It’s been 45 years since Peter Sellers was unleashed as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau in the delicious Pink Panther. That 1963 film spawned numerous sequels and cartoons and in 2006 the baton was passed to Steve Martin -- who hatched a worldwide hit with his version of the French detective. In this meandering gag-laden sequel Martin is assigned to join a team of other famed international detectives and crime wizards to crack a case where priceless treasures are being stolen around the globe including of course the iconic Pink Panther diamond. Again aiding Clouseau in his own cause are his partner Panton (Jean Reno) and Nicole (Emily Mortimer) for whom he still has those amorous feelings. Let’s face it no one could top Sellers in this role and it’s wise that Martin doesn’t really try instead taking the character more toward The Jerk. Whether inadvertently burning restaurants down to the ground juggling wine bottles (in a particularly lame sequence) mangling the English language imitating the Pope or spouting hopelessly politically incorrect bon mots like calling an Asian colleague “my little yellow friend ” Martin plays it broadly and safely. As the quartet of international detectives brought in to solve the case with Clouseau Andy Garcia Alfred Molina Yuki Matsuzaki and gorgeous Aishwarya Rai Bachchan do everything they can to keep from being totally upstaged by Martin’s nonstop antics but it ain’t easy for any of them. Also of note: John Cleese takes Kevin Kline's place as Clouseau’s exasperated boss and Lily Tomlin Martin’s All of Me co-star are reunited here to teach him properly correct social etiquette. With a cast of capable comic veterans like this all any director would have to do is point the camera and make sure it’s in focus. And that seems to be ALL Dutch helmer Harald Zwart (Agent Cody Banks) has done. The PP template has been dumbed down to appeal to young kids and despite its picaresque Paris and Rome locations this comes off as surprisingly flat with a lot of comic possibility left twisting in the wind.
Mimi Farina, a singer and social activist, died of cancer Wednesday at her home in Marin County, Calif., at the age of 56. Like sister and fellow singer Joan Baez, Farina was a member of "folk royalty" in the 1960s, but she left her music career to devote herself to charitable work.
Actress Katharine Hepburn was admitted to a hospital in Hartford, Conn., on Thursday, Reuters reports. James Battaglio, a hospital spokesman, said Hepburn is in stable condition and seems quite comfortable, but did not say what the actress was being treated for. The 94-year-old actress has won four Academy Awards in a career that has spanned five decades.
Singer Janet Jackson has postponed yet another date in her problem-plagued tour. Just hours before showtime in Milwaukee, concert promoters told disappointed fans at the downtown Bradley Center that Jackson was postponing the concert because she had suffered an injury that required emergency dental surgery, The Associated Press reported. The accident occurred sometime Wednesday afternoon. Promoters told concertgoers to keep their tickets in the hopes that the concert could be rescheduled.
The Deftones have canceled Friday's performance at the San Diego Sports arena because lead singer Chino Moreno is suffering lingering effects of a vocal chord injury, Launch.com reports. The group also canceled Wednesday's show at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine, Calif. This will be the fourth cancellation due to Moreno's injury. The doctor treating Moreno said the singer was under "strict vocal arrest".
British politician and novelist Jeffrey Archer was jailed for four years Thursday after he was found guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice over a 1987 libel case that centered around allegations he had sex with a prostitute, Reuters reports. He was acquitted of one of the perjury charges. The prosecution said Archer faked two diaries that he presented during the trial to back up some false alibis. Archer, whose best selling novels include Kane and Abel and Honor Among Thieves, was forced to withdraw from the 1999 London mayoral race and was suspended from the Conservative Party for five years, putting a dent in his political career.
Escaped convict Kevin Jerome Pullum spent his first weekend of freedom with his girlfriend in downtown Los Angeles, just blocks from the county jail that he had fled. As sheriff's deputies were conducting seven wristband counts and six jailhouse searches before finally announcing on July 9 that he had escaped, Pullum was enjoying a romantic stay with his girlfriend, Carmen Ford, who said she was unaware he was on the lam, the Los Angeles Times reported. Pullum, a so-called third-strike convict, faces up to life in prison. He reportedly escaped by making a fake identification card using a picture of Eddie Murphy from Dr. Dolittle 2. Pullum continues to elude authorities, despite a large-scale manhunt.
Two officers from the Australian police have flown to Los Angeles, California to interview management and members of Limp Bizkit about the death of a 15-year-old, who was crushed at their concert in Sydney, Reuters reports. The interviews were part of a coroner's investigation into the death of Jessica Michalik, who is believed to have suffered a heart attack after getting caught in a concert crowd surge. Several other fans were injured at the concert and organizers accused the band of having a cavalier attitude toward fan safety.
Robin Williams is praising U.S. cyclist Lance Armstrong for winning the 10th stage of the Tour de France, Reuters reports. Armstrong hinted that after his victory that he had bluffed his opponents into thinking he was hurt. Williams, who is a fan and a friend of Armstrong, suggested the cyclist should receive an Oscar for his performance. The actor also said he has no doubts that Armstrong will rack up his third consecutive Tour victory this year.
Revolution Studios have made a deal that will pair Jet Li and Jackie Chan in a film together for the first time. A script is now being written by Robert Mark Kamen, Luc Besson and Li, who will also co-executive produce the project with Chan.
Actor Richard Dreyfuss is declaring neutrality in the upcoming Screen Actors Guild elections, Variety reports. The retiring president William Daniels said last week that Dreyfuss endorsed Valerie Harper. Apparently there was a misunderstanding. Dreyfuss said he does not endorse any candidate, but does support common sense, civility and the membership of the guild. Harper and Melissa Gilbert announced their candidacy last week, as well as Eugene Boggs.