Hanukkah movie leads to flame war

Posted: April 13, 2012

AFTER SCREENWRITER Joe Eszterhas (“Showgirls”) sent a letter to the Los Angeles Times claiming that Mel Gibson was still an angry anti-Semite (“You hate Jews” sort of summed it up) and that Mel’s proposed feature on Judah Maccabee (for which Joe was writing the script and which was recently dropped by Warner Bros.) was just a charade to improve his reputation, Mel responded with his own letter to the L.A. Times.

Short version: Your screenplay sucked.

Longer, excerpted version: “Contrary to your assertion that I was only developing Maccabees to burnish my tarnished reputation, I have been working on this project for over 10 years and it was publicly announced 8 years ago. I absolutely want to make this movie; it’s just that neither Warner Brothers nor I want to make this movie based on your script.

“Honestly, Joe, not only was the script delivered later than you promised, both Warner Brothers and I were extraordinarily disappointed with the draft. In 25 years of script development I have never seen a more substandard first draft or a more significant waste of time. The decision not to proceed with you was based on the quality of your script, not on any other factor.”

Ah, Hollywood.

Movies get booze

Alcohol will now be on the menu at theaters in British Columbia after the provincial government reversed its long-standing ban on hooch in cinemas.

Housing Minister Rich Coleman, who is responsible for liquor laws, said the theaters must be closed to minors during screenings because it would be difficult to enforce the rules against underage drinking in a dark theater.

“These changes strike an appropriate balance between allowing liquor service at theaters and limiting minors’ access to alcohol,” Coleman said.

Given the way people already behave at the movies, is this really a good idea? Now the person with the crying baby and the obnoxious ringtone may also be drunk.

Tattbits

“Eighty is the new 60,” Joel Grey told the audience of “Anything Goes” at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre Wednesday night.

It was Grey’s 80th birthday.

Later, at midnight at the Mc­Kittrick Hotel, he toasted the 40th anniversary of “Cabaret” and sang “Wilkommen.”

In other “Cabaret” news, after an extensive restoration that removed a 10-minute scratch in the middle of the film, it will headline the TCM Classic Film Festival and air later this year on the network.

Aaron Paul, who plays a high-rolling drug dealer on “Breaking Bad,” is griping about crime in Albuquerque, where the show is filmed.

Paul tweeted this week that he was burglarized twice while shooting the series about a teacher and former student who become partners in crime. He says his car and now his house were hit.

They were looking for the meth, dude.

He later tweeted that he loves “Albuquerque and the people. Just felt violated and super sad to lose personal items from my home.”

The parents of Amy Winehouse officially launched the U.S. branch of a foundation named for their daughter, at New York’s Joe’s Pub.

Amy made her American debut at Joe’s five years ago.

But, really, they couldn’t find a better place to do this than a bar?

The Amy Winehouse Foundation in the United States will focus on children “without access to music education and music therapy.” The family announced a donation of $10,000 to the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.

Mitch Winehouse said he spoke with his daughter through a psychic Tuesday, saying that she “is fully behind everything that we’re doing and she’s up in heaven waving her magic wand.”

The organization also announced the Amy Winehouse Inspiration Awards and Gala, to be held on Sept. 10 in New York.

Scarlett Johansson, whose email was hacked last year, admits it still bothers her to think countless people have likely seen her naked.

And Scarlett is one woman who should not have to be bothered by something like that. n

— Daily News wire services?contributed to this report.

Email gensleh@phillynews.com

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