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Alec Baldwin 'stunned' at popularity of Trump impression

Alec Baldwin says he's "stunned" at the popularity of his impression of President Donald Trump on "Saturday Night Live."

Baldwin tells Vanity Fair that he took up "SNL" producer Lorne Michaels' offer to play the Republican billionaire after a planned movie role fell through. He says it's turned out to be an "incredible opportunity."

Baldwin says Kate McKinnon is "one of the three most talented people" he's worked with on the show. McKinnon has played Hillary Clinton, Trump aide Kellyanne Conway and Attorney General Jeff Sessions on "SNL" this season.

In an excerpt of a new memoir, Baldwin praises his former "30 Rock" co-star Tina Fey. He writes that working on Fey's NBC sitcom was the best job he's had or will ever have.

Henry Moore sculpture is returning to London's east end

Old Flo is on her way home.

The London borough of Tower Hamlets says in a statement Tuesday that the Henry Moore bronze that was the center of a heated legal dispute will be returning to the east London this fall. Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs says the sculpture will be placed at Cabot Square in Canary Wharf.

The cash-strapped council had threatened to sell the sculpture, "Draped Seated Woman," nicknamed old Flo. Another London borough claimed it was the rightful owner and sued. The case stalled the sale.

In the meantime, Biggs' predecessor, Lutfur Rahman, was removed from office after being convicted of electoral fraud. When Tower Hamlets won the court case, Biggs sought to have Old Flo return after being on loan to a northern England sculpture park.

World Video Game Hall of Fame names 2017 finalists

The World Video Game Hall of Fame's 2017 finalists span decades and electronic platforms, from the 1981 arcade classic "Donkey Kong" that launched Mario's plumbing career to the 2006 living room hit "Wii Sports," that made gamers out of grandparents.

The hall of fame at The Strong museum in Rochester said Tuesday that 12 video games are under consideration for induction in May. They also include: "Final Fantasy VII," ''Halo: Combat Evolved," ''Microsoft Windows Solitaire," ''Mortal Kombat," ''Myst," ''Pokemon Red and Green," ''Portal," ''Resident Evil," ''Street Fighter II" and "Tomb Raider."

The finalists were chosen from thousands of nominations from more than 100 countries, said museum officials, who will rely on an international committee of video game scholars and journalists to select the 2017 class. The winners will be inducted May 4.

"What they all have in common is their undeniable impact on the world of gaming and popular culture," said Jon-Paul Dyson, director of The Strong's International Center for the History of Electronic Games."

The hall of fame recognizes electronic games that have achieved icon status and geographical reach, and that have influenced game design or popular culture.

The class of 2017 will be the third group to go into the young hall, joining "DOOM," ''Grand Theft Auto III," ''The Legend of Zelda," ''The Oregon Trail," ''Pac-Man," ''Pong," ''The Sims," ''Sonic the Hedgehog," ''Space Invaders," Tetris, "World of Wardcraft," and "Super Mario Bros.," whose title character got his start in this year's "Donkey Kong" entry.

More about this year's finalists, according The Strong:

—"Donkey Kong" (1981): Helped to launch the career of game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and sold an estimated 132,000 arcade cabinets.

—"Final Fantasy VII" (1997): The Sony Playstation's second-most popular game introduced 3-D computer graphics and full motion video, selling more than 10 million units.

—"Halo: Combat Evolved" (2001): A launch game for Microsoft's Xbox system, the science-fiction game sold more than 6 million copies and inspired sequels, spin-offs, novels, comic books and action figures.

—"Microsoft Windows Solitaire" (1991): Based on a centuries-old card game, it has been installed on more than 1 billion home computers and other machines since debuting on Windows 3.0.

—"Mortal Kombat" (1992): The game's realistic violence was debated internationally and in Congress and was a factor in the 1994 creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

—"Myst" (1993): The slow-paced, contemplative game harnessed early CD-ROM technology and became the best-selling computer game in the 1990s, selling 6 million copies.

—"Pokemon Red and Green" (1996): Since appearing on the Nintendo Game Boy, the Pokemon phenomenon has produced more than 260 million copies of its games, 21.5 billion trading cards, more than 800 television episodes and 17 movies.

—"Portal" (2007): The Game Developers Conference's 2008 Game of the Year was the breakout hit out of the four first-person shooter games it was packaged with, recognized for game mechanics that relied on portal physics.

—"Resident Evil" (1996): Among spin-offs of the survival horror game are movies that have grossed more than $1.2 billion worldwide, as well as themed restaurants and novels.

—"Street Fighter II" (1991): One of the top-selling arcade games ever helped spark an arcade renaissance in the 1990s and inspired numerous sequels.

—"Tomb Raider" (1996): Its female protagonist, Lara Croft, is the face of a franchise that has sold more than 58 million units worldwide, helped in part by actress Angelina Jolie's movie portrayal.

—"Wii Sports" (2006): Launched with the Nintendo Wii home video game system, its motion-control technology let gamers of any age serve a tennis ball or throw a left hook and helped push Wii console sales to more than 100 million.

The UK Just Released The 'Most Secure Coin In The World'

The new British pound coin has a bunch of security features — and one is secret.

Tropical Cyclone Debbie Slams Into Australia's Northeastern Coast

Cyclone Debbie pummeled the northeastern coast of Australia on Tuesday, packing winds of more than 160 miles per hour.

Abby Lee Miller quits 'Dance Moms' before fraud sentencing

Miller posted on Instagram on Sunday that she will no longer take part in the show. She says that she has asked for creative credit for her ideas for the show for six years, but hasn't received it. She says she has been "manipulated, disrespected and used."

A&E Networks, which includes Lifetime, declined to comment on the post.

Miller pleaded guilty in June to hiding about $775,000 from a bankruptcy court after filing for Chapter 11. She's set to be sentenced in Pittsburgh on May 8.

Abby Lee Miller quits 'Dance Moms' before fraud sentencing

Miller posted on Instagram on Sunday that she will no longer take part in the show. She says that she has asked for creative credit for her ideas for the show for six years, but hasn't received it. She says she has been "manipulated, disrespected and used."

A&E Networks, which includes Lifetime, declined to comment on the post.

Miller pleaded guilty in June to hiding about $775,000 from a bankruptcy court after filing for Chapter 11. She's set to be sentenced in Pittsburgh on May 8.

Review: 'The Zookeeper's Wife' tells a riveting true story

Caro, who directed "Whale Rider" and "McFarland, USA," imbues the production with a glossy sheen, which in the confines of trailers and advertisements might make this look dismissible. In mining the drama of WWII for cinematic stories, audiences have rightfully been trained to be suspicious of those that look too pretty. You're certain that "The Zookeeper's Wife" is doomed to suffocating sentimentality, emotional blackmail and too-neat resolutions.

But despite a romanticized beginning, in which our heroine Antonina (Jessica Chastain, affecting an accent that you'll get used to, I swear) seems to live the most picture perfect life that's ever existed (frolicking with the free-roaming zoo animals, sipping tea on her balcony and gazing lovingly at her doting husband and son), Caro keeps the action and emotion real and grounded throughout. She chooses silences and understatement over heightened stakes. This inherently dramatic and amazing story doesn't need dressing up — it just needs to be told.

The stage-setting is a necessary evil, but used wisely enough to introduce the characters and set up what will be an ongoing personal conflict that will serve as a sort of microcosm for the war — the friendship with a German zoologist, Lutz (Daniel Bruhl), that turns into an increasingly uneasy alliance when the war starts.

Chastain's Antonina is ethereal, motherly and tenacious. She might be the zookeeper's wife, but she has just as much if not more of a command over the place as her milquetoast husband. In fact, she treats the animals in the zoo as she would her own child. When an elephant's baby is in distress and near death, Antonina rushes to their aid, calling each by name and telling the mother elephant that everything will be OK if she just gives her space to free the baby's airway. Don't worry, this isn't a Disney movie, there's no sign that the elephants are responding to the names, but there's a fundamental comfort between the human and animal that's undeniable.

By the time the invasion starts and the zoo is bombed and destroyed, you feel the loss of something that was once just good and pure. It's distressing to watch the occupying soldiers shoot animals whether out of fear, wartime necessity or just plain evil and a reminder that humans are not the only ones who suffer in war. The animal metaphors can be a little on the nose, though, and the script makes Antonina over-explain her fondness for the creatures over humans ("you can see exactly what's in their hearts").

But the real power of the story is in what Antonina and her husband Jan (Johan Heldenbergh) do for the persecuted Jews — risking their lives to stage elaborately planned extractions from the ghetto and provide refuge for those they saved in their own home.

An already tense situation is made even more heightened when Lutz, now Hitler's chief zoologist, takes a special interest in their zoo (and Antonina). His constant presence threatens to derail the entire operation and causes strife in Antonina's marriage when Jan's jealousy gets the best of him. It's a tawdry sideshow, but Chastain and Bruhl make it captivating.

Look past the sepia and the dreary title, "The Zookeeper's Wife" is riveting both inspiring and comes as a welcome reminder in this time of uncertainty that even in the face of astonishing evil, humanity and goodness can also rise to the occasion.

"The Zookeeper's Wife," a Focus Features release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for "thematic elements, disturbing images, violence, brief sexuality, nudity and smoking." Running time: 124 minutes. Three stars out of four.

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MPAA Definition of PG-13: Parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr

Review: Heston bio returns star of 'Ben-Hur' to epic stature

Talk about your movie miracles: As a struggling stage actor Charlton Heston was down to posing nude for art classes to pay his rent in New York. Thirteen years later, he was posing with an Academy Award for "Ben-Hur" (1959), in which he played a man twice saved by Christ.

Heston had felt God's grace in real life, too. A casual wave to director Cecil B. DeMille led to his third movie, the Oscar-winning circus drama "The Greatest Show on Earth" (1952). His signature role of Moses in DeMille's 1956 blockbuster "The Ten Commandments" came after Marlon Brando and Rock Hudson had turned it down.

Those epics and a slew of others in the 1960s would have secured Heston's place as a movie star for the ages. Then came "Planet of the Apes" (1968), the cultish science-fiction thrillers "The Omega Man" (1971) and "Soylent Green" (1973), and disaster films like "Earthquake" (1974). He was a star all over again with a new generation.

Marc Eliot's insightful biography provides an admiring yet even-handed reassessment long overdue for one of Hollywood's most popular stars. Those chiseled features were perfect for the melodramatic spectacles enjoyed by audiences who wanted a break from more realistic storytelling and acting. Good thing — Heston was never quite comfortable playing a modern man or a romantic scene, yet no one did larger than life better.

His first role was a young boy named Charlton Heston. In 1923 he had been born John Charles Carter in Evanston, Illinois. An idyllic childhood spent hunting and fishing in the St. Helen woods of Michigan ended abruptly at age 10 when his city-bred mother left his blue-collar father for life in Chicago with another man. A new name came with the move, but young Chuck Heston always thought of himself as a hick kid.

Acting in high school plays was a good fit for the deep-voiced, 6-foot-3 teenager. He met Lydia Clarke while they studied drama at Northwestern University, marrying her before he went off to serve as a radio gunner on B-25 combat missions during World War II. Reunited in 1946, they headed for New York. Heston made a stronger impression in live television dramas than the stage and by 1950 had attracted the attention of moviemakers.

"As his career progressed," Eliot writes, "his canny choice of screen roles illuminated what had become his essential cinematic persona: the heroic, self-sacrificial, eternal loner, alone in the crowd of the world."

Heston wasn't one of Hollywood's colorful characters. The Irish hell raiser Richard Harris dismissed his co-star in "Major Dundee" (1965) as "the only man who could drop out of a cubic womb — he's so square." True, in the sense that Heston showed up for work prepared, on time and sober, and was a devoted husband and father.

His politics were not always predictable. In 1961 Heston was among those protesting Oklahoma City's segregated restaurants. Two years later studio executives and colleagues failed to talk him out of joining the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s march on Washington. He was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild six times and opposed cutting federal funding for the arts. After the assassinations of King and Robert F. Kennedy, he publicly backed the Gun Control Act of 1968.

Much like his friend Ronald Reagan, Heston drifted from liberalism toward a conservative if politically independent viewpoint. For many fans his late-in-life presidency of the National Rifle Association was a tone-deaf performance given the toll of gun-related deaths. But Heston viewed the right to own firearms in terms of liberty. As he had when demonstrating for civil rights, he didn't worry about what other people thought.

Heston, who died in 2008, is best remembered as Moses but may have been most like the title character of the 1967 Western "Will Penny," a saddle tramp described as quiet, principled and practical. He often cited it as his favorite among all his films. It was a fitting choice for a man who longed for the woods of his youth, preferred playing heroes over villains, and stepped up to be counted when he believed freedom was at stake.

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Douglass K. Daniel is the author of "Tough as Nails: The Life and Films of Richard Brooks" (University of Wisconsin Press).

USA Hockey Could Soon Have Another Boycott On Its Hands

Members of the U.S. men's national hockey team are reportedly considering a boycott as a show of solidarity with the women's team.
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