Behind the Camera

BEHIND THE CAMERA: Caesars Palace, Lindsay Lohan’s boo-boo and an embarrassed actor part of ‘The Hangover’ legacy

Rude, crude, lewd, full of crazy dudes … Any other descriptors come to mind?

Oh, yes … hilarious.

Cinematically speaking, our city is still hung over from The Hangover, the raucous 2009 hit comedy about a missing groom and a bachelor party gone off the rails that is a veritable Vegas smorgasbord, largely filmed in and around Caesars Palace.

Toplining this Strip joyride are Bradley Cooper, Zack Galifanakis, Ed Helms and Heather Graham, along with such highlights as a tiger in a bathroom, a chicken in a living room, a baby in a closet, a mattress impaled on a Caesars Palace statue, and a naked man in the trunk of a Mercedes. … And Mike Tyson.

What did it all mean? C’mon — isn’t that self-explanatory?

Seriously, though, did ya’ know …

        • Real life inspired the groom-gone-AWOL-from-his-bachelor-party plot, based on a producer named Tripp Vinson, who had vanished from his own Vegas bachelor blowout and blacked out. “When I was revived, I was in a strip club being threatened with a very, very large bill I was supposed to pay,” Vinson recounted to online magazine Deadline Hollywood. “It was not a fun experience at the time, but it made for a funny story.”
            • Principal filming in town took only 15 days, but the legacy it left — particularly for Caesars Palace — lingers on. Reportedly, Caesars guests constantly quoted lines from the film’s check-in scene to hotel staff, including “Did Caesar live here?” Merchandising included Hangover-themed slot machines in casinos valley-wide, and a Caesars gift shop reportedly made a mint on souvenirs related to the flick.
              ‘The Hangover’ airs on E!
              March 1 @ 7 and 9:30 p.m. PST
            • Nearly everything depicted as Caesars property — the front desk, lobby, entrance drive, pools, corridors, elevators and roof — were real, with one exception. That suite that was wrecked was built on a soundstage. Some things, like a Caesars Palace suite, are sacrosanct.

          “Hangover” actor Ken Jeong introduces IGT’s slot machine based on the movie at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas in 2010. (Darrin Bush/Las Vegas News Bureau)

          • One particularly raunchy shot in a photo slide show ending the movie, with Galifianakis’ character receiving a sexual favor in an elevator, employed a, shall we say, prosthetic device. And it embarrassed the actor. “You would think I wouldn’t be the one who was embarrassed — I was extremely embarrassed,” Galifianakis told com. “I really didn’t even want (the shot) in there. I offered (the director’s) assistant a lot of money to convince him to take it out of the movie. But it made it in there.”
          • As reported by Variety, Tyson credits his appearance in The Hangover with “starting me on a good path to a healthy life.” Possible new marketing slogan: “Vegas — a good path to a healthy life.” Whaddaya think?
          • Offering further proof (as if more were needed) that she shouldn’t seek work as a career counselor, Lindsay Lohan turned her nose up at an offer to play Jade, the stripper, declaring the script “had no potential.” After she passed, the role went to Heather Graham. That year, Lohan went on to star in the cable flick, Labor Pains, the script of which was ironically described by The Los Angeles Times as featuring “large and chunky leaps of logic over a cliché-riddled narrative landscape.” Whoopsie, Lindsay!
          • Most painful sequence to film? That, says Helms, was the one in which Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) rams his car and attacks the main characters. Over many takes, some of the kicks and punches actually landed, and his knees and shins took a beating when he was being yanked out of a window.
          • Mostly trained animals were used in scenes, with the trainers and safety equipment digitally erased. That earned the film an “Outstanding” rating for its treatment of animals by the American Humane Association.
          • One vital waiver had to be obtained for The Hangover: Jeong (the nude dude in the Mercedes trunk) had to get his wife’s permission before he went Full Monty on screen.
          • Critics? Split decision:

      Roger Ebert: “Flat-out funny all the way through. Its setup is funny. Every situation is funny. Most of the dialogue is funny almost line by line. At some point, we actually find ourselves caring a little about what happened to the missing bridegroom — and the fact that we almost care is funny, too.”

      Time magazine: “Whatever the other critics say, this is a bromance so primitive it’s practically Bro-Magnon.” (Ouch!)

      The New York Times: “There are some moments of dizzying, demented lunacy.”

      The Baltimore Sun: “A foul mesh of cheap cleverness and vulgarity.” (Double-ouch!”)

      The Los Angeles Times: “A heart-of-darkness comedy running naked and wild through the streets.”

      Naked and wild through the streets? Vegas, baby!

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BEHIND THE CAMERA: ‘Vegas Vacation’ had Chevy Chase dodging a lawsuit, Wayne Newton softening a ‘sleazebag’ portrait and the Sands making its cinematic swan song

by Steve Bornfeld/Las Vegas Newswire

by Steve Bornfeld/Las Vegas Newswire