- - Sunday, January 29, 2012

Monty Python comedy troupe reuniting for new movie

Members of iconic the British comedy group Monty Python will reunite for a new film, a science-fiction farce, ex-PythonTerry Jones said in comments published Thursday.

“Absolutely Anything” will not be a Python film as such, but key members of the gang, John Cleese, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam, are involved, said Mr. Jones, who will direct the movie.

Robin Williams also will lend his voice to the film, which will combine animation and live action, while producers are attempting to sign up the other surviving Python member, Eric Idle, for the project, Agence France-Presse reports.

“It’s not a Monty Python picture, but it certainly has that sensibility,” Mr. Jones told industry daily Variety, adding filming was expected to begin in Britain in the coming months.

The original Python members - who first joined forces on the surreal TV series “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” - will voice a group of aliens who give an earthling the power to do “absolutely anything” to see what a mess he makes.

Mr. Williams will play a talking dog called Dennis, who seems to understand more than anyone else about what happens as a result.

Mr. Jones co-directed the 1974 “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” with Mr. Gilliam, and he also directed “Life of Brian” and “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.”

DeGeneres, Randy Jackson to host New Orleans benefit

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson are hosting a star-studded gala in New Orleans to benefit Brad Pitt’s Make It Right home-rebuilding effort.

According to the Associated Press, Mr. Pitt will attend the $1,000-per-person gala March 10 called “A Night to Make It Right,” which will include performances by singers Sheryl Crow, Rihanna, Seal and Dr. John, said foundation spokeswoman Taylor Royle.

Mr. Pitt launched Make It Right in 2007 to help Lower 9th Ward residents who lost their homes during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The Lower 9th Ward was one of the hardest-hit neighborhoods when Katrina caused levees to fail, inundating roughly 80 percent of the city with floodwater.

Mr. Pitt worked with architects to come up with designs for stronger, safer and more energy-efficient houses than the ones residents lost. So far, 75 homes have been built, six more are under construction, and construction is set to begin on roughly eight others in coming months.

“Our goal is 150 houses, and this fundraiser is going to help us reach that goal,” said Ms. Royle, noting that all proceeds will benefit Make It Right.

Ms. Royle said it has taken more time and money than the foundation originally thought to build 150 homes. Getting in touch with families, making decisions about their homes, getting finances in order and clearing paperwork takes months, she said.

Ms. Royle said a video of Make It Right’s work over the past four years will be presented at the gala. A four-course dinner organized by chef John Besh will include courses by chefs Emeril Lagasse and Giada de Laurentiis.

Miss DeGeneres, a New Orleans native, has already donated more than $2 million to Make It Right. Mr. Jackson, a Baton Rouge native, was quick to offer his participation in the event, Ms. Royle said.

Other celebrities serving on the event’s host committee who may also be attending include actors Josh Brolin, Sean Penn and Kevin Spacey and director Spike Lee.

New ABBA track featured on special-edition album

Mamma Mia, here they go again.

ABBA fans soon will again be saying “Thank You for the Music” with the release of a new track on a special edition of the disbanded ‘70s pop group’s “The Visitors” album, the Associated Press reports.

The album includes a new track, “From a Twinkling Star to a Passing Angel.”

Universal Music Group spokeswoman Mia Segolsson said Friday that the special edition of “The Visitors” - originally released in 1981 - will be available in stores April 23.

ABBA - Agnetha Faltskog, Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad - split in 1982. The band has never reunited.

Known for catchy hits in the ‘70s and ‘80s - such as “Dancing Queen” and “Money, Money, Money” - ABBA have sold 400 million records worldwide.

911 call: Demi Moore was convulsing, semiconscious

Demi Moore smoked something before she was rushed to the hospital Jan. 23 and was “semiconscious, barely,” according to a caller on a 911 recording released Friday by Los Angeles fire officials.

The woman told emergency operators that Miss Moore had been “having issues lately,” according to the Associated Press.

“Is she breathing normal?” the operator asked.

“No, not so normal. More kind of shaking, convulsing, burning up,” the friend said.

When the emergency operator asked what Miss Moore ingested or smoked, the caller replied, but the answer was redacted.

When the operator asked the friend if this has happened before, she said, “I don’t know. There’s been some stuff recently that we’re all just finding out.”

By the end of the call, Miss Moore seemed to have improved.

“She seems to have calmed down now. She’s speaking,” a male caller told the operator.

Miss Moore announced in November she had decided to end her marriage to fellow actor Ashton Kutcher after news of alleged infidelity. Miss Moore, 49, and Mr. Kutcher, 33, were wed in September 2005.

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.