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Tom Cruise: Still Bankable, But--Let Suri Go!

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"PLEASE ALLOW them their privacy to work this out!" So goes the utterly pointless and ludicrous request by whoever is the press agent when famous people fall out, suffer tragedies, experience difficult times.

This has about as much effect on tabloid coverage as the United Nations seeking peace. Frankly, in the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes mess, I was more interested in the New York Times realistic statement, under a Brooks Barnes & Michael Cieply byline. They quote box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian: "Let's be honest, if he does another 'Mission Impossible,' no one will care one lick about the divorce.'" (The last one took in over $600 million.)

If you go to see Tom in his current "Rock of Ages" -- well, it ain't a "Mission Impossible" - but it shows him still daring to be something other than ordinary and a very good actor. Business-wise, Tom Cruise is momentarily still the biggest star and moneymaker in Hollywood. His "unpopularity" has to do with his religion, Scientology. And, in spite of all he has done for this unusual form of worship, he and other stars who went along with it, have always been defending instead of enjoying it. (Personally, I find any spiritual entity which advertises its "Celebrity Centre" a bit odd. But to each his own, according to the First Amendment.)

If I were Tom's adviser, I'd advise this time -- instead of either shutting up the disgruntled wife or turning her kids into Scientologists -- I think I wouldn't fight Katie Holmes over Suri. I'd chalk that up to one Scientology loss. I can never forget Nicole Kidman, deathly afraid Tom
would take their two children away from her. When I told her Tom had said she knew perfectly well why he wanted a divorce, she let me know how afraid she was of him. But she couldn't resist adding, "Oh, Liz, Tom is just so full of shit."

Nicole has, from that divorce, moved on to another, much happier life. But in the end, Tom seems to have nevertheless, gained control of those children. (They call her "Nicole.")

If I were Tom I'd give this one up. But as Suri is the only flesh of flesh child he has, maybe he won't.

  • "YOU JUST never know what an Aquarian will do!" That's my astrologist friend, Shelley Ackerman, commenting on last week's stunning turnaround of Supreme Court Justice John Roberts on the matter of President Obama's health care bill. (Yes, remember that this happened, before Katie and Tom took over the front pages?) Shelley says, "Kudos to Aquarian vision and his daring to be different. So cool that Obama voted against his nomination to the bench in 2005...but that Roberts--who messed up Obama's 2009 swearing in---did not let that get the better of him."I'm sure Republicans feel much better knowing Roberts was true to his astrological sign.
  • TAYLOR KITSCH is the goodlooking, talented young actor with the bad luck to have been in two of the biggest flops of the year--"John Carter" and "Battleship"--both not nearly as bad as critics insisted.

    But maybe director Oliver Stone has turned the corner on this guy's career with his latest film, "Savages." Kitsch is very good, but so is everybody else in the movie--Aaron Johnson, John Travolta, Blake Lively, Benicio Del Toro and Salma Hayek in a bad wig, with a really bad attitude. ("I wouldn't have a problem cutting both their throats" says Salma at one point.)

    It is riveting, ultra-violent, kaleidoscopicly confusing, out-of-control and beautiful in all its--well, its savagery. (If you like that sort of thing.) Of course, it is unrealistic-- the two pot-growers battling a vicious Mexican drug cartel.

    But stick to PBS documentaries if you want realism. This is a deliciously nasty, unrepentant film. Don't look for a deeper meaning behind the kneecap bustings, beheadings and sex-scenes. If you like your Oliver Stone raw, "Savages" will satisfy.
  • SOME TRUE blue fans of "True Blood" think the HBO vampire series has lost its bite, but apparently not. The show has been picked up for a sixth season, and many feel the enlarged role of "Pam," played by Kristin Bauer has a lot to do with that. Bauer's bitchy vampire with a soft spot for her maker, Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) has the best lines in "True Blood" and delivers them with flawless style. She is perpetually irritated by the mortals, other vamps, and idiots in general. She's become the best undead thing in the show. Producer Alan Ball needs to get rid of "True Blood's" too numerous, superfluous sub-plots and beef up Pam. And now that the always angry Tara (Rutina Wesley) has been turned into an even angrier vampire, her storyline should improve as well.Oh, and just to prove that reviews don't count that much, the critically blasted "The Newsroom," also from HBO, has won a second season already. Well, given that the show follows real-life events, I guess Aaron Sorkin couldn't let the upcoming election go unnoted. But really the second episode of quarreling incessantly out loud by young actress Alison Pill and her two aspiring beau-bosses is just unrealistic and annoying.