Friday, August 8, 2008

Tom Cruise Regaining Fame?

A few weeks ago I read some rave reviews of "Tropic Thunder", a Hollywood satire by Ben Stiller in which Tom Cruise plays the role of a fat, bald, and vulgar head of a movie studio.

In spite of the negative publicity Cruise enjoyed of late, the reviewers of some pre-view festival were unanimous in their praise, with shouts of "Cruise steals the show".

Then nothing until a new article that sings the same tune:
"Yes, I am praising Tom Cruise, kids. Let’s put aside the Scientology and the Nazis for a minute."
"Tropic thunder" will open on August 13.

Another praise of Cruise I read recently, and with which I would agree, was for his stunt at the start of Mission Impossible II:
"Whether or not it was stunt-doubled, Tom Cruise's rock-climbing exploits at the beginning of Mission: Impossible II are undeniably impressive. When he does his final flip on the rockface and looks directly at the camera, I always freak out that I'll get instantly converted to Scientology if I stare into his eyes."
The stunt is available on YouTube and can be seen here.

I must say I do like Cruise as an actor, notwithstanding his religious preferences. I also like his choice of films in general, which I find of taste and quality, along that of Dustin Hoffman, another of my favorite actors.

CoS adds 5 acres to its presence in Clearwater

In one of its biggest purchases in years, the Church of Scientology has added 5 acres to its already defining downtown Clearwater presence.

"One parcel is notable in Clearwater history. Rock singer Jim Morrison lived with his grandparents for a year in a little house on the water in the early 1960s while attending St. Petersburg College."

"Scientology now has 29 properties in Clearwater, most downtown."

"South of the just-purchased Triangle property is the seven-story Ocean View condo building, which the church bought in 2006 for $7.8-million. Plans call for remaking the Ocean View, formerly called the Belvedere, into 23 luxury, extended-stay units for visiting Scientologists. Remodeling cost: up to $6-million."

"Just south of the Belvedere and also on the water is Scientology's now-sprawling Sandcastle complex, a mix of hotel rooms and training quarters. Once a small, privately owned tourist hotel, the Sandcastle has been in church hands for decades and expanded many times."

"Now it's overtaxed, officials say, so plans call for a six-story, 60,000 expansion to be built on a vacant lot abutting the recently purchased land."

"Early this year, Scientology opened its latest hotel for visiting church members, the Oak Cove complex on downtown's south side. It offers high-end overnight stays after a $26-million renovation."

"In April, the church also started $30-million in renovations to its well-known Fort Harrison Hotel, which will have 220 rooms."

"In all, current church expansion and remodeling projects will give Scientology 725 guest rooms in downtown Clearwater."

Lone Picketing a Remote Scientology Cabana in South Dakota

Mildly funny video of an anon picketing a lone Scientology cabana in South Dakota. If true...