'Life of Pi' offers moviegoers many things to contemplate

CREDIT: 20th Century Fox

Today’s screening of the pop-culture world finds a deep Ang Lee, “Breaking Dawn – Part 2,” Khloe Kardashian and suspicious white powder, Fiona Apple’s sick dog, many other things, and the mystery music video (hint: Arlo Guthrie).

GO DEEP, YOUNG MAN: Of a movie for the mind, per the New York Times, “It is spoiling nothing to disclose that Pi Patel, the younger son of an Indian zoo owner, survives a terrible shipwreck during a storm in the Pacific Ocean. That much you know from the very first scenes of “Life of Pi,” Ang Lee’s 3-D film adaptation of the wildly popular, arguably readable novel by Yann Martel. A middle-aged Pi (the reliably engaging Irrfan Khan) tells the tale of his earlier life to a wide-eyed Canadian novelist (Rafe Spall), so we know that he made it through whatever ordeal we are about to witness.”

MEANWHILE: Bring it on, per the Los Angeles Times, “After debuting with a massive $141.1 million last weekend, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2" is expected to rule the multiplex again over the holiday. The fifth and final installment in the vampire franchise will likely rake in another $50 million by Sunday, according to those who have seen pre-release audience surveys.”

DOG LOVER: And then some, per Entertainment Weekly, “According to a lengthy, handwritten letter posted on Facebook, Fiona Apple’s beloved dog is dying, causing her to cancel her South American tour. She writes that a tumor has been found in the chest of her 14-year-old rescue dog, a pit bull named Janet. The note is pretty heartbreaking, especially towards the end.”{ }

GOOD FOR HER: Pardon the editorial comment, per E!, “This price is right for Brandi Cochran: $777,000. The ex-Price Is Right model was awarded that amount after a Los Angeles jury determined Tuesday that the 41-year-old was wrongfully terminated from the show because of her pregnancy, according to published reports.”

STRANGE COMBINATION: Of a super man and a hobbit, per MTV, “How would you like to see a little more "Man of Steel" before heading to Middle Earth with "The Hobbit" next month? Warner Bros. is adding an extra treat to the highly anticipated release of Peter Jackson's latest film via a brand-new trailer for the Zack Snyder flick, delivered in both 2-D and 3-D.”

MEANWHILE: In defense of their methods, per The Hollywood Reporter, “Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema are denying allegations of animal abuse on the set of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. In a statement sent late Tuesday, the studio also questioned the timing of the news and noted that the animal wrangler who was the source of the allegations was dismissed with cause more than a year ago.”

ANATOMY OF A SCRUBBED CONCERT TOUR: Turns out Robert Plant was too busy, per Rolling Stone, “It turns out that Led Zeppelin fans weren't alone in thinking the group's 2007 triumphant reunion concert at London's O2 Arena would lead to a tour. "Some of us thought we would be continuing, that there were going to be more concerts in the not-too-distant-future," Jimmy Page tells Rolling Stone Senior Writer David Fricke in the new issue, on stands Friday. "Because there was a lot of work being put into the show."

NOT FUNNY: Not even close, per TMZ, “A letter containing a suspicious white powder -- addressed to Khloe Kardashian -- was sent to CBS (Tuesday) where "X Factor" is taped and the FBI is investigating ... TMZ has learned. Sources tell us ... the letter arrived to the studio this morning ... and we're told the FBI arrived to inspect the mystery substance. Sources tell us ... law enforcement determined the powder was harmless.”

HER VIEW: Of a cancelled gig, per Celebuzz, “Lindsay Lohan claims the reason she pulled the plug on her interview with Barbara Walters was all due to bad timing. “The timing wasn’t right, right now,” the troubled 26-year-old starlet told Jay Leno Monday night while promoting her new TV movie, Liz & Dick. Lohan canceled the much-anticipated interview earlier this month, leaving both Walters and ABC, the network that hosts 20/20, “disappointed.”

FAWNING ACTOR: Staying in character, per POLITICO, “Amy Poehler says Vice President Joe Biden was really a good sport on the set of “Parks and Recreation." Chatting about the veep's cameo with David Letterman on Tuesday, Poehler said, “He was so lovely and so game." On the show, Poehler’s character, Leslie Knope, has a big crush on Biden. And in an episode that aired last week, Knope fawns over Biden when she meets him in person.”

AND FINALLY: Today’s mystery music video.

--Skip Wood (Follow me on Twitter @DaybreakSkip)