OPENING NOTES

August 16 1993

OPENING NOTES

August 16 1993

OPENING NOTES

PROFILES IN STARDOM

The bigger they are, the more they screw up. Or so it seems. Consider Vince Coleman, New York Mets outfielder. According to prosecutors, Coleman threw a firecracker at fans outside Los Angeles’s Dodger Stadium on July 24. He injured three people. Coleman faces charges of unlawful possession of an explosive device, which carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $10,000 fine. (Fact: Vince Coleman’s salary tops $3 million a year.) Meanwhile, Mets manager Dallas Green set off sparks with his mouth. Asked how he copes with losing—the Mets are in last place in the NL East— Green replied: “I just beat the hell out of Sylvia.” Sylvia is Green’s wife, and women’s groups were not amused. Then there’s Marky Mark, rap singer. Mark, whose real name is Wahlberg, allegedly bopped a member of Madonna’s entourage at a Hollywood party. Wahlberg was under inves-

tigation last week for assault. From the inane to the profane: a Los Angeles judge refused to dismiss a sexual-haras-sment suit against Fred Savage, 17-year-old star of ABC TV’s The Wonder Years. Costume designer Michele Long, 31, claims that the lovable tyke made “sexual remarks” and tried to hold hands with her. Savage indeed. Unfunnyman Gallagher adds a point of clarity to such fiascos. He was sued— unsucessfully—by a fan who says that during a 1990 performance, Gallagher’s nutty sidekick, a stuffed penguin, fell on her head. Declared Gallagher: “The penguin’s not guilty.” Well, that’s one of them, at least.

WORD FOR WORD

The manpower question

Meeting in Quebec City on Aug. 3, Prime Minister Kim Campbell and Premier Robert Bourassa agreed in principle to streamline manpower services in the province. But there were few details, and no documentation, about what the policy means. Critics noted that it seemed a back-door implementation of the rejected Charlottetown accord, which granted power over job training to Quebec. As for the principals, their stance seemed to depend on where they were:

“This is a wonderful example of how governments can work together.”

—Campbell, Aug. 3, Quebec City

“What we have concluded today is that the Quebec formula is the best formula to face the manpower problem.”

—Bourassa, Aug. 3, Quebec City.

“Neither of us claimed that we had an agreement.”

—Campbell, Aug. 4, Ottawa

“We have a clear-cut political decision that the federal government wants to transfer to

Quebec all responsibilities in the labor force delivery system.”

—Quebec Manpower Minister André Bourbeau, Aug. 4, Quebec City.

“If we don’t get the same deal, Campbell has clearly sold out Canada and British Columbia in exchange for seats ... in Quebec.”

—B.C. Labor Minister Moe Sihota, Aug. 4, Victoria.

THIS SPACE FOR RENT

For Hollywood North—Toronto—1993 may well be a record-breaking year. All that movie and TV activity is infusing needed cash into some unexpected quarters—namely, hospitals, hard hit by the Ontario government's deficit-reduction efforts. Toronto film commissioner David Plant said that the city’s hospitals should earn about $1.7 million in 1993 in location and equipment-rental fees. Part of the attraction is cost: it is about 10-per-cent cheaper to film in Canadian hospitals than in comparable U.S. locations.Hollywood producer Bob Myman, who has filmed hospital scenes in both Toronto and Vancouver for such movies as Unnatural Causes, said that recent cutbacks in Ontario’s health budget have created an added benefit: closed hospital wings. Explained Myman: “We could film uninterrupted for a week.”

BESTSELLERS

FICTION

1. The Bridges of Madison County,

Robert Waller (1)

2. The Night Manager, John le Carré (2)

3. Vanished, Danielle Steel

4. Honor Among Thieves, Jeffrey Archer (3)

5. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth (5)

6. Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel (10)

7. Gai-Jin, James Clavell (6)

8. Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, Roddy Doyle

9. Violent Ward, Len Deighton (4)

10. Pleading Guilty, Scott Turow

( ) Position last week Compiled by Brian Bethune

NONFICTION

1. Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, Deepak Chopra (2)

2. Women Who Run with the Wolves,

Clarissa Pinkola Estés ( 1 )

3. The Great Reckoning, James Dale Davidson and Lord Rees-Mogg (8)

4. Systems of Survival, Jane Jacobs (6)

5. The Dance of Deception, Harriet Lemer

6. Love & Friendship, Allan Bloom

7. Post-Capitalist Society, Peter Drucker (4)

8. Kim Campbell: The Making of a Politician, Robert Fife (3)

9. A Short History of Financial Euphoria,

John Kenneth Galbraith

10. Culture of Complaint, Robert Hughes (9)

AT A STORE NEAR YOU

On the heels of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, a rush of dinosaur movies—old and new, good and bad—will be roaming video stores in search of easy prey. Maclean’s Assistant Editor Joe Chidley sketches five of the most entertaining videos from the misty past of dinosaur celluloid:

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953): Seemingly on a lark, scientists from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission detonate a nuclear bomb in Baffin Bay. Oops, there’s a 100million-year-old “redosaurus” hibernating in the ice. Awaking hungry and grumpy, the beast terrorizes Canada’s East Coast on its way to New York City. Stunning special effects by Ray Harryhausen. Best line: cozying up to the heroine (Paula Raymond) in his office, AEC scientist Paul Christian (Tom Nesbitt) says, “I’m sorry I can’t offer you anything, but everything we have around here is radioactive.”

Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1956): As genetic engineering is to Jurassic Park, so nuclear testing is to Godzilla. Reawakened by atomic experiments, Godzilla, a 400-foot-tall dinosaur, wreaks havoc on Tokyo. Released 11 years after Hiroshima, the movie that spawned a host of silly sequels paints a movingly bleak picture of modem science. It also features a guy in a dinosaur suit as the monster, but it’s worth seeing Godzilla before he learned karate. Best line: giving his editor the scoop, newsman Steve Martin (Raymond Bum) replies, “Well, it’s big and it’s terrible.”

Rodan (1956) : The plot is familiar: nuclear testing opens fissures in the Japanese countryside, releasing giant pterodactyls to wreak (you guessed it) havoc on the world. The special effects are second-rate, and it is badly dubbed from the Japanese, but Rodan makes it as campy, overblown fun. Best line: a nervous policeman shouts to his underling: “Pighead! How many times must I tell you to be quiet?”

Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959): An all-star cast, glamor, romance, adventure—Journey is the kind of movie Steven Spielberg still tries to make. Two geologists Games Mason and Pat Boone), a widow (Arlene Dahl), a farmer (Peter Ronson) and a duck climb down a volcano to the heart of the Earth, where dinosaurs—humongous dimetrodons —guard the lost city of Atlantis. Best line: “I don’t sleep,” hisses the villainous Count Saknussemm (Thayer David). “I despise those little slices of death.”

The Valley of Gwangi (1969) : Besides Unforgiven, perhaps the only dinosaur western ever made. In tum-of-the-century Mexico, cowpokes from a Wild West show find a hidden valley where dinosaurs reign. Overlooked when released, Gwangi features solid performances, and Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion special effects are far ahead of their time. Best line: the rakish Tuck Kirby Games Franciscus) drawls to Prof. Bromley (Lawrence Naismith), “Lopie tells me you’re one of these archeologist fellas.”

A STAKE IN STEAKS

Organizers of last week’s Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose, Alta., lined up a cast of international talent, including country music stars Tanya Tucker, Clint Black and Emmylou Harris—and ordered enough New Zealand steaks to feed the estimated 10,000 fans on hand. The stars were welcome, but the plans to serve Kiwi steaks provoked a mini-stampede of protest. To add insult to injury, the New Zealand beef was ordered through the provincially owned Gainers meat-packing plant. A clearly embarrassed Premier Ralph Klein promised to investigate. “If you’re catering to an Alberta function,” he said, “it stands fo reason you should try to promote Alberta.” Although Agriculture Minister Walter Paszkowski—in the first public cabinet split since Klein’s June 15 election victorydefended the choice of range-fed Kiwi steaks

over the more expensive feedlot Alberta variety, the organizers caved in. The jamboree agreed to change its order to Alberta beef—at an extra cost of more than $10,000.