Your 12 Biggest Questions About Hollywood, Answered

Director Bryan Singer worked really hard to get all the Nazi paraphernalia just right in, so why does he let Tom Cruise call Joseph Goebbels "George Gobel?"
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Q: Director Bryan Singer worked really hard to get all the Nazi paraphernalia just right in Valkyrie -- ooo, shiny, shiny jackboots and sparkling death's head pins! -- so why does he let Tom Cruise call Joseph Goebbels "George Gobel?"

A: Because Tom Cruise gets fed all his lines through an earpiece connected to the Very Large Array astronomical radio observatory in San Agustin, New Mexico. It's out of Singer's control. And Tom Cruise doesn't actually get the name wrong, he just pronounces it like a slow eight-year-old from New Jersey reading Sgt. Rock out loud. So

YŌ-sef GÛ-bilz

comes out

JO-suf Gobbles.

The real question is why Bruno Ganz in The Reader refers to Karl Jaspers (kärl yäs'purs) as Karl Jaspers, with a j, like a slow eight-year-old from New Jersey.

Q: Why did anyone do anything they did in the last hour and a half of The Dark Knight?

A: Because the whole world is out of order, man. I know it seems like it doesn't make any sense, and it's cobbled together like a Godzilla movie with Raymond Burr edited in, but that's because chaos is what it's, like, all about. And that's why people keep beating up Eric Roberts and then driving somewhere and then beating up Eric Roberts again. They need answers too.

Q: The guy who wrote the screenplay for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button says:

I don't want to disrespect Fitzgerald, because he's twice the writer I could hope to be, but I knew this was written as a whimsy. It felt like it wouldn't be disrespectful if I embarked on it in a different way.

If you walked around thinking you were about half as good as F. Scott Fitzgerald, would that be disrespectful, or not? James Gould Cozzens was about one-quarter as good as F. Scott Fitzgerald. Where does that put him in comparison to the guy who wrote the screenplay for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button?

A: You're twisting his words. And I hear he got cleaned out by Bernard Madoff. (The screenwriter got cleaned out; not James Gould Cozzens.) So ease up. These things work themselves out.

Q: I get what you're saying about The Dark Knight, but no one ever even does anything with the information Eric Roberts gives them. He tells Gary Oldman that the Joker is at a warehouse but instead of going there, Gary Oldman drives to a TV station with some policeman we've never seen before, who has a sick mother in the hospital, to save a lawyer who knows who Batman is, because the Joker wanted Batman to unmask himself but now he doesn't.

A: Don't be such a square.

Q: M. Night Shyamalan says:

I'm sick of feeling like I hope the cool people like me. I hope the teachers like me. You know that thing you do when you're in school? And you're in your mid-30s and you go, "I'm sick of feeling this way." And you kind of like have this urge to take all your clothes off and run outside and say, "Make fun of me. Are we done? Is that it? Good, let's go on with our lives."

You ever feel like that? A: No.

Q: I think I understand why the ferryboat full of regular people is leaving Gotham City, but it's going in the opposite direction of the ferryboat full of convicts. Where's the ferryboat full of convicts going? A: It's not going anywhere. It's a metaphor. Like the crazy asshole who keeps coming over to dinner in Revolutionary Road. He's not really there. If he were, Kate and Leo would stop inviting him.

Q: Hey, remember that movie American Carol, by that guy David Zucker, that was really going to sock it to liberals? What happened with that?

A: It made over $150 million dollars because it touched something deep, deep inside the American heart. They're working on a sequel right now.

Q: Really?

A: Nah, I'm just fucking with you. It died like Michael Savage on TV.

Q: I was in Toys "R" Us the other day, and it looks like no one bought any of the Wall-E toys for Christmas. If that stuff gets thrown in a landfill, and some robot digs it up in the future, what kind of irony will it be?

A: Situational irony.

Q: Harvey Dent is mad at Batman because he chose to save Harvey instead of Rachel but Batman didn't choose to save Harvey, the Joker gave him the wrong address, right? So really Batman...

A: Lalalalala. I can't hear you.

Q: What was that American Carol movie about, anyway? You must know someone who's seen it.

A: Not a soul. But the press material claimed:

Zucker wanted to explore what it meant to be a patriot when patriotism has started to get a bum wrap.

Q: They probably meant "bum rap."

A: Oh I sure hope not.

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