTTLEIB, CO-WRITER, "JAWS": The world was collapsing around us and the shark wasn't working. And the actors were fractious and the crew was muttering.

VARGAS: Carl Gottleib, author of the "Jaws Log," co-wrote and co-starred in the film. He still marvels at how a young director named Steven Spielberg kept his cool.

GOTTLEIB: He held it all together. He improvised in ways that nobody was aware.

VARGAS: Spielberg made a virtue of the shark's failure to perform.

STEVEN SPIELBERG, DIRECTOR: I resorted to Hitchcockian rule, which is basically shooting the water and suggested the shark without showing it, having the pier go out and turn around by itself and come back again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Charlie, (UNINTELLIGIBLE)! Don't look back! Swim, Charlie! Swim!

VARGAS: That increased the suspense, which became evident during early test screenings.

GOTTLEIB: The people screamed and then they screamed again and then they jumped in their seats.

VARGAS: Then the film opened to the public and a movie industry legend was born. SHONE: "Jaws" mania kind of swept the country and it's kind of extraordinary in a grassroots way.

GOTTLEIB: There was a shark on the cover of "Time" magazine and it just grew in the public consciousness.

SHONE: It really became like this kind of cultural event.

GOTTLEIB: It played and played and played. And people just kept coming.

SHONE: For the amount of money that "Jaws" made, you know, just completely changed the course of Hollywood, you know, moviemaking. Immediately, the first response, can we do it again and how many times can we do it? And what about next summer? And so it was the beginning of kind of Hollywood's sort of endless summer.

VARGAS: Thirty years later and the "Jaws" ripple effect is still being felt.


VARGAS: Well, at least I feel safe from up here on the pier. Thank you very much for joining us on our entertainment news special, HOT TICKET TO FUN. I hope you had as much fun as we've had.

Steven, let's dig in.

RACHLEN: Sabila, I know you want to try the dessert here, the grilled pineapple.

VARGAS: Definitely do.

RACHLEN: And I'm going to try the shrimp cocktail. It's a whole meal on the grill.

VARGAS: Karyn and A.J., we'll save you a plate.

HAMMER: Thanks a lot, Sabila. Now, remember, if you're going swimming after you have eaten, you've got to wait an hour.

BRYANT: I think you only have to wait a half an hour.

HAMMER: I think it's an hour. Well, you may want to consult your mom. She'll know which one is right.

BRYANT: I'll tell you what, no matter what you're doing this summer, we hope you have a great time. If you do need any entertainment information though, please check out our Web site at

So from the South Street Seaport, here in New York City, I'm Karyn Bryant.

HAMMER: I'm A.J. Hammer, have a totally festive summer.



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