Random Acts of Ali Larter: Helping AIDS research

This week’s Random Act of Ali Larter charity is to go to Kylie Minogue’s AIDS research benefit gala at Chateau Marmont. You’d never know she was pregnant, would you?

Have you seen Ali Larter acting randomly? If so, let us know and we’ll tell everyone about it in “Random Acts of Ali Larter

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Classic TV

Halloween Gems: The Signalman (1976)

A slight departure from the normal Thursday Lost Gem/Weird Old Title Sequence in that today’s instalment is available on DVD and YouTube (I’ve embedded it below for you). But because it’s so awesome and because it’s Halloween on Sunday, I thought I’d break all the rules and cover it today anyway.

As I mentioned when I covered The Ice House in Lost Gems, back in the 70s the BBC traditionally made a ghost story each Christmas: it’s a tradition BBC4 revived recently and now BBC4 controller Janice Hadlow has moved to BBC2, guess which channel is going to be airing a new adaptation of A Warning to the Curious with John Hurt this Christmas.

As with this year’s ghost story, the Christmas ghost story was usually an adaptation of one of MR James’s. However, on rare occasions, the BBC would turn to different authors for ghost stories. In 1976, they turned to Charles Dickens and his short story The Signalman and got the young Andrew Davies to adapt it for them.

Starring Denholm Elliott as the eponymous signalman, it sees a traveller (Bernard Lloyd) come across his signal box and strike up conversation with him. It turns out that the signalman has been haunted by a ghostly vision that offers what might be a warning or even a greeting – but every time he sees it, a terrible accident soon occurs.

It’s a masterful piece of work, with a great atmosphere, great acting and a wonderful ear for 19th century language. It’s also bloody frightening. So if you’ve 40 minutes or so to spare, turn off your lights, gather around the screen and enjoy The Signalman.

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Thursday’s “bye bye Caprica” news

The Daily News will return on Monday.

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Film

Question of the week: was it right for The Hangover 2 to cancel Mel Gibson’s cameo?

Mike Tyson in The Hangover

As you may have heard, Mel Gibson was all set to make a cameo appearance in The Hangover 2 as a tattooist. However, almost immediately, protests from cast and crew meant that Gibson was dumped in favour of Liam Neeson.

Now, Gibson is obviously notorious now for being both allegedly abusive to his girlfriend and for being generally racist. But The Hangover was notorious for including a cameo by Mike Tyson, who actually was convicted and sentenced to jail for three years for raping Desiree Washington.

So slightly serious question of the week:

Was it right or hypocritical (or both) for The Hangover 2 to cancel Mel Gibson’s cameo? Or does being a racist trump being a rapist?

As always, leave a comment with your answer or a link to your answer on your own blog