CineVegas, both good and flashy

CineVegas started 10 years ago as a black-tie film festival, a pinky-off-the-champagne-flute affair. But it has smartly become more Vegas-y and successful, so the dressiest guy at CineVegas on Thursday night was a "little person" in a tux sipping champagne next to women outfitted like strippers and showgirls.

Dennis Hopper, the longtime Hollywood champion of the festival, took in this red-carpet scene at the Palms and smiled.

"It’s looking good to me," Hopper said.

This was CineVegas’ first event of its 10th year: the world premiere of "The Rocker" starring Rainn Wilson (Dwight from "The Office"), Emma Stone (Jules from "Superbad"), Fred Armisen from "Saturday Night Live" and Jane Lynch (the lascivious store manager from "The 40-Year-Old Virgin").

The cast rolled up in a purposely obnoxious, oversized limo. Wilson strutted in Axl Rose wear, right down to the stupid bandana headgear, and he mockingly claimed credit for bringing the "ladies" bearing gigantical-supersized cleavage.

"I was up all night, downtown at Binion’s and the Four Queens, and I met a little guy and a magician, showgirls, a waitress, a bunch of questionable skanky types, and invited them all along," Wilson said.

For the remaining nine days, CineVegas shouldn’t get any less colorful. It’s packed with dozens of parties, scores of films and a few more red carpets.

Some films are big, such as Sunday’s screening of "Get Smart." Others are potential artistic achievements, especially when Takashi Murakami shows Monday at Wynn Las Vegas.

Documentary subjects range from Hunter S. Thompson to people who play beer pong, which is like pingpong but with beer and idiots.

Lonny Ross — who plays Josh on "30 Rock" and has a part in "The Rocker" — said Thursday’s scene seriously stood out in his mind, especially compared with the Tribeca Film Festival, where "people dressed as bums" and "I had an entourage of bums."

Stone snarked cheerfully that the women in feather headpieces were a tad intimidating because she was standing in a more conservative dress with a ruffle on it. But she was coping and enjoying.

"I mean," she joked, "what are you gonna do? I have a ruffle. That’s my sass, I guess."

Doug Elfman’s column appears on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Contact him at 702-383-0391 or e-mail him at He also blogs at

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