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Gov Cellucci Debuts As Movie Critic

June 12, 2000

BOSTON (AP) _ Have no fear, Roger Ebert.

Gov. Paul Cellucci made his debut Monday as a film critic at a TV station with this review of ``Mission: Impossible 2″: ``If you’re a little tired, that’s the movie to go to because you won’t fall asleep.″

The Republican governor, a movie buff who some say resembles Robert DeNiro, even did his best impersonation of his favorite actor.

``Are you talkin’ to me?″ Cellucci deadpanned, mimicking DeNiro’s line from ``Taxi Driver.″

Cellucci was not paid for his appearance on the morning news program on WLVI _ a segment the station hopes will become a monthly feature.

Cellucci’s affection for the cinema is well-known.

Aides say the governor goes to the movies once or twice a week. He annually shares his picks for the Academy Awards, and he lobbies endlessly for directors to film in Massachusetts. A signed photo of DeNiro hangs in Cellucci’s office _ a gift from the actor’s cousin, a Massachusetts resident.

On Monday’s appearance on ``Boston’s WB in the Morning,″ host Stephanie Leydon asked Cellucci briefly about a teacher retirement bill he vetoed on Sunday _ then moved quickly into more pressing business.

How about that new ``Gladiator″ movie?

With the screen labeling him ``Governor Paul Cellucci, Movie Critic,″ Cellucci pronounced it ``a good summer movie.″

``It’s action-packed and it’s got some drama,″ he said.

The governor’s delivery may need some polishing if he hopes to take it out of Beantown. His heavy Boston accent made ``drama″ sound more like ``drah-mer.″

Cellucci also gave a thumbs-up to ``Mission: Impossible 2,″ though he said parts of it were hard to believe. And he predicted the not-yet- released ``The Perfect Storm″ would be the year’s biggest film. (Perhaps because part of it was filmed here and it’s based on a Massachusetts story?)

WLVI invited Cellucci to appear once a month to review movies, but an aide to the governor said he has not yet decided if his work schedule will allow it.

He has managed to squeeze in a little bit of Hollywood during his administration. On a trade mission to California last year, the governor filmed a cameo for TV’s ``Ally McBeal.″

In fact, the governor once said his life has some showbiz elements, with the state troopers as chauffers, the big office and the constant attention.

``I guess it’s a little bit like being in a movie,″ he once said. ``But I’m not acting. I’m really doing the job.″

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