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The re-release of “The Lion King” in 3D is coming this month and now the Hollywood Reporter says that “Top Gun” is being adapted for a 3D release.  Apparently, director Tony Scott has not yet given his approval.

As I noted on Ebert Presents At the Movies, there’s a world of difference between films shot in 3D and those converted to 3D after they have been shot with 2D cameras.  I don’t think there’s any benefit at all from releasing a well-known film in an obviously-converted format, do you?

The story of Judah Maccabee, one of the greatest warrior heroes in Jewish history, could make a great movie.  He led the first revolt against religious oppression in 167 BCE.  His victory is celebrated by Jews around the world each year at Hannukah.

One of the most successful directors in Hollywood is behind the project, someone whose previous film about a rebellion was an Oscar-winner.  But that director is Mel Gibson, whose anti-Semitic tirade when he was arrested for drunk driving and portrayal of the ancient Jews in his controversial “The Passion of the Christ” suggests that he may not be the person to tell this story.  Gibson has said repeatedly that this is a movie he wants to make.  But his choice of screenwriter is also sure to raise concerns.  It is Joe Eszterhas of “Basic Instinct,” “Flashdance,” and “Showgirls.”

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, released a statement: “We would have hoped that Warner Bros. could have found someone better than Mel Gibson to direct or perhaps even star in a film on the life of the Jewish historical icon Judah Maccabee. As a hero of the Jewish people and a universal hero in the struggle for religious liberty, Judah Maccabee deserves better.”  They have asked Warner Brothers to “reconsider” Gibson’s involvement.

I am skeptical about Gibson’s ability to tell this story, not because I think he will promote stereotypes or bigotry but because I think his increasing fascination with anger and violence will give the story the wrong focus.  I hope I’m wrong.

 

Today nearly 100 cartoonists in the Sunday comics observe the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.  Every family should take some time to read through them to appreciate the many ways the comic artists and writers have found to tell the story of that day of terrible losses and extraordinary heroism.

The New York Times and YouTube have created a site for people to share their memories of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and how it has affected our families and the world.

The PBS NewsHour is also collecting stories and will be tweeting the names of those who died all weekend.