Jewish World Review July 7, 2004 / 18 Tamuz, 5764

Lloyd Grove

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Spiderman fan shows Moore having trouble coping with his predictable fade; rock the vote?; more | NEW YORK — Has "Spider-Man 2" pushed "Fahrenheit 9/11" director Michael Moore out of the limelight?

And is Moore having trouble coping with his slow but predictable fade?

This past weekend, the Tobey Maguire blockbuster dwarfed the anti-Bush polemic — with "Spider-Man 2" grossing a record $116 million compared to $21 million for "Fahrenheit 9/11."

On Monday night outside the United Artists Battery Park theater in Manhattan, a crowd of "Spider-Man 2" filmgoers converged in waves, all but drowning out a fat bearded man who had appeared to give an impromptu oration.

Namely, Michael Moore.

"Check out my Web site," Moore exhorted as he signed ticket stubs, posed for camera phones, and generally basked in the glow of his own celebrity.

Suddenly, a showing of "Spider-Man 2" ended and the exiting fans were blocked by Moore's "Fahrenheit" love-in, creating a major traffic jam. A spy for this column reports that Moore droned on, oblivious to his own personal safety until a Spidey loyalist yelled, "Not everyone thinks you're G-d, Moore!"

The director hastily wrapped things up and wandered away dejectedly.

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It was a lazy afternoon at Russell Simmons' spread outside downtown East Hampton.

The hip-hop and fashion mogul, his younger brother Joe (aka Rev. Run, who's filming a pilot of his own reality show for the ABC Family Channel), movie director Brett Ratner and his girlfriend Serena Williams (recovering from her defeat in the Wimbledon final), were getting a little antsy on a rainy Monday, wondering what to do with themselves.

Then Kid Rock arrived.

So they all decided to drive into town and take in a movie.

They jumped into various vehicles and headed for the United Artists East Hampton theater on Main Street.

Standing in front of the box office and perusing the titles, Simmons suggested that everybody catch the 7:15 showing of "Fahrenheit 9/11."

Kid Rock balked.

"I don't want to see that, it's all propaganda," the rock star said — sparking a prolonged political debate right there on the sidewalk.

"Russell, don't you understand, everything we got in this country, we got from fighting," Kid Rock argued, according to Simmons' account. "It's just a movie . . . I'd rather go to the bar across the street."

Kid Rock refused to see the movie and said goodbye. The others bought tickets and went into the theater.

A couple of hours later, Simmons returned to his parked car. On his windshield was a scribbled note: "Vote Bush. Bush Rocks," apparently written by Kid Rock himself.

Only in the Hamptons, kids, only in the Hamptons.


WHERE'S ZUMWINKEL?: Does Harvey Weinstein have a body-double named Klaus Zumwinkel? One is the Miramax movie mogul who has been in the news of late for his fractious relations with Miramax's parent company, Disney, and his recent separation from wife Eve. The other is a top German executive, the CEO of Deutche Post World Net AG, whose company is selling shares in its banking division. But Wall Street Journal line drawings of Weinstein and Zumwinkle that accompanied two different stories in that newspaper looked eerily alike. In fact, they were the very same man — all Weinstein and not a bit of Zumwinkel, as the Journal acknowledged the next day. A spokesman for the paper declined to reveal Tuesday whether a drawing of the mysterious and elusive Zumwinkel will soon be published.

PLAYING BALL: Baseball has been very, very good to President Bush — who reaped a $14 million profit when he sold his stake in the Texas Rangers years ago. Bush, in turn, has been very good to major-league baseball owners. Mother Jones magazine reports that at least five current and former owners — who each raised at least $100,000 for Bush's 2000 campaign — are Bush-appointed U.S. ambassadors, including former Seattle Mariners owner George Argyros, now ambassador to Spain despite his inability to habla espanol ; Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals co-owner Mercer Reynolds III, now ambassador to Switzerland, who speaks neither German nor Italian; St. Louis Cardinals co-owner Stephen Brauer, our man in Brussels, who doesn't speak French or Flemish; Texas Rangers co-owner Jeffrey Marcus, who very briefly was appointed ambassador to Belgium but never reported for duty because of sticky divorce proceedings; and former Texas Rangers co-owner and Bush cousin-by-marriage Craig Stapleton, ambassador to the Czech Republic, who reportedly stormed out of a tough meeting on Iraq with the Czech prime minister and undiplomatically slammed the door behind him.

DRIVING EACH OTHER CRAZY?: Ben Affleck and his new girlfriend, media sales exec Enza Sambataro, apparently share terrible driving records. Star Magazine reports that Affleck has six tickets on record — three for speeding, two for driving with an expired inspection sticker and one for driving with a suspended license. But Enza's record is even worse — 13 tickets, including four for speeding, two for failure to stop and one for failure to keep in the right lane.

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© 2003, Creators Syndicate