Luckily for Mel Gibson, his last vanity project, The Passion of the Christ, has probably made enough money to cover the expense of his new one, Paparazzi. This amazingly arrogant, immoral film is almost certain to suffer a fast, richly deserved death at the box office.
Richly deserved death is, in fact, the theme of Paparazzi, which Gibson produced (with his partners Bruce Davey and Stephen McEveety) and to which he contributes a cameo appearance. The central character is Bo Laramie (Cole Hauser), a distinctly Gibsonesque action movie star whose works include Adrenaline Force and Adrenaline Force 2. Bo has been catapulted to overnight fame but remains a down-to-earth family man who still finds time to take his wife (Robin Tunney) and tow-headed son (Kevin Gage) to their weekly soccer game. He may live in a movie star compound in Malibu, but his beloved SUV still carries license plates from his beloved home state of Montana.
Having risen to fame without any contact with the press (word of Bo's fabulousness seemingly travels without the use of traditional media, perhaps through the ether), he's astonished at the Hollywood premiere of his new film to discover large numbers of people trying to take his photograph. Is he so new in town that he doesn't know what premieres are for?
PHOTO COURTESY OF FOX MOVIES
When one particularly loathsome member of the paparazzi (Tom Sizemore at his sleaziest) tries to take pictures of Bo's son at his soccer game, Bo punches him out. Taking his picture is one thing but endangering his family by publishing their photos is something else. (Sizemore's character works for Paparazzi, a magazine that appears to be aimed at professional kidnappers.) The vengeful photographer promptly vows "to destroy your life and eat your soul," in appropriately satanic language, and pretty much does just that by causing a hideous car wreck -- meant to suggest the death scene of Diana, Princess of Wales -- that lands both Bo's wife and child in the hospital, the latter deep in a coma.
With the tiresome justification business out of the way, the real fun can begin, as the outraged Bo sets out for some good old-fashioned American justice, vigilante-style. He coolly kills three of his antagonists, dropping one man over a mountain ledge, arranging for another to be shot to pieces by the Los Angeles Police Department and beating the third to death with a baseball bat. But for Sizemore's character, Bo has something even more exquisitely sadistic in mind.
As directed by the veteran hairstylist Paul Abascal (he fluffed Gibson's coif on all three Lethal Weapon films), Paparazzi has no time for fine ethical points. Bo never doubts his right to take the law into his own hands (a visit to a psychologist for an anger management session is treated as a joke -- Gibson is the next client waiting in the lobby). Nostrils flaring, Bo sets out on a campaign of murder that the film clearly endorses. After all, being a movie star doesn't just mean fancy houses and nice cars. According to Paparazzi, it also means you can kill with impunity.
PHOTO COURTESY OF FOX MOVIES
Directed by: Paul Abascal
Starring: Cole Hauser (Bo Laramie), Robin Tunney (Abby Laramie), Dennis Farina (Detective Burton), Daniel Baldwin (Wendell Stokes), Tom Hollander (Leonard Clark), Kevin Gage (Kevin Rosner), Tom Sizemore (Rex Harper) Andrea Baker (Emily)
Running time: 84 minutes
Taiwan Release: Today
Tobie Openshaw is confident that Taiwan’s government has good reasons for not including him in the Triple Stimulus Voucher Program, which launched at the beginning of this month. That’s just as well, because it seems unlikely he’ll ever discover the logic by which it was decided that he, along with other foreign residents not currently married to Taiwan citizens, shouldn’t receive the vouchers. “We’ve stood side-by-side with our Taiwanese friends through the COVID-19 crisis, complying with government measures, cheering its success and sharing that news with the world at large. If the stimulus coupons are meant to be spent to keep
When the BBC approached Caroline Chia (查慧中) in July 2018, and asked her to make arrangements so a documentary-making team could gather footage showing how global warming may be increasing typhoon intensity, she delivered everything that was in her power to provide. Chia got permission for the BBC crew to shoot inside the Central Emergency Operation Center, film the army’s disaster-relief efforts and follow mayors around as they supervised the cleaning up. “In total, it was about one week of work for my cousin — who’s my business partner — and I,” recalls Chia, who was born in Taipei but
John Thomson was a pioneering photographer in the 19th century and one of the first to journey to East Asia. In 1871, while in China he met Dr James Laidlaw Maxwell, a fellow Scotsman who was returning to Taiwan, where he served as a Presbyterian missionary. Maxwell’s description of Taiwan intrigued Thomson, and the photographer decided to accompany Maxwell to the island then known to Westerners as Formosa. Disembarking at Takow (today’s Kaohsiung) on April 2, 1871, Thomson brought with him the best photography equipment of his time, along with thousands of glass plates — an estimated 200kg of equipment. The
Taiwan’s artist community was outraged when the authorities banned Lee Shih-chiao’s (李石樵) Reclining Nude (橫臥裸婦) from the 1936 Taiyang Art Exhibition (台陽美術展覽會). The Taiwan Daily News (台灣日日新報) reported that after hours of deliberation, the officials censored the piece for “contravening public morals.” Although the government did have rules on publicly displaying nude art, the state-run Taiwan Fine Art Exhibition regularly featured naked women, allowing more revealing pieces each year. On the same page, the newspaper ran a scathing criticism of the decision by an anonymous artist. “This is completely laughable … If they really thought [Reclining Nude] contravened public morals, they