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17 Fast-Paced Facts About Out of Sight

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It only takes a few minutes of being trapped in the trunk of a car together for U.S. Marshal Karen Sisco to fall for bank robber/prison escapee Jack Foley. But shortly after she manages to escape, she's made part of a task force that's determined to find him and his crew before they can pull off a diamond heist. Best known for its modish editing (Anne V. Coates earned an Oscar nomination for it) and the palpable chemistry between leads George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez, Out of Sight also marks the first partnership between Clooney and his soon-to-be-frequent-collaborator Steven Soderbergh. Here are some facts about the Elmore Leonard adaptation to read before you get into a tussle.

1. CAMERON CROWE, BARRY SONNENFELD, AND SYDNEY POLLACK ALL PASSED ON DIRECTING THE FILM.

Barry Sonnenfeld (director of Men In Black, and the Elmore Leonard adaptation of Get Shorty) was originally attached but dropped out. Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral) turned the offer down because it was too much like his last movie, Donnie Brasco (1999). Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire) said no. Sydney Pollack (Tootsie) and Ted Demme (The Ref) also met with producers.

2. STEVEN SODERBERGH HAD TO BE CONVINCED TO DO IT.

Steven Soderbergh (director of Sex, Lies, and Videotape and later Traffic and Ocean’s Eleven) was approached by the head of Universal, Casey Silver. Soderbergh told him he was sure it was going to be fantastic, but he didn’t want to direct it as he had another project close to happening. Silver convinced Soderbergh by saying, “‘If you don’t do this movie, it means you don’t want to direct movies. This is so up your alley, you have to do this,” and by warning him that “these things aren’t going to line up very often, you should pay attention.”

3. SANDRA BULLOCK AUDITIONED TO PLAY KAREN SISCO.

Soderbergh admitted that Sandra Bullock and Clooney had great chemistry, but it wasn’t an “Elmore Leonard energy.” Fifteen years later, Bullock and Clooney finally worked together on Alfonso Cuarón's Oscar-winning Gravity (2013).

4. JENNIFER LOPEZ AUDITIONED ON CLOONEY'S COUCH.

According to Soderbergh, Clooney was never better with any other actor than he was when he auditioned with Jennifer Lopez on a "noisy leather couch" in Clooney’s study.

5. THE BANK ROBBERY IN THE BEGINNING WAS A NOD TO DOG DAY AFTERNOON.

Screenwriter Scott Frank (who also wrote Get Shorty) originally took the job writing Out of Sight so that he and his three children could afford a bigger house. Frank later said writing it was the most satisfying experience he had in 28 years of writing screenplays. (He earned an Oscar nomination for his efforts.)

He felt that while Elmore Leonard’s book was about Karen Sisco, she didn’t change much, whereas Jack Foley was “much sadder” and more interesting, which led to Frank moving the bank robbery that took place in the middle of Leonard’s book to the opening. He also did this to replicate the propulsive beginning of Dog Day Afternoon (1975).

6. SODERBERGH SAID HE "STOLE" FROM ANOTHER MOVIE TO BUILD THE SEXUAL TENSION.

“That sequence in Don’t Look Now where Nic Roeg cross-cuts the lovemaking scene with Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland getting dressed, there was an intimacy about it that I thought was really powerful,” the director said. “So I stole it.”

7. THE TRUNK SCENE WAS SHOT MORE THAN 45 TIMES.

Soderbergh originally shot it as one uninterrupted take. After all of those attempts, test audiences didn’t like that approach.

8. CATHERINE KEENER WAS TERRIFIED.

Catherine Keener’s scene by herself as Adele was the first thing shot, and she was surrounded by important studio heads. The actress recalled of the experience, “And there's me, all alone, with people screaming instructions and s--t, so I just had to scream inside.”

9. MICHAEL KEATON AGREED TO A CAMEO IF HE COULD REPRISE HIS JACKIE BROWN CHARACTER.

Michael Keaton thought it was the “coolest idea” to have him reprise his role as FBI agent Ray Nicolette, the character he played a year earlier in Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown (another Leonard adaptation). Keaton wanted audiences to believe that if Nicolette could be in two different movies from two different studios, they “might see him at the Dairy Queen later, like he’s a real guy out there wandering around in life.” Soderbergh agreed once he saw Keaton’s work in Tarantino’s Jackie Brown editing room. Tarantino insisted that Miramax not ask for money from Universal for the rights to the character.

10. CLOONEY WAS HECKLED IN PRISON.

Lancaster, California’s Mira Loma Detention Center was the stand-in for Lompoc, and Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola was used as the Glades Correctional Institution in Florida. Angola inmates yelled, “What's wrong, Batman? Can't fly to the top of the hoop?" when Clooney was forced to play poorly during the basketball scene.

11. A DEER LIFTED SODERBERGH’S SPIRITS.

Frustrated over the lighting inconvenience six inches of snow brought to one day’s filming, the director sat on the side of a deserted Detroit road by himself when a deer approached him. "I reached over to the craft services table and took four apples," Soderbergh told Empire. "The deer came and stood by me and, one by one, ate these apples. There was no one around, completely quiet, just snow falling and it completely lifted the cloud that I was operating under. I went back to work saying, 'Okay, it's just a movie. We'll put it together a piece at a time.'"

12. THE DJ RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SCORE WAS HIRED AFTER WRITING A FEW SECONDS OF THE THEME MUSIC.

David Holmes worked six weeks of 12- to 17-hour days to get the soundtrack done. Soderbergh wanted and got a combination of Lalo Schifrin’s work on the Dirty Harry soundtrack and the music from the first season of The Rockford Files.

13. ALBERT BROOKS DIDN’T THINK MUCH OF HIS CHARACTER.

Albert Brooks explained to Backstage that while he had played a villain before his turn as mobster Bernie Rose in Drive (2011), his character Richard Ripley in Out of Sight was not feared at all. “I played a bad guy in Out of Sight, but he was a pu**y. He needed protection in prison, he needed people to stick up for him, he had security guards around him. He wasn't a guy who would take action himself; he paid people to do it. So I've never played a guy who you wouldn't want to cross physically, for your own safety.”

14. LEONARD HELPED WRITE THE MOVIE'S ENDING.

Scott Frank was stuck on how to conclude the film for months, not wanting to end it with Sisco shooting Foley and going back to Florida like it did in the book. Out of desperation, Frank called the author for advice, when he was told their conversation would have to be cut short because he was about to talk to a Texas man who had broken out of prison more than a dozen times. Frank inquired further, then wrote a new ending that saw Foley meeting the multi-time prison-breaking Hejira Henry (Samuel L. Jackson) on the way to jail.

15. STEVE ZAHN THINKS THE POSTER LED TO THE POOR BOX OFFICE.

Steve Zahn felt that Universal made the poster look like a “murder-mystery love triangle thing”, which is why it came in fourth during the movie’s opening weekend. The studio rushed the movie into the early summer because Meet Joe Black (1998) was not ready. The date change led to major magazines killing potential cover stories because there wasn’t enough buzz on the film.

16. ELMORE LEONARD LIKED THE MOVIE.

Leonard wasn’t sure he would like the movie, after arguing with Frank over his decision to include flashbacks (Soderbergh was upset when Frank took them out). After seeing an early, extended version of the movie which was 15 minutes longer than the theatrical release and didn’t even have any of the music, Leonard called Frank to tell the screenwriter that the movie was “terrific.”

17. LEONARD WROTE A SEQUEL.

The 2009 novel Road Dogs had Jack Foley escape prison thanks to a Cuban gangster, who then asks for favors in Venice, California. The author decided to write the sequel because he liked George Clooney and wanted him to play Foley again. The respected novelist passed away at the age of 87 in 2013.

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8 Tricks to Help Your Cat and Dog to Get Along
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When people aren’t debating whether cats or dogs are more intelligent, they’re equating them as mortal foes. That’s a stereotype that both cat expert Jackson Galaxy, host of the Animal Planet show My Cat From Hell, and certified dog trainer Zoe Sandor want to break.

Typically, cats are aloof and easily startled, while dogs are gregarious and territorial. This doesn't mean, however, that they can't share the same space—they're just going to need your help. “If cats and dogs are brought up together in a positive, loving, encouraging environment, they’re going to be friends,” Galaxy tells Mental Floss. “Or at the very least, they’ll tolerate each other.”

The duo has teamed up in a new Animal Planet series, Cat Vs. Dog, which airs on Saturdays at 10 p.m. The show chronicles their efforts to help pet owners establish long-lasting peace—if not perfect harmony—among cats and dogs. (Yes, it’s possible.) Gleaned from both TV and off-camera experiences, here are eight tips Galaxy and Sandor say will help improve household relations between Fido and Fluffy.

1. TAKE PERSONALITY—NOT BREED—INTO ACCOUNT.

Contrary to popular belief, certain breeds of cats and dogs don't typically get along better than others. According to Galaxy and Sandor, it’s more important to take their personalities and energy levels into account. If a dog is aggressive and territorial, it won’t be a good fit in a household with a skittish cat. In contrast, an aging dog would hate sharing his space with a rambunctious kitten.

If two animals don’t end up being a personality match, have a backup plan, or consider setting up a household arrangement that keeps them separated for the long term. And if you’re adopting a pet, do your homework and ask its previous owners or shelter if it’s lived with other animals before, or gets along with them.

2. TRAIN YOUR DOG.

To set your dog up for success with cats, teach it to control its impulses, Sandor says. Does it leap across the kitchen when someone drops a cookie, or go on high alert when it sees a squeaky toy? If so, it probably won’t be great with cats right off the bat, since it will likely jump up whenever it spots a feline.

Hold off Fido's face time with Fluffy until the former is trained to stay put. And even then, keep a leash handy during the first several cat-dog meetings.

3. GIVE A CAT ITS OWN TERRITORY BEFORE IT MEETS A DOG.

Cats need a protected space—a “base camp” of sorts—that’s just theirs, Galaxy says. Make this refuge off-limits to the dog, but create safe spaces around the house, too. This way, the cat can confidently navigate shared territory without trouble from its canine sibling.

Since cats are natural climbers, Galaxy recommends taking advantage of your home’s vertical space. Buy tall cat trees, install shelves, or place a cat bed atop a bookcase. This allows your cat to observe the dog from a safe distance, or cross a room without touching the floor.

And while you’re at it, keep dogs away from the litter box. Cats should feel safe while doing their business, plus dogs sometimes (ew) like to snack on cat feces, a bad habit that can cause your pooch to contract intestinal parasites. These worms can cause a slew of health problems, including vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and anemia.

Baby gates work in a pinch, but since some dogs are escape artists, prepare for worst-case scenarios by keeping the litter box uncovered and in an open space. That way, the cat won’t be cornered and trapped mid-squat.

4. EXERCISE YOUR DOG'S BODY AND MIND.

“People exercise their dogs probably 20 percent of what they should really be doing,” Sandor says. “It’s really important that their energy is released somewhere else so that they have the ability to slow down their brains and really control themselves when they’re around kitties.”

Dogs also need lots of stimulation. Receiving it in a controlled manner makes them less likely to satisfy it by, say, chasing a cat. For this, Sandor recommends toys, herding-type activities, lure coursing, and high-intensity trick training.

“Instead of just taking a walk, stop and do a sit five times on every block,” she says. “And do direction changes three times on every block, or speed changes two times. It’s about unleashing their herding instincts and prey drive in an appropriate way.”

If you don’t have time for any of these activities, Zoe recommends hiring a dog walker, or enrolling in doggy daycare.

5. LET CATS AND DOGS FOLLOW THEIR NOSES.

In Galaxy's new book, Total Cat Mojo, he says it’s a smart idea to let cats and dogs sniff each other’s bedding and toys before a face-to-face introduction. This way, they can satisfy their curiosity and avoid potential turf battles.

6. PLAN THE FIRST CAT/DOG MEETING CAREFULLY.

Just like humans, cats and dogs have just one good chance to make a great first impression. Luckily, they both love food, which might ultimately help them love each other.

Schedule the first cat-dog meeting during mealtime, but keep the dog on a leash and both animals on opposite sides of a closed door. They won’t see each other, but they will smell each other while chowing down on their respective foods. They’ll begin to associate this smell with food, thus “making it a good thing,” Galaxy says.

Do this every mealtime for several weeks, before slowly introducing visual simulation. Continue feeding the cat and dog separately, but on either side of a dog gate or screen, before finally removing it all together. By this point, “they’re eating side-by-side, pretty much ignoring each other,” Galaxy says. For safety’s sake, continue keeping the dog on a leash until you’re confident it’s safe to take it off (and even then, exercise caution).

7. KEEP THEIR FOOD AND TOYS SEPARATE.

After you've successfully ingratiated the cat and dog using feeding exercises, keep their food bowls separate. “A cat will walk up to the dog bowl—either while the dog’s eating, or in the vicinity—and try to eat out of it,” Galaxy says. “The dog just goes to town on them. You can’t assume that your dog isn’t food-protective or resource-protective.”

To prevent these disastrous mealtime encounters, schedule regular mealtimes for your pets (no free feeding!) and place the bowls in separate areas of the house, or the cat’s dish up on a table or another high spot.

Also, keep a close eye on the cat’s toys—competition over toys can also prompt fighting. “Dogs tend to get really into catnip,” Galaxy says. “My dog loves catnip a whole lot more than my cats do.”

8. CONSIDER RAISING A DOG AND CAT TOGETHER (IF YOU CAN).

Socializing these animals at a young age can be easier than introducing them as adults—pups are easily trainable “sponges” that soak up new information and situations, Sandor says. Plus, dogs are less confident and smaller at this stage in life, allowing the cat to “assume its rightful position at the top of the hierarchy,” she adds.

Remain watchful, though, to ensure everything goes smoothly—especially when the dog hits its rambunctious “teenage” stage before becoming a full-grown dog.

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Animals
10 Juicy Facts About Sea Apples

They're both gorgeous and grotesque. Sea apples, a type of marine invertebrate, have dazzling purple, yellow, and blue color schemes streaking across their bodies. But some of their habits are rather R-rated. Here’s what you should know about these weird little creatures.

1. THEY’RE SEA CUCUMBERS.

The world’s oceans are home to more than 1200 species of sea cucumber. Like sand dollars and starfish, sea cucumbers are echinoderms: brainless, spineless marine animals with skin-covered shells and a complex network of internal hydraulics that enables them to get around. Sea cucumbers can thrive in a range of oceanic habitats, from Arctic depths to tropical reefs. They're a fascinating group with colorful popular names, like the “burnt hot dog sea cucumber” (Holothuria edulis) and the sea pig (Scotoplanes globosa), a scavenger that’s been described as a “living vacuum cleaner.”

2. THEY'RE NATIVE TO THE WESTERN PACIFIC OCEAN.

Sea apples have oval-shaped bodies and belong to the genus Pseudocolochirus and genus Paracacumaria. The animals are indigenous to the western Pacific, where they can be found shuffling across the ocean floor in shallow, coastal waters. Many different types are kept in captivity, but two species, Pseudocolochirus violaceus and Pseudocolochirus axiologus, have proven especially popular with aquarium hobbyists. Both species reside along the coastlines of Australia and Southeast Asia.

3. THEY EAT WITH MUCUS-COVERED TENTACLES.

Sea cucumbers, the ocean's sanitation crew, eat by swallowing plankton, algae, and sandy detritus at one end of their bodies and then expelling clean, fresh sand out their other end. Sea apples use a different technique. A ring of mucus-covered tentacles around a sea apple's mouth snares floating bits of food, popping each bit into its mouth one at a time. In the process, the tentacles are covered with a fresh coat of sticky mucus, and the whole cycle repeats.

4. THEY’RE ACTIVE AT NIGHT.

Sea apples' waving appendages can look delicious to predatory fish, so the echinoderms minimize the risk of attracting unwanted attention by doing most of their feeding at night. When those tentacles aren’t in use, they’re retracted into the body.

5. THE MOVE ON TUBULAR FEET.

The rows of yellow protuberances running along the sides of this specimen are its feet. They allow sea apples to latch onto rocks and other hard surfaces while feeding. And if one of these feet gets severed, it can grow back.

6. SOME FISH HANG OUT IN SEA APPLES' BUTTS.

Sea apples are poisonous, but a few marine freeloaders capitalize on this very quality. Some small fish have evolved to live inside the invertebrates' digestive tracts, mooching off the sea apples' meals and using their bodies for shelter. In a gross twist of evolution, fish gain entry through the back door, an orifice called the cloaca. In addition expelling waste, the cloaca absorbs fresh oxygen, meaning that sea apples/cucumbers essentially breathe through their anuses.

7. WHEN THREATENED, SEA APPLES CAN EXPAND.

Most full-grown adult sea apples are around 3 to 8 inches long, but they can make themselves look twice as big if they need to escape a threat. By pulling extra water into their bodies, some can grow to the size of a volleyball, according to Advanced Aquarist. After puffing up, they can float on the current and away from danger. Some aquarists might mistake the robust display as a sign of optimum health, but it's usually a reaction to stress.

8. THEY CAN EXPEL THEIR OWN GUTS.

Sea apples use their vibrant appearance to broadcast that they’re packing a dangerous toxin. But to really scare off predators, they puke up some of their own innards. When an attacker gets too close, sea apples can expel various organs through their orifices, and some simultaneously unleash a cloud of the poison holothurin. In an aquarium, the holothurin doesn’t disperse as widely as it would in the sea, and it's been known to wipe out entire fish tanks.

9. SEA APPLES LAY TOXIC EGGS.

These invertebrates reproduce sexually; females release eggs that are later fertilized by clouds of sperm emitted by the males. As many saltwater aquarium keepers know all too well, sea apple eggs are not suitable fish snacks—because they’re poisonous. Scientists have observed that, in Pseudocolochirus violaceus at least, the eggs develop into small, barrel-shaped larvae within two weeks of fertilization.

10. THEY'RE NOT EASILY CONFUSED WITH THIS TREE SPECIES.

Syzgium grande is a coastal tree native to Southeast Asia whose informal name is "sea apple." When fully grown, they can stand more than 140 feet tall. Once a year, it produces attractive clusters of fuzzy white flowers and round green fruits, perhaps prompting its comparison to an apple tree.

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