Say Whaaaa? Rumors Gone Wild, 'Angry' Cameron, and More of the Week's Most Mystifying Crap

Every Friday, as another week reels, stumbles and flops to a close at Movieline HQ, a familiar sound can be heard floating from the conference room. Down the hall it winds and soars, the silken roar lifting heavy spirits and brightening bleary eyes. And when that door opens, and the naked cry is heard -- Say whaaaa? -- you could almost deal with another five straight days of pop culture's most outlandish, appalling absurdities. Almost. Instead, let the Say Whaaaa? Singers lull you into the weekend. Hit it, fellas!

5. When Casting Rumors Go Wrong, Part MMCXXVIII

We're only 64 days into 2010, and the Circles of Casting-Rumor Hell keep building outward and outward and... now this: Logan Lerman is out as the putative favorite to inherit the Spider-Man franchise. But! "Are there any other actors rumored to be donning those iconic red and blue tights?" a Web site asks, perfectly reasonably. "The undisclosed source we spoke with gave us the name Angus T. Jones, who currently stars on Two and a Half Men. But this was clearly a joke. Right? We're not sure." Say whaaaa? Yes, clearly this was a a joke. Or was it? Yes. But no. Who knows? Exactly. What? Nothing against Jones, but stop the Internet, I want to get off.

4. The Redstone/Cruise affair

No, really -- they're having an affair! Say whaaaa? I know! But Roger Friedman said so in his trenchant, meticulously researched story, "Sumner Redstone is Dating Tom Cruise." Their hot Mission Impossible IV-developing action even has Katie Holmes involved! Yessir, someone sure knows how to put the "zzz" back in "scandalous."

3. Blame James

A report this week alleged that Sacha Baron Cohen walked from his Oscar-presenting duties because his skit idea -- as a pregnant N'avi accusing James Cameron of knocking her up -- was deemed too coarse for the sensitive producer/director's ego. Say whaaaa? I've got my own theories on why the sketch was scratched, but either way, the whole Cameron-is-fragile myth cracks me up. This guy once punched a meddlesome crew member -- underwater -- to avoid drowning while making The Abyss. And the story's kicker -- "[I]n case you're ranking celebrity senses of humor at home, you can now safely put Cameron below Eminem." -- is so smarmy and unfair that it could itself pass for cheap Oscar laffs. Here's an idea: Make the Oscars... funnier? Killing Sachatar was a start.


2. Nothing will get you more excited than this for Tron Legacy

Literally: A big, black, airless vacuum has more juice than this Thrilling! New! Still! from Tron Legacy featuring a disused arcade façade and a facial fragment reflected in a motorcycle mirror. Say whaaaa? It's true: This is what now passes for marketing in the geek realm. That said, it could be worse -- and Seth had the samples to prove it.

1. Chartier: French for "gas can"

You know how when you've had a dozen drinks too many, and you wobble home and flick on your iTunes and get in a mood of complete connection with the cosmos, and suddenly you're soaked in a monsoon of epiphanies that you can't help but pass along to innocent bystanders in your e-mail address book? Oh. Well, you know what I'm talking about, don't you, Nicolas Chartier? The Hurt Locker co-producer -- who was barred from the Oscars this week for reckless e-mail campaigning -- actually hit his crazy peak way back in December, when he deflected charges that his film lifted the story of a real bomb-defusing Army sergeant in Iraq. "Everyone says it's one of the best movies of the year," Chartier e-mailed to the aggrieved veteran's lawyer. "Did he just not like the popcorn when he watched the movie? I haven't taken any grossly unfair action against him, I've never heard of him. what negative impact, who's that man? Did I steal his girlfriend? Never heard of him." Say whaaaa? Assuming Chartier can whittle this kind of thing down to 144 characters, I smell Twitter superstardom. Or that could just be the thick aroma of bullshit. Hard to tell these days.