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New & Noteworthy:

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Eileen Murphy

So, Bono’s movie, "Million Dollar Hotel" has been screened at the Berlin Film Festival, and there’s still no news of a U.S. distributor. The Star newspaper in Ireland hints that Mel Gibson is unhappy with the final cut of the film and that this may have induced him to skip a scheduled appearance at the festival.

Gibson’s business partner, Bruce Davy, insisted that nothing should be read into the star’s absence.

"Mel’s just finished ‘The Patriot’ and is beginning ‘What Women Want,’ " he explained. Hey, Mel – we know what women want, and it looks just like you . . .

Hot Press reports that the the first important review, by Reuters film critic David Stratten, labeled the film "uninviting." But he means that in the nicest possible way.

In America, "This curious existential film noir will fall into a limbo between mainstream and arthouse fare," he predicts. "But it stands a better chance in Europe, especially in Wenders native Germany."

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Bono, as one might have guessed, is excited about the movie, but has trouble watching himself on screen in his cameo appearance.

"I still flinch when I see it," he confessed. "It’s one of those awful ‘There’s the rock star in his movie’ moments for me." Bono, talk to Larry — he’s probably still having flashbacks over that famous moment in "Rattle and Hum" when he got all choked up talking about Elvis Presley movies.

The best news to come out of the MDH movie so far is that even if the movie takes its time making it to your local movie mill, the soundtrack’s due to hit store shelves in March. And for those of us who’ve been staring forlornly at our CD players, longing for a new U2 album, this really is the next best thing.

"Million Dollar Hotel" features three new U2 songs, "The Ground Beneath Her Feet," "Stateless" and "The First Time." There are also three solo efforts by Bono, "Never Let Me Go," "Falling at Your Feet" and "Dancing Shoes." We can’t help thinking that the boy’s got a bit of a foot fetish these days.

Euro Song

Well, they’re probably still walking on eggshells at the Taoiseach’s house, since his daughter’s band Shimma struck out at last weekend’s Eurosong competition.

Despite the last-minute public appeal for votes by Cecelia’s high-profile mates in Westlife, who devoted their entire Sunday World column to the cause, the Shimmas and their song, "When You Are Near," finished a dismal third. In second place was John Hurley, who sang "Crossroads," a song he co-wrote with John Ryan. To absolutely no one’s surprise, the winner was Eamonn Toal. Hey – it’s the year 2000. Were the judges really going to vote against a song with the timely, if schmaltzy, title "Millennium of Love"?

B*Witched curie Bothered, B*Wildered

You know, just because they’re rich, famous, thin and pretty doesn’t mean that the members of B*Witched have it easy. Apparently, the flip side of fame is that sometimes you get just too darned busy to have a boyfriend.

Though she certainly has enough money to buy her own box of Godivas on Valentine’s Day, B*Witching blond Sinead O’Carroll can’t help sounding wistful as she contemplates her current single status.

"It’s hard to meet someone when you’re on the move and doing so many things," she told the Sunday World. "There’s not a lot you can do about it."

Sinead, who, at 26, is the eldest of the group, isn’t necessarily looking to date a fellow pop star.

"It wouldn’t bother me whether or not the guy was in the business," she sighed. "Either way, it’s good to have somebody there for you."

Speaking of B*Witched, the group plans to unveil a new, more sophisticated look in their upcoming video, "Jump Down."

It’s "more grown up," she says of the band’s sleek new appearance. But, mindful of the youthful demographics of her fan base, she promises that her own parents wouldn’t be mortified by the makeover. Whew!

Ready for his close-up

Well, it’s been almost a couple of weeks since we last brought you any news of Boyzone frontman Ronan Keating, and already we’re getting angry e-mail from his devoted fans (you know who you are).

Well, you’ll all be thrilled to know that Ro is happy as a clam, bunking in sunny L.A. with his wife, Yvonne, and son, Jack, while he outs the finishing touches on his forthcoming solo album. He’s also decided to use his superpowers for good, and has registered with the William Morris Agency. Yes, like many a singer before him, Ronan wants to be an actor and is looking for the right film project. We wish him all the best, of course, but we can’t help noting that most actors want to be singers . . .

Rock star see, rock star do

Wyclef Jean is one busy bee these days. In addition to his successful solo career, his Fugee duties and his involvement in NetAid, he’s become the partner of choice among Irish rock stars.

First Bono hooked up with Wyclef last year for the NetAid single, "New Day." Now, Sinead O’Connor, who seems to be over the worst of her religious mania, has sought his advice for her first new album in many a moon. The combination sounds, (if you’ll pardon the expression) divine – we can just imagine Sinead’s ethereal vocals playing against one of ‘Clef’s smooth hip hop/regg’ grooves. But before we start sounding too much like an FM disc jockey, we’ll move on to our other Sinead news

We hear that Mother O’Connor is defending her decision to turn in fellow rocker Shane MacGowan to the authorities over his alleged drug use.

Hot Press quotes O’Connor, who insists that she stands by her actions.

"I wasn’t ‘grassing’ Shane MacGowan up," she said. ""I went to the police out of concern for his life. In my opinion, Shane is dangerous to himself and others."

O’Connor also pointed out that she considered the consequences of calling in the cops.

"Kentish Town police are very compassionate," she noted. "They don’t brutalize people. I hoped through being arrested he would be forced into treatment [which would] life him out of the hell he has himself locked up in."

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