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September 23, 2008

Blaine and the Dive of Death


David Blaine says he feels like his head's going to explode. Us, too!

And that's not just because of his latest public stunt, which involves hanging upside down like a bat over Central Park's Wollman Rink until sometime tomorrow, 60 hours in all.

It's also due to this photo, which threatens to forever bespoil that famous "Spider-Man" inverted kiss between Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. Curse you, Blaine!

Turns out that's not the only "Spider-Man" connection.

This obviously attention-starved street magician has already pulled off tricks like being encased in a block of ice for 63 hours, getting buried alive for seven days, and spending 44 days (to the tune of near-constant jeering) in a plexiglass box near the Thames. When last some of us saw him, he was holding his breath for 17 minutes, 4.4 seconds on "Oprah," breaking the world record and boosting ratings on the Emmy-backlogged afternoon chat show.

He starved himself before this latest public display, and there's a chance that he'll suffer internal injuries and/or lose his sight. Good times!

For his trouble, he's just been nominated for the first-ever Houdini Award, doled out by The Houdini Museum in Scranton (the place that holds the annual Halloween Houdini seance on the anniversary of the legendary illusionist's death). He beats out Criss Angel, David Copperfield, and Penn and Teller, who apparently aren't as willing to risk death for our amusement.

Check ABC tomorrow night for a live show -- it's premiere week! -- to see the resolution and how many vital organs Blaine ends up sacrificing for his craft.



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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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