LAT in 90 Seconds

Painter of Shyte: The FBI is investigating “Painter of Light” Thomas Kinkade’s shady business practices, alleging that his top executives “fraudulently induced investors to open galleries and then ruined them financially.”

We love this story and are collecting prints of news reports about it as they emerge. Lithographs are good, too, but you really get the subtlety and nuance of the allegations in newsprint. In fact, we might build a whole subdivision in LA based on his reported strong-arming techniques and Christian judo fake-outs.

Show Him Da Money: Claire Hoffman has the skinny on the new Cruise/Wagner production deal:

“The new deal is a fraction of the production contract Cruise currently receives from Paramount, underscoring the star’s declining popularity at the box office. The investor group would provide Cruise with $2 million to $3 million a year to cover the overhead of his movie production company, according to a source familiar with the deal. Terms of the new deal were not disclosed Monday.”

The deal doesn’t cover the actual financing of films and distribution, which Cruise and partner Paula Wagner would still have to scrounge around for on their own, but it goes a long way to keeping Cruise off the streets. And for this, we’re grateful.

Long(er) Duk Dong: For a generation of people who learned to substitute movie dialogue for actual conversation, we have this man to blame. Now, in new editions of John Hughes’ Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful, we can celebrate the seminal works of Molly Ringwald and Jon Cryer and shout along with the screen, “I can’t believe my grandmother actually felt me up.”

It’s a good day, indeed.