Sunday, March 2, 2003

Iraqi crisis delays 'Mad Max'

Los Angeles -- The start of production on "Mad Max: Fury Road" with Mel Gibson has been delayed by the possibility of military action against Iraq.

The fourth in the "Mad Max" series, which had been expected to begin filming in July in Namibia, now will go into production sometime in the fall, a 20th Century Fox spokeswoman said Friday.

Fox was looking at a summer 2004 release date, but the studio won't know if that's possible until it's known when work on the movie will start, said Jim Gianopulos, chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment.

Gibson and writer-director George Miller remain committed to filming in Namibia in Africa, Gianopulos said. "Mad Max," the first of the films, was released in 1979 and starred Gibson as a highway cop in a violent future ruled by motorcycle gangs.

Moore bemoans media laziness

Aspen, Colo. -- Filmmaker Michael Moore says journalists are missing the real story on Iraq.

Journalists should look into a possible deal between the Bush administration and Russia to carve up Iraq's oil fields after ousting Saddam Hussein, he said.

"People in the media know this story, but nobody will just say it or just do it," said Moore, who accepted the Freedom of Speech Award Thursday night at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.

"Come on. What's wrong with our media? What are they afraid of?" he said. "Where is the Woodward and Bernstein for our time?"

Moore is the author of the best-selling "Stupid White Men ... and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation." His film "Bowling for Columbine," an examination of America's gun violence, is nominated for a best documentary feature Oscar.

Diddley disdainful of rap music

Dunnellon, Fla.-- Bo Diddley is no fan of rap music.

The 74-year-old bluesman says rap "is not a thing that's going to last as long as I have."

"First of all, you can't understand what it is, and it has no meaning," Diddley told an audience Thursday at Dunnellon High School. Dunnellon is about 35 miles from Diddley's home in Archer, near Gainesville in north Florida.

"The lyrics are very disgusting because you are a person, and a person deserves respect," he said. "I have daughters, my mother was a woman, and I don't like what I'm hearing."

Diddley traded jokes, gave advice, jammed and recruited some new fans from a teenage audience not familiar with him or his hits such as "Bo Diddley" and "I'm a Man."

McGraw's uncle gets life in killing

Vallejo, Calif. -- An uncle of country music star Tim McGraw was sentenced to life in prison for killing a neighbor.

A jury convicted Dennis McGraw, 55, of first-degree murder Friday in the shooting death of 31-year-old Jason Garfield. He also was found guilty of using a firearm in the commission of the crime.

Witnesses testified McGraw shot Garfield last summer in front of the apartment complex where both men lived. A police officer said he then saw McGraw shoot Garfield in the head as he was lying on the ground, begging for his life. McGraw admitted shooting Garfield but said he did so to protect himself.