Henry Cabot Beck

Mel Gibson: 'Weapon' Check

Most people don’t know Mel Gibson’s We Were Soldiers is something of a prequel to 1987’s Lethal Weapon—not even the films’ creators. But in Soldiers, Gibson plays Lieut. Col. Hal Moore, commander of U.S. troops at the 1965 Vietnam War battle of the Ia Drang Valley—in which Weapon costar Danny Glover’s Murtaugh fought. Weapon scribe Shane Black chose the conflict because he wanted the character to have survived ”the nastiest hand-to-hand combat” of the war.

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Double Takes

The technology hasn’t changed much since the 1960s, but recently, lenticular posters, holographic prints that flip-flop from one image to the next (remember those cheesy portraits of Jesus opening and closing his eyes?), have become hot among movie memorabilia collectors. Not only have some fetched big dollars (according to Jon Hopkins of Emerald City Poster Co. in Seattle, The Lost World: Jurassic Park’s 3-D ad was selling at a dino-size $1,500 when the movie first opened), but others have driven fans to petit larceny.

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Entertainment news for April 2, 1993

POPULAR SCIENCE: So what does astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, author of the best-selling A Brief History of Time, do when he’s not pondering black holes? He watches Star Trek: The Next Generation, of course. Last month, the paralyzed genius (Hawking has Lou Gehrig’s disease) visited the Paramount set and asked if he could do a cameo.

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Loving David Bowie

Her 10-year marriage to David was long troubled, writes Angela Bowie in Backstage Passes, out this month, but their 1980 breakup made for a tender scene. He took her to dinner, told her he was divorcing her, got drunk, and puked on his shoes. ”It was one of those weirdly honest moments,” she writes. ”I suddenly knew how much I still loved this man.”

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Elvis Presley collector's cards

When dueling Elvis postage stamps caused a national feeding frenzy last spring, Dan Shedrick, CEO of the River Group, decided that the time was right for a new set of Elvis trading cards. ”In America you’ve got apple pie, you’ve got baseball, and you’ve got Elvis,” Shedrick sums up. He intends to market the cards in 250,000 retail outlets and pump $3.5 million into ads for a projected gross of more than $100 million.

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