Did you see that story about the cruise line that is planning to spend $500 million to build a full-size replica of the Titanic? As Dave Barry would say, I am not making this up!
The idea is to charge $10,000 to $100,000 for round-trip tickets from Southampton, England, to New York, in a duplication of the journey taken by the luxury liner that hit an iceberg and sank in 1912. The voyage would pause at an area just off Newfoundland, where 1,500 passengers died in the disaster. But then would continue on. They hope.Walter Navratil, president of White Star Line Ltd., which is developing the project, told the New York Post, "It cannot sink!"
Of course, that's what they said about the first Titanic.
Is this a good idea?
And what's next? A re-creation of the Hindenberg?
- MAD ABOUT EW: Over the past several years, Entertainment Weekly has gained enormous popularity as a magazine that covers all the entertainment bases each week, from movies to music to TV to books to the Internet. All in bite-size, quick-read bits.
It's the USA Today of show-biz magazines.
But now EW has really hit the big time - it's been parodied by Mad magazine.
That's nice for EW . . . sort of . . . the kind of back-handed recognition that means you've made it.
But it's even better news for fans of Mad, which has been but a shadow of its former self in recent years, with broad parodies and silly spoofs that rely on cheap, often vulgar, humor.
Worse, Mad has been much less clever than the cultural icons it goes after. Anyone else remember when the humor magazine used to be witty and smart?
So, it's a pleasant surprise to see that Mad's take on EW is quite specific, and hilariously on the mark.
The EW takeoff is an insert section of Mad's April 1998 issue ($2.95 cheap!), with its own cover and title - "Entertain Me Weakly."
And while many of the jokes are admittedly a bit vulgar (including the faux EW cover photo), mostly it's hilarious. What's more, it goes after the entire magazine, 16 pages devoted to goofs on EW's display ads, letters to the editor, the various show-biz sections, Jim Mullen's "Hot Sheet," various charts and stats - even the credits box!
What's even more surprising is how well Mad manages to satirize the entire entertainment industry - and its audience - in addition to EW.
Very funny stuff. Especially for EW subscribers.
- PREVIOUSLY "USED": If you're a video collector looking for "previously viewed" tapes and you're frustrated with those Blockbuster bins that include a variety of titles but nothing you want, the Video Vern's and Movie Buffs stores feel your pain.
Vern's (the Holladay store) has opened up an entire room and filled it with 10,000 or so used tapes. And though the emphasis is clearly on more recent titles, there are some early classics to be found. ("My Man Godfrey," "Bambi" and "Rio Bravo" were among titles available on a recent evening.)
And Movie Buffs (the Sugar House store) has gone even further, devoting the entire store to selling used videos. You can't rent a tape there, but you have some 20,000 to choose from if you're looking to buy. The stock is also primarily more recent titles here, but there are also plenty of classics ("A Day at the Races," "All About Eve" and "Lawrence of Arabia"). Bring a check or a wad of cash, however, as the store doesn't accept credit cards. Yet.
Prices at both stores range from a couple of bucks to as much as $25. The high end is at Vern's for out-of-print Disney pictures, though they are not always classics. (Would you believe "The Black Hole"?) At Movie Buffs, recent titles (like "Conspiracy Theory" and "Face/Off") are $20. (And it's interesting to note that "Face/Off" was $5 less at Vern's.)
Both stores also guarantee their tapes. If the one you buy proves to be a lemon, they will happily provide an exchange or a refund.