Entertainment Today: Showbiz news

By United Press International  |  Dec. 5, 2001 at 5:50 AM
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The world premiere of the new Tom Cruise movie "Vanilla Sky" will be held next Monday evening at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

Cruise is expected to attend the event, as is his fellow cast-mates Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Kurt Russell, Jason Lee, Noah Taylor and Alicia Witt, as well as director Cameron Crowe.

The movie opens nationwide Dec. 14.


The men and women who select actors and actresses for roles thought Egyptian-American Al Faris was perfect playing a terrorist. You may remember him as a Tunisian assassin in "The X-Files."

Now Faris is getting the chance to play the "good guy" for once. This week's installment of "NYPD Blue" on ABC has him cast as the victim of a hate crime.

Faris tells USA Today that he is "used to Arabs being portrayed as one-dimensional fanatics ... For once, this is a complex, sympathetic character," he tells the publication.

In the episode, he plays one of two Arab immigrant brothers in the Big Apple whose store is burned in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center towers.

(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)


In 1992, the four-hour ABC miniseries "The Jacksons: An American Dream" chronicled the rags-to-riches tale of the Gary, Ind., natives who became the most successful musical family in history.

Now this Emmy Award-winning production starring Oscar-nominated Angela Bassett, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Vanessa Williams and Billy Dee Williams premieres on DVD on Dec. 11.

The two-disc package features completely remastered visuals and audio. Highlights among the performances in the production are of The Jackson 5 hits "Never Can Say Goodbye," "ABC" and "I'll Be There" as well as Michael's "Motown Records 25th Anniversary Show" solo performance of "Billie Jean."

The miniseries was nominated for four Emmys, including Outstanding Miniseries, and won for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Choreography.


Watching holiday movies is now a season tradition for two-thirds of Americans and helps set the mood for family celebrations, according to a survey by Blockbuster.

Whether it's "Miracle on 34th Street," "Frosty the Snowman," "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" or "Christmas Vacation," holiday movies have become an integral part of the season's celebrations, the survey found.

Top 10 Holiday Movies at Blockbuster (based on top-renting holiday movies at Blockbuster stores in 2000):

1. "Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas" (1965)

2. "Christmas Vacation"

3. "A Christmas Story"

4. "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer"

5. "Jack Frost"

6. "White Christmas"

7. "Frosty The Snowman"

8. "Charlie Brown Christmas"

9. "It's A Wonderful Life"

10."Miracle on 34th Street"

(Web site: blockbuster.com)

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