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Science, spoilers and Paris Hilton

Connecting some dot-com dots

By Todd Leopold
CNN

Romijn
Rebecca Romijn returns as Mystique in "X-Men: The Last Stand."

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Eye on Entertainment
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(CNN) -- Good day Mr. and Mrs. America and all the blips on screen. In the dot-dot-dot spirit of Walter Winchell, Herb Caen, Furman Bisher and CNN's Larry King (in his USA Today column-writing days), a few random notes from the entertainment desk:

  • A fine movie review site with a twist: http://www.intuitor.com/moviephysics/external link, "Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics." If slow-motion machine-gun fire or noise in outer space has ever bothered you, this is your site. "The Core" earns special honors. ...
  • Speaking of science, Al Gore's film about global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth," opens in selected cities this weekend and will expand in future weeks. Near the end, Gore says his audiences often go from ignorance straight to despair without stopping at action, but given his points, despair seems like a perfectly reasonable emotion. Gregg Easterbrook takes issue with some of Gore's factsexternal link on Slate.com, and global warming naysayers are sending out press releases, but relative few have argued with the overall thrust. ...
  • Paradox: According to e-mail we receive, people say they don't care about certain items. Yet, according to traffic statistics, these items are often the most-read on the site, which means we're all creating a Vicious News Media Coverage Cycle. These items include Brad 'n' Angelina's baby, Barry Bonds' home run chase, who's running for president in 2008 and Paris Hilton. I can't explain it either. ...
  • The New York Times recently ran a piece on the best works of fiction of the past 25 yearsexternal link as voted on by a group of more than 100 authors. The winner: Toni Morrison's "Beloved." Don't know if I agree with that -- and some folks in my book club definitely wouldn't -- but pretty much every book on the list is worth checking out. Especially "A Confederacy of Dunces," which just gets better every time I read it. (The Times also has an interesting discussionexternal link of the list under way.) ...
  • Bobby Goldsboro is a good sport. I was a guest on an XM radio show talking about the worst songs of the '60s (based on a story of mine and others), and the "Honey" singer -- whose 1968 hit started me on the whole thing -- called in. I'm still not a fan of "Honey," but I appreciate Goldsboro's graciousness and good humor. ...
  • In this age of instant information, you may as well assume everything comes with a spoiler warning. And if you'd rather skip straight to the spoilers, try The Movie Spoilerexternal link, Moviespoilers.netexternal link or several other sites. Look at it this way: You'll save nine bucks and you won't end up like the unfortunates in this Onion storyexternal link. ...
  • And now Eye on Entertainment gets down to business.

    Eye-opener

    The main movie opening this Memorial Day weekend -- in fact, in many areas the only movie -- is "X-Men: The Last Stand," the third and likely final movie in the "X-Men" series.

    This time around science has discovered a cure for genetic mutations, which could affect the future of the X-Men -- all examples of various abnormalities. But do the X-Men want to give up their powers? How do you define who you are?

    The major cast members are back: Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Halle Berry (Storm), Patrick Stewart (Professor Francis Xavier), Ian McKellen (Magneto), Famke Janssen (Dr. Jean Grey), Anna Paquin (Rogue), Rebecca Romijn (Mystique) and several others, this time joined by Kelsey Grammer (Beast) and Vinnie Jones (Juggernaut).

    But the director has changed. "X-Men: The Last Stand" was helmed by Brett Ratner ("Rush Hour," "Red Dragon") instead of Bryan Singer, who has gone on to "Superman Returns." Some fans are wondering if Ratner has the same feel for comic book mythology as Singer displayed.

    The advance reviews have been mixed to favorable, many noting that though "Last Stand" isn't as good as the previous "X-Men" films, it still provides two hours of fine entertainment.

    "Ratner is unable to maintain the emotional intensity that has made this series so deeply epic," wrote the New York Daily News' Elizabeth Weitzman. "But he sure knows how to put on a show."

    "X-Men: The Last Stand" opens Friday.

    On screen

  • As noted, "An Inconvenient Truth," director Davis Guggenheim's capture of Gore's environmental concerns, opens in limited release Friday.
  • On the tube

  • "My Fair Brady" returns, 9 p.m. ET Sunday on VH1.
  • Nothing against Tim Allen, who has some fine comic chops, but "Inside the Actors Studio"? Well, there's always something to learn. 9 p.m. ET Sunday, Bravo.
  • Turner Classic Movies -- like CNN, a unit of Time Warner -- offers a Memorial Day weekend marathon of war movies from Friday through Monday. The film schedule includes "The Longest Day," "Sergeant York," "From Here to Eternity" and "The Bridge on the River Kwai."
  • Sound waves

  • "Fundamental/Fundamentalism" (Rhino), the new album by the Pet Shop Boys, comes out Tuesday.
  • "West of the West" (Yep Roc), Dave Alvin's latest, comes out Tuesday.
  • "Peeping Tom" (Ipecac), the new CD by former Faith No More frontman Mike Patton (helped by an eclectic cast of supporting musicians), comes out Tuesday.
  • Paging readers

  • Dean Koontz's new novel, "The Husband" (Bantam), comes out Tuesday.
  • Alan Furst's new book, "The Foreign Correspondent" (Random House), arrives Tuesday.
  • Michel Houellebecq's latest trip into humanity's pointless future, "The Possibility of an Island" (Knopf), comes out Friday.
  • By now it's obvious that Joyce Carol Oates never sleeps. If not writing a review, a short story or a novel, she's writing books under pseudonyms. The latest, under the name Lauren Kelly, is "Blood Mask" (Ecco). It comes out June 1.
  • The subtitle of Jason Roberts' book "A Sense of the World" (HarperCollins) is intriguing: "How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler." The story is even more so. In the early 19th century, James Holman, robbed of his eyesight by a mysterious malady, started traveling Europe -- then Siberia, then Africa, then the Far East, becoming a celebrated writer along the way. Roberts' book comes out June 1.
  • Video center

  • Fresh from its initial broadcast, the "Will & Grace" season finale comes out on DVD Tuesday.
  • "The Bette Davis Collection Vol. 2," featuring "Jezebel," "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" and a documentary, "Stardust," comes out Tuesday.
  • "Platoon" receives a special 20th-anniversary edition. The new DVD comes out Tuesday.
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