Newsbites: Angels! Nottingham! Denzel! Steyn!

Newsbites: Angels! Nottingham! Denzel! Steyn! November 21, 2007

Time for another batch of quick news blurbs.

1. The production of Angels & Demons may have been put on hold for now, but reportedly Naomi Watts has signed on to play Tom Hanks’s Italian love interest. — New York Post

2. While promoting American Gangster in England, Russell Crowe let spill a few more details regarding Nottingham, the revisionist Robin Hood movie he plans to make next year with director Ridley Scott:

Will the sheriff of Nottingham be more than a pantomime villain this time around?
Russell Crowe:
[Smiles] I’m a big Robin Hood fan and have been since I was a little kid. But if you go back into the history of the mythology, you get back to the ballads of Robin the Beheader, who would chop off your head and your hands and take all your money and not give any of it to anybody. So we’ll have a look at that. We’ll have a look at how the mythology morphed over time, who was in power and what was the current church we should all attend – and in this country that changed quite regularly! And then we’ll look at the Hollywood mythology ad how much of that is embedded in the psyche of people when they think of Robin Hood. I tell you this – Richard the Lionheart won’t be bounding up in the last scene and saving the day [chuckles]. I mean the bloke only spoke French and only spent six months of his 10-year reign in England. And besides, Richard Harris is dead.

Harris played Richard the Lionheart in Robin and Marian (1976), which starred Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn in the title roles; he also co-starred with Crowe in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator (2000; my review). — IndieLondon

3. While promoting American Gangster and The Great Debaters in the United States, Denzel Washington talked to at least one journalist about the importance of faith and family in his life. Among his remarks: “I read the Bible every day. I’m in my second pass-through now, in the Book of John. My pastor told me to start with the New Testament, so I did, maybe two years ago. Worked my way through it, then through the Old Testament. Now I’m back in the New Testament. It’s better the second time around.” — Reader’s Digest

4. Mark Steyn argues that current Hollywood films, from the seemingly endless wave of dreary, preachy anti-war flicks to the “amoral fetishization of violence” in the recent remake of 3:10 to Yuma, have lost any sense of heroism, and have in effect declared war on “the very art of storytelling” itself. — Maclean’s

5. Lest people take the movie Awake too seriously — that’s the one in which a man on an operating table experiences anesthetic awareness and is unable to move, despite being conscious of the operation that is being performed on him — doctors in Canada would like the public to know that such experiences are very, very rare and there’s no need to panic if you’re about to have surgery. — Globe and Mail

6. Lest people take the movie Lust, Caution too seriously — that’s the one with the sex scenes that earned an NC-17 rating — doctors in China are warning the public that “Highly difficult sexual positions can cause unnecessary harm to both the male and female body and, hence, people should not be imitating what they see on the big screen.” In other words, the actors you see are professionals, do not try this at home, etc., etc. — London Times

7. Dennis Quaid’s newborn twins, Thomas and Zoe, are in the hospital following an overdose of blood thinner. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family, and I have to say that this is giving me a weird case of deja vu, because I interviewed Quaid two years ago, and at the time, my wife — who was 4.5 months pregnant at the time — had been admitted to a hospital only a few days before, because the doctors feared that she might lose our twins, Thomas and Elizabeth. Fortunately, our little guys pulled through; hopefully Quaid’s will, too. — Associated Press

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