No Pope Endorsement For Gibson Film
Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, secretary to Pope John Paul II, said Tuesday
the 83-year-old pontiff never endorsed Mel Gibson's The Passion of
Christ saying, "It is as it was," after viewing the film, The Associated
Press reports. Dziwisz, who has served as the Pope's secretary during his 25-year term, confirmed that the John Paul II had indeed seen the controversial
film that depicts the last hours of Jesus' life, but he had made no such
statement that the film is accurate in its
portrayal of the crucifixion of Jesus. The Vatican press office has declined
to comment on the Pope's opinion of the film, stating they do not report on
"the private activities of the Pope." Gibson has long defended his film as
being faithful to the Biblical account of the crucifixion. Some Jewish
organizations have raised concerns about the film stirring up anti-Semitic
sentiment due to its portrayal of Jewish involvement in the death of Jesus.
The film opens on Ash Wednesday, February 25th.
Frances McDormand To Head Berlin Jury
Oscar winner Frances McDormand will head the seven-member jury at this
year's Berlin International Film Festival, AP reports. The indie-favorite actress is
currently starring in Something's Gotta Give which will play at the
festival out of competition. McDormand will join
Italian actress Valeria Bruni Tedeschi; Ethiopian director Maji-da Abdi;
Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf; Italian director Gabriele Salvatores;
movie theater director Dan Talbot, and German film producer Peter Rommel to
select, among other awards, the winner of the Golden Bear top award. The festival runs February 5-15.
Dan Rather Treated for Skin Cancer
Dan Rather, longtime anchor of the CBS Evening News, said Monday he
had surgery to remove cancerous cells from his nose, AP reports. Rather has
been absent from the nightly newscast for several nights, but reappeared
Monday and spoke about his condition on the air. Basal skin cancer often
develops after years of prolonged skin exposure, but is highly treatable if
detected early. Rather urged viewers to be examined for skin cancer and said
the whole experience was "humbling." A full recovery for the 72-year-old is expected.
Moonves Orders More Survivors
In a less than shocking move, CBS chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves has
renewed the network's contract with Survivor until at least 2005,
according to The Hollywood Reporter. The new deal as well as the
locations of the ninth and tenth editions of the show were hammered out
while Moonves and Survivor creator Mark Burnett rode an escalator in
the hotel where the two are doing press for CBS. In addition to the new
Survivor shows, CBS has also ordered full seasons for freshman shows
Two and a Half Men and Navy NCIS. It was also announced that
CBS' hit CSI will spin off once again with CSI: New York.
Moonves has been criticized for some of his programming choices recently
namely his decision to pull the Reagan miniseries from CBS The
Reagans after the project came under fire. The biopic later aired on
sister pay channel Showtime. The new season of Survivor starring past
winners and popular contestants will begin airing following the Super Bowl
on February 1st.
Nick and Aaron's Mom Arrested
Jane Carter, mother of Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and poplet Aaron Carter, was arrested
Tuesday night and charged with battery after breaking into her estranged
husband's home and attacking his new girlfriend, Launch Radio Networks
reports. Ms. Carter allegedly broke into the house, walked into the bedroom
where Robert Carter and his girlfriend Ginger Elrod where sleeping. Ms.
Carter then allegedly pulled Ms. Elrod out of the bed by her hair and
proceeded to beat her with a remote control. Aaron's twin sister Angel was
present during the occurrence and told police she had indeed seen her mother
"physically beating" Ms. Elrod. Jane Carter is already in hot water with
Aaron, who charged that she removed $100,000 from his bank account
without his permission. This disagreement was resolved Sunday. Robert Carter
is now being sued for libel and breach of contract by talent manager Eliot
Weisman, who claims he was cut out of Aaron's career only after he had gotten
them representation at the William Morris Agency. Jane Carter's arraignment
hearing for the battery charge is February 3rd.
Kid's Choice Awards Nominees Named
Preteen pop favorites Bow Wow, Nick Cannon and Justin Timberlake will be at the
mercy of children when the Kid's Choice Awards are handed out for best male
singer April 3rd, AP reports. Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Lopez, Ashanti and
Hilary Duff will compete for best female singer. Best song contenders are
B2K for "Bump, Bump, Bump," Outkast for "Hey Ya," Beyonce for "Crazy in
Love," and "Where is the Love" by Black Eyed Peas.
Role Call: Baldwin To Direct Hoodz
Stephen Baldwin plans to make his directorial debut this summer with a project
based on his own idea, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Baldwin
revealed little about the upcoming project except that it will center around
the attempt by a Mexican-American skateboarder to rally his fellow skater
boys and girls to save their local skate park. Baldwin has a television
series in the works and would probably shoot the project, titled Robbin'
Hoodz, during that show's summer hiatus. Says Baldwin, "Commercially, no
one has accomplished something that truly speaks to the true subculture of
While some television programs resumed shooting on Wednesday, few, if any, motion pictures did. Several film production offices remained closed. Reuters indicated that business had not returned to normal anywhere in Hollywood, noting that the weekly film meeting at the William Morris talent agency, which normally lasts 90-minutes, ended Wednesday after 10 minutes. "Not one piece of business was discussed," a source told the wire service. "We spent the time talking about the tragedy."
Rap star Eminem, who has long been criticized for his violent and misogynist lyrics, has been sentenced to one year of probation and 21 days of community service for a weapons charge by a Michigan Circuit judge, according to The Associated Press. Eminem was accused of carrying a concealed weapon and brandishing a 9mm gun at members of the rap group Insane Clown Posse during an argument in a Detroit parking lot. "Poor judgment is an understatement for what you did," intoned Judge Denise Langford Morris. Eminem pleaded not guilty to the charges, asserting that he pointed the gun at no one and that it was not loaded.
Brolin and Driver to wed
Jews are angry
Smile, Mrs. Dirty Harry
Moore birthday bash
Pryor turns street
Beastie Boys are back
Brando takes ill
Brolin and Driver to wed
Actor Josh Brolin (Hollowman, The Mod Squad) and actress Minnie Driver (Return To Me, Good Will Hunting) are engaged to be wed, People magazine reports.
This is the third wedding for Brolin, who was married previously to Deborah Adair. Brolin's first wife, Jane, died in 1995. Brolin has two children, Trevor, 12, and Eden, 8.
This will be the first trip down the aisle for Driver, who previously dated Matt Damon and John Cusack.
Brolin -- son of famed actor James Brolin and stepson of Barbra Streisand -- and Driver became romantically involved when they costarred in Slow Burn.
"It's obvious they are very much in love," Danny McKeever, Brolin's auto-racing instructor, told reporters.
No wedding date has been set yet, People reported.
Comic strip "BC" defames Jews, says Jewish group
The Simon Weisenthal Center, a nonprofit Jewish civil rights organization, is asking newspapers that carry the syndicated comic strip BC not to run Sunday's cartoon.
The strip portrays a Menorah, a Jewish symbol, in the first panel, under a quote by Jesus: "Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do." Succeeding panels then show the Menorah morphing into a cross, with more of Jesus' last words atop each panel. The final panel's quote, "Do this in remembrance of me," frames a picture of a cave, presumably Jesus' final resting place.
The founder and director of the Weisenthal Center, Rabbi Marvin Heir, said that newspapers have a duty not to run the strip, as it describes Judaism being "subsumed" or encompassed by Christianity, Reuters reported. The strip "will promote hatred rather than tolerance and diversity," Heir said.
A statement released by Johnny Hart, creator of BC, defends his work, saying that during a week that is holy for both Christians and Jews this year, he was trying to honor both.
The Simon Weisenthal Center, located in Los Angeles, is named in memory of Nazi hunter Simon Weisenthal.
Dirty Harry's wife on "Camera"
Smile, you're on Candid Camera.
Dina Ruiz Eastwood, wife of Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood, will be saying that more often, having joined Candid Camera's team as the show's co-host.
Starting with the new fall season, Eastwood will co-anchor the show with Peter Funt, The Associated Press reports. Eastwood will take over for Suzanne Sommers, former star of Three's Company.
The Eastwoods, who appeared together in True Crime, have been married since 1996. Prior to taking her new gig as Camera's co-host, Eastwood was a news anchor for KSBW-TV (NBC) in Salinas, Calif. Prior to taking the gig as Camera's co-host, Eastwood was a news anchor for KSBW-TV (NBC) in Salinas, Calif.
Candid Camera airs Sunday evenings on Pax TV.
Former "Survivor" contestant gives deposition
America hasn't heard the last from the first season's cast members of the TV hit Survivor.
As part of ex-cast member Stacy Stillman's $70,000 lawsuit against CBS, fellow South Pacific islander Dirk Been delivered a videotaped deposition -- six hours in length -- to lawyers, according to a report by People magazine. Been's deposition will remain under wraps due to confidentiality agreements that each cast member signs before taping begins.
Stillman contends that the TV series rigged the vote that kicked her off the island. Stillman reportedly asked the questions during Been's deposition.
"We're very pleased with what Dirk said today," Donald Yates, Stillman's lawyer, told the New York Post.
For its part, CBS filed a counter-suit against Stillman, claiming she broke her nondisclosure agreement when she brought her suit against Survivor last February.
Moore to celebrate birthday with TV bash
To celebrate Dudley Moore's 66th birthday, his family and friends are throwing him a small party -- at Carnegie Hall.
Michael Caine and Julie Andrews will chair the televised event, An All-Star Tribute To Dudley Moore, People magazine reports. Mary Tyler Moore, Barbara Walters, Amy Irving, Lauren Bacall, Eric Idle, Chevy Chase, Jimmy Fallon and Bo Derek are scheduled to give praise in person, while Robin Williams and John Cleese have taped video messages for Moore.
Dudley Moore, star of such films as 10, Arthur, and the original Bedazzled, suffers from a rare brain disorder called Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a relative of Parkinson's disease. The ailment has severely limited Moore's ability to work as Moore is confined to his wheelchair. Moore has curtailed his public appearances.
Net proceeds from the evening go to two of Moore's pet charities, Music for All Seasons and the Dudley Moore Research Fund for PSP. The tribute will take place on Monday.
Pryor's name to headline street sign in Illinois
Peoria, Ill., will try for the second time to honor hometown hero, comedian Richard Pryor, USA Today reports.
Peoria City Council members rejected on March 27 the renaming of South Sheridan Street in honor of Pryor, but that apparently did not sit well with certain council members. The proposal has reappeared on the docket, and the council will once again vote on the matter in two weeks.
Councilman Eric Turner said that the city has received a black eye for failing to honor Pryor. According to Turner, he and Pryor were childhood friends while growing up on the south side of Peoria.
Pryor is a controversial choice for such an honor, given his past penchant for profanity-filled routines and his well-documented battles with drugs. In 1980, Pryor nearly killed himself accidentally in a fire related to his freebasing cocaine.
Pryor, currently living in California, suffers from Multiple Sclerosis.
Beastie Boys' Grand Royal reappears
Out of print since 1997, the Beastie Boys' cult magazine Grand Royal has been licensed by Harper Collins to reappear in the guise of a coffee-table book. The book would comprise the best of the old magazines and incorporate fresh new articles, according to a story filed by online portal Yahoo!
The Beastie Boys produced just six editions of Grand Royal, from 1993 to 1997, which were all instant hits. The magazine, which linked skateboarding and politics and music and pop culture, sold out three of the six print runs. The magazine featured articles with then-obscure musicians, such as a Kid Rock interview in the fourth edition.
According to the report, Josh Behar, a senior editor at Harper Collins, said that the Beastie Boys "really love this project. Their dedication is amazing." Beastie Boy Mike D is working closely with Behar to finish the book. The book is scheduled to appear in bookstores in April 2002.
Actor Steve Buscemi reportedly knifed in fight
Actor Steve Buscemi has flown from the North Carolina set of Domestic Disturbance to his home in New York to recover from knife wounds, according to The Associated Press.
Police arrested a local man and will charge him for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill after allegedly stabbed Buscemi in the head, throat, and arms, AP said. Buscemi was released from a local hospital and flew home to recuperate.
The fight happened early Thursday at the Firebelly Lounge, a local bar, in Wilmington, N.C.
Domestic Disturbance costar Vince Vaughn also was arrested for his alleged involvement in the fight. AP said Vaughn was trying to come to the aid of Buscemi.
Buscemi's agents, the William Morris Agency, said they had no information at this time. Domestic Disturbance's studio, Paramount Pictures, refused to comment.
John Travolta and Teri Polo also star in the film.
Marlon Brando hospitalized
Screen legend Marlon Brando, 77, has reportedly been hospitalized for pneumonia, days before he was due to shoot the opening scene for the upcoming comedy Scary Movie 2 this week.
The actor is said to be undergoing treatment at a Los Angeles-area hospital. Neither Brando's agent, Dimension Films nor Scary Movie 2 producer Brillstein-Grey Entertainment have commented on details about his illness, or how long he is expected to be in the hospital.
The filmmakers still want Brandon to be in the film and, even though production wraps this month, his scenes could still be filmed after he recovers, according to Variety.
Scary Movie 2 is the sequel to last year's summer blockbuster directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans. It costars Chris Elliot, Tim Curry, Tori Spelling and Andy Richter.
The sequel, also directed by Wayans, is due in theaters for the July 4 holiday weekend.
Brando's next project is working alongside Robert DeNiro and Edward Norton in the crime drama The Score.