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Crowe-ing about ‘The Passion’

Looks like Mel Gibson’s new film won’t be getting a rave review from Russell Crowe. Jeannette Walls Delivers the Scoop.
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Looks like Mel Gibson’s new film won’t be getting a rave review from Russell Crowe. Crowe, appearing on a Chicago radio station, was asked what he thought about “The Passion,” the controversial film being made by his fellow Aussie about the last day of Jesus Christ. The Oscar-winning “Gladiator” star promptly started to make fun of the film, and was especially amused that “Passion” is reportedly being made in archaic languages without subtitles.

“Well if what I’ve heard about it is fair dinkum (Aussie lingo for “true”) that he spent $25 million making a movie that’s shot in Aramaic and Latin and he’s intending to release it without subtitles, I think he’s got to get off the glue,” Crowe said. “What’s the point of making a movie where people can’t understand what’s going on? I don’t understand that. If you want it for reality or whatever, I think, ‘Wow, what an amazing idea,’ but also what a waste of time if nobody can get what the point is.”

It was pointed out that Gibson has said he doesn’t need subtitles because everyone knows the story. “Well, if we know the story, if we know it that well, why did (he) bother making it again?” Crowe said and reiterated his jokey advice: “Mr. Gibson, get off the glue!”

‘The Few,’ the Cruise

Tom Cruise may be getting in the pilot’s seat again for his next film, and some Brits are already taking pot shots at him for it.

The “Top Gun” star is said to be working on a film tentatively called “The Few” in which he’ll play Billy Fiske, one of 12 Americans who fought in the Battle of Britain during WWII. Some members of the Royal Air Force are blasting Cruise, saying he is trying to hijack history and give Americans credit for winning the Battle of Britain. Fiske was killed when he crash-landed his plane, and he is not credited with downing any German planes, but according to reports, the film will turn him into a key figure in the battle.

“I’m appalled,” Air Commodore Sir Archie Winskill, 86, told London’s Mail on Sunday. “We were alone and on the brink of disaster but we stopped the German air force and probably the invasion of Britain. There were no American squadrons and only the odd American pilot.”

“Hollywood can go and take a dip in the drink,” said 603 Squadron’s Gerald Stapleton. “It is an outrage.”

“Guess Cruise won the War” read a headline in the London Daily Star.

The controversy echoes the outrage expressed by some Brits who felt that “Saving Private Ryan” downplayed their role in D-Day.

Cruise’s rep says the actor’s critics have it all wrong, but her explanation isn’t likely to placate them — and it will probably infuriate historical purists. Turns out that the screenwriters for “The Few” are creating a composite character for Cruise who combines the heroic actions of a number of people. “Tom Cruise is not planning to portray the character of Fiske in the film,” the spokeswoman tells The Scoop. “He will portray a new character who will be an amalgam of several other characters.”

Looks like two is not company. Animosity runs so deep between Suzanne Somers and her former “Three’s Company” co-star Joyce DeWitt that a source says the two have refused to appear together in interviews discussing their late co-star John Ritter. . . . Paris Hilton, the table-top dancing young socialite who reportedly likes to leave her skivvies at home, has surprising advice: playing hard-to-get. “I tell Nicky (her kid sister), with guys, they’re only gonna want what they can’t have,” Hilton tells Seventeen magazine in its October issue. “Nobody wants the beaten-up Prada purse on Canal Street. Everyone wants the brand-new colorful Louis Vuitton one that no one can get. Guys don’t want the girl who’s been around the block.”

Jeannette Walls Delivers the Scoop appears Monday through Thursday in MSNBC Entertainment.