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Film Notes : 2/19/02

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

By Ron Weiskind, Post-Gazette Movie Editor

Long-delayed Superman movie may still fly with McG and Abrams

No matter how much Kryptonite gets thrown at it, the Superman movie project refuses to die.

The movie about the Man of Steel -- which, at one point was going to be filmed in the Steel City -- has surfaced again. Warner Bros. has signed a deal with McG, the man who brought "Charlie's Angels" to the big screen, to develop and direct the Superman project, according to the Web site of the trade newspaper Variety.

J.J. Abrams, creator of the TV series "Felicity" and "Alias," will write the script.

Four years have passed since the studio pulled the plug on the production, which was to feature Pittsburgh as Metropolis and Nicolas Cage as Superman, with Tim Burton directing. They're all out of the picture now, Variety says, as are the various scripts developed at one point by Kevin Smith, Dan Gilroy and Bill Wisher.

Will McG and Abrams fare any better? Even if they do, McG is committed first to the "Charlie's Angels" sequel, due out in June 2003.

New take on an old movie

Pittsburgh musician Frenchy Burrito has four songs in a movie called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which is featured at the Boston Underground Film Festival and will open April 5 in Seattle, with plans to open wider if it does well.

Directed by Doug Miles, who played in a band with Burrito years ago, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is actually an old science-fiction movie called "Killers from Space," which starred Peter Graves. It has been recut and redubbed with new dialogue and some new footage.

Now, Burrito says, "It's about gay aliens invading the Earth and turning everyone gay with their gay beam."

The songs in the movie are from Burrito's CD "Strange Paint."

Oscar contests

Want to give out your own movie awards? A number of companies want to help you.

Loews Cineplex, which owns the Waterfront theater in West Homestead, is running a contest inviting moviegoers to guess the winners at this year's Academy Awards telecast.

You can vote online for the winners in five different Oscar categories, but each entry must include a ticket number from a Loews ticket stub issued on or after Feb. 15. The Web site is http://www.enjoytheshow.com/ (click on Hollywood Celebration). After the March 24 Oscar ceremonies, all correct entries will be entered into a drawing to win a trip for two to Hollywood and an invitation to a studio premiere.

The online services AOL and Moviefone have announced nominees for the seventh annual American Moviegoers Awards, in which people can cast votes in six categories at http://www.moviefone.com/ through March 12. Winners will be announced March 18.

The best picture nominees are "A Beautiful Mind," "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," "Moulin Rouge!" and "Shrek."

The survey says

Zagat Survey, best known for its restaurant guides for cities around the world, is starting a movie survey. Like its restaurant poll, the movie survey will take comments from consumers to rate some 1,800 films past and present. The guidebook will be published in the fall.

People can vote on the Internet through March 15 at http://www.zagat.com/survey.

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