Film Review Hotline
Despatches - movie news from Alan Jones

There's Something About Carrey
Carrey on laughingJim dumbs down again • Megastar Jim Carrey, whose Oscar appearance was the funniest segment of the evening, is reuniting with his Dumb and Dumber directors, Peter and Bobby Farrelly, for the split-personality comedy Me, Myself and Irene. The $45 million Fox film (of which $20 million goes to the comedian himself) finds Carrey playing a Rhode Island state trooper with a split personality. When he fails to take his medication, each of his competing personalities falls in love with the same woman - Irene - and with his internal chemistry now in turmoil, they declare war on each other. Rich in physical gags, and equipped with the Farrellys' now-signature dismissal of the high-brow, Carrey begins filming the comedy in May the moment he finishes How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Nicole's New One
From Russia with Love? • Nicole Kidman will play a Russian mail-order bride star in Birthday Girl which shoots at the end of May in Australia. In the script, written by Mojo director Jez Butterworth and his brother Tom, Kidman's character is sent for by an unassuming young bank manager living in suburban St Albans, but he gets more than he bargained for when her entire family descends upon him. Butterworth will also direct the Miramax/FilmFour production.

The Mel & Jodie Show
Hunting for big box-office • Paramount Pictures are financing the dark action comedy Mace and Mardi for Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson to star in and produce. Scripted by Jim Uhls, whose The Fight Club was recently directed by David Fincher starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, the screwball plot centres on a neurotic couple who work as bounty hunters. While undergoing marriage counselling, they realize they want to quit the business, but they must engage in more hunts to finance their new life.

I Spy
Thrills with Cool Clooney • George Clooney will star in and produce The Catcher Was a Spy, a baseball spy thriller about the true-life exploits of Morris 'Moe' Berg. Based on the 1994 book by Nicholas Dawidoff, the Warner Bros movie tells the true tale of Wall Street attorney Berg who played with such teams as the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Washington Senators during a career spanning the 1920s and 1930s. While with the latter team, he was recruited as a spy by the Office of Strategic Services (the forerunner of the CIA) and in addition to taking undercover photos in Japan while on a tour of the Orient with Babe Ruth in the 1930s. Berg later was assigned to assassinate Werner Heisenberg, who was developing the nuclear bomb for Germany.

Just a taste of Alan Jones' extensive news section. Read the full news pages every month in Film Review.

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