March 8, 2001

Entertainment News

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Snow Blows

Starting early last week, forecasters from The Weather Channel to local news shows were predicting one of the biggest winter storms in decades for the Northeast. And sure enough, it dumped 2-3 feet across some sections of interior New England (and Ithaca, of course). But metropolises like New York City and Boston, which were also promised “the big one,” ended up with just a pile of slush.

In preparation for the supposed substantial snowfall, millions of Northeast residents stocked up on food and shovels, schools closed, and many employees skipped work. But, now it seems like none of those preparations were really necessary, which has left many people angry with television’s over-hyping of the Nor’easter.

The Weather Channel was one news outlet that intently covered the impending storm, billing it the “March Lion of the Northeast.” But even though the weather event was more like a lamb than a lion, the 24-hour cable network was not regretful of its off-target predictions. Paul Kocin, one of the station’s winter weather experts, told USA Today, “If we ignore this [storm], we are not doing the public any good. But at the same time, because we make mistakes, we run the risk of crying wolf.”

Yeah, well, tell that to the guy who lost a day’s pay over rain.

Blurring the Line

Russell Crowe played a ransom expert in his most recent film, Proof of Life. And it seems now like that role may not have been too much of a stretch for the Oscar-nominated actor.

On Tuesday, the FBI confirmed that it is currently investigating a plot to kidnap Crowe. The bureau isn’t saying much more than that, but it is known that Feds have met with the Gladiator star and his security team to discuss precautions, after the first threats were made late last year. And tuxedo-clad agents even accompanied Crowe to January’s Golden Globe Awards, FBI spokeswoman Laura Bosley said Tuesday.

If all goes well, Crowe could play himself in Proof of Life 2.

Green Days Ahead

Approximately 7,300 scripts were sent to ProjectGreenlight.com, and now one has been selected to be made into a Miramax feature film.

The amateur filmmaking contest was organized by buddies Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who will executive produce Stolen Summer, the winning entry submitted by aspiring writer-director Pete Jones. The prize includes a $1 million dollar budget, equipment, and an HBO documentary on the making of Jones’ movie.

According to E! Online, Jones, 31, moved to Hollywood to pursue his lifelong dream of making movies. For the past year, he has been working as a production assistant, barely earning enough to get by. But now, his life has undeniably changed for the better.

Stolen Summer is the story of two young boys, one Catholic, one Jewish, who attempt to understand the meaning of life. The film will begin shooting later this year and is tentatively due out in 2002.

Bite-Size E-News

NBC comedy Frasier was renewed for three more seasons … Last Sunday’s Sopranos premiere was the most watched program in HBO history … Bette has been axed from the CBS lineup … A 27-year-old French fan has been arrested after stalking Pamela Anderson … Monica Lewinsky will appear in a most revealing HBO documentary next January … “Songs of the Century” list places Judy Garland’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in the top slot.

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