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By Devin D. O'Leary

When you've got my job, you get all kinds of weird crap in the mail--from jumping rubber spiders promoting Jungle 2 Jungle to thermometer key chains plugging Volcano. But the most clever promo item I've received as of late has got to be a stuffed bunny in a cardboard box for the film Con Air (to catch the significance of this item, you've got to see the movie). The cardboard box has even got a smiley face sticker on it, just like in the flick. It gave me the opportunity to growl at everyone in the office, "Put the bunny back in the box." ... Put a big check in the Hollywood "Oops" box. Heartthrob Brad Pitt is busy in Asia shooting the much-anticipated Seven Years in Tibet. The freedom of Tibet has long been a cause celebré in Hollywood, so TriStar Pictures thought they were getting a wealth of P.C. points for serving up this true life story of an Austrian explorer who escapes from a WWII British prison camp in India and flees into the Himalayas, where he befriends and tutors the 11-year-old Dalai Lama. Unfortunately, earlier this month, the real life protagonist Heinrich Harrer, now 84, admitted that he was a member of Hitler's SS and that he has a "clear conscience" about his past. Needless to say, Jewish leaders are a wee bit irked. TriStar may now have an uphill battle promoting this one, even if it is Brad Pitt playing the role.

--Devin D. O'Leary

Alibi film section e-mail: devin@alibi.com

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