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Frankly My Dear...

    Frankly My Dear...

    Forbes names Drew Barrymore, Eddie Murphy as Hollywood’s most overpaid

    Posted: 05 Nov 2011 03:19 PM PDT

    I’m always amused that the magazine run by the fat cat who preaches “Flat Tax” to any rube who figures the rich have it way too tough with our tax code, who earned his money the hold fashioned way — he inherited it — is all so quick to name Hollywood’s “most overpaid.”

    Thus,  Forbes’ little annual blast at the likes of Eddie Murphy (whose moves earn $2.70 for every dollar he’s paid) and Drew Barrymore (a  40 cent return for every dollar she’s paid to act, and that’s just her share of the budget cost) take the hit this time around.

    Reese Witherspoon and Will Ferrell are also poor investments, according to the Forbes folks.

    Ferrell used to OWN this list, baby, and will continue to be near the top thanks to “Land of the Lost.” Forbes uses the stars’ most recent three films, which fits neatly with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s long-standing claim that you’re allowed “three flops in diz business.” Actually, men at his level get about five flops before the bottom falls out of their asking price, women two or three failures. Nicole Kidman is at #10 on the list.

    The numbers are always a great source of conversation, but owing to the quality of the work, Kidman, in my book, is worth every penny.  You never know when some small thing she’s done will put her in Oscar contention and raise the box office relative to the budget (“Rabbit Hole” had that potential).

    Murphy doesn’t have that excuse, but a couple of hits (“Tower Heist” isn’t going to be the blockbuster he’d hoped) and he’ll start deserving at least that supporting player money he’s taking in for that film.

    The world would be a poorer place without Drew Barrymore’s sensibilities on the screen, but she’s made some serious stinkers of late, so her quote may be headed south.

    Animation’s Brad Bird gets his Live Action on with ‘MI:4–Ghost Protocol’

    Posted: 05 Nov 2011 11:50 AM PDT

    Brad Bird settled on his career the day that he toured Walt Disney Studios in California.

    He was 11 and He wanted to be an animator.

    Bird, a Montana native, started animating movies. By the time he was 14, he was being mentored by one of Disney animation's famed "nine old men," legendary talents who dated from the studio's earliest days.  He worked for the company, then struck out on his own, doing animation for TV, writing and directing "The Iron Giant" and "The Incredibles" for the big screen.

    At 54, he has a couple of Oscars ("The Incredibles" and "Ratatouille"), great box-office success and a resume that makes him, as his Wikipedia biography notes, "one of the most acclaimed living filmmakers, animated or otherwise."

    "The world keeps wanting to put animation into a separate box," Bird says. "A lot of people want to call animation a 'genre,' which it's not. It's a medium.

    "What I love is the medium of film, whether it's animation or live action or a combination of the two. My ideal career would allow me to do both. That would allow me to ask just two questions: 'What's the most interesting project I can do?' and 'What's the best medium to do it?'"

    He's been talking about making the jump to live-action features for years, even before Pixar brought him in to rescue "Ratatouille" (2007). His dream project — "1906" is about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake — is still on his plate but hasn't gotten the green light to go into production.

    Then Paramount called. "Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol," the latest film in its action franchise, Its action franchise, "Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol," needed a director. Bird jumped.

    "You prepare for a movie like this almost like you're preparing for war," Bird says with a chuckle. Now, instead of animators and voice actors, he had to worry about IMAX cameras and helicopters and epic stunts (Tom Cruise, hanging off the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai).

    "At about three o'clock in the morning, I sit up in bed in that classic movie fashion and go, 'Oh my GOD, what am I doing? We have most of the movie to do after this scene. And we're not doing the movie without Tom, without this stunt.' THAT was my moment of doubt."

    The film, which opens Dec. 21, could very well determine whether Bird's next project is "1906," another live-action film or a return to animation (a rumored "Incredibles" sequel).

    In any event, Bird knows he's had his live-action baptism. It's just a question of what you get to do to your star, either with animation or ultra-realistic stunts.

    "As great as he was as Mr. Incredible, I don't think Craig T. Nelson would be climbing Burj Khalifa, no matter how much I offered him!"