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  • Ricky Gervais was roundly criticized at last year’s Golden Globes for crude jokes about closeted Scientologists and other easy targets. He was roundly criticized this year, too, but for different reasons. He flopped.

    The UK comedian’s biting barbs last year had celebrities squirming in their tuxedos and drew the show’s biggest ratings ever. Back this year, he just barely appeared onstage. When he was on stage, he was underwhelming.

    All concerned swear to their gods that no restrictions were placed on him. But most of the reviews, so far, have been far from what they were a year ago.

    After thinking about it for a few days, I realized he’s caused the same amount of ink–really all the sponsoring Foreign Press Association cares about–but what a letdown.

    The raciest thing he said was a joke about Jodie Foster’s beaver and jabs about Eddie Murphy and the Oscars, and Murphy wasn’t even there. I love Gervais, but methinks this was somewhat of a career misstep. The ratings were down slightly, but what a weird perforfmance.

    Soundtracks, If You Please

    I saw an interesting list last week. People named its Top 5 movie soundtracks of all time. #1 was Prince’s “Purple Rain;” #2: “Saturday Night Fever;” #3: “Waiting To Exhale;” #4: “Brokeback Mountain” and #5: “Lady Sings The Blues.”

    I’d pretty much go along with the list, but, would add the soundtrack to “Flashdance,” and two albums from two Jesse Eisenberg movies, “The Social Network” and 2009’s “Adventureland.” The latter just a sensational album.

    Having toiled in the chaotic record industry for years, it used to be near impossible to even have an accompanying soundtrack album for your movie. Then almost every movie had one, and now, they have become fewer and farther between.

    Moneyball: Pitt Tops Clooney

    I know George Clooney won for Best Actor on Sunday’s Golden Globes, but I had the opportunity to see Brad Pitt’s “Moneyball” the night before and was really moved by his terrific, nuanced performance.

    Between this movie, directed by Bennett Miller, who previously helmed 2005’s terrific “Capote,” and Terry Malick’s “The Tree of Life,’ Pitt had a pretty impressive run this year.

    I’ve watched Pitt grow into a fine, fine actor and interpreter of quality material. “Moneyball” was aces! Besides Clooney’s run, this was certainly the performance of the year. Footnote: Philip Seymour Hoffman’s performances in both “Capote” and “Moneyball” were terrific as well. He won the Oscar for “Capote.”

    Names in the News

    Carol Kayo, Randy Alexander, Jacqueline Boyd, Jim Kerr, Carol Miller, Bruce & Jody Morrow, Steve Leeds, Erin Cohen, Andrew Saffir, John Varvatos, Michael Starr, Larry Alexander, Wayne Avers, Adrian Niles, Alan Rothstein, Barry Zellman, Chick Corea, Angelo Barbaro, Warren Schatz, David Salidor