Mirror Magazine
29th April 2001
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Rocky makes a comeback to help a sick child

Action hero Sylvester Stallone recreated his legendary role as boxer Rocky for just a few minutes... and the scene was the hospital bedside of a desperately sick child. The visit by his movie hero was as good as a shot in the arm for the little fan who idolises him. 

Sylvester, aged 53, spruang into action when his wife, Jennifer Flavin, read in a newspaper how five-year-old Brandon Zucker had fallen out of the Roger Rabbit ride in a Disneyland accident. Brandon's mother, Victoria had watched in horror as her son was crushed under the machinery. The newspaper reported how Brandon used to run through the house wearing oven mitts and punching the air like his hero Rocky, Rocky. 

Sylvester suddenly appeared in Brandon's hospital room, knelt by his bedside, and softly whispered: "Yo!... Give Rocky a punch." Although Brandon was too weak to reply: "Yo! Rocky", he managed to give his hero a smile. And Brandon's smiles are poignantly rare these days, said mother Victoria. She wept as she went on: "Mr. Stallone's visit did a lot of good for Brandon." 

But the movie star's sadness turned to laughter when he reminisced about old times when a former schoolmate, Lyn La Cava, told of their adventures at the American College of Switzerland in Leysin. Sylvester told how he used to scale the walls of the women's dormitory with a friend - to sell a suitcase full of burgers to the girls. Lyn and her room-mate were two of Sly's customers. 

The Rambo star recalled: "I was quite an entrepreneur at the time." Even in those days, Sylvester was very much a boy for the girls. Lyn said: "He was popular and a flirt. All the girls loved him - some things never change!" 

She went on: "Sly starred in a school play, Death Of A Salesman. I remember that, at the time, he told me he wanted to be an actor after graduation. 

His dream seemed kind of farfetched. 

"But he had a lot of talent, and he has always been a very determined guy. He never took 'no' for an answer. Even back then, he was a student physical education teacher. "I met him at a class reunion in 1967, in New York. We relived old times and I congratulated him on his success. He is still the great guy I knew in school".

Box office face-off: Julia vs. Jurassic

Opening up against Universal's Jurassic Park 3 looks like a death wish for any film competition, but Sony is betting that box-office champ Julia Roberts can hold her own against the prehistoric predators. 

America's Sweethearts, the summer offering from the Pretty Woman and Oscar winner, is being positioned as dino counterprogramming — both films open July 20. 

"We think we're the big romantic comedy alternative for July," Sony Marketing and Distribution President Jeff Blake said to Variety about Sweethearts, which co-stars John Cusack, Billy Crystal, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. 

Roberts' box-office stats include three $100 million-plus-grossing films in a row (Erin Brockovich, Notting Hill, and Runaway Bride) and a career total of eight films to pass that magic number. Both Notting Hill and Runaway Bride opened up against stiff competition (Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace and The Blair Witch Project, respectively) and performed well, Blake noted. 

Still, the last instalment of the dinosaurs-run-amok series, Jurassic Park: The Lost World, opened with a record-setting $92.7 million over the four-day 1997 Memorial Day weekend. Not even the highly anticipated Phantom Menace, which opened in 1999, could out-earn The Lost World on its first weekend in theatres. 

Steven Spielberg did not direct the third Jurassic film — corralling the T-rexes this time around is Jumanji director Joe Johnston. The sequel stars Téa Leoni, William H. Macy, and Sam Neill. 

Universal Distribution President Nikki Rocco says of Sony's Jurassic counterprogramming bid, "Good for them, and we're not worried." 

Fonda hits Turner with divorce papers

Was it something Ted Turner said? Actress- activist Jane Fonda filed for divorce from the media billionaire on the same day his frank comments about his estranged wife's religious beliefs were published in The New Yorker. 

In a filing in Fulton County Superior Court in Atlanta, Fonda noted that the couple's marriage is "irretrievably broken" and that "there is no hope of reconciliation." That language is typical under Georgia divorce laws, The Associated Press notes. 

The pair separated in January 2000, but at the time said they were "committed to the long-term success of our marriage." 

The filing said the two "have entered into a comprehensive agreement which resolves all issues between them," but gave no details regarding any division of assets. 

In Turner's revealing New Yorker interview, the CNN founder said Fonda's decision to become a Christian contributed to their split (he's a nonbeliever). Fonda retaliated by telling the magazine that Turner is a needy man who doesn't understand love. 

"He needs someone to be there one hundred percent of the time. He thinks that's love. It is not love. It's babysitting," Fonda said. "… We went in different directions. I grew up." 

This was the third marriage for both Fonda and Turner.

Shania Twain's secret's out!

- She's 4 1/2 months pregnant

Now I'll have everything I've always wanted!" That's how a giddy-with-happiness Shania Twain broke the news to record company execs in Nashville that she's 4 1/2 months pregnant with her first child by hubby Mutt Lange.

"Shania just couldn't keep the news to herself any longer, especially since she's starting to show," a Nashville insider said.

''Shania and Mutt are living near Geneva, Switzerland, where she's recording an album." The 35-year-old songbird shared the stork news with family members weeks ago, but swore them all to secrecy.

"Eilleen - we still call her by her real name - called all her family back in Canada on Christmas Eve to say she was pregnant," a family insider confided. Shania told me, "I've always wanted to have a baby, but in my head, I always was thinking later rather than sooner. I guess later's finally arrived!"

She's ecstatic and a little scared at the same time.

"But if Shania tackles motherhood the way she has her career, she's going to be the best mom ever!"

Elders and teenagers

Everyday, all the time, teenagers are blamed for being indiscisplined and disrespectful towards elders. But elders never realise that they are also to be blamed. The elders always say that they were never like that when they were teenagers. But times have changed I do not say that all the things teenagers do are always right. I also have experienced their bad behaviour at musical shows, concerts and other public gatherings. But considering most of the things the elders do, these are minor mistakes that can be corrected.

Aren't the drug dealers who bring drugs to Sri Lanka elders? Aren't the people who make blue films elders? Aren't the mothers and fathers who sell their own flesh and blood to foreigners, elders?

There is a long list like this. Even the destruction caused by the war is due to the narrow ideas of elders who call themselves leaders.

Don't younger people learn from elders? If all the elders do what is right, from where did the youth learn all these bad things? If all the elders are doing right things why is the world in such a terrible state?

I'm not blaming all the elders, and not saying that all of them do what is wrong. But just be a little considerate before you blame teenagers for everything they do.

So next time when you open your mouth to blame a teenager, remember that you are also responsible for the way they have turned out to be.

Teenager in Kandy

Angel in the alley

Diane, a young Christian university student, was home for the summer. She had gone to visit some friends one evening and the time passed quickly as each shared their experiences of the past year. She ended up staying longer than she had planned and had to walk home alone. But she wasn't afraid because it was a small town and she only lived a few blocks away. As she walked along under the tall elm trees, Diane asked God to keep her safe from danger. When she reached the alley, which was a short cut to her house, she decided to take it.

However, halfway down the alley, she noticed a man standing at the end as though he were waiting for her. She became uneasy and began to pray, asking for God's protection. Instantly a comforting feeling of quietness and security wrapped around her, and she felt as though someone was walking with her. When she reached the end of the alley, she walked right past the man and arrived home safely. 

The following day, she read in the paper that a young girl had been raped in the same alley, just twenty minutes after she had been there. Feeling overwhelmed by this tragedy and the fact that it could have been her, she began to weep. Thanking the Lord for her safety and to help this young woman, she decided to go to the police station. She felt she could recognize the man, so she told them her story. The police asked her if she would be willing to look at a line-up to see if she could identify him. 

She agreed and immediately pointed out the man she had seen in the alley the night before. When the man was told he had been identified, he immediately broke down and confessed. The officer thanked Diane for her bravery, and asked if there was anything they could do for her. She asked if they would ask the man one question. Diane was curious as to why he had not attacked her. When the policeman asked him, he answered, "Because she wasn't alone. She had two tall men walking on either side of her." 

A real life incident sent in by Luigi Jeyanayagam

Are you a carrot, egg or a coffee bean?

A certain daughter complained to her father about her life and how things had been so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and she wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that just as one problem was solved, another arose.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen, filled three pots with water and placed the fire on high. Soon the three pots came to a boil. In one he placed carrots, in the other he placed eggs, and in the last he placed ground coffee beans. He sat and let them boil, without saying a word. The daughter sucked her teeth and impatiently wondered what he was trying to do. She had problems, and he was making this strange concoction. In half an hour he walked over to the stove and turned down the fire. He pulled the carrots out and placed them in the bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in the bowl. Then he ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her he asked. "Darling! what do you see?" Smartly, she replied. "Carrots, eggs, and coffee." He brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hardboiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Her face frowned at the strength of the coffee.

Humbly, she asked. "What does it mean Father?" He explained. "Each of them faced the same adversity, 212 degrees of boiling water. However each reacted differently." "The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. But after going through boiling water, it softened and became weak."

"The egg was fragile. A thin outer shell protected a liquid centre. But after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened." 

"The coffee beans are unique however. After they were in the boiling water, they became stronger and richer." "Which are you?" he asked his daughter. When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?

Are you the egg, which starts off with a malleable heart? A fluid spirit. But after a death, a breakup, a divorce, a layoff you became hardened and stiff. Your shell looks the same, but you are so bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and heart, internally.

Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean does not get its peak flavour until it reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water gets the hottest, it just tastes better. When things are their worst, you get better. How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?

Sent in by Fareez Farook

Oy! Show some respect!

Where is "respect"?!! It just struck me a few days ago, that the system we live in is upside down. This thought struck me, when a librarian at an educational institution, of which I am a PAYING student, said "ss ss" to get my attention! It got me thinking... where is RESPECT.? I address peons by their name, librarians as Mr. 'so and so' and female assistants as Miss. So, why can't they learn to return that respect I show them? It's like taking a bone off their body to say Miss/ Madam. They'd rather make obscene noises, say "oya" or say sister. What is wrong with them?! Do they forget that we pay fees, we don't sponge off them. It is the fees that we pay, that keeps them in their jobs. Surely, a bit of "Miss" here and "Sir" there, wouldn't hurt, would it?!! 


Cherish those family moments

How I could have taken those little conversations lying around in bed for granted and grumbled about helping to bring the groceries into the house, I don't know. Being away from home and family, I now realize their value.

Now when I look back, I wish I hadn't got upset when my parents corrected me, after all it was because they cared; or hadn't bullied my brothers till their lower lip hung out trembling; or scolded my sister just because I was annoyed about something and had no one else to take it out on.

Never for a moment think that the few words shared with your loved ones are insignificant because they are sure to apply to your life at some point of time.

Being miles away from my family, I now treasure the times when my sister and I would sit up at night for long hours when we couldn't fall asleep and sing different songs at the same time at the top of our voices. And all the other mad things we did.

However close you and your friends may be, you could always count on your family to help and support you in your time of need. They will never let you down. Once out in the world, you come face to face with life and whether it is hard or easy, you confront it and don't run away from it. The only thing that keeps me going is my religion which teaches me to put my trust in God in whatever circumstances that may come my way, and everything I've learnt from my parents.

Always remember that no one can ever take the place of your parents, brothers or sisters. Cherish the moments spent together because that moment may never come again.

Anushika Jayawardhana

Books, music, films….

Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band - Live in New York City.

If you were around in the Eighties ? and I suspect many of you were- you would have been hard pressed to miss Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band. While Bruce preferred to do the solo thing during the Nineties, he did chose to close out the decade with a searing live tour with his old buddies The E-street Band. 

This stunning live album showcases the two sold out Madison Square Garden shows that ended their 1999-2000 tour. Highlighting the Boss' rocky and reflective sides in equal measure, the album features the E-Street Band in fine form, with Miami Steve Van Zandt and Nils Lofgren both turning out to do guitar duty. Covering 133 minutes of music on two CDs, the band runs through standards like 'Born to Run' , 'The River' and 'Mansion on the Hill'. Standout track for me is 'Born in the USA' transformed from a rabble rousing rocker to a meditative deep blues lament. The album also includes two new track 'Land of Hope and Dreams' and 'American Skin', inspired by the tragic shooting of unarmed Amadou Diallo by New York Police Officers.

Dido - No Angel

Having your record sampled by America's most foul-mouthed rapper may not seem like the most auspicious start to your recording career. But if the rapper in question is platinum selling Eminem and the song in question is the constantly-played 'Stan', then it's one hell of a way to kick start your career. British-born singer Dido couldn't be further in musical taste from hip hop, with her debut album 'No Angel' drawing on influences as diverse as the intimate soul of Sarah McLachlan and the dreamy trip-hop of Portishead. The first single from the album 'Here with Me' is a beautiful sampler of what to expect-all feathered snares, grand piano and crashing choruses. The rest of the album is in similar vein, a great chilled out question of good tunes and masterful lyrics of the scorned-lover variety.

Eric Clapton - Reptile

Eric Clapton has been mellowing in his old age and it's no surprise to see him release another album of blues tinged soft rock. But you have to admit that no one does it with his particular style. The curiously titled 'Reptile' sees Clapton tackling a combination of old blues standards (Walter Davis' gospelly 'Baby Come Back' and J.J. Cale's brisk and upbeat 'Travellin' Light amongst others) and some unusual choices - for instance, Stevie Wonder's 'I aint gonna stand for it' and James Taylor's 'Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight'. To mix things up even more, the title track is a Spanish flavoured jazz track. Not so much a rockin' reptile as a lounge lizard of an album. Or perhaps a chameleon.

Film of the month 

-Bridget Jones' Diary

From the producers and writer of such hit British ms as 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' and 'Notting Hill' comes another scintillating, witty take on the vicissitudes of modern romance. Helen Fielding's calorie counting, chain smoking, boozing heroine Bridget Jones was eagerly lapped up by 'singletons'

around the world as a new kind of anti-heroine; someone who shared their mistakes as honestly as they sang their triumphs. Bridget has now been brought to life by American actress Renee Zellweger, best known for her portrayal as Tom Cruise's love interest in the hit film 'Jerry Maguire'. Overweight and undersexed, she has an office affair with her cruel but sexy boss Daniel Cleaver (played rather well by an uncharacteristically un-foppish Hugh Grant) which can only lead to disaster; while in the corner giving her deep smouldering looks is her other paramour, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), hunky human rights lawyer with cheeks you could shave parmesan on. 

We catch up with Bridget as she spins dizzily through life, raging against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, backed up by her gang of friends/21st century family who are there to applaud and sympathise with her at every turn. The script by Richard Curtis is bang on the money, filled with enough cringing moments and witty turns of phrase to make up an entire franchise. This isn't the last we've seen of Bridget.


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