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Thought for the day

Is Angelina Jolie too beautiful? Clint Eastwood thinks she's as good an actor as Meryl Streep, but people can't see past her good looks.

Roger sells Moore

Not only is Roger Moore embracing his past - and this story explains - but his book, My Word is My Bond, is outselling Being a Scot by his fellow former 007, Sean Connery. I know it's a controversial thing to say - especially as I am in Scotland - but I think Moore's turn as James Bond has been sadly underrated and misunderstood. A lot of his films were rather silly - but he didn't write them or direct them, he just played it suave as only he could.

Update: There's a wonderful interview with Roger Moore here.

Die another way

Gemma Arterton's character comes to an oily end in the next Bond film, Quantum of Solace, according to this story. In a scene reminiscent of the demise of Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton) in Goldfinger, Arteton's Agent Fields is found dead slumped on a bed - this time covered in oil, not in gold paint. The film will open in the Uk on October 31.

Farewell, Paul Newman

Emma channels Grace

A few weeks ago, one of the tabloid magazines reported that Paul Newman was dying of cancer. Sadly, on this occasion, it was true. The star of such films as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting and Cool Hand Luke has died at age 83. He also raised millions for charity through his Newman's Own salad dressings. There's more at the Celebrity Deaths Archive.
Over the past few months, the Daily Mail seems to have been struggling to know how to deal with Emma Watson, the actress who plays Hermione in the Harry Potter films. They seem to have been asking: Should we treat her as a girl or a woman? It's not just the Mail, of course. At the recent British Film Awards, Watson received handshakes from the older males around her rather than the kisses other actresses received. It seems Watson, who is now 18, is starting to settle the issue herself, with a picture spread for Italian Vogue, where she recreates the image of Grace Kelly. The Mail has the pictures here - but here it berates the mother of 19-year-old Daisy Lowe for allowing her to pose semi-naked for an Agent Provocateur shoot. There's a photo with that, too.

Here's Johnny, again

Johnny Depp's reputation for taking on diverse and wacky roles has again been confirmed with news that his upcoming roles include the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and Tonto in a movie remake of The Lone Ranger TV series. Oh, and he'll also reprise the role of Jack Sparrow in a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film.

Something completely different

Back in 1980, when I was a university student, I went to the Brisbane premiere of Monty Python's Life of Brian, making me one of the first people to see the film (in Australia, at least). Now the citizens of Torquay, England, are to be among the last people to see a cinematic premiere of the film. Brian, starring Graham Chapman as the man who was not the Messiah just a very naughty boy, has been on the seaside town's local authority blacklist for 28 years. The ban has now been overturned and the film will feature as part of Torquay's English Riviera International Comedy Film Festival running from today, September 25, to Sunday, September 28. Torquay is, of course, the setting for the TV series Fawlty Towers, created by and starring Python's John Cleese, and was the birthplace of comic genius Peter Cook.
PS: One of the first news articles I ever wrote was about Always Look on the Bright Side of Life being censored on Brisbane radio - to delete or obscure the line "life's a piece of shit when you look at it".

Lindsay: I'm gay, get over it

Who'd have guessed it - apart from anybody who has read a newspaper, listened to the radio, watched television or surfed the net in the past few months. Lindsay Lohan and her gal pal Samantha Ronson had revealed they are a couple.
PS: Such a shame. With the initials LL, Lohan could have been one of Superman's girlfriends, joining the likes of Lois Lane, Lori Lemaris and Lana Lang.

Kotter's comeback

The 1970s TV series Welcome Back Kotter - which I remember chiefly as a celebration of the Afro hairdo and for the bad joke that ended each episode - is being made into a film, due for release next year, with Ice Cube in the title role. The orignal Kotter, Gabe Kaplan, has been a mainstay of "celebrity" specials on US TV in the past decade or so and is a professional poker player - but he never quite had the career that his co-star, John Travolta, enjoyed. Interestingly, according to, Kaplan and Travolta only appeared in 66 of the 95 episodes made. Marcia Strassman, who played Kotter's wife and went on to star in the ungrammatically titled Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, was in 71 of them. While Kaplan was in the last show, Strassman was not, and the set piece where Kotter tells a joke to his wife in bed substitutes her with a teddy bear.

Chow: the next Lee

Hong Kong actor Stephen Lee is to step into kung-fu legend Bruce Lee's shoes and play superhero sidekick Kato in a big-screen adaptation of the TV series Green Hornet. Seth Rogan will reportedly play the title role in the film, which would want to do better than the TV show starring Van William and Lee (pictured). It lasted just one season.
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